Running With the Wind (Mermen of Ea #3) by Shira Anthony
Stories must be read in order. This is the final book of the trilogy
Release Date: June 8, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
My Interview with 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.
• Describe your book to us.
Thanks for hosting me today! Running with the Wind is the final installment in my Mermen of Ea Series from Dreamspinner Press. The series is high fantasy, romance, and adventure set on the high seas. The story follows Taren Laxley, an indentured servant who dreams of sailing aboard the tall ships that put into port in the harbor town where he lives.
Taren is kidnapped by pirates, and an entire new universe opens up to him aboard their ship, the Sea Witch. But when he falls overboard during a storm trying to save a fellow crewmember, he’s rescued by the crew of the Phantom. The ship and its captain, Ian Dunaidh, aren’t what they seem. They’re merfolk shifters, or Ea. What’s more, Taren learns he is an Ea as well.
Taren and Ian’s rocky start eventually turns into a deep and all-encompassing love. Their connection is ages old, and Taren learns he has a purpose he must serve: leading his people a safe haven where they can live in peace. The final book in the series, Running with the Wind, leads Taren and Ian and the Ea to the brink of another civil war, and their happiness is far from guaranteed.
There’s magic, magical creatures, and adventure in the books, and they were a blast to write! I hope you enjoy reading them.
• Have you ever read something that made you think differently about your genre? Can you tell us what it was?
The first real gay romance I read was back in the 80s and it was between the lines of my all-time favorite sci fi/fantasy series, Darkover, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. The deep love between two men and the strength of those characters made me crave more, and eventually prompted me to take a good friend up on her suggestion that we write an MM story together (that story became Prelude (Blue Notes #4). When Marion Zimmer Bradley wrote that series, gay romance in mainstream fiction was still taboo, but the little taste of it I found there was the foundation for the genre I now love to write. I honestly can’t imagine writing anything else!
• Tell us about your character’s family life?
Taren’s parents died when he was a baby, so he never knew them. He was raised by a ship rigger, Borstan Laxley, who treated him fairly well. But Borstan pays off his gambling debts using Taren, and Taren finds himself not much more than a slave at an inn near the harbor. Later in the series, we get a glimpse back at Taren’s parents. But I won’t spoil that part!
• Compare yourself to your main character.
Wow, tough question! At the beginning of the series, Taren is a mixture of submissive slave and questioning boy. Very different from me, since I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve had to temper my need to speak my mind. Later, Taren grows more assertive, more like I am I guess you could say.
• Describe your past week as a type of landscape or a weather forecast.
Definitely a seascape! I’ve been so busy traveling to conventions, including Romantic Times in Dallas, Texas, and Animazement, in Raleigh, North Carolina, not to mention balancing writing, blogging, and real life work, that all I see right now is a very large ocean. In the distance? My vacation! And what an appropriate vacation for that kind of landscape: I’m spending 3 weeks aboard our catamaran sailboat, Land’s Zen!
Now more about Running with the Wind….
It’s here! The final story in Shira Anthony’s Mermen of Ea Trilogy, Running with the Wind. Check out the synopisis and excerpts below and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end.
About Running with the Wind
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
Running with the Wind Excerpt
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.
About Shira Anthony~
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:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shira-Anthony/177484618974406
Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $10 gift card and backlist book of choice. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
Here is the list of prizes (also on the Rafflecopter link):
December Diamonds Wedding Mermen Ornament
(or a free download of the audiobook version of Stealing the Wind for non U.S. Residents
Geneva Nautical Wrap Watch
Anchor Cord Bracelet
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Buy Links for the other stories in the Mermen of Ea Trilogy – now complete:
Stealing the Wind:
Add to Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18216592-stealing-the-wind
buy it at:
Dreamspinner Press – https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4101
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Stealing-Wind-Mermen-Ea-Book-ebook/dp/B00EHHZXVS
Google Books – https://books.google.com/books/about/Stealing_the_Wind.html?id=-RKzAAAAQBAJ&hl=en
B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stealing-the-wind-shira-anthony/1116395006?ean=9781627980531
Into the Wind:
Add to Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20343872-into-the-wind
DP – https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4975
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Into-Wind-Mermen-Ea-Book-ebook/dp/B00K4PX4BS
B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/into-the-wind-shira-anthony/1119434211?ean=2940149579983
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