Rainbow Snippets

Happy Holidays to those who celebrate. For Christmas have a little of my 1930s demon hunters, Li & Temple (and their partners Caleb & Agni) from The Darkest Midnight in December. Two sets of partners and lovers, they’ve been called to Economy Village outside of Pittsburgh to investigate two different demon appearances and the one in the snippet is sort of the French version of Krampus. All they want to do is make it home for the Christmas, provided they live that long.

Standing over a bed, a tall man in black robes with a huge basket on his back tried to wrestle a toddler out of his bed. A brave boy pummeled him with whatever was on hand.
“Le Père Fouettard, let the boy go.” Temple benched his Tommy gun against his body, taking aim. At the moment, he couldn’t take a shot without hurting the boys. As Li took out his kunai and tried to shoo the older boy out of the way, he kept the gun on the demon.

Blurb: The year is 1930, and something is hunting infants and young couples in Economy Village, PA. When a local priest begins to suspect a demon may be the culprit, the sheriff calls in a team of Soldiers from the Sun.
Caleb, Agni, Temple, and Li specialize in demon hunting, but they can’t rule out an old religious sect as the true culprit. Prejudice, distraught parents, and angry townspeople don’t make the team’s job any easier. And if something goes wrong, they’re on their own, because by the time their backup arrives, it will be too late.

Buy Link here.

If you’d like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It’s been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It’s been a great supportive group!

Sunday Small Talk

In all honesty, my week in writing can be boiled down to a handful of paragraphs on a steampunk short story and the beginning of a new idea. Writing time has been spent cleaning house and packing for the holidays.

So why bother posting at all? Because I wanted to share the reviews of Once Upon a Time in the Weird West. Let’s call it an ego moment. It was an exciting project for me and I’m so glad I got to be part of it because for a while I thought I might not be (because damn you story for being overly long).

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

The Blogger Girls

Gay Book Reviews

Joyfully Jay

Divine Magazine

And it’s a bestseller at All Romance so do go check it out. I’m sure you’ll find stories to love. (and now back to the Christmas packing for me)

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Buy Links Dreampsinner Press
All Romance
Amazon

Rainbow Snippets

Something a little different today (because I’m probably running the ragged edge of what you can share of from a short story, and Once Upon a Time in the Weird West released yesterday, so exciting). Since we’re nearing the holidays, I thought I’d share a little of my holiday stuff. This is a snippet from The Light in Winter which was part of one of Dreamspinner’s advent calendars. I drew from my time in Wales doing a research fellowship on Neolithic sites for this (that and I sort of follow a druidic path). Gareth is a professor at the University of Aberystwyth and a Druid. Warun is a Christian doctor. Their schedules have put a huge strain on their relationship so for the holidays Gareth surprised Warun with a romantic trip to some of the historic sites he loves so much and the story ends with him sharing the Druid ritual of Alban Arthan (The Light of Arthur), the Solstice, with Warun for the first time. So we get to see a lot of this place, Bryn Celi Ddu, one of my favorite Neolithic sites in Wales  photo 100_1750_zpshsjkerxw.jpg (Granted, I’m pretty sure the powers that be wouldn’t be too happy if people spent the longest night of the year inside this passage grave, but I could be wrong).

They had traveled to Beaumaris Castle next, which had been a good choice. He pulled Gareth over to the moat, ticking a finger against his camera. “Selfie time.”
“You are so silly.” Gareth posed with him regardless. “It’s really a perfect castle.”

“Moats, turrets, concentric wall-in-wall construction:, you’re right.” Warun slipped his hand into Gareth’s as they headed inside. Aberystwyth Castle was only ruins, like so many others in Wales, but Beaumaris was perfect. Maybe he should plan a castle hop as a gift for Gareth next time, or a tour of holy wells. He was beginning to understand the importance of being in nature to the druids, why his lover went into ecology as a career. The look of peace on Gareth’s face as they had trekked to the holy well made it clear.

BlurbDr. Gareth Evans and his medical doctor partner, Warun Jones, are having trouble making time for each other between end of term craziness for Gareth and holiday-related injuries pouring into the hospital for Warun. Gareth has planned what he hopes will be the perfect recipe for relieving the tension and bringing them back together. While Warun wants Gareth to partake in Plygain, a traditional dawn service of hymn singing for Christmas, Gareth plans to take Warun to Bryn Celli Ddu and introduce him to the Druid ritual of Alban Arthan, the celebration of the winter solstice.

Buy Link here.

If you’d like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It’s been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It’s been a great supportive group!

Release Day for Once Upon a Time in the Weird West!

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Yeehaw, Once Upon a time in the Weird West is out and you’ll want to grab this one faster than a gunslinger clears leather. You can get it from Dreamspinner Press and they’re having a 30% off sale right now so how great is that? So come celebrate with me and my fellow contributors, Shira Anthony, Kim Fielding, Venona Keyes, Jamie Fessenden, Tali Spencer, Lex Chase, Carroll S Poe, Nicole Kimberling, Gin Hale, Astrid Amara & Langley Hyde. Can’t tell you how excited I am for this anthology!

*  photo IMG_1513_zpssmebr8dj.jpg (The hills around Virginia City)

You can find out why I set my story in Virginia City at my post for the blog tour here . I had so much fun writing a steampunk story that I really went overboard with it and had to trim it up (who knows, one day the longer version might make an appearance). In Corpse Powder you have a Jewish doctor, a Navajo airship man and an evil wizard and no end of troubles.

The Territorial Enterprise even made it into the story (though I had to cut the part about Mark Twain for length, pouts) *  photo IMG_1508_zpskdnxtlyj.jpg

Anthology Blurb This isn’t the same old Wild West. The usual suspects are all present: cowboys, outlaws, and sheriffs. There’s plenty of dust, tumbleweeds, horses, and cattle on the range, but there are also magical gems, automatons, elementals, airships… even dinosaurs and genetically modified insects. Roaming among the buffalo and coyotes, you’ll encounter skinwalkers, mad engineers, mythical beings cloaked in darkness, and lovers who stay true to their oaths… even beyond the grave. On this frontier are those at the mercy of their own elaborate devices as well as men whose control of time and space provides a present-day vision of the West. There might even be a dragon hidden amongst the ghost towns and wagon trains.

If you like your Westerns with a splash of magic, a touch of steampunk, and plenty of passionate romance between men, these genre-bending tales will exceed expectations.

Hold on to your hats, cowboys and cowgirls. The West is about to get weird, and you’re in for a hell of a ride.

Blurb for Corpse Powder : Doctor Isaac Adler came to Virginia City, Nevada, to escape the horrors he witnessed during the War between the States. Despite a living in a thriving Jewish community, Isaac’s having trouble finding his faith… and finding work. Just when he’s contemplating leaving the desert, life takes an unexpected turn when the airship Aurora is attacked by pirates and Isaac is called upon to help the wounded.

The ship’s first mate, Tsela “Alexander” Zhani, is also trying to outrun a nightmare, his in the form of the powerful skinwalker who drove him from his Navajo village. Tsela’s friendship with the handsome doctor responsible for saving the lives of his friends gives both men a fragile hope for a better future. But their demons aren’t as far behind them as they thought.

Buy Links Dreampsinner Press
All Romance
Amazon

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And look, it’s already earned one 5 star review here

*All the photos were taken by my Dad when he was in Virginia City this year and used with his permission. Hope they gave you a taste of my setting, just try to imagine it without the cars…

Christmas Story Land

We’ve entered the time of 1001 Christmas stories showing up and I have to admit, I’m not really one for seasonal clothing, seasonal songs or seasonal fiction. I don’t go looking for it. That said, I do know many people DO love the stuff and usually I have some Christmas fiction or other. This year I do not. Oh, I might put up a flash fic freebie on my blog but I have nothing for sale this year.

I’m not sure why. Certainly almost every LGBT publisher I know has open calls for Christmas (I’d rather they have them for Halloween but that’s another story.) Somehow I missed that Dreamspinner, who I publish with frequently, had one with the theme of humbug, which would have been perfect for me, truthfully. I’d have whipped out a Krampus story or something.

Granted when I have written holiday stories they haven’t been super Christmasy. I’m just not hugely into writing purely contemporary things, though the one published contemporary I have written is a holiday story (The Light in Winter). It is about the winter solstice though (A druid professor showing his Christian lover how his religious practices worked and is set in Wales).

But since this post isn’t about promotion (I’ll work that up soon, maybe for Sunday Small Talk) I won’t mention my other stories here. Instead I’ll ask, does anyone have a favorite LGBT holiday story? Do you have something you’d like to see in a holiday story? Feel free to share the love.

I actually AM working on a Steampunk Christmas story for next year. Either it’ll get picked up by an open call or if nothing else, I could give my hand a try at self publishing it, maybe giving the proceeds to charity. We shall see but I though why not try writing it now while I’m marginally in the mood? And I do mean marginally.

Election aside, I’ve had some of the worst depression I’ve had in nearly a decade (and yeah that dumpster fire of an election did nothing to help). It’s been a hold on by your fingernails sort of year. I had two months where I barely climbed out of the basement and when I did I had to help mom clean out Grandma’s house. It was in the family 100 years. Last week, someone new owned it. We always thought I would take it but there is no work there (bet there will be before January’s out because that’s my luck).

So uncontrolled depression + arthritis agony + diabetes has not made for a very merry Christmas so far. It explains though why I haven’t written much but that is a post for another time as well.

Release day for Love Wins!

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Love Wins is the second anthology Dreamspinner has put out to benefit the victims of the Pulse shooting victims in Orlando and I’m proud to be part of this anthology. It’s a mix of genres from contemporary to Sci-Fi to urban fantasy which mine is.

My story, More Than His Scars, is an urban fantasy short story with my Kept Tears characters, Aaron a disabled veteran and Rhys, a Tylwyth Teg prince. Rhys and Corrine (Aaron’s best friend) along with Rhys’ 200 year old twin sons are trying to help Aaron through the anniversary of losing his arm.

I loved being able to revisit Aaron and Rhys’s world. I love writing those two and I wanted to deal with all that Aaron has lost and what he has gained with Rhys.

You can Buy it here with Dreamspinner or here with Amazon.

Sunday Small Talk

I just made it through finals week. I’m disappointed that I didn’t write more while the students were testing but they like it when you grade things fast.

I’ve inched my way a bit more into a Steampunk Christmas story that I actually intend for next Christmas (i.e. send it to the themed anthologies and if they don’t bite, self publish it myself.) I think it’s 1899 and I’ve just realize I’ll probably have to make up a war for my airshipman to have fought in. The Civil War was too far in the past and I didn’t really want to set it in WWI (besides I don’t want it to be in Europe). So was America fighting Canada or Mexico…. I still need to name the lead. I’m between Adam and Abel but realize that if I want the professor love interest to be Al I shouldn’t use either of those. Literally just realized that while typing this. Excuse me while I beat my skull on the wall for a moment.

I know what the perfect gift he’s bringing Al for Christmas: a Buffalo coat and a Blackhills gold accented pocket watch (Al thinks the perfect gift is Whatshisname being home for the holiday).

Hmmm maybe instead of a war he’s lost a leg defending ships transporting Comstock and/or Blackhills gold.

I’ve nibbled around the edges of Behind Blue Eyes but haven’t gotten far and I am getting more and more sure I’m bungling the rearranging of Blood Red Roulette. I’m just going to keep going and get a second pair of eyes on it.

Also I’ve been kicked in the muse by another contemporary which I think might be better to try than the one I was noodling with (I’ll keep that one on the back burner as I like it but it’s impossibly geeky). Or might it be paranormal? One of the characters hunts ghosts for fun and for that matter so do I…I’m not sure yet what to do with it but I do know this: Brendan has come to the hocking hills and has taken a cabin there ala Hocking Hills Cabins I’m trying to decide between this large one  photo hocking_zpsom2h0ldk.jpeg

 

or this small one  photo hocking blue-cabin-intro_zps49jjazfx.jpg but it’ll probably closer to the small with a loft.

Brendan is a successful YA author from Columbus who wanted to do a horror/ghost story novel next and has rented the cabin for a month while he investigates haunts in SE Ohio, most of which he’s seen from a haunted ohio website. Brendan is dubious about being alone in the cabin as he’s still, three years later, deeply mourning his son’s death from brain cancer at age 5. His marriage has long since broken up and really he’s never sure he’s more than two steps from joining his child.

He meets the currently unnamed owner of the website who was going to be a naturalist but decided that was a tad too close to my friend whose job and website I’d be modeling this guy after. Also I just didn’t want to deal with some of that so instead he’s an environmental scientist at a local college (i.e. mine) doing research in the hills as well as being a guide for Brendan. Naturally they hit it off albeit rather slowly.

I do know Brendan wears a glass pendant forged from his son’s ashes and I need to find the site I originally saw those one but have found others. At one point he nearly loses it which is probably how the professor learns of the boy.

Drop by tomorrow for a release from me! And since I forgot to share this last week I think have the wonderful art Lex Chase did of Tsela Zahni in Once Upon a Time in the Midwest which comes out in 5 days.

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