Book Name: Blood of Salar
Series? Masters and Mages
If yes, what number? Book 2
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Author Name: Alexis Duran
Author Bio: Alexis Duran was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. At the University of Oregon, her fascination with people and relationships led her to major in Sociology, but her main love has always been creative writing. She’s worked in museums, fashion, finance and film production. Her favorite job so far was cataloguing the collection in a haunted Victorian Mansion. She’s had several short stories published in the mystery, horror and literary genres and is the author of the Masters and Mages erotic fantasy series. Her fiction has won several awards including the Rupert Hughes Award from the Maui Writers Conference. She lives with one dog and four and half cats. She is currently working on the next Masters and Mages novel and several other erotic novellas.
Q: When you start a book, do you already have the whole story in your head or is it built progressively?
A: I very rarely know what the story is before I start writing. I begin with a character who is insisting I pay attention to them. It’s the voice of the character that convinces me I need to sit down and write. The situation and immediate conflict follow as I immerse myself in the character’s world and if I’m lucky, momentum takes over and carries me for several chapters. Then it gets dicey and I have to figure out how to make sense of it all and where it’s going. I do occasionally get glimpses of the entire story arc before I get very far, especially when the story is inspired by a dream, but it almost never ends up the same as I imagined it by the time I get to the end.
Q: If you could live in any place in the world, where would you live?
A: It’s actually hard to beat the Pacific Northwest, where I currently reside, for livability. I do fantasize about spending a year in Paris or Prague again, but I always end up missing the wild wild west, the huge tracts of wilderness, the pacific ocean and the laid back attitude. I could also see living in the southwest, but I’d miss the rain.
Q: I have to admit that I don’t have much experience reading the fantasy genre. What makes ‘Blood of Salar’ a must read?
A: The main focus in all of my novels is always the relationship between the characters, so if you love reading about intense love affairs, I would say the fantasy element in Blood of Salar is the creamy frosting on a delicious chocolate cake. I think no matter if my characters are facing divorce, addiction or a vengeful serpent god, the main thing readers care about is how the characters respond in highly stressful situations, whether the challenges and/or adventures they face break them or make them stronger, better people and, ultimately, if their love is strong enough to overcome whatever life throws at them. Yes, Blood of Salar is about how magical powers can corrupt and what happens when ancient mystic forces begin to reassert themselves in the world, but it all revolves around two very different men who are trying to save their love in the face of all this wonder and madness. If you don’t normally read fantasy, come for the romantic adventure and let the magic sweep you away.
Q: Who is your favorite character you’ve written?
A: I love all my characters, even the villains. That’s part of what makes writing so fun. Thinking about my recent m/m romances, I absolutely adore Bryn Darrow in To Catch A Threeve. He’s a very conflicted hero and I had to write him so that his true character remained a mystery until the end, even to himself, which was challenging but very exciting. To create a charming, devious, mysterious, lovable rogue who might do villainous things and break the hero’s heart brought out some very interesting twists of character. I know I have to write more of his story. He refuses to move very far off stage.
Q: You mention on your website that you’ve been ‘dreaming up some “real world” recovery romances’. Can you give us some insight on any of these works in progress?
A: I usually write in the fantasy genre, so when a story without any magic or magicians in it starts tugging at me, I know it is something powerful out of my past that is ready to speak. I often find it difficult to write about things from my own life because I don’t have the objectivity or detachment required to write a balanced story that isn’t me preaching, ranting or whining. With my recovery romances, I’ve finally found the vehicle, the characters and the situations that allow me to write about my experiences of living with an alcoholic. The first story is written mainly from the alcoholic’s point of view, which would have been impossible for me to do when I was embroiled in a co-dependent relationship myself. I now find that I have deep levels of empathy and compassion for both of the characters, which is what was lacking for so long. These stories are recovery stories, so rather than reliving “war stories” about the active disease I focus on the challenges of rebuilding life and love after the alcoholic has found recovery. The intense battle of love against the ravages of the disease make for extremely intense fiction, but I believe these are the stories I’m meant to tell.
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/alexis.duran.18294
Other: My blog at http://alexisduranblog.com
Publisher: Loose ID
M’lan, headmaster of the order of Ka’alar and Jamil Jarka, king’s assassin, find their impossible love challenged to the utmost as a rebellion sweeps them apart, sending Jamil on a dangerous mission to assassinate the rebel leader, General Charvat. Unknown to anyone, Charvat is on his way to the temple to exploit the headmaster’s magical abilities.
When the rebel army arrives, M’lan is thrust into a struggle against political and sexual dominance as Charvat attempts to break his resistance. Violence and death mount, awakening within M’lan both the powers of destruction and the desire for revenge.
On the trail of his prey, Jamil begins to question his devotion to M’lan as his once innocent lover transforms into a mage and invades the assassin’s thoughts and dreams. The closer Jamil draws to M’lan, the more he puts his life and his very soul at risk. Jamil soon realizes that his lover might prove to be more deadly than the man he was sent to kill.
A final confrontation between assassin and monk might destroy them both, but Jamil is relentless in his determination to rescue M’lan, for he knows that only his love can master the mage.
Categories: Erotica, Fantasy, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance
M’lan knelt beside the assassin’s bronzed body. He placed his palm on Jamil’s chest and silently beseeched Salar to remove the deadly impulses instilled in Jamil ever since he began his training as an assassin. Jamil closed his eyes and seemed to relax, but as the warm energy of the god seeped through M’lan’s fingers, Jamil jerked suddenly to full alertness. Like a cobra striking he seized M’lan’s wrist and gave it a painful twist, eyes flashing. M’lan sat back, startled.
Jamil did not let him go. He let out a slow breath and lifted M’lan’s fingers to his mouth. He kissed the knuckles of a clenched fist. “The last thing I need is more spells to confuse this simple warrior’s mind.”
“A prayer is not a spell!” M’lan tried to pull free but couldn’t. He gritted his teeth, fighting back a rising anger. Jamil’s strength both entranced and infuriated him.
“Stop trying to weaken me.” Jamil said in a wretchedly calm voice. “You must stay here and do your duty, I must go away and do mine. Nothing has changed.”
M’lan inhaled slowly, breath catching. “Let me go.”
Pages or Words: 60,000 words
Tour Dates & Stops: March 16 – 20, 2015
Rafflecopter Prize: A copy of Touch of Salar, Book 1 in the Masters and Mages series and a $10 Loose Id GC