Leave a comment

“The Rising Tide” by J. Scott Coatsworth || Book Tour, #Giveaway & Guest Post!

 

 

Happy Sunday, everyone! I’m thrilled to announce that J. Scott Coatsworth has a new queer sci fi book out: The Rising Tide, book #2 in the Liminal Sky series. Check it out!

 

 

Title: The Rising Tide
Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
Series: Liminal Sky (Book #2)

Release date: October 30, 2018
Genre: Sci Fi, Near future, Space opera
Pairing: Various queer characters
Length: 115,000 words
Publisher: DSP Publications
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

 

Earth is dead.

Five years later, the remnants of humanity travel through the stars inside Forever, a living, ever-evolving, self-contained generation ship. When Eddy Tremaine and Andy Hammond find a hidden world-within-a-world under the mountains, the discovery triggers a chain of events that could fundamentally alter or extinguish life as they know it, culminate in the takeover of the world mind, and end free will for humankind.

Control the AI, control the people.

Eddy, Andy, and a handful of other unlikely heroes—people of every race and identity, and some who aren’t even human—must find the courage and ingenuity to stand against the rising tide.

Otherwise they might be living through the end days of human history.

Series Blurb: Humankind is on its way to the stars, a journey that will change it forever. Each of the stories in Liminal Sky explores that future through the lens of a generation ship, where the line between science fiction and fantasy often blurs. At times both pessimistic and very hopeful, Liminal Sky thrusts you into a future few would ever have imagined.

 

Content notes & warnings: Refers to past consensual BDSM relationship for one character.

 

DSP Publications | Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink

 

You can also add it to your shelf on Goodreads.

 

 

 

•   •   •   •   •   •

 

GIVEAWAY:

 

Scott is giving away two prizes with this tour – a $25 Amazon gift card, and a signed copy of “The Stark Divide,” book one in the series (US winner only for the paperback). For a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

{Click on “a Rafflecopter giveaway” to go to the Rafflecopter widget and enter for a chance to win! Or paste this link into your browser: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4734/}

 

•   •   •   •   •   •

 

“Writing the Future”

Guest Post by J. Scott Coatsworth

 

The Liminal Sky series takes place against the backdrop of a ruined Earth in a not too distant future, when greed has destroyed the planet by bringing it to the brink – and then beyond – of planet-killing war.

As a writer, I think we have a responsibility to call out the trends we see in the present. We are humanity’s prognosticators. Through us our readers can get a glimpse of what might be.

We live in an age of misinformation, fed to society to encourage us to believe what’s in the best interests of the rich and the powerful.

If we listened to science, we’d be scared to death about the climate catastrophe that’s bearing down on us, as we rich tipping points where the warming of the planet will accelerate and may end up making the planet inhospitable for human life for the foreseeable future.

Yes, the fix will be painful. But can it really be more painful then the extermination of the human species?

As a writer, I can show you what might happen. I can couch these possible futures in a fuzzy wrapper and hand it to you for your enjoyment, hopeful that you will also take something away with you when the story is finished.

I just wrote a new contemporary love story, set in Antarctica in the near future. It deals with climate change in an intimate way, with two characters actually at the mercy of its effects.

It’s not in your face, but it’s now a part of what I write.

We prognosticators have a responsibility, in my opinion, to get the word out, to share these possible scary futures. It’s something I can do to help, even just a little, to create a better future.

 

•   •   •   •   •   •

EXCERPT

 

 

Eddy Tremayne rode his horse, Cassiopeia, along the edge of the pastures that were the last official human habitations before the Anatov Mountains. Several ranchers along the Verge—the zone between the ranches and the foothills—had reported losses of sheep and cattle in the last few weeks.

As the elected sheriff of First District, which ran from Micavery and the South Pole to the mountains, it was Eddy’s responsibility to find out what was going on.

He had his crossbow strapped to his back and his long knife in a leather sheath at his waist. He’d been carrying them for long enough now—three years?—that they had started to feel natural, but the first time he’d worn the crossbow, he’d felt like a poor man’s Robin Hood.

He doubted he’d need them out here, but sheriffs were supposed to be armed.

He’d checked with Lex in the world mind via the South Pole terminal, but she’d reported nothing amiss. In the last few years, she had begun to deploy biodrones to keep an eye on the far-flung parts of the world, but they provided less than optimal coverage. One flyover of this part of the Verge had shown a peaceful flock of thirty sheep. The next showed eight.

The rancher, a former neurosurgeon from New Zealand named Gia Rand, waited for him on the top of a grassy hill. The grass and trees shone with bioluminescent light, and the afternoon sky lit the surrounding countryside with a golden glow. The spindle—the aggregation of energy and glowing pollen that stretched from pole to pole—sparkled in the middle of the sky.

The rancher pulled on her gray braid, staring angrily at something in the valley below. “Took you long enough to get here.”

“Sorry. The train was out of service again.” Technology was slowly failing them, and they had yet to come up with good replacements.

She snorted. “One helluva spaceship we have here.”

He grinned. “Preaching to the choir.” Forever didn’t have the manufacturing base yet to support anything close to the technology its inhabitants had grown used to on Earth. Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you asked him. With technology came new and better ways to kill. He’d seen it often enough in the NAU Marines. “What did you find?”

“Look.” Her voice was almost a growl.

Eddy looked down where she was pointing. “Oh shit.” Her missing sheep were no longer missing. They had been slaughtered.

He urged Cassiopeia down the hillside to the rocky clearing. A small stream trickled down out of the mountains there. He counted ten carcasses, as near as he could tell from the skulls left behind. Someone had sheared a couple of them and given up. It looked like they had skinned and cut the rest up for meat, the skin and bones and extra bits discarded.

Gia rode down the hillside behind him.

“Didn’t you report twelve sheep missing?”

She nodded. “Bastards took the two lambs. Probably for breeding.”

“That actually might help us.”

“How’s that?”

He dismounted to take a closer look at the crime scene. “They’ll have to pasture them somewhere. May make it easier to track them down.”

“Maybe so.” She dismounted and joined him. “This was brutal work. Look here.” She picked up a bone. “Whatever cut this was sharp but uneven. It left scratch marks across the bone.”

“So not a metal knife.”

“I don’t think so. Maybe a stone knife?”

He laughed harshly. “Are we back to caveman days, then?” It wasn’t an unreasonable question.

She was silent for a moment, staring at the mountains. “Do you think they live up there?”

“Who?” He followed her gaze. Their highest peaks were wreathed in wisps of cloud.

“The Ghosts.”

The Ghosts had been a persistent myth on Forever since their abrupt departure from Earth. Some of the refugees had vanished right after the Collapse, and every now and then something would end up missing. Clothes off a line, food stocks, and the like.

People talked. The rumors had taken on a life of their own, and now whenever something went missing, people whispered, “It’s the Ghosts.”

Eddy didn’t believe in ghosts. He personally knew at least one refugee who had disappeared, his shipmate Davian. He guessed there must be others, though the record keeping from that time had been slipshod at best. He shrugged and looked at the sky. “Who knows?” It was likely to rain in the next day or so. Whoever had done this had left a trail, trampled into the grass. If he didn’t follow it now, it might be gone by the time he got back here with more resources.

Gia knelt by one of the ewes, staring at the remnants of the slaughter. “Could you get me some more breeding stock? This… incident put a big dent in my herd.”

“I’ll see what I can do.” He took one last look around the site. It had to have taken an hour or two to commit this crime, and yet the thieves had apparently done it in broad daylight. Why weren’t they afraid of being caught? “I’m going to follow the trail, see where it leads.”

Gia nodded. “Thanks. We’re taking the rest of the herd back to the barn until you get this all figured out.”

“Sounds prudent. I’ll let you know.”

Slipping on his hat, he climbed back up on Cassie and followed the trail across the stream toward the Anatov Mountains.

 

•   •   •   •   •   •

 

Author Bio

Scott lives between the here and now and the what could be. 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 the people like him were.

He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction reflecitng their own reality.

 

Website: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com

Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jscoatsworth

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth

QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/J.-Scott-Coatsworth/e/B011AFO4OQ/

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Leave a comment

“Soulbound” Blog Tour Round-Up! {Links to Every Guest Post & Excerpt}

 

 

And the tour for Soulbound is over! For those who didn’t already know: the book was on tour for the first three weeks of October, thanks to the wonderful folks at Other Worlds Ink. (Many thank yous to Mark & Scott for making it happen!) The tour included about two dozen bloggers and 11 guests posts (including exclusive excerpts) put together exclusively for the tour.

Below are links to every tour stop, with all of the guest posts and excerpts listed first. Alas, the giveaway has ended, but the posts are still good!

Many thanks to all of the bloggers who were on the tour and to everyone who participated! 😀 ❤

•••

 

October 1 – Guest post @ The Novel Approach
The Journey of Soulbound: From Extra Fluff to Whopping Significance”
What inspired it to begin with? How did it go from being a simple little side story to a huge beast of significance for the series?? It was one heck of a ride, and a huge surprise to me! Read all about it in the post.

 

October 1 – Guest post @ Stories That Make You Smile (Addison Albright)
10 Relatively Random Facts About The Republic Series & Its Characters!
Here are 10-ish (sort of) random things about The Republic series, including a couple details about is characters, their society, and bits of real life that inspired certain details! What do Prince Edward Island, Frick & Frack, and sex magic have to do with it? Find the answers in the post!

 

October 2 – Review @ Drops of Ink (Anne Barwell)
OMG, an AWESOME 4.5 star review!! “I’d recommend Soulbound to readers who enjoy high fantasy stories with complex world building and characters, and action scenes that keep you on the edge of your seat.” There were even shout-outs to Tash’s tattoo, his struggles, Mayr & Tash’s relationship with Arieve… It’s all so glowing. 😀

 

October 4 – Guest post @ Matt Doyle Media (+ a Spotlight!)
“Soulbound Playlist – The Themes
Music is so incredibly important to my creative process, so here’s a selection of pieces from the rather long playlist I used for Soulbound! In this post, I talk about the major themes from the playlist, which fit the book as a whole or the characters in a deep way. Selections include Tove Lo’s “Scars”, Sarah Brightman’s “Eden”, and Savage Garden’s “Truly, Madly, Deeply”!

 

October 5 – Exclusive excerpt @ MM Good Book Reviews
Conservatory
Things are getting chilly in The Republic… but they’ll always warm up. This excerpt is about what happens when Mayr schemes for a whole week over a romantic evening. He’s got plans and they’re going to happen!

 

October 6 – Guest post @ Valerie Ullmer
“Soulbound Playlist — The Dark, the Wistful, and the Angsty
Another bit of the playlist for the book! This time, we take a gander at the darker, more wistful and heartbroken side. In the republic, angst is 100% on tap and here are some of those tunes for challenges and when life just really sucks. Selections include my favourite Evanescence songs, “I Can’t See New York” by Tori Amos, “Shattered” by Lindsey Stirling with Lzzy Hale, and one of my favourite Within Temptation songs!

 

October 8 – Guest post @ Love Bytes
The Goddesses of Soulbound and The Republic Series
Learn more about the four goddesses in the series and the real-life deities that inspired them! Come meet Emeraliss, Laytia, Hastal, and Navara… powerful, mighty, and beloved. Which goddess was inspired by the Amazons? Who has connections to the Norse goddess, Hela, and the Egyptian gods? It’s all in this post!

 

October 9 – Exclusive excerpt @ Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews
“Training”
A look at what happens when Mayr and Tash face off in the training ring for the first time, testing more than just Tash’s skills — it’ll test their patience and fortitude as a couple.

 

October 13 – Guest post @ Queeromance Ink
“Soulbound: The Serious Side of The Republic
The series goes into many a serious subject, which just tends to happen naturally with my work and I usually roll with it, seeing what comes of it in the long-run. Soulbound definitely goes there on several occasions, on several matters, calling for all of the content warnings. There are matters of mental health, suicide and death, recovering one’s soul after doing awful things, dealing with a criminal organization that commits so many of the same crimes we see in real life, including human trafficking, crimes against the people, and other issues… It’s a rough one. But for all of Tash’s fears and hurt, Mayr’s determination rights them when things go wrong, giving them a wonderful balance: whenever one struggles, the other steps in to keep them going.

 

October 16 – Exclusive excerpt @ My Fiction Nook
Secrets
Mayr gets put through a few emotional downs in this book, especially with nightmares that won’t leave him alone. He feels the pressure of things going on around them, but he doesn’t know what to do except protect Tash and Arieve the best way he can. Mayr loves both of them deeply, so much he’d rather choose silence over everything else…

 

October 17 – Guest post @ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
“Soulbound Playlist – The Loving, the Hopeful, and the Sensual
A third, and last, look at the playlist! This set touches on the love songs, the more hope-inspired tracks, and a few of the sensual songs that came in handy while writing the book. Selections include a couple of my favourite Enigma songs, a few of my top fave songs by The Weeknd, and Placebo’s cover of “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush… because (a) Kate Bush and (b) it’s a great song with so many awesome cover versions.

 

October 21 – Exclusive excerpt @ Boy Meets Boy Reviews
“Tattoo
Mayr and Tash are both incredibly sentimental and cherish their loved ones dearly, enough that Mayr has tattoos dedicated to them, not only to show how much they mean to him but to keep them close — reminders to work hard and take care of them. And Tash absolutely loves him for it, especially since he’s now reached tattoo status.

 

 

That’s all of the guest posts, but thanks also to the blogs who posted tour posts!

October 1 @ Romance Across the Rainbow (Lou Sylvre)

October 1 @ Other Worlds Ink

October 7 @ Queer Sci Fi

October 10 @ Jessie G. Books

October 11 @ Bayou Book Junkie

October 12 @ dream, love, imagine (Amy Aislin)

October 14 @ Cate Ashwood

October 15 @ kittenwylde

October 18 @ Love That’s Out of This World

October 19 @ We Three Queens

October 20 @ J. Scott Coatsworth

 

Leave a comment

“Soulbound” Is On Tour This Month! ~~~ Check Out the Blog Tour & Giveaway, Thanks to Other Worlds Ink!

 

 

It’s that time again: a blog tour! Yep, Soulbound is on a 3-week tour this month, thanks to the wonderful folks at Other Worlds Ink! (Thank you SO much for the assist, Mark & Scott! <3)

The tour includes about two dozen bloggers, 11 guests posts (including exclusive excerpts!), and a giveaway where *3* lucky winners will each get a $10 Amazon gift card!

Below are links to every tour stop up to today, and I’ll post again when the last link goes up on the 21st. But you can visit ANY of the posts to take part in the Rafflecopter giveaway! (It ends in a week, on October 14!)

Many thanks to all of the bloggers who are on the tour with me and to all of the readers who participate!   ♥♥♥

 

•••

 

October 1, 2018 – Guest post @ The Novel Approach
The Journey of Soulbound: From Extra Fluff to Whopping Significance”
What inspired it to begin with? How did it go from being a simple little side story to a huge beast of significance for the series?? It was one heck of a ride, and a huge surprise to me! Read all about it in the post.

 

October 1, 2018 – Guest post @ Stories That Make You Smile (Addison Albright)
10 Relatively Random Facts About The Republic Series & Its Characters!
Here are 10-ish (sort of) random things about The Republic series, including a couple details about is characters, their society, and bits of real life that inspired certain details! What do Prince Edward Island, Frick & Frack, and sex magic have to do with it? Find the answers in the post!

 

October 1, 2018 – Tour post @ Romance Across the Rainbow (Lou Sylvre)

 

October 1, 2018 – Announcement/Giveaway Post @ Other Worlds Ink

 

October 2, 2018 – Review @ Drops of Ink (Anne Barwell)
OMG, an AWESOME 4.5 star review!! “I’d recommend Soulbound to readers who enjoy high fantasy stories with complex world building and characters, and action scenes that keep you on the edge of your seat.” There were even shout-outs to Tash’s tattoo, his struggles, Mayr & Tash’s relationship with Arieve… It’s all so glowing. 😀

 

October 4, 2018 – Guest post @ Matt Doyle Media (+ a Spotlight!)
“Soulbound Playlist – The Themes
Music is so incredibly important to my creative process, so here’s a selection of pieces from the rather long playlist I used for Soulbound! In this post, I talk about the major themes from the playlist, which fit the book as a whole or the characters in a deep way. Selections include Tove Lo’s “Scars”, Sarah Brightman’s “Eden”, and Savage Garden’s “Truly, Madly, Deeply”!

 

October 5, 2018 – Exclusive Excerpt @ MM Good Book Reviews
Conservatory
Things are getting chilly in The Republic… but they’ll always warm up. This excerpt is about what happens when Mayr schemes for a whole week over a romantic evening. He’s got plans and they’re going to happen!

 

October 6, 2018 – Guest post @ Valerie Ullmer
“Soulbound Playlist — The Dark, the Wistful, and the Angsty
Another bit of the playlist for the book! This time, we take a gander at the darker, more wistful and heartbroken side of the playlist. In the republic, angst is 100% on tap and here are some of those tunes for challenges and when life just really sucks. Selections include my favourite Evanescence songs, “I Can’t See New York” by Tori Amos, “Shattered” by Lindsey Stirling with Lzzy Hale, and one of my favourite Within Temptation songs!

 

October 7, 2018 – Tour post @ Queer Sci Fi

 

October 8, 2018 – Guest post @ Love Bytes
The Goddesses of Soulbound and The Republic Series
Learn more about the four goddesses in the series and the real-life deities that inspired them! Come meet Emeraliss, Laytia, Hastal, and Navara… powerful, mighty, and beloved. Which goddess was inspired by the Amazons? Who has connections to the Norse goddess, Hela, and the Egyptian gods? It’s all in this post!

 

 

And coming up next this month…

 

October 9 – EXCLUSIVE Excerpt @ Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews  ~~ “Training”

October 10 – Tour post @ Jessie G. Books

October 11 – Tour post @ Bayou Book Junkie

October 12 – Tour post @ dream love, imagine

October 13 – Guest post @ Queeromance Ink  ~~ “Soulbound: The Serious Side of The Republic

October 14 – Tour post @ Cate Ashwood

October 15 – Tour post @ kittenwylde

October 16 – EXCLUSIVE Excerpt @ My Fiction Nook  ~~ Secrets

October 17 – Guest post @ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words  ~~ “Soulbound Playlist – The Loving, the Hopeful, and the Sensual

October 18 – Tour post @ Love That’s Out of This World

October 19 – Tour post @ We Three Queens

October 20 – Tour post @ J. Scott Coatsworth

October 21 – EXCLUSIVE Excerpt @ Boy Meets Boy Reviews  ~~ “Tattoo

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

Leave a comment

SOULBOUND = Out TODAY! Release Day Stuffs & Shhh… a Deleted Scene!

 

It’s Release Day!!!

 

Cover for Soulbound by Archer Kay Leah

 

Purchase directly from my publisher or from any major online retailer!
AmazonBarnes & NobleSmashwordsKoboiTunesBookstrand

 

 

Genres: Fantasy, romance
Series: The Republic

In a relationship that violates rules and expectations, Mayr and Tash have found their perfect match in each other. Despite their fears and difficult pasts, they hope for a shared future with security and a family. When Mayr’s secret first love, Arieve, proposes they create that family with her, it seems dreams could become reality.

But life is complicated, and so is the delicate balance between duty and love. While Mayr protects the Dahe family at all costs, Tash is determined to succeed as a priest. Both positions require sacrifice, forcing their relationship into painful choices. To make matters worse, criminals lurk in the shadows, seeking revenge on them and those they guard.

The life they want risks losing everything—including Arieve and each other. Even if they can have it all, keeping it may take more than they can give.

 

Content notes & trigger warnings: Soulbound contains some explicit content, references to self-harm, suicide, and mentions of suicide-related behavior and intent. This story also contains instances of graphic violence, references to rape and domestic abuse, and depictions and mentions of depression.

 

 

Are you on Goodreads? Add it to your shelves!

Also check out the other stories in the series: A Question of Counsel, Four, and Blood Borne. (While Soulbound can possibly be read on its own, readers might find it helpful to also read Four and Blood Borne for background on some of the references and characters.)

 

 

 

 

YAYYYY! It’s here! It’s real and available for reading! \o/

I hope folks enjoy it, especially those who enjoyed Four. My heartfelt thanks to Hudson L. for braving the manuscript as a beta reader and Victoria M. for the never-ending support. Warm thanks, also, to A.M. Valenza for the help and patient advice when I freaked out over edits so close to the holidays! And as always, thanks to Sam, Megan, Sasha, and LT3 for their support and for giving this book (and me) a literary home. ❤

Soulbound is an odd duck in the series. First, it’s the second book of three that deals with Mayr and Tash’s relationship, and the third part is meant to be the very last book of the series. Additionally, it’s also the last in a trilogy inside the series: Four introduced circumstances, Blood Borne saw certain decisions made, and Soulbound deals with the consequences of it all. But this is also a HUGE turning point for the series. The republic is in a state of chaos, though it might not seem like it on the surface. Rather, the chaos is underneath and creeping around. Things need to change… which is where Soulbound comes in. Most, if not all, of the remaining books in the series will deal with the consequences of actions in this one. It’s going to be a lot like playing with dominoes: certain people and things are going to come into play that no one saw coming, including a couple characters that everyone thinks they know…

Having said that, yeah, there’s angst in this story. It gets heavy. Things with Tash get deeply personal, coming from his POV for once, with the raw, grimy truths he has to deal with. He’s kept a lot of things back from readers and his loved ones, and some of them will finally make it to the page.

But I promise there’s plenty of happy stuff! There are cheesy moments, sweet moments, and moments where Mayr and Tash are just too saccharine for words. And surprises. And secrets… So many secrets. I can’t go into them here without spoiling it all. 😉

For now, however…………. I’m sharing a deleted scene!

WARNING: It includes spoilers.

I loved this bit, but it had to go. The book was way too long, and I had to cut whatever I could. None of these details will be trashed permanently — they’re just going to come out in the series in a different way. (aka. Yes, Pellon is getting a book, tentatively titled In Shadow and Valour)

So scroll down a bit more and you’ll find it. Enjoy!

 

….

 

….

 

….

 

 

DELETED SCENE!! {Spoiler Warning}

Pellon’s boots scuffed the floor as he turned in the doorway and stepped out of the room.

Not before Mayr glimpsed the misery and defeat on Pellon’s face.

“Thanks, Ae.” Mayr cleared his throat. “How about you two go on ahead? I need to talk to Pell.”

“Sure.” Aeley smiled and clasped Lira’s hand. “Come on. Let’s cause some trouble.” In a fit of giggles, they glided out of the room.

“Hey, Pell, get in here,” Mayr called.

As though attending a funeral, Pellon entered the room slowly, dragging his feet. The door closed quietly behind him.

Mayr’s heart threatened to sink deep in his chest, regret seeping around his happiness. He had already gone through the important pre-ceremony talks with his parents and siblings, Aeley, Arieve, and Tash’s family. The short meeting with Betta the night before had been easier than he anticipated, her exuberant blessing releasing him from whatever residual obligations haunted him. His last conversation with Tash before they took to separate rooms to prepare had consisted mostly of long kisses, low moans, and hands that refused to stop wandering.

There was still one discussion he needed to have, one he had avoided for weeks. No moment had been good enough. No words had come. Saying something meant admitting to breaking a promise and violating Pellon’s confidence. Even worse, his words could drag Pellon’s heart through the mud of never-going-to-happen and toss him into what could be a violent storm of never-should-haves.

But it’s better to try than keep settling for less. Being with Tash is teaching me that a thousand times over, and if I we’re finding a way… Doing something is better than always waiting. And he’s always been here for me, through all these years of disappointment and bad choices, even when I was a complete fool. He’s still putting up with my decisions, protecting Ress and Adren and Tash and anyone else I throw at him. It’s time I give him something back.

“I’m sorry,” Mayr said softly.

Surprise raced across Pellon’s features, chasing away the tension of dejection. Red brow furrowed, Pellon stepped back. “For what?”

“For getting married twice when you still can’t marry your girl once.” Wincing at the words, Mayr crossed his arms and shifted his feet. “You’re my only attendant who isn’t married, even though you should’ve been married for years now and chasing after an entire brood of miniature torments. I feel horrible that you’re standing up there with me given all that. I almost didn’t ask,” he murmured, crossing the room to lean against the wall, his chin lowered. “If not for Tash, I might’ve given up.”

Pellon let out a long breath and rubbed the back of his neck. “That’s a real nice sentiment, and I appreciate it, but it’s not your burden, brother. You always make someone else’s problem your problem — and you need to let it go.” He laughed weakly, gesturing to the door. “Why is this even a thing right now? You should be out there, getting married. Take what happiness you have and enjoy it. I’m living vicariously through you, so get it right.”

“Yeah, I know, and that’s the point.” Mayr snorted. “You’ll be standing there thinking of Nesandra and what you don’t have. It’ll be an ugly reminder of your damn family and hers, and I’m sorry, but I’m not interested in smashing your heart into tiny little pieces just so I can be happy. Thought I’d try giving you some hope instead, especially when I’ve got all the power to offer it.”

“And what’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means I’m tired of your parents dictating who you can and can’t marry,” Mayr answered, smirking. “I’m making it my personal mission to flick my fingers in their faces and tell them to shove it. Grand Families or no, you’re still people, and Nesandra’s not something they can trade or sell just to piss all over you. It’s messed up, forcing you to choose between staying with Aeley and crawling home just so they’ll grant you permission to even look at Nesandra. If I were Council, I’d have kicked their asses by now. So forget it — I wouldn’t mind going rogue on this.” He scrambled to keep hold of his confidence as his gaze flickered to the floor. There was every chance his next comment would get him hurt. “But I can’t do it alone. I know you don’t want to involve more people than is necessary, and I know you hate people being in your business…”

Eyes narrowed, Pellon pursed his lips and crossed his arms. “What did you do?”

“Told Tash.” Mayr grimaced. “He brought up Sorys and Wynn; said the Keeper ran his mouth a little. So I told him more of the situation, just to make it clear why we hate those bastards — part of my new no-secrets approach to being married. And then I told him about the whole Nesandra debacle.”

“Everything?” Pellon asked quietly, blood rushing from his face.

“Almost. He’s got the gist of it,” Mayr muttered. “Enough to agree it’s not right. And he agrees: your ass stays with us until you’re damn well ready to leave, not whenever your daddies call you to heel. The family businesses are their problem, not yours. And forget Nesandra’s father and grandmother — they’re no better, pulling these games, ruining every attempt you’ve made to court Nesandra honestly. They won’t keep getting away with assaulting your integrity, not if I can help it.”

Pellon groaned, drawing both hands down his face. “Mayr, Mayr, Mayr. Don’t, please don’t. Just…” He held out both hands. “Things are so good for you, so good, and if you get involved in this… My family, hers — they’re in for the long fight. And they’re playing by the rules. You do anything to piss them off and it’ll be my head on Council’s desk. Aeley’s been trying to negotiate–”

“Yeah, I know. She’s an excellent Tract Steward, playing all the political moves.” Mayr tilted his head, casting Pellon a cynical gaze. “But she’s been at it since Korre died and no one’s budging. You’re still seeing Nesandra in secret and the bureaucratic options are wearing thin. One of these days, it’ll fall apart. Worse than this underhanded marriage they want for Nesandra to some pompous ass who doesn’t even know her name.”

“Don’t remind me,” Pellon ground out. “Pretty sure my fathers have something to do with it.”

Mayr grunted and drew his hand over his braids. “Would be just like Sorys, that sneaky bastard.”

“Nesa’s got fight though. She’s my little fire.” A glimmer of hope brightened Pellon’s features. “She’ll keep refusing and stalling. Aeley, too, since she’s got Nesa’s formal ask to help. They’ve petitioned Council to intervene.” The hope drained from Pellon’s face. “Though Ae’s talking about possibly marrying Nesa off to some friend of hers, a girl in another Grand Family willing to pretend to be a suitor. Someone we can trust, who’ll let me and Nesa be together.”

“Right, so you can keep skulking around. How is that any better?”

“It’ll be safer than what you’ve got planned, I’m sure.”

Tense silence fell between them. Mayr worried his bottom lip, fingers flexing in loose fists. He knew what it was to fight for love and nearly lose everything. Had Armamae not intervened, he could have lost Tash completely. They owed their happiness to someone who had the audacity to forgo the rules. As much as Mayr believed in following laws and procedures, he hated the games people played with each other, moving hearts around like coins on a board. Even more, he hated the exploitation of those who never consented to partake in those games. It was time to do what was right. If he had to bend the rules of high society until they snapped, he would.

“Just hear me out,” Mayr said softly. “We’ve got an idea, Tash and me. I told him about Nesandra because he’s a priest, Pell. Even better: he’s a priest of Emeraliss. Where you and I are all angles and bite, this love stuff is his specialty. And I’m starting to get that. I’m accepting it. It’s part of who he is. The best part.”

“So?”

So he’s serious about helping you. You’re my family, and now you’re his. He’s offering to do whatever he has to, whenever and wherever.”

Pellon arched a brow. “Yeah, that’s not pointed.”

Mayr snorted. “Please.” He moved towards Pellon and stopped with a foot’s length between them. “He knows of safe places where you can get married; places where no one can get to you. You pick the day and the time, he’ll be there. Me, too, and Aeley and Lira — plus anyone else you want. Tash will do the rite so no one will be able to contest it. No one.

“You’re saying exactly what I think you’re saying, aren’t you? You, who got married in secret and then got used and taken and spent all that time hating secret ceremonies…” Pellon flushed and looked away. “Sorry, low blow.”

“Yeah, I know, but your marriage won’t be a mess like mine and Betta’s. Three reasons.” Mayr held up fingers as he continued. “One, Nesandra practically kills herself trying to stay with you. Two, Tash is a high-level priest and you’ll have all the witnesses you need. He’ll make it a midnight wedding in the middle of nowhere and no one can refute it. And three, the Temple can offer Nesandra asylum. One word from Tash and she’s got it. Kee won’t turn her away, and no one would dare attack just to get at her. She’d be safe until Council officially recognizes your marriage and tells your parents to stand down.”

“Mayr…”

“Happy, Pell.” Mayr gripped Pellon’s shoulders, shaking him gently. “You want to be happy, remember? That’s all we ever wanted, you, me, and Ae. We fight to have better lives. Ae’s got it with Lira, and I’ve got Tash. We’re not leaving you behind. Since we’re filling the house with spouses and strays, I don’t think Nesandra will be any less welcome.” He cupped the back of Pellon’s neck. “Once this wedding chaos is over, we’re planning a whole covert mission. You, me, Tash, and Aeley will kick your families where it hurts most. You always said Sorys likes hitting. Time we gave him a fist to suck on.”

“You’re a trouble-making bastard,” Pellon whispered. “Nesa’s probably going to hate it. I’ve thought about getting married in secret practically every day, but she loves her family, even with all this. She doesn’t want to cut ties. Doesn’t want to hurt them or throw this in their faces. She’s still holding onto promises she made her mother. I haven’t bothered to ask about a secret wedding because I know her answer. She’ll throw it back at me and refuse.”

Mayr rolled his eyes. “A hundred tidepins says she’d trade all that in an instant considering how you two go on. Just like I know Ae would throw a disgustingly huge wedding feast and spread the word to every aristo around, daring them not to show up. Doesn’t matter what your families do.” A smirk spread over his lips. “It’s no less a risk than Aeley taking on Lira’s family, and look how prettily we’ve smacked them down.”

“I don’t know…”

“At least consider it? Nothing has to happen right away.” Mayr clapped Pellon’s arm. “The bureaucrats aren’t getting it. We’re soldiers — it’s time we do it our way.” He pouted. “Besides, I’m tied of you staring at Tash and Arieve like you want a piece.”

Pellon snorted and laughed, the deep rumble breaking the lingering tension. “No, they’re very much yours. She’s cute, but I don’t do cute. And while he’s a looker, he’s not my type. You know I prefer guys prettier than me with just a hint of kick. Not full-on fist and knife work.”

“Saying I like them dangerous, are you?”

“No, I’m saying you need to get your ass to the altar before he decides to kick it.” Before Mayr could move, Pellon pulled him into a tight hug. “Thanks. For caring; for wanting to try. For giving me another option.”

Mayr returned the embrace even harder. “‘As the heart of Kattal beats, so do we,'” he recited, kissing Pellon’s cheek and pushing him away. “Come on. You grab the sword and I’ll get the door.”

“Aye, Head Guard.” With quiet laughs, Pellon rushed to the bed to retrieve the sword and its black leather scabbard from their lined wood case…

 

 

Leave a comment

August Updates + Pre-order “Soulbound” @ 32% Off (AND Get Other Books for 20% Off!)

 

 

Happy August, everyone! Also known as Where the heck did summer go

Yeah, I don’t know, either.

Mmm, okay, so maybe that’s not entirely true. I’m pretty sure I’ve lost half of it to the day after day of construction that’s going on in my building and the other half in words. Buuuut, what I do know for sure-for sure is that I have updates and news on the book sale my publisher is hosting on their website for the next couple of weeks. (Because BOOKS!!! And sales make them all the sweeter!) More on that below. 🙂

 

Soulbound (The Republic #4) is Almost HERE!

Yes, it’s going be be release day here really soon. Eeek, it’s so exciting! Soulbound has been a labour of love, and I’m thrilled that it’ll be available to readers soon. Mayr & Tash are so very dear to my heart and I love where this book ended up going, even though it wasn’t planned and it’s changed so much in the series.

The release date is September 5, but readers who pre-order it from my publisher, Less Than Three Press, will get it the evening before that, on September 4th! And if you purchase it right now, you can get it for 32% off of regular price, from now until August 22. After that, it’ll go back to being 15% off until release day. It’s available from LT3 in multiple digital formats, so it doesn’t matter if you use Kindle, Nook, computer, or another type of reader — you can totally take advantage of the sale! (And pick up loads of other books while you’re there!)

You can also add Soulbound to your shelves on Goodreads.

 

Newly Signed: Of Kindred and Stardust

If you missed the news: a few of weeks ago, I signed a contract for another novella, called Of Kindred and Stardust! It’s my contribution to the Home for the Holidays collection that LT3 Press is putting out. It’s a bit of something different with a few touches of unapologetic fun all rolled up in a sci fi future and polyamorous romance. There’s the cheekiness of George the Lizardbot, more than a few terrible jokes, and a main character that ended up way more mouthy than I anticipated… Wait, he talks like me. Uhhhh…

*clears throat* Yeah, so that’s coming out, probably next year, I think. I even wrote a glossary for this one, given the names that come up, many of which I don’t anticipate most readers to know. Though whether that was a good idea or not… I’ll have to see. I’m feeling several kinds of anxious about it — the glossary, not the book itself — considering all of the misinformation being spread by pop culture and the entertainment industry. I’m bracing myself for all of the “these things aren’t true, because in the Marvel movies…” arguments, despite the historical lore that’s openly available. *sigh*

But hey, it’s happening, so that’s awesome! I’m incredibly happy I can share this with everyone and hopefully make folks laugh a little. 🙂 If anything, maybe I can spread some warm fuzzies??

 

Current WIP: Rule Breaker (The Republic #0.5) — Edition #2!

Okay, so. Originally I thought I’d be working on Rebel Call right now, after I finally got OKAS sorted. I literally was a couple days away from starting on it when blam! It got hijacked by Rule Breaker, which I’ve been meaning to rewrite but haven’t had the time. The story was originally published in an anthology, but the rights came back to me last summer and I put it aside until I could think it through.

Thanks to the story shoving itself to the front of the queue at last minute, I’m currently rewriting it, from start to finish. This second edition is being built on the foundation of the original published version, but with a lot of reworking and polishing touches in addition to new material. The characters remain exactly as they were, though I’m now getting further into them since I have the word count to do it. I also get to write from both perspectives, which I’ve been looking forward to, because Tracel has a voice that deserves to be heard.

I’ve drastically expanded it in the front end, so the story will start weeks earlier, before Gren goes away on The Job He Wishes He Never Did, as opposed to only showing what comes afterwards. I even spent a night designing Tracel’s cottage and putting the blueprint together. (FINALLY, a character gets to have a summer kitchen!)

I’ve also worked in more of the geography. I have a beautiful new map that’s making its debut in Soulbound, so it just made good sense to use it here! (I can’t wait to show off the map. Raelynn Marie did such an amazing job! I’m going to take any chance to use it that I can.)

I haven’t quite finished the first chapter yet, but it’s already turning out longer than I expected, meaning the book will definitely be more than 40,000 words. The original was under 20k, but it looks like this edition will be at least 3x that. It’s just as well: I want this book to match the others, so that’s part of how it’ll happen, especially since I’m able to load in a whole lot of world-building into this version.

More to come on that. At the moment, I’m working on promos and tour posts so I’ve had to put RB aside for a little bit, probably until mid-September or so.

 

Book Sale @ LT3 Press ~~ Get 20% Off Queer Romances Until August 22!

Love books? Want more?

Time to go SHOPPING! ^_^

And what better than to hit up a summer sale at my publisher’s site, where you can pick up a ton of fantastic LGBTQIA+ books for 20% off (or more, in the cases of pre-orders)??? If you dig queer romance, here’s a chance to add to your library!

All of my books are part of the sale — check them out here.

That includes Soulbound (at 32% off) and books #1, 2, and 3 of The Republic series. In fact, you can get all four books for $20 and be caught up!

If anthologies are your jam, Enchanted Soles is also on sale, along with my sci fi MMF romance, For the Clan.

But there are hundreds of other books available, so hop on over now and take a look!

 

 

1 Comment

NEWS! “Of Kindred and Stardust” Has Been Signed with Less Than Three Press! ♥

 

 

Wow, this month has certainly brought some fantastic surprises — and it’s not even the 31st yet! With that, I’m so excited to announce another piece of happy news: my novella, Of Kindred and Stardust, has been signed with Less Than Three Press for their Home for the Holidays collection!

YESSSSSS!!!    \o/    \o/    \o/

I wrote a little about the project back in March, though I was still working out the particulars then. When I saw the collection call, I knew I wanted to write something for it, though the real-world component gave me pause. Stories about holidays usually means contemporary, which isn’t my forté. And even though urban fantasy and paranormal stories do fall into my speculative fiction frame of mind, I wanted to stay away from them. I wanted to write about a Pagan holiday, but I didn’t want something that fell into the fantastical — I wanted a real, earthy story that shows what it’s like being a Pagan in the real world. I wanted to write a story from a Druid perspective, but I didn’t want it to be about someone with magical powers, an immortal, or anything else often found in urban fantasy.

No, I wanted the day to day, garden variety Druid-Pagan, which is what I live. Basically, I wanted a story about someone who experiences the world like me.

I don’t see those stories very often — they seem to be very, very rare, especially in romance and queer fiction. It’s like the difference between  stories about stereotypical, fantastical witches and those about Wiccans: they aren’t the same thing. I yearn for more of the latter, as much as I really wish for more stories about actual Heathens instead of pieces that simply rip into the Norse pantheon and mess around with the gods, which often tear apart the really significant stuff or abandon it altogether. The same with eclectic Pagans, Hellenists, Kemetics, or anyone else under the umbrella, really. I have a few books (Mr. March Names the Stars is one such lovely), but I’m always looking for more. If anyone has any recommendations, throw them over!!

In the end, I came up with a science fiction piece, which allowed me to blend my geeky side with all of the above, while also looking at what it could be like for a future Druid to live in space. What would their spiritual practice look like? How would they feel? What would they do out there and how would they connect to nature when they’re immersed in the universe, away from Earth?

After that, I settled on other details that helped shape the story. The holiday of choice? Imbolc, an old Celtic holiday which takes place on February 1st/2nd (at least in the Northern hemisphere), right between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. The relationship? M/NB/F poly, because I honestly couldn’t make the character choose one or the other, so why force it? There’s also the fact the number three is involved… which is so very Druid, it kills me. And the fact that apparently, polyamory was a thing with the old Celts, along with their acceptance of same-sex relations, so I totally ran with it. *grin*

Everything else fell into place as I developed the outline and wrote the story. Though it was one surprise after another, including the fact OKAS decided it wanted to be written in first person, not third, which is my default. I’ve written in first before, but only short stories. This was my first novella with this POV, and that’s okay, because third wouldn’t have given quite the same flavour!

The only real bummer was that I started the story wayyyy later than I wanted to due to health issues and stuff that popped up and needed doing ASAP (plus a Depeche Mode concert and mini vacate in Toronto!), meaning I had to really crunch everything in and rush edits… arrrgh. I also had boatloads of research to do for this — nearly every night I’d research 4+ topics before I got any writing done, from astronomy to languages to Canadian engineering traditions.

In short: I wrote OKAS in 2 weeks, then edited it in 3.5 days.

Ugh. Writing 40k in 2 weeks — not something I want to do again!! I really felt when I was forcing things, which isn’t how I roll. I had to write a chapter a night (about 3k to 5k every day, at least), but I’m not a write-every-day kind of author. It drains me rather terribly, and when I force the words… it never feels right, especially when I’m nearly falling asleep. Yikes.

But hey, it happened. Then to see that acceptance email come in… oh, yeah, that felt AMAZING!!!

(Also, incidentally: I submitted the story on the deadline date itself, which happened to be the 6th anniversary of my mother’s passing… and for the first time in 6 years, I wasn’t get bogged down by grief. My thoughts were in this story, breathing and sleeping and living it. That alone gives this story an entirely new level of personal significance, because Imbolc is about renewal, rebirth, and the light of the year coming back around as the dark half of the year is on its way out. Maybe I needed to write this more than I realized, especially considering that the goddess most associated with the holiday is Brigit…  a goddess of healing. Go figure.)

 

So OKAS Is About What, Exactly?

Here’s my effort at a blurb, which is subject to change:

After four years in the Alpha Centauri solar system, astrobiologist Dath Bellin is relieved to be back at ECHO-Crosspoint Space Station. His next mission: return to Earth and take vacation. There’s family to see, R&R to catch up on, and Imbolc to celebrate with his Druid grove—everything he could hope for from a Canadian winter.

Just one problem: everything goes wrong before he can even leave the station. There’s also the matter of his exes, who are all sorts of temptation he can’t have. Coming home has never been so complicated…

For four years, Mack Ainsley Tsallis and Kytzia Polović have wanted to know why Dath left them the way he did. They’re determined to win him back together, especially since Mack is convinced Dath wasn’t completely honest with xem and Kytzia before he ran off to Alpha Centauri. Being ignored isn’t cutting it anymore: it’s time to start fresh and prove the three of them are perfect for each other—assuming Dath still wants them.

 

And ohhhh, is there so much crammed into it. There are about a hundred different things in it that have some sort of personal meaning to me and my partner — there are nods to things we’ve done (like Highland Games and Pagan Pride Day), things we own (like our pendents), things we love (space and natural disaster movies!) and hate (BUGS), things we’ve talked about (Starman and the Tesla!)… just A LOT of personal notes, though most of them are little details, so you wouldn’t know they’re from our personal experiences. It’s as simple as the pinecone on Dath’s altar… which actually goes back to our first date. (Note: Sitting on a pinecone during such a date may end up in it becoming a symbol of your relationship forever and ever.)

But there it is. Dath, Mack, and Kytzia. Dath’s my nerdy little botanist Druid; Mack’s a rockin’ engineer and manager with edge; and Kytzia’s a sassy, colourful techie with a thing for fun types of revenge. Dath identifies as panromantic demisexual, Mack is a non-binary/genderqueer pansexual who uses xe/xem pronouns (also identifies as trans), and Kytzia is bisexual/pan… Dath and Kytzia are roughly in their mid-thirties, while Mack is in xir forties with kids in university… Dath is more laid back in style, while Mack is more of an alternative-punk sort of person and Kytzia was inspired by Garcia from the TV show, Criminal Minds. (Because OMG, GARCIA. She’s beautiful in so many ways. <3)

I’ll write a post later with more about it (for the cover reveal and release day), but the story was a lot of fun to write. And there’s a lot of Pagan perspective included — I didn’t hold back that much. Instead, I incorporated our words, symbols, practices and traditions, a tiny glimpse of a Druid ritual (I’ve been part of several), and other things that come with all of that. Of course, that’s led to me working on a glossary, so I need to get to it.

I also didn’t hold back on the bit of nerd I know and love, although the references may not be obvious. I can say there’s a Star Trek reference (because my wife really it), a couple of nods to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a teensy hint of Farscape, gaming, robots, a reference to anime… and the names. Ohhhh dear. *snickers* No one realizes just how difficult it was for me to name my characters this time, because real-world names WHAT?! (aka. It sounded more like “^#*& $^@# *%$!!!!” on this end) But with Dath and his sister, I may have had a little too much fun playing with names from a few of my favourite SFF movies/books (and a show).

Therefore, I shall leave you with “Ardath Willowford” and “Callisto Amalthea” and let y’all figure those ones out. 😉

OH! And our cat, Silbhester. He made it in, too. It was due time. ^_^

 

I’ll save some of that stuff for later, though. In the meantime… it’s gonna get published. SQUEEEE!

 

Leave a comment

Cover Reveal!!! ♥ SOULBOUND ♥ ~~ Available for Pre-order RIGHT NOW!

 

OMG, Soulbound has a cover! And a blurb. And a listing with pre-order link!!! 😀

This is big news, especially since I didn’t expect it so soon. I estimated a winter release date, but nope, the book will be available on September 5, 2018! That’s 1.5 months away — and almost *exactly* 2 years from when Four was published. (No, for real. Four came out on September 7, so for Soulbound to come out on the 5th is HUGELY hilarious to me, seeing as both books are about Mayr & Tash.)

For those new to what this book is, it’s #4 in my high fantasy & romance series, The Republic, and features one of my favourite pairings, Mayr & Tash. One’s a guard, one’s a priest, and in this book, readers find out just how connected they really are. The guys also find themselves in an MMF relationship with someone very dear to them both: Arieve, who Mayr fell in love with when he was a teenager but could never be with romantically for various reasons. In addition to that, Arieve comes with her own FF relationship with Coye, whose relationship to Mayr is a rough work in progress.

So yeah… it’s currently available to pre-order from my publisher, and here’s the cover, designed by my favourite cover artist, the ever amazing Natasha Snow! I was blessed to have Natasha as my cover artist for the first book in the series, and she’s done the covers for the other books ever since. She’s utterly fantastic. ♥

 

 

Cover for Soulbound by Archer Kay Leah

 

Publication date: September 5, 2018
Genres: Fantasy, romance
Series: The Republic
LGBTQIA+ identities: Bisexual; MM and MMF poly relationships
Cover artist: Natasha Snow

 

In a relationship that violates rules and expectations, Mayr and Tash have found their perfect match in each other. Despite their fears and difficult pasts, they hope for a shared future with security and a family. When Mayr’s secret first love, Arieve, proposes they create that family with her, it seems dreams could become reality.

But life is complicated, and so is the delicate balance between duty and love. While Mayr protects the Dahe family at all costs, Tash is determined to succeed as a priest. Both positions require sacrifice, forcing their relationship into painful choices. To make matters worse, criminals lurk in the shadows, seeking revenge on them and those they guard.

The life they want risks losing everything—including Arieve and each other. Even if they can have it all, keeping it may take more than they can give.

 

Content notes & trigger warnings: Soulbound contains some explicit content, references to self-harm, suicide, and mentions of suicide-related behavior and intent. This story also contains instances of graphic violence, references to rape and domestic abuse, and depictions and mentions of depression.

 

 


Pre-order the eBook from Less Than Three Press for 15% off!  *

{Available as mobi, ePub, and PDF. Pre-ordering from the publisher directly gets you the book the night before release day!}

 

 

 

Can this one be read on its own? Possibly yes, in theory, but readers may find it more helpful to read the first three books before this one — or, at the very least, read Four and Blood Borne. Soulbound ties back to both of them rather deeply. In fact, they form a trilogy: Four introduces particular characters and circumstances, Blood Borne sees them taking action, and Soulbound is where the consequences come crashing through. It also ties back to A Question of Counsel, meaning it might be worth reading the set to really get the whole picture!

This is also the first time readers will see things from Tash’s perspective. Up until now, he’s had his life splashed across the pages from other people’s POVs. In this one, though, he’s got at least half the story because some stuff has to be told from his side. But beware: it’s tough in places, touching on heavy subjects, as hinted at in the content notes and trigger warnings. Tash’s past… it’s been pretty shitty, and he lives with that all the time. There was a good reason why his Trials went down the way they did in Four — why he was resigned to let things happen as they may.

That past and the present circumstances in which Mayr & Tash find themselves are why the cover is what it is: there’s a darkness there, surrounding them, among other things. I can’t go into the exact reasons for the cover artwork without spoiling things, but it applies in a couple different ways. Things are pretty challenging for them right now.

But don’t worry, there’s good stuff packed into the story, too! I’ve tried to balance it out with several happy things. Readers will also see the return of the usual suspects — Aeley & Lira, Pellon, Severn, Cota, Rathen & Kirra, Ress & Adren, and Kee — as well as a few new characters. We’ll see the return of Gorgan, who was 18 in Four and brand new to guard training. He has a couple years experience now, and he’s learning what it’ll take to be who he wants to be.

I’m also ridiculously pleased to introduce Stick & Stuck, two other members of the Dahe Guard. They come as a pair and I love them dearly. Stick might be easy to underestimate, but he’ll fight hard for the cause, and Stuck… she’s a real delight and full of Don’t Screw With Me. This won’t be the last of them. Oh no. They’re here to stay. *mischievous grin*

I could go on, but I’ll end the post here and say there’s more to come! I’ll definitely say a bit more on Release Day. I’m also hoping to share a deleted scene that day, one I reallllllly wish I didn’t have to cut but alas, it needed to go.

In the meantime, if anyone has any questions about the book, series, characters, or whatever, let me know. I’m always happy to answer. ^_^

 

%d bloggers like this: