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♥♥ OF KINDRED & STARDUST = Out TODAY! ♥♥ Release Day Stuffs + Excerpt

 

It’s Release Day!!!

 

Cover for Of Kindred & Stardust

 

Purchase directly from my publisher or from any major online retailer!
AmazonBarnes & NobleSmashwordsKobo • iTunes (TBA) • Bookstrand

 

 

Genres: Romance, science fiction
Collection: Home for the Holidays

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 a 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. Unfortunately, everything goes wrong before he can even leave the station. There’s also the matter of his exes, whom he can’t have back no matter how much he wants them, not after his horrible mistake.

For the past 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.

 

Content notes & trigger warnings: Of Kindred and Stardust contains some explicit content, mentions of past transphobia, and references to depression.

*Are you on Goodreads? Add it to your shelves!

 

•••

 

\o/    HUZZAH!! It’s here! It’s here!!    \o/

Today, my publisher has released all of the books in their Home for the Holidays collection, and I’m so completely and utterly giggly thrilled that Of Kindred and Stardust is part of it! The submission call encouraged stories about holidays outside of the mainstream, giving me the perfect chance for something I’ve wanted to do for a few years: write something for one of the Druid holidays, which overlaps with those celebrated by Wiccans, eclectic Pagans, and others. I had 8 days to choose from, each of them special in their own way, and while I originally tried (desperately) to make something work for a Samhain piece, it just refused to cooperate in a way that wasn’t paranormal. I’d aimed for writing something in the contemporary genre this time, with a modern look at how we celebrate these Pagan holidays, but that didn’t work either. Everything I came up with fell short… until my sci-fi side took over and gave it life.

That leads to Of Kindred and Stardust, a sci-fi romance novella set in 2099 on a space station in Mars’ orbit. It’s also a poly romance and on the sweeter side! The holiday featured? Imbolc, a Celtic festival celebrated on February 1st or 2nd, depending on the person/group. It’s commonly celebrated by neo-Druids, which is how the main character, Dath, identifies. I don’t see many stories (if any) that have real-life neopagan Druidry in them, especially romances, so I wrote it. And I’m both humbled and incredibly grateful that LT3 has given this story a chance, stepping up and encouraging people like me to share these stories and characters when others would just turn us away. Thank you, Sam, Megan, Sasha, and LT3 as whole! ♥ And such a huge thank you to all readers who give it a read! ♥♥♥

In a nutshell: this is a love story FOR Imbolc. The way that the relationship moves, the personal journey that the characters are on, and the overall plot — it’s all inspired by Imbolc, and the significance of the holiday weaves throughout the story because Imbolc is about renewal, rebirth, and more. It’s a time of great reflection and pushing forward, caught between Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. It’s a time of celebration, joy, relief, and hope because the dark half of the year (aka. cold-as-heck winter for many of us!) is heading out and spring is coming, bringing growth and life that’s going to blossom into so much more. And so follows Dath’s relationship with Mack and Kytzia. It all goes together in the spirit of the festival, right on through to the various aspects of Brigit, Goddess of hearth, home, and healing; fire and wells; poetry and inspiration; and smithing and crafting!

As I’ve said in previous posts, this story has so much personal significance and experience packed into it. If you listen to Dath’s voice, it’s very… me, actually. And being inside his head is like taking a trip into mine. I’m 100% not joking. It’s almost like putting a diary out there for everyone to see. THE HORROR.

Though there’s also a lot of my partner in this and our experiences with our Pagan community, which has so very kind, gracious, and open to us both. This is a shout-out to all of them and the love for life, family, and everything they’ve shared with us… just set in the future, because I’m curious about what Paganism will look like 80 years from now, especially with all of our tech and how it keeps growing, along with our interest in space exploration. Nature and knowledge are integral to Druidry, so I ran long and far with them. (And for anyone who doesn’t have any idea what I’m talking about, here are major organizations that can hook you up with info: ADF (Ár nDraíocht Féin), OBOD (Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids), AODA (Ancient Order of Druids in America), and the Druid Network! We’re a rather diverse bunch. ^_^)

I also wanted to play with one possibility for how our future could look in space, taking into account everything going on right now, particularly with all of the advances being made in astronomy (the super-awesome data from the Kepler space telescope is going to keep folks busy for a while!) and the likes of SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Boeing working on ways to take space exploration and tourism to the next level. Add that to so many other factors, including the Millennial generation — how they’ve been been born into a highly technological world that’s only getting more technologically advanced with an incredible amount of access to knowledge and each other’s ideas — who knows where we’ll be in 2099?? Could we have a large space station out there in our solar system by then? At this point, who really knows, especially since 80 years ago, no one would’ve known we’d have the internet and smartphones or self-driving cars and AIs in constant development by now. They were the stuff of fiction. Honestly… the future is open to so many things.

So, yeah, that’s a little about the story and how it came about!

 

 

And just for a bit of fun…

Here are a few songs I thought I’d share — a few of my favourites, especially as of late! They’re not on the playlist for the story, but they do have a certain sound that fits the story and characters so very well. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Though if you want the real deal… here’s the actual playlist for OKAS!

Active Child – Evening Ceremony

Banks – Alibi
Banks – Before I Ever Met You
Banks – You Should Know Where I’m Coming From

Digital Farm Animals – Tokyo Nights (feat. Shaun Frank & Dragonette)
Dotan – Home II

Ed Sheeran – Afire Love
Ed Sheeran – Autumn Leaves
Ed Sheeran – Give Me Love / The Parting Glass

Eisbrecher – Die Hölle muss warten
Ellie Goulding – Only You
Ellie Goulding – Winner
Erik Hassle – No Words
EUZEN – Judged By

Faun – Golden Apples

Gregorian – All I Need
Gregorian – Dark Angel

Hoobastank – A Thousand Words
Hoobastank – Can You Save Me

Imaginary Future – As Long as I Have You, I’m Home
Imaginary Future – Everything We Need
Imagine Dragons – Dream
Inkubus Sukkubus – Love Spell

Lord of the Dance Soundtrack – Suil a Ruin
Loreena McKennitt – Snow

Nadia Ali – Fantasy

Of Monsters and Men – Black Water
Of Monsters and Men – Human
Of Monsters and Men – Slow Life
Of Monsters and Men – Yellow Light
Of Monsters and Men – Your Bones

Omnia – Fairy Tale
OMNIMAR – Out Of My Life
OMNIMAR – Ego Love

Sarah Polley – Courage
Sarah Brightman – Eden (Enigma Remix)
Secret Garden – Prayer
Stone Sour – Hesitate
Susan Craig – Shadow

The xx – Angels
The xx – Fiction
The xx – I Dare You
The xx – Reunion
The xx – Stars

Unheilig – Geboren um zu leben

 

•••

Now for an Excerpt…

 

If ever there was a time to strip and run through the space station naked, today would’ve been it.

Gods, the thought of it loosened more than one of the stubborn knots in my shoulders. Liberty just by shucking my pants and then some… Not really the homecoming I’d been expecting, but the looks of sheer horror could hold me over for a while if I tried it. At least until I got back from Earth. After that, everyday boring Dath Bellin would return to business, all plants and data, pretending like he didn’t make a run for public indecency. But once—just once—this Dath Bellin wanted to be reckless, throw care to the wind, and scream, “I’m home, baby!” in all the ways no one saw coming.

Fuck, it’d been a long four years.

Snickering at the lapse in thought, I continued down the long, brightly lit corridor, fingertips tracing the bright white and gunmetal grey wall. Staff bustled past me in both directions, some of them engrossed in conversation, their snug black uniform jackets with the robin’s-egg blue and white crossroad patches of ECHO-Crosspoint Space Station welcoming me home. Others rushed towards the lifts with tablets and mugs in hand, likely on their way to the cafeteria down on deck four for a quick lunch before returning to their offices. Most of them ignored my star-struck daze, the occasional brow quirked at how I caressed the lukewarm metal wall, loving the soft pulse and hum of electric wires beneath the surface. I was one shiny control panel away from trying to jack myself into the systems to get at everything I’d missed.

Never thought I’d be so sick of living in my own damn ship, but hey, the day was here.

Not even the day. The year. A whole fourth year.

Why did I agree to this mission to begin with?

I’d been asking myself the same question since the day I left, the answer as lost to me as the parts of my ship, the Sleipnir, that got ripped off during our intra-galactic exploration. Plants, I’ve kept telling myself. I went for the plants and stayed for the tourism. The last four years had put my training to the test, stretching my astrobiology PhD to its fullest with more of the universe than my memory could ever hang onto. I’d always wanted to work among the stars, and the mission to the Alpha Centauri solar system had launched entire new worlds at me, forcing me to rethink every classification I thought I knew and reconsider the meaning of life—if it really was forty-two, because the hell if I knew anything more than how small I was in the grand scheme of things. I fell in love out there, even with the planets we barely made it off of and the pre-flight check prayers that ended in, “Shit, shit, shit! Not another bloody fucking incident report.

But as much as the mission made all my nerdy botanist dreams come true in galactic brilliance and failed alien bug spray, being back at Crosspoint warmed my heart with the fuzziest damn bunnies. Some of it may have been the pot of coffee I’d practically inhaled in the med bay after arrival. It may have even been being away from the rest of my team, allowing me to think without distractions or wondering if we’d return with the whole five-person crew without befalling a disaster of natural or close-and-way-too-personal proportions. Or maybe it was as simple as considering the station home and wanting to plaster myself to its spaciousness and the fact that it was stationary… ish.

In any event, here it was, right where we’d left it in Mars’ orbit: thirty decks of space-proofed tin can thanks to ECHO Causroy-Belforte Limited and the relatively new multi-national Milky Way Space Agency. Crosspoint itself was still a baby—only seven Earth years into the project that needed to last for decades longer—but it was worth calling home away from home. Though that was part of the point, to be honest: for more people to call this home. Most of us at the station conducted research, especially on the inter-planetary level, with hopes we’d get a similar station built out by Jupiter. But Crosspoint was more than that: it was a multi-purpose facility, acting as part of an evacuation plan for Earth, a refuge from war, environmental disaster, and any catastrophe thrown at our beloved blue ball, especially if it turned out we could no longer live on Earth’s surface in the future. Crosspoint was the lifeboat of lifeboats orbiting in wait.

And one very colourful lifeboat at that.

Damn, what had people done at the station on New Year’s Eve? Raise a Party God incarnate?

 

 

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~ April Updates ~ and “Of Kindred & Stardust” Sale + Excerpt (Pre-Orders = 36% Off Until April 30!)

 

Happy almost-the-end-of-April! It’s been a little while since I’ve shared an update — the last few months have been their own special brand of hell for my household, to put it mildly — so here goes. 🙂

 

First Up: Of Kindred and Stardust!

The countdown is on: only 3 more weeks until OKAS comes out! And as if that wasn’t exciting enough… it’s coming out the day after our nephew, Luke, is expected to be born. ^_^ There’s lots of stuff happening that week! In the meantime, here’s what’s happening with OKAS:

 

  • It’s up on Goodreads! So if you’re interested in adding it to your shelves, head on over. And if you’re interested in reviewing a copy once I have an ARC available, let me know! Feel free to get in touch with me here or on social media (Twitter is my usual go-to, but I’m also on Facebook and Tumblr). I’ve already turned in the copy edits, meaning it’s headed for the galley next, so I should hopefully have copies in a couple weeks.

 

  • Pre-orders are currently 36% off over on my publisher’s website! LT3 Press is having a huge anniversary sale this month, with an extra 25% off on pre-orders — but hurry! The sale ends April 30th. Though if you head on over now and pre-order your copy, you’ll get OKAS the night before release day!

 

Cover for Of Kindred & Stardust

 

LT3 Anniversary Sale: Celebrating 10 Years!

Happy 10th anniversary to Less Than Three Press, and may they have many more years to come!! Without them, my stories wouldn’t have made it out into the world — heck, I wouldn’t have really thought of them if not for LT3’s submission calls in the very beginning — so this is something wonderful to celebrate. *enter confetti and streamers and glitter everywhere*

To mark the occasion, they’ve had an anniversary sale all month, with books off for 25% off (36% off for pre-orders) and chances to enter into a raffle to win prizes! If you’re looking to stock up on LGBTQA+ romances and happy endings, head on over to their website and check out all of the stories on offer.

This also means all of my works on are sale. You can find them here.

 

 

Current Project: Ashsender (Kindle Overthrow #1)

This project has been on the burner for a while, but it’s finally getting somewhere! In the past couple of months, I’ve pulled together its rather intense (read: scary, terrifyingly detailed) outline, and in the last 2 weeks I’ve focused on the bits of world-building I need in order to actually start writing the book. It’s so close! Last week was all about ships; this week, I’ve been designing solar systems and galaxies. So, basically, I’ve been getting myself into way too much trouble between bouts of falling down rabbit holes that never seem to end. Space is SO BIG. And sci fi shows are so easy to get lost in. >.<

BUT!

It’s almost there. Those first words are almost ready to be committed to the page. It’s so close, and the characters are so damn chatty — they’ve even thrown the second book at my head already, demanding that a certain pair of characters hook up because according to them all, they belong together… but I’m the last one to know. (Madi + Ema = fighter pilot rebels and BFFs about to embark on being lovers, too, gods help me. Those two might just kill me when I get to writing their book… though they’re trying very hard to distract me right now. They’re trouble, okay?!? So much snark to be had. And glitter. Some kind of unicorn reference. A lover’s spat over the radio. They’re all over the place, best I can tell.) At the moment, I’m finishing up the next phase of world-building, which also includes getting to know the characters more, their histories, and the politics of their world, but it’s the last piece I need before digging into writing the story itself.

The only unfortunate thing here is that as close as it is, I’ll be putting it aside again for another couple of months to focus on other projects that have deadlines to meet. Most of those projects aren’t mine; I’m proofreading them — but that’s a whole other post I need to write because the series is one of my absolute faves and it really needs its own post! (Especially since it comes with so many trigger warnings. I’m not kidding. It’s an extremely dark, utterly painful mindfuck of a series that makes me cry. And I can’t stop thinking about the characters. Or what’ll come next for them. Or where they’ve been. Jack L. Pyke is one of my top all-time favourite authors for so many reasons!) It means I’m on the clock, though, to help the re-releases stick to the planned time frame.

There is one project, though, that is mine: edition #2 of A Question of Counsel, which I’ll be working on in between the others. AQoC’s contract comes up in a couple months, but I need to get a head start on the new edition if I’m going to get it done in good time. I’ve been waiting years to make changes to this story, and I’ve got a rolling list of things I need to add, remove, or otherwise tweak, especially with how the series has grown!

I’ll talk about those projects more later, but… yeah. Poor Ashsender is gonna get bumped for a bit. It’s just as well: it’s not a book that I’m taking lightly, considering the serious topics it’s going to touch on. These are characters that have done things they really want to atone for, things that aren’t pretty or kind or decent. Terrible things not out of the realm of what we’re seeing in the world today… what we’ve seen in the past… when humanity is thrown out the window and compassion is buried twelve feet deep to satisfy someone else’s lust for power and control. The longer the book simmers, the more it’s growing into itself and what it could be. It’s a tough journey for these guys, but at least Eve & Lexx’s story will finally get written! Soon. Very soon. I should have more news in the summer once I lay down the first chapters.

 

 

Excerpt: Of Kindred and Stardust

Before I sign off, here’s a teensy taste of what’s to come on May 15. Enjoy!

~~~

What? Just what was I supposed to say to that?

Fried. Busted. Those were words for eggs, not my ship.

“It’s going to take time to restore him, make him all nice and safe again. New problems to fix, new parts to get.” Mack sucked in a breath and twisted the Iron Ring on the little finger of xir left hand, a rough-edged, stainless steel ring xe always wore. Once upon a few years ago, Mack had told me about its significance and The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer, all of it so very solemn and steeped in tradition. Whenever Mack was nervous or anxious, especially about work, xe fiddled with it, bringing xem back to the oaths of that tradition and clearing xir thoughts. The fact xe fussed with it now, with me… I wasn’t too sure how to feel about that. “It’s messed up, and I’m sorry, Dath. I’ve been pissed since I found out. I’ll make them refurb the whole damn thing, no matter their whining. It’ll take a couple months, but he’ll be practically brand new when you get him back.”

I couldn’t help it: I groaned, all of my disappointment pouring out in the open. I should’ve known the Goddess Brigit would test me and my resolve to get home for Imbolc—or maybe I had the whole damn Celtic pantheon to thank for this. Hell, maybe even the Norse pantheon, too, because Loki and Odin had always loved dancing around my family like a Heathen binary star that kept us on our toes.

“I just wanted to go home,” I mumbled before I realized I did it. Dammit, I added silently, feeling my face flush.

“When?” Mack asked softly, leaning into me, brown gaze all sympathetic and concerned and… and something else I wasn’t anywhere near deserving of.

Wait, hold up. Mack hadn’t paused there, just asked, and that look… I’d gotten that look several times before, when things were good between us. That—none of this—it wasn’t anything like I’d expected. Where was the pissed off ex? Why weren’t we parting ways? I’d left Mack behind, yet xe was pissed about my gutted ship?

“At the end of the month,” I answered quietly, too confused to do anything else. “A little before then, actually.”

It all happened so quickly: Mack reaching out to touch me, only to retract at the last second and curl xir fingers into a fist at xir side, as if touching me committed some sort of terrible act.

“There’s still time to work it out,” xe said with a weak smile. “He might get fixed sooner than we think. Sometimes parts don’t take long to come around, or we miraculously find something we hid somewhere—any number of things. And me, I’m a glutton for punishment, you know that. I’m usually in the bay after-hours, anyway, so I could poke my head under the hatches and install some things. Failing that…” Mack took a deep breath and stepped close enough that I could catch the warm autumn scent of xir aftershave, its spicy cinnamon and nutmeg fragrance balanced with the sweetness of vanilla and apples. “I could take you down myself. Be your own personal escort.”

A statement, not a question.

A very pointed statement, one that screamed Imagine all the things we could do instead of Here’s me burying you in the bowels of space for breaking my heart.

Sweet Brigit and the Mórrígan, I think I may’ve slipped into some kind of alternate reality.

 

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Cover Reveal!!! ♥ OF KINDRED & STARDUST ♥ ~~ Available for Pre-order RIGHT NOW!

 

Of Kindred and Stardust has a cover! And a blurb. And a pre-order link!!! 😀

 

Coming May 15: my Druid-in-space novella for LT3’s Home for the Holidays collection! It’s sci fi. It’s romance. It’s poly. It’s Pagan. AND IT’S ALMOST HERE!

 

Yep, I’m totally stoked about this. It’s a departure from the stories I’ve been writing these last few years — a standalone that isn’t as dark and hefty as the books in The Republic or the likes of For the Clan. No, I tried to go a bit lighter with this one, mostly because it’s for a holiday collection. There’s still angst (what else is new), but I’ve tried to go for something a bit more up, with a space station setting, and hey, it’s POLY, just the way I like it! No love triangle or jealousy here, just Dath, Mack, and Kytzia working some things out. And a bot. And a tree. And some really nerdy moments… Also, for those interested in the aspect of gender and sexual orientation identities: I’m pleased to say that Dath is panromantic demisexual; Mack is non-binary, trans, and pansexual; and Kytzia is bisexual/pansexual. I hope readers enjoy reading their story as much as I had writing it!

A really big thing, though, is that I opted to write about a character practicing real-world Paganism. Up to this point, I’ve written fantastical worlds with Pagan-based spiritual/religious systems, but given the nature of the collection call — the fact the holidays needed to be real, not fantasy — I ran long with that big ball of possibility straight on into Imbolc, a Celtic festival with personal meaning to me, my partner, and many of our friends. To be honest, there’s so much of us and our lives that bleeds through in this story, I could seriously — no, seriously — sit with a highlighter and highlight nearly every single sentence just to show how much of it comes from real-life. It’s all just mashed up and blended into the perspectives of 3 different characters, each with their own unique spin! (Also: I now have a crush on Mack. I’d hang out with all 3 characters, but Mack — oh, I love xem. So much fun to work with. Such a wicked sense of humour. But so determined and right on top of things.)

I wrote all about OKAS last year, so if you want more about the story, its background, and the fact that I never want to write a 40k story in 2 weeks again, check out that post! I’ll write another post on release day, but keeping this one short for right now!

 

Interested in finding out more? Looking to pre-order? Here’s the link to the book on my publisher’s website! The book will be available on Amazon, Smashwords, etc. (all the usual platforms) closer to release date. For right now, pre-orders are only through LT3.

 

And now for the cover, designed by my favourite cover artist, the magnanimously talented Natasha Snow! She’s so OMFG awesome I could cry. ♥ The cover hits all of the right notes for me in colour, tone, and that out-in-space flavour! Thanks to LT3 and Natasha for once more spoiling me absolutely rotten with pretty covers. ^_^

 

 

Cover for Of Kindred & Stardust

 

Publication date: May 15, 2019
Genres: Science fiction, romance
Collection: Home for the Holidays
LGBTQIA+ identities: Bisexual, Demisexual, Genderqueer, Non-binary, Panromantic, Pansexual, Trans; M/NB/F poly relationship
Cover artist: Natasha Snow

 

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 a 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. Unfortunately, everything goes wrong before he can even leave the station. There’s also the matter of his exes, whom he can’t have back no matter how much he wants them, not after his horrible mistake.

For the past 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.

 

Content notes & trigger warnings: Of Kindred and Stardust contains some explicit content, mentions of past transphobia, and references to 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!}

 

 

 

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

 

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Goodbye, Silbhester. You were our everything. <3

RIP, Silbhester.

Always our beautiful, perfect baby boy & my beloved writing buddy. You’re missed more than you’ll ever know.

We’ll keep listening for you in the silence & looking for you in our memories. 💔🕯️💔

~~~

Our beloved Mr Fuzzy Paws left us this morning, ushered into his final sleep with quiet, compassion, and love. So much of that. We miss him so much… It’s just too quiet and the tears aren’t staying away for long. Everywhere we look we see him. 😭😭😭

But we’ll get through this. We will. With time.

We had one last weekend with him. We offered him what comforts we had to give. In the end, we’ll always harbour regret for the decision we had to make, but given the circumstances — the fact that his health was only getting worse, not better — we wanted to give him a peaceful exit. With the help and kindness of everyone at our vet clinic, Silbhester had that peaceful passing. Even he didn’t put up a fight with hisses and growls and screams today… just gave a groaned grumble as he left us.

My heart’s shattered right now, smashed into such tiny little bits. He was with us for 14 years. Our baby. Our grumbly old man. The sweetest little guy we were so fortunate to share our home with. He was a treasure, a precious gift, and he graced our life with so much love, laughter, and life. It kills me to think we’ll never stroke his forehead or rub his ears the way he craved or see his Content face ever again.

It feels so lonely, sitting here now like I would with him. My wife and I are on very different schedules: she’s up during the day and me at night. Silbhester was our companion every single second of the time we were home. And even when we weren’t home, we were thinking of him. He was always with us. Always on our mind. Always such a large presence.

Now it’ll just be me at night. Alone. I can look at the other end of the couch all I want and leave all the space I can beside me, but he won’t be there. He won’t interrupt me. He won’t curl up beside me, his paw touching my leg. He won’t purr and purr and purr his heart out when I rub his head. He’s gone and I hate it. As much as we needed to make this decision to take his pain away and save him from suffering as his conditions worsened, I hate missing him like this. I hate myself for making this decision. I hate that we didn’t have forever.

It hurts, but we did what we could. We gave him the best life we could offer. And as I’m writing this, I’m sneaking peeks over my laptop at his spot at the other end of the couch, bursting into fresh bouts of ugly crying when all I see are his Monster and a stuffed black and white tiger sitting where he should be… I can’t see him there and it kills me. There’s no Kitten, no sweet little face to watch as he sleeps, no little body to watch as he breathes and lives.

The worst part? All I want to do is put down my laptop and hug him. I want to put everything aside and snuggle up to him, just as I would any time I’m in this much pain. But this time… this time it just rips a fresh new hole into me because he’s the reason I’m hurting like this. I can’t cuddle up to him. Love him. Take comfort in his existence because we took that away. We made the choice to break up our family to save him from his own pain. We’ve lost him.

My heart has sunk well beyond the bottom of my chest — it’s anchored to the floor, like the heaviness of my steps.

In time, we’ll get used to this lack, this awful void where once our hearts joined his and lived and breathed with him. But for now, we grieve. We find our new normal. Habits and routines we’d established with him won’t go away completely, just change. He’s gone, but always here. He’s lost to us, but always remains our sweet love.

Rest peacefully, my little one… and please forgive us. We tried. Gods, we tried. We love you so much. You’re a piece of home and hope we’ll never have again. Blessed be. ❤

 

 

 

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Soulbound = On Sale for $0.99 today!!

 

Soulbound = on sale for $0.99 today!!

 

 

For today only – and only on my publisher’s website – you can pick up a copy of Soulbound (book #4 in The Republic series) for less than $1 USD!! (And considering it’s 136,000 words, that’s a complete and utter bargain. A brick for a buck!)

 

~~> Get it here! <~~

 

(Direct link: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=92&products_id=1652&zenid=lunm9k4pl3gukaiihl2c7mnc23)

 

Mayr & Tash’s lives are about to turn upside down… Where will the dust settle? And will they have the happy family they dream of or will it all slip through their hands? An MM + MMF poly + fantasy romance that will turn the series on its head… and heart.

See the website for the blurb, content notes, and more — including an excerpt! 🙂

 

* Note 1: This sale price is available only @ LT3 Press. Excerpt + multiple formats are available, no matter if you use Kindle, Nook, PDF, or some other reader.

* Note 2: I’m still waiting to get yelled at for all the Things I Cannot Say Without Spoiling Other Things. In the PDF format, it’s pg 447+… I love these guys, I swear! Things just… happen.

* Note 3: The rest of my books are on sale, too! In fact, they’re all 20% during the month of December (this one, included, plus the other three books in the series so far). Again, all on LT3′s site. ~~> https://lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=index&typefilter=bookx&bookx_author_id=120&zenid=lunm9k4pl3gukaiihl2c7mnc23

 

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~ December Updates ~

Happy almost-the-end of 2018! It’s definitely been a year. *long breath out* The last few months have been the absolute longest for my household: September sent us reeling into a handful of problems, none of which have really been fully resolved yet. Just when I think we’re going to get a break, we get slammed by something that stresses us out all over again. Among our cat’s ailing health, my sleep deprivation and really messed up sleep schedule, the 6+ months of construction nearly every day of the week, and the ongoing infestations in our building with three different pest species that just aren’t going away… I’m done. I’m stressing out and done with 2018. Maybe 2019 will be kinder! And for all of you with your own trials and tribulations right now: may the new year be kinder to you, too!

But in the meantime, here’s what’s happening with my books and authorly stuff.

 

The Important Stuff First… Books on SALE!

Yes, it’s that time again: my publisher, Less Than Three Press, is having their month-long winter holiday sale! For the entire month of December, get 20% off all books (ebooks, paperbacks, and an additional 20% off already discounted pre-orders) in the LT3 Book Market.. There’s also a raffle (to win a Kindle E-reader, LT3 gift certificate, or a free ebook prize!) and $0.99 sales, the latter of which  are being announced on the LT3 twitter account basically every day of the month! There’s a different book on for $0.99 every day, so check their twitter and/or website daily!

 

Having said that: ALL of my books are on for 20% off during December, including:

* Books #1-4 of The Republic series

* Enchanted Soles, an anthology that includes my novella, Heart, Lace, and Soul, along with four fantastic stories by other authors!

* For the Clan, an MMF sci fi + dystopian romance in future Canada

 

**** And to make it even better:
Soulbound will be $0.99 ALL DAY on December 12 — tomorrow!!!! The sale lasts for only 1 day and is applicable only on Less Than Three Press’s site, so hop on over tomorrow and pick up your super-duper-discounted ebook copy!!!!

 

 

 

Coming in 2019: Of Kindred and Stardust

I’m still waiting to get a release date for Of Kindred and Stardust, but it’ll be coming soon! OKAS is the Imbolc story I wrote this past summer for LT3’s “Home for the Holidays” collection. It’s very pagan, very nerdy, and I can’t wait for it to get out in the world! Check out this post for more info about the story and its very personal meaning to me. Crossing my fingers in hopes that the pre-order link will go up in the early part of the new year! More info to come once I have it.

 

 

New WIP: Chances Wild

I have a few projects on the go right now, but my newest one is Chances Wild, a paranormal-fantasy romance! This particular story came around after LT3 announced the “Bound by Nothing” collection call a few months ago. The collection is centred around disabled shifters, which is a really great idea and important with regards to representation. It’ll be great to see the stores that make it into the collection!

The call caught my attention and I jotted down some ideas even though I figured I wouldn’t be able to come up with something. But lo and behold, I did, and so Chances Wild was born! I decided to run with cast of various types of shifters you don’t really see so much: instead of dragons, wolves, and the typical fare, I’ve opted for penguins, crickets, winged horses, and even raccoons and bats… mostly because I can. I love going for the strange and unexpected!

Though a few of them come from things that have some personal meaning to me. The penguin — Nicura — was inspired by the comic I used to read in my university newspaper. It was a really simple premise: a couple of foul-mouthed penguins lipping off at each other or other individuals, including a dove they loved to pick on mercilessly. I have such terribly fond memories of reading those comics, and I saved copies of them, as well as taping up a few of my absolute favourites in my kitchen for whenever I needed a laugh. (The best moment, though, was when I was writing up my notes from my Vertebrate Biology class and realized how perfectly one of the comics worked for the sections on locomotion and energy expenditure. I actually printed out a copy of the comic and glued it to my notes. It helped keep the concepts in my head, that’s all that really matters!) Put all that together with the hilarious penguins from the “Madagascar” movie franchise and… well… you get Nicura!

The raccoon shifter (Ylanta) and bat shifter (Edie) were also inspired by my time at university, both of them work related: I used to work low-risk security, mostly at night, including in the community centre on campus. There was one shift where a raccoon wandered into the centre and sat munching on the popcorn leftover on the floor, not caring that we were there. Another time, when I was down on the lower floor, a bat went swooping through the halls, over my head, just going through the corridors. Fun times!

There’s also a winged horse (Arjem/Jemma), inspired by one of my bosses at LT3, who wanted to see more unicorns and the likes of Pegasus in shifter stories. The cricket, Lani… that one’s for my partner, who requested I add the character after a cricket landed on her at work while she read my email talking about this story. I couldn’t say no, so the story became poly! It’s also an F/F/NB poly, where Lani also identifies as a sex-repulsed asexual and a demigirl. Arjem, on the other hand, is grey-A or demisexual. More on all of that later, since it’s still in the works.

At the moment, I can’t say when I’ll get it done. I’d thought I’d have time to get it written, edited, and submitted by the end of January, but with things the way they are right now, that’s not going to happen. Life’s throwing in too many distractions and I can’t focus like I need to, so the process is going slowly. There’s also the fact that it’s a happier, fluffier kind of story being told in a voice and POV I’m not used to. While it flows easily some days, other days it just doesn’t work with my headspace, so it’s going to take time! It’s also probably going to be the first book in a trilogy, so there’s also that…

 

* BUT * for anyone who wants to get a taste for how it’s going, I’ve started sharing it on the Wattpad site!

 

I’ve been meaning to give the site a go, so I thought I’d post bits of this story as they’re written. Feel free to read along and leave comments! So far, the entire first chapter is available. I’ll post more as I get it done.

Here’s the current blurb:

Nicura Keathe: Content Strategist for a dating site, surfer, and penguin shifter. She’s not looking for romance or trouble, but she’s always up for a fun gamble. So when the royal family holds a public lottery to find Princess Arjem two consorts for marriage, how can she turn down her best friend’s dare to enter? It’s not like she’ll win, not with thousands of candidates…

Luck has other plans.

Not only is Nicura chosen, one of her rivals is, too: Lani Dole-Misade, a cricket shifter from a competing company with an intent to marry Princess Arjem and make changes to their kingdom. She’s dedicated to following through, no matter the cost. For Lani, it’s a dream come true, but for Nicura, it means changing who she is to make the royals happy or risk permanently damaging her reputation and that of her company.

There are choices to be made, with Princess Arjem in the middle, stuck with her own misgivings. If they fail, their relationship will become a humiliating spectacle none of them want to endure.

Chances may be wild, but three is one scary number.

 

 

And with that…

Here are a couple of my favourite holiday tunes to close this post out! Have a great day! 😀

Tommee Profitt — Carol of the Bells
(EPIC. So EPIC. His piano playing is AMAZING.)

 

Within Temptation — Gothic Christmas
(A cheeky bit of metal fun and one of our household’s favourite holiday songs!)

 

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Cover Reveal: “Ithani” by J. Scott Coatsworth — with a #Giveaway!

 

On February 19th, J. Scott Coatsworth has the final MM sci fi book in his Oberon Cycle series coming out — Ithani — and here’s the cover reveal!

 

 

Title: Ithani
Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
Series: Oberon Cycle (Book #3)

Release date: February 19, 2019
Genre: Science fiction, Space opera
Pairing: Various queer characters
Length: 97,000 words
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska

 

Time is running out.

After saving the world twice, Xander, Jameson and friends plunge headlong into a new crisis. The ithani–the aliens who broke the world–have reawakened from their hundred millennia-long slumber. When Xander and Jameson disappear in a flash, an already fractured world is thrown into chaos.

The ithani plans, laid a hundred thousand years before, are finally coming to pass, and they threaten all life on Erro. Venin and Alix go on a desperate search for their missing and find more than they bargained for. And Quince, Robin and Jessa discover a secret as old as the skythane themselves.

Will alien technology, unexpected help from the distant past, destiny and some good old-fashioned firepower be enough to defeat an enemy with the power to split a world? The final battle of the epic science fiction adventure that began in Skythane will decide the fate of lander and skythane alike. And in the north, the ithani rise….

 

 

Series Blurb:

Oberon is one of the natural wonders of the Universe – a half planet that shouldn’t exist, at least according to the laws of nature.

Oberon is also a nest of secrets. The Skythane – the first human colonists of Oberon – keep some of them, and so do the “landers” who work for OberCorp, the company that is exploiting the planet for its natural resources.

Now Oberon is in danger. A solar flare threatens to end most life on the planet, but an ancient prophecy leads Quince, Xander, Jameson and a small group of landers and skythane on an epic quest to save the planet – and unravel its secrets along the way.

Other challenges await on the horizon, for the world, and its inhabitants. Will they find the answers they need, and their way to each other, in time?

 

DSP Publications eBook | DSP Publications Paperback

 

 

• • • • • •

 

GIVEAWAY:

 

Scott is giving away five eBook copies of the first book in the series, “Skythane.” 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/b60e8d4745/}

 

• • • • • •

 

EXCERPT

 

Venin stood under the dome of the chapel, the waters of the Orn rushing past the small island to crash over the edge of the crater rim, where they fell a thousand meters to the broken city of Errian below.

The Erriani chapel was different from what he was used to back home. The Gaelani chapel in Gaelan had sat at the top of a tall pillar of stone, open to the night sky, a wide space of grass and trees that intertwined in a natural dome through which moonlight filtered down to make dappled shadows on the ground.

This chapel, instead, was a wonder of streaming sunlight, the columns a polished eggshell marble with glimmering seams of gold. Red creeper vines climbed up the columns, festooned with clusters of yellow flowers that gave off a sweet scent.

Both were bright and airy, but the Erriani chapel lay under a dome supported by fluted marble columns, a painted arch of daytime sky and the rose-colored sun blazing overhead.

The last time he’d gone to chapel had been with Tazim, before his untimely death.

Long before the troubles that roiled the world now.

Something drew him back. A need to reconnect with his past. To bridge the gap between then and now, between who he was and who he had become. Taz would have liked this place.

The chapel here had survived the attack, while much of Errian had not. The city below was a jumble of broken corrinder, the multistory plants that were the main building stock for the city. They would grow again, but the sight of the city’s beautiful white towers laid low struck him to the core.

So had Gaelan looked, after the flood.

Venin turned back to the chapel and unlaced his boots, baring his muscular calves before he approached the fountain that splashed at its center. The cool flagstone beneath his feet sent a shiver up his spine, and green moss filled the gaps between the stones.

Some builder whose name was lost to time had tapped into the river itself to make the fountain run, and the water leapt into the air with a manic energy around the golden statue of Erro, before falling back down to the pool.

Venin knelt at the fountain’s edge on one of the well-worn pads, laid his hands in the shallow water, and let his wings rest over himself, making a private place to pray.

Erro and Gael, spare us from danger and lift us up into the sky with your powerful wings. He gave Erro deference, being that this was his chapel, but he hoped Gael would hear him too. The god of his own people had been known to intervene in mortal affairs before, and if what Quince had told them about these ithaniwas true, they would need all the help they could get.

Venin’s wings warmed.

He looked up in astonishment to see the statue of Erro giving off an intense golden glow. His mouth dropped open, and he stood and stared at its beautiful male curves and muscles. Maybe the gods were answering him.

Venin reached up and touched the statue’s outstretched hand. The shock knocked him backward onto his ass, and he hit the ground hard, slamming into one of the marble columns.

Venin groaned, stunned, and reached back to feel his wings and spine. He seemed to be in one piece.

Taz would have laughed his ass off at the whole thing.

After a moment he sat up cautiously. He wrapped his arms around his legs and stared up at the statue, his chin on his knees.

The glow was gone.

Did I imagine it? He stood and felt the back of his head. A lump was already forming there. That’s gonna leave a mark.

Something had changed. Venin didn’t know what yet, but he was sure of that much.

He pulled his boots back on and laced them up. With one last suspicious glare at the statue, he turned and stepped out of the chapel, taking a deep breath of the moisture-laden air.

Then he leapt into the sky to soar down to the broken city.

 

•   •   •   •   •   •

 

Author Bio

Scott lives with his husband of twenty five years in a Sacramento suburb, in a cute little yellow house with a brick fireplace and two pink flamingoes out front.

He inhabits in the space between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into science fiction and fantasy by his mom at the tender age of nine, he quickly finished her entire library. But he soon began to wonder where all the queer people were.

After coming out at twenty three, he started writing the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Crown Books. If there weren’t many queer characters in his favorite genres, he would will them into existence, subverting them to his own ends. And if he was lucky enough, someone else would want to read them.

His friends say Scott’s mind works a little differently than most – he makes connections between ideas that others don’t, and somehow does more in a day than most people manage in a week. Although born an introvert, he forced himself to reach outside himself, and learned to connect with others like him.

Scott’s stories subvert expectations that transform traditional science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something different and unexpected. He runs both Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark.

His romance and genre fiction writing brings a queer energy to his stories, filling them with love, beauty and power. He imagines how the world could be – in the process, he hopes to change the world, just a little.

Scott was recognized as one of the top new gay authors in the 2017 Rainbow Awards, and his debut novel “Skythane” received two awards and an honorable mention.

You can find him at Dreamspinner here, Goodreads here, on Amazon here, on QueeRomance Ink here, and on Facebook here.

 

 

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