Title: Blowing Smoke (SoulShares #5)
Author Name & Publisher: Rory Ni Colleain (Riverdale Avenue Books)
Publication Date & Length: July 15, 2015 – 70,094 Words
Lasair Faol, Master of the Fade-Hounds to the Royal court of the Demesne of Fire in the Fae Realm, has been exiled to the human world by the Princess Consort for failing to catch her son’s kidnapper. Bryce Newhouse, Greenwich Village investment banker, is universally loathed by all who know him. Generally, he’s perfectly cool with that, but he discovers what he’s been missing—literally—when he finds Lasair chained in his basement.
Bryce was supposed to receive half of Lasair’s soul at his birth, but thanks to the Fae of Purgatory, the Pattern—portal between the worlds—has been damaged, and Bryce’s soul arrived thirty-one years too late. Now the exiled Fae is the shunned human’s only hope of healing his broken past. And with the fate of two worlds riding on that healing, Lasair is going to have to overcome both his race’s innate mistrust of genuine emotion and his own very unFae awkwardness, to have any chance of reaching Bryce’s impenetrable heart.
Bryce straightened, stepping out of his trousers and nudging them aside with a foot. He blushed faintly, smiling a little, when he saw how intensely Lasair was watching him.
“I want more of that smile,” Lasair murmured, letting his leggings fall and drawing Bryce close.
“You’re looking at my smile?”
“You sound surprised.” Lasair captured both of their cocks in a curled hand and started a gentle pumping; the strange delight rippled through him, and he felt Bryce shudder with it at the same time.
“Most men would be looking somewhere else, under the circumstances.” Bryce’s blush deepened.
Their loss and I plan to eventually warred with one another, and in the end Lasair said neither; he simply took Bryce’s mouth again, urging him back toward the chair and following him down. He slid one hand down the underside of Bryce’s thigh, urging his leg up. Surely the human was limber enough to hook a leg over Lasair’s shoulder—
“Wait, wait, hold on.” Bryce stiffened, forcing Lasair back. “I don’t bareback on a first date, I don’t care what world you think you’re from.”
“You don’t… what?” Lasair blinked, frowned. How did horses suddenly get involved?
“No sex without a condom.” Apparently Lasair’s blank look was finally registering with Bryce. “Jesus. Are you going to tell me you don’t know what a condom is?”
“I don’t think I need to, since you’ve obviously already figured that out.”
Bryce’s mouth opened, closed; he shook his head, as if he had something else he wanted to say but was thinking better of it, and hooked his trousers with a bare foot.
Lasair’s brows arched as the human’s quick search through his trouser pockets yielded a small circle in a thin square wrapping. “I’m anxious to discover what that has to do with either horses or sex toys.”
“Horses?” Now it was Bryce’s turn to stare blankly.
Lasair took the little package away from Bryce and held it between thumb and forefinger, studying it. “You were the one who mentioned barebacking. I’d be glad to saddle you if you want, it wouldn’t be the first time, but I don’t see how you’d use this thing to—“
Bryce’s sudden laughter warmed Lasair all the way to his suddenly curled toes, flooding him with the joy he’d sought even as it brought his arousal back to its peak.
“You are fucking priceless, Rapunzel.” There was no hint of sarcasm in Bryce’s voice, no scorn, only laughter, and his smile was every bit as breathtaking as Lasair had imagined. Something had opened in the human, some barrier lowered. “Here, let me. Watch and learn.”
1) Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?
Half of my bedroom is an office. I have some lovely m/m photos on the walls, a drawing Mike Grell (comic artist) did of one of my characters, and a life-sized cardboard standup of John Barrowman. My desk is a disaster. Seriously. Things just pile up. Then every once in a while I get irritated with the clutter, and dump everything into a file drawer and start over. I have enough file drawers to last me about another year and a half before I have to figure out a Plan B.
2) Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?
They all have at least a little piece of me. But if I had to pick one, I’d probably go with Garrett Templar – he’s the human main character from DEEP PLUNGE. He’s a dancer (see below), and he ended up with most of my childhood, and my general attitude toward life. Plus, I had a dream once where I looked in a mirror, and saw his face. I can take a hint.
3) If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?
I’d probably be a singer. Or I’d have figured out how to be six inches shorter, and be a ballerina. I used to be in the ballet studio six days a week, loved every minute of it. Or I’d reactivate my law degree and practice civil rights law. Heck, all of the above.
4) Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?
Something about marketing. ANYTHING about marketing. Yeesh.
5) Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?
There always is. That’s why I was so happy when I was able to buy back the rights to the first four books in the series. Characters change and grow over the course of an eight-book series. And they don’t always tell you ahead of time that they’re going to do it. Take Conall Dary, my blond Fae twink mage from GALE FORCE. He decided halfway through DEEP PLUNGE that he was a redhead. And that he had been all along, thankyouverymuch. Not much I could do about it at that point…
6) How do you come up with new ideas for your story?
New story ideas are my Muse’s department – I just take dictation. *grins* Seriously, that’s what it feels like sometimes. A lot of the time it feels almost random. I’ll see an image, or read a folk tale, and I’ll think, “What if that were just a little different – that way, instead of this? And why would it be that way? What kind of world would make it different?” And then the Muse starts yammering, and he usually doesn’t shut up until I at least feed him an outline.
7) What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m still working my way through the SoulShares – I’ve finished book six, MANTLED IN MIST, and next up is UNDERTOW. And in between those I’m expanding a short story I wrote for last year’s Dreamspinner Advent calendar, “Ilya and the Wolf,” into a novella, WOLF, BECOMING. People kept telling me they wanted more of Volyk and Ilya and their world, which is very much a world out of Russian folk tales and legends.
8) Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?
At the moment, I live in a little suburb north of Minneapolis, Minnesota. I’ve set one novella partly in Minnesota (Tempted from the Oak), but otherwise I’ve stayed away from local settings. The SoulShares books are set mostly in Washington, D.C., where I’ve never lived, and in Greenwich Village in New York City – I have lived in New York, though never in the Village, more’s the pity. Maybe someday.
9) What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?
Science fiction, definitely. It was my first love as a reader – I cut my teeth on Frank Herbert’s Dune, which was quite a first bite for a seventh grader. And fantasy, but I really consider that my own second genre – what I write is all based on myth and legend and folktale.
10) Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?
My only vices are designer handbags and dark chocolate lattes from Caribou Coffee. Really. Truly. Oh, and Guinness. Wait, that’s not a vice…
Rory Ni Coileain has been writing almost as long as she’s been reading, and reading almost as long as she’s been talking. She majored in creative writing in college, back when Respectable Colleges didn’t offer such a major, so she designed it herself—being careful to ensure that she never had to take a class before nine in the morning or take a Hemingway survey course.
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 the kind of rejection letter that fuels decades of therapy, and found other things to do for the next thirty years or so, including nightclub singing, working as a volunteer lawyer for Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and studying ballet in New York City, until her stories grabbed her by the shirt collar and announced they were back.
Now she’s a legal editor, a soprano in her church choir and the St. Mark’s Cathedral Choral Society (unless they’re singing Mozart, because she’s decided that Mozart didn’t like sopranos very much), the mother of a teenaged son, Brony, and budding film-maker (all wrapped up in one amazing offspring), and amanuensis to a host of Fae, Gille Dubh, and shapeshifters who are all anxious to tell their stories, and some of whom aren’t very good at waiting their turns.