Please welcome my birthday guest - Rory Ni Coileain!
I’m told the theme for my post is to be “milestone birthdays.” I have a few to choose from – Lochlann Doran, my Fae healer from Deep Plunge and the rest of the SoulShares series, turned 2,500 a few years back, and that qualifies as a milestone even among the Fae. But he hates having anyone make a fuss over his birthdays. Just ask his partner Garrett sometime. And ‘Mac’ McAllan, one of the protagonists in the upcoming Undertow, just turned over the odometer at 65 – but while he may finally be freeway legal, his book is still under wraps, so I can’t really tell you about his party, either.
So… since I’ve been left high and dry by my boys, let me tell you a little story about my own most recent milestone birthday. It was on the day I turned 50, almost four years ago, that I received – and signed, and returned – my first book publishing contract, for the first four SoulShares novels. I can still remember feeling my phone buzz to let me know the e-mail had come in. (For those of you who haven’t met me yet, I’m kind of joined to my phone at the hip. Literally. When my phone buzzes, I can usually feel it in my hip pocket even if my phone’s across the room. I think they call that symbiosis. Or delusional thinking…)
Only my phone wasn’t in my hip pocket. It was in my purse, which was over my shoulder. And I couldn’t take it out to check it, because my son was walking me down the aisle to my seat at my dad’s Masonic funeral service.
That birthday was more memorable than I wanted it to be… and less, in a way, because I don’t remember a whole lot of it. Three days before my birthday, I’d been driving to work when my phone rang; it was my mother. “I think your father’s dead.” And as quick as that, I was turning the car around and heading to my mother’s house. Calling work, telling them I wasn’t going to be in. Trying to figure out how I was going to break the news to my son, who was home alone, on summer vacation. I was on auto-pilot. The very last thing on my mind was my imminent birthday.
Mostly, what was on my mind for those hectic days was a little bit of relief – I knew for a fact that my last words to my dad, the previous week, had been ‘I love you’ – and a lot of regret. I never told him I’d had an offer of a contract. Four books. My dad was a printer – he taught printing for many years, and all through my childhood he had a foot-operated offset press in our basement, foundry date 1886. He’d typeset the programs for my college graduation party, my first wedding, my law school graduation reception. Fifty years of family Christmas cards. His veins ran with printers’ ink, and he passed that on to me. But I was afraid he wouldn’t approve of what I write, and I never told him.
I wasn’t thinking of my birthday. But my family was. They made sure everything was scheduled so we wouldn’t be burying Dad on my birthday… and at the family dinner after the Masonic funeral, there was a cake for me. Life does go on, whether or not we’re engaged with it.
And there had been that buzz, in my purse. The sound of a dream coming true. After we left the chapel, and before we went down to dinner, I quickly checked my phone. And before going downstairs, I went back into the chapel… and my dad was the first one I told.
Blurb:a Rafflecopter giveaway
Hard as Stone was my first book under that first contract. Now in its second edition, I’d like to give away a copy, to help celebrate Nicole’s birthday!
Tiernan Guaire was exiled from the Fae Realm a century and a half ago for his brother’s murder. His soul torn in half, he lives by his vows — never to trust, never to love. And if he can only be whole by finding and loving the human with the other half of his soul? He’s content to live broken and half-souled.
Kevin Almstead’s future, the career he’s worked for as long as he can remember, has been taken away by a vote of the partners at his law firm. Chance brings him to Purgatory, the hottest all-male nightclub in Washington, D.C., to a meeting with a Fae with long blond hair, ice-blue eyes, and a smile promising pleasures he’s never dreamed of. But there’s no such thing as chance.
But Tiernan isn’t the only one to find Kevin in Purgatory. The most ancient enemy of the Fae race sees in the handsome lawyer a way to destroy the world from which it, too, was exiled. And only the strength of a true SoulShare bond can keep it from what it seeks.
Finalist for Best Debut Novel and Best Gay Erotic Romance, 2012 Rainbow Awards; Finalist, Best Erotica, 2012 Preditors & Editors Readers Poll
Rory Ni Coileain:
Rory Ni Coileain majored in creative writing, 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, got the kind of rejection letter that lets therapists send their kids to Ivy League schools, and found other things to do, such as ballet, flamenco, nightclub singing, and volunteering as a lawyer with Gay Men's Health Crisis, for the next thirty years or so, until her stories started whispering to her. Now she's a lawyer and a legal editor who’s learning to sing in Irish, the mother of a budding film-maker, the property of two cats, and the multi-published amanuensis of a host of fantastic creatures who are all anxious to tell their stories and who tend not to let her go to sleep at night until she does right by them.