A VVivacious Review: Teacher’s Pet : Lessons Outside the Classroom (Volume Two) by Lee Welch, Elizabeth Coldwell , Elna Holst, Riza Curtis , Danielle Wayland, Karmen Lee , Morwen Navarre , Maryn Blackburn

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This is an anthology of eight stories by various authors that focus on relationships that develop between a student and their teacher. None of the characters, in this anthology, are under 18 so while a relationship between a student and teacher in such a scenario would not be illegal there are still a whole horde of societal repercussions to deal with.

Though, the majority of these stories don’t really focus on that element and are more about redefining these roles because a teacher can be anyone who is sharing their knowledge with you be that in any context. A lot of the stories in this anthology use that scenario where we don’t see teachers and students strictly in the academic sense. Surprisingly, even though I didn’t come into this anthology expecting this viewpoint I was very happy with the way it was adopted because it made for some amazing stories.

1. A Spell for Master Vervain by Lee Welch

Rating: 2.5 Stars out of 5

Kit is obsessed with his Master but things take a horrific turn when instead of summoning an incubus-look-alike he ends up summoning the real deal.

Whenever you pick up an anthology it is mostly because you know and like a few of the authors on it but in my case I only knew one author on the list and it was Lee Welch, so there was an absurd amount of responsibility on this story to be amazing but sadly this was not the case.

The characters don’t start off as very appealing and as I read the story I was intensely aware that I wasn’t invested in these characters. There just wasn’t that taboo forbidden feel with Kit’s love for his master and frankly, we just don’t get much of Vervain to have an opinion about him. Though I have to admit by the end of the story I found myself caught in the whimsy of the story and probably would have forgiven all its faults had the story been more developed but alas that was not the case.

To all those who picked up this anthology because of Lee Welch just like I did and who would probably stop after reading this story, I just have to say this – there are some amazing stories in this anthology that you should definitely check out before calling it quits.

2. Finding the Words by Elizabeth Coldwell

Rating: 2 Stars out of 5

Brendan agrees to tutor Zach even though he reminds him of a time prior to the incident that changed his life. Will his new student serve as a catalyst to make his heart take a chance, once again?

This story was off to a good start and I think it had elements that could have made for a great story but after the beginning, the story lost steam. There was absolutely no obstacle to Brendan and Zack’s relationship, it could have been any other relationship and therefore didn’t seem to fit this anthology that does focus on relationships that would be considered illicit at least at the offset. This story, however, had a whole other set of variables to play with but the story didn’t manage to capitalize on them very well either.

3. The Silent Treatment by Elna Holst

Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

Reverend Jane Sinclair is all about preaching fire and brimstone nowadays so she gets sent to Yoga Camp by her vicar to help Jane find her quiet centre but she ends up finding a lot more in her sultry Yoga instructor.

I have finally struck gold in this anthology. This story didn’t deliver the expected it delivered the unexpected. It took the teacher-student trope and mixed it up to show me a whole new side to such a relationship and it managed to do it while completing erasing the age gap so I’m stoked beyond belief.

Also, I really loved Jane and Anita but especially Jane as she is the narrator of the story and we get to spend time in her head because that inner monologue was priceless.

4. One small step by Riza Curtis

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Ilya tries to teleport himself a few yards and ends up miles away, where he is rescued by Søren, a mage who agrees to help him get better at his magic for help with his work but for how long can they ignore the sparks between them?

This is a good one. It is a fantasy story and is a fresh take on the student-teacher ideology. Both this and the previous story have teacher-student relationships that are not permanent and are roles taken on during the duration of the story and I’m liking this interpretation because it is fluid and not burdened with my previous expectations.

I really liked this story and the World it details seems really fascinating. I really loved how Ilya ends up with Soren and how their relationship develops. This story was interesting and I loved how these two characters worked together because I can really imagine their life together given how perfectly they aligned with each other.

5. Shedding Doubt by Danielle Wayland

Rating: 5 Stars out of 5

Grayson is overweight and embarrassed about screwing up at his gym when he gets help from an unexpected quarter.

This story was really amazing. I fell in love with Grayson and Heath. I loved Grayson’s journey and his outlook on life and I just really loved his character. These two had such a positive relationship it was amazing to read. This was my quickest read yet despite the fact that it is one of the longest stories in the anthology because it was just that good.

“You’re right. I’m sorry for yelling.”

“Me too. For not jumping you already.”

6. Academic Temptations by Karmen Lee

Rating: 1 star out of 5

Savannah is a single mother and the oldest freshman at her college, trying to come to terms with her sexuality when she finds herself attracted to her professor and academic advisor.

This story had too much going on for a short story. This story is glacially paced and feels like a drag which combined with the fact that it is probably the longest story in this anthology, made it feel like torture. The scenes are way too long with too many unnecessary dialogues and too many characters at that.

Anetta is just getting over a break up that had her moving jobs and moving towns and Savanah is a single mother of a five-year-old boy who has moved into a new city to start college that she deferred for 5 years. She is also, only now, really appreciating her sexuality. Savannah is a mix of parts that don’t really work together and when you don’t like the main character of a story it already has two strikes against it.

This story wants to make you believe there is chemistry between its two main characters but there really isn’t.

7. The Sidhe’s Apprentice by Morwen Navarre

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Alistair Brady has been waiting for the Calling since he was born but even when he finds himself with a Master who makes it painfully obvious that it was not his choice to take an apprentice,he finds himself fighting his attraction to his master while at the same time trying to please him.

Wow! This was so good the absolute gem of this anthology. I loved the world building and I loved the characters and the story was mind-blowing. It was so good. This was the kind of story I was looking for going into this anthology. This story incorporated all the elements of this fantastical world so beautifully. Cianan and Alistair were effortless and gave a whole new definition to the term Teacher’s Pet. The writing of the story, it’s pacing, every component of it is perfect.

This was just amazing! I’m really interested in reading more by this author.

8. Press “Copy” to begin by Maryn Blackburn

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

When Libby Highsmith tries to get away with plagiarism in her academic thesis her mentor, Dr Marissa Muniz delights in giving her a punishment strident enough for her to forgive Libby’s blunder, but what Libby suggests has her horrified but… intrigued.

Oh! This one was very good. I liked how it employed the classic tug of war of societal repercussions over romances with an age gap and romances that might arise between erstwhile student-teacher relationships and made use of that to deliver this sumptuous romance.

I really liked the characters, the way the story is told and I absolutely love how the title plays into the plot. It was amazing. This story encapsulates what I was looking for, the delicious power struggle between characters caught in the roles of teacher and student.

This one was the perfect way to end the anthology because it made reading this entire slate of stories completely worthwhile.

Cover Art by Natasha Snow. I love Natasha Snow, her cover art is so, so good. This one was no exception with a sort of chalky black background and the precise use of red. The way that apple is positioned and the way that it is just so unnaturally red screams forbidden.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:ebook
Published October 22nd 2018 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781949340389
Edition Language English

Blog tour for Resist and Triumph charity anthology Edited by Grace R. Duncan and Tucker McCallahan

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From Red, The Mo Shíorghrá Saga by Vicktor Alexander

 

Present Day, February 9th

 

Brant Nelms stepped onto the back porch and stood behind Marius. He knew showing up at Marius’s home when he did, how he did, he had a lot of explaining to do.

It had been so long since he’d last seen his lover. His mo shíorghrá. Though, technically, Marius was more of an A rúnsearc, a secret love, since the bond hadn’t been completed… yet. Something Brant fully intended to rectify this Valentine’s Day.

If Marius forgave him.

Mo shíorghrá,” Brant rasped.

Marius turned to face him and shook his head. “No. You don’t get to call me that anymore, Brant. I have been patient and faithful to you, and understanding of your situation, But it’s been six months since your wife died, and I haven’t seen or heard from you in that time. Have you told your pack about me? About us? Have you told your children? Do they know I exist?”

Brant glanced away from Marius’s piercing and all-too-knowing gaze. He hadn’t told anyone except his Beta, Katriona, and Katriona’s mate, Kenan, about meeting his true mate six years before. They’d both encouraged him to claim Marius and bring him to the pack lands, but Brant had a duty to fulfill, one that they hadn’t understood. Though Marius spent some time as a female, he was biologically male, and could not produce heirs for Brant. Brant had a duty to keep the Alpha line going. For the pack. It was also a promise he’d made to his father on the man’s deathbed.

“I haven’t told everyone, but I have shared the news with my Beta, Katriona, and her mate, Kenan,” Brant explained.

Marius crossed his arms. “That’s not enough for me anymore, Brant. Do you know how I’ve felt these last six years? Being the other woman? Being your mistress? Your dirty little secret? Knowing that you’ve told me we are meant for each other? That we are true mates but you had to marry a female from your pack so she could give you children?” Marius scoffed.

Brant winced at the sound. He wanted to step forward and take Marius into his arms, but knew his comfort and touch would be unwelcome.

“Do you realize how difficult it was for me to wrap my head around the whole shifter thing in the first place? I mean, if you hadn’t shown me it was real, I would have thought you were insane.”

Brant couldn’t help but smile at that, though he knew Marius might take his expression the wrong way. The memory of his telling Marius that he was not only a shifter, but an Alpha, and then shifting into his wolf while Marius looked at him as if he were crazy, was a fond one. Not only because it proved to Brant that he could trust Marius, and the man was his mo shíorghrá, but also because it was the first time he and Marius had made love—and when their Valentine’s Day tradition began.

 

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As 2017 opened, the United States took several steps back in the progress toward equality. In response, a group of authors has stepped up to offer positive stories of hope and love. In an effort to help fight and support those groups who are facing even greater challenges, we wrote these stories to offer a small amount of aid.

Stories of hope, resistance, and ultimately triumph fill the pages of this anthology.

All proceeds of the anthology go to The Trevor Project and GLAAD to help fight the effects of the dark times we’re facing.

 

Purchase Resist and Triumph here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078NKHVCK

Cover art: Jess Small
Publication date: 1/26/2018

Genres: M/M Romance, Paranormal, Historical, Dystopian, Contemporary, BDSM, F/F Romance

 

Other stories included in the anthology:

Breaking Ties with the Bully by Perci T. Brooks

Consummation by Tucker McCallahan

Fighting the Alpha, the Omega Way by Carol Pedroso

Get Off of My Runway by Shane K. Morton

Leto of The Ionian Sea by Maria Siopsis

The Respect of Love by Mandi Ware

Small Victories by Helen Dupres

White Rabbit by Grace R. Duncan

An Alisa Review: Beneath the Layers Anthology by NineStar Press

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Eight stories of men who like a little satin and lace.

 

A Linebacker in Lace by Caitlin Ricci

This ex-linebacker is impossible for his friend to resist.

 

Satin Secrets by CL Mustafic

Sometimes secrets are better when they’re shared.

 

Backwards and in High Heels by Elizabeth Coldwell

Tonight he has the chance to live out his dream.

 

Angels in Delaware by Sita Bethel

When one finds two partners, it helps to dress for the occasion.

 

All That Entails by E.M. Hamill

A gender-fluid prince with a penchant for gowns finds his unlikely match in an arranged marriage.

 

After the Dance by Sydney Blackburn

Sometimes happily ever after requires a pretty frock.

 

A Secret Shared by C.A. Blocke

One sweet secret shared—and a spicy one returned.

 

Ruffle My Feathers by Asta Idonea

Sometimes love can be found behind a feather boa.

 

This is a wonderful collection of stories; especially of you love men in lace like I do.  All of these stories are quite different with only the lace as something in common, but I think it makes it even better because you get to see such different relationships.  Some are comfortable in their own skin while some others just need love and support to know that what they want is okay.  Most of the stories are told through one character’s point of view and the author’s do a wonderful job of showing the other characters emotions and feelings.

 

In A Linebacker in Lace Brent has a chance meeting with Arliss and discovers his secret isn’t as bad as he thinks.  Arliss loves a man in lace and Brent is learning it isn’t shameful for him to wear it.  Arliss’ assertiveness is a great contrast to Brent’s shyness.  Gavin and Lex role play in Satin Secrets but Gavin has a surprise for Lex.  Lex’s reaction is so much better and hotter than Gavin could hope for.  Lex wants Gavin to feel comfortable to share his secrets and fantasies.

 

Billie wants to go farther than just wearing his panties in Backwards and in High Heels and surprises his lover, Oliver, with a date after his time away.  After the nervousness fades Billie is so grateful of the work he put in for them to dance together for the first time.  Oliver is a nice steady shoulder for Billie’s nervousness and worries.  In Angels in Delaware Beau is surprised by his reaction and willingness to get to know Angel and Delaware.  They come to his rescue when he needs it and work towards a relationship together.  The only thing is I couldn’t help but feel that Beau was the odd man out even when things seemed to go smoothly and he is included.

 

In All That Entails Darian is heartbroken knowing he will have to give up his gowns and comfort in marriage.  Henry will not change who he is for anyone and takes the first step towards compromise.  I loved seeing them open their eyes to the possibility of more between them.  Frank works hard to keep his real desires hidden in After the Dance.  His and Charles friendship is the only bright spot in this day until he finds out that Charles must marry and is already in love.  Seeing them work out their future despite expectations from those around them.

 

In A Secret Shared Tommy must share a secret after Michael shows him his extra nerdy side.  Despite his fear and unwillingness to come out Tommy shares his deepest desires with Michael and is greatly rewarded.  The two do well to work their relationship around their outside lives.  Barrett has kept his Friday night plans secret in Ruffle My Feathers until his boss is suddenly at his show one weekend.  Both determined to keep everything normal try to ignore their connection from that weekend.  Watching them discover that sometimes hiding your true self from those around you isn’t always the best choice was nice.

 

Cover art by Natasha Snow is wonderfully understated but is perfect for this book.

 

Sales Links: NineStar Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 165 pages

Published: April 17, 2017 by NineStar Press

ISBN: 9781945952913

Edition Language: English

Its Release Day for Flight: Queer Sci Fi’s Third Annual Flash Fiction Contest Anthology (QSF Flash Fiction #2) by J. Scott Coatsworth , Angel Martinez , Mila May, Jerome W. Stueart, Nina Packebush, Clare London

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Flight, a Queer Sci Fi Anthology
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Among the Many Authors Are: J. Scott Coatsworth , Angel Martinez , Jerome W. Stueart, Nina Packebush, Clare London…

Cover & Illustrations Artist: Mila May
Release Date: General release 9/21/16

Price: $4.99 eBook, $12.99 print b/w*, TBD print color*

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Blurb

A 300-word story should be easy, right? Many of our entrants say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever written.

 

Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest challenges authors to write a complete LGBTQ speculative fiction micro-story on a specific theme. “Flight” leaves much for the authors to interpret—winged creatures, flight and space vehicles, or fleeing from dire circumstances.

 

Some astonishing stories were submitted—from horrific, bloodcurdling pieces to sweet, contemplative ones—and all LGBTQ speculative fiction. The stories in this anthology include AI’s and angels, winged lions and wayward aliens. Smart, snappy slice of life pieces written for entertainment or for social commentary. Join us for brief and often surprising trips into 110 speculative fiction authors’ minds.

Length: 33.6 K
Format: ebook, print
*Book contains 5 illustrations inside.

Pairing: LGBTIQA

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Excerpt

Smoke, by Zev de Valera

He rubbed his temples and squinted at the soft light of his surroundings through the fans of his thick eyelashes. The last drink had been a mistake.

Was that a shaker he’d felt, or the onset of a hangover?

He clutched a silken pillow and waited.

Suddenly, he felt his home tremble; a few pieces of glass

and ceramic ware teetered and then fell to their demise.

Shit. This is the real thing.teaser4

With an effort, he hauled himself from his bed.

How many years had it been since the last one?

Sixty? Seventy?

The shaking ceased, and he looked around his small dwelling.
A model unit when he’d purchased it. Now filled with the result of years of collecting: a gramophone, a first generation television set, a water clock. And much more. All of it all had sentimental value—as did the photos of the various men that sat atop or alongside the items in his collection. Some of these men had loved him. All of them had once owned him. Now he owned their memories. That was the bargain.teaser2

Another shake. Followed by several unnerving tilts. He willed his cherished possessions to remain in place and willed himself into sobriety and a more becoming appearance as he prepared himself for work.

What to wear?

He selected a red brocade tunic and pants. A classic look always worked best for the initial consultation.

A resounding thud.

He peered up into the small shaftway at the center of the ceiling.

A pop.

Then a small circle of light at the end of the shaft.

He sighed, folded his arms, and transformed into a cloud of red smoke.

Up and away to meet his new master.

Judge’s Choice — J. Scott Coatsworth

Buy Links Etc:

Publisher (info only, no buy link yet):  Pride Publishing: https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/the-pill-bugs-of-time

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Apple: Coming soon

Barnes & Noble: Coming soon

Smashwords: Coming soon

Goodreads

Goodreads Series Page

About Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction

In the first year of the Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction contest, we received about 15 entries for the theme “Endings”. In the second year, it was 115 for “Discovery”.

This year, we had more than 170 entries from people around the world, and from all parts of the LGBTIQA rainbow. “Flight” represents 110 of those people and their stories.

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