We’re so pleased to have author SJ Himes dropping by today on the tour for her latest release in the Beacon Hill Sorcerer series, The Necromancer’s Reckoning. She’s sharing a fun interview her characters did with her, and there’s also a giveaway so be sure to check out the entry details.
The Hot Seat: Characters Interviewing Their Author
Hello, all! My name is SJ Himes, and I’m here at Novel Approach to share an interesting experience I had recently. Interesting by means of stressful and frightening…no, I jest. Kind of. I sat down with my own characters from the latest book in the Beacon Hill Sorcerer, The Necromancer’s Reckoning. They had a ton of questions for me, and in their customary fashion, made it as hectic and chaotic as possible.
Those interviewing me are: Angel Salvatore, necromancer of Beacon Hill and story protagonist; Simeon, vampire Elder and Angel’s mate; Isaac Salvatore, Angel’s younger brother and fire-mage; and Daniel Macavoy, sorcerer apprentice to Angel. Plus, we have a special guest today, Eroch the Wee Beastie, the dragon.
Thankfully, I provided snacks. Here is my recounting of the harrowing experience.
“I am insane. Why did I agree to let them do this to me?” I mutter, sitting down in the hot seat, half a dozen pairs of eyes glued to my every move. I put the snacks on the coffee table, and the horde descends, snagging choice bits and making off with their bounty.
“Because you love us and felt it was fair,” Angel quips, one brow arched. He cracks a beignet and feeds pieces to Eroch, the wee beastie dragon, who flutters his wings and chirps in thanks.
“Are they good? I brought them from New Orleans with me.” I ask, and Angel would reply but he’s chewing too fast. Eroch is covered in powdered sugar and devouring his share. Everyone nods enthusiastically while chewing.
“Killing me with cuteness,” I groan. “Fine then, do your worst!”
“Famous last words,” Isaac chuckles, licking frosting off his fingers. “So why did you do You-Know-What to me?”
I blink. “I’ve done a lot. Can you narrow it down for me?”
“I’ve spent two whole books drunk or guilt-ridden or sulking,” Isaac explains. “Is this one going to be better or worse for me?”
“Oh! Well. Um. Better and worse. Both.” I answer, trying not to give spoilers. “You have to hit rock bottom before you can climb back out.”
“Sounds like you read that off a fortune cookie,” Isaac grumbles, glowering. “But things get better?”
“Depends entirely on you and your choices.” I take a moment, then smile. “You end up someplace nice. There’s a brief sexy moment.”
Isaac ponders this, confused, then shrugs. “Sexy sounds acceptable, as long as it’s more than a brief thing.”
He has no idea. But I won’t enlighten him just yet. Let him get to where he’s going, and he’ll see.
“Do I get some sexy stuff in Reckoning?” Daniel pipes up, nibbling on some pie.
I flinch. Daniel frowns.
“Um, kiddo, see there’s this thing where you have to confront your past, justice and vengeance become one and the same, and like Isaac, you have some choices to make. Things get crazy about halfway through the book, you go for a wild ride, and then you end up meeting someone unexpected.” I cough. “He’s fantastic. You might think he’s sexy?”
“Wild ride?” Daniel tilts his head, blonde hair falling over his brow, looking sweet and beautiful. I wink and nod. He doesn’t even notice the rest of what I said. He’s not there yet.
“Spoilers. Sorry.” I reply with a smile.
“You’re being really cryptic.”
“I am trying to avoid spoilers.”
“What have you got me doing in this book?” Angel asks, interrupting Daniel’s pouting. “First time I dealt with a monster from my past, the second book a crazy serial killer, and in this one I heard the Council is in town? What the hell do they want?”
“Well, again! Spoilers!” I glare. Angel crosses his arms and glares back. “Fine. The Council wants something or someone, and they’re charging you with several violations of practitioner laws. Daniel is a target. You have to make some really tough decisions about what you’re going to do to keep everyone safe, and still work a side job while confronting the Council.”
“What’s my side job?” Angel asks. Eroch leaves his lap and flaps over to the table full of snacks, divebombing the treats.
“A ghost has been stolen,” I reply, smirking.
Angel opens his mouth and then closes it, confused. “Huh.”
“Just wait until you get to the book,” I tease and Angel grumbles.
“Anything I need to be worried about in this book?” Simeon asks, Irish accent smooth as cream and it brings a smile to my lips.
I think about it. It’s a BHS book, there’s a lot to worry about. “Angel and his family, your family, is in danger. Time to show the world who and what you are. You’re more than a sexy supernat in an expensive suit, and you will need to show them before things get really fucked up.”
“Hmm,” Simeon hums to himself, absorbed in his thoughts. He does slay in the suit he’s wearing.
The table shakes, and Eroch chirps in victory. He grabs the paper bag full of pastries, beignet powder clouding the air, and Eroch lifts off, stealing the snacks. “Hey! Get back here!”
Angel sighs. “Yeah. Those are a loss. He doesn’t share.”
That was crazy. I’m never doing that again for sure! Eroch ate all the snacks. Should have brought more!
To see the gang in all their glory, catch up in The Necromancer’s Reckoning!
Book #1, The Necromancer’s Dance, is on sale for 99c USD until July 31st, and Book #2, The Necromancer’s Dilemma, is on sale for $2.99 USD until July 31st.
About the Book
Title: THE NECROMANCER’S RECKONING
Series: THE BEACON HILL SORCERER, BOOK 3
Author: S.J. HIMES
Genre: GAY URBAN FANTASY ROMANCE
Release Date: 05.27.18
Cover Artist: Kellie Dennis of Book Cover by Design
Buy Links: AMAZON US || AMAZON UK
Blurb: Every action has consequences.
For a decade, Angel Salvatore has been the most powerful sorcerer and only necromancer in all the Northeast. Never one to ask permission nor apologies, he has acted with near impunity for years.
The High Council of Sorcery has come to Boston, and Angel is their target. Charged with numerous violations of practitioner laws, his freedom and family are placed in jeopardy.
If found guilty, Angel’s apprentice Daniel will be imprisoned to serve out the remaining years of his apprenticeship. Isaac, his brother, is too vulnerable to be left unguarded, and Angel fears for his sanity and health. And Simeon, Elder vampire and Angel’s mate refuses to see Angel convicted under the laws of the Council and his actions to keep Angel free threaten to start a war that could destroy their world. And Angel faces the severest of punishments—the castration of his gifts.
The Council has never cared for the people of Boston, and Angel doubts their motives. They have come for some insidious reason, and it has nothing to do with upholding the law and everything to do with Angel.
Dealing with an impending trial, a wayward ghost, and a grave robbing ring of thieves leaves Angel on the edge. He thinks he may have a handle on things until violence erupts across the city, and a stranger comes to town…a stranger with his own dark powers of necromancy.
This is book 3 of a series, and the previous books should be read first for full enjoyment. Trigger Warnings are on the Copyright Page and can be seen using the Look Inside feature or by downloading a sample of this book.
“What do you mean, I got a letter?” Angel held his smartphone between his ear and shoulder, fumbling with the keys to his office. It was still dark, and he huffed with impatience, blinking a small orb of hellfire into existence over his hands so he could find the right key. Inserting it into the lock, he opened the door and dismissed the orb, flicking the light switch by the door.
“It was delivered by courier about ten minutes ago,” Daniel replied, his apprentice talking past food. “I had to sign for it. The courier almost didn’t leave it with me until I told him I was your apprentice.”
Angel grumbled to himself, tossing his keys on his desk and grabbing his phone, rubbing the back of his neck. He left his apartment not even ten minutes before, which was only a couple blocks away, so the courier must have shown up right as he was leaving. He frowned, thinking back to the pre-dawn street, and he didn’t recall seeing anyone—not even a car or taxi.
“Well, go ahead and open it,” Angel said, tapping his phone to put it on speaker. Daniel made a happy sound past whatever he was chewing, and Angel snorted out a laugh. He booted up his laptop, looking for the appointment he had that morning at the ass-crack of dawn. Why in the world he thought it would be a good idea to have a private consultation so damn early on a Monday was beyond him. Which was why he decided on waking up everyone he lived with so he could share the misery. Though it was only Daniel since Isaac was at Nevermore and Simeon was at the Tower.
A sharp yelp and swearing came out from the speakers, and Angel laughed. “Papercut?”
“No! It shocked me!” Daniel gasped out, cussing under his breath. “I can’t open it!”
“What do you mean you can’t open it? Just rip it open.”
“I’m trying! Ouch!” Daniel yelped again, and the sounds coming from over the phone were parts hilarious and alarming. “I’m not risking my fingers. You can open it.”
“Who is it from? It might be warded if a courier brought it.”
“Now you tell me,” Daniel muttered, and Angel grinned as he found the appointment time. Daniel was finding his courage and picking up sass lessons from Isaac. His shy apprentice was learning all about sarcasm in the Salvatore household. His appointment was in about five minutes. No time to run back home and get the letter that was singeing his apprentice’s fingers. Daniel recited the address on the letter, “It says, ‘To Angelus Raine Salvatore, Necromancer of Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts. From’…Oh, wow.”
“Who’s it from?”
“The High Council of Sorcery, Bucharest, Romania.”
Angel stood up straight, hands falling away from his laptop. He stared at the phone, the quiet in his office somehow loud, heart pounding in his ears. He looked up at the door as if any second one of the Council enforcers would blast through the doorway, ready to take him into custody for crimes sundry against international sorcery laws. He breathed in, breath shaky, and flexed his fingers. He reached out with his mind, cautiously testing the wards around his office, and there was nothing.
“Angel? Angel!” Daniel squawked over the phone, and Angel snapped free of the tension that held him frozen and snatched up the phone.
“Daniel, my appointment is any minute. Can you bring the letter here? Just hang out in the main room until I’m done if we’ve started when you get here. Wake up Eroch and have him come with you.”
“Um, okay…wake up the fire-breathing lizard, he says.”
“Just pick him up and carry him with you if he doesn’t wake up. He was sleeping on my pillow when I left. Don’t walk over here alone. I’d say hold on to it until I get home, but I have a feeling I need to read that letter as soon as possible.”
“Okay. Can I take a shower first?”
“You better,” Angel chuckled and hung up. Twenty-year-old men needed showers for the sake of everyone.
A knock sounded from the front of the office, and Angel took a deep breath, calming his off-center nerves before heading to answer the door. He was still cautious, sending out his awareness, his wards humming in the recesses of his mind, unmolested. There were two people on the small landing outside his door, their auras muffled by the panel, but they were both practitioners.
Angel opened the door, a polite smile on his face.
“Angelus Salvatore?” asked a tall, bulky man in a dark coat, his face set to glower. Angel lifted a brow, unable to see the person behind the big man. He could see a flash of red hair and a small bit of alabaster skin before the big guy shifted.
“I am,” Angel replied, opening the door wider, stepping back and gesturing them inside. His wards were set to allow strangers inside, but they would dampen any magic cast in this space by strangers or those he blocked. Came in handy when dealing with young sorcerers and unexpected guests. They could still cast, but his magic permeated the space, claiming even the ambient magical energies and stifling spells cast by interlopers. Not much use against a practitioner who used their own reserves, but the more dangerous, higher-ranked practitioners tended to reach outside themselves first before casting.
A tall woman was behind the big guy, slim and covered head to toe in black, from her leather high-heeled boots and ankle-length black pea coat to her black silk scarf and a jaunty, tiny pillbox hat atop titian curls. She was familiar, but the shadows were still dark enough Angel was having difficulty determining her identity. He led them back to his office, gesturing at the chairs in front of his desk. The woman sat, unwinding her scarf, her escort taking a stance beside the office door. Angel turned on the lamps as dawn was taking its time arriving and the room had shadows in inconvenient places.
The woman removed her scarf, putting it on her lap before shrugging from her coat. Her escort stepped forward, taking it from her before returning to his spot by the door. The woman, dressed in a thin black wraparound dress that hugged every slim curve and long line of her body, smiled at Angel. She was pretty, in a very human way, nothing of the fae about her in face or form. Dark green eyes, nothing at all like the brilliant emerald of Simeon’s eyes but arresting enough in their own merits, gazed back at him, glistening with wry humor.
“Lady Kensington,” Angel acknowledged after a moment’s pause, surprised. The recent widow was a wizard and a skilled apothecary who owned and ran Nightshade Apothecary not far from where they sat in Beacon Hill. Angel would see her occasionally in the neighborhood or when he needed supplies between scheduled deliveries. Her husband, Lord Greyson Kensington, died of a heart attack three months ago while shoveling snow off the front stoop of their shop one chilly winter morning.
“Call me Heather, please,” she said, voice melodic and rich, smooth as hot chocolate with a shot of whiskey. Her chin rose as if she was expecting argument. What Angel could remember of her husband, the man was a stickler for propriety and demanded to be addressed by his title, even to friends.
Angel never liked the man.
“Heather,” Angel agreed with a grin, surprising her into smiling back at him. “What can I do for you? And why so early? I would’ve come to the shop.”
“I’m afraid this matter requires a measure of discretion,” Lady Heather replied, twisting her scarf in her fingers. “It’s regarding my late husband.”
Angel paused, thinking. Usually when the recently bereaved came to his door, they wanted either the impossible, like a resurrection, or more commonly, a summoning of the departed spirit. He rarely acquiesced as nothing good could come from repeatedly dialing in to the Other Side. It kept the living from moving on and tormented the souls he would be recalling to this plane.
She must have seen some of these thoughts on his face, as she held up a dainty hand, forestalling his coming denial. “I don’t want you to summon him from the Other Side,” she said, tears gathering on her lashes. Angel waited, curious despite himself. “I want you to find him for me.”
“I’m sorry, I’m not following,” Angel said warily, hoping she didn’t cry. Isaac or Daniel breaking down he hated but knew what to do, a near stranger crying left him awkward.
“The shop was broken into three nights ago,” Lady Heather said quickly, words tumbling over themselves as she hurried to explain. “I heard the commotion from my apartment upstairs, but by the time the police arrived, it was too late.”
“What did they steal?” Angel was trying to follow along, he really was, but he had no idea what a burglary would have to do with her deceased husband.
“They stole him,” Lady Heather said, digging out a handkerchief from her tiny black purse. She dabbed at her eyes, miraculously not smearing her mascara.
Angel frowned. “I’m going to need you to spell this out for me.”
“The thieves stole Greyson’s ghost. I need you to find him.”
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About the Author
I’m a self-employed writer who stresses out about the silliest things, like whether or not I got my dog the best kind of snack and the fact my kindle battery tends to die when I’m at the best part in a book. I write mainly gay romance, erotica, and urban fantasy, with occasional forays into contemporary and paranormal. I love a book heavy on plot and character evolution, and throw in some magic, and that’s perfection. My current series are: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer, Bred For Love (as Revella Hawthorne), The Wolfkin Saga, and the epic fantasy romance series Realms of Love. My last two novels in the Beacon Hill Sorcerer won 3rd Place in the Gay Fantasy category for the 2016 Rainbow Awards.
I live in New Orleans, where the personalities are big and loud and so are the bugs! New Orleans is rich in cultural history, and the flavor and music of the City is impossible to hide. Before that, I lived all over the United States: Tampa, Western Massachusetts, Indianapolis, and on and on…. I’m a nomad, and I’ve yet to find a place that calls to me strongly enough to become home. My faithful travel companions are my dog Micah, the numerous voices in my head who insist they all get put on paper, and the wind at my back.