A MelanieM Review: Spells & Stardust by J. Scott Coatsworth

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Spells & Stardust is Scott’s first anthology – eight sci fi and fantasy shorts that run the gamut from regeneration to redemption.

The Bear at the Bar: A gay fish out of water tale with a pinch of magic.

Tight: What happens when your lover disappears in midair?

Morgan: The year when everything changed.

Re-Life: What if you were reborn in a strange new future?

A New Year: They met every eleven years. And each time, Hank’s life changed.

Repetition: What if you wanted to go back in the closet?

Gargoyle: Sometimes you get what you deserve. Sometimes it happens on All Hallows Eve.

Avalon: A few bright moments in the sun, stolen from outside time.

Most of these stories have been previously published in various anthologies and journals. This is the first time they have all been collected in one place,

As an enormous fan of this talented author, I found his first collection of short stories to be more informative, a story of Scott’s journey as a writer which I find fascinating.  Most of these stories are quite old, having been written years, even decades ago.  That’s the case with the first one The Bear at the Bar, his first published story 20 some odd years ago for a Dreamspinner Press Anthology.  From that one we travel forward, progressing by time and by experience gained as an author, although I’m not sure Scott realizes it works out that way.

After each story, the author has a small note where he offers insight into what the story means to him, what he was thinking while he was writing it.  You can feel the fondness, no love, he has for each and every one of these tales and what they represent for him.

I enjoyed reading those immensely.

So how did I feel about the stories?

My favorites include Re-Life and A New Year. Perhaps Avalon.  The others point me to the start of the  journey that the man who wrote the incredible novels like the Liminal Sky series, the Oberon Cycle, and The River City Chronicles had to start out on.  Just looking at the dates on which they were written is informative.  As a reader I don’t see the same things reflected in them that the author does.  However they have my gratitude they launched him on his path.

Cover art is amazing.  Full of possibilities and quite magical.

Sales Links: Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 169 pages
Published December 5th 2018
ASIN B07KDXHLWS

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