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Posts Tagged ‘The Iron Warrior series’

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I’m thrilled to be chosen for an author spotlight on the UK internet publication Divine Magazine. Edited by acclaimed M/M author Susan MacNicol, it’s marketed to the GLBT community across the pond and here in the USA. You can to directly to the article where you’ll find other gay-centered authors, news, and entertainment:

https://divinemagazine.biz/author-spotlight-erin-oquinn/

….Or you can read it here, now. Or both!

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I created my pen name, Erin O’Quinn, because it reflected a life-long infatuation with Ireland. But my real name is Bonita Franks…“Bonita” because my father loved everything Hispanic! I was born almost on the side of a mountain in Nevada, a miner’s daughter. I never lost my fierce love for raw nature and the pioneer spirit, both of which show up in my work. Now retired, I live in a rural environment in Texas, surrounded by cats, cedars, and very wild flowers.

[So, what have you written?] and [How many books to your series?]

I have 37 titles—novels, novellas, and a few short stories—all but ten in the M/M genre of GLBTQ-themed lit. The following graphic shows those M/M works. To make for an easy grouping, I divide them into three sets: those centered in Ireland (9), Scotland (13), and Nevada (5).

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In four novels, I journeyed back into the “pre-history” of Old World Ireland and Scotland, back to the time of St. Patrick himself. One of those works is Stag Heart, my latest novel and the one I’m highlighting today.

Stag Heart is the natural follow-up to Warrior, Come Again—the story of five men who reluctantly return to Cambria, northern Britannia, in pursuit of something very personal. So you could say that my featured book is the fourth in a series, but it’s definitely a stand-alone.

[How has your writing evolved since your first book?]

My first gay lit effort was a two-series historical work I call “The Iron Warrior,” written for a publisher, for which the contract has since expired. When those two novels were freed from bondage late last year, I re-wrote, re-formatted and re-covered them; then I wrote a much-needed third novel and published all three of them with my own “company,” New Dawn Press. Those works are

Warrior, Ride Hard

Warrior, Stand Tall

Warrior, Come Again

Those first two books were rife with sex…what the publisher demanded…which I toned down when I held the editorial and publisher whip hand! By the time I wrote the third one last November, the sex had become only part of the tapestry, although of course central to the main characters’ odyssey. And when I penned Stag Heart (in the same universe) a few months go, I allowed the sexual content to be just as vital and yet not the driving force of the book.

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How else has my writing changed? I find I am much more lyrical, even sometimes poetic. I have evolved a keen ear for dialog, and a sharp eye for the natural world around my characters. Those “talents” have always been there in my writing; but now I strive for them—a certain cadence and rhythm, a subtlety of language missing in my early efforts.

The last important way I’ve changed is the use of humor. Oh, the comedic was always around. But now, every work is rife with irony and tongue-in-cheek humor.

[Five things people wouldn’t know about me] and [What places are on my Bucket List?]

Stepping back for a moment from the literary side of Erin O’Quinn, I thought I’d reveal a few deep, dark secrets about myself. 

I actually like spiders.

I cannot find my way on my own street.

I once sold Volvos and Saabs literally in a forest in Germany.

I taught college English for about five years.

My favorite job was driving a forklift and hauling pallets for a garden shop.

And l have a few places on my Bucket List, in no particular order:

Edinburgh, Scotland (the hub of my time-travel M/M novel Come Again, My Love)

Inishowen, Ireland (the crux of some early novels)

Stirling Castle, Scotland (especially the Unicorn Tapestries, which I’ve seen only in my novella The Unicorn’s Secret)

~oOo~

[What do you think makes your book stand out from the crowd?]

Today I want to talk about my most recent novel, Stag Heart. 

It’s definitely not a cookie-cutter kind of book. First, it’s set 1500 years ago, on Ireland’s sacred Hill of Tara. But the shenanigans and the intrigue are anything but sacred! What happens when a wilding, a natural soul, is thrown together with the bad-boy son of a king? What could go wrong…?

I managed to write this novel in three distinct voices, each man having his own pov in alternating chapters.

~Dub, an actual historical figure, is the warrior-scholar ollamh or wise man to Leary, a real historical high king in the mid-fifth century. He was baptized by Patrick himself and has a certain spiritual gravitas.

~Oisean, a complete innocent with the heart of a young wild animal, is the brother of Dub’s dead wife. He’s a young man whom Dub brought back to Tara at the end of Warrior, Come Again and who’s now living with Dub and his twelve-year-old son.

~Fergus is a drunk and a rogue, the youngest son of King Leary. Circumstances force him to train with Dub, to live in his household. And his sexual preference is clearly for his own—sex, that is!

The conflict (and tension) in the story is clear. Dub is tasked with training the king’s son. But the king’s son has a strong attraction to his brother-in-law, the wilding Oisean, against Dub’s express orders. And to make the conflict even more ironic—unknown even to him, Fergus is on a secret mission whose purpose is to assassinate Dub.

My biggest challenge in writing this novel was not just the juggling of three distinct points of view. The pov of Oisean had to reflect his unschooled, utterly alien understanding of the “civilized” world he’s now facing….and the unfamiliar pull of intense sexual excitement…in words that are simple yet evocative.

This brief excerpt may give a sense of Oisean, his way of seeing his  new world, and his confusion about the smoldering sexuality of another young man.

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~oOo~

Their eating ritual was different tonight. They ate where they sat, cross-legged in a circle, the same as always. But instead of taking up their food with their fingers, Dub showed them how to use a metal object to take it from the trencher to their mouth. 

Oisean understood without asking. Because of our guest.

The man named Fergus seemed to ask a bird-sky full of questions with his strange eyes, but he said nothing. Not wanting to stop the music that sounded sweet here, deep inside the heart place, Oisean stayed quiet also. But he could not take his eyes from their guest.

Fergus was shorter than himself, by half a hand. His hair seemed to shelter fire and sunbeams among the acorn-brown strands. From time to time, he pushed it from his brow with the thumb of his left hand. His shoulders did not show the same swells and ridges as his stag-brethren, and Oisean guessed he did not use his bow very often. His face was pleasant to look at, with its neat little nest of red-brown hair on his chin and his upper lip. Not very often, his mouth seemed to crook in an unwilling smile, like a child who knows not whether to laugh or cry.

How different he is from Drust, with his storm of hair…or Brenn, raven-black of eye and mind…or my other stag-brethren.

The guest kept his eyes on his food, but sometimes he looked up. When that happened, not once but twice, Oisean felt an arrow pierce his deepest core, lower than his belly…

His eyes were not just brown, but dappled like stones in a river bed—where flashes of gold and green and sable seemed to mingle and flare, like dancers before a ritual flame.

The second time, he dropped the metal thing in confusion. His thoughts had never been so…so full of dreams.

~oOo~

Thank you kindly for allowing me to take a  bow. You’ll find my social media and links to my works here:

Erin O’Quinn’s author pages:

Kindle US http://amzn.to/1w8PVgI

Kindle UK http://amzn.to/24BcIcj

*Queer Romance Ink http://bit.ly/2mnG1hL  (links, reviews, etc.)

Sea to Sky http://bit.ly/2lJ72bd (epub or pdf links, excerpts)

Smashwords http://bit.ly/1s3cf1q  (epub)

*QRI is the best because everything is there at a click. You just have to wait a few moments for the data to kick in!

StagHeartZonFinal copy

Facebook main page https://www.facebook.com/bonita.franks 

Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/ErinOQuinnEroticWriting/ 

Twitter https://twitter.com/erinoquinn_erin 

Blog “The Man in Romance” https://romancemanlove.wordpress.com

Blog “Ac´cent Gay Lit Authors” https://gaylitauthors.wordpress.com

Blog “Gaslight M/Mysteries” https://caitlinfire.wordpress.com

Novel Stag Heart, blurb:

What happens when an innocent, natural soul is thrown together with a highly attractive but morally corrupt young man?

Stag Heart tells the intertwined story of three men.

Dub is a scholar-warrior seeking inner peace in an often brutal world.

Fergus is the bad boy son of a king who needs to learn how to become a man.

Oisean is an innocent, a wilding whose soul stirs in rhythm with raw nature.

These three are forced by circumstance to live and learn and finally survive together on Ireland’s sacred Hill of Tara, where mischief and mayhem lie hidden by ancient stones.

An M/M historical romance fantasy-adventure

Purchase links:

It’s all here at QRI:  https://is.gd/bQK5lo  (all links, reviews, explicit excerpt)

~and~

Kindle US https://is.gd/G6elnN  

Kindle UK https://is.gd/ocon0O  

SeaToSky https://is.gd/MrfeiG (pdf or epub)

Smashwords https://is.gd/vU7yxi (epub)

 

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I realized today that many of my books are full of horses and ponies. All the early stuff, for sure—the YA series, and the Dawn of Ireland romances. The Iron Warriors. The cranky bachelor Flann O’Conall.

By the time I get to contemporary times, the men have pickups instead of ponies, sports cars instead of stallions.

I thought today I’d introduce you to a  young man named Wynn Talfryn, one of my Iron Warriors, by way of a spirited stallion.

To set the scene, from Book 2, Warrior, Stand Tall: Wynn is a 20-year-old Welshman, the lover of a 40-something former Roman soldier named Gristle. The men are on their way to Tara, the sacred home of the High King of Éire, so that Wynn can find some kind of retribution for what a couple of nasty-minded Druids have done to him in the first book. Once a trainer of ponies, Wynn finds that his lover may see him now through different eyes…

~oOo~

wynn horse 360Wynn was enjoying the sensation of a new stallion between his legs. It was the handsome, star-marked horse that Bleddyn had purchased when he arrived in Éire so that he could ride to Derry…

The stallion was a bay, a deep chestnut-brown with a mane and tail so black that they seemed to glint blue in the sunlight. A few inches above his dangerous tawny eyes there rode a white star that shone bright-white against the velvet-russet forehead. He had decided this morning to call him Seren, his own native word for “star.”

The handsome bay had been waiting for them in the byre when they had finished their supper the night before. Gristle had said nothing about him but had curried the stallion along with his own before they sought their room together. And then this morning, before their trek to Tara began, he and Gristle were standing in the unsteady light of a torch in the rough covered enclosure attached to the tavern.

“What do you think of Bledd’s horse?”

“I think he could stare down most men.”

Gristle’s mouth had risen subtly. “Meaning you like him?”

Ie. But he may be a one-man horse only.”

“I agree, Wynn. And that is why I hand you the reins.”

Wynn was dumbfounded. Bledd had given this handsome creature to his friend Gristle. And now Griss was clearly awarding the stallion to him.

He accepted the reins from Gristle and stood in front of the restive dark horse. Only a few shades lighter than Gristle’s own horse, Shadow, this beast was the same height—close to seventeen hands—and its eyes were even more shaded with peril, like those of his trainer.

“Griss, I, um, I cannot…”

w & spear-pizap.com13973170689905Gristle stepped closer to him and looked deep into his eyes.

“Take him, damn it, Wynn. You have shown your mettle. You have proved that no stallion is a match for you. Take the damn creature, and let us find the road north.”

Gristle had turned from him then and lifted his saddle onto Shadow’s back. Wynn found the stallion’s saddle and blanket and stood near its flank, caressing and talking. “Beauty, beauty. What is your name? Will your star guide me to Tara? Seren…star.”

He felt the ripple of powerful muscles in the flanks and withers, and then he stroked the long sensitive nose. Seren’s head dipped and tossed, his eyes showing white.

Wynn decided that he liked this creature very much. The stallion had a certain controlled fury, a hooded menace that reminded him strongly of his lover. Was Gristle telling him something deeply personal? If so, Wynn would find out soon enough. He dressed the stallion with Bledd’s discarded blanket and saddle.

Now, close to midday on the well-marked road to Tara, Wynn reached out and stroked Seren’s powerful neck. His fingers felt the tremor of finely-toned muscles that somehow accepted his touch. His thighs felt the new sensation of a wide, strong back, and he felt his cock stir a little with the unaccustomed contact.

Later that night, in their rude tent … As Gristle often did to him, he lay on his lover’s back and sucked and bit a spot near his shoulder, where no casual eye would see it. He tasted the salty zest of blood …

“How do you feel, Wynn?”

“Like a stallion,” Wynn whispered into his flesh. And then again in his ear, “Like a goddamned fucking stallion.”

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The Iron Warrior Series
Warrior, Ride Hard http://amzn.to/P2eRDO
In U.K. http://amzn.to/YxRtqv
Warrior, Stand Tall http://amzn.to/WoDkGS
In U.K. http://amzn.to/13WTTNF
On SirenBookStrand http://bit.ly/O7b5us

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A forty-year-old veteran Roman soldier. A twenty-year-old Welsh pony trainer. The story of their meeting, their coupling, their loss and re-discovery of each other, are told in The Iron Warrior series of historical M/M romances Warrior, Ride HardWarrior, Stand Tall…Warrior, Come Again.

In WARRIOR, STAND TALL the older man has been held captive beneath a dolmen, a kind of megalithic tomb near holy Tara in ancient Ireland. Going back there with his lover Wynn, he remembers his captivity.

~oOo~

dolmen 500As soon as they had walked into the chamber of stone, Gristle felt an echoing stillness. This is where he had lain, almost accepting death. Here is where the sky, a massive lintel stone, had pressed into his chest and weighed on his mind, bringing him close to the calm of oblivion.

He felt again the mote of his inner strength that had escaped his weak flesh. He saw it again in the eye of his mind, watched it waft on the moving air of his own breath. Some remnant of memory persisted as he looked at the cracks and shafts of light overhead. He had risen to one of those fissures. He had clearly seen through to the sward and the trees beyond, into, and past the bruising rain.

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Again he felt the keen joy of liberation, remembered hearing his own hoarse voice shout through the widening crack in the stone. “Fuck you! Fuck Fortuna!”

blond warriorHe turned to Wynn, the golden man who stood in a fawn-gold robe at his side. The red fox-fur trim at the neck picked up the brindled russet-and-blond of his flowing hair.

For a moment he was still speechless, as though crying to the implacable goddess had robbed him of his ability to speak, ever again. Finally, his voice escaped her grip.

“Wynn. This is perfect.”

Wynn had seen to it that this sepulcher became a warm, sheltering room. Their blankets, a source of light, his precious whetstone—all he really wanted were laid out as though in a wedding chamber, waiting for them to join in a new partnership.

Much later, when Wynn’s head was cradled in the hollow of his shoulder, Gristle marveled at how much this young man had brought him, in such a short period of time. Except for the scant eleven months with Tristus, he had spent forty years of his life in an empty room. It had been a room devoid of windows, harsh of floor, built of sharp angles and unyielding as flint.

He had known Wynn about six months. And out of that six months, he and Wynn had been physically together less than half that time. And yet even from the first hours after they had lain together, his world had begun to swell from the tiny, dark enclosure to this—this sun-raptured cosmos he called “love.”

… Wynn stirred in his arms.

“Gris.”

“I am here.”

“I need to take ye.”

Gristle’s throat erupted in a strange sound he barely recognized as a cough-like laugh. “You have already taken me. To a far, marvelous place. A place I never want to leave.”

“Nay. To take your alabaster ass.”

Before Gristle could react, Wynn became a maelstrom of flashing legs and strong, muscular arms, and Gristle found himself lying on his stomach on the tarred cloth. To his shame, he was breathing hard, while Wynn seemed fresh. Gristle inwardly cursed his recent wound.warriors crop to p

He felt Wynn’s new, cobweb-soft beard on the curves of his ass, and then the wet velvet of his tongue sliding up and down the crack. “Damn it, Wynn! Stop!” But even as he said it, his prick swelled and hammered against the cloth underneath. He spread his legs then, giving in to the unaccustomed jolts of pleasure that traveled up his ass and into his very gut.

Soon he was moaning and arcing his ass high, seeking Wynn’s questing tongue, relishing the sensation of his lover’s mouth sucking on his anus. He was in danger of climaxing, he knew. “Fuck me!” His voice sounded strangled, thick with need.
As if in instant response to his pleas, he felt the broad dagger that was Wynn’s ready cock slide into his ass. It was a shock, and it was a hot-cool craving that took his breath again. How could he let this—this stripling, this inexperienced lad—take him as though he were a yielding maiden? He fought against it, he struggled, he loved every moment of Wynn’s adamant prick taking him, thrusting into a place so deep he lost all sense of time and place.

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For 2018… The all-new re-releases are here:

http://amzn.to/2n3sTgh

 

The third in tbe trilogy is an all-new work, here:

Kindle US http://amzn.to/2n3ojQ7
Kindle UK http://amzn.to/2DAaJOs 
Sea to Sky (pdf or epub) http://bit.ly/2n1frcN
Smashwords (epub) http://bit.ly/2DDap0y

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