This month at Lethe sees the release of Ice On Fire by Dan Stone. The sequel to the Lambda Award Finalist The Rest Of Our Lives, Ice On Fire returns to the enchanting romance between Colm McKenna and Aidan Gallagher. You can buy the book here, and as a bonus this month, if you buy Ice On Fire in paperback now, you also receive The Rest Of Our Lives completely free.
Read an excerpt:
We both must have dozed off again. I opened my eyes to find the room still dark, and I felt the initial confusion of waking up in unfamiliar surroundings, unable at first to make out any of the shapes in the shadows. Aidan was unusually still beside me. I held my breath for a few seconds until I could hear his soft, reassuring inhale and exhale. We had burrowed back under the covers, and I felt the weight of the comforter on my legs and the warmth of his back even though we weren’t touching.
My eyes were still adjusting to the darkness when I saw a faint glow in the far corner of the room, near the large window overlooking Lakeshore Drive and the inland ocean that is Lake Michigan. I thought at first it must be the sunrise pushing through the heavy curtains, but as I blinked a few times and sat up slightly, I could tell that this glow—still just the faintest illumination—was not coming from outside. It was something in the corner of the room and it was moving. Approaching. Even more unsettling, I realized as it drew closer and the light shifted that something was in the room with us, and it was coming toward the bed.
I reached toward Aidan to wake him but stopped short of actually touching him. I started to speak but something gentle yet persuasive held me still. The figure was now at the side of the bed, and the dim light around it brightened enough for me to see a woman standing beside me, looking into my eyes.
The light radiated from her as well as surrounded her, soft but bright enough for me to see her fair complexion, the waves of dark red hair around her shoulders set on fire by the light, and her dark, shining eyes. Her presence was striking. Forceful but still, it was somehow familiar. She smiled slightly as she put a slim finger to her lips, urging me to remain silent.
I realized she was holding something in her arms. She stood motionless beside the bed for a few moments, smiling a familiar, enigmatic smile, the light making a fiery halo of her hair, her dark eyes mysterious with incredible warmth and power but, again, familiar.
She slowly leaned over me, again putting a finger to her lips, and I thought I saw her glance briefly at Aidan beside me. I started to sit up, but she shook her head as she gently placed the bundle in her arms in the space between Aidan and me on the bed. I couldn’t tell what it was, only that it was warm and wrapped in soft layers of cloth.
I looked up at her and she smiled and nodded. I felt again this distinct impression that I knew her. Suddenly soft currents of air rose in the room, warm and cool breezes that I immediately recognized as the gentler versions of the North and South winds that were Aidan’s and my companions and part of our magick. The breezes stirred and the halo of light around the woman’s face grew brighter until I could no longer clearly see her eyes or her features. I looked down at the soft bundle in the bed between my sleeping boyfriend and me, and an infant’s wide-open eyes stared up at me.
I jumped out of the dream and up in our bed with a gasp that should have awakened the notoriously light sleeper beside me. But Aidan’s eyes were closed, his lips in their usual slightly parted nighttime position. Whatever movement or sounds I’d made, my oblivious boyfriend was still sleeping. Like a baby.
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