Secrets and Southern Gothic
by Morgan Brice
Haunted mansions. Dark family secrets. Restless ghosts. They’re what you think of when the term ‘Southern Gothic’ comes up….and for me, they’re the perfect mix for telling a sexy, spooky tale of supernatural suspense!
The Rising is the newest book in my Badlands series, set in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Psychic medium Simon Kincaide and his boyfriend, homicide lieutenant Vic D’Amato deal with a supernatural string of murders, pirate ghosts, a shipwreck and a haunted plantation. That’s plenty of spooky goodness along with Simon and Vic’s evolving romance!
Back in the day, pirates were the terror of the Carolina coast, and the waters are full of old shipwrecks. Some of the most famous pirates frequented the area, and left behind plenty of legends. Large rice plantations sprawled along the rivers, with their own tragic history. Wealthy families made unspeakable deals to gain and keep power, then hid dirty deeds to maintain respectability, going to their graves with their secrets. That provides a lot of plot fodder for stories!
If you visit Myrtle Beach, you’ll see white sand, high rise hotels, a neon-lit Skywheel, plenty of beach shops, and great restaurants, shopping and nightlife. But the vacation resort town is relatively new in the Carolinas history, and as with any glittering city, there are always dark alleys and shadows. Simon is a medium, and he hears the stories the ghosts need to tell to move on, or find justice. Vic works homicide, and as a cop, he knows that bad things happen anywhere. So when they tackle murders that have a supernatural cause, Simon and Vic delve into dangerous territory, and while some people would do anything to keep secrets buried, those tales have a way of rising….
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About The Rising
A big storm is brewing, there’s a killer on the loose, and the ghosts of Myrtle Beach are restless. Psychic medium Simon Kincaide and his sexy cop boyfriend, homicide detective Vic D’Amato have their hands full helping the Grand Strand brace for rough surf, driving rain and high winds as a winter storm roars toward shore.
Everyone’s on edge, and rumors are rampant about sightings of Blackcoat Benny, a ghostly omen of danger, and worse, the Gallows Nine, the spirits of nine infamous criminals hanged back in the 1700s, a harbinger of disaster. Rough tides wash the wreck of an old pirate ship into shallow waters, high winds threaten to damage an old mansion with a dark past, and the citizens of the beach town hunker down to ride out the storm.
As the skies grow dark and the sea turns wild, several men from prominent local families end up dead under suspicious circumstances. Simon’s premonition confirms Vic’s gut feeling—the killing is just getting started. As Simon tries to reach out to the spirits of the murdered men to help the investigation, he’s attacked by malicious ghosts that don’t want anyone getting in the way of their long-overdue vengeance.
With the storm hammering the coast, and new victims piling up, Simon is certain that the sins and secrets of the past are coming due, and that the murders have a supernatural link. Vic and Simon race to stop the murders against an unholy deadline, but as they battle rising tides and risen ghosts, can they save the intended victims without getting trapped themselves.
Trigger Warning: Mentions of suicide (not main characters)
Available at: Amazon
An Excerpt from The Rising
Grand Strand Ghost Tours didn’t just arise from Simon’s passion for myth, legend, and folklore; it was rooted in his abilities as a psychic medium. Sure, the ghost tours were largely entertainment, but Simon also gave private psychic readings and conducted séances by appointment. Along with the books he wrote about ghosts and the speaking engagements he provided for local organizations, Simon had managed to create a thriving business. He leaned against the railing, enjoying a moment of contentment.
Or maybe, the calm before the storm, a little voice in the back of his mind warned.
His phone buzzed, and Simon pulled it from his pocket and smiled. “Hey. Miss me?”
“Always.” Homicide lieutenant Vic D’Amato’s voice was a husky rumble. “I just wanted to check what time you finish up tonight. Figured it was my turn to pick up dinner.” The tone in Vic’s voice promised far more than food, and Simon felt the anticipation go right to his dick.
“I should be finished around seven. It’s off-season, so no tours on Mondays. You have a busy day lined up?” Simon asked as he started walking toward his favorite coffee shop.
“Not yet, and I’m hoping it stays that way,” Vic replied. “It’s never a good thing when we’re busy.”
“Let me know if you hear anything official about the storm. I’ve heard six different forecasts, and I haven’t even gotten coffee yet.”
“Sure thing—but don’t expect anything dependable yet. We’re too far out.”
Simon knew how changeable forecasts could be so close to the ocean. Still, Myrtle Beach had barely gotten back on its feet after the last hurricane, so the news of another severe winter storm—hurricane or not—had everyone on edge.
“Be careful out there,” Simon said, letting his voice drop to a growl. “I love you.”
“Love you, too. Stay out of trouble.”
Despite the forecasts, Simon couldn’t help feeling a spring in his step after talking with Vic. They’d been together for less than a year, but Simon was finding it more and more difficult to remember what life was like before meeting his handsome homicide cop. Vic had officially moved into Simon’s retro blue bungalow after the holidays, and while they were still working out their new living situation, Simon had never been happier.”
“The boardwalk might not be busy, but Le Mizzenmast, Simon’s favorite coffee shop, was always bustling. The locals called it Le Miz, not to be confused with the musical. The building had previously been a pirate-themed attraction, and when Tracey Cullen took over, she couldn’t afford to remodel, so she just incorporated the pirate decor into her theme and went with it.
“Hi, Simon!” Tracey called with a wave from behind the register. “You want the usual?” When Simon nodded, Tracey turned to her barista. “One Dread Pirate Roberts and a mocha please!”
Simon took his place in line, remembering how he and Vic had met right here, waiting for coffee. Simon had taken one look at Vic’s muscled body, his dark brown eyes, and the ink on his arms and felt an instant attraction. After all these months and several hair-raising adventures, the magnetism had only gotten stronger. Being in love felt wonderful, and Simon resolved to enjoy every minute of it.”
About Morgan Brice
Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.
On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.
Other books include Witchbane, Burn, Dark Rivers, and Badlands. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!
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