Okay, I love this post so much! Shira Anthony is here talking about two of my most favorite places…the ocean, and the Wilmington, NC area. She brought a fantastic guest post below, even including a picture of her boat, Prelude, and her upcoming adventure sounds amazing! On top of it, the upcoming series sound pretty darn great! So, check out her post, the beautiful cover, and let her know your thoughts!
The first step is the hardest. After a scandal, New York political reporter Reed Barfield is lying low at the North Carolina coast, writing a story about the seafood industry. But it’s the harbor pilots on the Cape Fear River who capture his interest—men who jump across ten feet of open ocean to grab a rope ladder and guide huge container ships into port. Men like sexy but prickly Justin Vance.
After surviving an abusive childhood and a tour in the Navy, Justin isn’t fazed by his dangerous job—it’s certainly easier to face than Reed’s annoying questions. Justin isn’t out at work, and he doesn’t need Reed digging into his personal life or his past.
But Reed’s no stranger to using his considerable charm to get what he wants, and as he wears Justin down, they realize they have a lot in common—and that they like spending time together. Moving beyond that, though, will mean Justin confessing his sexuality and learning to trust Reed with his secrets—if Reed even decides to stay. Both men want a future together, but can they find the courage to take the first step?
Title: The First Step
Series: Coastal Carolina
Author: Shira Anthony
Release Date: September 17, 2019
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase http://www.lcchase.com
My husband and I will be cruising for about two years aboard our 38 foot Admiral catamaran sailboat, Prelude, starting in December. The water is my Zen place, and the place where I’ve written a good deal of my books.
Over the years, I’ve imagined many stories set on the water. I’ve written mermen shifters in my Mermen of Ea Trilogy and even a story about a pirate movie being filmed at the Carolina Coast, Take Two. But the inspiration for my brand new series with Dreamspinner Press came from our many trips from Wilmington, North Carolina, down the Cape Fear River to Bald Head Island and beyond onto the Atlantic Ocean where we’ve come within a few dozen yards of the enormous container ships headed to and from the Port of Wilmington.
It was on one of those trips that I learned those immense vessels—some up to four football fields long!—aren’t sailed into port by their captains (or “masters,” as they’re called), but are guided by local pilots who meet the ships out in the middle of the ocean and climb from a small pilot boat, up a rope ladder, and onto the container ships to sail them into port.
River pilots, or harbor pilots, as they’re sometimes called, get paid a lot of money for their work. Why? Because it requires a great deal of skill to sail a boat the size of several city blocks up narrow channels and their apprenticeship can take years. Not only that, transferring from pilot boat to container ship in the middle of the ocean incredibly is dangerous work. Every year, pilots are injured or killed doing their jobs.
Learning about the harbor pilots and their treacherous work inspired my Coastal Carolina series, which focuses on the lives of men who live and work at the Carolina coast. The first book, The First Step, is the story of closeted harbor pilot Justin Vance and the New York City political beat reporter, Reed Barfield, who decides to write a story about the Cape Fear River pilots.
The First Step is a sexy romantic adventure set against the backdrop of the beautiful North Carolina Coast. Life on the edge of the Atlantic can be beautiful, but it can also be deadly, as Justin and Reed discover while their weather a major hurricane and its aftermath. I love the gorgeous cover L.C. Chase created for this first series book with its backdrop of a stormy ocean, a tiny pilot boat, and the huge shipping vessel.
I can’t wait for you to read The First Step and I hope you enjoy stepping into the shoes of the working men of North Carolina! The book is now up for preorder at Dreamspinner Press and releases in September. Here’s the link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/coastal-carolina-10779-s Until then, have a great summer and, if you see one a container ship sail past you while you’re enjoying your beach vacation, imagine the man or woman who is guiding her way! -Shira
Shira Anthony was a professional opera singer in her last incarnation, performing roles in such operas as Tosca, Pagliacci, and La Traviata, among others. You can hear Shira sing an aria from a live performance of Puccini’s Tosca by clicking here: “Vissi d’arte”
Shira’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle. When she’s not writing, she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children. Her favorite place to write is at the Carolina coast aboard Prelude, a 38’ catamaran sailboat, with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel.
Whether contemporary romance, high fantasy shifters, or time-traveling vampires, Shira writes what she loves and never writes a story without a HEA. Her Mermen of Ea trilogy book Into the Wind was named one of the best books of 2014 by both Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words and Hearts on Fire Reviews, and was a finalist in the 2014 Goodreads M/M Romance Member’s Choice Awards. Her Blue Notes series of classical-music-themed gay romances was named one of Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words’ best series of 2012, and the most recent book in the series, Dissonance, was named one of the best books of 2014 by Hearts on Fire Reviews. Her book A Solitary Man, coauthored with Aisling Mancy, won a 2016 Rainbow Award Honorable Mention for Best Gay Mystery/Thriller.
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