Today, I have author Morgan Brice in the interview chair. We’re discussing her latest release No Surrender, book five in the Badlands series, a m/m urban fantasy, paranormal romance. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
Hello, Morgan. It’s good to have you here again. I’ve been interviewing you for each release in your Badlands series, and now here we are with book five, No Surrender. Congratulations. Let’s get started.
1. First off, for readers who are new to the Badlands series, can you share what inspired you to create the concept and characters?
Morgan: It’s great to be back! Thank you very much for having me as a guest.
Badlands is set in Myrtle Beach, SC. The titles of all the books in the series come from Bruce Springsteen songs, because one of the MCs, Vic D’Amato, is a big fan of The Boss.
We live in the Carolinas and have vacationed at Myrtle Beach for many years. I love the area, so it was natural to set a series there where I was familiar with the landscape and the vibe.
In Badlands, the first book in the series, both Simon Kincaide and Vic D’Amato, the MCs are new to Myrtle Beach. Simon as a Ph.D. In Folklore and Mythology and was a professor in Columbia, SC until a fundamentalist parent got him fired for teaching ‘witchcraft’. He is a psychic medium. His engagement to another professor broke up, and Simon went to the beach to regroup. Then his aunt offered to sell him her ‘blue bungalow’ for a great price, Simon decided he liked living there, and he opened Grand Strand Ghost Tours. Now he leads tours, does psychic readings and also does seances.
Vic D’Amato was a cop in Pittsburgh until he saw something supernatural during a hostage situation and made the ‘mistake’ of reporting it. He was pushed out despite his good record, which gave him a real chip on his shoulder about anything paranormal. A connection through a friend landed him a job as a homicide detective in Myrtle Beach.
When the search for a serial killer hits a wall, Vic grudgingly seeks Simon’s help as a psychic, although he doesn’t want to believe the supernatural is real. Simon’s visions help to break the case open—but also make him a suspect for knowing too much, especially when he finds the body of the killer’s newest victim.
Simon puts his life on the line to nab the murderer. Vic puts his job on the line to take the huge risk to back up Simon—and in the process, they fall in love. Simon gets asked to be an official consultant when paranormal cases come up, and they begin to explore their personal and professional partnerships.
2. Now this question could be comparable to asking a parent which child is their favourite LOL, but out of the five books, which one is your personal favourite, and why?
Morgan: That’s hard! I love all of them. I’m always partial to the first book in a series because it’s the first. So I’ll say Badlands.
3. Keeping a series fresh and interesting is important to authors. Tell me how you did this for No Surrender?
Morgan: In each book, we have new cases that test Simon’s skills as a psychic medium and Vic’s abilities as a detective. They have to learn to trust each other personally and professionally. They are growing as a couple after both of them have had breakups and betrayals in the past.
In No Surrender, the trial of the serial killer from Book One is coming up and with it come the dangers of a copycat killer and a dangerous fan of the murderer. An old cold case surfaces that might be related. Plus, Simon and Vic are planning their wedding! There’s a lot going on at home and on the job and they’re going to need to depend on each other more than ever.
4. Let’s discuss character growth. How has Simon Kincaide changed from the first book to the fifth?
Morgan: In Badlands, Simon had only been in Myrtle Beach for a couple of years, long enough to get his bearings and start his store. He found friends and the shop did well, but he hadn’t been looking for love after his bad break-up. Simon’s family is unsupportive of his move and his meddling mother wants him to return to academia for the prestige even if it doesn’t make him happy. She’d like to get him back together with his ex, again more for bragging rights than for his happiness.
Simon grows in his self-assurance both in his abilities and in learning to have faith in himself. He takes a risk to trust again and to fall in love with Vic. He has made more friends and put down roots in Myrtle Beach. And he has deepened his relationship with his cousin, Cassidy (the MC of the Deadly Curiosities series) who lives in Charleston and has helped her save the world.
5. The same for Vic D’Amato. How has he changed from the first book to the fifth?
Morgan: When Badlands begins, Vic is also new to Myrtle Beach, still nursing old wounds from the betrayal of his boyfriend and his superiors back in Pittsburgh. He missed his large family, and while he hit it off with his police partner, Ross, he was lonely. When Vic met Simon, they had immediate chemistry—until Vic realized Simon was the psychic medium. Vic was extremely skeptical about the reality of Simon’s gifts until their quest for the killer nearly cost Simon his life. Over the course of the books, Vic has come to be a true believer in Simon’s abilities and much more open to the reality of the supernatural lurking beneath the surface of everyday life. Plus he and Simon deepen their relationship in every book.
6. What makes No Surrender a must-read?
Morgan: No Surrender is a fast-paced thrill ride MM paranormal romance packed with supernatural suspense, haunted tourist attractions, monsters, visions, hot sex, hurt/comfort, loyal friends, wedding planning, found family, ghosts galore, dark magic, and an evolving, established romantic relationship with all the feels.
7. Finally, what are you currently working on? Can you share about your latest WIP?
Morgan: I’m currently working on Again: Fox Hollow Zodiac Book 2. It’s the direct sequel to Huntsman, and picks up with Drew and Noah, a wolf shifter and a lynx shifter. We’ve had other books set in the Fox Hollow neighborhood, but this is the direct sequel. It’s so much fun to be back with familiar characters!
8. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Morgan: All my Morgan Brice (and all of my modern-day Gail Z. Martin) books cross over so the characters know each other and show up in each other’s books and help each other out. One big expanded universe!
Book Title: No Surrender
Series: Badlands, Book 5 – An MM Psychic Detective Romance Adventure
Author: Morgan Brice
Genres: Urban fantasy MM paranormal romance, psychic detective
Tropes: Hurt/comfort, established relationship, evolving relationship, learning to trust, grumpy-sunshine, cold case, ghosts helping/interfering, lots of magic, wedding planning
Themes: Found family, loyalty, not keeping secrets, dealing with unresolved issues, putting the past to rest
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 224 pages
Publisher: Darkwind Press
Release Date: April 22, 2022
Cold cases, hot leads, a psychic psychopath, a copycat killer, cursed objects, the trial of the century–and wedding plans.
Blurb: Psychic medium Simon Kincaide and sexy homicide detective Vic D’Amato met hunting a supernatural serial killer. Since then, Simon has become a police consultant on cases involving the paranormal, and Vic has gotten over his doubts about Simon’s abilities being real. Along the way, they fell in love and got engaged. But it seems like the danger never ends.
Now, the first case Simon and Vic worked together comes back to haunt them as the killer goes to court and all hell breaks loose. The killer has a crazy fan setting curses on key players in the upcoming trial. Ghosts from an old cold case suggest that someone got away with murder. And a supernatural creature attracted to fear and death is using the Grand Strand as its feeding ground. Simon and Vic feel like they’re waging a war on all fronts, but with the stakes so high, there can be No Surrender!
No Surrender is a fast-paced thrill ride MM paranormal romance packed with supernatural suspense, haunted tourist attractions, monsters, visions, hot sex, hurt/comfort, loyal friends, wedding planning, found family, ghosts galore, dark magic, and an evolving, established romantic relationship with all the feels.
Note: No Surrender is Book 5 in the Badlands series but can be read as a standalone.
“Since when do serial killers get fan mail?” Homicide detective Vic D’Amato fumed. “How fucked up is that?”
“They don’t just get fan letters; they get marriage proposals,” his
partner Ross Hamilton replied, shaking his head in disbelief. “I don’t get it, but that doesn’t stop it from being true.”
Vic took a slug of coffee from his stained mug and barely kept from grimacing at the bitter taste. Hospitals and police precincts always made the worst java. “I guess it’s like the people who follow all the true-crime podcasts. We get paid to be hip-deep in the worst humanity has to offer, but doing it for fun? People are weird.”
“You’ve been a cop for how long, and you’re just figuring that out now?” Ross teased.
Vic shrugged. “Every time I think that I’ve lowered my expectations too far, reality says—‘Here, hold my beer.’”
“Yeah, well. I’m right there with you on this one.” Ross chuckled. “Have you heard whether you and Simon will have to testify at the trial?”
“Pretty certain. Of all the charges, Fischer shooting Simon is the most ironclad, with plenty of witnesses,” Vic replied. “I’m not in any hurry to be part of the media circus, but I don’t see a way to avoid it.”
“Lucky you—the Slitter trial is shaping up to be the biggest deal Myrtle Beach has had in a long time.”
Vic grew up in a family of cops back in Pittsburgh. For genera‐ tions, D’Amatos had been proud to serve. His father, brothers, and other relatives were still on the force up north while his sister was studying criminology. But an encounter with something supernatural Vic couldn’t explain had made him unwelcome with the Pitts‐ burgh police. Vic had relocated, started over in Myrtle Beach—and met the love of his life.
“I don’t want to put Simon through what happened the last time,” Vic confided.
“Not sure you’re going to have much choice about it.” Ross finished his coffee and set the cup aside. “The closer we get to the trial date, the more reporters will be angling for a scoop. I’m surprised there haven’t been some camped out in front of the store already.”
“I suspect Simon boosted the wardings against nuisance as well as malice. I tried talking him into going down to Charleston to spend some time with his cousin, but he flat-out refused to leave me here alone during the run-up to the trial.”
“Alone—with me and the captain and the rest of the department, plus a squad of lawyers and witnesses?” Ross joked.
“And not one of you with any magic, in a trial where the killer used spells to help him get away with murder,” Vic answered. “Simon doesn’t want to be in the spotlight—or the crosshairs—but if it comes to that, I don’t doubt he and his friends will come up with ways to protect us.”
Simon Kincaide, Vic’s fiancé, ran Grand Strand Ghost Tours. The boardwalk shop also offered psychic readings and séances, showcasing Simon’s abilities as a psychic medium as well as his knowledge of the spooky side of local history and his background as a former folklore and mythology professor.
When an impasse in the hunt for the Strand Slitter brought the investigation to a standstill more than a year ago, Vic tamped down on his deep skepticism about the paranormal and asked for Simon’s help as a psychic. Their first encounters with each other were prickly, and Vic accepted much of the blame for that since he had doubted Simon’s abilities and hated needing his help.
Simon turned out to be the real deal, and his visions plus the ability to communicate with the ghosts of the Slitter’s victims cracked the case—nearly costing Simon his life. In the year since then, Simon became an official police consultant, working cases with Vic and Ross when a supernatural connection seemed likely. Vic and Simon fell in love and now had a wedding to plan.
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!
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