A warm welcome to author Lexi Ander joining us today here at Love Bytes to talk about her new release “Werewolf’s Tale and a Druid’s Sword”.
Welcome Lexi 🙂
A huge thank you to Love Byte Reviews for having me on the blog today. My new release, Werewolf’s Tale and a Druid’s Sword, came out on August 31st. It’s the second book in the I.O.N. series and so far, my favorite book of the series… although, I’m in the process of writing book three so the favorite status may change. ;-D
When I first wrote Ruby Red Booty Shorts and a Louisville Slugger, it was part of a holiday submission call with a word count limit of 25k. The story was rejected because it was the first book of a series. I hadn’t meant for it to be but I couldn’t squeeze everything that was needed to wrap up the plot into the allowed word count. So the I.O.N. series was born. 🙂
When I sat down to write Werewolf’s Tale and Druid’s Sword, I had this idea. I wanted my urban fantasy world to be different than what had come before. The usual suspects for an urban fantasy are vampires, shifters, magick users, and elves/fae (ex: Harry Dresden). Sometimes you see Greek or Roman gods and I’ve read a couple that included the Viking and Celtic pantheon (ex: The Iron Druid Chronicles). I hadn’t read any M/M or LGBTIAQ urban fantasies that stepped outside the box until recently with Angel Martinez and Bellora Quinn’s Aura series. Angel has written several excellent urban fantasies but she can’t possibly write as fast as I can read. (Sorry about putting you on the spot there, Angel and Bellora.)
So if I can’t find what I want to read, I write it. I was jonesing for something different and began fleshing out the I.O.N. world, twisting the perceptions of the paranormals and adding my own made-up character origins. The painful part of this is I can’t talk about what I came up with without giving away spoilers. What I can say is some things will be familiar, such as the term vampire, but what the creature actually is will be different than the reader might anticipate. *bites fists*
Gah! I wish I could say more about that but I can’t. What I can talk about is how the series will be laid out. I’ve planned five books and I’m looking for ways to shorten it to four. The series will revolve around six characters but the main plot will always bring us back to Diego and Beck. The other four characters are there to help Diego and Beck meet their goal (and if you haven’t read Ruby Red Booty Shorts and a Louisville Slugger, I’m not going to reveal that goal… you know, spoilers.) I’ve also planned a couple of side stories that can be read as standalones.
As I said before, Werewolf’s Tale and a Druid’s Sword is my favorite story of the series so far. But… I recently returned from a book planning session with Kenzie Kade. I discussed ideas for the 3rd book of this series, and I have to admit my favorite book in this series may change. Each story will become more intense as the plot plays out and the things lurking in the shadows are revealed. The journey is going to be awesome and I hope you’ll join me for the ride.
Thank you for stopping by and make sure you drop down and enter the giveaway!
Title: Werewolf’s Tale and a Druid’s Sword
Series: #2 of I.O.N.
Author: Lexi Ander
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Cover Artist: Aisha Akeju
Categories: Gay, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Length: 67,000 words
Release Date: August 31, 2016
After he’s kicked out for being gay, still reeling from being abandoned by the man he loves, Jude goes to live with his brother Beck, who thankfully is more than happy to take him in. But Jude has other secrets he’s yet to share, for fear that even Beck will reject him, leaving him well and truly alone. Then he draws the attention of werewolves, and discovers that everything he thought he knew about Levi, the man who abandoned him, is a lie. But one lie leads to another, ending in a vast conspiracy that threatens to destroy everything Jude loves—and that doesn’t even begin to include the challenges that Beck is facing.
Jude had never been to a gay dance club before. He wasn’t interested in what went on inside the clubs, but his brother, Beck, had been nagging him to get out of the house. He’d moved to San Diego six months ago, and the only place he went willingly was to his college classes. Any other time, Beck or his partner Diego hauled him out of the house.
He regretted telling his brother about his brief… thing… with Levi Hammond. Beck watched him carefully, and Jude knew why. He should’ve been over the short-term love affair by now, but his heart disagreed. Regardless of what others believed, just because Levi no longer loved Jude didn’t mean Jude could simply turn his feelings off. But in order to get Beck off his back, Jude had said yes when a couple of friends invited him to go dancing.
He imagined he had that tourist look when he stepped inside the club’s doors. The thump of the music actually caused the pant legs of his jeans to tremble in time with the pounding bass. He tried not to gawk, but he’d never seen the likes of what played out before him anywhere. After the shock wore off, his first impression was sex. Men writhed on the floor, emanating sensual appeal. He felt like prey walking into the lion’s den, and all he could do was watch with astonishment at the gyrating bodies.
Jude had been to a couple of high school dances over on the east coast. The comparison between the two scenes was like pitting apples against pineapples. High school dances were, well, high school and not like the movies where all the kids had rhythm and could contort their bodies to do amazing moves. Jude snorted to himself. No, there where hawk-eyed chaperones, and most of the students danced with a jerky stiffness or sat off to the side watching. Here, everybody moved fluidly, as if their bodies were boneless. The air smelled of sweat and sex, half-hard cocks prominently displayed in everything from leather to colorful mesh jockstraps.
Following his friends through the writhing mass, he was petted and groped enough he’d have bruises on his ass. His friends seemed oblivious to his discomfort as they pushed through to the middle of the dance floor, pulling him along behind them. For a split second, he contemplated leaving, swamped with the wrongness of it all. His mind whispered his place was with Levi, not here among grabby strangers.
That internal voice pissed him off. Levi had left— disappeared—and broken his promise, leaving Jude devastated and living like a monk. Twice, Jude had hooked up only to come away carrying enough guilt to make him sick to his stomach for days—over someone who had chosen to no longer be a part of his life. He was tired of being alone. Of sitting in his room wondering what Levi was doing. Of yearning for someone who would never come back for him.
With newfound determination, he quit resisting, raised his hands in the air, and let go. He danced. The movement, the energy, was cathartic. The stress left his body, and for once, he placed the ache in his soul on the back shelf and buried it. He blocked the negative emotions so he could, just for the night, be himself. He didn’t believe he asked for too much. He only wanted a few short hours without the heartbreak, pain, or the memories that continually threatened to drown him.
Jude moved to the beat. He didn’t care how awkward he appeared. He tapped his feet, shook his ass, and cleared his mind. He danced until sweat poured off him, soaking his clothes and hair. Slowly, ever so slowly, he began to feel wonderful—alive. A shirtless Adonis approached him. The man was golden everywhere, his skin, shoulder-length hair; he even had golden-brown eyes. Jude caught his breath because he’d never seen anyone so handsome. Well, handsome was relegated to the rugged attractiveness. No, the man dancing with Jude with the sleek quality of a cat was beautiful. He sucked in his breath as the stranger drew near with an uncertainty that was a contradiction to his appearance, and Jude recognized something of himself in the person approaching him.
Jude found the man’s hesitancy endearing and threw him a bone. Wrapping his arms around wide shoulders, they swayed together with the music. His large, liquid eyes drank Jude in as the Adonis matched him move for move, hands gliding and stroking, hips swaying in counter to Jude’s. For the first time in a very long time, Jude felt sexy and wanted.
“Come home with me,” the Adonis whispered in Jude’s ear between songs.
Because Jude was flying high on a rare night of happiness, he did the one thing he hadn’t done since he’d moved to San Diego.
Jude envisioned a long night of hot sweaty sex that would sustain his fantasies for weeks to come. The drive took mere minutes. Adonis hadn’t put his shirt on when they left the club, and Jude watched it sway in his back pocket as he climbed the stairs to the apartment. The guy’s hands trembled when attempting to fit the key into the lock. Jude didn’t think, just acted, grabbing the blond by the elbow. The man’s golden gaze raised from the doorknob to Jude’s hand, and something dark rippled over the surface of his eyes.
“Let me help,” Jude offered to break the silence. “My name’s Jude, by the way.”
He reached for the key, and in a quick move, Jude was plastered with his back against the door. A hard body pressed up against him, the hard line of the man’s erection pressing into him.
“Aw, shit,” Adonis moaned, pressing his nose into Jude’s skin. They both were covered in sweat, and Jude could only imagine what he smelled like. It must not have been terrible because a warm broad tongue licked up the line of his neck. “Stephen… Stephen Thornstein,” he said before his fumbling opened the door and they practically fell onto the apartment entryway.
After Stephen had slammed the door closed behind them, Jude repaid the favor and slammed Stephen against it. There wasn’t any finesse to the kiss he laid on Stephen. He ignored the rising whispers in the back of his mind noting how Stephen didn’t taste like Levi or that his lips were too plump. He viciously shoved the comparisons away. Jude was starving, so very hungry for touch, for a connection, and he tried to devour Stephen’s pouty lips. The niggling voice admonished him for his roughness, but the throaty growl Stephen gave him shut those thoughts down completely. Jude was just beginning to get lost in the feel of Stephen’s skin against his own when a hand pressed down on his shoulder.
The giveaway will run through midnight on September 17th.
Must be 18 or order to participate.
1st Place: $20 Amazon Gift Certificate
Runner Up: Signed Hard Copy of Werewolf’s Tale and a Druid’s Sword
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Lexi has always been an avid reader, and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her eighty-pound puppies named after vacuum cleaners.
September 1 – MM Goodbook Reviews
September 2 – GGR Reviews
September 2 – BFD Books
September 3 – Prism Book Alliance
September 4 – Love Bytes Reviews
September 5 – The Novel Approach
September 6 – Molly Lolly: Reader, Reviewer, Lover of Words
September 7 – Hearts On Fires Reviews