Friday, February 5, 2010

Awesome Giveaway of adult fantasy books filled with myth, magic, eroticism, and the Tarot by Ravenous Romance author Cecilia Tan

Hurts So Good

by Cecilia Tan

I'm a big fan of suffering.
I don't mean I like stubbing my toe, or being cold or hungry. I mean I enjoy it when the main character of a book I'm reading suffers. And as a writer, this means I especially like it when the main character of a book I'm WRITING suffers.

Magic U Two_1 My poor characters. I really do put them through a lot. I'm writing a four book series now called Magic University, which is basically my version of a Harry-Potter-style tale, but set in a college and with my own ideas of magic. As with the Potter books, each book takes place in one school year, and I recently finished writing the second book in the series (The Tower and the Tears, just released last week). It's not really a spoiler to tell you some traumatic things happen to our hero. No surprise there.
The surprise was that although I had planned for him to get over it by year two, when I actually started writing it, it turned out he was definitely not over any of it. Apparently what I'd put him through left him more deeply affected than even I'd realized at the time. While considering this fact, I decided that ultimately it was a good thing. Why? Two reasons. One, if I'm affecting my character so deeply that he's refusing to move on, perhaps it means I am affecting my readers deeply as well. Two, because one aspect of the Harry Potter books I never found believable is that Harry seems so unaffected by the horrible things that happen to him, and so in my world, I want my hero to be changed by his experiences.

Which isn't to say that I want things to swing totally the other way intoMagic_University_4a4ca8d5205ca being emo. Kyle, my main character in The Siren and the Sword (book one of the series) takes a lot of things in stride. But I did discover just how deep the scars really go. It changed the way book two unfolded and intensified the effect of the traumas he meets in his second year, as well. There is suffering, there is heartbreak, there are "learning experiences" which are painful.

Of course, when my characters suffer, my readers suffer, too. But in a good way, I hope. Because really, I want the experience of reading to be good for them. The Magic University books are romance, after all. I'm not giving away anything by saying there will be a happy ending. But in a four book series, the end can seem very far away!
Hang in there, Kyle. I start writing book three in two weeks. You get a reprieve until then.


Blurb: Kyle is a college sophomore worrying about the usual things students do, like what he's going to major in and getting along with his dorm mates, but he attends a most unusual college. He's a student at Veritas, the hidden magical university inside Harvard.
Before he got to Harvard, Kyle hadn't even known he was magical. Now he finds he has a talent for sex magic and the erotic arts. Not only that, a girl in his sex magic class has a crush on him. Kyle looks forward to lots of "study sessions" together with Ciara and their friend Marjory, but when their professor is mysteriously attacked, Kyle finds himself embroiled in a mystery deeper than university department politics. Someone has been stealing magical artifacts and the dean suspects Ciara, sending Kyle on a quest to discover the real culprit.
Kyle will learn sizzling sexual technique and unleash powerful magic on his incredible erotic journey, but is the study of sex really the route to true love? Perhaps what Kyle needs to learn about most is himself.

Bio: Cecilia Tan has been writing professionally since she was a teenager, which she definitely isn't, anymore. She is the author of several romances for Ravenous Romance, including her "Harry Potter for adults" the Magic University series and Mind Games, as well as the BDSM sci-fi adventure Royal Treatment just released from Torquere Press. Her literary erotica has been published nearly everywhere. She loves tea, baseball, cats, and books, and more of her thoughts on these and other subjects can be found at her blog:

Buy link, book one:
Buy link, book two:


The Tower and the Tears is the second book in the Magic University series by Cecilia Tan. Bringing together myth, magic, eroticism, and the Tarot, the Magic University books are for all the adult readers of classic fantasy who want a bedtime tale of their own.


WIN Book one or Book two

Leave your comment for Cecilia, follow this blog and you’ll be entered  to win.




Tierney O’Malley


Book Junkie said...

Ohhh, these look great! HP all grown up and sexy and what is a little suffering?? huh? Just makes the story all that more of a keeper in my book! Makes the HEA all the more fun. Why not work for it!



StephTheBookworm said...

Sounds great! I haven't heard of these books before but I'd like to read them. I follow.


Cecilia Tan said...

@Brande -- so true! I'm really making them work hard for the HEA this time, though! ;-) Can't wait until I get there, but I must.

@Steph -- hope you enjoy!

Dana Fredsti said...

My sister also is a strong believer in making her characters suffer. She wrote a book and had such horrific things happen to one of the secondary characters, it sprouted a whole other book from this character's POV as he worked through what had happened to him.

Looking forward to reading the Magic University books! On the ubiquitous TBR pile... :-)

joder said...

I too love tortured characters--you can't help but want to hug them. And I also like that combo of taking a childhood fairy tale and amping up the sexiness to make it more adult. It makes it even more exciting and interesting to read noting all the changes.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

And yes, I'm a blog follower.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

I think suffering, conflict, is a value tool in character development. Why? Look at real life. How much of who we are is formed by what we survive?

Yes, we want fantasy in fantasy but the character also have to be realistic for most of us to feel a connection. Suffering and surviving, changing is part of that.

Cecilia Tan said...

@Dana -- Enjoy it when you get to it! My TBR pile is out of control. If it weren't for ebooks I carry around on my phone I'd hardly get anything read, ever.

@joder -- I'm hoping a lot of people want to hug Kyle. I'm really putting him through a lot. And the people he loves, too.

@TheChocolatePriestess -- You said it! I want my characters to have earned their happy ending, too. If it comes too easy, it's not believable either.

buddyt said...

Yes please.

I am a follower.

Please enter me in the drawing.


buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

IceJewel said...

I like it when the main character suffers and then rises again learning through his/her own experiences ! That makes a lot more real !

Please enter me at icejew at gmail dot com if its International !

Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

I'd love to be entered in your draw. I would prefer book one but would be happy with either.

Cecilia Tan, said...

I'll definitely give you book one to the winner if they haven't read it already, and book two if they already have book one and are ready for the sequel!

Amanda Leigh said...

Oh, this series sounds like something I just have to read!! And I agree that it can make an HEA all the better if the characters have really had to work for it.


EVA SB said...

I don't mind a little bit of suffering as long as it's for a good cause! Hopefully you've written very pleasant to help hasten his recovery!

booklover0226 said...

Hi, Cecilia.

What is your opinion on book trailers? Do you think they help in book sales?

The Magic University series sound great; I look forward in reading the books.

Tracey D
booklover0226 AT gmail DOT com

booklover0226 said...

I forgot to add that I'm a follower, too.

Tracey D
booklover0226 AT gmail DOT com

kalynnick said...

Would love to enter and I'm follower!

kalynnick At yahoo DOT com

Tierney O'Malley said...

Hi Booklover0226,

Good question. I noticed that more and more authors are using book trailers. So I am assuming that they help boost sales. I've never tried it. :)

Carol L. said...

The Magic University series sounds really good. This is the first time I have heard about them. They will be on my TRL for sure.
I am a follower.
Carol L.

Cecilia Tan said...

@booklover226 -- I haven't really done much with book trailers yet myself. Producing video can be quite time consuming and expensive, and if what you end up with looks cheap and cheesy, I don't know that it really helps sell the book? Of the trailers I have watched, there have been one or two that were really amazing and worth telling my friends 'ooh you have to see this' and those are the ones that really work, because they 'go viral.' If they are just kind of nice to look at? Then no one is going to urge their friends to look at it except the author... whose friends already know to buy the book. ;-)

Instead of a fancy, artsy or Hollywood-style trailer, I think an MP3 of someone with a great voice reading the first chapter or other enjoyable sample that people with iPods can download for free might be better? That might actually get the reader hooked on the story or character?

If I had infinite budget, of course, I'd do both!

Tierney O'Malley said...

Thank you so much everyone! Cecilia's winner is IceJewel.

Congratulations, IceJewel.


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