We’re so pleased to have author Alexis Duran joining us today on the tour for her latest release, Death by Starlight, book two in the Edge of Night series. I asked Alexis to tell us a bit about the inspiration for the blend of fantasy in the series, which she’s done, and there’s also a giveaway, so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget for entry details.
Writing the Dream
Ever since I read my first Charles deLint novel back in junior high, I’ve been in love with urban fantasy. When the character of Ian strolled into my brain and introduced himself, I knew he was the perfect match for the Seattle setting that had been waiting a long time in the wings for the right story. Ian is part human, part light elf (liosa) and part dark elf (svarta); names taken from the Icelandic tradition, by the way. Once I decided I was going to write about elves in the first book of the series, Betwixt and Between, the floodgates of my imagination opened and all kinds of interesting critters emerged from the crooks and crannies.
I grew up reading fairy tales out of my Czech grandmother’s Big Book of Scary Shit, really old school stories that were pretty violent by today’s standards. Those creepy, Black Forest tales still resonate deep in my psyche and proved to be really fertile ground for me. In Death by Starlight, I jumped into the deep end (pun intended) by introducing mermaids and nymphs into the mix. It is deeply gratifying to go against the whitewashed Disney fairy tale type and create living, breathing, evil, rambunctious kick-ass magicals and then set them loose on the unsuspecting citizenry.
In the reality I created for this series, we humans are in deep denial about the existence of magic. So a lot of the fun and humor in the story comes out of that dissonance. When we first meet Ian, he’s a tabloid reporter working hard to prove that magical creatures really exist. Then he discovers that he is one. Then he falls in love with a wicked svarta. Things get wacky quickly as the world he only glimpsed in glimmers and flashes becomes intensely real and deadly. Oh, and really, really sexy.
So, yeah, there’s a lot of wish fulfillment going on here. As a writer and reader and devourer of fantasy, this is the fun and exciting world I’ve always dreamed of come to life. But because it’s based on lore from the old world, the dream can quickly turn into a nightmare, which is when I’m glad it’s Ian outwitting trolls and not me.
About the Book
Title: Death by Starlight
Author: Alexis Duran
Series: Edge of Night #2
Release Date: July 19th 2017
Genre: Paranormal MM Romance/Fantasy
BLURB: In Betwixt and Between, Ian and Zeke fought a battle against the queen of the dark realm in order to be together. Now, just when they think they might settle into as normal a life as elves living among humans might be able to expect, a new enemy threatens to tear them apart. While Zeke helps the shaman Alistair in his hunt for an elusive mermaid, Ian is called to confront a wicked nymph preying on tourists along Seattle’s waterfront. Zeke and Ian soon discover that the defeated Queen Ysolde has spread her evil into the sea realms, and danger lurks beneath every wave. But it’s too late to stop an escalating series of confrontations that lead to disappearances, death and the possible end of light in this world.
As Ysolde plots revenge and a mysterious prince seeks to win Ian for himself, the ancient war between light and dark sweeps Ian and Zeke into its maelstrom of hate, testing their trust for each other to the utmost.
“Someone has to restore the balance between light and dark energy. I’m one of the last of my kind. I might be the only one who can do it.” Ian slid his hands off the table and rested them on his thighs. He expected derisive laughter from Zeke or a gentle clucking accompanied by a sad shake of the head. Sure, Ian Evers, nobody reporter for a gossip rag, half-breed elf, was going to save the world and fix what Ysolde spent centuries destroying.
Zeke’s face remained impassive, but a storm brewed in his eyes. “You’re not the last of the liosa. Others escaped.”
“I might as well be. They’re all gone, run off to hide out beyond…” Ian waved a hand in the air, signifying that remote world he sometimes glimpsed when they made love.
Glaring out the windows into their backyard, Zeke breathed deeply but said nothing. Ian continued.
“If I start with some miniscule adjustments, push back against the places the dark realm has encroached on this world, maybe some liosa will come out of hiding.”
“They won’t like you being with a svarta,” Zeke said.
“That’s their problem. I know I might never be buddies with other liosa, but we could use their help, right? If Ysolde is plotting to retake her throne like you say, and the svarta are behind her—”
“Only some of them. We don’t need anyone’s help.”
“Yes, we do. We never would’ve defeated Ysolde without Alistair’s and Cleona’s help.”
Zeke leaned forward, his gaze now focused intently on Ian. “We’re stronger now. We need to concentrate on solidifying our connection and making sure no one can break it.”
“You think someone could?” Ian asked. Surprised by the fear he saw lurking behind his lover’s composure, he instinctively put his hands on the table and reached for Zeke’s. Zeke allowed his hands to be held without reacting.
“You couldn’t track me in the dark realm,” Zeke said. “I’m afraid the same would be true if you ever go off into the realm of light. I’ll lose you.”
About Betwixt and Between (Edge of Night: Book One)
BLURB: Reporter Ian Evers, obsessed with magical creatures since childhood, never experiences satisfying proof that the magical realm actually exists until he falls into an entrapment spell set by a handsome but dangerous elf. Barely escaping with his soul intact, Ian is able to undo the hex, but he can’t escape the very real infatuation he’s developed for the fierce, alluring elf.
Ezekiel Stormshadow is a svarta, a dark elf who serves the queen of the dark realm. The realm of darkness needs the power of light to survive, and while hunting the last few magical beings on earth, Ezekiel discovers Ian, a light elf who’s unaware of his true nature and ripe for the plucking. Their brief encounter awakens a great hunger in Ezekiel, and he’s determined to feast on the light elf’s power and body before the queen intervenes and claims Ian for herself.
Ian knows only he can save Ezekiel from the grasp of the dark queen. Driven apart by the ancient imbalance between the dark and light realms, an evil queen starved for power, and their fear of each other, Ian and Ezekiel are relentlessly drawn together even though their union might destroy them both.
Find Betwixt and Between on Goodreads
About the Author
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 has worked in museums, in fashion, in finance and film production. Her favorite job so far was Administrative Assistant in a haunted Victorian Mansion. She’s had several short stories published in the mystery, horror and literary genres, and one contemporary fantasy novel. Her fiction has won several awards including the Rupert Hughes Award from the Maui Writers Conference. She’s thrilled to enter the realm of erotic romance with the publication of her novels Touch of Salar, Blood of Salar and To Catch A Threeve. She’s is currently working on the next in the Masters and Mages series and several other m/m erotic novellas.