New Release Blitz with Excerpt for Starlight (Dark Space #3) by Lisa Henry

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StarLight RDB Banner

Starlight

Dark Space Series Book 3

Lisa Henry

M/M Sci-Fi

Release Date: 12.01.19

Starlight

Cover Designer: Mayhem Cover Creations

Blurb

Brady Garrett is back in space, this time as an unwilling member of a team of humans seeking to study the alien Faceless and their technology. It’s not the first time Brady’s life has been in the hands of the Faceless leader Kai-Ren, and if there’s one thing Brady hates it’s being reminded exactly how powerless he is. Although dealing with the enigmatic Faceless might actually be easier than trying to figure out where he stands with the other humans on board, particularly when one of them is his boyfriend’s ex.

Cameron Rushton loved the starlight once, but being back on board the Faceless ship forces him to confront the memories of the time he was captured by Kai-Ren, and exactly how much of what was done to him that he can no longer rationalize away. Cam is used to being Brady’s rock, but this time it might be him who needs Brady’s support.

This time Brady is surrounded by the people he loves most in the universe, but that only means their lives are in danger too. And when Kai-Ren’s fascination with humanity threatens the foundations of Faceless society, Brady and Cam and the rest of the team find themselves thrust into a battle that humans have very little hope of winning, let alone surviving.

*Starlight can be read as a standalone but probably words better with knowledge of the first two books in the series.

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/darkspace-starlight

Starlight Teaser 5Starlight Teaser 4

Excerpt

That night I woke up with a start.

Cam made a soft noise beside me, and kept sleeping.

I sat up and swung my legs over the side of the bunk. The floor was damp and sticky against my bare feet. I didn’t care. Barely noticed it anymore. I just reached under the bunk and dragged my footlocker out. Opened it and found my cigarettes.

“Bad dream?” Chris Varro asked in a low voice from the bunk on the opposite wall.

I hadn’t known he was awake.

I lit my cigarette. “Hot dream,” I lied.

“Was I in it?”

“Fucker.”

He laughed quietly.

I’d had my fair share of wet dreams about Chris. And they weren’t just when I’d shared dreams with Cam. Pretty sure I’d come up with some all on my own. And I wish I could say that was the weirdest thing about my life, but it barely made the list. And if it was weird for me to be sharing a room with my boyfriend’s ex, how fucking weird was it for him to see us together? At least he didn’t try to pull rank on me anymore, and I didn’t try to stab him in the throat with a screwdriver. We were a work in progress, Chris and me.

Chris’s bunk creaked as he rose to his feet. He walked to the doorway, and beckoned me to follow.

I did.

“Those damn bunks,” he said, rolling his shoulders as he led me down the slope of the corridor towards Doc’s medbay. “I don’t know how you and Cam can fit in a single one.”

“We make it work,” I said. Cam slept in the bunk next to mine in theory, but in practice we usually ended up wedged close together in the one. I wondered if Chris was jealous. I would have burned with it if I’d had to see Cam with another guy. It was bad enough I’d seen it in his memories.

Chris regarded me silently for a moment, a sort of half smile on his lips, and I remembered—I felt—exactly why Cam had fallen in love with him. Chris was a good-looking guy, but more than that, he was smart and he was ambitious, but not in the way a lot of military guys were. Chris didn’t give a fuck about rank or prestige or how many medals they gave him. He was driven by something outside of all that. Chris wanted to unravel all the mysteries of the universe. No wonder that Cam, chasing starlight, had fallen so easily into his orbit.

They’d been perfect together, at least for a while.

“I like you, Brady,” he said. He reached forward and plucked my cigarette from between my fingers. Took a drag on it, and gave it back. “You don’t like me, but I like you.”

“You steal my fucking cigarettes and of course I don’t like you.”

His smile widened. “We both know that’s not the reason why.”

I shrugged, because there was no point denying it.

“You’re good for him,” Chris said at last. Glowing platelets slid past in the wall behind him and illuminated his face for a moment. “You’re good for each other.”

“I know we are,” I said, trying not to bristle, because I couldn’t quite read him. I couldn’t tell if he was being friendly, or if he was being a condescending prick and implying Cam and I needed his fucking approval or something. Usually I thought the worst of people and usually I was right, but lately I was trying to, I don’t know, be a better person or some bullshit. I at least wanted to set a better example for Lucy, so that she didn’t have to look at me and then look at all these other guys and wonder why I wasn’t like them. I didn’t want her to like them more than me because they weren’t angry and afraid all the time.

Chris stared at me for a long moment, and I wasn’t sure what he was looking for. “Whole universe out here,” he said at last, “just like Doc says, and you’re still living in your own head.”

“So what if I am? No fucking law against it.”

His mouth turned up in a faint smile. “Don’t forget I’ve been inside your skull, Brady. How do you even stand it? It’s so loud in there.”

I blew smoke in his face and ignored the way my stomach twisted.

He smiled again and shook his head. When he spoke his voice was tempered with sympathy, and that’s what made me hate him the most. “Whole universe out here, Brady, right in front of your eyes, and you’re still too afraid to look at it, aren’t you?”

“Fuck you,” I said. “I’m going back to bed.”

I left the asshole standing there, wreathed in the pulsating lights of the Faceless ship.

Starlight Teaser 1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

Lisa has been published since 2012, and was a LAMBDA finalist for her quirky, awkward coming-of-age romance Adulting 101.

Website: lisahenryonline.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lisa.henry.1441

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LisaHenryOnline

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/5050492.Lisa_Henry

Instagram: lisa_henry_author

Email: lisahenryonline@gmail.com

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Blog Post and Giveaway for Taking Shield Series by Anna Butler

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Penny Plain

I’m a bit of a nerd, really. I like knowing stuff. I like details and fun facts, and, well, I am a bit of a control freak. I have to have things sorted. Docketed. Filed away for future reference.

No, really. When it came to Taking Shield, I was looking up such wonderfully esoteric things as interferomatic dispersion, what actually happens if an airlock blows out in a vacuum, and sketching out on paper how the Gyrfalcon’s hangars and launch tubes work.

I love research.

Partly for its own sake, because it’s innately satisfying to learn how a naval flag office works or browse through the SF writing handbooks gawking at the inventive methods people have come up with (fictionally, I mean) to overcome Einstein’s pesky limitation that nothing can travel faster than light. But mostly I love it because it helps me visualise and describe the world I’m building, and because I think those worlds are stronger and more vivid from the details I’ve been able to add to them.

This isn’t about that old chestnut of ‘suspending the reader’s disbelief’. It’s quite the opposite: it’s about getting them to believe. There’s far more to being a writer than just sitting down to the keyboard and letting rip – you have to seed that urge to write with research. And then you have to look at all those lovely, juicy things you’ve learned and prune them away, despite the ache in your heart and the tears, to leave just the right amount to thread through your story to make it come alive. To make it tuppence coloured, rather than just penny plain.

The trick is to know what to put in (only just enough) and what to leave out (probably most if it, but I had fun researching). Feed through enough detail to give the created world completeness and coherence and make the narrative three dimensional and rich. Do it right and the little gems of knowledge inform the story, catching at the reader’s attention—hopefully subtly and naturally. It makes the world live. It’s all about balance: blend imagination with all that stuff so painstakingly collected together, and seed the details through the story so quietly and seamlessly the reader just sees the whole, complete world and never has to worry about things like the scaffolding holding it all up in the background.

For me, half the fun is sharing research with readers. I use glossaries, author’s notes, Pinterest, blog posts, website background notes… If I were a little less technologically challenged, I’d probably include animated slideshows and book trailers, too. But I am, so I don’t. The ways of sharing these fascinating world-building snippets have gone well beyond the old days when all a reader got was a fold-out map at the end of a book, if they were lucky.

You’ll find extra snippets of information on Taking Shield at my website. Do explore them to find out fascinating things such which dreadnought heads up the Ninth Flotilla, or how the chain of command of the Albion Defences work, what the medals for valour are and what colour uniform an Infantryman wears. I hope you enjoy reading it all as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link


Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas


Hate buying books in a series until the whole thing is done? Then check out the Rainbow Award-winning Taking Shield series, just released as an e-book boxed set. Not only do you get the entire series, there’s a very nice saving on the cost of the individual books! Anna’s dropped in today to tell us more.


About Taking Shield


Earth’s a dead planet, dark for thousands of years; lost for so long no one even knows where the solar system is. Her last known colony, Albion, has grown to be regional galactic power in its own right. But its drive to expand and found colonies of its own has threatened an alien race, the Maess, against whom Albion is now fighting a last-ditch battle for survival in a war that’s dragged on for generations.


Taking Shield charts the missions and adventures of Shield Captain Bennet, scion of a prominent military family. Bennet, also an analyst with the Military Strategy Unit, uncovers crucial data about the Maess to help with the war effort. Against the demands of his family’s ‘triple goddess’ of Duty, Honour and Service, is set Bennet’s relationships with lovers and family—his difficult relationship with his long term partner, Joss; his estrangement from his father, Caeden, the commander of Fleet’s First Flotilla; and Fleet Lieutenant Flynn, who, over the course of the series, develops into Bennet’s main love interest.


Over the Taking Shield arc, Bennet will see the extremes to which humanity’s enemies, and his own people, will go to win the war. Some days he isn’t able to tell friend from foe. Some days he doubts everything, including himself, as he strives to ensure Albion’s victory. And some days he isn’t sure, any longer, what victory looks like.

Anna was a communications specialist for many years, working in various UK government departments on everything from marketing employment schemes to organizing conferences for 10,000 civil servants to running an internal TV service. These days, though, she is writing full time. She lives with her husband in a quiet village tucked deep in the Nottinghamshire countryside. She’s supported there by the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockerpoo, who is assisted by the lovely Mavis, a Yorkie-Bichon cross with a bark several sizes larger than she is but no opinion whatsoever on the placement of semi-colons.

 

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A MelanieM Review:The Shoreless Sea (Liminal Sky Book 3) by J. Scott Coatsworth

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

Liminal Sky: Book Three

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.

I have been waiting to see how this very talented author was going to wrap up his  Liminal Sky trilogy.  The preceding stories (The Stark Divide #1 and The Rising Tide #2) were both marvelous feats of LGBTQIA science fiction, carrying me along a journey of epic proportions.  So what would the conclusion bring?  A finale to a story that, for the author, has really been decades in the making (read the author’s note).

So into The Shoreless Sea (Liminal Sky Book 3) by J. Scott Coatsworth I dove!

Well, this is one of those circumstances where I wish I could leave a rating off.  Why?  Because 3/4 of this novel is brilliant, living up to its predecessors.  For the majority of this story, Coastworth has a clear vision, moving his narrative smartly forward towards a highly passionate, suspenseful, action-packed climax.  New characters are introduced, indeed entire new revelatory elements have been brought in, layered and over layered to the existing foundation of the seed ship Forever and its inhabitants moving through space. Past history is reintroduced, skillfully I will add, for those that might have forgotten some of the past.  And new horrific villains have risen.

The author had me hooked.  I was turning those pages, needing to know what was happening next, so thoroughly in the moment with those people, from Destiny (the author’s binary character), to Andy, Gordy, Aine, and all the rest.  They were, and are magnificent, and perfectly realized.   The sciences behind the workings of Forever is still just as fascinating and incredibly visualized as anything I’ve read.  All the people and their various gender identities were handled just as one would hope for a society that advanced. Or should I say a world trying to be a society to be more advanced.

I just loved this story.  Especially that climax!  Just outstanding?  So what is my issue here?

Well , after I got through cheering and thinking about just how perfect I thought that climax was and how neatly I thought Coatsworth had tied up the ending of his story and the trilogy, I noticed something.  And my heart sank a little.  I wasn’t finished yet.  There was more to read.  Sign.  I was, facing more chapters…after a perfect ending.

That’s the hardest thing for authors.  How to let a story go, knowing when to release your characters and say goodbye.  Especially when you have lived with them in your head and your heart for such a long time.

There was another chapter, another villain, another smaller, less effective denouement, just to give a beloved character a send off.  One that, in my opinion, she had already received prior with her partner and heartmate.  This one?  Sort of diminished that which had gone before. So very anticlimactic.  And it also muddled the waters of the fantastic  ending/send off Coatsword had written in the other chapter as well. Just didn’t make as much sense.

And then there was yet another chapter after that.  One that could have easily been set aside as one of those side stories the authori talked about when he said he might be revisiting this universe in the future.  You could also feel the author just not wanting to let go of this trilogy….not yet…just one more paragraph….one more line.

So how to rate this?

The Shoreless Sea (Liminal Sky Book 3) by J. Scott Coatsworth was mostly a magnificent finale.   Full of passion, great characters, wonderful science, and imaginative plot, and suspenseful ideas and plot, I enjoyed it right up to the first climax and ending.  That was the perfect story for me.  It was there I should have stopped.  And taken the rest as additional short stories later on.

But that’s not how the author wrote it and that’s not his vision.  His vision includes all the chapters and for me, that’s several too many.

I still think the Liminal Sky trilogy is a remarkable series and this was author’s loving tribute to his characters and a story that he’s loved and now finished.  I think he did a rmarvelous job and highly recommend it.

Cover art: Aaron Anderson.  I have loved all the covers for this series and this one is no different.  Just outstanding.

Sales Links: Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play | QueeRomance Ink

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Published October 15th 2019 by DSP Publications
ASINB07T5C8DWY

Liminal Sky Trilogy:

The Stark Divide
The Rising Tide
The Shoreless Sea

 

 

Love SciFy? Check Out the Release Blitz and Giveaway for Black Sky Morning (Mind + Machine Series #3) by Hanna Dare

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Length: 74,000 words approx.
 
Mind + Machine Series
 

Book #1 – Machine Metal Magic – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – The Wayward Prince – Amazon US | Amazon UK

 
Blurb 



A bounty hunter in over his head.


Xin knows how to look out for himself, and he knows when something sounds too good to be true. But a forgotten planet filled with riches is too tempting to pass up. Fortunately Xin also knows someone who can back him up – if he doesn’t arrest Xin first.


A government agent who’s lost hope.


Jonathan Gray used to believe in a better future. Now he’s not so sure. Then Xin walks in, with his dark eyes and maddening smirk, and Jonathan feels like he’s waking up for the first time in months. Well, parts of him at least. He knows Xin is trouble, but when trouble looks this good it’s impossible to resist.


Two men. One dangerous planet. To survive they need to trust each other – too bad neither of them does trust.

 

A writer-for-hire for more than ten years, Hanna Dare now writes what she loves to read: well-written, character-driven stories of men exploring their identities and discovering their own unique kind of happily ever afters… usually through sexytimes.


Find Hanna on the internet enjoying pretty pictures, procrastination and caffeinated beverages!

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New Release Tour:The Demon of Hagermarsh (Virasana Empire: Sir Yaden #1) by Beryll Brackhaus and Osiris Brackhaus (excerpt)

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The Demon of Hagermarsh

Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus have a new MM fantasy book out: The Demon of Hagermarsh.

“The Emperor cares for each and every one of his subjects.”

Many consider the catchphrase of the imperial Lotus Knights to be nothing more but well-polished propaganda, but for Yaden, it is a way of life.

A young Lotus Knight himself, his first mission in service of the Emperor sends him to the remote village of Hagermarsh, a suspiciously friendly place on a planet known for its inhospitable people. But how to uncover a demonist coven when nothing bad ever happens?

Getting to know the villagers only complicates things – the motherly fishmonger surely isn’t a demonist. Nor the gruff leader of the local militia. And definitely not the cute baker from across the street.

Or are they?

Come discover a dazzling, hopeful universe of knights and monsters, of psions, aliens and ancient deities! The Demon of Hagermarsh is the first book of ‘Sir Yaden’, an epic SF saga of grand adventure, romance, bromance and family, set in the multi-faceted Virasana Empire. It is a romantic adventure and can be read as a standalone.

Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Smashwords | Goodreads


Excerpt

Banner of Hagermarsh Meme

Instantly, Yaden was on his feet and in the sales room, only to realise that he had absolutely no reason to do so except for his curiosity, but now it was too late for a credible retreat.

“Good day, Sir,” he greeted Colin, hoping he’d come across as a diligent shop servant and not some weirdo.

Colin looked a little startled at his sudden appearance, but he gave him that sunny smile of his. “Good day, Yaden. I thought I’d break with tradition and come in first, so the rest of them can follow. Me being the other most recent newcomer to the village and all.”

“Oh?” So that was why Colin seemed so out of place in Hagermarsh. “You’re not from here either?”

“Actually I sort of am. My family has owned that bakery for generations. But my mother and her sister ran away to Schimmelbach. They hated this place, so, I wasn’t born here.”

“Really? But what’s to hate here? Hagermarsh seems pretty nice so far.”

“I don’t actually know,” Colin replied with another smile, this time bittersweet. “Mother died when I was little, so Aunt Mildred raised me. And she rarely talked about their time in Hagermarsh.”

“So there’s a terrible, dark secret to this village?” Yaden tried to keep his tone down and not too hopeful.

Colin laughed out loud. “In Hagermarsh? If there is one, I haven’t been initiated yet. I only moved here a few years ago, when my Grandpa died and I took over the bakery. And so far, it’s been the nicest place I’ve ever lived in.”

Not a useful lead. Yaden feverishly tried to figure out a way to ask more questions without making their conversation sound too much like an interrogation, until he noticed that Colin was looking at him with that beaming smile of his. It made him terribly nervous.

“So … What are you looking to buy?” Inelegant, but at least it was a way out.

“A few odds and ends. We do need the General Store to open again. Which reminds me, can I have my basket back, yet?”

“Actually, I dropped it off with your apprentice yesterday. Didn’t he tell you?” Yaden had specifically told the youth to let his master know, but had only received the usual grunt in return.

Colin groaned dramatically. “Rory! That lazy foghead is going to be the death of me one day! Eithne insisted that regular work would be good for him and he would improve, but I swear he is getting worse. That’s what you get for listening to a kind old lady trying to barter off one of her grandsons.”

“I’m … sorry?”

“No, no, not your fault at all.” Colin’s smile was back again in a blink. How could a man smile that much? “I’ll deal with him. After all, he is my apprentice and I’m responsible for him. I’ll get him into shape eventually.” He pulled a small note from his pocket, scanned it and for the first time properly looked around the sales room, his eyes going wide. “Wow! This is so orderly. And so much. It looks like you have at least one of everything.”

Before moving from Erys to Lagoona, Yaden would have agreed. He vividly remembered the first time he and Darios had visited one of the big shopping malls in Ridge, the highrise quarter of Agami, and gaped at the sheer amount of stuff on sale they hadn’t even known existed. They sure had felt like clueless country bumpkins. But after a year in the Empire’s capital, he had gotten used to it to a point where the General Store’s range of goods felt rudimentary to him.

“Mostly I need a new pen and a whole bunch of different spices.” Colin smiled at Yaden hopefully. “Could you show me where everything is?”

“Sure, though we may not have exotic spices in stock. But we can order them for you.”

“That would be great. Okay, let me see. Most urgently, I need some garnak, ideally whole pods, and some dried lurka leaves. Do you have any terran caraway, by chance?”

There wasn’t much assistance Yaden could offer, apart from showing him where they kept the spices. Deciphering the labels on the tins would have taken him much longer than Colin. But he recognized them at a glance, and Yaden stayed with him to portion out the amounts he needed and bring them over to the counter.

When Colin followed him to the counter, he noticed Darios properly for the first time and did a double take at his size.

“Master Darios, who actually owns the store,” Yaden introduced.

Darios greeted Colin with an amicable grunt and put his book down to ring up Colin’s purchases.

“I promised Master Colin a discount in exchange for his welcoming bread,” Yaden reminded him.

“Oh, no, that is absolutely not necessary.”

Colin looked embarrassed, but Darios glanced at Yaden with a decidedly amused twinkle in his eye. Instead of figuring in a discount, he pulled two extra pencils from the box he kept under the counter and pushed them over to Colin.

“Thank you.” He smiled first at Darios and then at Yaden again. For a Leichnami he smiled suspiciously much, but his smile was warm and pretty and Yaden couldn’t bring himself to mind. “Well, I should be on my way before the rest of Hagermarsh starts wondering whether you have eaten me.”

Walking him to the door was ridiculous, of course, but Yaden trailed behind him.

“Will I see you at the scribba training tonight?” Colin asked when he stepped out onto the porch.

“I thought that is only for the fighting citizens?”

Colin shook his head. “No, it’s a bit of a social gathering, too. Lots of people standing around, drinking beer and giving useless advice to us poor fork-wielding folk.” He smiled yet again. “I could introduce you to some of the younger villagers.”

Yaden gave an exaggerated shudder. “I’m not sure I want to meet them if they are anything like Bridget from next door,” he grabbed the opportunity to gather more information.

“Oh, so you met Bridget?” Colin’s smile gained a decidedly snarky edge. “Did she give you the ‘in this village we don’t tolerate any bullying and you better not step out of line’ speech?”

“Actually, she asked me lots of questions. And she gave me the ‘if anyone bullies you, I’ll protect you’ speech.”

“She did?” Colin looked amused and indignant at the same time. “Now, why do you look worthy of protection to her and I get treated like a ticking time bomb?”

“I don’t know. Maybe I look harmless?” Which was more than a little ridiculous considering what Yaden was capable of.

“Mmh,” Colin huffed and shrugged. “Granted, Bridget is a bit odd. But there are some nice folks in Hagermarsh. They only act gruff when there is a chance of strangers observing them. Hagermarsh is a real community where people look out for each other. I think you’ll like it here.”

Colin gave him that movie-star smile again, but Yaden had to struggle keeping up his own.

Those last sentences had triggered all alarms in Yaden’s head. All of that sounded way too much like propaganda, crafted to keep the population calm, happy and ignorant of any ugly things happening behind the scenes. It sounded very much like the slogans the Lotus Pavilion PR team had drummed into his head. Colin had even the right kind of wholesome handsomeness that made believing such stories so easy. If Yaden managed to pinpoint where this propaganda was coming from, he’d be on the right track.

“See you at the training, tonight?” Colin asked.

Yaden only managed an affirmative grunt.

“Looking forward to it. Oh, and you may wanna bring some beer. That’ll go a long way in making you less of a stranger.”

Yaden grunted again. Maybe not beer, but he had unpacked a whole crate of different kinds of schnapps and brandy earlier. Those would surely work just as well. He managed a parting smile before Colin turned around and left across the road.


Author Bio

We are Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus, a couple currently living our happily ever after in the very heart of Germany, under the stern but loving surveillance of our cat.

Both of us are voracious but picky readers, we love telling stories and drinking tea, good food and the occasional violent movie. Together, we write novels of adventure and romance, hoping to share a little of our happiness with our readers.

Beryll: An artist by heart, Beryll was writing stories even before she knew what letters were. As easily inspired as she is frustrated, her own work is never good enough (in her eyes). A perfectionist in the best and worst sense of the word at the same time and the driving creative force of our duo.

Osiris: An entertainer and craftsman in his approach to writing, Osiris is the down-to-earth, practical part of our duo. Broadly interested in almost every subject and skill, with a sunny mood and caring personality, he strives to bring the human nature into focus of each of his stories.

Author Website: http://www.brackhaus.com/

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011014541510

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/Brackhaus

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brackhaus/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6427435.Osiris_Brackhaus

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Osiris-Brackhaus/e/B00IVTRO2E

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A MelanieM Review: NoX by Adrienne Wilder

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Rating:: 4.5 stars out of 5

One is a dying man.
The other is a man who died to live.

A nude man invades Luca Suarez’s home and protects him from creatures who cannot exist.
Creatures hunting him.

The stranger can’t tell Luca why. He can’t even tell Luca his name.
He remembers nothing until the moment he sees Luca.

The only hint Luca has to the stranger’s identity is a tattoo on his wrist: N o X

Nox doesn’t know who he is, but he’s sure of three things, his memory loss is temporary, the monsters chasing Luca are called Anubis, and his Alpha, Koda, sent Nox to protect him.

There’s just one problem… Koda is Luca’s brother who was murdered five years ago.

With each passing hour, Nox fills in the pieces painting an impossible truth. And with each passing hour, both men find themselves unexplainably attracted to each other.

Something Luca is willing to embrace because he has nothing left to lose.
And one Nox can’t let happen because it could get Luca killed.

Nox is a HEA m/m paranormal, science-fiction romance.
But be warned, these are NOT the shifters you are used to reading about.

NoX by Adrienne Wilder is a HFN LGBT science fiction novel that ends with new elements added and the author opening up her universe and characters for a sequel that may never be written. Which given the snippets revealed in the author’s notes at the end would be a shame because NoX is a complex, twisty blend of Egyptian mythology, cosmology, shifters, genetics, mad scientists, action adventure, government conspiracy, and , oh yes, hot sex and romance.  Maybe a few more thrown in for good measure.

NoX is a totally engrossing tale from the moment you open the story and meet the ailing Luca, alone in his house on the stormy dark night.   A bang, a flahs, a barking dog, the reader’s pulse starts to race and you become totally involved in this fragile young man’s world and the terror that is about to overtake him.  The writing is terrific, the descriptions are vivid, and the characterization are layered and give these people depth and authenticity.  We believe in them, care for them, and often despair for them.

That is especially true for NoX, the person who begins the story without memory.  That slowly returns in bits and pieces, and as it  does so does his part of the story and back history.  About that I will say no more.

But NoX is told from multiple points of view and it absolutely works,  It flips effortlessly from one person to the next, moving the story and suspense/action forward, while creating angst and a great deal of knots in the reader’s stomach.  Trust me on that last one.

Wilder’s twist on shifter culture pulls from many different areas and genres.  The author brings in Egyptian mythology with Anubis, creationism and origin legends and science, plus sheer old science fiction beings/creature of unknown background now set loose.  There is also plenty of talk of genetics and molecular science.  Except…and here is where it get’s weak…and the author takes the easy way out of a complex explanation or creating one..

“There isn’t enough time for me to explain, and even if there was, you don’t have the education to understand it.”

I read that  to be the author saying that wrote themselves into a scientific corner and that was their solution.  That happens a couple of times here where the intricacies overwhelm the narrative.

There are several major twists to this story, all well woven and one a real stunner that stopped me reading in amazement.  The action is so swift, the information coming at you at such a fast clip that it takes time for the reader to take it all in.  It took me a while to realize that the relationship between NoX and Luca is actually very primal at first, anything resembling something romanic doesn’t appear until later in the story.  So in that respect, you might say this is actually a slow burn romance as well.

It is also violent, graphic, and very sexual which is how the Anubis bonds.  But again that is also such a complex matter, although it appears primal, that it is best left for the storyline.

However, while the blurb states this as a HEA that just isn’t the case.  It would indicate that if it weren’t for that epilogue and the author’s notes.  During the epilogue, more information and new elements are introduced which opens up an entirely new path, characters, and possibilities.  None of which is suggestive of HEA.  The author’s notes are further indication of a sequel in the works as snippets, which are given for the readers to look over.  With Wilder’s note saying it’s dependant on whether or not this does well.

Funny, I always thought you wrote a story because it wanted to be written or you had the passion or need to write it. Huh.

Anyway.  This story stands on it own merits.  It deserves this rating because it’s entertaining, well done, imaginative, and I loved reading it.  Aside from that author’s note of course. Which as you can tell struck me the wrong way.

If you love science fiction that combines a wonderful blend of elements, I think NoX by Adrienne Wilder might be just your thing!  I’m definitely recommending it.

Cover art Adrienne Wilder.  Great cover as it also contains several important elements from the story while being dramatic.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US    |  Amazon UK 

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 463 pages
Published April 2nd 2019
ASINB07QD2Q4VD
Edition Language English

Check Out the New Release Tour for Baja Clavius by Madeira Desouza

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COVER Baja Clavius

Madeira Desouza has a new gay erotic sci fi tale out: Baja Clavius.

This controversial science fiction adventure depicts gay male time travel agents with very bad behaviors. They are violent and immoral men.

A few hundred years from now, these time travel agents work within a top-secret agency located beneath the crater Clavius on the moon. Their time-travel missions take them to Earth in the past where they ruthlessly manipulate man who are targeted for their roles in the outcomes of historical events such as the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

Amazon eBook | Amazon Paperback


Giveaway

Madeira is giving away a $20 Amazon gift certificate with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:

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Excerpt

MEME4 - Baja Clavius

Yesterday I was lost and I died. Today I am alive again. I accept the truth about foregone tomorrows and my resurrections from the dead.

I do not claim to be a believer in a deity or a religion. Yet, I have personally experienced being repeatedly brought back to life after death. Something far more powerful than us human beings resurrected me. And now, everything I have learned about living, dying, and then coming back for more is presented here.

I have been coerced into creating this journal of my experiences. I will suffer if I am less than completely truthful. I will be held prisoner until I have completed this in full.

I work for a top-secret international agency that is so deeply concealed nobody could possibly find it. Baja Clavius is the name of the international base of operations where I live. It is from that base that I travel in time to work assignments on Earth.

Desperate efforts by others to censor this work all have ended in failure. Just to confuse you, others have circulated conflicting versions of this. But I defeated all my enemies who wanted to prevent you for seeing this.

I begin by sharing my memories of being back in my home state of Arizona—on foot trudging through the desert under dark, threatening thunderclouds that do not diminish the hottest day I have ever felt in my entire life. Through an unexpected break in the storm clouds, I see bright white sunlight and the most magnificent color of blue sky. Up there above me a haunting full moon commands my attention.

Sticking out of the landscape under the ominous skies is a mechanical structure apparently made mostly of wood. As I walk closer to the device, it looks to me as though it was created specifically to slow down the process of hanging a man by the neck so that he will experience extended agony before his death.

Hung from a thick brown rope wrapped around a wheel wench is a muscular, shirtless, and barefoot man with his arms unbound struggling desperately to stay conscious as his neck is crushed in the noose. I see his high cheekbones and long dark brown hair that is tied behind his neck into a queue. I watch his bare feet kick the sky.

I notice a pair of unattended video cameras on tripods positioned nearby on the desert floor pointing toward the hanging machine. Why would anyone go to the trouble of videotaping this man’s death by ritual hanging?

I know that I have met him previously. But this man whose name I cannot remember somehow seems to hold a distinct place at the very center of faulty recollections in my brain.

Off in the distance fifty meters or so to the west of my location, I can see four men wearing cowboy attire running away. I must have scared them away when I approached. But they left that helpless man to die on their hanging machine.

He is someone who seems obviously capable of having put up very considerable resistance against this merciless fate. His powerful body attracts my full attention. He looks like he is about thirty years old—the same age as me. His legs wildly swing in all possible directions as I reach the hanging machine. He desperately tries to reach his hands up to his neck as if it somehow were possible to free himself from the noose. But that is impossible! He groans when he sees me as if to try and tell me something.

His faded blue jeans are too tight for him. I stare at his bulging crotch as he dances in the air at the end of a rope. I marvel at his incredible masculinity contrasted with utter vulnerability. This man looks strong and tough. He must certainly be capable of protecting himself against anyone with success. But, not now.

He cannot save himself. He is simultaneously very manly and totally defenseless. This precise opposing combination of traits is, I’m sure, why men watch executions of other men.

His deep, dark eyes remain open, defiantly staring outward into the eerie sky. He resumes his kicking, but much more forcefully now.

His tight blue jeans emphasize his growing bulge. He has attained a full erection ahead of what will be his final ejaculation into his jeans. There is intense humiliation on his face. His body jerks wildly. As he shoots his last load in his pants, his neck cannot withstand the crushing force of the noose. I am stunned because I did not expect to see his body spasms, kicking, and curling of his toes.

Very suddenly, he just stops struggling. His body no longer can fight back against the effects of gravity and the noose that has applied fatal pressure to his vulnerable neck. I watch him desperately try to open his mouth to breathe, but he has no life remaining in him. I am overwhelmed with intense anger and shock as I slump to the ground. I cry without any shame for this stranger. I feel stunned by my sexual attraction to him. It is as if I have lost someone who has been very significant to me and to my life.

Even though I feel instinctively that I have suffered memory loss, I can remember where I work. I especially remember being inside some kind of cylindrical blue machine.

The inside of the circular blue glass machine was filled with a milky white liquid. It was translucent and unpleasant. It smelled like chemicals. I was naked. I felt like I was drowning. But I knew I was not going to drown. Something has taught me that I cannot die. I know with absolute certainty that I do not know death. I live on and on. But, I have so many questions that I cannot answer. Why am I repeatedly resurrected? Will I live forever?


Author Bio

AUTHOR PIC - Madeira Desouza - Baja Clavius

Madeira Desouza is a gay male author. He focuses upon telling stories about mature, masculine men who are sexually attracted to other mature, masculine men. He steers clear of several deeply embedded traits of American gay culture that can be found in film and in print–eccentric or flamboyant behaviors, alkyl nitrites, dance music, trendy clothing, trendy hair, gay men who think age 30 is old, and so forth.

Desouza’s creative works belong within the bara genre. This little word is shortened from barazuko. Translated from Japanese, it means rose-tribe, which is a code phrase for gay men. Originated in Japan decades ago as gay men created works for other gay men, this genre has not yet been widely embraced internationally. Perhaps this is because bara bara depicts same-sex feelings and sexual attraction to masculine, muscular men who sometimes behave in aggressive, violent, or exploitative ways towards one another.

As both a storyteller and digital artist Desouza explores conflicting and opposing compulsions that all men have. On one side there are impulses men have towards sustaining life, engaging in love, and being attracted to others. In the opposing direction are impulses men have towards being aggressive, engaging in violence, and, causing pain and death. For centuries, artists and storytellers around the world have found inspiration in these two opposing human compulsions that no man is able to resist or impede merely by his conscious will alone.

Author Website: https://bajaclavius.com/

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/madeira.desouza

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/desouzaofvegas/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/machodesouza

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/masculine_men_images/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Madeira-Desouza/e/B008HL3B3C/

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Love Science Fiction? Check Out the Release Blitz for Finding Trix by L.M. Brown (excerpt)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Finding Trix

Author: L.M. Brown

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Sheri McGathy

Release Date: June 7, 2019

Genre/s: Sci-fi M/M/M Romance

Trope/s: One-night stand, MPreg

Themes: Bound mates

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 71 000 words/ 205 pages

It is a standalone story.

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

 

 

 

Blurb

Trix is one of many felines who sells his body on the Pleasure Station, a space station devoted to entertainment, gambling, and the pleasures of the flesh. He’d never intended to spend his life there, but the place offers him security, regular cream, and over time it has become his home.

As a dual-gendered feline, Trix knows the risk of pregnancy is high, and sets his prices equally high to discourage customers. Trix never imagines that Delta, a canine with credits to spare will call his bluff.

When Delta pays for himself and Farron, a naïve avian from the swan clan, to spend the night with Trix, the three of them forge an unexpected bond, one that leaves Trix pregnant.

As a swan avian, Farron is incapable of being unfaithful to his mate, even when the bond is only partially formed. To complete the mating ritual, Farron must find Trix before the babies are born, or the bond will break forever, and Farron will be forced to live a life of celibacy.

When the Pleasure Station falls under new ownership, and the humans ban prostitution, Trix is left homeless. Upon hearing about this, Delta too races back to find Trix.

Both Farron and Delta arrive too late. Trix has vanished and the race is on to find him before he gives birth. Only then will they know if the bond they formed on their first night is strong enough to last a lifetime.

 

Excerpt

Two games in and Trix heard the voice of one of the more annoying felines working at the Pleasure Station. Like Trix, Brak was a working whore with a preference for male cocks. He was also a bigot, and for some reason had issues with dual-gendered felines. Which meant he had issues with Trix.

“What are you doing working the tables Trixi?” Brak asked.

Trix hissed at him, ignoring the question. He’d give his right testicle to know who had told Brak his parents had named him Trixi. He hadn’t told anyone that since he’d left Furyne. He supposed someone must have recognised him while passing through.

“Trixi?” the swan avian asked. “Isn’t that a female name?”

Trix sighed. Because the avian was a customer, Trix was obliged to answer his question. “Yes, it is.”

“Why do you have a feminine name?”

“My father thought my name should reflect what I am.”

“What do you mean?”

Brak laughed as he leaned on the table. “Trixi isn’t a male,” he stage-whispered.

Trix dealt the next round of cards as his face heated, more with fury than embarrassment.

“He looks male,” the avian replied. “Are you sure?”

The canine snorted. “He is male. He’s also sitting right there and getting more pissed off by the minute.”

Trix hadn’t realised his annoyance was so obvious. He’d thought he was hiding it quite well.

“I’m sorry,” the avian offered. “I’m not from around here.”

“That’s obvious,” the canine replied. “What our uninvited guest here is hinting, is that Trix is dual-gendered.”

From the confusion on the avian’s face, that didn’t help explain matters for him.

Thankfully for Trix, Brak was there to open his big mouth and clarify things in his own special way. “Trixi has a cock and a pussy, which means he can literally fuck himself.”

“Actually, no, we can’t do that,” Trix pointed out with a hiss of anger. He usually didn’t bother to correct Brak, but this avian was hanging on his every word and looked naive enough to believe him. “It just means I have both male and female sex organs.”

The canine smirked at him. “That’s not quite all it means, is it?”

Trix noticed the falcons collecting their credits and leaving the table. Damn. Valerie was going to be annoyed with him for driving away her players.

“What else does it mean?” the avian asked.

Trix sighed. “It means I can carry a litter of babies.”

Brak laughed. “During which time, Trixi becomes a female.”

“I do not!” Damn it, why couldn’t Brak go annoy someone else? And why was he even bothering to explain all this to some ignorant avian? “I’m dual-gendered whether I’m pregnant or not. It’s just a little more obvious when someone like me is pregnant.”

“How obvious?” the avian asked.

The canine snorted and shook his head. “Are you really that stupid?”

“I…”

“He’ll get a nice big pregnant belly and grow breasts so he can feed the babies. There are probably other signs too, but those are the obvious ones.”

“Not that real males want to have anything to do with his kind,” Brak added. “You have to feel sorry for them, really.”

“I don’t need your false sympathy,” Trix snarled, at the same time the avian asked why.

Brak ignored Trix to focus on the question. “It’s like this, you see. For those who prefer the female form, hard chests and cocks aren’t what they’re looking for. Yet for those who desire males, they run the risk of accidentally shoving their cocks into the wrong hole.” He gave an exaggerated shudder as though the very thought of a vagina was repulsive to him. “Imagine, you’ve got to know him, you’re just getting intimate, then you slip your fingers between his legs only to find he’s really a mutant.”

Trix hissed across the table. “Did you really just call me a mutant?”

Brak shrugged. “Are you telling me that you’ve never had a customer recoil from you after discovering what you are?”

The sad truth was that he couldn’t. It had happened all too often, as Brak was well aware. While those who preferred females gave him a wide berth, the ones who preferred males could be particularly cruel with their rejections. Brak wasn’t the only one who believed Trix wasn’t a real male and refused to accept his gender identity because of his bigoted beliefs.

 

About the Author

L.M. Brown is an English writer of gay romances. She believes mermen live in the undiscovered areas of the ocean. She believes life exists on other planets. She believes in fairy tales, magic, and dreams. Most of all, she believes in love.

When L.M. Brown isn’t bribing her fur babies for control of the laptop, she can usually be found with her nose in a book.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook Page 

Facebook Group

 

 

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A MelanieM Review: Purple Haze (Aliens in New York #2) by Kelly Jensen

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Rating: 3,75 stars out of 5

Six months have passed since Dillon and Lang crashed into each other on a crowded street in New York City, changing the course of their lives. Now they’re living together as a couple, happy, in love, but not quite ready to say the words out loud.

Dillon is about to embark on a new adventure—opening a private art school housed in the brownstone left to him by his father. Lang… Lang is becoming ever more aware of the futility of his mission: being caretaker to his clan’s future when his clan might not survive the war with an opposing faction.

When a flashbulb outside a nightclub on New Year’s Eve temporarily blinds Dillon, the course of their lives is set to change again. Dillon’s perception of how the world works is going to be forever altered, and Lang will have to decide between his mission and the man who has come to mean more to him than he ever thought possible.

It will be up to both of them to chart a new direction, one that holds the balance between being human and alien. A course that might require sacrifices neither of them is willing to make.

Purple Haze (Aliens in New York #2) by Kelly Jensen is the sequel to Uncommon Ground and for me, a better story.  While I enjoyed the first tale, this one contained more information about the aliens, some of their culture and genetics that was lacking in the first story so it felt more well rounded.

It takes place six months after the conclusion of Uncommon Ground so in Purple Haze Dillon and Lang can be considered an established couple.  It’s no longer a case of instant love, something I had a problem with in the first story.  Here the author continues to build on  that new relationship, Lang’s inspection of his feelings about Dillon from his species pov and from the fact that he now “feels” more humanized than Skov after all his years alone on Earth.  Which of course, he is also realizing that was never really the case.Others of his world have always been there with their own agenda.

This is a novel crammed full of story threads.  Dillon’s continuing adjustment to his new reality, Lang’s stress and issues as he struggles with his new relationship, his mission, and fears abiyt the ongoing galactic drama on Jord,  And yes, even more!  There’s aliens on Earth and the fear of discovery!  Jensen threw everything in the pot on this one.

And it’s absolutely entertaining and suspenseful and fun.

There are still a  lot of holes here.  We know nothing of Jord other than their sun is dying leaving their world in a perpetual Ice Age so looking for a new world for their people is essential for survival.  Also that they are an “engineered species” with clans charged with traditional jobs such as farming which has evolved through the ages but clean certain clans subservient to others.Those seem to be the basics but the gaps of knowledge we need for a solid foundation for their world and species is huge.  And not present.  That’s really necessary to make a science fiction story come truly alive and a alien culture feel real.

The characters were also likable and easy to connect with, although again, those that were “alien” felt like dressed up humans, lacking an alien mindset that felt believable.  While I had so much fun with all the ships, and talky AI’s and such, they had a superficial feel to them.  What I loved was Dillon’s Korean mother and grandmother and their warm house.  They made every scene they entered just glow with joy and love.

Same for the scenes in the art school that Dillon created with characters the author  borrowed from another author’s series (with permission).  Since I hadn’t read that  author or series, having them there made little to no impression on me other than they seemed nice.  Extraneous but nice.

No, there was a whole action filled, suspense element here that worked.  The resolution to which also left me with many ore questions as to what happened to certain beings who caused all the problems.  Those answers never come.  It all gets wrapped up rather too tidely. Sweet but a bit too swiftly for all that went down.

I could be wrong but it seems like this is a 2 book series.  That would be a shame because we know so little about the alien cultures and so much is left unresolved about Lang’s people.  As for Dillon and Lang?  A HFN is how I would consider the ending.

I liked this story and the one before but don’t consider them as strong as Jensen’s other science fiction story, To See The Sun.

If you love science fiction romance, I recommend that one first.  Then these.

Cover art is simple and to the point.  Still far preferable than that failure of a cover for the first story which looks like a contemporary romance with models that looks nothing like the mcs.

Sales Links: Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 191 pages
Published May 10th 2019
ASINB07QW1SGJ7
URL https://www.kellyjensenwrites.com/purple-haze
Series Aliens in New York 

Uncommon Ground

What About Lunch? now folded into the first story as an add on

Purple Haze

Love SciFy? Check Out the Tour for A Fall in Autumn by Michael G. Williams

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COVER - A Fall in Autumn - Michael G. Williams copy

Michael G. Williams has a new queer sci fi book out: A Fall in Autumn.

WELCOME TO THE LAST OF THE GREAT FLYING CITIES

It’s 9172, YE (Year of the Empire), and the future has forgotten its past.

Soaring miles over the Earth, Autumn, the sole surviving flying city, is filled to the brim with the manifold forms of humankind: from Human Plus “floor models” to the oppressed and disfranchised underclasses doing their dirty work and every imaginable variation between.

Valerius Bakhoum is a washed-up private eye and street hustler scraping by in Autumn. Late on his rent, fetishized and reviled for his imperfect genetics, stuck in the quicksand of his own heritage, Valerius is trying desperately to wrap up his too-short life when a mythical relic of humanity’s fog-shrouded past walks in and hires him to do one last job. What starts out as Valerius just taking a stranger’s money quickly turns into the biggest and most dangerous mystery he’s ever tried to crack – and Valerius is running out of time to solve it.

Now Autumn’s abandoned history – and the monsters and heroes that adorn it – are emerging from the shadows to threaten the few remaining things Valerius holds dear. Can the burned-out detective navigate the labyrinth of lies and maze of blind faith around him to save the City of Autumn from its greatest myth and deadliest threat?

Falstaff Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | Goodreads


Giveaway

Michael is giving away an eBook copy of “Perishables,” book one of The Withrow Chronicles, with this post:

Everybody hates their Homeowner’s Association, and nobody likes a zombie apocalypse. Put the two together, and Withrow Surrett is having a truly craptastic night.

Enter via Rafflecopter:

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Excerpt

MEME 2 A Fall in Autumn

The sun was over the trees at the southeastern edge of the sloped opening in the forest when I awoke. The sun woke me, actually: its rays on my face, the flicker of shadow and light as it played across my closed eyes. I was half dressed: my shoes off, my feet bare, and my coat spread over me in lieu of a blanket. My shirt was somewhere, probably. I wasn’t wearing it, anyway, and my eyes hadn’t opened yet, but I could feel it nearby the way you can sense an old dog by your chair or a former lover on the opposite side of an otherwise perfectly nice party.

My back curled against something firm and supporting and I felt gentle fingers stroke the tufts of silvery black at my temples. Hematite, a man told me once. I would always love him a little for saying that. My hair there wasn’t yet gray but no longer black and when wet it looked like hematite, and he said it like that meant something deep and significant and mystical I didn’t understand. Having someone’s fingers run through it felt good, though. It felt like a happy memory, like something I didn’t expect would happen much anymore if it ever really happened in the first place.

That simple touch was a comfort to me. It’s the most minor thing and, for that reason, the most missed when it’s gone. I don’t go long stretches without being touched, but it had been a while between caresses. This was that: a caress, and more; not exactly sexual but not exactly platonic. It was that happy in-between we call intimate. I made myself vulnerable to other men, and they themselves to me, more times than I can count in my too-short life. It didn’t always work out, though, that my usual flavor of street trade would show basic human kindness in return for mine.

None of that mattered, though. Those guys were long gone. Right that second, someone ran his fingers through my half-asleep hair, intimate and kind and caressing. I felt vulnerable and that was okay. For a few moments I wasn’t dying and I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t lonely and I wasn’t alone. The sun felt good, and the breeze through the branches sounded like Gaia herself telling me to go back to sleep. I thought for a moment I might be okay with dying fairly soon if I got to wake up like this every morning for the rest of my life.

“Okay,” I groaned. I didn’t move and I didn’t open my eyes because I wasn’t quite ready for the moment to go away even as I lifted the pin to pop its balloon. “You want something. So tell me what it is. Because if I say yes – if– I may not have much time to hold up my end of the bargain.” My voice dispelled all the magic of the moment, but his fingers were still at my temple, resting there, ready to go back to what we shared moments before. I rolled over and looked up at Alejandro, his purple hair down over half his face as he leaned on one elbow. I didn’t kiss him, but I did put one hand to his jaw and brush his cheek with my thumb. I wondered if he could feel that – really feel it, like skin feels it. “Let’s not pussyfoot around this. You want me to do something. The whole story about the angel and thinking someone was trying to kill you was bullshit, but there was something there, something worth chasing, so let’s have the truth now and get on with things.” I tried to smile at him. His expression was completely blank.

With the hand he used to brush my temples, he laid a fingertip behind my ear, cupping my face with barely a single point of contact. He still didn’t smile, but his eyes searched my face, my own eyes, for something. It occurred to me the correct phrasing might be to say he searched my eyes for someone. I assumed he’d been alive long enough to know a hell of a lot of people, and I would bet a nickel he looked for one of them in me. There are a hundred romantic stories about golems: meat sacks like me throwing ourselves at a golem out of infatuation with their embodiment of agelessness.

If he’d been there before, heard a hundred thousand of us wail about mortality and still willing to hear number one hundred thousand one, he must have a lot of love for humankind. No, I thought, more than that: he must have loved the hell out of oneof us at some point. Maybe he was waiting for that guy to walk back into his life, reemerging from the vast but finite pool of genetic factors we possess as a species. I wondered if I simply seemed close enough to that long-lost lover to pass muster for a night.

I also wondered what made a golem want to get laid in the first place: ever the detective, after all.

“I really did see an angel in Splendor,” Alejandro said. He still wasn’t smiling. If anything, he had the muted seriousness, the understated gravitas, I’d long since come to recognize as the posture of someone telling the truth at long last. I wondered how long it had been. “I swear it to you. I swear it.” He surprised me, then, because he didn’t cry, golems don’t have tear ducts, but his eyelids quivered with the autonomic response to strong emotion. He still hadn’t moved at all, and we were shielded from the breeze so that his hair hung straight down like a perfectly still and settled curtain across half the stage of his face. “And I believe it would try to kill me if it knew I were here.”


Author Bio

AUTHOR PIC - Michael G. Williams - A Fall in Autumn

Michael G. Williams writes wry horror, urban fantasy, and science fiction: stories of monsters, macabre humor, and subverted expectations. He is the author of three series for Falstaff Books: The Withrow Chronicles, including Perishables (2012 Laine Cunningham Award), Tooth & Nail, Deal with the Devil, Attempted Immortality, and Nobody Gets Out Alive; a new series in The Shadow Council Archives featuring one of San Francisco’s most beloved figures, SERVANT/SOVEREIGN; and the science fiction noir A Fall in Autumn. Michael also writes short stories and contributes to tabletop RPG development. Michael strives to present the humor and humanity at the heart of horror and mystery with stories of outcasts and loners finding their people.

Michael is also an avid podcaster, activist, reader, runner, and gaymer, and is a brother in St. Anthony Hall and Mu Beta Psi. He lives in Durham, NC, with his husband, two cats, two dogs, and more and better friends than he probably deserves.

Author Website: http://www.michaelgwilliams-author.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/mcmanlypants

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/MichaelGWilliamsAuthor/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/mcmanlypants

Author Instagram: https://instagram.com/mcmanlypants

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6429992.Michael_G_Williams

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Michael-G.-Williams/e/B001KIYBBU/

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