'I love you' is just the beginning of the story.

Only a few days left to snag “Stealing the Wind” for $1

The Mermen of Ea Trilogy is complete, and if you haven’t read it yet, now’s the perfect time to start! The first book in the trilogy, Stealing the Wind, is $1 at both Dreamspinner Press and Amazon until August 1st!

The series is high fantasy and features pirates, mermen shifters, magic, and a love that spans centuries. It’s the story of Taren Laxley, an indentured servant who is kidnapped by pirates only to learn that he isn’t human, but an Ea, a mer-shifter. You can read an excerpt from Stealing the Wind here: http://www.shiraanthony.com/books/stealing-the-wind/#excerpt

For those of you who have read the series and have been looking forward to listening to it on audiobook, the first two books are available at Audible and the last book is currently in production. Michael Stellman does an amazing job with the narration.

MermeanofEa

One Marine, Hero by @emlynley–sexy, suspenseful #gayromance #military

He’s a hero to everyone
but himself

“A well planned, well executed romance with an awesome mystery.”

— Tessa, Inked Rainbow Reads

OneMarine,Hero-400x600

Hot Marines, plenty of romance,
& a touch of mystery
Coming August 17 to Dreamspinner Press

Pre-order your copy at Dreamspinner Press

Read the first 4 chapters now

One Marine, Hero

Romance, Mystery/Suspense, Hot Marines!

by EM Lynley

If you enjoy military men, danger, sizzling romance and a peek behind the scenes at the White House, don’t miss this one!

This is a story I really enjoyed writing! As some of you know, I used to work as a White House economic adviser. Some of my behind-the-scenes experiences with Marine One on the White House lawn are included here.

If you recall a few months ago I mentioned taking helicopter flying lessons. They were research for this book! You’re really in for a treat this time around.

Pre-order at Dreamspinner Press
Add to your Goodreads shelf
ARC/Blog Tour Sign-up sheet (Reviewers only)

 

He’s a hero to everyone but himself.

Marine helicopter pilot Captain Jake Woodley struggles after receiving the Medal of Honor for a mission where he didn’t bring every man back alive. Being called a hero and having his photo plastered across the news makes him hate himself more. He despises his cushy job flying with the Marine One squadron, carrying the president and other officials, when he’d rather risk something, even death. He gets his wish when he’s ordered to fly a series of classified trips.

Matt “Beau” Beaumont has been relegated to covering the fashion beat after getting downsized from a hard-news position. But an unexpected invitation to a White House dinner might be the boost his career needs. Offering a hot marine an after-dinner blowjob wasn’t on Beau’s agenda, but when Jake takes him up on the proposition, some phenomenal casual sex soon blossoms into a relationship both of them crave.

When Beau’s extracurricular research uncovers defense department funding anomalies, he soon discovers the trouble goes higher than he imagined. Just as events start to make sense, the investigation puts Beau and Jake in deadly danger. It takes a daring play by Jake—risking everything he loves—to uncover the truth.

Read the first 4 chapters now

Pre-order your copy!

 

A Raffelcopter Giveaway

 

About the Author

EM at GRL book signingEM Lynley writes gay erotic romance. She loves books where the hero gets the guy and the loving is 11 on a scale of 10. A Rainbow Award winner and EPIC finalist, EM has worked in high finance, high tech, and in the wine industry, though she’d rather be writing hot, romantic man-on-man action. She spent 10 years as an economist and financial analyst, including a year as a White House Staff Economist, but only because all the intern positions were filled. Tired of boring herself and others with dry business reports and articles, her creative muse is back and naughtier than ever. She has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., but the San Francisco Bay Area is home for now.

 

She is the author of Sex, Lies & Wedding Bells, the Precious Gems series from Dreamspinner Press, and the Rewriting History series starring a sexy jewel thief, among others.

 

Visit her online WebsiteBlogFree ReadsFacebookTwitterNewsletterPinterest

Email: em@emlynley.com

“Stealing the Wind” is $1 for a limited time at Dreamspinner and Amazon!

Haven’t started the Mermen of Ea Trilogy yet? Now’s the perfect time, since you can pick up the first book for $1 at Dreamspinner Press or Amazon! With the release of Running with the Wind, the final series book, you can now read the entire trilogy straight through from start to finish. Like audiobooks? The first two books are available at Audible and the last book is in production!

MermeanofEa

Anne Barwell’s Werewolves: “Family and Reflection”

Familyandreflection_FBbanner_DSPPlease welcome the fabulous Anne Barwell, whose brand new book, Family and Reflection, is now available for purchase at Dreamspinner Press. Congrats on the new release, Anne, and thanks for stopping by!

******

FamilyandreflectionFSThanks, Shira, for hosting me.

Family and Reflection, book 3 of The Sleepless City—the urban fantasy series which is a joint project between myself and Elizabeth Noble—brought with it the opportunity to explore more about the werewolves in our universe.

One of the reasons for this is that one of the point-of-view characters for this book is werewolf Lucas Coate. Family is very important to werewolves, as is their pack or wider family. Jacob Coate, Lucas’s father, has a larger role in Family and Reflection, as does his sister Anita. Werewolves come from a long line of traditions. Lucas doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with his father or the pack about it and believes that the pack needs to move with the times in order to survive. The Supernatural Council plays a bigger role in Family and Reflection than in previous books in the series too. Lucas’s father is not just alpha of the Coate pack, but also leader of the council.

The other reason is because Lucas learns about a plague of werewolf Shades 200x300deaths in the area and wants to help. This causes a few problems as werewolves have been taught as children to mistrust vampires, and Lucas lives with, and is friends with, a group of vampires.  He met Simon and Forge—two of the vampires he shares Boggs’s Castle with—ten years ago. Lucas helped them to solve not only the case they were working on, but others too.  After a bad argument with his father led to him being thrown out of home, Lucas came to live with the two vampires. His friendship with them is barely tolerated by his father and the pack, and he has already been warned that another transgression will be his last.

ElectricCandleWerewolves have always fascinated me. Their dual nature of both man and wolf is something I’d love to explore more. In The Sleepless City mythos werewolves are born rather than made, and they have rich history of tradition in which family/pack is very important. They also have their own legends, one of which plays an important part in this story.

 

Family and Reflection

Book 3 of The Sleepless City, Sequel to Electric Candle

For as long as Lucas Coate can remember, werewolves have been taught to mistrust vampires. Lucas is an exception—he has close friends who are vampires. The werewolf pack in Flint—and their leader, Jacob Coate—have made it clear that Lucas’s association with vampires is barely tolerated, and another transgression will be his last. When Lucas finds out about the plague of werewolf deaths in the area, he wants to help even though his own life may already be in danger.

Declan has been away from Flint for ten years, but he isn’t surprised to learn that the internal politics of the Supernatural Council haven’t changed for the better. When a series of burglaries hit close to home soon after he arrives, Declan—a vampire and professional thief—is their prime suspect, although for once, he isn’t responsible. With the council keeping secrets, no one is safe. Time is running out, and for Lucas and Declan, everything is about to change.

Buy links:

eBook: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6464

Paperback: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6465

Familyandreflection_headerbannerExcerpt:

Declan turned the page of his book, read the first paragraph, then shook his head. He wasn’t sure why he’d bothered, as he couldn’t for the life of him remember what had happened on the previous page, let alone in the last few chapters. He closed the book with a thump, got up from the table, went over to the fridge, and opened it.

He wasn’t hungry, but if he had been, the mold-covered plate on one of the shelves would have put him off whatever else had taken his fancy. Someone really needed to have a word with Lucas about leaving his science experiments to breed. Declan lifted the plate somewhat cautiously and sniffed it, then wished he hadn’t. City coroner or not, this wasn’t… normal. Normal people cleaned out their leftovers before they got the chance to become strange new life forms.

Even if, in this case, his definition of normal was a werewolf.

But, despite his reaction, Declan couldn’t bring himself to throw the—whatever it was—away. To him it was disgusting, but to Lucas it might be some new discovery crucial to whatever he was currently working on. And Declan didn’t want to upset Lucas. In the short time they’d known each other, he’d become quite fond of Lucas, and enjoyed the time they spent together.

Declan sighed. He returned the offending thing to its previous resting place, ignoring the visions of reanimated zombie leftovers creeping up the stairs to attack him in the middle of the night, and instead got a wineglass out of the cupboard. He poured himself a decent-sized portion of his favorite red beverage and settled back down on the chair he’d recently vacated. As much as he enjoyed a good vintage wine, there were times when one had to quench one’s other thirsts. He sniffed the glass and savored the aroma before swallowing.

Hmm, not bad. It was amazing the standard of blood available to purchase through the right sources. It made it so much easier to feed than it used to be, and less messy too.

He heard the light step on the stairs and human heartbeat long before Ben reached the kitchen and stood awkwardly in the doorway.

“Hello, Ben,” Declan said. “Don’t worry, you’re not disturbing me.”

“If you’re sure?” Ben Leyton ran one hand through his thick dark hair. He looked tired. “I couldn’t sleep, so I thought I’d make a Milo and see if that helps.”

“I heard Simon having a nightmare earlier. He never did sleep well on anniversaries.” He’d known Simon Hawthorne a long time; Jonas Forge had introduced them shortly after Simon had been turned. Declan had also helped Simon through a dark part of his life, triggered by the events he suspected had prompted this particular nightmare, given the time of year. “I also don’t mind if you turn on the light.”

Although Declan didn’t need much light to see, especially with the full moon casting its glow into the room, Ben would appreciate more illumination.

“Yeah, well, they’re the worst times for most people, I guess.” Ben flicked on the light switch before walking across the kitchen. He filled the kettle and put it on to boil before reaching into the cupboard and bringing down a green can. “Do you want some? It’s a chocolate drink.”

“Thank you but no.” Declan indicated the glass in front of him.

The loud howl almost made him jump, and only years of practiced self-control stopped him. Even so, Declan’s hairs stood on end on the back of his neck, and the howl sent a shiver through him.

Lucas howled again. Frustration, anger, and loss all rolled into a sound that was pure wolf.

Declan knocked his glass over, spilling its contents. Without thinking, he moved at vampire speed, catching what was left of the blood in his palm and drinking deeply.

The glass fell to the floor, smashing into tiny pieces. He ignored it and finished the blood, then wiped the back of his hand across his mouth. A low growl escaped his lips. He knew his eyes were completely green. They tended to do that when his fangs extended.

When he looked up, Ben was staring at him, his eyes wide. “I’ll clean up the mess, shall I?” Ben said hurriedly, already heading for the broom.

“Don’t worry,” Declan said. “I’ll do it. Make your chocolate drink, mon ami. It’s my mess, so my responsibility, yes?”

Familyandreflection_headerbannerBio: Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth.

Anne’s books have twice received honorable mentions and twice reached the finals in the Rainbow Awards.

Blog: http://anne-barwell.livejournal.com/

Website: http://annebarwell.wordpress.com/

Coffee Unicorns: http://coffeeunicorns.wordpress.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anne.barwell.1

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/115084832208481414034/posts

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4862410.Anne_Barwell

Dreamspinner Press Author Page:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/anne-barwell

 

Mermen of Ea Series 25% off at Dreamspinner Press!

MermenofEa_FBThe entire Mermen of Ea Series is 25% through June 25th at Dreamspinner Press! That’s both ebooks and paperbacks, by the way, in case you prefer your beach read to be a “real” book! And if you’ve read the entire series and still crave a little more, I’ve posted the entire cabin boy free ficlet, Wind and Water, here on my website!

The Mermen of Ea stories are romance above everything, but they also combine mystery, magic, and adventure. Think along the lines of Lord of the Rings and other fantasy series, but with an HEA (always!).

I’m so excited to share the complete saga of my mermen, and I’m thrilled to see all the wonderful reviews for the series and this last book! Don’t forget to enter the blog tour contest to win some cool mer-themed prizes (and there are prizes for non-US entrants as well, including an audiobook copy of Stealing the Wind! Here’s the link to the giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can read an excerpt from Running with the Wind below (spoiler warning for books 1 and 2!). Happy reading! -Shira

RunningWithTheWind-colorsREVHearts on Fire Reviews:

5 stars – “I’ve never been a fan of fantasy, yet this fantasy series ranks high on my list of all-time favorite series, and I can’t recommend it highly enough to all lovers of M/M romance.” -Barb

My Fiction Nook:

5-stars. “Running” is smart and fun, not to mention well-written. And, *gasp*, the intricate plot actually makes sense, so I was engrossed from start to finish.” -Todd

Carly’s Book Reviews:

5 Stars – “Dramatic, sensual, emotional, suspenseful, romantic, fantastic… there just aren’t enough words to adequately describe this stunning series!”IntoWind

Bike Book Reviews:

5 pink shells – “After all the anguish and uncertainty from Into the Wind, we get to finally know all the turns in Taren and Ian’s life to fulfill their Destiny, and wow, I couldn’t put this book down… My heart went out to Ian and Taren, while they tried to put their fears and doubts to rest and trust in their bond, in the love, so prepare yourself for one more great ride through the EA world.

Prism Book Alliance:

4.75 Stars – “What a treat you have in store if you have yet to read these books.”

Stealing the Wind Cover - FINALScattered Thoughts and Rogue Words:

4.5 Stars – “It was a wonderful ride, I loved every minute and word of it.”

The Novel Approach:

5 Stars – “I absolutely, whole-heartedly recommend it. Go! Read! Now!” – Jules

Here’s the list of blogs participating in the tour and links:

1-Jun Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings
1-Jun Tara Lain
2-Jun Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
3-Jun My Fiction Nook
4-Jun Amanda C. Stone
5-Jun Carly’s Book Reviews
8-Jun Bayou Book Junkie
9-Jun Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
10-Jun Decadent Delights
11-Jun MM Good Book Reviews
12-Jun Inked Rainbow Reads
15-Jun Divine Magazine
16-Jun Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves
17-Jun BFD Book Blog
18-Jun The Novel Approach
19-Jun Because Two Men Are Better Than One
22-Jun Kimi-Chan
22-Jun Happily Ever Chapter
23-Jun Prism Book Alliance
24-Jun Cate Ashwood
25-Jun Love Bytes
26-Jun Molly Lolly

RunningWithTheWind_headerbannerBlurb: Sequel to Into the Wind

With the final confrontation between the island and mainland Ea factions looming, Taren and Ian sail with Odhrán to investigate a lost colony of merfolk in the Eastern Lands. Upon their arrival, the King of Astenya welcomes them as friends. Odhrán, however, isn’t so quick to trust the descendent of the man who held him prisoner for nearly a decade, especially now that he has someone to cherish and protect—the mysterious winged boy he rescued from the depths.

Armed with the knowledge he believes will save the Ea, Taren returns to the mainland. With Ian at his side, Taren convinces Vurin that their people must unite with their island brethren before it’s too late. When Seria and his men attack, Taren must call upon the ancient power of the rune stone to protect his comrades. But using stone’s immeasurable power commands a hefty price—and Ian fears that price is Taren’s life.

RunningWithTheWind_headerbannerSPOILER WARNING: This excerpt contains spoilers for the first two series books!

Running with the Wind

Excerpt from Chapter One

Ian leaned over the railing as the morning sunlight warmed his shoulders. A few feet away, Taren wrapped a blanket around the shivering boy, who sat with his knees hugged to his chest. He tenderly ruffled the boy’s fiery red hair. The boy leaned into Taren’s touch and made a satisfied sound much like the purr of a cat.

Not a boy, Ian reminded himself. Bastian. An Anuki. The heavenly brethren of the Ea. A dragon shifter reborn from the ashes. True, this freckle-faced dragon child looked nothing like the full-fledged beast who’d nearly killed them the day before, but they knew little of the Anuki. Had it only been a day since Seria’s men had attacked them and they’d lost Rider to Seria’s bullet?

Ian met Taren’s gaze and his grief eased slightly. Taren smiled back, his warm brown eyes hooded with exhaustion and grief, his shoulder-length hair having dried in a tumble of waves. From where he sat on the deck, Bastian watched Odhrán, keenly interested. The sphere they’d discovered not long after the destruction of the Sea Witch—an egg, Ian now knew—had dissolved beneath the water. Bastian had been choking and spluttering when Odhrán had carried him aboard. Since then, Bastian had done little but watch Odhrán with rapt attention.

Like a baby bird watches its mother. Ian frowned at his folly. How easy it was to forget this pathetic creature had destroyed the Sea Witch and nearly killed them all. If Odhrán hadn’t killed the dragon Bastian had become, they’d all have died. And yet Bastian had been reborn.

Bastian glanced up at Taren, blinked several times, then shifted his gaze back to Odhrán, who spoke in hushed tones to one of his crew. The long blond braid down Odhrán’s back dripped onto the deck and left the back of his woolen jacket sodden. Despite the bright blue of his eyes and his youthful features, Odhrán appeared as exhausted as Ian felt.

“A moment of your time?” Ian said after the crewmember trotted off toward the stairs, leaving the four of them alone on the foredeck.

Odhrán nodded and followed Ian amidships, far enough away that Bastian wouldn’t hear.

“Do you think this is wise?” Ian asked with a quick glance back at Taren and Bastian.

“What would you have me do? Leave him to drown?” Odhrán, too, appeared weary. Ian knew he still regretted having killed the fully transformed Bastian.

He couldn’t live without Rider.” Taren’s words echoed in Ian’s mind. Rider—Ian’s oldest friend—had taken a bullet in Ian’s stead. There’d been no time to grieve.

“No.” Ian sighed. “Rider would have wanted us to care for him.” Taren would never have forgiven him for suggesting they leave Bastian to drown, and they’d lost too much to even consider it.

Odhrán nodded curtly and turned his gaze eastward. Now calm in the wake of the storm, the water sparkled with sunlight. Nothing remained of the Sea Witch but a few bits of broken timbers floating restlessly on the waves. Later, all of the men now aboard the Chimera would gather on the deck to remember the Witch’s captain, but for just a moment, Ian could almost imagine Rider at the wheel of his beloved ship.

I’ll miss you, old friend. More than you’ll ever know.

Ian shrugged off his dark thoughts and walked back to Taren. “You should get some sleep.” He squeezed Taren’s shoulder. “Odhrán and I will not let Bastian out of our sight.”

Taren pressed his lips together and nodded. How tired Taren must be that he didn’t even argue!

“I’ll join you in a bit.” Ian pressed his lips to Taren’s warm cheek.

Taren retrieved the blanket that had fallen off Bastian’s shoulders and wrapped it around him again. Naked as Bastian was beneath, Ian caught a glimpse of the wings they’d seen when they’d discovered him on the ocean floor. No longer scaled as they’d been when they’d first pulled Bastian from the water, Bastian’s wings were now covered with feathers and shimmered red, yellow, orange, and fuchsia, iridescent in the sunlight.

“I’ll be back later,” Taren told Bastian with a barely repressed yawn. “I promise.”

Bastian’s eyes revealed little understanding. Had he forgotten everything of his former life? Perhaps he was still too overwhelmed from the shock of the past day’s events to fully comprehend his situation. He’d not uttered a word since they’d brought him aboard.

Taren kissed Ian—a fleeting kiss, but one Ian needed to reassure himself that all had not changed—before heading belowdecks to rest.

Ian met Odhrán at the bow. “He’s like a fledgling,” Ian said, inclining his head in Bastian’s direction, “watching you like a bird might his mother.”

Odhrán’s brow knitted. He’d clearly noticed it as well. “I’ve asked Garan to reinforce the enchantments on the ship’s masts and sails. There’s nothing more to be done.”

“Aye. But if Bastian threatens the ship—”

“Then I’ll be forced to subdue him. Not a prospect I relish, although in his current state, he appears far less powerful than before.” Odhrán studied Bastian once again. “For now, at least, he’s content to be in our company.”

“What do you know of the Anuki?”

“They’re much like the Ea in their ability to shift to human form. I met one centuries ago, but he was nothing like this. Not a child. But what happened with Bastian….”

“Reborn from the ashes.” Ian’s heart ached once again for the loss of Rider.

“My time with one of their kind was brief.” Odhrán stared past Ian as if remembering.

Ian didn’t press the issue. Later, perhaps, he’d ask Odhrán about that encounter. “And his memories of his life with Rider?”

Odhrán shook his head. “I don’t know. I suppose only time will tell.”

Ian clenched his jaw. The realization that Bastian might not remember anything of his love for Rider made Ian’s grief that much greater.

 

Sale and Free Fiction: Mermen of Ea Series

MermenofEa_FBThe entire Mermen of Ea Series is 25% through June 25th at Dreamspinner Press! That’s both ebooks and paperbacks, by the way, in case you prefer your beach read to be a “real” book! And if you’ve read the entire series and still crave a little more, I’ve posted the entire cabin boy free ficlet, Wind and Water, here on my website!

I’m so excited to share the complete saga of my mermen, and I’m thrilled to see all the wonderful reviews for the series and this last book! Don’t forget to enter the blog tour contest to win some cool mer-themed prizes (and there are prizes for non-US entrants as well, including an audiobook copy of Stealing the Wind!

Hearts on Fire Reviews:

5 stars – “I’ve never been a fan of fantasy, yet this fantasy series ranks high on my list of all-time favorite series, and I can’t recommend it highly enough to all lovers of M/M romance.”

My Fiction Nook:

5-stars. “Running” is smart and fun, not to mention well-written. And, *gasp*, the intricate plot actually makes sense, so I was engrossed from start to finish.” -Todd

Carly’s Book Reviews:

5 Stars – “Dramatic, sensual, emotional, suspenseful, romantic, fantastic… there just aren’t enough words to adequately describe this stunning series!”

Bike Book Reviews:

5 pink shells – “After all the anguish and uncertainty from Into the Wind, we get to finally know all the turns in Taren and Ian’s life to fulfill their Destiny, and wow, I couldn’t put this book down… My heart went out to Ian and Taren, while they tried to put their fears and doubts to rest and trust in their bond, in the love, so prepare yourself for one more great ride through the EA world.

Prism Book Alliance:

4.75 Stars – “What a treat you have in store if you have yet to read these books.”

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words:

4.5 Stars – “It was a wonderful ride, I loved every minute and word of it.”

The Novel Approach:

5 Stars – “I absolutely, whole-heartedly recommend it. Go! Read! Now!” – Jules

The Mermen of Ea stories are romance above everything, but they also combine mystery, magic, and adventure. Think along the lines of Lord of the Rings and other fantasy series, but with an HEA (always!).

Don’t forget to enter the Running with the Wind Blog Tour Giveaway contest at Rafflecopter. I’m giving away some fun, nautical themed prizes. The grand prize is a mermen gay marriage ornament from December Diamonds. Here’s the link to the giveaway, which ends July 1st:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can read an excerpt from Running with the Wind below (spoiler warning for books 1 and 2!). Happy reading! -Shira

Here’s the list of blogs participating in the tour and links:

1-Jun Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings
1-Jun Tara Lain
2-Jun Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
3-Jun My Fiction Nook
4-Jun Amanda C. Stone
5-Jun Carly’s Book Reviews
8-Jun Bayou Book Junkie
9-Jun Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
10-Jun Decadent Delights
11-Jun MM Good Book Reviews
12-Jun Inked Rainbow Reads
15-Jun Divine Magazine
16-Jun Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves
17-Jun BFD Book Blog
18-Jun The Novel Approach
19-Jun Because Two Men Are Better Than One
22-Jun Kimi-Chan
22-Jun Happily Ever Chapter
23-Jun Prism Book Alliance
24-Jun Cate Ashwood
25-Jun Love Bytes
26-Jun Molly Lolly

RunningWithTheWind_headerbannerBlurb: Sequel to Into the Wind

With the final confrontation between the island and mainland Ea factions looming, Taren and Ian sail with Odhrán to investigate a lost colony of merfolk in the Eastern Lands. Upon their arrival, the King of Astenya welcomes them as friends. Odhrán, however, isn’t so quick to trust the descendent of the man who held him prisoner for nearly a decade, especially now that he has someone to cherish and protect—the mysterious winged boy he rescued from the depths.

Armed with the knowledge he believes will save the Ea, Taren returns to the mainland. With Ian at his side, Taren convinces Vurin that their people must unite with their island brethren before it’s too late. When Seria and his men attack, Taren must call upon the ancient power of the rune stone to protect his comrades. But using stone’s immeasurable power commands a hefty price—and Ian fears that price is Taren’s life.

RunningWithTheWind_headerbannerSPOILER WARNING: This excerpt contains spoilers for the first two series books!

Running with the Wind

Excerpt from Chapter One

Ian leaned over the railing as the morning sunlight warmed his shoulders. A few feet away, Taren wrapped a blanket around the shivering boy, who sat with his knees hugged to his chest. He tenderly ruffled the boy’s fiery red hair. The boy leaned into Taren’s touch and made a satisfied sound much like the purr of a cat.

Not a boy, Ian reminded himself. Bastian. An Anuki. The heavenly brethren of the Ea. A dragon shifter reborn from the ashes. True, this freckle-faced dragon child looked nothing like the full-fledged beast who’d nearly killed them the day before, but they knew little of the Anuki. Had it only been a day since Seria’s men had attacked them and they’d lost Rider to Seria’s bullet?

Ian met Taren’s gaze and his grief eased slightly. Taren smiled back, his warm brown eyes hooded with exhaustion and grief, his shoulder-length hair having dried in a tumble of waves. From where he sat on the deck, Bastian watched Odhrán, keenly interested. The sphere they’d discovered not long after the destruction of the Sea Witch—an egg, Ian now knew—had dissolved beneath the water. Bastian had been choking and spluttering when Odhrán had carried him aboard. Since then, Bastian had done little but watch Odhrán with rapt attention.

Like a baby bird watches its mother. Ian frowned at his folly. How easy it was to forget this pathetic creature had destroyed the Sea Witch and nearly killed them all. If Odhrán hadn’t killed the dragon Bastian had become, they’d all have died. And yet Bastian had been reborn.

Bastian glanced up at Taren, blinked several times, then shifted his gaze back to Odhrán, who spoke in hushed tones to one of his crew. The long blond braid down Odhrán’s back dripped onto the deck and left the back of his woolen jacket sodden. Despite the bright blue of his eyes and his youthful features, Odhrán appeared as exhausted as Ian felt.

“A moment of your time?” Ian said after the crewmember trotted off toward the stairs, leaving the four of them alone on the foredeck.

Odhrán nodded and followed Ian amidships, far enough away that Bastian wouldn’t hear.

“Do you think this is wise?” Ian asked with a quick glance back at Taren and Bastian.

“What would you have me do? Leave him to drown?” Odhrán, too, appeared weary. Ian knew he still regretted having killed the fully transformed Bastian.

He couldn’t live without Rider.” Taren’s words echoed in Ian’s mind. Rider—Ian’s oldest friend—had taken a bullet in Ian’s stead. There’d been no time to grieve.

“No.” Ian sighed. “Rider would have wanted us to care for him.” Taren would never have forgiven him for suggesting they leave Bastian to drown, and they’d lost too much to even consider it.

Odhrán nodded curtly and turned his gaze eastward. Now calm in the wake of the storm, the water sparkled with sunlight. Nothing remained of the Sea Witch but a few bits of broken timbers floating restlessly on the waves. Later, all of the men now aboard the Chimera would gather on the deck to remember the Witch’s captain, but for just a moment, Ian could almost imagine Rider at the wheel of his beloved ship.

I’ll miss you, old friend. More than you’ll ever know.

Ian shrugged off his dark thoughts and walked back to Taren. “You should get some sleep.” He squeezed Taren’s shoulder. “Odhrán and I will not let Bastian out of our sight.”

Taren pressed his lips together and nodded. How tired Taren must be that he didn’t even argue!

“I’ll join you in a bit.” Ian pressed his lips to Taren’s warm cheek.

Taren retrieved the blanket that had fallen off Bastian’s shoulders and wrapped it around him again. Naked as Bastian was beneath, Ian caught a glimpse of the wings they’d seen when they’d discovered him on the ocean floor. No longer scaled as they’d been when they’d first pulled Bastian from the water, Bastian’s wings were now covered with feathers and shimmered red, yellow, orange, and fuchsia, iridescent in the sunlight.

“I’ll be back later,” Taren told Bastian with a barely repressed yawn. “I promise.”

Bastian’s eyes revealed little understanding. Had he forgotten everything of his former life? Perhaps he was still too overwhelmed from the shock of the past day’s events to fully comprehend his situation. He’d not uttered a word since they’d brought him aboard.

Taren kissed Ian—a fleeting kiss, but one Ian needed to reassure himself that all had not changed—before heading belowdecks to rest.

Ian met Odhrán at the bow. “He’s like a fledgling,” Ian said, inclining his head in Bastian’s direction, “watching you like a bird might his mother.”

Odhrán’s brow knitted. He’d clearly noticed it as well. “I’ve asked Garan to reinforce the enchantments on the ship’s masts and sails. There’s nothing more to be done.”

“Aye. But if Bastian threatens the ship—”

“Then I’ll be forced to subdue him. Not a prospect I relish, although in his current state, he appears far less powerful than before.” Odhrán studied Bastian once again. “For now, at least, he’s content to be in our company.”

“What do you know of the Anuki?”

“They’re much like the Ea in their ability to shift to human form. I met one centuries ago, but he was nothing like this. Not a child. But what happened with Bastian….”

“Reborn from the ashes.” Ian’s heart ached once again for the loss of Rider.

“My time with one of their kind was brief.” Odhrán stared past Ian as if remembering.

Ian didn’t press the issue. Later, perhaps, he’d ask Odhrán about that encounter. “And his memories of his life with Rider?”

Odhrán shook his head. “I don’t know. I suppose only time will tell.”

Ian clenched his jaw. The realization that Bastian might not remember anything of his love for Rider made Ian’s grief that much greater.

 

EM Lynley’s Sexy Gem Boys are back and they’re 24-Karat!

24-Karat Conspiracy and Lapiz Pendant Giveaway

 

Action? Check. Suspense? Check. Romance? Check, check, CHECK!

24-KaratConspiracyLG

I’m so excited to announce my upcoming release 24-Karat Conspiracy!

The ultra-talented Anne Cain hits it out of the park again with a cover that conveys the excitement of this book, a golden blend of action, romance, adventure and mystery.

24-Karat Conspiracy is Book 4 in the Precious Gems Series, but I’ve been planning this book since I wrote Italian Ice in 2011. This installment in the series is truly Reed’s story. You’ll learn things about him I’ve had to keep under my hat for ages, and I’m thrilled and relieved to be able to share them with you now.

And if you pre-order, you’ll also get a bonus freebie story! To claim your bonus, e-mail your pre-order receipt to me (emlynley@gmail.com)

But wait, there’s more:

Win this gorgeous lapis lazuli pendant!

lapis pendant300

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Here’s more about 24-Karat Conspiracy by EM Lynley

Love is the only gold

Former Ranger turned FBI agent Reed Acton faces his biggest challenge yet: a Christmas visit from partner Trent Copeland’s parents. He’s less equipped to handle hugs and holidays than the Taliban or international art thieves. When he’s assigned to track down a set of gold Babylonian artifacts looted from the Iraqi National Museum after the fall of Baghdad, things start to look up.

 

This time, Trent’s part of the mission, which takes them to exotic Istanbul. The crowded streets and labyrinthine markets fascinate Trent, but soon murder is on their trail. The investigation continues as Reed goes undercover at a US Army base, with Trent masquerading as his spouse. Surprisingly, fastidious and ever-fashionable Trent fits into base life right away and soon takes one of the suspects’ wives under his wing when domestic abuse rears its head.

 

Their faux marriage leads Reed to appreciate Trent in ways he never expected, strengthening their bond—until Reed has to confront the worst demons from his past: his relationship with his estranged family.

You can (pre)order this book at Amazon, Dreamspinner Press and All Romance

Read an extended excerpt at my website.

Please check out the rest of the Precious Gems Series at Amazon, Dreamspinner, All Romance, or your favorite bookseller. (24-Karat Conspiracy may not be available at all distributors until release day, 12 June).

About EM Lynley

EM at GRL book signing3EM Lynley writes gay romance with a touch of mystery and suspense. She loves books where the hero gets the guy and the loving is 11 on a scale of 10. A Rainbow Award winner and EPIC finalist, EM has worked in high finance, high tech, and in the wine industry, though she’d rather be writing hot, romantic man-on-man action. She spent 10 years as an economist and financial analyst, including a year as a White House Staff Economist, but only because all the intern positions were filled. Tired of boring herself and others with dry business reports and articles, her creative muse is back and naughtier than ever. She has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., but the San Francisco Bay Area is home for now.

She is the author of Sex, Lies & Wedding Bells, the Precious Gems series from Dreamspinner Press, and the Rewriting History series starring a sexy jewel thief, among others.

Visit her online WebsiteBlogFree ReadsFacebookTwitterNewsletterPinterest

 

 

Release Day: Running with the Wind!

RunningWithTheWind_FBbanner_DSPToday is release day for Running with the Wind, the final installment in the Mermen of Ea Series from Dreamspinner Press. Haven’t started the series yet? The first book, Stealing the Wind, is 35% off at Dreamspinner Press through midnight tonight, June 8th!

You’ll find the 2nd installment of the Mermen of Ea mini-fic over at Bayou Book Junkie today. The 1st installment is at Amanda C. Stone’s blog. And, of course, the blog tour contest is ongoing at Rafflecopter. It’s easy to enter (and you can enter daily) to win one of the cool nautical-themed prizes! Here’s the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway (open for entries until July 1st):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can read an excerpt from Running with the Wind below (spoiler warning for books 1 and 2!). Please help me celebrate the completion of the Mermen of Ea Series! Oh, and happy reading! -Shira

Here’s the list of blogs participating in the tour and links:

1-Jun Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings
1-Jun Tara Lain
2-Jun Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
3-Jun My Fiction Nook
4-Jun Amanda C. Stone
5-Jun Carly’s Book Reviews
8-Jun Bayou Book Junkie
9-Jun Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
10-Jun Decadent Delights
11-Jun MM Good Book Reviews
12-Jun Inked Rainbow Reads
15-Jun Divine Magazine
16-Jun Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves
17-Jun BFD Book Blog
18-Jun The Novel Approach
19-Jun Because Two Men Are Better Than One
22-Jun Kimi-Chan
22-Jun Happily Ever Chapter
23-Jun Prism Book Alliance
24-Jun Cate Ashwood
25-Jun Love Bytes
26-Jun Molly Lolly

RunningWithTheWind_headerbannerBlurb: Sequel to Into the Wind

With the final confrontation between the island and mainland Ea factions looming, Taren and Ian sail with Odhrán to investigate a lost colony of merfolk in the Eastern Lands. Upon their arrival, the King of Astenya welcomes them as friends. Odhrán, however, isn’t so quick to trust the descendent of the man who held him prisoner for nearly a decade, especially now that he has someone to cherish and protect—the mysterious winged boy he rescued from the depths.

Armed with the knowledge he believes will save the Ea, Taren returns to the mainland. With Ian at his side, Taren convinces Vurin that their people must unite with their island brethren before it’s too late. When Seria and his men attack, Taren must call upon the ancient power of the rune stone to protect his comrades. But using stone’s immeasurable power commands a hefty price—and Ian fears that price is Taren’s life.

RunningWithTheWind_headerbannerSPOILER WARNING: This excerpt contains spoilers for the first two series books!

Running with the Wind

Excerpt from Chapter One

Ian leaned over the railing as the morning sunlight warmed his shoulders. A few feet away, Taren wrapped a blanket around the shivering boy, who sat with his knees hugged to his chest. He tenderly ruffled the boy’s fiery red hair. The boy leaned into Taren’s touch and made a satisfied sound much like the purr of a cat.

Not a boy, Ian reminded himself. Bastian. An Anuki. The heavenly brethren of the Ea. A dragon shifter reborn from the ashes. True, this freckle-faced dragon child looked nothing like the full-fledged beast who’d nearly killed them the day before, but they knew little of the Anuki. Had it only been a day since Seria’s men had attacked them and they’d lost Rider to Seria’s bullet?

Ian met Taren’s gaze and his grief eased slightly. Taren smiled back, his warm brown eyes hooded with exhaustion and grief, his shoulder-length hair having dried in a tumble of waves. From where he sat on the deck, Bastian watched Odhrán, keenly interested. The sphere they’d discovered not long after the destruction of the Sea Witch—an egg, Ian now knew—had dissolved beneath the water. Bastian had been choking and spluttering when Odhrán had carried him aboard. Since then, Bastian had done little but watch Odhrán with rapt attention.

Like a baby bird watches its mother. Ian frowned at his folly. How easy it was to forget this pathetic creature had destroyed the Sea Witch and nearly killed them all. If Odhrán hadn’t killed the dragon Bastian had become, they’d all have died. And yet Bastian had been reborn.

Bastian glanced up at Taren, blinked several times, then shifted his gaze back to Odhrán, who spoke in hushed tones to one of his crew. The long blond braid down Odhrán’s back dripped onto the deck and left the back of his woolen jacket sodden. Despite the bright blue of his eyes and his youthful features, Odhrán appeared as exhausted as Ian felt.

“A moment of your time?” Ian said after the crewmember trotted off toward the stairs, leaving the four of them alone on the foredeck.

Odhrán nodded and followed Ian amidships, far enough away that Bastian wouldn’t hear.

“Do you think this is wise?” Ian asked with a quick glance back at Taren and Bastian.

“What would you have me do? Leave him to drown?” Odhrán, too, appeared weary. Ian knew he still regretted having killed the fully transformed Bastian.

He couldn’t live without Rider.” Taren’s words echoed in Ian’s mind. Rider—Ian’s oldest friend—had taken a bullet in Ian’s stead. There’d been no time to grieve.

“No.” Ian sighed. “Rider would have wanted us to care for him.” Taren would never have forgiven him for suggesting they leave Bastian to drown, and they’d lost too much to even consider it.

Odhrán nodded curtly and turned his gaze eastward. Now calm in the wake of the storm, the water sparkled with sunlight. Nothing remained of the Sea Witch but a few bits of broken timbers floating restlessly on the waves. Later, all of the men now aboard the Chimera would gather on the deck to remember the Witch’s captain, but for just a moment, Ian could almost imagine Rider at the wheel of his beloved ship.

I’ll miss you, old friend. More than you’ll ever know.

Ian shrugged off his dark thoughts and walked back to Taren. “You should get some sleep.” He squeezed Taren’s shoulder. “Odhrán and I will not let Bastian out of our sight.”

Taren pressed his lips together and nodded. How tired Taren must be that he didn’t even argue!

“I’ll join you in a bit.” Ian pressed his lips to Taren’s warm cheek.

Taren retrieved the blanket that had fallen off Bastian’s shoulders and wrapped it around him again. Naked as Bastian was beneath, Ian caught a glimpse of the wings they’d seen when they’d discovered him on the ocean floor. No longer scaled as they’d been when they’d first pulled Bastian from the water, Bastian’s wings were now covered with feathers and shimmered red, yellow, orange, and fuchsia, iridescent in the sunlight.

“I’ll be back later,” Taren told Bastian with a barely repressed yawn. “I promise.”

Bastian’s eyes revealed little understanding. Had he forgotten everything of his former life? Perhaps he was still too overwhelmed from the shock of the past day’s events to fully comprehend his situation. He’d not uttered a word since they’d brought him aboard.

Taren kissed Ian—a fleeting kiss, but one Ian needed to reassure himself that all had not changed—before heading belowdecks to rest.

Ian met Odhrán at the bow. “He’s like a fledgling,” Ian said, inclining his head in Bastian’s direction, “watching you like a bird might his mother.”

Odhrán’s brow knitted. He’d clearly noticed it as well. “I’ve asked Garan to reinforce the enchantments on the ship’s masts and sails. There’s nothing more to be done.”

“Aye. But if Bastian threatens the ship—”

“Then I’ll be forced to subdue him. Not a prospect I relish, although in his current state, he appears far less powerful than before.” Odhrán studied Bastian once again. “For now, at least, he’s content to be in our company.”

“What do you know of the Anuki?”

“They’re much like the Ea in their ability to shift to human form. I met one centuries ago, but he was nothing like this. Not a child. But what happened with Bastian….”

“Reborn from the ashes.” Ian’s heart ached once again for the loss of Rider.

“My time with one of their kind was brief.” Odhrán stared past Ian as if remembering.

Ian didn’t press the issue. Later, perhaps, he’d ask Odhrán about that encounter. “And his memories of his life with Rider?”

Odhrán shook his head. “I don’t know. I suppose only time will tell.”

Ian clenched his jaw. The realization that Bastian might not remember anything of his love for Rider made Ian’s grief that much greater.

Free Mermen of Ea Flash Fiction!

MermenofEa_FBJust a few more days to go until June 8th, when Running with the Wind, the final installment in the Mermen of Ea Series, will be released by Dreamspinner Press. And what better way to celebrate than with some original free fiction based on the series characters!

Today I’m sharing the first of three installments in a flash fiction story featuring Aine and Fiall, the cabin boys of the Phantom and the Sea Witch. Set sometime during the last book in the series, the story is a short look at a budding friendship between these two teenagers that may just turn into something more.

You can find the first installment on Amanda C. Stone’s blog today. Follow the tour for the last two installments! Oh, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway for some really cool prizes. Also, read down for an excerpt from the final series book (Spoiler warning for the first two series books!). Enjoy! -Shira
Here’s the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway, which is open for entries until July 1st:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here’s the list of blogs participating in the tour and links:

1-Jun Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings
1-Jun Tara Lain
2-Jun Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
3-Jun My Fiction Nook
4-Jun Amanda C. Stone
5-Jun Carly’s Book Reviews
8-Jun Bayou Book Junkie
9-Jun Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
10-Jun Decadent Delights
11-Jun MM Good Book Reviews
12-Jun Inked Rainbow Reads
15-Jun Divine Magazine
16-Jun Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves
17-Jun BFD Book Blog
18-Jun The Novel Approach
19-Jun Because Two Men Are Better Than One
22-Jun Kimi-Chan
22-Jun Happily Ever Chapter
23-Jun Prism Book Alliance
24-Jun Cate Ashwood
25-Jun Love Bytes
26-Jun Molly Lolly

RunningWithTheWind_headerbannerBlurb: Sequel to Into the Wind

With the final confrontation between the island and mainland Ea factions looming, Taren and Ian sail with Odhrán to investigate a lost colony of merfolk in the Eastern Lands. Upon their arrival, the King of Astenya welcomes them as friends. Odhrán, however, isn’t so quick to trust the descendent of the man who held him prisoner for nearly a decade, especially now that he has someone to cherish and protect—the mysterious winged boy he rescued from the depths.

Armed with the knowledge he believes will save the Ea, Taren returns to the mainland. With Ian at his side, Taren convinces Vurin that their people must unite with their island brethren before it’s too late. When Seria and his men attack, Taren must call upon the ancient power of the rune stone to protect his comrades. But using stone’s immeasurable power commands a hefty price—and Ian fears that price is Taren’s life.

RunningWithTheWind_headerbannerSPOILER WARNING: This excerpt contains spoilers for the first two series books!

Running with the Wind

Excerpt from Chapter One

Ian leaned over the railing as the morning sunlight warmed his shoulders. A few feet away, Taren wrapped a blanket around the shivering boy, who sat with his knees hugged to his chest. He tenderly ruffled the boy’s fiery red hair. The boy leaned into Taren’s touch and made a satisfied sound much like the purr of a cat.

Not a boy, Ian reminded himself. Bastian. An Anuki. The heavenly brethren of the Ea. A dragon shifter reborn from the ashes. True, this freckle-faced dragon child looked nothing like the full-fledged beast who’d nearly killed them the day before, but they knew little of the Anuki. Had it only been a day since Seria’s men had attacked them and they’d lost Rider to Seria’s bullet?

Ian met Taren’s gaze and his grief eased slightly. Taren smiled back, his warm brown eyes hooded with exhaustion and grief, his shoulder-length hair having dried in a tumble of waves. From where he sat on the deck, Bastian watched Odhrán, keenly interested. The sphere they’d discovered not long after the destruction of the Sea Witch—an egg, Ian now knew—had dissolved beneath the water. Bastian had been choking and spluttering when Odhrán had carried him aboard. Since then, Bastian had done little but watch Odhrán with rapt attention.

Like a baby bird watches its mother. Ian frowned at his folly. How easy it was to forget this pathetic creature had destroyed the Sea Witch and nearly killed them all. If Odhrán hadn’t killed the dragon Bastian had become, they’d all have died. And yet Bastian had been reborn.

Bastian glanced up at Taren, blinked several times, then shifted his gaze back to Odhrán, who spoke in hushed tones to one of his crew. The long blond braid down Odhrán’s back dripped onto the deck and left the back of his woolen jacket sodden. Despite the bright blue of his eyes and his youthful features, Odhrán appeared as exhausted as Ian felt.

“A moment of your time?” Ian said after the crewmember trotted off toward the stairs, leaving the four of them alone on the foredeck.

Odhrán nodded and followed Ian amidships, far enough away that Bastian wouldn’t hear.

“Do you think this is wise?” Ian asked with a quick glance back at Taren and Bastian.

“What would you have me do? Leave him to drown?” Odhrán, too, appeared weary. Ian knew he still regretted having killed the fully transformed Bastian.

He couldn’t live without Rider.” Taren’s words echoed in Ian’s mind. Rider—Ian’s oldest friend—had taken a bullet in Ian’s stead. There’d been no time to grieve.

“No.” Ian sighed. “Rider would have wanted us to care for him.” Taren would never have forgiven him for suggesting they leave Bastian to drown, and they’d lost too much to even consider it.

Odhrán nodded curtly and turned his gaze eastward. Now calm in the wake of the storm, the water sparkled with sunlight. Nothing remained of the Sea Witch but a few bits of broken timbers floating restlessly on the waves. Later, all of the men now aboard the Chimera would gather on the deck to remember the Witch’s captain, but for just a moment, Ian could almost imagine Rider at the wheel of his beloved ship.

I’ll miss you, old friend. More than you’ll ever know.

Ian shrugged off his dark thoughts and walked back to Taren. “You should get some sleep.” He squeezed Taren’s shoulder. “Odhrán and I will not let Bastian out of our sight.”

Taren pressed his lips together and nodded. How tired Taren must be that he didn’t even argue!

“I’ll join you in a bit.” Ian pressed his lips to Taren’s warm cheek.

Taren retrieved the blanket that had fallen off Bastian’s shoulders and wrapped it around him again. Naked as Bastian was beneath, Ian caught a glimpse of the wings they’d seen when they’d discovered him on the ocean floor. No longer scaled as they’d been when they’d first pulled Bastian from the water, Bastian’s wings were now covered with feathers and shimmered red, yellow, orange, and fuchsia, iridescent in the sunlight.

“I’ll be back later,” Taren told Bastian with a barely repressed yawn. “I promise.”

Bastian’s eyes revealed little understanding. Had he forgotten everything of his former life? Perhaps he was still too overwhelmed from the shock of the past day’s events to fully comprehend his situation. He’d not uttered a word since they’d brought him aboard.

Taren kissed Ian—a fleeting kiss, but one Ian needed to reassure himself that all had not changed—before heading belowdecks to rest.

Ian met Odhrán at the bow. “He’s like a fledgling,” Ian said, inclining his head in Bastian’s direction, “watching you like a bird might his mother.”

Odhrán’s brow knitted. He’d clearly noticed it as well. “I’ve asked Garan to reinforce the enchantments on the ship’s masts and sails. There’s nothing more to be done.”

“Aye. But if Bastian threatens the ship—”

“Then I’ll be forced to subdue him. Not a prospect I relish, although in his current state, he appears far less powerful than before.” Odhrán studied Bastian once again. “For now, at least, he’s content to be in our company.”

“What do you know of the Anuki?”

“They’re much like the Ea in their ability to shift to human form. I met one centuries ago, but he was nothing like this. Not a child. But what happened with Bastian….”

“Reborn from the ashes.” Ian’s heart ached once again for the loss of Rider.

“My time with one of their kind was brief.” Odhrán stared past Ian as if remembering.

Ian didn’t press the issue. Later, perhaps, he’d ask Odhrán about that encounter. “And his memories of his life with Rider?”

Odhrán shook his head. “I don’t know. I suppose only time will tell.”

Ian clenched his jaw. The realization that Bastian might not remember anything of his love for Rider made Ian’s grief that much greater.

It’s all over!

MermenofEa_FBWhen June 8th arrives, I’ll be saying a sad goodbye to the characters of my Mermen of Ea Series. That’s when Running with the Wind,  the final installment, will be released by Dreamspinner Press. And man, has it been a great ride!

Many of you know that the series started out as a pirate romance, single novel, with a captor/captive vibe. But about three chapters into the original story, one of my characters, Taren Laxley, decided he was a merman shifter.

I’ve never been a huge shifter story fan, although I’ve read some I’ve RunningWithTheWind-colorsREVenjoyed. So here I am with this character who won’t stop telling me he’s a merman and a shifter. And did I mention my husband and I had just gotten our open water scuba certification in the Caribbean? Or how we’d recently seen a huge school of dolphins from our sailboat at the North Carolina coast? I’m not a pushover, but I know when I’ve lost the battle….

I’d never read a story about a merman before. And honesty, that’s probably a good thing, since I wanted to come up with my own take on mermen. So building on the idea of The Little Mermaid, by Hans Christian Anderson, I imagined merfolk who could shift in and out of their merfoms and live on either land or under the water. And huge fantasy reader that I am, that led to thoughts of magic and an overarching mission along the lines of Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Ring trilogy.

So a single book became and epic three-novel series that follows Taren Laxley from slave to savior of his people. And as I envisioned that huge project, the first thing I said (other than, “Holy shit!”) was, “I need help.” That help came in the form of nearly a half a dozen 55-90824_december_diamonds_ornament_groomsbeta readers who held my hand through the books and gave me their unvarnished criticism and valuable advice. I owe special thanks to Tali Spencer and Cody Kennedy, who went beyond the typical beta read and helped me work through some particularly challenging scenes.

Is there a future for my mermen beyond the Mermen of Ea Series? There is a story involving two secondary characters I hope to someday tell, but which would not have worked in the context of Taren’s story. If that story is written, it will certainly include some of the other series characters. You’ll also find a very short flash fiction story during the Running with the Wind Blog Tour featuring the two cabin boys, human and merman, from the Phantom and the Sea Witch.

Haven’t read the first two books? Looking for the last one?  I’ve got excerpts here on my website you can find by clicking on the “Books” tab, and I’ve got an excerpt from the last book below (spoiler warning on that one if you haven’t read the other 2 series books) Here’s the buylink for Running with the Wind: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6455! And you can find the complete series on Dreamspinner Press’s website: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=914

Be sure to get yourself entered in the blog tour giveaway for a chance to win. There are 3 great prizes up for grabs, including this amazing ornament from December Diamonds. Not in the US? I’ve got some great alternative prizes, including a free download of the audiobook version of Stealing the Wind if you win the grand prize!

 

Here’s the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway, which is open for entries until July 1st:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here’s the list of blogs participating in the tour and links:

1-Jun Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings
1-Jun Tara Lain
2-Jun Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
3-Jun My Fiction Nook
4-Jun Amanda C. Stone
5-Jun Carly’s Book Reviews
8-Jun Bayou Book Junkie
9-Jun Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
10-Jun Decadent Delights
11-Jun MM Good Book Reviews
12-Jun Inked Rainbow Reads
15-Jun Divine Magazine
16-Jun Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves
17-Jun BFD Book Blog
18-Jun The Novel Approach
19-Jun Because Two Men Are Better Than One
22-Jun Kimi-Chan
22-Jun Happily Ever Chapter
23-Jun Prism Book Alliance
24-Jun Cate Ashwood
25-Jun Love Bytes
26-Jun Molly Lolly

I can’t wait to share this last series book with you! I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Read on down for an excerpt from the beginning of series, when we first meet a very young Taren Laxley. -Shira

RunningWithTheWind_headerbannerBlurb: Sequel to Into the Wind

With the final confrontation between the island and mainland Ea factions looming, Taren and Ian sail with Odhrán to investigate a lost colony of merfolk in the Eastern Lands. Upon their arrival, the King of Astenya welcomes them as friends. Odhrán, however, isn’t so quick to trust the descendent of the man who held him prisoner for nearly a decade, especially now that he has someone to cherish and protect—the mysterious winged boy he rescued from the depths.

Armed with the knowledge he believes will save the Ea, Taren returns to the mainland. With Ian at his side, Taren convinces Vurin that their people must unite with their island brethren before it’s too late. When Seria and his men attack, Taren must call upon the ancient power of the rune stone to protect his comrades. But using stone’s immeasurable power commands a hefty price—and Ian fears that price is Taren’s life.

RunningWithTheWind_headerbannerSPOILER WARNING: This excerpt contains spoilers for the first two series books!

Running with the Wind

Excerpt from Chapter One

Ian leaned over the railing as the morning sunlight warmed his shoulders. A few feet away, Taren wrapped a blanket around the shivering boy, who sat with his knees hugged to his chest. He tenderly ruffled the boy’s fiery red hair. The boy leaned into Taren’s touch and made a satisfied sound much like the purr of a cat.

Not a boy, Ian reminded himself. Bastian. An Anuki. The heavenly brethren of the Ea. A dragon shifter reborn from the ashes. True, this freckle-faced dragon child looked nothing like the full-fledged beast who’d nearly killed them the day before, but they knew little of the Anuki. Had it only been a day since Seria’s men had attacked them and they’d lost Rider to Seria’s bullet?

Ian met Taren’s gaze and his grief eased slightly. Taren smiled back, his warm brown eyes hooded with exhaustion and grief, his shoulder-length hair having dried in a tumble of waves. From where he sat on the deck, Bastian watched Odhrán, keenly interested. The sphere they’d discovered not long after the destruction of the Sea Witch—an egg, Ian now knew—had dissolved beneath the water. Bastian had been choking and spluttering when Odhrán had carried him aboard. Since then, Bastian had done little but watch Odhrán with rapt attention.

Like a baby bird watches its mother. Ian frowned at his folly. How easy it was to forget this pathetic creature had destroyed the Sea Witch and nearly killed them all. If Odhrán hadn’t killed the dragon Bastian had become, they’d all have died. And yet Bastian had been reborn.

Bastian glanced up at Taren, blinked several times, then shifted his gaze back to Odhrán, who spoke in hushed tones to one of his crew. The long blond braid down Odhrán’s back dripped onto the deck and left the back of his woolen jacket sodden. Despite the bright blue of his eyes and his youthful features, Odhrán appeared as exhausted as Ian felt.

“A moment of your time?” Ian said after the crewmember trotted off toward the stairs, leaving the four of them alone on the foredeck.

Odhrán nodded and followed Ian amidships, far enough away that Bastian wouldn’t hear.

“Do you think this is wise?” Ian asked with a quick glance back at Taren and Bastian.

“What would you have me do? Leave him to drown?” Odhrán, too, appeared weary. Ian knew he still regretted having killed the fully transformed Bastian.

He couldn’t live without Rider.” Taren’s words echoed in Ian’s mind. Rider—Ian’s oldest friend—had taken a bullet in Ian’s stead. There’d been no time to grieve.

“No.” Ian sighed. “Rider would have wanted us to care for him.” Taren would never have forgiven him for suggesting they leave Bastian to drown, and they’d lost too much to even consider it.

Odhrán nodded curtly and turned his gaze eastward. Now calm in the wake of the storm, the water sparkled with sunlight. Nothing remained of the Sea Witch but a few bits of broken timbers floating restlessly on the waves. Later, all of the men now aboard the Chimera would gather on the deck to remember the Witch’s captain, but for just a moment, Ian could almost imagine Rider at the wheel of his beloved ship.

I’ll miss you, old friend. More than you’ll ever know.

Ian shrugged off his dark thoughts and walked back to Taren. “You should get some sleep.” He squeezed Taren’s shoulder. “Odhrán and I will not let Bastian out of our sight.”

Taren pressed his lips together and nodded. How tired Taren must be that he didn’t even argue!

“I’ll join you in a bit.” Ian pressed his lips to Taren’s warm cheek.

Taren retrieved the blanket that had fallen off Bastian’s shoulders and wrapped it around him again. Naked as Bastian was beneath, Ian caught a glimpse of the wings they’d seen when they’d discovered him on the ocean floor. No longer scaled as they’d been when they’d first pulled Bastian from the water, Bastian’s wings were now covered with feathers and shimmered red, yellow, orange, and fuchsia, iridescent in the sunlight.

“I’ll be back later,” Taren told Bastian with a barely repressed yawn. “I promise.”

Bastian’s eyes revealed little understanding. Had he forgotten everything of his former life? Perhaps he was still too overwhelmed from the shock of the past day’s events to fully comprehend his situation. He’d not uttered a word since they’d brought him aboard.

Taren kissed Ian—a fleeting kiss, but one Ian needed to reassure himself that all had not changed—before heading belowdecks to rest.

Ian met Odhrán at the bow. “He’s like a fledgling,” Ian said, inclining his head in Bastian’s direction, “watching you like a bird might his mother.”

Odhrán’s brow knitted. He’d clearly noticed it as well. “I’ve asked Garan to reinforce the enchantments on the ship’s masts and sails. There’s nothing more to be done.”

“Aye. But if Bastian threatens the ship—”

“Then I’ll be forced to subdue him. Not a prospect I relish, although in his current state, he appears far less powerful than before.” Odhrán studied Bastian once again. “For now, at least, he’s content to be in our company.”

“What do you know of the Anuki?”

“They’re much like the Ea in their ability to shift to human form. I met one centuries ago, but he was nothing like this. Not a child. But what happened with Bastian….”

“Reborn from the ashes.” Ian’s heart ached once again for the loss of Rider.

“My time with one of their kind was brief.” Odhrán stared past Ian as if remembering.

Ian didn’t press the issue. Later, perhaps, he’d ask Odhrán about that encounter. “And his memories of his life with Rider?”

Odhrán shook his head. “I don’t know. I suppose only time will tell.”

Ian clenched his jaw. The realization that Bastian might not remember anything of his love for Rider made Ian’s grief that much greater.

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