Monday, June 9, 2014

Book Spotlight & Giveaway for Finn by Angel Martinez

Finn: Endangered Fae by Angel Martinez

Cover Artist: Lex Valentine
Publisher: MLR Publishing
Available at Amazon  / ARe

Finn: When Diego rescues a naked man from the rail of the Brooklyn Bridge, he just wants to get the poor man out of traffic and to social services. He gets more than he bargained for when he discovers Finn is an ailing pooka, poisoned by the city's pollution. To help him recover, Diego takes him to New Brunswick where Finn inadvertently wakes an ancient, evil spirit: the wendigo.

While they struggle to find a way to destroy the wendigo before it can possess Diego or kill nearby innocents, Diego wrestles with his growing feelings for Finn. Kill the monster and navigate a relationship between a modern man and a centuries old pooka. Piece of cake.

Excerpt: The ordeal of the shower seemed cruel, but Finn was filthy and smelled like a dumpster during a garbage strike. Diego placed one of his plastic kitchen chairs in the middle of the shower and installed Finn there, but he only slumped against the chair back, eyes closed, face turned into the spray.
Too exhausted to even flinch.
Diego fought down the little shiver of revulsion at the stench, stripped to his boxers, and stepped into the stall with him. He attacked the tangled mass of hair first, positioning Finn so his head hung back over the chair. No lice—a good sign. He might have been homeless, but he probably hadn’t lived on the streets too long. The nest of midnight snarls unwound under the caress of water and shampoo. If Finn stood, his hair would reach at least to the top curve of his butt. A strange blue-black iridescence shone in it, his natural coloring as far as Diego could tell rather than bottled special effects.
The rest Diego washed with a loofah, shoving away modesty out of a need to get Finn to his rest. An ache lodged around his heart to see how malnutrition had ravaged what probably had been a lean-muscled frame. An athlete, perhaps, before he went off the deep end, an impression reinforced by the absence of almost all body hair. Waxed or electrolysis-denuded—only Finn’s crotch sported a black thatch of soft hair. Swimmer, perhaps. The Olympic competitors often shaved it all off for every small gain in streamlining.
He turned off the water and tugged at Finn’s arm. “Come on. Let’s get you settled. You can’t sleep in the shower.”
Finn staggered to his feet and Diego all but carried him to Mitch’s room. The spare room, he corrected himself. He usually kept the door closed so the stark, unfurnished space wasn’t glaring at him.
He sat Finn down against the wall, brought him a pair of flannel pajamas, soft with age, and went out to the front closet to retrieve the air mattress and vacuum. Six boxes lay stacked against the wall; all that remained of Mitch’s things. Diego ran a hand over one, and then shook his head against the temptation to open the top and look at its contents. When he returned, Finn hadn’t moved from where he sat, naked and dozing in a patch of sunlight.
“You might want to put those on.” Diego toed the pajamas closer as he dragged the air mattress into place. When Finn’s only response was a long sigh, he added, “We need to get you warm. I don’t want to have to take you to Emergency.”
With a puzzled frown, Finn unfolded the material and managed, after looking back and forth between the pajamas and Diego’s jeans a few times, to pull the bottoms on. His efforts with the top, though, were sabotaged when the vacuum roared to life. He startled and scuttled sideways, wide-eyed and panting.
Diego hurried to switch it off. “Sorry. Should have warned you.”
“Is it some sort of small dragon?”
For a moment, Diego stared in blank surprise before he caught himself. At least the nature of Finn’s delusion was becoming clearer. He might even share his history later when he had the energy, perhaps some tragic story of an exiled prince. For now, Diego thought it best to play along.
“Not a dragon. Just a machine. It blows out and sucks in air with great force.”
“Ah.” Finn seemed disappointed, but waved a hand for him to continue.
Mattress inflated, Finn dressed and installed in bed, Diego thought he should get something in him before he drifted off. He tried tap water first but Finn jerked his head away, the color draining from his face.
“Tainted,” he gasped. “Great Dagda, it reeks.”
Diego sniffed above the glass, puzzled. New York City water, piped in from the mountains, was cleaner than most but it was treated. Chlorine. Fluoride. Maybe Finn had an allergy to one or the other.
Bottled water produced a less violent reaction. Finn smelled it, nose crinkled, but he downed half the bottle in desperate gulps before Diego could take it back from him. Hydration, at least, wouldn’t be an issue.
The hurdle of food remained. Starvation often did terrible things to the body’s ability to accept nourishment. Not the best time to offer a hamburger and fries. Diego decided he should start with the foods one was supposed to give sick kids: bananas, rice, applesauce and toast, minus the applesauce, since he didn’t have any.
Finn wouldn’t touch the boiled-in-tap-water rice. He nibbled a corner of the toast and set it aside with murmured apologies. The banana completely stumped him. He turned it over and over in his hands and finally tried to bite through the skin.
“You eat these?” He handed it back to Diego with a grimace.
All right, so his reality doesn’t include New World fruit. Diego peeled the banana for him and handed it back. “You don’t eat the skin. Try the inside.”
Finn took a careful bite and his eyes widened. “That’s not bad.”
Diego could only watch anxiously, praying his guest wouldn’t choke, as the rest disappeared in three bites. With a contented sigh, Finn handed the peel back, gathered the covers into a circle in the center of the mattress, and curled into a tight ball inside his nest. By the time Diego brought an extra comforter to cover him, Finn was fast asleep.
Clean and at rest, his face had a childlike quality with his hair tucked behind one finely-curved ear. Diego wasn’t certain it was a handsome face, almost unearthly in its delicacy, and though Finn stood six inches taller, he had the odd feeling he could scoop that long frame up in his arms without much effort.
He backed out and closed the door as quietly as he could, confident Finn wouldn’t die on him. Tomorrow he would see about finding the right agency to take his guest, preferably one that wouldn’t hand him right over to immigration.
A few hours of peace while Finn slept should let him at least get through the current chapter he was writing.
The moment he sat ready at his desk, fingers poised over the keys, the phone rang.

 Talking with Angel Marinez....

  What inspired the Endangered Fae series?

I can talk about why I wanted to write an urban fantasy, or why the pooka – which I’d hit upon as an “oh, not many stories about those out there.” But this was an inspiration years in the making and there are three pieces in where the inspiration really came from:

  1. There was a peripheral pooka character in C. J. Cherryh’s Ealdwood stories. I found him fascinating and thought about him for years afterward.
  2. Once upon a time, I used to write for an adult fantasy/role play/tandem writing site called Double Moon. Anyone remember Double Moon? Anyway, it was a lot of fun and one of the characters I wrote was named Raven, a thief and half-human pooka’s child, an outcast because of his parentage, his chosen profession, and because he was gay. He was, although much more world-weary and cynical than Finn, the precursor character for our pooka.
  3. There was a ride at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, you see. It’s not there now, but it was called Corkscrew Hill, and it was one of those rides where you sit in the theater and the seats move and rear and plunge according to the action. Corny, silly, but fun. Part of the story involved the pooka horse – gleaming black with his glowing red eyes. Damn it. I had to write a pooka horse.

And there you have the whole of it, lol

  If you could ask any character anything, who would it be and what would you ask them?

I want to ask Gandalf why the heck he never just asked the Eagles to take the ring to Mordor. I mean, really? The whole thing could’ve been finished in a couple of days’ time and all those lives would have been saved. I know why he couldn’t take it there, sure. But stick a hobbit on eagle back and send them off. We wouldn’t have had much of a story then, but Boromir would have lived. (*sob*)

  Can you tell us what you see for Finn in the future in the series?

Finn has many obstacles in his path, poor thing. I can’t tell you too much, in case you haven’t read past book 1, but there are misguided government agencies, fae court politics, well-meaning young humans who make disastrous mistakes, a dark mage who seems nearly unstoppable, lots of heartache, werewolves, vampires, and a few dragons. Just a couple things. You know. The usual.

  How many books do you see for the series?

So far, there will be four. We’ll see where we go after that.

> What is your favorite thing to munch on while writing?
Whatever’s in the house. I like to eat a bit too much, so I’m trying to cut back, but if there are nuts, pastries, and chips and so on, I will munch. Oddly, I also have a thing for honey nut cheerios. Without the milk.

Can you give us a teaser of what you have coming up in the future?

I believe I can do that ;) This is a little teaser from No Fae Is An Island (Endangered Fae 4), which is currently in the works:

Late morning sun glinted off the rainbow sand. Diego let the grains run through his fingers, smiling at the tropical bright shades. Once, he would have wondered at the colors. By now, he knew that the rocks under the restless sea weren’t gray as they were at home but painted in riotous brilliance. He had swum in these waters and seen for himself. Why this was, no one could tell him. There seemed to be no geological explanation because the Otherworld often refused to conform to such trivial things as science.
Though the dragon lord would have an explanation.
Squinting, Diego searched the waves for the sleek, black shapes leaping and arrowing through the surf. It wasn’t fair to say the Otherworld had no natural laws. They simply followed different paths. In three years, a man could learn enough to know he would need several hundred more years to claim he understood.
He stood and brushed the sand from his skin. It’ll be strange to wear clothes again. Some of the black heads turned toward him and he raised an arm to wave the pod to shore. In a gleeful surge, the seals became their own wave barking and cavorting toward him, an impending onslaught of noise and joy.
The first ones reached the sand, flippering their way out of the foam, all so alike and yet he knew them. Whelk with the gray spot on his nose. Lyonsia with her slender flippers. Murex with his overlarge eyes. Limpet with the white scar on the side of his head.
In the middle of the pod, a larger seal, coal black and shining, galumphed along barking and nudging at the rest. Oh, yes, he knew that one, too.
The seals stopped on the sand, bumping into one another, complaining and barking seal laughs. As if shot, they suddenly flopped over on their sides, while the larger one in the center reared up on his tail, a blue glow surrounding him. His flippers elongated. His tail began to separate.
Disturbing enough, if one had never seen such things, but the seals on the sand did something far more disturbing. The fur on their abdomens split in a neat line from chin to tail. The slits grew as the seals wriggled and squirmed, their skins wrinkling as if they were suddenly loose. Feet and hands emerged from the openings and the pod transformed into a group of selkies standing or kneeling to wriggle the rest of the way out of their sealskins.
The one in the center had no sealskin to shed, a lone pooka standing hipshot in their midst, watching their more arduous transformations with poorly concealed amusement.
“I could have devoured the lot of you by now.” Finn made a snapping motion at the nearest selkie, who reached over and smacked him on the back of the head.
“You could never, Fionnachd,” she said on a laugh. “You would talk us to death first.”
“And we’d be back in our skins and out to sea before you could even finish chewing on Limpet,” the tallest male added as he kicked sand at Finn.
Limpet, the youngest, made a strangled sound. “Me? Fionnachd would never…would you?”
He clutched his sealskin to his chest, black eyes huge in shocked recrimination. Lean and sleek like his pod mates, wild unruly hair the shifting color of waves falling to his waist, Limpet did his best to look wounded. He ruined it by snickering as he compressed his sealskin into as small a parcel as possible and tucked it into the little marsupial-like pouch of skin on the side of his right thigh.
“Never.” Finn ruffled his hair. “I would much rather eat Cerith, who has a bit of meat on his bones.”
Cerith pounced and knocked Finn to the sand, which only encouraged a selkie pile. All the wrestling kicked up more sand and Diego waited until they had expended enough energy to collapse into a giggling heap.

Tour Dates: June 2, 2014 – June 13, 2014
Tour Stops:
June 2: Tara Lain

 About the Author

While Angel Martinez is the erotic fiction pen name of a writer of several genres, she writes both kinds of gay romance – Science Fiction and Fantasy. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware, (and full time inside the author's head) Angel has one husband, one son, two cats, a changing variety of other furred and scaled companions, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.

Author Links:

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