Hello, Friday listeners! This week, I'm excited to bring you a brand new high fantasy humor piece from Evelyn Benvie - I Am Not Your Chosen One. The title alone says we're going on a trope subversion journey. :D Up for pre-order now, releasing June 14. Come have a listen:
I Am Not Your Chosen One
Not Your Chosen 1
by Evelyn Benvie
Kell Hồ Sinh Porter is twenty-six years old and desperate to leave his unhappy life and his dead-end town.
One night his wish is granted by a mysterious voice—though not in any way he would've imagined—and he finds himself in the semi-magical land of Allune where everyone thinks he’s the “Chosen One.” Kell politely disagrees, and absconds from his duties. On the search for an adventure that doesn’t come with world-saving responsibility attached, he’s joined by companions. Every adventurer needs them, but his turn out to be Ansel, a sheltered fallen angel, and Fre, a half-orlk who wants to be a hero.
Destiny, bad luck, and the gods conspire against him. The Dawn Goddess wants him to take up his Chosen One mantle, which Kell is sure means becoming cannon fodder in an ancient divine war. The Lich King’s demonic minions carry out sporadic attacks in an attempt to kill him and prove he is not the Chosen One. Temperamental elves, talking stars that aren't all that helpful, image-conscious demons, maddening pieces of prophecy that everyone thinks Kell should already know, and his growing feelings for Ansel all mix in a frustrating stew as Kell tries to juggle his feelings, his duties, and all the things trying to kill him. No one asked him if he wanted to be anyone's Chosen One, and he can't begin to understand why he was chosen.
Kell needs to figure out who to trust and how to forge his own path before it's too late for Allune and for him.
Evelyn Benvie is a wooly jumper from a family of black sheep and has always wanted to be a writer. She was raised on a steady diet of classic fantasy and science fiction but grew dissatisfied with the way people and relationships were often portrayed in mainstream books.
Like, why does the princess have to get married at all? Why are aliens gender-coded? Why is every single person straight?
So she dreamed of writing sensible books with sensible characters who better reflected her own experiences as a queer woman. It’s taken a while, and fiction has gotten a lot more diverse since then (even as her own characters have gotten a whole lot less sensible), but it’s all good.
Hello, lovely people! We've had a lot of paranormals visit with us for Friday Reading Day, but this is a first - a vegan werewolf. Karenna Colcroft brings us the first in her Real Werewolves Don't Eat Meat series - Salad On The Side. Come have a listen! :) (And don't forget the giveaway at the bottom of the post!)
Salad On The Side
Real Werewolves Don't Eat Meat #1
by Karenna Colcroft
Amazon - KU
Since moving to Boston, Kyle Slidell has met only a few of his neighbors, including Tobias Rogan. Kyle is very interested in Tobias, and is ecstatic to learn that Tobias wants him, too.
But his neighbors have a secret: They're a werewolf pack, and Tobias is their Alpha. When one of the wolves attacks Kyle, he learns the truth in a hurry--and in the most painful way. Now he's a werewolf too, and as a vegan is at war with his wolf aspect, who craves meat.
With Tobias's help and love, Kyle must adjust to his new life. But can he protect the pack and his lover from a werewolf seeking revenge against Tobias?
Karenna Colcroft lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts, and has been in love with the city since childhood, though she has yet to encounter any werewolves, vampires, or other paranormal beings in her travels. At least none that she knows of. Though since in her non-writing life, under another name, she offers services as a channel and energy healing practitioner, it could be said that she herself is a paranormal being. The jury’s still out on that.
Karenna is a polyamorous, nonbinary human who splits time between the home she shares with her husband and the one she shares with her committed partner. She also has two adult children and a bonus son, three grandchildren, and two and a half cats. (Half in terms of time the cat lives with her, not in terms of the cat itself…)
Author Website: http://www.karennacolcroft.com
Author Facebook (Personal): http://www.facebook.com/riverlightbearer
Author Facebook (Author Page): http://www.facebook.com/KarennaColcroft
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Karenna-Colcroft/e/B0031HAOUK
Happy Friday, everyone! Time for me to read to you from a new story from Katherine McIntyre! Fake relationship, best friend's sibling, gosh-I-thought-you-were-straight - it's all there in this lesbian contemporary romance with a bit of kink and don't forget the giveaway at the bottom of the post!
Come have a listen. :)
by Katherine McIntyre
One rule: don’t fall for your best friend’s straight sister. Especially not when she’s pretending to be your fake girlfriend.
Chelsea Moore is officially divorced from her asshole husband, and after wasting her early twenties putting up with his shit, she’s burning to get out there and play the field—especially a certain kinkier side he made her feel like garbage about.
Kyle Walker’s terrified to put herself out there. According to her mother, she doesn’t have the looks to hook anyone, but what makes it worse is that her dating history falls in line. However, when her family tries to claim she’s not really a lesbian, she tells them she’s bringing her girlfriend to Christmas. Only problem? She doesn’t have one.
In comes sexy, newly divorced, and straight Chelsea Moore to the rescue—her best friend Aubrey’s little sister. She’s doing Kyle a favor—like any friend would—except Kyle’s half in love with her from the moment they start hanging out. All too soon those lines begin to blur—lingering touches, flirting, kissing…. And when they connect on kink and begin hooking up, that’s when Kyle knows she’s screwed.
Chelsea might have Aubrey to protect her heart, but Kyle could lose both her best friend and the only woman who’s made her feel like she's worth more.
Katherine McIntyre is a feisty chick with a big attitude despite her short stature. She writes stories featuring snarky women, ragtag crews, and men with bad attitudes—and there's an equally high chance for a passionate speech thrown into the mix. As an eternal geek and tomboy who’s always stepped to her own beat, she’s made it her mission to write stories that represent the broad spectrum of people out there, from different cultures and races to all varieties of men and women.
Author Website: http://www.katherine-mcintyre.com
Author Facebook (Author Page): http://www.facebook.com/kmcintyreauthor
Author Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pixierants
Author Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/authorkmcintyre
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6473654.Katherine_McIntyre
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Katherine-McIntyre/e/B00J8U4VNU
It's Friday!! Huzzah! This week, I'm reading to you from Dan Ackerman's brand new fantasy novel, The Parsley Knight (releases July 1) - into the fae court we go! Come have a listen:
The Parsley Knight
by Dan Ackerman
Barnes & Noble
Newly knighted and green as anything, Ainsley looks forward to his first quest, not just for the independence it will bring but for the coin as well. He's not sure what he'll find on his journey but he didn't anticipate friendly witches, baby dragons, or a curious crow that brings him trinkets.
Not sure if the crow is an ill omen, Ainsley tries to keep his distance but can't resist tossing the bird a few crumbs. The crow returns the favor one day when Ainsley is in danger, revealing his true nature as Rue, a semi-exiled member of the dazzling and dangerous fairy court.
After an attack, Rue brings him to Otherworld to recover and as Ainsley regains his health, their attraction grows. Being home is no easy feat and Rue is dragged back into court life as Ainsley longs for home. The men have to make a choice between two worlds when neither of those worlds feels exactly like home.
Dan Ackerman is a writer and educator who has lived in Connecticut for their entire life. They wrote their Master's thesis on representations of women in same-sex relationships in contemporary Spanish literature and cinema.
In their spare time, Dan continues to read and write, supplemented with a healthy amount of movie marathons and gaming.
Happy Friday! Reading Day is back this week with frequent guest Jeff Baker, who brings us a short but dark story from a museum. Note from the author: the artist - Bernecky - mentioned at the end is from the show Murphy Brown, for those who remember. :)
You can find more about Jeff and his work authorjeffbaker.com
Happy Friday, everyone! We have reached the end of the week and another Reading Day! This week, I'm reading to you from Ellie Thomas' newest m/m historical - London in the Rain. This time, Ellie takes us to 1930's London, just before the start of WWII. Come have a listen :)
London in the Rain
by Ellie Thomas
A life of set routine is the norm for Raymond Smith. Now in his mid-thirties, a fleeting wartime romance far behind him, he is an exemplary clerk at a London insurance firm where he’s perceived as dry and conventional.
But Raymond has a secret. Every month or so, he visits Charlie’s, one of the more understated bars in Soho's flowering gay scene in the 1930s. There, he seeks relief with strangers to get him through the next few weeks.
On one of these visits, he encounters suave David Carstairs, a well-travelled linguist with the Foreign Office. Rather than a brief encounter, David offers him friendship and even affection. Despite Raymond’s misgivings, the two men, with their contrasting backgrounds and experiences, start to form a bond in the spring of 1936 as Europe inexorably begins to march towards war. Will Raymond fearfully reject this chance of happiness? Or can he unbend enough to allow David into his heart and life?
Ellie Thomas lives by the sea. She comes from a teaching background and goes for long seaside walks where she daydreams about history. She is a voracious reader especially about anything historical. She mainly writes historical gay romance.
Ellie also writes historical erotic romance as L. E. Thomas.
Happy Friday, everyone! A special sneak peek this week (all the rhyming!) as I read to you from the second Variant Configurations novel, From the Noblest Motives. (Coming in August this year!) Completely unedited :D
From the Noblest Motives
Variant Configurations 2
by Angel Martinez
Several months have passed since Blaze and the infamous Variant activist Shudder McKenzie helped Damien rescue captives of the sinister Fredamine Project. Professionally, everything's great. He's back to working with Damien again and they have a new lead on the four kids who are still missing. Personally, not so much. Blaze has made his peace with Shudder, though nothing between them has even been easy, but his relationship with Damien has taken several steps back. Blaze no longer has any idea where he stands. Adding to the tense atmosphere are the anti-Variant members of legislature who have been slowly gaining popular approval, and the cryptic messages Damien receives from an unknown source.
Shudder's back to his old haunts and his old tricks, trying to raise public awareness of imperiled Variant rights—such as the draconic Horace Act that strips due process during Variant trials—and to rescue Variant kids in trouble. His almost mythical luck runs out though when he's arrested for murder only three days after the passage of the Horace Act and a whirlwind trial and sentencing lands him in the most notorious maximum security facility for Variants—San Judas Tadeo.
With too many conspirators on both sides of the aisle, Damien, Blaze and Shudder no longer know whom to trust. Peeling through the layers of deceit and half-truths puts them on shakier ground with every discovery and in greater danger than ever before.
Variant Configurations takes place in a future Earth where humanity is reclaiming its spot in a gradually healing world. This book contains mentions of past abuse, action-adventure style mayhem, and the sparks of a slow burn, series-spanning relationship.
We've reached Friday! Hooray! This week, I'm reading to you from a story included in Warren Rochelle's queer speculative fiction anthology, To Bring Him Home And Other Tales. This particular story, "Blue Ghosts", takes place two hundred years in the future, post alien invasion. :o Come have a listen:
To Bring Him Home And Other Tales
by Warren Rochelle
Barnes & Noble
Home, a place where we belong and are safe and loved. Home, the house in which we grew up, a neighborhood, a culture, even a country. Home is a state of mind, it is a place of the heart, and in the heart.
Finding home, coming home, and bringing home the one we love is a journey, a journey that can be a dangerous adventure. For the lovers in these stories, adventures can include quests and fighting dragons and demons, past and present, physical as well as mental and emotional. Rocket launchers need to be dodged, the Wild Hunt needs to be outrun. For some of the lovers here, home has been lost, or they have been forced to leave, as is too common for LGBT+ youth.
In this collection, queer positive speculative fiction stories explore the idea of what and where home is in the lives of these lovers. Will they survive their quests, defeat their monsters? Will they find a place to call home?
Warren Rochelle lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his husband and their little dog, Gypsy. He has just retired from teaching English at the University of Mary Washington. His short fiction and poetry have been published in such journals and anthologies as Icarus, North Carolina Literary Review, Forbidden Lines, Aboriginal Science Fiction, Collective Fallout, Queer Fish 2, Empty Oaks, Quantum Fairy Tales, Migration, The Silver Gryphon, Jaelle Her Book, Colonnades, and Graffiti, as well as the Asheville Poetry Review, GW Magazine, Crucible, The Charlotte Poetry Review, and Romance and Beyond.
His short story “The Golden Boy” was a finalist for the 2004 Spectrum Award for Short Fiction. His short story “Mirrors” was just published in Under a Green Rose, a queering romance anthology from Cuil Press. “The Latest Thing,” a flash fiction story, is forthcoming in the Queer Sci Fi anthology, Innovation.
Rochelle is also the author of four novels: The Wild Boy (2001), Harvest of Changelings (2007), and The Called (2010), all published by Golden Gryphon Press, and The Werewolf and His Boy, published by Samhain Publishing in September 2016 and re-released from JMS Books in August 2020.
For more information, please visit facebook.com/warren.rochelle.
Happy Friday, All! This week, we have a m/m paranormal on deck for our reading - M.D. Neu's The Calling! Immortals and dangerous visions! Come have a listen:
The Calling #1
by M.D. Neu
Being nobody isn’t Duncan Alexander’s life goal, but it’s worked for him. He has a nondescript job, a few good friends, and overall he’s content. That’s until one fateful trip to San Jose, California, where he is ‘Called’ to meet the mysterious Juliet de Exter. Juliet is a beautiful, wealthy, powerful Immortal who is undertaking ‘The Calling’ – a search for a human to join her world of Immortals. Inexplicably, Duncan’s calling is more dangerous than any of the Immortals, even Juliet, ever thought it would be.
There is more to this nobody, this only child of long deceased parents, than anyone thought. When Duncan experiences uncontrollable dreams of people he doesn’t know and places he hasn’t been, Juliet and the other Immortals worry. Soon, his visions point to a coven of long dead witches. The dreams also lead Duncan to his one true love. How will Duncan navigate a forbidden romance with an outcast Immortal? How will he and the others keep the balance between the Light and Dark, survive vicious attacks, and keep the humans from learning who they truly are? More importantly, who is this implacable foe Duncan keeps seeing in his dreams?
About M.D. :
M.D. Neu is an inclusive international award-winning Gay fiction writer with a love for writing and travel. Living in the heart of Silicon Valley (San Jose, California) and growing up around technology, he’s always been fascinated with what could be. Specifically drawn to sci-fi and paranormal television and novels, M.D. Neu was inspired by the great Gene Roddenberry, George Lucas, Stephen King, Alice Walker, Alfred Hitchcock, Harvey Fierstein, Anne Rice, and Kim Stanley Robinson. An odd combination, but one that has influenced his writing.
Growing up in an accepting family as a gay man, he always wondered why there were never stories reflecting who he was. Constantly surrounded by characters that only reflected heterosexual society, M.D. Neu decided he wanted to change that. So, he took to writing, wanting to tell good stories that reflected our diverse world.
When M.D. Neu isn’t writing, he works for a nonprofit and travels with his biggest supporter and his harshest critic, Eric, his husband of twenty plus years.
Happy Friday, everyone! This week, I have an excerpt from a contemporary romance in a historical place! Making History at Crofton Hall is part of Rebecca Cohen's Crofton Hall books - some of which take place in the past and some today. It's the tenth anniversary of Crofton Hall, too. :D Come have a listen!
Making History at Crofton Hall
Modern Crofton #2
by Rebecca Cohen
Crofton Hall is buzzing with anticipation for the filming of the Secret Histories TV special about a scandalous affair that has been hidden for over four hundred years.
The hall's new historian, Dara Callaghan, is drawn not just by the hall's rich history but to TV producer, Nathan Lorimer. Nathan is finally ready to start dating again, several years after the death of his husband. There's something about Dara, a quietly spoken Irishman, and the romance that surrounds Crofton Hall, that makes him want to take a chance.
Meanwhile, Ben Redbourn, 16th Earl of Crofton, is trying to persuade his boyfriend Ashley Niven that he'd like to don doublet and hose and play Sebastian to his Anthony. But Ashley's not having any of it... until someone else agrees to the take the part of the 1st Earl of Crofton's lover.
This is the second Modern Crofton novel, featuring Benjamin Redbourn, the 16th Earl of Crofton and descendant of Anthony Redbourn, 1st Earl of Crofton from my historical series, The Crofton Chronicles. While designed to be read as a standalone, events that lead to this novel follow chronologically from Saving Crofton Hall.
Trigger warnings: discussion of grief and dealing with bereavement
This year marks 10 years of the Crofton universe, The Actor and the Earl first released way back in 2012 and on Februray 24, the newest Crofton novel, Making History at Crofton Hall was released into the world.
Start the journey with The Actor and the Earl
<3 Marriage of convenience
<3 Twins swapping places
<3 A virgin and a rogue
<3 Elizabethan courtly love
<3 Risking it all for a happy ending
<3 Inspired by Shakespeare
Or the first Modern Saving Crofton Hall
<3 Secrets uncovered
<3 Very British Gay Rom Com
<3 “A Modern, Gayer, Downton Abbey” ;)
REBECCA COHEN spends her days dreaming of a living in a Tudor manor house, or a Georgian mansion. Alas, the closest she comes to this is through her characters in her historical romance novels. She also dreams of intergalactic adventures and fantasy realms, but because she’s not yet got her space or dimensional travel plans finalised, she lives happily in leafy Hertfordshire, England, with her husband and young son. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and sloe gin with lemon tonic in the other.
With contemporaries, historicals, sci fi and fantasy in her back catalogue, there should be something for every taste in Rebecca's work.
Find Rebecca’s work here: https://www.amazon.com/Rebecca-Cohen/e/B007UEFIXS
My social media
Facebook Group: Rebecca’s Ramblings
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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.