The complete Mermen of Ea Series is 30% off at Dreamspinner Press right now to celebrate DSP’s 8th anniversary! You can find all three books here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=914
The final book in the series, Running with the Wind, will be released on June 8th, so if you haven’t already started the series, or haven’t finished the second book, now’s a great time to catch up! Not sure about hot, mermen shifters? Check out the NSFW excerpt below for a taste of what’s to come.
The Mermen of Ea Series is high fantasy, adventure, and romance set on the high seas. It follows the story of Taren Laxley, an indentured servant who works as a rigger repairing the ropes of ships putting into port in Raice Harbor. When Taren is kidnapped by the lusty captain of a pirate ship, he finally realizes his life-long dream of sailing on the ocean. After Taren falls overboard trying to save a fellow crewmate, he is plucked from the water by the crew of the Phantom, a mysterious ship captained by the seemingly ageless Ian Dunaidh. What Taren soon learns is that Ian and his crew are not human at all, but Ea, merfolk shifters who can take human form. More surprising still, Taren discovers he, too, is Ea.
The final book in the series, Running with the Wind, takes up where the second book, Into the Wind, left off after a battle at sea that culminates in the destruction of the Sea Witch. Haven’t read any of the books yet? You’ll want to start with the first book, Stealing the Wind.
I can’t wait to share this last series book with you! I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. -Shira
Blurb: Sequel to Into the Wind
With the final confrontation between the island and mainland Ea factions looming, Taren and Ian sail with Odhrán to investigate a lost colony of merfolk in the Eastern Lands. Upon their arrival, the King of Astenya welcomes them as friends. Odhrán, however, isn’t so quick to trust the descendent of the man who held him prisoner for nearly a decade, especially now that he has someone to cherish and protect—the mysterious winged boy he rescued from the depths.
Armed with the knowledge he believes will save the Ea, Taren returns to the mainland. With Ian at his side, Taren convinces Vurin that their people must unite with their island brethren before it’s too late. When Seria and his men attack, Taren must call upon the ancient power of the rune stone to protect his comrades. But using stone’s immeasurable power commands a hefty price—and Ian fears that price is Taren’s life.
NSFW/18+ Excerpt from Stealing the Wind (Mermen of Ea #1):
IAN led Taren to a secluded cove about an hour’s walk from the village, where they sat and ate the meager lunch Ian had purchased on their way. Taren knew they would fish later, but the small meal satisfied him like a feast, and the crisp scent of the salt water reawakened his spirit.
They undressed in silence under the shade of the palm trees. Taren admired Ian’s beautiful skin as it shimmered and rippled with each of Ian’s movements. Once beneath the waves, Taren swam against the current, his belly full, the water warm on his skin. How long had it been since he’d felt the sun on his back? It had rained nearly every day in the prison, the weather mirroring the bleakness of his future. He’d expected to die there. Worse, he’d wanted to die.
At this thought, the warmth of the sunshine seemed to fade, and Taren let himself sink to the sandy bottom. He wished the dreams would find him once more, but they did not. A wave of grief and the memory of pain washed over him as surely as the sun had only minutes before. His eyes burned. Could an Ea cry?
Taren felt the reassuring pressure of Ian’s hand clasping his own, willing him back from the depths of his despair. He forced a smile before taking off in the direction of the dark shadow of a reef in the distance. He didn’t want to show Ian his weakness. Ian had done enough already. He didn’t need a simpering fool for a companion.
“You’re running from me.”
I’m fine. He knew that would do little to assuage Ian’s concern. Just tired.
“You lie. I can sense it as clearly as I hear your thoughts.”
Taren swam away, slipping between two large protrusions of rock and coral and out of the sunlight. A parrot fish swam up to him, eyed him warily, then darted away. He turned to find Ian directly behind him, blocking his exit. I thought you couldn’t read my mind unless I wanted you to.
“It’s different with you.” Ian did not move—a challenge, no doubt.
Taren was half-tempted to simply accept Ian’s dominance. He wanted to go home to Rider and Bastian; he wanted to go back to his life aboard the Sea Witch. He knew he could do neither. How could he? He wasn’t one of them and he never could be. Now that he understood what he was, he wished he could forget it and return to the simple life of a slave. What Ian asked of him—whatever it was—Taren feared it. He feared a future with choices and uncertainty.
Leave me be. Taren pushed past Ian, brushing his slippery skin and emerging on the other side only to feel Ian grab him around the waist. Still weak from his time in the prison, Taren struggled to escape Ian’s grasp. He finally gave up and laid his head on Ian’s shoulder. Ian stroked his hair, calming him. For the longest time, Taren allowed Ian to hold him.
“You’ve suffered.” Taren sensed the guilt in Ian’s words. He knew as surely as if it had been his own thought to share. “And you fear the future.” Ian kissed Taren again, and Taren released a long, slow breath. Ian’s tender embrace seemed to ease the painful turbulence in Taren’s heart.
They continued to float, Taren’s face pressed against Ian’s chest. Taren could sense Ian’s physical desire for him, but Ian waited patiently and held him close. The feeling of peaceful repose settled deep within Taren’s heart, and Taren became slowly aware of how much he wanted Ian. Not a new feeling, but this time Taren’s doubt had fled with the onslaught of Ian’s embrace.
Taren reached up and kissed Ian. He wasn’t sure what he’d expected of the kiss. He’d never kissed anyone under the water. Ian’s mouth felt hotter than before. The saltwater caused Taren’s mouth to vibrate with sensation, as if Taren could taste Ian’s desire. Ian’s scent was powerful and primal, more like those of the other creatures Taren had smelled beneath the waves. No longer human. Taren’s body responded to the scent even more strongly than to Ian’s touch. The stirring inside his body felt both strange and wonderful. They swam side by side a few feet above the sand.
Taren’s heart beat a steady tattoo, and his body heated under Ian’s intensely possessive gaze. Taren’s need to submit was primal and demanding. Ian flicked his tail and moved to nuzzle Taren, brushing against Taren’s skin in a sensual and dizzying dance. Around and around they swam, spiraling, their bodies always in contact. Without thinking, Taren nipped at Ian’s neck. Ian swam on his back, exposing his neck to Taren’s mouth and teeth. Taren continued to bite and lick until Ian hissed in reply. The sound was like a soft whistle, audible through the water.
“Goddess!” Ian’s voice in Taren’s mind was a husky growl. “Where did you learn to do that?”
Taren had no answer except that his body knew this. He floated just above Ian, their bellies now pressed together, tails propelling them in unison. They moved in a slow, languid line above the sand. Taren nearly laughed to feel Ian’s cock hard against his own, where before they’d been hidden inside their bodies. He stopped moving and reached down to clasp it, surprised at how human it felt, hard and veined. He wanted to taste it, to learn its secrets with his lips.
Ian gazed down at Taren and stilled so Taren might better explore his body. Taren wrapped his arms around Ian’s tail and hooked his own tail around Ian’s body so they floated as one, their bodies rocked on the gentle current. With a quick glance upward at Ian—Ian’s expression was serene, even vulnerable—Taren took Ian in his mouth.
Ian’s cock was long and thick. Taren licked around the tip, flicking his tongue in tiny circles until he felt Ian’s body shudder with pleasure, then swallowed Ian’s erection until it tickled the back of his throat.
Ian moved his tail just a bit, sending them spinning again as Taren continued to explore with his tongue, reveling in Ian’s sweetness. How strange it felt to hear the surf as he coaxed Ian’s body to the brink. Stranger still, Taren’s mind filled with images from Ian’s thoughts, as if by giving his body over to Taren’s attentions, Ian had given all of himself to Taren.
Through Ian’s eyes, Taren saw the waves buffet the Phantom and felt joy stir in his heart as the mighty ship rode the crest of a wave and fell, the spray cool on his face. He saw himself asleep on Ian’s bed, his head in Ian’s lap as Ian stroked his hair and spoke softly to him. He felt Ian’s concern for his welfare, Ian’s need to reassure himself of Taren’s well-being. He felt the freedom of Ian’s transformation, the power of Ian’s body as it cut through the water and chased dolphins in the surf. He felt his own lips on Ian’s member, his mouth hot and hungry, and Ian’s climax as it exploded through Ian’s body. When Ian finally spent himself in Taren’s hungry mouth, Taren experienced Ian’s climax as if it were his own. Taren’s orgasm sent him over a cascade of emotion and physical sensation.
THEY drifted near the sandy bottom, and Ian held Taren as he dozed. “Do you know how truly beautiful you are in this form?” Taren had also been beautiful as a human, but there was something about him now, when his mind was open and his heart full, that Ian found particularly striking. To Ian, finding Taren felt like a homecoming after years spent at sea. Was this the connection of which Renda had spoken?
Taren awoke and stretched catlike, arms over his head. Ian secured Taren around the waist and sucked at a pale nipple. He flicked it between tongue and teeth, continuing to work the flesh until it pebbled. Taren arched his back to meet Ian’s tongue, and Ian moved his hands over Taren’s tail, cupping Taren’s ass and squeezing it.
“What was that? Before, when you spent, so did I, as if I were the one…?”
It isn’t just thoughts we share, Taren. When Ea mate in this form, they share sensation as well. Ian didn’t need to hear Taren’s thoughts to know this pleased Taren. He smiled, then went back to work, making sure to give Taren’s other nipple its due.
Ian. Please don’t make me wait.