Rainbow Snippet

Okay so I failed to get much read last week, my apologies. I had two deadlines and barely made them so…yeah I was typing til my fingers were numb.

I think I’ll continue one more week on Ryan and Santino’s story. They’re out in the woods around Cassadaga (taking that walk Santino thought might be only for serial killers).

 photo colby_zpsz6trikgy.jpg (Colby Lake which is on the walk and features heavily in the story)

Santino’s lips gave a little under Ryan’s, spiced with oregano and peppercorn. He didn’t get aggressive, and Ryan took that as his cue; No tongues, maybe next time. This was sweet, soft, and as first kisses went, right up in the stratosphere. When Santino slid his hand down over Ryan’s, before letting him go, Ryan took a step back and smiled.

“Nice.”

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!

Happy Anniversary Star Trek

I can’t overstate how important Star Trek was to me. My parents were Trekkie. I was born just before Season 2 and was probably fairly lucky my name wasn’t Uhura (It was nearly Sheena of the Jungle but that’s another story all together). I grew up on ST reruns. From here my childhood was shaped and in such a positive way.

I learned to accept all cultures, all ethnic groups, and both sexes as equal. I know that they had a fight on their hands having a woman of African descent on the bridge and that they lost the fight to have a female second in command. I know that a lot of the episodes were silly bordering on tacky and filled with the politics of the 1960s.

But I also know it inspired thousands to do better, to be better people. Look around you at your cell phones and tablets and all the other things seen on that show by the dreamers and made reality by the inspired scientists. It inspired me to be a scientist. I wanted to be Dr. McCoy (and later, as I was preparing for MCATS and Medical School interviews, Dr. Beverly Crusher). I have four separate degrees in science and I owe some of that to my love of Star Trek.

I am here today because of the show. I was bullied through much of high school (being a SF geek didn’t help, it was not cool back then). I was depressed. I considered suicide more than once and I would think about two things what it would do to my mom and what would Spock and Kirk do. I know that sounds silly and unrealistic but it did help so very much.

And now I write SF, not exclusively but I do love writing it. (I have issues imagining the tech because that is not the science I loved). I’m not sure I would ever have gotten into SF if not for Star Trek.

I’ve loved this show all my life. I don’t see that ever changing.

Have some articles on it Cast’s favorite episodes.

USA today’s collection of articles.

Me in my lab today –  photo 20160908_151522_zpshoyzincn.jpg

In my office –  photo 20160908_152120_zpscm9mstq7.jpg

At home playing with my phaser  photo 20160908_172413_zpsk5hyoupi.jpg

Rainbow Snippets

Yesterday we had a wonderful break from the heat (probably at the expense of all those being plagued by hurricanes, hope everyone is safe). Before Labor Day is over, it’ll be back up to a Floridianesque 95 degrees reminding me of why I fled Florida in the first place. I’ll be spending Labor Day laboring away on a SF short with an incredibly close deadline.

In the meantime let’s go back to Cassadaga FL where the telekinetic, Santino has just asked the psychic, Ryan out for coffee so they can get to know each other better.

Santino would have to keep this first talk a bit general since there were a couple people within earshot but it wasn’t like he could invite Ryan to his home or out for a walk or something. Cassadaga wasn’t made for easy walking with few sidewalks and rutted sugar sand streets in many areas. He didn’t want to say ‘hey, let’s go for a walk in Colby Park.’ Who took a stranger into a sub-tropical jungle in the heat of the day? Serial killers, probably. On the other hand, he couldn’t just segue into ‘want to join a group of psychics, mages, and those who hunt the wicked supernatural creatures?’ in public. Well, he wouldn’t have wanted to breech that can of supernatural weirdness in their first conversation anyhow.

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

There is nothing really new here other than I did make strives on my SF story but I don’t like my chances of finishing it by deadline. At least at the end I’ll have something for a future market.

So instead today I thought I’d talk a bit about the erotic aspects of my stories. My last two stories (Corpse Powder and More Than His Scars (which has been sent to DSP for consideration for the Love Wins anthology)) have zero sex in them and that was a conscious decision.

I was reminded of it yesterday when another m/m author switched from romance/erotica to YA because she felt neither romance nor erotica were her strong suit. I feel that way myself. Neither of the above mentioned stories are particularly romantic. Several others I know who DO feel comfortable with the romance feel either less comfortable with the hard core sex scenes, or, like me are just plain bored with writing them.

That is seriously the case with me. I’m just plain tired of writing sex. I don’t feel uncomfortable with it but in many cases I’m bored with it and that goes for reading it. I find myself skimming those sections lately while reading novels in the genre. It might be a hot scene but to me it’s just meh, let me get back to the mystery/demon hunting/alien fighting whatever of the plot.

So seeing several far better known authors than me were also tired of writing the sex scenes, I got to thinking. I did even more thinking after animazement where I saw several readers eyes glaze over when we talked about the plot or another really relating to the LGBT community but spark like fire when we mentioned ‘oh by the way, lots of m/m sex.’ The two warring thoughts I had were 1. if I take out the sex I might lose readers. 2. I am uncomfortable with people reading merely because they think the m/m sex is ‘pretty’ or ‘hot’ (and I could go on here because I’ve seen tons of very unkindly thoughts from so parts of fan fic where that the sex is all that mattered but I don’t want to offend too many people.) I have to say I’m beyond uncomfortable with the idea that the only reason people are buying the books for the sex rather than any interest in the concerns of the LGBT community. It makes me wonder if I’m actually doing something that could be somehow detrimental (I tend to overthink)

So I decided to play a bit with my fiction. Corpse Powder could have had sex scenes. Well if I wanted it not to be in the anthology because it was too freaking long. It ended up novella length and needed cut. There was no way to get it in without cutting more. I decided to do the fade to black instead. I think it works. Time will tell if readers agree.

I didn’t use sex in More Than His Scars because it was a story in my Kept Tears universe and Aaron is dealing with the anniversary of the day he lost his arm in the war. He’s in a bad head space and Rhys (and Corrine) are trying to get him back on his feet. There’s a hint at the end that he and Rhys will have a romantic night but that wasn’t what the story was about. I felt sex would have been distracting, maybe even disrespectful to actual veterans, suggesting a good fuck will take your mind off your disabilities. So I left it out on purpose.

As for Blood Red Roulette which I’m retooling does have some sex but the story is definitely not really a romance. There’s a romantic subplot and some awkward first time sex but I’m trying to take a step toward the non-romance lines that are thankfully cropping up because I’d much rather read those genres personally.

Same for Behind Blue Eyes. I know there will be some erotic moments but they’ll be shorter in spite of this being about a man being sold as sex slave. It’s more about the ugliness of that (as opposed to the BDSM world where someone willingly submits, this is not about that at all!)

I’m not entirely turning my back on the romance side though. I am trying to find time to work in a contemporary romance as I was challenged by the ladies a animazement to at least stretch and try it. I swear I had started it but I cant find any record of it. I’m boggled by that!

As for the SF short I’m working on, I’m not sure where to work sex into it! I did want one scene or at least a make out scene but it’s turning into flat out SF and a sex scene right now would be…awkward from the story telling side of things. Hmmm.

Rainbow Snippets

Feeling barely alive. Heat makes me very ill and today it’s in the 90s again. It kicked off a killer migraine (and Kanda is wheezing, poor cat). But this heat is perfect for when I lived in Cassadaga FL (how I didn’t curl up and die from the heat, I still don’t know). This is the first meeting of Ryan and Santino (whom you’ve met). It takes place in Andrew Jackson Davis Hall and Ryan is helping mentor a new psychic to do readings (the snippet refers to his ability to psychically get snippets of a person’s life which is explained in the surrounding scenes)

They’re in this building  photo davis center_zps9tnmtlcj.jpg

His pulse went out of synch with the slow-paced nature of Cassadaga when he spied the dark haired man at the head of the line. He was a whisper short of average height but the stranger made up with it in form. While his TARDIS t-shirt reading ‘You never forget your first Doctor’ wasn’t tight enough to judge chest muscles by, his tanned arms were toned as were his legs left bare by his cargo shorts. The man got extra points for being geeky. …Sometimes knowing people too well by merely touching them, or something they valued, could be heart breaking. It didn’t stop Ryan from wanting to hold this man’s hand. Watch it be one of the time his powers gave him diddlysquat.

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!

Gues Blog Post

Surfacing Tour Banner
Title: Surfacing
Author: A.L. Bates
Series: The Ariel Series, Book Two
Genre: Gay Romance, Science Fiction
Length: Novella

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Synopsis

A few weeks following the events that concluded DEEP, Book One: The Ariel Series, Captain Joel Riley is struggling to adjust to his new relationship with his medic, Sean, and when a face from Sean’s past sets out to destroy Joel and his ship, Joel faces an impossible decision: Sean or Ariel.

Sensing Joel’s dilemma, Sean makes the decision to leave. He does so knowing he must confront his past and the abuse he suffered. Subjected to the same trauma again, this time at the hands of his brother, he uses the strength Joel taught him to take his future into his own hands.

For Joel, life without Sean proves unbearable and he comes to the realization that he needs more than just his ship. He sets out to bring Sean back… whatever the cost.

Surfacing Cover

Buy Links

Don’t miss the limited time discounted prices on all retailer sites!

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/surfacing-by-a-l-bates/
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-surfacing-2085746-148.html
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Surfacing-Ariel-Book-L-Bates-ebook/dp/B01JJX2A6U/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Surfacing-Ariel-Book-L-Bates-ebook/dp/B01JJX2A6U/
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Surfacing-Ariel-Book-L-Bates-ebook/dp/B01JJX2A6U/
Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/Surfacing-Ariel-Book-L-Bates-ebook/dp/B01JJX2A6U/

Book Trailer

Giveaway

Prize: $5 WIP Gift Card

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Start reading the series with book one!

Deep

Deep AL BatesFleeing from a troubled past that left him feeling tarnished and used, Sean finds work as a medic aboard the deep sea mining ship Ariel, on a distant planet.

Under the leader ship of the infuriating, yet charismatic, Captain Joel Riley, Sean settles into his simple, but dangerous, new life. It’s a life he soon comes to love; albeit one in which he conceals his sexuality and avoids intimacy.

But Sean’s new world is turned on its head when an old face threatens to expose him for the man he used to be.

With Joel’s help, will Sean learn to come to terms with his past and become a man he can be proud of?

Excerpt
JOEL SAT IN a cell with six other inmates. He knew two of the boys from the docking yard; they were sporting bruises on their knuckles and faces. It was a common sight. After months underwater, guys often felt the need to let off too much steam their first night on the town.

Joel himself had been thrown into the drunk tank enough times in his younger days. Only back then he’d been picked up mid-fight, not the morning after.

Across the cell from him two hookers rested against each other, both looking bored with the scenery already. The prettier of the two gave him a smile, and because his mother didn’t raise him to be rude, he smiled back.

“What you in for, sweetheart?” she asked.

“Being too darn pretty,” he said. “What about you?”

“Theft. But we’re innocent, honey.”

“It didn’t cross my mind that you weren’t.”

The main door opened, shedding light into the pit. Joel knew Sheriff Harris from years ago when they’d served on the same ship. The sheriff was a couple of years older than Joel and a leg injury had set him permanently on dry land. The lawman stood in front of the cell, tipping his head to the men he’d arrested. They were thugs, but they were miners, and the sheriff always had respect for men of the sea.

“You want to come with me, Riley?”

“Why? For knocking that bilge-rat around?”

“You might want to do this somewhere private,” Harris said.

Joel could see a shadow lurking by the doorway; the wiry frame of a man keen to press charges.

“We’re looking for a Dr. Sean Leystone. You know him?”

The men around Joel were drunk, but they were listening. He was a man of the sea, one of them. But Joel had already committed to his statement. There was no backing out now.

“Aye, I reckon I do.”

“You mind telling me in what capacity you know him?”

Joel paused, looking toward the hookers opposite. “As I told the Board, I picked him up last night.”

“You picked him up?”

Joel gestured toward the women. “I guess you already had these lovely girls in custody by then.”

The women cackled.

Buy Links

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/deep-by-al-bates/
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Deep-L-Bates-ebook/dp/B01AOB6VW0/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Deep-L-Bates-ebook/dp/B01AOB6VW0/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/Deep-L-Bates-ebook/dp/B01AOB6VW0/
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/Deep-L-Bates-ebook/dp/B01AOB6VW0/
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-deep-1969763-177.html

About the author

A.L. BATES has a keen interest in Sci-fi and adventure novels and enjoys writing stories with strong characters in imaginative backgrounds. Although an avid writer, Deep is the first published novella by A.L. Bates.

A.L. Bates can be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoralbates

Sunday Small Talk

The biggest news would be I’m back to work as the semester rolls out and I have every weekend from now til Nov booked and Nov is Nano so really…booked til December. Yikes.

I got the second round of edits on Corpse Powder which was stunningly just the editor checking out all the Navajo and Jewish culture terms. It was the easiest edits ever. I really am looking forward to this weird west anthology!! They’ve started the cover specs but that’s all I know about that part of it.

I have the charity story off with a first reader. I’m considering entitling it More than His Scars Since I’m running the ragged edge of the deadline I’ve contacted them to let them know it is coming.

Speaking of deadlines, I’m seriously doubting I can make the one for Beyond the Infinite but that’s okay. I’m sure I’ll be able to find a home for a a SF story. I did however get over 2K written on it at the faculty meetings which were 8-4 Thursday AND Friday.

I still have the idea kicking around in my head for that short contemporary novel but finding time and motivation has been hard this year. I’m very behind on word count and editing and most everything I wanted to do so…

But I will keep plugging away at it.