I had a plan to write about some older series I have loved, like, say, Frank Herbert’s Dune or L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, but recently I started reading The Rifer Series by Ginn Hale and it has consumed my heart and brain!
The Rifer is a fantasy series set between earth and another plane. It leaps through time and place, building a world that I can see clearly in my mind with every word. I had read and loved both Wicked Gentlemen (need a sequel!) and The Lord of the White Hell (1 & 2) so I am not surprised that The Rifter series had gobbled up my brain, but I suppose I am surprised at the extent that I feel Hale has improved in her skills. The jumping through time, the building of the world, all feels quite masterful, like this kind of thing has started to come to her like breathing. There are so few places where you see the author at work.
I am emotionally invested in all of the characters. They all have so much to lose and she’s placed them in such utterly impossible situations. I am most driven, however, by my insatiable curiosity. The leaps through time, the interactions between different characters in different time lines all makes me desperately hungry for the information to put the pieces together. If, for you, part of a good reading experience is the sense of being compelled to go forward, of feeling constantly in a state of, “How? But why? Is this going to be fixed? Oh, god, my heart!”, then this is the kind of reading experience for you.
I am only in Book Three (Black Blades) currently, so I fully admit that with seven books to go everything could go to shit and what looks like masterful world-building could become a total disaster, but, uh, I’m an optimist, okay? And I’m feeling sure this series is going to rock my world and my heart. I suspect you should let it rock yours, too.
GO FORTH AND CHECK IT OUT! 🙂
By the way, the books are available on Amazon, but they are listed there out of order. So, be sure to read them as follows:
1. The Shattered Gates
2. Servants of the Crossed Arrows
3. Black Blades
4. Witches’ Blood
5. The Holy Road
6. Broken Fortress
7. Enemies and Shadows
8. The Silent City
9. The Iron Temple
10. His Holy Bones
The story skips around in time so much that if you don’t read in the right order, I imagine it would actually be possible to not realize it for quite some time! I solved that problem by buying it directly from Blind Eye Books. It is available in both ebook and print form. I have a feeling this will be one that I re-buy just to have the print books!
Oh, and another favorite series of mine, though I admit to being a bit biased, is the one I write with Keira Andrews! Our Tempting Tales Series, but of course! The latest of which, a stand alone sexy m/m re-imagining of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Love’s Nest, is available on Amazon, B&N, All Romance EBooks, and Ellora’s Cave.
Also, if you’re interested in Love’s Nest, August 16th is the last day to comment over at Stumbling Over Chaos for a chance to win a free copy of Love’s Nest!
And, lastly, if you’ve never read Ginn Hale’s other work, do check it out. She’s got a gift for making me love her books. And look at this! Who wouldn’t want to read something written by a woman wearing these glasses?
Keira Andrews and Leta Blake write fairy tale inspired m/m erotica and romantica with Ellora’s Cave. Check out Love’s Nest, available on Wednesday through Ellora’s Cave! And also remember to look at Earthly Desires and Ascending Hearts, the first two books in the Tempting Tales series, available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Ellora’s Cave.
Hi! This is Leta and Keira, authors of the Tempting Tales series from Ellora’s Cave. We published the first book in the series, Earthly Desires at the end of June, and are hoping the second book will be out before the end of the year. These novellas are erotic, m/m tales inspired by fairy and folk tales. We’re giving away an electronic copy of Earthly Desires, so please comment if you’d like to win it!
We decided that answering some faux interview questions might be a fun way to introduce ourselves.
1. What is it about fairy and folk tales that inspires you?
Keira: I love that many of these stories – particularly fairy tales – are larger than life, with epic journeys and romances. There’s so much freedom in the fantasy genre to create and expand on worlds that are so different from our own. Yet the characters face the same struggles we do, and we can connect with their struggles. I’m also a sucker for a happily ever after!
Leta: Keira stole my answer. Haha! Actually, to go a bit further with it, the most inspiring thing to me about fairy tales is how deeply erotic and symbolic they often are. On the surface, a story like Little Red Riding Hood, for example, is about a child on her way to Grandmother’s house with a basket of goodies who is waylaid by a dangerous wolf and the potentially terrible outcome of that. Generally, people see it as a tale of stranger danger, but it’s a highly charged tale of sexual temptation at its core. It’s not just the fear factor of the scary bad wolf that sends a thrill up the reader’s spine, but the fact that an elemental part of us recognizes the sexual awakening within the story and wants Red to be lured by the wolf to whatever outcome might befall her.
Fairy tales and folk tales are already sexually charged, and finding a way into those stories, so that I can play with the symbolism in ways that are fun or new-to-me, is very inspiring.
2. Why have you chosen to re-write the tales with homosexual characters, specifically m/m couplings? Do you plan to ever branch out to f/f tales?
Keira: We all grew up with these stories of princes and princesses, and we thought it would be exciting to reimagine the tales with two male protagonists. We also really dig hot guys having sex together. 😀 We’re focused at the moment on m/m, but I’m certainly not opposed to f/f, which is underrepresented in the romance genre, in my opinion.
Leta: There is definitely an appeal to hot men together, but, for me, the larger interest has always been in imagining how archetypal situations feel different and play out in different ways when the sex or gender of the protagonists are changed. I enjoy thinking about the various ways that Sleeping Beauty is a different story when Beauty is Beau, and he’s a very handsome dude. Because changing up the genders and sexes can be so much fun, I do hope to one day look at the f/f side of things and to possibly explore some trans characters within fairy tales settings. At this point, though, it appears that the first four stories will definitely be m/m. I have a story featuring a more gender-bending character in mind for Fall 2013, though, if our insane writing schedule goes according to plan. And I’d love to do a f/f tale in 2014, perhaps.
3. What was your favourite fairy tale as as child? Has it changed as an adult?
Keira: As a kid my favourite was Cinderella. I loved the Disney movie and that everyone was mean to poor Cinderella but she rose above it and found her prince. I actually don’t think it’s changed as an adult. I do have more appreciation for the darker tales that freaked me out as a kid (Hansel and Gretel was so upsetting to me!), but at heart I’m a hopeless romantic.
4. What other writing do you or have you done in the past? What can we anticipate from you aside from Tempting Tales in the next few years?
Keira: I’ve written a number of contemporary and historical romances, as well as a YA novel. Along with our m/m fairy tales, I’m working on a post-WWII historical at the moment. Also have many other ideas, so you can expect a variety of books in the future!
Leta: In the next year, in addition to the tales, I hope to finish my LGBT-themed coming-of-age book set in the recent past of the 1990s. I sincerely hope to find a good home for it in 2013. I have several novels of magical, speculative, and contemporary fiction in the works as well, and hope to have them completed over the next couple of years. I am eager to get these books out into the world. Some of them have really taken their time coming to fruition. In the end, I hope those who read them enjoy the stories as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.
Don’t forget to comment to win an e-book of our first book in the Tempting Tales series!
Leta Blake and Keira Andrews write fairy tale inspired m/m erotica and romantica with Ellora’s Cave. Check out Earthly Desires, the first book in the series, available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Ellora’s Cave.