A big welcome to Shira Anthony. We're both from Cleveland, Ohio so grew up around lots of water. I love books taking place in or on the sea, in this case under the sea and look forward to reading this one. There's pirates and kidnapping and much male hotness with tails. Honestly, what's not to love? Shira is a wonderful author and person and I'm happy to have been able to get to know her.
Thanks, Elizabeth, for letting me talk a bit about my first novel-length fantasy, Stealing the Wind. Stealing is the first book in the Mermen of Ea Series, a sexy, romantic adventure featuring my own version of merfolk, or “Ea.” Ea aren't your average mermen. They’re physically powerful beings who share a more reasoned, human side with a more primal nature. Innately sexual, sensual beings, these mermen shape-shifters can possess magical "gifts" and are very wary of the human world outside their enclave. You won’t find a lot of frilly tails in the series, but you will find an exciting story and a romance that quite literally spans the ages.
Much as I adore writing contemporary romance, I’ve always loved fantasy. I also love to be on the water and in it, sailing on our 35’ catamaran at the Carolina coast and scuba diving in the Caribbean whenever I can get away. It just made sense that my first fantasy series take place on the water, and what better beings to write about than mermen. By the way, the name, “Ea” comes from Sumerian mythology. Ea, or “Enki,” was the Babylonian god of mischief, water, intelligence, and creation. He was sometimes depicted clothed in the skin of a fish and had the power to control water.
The Ea in Stealing the Wind have a long and turbulent history with humans, and they are at war internally over whether to remain on their secluded island stronghold or reclaim their place in the human world. These mermen share far more in common with dolphins than with fish. And if you're curious about how Ea mate, you'll find out in the first book!
Enter Taren Laxley, a slave who used to work rigging the great ships that put into Raice Harbor in the Derryith Kingdom. Through a series of adventures, Taren finds himself aboard the Phantom, captained by the seemingly ageless Ian Dunaidh. What Taren soon realizes is that the Phantom and her captain are not human, and neither is he.
Stealing the Wind is the first book in the Mermen of Ea Series. Look for Into the Wind (Book Two) in early 2014. Stealing the Wind was released on August 12th and is available in ebook and paperback at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, AllRomanceEbooks, Barnes and Noble, and lots of other outlets (and in both paperback and ebook)! You can read the rest of the very steamy excerpt below by clicking here (scroll down to the end of the blog post). There's another excerpt, the opening chapter of the novel, here.
Thanks again for having me. Hope you enjoy the excerpts and the book! -Shira
Author’s Note: 18+, NSFW, MMM (although the romantic pairing in Stealing the Wind is strictly MM, there’s a bit of MMM at the beginning of the story). This scene takes place after Taren is kidnapped by pirates. The captain of the pirate ship offers Taren his freedom in return for three years of sexual servitude. Not a bad trade, Taren figures, since the pleasures he finds when he joins the captain and first mate in bed far surpass his greatest fantasies.
Excerpt from Chapter Two:
Rider led Taren through the doorway to the bedroom and back to the curtained bed, next to which a small oil lamp provided a warm orange light. Pulling back the drapes, Rider said, “Climb inside.”
The bed was not empty. Taren guessed its current occupant was a few years older than he: a beautiful young man with shoulder-length red hair that reminded Taren of the sunset. His eyes were a bright green, his face dotted with freckles. He was completely naked and stretched out on the sheets like an exotic cat, every inch of his skin visible in the lamplight. Taren could not force himself to look away. Had he stolen into the bedroom while Taren slept? Had he seen Taren naked? The thought secretly thrilled him.
“This is Bastian,” Rider said with a smirk, no doubt guessing at Taren’s desire.
Without warning, Bastian reached for Taren and pulled him onto the bed. He wrapped his arms around Taren’s waist and kissed him, his tongue snaking its way into Taren’s mouth and exploring it with eagerness.
Taren grew dizzy with the contact. The heat of their bodies pressed together felt like a wonderful revelation. Bastian held Taren spellbound by the feel of his skin against Taren’s own. Taren had never kissed anyone like this, even the girls who had offered themselves to him. He moaned as he felt Bastian’s hard cock against his own.
Taren gasped as the kiss broke. He wanted more but wasn’t sure if he should ask for it.
“You were right,” Bastian said as he slid lithe fingers over Taren’s smooth chest. “He’s perfect.”
“It was Bastian’s idea to bring another man into our bed,” Rider explained to the still speechless Taren. Taren knew he’d betrayed his surprise, because Rider laughed. “Bastian is not a slave, Taren.”
“He’s not? But—”
“He was once my slave, but he is now master of my heart and my body.” Rider glanced at Bastian with a look of pure lust and obvious affection. “He is also the Sea Witch’s quartermaster.”
“Quartermaster?” Taren knew enough of pirate ships to understand that the quartermaster was nearly as powerful as the captain aboard a ship. It was the quartermaster, not the captain, who maintained peace amongst the crew.
“I gave him his freedom, just as I promised you yours. He chose to stay and I rewarded his loyalty. He is also a fine crew member. The other men obey him as they would me.”
“Oh.” Taren wasn’t sure which of Rider’s revelations surprised him more—that Bastian had chosen to stay aboard the ship when given his freedom, or that the ship’s quartermaster willingly and gladly shared the captain’s bed. And they want me to join them?
“You will watch and learn,” Rider said, bringing Taren back to the here and now, “If you wish, you may join us, but I will not rush you.” He winked at Bastian before adding, “Not yet, at least.” He pulled his shirt over his head and tossed it onto the floor, then waited patiently as Bastian crawled over Taren and began to unfasten the large buckle on Rider’s belt.
Taren’s erection, which had begun to soften, reasserted itself as Bastian pulled Rider’s trousers down to reveal a substantial cock, thick and hard. Taren had never seen anything as large, not amongst the other servants or even the guests at the inn when he had bathed them. Heavily veined, its tip broad and smooth, it both frightened Taren to behold and held great interest for him. He imagined how he might take it between his hands and how Rider’s balls, now hidden in shadow, might feel as he rolled them about with his fingers.
Rider, noticing Taren’s unabashed stare, caught Bastian’s gaze and murmured, “Show him how it’s done, love.”
Bastian laughed and wet his lips as he watched Taren intently. Taren realized he too was licking his lips in anticipation—that he wanted to taste Bastian’s seductive mouth again and explore Bastian’s sleek body.
Bastian took Rider’s cock into his mouth, swallowing him down so deeply that his nose brushed the curls at the base. Slowly, deliberately, he released Rider’s cock, then sucked it down again, repeating the movement with obvious relish. Bastian sucked and moaned as though Rider’s cock were the most heavenly of delicacies.
Rider slid his thick fingers through Bastian’s silken hair, pulling on it until Bastian cried out. At first Taren feared Rider had hurt Bastian, but the corners of Bastian’s mouth as they turned upward and the light in his eyes told Taren otherwise.
“Come closer and touch yourself,” Rider commanded Taren. “I know you want to.”
Taren swallowed his fear before doing as he was bidden. He moved beside Bastian on the edge of the bed, then took his cock in his hand and fisted it as he often had when he thought no one would see. The sensations he had felt in the darkness of the tavern’s sleeping quarters were nothing compared to this. He mimicked Bastian’s movements, matching the rhythm of his hand to Bastian’s sucking. He imagined Bastian’s mouth on him, imagined the softness of Bastian’s hair, and watched Rider watching him with obvious desire.
It took only a moment before he came with a stifled cry. He spilled onto his hand and splashed the sheets. Ashamed at his lack of control, he looked away, only to feel Rider’s hand on his shoulder.
Liked it? You can read the rest of this excerpt here (scroll down to the end of the blog post).
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