Hi guys! We have Edale Lane stopping by with the tour for her new release Chaos In Milan, we have a brilliant guest post from Edale, a great excerpt and a fantastic $20 Amazon GC giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
Chaos In Milan
(Night Flyer 03)
One woman stands between chaos and order – the Night Flyer!
When chaos strikes at the heart of Milan, it is up to Florentina’s alter-ego the Night Flyer to stop it. As Florentina and Madelena’s love deepens, so does the well of danger surrounding them. The race is on to discover the mysterious Shadow Guild and uncover who is behind the deadly rampage, but Florentina’s mission is threatened by a gang of assassins. Can the Night Flyer prevail, or will Maddie’s love be ripped from her arms?
Chaos in Milan is the third book in Edale Lane’s Night Flyer Trilogy, a tale of power, passion, and payback in Renaissance Italy. If you like action and suspense, rich historical background, three-dimensional characters, and a sweet romance, then you’ll want to complete the Night Flyer saga. Order your copy of Chaos in Milan today!
Hi guys! We have Katey Hawthorne popping in today with her new release Poor Little Rich Boy, we have a brilliant short guest post from Katey, a great excerpt and a fantastic 2 x £10 Amazon GC giveaway, so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
Poor Little Rich Boy
Ted MacTaggart’s overbearing father is still trying to control his life, even from the grave. His will insists that, in order to inherit the family company, MAC Superior, Ted must be married by his twenty-fifth birthday — and the marriage has to be “real.” As in the board of MAC has to sign off on it.
Ted could fight the will, but then the handsome, artistic Ryan Costa, an old friend from school days walks back into his life, offering to be his groom-of-convenience. Ted draws up the contracts and Ryan, who has family medical bill problems, agrees gladly to the terms. Ted, emotionally walled off and afraid of his attraction to Ryan, also suggests they should keep their relationship strictly professional. Caring for people has always proven a weakness for him. Now isn’t the time to start.
It’s not long before Ryan’s charm breaks through Ted’s walls, but Ted isn’t his own worst enemy in this case. Other forces are vying for MAC Superior, and even when their relationship is becoming the real deal, its shaky foundations land Ryan and Ted in trouble.
Everyone hopes his road to happily ever after will be carefree and smooth, but too often hair-pin turns and detours seem to get in the way.
Having thought he was on the road to forever before, former Silicon Valley programmer Dan Lassiter is leery about pedaling down it again. His elderly companion Charlie urges him to get to know Rick Reardon whose bakery is across the street from Dan’s bicycle shop.
Under the watchful eye of Charlie, Dan and Rick take tentative steps towards each other, all the while trying to avoid potholes such as exes, homophobes, and family problems.
As summer turns to fall and then winter, they hope that the road will be smooth going from their first date and first kiss to having what Rick’s sister euphemistically calls their “sleep overs”. At each step, though, they are tripped up and wonder why there seem to be so many bumps in their road.
Maybe Dan and Rick should heed some of Charlie’s sage advice or maybe they should listen to their hearts instead of the warnings from their pasts.
One of the delights of the holiday season is a cookie exchange with friends and coworkers. True, it’s going to be a little light this year, what with COVID restrictions and all. But that makes it all the better to devise a game plan for next year and the one after.
Why a game plan?
Because you don’t want to be the person whose cookies smash and break before they are exchanged. You want to be the one with the perfectly delicious looking stack of an array of different cookie types, each cookie looking enticing in its own right.
But how can you do that with a stack of cookies?
Glad you asked.
You need to come up with your cookie tiers. Or you can steal mine.
The bottom tier for my cookie exchange plate is a pan cookie—usually chocolate chip bars or pecan pie bars—anything with enough internal heft that they can withstand a stack of cookies on top of them and still not be squished.
Stay away from lemon bars or cheesecake bars, which while yummy will yield like sinkholes, making them and the cookies stacked on top into one mega-cookie.
True, that’s great for the person who picks up the top cookie and finds them all stuck together in the jackpot of the holiday season.
Still, if you get caught with the mega-cookie, you are stuck with it and can’t pry one off and leave the rest for another hapless eater.
So be kind and plan a sturdy, non-sinkable bottom tier.
The middle tier is the traditional colorful cookie tier—gingerbread people, cut-out and frosted cookies, and shaped dough goodies.
The key to this layer is color, lots and lots of color. For example, blue, white, and silver for Hanukkah or green and red for Christmas or black, red and green for Kwanzaa or red, green, brown, and white for Solstice. Whatever you celebrate, make sure the colors pop at the mid-level of your cookie tier.
Remember that frosting and piping are your friends at this tier.
Finally, add the touch de resistance to the top tier: light, airy meringue delights and chocolate chip clouds.
Make these small, bite-sized treats so that you can use them to place around the decorated cookies to highlight their colors and decorations. Or you can use them to stack into a pyramid to support the cling-wrap or other protective layer you’re using to transport your exchange plate.
Whether you call them biscuits (like the Great British Baking Show does) or cookies like Americans do, edible exchanges are the highlight of any season, but particularly of those holidays in the winter.
Do you participate in a cookie exchange either during the holidays or during the rest of the year? If so, what’s your favorite cookie type?
Give yourself a gift of cheer with four HEA romances to take the edge off 2020:
Blame It on the Fruitcake where a motorcycle shop owner and a location scout bond over a grandmother’s holiday recipe;
The Orpheum Miracle in which a squatter in a revival theater meets the man of his dreams;
Making the Holidays Happy Again that sees a blacksmith forge a future with a chemist; and
Heart of the Holidays where a bicycle repairman and a baker travel down the road to love.
And whatever you do, remember that Every day is a good day for romance.
The kids and their mom arrived after lunch, right about the time Charlie usually turned in for a nap. He gave them the once over as they got out of the car, nodded to me with raised eyebrows, and ambled back toward the house. I guess he figured he’d meet them sometime, probably sooner rather than later, so he didn’t have to knock himself out now. It was the siesta part of his day.
After the kids tumbled from the car and jumped on Rick, he pointed at my open garage and waved at me. I waved back, and they galloped across the street.
“Hi, I’m McKinsey! You can call me Mack.” The red-haired boy danced in front of me. His hair blazed in the sun and was as bright as his green eyes and freckles. He didn’t look anything like his uncle. “So these are all the bikes I can ride? Can I try them out first?”
“Yeah, but don’t go very far. I’ve got an app keeping an eye on them.”
He didn’t wait for me to explain further, but ran toward the racks so fast that I thought he would barrel into them. A small hand on my arm stopped me from chasing after him.
“Don’t worry. He’s careful. He won’t hurt the bikes. We won’t go far because of mom.” Since I wasn’t worried about the bicycles, I looked down into brown eyes, a solemn face, and curly sable hair. “I’m Leslie. Everyone calls me Lee. My brother throws himself into his activities. I don’t. Can we choose any of the bicycles?”
I glanced up at their uncle who shrugged at me. The small hand let go of my arm, so I looked down at Lee again.
“Yes. You have three choices. One, you can select a bike and ride it the entire time you’re here. Two, you could come back to the garage and pick another one to ride for the day, the half-day, the hour, or however long you want it. That means if you wanted, you could ride every bike in this place in one day. Or your third choice, you could stay at the bakery and not go bike riding at all.” I winked at her. “I would choose the bakery except then I’d look like a human lead balloon if I did.”
She giggled and put her hand on my arm again.
“I like you, Mr. Dan. I think we’ll get along fine.” She nodded and gave me a long assessing once over. “Don’t worry. You don’t look like a balloon at all. Not at all.”
If she’d been in her teens, I would have thought she was flirting. But Lee seemed as if she was merely making an observation.
I liked both kids and their approaches to life. I’d be willing to bet Charlie would like them too when he got up from his nap and met them.
Unlike her brother, Lee sauntered over to the bikes, many of which were now askew thanks to Mack’s unsorting process. She carefully started to right those tossed aside. She stopped at a turquoise bicycle, hopped on, and waved to me and her uncle as she sped away. Her brother was long gone. The bike rack still needed straightening which would give me something to do while Charlie snoozed.
I started toward it. Rick had surged across the street and was striding up to me.
“Here. I’ll help.” He stood staring down at the mishmash of bikes. “If you show me how to untangle them without making things worse.”
“I don’t get it. Aren’t you afraid people will just take off with your bikes and you’ll never see them again?”
I watched him bend over to pick up one on the ground. My groin tightened at the sight. We were going out to dinner. Together. Soon. My heart and dick lifted as my mind piled up image after image of dinner and afterward. It was about time for me to get back in the saddle as it were.
Pat Henshaw, born and raised in Nebraska, has lived on the U S’s three coasts, in Texas, Virginia, and now California.
Before she retired, she held a number of jobs, including theatrical costumer, newspaper features reporter and movie reviewer, librarian, junior college English instructor, and publicist.
She also loves to travel and has visited Canada, Mexico, Europe, Egypt, Thailand, and Central America as well as almost all fifty US states.
Now retired, she enjoys reading and writing as well as visiting her older daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren on the East Coast and playing havoc with her younger daughter’s life in NorCal.
She thanks you for reading her books and wants you to remember that every day is a good day for romance.
Hi guys, we have T.A. Moore stopping by today with her up coming release Wolf At The Door, we have short guest post from T.A., a great excerpt and a fantastic $15 Amazon GC giveaway, so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
Wolf At The Door
(Winter Wolf 03)
For Jack and Gregor, the exiled Wolf Princes of the Scottish pack, it’s someplace they never wanted to leave. For Danny, who fled as soon as he could, it’s someplace he never planned to return. As for Nick, pathologist and carrion bird, he has nowhere else to be.
It offers only one thing—the Old Man’s help in putting down the bloody-handed treachery from the prophets who dogged them all the way from Durham. The twins’ father is many things, not all of them kind, but not even the prophets would cross him.
But when they finally arrive home, they find the Old Man gone and the prophets’ puppet installed in his place. Outnumbered, bereaved, and haunted by old mistakes, the four of them must discover the prophet Rose’s plan before it’s too late. As the stakes rise and the cold settles into their bones, they find that the old fairy tales hide horrors under their pretty words.
In the Highlands, Fenrir has stirred, and he’s hungry.
The prophets have always said that a Wolf Winter is red as blood—but they never said whose.
Hi guys! We have T.A. Moore, Rhys Ford, Bru Baker & Jenn Moffatt popping in today with the tour for Bad, Dad and Dangerous we have a brilliant guest post from Bru Baker, a great excerpt and a fantastic $10 Amazon GC giveaway so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
Bad, Dad and Dangerous
T.A. Moore, Rhys Ford, Bru Baker & Jenn Moffatt
When the kids are away, the monsters will play.
School’s out for summer, and these dads are ready to ship their kids off to camp. Not just because their kids are monsters—whose aren’t?—but because they’re ready for some alone time to let their hair down and their fangs out. You see, not only are the kids monsters—their dads are too.
Even the most dangerous of creatures has a soft spot. These bad, dangerous dads love their kids to death, but they need romance.
Every year, for a few short weeks, these hot men with a little extra in their blood get to be who they truly are. And this year, life has a surprise for them. Whether they be mage, shifter, vampire, or changeling, these heartbreakingly handsome dads might be looking to tear up the town… but they’ll end up falling in love. All it takes is the right man to bring them to their knees.
MONSTER HALL PASS BY BRU BAKER
White-collar dad Hugh Whitby dotes on his adopted daughter, but she’s away at camp. Now it’s time let the vampiric urges he so tightly controls run wild and take advantage of his monster hall pass to feed on criminals. But when fae prince Rykoff of Harlow interrupts Hugh feeding, he catches Hugh’s daughter’s scent and vows to avenge the fae youngling he believes Hugh has captured.
Hugh had no idea his daughter wasn’t human, and it rocks the foundation of his world. He must convince Rykoff that the fae youngling in question is safe with her vampire dad and can prosper in the mortal realm—or risk losing her forever.
Hi guys, we have Eric Alan Westfall stopping by today with the tour for his new release Prince Ivan, A. Wolfe & A Firebird , we have a great guest post from Eric, a great excerpt and a brilliant $20 Amazon GC giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
Prince Ivan, A. Wolfe & A Firebird
Eric Alan Westfall
What do you get when you combine a greedy Great Tsar, his two cheating, bullying older sons, his youngest esser (shh! no saying that aloud) son, stolen gold apples, a Firebird quest, A. Wolfe who has the power t’assume a pleasing shape, a magickal sandstorm, as well as two bands and a full Symphony of Gipsumies?
A rollicking, roisterous Russian Fairy Tale, with vigorous esser activities in tents, halls, bedrooms and alcoves, with and without the assistance of PSTs. Plus princely parades, a duel over Gus, new lyrics to an old drinking song, and the possibility of bits of blood, gobs of gore or moments of mayhem. As required by CORA (the Code of RFT Authors), should these occur, your author will give you timely warning.
Ah. Still not ready to part with your kopek-equivalent? Consider the fun you’ll have reading chapters like:
“To Kvetch, Or Not To Kvetch? A Reader’s Choice”
“Ivan Has A Close Encounter Of The F-Word Kind”
“Second Direction Questers vs. The Caliph’s Sayer Of Sooths”
“Will Sasha Succeed In Seducing Prince Ivan?”
“Bad Prince Ivan! No Touch Cage!”
“A Travel Pause For Gratuitous Sex In The Tent—Which Does Not Advance The Plot—At The Insistence Of The Characters”
“A Necessary Interlude To Consider The Age-Old Questing Question: What The [Expletive Of Your Choice, Dear Reader] Do We Do Next?”
If you buy it and try it, you’ll like it, or so says your most talen…er…humble author.
p.s. If Karrie Jax and I have covered you and blurbed you to buy, look for “Dear Reader, Along The Way, Did You Happen To See The Allusion To Olivier?” in the TOC. It’s a spot-the-allusions chance at gift cards of $25, $15, or $10.
166,000 words of story fun and frolic, plus a 2160-word teaser from another MM fairytale: The Tinderbox
Hi guys! We have Mia Kerick writing as Jude Munro popping in today with her newest release Born For Leaving, we have a great guest post from Jude, a brilliant $10 Amazon GC and Prime’s review so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
Born For Leaving
(New England State of Mind 01)
When they say be careful what you wish for, do you pay attention?
Neither did Oliver Tunstead.
Oliver wishes for nothing more than to get his mind off his crappy bartending job, pile of debt big enough to swallow him whole, and playboy ex-boyfriend/boss who refuses to back off. Too bad distractions, like the hot little convertible he has his eye on, cost megabucks. And Oliver is flat broke. Renting the spare bedroom in his rundown beachfront cottage is his only option to pick up the cash he needs–a risky proposition, as Oliver is the polar opposite of a people-person. When he responds to a bizarre ad in the Waterfront Gazette seeking summer housing, he gets more than he bargained for. But Oliver can cope… After all, how much harm can a single quirky tenant do to his tightly guarded life in three short months?
Where Oliver is a loner by design, urban cowboy Bodie is a loner by necessity. A family dispute long ago dropkicked him onto the path of a lifelong wanderer. This changes when Bodie moves into the tiny beachfront cottage and starts working the door at Oliver’s bar.
Despite Oliver and Bodie’s nearly paralyzing instinct to avoid commitment, they fall into a wary romance. And to their surprise, life as a couple is sweetly satisfying; that is, until their jealous boss devises a cruel plan to destroy the tentative bond they’ve built. True to form, Bodie hits the road, leaving Oliver to lick his wounds alone.
Can these wounded souls defy their urge to flee and fight for love?
**Trigger Warning: discussion of childhood sexual molestation of adult character, graphic physical violence, off-page coerced sexual relationship
Hi guys! We have Wayne Goodman popping in today with his new release All The Right Places, we have a brilliant guest post with exclusive excerpt and a fantastic $25 iTunes giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
All The Right Places
“All the Right Places” is a collection of short stories, most written for submission to anthologies or collections. Starting in the near future and proceeding to the near past, men interact with other men in the pursuit of love and companionship.
Hi guys! We have R.L. Merrill popping in today with the tour for her new release Brains & Brawn, we have a brilliant guest post, a great excerpt and a fantastic $25 Amazon GC giveaway, so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
Brains & Brawn
(Summer of Hush 02)
Billy “Brains” Brennan has achieved rock stardom in not just one, but two chart-topping bands, but events from his past have him convinced he’s living on borrowed time. Brains and his brothers-in-Hush are ready to take the last cross-country Warped Tour by storm…until the actions of two drunk dudes with bad attitudes set off a chain of events that leave him incapacitated…and face-to-face with a handsome stranger who inexplicably feels like home—and not the home Brains fled at sixteen.
Chief Petty Officer Paul McNally has spent his 25-year career as a Navy Corpsman responding to emergencies and caring for wounded soldiers. When fate has him in the right place to provide aid to a fallen rock star, it sends his life spiraling on a trajectory he never planned for. Instead of concentrating on his impending retirement and a second career, he’s now playing nursemaid to a fascinating younger man…and falling in love—a fact he can’t seem to figure out how to explain to his adult son.
A health scare, band drama, and pain from both of their pasts threatens to end Brains and Paul’s fledgling relationship. Fate brought them together. It will take trust, honesty, and hope to keep them together.
Hi peeps, we have Pat Henshaw stopping by with the blog tour for her newest re-release Redesigning Max, we have a fantastic guest post from Pat, a great excerpt, a brilliant $10 JMS Books GC giveaway and Prime’s review, so check out the post and enter that giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
(Foothills Pride 02)
Renowned interior designer Fredi Zimmer is surprised when outdoorsman Max Greene, owner of Greene’s Outdoors, hires him to revamp Max’s rustic cabin in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Fredi is an out-and-proud Metro male whose contact with the outdoors is from his car to the doorway of the million-dollar homes he remodels, and to Fredi, Max is a typical straight man’s man.
When Max blatantly and clumsily flirts with Fredi, Fredi’s stereotypical view of Max is shattered. Is this a build-up to a gay bashing? Cautiously believing Max is closeted and is trying to come out, Fredi decides he’s game to put a little spice into Max’s life, whether it’s in the colors and fixtures he’ll use to turn Max’s dilapidated cabin into a showplace or over one of the many lunches and dinners they share talking about the remodel. Who can blame a guy for adding a little sensual pleasure as he retools Max’s life visually? Besides, Fredi has a backup plan if he’s wrong about Max’s intentions.
Life would be all wine and roses if it weren’t for Max’s former friends and their conservative families. Alarmed with Max’s obvious infatuation, they make it their business to save him from sliding into hell.
With the battle on, will Fredi and Max win the fight for a life of happiness together?
Hiya guys! We have Rhys Ford visiting today with the tour for her new release ‘Nother Sip of Gin, we have a brilliant guest post from Rhys, and we have an amazing $20 GC giveaway, so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
‘Nother Sip of Gin
(A Sinners Gin Anthology)
For Crossroads Gin rock stars Miki, Damien, Rafe, and Forest, life is a Möbius strip of music, mayhem, and murder. Through it all, the sweet, hot moments between tours with lovers, friends, and family keep them sane, healthy, and happy. This Sinners collection features short stories spanning the entire series, from before the first note to after the lights go out.
Hi guys! We have Jules Radcliffe stopping by today with her new release Pirate Master, we have a brilliant guest post, a great excerpt and a fantastic $10 Amazon GC giveaway, so guys check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Mel~
(Pirates of Port Royal 03)
A strait-laced lieutenant. A free-living pirate. A hopeless love.
Quinn has never met a man quite like Perry. Stern and cold on the outside, burning up inside with secret passion. Yearning for a mastery only Quinn can satisfy. But Perry is no outcast—he’s a respectable officer in His Majesty’s navy. Reluctant to test his love for a pirate, Quinn baulks at asking him to give up everything he holds dear.
Though he has no regrets about their night of glorious sin, Perry sees no future with Quinn. Unlike the pirates of Port Royal, he isn’t free to love where he pleases. If word of his illicit affair came to the ears of Commodore Pobjoy, his career would be at an end. And the disgrace might mean he could never return home to England.
With war on the horizon, the Caribbean is a hotbed of intrigue. Quinn is betrayed and thrown into Monte Gris, an impregnable dungeon even the fearsome Brethren of the Coast aren’t strong enough to breach. Perry is stunned. Everything he valued is hollow and meaningless without his master.
Willing to risk all to get Quinn back, he refuses to abandon hope and plots a daring and dangerous rescue. But he can’t do it alone. He’ll need every scrap of ingenuity at his disposal to persuade the Black Wolf and the crew of the Audacious that his plan will work.
This time, it’s not just Perry’s career and reputation at stake. If he fails, men will die. And both he and Quinn will suffer a gruesome fate at the hands of a terrifying acolyte of the Spanish Inquisition.
Warnings: Rape and torture of a MC off screen, murder of minor characters
Jeanne G’Fellers has a new queer historical dark fantasy/magical realism book out: “Striking Balance.” And there’s a giveaway!
An Appalachian Elementals Historical Dark Fantasy Side Tale.
Benjamin Schnell is the possessor of secrets he wishes he could bury beneath the rich Nolichucky river flat dirt he farms alongside his dear friend, Conall. But secrets lead to lies, lead to more secrets, and all eventually come home to roost in a bed of distrust, even on the 1779 Appalachian frontier.
After Ben is injured, he realizes there are odd things happening around him that others cannot see. Corner shadows take human shapes, lightning bugs dance in broad daylight, and the farm’s strange owner, Master Gow, returns with an offer Conall cannot refuse if Ben is to live. But making a deal with Master Gow will take them deep into the mountains to where a haunted king reigns and Fire balances Water in a delicate natural friendship.
Ben must learn self-acceptance and trust if he and Conall are going to survive because there can be no secrets in the mountains, only truth.
Another rich tale from the Appalachian Elementals world focusing on complex families containing rich LGBTQIA+ characters.
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47132/?
Ten Questions With Jeanne G’Fellers, Author of Striking Balance 776 Words
Can you tell us some about Striking Balance?
First off, thanks for having me. I appreciate the opportunity to share my work on your site. Striking Balance is the personal journey of Beatrice Benjamin Sophia Scott Schnell Gow. The tale is best described as magic realism meets the American Revolution meets the Appalachian frontier. Ben’s deepest secrets lead to lies, lead to more secrets, and all eventually come home to roost in a bed of distrust in a world where Fire and Water maintain a careful friendship and haunted kings reign. Striking Balance is late 18th Century Appalachian Dark Fantasy. It’s set very close to where I live, but in a place that seems far away.
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on to write this novel?
Not many, really. I’ve actually only gone as far as a side road along the base of Embreeville Mountain for this series as a whole. Boring, I know, but there it is. Fact is, my stories are either set in the distant future in far-off worlds or very close to home. One requires looking at the sky, some astronomy websites, and my imagination, while the other is my everyday world with some added magic. Or, in the case of Striking Balance, a good bit of local history thrown in with that magic.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing both energizes and exhausts me, but let me explain. It energizes me in that I get so excited about my characters and their escapades, but then it exhausts me because I don’t want to quit writing. I so lack a stop button that I’ve actually asked my spouse to tell me when it’s time to put things away and go to bed. It’s quite a problem truth be known.
What is a common trap for aspiring writers?
I don’t have time to write. Yes, you do. Five minutes. A poem. A haiku. Journal. Bullet list ideas. It doesn’t need polish. You don’t have to share it unless you want to. Just. Write.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
It hurts. Hurts. HURTS. It hurts writers because they forget where they came from and that their words have true power over their readers. Case in point… Rowling’s present dirty dishwater spew of hate. Enough said.
Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
Yep. Reader’s block plagues me anymore. Okay, perhaps it’s not truly a block, but I get on tangents. Major tangents. I’ve been on a history and folk medicine tangent since I began researching Striking Balance and I can’t seem to shake it.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Nope. And I’ve been asked this before. If I’m going to write it, I’m putting my name on it or why write it at all? That doesn’t mean I’m knocking those who do write under pseudonyms, but it simply isn’t for me at this point.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I write mainly for myself. I write the stories I’d like to read. I write what’s swimming around in my head and won’t leave except via the keyboard. Some readers love it, some don’t, but my work is always original from beginning to end. Striking Balance might be the most original of all my works because I’ve had to set this story within the framework of existing history.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
If I could tell… Hey, Jeanne? That idiot student teacher who’s going to criticize your poetry senior year? Ignore him because he’s jealous. That’s right. Jealous. You’ve got talent he wishes he had. You’re never going to see him again after fall semester so his words are meaningless. Hug your poetry notebook tighter and put it somewhere for safekeeping after you graduate, maybe with Mom, until the coast is clear. It’ll take a while, but by the time you’re in your early thirties, you’ll wish you’d saved it.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Believe it or not, aside from my current work in progress, none. I’m not one to half-finish works. I never have been. I’ve completed and published every single novel I’ve written. (winces and grimaces) I probably jinxed myself by saying that, but it’s true.
Thanks letting me drop by today to talk writing and my new release, Striking Balance. It’s history, fey, magic, and queer acceptance pressed into your choice of print or ebook formats, a world at your fingertips. I hope y’all enjoy, and thanks again for your time.
I open my eyes to whitewashed walls and sunlight streaming through large open windows covered by gauzy curtains. This is a quiet space reminiscent of my youth. The window is wide to the afternoon air, my pillow is soft, my bed comfortable with sweetgrass, and I rest beneath the lightest of patchworks. And my shirt ‘tis cotton. Heaven. Yes, I am certain I have reached the hereafter. Perhaps I can see Mutti again and—
“Get back here ye’ fool!” I turn my head in time to see Alexandria pause before a window. Her face is flushed, and her hands are in fists at her sides. “Get back here wit’ mah pie!”
“Come get it, you flightless baggage!”
My thoughts of Heaven erode when Alexandria launches into a long line of Scots-Gaelic curses of the likes I have not heard since I left the mine. This is not the Alexandria I know and respect, not the voice of a proper lady at all. She hisses as she threatens to cut off his twiddle-diddles with her kitchen knife, cook them in the pottage, and feed them back to him.
“Return Lexy’s hard work, boy.” This is Master Gow’s voice, but ‘tis also not, higher in tone but equally powerful, and I wonder if he has a sister. “And the crust best not be broke!”
“But… ow!” I am unable to see what occurs next, but a man crosses in front of the window with a pie in his hands and something or someone I cannot see is dragging him. “Ow! King Dane, please! I am sorry, Lexy, real sorry!”
King? This woman who I suspect is related to Master Gow is named King Dane? Whatever… My cough returns, deep and fluidic, but ‘tis clearly not to be my death so I look for something to spit into.
“There’s a bucket of sawdust at your bedside, Benjamin.” Master Gow’s sister speaks from just outside the window. “I’ll be there shortly to talk with you.” Her voice turns away. “Go cut two days of wood for the main kitchen,” she tells the man who is still apologizing to Alexandria.
“But I got hides to scrape and…”
“Do it! Then scrape them hides.”
“Ow! Yes, King Dane.”
I crawl deep beneath my quilt when their voices fade. Where am I? At this point, I have no clue, but I believe I am alive. The table beside my bed is laden with bottles, jars, a fleam and cup, but there is also a mug so I sit up, examining the contents, water, before I drink.
I startle when the door to the apartment swings open. “Ah brought ye soup an’ tea.” Ceardach deposits a tray onto my lap. There’s also buttered bread on the tray, along with bacon, eggs, and a bowl of beans.
“Thank ye, but I need to…”
“Of course.” Ceardach pulls the tray away. “Th’ pot’s under th’ bed.”
I hesitate, but my need is too great so I swallow my pride, thankful when he moves to stand in the doorway with his back to me.
“Ye need tae drink more.” Ceardach returns to my side when I am abed and pushes the pot under the bed after he examines the contents. “An’ ye best get over bein’ bashful right quick. Someone will use it against ye.” He drops the tray onto my lap, “Eat.” pulls his pipe and pouch and begins filling the bowl, watching as I take up my spoon. The food has most certainly been made under Alexandria’s watch. I can tell by the seasonings, and… I am nearing famished.
“Slow an’ steady. Let one bite settle afore th’ next.” Ceardach lights his pipe so quickly I see nothing but a flash. The outside din continually grows while I eat, but Ceardach pays it no heed. I hear hammers striking anvils, a proliferation of swearing, wood being split and stacked, the sounds of a wider community. The smells coming through the door would be enough to turn my stomach if I was not so hungry. Baking bread, multiple privies, wood, ash, dirt, burning wood, herbs, and… I smell iron and sulfur, but none of it quells my appetite to the point I cease eating.
“Am I in a town?” I shovel more into my mouth.
“Of sorts. Ye will grow accustomed tae it all.” Ceardach blows out a billow of white smoke that rings his head then drifts away. “Yer cough an’ congestion will fade in time.”
I nod and bite into my bread. My appetite must be part of my recovery, a drive for nourishment so I might heal quickly. There is another bed I have ignored until now, unmade, with blankets folded neatly at the foot. “Where am I?”
“In the kingdom.” He points to my water. “Drink.”
I am obedient, but he tells me to empty the mug before he will speak further. “Good, now—” Ceardach raises his head. “Ah, here’s yer answer.”
I attempt to sort through all I see, but ‘tis difficult. Is this Master Gow or—
“Stop gawkin’. ‘Twill get you slapped ‘round here.”
“If not hit or cut,” adds Ceardach. “Sit, Dane. Ah will step out but stay close.”
“Aye, Ceardach, thank you.”
I see a woman’s face, a man’s work cap atop her head. “You’re still under my protection. That hasn’t changed, but the rest…” She wears trousers and a calf-length smith’s apron over a man’s red check work shirt with rolled sleeves. “You’re starin’ even longer than Conall did.” She pulls a tobacco twist from her apron pocket and bites off a piece. “Are you as tongue-tied too?”
“I…” This woman bears the same tattows as Master Gow. “No, sir, I mean, miss, I mean…”
“You’ll address me as King Dane ‘til I tell you elsewise.” My spit bucket slides across the floor to her feet. “How will you address me?”
“Say it, Benjamin.” She spits into the bucket. “‘Tis important you know my station ‘round here.”
“Yes, King Dane.” But this is a woman. How does she warrant the title of king?
“And you never disobey your king, right, Benjamin?”
“Yes… King Dane?”
“Smart man. ‘Tis why I chose you, but I made Conall in the process, an excellent deal I am pleased we could accommodate.” King Dane seems amused by my gaping mouth. “Calm yourself. I hear your heart poundin’ from here.”
Born and raised in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Science Fiction and Fantasy author Jeanne G’Fellers’ early memories include watching the original Star Trek series with their father and reading the books their librarian mother brought home. Jeanne’s writing influences include Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia Butler, Isaac Asimov, and Frank Herbert.
Jeanne lives in Northeast Tennessee with their spouse and five crazy felines. Their home is tucked against a small woodland where they regularly see deer, turkeys, raccoons, and experience the magic of the natural world.
Hiya guys! We have Rhys Ford visiting today with the tour for her new release Silk Dragon Salsa, we have a brilliant guest post from Rhys, we also have Part 6 of Finding His Place, A Kai Gracen short story , we have an amazing $20 GC giveaway and my review, so check out the post and enter the giveaway ❤️ ~Pixie~
Silk Dragon Salsa
(Kai Gracen 04)
SoCalGov Stalker Kai Gracen always knew Death walked in his shadow. Enough people told him that, including his human mentor, Dempsey. Problem was, the old man never told him what to do when Death eventually caught up.
Where Tanic, his elfin father and the Wild Hunt Master of the Unsidhe Court, brought Kai pain and suffering, Dempsey gave him focus and a will to live… at least until everything unraveled. Now caught in a web of old lies and half-truths, Kai is torn between the human and elfin worlds, unsure of who he is anymore. Left with a hollowness he can’t fill, Kai aches to find solace in the one elfin he trusts—a Sidhe Lord named Ryder—but he has unfinished business with Dempsey’s estranged brother, a man who long ago swore off anything to do with the feral elfin child Dempsey dragged up from the gutter.
Reeling from past betrayals, Kai searches for Dempsey’s brother, hoping to do right by the man who saved him while trying to keep ahead of the death haunting his every step. Kai never thought he’d find love or happiness as a Stalker, but when Death comes knocking at his door, Kai discovers a fierce need to live life to the fullest—even if that means turning his back on the people he calls family.
Hi guys! We have Jacqueline Grey popping in today with the tour for her new release Shoot The Moon, we have a brilliant guest post, a great excerpt and a fantastic $10 NineStar GC giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
Shoot The Moon
(Suit of Harte’s 02)
All Adam Kern was looking for when his best friend dragged him to the club Harte was some good dancing and a little flirting to distract him from his troubles. He never anticipated meeting the club owner, Jesse Harte, and having a whole new world of experiences opened up to him. On an impulse, Adam follows Jesse to the upper, kinkier floors of the club where an informative tour ends in a steamy scene that both men are looking forward to repeating. The attraction between the two is scorching and over the next few weeks their adventures into kinky sex are nothing short of daring.
Adam loves the thrill of sex with Jesse but soon a gnawing fear sows doubt into his mind about the possibility of a relationship with the other man. Though he loves every moment he spends with Jesse, he fears what these sexual explorations may mean for him. Jesse is successful, an entrepreneur, and a well-known Dominant in the BDSM community, but Adam cannot see himself as a submissive. What sort of future could they have if he is unable to give his lover what he needs?
Hi guys! We have William C. Tracy stopping by today with the tour for his new release Facets of the Nether, we have a brilliant guest post, a great excerpt and a fantastic $10 Amazon GC giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
Facets of the Nether
(The Dissolution Cycle 02)
William C. Tracy
Sam has saved the Assembly of Species, but at a terrible cost. Locked in his apartment, his memories gone and his best friend abducted, he is once again crippled with anxiety. Meanwhile, Enos struggles to free her brother from imprisonment, alone for the first time in her life. Her true species has been revealed, and there are hints the deadliest of her kind survived an ancient war.
But the Nether contains more secrets. A musical chime disrupts daily life, signaling changes to its very fabric. To solve this mystery, Sam must face his anxiety and confront truths about his memories and unique abilities. Only then can he save his friends from the machinations of the Life Coalition, by understanding the reality behind the Facets of the Nether.
Valerie J. Mikles has a new queer sci fi book out:
The Qinali Virus
Rage. Poverty. Disease.
They’re gone. Every last one.
The cost was great. The population has been devastated. But for the survivors, utopia has arrived.
Then the suspicious death of a young person forces Amber to question her world like she never has before. The Contentedness Council is after her, determined to protect their perfect society. Now Amber must unbury her city’s repressed past, expose the crimes that led to their utopia, and find a way to stop the Council from killing the world… again.
Join astral-projecting asexual Amber and her telepathic sister as they fight to save the human race from extermination!
1, Amber is the only person in her city who inherited the power of astral projection. Most of the previous generation who had the ability died in a war with astral beings, who then put up shields to prevent humans from getting to the astral plane. This is why Amber’s astral projections appear as physical bodies.
2, Amber is the oldest of six kids. Only two of her siblings have opted to use gendered pronouns. Amber sometimes wishes that she hadn’t switched to gendered pronouns.
3, Amber loves to read and learn new things. Her family calls her “Book Dragon” because she hoards books. She enjoys “library mining.”
4, Amber prefers eating lunch alone, but she appreciates that her friend Mara always invites her anyway.
5, Amber has realized that the therapy she was forced to go through after the death of her mother may have made her forget something important about her city’s history.
6, Amber has never had a crush.
7, Amber speaks math as a second language.
8, Amber prefers technologically advanced clothes called “basics.” They repel stains and sweat.
9, Amber compares her obliviousness to sexual and romantic signals to colorblindness. She doesn’t notice when people are flirting with her, even when they point it out. What were you doing? And What did you want?
10, Amber’s favorite science is astronomy. She’s happiest when she’s at the telescope, using it to uncover the secrets of the universe. She gets bored at her day job—using telescopes to track space debris.
Jenise gasped. “Don’t do it.”
“Don’t call for help?” Amber asked, setting the tablet aside. “This is an astral injury. Maybe someone back home can help you.”
“No, please,” Jenise whimpered.
Amber felt her body vibrating and heard a ringing in her ears. The world became hazy and she saw her physical body collapsed on the ground. She hadn’t moved, and when she reached to the side, her hands passed through everything. This was how her book had described the astral plane.
“I did it! I’m here,” she squealed. Then she saw Jenise lying on the ground. A needle-like splinter pierced Jenise’s brain, and her aura seemed to ooze from the wound.
“Oh, this… this is bad…” Amber stammered, gathering the oozing essence back toward Jenise. Her hand went right through the glowing ooze and Jenise’s body. “How can I help you if I can’t touch you? What did the book say?”
“She’s coming for me,” Jenise murmured. Her physical form twitched, the red welts spreading as the needle dug deeper into her brain. Amber tried to clamp Jenise’s chin, but Jenise’s body passed through hers, so she grabbed the needle, and suddenly Jenise went still. She saw the needle because Jenise had described the needle. It was a manifestation of an injury; not a physical injury.
“I can manipulate a manifestation,” Amber murmured. Moving gingerly, Amber extracted the needle from her sister’s brain, and Jenise started to scream.
“Do you want me to stop?” Amber asked. Jenise kept screaming, oblivious to the question.
Gritting her teeth, Amber removed more of the needle, and her sister’s essence gushed from the wound. Amber blew gently on the oozing liquid and it seemed to dissolve into her sister’s skin. Once the needle was out, she molded her hands around her sister’s head, trying to close the wound. Her hands kept passing through Jenise’s skull, making her twitch. Amber didn’t like astral surgery, and she hoped she was helping.
“They’re coming,” Jenise murmured, her hands flailing, passing through Amber’s astral body. She felt her form vibrate and a ringing sound filled her ears.
“No. No, I’m not finished!” Amber cried, feeling an anchor pulling her back to her physical form. She curled into a fetal position, fighting to get back to the astral plane.
Jenise rolled onto her side and spooned behind Amber. “We have to run,” she rasped. “Someone’s coming.”
“Who? Is it Parey? Someone from the Council?” Amber asked. Amber heard the truck now, its wheels crushing the dirt and gravel as it came down the road from Highmere.
“I can’t tell,” Jenise rasped. “Don’t give up, Amber. Don’t go back.”
Amber sensed Jenise’s urgency, but when she saw the truck, she felt relieved. Running meant more isolation and uncertainty. What if Jenise wasn’t really better? Going back to Highmere made sense.
“Let’s go home,” Amber said. “You were scared, Jenise. We were scared. We can say… I don’t know. They’ll give us counseling and then we can go back to our lives.”
“I don’t want to go to brainwashing therapy,” Jenise said.
“Stop calling it that,” Amber explained.
“You don’t even know, do you?” Jenise said. “You don’t remember how you were before Cenn died. What “therapy” did to you.”
“It helped,” Amber insisted, looking hopefully at the truck ambling toward them. “I was a mess. I needed to be able to talk to someone without dumping it on all of you.”
“But you stopped feeling,” Jenise argued. “Not just the grief; you stopped feeling joy. You used to make twittering noises when you read books. You used to get so excited about things that Cenn had to sit you down so you wouldn’t pass out.”
“I’ll be fine. I’ll be calm,” Amber said, fighting for a reason to trust her people. “They want the tablet with Chenna’s research. That’s all this is. A misunderstanding.”
“I was almost misunderstood to death!” Jenise cried, kicking at Amber, and rolling out of reach.
“Jenise, unless you can move, we can’t outrun them,” Amber said. “I am not leaving without you. I—oh, no.”
The stress of the argument made her dizzy and she dropped to her knees. A moment later, she was standing by the road, watching the truck roll by. Her voice caught in her throat, but she didn’t need to call out. The husky man in the passenger seat saw her and hollered, and the truck screeched to a stop. She recognized him from the Council—Tobin Wauld.
“I know we’re not supposed to be here. We’re scared. Can you take us home?” she asked. The weight of fear lifted for a moment, but then Wauld hoisted himself out the window, and drew a long-barreled weapon.
“Well, well, Discontent Delouise. This was too easy,” he smirked.
Amber’s lips quivered and her legs froze. She’d never seen a weapon like that in Highmere, but she’d seen them in that zombie movie. Run, you idiot, her brain shouted. She’d muttered it at the characters in the movies often enough.
He shot Amber with an orange-tipped weapon as he stalked past. She felt the sting of the puncture and a thin stream of liquid dripping into her astral form.
“Tobin, you shot her!” his companion cried.
“We came with tranqs for a reason. We don’t have time to argue with discontents,” Wauld said.
Amber still couldn’t believe a councilperson had shot her. Pretending to faint, she turned and dropped, rolling down the embankment. The moment the truck was out of sight, she willed herself back to her physical body.
“How’d it go?” Jenise asked.
“They shot me,” Amber said. Her whole body was trembling from adrenaline and she could feel the spread of the tranquilizer dart pushing against it.
“Misunderstanding?” Jenise taunted.
“Oh, no. Very clear,” Amber said, blinking away the spots in her vision. She had never experienced violence in Highmere, and she didn’t even know her people had dart guns. The feelings of shock and betrayal hit her in waves, as did a profound sense of loss. This wasn’t a short camping trip that ended with a meek return home anymore.
Valerie loves dancing, writing, astronomy, sci-fi, and grapes. She’s agender, aromantic, and asexual, and even though her labels describe many things she is not, her motto in life is “I can be everything I want, just not all at the same time.”
Although she has yet to get paid to eat grapes, she was delighted to learn that people would pay her to study black holes, and spent much of her twenties as a black hole hunter. She was rewarded with an astronomy PhD, which promptly inspired her to move to L.A. to be a screenwriter. How she ended up working on weather satellites for NOAA, we may never know.
Her passion for story-telling extends back to before she could write, and in fall 2017, she achieved a life dream and published her first book, “The Disappeared.” Valerie currently has six books published in her New Dawn series You can learn more about Valerie’s books on her website: http://www.valeriejmikles.com
An asexual activist, Valerie has written and produced a series of comedic short films featuring asexual characters. You can watch her films online at: http://www.aces-sitcom.com. Her third book ‘Trade Circle’ features an asexual protagonist, and interestingly, she created this character before she even knew there was a word to describe it. She is super-excited about the release of the Qinali Virus, featuring an asexual, aromantic astronomer (and a weather satellite for good measure).
E.M. Hamill has a new queer sci fi book out, book two in the Dalí Tamareia series:
Third-gender operative Dalí Tamareia thought their life as an ambassador ended when they joined a galactic intelligence agency. When they’re yanked out of the field and tapped to negotiate the surrender of deadly bio-engineered warriors who crashed into hostile territory, Dalí is thrust headfirst back into the tumultuous world of galactic diplomacy.
Dalí has faced Shontavians before, but not like these. The stranded mercenaries are highly intelligent and have an agenda of their own. Dalí can’t afford to be distracted from the negotiations by their own demons or the presence of a charming diplomat with a mysterious past.
As a brewing civil war threatens to derail the entire mission, Dalí must use all their skills to bring this dangerous situation to a peaceful end—but the Shontavians may not be the biggest monsters at the table. Someone is determined to see Dalí and their team dead before they discover the brutal truth hiding in the wreckage.
The Music Behind Peacemaker: A Dalí Tamareia Mission
Because I live in a busy house with three other adults and two vocal pets, I often write with noise canceling headphones and some great, atmospheric music playing. I have to write to instrumental music, because words paint such vivid pictures for me they interfere in my creative process.
My son introduced me to trailer music a few years ago: short, intense pieces of music which create a stunning atmosphere and are often used in movie trailers before the actual soundtrack is written. Two Steps from Hell and Audiomachine provided a lot of inspiration for me for the first book; in fact, one particularly heartbreaking scene had a literal soundtrack in Audiomachine’s “Red Sorrow”. While this particular scene didn’t make its way intact into Dalí, there are many other moods and moments which found footing in some great music.
I listen to a lot of Pandora Journey playlists on YouTube, but these books are gritty and violent. Lovely music doesn’t always provide the right kind of inspiration. GRV MegaMix: Hybrid Warwas one of my absolute favorite playlists for writing violent battles and moments of tension in both books.
Last but not least, Gary Numan’sMy Name is Ruinbecame my unofficial theme song for The Dalí Tamareia Missions. I actually paraphrased one of the chorus lyrics in the book because of the feeling it evoked…see if you can figure out which one. It happens in the most intense moment of the book.
My name is ruin, my name is vengeance
My name is no one, no one is calling
My name is ruin, my name is heartbreak
My name is loving, but sorrows and darkness
My name is ruin, my name is evil
My name’s a war song, I sing you a new one
My name is ruin, my name is broken
My name is shameless, I’ll tear you wide open
I hope some of the music helps inspire your own writing!
E.M. is giving away a $15 Amazon gift card with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:
I took a quick turn in the cleanser to rid my skin and hair of the tacky residue left by the decon spray. In the warmth and vibration, I shuddered as the last of the physical characteristics I’d adapted to pass as male shifted back into my neutral, sexless state. My crewmates didn’t expect me to assume a gender, something for which I remained grateful. Without hormone stimulation to drive the change, the process was more painful, and my shoulders complained against the grind of bone and muscle.
I tamed my wavy brown mop as best I could, drawing it into a short, braided queue at the back of my neck before putting on the dress black uniform hanging in my quarters. The white starburst of diplomacy blazed in holographic relief on my left shoulder with the multiarmed spiral of the Remoliad’s sigil on the opposite sleeve.
To be back in the uniform of an ambassador felt strange. Transient reflections in the narrow window showed a me I hadn’t acknowledged in over two years. I barely recognized the echo of who I used to be, a transparent ghost against the stars outside.
The reason I had been pulled out of the field began to make sense, though I still didn’t know what the assignment entailed. Time to find out.
At the closed door of Sumner’s ready room, I tugged at the tunic’s high collar, squared my shoulders, and tapped on the panel to request entry.
“Commander. Permission to enter?”
“Granted.” The door slid aside with his verbal acknowledgment. I stepped through.
Silhouetted by the flicker of busy data screens behind the desk, Sumner wore a black uniform with insignias of diplomatic service similar to mine but without the starburst rank of ambassador. Instead, he wore the pips of an officer in the Remoliad Fleet on the high neck of his collar. He stared at the screen of a PDD, his expression dark and troubled.
Sumner glanced up and a crooked grin formed on his lips as he rose. “Ambassador Tamareia. I haven’t seen you in a while.”
His vocal inflections sounded almost normal, but his eyes still held frost. We were never this formal with each other, a sign of the tension between us.
“I haven’t seen me in a long time either. It feels very strange.” I took a deep breath. “I would like to apologize for my insubordination, especially for what I said in med bay, Commander. I was out of line.” Embarrassment burned in my cheeks, and I lowered my gaze. “I owe Melos and Ziggy more than an apology. I was under the influence on a mission, and I put the lives of my teammates in danger. I will accept the consequences of my actions as you deem appropriate.”
“Grab a chair.” He gestured opposite his desk, and I sat. “I think I owe you an apology as well. I’ve gotten used to autonomy. When some bureaucrat tells me to drop whatever I’m doing and pull my operatives in the middle of a potentially productive mission, it pisses me off. The order to recall you came from so far over my head I got vertigo. The rest is just the frost on the comet, and it pushed me over the line.” He cleared his throat. “I’m sorry for the vendetta remark.”
“No, you were right. I needed to be reminded why I’m here. You promised only that I will be involved when we take them down, not that I would be the instrument.” No matter how badly I wanted the privilege, I had a bigger job to do. “Who told you to recall me?”
His mouth twisted in an ironic smile. “The Remoliad security council.”
My eyebrows threatened to merge with my hairline. “The security council has authority over the Penumbra?”
“Technically. My superior answers to the secretary general, but it’s almost unheard of to receive a direct order from any office.”
“I don’t understand.” I frowned. “Did my mother have anything to do with this?”
“No, Ambassador Urquhart isn’t involved as far as we can tell. We checked since the order was so specific. But I just received more details.” He handed me the data device he’d been scowling at when I came in. “Against all previous declarations of disdain for galactic alliance, the Ursetu recently issued an emergency petition for their planet to become a member of the Remoliad.”
I narrowed my eyes at him and took the PDD. “I saw something about that in my debriefing file. The crown princess is dead?”
“Yes. The queen and her grandson, Prince Razaxha, are still alive.”
“What happened? Was the planet attacked?”
“Yes and no.” He swept his hand and a heads-up display swirled into view between us. “I’ll warn you up front, this is brutal.”
The wreck of some immense ship blighted the forested grounds of a ziggurat-like palace, silhouetted against the backdrop of a sharp black mountain. Columns of smoke and flames traced the outline of warped and twisted debris. The recording lens zoomed in on a section of the disaster where tiny flashes of light sparked and died. As the picture enlarged, I sat forward in shock.
“Enhance this area.” Sumner circled the spot on the heads-up and spread his fingers. The portion of the holovid expanded, grainy, blurred, and blocked by foliage, but I made it out plainly enough. Enormous, gray-skinned figures piled out of the wreckage.
The four-armed beings appeared unstoppable as they swatted aside the Ursetu and their guns, snatched up the soldiers with their sharp-taloned hands and—
A psychic memory of the taste of blood and entrails hit me so hard I fought the urge to vomit.
“Stop the playback!” I drew heavy breaths through my nose until the nausea passed and my heart stopped pounding. Sumner swept his hand over the enlarged holo, reducing details to a safe distance as my mind attempted to process what I’d seen.
A ship hadn’t crashed in the middle of an Ursetu city. It was the orbiting laboratory where Shontavians were engineered and kept isolated until their sale to whomever bought their mercenary services. It crashed into the planet or was deliberately brought down.
The Ursetu faced monsters of their own making—huge, intelligent creatures with the serrated teeth and claws of a predator, created solely for fighting wars. And they had a craving for sentient meat.
Elisabeth “E.M.” Hamill is a nurse by day, unabashed geek, chocoholic, sci fi and fantasy novelist by nights, weekends, and whenever she can steal quality time with her laptop. She lives with her family, a dog, and a cat in the wilds of eastern suburban Kansas, where they fend off flying monkey attacks and prep for the zombie apocalypse.
Her other books include the acclaimed sci fi novel Dalí, the snarky urban fantasy Nectar and Ambrosia, and several short works of fiction. Visit www.elisabethhamill.com for a full list of literary work.
Blurb: Third-gender operative Dalí Tamareia thought their life as an ambassador ended when they joined a galactic intelligence agency. When they’re yanked out of the field and tapped to negotiate the surrender of deadly bio-engineered warriors who crashed into hostile territory, Dalí is thrust headfirst back into the tumultuous world of galactic diplomacy.
Dalí has faced Shontavians before, but not like these. The stranded mercenaries are highly intelligent and have an agenda of their own. Dalí can’t afford to be distracted from the negotiations by their own demons or the presence of a charming diplomat with a mysterious past.
As a brewing civil war threatens to derail the entire mission, Dalí must use all their skills to bring this dangerous situation to a peaceful end—but the Shontavians may not be the biggest monsters at the table. Someone is determined to see Dalí and their team dead before they discover the brutal truth hidden in the wreckage.
Review: Well that ended with a cliff hanger to end all cliff hangers and totally mind blowing!
This is the second Dalí Tamareia and while they should be read in order I never read the first book and I didn’t feel like I’d missed anything that impacted this book, although I’m going to read it now as this story does hint at events in the first book and I want to know more.
Dalí is throwing themself into their work, taking chances and risking their life with a devil may care attitude. Their teammates straighten them out before they are thrown into a dangerous situation where only Dalí may be able to broker a peaceful resolution.
But as Dalí tries to negotiate with the Shontavians someone on the planet wants total control of the dangerous genetically engineered mercenaries and Dalí’s life hangs in the balance.
Well let me tell you I was hooked from the first chapter, the turmoil that Dalí is going through at the beginning of the book draws you in as you see him taking chances that they don’t need to take. Their attitude brings to mind someone who is close to the edge, dancing with death with the secret wish that death will strike them down.
We are drawn into an incredible story where Dalí is drawn back into their true calling of negotiation, and what a situation they are dropped into.
This is a fast paced story that has danger, intrigue, a dash of sex, and a hell of a twist. The world building is wonderful with richly described settings, we are thrown into situations that you can easily image, and with characters that come to life.
Dalí is third gendered so can switch genders, so male or female partners are both to be expected. There isn’t any romance as such, maybe a slight awakening of awareness of feelings.
Now the ending hits you from nowhere, I seriously didn’t see it coming; it was such a huge betrayal and such a slap in the face that I wanted to hunt the betrayer down myself. Many things are discovered during this story with some of them being tied in to what happened to Dalí’s spouses in book 1, another reason to read book 1 😉
All in all I loved this story and was fascinated with how the story unfolded and developed, I can’t wait for book 3 and look forward to what else E.M. Hamill has to entertain us.
I recommend this story to those who love science fiction, great storylines, and intriguing characters.
After a brutal attack that almost killed him, Billy discovered that the monsters from horror movies and myth really do exist, not realizing he was one of them. Now dancing and turning tricks at a dive bar called The Molly House, that caters to lowlife supernaturals, Billy searches for a home and the truth of what he really is.
Meeting Brogan, the sexy and dangerous Alpha of a pack of feral werewolves, Billy is drawn into a battle between Brogan and the High Court, the ruling body of the supernatural world.
When they discover the truth of what Billy really is, will he survive the fight to control him?
To me one of the best parts about writing is the research that goes into a story. This goes for almost every kind of story you might be writing whether it is horror, a romance , and most definitely science fiction. Of course you could just make everything up. It is your story, your world after all but I enjoy when there is a basis in fact.
When thinking of a name for the divey gay bar where Billy works as a gogo dancer and hooker, I wanted it to be one that had some sort of history attached to it and a basis in reality. That is how it came to be called , The Molly House.
Now a molly house was a gay bar in 18th and 19th century England. The most famous owner of a molly house was Mother Clap. It was said she hosted forty plus chaps a night and more on Sundays. At the time gay sex was outlawed under the Buggery Act of 1553 and you could be fined, imprisoned or put to death if convicted.
It was said she loved her customers. She was known to provide false testimony on behalf of her customers who were charged with sodomy. It was this act that got Mother Clap arrested and charged.
According to Rictor Norton in the Trial of Margaret Clap. She was found guilty as charged and was sentenced to stand in the pillory in Smithfield Market, to pay a fine of 20 marks, and to two years’ imprisonment. During her punishment, she fell off the pillory once and fainted several times. It is not known what became of her, if indeed she survived prison.
This is where our story picks up. I thought such a brave woman deserved a little better treatment from history, so I continued her story. After surviving her two year stint in the hellish Newgate prison, Mother Clap fled to the Americas in search of freedom and a new start. In 1730 she opened her new establishment, The Molly House. It became home to the new world’s gay supernaturals that disembarked on America’s shores with all the other immigrants.
Mother Clap lived and died at The Molly House. Her ghost still haunting and keeping a watchful on on her beloved customers.
Brogan stood at the side of the bed and looked down at Billy. When he first saw him unconscious in the back of the truck, he almost lost it. The thought of ripping out the twin’s throats flashed through his mind. They were just following orders. His orders, hurt him but don’t kill him. I must be getting soft. What is this fucking kid doing to me?
Billy woke with a start. Nervous and fearful with Brogan leering over him. He propped himself up on his elbows. The sudden movement made him dizzy. He felt the back of his head. The stitches felt weird but didn’t hurt.
“We sewed you up. Just a couple of stitches.” Brogan explained. “You’re a tough little Sonuvabitch.” Was that a smile? “Sorry about the misunderstanding with the twins. Was my fault.” He tried to keep his tone and ego in check. A slight like Billy committed never went unpunished.”So what are we going to do?”
“I gotta couple of ideas.” Fear gave him smart mouth. “Where’s Sheila? What did you do to her?” Billy sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed. He was pissed and concerned for his only friend. Thismotherfucker lied to me, he played me with what I wanted to hear.
“She’s a tough girl. She knows the score.”
“Why should I believe you? You already lied to me.” Billy was standing his ground. Chin jutted out in defiance. His heart beating fast.
“Go ahead.” Brogan tossed Billy his cellphone. He didn’t like to be challenged, especially by some little pup. He waited while Billy called Sheila. He allowed them only a few minutes of conversation before he cut them off and tried to take the phone back. Billy waved him off and kept talking. Brogan slapped the phone out of his hand. “Don’t defy me boy.”
Brogans face twisted in rage. He grabbed Billy by the throat. His left hand squeezed tight. Billy tried to pry the himself free but Brogan’s grip was solid, unbreakable. Those hands were made to be wrapped around his neck. A perfect fit.
“I don’t know whether to gut ya or fuck ya.” He barked out the words, eyes wide and sparkling with madness. Billy’s face grew bright red but he did not loosen his hold. “No one ever made me feel the way you do. I could have given you the fucking world. Why the hell did ya do a runner?”
There it was . It was the fact the kid left him that twisted his guts. The diamonds were not even a concern at this moment. He was wounded, hurt after being left. Brogan had opened himself and gave a small look into his heart and was rejected.
Billy heard the words and wanted to believe. After all, he wasn’t dead. He clutched at the hand tightening around his throat. He could feel the power coursing through him. Billy’s nature peeked through as he started gettinghard. The tighter the squeeze, the more aroused he became. Brogan watched the twink’s bulge grow as his cock got excited. He grew close to blacking out again but he fought it.
The wolf released his throat and dropped him onto the bed. Billy had a coughing fit and tears ran down his puffy red cheeks. Brogan threw his hands in the air, “For fucks sake, boy.” He was frustrated by the confusingemotions the boy raised up in him.
“Why?” Billy’s voice was raw. ‘Ya wanna know why? Those stones offered me a better life. One where I didn’t have to scrounge in dumpsters for some scraps of food or give a blowjob to some rando for twenty bucks.”
“I told you to stay and ya wouldn’t have to worry about that shit anymore.” His mind raged at the thought of BIlly giving head to some skell, letting them paw at that beautiful body. Violating him.
“Ya think I haven’t heard that line before. Some dude promising me the world, a home. Only to find out it was just some bullshit. That they just wanted to fuck then my ass is kicked to the curb like the trash.” He said. “You, me, we were fucked up out our minds. How could I trust what you said? And believe me, I wanted too. oh, fuck did I want too. I thought I felt a real connect between us, like nothing I ever felt before.”
Billy long denied what and who he enjoyed. The strong hand, taking what it wanted. To give in and let someone dominate him, giving them everything. A man who wanted him with such passion and need. Billy looked atthe man framed between the v of his thighs.
“I hunger for you like no other. ” Brogan broke free and let it all spill. “Not just to plow that fucking sweet ass but the thought of anyone else touching you.” He shook his head. The lustrou black hair falling into his face. “ I alone want to possess you. The thought of another man touching ya drives me mad. I would fucking kill em.” His voice low and growly.
“I want to but … I’m scared.” Oh god yes. Just say yes, let go of all that bullshit. The idea that Brogan would be so jealous to murder over him, excited Billy. It pulled at his twisted sense of love. Would he kill metoo? Just jump into the abyss.
“Listen, Billy.” He fell to his knees at the side of the bed, hands rested atop Billy’s knees. “Sheila says we’ve bonded and whether that’s love, I don’t fucking know. I’m not sure I even know what love is but..” he drifted off, not sure of the right word to say. “What I do know is I can’t stand to be apart from you. It’s like a knife in me guts. I want to protect you. To take care of you and see you happy. I ain’t promising you white picket fences and flowers. We live fast and we live hard, come what may. Stop trying to live how they tell us we should live. That bullshit is for the normals not feral creatures like us.” No poetry just honesty. Something in short supply in Billy’s life. “Join our pack and run with us. Run with me?” Please say yes so I don’t have to chain you to this bed and just take what I want.
New tears ran down Billy’s face. He’s right, stop living for them and live for you. Take this chance, give in to it.
“The only love I knew was from my mom.” He tried to summon a clear memory of her but the image was blurred and faded. His heart hurt. “I didn’t even have that for long. I guess we’re both fucked up in that department. Even if you said you loved me, I wouldn’t buy it or even if I did, I wouldn’t know how to handle it. I understand wanting and needing, those I can deal with it.”
“Know this. If you accept me then you are mine. There is no walking away from it. You will belong to me.” He stood up at the edge of the bed, looking down at Billy. Brogan barely maintained control. it was hard to not just take the boy and force him to be his. “So what will it be?”
“So I will be your property for to fuck and beat when it suits ya?” Billed asked. “What every boy dreams of.”
“Oh, I will fuck you and fuck you often but I won’t abuse ya. I ain’t me da who liked to batter the ones he said he loved.” Brogan was serious. “I will protect and care for you, that is what I’m offering.”
“Yes.” The sound came out small but packed a punch. He cried with happiness, fear and release. The head of his cock pushing out of the jock. “Please, take everything I have. Make me disappear.” He whimpered in need. “I will be yours.”
Brogan licked his lips. He was hungry and the beast needed to be fed. Now. There was no way he wasn’t going to fuck this boy right now. After last night and today, his balls ached to unload in him.
He took billy’s face in his hands, his lips hovered over the boy’s. “You are mine now.” His breath hot and heavy. “I wanna swallow you whole.” The big bad wolf was going to devour little red riding hood.
“I need you inside me.” Giving in to brogan and his own appetites was exhilarating. It felt so…good. “Claim me as yours.” Billy unbuttoned his jeans. He started squirming out of them when Brogan grabbed the pant legs and roughly yanked them off.
Brogan crawled up in between Billy’s legs, forcing them to spread wide. Billy groaned under the weight of the big man. Long strong thighs holding him prisoner. There was no escaping this. There will be a reckoning. Billy loved the way Brogan’s hair fell and covered his face. Brogan reared back on his knees, undid the button and zipper of his jeans, pushing them down past his ass, letting out his meat. Rigid and fat, his cock stuck straight out, a piece of iron oozing precum. The size of his hard dick made Billy mewl again, his hole instinctively tightened. The sound triggered Brogan, calling to the wolf within him. It demanded to be released. Brogan spit into his hand then ran up and down his length. He slicked up his cock. Billy’s hips rolled and bucked, anxious and desperate to get fucked. A cat in heat writhing and mewling. Their bodies burned with pent up desire and frustration, with need. His hands dug into Brogan’s sides, demanding he continue.
Shamelessly, Billy reached for his ass and spread his cheeks. His hole presented to Brogan, who leaned in with his hips and pushed into him. He felt that heat as Billy’s ass opened and took in the engorged head. It stretched him wide. Billy bit his lip and whimpered. Brogan almost shot his load when he heard him. The young blond lifted his hips higher in the air to accommodate the hard cock. Billy didn’t have a chance to grow accustomed to the intrusion. One more thrust and Brogan slide in all the way.
Tommy developed a love of books, from autobiographies to science fiction, at an early age. After trying many careers paths such as soldier, mailman, club promoter and party decorator and with the publication of “Feral Creatures” has finally decided to pursue his first love of writing.
Born in the Bronx, he has lived in a variety of places from Germany to Phoenix. He now lives outside of new York City with his husband and a rotating cast of family and friends who are constantly coming and going.
Hi guys! We have Kim Fielding and F.E. Feeley Jr. stopping by today with the tour for their upcoming release Hallelujah we have a fantastic guest post, a great excerpt and a brilliant $20 Amazon GC giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Mel~
Kim Fielding and F.E. Feeley, Jr.
Can you hear it?
Whispering in the dark.
Secrets only the dark knows.
Joseph Moore, choir director for the First Baptist Church of Lenora, Nebraska, has secrets of his own. Terrible, lonely secrets. One that involves natural human desire. One that calls forth powers he cannot begin to understand. Both with the potential to destroy him and those he loves.
Now the world is changing. The darkness, the shadows, the ghosts, are closing in—and Joseph and his lover, Kevin, are being stalked by a merciless demon, hell-bent on possession.