Today I am so pleased to welcome Kay Berrisford to Joyfully Jay. Kay has come to share an exclusive except from her latest release, The Lonely Merman (Landlocked Heart Book 1). She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
The Landlocked Heart series tells the saga of Ben, a mild-mannered environmental officer, and Lyle, a flamboyant merman with a tragic past. It features magic, shapeshifting, sex, cute romance, and a ton of pain and angst. In latter books, it’s also got the odd dragon hanging around! Although “The Lonely Merman” can be read as a standalone, you won’t have to wait long for the next instalment. Lyle’s Story (Landlocked Heart Book 2) is out 28th September 2017.
This exclusive excerpt, from The Lonely Merman (Landlocked Heart Book 1) describes the start of Ben and Lyle’s first night together.
As Ben meandered back toward wakefulness, the crick in his neck struck him first, and then the long rod-shaped object that jammed into his ribs. By the time he registered that his cheek rested against damp earth and musty leaves rather than his warm, dry pillow, he was well aware he wasn’t at home.
He opened his eyes, foreboding zinging through him and fading only slightly as he recalled the events that’d brought him here. Then, as he absorbed the scene before him, wonder triumphed over all else.
Lyle stood in the pool, basking beneath a starlit sky and a near-full gibbous moon. The waters lapped to just above the well-defined ridges of his hipbones, kissing his trim, lightly-muscled belly. Viewing Lyle side-on, Ben could see Lyle smiling, humming softly to himself as he stirred the waters with his fingers. The sight stole the air from Ben’s lungs—not least because Lyle had the strangest appendages protruding from the tops of his arms, where his biceps met his shoulders. At first Ben thought they must be ribbons, gleaming like a peacock’s tail in a spectrum of petrol blues and greens, which complimented the red in his hair. When he blinked then blinked again, Ben realized these strips flowed seamlessly from Lyle’s arms and tapered to delicate feathered tips.
“Are those some kind of fins?” Ben’s astounded voice sounded distant and foreign, as if he spoke in a dream. Lyle whirled around to face him, sending water droplets scattering from his wet hair.
“More or less.” Lyle curved his mouth into his most enigmatic smile. Under the bright moon, Ben discerned more colour in Lyle’s cheeks than he’d seen earlier, or even yesterday. He looked much happier and a thousand times stronger.
Made sense, really. The merman had returned to water… Well, a small body of water, at least. Ben shook himself. He was staring rudely, though Lyle didn’t appear to mind. Indeed, Lyle grinned, baring his white teeth. “Would you like to see more of me?”
Ben nodded. The tug of need in the pit of his stomach fast overwhelmed even the wonder in his heart. He yearned to touch those long fins—which reminded him of an exotic angelfish’s—to explore if they were smooth, scaly, or slippery. Even more urgently, he wanted to touch Lyle, to stroke Lyle’s smooth flesh and thread fingers through his luscious hair.
Lyle tossed his chin and laughed, then waded forward toward Ben’s side of the pool, the shallow part where the slope was gentle. As Lyle paddled closer, Ben’s suspicions that he was naked were confirmed. Lyle possessed all the parts a human male should have, and fine well-proportioned parts they were too. Lyle’s thighs were lithe yet muscular, more so than his arms; further beautiful fins trailed from the outer edges of his quadriceps.
Ben didn’t recall sending a message to his own body to get up. Nevertheless, by the time Lyle left the waters, Ben had risen to his feet and stood, waiting. Lyle paused, a single pace away, his smile faltering slightly.
“What do you think, Benjamin Miles?”
“You’re the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen,” said Ben. No regrets or doubts shadowed his words this time. Lyle intoxicated him.
“I’m so glad you like my body,” said Lyle. “I chose it.”
Ben frowned, confused. “You mean you chose to be a merman?”
“No, not the fishy parts,” said Lyle, “but the other parts. The male parts. I’m glad you like what you see.”
Ben swallowed hard. Hell yes, he liked men and men’s bodies—and he particularly liked Lyle’s. The furnace of desire that Lyle stoked within him couldn’t lie. Before he could get his head around the rest of Lyle’s words—Lyle had chosen to be male?—he’d surrendered, stepping forward into Lyle’s opened arms. Lyle was soaking wet, yet exuded balmy warmth. Ben returned the embrace and lifted his chin, inviting a kiss.
It’s Friday afternoon, and the last thing Ben wants to be doing is trudging through a wet forest in search of a public hazard. But duty calls, and turns out more exciting than Ben imagined when he encounters a magical ruin, an enchanted pool, and Lyle—a merman who’s cursed to be landlocked many miles from the sea.
Lyle is flamboyant and exciting—he’s got tentacles, for goodness sake!—and Ben falls hard. But Lyle’s been hurt before and finds trust difficult, refusing even to reveal how to break the curse that imprisons him. Ben’s just an ordinary guy, and can’t help wondering if he can ever be the hero Lyle needs, let alone endure the endless camping trip in the woods…
Genre: Contemporary paranormal m/m romance.
Kay’s been making up romance stories with m/m protagonists since the days before the internet, before she’d any idea what sex was, and when she believed she was the only little girl who did so.
She recently started writing her stories down again after a two-and-a-half year hiatus. Her sexy new romance tales contain an unholy concoction of fun and fantasy (dragons, fairies, and mermen, anyone?) alongside a strong dose of angst and hurt/comfort.
Kay has brought a $10 Less Than Three Press gift card to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Friday, July 14th at 11:59 pm EST.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
- If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
- Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
- Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
- All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
- By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
- Readers may only enter once for each contest. Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
- Void where prohibited by law.