Happy 2015 everyone! I hope it’s a great year for you, your family, and your friends! It’s going to be a very busy year for me, and I thought I’d share a bit of what I’ve got planned.
This spring, look for Blood and Ghosts, the 2nd book in the Blood Series. The last book of the trilogy, Blood and Eternity, should be out by the end of 2015.
Also in 2015, look for Running with the Wind, the 3rd and final installment in the Mermen of Ea Series! I’m so excited to share the final book with you, although I’ll be sorry to say goodbye to the slippery men who inhabit the world of the Ea. I am considering a companion series based on secondary characters from the Mermen of Ea books, though, so I may have a chance to visit with them again.
My current WIP is a book I’m co-authoring with the wonderful Cody Kennedy, writing under his adult pen name, Aisling Mancy. It’s a contemporary drama set at the Carolina coast. Tentative publication is in the fall of 2015.
I’ll also be traveling this year. I’m planning to attend Romance Times (RT) in Dallas, Gay Romance Literature Retreat (GRL) in San Diego, Animazement in Raleigh, North Carolina, and I’m hoping to be able to swing a trip to Yaoicon in San Francisco this year. All in all, I’ll be putting in a lot of miles! But I love to travel, and I’m looking forward to it.
If you haven’t already picked up a copy, you can find my newest release, Blood and Rain, at Dreamspinner Press, AllromanceEbooks, and Amazon, among other booksellers. The series, three books in all, tells one long story with its main focus on Adrien Gilbert, the youngest son of a French vampire hunter family, and Nicolas Lambert, an ancient (born a vampire, not created) vampire. Adrien’s mother was killed by a vampire when Adrien was just a small child, and Adrien has grown to hate vampires because of it. Born a vampire, Nicolas is both powerful and kind. The last thing Adrien expects is to fall for Nicolas Lambert.
Special thanks to all the wonderful blogs who hosted the Blood and Rain Blog Tour and the very special giveaway. Below are the winners of the giveaway, who I’ve emailed. Artist Martin Brodour, the gifted man who made the amazing Ea pendant for the release of Into the Wind, made another unisex pendant to offer up on the giveaway as the grand prize!
I’ll leave you all with an excerpt from Blood and Rain. Happy New Year! -Shira
Blood Series: Book 1
Blood: Book One
Adrien Gilbert has spent several lifetimes searching for the love he lost. Born in the 1800s into a clan of fabled vampire hunters, Adrien once wanted nothing more than to tend his family’s vineyard in southern France or read a good book. But Adrien’s peaceful existence ends abruptly when his older brother, François, is murdered. Bound by his hunter’s oath, Adrien sets out on a path that will forever change his life when he agrees to execute his brother’s killer, the vampire Charles Duvalier.
After months chasing the elusive Charles, Adrien reluctantly makes a bargain with Nicolas Lambert, an ancient vampire. Adrien will escort Nicolas to Paris for his marriage to a rival clanswoman, and Nicolas will help Adrien find Charles. Nicolas’s quiet strength and gentle heart soon convince Adrien that Nicolas is nothing like the vampires he has sworn to destroy. As the wedding date draws nearer, a force intent on destroying the fragile peace between the vampire clans threatens to tear apart both the vampire realm and the world of the hunters. To secure both past and future for those he loves, Adrien must find a way to stop the looming war between hunters and vampires. But first he’ll have to let Nicolas go.
Note: Books in this series must be read in order.
“I know why you’re here,” Deniel said as he opened the door to let Adrien in.
Adrien rested his hand on the hilt of his sword, unsure if Deniel would attack him. He’d been taught to be vigilant, to act quickly to dispatch his target, but he hesitated, unwilling to attack without provocation even though it was his right.
“You admit you killed Mademoiselle Faucher?” Adrien asked. Deniel would not meet his gaze, his eyes focused firmly on the floor.
“I tried…,” he began after a long pause. “I thought sheep’s blood would satisfy my thirst. I hoped… I tried to stop before she….” His shoulders slumped in obvious resignation.
Adrien swallowed hard. He’d spent hours learning to fight. He knew the angle needed to dislocate a skull from a neck, the spot where his blade would meet the least resistance. He knew how to kill, but he’d only once before taken a life. He reached into his jacket, retrieved the carte, and tossed it at the vampire’s feet. What life? The life of a creature who kills to survive?
“Yves Deniel, you are sentenced to die by the authority of the Council of Hunters. Will you respect the Council’s will, or will you challenge me?”
“I was a farmer,” Deniel said in a soft voice that quavered slightly as he spoke. “We lived a good life here, my wife and I… before I became what I am.” He paused, glanced up at Adrien, then looked away again. “I went to the city…. We’d had a good harvest that year, and I had a few more francs to show for it. I only meant to buy a few tools… I stopped for a drink.” He shook his head. “I’m ashamed. The woman at the bar…. She was so beautiful. She spoke kindly to me and told me I was handsome. But when I awoke, she had changed me. God has punished me for my infidelity. I am what I am—a beast—because of my own selfish desires.
“Kill me,” Deniel whispered. “I’m pathetic. I deserve to die for what I’ve done. I can’t stop myself. I won’t challenge you.”
Tears streamed down Deniel’s face. Adrien gripped his sword tighter, but he didn’t draw his weapon. He’s right. He deserves to die.
“She wasn’t the first,” Deniel continued. He began to shake in earnest now, sniffling and sobbing like a child. “My wife… I thought I could transform her as I’d been transformed. I didn’t know… I didn’t realize I was too young, too weak….” He dropped to his knees and buried his head in his hands. “Please,” he begged. “End this before I kill again. You must… you’re a hunter… you must end this!”
Adrien drew his sword with a trembling hand. He would do this. Do his duty. He touched the blade to Deniel’s neck.
“Please. End it for me.”
Adrien’s eyes burned. He should feel nothing but hatred. Pity at best for having fallen prey to the female vampire who’d lured Deniel from the bar. Why did he hesitate? Why should he care that in his weakness, this pathetic man had given in to his baser urges? And yet few humans could resist a vampire’s alluring scent.
It isn’t for you to judge. Your duty is absolute.
He gritted his teeth and inhaled long and deep. He must do this. He set his left hand over his right to steady the blade, then drew it back and swung. He did not miss.
He stood, numb and unmoving, after it was done. Something on the ground caught his eye: the carte, splattered with blood. The smell of copper permeated the air and wound its way to his nostrils, sweet and slightly nauseating. He picked up the carte. He held it between his thumb and forefinger, smearing the blood. He stared at it for a moment, then allowed it to fall from his hand. It fluttered onto the vampire’s lifeless body.