Queer Books Unbound Birthday Extravaganza: Guest Post by Brooklyn Ray
Good morning everyone! We know mondays are hard; that’s why we have a magical post today! The amazing Brooklyn Ray is here today to share a first look into their upcoming book Unbroken!
Unbroken is part of the Port Lewis universe and will be out on April 8th with NineStar Press.
Scroll down for the excerpt and don’t miss the awesome giveaway for a signed paperback copy of the Port Lewis Witches Volume One, a Trifecta Tarot Reading and a Lunarbath Ritual Candle.
Michael wasn’t a stranger to the idea that impossible things could present themselves in believable ways. He’d heard voices in empty places before, watched shadows jitter across walls, placed his fingertips on a planchette and asked a Ouija board for answers.
But the voices could’ve been imagined. The shadows could’ve been a trick of the light. Someone could’ve pushed the planchette. All those instances could be explained away—understood. But Victor Lewellyn did not come with an easy explanation.
He gripped the edge of the vanity and his reflection looked back at him, cheeks hot, skin still warm where Victor’s hand had rested beneath his chin. He glanced at each side of his jaw, looking for blood or bruises or something, anything. But Michael’s frantic heartbeat was the only thing left. That and regret—not touching the smoothed collar on Victor’s shirt or pressing his fingers to those jagged horns. Touch makes things real, he thought. Real and visceral and true.
“Michael?” Janice called.
“Yeah, I’m…” He cleared his throat, eyes squeezed shut, bottom lip pinched hard between his teeth. I’m what? He glanced at his reflection again, waiting for Victor to appear behind him, for black claws to find his wrist, and sharp teeth to scrape his throat. But he was alone. I’m losing my mind. “I’ll be right there!”
The hallway seemed longer, narrower, as if the walls leaned close to look at him. He glanced over his shoulder at the attic. The door was closed again, and he assumed Victor and his secrets were locked behind it. The urge still trembled in him. Go see. A terrible, desperate thing. Go get your answers.
Michael almost tripped as he hurried down the stairs.
Janice leaned against the crowded coffee table and tipped her beer toward Corey who dug through a white takeout box, seated on the kitchen counter. “Finally,” she teased. “This is our roommate, Corey Thompson. Corey, this is my brother, Michael.”
Corey offered a small smile. He was traditionally handsome in all the ways Michael wasn’t, with boyish features and dimpled cheeks. Blond hair was swept out of his face, purposefully messy, and his jeans were the same, shredded and ripped, manufactured to look destroyed.
“Hey,” Michael said. He grabbed a beer and placed it against the edge of the counter, snapping the cap off with a hard swat from the heel of his palm. Corey’s expression morphed from interested to surprised. “You’re a sophomore at the local college, right?”
“Right. You?” Corey had watery blue eyes, pale enough to be unsettling when they lingered too long.
Michael shrugged off his coat and tossed it over the back of the couch, paying mind to the way Corey watched him, how he looked from one tattoo to the next. They weren’t pretty—most were the result of too much liquor—but they were his nonetheless. A skull on his knuckle, a rose on the outside of his palm, anchors on his elbows, sparrows and daggers and snakes on his forearms.
“Not sure yet.” He sipped his beer and fingered through the plastic takeout bag until he found the jasmine rice, green curry, and thankfully, two packets of chili paste.
“Michael’s interested in architecture,” Janice said, parroting the same fabricated answer their mother used at every family gathering.
“Smart move. Lots of security in that field if you find the right job,” Corey said.
Michael didn’t care about security. He didn’t care about college or a hefty retirement or impressing his parents. He hadn’t cared about it before, and he didn’t care about it now. Especially not when his heart was still racing, and his hands were still shaking, and Victor’s voice kept playing behind every thought.
You say my name like a prayer.
Janice opened her mouth to speak. Probably to excuse Michael’s lack of social skills. It was a long drive, she’d say. Don’t mind him, he’s always quiet. But Michael cut her off before she could.
“Do you know anyone named Victor?” He flicked his eyes from Janice to Corey. “Victor Lewellyn?”
There it was again—seeping through the walls, thickening the air—that wrongness.
Janice’s brow furrowed. Her gaze swept to Corey and she shrugged. “Our landlord’s last name is Lewellyn, I think. Why?”
Michael shook his head. He didn’t know how to explain what he’d seen, and even if he did, Janice wouldn’t believe him. He glanced at Corey and waited but received a dismissive shrug rather than an answer.
“Found an old book in my closet, that’s all.” He shoveled rice into his mouth, trying to keep Victor’s name from stumbling out again. It rested on this tip of his tongue, and like the wrongness and the quiet, Michael found himself drawn to it.
Janice barked a laugh, but despite her best efforts, the silence remained.
Corey pushed noodles around with his chopsticks, eyes settling somewhere else every other second. He was nervous. Intimidated, maybe. Michael tossed his empty bottle in the recycling bin, broke the cap off another beer, and shrugged toward the stairs.
“It’s late and I still gotta unpack a bunch of shit. Breakfast in the morning?” The invitation was an olive branch, but a genuine one. “Corey, you know any good places around town?”
“A few,” Corey said. His smile stretched into a grin, confirming nervousness rather than intimidation. “What time?”
“Ten.” Michael tossed the word over his shoulder.
The stairs creaked again. The walls leaned in close again.
Janice and Corey chattered downstairs. His name was whispered between them, accompanied by single and player and lonely. All true things, no matter how often he denied it.
But his past didn’t matter. Not here, in Port Lewis, in this house where history was synonymous with haunted.
Michael pinched the neck of the bottle between two fingers and walked into his bedroom to be greeted by his unmade bed and unpacked boxes, his phone still perched on the speaker dock, and Victor, his golden eyes and jagged horns, silhouetted on the balcony.
Despite the rumors about Port Lewis, Michael Gates doesn’t expect the house he rents with his sister on Foxglove Lane to be haunted. An eerie meeting with Victor Lewellyn, the resident witch-turned-demon who is bound to the property by dark magic, changes his mind.
Release Date: April 8, 2019
*click the graphic to get to the rafflecopter*
The winner will receive one Lunarbath Ritual Candle, a signed copy of PORT LEWIS WITCHES VOLUME ONE and a Trifecta Tarot Reading. (This giveaway is US only.)
Lunarbath Ritual Candle:
White Sage ✧ cleansing
Peppermint ✧ positive change and protection
Black Tea ✧ protection
Pine ✧ resilience and perseverance
Vanilla ✧ clarity and calm
Lavender ✧ healing and relaxation
White ✧ purity and rebirth
Trifecta Tarot Reading:
Three card spread focusing on past, present and future using your birthday and a vague or specific question.
You will receive a photograph of your cards, overview of your spread, interpretation relating to your question, and a mini-spell.
Brooklyn Ray (They/Them/She/Her) launched their career with The Port Lewis Witches, a novella series about a group of Queer witches, necromancers and other magical creatures living and loving in a coastal Washington town. When they’re not writing, Brooklyn can be found polishing crystals and offering tarot readings at a metaphysical shop in the Pacific Northwest. They also create ritual items, candles and other magical goods in their Etsy shop, and work as a developmental editor on various Queer stories.
Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Etsy
Genre: Contemporary Genre: Paranormal Genre: Urban Fantasy Orientation: Bisexual Pairing: M/M Publisher: Nine Star Press Queer Books Unbound 3rd Birthday Extravaganza! Tag: d/s Tag: Guest Post Tag: Magic Tag: Own-Voices Tag: Part of a series Brooklyn Ray Darkling Port Lewis Witches Unbroken Undertow
So claustrophobic and intriguing!