QSFer Rory ni Coileain has a new MM fantasy book out:
In Stone Cold, the eighth title in the Rainbow-Award-nominated M/M paranormal Soulshares series, Maelduin Guaire is a Fae with a mission. An obsession, really. He’s trained his entire life to become the greatest scian-damhsa, blade-dancer, the Fae have ever known, for the sole purpose of killing the blade-dancer who murdered his father and gave House Guaire its reputation as the Cursed House. Now he’s followed Tiernan Guaire through the Pattern to the human world, to fulfill his oath or die trying… but the passage has cost him all his skill with a blade.
Terry Miller, Josh LaFontaine’s business partner at the Raging Art-on Tattoo and Piercing Parlor, has the worst luck with men since… well, since ever, as far as he’s concerned. Years ago, he walked out on a great thing with Josh, when Bryce Newhouse offered to play sugar daddy for Terry’s ballet company; then Bryce kicked him to the curb, and Terry ended up relying on big-hearted Josh to help him get back on his feet. And now a too-good-to-be-true stranger has turned up in Terry’s half-built dance studio, with a beautiful sword and a bloody nose.
In order to regain the grace and skill he needs to keep his vow, a Fae cursed with the inability to love must SoulShare with a human convinced that love runs screaming when it sees him coming. All with the Marfach looking over their shoulders. No pressure…
“We’re almost to our stop, Maelduin. Hang in there.”
Hanging would be kinder than… this. Maelduin clung to the pole set into the metal floor, almost as tightly as he gripped his oathblade, and did his best not to look past the crowd of humans gathering around him at the lights whipping past the reinforced windows of the room into which he had stupidly let Terry lead him. A moving room. Under the ground. I was insane. I am insane. Or I soon will be.
At least he was overhearing many useful words from the curious humans. He hoped he would remember some of them for later use.
“Sure looks like a panic attack to me.” A curvaceous female, one whom Maelduin would probably have found delightful had he not been quite so preoccupied with not screaming, looked from him to Terry as if uncertain as to whom to address her concerns. “Is he going to be okay?”
“I’m sure he’s going to be fine.”
Maelduin appreciated Terry’s confidence. At least, he thought he did.
I might survive this. None of the humans seem to think our demise is imminent.
That argument might have been more persuasive had Maelduin ever trusted anyone’s judgment other than his own.
The Fae wished he could enjoy the sensation of Terry’s body supporting his own. He would. Soon. If he survived this piece of idiocy. “What?” The trickle of cold perspiration down his face was unpleasant.
Terry drew back, and Maelduin instantly regretted his tone. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s going on with you, but I didn’t mean to freak you out.”
Freak me out. What a perfect phrase. “You… did not do this. My panic attack. Not yours.”
“I wish you’d told me this was going to happen. We could have taken a taxi.”
Maelduin had not thought the iron-taloned owl in his stomach could grip his intestines any more tightly than it had been until his new language gift showed him what a taxi was. “This is better.”
“That’s one hell of a phobia.”
So that was the human word for stark unreasoning terror. Good to know. Why it should so offend his sense of everything that was right with any world, to walk into a small room, have the doors close behind him, and then see those same doors open onto a different place entirely, he was not certain.
But rooms were not supposed to move. Of that he was certain.
The floor shook. Gravity changed. Maelduin had learned that this meant the subway-room was slowing. He closed his eyes. Perhaps if he did not see the doors open this time, it would not be so bad.
“Jesus, Maelduin. I’m sorry.”
Maelduin could not help opening his eyes. Terry was looking up at him with what seemed to be genuine chagrin, dark eyes framed by a tumble of light brown curls. And Maelduin’s eyes were focusing properly again.
He feels sympathy. For me. Even without my channeling.
For a moment, Maelduin simply looked at the beautiful human.
The room stopped, and the doors slid open.
“Our stop.” Terry seemed to have trouble speaking.
Maelduin wiped the sweat from his hand and offered it to Terry. His own clumsiness was lessened when he touched the human. And hopefully, contact—and soft-hearted sympathy—would make possible what he had to do.
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 and budding film-maker, 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.