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Pyresnakes by Tray Ellis

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Hello readers! My name is Tray Ellis and I’m excited to be here today for the opportunity to discuss my new story Pyresnakes, available starting on June 28th through Dreamspinner Press.

Here is my gorgeous cover, by the talented artist Christine Griffin, which contains so many important elements of the story itself, and definitely lets you know this is going to be adventurous as well as amorous:

Pyresnakes is available through Dreamspinner Press:


And here’s the Pyresnakes story summary to get you up to speed:

There is another world existing alongside the one most see everyday, and although it is a place of magic and wonder, the dangers are very real.

Aran, an artist, grew up on his grandmother’s tales of the Side-by-Side world. He never expected his knowledge of folklore would aid his boyfriend, Brandon, in an arson investigation, but the snakes that burst into flames when agitated are something he recalls from those childhood stories.

When Aran vanishes, Brandon knows his time as a State Trooper won’t help find him, so he enlists the aid of Aran’s grandmother, Ruth, and they venture into the Side-by-Side world.

But Aran has no memory of his life prior to crossing between worlds, and he’s enjoying the company of his handsome new companion, Ren. Even if Brandon and Ruth reach him, convincing him to return to his former home won’t be easy. In a contemporary fairy-tale adventure set among forests and trails, Aran must choose between a mystical fantasy world and the man he loves.


Falling in love can be really difficult to do.  There needs to be a spark with the right person and a rushing, burning desire that draws two people closer and closer in mutual attraction. Staying in love can be even more difficult. Finding and keeping mutual respect, honesty, laughter, and that indefinable compatibility of personalities can be challenging.

It becomes even more challenging when the circumstance pulling two people in different directions is something unusual. Like when Aran steps into the Side-by-Side and loses his memory of the lover he’s left behind. The separation this causes between Aran and Brandon is the crux of the danger between them. It is both a physical separation and one of abilities. Aran can go where Brandon can’t follow.

This is one of the components of Pyresnakes that I really love and I like to talk about. This isn’t a falling in love story. It’s a story about two people who are already in love and how they react to the situation they find themselves in.  Staying in love, particularly under extraordinary circumstances, requires a lot of faith and hard work.

Brandon does everything he can to save his love, breaking rules he doesn’t even know exist in his pursuit. He desperately wants to rescue Aran. He’s confronted with uncomfortable truths that make him question if bringing Aran back to their world is the right choice. The question for him becomes is his love strong enough to let Aran go if that’s the right thing.

Aran struggles with the loss of his memory.  He doesn’t realize who he’s left behind.  The more he explores the wondrous new world he’s in, the more he comes to love it. What choice will he make when he learns that he has left behind someone he’s loved dearly? Is the Side-by-Side too enrapturing to leave?

These aren’t easy questions. Because it is a story about two people who already have a sturdy, steady devotion between themselves, the story delves a little more deeply into different issues on the subject of love. There is still that adrenaline-fraught, breath-holding aspect of romance, but it comes along at a less common angle.




Brandon rubbed his fingers over Aran’s wrists and forearms, grateful to be out of the house and that his nightmare image of the scrub-fields burning had been avoided. Brandon pressed a chaste kiss against Aran’s throat, content they were both safe. He breathed in the scent of pine and water and licked Aran’s neck before bestowing another kiss, this one having nothing to do with chasteness.

“You know the fire chief is going to show up even faster if you start something,” Aran warned, but he didn’t push Brandon away.

“I can wait until I get you to that bed-and-breakfast,” Brandon promised. “But then all bets are off. Life and death emergencies make me want to appreciate the good things in life.” He said it off-the-cuff, but he could not entirely mask the sting behind his words. He’d seen bad things happen, and he’d nearly plummeted down into that bitter place where he believed the world peeled away to reveal nothing but endless layers of darkness and shadow.

“I think I can show you some of the good things in life,” Aran replied, a wicked tone to his words. He pressed soft kisses against Brandon’s hairline. “You smell like a campfire,” Aran whispered. “I kind of like it.”




Tray Ellis grew up across from an empty field, where she spun a lot of imaginary adventures, helping to prepare her for a lifetime of writing. When she isn’t writing, she stays active by hiking, cooking, stacking the odd cord of wood in the shed, baking, and being too busy to keep her home in any semblance of order. Currently she tries to find a balance between the logical way she thinks and the flights of fancy she often daydreams about. Mostly, the daydreams are winning.




Twitter: @TrayEllisWrites


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