Book Title: Morrel & Morcerf and the Spear of Destiny
Author and Publisher: Kyle Baxter
Cover Artist: Kyle Baxter
Release Date: October 28, 2022
Genres: LGBTQ+ Action & Adventure Fiction, MM Romance
Tropes: Race Against the Clock, ex-military, king incognito
Themes: Community, Family
Heat Rating: 2 flames
Length: 98 449 words/ 373 pages
It is a standalone book. It is part of a connected series—shared universe—but you do not need to have read the previous books to follow it.
Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited
Gay Mystery Archaeologists Chase Nazi Gold!
Alois d’Pierrepont and Marton Prawer have been attending black market antiquities events trying to recover treasure stolen by Nazis during World War II. Marton is particularly interested in a certain missing Picasso.
Following the trail to France, the two stumble into far more than they bargained for when a shady auction they’re attending in Paris’s Latin Quarter is raided by Interpol. Alois’s uncle Frederick, from Bring Me Edelweiss, is soon hot on the case along with his lover Joel McIntyre.
After recovering the journal of a Nazi general the four men race across western Europe, chased by fascists desperate to find the treasure for themselves. Gunfights and car chases ensue as the group uses a map in the journal to track down the treasure and its contents, rumored to include the fabled Spear of Destiny.
Alois d’Pierrepont knelt at the door to the study and pulled a small black pouch from his breast pocket. With a grunt, he undid the button on his Versace “Black Baroque” evening jacket. It fit a little too snugly for squatting. Opening the bag, he selected two picks, inserted them in the door lock, and went to work.
“How’s it going?” Marton Prawer asked, appearing beside him and flashing his winning smile.
Alois looked up at his boyfriend. I’d go a lot quicker if you wouldn’t hang on my shoulder, he thought. “Just bloody fine, dear,” he grumbled between gritted teeth.
They’d come to the party to find evidence that the host collected Nazi memorabilia. Marton was obsessed with returning stolen loot to the Jewish people. A noble pursuit. And being a history buff and amateur archaeologist himself, Alois found him fascinating and intense.
The owner of this house had a reputation for acquiring antiques with a sketchy provenance. But reputation was not proof, so the two young men were looking for something they could leverage for information. Something that might get them an in to the black market antiquities scene. To be fair, Alois was at a loss as to how to accomplish that, but Marton was determined. Seems a bit of a stretch.
It was a good thing he was able to use his own contacts to get an invite to this party, but . . . May wind up paying for that. That particular person, a socialite named Denis, was a pill and likely to bring it up to gain his own leverage. He let out a long, deep breath. So far, it’s worth it. After all, they’d made it here. But still, the games people play. It’s all so exhausting.
He wiped beads of perspiration off his forehead and frowned. Locks never gave him this much trouble. Then again, he wasn’t used to performing under pressure. Before, it was always a lark, a trick he picked up as a kid running around his grandfather’s drafty old home, picking the locks on all the doors for fun. Though he’d long ago gone pro and bought a professional lockpick set, this was different. They were on a mission.
“Take a breath.” Marton’s voice was easy and soothing.
Alois shook out his hand and let out a long exhalation, then went back to it. After a moment, the tumblers clicked easily like they’d been waiting for him. The lock let out a satisfying chunk.
“Sorry, just a bit nervous.” Alois chuckled as he stood. “Never done this ‘in the field,’ as they say. Before, it was always a party trick or me larking about. Never actually tried housebreaking before.”
Marton looked up at Alois and gave him a kiss on the lips. “You did great.” He ran a hand along the front of Alois’s slacks, teasing him until he hardened. “I’ll give you something special when we get back to your place.”
A deep moan escaped Alois’s chest. “I’m looking forward to it already.” Grabbing the door handle, he stepped inside the office and flicked on the light.
They stepped into a nondescript modern office.
“Oh,” Marton said in surprise.
“What, were you expecting a Nazi flag on the wall?” Alois asked, nudging the shorter man in the side. “Or an autographed photo of Hitler?”
Q&A with Kyle Baxter
Aloha, my name is Kyle Baxter. I am an mm romance author and I live in Honolulu, Hawaii with my black Labrador Retriever Brady.
How long have you been an author? What/who inspired you to start writing?
I’ve only been a published author for only a short time, but I’ve been writing most of my life. A few years ago, I was having a very rough time of it. Hallmark Channel Christmas movies became a little obsession for me, and I felt like LGBTQ men need their own cozy romance stories. So, I decided to write my own.
Tell us about your new release. What inspired you to write it?
Morrel & Morcerf and the Spear of Destiny is an LGBTQ romance/fiction, gay action/adventure. It tells the story of two young university students who are trying to repatriate the treasure taken by the Nazis during World War II. They’re hitting up black market antiquities auctions and stumble into more than they bargained for.
The inspiration for this book came from the Rundown, the action movie starring Seann William Scott and Dwayne Johnson. I wanted a queer version, with a romance between the two male main characters, a gay Romancing the Stone.
How did you decide on the title?
That was difficult and took some time. I wanted something intriguing that told something about the story without giving it all away. It was a deliberate decision to stay away from a one-word title, and all try something new, something different from all my previous titles.
What is the hardest part of writing any book?
Finding the discipline to actually sit down and write it! LOL I’m always working on a book in one form or fashion but actually sitting at the computer and writing—some days it’s tough. I can be very lazy and get distracted easily.
Are there any genres you prefer to write, and if so, why?
I like writing in mm romance, it is affording me the freedom to experiment with other genres as well, as sub-genres. All the books have romance at the ore, but one hints at the paranormal, Mistletoe in the Marigny—which fits with the setting in New Orleans. Then with Manhattan Mistletoe Mystery, I explored the crime genre. Now Morrel and Morcerf is my action/adventure yarn. I’m branching out, going wherever my interest lies at the moment.
I’m a gay man and that is where my interest lies. While the term #OwnVoices has gone out of vogue, I believe it’s important to have books about marginalized groups written by authors who share the same perspective. MM romance doesn’t have to only be written by LGBTQ men—I’ve read a lot of great MM romances from het authors—but that representation is important.
Which other writers do you follow?
I know so many talented writers, but there’s Mario Dell’Olio, Chase Taylor Hackett, Chris Willams, Jayme Bean, and Chase Connor, just to name a few.
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
A little of both. It definitely all starts with the plot, I know where I want to go, and where I want the story to end up. Then the characters get involved and everything is up for grabs. The stories always go places I don’t plan. I knew how Morrel & Morcerf was ending but the epilogue snuck up on me.
Are you a cat person or a dog person? Tell us about your pets.
I’m a dog person, I have a black Labrador Retriever named Brady, I got him at the start of the pandemic as an emotional support animal, and he has saved my life. One night last year, the fire alarm went off in my building. I ignored it as sketchy characters sometimes pull it—no big deal. Brady would not leave me alone until I got up and got moving. Turned out it was not a prank, but the building was on fire. We quickly got out, I do not know what would have happened if not for him.
What are your writing and personal goals for 2022 and beyond?
I am working on my next book, due out next summer, and plotting my holiday release for the same year, My personal goal is to spend more time with my dog, and napping. I love a nap.
Are there big events in your life that affect your writing?
My mother died of cancer more than ten years ago, it had a profound impact on my life. After that, I left Manhattan and moved back to my birthplace. Her death affected my writing. One of the characters in my first novel, the Problem with Mistletoe, was based on my mom.
About the Author
Kyle is an artist, playwright, and writer. As a playwright, Kyle has had his plays performed in New York at the NY International Fringe Festival, and the Midtown International Theater Festival. As an artist and illustrator, he has had his art exhibited in both New Orleans and New York.
Born in Hawaii, Kyle is an Army brat and grew up in Erlangen, Germany, as well as Augusta, Georgia, and several cities in Texas. After stints in Louisiana and New York, he resides again in Honolulu with his black Labrador Retriever Brady.