Hi peeps, we have M. Raiya popping in today with her upcoming release Depth of Return, we have a great guest post & excerpt and there’s a fantastic comment giveaway, so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! <3 ~Pixie~
Depth of Return
Betrayed and left for dead by his lover, North has retreated to a secluded island to nurture his coven of witches and their demon partners. His group uses the magic of starlight to bring as much peace to the world as they can. It’s enough. North has no desire to look for love again.
When an accident on a carpentry job reveals that he is a demon, Alan Holsen is sent to North for training. Alan possesses a rare healing ability—one he might be able to use to close the old wounds in North’s heart. While North teaches Alan magic, Alan teaches North to love again, and they both struggle with the leftover resonance of their haunted pasts.
Just when they dare to relax, North’s old enemy returns—and sets his sights on Alan. To save him, North must enlist the aid of neighboring covens, and he learns he isn’t as alone as he thought. But in the end, only North’s love for Alan and the power of the stars have any chance of saving them.
Another Healing Connection & Excerpt!
by M. Raiya
Thank you so much for hosting me here at MM Good Book Reviews on my Depth of Return blog tour. The book will release on September 5. It’s an urban fantasy novel, and it’s the second book in the Another Healing series. The first book, Another Healing, was published in 2014, but it even started farther back than that when I published a short story called The Rosebud. The main characters, James and Ambient, began to clamor for a novel of their own, which I obliged by converting the original short story into the opening chapter of Another Healing and going on from there. I also wrote two more short stories about them and their universe where witches and demons partner up and work together through a magical, predetermined bond.
By the time I had written all this, I had created a whole universe around James and Ambient, and I began to wonder who else might live in it. Immediately, a man named North strode into my head and announced, “I do, and it’s about time you told my story.” He had such authority about him that I meekly opened a new file, named it Depth of Return, and he started talking.
North told me that he lived on an island in the middle of a pond in Vermont with no one around for miles, until one day a friend sends him a new student to train. North was expecting a ten-year-old, but the student turned out to be twenty-one. Even though North had sworn he’d NEVER train another adult after what happened the last time, North feels sorry for the guy and brings him home.
North is a witch, and the student, Alan, is a demon. North told me about a horrible thing that had happened to him two years before, and he made it very clear that he was never going to fall in love again, especially not as fast as James and Ambient did. If there was a demon out there for him, the last thing in the world he wanted was to meet him. North was very clear on that point. I suggested that Alan seemed like a nice guy, maybe North could thaw out a little, but he threw a fit and informed me that I needed to keep any authorial intrusion out of his life.
For example, here is the scene where North sees Alan naked for the first time, fresh from a morning dip in the pond:
I heard his step on the porch before the door opened. I turned with my favorite mug in hand. I’d thought he was still in bed. He must have thought I was still in bed. He was stark naked, except for one of my green towels wrapped around his head. We froze and stared at each other.
“We wear clothes here,” I said.
“Shit. Sorry.” He pulled the towel off his head and wrapped it around his waist.
His hair was shocking. Yeah. It was red all right—a deep, rich, natural red, and curly too. It hung in strands halfway down his back. I tore my eyes off it, and he kind of ducked, hurried past me, and disappeared into his room. His eyes were striking too—deep, mysterious, and green.
Heart pounding, I measured coffee for two. My hands shook. Fucking bastard, Arnold. What was he trying to do to me? Well, probably nothing. It had to be coincidence. I mean, the kid couldn’t help what he looked like. If Arnold had sent him as a messenger, not a student, I would have had every right to be pissed off that Arnold was using someone who looked like my idea of perfection to lure me out of exile.
While the coffee dripped, I stared out the window. Oh, how I regretted that conversation with my best friend after too much wine on that night long before. The one guy who could get to me every time would have to have enough patience to put up with me. And red curls and green eyes wouldn’t hurt…. I used to dream about a man like the guy who just walked through my kitchen. I also dreamed he was fearless and powerful, yet gentle and humorous. He held me safe no matter what, and he would never, ever betray me the way Gagnon had.
I shuddered. Over and done with. Moving on. My life revolved around boating, training myself, doing magical workings, and sitting by the water. Obviously I was fine.
While hidden on an island in the middle of nowhere.
The kid cleared his throat behind me. “Umm, Mr. North? I guess we kind of got off on the wrong foot.”
Poor North. Between Alan and me, he never had a chance, and he eventually gave into the inevitable, of course. But by then, all kinds of other stuff started happening, and it took all their love and a lot of magic to survive it.
Do James and Ambient show up in Depth of Return? You bet. I didn’t want them to be minor characters just passing through — I wanted them to have a chance to develop a little more as well as interact with North and Alan in a meaningful way. There is a central theme in both books — the idea of demons going bad and what to do about it. I also wanted to continue the notion of different covens working together. The friendship that forms between my four heroes goes a long way to furthering everything.
Will there be more books in the series? Ha. Do you think these guys are going to leave me alone now?
Would you rather live alone on an island or in the heart of a city? Tell me why (or ask me anything) in a comment during the next 72 hours and be entered into a drawing for your choice of anything on my Dreamspinner Press backlist.
Thanks so much for reading!
M. Raiya knew she was a writer since second grade when her teacher kept her in for recess because “Somebody had better teach you about semicolons!” She started her first fantasy trilogy in fifth grade. She majored in writing in college, got her master’s degree in English, published some literary fiction, and fortunately emerged from all that with her imagination unscathed.
She is a native Vermonter and often needs four-wheel drive to reach her home on a dirt road in the mountains. Her other passions are birdwatching, nature photography, and swimming. When she’s not writing, she takes long walks with a big lens and a pair of binoculars, often standing motionless for hours waiting for the right lighting for the perfect shot, or climbing into places not meant to be climbed into for the right angle. Or she might be found in the nearby lake in the summer or a handy swimming pool in the winter, since she will turn into a mermaid if she doesn’t submerge at least once a day.
She is married and has two almost grown daughters, a cat who demands to lie between her and her computer whenever she dares to sit down, and a day job working with high school kids with special needs who frequently tell her that she is completely crazy, which she’s always known and definitely would not want to change.