QSFer Kelley York and Rowan Altwood have a new MM historical paranormal YA tale out:
James Spencer is hardly the typical “troubled youth” who ends up at Whisperwood School for Boys. Instead of hating the strict schedules and tight oversight by staff, James blossoms, quickly making friends and indulging in his love of writing, while contemplating the merits of sneaking love poems to the elusive and aloof William Esher.
The rumours about William’s sexuality and opium reliance are prime gossip material amongst the third years. Rumours that only further pique James’ curiosity to uncover what William is really like beneath all that emotional armor. And, when the normally collected William stumbles in one night, shaken and ranting of ghosts… James is the only one who believes him.
James himself has heard the nails dragging down his bedroom door and the sobs echoing in the halls at night. He knows others have, too, even if no one will admit it. The staff refuses to entertain such ridiculous tales, and punishment awaits anyone who brings it up.
Their fervent denial and the disappearance of students only furthers James’s determination to find out what secrets Whisperwood is hiding… Especially if it means keeping William and himself from becoming the next victims.
Dark is the Night Book One
The voice comes from my right, and I turn just in time to see William disappear around the corner of the building. I follow, concerned and curious, having to squeeze into the three-foot gap between the building and the hedges that line it to where William awaits me. He leans into the wall, head bowed, and eyes rolled up to watch me. A come-hither expression like that is enough to make my stomach do pleasant little somersaults but doesn’t abate my worry.
“Are you well?”
“Just needed a brief reprieve,” he assures. “Although now that you’re here, I find no reason to hurry back inside.”
“You seemed to be enjoying yourself.” I shift closer to him, very aware of the privacy we have here despite being outside. We’re out of sight of anyone exiting the building, and should anyone venture too close to our location, we would hear them as they cross the dewy grass.
“I was enjoying seeing your friend’s sullen face as I danced with every lovely girl who wouldn’t even give him a second glance.” A cheeky little smile plays across his mouth and I cannot help but laugh. At least until he says, “And watching you watching me. I enjoyed that, as well.”
Not surprising that he noticed, and not something that bothers me. “Perfectly justifiable for me to be a bit jealous, isn’t it? All the women fawning all over you, having your undivided attention…”
“Not a one of them had my undivided attention, James. Not when I always kept half of it on you.”
I draw in a slow breath as William presses his palm to my chest, fingers splayed out against the fabric. “Really. No interest in any of them, then?” The jealousy is showing, I know it, and I cannot quite bite it back. Or maybe I just want to hear him say it. You’re the one I’m interested in, James.
William sighs, sliding the lapel of my coat between his thumb and forefinger. “Oh, darling, I like women just fine. It just so happens I like you far more.”
As he speaks, as he leans closer, I only have a second to process what’s about to happen. He grasps my lapels in both hands and drags me in until his mouth crushes against mine. A surprised gasp escapes my throat, but this is hardly a surprise I can complain about. I’ve been waiting for this exact moment, and I waste no time in slipping my arms around William and tipping my head, slanting our mouths together as he flattens his back against the wall and holds me against him.
Everything about him tastes and feels as heavenly as I could have imagined. My head is positively swimming. I’m hyper-aware of everything about William’s body; the press of his torso against mine, the low, delicious moan that escapes his throat when I catch his lower lip briefly between my teeth, and the desperation in which he clutches at me for dear life. He kisses me until we’re breathless and flushed and I can feel my heartbeat in my ears. Everything is perfect.
Kelley and Rowan are a wife-and-wife writing duo in central California, where they reside with their teenage daughter, a German Shepherd, a handful of cats and rats. In addition to writing, Rowan has a love of crime scene shows and books. Kelley has her A.S. in Anthropology, and is a graphic designer with a specialty in book cover design. A LIGHT AMONGST SHADOWS is their second book together, and Kelley’s eighth novel.