Countdown to Contact

Happy Wednesday Scribblers. Can you believe that there are only five days until my aliens (the Nentraee) land in their debut novel A New World-Contact. Do you want to learn about their clans? What about getting a handle on their language? Click here for the nentraee clan info and here for the nentraee language info. I have been working on this novel and this series for more years then I care to admit. The idea for A New World-Contact started as a family drama back when I was twenty-five and has morphed into what will be release on January 21, 2019. It should be epic.

As part of my launch festivities over the next several weeks I will be doing various blog tours, interviews, and appearances. Here is a schedule of what has been confirmed as of this posting:

On Saturday January 26, 2019 I will take over QueerRomance Ink’s Facebook page (find it here) come hang out from 10am – noon (PST). So, if you’re around please check in, say hello, and stay for a while. I’ll answer questions about the novel, the series, and the characters. I’m looking forward to chatting with folks and, of course, there will be giveaways to be won.

Beginning Monday January 28, 2019 and ending on Friday February 1, 2019 I will stop by a new Blog each day and share info about A New World-Contact and the characters that live in that universe. Here is the schedule and where to find blogs and me:

January 21, 2019 – MM Good Book Reviews find them here.

January 29, 2019 – Love Bytes Reviews find them here.

January 30, 2019 – The Blogger Girls find them here.

January 31, 2019 – Queer Sci Fi find them here.

February 1, 2019 – Bayou Book Junkie find them here.

Early February I will, again, be a guest on OutLook Video. I’m thrilled to have been invited back and I’m looking forward to sharing more about A New World-Contact with them and you. Find OutLook Video here and the backlog of episodes here on CreaTV.

On February 8, 2019 I will be over with Vance and Baz on the WROTE Podcast. Those guys are amazing and you never know what we’ll be talking about, so don’t miss it. Here is where you can find WROTE Podcast.

February 21, 2019 will be the official launch party for A New World-Contact. As with last years launch of The Calling this event will be held in downtown San Jose at the Axis Building, Lobby Lounge (38 N. Almaden Blvd., San Jose CA) from 6pm – 9pm. If you will be in the area drop by, it should be a lot of fun. I will have books for sale and I’ll be signing them of course. Who knows maybe there will be a few special announcements. For more information on the launch party please check out my Facebook Page here.

You can still preorder A New World-Contact from my publisher NineStar Press here and you will get it three days early (January 18, 2019).

Well Scribblers there is a lot happening over the next month and beyond. Until next time have a great week. If you have questions or would like more info about any of the events I have planned please let me know in the comments below.

Interview with Fellow NineStar Author Riina Y.T.

This week I’m thrilled to have fellow NineStar Author Riina Y.T. here on my Scribbles Page to have a sit down about her new novella Paradise Lodge.

Before we jump into that, I want to remind you all that I’m participating in an event on Facebook called 12 Days of Christmas Book Buying Event. It’s a great way for you to learn about new authors and new books. It’s like having a Personal Book Shopper. You go onto the event page. Post what kind of books you like and how much you want to pay and authors pitch you their books. It’s easy and there is no pressure to buy anything. It’s a great way to find new books you may have never heard of or found otherwise. So check it out here.


Before we jump into learning more about your new novella, tell us a little about yourself, something not in the bio:

If this would be a real life interview, you would have gotten to meet Yuuko, my seven-year-old toy poodle. We’re together 24/7.

Ah, I love dogs. I miss having them in my life.

She’s the best part of my life. I’m a management assistant for an electronic engineering company. Snacks are only real snacks if they’re sweet. I’m not a fan of pasta but I wish I could have authentic Ramen (karai yasai!) with Gyouza or Kitsune Udon every day!

I see you live in Germany. I had the pleasure of living there as an Exchange Student and I’ve gotten to return on business. How did you end up living there?

Student exchanges are such a fantastic way to get to know a different country and grow as a person! I was actually born and raised in Germany. When I turned twenty-one I spent one year in the US, one in London, England and then nearly two years in Tokyo, Japan. I’m back home in Germany with my family now.

I have to ask, how, and to whom, did you lose your heart in Tokyo? (It so happens to be one of my favorite cities as well so I’m curious).

Isn’t Tokyo just breathtaking?

It really is and the people are amazing. I can’t wait to go back.

I’ve been fascinated by Japan since I did a presentation about it in high school. I’ve been listening to J-pop/rock and V-kei since my teenage years as well. In 2010 I moved to Tokyo for nearly two years and they were the most incredible months of my life! There is a guy, too, of course there is, ha! He’s unreachable and I could only admire from afar but deep down I know there’ll never be anyone like him for me. That’s the dreamer in me talking, but hey, it’s been ten years since my first trip to Tokyo and I’ve yet to meet someone more amazing.

That is so cool. Now moving on, what got you into the writing world?

Back in 2009 my closest internet friend and I started writing (MM) fan fiction. Over the course of three years we've collected nearly three hundred drabbles and short stories as well as a few novellas, most of them starring our favorite Japanese pop band. When I discovered the fantastic MM romance community, and all the original fiction focusing on LGBTQ+, I was in awe. It was like finding a piece of your life you didn’t know was missing. I took a break from writing but eventually went back to it, only this time I'm creating my own characters.

That is amazing. I also see you offer book reviews as well, so I have to ask, which do you find easier; writing or reviewing?

Writing, because I can do whatever I want with my guys. I like the freedom it gives me. Reviewing feels a lot like schoolwork. There is a lot of pressure behind it for me.

I agree writing is a lot more fun. I don’t mind doing reviews, but it’s difficult.

Jumping over to your new novella Paradise Lodge where did the idea come from? What excited you about writing this story?

Ky has been on my mind for a couple years now, I've wanted to give him a story for so long. I listen to a lot of British pop, especially boy bands. It puts me in a good mood. When I was brainstorming possible scenarios for a New Years Eve gone wrong, I wondered what would happen if the party Ky and his bandmates had planned didn't go as expected. It felt like the right time to spend some time with him!

I was excited to write both, Ky and Azariah. I have a soft spot for musicians and exploring the possibilities when bandmates develop feelings for each other, which is pretty much what got me into writing all those years ago. Knowing their story would be something sweet, a feel-good romance, I had a lot of fun with it from the start.

That is great. Okay, so what can you tell us about Azariah and Ky?

We learn Ky’s zodiac sign is Leo, which I also happen to be, so I feel like there is a special bond between us. I have some experience with Scorpios (Azariah’s zodiac sign, which we actually don’t learn in the book!) and it made the way they interacted with each other come more naturally.

Azariah is usually quite serious and shy, patient, honest, hard-working, orderly. His judgment is good and he evaluates and weighs things up endlessly, often to the point of indecisiveness. But he also lacks forethought, acts impulsively and sometimes imprudently, which can cause problems. Like so many Scorpios I know…

Hey now, be careful. I’m a Scorpio.

(Chuckles) He’s a bit of a mystery, you never know what they’re thinking! He can be a little unpredictable but has his heart in the right place.

Okay, I can go with that.

I hope people will forgive him his moments of stupidness.

Oh I’m sure they will. They sound like amazing characters. So the story should be a lot of fun to read. What else do you have planned? What’s up next for you?

Having so many characters on my mind makes it difficult for me to decide whose story is the most 'interesting', so I'm working on a handful of projects at the same time. I have a couple of Young Adult ideas and another sweet, friends/lovers reuniting story I'm working on. Then there is one college themed and another with paranormal touches. I also want to tackle something that will ask for a lot of research! Perhaps one day I'll write that 'vampire assassin' story I can't get out of my head.

Oh, vampires. Love that. I say go for it.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I’m grateful I was able to bring some of my characters to life and share it with people. I want to thank everyone who decided to give my boys a chance – thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Nicely said.

Well, Scribblers that it for this week. Can you believe we are already approaching the holidays? Crazy right. I want to thank Riina for being here today. Don’t forget to check out the 12 Days of Christmas Book Buying Event over on Facebook (click here). Remember to like and share by clicking on the links below. If you have a question for Riina leave them in the comments and I’ll make sure she swings back by to answer them. Until next week have a great week.


Book Info:

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Azariah Bell is a nervous wreck. He isn’t prepared to spend the final week of the year with his best friend, Ky O’Sullivan, lead vocalist for their pop rock band, Moving Insignia—especially after the fight he caused before they parted ways two weeks ago.

Afraid of not being taken seriously by Ky, Azariah was concerned about what confessing his feelings would do to their friendship, or the band. He tried to keep his emotions in check, but instead, he exploded in anger over some petty issue, and now he’s potentially lost Ky forever.

Ky is looking forward to the band’s annual writing retreat for a week of songwriting and recording at a secluded mountain resort. Spending Christmas with his family gave Ky time to reflect on how he’d handled Azariah’s epic meltdown. It wasn’t good, and Ky is determined to uncover the true nature of Azariah’s unusual behavior. They didn’t keep secrets from each other, or so he believed.

Expecting to see the rest of the band when they arrive by helicopter, Ky and Azariah are shocked to learn they are alone at a deserted lodge. When they discover they’ve been set up by their bandmates so they can “sort it out,” their choices are few. But it’s critical for them to resolve their problems if they have any hope of enjoying the new year together, let alone make that new album happen.

Buy Links:

Find it on Amazon here

Find it on Kobo here

Find it on Smashword here


Author Info:

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Author of Spring, Bax & Butterflies, Missing Piece & Blame the Fireworks.

Riina currently resides in Germany. She spent countless exciting days in the UK and US and lost her heart in Tokyo.

She would be thrilled if one day her stories could brighten someone’s day in the way those beautiful romances always lighten up her dull everyday life. Riina is looking forward to sharing many more stories with the world.

When she doesn’t daydream about boys in love, and isn’t glued to her Kindle, Riina loves to travel the world and explore the unknown.

Contact:

Check out here web page here

Find her on NineStar Press here

Find her on Facebook here

Find here on Twitter here

Find her on Instagram here

Find her on Goodreads here

The Rising Tide - Book Announcement

This week I’m pleased to share that J. Scott Coatsworth has a new book out, Rising Tide, Book 2 of his Liminal Sky Series. The first book in the series, The Stark Divide, is amazing and you can find my review of it here, and you can find it in my Book Recommendation here. Here are all the details on his new book and you can be sure that once I read it I’ll be posting a review.


Book Blurb:

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Earth is dead.

Five years later, the remnants of humanity travel through the stars inside Forever, a living, ever-evolving, self-contained generation ship. When Eddy Tremaine and Andy Hammond find a hidden world-within-a-world under the mountains, the discovery triggers a chain of events that could fundamentally alter or extinguish life as they know it, culminate in the takeover of the world mind, and end free will for humankind.

Control the AI, control the people.

Eddy, Andy, and a handful of other unlikely heroes—people of every race and identity, and some who aren’t even human—must find the courage and ingenuity to stand against the rising tide.

Otherwise they might be living through the end days of human history.

Series Blurb:

Humankind is on its way to the stars, a journey that will change it forever. Each of the stories in Liminal Sky explores that future through the lens of a generation ship, where the line between science fiction and fantasy often blurs. At times both pessimistic and very hopeful, Liminal Sky thrusts you into a future few would ever have imagined.

Excerpt (non-exclusive):

Cassie climbed the foothills at the edge of the Verge, carrying Eddy up toward the Anatov Mountains. The horse seemed to enjoy being out there in the wilds. As wild as they could be on a man-made world.

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Eddy stared up at the vast peaks that towered above them. Even after six years, Forever still had the capacity to surprise him. It was hard to accept that the world—built on such a grand scale—was the work of the hands of man. Or woman. The Anatov—Ana Anatov—who had gifted her name to these peaks.

The foothills were sparsely planted, mostly a crabgrass variant that spread on its own, and occasional wildflowers—though to call anything on Forever “wild” was a stretch.

There were only scattered trees up there. The glowing grass had been beaten down along the path of the marauders, creating a dark and ugly stain across the hills.

It was hard for Eddy to imagine anyone doing something like this on Forever. He’d seen enough of the crimes of humanity when he’d fought in the wars that had consumed Earth in her last decade. But his world was supposed to be different.

The world was like an island among the stars. Where was there to hide?

He checked his loop for the time. It was close to nightfall. His circadian rhythms had adapted, aligning themselves with Forever’s days and nights, but he missed things like cold and hot. On Forever, it was always temperate, a side effect of the seed ship’s living architecture. It never snowed, and it was most certainly never hot.

He climbed to the top of one of the rolling foothills and turned to look at the world behind him. From here, he could almost see the South Pole, the wall that marked the end of Forever. Around him, the walls of the world curled up to meet high above, their point of merger hidden by the sky glow.

Micavery was too small to see at this distance.

He’d come all this way on horseback, while traveling inside a ship floating in the void. It was surreal. He supposed future generations would come to see it as normal, everyday even—but he was still an Earth boy at heart.

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The grasses around him went dark, as did the glow that emanated from the middle of the sky. Nightfall swept toward Lake Jackson far below, passing the Verge, the ranches and farmlands, and the orchards where so much of the world’s food came from.

At last, the shores of the lake winked out, and he could finally see Micavery Port, the lights of it, anyhow, as they shone in the newly come darkness.

Above, the golden glow of the spindle had diminished to a silver gleam.

He sighed. It was such a beautiful world, but it seemed it still harbored some of Old Earth’s evil. Wherever mankind went….

Eddy dismounted, lit a lantern full of luthiel, and set about making camp.


Buy Links:

Buy the book from the Publisher here and here.

Find the book on Amazon US here.

Find the book on Barnes & Noble here.

Find the book on Kobo here.

Find the book on iBooks here.

Find the book on QueeRomance Ink here.


Author Bio:

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Scott lives between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine, he devoured her library. But as he grew up, he wondered where the people like him were.

He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction reflecting their own reality.

For the Author Website click here.

For the Author Facebook (Personal) click here.

For the Author Facebook (Author Page) click here.

For the Author Twitter click here.

Find the author on Goodreads here.

Find the author on QueeRomance Ink here.

Find the author on Amazon here.

A Knight in Distress – Book Announcement

Happy Wednesday Scribblers. Today I’m excited to share a new book with you. The book comes from fellow author and writing buddy Barbara Russell. I’ve had the pleasure and reading several of Barabar’s books and could not recommend A Knight in Distress more highly. I plan on having Barbara over for a chat, but I wanted to provide you with this announcement today. Even though I’m not including a review at this time I’ve read the novel and A knight in Distress is amazing and is a total must buy.


Blurb:

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Blurb:

Knights are supposed to rescue damsels. That’s the natural order. So when seventeen-year-old Nathair, a Briton knight in training, finds himself rescued by the princess he should have saved, he’s annoyed.

By saving Princess Bryhannon from the warlord Torgall, Nathair hoped that his dreams of becoming a knight, paying off his family’s debts, and overcoming the stigma of his russet skin would come true. Now that he’s failed, he must find another way to fulfil his desires.

Bryhannon is a Morrigan: a witch blessed with the power of the raven goddesses of war. To Bryhannon, it feels more like a curse. With magic this strong, she has a difficult time hiding her abilities. If the wizards discover who she is, they’ll kill her for women are forbidden to use magic or weapons, and she is good at both. Her only hope is to find the Rache: a magical artefact, which will gain her the protection of the infamous Raven Coven of Tintagel.

While in Torgall’s land, Nathair and Bryhannon discover his plan. Torgall wants to steal the animax—the fuel powering the automatons that have replaced the round table knights of New Camelot—and sell it to the enemy.

Before Bryhannon can seek safety in the Raven Coven, and Nathair can prove he deserves to be a knight, they must prevent Torgall from stealing the animax, or the enemy will use the animax to fuel an army of clockwork knights ready to invade the land of the Britons.

Where to Buy:

Amazon – Click here

Champagne Book Group – Click here


Excerpt

One

Nathair hadn’t planned to end his last day at Sir Lancelot’s Academy for Knights getting caught cheating on his final examination. Especially since the cheating had been a misunderstanding. The incriminating piece of parchment was still in his best friend’s extended hand. General Baldwin loomed over Nathair in his emerald uniform, one eyebrow arched in disappointment.

“Sir, I wasn’t—” Nathair started, standing at his desk.

“Don’t even try, Locksbay.” General Baldwin held up a hand to silence him. “The situation is clear enough. I’ve caught your friend Tristan red-handed passing you that piece of paper with the correct Numeracy answers. Cheating is not only against the academy rules, but the Knights’ Honor Code as well.”

Ouch. That hurts. Nathair wasn’t a cheater. He was an average student maybe, but never a cheater. He bit down the remark and ignored his fellow cadets whispering and giggling behind his back. They leaned forward on their wooden desks, heads turning from him to the general like in a game of stool-ball. Many cadets would enjoy seeing the only russet-skinned boy at the academy being publicly scolded.

Tristan of Greystone stood and bowed to the general. His blond hair swished about his shoulders. “General Baldwin, it’s my fault. It was my idea to help Nathair. I knew he needed help with Numeracy, and I thought to pass him the answers. He didn’t ask me anything.”

That was true, and swyve. Tristan excelled at many things—he was the academy’s top cadet—but persuading people was his most honed skill. His confident tone, reassuring smile, and bright blue eyes could soothe the most inveterate criminal into turning himself in.

General Baldwin waved a dismissive hand. “You can sit down, Greystone, and keep going with your examination, but I’ll take fifty points off your final score for breaking the rules.”

Tristan did as told, casting an apologetic glance at Nathair.

General Baldwin took Nathair’s test and scanned it. “Let’s see why you wanted Greystone’s intervention.”

When his gray eyebrows shot up, Nathair smelled trouble. He didn’t need the mind-reading power of the mind-wrens to guess what the general was thinking. The bell echoed in the high-vaulted ceiling of the

Training Hall, and Nathair exhaled. Chairs scraped back against the wooden floor.

Now he was done for.

“Locksbay,” General Baldwin’s voice sounded stern, “…follow me to my office.”

“Of course, sir.” He collected his quill, parchments, and ink bottle and stuffed them in his bag.

“Sorry,” Tristan whispered. “I’ll wait for you here.”

With heavy feet, Nathair followed the man who might expel him. He swallowed hard, thinking about his mentor. What would Ewhen say when he heard about this? Nathair shuffled behind the general along the Champions’ Corridor lined with famous knights’ suits of armor. They headed to the eastern tower of the castle toward the mechanical winch.

Before entering the narrow cabin that would lift him up to the third floor, Nathair hesitated. Traveling suspended by an iron cable wasn’t his idea of a safe trip. In comparison, the clockwork stairs, despite the grinding noise of the steps winding up, seemed safer. Nathair stepped inside the cabin and shoved his hands in his blue cloak pockets, while the winch coiled up with a grinding of metal against stone. From a gap between two metal plates, he caught a glimpse of rotating wheels and pumping pistons.

Once at the landing, Nathair trudged toward General Baldwin’s office. The oak door closed behind them with a thud. The room had four floor-to-ceiling windows, a high-vaulted ceiling, and a fireplace that resembled a dragon’s open jaw. Despite the size of the room, Nathair’s chest constricted. He breathed in the familiar smell. The musty scent of old parchments mingled with that of the armchairs’ worn leather.

“Sit.” General Baldwin sat on his throne-like chair.

Nathair groaned and dropped down onto one of the stuffed chairs. No chance this would be quick.

General Baldwin scanned Nathair’s test, his eyes darting up and down. “You have twenty-five points. It’s not good enough, but it’s not an excuse to cheat either.”

He didn’t reply. He’d rather take the blame than involve Tristan. Besides, telling the truth wouldn’t change his score.

General Baldwin drummed his fingers on the desk. “What happened? You were a good student. Not the finest, but decent. This,” he gestured at the paper, “is not what I’d have expected from you, and I’m not talking about today’s examination.” He opened a drawer and pulled out a leather folder fat with parchments. He unfastened the string and spread them out.

Nathair gripped the armrests.

“I had a look at your tests and assignments, and I’m very disappointed.” General Baldwin flipped through the stack of papers. “In your last Wildlife and Wild-flora test you scored an Insufficient, same thing with Music and Courteous Conversation.”

He shook his head. A sickening lump crawled into his stomach. Please, anything but Poetry.

“For example, Poetry.” As General Baldwin read, his frown deepened. “Dame Puddifoot wrote only one word about your poetic skills: hopeless. What is your obsession with cats? Cats are all over your poems. You must love them.”

Hardly. Cat rhymed with everything: fat, hat, sat, bat, mat—the possibilities were endless.

“And I see no extracurricular skills or activities.” He stared at Nathair.

He wiped his hands on the trousers of his uniform and pulled back a curled strand of his chestnut hair. Call it a hunch but breaking into Lady Guinevere’s Damsels Academy using nothing but two knives probably wasn’t an extracurricular skill the general would be interested in, but then someone had to release those greasy pigs into Lady Guinevere’s dormitory. Last week, the ladies had filled the cadets’ quivers with honey. It was only sensible that the cadets returned the favor, and Tristan needed help to sneak into the rooms of his many girlfriends.


About Barbara Russell:

I’m an entomologist and a soil biologist, which is a fancy way to say that I dig in the dirt, looking for bugs. Nature and books have always been my passion. I was a kid when I read Ivanhoe by Sir W. Scott and fell in love with medieval novels. Then I discovered medieval fantasy, and I fell in love again. In fact, I took it too seriously and believed that my elderly, bearded neighbor was Merlin and his black cat was Morgan le Fey. When I read Harry Potter and learned about Animagi, I knew I was right. Then I grew up and… nah, I’m joking. I didn’t grow up. Don’t grow up, folks! It’s a trap.

PS I hate gardening. There, I said it. Sorry fellow Kiwis.

Where to find Barbara:

Find her on Twitter here.

Find her on Facebook here and here.

Find her website here.

Find her blog here.

Find her on Amazon here.

Book Announcement - Magic of Die

Happy Wednesday Scribblers.  This week I’m thrilled to share with you a new book, Magic or Die.  Fellow Author J.P. Jackson has launched his new paranormal novel, Magic or Die. If you read his first novel Daimonion you know the type of story teller J.P. is and what wonderful rich worlds he’s able to create.  Check out the details below, then grab yourself a copy and cozy up and prepare yourself for an adventure into the dark mind of J.P. Jackson.

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The Novel:

Title:  Magic or Die
Series: Inner Demons, Book One
Author: JP Jackson
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: July 02, 2018
Heat Level: 2 - Fade to Black Sex
Pairing: M/M
Length: 81000+
Genre: Paranormal, Gay, Magic, Demons, Psychics, Teacher, Covens, Incarceration

Synopsis

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James Martin is a teacher, a powerful Psychic, and an alcoholic. He used to work for the Center for Magical Research and Development, a facility that houses people who can't control their supernatural abilities. He left after one of his students was killed, turning to vodka to soothe his emotional pain. Problem is, he still has one year left on his contract.

It's not common knowledge, but the CMRD holds final exams for each of its residents and if they don't pass, they're euthanized. So when James returns to the CMRD to fulfill the rest of his contract, he finds himself assisting five young adults, confronting the demons of his past, and attempting to protect his new class from a possible death sentence.

James discovers that his class isn't bringing in enough sponsors; the agencies and world governments who supply grants and ultimately purchase graduates of the CMRD, and that means no profit for the facility. Now, James and his students face impossible odds. Measure up to the facility’s unreachable standards or escape.

At the CMRD, you have to be able to control your Magic or Die.


Excerpt

Magic Or Die
J.P. Jackson © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Call Back

“YES, MIRIAM. YES, I know. I know it’s been over a year. I’m not sure I’m ready.”

The knuckles on my hand cramped from clasping my cell phone in a death grip. I glanced at my watch. This conversation had gone on too long. In the span of two minutes Miriam had managed to exhume memories and history I wanted buried and forgotten. I sucked in a short breath as nausea surged like a tsunami of fear. Its behemoth wave washed bile up against the back of my throat.

I slumped down the stained and weathered wall of the coffin-sized studio apartment I reluctantly called a home. It wasn’t that bad a place to live, except for the cockroaches I found on a daily basis. I’m sure they considered it a veritable paradise. Absentmindedly, I toed an old pizza box near my foot while listening to Miriam. One of the insects scampered across the matted Berber carpet.

Gross.

Cody. A pale ghostlike face flashed before me. His hair, the exact colour of fall fallowed fields, hung listlessly over one eye, as blood trickled out of the corner of his mouth. His chapped lips parting, asking me, “Why?”

I ignored the vision. Well, ignored wasn’t the right word, more like boxed it up with a heavy rock and pitched it into the abyss of my mind with all the other terrifying nightmares.

“I know. I owe you, yes. I’m just not sure—” I crawled over to the upended crate being used as a coffee table, reaching for my last pack of smokes. I lit one, enjoyed the soothing crackle of the tobacco as it ignited, and then inhaled deeply.

Ah, yes. Hello, nicotine, my demon friend.

Miriam continued blithering while I halfheartedly listened to her soul-sucking voice. She was demanding my presence.

“What? You mean, tomorrow? Miriam, I really don’t think it’s a good idea.” I drew in another steady stream of the toxic smoke. It burned my lungs as the addictive chemicals flooded through my body. I really need to quit. Scraping together the smallest ounce of courage, I attempted to defy her. “No, really I can’t.”

A wraithlike hand, desiccated and fragile, inched its way across my shoulder and gripped my tense neck muscle. Its sharp nails dug into my flesh. Its bite, a warning.

Cody’s lifeless lips brushed my ear, sending cold shivers skittering across my back. Eruptions of goose flesh covered my neck and shoulders. His voice, a memory and a sound I would never forget, was long gone.

“Don’t do this. You’ll kill me again.” His icy breath whispered to me.

Another box, a bigger rock, another addition to the pit of despair in my head.

“No,” I replied to one of Miriam’s inane questions. “There’s an Arcane too? I’ve never been good with them. They creep me out. No, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that. Shit, really?” Miriam had just described a scene for me. My flesh turned buggy, as if I had chiggers nesting and burrowing deep into my skin. “Oh god that’s gross. That’s also not good.” I pointed uselessly at the wall, waving my finger, trying to make a point to the caller. “I never took the exam for the third class, you know that.” Miriam had asked if I’d kept up my licensing. I instantly felt guilty. I should have done that years ago. One thing was becoming evident from the conversation—she needed my help. Help only I could give.

“Alright, maybe, I think I can. Consult only. Do you hear me, Miriam? Just a consult.” I had tried desperately to stay the hell out of this. I wasn’t ready. I couldn’t do this. “What time? Yes. I’m pretty sure. Miriam—” A thousand reservations ran through my mind, a wild stampede, unbridled, laced with dread and fear. “How many? How many in this class?”

The question sat on me like the world perched on my shoulders. The higher the number, the bigger the world, the more responsibility, an undeniable possibility of…

“Five! Are you kidding me? I can’t do five. No. No! It’s not possible.”

She was out of her mind.

“Yes, my sister is still on the streets. You know that’s close to blackmail, right?” I stamped out the cigarette. The lacquer of smoke in my mouth tasted like I had just licked the bottom of an ashtray. Why do I smoke again? It was suddenly very hard to breathe.

“Fine. Tomorrow. Yes. Ten a.m. Yes, I’ll be there. What do you mean dress appropriately?”

I looked at my cell, disgusted as the call ended.

I flipped the device onto the floor as if it had burst into flame and branded the conversation into my hand. I snorted.

Like, I’ll forget.

Reaching around to the other side of the crate, I grabbed blindly for a bottle I hoped was there. By all the gods’ great divine gifts, it was. And it still had liquid in it. In fact, it was surprisingly half-full.

Bonus.

I tipped the vodka bottle back, allowing its burn to strip away the cancer stick’s carcinogenic treatment in my mouth.

Swaying back and forth with my eyes closed, I tried to drown out the endless voices in my head. The words inundated my impending thoughts of doom and failure, and I could feel the chaos and panic mounting. Steadying myself and regaining my mental capacities, I gazed out the window. It was dark already and only six, early evening at best. Yeah for daylight-savings time and late fall in Canada. Lights from the downtown cityscape lazily twinkled and danced before me. It should have been a pretty sight, but the darkness always seemed too oppressive, like a shroud. And I knew better. Things lived in the shadows.

I took another swig from the clear glass bottle. The burn hit the back of my throat and disintegrated the bile that had crept up there.

Five very gifted students.

I rubbed the stubble covering my face and took yet another nip. Except it wasn’t a quick sip, it was a good one. A long one.

The window suddenly acted like a mirror, and my own image reflected against the backdrop of the city skyline. I looked like shit. My short brown hair had cowlicks; thank god I kept it close. But the rest? No wonder Miriam instructed me to clean it up. The shirt I was sort of wearing was only half buttoned and stained in several spots. I had no pants on, but the pair of tighty-whities, which weren’t exactly white anymore, or tight, were ripped and showed more flesh than they were supposed to. Jesus.

How did my life get here?

Five young people had no control of their gifts.

And I had a sister who was lost out in the sparkle-light of downtown’s darkness, up to who knew what, and doing it with god only knew who, mired in her own addictions.

I glanced around my shit-hole apartment.

What the fuck am I going to do?

Purchase Links

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Meet the Author

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J.P. Jackson works as an IT analyst in health care during the day, where if cornered he’d confess to casting spells to ensure clinicians actually use the electronic medical charting system he configures and implements.
At night however, the writing happens, where demons, witches and shape shifters congregate around the kitchen table and general chaos ensues. The insurance company refuses to accept any more claims of ‘acts of the un-god’, and his husband of almost 20 years has very firmly put his foot down on any further wraith summoning’s in the basement. And apparently imps aren’t house-trainable. Occasionally the odd ghost or member of the Fae community stops in for a glass of wine and stories are exchanged. Although the husband doesn’t know it, the two Chihuahuas are in cahoots with the spell casting.
J.P.’s other hobbies include hybridizing African Violets (thanks to grandma), extensive travelling and believe it or not, knitting.

Where to Find J.P. Jackson

NineStar Press click here.
For his Blog, click here.
Facebook click here.
Twitter click here.

‘Lander’ has landed. Book 2 of J. Scott Coatsworth, Oberon Cycle Series

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone before we get into Scott’s new book. I want to invite you all over to my poetry section (click here) and check out my new poems, they’re free and you won’t see them anywhere else… at least not yet.

Now on to the focus for this week. I’m excited to let you all know that my good friend J. Scott Coatsworth is releasing a new book: Lander. Lander is the second book in his Oberon Cycle series.

Book Blurb:

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Sometimes the world needs saving twice.

In the sequel to the Rainbow-Award-winning Skythane, Xander and Jameson thought they’d fulfilled their destiny when they brought the worlds of Oberon and Titania back together, but their short-lived moment of triumph is over.

Reunification has thrown the world into chaos. A great storm ravaged Xander's kingdom of Gaelan, leaving the winged skythane people struggling to survive. Their old enemy, Obercorp, is biding its time, waiting to strike. And to the north, a dangerous new adversary gathers strength, while an unexpected ally awaits them.

In the midst of it all, Xander’s ex Alix returns, and Xander and Jameson discover that their love for each other may have been drug-induced.

Are they truly destined for each other, or is what they feel concocted? And can they face an even greater challenge when their world needs them most?

The Oberon Cycle: Book Two

Series Blurb:

Xander is a skythane man whose wings have always been a liability on the lander-dominated half world of Oberon.

Jameson is a lander who has been sent to Oberon to find out why the supply of the psycho-amoratic drug pith has dropped off.

What neither knows is that they have a shared destiny that will change the two of them - and all of Oberon - forever.

Book Excerpt:

Jameson savored the kiss, his arms around Xander, the way they fit together just right. They were finally together, and Titania and Oberon were one again.

Erro, Quince had called this new world. Like the skythane god of the sun, the one Errian and the Erriani were named for.

For the moment, everything was right in his life, and he never wanted it to end.

A cold drop of water on his cheek brought him out of his reverie. He glanced up. Storm clouds were piled high, swiftly overtaking them. Rain began to pour out of the sky like a waterfall, and thunder echoed in the clouds as the valley went dark, sunlight smothered by the onrushing clouds. Nearby trees thrashed about in the wind, their purple leaves fluttering in distress.

“What the hell?” Xander said as the winds picked up and ruffled the feathers of his wings. He stared up at the black tempest.

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“The Split!” Jameson shouted over the howling of the wind. He mimed the two halves of the world, each with their own atmosphere, suddenly being forced together in the middle. “When the Oberon half shifted, all the atmosphere it brought with it along the Split was forced up here!”

A bolt of lightning struck a nearby tree, crisping it to ashes and standing Jameson’s hair on end.

“Run!” Xander shouted.

Jameson’s vision swam, and a memory slipped into his conscious mind from that other part of him—a high-ceilinged cavern that was more like a faery palace than a cave—where he’d stolen away with a lover. More than once.

His stomach heaved at the displacement, and he clenched his hands. That wasn’t me. They were someone else’s memories.

“Follow me!” he shouted at his four companions—Xander, Quince, Kadin, and Venin—and ran toward the cliffs that were rapidly fading to invisibility behind the rain. He pushed down the memory-nausea, tasting bile in the back of his mouth.

Alia was missing. He’d last seen her as they had fled the Mountain, when it had begun to collapse. Jameson looked around wildly, but she was nowhere to be seen. “Where’s Alia?” he shouted at Kadin as they ran. Thunder shook the valley.

Kadin shook his head, mouthing, “I don’t know.”

Rain swirled all around them, coming down so fast that it pooled on the ground and ran in rivulets downhill toward the lake that was now half filled with the broken remains of the Mountain.

The mud made the footing treacherous. Jameson clambered up the hill, using roots and rocks that offered a firmer surface than the naked ground. The wind tugged at his wings, threatening to flip him over. He pulled them in tightly and glanced back to be sure the others were following him through the tempest.

Jameson reached the cover of the forest, plunging under the protection of the canopy. The trees here were tall and thin with white bark trunks and broad purple leaves that were being shredded by the storm.

Buy Links:

Dreamspinner eBook click here

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Amazon click here

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Kobo click here.

iBooks click here.

QueeRomance Ink click here.


Author Bio:

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Scott lives between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine, he devoured her library. But as he grew up, he wondered where the people like him were.

He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

He runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction that reflects their own reality.

Author Website click here
Author Facebook (Author Page) click here.
Twitter click here
Goodreads click here
QueeRomance Ink click here.
Author Amazon Page click here.