My snippet this week is from Strays.
Fingers pressing into the muscles along Kyle’s back, Daniel turned them and walked them backward until Kyle’s legs hit the bed. Flopping back he pulled Daniel down on top of him. Fisting the material of Daniel’s shirt, Kyle pulled and tugged until Daniel lifted his arms and the clothing slid away. “Maybe you could, you know, be naked too?”
“If you insist,” Daniel said, kissing along Kyle’s collarbone and chest as he eased away, sat back, rolled to the side, and unlaced his boots. He got his belt loosened and shimmied out of his pants before covering Kyle’s body with his own again.
Find other snippets at the Rainbow Snippets Facebook group. Strays is available in eBook and in Kindle Unlimited.
SI Clarke has a new quirky queer sci-fi book out (ace/aro/agender): The Left Hand of Dog. And there's a giveaway!
Escaping intergalactic kidnappers has never been quite so ridiculous.
When Lem and her faithful dog, Spock, retreat from the city for a few days of hiking in Algonquin Park, the last thing they expect is to be kidnapped by aliens. No, scratch that. The last thing they expect is to be kidnapped by a bunch of strangely adorable intergalactic bounty hunters aboard a ship called the Teapot.
Falling in with an unlikely group of allies – including a talking horse, a sarcastic robot, an overly anxious giant parrot, and a cloud of sentient glitter gas – Lem and the gang must devise a cunning plan to escape their captors and make it back home safely.
But things won’t be as easy as they first seem. Lost in deep space and running out of fuel, this chaotic crew are faced with the daunting task of navigating an alien planet, breaking into a space station, and discovering the real reason they’re all there…
Packed with preposterous scenarios, quirky characters, and oodles of humour, The Left Hand of Dog tackles complex subjects such as gender, the need to belong, and the importance of honest communication. Perfect for fans of Charlie Jane Anders’ Victories Greater than Death – especially ones who enjoy endless references to Red Dwarf, Star Trek, and Doctor Who. This book will show you that the universe is a very strange place indeed.
Warnings: anaphylactic shock, minor injury to a dog, this book is not for TERFs.
SI Clarke is giving away four eBooks with this blog tour:
Copyright © 2021 by SI CLARKE - All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Startled by the sound of movement behind me, I whirled around to face three … they had to be children in bunny costumes. ‘What?’ That’s what they had to be, right? I mean, they weren’t actually rabbits. Definitely not. For one thing, they stood upright. Real bunnies don’t normally do that, do they? For another, they were about the size of Spock.
But the costumes looked real in that no skin showed through – not even on their faces – and I couldn’t see any zips. Also, I was pretty sure rabbits didn’t come in pastel rainbow colours. Actually, they reminded me of a toy I’d had as a child. Bunnyboo, I’d called it. Four-year-old me was terribly inventive.
‘Check out your floopy-floppy ears! How adorable are you?’ Nervous sarcasm still intact then.
I was nauseated enough that shaking my head seemed like a bad idea. ‘It was beer I had last night, right? Not, like, psychedelic mushrooms? Maybe some natural tree spore that makes a person have trippy visions?’ No one answered me. Or even looked at me.
Spock sat neatly and dropped her brain in my lap. She lifted a paw towards the nearest of the bunnyboos – for want of a better word. The creature’s mint green fur matched the emerald hue of its humongous Disney princess eyes. ‘Yip,’ said Spock in her smallest, most polite voice.
This is not happening. I must be dreaming. Or hallucinating. Something.
Pulling a device from a holster like a carpenter’s apron, the bunnyboo pointed it at Spock. Or maybe it was merely reading what was on the screen – if it even had a screen. Who was I kidding? I had no idea what they were doing.
Another, slightly taller bunnyboo – this one periwinkle blue with eyes like Wedgewood plates – stepped forwards and ‘spoke’ to Spock as well. That is, its mouth moved and Spock’s full attention was on it. But no sound emerged. Spock yipped again in response to whatever it was I couldn’t hear.
Spock pointed at me with her long, sable nose then looked back at the bunnyboos and emitted a low noise, not quite a growl.
‘Would someone please tell me what the bollocking pufferfish is going on here?’ I demanded. Okay, not demanded. Requested. Well, pleaded. Whined, maybe. Whatever verb it was I verbed, no one paid me any heed.
The bunnyboos of my strange hallucination were too deeply engrossed in their silent conversation with my very real dog to spare me any of their attention. It was like watching a TV on mute – except I could hear movements and breathing and the sound of my heart beating a drum on the inside of my chest.
After a few further moments of this bizarre fever dream, Spock leapt down out of the coffin and turned to face me. She sat on her haunches and looked me in the eye. Then she lifted one paw at me in a clear imitation of the ‘stay’ command I used with her.
A bunnyboo with heather purple fur lowered a rope lead over Spock’s head. Spock stood and followed them from the room.
‘Where are you taking my dog, you fluffy bastards?’ I clambered out of the coffin-bed and scrabbled after them as fast as my besocked feet would carry me. But the thick metal door slid shut seconds before I got to it.
I pounded impotently on the door, screaming, ‘Spock! Come back. Don’t let those fuzzy arseholes hurt you.’ Unable to find a door knob or control panel or anything, I leant against the wall next to the door and slid down until I landed on my arse. I shivered and hugged my knees to my chest.
Why can’t I wake up? Letting my head fall forwards, I cried for a bit, whimpering Spock’s name periodically.
SI CLARKE is a Canadian misanthrope who lives in Deptford, sarf ees London. She shares her home with her partner and an assortment of waifs and strays. When not writing convoluted, inefficient stories, she spends her time telling financial services firms to behave more efficiently. When not doing either of those things, she can be found in the pub or shouting at people online – occasionally practising efficiency by doing both at once. As someone who’s neurodivergent, an immigrant, and the proud owner of an invisible disability, she strives to present a diverse array of characters in her stories.
Author Website: https://whitehartfiction.co.uk
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/clacksee
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/clacksee
Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/32693/
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/SI-CLARKE/e/B082GXW66G/
This week my teaser is from Gone Away. It's part of the Circles mystery/suspense/thriller series and it's on sale for 2.99 (eBook)! Or read in KU!
Mason stretched awake under the thick blankets. The luxurious feel of the soft sheets against his legs and groin and the way it caressed the hair along his legs and around his balls was sensual. He’d almost forgotten how much he enjoyed the sensation of sleeping naked. What he hadn’t forgotten was how wonderful it felt having the warm body of the man who was beside him tucked to his side.
He wasn’t in any hurry to get out of bed. Riece had spent a few hours last night experimenting with his camera and getting shots of the night sky. He’d shown Mason different filters and how they worked with night photography.
Although he’d left Riece in his own room, it wasn’t long before he was at Mason’s door. Mason had finished the kiss he’d begun after dinner, and they’d used another of the couples’ kits, taking their time rediscovering each other’s bodies. He closed his eyes, shifted to the side, and ran his hand lightly over Riece’s chest and belly to feel his body roll and stretch beneath Mason’s touch.
Riece sighed, and Mason felt how his chest expanded beneath his hand. When he opened his eyes, Riece smiled at him. “I’m glad we stopped here instead of driving straight through to South Dakota.”
Mason moved so he could speak near Riece’s ear. “Me too, and that you’re enjoying yourself.”
“I’m enjoying you too,” Riece said and blushed.
Brushing the backs of his fingers over Riece’s beard, Mason said, “That little bit of flush looks good on you.”
“You’re so proud you can make me blush, aren’t you?”
Mason moved his hand lower on Riece’s body until his fingertips brushed over the soft curls between Riece’s legs, making him shiver and suck in a deep breath. As he leaned over Riece and kissed his cheek, Mason spread his fingers out and slipped his hand over Riece’s hip. He moved his thumb in a steady motion, skimming the soft skin of Riece’s inner thigh.
“Val.” Wyatt exhaled and inched over the few feet of cement separating them. “Christ, you’re too still.” He pulled himself to Val’s side.
He pressed one hand to Val’s chest and let out a long, loud sigh of relief. Val’s chest rose and fell in a stable rhythm, and his heart was beating, strong and steady. He was sprawled flat on his back. A large purple and red bruise covered one cheek.
Wyatt pulled himself closer and brushed Val’s hair away from his face. “This is my fault. I’m so sorry.”
Even though Val was younger than Kevin, quick and agile, the fact remained he was no match for a man well trained in hand-to-hand combat. Kevin had come prepared for Wyatt to escape the car. The tire iron was likely as much for the glass of the windows as it was to use on Wyatt if needed. The Taser was no doubt Kevin’s insurance to make sure he took Wyatt down. They had trained together for years. A fist fight between Kevin and Wyatt was a fairly even contest. Kevin was too smart to trust that he’d be victorious and had taken into account Wyatt’s extra incentive in protecting Val.
Hop on over to the Rainbow Snippets Facebook group for more diverse snippets.
A Barlow Lens is available in eBook, paperback and in Kindle Unlimited.
Madeira Desouza has a new mm erotic sci fi serial story releasing on Kindle Vella - Baja Clavius: Dream Time for Moon Men. And there's a giveaway!
This serialized story continues the science fiction time travel adventures from "Baja Clavius: Moon Men Deep Inside" written and illustrated by Madeira Desouza.
What's it about? In the 23rd century a gritty, quasi-militaristic time travel agency located beneath the crater Clavius on the moon sends gay male agents on missions to the past on Earth.
The often immoral actions of the time travel agents are unrestricted by the agency which allows the agents free reign to alter timelines to prevent an impending self-destruction of human civilization coming in just a few years.
Madeira is giving away an Amazon gift card with this tour:
Having never traveled farther west than Wichita, an unexpected work opportunity to jet off to Las Vegas jolts into overdrive the imagination of a young man from Kansas. He is deep in sleep, carefully buckled in while reclining in his comfortable window seat in row number one within the crowded first-class section. The smooth, soothing rush of the cool, pressurized air inside the jet masks his awareness of his forward speed and his current altitude at roughly seven miles up in the sky.
As his jet touches down on the runway, he wonders in anticipation what may be awaiting him in the desert playground. The first few seconds as he walks from the aircraft that brought him to the Las Vegas airport, he is immersed in a literal sensory overload designed to force all arriving visitors to forget where they just came from. First, there is the unforgettable ringing of airport terminal slot machine chimes announcing unexpected winners who will start their stay in Vegas with a few extra hundred bucks in their pocket. Then, large overhead video screens in the baggage claim section shine down brilliantly colorful images that seem almost dreamlike.
However, what catches his attention is a video pitching a side-trip from Las Vegas to Amargosa Valley. He only recently learned of a ranch situated in that western edge of Nevada about a hundred miles from Las Vegas where his work assignment awaits. The young man spins around quickly as he stands next to baggage claim carousel number 22 because he cannot shake the eerie sensation of someone standing too close behind him. His surprised gaze comes into instant, direct alignment with the squinting blue eyes of guy about his same age. He immediately notices the blue-eyed guy has a handsome, chiseled face and he is dressed all in black in an apparent paramilitary-style uniform complete with thick black boots.
"Didn't mean to startle you. I'm Josh Lorne. From the ranch at Amargosa Valley," says the guy with blue eyes. "Supposed to pick up a writer flying in from Kansas."
The young man in blue jeans, cowboy boots and a tight, bright orange t-shirt replies, "Great. I was told someone would meet me when I got here. I'm Lex—Alexander Sarkis, from Wichita." Lex Sarkis watches the good-looking man clad all in black steps quickly away from the baggage claim area.
It is Thursday, the 11th day of October 2012, which will be remembered for rare, severe thunderstorms lingering over the entire Las Vegas Valley. Declan Andreas, a rugged-looking young man of Mexican and Greek ancestry also is arriving at the airport not far behind Lex Sarkis.
Someone who is known simply by his nickname of "the rancher" approaches Dec Andreas at the baggage claim area. He stands very tall in his large brown work boots. His head is graced with a large white cowboy hat that allows just enough of his curly light brown hair to fall downward toward, but not quite reaching, his thick, muscular neck. Dec Andreas concludes that the rancher's impressive upper body especially deserves to be uncovered and admired.
Dec Andreas is dressed as if he wants to pass as a tourist. But Dec Andreas is not here in Las Vegas to visit casinos or to spend money gambling. He is not here for winning or losing anything. He retrieves a small rolling suitcase inside the vast luggage claim area. Nobody will care that Dec Andreas is attired like a tourist. This is the arrival point at the Las Vegas airport where everyone starts off on equal footing looking like everyone else. Looks don't matter at the start. But then, the winning and the losing in Vegas changes all perceptions.
The rancher's new, white pickup truck heads north and east away from Las Vegas. The severe weather remains over the valley but in the opposite direction from where Route 95 is taking the rancher and his guest, Dec Andreas. Soon the rancher nudges Andreas so he will notice the battered and worn sign by the right side of the two-lane highway that reads, Amargosa Valley, Nevada.
Lex Sarkis is already at the ranch and has discovered he is in serious jeopardy. He is reclining on his back upon a large metal and plexiglass chair upon a grey metallic floor. He is bound to the chair at his wrists, elbows, and ankles by shiny black straps of an oddly translucent polymer. He stares at a tall, horizontal screen that occupies most the area directly in front of him in the darkened room where he is confined to the large reclining chair. On the screen he sees a man who looks authoritative. Lex Sarkis can only observe the man on the screen from his shoulders to the top of his head, but the man's familiar all-black paramilitary garment demands full attention.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Sarkis," the man on the screen says while showing no emotion whatsoever.
"Where am I? Why have you restrained me?"
"Excellent opening questions," the man responds with a slight smile. "You are being held in protective custody at the ranch in Amargosa Valley. I sent someone to meet you at the airport and give you a ride here. Something went wrong."
"Went wrong? Why am I being held against my will?" Lex Sarkis asks with faked confidence as he struggles to free himself from the chair.
"Let me introduce myself. I am Edward Primero. I run the organization that owns the ranch. You are my guest, Mr. Sarkis."
Lex Sarkis continues his unsuccessful attempts to wriggle free from the chair that tightly holds him. His torso muscles stand out vividly through his tight, bright orange t-shirt. "You sure have a strange way of treating your guests." He stops talking and struggling to focus his attention on a thin metallic device connected to a slender, coiled white tube slide up in the air from the right side of the chair. A long, silver needle pokes out from the thin metallic device. When the long, silver needle stops mere millimeters away from plunging into his crotch through his blue jeans.
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 was 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 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/desouzaofvegas/
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4667238.Madeira_Desouza
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Madeira-Desouza/e/B008HL3B3C
My teaser this week is from Electric Candle.
It was getting late. Blair was tired of sitting, and he needed to see Forge. The ache he felt being away from the man for too long was going from a little niggling reminder to something far more annoying. He shut everything down, put the journals in a plastic tub Lucas had bought to store them in, and went up the stairs.
He heard Simon and Ben talking with Boggs in the living room, so he moved quietly to the main staircase and made his way up to the landing off Forge’s floor.
The door opened before Blair could knock. “That’s not creepy.”
Forge smiled and shrugged. “I heard you coming up the steps.”
“Can I ask you something?”
“Sure,” Forge said. He motioned Blair inside and gently shut the door. “Shoot.”
“A few things, actually. I wanted to ask about a few…before, I need to know about before….”
Blair decided the direct approach was the best course of action. “Before you were a vampire.”
Forge opened his mouth, but Blair moved fast. He hooked one arm around Forge’s neck and pressed his body against Forge, his lips to Forge’s lips. Taking advantage of the fact Forge was trying to talk, Blair shoved his tongue into Forge’s mouth, wound his other arm around Forge’s waist, and ground his pelvis against him.
Blair could feel how surprised Forge was at first, but certainly pleasantly so, and he responded to Blair’s kiss almost immediately. Forge’s hands moved up, coming to rest on Blair’s face before he fisted Blair’s hair.
Blair saw a woman and a little baby. He knew the baby was a girl and not Forge’s. He, or rather Forge, kissed the woman’s cheek, squeezed her hand, and spoke a kind good-bye. She wore a wedding band. Forge had married her, but Blair felt no lust from him for her, merely affection.
Blair watched the scene from Forge’s eyes as he left the small house, joined other men carrying muskets, and walked with them into some unknown event.
No, Blair reminded himself, the event was known; the destiny that would arise from that event was not. Blair broke the kiss, gasping for breath, and took a step back. “Who… you were married?”
“Yes,” Forge said and nodded. “A long, long time ago.”
Electric Candle is available from Amazon in eBook and paperback.
It can also be read in Kindle Unlimited.
Hello! My snippet this week is from Shifting Chaos, book 4 of The Sleepless City! It's also on sale this week for $2.99. Buy links are below.
Forge looked up and smiled when Blair, freshly showered and dressed for work, sat at the kitchen table opposite him.
“We need some ground rules,” Blair said and reached over to snatch one of the sausage links from Forge’s plate.
“Um, I like your new aftershave and you smell nice?” Forge said. From the other side of the table, Lucas snorted. He looked between them before raising the paper he was reading to cover his face.
“When you come to visit me at work, since I’m officially one of the faculty and it’s been a very long time since you were in college, there is a certain….”
Lucas shifted in his chair and snickered.
“You said be nice to the students.” Forge spread his hands wide and grinned. “I was nice. According to the Vampire Code, I—”
Declan walked into the kitchen, beelining for the coffee pot.
Blair turned and grabbed his arm. “There is no Vampire Code. Declan, is there a Vampire Code?”
Declan’s gaze shifted to Lucas, who shrugged. “Uh, not that I’m—no, I don’t….”
“See?” Blair waved in Declan’s direction. “He says there isn’t, and he’s like a billion years old, so he should know.”
Declan looked down at himself then at Lucas. “Do I look that old?”
Lucas was unable to answer, probably because he was too busy giggling.
“Do I look all right? Does my tie say liaison?” Ben burst into the kitchen and started rifling through the cupboards. “Tea. Must have tea.”
Declan reached over and took one of the tea tins from its place on the counter. He set it softly in front of Ben. “Maybe caffeine isn’t the wisest choice.”
Hop on over to the Rainbow Snippets Facebook group to find many more fun and interesting snippets.
My teaser this week is from Gone Away.
“I just wanted to know…,” Mason said in a low voice. He paused, then continued, “When I saw your name and found out someone would be assigned to take you around, I asked for the job. It was my good luck you were coming in a few days early, and Tyler said he’d set us up. I thought if I could have a little time without worrying about jobs or other people, you’d explain to me what I did wrong.”
“Nothing,” Riece said. He was beginning to see what Mason was getting at, and he didn’t know what else to say. He grabbed the napkin in front of him and twisted and turned it.
“Riece, you called me one day and told me you were moving across the country. With no explanation, you ended what I thought was a good thing.”
“It was a good thing,” Riece confessed, more to the napkin than Mason. “You didn’t do anything wrong.”
Mason reached across the table and laid one hand on Riece’s. “I’m not expecting to get back together or anything, but, Riece, you could at least tell me why.”
“I told my mom about us,” Riece said.
Mason shrugged. “I met her lots of times. I’m sure she figured it out, and you said she knew when you were a teenager you were gay.”
“She liked you, but she said I couldn’t depend on anyone wanting to stay with someone like me. Especially someone like you.”
“Someone like you and someone like me,” Mason echoed. Riece could see the anger well up in Mason.
They fell silent for a few minutes when their food was brought to the table, along with fresh drinks. Riece watched Mason relax a tiny amount after a few deep breaths.
When they were alone again, Riece said, “She told me I’d end up hurting you, and you’d hate me eventually because of how I am. You know, not really normal.” He shoved his food around on his plate. “I couldn’t stand it if you hated me.”
“Look at me, Riece.”
Riece glanced up. Mason was always gently reminding him when it was polite or appropriate or necessary to make eye contact. He opened his mouth to apologize but changed his mind when he remembered a few arguments with Mason over the fact he tended to apologize too much.
Mason leaned forward and rested both arms on the table. “I’m saying this once and for the last time. There is nothing wrong with you, Riece. Yeah, I’ll agree sometimes you see the world in a different way than I do, but that’s not… hell, I don’t even know what. I know your mother meant well but splitting up like we did hurt me far more than any of your quirks ever could’ve. Do you think I stayed with you out of pity or something?”
“No. Of course not. Why did you stay with me?”
Mason shook his head and chuckled. “Partly because you have no clue what you’re really like. What I see is someone sweet and funny and smart and caring. I like spending time with you. And, you stayed with me despite the fact I rub most people the wrong way.” He turned his attention to his plate of food.
“So my hot bod was not a consideration?”
Chewing, Mason shook his head. He swallowed and said, “Nope.” Then he went back to his meal. “Oh, and you are paying for our meal,” he said, took a long draft of his beer, and offered Riece a snarky smile.
Gone Away is available in eBook, paperback and is in Kindle Unlimited.
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