Hello, all. I’m Jana Denardo, and Lane was nice enough to give me some time to talk to you all about my new novel, an urban fantasy called Kept Tears. When disabled veteran and grad student, Aaron Santori meets Rhys Edwards at a steampunk party, things take off. What Aaron couldn’t even begin to imagine is that Rhys is actually Prince Myrddin of the Tylwyth Teg, a type of Welsh Faerie.
While Aaron brings all the realism of the story with him, along with his fears and shyness over the damage the war did to his body, Rhys brings the magic. He is Aaron’s polar opposite. He has all the confidence and a touch of arrogance to go along with being a handsome prince. However, he is used to sacrifice, often spending decades away from his homeland to ensure none of the fae abuse the non-magic using humans.
Unlike Aaron, who is a bit hesitant in staring a new relationship, Rhys is more than happy to throw himself into it with all his being. His only, brief, worry is that Aaron is human and therefore, short-lived, while the Teg live for centuries. Rhys has been down this road before, even appearing to age along with his lover in the past. He’s more than willing to do so again as he falls hard for Aaron.
What Rhys couldn’t have anticipated was his own frustrations and feelings of helplessness over not being able to magically repair Aaron’s life. He worries over his ability to convince Aaron that his injuries don’t make him unattractive to Rhys and over what Aaron might think when he learns Rhys is bisexual. Worse, one of his biggest nightmares comes true; one of the Unseelie faeries, the Dark Side so to speak, has come to Earth to make his life miserable. He’s not sure he can keep Aaron safe from his one-time friend turned bitter enemy. Things really start the fast slide into disaster when Aaron learns what Rhys really is and all of his secrets come bubbling up to the surface, threatening any chance of happiness.
Rhys and Aaron were a lot of fun to write. While Aaron allowed me to showcase some of the very real challenges some returning veterans face, Rhys allowed me to weave in the magic. I hope you enjoy it, if you check it out and thanks again to Lane for allowing me this time with you.
“Okay, I’ve told you a little bit about me growing up. Your turn.”
Aaron didn’t answer right away. He glanced out over the river. Rhys had sprung for lunch at the Rivers Casino, and they had a seat in the courtyard along the water. He’d even brought along forty dollars he didn’t really have so he could play the slots. If money got tight later, well, that was the tax on being stupid. Deciding he couldn’t put the question off forever, he turned back to Rhys. “It’s hard for me to talk about life before the injury.”
“You don’t have to if you don’t want.” Rhys took a sip of his beer.
Aaron eyed the pigeon that hopped around their table hopefully. “Dr. Gwozdek wants me to, and you deserve to know. Let’s see, I grew up outside of Pittsburgh in the country, not all that far from the amphitheater. The only thing that kept me from getting beaten up as a geek on a daily basis was sports.”
“Tell me about being a geek.”
Aaron rolled his eyes. “Surely someone who writes fantasy books is familiar with the paradigm. I like Star Trek, superheroes, and comic books. Yes, I have dressed up as Spock and left the house in costume.”
“Spock? Not Kirk?” Rhys grinned. “You seem pretty dominant and commanding in a good way to me.”
Aaron flushed and took a hurried swallow of his beer to cover how easy it was to make him blush. “Thanks. I love science, so Spock and Data were where it was at. I was always the one going over the top with school science projects. I wish I was as smart as some of the kids I’ve seen inventing amazing things.”
“You’re plenty smart.” Rhys tapped his wrist.
Aaron glanced down at Rhys’s hand and back up. “Maybe, but I’m not tremendously inventive. I’m getting better since what I’m into now is forcing me to think along those lines. I wanted to be a doctor, though. I suppose I still could in a way, but I would struggle too much with certain medical rotations, and as good as this hand is, it’s not good enough for that sort of thing. Or maybe it is and I’m just afraid to try. I don’t think medical school is a good fit for me right now.” Aaron stared at the prosthesis, trying to ignore the throb in his wrist he got whenever he thought too hard about it.
Having left most of his arm and his self-confidence behind in the Afghanistan desert, young veteran Aaron Santori has enough on his plate learning to use his prosthetic arm. Attending graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh makes life both interesting and challenging. Mentally, he’s ill prepared for meeting Rhys Edwards, a young-adult novelist from Wales and everything Aaron could want in a man. Between the scars from the explosion and his PTSD, he’s reluctant to date. Ready or not, though, Aaron finds himself jumping into the deep end of the relationship waters.
What Aaron couldn’t possibly know is that Rhys isn’t human at all. As a prince of the Tylwyth Teg, Rhys is fae, with a list of enemies he’s accumulated over the past few centuries—among them a former lover, Morcant, who is back to make Rhys’s life miserable. An unwitting pawn in their Machiavellian fae politics, Aaron only knows he’s falling in love, never suspecting love might be his death sentence.
Buy it here – Ebook – http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4658
Jana Denardo’s career choices and wanderlust take her all over the United States and beyond. Much of her travels make their way into her stories. Fantasy, science fiction, and mystery have been her favorite genres since she started reading, and they often flavor her works. In her secret identity, she works with the science of life and gives college students nightmares. When she’s not chained to her computer writing, she functions as stray cat magnet.
Jana is Queen of the Geeks (her students voted her in) and her home and office are shrines to any number of comic book and manga heroes along with SF shows and movies too numerous to count. There is no coincidence the love of all things geeky has made its way into many of her stories. To this day, she’s still disappointed she hasn’t found a wardrobe to another realm, a superhero to take her flying among the clouds or a roguish star ship captain to run off to the stars with her.