Today I am so pleased to welcome Shira Anthony to Joyfully Jay. Shira has come to talk to us about her latest release, Blood and Rain. She has also brought along an exclusive excerpt and a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Shira a big welcome!
Having it All
Thanks, Jay and crew, for hosting release day of Blood and Rain! I’m so excited to be here and so excited to introduce everyone to my new series. Don’t forget to enter the Blood and Rain Blog Tour giveaway for a chance to win a unique unisex pendant from artist Martin Brodour. One of a kind, and SO cool!
I admit it. As a reader, I’m a genre hopper. There aren’t any MM genres I won’t read. I love contemporary, sci fi, fantasy, paranormal, BDSM, and historical. I’ve written nearly every of those genres as well. So when the idea for a vampire series popped into my brain, I didn’t really consider that the end result might cross several genres. It just seemed to happen naturally.
Blood and Rain is a three-book series that chronicles three MM pairings, but at its heart focuses on vampire hunter Adrien Gilbert, and the ancient vampire, Nicolas Lambert. Ancient vampires are born vampires, rather than created. They’re vampire royalty, in a sense, and the most powerful vampires. Vampires live for millennia, so they are basically immortal. Their vampire hunter counterparts are not, although they live far longer than the average human. Hunters, however, have much more in common with vampires than they’re willing to admit—something Adrien must come to terms with as he seeks to fulfill his duty as a hunter.
Blood and Rain begins as a contemporary supernatural story, set in present day Miami, Florida. Adrien Gilbert is a powerful and wealthy man who runs an international shipping business. But Adrien has a secret: he is a vampire hunter who has been given the gift of immortality. He appears to be in his early twenties, but he’s nearly 150 years old. And for most of his 150 years, he’s been trying to find the missing Nicolas.
From there, the story backtracks to Adrien’s early life in southern France in 1895. Adrien, who much preferred reading books to hunting vampires, is called upon to find and execute his older brother’s murderer, Charles Duvalier. Adrien’s adventure begins as he leaves his family’s vineyard behind. Along the way, he meets Nicolas. Adrien wants to hate him—Adrien’s mother was killed by a vampire and he has no love for them—but the gentle Nicolas wins over his heart.
Adrien agrees to escort Nicolas to be married to a rival vampire clanswoman whom Nicolas has never met. In return, Nicolas leads Adrien to his brother’s killer. But what Adrien discovers when he meets the elusive Charles Duvalier will rock his world and open his eyes to the truth of the origin of hunters. Soon Adrien and Nicolas are caught up in a war for the soul of the Council of Hunters, and must fight to secure the future of both vampires and hunters.
The second book in the series, Blood and Ghosts, will be released this coming spring. It continues Adrien and Nicolas’s story, and reveals Adrien’s special ability: time travel. There’s a sneak peek at the second book in Blood and Rain.
The Blood series takes readers to the near-past, the present, and beyond. Contemporary romance, historical romance, high fantasy, paranormal, and a bit of sci fi combine to create a universe I’ve so enjoyed getting lost in. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed creating it! -Shira
Adrien stood in the middle of the field. Nicolas was nowhere to be seen. Adrien turned around a few times, finally catching a faint hint of movement in his peripheral vision. He reached out with his mind, hoping to sense Nicolas’s presence, but felt nothing. Hiding. Of course. A weaker opponent would hide and use surprise to his advantage.
“All right, Lord Lambert,” Adrien said with a laugh, “perhaps we should just dress for dinner and call it a day. We really don’t need to do this.”
The wind, which until that moment had been so light he’d barely felt it, now caused his hair to whip about his face. It felt cold—far colder even than to be expected of a late-fall day. From behind him, something rustled as it moved through the nearby bushes.
Adrien took a deep breath and again willed himself to sense Nicolas’s presence. Nothing. “Fine. I admit it. I lied,” Adrien said, smiling now. “I didn’t know the ancients could disguise their presence so well. Won’t you come out and play?”
He felt a light touch on his shoulder. He spun around and grabbed Nicolas’s wrist. The skin there felt cool to the touch and vibrated with power.
“I don’t play, monsieur,” Nicolas said, his silvery laugh still echoing on the air. “But perhaps you need to be convinced.” He pulled away from Adrien.
The wind blew harder and colder than before. Was that frost on the nearby trees? Nicolas grabbed Adrien’s arm and tossed him into the air as easily as a child might throw a rag doll. Adrien landed with a resounding crash several yards away on a bale of hay.
Adrien winced as he picked himself up and dusted bits of hay from his trousers. He’s stronger than I expected. He reminded himself that he’d trained with his father and Roland, both of whom were at least as strong. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
Nicolas waited several yards away, unarmed. He too wore his riding trousers and shirt, which hung loose over his slim hips. His hair, which he usually tied back with a strip of leather at his neck, now hung loose over his shoulders. His feet were bare.
Nicolas’s pale skin seemed to glow in the fading afternoon light. His muscles strained against the worn fabric of his shirt. Adrien imagined what the skin at the base of Nicolas’s neck might taste like, how his skin might feel beneath his fingers.
“What are you staring at, monsieur?” Nicolas’s voice brought Adrien back to himself.
You’re distracted. “Nothing.”
Adrien Gilbert has spent several lifetimes searching for the love he lost. Born in the 1800s into a clan of fabled vampire hunters, Adrien once wanted nothing more than to tend his family’s vineyard in southern France or read a good book. But Adrien’s peaceful existence ends abruptly when his older brother, François, is murdered. Bound by his hunter’s oath, Adrien sets out on a path that will forever change his life when he agrees to execute his brother’s killer, the vampire Charles Duvalier.
After months chasing the elusive Charles, Adrien reluctantly makes a bargain with Nicolas Lambert, an ancient vampire. Adrien will escort Nicolas to Paris for his marriage to a rival clanswoman, and Nicolas will help Adrien find Charles. Nicolas’s quiet strength and gentle heart soon convince Adrien that Nicolas is nothing like the vampires he has sworn to destroy. As the wedding date draws nearer, a force intent on destroying the fragile peace between the vampire clans threatens to tear apart both the vampire realm and the world of the hunters. To secure both past and future for those he loves, Adrien must find a way to stop the looming war between hunters and vampires. But first he’ll have to let Nicolas go.
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.
Shira has brought a great tour wide giveaway for a Hunter pendant or a $10 DSP gift certificate. Just follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter.
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