As some of you know, I write in the early mornings…early early early. And two of my Writing Buddies, Holly Day and Nell Iris both have cover reveals happening today!
Hop Hop Carrot Top by Holly Day
Twenty years ago, Flynn Thomas promised himself he’d never have to see his childhood bullies again, but it’s been months since his mother passed away. Someone has to clear out the house. Caspian Cook never forgot the red-haired boy his brother used to harass. He used to wonder if the freckles spread from his face to the rest of his body. But will he be able to make Flynn forget who his brother is?
Adrian, librarian at a small community library loves his job and helping people. When a huge man walks in looking terrified, Adrian’s skills are tested. Manne’s dyslexic and past events have made him fear books. With Adrian’s help, the experience turns positive. Their chemistry is instant. But can someone who has trouble reading ever fit into the life of a man whose passion is the written word?
Today I’d like to welcome Isabelle Adler, on the anniversary of the publication of her The Wolf and the Sparrow!
Hello all! Today I would like to talk about my latest book, The Wolf and the Sparrow. It came out almost a year ago, on November 25, 2020, and I can’t believe it’s been that long!
The Wolf and the Sparrow is a fantasy romance, full of magic, dangerous intrigue, and lots of tender moments. It focuses on two heirs of noble families that enter an arranged marriage for political reasons and are initially less than impressed with each other. But as the plot progresses and the political situation around them threatens to escalate into a full-blown war, they team up, driven by the duty to protect their subjects. Together, they must face sea-raiders, hostile magic-wielders, and old enemies, but the hardest trial of all are the dark secrets from their past that might yet tear them apart.
What is the significance of the title?
The story takes place in the imaginary realm of Ivicia, which unites many smaller fiefdoms (duchies, counties, and principalities). All the nobles of the Realm bear a heraldic animal on their family crest. Derek, the newly-minted Count of Camria, has a sparrow on his crest, whereas Callan’s family’s sigil is a wolf’s head. The symbolic animals also represent the differences in their personalities and upbringing—Derek is used to a lush, peaceful scenery of fields and forests and his manner is mild and courteous, some might even say soft. Callan, on the other hand, had known strife his entire life, being brought up on the windswept coast, where attacks by sea pirates are a regular occurrence. He’s curt and withdrawn, hardened in the way of seasoned warriors.
But as they learn to get to know one another as partners, they must also delve deeper into their own souls and find that they might not be as different as they initially thought. Derek learns to draw on his inner strength and resolve to save the man he grows to love and admire, while Callan learns to deal with the emotions he’d kept buried for years.
Can you share something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
There is so much going on in the story, that the blurb barely touches the surface! It was actually rather difficult to choose what to put out there without spoiling too much of the plot and yet make it enticing. However, I don’t think it would be too much of a spoiler if I share that one of the main characters is kidnapped, and the other must come to his rescue—at a great personal risk. And then, of course, things go terribly awry…up until the very (happy) end!
What is the key theme of the book?
The main theme of the book is self-acceptance and how important it is to come terms with the mistakes and failures we all carry with us throughout our lives. It is only when we learn to forgive ourselves and let go of this burden that we find it easier to trust other people to be close to us, and appreciate everything life may still hold in store.
What does the future hold for the characters? Will there be a sequel?
The Wolf and the Sparrow was written as a standalone novel, and I’m quite content with how it came out. Subsequently, I’m not planning on revisiting these characters or make the novel into a series. However, I’m not opposed to the possibility of writing more stories set in the same world. So, I guess we’ll see!
What would be your main characters’ favorite songs?
The Wolf and the Sparrow is set in a fictional pseudo-medieval world, so this is pure speculation! But I think that Callan would absolutely love Warriors by Imagine Dragons! That songs really suits him to the T.
Derek, I feel, would like Skipping Stones by Claire Guerreso, and its lyrical poignancy.
If you could describe each of your main characters in three words, what would they be?
Derek – loyal, smart, compassionate.
Callan – private, dutiful, caring.
If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?
This is always such a difficult question to answer! Of course, everyone conjures up their own mental image of the characters when reading a book, and it can differ wildly from that of the author (which is perfectly fine!). But if I had to choose, I’d go with a young Gerard Butler for Callan and Eddie Redmayne for Derek.
Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
I have a website where I post all the information about my books and upcoming releases, as well as some extra content for my readers. I’m also pretty active on Twitter, talking about books and posting snippets of my works in progress, so if you ever want to chat, follow me there!
The Wolf and the Sparrow by Isabelle Adler
Publisher: NineStar Press Genre: Fantasy M/M romance Release date: November 25th, 2019 Book length: 72,000 words Warnings: Depictions of violence, battle scenes, physical injuries, mentions of torture, allusions to domestic abuse, dealing with grief, death of secondary characters.
Derek never wished to inherit his title as a result of a bloody battle. With the old count dead and the truce dependent on his marriage to the rival duke’s son, Derek has no choice but to agree to the victor’s terms in order to bring peace to his homeland. When he learns of the sinister rumors surrounding his intended groom, Derek begins to have doubts—but there can be no turning back from saying I do.After the death of his wife, Callan of Mulberny never expected to be forced into another political marriage—especially not to someone like the new Count of Camria. Seemingly soft and meek, it’s only fitting that Derek’s family crest is a flighty sparrow, worthy of nothing but contempt.Another war with the seafaring people of the Outer Isles looms on the horizon, and the reluctant newlyweds must team together to protect those caught in the circle of violence. Derek and Callan slowly learn to let go of their prejudices, but as they find themselves enmeshed in intrigue fueled by dark secrets and revenge, their tentative bond is all that keeps their world—and their lives—from plunging into chaos.
A voracious reader from the age of five, Isabelle Adler has always dreamed of one day putting her own stories into writing. She loves traveling, art, and science, and finds inspiration in all of these. Her favorite genres include sci-fi, fantasy, and historical adventure. She also firmly believes in the unlimited powers of imagination and caffeine.
The audio version of Lost in Time is now available on Audible! I am so, so excited. Callum Hale has done a wonderful job and you can hear a sample and/or buy a copy here. His quintessential British accent brings it all to life!
Lew Rogers’s life is pleasantly boring until his friend Mira messes with magic she doesn’t understand. While searching for her, he’s pulled back in time to 1919 by a catastrophic magical accident. As he tries to navigate a strange time and find his friend in the smoky music clubs of Soho, the last thing he needs is Detective Alec Carter suspecting him of murder.
London in 1919 is cold, wet, and tired from four years of war. Alec is back in the Metropolitan Police after slogging out his army service on the Western Front. Falling for a suspect in a gruesome murder case is not on his agenda, however attractive he finds the other man.
Both men are floundering and out of their depth, struggling to come to terms with feelings they didn’t ask for and didn’t expect. Both have secrets that could get them arrested or killed. In the middle of a murder investigation that involves wild magic, mysterious creatures, and illegal sexual desire, who is safe to trust?
Elizabeth Noble is here today to talk about the magic of her urban fantasy world and her upcoming release, Scintilla!
Thank you so much, Ally for including me. (You are most welcome! – Ally)
The world is full of magic.
Sometimes for me that magic is nothing more than having a pre-programmed coffee maker at work.
Imagine a world where some people were born with magical abilities. A world where magical humans come in four types, scintillas, aether, prisms and acoustics capable of manipulating elements such as electricity, air, sound and light.
There might be a cop who can alter the way light bends for a few seconds or minutes making it easier to catch a criminal in the act. Or, if that criminal had the same ability, they could slip past surveillance cameras. A man with the power to control electricity might use his gift to deep dive into the digital world or short out an alarm.
There are no potions or spells, but there is plenty of magic in my urban fantasy/paranormal romance series, El Corazon.
When I was planning the first book, Scintilla, I wanted to use magic, but I didn’t want a lot of complicated rules or spells. Their society has rules governing what is considered ethical or illegal of course, but the basic magic is simple. My goal was to make the magic a natural, organic thing that was as part of an individual as their height or eye color. Yes, being magical is special, but no more so than being a talented musician or athlete.
Magical people sometimes need specialized medical equipment. Other magicals, as they’re referred to collectively, are discriminated against because there are others who fear what they can do. And, of course, there is always some person or organization that wants to exploit those with magical ability.
What I tried very hard to do, was imagine what obstacles a magical person might encounter or what special needs might be required in unusual circumstances. For instance, the young man, Brandon, in Scintilla who manipulates and has power over electricity is Tasered. Not a good idea to do when someone has the power to push that energy back to you. Since this is a romance, there is sex and I was able to explore how an electrified body might react differently. Would it hinder improve his or his partner’s experience? Being a scintilla is a natural part of Brandon, but how much of that part of him can he, or does he share?
Humans aren’t the only beings that can wield magic in this world, however.
There are the djinn.
Mythology gives us different types of jinni and so far, I’ve included two. One can cause havoc in computers and another sort likes to meddle in the affairs of people. Like anyone else, there are those that are honorable and good, and some that use their powers for crime.
Wait, there’s more!
My world has the magic of shifters. Technically, shifters aren’t magical in the same way as others, but the ability to look human and turn into something else is some serious magic in my opinion. Brandon’s love interest, Raul, is a werewolf, a Dom and a bounty hunter. That right there is darn magical! Werewolves are tough beasts and Raul can take more of what Brandon can dole out than a human could. That gives them plenty to explore, when they’re not fighting crime that is.
There are instances where one’s magic can be used against them. Without revealing spoilers, suffice to say, Brandon gets a harsh lesson in reality. His ability can’t always protect him and there’s always someone else who knows more about what he can do than is healthy for him.
How far is too far to go to save someone you love?
Brandon Lynch is magical. He’s a scintilla who can manipulate electricity. Leaving his structured, unexciting life and job at his father’s billion-dollar business in Boston and heads south for a vacation adventure in Rio Rico, Arizona. He’s living out a fantasy by traveling to the El Corazon adult entertainment club and has booked one glorious session with a werewolf Dom, complete with knotting.
Part-time Dom for his family business, the El Corazon, and full-time bounty hunter, Raul Fierro uses what nature gave him as a werewolf to bring pleasure to some, and justice to others. He hasn’t been in a real relationship for longer than he wants to think about and his gruff and growly exterior keeps any unwanted interactions at bay. He’s not against a partner, but he’s willing to wait for the person who sees the real Raul—and his wolf—who lurks beneath the surface.
A seemingly chance meeting with Brandon the day after their scheduled session leads to a week-long affair. Raul accepts it for what it is, a vacation fling for Brandon even though Brandon is someone Raul could easily fall in love with. When Brandon returns to Boston and Raul resumes his normal routine, they keep in touch until the time Brandon’s father arrives in Rio Rico, announces his son is missing, and he intends to hire Raul to find him. Raul wastes no time picking up Brandon’s trail. Rescuing Brandon from human traffickers is only the beginning and more adventure than either man wanted. Their hunt brings them together in an unexpected way. Can they bring down a powerful, international ring of traffickers all while protecting each other and their new-found love?
“We can run current through those barrels, magnetize them and create a barrier. All we have to find is enough copper.”
Raul nodded. “I like it. I’ll get the rods, see if you can find some copper piping, but stay in this area. If we have to go into the rest of the building, we should go together.”
To Raul’s utter surprise, Brandon didn’t argue but simply nodded. “I’ll start over there. Looks like some sort of utility junction.” He motioned to a floor-to-ceiling metal locker that extended out about four feet from the wall and was at least another four feet wide.
Raul retrieved a half dozen of his iron rods from the van. They were three feet long and a quarter inch in diameter. He’d had them specially made and if needed he was strong enough to bend them. Holding them in one hand, Raul used his free hand to grab one of the metal barrels and carried everything to the ruined door. The rods were deposited on top of the barrel before he carried two more over and set them in a row by the first barrel. He turned to see what Brandon was doing.
“Should you be doing that?” Raul asked as he closed the distance between he and Brandon.
Brandon was poking at what looked like a circuit board, then he grabbed a hold of a bundle of wires and gave them a shake. “Eh, you probably shouldn’t, I won’t get more than a bee sting.” He shrugged. “As far as I can tell there’s no power.”
Raul stepped to the side and flicked a switch up and down, looking up at the ceiling lights. Nothing happened. “You appear to be correct. Bee stings hurt,” he grumbled. The interior of the junction was a mess of dials and wires, levers and smaller switches. There were two tanks in the center. Raul followed the copper tubing from the tanks until they disappeared into the ceiling. “Do you see a ladder or anything I can stand on?”
“Why don’t I stand on you?”
Raul glanced back at Brandon. “Can you yank these things free?”
Brandon rolled his eyes and heaved a sigh. “I’m human but we don’t have spaghetti muscles.”
“My apologies.” Raul nodded and laced his fingers together, offering Brandon a step up.
In one smooth movement Brandon was standing on Raul’s shoulders. Raul held his calves to brace him and watched as Brandon tugged on the closest copper pipe. It took them a half an hour of steady effort to pull piping loose, move to another section and repeat their task. In the end they a half dozen six to seven-foot lengths of copper tubing.
Brandon jumped to the ground still holding the last section of copper. “This should be plenty.”
Raul looked pointedly at the dark lamps. “No power, remember? Unless you’re suggesting we bang on them until they magnetize.”
Brandon heaved a sigh and cocked his head. “Seriously?” He held out his free hand and a narrow blue wave arched to the copper pipe. “Yet, you call me Sparky.”
“Can you actually generate enough power, long enough to accomplish what we need? That’s higher voltage.”
Brandon nodded. “I think so, yes. It’s not something I can maintain forever, but I think I can generate enough for a long enough time for our purpose.”
“What’s your plan?”
“Well, copper and iron and steel can be magnetized when electrified.” Brandon pointed to the door. “That door is metal. If we put one barrel on each side of the door and charge them it would be damn hard for anyone to get through,” Brandon said.
“A big version of those little electro-magnets kids make in science class,” Raul added. “And easy enough to find plans for if we need to.”
“Yep. It’ll take me a few minutes.” Brandon sprinted back to the van while Raul pulled the barrels to the door then retrieved the copper and iron.
They worked steadily setting up their barrier. Once it was ready and in place Brandon put both hands on the barrel sitting inside the building. He glanced back at Raul.
“Ready.” Raul backed up a few feet and watched while Brandon took a few deep breaths, closed his eyes and leaned into the barrel.
Scintilla releases on March 10. It’ll have wide distribution for a week before going into Kindle Unlimited.
Mystery, action, chills, and thrills spiced with romance and desire. ELIZABETH NOBLE lives by the adage “I can’t not write.” She doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t make up stories and eventually she learned how to put words on a page. Those words turned into books and fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M fiction. A part of every day is spent living in worlds she created that are filled with intrigue and espionage. She has a real love for a good mystery complete with murder and twisty plots as well as all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural.
When she’s not chronicling the adventures of her many characters, Elizabeth is a veterinary nurse living in her native Cleveland, Ohio. She has three grown children and now happily shares her little, brick house with an adorable mixed breed canine princess, a spunky Cardigan Welsh Corgi and their sidekick, tabby cat. Elizabeth is a fan of baseball, basketball (go Cavs and Indians) and gardening. She can often be found working in her ‘outside office’ listening to classic rock and plotter her next novel waiting for it to be dark enough to gaze at the stars.
Elizabeth has received a number of amateur writing awards. Since being published, several of her novels have received Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards. Jewel Cave was a runner-up in the Gay Mystery/Thriller category in the 2015 Rainbow Awards. Ringed Love was a winner in the Gay Fantasy Romance category of the 2016 Rainbow Awards.
I am very pleased to announce that I have found a collaborator to work with me to create audiobooks of both Lost in Time and Shadows on the Border! Lost in Time will be released at the beginning of March.
Callum Hale is doing an absolutely fantastic job-the characters are leaping off the page. You can hear a sample of his work below and if you’d like to sign up for a review copy, please do scroll down to the bottom of the page to sign up!
Lost in Time
Lew’s life is pleasantly boring until his friend Mira messes with magic she doesn’t understand. While searching for her, he is pulled back in time to 1919 by a catastrophic magical accident. As he tries to navigate a strange time and find his friend in the smoky music clubs of Soho, the last thing he needs is Detective Alec Carter suspecting him of murder. London in 1919 is cold, wet, and tired from four years of war.
Alec is back in the Metropolitan Police after slogging out his army service on the Western Front. Falling for a suspect in a gruesome murder case is not on his agenda, however attractive he finds the other man.
They are both floundering and out of their depth, struggling to come to terms with feelings they didn’t ask for and didn’t expect. Both have secrets that could get them arrested or killed. In the middle of a murder investigation that involves wild magic, mysterious creatures, and illegal sexual desire, who is safe to trust?