Jaye Wells

Category Archives: Urban Fantasy

Dirty Magic on Sale!

Big news! For a limited time, Orbit has marked down the ebook of Dirty Magic to just $1.99. Now is the perfect time to dive into this series and binge on it over the summer.

Purchase Dirty Magic now from Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo

About the Prospero’s War Series:

Action-packed police procedural meets dark urban fantasy in a world where cops and wizards are fighting a war over addictive, dangerous, and illegal dirty magic.

Kate Prospero knows a lot about dirty magic. Before she became a cop, she was raised in a coven that ran the Arcane criminal underworld of Babylon, Ohio. Her history helped her land a spot on a Magic Enforcement Agency task force, but as she works to bring down old friends and family members, she’ll have to face her own dysfunctional relationship with magic.

Dirty Magic is the first book in the series, which currently has four novels and a novella with three more planned novels in the works.

“Jaye Wells has created a fresh, magical world full of potion junkies & alchemists that promises to break new ground in paranormal thrillers.” – Laurell K. Hamilton

“Kate Prospero is my new favorite heroine—imperfect, haunted, driven, and dangerous.” – Kevin Hearne, NYT Bestselling Author of The Iron Druid Chronicles


Volatile Bonds is Here!

It’s finally the day! Today is the official launch of Volatile Bonds–the fourth novel in the Prospero’s War series.

Magic is a drug. Dirty deals lead to deadly ends.
When the Magic Enforcement Agency is called out to the scene of a dirty magic lab explosion, a body with a bullet wound is found in the smoldering ruins. As Detective Kate Prospero and her partner, Special Agent Drew Morales, hunt down the killer, they uncover evidence that a dangerous new coven may be operating in the Cauldron.

It’s not long before the bodies start piling up, and the heat is on for the team to make an arrest. Solving the murders will require unraveling dangerous alliances between the city’s dirty magic covens. And if they’re not careful, the new complexities of Morales and Prospero’s own partnership threaten to make a volatile situation downright deadly.

Read chapter one of Volatile Bonds here.

Ebook Links:

Amazon US | Canada| Australia |UK

Nook | Kobo | iTunes |Googleplay

Order the Print Book Online:

Createspace Indiebound | B&N | Amazon 

Note: If your favorite local book store doesn’t carry Volatile Bonds, please ask them to order it for you. 

Audiobooks will be available on October 31 from your favorite audiobook retailer. The delay was necessary to ensure we were able to continue with Morgan Hallett, the original narrator of the series. Going forward, the audio won’t have this sort of delay. Thanks for your patience!

I had so much fun revisiting these characters and I’m already hard at work on book 5, which should release next spring. Happy reading!

Calling All Sabina Kane Fans


If you’re already a fan of my Sabina Kane series, you might be aware that I wrote a two novellas and a short story set in Sabina’s universe. Up until now, those stories have only been available in e-book and distribution was limited so fans in some countries couldn’t read them. I also know that some of my Sabina fans simply prefer print books. So I came up with the idea of creating a collection that combines all the Sabina Kane short fiction into one print-only volume.

But that’s not all! I also decided to throw in a Kate Prospero story. Fire Water is a prequel novella to my Prospero’s War series. It’s a stand-alone story that’s about one of Kate’s first cases as a rookie cop. It also tells the story of how Kate met Baba. If you haven’t tried my Kate Prospero series yet, this is a great introduction. If you’re already a fan of the Prospero’s War series, this is a must read.

All of these stories are still available separately in ebook, but you can only get all four stories together in this special print edition bound in a gorgeous matte cover.

About The Chosen Ones:

Sabina Kane is one of the most infamous and beloved heroines in the Urban Fantasy genre. This special collection of short fiction is a must-have for any fan of the series, and a must-read for any fan of the genre.

Fool’s Gold
In the 1970s, Sabina Kane was a rookie assassin looking for first big kill. But when the time comes to prove her skills to the Dominae, she finds herself shadowing Slade Corbin, a more experienced assassin with a huge chip on his shoulder. Together, they must track down a blackmailer who’s threatening to expose the existence of vampires to the world.

Violet Tendencies
Former assassin Sabina Kane heads to Los Angeles to find her kidnapped sister. Helping her on the mission are her hot mage partner, her Mischief demon minion, and a Vanity demon named Valva. The problem? She’s got to figure out how to find her sister without letting her enemies know she’s back in town. But Sabina learns the hard way that Vanity demons don’t know the meaning of the phrase “low profile.”

Rusted Veins
Halloween in New Orleans is usually a treat. But for Sabina Kane and the rest of Team Awesome, this year’s celebration is full of tricks. A mage has gone missing and it’s up to Sabina and the gang to find her. The problem? The missing mage is one of Adam Lazarus’s old flames, and having her show up in their lives is giving Sabina heartburn. Luckily for Adam’s ex, but unlucky for her kidnappers, Sabina Kane isn’t easily spooked.

Includes Bonus Prospero’s War Novella: Fire Water

Buy The Chosen Ones now!

Amazon US | UK | CAN | Germany |Poland | France Createspace

Please note: You will be able to buy this from B&N, Indiebound and other online retailers in a few weeks. It takes time for the book to show up on other stores’ sites. I will post in my newsletter and on this site once they’re available. Thanks for your patience!

Urban Allies is Out

Urban Fantasy fans won’t want to miss this blockbuster anthology that features some of the most beloved characters of the genre teaming up in cross-over stories.

Sabina Kane fans will be especially excited to see Sabina, Adam and Mr. Giggles again. In the story “Ladies’ Fight,” which I co-wrote with Caitlin Kittredge, Sabina and the gang team up with Ava the hellhound and Leo the reaper to hunt down an enchanted scythe. The fur really flies when the hairless cat demon meets a hellhound.

Buy it now! 

Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | Kobo 


Worlds collide when two different urban fantasy series meet in each of the ten electrifying stories in this collaborative project, featuring beloved characters such as Peter Octavian and Dahlia Lynley-Chivers, Joanne Walker and Harper Blaine, Joe Ledger and Special Agent Franks, Sabina Kane and Ava. Urban Allies melds the talents of some of the most high-profile authors in the genre today—many of whom are working together for the first time—to give readers a chance to see their favorite characters in an imaginative and fresh way.

Contributors Include:

Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden
Carrie Vaughn and Diana Rowland
Jonathan Maberry and Larry Correia
Kelley Armstrong and Seanan Mcguire
Joseph Nassise and Sam Witt
Steven Savile And Craig Schaefer
David Wellington and Weston Ochse
Stephen Blackmoore and Jeff Somers
C. E. Murphy and Kat Richardson
Jaye Wells and Caitlin Kittredge

Here’s what reviewers are saying about it:

Library Journal (Starred Review)

These ten shared stories bring together the work of 20 different authors. “Ladies’ Fight” matches up Caitlin Kittredge’s hellhound Ava and reaper Leo with Jaye Wells’s Chosen, Sabina Kane, her partner Adam, and demon Giguhl as they search for the Grim Reaper’s scythe. In “Tailed,” Seanan McGuire’s Verity Price hunts a cryptid poacher and discovers a werewolf with her kids and Kelley Armstrong’s Elena, Kate, and Logan. More pairings of fan-favorite characters, including Peter Octavian and Dahlia Lynley-Chivers, and JoeLedger and Agent Franks, bring fresh outings and fun crossovers sure to delight many readers. Verdict This anthology highlights incredible authors and their best lead protagonists. Readers will devour these stories, which answer the question many fans pose: “What if these two characters met?”

RT Book Reviews – 4 ½ Stars and a Top Pick

Literary mashups are no easy feat, but thanks to some excellent pairings and the work of a group of wonderfully talented writers, this collection is enormously fun from beginning to end, particularly for series fans. The teamwork on display in these stories yields some fascinating results, providing authors and readers with a wonderfully imaginative way to explore and reimagine some beloved characters and settings and offering the chance to see what happens when those characters and worlds suddenly collide. Devotees of the featured series will feel right at home with most of these scenarios, but newcomers will have no trouble at all diving into each of these stories, and will no doubt come out with a new list of must-reads as a result.


Authors such as Kelley Armstrong, Charlaine Harris, Caitlin Kittredge, and Jonathan Maberry combine their distinctive talents in this unique collection, where 20 best-selling urban-fantasy authors teamed up on 10 original short stories featuring their series characters…“Pig Roast” is a fun, fast-paced read, while “The Lessons of Room 19” is both a creepy read and a smart commentary on the haunting nature of grief. “Blood for Blood” introduces Peter Octavian to Dahlia Lynley-Chivers, and their dangerous adventure will have readers flipping the pages. Once readers arrive at “Spite House,” they will wonder how it is possible that Seattle PIs Harper Blaine and Joanne Walker have never met before. Most of the stories serve as a nice introduction to these individual series and will send readers unfamiliar with these characters back to library shelves to find the backlist. Recommended for fantasy collections.

Publishers Weekly

“An all-star roster of 20 urban fantasy authors headlines this collection of 10 crossover adventures, each of which sees two writers pitting their signature heroes against shared threats…Nassise (Midian Unmade) has assembled an admirable group of contributors who do a good if sometimes uneven job of blending both styles and toy boxes. The tales lean more toward the darker fantasy or horror end of the spectrum, making for an occasionally gory spectacle. Readers will undoubtedly get a kick out of seeing their favorite heroes solving cases together and will enjoy being introduced to new characters and settings. (Aug.)

Buy Urban Allies now! 

Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks 

Holiday Treat

It’s a Krampus miracle, y’all! Just in time for the holidays, I’ve marked down The Uncanny Collection to just $.99 in all ebooks formats.

You should buy this short story collection if you are a fan of:

-Carnivals where wishes are granted in terrible ways
-New Orleans’ creepiest musicians
-Demons in nun dormitories

And, really, who isn’t?

Buy The Uncanny Collection now!

Kindle | iBooks | Kobo | Nook


THE WEREWIFE: One week after she is bitten by the dog-faced boy at a traveling carnival, a mild-mannered housewife gets a sudden, unrelenting craving for raw meat. She doesn’t remember eating the cat or running naked through the park under the full moon, but her husband’s getting strange calls from concerned neighbors. When he takes her back to the carnival a year later, looking for a cure, it’ll either get better…or a whole lot worse.

THE BLUEST HOUR: A journalist travels to New Orleans to track down the mysterious “Soul Singers”–psychopomps who guide spirits into the afterlife. In this city known for music and its connection to death, a man can learn things he’s not ready to know.

THE DEADLINE: An ambitious journalist opens an investigation into the decade’s old murder of a priest and a nun at a local Catholic college. She swears she’ll do anything to earn her big break, but the price could be her very soul.


Kindle | iBooks | Kobo | Nook

Coming Feb. 10: Deadly Spells

Deadly Spells Quote 2



Preorder Deadly Spells now!

Amazon | B&N | AppleIndiebound | Kobo

Read an excerpt here.

Alchemy and The Prospero’s War Series

Even with all the blog posts I’ve written about the Prospero’s War series, it occurred to me this weekend I never wrote anything about the stages of alchemy. See, the magic in the series is loosely based on alchemy (called “bathtub alchemy” in the books). Loosely basing it gave me a lot of leeway, but I still had to do a ton of research into alchemy in order to make the magic believable. Unlike other forms of magic, alchemy has a long, documented history and, as a psuedo-science, has some basis in scientific fact versus more arcane or mystical magic systems.

Because I knew next to nothing about alchemy, I started with The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Alchemy to become familiar with the basic concepts and nomenclature. I moved on to more esoteric texts after (see list below), but the most important book ended up being not about alchemy as a science, but alchemy as a metaphor.

See, the coolest thing about alchemy is it’s a multi-layered concept. On the surface it’s a pseudo-science used to turn lead into gold. But alchemists weren’t merely scientists, they were believers. Thus, alchemy has a rich symbolic language, i.e. the language of birds, and uses many archetypes and metaphors that use alchemical processes to explore the theme of human individuation. Enter: Anatomy of the Psyche by Edward Edinger.

Edinger was a psychiatrist who was a preeminent Jungian analyst who taught at the C. G. Jung Institute. In the book, he breaks down each of the major steps of alchemy through analysis of the prevailing archetypes and symbols associated with it and uses them to explore the symbolic meanings of myths and the dreams of his patients. Further, it used each stage to explore the idea of self individuation, which, if you’ve studied any Joseph Campbell (also a student of Jung) you know that myths are symbolic representations of the journey a human takes to evolve into their true self. It was reading this book that gave me the spark for one of the biggest ideas in the Prospero’s War series.

I decided to base each book in the series on a different alchemical process.

Doing this accomplished several goals at once. First, it provided me with a framework for each story because I’d have a preset list of symbols and themes to explore in each story. Second, it gave me a really nice progression of character growth for Kate. Third, it allowed me to do something I really enjoy, which is taking preexisting myths and symbols and twisting them in a new way.

A side note about alchemical processes: Depending on your source, there are anywhere from three to one hundred and nine (!) stages in alchemical transformation. In addition, depending on the source, the stages can occur in different orders. To simplify things, I chose a seven-stage formula because Edinger and several other alchemical sources identified them as the major stages.

Seven Stages of Alchemy (from Anatomy of the Psyche)

1. Calcinatio

2. Solutio

3. Caogulatio

4. Sublimatio

5. Mortificatio

6. Separatio

7. Conunctio

For a complete list of symbolic correspondences for each stage, click here.

While I used Edinger’s list of processes, I varied the order based on the progression I felt was best for the stories. Thus, Dirty Magic is based on Calcination and Cursed Moon (out Aug. 12) is based on Solutio, but Deadly Spells (out Feb. 2015) is based on Separatio.

Since CURSED MOON is the next book out, I thought I’d list the major theme words associated with the story. But first, here’s the book blurb:

When a rare Blue Moon upsets the magical balance in the city, Detective Kate Prospero and her Magic Enforcement colleagues pitch in to help Babylon PD keep the peace. Between potions going haywire and emotions running high, every cop in the city is on edge. But the moon’s impact is especially strong for Kate, who’s wrestling with guilt over her use of illegal magic.

As I mentioned, Cursed Moon is based on the alchemical stage of Solutio.

Here is a list of words associated with the Solutio (also called the Dissolution) stage:

Water, Blue, white, Id, subconscious, emotional blockages, nightmares, moon, excess, greed, Dionysus, tears, intoxication, stalking, personal power, sexuality, sea.

Contained in that list is the plot for this book, as well as the key’s to understand Kate Prospero’s personal story arc for the novel. You might not knowing it from the list alone, but I guarantee if you read the book and then come back to read this post, you’ll have a major AHA moment.

Working with this sort of symbolic riddle for each book is really fun, and, I think, results in a really layered and rich story. If you’d like to learn more about alchemy as I’ve discussed it here, check out the following books and web sites.


  • Anatomy of the Psyche by Edward Edinger
  • Ego and Archetype by Edward Edinger
  • Real Alchemy by Robert Allen Bartlett
  • Spagyrics: The Alchemical Preparation of Medicinal Essences, Tinctures, and Elixirs by Manfred M. Junius
  • The Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook by Karen Harrison
  • The Alchemist’s Handbook by Frater Albertus
  • The Path of Alchemy: Energetic Healing and the World of Natural Magic by Mark Stavish
  • The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Alchemy by Dennis Hauck
  • The Alchemists’ Kitchen: Extraordinairy Potions and Curious Notions by Guy Ogilvy

Web sites:

On the Language of Birds 

AlchemyLab.com: Great resource for alchemical information, including the chart of correspondences for each stage listed in this post

Alchemical and Archaic Chemistry Terms: Huge glossary of nomenclature

The Chymistry of Isaac Newton: A University of Indiana at Bloomington project on the alchemical experiments of Sir Isaac Newton










Deadly Spells Cover Concept

Fun treat for you guys today. I’ve received permission to show you the cover concept for Prospero’s War 3, DEADLY SPELLS! The book will come out in March 2015, but you get to see the pretty now.

Wells_DeadlySpells_TP (1)


Bam! Isn’t it awesome? Couple things.

1. This is a preliminary version of the cover. My brilliant cover wizard, Lauren Panepinto, had this to say about it:

“For Deadly Spells we are still working on the coloring, lighting, and the background. More ‘alchemical drug den’ feel.”

2. Maybe you’re wondering why we’d release this now if it’s only a preliminary version. Well, the thing about publishing is they work in cycles. Right now, my publisher, Orbit, is hard at work on the titles in the Spring 2015 catalogue. Instead of letting someone else get first crack at revealing the covers, we’re releasing them now so I get the thrill of being the first one to show it to you.

3. As in all the Prospero’s War covers, there are hints about the alchemical process the story is based on hidden in the cover. Hint: Look at the symbols.

4. I’m still writing DEADLY SPELLS, so I don’t have an official blurb to share. I can say it revolves around a murder and the media and lots and lots of secrets.

In case you haven’t see the other covers in the series, I’ve pasted all three below so you can them together. Remember, CURSED MOON comes out in August!

DIRTY MAGIC COVER (1)Wells_CursedMoon-TPWells_DeadlySpells_TP (1)

Dirty Magic Press Links


Dirty Magic is out! I’ve conducted a series of interviews and written guest blogs, and several new outlets and bloggers have also written features and reviews about the book. Below, you’ll find a handy list of links to all.  I’ll be updating it as more are posted.

Amazon | B&N | Apple | Indie Bound

Special note: For the month of February, Mysterious Galaxy bookstores have chosen DIRTY MAGIC as the selection for the Fantastic Firsts book club. Sign up for the club and receive a 20% discount on this and all books selected for the program. More info here.

Library Journal: Starred Review, “[Dirty Magic] is grim, gritty, and completely fascinating.”

RT Book Reviews: 4.5 Stars,  Top Pick. “Wells works her own brand of magic by laying the foundation for a complex and gritty new mythos starring a damaged, yet resilient, heroine.”

Under the Covers Book Blog: 5 Feathers. “DIRTY MAGIC is a flat-out high-octane thrill ride in an alluring world. Kate Prospero will become a highly recognizable name in Urban Fantasy.”

The Barnes and Noble Book Blog: Most anticipated Sci-Fi and Fantasy releases of 2014


The Big Thrill interview

Hide and Create Podcast Interview

Guest Blog Posts About Dirty Magic

Buzzfeed: 9 Crime Shows That Could Be Improved with Magic

Huffington Post: 8 Ways to Get a Fictional High

SF Signal: Bathtub Alchemy: Updating Established Magic Systems

Urban Fantasy Investigations: We Built this City on Dirty Magic

Paranormal Haven: Making Monsters

Fantasy Book Critic: Revisionist History

RT Book Reviews: The Left-Handed Path

Under the Covers Book Blog: Risky Research



Lessons Learned at Residency

I’m back home after six days at Seton Hill university for my first MFA residency. I’m not sure what I expected when I went, but whatever that was, the actual experience exceed it.

The Writing Popular Fiction program isn’t so much school as it is an incredibly warm incubator for writers. I sat in several modules on the craft of writing fiction, as well as critique workshops where we had the chance to give feedback on works in progress and have our own work evaluated. Even after five years of having my work judged by agents, editors, and readers, I was still sitting there with damp palms when my turn came. I shouldn’t have worried, though, because the feedback I received was both thoughtful and helpful.

In addition to the normal coursework, we were treated to two talks by the lovely Philip Palmer. In addition to being a respected author of space opera, he is also an esteemed writer and producer of screenplays and radio plays for the BBC. In other words, the man knows his craft, and it’s obvious he’s very passionate about sharing that knowledge. I was also lucky enough to spend time getting to hang out with Philip and Nicole Peeler, who is a professor for Seton Hill as well as my good friend, because the three of us are all published by Orbit. We also had a fun signing together at Rickert and Beagle Books in Pittsbugh after residency.

Now the real work of the program begins as all the student head home to produce pages for our term writing assignments and do our readings and write papers for the Readings in the Genre courses. I sat down today and plotted out all of the deadlines and due dates this term, and I admit I’m nervous. But that’s all part of the process, I suppose. If it was too easy the lessons wouldn’t have as much staying power.

Besides all this school stuff, I’m also ramping up for the release of Dirty Magic on Tuesday. In addition to all the guest blog posts going up and the normal tweeting and Facebooking, I’ll have a signing in Houston on Friday at Murder by the Book in Houston at 6:30.

And typing all that has exhausted me. But, and this was a result of the MFA residency I didn’t expect, I understand how incredibly blessed I am. We get so caught up in the business that it’s easy to forget the reasons we were drawn to the art. It’s such an honor to know that people pay hard-earned money to read the twisted products of my warped imagination. It’s a job not to be taken lightly or for granted.

Now, I’m heading out to speak to my son’s school about what it’s like to be a writer. After my week in Pittsburgh, I’m ready to recruit the next generation of storytellers into the fold. It’s not an easy job, but it is a wonderful one.

Happy reading!