Blog Tour ~ Death by Starlight by Alexis Duran (Exclusive Excerpt
Title: Death By Starlight
Author: Alexis Duran
Series: Edge of Night #2
Release Date: July 19th 2017
Genre: Paranormal MM Romance/Fantasy
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.
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“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.”
Ian swallowed, throat muscles tightening. “Something woke up. Something with a mind that saw me.” He licked his lips. “It wanted to pull me into the realm of light, I think. I freaked out and broke the connection. But it left something behind. Something that’s blocking you.” Ian shivered, and when Zeke saw the tremors gain strength, he embraced Ian again and held him close.
“Ian, I don’t know much about these things, but pure light will reject darkness. The extreme end of each spectrum, the source, wants to remain pure. If it lays a claim on you, we’ll never be able to be truly together.”
Ian seized handfuls of Zeke’s coat at his waist and pulled him in tight. “Oh God, Zeke, what did I do?”
“Hopefully, nothing. I’m sure this is merely a side effect from brushing up against extreme magic.”
“Do you really believe that, or are you just saying it to keep me from panicking?”
“I really believe it. I refuse to believe otherwise.” He released Ian just enough so they could kiss again. He was near to panicking himself. His heart pounded as he pressed his lips to Ian’s. Was it his imagination, or were Ian’s lips actually colder? Zeke broke free and said, “There’s only one way to find out.”
“Please tell me you mean sex.”
“I do. Come.” Zeke clasped Ian’s hand and they ran up the stairs. When they reached their bedroom, Zeke spun around, grabbed Ian’s coat, and pushed it off his shoulders onto the floor. He then snatched the hem of Ian’s shirt and pulled it over his head. Zeke had his fingers on the buttons of Ian’s jeans before Ian stopped him by clasping his hands.
“Wait.” Ian lifted a finger and touched Zeke on the chest just below the heart. “Do you feel me?”
Zeke knew what he meant. The hook, the piece of Ian’s heart that lived in Zeke’s. Zeke took a deep breath to calm his lust. The tingle of starlight was faint, fainter than it had ever been, but it was there. He nodded. “And you?”
Ian chewed his lower lip, and Zeke longed to kiss it, but he resisted. Finally Ian nodded too. “It’s barely there,” he whispered.
“We need to rekindle it. Stoke the flames.” Zeke grabbed Ian around the waist. Pinpricks of cold dotted his chest, causing his nipples to shrink.
“Whatever is blocking us is reacting to your dark energy. We have to go slow. Slide around it. Melt it.” Ian put a thumb on each of Zeke’s nipples and rubbed them in a circular motion. At first Zeke continued to shiver, but then Ian’s fingers warmed. “I think I have to be the one to initiate.”
BOOK ONE Title: Betwixt and Between
Release Date: June 29th 2015
Genre: Paranormal MM Romance, Fantasy
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
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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.
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