Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Guest Post: THEA HARRISON (and an e-novella giveaway!)

Y'all. I can't tell you how excited I am to have THEA HARRISON, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, on The Book Swarm today! After reading DRAGON BOUND last May, I became an insta-uber-fan and now all of her books are auto-buys for me. Haven't been disappointed in any way yet! Don't forget to leave a comment on this post for a chance to win one of her awesome novellas.


Thea Harrison (photo via www.theaharrison.com)
Go visit her website, stop by on her Facebook page, say hi via Twitter -- Just get to know this chick because she's awesome. Oh and besides LORD'S FALL (coming out in November 2012), Thea's got an all-new dark, romantic paranormal series that stars...me! Heh. Totally kidding. But the main character's name *is* Mary. She's so gonna kick ass, take names, and get the hot, Alpha guy.

Back to Thea and HUNTER'S SEASON, her newest novella that releases today (Woot!). Welcome, Thea!

~THEA HARRISON ON HUNTER'S SEASON~

One of the things I enjoyed the most about writing the Elder Races novellas for Samhain is that they gave me a chance to go deeper into this world I created, and to flesh out more details. With four full length novels out, and now my fourth novella HUNTER’S SEASON released, it feels like each story gets richer with the kind of world building that I’ve had the opportunity to do over multiple projects.

Goodreads
This felt especially true as I wrote DEVIL’S GATE (Samhain #3 novella, June 5th), and HUNTER’S SEASON (Samhain #4 novella, September 18th). Although I didn’t make much of it in the novella itself, I was very aware of the intended release date, and how—in my mind, at least—the theme of a harvest underlay everything about the story.

The heroine is Xanthe Tenanye, who has been an agent who worked for the crown. (Xanthe is introduced in DEVIL’S GATE.) The hero is Aubrey Riordan, whose traitorous wife died the previous year. Both of these two characters have endured a long, hard time, each in their own way. They both deserve happiness, and I got a great deal of pleasure writing their story and giving it to them.

Here is Aubrey, as seen through Xanthe’s eyes:
Across the room, doors had been propped open to the sunny morning. They led to the terrace that looked out over the Queen’s private walled garden. Hearing male voices outside, she walked over to the doors and looked out.
The Wyr lord sat at table, chatting easily with another tall figure of a man who was, by weight of his office alone, imposing in his own right. Chancellor Aubrey Riordan was one of the triad that formed the Dark Fae government, along with the Queen and the Commander of the Dark Fae army, Fafnir Orin. The Chancellor lounged in his chair facing the morning sun as he cradled a steaming cup of tea.
There was absolutely no question of Riordan’s pure Dark Fae blood. He had strong, intelligent patrician features and light gray eyes that shone like clear water in sunlight. His long raven hair was bound back in a simple queue and gleamed blue black in the bright light, his pointed ears elegantly shaped.
In contrast to his hair, his pale skin was ivory pale. While he did not have the Wyr lord’s outsized physique, his long lean frame was muscled with graceful power. His eyes were narrowed in the sunlight, which revealed crow’s feet at their corners, and a few strands of white hair gleamed at his temples. Riordan was not a young Fae, but a male in his full maturity of Power.
As she saw him, a sweet pain like a stiletto coated in honey slipped between Xanthe’s ribs and pierced her heart. It was the same pain she always felt whenever she saw him. Like a silly child with her toys, for years she had gathered the snippets she heard about his life and hoarded them close.
Servants always knew the truth about their masters’ true nature. What all the servants said about Riordan was that he was kind and even tempered. He never expressed frustration with a blow or a harsh word. One of the most powerful men in Adriyel, he held onto that power lightly and used it with care. For someone like Xanthe, who had rarely known kindness, he sounded as foreign and exotic as the Wyr lord who now kept him company.
And here is Xanthe as seen through Aubrey’s eyes:
Xanthe was busy unpacking two more large canvas bags. She looked at each package, container or jar interestedly, muttering to herself as she set the items on the table, which was already piled high with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Goodreads--awesome deliciousness
He opened his mouth to ask for her help but then hesitated. Instead, obeying again some nameless impulse, he tilted his head and watched her work. She had a quiet, peaceful demeanor, and she looked comfortable, at home with her own company. For the first time, he realized that she wasn’t dressed in a palace black uniform, but instead wore a soft looking, somewhat worn tunic and trousers. Her hair was braided, but not as tightly as usual, and the dark length shone with auburn highlights in the slice of sunlight that fell across her back and shoulders.
His gaze lingered on the gentle curve of her cheek then dropped to the swell of her breasts, where he had rested his head earlier. Her hips were slight and trim but definitely feminine. She was not as tall as he, but her legs were lean and long.
And this is what he thinks and feels, as she begins to awaken feelings that had gone dormant inside of him:
The thing of it was, he couldn’t remember a time before when he was ever this attracted to a woman. No doubt it had happened; he had lived a very long time, after all.
But that would have been a younger self in another time. A less tried, greener self.It wasn’t here and now, where he embodied the totality of all of his experiences.
When the beauty of the spirit had come to mean so much more to him than the beauty of the body.
Where he knew a multitude of sorrows and reasons to be wary, and yet he still felt this slow burning, excruciating build-up of need.
Naida had caused him a vicious hurt precisely because he had loved her, but he had never felt anything for her that was remotely like what he was coming to feel for Xanthe. He and Naida had gone through a considered courtship, discussed together the advantages of a partnership together and had come to a mutual agreement. Everything had been very much in character, laid out, predictable.
At the time he thought it had been so very civilized, their relationship solidly grounded in friendship. Really, nothing could compare to the shock of a civilized man who came face to face with his own barbarity.
As Xanthe and Aubrey come to love each other, they experience one of the most lovely harvest times of all.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For readers, what are your favorite things about harvest time?
Do you have any traditions that you like to follow in the fall?

Comment for a chance to the ebook of your choice from my Samhain backlist! If you already have the three novellas on my backlist, you can always give your prize to a friend! (And you'd have a very nice friend, indeed, since these novellas are all awesome.--Mary; Giveaway ends 9/25; must be 13 to enter; open anywhere Samhain ebooks are available)

19 comments:

  1. Holy hottness that sounds awesome!! And .. well, Mary .. how was it being the center of such hot stories? :)))

    I'm usually not a Novella fan but those ones sound great:)

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  2. I love fall---break out the boots and sweaters (ignore the fact that here in TX it will be 90 on Friday *sigh*)

    I love her world and she does such a fantastic job with keeping you interested in the series. I haven't read the novellas though--I am going to have to fix that :)

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  3. AHHHHH! I CAN'T WAIT TO READ THIS! *runs to Kindle immediately* I adore this series so much.

    Fall and winter are my favorite times of year - I love the cooler weather and being able to have all the doors and windows open without dying of heat:) Winter is my absolute favorite as there can never be enough snow for me, and my two dogs LOVE to run around in the snow, stop, eat said snow, and then continue running. Fall is right up there because it means winter isn't too far off:)

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  4. Fall is my favorite time of year! I love jacket weather, falling leaves and the crisp fall smell! thanks for the awesome giveaway!

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  5. I cannot express how much I LOVED Hunter's Season. It was my favorite piece out of the ENTIRE series. ♥

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  6. I love the changing colors of the trees. I love being able to pull out the scarves and sweaters, and the cool sweatshirts. This is a new author for me, but love finding new authors to check out. I read a lot and always looking for someone new. Thanks for the giveaway.
    christinebails at yahoo dot com

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  7. Thanks for a great post and congrats on the new release! I'm a big, big Thea fangrrrl! I love fall. The colors, the smells, being able to wear warm comfy clothes :)

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  8. Great post!!
    I still need to try out this author, I think I got one of her books somewhere in my TBR pile and I hope I like it as much as you did, Mary! :D

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  9. Isn't it exciting when one of your favorite authors gets onto your blog? I love that. I haven't read any of Thea's books. I'll have to look them up sometime.

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  10. Hi everybody!

    Mary, thanks so much for having me on your blog today. I'm glad to get the chance to visit with you. :)

    And thanks too, Felicia and Jenny, for your kind words. I'm glad you're enjoying the series.

    This year I'm appreciating fall so much more because of the brutal temps we got in the summer. Today our projected high is 78, which feels marvelous.

    Good luck with the contest!

    Thea

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  11. Thea - I love the photo here of you with your dogs. They are so cute. I have really enjoyed this series. Thank you.

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  12. I am hanging my head in shame because I haven't read any of this series YET. They are now on my TBR list after recently reading about them. They sound terrific.

    I like to make pumpkin bread and pumpkin crumb cake in the fall. It is the only time I make it!

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  13. Fall is my favorite!! I love the cooler weather and Halloween and all the pumpkin flavored stuff! Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

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  14. My favorite thing about Fall is the colors. They're so pretty.
    Thank you for the giveaway!

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  15. I think the thing I like most about Fall is cooler weather and Halloween. It's been fun taking my son trick or treating.

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  16. I haven't read Thea yet, but I did buy one of her books not long ago and am really excited to read it! My favorite thing about fall is the change of colors. I hate the wind, but it's lovely to drive out in the country and enjoy the changing scenery. I also love our new tradition of visiting the pumpkin patch. :)

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  17. Apple Cider. I love it and there is no better season to have it. The colors are nice too.

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  18. I like when the leaves change colors. No fall traditions.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  19. My favorite things about Harvest time are breaking out my comfy sweaters and the mild weather.

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