Today I welcome the authors of The Demon of Hagermarsh, Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus. They were kind enough to answer a few questions. Oh, and they've got their own WiKi. How cool is that? The artwork for this book is nothing short of amazing.
1) Tell us what the book is about.
'The Demon of Hagermarsh' is about a young knight in service of the Emperor, being sent undercover to a remote fishing village to investigate a potential demonist cell. Mostly, the book deals with him figuring out what is going on in town, figuring out if he really wants a romantic relationship with the cute baker, and figuring out how to use his powers in a way that doesn't create too much collateral damage.
2) What's the genre of the book? How about the series of Sir Yaden’s adventures?
Mainly, the book is a mix of adventure and MM romance in a space opera setting, maybe with a dash of mystery and New Adult. The following books will have more adventure, bromance, romance and intrigue.
3) How does the book relate to the entire series?
'The Demon of Hagermarsh' takes place in a relatively confined setting. Just one town, and it's not about saving the world, just about not letting things get worse than they are. Over the course of the series, though, the stakes will be getting higher, and the settings progressively larger and wildly diverse. More like dipping the toe into the water than a full-on assault of all the setting has to offer; which would have been a bit much for a first book, in our opinion.
4) Will all novels in the series be romances?
No. While there will be other romances, most of the novels will have an adventure core with romance, bromance and family subplots.
5) So the main character is a young knight?
Yes, Yaden is the latest addition to the Emperor's Lotus Knights. Think of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table - confidants and representatives, doing good in the name of the Emperor. Though in this case, without the shining armour.
6) The main character is supernaturally gifted, a psion. What is psionics?
Psionics in this setting is the power to influence the material world with your mind alone. The main character is a petrakinetic, able to shape and move rock and soil as he likes - well, as long as he's got enough energy to do it. He grew up on a planet with a lot of volcanic activity and frequent earthquakes, and powerful as he is, he saved a lot of lives back there. But the power to tame a volcano is not necessarily what you need when trying to smoke out a demonist coven, and in combat situations, it's way too prone to cause significant collateral damage. So while quite a powerful Psion, our main character has a lot to learn before he's got a handle on the 'hero in the name of the Emperor' business.
7) I've seen there's an entire wiki detailing this universes background, 99.9% of which does not appear in this novel. Why all the work and will I be able to understand the novel without knowing all the information?
Yes, the world building that has gone into this novel is huge, indeed.
But 'The Demon of Hagermarsh' offers only a tiny slice of all this. That is why we decided on such a restricted setting and relatively simple plot for the first book. While almost none of the information in the wiki are mentioned in the book itself, all of it makes for an organically grown, consistent and 'lived-in' universe. Each encounter, each viewpoint is based on all of the background world building and that shines through.
After discussion with our beta readers, we cut the last remaining bits of exposure, confident that we have managed to create a setting that feels both delightfully alien and comfortably familiar at the same time that is sufficiently organic that it doesn't need datadumps.
10) Through 'memory'-chapters we get to know the past of our main characters. Why did you choose this way to give this information in small doses?
The 'memory'-chapters offer an additional dimension to the characters' motivations and attachments. While the story itself could be read perfectly without them, they cast a light on values and relationships that might not be instantly obvious to a reader. Especially concepts like slavery and aristocracy, whích are not central to the story, but inform every character's interaction to a certain degree.
If we had put them into the primary story, they would have felt like inorganic insertions - no one ever feels the need to state the obvious in the middle of the day. But offering these 'memory' chapters gave us the chance to illustrate those crucial moments in a - hopefully - lively and engaging way.
9) Even if I had no interest in sci-fi – is there a highlight that I would be missing if I didn’t read the novel?
Well, one thing that is a highlight in our eyes is the world building - grown over two decades by now, it's neither Hard SF nor Grimdark, but a wild patchwork of different cultures, beliefs and values, very colourful. We love reading and telling culture clash stories, as those always deepen our understanding of our own culture and our perceptions of what is 'normal'.
And maybe the more important way in which the 'Virasana Empire' for us is uniquely different is the positive outlook. The setting is pretty grim in many places, but it is never hopeless. If anything, it's on an overall upswing, and things, as bad as they might be, are improving, little by little.
As with all our books, we guarantee a happy ending. Only we're not telling how that may look, and considering the settings' options, it's gonna be both pretty out there and yet whole-heartedly human and soulful.
Just one example: The main character's family is the emotional pivotal point of the entire series. But the problems they deal with will never be problems they have with each other. They will face external problems, figure out how they all can contribute to solving them, and get shit done.
10) What is the next adventure readers can look forward to that Sir Yaden will have to tackle?
The next adventure sends Yaden to 'The Windmines of Bora Bora', which is a penal slave hard labour camp on a moon of Yaiciz. It's a dark, snarky adventure and bromance novel, and it's already available for preorder at all the usual retailers!
Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus have a new MM fantasy book out: The Demon of Hagermarsh.
“The Emperor cares for each and every one of his subjects.”
Many consider the catchphrase of the imperial Lotus Knights to be nothing more but well-polished propaganda, but for Yaden, it is a way of life.
A young Lotus Knight himself, his first mission in service of the Emperor sends him to the remote village of Hagermarsh, a suspiciously friendly place on a planet known for its inhospitable people. But how to uncover a demonist coven when nothing bad ever happens?
Getting to know the villagers only complicates things - the motherly fishmonger surely isn’t a demonist. Nor the gruff leader of the local militia. And definitely not the cute baker from across the street.
Or are they?
Come discover a dazzling, hopeful universe of knights and monsters, of psions, aliens and ancient deities! The Demon of Hagermarsh is the first book of ‘Sir Yaden’, an epic SF saga of grand adventure, romance, bromance and family, set in the multi-faceted Virasana Empire. It is a romantic adventure and can be read as a standalone.
Instantly, Yaden was on his feet and in the sales room, only to realise that he had absolutely no reason to do so except for his curiosity, but now it was too late for a credible retreat.
“Good day, Sir,” he greeted Colin, hoping he'd come across as a diligent shop servant and not some weirdo.
Colin looked a little startled at his sudden appearance, but he gave him that sunny smile of his. “Good day, Yaden. I thought I'd break with tradition and come in first, so the rest of them can follow. Me being the other most recent newcomer to the village and all.”
“Oh?” So that was why Colin seemed so out of place in Hagermarsh. “You're not from here either?”
“Actually I sort of am. My family has owned that bakery for generations. But my mother and her sister ran away to Schimmelbach. They hated this place, so, I wasn't born here.”
“Really? But what's to hate here? Hagermarsh seems pretty nice so far.”
“I don't actually know,” Colin replied with another smile, this time bittersweet. “Mother died when I was little, so Aunt Mildred raised me. And she rarely talked about their time in Hagermarsh.”
“So there's a terrible, dark secret to this village?” Yaden tried to keep his tone down and not too hopeful.
Colin laughed out loud. “In Hagermarsh? If there is one, I haven't been initiated yet. I only moved here a few years ago, when my Grandpa died and I took over the bakery. And so far, it's been the nicest place I've ever lived in.”
Not a useful lead. Yaden feverishly tried to figure out a way to ask more questions without making their conversation sound too much like an interrogation, until he noticed that Colin was looking at him with that beaming smile of his. It made him terribly nervous.
“So ... What are you looking to buy?” Inelegant, but at least it was a way out.
“A few odds and ends. We do need the General Store to open again. Which reminds me, can I have my basket back, yet?”
“Actually, I dropped it off with your apprentice yesterday. Didn't he tell you?” Yaden had specifically told the youth to let his master know, but had only received the usual grunt in return.
Colin groaned dramatically. “Rory! That lazy foghead is going to be the death of me one day! Eithne insisted that regular work would be good for him and he would improve, but I swear he is getting worse. That's what you get for listening to a kind old lady trying to barter off one of her grandsons.”
“I'm … sorry?”
“No, no, not your fault at all.” Colin's smile was back again in a blink. How could a man smile that much? “I'll deal with him. After all, he is my apprentice and I'm responsible for him. I'll get him into shape eventually.” He pulled a small note from his pocket, scanned it and for the first time properly looked around the sales room, his eyes going wide. “Wow! This is so orderly. And so much. It looks like you have at least one of everything.”
Before moving from Erys to Lagoona, Yaden would have agreed. He vividly remembered the first time he and Darios had visited one of the big shopping malls in Ridge, the highrise quarter of Agami, and gaped at the sheer amount of stuff on sale they hadn't even known existed. They sure had felt like clueless country bumpkins. But after a year in the Empire's capital, he had gotten used to it to a point where the General Store's range of goods felt rudimentary to him.
“Mostly I need a new pen and a whole bunch of different spices.” Colin smiled at Yaden hopefully. “Could you show me where everything is?”
“Sure, though we may not have exotic spices in stock. But we can order them for you.”
“That would be great. Okay, let me see. Most urgently, I need some garnak, ideally whole pods, and some dried lurka leaves. Do you have any terran caraway, by chance?”
There wasn't much assistance Yaden could offer, apart from showing him where they kept the spices. Deciphering the labels on the tins would have taken him much longer than Colin. But he recognized them at a glance, and Yaden stayed with him to portion out the amounts he needed and bring them over to the counter.
When Colin followed him to the counter, he noticed Darios properly for the first time and did a double take at his size.
“Master Darios, who actually owns the store,” Yaden introduced.
Darios greeted Colin with an amicable grunt and put his book down to ring up Colin's purchases.
“I promised Master Colin a discount in exchange for his welcoming bread,” Yaden reminded him.
“Oh, no, that is absolutely not necessary.”
Colin looked embarrassed, but Darios glanced at Yaden with a decidedly amused twinkle in his eye. Instead of figuring in a discount, he pulled two extra pencils from the box he kept under the counter and pushed them over to Colin.
“Thank you.” He smiled first at Darios and then at Yaden again. For a Leichnami he smiled suspiciously much, but his smile was warm and pretty and Yaden couldn't bring himself to mind. “Well, I should be on my way before the rest of Hagermarsh starts wondering whether you have eaten me.”
Walking him to the door was ridiculous, of course, but Yaden trailed behind him.
“Will I see you at the scribba training tonight?” Colin asked when he stepped out onto the porch.
“I thought that is only for the fighting citizens?”
Colin shook his head. “No, it's a bit of a social gathering, too. Lots of people standing around, drinking beer and giving useless advice to us poor fork-wielding folk.” He smiled yet again. “I could introduce you to some of the younger villagers.”
Yaden gave an exaggerated shudder. “I'm not sure I want to meet them if they are anything like Bridget from next door,” he grabbed the opportunity to gather more information.
“Oh, so you met Bridget?” Colin's smile gained a decidedly snarky edge. “Did she give you the 'in this village we don't tolerate any bullying and you better not step out of line' speech?”
“Actually, she asked me lots of questions. And she gave me the 'if anyone bullies you, I'll protect you' speech.”
“She did?” Colin looked amused and indignant at the same time. “Now, why do you look worthy of protection to her and I get treated like a ticking time bomb?”
“I don't know. Maybe I look harmless?” Which was more than a little ridiculous considering what Yaden was capable of.
“Mmh,” Colin huffed and shrugged. “Granted, Bridget is a bit odd. But there are some nice folks in Hagermarsh. They only act gruff when there is a chance of strangers observing them. Hagermarsh is a real community where people look out for each other. I think you'll like it here.”
Colin gave him that movie-star smile again, but Yaden had to struggle keeping up his own.
Those last sentences had triggered all alarms in Yaden's head. All of that sounded way too much like propaganda, crafted to keep the population calm, happy and ignorant of any ugly things happening behind the scenes. It sounded very much like the slogans the Lotus Pavilion PR team had drummed into his head. Colin had even the right kind of wholesome handsomeness that made believing such stories so easy. If Yaden managed to pinpoint where this propaganda was coming from, he'd be on the right track.
“See you at the training, tonight?” Colin asked.
Yaden only managed an affirmative grunt.
“Looking forward to it. Oh, and you may wanna bring some beer. That'll go a long way in making you less of a stranger.”
Yaden grunted again. Maybe not beer, but he had unpacked a whole crate of different kinds of schnapps and brandy earlier. Those would surely work just as well. He managed a parting smile before Colin turned around and left across the road.
We are Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus, a couple currently living our happily ever after in the very heart of Germany, under the stern but loving surveillance of our cat.
Both of us are voracious but picky readers, we love telling stories and drinking tea, good food and the occasional violent movie. Together, we write novels of adventure and romance, hoping to share a little of our happiness with our readers.
Beryll: An artist by heart, Beryll was writing stories even before she knew what letters were. As easily inspired as she is frustrated, her own work is never good enough (in her eyes). A perfectionist in the best and worst sense of the word at the same time and the driving creative force of our duo.
Osiris: An entertainer and craftsman in his approach to writing, Osiris is the down-to-earth, practical part of our duo. Broadly interested in almost every subject and skill, with a sunny mood and caring personality, he strives to bring the human nature into focus of each of his stories.
Author Website: http://www.brackhaus.com/
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011014541510
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/Brackhaus
Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brackhaus/
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6427435.Osiris_Brackhaus
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Osiris-Brackhaus/e/B00IVTRO2E
Whiskey and Moonshine has recently become available in audio!
Drunk on love.
Like a well-aged whiskey, master distiller and old-money entrepreneur Malone Kensington is elegant and refined. Unfortunately he’s also a perfectionist who is more dedicated to the success of his generations-old company than his own love life.
That company needs a public spokesman.
What Colton Hale lacks in sophistication, he more than makes up for with the charisma that’s allowed him to survive on the street from a young age and charm his way into the lucrative—if overwhelming—public position at the Kensington Distillery. When Mal takes Colt under his wing, hoping to polish off his rough edges, opposites attract and a passionate romance blossoms despite the differences in age and background. But can it survive a Kensington Board of Directors who believe Colt is nothing but a gold digger and a kidnapper determined to profit from the love of Mal’s life—dead or alive?
Electric Candle eBook only 99c
There is still time to grab your copy of Electric Candle for 99c
When a vampire finds his soul mate, the bond is forever. It’s love at first sight. Or is it?
Flint, Ohio, Homicide Detective Jonas Forge has been a vampire for nearly two hundred years. He’s fought wars, seen life go from the simple but hard colonial days to the modern, high-tech world. He’s evolved with the times, adapting with each new era, blending into each new life. The one constant is his best friend and lover, Declan.
Until Forge’s soul mate tumbles, literally, into his life.
Even though they’re not fated to be together forever, Forge and Declan are perfectly happy. Despite the pheromone attracting him to his soul mate, Forge isn’t thrilled with the guy, and the feeling seems mutual. While trying to adjust to his clumsy soul mate and equally awkward feelings, Forge is on the hunt for the serial killer who’s leaving a trail of bodies, and who witnesses can’t identify. But Forge better watch out. When his work collides with his love life, things really heat up.
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It all began with Home Coming. The story continues! The Art of Domination, book 2 of Pain and Pleasure is scheduled for an August 2019 release! Stay tuned for more details.
Author Bio & Links
Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.
Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!
As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel, all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.
Linktree (for all other links): https://linktr.ee/nickijmarkus
Hello and welcome my guest today, Madeira Desouza with his newest release, Baja Clavius. He was gracious enough to answer a question for me.
How did you choose the topic for this book?
Years ago, I was driving alone very early in the morning on my way to the Grand Canyon in Arizona through the vast Navajo Nation.
Due to persistent nightmares, I had not slept well the night before at a motel where tourists stay when they are visiting nearby Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Utah. Well before dawn I was awakened abruptly and could not get back to sleep. So, I hurriedly checked out of that roadside motel and got back behind the wheel of my 4x4 to continue driving westward.
I was reeling from the fears caused by dreams I’d had the night before about my impending death. I did not want to die that day. But I got distracted when I saw a young native American Indian man hitchhiking on the side of the road standing next to his Jeep.
He wore tattered cowboy attired that suggested he had just survived a particularly rough journey. His white cowboy hat caught the soft yellow light of sunrise in an eerie way that created an aura around his head. When I saw that, I immediately was convinced he was not from Earth.
I set aside what should have been common sense regarding the risks of picking up a stranger in a very isolated area where my body would never be found. I became convinced this young Navajo male was a time travel agent from the future. I started writing about him and his adventures traveling to the past and that grew into what is now Baja Clavius.
Madeira Desouza has a new gay erotic sci fi tale out: Baja Clavius.
This controversial science fiction adventure depicts gay male time travel agents with very bad behaviors. They are violent and immoral men.
A few hundred years from now, these time travel agents work within a top-secret agency located beneath the crater Clavius on the moon. Their time-travel missions take them to Earth in the past where they ruthlessly manipulate man who are targeted for their roles in the outcomes of historical events such as the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
Madeira is giving away a $20 Amazon gift certificate with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:
Yesterday I was lost and I died. Today I am alive again. I accept the truth about foregone tomorrows and my resurrections from the dead.
I do not claim to be a believer in a deity or a religion. Yet, I have personally experienced being repeatedly brought back to life after death. Something far more powerful than us human beings resurrected me. And now, everything I have learned about living, dying, and then coming back for more is presented here.
I have been coerced into creating this journal of my experiences. I will suffer if I am less than completely truthful. I will be held prisoner until I have completed this in full.
I work for a top-secret international agency that is so deeply concealed nobody could possibly find it. Baja Clavius is the name of the international base of operations where I live. It is from that base that I travel in time to work assignments on Earth.
Desperate efforts by others to censor this work all have ended in failure. Just to confuse you, others have circulated conflicting versions of this. But I defeated all my enemies who wanted to prevent you for seeing this.
I begin by sharing my memories of being back in my home state of Arizona—on foot trudging through the desert under dark, threatening thunderclouds that do not diminish the hottest day I have ever felt in my entire life. Through an unexpected break in the storm clouds, I see bright white sunlight and the most magnificent color of blue sky. Up there above me a haunting full moon commands my attention.
Sticking out of the landscape under the ominous skies is a mechanical structure apparently made mostly of wood. As I walk closer to the device, it looks to me as though it was created specifically to slow down the process of hanging a man by the neck so that he will experience extended agony before his death.
Hung from a thick brown rope wrapped around a wheel wench is a muscular, shirtless, and barefoot man with his arms unbound struggling desperately to stay conscious as his neck is crushed in the noose. I see his high cheekbones and long dark brown hair that is tied behind his neck into a queue. I watch his bare feet kick the sky.
I notice a pair of unattended video cameras on tripods positioned nearby on the desert floor pointing toward the hanging machine. Why would anyone go to the trouble of videotaping this man’s death by ritual hanging?
I know that I have met him previously. But this man whose name I cannot remember somehow seems to hold a distinct place at the very center of faulty recollections in my brain.
Off in the distance fifty meters or so to the west of my location, I can see four men wearing cowboy attire running away. I must have scared them away when I approached. But they left that helpless man to die on their hanging machine.
He is someone who seems obviously capable of having put up very considerable resistance against this merciless fate. His powerful body attracts my full attention. He looks like he is about thirty years old—the same age as me. His legs wildly swing in all possible directions as I reach the hanging machine. He desperately tries to reach his hands up to his neck as if it somehow were possible to free himself from the noose. But that is impossible! He groans when he sees me as if to try and tell me something.
His faded blue jeans are too tight for him. I stare at his bulging crotch as he dances in the air at the end of a rope. I marvel at his incredible masculinity contrasted with utter vulnerability. This man looks strong and tough. He must certainly be capable of protecting himself against anyone with success. But, not now.
He cannot save himself. He is simultaneously very manly and totally defenseless. This precise opposing combination of traits is, I’m sure, why men watch executions of other men.
His deep, dark eyes remain open, defiantly staring outward into the eerie sky. He resumes his kicking, but much more forcefully now.
His tight blue jeans emphasize his growing bulge. He has attained a full erection ahead of what will be his final ejaculation into his jeans. There is intense humiliation on his face. His body jerks wildly. As he shoots his last load in his pants, his neck cannot withstand the crushing force of the noose. I am stunned because I did not expect to see his body spasms, kicking, and curling of his toes.
Very suddenly, he just stops struggling. His body no longer can fight back against the effects of gravity and the noose that has applied fatal pressure to his vulnerable neck. I watch him desperately try to open his mouth to breathe, but he has no life remaining in him. I am overwhelmed with intense anger and shock as I slump to the ground. I cry without any shame for this stranger. I feel stunned by my sexual attraction to him. It is as if I have lost someone who has been very significant to me and to my life.
Even though I feel instinctively that I have suffered memory loss, I can remember where I work. I especially remember being inside some kind of cylindrical blue machine.
The inside of the circular blue glass machine was filled with a milky white liquid. It was translucent and unpleasant. It smelled like chemicals. I was naked. I felt like I was drowning. But I knew I was not going to drown. Something has taught me that I cannot die. I know with absolute certainty that I do not know death. I live on and on. But, I have so many questions that I cannot answer. Why am I repeatedly resurrected? Will I live forever?
Madeira Desouza is a gay male author. He focuses upon telling stories about mature, masculine men who are sexually attracted to other mature, masculine men. He steers clear of several deeply embedded traits of American gay culture that can be found in film and in print--eccentric or flamboyant behaviors, alkyl nitrites, dance music, trendy clothing, trendy hair, gay men who think age 30 is old, and so forth.
Desouza's creative works belong within the bara genre. This little word is shortened from barazuko. Translated from Japanese, it means rose-tribe, which is a code phrase for gay men. Originated in Japan decades ago as gay men created works for other gay men, this genre has not yet been widely embraced internationally. Perhaps this is because bara bara depicts same-sex feelings and sexual attraction to masculine, muscular men who sometimes behave in aggressive, violent, or exploitative ways towards one another.
As both a storyteller and digital artist Desouza explores conflicting and opposing compulsions that all men have. On one side there are impulses men have towards sustaining life, engaging in love, and being attracted to others. In the opposing direction are impulses men have towards being aggressive, engaging in violence, and, causing pain and death. For centuries, artists and storytellers around the world have found inspiration in these two opposing human compulsions that no man is able to resist or impede merely by his conscious will alone.
Author Website: https://bajaclavius.com/
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/madeira.desouza
Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/desouzaofvegas/
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/machodesouza
Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/masculine_men_images/
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Madeira-Desouza/e/B008HL3B3C/
They thought to bury us. They never saw that we were seeds. Seeds of glass and steel, stronger and more resilient than either.
A Gifted Guilds novel
Hi, there – I’m Jackie Keswick and – first of all – a big thank you to Elizabeth for letting me visit and talk about my latest release. Healing Glass is a fantasy novel about a glass master, a warrior and a floating glass city.
For me, Healing Glass began with meeting Minel, as he contemplates the final piece of glass he’s wrought, convinced he’ll never make another one.
The glass carafe spun on its chain, propelled in slow swirls and small circles by the gentle breeze drifting through the wide-open doors to the roof garden. A rainbow of sparkles washed over the room’s white walls with each of its movements, bringing memories of the endless sky, of sun and sea, and the expanse of green that reached from the shore towards the horizon.
Minel lay on the floor and watched his masterpiece sway and spin. The carafe was perfect. Graceful lines and flawless material marked the craftsmanship as that of a true artist. Joy poured from each facet and curve and suffused the room until Minel felt the hum against his skin. A fitting tribute to his imagination, the carafe showed his mastery of that most difficult, fragile, and most expressive of all materials: glass.
He'd designed and crafted it to bring joy to others. Now it swung on its chain over Minel’s head, bringing joy to no one but Minel. The carafe would never be used. It would spend its days nestled in a bed of velvet, displayed as a testament to Minel’s command of his craft. A tombstone to the joy he’d thought to create.
Because Minel was dying.
There is a cure for the disease that is killing Minel, but he has no desire to hand himself over to a stranger. And once he’s made up his mind, Minel is rather stubborn.
Enter the other half of the equation, warrior captain Falcon. Equally gifted, but affiliated to the Warriors Guild, Falcon has been Minel’s best friend for years. Craft masters and warriors rarely mix, but ever since Minel and Falcon met, they’ve made it work.
That there’s some unacknowledged attraction simmering between them doesn’t hurt the matter, either.
When Falcon hears of Minel’s decision, he can’t stay away. If he can’t change Minel’s mind, at least he wants to be with him, looking after him, comforting him. He doesn’t expect to be drawn into the politics of the floating city, but if it saves Minel’s life, he’s game.
And Minel… he never thought that his decision could mean life or death for the floating city. He’s convinced that Falcon’s a walking temptation and that it will all end badly. But he’s also beginning to find that maybe his death isn’t quite as inevitable as he thought.
Healing Glass is a story about making choices and sticking to them, even when those choices have unforeseen consequences. My glassmaster, Minel, is both reluctant and stubborn, but he’s true to himself even if it costs him his home and almost his life. But he stands up and shows what he’s made of when it’s Falcon’s life or the floating city that are under threat.
Those who come after him should have remembered that it’s unwise to cross a man who has something to protect.
A dying city.
An ancient, forgotten accord.
And two gifted men caught in a web of greed and dark magic.
Despite belonging to different guilds, glass master Minel and warrior captain Falcon are friends. Their duties keep them apart, but when Minel falls ill and chooses death rather than the only known cure, nothing can keep Falcon from his side.
As their friendship grows into more, old wrongs and one man’s machinations threaten the floating city and leave both Minel and Falcon fighting for their lives. Can they learn to combine their gifts to save the city and its magic, or will everything they know and love perish before their eyes?
Healing Glass is an LGBT fantasy adventure with its head in the clouds. If you like medieval backdrops, impressive world-building, three-dimensional characters and a touch of magic, then you'll love Jackie Keswick's socially-conscious adventure.
Buy Healing Glass to visit the floating city today!
Where to buy Healing Glass
Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurring dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She's worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.
Jackie loves unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who don't follow the rules when those rules are stupid. She blogs about English history and food, has a thing for green eyes, and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat.
And she still hasn't found the place where the bus stops.
For questions and comments, not restricted to green eyes, bus stops, or recipes for traditional English food, join her in Jackie’s Kitchen on Facebook or find her in all the usual places:
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/JackiesKitchen/
Hurri Cosmo has a new MM paranormal shifter tale out: Once Upon a Wolf.
Hawk is alone, hiding from the world, living in a tiny, rickety cabin his grandfather built. He has few supplies and fewer yet of the skills needed to survive on his own, but because of what he did, because of what his father caused him to do… well, there’s just no other choice.
But then one day “Ghost” shows up. A large lone wolf who begins to “take care of” Hawk. He brings him game, he protects him from predators, and he even pulls him from a raging river. He is Hawk’s only friend and Hawk begins to talk to ghost as if he is human and can understand.
Except Ghost isn’t human.
Yes, Ghost has filled a void in Hawk’s life, and he is very grateful, but he is a wolf and Hawk needs the company of a human. In fact, Hawk is desperately lonely, to the point he even tells Ghost he longs for the touch of a man, the first time he has ever said such a wicked thing out loud.
Then one full-moon night a large, beautiful naked man breaks into the cabin and grabs Hawk, looming over him like he wants to eat him alive. At first Hawk is terrified, but then he realizes the stranger has Ghost’s amazing golden eyes...
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Taking care of the man was proving to be a little more intense then Ghost first thought it would be. Comical, too. Feeding him was no challenge but keeping him from killing himself with his eagerness for life certainly was turning out to be.
His own readiness for something just out of reach every time he was with the man was also a huge trial. Something quite unusual had happened in the river this morning. Something unexplainable, even by Ghost’s standards. For a moment in time, a time of great desperation, he had been able to hang on to his human with more than just paws. He couldn’t see, the water and the situation too demanding for that. But Ghost had been able to wrap something around the man’s hips, and he knew his paws were not capable of that.
Something in his very being had changed in him ever since the human had come into his life.
He had always been attracted by the man’s aroma, always wanted to mix it with his own. His desire to taste him was overwhelming at times. Making the human his was easy enough since there had been no challenge, but it was claiming him that seemed impossible. If the human had been a wolf, Ghost would have mated with him. He didn’t care Hawk was very obviously a male of his species. How could it matter? Except, the fact Hawk was human, and Ghost was not, did.
However, there was something else that was just at the surface and with the full moon this very night, he was more aware of it than ever.
He could feel it. It was coming.
He loped into the woods, quickly finding and killing a fat rabbit. He then trotted it back to the cabin and laid it on the doorstep. He yipped and scratched at the door, but he heard no movement inside. Appeared the man was sleeping. Good. After this morning’s ordeal there was no doubt he needed it. But frustratingly, this door was proving to be a real problem. He had watched how the man opened it, with those marvelous hands of his. He lifted a paw to examine it. Similar. He also had fingers of a fashion. They weren’t long like the man’s, but he had claws, which he liked. Something the man didn’t have. Still, those fingers…
And he couldn’t help but think that was exactly what he had when he grabbed hold of the man in the river. Hands and fingers.
But it didn’t matter at the moment because, even if he had somehow, miraculously, sprouted hands this morning, they were gone now. And he had no idea how to get them back. Ghost jogged into the woods and gathered more game for the man, laying it all at his door. He would wait patiently for the man to wake up.
Hawk woke with a start. Had he heard something?
He threw his cover off, jumped to his feet and ran to the door. It wasn’t until he had flung the door open, expecting to find Ghost standing there, that he realized, not only was he well rested again but his feet no longer hurt. At all.
And there was quite the array of game lying at his feet. Seemed Ghost had already been and gone a number of times.
Hawk lifted one of his feet to examine the bottom. Once scratched and cut, now it appeared completely healed. He could still make out scabby scars but that was it. How could that be? It was only hours ago he had done the damage and these wounds seemed days old. He remembered how Ghost’s wounds, too, had given the impression of being days old once he had him in his cabin and near the fire. The large wolf had hardly needed his care. He recalled joking about Ghost’s magical skin. Was there something truly enchanted about Ghost? Could it be when he had licked Hawk’s wounds the wolf had not only stopped any kind of infection from taking hold, but also healed him like this?
Hawk pulled in a long breath as he examined his other foot and found the same thing. He could see where the cuts had been but that was it. Then, checking the minor scratches on his arms and legs and even thinking about the ant bite on his ass, he marveled that they were all completely healed. Was this proof magic existed? His father had believed in it. So did most of the townspeople. Not only did they believe in magic, but in monsters. Growing up, Hawk had witnessed more than a few times his father picking up his gun and heading out the door to meet up with any number of the townsmen, all crashing together into the dark woods after drinking themselves into false bravado and whipping themselves into a murderous frenzy. “Hunting the monsters,” he would sometimes yell out at Hawk if he caught him staring at him. Hawk never asked where he was going. Not when March was like that, all wild-eyed and smelling of liquor. He learned quickly asking his father anything in that state would as soon receive a fist to the face as it would an answer. If March offered up any kind of explanation, ever, Hawk knew to be content with it.
As far as hunting monsters, Hawk was never invited to go. “Too fucking stupid,” had been the reply, accompanied by a hard palm to the back of Hawk’s head when, one time, a friend of March’s had the audacity of asking why. “Don’t care if the dumb sonofabitch shoots himself, but I don’t want him shooting me!”
No, Hawk never went on those excursions into the deep wood where evidently the monsters lived, although it had been a favorite pastime with the men in town. However, Hawk thought those forays were more often about getting naked and drinking till dawn. Oh yes. He couldn’t help but hear the hushed stories. It was why Hawk wasn’t invited. No wives or kids. “Hunting monsters” was messy business and was no place for the squeamish. True enough since they were all old men, ugly and fat and wrinkly. But Hawk thought about the naked part anyway. He thought about it a lot. Especially these last several days because the moon was nearly full, and it was on these nights that the town’s menfolk would go about “protecting their village.”
Did he believe there were real monsters in the woods? Absolutely, but nothing more than the normal grizzly or black bear. However, he was beginning to believe in magic. All his wounds were healed, and he held the magic had to have come from the wolf. And now, because of that magic, running out to check on his traps was possible.
I live in Minnesota where I hold tight to the idea that here, where it’s cold a good part of the year, I won’t age as fast. Yep, I avoid the truth as much as I avoid mirrors. But one of the reasons I love writing is reality doesn’t always offer up a “happily ever after” and being able to take control of that is a powerful lure. Being a happy ending junkie, writing just makes them easier to find. Oh, I don’t mind “real life” and I do try to at least keep it in mind when I write my stories, but I truly love creating a wonderful couple, knowing they will fall in love and have their HEA. Every - single - time. And, of course, that is exactly the reason I love reading this genre, too. Give me a glass of red wine, some dark chocolate, and my computer, whether I’m reading or writing, and I’ll be entertained for hours. The fact I actually get paid to do it is Snickers bars on the frosting on the cake.
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Home Coming (Pain and Pleasure book 1) will be released on May 18, 2019 from JMS Books. Right now new releases and coming soon books are on sale for 20% off!
Natsuya Uesugi has a new queer dark fantasy book out in his "The Seer of Grace and Fire" series: The Seer of Ice and Sky.
Surviving the devastation of DarkFall, Timorn is now rightful King of Faerie. With evil lurking at the fringes between the kingdoms of the humans and the elves, the dark mage Dalannin travels to Dragonreise to forge an alliance with the Dragon King.
Timorn’s travelling party sets off on request from an elven emissary but dissent grows as the party passes through the human city of Ekhrine. As they stop at the Ecclesiastical University where the cleric Kabal translated The Legend of Arden prophesy, a demonic aura haunts their path.
Can Timorn forge an alliance with the dragons to ensure peace or will darkness drive a wedge between him and his magical twin Ethesian as they journey through the elven lands. Transgender heroine.
About the Series:
A human cleric translating an elven prophesy must bring the work to the high court at Kannon in faerie before DarkFall, the solemn anniversary when all the male faerie newborns were murdered 17 years ago. If the translation does not arrive in time, all is lost. Timorn, a 17 year old ranger travels the human towns hiring out his services. A mysterious elven woman hires him to take her to Kannon before DarkFall, and only he can lead her with his purple faerie eyes.
The evil Valkyris is amassing an army to attack Kannon at DarkFall insisting she possess the prophesy. Sending her dark mage Dalannin to infiltrate faerie, he marches his demon hordes towards Kannon and sneaks into the palace. Ethesian, the 17 year old faerie daughter of King Ailon plays the dragon lyre, a female magic. Yet recently she has started having prophetic dreams as if she were male. When a lie is revealed, Ethesian is tasked to study magic she must master before DarkFall. Will Timorn reach Kannon before the Valkyris and Ethesian master a magic she shouldn’t possess? Secrets and lies, revelations and wizardry, DarkFall is coming and so too the reluctant faerie who would be king. Learn more in the first book of the dark fantasy trilogy, The Seer of Grace and Fire.
The Seer of Grace and Fire starts the dark fantasy trilogy reviewers have called "Enthralling" and "A beacon of light for readers young and old." The series continues with release of The Seer of Ice and Sky book 2. Book 3 The Seer of Flesh and Death will be released early 2020.
Natsuya is giving away an ARC of book one in the series - The Seer of Grace and Fire – enter via Rafflecopter:
Timorn squinted as he studied the elven emissary, Arhlamanel dressed in finery, yet his stance and mannerisms were less refined then Ihel's. He sensed deception. His ranger skill told him the elf was concealing something about his identity,
"I am aware of dragon riders, but not of a dragon king in Arenth," Timorn said, turning to Eanna, his mother the First Consort, for confirmation. Eanna shook her head, also unaware.
Arhlamanel nodded. "The dragons are elusive and secretive, Your Majesty. Only a few high elves dare to venture up the perilous paths into the ice mountains to entertain them. It is treacherous as the dragons carefully guard the priceless gems within their lands."
Timorn gripped the arms of the throne, leaning forward. "At DarkFall, we saw an adult dragon. A rider in black sat atop its monstrousg form. Luckily the brunt of its power was stopped before it could let loose with abandon."
"It is as we heard. Thus, the dragon king requests you come to Akrisia, to the mountains in the North. He has sent me as emissary, in partner with the high elves, to bring you to hear his message. A party of your choice is invited to travel along, including one named Ethesian, who is also summoned. But be warned. One who wad banished many years ago has returned and is making inquiries in the dragon lands. He goes by the name of Dalannin. There is much suspicion amoungst the elves. Do you know of him?"
Timorn gasped. If Dalannin was with the dragons, that could only mean danger. Timorn spoke authoritatively, immediately deciding based on the elf's report. "Yes, we know Dalannin, and yes, my party and Ethesian will accompany you to Akrisia. Lady Eanna will remain and keep watchful eye on the crown."
"Yes, my lord," Eanna acknowledged the decree.
"You must come dressed as a ranger," Arhlamanel added. "That is how they will know you: by your clothes, your faerie daggers, and your sword. The dragon king and his half-dragon army will join you at the dragon court, high in the mountains. The trek up the expanse is arduous and will require a full day of walking to reach once we arrive."
"Had Dalannin already recruited dragon riders to his cause? Timorn hoped for a negative answer.
"Unknown your Excellency. I hope, for our sakes and all of Arenth he has not."
Natsuya Uesugi is a cybersecurity analyst with an MBA in International Management and a minor in Japanese. He is author of the science fiction grydscaen series, the yaoi novellas and manga graphic noiz and The Seer of Grace and Fire fantasy trilogy. He creates all the illustrations for his books. He enjoys skydiving, cosplay, anime and writing poetry.
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Mary Rundle has a new mm paranormal/mpreg book out in her Blackwood Pack series: Ghost Walker.
The Blackwood Pack saga continues…
This is part of an on-going series by Amazon Bestselling Author, Mary Rundle, and catching up on previous titles is advised. Readers of the past books will enjoy meeting old friends once more as the pack does what it does best ̶ caring for one another and helping shifters everywhere.
David spent most of his life as a prisoner, beaten countless times as he was taught by the Sisters of the Four Gods. After learning the truth about what they had planned for him, he escaped and eventually landed in Scotland where he was rescued by kind shifter who gave him a job and a bed. His feeling of safety ended abruptly when he was discovered by the ones he fled.
Zane, the Blackwood Pack’s genius computer programmer, joined his brothers and friends in Scotland on his very first vacation. It had been a long and hard road for him since parents and younger siblings were massacred, but his life was finally coming together Not expecting anything more than fun and sightseeing, he was stunned to find his Fated Mate there.
Before they can claim each other, they find themselves in a terrifying game of cat-and-mouse, trying to elude brutal pursuers who want to capture David and kill Zane. As they fight to stay one step ahead of them, Zane sets out to win David’s heart and restore his confidence and also becomes his protector and lover.
Learning about each other’s abilities and gifts—and about the gods’ plans for David’s formidable new role in the shifter world—they form a unique bond with undying trust and a deep love that will bind them forever together as one.
Narrow escapes, kidnappings, battles, rescues and the revelation of unique gifts from the gods will keep you turning page after page as Mary Rundle weaves another thrilling tale of love and adventure.
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During dinner, Logan kept an eye on Zane and David, wondering what was so special about the newest member of the Blackwood Pack that Jackson would ask for a picture of him. He hadn’t told his brother about what happened when Zane and David shook hands, but he’d get to that when he called him later, back in the privacy of his hotel suite.
“David, are you coming back to the hotel with us tonight?” asked Theo.
Zane spoke up, “We haven’t decided what we’re doing, Theo.”
“Where are you from?” asked Norm, then adding quickly, “Not that it matters but I was just wondering.”
“No problem,” David said, “I’m from a region in Italy called Tuscany.”
“I know all about it,” Kieran said, “It was one of the areas my Shaman made me study. I always wanted to go there to see the Church of the Four Gods. From the pictures my Shaman showed me, it’s magnificent, but he told me I couldn’t really appreciate it unless I stood exactly in the center of it, looked up and turned around in a circle and then I’d understand why so many paranormals chose to follow that religion. Have you ever been there?”
Unsure if Kieran was trying to expose him, David felt the urge to vanish again and it was only Zane’s hand holding his that kept him there giving him a sense of calmness. “Yes, I have,” he answered, “but I never did that. What happens when you do the circle thing?”
Shrugging his shoulders, Kieran said, “I don’t know. My Shaman never told me that, only that I would find understanding, but that doesn’t matter to me, I just want to see the architecture… Oh macushla, did you ever go there?”
“No, but I agree with you—it’s a stunning piece of workmanship,” answered Logan, “and it’s one of the finest examples of Ancient High Gothic Celestial architecture left on earth.”
“It’s a church for paranormals? I never heard of it. Can humans go there too?” asked Theo.
“Only if they’re mated to a paranormal,” Kieran said.
“You mean a shifter can have a human for a mate? Pooh bear, did you know that?” Theo asked.
“No, I don’t remember learning that in school,” Norman answered.
“My Shaman,” continued Kieran, “told me it was more common a long time ago, but after humans started to hunt shifters—and when shifters began to go underground, so to speak—the gods decreed it should stop. They also forbade any shifter from disclosing the existence of another.”
Dakota then joined in. “Slate told me the original owners of this pub were a wolf shifter and a human and that’s what saved it when the war against the Scottish wolf shifters occurred.”
“Very true,” Ian’s mother, Lili, joined in. “Your parents would bring you here, Ian, whenever they had to visit Edinburgh. Do you remember?”
“So that’s why I had a déjà vu moment downstairs,” Ian chuckled. “I was chalking it up to my pregnancy hormones.”
Smiling, Lili’s husband, Samuel, said, “Remember dear, we would come here every year for our anniversary.”
Lili ducked her head, giggling, as she remembered what they did afterwards, and said, “Of course I do…and I also recall how beautiful the nights were.”
Seeing Ian blush at his mother’s comment, Colton smirked at the thought his mate wasn’t comfortable about his parents reminiscing about their sex life, so he steered the conversation back to the original topic. “If I understand you, Kieran, the Church of the Four Gods is also a religion?” asked Colton.
“Uh-huh. My Shaman told me about it but I wasn’t too impressed at the time because my belief in our gods and the Fates was very strong, but seeing the Church of the Four Gods was always something I wanted to do. Hey, macushla, I have a great idea!”
“Oh, no, here we go again!” groaned Theo.
“What do you mean?” Zane asked.
“Anytime, Ki says he has a great idea, beware,” answered Norman.
“P-u-u-leeze, that is so not true,” Kieran said. “I was thinking Logan and I could stop there on our way to Mykonos.”
“Why are you going to Greece?” asked David.
“Oh. My. God. David, you and Zane must come with us since you are newly mated also.”
“What about Slate and me?” asked Dakota. “We’re newly mated too.”
“Absolutely!” cried Kieran. “The more the merrier I’ve always said.”
“Ki, why Greece?” Zane asked.
“It has the very best gay parties with lots of music and dancing, and fabulous theme parties where we can make our own costumes. And then, there are also pool parties with lots and lots of hot sexy men that are about 99% naked.”
“What are they wearing if they are 99% naked?” asked Theo.
“Speedos!” exclaimed Kieran. “Teeny, tiny swim suits that highlight everyone’s assets, if you crotch my drift!” he said, giggling at his play on words.
Theo’s eyes widened then, turning to Norman, he said, “Pooh bear, I want to go there too. Can we, please?”
Norman smirked, he knew exactly why his honeybunch wanted to go. “Sure, if Ki agrees.”
“Oui!” Kieran answered, clapping at the thought of the fun everyone would have.
“Babe, before you buy tickets, I’ll have to check in with Jackson about the work he wants done,” Logan said.
“Oh, I know, macushla,” Kieran said, “I’m just making plans.”
Groaning, Logan murmured, “That’s what concerns me.” Then he lifted his mate onto his lap, nuzzling Kieran’s neck and giving him soft kisses and gentle nips until he got to the mating scar, which he licked.
“Macushla!” Kieran exclaimed, shivering in excitement. “Oh, my gods, that’s what rim…”
Watching Logan place his hand over Kieran’s mouth confused David because, as far as he could tell, Kieran wasn’t doing anything other than talking. Bile rose in him—the sight of physical restraint brought back bad memories of his time with the High Priestess. If the Alpha allows this, I don’t want to be in the Blackwood Pack. Calling forth his ability again, David disappeared, taking Zane with him.
The first book I ever wrote was Dire Warning in 2017 and, much to my delight, it became an Amazon Best Seller. Readers loved it and I was on my way to chronicling the Blackwood Pack, seven brothers who are gay wolf shifters in search of their fated mates– stories about love at first sight with twists and turns, angst and humor, romance and adventure and, of course, happy endings.
Now, six books later, Ghost Walker, another Best Seller, has just been released to critical acclaim. I love the M/M paranormal genre because it gives my imagination a lot of territory in which to roam. My mind can really run wild and come up with some amazing stuff when it doesn’t have to stay inside the box.
My readers tell me they feel like they’re a member of the pack as the stories unfold. As if they’re right there in the middle of the action. Others tell me it’s like watching a fast-paced movie. My writing style pulls no punches– readers love it and are always clamoring for the next book.
Stories come to me as if they were being channeled by my characters, all of whom I love (except for a few villains). They are eager to recount their lives, loves and adventures and are not inhibited when it comes to revealing steamy details.
I currently live in the Northeast and love the beautiful change of seasons, my husband, and our quirky calico cat, though not necessarily in that order. I’m always happy to hear from my readers and can be reached through Facebook, Twitter, MeWe, or my website.
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