CONTEST NOW CLOSED AND WINNERS ANNOUNCED HERE
Crossposted from kayberrisford.com
I’m thrilled to welcome to the site, Anna Zabo! Anna’s Loose Id novel, m/m paranormal Close Quarter, was published last week. Not only is she offering one lucky commenter/emailer a free copy of Close Quarter she’s blogging about a couple of things very close to my heart…
Two things have a tendency to show up in my fiction: Coffee and elves. Well, not necessarily elves, but beings along those lines—beautiful, immortal, and magical beings. My debut m/m paranormal romance Close Quarter features a fae and quite a bit of coffee. I could wax on about coffee, but that’s not as much fun as fae.
I like exploring the edges of ageless living—and the pitfalls, because it can’t be all fun and games, and even powerful beings have their limitations.
Silas quint is a forest fae. He’s also a vampire hunter and he’s been sent to destroy a flock of vampires on a transatlantic cruise. And now he’s stuck in the middle of the ocean, away from his element. He’s not happy with the situation.
Then, a rather brash American named Rhys upends a tray of drinks all over him. He’d be downright cranky if Rhys weren’t so very interesting and quite beautiful… for a human.
Rhys sees right through Silas’s fae glamour. Which is a bit of an issue, since Rhys also notices that no one else sees the things Silas does. Like feel him up at one of the ship’s bars. Silas might not be able to tap into his elemental energy, but his libido works just fine.
In this excerpt Silas has invited Rhys to dinner to tell him what he really is, since he can’t hide the odd happenings. Rhys doesn’t take the news so well, at first.
Rhys cleared his throat. “Silas? What are you doing to me?”
Silas answered with the truth. “Nothing.”
“Then what are you doing to everyone else?”
He couldn’t help but smile at that. “Merely showing them what they wish to see.”
Rhys laughed. “What are you, then? Some sort of magician?”
“No, not a magician.” He picked up his glass and drained the last of his scotch. Set it back down. “I’m one of the fae.”
Once more, Rhys went taut with shock. “Fae. You mean like a fairy?”
“Well, I don’t have wings. Nor do I fly about trailing pixie dust.” Silas stroked his thumb over the top of Rhys’s hand. “And I am a bit longer than five inches.”
Color drained from Rhys’s cheeks. “You’re serious.”
Rhys opened his mouth to speak again, disbelief clearly etched on his face. Fortunately the food arrived, providing Silas with a respite from questions.
He did have to give up Rhys’s hand to eat. Pity, that. He missed the touch of Rhys’s skin. Best to leave him be, for a time. He knew from having watched the man this past hour or so that Rhys needed to work things through in his mind.
Dinner conversation was nonexistent until Rhys spoke again. “Um, I’m not your servant for the next seven years, am I?” There was a clip to Rhys’s voice that was hard to interpret. Sarcasm, perhaps.
“Thomas the Rhymer. You know your classic tales.” Impressive, though Silas suppressed a shudder. Seven years bound to another’s will? He would not wish that on anyone. He had lived that, for far more years than seven.
Silas toyed with one of the shrimp on his plate. Rhys had gained back the color in his face, and splotches of red marred his neck. “No. I cannot bend your will to me. There is no Elfland beyond a river of blood to which I can take you. I am as much of this world as you.”
“I suppose that’s good. I’m not sure I’m ready to believe in magical worlds beyond this one.” He looked up at Silas. “What do you really look like?”
There was that clip again. Silas set his fork down. “You see me as I truly am. You ask why no one else reacts to me. To everyone else, I am not quite as arresting.”
He seemed to mull that over for a time. “So whatever you’re doing doesn’t work on me.”
“It doesn’t seem to, no.”
Silas studied him. Oh, there was skepticism there. Perhaps anger as well. And why not? But the creeping awareness of truth lurked deep inside the man. “That’s what I’m trying to find out.”
HE HAS TO be lying. Rhys repeated that over and over in his head. Silas had to be lying, because the truth was impossible. Fae? Did Silas think him an idiot? Play with the ignorant rich boy’s mind for some kink? This had gone too far.
He latched on to the anger. Fae? No way in hell. “That’s a convenient dodge.”
Silas shrugged. “It’s the truth.”
What an asshole. “You don’t know what makes me so superspecial as to see through your illusions?”
“Glamour,” Silas said. A touch of annoyance crept into his voice. “And I have an idea but no proof.”
“You’re so full of shit.”
Finally the anger Rhys had witnessed that afternoon spread over Silas’s expression. “Am I?” It was every ounce a challenge.
“Yes.” Rhys pushed back his chair. Kissing a guy was one thing; people could ignore that. He took a deep breath and then shouted as loudly as he could. “Hey! Everyone! This guy says he’s a fucking fairy!”
The conversations in the room didn’t even dip. No one turned. Dishes clinked; servers moved. It was as if nothing had happened at all.
Oh hell. Rhys felt his whole body grow warm. He looked down at Silas.
“Are you through?”
Rhys sank to his chair. “Holy shit.”
A quirk of a dark smile formed in the lips of the man—the fae—on the other side of the table.
“That can’t be real. You can’t be…” Oh fuck. Silas’s looks, his passion and strength, that no one else on this entire ship wanted to jump the man—as crazy as it sounded, the explanation fit. Except maybe—
“I’m not being punked, am I?”
Lines of consternation appeared on Silas’s forehead. “I don’t even know what that means.”
Oh. “Tricked. Pranked.”
“No.” Silas rose and towered over the table. “Do you require more proof?”
He was afraid to say yes. Afraid to say no as well. “What are you going to do?”
“I haven’t decided.” He rounded the table and looked down at Rhys. “Truth is, I could lay you out on the table, strip you naked, and fuck you senseless, and no one would bat an eye. In the end, our waitress would simply come over and offer us dessert.”
Rhys’s mouth went dry. His whole body felt like fire. “You’re not going to…” Silas knelt.
“No.” Silas grasped the leg of Rhys’s chair and pulled it sideways. “The china’s too nice to simply push to the floor. I have another idea.” He reached for Rhys’s belt and unbuckled it.
His objective became blindingly obvious.
“Silas!” Rhys hissed his name. “You can’t!”
“I can. I will.” Silas looked up. “Unless you tell me to stop.”
Scroll on for more info, and a chance to WIN a copy of Close Quarter
Blurb: On a transatlantic cruise to New York, sculptor Rhys Matherton struggles to piece his life back together after losing his mother, inheriting a fortune, and finding out his father isn’t his father after all. He spills a tray of drinks on a handsome stranger, then he finds himself up against a wall getting the best hand-job he’s ever had. And for the first time in his life, he feels whole.
Rhys enjoys the company of Silas Quint, but for the eerie way no one pays attention to them even while they kiss in a crowded bar. Silas explains he’s a forest fae able to glamor the room around them—and more importantly, that he’s on the cruise to hunt vampires. Rhys thinks Silas is full of it, until he discovers vampires are real, and he’s part of the main course.
Silas Quint can’t be distracted by a human lover, even one as lovely as Rhys. Stuck in the middle of the ocean, he has barely enough of energy to hunt the vampires he’s been sent to destroy. Rhys is full of the one thing Silas needs needs most—the element of living plants. Only sucking energy from Rhys would make Silas as soulless as the creatures he hunts. How can he keep Rhys safe, without becoming like the very monsters he hunts?
If you would like to win a copy of Close Quarter, please leave your email in the comments, spelling it out to e.g. email@example.com would be katy2222 at gmail dot com.
Alternatively, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Anna Contest” in the title line and you will be entered. No emails will be retained for any other purpose, and the winner will be chosen by random selection software and announced on kayberrisford.com by 1st December.
Thank you :)
Bio: Anna Zabo writes erotic paranormal romance and fantasy. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which isn’t nearly as boring as most people think. A lover of all things fae, she finds the wonderful and the magical amid the steel and iron of her city.