In honor of Juneteenth this week - the day that news of the Emancipation Proclamation was delivered to Texas in 1865, two and a half years after the actual proclamation (for more on this event, see Juneteenth.com) - I won't be reading to you. It's important that you hear from someone else here - the inestimable Maya Angelou.
I was lucky enough to see her speak at my University in 1984. She filled the room. Yes, every seat was taken, but she filled that room. Her presence. Her oratory. The way she put all of herself into every poem she read. If you can watch this and not react with strong emotion, you have no heart.
The Mask was written by Paul Laurence Dunbar. Maya Angelou's spoken word performance brings it to life:
Friday has returned! This week, I get to read to you from a collection I've been waiting for - Tales From Ardulum which contains several stories from that universe including what's happening to our intrepid Neek and Co. a year after Third Don. :D
Tales From Ardulum
One year after saving the Neek homeworld and redefining the people’s religion, the crew of the Scarlet Lucidity returns to the Charted Systems for a much-needed break. For Nicholas and Yorden, the Systems will always be home, but for Emn and Atalant, too many memories compound with Emn’s strange new illness to provide much relaxation.
TALES FROM ARDULUM continues the journey of Atalant, Emn, Yorden, Nicholas, and Salice as they try to define their place in a galaxy that no longer needs them while battling the artifacts of Ardulan colonization. Other stories include Yorden’s acquisition of the Mercy’s Pledge (and his grudge against the galaxy), Atalant’s exile from her homeworld, Ekimet and Savath’s romance, and many others.
About the Author
J.S. Fields (@Galactoglucoman) is a scientist who has perhaps spent too much time around organic solvents. They enjoy roller derby, woodturning, making chainmail by hand, and cultivating fungi in the backs of minivans. Nonbinary, and yes, it matters.
Fields has lived in Thailand, Ireland, Canada, USA, and spent extensive time in many more places. Their current research takes them to the Peruvian Amazon rainforest each summer, where they traumatizes students with machetes and tangarana ants while looking for rare pigmenting fungi. They live with their partner and child, and a very fabulous lionhead rabbit named Merlin.
Author Website: http://www.jsfieldsbooks.com
Author Twitter: @galactoglucoman
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16484795.J_S_Fields
Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-s-fields/
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/J.S.-Fields/e/B071YWC4VN
J.S. Fields is giving away four prizes with this tour: a collectible soft enamel pin of the Mercy's Pledge (2), and a high res version of one of the interior illustrations (their choice, pick from Yorden, Nick, Emn, or Atalant) (2). Enter via Rafflecopter:
Friday is here! And that means I get to read to you. :) This week, I have an excerpt from a m/m fantasy by Kasia Bacon - magic, gladiators, assassins, all the fun stuff. ;)
Don't Fight the Spark
A Soldiers and Mercenaries Story
by Kasia Bacon
Amazon - Kindle Unlimited
As the Light Festival draws near, the Něssyrians craft paper lanterns, awaiting the most important holiday of the year.
The Lyliňg Fighting House, too, prepares for celebration--by laying fresh sand onto the arena and setting up a match against their top pit fighter, the unrivalled Yüuzuki Ōren.
His last match. One he can’t win.
With the odds more than stacked against him, the gorgeous Barbarian is as good as dead. Unless his lover, healer Ĥaiatto Ẽkana, proves himself every bit as determined as he is clever and finds a way to protect the man he'd stop at nothing to save.
About Kasia Bacon
A linguist and an avid reader with a particular fondness for fantasy and paranormal genres, KASIA BACON lives in London with her husband. When not tearing her hair out over a translating project, she writes stories about the shenanigans of emotionally constipated assassins and sexy Elves. Otherwise, she can be found shaking her loins at a Zumba class, binging on anime or admiring throwing knives on Pinterest. A lover of MMA and Muay Thai, she also enjoys nature and the great outdoors. She dreams of becoming independently wealthy, leaving the city and moving into her wooden mini-manor—located in the heart of stunning forests resembling those of the Elven Country depicted in her tales.
Find Kasia online:
For excerpts, free stories and updates about new projects, sign up for Kasia’s newsletter.
OK - so it's Friday Reading Day on Saturday. Various things got in the way this week, sorry about that. This week we have an exciting excerpt from G.B. Gordon's Match Grade - assassin protagonist anyone? :D
by G.B. Gordon
Amazon - Kindle Unlimited
Eirik Haldurson is a hitman. Kidnapped at age five and cruelly trained by his captor, he is today one of the most sought-after contract killers alive. Emotional distance from his targets, brutally beaten into him until it became second nature, is now the only way he can function. Lately though, that distance has started to elude him.
And when a Colombian drug cartel contracts Eirik to take out ex-soldier-turned-vigilante, Matt Moreno, distance is suddenly as close as heat to fire. And all hell breaks loose.
This book is part of CRIMINAL DELIGHTS. Each novel can be read as a standalone and contains a dark M/M romance.
Warning: These books are for adult readers who enjoy stories where lines between right and wrong get blurry. High heat, twisted and tantalizing, these are not for the fainthearted.
About G.B. Gordon
G.B. Gordon worked as a packer, landscaper, waiter, and coach before going back to school to major in linguistics and, at thirty-five, switch to less backbreaking monetary pursuits like translating, editing, and writing. Having lived in various parts of the world, Gordon is now happily ensconced in suburban Ontario with the best of all husbands.
Website and blog
Happy Friday, everyone! We finally have some blue skies here today and I have an excerpt with lovely blue skies in it to read to you from Under the Radar, a M/M historical from Lillian Francis. Come have a listen!
Under the Radar
By Lillian Francis
It’s 1942 and after a sexual indiscretion, US Navy pilot Zachary MacKenzie is sent to serve in the Royal Navy’s submarine service—a shockingly harsh punishment for a man who loves to fly. The submarine is oppressive and frustrating for him, and he’s marked out from his peers, publicly by being American, and privately by his attraction to men.
The only bright spot is the company of his steward, sonar operator Gethin Llewelyn. Despite the differences of rank and background, they’re drawn to each other. Gethin’s integrity complements Zach’s casual joie de vivre, and soon the friendship develops into something much more.
As the threats of war increase, the submarine is plagued by potentially hostile vessels, and circumstances lead them to suspect there’s a spy amongst their own crew. Being forced even closer together as they work for the greater good reveals a new awareness, and Zach doesn’t know what is in more danger, the vessel under his charge or his heart.
Universal link: https://books2read.com/UnderTheRadar
Universal Amazon link: mybook.to/UndertheRadar_LF
Add it to your Goodreads bookshelf here.
About the Author
Lillian Francis is a self-confessed geek who likes nothing more than settling down with a comic or a good book, except maybe writing. Given a notepad, pen, her Kindle, and an infinite supply of chocolate Hob Nobs and she can lose herself for weeks. Romance was never her reading matter of choice, so it came as a great surprise to all concerned, including herself, to discover a romance was exactly what she’d written, and not the rollicking spy adventure or cosy murder mystery she always assumed she’d write.
Facebook Author Page
Lillian’s Lovefest – FB group
Sign up for my newsletter
Happy Friday, everyone! A little while ago, I read a bit from the first book in this series for you, A New World: Contact. Today we have an excerpt from the second story - and Faa. :D
A New World-Conviction
by M.D. Neu
Barnes & Noble
A little blue world, the third planet from the sun. It's home to 7 billion people with all manner of faiths, beliefs and customs, divided by bigotry and misunderstanding, who will soon be told they are not alone in the universe. Anyone watching from the outside would pass by this fractured and tumultuous world, unless they had no other choice.
Todd Landon is one of these people, living and working in a section of the world called the United States of America. His life is similar to those around him: home, family, work, friends and a husband.
After the attack on San Jose, Todd is appointed to Special Envoy for Terran Affairs by the nentraee, a position many world leaders question. Undeterred Todd wants to build bridges between both people. However, this new position brings with it a new set of problems that not only he, but his new allies Mi’ko and Mirtoff must overcome. Will the humans and nentraee learn to work together despite mistrust and threats of more attacks by a new global terrorist group, or will the terrorists win? Will this bring an end to an already shaky alliance between nentraee and humans?
Happy Friday, everyone! Today's reading is from Erik Schubach's lesbian Urban Fairytales, Red Hood: The Hunt. A nice, calm opening sequence for you with guns firing and werewolves breaching the walls. :D
Red Hood: The Hunt
Urban Fairytales 1
by Erik Schubach
A third of the world's population are cursed to become werewolves on the full moon, and walled cities like Seattle protect the Clean Bloods. People like Detective Daria McQueen protect the gates of the city to stand against the packs of wolves, three nights a month.
When Daria discovers a breach in the wall while on her patrol, and saves a family from infection by three hungry wolves. Daria herself is saved by a Wolf Hunter she had believed to be nothing but an urban legend, the Red Hood, Maireni Damaschin. The mysterious woman in a red cloak seems to possess inhuman abilities.
Daria and Maireni find themselves caught in a tangled web of deception that goes back centuries, which could spell the end to Clean Bloods and throw the world into servitude.
Barnes & Noble
Friday is here once more! This week I'm reading a bit for you from the start of The Mage on the Hill. I know some folks are curious - so here's an appetizer :)
The Mage on the Hill
Web of Arcana 1
Coming May 7 - up for preorder:
Barnes and Noble
Toby’s wild magic is killing him. The mage guilds have given up on him, and it’s only a matter of time before he dies in a spectacular, catastrophic bang. His only hope is an exiled wizard who lives in seclusion—and is rumored to have lost his mind.
The years alone on his hilltop estate have not been good for Darius Valstad. After the magical accident that disfigured him and nearly drowned Pittsburgh, he drifts through his days, a wraith trapped in memories and depression. Until a stricken young man collapses on his driveway, one who claims Darius is his last chance. For the first time in fifteen years, Darius must make a choice—leave this wild mage to his fate or take him in and try to teach him, which may kill them both. The old Darius, brash and commanding, wouldn’t have hesitated. Darius the exile isn’t sure he can find the energy to try.
Happy Friday, everyone! Today's excerpt is part of a shared universe anthology that looks really exciting - Love Shines Through: A Fractured World Anthology, and our story is a M/NB SF from the lovely Siri Paulson. Hooray! :)
Love Shines Through: A Fractured World Anthology
With stories by Kit Campbell, Siri Paulson, KD Sarge, and Erin Zarro
Genre: LGBTQ fantasy romance anthology. Pairings include two F/F, one M/NB, and one M/F.
From Turtleduck Press
The world was whole before the war.
But war is a terrible thing, and terrible things are done in the name of defense and protection. And this war tore the world apart, fractured it, separated families and lives and dreams. The reasons why no longer matter, but the effects still linger. They cause pain, though the war is over.
But despite the monsters and the poisons and the despair, there is a glimmer of light. And hope and love are not gone from the world.
These four stories, set in the Fractured World, explore how light can make it through the darkness. How hope can conquer fear. And most of all, how love can still flourish, even when the world is bleak.
A young woman braves monsters to see the sky.
A reluctant man chooses forgiveness over suffering.
Lovers reunite to save a child and their community.
Best friends risk everything for each other.
Come see the light for yourselves.
Canadian Kindle: https://www.amazon.ca/Love-Shines-Through-Fractured-Anthology-ebook/dp/B07PH9YZHH/
Canadian print: https://www.amazon.ca/Love-Shines-Through-Fractured-Anthology/dp/1090133901/
Turtleduck Press web page: http://turtleduckpress.com/wordpress/2019/03/11/love-shines-through-a-fractured-world-anthology/
Siri Paulson loves nothing more than mixing up genres to see what will happen. She also wears the hats of non-fiction editor by day and chief editor of Turtleduck Press by night. Her other passion is contra (folk) dancing. Thankfully, her long-suffering husband is good at keeping himself occupied. After growing up in Alberta, Canada, she moved to Toronto and achieved her lifelong dream of buying an old house, dubbed the TARDIS because it's bigger on the inside. Other lifelong dreams include publishing novels (one and counting), travelling the world (so far, so good), and becoming an astronaut (still waiting on that one).
Siri's debut fantasy novel is set in the same world as Love Shines Through, several hundred years later. City of Hope and Ruin, co-written with Kit Campbell, was published in 2016 and is available at http://turtleduckpress.com/wordpress/2016/05/09/city-of-hope-and-ruin/.
Her short SF&F fiction has been published in the 2017 "A Holiday to Remember" collection from Mischief Corner Books (https://www.mischiefcornerbooks.com/a-new-year-on-vega-iii.html), in Queer Sci Fi's flash fiction anthology Renewal (https://queerscifi.com/announcement-renewal-qsfs-flash-fiction-anthology/), and on Daily Science Fiction. More short fiction and the anthologies she has edited can be found on her Turtleduck Press bio, at http://turtleduckpress.com/wordpress/2010/11/30/who-is-siri-paulson/.
She can be found occasionally blogging at https://siripaulson.wordpress.com/ and dabbling in photography at http://www.instagram.com/siripaulson/.
Happy Friday, all! Today's reading is a little different. I explain in the audio. ;)
(Author's note: If you don't do well with horror, skip this one. You won't hurt my feelings.)
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.