I am very honored to have on my blog today Anna Marie May.
More info on the series can be found here:
Watch Tower Series
Available from Silver Publishing on June 2nd.
Missing: Prophesized Warlock to the King. Taking a cat up on her dare to have sex, sets in motion a chain of events which will lead Aidan and James further away from home than they could’ve ever imagined.
Aidan never knew he could do magic until a cat dared him to have sex. His life must be truly tragic, if even felines knew he was too pathetic to find someone to share his bed with. Wanting to proof the talking cat wrong, he takes the first offer he can find, sleeping with a blond stranger. It was just his luck that the stranger turns out to be King James, Ruler of several kingdoms. To make matters worse, James insists he is the foretold Warlock who’s destined to stand by his side, setting in motion a chain of events which will lead both Aidan and James further away from home than they could’ve ever imagined..
"Hello," the sleek black cat mewed, vivid green eyes blinking at Aidan. Then she lifted her paw and started licking, nose slightly scrunched up in the eternal I am a cat and I can't be bothered with humans, so let's get this over with… feed me expression of cats.
"Uhm… hello?" Aidan offered weakly.
"Why are you still here?" she asked while she continued licking at her paw, occasionally biting softly to make sure her claws were clean as well.
"Where else should I be?"
The cat shrugged, shrugged!, before she sat back on her hind legs.
"In there…" the cat's tiny head made a gesture as if she were pointing towards the small tavern next to the road. A huge, ancient tree was looming right next to it, shrouding most of the wooden construct in shadows; but instead of looking alarming or frightening, the old tavern only managed to look more inviting with every newly rustling leaf.
"I'm not working today." Aidan objected.
He actually liked serving tables and chatting with travellers. The conversations usually brightened his otherwise dull existence, but even he didn't enjoy his work enough to show up willingly on his one free day. Besides, the sun was shining, only very few clouds were in the sky, and the nippy spring temperatures were actually quite tolerable. No, he honestly couldn't imagine a good enough reason to head back to work today.
"You should," the cat insisted, a stubborn tilt evident on her cute little feline face.
"And why is that?" Aidan couldn't hide the curiosity and disbelief in his voice. He was after all talking to a cat. Granted, maybe he shouldn't have overindulged in his ale last night, but then again, maybe he was finally living up to his namesake. He had after all gone mad and gotten burnt at the stake.
The entire nation might be clamouring to find the real Aidan, while he cursed his own mother for having the strange sense of humour to name her only son after the dreaded individual. Seriously, what had she been thinking? Probably been nose-deep in the weeds she was growing in her backyard, smoking them… this would surely explain quite a few things!
Either way, Aidan had gotten nothing but grief all his life for having been called that, and what made matters worse was he didn't have a single shred of magical talent. There had been quite a few who didn't believe him, and if it hadn't been for his luck, he might've ended up dead by now! All of this could've been avoided if his dear mother had kept her rather weird sense of humour in check and just given him a normal name. Like Owen maybe or even James for crying out loud.
"Why do you insist on being ordinary, Aidan?" His mother's clear voice was full of mirth with a hint of confusion. Her long, dark hair flowed freely down her back, while she was simply dressed in a long skirt with shirt, and a scarf wrapped around her bony shoulders. Her feet were bare—she always insisted she needed to feel the earth underneath her toes to stay connected. Only during winter had Aidan managed to talk some common sense into her, and he often wondered how he had ended up the sensible one of them. He was the son, after all, while she was the parent!
"Why did you have to name me after the most powerful sorcerer to ever live? The one who died?"
"Your name was whispered to me."
Aidan could barely resist rolling his eyes because, contrary to how his mother had raised him, he still had manners, and he wasn't going to start disrespecting the woman who had birthed him. Even if she deserved it.
"Of course," he said sarcastically, "Was this during emptying the bottle or after smoking the weed?"
"Aidan," she admonished, but she had never denied drinking or smoking the strange weed she still kept on growing in her garden. "Every child, every living thing on this earth has a unique name and, once yours was revealed to me, I wasn't going to call you something else simply because you might run into a few problems later on. Embrace who you are. Otherwise you will never be happy."
Aidan scowled, growled and even glared, but he knew his mother well enough to know no further explanation was going to be provided. In her own strange mind, she had given him the answer.
Aidan remembered the incident clearly and, yes, once he had left home and his village, he could've simple invented a new name. Who would've been the wiser? But his mother's words about embracing who he was kept on ringing through his head, and in the end he couldn't even come up with the simplest of lies.
Still, being this far from Dinas and the centre of the surrounding kingdoms made things a lot easier. Around here people were quite relaxed when it came to the legend of Aidan and the curse put on their lands. And frankly anyone looking at Aidan more than once realized fairly quickly he was no one to fear, and he most certainly wasn't powerful.
He was skinny and tall, and while his work kept him reasonably fit, he would never gain anything resembling a powerful physique. Even hours of being exposed to the sun didn't change his pale skin tone, and his unruly, midnight dark hair refused to be tamed at any cost. Add his piercing blue eyes and wide smile to the mix, and no one in their right mind would ever look at him twice or think him dangerous.
"Because you need to get laid, and if you're standing out here you'll miss your chance." the cat continued, green eyes once more focusing on him as if she wanted to penetrate his soul.
Available from Silver Publishing on June 2nd.
And here are some Q&A about her
1- How long have you been writing?
1- How long have you been writing?
That questions is tougher than it looks. I've been playing with stories in my head since my grandma told me stories to get me to sleep at night. I've been putting ideas down since I learned how to write but I think actually starting to write, or attempt to write, whole stories started when I was about 18 and got a computer. Yes, I was 18 before I got one of those...and since it was so easy to type out so many ideas, I've been at it since then. :)
2- What is it about gay fiction and or m/m romance that pleasures you to write it?
Good question. Initially what drew me to m/m romance was because it was different. Here were stories which didn't follow the 'stereotypes' and which allowed the writer and the reader to explore new angles and new tales. There was just 'something there' which sparked my interest and kept me captivated. That imagining two hot men getting it on is also quite a good fantasy to have surely helped matters along...Basically, I follow where the story leads me...the muse is the boss and not me.
3-What promotional method works best for you?
I am still fairly new at this so I am still learning as I go along. Mostly, I use facebook and my blog to get the word out there and a few friends I've managed to make who kindly agree to post links and I do the same for them. Basically, I think it is mostly word-of-mouth for me at the moment. Sadly, I also do not have the time to devote as much time to this as I would like since am busy with my job and uni. I try to be optimistic about these things and hope they will 'magically come to me'. I am sure, there are lots of issues involved with that kind of attitude...LOL.
4-Who are the authors you look up to?
Strangely, I don't have any authors I actually look up to. Maybe if I got to name someone, then it would be either Terry Goodkind for the really good series Sword of Truth or Lynsay Sands for her vampire-family novels. I've never read anything which had me laughing so much in my entire life! I love how her heroes are just men and how her women don't follow the typical sterotype of needing a 'strong man' to look out for them. Basically, her books are just good fun with humour, action and drama and yes, I guess, I would love to be able to weave a story like her. I guess that answers the questions, right?
5-What are you working on now?
Right now I am working on the edits for Siren Song, which is book 5 in my Watchtower Series. It kind of concludes the series but despite that, I won't be leaving the world behind any time soon. There are at least two more books set in this world which I am calling Dragon's Breath and Winter's Child and I can't give too much away because the first part in the Watchtower Series, Over the Rainbow, is only out today (yes, 2 June!). It pains me to be unable to talk about them yet but if I did, I would be spoiling everything.
Otherwise, I've got two more stories in the works which are written but requires some editing before hopefully they will be acceptable. Wish me luck! I kind of don't want to talk about these things before contracts are signed because I don't only write about magic, I kind of also am superstitious. Job hazard, I guess.
My next book, coming out in September then, is called Darkest Hour and this will be the first contemporary novel since Betting On Love which was released last year. Anything else out in the mean time is a mix between scifi/supernatural and fantasy. I kind of tend to go through phases where I only write in one genre which is why you get books set in the fantasy section and then a long gap before anything contemporary appears.
6-When you start a new story do you begin with a character or plot?
Neither. This might make me weird but I usually get an image. Sometimes only a sound or a name...then I sit down, write about the sound or the image and before I know it, I've written pages and the plot develops itself. Most of the times, I dream. And more often than not, I wake up after one of those dreams and voila, I've got the entire story. The ironing it out and fixing characters etc happens then during writing and editing...Most of the time I am just as surprised by plot twists as the reader will be because I didn't even know what I was writing until I am done typing. (Yes, crazy does run in the family...LOL)
7-Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What inspired it?
Easy: Belze. The cat who dared Aidan to sleep with a guy. Just look at her. I met her on my holiday and after one look, I had the opening scene of the story Over The Rainbow. After typing it out, I moved on to the sex scene and the whole plot just appeared out of nowhere. I thought, great, one book - yay...and when OTR was done, I was so twitchy, I couldn't stop so I looked up at the full moon and thought...huh...over the moon...and I had the title of my second book, Over The Moon, and before I knew it, this book was written. While writing it, Alric-call-me-Rick and his troubles with a school bully had me curious and this is how the third book in the series came to be - Out of the (Werewolf) Closet.
And you have to thank (or blame) one cat for my WatchTower Series. Blame Belze!