Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Running With The Wind by Shira Anthony - Blog Tour with Author Q & A and Giveaway

Author Name: Shira Anthony
Book Name: Running With the Wind
Series: Mermen of Ea
Book: 3
Series must be read in order. This is the final book of the series.
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain

Release Date: June 8, 2015


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.

Pages or Words: 67,000 words

Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance


****SPOILER WARNING: This excerpt contains spoilers for the first two series books!****

Running with the Wind
Excerpt from Chapter One
Ian leaned over the railing as the morning sunlight warmed his shoulders. A few feet away, Taren wrapped a blanket around the shivering boy, who sat with his knees hugged to his chest. He tenderly ruffled the boy’s fiery red hair. The boy leaned into Taren’s touch and made a satisfied sound much like the purr of a cat.
Not a boy, Ian reminded himself. Bastian. An Anuki. The heavenly brethren of the Ea. A dragon shifter reborn from the ashes. True, this freckle-faced dragon child looked nothing like the full-fledged beast who’d nearly killed them the day before, but they knew little of the Anuki. Had it only been a day since Seria’s men had attacked them and they’d lost Rider to Seria’s bullet?
Ian met Taren’s gaze and his grief eased slightly. Taren smiled back, his warm brown eyes hooded with exhaustion and grief, his shoulder-length hair having dried in a tumble of waves. From where he sat on the deck, Bastian watched Odhrán, keenly interested. The sphere they’d discovered not long after the destruction of the Sea Witch—an egg, Ian now knew—had dissolved beneath the water. Bastian had been choking and spluttering when Odhrán had carried him aboard. Since then, Bastian had done little but watch Odhrán with rapt attention.
Like a baby bird watches its mother. Ian frowned at his folly. How easy it was to forget this pathetic creature had destroyed the Sea Witch and nearly killed them all. If Odhrán hadn’t killed the dragon Bastian had become, they’d all have died. And yet Bastian had been reborn.
Bastian glanced up at Taren, blinked several times, then shifted his gaze back to Odhrán, who spoke in hushed tones to one of his crew. The long blond braid down Odhrán’s back dripped onto the deck and left the back of his woolen jacket sodden. Despite the bright blue of his eyes and his youthful features, Odhrán appeared as exhausted as Ian felt.
“A moment of your time?” Ian said after the crewmember trotted off toward the stairs, leaving the four of them alone on the foredeck.
Odhrán nodded and followed Ian amidships, far enough away that Bastian wouldn’t hear.
“Do you think this is wise?” Ian asked with a quick glance back at Taren and Bastian.
“What would you have me do? Leave him to drown?” Odhrán, too, appeared weary. Ian knew he still regretted having killed the fully transformed Bastian.
He couldn’t live without Rider.” Taren’s words echoed in Ian’s mind. Rider—Ian’s oldest friend—had taken a bullet in Ian’s stead. There’d been no time to grieve.
“No.” Ian sighed. “Rider would have wanted us to care for him.” Taren would never have forgiven him for suggesting they leave Bastian to drown, and they’d lost too much to even consider it.
Odhrán nodded curtly and turned his gaze eastward. Now calm in the wake of the storm, the water sparkled with sunlight. Nothing remained of the Sea Witch but a few bits of broken timbers floating restlessly on the waves. Later, all of the men now aboard the Chimera would gather on the deck to remember the Witch’s captain, but for just a moment, Ian could almost imagine Rider at the wheel of his beloved ship.
I’ll miss you, old friend. More than you’ll ever know.
Ian shrugged off his dark thoughts and walked back to Taren. “You should get some sleep.” He squeezed Taren’s shoulder. “Odhrán and I will not let Bastian out of our sight.”
Taren pressed his lips together and nodded. How tired Taren must be that he didn’t even argue!
“I’ll join you in a bit.” Ian pressed his lips to Taren’s warm cheek.
Taren retrieved the blanket that had fallen off Bastian’s shoulders and wrapped it around him again. Naked as Bastian was beneath, Ian caught a glimpse of the wings they’d seen when they’d discovered him on the ocean floor. No longer scaled as they’d been when they’d first pulled Bastian from the water, Bastian’s wings were now covered with feathers and shimmered red, yellow, orange, and fuchsia, iridescent in the sunlight.
“I’ll be back later,” Taren told Bastian with a barely repressed yawn. “I promise.”
Bastian’s eyes revealed little understanding. Had he forgotten everything of his former life? Perhaps he was still too overwhelmed from the shock of the past day’s events to fully comprehend his situation. He’d not uttered a word since they’d brought him aboard.
Taren kissed Ian—a fleeting kiss, but one Ian needed to reassure himself that all had not changed—before heading belowdecks to rest.
Ian met Odhrán at the bow. “He’s like a fledgling,” Ian said, inclining his head in Bastian’s direction, “watching you like a bird might his mother.”
Odhrán’s brow knitted. He’d clearly noticed it as well. “I’ve asked Garan to reinforce the enchantments on the ship’s masts and sails. There’s nothing more to be done.”
“Aye. But if Bastian threatens the ship—”
“Then I’ll be forced to subdue him. Not a prospect I relish, although in his current state, he appears far less powerful than before.” Odhrán studied Bastian once again. “For now, at least, he’s content to be in our company.”
“What do you know of the Anuki?”
“They’re much like the Ea in their ability to shift to human form. I met one centuries ago, but he was nothing like this. Not a child. But what happened with Bastian….”
“Reborn from the ashes.” Ian’s heart ached once again for the loss of Rider.
“My time with one of their kind was brief.” Odhrán stared past Ian as if remembering.
Ian didn’t press the issue. Later, perhaps, he’d ask Odhrán about that encounter. “And his memories of his life with Rider?”
Odhrán shook his head. “I don’t know. I suppose only time will tell.”
Ian clenched his jaw. The realization that Bastian might not remember anything of his love for Rider made Ian’s grief that much greater.

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About the author:

In her last incarnation, Shira was a professional opera singer, performing roles in such operas as “Tosca,” “i 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 36’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel.

Where to find the author:

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ShiraAnthony/posts

Q & A With Author Shira Anthony 

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Shira Anthony, author of Running with the Wind (Mermen of Ea #3). Hi Shira, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Thanks so much for hosting me! I’m excited to share this last book in my Mermen of Ea Series from Dreamspinner Press. About me? I’m a former opera singer (you can hear a live recording of me singing here, if you’re interested). After I gave up singing, I went to law school and I work as public sector attorney doing child advocacy. I guess you could call my writing a second full-time job, since when I’m not working, I pretty much spend every waking hour writing.

      Wicked Faerie'sDo you have pictures that you use for your characters? Can you share them with us?

Shira Anthony - I don’t always have photographs I use as character references, but I do with the Mermen of Ea Series. I usually have a few for each character, but I tend to settle on one or the other by the time the book is written. Here you’ll see my inspiration for Taren and Ian, the two main characters of the series, as well as Bastian and a third character who readers come to know later in the series (no spoilers!).

**Here's some of her inspiration for her mermen**

      WF    What kind of book would you like to write that people would see as a huge departure for you?

SA - I’ve got an idea for a ménage (MMM) story involving musicians in a band. Writing rock music would definitely be a departure for me, and although I’ve written an MMM scene in a story before, I’ve never written a ménage relationship. It will also be a challenge for me to write, I’m sure, since the dynamics of a threesome are very different from a pair!

      WF  Have you ever killed a character? Was it traumatic for you? If you haven’t killed one, would you ever consider it?

SA - Yes, I’ve killed off a few characters, and each time it was traumatic for me. With the exception of a few nasty villains, that is. But since I always write a happily-ever-after in my books, I could never kill off a main character in a romantic pairing. Or at least, not permanently (she says as she avoids spoilers in several series…). But sometimes the story requires a character to die for another character to grow or change in unexpected ways. I remember reading the Harry Potter books to my kids and getting all teary-eyed when Dumbledore dies. But I understood that his death was key to completing Harry’s transformation from boy to man, and I forgave J.K. Rowling for it!

       WF     Favorite location you’ve ever written about?

SA - That’s a tough one! I’ve written stories set in France, Italy, and Great Britain, and the Mermen of Ea Series is set in an exotic earthlike location with warm tropical islands. I’d say it’s a tossup between Paris and the Luathan Islands from the mermen books. I love Paris (I lived there for a few years as a child), but there’s something about the sun and sand and water of a tropical paradise that makes me feel relaxed and wonderful.

Part of the inspiration for the Mermen of Ea Series was a trip to the Caribbean a few years ago when my husband and I got certified for open-water scuba diving. We spent a week in Grenada and dove almost every day. I imagined how amazing it would be to be able to breathe under the water without all that complicated scuba gear!

      WF    What’s your favorite season and favorite activity for that season?

SA - Spring is my favorite season, without a doubt. I love the flowers and the warm sun after a cold winter. It’s not too hot yet (it gets hot as Hades here in North Carolina in the summer!), the evenings are cool, and it’s great weather to get out and about. I’m a runner, so my favorite thing to do in spring is run in the state park not far from my house. The woods are beautiful that time of year, there aren’t any bugs to speak of, and it’s the perfect temperature so you don’t end up as a sweat ball!

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