QSFer Shannon West has a new MM fantasy book out, book 7 in the Mate of the Tyger Prince series: The Tyger Kings.
The fallout from Derrick’s union with Rhaegar and Blake’s aid in his son’s elopement has been intense, to say the least. After a blistering brawl between Blake and Davos, Davos leaves Blake, because he isn’t ready to forgive him, and most shockingly of all, he says he isn’t sure he even wants to.
Blake is frightened and hurt by his actions, but terribly angry. He follows the king back to Tygeria, if only because Davos had the gall to take their two younger children with him when he left. His ship is slower than the king’s, though, and when he arrives back on Tygeria, he finds the king has left again, on a wild chase after his errant son and his pirate mate. Even worse, he makes a unilateral decision to send their son Larz to a faraway planet for military training, against Blake’s express wishes.
When Davos, Derrick and Larz all go suddenly missing, Blake attempts a rescue mission, but encounters a strange wormhole in space, and is flung through it to crash on an unknown planet called Tveir. Strangest of all the planet is populated by Tygerians and their handsome king. Injured and disoriented, Blake begins to feel as if he’s trapped in some crazy story. Except this isn’t any kind of story at all—this is Blake’s life, and the plot has just taken an unexpected, heartbreaking and totally infuriating twist.
Shannon is giving away the first book in the series, entitled Mate of the Tyger Prince. For a chance to win, comment on the post below.
The Royal Consort Blake of Tygeria, mate to King Davos, the Supreme Leader of the Axis of Planets, shivered miserably as an icy breeze blew right across his naked balls as he hiked up his robe to urinate against a tree. Blake heaved a sigh as he finished. Rather than continuing to wander aimlessly as darkness fell over this vast, trackless landscape he was lost in, he tucked himself away, pulled down his thin robe and sank down on the mossy ground of the forest to rest for a moment. It was then, as his shoulders sagged in exhaustion and despair, that the memories of the hours and the circumstances leading up to his current plight hit him all at once like a spray of shrapnel.
Risking a desperate, harrowing trip through an unknown, uncharted black hole despite the warnings of his navigators and engineers. Tumbling violently through it like gnats in a wind tunnel as it suddenly destabilized. Catapulted out the other side into this nameless part of space with no idea where they were, their ship damaged beyond repair. Surrounded by huge alien ships almost as soon as they had been flung out into this unknown star system in a galaxy that had to be unimaginably distant from their own. Shot out of the sky, but the pilot making a harrowingly brilliant landing on the surface of the planet below. Realizing they were safe but immediately afterward being hit in the back of the head by flying debris. Waking to find his crew inexplicably missing, with no idea of where they were or why he was so suddenly and desperately alone.
Even worse—perhaps worst of all—knowing he had failed in his mission to save Derrick from his father’s rage over his elopement.
He wouldn’t think about what might have happened because of his failure. If he did, if he gave into the panic, he’d be paralyzed with grief and anger and loss, and he was pretty sure he wouldn’t be able to bear it.
He shivered again and hugged himself under the silvery moonlight shining down on him from the twin moons overhead. Back on Earth, the astronomers would call that second moon’s orbit a Trojan point—a place in the first moon’s same orbit, but either well ahead or behind the other moon and still gravitationally stable — or relatively so anyway. They were beautiful, hanging there in the night sky like big paper lanterns, seemingly so close he could reach up and grab one of them to light his way.
And why he was standing there freezing to death while he waxed rhapsodic about the fucking moons was anybody’s guess. Maybe it was so he wouldn’t have to think about what he might have lost because of his own actions. So he wouldn’t have to wonder what in the hell he was going to do now.
The alien ships that had shot down his space craft had not responded to any of their hails. He had no idea who they even were, though the ships had insignia and markings that were vaguely reminiscent of the old Tygerian ships. Could these people be some distant relations of the Tygerians, then, as the people of Moravia were? Would they be coming for him soon?
With his thin, silken robes, he may as well have been naked for all the good they did him in the middle of this vast, dark forest. He was freezing. He had been at first too shaken and disoriented and too seriously freaked out about his crew to wonder where he was, but now he looked up at the moons and the constellations in the night sky and tried desperately to figure out where he could possibly be.
The wormhole they’d entered was not one that any of his crew had been familiar with nor had they even heard of it before. It was huge, so Blake’s crew should have known about it. All the large ones were well-mapped on star charts. They’d raced toward this last known location of Rhaegar and Derrick’s ship, but when they arrived, there was no trace of them. Instead they found the massive, uncharted and mysterious wormhole. With no other sign of the pirate ship anywhere else, not even—thank God—a debris field that would indicate an explosion, Blake thought the pirates might have gone inside the wormhole to get away from the ship that had been chasing them and about to overtake them.
The ship that belonged to his mate and his consort, King Davos.
The wormhole had simply appeared, quite suddenly, on his own crew’s screens, wide open and far too massive to be natural and providing only more questions. Who maintained such a thing? How did it amass its power?
Out of desperation, Blake had made the truly bad decision to risk going inside to search for Derrick and the others, and this was the price he was paying for his terrible mistake.
There had been little he could take from his ship to help him. His dagger was still strapped to his leg where he always carried it, though it was too small to be of much help to him. His personal communicator had been destroyed when it had fallen from his hand and bounced wildly around the cabin during the landing. The ship’s larger, more powerful systems simply didn’t work—he’d been unable to raise anyone on the normal channels, and there was no sign of any of his crew—not their bodies, not even a scrap of clothing or any of their personal belongings. It was as if they had literally vanished into thin air, like some conjuring trick.
When he first woke up, for just a moment he had been almost paralyzed by their loss, but after a brief and totally terrifying bout of hysteria, he had pulled himself together and decided he’d think about it later. If he kept dwelling on it now, he’d die there awaiting help that would probably never come. Not to mention the fact that the aliens who had shot at them would no doubt be coming for him soon, if the wild creatures that surely must inhabit this forest didn’t get him first.
Every inch of his body throbbed from being bounced around on the way down and from the shock of the landing—but the injury to his head was the worst. When he first woke up, he’d actually had to feel for it to make sure it was still attached on his shoulders, which was also when he discovered his motor functions were compromised too. Some piece of equipment, flying around the interior of the ship after they’d been hit, had given him a slight concussion apparently on their wild, headlong tumble to the planet’s surface. One minute he’d been watching his pilot trying to land in the only cleared patch for what seemed like miles around and the next, he felt a sharp, crushing pain in the back of his head and everything went black.
As they’d fallen toward the planet, he’d been mostly terrified, but some still-functioning portion of his brain registered with horror the absolute wilderness of the planet they were hurtling toward. The forest, as they raced down to collide with it, looked like just an endless expanse of trees. Nothing else in any direction that he could see, except for a pale crystal inland sea breaking up the monotony of dark green. He’d been knocked out soon after that, so he still wasn’t sure if what he had seen was real or only imagined. If it was real, then he’d literally been shipwrecked in the middle of a vast wilderness.
Shannon West is an author of MM Romance and believes love has no gender. She has well over a hundred novels, novellas and short stories that usually have a paranormal or a sci fi twist, but she also loves contemporary. Her stories have been translated into French, Italian and even one Japanese Yaoi, and in the past, she has worked with several publishers, both large and small.
She can be found most days fighting cats off the keyboard, eluding housework, lost in fantasy worlds, and imagining love scenes—sometimes all at the same time. She makes her home in Georgia, with frequent jaunts to the North Carolina mountains and anywhere else she can, really, as she loves to travel. She’s married with four children, has too many cats and a bulldog named Rambo. She is almost always working on a few more stories at any given time.