Tag Archives: OWI Blog Tours

Blog Tour Post: Hummus on Rye by Karenna Colcroft

Hi everyone! I hope you will enjoy this special blog tour post from author Karenna Colcroft on 5 Random Facts about Boston North Pack, as part of the blog tour of the book “Hummus on Rye”.


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5 Random Facts About Boston North Pack

In my series Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat, vegan werewolf Kyle Slidell and his mate Tobias Rogan, the Alpha, are members of a pack called Boston North. In my universe, packs are named based on geography, usually something like a town that’s part of their territory or a geographic feature in the territory. Boston North isn’t technically in the northern part of Boston, though, nor is it in the North End; it’s in East Boston, which is north of a lot of the rest of the city.

Boston geography is confusing…(spoken as someone who’s lived here for over thirteen years).

I haven’t shared a lot about Boston North as a pack since I started rereleasing the series. Then again, I didn’t share much about it when the books were originally published either. So I thought I’d give readers a glimpse at the pack that Kyle and Tobias call family.

  1. Originally, Boston North Pack wasn’t called that. It was simply called Boston Pack. When the pack was established, its territory encompassed most of Massachusetts east of the Connecticut River, other than the southeasternmost part of the state along with Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. (Those are the territory of Cape Pack.) Even at that time, Boston Pack was the only pack with members living within the limits of a major city. And then…
  2. In the late 1800s, another pack came to Boston not realizing that Boston Pack existed. At the time, there wasn’t much communication among packs, and Boston Pack had few members who were scattered throughout the territory. A larger pack, which had lost its territory in a conflict with yet another pack, came to eastern Massachusetts assuming the territory was up for grabs. When that pack’s Alpha, Chal Torres, realized there was a pack already in the area, he met with the Boston Pack’s Alpha and formed an alliance that allowed Boston Pack to claim territory around its Alpha’s home in East Boston, while Chal’s pack took over the rest of the territory. Boston Pack became Boston North Pack; Chal’s pack became known as City Pack.
  3. Boston North Pack and City Pack are the only two packs, at least in the United States, that have cooperated as far as territory and collaboration between alphas. It’s a very unusual situation, but it works well for both packs.
  4. Boston North is the smallest pack in the United States, both in terms of numbers (at the beginning of the Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat series, Boston North has thirteen members after Kyle is changed; by Hummus on Rye, that number has decreased to ten) and in terms of territory (Boston North’s territory only encompasses East Boston and the town of Winthrop). 
  5. The entire pack lives in a cluster of three apartment buildings on the East Boston waterfront, across the street from Piers Park. The buildings were originally owned by a pack member; when he passed away, his son—who is human, since wolfiness isn’t hereditary in this universe, and didn’t know his father was a werewolf—inherited the buildings. And proceeded, much to the dismay of some pack members, to rent to humans as well as the pack.

That’s a little glimpse into Boston North Pack. If you have questions, please leave them in the comments!

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Hummus on Rye - Karenna Colcroft

Karenna Colcroft has a new MM paranormal romance out, Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat book 3: Hummus on Rye. And there’s a giveaway!

A six-year-old human child, who recently moved with his single father into the heart of the Boston North Pack’s territory, is missing–and Alpha Tobias Rogan has been framed for kidnapping the boy. Meanwhile, a new pack member with a traumatic past has drawn Saul Hughes, the rogue Alpha with a grudge against Tobias, to Boston.

Kyle Slidell, Tobias’s mate, spots Saul and realizes he must be behind the child’s kidnapping. But Saul has retained his powers and uses them to erase his presence from the minds of all of the other Boston wolves. Only Kyle, with his unusual immunity to compulsion, is able to remember seeing the rogue.

To protect his mate and save the little boy, Kyle will violate shifter law and ignore direct orders from the ruler of the Northeast Region werewolves. But will he survive the fallout?

Warnings: mention of sexual assault in characters’ pasts

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Giveaway

Karenna is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this tour:

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Excerpt

I JOLTED awake at about two in the morning, not immediately certain what had awakened me. Not a scream this time, thank goodness. I rolled toward Tobias, hoping that he might be awake too. We could either cuddle the way he liked or work up some exertion that would hopefully put me back to sleep.

He wasn’t there.

“Tobias?” I spoke just loudly enough for him to hear if he was in the apartment. He didn’t answer.

Where are you? I asked, tapping into our mate bond to communicate with him mind-to-mind.

He still didn’t answer, but at least I sensed him at the other end of our connection. He wasn’t hurt or anything. He just wasn’t responding at the moment.

That told me something. If he’d been walking around town in human form, as he sometimes did when he couldn’t sleep, he would have answered me. The fact that he hadn’t meant he was either really, really pissed or he’d shifted.

I slid out of bed and pulled on my shorts, then pulled aside the curtain on the window that looked out to the garden. After his warning to the pack, I didn’t think he would have shifted out there, but if he’d been desperate enough to go wolf he might have. After all, it was well past the hour that most six-year-olds—or most adults, for that matter—would be awake and looking out windows.

I didn’t see Tobias. If he had shifted, he might have gone for a run in the park. I usually left him alone when he did that. This time, it seemed important to find him. I wasn’t sure why, but I wasn’t about to question the instinct. I put on a T-shirt and my shoes and headed out the front door.

Being out there this late as a human wasn’t necessarily the smartest thing. We did live in a relatively safe part of the city. Unfortunately, that didn’t mean there were never assaults in our neighborhood. Roderic’s attack had been specifically targeted at a member—any member—of Boston North Pack, on orders from Saul Hughes. Saul was still out there somewhere; I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d repeated himself by hiring other human gang members to go after our pack and City Pack. I hadn’t heard about any random attacks in this neighborhood since I’d lived there. Those could still happen, though.

I didn’t think too much about that. Right then, my goal was finding my mate. He only went wolf in the city when he was very stressed and needed to run. I didn’t know what was going on, and I didn’t want to leave him alone until I found out.

Wind off the harbor cut through my clothes, but I barely noticed. I made it across the street easily enough and into Piers Park, which closed at sunset. A police car sat at the curb, supposedly to make sure no one entered the park after dark. If any police officers were sitting in the car, they didn’t notice me.

“Tobias?” I called softly. That wasn’t the smartest thing either. If Tobias was there, he would probably hear me. So would any other wolves who happened to be there. Even though Piers Park was part of our territory, we’d been invaded by wolves from other packs before.

Tobias still didn’t answer, but I caught a glimpse of white out of the corner of my eye. When I turned to look full-on, it had vanished behind the brick building that sat in the middle of the park.

If you’re here, please just answer me, I said.

Go home.

At least he was speaking to me. Are you all right?

Go home.

When most werewolves shifted, they held onto a little bit of their human side. Tobias could communicate with me, but his side was likely to be a little bit repetitive. When I shifted, I kept most of my humanity, higher-level thinking skills and all. Apparently that was just another way I was weird in the world of werewolves.

I didn’t leave the park. Tobias wasn’t happy about having me there, but under the annoyance I sensed some relief. He didn’t like being alone.

I walked over to one of the benches and sat down. I’ll wait.

Need to run. Go home.

I won’t get in your way, Tobias, I replied. I just want to make sure you’re all right.

Go home!

This time, compulsion coursed through the words. Not that it did any good. I didn’t bother answering him. He knew I wasn’t going anywhere.

After a couple minutes, a white streak ran out from behind the building and down the park toward the sailing club docks. For a little while, he just kept running back and forth. He didn’t tell me to leave again. He just ignored me completely. I was fine with that. I hadn’t gone over there to have a conversation. I just wanted to make sure he didn’t do anything dangerous.

The wind started to get to me, and I thought about going back to the apartment. Tobias was still running and probably would be for a while. He hadn’t gone anywhere near the harbor, just kept running the same course back and forth from one end of the park to the other, so he’d probably be okay.

Just as I stood up, a furry form leaped over the wall and ran straight toward my mate.


Author Bio

Karenna Colcroft

Karenna Colcroft lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts, and has been in love with the city since childhood, though she has yet to encounter any werewolves, vampires, or other paranormal beings in her travels. At least none that she knows of. Though since in her non-writing life, under another name, she offers services as a channel and energy healing practitioner, it could be said that she herself is a paranormal being. The jury’s still out on that.

Karenna is a polyamorous, nonbinary human who splits time between the home she shares with her husband and the one she shares with her committed partner. She also has two adult children and a bonus son, three grandchildren, and two and a half cats. (Half in terms of time the cat lives with her, not in terms of the cat itself…)

Author Website: https://karennacolcroft.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/riverlightbearer/

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/KarennaColcroft

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/karenna-colcroft/

 

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The Demon Lord of California (Infinity 8 Book One) by Bennu Bright Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A powerful being from another dimension and an angelic heir known as the Demon Lord of California must work together to stop dark forces from taking control of the open portal the being used to enter the human world in author Bennu Bright’s “The Demon Lord of California”, the first book in the Infinity 8 series. 

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The Synopsis

Baker. Wizard. God of Space and Time. Cupcake enthusiast. How long will it take to fan the flames and enrage this gentle phoenix? Start counting.

What’s a wounded and lonely little cinnamon roll to do? Stripped of his psychic powers, Calico Winghorse flees to 19th century earth via his inter-dimensional portal. As a mixed-blood phoenix trapped in human form, he opens a bakery in the San Francisco Bay Area and quietly nurses his wounds. But the unique method of his arrival has drawn the unwanted attention of Infinity Corporation.

Representing this angelic-run company is Agustin Chavez de la Cruz, the Demon Lord of California. Even though Agustin is IC’s heir, he finds himself demoted from his duties to concentrate on his new assignment: take absolute control of the portal. But Calico refuses to sell for any price.

Before Agustin can formulate a more gracious avenue of acquiring Calico’s gateway, the demanding head of IC interferes, further complicating matters. So as negotiations stumble along, Calico and Agustin realize they both wish to establish more than a mere business arrangement. In the mean time, Calico ensures that the good people of the city are getting their fill of baked goods.

However, due to Calico’s injuries, the portal remains vulnerable to the darker forces that want it at any cost. Agustin will have to push both his angelic heritage, as well as his own psychic power to the very limits to mend someone who not only bears celestial blood, but who is also the God of Space and Time. 

The Review

What a fantastic way to begin the new year. The epic proportions of this novel’s world-building were incredible to read. The vastness of the novel’s paranormal world burst open on a grand scale that kept me enthralled by the author’s storytelling. The balance the author found between humor and romance as the story delved into the more everyday, mundane, and human aspects of the story with the more epic, chilling, and heavy aspects of the cosmic scale fantasy horror elements of the story were incredible to see come to life on the page.

The depth of emotional connection the author was able to achieve with the characters in this book was superb. Not only did the author manage to craft a villain that everyone will love hating, but the protagonists of this story found a way to add a level of connection and relatability to their bond together that is not always easy to accomplish when dealing with otherworldly beings. The way Calico opens up Agustin’s world and viewpoints to the point of making sacrifice after sacrifice to help the wayward god of space and time and the connection they shared not only brought that beloved LGBTQ romance and relationship to life, but added the heart to the narrative.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, mesmerizing, and entertaining, author Bennu Bright’s “The Demon Lord of California” is a must-read fantasy and LGBTQ Paranormal novel to kick off 2023, and a great start to the author’s Infinity 8 series. The heart and compassion of the character’s arcs blend well with the action and fantasy world the author has brought to life through incredible imagery in their writing, and the twists and turns will have readers eager for more as the book comes to its climactic conclusion. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!


Rating: 10/10

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The Demon Lord of California - Bennu Bright

Bennu Bright has a new MM alt-history fantasy out (bi/pan, intersex, poly), Infinity 8 book one: The Demon Lord of California. And there’s a giveaway.

A Slow Burn Meet Cute!

Baker. Wizard. God of Space and Time. Cupcake enthusiast. How long will it take to fan the flames and enrage this gentle phoenix? Start counting.

What’s a wounded and lonely little cinnamon roll to do? Stripped of his psychic powers, Calico Winghorse flees his homeworld and travels to 19th century Earth via his inter-dimensional portal. As a mixed-blood phoenix trapped in human form, he opens a bakery in the San Francisco Bay Area and quietly nurses his wounds. But the unique method of his arrival draws the unwanted attention of Infinity Corporation.

Representing this angelic-run company is Agustin Chavez de la Cruz, the Demon Lord of California. Even though Agustin is IC’s heir, he finds himself demoted from his duties to concentrate on his new assignment: take absolute control of Calico’s portal.

But Calico refuses to sell at any price. He is also very busy ensuring that the good people of the city are getting their fill of baked goods.

Before Agustin can formulate a more gracious avenue of acquiring the gateway, the demanding head of IC interferes, further complicating matters. So as negotiations stumble along, Calico and Agustin come to realize they both want more than a stuffy business arrangement.

However, due to Calico’s injuries, the portal remains vulnerable to the darker forces that want it at any cost. Agustin will have to push both his angelic heritage, as well as his own psychic powers to the very limits to heal this sweet baker, who is also the portal world’s God of Space and Time.

The Demon Lord of California is the first book of an LGBTQ+ paranormal-fantasy series. You won’t want to miss a first love found, hidden worlds, and a recovering workaholic grasping at his second chance. All centered around the control of an otherworldly portal. So curl up with your favorite beverage, and hang out with Cal and Gus for a while. You’ll be happy you did!

Warnings: Mature readers. Robbery and assault. Mentioned sexual harassment/assault. Mental abuse from a parent. Fire, burning, burning alive. Possibly implied prostitution, and suicide (by fire).

Universal Buy Link

Liminal Fiction | QueerRomance Ink | Goodreads


Giveaway

Bennu is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

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Excerpt

The Demon Lord of California meme

“Please,” Calico called out, hands waving at chest-level. “Please, wait.”

The raucous noise of the motorcar’s engine ceased. The gentleman stepped down from the vehicle. “You wished to speak to me? Is it about the order? I can reduce the amount of—”

“Oh, no, no,” Calico hurried to reassure. “My brothers and I are most capable, and we will have no difficulty filling and delivering your baked goods. On time. I…” He could do this. He had to do this. His loneliness would drive him mad before the curse could ever eat him into a permanent demise.

Perhaps it would be easier if they did not have the driver as an audience. Calico extended a hand to show his customer the way to the small strip of greenery next to the bakery. He could not be sure exactly what his intentions would entail, by waylaying a most important customer in this manner. It was indecent. Immoral. But Calico felt if he did not, he would lose something, or a moment, that was so dire, he would die.

He would die anyway… Calico bit his lip.

It was well and good his gentleman customer seemed to be interested in his most unusual inquiry. So that provided additional courage. Which came as a surprise.

In the heart of this little park next door to the bakery, his customer artfully arranged himself on the bench beneath the gaslight pole. Sitting straight and tall. Sophistication and elegance radiating just as strongly as the furnace of his elemental aura.

The haziness cast from the street lamp created a most wonderful island against the coming twilight. It strangely made this rendezvous cozier. That alone bolstered Calico’s courage another notch.

When the gentleman looked up at him expectedly with those mismatched eyes, Calico felt mesmerized. Say something, he demanded of himself. Something witty and clever, so he will think me just as gentlemanly and important.

His customer appeared to be fighting the smile on his lips before clearing his throat. He turned his head—just for a second, before facing him again, expression polite.

Say something, Calico pushed himself. He is waiting. He will think me daft and even more unsound than I already am. Alright then. Here I go.

“We are both fire elementals.” The clumsy inquiry had Calico’s cheeks heating in embarrassment. He bent his head at his failure.

“One moment,” the gentleman said. He collected a small item anchored into his top hat and held it up. A blue gem embedded into a silver clip glowed, and the light circled around them like a curtain. Returning the jewel to its place on that magnificent hat, this man languidly leaned against the backrest and angled himself more in his direction.

Calico felt encouraged to pursue a friendly connection, but this intriguing magic had to be investigated. “What was that?”

“A spell my company uses. We call it the Curtain. It keeps our dealings private and unseen from the mundanes—ah, the general non-magical populations, I mean. Usually the humans.”

“That is most ingenious magic,” he exclaimed, leaning in. “I wonder how it compares to my Mirror Bubble?”

There was that smile again, most gentle, and prompting. “You wished to speak of magic? Or something more?”

“Ah, my apologies. Not magic. Will you show it to me?” Calico asked, knowing himself too eager. He tried not to wring his hands and appear desperate.

His customer’s brows rose high, and Calico knew it was in utter surprise, and perhaps curiosity. “Show you… what?” The question was somewhat wary with a touch of amusement.

“Your elemental flame. You see, I too, am—er was once gifted with the flame. I am a phoenix, you see.”

The man blinked. “A phoenix without a flame?”

Calico felt himself turn pink, and put a sheepish hand against the back of his head. “It is a most embarrassing admission,” he rushed. “I did not plan on being so forward. I apol—”

There was a quiet whoosh. Another small circle of light rose, and Calico sensed the heat instantly. There, dancing calmly inches above the gentleman’s gloved palm, was a tear-shaped flame. Flickering in shades of orange, reds, and yellows and blues. And… and yes. White.

He sucked in a breath and suddenly couldn’t breathe. It had been so long since he’d seen such a flame. Curling, writhing in all its glory. Since he was cut off from his ability, Maars did not use his out of sympathy. At least in a sensory view.

Calico swallowed the hitch in his breath. How could this gentleman carry so many colors within? Was he that powerful?

“You’re shaking, Mr. Scrivens.” The flame disappeared, and there was a steadying hand at his shoulder. “Are you well? Perhaps you should sit down.”

Calico touched that hand, as if to anchor it in place. “Yes, yes, I should.” The wooden bench was chilly against his rump. “It-it is quite cold this evening. May I see it again?”

The request was granted. Calico just stared at the dancing shapes. Wishing. Forever longing.

A few seconds passed before the gentleman spoke. “How long has it been since you were unable to create?”

Create. It was an elemental term Calico had heard bandied about as he eavesdropped upon conversations among the local wizard shops. The question sent warm tingles and shivers of fire down his spine.<

Staring at the flame so snug and content curling about the gentleman’s gloved fingertips, Calico suddenly found himself saying, “Sixteen months, two days, seventeen hours and 26 and a half seconds.”

The gentleman cocked his head to the side. He lowered his hand, and the summoned fire faded. “That’s quite precise.”

Indeed! He should not be able to access any of his psychic powers. “I am the God of Space and Time,” Calico said offhandedly.

There was a pause that almost became awkward. “Well, yes. About that. Mr. Scrivens, while we are here, alone, I’d like to take the opportunity to discuss your delivery further.”

“Oh, yes,” Calico replied with renewed energy. “What is it? Would you like to add my famous cupcakes to the order? It is no trouble.”

“N-no. That’s not it. Well, the baked goods are for a recruitment campaign.”

“Recruitment?”

“Yes. My company has need of your skills.”

Calico paused before he made a silly fish out of himself. As much as his mind was centered upon his magic, what if this man merely wanted an extra baker on his payroll, and not a wizard? He had to allow the man to formally extend the offer.


Author Bio

Bennu Bright

Hi! I’m Bennu Bright. Fantasy and paranormal tales have always felt like home. And I’ve always adored getting into the gritty details of a character’s goals and relationships. With my newfound zest for the craft of writing, my work has joined the ranks of romance and the romantic.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, I spend my days nose to the keyboard, or attempting to revive an ancient passion for drawing.

Author Website: https://www.bennubright.com

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/AForgeOfPhoenix

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/BennuBright

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bennubright/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/bennubright

Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/bennu-bright/

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/bennu-bright/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Bennu-Bright/e/B0B763J8Z2

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Between the Broken Stars (Broken Stars Book 4) by Chad Grayson Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A mission for a young couple to find the man they need in order to complete the adoption of the woman’s younger brother leads to a journey of dangerous missions, the return of deadly enemies, and a harrowing exploration of family and love in author Chad Grayson’s “Between the Broken Stars”, the fourth book in the Broken Stars saga.

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The Synopsis

Journalist Will Corwin and Doctor Amelia Warren have been apart for a month while Will finishes building the school in honor of Father Morgan, the priest killed by hybrid alien terrorist Nod Corvus. But things get complicated when Amelia’s ex-boyfriend shows up out of the blue with an offer…he knows where Amelia’s father is—the man they need to find so that Will and Amelia can adopt Amelia’s younger brother, Jonah– but what does he want in exchange for the information? What will they be willing to give him?

Thus begins a star-spanning chapter for Will and Amelia. First, they must find Thomas Warren and serve him notice about the adoption. But what will he require in exchange for his consent? And when they return to Amara and to the village of Burden, a threat from the past reaches out to try and destroy Will once more and jeopardizes the entire building project.

There’s also the wedding of Will’s sister Natalie, and her longtime girlfriend, Jada. It’s the event of the year and will be Amelia and Jonah’s introduction to the life that awaits them as members of House Sinclair. But dark forces conspire to threaten the wedding and the lives of all who attend.

Can Will navigate the demands of his family and find a comfortable place for himself within it? Will Amelia be welcomed into the society of the Twelve Houses? Can their love survive the challenges that threaten to tear them apart? When the worst happens, who will be left standing?

Between the Sacred Stars is the book that changes everything. Life for Will and Amelia will never be the same.

The Review

This was a captivating sci-fi read. The world-building and mythos the author brings to life on the pages of this book were remarkable. While I am fairly new to the series, the author’s writing style did an amazing job of bringing galactic adventure to life, using imagery to help capture the settings of this universe with ease.

Yet to me, it was the character development and the relationships that were explored in this book that really made the story come to life. The bond that the protagonist share together and the depths that they dive into as they explore their pasts and their connections to their families made this story feel both compelling and relatable in a lot of ways. The LGBTQ characters and themes the story brings to life also made the world feel brighter and more well-rounded, making this a memorable read.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, captivating, and engaging, author Chad Grayson’s “Between the Broken Stars” is a stellar sci-fi and romance read and a great addition to the Broken Stars series. The twists and turns in the narrative and the rich character dynamics will keep readers eager to read more of this author’s incredible series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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Between the Sacred Stars - Chad Grayson

Chad Grayson has a new space opera romance out, Broken Stars book 4: Between the Sacred Stars. And there’s a giveaway.

Everything Changes

Journalist Will Corwin and Doctor Amelia Warren have been apart for a month, while Will finishes building the school in honor of Father Morgan, the priest killed by hybrid alien terrorist Nod Corvus. But things get complicated when Amelia’s ex-boyfriend shows up out of the blue with an offer…he knows where Amelia’s father is—the man they need to find so that Will and Amelia can adopt Amelia’s younger brother, Jonah– but what does he want in exchange for the information? What will they be willing to give him?

Thus begins a star-spanning chapter for Will and Amelia. First, they must find Thomas Warren, and serve him notice about the adoption. But what will he require in exchange for his consent? And when they return to Amara, and to the village of Burden, a threat from the past reaches out to try and destroy Will once more and jeopardizes the entire building project. There’s also the wedding of Will’s sister Natalie, and her longtime girlfriend, Jada. It’s the event of the year and will be Amelia and Jonah’s introduction to the life that awaits them as members of House Sinclair. But dark forces conspire to threaten the wedding, and the lives of all who attend.

Can Will navigate the demands of his family, and find a comfortable place for himself within it? Will Amelia be welcomed into the society of the Twelve Houses? Can their love survive the challenges that threaten to tear them apart? When the worst happens, who will be left standing?

Between the Sacred Stars is the book that changes everything. Life for Will and Amelia will never be the same.

Warning: steamy.

Get It On Amazon


Giveaway

One person will win all three of the previous titles in the “Broken Stars” series in paperback.

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Excerpt

Will brought his cameras back from where they had been swooping over the chanting crowd and focused them on the line of police. If this was going to get out of hand, it would probably start with them. They were coming back down the steps now, approaching the crowd. At first, they seemed content to watch and wait. But even Will had to admit the crowd was getting to be too much to handle. Hundreds of people were approaching the CMPD, some shouting at them.

They tensed, forming their line, holding it. The crowd vented itself, then people started walking away. Elsewhere in the plaza, Will could hear shouting. Fights were breaking out, but Will had no sense of what the cause was or how many were involved. Probably just drunk people with no focused outlet, taking out their malfunctions on the passersby.

Will returned his attention to the police. They were standing, looking ready to pounce at the first sign of a threat. Someone, threw a bottle. It shattered against one of the police shields. The cops looked at each other, and apparently, this had been all the signal they needed. They pressed forward, into the crowd, pushing with their shields, batons out, smashing the heads of the people closest to them. Some in the crowd started to scream and run the other way, others surged forward. But the cops were angry now, and they were giving no quarter. Will filmed as they fought the crowd, spilling blood, knocking people to the ground and roughly stepping over them.

One of them suddenly saw Will standing there. Hal took a defensive position in front of him, but Will pushed him back. “Whatever you do,” Will said, “don’t draw your weapon. They will shoot both of us.”

Hal took his advice as the nearest police officer leaned into Will, pointing at his cameras.

“You filming this?” he snarled.

As calmly as he could, Will said, “I’m Will Corwin, with INA, and yes, I am filming this.”

“Turn your cameras off!” The police officer shouted into his face.

“Sorry, I don’t think I will,” Will said. Hal was getting in front of him now, sensing something was about to happen. The cop surged forward, around Hal, and grabbed Will by the arm, yanking him forward. Will dropped the compad in his hand, and the officer grabbed it, throwing it as hard as he could at the stone of the plaza, then finishing the work by bashing it into pieces with his baton.

Will didn’t tell him the footage had already been backed up on INA’s servers. But the cop wasn’t done. He threw Will to the ground, and a couple of his fellows joined him, kicking at Will, their batons raining blows down around his head and shoulders.

Hal threw himself on top of Will now, his arms up, taking the blows for him. But the officers did not let up; they kept hitting Hal and Will. As Hal brought his right arm up to block the blows, Will heard a sickening crack. Hal cried out and dropped his arm. The cops surrounded them now, four of them. They hauled Will to his feet, grabbed hold of Hal, and marched both of them out of the plaza. The pain in his head was so intense that Will thought he might lose consciousness. He tried to keep track of Hal, but his vision was blurry with pain and blood.

The demonstration had devolved into a full-on riot. Will stumbled as the cops led him and Hal away, tossing them in the back of a police wagon, along with several others. Hal’s face was white with pain, his breath coming in ragged pants.

“How badly are you hurt?” Will asked as the wagon filled with prisoners, pushing Will and Hal farther into the back.

“Not sure, but I’ve been better, got to admit,” Hal said, through gritted teeth.

As the wagon filled up, the doors closed behind them, submerging them in darkness. Will leaned close to Hal to whisper, “Sorry I got you into this.”

“You were doing your job,” Hal said. “I’m doing mine.”

“Well, I’m pretty sure we’re being arrested. You have your compad?”

“It’s busted.”

“So, we’ll have to hope they give us a phone call, so I can call Hana and get our lawyers on this.”

The police wagon was moving now, launching itself over the curbs to instead travel on the wide sidewalks. Will settled back in his seat, trying to concentrate on something besides the pain in his head and the sound of Hal’s ragged breathing in his ear.


Author Bio

Chad Grayson has worked as a phone service rep for various tech companies, a gas station attendant, a middle school language arts and history teacher, and even spent one night cutting the mold off the cheese at the cheese factory.

He currently works part time at the local library, and spends the rest of his time writing, reading, hiking, gaming, painting miniatures, and binge-watching Netflix. His superpowers are procrastination and dyscalculia.

He lives near his children in Cottonwood, California, with an assortment of pets including a very bossy cat. He is an associate member of SFWA. You can find him online at chadgrayson.com, on twitter as @chadgrayson, and on tumblr as @therandomavenger.

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Blog Tour Post: Resistance by M.D. Grimm

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Resistance - M.D. Grimm

M.D. Grimm has a new MM sci-fi romance out, Saga of the Bold People book 3: Resistance.

Can a retired assassin be the savior his people need?

How does a former assassin save his fellow humans from extinction? By allying them with mrrogs of course!

But that’s easier said than done as humans are understandably distrustful and suspicious of sescurei, the official species of the InterGalactic community. Leopold must convince them that Mastrodai’s offer of alliance isn’t a trick, which means diplomacy, patience, and tenacity. Times like this make him grateful that he has two strong mates to lean on. And when it comes to understanding his own people, he’d be wise to follow Alex’s lead.

Alex has been too long away from her family and is thrilled to see them again. But with reunions come old pressures, old doubts, and old wounds. She must negotiate who she was with who she is, while helping her mates and her colony come together with the shared goal of freedom.

Mastrodai, meanwhile, finds himself in the minority for the first time in his life, and the constant hostility has him doubting the wisdom of their choices. But he’s devoted to his human mates and determined to see things through no matter the discomfort… or danger.

Not everyone wants what Leopold and his mates have to give, and he needs to break through the resistance humans have built up after generations of degradation, humiliation, and fear. He must win his people’s trust, solve the riddle of his parents’ rings, and navigate the new complexities of his love life.

Being an assassin was so much easier.

Series Blurb:

Leopold is a human in an alien-dominated InterGalactic Community. He gained a reputation as the assassin Voidstriker, until his identity was revealed. He soon finds himself reassessing his life, his mission, and his own identity.

Having spent his entire life driven by hate and fear, he soon finds himself motivated by hope and love. He decides on a new mission in life: freeing the human species. It will be a long, hard road, and one he can’t walk alone. Even as his allies grow in number, he will most depend on his mates–Mastrodai, the mrrog prince, and Alexandra, a fellow human, his best friend, and their lover.

Along with Sasha, a young girl with extraordinary abilities. Leopold is no stranger to challenges but this might be his greatest trial yet.

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Excerpt

Resistance meme - M.D. Grimm

After I docked and killed the engines, the hangar doors closed and the airlock door slid open. In the doorway stood a panting young man, who resembled Alex enough I surmised that was Darius. He had the same pale skin, the same fair hair, and the shape of face was reminiscent of Alex, but his eyes were a dark brown. He stared at the DV as if afraid it would vanish.

I’d kept the opaque shield over the viewing glass to keep Mastrodai hidden for as long as

possible. I suspected there were cameras here, and I needed the reveal to be on my terms.

Alex let out a strangled breath before jumping to her feet and running. She didn’t wait for the DV’s doors to lower completely. She jumped off the ramp much to my and Mastrodai’s panic. We hurried after her but I pressed a hand to Mastrodai’s chest to hold him back. I peeked around the corner and even my stone heart softened a bit. They collided in a flurry of tears and laughter, and he swung her off her feet. They peppered kisses over each other’s faces before he set her back down. But they didn’t let go. Instead they talked over each other, and despite knowing Terran, I couldn’t understand a damn thing.

“Stay inside a bit longer.”

Mastrodai growled.

“Shhh!”

Glowering, he crouched in the shadows of the DV, and I patted his head before trailing after Alex.

Darius was a strapping young man in his black, armored uniform. Two aeunni were holstered at his hips, much like how I wore mine. Both shoulders had a triangle patch. I couldn’t make out the details but they were yellow. He looked like he needed a good sleep but other than that, he appeared well-fed and alert.

Though his eyes were now red from crying.

I stood near them for a moment before Darius noticed me. It amused me when he held his sister tighter, his eyes narrowing. I recognized instant defender mode and couldn’t fault him for it. I was a stranger and that was his beloved, long-lost sister. A sister who’d helped raise him.

I kept my expression neutral and my hands in sight. I nodded to him.

“Hello. Good to meet you.”

“Alex?” he asked, that one word dripping with suspicion.

Alex took a breath and stepped back, breaking his grip. She took my hand and laced our fingers.

“Darius, this is Leopold. He’s my partner, so stop glaring at him.”

Darius’s eyes widened as he flicked his gaze between us. “He… you… what? What happened?”

“I’ll explain everything later, I promise. But we need you to meet our other companion, and you need to help us get an audience with the entire leadership.”

“Why? Dammit, Alex, you have to tell me something. You show up here after cycles of us believing that you were dead or worse, and now you have a partner who looks like he could kill me with his little finger, and you’re acting all mysterious.”

I swallowed a laugh. He wasn’t wrong.

“I will.” She grabbed his hand and squeezed hard enough that he grimaced. “But this is important. Veryimportant, to all of us. Just stay calm while we introduce you to our other partner.”

“‘Other partner’?” Darius scratched his head, looking dazed. “I am so confused.”

Alex bit her lower lip.

I called over my shoulder. “Now’s a good a time as any, Mastrodai.”

I made sure to pronounce his name correctly, not the way I normally did, with all the required growls.

Mastrodai’s heavy steps down the ramp had Darius bracing. I shifted my weight to the balls of my feet and let go of Alex’s hand while taking a subtle step in front of her. Mastrodai wore the armored suit I’d made him almost a Mragin year ago, just as I wore my armtina breastplate, but his head wasn’t protected. It was a gamble that I hoped would pay off. A helmet would other him more than he already would be among a ship full of humans. Mastrodai stepped into view, standing tall and proud, but weaponless and showing his hands.

Darius yelped and went for his aeunn.

At the same time, alarms sounded, proving that someone must have been watching the cameras. Mastrodai glared at the flashing lights, his ears flat against his head in deference to the noise.

“Darius, no!”

I leapt and tackled Darius, disarming him and tossing away his second aeunn. He struggled and fought, screaming. He had strength and passion but I had training and years of practice. I managed to roll him onto his stomach and with a knee to his back, I yanked up his arm behind him, pinning him.

“Don’t hurt him! Oh Void, Leopold!”

“Show him, Alex! Show him that Mastrodai isn’t a threat.”

With a sob, Alex ran to Mastrodai and hugged him. He held her tightly, purring, eyes and ears alert for any other aggression. Alex looked back at Darius, pleading with her eyes.

Darius stilled, frozen in shock.


Author Bio

M.D. Grimm Logo

M.D. Grimm has wanted to write stories since second grade (kind of young to make life decisions, but whatever) and nothing has changed since then (well, plenty of things actually, but not that!). Thankfully, she has indulgent parents who let her dream, but also made sure she understood she’d need a steady job to pay the bills (they never let her forget it!).

After graduating from the University of Oregon and majoring in English, (let’s be honest: useless degree, what else was she going to do with it?) she started on her writing career and couldn’t be happier.

Working by day and writing by night (or any spare time she can carve out), she enjoys embarking on romantic quests and daring adventures (living vicariously, you could say) and creating characters that always triumph against the villain, (or else what’s the point?) finding their soul mate in the process.

Author Website: https://www.mdgrimmwrites.com

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And Now, Here is a Message and Excerpt of Resistance from author M.D. Grimm

Good day lovely readers! Thank you for joining me. I am M.D. Grimm and I am here to promote my newest release, Resistance. This is the latest entry in the Saga of the Bold People. I am thrilled to release a new book in this series. These are super-novels and take twice as long as my other books to write (if I’m lucky). So, if you like grumpy, pessimistic former assassins and their long-suffering mates, as well as a dystopian setting with hope hanging on by a thread, this series might be for you!

Check out the below excerpt to learn a little bit about Alex, the woman who captured both a former assassin’s heart (Leopold) and an elite alien’s (Mastrodai). I was thrilled to finally present her voice. This is from the prologue:

***

“Alexandra Petrov, you get your ass down here now!”

Before I could answer, others shoved Mila down farther, wanting the relative safety of the dark bunker. I let her be torn from me and backed away to help the other mothers.

“Sara, you dropped your blanket, here. June, be careful, the first step is slippery. Here, let me take that, Gabe. No, no Devon, support the head.”

Devon, a new father, shaky with terror, managed to comprehend my words and held his newborn tighter to his chest. Amy, his wife, clung to his arm as she shuffled as fast as she could. She’d been forced to have a C-section, and I feared she’d pass out. I grabbed her other arm and steadied her down the steps, while trying not to block others.

I struggled to count heads in the dark and worried there were too many of us for the bunker. That was the main reason for Gerald coordinating descents. It was for safety as well as to make sure everyone got a turn.

Garbled Veruvian came closer, and the hair on the back of my neck rose as if our pursuers were breathing down my neck.

“Hurry!” I whispered.

But they weren’t moving fast enough and the bunker was almost filled to bursting. Raiders would soon be upon us. I had a choice to make.

A choice that would mean goodbye to everyone and everything I knew and loved. I caught Layla’s frantic glance over her shoulder. I gazed at Tula and Talia, twins who’d also given birth to twins, and their spouses, Roger and Edna. These people were my extended family, forged through shared experiences, both good and bad, rather than blood. 

Tears threatened but I swallowed them back. As with every other time when fear tried to consume me, I bricked it up behind a wall of numbness. Of emotionless instinct. When my father yelled at me, beat me, I’d grown numb. When my mother insulted and berated me, I’d grown numb. And now, it would be my salvation once again.

Mila and the others and their babies were all that mattered.

I turned to face the raiders and ran straight for them. It was too dark for anyone to notice, which gave me a chance at a semblance of stealth. I followed the voices, sticking as close to the shadows as I could. My heart still raced, and my mouth and throat were as dry as a desert, but my mind was focused. Distraction. Time. I needed to give both so the others could close the door to the bunker and secure themselves.

Our little village wasn’t in the best shape, and I used that to my advantage. I grabbed a flimsy plank of wood and broke it into smaller pieces on my knee. The sounds made a few raiders shift away from the rest to investigate. My vision had adjusted to the darkness and, considering none of them had lights on their helmets or rejlfei, they probably had natural night vision. I couldn’t determine their species, and I didn’t much care. It didn’t matter.

With a courage I knew Mila would be proud of, I screamed at them and threw the wood shards at their heads. They flinched, the suddenness of my attack catching them off guard.

“To the Void with you aliens! I spit on your home planets!” I said in Veruvian.

Someone barked out a harsh order, and most came after me. It would have to do. I ran. I ran in the opposite direction. I ran until daggers scraped my lungs, until my legs burned, until fatigue made me stumble. I knew I couldn’t escape. Didn’t matter. Time. Distraction. My freedom was already gone.

They didn’t shoot at me, wanting me alive. Though that didn’t mean they wouldn’t harm me, punish me for the insults. I tightened on the numbness that protected me like armor. It was just my body they would hurt. Not me. They would never touch Alex Petrov. Not where it mattered.

A tranq finally stopped me.

***

The first three books of the Saga of the Bold People are available for purchase at Amazon (also in print!) and Smashwords. I have a newsletter that I send out monthly with all the goodies you can expect in the future. That’s the best way to find out about my current and future projects.

For fans of The Stones of Power series, I have finished the first draft of Jade: First and Last (9) and am now rigorously editing it. I hope to release it in Spring 2023, so keep your eyes peeled for that! I will be releasing Crimson Purity, the next in the Shifter Chronicles book, in January 2023. I am also working on an MMF single title with dragons and outlining the next Shifter Chronicles book. Wish me luck!

More information on my catalog can be found at my website.

I hope you stay safe and healthy, and may dragons guard your dreams,

M.D. Grimm

Androids & Aliens by J. Scott Coatsworth Blog Tour & Author Interview

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New Release / Giveaway: Androids & Aliens - J. Scott Coatsworth

J. Scott Coatsworth has a new queer sci fi collection out: Androids & Aliens. And there’s a giveaway.

Androids & Aliens is Scott’s third short story collection – eight sci fi and sci-fantasy shorts that run the gamut from cyborgs to (comedic) alien invasions:

Rise: Because of the rise in sea levels associated with climate change, Venice vanished beneath the lagoon half a century ago. But what if we could bring it back?

Ping: I was a real estate agent by day and a museum curator in the evenings at a sci-fi museum. What I saw one night changed everything.

What the Rain Brings: Miriam struggles to make a living in post-climate-change Vancouver. But her friend Catalina has it even worse in the Arizona desert. So Miri hatches a plan.

High Seven: Zan dreams of making full reals – immersive live virtual reality skins – but his low test score may doom him to a life of cheap graphic coding.

Full Real: Dek’s given up his life of spying for the city. But one more case awaits him. Will he regret it more if he takes it. or if he turns it down?

Shit City: The Bay Area’s being walloped by a hurricane, and seventeen-year-old Jason Vasquez has been relocated to a refugee city in the Nevada Desert. Will it be temporary shelter, or a change of life?

Firedrake: Kerry has always wondered about his deadly powers. But a mysterious bunch of violet roses start him on the path to discovery – even if he’s not sure he’s going to like what he finds.

The Last Human Heart: I’m one of the Remainers, the few cyborg humans still living on this busted planet. But if my still-human heart finally gives out, I may not live to find out the truth.

This is the first time all of these stories have all been collected in one place, and the first time the Pacific Climate Tryptich – What the Rain Brings, High Seven, and Full real – have been published in any form.

Warnings: Full Real contains attempted kidnapping and references to off-page physical and sexual abuse.

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Scott is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

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Excerpt

Androids & Aliens meme

From The Last Human Heart

I slip out of the culvert as the sun falls behind the tawny hills on the horizon, a green flash lighting the sky. My heart beats at a steady pace.

Climbing back up onto the highway, I check the co-ordinates. With luck and a steady pace, I should reach the Trading Station by morning.

The stag crosses my mind again, that strange stare, beast to beast. There’s so little out here for it to live on or in, no trees or shade or shelter from the blistering sun. Just grass. Lots and lots of grass. Where did you go?

Taking one measured step after another, I start on my way, timing them to the beating of my heart.

A heady sense of possibility fills my chest. It’s strange, something I haven’t felt in years. I’ve traveled the length of the continent, from New York to California. I’ve been to Alaska and as far south as the isthmus, where rising seas finally finished the work of the Panama Canal, severing North and South America. In a few short centuries, humankind accomplished what Nature had labored for eons to do.

An hour later, I get my first look at the towers of Sacramento. I haven’t been here in decades, but it looks much the same as before. Its hulking skyscrapers and superscrapers look like bloody teeth in the infrared. Many are broken. Some still standing, others long since crashed back to the ground whence they came. They glow with stored heat, slowly bleeding it off into the atmosphere as the air cools.

Whence they came? I snort. I’m in rare form tonight—practically Shakespearian. Erik would have teased me endlessly for that.

I frown. He’s been on my mind a lot lately. Mortality having her fun with me?

I flash back to nights in Shanghai, fighting with my metal brothers and sisters in the street-to-street combat of the last wars. Flashes of light and explosions as nano bombs fell into civilian neighborhoods, eating everything in their path—stone and brick, flesh and bone.

I shudder. I should delete those memories—they only bring me pain. And yet… sometimes we need to remember the pain, so we don’t repeat it. But we can’t let it define us.

Who said that? Erik? My father?

No. It was Cassie. My erstwhile traveling companion for a couple years after the upload. When all that remained in this empty, broken world were the bots and empty, broken cyborgs like Cassie and me.

She’d finally shut herself down two decades ago. I’m tired of living, David.

Pain leaches away some of my good will. Maybe she had it right. Maybe it’s time for me, too, to give in to the inevitable. But I’m not quite ready yet, so I just keep moving.


Author Bio

J. Scott Coatsworth

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 the committee chair for the Indie Authors Committee at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

Author Website: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com

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Author Interview

Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured if your book? If so, discuss them.

Yes, always! Ever since I started writing seriously, I’ve made a point of including folks from across the LGBTQ spectrum. I’ve also written BIPOC characters, a deaf character, and one with OCD. In Androids and Aliens, most of the characters are gay, but there’s a non-binary character and a lesbian couple as well. And do cyborgs count? 😛

How do you approach covers for your indie stories?

I create most of my own these days. I’ve been using photoshop in our day job for years to work on photos for our websites, and have learned to use it more creatively these last three. I’ve also had some help with typography and cover design from Kelley York at Sleepy Fox Designs. She did the type for A&A too. 🙂

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Astronomer. Writer. Rock Star.

I always loved signing, but somehow I just didn’t have the rock star vibe. I wanted to be an astronomer, and then I found out how much math it took to be an astronomer. I just wanted to look at the pretty nebulas, planets and stars. So that left “writer”!

What action would your name be if it were a verb?

To bounce one’s leg in a frenetic fashion.

“That guy scotted his leg so hard he knocked over the table.”

*grin*

What are you working on now?

I’m just about finished with a new four book trilogy. Yeah, you read that right. It was supposed to be three, but the last book was too long so I split it in half. It’s called the Tharassas Cycle, and it’s loosely connected to my other two trilogies. Book one, The Dragon Eater, will release in March.

The audiobook version of Skythane, my first novel, will be out in audio in February.

And next, I’ll be starting on Coredivers, book two of the Redemption Cycle, after Dropnauts.

Rembrandt’s Station by Christie Meierz Cover Reveal

Rembrandt's Station - Christina Meierz

Christine Meierz has a new MM sci-fi romance coming out in January, Farryn’s War book one: Rembrandt’s Station. And we have the cover reveal!

Stationmaster and exiled aristocrat Albert St. John Rembrandt—Bertie to his friends—is in love with a man he’s always believed he can’t have, and finding out the hard way that some Tolari are as poisonous as their planet is only the beginning of his troubles.

A ship has gone missing. His station is in crisis. Bertie must somehow recover his health and manage the disaster while trying to decide whether to accept genetic modification in order to be with the man he loves.

And no Rembrandt has ever taken a gen mod.

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Christie is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card with this reveal:

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Excerpt

Rembrandt's Station meme

Bertie was dying.

The Monral bent over him. “My love, I beg you—”

“Must… must stay human… the Duke…”

The Monral slammed his other hand onto the treatment bed and looked up at the apothecary, knowing his face betrayed the pain of his next words. “You cannot give it to him unwilling.”

She nodded, her own face betraying nothing. Grimly, he poured more of his own strength through his fingers into Bertie, who rallied a little, bringing the pain roaring back. Pain itself could kill a human. The path to keeping Bertie alive lay along a cliff’s edge. Any mistake would plunge him into the dark.

The apothecary pointed her chin at his hand. “We will do all we can for him, but high one, you must pace yourself.”

He shook his head and turned back to Bertie, willing him to remain in the light. Stay alive. Stay alive! Stubborn human! Why? Why did he risk losing his own life to remain unmodified, to hold himself apart from a belonging he clearly desired?

Poisoned, sickened, in extreme pain—Bertie could not be thinking clearly. Did that give the apothecaries an excuse to disregard his oft-stated opinion about the blessing?

Or—he could make Bertie want the blessing.

The Monral lowered his head. No. That, Bertie would never forgive. When he realized he had been manipulated—and he would—he would hate them all.

At least he would be alive to hate them.

The Monral wiped at stinging eyes. He could not betray Bertie now, though the consequences were unthinkable. He touched his forehead to Bertie’s cheek, let his senses wrap around his lover’s presence. Pain. Everywhere, pain. It crescendoed. Bertie cried out, and the Monral drew a harsh, gasping breath. It was too much, and he broke the contact to straighten. A chair touched the back of his legs; he dropped heavily onto it. Bertie had to live. He had to. If he would not take the blessing, then the Monral would do what he could do, even give every last bit of his own strength to save him. He could live with prolonged exhaustion. He was unsure if he could live without Bertie. Not anymore.

Bertie writhed. “I don’t want to die alone,” he rasped. “I don’t—” The last word broke off into another scream.

The Monral’s vision glazed. “You are not alone, my love,” he said, when the scream subsided into choking sobs. “And you will not die. Not while I am here.”

Bertie sighed, and his emotional landscape fell into a disorganized chaos of shallow unconsciousness. His body spasmed and twitched. Around him, the apothecaries, nurses, and aides moved rapidly about their varied tasks, but even unconscious, the pain hardly dulled, radiating from Bertie like heat from a fire. The Monral sagged in the chair, exhaustion fogging his thoughts. He had poured almost everything he had into Bertie. It was still not enough.

“You will not die while I am here,” he repeated, and ignored caution to pull what he still could through his ruling bond, pushing that through his fingers.

He tried to find more. There was nothing left. He would have to wait for the energy available to him through his ruling bond to replenish itself, but he was out of time. Bertie was out of time. Already his glow began to dim again. Tears welled up and spilled down the Monral’s cheeks. He was going to lose him. He was going to lose Bertie.

No. He gathered his remaining strength. If giving it left him unfit to rule, so be it, so long as it kept Bertie alive. If it was not enough—

He took a breath, facing the reality before him. If it was not enough, then Albert St. John Rembrandt, the Duke of New Norfolk’s unwanted youngest son, would walk into the dark surrounded by the love of Monralar.

“I am yours, my love,” the Monral whispered. “I will always be yours.”

He took a deep breath, gathering himself.

A feeling of being watched stole over him, and with it, a sense of Parania’s beloved. He paused. Laura was awake and listening, then. Or she was traveling about while her body slept. Why was she here?

Was it simply to offer comfort when Bertie—if Bertie—when—his thoughts stuttered to a halt. More tears spilled.

Then something touched the very core of his heart and soul, refreshing and replenishing, and suddenly he was alert. Energy poured in from his ruling bond as if he had yet given nothing at all. Startled hope flooded him. He drew another deep breath and directed the energy into Bertie. The dimming stopped.

From across the stronghold, he felt the smile on Laura’s face.

* * *

As dawn approached, the mood in the apothecaries’ quarters lightened with the sky. Even to the Monral’s untrained eye, as bad as Bertie looked, his color was better, pale as a summer cloud but no longer grey. Much of the pain had subsided, to the relief of everyone in the room, and though his breathing was shallow, it had settled into an even pattern. The Monral caught the head apothecary’s eye and lifted an eyebrow. She nodded.

“He is out of immediate danger,” she said. “We will do all we can to repair the damage to his body, high one, but it is extensive, and he will require many tens of days to fully recover. He could not have survived without the strength you lent him.”

Its work done, his connection to the beloved of Parania guttered like a candle flame and went out, leaving his chest aching but his body thrumming with energy. Mother of All, he thought. What power Laura had. And how much longer could her Paran hide the fact of it from those who would use or destroy her?

The Monral turned back to Bertie, whose eyes had slitted open. The whites were entirely stained red with blood. “Good morning,” he told him gently, in English.

Bertie managed a faint smile and said, in a hoarse whisper, “You sure know how to show a man a good time.”


Author Bio

Rembrandt's Station - Christie Meierz

Award-winning author Christie Meierz writes space opera and science fiction romance set on a world of empaths at the edge of a dystopic human empire. Her published works include her PRISM award-winning debut novel, The Marann, three more novels set in Tolari space, and several short stories.

She is a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA), spent 10 years raising sheep in Broome County, New York, and has been declared capable of learning Yup’ik.

Christie now lives in Rochester, NY, where she and her mathematician husband serve as full-time staff to two parlor panthers known to humans as Banichi the Assassin and Miss Myrtle the Hurricane Cat. (Their true names remain a mystery). When she’s not writing, she writes about writing on her blog, her personal Facebook page, where she welcomes comments and friend requests, and her Facebook Author Page.

Author Website: http://christiemeierz.com

Author Facebook (Personal): http://facebook.com/christie.meierz

Author Facebook (Author Page): http://facebook.com/tolarispace

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChristieMeierz

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6550983.Christie_Meierz

Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/29733/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Christie-Meierz/e/B009N3UB22/

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Questionable Minds by Fraser Sherman Blog Tour Blast

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Questionable Minds - Fraser Sherman

Fraser Sherman has a new steampunk mystery book out: Questionable Minds.

In Victorian England, 1888, there are those who say Sir Simon Taggart is under the punishment of God.

In an England swirling with mentalist powers — levitation, mesmerism, mind-to-mind telegraphy — the baronet is unique, possessed of mental shields that render him immune to any mental assault. Even his friends think it’s a curse, cutting him off from the next step in human mental and spiritual evolution. To Simon, it’s a blessing.

Four years ago, the Guv’nor, mystery overlord of the London underworld, arranged the murder of Simon’s wife Agnes. Obsessed with finding who hired the Guv’nor, Simon works alongside Inspector Hudnall and Miss Grey in Scotland Yard’s Mentalist Investigation Department. Immunity to mental telegraphy, clairvoyance and mesmerism are an asset in his work — but they may not be enough to crack the latest case.

A mysterious killer has begun butchering Whitechapel streetwalkers. With every killing, the man newspapers call “the Ripper” grows in mental power and in the brutality of his attacks. Is murder all that’s on his mind or does he have an endgame? And what plans do the Guv’nor and his army of agents have for Simon and the Whitechapel killer?

Questionable Minds is set in a Victorian England struggling to preserve the social hierarchy while mentalism threatens to overturn it. The cast of characters includes Dr. Henry Jekyll (and yes, his friend Edward Hyde too), Jack the Ripper, and multiple other figures from history and fiction.

Warnings: Graphic violence. Victorian sexism and imperialism.

Universal Buy Link


Excerpt

Simon Taggart’s plunge into the abyss happened in an instant.

Col. Moran, seated at the dining table on Simon’s left, had said something to the Duke of Falsworth about a fellow hunter Moran had known in India committing suicide. Falsworth snidely observed that given the man’s debts, hanging himself had been the only possible solution.

And suddenly Simon was standing in the drawing room again. Staring up at Agnes in her white nightgown, hanging from the ceiling with her tongue protruding, her face blackened. Rage consumed him at the memory, rage at the men who’d brought about his wife’s death. Pearson Bartlett, mesmerist. The Guvnor, who’d given Bartlett his orders. And behind them, the unknown man who’d paid to have Agnes slain.

It was the scent of mutton that snapped him back to the Montworths’ dining room, a scent rising from the porcelain serving platter levitating through the air before him. Steered by Amanda Montworth’s vril, the platter bore the roast saddle of mutton down the long dining-room table. Her grey eyes were fixed on the platter, of course, as levitators depended on sight to focus their vril. The eyes of her parents and eleven uneasy guests were also watchful as the dish approached the epergne, the massive candelabra at the table’s center. Simon knew he wasn’t the only guest imagining what a shower of spilled gravy would do to their formal black waistcoats, jackets and white gloves, or the women’s elegant dresses.

The platter clinked against the epergne and shuddered for a moment, but Amanda, brow furrowed, regained her mental grip. The platter ceased quivering, backed away and settled into the hands of one of the footmen, to be served a la russe, around the table. Amanda gasped slightly as she released control.

“There, isn’t that remarkable, Sir Simon?” Buxom Mrs. Montworth flashed a smile at Simon, the wealthiest of her guests. “I don’t know anyone with the strength of mind my Amanda has, do you? Well, not anyone who is anyone, shall we say?”

“Mother, please,” Amanda said. “This is embarrassing.”

“No, you did quite well.” Simon smiled politely, forbearing to point out that for all the money John Montworth’s ironworks brought in, in London society the Montworths were emphatically not anyone. Amanda performing a servant’s duties only confirmed that, as the poor girl undoubtedly knew. “A strong mind is—an asset to the Empire.”

“When the turtle soup comes out, Amanda,” Mrs. Montworth went on, “I think you should levitate—”

“Oh, no, my dear Mrs. Montworth,” Simon said quickly, remembering soup spurting from a shattered tureen at another dinner he’d attended. Besides, Amanda had been embarrassed enough. “A girl as lovely and delicate as Amanda, no matter how strong her vril, should be careful not to overexert herself.” As Mrs. Montworth simpered and nodded, Amanda, who looked as delicate as one of her father’s foundry workers, smiled her thanks at Simon.

“That’s enough entertainment for this evening,” John Montworth said in his north-country accent. “Carmody?” Carmody, the butler, gestured for the footmen to resume their duties; it was a faux pas for Montworth to address a servant during dinner, but the past few minutes had utterly nonplussed the staff.

Simon considered Amanda sensible and good-hearted. It wasn’t her fault her vril manifested as a crude, physical ability, nor that her mother was as blind to the social graces as some men to colors. Fortunately, with several months before the start of the Season, the guests had few people they could gossip with—and there’d be much better gossip by January, when the Montworths presented Amanda at court.

#

“‘Preciate your help, Sir Simon.” John Montworth said, clipping off the end of his cigar as a servant filled Simon’s glass. The women had left the room moments before, allowing the men a half-hour or so to indulge themselves. “Mrs. Montworth’s dreadful proud of our girl having vril, she is—I try to tell her to be more discreet but—”

“It’s been a new world these past eight years,” Simon said, savoring Montworth’s peerless port. “Too new to have all the polite niceties of psychic usage down pat.” A courteous lie; everyone knew physical manifestations of mentalist power were completely inappropriate in society.

“You mean like yourself assisting Scotland Yard?” Thin, pallid Ronald Carpenter, Duke of Falsworth, smirked and blew a plume of smoke. “A man of your impeccable pedigree, mingling with the lowest orders? Gilbert and Sullivan could make a wonderful comic opera out of it if you ask me.”

“I don’t believe I did.” Simon’s anger surged up again, but the smile beneath his thin mustache stayed coldly formal. “And there is nothing comical about the beasts who use vril to prey upon others.” Like Pearson Bartlett, who could mesmerize a woman to put a noose around her own neck. “I do my duty to England, nothing more.”

His Grace met Simon’s cold stare, then looked away with affected unconcern. Dukes far outranked baronets, but Falsworth’s title was new, and the man was still insecure. A Taggart was never insecure.

“Men like your Inspector Hudnall have my highest respect,” Moran said to Simon. As usual the colonel had stuck with whiskey instead of port. “In the jungle or the London streets, it takes a sharp man to hunt predators successfully. And who’s better suited than you, Sir Simon, to the sport of hunting mentalists?”

“Hardly sport.” Simon replied. “Unlike you, colonel, I consider hunting man-eaters a public service, not an adventure.”

“But men like that are evolutionary dead ends,” Montworth said. “Thanks to Lady Helena, all mankind—almost all—will ultimately be elevated to a higher plane.” His glance had lit upon Simon at the “almost.” “The murderers, the butchers, the Varneys of the present day will become fairytales, like ogres or Bluebeard, in the world that is to come.”

It was a typical Theosophist sentiment, but Simon found he was in no mood to argue with it.


Author Bio

Fraser ShermanBy the time Fraser Sherman graduated college he’d lost interest in his degree field. He tried writing and discovered he liked it. Since then he’s spent ten years as a journalist, sold two dozen short stories and five film reference books. His most recent book was the self-published Undead Sexist Cliches, about the stupidity of misogynist beliefs.

Although born in England, Fraser spent most of his life in Northwest Florida. He’d be there still if he hadn’t met his dream woman and moved to Durham NC to be with her. They’ve been married 11 years and are the proud parents of two small dogs and two half-domesticated cats.

Author Website: https://www.frasersherman.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/fraser.sherman

Author Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/bogatyr5

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4103781.Fraser_Sherman

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Fraser-A-Sherman/e/B000APPPDW

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Blog Tour: Third Front by E.M. Hamill

Third Front - E.M. Hamill

E.M. Hamill has a new queer space opera out (non-binary, gender fluid, pansexual, gay), The Dalí Tamareia Missions book 3: Third Front. And there’s a giveaway.

Dalí Tamareia has the terrorist Skadi in their sights – but bringing her in may cost them everything.

Dalí’s role as an undercover operative is compromised, putting a target on their back and threatening the close-knit team aboard Thunder Child. A new lead on Miriam Skadi’s activities forces them back to Luna, where they must confront everything they tried to run from…including their changed relationship with Rion Sumner, who insists on backing up Dalí for this investigation.

But Dalí is not the only one searching for Skadi. An alien presence hunts the terrorist as well, taking over Sumner’s body to ensure Dalí’s cooperation. With their team on the other side of the solar system Dalí must depend on this questionable ally to complete the mission, which takes a deadly turn when an old nemesis resurfaces.

If there is any chance for a future with Sumner and their chosen family, Dalí must exorcise the demons haunting them, or they will burn in the heart of a star.

Warnings: graphic violence, grief, sexually explicit scenes

About the Series: A diplomat turned galactic operative risks everything to bring in the terrorist who shattered their life.

Get It At Amazon


Giveaway

E.M. is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this tour:

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Excerpt

Third Front meme - E.M. Hamill

The flint-blue curve of Earth filled the transparent alloy of the windshield. Even gravely wounded, humanity’s ancestral home was breathtaking. Phantoms of arid golden continents haunted breaks in the heavy cloud-cover; oceans glinted like winks of mercury in Sol’s light. The atmosphere was beginning to clear, but it would take the surface longer to purge the toxic aftermath of war and pollution from soil and sea

How in the seven hells did we manage to fuck up a whole planet?

“Prepare for drop,” Sumner murmured into his headset. I braced myself.

“In five. Four. Three. Two … “

The magnet released us. Sumner fired top thrusters to quickly maneuver the ship away from the hull and we floated free. “We’re clear.”

“See you soon,” Ozzie said. Thunder Child left us in her wake, heading off to complete the surveillance mission. Sumner throttled the little craft into motion and carved an arc in space, putting the planet behind us.

And there it was.

The moon’s disc swelled before us, painted in silver and ash. In the nightfall of Earth’s passing shadow, the lunar plains of Mare Nubium sparkled with lights, and at the southern horn of the penumbra’s crescent, where light and darkness embraced, lay the place I once called home.

“Have you ever been to Luna?” My uneven voice betrayed the winding tension inside me.

“No.” Sumner glanced at me, but I kept my gaze on the moon, unable to meet his eyes. “I’ve only been to the major space stations before Mars. Where did you live?”

“Kepler. You can just make out a hexagon of complexes north of the crater.”

“I see it.”

“The apex dome, Galileo, is where the Capitol is. The University is under Kepler, at the middle left. That’s where … where we … “

Memories lay bitter and sweet on my tongue, the ache in my throat a hot coal. Oh, coming back was such a bad idea.

“The—” I coughed to clear the suffocating thickness from my voice. “The old city is in the industrial complex at the bottom of Bullialdus Crater, that cluster of rectangular structures near the shuttle port.”

A sparkle of transparent alloy and steel caught my eye as we got closer. My palms grew damp.

Luna Terminal gleamed against the void of space. Intact, as if the explosion that shattered the Earthward docking arm and killed so many innocent people had never happened. As if my heart was still whole and strong, not the bruised piece of meat thudding too fast in my chest.

The restored line of windows where Gresh and ‘Sida once stood to bid me goodbye were blank and flawless. Empty.

The spring-coil of anxiety suddenly exploded into shards and hollowed out my insides. I forgot to breathe, my white-knuckled fingers clenching the edge of the jump seat.

Fuck Kiran Singh. No matter what Mother England wanted to tell me, I should never have agreed to come back.

My breath ran shallow in the heavy gravity of blind panic. I fumbled with the stiff buckle of the five-point harness.

“Dalí? You okay?” Sumner’s quiet voice cut through the noise in my head.

“I can’t … ” The clasp wouldn’t give, my sweat-slick fingers numb and buzzing. “God damn it! I need to get out of the cockpit.”

“Hey, hey.” He extended his right hand and gently laid it over mine where I scrabbled at the release. “We’re in Three. Where are you going to go?”

I gave up trying and gripped his hand, pressing it against my chest.

“I’m here,” he said, his voice low and soothing. “Breathe. A deep breath. Come on, you can do it.”

I drew in a shuddering gasp, filled my lungs with air, and just as unevenly let it out.

“Again.”

The second one was less painful. “I’m sorry,” I managed to wheeze. “I didn’t think it would hit me this hard.”

“You thought you were prepared. You weren’t. Not yet.”

His hand was warm, and I hugged it like an anchor against the free-fall of chaos. I didn’t let go until my breathing was closer to normal and I knew I wouldn’t fall apart. His touch calmed me, and at the same time it created a ripple of longing I wasn’t ready to deal with. That was finally what made me let go.

“Thank you,” I mumbled, releasing his hand with a sheepish press of gratitude, and scrubbed my wet eyes with my palms. It was the first episode in months since I’d started the meds. I was fiercely glad Thunder Child was out of our implanted coms’ range and my teammates had not been remote witnesses to this meltdown. “I feel ridiculous.”

“Never feel that way.” The gentle admonition made me glance up and meet his eyes. Aquamarine sparks snapped in the depths of his irises as he held my gaze. “What you witnessed can’t be processed all at once. It comes out in pieces because it’s too much.”

“That felt like a huge chunk.” But the empty space had begun to collapse on itself. The void softly filled with a new substrate and covered the scree of old trauma as we stared at each other. Once again, Rion Sumner showed me the side I wanted to know better, and I desperately wanted to know it when I wasn’t a fucking mess he had to prop up.

“Port Armstrong to approaching vessel.” Three’s com blared as Luna Station’s control center registered our presence. The emotionless mechanical voice in our headsets startled both of us. “Verify identity and destination.”

Sumner toggled his mic with what I swore was irritation. “Port Armstrong, Midak 3 requesting approach.”

“Midak 3, transmitting approach vectors,” the artificial controller’s voice replied.

The instrument panel came alive with lights and coordinates. Auto-piloting sequences blinked suggestively on the data screen. Of course, Sumner chose to pilot Three manually, our moment of connection sublimated into preparation to enter lunar airspace.

I silently cursed the cock-blocking AI running the tower and sat back to watch him guide our little craft into the deep well of Bullialdus Crater, a bright path of syncopated flashes leading us into the underground terminal. The small, rocking thump of landing sent a shiver through me.

Luna. The people who had made it my home no longer existed, yet here I was.


Author Bio

Elisabeth “E.M.” Hamill is a nurse by day, unabashed geek, chocoholic, sci fi and fantasy novelist by nights, weekends, and wherever she can steal quality time with her laptop.

She lives with her family in the wilds of eastern suburban Kansas, where they fend off flying monkey attacks and prep for the zombie apocalypse.

Author Website: https://emhamill.wordpress.com

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/EMHamill

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/songmagick

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16592440.E_M_Hamill

Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/e-m-hamill/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B00JY0FV8S

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Blog Tour: Resurrection Men by Steven Harper

Resurrection Men - Steven Harperp

Steven Harper has a new MM historical romance out: Resurrection Men. And there’s a giveaway.

Arthur Tor steals the dead for a living. As a resurrection man, he creeps around graveyards with his shovel, hoping to dig up corpses so he can sell them to the local medical college and pay his tuition there. He also holds a strange position in underground society. If someone is dying a slow, painful death, the family members come to Arthur and beg him to end their loved one’s pain. Arthur can never refuse, and he helps the dying cross the threshold without more pain in a process he calls the Black Rounds. Unfortunately, the local judge has gotten wind of Arthur’s activities and has sworn to send him to prison—or the hangman’s noose.

Jesse Fair has fled his corrupt family in Baltimore and landed in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where he becomes the town gravedigger and, eventually, the undertaker. He works hard to help grieving families through their pain with warmth and compassion. Some of these families make odd requests for their dearly departed, and Jesse discovers that the undertaker often has to deal with the absurd side of death. But his nefarious family is still searching for him. Relentlessly. And once they find him, Jesse will have to make a terrible choice.

When Jesse catches Arthur in the act of robbing a grave, the two of them form a strange friendship and even stranger partnership that digs deep into social taboos—and into their own souls.

In his first book since his critically-acclaimed novel The Importance of Being Kevin, Steven Harper spins a heartfelt, uplifting story of suspense, life, and love against the backdrop of a Michigan town at the edge of the frontier.

Universal Buy Link


Giveaway

Steven is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card:

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Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47262/?


Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

A resurrection man watched the funeral, and his expression was hungry. He stood behind the huddle of funeral-goers clustered around the grave and didn’t speak with anyone, which was how Jesse spotted him. Dead giveaway, so to say. Jesse stared at him from the corner of one dark eye. The resurrection man wasn’t yet twenty. Brown as a dead tree. Straight brown hair under a frayed brown cap, long nose, sharp jaw, long brown coat mended twice, worn brown shoes that were nonetheless carefully polished. Someone who was used to hiding who he was.

The resurrection man met Jesse’s eye for a flick. He had good eyes, that one—clear and blue and strong—and Jesse touched his cap in salute. Jesse had a gravedigger’s build, wiry and a little short, able to throw an eight-pound shovelful of dirt six feet toward heaven, and he could hold his own in a fight against two men half again his height. The resurrection man was taller, whipcord, and Jesse bet he wore gloves to keep his hands clean when he robbed night-time graves. No one who saw him by day would know what he did at night.

When their eyes met, blue on brown, it created something interesting and indefinable, like that boundary moment when water touches a burning coal, or warm ocean air brushes chilly shore. The resurrection man looked away. Jesse clicked his tongue in mischief—and the chance to make some money.

The coffin rested on a pair of beams set across the grave Jesse had dug only that morning. Jesse always put a scattering of sawdust and few pine branches in the bottom of his graves so the coffin wouldn’t rest on dirt. It made no difference to the deceased, mind you, but it made the family feel better. Two solemn boys pulled the beams away, and the pall bearers lowered the coffin with ropes braced around their necks like pulleys while the preacher said his final bit. While all this was going on, the resurrection man slipped away, confirming Jesse’s suspicions that the man was a grave robber who knew the best time to leave was when the family was occupied.

As the family drifted off, Jesse barely overheard a man and a woman in conversation. The woman murmured, “He won’t get up and come after us, do you? He’s stubborn enough to try.”

“Jesus, I hope not,” the man muttered back. “That copper-plated sumbitch was bad enough when he was alive. I can’t think what he’d be like lurching around dead.”

Death brought out the truth among the living. Jesse looked in the direction the resurrection man had taken and gave himself a private nod. It was going to be an interesting evening.

Jesse finished filling the grave of Mr. Elmer Pitt (b. 1803, d. 1889), then went home to the little shack he occupied at the edge of Highland Cemetery, made himself a pot of strong coffee on his bachelor stove, dropped a slug of Irish in it, and waited until sunset. When the early autumn night slid in cozy among the gravestones, Jesse put his shovel back over his shoulder and strolled toward the grave of Elmer Pitt. There was time to enjoy the walk and think about how to spend the money he would shake out of the resurrection man. It had been a while since he’d passed a good night’s drinking and fighting at a pool hall. Or maybe he’d buy a new pair of boots.

The trek was easy. Didn’t matter that it was dark. Jesse had dug plenty of graves in Highland Cemetery and knew the place like the end of his shovel. He even had a map of the place tacked to the wall of his shack, with every grave picked out in careful precision. People thought that graveyards laid out the dead in neat, cornfield rows, but Highland’s graves made a swirling mosaic that twisted around the hills and trees, creating stars and flowers and teardrops that only god and Jesse’s map could see. Jesse had taken over as the main gravedigger in Ypsilanti from Mr. Suggs two years ago. Mr. Suggs himself currently rested in a grave well back from the road that Jesse himself had dug with extra care. Jesse didn’t run the cemetery—that job belonged to the great and gloomy Frederick Huff, who issued daily orders from the caretaker’s house and only emerged to complain at Billy Cake and the other fellows who worked the cemetery. But it was Jesse who dug the graves.

Highland Cemetery had opened twenty-some years ago, a little ways before Jesse was born, and it had stolen away all the business from Prospect Cemetery. Didn’t seem to matter that Prospect was half a mile closer to downtown Ypsilanti, with its growing Normal School and expanding railroad system. Prospect still failed to prosper.

Problem was, Prospect had both proven too small, so the city had bought a big chunk of loamy hillside outside Ypsilanti and named it Highland Cemetery. The local Catholic community had been scandalized at the idea of sharing eternity with Protestants and even Lutherans, so they had bought a bit of land right across the road for their own dead, keeping Mr. Suggs, and now Jesse, busy digging graves for both. Meanwhile, the townsfolk stopped using Prospect Cemetery entire, and no one seemed interested in paying Jesse Fair or Billy Cake to even trim its trees, so these days the verge ran wild. The inhabitants didn’t complain.

It was a serpent night, with the chill breeze hissing in the leaves. Jesse wound through the stones until he came to the new grave of Elmer Pitt. The thin glow of a little lantern on the ground illuminated the markers from the bottom up, and the familiar quiet sound of a wooden shovel biting earth came to Jesse’s ears. Resurrection men always used wooden shovels. They made less noise. Jesse crept closer.

The resurrection man had already made good headway and was knee-deep in the ground at the head of the grave. Two canvas drop cloths lay beside him, one to catch the dirt, and the other to receive Elmer Pitt. Jesse noted the well-worn leather gloves covering the resurrection man’s hands. The man also had a crowbar and a length of rope.

“So you’re from the University Medical School,” Jesse said in the dark.


Author Bio

Steven Harper

Steven Harper Piziks was born with a last name no one can reliably spell or pronounce, so he usually writes under the name Steven Harper. He grew up on a farm in Michigan but has also lived in Wisconsin and Germany and spent extensive time in Ukraine.

So far, he’s written more than two dozen novels and over fifty short stories and essays. When not writing, he plays the folk harp, lifts weights, and spends more time on-line than is probably good for him. He teaches high school English in southeast Michigan, where he lives with his husband. His students think he’s hysterical, which isn’t the same as thinking he’s funny.

Author Website: http://www.stevenpiziks.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/steven.piziks

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/StevenPiziks

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/250784.Steven_Harper

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