My snippet this week is from my scifi romance, Strays.
As fast as they’d been surrounded by people, they were left alone. Daniel pulled Kyle into a fierce hug, holding the shivering young man close and tight. Moving one hand up, he got a fistful of Kyle’s hair and dragged him close, pressing their mouths together. His tongue slipped between Kyle’s lips, gliding over Kyle’s and welcoming his into Daniel’s mouth.
Then his brain kicked into gear. He didn’t want to ruin the relationship he’d forged with Kyle or take advantage of a scary situation, not with this young man; he meant too much to Daniel. Forcing himself to stop and push away only far enough he could rest his forehead against Kyle’s. Breathing in deeply, he whispered, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t do that, take advantage of you like that.”
Kyle’s fingers gripped his shoulders with enough force it hurt and jerked him back in. He wound one arm around Daniel’s back and brushed his lips over Daniel’s. “Are y-you k-kid-ding? I’ve been w-w-waiting for you to take ad-d-dvantage of me since I la-laid eyes on you.”
Daniel’s mind was scrambled and it took him a few beats to let the thought form: Kyle wanted him as much as he wanted Kyle. He wanted him closer and didn’t seem able to hold him tightly enough. Sucking Kyle’s lower lip between his lips, he pressed his tongue into Kyle’s very welcoming mouth, their tongues slipping and sliding over one another. He pushed his thigh between Kyle’s and pressed up. Kyle immediately rocked against him, igniting every nerve ending Daniel owned. His blood turned to liquid heat and all he was able to process was want and need directed at Kyle.
Kyle’s hands roamed up and down his back, fingers splayed wide, heaving chest pressed to Daniel’s. “Can we… in the van…?” He was still shivering violently, making Daniel’s rational side kick back in.
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Lee Hunt has a new fantasy audiobook out in his Dynamicist Trilogy: Herald. And there's a Giveaway!
Robert thought becoming a dynamicist would enable him to change the world, starting with saving all his friends from being slaughtered. He was wrong.
Acts of genuine creativity used to bring mortal punishment. But now, wizardry is dead and Robert, Koria and Eloise live in a world where change and invention is possible.
Robert hopes that mathematically-framed dynamics will enable him to change the new world. But he keeps having prophetic dreams where his friends are all murdered by a mysterious cloaked man, and the grain protestors are more menacing than ever. They declare dynamics is dangerous and that the changes must stop. They are right about one thing: dynamics is dangerous, especially for someone so hopeful, angry and impetuous as Robert.
Soon Robert's horrific nightmares come true and a cloaked man appears on campus, stalking and murdering students --his friends are next.
Desperate to change the future, Robert recklessly pushes the bounds of both dynamics and reason. Every crushing failure dampens Robert's hope for the future and pushes him a step closer to the powerful, nihilistic, and merciless Lonely Wizard.
Would it kill you to create something genuinely new? In Robert's world, it used to. Supernatural vengeance for invention is now a thing of the past.
Young, optimistic, quick of mind and quick to act, Robert thinks being invited to the New School is an invitation to change the world. But change is difficult when there is no history of innovation.
He is initially successful in his studies, but nothing is as simple as he naively imagines. His classmates confuse and frustrate him. One is a drunk, while another two constantly stalk him. Is it for love or something more sinister?
Robert's optimism is further tested by protestors who circle the campus, decrying the newly invented breed of grain. They claim it is poison and that the New School should be punished by Nimrheal, the god who formerly murdered inventors. Robert suspects foreign business influences are behind the protests, but he quickly finds that investigating their cause is dangerous.
Robert's most difficult challenges are his unresolved childhood issues. His mother died while he was a child. Robert's formative helplessness and inability to remember her face projects into a powerful and blinding protectiveness towards all women. When a campus assault pushes Robert over the edge, his hopes of even staying at the New School are jeopardized. He cannot aspire to change the world if he does not even know himself.
At the same time as Robert struggles on campus, a powerful, ruthless and emotionally closed man known only as the Lonely Wizard journeys across an empty wilderness to return home. As Robert and the Lonely Wizard move closer together, Robert finds that instead of entering a golden era of invention, he may instead be on the brink of a cold war and an endless, unchanging dark age.
Dynamicist (Book 1)
Herald (Book 2)
Knight in Retrograde (Book 3)
Lee is giving away a gift card with this tour:
Davyn’s whistle tore the air again, but someone lunged at him and the big man stumbled and swallowed the thing. He staggered back, choking.
“He is liar!” roared one of the bald, stocky men in his thick accent, pointing at Endicott. “We’ll beat the truth out of him!” He stepped forward and began drawing his sword.
Cyara rallied from her shock. “No one beats anyone here!”
His bald, stocky companion pushed Cyara roughly, and she stumbled backwards into the crowd. This was too much for Endicott. His heart leapt, and without thinking, he grabbed the heavy iron bacon pan and swung it, bacon-outwards, at the thug who had struck Cyara.
Bacon, grease, and pan connected ferociously, and as a unit, with the man’s rotund head, knocking him heels over cartwheeling head to the ground. His sword clattered to the floor. The other bald man came on, lunging with his sword. Endicott turned the blade aside with the pan and tried to step back, but he stumbled over Purple Hat, who was arguing with someone else behind him. The swordsman saw his opportunity and rushed forward, sword raised for an overhead strike, but stopped short with a puzzled look on his fat face. Something had caught hold of his foot. It was Cyara. She had him by the ankle in a surprisingly strong grip.
Endicott struck him in the face with the pan before the swordsman could kick Cyara loose. As his attacker fell back, Endicott looked for Cyara, but she was hidden by a shift in the crowd. Then he saw Davyn. His big friend was surrounded by a group of people who were trying to help him cough out the whistle. Endicott almost laughed and was about to return to the two bald protestors when he was savagely struck on the temple by a blow he did not see.
After having the Last Rights read to him at the age of twenty-five, Lee Hunt came to appreciate the power of catharsis. He was born on a farm with only one working lung but has gone on to become an Ironman triathlete, sport rock climber, professional geophysicist, and writer.
As a scientist, Lee has published close to fifty papers, articles, or expanded abstracts, has been awarded numerous technical awards, and was even sent on a national speaking tour. He enjoys discussing the amorality of science and is useful at parties in explaining the physics of whether fracture stimulation might be a risk to the fuzzy, cuddly things of nature. After 28 years trying to understand the earth as a geophysicist, Lee turned to writing fiction. He now spends time hiking, cycling, floundering in a lake, clinging desperately to a wall, or at his desk trying to write an entertaining story.
Author Website: https://www.leehunt.org/
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100052376555360
Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/DynamicistAuthor
Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/lee-hunt/
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B082YFTMCK
My teaser this week is from No Regrets, installment 5 of the Pain and Pleasure series. It's rated pg-13.
No Regrets is available on Amazon and JMS Books.
Colleen laughed. She leaned over and touched Ian’s hand. “In college this guy,” she waggled a thumb at Taren, “had an extensive wardrobe of sweatpants, t-shirts from rock concerts and running shoes.” She held up one finger. “Though that outfit you wore to the gym was quite sexy.”
Kevin choked on his drink, coughed and laughed.
“One reason I chose a profession that requires a uniform,” Taren said.
Colleen turned to Taren. “Kevin was right, he’s so out of your league. I’m glad to see you found someone to put some style into your life.”
Taren took Ian’s hand and smiled. “That he does.”
“What can I say, I can’t resist broad shoulders in a uniform.” Ian paused. “Or out of it.”
“You boys had fun. Any chance of letting a girl play?” Colleen was looking at Taren, but her question was really directed at Ian. As Ian’s Dom it was only polite to ask his permission, even though the decision was Ian’s equally.
The choice was obviously Ian’s. Of them he was the only one who hadn’t regularly indulged in group events.
“We did discuss the adding more partners sometimes,” Taren said.
“But the truth is, I’m afraid I’m hopelessly monogamous,” Ian finished. They were Taren’s friends, and he didn’t mind taking the responsibility for their choice.
“I like it that way,” Taren added.
“Oh, honey don’t ever apologize for your preferences,” Colleen said. “Isn’t that what this life is all about? Freedom to explore—or not—as we desire and do it safely and without judgement. I hope if you gentlemen change your minds at some point, you’ll give us a call?”
Taren chuckled. “You’ll be the first to know, Colleen.”
My Rainbow Snippet this week is from A Barlow Lens. It's book 2 of Circles and can be read as a standalone. It is available in ebook, paperback and through Kindle Unlimited.
Val was still engrossed in whatever he’d found. Every few minutes he’d announce another tidbit. Eventually Wyatt drifted off to sleep. He woke up when Val crawled into the bed with him. He wrapped both arms around Val’s waist and snuggled close, sighing happily. A minute later Val’s breathing evened out and his body relaxed, getting heavier against Wyatt’s.
No one had put so much trust in him and made him feel so loved since he’d lost Jack. It felt good, having Val, being able to share his life with someone again. He kissed Val’s temple softly and gave another squeeze with both arms. Wyatt had missed Jack so much, had grieved so desperately, long and hard, that finding Val had been an absolute miracle. One Wyatt intended to preserve at all costs.
Read many more wonderful snippets on the Rainbow Snippets Facebook group!
J. Scott Coatsworth has a new diverse sci-fi book out in his Liminal Sky universe: Dropnauts. And there's a giveaway!
Life after the Crash.
Over a century after the end of the Earth, life goes on in Redemption, the sole remaining Lunar colony, and possibly the last outpost of humankind in the Solar System. But with an existential threat burrowing its way into the Moon's core, humanity must recolonize the homeworld.
Twenty brave dropnauts set off on a mission to explore the empty planet. Four of them—Rai, Hera, Ghost and Tien—have trained for two-and-a-half years for the Return. They're bound for Martinez Base, just outside the Old Earth city of San Francisco.
But what awaits them there will turn their assumptions upside down—and in the process, either save or destroy what's left of humanity.
Scott has a Rafflecopter giveaway with this tour:
We're going home.
Rai sweated inside his suit, white-knuckling the arms of the retrofitted launch chair under his suit gloves. He watched the Zhenyi's launch countdown clock.Sixty, fifty-nine, fifty-eight…
Outside he was calm, but inside he vibrated like an erhu string, his stomach doing acrobatics in his chest. I’m not ready.
Five teams of dropnauts had strapped themselves into their jumper ships, prepared for the ascent from Redemption on the lunar surface to Launchpad station. Outside his porthole, the blue-green marble of Earth beckoned.
Rai cast a nervous glance at his three teammates. Hera was doing her preflight check, her back to him, sweat dripping down the umber skin of her neck from her short-cropped, curly black hair.
Behind him on his right, Tien’s eyes were closed, and she was still as a golden statue. Zen.
He turned to find Ghost looking at him from behind. His ex grinned, running his hand through his lanky, dirty blond hair, his green eyes twinkling. His skin was as white as Rai’s own, but with a dusting of freckles over the bridge of his nose.
Rai managed a pale imitation of a smile back. -It's totally safe.- Ghost<’s voice pinged in his head, em to em.
-Sure. Easy for you to say.- Ghost had never feared a thing in his life.
Rai sighed. If he had to, he could take the small ship apart and put it back together with his bare hands, a skill learned under Sam’s supervision—the mech was as harsh a taskmaster as any human Rai had ever worked for. Still, he felt like puking. The speeches and adulation of the farewell celebration were over, and now his doubts circled like vultures. I'm not ready.
-You'll be ok.- Hera<'s determined voice this time. She turned to squeeze his knee, and then fired up the Zhenyi'shydro-fuel engine. He flashed her a sheepish grin.
A hundred meters away, the Bristol’s takeoff shook the landing pad. Rai watched it rise, carrying Dax, Jess, Ola, and Xiu Ying, the London team, toward the bright stars above. The jumper’s expelled water froze almost instantly, falling as snow over the snaking lava tube that held the city of Redemption. A lunar blizzard whipped by them and shimmered into nothing.
Rai closed his eyes, remembering the night before. Jess, laughing and dancing with him at Heaven, the clear dome of the lunar sky sparkling above them, the heavy beat of the thromb club pulsing through his chest. Dancing like no one was watching.
He rubbed his jaw. It still ached from the fist he’d taken to the face. Wild party. And a wilder night with Ayvin, the jack he’d picked up at the club.
“Zhenyi, ready for liftoff in T-Minus ten seconds.” Sam's voice, coming from Team Five's ship, the Liánhuā, was cool and collected. Did the mech feel emotion, like the nausea that was boiling in Rai's guts? His teammates were strong, smart, and prepared for anything. I can do this. Besides, it was too late to back out now.
"Affirmative.” Hera shifted in her seat, her biframes stretching her paralyzed legs for her.
"You'll do okay, tiger.” Ghost elbowed him in the ribs.
"Six, five, four…” Hera swiped the glossy white control deck, and the launch controls appeared, floating over the white surface.
"Leave him alone.” Rai could hear the icy frown in Tien's voice.
He closed his eyes, willing his stomach to calm. Here we go. Nothing he could do about it now.
“Three, two, one… hang on.” Hera fired the engines, and the craft lifted on a cloud of steam into the star-filled skies of Luna.
Rai squeezed his armrests again as G-force pushed him hard back in his seat. He was committed now. Poppies, Chinese Houses, Fiddlenecks, Baby Blue Eyes, Yellow Pansies, Star Lilies… Reciting the flowers of the old San Francisco basin helped soothe his abraded nerves as the rumbling of the little craft rattled his bones.
He opened his eyes to see Redemption receding below them. The great lava tube was striped with sparkling bands of solar receptors that let sunlight into the city below. Rail lines snaked out from Redemption to the transit center like roping vines—to the seed launcher at Copernicus Crater, to Renewal colony, and beyond.
As the city shrank below them, his fear turned to sadness, a lump forming in his throat. He’d taken his home for granted, enthralled by the idea of joining humankind’s greatest adventure in a century. Now he might never see it again.
The hydro rocket thrust them up out of Luna’s gravity well into naked space, toward the bright blue skies of the empty Earth above. Rai stared at it, that enigmatic ball in space which no one had visited in over a century. What secrets are you hiding?
The roar cut off as quickly as it had begun, leaving the Zhenyi drifting upward in silence as they slipped out of Luna’s grasp.
Hera’s hands flew across the deck, swapping the launch controls for navigation, and nudged them onto a new course following the Bristol toward the Launchpad.
Rai let go, his breath coming out in a heavy sigh.
“See? That wasn’t so bad.” Ghost unbuckled his seatbelt and stretched, yawning as if he didn't have a care in the world.
God, he's beautiful. Pale as his namesake under his mop of dirty blond hair, the engineer’s thick arms were just a suggestion under the bulky suit, but Rai could still see them in his mind. Ghost’s well-toned muscles, the smell of his skin after--
"You okay, buddy?” Ghost was staring at him, one dark eyebrow raised in concern.
Rai bit his lip and looked away. "Just nervous. Wondering if we'll ever make it back home”
"Hey, if things go well after the drop, maybe you and me could open the first Earthside bar since the Crash.” Ghost leaned over him from behind to stare at the Earth through the porthole, his cheek close to Rai’s.
"That's crazy.” But his spirits lifted. It was idiotic. And just the distraction he needed.
Ghost sank back into his own seat. "Every outpost needs a good bar where the colonists can blow off a little steam, right?”
Rai laughed in spite of himself, warming to the idea. "We could call it ‘The Frontier’.”
"'The Wild Hookup'.”
“Best beer this side of the planet.”"
Rai snorted. Just like old times. He hadn’t forgiven Ghost, though. Not yet. He looked down at his gloved hands, emblazoned with the leaf-and-orb of Redemption’s space service.
Things had ended badly between them--crash and burn bad. Still, they’d be too busy the next few weeks to think about anything but the drop. The survival of Redemption and the remnants of humanity depended on them.
He could let it go. I have to. He’d managed the launch, after all. I can do this too.
Ghost squeezed his shoulder and closed his eyes, touching his temple and bobbing his head to a song only he could hear.
Rai turned away.
"You’re stronger than any of us. Hera had told him that the night before. Still, he didn’t feel strong.
He looked out of the porthole again at the Earth—the same view they’d had from Heaven. And yet somehow, it looked different. More real.
Poppies, Chinese Houses, Fiddlenecks, Baby Blue Eyes, Yellow Pansies, Star Lilies…
He touched his hand to the porthole. Even through the glove, it was cold. We’re going home.
Scott lives with his husband Mark in a yellow bungalow in Sacramento. He was indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine. He devoured her library, but as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were.
He decided that if there weren’t queer characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.
A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, and Other Worlds Ink with Mark, sites that celebrate fiction reflecting queer reality, and is a full member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).
Author Website: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth
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Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth
Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/
Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/J.-Scott-Coatsworth/e/B011AFO4OQ
Author BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/j-scott-coatsworth
My Tuesday Teaser this week comes from my most favorite of my books, Quarry (The Vampire Guard Book Two)!
Declan needed a new plan. He sighed and headed toward a balcony off the exhibit hall, grumbling to himself, “I need some air.” The man was too focused on him after Declan had approached him twice and slipping out would either throw him off Declan’s scent or force a confrontation. Leaning on the railing, Declan took a few controlled breaths and looked out at the city lights.
Lucas’s anxiety level spiking accompanied the sound of the balcony door opening. Voices floated through the door, but no music. Declan turned, expecting to see Lucas or possibly Jonas. He immediately straightened and squared his shoulders. Keeping the surprise off his face took everything Declan had in him.
“de Fleur, did you say?” The vampire stood in the doorway, blocking Declan’s escape. “I saw your name on the guest list.”
Confrontation it was, then.
Nodding, Declan made an effort to keep his voice calm and neutral despite how this guy rattled him. “I didn’t get your name, mon ami.”
The man stalked a few steps to the side but remained out of Declan’s reach. “Stay out of my way.” His hands were in his pockets.
Drawing himself up even more, Declan couldn’t help raising his eyebrows. “Pardon me?”
An oily smile spread across the man’s face, and his eyes became cold and hard. He opened his mouth, then clamped his lips tightly together.
The balcony door banged open, and Lucas staggered through. “Wow, there is another party out here and no one invited me!” He threw one arm around the man’s neck, pulled him close, and held his phone at arm’s length. “Say cheese.”
The man flinched ever so slightly when the flash went off. He recovered quickly, pulled his hands free, and pushed against Lucas. “You fool. Are you that drunk? Get away from me.” He started to shove Lucas toward the railing.
Declan stepped forward and barked, “Hey!” Now he blocked the doorway.
Dislodging Lucas and at the same time glaring down Declan, the man straightened his suit jacket. “I suggest you find other places to hunt.” He scowled at Declan one last time before he shoved past him, hitting his shoulder as he walked briskly through the door.
“Are you alright?” Declan shook off the odd feeling the man had given him and took Lucas’s arm.
Lucas grinned and held up his phone. “We got a picture.” He turned the screen so Declan could see. Of course the only face was Lucas’s. “Now we simply wait for HQ to send us back an image.”
“We need to get that guy out of here. I have no idea how, but I think he made me as another thief,” Declan said. “If he can’t finish his scouting trip, he’ll have to come back. We can use the extra time to formulate a plan to trap him. He said he saw my name on the guest list, so he’s apparently hacked into it and checked out guests.”
“Maybe your reputation preceded you,” Jonas said in Declan’s earbud.
“Henri de Fleur has never been associated with stolen art. I’ve kept his name clean. You know that,” Declan said.
Jonas added, “What we really need is a good distraction.”
“Do you have an idea?” Declan asked. “We have to give Sayyna a chance.”
“Forge, you have the horn. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Lucas’s face suddenly lit up.
“It’s always a hit at the department summer outing,” Jonas said. Declan could picture Jonas’s eyes twinkling from the tone of his voice.
“What are you two talking about?” Declan asked. He looked up when Lucas focused on the fedora Declan wore.
Lucas snatched the hat and put it on his own head. “You’ll love this.”
Four members of The Vampire Guard—Forge, Blair, Declan, and Lucas—face a dangerous and elusive enemy. And this time, it’s personal.
When massive tech outages impact everything from Wi-Fi to traffic control, Blair, Forge, Declan, and Lucas think it’s a simple matter of catching troublesome hackers. But they quickly realize far more is at stake.
Millions of dollars in art are the target of a thief who’s not afraid to kill---and he’s no stranger. Not only has he escaped capture, twice, a decade ago, but he’s had a hand in life-altering tragedies throughout their lifetimes.
Once it becomes clear that art theft is just a fraction of his plan for mass destruction, they realize time is running out. The clock’s ticking. Catastrophe is imminent. Can they find and disarm all the bombs in time or will countless lives be lost?
Blair opened his eyes and turned his head to watch. One minute no one stood behind the man, and the next Declan was there with an arm around the guy’s chest, holding him in place. His other hand gripped the man’s chin.
“Drop it,” Declan snarled. The man struggled, and Declan gave him a small jerk. “I was sixteen the first time I killed a man with my bare hands. You’re responsible for my young friend here being hurt. Drop. It.”
The man sucked in a breath, but his fingers opened, and the gun fell to the ground.
“I will kill you. You have the choice of it being quick and painless—here one minute, not here the next. Or…” Declan moved his hand and pressed against the man’s neck. “Do you feel where my thumb is pressing in? Enough pressure there will sever your spinal cord.”
“Fuck you. You can’t really—”
Blair watched as Declan tightened his arm around the man’s rib cage and jerked up with enough force to raise the guy’s feet off the ground for a few seconds. His face turned red, and he gulped.
“Getting hard to breathe? I’m a vampire. That makes me strong enough to crush your rib cage and snap your neck.”
“You’re delusional,” the guy grumbled.
Declan’s eyes changed to a solid moss green, and his fangs dropped. He turned the man’s head far enough to see him. “Whether or not you believe in our existence is irrelevant. Who are you working for?”
The man spit at Declan.
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