When Sparks Fly Blog Hop and Contest!

St. Louis Arch Fireworks

Welcome everyone to the When Sparks Fly Fourth of July Blog Hop!  I’m one of a whole slew of romance writers participating in the hop that begins July 4th and ends on Monday, July 8th.  You can find a listing of all the participants by clicking here or on the hop graphic to the left.  Everyone has giveaways going for the hop, so be sure to comment here and on the other blogs to be entered to win!

For my part, I’m offering up winner’s choice of an ebook of one of my Dreamspinner Press releases or some Blue Notes Series swag (a collection of a Blue Notes t-shirt with the cover of your choice, pens, a mousepad, and some other Blue Notes goodies).  All you need to do to enter is to comment on this post!  I’ll draw a winner after midnight on July 8th!

Of course, if you’re talking romance, “sparks” usually take the form of sexual tension or just sex.  Fireworks of a different variety than those you might watch with the 1812 Overture playing in the background.  Much as I love fireworks, I prefer the sexual kind.  So what follows is a bit of fireworks from my upcoming Dreamspinner Press release, Stealing the Wind.  And believe me, this one’s a scorcher–a long excerpt of an MMM threesome from the beginning of the story (although the story itself is an MM pairing). 

Stealing the Wind is an adventure on the high seas with of pirates and merman shifters, as is the first in a series of mermen shifter novels (Mermen of Ea Series).  This scene takes place after Taren, a young slave, is kidnapped by pirates and finds himself aboard the Sea Witch.  The captain offers Taren his freedom in exchange for three years aboard the ship and in the captain and his first mate’s bed.  Taren, who is powerfully attracted to the captain, quickly agrees.

Hope you enjoy the excerpt.  Keep an eye out for the book, which will be released on August 12th by Dreamspinner Press. Happy Fourth of July!  Don’t forget to comment to be entered into the drawing! -Shira


Blurb: Taren Laxley has never known anything but life as a slave. When a lusty pirate kidnaps him and holds him prisoner on his ship, Taren embraces the chance to realize his dream of a seagoing life. Not only does the pirate captain offer him freedom in exchange for three years of labor and sexual servitude, but the pleasures Taren finds when he joins the captain and first mate in bed far surpass his greatest fantasies.

Then, during a storm, Taren dives overboard to save another sailor and is lost at sea. He’s rescued by Ian Dunaidh, the enigmatic and seemingly ageless captain of a rival ship, the Phantom, and Taren feels an overwhelming attraction to Ian that Ian appears to share. Soon Taren learns a secret that will change his life forever: Ian and his people are Ea, shape-shifting merfolk… and Taren is one of them too. Bound to each other by a fierce passion neither can explain or deny, Taren and Ian are soon embroiled in a war and forced to fight for a future—not only for themselves but for all their kind.


Warning:  Contains adult themes and explicit sex, including menage.  18+ only, NSFW, MMM, fantasy/supernatural

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.

“You’re young. There will be time for more later, if you wish it.”

From his position at Bastian’s side, Taren watched Bastian roll Rider’s sac in his hand as he continued to suck. From time to time, Bastian released Rider’s erection and licked the puckered skin of his balls, wetting it until it glistened. Taren’s cock swelled again as Bastian ran his teeth over Rider’s hard member, teasing and nipping at the edge of the swollen tip. Taren imagined the feel of Bastian’s mouth on his body, biting at him, taking him deep inside.

“You may touch him if you want,” Rider told Taren as Taren watched the smooth, honeyed skin of Bastian’s back.

For all that he was beginning to believe Rider’s promises, Taren could not immediately comprehend what the captain had offered. Why would he, my master, invite me to pleasure myself?

“Go on, boy. Touch him.” Perhaps noting Taren’s hesitation, he added, “Do you not understand that seeing your pleasure increases my own?” With a shaking hand, Taren touch Bastian’s skin. It was as soft as he’d imagined it would be—softer, even—and he explored the smooth surface of it with reverent awe.

“May I… taste him?” Taren asked.

Rider nodded his approval, so Taren leaned over and kissed Bastian’s back, then licked it. Bastian tasted slightly salty, warm to the touch, enticing. Taren pressed the pads of his fingers into Bastian’s shoulder blades, transfixed to see the muscles move beneath the silky skin. Tentatively at first, Taren nipped at Bastian’s back as he had seen Bastian nip at Rider’s cock. Bastian’s breathing became ragged, his panted exhalations reassurance that Taren was pleasuring him. In spite of their obvious differences, Taren found both Rider and Bastian appealing. He imagined himself naked between the two men, and his body ached to be used.

Rider’s groan of satisfaction as he came awoke Taren from his reverie. Bastian licked his lips and turned to look at Taren over his shoulder. “I want to fuck you, Taren.”

The coarse language rekindled Taren’s yearning. “Y-you want…?” Taren stammered, painfully aware of his lack of experience.

“Lean back,” Bastian instructed. “Let me pleasure you.”

Taren reclined on the pillows, and the next thing he knew, Bastian’s hands were skating over his sensitive skin. Every fiber of Taren’s being wanted this, needed this. He could not speak, so overcome was he by the feeling of those fingers. Then Bastian leaned over and took one of Taren’s nipples between his lips and sucked on it until the flesh pebbled in reply. Bastian pressed the sensitive bud between his tongue and his teeth. The sensation was both painful and satisfying.

“Oh,” Taren whispered. He did not realize the voice was his own until Bastian’s gentle laughter filled the air.

By now Rider had climbed into the bed and was lying on one side, watching them. A vague thought flitted through Taren’s mind: Rider wanted to watch them. The thrill of understanding coursed through Taren’s blood like fire, and this time, he moaned louder. The thought of Rider’s gaze on his naked body, of Rider watching as Bastian continued to suck and pull at his nipples, was heavenly.

“Turn over and spread your legs,” Bastian murmured. Taren complied without a second thought. “Now lift your hips.” Bastian pressed one of the pillows beneath Taren’s belly to keep his hips raised. “Are you comfortable?”

Taren nodded, too enthralled to speak. Bastian reached for Taren’s cock before exploring the place Taren had never dared touch. Instinctively, he moved to close himself, but Bastian stroked him gently and leaned forward so Taren could see his face. Like a falconer might calm an anxious bird, Bastian’s touch was a balm to Taren.

“Close your eyes. Relax. Open yourself to me.” Bastian’s voice was husky with lust as he parted the cheeks of Taren’s ass.

Taren didn’t hesitate.

“Beautiful.” Bastian traced a line from Taren’s sac to the secret place between his buttocks with the wet warmth of his tongue. When Taren tensed once more, Bastian muttered, “I won’t hurt you. Let me show you what you have waited to feel.”

Taren breathed deeply and willed himself to relax. Bastian found the tight ring of muscle and probed at it with his tongue, coaxing Taren to release the tension there.

“Oh, yes…,” Taren moaned, unable to contain himself.

Bastian’s tongue breached his opening.


“Relax, boy,” Rider said, his voice a soothing rumble to Taren’s ears. The wetness from Bastian’s mouth dripped between Taren’s cheeks. “That’s it,” Rider said. “He won’t hurt you.”

Bastian probed Taren’s tight opening with a finger, gently caressing it, then pressed inward so that the very tip of his finger breached Taren’s hole. Taren keened beneath the touch, lifting his hips and tucking his knees underneath to allow Bastian easy access.

“That’s it. Have I hurt you?”

“No.” Taren’s voice sounded as though it were someone else’s, coming from far away. “Please. Oh, please. I want… I need… more.”

Rider stroked Taren’s hair as Bastian pressed his wet finger inside. It was slick, but the feeling was different from before, and as the scent of rosemary and lavender filled his nostrils, Taren realized Bastian had covered his hands in fragrant oil.

“Just breathe, Taren. I promise you, this will feel good.”

Taren did not protest as Bastian slid his finger past the tight muscles. It felt so good that Taren whimpered in response. “Oh… yes… oh….”

Rider looked on in pleasure as Taren’s body yielded to a second finger, then a third. Each time, Bastian pulled and stretched the muscles to open Taren wider, his fingers slick with oil. Then, without warning, Bastian rubbed against something inside that made Taren shudder—something so wonderful he could do nothing but pant.

“Like that, do you?” Rider said with a smile for Bastian.

“Yes. Oh, yes.”

“Do you want me?” Bastian’s lips nearly touched Taren’s ear.

“Yes.” Taren could barely breathe, his fear was so great. But he knew he could not resist. The siren call was too strong. He needed to know. To feel this.

“I want to feel your warmth, feel myself fill you. Show you what you’ve longed for.”

“Ahhh… gods…. I…. Please… fuck me!”

It felt strange, crouching like a dog, his ass splayed so both men could see his most private of places, and yet he did not object. More than anything, he wanted this. He wanted to understand. He had not expected Bastian’s fingers to thrill him so, and the thought of Bastian’s cock in their place sent shivers through his body.

Rider lay watching them with an intensity that surprised Taren. He no longer felt shame beneath that lustful gaze. He knew only his desire, his hunger, and his aching need.

“Please. Oh, please…,” Taren begged.

Bastian pushed his hard cock against Taren’s opening. “Relax. Just let me in.” Bastian’s voice soothed him, and Rider once again caressed Taren’s head.

The moan that issued from Taren’s lips as Bastian breached him was tinged with pain, but as Bastian seated himself inside, the heat from within erased all but the heady sensation of being filled.

The sensation of being impaled was at once glorious and frightening. With each increasingly powerful thrust, Taren moved to meet Bastian, drawn by invisible strings.

Taren looked to Rider for approval. Rider moved toward Taren and got to his knees to offer Taren his own cock. Taren understood. Although he had never tasted another man’s cock, he put his lips to the tip and licked. Rider roughly pulled Taren’s head down to match each of Bastian’s thrusts, matching the same delicious rhythm.

“Close your lips around me.”

Taren was too enthralled to think about his lack of experience. He tightened his lips around the captain’s cock and allowed his mouth to be filled just as Bastian now filled his ass.

Taren gagged and spluttered, instinctively turning his head so Rider’s large cock slid against the inside of his cheek and he no longer choked on it. Rider rumbled his approval and reached underneath Taren to pinch a pink nipple and twist it about. Taren knew nothing but the burning heat in his ass, Rider’s musky scent, and the salty taste of Rider’s cock on his tongue. Never before had he felt so wanted.

Bastian cried out his fierce orgasm with abandon. At nearly the same moment, Rider emptied himself into Taren’s mouth and Taren spurted onto the sheets beneath them. This time he did not hold back his cries, and the captain’s warm release dribbled over his chin.

Clasped tightly in Bastian’s arms a moment later, Taren gasped for breath, his body still shaking with the aftershocks. He saw the look the other two men exchanged and knew he had done well, that he had served them as they had hoped. The thought warmed him as he lay awake long after Rider extinguished the small lamp.


  1. Linda - Reply

    Hi Friend,

    Congrats on your new contract. As you know I’m a big fan of your writing. I’d love to enter your contest.


    • shira - Reply

      Val – He likes threesomes. 😉 He’ll be a featured character in the 2nd and 3rd books and get his own HEA. *g* He has a few secrets of his own…

  2. Susan - Reply

    As much as I enjoy the Blue Notes series, I have to confess I love fantasy more! Great excerpt!

  3. Jodi - Reply

    This genre is not one I usually read, but the excerpts and, of course, your wonderful writing style have me looking forwarding to diving into this book (pun intended) :-).

    • shira - Reply

      Thanks, Jodi. It’s definitely not your typical shifter book. Much more adventure/mystery on the high seas. Hope you enjoy it! -Shira

  4. KerryP - Reply

    Shira, love your writing ! Glad I only have to wait 39 days for this to be released! 😀

  5. James Robinson - Reply

    Wow! Certainly sounds like an adventure I’d love to dive into :)!! Can’t wait, even if I don’t win I’m gonna read it 🙂 ….. Love everything else I’ve read of yours so don’t see why this would be any different!!!!!

    • shira - Reply

      Thanks, James! XD I hope you enjoy the book – I certainly had fun writing it! Just something about sexy mermen….

  6. Corinne Alexander - Reply

    This book sounds great!
    sassychassy333 at gmail dot com

  7. Urbanista - Reply

    Hurray, a new Shira Anthony series! And mermen, no less. Yes, and yes. Congrats!

    • shira - Reply

      *grins* Thanks, Urb! I hope you enjoy my slightly slippery men! -Shira

  8. Cynthia - Reply

    Thanks for the giveaway. I liked the excerpt. 🙂


  9. Jbst - Reply

    Thanks for the contest and the steamy hot excerpt!

    strive4bst(AT) yahoo(Dot) com

  10. H.B. - Reply

    The excerpt sounds fantastic. Thanks for the contest =)

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  11. Sara - Reply

    Unf, those are some sparks indeed. Delightful, looking forward to the release!


  12. Carolyn - Reply

    Well, when you put it that, THOSE fireworks sure are preferable. Thanks for sharing with us!

  13. JeanMP - Reply

    That was such a great excerpt, adding this book to my to buy list.
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  14. Juliana - Reply

    Thanks for the post! Congrats on the start of this new series!
    OceanAkers @ aol.com

  15. Helena Ferrell - Reply

    Thanks for the hop! I’ve never actually read a m/m book before, but after reading this, I have to admit I’m a bit curious.

    Helena Ferrell

    • shira - Reply

      Thanks Patricia! They are a little too hot to handle, aren’t they? 😉

  16. Misty Rios - Reply

    Love the excerpt!
    Thanks so much for the opportunity!

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.