Thursday, May 19, 2011

Release Day for Fire of the Four Seasons

Yes, it's finally here. Fire of the Four Seasons is officially out, my second Russian twisted fairy tale. My babies are all grown up and ready to be... well, read :D. Check it out if you haven't done so!





A slave of his sister Eva’s whims, Alexei is shocked when, in the process of getting her a gift, he meets four men who sweep him of his feet. Zimah, Visnah, Lyetah and Ohsyn are unlike anyone Alexei has ever met. They control the power of the seasons, and they agree to help Alexei. Their affection and generosity soon morph into passion and love, and Alexei allows himself to surrender to desires he had kept hidden for many years.

But when Eva’s unreasonable requests continue, Alexei refuses to take advantage of his men’s magic once again. His decision sets him, his sister and his lovers on a course of events that leads secrets of the past to be revealed. The hidden fire inside Alexei is about to burst out, and the love of the four seasons may not be able to extinguish it.




"But, Mama, where am I to find violets in January?” Alexei asked.

“Go to the forest,” she suggested. “I hear there’s a grove at the very edge. Folk say flowers grow sometimes, in spite of the cold.”

Alexei gaped at her. How could she ask him to brave the icy winter through a peril-filled forest, all for a whim of his sister’s? Did she not love him at all?

Disheartened, Alexei nodded and obeyed. What else could he do? When his mother decided something, no one but Igor could make her change her mind, and even Igor had a difficult time.

He set out one more time, this time riding in the opposite direction. He knew his way there well, as he often went to the forest to gather firewood or fruit. Of course, this was the first time he’d actually come here during winter.

At last, the forest loomed ahead. Alexei idly noted it looked very different than he remembered it. A few months back, its lush and verdant vegetation welcomed Alexei. Now, the leaves had all fallen, and just snow covered the trees.

Still, the woods provided a welcome change to the extent that the winds no longer beat Alexei so heavily. Acknowledging the treacherous path, he rode slower. He had no idea where he needed to go. Even if he knew these woods well, he’d never heard of the grove Elga mentioned. Other than the vague indications his mother had given him, he just followed his instinct and hoped for the best.

Onward he went for the longest time. Finally, just as he started to consider returning home, he saw something ahead. A grove, just like his mother had said. Four tall standing stones rose in the center, the only change in the sea of white. Alexei could see no flowers, no violets, nothing. His tiredness turned into sheer hopelessness, and a heavy chill started to take over his limbs.

His eyes began to close, and Alexei struggled against the weariness. Unavoidably, he lost the battle, and his grip on the horse’s reins. He slipped off the animal, and expected falling into the snow, perhaps to his death. Instead, he fell into someone’s arms. “Easy there, young man,” a male voice said. “Be careful.”

Alexei’s vision swam for a few seconds, but as the dizziness faded, the sight that met his eyes shocked him beyond belief. The man holding him had hair as white as the pure snow and icy blue eyes, just like Eva. The resemblances stopped there, as Alexei felt a very strong and warm male body against him. The chill ran off as if it had never been, replaced by pure heat.

“What are you doing here?” another voice said. Alexei looked over his rescuer’s shoulder and caught sight of a second man. Alexei couldn’t be certain, but he thought his eyes and hair were green as grass. Who in the world had green hair? The second man lay reclining against one of the stones, his gaze filled with a peculiar warmth.

To Alexei’s surprise, he realized two other men waited in similar positions. The third one gave Alexei an amused look, his bright blond hair and amber eyes seeming to shine in the wane light. “I’m guessing his sister is being troublesome again. Isn’t that right, Alexei?”

At last, Alexei found his voice. “How do you know my name? And how do you know about Eva?”

The fourth man chuckled, brushing his red hair of his face. His penetrating brown gaze analyzed Alexei with interest. “We know many things.”

Freaked out, Alexei began to struggle in his captor’s hold. The white-haired man released him, and Alexei immediately felt the loss. He struggled not to let it show and found refuge next to his horse. “Who are you people? What do you want?”

“I believe we asked you that first,” the white-haired man said. “But since we do have the advantage of knowing your identity, we’ll introduce ourselves. I’m Zimah.”

The second man got up and bowed courteously. “Visnah.”

The blond also shot to his feet and began to head toward Alexei. “Lyetah.”

“And I am Ohsyn,” the last man said, also making his way to Alexei. “Now, can you answer the question?”

Alexei realized he was being very rude. After all, these men most likely saved him from death. Clearly, they weren’t common people. He didn’t know if they were pulling his leg with those names, since he’d never known anyone called “spring,” “summer,” “autumn,” and “winter.” But at this point, anything was possible. And Alexei found he felt safe here, in this grove, just talking with these strange men.

“Eva wanted violets,” he replied. “I couldn’t find any at the market, so my mother sent me out here. She said there’s a place where flowers grow in spite of it being winter.”

Zimah hummed, sounding thoughtful. “Time is this way for a reason,” he answered. “Can’t she wait?”

“Apparently not,” Alexei replied.

Visnah smiled at him. “Well, we can provide the violets easily enough.”

“But on one condition,” Zimah added.

“What condition?” Alexei inquired, almost afraid to ask.

“Nothing much,” Zimah replied. “We just require a kiss, one for Visnah and one for me.”



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