Nexus by Mary Calmes

October 26, 2011

Will Marcus come to terms with his role before his doubts endanger his hearth, his clutch, and his life? Nexus by Mary Calmes, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Marcus Roth is a top criminal lawyer by day and demon-slaying warder by night, but he is simply one of five warders—not really important to anyone but Joseph Locke, his hearth. Or so Marcus mistakenly believes.

On a trip to Lexington, Kentucky, to celebrate Joe’s grandfather’s birthday, that belief changes as Marcus unwittingly uncovers a paranormal dilemma and ends up revealing his identity as a warder to Joe’s family. Faced with a traitor, demons, and the return of an old enemy, Marcus must put his own needs aside to save his friends—though in so doing he may lose the man he loves forever. Even living through the ordeal might not be enough if Marcus can’t forgive himself and learn that his hearth and the rest of his clutch can’t do without him.

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Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Length: Novella

Return of the Pirate Ghost by Jay Starre

October 26, 2011

Return of the Pirate Ghost by Jay Starre

Sequel to The Pirate Ghost

Martin Stark is searching for a ghost. Six months ago, a pirate ghost visited his mansion in Jamaica and enticed him into his cellar. They made passionate love while a hurricane destroyed the house above their heads. The pirate, William Heathcliff, had saved the young millionaire’s life. Now, Martin is searching desperately for the ghost and for something he has never before experienced: Love.

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Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Length: Short story

Burnt Offerings by Pearl Love

October 26, 2011

Will a death sentence be Alen’s end or his salvation? Burnt Offerings by Pearl Love, available from Dreamspinner Press.

On his way home from the market, beautiful and shy Alen is accosted by local ruffians who try to take advantage of his innocence. When Alen attempts to defend his virtue, the situation takes a turn for the worse and he accidentally slays one of the men. Now he faces the mockery that is the town’s justice. The penalty for murder: a slow, painful death upon the altar of the mighty god of fire. Alen’s sentence is gleefully announced by the village priest, a loathsome man who promises deliverance if only the lovely boy will submit to depraved pleasures.

But Alen has a secret, one to which he desperately clings even though it may cost him his life. For many years, Alen has watched the flames dance in his mother’s hearth, the mystery that dwells in the bright glow alleviating his loneliness and offering endless fascination. When the time comes to face his destiny upon the pyre, Alen hopes that the fire’s magical embrace might hold the key to his salvation. But will the flames herald his destruction even as all of his prayers are answered?

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Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal, Bittersweet Dreams
Length: Novella

Snakeskin Boots by Xara X. Xanakas

October 5, 2011

Will strained family relationships and a murderer hunting weres keep Jeff and Brad apart or bring them together forever? Snakeskin Boots by Xara X. Xanakas, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Jeff Cordata has always known wolves can be dangerous. Not that his luck with snakes has been any better. It’s not easy being a wereboa constrictor in a world that worships werewolves.

When the customer he’s been watching for months turns out to be an interested wolf, his first instinct is to flee, but his attraction to Brad Cannidy is undeniable despite the strained relations between their families. Then Jeff’s anaconda ex-boyfriend re-enters his life as a pair of snakeskin boots, the hunt begins for the murderer who is turning weres into accessories, and Jeff will have to decide if a boa and a wolf can really mate for life.

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Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Length: Novella

Reluctant Partnerships by Ariel Tachna

October 3, 2011

Will Martin and Denis form a partnership before a rogue vampire destroys their chances forever? Reluctant Partnerships by Ariel Tachna, available from Dreamspinner Press.

A spin-off of the Partnership in Blood series

Thanks to the efforts of Raymond Payet and l’ANS, vampires now have the same legal rights as mortals, and research at l’Institut Marcel Chavinier is focusing on the mysterious partnership bonds between wizards and vampires. But the battle for public opinion rages on. When Detective Adèle Rougier encounters Pascale Auboussu, a shy young woman turned into a vampire against her will, Raymond and Denis Langlois, chef de la Cour nearest the crime, fear a public relations nightmare.

The vampire responsible for Pascale’s turning must be brought to justice, but Denis is distracted by an unlikely potential partner—Canadian researcher Martin Delacroix, who is spending a year’s sabbatical at l’Institut—and Denis’s lingering feelings for his deceased lover prompt him to reject the bond. There’s no denying the attraction between them, though, and the allure of companionship is nearly as strong as Denis’s grief.

Growing familiarity and yearning for a true mate may induce Adèle and Denis to soften their stances against new partnerships, but Adèle will have to accept a deeper intimacy with Pascale when she has never considered a relationship with a woman, and it will take a near-deadly attack to make Denis admit his most hidden desires. Now he has to hope Martin will be willing to stay.

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Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Length: Novel

Chasing Seth by J.R. Loveless

September 30, 2011

Can Seth convince Kasey to see past his race to the man he is within? Chasing Seth by J.R. Loveless, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Veterinarian Seth Davies comes to Senaka, Wyoming, looking for peace and anonymity, trying to escape his past. He’s always been a target for trouble and pain, and Seth has had more than his share of both. Kasey Whitedove takes one look at Seth and assumes the worst. No white man could love animals the way the mostly Cheyenne population expects, and Kasey makes Seth’s first days in Senaka more than unpleasant.

Then an accident puts Kasey in the uncomfortable position of eating crow—and helplessly desiring Seth—despite the danger of Kasey’s life as a werewolf and Seth’s stressful secrets. Chasing Seth down and keeping him safe from his past has just become Kasey’s most important job.

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Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Length: Novel

Las Sirenas by Bell Ellis

September 28, 2011

Las Sirenas by Bell Ellis

Andrew’s lived all his nineteen years on the Pacific coast, working odd jobs and spending his free time in and on the water. Maybe he’s drifting through life, but it’s been enough, until the day a sudden surge knocks him off his friends’ boat and something—or someone—tosses him back. Now Andrew spends all his free time searching the water for a dream, and to keep it, he’s willing to give up everything.

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Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal, Bittersweet Dreams
Length: Short story

Shira Anthony – Coming soon…

September 26, 2011

Thanks again for checking in throughout the day here on Dreamspinner Press’ blog!  Before I sign off from the blogosphere, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about what I have in the pipeline.

Of course, a writer is full of stories waiting to be written, and there are plenty more in my head, some already completed, and others still works in progress.  My next Dreamspinner publication, “Blue Notes,” is scheduled to be released sometime in December, 2011 or January, 2012.  Unlike “The Dream of a Thousand Nights,” “Blue Notes” is a modern romance set mainly in Paris and is loosely based on my own experiences growing up in France.

Here’s the blurb:  Blame it on jet-lag. Jason Greene thought he had everything: a dream job as a partner in a large Philadelphia law firm, a beautiful fiancé, and more money than he could ever hope to spend. But when he finds his future wife in bed with another man, he’s forced to rethink his life and his choices. On a moment’s notice, he runs away to Paris, hoping to make peace with his life. But Jason’s leave of absence becomes a true journey of the heart when he meets Jules, a struggling jazz violinist with his own pain to shoulder. And when Jason wakes up in the young Frenchman’s arms, will he take a chance and follow his heart?

I’m also working on several other books with musical themes that are interrelated to the “Blue Notes” characters, including the story of a conductor and a violinist (working title, “Symphony”), as well as an opera singer and a lawyer (working title, “Aria”).

And I haven’t forgotten about “Dream,” either.  I’ve just started work on a new story in the same universe (working title, “The Jinn and the Thief”) that features one of the secondary characters from “Dream,” Amir, and a twink of a half-human/half-Jinn named Rafiel, who causes a great deal of trouble for the Jinn (not to mention the powerful Amir!). 

I look forward to sharing all of these with you in the future.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy “The Dream of a Thousand Nights” as much as I enjoyed writing it! 

Peace,

Shira

Cover by Anne Cain

Excerpts: “The Dream of a Thousand Nights” and “The Prince and the Jinn”

September 26, 2011

Here’s a short excerpt from “The Prince and the Jinn,” the story which inspired “The Dream of a Thousand Nights.”  That excerpt is followed by a very short excerpt from “The Dream of a Thousand Nights.”  You’ll see a great deal of similarities between the two, I think!

Excerpt:  The Prince and the Jinn

Once upon a time, in a rose-scented garden in the shadow of the Zagros Mountains, the Prince of Isfahan sat on the grass, his eyes closed in meditation.  His long, dark hair blew gently in the breeze that wafted through the fragrant orange groves.  Dressed in fine purple silks, his skin shone like the surface of the moon, and his broad chest rose and fell with each deliberate breath.  But despite the beautiful evening and the lush cocoon of the trees and flowers, the Prince’s heart was heavy and his soul was lonely, for this day marked the fifth anniversary of his wife, the Princess’ death.

Each night since her death he had let his dreams wash over him, allowing them to lift the fog of sorrow for just a short time.  In his dreams he was no longer alone, and his heart was alive with joy and peace.  But each morning he would awaken and the dreams would fade, replaced once more by pain and emptiness.

I wish to die, he thought.  I wish to leave this world of pain and lie beside her once more. 

“Is death truly your wish?” said a voice from nearby.

“Who are you, that you dare interrupt my solitude?” the Prince demanded.

The stranger smiled at him: a man with hair the color of fire, a face both handsome and defiant, with brown eyes full of challenge.   The Prince thought him vaguely familiar, although he could not remember when or where they might have met before.

“I am Jinn,” the man replied, unmoved by the Prince’s wrath.  “I am called Tamir, and I will grant your wishes.”

“Wishes?” the Prince inquired.  “What need have I of wishes?  I have everything a man could possibly desire.”

“And yet you asked for death a moment ago, my Prince,” the Jinn responded.  “For a man with everything, your heart is quite tumultuous.”

Excerpt: The Dream of a Thousand Nights

As he had done so often in the two years since he had become king, Neriah sat on the grass in the rose-scented garden in the shadow of the mountains, his eyes closed in meditation. His long, dark hair blew in the soft breeze that wafted through the fragrant orange groves. Dressed in fine purple silks, his pale skin shone like the surface of the moon, and his broad chest rose and fell with each slow, deliberate breath. But despite the beautiful evening and the lush cocoon of the trees and flowers, his heart was heavy, and his soul was lonely.

I hope you enjoyed the excerpts.  By the way, a version of “The Prince and the Jinn” will appear as part Dreamspinner Press’ Halloween promotion in October.  I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about the promotion soon!

Peace,

Shira

The Dream of a Thousand Nights: Genesis

September 26, 2011

The Dream of a Thousand Nights” was inspired by a short story I co-authored with my friend and fellow author, Venona Keyes.  “The Prince and the Jinn” was about 6,000 words long, and was a middle-eastern take on the “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Carol” theme (what would the world be like if you weren’t around).  While the plots of “The Prince and the Jinn” and “The Dream of a Thousand Nights” are very different (there is no wife/princess in “Dream,” since the prince and the Jinn meet as young men), the feelings the stories evoke are similar and the dreams are the same.

In “The Prince and the Jinn,” the prince is still mourning the death of his beloved princess, years later.  Surrounded by a beautiful garden and the generous gifts of his people, his grief is so great that he wishes to die.  He bemoans the fact that he didn’t take his own life when the princess died.  He dreams at night of a lover with whom he is at peace and happy, but when he awakens in the morning, the lover is gone, and he is lonely once more.

Tamir, a male Jinn, appears before the prince and shows him what the world would be like if he had, indeed died.  The prince sees his sister unhappy because she is to be married to a man she does not love.  He sees his land and his people suffer because he is not there to protect them.  The Jinn grants him three wishes, and the prince wishes that his sister will marry the man she loves, that his kingdom will prosper, and that he will no longer be lonely. 

The Jinn tells the prince that he has no need to grant any of these wishes, because the prince himself will see to it that his sister finds happiness and his kingdom will prosper.  And when the prince challenges the Jinn to explain how he has no need to grant the last wish, the Jinn explains that he, himself, will remain at the prince’s side so that he will never be alone again.  The Jinn then explains that it was he who held the prince’s hand to stop the prince from plunging a dagger into his heart after his wife’s death, and that he was the prince’s dream lover.

Stay tuned for excerpts from both The Prince and the Jinn” and “The Dream of a Thousand Nights.” 

Peace,

Shira