Rainbow Snippets

Well the worst has happened. They basically gutted my university into a community college (except retaining like 6 4 year degrees) and let go the entire math and science department except for those needed to teach nursing (i.e. me) So needless to say I was distracted but I did just catch up on reading everyone’s snippets from last week.

I’m going back to my paranormal WIP These Haunted Hills set here where I live (which ironically could end up published after I no longer do because I don’t believe these cuts will save the school like the board does so I’m looking for a new job). Since it’s been weeks let me refresh your memory. Brendan is a famous author who has lost his son to cancer and is in the Hocking Hills researching for his next novel, this time about ghost hunters. Josh is a geeky biology professor who hunts ghosts on the side.

Brendan’s butt felt numb. How did the people do here do this all the time? They seemed to be forty minutes or more from everything. He found the wine bar without a problem. It was a nice looking space, long with lots of brick and glass. Two seater tables lined the outside wall. He thought it was adorably overprotective of Josh to worry about the fact he couldn’t promise someone wouldn’t recognize Brendan and make a big deal about it. It was part of the whole you’re sort of famous thing.

He almost said no to coming because he should be writing but he wanted to get that local flavor. He wouldn’t have thought to add in all the driving his characters would have to do if he set them out in a place like this. It had to get annoying after a while or maybe it faded into the background of life, just something that was taken for granted.

(True fact, I live like 40 miles from every damn thing)

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!

New Release – The Life Siphon!

Title: The Life Siphon

Series: The Life Siphon, Book One

Author: Kathryn Sommerlot

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: May 20, 2019

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: No Romance

Length: 85500

Genre: Fantasy, LGBT, fantasy, royalty, magic users, mage battles, action/adventure, family drama, kidnapping, HFN

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Synopsis

A magical energy drain is siphoning life from the land and leaving a twisted, decaying wasteland in its wake.

Safely isolated in his forest home, Tatsu wants nothing to do with the drain or the other citizens in the kingdom of Chayd. The only people he cares about are his childhood friend and her strangely prophetic sister, but there’s no avoiding the threat once Tatsu is arrested and taken to the capital. The Queen of Chayd offers Tatsu his freedom—but only in exchange for sneaking into the neighboring kingdom of Runon and stealing whatever is powering the siphon.

Ravenous trees and corrupted predators lie between Tatsu’s team and their prize, but the drain’s destruction is nothing compared to Runon’s high mages, determined to protect their weapon. As the truth of the siphon’s power reveals itself, Tatsu faces an impossible question: how much is he willing to sacrifice to save one man’s life?

What if that one man could destroy everything?

Excerpt

The Life Siphon
Kathryn Sommerlot © 2019
All Rights Reserved

The knock on the door came just as he finished refilling his quiver. Tatsu froze, blood running cold. He put his hand on the leather pack for stability before he was able to oust the lump in his throat. His house was too remote for anyone to simply stumble across it, so whoever it was had meant to arrive. As the air in the small house hung still and heavy, his hand slid to the uneven table with the broken leg he’d never gotten around to fixing, fingers finding the familiar and well-worn hilt of his skinning knife. It was sharp enough to take apart a jack hare. He hoped it was also keen enough to defend himself.

He took a few steps toward the noise, his feet unconsciously finding their way around the long, loose floorboards. He was almost to the door when the knocking came again, impatient. The new round of knocking was paired with a female voice. “Tatsu?”

The anxiety left his body in a rush that felt like the hot sting of Chayd’s summer against his skin, months too early.

“Alesh?” he replied and opened the creaking wooden door. “What are you doing here?”

His first thought was that she had to be injured, sick, or something worse. After all, it had been a long time since she’d last bothered to travel all the way to his hut in the inner woods. But she appeared to be in one piece, her hair worked back into three simple plaits, and she seemed no worse for the wear. Irritation surged through his chest. Knowing she’d been fine but not taking the time to visit made her sudden reappearance cut deeper.

“Please,” she said and, at once, he knew. Alesh wouldn’t journey to his doorstep for any other reason. She needed a favor.

He had half a mind to shut the door right in her face, his insides still untangling themselves from tight knots, but movement flashed behind Alesh’s shoulder. Ral lingered behind her, digging in the constant scourge of weeds growing in front of the house without any care to the dirt embedding itself under her nails. The young woman was laughing at Tatsu’s wildflowers. Her light-brown dress fabric, marking her as enol, or baseborn, was already streaked with smears of mud.

He didn’t close the door, but he didn’t edge it open any further either.

“Hear me out.” Alesh had the good grace to flinch when Tatsu snorted.

“Isn’t that all I’ve ever done?” he asked.

“I need your help.”

Help was not a word that came easily from her, though Tatsu guessed they had wildly different definitions of it. Help to him meant aid and a friendly ear and someone present, offering suggestions and finding solutions. Help was nothing Alesh had ever allowed him to do.

“The last time I tried to help you…” he warned.

She slammed the door so forcefully the ripples shook Tatsu’s arm. “Listen, this isn’t for me, you know. I can’t leave her alone, and I don’t have anyone else.”

Tatsu peered over Alesh’s shoulder again. Ral had gotten a handful of the reedy flowers and pulled them up by the roots, laughing with delight at the white tendrils she’d exposed. When Tatsu’s gaze flickered back to Alesh, her dark eyes were focused on him, narrow and unflinching.

“Please.” The second time sounded much less like a request. She knew she’d already won him over.

Tatsu sighed and called out, “Ral, would you like to come in?”

Ral complied, though she left a trail of dirt behind her as her movement loosened the clumps that clung to her skirt. She might have gotten taller. She was taller than Tatsu, at least. She seemed happy in the house, and Tatsu tried to keep half his attention on her as she moved around, in case she got her hands on the extra snares in the corners. If he had known a houseguest would show up, he might’ve done something with the place.

“It’s only for a few days,” Alesh promised. “This is the safest place I could think of. I mean, who’s going to come way out here? I have some business I need to attend to—”

“Other people’s possessions, you mean? Or is there a new line of criminal mischief you’ve found that pays better?”

She frowned. “That’s not fair at all, and you know it.”

“Do I?” Tatsu asked. “How could I know it, when the last time you bothered to show up here and tell me you were still alive, the first snow had just fallen?”

Her face pinched tight, mouth hard, before it slackened again in defeat. She sighed, equal parts exasperation and resignation, and ran a hand through the few dark strands of hair hanging wild and wavy around her face, too short to plait back.

“Look, can you…spare me the whole spiel?” Her gaze sank and stayed on a spot near the entrance where the beams of the house were embedded deep in the dirt. “I promise you can lecture me all you want when I come back to pick her up. But for now, I really need to go, and I don’t have time for this.”

Tatsu leaned against the door. Behind him, Ral had discovered the utensils for cooking and was excitedly going through them all, copper spoons and mugs clanging against one another. Alesh stood slumped on his doorstep as if the weight of the world hung on her shoulders, hobbling her. She seemed smaller than the last time he’d seen her, under the same sky and a moon tinged with red. He thought about saying something, something like stay, but the times they’d shared had long since passed between them. There had been too many winters and too many summers. The word died on his tongue.

Instead, he nodded. “Fine. But only for a few days.”

“Thank you.” Alesh’s mouth twisted up into a rueful smile. “She’s learned to count to a hundred—you should ask her to demonstrate for you. She loves showing it off.”

Behind them, as if in agreement, Ral banged Tatsu’s ladle against his big iron pot, the sharp crash echoing.

“I will,” Tatsu replied.

Alesh tucked a bit of unruly hair behind one ear. “It won’t be long.”

“No,” Tatsu agreed. “It never is.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Kathryn Sommerlot is a coffee addict and craft beer enthusiast with a detailed zombie apocalypse plan. Originally from the cornfields of the American Midwest, she got her master’s degree and moved across the ocean to become a high school teacher in Japan. When she isn’t wrangling teenage brains into critical thinking, she spends her time writing, crocheting, and hiking with her husband. She enjoys LGBTQ fiction, but she is particularly interested in genre fiction that just happens to have LGBTQ protagonists. Find out more on her Website.

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Rainbow Snippets

I did get the reading done, barely thanks to the depression getting even worse after a coworker did his level best to destroy the biology program and of course all the loss of women’s rights this week. Sigh.

But onward or I will mire. I have one last snippet from Modified and Sacred. This comes right after an unknown ship has waylaid Addison and Deveral’s shuttle as they’re on their way to the conference.

“We’re hit, Turing! I’ve lost the engines. We’re spinning in. I’m trying to get the stabilizers back online,” Addison reported, his voice tense as his fingers flew over the controls. If the Turing replied, Deveral didn’t hear it. Nausea engulfed him as the ship spun and sank fast.

“I see a lake ahead,” Addison said. “I’ll try to ditch near there. Brace yourself!”

Deveral did, to no avail. They hit the water hard. The harness half crushed his chest when Deveral slammed forward as far as the safety gear would allow, and then it slammed him back in his seat, bouncing his head off the side of the wall. Everything went black.

ModifiedandSacred-f500

Blurb

Lieutenant Addison Hunt is proud to serve the Confederation even if he still feels like he’s on the outside looking in. Addison was illegally genetically modified as a child, leaving him burdened with a sense of shame. Emotionally isolated from his fellow crewmen and recovering from injuries from his last job, Addison is happy to have light duty transporting an esteemed diplomat to a peace conference.

Deveral is one of the Sacred Kin, possessing a psychic ability that his people consider a spark of the divine. Like all the Sacred Kin, he’s led a sheltered life as a temple priest, but his heightened empathic ability makes him the perfect diplomat. Nervous to leave his home, he’s curious about his new companion, Lieutenant Hunt.

Not everyone wants the diplomatic mission to succeed, and a rebel faction poses a real threat to Addison and Deveral. Finding themselves cast adrift on a “lost” colony, they’ll have to fight to stay alive.

Buy link Here at Ninestar Press

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!

Rainbow Snippets

I almost didn’t post this week as I was terribly behind on reading others. It’s a manifestation of the depression from all the crap going on at work. they pushed back telling us if our programs were to be deleted so it’s ongoing. Sigh.

But I opted for giving another snippet from Modified and Sacred and trying to catch up with yinz. I know it’s more than six lines. I don’t have the brain cells left to count at the moment.

Deveral wished he could stop blushing every time he looked Addison’s way. The man must have thought all Fyrians had crazy chromatophores. At the moment, his were pulsating to the music Addison shared with him.
Colors bloomed and receded to the beat, flaring even brighter whenever he looked at Addison.

“I had no idea your skin would do that.” Addison sounded amused as he gestured to Deveral’s face.

“The chromatophores are autonomic. They evolved to trigger by sounds and sights of threats and whenever we’re excited or are aroused.” His skin had to be full color with that admission. “Music does trigger the reaction. I hope it’s not too distracting.”

“Not at all. It’s…fun. You appear to be enjoying the music with your whole body. It’s not just primary blues and purples either. There are so many little colors hiding in there. Humans must seem so boring in comparison.”

And this idea came after running across this video years ago where someone set the chromatophores in cephalopods to music.

ModifiedandSacred-f500

Blurb

Lieutenant Addison Hunt is proud to serve the Confederation even if he still feels like he’s on the outside looking in. Addison was illegally genetically modified as a child, leaving him burdened with a sense of shame. Emotionally isolated from his fellow crewmen and recovering from injuries from his last job, Addison is happy to have light duty transporting an esteemed diplomat to a peace conference.

Deveral is one of the Sacred Kin, possessing a psychic ability that his people consider a spark of the divine. Like all the Sacred Kin, he’s led a sheltered life as a temple priest, but his heightened empathic ability makes him the perfect diplomat. Nervous to leave his home, he’s curious about his new companion, Lieutenant Hunt.

Not everyone wants the diplomatic mission to succeed, and a rebel faction poses a real threat to Addison and Deveral. Finding themselves cast adrift on a “lost” colony, they’ll have to fight to stay alive.

Buy link Here at Ninestar Press

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!

New Release – At the Trough!

Title: At the Trough
Author: Adam Knight
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: May 13, 2019
Heat Level: 1 – No Sex
Pairing: Female/Female
Length: 107200
Genre: Science Fiction, LGBT, lesbian sci-fi, futuristic, dystopia, education, conformity, teacher, student, secret meetings, forbidden book, mental illness

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Synopsis

In a future where schools have no teachers and no classrooms, Jennifer Calderon is the perfect student. Every day she watches her video modules, plays her edu games, and never misses an answer. Life is comfortable in the Plex, a mile-wide apartment building. Corporations and brand names surround her and satisfy her every want and need.

Then one day, her foul-mouthed, free-spirited, 90’s-kitsch-wearing girlfriend Melody disrupts everything. She introduces her to a cynical, burned-out former teacher, who teaches them the things no longer taught in school. Poetry. Critical thinking. Human connection.

But these lessons draw the attention of EduForce, the massive corporation with a stranglehold on education. When they show how far they are willing to go keep their customers obedient, Jennifer has to decide what is most important to her and how much she is willing to sacrifice for it.

Excerpt

At the Trough
Adam Knight © 2019
All Rights Reserved

One: Learning if Fun
“The brain releases the neurotransmitter dopamine in response to certain stimuli. Eating candy, having sex, consuming drugs, even petting a dog can trigger a pleasure response. Video games, especially ones with bright lights, upbeat music, and facile accomplishments are especially potent, flooding the brain with a sense of reward. As such, they were the bane of teachers for many years. That is, until EduForce began to use these games in their products. The scourge of learning was being disguised as learning itself.”

—Charles Winston, The Trough, p. 114

Jennifer Calderón stared into the screen, slack-jawed and passive as the bright colors and shapes burst before her eyes. Her pupils traced letters and blocks as they bounced from one end of the sixty-inch screen to the next. She reached out and touched a word before it hit the bottom–GAMBOLED. The white letters lit up, neon-green, and the word whooshed across the screen to smash into another word—GAMBLED—and shatter into a shower of sparkles.

“Same-sounder found!” a chirpy electronic voice declared.

Dopamine squirted into Jennifer’s brain in happy little jets. A smile traced the corners of her lips. Learning was fun.

Jennifer flicked her eyes to the upper right-hand corner of the screen. The figure 23/25 quickened her pulse. Two more. Two more word pairs and she would earn the Same-Sounder Achievement.

A new word appeared at the bottom of her screen. ASCENT, it read. The friendly female voice read the word and definition. Bubbles with other vocabulary terms floated around the screen. Colors whirled before her eyes and electronic dance beats filled her ears as she searched for Same-Sounders. Then she saw it. The word, in white letters on a floating bubble, drifted toward the bottom. Jennifer’s finger jabbed at the screen. Pop! The word ASSENT exploded in fireworks. More music and chirpy voices.

“Same-sounder found,” the voice said. More dopamine gushed into Jennifer’s brain. Her eyes flicked up to the corner. 24/25.

CYMBAL.

Once more, Jennifer scanned the bubbles and blobs and cubes and tetrahedrons swirling in her vision. Her breath was shallow. More and more words poured onto the screen. In one moment after another, tiny subdivided fractions of seconds, Jennifer saw and rejected words she did not think made the same sound as “cymbal.” Her eyes, her brain, and her hands all had to work in unison. Each level of Same-Sounder Finder was faster, more complex, and more stimulating than the last.

Then she saw it. SYMBOL.

She thrust her finger out to the screen. The little magenta gem in which the word sat was zigzagging down the screen, and she almost missed it and pressed the word TUMBLE crossing its path. But the SYMBOL illuminated, exploded, and a fireworks finale showed on the screen. 25/25.

“Same-sounder found,” the voice declared, then louder and triumphantly, “Same-sounder achievement unlocked!”

Jennifer leaped and thrust her fists in the air as a fanfare of electronic tones rang through her bedroom. Not many students earned perfect scores on Same-Sounder Finder, but Jennifer did. She earned perfect scores on everything. She was twenty-three years old and finishing her last year of schooling, a year ahead of the usual schedule. Because of all the hours she put into learning, and because she never had to redo any of her modules, she had raced ahead of her peers, many of whom were still on Achievement Level 13 or 14. She was working on 15.

After the music died down, the screen went still. Jennifer’s head was still pounding. A headache was setting in, as was a twinge of crankiness. She left her bedroom and went to the kitchen where she poured herself a cup of coffee. Her mother always had a pot brewing, anything to keep her beloved daughter focused on school. Jennifer clogged the coffee with sugar and milk, stirred it, and took a gulp. Better. She freed a couple of aspirins from their foil pouches and swallowed them with the next mouthful of coffee. She returned to her room.

Jennifer slid her finger along the screen and opened it to a new frame, one summarizing her academic progress. Current Achievement Level: 14. 12 percent of the way to 15. 106 of 880 modules completed. Achievement Level Grade Point Average: 5.0/5.0.

Total Progress to Completion of all Achievement Levels: 97 percent. 12,845 of 13,215 modules completed.

And then there was the final number. The prized number, the number she had worked for since age three.

Aggregate Grade Point Average: 5.0/5.0

Every assignment Jennifer had ever done, from toddlerhood into now her mid-twenties, had been flawless. Missing just one question on one task would eradicate her record—The Perfect Five. There had been students with 5.0 GPAs before, but their scores came with asterisks. Usually the student had missed a smattering of questions throughout their education, resulting in a score that would round up to 5.0 in the ten-thousandths place. But Jennifer Calderón began each module on a knife’s edge, knowing one slip up would end her lunge at history. Each completed question nudged her progress toward earning Achievement Level 15, the equivalent of what was once her high school diploma. Thus far, however, all she had was poor digestion, headaches, sleep deprivation, and occasional interviews for the NewsFeed as her accomplishment became more improbable.

Jennifer left the score screen and opened a new frame to continue with a new module. She had done three Grammar Modules in a row and wished for a change, so she opened a Chemistry Module. It made no difference to her. She never understood students who had favorite subjects, who would put off Math or Writing as long as possible. She never understood procrastination. She simply worked until she was exhausted, every day, with no heed to the subject area. It was all the same to her.

To unlock the next series of edugames, she needed to watch the Chemistry vidlesson. At the opening screen, she was given a choice of several hundred different teachers to choose from. Each teacher had his or her own style. Some were brusque and businesslike, while others joked and kept the lesson light. Some had an air of wisdom and experience, while others were young and attractive. Some explained topics deliberately, but Jennifer returned to the same half-dozen teachers who explained briskly. Unlike many students, Jennifer always watched the vidlesson before the edugame. It was true “Learning Was Fun” but it was also true that “Hard Work Pays Off.” It’s so easy, she thought. They give you all of the answers right in the lesson.

Too easy. But the thought was fleeting, and she brushed it away.

Jennifer selected Mr. 85. She was not sure why the teachers did not have real names, but she did not dwell on it long. Mr. 85 was a favorite of hers because he spoke a little faster than other teachers. The content of what he said was the same—it had to be; the teachers were scripted—but he lingered a few seconds less on the examples and generally made his points and moved on. She wondered how many minutes of her educational life had been saved by Mr. 85’s expediency.

Her stomach rumbled. I should eat, she thought, but instead she touched the icon for the Chemistry video and sat on the edge of her bed. The video opened. It was six minutes. Damn. A long one.

The introduction music came up, a familiar, infectious jingle followed by a voiceover. “Chemistry—All You Need to Know. A lesson by the EduForce Corporation.” Then the camera fixed on Mr. 85. Mr. 85 was a middle-aged black man with graying hair. He never smiled. Jennifer kind of liked that. He stood in front of a display showing an elaborate chart with boxes. Each box had one or two letters inside.

“Good day, I am Mr. 85. Today we are going to learn all about Chemistry. As you remember from the Introduction to Chemistry lesson, Chemistry is the part of science that is chemicals. The chemicals have names and symbols. Today I will teach them to you.”

He stepped to the right and indicated the chart. Jennifer already knew she would have to rewatch this segment of the video. Maybe the whole thing. All those boxes and letters would be difficult to remember.

“This is called the Chemical Chart. It used to be called the ‘Periodic Table of the Elements,’ but let’s keep it simple. The Chemical Chart shows you a list of all the chemicals, called ‘elements,’ in the world. Little ones are on the top and big ones are on the bottom.

“Let’s look at some of them. The very top one is called ‘hydrogen.’ Its symbol is H. The next one is Helium. Its symbol is He.”

Mr. 85 pointed out about a dozen of the most common elements and their symbols. Aluminum. Carbon. Oxygen. Phosphorous. Jennifer repeated to herself everything Mr. 85 said.

“Next, we are going to look at what the elements do together,” he went on. “But first, you may be getting tired. Do you find your energy dragging after all this learning? If so, why not order a box of Perk-Eez? It’s the little yellow pill that keeps you shining bright!”

The video of Mr. 85 paused and was replaced with a new screen offering Jennifer the opportunity to order a box of Perk-Eez. She touched the “Yes, please!” button on the screen, and a message immediately appeared. “Thank you! Your delivery will arrive at your unit shortly. Your household account will be debited.” Perk-Eez were another reason Jennifer was on track to graduate two years early.

Mr. 85 returned.

“Now that you know some of the chemicals’ names, let’s look at what chemicals do. They like to be together. Sometimes the same kinds of chemicals get together. One oxygen and another oxygen will get together, and they make up the oxygen we breathe. If you have taken the Human Biology module, you know we breathe oxygen.”

The Chemical Chart was replaced with a graphic of two blue blobs with the letter “O” on them smooshing together.

“Sometimes different chemicals get together. A carbon and two oxygens get together and make up something called carbon dioxide. Yes, that’s right, carbon dioxide, the bad thing your grandparents put into the air that almost killed Earth!”

A new graphic with two blue blobs and a red blob with a “C” all clinging together replaced the old one.

“All kinds of chemicals get together. Let’s look at some combinations.”

The screen showed a series of different colored balls, all with different letters, making different combinations. Jennifer shook her head, trying to maintain focus. It was a lot of new information.

As the video neared completion, Mr. 85 folded his hands and stepped to the center of the screen again. Jennifer thought she almost detected a smile.

“I hope you have enjoyed this lesson on Chemistry. Please rewatch this video as many times as you like before going onto the edugames. My name is Mr. 85 and it has been a pleasure teaching you today. This has been an EduForce vidlesson. EduForce, making learning easy and fun since 2034.”

The video closed. Jennifer watched it again three times. After the second time, the doorbell rang. She accepted the delivery from SentiAid, the pharmacy delivery service. She tore open a foil packet and gobbled a couple of Perk-Eez. Almost instantly, even faster than after a cup of coffee, her brain and body were buzzy and alive.

All right, she thought. Let’s play some more edugames.

The Chemistry edugame was called “Elementastic!!!” She read the instruction screen, then the game began. After a countdown, two words appeared on the screen:

Iron Argon

Jennifer typed in FEAR. The letters Fe and Ar zoomed in from the left and right of the screen, collided in a burst of color, and formed the word “fear,” which dissolved into sparkles that floated up to the top of the screen.

Carbon Oxygen Oxygen Phosphorous

Easy, Jennifer thought. She typed COOP.

More collisions and explosions.

Tin Iodine Phosphorous

SNIP

Helium Aluminum Sulfur

HEALS

Jennifer fell into a rhythm, working faster and faster on each round. Her breathing became shallow. Her pulse quickened and her pupils dilated as the words came faster, exploded bigger and more colorfully, until finally a computerized voice—male this time—announced, “Activity Complete. Chemistry Achievement Unlocked!” and Jennifer lowered her hands, panting.

The voice continued, “To celebrate your achievement, how about downloading the new song from Tuliphead? The infectious single ‘Plex Lovin’’ is already breaking new—”

“Sure,” Jennifer said, and the advertisement stopped. Buying was the easiest way to make the ads go away.

Even as a small child, edugames had come easily to her. She watched the vidlessons, played the edugames, and thought little of it. She learned with carefree abandon. But when she reached the age of twelve or thirteen, she became aware she was doing something unusual. Of course, she did not have classmates to compare herself to, and she had few friends to ask, but she understood she was different. Other children made mistakes, even had to redo modules they had not mastered. She had wondered what mistakes were, to have the certainty of rightness yanked out from under you.

As she grew older, she became acutely aware of her achievement. At age fifteen, she received a request for a vid interview with a reporter. She had sheepishly declined, unsure of what to say and certain her mother would not have allowed it. But over the subsequent years, several more interview requests came to her, and she began to accept them. Each time she said the same things, that she was proud and studied a lot to do the best she could. That answer was only half true. She was proud of her grade but never had to study. She watched a vidlesson, played the edugame, then moved on to the next.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Born in upstate New York, Adam now lives in northern New Jersey with his wife, son, a neurotic dog and two cats. He teaches middle school English and writes science fiction, fantasy, and history, often in strange combinations. His stories and essays have been published in several anthologies and online magazines. Beyond writing and teaching, his interests include running and making improvements on his creaky old house.

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Rainbow Snippets

Making this quick as I need to get some rest before graduation tomorrow which will be rained all over. Sigh. At least the speaker could be interesting, an astronaut (yeah when you have go sit through graduation every year, the shiny wears off. I mean you’re happy for the students but man it can be a grind if the speaker isn’t good)

Have some more of Modified and Sacred which released on Monday. Last time we saw Addison through Deveral’s eyes. Let’s reverse that this time and get a glimpse of Deveral through Addy’s.

Addison wondered about his passenger as Deveral watched Fyria fall away in the view screen. The dossier said the Sacred Kin had not been off-planet except for a few trips to the moon. Deveral’s odd, goat-like eyes with their spooky horizontal-bar pupils grew bigger and bigger the smaller Fyria became. His opalescent skin started turning light gray, blending him into the shuttle seat. Even his hair faded from the same fiery opal his skin had been to the hue of smoke. He realized this change might mean his companion was nervous, but it also fascinated Addison. Was his hair alive? Could it be cut? Did his hair not grow any longer than it was, like a dog’s fur?

ModifiedandSacred-f500

Blurb

Lieutenant Addison Hunt is proud to serve the Confederation even if he still feels like he’s on the outside looking in. Addison was illegally genetically modified as a child, leaving him burdened with a sense of shame. Emotionally isolated from his fellow crewmen and recovering from injuries from his last job, Addison is happy to have light duty transporting an esteemed diplomat to a peace conference.

Deveral is one of the Sacred Kin, possessing a psychic ability that his people consider a spark of the divine. Like all the Sacred Kin, he’s led a sheltered life as a temple priest, but his heightened empathic ability makes him the perfect diplomat. Nervous to leave his home, he’s curious about his new companion, Lieutenant Hunt.

Not everyone wants the diplomatic mission to succeed, and a rebel faction poses a real threat to Addison and Deveral. Finding themselves cast adrift on a “lost” colony, they’ll have to fight to stay alive.

Buy link Here at Ninestar Press

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!