Yep, Halloween's here and I'm already talking about Christmas - gah! For the next few Thursdays, Story Time will feature excerpts from the upcoming (Thanksgiving weekend release) Mischief Corner Books Christmas anthology - Chestnuts Roasting.
A Christmas Anthology from Mischief Corner Books
Coming Thanksgiving weekend 2014
Holly Jolly by Silvia Violet
Wreath of Fire by Toni Griffin
Snow on Spirit Bridge by Freddy MacKay
A Christmas Cactus for the General by Angel Martinez
Hi all! We have a special reading today with an excerpt from a short story by the talented J. Scott Coatsworth. While the story's complete, it won't be available until March of 2015. Why? Because "Avalon" will be included in the first issue of the MCB Quarterly. Take a look below for details and submission specifics for those of you with LBGT fiction short stories you may be trying to place :)
For full submission guidelines and instructions, please see the Submissions page. For the rest of J. Scott Coatsworth's "Avalon," stay tuned for the premier edition of the MCB Quarterly coming March 2015!
Today we have a visit from my dear friend (and fabulous writer) Silvia Violet with her new Wild R book!
Shifting Hearts (Wild R Farm 6)
By Silvia Violet
Publisher: Silvia Violet Books
Cover Artist: Meredith Russell
After experiencing what happens when someone you love walks away and never looks back, Brandon decided love was for fools. Then he spent a summer with Zach. He struggled against feelings that grew every time he and Zach were together, telling himself they were just having a fling. When Zach confessed his love one hot summer night, Brandon panicked. He scoffed at Zach and made sure he walked away first.
Three years later, their paths cross again when Zach becomes the vet at Wild R Farm where Brandon works. Brandon realizes his feelings haven’t changed, but Zach treats Brandon with scorn despite Brandon’s every attempt to show Zach he’s no longer the self-centered man he used to be. When a night out ends with Brandon driving Zach home, confessions are made on both sides, and hope begins to build in Brandon’s heart.
Brandon settled his and Zach’s tabs and managed to get Zach to his truck without incident. “Did you drive here?”
“Nope, Martin picked me up.”
Brandon snorted again. Fucking Martin. The two of them together was so not going to happen.
Zach giggled. “I’ve always loved it when you go all ferocious stallion.”
Oh fuck. “Just get in the truck, Zach.” Brandon helped him step up and maneuver himself into the passenger seat.
“It’s fucking wrong.“ Zach said as he laid his head back on the seat.
“That you’re so fucking hot.”
No. No, no, no. This was not happening. “Just close your eyes and stop talking. You’ll be better off that way.” Maybe he’d pass out and then Brandon’s dick could stop reacting to his soft words and beautiful eyes and everything that made him the only man Brandon really wanted.
“No, I’ll forget it all. Best thing about being drunk. I might as well say what I want because who will care later.”
“Nah, you never did. That’s what makes it so unfair.”
Brandon rubbed his forehead, trying to ward off a massive headache. “You’re wrong about that. I—”
“What? You didn’t mean to look at me like I was a bug you wanted to squash when I said I loved you?”
“You’re drunk. Really fucking drunk, and I’d be an idiot to say anything now. More of an idiot than I already have been and—”
“Fuck, you’re babbling.” Zach looked extremely amused.
Brandon scowled at him. “Nope, it’s your imagination”
“Yeah, it is”
Zach grinned. “You could kiss me to shut me up.”
October 27: Rainbow Gold Reviews, Angel Martinez, Michael Mandrake, My Fiction Nook
October 28: Cate Ashwood, Cathy Brockman Romances, Amanda C. Stone, Love Bytes
October 29: Multitasking Mommas, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Fallen Angel Reviews, Kimi-Chan, BFD Book Blog
October 30: Prism Book Alliance, Tara Lain, Inked Rainbow Reads
October 31: MM Good Book Reviews, Parker Williams, Jade Crystal
Rafflecopter Prize: $15 ARe eBooks gift card
Hi everyone! Today we have Jamie Lynn Miller visiting with a little bit about loving Science Fiction and the first book in her new series!
Many thanks to Angel for having me here today to talk about my new novella, An Endless Sea of Stars. I've been a sci-fi fan since 1977, the year that a little film called Star Wars hit the movie screens. I was only six years old back then. While my friends wanted to go see Bambi I was begging my dad to take me to Star Wars. My mother thought I was nuts and refused to go, saying my dad was just wasting his money because I wouldn't understand the movie. Seven days later and seven consecutive trips to the movies with my dad and she had to admit she'd made a mistake. :-)
To this day Star Wars remains a big part of my life. My home is filled with about a thousand pieces of memorabilia and photos of myself with many of the actors. I also love shows like the original Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, Firefly, Buck Rogers, Babylon 5, Fringe, Doctor Who and Alien Nation. I also read sci-fi novels voraciously.
So why it's taken me to this day to write my first m/m sci-fi novella I have no idea! LOL! But inspiration finally hit and An Endless Sea of Stars was born.
This is Book One of the Genesis Project series, which follows the lives of a test pilot and an engineer as Earth strives to build a starship that will take them beyond the Milky Way and into deep space. My friend Gina calls the book a "futuristic romance" and I love that description. While it has sci-fi elements to it, the story takes place entirely on Earth with its focus on the love story between Toby and Cade.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
The year is 2121. While Earth has conquered exploration of the Milky Way, we have yet to develop an interstellar engine to take us beyond our own galaxy. Thus the Intergalactic Exploration Alliance and the Gemini Project were formed.
Lieutenant Tobias Dekker is fresh out of the IEA academy and determined to be assigned to the Gemini engineering team. Putting career above all else. He knows from experience that relationships have no place in the Alliance. Commander Caden Flynn is equally determined to see the Gemini prototype take flight to uncharted space. The engine is his late father's design and he wants nothing more than to be the test pilot that breaks the next light speed barrier.
Two men dreaming of a sea of stars find that it's instead an ocean here on Earth that brings them together. Can Cade convince Toby to open up his heart and take a chance on love and explore the universe with him, side by side?
Toby rolled his eyes and crossed his arms over his chest. “Anyone ever tell you you’re a smartass?”
At that Cade finally let loose with his suppressed laughter. “I had you going there, though, didn’t I?” he smirked.
Toby waved his hand in dismissal. “Yeah, yeah. I’ll have you know that’s never happened to me before. I would’ve gotten us outta there. I just needed another minute…or two,” he finished with an embarrassed grin.
“You know, I really should report this to Hank,” Cade quipped as he finished removing his wetsuit. “But!” he held up his hand before Toby could say anything. “We can forget about the entire thing if…” he trailed off for a second and rummaged in his duffle bag, pulling out a bottle of Kentucky bourbon and showing it to Toby. “…you have a drink with me.” He shrugged one of his shoulders. “Since I couldn’t get you to a bar with me I thought I’d bring the bar to you.”
Toby paused. Alone, in the dark, sharing a few drinks. This wasn’t a good idea. He should politely decline and say they needed to start heading back. But his mouth was apparently not listening to his brain, because before he could stop himself…
A very pleased smile crossed Cade’s face and he reached over and squeezed Toby’s bare shoulder before turning back to the duffel bag and producing two plastic cups. A few minutes later they had donned their t-shirts and shorts and were relaxing on the bow, sitting close enough that their shoulders were almost touching. The clouds had dissipated, revealing millions of stars twinkling in the clear sky and a full moon reflecting on the water.
Cade took a swallow of bourbon and turned his head toward Toby. “I can’t get over what an amazing feeling it was, being down in those caves tonight.”
Toby took a drink as well. “Been through those caves ‘bout a hundred times. But like I said earlier, there’s something different every time. It never gets boring.”
Cade looked up toward the sky. “It’s like being out in the stars. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.”
Toby couldn’t help his wistful, and envious, sigh. “Closest I’m probably ever gonna get to the stars is in one of the flight simulators.”
“From what I hear you’ve made some fabulous improvements to those simulators,” Cade said. “I wish I’d had you building and programming them when I was in flight school.”
Toby turned to look at him. “How did you know I was on the simulator team?”
Cade shrugged, took another drink. “After we met I took the liberty of looking into your Academy history.” He grinned. “I was curious as to who was going to be teaching me.” Cade shifted so that he was turned more fully toward Toby. “And I was damn impressed at what I read. You need to stop selling yourself short when it comes to your dream of working on the Gemini project. You’re in the top two percent of your class, Toby. Alliance Command is not going to overlook that when they hand out assignments next month.”
Toby shook his head. “Don’t you think they’d want someone older, more experienced, working on something as monumentally important as Earth’s first hyperdrive engine?”
“Just because you haven’t been in space doesn’t mean you’re not qualified to work on a starship engine. It’s about technical expertise, not flight time.”
Toby now turned to face Cade, a tinge of excitement in his voice. “Tell me about that. What’s it like up there? I’ve gotta admit that as much as I want to experience it for myself, it makes me kinda nervous, too.”
“It’s a lot like scuba diving, actually,” Cade began, then tipped his head up toward the sky, his voice gone quiet. “Surrounded by an endless sea of stars instead of water. It’s beautiful. And so serene. But there’s so much more out there to explore than in just our galaxy.”
Toby couldn’t help but smile at the passion and wonder in Cade’s voice. “You said we’re close to breaking barrier three?”
Cade nodded and finished off his drink, poured himself another and topped off Toby’s. “The engine tests we’ve been running are really promising. Captain Hoffman’s team is burning the midnight oil.”
“From what you told me last month it sounds like you are, too.”
Cade blew out a breath. “You know how badly you want in the Gemini program? That’s how badly I want to pilot that next barrier flight. It’s going to come down to myself, Logan Ramsey, Kenji Tran or Padma Singh. And they’re all damn good test pilots.”
“Well let me give you some sage advice that a friend of mine gave me,” Toby said with a grin. “Don’t sell yourself short.”
Cade gave him a look. “Now who’s the smartass?”
Toby just laughed and knocked his cup against Cade’s. He settled back to look up at the stars, and Cade did the same. They let the quiet of the open ocean surround them for several minutes, nothing but the sound of gentle waves against the hull.
“Does this place have a name?” Cade asked quietly.
“Not that I know of,” Toby answered.
“Then I think we should call it Dekker’s Cove.” He once again turned his head to look at Toby. “Thanks again for taking me out here. This is your spot and you didn’t have to share it with me.”
Toby turned his head to look back at Cade, his voice sincere. “I wanted to. I knew you’d appreciate how special it was.”
Cade pinned him with a gaze full of hope and desire. “There are a lot of things I’m finding are special down here.”
Toby’s breath caught in his throat. It would be so damn easy to give in to Cade’s flirtations. To say the hell with it and just reach over and touch him. Because Toby knew that’s all it would take. One touch. But then what? A summer fling, like they were teenagers away at camp? Toby just wasn’t wired like that, for one-time hook ups. Especially with someone like Cade. He knew he’d want more and he knew it’d never work. He just needed to keep reminding himself that it was Cade’s friendship that was most important, what he really wanted, was the only thing that would work between them. But it was getting harder and harder to do with each passing day he spent with Cade. His heart was warring with his head. And he honestly didn’t know which was going to win.
The moment stretched on between them, Toby knowing Cade was waiting for something from Toby, but he didn’t trust himself to speak.
Cade glanced away, then back. “Toby, I…”
And Toby’s stomach somersaulted, certain of what Cade was going to say next. He wasn’t ready for this…
“…I have to leave tomorrow.”
Toby blinked and released a breath he didn’t realize he’d been holding. “Wh-what?” he stuttered, completely caught off guard by Cade’s words, so far from what he had been expecting.
Cade sighed. “I’m needed back at Alliance HQ. I found out this morning but was putting off telling you.”
“That – that’s okay. I understand,” Toby replied, trying to hide his disappointment.
“I even brought a holo vid of a rugby match I was hoping to show you tomorrow,” Cade grinned and Toby chuckled. “Next month, okay?”
Toby nodded. “Next month.”
Next month. One last chance for Toby to sort out his feelings for Cade. And be able to live with that decision with no regrets. He had a sneaking suspicion that was going to be easier said than done.
LuLu (Paperback and epub): http://tinyurl.com/qe5oeal
Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/ow92qj2
Also available at the iBookstore
Jamie Lynn Miller
About the Author
Jamie Lynn Miller has been writing fiction since childhood and decided to take the plunge and go pro in 2008, finding to her amazement that people truly enjoyed her love stories. She’s a romantic at heart, and her tales reflect the desire we all have to find “the one,” persevering through trials and heartache for that happy ending.
Jamie has a degree in fine arts and has spent the last twenty years working as a graphic designer, though she’d much rather be writing. She was born in Chicago and still lives there today with her husband and their two furry, four-footed children, er… cats.
If she’s not brainstorming story ideas, you can find Jamie at a sci-fi convention, in front of a furnace doing glass blowing, or on a mat twisted into a yoga pose.
Hi all! This special edition of Story Time is brought to you by GRL 2014 - as in, I'll be at GRL all next week and probably won't be able to do a reading for you ;) Shax and company were absurdly fun to write and I've been so pleased that readers have really taken them in the spirit they were intended - not terribly seriously.
Shax's War: Brimstone 3
Mischief Corner Books
(Also Available in Brimstone: Demon Owned and Operated, the omnibus edition)
Due to circumstances completely within his control, Shax, the Demon Prince of Thieves has fled, er, emigrated from Earth to seek his fortunes out in the galaxy. With his faithful friend, Verin, by his side, they acquire a gently used ship with a drag-queen AI.
In Shax's War : The boys desperately need a vacation. With the not-quite-ill-gotten gains from the Frog incident, Shax takes the Brimstone's crew to the exclusive resort planet, Opal. What could possibly go wrong?
Today we have a visit from the wonderful Raine O'Tierney and her new book from Dreamspinner Press - Most Beautiful Words!
Most Beautiful Words
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Twelve-year-old Autumn's world is shattered when her beloved Great-Pop, Tommy Johnson, suffers a stroke that leaves him comatose. With everyone around her resigning themselves to the inevitable, Autumn is the only one not willing to give up. She and Great-Pop have more secret stories to share with each other, after all. More stories about Roy McMillan—the great love of Tommy's life whom he lost fifty years ago.
Autumn struggles to keep Great-Pop on this side of death's door. But how can she compete with the beautiful and mysterious Valley—a place of surreal magic where the sun never fully sets? Especially when there's someone familiar in the Valley who will do everything he can to keep Great-Pop from returning to her.
But Rook had no interest in waiting for permission. He’d come forward, snaking his arms around Toren’s sheet-covered waist and pulling him hard against his body. “It’s just a kiss,” Rook breathed before he put his lips against Toren’s. Should he protest? Had he protested? Toren couldn’t remember. In that moment there was nothing but Rook’s firm lips, gently teasing his own apart. Toren kissed back, tasting the other man, sucking at his bottom lip. Rook’s mouth was intoxicating, and quite suddenly, Toren forgot why he’d ever resisted. He liked kissing Rook. But after only an appetizer’s worth of his mouth, Rook pulled away. The sensation of their mouths pressed together lingered, and Toren was dumb with the moment. Lost on it. Uncertain what they’d even been talking about.
“Do you remember me now?” Rook asked.
“Mmn,” Toren agreed, warmth lingering on his lips. “Rook.”
Silence was his reply. The arms around his waist fell away, leaving him feeling cold.
Toren slowly opened his eyes to find he was standing alone, clutching his sheet, as Rook walked away from him toward the staircase.
October 10: Angel Martinez, My Fiction Nook, Up All Night, Read All Day
October 13: Amanda C. Stone, Decadent Delights
October 14: Jade Crystal, Nephylim
October 15: LeAnn’s Book Reviews, Velvet Panic
October 16: Full Moon Dreaming, Dawn’s Reading Nook
October 17: Wake Up Your Wild Side, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
October 20: Parker Williams
October 21: Cate Ashwood, Love Bytes, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves
October 22: Regular Guys, Hot Romance, Emotion in Motion
October 23: EE Montgomery, MM Good Book Reviews
October 24: Iyana Jenna, Prism Book Alliance
This is a definite "OMG, you guys!" moment for me - Andrea Speed let me have a sneak peek excerpt to read from her eighth Infected series book Epitaph! Coming November 18!
Epitaph: Infected #8
Coming November 18 from Dreamspinner Press
In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective solving crimes involving other infecteds.
Tiger strain infections start showing up all over Seattle, much to Roan's dismay, and worse yet, they may have a personal connection. Meanwhile, Roan gets hired to look into the puzzling death of Dee's former lover. Then the FBI wants him to investigate a new apocalypse cult of infecteds pushing for a violent revolution against “normals.” All around Roan, events are spiraling out of control. Just when his singular abilities are needed most, Roan develops new symptoms that might signify dire consequences if he doesn’t stop shifting at will. Roan finds himself at a crossroads, and must make a difficult decision about his future.
While we wait for Epitaph to come out, there's this one :)
An Infected Short Story
Roan is hired by Scott to look for a hockey player friend of his. After a long night of celebratory drinking, Scott can’t quite remember what happened to his friend, and he isn’t answering his cell. Roan discovers Scott’s friend was much more troubled than he ever realized, and that some mysteries should remain unsolved.
Andrea Speed writes way too much (and yet seemingly not enough). She is the writer of the Infected series for DSP Publications as well as a bunch of other stuff, and is Editor In Chief of CxPulp.com, where she reviews comics as well as movies and other stuff. She's won a couple of Rainbow Awards, and feels she may be ubiquitous on the web. But she is not (sadly) the Italian DJ of the same name that often comes up first in Google searches.
Visit her website at http://www.andreaspeed.com and her Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/andrea.speed.3. She tweets at https://twitter.com/aspeed.
Ready for some Post Apocalyptic Romance? Today I'm reading from Beyond the Darkness, books 3 in Leslie Lee Sanders refuge Inc. series - now available as a set, The Complete Darkness Collection. Shivery stuff perfect for the season :)
The Complete Darkness Collection
By Leslie Less Sanders
3-Book Boxed Set
Exploring the lives of two asteroid impact survivors and their journey through the dark, collapsed city of Phoenix and their ever- changing relationship between themselves, their pasts and their futures.
Barnes and Noble
Before the Darkness (Book 1)
After an asteroid strikes Earth, a series of violent earthquakes destroy secluded Phoenix and leave survivor Elliot struggling to stay focused in the bleak aftermath. He meets fellow survivor, Adam, and together they search for reliable shelter and other survivors while distant, murky clouds fast approach. Their hunt for shelter leads them down an alternate path when they find spray painted symbols directing them to a mysterious place: Refuge Inc.
Amid the Darkness (Book 2)
Weeks after an asteroid strikes Earth, hurling Elliot and Adam into a fight for their survival, the two take shelter in an underground compound known as Refuge Inc. Shaking their past seems impossible as it comes back to haunt them, weakening the foundation of their relationship. Elliot, hung up on guilt over his former actions, tries to right his wrongs which leads him face-to-face with the troubling secrets of the compound. Adam’s run-in with the enigmatic prophet makes him question Refuge Inc. and the survivors’ future.
Beyond the Darkness (Book 3)
Phoenix—a dark, vast ruin, speckled with sporadic rays of light pushing its way through the dark, dense clouds. Adam and Elliot wander the collapsed city for days before taking shelter at the nearly-standing Arrowhead hospital. Their days are filled with hopes of rescue and a deep need for emotional and mental closeness, until a harsh reality take over their thoughts—their food and supplies are dwindling, and they are in desperate need of assistance and reprieve. They’re forced to return to the hellish compound, also known as Refuge Inc.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
The author of several books of fiction and fiction with spice, Leslie Lee Sanders resides in Queen Creek, Arizona, with her husband, three daughters, and a wild beast she calls her imagination. She's known for writing erotic romance, mostly in the gay and ménage categories, and recently plunged into writing deep, dark romantic sci-fi with her post-apocalyptic and dystopian series, Refuge Inc. She also writes horror that thrills and chills under L.L. Sanders. She loves to hear from readers and fellow authors!
I was scheduled for a reading at GRL this year but due to a cancellation, a bit of reshuffling was in order. Doing a Q&A panel now, but I thought, "Well, heck, why let the reading go to waste?" This then, would've been the excerpt I would've read ;)
No Fae is An Island
Endangered Fae Series #4
Cover Artist: Winterheart Designs
Barnes and Noble
Three years ago, Danu banished Diego for a time from the human world. Three years and three days doesn't seem that long to be away from home but living among the wild /fae /can change a man and the human world returns the favor by changing while he's gone. There's a vampire on Tearmann Island's security force. A curious selkie's followed him home. So much to do to keep the world safe...but Diego's no longer sure he has the right to interfere.
Theo Aguilar started his vampire life on the wrong side of the law. He's killed and knows he's dangerous if he doesn't stay in control every moment. But the /fae/ took him in and Prince Lugh has given him a position of trust. So when Diego and Finn are arrested on a diplomatic mission far from home, he knows his duty. He's striking out on his own to rescue them, a lone vigilante once again, this time for the good guys. The only glitch? The selkie, Limpet, can't seem to understand the alone part.
Angel writes (mostly) Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around queer 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.