Rory Ni Coileain and the merry band of Fae and Humans that make up the Demesne of Purgatory are on a blog tour and have kindly accepted my offer of honeyed mead and cakes in exchange for a stop over and a sneak peek! Stone Cold, the eighth book in Rory Ni Coileain’s Soul Shares series is out and I, for one, have been waiting more or less patiently for the next installment. Re-reading the previous seven books helped with the waiting, as did a judicious amount of Tennessee Honey – which I’d discoverd at exactly the same time as I discovered Tiernan Guaire.
If Celtic mythology, hot guys, grave danger, hot guys and heart-wrenching love stories are up your street… then you need to read this. And now I’m off to do just that, and leave you to peruse what you’ve got to look forward to if you step into Rory Ni Coileains world. 🙂
Maelduin Guaire is a Fae with a mission. An obsession, really. He’s trained his entire life to become the greatest scian-damhsa, blade-dancer, the Fae have ever known, for the sole purpose of killing the blade-dancer who murdered his father and gave House Guaire its reputation as the Cursed House. Now he’s followed Tiernan Guaire through the Pattern to the human world, to fulfill his oath or die trying… but the passage cost him all his skill with a blade.
Terry Miller, Josh LaFontaine’s business partner at Raging Art-On Tattoo and Piercing Parlor, has the worst luck with men since… well, since ever, as far as he’s concerned. Years ago, he walked out on a great thing with Josh, when Bryce Newhouse offered to play sugar daddy for Terry’s ballet company; then Bryce kicked him to the curb, and Terry ended up relying on big-hearted Josh to help him get back on his feet. And now a too-good-to-be-true stranger has turned up in Terry’s half-built dance studio, with a beautiful sword and a bloody nose.
In order to regain the grace and skill he needs to keep his vow, a Fae cursed with the inability to love must SoulShare with a human convinced that love runs screaming when it sees him coming. All with the Marfach looking over their shoulders. No pressure…
Excerpt from Stone Cold by Rory Ni Coileain
“I can’t stay anywhere there’s a wellspring.” Bryce grimaced.
“Why not?” A thumb stroked the back of Bryce’s hand; Setanta squirmed around to rest his head in Bryce’s lap.
Bryce loved Lasair. He truly did. He’d finally stopped arguing with himself, on that one subject at least. But there were times when his belovéd didn’t get him, and this was one of them. “The same reason I won’t travel by the good graces of the daragin. They’re listening to us through the wellsprings. Maybe even reading our thoughts. They’re trying to decide if their truce with the Fae is a good idea. And if any of us are caught in a lie—in anything less than what the daragin and the Gille Dubh consider to be ‘good behavior’—the treaty’s in the trash, and quite possibly Fiachra’s head blows up.” Which was another good reason for him to avoid the Pool, since there was a wellspring lurking at the bottom of it.
“But you are not a liar.”
Lasair’s evident confusion warmed Bryce’s heart. Yet it hurt, at the same time, because naturally Bryce had to try to clear things up for the male he loved. “I have been. Most of my life.” A lot worse than a liar, actually—the Fae and humans of the Demesne of Purgatory, along with more or less everyone who had ever encountered him, saw him for what he had been, the consummate cold-hearted bastard. Maybe it hadn’t all been his fault—the Pattern’s machinations had left him without a soul from birth, until Lasair came through the Pattern and late delivery was made of that ethereal commodity—but even if it wasn’t his fault, it was still his responsibility. And how the hell did he make good a whole lifetime’s worth of thoughtless cruelty?
Well, by not waiting to be asked before putting his life on the line by being a living Marfach detector, for starters. Before the monster had managed to incarnate, through some bizarre fusion of Janek O’Halloran’s physical substance and the magick Lochlann had been forced to pump into it, only humans had been able to see it at all, like the kind of hallucinations a person carried with him from sleeping to waking. Any Fae that tried to look at it was guaranteed to go rat-fucking insane. Now the Fae could see it—but only Bryce, who had carried a piece of it around in his gut for over a year, and had been permanently altered by the experience, could sense it from a distance.
He had also demonstrated that he could use that altered part of himself to suck magickal energy out of the Marfach, but his lover had threatened to break both of his legs and chain him to the nearest concrete pillar with truesilver if he ever tried that again. “Lochlann will heal you afterward.” Lasair had smiled. Kind of. Bryce wasn’t keen on testing that particular limit.
But here and now, Lasair was regarding him with the kind of anxiety one didn’t see in Fae all that often, and nodding. “Setanta and I will not Fade into or out of our hotel room, then. I promise.”
Because there’s no telling how much magick it takes, these days, to call a wellspring. Bryce wasn’t exactly sure what was going on with the magick escaping from the Realm—no one was going to sit down with him one on one and explain matters to him, so all he knew was what everyone was told, and everyone else talked about, on those occasions when the Fae and humans of Purgatory all got together. He gathered that feeding ley energy back into the Realm, to replenish its depleted stores of living magick, had been a decent enough idea—saved the Realm—but things hadn’t worked that way before the Sundering, and the new arrangement was causing problems no one had anticipated. Apparently shooting raw ley energy into the Realm with God’s own fire hose was causing the Realm to spring leaks. Wellsprings. Any one of which the Marfach, cursed be it, could probably surf back to the Realm. And the one in the old nexus chamber was starting to break down.
Bryce almost didn’t notice Lasair drawing his head down to rest on his shoulder, pillowed on all kinds of flowing blond hair. He noticed lips brushing his temple, though. Fae kisses were hard to miss. So was Fade-hound slobber soaking into one’s pants leg.
“You fret too much, sumiúl, over things you cannot help.”
“Only because you gave me the soul that makes me give a damn.” Bryce’s eyes abruptly watered, stung. There had been a time, not all that long ago, when the death of a world he’d never seen, and never would, would have been Someone Else’s Goddamned Problem.
Not anymore. Because that was Lasair’s world, and fuck if he was going to let anything happen to it. Or to Lasair.
About Rory Ni Coileain
Rory Ni Coileain majored in creative writing, back when Respectable Colleges didn’t offer such a major, so she had to design it herself, at a university which boasted one professor willing to teach creative writing, he being a British surrealist who went nuts over students writing dancing bananas in the snow but did not take well to the sort of high fantasy she wanted to write.
She graduated Phi Beta Kappa at the age of nineteen, sent off her first short story to an anthology being assembled by an author she idolized, received one of those rejection letters that puts therapists’ kids through college (Ivy League), and found other things to do, such as going to law school, ballet dancing (at more or less the same time), nightclub singing, and volunteering as a lawyer with Gay Men’s Health Crisis, for the next thirty years or so, until her stories started whispering to her.
Now she’s a lawyer, a legal editor, an Associate member of the Order of Julian of Norwich, and the proud mother of a filmmaker and movie theater manager, and is busily wedding her love of myth and legend to her passion for m/m romance.
Connect with Rory
Rory Ni Coileain at QueeRomance Ink, a compendium of LGBTQIA+ romance searchable by title, author, trope, heat, pairing, and so much more!
If you haven’t read Soul Shares yet, start right here…