Today I am so pleased to welcome Kim Fielding to Joyfully Jay. Kim Fielding has come share an exclusive cover reveal of her upcoming release, Blyd and Pearce. She has also brought along an excerpt to share and a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Most people kept family portraits in a prominent place in their home, although some kept them tucked away in a special box or near a small altar. But I didn’t see any in Pearce’s apartment. Maybe he’d just hidden them, along with the ring. Still, their absence caused my heart to constrict in an unwelcome way.
“Where’s your family?” I asked.
For the first time, his face registered genuine emotion rather than artifice. Just a flash of surprise followed by anger. “What business is that of yours?”
“I’m wondering if the ring is with them.”
He didn’t flinch. “What are you talking about?”
“The ring you stole from Lord Uren.”
Pearce raised his eyebrows. “Pardon me?”
“Lord Uren has hired me to bring back his ring. And you with it.”
“Hired you? Who are you?”
“I told you. My name is Daveth Blyd. People pay me to… find things. Find people. Find information.”
“That is a very strange way to earn a living,” Pearce said coolly. He glided across the room and refilled his wine cup but didn’t offer any to me. His brow furrowed in thought as he sipped. “Why would Uren accuse me of stealing something?”
I crossed my arms and stared at him. He looked honestly perplexed. But he was an entertainer, after all. Perhaps his acting equaled his singing.
Finally Pearce sighed. “How much did he pay you to find me?”
“Which is how you bought those nice clothes. You’re a Lowler through and through, aren’t you?”
Lowler. It was a strange term. People who live elsewhere in the city use it as an insult. It means a person is poor, dirty, brutish, ignorant. Untrustworthy. More than one member of the city guard had called me a Lowler—before, during, and after my time in uniform. They hadn’t meant it kindly. But many people who lived in the Low wear the name as a badge of honor. Sometimes a neighbor might accuse another of putting on airs, and the response is always the same: “Oi, I’m a Lowler all right. Born and bred.”
I wasn’t sure how Pearce intended it.
I grinned at him. “Born and bred.”
“And you’re trying to work your way up in the world? Get into the nobility’s good graces?”
“I’m comfortable with my place in the world. And the nobility and their good graces can take a giant leap off Seli Hill, for all I care. I just want to pay the rent and feed my belly. You know what that’s like.”
I’d expected to get a reaction from that last statement—a not-so-veiled accusation of being a whore—but he only gave me a small smile. “That I do.” He shrugged and then refilled his wine cup. “But I’ve no idea why Uren sent you after me.”
We’d reached an impasse. He refused to admit anything, which wasn’t a surprise. I couldn’t bribe the truth from him, as I had from Redigon, because all the remis in the world wouldn’t get a man to admit to a capital offense. I could beat it from him—or, more accurately, twist and tug the admission from him by making his body sing with pain. Thanks to my training, I knew how to do things that would make a person beg for the hanging tree. But I have no taste for torture, especially when the evidence is weak. All I had to go on was Lord Uren’s accusation, and while I had no reason to believe the lord was lying, I also had no good reason to trust him.
Belatedly I realized that I should have done more background work before confronting Pearce.
I try to be honest with myself. If Pearce had been less alluring, I might have just dragged him off to Lord Uren’s palace so I could be done with the whole matter. What happened to Pearce after that—undoubtedly something unpleasant, likely something fatal—would be none of my affair. But Pearce stood there in his bright apartment with his yellow curls and his doe eyes, and I couldn’t force myself to bring him in.
“I’ll be back tomorrow,” I said brusquely as I marched to the door. “If you want to save yourself a lot of trouble, have the ring ready. Maybe I can persuade Lord Uren to simply take it back and forget all of this happened.” Fat chance.
Pearce came up close. “I don’t have the ring,” he said softly.
“I’ll be back tomorrow. And don’t try to hide—I’ll find you.” That much was true. Given enough time and incentive, I could find almost anyone. I was especially well acquainted with all the hiding spots in the Low.
He looked sad and exhausted. I was halfway through my fourth decade, and looking at him now, I suspected he wasn’t far behind. But then the corners of his mouth curled into a tiny smile and he again stroked my cheek. “You try to be a man of honor, don’t you?”
Another slow pass of his finger made me tremble.
“People like Uren, they don’t care about people like us,” he said. “They use us, tangle us up in their affairs, and discard us. A good man like you deserves better than that.”
“I’m not a good man,” I rasped.
He only smiled.
I could have stripped off his clothing then and there, pulled off my own, and fucked him senseless. I wanted to. I ached to. And the shine in his too-old eyes told me he wouldn’t object.
Instead I fumbled behind myself for the latch, opened the door, and stepped into the tiny hall. It was dim and ugly compared to his apartment.
“I’ll be back tomorrow,” I said for the third time. An irrevocable threat—or promise—because three times sets the charm.
He nodded slightly, and I fled down the dark stairs and into the night.
Born into poverty and orphaned young, Daveth Blyd had one chance for success when his fighting prowess earned him a place in the Tangye city guard. But after losing his position to false accusations of theft, he scrapes out a living searching for wayward spouses and missing children. When a nobleman offers him a small fortune to find an entertainer who’s stolen a ring, Daveth takes the case.
While Jory Pearce may or may not be a thief, Daveth knows he certainly can’t be trusted. But Daveth, enchanted by Jory’s beauty and haunting voice, soon finds himself caught in the middle of a conspiracy. As he searches desperately for answers, he realizes that he’s also falling for Jory. The two men encounter dangers and magics of many kinds, including river wraiths, assassins, a necromancer, and a talking head that could possibly be Daveth’s salvation. But when everyone’s integrity is questionable and death is eager to dance, it’s going to take more than sorcery for Daveth to survive.
- eBook: https://www. dreamspinnerpress.com/books/ blyd-and-pearce-by-kim- fielding-9752-b
- Paperback: https://www. dreamspinnerpress.com/books/ blyd-and-pearce-by-kim- fielding-9753-b
Kim Fielding is the bestselling, award-winning author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.
After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her family, her cat, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.
Kim has brought an audiobook copy of The Little Library and a $10 Dreamspinner 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 Tuesday, June 26th at 11:59 pm ET.
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