Love Fantasy? Check out J. Scott Coatsworth’s ‘The Autumn Lands’, a new MM Romance/sci fi/fantasy (excerpt)

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TheAutumnLands-Scott

The Autumn Lands by J. Scott Coatsworth
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Cover Artist: Freddy MacKay

Release Date: 1/27/16
Goodreads Link

Blurb

Jerrith is running. Kissed by an elf, he can’t remain in his hometown of Althos any more. Not that he wanted to stay.

Caspian still hasn’t figured out why he kissed Jerrith, but he’s running too. Since he was exiled from the Autumn Lands, his past has been hazy, and his future uncertain.

But when a stray memory brings things into focus, the two decide to run toward something together. What they uncover will change how they see the world, and themselves, forever.

Excerpt

Jerrith Ladner ran down Dyer’s Alley in Althos, winded but not daring to stop. He swung left down Chaplain’s Lane where the lanterns cast a crazy patchwork of light across cobbles, uneven enough to give even the Night Guard pause. His lungs hurt, but he didn’t slow down and didn’t dare glance back.

The occasional passerby stared at him as he flashed past, but he ignored them. Several times he stumbled and fell, and blood dripped down his bare leg from a skinned knee. The outskirts of town were silent, with almost everyone already indoors for the night.

His recent past was a blur, with snatches of it flitting by in his head like birds, flapping and confusing him with their unsteady rhythm:

The kiss.

The unexpected shock of it.

The glimpse of the Autumn Lands through the Nevris man’s golden eyes.

At last, exhausted, Jerrith ducked behind a low wall that ran along the fields just outside of town and looked back.

It was quiet. There was nothing but blackness crisscrossed by lamplight at even intervals.

Almost sobbing, he sat down with his back to the wall and curled up into himself, scarcely noticing the pain that traced the lines of his rib cage or even the bright line of red on his leg.

Ever so slowly, his heavy breathing eased and his jumbled mind began to sort things out.

He had been walking to the Smithy in the early morning when the Nevris caravan had passed him by, six wagons of merchandise from the Autumn Lands covered with heavy tarps, crossing through town on its way to the stables on the far side of the village. A stranger had drawn his attention—an outrider for the caravan.

Tall and slender where Jerrith was stocky and muscled, he was a young man, more or less Jerrith’s own age. His blond hair had been pulled back behind his pointed ears, the mark of the Nevris. He moved with a quiet and restrained grace.

His eyes were wide and golden, and they’d met his as Jerrith crossed the town square on the way to ‘prentice to the blacksmith. The man’s gaze had filled Jerrith with something hot and impulsive, a sense of anticipation. Something that he had no name for.

Then he’d been gone.

Jerrith had spent the long, dizzying hours of work in the Smithy, hammering out heated metal into a new plowshare for Farmer Angus, the hot breath of the bellows tempered only by the cool springtime air from outside. Trying to forget those eyes.

The heat of the oven only served to fuel the heat he felt inside, until he thought he might explode.

Sent home at last well after nightfall, he’d heard a whispered voice from the dark alleyway between the Alchemist’s shop and the Rutting Crow. Jerrith had looked around to see if anyone was watching, then slipped into the alley, his heart beating faster and the bulge in his pants stiffening.

The man had kissed him hard and rough, and he’d returned the kiss passionately as the Nevris man pulled him close.

Buy Links

Mischief Corner Books (info only) | Amazon  | KoboBookstrand | ARe | iBooks

j-scott-coatsworth

Author Bio

Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.

Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.

Its Release Day for Jaye McKenna’s ‘Wildfire Psi’, the latest in the Guardians of the Pattern series (excerpt and giveaway)

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Wildfire Psi

Wildfire Psi (Guardians of the Pattern, #4) by Jaye McKenna
Published by Mythe Weaver Press
Cover Artist Chinchbug
Goodreads Link

Buy Links

 

Wildfire Psi Blurb

Things are finally going well for Luka Valdari. He’s found a home and family at the Institute for Psionic Research, and he has a job he loves. When a training mission takes him back to the streets of downside Riga, he’s got plenty of reason to be uneasy, and when a psionic cry for help leads him to a nightmare from his past, Luka’s ready to bolt.

Things are not going so well for Damon Korsov. He’s got voices in his head, a hole in his memory, and strange dreams that may or may not be glimpses of his past. The one man who might hold the key to Damon’s past is the one man he can never ask. Because somehow, Luka knows Damon, and it’s clear to Damon that Luka hates him.

Unwilling to expose anyone else to the danger Damon represents, Luka volunteers to train him. He wants to hate Damon, but instead finds himself fascinated. Before they get a chance to sort things out between them, the two men are thrown into the middle of a terrifying plot that puts every human life in the galaxy at risk. Can Luka and Damon confront both of their pasts and work together to prevent disaster? Or will all the human worlds burn in the flames of wildfire psi?

Wildfire Psi

Wildfire Psi Excerpt

Luka focused on the large vid-screen opposite the couch he and Kyn were sitting on. From the kitchen, he could hear Damon banging things around; he’d volunteered to finish the supper dishes while Luka and Kyn started their challenge game, but a few minutes ago, the delicious smell of baking cookies had filled the air. It was making Luka’s stomach growl, even though he’d only finished dinner a short time ago.

“Come on, move it,” Kyn said as he waited for Luka’s character to catch up to his. “Those goblins are right on your skinny ass.”

“I’m going as fast as I can,” Luka grumbled. “You’re playing a damn elf. Your base movement’s a hell of a lot higher than mine.”

“Base movement, my ass.” He heard the grin in Kyn’s voice, but dared not tear his eyes from the screen to return it. “You could move just as fast if you weren’t carrying so much shit. We’re going to lose this thing because you have to keep stopping to pick up every shiny piece of crap you come across.”

“If I didn’t, we’d be totally out of healing potions by now,” Luka said. “See if I share when those goblin archers turn your ass into a pincushion.”

“If they do, it’ll be your fault for slowing me down. Who the hell needs five flaming swords?”

“Hey, those suckers are worth a thousand gold each.”

“Not if you’re dead,” Kyn muttered.

“Um… Kyn? Luka? I made cookies. If… if you want some.”

Luka glanced up to see Damon standing by the couch, a plate piled high with cookies in his hand.

“Thanks, Damon.” Kyn shot Luka an unreadable look as he paused the game.

Damon handed him the plate and turned back to the kitchen. Kyn offered it to Luka first. It was piled high with chocolate chip cookies, and they were still warm, the chocolate all melted and gooey, just the way Luka liked them. He couldn’t resist. He took one and bit into it, closing his eyes in bliss as the rich, sweet flavor of the chocolate rolled over his tongue.

“Oh, God… these are fantastic…”

“Here, I got you some milk, too.”

Luka opened his eyes to see Damon standing before him again, offering him a glass of cold milk. How the hell had he known to do that? “Um… thanks, man.” He accepted the glass and took a drink, trying not to think about why Damon had chosen to spend the last half hour making Luka’s favorite food in the entire world.

“Nice job, Damon,” Kyn said around a mouthful. “Anyone would think you’d done this before.”

Damon flushed scarlet. “I… had a little help. I went to visit Carla in the kitchen yesterday after my session with Jaana. She was in the middle of making a batch when I got there, and she let me help, and gave me some pointers.”

“Well, since you did all the work baking them,” Kyn said, “I’ll volunteer for cleanup duty. Have a seat. Maybe get Luka to show you how to play Goblin Alliance.”

A week ago, Luka would have been annoyed at Kyn for trying to push them together. Now, he just handed Damon the controller Kyn had been using. Damon accepted it gingerly and sat down, making sure to keep some space between them.

“Don’t think this gets you out of the challenge,” Luka told Kyn as he walked away. He grabbed another cookie and said to Damon, “We’ll start a new game. You ever play before?”

“No.” Damon examined the controller, frowning. “Grandfather didn’t allow games on his entertainment system. He said they were a waste of time.”

“Oh, man, seriously? You’ve never played anything? You are in for a treat. The VR version’s a hell of a lot better, but Cam won’t put a VR system out here. Says he can’t justify the expense just for me and Kyn. There’s one back on campus, though.”

Damon watched intently as Luka started a new game. “First you gotta build your character,” Luka told him. “After that, it’s easier to show you than tell you, so we’ll go through the tutorial game. That covers pretty much everything you need to know.”

“Including which shiny things to pick up?” Damon asked with a sly grin.

Luka couldn’t help but return the grin. “Nah, that’s entirely a matter of intelligence,” he said loud enough for Kyn to hear. “The smart player picks up as much of the good stuff as he can carry. That way he doesn’t run out of healing potions in the middle of battle.”

“That’s assuming he’s not too loaded down to reach the battle before it’s over,” Kyn shot back.

Damon laughed.

“Hey, I always get there in plenty of time to loot the dead,” Luka told him. “That’s called strategy, Kyn. You’ll notice it ain’t me that has to be healed every five minutes.”

He took another cookie.

“You really like the cookies?” Damon asked. “You’re not just saying that?”

“Every bit as good as Carla’s,” Luka said. “And that’s a compliment coming from me.” He glanced up and found Damon’s pale grey eyes fixed on him. For one frozen moment, Luka felt almost as if he were drowning. He couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t look away.

Damon looked away first, cheeks flushing as he lowered his eyes to stare at the game controller in his hand. “So, um… what do I do?”

Relieved to have something else to focus on, Luka dove into an explanation of the various character classes, and they were soon playing the first of the tutorials and taking frequent cookie breaks.

Damon’s enthusiasm for the game was contagious, and he caught on quickly. It felt like only minutes had passed before Kyn was saying goodnight and heading up to bed. Knowing how easily sound traveled between the cabin’s floors, Luka shut the game down, promising Damon they could continue tomorrow.

Upstairs, in his own room, he burrowed under the covers and tried to think of something other than Damon’s smiles of delight as he began to understand how the game was played. Tried not to think about how his eyes had sparkled with excitement as he’d fought his first battle and emerged victorious.

In the middle of the night, Luka woke from a dream in which Damon looked at him with eyes on fire, and took him in his arms and stroked him to heaven and back. Blood pounded in his ears and filled his cock. His body was slick with sweat and he wanted with a fierceness he’d never felt before.

He fumbled in the drawer of his nightstand for the little bottle of lube he kept for occasions like this. A few drops in his palm, and he slipped his hand into his shorts and stroked himself.

It felt so damn good he had to bite his lip to keep from crying out. He ran his palm down his cock, slicking himself up, then closed his fingers and thrust up into his hand with a low groan.

Heat and need built until his whole body burned. He bucked his hips, thrusting harder and faster into his closed fist. When he came, it was Damon’s face he saw against the darkness of closed eyes, and Damon’s name he cried into his pillow.

About the Author

Jaye McKenna icon

Jaye McKenna was born a Brit and was dragged, kicking and screaming, across the Pond at an age when such vehement protest was doomed to be misinterpreted as a “paddy”. She grew up near a sumac forest in Minnesota and spent most of her teen years torturing her parents with her electric guitar and her dark poetry. She was punk before it was cool and a grown-up long before she was ready. Jaye writes fantasy and science fiction stories about hot guys who have the hots for each other. She enjoys making them work darn hard for their happy endings, which might explain why she never gets invited to their parties.

You can contact Jaye McKenna at     Goodreads| Twitter| Website

Giveaway

Leythe Blade

Enter to win a eBook copy of Leythe Blade by Jaye McKenna.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Use the Rafflecopter code below to enter.

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A Boy and His Dragon (Being(s) in Love #2) by R. Cooper

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Rating: 4.5 stars

A Boy And His DragonDr. Philbert Jones is a renowned historian but he simply cannot get organized.  His house is in complete disarray, dusty tomes and statues compete with a tower of papers and unidentifiable objects strewn everywhere.  Nothing is where he can find it, so a close friend at the University suggested hiring an assistant, Arthur McArthur, a former student that had  worked for him doing research.  But he knows that  humans can  see dragons as the path to riches or as something to be feared.  Only a few can get close enough to understand them and  Philbert or Bertie as he wants to be called is  looking for that rare human to help him with his next book.

Arthur McArthur loved being a research assistant in college but when he took in his younger sister, his bills mounted until he had to quit the university and get  multiple jobs to pay all their  bills.  Now Arthur finds himself standing in Dr. Jones’ house, amidst gargantuan clutter, facing the dragon himself, and  trying to remember the last time a dragon ate someone,  decades ago surely?  But the interview goes well, and Arthur leaves the house with a new job, and his head in the  clouds.  Professor Jones is gorgeous, brilliant and needs his help to research the Red Dragons, a topic that was the focus of Arthur’s dissertation.  Then Bertie starts flirting with him, calling him a pearl…..surely the dragon isn’t serious, is he?  There is nothing special  about Arthur or does Bertie see something extraordinary in a boy called Arthur.

I loved this book and the author, R. Cooper, who is a recent must read for me.  It started with Play It Again, Charlie, a contemporary romance, so I was not prepared for the intensity of a dragon/human love story that unfolds in A Boy And His Dragon.  One of the things I admire about Cooper’s writing is that she takes the time to fully invest her characters with personalities that have depth and resonate with the reader.  Arthur McArthur is a charming, noble lad who cannot see his own purity and forthrightness that attracts  Beings (dragons, elves, or fairies) like honey to a bee. And Dr. Jones is definitely attracted.  Bertie is another lovely creation.  He is a dragon and neither Arthur or the reader is able to forget that.  His thoughts come from a  different place than ours and Cooper makes us see that in a manner that still lets us relate to this wonderful persona who just happens to breathe fire.

So while juggling the personalities of two completely different beings, the author gives us a slow but intense courtship between Bertie and  Arthur. Neither is especially sure of themselves and each is afraid to take a step forward and admit that they are falling in love.  While the story is told from Arthur’s pov, Bertie’s feelings are telegraphed beautifully as well while still leaving us with an Arthur oblivious to Bertie’s feelings.  And then there are the descriptions of Bertie’s house, full of treasures and tomes laying under mountains of dust and neglect. The portrait she paints of Bertie’s abode is so rich, so realistic it will leave you coughing and wanting to open a window.

This story is so rich, so heated that it begs for another in the same universe.   And of course, with the same characters.  I wanted to know more about Bertie’s parents who seem to disapprove of their romantic son.  And how Bertie and Arthur get on with their lives because you know that will not happen smoothly for these two.  With Arthur’s sister needing their help and Bertie’s friend Zeru, another dragon,  hanging about, you just know complication will arise and I want to be there when they happen.  These are  wonderful characters so full of life that one book surely is not big enough to hold their story.  But while we are waiting, pick this one up and settle in with an unusual love story between A Boy And His Dragon.

Cover is delightful by artist Paul Richmond.  I just wish he had played a little more with the descriptions of Bertie to give him that look that says he is not completely human.