A Harmony of Fire and Earth has been out in the world for one year today! I thought it might be fun to mark the day with a giveaway. Comment below for a chance to win an ebook of A Harmony of Fire and Earth or of the first book in the series, A Dance of Water and Air, if you'd prefer. I'll pick a winner in a week.
About A Harmony of Fire and Earth
Rhys is a commoner and wielder of Earth magic. He and his sister have made a living from the use of their magic for years and have become highly respected in scholarly circles, though he prefers a more simple life with his plants. When a message from Prince Arden reaches them asking for their help, they don’t hesitate. They stop only to request that Gaz, a strong Fire wielder and the man Rhys has long been enamored of, accompany them on the journey to Thalassa’s royal palace.
What no one knows is that Gaz was once known as Prince Gareth of Thalassa and is Edmund’s younger brother, long believed dead. He fled his home after his Fire Affinity made itself known and put him in danger, and he had no intention of ever going back. But he can’t keep himself from going to his brother’s aid, despite the risk of discovery and of the weight of his secrets potentially crushing his fledgling relationship with Rhys.
Working against time, they must find a way to come together in a magical working the likes of which none of them has ever imagined, or their homelands will surely burn.
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“So we probably won’t be seeing you for a while, then,” Gaz said after a few moments. They were strolling, despite the chill. Rhys didn’t envy his friends their ride home in the dark. “Since you want to get home before the worst of winter sets in.”
“We don’t really want to have to travel then, so probably not.” As much as he regretted it. There was nothing to say they couldn’t travel, but Aither’s winters meant a lot of snow, even here in the foothills, and it wasn’t pleasant to try to get through it, even though he wanted to see his friends. “It’s best for us to go directly home from this last job.”
“And you miss your greenhouses.” Gaz was smiling when he said it, the look almost fond.
“I suppose I do.” Both Rhys and Briallen were Earth Affinities, but his was far more in tune with plants—growing them and strengthening their healing and magical properties, as well as doing some healing himself. So, yes, he did hate having to leave his plants in the care of others. Winter gave him time to tend the greenhouses and experiment, tasks he found both soothing and fulfilling.
“No shame in that. It’s part of who you are. You should do what you’re passionate about. We all should.” Gaz’s voice was quiet but intense.
Rhys turned to him as they stopped near the stables, just outside the circle of lantern light near the door. He watched Gaz for a moment, nerves making his stomach churn. Could he do this? “And what if what I want to do is kiss you?”
Gaz’s indrawn breath was sharp and loud in the quiet of the night. “Do you?”
“It might not be a good idea.”
“I know. But it might be a very good idea too.” Laughing a little, Gaz shook his head.
“Do you not want me to kiss you? If so, just say, and I’ll never mention it again.” He silently recited every prayer he knew that Gaz wouldn’t say it.
“It isn’t that I don’t want you to. It’s just—”
Rhys didn’t let Gaz finish, and maybe that was wrong. He didn’t even consciously make the decision to close the distance—only a step or two—between them and press his lips to Gaz’s. It was a whisper of a kiss at first, light and soft. But Rhys was stunned to be kissing Gaz after all this time. Just that fact was glorious.