- Deadline is October 1
- Short stories, 5K-15K
- All winter Holidays welcome, all LGBTQ+ protagonists, all sub-genres and diverse cast encouraged
So...there's this holiday story I'm not done with yet that I talk about in the recording. Just a wee bit of a teaser read of that today.
Also, if you happen to be interested in Mischief Corner's holiday call, all the info is on the Submissions Page for the A Holiday To Remember collection. In brief bullet points:
Back to the beginning here with Offbeat Crimes for a quick visit with Kyle in Lime Gelatin and Other Monsters, the story that started all this paranormal madness. :)
As of next Tuesday, books 1-5 will be available over at Pride Publishing. 1-4 available there now and at all the regular lovely distributors. Jackalopes, ahoy!
Something a little different today for reading day - a couple of poems from Langston Hughes. Please forgive my scratchy voice. The cold from heck decided to visit this week. We sometimes forget the power of poetry, both personal and social, in our modern world of sound bites and prose fiction but poetry can serve as a reminder, a connector, and an illuminator far greater than any tweet.
For more information on Langston Hughes and other writers of the Harlem Renaissance, a good place to start is here:
The poems I've selected for you are from The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry (ed. 1973) and from the Academy of American Poets.
It's reading day! Did you know that I write all ages science fiction under my given name, Sandra Stixrude? Today's excerpt is from the first book of the Anchorage series (there are seven in the series), Marya. While these books aren't m/m, there are a lot of gender role explorations and there are gay characters who become very important to the story starting in the second book.
All Anchorage cover art is by the wonderful Catherine Dair. :)
Marya: Anchorage Book 1
By Sandra C. Stixrude
Mischief Corner Books
Traveling has always frightened Marya, but when the Ktar chooses her to protect the heir on his confirmation journey, she fights panic. A prophecy concerning the heir's death, ominous dreams of a mysterious city, and news that one of the heir's companions will betray him all point to disaster.
Unfortunately, the discovery of the assassin's identity is only the beginning. His menace pales in comparison to the ancient evil lurking in the mountains. When Marya is trapped and the men with her enslaved, she is faced with two choices: surrender to the alien being who offers her power, or ally with the handsome assassin she sought to thwart. One way she loses her soul, the other she may lose her heart.
Happy Friday! A little Christmas to try to cool down mentally. ;)
A Christmas Cactus for the General
By Angel Martinez
Cover Artist: Catherine Dair
Mischief Corner Books
Exiled to Earth for perhaps the worst failure in Irasolan history, General Teer must assimilate or die. Earth is too warm, too wet, too foreign, but he does the best he can even though human males are loud, childish louts whom he can't imitate successfully. When a grieving seaplane pilot strikes up a strange and uneasy friendship with him, he finds he may have been too quick to judge human males. They are strange to look at, but perhaps not as unbearable as he thought.
Hello all! Reading from AURA #3 today, Kellen's Awakening - there is, for certain interested parties, a squirrel in this scene.
Angel Martinez and Bellora Quinn
A socially challenged pixie and a former playboy incubus find themselves in the center of the maelstrom as AURA struggles to find a source for the escalating violence threatening the city.
The staff at AURA has had a busy summer. Between chronic understaffing, dealing with warring goblin factions and an unusual number of hazardous Events, everyone is overworked. Sinistrus the incubus, newly hired as an AURA medic, actually enjoys his busy new life of responsible employee and faithful lover to his gorgeous police sergeant, Ness the centaur. Life would be perfect, except for a niggling suspicion about a colleague. Everyone else seems to disagree, but Sin’s certain something’s not right with that pixie.
Kellen, a pixie crossover, loves his job working in AURA medical, even if he is something of an outsider. His job and the friends he manages to make are happy spots in an otherwise dark and secretive life. As the rest of AURA tries to discover the root of the inexplicable rise in violence and large-scale Events, Kellen fights to preserve his own life and what dignity he has left.
Happy Friday! Week 2 in our little miniseries of Offbeat Crimes readings today. :) The Pill Bugs of Time, written on the threads that began from a sort of wistful, throwaway comment from my co-author, Bellora Quinn. We're at the beginning here, in the squad room:
The Pill Bugs of Time
Offbeat Crimes 2
Barnes and Noble
Vikash Soren, the perfect police officer except for his odd paranormal ability, never seems to lose his temper. Always serene and competent, he’s taken on the role of mediator in a squad room full of misfits. But on the inside, he’s a mess. Unable to tell his police partner that he loves him, Vikash struggles silently, terrified of losing Kyle as a lover, partner, and friend.
But life in the 77th Precinct doesn’t leave much room for internal reflection. A confrontation with a stick-throwing tumbleweed in Fairmount Park leads to bizarre consequences involving pill bugs, statues, and…time travel? If Vikash manages to survive the week and stay in one point in time, he might be able to address normal things like relationship problems. He just needs Kyle to have a little more patience. Maybe a few centuries worth.
Welcome to the second in our series of guest story reads! Today we have a bit from Angel's Feather, a gay science fiction novella from Alina Popescu. :)
by Alina Popescu
How far would you go for the one you love? How much of yourself would you sacrifice?
Trapped on a decaying Earth and cut off from the rest of the Universe, humans are no longer allowed to leave their planet. Break this one law and you die: a penalty enforced by flyers, aliens who look like angels of long-lost religions. Michael, the flyers’ leader, is the Punisher who carries out every public execution.
Adam, a young human with near-perfect memory, is committed to rebuilding Earth and a true believer in the flyers’ dominion. While Adam’s support for flyers isn’t a secret, his deep love for Michael is. Not even Michael knows, for his kind never take human lovers, and to Adam, they are too far above him to reach.
In his broken and unwelcoming world, Adam’s love can only lead to pain, loss, and disaster. Yet there is no force in the huge expanse of stars and galaxies that can stop Adam from following Michael to the end of existence. Not even Adam’s own beliefs.
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y6BWX9V
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06Y6BWX9V
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B06Y6BWX9V
Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B06Y6BWX9V
Happy Friday and happy wishes for the holiday weekend (whether you celebrate or just have a day off!) I have a guest reading today - a gay psychic/paranormal from Encompass Ink, Serpent's Kiss. And you get to hear me try to pronounce the impossible ;)
by Layla Dorine
Barnes and Noble
While searching for their missing sibling, Zaiden and his sister Kaandhal, come across the last pureblooded psy-clairvoyant of their kind. Unfortunately for them, the psy-clairvoyant Darian has no idea who he truly is and isn’t interested in learning, much less helping Zaiden and Kaandhal locate their missing brother, Zxex.
A bounty hunter by trade, who’s been all but banished from his family due to his visions, Darian is a bit cynical about his ability to be of any assistance to them. Nevertheless, Zaiden brings him back to their home Rhumba, where Darian discovers that very little is what it seems.
With plots unfolding all around them and discoveries about his own heritage leaving Darian reeling, he is left with the choice of whether to embrace who and what he is, or spend every moment with them as a prisoner on the fringes of their society.
Add in a pesky little bond that only seems to grow the more time he and Zaiden spend together, and several factions looking to gain possession of him and Darian is left wondering if his visions just might be the least of his troubles.
This one's a couple of years old now but I like revisiting Rafi from time to time. :) In case you're interested, here's the link to the entire list of Rafael's rules for How To Safely Navigate Vampirism.
Rafael Schiller, vampire and sexual god without peer, believes himself the top of the food chain, until a bizarre creature feeding in an alley scares the deathless hell out of him.
Available as a standalone or in the 50's MIxed Tape Anthology
Angel writes (mostly) Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware and full time inside her head, she has one husband, one son, two cats, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.