Tag Archive: Kevin Almstead


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!)

SoulShares4

Two years.
It’s been two years since HARD AS STONE, the first SoulShares novel – and my first book – debuted on Amazon. And a lot of other places. Two years since I first fell victim to “check Amazon sales rankings every two minutes” syndrome – fruitlessly, as it turned out, since somehow HARD AS STONE had been classified as horror >> occult, and I at this point didn’t know enough to double-check the categories. To this day I wonder what might have happened, if a customer had sought SALEM’S LOT and found instead a very randy bad-boy Fae…
A lot of things have changed in two years. For one thing, my publishers now know where my books go. *winks* Basically, I’ve turned into one of the magicians I spent most of my life watching with awe…. an extremely junior sorcerer’s apprentice, mind you, but still a member of the same lodge.
Just for fun, I thought I’d share something with you that shows just how far this journey’s taken me. HARD AS STONE grew out of a very short story I wrote for a role-play writer’s competition on Facebook. “The Door” is how HARD AS STONE, and all the rest of it, started…. and here’s how “The Door” started, three years ago.

“Kevin, what the fuck are you doing?”
A low, throaty purr was all the answer I got, as my lover’s hand continued to twist itself into my long blond hair and draw my head back. Hell of a way to wake up, and I groaned as the other hand improved on it by gliding down my chest until it found my gold nipple ring and twisting. “Say the word and I’ll stop.” His breath was hot in my ear, his tongue hotter.
“Is the word ‘fuck you’?” I tried to turn my head, managed to catch a glimpse of dark eyes, sleep-tousled black hair, and a sexy smirk before my head was wrenched back around. I sucked in a breath as he flicked the ring with a fingertip. This was so not like my human…not that my cock had any objections, it was begging for someone to get a grip on it. I reached down, curled my hand around the rigid length, and started a slow stroking, rolling my palm over the head on the upstrokes.
“It kills me to watch you do that.” The hard tip of his tongue traced around my ear. “That’s why you do it, isn’t it?” His chuckle was low and rich; on the rare occasions when I heard it, it always reminded me of dark chocolate.
“No, that’s just a bonus, it’s really all about the orgasms.” My mouth curved up in a smirk of my own, one that became a gasp as Kevin twisted the ring again, harder this time. What the fuck was going on? One of the things I truly loved about this human was the way there was always a hint of reluctance when I took him in my arms, hesitation before every kiss. I’d been his first male lover, after all.
And what a piece-of-shit coincidence it was that the delectable arsehole virgin had held the other half of my soul. If I hadn’t been unable to resist a perfect arse and a sensual mouth that night, I’d still be both immortal and invulnerable, as a Fae evicted from the Other Realm should be. But no, I’d had to see all that Armani as a challenge, and now I had to live with the result…
“Well, fuck me blind.” Kevin was rolling me onto my back, kneeing my legs apart, with a grin that said I was going to need serious recovery time in the hot tub.
“Are you a mind-reader?” Kevin smiled…
And for an instant, there was something else in those dark eyes. A plea, wild, desperate –
But it was gone, whatever it was, as quickly as I thought it had come. And Kevin’s warm hand was wrapped firmly around my shaft, his mouth was busy at my throat, and the smooth hot head of my human’s cock was making preliminary inquiries between my arse cheeks. “Shite,” I breathed, my head falling back. Unusual my lover’s behavior might be, but fuck if it wasn’t perfectly suited to my mood.
“That’s in, lanan, let me in,” Kevin crooned, using the Fae word for “lover” that I favored as he gripped and positioned himself. “Let me in…”
I relaxed – as best I could when my whole body was tensed in anticipation of pleasure – hissed as the thick head of Kevin’s cock forced its way past my ring, dry except for a few of his own warm drops. My eyes tried to roll back in my head, but instead I looked up, meeting my lover’s dark eyes.
Too dark. Black. Flat, sullen black. And I was falling into them. Losing myself.

I was… someplace else. A sense of near infinity, and yet a prison cell.

Before a Fae’s instinctive reaction to imprisonment – blind panic – could take over, I heard a soft sobbing. Kevin. What the hell?

Now I could see. And it was obvious where I was. If I had given any thought to what the inside of Kevin’s mind would look like, I might have conjured something like this; a comfortable study, the walls lined with bookshelves, both law books and the lameass fantasy shit my lover kept trying to get me hooked on. Like that was ever going to happen.

But… there was an air of decay hanging over everything. As if the fabric of the place was rotting, and any minute now a shelf or a chair or the floor would split apart and reveal the corruption underlying the façade. And the sound again… I turned, and a shudder ran through me. Kevin sat huddled in a wingback chair, arms wrapped around himself. His skin was grayish and clammy, his face drawn, his eyes sunken, his dark hair matted. And he wouldn’t meet my eyes, turned resolutely away. “Kevin…”

A laugh came from the area of the fireplace, a cold dead laugh. “Your toy is brave, Tiernan Guaire. He thought he could fight the Mhionbhrú.”

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?

Firestorm for Kindle — http://www.amazon.com/Firestorm-Soulshares-Rory-Ni-Coileain-ebook/dp/B00IOWB2BW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1393540924&sr=1-1&keywords=rory+ni+coileain

Firestorm for Kindle, UK — http://www.amazon.co.uk/Firestorm-Soulshares-Rory-Ni-Coileain-ebook/dp/B00IOWB2BW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1393543044&sr=1-1&keywords=rory+ni+coileain

Firestorm for Nook — http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/firestorm-rory-ni-coileain/1118761114?ean=2940149592579

Firestorm for Kobo — http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/firestorm-45

Firestorm, Ravenous Romance — http://ravenousromance.com/fantastica/firestorm-soulshares-number-iv.php?keyword=firestorm&search_by=all

Firestorm, All Romance eBooks — https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-firestorm-1436511-340.html

Firestorm, Bookstrand — http://www.bookstrand.com/firestorm-3

Heart of the Oak for Kindle — http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Oak-Boys-Will-ebook/dp/B00FBF4XIY/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1380206135&sr=1-4&keywords=Heart+of+the+Oak

 

Heart of the Oak for Nook — http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/heart-of-the-oak-rory-ni-coileain/1116996454?ean=9781419948145

Heart of the Oak for Kobo — http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/heart-of-the-oak

Heart of the Oak, All Romance eBooks — https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-heartoftheoak-1374595-340.html

 

Deep Plunge for Kindle (US) — http://www.amazon.com/Deep-Plunge-SoulShares-ebook/dp/B00EV7OAYU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377825393&sr=1-1&keywords=Deep+Plunge+Rory+Ni+Coileain

Deep Plunge, trade paperback, Amazon — http://www.amazon.com/Deep-Plunge-SoulShares-Number-III/dp/1607779498/ref=la_B009M8XQP2_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394317628&sr=1-1

Deep Plunge, Ravenous Romance — http://www.ravenousromance.com/fantastica/deep-plunge-soulshares-number-iii.php

Deep Plunge, All Romance eBooks — https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-deepplunge-1271533-145.html

Deep Plunge, Barnes & Noble (Nook) — http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deep-plunge-rory-ni-coileain/1116795221?ean=2940148572602

Deep Plunge, Kobo — http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/deep-plunge

Deep Plunge for Kindle (UK) — http://www.amazon.co.uk/Deep-Plunge-SoulShares-ebook/dp/B00EV7OAYU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378063082&sr=1-1&keywords=Deep+Plunge+Rory+Ni+Coileain

 

Gale Force for Kindle (US) — http://www.amazon.com/Gale-Force-Soulshares-ebook/dp/B00BSEDKB8/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1363476525&sr=8-3&keywords=Gale+Force

Gale Force for Kindle (UK) — http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gale-Force-Soulshares-ebook/dp/B00BSEDKB8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363112251&sr=8-1

Gale Force, trade paperback, Amazon — http://www.amazon.com/Gale-Force-Soulshares-Volume-2/dp/160777934X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375935343&sr=8-1&keywords=Gale+Force+Rory+Ni+Coileain

Gale Force, Ravenous Romance — http://www.ravenousromance.com/fantastica/gale-force.php

Gale Force, All Romance eBooks — https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hardasstone-977359-143.html

Gale Force, Barnes & Noble (Nook) — http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gale-force-rory-ni-coileain/1114819137?ean=2940016296111

Gale Force, Kobo — http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Gale-Force/book-Lcg0U_igUUyXOsufiKIvPQ/page1.html?s=GakQctslHkqvHH3JsFY8JQ&r=3

Gale Force, Angus & Robertson (Australia!) — http://www.angusrobertson.com.au/ebook/gale-force/40329536/

Gale Force, Amazon (Kindle) Germany — http://www.amazon.de/Gale-Force-Soulshares-ebook/dp/B00BSEDKB8

 

Hard as Stone for Kindle — http://www.amazon.com/Hard-as-Stone-ebook/dp/B009SX91JQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355285138&sr=8-1&keywords=hard+as+stone+rory+ni+coileain

Hard as Stone, trade paperback, Amazon — http://www.amazon.com/Hard-as-Stone-Rory-Coileain/dp/1607779293/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363476804&sr=1-1&keywords=hard+as+stone+rory+ni+coileain

Hard as Stone for Nook — http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hard-as-stone-rory-ni-coileain/1113526804?ean=2940015530766

Hard as Stone, Kobo — http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Hard-As-Stone/book-06D0J5iMoEOk2FwhYFWLnQ/page1.html?s=1sR8MxtCREeacsxkHGm4gQ&r=2

Hard as Stone at Ravenous Romance’s Web site — http://www.ravenousromance.com/fantastica/hard-as-stone.php

Hard as Stone at Fictionwise — http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b135271/Hard-as-Stone/Rory-Ni-Coileain/?si=0

 

Dangerous Curves (anthology) for Kindle (writing as Susan Swann) — http://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Curves-Stories-Voluptuous-ebook/dp/B007ZE2H2S/ref=sr_1_18?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1355285356&sr=1-18&keywords=Dangerous+Curves

One-Stop Shopping

It occurs to me that I haven’t posted sales links to all my books for a while… so without further ado, here’s the list — including the two anthologies I’ve contributed to, Evernight 2 and Dangerous Curves!

Heart of the Oak for Kindle — http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Oak-Boys-Will-ebook/dp/B00FBF4XIY/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1380206135&sr=1-4&keywords=Heart+of+the+Oak

Heart of the Oak for Nook — http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/heart-of-the-oak-rory-ni-coileain/1116996454?ean=9781419948145

Heart of the Oak for Kobo — http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/heart-of-the-oak

Heart of the Oak, All Romance eBooks — https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-heartoftheoak-1374595-340.html

Deep Plunge for Kindle (US) — http://www.amazon.com/Deep-Plunge-SoulShares-ebook/dp/B00EV7OAYU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377825393&sr=1-1&keywords=Deep+Plunge+Rory+Ni+Coileain

Deep Plunge, Ravenous Romance — http://www.ravenousromance.com/fantastica/deep-plunge-soulshares-number-iii.php

Deep Plunge, All Romance eBooks — https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-deepplunge-1271533-145.html

Deep Plunge, Barnes & Noble (Nook) — http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deep-plunge-rory-ni-coileain/1116795221?ean=2940148572602

Deep Plunge, Kobo — http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/deep-plunge

Deep Plunge for Kindle (UK) — http://www.amazon.co.uk/Deep-Plunge-SoulShares-ebook/dp/B00EV7OAYU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378063082&sr=1-1&keywords=Deep+Plunge+Rory+Ni+Coileain

Gale Force for Kindle (US) — http://www.amazon.com/Gale-Force-Soulshares-ebook/dp/B00BSEDKB8/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1363476525&sr=8-3&keywords=Gale+Force

Gale Force for Kindle (UK) — http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gale-Force-Soulshares-ebook/dp/B00BSEDKB8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363112251&sr=8-1

Gale Force, trade paperback, Amazon — http://www.amazon.com/Gale-Force-Soulshares-Volume-2/dp/160777934X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375935343&sr=8-1&keywords=Gale+Force+Rory+Ni+Coileain

Gale Force, Ravenous Romance — http://www.ravenousromance.com/fantastica/gale-force.php

Gale Force, All Romance eBooks — https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hardasstone-977359-143.html

Gale Force, Barnes & Noble (Nook) — http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gale-force-rory-ni-coileain/1114819137?ean=2940016296111

Gale Force, Kobo — http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Gale-Force/book-Lcg0U_igUUyXOsufiKIvPQ/page1.html?s=GakQctslHkqvHH3JsFY8JQ&r=3

Gale Force, Angus & Robertson (Australia!) — http://www.angusrobertson.com.au/ebook/gale-force/40329536/

Gale Force, Amazon (Kindle) Germany — http://www.amazon.de/Gale-Force-Soulshares-ebook/dp/B00BSEDKB8

Hard as Stone for Kindle — http://www.amazon.com/Hard-as-Stone-ebook/dp/B009SX91JQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355285138&sr=8-1&keywords=hard+as+stone+rory+ni+coileain

Hard as Stone, trade paperback, Amazon — http://www.amazon.com/Hard-as-Stone-Rory-Coileain/dp/1607779293/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363476804&sr=1-1&keywords=hard+as+stone+rory+ni+coileain

Hard as Stone for Nook — http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hard-as-stone-rory-ni-coileain/1113526804?ean=2940015530766

Hard as Stone, Kobo — http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Hard-As-Stone/book-06D0J5iMoEOk2FwhYFWLnQ/page1.html?s=1sR8MxtCREeacsxkHGm4gQ&r=2

Hard as Stone at Ravenous Romance’s Web site — http://www.ravenousromance.com/fantastica/hard-as-stone.php

Hard as Stone at Fictionwise — http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b135271/Hard-as-Stone/Rory-Ni-Coileain/?si=0

Evernight, Vol. 2 (anthology) for Kindle — http://www.amazon.com/Evernight-Vol-2-ebook/dp/B009LLZHX4/ref=pd_sim_kstore_2

Dangerous Curves (anthology) for Kindle (writing as Susan Swann) — http://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Curves-Stories-Voluptuous-ebook/dp/B007ZE2H2S/ref=sr_1_18?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1355285356&sr=1-18&keywords=Dangerous+Curves

As part of the festivities during launch weekend for Deep Plunge, Erin Kelley at The Lurker invited me to ruminate about where the SoulShares series started, where it is, where it’s going, and what I think The Meaning Of It All is. I had some fun with the project — so I thought I’d share it with you, with Erin’s kind permission!

Lurker Spotlight — September 1, 2013

Thanks for having me here to talk about the SoulShares, Erin! – I don’t really want to give away any spoilers, for people who haven’t read one, or two, or all three of the books that are out so far (though, really, what are you waiting for? – this post will still be here after you go to Amazon! *winks*) So I’ll summarize the books, but I thought I’d spend more of my time talking about how my Fae came to be, how they evolved, and what I think they’re trying to say through me.

Hard as Stone: Tiernan Guaire is a Fae in exile. Forced from the Realm into the human world for the unimaginable crime of a brother’s murder, he lives by a century-old vow, to trust no one, and never to allow himself to love or be loved. Kevin Almstead has just lost his future, to a vote of the partners at his law firm. Trying to escape for an evening, he ventures into Purgatory, the hottest all-male nightclub in Washington, D.C., where he allows himself to be seduced by a stranger with long blond hair and ice-blue eyes. Drawn into a Soulshare bond with his intended one-night stand, Tiernan soon learns that the most ancient and evil enemy of the Fae still walks the human world, and it will stop at nothing – certainly not Kevin Almstead – to possess the magick of a Noble Fae.

The Fae – MY Fae, anyway – were born on Facebook. I wrote up a Fae character for roleplay, and being the attention-to-detail sort that I am, I wrote a whole back-story for him. Where he came from, what he was doing in the human world, and so on. I’ve loved Irish legend and lore ever since I was old enough to read (which is a VERY long time), so I’m well acquainted with the Fae of Irish legend. Mine… aren’t quite those Fae. I played with the idea, had fun with it, changed a few of the basic assumptions just to see what kind of changes that might make in my character. I’m a great believer in creating a detailed and realistic world for my characters to play in, and letting it shape them. Then I entered a short-story contest that I couldn’t use my original Fae for, because of the theme of the competition, so Tiernan and Kevin were born. And the month after that contest’s deadline was NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writers’ Month, where you’re challenged to write 50,000 words in a month. I used the short story as the core of my project… which became HARD AS STONE.

Gale Force: Conall Dary is the most powerful mage born to the Fae race since the Realm was parted from the human world, over two thousand years ago. But that power condemns him to a lifetime of celibacy, because sex calls to power, and he has power enough to drain a world. When he refuses to use his talents for a Noble lady’s petty revenge, he finds himself shanghaied to the human world, his soul torn in half and his magick blocked. Josh LaFontaine is the beautifully inked owner of Raging Art-On, a Washington, D.C. tattoo and piercing parlor. While taking part in New York City’s Pride march, his world changes forever when the man of his dreams materializes at his feet. Josh’s sensual and loving touch, the first Conall has ever known, may be enough to give him back the magick he’s lost. But before they can complete their Soulshare, a terrible accident leaves Conall bodiless, lost, and invisible, to everyone except – maybe – the human with whom he shares a soul. But Josh will need to find him before the ancient evil of the Marfach does or everything they have – and more – will be lost.

I was stunned, to put it mildly, when I was offered a four-book contract by Ravenous Romance after they saw the first chapters of HARD AS STONE. I’d been prepared for years of slogging from one agent to the next, collecting rejection letters, the ‘normal’ author’s life. Now, all of a sudden, I had a ginormous playground I was responsible for filling up. ‘Terrified at the prospect’ sums up how I felt, pretty well. So I was pleasantly surprised when the stories didn’t stop coming. Conall and Josh had a compelling story to tell, so I sat down and started writing it. As I wrote, though, the story grew, and changed, the way all living things do, and I found myself in the position of wishing I’d built a better foundation for a few things in the first book. (This is not a problem that has gone away – while I was working on DEEP PLUNGE, I got myself a tattoo for a Mother’s Day gift, and spent the whole two and a half hours quizzing my artist about the ins and outs of tattooing. I would do a MUCH better job with Josh now. Did I mention my attention-to-detail personality?) And keeping track of who knew what about whom when caused me more than a few headaches. I would love a chance to go back through the first few books and re-write them. Maybe someday… And I started discovering all the additional things that come along with being a Published Author. Like the utter lack of time for anything other than working, eating, sleeping, and writing, not necessarily in that order. They say it’s essential to writing to read everything you can get your hands on — I’ve had to learn to keep my darn hands to myself. If I’m REALLY lucky, I can steal five or ten minutes before bed to read, but I don’t get lucky very often. I miss it…!

Deep Plunge: For the last six hundred years or so, the only things reminding Lochlann Doran he’s a Fae have been his faceted aquamarine eyes and the fact that he can’t die. He’s been a wanderer for so long in the human world – over two thousand years – that he’s lost his magick, including the gift of healing that goes along with being a Fae of the Demesne of Water. Finding his SoulShare might get it back for him. But it might kill him, too. Garrett Templar has been living on borrowed time, in a sense, since he was eighteen, when one of the johns he entertained to pay the bills while he danced at Purgatory infected him with HIV. It was always supposed to be a “manageable” disease, though, at least until a cure was found. Except he’s just found out that the virus in his system has inexplicably mutated into full-blown AIDS, and no known drug cocktail can even slow it down.  And when Lochlann and Garrett find each other at last, on Purgatory’s dance floor, the only thing as urgent as their need for one another is the hunger of an ancient evil to do whatever is necessary to possess Lochlann’s magick…

When I first started writing the SoulShares, back in the fall of 2011, I wasn’t thinking at all in terms of a message or a theme. There were people in my head, Fae people and human people, who wanted their stories told, and that was about it. That’s changed, the more I write. The first notion I had of a “theme” dawned on me when a gay friend of mine, who I’ve known for something like 25 years and who is the only person I know I would trust to “fact-check” my erotic scenes, responded to my first draft with “Have you been a gay man in drag all these years, and I just never knew?” I love being able to write gay romance, and erotic fiction, in a way that I hope says something to the rest of the world about how love is love, period. When my Facebook banner is done, it’s going to have a motto on it: “Many Fantasies… One Love.” And the other theme that’s come to mean a lot to me in these books started by accident. (Except that there’s no such thing as accident, really.) The first incident of what I’ve come to call “SoulShare joy” just sort of happened, between Tiernan and Kevin, but it’s become a hallmark of all the erotic scenes in all the books.  Love and delight, love and laughter go hand in hand, and even the hottest sex imaginable is heightened by joy. And as long as I still have anything to say on those themes, there will be Fae, and there will be SoulShares.

Thank you for having me, Erin! – and you can find all my books (including several anthologies I have stories in that I didn’t mention here) on my Amazon Author page, at

http://www.amazon.com/Rory-Ni-Coileain/e/B009M8XQP2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Welcome to the launch of DEEP PLUNGE, SoulShares #3. Lochlann Doran and Garrett Templar are the two newest additions to the little SoulShare community coming to center itself around Purgatory, the hottest gay club on the Eastern seaboard, which just happens to be built over a nexus of incredible raw magickal energy. Or they will be, if they survive their Sharing, and the test that will come after it…

Enjoy this excerpt, and the Amazon link is at the end!

            He had just spotted the recessed doorway that would take him up to his own apartment, directly over Luigi’s Italian Ristorante with the missing “n” where a rock or a bullet had taken out the neon tubing two or three years ago, when he first heard the footsteps behind him. Not quite running, but coming up fast.

            Shit. His grip tightened on the strap of his bag, ready to swing it — or ditch it, if it looked like that would help him escape . And for one sick, sweaty, gut-wrenching moment, he was ten years old again, hearing the kids closing in behind him, knowing there was no way in hell he was going to get away without another split lip, ruined shirt, blackened eye. Almost hearing his mother’s voice. Garrett Lee Templar, I swear, you find more trouble than any ten other boys ever dreamed of. Do you think I can just make new clothes appear out of thin air?

            “Garrett?”

            He recognized that voice from somewhere. Slowly, he turned. And stared up into eyes that gleamed blue even in the crappy light from the streetlight on the corner.

            “Lochlann?” He hadn’t had to rent his ass out for a while now, but the idea of a john following him home from the club still made his skin crawl. Yet there was something about those eyes, something different.

            No. Fuck that shit. You get hurt the worst when you let yourself hope

http://www.amazon.com/Deep-Plunge-SoulShares-ebook/dp/B00EV7OAYU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1377916030&sr=1-1&keywords=Deep+Plunge+rory+ni+coileain


Watch this space…

Several readers have offered me suggestions on my Facebook page for short short stories. The challenge was “give me any two characters from the SoulShares, and any object. And I’ll write a story around them.” The first is in progress… watch this space for Tiernan, Kevin… and a puppy. *grinning*

Here’s a link to the fabulous video for HARD AS STONE (Soulshares #1)!

http://youtu.be/hVjg9hHMIMY

 

Thank you, Erin Kelley! Onward to GALE FORCE…

How about a teaser?

Who can tell me who said this, and to whom?

 

“Neither one’s going to happen.” The human’s grip tightened. “I run interference with the cops for pretty much all the shit that goes on around here, because my husband is about as diplomatic as a rhino with a rash. But I am not going to try to explain a fight between two Fae to D.C.’s finest. Whatever issues you two have, you can take them off the premises. Am I clear?”