A Paul B Review: The Homecoming by J. Scott Coatsworth

Standard

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars   ★★★★★

The Homecoming - cover2Aldiss Harrison’s exploration voyage back to Earth became a mission of survival even before it began.  With no hope of returning back to the planet he calls home, will Aldiss and his crew survive the planet their ancestors left over 500 years ago?

The people of Antana had abandoned Earth over 500 years ago.  The ravages of mankind on its home planet had taken their toll.  They have settled on Antara building a new society.  Aldiss Harrison is scheduled on a mission to explore what has happened to earth since their departure.  Aldiss hopes he is more successful than his grandfather, who disappeared without a word on a similar mission.

However, their mission of exploration quickly becomes one of survival as a massive solar flare takes aim at Antara.  The crew of six becomes a crew of four as two of the crewmembers had not arrived in time to launch.  Left behind was Aldiss’ ex Lorin the team archaeologist.  As the team crash-lands into Earth, they realize that their team might be even smaller as one is having trouble coming out of stasis.

Hari is a member of the Blackthorn clan of wolves.  These wolves have two forms.   Their winter form is that of wolves.  Their summer form resembles the two-legged creatures of yore.  Hari is one of the few members of his clan to shift between forms at will.  When Hari sees a streak of light across the sky followed by a loud noise, he sets out to investigate.  When he arrives, he sees an object obviously made by the two legs and a pair of eyes coming from it.  Hari alerts the pack.  Most back off but one, Neru,  goes off alone.  Hari’s mother sends him to keep track of the troublemaker.  When Hari stops the attack on the two leg (Aldiss), Hari finds that he has found his errah, his chosen mate.  Aldiss and Hari must fight dissention among the clan of wolves and make sure the remaining crew members adapt to their new home world in order for them to enjoy their new relationship.

This book clicks on just about every level.  The heartbreak Aldiss feels at the loss of not only his home planet but his ex (even though he states there is nothing romantic between them anymore) is palpable.  The hope of a new home world is quickly set back first by the crash landing and the dangers that caused but also with the troubles of Cat’s illness coming out of stasis.  Add in the inter clan squabbles about what to do with their now returned ancestors and it spells trouble.  Hari is guided not only by his mother but the keh, the spirits of his ancestors.  The two “Law & Order” type twists near the end of the book complete the upheaval.  But the feeling of hope at the end of the book makes the ride worth taking.  This author is new to me and I look forward to reading more from him.

London Burden has come up with one of the most gorgeous covers I have seen this year.  It is drawing of a winter scape, with Hari in his white wolf form, standing on a hill overlooking the crash site that Aldiss’ ship landed.  This cover should make the list of top ten for the year.

Sales Links:   Less Than Three Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book details

Ebook, 71 pages
Edition:  English
Published:  July 29, 2015 by Less Than Three Press
ISBN:   9781620045831

In the Book Spotlight: The Homecoming by J. Scott Coatsworth (author interview and giveaway)

Standard

 TH Cover

The Homecoming by  J. Scott Coatsworth
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Cover Artist: London Burden
Release Date: 7/29
STRW In The Spotlight Header

Sales Link:  Less Than Three Press

My Interview with Author J. Scott Coatsworth on writing, The Homecoming and Much More

  • Tell me a little about you and your writing:

Thanks for inviting me on the blog again! I’ve known I wanted to be a writer since I was a kid in elementary school in Tucson, Arizona. I wrote my first (longhand, illustrated in crayon) short story in fourth grade – and won a writing contest. In junior high, I graduated to an old manual typewriter, and eventually to an old IBM PC.

I’ve always been fascinated with Fantasy and Sci Fi and the intersection of the two. Most of my stories have revolved around those things; but lately, I’ve added a third thing to the mix – a little MM romance/interaction.

  • You have a new novella coming out – The Homecoming. What’s it about, and how does it fit into that scheme?

The homecoming was a story I started years ago. I wrote maybe three or four scenes, but never finished it. Then I saw a call for stories about the forest, and thought this piece would be perfect. But I had to give it a mixed-genre twist.

There is a romance in the story, but it’s not the main aspect. I call “The Homecoming” my wolfman-spaceman story, and it really does blend some aspects of sci fi with some aspects of shifter wolves. So it hits upon all three of my current writing interests.

  • Are you a full-time writer?

Oh, I wish. I have so many ideas I want to explore. But my husband Mark and I run our own little internet company, and that takes most of our time. I do try to sneak in an hour or hour and a half to write each day.

What other projects do you have going, writing-wise?

Hmmm, let’s see. I’ve finished two other novellas that are awaiting possible publication – one of them is a marriage equality love story set in my old home town of Tucson; the other is an elf in post-climate change San Francisco piece.

But I’m also working on a novel in four parts – basically four connected novellas – that will serve as the prequel to another novel I wrote in my twenties, but never published – I plan to go back to that one and rework it, eventually.

I also have an MM sci fi trilogy I’m working on called Oberon.

  • One more question – what do you do when you need to relax?

Relax? I don’t understand the question. *grin*

Thanks, Scott, for dropping in.  Now more about Scott’s new novel, The Homecoming.

STRW Author BookSynopsis

When his own world is destroyed, Aldiss and his crew barely manage to escape, leaving friends and lovers behind. What was meant to be an exploratory trip back to the home world turns into a mad dash for survival.

When they awaken from stasis on Earth, which was abandoned by humanity five centuries before, they must quickly learn about their new home. While exploring the region around the ship, Aldiss meets Hari, a shape-changer, whose people harbor secrets that might cost the crew their lives.

TH Cover

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Hari reached the edge of the woods just in time to see Neru crouching to leap at the two-legs. Young fool.

He gathered himself and jumped after Neru, knocking him aside as his teeth reached for the two-legs’ throat.

Neru turned and snarled at him, backing away toward the woods.

Hari stood firm, ears back, hackles raised, and drew the corners of his mouth back to reveal his teeth. Back off, Neru.

The whelp shook his head and grinned with the brashness of youth, until Hari leaped at him and nipped his ear. With a surprised yelp, Neru turned his head, deferring to Hari’s strength. As you say, brother. There was a cockiness to Neru’s look that unsettled him.

The other wolf backed up slowly then turned to disappear into the woods.

Hari caught a glimpse of Mavi watching from the shadows. The old wolf snarled, and slunk off after her son.

What do you seek, old mother? Hari wondered, watching Mavi’s silver-tipped tail flicker into the darkness. It was clear where Neru’s courage and cunning had come from.

Hari turned back toward the two-legs. He was holding a strange stick, not unlike the one that Hari’s grandmother had shown him in the wolf dream.

But it was his face that caught Hari’s eye. He knew that face. The two-legs’ eyes were white-gray, and his jet-black hair was swept to the side.

Despite the danger, he shifted in the manner only a few of the clan are able to do in the cold. He grew quickly taller and less hairy but no less muscled, and stood naked before the two-legs.

They stared at each other for a long moment. Hari felt an immense attraction washing over him. He saw in his summer form that this two-legs was beautiful. His own body responded to this… man… in an unexpected way, seeing and feeling things his winter form could not. Hari leaned forward and sniffed the stranger, drinking in his musk. It smelled enticing. Strangely familiar.

He sensed the two-legs stiffen, and to reassure, him, Hari licked the man’s neck.

The two-legs was trembling now like a young whelp, so he tried something else. He took the stranger’s face in his hands and kissed him.

The shaking slowed, and then the man was kissing him back. Hari was hungry for him, like a starving wolf at the end of a long, hard winter.

It is not the time for this, the keh whispered in his ear.

He broke contact and turned away, ashamed that he was betraying his Clan, and for lust. An emotion of his summer form.

“I’m sorry,” he said to the two-legs, without looking back. “It won’t happen again.” Even he was not sure if he meant Neru’s attack, or the kiss.

He shifted back into his winter form and loped off into the woods after his pack mates.

 

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.j-scott-coatsworth

Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.

Website: http://www.jscottcoatsworth.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth

STRW Spotlight Contest Header

Scott is giving away one copy of The Homecoming.  To enter to win you must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Use the Rafflecopter link to enter and make sure we have your email address to reach you if you are chosen.  Contest runs from July 22 to August 5th, at midnight.