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Title: Angels of Istanbul
Author: Alex Beecroft
Cover Artist: Simoné
Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Gay, Gay Fiction, Historical
Release Date: 03/27/2017
Wallachian nobleman Radu is recently arrived in Bucharest with his vampire parents. Welcomed as an eligible bachelor, he’s introduced to the enchantress Ecaterina, whose salon is Bucharest’s centre of magical expertise.
But when Ecaterina’s brother dies of a mysterious new plague, it’s clear to Radu that his parents have not been idle. Soon Bucharest is in the grip of an undead epidemic—a less than ideal time for Ottoman Sultan Mahmud, Wallachia’s overlord, to call Bucharest’s nobility to assemble their armies in Istanbul for a holy war against Britain.
The Wallachians have long resented their Ottoman overlords, so Radu seizes the chance to eliminate them while also ridding Bucharest of the undead: he leads an army of vampires to Istanbul and sets them to feed on the Turks.
As Radu’s demons gut the city of Istanbul, their plans become horribly clear. This is only the start. With the Ottoman armies under their control, the undead are poised to suck the life out of the whole world. Radu, his lover Frank, and Ecaterina are appalled at what they’ve unleashed. But they may be too late to stop it.
“Are you going to tell me what wonder I’m missing this time,” Radu grumbled, “or are you going to leave me to guess?”
“You really can’t see?” Frank marvelled.
If Radu had known that attending this soiree meant being prodded like an experimental specimen, he would not have come. Next time, now that he’d had a proper introduction, the Englishman could come on his own. He certainly seemed to be causing almost as much of a stir in his own right.
“Bogdan Ilionescu here can call fire,” said Frank, still holding out his cupped hand. “He worked out a way of writing it down, so that when I followed the same steps, I could do it too. Apparently that’s not normal.”
Ecaterina put down the large volume she and a companion had been examining at another table, and dragged herself over. She looked worse than usual today, her eyes bloodshot and the bags beneath them bruised. She moved badly too, as though her knees and hips ached.
“Typically those who have a gift have a gift,” she clarified. “They can make fire, but cannot influence water, they can herd mice, like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, or bake excellent cakes, or see into the future. One gift for one person. But Frank here can learn to do anything as long as there’s a spell written down that he can follow. His native gift seems to be the calling of light and darkness, though he’s inconsistent on that. But with the aid of instructions we’ve compiled from our books, as you’ve seen, he’s been able see into other rooms through the mirrors, turn a stick into a snake and back, move a vase from one end of the room to the other. His swift understanding of languages may also have some magical component.”
Frank smiled the little depreciating smile he used whenever forced to talk about his own virtues. “That would make me a true mage, apparently. Sounds special, doesn’t it? I can’t really believe it—not of myself—but Protheroe described it in a similar way. ‘Many people have a single magical gift, but only the mages can use magic for all things.’ That’s what he said.”
“My mother used to say the same,” Mirela agreed. She had put Radu’s money to good use and now wore a sturdy red skirt, a clean blouse, and a waistcoat and head scarf, though there were boots rather than shoes on her feet, suggesting she had not shed the habit of wearing trousers underneath. He didn’t know how she appeared to the others, but from the way the other witches had taken to her—from the way everyone startled a little when she spoke—he thought perhaps she was being herself.
“Most people have a dash of power, but it’s only the wise ones who have enough to do everything. We should have a toast to Frank, first mage of Bucharest. Maybe a party. Now you have to show us something else, though. What else can you do?”
“I don’t . . . This is rather . . .” Frank stuttered, taking refuge in his tea. “It’s all very well to say I might be able to do things, when I don’t know how. I can’t just make it up.” The stutter and the shrinking into himself was nothing like how Radu might have pictured a great magician from the folktales to act, and it was hard not to be charmed. Excited too, for Frank was his, and that meant the first mage of Bucharest was his. Perhaps it hadn’t been such an unwise thing to save the man after all.
“Are you saying,” Radu asked cautiously, “that if you can find a spell for something, Frank can cast it? Could he call up demons, or banish them?”
“Why would he want to?” Ecaterina lowered herself to sit on a rose-upholstered footstool, in a bright patch of sunlight, attracting perturbed looks from her little coterie.
Frank exchanged a glance with Radu, bless his quick mind. “Well, suppose someone else had summoned them—could I banish them?”
“I see no reason why not.”
To celebrate the release of Angels of Istanbul, one lucky winner will receive $10 Riptide credit and their choice of ebook from Alex’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 1, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
About the Author
Alex Beecroft is an English author best known for historical fiction, notably Age of Sail, featuring gay characters and romantic storylines. Her novels and shorter works include paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary fiction.
Beecroft won Linden Bay Romance’s (now Samhain Publishing) Starlight Writing Competition in 2007 with her first novel, Captain’s Surrender, making it her first published book. On the subject of writing gay romance, Beecroft has appeared in the Charleston City Paper, LA Weekly, the New Haven Advocate, the Baltimore City Paper, and The Other Paper. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association of the UK and an occasional reviewer for the blog Speak Its Name, which highlights historical gay fiction.
Alex was born in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and grew up in the wild countryside of the English Peak District. She lives with her husband and two children in a little village near Cambridge and tries to avoid being mistaken for a tourist.
Alex is only intermittently present in the real world. She has led a Saxon shield wall into battle, toiled as a Georgian kitchen maid, and recently taken up an 800-year-old form of English folk dance, but she still hasn’t learned to operate a mobile phone.
She is represented by Louise Fury of the L. Perkins Literary Agency.
Connect with Alex:
- Website: alexbeecroft.com
- Blog: alexbeecroft.com/blog
- Facebook: facebook.com/AlexBeecroftAuthor
- Twitter: @Alex_Beecroft
- Goodreads: goodreads.com/Alex_Beecroft
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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