|Back to Night's basement to get some answers!|
About Tali Spencer:
Tali Spencer is fascinated by swords, mythology and everything ancient and magical. Thanks to a restless father, she grew up as a bit of a nomad and her vagabond youth lives on in a tendency to travel whenever she can. She’s not afraid of planes, horses, trains, or camels. Her preference is for ships, however, and few things relax her like a week or two at sea. On land, her favorite destinations are castles, museums and cozy Italian restaurants. An irrepressible romantic, she and her true love reside in Pennsylvania, where she creates alternate worlds through which her characters can roam, brawl, and find themselves in each other’s arms.
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In a world where pleasure unlocks even the best-guarded magic, Cian has a long list of magical talents—and an even longer list of sorcerers he slept with to acquire them. He even seduced a dragon. There’s just one arcane power left for him to master: command over the sea. Now Cian has learned where to find Muir the Scarred, the only man known to have mastered that power—and he is determined to wrest it from him by whatever means necessary.
But completing the task isn’t so easy. First, Cian’s boat is wrecked on the shores of Muir’s desolate island. Then he learns an enchantment will keep him there forever. And when he tries to seduce Muir, he finds himself being seduced by the mysterious sorcerer instead. But the source of the power Cian seeks is also trapped on the island, and it will stop at nothing to break free, even if that means forcing pleasure—and magic—from Cian's unwilling body.
Cian began to remove his garments, one by one. He knew what he looked like without them, what peeling away layers of borrowed raiment would reveal. What he wore was scavenged, mismatched, salvaged from the sea or left behind by previous houseguests. None of the items suited his coloring. He yanked off his boots first, glad to rid himself of stiff, stained leather and missing nails. The wool jacket he shrugged off his arms was rough and patched, though the soft shirt beneath looked shabby only because it lay against skin as creamy as the ocean’s finest pearls. Lastly he unknotted the rope he’d used as a belt and pushed down his trousers, leaving only the draped and tucked linen of a loin wrap.
“I have something you want more than food,” he said.
Though the sorcerer did not speak a word of protest, Cian knew he’d guessed right. Half-formed desire gazed back at him from those pitch-dark eyes. Half-formed. What else lingered there issued a warning.
“I was wrong,” said Muir. “You may well eat tonight after all.”
“I’m not a whore, but I’m not a beast, either. I can’t live on grass. If my hard work won’t earn me food, maybe soft work will. I don’t want to leave here to toil in the village or on one of the farms, never repaying my great debt. I want to stay with you.”
“With me?” Muir smiled ever so slightly. He resumed stirring his soup, but he was listening. “You have no idea what you are asking, or offering. What will you do if I send you away?”
“Come back. Like a dog.”
Something predatory leaped over Muir, anger throwing off everything about him that was false. He ceased stirring his soup and strode to where Cian waited, stripped to a loincloth. He grasped Cian by the hair at the back of his neck and pulled him off-balance against him, mouth descending to capture his lips with a ferocity that made Cian gasp. And then that gasp too was taken, Muir’s tongue pushing it back into Cian’s throat as his free hand explored the smooth, offered flesh.
Instead of triumph, Cian felt fear, but it was a wild fear, exhilarating, the kind of fear that led men to hunt beasts capable of rending them with horns and claws. His cock hardened, tenting the loin wrap and pushing into the other man’s thigh. Muir’s power was within his grasp. He had sunk the hook and now had only to pull the man in, exhaust his senses and weaken his mind. Little by little, he yielded, giving himself over to that roaming hand, allowing Muir full access to his mouth. The man tasted like cherries, honey, and salt.
Cian wound his arms around Muir’s chest, pulling him tight and reveling in his scent. He smelled the sea, heard waves crashing. His moan vibrated the tongue now probing his surrender. With his hands, Cian explored Muir’s broad shoulders, grabbing handfuls of coarse wool, trying to undress him. Was Muir’s body scarred also? He dreaded what he might find, but he craved it too much to care. The path to power lay through Muir’s body.
He ground his groin against Muir, inhaling sharply when he felt the thrust of the man’s erection. Hard, long, and thick, rubbing against him with a summons he yearned to obey. For far too long, he’d denied his own urges. His mouth broke from Muir’s when the sorcerer grabbed him by the shoulders and pushed him down, onto his knees. Mouth wet and puffy from being kissed, Cian looked up to see Muir rip at the lacings of his robe so the long-sleeved garment fell down over his arms and thighs to the floor.
Muir the Scarred was well named.
Trails of annular blemishes ribboned the pale skin of Muir’s previously hidden torso and limbs. Knotted ridges and rings of healed tissue, some half the width of Cian’s hand, strung along a serpentine path that curved from the sorcerer’s right shoulder, puckered over thick muscle and lay flat upon his breastbone, then continued down the ladder of his left side; more trails of ringed scars appeared under his arm to curl down his ribs and wrap around his hips. His cock, too, as long and thick as promised, was embellished with smaller variations. Ring-shaped cicatrices of pale rose encircled the dusky shaft, a swirling pattern at once shocking and strangely beautiful, like jewels embedded under the skin.
Muir reached down and ran his fingers through Cian’s hair. “I haven’t had a man as pretty as you in some time.”
Want to know more about Tali? Here are her author and buy links:
My Twitter: @tali_spencer
Sorcerer’s Knot buy link (Dreamspinner Press): http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3183
Captive Heart buy link (Resplendence Publishing): http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/m8/490-201-103-501-1--captive-heart-pride-of-uttor-series-book-one.html
I put Tali in the infamous Hot Seat for a few questions. Let's see what she had to say...
~ Who are your favorite authors (in your same genre or not) and some of the best books you’ve ever read? What is your favorite book that you remember from childhood?
My favorite genres are fantasy and historical romance, so my favorite authors fall into both camps. I can’t even name them all, but long time favorites include J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings) and Tanith Lee (Night’s Master), whose Flat Earth fantasies I own in leather-bound special editions. Ursula K. LeGuin (The Left Hand of Darkness), also, blows me away with her imagination. Every writer of LGBT erotic fiction should read those last two writers and books. In M/M romance, I buy everything by Harper Fox (Scrap Metal) and Megan Derr (Prisoner). Both write lush, dense stories with fully realized characters. Outside of fantasy and romance, I read every Ian Rutledge mystery by author Charles Todd.
My favorite book from childhood was King of the Wind, by Marguerite Henry. It had everything I love: horses, exotic locales, a rags to riches storyline. Traces of that book’s influence live on in The Prince of Winds, and not just in the title: Henry’s book first inspired my love of things Middle Eastern.
~Every reader has probably wondered this from time to time, as you are a female writing M/M romance. Have you ever wished, even for a moment, that you were a gay man?
For a moment, sure. I have a limber imagination and can easily envision handing over this body for a male one. And a gay one. There’ve been times when I see a man and think, “I would like to experience him guy on guy.” My husband teases me about that. It’s a joke between us that I was probably a guy in a previous life because I’m pretty direct and adventurous about sex, and I say, “Maybe, but I like cock too much.” To which he says, “You were probably a gay guy.”
~Do you listen to music when you're writing and if so, what kind of music do you listen to?
I don’t listen to anything while writing. I like silence. But I do listen to music while imagining. There’s often an hour or so between when I stop writing and when my husband comes home. I may cook then, or simply relax, and that’s when I listen to music. Sometimes I set my scenes or even whole stories to a “soundtrack”. My favorite music comes from videogames—the Final Fantasy soundtracks are amazing, and while writing Captive Heart I listened to “Kingdom Hearts” almost nonstop for months. Videogame music is triumphant, you see, and I like triumphant. Classical music also inspires me, as does opera or some good hard-hitting rock. On our weekly long car trips to visit family, I’ve imagined whole scenes while listening to mixes containing Springsteen, Pink, and Muse, for example.
~If Sorcerer’s Knot had a theme song, what would it be?
I had to ponder this one, because that story didn’t actually have a soundtrack in my mind, but its theme song would have to be “It Dawned on Me” by Calla.
~If we could see your writing space, what would we see?
An Arts and Crafts Mission oak library desk from 1902 that once belonged to my great grandmother. I rescued it from my grandmother’s basement years ago when I first moved out on my own. I knew it would be my writing desk—and it has been. Everything I’ve ever written was born on it. It watched my kids grow up. The thing is enormous. I have my entire computer set up on there, along with my phone, modem, desk stuff, coffee cup (on a coaster), big bottle of water (ditto), and a nice lamp—and I still have desktop room to spare. The desk sits in a corner guest bedroom and we don’t usually have guests, so the whole room is pretty much mine. You’d see bookshelves groaning with reference books (if you need a book on metallurgy in the 14th century, I’m your girl), file cabinets, and a side table for my dictionaries, active story notes, and other stuff I need handy. The room also has a nice night table and day bed… for the occasional guest.
~ You’ve just been let loose in the world of fiction, with permission to do anyone you want. Who do you fuck first and why?
Gosh, I screw fictional characters (in my mind, at least) all the time. Sorry fellow writers, but I’ve taken shameless liberties. I don’t kiss and tell, though, so let’s see… does fiction include film and comic books? Because I’d have a go at Thor. I mean, come on, look at the man—he’s a god!
~If you could be a character in a fantasy fiction novel, who would you be and why?
Daenerys Targaryen, from The Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. Why? Because I’d be beautiful, smart, and have my own dragons! Imagine what I could do with three of those…
~Where did you get the inspiration for Sorcerer’s Knot?
Sorcerer’s Knot began life as an idea for a story about a wizard who seeks to gain great power from a sea creature at horrible cost to himself. It was originally conceived as a story for the Literotica Halloween contest… but it never quite took shape and I went with another story instead. A few months later, MA Church thought it would be fun for us to try to get into a new anthology together. The theme was tentacles. Well, I had this story about a wizard and a sea creature… and sea creatures can have tentacles! I took the original idea, introduced another human character as a love interest, drew on some hot yaoi tentacle manga I’d read over the years, threw in a little H.P. Lovecraft, a dragon, and a nifty windswept island loosely based on the Faroes, and… wellah!
~Do you start a story with a character in mind and build their world around them, or is it the other way around?
That’s a trick question, right? Because I do both. It really does depend on the story. I love to root stories deeply in a setting, so on occasion setting does come first, as it did in “The Seventh Sacrifice,” a story I have coming out in an anthology this fall. I said to myself, “I’m going to set this story in La Paz.” And I took it from there, creating characters and a plot. But Sorcerer’s Knot, Captive Heart and The Prince of Winds all started with characters first.
~Did anything influence you personally towards the M/M genre?
There was a boy I knew in high school. He was my best friend and we both liked guys together and hung out, talking endlessly. He was wicked funny, the only kid my age who totally “got” my sense of humor (to this day, my family thinks I don’t have one), and as a result of our friendship I was probably one of the more sexually well-rounded virgins on the planet. I was already writing stories, of course, and it felt perfectly natural for some of my guys to fall in love with other guys, usually alien. My first efforts at publishing weren’t M/M, though. I thought I had to write straight love interests, so put M/M on the side for a long time.
~What does your husband think of you writing M/M fiction?
He’s completely proud of me, but it’s kind of funny how he handles it. He’s 100% gay-friendly, absolutely comfortable with me writing M/M romance… but he’s such a guy he can’t wrap his head around why women would want to either write or read M/M sex. I show him my book covers, or those of my writing friends, and he just looks bemused by all the male torsos. My writing M/M romance is not something he boasts about at the fantasy football draft.
~Do you have any quirky habits that come forth when writing?
Nothing other writers don’t do. I talk and laugh out loud, spout dialog, berate my characters. I like to name places or minor characters after people I know. Sometimes I stand up and act out scenes as a way of getting the action details right.
~If you won the lottery, how would you spend the money?
I’d invest the lion’s share of the money in a mix of blue chip global stock funds, market indexes, and U.S. Treasury bills. Then I’d use some of the money to buy a shore house, maybe in Ocean City, New Jersey, or thereabouts. And instead of taking one cruise a year, we’d take two. Oh, and I’d make my husband a kept man. He’d like that, I think.
~Do you feel that writing romance/erotica makes you a more sensual person?
That’s an interesting question. Part of why I write is because it’s a way for me to express my sensuality and sexuality. But I’m creative off the page as well—always have been. Let me just say that doing research for writing erotica does bring fresh ideas to the love life.
~If you could live in any time period other than the one you are currently in, when would that be and why?
If I could be rich and privileged, I would love to live in Imperial Rome. Hygiene was generally good, an upper class woman or man could read lots of books or attend interesting social events, even orgies, and slaves would do all the work. But if I had to be working class… I’ll stay where I am, thank you. Why would I give up washing machines, cars, air conditioning, and antibiotics?
~The great debate, vampires or werewolves?
Werewolves. I never got into vampires and can’t even explain why. They just do nothing for me. Werewolves are hit or miss, but a person unleashing his or her inner animal is a concept I can buy into.
~Is there anything you’d like to tell? Maybe something in the works you would like to promote?
Thanks so much for stopping by Tali, and thank you to all my readers for visiting. Don't forget to leave a comment with your name, email, and your favorite part about the interview for a chance to win a free e-copy of Sorcerer's Knot! *does little dance* Tali will email the winner after the giveaway has ended. *throws confetti*
Later guys and dolls. Muah.