Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Shira Anthony for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: Blood an Rain
Author: Shira Anthony
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Genre/Sub-Genre: M/M Romance, Paranormal
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.
How difficult was it to ‘switch gears’ from writing contemporary, to something more fantasy related?
Very easy! I think my brain operates best in a fantasy universe. The difficulty for me was always the other way around. I started out writing fantasy—that’s the genre I loved most growing up. I especially loved Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover series, part sci fi, part sword and sorcery fantasy. I’d lose myself in her universe. I loved her writing, and to this day still reread my favorite series books (the link is to my all-time favorite) to inspire my own writing.
Switching to contemporary meant shifting gears. I think my style is recognizable in both fantasy and contemporary, but there’s a different tone to contemporary. It’s snappier, cleaner, and much more heavily focused on characters. You’d think that would be easier to write, since the worldbuilding in contemporary is done in a framework most of us know and understand. But when I wrote my first contemporary, Blue Notes, I realized I had a lot to learn!
How big do you see this world growing?
The world in Blood and Rain is one that could be the foundation for many stories. In some ways, it’s like many of the popular vampire stories we see today, in that it exists within the “real” world we know, humans just don’t realize it’s there. The vampire hunters have, for centuries, been a sort of police force. They’ve entered into an agreement with the ancient (born, not created) vampires to execute vampires that harm humans. These vampires are generally the youngest, most bloodthirsty of the lot. The vampire/hunter society is a subset of our own society, but they operate in secrecy, and few humans are aware of them. It’s a great setup for more stories, although I’m too focused on this particular series (and story) to have thought that far ahead yet!
What would be the perfect holiday gift for you and your family?
A vacation! I work a full-time job, and I write full-time. My evenings, weekends, and even lunch breaks are used for my writing. That’s how I’m able to publish 3-4 books a year. But sometimes it’s exhausting. Not that I completely shelve my writing when I take a vacation, but it’s so wonderful to relax and write without the pressure of having a million other things I need to do.
I’m thinking the Caribbean. Sailing, beach time, scuba diving. When do we leave????
Adrien licked the skin of Cole’s neck, feeling the blood pulse there, hearing it call to him. Cole tilted his head in anticipation, opening himself to Adrien.
Adrien buried his teeth in Cole’s skin. Blood flooded his mouth and danced on his tongue, sweet and salty. Too long. His body was far more vampire-like in its craving for blood than when he’d first been given the gift of an ancient vampire’s soul. He wondered if it was the same for other immortals.
Adrien tried to ignore the images that flashed through his mind—the sound of silvery laughter, a mother’s loving caress. Cole’s memories. Adrien despised this forced intimacy, but he’d come to see it as the price of blood. Something to be tolerated.
It hadn’t always been that way. When he’d shared Nicolas’s blood, Adrien had experienced great joy. He’d seen himself through Nicolas’s eyes and felt the depth of Nicolas’s love. Each drop of that precious liquid had opened new doors. Each taste offered insight into Nicolas’s heart and soul. A beloved memory. A mystery—the mystery of Nicolas—unfolding with every swallow.
Adrien drank his fill, then claimed Cole’s mouth. This kind of contact he could stomach. He didn’t need sex to survive, but he enjoyed the release. Cole unbuttoned Adrien’s black silk shirt and his cock swelled against Adrien’s thigh. Adrien moaned as Cole skated his fingertips over his chest.
“I have never known a hunter to crave blood,” Cole whispered in his ear. “I thought only we experienced the bloodlust.”
“You were wrong,” Adrien said as he pulled Cole’s shirt over his head and mouthed a pretty pink nipple. Sex was always better after he fed, and Adrien’s cock was already hard at the thought of fucking such a lovely ass. He drew Cole’s body against his, walked backward into the living room, and pulled Cole with him onto the rug. Soon they were naked and he was no longer a hunter or an immortal, he was simply a man, seeking release, seeking pleasure.
For at least an hour after, Adrien lay on the floor and allowed the night air to caress his bare skin. He closed his eyes and dozed.
The voice awakened him. Nicolas’s voice again. Why sleep if it only served to reawaken the pain he sought to suppress?
He stood and pulled on his jeans. He walked onto the balcony in his bare feet, then climbed to the roof of the penthouse.
Having reached the edge, he spread his arms. He leaned forward and fell unimpeded, riding the wind like a sigh. The glass of the building sailed by him, the breeze buffeting his face. He hit the water and sank into the cold blackness. He wished he could die.
About the Author:
Shira Anthony was a professional opera singer in her last incarnation, performing roles in such operas as Tosca, Pagliacci, and La Traviata, among others. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle. Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs, and when she’s not writing, she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children. When she’s not working, she can be found aboard a 35’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel.
Shira can be found on: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shira.anthony Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4641776.Shira_Anthony Twitter: @WriterShira Website: http://www.shiraanthony.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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