Sequel novella, Christmas Magic, now also available!
This is my series of erotic new adult paranormal romances, which combine everything I love about the Harry Potter books with all the stuff I felt I was missing from those books: sexuality, openly LGBT characters, eroticism, and genuine romantic plotlines, to name just a few.
The entire original series — four novels and one collection of short stories — is available in paperback and ebook, and the four novels are in audio as well. The sequel novella is in ebook only.
(Background info: Magic University was first published in ebook form by Ravenous Romance from 2009 to 2011. Red Silk Editions, the newly launched fiction imprint of Red Wheel Weiser, also bought the rights to publish them in paperback, but the imprint was shelved after the demise of Borders bookstores so only the first two paperbacks ever appeared, which is why you will find various mismatched used editions floating around for sale.)
The COMPLETE series is four novels, with a fifth book of related short stories. Since the series wrapped there has been one sequel novella and some short stories, and I’ll try to keep posting when new stories come out.
- The Series: in reading order
- The Siren and the Sword
- The Tower and the Tears
- The Incubus and the Angel
- Spellbinding: Tales from the Magic University
- The Poet and the Prophecy
Additional sequels and follow-ups:
- Christmas Magic (novella, included in series ebook bundle as well as for sale separately)
- Brass Tacks, short story in Release the Virgins
- Aura of the Phoenix, short story in Schoolbooks & Sorcery
- Articles, press, and blurbs
- Setting & Places
- Courses of Study
Kyle Wadsworth arrives at Harvard eager to start his new life as a college student away from the cold and distant great-aunt who has raised him. But he walks into a building that only magical people can see, confusing both himself and the administrators of Veritas, the secret magical university hidden inside Harvard. There he first sees a beautiful girl who seems magical to him in every way.
Soon Jess Torralva is tutoring Kyle in the ways of magic, sex, and love. But trouble is afoot at Veritas. Rumors abound that a siren is haunting the library, and when Kyle’s best friend is attacked, Kyle is determined to use his newly learned skills in erotic magic to catch the culprit. But which is more important, his quest for justice or his search for true love?
Read the prologue and chapter one free: here.
“The Siren and the Sword is contemporary urban fantasy with lots of hot sex, or maybe it’s contemporary urban sex with lots of hot fantasy, or maybe…hmmm. I don’t know, actually. I guess I’ll have to read it again to decide. And again. And again.”
— Steven Brust, author of the Vlad Taltos series
The Tower and the Tears
ebook ISBN 978-1-62601-140-3 • print ISBN 978-1-62601-141-0
First published in ebook form in February 2010. New edition was released in January 2015 from Riverdale Avenue Books.
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. Kyle finds he has a talent for sex magic, and when Ciara, a girl in his sex magic class, has a crush on him and needs a practice partner, he looks like he’s in for a very pleasurable semester of study.
But can Kyle pass the grueling tests necessary to be accepted into the Esoteric Arts program, including the bisexuality requirement?
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.
Read the first chapter free: here.
Even though he attends Veritas, the hidden magical university inside Harvard, Kyle Wadsworth is a typical college junior, spending too much time in the library and trying to balance classes with some semblance of a social life. After having loved and lost, Kyle is shy about striking up new relationships, but when his friendship with enchantment student Lindy Carmichael becomes “friends with benefits” he finds his heart ready to explore new avenues and blossom into love again.
But meanwhile his classes have drawn him into studying an ancient prophecy, and the more Kyle learns, the more the prophecy seems to be about Kyle himself, foretelling doom. Lindy and other students are experiencing gaps in their magic that could point to impending disaster… or is it just that they have been visited in their dreams by a demon-lover? Kyle, ever the hero, sets out to capture the demon and solve the mystery of the prophecy, but to do so he must unravel the mystery in his own heart, and his continuing obsession/attraction to the one person who refuses to speak to him: his nemesis, Timothy Frost.
Spellbinding: Tales from the Magic University
Print ISBN 978-162601-205-9
Riverdale Avenue Books paperback and ebook editions were published on July 9, 2015. (Originally published June 2011 in ebook form. There is no audio edition.)
A merry crew of nine writers and I explore the intriguing secondary characters, unanswered mysteries, and background stories of Veritas through erotic short stories. For the Riverdale edition I’ve added two never-before-published stories to bring the total to 17 in all!
It’s highly recommended to read the short stories before going on to Book Four to get the full impact for all characters.
Some stories introduce new characters, but most satisfy every reader’s craving for more of Kyle, Frost, Alex, Master Brandish, Dean Bell, and the rest of the cast. Most of the stories are male/male, with a smattering of gender-bending, bi threesome, het, and even one lesbian tale set at Collegium Sophia (the secret magic school at Smith College, of course!). I wrote seven of the seventeen stories myself. Read an excerpt: https://blog.ceciliatan.com/archives/2389
In the tradition of fan fiction, some of the stories have pairings that are unseen in the original books, like Dean Bell and Timothy Frost, or Kyle and Alex. Others explore canonical couples who just don’t get much screen time in the book series. One of my stories reveals how Frost and Michael Candlin started dating and what their first sex was like. Learn more of the tangled history between Master Brandish and Dean Bell, too!
With stories from Deb Atwood, Lauren P. Burka, Julie Cox, Rian Darcy, Sarah Ellis, Elisabeth Hurst, D.K. Jernigan, BriAnne Searles, and Frances K. Selkirk.
(There’s no audiobook edition of Spellbinding, but you can hear one of the stories, “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” by Frances Selkirk at the Nobilis Erotica podcast. Listen here: https://nobilis.libsyn.com/episode-332-what-i-did-on-my-summer-vacation-by-frances-selkirk)
New editions in ebook, paperback,and audio from Riverdale Avenue Books and Audible.com went live in September 2015! (First ebook publication was in September 2011.)
The conclusion to the Magic University series! Kyle Wadsworth has mastered sex magic, dreamwalking, and even poetry in his years at Veritas. But he begins his senior year full of doubt. Will the dire ancient prophecy he has been studying come true if Kyle cannot find true love? The signs of the Burning Days seem to be everywhere—odd storms, earthquakes, and people losing their magic—and though Kyle has many loving friends and eager acquaintances, he has no true love in sight. The only person in Kyle’s heart is Frost, and the last time they laid eyes on each other, it didn’t end well.
Frost has a troubled past and deep secrets. Kyle begins to hope, though, when it appears he and Frost will be in a class together. A poetry class. Maybe Frost will start to thaw after all, though Kyle has a long way to go from nemesis to lover. If the prophecy speaks true, our hero will need love to keep the world, his friends, and himself from losing magic forever.
“I love that in The Poet and The Prophecy Kyle needs to draw on everything about himself to succeed, from his talent as a poet to his bisexuality. How often do bisexuals get to save the world in books? Kyle accomplishes things that a ‘typical’ straight hero would fail at, including the ‘enemies to lovers’ relationship we’ve all been waiting for since book one.” –BookPost
In this novella sequel to the Magic University series, Christmas Magic picks up the tale a few months after the end of The Poet and the Prophecy, at Christmas time. And who better to tell a Christmas tale than Frost? After the cataclysmic events that shook the magical world, it’s time for Frost to come to grips with the changes in his magic and his body–with the help of the people who love him most.
That’s right. There’s a Christmas tree, and stockings, and hot cocoa by the fire… but this is a Magic University story, so of course there is also deeply emotional sex and a mystery which fills Frost with existential dread.
Get Christmas Magic from:
- Amazon | Barnes & Noble Nook | Apple iBooks/iTunes | Kobo | Riverdale Avenue Books
Articles, press, and blurbs
Lots of guest blogs I wrote about the series:
- “Gender Equality in Magic University” for Catherine Lundoff’s blog 11/11/2014
- “Modern Magic” for author MeiLin Miranda’s blog 9/10/2010
- “Sex Scenes Sizzle” for Long & Short Reviews 9/5/2011
- “Why Fanfic and Fan Rights Should Matter to Pros” for the OTW 1/21/2015
- “Fantasy and Reality” Sensual Reads 2/21/2010
- “Incubi in Magic University” Patricia’s Vampire Notes 9/16/2010
- “Digging Into Fandom in Magic University” Tor.com 8/28/2015
- “Characters on the Couch: Timothy Frost” for author Cecilia Dominic’s blog 7/9/2015
- “Realism in Fantasy Sex” for author Victoria Janssen’s blog 2/23/2010
- “Loving Beautiful Bi Boys in Books” for author Kerry Adrienne’s blog 4/12/2015
- “The Plot Thickens” for author Carrie Clevenger’s blog 9/13/2010
- “Tarot & ‘Real’ Magic in Fantasy” Patricia’s Vampire Notes 3/15/2010
- “Consent is Sexy” for author Jana Richards’ blog 4/15/2015
- “Confessions of a Fanfic Hipster” Avian 30/Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese 11/14/2014
- “Multiplying Parnters, Multiplying Plots” for author Adriana Kraft’s blog 9/2/2010
BLURBS AND REVIEWS:
“The Magic University books really need to be read all together to be understood. You should definitely grab all four books and get comfortable – you’re in for an exciting ride! The Poet and the Prophecy is a satisfying conclusion to the series, and one that adult Harry Potter fans will no doubt enjoy.”
–Lucy Felthouse, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Tan has long been one of the foremost voices in writing and publishing erotic sci-fi and fantasy. With her New Adult paranormal romance Magic University series, Tan combines her favorite elements from the Harry Potter books with LGBT characters and eroticism. Her protagonist Kyle Wadsworth, studying at the secret magical university Veritas, learns to harness sex magic to combat sirens and prophecies alike. With Kyle starting out knowing less than Jon Snow, he experiences the kind of in-depth sexual apprenticeship that Anastasia Steele should have learned at the hands of Christian Grey.”
“Very nice series of books that I look forward to rereading some day. The frequent description of ‘Harry Potter for Adults’ made me fear it would be totally derivative, but it really wasn’t.”
“Going through Harry Potter withdrawal, I set out to find similar books for an older audience. Tan’s Magic University series does the trick, but it was a little, er, more adult than I was expecting. As in erotica instead of just a romance. It’s not overbearing however [and]…it was the plot that kept me interested, especially the relationships Kyle has with both his girlfriend and best buddy.”
–Out of Mind Media
“This is a grown up, sexy and fun story. Magic University has a good storyline, and the types of magic used are very innovative and set it apart from other books of this genre. Though at times the author alludes to what is going to possibly happen, she does a wonderful job of keeping the reader guessing right up until the end. … Ms. Tan has done an outstanding job of feeding my Harry Potter obsession in a very adult fashion. I look forward to reading her other book in this series.”
“Joining Kyle as he experienced many rites of passage, both ordinary and magical, was a delight. It was such a treat to escape to Veritas. The world of “magic users” is enticing and I look forward to spending more time at Veritas. Kyle is still learning and growing. I’m sure there are quite a few more adventures and I want to be there for it all. I can’t wait to find out just where he winds up and with whom. There are also questions I didn’t get the answers to and I need those answers! Count me in for the whole series, it’s just that good.”
–Manic Readers Reviews, 4 stars
“This freshman novel to the Magic University series is very well written and, although promoted as an erotica, it’s more erotic-light as this tale is considerably deeper than your average erotic novel and the intimacy doesn’t consume the whole story. There is one scene of voyeurism but it serves a magical purpose, otherwise most of the sex-scenes are pretty standard – well sort of, I can’t say more without a spoiler alert and honestly I’d rather tease. I will say that there are hints that the relative tameness of this story will change in the next book and I can’t wait; I’m reading it as soon as I finish this review!”
–Bitten by Books, 4 stars
“Welcome to Harvard University School of Magic and the sensual study of esoteric magic. The Tower and The Tears is an erotic cross between Harry Potter and porn. I enjoyed the storyline and got caught up in the characters. This story will entice the reader to not only go back and read the first one but to make sure they pick up the next book in the series.”
–Coffee Time Romance, 4 cups
“If you want a book about students practicing magic and sex, this is definitely the one for you.”
–Erotica Readers Association
“Ms. Tan’s story is bouncy, sexy and fun. … Once the fucking gets underway, it is very creatively described giving one an extremely detailed, tasty account of how an orgasm actually gets accomplished. Plus there is all sorts of fucking between and among genders which spices things up. Ms. Tan has thought a great deal and very intensely about the anatomy of sex.”
“I liked the fact Cecilia had Kyle as a moderately bisexual male in the novel, one who had a touch of femininity to him that could make him relate to the women he meets… Kyle has had his fair share of romances, but wants to find his true soulmate, not just feel that the sex is right – he wants to feel for the other person, have a connection with someone that goes beyond sex. He has never felt that close to a girl or boy who took his fancy, and thinks that someday he will find the one who is right for him, even if it is a girly notion for him to have.”
–Love Romance Passion
“Kyle is typical of many 20 year olds: just coming into a fuller realization of what it means to be an adult with its privileges and responsibilities, as well as seeing somethings come to fruition from his educational efforts. He is now wanting a love relationship that goes beyond the sexual encounters he has enjoyed in the past and gradually his encounters with Lindy become more enticing and seem to be connecting them on a deeper level. … Fantasy lovers will find this book challenging but satisfying. Romance lovers will find the gentle and expanding love story between Kyle and Lindy a very nice part of this novel. All in all, it was a good book and one that I enjoyed reading.”
–The Book Binge
“The Incubus and the Angel is an entertaining read that has a similar magical world structure as the Harry Potter books, though these tales of magic definitely aren’t for children. Kyle is a strong hero but with a touch of femininity which helps him relate to Lindy in ways an alpha male type couldn’t. He’s been hurt emotionally, but willing to keep searching for his soul mate. I like that resiliency about him.”
–You Gotta Read Reviews
“Cecilia Tan brought me into her world of magic with a plot that intrigued me from the start. Power comes in many forms and I found myself enthralled with the erotic nights spent between Lindy and Kyle.”
–Siren Book Reviews
“Readers who wish the Harry Potter series had been set in college, focused on LGBTQ characters, and included spicy sex scenes are in luck! Set at Veritas, a magical university hidden within Harvard, The Siren and the Sword follows Kyle, who’s considering majoring in erotic magic. … Other important characters identify along the LGBTQ spectrum, including a major trans character, Master Callendra Brandish, whom Tan explains was inspired by Kate Bornstein.”
–Autostraddle, “Eight Trans-Inclusive Fantasy Books for Harry Potter Fans”
The main action of the books takes place at Harvard University and the surrounding neighborhoods of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Most of the places mentioned are real places, and I originally mentioned the actual names of restaurants and stores, but my copyeditor cut them all out.
I posted a photo gallery of sights on the Harvard Campus that relate to the books, and also have a Picasa album with even more.
- Some Veritas Buildings:
- Elwyn Library
- Sassamon Ritual Arts Building
- Peyntree Hall (admin offices)
- Faiella House (healing arts)
- Mormallor Hall (alchemy labs)
- Pallando Hall (dept of prophetic studies)
- Lavode House (enchantment department annex)
A quick list of some of the real world off-campus places mentioned:
- Book One
- Iruna — Spanish restaurant where Kyle and Jess have their first date. Sadly, now gone.
- The Garment District — a real, warehouse-sized used clothing store, with “Dollar a Pound” on the first floor.
- Izzy’s — the Puerto Rican restaurant where Kyle and Alex eat after shopping at the Garment District
- CVS — Kyle buys his protein bars there after Master Brandish suggests it. You’re a real native if you ask me whether I mean the Mass Ave CVS or the JFK Street one!
- Mt. Auburn Hospital — where they go after the Thanksgiving siren attack
- Various coffee shops — although I must admit it was a Starbucks I had in mind when Kyle and Jess go into the restroom together… there are MANY other coffee (and tea!) places in the Square. As well as Au Bon Pain. Really one is as good as another… I picked the Starbucks because I know its bathroom is big enough (handicapped accessible) and the door sturdy enough for what goes on. (Actually, since the book was written, two more Starbucks have opened in the Square. You’ll have to guess which one I meant.)
- Book Two
- Onset — a real town just at the start of Cape Cod
- Herrell’s Ice Cream — sadly, this Harvard Square institution closed recently, but there are other gourmet ice cream shops to be found in the Square now, too, including Libby’s, and also the frozen yogurt place called BerryLine, and J. P. Licks took over where Toscanini’s was.
- More coffee shops — the place I had in mind that Ciara insists they go for coffee & hot chocolate at the start of chapter 11 was actually Toscanini’s, which operated an ice cream and espresso place at 1312 Mass. Ave. But it’s now closed and become a JP Licks, which is also quite good.
- Book Three
- Le’s — the Vietnamese restaurant in the Garage at Harvard Square, formerly called Pho Pasteur, but renamed for their founder in recent years
- L. A. Burdick — the gourmet chocolate shop that Lindy and Kyle go to really exists. Nom.
- Harvard House of Pizza — the pizza joint around the corner from Professor Raburn’s house, where they spend winter break house-sitting (on Martin Street, if you must know)
- Starbucks — I admit it. When Alex slips Kyle the address, they’re in the same Starbucks where Jess and Kyle once spent far too long in the restroom together.
- Frost’s house — I walked past it on my way to dinner one night, but didn’t have my camera to take a picture with. I think it was on Craigie Street.
- Book Four
- L.A. Burdick — another scene takes place in the chocolate shop.
- The House on Linnaean Street — This infamous mansion was home to an ashram in the 1980s, in which a guru named Swami Chetitpratlanda–known locally as “Swami Chet”–lived with something like 40 of his followers. They had subdivided the bedrooms into bunks and put in extra toilets and double-headed showers. A friend of mine bought the house in the early 90s when Swami Chet had a vision that his cult needed to move to the West Coast and sold the place. My friend eventually moved to the country and sold it to a Harvard Professor, however the house still retains the central stained glass window of a rose that was Swami Chet’s symbol.
- Crema Cafe — Most of the coffee shop scenes in this book take place at Crema Cafe, which I prefer to Starbucks and which has windows situated in the proper positioning for the scenes that take place.
- Boston Eagle — this gay men’s leather bar is still standing in Boston’s South End, across Tremont Street from the Boston Center for the Arts.
- Store 24 — Kenmore Square has changed a lot in recent years, gentrifying and becoming quite yuppie, so I’m honestly not actually sure if this convenience store is still standing next to the Bank of America ATM lobby. But I think it is. There used to be several convenience stores around Kenmore Square including one owned by Boston University, so that would work, too. But I was picturing the one across Brookline Ave. from Uno’s.
- The New Age Bookstore — this shop is no longer there; high rents got them like so many other Harvard Square businesses. But it’s still there in my mind’s eye.
House Master: Madeleine Finch (Healing Arts)
Marjory Ransom, resident tutor, 3rd floor
Hansen, resident tutor 1st floor
House Master: Callendra Brandish (Esoteric Arts)
Brandon Buckle, resident tutor
Talia Pisk, resident tutor
Esther Dearborn, resident advisor
House Master: Harold Lester (Prophetic/Poetic Studies)
House Master: Karl Zoltan (Applied Enchantment/Tech Magic)
Dean Archibald Dunster
(Assistant) Dean Quilian Bell
Professor Bengle — Poetry
Professor Hillman — Esoteric Arts
Professor Hart — Esoteric Arts
Professor Raburn — Applied Enchantment (Alex’s advisor)
Professor Lin — Poetry
Professor Felicia Hargreaves — Prophecy, Ancient languages (Kyle’s junior thesis advisor)
Damiana Pendragon — Visiting Scholar/Adjunct Professor of Ritual Arts
A Few Poets Who Went to Harvard:
T. S. Eliot
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ernest Lawrence Thayer
Veritas Courses of Study
Applied Enchantment (including tech magic)
Poetry (including the study of prophecy)
Prophetic Studies (including soothsaying, numerology, astrology)
(During the course of the books the Applied Enchantment and Conjuration departments get combined into a single department, but are still two disciplines.)