Source: #ReviewPit Author

#EnterTheFantastic as #JorieReads this #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of “Sea of Lost Souls” by Emerald Dodge a story which echoes why I loved #Mythothon!

Posted Thursday, 23 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Earlier this Spring, I participated in an event uniting book bloggers and Indie Authors called #ReviewPit. One of the authors I discovered during this event was Emerald Dodge – her s/o about the novel on Twitter was most enticing (see also tweet) because I have a soft spot for Urban Fantasy! In fact it is one of my #mostread niches of Speculative Fiction! When I dug deeper into the plot for her story (via our private convos ahead of my acceptance to review the novel)

I was seeking stories during #ReviewPit which caught my eye for their uniqueness but also what was quite lovely is how most of the stories which intrigued me to read were actually within the realms of Fantasy! I found this wicked interesting and it is why I was thankful during #WyrdAndWonder Year 2 I could continue to celebrate my love of Indie Authors & Indie Publishers and Press!

I received a complimentary copy of “Sea of Lost Souls” direct from the author Emerald Dodge in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

I happily found #UrbanFanatsy & Mythos
uniting together during #ReviewPit:

When I first learnt of the #bookishTwitter event #ReviewPit, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect – I keep a watchful eye on twitterverse events where writers are seeking betareaders or where authors are seeking publication (ie. #PitchWars, etc) as I generally find #newtomeauthors this way and I do like to champion the writers who are on their path towards becoming published as this is something I can personally relate to as I’m a writer whose currently moonlighting as a book blogger and joyful tweeter! It is lovely to reach out into the Indie community on Twitter and continue to seek out the stories I desire to be reading. Ever since I first started blogging here at Jorie Loves A Story, I’ve had an eye out for Indie Press, Publishers and the writers who are seeking alternative publication – either through the Indie side of publishing directly through established publishers and press; or through Small Trade publishers or taking the full-Indie route into Self-Publishing or Hybrid publishing options.

This is what made #ReviewPit such a keen event for me – I decided to just jump into it and see what I would find. It is run similar to other events where you get a pitch about a story and you are given a clue of a nod towards its genre of interest. I quite literally had such a wicked joy just scrolling through all the lovelies being offered, I wasn’t entirely sure how many would be available to receive as print editions for review but I decided to give myself the chance to just seek out the authors first and request which ones were available lateron.

Sea of Lost Souls was resplendent of my joy in participating in #Mythothon last November! I had a good feeling about this novel when I first learnt of it – something about its premise just felt like it was going to become a cherished reading of mine and wait til you see how right I was in that assessment as I share my ruminations with you!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Notation on Cover Art Design:

I love how the art on the cover feels dimensional! You really feel like you know the sensation of your hair underwater as your swimming with an orb to guide your way? I love swimming underwater due to the disconnection you have with the surface and how everything under the surface feels like its own unique world. Imagine of course if you quantitate that by what you’d find in the depths of the ocean itself?

#EnterTheFantastic as #JorieReads this #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of “Sea of Lost Souls” by Emerald Dodge a story which echoes why I loved #Mythothon!Sea of Lost Souls
Subtitle: She Died... And Then Her Life Began | Oceanus Series, Book One
by Emerald Dodge
Source: #ReviewPit Author, Direct from Author

Freedom lies on the open sea. Danger lies within it.

Rachel Goldstein dreams of the vast oceans, and her job in the Navy seems to offer her everything she’d ever hoped for. Her heart seeks adventure, but her mind is still ashore, where the last time she saw her parents, they had a fight that left everyone in tears. She wants reconciliation… which becomes impossible when she dies in a tragic aviation accident aboard her aircraft carrier.

When she wakes up aboard a ghost ship, her new shipmates offer Rachel her only chance to seize adventure again, and she knows what she must do. Aboard this impressive and fearsome vessel is her opportunity to find new freedom — if she can survive it. The ghostly high seas are fraught with danger, from devious officers to murderous pirates. And lurking underneath it all is Scylla, the mythological monster set to destroy anyone who encroaches on her aquatic territory.

Normally ready for anything, Rachel will have to find out if she’s stronger than her enemies and the beasts that lie below the waves. And at the end of it all, can she pierce the veil of death and reach through to the world of the living, and to her parents?

Fans of K.F. Breene’s paranormal fantasy, Greek mythology, and Jessica Jones will love the action-packed nautical fantasy of Emerald Dodge’s Sea of Lost Souls! Pick up your copy and join the crew today!

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781732283039

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Military Fiction, Mythological Fantasy, Nautical Fiction, Stories of the FAE, Urban Fantasy, War Drama


Published by Self Published Author

on 1st March, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 254

This is a self-published novel.

The stories of the Oceanus series:

Sea of Lost Souls (book one)

House of the Setting Sun (book two) ← forthcoming!

Valley of the Shadow (book three) ← forthcoming!

Crown of Sorrows (prequel novelette) ← forthcoming!

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

About Emerald Dodge

Emerald Dodge

Emerald is a Navy wife, mother of two boys, and proud bibliophile. She grew up in Northern Virginia and moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia in her teens. It was there that she met her husband, Mr. Dodge, a naval nuclear electrician. They hit it off right away, and now they're experiencing the trials and adventures of parenting together.

In her spare time she likes to cook, go on walks, watch television (especially anything about the Tudors or British monarchy), and study esthetics. She'd love to become a certified esthetician one day.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 23 May, 2019 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Genre-bender, Ghost Story, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Haunting & Ethereal, Indie Author, Judiasm, Mediums & Clairvoyants, Military Fiction, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Self-Published Author, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Urban Life, War Drama, World Religions

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of “To Court A Queen” by H.L. Burke an Indie novelist who writes wicked brill Fantasy Romance with a heap of humour at its heart!

Posted Wednesday, 22 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Earlier this Spring, I participated in an event uniting book bloggers and Indie Authors called #ReviewPit. One of the authors I discovered during this event was H.L. Burke – her s/o about the novel on Twitter was most enticing (see also tweet) but it was the premise which captured me the most – how a fairy queen, a cat-elf and a knight all interconnect to each other in this fairy tale Fantasy! It felt different than most of the fantastical stories I come across within the same niche of interest and being that I am constantly trying to root out either a) new fairytale fiction or b) stories of the fey – I felt this one was a good choice to take a chance on reading!

I was seeking stories during #ReviewPit which caught my eye for their uniqueness but also what was quite lovely is how most of the stories which intrigued me to read were actually within the realms of Fantasy! I found this wicked interesting and it is why I was thankful during #WyrdAndWonder Year 2 I could continue to celebrate my love of Indie Authors & Indie Publishers and Press!

I received a complimentary copy of “To Court A Queen” direct from the author H.L. Burke in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

And, the fey came to call during #ReviewPit:

When I first learnt of the #bookishTwitter event #ReviewPit, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect – I keep a watchful eye on twitterverse events where writers are seeking betareaders or where authors are seeking publication (ie. #PitchWars, etc) as I generally find #newtomeauthors this way and I do like to champion the writers who are on their path towards becoming published as this is something I can personally relate to as I’m a writer whose currently moonlighting as a book blogger and joyful tweeter! It is lovely to reach out into the Indie community on Twitter and continue to seek out the stories I desire to be reading. Ever since I first started blogging here at Jorie Loves A Story, I’ve had an eye out for Indie Press, Publishers and the writers who are seeking alternative publication – either through the Indie side of publishing directly through established publishers and press; or through Small Trade publishers or taking the full-Indie route into Self-Publishing or Hybrid publishing options.

This is what made #ReviewPit such a keen event for me – I decided to just jump into it and see what I would find. It is run similar to other events where you get a pitch about a story and you are given a clue of a nod towards its genre of interest. I quite literally had such a wicked joy just scrolling through all the lovelies being offered, I wasn’t entirely sure how many would be available to receive as print editions for review but I decided to give myself the chance to just seek out the authors first and request which ones were available lateron.

To Court A Queen felt like it would be ideally quirky with just enough fantastical realism to draw me into its folds – plus, what I liked about it most is that it felt dearly comical with a healthy dash of comedic joy to make this potentially another entry in my feast of Fantasy satire satisfying the affinity I have for humour in fiction!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Notation on Cover Art Design: 

Can be pause this review for a moment to take stock of the lovely cover art featured on this beautifully love Fantasy Romance novel!? The dress alone is delightful but it is her ears and the length of her hair which I really felt took the image home for me to feel like I had crossed the threshold into this world being built for me to explore! It is truly beautiful enough to frame on your wall where your bookshelves remind you of all the lovely stories you’ve travelled through – I normally love original illustrations for Fantasy novels but this realistic photography art felt wicked brilliant all on its own!

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of “To Court A Queen” by H.L. Burke an Indie novelist who writes wicked brill Fantasy Romance with a heap of humour at its heart!To Court A Queen
Subtitle: A Fairy Tale Romance
by H.L. Burke
Source: #ReviewPit Author, Direct from Author

He doesn't want to get married, but he wants to be a frog even less.

Knight errant, Devin, takes a shortcut through the woods, only to be captured by fairy forces. The fairy queen has run out of breathing males to fight for her hand, and Devin, while not ideal fairy stock, is breathing--for now.

Telling a vain fairy queen you'd rather not be her one true love is a ticket to life on a lilypad, so the knight agrees to face three challenges to win Queen Agalea's hand. When a clever servant girl offers to help him navigate the trials in order to stop the constant bloodshed of the courtship ritual, Devin jumps at the chance. However, as he balances "flirting" with his "beloved" and overcoming tasks specifically designed to kill him, he finds his heart drawn to his new partner in survival.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781794579644

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Mythological Fantasy, Stories of the FAE


Published by Self Published Author

on 18th February, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 163

This is a self-published novel.

Discover MORE #FantasyRomance by H.L. Burke!

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

a short extract from “To Court A Queen:

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

About H.L. Burke

H.L. Burke

Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and was always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes that home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 22 May, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Elves & the Elven, Faeries & the Fey, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Indie Author, Mythological Societies, Self-Published Author, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of the Magical Midway Series [book three] “Unbearable Magic” by Leanne Leeds

Posted Friday, 17 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Earlier this Spring, I participated in an event uniting book bloggers and Indie Authors called #ReviewPit. One of the authors I discovered during this event was Leanne Leeds – of whom has penned a rather interesting Cosy Mystery series – wherein her lead character is a witch and the whole series is rooted out of her love of carnivals and her past experience of them. What intrigued me the most is how this is a Paranormal Fantasy Cosy series and I was thinking it would make a perfect series to curl up inside during #WyrdAndWonder!!

I was seeking stories during #ReviewPit which caught my eye for their uniqueness but also what was quite lovely is how most of the stories which intrigued me to read were actually within the realms of Fantasy! I found this wicked interesting and it is why I was thankful during #WyrdAndWonder Year 2 I could continue to celebrate my love of Indie Authors & Indie Publishers and Press!

I received a complimentary copy of “Unbearable Magic” direct from the author Leanne Leeds in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: I didn’t realise until I was working on releasing the rest of my Magical Midway reviews (belatedly due to my four migraines this month and the aftermath that wrecked on me) that I somehow missed the fact the author’s name was not spelt correctly in the title of my first review nor in the url; having promoted the link on Twitter several times, I decided to let it stand in the url but I’ve corrected the title error. I didn’t realise this as like I said, I had four migraines this May and my recovery from them has been rather difficult. I simply didn’t catch it. My apologies to the author and my readers for that error as I always strive to catch my copy editing mistakes before I promote my posts. Sadly this one snuck past me.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Why I am *loving!* my discovery
of the Magical Midway serires:

I was dearly looking forward to my return visit to the Magical Midway – I liked the world Leeds was building for me to re-explore and deepen my appreciation for the discovery of how a circus and carnival full of paranormals (of the animal variety) would take me on their next adventure! I almost felt Charlotte would go through a period of growth in my absence – as she’s a gifted (herein I refer to the fact she was given an incredible power boost!) witch who inherited the Midway from her Uncle. Clearly I was overly ambitious for her as when I started to re-visit with her, I noticed Gunther (the sweet bloke whose father runs the competition to hers: the Makepeace Circus) was losing his temper with her just a bit as magic comes easy to him but to Charlotte, everything is a new experience; with a steep learning curve!

Honestly… it did not surprise me Uncle Phil was trying to takeover Charlotte’s role at the Midway, either! He had a rather larger than life personality to begin with and his sense of duty to the Midway is bar none to others sense of obligation. The fact he still wants to remain an active part of the Midway and therefore inflicting a bit of unease in Charlotte as she’s unfortunately finding her role less than stellar at this point – felt a bit fitting. The series overall is about facing your challenges head-on, finding that the greatest courage is the belief you have in your own abilities and aligning yourself with positive friends who become as close to you as your own family. The series has a lot of heart inside it and I couldn’t wait to see how Charlotte would thrive through this next challenging circumstance she was about to meet mere months after she solved her first murder!

As we re-align into her life, we are met with some of the parafriends of hers feeling as if she’s disowned her own inheritance and also, that she’s in danger of becoming an elitist. At least by witchy standards as she is in the one group of paratalented individuals who had the upper hand in their world for quite a long while now. It was the witches who overruled everyone else and that lent itself to becoming a problem to her closest friends. Each of them a different species and/or talented in a way which showcased the diversity of the Magical Midway itself. Yet, despite their openness to welcoming Charlotte into their group, these new friends proved the point about how if you grow up offworld from the Midway, you really have a huge gap in your education in regards to what paranormals go through and how they must endure the obstacles put in front of them.

You know, I really disliked those terrible three witches in the first meeting we had with them but this second meeting!? They really do take the cake! Mina, Mercy and Mabel are the kind of witches who make your skin crawl because they don’t have an ounce of warmth in their heart; cold-hearted the whole lot of them! I was as outraged as Charlotte hearing their ridiculous claims against two of the performers at the Midway; then again, when exactly were they enthralled with anything Charlotte did or said or even defended?

Gunter and Charlotte are now arriving in that awkward stage in their relationship between trusting each other and keeping a healthy dose of distrust alive instead. It would be helpful to them both if his father wasn’t quite as harsh as it is but in another way of looking at it, Gunter could do himself a favour by confiding in Charlotte. That would strike a better balance than Charlotte constantly feeling as if Gunter was purposefully keeping her a step removed from anything remotely connected to her or the Magical Midway.

It never fails to surprise me the layers of authority within the Midway – even though Charlotte has the most authoritative control over the circus itself, what she can’t overrule are the individual hierarchies within the circus per each species represented. This becomes a bit of a sticking point each time something arises which needs to be addressed as Charlotte can only intervene ‘so far’ before she is naturally overruled or reminded that it isn’t her place to make that kind of judgement. In this instance, it is the werelions and their pride which rankles you a bit because although the girls’ in the pride are more friendly towards their fellow paranormals, its their leader Leo who could use with a douse of reality in regards to ‘how not to behave badly’.

What is almost at the crucial breaking point is Charlotte’s relationship with Samson, her familiar (the cat) – between his snarky remarks whenever she is confused about something integral to the circus itself or the ways in which he believes he’s helping to influence her mind about an immediate threat; he rubs her the wrong way for how his self-inflated ego doesn’t allow him to come down from the rafters very often to relate to her on equal ground. He definitely still believes she’s the wrong choice for the job and his impatience with her is actively on display. He simply loves to put her in place and make her feel as if she doesn’t have the upper hand at her own circus!

I felt like cheering for Charlotte! She broached such a strong point about complacency and how rules which were never challenged could become your undoing. She was becoming a voice of reason, logical intervention and a person who saw the benefit in not subscribing to the past as a direct indication of how the future needed to necessarily play out. In other words, Charlotte was starting to shake things up quite a heap in the paranormals world at the Midway for her out-of-the-box thinking, her forward visions of how life could be lived and how she refused to accept that just because something was an ancient rule didn’t necessarily mean everyone had to continue to blindly adhere to it now. This felt like she was not just finding her wings as a ringmaster for the Midway but she was benefiting from being raised on Earth.

-quoted from my review of Life on the Lion

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of the Magical Midway Series [book three] “Unbearable Magic” by Leanne LeedsUnbearable Magic
Subtitle: Magical Midway Cozy Paranormal Mysteries Book Three
by Leanne Leeds
Source: #ReviewPit Author, Direct from Author

A grizzly discovery.
A false accusation.
Can the most powerful witch on earth make the truth appear – before she disappears?

When the Magical Midway takes a week off to attend the Werebear Jamboree, Charlotte is grateful for a relaxing vacation away from the Witches’ Council attacks and all the problems they seem determined to bring. But when the werebear leader is murdered during the festival, all eyes turn suspiciously toward the most powerful witch in their midst.

With accusations coming from every corner and a conspiracy closing in around her, Charlotte and her friends realize that someone is determined to make her take the fall for the ghastly crime. But who? Can she unmask the real villain before she’s handed over to the Witches’ Council, punished for a crime she didn’t commit?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781717839657

Also by this author: Witchiest Circus on Earth, Life on the Lion

Also in this series: Witchiest Circus on Earth, Life on the Lion


Genres: Cosy Mystery, Fantasy Fiction, Paranormal Urban Fantasy, Urban Fantasy


Published by Badchen Publishing

on 19th July, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 286

Published by: Badchen Publishing

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #MagicalMidway + #Paranormal #Fantasy

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Magical Midway series:

The Magical Midway series is a paranormal cozy mystery series with eccentric characters, show-stopping magic, sweet romance subplots, and twisty mysteries. If you like eccentric characters, show-stopping magic, and twisty mysteries, then you’ll love this paranormal cozy mystery.

Be sure to visit the Synopsis for these stories on the author’s site!

Charlotte & Aidan (prequel short) | Synopsis

The Witchest Circus on Earth (book one) | see also review

Life on the Lion (book two) | see also review

Unbearable Magic (book three) | Synopsis

Go for the Juggler (book four) | Synopsis

Irrelephant Omens (book five) | Synopsis

→ A Call to Charms (book six) *forthcoming 2019 | Synopsis

About Leanne Leeds

Leanne Leeds

Leanne Leeds writes sweet, fun, often romantic but always fast-paced paranormal mysteries, fantasies, and romances. She lives in rural Texas with her husband, daughter, and a house full of cats that would sound like Samson if they could talk.

----

Letter to Readers

Thanks for visiting this book blogger whose reading my stories during #WyrdAndWonder! (be sure to follow the tag in the twitterverse for her updates!) I guess you want to know a bit more than the standard blurb above, hmm?

Well, okay then.

I wrote my first book when I was eight years old – it was, essentially, Trixie Belden fan fiction. Written in pencil and stapled together with a sketch on the front, I was quite proud of my ragged chapbook of a mystery. The desire to write books followed me all the way to The College of Staten Island, where I majored in English with an option in Writing…

…until I dropped out to join the circus. Because, like, why not?

Okay, well, not the circus. I was a production assistant for a stage hypnotist as well as a carnie worker in a variety of food joints touring the Eastern seaboard fair circuit. The experience was relatively short but incredibly impactful on my worldview. Though I went limping back to my apartment in New York broke and had to get a “real job”, I maintained a lifelong fascination with eccentric, alternative and extraordinary lifestyles.

This came in handy in my forties when I was laid off from a large publicly traded company in the middle of mass-layoffs that massacred the careers of nearly everyone I knew—at least for a short time. It was a frustrating end to a 20+ year career in an industry I had once loved but which I now… didn’t. That experience made me realize that I was ready to leave my twenty plus years in management and tech and do something different.

I returned to my childhood dreams of being an eccentric storyteller and living my best weird life. The Magical Midway series was written as a nod to my experience with the showman of the east coast, and their incredible influence on me. I have plans for more paranormal-themed cozies, fantasies, and romances as time goes on, and I tend to produce one book every 2-3 months. These have minimal sexual content (in case that’s important to you).

For dedicated fans, there will always be at least a week-long 99¢ pre-order phase on new books as a thank you. These are announced on the newsletter only, so if you’re interested in getting every future ebook under a buck, sign up!

Thanks for going on this journey with me, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 17 May, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cosy Mystery, Familiars, Fantasy Fiction, Shapeshifters, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Witches and Warlocks