Tag Archive: Josh LaFontaine


rainbowsilk

Hello, Snippetteers! — sorry for the long absence, I’m only now getting back to writing and my last couple of weekends can be found in the Urban Dictionary under the definition for “chaos.” But I’m back! (And I’m registered for GRL in October, as a Supporting Author, but hoping to upgrade because I l-o-o-o-o-v-e doing readings!)

This weeks snippet is part of a conversation between Josh and Conall; they’re trying to figure out what to do about Tiernan’s nephew, Maelduin, who has come through the Pattern to take revenge for his father’s death (his father being Tiernan’s brother, for which murder Tiernan was exiled to the human world to begin with). The first speaker below is Conall.

********

“I’m guessing this is what Aine was warning us about, in the message that came back through the Pattern.”

“‘Guard the Guardian,’ you mean.”

Conall nodded. It would have been nice if the ancient Loremaster could have been a bit more forthcoming, but no use trying to put the lightning back in the cloud. “She must have known our new friend was coming through. And if she saw fit to warn us, one way or another he’s definitely going to be a thorn-ball under Tiernan’s scrotum.”

********

And, as usual, a couple of links —

Rainbow Snippets, your home on Facebook for all kinds of LGBTQIA+ goodies: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

And a new one — QueeRomance Ink, a searchable database for LGBTQIA+ romance, including buy links: https://www.queeromanceink.com/

Studio

Good afternoon, Snippetteers! I’m moving ahead with SoulShares #8, STONE COLD, and this snippet is from a scene in which Terry Miller, a chacter we first met in GALE FORCE (SoulShares #2) is standing in the middle of what will soon become a state-of-the-art dance and fitness studio he’s going to be sharing with Garrett Templar, Lochlann Doran’s SoulShare and Purgatory’s hottest pole dancer. (Though, of course, Terry doesn’t know anything about SoulShares, or Fae. Yet.) He’s excited about having his own studio, and maybe rebuilding the trockadero (all-male) ballet company he had when he lived in New York City. Which, of course, gets him thinking, just a little bit, about the Good Old Days, when he and Josh LaFontaine were living and working together…

*********

The best old days had been the days with Josh, before Bryce had entered the picture. Terry knew that, now that it was years too late to do anything about it. Working shoulder-to-shoulder with Josh in their hole-in-the-wall tattoo parlor, running out for midday classes and rehearsals. Performances, a season of three performances here, four there, and the chaotic Nutcracker season when the company earned most of its working budget for the rest of the year.

And coming home to Josh every night, or in the chill clear hour before dawn, when even New York City held its breath. Giddy with the joy of another performance, and Josh grinning with delight at Terry’s happiness.

*********

And a couple of links, as per usual —

Rainbow Snippets on Facebook, for more LGBTQIA+ goodies: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

And… in the wake of Orlando, for one more day, through the end of today (Saturday), Dreamspinner is donating 20 percent of its profits to the LGBT support organizations of central Florida. I don’t have much at Dreamspinner — only WOLF, BECOMING — but I’m donating all my royalties from this week’s sales as well. http://ow.ly/wWo2301oJfF

Josh66

Good morning, Snippetteers! — this week’s post is from UNDERTOW, my work-in-progress. In this snippet, Josh LaFontaine, the owner of Raging Art-On Tattoo and Piercing Parlor and scair-anam of Conall Dary, is dropping off some clothing at the site of the Great Nexus so Rhoann (who tends toward ‘clothing optional’) will have something to wear when and if he turns up again…

********

And when he looked straight down the wall, past the tips of his toes, the floor and a bit of the wall glowed with a brilliant, reckless magickal energy that was all Conall, edged with a faint blue tinge that told him his partner had coaxed water elemental magick into the channeling somehow. Even if he hadn’t spotted the magick himself, Scáthacru wouldn’t have let him miss it; the golden dragon on his left forearm was stirring, blinking, lifting his head lazily to discover what had woken him.

“Go back to sleep,” Josh muttered, grateful that at least Aréan, the hawk tattooed on his chest, usually slept through anything as long as he, Josh, had a shirt on.

He held the bag out over the edge of the excavation and dropped it; it fell on its side, an arm of the sweater spilling out.

Josh couldn’t help grinning — not so much at the sight of the care package, as at the way he’d delivered it. A year and a half ago, who would have thought he would have been doing a clothing drop for a shapeshifting magickal being, at the request of the mightiest mage in two worlds, who was also a scapegrace three-hundred-year-old twink and the love of his life?

********

And now for a couple of links —

the Rainbow Snippets group on Facebook, for more LGBTQIA* goodies — https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/
and WOLF, BECOMING, my new shapeshifter novella from Dreamspinner, on sale this weekend, 25 percent off! — http://ow.ly/Z6tyh

VD2016ad

The Fae of the SoulShares would love to heat up your Valentine’s Day!

Start off with HARD AS STONE (Tiernan and Kevin), at Amazon (http://ow.ly/YidsD), Barnes & Noble (http://ow.ly/Yidzd), Kobo (http://ow.ly/YidF0), All Romance eBooks (http://ow.ly/YidPb), and Riverdale Avenue Books (http://ow.ly/YidZe)

and then move on to

GALE FORCE (Conall and Josh)
DEEP PLUNGE (Lochlann and Garrett)
FIRESTORM (Cuinn and Rian)
BLOWING SMOKE (Lasair and Bryce)
MANTLED IN MIST (Fiachra and Peri)

And while you’re shopping, don’t forget to pre-order WOLF, BECOMING, my Russian shape-shifter novella from Dreamspinner Press – available February 24, and on 25 percent off sale at Dreamspinner through February 15!

Amazon (http://ow.ly/Yi87B), Barnes & Noble (http://ow.ly/YieAl), Kobo (http://ow.ly/YievT), All Romance eBooks (http://ow.ly/YidSo), and Dreamspinner Press (http://ow.ly/YieDB)

RS2

As part of the run-up to the release of MANTLED IN MIST (SoulShares #6) in January, each of my weekly snippets until then is coming from a different SoulShares book. This week, we’re on number two. GALE FORCE is the story of Conall Dary, the most powerful Fae mage born in the last two thousand or so years, and Josh LaFontaine, the owner of Raging Art-On Tattoo and Piercing Parlor, up the stairs from Purgatory. (Josh and Conall, incidentally, are in the running for Best Established Couple in this year’s Goodreads M/M Romance Group Member’s Choice Awards!) In this Snippet, Josh and Conall are discovering that they can communicate in their dreams. (Sorry, it’s seven sentences, but I couldn’t really lop off either end…)

*******

“Damn.” The word was half a groan. “The dreams are good — hell, the dreams are amazing, I had a dream after the shower that was almost as hot as the shower — but it’s not the same as having you, it can’t be.” The sound of flesh on flesh, a stroking hand, carried clearly through the mist.

“I wish we could have finished the dream,” Conall murmured. “I wanted to feel you inside me. I still do.”

*******

If you’re intrigued, all the SoulShares are 30 percent off on the Riverdale Avenue Books Web site through January 2, with the code SECRETSANTA30 — http://ow.ly/W7wqs

*******

And come check out the whole group, at https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/ — there’s something there for every taste on the LGBTQ+ rainbow!

All five

Ask my teenager, and I’m sure he’ll be glad to tell you all about how his Mom larned her readin’ and writin’ and cipherin’ by scratching on the face of a shovel with charcoal. But even the oldest of dogs have been known to learn new tricks, and I’m going to spend this weekend meditating on the mysteries of the QR Code.

I’m listing all the buy links for the SoulShares below, and I’ll be updating (and filling in the blanks) as I get links. If any of the links don’t work for you, let me know in the comments below and I’ll do what I can to fix them. (Which will probably involve telling my son that Mom’s out of charcoal again…)

SOULSHARES BUY LINKS

Hard as Stone (Tiernan Guaire and Kevin Almstead)

Amazon (Kindle) — http://www.amazon.com/Hard-As-Stone-Book-SoulShares-ebook/dp/B00YB9RSNI/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Amazon (Paperback) — http://www.amazon.com/Hard-As-Stone-Book-SoulShares/dp/1626011931/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

All Romance eBooks — https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hardasstonebookoneofthesoulsharesseries-1815080-340.html

Barnes & Noble (Nook) — http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hard-as-stone-book-one-of-the-soulshares-series-rory-ni-coileain/1121999716?ean=2940151651233

Kobo — https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/hard-as-stone-2

Gale Force (Conall Dary and Josh LaFontaine)

Amazon (Kindle) — http://www.amazon.com/Gale-Force-Book-Two-SoulShares-ebook/dp/B00ZG85LVY/ref=la_B009M8XQP2_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1434072678&sr=1-5&refinements=p_82%3AB009M8XQP2%2Cp_n_feature_browse-bin%3A618073011

Amazon (Paperback) — http://www.amazon.com/Gale-Force-Book-Two-SoulShares/dp/1626012016/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1434070650&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=rory+ni+coileain+Gale+Force

All Romance eBooks — https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-galeforcebooktwoofthesoulsharesseries-1825463-149.html

Barnes & Noble (Nook) — http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gale-force-book-two-of-the-soulshares-series-rory-ni-coileain/1122095801?ean=2940151450300

Kobo — https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/gale-force-2

Deep Plunge (Lochlann Doran and Garrett Templar)

Amazon (Kindle) — http://www.amazon.com/Deep-Plunge-Book-3-SoulShares-ebook/dp/B01096BDXM/ref=la_B009M8XQP2_1_6_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1435115747&sr=1-6

Amazon (Paperback) — http://www.amazon.com/Deep-Plunge-SoulShares-Rory-Coileain/dp/1626012075/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1436488478&sr=8-2&keywords=Deep+Plunge+Rory+Ni+Coileain

All Romance eBooks — https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-deepplungebook3ofthesoulsharesseries-1840037-340.html
Barnes & Noble (Nook) — http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deep-plunge-book-3-of-the-soulshares-series-rory-ni-coileain/1122189321?ean=2940151138369

Barnes & Noble (Nook) — http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deep-plunge-book-3-of-the-soulshares-series-rory-ni-coileain/1122189321?ean=2940151138369

Kobo — https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/deep-plunge-1

Firestorm (Rian Sheridan and Cuinn an Dearmad)

Amazon (Kindle) — http://www.amazon.com/Firestorm-SoulShares-Rory-Ni-Coileain-ebook/dp/B011AKJNAG/ref=sr_1_7_twi_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436489308&sr=1-7&refinements=p_27%3ARory+Ni+Coileain

Amazon (Paperback) — http://www.amazon.com/Firestorm-Book-Four-SoulShares-4/dp/1626012105/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436549455&sr=1-1&keywords=rory+ni+coileain+firestorm

All Romance eBooks — https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-firestormbookfourofthesoulsharesseries-1846722-149.html

Barnes & Noble (Nook) – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/firestorm-book-four-of-the-soulshares-series-rory-ni-coileain/1122266522?ean=2940151024006

Kobo — https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/firestorm-54

Blowing Smoke (Lasair Faol and Bryce Newhouse)

Amazon (Kindle) – http://www.amazon.com/Blowing-Smoke-Book-Five-SoulShares-ebook/dp/B011HE7RG2/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1436754435&sr=1-3&keywords=Rory+Ni+Coileain

Amazon (Paperback) – http://www.amazon.com/Blowing-Smoke-Book-Five-SoulShares/dp/1626012121/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

All Romance eBooks – https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-blowingsmokebookfiveofthesoulsharesseries-1851332-149.html

Barnes & Noble (Nook) – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blowing-smoke-book-five-in-the-soulshares-series-rory-ni-coileain/1122287929?ean=2940150794184

Kobo — https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/blowing-smoke-5

And, just for good measure –

“Ilya and the Wolf” (Dreamspinner Press, short story, Russian shapeshifters) – Amazon (Kindle) – http://www.amazon.com/Ilya-Wolf-Rory-Ni-Coileain-ebook/dp/B00QEUP9XS/ref=la_B009M8XQP2_1_7_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436845609&sr=1-7

Heart of the Oak (Ellora’s Cave, novella, Gille Dubh) – Amazon (Kindle) – http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Oak-Boys-Will-Book-ebook/dp/B00FBF4XIY/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1436845523&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=Tempted+from+the+Oak+Rory+Ni+Coileain

Tempted from the Oak
(Ellora’s Cave, novella, Gille Dubh) – Amazon (Kindle) — http://www.amazon.com/Tempted-Oak-Rory-Ni-Coileain-ebook/dp/B00J8N6SY2/ref=la_B009M8XQP2_1_8_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436845564&sr=1-8

Rehabbing the Villain

What do you do when a character you had a great deal of fun making thoroughly detestable over the course of three books looks you in the eye and tells you he wants his own book? That’s the predicament I found myself in courtesy of Bryce Newhouse, the Greenwich Village investment banker everyone — and I do mean everyone — loves to hate in GALE FORCE, DEEP PLUNGE, and especially FIRESTORM. Well, I do love a challenge… so here’s a bit of Bryce’s journey. BryceDanielSune7

“What the fuck do you mean, he’s ‘otherwise occupied’?” Unable to glare at the person who was pissing him off, Bryce directed his ire at the air conditioner. Which the fucking landlord wasn’t going to be able to fix until Tuesday at the earliest, and why he’d thought he needed to interrupt Bryce’s Saturday afternoon with that news Bryce had no fucking idea.

A couple of hundred miles away, Josh LaFontaine sighed. “He’s in a meeting, Bryce. This is just another work day for us, you know.”

Remind me again why the hell I called? “I knew that, that’s why I called the studio. And since when do tattoo artists have meetings?”

“I don’t see where that’s any of your business.” Frost rimed on the words.

Neither do I, he nearly blurted. To say he’d been rattled by his close encounter with the heart-stopping Lasair Faol would be the understatement of the decade. Left trembling in a way he’d literally never been before in his life. But that hadn’t been the worst. The worst thing about it was the way it had made him start thinking. About the methodical way he’d spent more or less his whole life shoving everyone who might otherwise have gotten close enough to want to do for him what the blond god in his bedroom wanted to do for him out the nearest windows or under the nearest trains. Figuratively speaking, thank God.

Which contemplation, naturally enough, had turned his thoughts to Terry. Even before whatever had happened this morning, it had been frustrating, being unable to remember why he’d thrown Terry out. Now the inability to remember had graduated to being frustrating as fuck. I seem to have fallen in love with the f-bomb. I suppose it beats hell out of falling in love with anyone else. At least from the perspective of the hypothetical anyone else.

Oh, right, it was his turn to say something. “I wouldn’t have thought Terry needed a social secretary, but as long as you seem to have given yourself the job, would you mind telling me when would be a better time to call?” Acquiring a conscience, if that’s what had happened to him this morning, hadn’t done shit to improve his social skills. No reason it should have, either.

“Why are you bothering?” There was an edge to the tattoo artist’s voice now. “And Terry’s getting on with his life just fine, no thanks to you.”

Jesus. He’d called because… damned if he knew. Had he really thought he could make things right with Terry with a phone call? When he still couldn’t remember how he’d made things wrong in the first place? Not to mention all the bad blood between him and LaFontaine, and him and Dary. Him and pretty much everyone he knew, come to think of it. Not just an asshole, a stupid asshole. “Maybe this was a bad idea.”

“I agree–”

“What the fuck?” A puppy dropped onto the sofa. A puppy that couldn’t possibly have climbed to anywhere he might have fallen from, and had been shut into the bedroom not five minutes before. He could see the bedroom door from where he sat. It was still closed.

“I beg your pardon?”

“I. Uh.” Bryce set the phone on his thigh and switched it to speaker, so he could gather up the bewildered puppy. “My, um, houseguest has a dog. It’s not supposed to be up on the furniture.”

“You have a houseguest?”

“Do you have to sound so fucking surprised?” Bryce cradled the squirming pup awkwardly. “It is my house. If you can have a guest in it, I’m thinking I probably can too.” Shit. He’d had to go and remind himself of Conall Dary. Again. Maybe masochistic tendencies were yet another surprise discovery waiting for him today. It was hard to imagine why else he was rubbing his own nose in that particular piece of his past yet again. I’ve walked this part of memory lane twice already today, can’t I give it a miss now?

No, something else about the memory was nagging him. Something very similar about the two men involved. Something about the eyes. The way they’d seemed to see straight into him. Before he’d been an ass to both of them, anyway. His very special talent.

There was more. When he and Terry had walked in on Dary and LaFontaine, hadn’t there been a length of silver chain on the bedroom floor?

The door to the bedroom opened, banging against the wall, chasing all thoughts of chains from his head. Lasair strode into the living room, his intense turquoise gaze fixed not on Bryce, but on the dog. Which was actually just fine. It meant Bryce didn’t have to be ashamed of staring, at least for a few seconds. He’d been taken by surprise in the bedroom, by those kisses he could still taste. He hadn’t really looked at the heart-stopping blond, his improbable blue eyes and his bite-and-be-bitten lips and his perfectly chiseled body. He’d just fallen against him and let himself be kissed. Touched. Wanted. At least, until he’d come to his senses and gotten the hell out of there. No, he couldn’t even take credit for that much common sense. His escape had all been the landlord’s doing.

However it had happened, it was a good thing. No way could Bryce let himself get involved with a man like Lasair. Even if a miracle had happened, and he now somehow had the capacity not to be a total dickhead, he was still missing something very important. Namely, the ability to be anything else. If he let this go on the way Lasair apparently wanted it to–who the hell am I kidding, I want it too–there was only one way it could end. Very badly. For both of them.

Still, he could look. He could dream. For a second.

The spell shattered as Lasair came toward him with the obvious intention of taking the puppy. Bryce’s arms closed around the dog instinctively. Or it would have been instinctively, if he’d ever had an instinct to protect anything but himself.

“Earth to Newhouse?” The plaintive voice came from the phone still precariously balanced on his thigh. Lasair’s efforts to take the dog away from Bryce ceased. The blond was staring at the phone as if he expected it to leap from Bryce’s thigh and bite him in the face.

This all really, really needed to get weirder. “I’m here.”

“Look, you aren’t planning to come down to D.C. again, are you? That Christmas visit of yours, you made Terry cry, you pissed off Conall, and just a word to the wise, if you ever even try to set foot in Purgatory again, Tiernan’s going to let Lucien use you as a medicine ball.”

There is no way I could ever make up for all the shit I’ve pulled. The sudden bleakness of the thought left Bryce feeling as if all the air had been sucked out of him. It goes all the way back to my childhood and here I sit, piling on more every time I open my mouth. But at least Lasair had finally heard, straight from the horse’s mouth, what a horse’s ass Bryce was. Hopefully that would save him the trouble of proving it to the blond Adonis himself.

“Conall? Tiernan?” Lasair was still staring at the phone like a spooked horse, and he spoke carefully, almost reluctantly. “Are you speaking of Conall Dary and Tiernan Guaire?”

Silence. “Who wants to know?”

Fuck. Lasair hadn’t even heard the Bryce-is-a-dick part. “My houseguest,” Bryce grated. And how the hell did his ‘houseguest’ know both Dary and Guaire?

The blond glanced at Bryce, eyes wide. “I’m… a friend of theirs.” He rested a hand on the puppy’s head. “A friend of a friend, actually. Are they in there with you?–can I speak with them?” The way the blond was nodding toward the phone, it was almost as if he thought LaFontaine was actually inside it.

Bryce shook his head. He’d discarded the raving lunatic explanation for the chained-up man in his basement early on, but maybe it was time to come back to it.

The tattoo artist sounded almost as puzzled as Bryce felt. “They aren’t here, no. I could pass your name along, have them call you back, if you want.”

“No, that’s not necessary. But where are you?”

Considering the context, that has to be one of the strangest questions I’ve ever heard. “He’s not in the phone, Rapunzel.”

“Whatever it is you’re using, Bryce, it’s way too early in the day for it.”

“Fuck you very much, LaFontaine.” Bryce touched off the phone, the urge to slam something down making him nostalgic for something from his grandfather’s house for the first time he could remember. One of those old heavy black phones would have been so much more satisfying to hang up.

Collage 4-11

It’s an experience I think we’ve all had. Sometimes it happens when you’re feeling stuck, when everything you do feels forced or stale or joyless and you can’t think of anything new to try. Other times it falls on you out of the sky, when you’re totally not expecting it, and sometimes it takes you a while simply to figure out what this odd thing is that’s landed on you and what the heck you’re supposed to do with it. And still other times, you take a deep breath, close your eyes, open yourself up to God or the Universe or karma or your Muse and you say “Hit me, baby, I’m waiting.”

And then it hits, and you open one eye, just a crack, and peer upward or inward and say “Are You/you/y’all really sure about that?”

Every once in a while, in other words, you get a clue.

The last month or so of my life has partaken of all of the above, to a greater or lesser extent. I’ve been feeling very stuck, not so much in my writing, as in my writing career. Due to a whole bunch of circumstances beyond my control, it’s been over a year since I’ve had a new book come out, and it’s going to be another six weeks or so before the first of the reissued SoulShares comes out. And while I write because I love to write, and because at this point in my life I can’t imagine not writing, I’ve always nurtured the hope that I’ll be able to make the writing pay, at least enough to let me go to conventions and get a new laptop when I drive the old one into the ground. So it’s been a l-o-n-g dry spell.

Then a bunch of my friends, in the Rainbow Romance Writers forum and elsewhere, all started talking about the same thing.

Marketing.

Now, if you know me at all, you know that I consider the m-word an honorary four-letter word. Most of this is because I’m not technologically very ept, for all that I work for an Internet information provider and spend all my time at BOTH my jobs on a computer. The time it would take for me to get up to speed on multiple social media platforms, learn marketing techniques on them, and then actually, well, market would add another year on to my dry spell, easily. Not to mention that I was raised never, ever, EVER to blow my own horn. Praise yourself, or ask for praise, and utter disaster will follow. Blowing your own horn just shows that no one else is interested in blowing it for you. If you have to ask for praise, it means you don’t deserve it. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Marketing. *shudder*

But as several people kindly put it to me, “Rory, you have to get over that. You have to grow up.”

I still didn’t like it. “I don’t have time to do all that and write, too!”

“You don’t have to do ‘all that’ at once. Start by picking what you want to be known for. What you love best, what you think you do best. What excites you. And start selling that. Not your individual books. Your passion.”

Well, maybe I can do that part, I thought.

And when I gave that part some thought, it wasn’t all that hard to figure out what I love best. Myth, legend, fantasy, fairytale. (All in an m/m context, of course.)

There was a feeling of being trapped, though, that I didn’t much care for. What about contemporary m/m, or historical m/m, or science fiction m/m? I love reading all of those subgenres, even though I don’t write them – do I want to say ‘No, nay, never’ to them?

And then it hit me.

I’m not ‘trapped’ in myth, legend, fairy tale, folk tale.

I’m effing ROCKING them.

And, funny thing, as soon as that dawned on me, doors started opening. In the last eight days, I’ve sat in on three panels at two separate conventions, on the subject of fairy tales as writer fuel. I’ve been able to give copies of one of my novellas to Jane Yolen and Emma Bull, two of my biggest inspirations to write fantasy and urban fantasy. I’ve signed on to blog with Queer Sci Fi on a monthly basis, as both a romance author and a fantasy author. I’ve designed a new logo, one I hope to unveil by the time the SoulShares reissues start, that makes me want to hug myself and giggle because it’s just so gosh darn perfect.

And I’m loving what I’m doing again. I’m excited.

I hope y’all are, too. Because I’m looking forward to giving you a LOT to be excited about.

*****

Speaking of giving… and scheduling… I know I’ve given out a lot of conflicting dates lately, and I’m starting to sound like the Fae Who Cried Wolf. Or something. I do apologize – but this latest delay is for a very good reason. Namely, I want to be able to give you all buy links for the new books when I debut the covers. Which means giving my publisher, Riverdale Avenue Books, a little more time to get everything set up properly so I can have buy links before the books come out. So here’s the schedule, as far as I know it and please God let it be the final one:

May 27: HARD AS STONE reissue
June 3: GALE FORCE reissue
June 10: DEEP PLUNGE reissue
June 17: FIRESTORM reissue
June 24: BLOWING SMOKE – new release!
June 28: My birthday *winks*

And if you just can’t wait until the end of May for more? Check out HEART OF THE OAK, TEMPTED FROM THE OAK, and “Ilya and the Wolf” on Amazon!

HEART — http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Oak-Boys-Will-Book-ebook/dp/B00FBF4XIY/ref=la_B009M8XQP2_1_4_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428797268&sr=1-4
TEMPTED — http://www.amazon.com/Tempted-Oak-Rory-Ni-Coileain-ebook/dp/B00J8N6SY2/ref=la_B009M8XQP2_1_3_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428797333&sr=1-3
Ilya — http://www.amazon.com/Ilya-Wolf-Rory-Ni-Coileain-ebook/dp/B00QEUP9XS/ref=la_B009M8XQP2_1_5_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428797364&sr=1-5

*****

And, finally, if you want to hear from me a little more often than I post here, I invite you to come find me on Facebook – I have an Author page at https://www.facebook.com/Soulshares and a group, Rory’s Three Rs – Rowdies, Ruffians, and Rogues, at https://www.facebook.com/groups/721651487924752/ .

One way or another – see you soon, for more Men, Myths, and Legends! (And, hopefully, a better tag line than that!)

ScheduleAnnouncement

Hey, it’s only taken me the first month of 2015 to figure out what I’m doing the rest of the year – not bad!

First, the biggest piece of news I’ve had in a while – the first four SoulShares books, HARD AS STONE, GALE FORCE, DEEP PLUNGE, and FIRESTORM, are temporarily unavailable (except, as of this writing, for the paperback versions still up on Amazon, but those will be coming down shortly). The reason? New editions are coming out through Riverdale Avenue Books, starting in April! With a few additions and corrections (it would have been polite of Conall to inform me that he was a true redhead rather than a strawberry blond sometime before the end of book three, for example), AND a new Fae glossary for each book. AND…. (yes, there’s more!) the fifth book in the series, BLOWING SMOKE, coming out in May! (Follow me on my Amazon page, http://www.amazon.com/Rory-Ni-Coileain/e/B009M8XQP2/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1 and you’ll get updates when each one comes out!)

Here’s my publication schedule for the first half of 2015:

April 22: HARD AS STONE (SoulShares #1) – new edition
April 29: GALE FORCE (SoulShares #2) – new edition
May 6: DEEP PLUNGE (SoulShares #3) – new edition
May 13: FIRESTORM (SoulShares #4) – new edition
May 20: BLOWING SMOKE (SoulShares #5) – first time in print!

And while I’m being so gosh darn organized, here’s my schedule of conventions for the year:

CONvergence (Bloomington, MN) – July 2-5 (science fiction/fantasy)
Rainbow Con (Tampa, FL) – July 16-19 (LGBT media)
Midwestern Book Lovers Unite (MBLU) (Minneapolis, MN) – October 22-25 (romance writers/readers)

There’s something there for just about everyone, I think – come visit me! (And the Fae, and the Gille Dubh, and the oboroten’ – we’re a package deal!)

Remember when summer was about sleeping as late as you could get away with, biking to the library once a week, and spending as much of the remaining time as you could curled up in your secret private reading nook, devouring one book after another at a pace that made the librarian assume you were the supplier for your entire family?

I wish that had been my summer. Really. Instead, mostly I just heaved a great big ol’ sigh of relief when I tore August off the calendar. Here’s why…

My original contract for the SoulShares was for four books — Hard as Stone, Gale Force, Deep Plunge, and Firestorm. And it specified that I had 15 months to turn in all four books. Now, if I were able to write full-time, that would have been no sweat. But between the Evil Day Job and my family obligations, I generally only have a few hours a night to write. So after four books in 15 months (plus a couple of novellas), I was a great big stressball. But I had a new publisher who really, really wanted the fifth SoulShares novel, so I kept pushing, and turned in the manuscript for Blowing Smoke at the beginning of June. Then there was a short story to write, to submit for a Dreamspinner Press anthology (look for “Ilya and the Wolf” in Celebrate! — the Dreamspinner Press 2014 Advent Calendar anthology, and also as a stand-alone story, the beginning of December!). (Yes, it’s shifters. *grins* You’re welcome.)

Then July happened. I had to move, and downsized from a house to an apartment in a suburb a half-hour’s drive away, chosen because it was close enough to my son’s college that he could commute by bus and because they would let me keep my elderly golden-retriever mix, Fiona, and my Cornish Rex kitty, Grace O’Malley. One (small) carload at a time, we moved that house, all through the month of July. Three days before the final move, Fiona died. (Needless to say, between being burned out and dealing with the move and my sweet girl, not much writing happened in July…)

Then August happened. I started writing again (Bound in Oak, Tales of the Grove #3). The publisher with which Blowing Smoke had been resting comfortably since June announced that it was terminating all its freelance editors, including mine, and that all outstanding manuscripts would be reassigned to its staff of in-house editors. Now, there’s a very good reason why I became a lawyer rather than an accountant, but some numbers even I can crunch, and I realized that I would undoubtedly be an old(er) gray(er) lady by the time SoulShares #5, which had not yet gotten as far as first edits, saw the light of day. So I exercised my contractual right to pull the manuscript… and on Labor Day I sent it off to another potential home. Any and all crossed fingers, good wishes, prayers, and the like will be greatly appreciated, and hopefully I’ll have good news to report in a couple of months!

Now it’s September. I’m still working away at Bound in Oak (which may end up being a working title only, as Ellora’s Cave only wants titles to contain the word “Bound” if they’re BDSM titles, which this definitely isn’t), which I hope to have done by mid-October. And come visit me at the Midwestern Book Lovers Unite Conference, September 26 to 28, at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott — http://midwesternbookloversunite.wordpress.com/ — I’m hosting a table at the Dinner with the Authors, and I know this really great Mongolian restaurant five minutes from the hotel….

And finally… you’ve been waiting so long, and so patiently, for Blowing Smoke, it would be remiss of me not to leave you with at least a taste. Enjoy! — and comment!

 

 

Chapter Four

Greenwich Village
New York City

The first thing Lasair saw when he opened his eyes in the human world was an ass. A very nice, scantily-clad ass, although he might have been more appreciative if his face wasn’t bumping into it every few seconds. And if he felt even a little less as if he’d just been run over by the King’s best racing chariot and its entire eight-horse team. Over the thunder of his heartbeat in his own ears, he heard a muffled thumping noise and occasional grunts.

And a whimper. Culin was somewhere nearby.

Tipping his head back, Lasair saw a staircase, dull grey wood. Arching back as far as he could–not far, thanks to the chains–he could see as far as the floor at the bottom of the stairs.

He blinked. The floor glowed faintly, in the auroral hue of pure unbound magick. Not possible.

“Great, you’re awake.” The baritone voice was slightly out of breath, and the speaker sounded more than slightly put out. “Would you mind holding still until I get you upstairs? I’d rather not drop you on your head, you’d probably pull me down with you.”

I beg your pardon for occupying space. Lasair bit his tongue, kept the words to himself, and let his head drop. He could feel an arm now, wrapped around his thighs.

The jarring stopped, and he heard the creak of a door opening. His own personal scenery remained pretty much the same, but with poorer lighting. Then another door. Light. Furniture half-glimpsed, and other doors.

“Oh, fuck. The one door I forgot about.”

The floor suddenly came a head closer, and Lasair got a glimpse of beautifully muscled calves as his bearer bent his knees. There was a click, and another door opening.

Then, suddenly, Lasair was lying on his back, with Culin at his side. On a bed, he presumed. He was getting tired of presuming. The chains were bad enough–truesilver chains were forged to burn in the presence of a channeling, and they surely did–but being trussed like a roast made it much worse. He strained to sit up, but the chains made it impossible to do more than raise his head and shoulders.

Which was enough to let him see where he was, and who had carried him up the stairs. He was in a small bed-chamber, lit by pale sunlight from a single window. The first human male he had ever seen looked down at him, wearing nothing but short trousers of some soft fabric and a deep frown. His hair was nearly dark enough to be chort-gruag, bark-hair, like the tree folk out of legend. But on this male, it was nothing to be scorned. It suited him. So did his mustache, a rarity among Fae. Eyes of dark green watched him warily, glancing every so often at Culin.

He must be ravishing when he smiles.

“Do you have a key to those chains, or do I need to cut them off?” The male’s voice was rough, almost harsh.

“If I had a key, believe me, I wouldn’t be in this situation.” Lasair winced. He didn’t remember most of his transition, other than the agony of the beginning of it, but whatever had happened to him after that had left his head feeling as hollow as the inside of a great bell. And any word, any sound from him was a mallet pounding on the bell.

“All right. Wait here.” The male’s stare raked him from his head to his feet; he put up a dark brow, turned, and left the bedchamber.

Culin whined softly.

“It’s all right.” Lasair murmured. “It’s going to be all right, tréan-cú.” He had called Culin strong, a strong hound, since the pup’s birth. Names channeled power, even names given by one with little magick of his own.

Now all I have to do is be right.

When the male reappeared, he was carrying a long-handled pincers with a metal beak. This he fitted to the chains, and started to bear down on the handles. Doing so brought out splendidly defined arm muscles and a thin sheen of sweat. I would give my left nut not to feel like I’ve been pounded flat and scraped up off the stable floor right now.

“These are stronger than they look.” The male checked the wicked beak of the pincers, running long, slender fingers over the cutting edges as if he expected to find them notched by the chain.

Humans were very different from the way Fae lore drew them, at least if they were all like this one. This male was as handsome as any Fae, in his way, and the measuring intelligence in his gaze was as exciting as his strange beauty. “They’re meant to be. But you ought to be able to cut them.” Now that the links had no magick running through them, and had been given no new purpose to know.

One dark brow went up as the male re-set the pincers. “Mind if I ask what you were doing chained up in my basement at six in the morning?”

“Yes.” Shit, I should have expected that. One thing the old stories weren’t going to tell him was what humans thought of Fae, several thousand years after their parting of ways. Even the most trusting Fae–assuming such an exotic creature existed anywhere–would be skeptical under the circumstances. And he had even less reason to be trusting than most.

Why had he forgotten that?