Book Title: Haven
Author: Morgan Brice
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza
Release Date: April 8, 2021
Genre/s: MM paranormal romance/mystery
Trope/s: Action, mystery, hurt/comfort, geeks in love, supernatural secrets, a brave historian and a lovelorn private detective, plus a guaranteed HEA. Old secrets, hidden psychics, secret shifters, ghosts, scandals—and true love.
Themes: Age gap, starting over, friends to lovers,
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 60 000 words/200 pages
It is a standalone book, but there are soft ties to Morgan’s Fox Hollow series. Other than the shared elements of the magic emporium, it does not connect to any of the other books in the Magic Emporium series.
Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited
Old secrets, hidden psychics, secret shifters, ghosts, scandals—and true love.
A series of long-ago disappearances leads cold case private detective Austin Williams to investigate a troubled sanitarium. Jamie Miller is new in town, temporarily running the local historical association, and he willingly signs on to help solve Austin’s mystery. Sparks fly between them as they dig into the hospital’s troubled past. But someone wants the past to stay buried—and is willing to bury Austin and Jamie to keep it that way.
Haven is part of the Magic Emporium series. Each book stands alone, but each one features an appearance by Marden’s Magic Emporium, a shop that can appear anywhere, but only once and only when someone’s in dire need. This book contains explicit scenes, action, mystery, hurt/comfort, geeks in love, supernatural secrets, a brave historian and a lovelorn private detective, plus a guaranteed HEA. It is loosely connected to my Fox Hollow series.
The alarm on Jamie’s phone went off, telling him it was time to lock up. “I have to close on time,” Jamie said, sorry to bring the conversation to an end. “Our insurance company won’t let me stay open beyond the posted times or have anyone inside after we’re closed.”
Austin rose. “I understand. Thanks for listening. I’ll be glad for any help.” He paused. “One more question—where’s a good place to get a bite to eat?” he asked with a slightly shy smile that sent a surge of heat to Jamie’s groin.
“Do you like pizza? Moosehead Inn is a locals’ joint that serves great food. I was going to head over once I lock up—you’re welcome to join me if you don’t have other plans,” Jamie offered, trying to sound nonchalant.
Did I just ask him out? Holy shit. I haven’t done that in…forever.
Austin brightened, and his smile grew broader. “I’d like that. I’ll wait outside. Can we walk there? I didn’t bring my car.”
Jamie nodded, still a little surprised at his own boldness. “Sure. See you in a few minutes.”
He ushered Austin out the door and locked it behind him. Fortunately, Jamie had gotten a head start on the lock-up checklist before the sexy stranger arrived. He powered down the computer and started flipping off light switches as he made his way toward the back door.
This was the part he really disliked. Once he turned on the alarm system, the security lights would come on. But on the way to the back door, the old house got darker, and the shadows stretched longer with every switch he flicked.
I thought I knew what I was getting into when I took the job. But it’s just temporary, and I’m still sending out applications for something better, he reminded himself.
An old house like this was likely to have ghosts, even without being turned into a museum of sorts. Bring together the personal belongings of hundreds of people, bits of local history, journals, and letters, and it didn’t surprise Jamie that the place was haunted. Even if no one else seemed to believe it.
Click, click, click. He turned off the lights in the foyer and the former sitting room and dining room. Jamie had closed up the upstairs rooms early since it was a slow day. It held a storage area, a library of books written by local authors and books about the Saranac Lake area, as well as a conference room and a small classroom for lectures. The attic and basement were storage areas that weren’t open to the public, which made Jamie very happy since both gave him the creeps.
Click. The lights in the old parlor went dark, and Jamie braced himself. On the nights the ghosts felt frisky, this was when the shenanigans started.
A cool breeze out of nowhere made the hair on the back of Jamie’s neck rise. He heard the glissando of crystal pendants gently bumping together, the decorative dangles on a vintage oil lamp in the parlor that shouldn’t have any reason to move.
Jamie resolutely ignored the shadow gliding just at the edge of his peripheral vision as he hurried down the hallway. The kitchen doubled as the staff room and was the least haunted place in the building. Jamie heard footsteps on the stairs and forced himself to breathe. He knew there was no one else in the old house—at least, no one living.
In the room to his left by the back door, the former sewing room for the ladies of the house, he glimpsed a familiar gray figure and heard the swish of crinoline and linen. To his right, in the small office that was once the cook’s room, a rocking chair creaked.
Jamie’s hand shook as he set the alarm. The ghosts didn’t act up every night, and some evenings they were more riled than others. So far, none of them had tried to hurt him. As unsettling as the ghostly manifestations were, Jamie couldn’t object to spirits wanting to stay in a place that meant something to them. He didn’t mess with them, and he really hoped that meant they would return the favor.
The alarm beeped, and the security lights came on, dim but enough to send the shadows scurrying. The sounds stopped, and the house grew quiet. Jamie slipped out the back door and checked the lock, then let out a long breath. The halogen light above the door made the area around the steps almost as bright as day. He shook off the weirdness and smiled, excited about dinner with Austin.
It’s not a date. But I wish it was. Maybe…
This could be a pleasant diversion, Jamie told himself. Austin was just in town to look up some family history, and Jamie’s role with the archive was temporary. Nothing said they couldn’t have a little fun while their paths crossed.
Tell us a little about yourself.
A: I’m a full-time author and I write MM paranormal romance as Morgan Brice, and epic/urban fantasy as Gail Z. Martin. All of my modern-day series as Gail & Morgan cross over and the characters know each other, which makes it fun!
What would people be most surprised to know about you?
A: My first paying job was as a graveyard shift DJ at a local radio station.
How long have you been writing and what made you fall in love with writing?
A: I joke that I’ve been writing all my life, but I’ve been published since 2007! I’ve always loved telling stories, and I found out when I was writing fan fiction in high school that I could amuse people with my stories, so at that point, I was hooked!
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
A: I write full-time (and my husband is in the writing career with me full-time), which fulfills one of my biggest writing ambitions. I want to keep telling stories for as long as I can that catch readers’ interest and take them away from their real-world worries.
What’s your favorite part of writing?
A: I like outlining and researching as much as the actual writing. That’s where I get surprised by finding cool things to pull into the book that I might not have thought about ahead of time. I ‘discover’ the book in that phase, and then the actual writing part brings it to life.
Tell us about your writing process
A: I write an overview of the book, almost like a book report, where I just tell the story in an abbreviated, narrative way. Then once I know where the story is going, I can chop that up into chapters and look for what has to happen with action and revelations that move the story forward in each chapter. I research the location and look for haunted places, local ghost stories, local unsolved mysteries, famous scandals, that sort of thing, and usually find some cool stuff that will work its way into the book. That usually takes me down several related rabbit holes! I look for places to weave those things in, and then start writing!
What does your writing style look like?
A: I try to be very conversational, with more dialog and action than narrative. That includes internal dialog, because I love knowing what characters are thinking and what drives their decisions. Most of the books are third-person point of view (POV), but not all, because it depends on the story. Most are also dual POV so we see the story unfold from the perspective of both main characters, but again it depends on the story. I’ve also written some in first-person POV as well.
When/where is your favorite time/place to write?
A: My favorite place is always with a view of the ocean!
Describe a scene in your writing that has made you laugh or cry?
A: Every now and then a character will just come up with a smart remark that makes me chuckle—I love those moments! They are totally unplanned and it really is like I’m hearing the character in my mind.
Give the readers a brief summary of your latest book or WIP. What genre does it fall in?
A: Haven is MM paranormal romance/mystery. A series of long-ago disappearances leads cold case private detective Austin Williams to investigate a troubled sanitarium. Jamie Miller is new in town, temporarily running the local historical association, and he willingly signs on to help solve Austin’s mystery. Sparks fly between them as they dig into the hospital’s troubled past. But someone wants the past to stay buried—and is willing to bury Austin and Jamie to keep it that way. It has action, mystery, hurt/comfort, geeks in love, supernatural secrets, a brave historian and a lovelorn private detective, plus a guaranteed HEA.
Give us a little insight into your main characters. Who are they?
A: Austin used to be an Albany cop, but his psychic abilities made him too successful in closing difficult cases, and that led to professional jealousy and nasty rumors. He quit being a cop and became a private investigator. Then his ailing grandmother asks him to look into the mysterious disappearance of her younger brother more than fifty years ago so she can move on in peace, which throws him into a small town full of secrets.
Jamie has lived his whole life in Rochester, and finally finished his graduate degree in Victorian era history. He’d like to teach or work in a museum, but he’s mostly been researching and staging historic houses. He gets the chance to take a temporary position as the director of a local historical association until they hire someone with ties to the community. When he agrees to help Austin dig into the past, Jamie finds himself in love—and in danger!
Will we be seeing these characters again? Is this book part of a series?
A: The last chapter holds some very strong hints that not only will we be seeing both Jamie and Austin again, they’ll also be working on projects with some characters from previous books!
Haven is actually part of two series. It’s the final book in the Magic Emporium series, which has 12 stand-alone books linked by a common thread—the appearance of the magic shop. In terms of the setting and crossover characters, it’s got ties to my Fox Hollow series. All my Morgan and Gail modern books cross over with each other, so familiar characters drop in on each other all the time!
What genre/s do you enjoy reading in your free time?
A: Fantasy, urban fantasy, and MM paranormal romance.
How do you relax?
A: I like to read, and I love to go to the beach or to the mountains and enjoy the scenery. Otherwise, I enjoy watching a good movie on binge watching a series on Netflix. And I’m a huge Supernatural fan, so re-watching episodes is always fun for me!
What hobbies do you have outside of writing?
A: Aside from reading and Supernatural fandom, I am also one of the con-runners for ConTinual, the online, ongoing multi-genre convention that never ends. That has definitely been both a labor of love and a pandemic distraction!
About the Author
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.
Series include Witchbane, Badlands, Treasure Trail, Kings of the Mountain and Fox Hollow. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!