Tag Archive: m/m


So Many GOOD Things!

RedHotDay

It’s been a crazy busy few weeks in the Ni Coileain household, and I’m headed out the door in a few minutes for a long weekend at Milwaukee Irish Fest — but I just wanted to leave you with a couple of the really cool things that have happened to me and my boys lately!

A SUMMER’S DAY — I have the lead-off story in this Shakespearan m/m short story anthology benefiting the It Gets Better Project — http://ow.ly/T4cS303bCa6!

Fabulous review of UNDERTOW from Becky Condit at USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog —
http://ow.ly/ETIW303bAHf

And in case you’re inspired to buy *winks*

UNDERTOW (Amazon): http://ow.ly/CCig303bBdb

And, as referenced therein —

HARD AS STONE (Amazon): http://ow.ly/ojjI303bBoA
HARD AS STONE (Riverdale Avenue Books, 50 percent off during August with coupon code 8HAS2016): http://ow.ly/xHSL303bBDp

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8CoverswithLogo

At long last, all in one place — all of Rory’s books, in all formats, and I PROMISE to keep it updated!

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HARD AS STONE (SoulShares #1)

Amazon (Kindle): http://ow.ly/6puW301xGCC
ARe: http://ow.ly/FIC6302KMzm
Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi or .pdf): http://ow.ly/rZb1301xJtu
Amazon (paperback): http://ow.ly/CV9n301xGEO

GALE FORCE (SoulShares #2)

Amazon (Kindle): http://ow.ly/BfqJ301xIpz
ARe: http://ow.ly/rZn3302KMMx
Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi or .pdf): http://ow.ly/HPmO301xJwL
Amazon (paperback): http://ow.ly/qPJs301xItz

DEEP PLUNGE (SoulShares #3)

Amazon (Kindle): http://ow.ly/vSYn301xI4p
ARe: http://ow.ly/CSAO302KMVZ
Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi or .pdf): http://ow.ly/8CW7301xJyQ
Amazon (paperback): http://ow.ly/OH4q301xI7g

FIRESTORM (SoulShares #4)

Amazon (Kindle): http://ow.ly/QoMW301xIcV
ARe: http://ow.ly/8OSi302KMYu
Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi or .pdf): http://ow.ly/IaeV301xJC5
Amazon (paperback): http://ow.ly/K3bw301xIhU

BLOWING SMOKE (SoulShares #5)

Amazon (Kindle): http://ow.ly/hFNQ301xIwo
ARe: http://ow.ly/2MD8302KN0h
Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi or .pdf): http://ow.ly/Wgjo301xJHs
Amazon (paperback): http://ow.ly/7h3n301xIEr

MANTLED IN MIST (SoulShares #6)

Amazon (Kindle): http://ow.ly/V9fx301xIJI
ARe: http://ow.ly/GUz3302KN4f
Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi or .pdf): http://ow.ly/Sck1301xJKz
Amazon (paperback): http://ow.ly/yGJl301xINr

UNDERTOW (SoulShares #7)

Amazon (Kindle): http://ow.ly/ZE37302KNmU
ARe: http://ow.ly/TEMO302KNel
Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi or .pdf): http://ow.ly/6MoS302KNu9
Amazon (paperback): http://ow.ly/ufir302KNoM

Coming in 2017: STONE COLD (SoulShares #8) and BACK DOOR INTO PURGATORY (SoulShares #9 and the end of the series)

WOLF, BECOMING (Russian wolf shapeshifter novella)

Amazon (Kindle only): http://ow.ly/US2D301xGzj
ARe: http://ow.ly/UbrY302KNiD
Dreamspinner Press (.epub. .mobi, or .pdf): http://ow.ly/ItKU301xITW

DISCOVERY: QSF’s Second Annual Flash Fiction Contest – something completely different, my contribution to a speculative flash fiction (300 words) anthology

Amazon (Kindle): http://ow.ly/p9xr302KO65
Amazon (paperback): http://ow.ly/BnKW302KO7h

FLIGHT: QSF’s Third Annual Flash Fiction Contest – coming Fall of 2016

Coming in August 2016:

A SUMMER’S DAY – an m/m anthology, Shakespeare with a twist – benefitting the It Gets Better project

And, finally —

FREE READ – “Obsidian”http://ow.ly/yBTa301xNqI

Oh, and come find me on Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/Soulshares/ ) and Twitter (@RoryNi)!

PrideSilk

June is a very special month around here – Pride, and my birthday, and the anniversary of the signing of my very first novel contract! So in honor of all that momentousness (I’m not sure that’s even a word, but if it wasn’t before, it is now, so there), and by way of special welcome to everyone I met, or am going to be meeting, at Twin Cities Pride and CONvergence, I thought I’d gather all the buy links for all the SoulShares novels and my oboroten’ novella together in one place, in all the formats in which they’re available. However you like your m/m romance (provided you like it mythical, legendary, paranormal, and monitor-melting HOT) there’s a link for that. (And scroll all the way to the end for a FREE read, “Obsidian,” originally written for the Facebook MM Romance Group’s Love Is an Open Road project in the summer of 2015 and available on their Web site in .epub, .mobi, and .pdf. For freakin’ free. Go on, grab your copy, I’ll wait right here.

Back? Yay!

A lot has been going on over the last few months in my writing world – in particular, I’ve gotten the rights back to the two Gille Dubh novellas I had with Ellora’s Cave, HEART OF THE OAK and TEMPTED FROM THE OAK, and hopefully you’ll be seeing those two (and their younger and as yet unpublished sibling, BOUND IN OAK), sometime in 2017. I have short stories scheduled to come out in a charity Shakespeare m/m romance anthology and a 12 Days of Christmas anthology – check back here for more details on both as I get them. And I’m scheduled to be at CONvergence (Bloomington, Minnesota, June 30-July 1), Gaylaxicon (World LGBT SFF Convention, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 7-9), and GRL (GayRomLit Retreat, Featured Author, October 20-23, Kansas City, Missouri). C’mon up and see me sometime!

Oh, and if you’re new to my blog, please do subscribe, and come find me on Facebook –
https://www.facebook.com/Soulshares/

And now *drum roll* THE BUY LINKS!

Hard as Stone Final

HARD AS STONE (SoulShares #1)

Amazon (Kindle): http://ow.ly/6puW301xGCC
Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi or .pdf): http://ow.ly/rZb1301xJtu
Amazon (paperback): http://ow.ly/CV9n301xGEO

Gale Force Final

GALE FORCE (SoulShares #2)

Amazon (Kindle): http://ow.ly/BfqJ301xIpz
Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi or .pdf): http://ow.ly/HPmO301xJwL
Amazon (paperback): http://ow.ly/qPJs301xItz

Deep Plunge Final

DEEP PLUNGE (SoulShares #3)

Amazon (Kindle): http://ow.ly/vSYn301xI4p
Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi or .pdf): http://ow.ly/8CW7301xJyQ
Amazon (paperback): http://ow.ly/OH4q301xI7g

Firestorm Final

FIRESTORM (SoulShares #4)

Amazon (Kindle): http://ow.ly/QoMW301xIcV
Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi or .pdf): http://ow.ly/IaeV301xJC5
Amazon (paperback): http://ow.ly/K3bw301xIhU

Blowing Smoke Final

BLOWING SMOKE (SoulShares #5)

Amazon (Kindle): http://ow.ly/hFNQ301xIwo
Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi or .pdf): http://ow.ly/Wgjo301xJHs
Amazon (paperback): http://ow.ly/7h3n301xIEr

Mantled in Mist Final

MANTLED IN MIST (SoulShares #6)

Amazon (Kindle): http://ow.ly/V9fx301xIJI
Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi or .pdf): http://ow.ly/Sck1301xJKz
Amazon (paperback): http://ow.ly/yGJl301xINr

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Undertow from Amazon

UNDERTOW (SoulShares #7)

Amazon (Kindle):  http://ow.ly/qQ0E302oPfL

All Romance eBooks:  http://ow.ly/5IUX302oYBc

Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi, or .pdf):  http://riverdaleavebooks.com/books/5267/undertow

Amazon (paperback):  http://ow.ly/Seok302oPlc

Coming in 2017: STONE COLD (SoulShares #8) and BACK DOOR INTO PURGATORY (SoulShares #9 and the end of the series)

WolfBecoming-final

WOLF, BECOMING (Russian wolf shapeshifter novella)

Amazon (Kindle only): http://ow.ly/US2D301xGzj
Dreamspinner Press (.epub. .mobi, or .pdf): http://ow.ly/ItKU301xITW

Lamia

FREE READ – “Obsidian” — http://ow.ly/yBTa301xNqI

HAPPY PRIDE!

Lamia

 

Exciting news! — ever since I found out about the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s “Don’t Read in the Closet” project, this year titled “Love Is an Open Road”, I’ve wanted to get in on it. Readers choose 200 of their favorite photos from the group’s archives, and write prompts – “Dear Author” letters – asking for stories to be told about the pictures. Then the pictures and prompts are posted, to be claimed by authors. The resulting stories are put together into a free anthology, released during the summer. I’ve never been quick enough to snag a story prompt before, but this year I got my act together on time and got exactly the prompt I wanted! So now I have until May 1 to write a story about this compelling male. (Hint: he’s a male of a species I’ve only written as female until now…) Here’s the prompt – are you as excited as I am?

Dear Author,

I cry out in pain as my body changes. The muscular power of my body expands and my scales slide off my torso, revealing flesh. What’s happening to me? I don’t know who I am, or why I can smell the heat coming from the man carrying my limp body over his shoulders. He’s strong for such a small being. He cares for me, washing sweat off my brow while the rest of my body changes. Now, I am part of the human world and I need to find out why. But this man, this beautiful man who rescued me from the forest floor touches me sweetly, and I know he is mine.

Sincerely,

M.E. Sanford

So for those of you who are keeping track of my schedule for 2015, here’s how things are shaping up:

April 22: Scheduled re-release date for HARD AS STONE, by Riverdale Avenue Books (new cover, and a new Fae-language glossary/phrase book!)

April 29: Scheduled re-release date for GALE FORCE (likewise)

May 6: Scheduled re-release date for DEEP PLUNGE (ditto)

May 13: Scheduled re-release date for FIRESTORM (rinse and repeat)

May 20: Scheduled NEW release – BLOWING SMOKE, SoulShares #5

Sometime between June and September – release of “Obsidian”, my Don’t Read in the Closet/Love Is an Open Road story

July 2-5: CONvergence (SF/F convention, Bloomington, MN) http://www.convergence-con.org/

July 16-19: RainbowCon (QUILTBAG fiction/media convention, Tampa, FL) http://www.rainbowconference.org/default.aspx

October 22-25: Midwestern Book Lovers Unite conference (romance readers and authors, Minneapolis, MN) https://midwesternbookloversunite.wordpress.com/ I’m co-hosting a cosplay party on the night of the 24th – come as your favorite romance novel character, anyone from a genderbent Vishous to Claire Beauchamp Fraser – or a character created by one of the attending authors!

TiernanChrisBrown2

With the upcoming re-issue of the first four SoulShares novels (HARD AS STONE, GALE FORCE, DEEP PLUNGE, and FIRESTORM) and the upcoming release of the fifth (BLOWING SMOKE), and the fact that I’m about to leave on a week-long you’re-going-to-take-a-vacation-whether-you-need-it-or-not, I haven’t had a lot of time to craft a Valentine’s Day story for this year. However… I’m treating this as an opportunity to go back in time a couple of years and bring back one of my favorite Kevin and Tiernan short stories, about the first Valentine’s Day of their married life. (Sorry if that was a spoiler for anyone….!) And a word to the wise, this is definitely a love story for the 18-and-over set…

***********

Kevin eyed the plastic cup in his hand speculatively. Well, kind of a cup. A hollow hand grenade. And the bartender was watching him with an ill-concealed grin. Maybe I shouldn’t have admitted it’s my first time in New Orleans. Off to one side, the house band on the small stage was rocking out a zydeco song about what girls in the bayou they will do, won’t do.

Strange choice for Valentine’s Day. But, then, so was the Funky Pirate. Sighing, Kevin raised the cup, saluted the bartender, and took a healthy swig. Then, slowly, he set the cup back down on the bar, fighting the urge to cough. Holy shit.

The bartender laughed. “You let me know when you want another one.”

He moved off down the bar, stopping in front of what looked like a group of friends of the band, and Kevin’s gaze wandered. The front door of the bar stood open, and looked out onto the famous Bourbon Street. The street was closed to traffic, and was fairly crowded with pedestrians, most of them probably bar-hopping, carrying their take-away cups from one bar to the next. Probably nothing like it had been a few days ago, though.

The firm couldn’t have sent me here for Mardi Gras, no, they had to wait for Valentine’s Day. Kevin grimaced and had another go at the cup of death and delirium in his hand. Just let me get this down and I swear I’ll go back to civilized drinks. Nothing wrong with Jack and coke.

Nothing except the fact that he’d be drinking it alone. Damn, he missed Tiernan. Which was silly, because he’d be home in a couple of days. But he’d been looking forward to this Valentine’s Day, the first of his married life.

Almost on the thought, there was a pleasant buzz in his pocket. He pulled out his phone, saw the familiar number, and grinned as he slid the toggle to unlock the screen. “Hey, lanan.” He slipped off the barstool and looked quickly around; the Funky Pirate had a back courtyard, and he headed for it, phone in one hand and drink in the other.

“Hey, bodelafint.”

Kevin felt his cheeks flush even as he grinned. Only a Fae would turn ‘Elephant Dick’ into an endearment. “Are you at work?” He sighed with relief as he escaped into the courtyard; there was hardly anyone out here, and even though the music inside was being piped outside, it was a hell of a lot easier to hear.

“Hell, yes. Though I don’t know why, it’s not like there’s anything for me to do here.” Kevin thought he could hear the pounding bass of Purgatory’s sound system behind his husband’s voice. “Where are you? I hear music.”

“I thought I’d try the Funky Pirate. Great music, lethal drinks. I’m out in the courtyard now, though.” Kevin tried another pull at the oddly shaped glass, and this time there was no reason not to cough.

Tiernan’s laugh was pure wickedness. “You’re trying a hand grenade? When I’m not there to take advantage of you afterward?”

“You know the place?” A small staircase in a corner of the courtyard led up to a second story that was gated off; Kevin crossed to it and sat down on the stairs, balancing his drink on his knee.

“Yeah, I’ve been there a few times. I like the music. Though Bourbon Street Blues Company’s better for picking up guys.”

“Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too.” Kevin chuckled, but there was frustration in the sound. “I’d rather be at home right now. Especially considering that I wanted to dress to suit the day, but I don’t own anything pink, and the only red item of clothing I have is my red silk tie.” The tie that was his private signal to his husband that he was in the mood for breath play. Which he was. Damn.

“You don’t say.” The words were slow, drawn-out, and followed by a long silence. Then, just as Kevin was about to ask if the Fae was still there, “You say you’re in the courtyard?”

“Yes.” Puzzled, Kevin took another drink, held the peculiar glass between his knees, and rubbed the back of his neck.

“Send me a picture.”

“Of me?” I am so not unconfused.

Another low chuckle. “No. Of the courtyard. That back corner, by the steps.”

Kevin opened his mouth to ask how Tiernan knew the layout of the courtyard, but one glance at the corner beside where he sat answered that question very nicely, supplying him with all sorts of images of his husband putting the semi-privacy to thorough use with a woman, women, a man, men… All of which thoughts were making him horny as hell. “Hang on.”

Switching the phone to camera setting, he snapped a shot of the corner and texted it off, then returned the phone to his ear. “Was that what you wanted, m’lanan?”

“That was fucking perfect.”

Tiernan’s reply wasn’t coming from the phone.

Kevin’s head snapped around, and his eyes went wide at the sight of the Fae, shirtless under a denim jacket, in jeans so tight they looked like they’d been tattooed on, blond hair curling around his shoulders. And wearing a smirk that brought the lawyer’s cock to instant and rigid attention.

“I needed the reminder.” Then, in a murmur that should have sent up tendrils of smoke, “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

“Holy shit.” Kevin slammed down the last of his hand grenade, let the cup fall to the ground, and surged to his feet, to be caught up in Tiernan’s arms and turned and pushed back against the vine-covered brickwork, where the Fae’s mouth came down on his in a kiss that left him dizzy.

He felt one of Tiernan’s hands sliding up between their bodies, out of sight; long, strong fingers closed around his tie and slid up the silken length to fist just below the knot. “You weren’t kidding, I see.” Faceted ice-blue eyes held him spellbound, as his husband’s other hand undid his belt buckle, unbuttoned his trousers, and slipped inside to curl around his shaft. “Hold very still, lanan, and let me show you how much I’ve missed you.”

The only answer Kevin could manage was a faint moan, one that Tiernan kissed away before starting to twist the silken tie tight. Kevin’s pulse was like thunder in his ears; his breath came in soft, rapid pants against Tiernan’s lips, and his hips made little, tight jerks of their own volition as his cock was firmly, insistently stroked.

“You are so incredibly fucking hot.” He could feel Tiernan’s lips moving, breathed in his words, and shuddered in ecstasy from his touch. “I can’t get enough of you.” The Fae’s hot tongue traced a path back to his ear, probed; teeth nipped, and the tongue soothed. “Are you close? Are you ready?”

Kevin tried, and failed, to get a breath. And the failure sent liquid heat racing down his spine, to pool in his sac. He felt Tiernan’s hand tighten in anticipation – both hands, the hand twisting the tie as well as the exquisite vise around his cock. He had no voice to whisper with, all he could do was move his lips. “…don’t let me fall…”

Tiernan leaned into him, pinning him to the wall, as his knees buckled with the first thick white jet of his release. His eyes threatened to roll back, his hips jerked forward; darkness started closing in, his vision becoming a tunnel. Tiernan’s hand became slick, and the Fae was moaning now, too, along with him, with every pulse of hot fluid that welled up and spilled over.
And the joy. Oh, Christ, the joy. Pure bliss, the delight of being held, pleasured, cherished.
Scair-anam,” he whispered, as the last wave of pleasure rippled through his body.

Opening eyes he hadn’t realized he’d closed, he saw his husband nod. “So fucking beautiful you stop my heart.” Tiernan’s lips parted, he leaned in, in a kiss that was as close to gentle as he ever came. “I love you, m’lanan.”

And before Kevin could answer, the faceted blue of the Fae’s eyes heated with a smile. “Let’s go back to your hotel room so I can do it some more.”

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?

I couldn’t say no, when asked by Susan Mac Nicol to participate in a blog hop. (Of course, it didn’t hurt that she asked Toby to bat his eyelashes at me to seal the deal…. or maybe I just imagined that part.) My only obligation (apart from finding and tagging the next generation of participants) is to Tell All about my writing process. I’m not entirely sure “process” is the right word to use, in my case – I’m reminded of my priest, when she’s asked why she’s an Episcopalian, she generally replies “Because I can’t stand organized religion.” But I’ll give it my best shot!

What am I working on? I’m currently on Chapter 26 of Blowing Smoke, which is the first in a new four-book cycle of Fae novels, the Broken Pattern. All the Fae novels are SoulShares stories, really, but only the first four are the “official” SoulShares four-book cycle. (I feel a little like George Lucas. “No, only the first movie is Star Wars. Oh, okay, the first three are the Star Wars trilogy. Oh, wait, now there’s the Star Wars original trilogy and the Star Wars prequel trilogy.”) After I finish with Blowing Smoke, it’s going to be an interesting summer, since I’m moving all through the months of June and July and I really don’t want to be fighting with deadlines till I’m done. But I want to work on a shifter short story to submit for a DSP Christmas anthology, and that has an August deadline, so I suppose there’s no getting around that. Then it’s on to Bound in Oak, the third Tales of the Grove novella.

How does my work differ from others of its genre? Is it really bad of me to say that I have no idea? I’ve always had a problem with reading while I’m writing – I soak up literary styles like the proverbial sponge, and I’d purely hate for anyone to think I was plagiarizing them. But after I’d been writing for a year or so, I realized I was having serious withdrawal symptoms, so I started (in my copious spare time, cough cough) reading contemporary m/m. And I found out that I’m pretty safe with that. But I still don’t dare go near paranormal. So I guess you’ll have to tell me how I differ from other paranormal/urban fantasy m/m writers!

Why do I write what I do? Oh, wow. Let’s see… I got back into writing after about 30 years away, role-play writing on Facebook, just for fun. Strictly m/f, because those were the authors I was reading at the time, and I honestly didn’t think I could write m/m. I’m a stickler for accuracy, and for fairly obvious reasons, both anatomical and social, I didn’t think I had it in me to write m/m. But a dear friend begged to differ, and begged me to try. So as a surprise for her, I found a writing partner and gave it a shot. And I’ve never looked back. And it’s funny – another dear friend of mine, the only gay man I could even think of asking to, um, fact-check my first book, read the first few chapters, and his first comment was “Who are you? – have you been a gay man in drag for the last 20 years and you just never told me?” And there are days when that’s very much what it feels like. Writing m/m is a continuous voyage of self-discovery, and I love every minute of it. And I love the community I’m part of, too.

How does my writing process work? Saving the hardest part for last. (Incidentally, in her blog, Susan posted a picture of her lovely writing nook at this point. I’m not going to do that, because I’m too busy trying to write to evade the men in white coats with butterfly nets who would be descending on me in hordes.)
I usually get story ideas in one of two ways. Most often, I’ll hear characters talking to me before anything else. (I am, incidentally, a firm believer in muses, even if I’ve never gotten a good clear look at my own.) Once I know the characters, I start trying to work out what it was that made them who they are, or what got them to the point they’re trying to tell me about. That’s their story. So far, my characters have been kind to me for the most part, and have told me stories that fit into either my Fae stories or my Gille Dubh stories. I don’t have nearly as much time to write as I’d like, and if I had a bunch of unruly guys trying to tell me stories in a half-dozen worlds at once, I think I might have to be sedated.
Sometimes, though, it’s the story idea that comes to me first. And then I have to work backwards from there, to figure out who would be telling that particular story, and how they got involved in it. That’s the case with the short story I want to start after I finish Blowing Smoke – I was given the premise of “Christmas outside the United States”. And at a panel I was on at RainbowCon, the idea came up of doing a benefit anthology of HEA m/m stories set in Russia and the Ukraine, and the two ideas merged perfectly. Like chocolate and peanut butter. Only including a hot wolf shifter, which is a trope I’m pretty sure never came up in the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups commercials. Unfortunately.
The actual “writing it down” part of the process is fairly straightforward. I’m mostly a pantser, but I’ll usually outline the first five or six chapters of a book, very generally. Maybe a paragraph per chapter, sometimes just a sentence. By the time I’m on four or five, the next four or five have usually come to me, so I add them in. A few more chapters, and I’m ready to fill in the rest of the book. Though the outline of the last third of the book or so is never set in stone, because later chapters tend to calve off new chapters I hadn’t planned on. And in Blowing Smoke, I’m encountering a new phenomenon (new to me, anyway) – usually, my chapters are each told from a single point of view. There are unquestionably writers who can do head-hopping and not be confusing, but I’m not one of them. But the later chapters in Blowing Smoke are breaking up into scenes, each scene with a different POV character. We’ll see how that works out…
And now I turn you over to my fellow hoppers, my partners in crime, my willing victims- er, dear friends. (A number of whom are, I think, still either at or recovering from RT2014, so it may be a little while before their posts are up!) Angel Martinez, Dean Pace-Frech, Leta Blake, Nicole Dennis, Pamela Pelaam-One, you’re up!

 

Tempted From the Oak Cover

 

It’s release day for TEMPTED FROM THE OAK (Tales of the Grove #2)! The Tales of the Grove tell the stories of the Gille Dubh, or Dark Men, a race of male tree spirits native to Scotland. The Gille Dubh and their daragin, the sentient oak trees in which they live, were thought to have died out thousands of years ago, but one by one (two by two, actually), the Gille Dubh and their daragin are reawakening.

 

In celebration of Tearlach and Gavin, please enjoy Chapter Two from TEMPTED FROM THE OAK!

 

 

 

Gavin turned up the collar of his leather jacket as he walked and tugged his hat down around his ears then plunged his hands back into the pockets as deep as they’d go. Which wasn’t nearly deep enough. Fortunately it wasn’t all that windy anymore and the snow they’d been predicting all day was apparently going to hold off long enough for him to get home, at least.
Home. He tried not to wince as he trudged along the path through the park in the darkness, new snow crunching under his thrift-store boots. He had a home for a few more days, at least. Jeremy hadn’t wanted to kick him out at Christmastime. Sleeping on the couch, though, didn’t feel much like any kind of home he’d ever heard of. Especially not with a tipsy ex-boyfriend and his equally tipsy new boyfriend tiptoeing past him in the middle of the night, trying to make it to the bedroom without turning on the lights.
It’s my own damn fault. Gavin wondered how people ever managed to take comfort in the thought that they’d brought their troubles on themselves. Maybe that was the kind of thing people only did in books. The notion—the entirely true notion, unfortunately—that he was wholly responsible for his current predicament left him feeling nauseous rather than comforted.
He’d been an idiot. The ink hadn’t even been dry on his diploma—Gavin Cross, M.F.A. in Scenic Design—when he’d met Jeremy at a performance at the Bathhouse Theater. He’d thought it was kismet, meeting a hot and available guy who just happened to be looking for a roommate in the same city as the Guthrie Theater, the very place he’d had his heart set on working ever since his undergraduate days.
Maybe it had actually been kismet. But just because something was fated to happen didn’t mean it was a good idea. Moving halfway across the country and moving in with a guy with the emotional maturity of Miley Cyrus had been a spectacularly bad idea. One step closer to his dream, sure, but maybe he wasn’t supposed to be getting closer to that dream just yet. Or ever for that matter. Now here he was—four days before Christmas—looking at ringing in the New Year sleeping on the street in the middle of a Minnesota winter unless one of the leads he’d found on Craigslist surprised the hell out of him by calling him back.
You, my boy, are a fucking idiot. Which was news to absolutely no one, least of all to the fucking idiot himself. Gavin had a long and ignoble history of deciding he “ought to” be in love with someone for whatever reason—because everyone said a guy was perfect for him, because a guy had smiled at him when he was having a bad day or because a guy offered him half a bed in the city of his dreams and ambitions—and then making himself do what he “ought” to do. It was kind of like crushing except that a crush was something mindless and whatever it was he did, he always did it to himself with his eyes wide open. Which broke his heart every time. And this time, it had also brought him halfway across the country to a deep freeze in which he knew essentially no one and committed him to a future with a man who saw him as a temporary decoration rather than a permanent fixture.
You could always go home, you know. Gavin hated the sensible voice in the back of his head with a passion. It’s not like you stand a chance at the Guthrie, not for years yet. Why hang around here and let the man you convinced yourself you loved treat you like shit when your only reason to stay is a pipe dream?
Well, at least the being-treated-like-shit part was getting taken care of.

Little spots of cold stung his face. Great, the snow decided not to wait. There was already a good foot of it on the ground, more than he’d ever seen in one place at one time before. And Jeremy had said earlier in the month, when the two of them were still on speaking terms, that Mother Nature was just getting warmed up. Mother Nature can take this particular twelve inches and she can shove it where
Gavin blinked, then squinted. Loring Lake was up ahead on his left. And— impossible on this overcast night—a huge oak tree on the shore was bathed in the cool white of moonlight.
A spotlight? Gavin studied the tree and the ground around it. But there was no light source, no reason for there to be one—and judging from the shadows, the light was coming from above. The way moonlight was supposed to.
Bemused, he did a quick three-sixty. He hadn’t seen many people out tonight to begin with—apparently, even hardy Minnesotans preferred to spend the longest night of the year indoors. This end of Loring Park was nearly deserted, but there were a few other people on the paths and not one of them seemed to be paying any attention to the odd phenomenon, despite the way the clear light bathing the tree made it stand out from the darkness around it.
Gavin shrugged. It’s not like I’m in a huge hurry to get home. Damn, there was that word again.
As soon as he stepped off the path, the snow was over the tops of his boots. It clung to his jeans and fell into his boots, one soft clump after another as he slogged through the unmarked snow. He hardly noticed, though. His gaze was fixed on the tree.
That’s odd. The moonlight—if that’s what it was—cast no shadows anywhere but under the tree itself. He was almost to the overhanging boughs now and glanced up— having a snow-covered branch dump its load down the back of his neck a couple of weeks ago had been enough for him.
The snow on the branches was melting.

Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this.

Gavin stepped into the circle of moonlight.

He was still under an oak tree. A completely different oak tree, one growing out of bare and rocky soil, its roots visible in places. The sounds of an urban park, cars and planes and dogs barking, were gone, replaced by a profound silence. Only the moonlight was the same, pouring down through the branches and dappling the ground.
Gavin spun around to look back the way he’d come. There was no sign of snow or park or lighted walking path. Only darkness and a sense of something massive, looming, blotting out the moonlight. Something that definitely hadn’t been there a few seconds ago. The lake was gone too. Where it had been was a rocky slope scattered with patches of scrub grass. Down the slope, a few hundred yards or so, he could make out water, gleaming in the clear white light. And the stars were glorious.
Shouldn’t I be panicking? Gavin looked past the tree, down toward the water. I’m not. Not yet, anyway. Maybe I would, if this were even a little less impossible. As his eyes adjusted to moonlight and starlight, he could make out shadows rising around the lake. Great hills or small mountains, their tops mostly bare, pale stone. Chances were the presence he could still feel at his back was another one. Toto, I don’t think we’re in Minneapolis anymore.
Wherever he was, it was warmer than Loring Park had been. The leather jacket was still a good idea but he pulled off his knit cap and stuffed it into a pocket, running his hand idly over the short dark fuzz the barber had left him yesterday. Jeremy liked his hair long. Which was a reason for a buzz cut if he’d ever heard one.
Maybe I’m dreaming. Though if he was, why he’d started dreaming in the middle of an after-work stroll through the park was an open question. Unless the whole day had been a dream. Surely, though, there were better things to dream about than spending six hours explaining the difference between a tall, a grande and a venti. Still, dreaming was the only explanation he could come up with off the top of his head that didn’t somehow involve total insanity on his part.
Gavin tipped his head back, looking up through the branches and the sparse leaves into the impossibly beautiful night sky. If it was a dream he’d wake soon enough. Hopefully not when Jeremy or his Quentin or Benton or whatever the hell his name is trips over me again.
He shook his head. There was no place, no time for idle thoughts here, or fear, or nursing a grudge. It was just too damn beautiful. Stark, silent and peaceful. Exactly what he needed.
The space around the oak was a little more grassy, a little less rocky. Gavin slid down the trunk to sit. He’d almost touched down when he lurched to one side, as a rock rolled out from under the heel of his waterlogged boot. The heel of his hand skidded off more stones as he caught himself and he felt the slam all the way up to his shoulder as he finally fell against a gnarled tree root.
Cursing under his breath, he fell back against the trunk of the tree and rolled his shoulder, shook out his hand. Bleeding. Hell. But it wasn’t the ache or the scrape he minded so much as the broken spell.
“Damn it.” His voice sounded much too loud in the stillness and he lowered it to a murmur. “No peace even in my dreams.”
The crown of the oak tossed as if in a wind.

But there was no wind.
Peace is here. Leaf on leaf, the tree whispered to him. Wait for it.

 

 

For the whole story, check out:  http://www.amazon.com/Tempted-From-Oak-Rory-Coileain-ebook/dp/B00J8N6SY2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396035509&sr=8-1&keywords=Tempted+from+the+Oak+Rory+Ni+Coileain

 

And the story begins with HEART OF THE OAK (Tales of the Grove #1):  http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Oak-Boys-Will-Do-ebook/dp/B00FBF4XIY/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_d_2

I wish there were 10 stars to give. After 9 hours of continuous reading, I hated for the book to end. I rank this book among the best I have read in the m/m genre. The combining of two halves of one soul, one half residing in Kevin, a lawyer in the real world and the other half in Tiernan,a Fae. Their meeting and instant attraction is a puzzlement to both, but an attraction neither of them can deny. The emotions of both men are ever present throughout the story and make the characters real and endearing. The path to love is not easy for Kevin and Tiernan. Where would a story be without an evil interloper both in the Fae realm and in the realm of the real world. As in life, our struggles often bring us closer to the ones we love. Interesting twists and turns take the reader on an addictive ride as our characters come together. In my humble opinion, HARD AS STONE is an absolute MUST READ. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed. 5 stars and a keg of honey for you, Rory Ni Coileain.

Hard as Stone is out!!!

HARD AS STONE is available on Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, All Romance Ebooks, and Ravenous’ own Web site, with more to come (especially Kobo). I’ll post the links below as I get them, and as soon as I calm down a little I’m probably going to run a contest of some kind, so stay tuned!