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Magic and Romantasy Plots - July 5, 2024

Kingdom Rising Book Bundle Cover image

Magic and Romantasy Plots - July 5, 2024

Dear Reader,

Hello, I hope your Independence Day celebrations were amazing, and you found time with the holiday to sneak in a bit of reading. I must admit to slacking on that point, as I have a couple of books waiting for me to get back to them. Before I go back to work, I fully intend to finish them, but the list of things I wanted to do over the summer was long and many are still waiting for me to tackle them.

My summer is over half gone. With continuing professional education courses and a visit from my daughter coming up, it might as well be nearing its inevitable conclusion. I updated BookBub, which I'm sad to say I had not visited in over a year. I learned how to create the miniseries book bundles for both ebooks and audiobooks on Payhip, and I even integrated them with BookFunnel. It wasn't easy, but it was far less frustrating than creating a box set.

I decided Grim Dark needed a cover which was more aligned with the Mystic Dark miniseries theme. I know it was a seriously long time coming for publishing this title, but it is finally wide everywhere. The dominant story is about a vampire king, but Sinclair Gautier needed his story told, and the gryphon's tale began long before Leland Shade even existed. I hope you will enjoy the opener tale, and know Kiss Dark is launching everywhere in August, but as usual, it's currently available from Ophelia Kee.

Behind the Scenes - Story Details

Grim Dark Book Stack

Romantic fantasy stories often use magic, not just as an ornamental fireball on the cover to attract magic lovers to read the story, but also as an integral component of the story's plot progression through the pages. Like an additional character who influences interactions, decisions, and conflicts between the main characters, it plays an essential role in romantic relationships. Whether through spells which create attraction between two individuals or curses which divide lovers apart, magical abilities which bring two incompatible people closer or its unpredictable integration into romantic stories, magic keeps readers guessing how it might shape the lives of the characters.

In all the stories set in the dream, the magic of the dream is near sentient. It seeks to preserve itself and correct the damage it suffers from a chaotic spell in a world eerily similar, yet radically different, from our own. By 2016, the crucial time setting, the chaos of the Unlikely Kings prophecy spell has permeated all levels of the dream. The spell has been in force for over a thousand years. Things have gone wrong with its implementation. Unexpected characters have usurped part of the spell's power for themselves, and the dream has scrounged human, immortal, and magically gifted and talented characters to build a final stand defense.

Unlikely Kings book Stack

The concept of fated mates extends beyond simple found soul mates and incorporates a magical element which brings two beings together to create a balance. In effect, the dream attempts to correct the imbalance one couple at a time. Issues occur with the dream's method when two characters who don't seem to belong together seek the solace of their mate or believe they have no chance together.

Sometimes the pull of the magic between them is so strong the couple chooses one another instantly, but then must face the danger caused by their incompatible magic and the chaos magic loose within the dream. Many then face a choice between going it alone or banding together with others to use their talents, both magical and mundane, to advance the balance in the dream and ensure their joined places in eternity.

Grim Dark Cover wrap image

Grim Dark is no exception. Sinclair Gautier becomes embroiled in the Unlikely Kings prophecy as unwittingly as most of the other participants. When his fated mate arrives at Asylum, he claims her instantly and believes he owes the elves a second life debt. By the time he understands the dark spells intent, Sinclair must decide how to influence the outcome of the prophecy.

He and Lyella support the last Vampire King, whom they believe plays a pivotal role. But things aren't what they seem, and Sinclair eventually believes his benefactors have their own agenda and must take care to avoid offering the elves of Asylum too much information.

Would you like to meet Lyella before Sinclair meets her?

Sneak Peek at Grim Dark

Lyella Grisham, Sinclair's mate

A Beautiful Dream

Lyella, 1637 Somewhere in Europe

She dreamed, and her mind allowed her an escape from her torment and the bleakness of her reality. He was there, standing proud and tall, gazing into the trees from atop the ramparts of the castle. Then he moved further down the wall, and the crenelated stonework blocked her view.

Irritation rose inside with no justifiable cause. He was a gorgeous man, but many men were handsome. Why did he matter more?

A few moments later, she saw him again, nodding at a unicorn as the stallion’s clip-clop gait over the stone surface echoed into the trees. He appeared as the gryphon he was, but seeing him again kept her in good spirits despite her situation.

At first, she believed he was nothing more than her mind seeking refuge from her circumstances, but night after night she dreamed of the same castle and each evening the handsome gryphon gazed out at the forest from his position atop the wall. Her mind sought him and found powerful magic. He was real, and that gave her hope.

Lyella waited. Her telepathy grew stronger as she used it. Did he aid her? Or was it simply increased use, like using a muscle to build strength? Did it matter? Perhaps this time she could touch his dreams.

Soon the gryphon would sleep. His guard would lower and she could go to him. Lyella hoped to enter his dreams and learn about the man who drew her out of herself and offered her hope.

She studied the castle and the strange assortment of characters she saw. Her gryphon acted as a knight and lived in a castle filled with strange magical beings. He held powerful magic and wielded a wicked blade. The castle and the people who inhabited it intrigued her, but it all paled compared with the handsome man who teased her thoughts.

Her mind sought him again, and she slipped into his thoughts as he drifted off to sleep. Elated when it worked, she influenced his dream.

Sinclair Gautier smiled at her, believing her to be only a part of his dreams. He reached for her and drew her close. His lips touched hers, soft and timid. His need to keep her safe tempered his eager desire. Touching him, even in the dream, thrilled her.

Lyella sighed into his kiss and allowed him to hold her close. The warmth of his body in the dream banished the chill from the waking world. The act of tenderness mixed with desire swept her away. Lyella could fall in love with Sinclair Gautier.

It was too bad she couldn’t become the ghost and be with him in the flesh rather than only in his dreams. She needed to escape her prison, but could she be sure he would claim her? Was he the same when he was awake? Or was it merely a dream?

When he broke the kiss, she smiled at him and shyly eased away from his embrace. She needed more than his kisses. Lyella needed him to want her, to show her how to be what he needed.

You desire me, but…

She looked away shyly.

You fear it’s only for a moment. You’re mistaken. What I want is for always.

Lyella shook her head at him.

You have strange, powerful magic. It frightens me more than your desire for me.

Stay with me. I’ll give my magic to you. You will be as I am, but beware, I want you. I wish to keep you, always.

He held out his hand to her. Sinclair wanted her to take it. He was lonely and desired companionship. She wanted to be that companion for him, but he confused her.

You would give me the magic you hold? How is that possible? I don’t understand.

Lyella shook her head in confusion, and the entreating smile faded from his gorgeous face. He wasn’t angry. Instead, he grew thoughtful. Even that was sexy.

My talons need only to poison a cut or pierce your skin while the magic flows between us, and you’ll became a gryphon, like me. It’s the way a gryphon claims his chosen mate.

She smiled at him. He desired a mate, and she understood what must happen for her to be with him. If she could get close to him in the flesh, she knew he would claim her. His strength would protect her. She would become an immortal gryphon, as he was one.

Alas, this is only a dream, and I must leave you.

Not yet. Stay awhile longer, please. You’re beautiful, and I don’t want to be so alone. Someday, I’ll find you. I will have you, for you must know you are mine to me.

Lyella took his hand and nodded. He offered her a seat and sat next to her. He gazed into her eyes, allowing her to gaze into his soul and know the truth in his words. It was only a dream, but he meant what he said concerning his mate.

Sinclair didn’t understand who she was. Not yet. He believed her to be only a dream, a conjuring of a lonely mind as he slept.

Tell me anything so long as you stay awhile.

He begged her to speak with him, to ease his loneliness.

Lyella told him a story about a woman who found the man of her dreams, the way she once told her younger siblings bedtime stories. Only the story she told was true, and she had found Sinclair Gautier.

He smiled at her and caressed her hands. His dreams changed, and she let him slip away into fantasies she both blushed at and desired to enact with him.

Lyella fled from the dreaming mind of a gryphon whose existence called to her. He was the one the hedgewitch told her about. Sinclair Gautier was everything. The knowledge she held would burn in her until she could act on it. But she found a gryphon, and he was a beautiful dream.

Leaving reviews poster

I hope you enjoyed the sneak peek chapter of Grim Dark, and I hope the rest of your weekend is lovely. I have a lot of work to do, so as always, I leave you with the heartfelt plea to be kind and leave your honest reviews when you read. Until we chat again next weekend, know you are welcome to the dream...

Be careful!

Happy Reading,

Ophelia Kee

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Thank you for your support! Welcome to the dream… Sincerely, -OK