Hello, Friday! And hello to all of you! This week, the lovely EJ Russell allows me to read from her new holiday short - and we get to learn a new word. :D (Or at least I do. Maybe you all knew it already.)
If you'd like to know all about swants, start here :)
How To Transform Woolly Sweaters Into Sassy Pants
A Swants Soiree
by EJ Russell
Introverted software engineer Brent Levine struggles with the life part of work-life balance, but to hold on to his new job, he’ll have to embrace his employer’s dreaded “staff enrichment” events. This year’s annual ugly holiday sweater party will strain his ambition to remain inconspicuous: everyone has to wear sweaters converted into pants—aka “swants.”
Brent’s an ace at coding, but when it comes to handcrafts, he’s definitely at the far left end of the bell curve. Luckily he encounters seriously cute theater costumer Jonathan at the Goodwill Outlet. Jonathan offers Brent both an acceptably ugly sweater and his expertise in swants conversion. Attraction sparks on Brent’s side, but can Jonathan be interested in a guy like him?
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."
E.J. Russell—grace, mother of three, recovering actor—holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business intelligence consultant (as one does). She’s recently abandoned data wrangling, however, and spends her days wrestling words. Her paranormal romantic comedy, The Druid Next Door, was a 2018 RITA® finalist and the winner of the 2017 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Fantasy Romance.
E.J. is married to Curmudgeonly Husband, a man who cares even less about sports than she does. Luckily, CH loves to cook, or all three of their children (Lovely Daughter and Darling Sons A and B) would have survived on nothing but Cheerios, beef jerky, and satsuma mandarins (the extent of E.J.’s culinary skill set).
E.J. lives in rural Oregon, enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.
Connect with E.J.:
Facebook group (Reality Optional): https://www.facebook.com/groups/reality.optional
Follow E.J. on:
Facebook author page: https://facebook.com/E.J.Russell.author
Hello all! It's Friday and time for a read! Today's excerpt is from the new paranormal suspense from A.M. Burns and A.T. Weaver - Visions of Rage. Mountain lion shifter meets wolf shifter with a killer to catch. :o Now only .99 until 11/12! Come have a listen:
Visions of Rage
A.M. Burns and A.T. Weaver
Blood runs deep in Jemez Springs.
Psychic cougar shifter Connor McGriffin is used to his visions leading him around. For years, he’s followed them back and forth across the country to the people who need his help. When his comfortable vacation in the mountains is interrupted by a vision of a woman dying, he can’t see enough details to find the killer and stop him from striking again. Facing the most dangerous foe he’s ever dealt with, Connor needs all the help he can get.
Small town deputy and wolf shifter, Danny Lupan is getting bored of chasing speeders and the occasional drug dealer. When the call comes that Sandoval County has its first murder in years, and it happened in his jurisdiction, he jumps at the chance to find the killer, no matter the danger involved. Little does he know, he might lose his heart, his life, or maybe both.
When a cougar and a wolf join forces, the bad guys better watch out, because the fur’s going to fly, in more ways than one.
Join Connor and Danny on their first adventure together in the start of the fast-paced, suspenseful thriller series Shifter Force.
About the Authors:
A.M. started writing fiction in high school…nearly forty years ago. It was how he passed the time between class assignments. It was particularly effective at making teachers think he was busy with class work. In later years he also used it to look busy during corporate jobs. he completed his first book in high school and have never stopped writing.
He self-published his first public-ready book in 2010. “Perfect Love” is an LGBT Urban Fantasy novel. About the same time his first professionally published short story “Sticks and Stones” was published in the anthology “How the West was Wicked”. Since then he has published numerous books and short stories, both through traditional markets and indie, making him a true hybrid author. He currently tracks the sales of 130 different titles of various lengths, under several pen names, that he earns royalties on.
He has assisted various co-authors in editing their works for publication, both trad and indie. He has been the editor on several anthologies for Out in Colorado Fiction Writers, and been co-editor on two anthologies for Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group. He has been an active member of the Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group for eight years, and learned the fine art of critiquing and editing for authors of all levels of skill.
He’s interested in helping with the 2018 Whit and Whimsy anthology because he likes helping new authors grow their craft and getting good edits is a productive way to do that.
A.T. is a 70+ great-grandmother who often thought about trying her hand at writing. Having been a prolific reader of romance novels all of her adult life, she was sure she could do it. Most of her working life was spent as an accountant and bookkeeper. Although she’d done some song writing back in her 30s and early 40s, it wasn’t until she was 60 that a friend said he’d “like to read a book where the boy gets the boy and they ride off into the sunset together.” She was unemployed at the time and decided to give it a try. The result was Acceptance: One Man’s Quest.
Since then, she’s self-published about a dozen titles, mostly with gay characters, in various genres: contemporary and urban fantasy, (such as time travel, shifters, and witches) all with a hint of romance.
A.M. and A.T. started as Facebook friends doing beta reads for each other nearly ten years ago. She’s one of the ‘new’ authors he has taken under his wing. Their first joint effort was a dragon-shifter, police drama called “The Black Fin Case”. During National Novel Writing Month a few years ago, she came up with the idea of a psychic mountain-lion shifter partnered with a wolf shifter chasing a serial killer through New Mexico. When A.M. did the beta on what she had written, he thought that with some additions, it would make a good series. Thus, Shifter Force was born.
Hello and welcome to Friday! :D This week's audio excerpt is from the final book in J. Scott Coatsworth's Liminal Sky series - The Shoreless Sea. The survival of a generation ship and the fate of humanity rest on the outcome!
(Don't forget the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the post!)
The Shoreless Sea
Liminal Sky 3
by J. Scott Coatsworth
Barnes & Noble
As the epic trilogy hurtles toward its conclusion, the fight for the future isn’t over yet. It could lead to a new beginning, or it might spell the end for the last vestiges of humankind.
The generation ship Forever has left Earth behind, but a piece of the old civilization lives on in the Inthworld—a virtual realm that retains memories of Earth's technological wonders and vices. A being named Lilith leads the uprising, and if she succeeds in setting its inhabitants free, they could destroy Forever.
But during the generation ship's decades-long voyage, humanity has evolved. Liminals with the ability to connect with the world mind and the Inthworld provide a glimmer of hope. They'll have to face not only Lilith’s minions, but also the mistrust of their own kind and persecution from a new government as homotypicals continue to fear what they can't understand.
The invasion must be stopped, the Inthworld must be healed, and the people of Forever must let go of their past and embrace what they’re meant to become.
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 and Science Fiction Writer’s Association (SFWA) member, he runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction reflecitng their own reality.
Author Website: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth
Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworthauthor/
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/jscoatsworth
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth
Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/J.-Scott-Coatsworth/e/B011AFO4OQ/
Happy Friday, everyone! This week's audio reading is from Dahlia Donovan's new contemporary, Pure Dumb Luck. Come have a listen and don't forget the Rafflecopter at the end!
Pure Dumb Luck
by Dahlia Donovan
Barnes & Noble
When two small-town country dudes win the lottery, they finally find the courage to speak their truth.
An unexpected adventure follows.
Linwood "Woody" Robinson has a routine. He works for his baby brother in construction, buys three lottery tickets every week, and lusts after his best friend from high school. He's done the same thing for twenty years.
Eddison "Eddie" Howard owns the only gas station in their small South Carolina town, sells lottery tickets, and lusts after his best friend from afar. They joke around but never speak their truth. He knows they're cowards but can't seem to find the courage to bridge the gulf between them.
And then they win eighty million dollars.
They go from never talking about their feelings to facing the world together.
Can anything pull them apart?
Dahlia Donovan wrote her first romance series after a crazy dream about shifters and damsels in distress. She prefers irreverent humour and unconventional characters. An autistic and occasional hermit, her life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive collection of books and video games.
Author Website: https://dahliadonovan.com/
Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/dahliadonovan
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/DahliaDonovan
Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dahliadonovanauthor/
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8184061.Dahlia_Donovan
Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/dahlia-donovan/
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dahlia-Donovan/e/B00KFNZFHU/
Hello, hello! It's Friday again, the day I get to read to you. This week we have an excerpt from the lovely Shira Anthony's new contemporary novel, The First Step! Come have a listen. :)
The First Step
A Coastal Carolina Novel
by Shira Anthony
Barnes & Noble
The first step is the hardest. After a scandal, New York political reporter Reed Barfield is lying low at the North Carolina coast, writing a story about the seafood industry. But it’s the harbor pilots on the Cape Fear River who capture his interest—men who jump across ten feet of open ocean to grab a rope ladder and guide huge container ships into port. Men like sexy but prickly Justin Vance.
After surviving an abusive childhood and a tour in the Navy, Justin isn’t fazed by his dangerous job—it’s certainly easier to face than Reed’s annoying questions. Justin isn’t out at work, and he doesn’t need Reed digging into his personal life or his past.
But Reed’s no stranger to using his considerable charm to get what he wants, and as he wears Justin down, they realize they have a lot in common—and that they like spending time together. Moving beyond that, though, will mean Justin confessing his sexuality and learning to trust Reed with his secrets—if Reed even decides to stay. Both men want a future together, but can they find the courage to take the first step?
Shira Anthony was a professional opera singer in her last incarnation, performing roles in such operas as Tosca, i Pagliacci, and La Traviata, among others. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle. You can hear Shira singing "Vissi d'arte" from Puccini's Tosca by clicking here: Shira's Singing
Shira loves a great happily-ever-after and never writes a story without one. She's happy to write what her muse tells her, whether it's fantasy, sci fi, paranormal, or contemporary romance. She particularly loves writing series, because she thinks of her characters as old friends and she wants to visit them even after their stories are told.
In real life, Shira sang professionally for 14 years, and she currently works as a public sector attorney advocating for children. She's happy to have made writing her second full-time job, even if it means she rarely has time to watch TV or go to the movies. Shira writes about the things she knows and loves, whether it's music and musicians, the ocean, or the places she's lived or traveled to. She spent her middle school years living in France, and tries to visit as often as she can.
Shira and her husband spend as many weekends as they can aboard their 38' catamaran sailboat, Prelude, at the Carolina Coast. Not only has sailing inspired her to write about pirates and mermen, her sailboat is her favorite place to write. And although the only mermen she's found to date are in her own imagination, she keeps a sharp lookout for them when she's on the water.
Shira Anthony: http://www.shiraanthony.com
Happy Friday, everyone! I'm in Orlando, but I'm leaving my voice here for you with Bob Appavu's new release, The Art of Death! Come have a listen.
Bob's giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card, so make sure you check at the end of the post, too. :)
The Art of Death
by Bob Appavu
Barnes and Noble
Starving artist Riley Burke refuses to be dependent on his rich older boyfriend—hence his second job as a nude model at the local art school. When the famous artist Coliaro requests him for a private modeling session, he jumps at the chance to earn some real cash.
But then Westwood, a mysterious stranger, warns him to steer clear—it's said Coliaro is undead. That his worshippers perform rituals to fill him with life energy. That every time he paints a male nude, the painting transforms to depict a gruesome murder. And that shortly after, a young man turns up dead.
Riley dismisses the rumors—until they start to play out before his eyes. When he becomes a target, Westwood comes to his aid. But Westwood is secretive and dangerous himself... which just makes him more attractive to Riley. Riley is in over his head, and even his tenuous alliance with Westwood might not save him.
About the Author:
Bob Appavu is an author, illustrator, and creator of the long-running LGBTQ+ webcomic Demon of the Underground. Born and raised in a conservative Chicago suburb to South Indian parents, Bob turned to reading at an early age to find the inclusive, illuminating worlds that couldn’t always be accessed in real life. Bob recalls spending most of the 90s at the local bookstore feigning interest in the poetry anthologies that were conveniently shelved next to the LGBT fiction.
As a queer writer who enjoys challenging conventions and pushes creative boundaries, Bob has a passion for crafting the types of stories she can’t readily find on the shelf and the types of characters who are often denied the spotlight. Bob is a lover of suspense, speculative fiction, and deep world building, but her greatest joy is portraying the full scope of her queer characters’ humanity.
Bob is an incurable workaholic whose preferred fuel is tea. When not at work, she enjoys caring for rescued ferrets.
Author Website: https://www.bobappavu.com
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/bobappavu
Author Tumbler: https://bob-artist.tumblr.com/
Hi all! Today I get to read two complete stories for you since they're both flash fiction pieces from Jeff Baker. These are fun! :D
Notes from Jeff on "Dusk at Marsden Tower"
“Dusk at Marsden Towers” was written for a picture prompt on the Friday Flash Fics Facebook page where we write a flash fiction piece based on the picture. I wrote this one around Christmas based partly on an idea from the great British ghost story writer M. R. James (who wrote his stories to read to friends at Christmastime) about a face or mask that appears at a window. A story James never got around to writing, he mentioned the idea in an essay called “Stories I Have Tried to Write.”
After my story was published, someone commented it reminded them of Charles Dickens’ spooky stories set in rooms at inns. In contrast to the spookiness, I wrote most of this while my husband and I were watching “It’s a Wonderful Life!”
Notes from Jeff on "Camera Obscura"
“Camera Obscura” is one of about twelve stories I’ve written influenced by Sci-fi/fantasy stories told in bars, such as “Tales From the White Hart” by Arthur C. Clarke, who was gay but didn’t write about it. I started writing stories set in Demeter’s Bar, a fictional gay bar in my hometown of Wichita, Kansas, and have actually published a few in venues besides my own website. “Camera Obscura” was written for Friday Flash Fics, a picture prompt site and named after the horror story by Basil Copper, which became an episode of “Night Gallery” in the 70s.
About the Author:
A columnist for Queer SciFi, Jeff Baker has worked as a truck driver, courier, sandwich jock and stand up comedian. His stories have been published in “Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine,” “Monsters Out of the Closet,” and his blog authorjeffbaker.com, where he posts one flash fiction story a week. He lives in Wichita, Kansas with his husband Darryl.
Happy Middle of the Summer Friday! For today's excerpt, I get to read to you from Sera Trevor's fantasy, Son of Beauty, God of Death, a m/m retelling of Persephone's story. Do I really need to say more than that? :D
Son of Beauty, God of Death
by Sera Trevor
Love blooms, even in death...
When the goddess of beauty steals a precious flower from Thaedus, god of death, he demands retribution—her son Prosoper must become his prisoner. To his surprise, Prosoper is far from an unwilling captive.
Prosoper has been kept isolated from the world by his mother, who is determined to protect his innocence. But Prosoper is nearly two centuries old and longs to break free from his mother's control.
Only the God of Death can give Prosoper the chance at life he desires. And only the Son of Beauty can save Thaedus from despair.
Friday and time for me to read to you! Today I have an excerpt from Jeanne G'Fellers fantasy, Keeping House. Fey in Appalachia, strange bargains, and me trying to do accents. :o
Appalachian Elementals 2
by Jeanne G'Fellers
Centenary Rhodes is caught in a deal she didn’t make. Thanks to her eternal lover, Stowne’s, quick thinking, she’ll live forever, but there’s a hitch. Cent’s now fey, and three months out of the year she’ll live on the other side of Embreeville Mountain among the Hunter Fey, serving their king, Dane Gow.
As Cent begins wading through the anachronisms that come with being a Hunter, she learns that nothing is what it initially seems. Cent shares several past lives with Dane, who wants her back, and Stowne’s lied to Cent so many times that she’s having doubts about their marriage. To make matters worse, the past Hunter Kings are influencing Dane’s behavior, and the youngest Hunter, Brinn, might well be the most dangerous of them all.
It’s going to be a cold, dark spring, and Cent needs to unite both sides of Embreeville mountain before her eternal life, her relationship with Dane, and her marriage to Stowne come permanently undone.
Another rich Contemporary Appalachian tale about fantastic people and the magic they possess, including LGBTQIA+ characters Human and otherwise.
Born and raised in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Science Fiction and Fantasy author Jeanne G’Fellers' early memories include watching the original Star Trek series with their father and reading the books their librarian mother brought home. Jeanne’s writing influences include Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia Butler, Isaac Asimov, and Frank Herbert.
Jeanne lives in Northeast Tennessee with their spouse and five crazy felines. Their home is tucked against a small woodland where they regularly see deer, turkeys, raccoons, and experience the magic of the natural world.
Author Website: https://jeannegfellersauthor.com
Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/Jeannegfellersauthor
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlgfellers
Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorjeannegfellers
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=Jeanne+G%27Fellers
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jeanne-GFellers/e/B01N0YWCT7
I have a lovely excerpt today from Lou Hoffman's Dragon's Rise: Sunchild Chronicles 4! This is YA fantasy, and one I've been trying to keep up with. Dragon's Rise is on pre-order now and releases July 9. :)
Also, this is part of a blog tour, so don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom!
The Sunchild Chronicles 4
by Lou Hoffman
Harmony Ink Press
Books2Read Universal Link
Days ago, with the help of his living sword Ciarrah, Lucky fought through an army of wraiths led by the undead horror that was once his mother. Though he’s seen more bloodshed in his short life than many seasoned warriors, his destiny as the chosen Sun Child of the magical world called Ethra demands more. Otherworldly enemies are regrouping, barely fazed by a single defeat. If they won’t rest, then neither can he.
He travels to the capital city with ancient wizard Thurlock, but instead of allies, he meets open betrayal. An old friend of Thurlock’s and some young supporters boost his morale, but how much help will they offer against zombies, dragons, and evil magic users? In the epic battle looming on the horizon, everything he’s gathered, from mystical tools to a winged horse, a loyal dog, shifter and dragon allies, and even an army at his side might not be enough. Will he measure up to fate’s challenge… or be trampled by it?
Lou Hoffmann, a mother and grandmother now, has carried on her love affair with books for more than half a century, and she hasn’t even made a dent in the list of books she’d love to read—partly because the list keeps growing. She reads factual things—books about physics and history and fractal chaos, but when she wants truth, she looks for it in quality fiction. She loves all sorts of wonderful things: music and silence, laughter and tears, youth and age, sunshine and storms, forests and fields, flora and fauna, rivers and seas. Even good movies and popcorn! Those things help her breathe, and everyone she knows helps her write. (Special mention goes to (1) George the Lady Cat and (2) readers.) Proud to be a bisexual, biracial woman (of European and Native American descent),
Lou considers every person a treasure not to be taken for granted. In her life, she’s seen the world’s willingness to embrace differences change, change back, and change again in dozens of ways, but she has great hope for the world the youth of today will create. She writes for readers who find themselves anywhere on the spectrums of age, sexuality, and gender, aiming to create characters that live not only in their stories, but always in your imagination and your heart.
Visit her on her blog: http://www.queerlyya.rainbow-gate.com
Like her page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LouHoffmannBooks/
Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lou_Hoffmann
Check out her Amazon Author Page: http://queerlyya.rainbow-gate.com/ciarrahs-light-event-schedule-get-blog-tour-links-here/
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.