Three Graces


Out on December 15th, 2023
(Pre-order coming soon!)

In May of 1945, as the war in Europe is coming to an end, three women can turn their attention to an old and lingering problem. Lizzie never met her brother-in-law, Temple. He died in 1922, in what she and her husband now know was a desperate attempt to stop further damage to the land magic.

No one has been able to figure out what damaged Temple’s magic or why he’d insisted on such self-destructive choices. Lizzie hasn’t, her husband Geoffrey hasn’t, and neither have their friends who are experts in a dozen relevant fields.

Now, as the demands of the war begin to ease, Lizzie asks Alysoun and Thesan - their friends and allies - to help her solve the mystery. She hopes that Alysoun’s clear-sighted experience and Thesan’s ability to see hidden patterns will be enough of a help. Perhaps together they can finally find and make sense of long-hidden information and do their best to make sure this sort of tragedy never happens again.

Three Graces is a novella tackling the long-standing question of what happened to Temple Carillon and brought him to his death in 1922. It is full of intelligent friends supporting each other, the changes that come with the end of the war, and navigating a new world. It is best read in series sequence, as it draws on a number of situations during the Second World War and its impact on Albion and Albion's land magic.

Three Graces deals with some difficult topics around the death (at the hands of the Council) of Temple Carillon and his wife Delphina. The three protagonists are digging into decades-old secrets, and have to navigate carefully to avoid tipping their hands. At the same time, the end of the war in Europe means that a number of patterns and usual supports aren't available, and the three women have to navigate some new situations. However, there's no violence on the page, and discussions of the eventual outcome focus on character's feelings rather than descriptions of the details. Of note for representation: Alysoun lives with what we'd call fibromyalgia and routinely uses a cane, and Thesan is autistic. 

Illusion of a Boar


A World War 2 fantasy romance

In March of 1944, four magical specialists are brought together at a secret camp for an even more mysterious mission.

Hypatia and Cammie adopted each other as sisters twenty years ago, during their school years, after Cammie's mother married Hypatia's older brother. Cammie has been neck deep in signals work since the start of the Second World War, while Hypatia has used her gift for sympathetic magic and materia to support the war effort. All while keeping up the proper standards for ATS girls, of course.

Pulled from similar work in Scotland, Claudio knows the most about what's needed and about what resources might actually be available. That's a big problem, but he's far more worried about his chosen brother, Orion.

Orion's war had been comparatively simple until six months ago. After an injury invalided him out of active service using his magic to support the front lines in the Mediterranean, he came home to find betrayal. Now he's figuring out where to begin rebuilding any sense of himself and his place in the world.

None of them have enough information or access to resources for what they're being asked to do. And they're doing it in a camp that has no idea what to make of them and that has its own deep secrets.When the challenges keep coming, they have to figure out whether and how they can trust each other and whether their objective is even possible.

Illusion of a Boar takes on the run-up to D-Day inside the magical community of Albion, figuring out what magic could help turn the tides in their favour. It's about trust, choosing new paths, and just maybe taking a chance on love and romance. The fifth book in the Land Mysteries series, it can be read in any order.

At least 2 of the 4 point of view characters are neurodiverse. They're dealing with unusual situations, secrets in a time of war, and family and social assumptions. One character is dealing with a recent significant injury to his hand, as well as emotional betrayal about 5 months before the book begins). No actual descriptions of combat, but there are references to deaths in combat and the impact they have on various characters.

Check out more books with neurodiverse characters (depending how you count, 2 or 3 of the 4 POV characters here are neurodiverse).

Four Walls and a Heart


In 1884, Gil wakes in the Temple of Healing with a life changing injury. Nothing in his life is ever going to be the same. He now has to figure out where he'll live and what he'll do. All his choices are all miserable in their own way.

Magni becomes curious when his old friend’s name comes up several times. After discovering Gil’s return to Albion and his injuries, Magni is more than willing to visit, remembering how Gil was the spark of wit in gatherings while they were both apprentices. But of course, Gil would never be interested in him as anything other than a friend in a time of need.

When Magni has to leave town for a few weeks due to a complex case, he rents a house at the Brighton seashore. He even welcomes Gil's company, as Gil regains strength before another needed surgery.

Neither of them expected the minor mystery of the house across the street and a fortnight in close quarters to change both their lives.

Four Walls and a Heart is a m/m novella of 40,000 words exploring Gil and Magni's romance in the summer of 1884. Set in the magical community of Great Britain, it is full of books, architecture, seaside amusements, and navigating living with a new disability.

M/M friends to lovers romance, while one of the protagonists is dealing with amputation of his lower leg. Contains some homophobia from minor characters (unpleasant disapproval, not violence, from a family member). Also contains some references to the uneven path of healing. Other protagonist is a member of Albion's Guard, responsible for public safety and law enforcement considerations (his duties are referenced, but not the focus of the plot).

Explore more books dealing with the Guard and Penelopes:
(Gil and Magni are significant secondary characters in Pastiche.)

Shoemaker’s Wife


1920 should have been a wonderful summer.

The Great War is over, and Clara's husband Owen has finally come home. All he wants is to set up as a shoemaker and enjoy a peaceful marriage.

Nothing about Owen's return is easy.

There's not enough money for Owen to start up his own business. Worse, he's having trouble finding work, like many other returning soldiers, and everything's getting more expensive. Clara's worried about running her aunt's apothecary shop while her aunt is away. Things at home are awkward and uncomfortable. Neither of them knows how to turn a wartime romance into a proper marriage.

When a lucky break gets him a new job backstage in a magical theatre, Owen is hopeful that his life - and Clara's - are beginning to turn around. Unfortunately, the new job brings new worries, and one of Clara's customers is taking a more personal interest in her than she's comfortable with. There might be a way to solve all their troubles, if they can just remember why they fell in love in the first place, and learn to trust each other.

Shoemaker's Wife is a romance about falling in love for a second time and learning how to have a happy marriage. Join Clara and Owen for shoemaking, a winter pantomime, the challenges of rebuilding a life after war, and all the ways kindness makes a difference. The second novel in the Mysterious Arts series about the magical community of Great Britain, it can be read in any order.

Heroine is the focus of unwanted attention from a secondary character (though it does not progress beyond conversation). Hero dealing with the aftermath of the war and returning to 'ordinary' life. Learning to talk about active consent as opposed to assumed or passive consent.

Explore books focusing on crafters and crafting: 

Bound for Perdition


New magic brings new challenges.

Charged with creating a magical journal that would allow rapid communication during the Great War, Lynet has worked with a papermaker to overcome the technical challenges.

But brilliant magical innovation isn't enough.

When she returns from a leave after the death of her father, Lynet is told they have to make more journals, cheaper and faster. The last thing she needs is a set of unskilled hands assigned to help her at this impossible task, and she's dubious that a man will be more of a help than a hinderance given her ongoing problems with most of the men of the research department.

Reggie is recently invalided out of the Army but has no relevant skills other than being a magically trained Schola man. When he's assigned to help Lynet, he's not sure how much use he'll be. He’s soon swept up in Lynet’s ambitious project and fascinated by her skills and knowledge.

Together, Reggie and Lynet must figure out how to get the magical materials they need for the project and move forward despite unexpected obstacles. Their mission is quickly complicated by odd goings on with other research in the department, something that might change the War itself!

Bound For Perdition is the first book in the Mysterious Arts series. A cosy historical fantasy romance set in 1917 in the magical city of Albion, Britain’s magical community, it is a great entry to Celia Lake’s Albion books. Bound for Perdition is full of bookbinding, coming to grips with injury, navigating class differences, and making a new future in a rapidly changing world.

The heroine's father dies just before the start of the book, from an extended illness. During the book, she is dealing with her grief, isolation, and some frustration. The hero has injuries he considers somewhat shameful/ignoble. Contains people acting from privilege and class without regard for others, and one very manipulative woman out for her own goals. Heroine is autistic, and the hero has had experiences in the war that have changed how he thinks and reacts to the world.

More about the Carillon family:
(My authorial wiki has additional information about characters, connections, and places.)

Upon A Summer’s Day


On the Summer Solstice of 1940, Gabe made a solemn oath. Two parts of it were easy enough, he was already doing them. The third part has haunted his every choice since.

When he is asked a question that August, Gabe knows he must answer yes. His answer will change him, his family, and everything around him. There is no other way through but keeping his word and dealing with the consequences.

No one said he had to do it the way anyone else expects.

Upon A Summer's Day is a novel that takes place in the autumn and winter of 1940 as World War II moves into a second year with the start of the Blitz. Join Gabe, his wife, his family, and their allies in unweaving a tangle of ancient magics, turning assumptions on their heads, and refusing to follow destructive traditions.

The fourth book in the Land Mysteries series, Upon A Summer's Day directly follows the events of Old As The Hills, and is best read in sequence.

Direct sequel to Old As The Hills, and best read after it. ADHD central character, dealing with social and professional implications for his London-born Bengali wife. Takes place during the second half of 1940, during the Blitz, and includes the immediate aftermath of the bombing of Coventry (no explicit details). Involves varying levels of Albion's politics.

Old As The Hills


What would you risk so others could live?

It is the early months of WWII and Rathna already has an idea of how bad it might get. If she can make the final connections she needs to create a new portal in a matter of weeks rather than years, she might just be able to get a few more people out of Germany's ever expanding grasp. But she's also been asked to take on a new apprentice. Rathna has no idea whether he'll be willing to help, if she can trust him, or if he can trust her enough to do what needs to be done.

Her husband Gabe has a challenge that will use every single one of his skills and then some. He's been charged by the Council to coordinate magical responses to the war, not only in Albion itself, but among the many esoteric and occult groups of Great Britain. His own apprentice is brilliant, in a different way than Gabe, but this project will ask everything of them both.

Together, Gabe and Rathna have built their lives to bend their passions, talents, and magics to making things better for the world around them, including their three growing children. Now their war work is going to separate them, certainly for months, possibly for much longer. As they tangle with ancient magics, seeking new ways forward, there are more unanswerable questions, tremendous risks, and a few glimmers of hope.

Old As The Hills follows Gabe and Rathna's adventures from the autumn of 1939 through the summer of 1940, a time of desperate plans to save lives and hold back invasion. It is full of ancient fae magic, the power of place, urgent witchcraft rituals, and unexpected encounters. The Land Mysteries series explores the Second World War in the magical community of Albion and is best read in order.

You can find Gabe and Rathna's romance in The Fossil Door, set in 1922 in Scotland.

Deals with the first year of World War 2, and the plot explicitly includes the invasions of multiple countries during that time, the evacuation of Dunkirk, and other events of the period. (Though not in graphic or close-up detail.) Death of a secondary character with ongoing appearances in the Albion books, due to the war, and some reference to grief. The plot also deals with the esoteric groups active at the time and with witchcraft.

Established couple, married with three children, who are separated during much of the book due to their different tasks. Hero has ADHD (very much on display in some spots), while the heroine deals with assumptions (and some bigotry) because of her Bengali background and brown skin. Some nastiness from minor characters, including the presentation of white feathers for cowardice to a secondary character.

Nocturnal Quarry


The world keeps changing.

Alexander's world was upended three years ago when a spot of espionage had ripple effects that transformed every part of his life, even his relationship with his own magic. Now, he's compelled by politics to spend the summer of 1938 in America instead of with his family and friends. No problem, he can tend to loose ends, like a threat that's been looming over his chosen family for more than a decade.

Alexander knows his duties and his obligations. He's more than adept at the delicate dance of diplomatic parties and careful conversations with scientists and innovative magicians up and down the eastern seaboard.

He's not expecting who has been waiting for him in New York City. Nor how the past few years have changed everything about how he solves problems.

Nocturnal Quarry is a character-focused historical fantasy novella about how every change has consequences. Best read after Best Foot Forward, Nocturnal Quarry is full of ongoing conversations, art, shared myth and legend, and unexpected solutions to complicated questions.

Learn more about the art described in this book. 

Best read after Best Foot Forward. A character-focused novella (no new romance or relationship) set in 1938 along the East Coast of the United States as the world hurtles towards a second world war with references to various real-world events of that year. The main character confronts part of his past, with conversations, confrontations, and significant decisions. (References to past violence and threats). No on-page sex.

More about the Fortier and Landry families:
(My authorial wiki has additional information about characters, connections, and places.)

Best Foot Forward


The enemy of my enemy is not my friend.

Lord Geoffrey Carillon wants to do the impossible.

He needs to get an imprisoned alchemist doing key research out of Germany before the world gets even worse. Carillon's cover as a slightly daffy aristocrat will get him where he needs to be, but he can't do this mission alone. He has many magical skills, but not the ones he needs to free his friend.

Alexander is a stranger in his own land.

A skilled and powerful member of the Council, Alexander is responsible for tending the land magic of Albion. However, the Council uses him as their enforcer, adeptly doing terrible and necessary work from the shadows. When Carillon proposes the expedition into Austria and Germany, can Alexander carry off the subterfuge and still keep his hands clean and his inner self barricaded in enemy territory?

Any two professionals can tolerate each other in service of a goal.

That's true even if Carillon has excellent reason to distrust the Council, and Alexander has just as much reason to keep everyone at arm's length. When matters move from possible blackmail into a sought after invitation to a remote schloss, Carillon and Alexander find their lives entangled in ways neither of them had ever dreamed of.

Best Foot Forward takes place in 1935 in the magical communities of Great Britain, Vienna, and Berlin. It is an enemies to "it's complicated" M/M romance full of espionage, magic, extreme competence under pressure, music, and healing from the traumas of the Great War. It also contains an epilogue novella, Intimacies of the Seasons, following Alexander and Carillon through the next year of their lives, and as Carillon and Lizzie rearrange their lives to welcome Alexander.

Learn more about the music that features in this book (including a link to a playlist organised by chapter).

M/M enemies to "it's complicated", with one aromantic and asexual protagonist and one bisexual allosexual protagonist (also polyamorous - no cheating, full awareness of all parties). Takes place in 1935, including in Nazi Germany. Contains mentions of past deaths, trauma from the Great War, emotional neglect in various forms, as well as injuries and PTSD. Both characters have moments of emotional crisis in the book. References to the current state of minorities in Germany in 1935, including homosexual men. Only one bed trope. One character is French-Egyptian, with references to the implications while in Germany. On-page sex in the included epilogue novella, Intimacies of the Seasons but not in the novel itself.

More about the Carillon family:
(My authorial wiki has additional information about characters, connections, and places.)

Ancient Trust


Ancient Trust is a free novella available when you sign up for my newsletter. (Also the way to get other extras and treats and all my latest news.)

Geoffrey Carillon has spent much of his life both before and after the Great War travelling the world.

In February of 1922, his older brother's sudden and unexpected death calls him back to Albion to take up his ancestral obligations to the land magic. Naturally, Carillon relies heavily on his loyal and exceedingly competent valet, Benton.

Carillon discovers that much has changed in his time away, and he desperately needs allies to help him navigate the world as it is now. Benton, for his part, is focused on bringing the estate into better working order, in a number of ways he expected and quite a few he did not.

This prequel takes place in 1922 (directly overlapping the events of Outcrossing). Both Carillon and Benton have their romances in later books (and not with each other!), but this story covers a particular moment in their history as well as explaining Carillon's connections to many other people and places in my books. Enjoy!

Find Geoffrey's romance in Goblin Fruit and Benton's in On The Bias, and check out the other books relating to the Carillon family for more about Temple, Geoffrey, Benton, and others.

Begins with the death of one POV character's older brother, in what turns out to likely be murder. Many unanswered questions about why, how, and the reasons for the neglect of the land magic. Not a romance, introduces a number of other characters appearing in multiple books. One of the POV characters (Benton) is autistic. One (Carillon) is bisexual, though not in a relationship during this book.

More about the Carillon family:
(My authorial wiki has additional information about characters, connections, and places.)

By Celia