November 3, 2014
We’ve been introduced to both Justinian and Ezekiel, so now let’s learn a little more about the two of them. This scene takes place in the evening of their first day of working together…
The dining room of Tynedale’s small inn was stuffed with people, few of whom seemed inclined to move from their places. After waiting nearly an hour, Ezekiel claimed a small table from a lingering couple under the pretense of “official business.”
“I don’t usually do that,” Ezekiel said a minute later. “It looks bad and can leave a bad taste in some people’s mouths… But I am quite hungry.”
Justinian, feeling that he didn’t have much to contribute on the subject, made a sound of acknowledgement.
“As are you, I’m sure. So….” He looked around, waving when he spotted a lanky boy carrying a tray full of dirty dishes. “There.”
When the gawky young man finally came to their table, he set bowls and a plate of bread in the middle of it. “This is all we’ve got left, sorry,” he said before hurrying back to the bar.
Ezekiel took the nearest bowl and peered into it. “Oh, it’s stew.”
“So it is,” Justinian said, looking into his own bowl. He gave Ezekiel a brief, questioning look.
“I was hoping for something else, but as I said before: smile and be grateful lest you end up hungry next time.”
“Of course.” Justinian bowed his head and said a short prayer, then blew across a spoonful of broth. It was peppery and rich, with notes of onion and garlic. A bit of carrot melted away on his tongue, but not without imparting its own flavor first. A bit of meat turned out to be a piece of venison, surprisingly tender, and he wondered how Ezekiel could have wanted anything else. “Do you think that things will be bad? When we get to Little Fieldmont?”
“It’s impossible to say. If the trouble was focused only on Mayvale, then we may have nothing more than confused and possibly suspicious townspeople on our hands. If the trouble came from Fieldmont, then…. It’s more of a wait-and-see sort of thing. We will likely have to go to Mayvale, as well, but the Sisters of Eternal Rest have already been there.”
At the mention of Mayvale, his dinner wasn’t nearly as appealing. Justinian knew it was his own fault but decided not to say anything. “I see.”
“Why don’t we speak of something a bit more pleasant? You, for example.”
“We already know about me. I’m a member of the Guard and I go around saying terrible things like ‘Gladwyn bores me,’ so yes, you. How old are you? Have you ever wanted to join the Guard, or did you always want to be a scribe? Do you have a sweet tooth? How are you and Sweet Molly getting on?” Ezekiel waved his bread at Justinian, an expectant look on his face.
“I, well, sort of? I’m nineteen. And an orphan, like most of the scribes. My parents died in the last influenza epidemic, and someone, a neighbor, took me over to the Greater Cathedral in Blackwell. I always liked it when the Sisters read us stories, so when they started asking us what we wanted to do, I said I wanted to be with books,” Justinian said, picking up a piece of bread. Like the stew, it was a surprise—sweet with honey and studded with crushed nuts.
“That was a nasty stretch of time,” Ezekiel said, frowning mildly at his own words.
“That’s what I’ve been told, but I don’t remember anything about it,” he said with a shrug. “I like sweets well enough, and Molly and I are fine. Why’s she called Sweet Molly, anyway?”
“Good,” Ezekiel said, pushing his empty dish away and brushing crumbs from his shirtfront. “Her name is actually just Molly, but the first young lady assigned to assist me insisted that she couldn’t get the horse to do anything. ‘Sweet Molly Sod-All,’ she said, and being the sort of person I am, it stuck with me.”
Justinian blinked at that. “Well, then.”
Ezekiel made an amused sound and waved a hand. “Not that sweet is an inappropriate name, either, compared to some horses I’ve known.”
Justinian decided to change the subject. “What about you? Did you grow up dreaming of the Guard?”
“Not precisely,” Ezekiel said, abruptly turning his attention to his empty bowl and the alignment of his spoon thereupon. “My incredibly superstitious parents abandoned me to the loving arms of the Sisters of Jerome Emiliani. Witchling hair, you know.” He looked up again, a crooked smile on his face. “When I was six they attempted to set me on the path of a Brother of Perpetual Watchfulness, which I managed for about a week. They sent me back to the Sisters, and two and a half years later, I behaved well enough for ten whole days that I was allowed to see a parade. A complement of the Guardians marched by, and here I am.”
“Somehow I just cannot see you as a Watchful brother,” Justinian said, keeping his voice as light as Ezekiel had kept his. He couldn’t help the glance at Ezekiel’s dark head, though; couldn’t help wondering what he’d look like with the red hair that was supposed to mark a witch’s child. “I think it’s the vow of silence.”
“That would be one of the most difficult parts of that brotherhood, yes.” He gave Justinian a forced little smile and got to his feet. “I think I’ll go see if there’s anything for dessert.”
November 3, 2014
Like most authors, I listen to music when I write. While my personal taste is incredibly eclectic (I have Britney Spears, The Decemberists, and George Freidrich Handel’s Messiah in my library, among many other things), my stories tend to have demands of their own when it comes to music.
ILUMETTH’s playlist has a somewhat less modern slant than most of my stories do, but of the recent releases it’s the fundamental messages that are more important than when it was composed. Here’s a list of what I listened to (links go to YouTube) and some background info; at the end are a couple of other songs, one ‘for fun’ and the other because it may or may not belong.
Do you have songs that you associate with a particular book, character, or story setting? Share them in the comments!
Whom Shall I Fear? [God Of Angel Armies] — Chris Tomlin – Burning Lights
There are several Christian radio stations in my city, and this song was released as I was in the middle of re/writing ILUMETTH. The second time I heard it, I knew that it was unequivocally Justinian’s theme – if I didn’t know better, I might have thought that it was written for him.
My Lighthouse – Rend Collective – The Art Of Celebration
While Justinian doesn’t have as many troubles as other people, the troubles he does have are definitely less mundane than theirs.
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God – Martin Luther – Performed by St Olaf’s Choir
This song is another that works well with Justinian’s faith/personality.
One of the interesting things about the Anglican communion is that you can pretty much count on singing all of the verses in a hymn, even if it has, like, eight of them. I’ve often wondered about the reason for it, and came across a half-joking assertion that you sing every verse because—at least with A Mighty Fortress–if you stop after the first one, the Adversary wins… Not really the kind of thing any church wants to promote.
I have to admit that I actually bought this after finding out that it’s one of Misha Collins’s favorite things to listen to. I did listen to samples before I paid for it, however, and I do honestly like it on its own merits rather than because someone famous also likes it. (If it had been, I don’t know, 35 Classic Hog Calls, I probably wouldn’t have bought it. …Oh, who am I kidding? You never know when an album of hog calls might come in handy. Yes, I do own a lot of things I don’t actually need, why do you ask?)
I was actually looking for musical settings of Psalm 121 when I came across this, and technically I didn’t even know about it until well after ILUMETTH had started the editing process. I did listen to it as I made corrections/additions, however, so it totally counts.
Grand, epic, sweeping, and surprisingly sweet, almost tender, at the end. Fitting music for writing about Good vs. Evil.
This song was the inspiration for the climax of ILUMETTH. Most of the song doesn’t really apply to either Ezekiel or Justinian, but you can find parts of it in that particular scene now that you know what to look for.
I’m a little…odd, when it comes to religious music. Sometimes, I don’t care for any of the English versions of them, and so it is with Psalm 121. I can’t really say why, either.
Starry Eyes – The Nick Hexum Quintet – My Shadow Pages
Yes, that’s the Nick Hexum, as in “the lead singer of 311″ Nick Hexum. If ILUMETTH were a movie, this would probably be the song in the closing credits.
On My Own – Ashes Remain – What We’ve Become
I’m still not entirely sure if this song belongs on this playlist. I mean, I listened to it, yes, but I keep waffling over whether it really fits [Character] or if I just want it to. Make up your own mind!
You can also find this playlist on 8tracks, with a bonus track at the end.
- Whom Shall I Fear? (God Of Angel Armies) — Chris Tomlin
- My Lighthouse — Rend Collective Experiment
- A Mighty Fortress Is Our God — Martin Luther/The Joslin Grove Choral Society
- Il Vespero de Santa Cecilia: Psalm 121/122 Laetatus Sum: Amen — Alessandro Scarlatti/Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
- Il Vespero de Santa Cecilia: Psalm 109/110: Dixit Domine: Gloria Patri — Alessandro Scarlatti/Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
- All-Night Vigil/Vespers: O Gladsome Light — Rachmaninov/Dale Warland Singers
- All-Night Vigil/Vespers: To Thee, The Victorious Leader — Rachmaninov/Dale Warland Singers
- Requiem: Rex Tremendae — Mozart; Praga Sinfonietta/Vox Pragae Choir
- Requiem: Lux Aeterna — Mozart; Praga Sinfonietta/Vox Praga Choir
- Psalm 121 — Serin
- This Is Gonna Hurt — Sixx:A.M.
- Starry Eyes — The Nick Hexum Quintet
- On My Own — Ashes Remain
- Psalm 121 — Jeff Presley & South Central Bluegrass
November 3, 2014
The cover for ILUMETTH was created by John Coulthart, who did an amazing job of converting the disparate bits of stuff in my head into a coherent (and beautiful) whole. I started off by deciding that Justinian and Ezekiel wouldn’t be on the cover, and then… Things sort of fell apart, because I didn’t know what I did want. After thinking about it for a bit, I decided some of the more important objects from the story would be a good idea, and tried to explain what it was I had in mind. I also sent along some visual aides, though I suspect they were more helpful in reassuring Mr. Coulthart that he would always have work… Heh.
Here are some of the ingredients that went into the cover:
I also included a description of the shield and sword:
From this distance, he could see that the shield sported subtle decorations engraved around each of the gems—vines dripping fruit wound about the one in the upper left; what appeared to be a massive olive tree supported the second in the upper right; a lion’s head with a mane of flames and a crown held the third stone in his teeth. He couldn’t read the script that ran down the blade of the sword, but he could see that the crossguard was shaped like sturdy branches.
To take all of that and turn it into the cover we see today… Yeah. I’m really pleased.
November 3, 2014
I’m Connor Wright, fortified with toast and leftover Halloween candy, and here to talk about I Lift Up My Eyes To The Hills, just released into the wild today.
I Lift Up My Eyes To The Hills started life mostly as a way for me to have a character who responded to “[Noun] be with you,” with “And also with you.” no matter what the [noun] might be. That was the idea, anyway, but as usual with my stories, it soon took on a life of its own.
My own interest in liturgy and ritual, in what-ifs and what-would-the-world-be-like-ifs, helped it expand and take shape as an alternate-universe historical. I also tried to take the trope of an older, more experienced person protecting a young newbie and turn it on its head, though it ended up being more of a mutual sort of thing (which was fine with me).
As for what ILUMETTH is about, well. Here’s a blurb and an excerpt.
Justinian Clark, a new-minted journeyman scribe, has a lot of faith: Faith in God goes without saying; faith in the orderly workings of the universe; faith in the administrative minutiae that ticks along in the background of his life. That minutiae has brought him to Saint Gabriel and All Angels cathedral, where he is assigned to assist Brother Ezekiel Frost.
Ezekiel Frost, a ten-year veteran of The Eternal Brotherhood of the Guardians of the Church of Greater Anglia, is quite comfortable with his routine: helping the people of St. Gabriel’s parish, annoying the archdeacon, and not getting too used to his assistants. While he doubts that having a complete novice assigned to him will change this pattern in any way, he resolves to make the best of it.
Between exorcisms, murders, the attention of something, and an overly-observant child, Justinian and Ezekiel have no time to settle into a comfortable routine. Nothing is as certain as they once believed, and they can only hope their faith will see them through.
BROTHER EZEKIEL Frost surveyed the knot of new journeymen awaiting assignment and wondered, with a decided lack of enthusiasm, which of them was to be his new assistant. One face in particular—round, young—caught his eye, and he leaned over to whisper to the woman standing beside him. “I thought the scribes all had to be of age.”
“They are,” she said, jabbing him with her elbow as a shuffling sound at the front of the room turned into a sharp rapping on a lectern. “Sh.”
“Good morning,” Archdeacon Gladwyn said, nodding as everyone replied. “As we all know why we’re here, I shan’t waste any time. Scribe Hobbs to Sister Adams. Scribe Jenkins to Sister Arnold. Scribe Bekins to Brother Baskin. Scribe Clark to Brother Frost. Scribe….”
Ezekiel pursed his lips as the scribe he’d noticed—Clark—reacted to having his name called by dropping the pencil he held. He forced a smile onto his face, however, and crossed the short distance to Clark. “Brother Frost,” he said, holding out his hand.
“Um, Scribe Clark,” the young man said, reaching out to shake Ezekiel’s hand before he realized he was holding the pencil he’d retrieved; he plucked it out with his free hand and finally made contact. “Sorry.”
“That’s all right.” Ezekiel’s opinion rose a little on the strength of Clark’s grip. “Let’s go find something to eat. I had to miss breakfast for this, and I imagine you probably didn’t eat anything either.”
“I…. What about assignments? Isn’t the archdeacon going to—”
Ezekiel shook his head and turned toward the door. “I’ve got my assignment already, and Gladwyn bores me to tears.”
Clark flinched and dropped his pencil again. “I…. You…. Um.”
“I said it.” Ezekiel looked over his shoulder. “You know where the dining hall is, yes?”
“No. Not… not really.” Clark straightened up and put the pencil in his pocket. “We arrived only yesterday.”
“Tch. Because it’s so much easier to learn where things are if it’s just one more thing you have to know,” Ezekiel grumbled, then shook his head and started for the door. “Not your fault.”
“You’re expected to learn the layout of the cathedral—without a map—as well as who you’ll be assisting and how to get fed and whether you’ve got to make friends with a horse and all the other little things that make up life around here. Gladwyn really ought to let the new faces have a few days to at least learn how to get to the privies and the dining hall before the rest of it comes down on them.” Ezekiel opened the door and stepped into the corridor beyond. “Come on, let’s begin the process of getting on one another’s nerves.”
“Oh,” Clark said, following in Ezekiel’s wake like a confused kitten.
JUSTINIAN CLARK fidgeted with his fork, still wondering what Brother Frost had meant by his nerves statement. The badge on the man’s right sleeve featured a sword, point down, most of which was hidden by a shield. The shield was plain, with a simple cross in the center; the cross itself was surmounted by a simple gold cross: the symbol of the Brotherhood of Guardians. Which meant that Brother Frost was responsible for defending everyone against anything… unholy. Which in turn meant that—Frost was speaking to him. “I’m terribly sorry, what?”
“I simply said that I’m not much for titles, so I only use them when I must. You may call me Ezekiel, and I’ll call you something other than Clark if it’s all the same to you.” Ezekiel raised his eyebrows.
“I, um, all right. Justinian.” No one from the Brothers and Sisters of the Quill had warned him that this might happen. Oh, they’d told him not to be upset if he wasn’t treated with much respect at first, but that was entirely different.
“Justinian. Good. First thing you should know about me—and I’ve already demonstrated this—is that I’m likely to shock or offend you sooner rather than later.”
Ezekiel adjusted the alignment of a slice of bacon relative to the edge of a piece of bread on his plate. “If it’s sooner, and if it’s something you really don’t want to deal with, say so. No sense in the two of us trying to work things out if neither of us is interested. It never ends well.”
Justinian wondered if there was some history behind Ezekiel’s warning, but he didn’t ask. “I only just met you,” he pointed out instead.
“That may be, but—look, I haven’t had the best luck with my assistants in the past,” Ezekiel said, his mouth pulling askew in remembered distaste, “so I’m just trying to make sure no one is surprised by anything.”
“All right,” Justinian said, then decided to change the subject. He tilted his head to the side and pointed with his fork at the badge on Ezekiel’s right sleeve. “You’re a Guardian. What’s your assignment?”
“I am indeed a member of The Eternal No-Longer-A-Brotherhood of the Guardians of the Church of Greater Anglia.” Ezekiel paused for a moment, his expression holding a touch of amusement. “As for our assignment, well…. I’m not entirely sure, yet, as I ducked out of Gladwyn’s lecture and haven’t gone to look for messages for me today.”
Justinian blinked and shook his head, frowning over his breakfast. Ezekiel’s modification of the group’s name was not incorrect, given that they had admitted Sisters to their ranks for nearly a century. “You said you knew what your assignment was,” he said, trying to keep accusation and panic out of his voice.
“And I do, in the general sense.” Ezekiel shrugged. “I’m a Guardian, therefore it stands to reason that I’ll be guarding. The fiddly bits, where and from what and when, that I don’t know—outside of the circuit I normally ride, anyway. Important question for you, by the way.”
“I… I think I see why you’ve had some, um, difficulty. With other assistants.” Justinian wondered what would happen if he dared to ask the archdeacon for reassignment. “Yes?”
“Have you ever seen anyone or anything that’d died?”
He shook his head again and forced himself to eat some of his food. “No. Not really.”
“It’s always a possibility.”
Justinian pushed his plate away. “Oh.”
“But on the other hand, I’ve also spent months doing nothing more exciting than traveling between libraries, sorting through hundreds of fusty old books and scrolls and fragments, and seen nothing worse than the occasional dried-up husk of an ancient mouse.” Ezekiel pointed at Justinian’s plate. “You should eat. Learn to take advantage of food when you have it, because you’ll miss it when you’re caught in a downpour a day and a half from someone else’s cooking.”
“Consider this your second introductory warning,” he said, not unkindly. “I’m not trying to make you miserable, but one thing I know about myself is that I am not the valiant, dashing, laugh-in-the-face-of-danger kind of man that the Brotherhood likes to pretend we are in order to dazzle boys and girls into our ranks.”
“You’re quite sure about that?” Justinian said, pressing his lips together afterward. Ezekiel’s laughter startled him and he ducked his head, then continued, “I’m not miserable. Yet.”
“I see. Well, then. Once we’re done here, I’ll drag you along to find out exactly what we’re expected to be doing.”
October 31, 2014
Be My Human by Julie Lynn Hayes & M.A. Church
As Reed doubts himself and his ability to love and be loved, Taz must find a way to show Reed he’s more than enough human for this alien.
Reed and Taz are still adjusting to their new lives together when a medical emergency sends them flying down to Florida on short notice. Not quite the way Reed pictured introducing Taz to his family. Reed’s sister, Rene, welcomes the outgoing Taz with open arms, and the kittenish alien charms Reed’s parents.
But someone isn’t quite so enamored of Reed’s boyfriend—his homophobic older brother Jacob seems determined to be as unpleasant as possible, and he’s making their visit very uncomfortable. The sudden appearance of Reed’s controlling ex releases a flood of insecurity and bad memories.
Reed begins to doubt himself, and his ability to love and be loved in return. When strange items begin appearing out of nowhere, he wonders if he’s being stalked, or is he just paranoid? What can Taz do to prove to Reed that he’s more than enough man for this alien?
Length: Novel (200p.) | Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery/Suspense | Release Date: October 31, 2014
In Me an Invincible Summer by Ryan Loveless
Challenges pile up as closeted action movie star Joe Nestra faces a serious role and a costar who won’t tolerate Joe’s self-denial.
To an outsider’s view, world-famous action star Joe Nestra lives the Hollywood dream—parties, women, and a high-profile divorce. In reality, Joe’s agent directs his public life. Those women he’s supposedly intimate with? Prearranged dates ending at the red carpet. With his assistant and best friend Derek Simmons’s help, Joe has lived safely in the closet since his divorce, choosing to let off steam with discreet male escorts rather than risk an actual boyfriend. At forty-four, he has no plans to change. Then, taking a role in a film without flashy explosions upends that.
When Joe signs on to play an early 1990s-era AIDS-stricken gay man, his internalized homophobia threatens the production. His out costar Hunter Starling won’t put up with Joe’s behavior. As the animosity between Joe and Hunter grows, saving the film means Joe must face his deepest fear. Challenges pile up from all directions, from his father disowning him to the entertainment industry’s backstabbing reaction. Amid the backlash, Joe ventures into his first gay romantic relationship, tries to help others worse off, and slowly learns how to live his life instead of just acting it.
Length: Novel (336p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: October 31, 2014
Partnership Reborn by Ariel Tachna
When Raphael meets Jean it’s disastrous, but Raphael can’t let it go. He doesn’t stand a chance, but nothing can stop him from dreaming.
All his life, wizard Raphael Tarayaud has dreamed of a vampire—first as a friend, then as a lover. His search for his missing soul mate brings him to the attention of Sebastien Noyer, one of his childhood heroes. While Sebastien isn’t his soul mate, he could be the perfect partner for Raphael’s best friend Kylian Raffier.
As strange coincidences mount up, Raphael offers his research expertise to try and help Kylian and Sebastien understand what is happening to them, though the more he learns, the less he likes it. But it won’t keep him from fighting with everything he has to secure Kylian’s future.
When he finally meets Jean Bellaiche, former chef de la Cour and grieving widower, the meeting is disastrous, but Raphael can’t let it go. He doesn’t stand a chance with Jean—who could compete with the ghost of Raymond Payet?—but nothing can stop him from dreaming.
Length: Novel (306p.) | Genre: Paranormal, Vampires, Werewolves/Shifters, Urban Fantasy
Release Date: October 31, 2014
The Partnership in Blood novels by Ariel Tachna
Alliance in Blood | Length: Novel (234p.)
Covenant in Blood | Length: Novel (420p.)
Conflict in Blood | Length: Novel (304p.)
Reparation in Blood | Length: Novel (332p.)
Perilous Partnership | Length: Novel (288p.)
Reluctant Partnerships | Length: Novel (280p.)
Lycan Partnership | Length: Novel (230p.)
Genre: Paranormal, Vampires, Werewolves/Shifters, Urban Fantasy | Release Date: October 31, 2014
Winds of Change & Eye of the Storm by Lee Rowan
Marshall and Archer will do anything for His Majesty’s Navy, including risking their lives, but they must conquer fear for the sake of love.
Winds of Change
Lieutenants William Marshall and David Archer, of His Majesty’s frigate Calypso, have been lovers for more than a year. Because the penalty for discovery is the hangman’s noose, they limit themselves to the occasional night of passion ashore.
But in the Navy, nothing lasts forever. A transfer to a new ship brings with it a bizarre turn of events: their captain orders them to behave as though they are involved in an illicit relationship in order to smoke out a suspected traitor. When their masquerade proves dangerously effective, it threatens to cost Davy his life.
Eye of the Storm
The long war between England and France enters a fragile and temporary truce in the winter of 1802, but the lives of Commander William Marshall and Lieutenant David Archer are more complicated than ever. After almost losing Davy in battle, Will faces the responsibility of command and questions whether he can give orders that will put his love in harm’s way once more.
Doubts torment David Archer. Will walked away once, trying to end their relationship for Davy’s own safety. His physical wounds have healed, but the loss of trust remains. Now, his biggest challenge is persuading Will their love is worth the risk of loss.
Winds of Change:
First Edition published by Linden Bay Romance, 2007.
Second Edition published by Cheyenne Publishing/Bristlecone Pine Press, 2009.
Eye of the Storm:
First Edition published by Linden Bay Romance, 2009.
Second Edition published by Cheyenne Publishing/Bristlecone Pine Press, 2009.
Length: Novel (280p.) | Genre: Historical European | Release Date: October 31, 2014
October 30, 2014
Guardians (The Woodmen Chronicles: Book Two) by A.M. Burns
A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title
Bigfoot Thom Woodman feels like he’s being forced to choose between the human and Oh Mah worlds, and life with or without his mate, Ben. Guardians (The Woodmen Chronicles: Book Two) by A.M. Burns, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.
The Woodmen Chronicles: Book Two
Thom Woodman is a bigfoot, although he prefers to be called an Oh Mah. When it comes time for the Oh Mah biannual gathering, he’s excited to go with Ben Steele, the human he bonded with.
To Thom’s surprise, he is offered a place among the Guardians, the leaders of the Oh Mah. But since he grew up half in the human world, he can’t make a decision before he finds out more about these Guardians.
When an Oh Mah is killed by a human, the growing antihuman sentiment runs rampant through the gathering. Thom’s family swears to help protect Ben, but when some of the Guardians join the anti-human faction, they aren’t sure they can live up to their promise. Even when Ben is kidnapped, Thom doesn’t know what to say when the Guardians demand his answer. Thom feels like he’s not only being forced to choose between the Oh Mah and the human world, but also between a life with or without Ben.
Length: Novel (214p.) | Genre: Fantasy: Urban Fantasy, Fantasy: High Fantasy, Paranormal: Other, Young Adult, Gay | Release Date: October 30, 2014
October 29, 2014
Cutting Out by Mickie B. Ashling
Sloan must help his ex, Cole, rescue his family while Trent chooses between marrying Sloan and a military career cut short.
Sequel to Cleave
Hours after stepping off the yacht where they had their mock wedding, real life intrudes, and arguments arise between Sloan Driscoll and Trent Hamilton. Seeking relief at his BDSM club, Trent bumps into an old army buddy who tells him things are different now that DADT has been repealed. Meanwhile, Sloan receives a frantic call from ex-lover, Cole Fujiwara, who tells him that his twins and ex-wife have been kidnapped. Cole asks Sloan for help but makes him promise not to include Trent in the rescue attempt.
Trent considers the opportunity to resume a career cut short, and despite Sloan’s threat to postpone the wedding, he leaves for the Middle East as an independent mercenary while Sloan rushes to aid Cole.
In Tokyo, disturbing revelations draw the former couple together, and old feelings are rekindled. Despite this new understanding, neither man makes a move. Sloan is focused on rescuing Cole’s family without jeopardizing his relationship with Trent, while Cole must prepare himself to survive disappointment if Sloan chooses to segue into married life as a military spouse.
Length: Novel (220p.) | Genre: Contemporary, BDSM | Release Date: October 29, 2014
A Day at a Time by Nic Starr
Sean Vargos isn’t all he seems, but Dave wants the chance to show Sean he can be trusted and the past doesn’t have to dictate their future.
Sean Vargos is quiet, well respected, and dedicated to his job. But Dave Simpson sees Sean as more than a coworker. He’s fought his attraction to Sean for months but can’t get him out of his thoughts.
They tentatively embark on a relationship, but Sean isn’t all that he seems. He struggles to put his past behind him and overcome his fears.
Dave, with his good looks and open nature, accepts that sometimes Sean’s doubts get the better of him and he runs. Dave just wants the chance to show Sean he can be trusted and the past doesn’t have to dictate their future.
Length: Novella (77p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: October 29, 2014
Buy as eBook ($3.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-121-5)
Healing by Grace R. Duncan
In a post-pandemic world, former nurse Mark helps Duncan tend a broken leg. But as Duncan heals, he realizes he doesn’t want Mark to leave.
When Duncan stumbles into a pharmacy in search of something to fix his broken leg, he’s surprised to find someone else there. Like the rest of the post-pandemic world, it appeared empty. Instead, he discovers Mark, a former nurse who walked away from his profession after losing too many patients to the virus. Despite swearing he’d never practice medicine again, Mark patches Duncan up over Duncan’s protests. He even finds an abandoned house in the tiny town, and they settle in until Duncan heals enough to look out for himself. Much to the chagrin of both, they find themselves caring for each other.
Duncan welcomes it, thrilled at finding someone he can trust. However, he’s well aware of the shadows in Mark’s eyes and understands Mark’s reticence as he learns the story. But as he’s starting to do things for himself again, Duncan realizes he doesn’t want Mark to leave. He’s not sure if can get Mark to let go of his fears so they can stay together and love. But Duncan’s damned sure going to try.
Length: Novella (98p.) | Genre: Science Fiction | Release Date: October 29, 2014
Buy as eBook ($3.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-122-2)
Hunted Guardian by M.D. Grimm
Falcon shifter Con is injured while keeping powerful scrolls away from a monster. Alpha wolf Quincy must nurse the wounded raptor in secret.
In eighteenth-century Egypt, falcon shifter Con’s parents died attempting to keep powerful, ancient scrolls out of the hands of a monster. Now it falls to Con to keep the scrolls hidden and lead the hunter away so their sacrifice isn’t for nothing. But he isn’t quite fast enough, and he finds himself helpless in an unfamiliar English countryside village. That is, until a beautiful man with a limp carries Con to his manor to tend to his wounds.
As an alpha wolf, Quincy’s compassion is not valued by his pack, which leads him to nurse the falcon in secret. A bond quickly forms between Quincy and the mysterious raptor, so he’s concerned at Con’s reaction to the arrival of another visitor, the Countess Blackburn.
Length: Novella (198p.) | Genre: Paranormal, Werewolves/Shifters, Historical European, Mystery/Suspense | Release Date: October 29, 2014
Buy as eBook ($5.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-290-8)
October 27, 2014
Beyond the Rift by Alana Ankh
The Nikari rule a vast empire, until innocent Andari mage Ivy claims the heart of Nikari emperor Kris and changes the course of history.
Across the centuries, the Nikari, a race of vicious elemental mages, have built an empire, bringing an entire continent to its knees. The course of history seems set… until one innocent Andari mage changes everything and claims a greater prize—the heart of the Nikari emperor.
Behnivyr ‘Ivy’ Erethe knows his duty is to wed another Andari Pure-Blood. Craving one moment of freedom before his loveless bonding, he escapes his father’s suffocating protection and goes to a masquerade ball, only to unexpectedly meet a mysterious Nikari named Kris. Kris makes Ivy ache with a need he barely dares to acknowledge. One kiss, one dance—and Ivy’s life changes forever. Unbeknownst to Ivy, Kris is actually Kristelien Fezenda, the Nikari emperor. Forced to make a difficult choice, Ivy picks love over duty and becomes Kris’s concubine.
Poorly prepared for the whirlwind of emotion Ivy summons inside him, Kris now faces the hardest battle of his life. In a ruthless world where all weakness is exploited, where allies become enemies in the blink of an eye, where love can mean death, he will have to defeat more than his own personal demons to breach the rift between him and Ivy.
Length: Novel (260p.) | Genre: High Fantasy | Release Date: October 27, 2014
Heart by Garrett Leigh
Cornish baker Seb is fascinated with Irish Traveller Dex, but Dex is a slave in a violent underworld. Can Seb heal his fractured heart?
Cornish pastry chef Seb Wright dreads the summer tourist season. The cash injection to his artisan fudge pantry is more than welcome, the extra work, less so. Then one summer, a shadowy Good Samaritan catches his eye. Irish Traveller Dex is bewitching, a beautiful sullen enigma who turns Seb’s world upside down until he disappears in the night, vanishing like a mystical summer rain.
Twelve months later Dex is in the midst of a dark storm. A slave to his master, ‘Uncle’ Braden, he spends his days cleaning caravans and his nights working in Braden’s other businesses. His short summer with Seb seems a lifetime ago. Lost in the savage violence of the murky underworld, he doesn’t dare dream he’ll ever find his way back, until one night, a brutal crime opens the door for a chance escape. A new life beckons, old faces emerge, and immersed in the heady vibe of London’s East End, new love begins to heal his fractured heart.
Length: Novel (204p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: October 27, 2014
Bones by Kim Fielding, Eli Easton, B.G. Thomas, Jamie Fessenden
You cannot hide your desires from the loa, or from the maddening spell of the drums. Four authors imagine love under the spell of Voodoo.
Vodou. Obeah. Santeria. These religions seem mysterious and dark to the uninitiated, but the truth is often very different. Still, while they hold the potential for great power, they can be dangerous to those who don’t take appropriate precautions. Interfering with the spirits is best left to those who know what they’re doing, for when the proper respect isn’t shown, trouble can follow. In these four novellas, steamy nights of possession and exotic ritual will trigger forbidden passion and love. You cannot hide your desires from the loa, or from the maddening spell of the drums. Four acclaimed m/m authors imagine homoerotic love under the spell of Voodoo.
The Dance by Kim Fielding
The Bird by Eli Easton
The Book of St. Cyprian by Jamie Fessenden
Uninvited by B.G. Thomas
Length: Novel (260p.) | Genre: Contemporary, Historical European, Urban Fantasy, Mystery/Suspense, Paranormal, Ghosts/Spirits, Mythology | Release Date: October 27, 2014
The Sol of Jupiter by Thaddeus J.
The intense yet awkward attraction growing between young Marines Turner and Jace complicates both their personal and professional lives.
Turner Michaels is an idealistic junior enlisted communicator who wants nothing more than to successfully execute his duties. After being transferred to a light armored reconnaissance unit in the middle of the Mojave Desert, the young Marine starts to feel a bit overwhelmed and out of place from his usual role of support— until he is reunited with his old friend Jace Sozio.
Jace is impulsive, headstrong, and loyal to a fault, but carrying a chip on his shoulder and keeping others at a distance is easier than being true to himself. Reconnecting with his closest friend from basic training might be simple, but the intense yet awkward attraction growing between them complicates both their personal and professional lives.
Can devotion and honor be stronger than bigotry and misperception? The Corps has always been a sacred brotherhood where men and women trust each other with their lives—but Turner and Jace will have to find a different way to fit the General Issue mold.
1st Edition published by Thaddeus J., June 2013
Length: Novel (270p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: October 27, 2014
October 24, 2014
Barbacoa by Erik Orrantia
When two Aztec skeletons are found lovingly interred, an ancient love story unfolds, of Metzín, Tototli, and their struggle to be together.
Professor Diego and his team have made a potentially world-shaking discovery at their archeological site in Central Mexico—two Aztec skeletons lovingly interred. As they begin to examine the remains, the story of an ancient mystery couple begins to unfold.
In pre-Columbian Mexico, a young Aztec warrior called Metzín cannot understand the strange attraction he feels for Tototli, a quiet slave owned by his family. Torn between familial duty and love for his “little bird,” Metzín becomes the target of a sadistic bully, both at school and on the battlefield.
In the present, Diego and his assistant, Gerardo, dare to start a romance amid the conflicting forces of their families, religion, society, and work. With funding for their project in jeopardy, they must balance love with social disapproval and solve the mystery of the intertwined Aztec skeletons.
And for Metzín—as war draws near, he must choose his destiny. Will he prove himself on the field of honor, or stay behind with his love? It is a more dangerous choice than Metzín realizes. Unbeknownst to him, forces beyond his control are gathering. It will be all he can do to survive the coming storm—and hold on to his love.
Length: Novel (220p.) | Genre: Historical Americas | Release Date: October 24, 2014
Damian’s Discipline by K.C. Wells & Parker Williams
Dom Damian Barnett agrees to help emotionally damaged Jeff, but when he learns of Jeff’s past, he wants to do more than offer his guestroom.
The man who pimped Jeff may be in prison, but Jeff is still living the nightmare, selling himself to men and relying on pills to manage. Then he meets Scott, a young American man who could easily have been where Jeff is now. Scott’s friends extend a helping hand to Jeff, and he grabs it.
Leo and Thomas bring Jeff to stay with Dom Damian Barnett until they can find him someplace more long-term. Still grieving from losing his sub to cancer two years before, Damian agrees to help. But when he glimpses the extent of the damage, Damian wants to do more than offer his guestroom. Jeff is not a submissive, but Damian can see he desperately needs structure in his life. It’s up to Damian to find an answer.
He never expects that what he discovers will change both their lives.
Length: Novel (240p.) | Genre: Contemporary, BDSM | Release Date: October 24, 2014
Patient Privilege by Allison Cassatta
Dr. Erik Daniels sees potential in heroin-addicted male prostitute Angel, but helping Angel could hurt Erik’s carefully built career.
Dr. Erik Daniels knows how it feels to lose everything. His addiction to alcohol cost him his fiancé and his private practice, but he finally managed to regain control over his life and become a successful substance abuse counselor. He helps people regardless of their ability to pay. It isn’t the dream life he had in San Francisco, but at least he has something to be proud of. Everything seems to be getting back on the right track until he meets Angel, a heroin-addicted male prostitute.
Erik not only sees a lot of himself in Angel but a great deal of potential as well. He’s willing to sacrifice a lot to get Angel on the right path—but it will come at a cost to his carefully rebuilt career.
1st Edition published by Silver Publishing, 2012
Length: Novel (204p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: October 24, 2014
Partnership Reforged by Ariel Tachna
Thierry has wanted the one thing Sebastien’s past denies him: an Aveu de Sang. He’s finally assembled a ritual that might succeed.
For two years, Thierry has wanted the one thing Sebastien’s past denies him: an Aveu de Sang. With the help of friends new and old, he has finally assembled a ritual that will give him a close approximation of the ultimate bond between vampire and mortal… if it succeeds.
Length: Free (30p.) | Genre: Paranormal, Vampires | Release Date: October 24, 2014
Buy as eBook ($0.00 ISBN: 978-1-63216-630-2)
October 24, 2014
Congratulations to Sula H., Henry M., and Tammy J., winners of the One Thing Leads e-book giveaway. They will receive an e-book in their choice of format.
There is a second (and final) giveaway for One Thing Leads. You can enter it here.
Thanks for your interest, and good luck.
Over and out,