Giveaway + Blog Tour: Blyd and Pearce by Kim Fielding

Happy Release Day, Kim Fielding! Who's here today talking anti-heroes in support of her new Dreamspinner Press release, Blyd and Pearce! Find out more about this fantasy story, read an excerpt and be sure to enter for your chance to win The Bureau Vol 1 (Corruption, Clay White and Creature) in audio format! Good luck!

Hi! Kim Fielding here, and I’m so excited to be sharing my newest release—my 21st novel!—with you. Blyd and Pearce is a fusion of some of my favorite genres: m/m romance, medieval fantasy, and noir private eye. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Today I’d like to talk to you about heroes—specifically, the heroes of noir films and books. In case you’re not very familiar with the genre, let me give you some classic examples: Humphrey Bogart’s Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon, or his Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep. Harrison Ford as Deckard in Blade Runner. Fred MacMurray’s Walter Neff in Double Indemnity. Batman.

So what do these guys (and a very, very occasional gal) have in common? Let’s begin with this good description from a course at the University of Montana:

[The noir protagonist] is a loner, introverted, troubled, hard-boiled, pessimistic. He is not the conventional film hero, confident/exceptional/certain, but rather average and conventional, often is a war veteran or detective, and is defined by his ability to survive and restore normality.

Frank Miller, who created noir heroes in Sin City, said:

The noir hero is a knight in blood-caked armor. He’s dirty and he does his best to deny the fact that he’s a hero the whole time.

Interestingly, Raymond Chandler (who wrote noir stories as well as screenplays) had a sunnier outlook, although he was talking more about hard-boiled detectives in general:

Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. The detective in this kind of story must be such a man. He is the hero, he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world.

What can we glean from all of this? Our noir protagonist is an antihero, a flawed man who’s also better than the grim world he lives in. He smokes and he drinks. He’s not particularly handsome, although many of us may find him alluring. With a few exceptions (I’m looking at you, Batman), he’s not wealthy, and he doesn’t much care about fame or material possessions. He’s smart. Others may underestimate him. He has a bleak outlook and thinks of himself as a realist; he’s nearly always honest, often brutally so, even about his own shortcomings. He’s never sentimental and rarely emotional—although he may very well be sexually driven—yet he does have a firm code of ethics that probably doesn’t match conventional standards. He expects life to hit him hard, and it does, but then he gets back up again and keeps on fighting. Not because he expects anything good to come of it, but because doing what he thinks is right is all he’s got.

I was just chatting with Amy Lane, who knows way more about heroic archetypes than I do, and it occurred to me that the noir hero is a very close cousin of the Byronic hero. Consider Byron’s description of his pirate in The Corsair:

He knew himself a villain—but he deem'd
The rest no better than the thing he seem'd;
And scorn'd the best as hypocrites who hid
Those deeds the bolder spirit plainly did.
He knew himself detested, but he knew
The hearts that loath'd him, crouch'd and dreaded too.
Lone, wild, and strange, he stood alike exempt
From all affection and from all contempt

As you probably guessed, I love noir heroes—and they become even more interesting when they meet the femme fatale. Or in the case of Blyd and Pearce, an homme fatal.

Do you have a favorite noir hero? Please comment!


Born into poverty and orphaned young, Daveth Blyd had one chance for success when his fighting prowess earned him a place in the Tangye city guard—a place he lost to false accusations of theft. Now he scrapes out a living searching for wayward spouses and missing children. When a nobleman offers him a small fortune to find an entertainer who’s stolen a ring, Daveth takes the case.

While Jory Pearce may or may not be a thief, he certainly can’t be trusted. But, enchanted by Jory’s beauty and haunting voice, Daveth soon finds himself caught in the middle of a conspiracy. As he searches desperately for answers, he realizes that he’s also falling for Jory. The two men face river wraiths, assassins, a necromancer, and a talking head that could be Daveth’s salvation on their quest for the truth. But with everyone’s integrity in question and Death eager to dance, Daveth will need more than sorcery to survive.

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The narrow stairway rose steeply, each step creaking under our feet and taking us into increasing darkness. I smelled onions and fish—a bit strong, but better than my apartment’s odors—and blindly held on to the banister. It occurred to me that Pearce was in a good position to attack me, since I’d have trouble defending myself in the blackness of unfamiliar territory. But I wasn’t afraid of him. Maybe some of his enchantment lingered.
We climbed four flights to the top floor, where he unlocked another door. A few scattered spiritlights flared to life at once, but he lit two lanterns as well.
It wasn’t a large apartment, and the roof angled steeply on both sides so that he had to stoop a little when he hung his lute and midnight-colored cloak on a hook. Bright fabrics adorned the walls—silks and embroidered cottons—and a thick mat and pile of pillows were heaped in one corner. Rag rugs and pillows for seating covered the wide floorboards. The apartment held little else other than a dry sink, a few shelves, a little stand with a chamber pot, a painted wardrobe. But it was a cozy space, and two pottery vases of flowers squatted on the windowsill.
“Do you want some wine?” he asked.
It wasn’t what I expected, so I didn’t answer at once. “Uh, yes. Sure.”
He took a green glass bottle from the shelf, pulled the cork, and poured a red liquid into a pair of plain clay cups.
He was no longer wearing the gauzy silks he’d performed in, but his current outfit was hardly understated. Embroidered snakes—matching the bright blue of his chausses—trimmed a sunshine-hued tunic, and instead of sensible boots, he wore scarlet stockings and yellow slippers with curled, pointed toes. On another man, the clothing would have been gaudy, but it suited him well.
I remained near the closed door. With a tiny quirk to his lips, he prowled closer. He held out one cup of wine, which I took, and when I hesitated to drink, he took a dainty sip of his own. “It’s mediocre, I’m afraid.”
Not being able to distinguish good wine from bad, I swallowed a mouthful. It tasted fine to me.
“What shall I call you?” he purred, standing quite close. He was older than I’d thought, but the fine lines at the corners of his eyes didn’t make him any less beautiful.
“Daveth Blyd.”
“It’s a pleasure, Citizen Blyd.”
“I’m not a citizen.”
He tilted his head. “Oh?”
He wore a scent—something spicy and warm—that made my head swim. And his voice….
When I was newly signed on as a city guard, my duties had included carting my captain’s soiled uniforms to the laundry. It wasn’t one of my favored tasks. But she’d been a showy woman and had her capes trimmed not with dyed wool but with velvet. I’d rarely felt anything so soft, and I used to give the velvet surreptitious little pets as I carried her clothes.
Jory Pearce’s voice was like that velvet: soft and rich and plush. And, I reminded myself, expensive.

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Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.
After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.

Follow Kim:

Twitter: @KFieldingWrites


  1. I think both Ty and Zane (Cut and Run) would fit as noir heroes