A MelanieM Review: Lord of Hearth, Lord of Hollow by Sera Kane

Standard

Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

LordofHearthFSCulinary school is hard enough for Aimes Cully without mixing in an utterly underwhelming physical appearance—too small, too delicate, too red-haired, too freckled, too human—added with the inability to magically improve the food—still too human—and facing the too beautiful, too fae-looking Aleksi’s teases and taunts. When rumors surface that Aimes’s older brother’s success is a lie, Aimes is determined to prove them wrong and show that pure-blooded humans are the equal of anyone with mixed blood.

But things get worse after Aimes is caught in a faerie ring and transported to the fae hollow of Lord Keanewyeth Ordioral. As the attraction heats up, it becomes obvious that there’s something wrong in the magical home. A cursed creature appears, and everything becomes jumbled as the secrets of their lives collide into a painful concoction of Aimes’s past and Keanewyeth’s present. But if they can meld their talents, they might be able to save each other.

 

Sera Kane is a new author for me but if Lord of the Hearth, Lord of the Hollow is any indication of her writing, I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us readers.  I do love fantasy fiction and its clear from the world building going on here that Sera Kane loves it too.  The author has amassed a wealth of details and general information about the fae, magic, spells that her vision of the universe here comes through with sparkling clarity.  To this she added the intense atmosphere of a culinary school, a interspecies romance and so much more.  And did so with humor.

Even the dialogs here with its mixtures of slang and more formal language of court I felt worked well within the storyline. However the wealth of vision here and wonderful plot was a little too weighty, in my opinion, for the length of pages allotted by the author.   Its length could really have been tripled to deal with all that went on and still not have covered it all to the depth indicated by parts of this narrative and universe.

At 52 pages, you will whip through this story in no time.  Its fun, sexy and a lovely fantasy romp.  Pick it up, if you are a lover of fantasy fiction and chef’s competitions gone fae!

 

Cover art by Paul Richmond is right in tune with the story and characters, a real plus.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe |  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 52 pages
Published April 20th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 163477132X (ISBN13: 9781634771320)
Edition Language English

Love Fantasy Stories? Here’s A Collection Made for You! MYTHS UNTOLD: BOOK ONE – FAERY

Standard

myths-untold-faery-glow

MYTHS UNTOLD: BOOK ONE – FAERY
Publisher: Wilde City Press

Authors: August Li, Brandon Witt,J. Scott Coatsworth and Skye Hegyes
Cover Artist: August Li
Release Date: 4/13/16

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to  have the authors of Myths Untold – Faery here to answer a few questions. Welcome to August Li, Brandon Witt,J. Scott Coatsworth and  Skye Hegyes.

**********

How do you write – are you a plotter or pantser, or both?

J. Scott Coatsworth: Hmmm… I used to totally be a pantser. I would sit down at my typewriter (seriously – a typewriter!) and just start typing whatever came to me. On the plus side, I got some amazing ideas that came out of my Oreo-addled brain.

But on the negative size, I ended uo with a bunch of 1 and 2 and 3 scene stories that never went anywhere, and nothing to show for the work.

Over time, I have become much more of a plotter. I still don’t work out every detail in advance. There has to be some room for my writer mind to wander.

And sometimes the story or the characters throw me for a loop and send the story of in an entirely different direction.

But those old stories had one unexpected benefit. Periodically I go back to them and pluck them out of their virtual drawer to expand them into finished stories. Are they the same stories I might have written fifteen, twenty, twenty five years ago? Almost certainly not. But they are the stories I want to tell today – and three of them have now been published.

So I’ll steal a phrase from my writer friend SA Collins – I’m now a tentpole pantser. I set up the major points like tentpoles along the way, and I fill in the details as I go.

smile emoticon

August Li: I usually have a lot of my story done in my head before I sit down to transcribe it. I’m a little obsessive, and I think about the characters constantly–part of the reason I can’t work on more than one thing at a time. The plus side of knowing the characters that well, though, is no matter how much of the plot I have outlined in my head, they will say and do things to surprise me. That’s what makes it fun for me. I never really know what the characters will do, and things rarely turn out how I originally envisioned them.

Brandon Witt: I am total planner. Each book gets its own notebook, filled with plot lines, character studies, family trees, questions, outlines, etc. Some of the stuff never gets put into the book, but to me, it makes my characters richer and I like to believe their fuller story is felt, even if not seen. That doesn’t mean that my books always go the way I plan, they don’t, and my characters often surprise me—which is fun! Often, the planning stages takes as long for me as the writing (not in hours, but in days and time spent thinking about different aspects).

Skye Hegyes: I’m a bit of both. With short stories and some of the novellas I’ve worked on, I can take a vague idea and run with it, writing it without planning too much. That said, novels are another story. I recently tried pantsing a novel and just couldn’t do it. I’m a definite plotter where novels are concerned.

Blurbs

Faeries are part of mythology the world over, past, present, and future. Called elves, brownies, the fae, and more, they evoke a sense of wonder and a little danger. Faery has its own rules, and humans enter at their peril.

In this spirit, we bring you the first book in the Myths Untold anthology series—four stories from the land of the Fae: a homeless man in Cardiff and the luck that could destroy him; the trans man in future San Francisco who falls for an elf; the village boy who has always been a little different; and a faery prince whose birthright was stolen from him.

Welcome to Faery.

The Pwcca and the Persian Boy, by Gus Li

Despite beauty and luck, something about Glyn makes everyone uncomfortable. Homeless on the streets of Cardiff, he has nothing to keep him going but his friendship with Farrokh. Through stealing and fortune’s occasional favor, Glyn keeps them alive. But then homeless youths begin to disappear, and when Farrokh goes missing, Glyn begins to discover the reasons behind both his luck and the way people react to him. Determined to save his friend from a danger he never imagined, he enlists the help of Lleu, who might be an ally, or might be manipulating Glyn to achieve his own goals.

The Other Side of the Chrysalis, by Brandon Witt

In a species that values beauty above all else, Quay looses both his freedom and his birthright as prince of the fairies.  Lower than an outcast, he watches over his younger brother, hoping against hope that Xenith’s rebirth will provide safety and positions that has slipped through Quay’s grasp.  Though he expected kindness from no one, Quay gradually starts to trust that there is more to life, even for the likes of him, as sexual encounters with Flesser, a fairy barely accepted himself, turn from lust to love.  Quay knows having forbidden relationships will be his undoing,  but he is powerless to turn away.

Changeling, by Skye Hegyes

With his pointed ears and a tail, Tyler’s always been different than the other children, but until Marsh, a brownie tells him he’s a changeling, he never thought he wasn’t human. Now he will discover what faery life is like, and just how being a changeling could change his life. On the way, his ties with his mother will be pushed and prodded even as his friendships grow and his love life blossoms.  However, in a village of God-fearing people, those who are different are spurned and Tyler will discover how much trouble a fledgling changeling can get into.

Through the Veil, by J. Scott Coatsworth

In the not-too-distant future, San Francisco has been swamped by rising sea levels caused by global warming, and has only survived by building a wall to keep the water out of the heart of the City. Colton is a trans man barely getting by on the canals outside the wall. Tris is an elf who has come to the human world on his journey to become a man. Fate brings them together, and everything changes for Colton when he sets out with Tris to find the elf’s missing brother, taking Colton behind the Wall for the first time.

Length: 79K
Format: eBook, Paperback
Pairing: MM

Buy Link at Wilde City Press

Available at the Wilde City website 4/13/16; other sites one week later.
Price: eBook $5.99, paperback TBD

Author Bios

augusta0liGus Li

August (Gus) Li is a creator of fantasy worlds. When not writing, he enjoys drawing, illustration, costuming and cosplay, and making things in general. He lives near Philadelphia with two cats and too many ball-jointed dolls.

He loves to travel and is trying to see as much of the world as possible. Other hobbies include reading (of course), tattoos, and playing video games.

Brandon Wittbrandon-witt

Brandon Witt’s outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities.

Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he’s got plenty to write about…

Skye Hegyesskye-hegyes

Dragons, wolves, and sharp objects are commonplace in Skye Hegyes’s home in North Carolina. She spends most of her time between writing and working. When not doing either of these things, you may find her making crafts or adventuring with her family, which consists of her husband, two daughters, two birds, and three cats… and a partridge in a pear tree…

*

J. Scott Coatsworthj-scott-coatsworth

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.

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of the QSF Discovery Flash Fiction anthology.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Don’t forget to leave your email address where you can be reached if chosen.

A MelanieM Review: The Winter Prince by R Cooper

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5            ★★★★★

The Winter PrinceHis heart stolen by a powerful pari’s magic, a young prince’s veins slowly fill with ice. That is what the stories say. Three years have passed since, and all efforts to save Kisin have failed. He won’t survive another winter. To save the prince’s life, Razin, the court wizard and Kisin’s childhood friend, plans to seek out the pari. But unbeknownst to Razin, Kisin’s heart was never stolen; he gave it freely to escape the pain of impossible love—his love for Razin.

Razin won’t accept Kisin’s fate, for reasons obvious to anyone who knows anything of love. Kisin agrees to the desperate quest, out of duty and a need to protect Razin. But it isn’t long before Razin realizes saving his prince will require more than simply retrieving his heart. Razin will have to convince him to want it.

Sometimes when I’m reading a story by R Cooper I feel as though I’m drawn back into the past along with it, the words convey a tale that makes me feel so much a part of their lives and adventures.

The Winter Prince is another wonderful fairytale, with a cold, blue prince without a heart as its focus. Kisin is turning to ice and everyone assumes they know the cause but they are so wrong.  And one man closest to the prince, Razin who loves the Prince beyond all hope will do everything he can to save him.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Razin is a powerful mage in his own right but title. That’s part of the story as well.

R Cooper’s stories don’t unfold with haste but with a meaningful leisure.  The author builds the tales slowly,  upon scenes and history, upon the characters disclosures and moments of revelations that the reader, if they are patient, are rewarded with such gems of joy and magic along the  way.  I love it when I get the “aha, I see where you’ve been leading  us” moment, or the laughter that comes when an angle totally unexpected pops up.  But the clues are there if I hadn’t been paying attention to all the gorgeous work going on, the descriptions, the world building, the mythology…simply beautiful.

But its always the characters that bring me back.  R Cooper makes me understand the isolation at the heart of Kisin’s sexual innocence and  the deep pain that causes the grief the drives him to the desperation and worst decision of his life.  We will see the story from other points of view than his, from Razin’s as well.  I love the character of Razin.  His life is so different than that of the remote, lonely prince.  Razin was free in every way the Prince was not, in every way but one. I loved that you could see his pain and loss at his predicament too.  There are simply so many other wonderful characters that will flow in and around these two, two women in  particular, that will add their love and support in an astonishing way.

In the end, the magic of the story and the power of love kept me enthralled to the end.  Happy ever after?  Well, as much and as imperfectly perfectly so while staying true to the world they lived in.  I could see it and still be happy for them all.  Yes, I loved it.

Love R Cooper?  Are you a fan of fairytales and fantasy?  Here is another for your must read file.  I highly recommend it.

Cover art by Brooke Albreacht doesn’t have enough of that fantasy element to satisfy me here.  She could have done so much with the blue prince element and that was really lost.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 147 pages
Published February 24th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634769785
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Free Dreamer Review: Coyote’s Creed (Broken Mirrors #1) by Vaughn R. Demont

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5    ★★★★★

Always have an ace up your sleeve.

Broken Mirrors, Book 1

Coyote's CreedIf con games were taught in high school, Spencer Crain would be on the honor roll. As it is, he’ll be riding the edge of failure to graduation next month. Then Spence gets the news that his long-gone father is not only dead, but was a Coyote, one of three clans of tricksters in the City.

With a near-catatonic mother on his hands, Spence couldn’t care less about the Coyotes’ ongoing feud with the Phouka and the Kitsune—until it lands on his doorstep. Suddenly he’s thrown headfirst into a dangerous world he knows next-to-nothing about. His only guide is Rourke, dashing King of the Phouka, plus a growing pack of half-siblings, a god, and Fate herself.

As Spence embarks on a journey to learn the Coyote’s creed, the truth about his heritage, and how to handle his growing attraction to Rourke, he wonders when his life turned from TV sitcom to real-life danger zone. And what price must he pay to survive the next roll of the dice…

Warning: Contains PG-13 rated violence, R-rated language and X-rated hotel scenes. Meta-humor, pop-culture humor, utter disregard for the 4th wall abound.

This is one of those books I picked up a while ago and never got around to read. When I finally did find the time to start it, I’d forgotten what it was about. So I essentially started this without any expectations whatsoever, because I never read a blurb right before starting the book. Now that I’ve read both blurb and book, I can only say: Hell yeah! Coyote’s Creed definitely delivers what the blurb promises.

Spencer’s long-absent father dies and Spencer is apparently the designated Speaker. He couldn’t care less about the death of his father. In fact, he decides to attend the wake just so he can spit on his father’s grave or “accidentally” knock over his ashes. But then he learns that his father was a Coyote, one of three paranormal trickster clans in the City and that his uncle Rourke is a Phouka. He also finds himself very attracted to Rourke (don’t worry, no incest, he’s not his real uncle, Spencer just called Rourke “uncle” when growing up). And that’s only the beginning of what turns into a truly insane adventure, full of secrets and lies and intrigues.

I absolutely loved Spencer. He’s funny, he’s witty and he’s definitely not your typical romance hero. He’s a trickster and a bit of a pick pocket and doesn’t care too much that it’s illegal. His knowledge of TV tropes is truly awe-inspiring and he always knows just what a TV hero would do to avoid getting killed. Naturally, real life isn’t all that simple, but his ideas on the matter are epic. It was easy to fall for his charms and to just get sucked into his world full of crazy.

Spencer is bi and unlike in many other books of the genre, it’s not just an excuse so he can have kids or only mentioned in passing. He flirts openly with men and women and is very obviously attracted to both. There’s some kissing and quite a bit of talk about boobs. Sex only happens between Spencer and Rourke, so no on-screen naked girly bits. 😉 It’s something I liked about this book, though. I always like my MCs to be diverse and Spencer definitely fits the bill.

The author obviously put a lot of thought into this world. There are three different races, each with their own individual traits, there are gods, there’s Fate, and countless “knacks”. Those knacks make for some really interesting characters.

The plot was incredibly fast-paced and you can do nothing but hurtle along at break-neck speed till the very unpredictable ending. I loved it. It was so very addicting.

The sex was plentiful and hot, and yet didn’t take anything away from the plot. But don’t expect a real love story. Spencer and Rourke aren’t really a couple, it’s more of a friends with benefits kind of relationship.

Long story short: I absolutely loved this book and can’t wait to read part two. This was so much fun.

Cover: The cover by Angela Waters doesn’t really fit the mood of the story. It looks much more serious and almost angsty. Still, Spencer looks good on there and the Ace on his pocket fits.

Sales Links:  Samhain Publishing | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 273 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
ASINB005BSMXDS
Edition Language English

A Free Dreamer Review: Minotaur by J.A. Rock

Standard

Rating: 1.5 stars out of 5

Minotaur_600x900Know this: I am not a warrior. I am a disease.

When I was six, my parents died.

When I was sixteen, I was locked away in Rock Point Girls’ Home. Nobody wants to deal with a liar. An addict. A thief.

Nobody except Alle. She is pure, and she’s my friend in spite of all the rotten things I am.

There was once another girl like me—long ago. A cast-off daughter. A lying little beast who left a red stain across the land with her terrible magic. She’s imprisoned now in a maze high up on the cliffs. They say she’s half woman, half bull. They say she dines on human tributes and guards a vast treasure. They say she was born wicked.

But I know her better than the history books or stories do. She and I dream together. Our destinies are twisted up like vines.

Except I’m not going to turn out wicked like she is. I can save myself by destroying her. I’m going to break out of this place, and I’m going to enter the labyrinth and take her heart.

And once I’m redeemed, maybe Alle will love me.

This is the first F/F book I’ve ever read, so when asked if I was interested, I wasn’t sure at first. But I really liked “When All the World Sleeps” by J.A. Rock and Lisa Henry, so I figured I might as well give it a try.

The reason why I really didn’t like this book isn’t that it’s F/F, I didn’t mind that part, though it probably isn’t really for me. No, it was the character of Thera.  I couldn’t stand Thera from the start. She’s not an evil woman, or even dangerous. She’s just an angry, whiny teenager, who hates the world. She’s selfish, incredibly annoying and not exactly the brightest out there. She goes off to slay a monster and doesn’t even think about bringing a weapon till it’s too late? Seriously? She lies for absolutely no reason whatsoever, even to Alle, who she’s oh-so-in-love with. Something I didn’t buy, by the way. When Alle doesn’t behave the way Thera wants her to, she’s furious and throws a temper tantrum. And as soon as she gets the opportunity, she cheats on her. What kind of love is that supposed to be?

Then there’s the world building, which was essentially non-existent. It felt like America in the 50s or 60s, except that the girls all wear pants and sweaters. And there’s magic and curses and a monster, of course. Which is the extent of world building we get here. I still don’t know whether this is the only town with magic and such, or if it’s commonplace all over the world. I still don’t know just how the magic works. Or is there even magic at all? I’m not sure. For heaven’s sake: Dear authors all over the world, if you’re going to write FANTASY, PLEASE DO SOME WORLD BUILDING. Seriously, that’s a major pet peeve of mine. And no, it’s absolutely no excuse that this was supposed to focus on the romance. You can do both, romance AND world building.

Apart from the protagonist, who I couldn’t stand, and the world building, which didn’t exist, very, very little happened during the first 60% or so. Then the plot finally started to pick up and was somewhat interesting for about 10%. Then it all went downhill again and I was just fed up with everything. I even skimmed the last 5% or so, since it just wouldn’t end, although there really wasn’t anything left to tell. So, essentially there wasn’t much of a plot here either.

In short, I did not like this book. At all. The protagonist was irritating beyond words, there was absolutely no world building, the romance wasn’t convincing in the least and very little actually happened for more than half of the book. The half star I added is for the basic plot idea, which did sound interesting, and the 10% of somewhat interesting plot

The cover by Imaliea is the best part of this book. It’s what first caught my eye. Though in hindsight, I have no idea why Thera is carrying a sword here.

Sales Links:   Riptide Publishing |  All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book details:

ebook, 275 pages
Published October 19th 2015 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN 162649312X (ISBN13: 9781626493124)

Love Fantasy Fiction? Author Tom Early Talks About His Inspiration and New Release Aspect of Winter (interview, excerpt and contest)

Standard

BT_Banner

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Tom Early here to answer a few  questions about himself, writing and his latest release, Aspect of Winter.  Welcome, Tom.  We have a few questions for you this morning.

Q.  Why write for YA readers?

YA is where representation matters most. There aren’t enough YA books out there that feature protagonists that aren’t straight, and there are even fewer books that manage to be the proper adventure fantasy story and just also happen to have gay characters. I want to help change that.

Q.  I have always loved the idea of a college for magical studies, what draws you to this element?

It’s kind of impossible to ignore the influence Harry Potter has on any author who attempts to write a magical school type of story, and I won’t deny that it definitely helped give me the idea. But Harry Potter is about early schooling, and not more of a college element. Janus University seems kind of like the next logical step for what to portray. You’ve got powers, and that’s great. But what do you do with them? What is the world like when magic is readily available and there’s no real control of powers after a certain point? Aspect of Winter, especially the later books in the series, aims to answer that.

Q.  Friends to lovers is a favorite trope for so many readers, is it one of yours too?

It depends. I’ve never been a fan of childhood friends to lovers because it just seems unrealistic to have two people who have been as friends for years and years to suddenly want to be more. But newer friendships that eventually expand their boundaries is far more realistic for me. I find the idea of a friendship that progresses over a few months to a relationship to be a lot better, and a lot less abrupt than love at first sight, either. Love takes time to grow, but it isn’t something that is inherently likely to happen from years of friendship, either.

Q.  Do you have a favorite story that you read as a younger reader?

I read The Name of the Wind many, many times when I was younger, and still do occasionally even now. I wouldn’t quite call it YA, but it’s definitely read just as much by teens as it is adults. The story just manages to set up a slow pace and make it work, which, especially for fantasy, is incredibly difficult to do well.

Q.  What feeling do you want your readers to take away at the end of this and any of your stories?

Aspect of Winter is meant to be a story that you enjoy reading. I wrote it to entertain myself, and hopefully it entertains anyone who reads it as well. But making Fay gay, and Sam pansexual, and Tyler bisexual isn’t a coincidence. I want people to realize that it’s just as easy to enjoy a good YA book with non-straight main characters as any other.

Q. Did you bring any of your school history and make it part of the Janus College learning experience?

The high school Fay and Sam go to at the beginning of Aspect of Winter is loosely based off my own high school experience. Their efforts to get into Janus University is like a fictionalized, combat fantasy version of the college application process. And their time at Janus University in book two is meant to be similar to my own college experience in the feeling of freedom and courses and choices offered, but Janus University is a bit more ruthless than my own school is.

Q.  What’s next for Tom Early?

Well, there’s definitely book two, which is tentatively titled The Doorway God at the moment. I’m about in the middle of it at the moment and working pretty much every day on it. But I have other novels I’m working towards publication with as well. One of them is high fantasy and features a bisexual assassin and an asexual princess and an epic plot against the safety of the entire world, and another tells the story of a possibly delusional young man trying to find a boy who was taken from his mother in 1930’s England. But finishing the Aspect series is first on my list.

AboutTheBook

22930117Title: Aspect of Winter

Author: Tom Early

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press

Cover Artist: Sadie Thompson

Length: 260 pages

Release Date: October 15, 2015

Blurb: It’s hard enough being gay in high school, but Fay must also deal with hiding his magical ability—powers he barely understands and cannot possibly reveal. His best friend Sam is his only confidante, and even with her help, Fay’s life is barely tolerable.

Everything changes when Janus University, a college for individuals with magical capabilities, discovers the pair. When the university sends a student to test them, Fay and Sam, along with their classmate Tyler, are catapulted headfirst into a world of unimaginable danger and magic. Fay and Tyler begin to see each other as more than friends while they prepare for the Trials, the university’s deadly acceptance process. For the first time, the three friends experience firsthand how wonderful and terrible a world with magic can be, especially when the source of Fay’s power turns out to be far deadlier than anyone imagined.

Excerpt

 

AS IT turned out, being wedged into the small space below the math wing staircase was exactly as uncomfortable as I’d imagined. Now, I was in there of my own choice, sort of. I held still and listened, letting out a sigh of relief when I heard the boys’ voices fading. I decided it was safe and did my best to wriggle out.

Groaning, I brushed myself off and realized that I’d somehow managed to cover the majority of my backpack in a thick layer of dust. Rumor had it that years ago the staircase used to be green. Now it was gray. I looked at my backpack in disgust and let out a breath, concentrating. The dust glittered as a layer of frost covered it. When I hoisted my bag onto my back once more, the dust slid right off, the frost preventing it from clinging.

Clean backpack in hand, I trudged up the stairs, across the hall, and walked into the classroom. I took my customary seat in the back next to the poster detailing the derivative rules of calculus, feeling a flash of pity for Ms. King as I watched her try to get anyone to listen, and grabbed my book of the day as the front row began its usual antics. Today they asked Ms. King about her love life, which, while incredibly rude, was extremely successful in throwing her off-balance.

I would never understand high school, even after nearly four years of it. It seemed barely tolerable for everyone involved, including the people who fit in. I didn’t fit in, and so every day was a new chapter in the purgatory of hiding what I could do.

I sent a grateful prayer to the high school gods as class was interrupted by an announcement saying we needed to go to the nurse’s office for a new immunization or something. Ms. King pulled us out of the truly thrilling world of integrals and sent us down one at a time. I was one of the last to go.

Stepping back into the hallway, I prayed that I wasn’t going to run into any of Logan’s crowd again on my way down. The number of times I’d heard “fag” muttered under someone’s breath was already too high.

The school had two hallways running between the faculty area and the math wing, and most people took the lower one. I chose the glass hallway because it was usually empty (this surprised me as well, but apparently using stairs was just too much for many of my classmates), and it was pretty cool to be able to see the entire campus from what was effectively its highest point. I trailed a finger across the glass as I walked, leaving behind a fractal line of frost in the warm September air.

I smirked. For as long as I’d been at Owl’s Head High School, there had been, in the eloquent phrasing of high schoolers, “spooky shit” in the fall and spring where kids would come across ice or cold areas in warm weather. I knew I needed to keep my head down, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t have a little fun.

BuyLinks

Harmony Ink Press

Amazon US

Amazon UK

All Romance eBooks

AboutTheAuthor

Tom Early is currently a student at Tufts University who probably spends more time than is wise reading and writing instead of studying. More often than not, he can be found wrapped in a blanket on the couch forgetting most of the things he was supposed to do that day.

When not writing, Tom can be found either reading, gaming, drawing, scratching his dog, or bothering his friends. He also frequently forgets that it’s healthy to get more than six hours of sleep a night, and firmly believes that treating coffee as the most important food group makes up for this. If you show him a picture of your dog, he will probably make embarrassingly happy noises and then brag about his own dog. He’s always happy to talk about any of his previous or current writing projects, because people asking him about them reminds him that he should really be writing right now.

RafflecopterGiveaway

Winner’s Prize: Free signed copy of Aspect of Winter

a Rafflecopter giveaway
//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

TourSchedule

October 19:

Love Bytes Reviews

World of Diversity Fiction

Sue Brown

October 20:

BFD Book Blog

RJ Scott

The Land of Make Believe

October 21:

Boys on the Brink

The Purple Rose Tea House

Queer Sci-Fi

Drops of Ink

October 22:

Carly’s Book Reviews

Wicked Faeries Tales & Reviews

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

Divine Magazine

October 23:

Reviews and Interviews Blog

TTC Books and More

Nephy’s World

Diverse Reader