Title: RAVEN (#2 Elsewhere series)
Author: HJ Perry
Publisher: LoveLight Press
Release Date: December 6, 2017
Genre/s: Gay Fantasy/Paranormal Shifter Romance
Length: approx. 40k words.
Raven is a hot and steamy gay fantasy with a guaranteed Happy Ever After and no cheating.
It is book two in the new Elsewhere series featuring powerful men who are not of this world.
There’s more to life than books.
Antisocial bookworm Caspian hopes to reconnect with nature and find his inner child when he takes on the task of exploring the woods around Beaumont. Or at least he’ll find a new place to curl up with his eReader.
There are birds.
After rescuing an injured bird who miraculously heals within minutes, at night Caspian has vivid and erotic dreams, which he doesn’t want to wake up from.
And there’s the Prince of Ravens.
Birds haunt him in the daytime, and a particular man haunts his dreams. The connection is far greater than Caspian can imagine…
Mate, and it’s for life.
From another world, the Raven Prince can take bird or human form, but he takes only one lover. As a human of our land, it’s difficult for Caspian to grasp that soulmates bond for life.
A shrill squawk distracted Caspian’s attention from the trail mix he’d just opened. Instinctively, he turned toward the sound but, of course, could see nothing but dense woodland.
Enjoying the natural beauty of the forest, he’d decided to sit for a moment on a moss-covered mound surrounded by ancient gnarled trees, twisted into spooky shapes. It was his second day housesitting for Dr. Kilpatrick, and his second trip into the forest. He hadn’t walked far from the house when he’d stumbled on the beautiful spot.
For a second, he entertained the idea of curling up on the velvety-soft moss in the clearing and relaxing in the dappled sunlight, which broke through the canopy overhead. He might even pull out a book to read, having about a thousand titles in his backpack.
He went nowhere without his eReader.
Under the cool cover of the trees, Caspian appreciated the relief from the powerful sunlight that would burn his skin if he sat out for an hour. Sunlight so bright, it would reflect harshly off the paper pages of real books. Mostly, he simply liked the slightly cooler temperature within the forest, especially as he hadn’t yet got the air conditioning installed in the upstairs bedroom windows. Last night had been too hot for words. He could take a nap right here.
The urge to curl up with a thousand books didn’t last for long, though.
He’d sat a mere matter of minutes before hearing the noise. The continued squawking disturbed the peaceful beauty. It grew bolder and louder, and seemed near, although he couldn’t tell for sure.
As a townie by background, Caspian was unused to how sounds traveled through the trees. He didn’t need a rural upbringing, though, to recognize the sound of not one but several birds becoming more frantic. Urban-bred city boy he may be, but when he was much younger, Caspian had been an enthusiastic ornithologist. Getting out of town, into the parks and open spaces to watch birds whenever he could, was once a hobby he’d loved. Although, that had been ten years ago or more, and so his factual recall on all things bird related was undoubtedly a little rusty.
His interest in bird watching waned in his teenage years when school studies became more intense. And there were many other extracurricular distractions through the puberty years, from video games to pop music to boys.
Curious about what was making the din, Caspian closed the bag of trail mix and set out to investigate the noise that he couldn’t ignore.
He picked his way slowly and carefully through the trees, hoping not to disturb whatever was going on. He was certainly no expert, yet he sensed that such a continued ruckus in the forest wasn’t normal. The hum of cicadas and the chirp of songbirds? Sure. But this noise wasn’t birdsong. Something out there distressed the birds.
Caspian followed the commotion, and before long, he wandered into a tiny clearing. At the bank of one of the still ponds clustered a congress of ravens. Corvids, as he’d suspected, by the sounds of them. Good to know he hadn’t forgotten everything about birds. Though he hadn’t tapped into that knowledge for more than a decade, his recall may not have been so rusty as he’d thought.
There had to be at least fifteen or twenty ravens, at a quick guess. With black feathers ruffled and reflecting the sunlight, they hopped, skipped, and squawked at the water’s edge, distressed about something. There were so many of them, Caspian couldn’t get a read on the cause of their concern.
Cautiously, he approached.
The water of the pond glimmered in the sunlight, its surface disturbed now and then by the passage of water striders. Tall grass grew along one side of the bank. If it weren’t for the unholy raucous of the ravens, it would be a perfectly peaceful place to relax. The forest seemed full of such magical spots.
The ravens soon noticed him. They all turned and stared at him, their dark eyes severe.
He knew them as carrion birds. Even if he didn’t know the mythology surrounding them as bad omens associated with death, the very look of them brought all of those things to mind. With sharp beaks and brutally curved claws, they appeared menacing.
One rose up and batted its wings in front; its squawking grew shrill.
Calmingly or defensively, or perhaps intending both, Caspian raised his hands with palms outward and took a step back. “Whoa, it’s okay.” He swallowed hard. “Sorry. If you want me to, I’ll just…you know, just leave.”
The nearest ravens hopped toward him, feathers puffed and beaks closed.
As they moved away from the group, Caspian was able to get a glimpse of what lay at the heart of the kerfuffle.
A fallen raven lay on the bank of the pond. One of its wings went out at an unnatural angle; the other lay spread out so the tip dipped into the water.
Caspian frowned. He had no idea if the ravens had done that to the injured bird or if the injuries were unrelated, but either way, it was in bad shape. Birds with broken wings were quickly eaten by predators or died from starvation. If he walked away now, the bird on the bank of the pond would die.
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HJ Perry is a 49 years old mother of three school aged children. They live by the English seaside and from her hometown she can see France. Helen loves reading. If it were possible, she’d do nothing else. She reads science fiction, fantasy, young adult, all types of LGBT fiction, and, of course, gay romance. Aside from reading she likes walking and watching films, most often science fiction or thrillers.
HJP has written many books about men falling in love in England where, for the most part, LGBT people are treated with the same respect as anyone else. Having worked in the construction industry for years in real life, she has written many fictional characters working in similar macho, male dominated environments.
Despite reading American books and watching American shows, writing American characters has been a huge challenge for her. With a lot of help, Rescued from Paradise is her first novel featuring Americans and set in the US.
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