New Release – The Empress of Xytae by Effie Calvin

Title: The Empress of Xytae

Series: Tales of Inthya, Book Four

Author: Effie Calvin

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 30, 2019

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 83500

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy, LGBT, royalty, new adult, magic, paladins, gods, goddesses

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Crown Princess Ioanna of Xytae has kept her truthsayer blessing a secret for twenty years. In any other nation, her powerful magic would be cause for celebration. But Xytae’s patron is the war goddess Reygmadra, and the future empress is expected to be a brutal warrior.

Reserved and peaceful by nature, Ioanna knows the court sees her as a disappointment. She does her best to assuage their worries every day, working quietly beside her mother to keep the empire running while her father is away at war. But when news of the emperor’s untimely death reaches the capital, Ioanna finds herself ousted by her younger sister Netheia, who has the war magic Ioanna lacks.

Princess Vitaliya of Vesolda has come to Xytae to avoid her father’s upcoming wedding, which she sees as an affront to her mother’s memory. Vitaliya has absolutely no interest in politics or power struggles and intends to spend her time attending parties and embarrassing her family. But when she saves Ioanna’s life during Netheia’s coup, the two are forced to flee the capital together.

Despite their circumstances, Vitaliya enjoys travelling with Ioanna and realizes that the future empress’s shy and secretive nature is the result of her unhappy childhood. Ioanna is equally unaccustomed to being in the company of one as earnest and straightforward as Vitaliya, for she has spent her life surrounded by ambitious and cutthroat nobles.

Ioanna cannot allow her sister to continue their father’s legacy, and plots to rally supporters to her side so she can interrupt Netheia’s coronation. Vitaliya knows she ought to leave Xytae before the nation is ripped apart by civil war but finds she is unwilling to abandon Ioanna. But Ioanna’s enemies are always watching…and they’ve realized that Vitaliya is a weakness to be exploited.

Excerpt

The Empress of Xytae
Effie Calvin © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Reygmadra

The Imperial Palace at Xyuluthe buzzed with anticipation. Empress Enessa had finally gone into labor, and the heir to the Xytan Empire would be born within a few hours. The archpriest of Adranus and the archpriestess of Pemele were both there to aid with the birth along with countless members of the imperial court who would bear witness to the historic event.

Reygmadra, Goddess of Warfare and Eighth of the Ten, waited just outside the empress’s chambers, unseen by all who passed. She would not deny she was beginning to grow impatient. She was only here to bless the child, the future empress. Then she would be on her way.

If the child ever arrived.

Reygmadra had no tolerance for children, nor for the tedious conversations that always surrounded a birth—discussions of size, weight, and bodily functions. She had left the empress’s room because she had grown tired of the pointless hysterical screaming, but this was undoubtably worse.

Unfortunately, she could not grant a blessing to a mortal until after it had taken its first breath. This was one of the rules she and her fellow gods had agreed upon when they’d first set out to create Inthya. Even Reygmadra could see the value in this one, for if babies could use magic in the womb, nobody would ever risk giving birth ever again.

Emperor Ionnes was occupied, as always, by his campaign in Masim. He would not return to meet his new daughter for several months. Some of the members of the court were muttering about this, but Reygmadra did not see the trouble. What help could Ionnes be right now? He would only be in the way if he tried to help. At least in Masim, he was serving his nation by leading the army.

She longed to be there, whispering ideas in his ear as he slept, soaking up the power she received when tens of thousands of warriors prayed to her in unison. Of course, the prayers would find her no matter where she was on the mortal realm of Inthya or in the celestial planes of Asterium. But there was nothing like experiencing it firsthand.

Babies seemed to bring out the stupidest, weakest aspects of mankind. One of the Xytans was now relaying a tale of someone else’s labor, and Reygmadra decided to take a walk before she lost her temper and stabbed someone.

She moved through the palace like a specter, her face unseen and heavy footsteps unheard. She was dressed as she usually did when she manifested on Inthya, as a common soldier with short sword and breastplate. If someone did somehow see her, they would think nothing of her.

One of the rooms led out into a garden, and Reygmadra decided she had been indoors for too long. She stepped out into the sunlight, into the fresh air.

Reygmadra didn’t think much of gardens—they were really just a waste of space—but this one was empty, so she would stay for a while. As she moved, she kept an ear to the palace, hoping she would soon hear distant cheers.

“Still waiting?”

A woman dressed as a Xytan noble stood there among the flowers. She had olive-toned skin and long, wavy ebony hair, and her face was impossibly, supernaturally beautiful. The dress she wore was simple but elegant, all wine-colored silk that perfectly emphasized wide hips and a narrow waist. Despite her disguise as a mortal woman, Reygmadra recognized Dayluue—Goddess of Love and Seventh of the Ten.

“It will be a while yet,” said Reygmadra. “Why are you here?”

“I’m feeling neglected,” Dayluue said. “You haven’t come to see me in ages.”

“I’m busy.”

“You’re always busy.” Crimson lips pressed together in a pout as Dayluue adjusted the neckline of her dress aggressively. “Maybe I should call on someone else. I wonder what Nara is doing.”

Possessive rage seized at Reygmadra, and Dayluue began to laugh. But the sound was cut short when Reygmadra grabbed her by the shoulders. A moment later, she had Dayluue pressed between the garden wall and her own body.

“I love it when you get jealous,” Dayluue said breathlessly. “Kiss me?”

Reygmadra brought her lips to Dayluue’s throat. Dayluue tilted her head back, hands clasping at Reygmadra’s hair, and laughed again. “I have missed you,” she said.

“I don’t believe you,” said Reygmadra because expecting strict monogamy from Dayluue was like expecting a bird to refrain from flight.

“I’ll prove it, then.” Dayluue’s eyes sparkled.

“No. I’m busy.”

“I never took you for the sort to get excited over a birth. Or are you finally realizing what I’ve been saying about the population—”

“No. I’m just giving her a blessing, and then I’m leaving.”

“It might be a while,” warned Dayluue. “Labor can last an entire day.”

Reygmadra shuddered. “Awful.”

“Well, they wouldn’t have to do it so often if you didn’t keep convincing them to kill one another.”

Reygmadra rolled her eyes. “Did you come here just to argue?”

Dayluue pressed her lips to Reygmadra’s. “Only if you really want to,” she murmured into her mouth. The scent of her mortal body, flowers and sweat and pheromones, was intoxicating.

They were antithesis to each other, and yet, there was an undeniable symmetry to their domains. They were two primal forces, mindless impulse given sentience. And sometimes the fiery lust Dayluue elicited from her felt identical to the thrill of battle.

Perhaps that was why Dayluue always returned to her. Perhaps that was why Reygmadra did not object to Dayluue’s wandering.

When they met like this in Asterium, it was a union of selves, of auras and magic, and two becoming one in the way none but their own kind could hope to understand. It was delightful to have Dayluue’s energy surging through her, to feel her own spirit within Dayluue. Reygmadra always came away from these unions feeling softer, lighter. But not weaker. Never weaker.

On Inthya, with warm bodies made of blood and flesh, things were different. On Inthya, Dayluue was in control, and Reygmadra was helpless under her expert fingers.

“Kiss me again,” said Dayluue. “But lower, this time.”

Purchase

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

 

Meet the Author

Effie is definitely a human being with all her own skin, and not a robot. She writes science fiction and fantasy novels and lives with her cat in the greater Philadelphia area.

Website | Twitter

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Button 2

New Release – Testament by Jose Nateras

Title: Testament

Author: Jose Nateras

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 30, 2019

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: No Romance

Length: 51400

Genre: Paranormal, LGBT, Chicago, paranormal, supernatural, thriller, Latinx, #ownvoices

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Gabe Espinosa, is trying to dig himself out of the darkness. Struggling with the emotional fallout of a breakup with his ex-boyfriend, Gabe returns to his job at The Rosebriar Room; the fine dining restaurant at the historic Sentinel Club Chicago Hotel. Already haunted by the ghosts of his severed relationship, he’s drastically unprepared for the ghosts of The Sentinel Club to focus their attentions on him as well.

When a hotel guest violently attacks Gabe, he finds himself the target of a dark entity’s rage; a rage built upon ages of racial tension and toxic masculinity. Desperate to escape the dark spiral he’s found himself in, Gabe flees across the city of Chicago and dives into the history of the hotel itself. Now, Gabe must push himself to confront the sort of evil that transcends relationships and time, the sort of evil that causes damage that ripples across lives for generations.

Gabe must fight to break free from the dark legacy of the past; both his own and that of the hotel he works in.

Excerpt

Testament
Jose Nateras © 2019
All Rights Reserved

I pulled out my phone and checked the time. I needed to be at work at six thirty, and unless the train started moving within the next five seconds, I would be late. A commute that usually took thirty minutes, door to door, was stretching closer and closer to taking forty minutes. Still, the train sat there, idle in its dark underground tunnel. There’s nothing worse than being late and getting stuck on a delayed train car at six fifteen in the morning. Fuck.

I rocked back and forth impatiently, a loose rivet in my seat clicking arrhythmically in its socket. Most of the Chicago Transit Authority’s train cars were in some state of disrepair. This car in particular had maps of the train lines missing overhead, cracked lighting fixtures, fractured chrome, and unsecured hardware. The homeless man stretched out asleep across the seats at the other end of the car didn’t seem to care. Neither did the middle-aged nurse sitting kitty-corner from me, listening to music on her phone through bright-pink earbuds.

I took a deep breath to stop my agitated rocking. The thick smell of synthetic flowers wafted along the length of the train car. An otherwise pleasant smell, in the enclosed space of the train car the scent was overwhelming, almost sickening. It had to be coming from the nurse. How’d I not notice the strength of her perfume sooner?

It occurred to me, if I puked on the ‘L’ right then and there, I’d have no excuse but to call in sick. It wouldn’t be the first time someone threw up on the Blue Line. I wouldn’t even have to actually vomit. I could just call in, hop off the train at the next stop, and grab the next one headed back toward my apartment. Tempting, but I could practically hear the voice of my manager Leslie. “Really, Gabe? What the fuck? Aren’t you just coming back from an extended leave of absence, Mr. Espinosa?”

With the sound of metal grinding on metal, the train started to move. I closed my eyes, allowing the momentum to build and hurdle me toward the misery of employment in the service industry.

Maybe misery was an exaggeration. As the train came to an abrupt stop at the Monroe station, I tried to remind myself there were worse fields to work in. Six blocks stretched between the train platform and the Sentinel Club Hotel. More specifically, six blocks stretched between me and the hotel’s restaurant, the Rosebriar Room, where I worked as a host. Walking so far would typically take around nine minutes, and at 6:25 a.m., I only had five minutes to do so. Officially late, I somehow found the energy to hustle up the stairs from the underground train platform and race out into the November chill.

I found myself caught behind a herd of Chicago commuters: business-bros and cubicle drones trotting to their respective jobs scattered across the Loop. Dodging between the office workers drowsily heading to work, I sprinted through the concrete canyon of downtown skyscrapers.

It was still dark. Only after I made it to Michigan Avenue, across from the green expanse of Millennium Park, could I see the first streaks of orange in the dark-gray sky. I pulled out my phone again. 6:31 a.m. “Shit.”

Speeding through the front doors of the hotel, I hurried to the service elevator. With no time to stop at the staff locker room down in the basement, I headed straight up to the thirteenth floor.

People often say hotels are naturally creepy places. I hadn’t really thought about it one way or another until I started working in one. It was true. The Sentinel Club Chicago was creepy, and being one of the oldest buildings in the city only made it all the more eerie. Before becoming a boutique hotel, the SCC was a historied private men’s club, and the Rosebriar Room, now the hotel’s wood-paneled fine-dining restaurant, once served as the private dining room for the club’s most elite members.

I’d been working there for a year and a half or so, and things I hadn’t noticed at first had started to weigh on my mind. More and more I found myself aware of the creepiness of the place. A laugh echoing in quiet, empty rooms. A flicker of movement out of the corner of an eye. A shadow on a wall with no one there to cast it. The feeling of being watched.

The prospect of spending my morning in such a place sounded pretty miserable. Perhaps I hadn’t been so far off in describing my job as a “misery” after all.

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Jose Nateras is a Chicago based Actor, Writer, and Director who’s worked extensively on stage and screen. Having trained at The Second City, The British American Drama Academy (Midsummer at Oxford ’09), Jose is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago. Having graduated with his MFA in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), he’s a resident playwright with ALTA Chicago’s ‘El Semillero’ (residing at Victory Gardens). Jose has written a number of shorts, pilots, and full length films, and is a contributor for The A.V. Club and elsewhere. He’s also been known to play the role of adjunct professor and teaching artist around town from time to time as well.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Button 2

Rainbow Snippets

Hope everyone’s holidays were fun. I did well until I managed to destroy the files with all of my class notes and only part of them were in dropbox correctly. This will be the last round for Ghosts, Gangsters and Garland Thanks for all your kind words about it.

Zia broke ranks and then meandered closer to the snowman army.

“They did a good job on these,” she said, inspecting the closest one.

“Um, did that one just move?” Dolores pointed to one of the snowmen in the rear of the battalion.

“This is not the time to crack out your best Jack Torrance imitation,” Kane scolded, thinking on the moving topiary in King’s iconic book. A boy ghost was one thing; creepy moving snowmen would likely ruin the holiday.
“I’m being serious,” Dolores argued, and Kane wanted to protest.

The snowman settled it for her. It rolled forward as if on a cart. Its snowy features morphed into a vicious configuration.

“What the hell!” Zia made the sign of the horns, backpedaling fast.

WHA4-JD-GGG-2x3

Blurb
Zia, Dolores and Kane all possess the magic to fight monsters but all they want now is a nice Christmas break. Partners in life and at work as monster-slayers for a group known as the Clipeum, they’ve been risking life and limb keeping humanity safe. They’ve won their hard-earned vacation their boss has set up for them: a week in a small hotel in upper Wisconsin. Their boss mentioned in passing it used to be a gangster retreat in the heyday of prohibition.

Married for some time, Zia and Dolores were surprised to have Kane in their life, first at work and now in their hearts. They’re looking forward to their first holiday today as a threesome and the ladies can’t wait to see their first pagan Yule celebration with Kane. All they want is some quiet relaxation. What they get is something entirely different.

Gangster ghosts, would-be witches, over-enthusiastic children, animated snowmen and a century old former gangster moll who has a little spark still in her add up to a not-so-restful Christmas. Zia, Dolores and Kane trade comfy clothing and relaxation for spellcasting and ghost wrangling. Still they might just be able to rescue themselves a Merry Yule from all the chaos.

Buy Links

Mischief Corner Press

Amazon

Kobo

Apple Books

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 – Forbidden Bond by Lee Colgin

Title: Forbidden Bond

Series: They Bite, Book One

Author: Lee Colgin

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 23, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 54100

Genre: Paranormal, LGBT, vampire, werewolf, paranormal, supernatural, slow burn, alpha, college, interspecies

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Vampires and werewolves are historical enemies. When the Peace Accord that imposes an uncomfortable armistice between the species is threatened, the entire supernatural community must respond.

Young vampire heir Sinclair Davis successfully petitions the council for permission to attend a werewolf dominated university. Surrounded by a pack of unwelcoming wolves, Sinclair’s first meeting with their alpha doesn’t go well. The handsome wolf hates him.

Alpha wolf Mitchel Edgehill is furious when the university sends a vampire to be housed among his pack, even if he is cute. But there’s nothing he can do since the paperwork has been signed. They’ll have to find a way to coexist.

As tension rises within supernatural society and violence escalates between vampires and werewolves, an uneasy truce develops between Sinclair and Mitchel. The pair attend a peace conference in hopes of preventing war, but when a rogue group of humans attacks, Sinclair is kidnapped and held for ransom. Can the alpha wolf work with vampires to save Sinclair, or will war break out after all?

Excerpt

Forbidden Bond
Lee Colgin © 2019
All Rights Reserved

SINCLAIR

Sinclair stood outside his father’s door, collecting his thoughts. This wouldn’t be easy. To get what he wanted, he’d have to remain calm and focus on the part of his plan most likely to benefit the Vampire Council, over which his father, Luther Davis, presided. Sinclair could do this; he just had to stand his ground. One last deep breath, a polite knock, and he stepped inside.

“Hello, Dad.”

“Sinclair.” His father welcomed him with a nod. Seated behind a large desk cluttered with papers, he looked busy as usual. Having been Turned and preserved at the young age of twenty-two, the fair-haired, sharp-featured vampire could be mistaken for Sinclair’s younger brother, not his father. Sinclair was twenty-six, but only twenty-six. His father had centuries on him, not that you could tell by looking. “What brings you by this evening?”

Okay, here it goes. You can do this. “Dad, I’ve decided to attend Borson University for my PhD this semester,” he said in a rush. Slow down, Sinclair. “I know you weren’t expecting this, but Borson is the best school for Historical Supernatural Studies. I was accepted last fall and I’ve already registered. No other vampire in the council has this degree; I would be the first.”

Sinclair prepared to continue, but his father spoke first. “Son, that’s a werewolf school.” His golden brows drew together. “It’s too dangerous. What’s the degree even worth, coming from Borson?” His stern voice matched his expression.

“I understand your concern, but it’s safer than you realize. I’ll be part of an exchange program. It’ll be good for the council to have a delegate at Borson. It’s a quality academy with a fine reputation, werewolves notwithstanding.” Sinclair talked to fast when he felt nervous.

Luther stood. At nearly six feet, he stood taller than his son by several inches. “The answer is no, Sinclair.” His father approached. “You’ll attend Moore as planned, and I do not appreciate you addressing this at the last minute either. Did you think that by waiting until now, you’d stand a better chance?”

“Um, yes, actually,” Sinclair responded, a stubborn edge to his voice. “Dad, I’m an adult; I don’t need your permission. I need the council’s permission, and I think they’ll grant it. I told you first as a courtesy, the petition has already been submitted, so the discussion will happen at tonight’s meeting. Moore doesn’t offer the courses I require, and the council doesn’t need another finance major; it needs a historian.” His point made, some of the tension drained away.

With an irritated sigh, his father’s gaze drifted to the window. “You’d do this to your mother? You know she will worry. At least accept the transition first, so you won’t be vulnerable. Let us Turn you. You’ve delayed too long. There are no other Living vampires your age.”

Their eyes met. Sinclair felt both guilty and defensive. Guilty because he didn’t want to worry his mother. Defensive because he wasn’t ready to die for immortality. He liked his living, breathing body, eating food, and little things like not burning to ash in the sunlight. He’d hold on to it as long as he could, thank you very much. Being a Living vampire had its advantages, even if his father was too ancient to grasp them.

Sinclair ignored the tired issue. “I’ll keep in close touch with Mom, I promise. I won’t let her worry. Look, Dad, this is a rare opportunity. Vampires don’t get accepted to Borson. Think of how much I’ll learn. It would be impossible without the exchange program. Only four students are selected. It’s an honor.”

When his dad didn’t respond, he continued, “I have to go. I’ve already accepted. There’s no alternate to take my place, and it would be rude to refuse now.”

“So you have me in a corner then, don’t you?” His dad’s gaze settled on him. Sinclair fought not to flinch. His father was not a harsh man, but everyone had their limits, and the head of the Vampire Council didn’t tolerate werewolves lightly. “Why bother to ask at all?”

“I was hoping you’d come to a different conclusion. I thought maybe you’d be proud.” Sinclair’s gaze dropped to his feet.

His dad came closer and took Sinclair by the shoulders, giving him a small shake. “You frustrating boy, of course I’m proud, but this is an unnecessary risk. I wish you’d reconsider.”

“I’m going to go, and it’s going to be fine. I promise.” Sinclair accepted the cool embrace with relief.

“We’ll see what the council has to say,” his dad conceded and ruffled his hair.

Some hours later, the Vampire Council voted unanimously to let Sinclair attend Borson.

Sinclair knew that, in the end, this meant even his father approved. Ultimately, a Doctor of Philosophy in Historical Supernatural Studies would be beneficial to the species. In a society full of forward thinkers and finance managers, Sinclair alone would be studying the past. He’d learn what had brought them to war, what mistakes had been made, and he’d prevent them from repeating those blunders.

There were supernaturals, even now, whispering the beginnings of another war. Sinclair’s work among the werewolves would be crucial.

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Lee Colgin has loved vampires since she read Dracula on a hot sunny beach at 13 years old. She lives in North Carolina with lots of dogs and her husband. No, he’s not a vampire, but she loves him anyway. Lee likes to workout so she can eat the maximum amount of cookies with her pizza. Ask her how much she can bench press.

If you enjoyed this book, pick up Lee’s debut novel Slay My Love to find out what happens when you’re attracted to the very person who want to kill you an enemies to lovers 56,000k novel available now.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter Sign Up

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Button 2

Rainbow Snippets

Merry Yule everyone. I’m running around baking all the things. Hope everyone’s holidays, whichever you celebrate, aren’t too stressful.

Here’s a little bit more of Ghosts, Gangsters and Garland

Dolores tapped a finger against her lips before asking, “And how did we choose this place?”

“Sarah gave us the suite as a gift,” Zia replied, bracing for blowback. To be fair, her wife never asked before this, so she hadn’t volunteered that their boss had supplied the holiday treat.

Dolores narrowed her eyes to slits. “So what’s the catch?”

“No catch.” Zia wrinkled her nose, not entirely sure that wasn’t the case. “But this was a gangster resort. I’m betting this has a ghost or twenty roaming the halls.”

Dolores dropped her head back on the couch pillow. “If some ghost slips into bed with me, you get punched, sweetie.”

“Punch Kane,” Zia volleyed back.

“Bite me.” Kane scowled.

“Later, babe.” Zia patted his shoulder. “We’re due a break, Dolores. Sarah wouldn’t drop us into a hot zone without telling us.”

Dolores shrugged. “Agreed, but I saw you looking up Wendigos.”

“I was just curious about the local baddies.”

“If I end up being crapped out of a ravenous giant cannibal, there’ll be another ghost following you around.” Kane snorted.

Zia ran her finger through his red hair. “I’ll prepare a little salt bomb for that eventuality.”

“Aw, can’t you let me curl into bed with you and Dolores first before you cross me over?”

“Oh sure, no problem,” Zia replied brightly.

Shaking out her short, walnut-hued hair, Dolores stuck up her middle finger.

“I think that’s the general idea, Dolores,” Zia replied, and Dolores giggled, breaking into a laughing jag until she was limp-limbed and red-faced.

WHA4-JD-GGG-2x3

Blurb
Zia, Dolores and Kane all possess the magic to fight monsters but all they want now is a nice Christmas break. Partners in life and at work as monster-slayers for a group known as the Clipeum, they’ve been risking life and limb keeping humanity safe. They’ve won their hard-earned vacation their boss has set up for them: a week in a small hotel in upper Wisconsin. Their boss mentioned in passing it used to be a gangster retreat in the heyday of prohibition.

Married for some time, Zia and Dolores were surprised to have Kane in their life, first at work and now in their hearts. They’re looking forward to their first holiday today as a threesome and the ladies can’t wait to see their first pagan Yule celebration with Kane. All they want is some quiet relaxation. What they get is something entirely different.

Gangster ghosts, would-be witches, over-enthusiastic children, animated snowmen and a century old former gangster moll who has a little spark still in her add up to a not-so-restful Christmas. Zia, Dolores and Kane trade comfy clothing and relaxation for spellcasting and ghost wrangling. Still they might just be able to rescue themselves a Merry Yule from all the chaos.

Buy Links

Mischief Corner Press

Amazon

Kobo

Apple Books

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 -Wild Bells by Elna Holst

Title: Wild Bells

Series: Tinsel and Spruce Needles, Book Three

Author: Elna Holst

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 16, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 14800

Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, holiday, romance, lesbian, disabilities, college student, silversmith

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Lund, Sweden, 1998

Mia Andersson is not a nice person. She is a sharp, sensational-looking, aloof lawyer-to-be, and the busiest sapphic player in town. Mia Andersson takes no prisoners, tells no tales, and if you gave her your number, chances are she won’t call. But this holiday season, at age twenty-seven, wheels that are out of her control have been set in motion, and it looks like she might just get caught in the spin.

Excerpt

Wild Bells
Elna Holst © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Lund, Sweden, 1998

Linda Ling was all that. From the moment Mia had first set eyes on her, at the band’s premiere gig at Blekingska back in October, she hadn’t been able to not see her: Linda Ling turned up in her dreams at night, in her thoughts by day, in casual conversation between classes, in the distance along the streets of late-autumn, early-winter Lund. She was on posters, in clubs, in the air, and—God help her—in Mia Andersson’s masturbatory fantasies. The spiky, jet-black hair, the punk-goth pallor, her slight, androgynous build, the calculated raggedness of her clothing: black netting, torn edges, charcoal and purple stripes. The ankh tattoo at the nape of her neck, which Mia had glimpsed, teasingly, only once at the university library, where she had happened to spot Linda embroiled with a gaggle of friends-cum-admirers, her hair gathered in a messy I’ve-got-brains-too bun to mark the occasion. She had a piercing, as well: a stud below her full, pouty bottom lip, and each and every finger of her hands was adorned with at least two fancy, industrial-sized silver rings. Her eyes were an intense shade of violet, which Mia suspected must be the product of tinted contacts, but it didn’t matter, or rather, it merely added to her attractions—because Linda Ling was so attractive it was unreal.

And Mia Andersson was not in the habit of not having got her leg over that already.

True, Linda was four years her junior, but Mia wasn’t usually squeamish about that sort of thing: she was twenty-seven, not eighty-three. And she’d bet her favourite, well-worn Ramones tee Linda Ling wouldn’t mind a slightly older, a lot more experienced lover.

This wasn’t so much bragging as a statement of facts; Mia Andersson had been a player of, more or less, the exclusive sapphic variety since she had turned fifteen. She had been sexually active for well over a decade, and she had turned her fair share of blushing bi-curious virgins into raging rug munchers. Her gaydar was impeccable. If there was even the slightest possibility, the most infinitesimal potential of queer in a girl, Mia brought it out and honed it to glimmering perfection, before releasing her back out into the wild. Mia Andersson was a dykemaker. It was just her thing.

There was only one problem—one which, despite her being closer to her cool thirties than her red-hot twenties, Mia couldn’t recall ever having run up against before. She was miffed. She was stunted. She was flabbergasted.

Linda Ling was, to all appearances and in spite of her heavy, enticing, smouldering andro vibe, completely, irredeemably, one hundred per cent and counting, straight.

The mere thought caused Mia’s upper lip to curl in distaste, her hand gripping the neck of her beer bottle spasmodically. She just couldn’t accept it, and the non-acceptance had turned into a minor obsession—to the point where Mia Andersson, the Malmö-Lund region’s busiest lesbian lay, had gone a full thirty days (an entire month!) without getting any action. Her frustration was verging on palpable. She needed another drink.

Turning abruptly away from the low stage where Linda and her band members droned out their latest dour-faced dirge—the Raven Choir they called themselves, or something along those lines; to be honest, Mia wouldn’t have given them a second glance, much less paid the price of a ticket, if it hadn’t been for the fact that their lead singer was, well, all that—Mia made for the bar. Or, that was the plan; in reality, she ran crotch first into a froth-tipped pint of lager.

“Oh, for fuck’s—”

Eyes of an indeterminate colour regarded her, from out of a tan face shaded by the stiff peak of a light-blue football cap.

“Unexpected move.” The person to whom these iconoclastic features belonged cocked her head, and a devilish glint came into those previously oh-so-innocent eyes right before she added: “Bet I got your knickers wet in record time, though.”

Mia ‘the Dykemaker’ Andersson was at a loss for words. Slack-jawed with disbelief, she simply stared down at the woman seated—of course, it had to be, this close to the stage—in a sleek purple wheelchair, a now half-empty glass of beer in hand. Or half full, depending on your outlook on life, etc. There was something oddly, disturbingly familiar about her.

The woman switched her glass over to her left and held out her right hand.

“Sandra Ling,” she drawled, and everything came together, all at once, as Mia darted a look back up at Linda, who was, mercifully, not turned in their direction.

“That’s right,” Sandra nodded as she shook Mia’s limp hand vigorously. She had some grip on her; that was for sure. “Twins. I know. I know. It’s not fair; how come I got all the looks and talent?”

Mia snorted, half in shock, half in amusement.

“How is that—” She stopped, not really certain where she was going, what she was saying. Besides, her jeans and—yes, her underwear, too—really were soaking. In a non-sexual, not comfortable at all way. “Fuck, I’m wet!”

Sandra sucked her lips in over her teeth, giving her a frog-like appearance. Kind of—no, not kind of, just cute, actually.

“Yeah, jokes aside, I’m sorry about that. I was just about to—well, never mind.”

Mia shuffled her feet. There was a puddle on the floor, starting to give off that classic old-drunk reek, and she felt about as fresh and alluring as if she had pissed herself. And here she was, chatting to a stranger. A girl in a wheelchair. Linda’s sister. Her twin.

“I should go wash off.”

Sandra sat back in her seat, lifting herself up a little on her forearms. Her torso was—square, almost a perfect square, there was no other way of putting it.

“I’ll keep a look out for you. When you get back, I mean. I think I owe you a drink or something. What did you say your name was?”

“Mia. Mia Andersson. I’m—I’m really wet.”

Sandra’s lips twisted into the subtlest smirk Mia could recollect ever having seen, except—well, except when she happened to catch sight of her own reflection.

She actually, honest-to-God blushed.

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Often quirky, always queer, Elna Holst is an unapologetic genre-bender who writes anything from stories of sapphic lust and love to the odd existentialist horror piece, reads Tolstoy, and plays contract bridge. Find her on Instagram or Goodreads.

Goodreads | Instagram

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Button 2

New Release – This is the Circle by Tash McAdam

Title: This is the Circle
Series: The Psionics, Book Four
Author: Tash McAdam
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: December 16, 2019
Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex
Pairing: No Romance
Length: 75800
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy, LGBT, military, futuristic, alt universe, barbarians, bonded, dark, disabilities, body snatching, undead, polyamory, non-monogamy, minor romance

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

In the middle of two wars, including one that they didn’t want and didn’t ask for, the Psionics of ARC struggle to turn back the Eaters. The Institute is still waiting for an opportunity to regain control of the city, but right now there are more pressing concerns. Outside the Wall, chaos reigns, and the slums are overrun. Citizens and dwells alike are panicked and rioting. Cassandra hides in Epsilon 17’s body, convincing those closest to her that everything is normal as she pieces together plans to escape in the confusion.

But when the Eaters take her, Thea manages to regain control. The tables have turned. Now she has to pretend to be Cassandra to survive—but fortunately her time in the Institute prepared her well. If she tries to flee, she’ll be killed, but if she stays with the cannibal hordes she’s bound to be discovered. Escape seems impossible, but help—and friendship—comes from an unlikely source.

Toby and Serena have their hands full fighting the invading Eaters and trying to track down leads on where Thea could be. Cut off from his twin, Toby’s relationships with ARC deepen and grow, but he’s consumed by his guilt and his need to find Thea.

The cannibal threat looms ever closer, and with one of their best weapons either lost or disabled, ARC has to decide what their priorities are. Should they try to kill her, or save her?

Excerpt

This is the Circle
Tash McAdam © 2019
All Rights Reserved

TOBY

They’re coming over the wall, Serena pushes the thought to me as we duck into a doorway, looking for our next targets. People are running and screaming, I see a toddler dashed out of his mother’s arms, grabbed by an invisible hand, and send a puff of telekinesis out to catch him, whisking him out of danger and back safe onto her shoulder. A scream of frustration rings in the empty air.

The woman doesn’t know what happened, but she takes her child and keeps running. The streets are clearing now, the gates shut to keep the attackers out, cutting off the flood of dwells. I can’t help but think they’d be safer if they’d all stayed outside. The Eaters are here; they’re in the City, but we can’t see them.

I desperately try to comm base, but everything’s down, my datapad blinking uselessly as it tries to connect.

Serena marks two falling shapes that are invisible to me as they tumble down the huge white edifice. They’re using their power like parachutes, skidding their feet down the surface of the wall and wafting their telekinesis above themselves, slowing their descent; it’s unbelievable. Via our hand-to-hand connection I get a faint impression of Serena skidding down a wall by herself, long ago, young and scared, with devastation woven into the heart of the memory. She digs her nails into my hand, jogging me out of the private moments she didn’t mean to share, and points our joined hands at the first descending Eater.

I send out a burst of power, flatten the body-snatcher against the massive white blocks of steel-hard stone, feel his bones break, and his scream of pain reverberates through the air. Serena yanks the other attacker down, but he…no, she, flips in the air and lands on her feet, dodging into the panicked shapes before Serena can keep track of her.

A massive figure shunts refugee bodies aside like a battering ram—Tudor: he can see them, just like Leaf could in the desert—and heaves upward. The woman Serena lost sight of flickers into view for a moment, and Tudor hammers a huge fist into her chest. Everything is so sharp and clear in my vision. I see her rib bones bow inward, snap. Battlesight, Serena crows, adrenaline pounding through her, making her forget the deaths around us and focus only on the joy of war.

Together we race toward the fading trail of another invisible attacker as they sprint down a street after the fleeing crowds. They want the children, Serena sends to me, her inner voice shocked and disbelieving. I caught it on her before Tudor took her down; they’re here for the kids. The powered kids, she means. I feel it.

Why? My feet smash into the pavement. I wish these boots were older, broken in, the tight synth-leather making my strides just a touch uncertain on the slippery solar panels.

You should try doing this in the rain, Serena jokes, not knowing the answer to my question. Then we’re on the escaping Eater and have to focus. She reads and finds his feet for me, bare, soles like hide but used to hot sands not smooth glassy surfaces. I thread a noose of power around his ankle, ready to trip him. But I forgot what they can do with an open line, and I gasp as he yanks on the tendril I sent toward him. He pulls a gob of power right out of my chest, absorbing it with a shuddery cry I can hear with my mundane ears, not needing Serena to read it and pass it to me.

I stagger, almost falling with the shock of it, but Serena catches me with a strong hand around my belt, saving me from a nosedive onto the ground. Toby. It’s a cry, thick with fear, but I’m okay. I let go of the power and let him take it rather than try to keep the connection open and fight him for it. I don’t know how to do that, and the memory of my twin taking everything out of me is still too fresh in my mind to want to try.

I’m good, I spit it, finding my balance and yanking Serena along, urging her to look for our prey, but he’s disappeared, and she can’t find him. If they want the kids, they’ll be at ARC, I realize and share at the same time, and Serena blanches.

Damon.
Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Tash is a 30 year old teacher candidate at UBC in Canada, although they were born and raised in the hilly sheepland of Wales (and have lived in South Korea and Chile before settling down in Vancouver). Tash identifies as trans and queer and uses the neutral pronoun ‘they’. They’re also an English teacher and fully equipped to defend that grammar! They have a degree in computer science so their nerd chat makes sense, and a couple of black belts in karate which are very helpful when it comes to writing fight scenes.

Their novel writing endeavours began at the age of eight, and included passing floppy discs back and forth with a friend at swimming lessons. Since then, Tash has spent time falling in streams, out of trees, learning to juggle, dreaming about zombies, dancing, painting, learning and then teaching Karate, running away with the circus, and of course, writing.

They write fast-paced, plot-centric action adventure with diverse casts. They write the books that they wanted to read as a queer kid and young adult (and still do!)

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Pinterest

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway