Blog Tour for Euphoria by Jayne Lockwood (author interview, excerpt and giveaway)

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Euphoria

Euphoria by Jayne Lockwood

DSP Publications

 

Jayne Lockwood has a new queer sci fi book out:

Six random questions for Euphoria author, Jayne Lockwood

Hi everyone, and very many thanks for featuring my book, Euphoria, on your blog. What follows are six questions, chosen at random, that I was asked to answer, with subjects including leading men, scaring children and having a tail. It’s a sort of interview roulette, as it were. So here goes.

If I were a Hollywood producer about to put your book on the big screen, who would you want me to cast as the leads? Why? And can we have pictures to drool over?

A Hollywood producer would fire me on the spot if I told him who I wanted to be in the film of Euphoria.

Vardam would probably be CGI, if I’m honest. They are nearly seven foot tall and iridescent, so I can’t see how that could translate. With the current demand for superheroes, all the guys seem to be beefed up and they’re just not like that. I can’t think of anyone around at the moment who would play them, but maybe someone else can.

For Kurt Lomax, that’s a lot easier. In my world anyway. There’s only one man suitable for the job and that’s Guy Henry (yes – he’s the guy that played Grand Moff Tarkin.) I know, not everyone’s idea of a pin-up, and certainly not Hollywood A List material, but I don’t write my books for that. To be honest, I didn’t write the character with him in mind. I just happened to discover him on a long-running BBC hospital drama (Holby City) and thought, “that’s Kurt.” So yeah. The Guy stays in the picture….

For Tom Soames, it would have to be Ben Wishaw, who has the right balance of grunge and sweetness. Again, not a conventional pretty boy, but who cares? The clue is in the word “character.” I’ve tried to make these real people, not fantasy figures. Tom is cute and vulnerable and more intelligent than he or anyone else thinks he is, and I know Ben would be able to nail the sloppy Buckinghamshire accent. I’ve given him a handsome doctor to fall in love with (Rashad) and a strong sense of loyalty. He’s a good foil for Kurt, who needs someone to tell him a few home truths.

How would you describe your writing style/genre?

Diverse. Under my name and my pseudonym I have variably written M/F erotic romance, MM erotic romance, fantasy, sci-fi, noir, dart erotica, trans romance, horror…. At my heart I love a romance with a good, old-fashioned happy ending, and I believe that everyone, no matter which gender, sexuality, race or religion, deserve to have their stories told.

Were you a voracious reader as a child?

Yes, annoyingly so, probably. My father used to buy me books of poetry and anthologies, all kinds of things to feed my reading habit. I still have some of those books now as they remind me of him. One of my favourites is thick tome of four Daphne due Maurier novels. Through them I gleaned my first ideas of love, lesbianism, lust and obsession, though I’m sure that wasn’t Dad’s intention. And another favourite book of mine when I was eight was Marianne Dreams, by Catherine Storr. Basically, it’s about a sick girl who draws pictures and then dreams about them, befriending a boy she creates in her daytime doodlings. When they fall out, she draws huge stones with eyes that surround his house and gradually move closer…

That’s really creepy now I think about it. I gave the book to my daughter when she was eighteen and it frightened the shit out of her. I think I must have been a weird kid. And a bad parent.

What fantasy realm would you choose to live in and why?

Pandora from Avatar! Because the Na’vi are stunningly beautiful and at one with a gloriously lush natural world. I want to be tall, slender and have a tail. Wouldn’t you like a tail? It would be long, flexible and have a mind of its own so I could use it as a fifth limb. I’d also have a close relationship with a dragon thing that would allow me to travel on its back (not ride it – an important distinction…)

I’d also use my tail for mischief, playing tricks, helping people get top things off shelves and smacking assholes upside the head if needed. I’d be a menace with a tail. No doubt we would fall out with each other at some point. In fact, I feel a story coming on with a character whose tail goes rogue…

What do you do when you get writer’s block?

I write something else. A stupid poem to put on my blog, or a scene between two totally unrelated characters. Or fan fiction! I’ve written some on Wattpad just for a bit of fun (I’m Lady Jaguar) and it’s surprising what can transpire.

And exercise always helps. It’s definitely a good idea to remove yourself from the plot knot or whatever you’re struggling with and put it to one side for a while to concentrate on something else. And for a decent amount of time, whether half a day, or a week if you’re able to. Just give it time and it will sort itself out eventually.

Do you reward yourself for writing, or punish yourself for failing to do so? How?

I believe strongly that writing is a passion, and yes, you can punish yourself if that’s how you roll, but I don’t because for me passion=pleasure, not tearing my hair out and getting stressed. I don’t rely on my writing to put food on the table, so possibly it would be different if I did, but no, I don’t punish myself if I have a crap day. Rewards are chocolate though. Yeah, I deserve a lot of rewards, and they all take the form of chocolate or lattes….

Thanks for reading this far. If you have any other questions for me, the more bizarre the better, shoot them my way!

Jayne x

About Euphoria…

It might take the arrival of an alien being to remind an isolated man what it means to be human.

With a stressful job, his boss breathing down his neck for profitable results, and an estranged wife and daughter, scientist Kurt Lomax doesn’t think life can get much harder. Until a nonbinary extraterrestrial with an otherworldly beauty, captivating elegance, and a wicked sense of humor inconveniently shows up at his apartment.

Vardam watched the destruction of their own world, and they don’t want to see the same thing happen on Earth. They are lonely, and feelings soon develop between them and the supposedly straight scientist—feelings Kurt reciprocates, much to his confusion.

The arrival of cheery interpreter Tom Soames—whose Goth appearance belies a gentle heart—is like a ray of sunshine in the somber lab. He acts as matchmaker for man and tentacled extraterrestrial, unwittingly instigating a national crisis when the news breaks out.

But will a misunderstanding ruin Kurt and Vardam’s chances for happiness together—along with the hope for peace between humanity and the Var?

DSP Publications | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads


Giveaway

Jayne is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win.

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Excerpt

Three hours later, they were still none the wiser.

“Any joy with communications?”

Nic shook her head. “None. They don’t seem to respond to any spoken language. I’ve tried binary code, sonar, whale music, radio waves. Not a flicker. I’m not sure how well they can see or hear. They won’t let me near enough to do any examinations. They just keep staring at me like I’m the one who isn’t getting it. It’s really frustrating.”

When Kurt looked again, Vardam was there. With a graceful tilt of the head, they watched him as he approached the glass.

“What about the forensics on that note?”

“Just got them,” Troy said, looking up from his computer. “The note was written with an old-style Bic ballpoint pen by a human female….”

“Human? Are you sure?”

“I can’t argue with the evidence. There was a trace of fingerprint on the paper but nothing I can analyze. The paper looks like any A4 copy from a twentiethcentury printer or photocopier. The only thing is, I think it might have been written by someone in distress. The handwriting is very jerky, like they weren’t sure what to write and then just dashed it down. But….” Troy shrugged his wide shoulders. “That last bit’s a hunch. Could be totally wrong. Still waiting on the DNA.”

“Thanks, Troy. Let me know as soon as you get it.”

He turned back to where Vardam was standing, staring at him with those unnerving gemstone eyes.

“Who are you?”

Vardam raised their hand, running the back of it down the glass close to Kurt’s face. He jerked away. It was too close for comfort, even with three inches of glass between them. Vardam backed away as well, as if alarmed by his sudden movement. For reasons he didn’t understand, he was irritated beyond measure by their wounded expression.

“Talk to me, damn it! What do you want with me?” He smacked his hand against the glass. The sharp slap shocked Vardam into stepping back. They bared gold teeth at him and made a gesture that looked almost obscene. Then they dropped into a crouch. Immediately, a smooth iridescent shell closed over their hunched body, covering it completely.

Kurt and Nic exchanged glances, then looked back at the pod. It was completely smooth, devoid of any seams or openings. Every few seconds it quivered. Kurt could almost feel the waves of disapproval emanating from the gleamingsurface.

“Well, that’s new,” Nic said. “Get some rest. I’ll babysit until ten. Troy will take the graveyard shift.”

Kurt tore his angry gaze away from the strange pod. The way it hunched reproachfully in the corner didn’t improve his mood one bit. He knew he was more than tired. He felt emotionally and physically drained and couldn’t remember the last time he had eaten a proper meal. Not that he was hungry. He just wanted sleep.

In his apartment, he lay naked in his wide bed. He was thinking about his continued feud with James Dyer. The issue dangled over his career like a sword of Damocles but all he could see was the beautiful creature. Those eyes, staring into his ragged soul. What did they want?

The telephone by his bed rang, waking him from an unnerving dream. Glancing at the clock, he saw it was 6:15. The last eight hours had passed frighteningly quickly.

“Hello?” His voice sounded faded.

“Sorry to wake you, Professor, but I’ve got the DNA results back. You need to see them.”

“I’ll be right down.”

He stumbled out of bed and into the shower. Twenty minutes later he was down in the lab, a fresh white coat over his shirt and tie.

In the isolation room, Vardam had emerged from their shell. The melon had been eaten, apart from the rinds, neatly scalloped with teeth marks.

“What’s happening?”

“It was just as I thought it would be. There’s human DNA on that note. Female. I took the liberty of cross-checking it against the National DNA Database and found a match. Whoever wrote this note is related to you. Not just distantly, but directly of your bloodline.”

Kurt looked closer at the screen. It was policy to hold the medical details of everyone at the Bunker, including himself. Even so, he wondered why he wasn’t more surprised.

It was impossible but saying so would have been redundant. The evidence was right there in front of him. He walked over to the glass and beckoned to Vardam. They gave him a withering look and turned away, presenting a bony back to the window.

“I think we’re going to have to use the softly-softly approach,” Troy said. “They’re not going to tell us anything until they’re ready. And I’ve got another hunch. I think they’re using BSL.”

“British Sign Language?” Kurt was skeptical.

“I know it sounds weird, but there’s a guy who works at Tesco in Wycombe. He uses it with some of the customers. It looks the same. It’s worth a try, isn’t it?” Troy prodded buttons on his iPad. The official website came up with a finger-spelling option. “Not all words have signs, obviously, so each letter has a sign, right?”

“I know the principles of sign language,” Kurt said irritably. The alien was an inconvenience, however beautiful they were.

“You write in your name, and the finger shapes come up.” Troy typed rapidly. Kurt’s surname appeared on the screen in sign.

Troy gently tapped on the glass. “Hello?”

Vardam turned around, saw it was Troy, and ambled over. Troy showed them the diagrams on the iPad screen. The alien nodded, repeated the signs, and pointed at Kurt. Then it signed, “I am….”

“I can’t tell what they’re saying,” Troy said. “They’re too fast. Hang on.” He typed again. “I’ve found a YouTube video for learning phrases. Ah! This one is easy.” He put the iPad down and signed, making a sad face, swirling his fist on his stomach, then raising both hands over his head, shaking it at the same time.

“What are you doing?”

“Telling him I don’t understand. It’s ‘way over my head.’ Get it?”

Vardam seemed to. They signed “okay,” then turned to Kurt and made another gesture, flattening one hand and punching up into it with the other.

“My instincts are telling me that isn’t good,” Troy said. “Looks like we need to find ourselves a sign language expert.”

“We can’t bring anyone else in at the moment. Certainly not in a professional capacity. The government will be all over us before we know it.” As Kurt said it, the seed of an idea was forming in his mind. “Where did you say that BSL user worked again?”


Author Bio

Jayne Lockwood

 

Jayne Lockwood has always wanted to learn to fly. Spending free time honing her Peter Pan skills on an aerial hoop, she also creates flights of fancy in her books, mingling sex and romance with angst and a healthy dash of dark humor.

Since she was a small child, Jayne has always sympathized with the villain. It all began with Alice Cooper, even though she was banned from listening to his music by her mother. From wanting to sail away with Captain Hook or redeeming the Child Catcher, the antihero has been an enduring fascination ever since.

After a two-year sojourn in New Jersey and two decades of child-rearing, Jayne is an outwardly respectable member of an English village community. She also is one of the founder members of WROTE podcast, which is dedicated to showcasing LGBTQA authors and their work, and now writes book reviews as well as diverse fiction.

She is also in a sub/dom relationship with a cat called Keith.

Website: http://hollowhillspublishing.blogspot.co.uk

Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/jayne.lockwood.71

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ladyjAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893372.Jayne_Lockwood

QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/jayne-lockwood/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jayne-Lockwood/e/B00AAXXA6I/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

Release Day Blitz for To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen (excerpt and giveaway)

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To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Release Date: August 13, 2018

Length: Print – 243 pages. Ebook – 295 pages.

Subgenre: Science fiction, western

Reader warnings: past and present violence, and references to past abuse.

For a full list of tags, visit: https://riptidepublishing.com/titles/to-see-the-sun and click on “Additional Details”

Links:

Riptide Publishing: https://riptidepublishing.com/titles/to-see-the-sun

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/829052

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-see-the-sun-kelly-jensen/1128691285?ean=2940162126768

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/to-see-the-sun

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/to-see-the-sun/id1383776817?mt=11

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/See-Sun-Kelly-Jensen/dp/162649830X/

Book synopsis:

Survival is hard enough in the outer colonies—what chance does love have?

Life can be harsh and lonely in the outer colonies, but miner-turned-farmer Abraham Bauer is living his dream, cultivating crops that will one day turn the unforgiving world of Alkirak into paradise. He wants more, though. A companion—someone quiet like him. Someone to share his days, his bed, and his heart.

Gael Sonnen has never seen the sky, let alone the sun. He’s spent his whole life locked in the undercity beneath Zhemosen, running from one desperate situation to another. For a chance to get out, he’ll do just about anything—even travel to the far end of the galaxy as a mail-order husband. But no plan of Gael’s has ever gone smoothly, and his new start on Alkirak is no exception. Things go wrong from the moment he steps off the shuttle.

Although Gael arrives with unexpected complications, Abraham is prepared to make their relationship work—until Gael’s past catches up with them, threatening Abraham’s livelihood, the freedom Gael gave everything for, and the love neither man ever hoped to find.

Excerpt:

Bram pushed up from the table. “I’m going to make tea. Want some?”

“I can make it.”

“Sit. I didn’t ship you all the way out here to wait on me.”

“What did you ship me out here for?”

Bram didn’t answer, and the question burned the back of his neck as he performed the mundane task of making the tea. He selected an herbal blend, his favorite, and spooned desiccated leaves, fruit peel, and flower heads into the diffusing chamber at the center of a battered metal pot. He could program the beverage machine, but he preferred to make tea the old-fashioned way. Leaves and hot water. Sometimes the process of a thing was as important as the result.

He reached toward the shelf of mugs and stopped as a hand touched his shoulder. Warm breath ghosted across the cooling skin at the back of his neck, reigniting his blush. Bram let his fingers catch on the edge of the shelf and rest there, and tipped his head forward. Gael moved closer, the heat of his body evident now as he leaned in.

Lips met the back of his neck in a soft kiss. A small quake shifted the muscles beneath Bram’s skin, his body making ready to turn. He held still a moment longer before following another long-held urge, turning slowly—so slowly—until they were face to face. Well, until his mouth was level with Gael’s forehead. Bram pressed a kiss there, one as gentle as the touch of lips to the back of his neck.

“I didn’t bring you out here for this, either,” he murmured.

“Yes, you did.”

Bram took hold of Gael’s slim shoulders. “Not just this.” And not like this.

In answer, Gael lifted his face, offering up his mouth. Bram’s resolve lasted about a second longer than he thought it might before he bent to taste those lips. They’d been interrupted twice now. No longer.

Gael’s lips were so soft, melting beneath his, opening—though Bram didn’t take the invitation right away. He kissed both lips, together and separately. He tasted them, the scent of Gael mingling with the bitter tang of the outside air. Gael made a small sound: a whimper or a moan. Bram deepened the kiss, still resisting the temptation of Gael’s tongue. He didn’t want to fall all in, lose himself.

Then he was there, falling, his lips and hands operating independently of thought. He craved the warmth of Gael’s skin and wanted to compare it to the feel of his tongue. See if he moved the same way—gently, teasingly. Gael seemed as wrapped up in the kiss as Bram. He shifted, constantly, swaying into Bram, hooking his hands into the back pockets of Bram’s work pants.

Blood shot south to pulse in his cock, leaving Bram in that almost-forgotten state of arousal—somewhere between thought and thoughtlessness. He teetered there, reveling in the anticipation, and let his imagination roam. Oh, to touch Gael’s skin, to taste him. To hear the sounds he’d make when aroused, when brought to climax, when drifting in the aftermath. Would he be loud? Would he be shy and sweet?

A soft click sounded behind him. The tea. Blinking as though roused from a dream, Bram pulled back. Gael leaned in immediately, following him. He kissed Bram’s neck and ground his hips forward. Bram tugged Gael’s hands from his pockets, regret making his movements clumsy.

Gael tipped his head back. “What are you doing?”

“The tea is ready.”

One long, slow blink. “What?”

“The tea.” Bram was still holding Gael’s hands, and stupidly, he didn’t want to let go. But he did so he could turn and collect the mugs. Pick up the pot.

“Did I do something wrong?”

“No.”

“Then why did we stop?”

Bram had to consider his answer because he didn’t really know, not in a way he could express in words. It would have been so easy to keep going. To have had something fast and dirty in the kitchen, or to have picked Gael up and carried him to the bedroom.

Gael followed him into the HV room and sat beside him on the couch. Waited quietly while Bram poured the tea and handed over one of the mugs. Picking up the other mug, Bram thought a little more. Wrapped his fingers around the warm composite of ceramic and plastic and searched for just the right words.

“We’ve got time.” Bram raised the mug to his lips, but decided the tea was still too hot to take a sip. “Doesn’t all have to happen in one night.”

About Kelly Jensen:

If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.

Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, co-written with Jenn Burke. Some of what she writes is speculative in nature, but mostly it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.

Connect with Kelly: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Author Blog | Author Website | Pinterest | Tumblr | Join the newsletter

 

Giveaway

 

Enter the Giveaway:

Prize: Enter to win any back catalog Chaos Station ebook by Kelly Jensen and Jenn Burke or paperback of Always and Forever: A Chaos Station Collection by Kelly Jensen and Jenn Burke. Open internationally.

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An Ali Review: The Perfect Whore (Storm and Lightning #1) by Josephine Myles

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Being the object of everyone’s sexual fantasies ain’t all it’s cracked up to be…

On a mining colony planet a long way from Earth, bandit Jedd Lightning dreams of making enough money to get his ship spaceworthy again. During a robbery at a high-class brothel, he meets gorgeous alien rentboy Storm and is instantly smitten—but the heist goes south and Jedd has to high-tail it out of there with only half the loot.

Enslaved by a fierce Madam, Storm’s shapeshifting talents make him the most sought after whore on Talmak. He literally can’t stop himself becoming his client’s fantasy lover. Sick of enforced transformations, he wants to escape, but he’s closely guarded and has no experience of the unfamiliar city outside the brothel.

Storm is willing—and eager—to do anything to persuade Jedd to break him out of his gilded prison. Lucky for him the arrogant outlaw needs Storm’s help to free his crewmate, held as hostage by a vicious mob boss who wants Jedd to complete the theft he was hired for. Storm keeps blowing away Jedd’s expectations—but with both the law and the mob against them, they could end up with nowhere left to run.

This was a really unique story.  I’ve read a lot of this author’s books in the past but nothing like this.  Even the writing style seemed different.  I wasn’t sure what to think of this at first.  I didn’t care for Jedd until mid way through the book.  He was a bit obnoxious but he grew on me as the story progressed.  Storm was was engaging from the beginning.  I think my favorite part was the snarking at each other that they did.  There were some pretty funny exchanges between the two.
This is pretty fast paced and it ends with nothing resolved.  It is obvious that this is the first book in the series.  I know that is bothersome to some readers but I didn’t mind how it ended.  I’m curious as to how their story and relationship will progress.
My biggest complaint was I would have liked more world building.  We’re thrown into the middle of a world that’s not really explained.  I had a lot of unanswered questions.
 Overall though, it was a very enjoyable story and it was different which is always a positive thing for me.  I will definitely be reading the next book in the series.

This cover was done by Lou Harper and I like it.  I think it is a good representation of how the two MC’s are described and it perfectly captures the vibe of the story.

Sales Links:

Universal Buy Link

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 201 pages
Published April 26th 2018
ASINB07C7H5ZBX
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesStorm and Lightning #1

Release Blitz for Machine Metal Magic by Hanna Dare

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Cover Design: Nastasha Snow
 
Length: 65,000 words approx.
 
Blurb



The galaxy’s a dangerous place. Best not to travel it alone.


It’s been over a century since the AIs rose up and attacked, driving humans from Earth and leaving them scattered across the galaxy. Humanity survives, but always fearful of the technology that allows them travel among the stars, never knowing when it may turn against them once more.


An interstellar fugitive.


For Jaime Bashir, born with the ability to communicate telepathically with computers, his gifts are more of a curse. They also make him a target. On the run, he finds himself among a starship crew, one transporting a mysterious cargo. Even more intriguing is Rylan, the muscled guard watching his every move. Jaime has no reason to trust him, but nowhere else to turn.


A disgraced ex-soldier.


Rylan Slate is looking to leave his past behind. Joining a crew of smugglers is one way to do it. But capturing Jaime is both an opportunity and a danger. He starts out as a prisoner, but then becomes something more, testing loyalties in ways Rylan never expected. Will regaining his honor mean betraying Jaime?

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 aftersů usually through sexytimes.


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

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Release Blitz for The Perfect Whore by Josephine Myles (excerpt and giveaway)

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Cover Design: Lou Harper
 
Length: 58,000 words approx
 
Blurb
 

Being the object of everyone’s sexual fantasies ain’t all it’s cracked up to be…

On a mining colony planet a long way from Earth, bandit Jedd Lightning dreams of making enough money to get his ship spaceworthy again. During a robbery at a high-class brothel, he meets gorgeous alien rentboy Storm and is instantly smitten—but the heist goes south and Jedd has to high-tail it out of there with only half the loot.

Enslaved by a fierce Madam, Storm’s shapeshifting talents make him the most sought after whore on Talmak. He literally can’t stop himself becoming his client’s fantasy lover. Sick of enforced transformations, he wants to escape, but he’s closely guarded and has no experience of the unfamiliar city outside the brothel.

Storm is willing—and eager—to do anything to persuade Jedd to break him out of his gilded prison. Lucky for him the arrogant outlaw needs Storm’s help to free his crewmate, held as hostage by a vicious mob boss who wants Jedd to complete the theft he was hired for. Storm keeps blowing away Jedd’s expectations—but with both the law and the mob against them, they could end up with nowhere left to run.

Excerpt

“Stick ’em up, people. This is a raid. I want all your valuables, right now…” The last words trailed away as Jedd took a really good look at the naked, sweaty couple on the bed. His target, the Right Honorable Senator Artaxico Thrublet, was on his knees behind one of the most gorgeous bodies Jedd had ever clapped eyes on. A body on hands and knees. A most decidedly human and male body…

Shit, had he gotten the wrong room? Jedd squinted at the client, trying to work out if it really was the senator. ’He was definitely Talmaki, with his lizard-like body, orange, hairless skin and bulging eyes . But no, he’d studied footage of Artaxico and recognized his large nose and the ridiculous looking rows of diamond studs up both his pointed ears.

“Hold on, just let me finish. Uh!” Artaxico shuddered to a stop, his belly wobbling as he panted obscenely. Jedd winced at the sight. He knew interspecies mating went on—everyone had heard the tales—but intellectual knowledge wasn’t the same thing as having it thrust in your face. Talmaki just weren’t his idea of sexy. Okay, there had been that one time he’d got drunk enough for a fumble in an alleyway, but the alien’s cock had been kind of scary, and things hadn’t got very far. But maybe the gorgeous young whore was used to those luminous, scaly shafts of meat. Maybe he even enjoyed them. Was he enjoying Talmaki cock right now? He was certainly hard enough.

Right now Jedd couldn’t see the expression on the whore’s face as it was buried in the mattress, but maybe that was for the best. There was no way he could be handsome enough to do that incredible body justice. No wonder the senator had decided to try him as a change from the celebrated Divine. The rentboy moaned through his own orgasm, just moments after the senator, and drenched the sheets below him in spunk.

Artaxico withdrew, revealing an intimidating length of glowing scarlet cock, then collapsed back onto the bed. He reached out to pat a perfectly formed buttock. “Run along now, sthweetie. I wouldn’t want you to get caught up in any of this nasty business.” The lad scooted down to the end of the bed facing Jedd, exposing an equally impressive prick which was filling up again in what must be a record-breaking time.

And as for his face… Suns above! Those were lips Jedd would give anything to see stretched around his dick. But no, he had a job to do, and he wasn’t about to get sidetracked by some hyper-sexed rentboy, no matter how astoundingly gorgeous he was.

“The boy stays,” Jedd ordered. Artaxico gave him a puzzled look, but Jedd pressed on. “I want your datapod and passcode, now!”

“Not a chance in hell. That passcode is top level sthecurity,” Artaxico lisped. “I really don’t imagine there’s anything an ignorant monkey like you could do that could force me to sthpeak.”

Okay, just as he’d feared, but Jedd had his back-up plan. “Oh yeah?” Jedd strode over to the bed and grabbed the lithe young man under the arm. There was a brief moment where he was distracted by the sensation of naked skin against his own, but he couldn’t afford to lose any time so he pulled the whore upright, holding the charge gun to his temple. “Your strumpet gets it if you don’t talk. And don’t think this is a bluff. I never bluff.” He pulled the lad tighter to him for emphasis, but this had the unfortunate effect of bringing more of his own body in contact with those taut muscles, and his face even closer to the thatch of chestnut curls. His nose was on a level with the top of the whore’s head, and he pulled in a lungful of the most divine, arousing musk. Feeling a familiar tightening in his pants where he brushed up against those pert buttocks, Jedd cursed his over-active libido. “I’m warning you! The code, now!”

Artaxico just laughed, a mocking bray that wound Jedd up worse than finding a firebug had crawled into his beer. “Utter nonsense! I’ve stheen killers before – by the sthuns, I employ enough of them, and you really don’t have that look in your eyes. You’re just an overgrown wassat, aren’t you?” The senator twitched his nose in a near perfect imitation of one of the pesky rodents.

Jedd fumed. First a monkey, now a wassat. He turned the gun on the senator. “Okay then, if you don’t give me that passcode this instant, you get it. I mean it!”

“Like you’ll ever be able to get it off me if I’m dead. Does that antique piece of crap even have the power to kill? Looks more like something my wife would carry to stun any overconfident admirers.”

Goddammit, how could the man tell? Jedd waved the gun as threateningly as he could. “You willing to take that risk?”

Artaxico laughed again, getting up to his feet. “What risk? There’s security everywhere in this place, you know? I’m just going to stroll out of here and call the guards, and you’re not going to do a thing to stop me.”

Oh, wasn’t he? Jedd aimed at Artaxico’s head and pulled the trigger. “Ha! Not so clever now, are you?”

“Is he going to be all right? That was just a stun, wasn’t it? “ The godlike young man had a voice to match his physique—a rich and sultry baritone that rumbled against Jedd’s breastbone.

The senator snored before Jedd had a chance to answer, and the lad melted back against him, sighing with what sounded like relief. Their close contact made a certain part of Jedd’s body grow stiffer while the rest seemed to want to melt into a puddle.

Would the rentboy mind sneaking in a quickie? Jedd would even pay if he had to, the lad was that gorgeous. Or would the stun charge have set off the internal alarm system? Probably best not to risk dawdling too long.

Still, seemed a shame to waste a moment like this now that Artaxico was unable to interfere. Jedd loosened his hold and let the young man turn in his arms. Holy fuck, Jedd could feel the whore’s massive erection prodding his thigh.

He took a deep breath, forced it out. Focus. Not here. Not now. Just gather information. “Captain Jedd Lightning, at your service. And who might you be, gorgeous creature?”

The man chuckled, stepping away from him and turning to fix him with a pair of intensely soulful deep green eyes. “My working name’s Divine, but you can call me Storm.”

“Divine? But… You’re meant to be a girl!” Jedd spluttered.

The young man gave a maddening, secretive smile. “Divine can be whoever you want, Captain. Divine is simply the title of your ideal lover.”

“So they swap you around depending on what the johns want? There are other Divines?”

“Something like that. But please, call me Storm.” A plaintive note sounded in his voice and his lower lip jutted in an almost-pout. “No one ever does these days.”

Storm. It suited him, as there was a wildness in those eyes that Jedd thought he recognized, something he glimpsed in his own reflection every morning. Focusing on Storm’s eyes proved a challenge, though, when there was all that naked flesh to feast his gaze on. Smooth, bronzed skin, with just enough hair between those dark nipples to make him want to run his fingers through it. Jedd’s gaze followed the trail down all the way to the most majestic cock he’d ever seen. It reached up invitingly, as if seeking Jedd’s hand.

“You have quite an imagination, don’t you?” Storm said, staring down at himself as if in fascination.

English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. Sheís beginning to suspect he enjoys it.

Joís novel Stuff won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Romance, and her novella Merry Gentlemen won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. She loves to be busy, and is currently having fun trying to work out how she is going to fit in her love of writing, dressmaking and attending cabaret shows in fabulous clothing around the demands of a preteen with special needs, an incessantly curious pre-schooler, and a bun in the oven!

Website and blog: josephinemyles.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/josephine.myles.author
Twitter: @JosephineMyles
Newsletter: eepurl.com/hrQ4s
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=8383406

 

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Aidan Wayne on Writing, Research, and Rule of Thirds by Aidan Wayne (author interview)

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Rule of Thirds by Aidan Wayne
DSP Publications
Cover Artist: Jennifer Vance
Sales Links:

DSP PublicationsAmazon |  Barnes & Nobles | Kobo  | iBooks 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Aidan Wayne today on tour for their new release Rule of Thirds. Welcome, Aidan.

 ~Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Aidan Wayne~

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

Research plays such a huge role, it’s ridiculous. I do enjoy it, but I tend to fall into what I call “the black hole of research.” And for something like Rule of Thirds, wherein my main character, Jason, has crippling PTSD that’s pretty important. But I also am in the middle of a story about a Broadway star. I figured I wouldn’t have to worry too much about research for that. Wrong! I ended up basically mapping out the entire theatre district of New York to make sure I knew where everything was (eateries, parks, urgent care) in reference to where my characters lived. Of course, I also had to find them apartments and make sure that the rents made sense to the location.

On that note though, I’ve had some really neat things come from my need to research topics. For a story where the main character owns an apple orchard, I called up orchards to ask questions about production, cost, etc. I ended up getting on the phone with a 95-year old apple farmer who had planted his trees with his father before WWII. One of the coolest experiences I’ve had as a writer.

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

That’s a tricky question. I was big into a lot of varied genres. I loved fantasy (Terry Pratchett, Tamora Pierce), historical fiction (L.M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott), and nonfiction (basically every well-written thing I could get my hands on). But I think that a good link-up is that all of my very favorite books are character-driven. They have solid personalities and stand out as people. In his Discworld books, Terry Pratchett has a number of characters that re-appear as main characters or side characters as the book requires and they’re always interesting and thoroughly themselves. Even the nonfiction books had good narrators. I love that. And yes, I think the influence has carried over into how I write what I do. For me, characters come first. The plot? They might be saving the world but it’s just as likely that the entire story is simply one person teaching the other how to properly cultivate a tomato plant.

I like this tomato idea actually. Hm.

Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

I’m not a fan of the term Mary Sue or Gary Stu. It first got started in fandom, where people (usually female writers) made self-inserts to interact with characters they like, often as love interests. It was a way for them to play and explore in a world that had already been created, but with a character they’d created themselves. Because so many writers made their characters “unique” (looks-wise, having special skills, etc), coupled with the fact that the character was a love interest, these characters (and thus, often, the authors themselves) ended up garnering a lot of ridicule.

But what’s wrong with writing wish-fulfillment? What’s wrong with creating a character based on your own experiences? Maybe with your own desires and fears? What’s wrong with putting those characters into whatever setting you choose and playing? Creating someone that will love them?

Nothing, in my opinion.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

YES. Yes, yes, so much yes. I’m one of those people that needs a happy or hopeful ending to be satisfied. If I’m going to read an entire story about these characters and watch them grow and change and learn and struggle–If I’ve dedicated my time to caring about them and rooting for them–The last thing I want is for the story to end with them miserable.

How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)

I’ve been very lucky in that every cover artist I’ve worked with has been willing to take my notes and suggestions. I start by answering some questions about what I want the cover to look like: colors, tone, possible scenery, etc. Then I get a mock-up or three and usually we go from there. Sometimes I’m really pleased with the first choice, or only have a slight adjustment I’d like made, such as changing a font. Sometimes it’s a little more difficult. For Rule of Thirds, I went to a stock photo site myself to find images I thought might work for what I wanted. My very patient cover artist, Jennifer Vance, put up with a lot from me.

 

Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work?  Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it?  Is there a title we would recognize if that happened?

I started and stopped my novella Loud and Clear a bunch of times. It is literally a book about communication, and I kept getting stuck on what I wanted my characters to say, even if I knew how they’d say it. I’m glad I ended up with what I did, though. It was one of the first books I’ve ever had published so it’s definitely a little rough around the edges, but I think it really showcases what I believe in writing; communication, consent, and diversity.

 

Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it?  Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.

I’ve never written while drunk, but I have written while Ridiculously Overtired. Those are usually times when I’ll come back to a story with sentences such as “the big was very large.” But once in a while I’ll come back to a scene and –wow, I’ll look at it a bit uncertain that it came from my own brain but very pleased that it did. You know, once I edit out all the typos.

 

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To wide our knowledge?  Why do you write?

I once wrote a story because, and I quote, “I am angry and upset.” It was about a trans man starting his own transition and learning more of himself, how he was able to interact with the world and other people, getting a found family, and, eventually, a boyfriend too.

 

I also once wrote a story because I thought of a title so good it needed a story to go with it. (A cupid and a succubus fall in love whoops. Making Love. I’m very proud of myself.)

 

Mostly I write because I like happiness, and figuring out the various ways I can get it to manifest. To make me, my readers, and my characters happy.

 

And shoving in as much wordplay into the titles as I can possibly get.

Blurb:

A traumatic past doesn’t have to mean not having a future.

When Jason Diovardi, military elite, is removed from active duty after failing too many psych evals, he has only one goal in mind: get back into the field. It’s all he knows and all he thinks he’s good for, which is why he grudgingly accepts two live-in AI Companions to help him begin to recover from his severe PTSD. Chase and Shade are a matched pair, and Jason hopes they’ll keep each other distracted enough to leave him alone so he can go through the motions and be cleared for fieldwork.

Jason doesn’t expect to actually get better, and the progress he makes with his patient and caring Companions sneaks up on him—and so do unexpected feelings between the three of them. Now Jason might even be able to admit to being happy. But has he healed enough to allow himself to accept what Chase and Shade are offering?

Hope. Love. A reason to live.

About the Author ~Aidan Wayne

Aidan Wayne has been a jeweler, paralegal, neurofeedback technician, and martial arts instructor; and that’s not even the whole list. They’ve been in constant motion since before they were born (pity Aidan’s mom)—and being born didn’t change anything. When not moving, Aidan is usually writing, so things tend to balance out. They primarily write character-driven stories with happy endings, because, dammit, queer people deserve happy endings too.

Aidan lives with altogether too many houseplants on the seventh floor of an apartment building. The building has an elevator, but Aidan refuses to acknowledge its existence.

Social media links:

Website: https://aidanwayne.com  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/justsayins

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aidanwaynewrites/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15164017.Aidan_Wayne

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100019083091269

An Alisa Review: Oliris by S. Neff

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

Senana Saz Rays has been sentenced to four years of slave labor on prison planet Indiku after assaulting his state appointed psychiatrist. Leaving his lover Rhyan behind on earth, Sena spends his time on the planet Indiku working with the coveted medicinal leeri flowers. Although a slave, he can’t help but find peace in the mundane life he’s lived on the alien planet and the wondrous sightings of the indigenous Zanzi that look so much like mythical earth dragons. Senana is just one year shy of going home and being with Rhyan again when all thoughts of freedom are swiped away as a massive Zanzi takes him from the leeri fields and back to the mountains it calls home.

 

La’el is a proud Zanzi. His only wish was to find a life mate and experience the bond his parents share. When he finally finds him in the leeri fields he doesn’t hesitate to take Sena— even their vast physical differences won’t dissuade the young Zanzi. La’el will do anything to prove to Sena that they are meant to be together, even if he’s unsure how to convince his human mate.

 

Both La’el and Sena are about to find out that there is more between them than either of them could ever imagine. Their bond affects more than just their fate, but also reveals a true evil buried in the heart of Indiku, and all the way back to Earth.

 

This story sucked me in at the very beginning and I loved learning about Indiku from Sena and La’el’s eyes.  However, there was no real indication of the love triangle that would come into play near the end of the book or the large cliffhanger the story ended on.  It wasn’t complete and there isn’t any other indication that there will be another book and if it will come when.  The writing in this story was very well written, it’s just path the story took that I have a problem with.

 

La’el is so happy to find his mate and doesn’t understand why Sena doesn’t feel the same way.  Sena feels a connection to La’el but still thinks about his lover from earth, Rhyan.  When they seek shelter it is Rhyan Sena turns to.

 

I liked the world building in Indiku near the beginning though I didn’t feel like I really learned much about their culture.  La’el wasn’t right just taking Sena the way he did but I could see he was young and very impulsive.  I felt sorry for La’el once they got to earth because now he has to compete with Sena’s previous lover while trying to navigate this new world that Sena has brought him to.  I can’t say I ever really liked Sena, he came off very brash and I never felt he redeemed himself.  Protecting La’el if about the only good thing I felt he did.  We didn’t see much of Rhyan but what I see I didn’t like and then the whole selling dragons thing that was apparently going on, I didn’t learn enough about it but obviously this goes into more problems that are beneath the surface.  I was so upset by the end of the book I’m not sure I will even read it if a follow-up book comes out.

 

The cover art by E Keith and S Neff is nice and I love the two visuals of La’el.

 

Sales Links: Painted Hearts Publishing | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 226 pages

Published: March 1, 2018 by Painted Hearts Publishing

Edition Language: English

A Free Dreamer Review: Dusk (Expedition 63 #1) by T.A. Creech

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

When contact is lost with Mission Control, Commander John Dennington isn’t overly concerned. Such hiccups in communication are common. The first inkling of the larger problem occurs when he sees the very shape of the world change before his eyes.

John must ease his crew into a new mission and keep the Station together by any means necessary. The crew jeopardizes their chances by fighting his orders, but Jason Weiss, his mission specialist and the light of his life, makes John’s situation more bearable.

The smallest malfunction to Station or crew would spell the end for six astronauts trapped high above a ruined Earth. It’s their mission to carry on. Random chance of the universe hasn’t operated in their favor so far, but John is determined to see them all safely home.

I’ve read plenty of books set in space but I’ve never read one that’s set on a space station in this day. I think it makes for a very interesting setting.

The blurb made me expect lots of action and suspense. It’s the end of the world, after all! But the plot is very slow to unfold and not all that much actually happens. There was one suspense-filled scene toward the end, but that’s about it.

I really enjoyed that scene but I did wish for some more action and a little more detail. We never really get to see how the six of them make this mess work. There’s quite a big time skip, so we are presented with the final solution very soon.

I didn’t expect a lot of romance from this book. And there wasn’t. That was mostly fine by me, though I would have liked a little more detail again. How John and Jason met, how they came to love each other, how they spent their lives before they went to the space station.

Having said all that, “Dusk” did have a certain kind of pull. It was quietly addicting and I found it very hard to put down. It was a very fast read and I quite enjoyed it. I was sad that it ended so soon.

If you find yourself between two books and need a quick read, “Dusk” might just be the book for you. If, however, you want an action-packed romance with lots of world building, you will probably be disappointed.

Usually, I don’t read sequels of a book that I’ve given less than 4 stars. There are too many potentially brilliant books out there to spend time on a book I’m pretty sure will only be average. However, I do want to find out how this whole mess ends, so I’m definitely interested in the next part. I think this has potential to be really awesome.

The cover is a bit of a mixed bag for me. I do like the general look of it and the colours are really pretty, but I’m not so fond of that man in the stars hovering behind the space station. I think it would look better without him.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon

Book details: ebook,135 pages

Published March 17th 2018 by JMS Books LLC

Kevin Klehr on his character Connor and his new release Social Media Central (author guest blog)

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Social Media Central by Kevin Klehr
NineStar Press

Release Date:  April 9, 2018
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

 

Buy Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Kevin Klehr here today  talking about Social Media Central! Welcome, Kevin!

 

 

INTRODUCING CONNOR – PHOTOGRAPHER AND TROUBLEMAKER

KEVIN KLEHR

 

Connor is smart, so it makes him the perfect troublemaker to get under the skin of the government in my new sci-fi novel, Social Media Central. He is also one of the social media socialites in Astra City, a place where hardly anyone ventures outside because they live their lives in front of a screen.

Connor spends most of his time as the official photographer at the parties he, along with fashion blogger, Madeline Q, and love blogger, Shaun, throw for guests seeking fame on Social Media Central. Uploading a photo from one of these events is sure to help you gain many followers, although nowhere near as many as Connor, Shaun or Madeline Q.

This socialite photographer also knows what’s wrong with the society he lives in and through his fame, challenges the status quo. But he has no idea how much danger he puts himself and his friends in once he criticises the government.

Connor is also gay, but he’s not someone who’s confident enough to stroll up to a charismatic guy and flirt, even with his high social standing. And he’d rather let his photos tell a story once they’re uploaded – it’s just not his story he’s telling.

The novel is actually told through the eyes of Tayler, a loner geek who doesn’t log onto the all-knowing all-seeing social platform. Through a chance meeting with Madeline Q he is thrust into the world of the socialites, finding his own star rising once he hangs around his new associates. But it’s Tayler who has to deal with the dangers posed by Connor’s rebellious actions.

I began writing this novel back in 2015. I know that’s not long ago but much has changed with online media in that short space of time. Small things like live video on Facebook and Twitter are taken for granted now, yet when I wrote the concept of streaming live in this book they were not yet introduced.

But what I find more interesting is the lack of real issues being discussed on Facebook, at least on my feed anyway. A friend admitted she no longer writes about politics as she often ends up in debates she wasn’t expecting. Another person I’ve unfriended complained when I shared a political post. Yet, Facebook was one of the platforms these discussions used to take place on. I know everyone’s personal algorithm is different but I’m going from my online experience.

In a way, Social Media Central is about how the medium has become a celebration of the mundane (cat videos etc.), and how a future society may look that is more influenced by social status and seeking validation, than keeping perspective on what’s going on in the real world.

That’s why Connor, as a character, is important to this story. He is the over thinker that tries to bring balance back to Astra City.

Website – www.kevinklehr.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DramaQueensWithLoveScenes

Twitter – https://twitter.com/kevinklehr

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/klehrkevin/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4298144.Kevin_Klehr

Social Media Central – trailer – https://youtu.be/__cxd3lNadY

                                                           https://vimeo.com/259627648

 

 

 

Julie Aitcheson on Covers and her new release First Girl (author guest post)

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First Girl by Julie Aitcheson
Harmony Ink Press
Cover Art:  Aaron Anderson

Buy Links

Amazon |  Barnes & Noble |   Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Julie Aitcheson here today talking about her latest novel First Girl. Welcome, Julie.

♦︎

“Cover Story”

By Julie Aitcheson, Author: First Girl, Harmony Ink Press, April 2018

I love talking about the cover for my book, because it is exactly how I pictured it. With minimal back and forth and few specifics from me, artist Aaron Anderson (contracted by Dreamspinner Press), hit it out of the park. The image is dark and haunting- a frail female form borne up through murky water in a shaft of iridescent light. It encapsulates the essence of the book in the way every writer surely hopes their cover will.

Water is as much a central character of First Girl as my heroine, Gabi Lowell. Water’s scarcity shapes everything about Gabi’s existence, from her environment to what she eats and drinks to the politics that govern her world. The fear of the distant, unseen ocean permeates the psyche of her community, and her unfathomable connection with it (and the creatures therein) is what ultimately lures her out of her frightened complacency and into the unlikely role of hero. In this passage from the first part of the book, we witness Gabi in her room, her sanctuary, and get a first glimpse of this defining relationship with water:

“Go put on something dry while I put out your pills with some tea and cake. It’s already thirty minutes past time.” Gram’s hair stood out in white shocks from her head, adding drama to the urgency in her voice. When it came to the pills, every minute mattered. Taken as a powder mixed into formula when Gabi was a baby, then swallowed whole with water when she was old enough to manage pills, the medicine was a fact of Gabi’s life. The pills, her father explained, were the only things keeping Gabi’s lungs working. Missing a dose or taking one too late could cause her entire respiratory system to shut down, like sealing a whale’s blowhole shut and holding it deep underwater.

Gabi took her first relaxed inhale since leaving the house that morning and released it on a sigh as she entered her room and shut the door behind her. The walls were painted in blended shades of blue and green, an impressionistic rendering of seaweed-swirled water. Her books, hundreds of them, were crammed into bookcases and milk crates and stacked into wobbly towers that deterred anyone but Gabi from entering for fear of triggering an avalanche. She was not a hoarder, Gabi insisted when her father and brother ribbed her for her trove of books. She was simply starved for information. Sometimes she thought she would rather have words than air.

As she peeled off her dripping socks and leggings, Gabi’s gaze wandered to the carefully marked books on cetacean biology piled within easy reach of her bed. She had been eating, sleeping, and breathing whales in preparation for her presentation that day, certain that if she just knew her subject matter well enough, the words would flow effortlessly out of her. She was wrong.

Whales were a peculiar fascination for a girl who was afraid of water. The mere thought of being close to more than a bucketful of the stuff was enough to make Gabi shake, a phobia her father didn’t discourage. Recreational swimming had been forbidden since before Gabi was born anyhow. Water resources were scarce and every available drop that fell or condensed was immediately sequestered for purification and municipal use. Anyone who violated these practices risked heavy fines and even imprisonment. Immersion in water was illegal. All bathing was done from a small ration delivered in measured containers three times weekly around Alder, just as it was in every other branch of the Unitas fellowship. Precipitation in the form of rain or snow was collected and transported to a treatment facility wherever possible.

There was no real need to deter residents from collecting their own water stores. Thanks to years of unchecked emissions and nuclear meltdowns during The Great Strain, which attacked technologies as well as life forms, no one dared use or ingest water before trained professionals treated it. Though she gobbled up any small morsel of information she could about the mysteries of marine biology, Gabi couldn’t imagine actually seeing the ocean, watching it swell and threaten to consume her. But something drew her back to her books time and again and compelled her to recreate her own dry land version of the sea in her tiny bedroom.”

I wish I had a clear, writerly explanation for how Water showed up as a principal character in my book, but I don’t. I’m just grateful for a cover that shows Gabi in her true element and rising up, as all good heroes must.

First Girl by Julie Aitcheson

Blurb

Some things are worth fighting for: a sense of identity, personal freedom, truth, and new love—even in a society that forbids them.

In the aftershocks of catastrophic climate change, the fundamentalist Christian group Unitas seized the opportunity to grab power in the United States. Gabi’s father, Sam Lowell, is one of the most powerful men on the Unitas council… and his sickly daughter’s hero, until Gabi discovers the horrors being carried out in the name of religion.

Gabi’s mission to expose Unitas will take her into the company of misfits and dissidents and beyond the borders of everything she knows as her life is threatened at every turn. Along the way, she uncovers her true origins and astonishing power, along with a ruthless dictatorship masquerading as a benevolent democracy that will stop at nothing—including playing God—to win the game of survival.

About the Author

Julie Aitcheson began her pursuit of writing as a screenwriter, then realized that a little exposition never hurt anyone and switched to books. She has had articles published in Echo QuarterlyCommunities Magazine (formerly Talking Leaves Magazine), Isabella, and All Things Girl.  Most recently, she received a full fellowship to the 2013 Stowe StoryLabs and won second place in the 2014 San Miguel Writers’ Conference nonfiction writing competition.

Julie lives wherever her bohemian heart takes her, and wherever she can hit the hiking trails when her muse decides to take a personal day. She has worked extensively with young adults as an experiential educator, both across the United States and in India. After spearheading an initiative to assist at-risk youth in becoming trained for green jobs, Julie threw herself into writing stories for young adults that do justice to their intelligence and complex emotional lives. Her debut novel, Being Roy, was released by Harmony Ink Press in October of 2017.

Julie continues to seek out unique life experiences to provide grist for the mill of her imagination, including her work as a medical actress at a simulation laboratory. There, she indulged her love of the dramatic arts and her passion for health education while amassing enough writing material to sink a barge.

Social Media

Author Website: www.julieaitcheson.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julie.aitcheson.7

Twitter: https://twitter.com/julsaitch

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/julsaitch/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JulieAitcheson