Tag Archives: New Release

New Release Listen: The Sound of Fear

Title:  Listen: The Sound of Fear

Author: R.B. Thorne, Lauren Jane Barnett, E.E.W. Christman, Eule Grey, Ridley Harker, Jon James, T.S. Mitchell, Alex Silver, A.R. Vale, Edited by Elizabetta McKay

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 09/20/2022

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male, Female/Female, M/NB

Length: 75300

Genre: Horror Anthology, LGBTQIA+, historical, US circa 1800s, romance, gay, horror/thriller, in the closet, shop workers, old curiosity shop, knives, haunted object/ poltergeist, contemporary, lit/genre fiction, London art gallery, confinement, disorientation, fear, mental anxiety, mystery, suspense, British, mystery, cold case, lesbian, blogger, small town, over 40, pregnancy, gothic/horror elements, YA, paranormal, nonbinary, trans, queer, hearing impaired, students, haunted school, all-girls boarding school, mean girls, religious references, Deaf, ghost story, pets, historical, gothic romance, lesbian, European expats, OCD, longtime couple

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/62344166-listen

Book Description

A knocking. A ringing. A steady drip-drip-drip. These are the sounds that haunt us. Drive us mad. Draw us in like the songs of sirens, hypnotic and deadly. And we must either give in, or resist with everything we have…and hope it’s enough.

Listen: The Sound of Fear offers ten stories written exclusively by trans and nonbinary authors that explore the chilling, perplexing, terrifying nature of sound.

Excerpt

Kill Your Darlings. When two shop workers in 1894 New York discover a haunted phonograph, they must race to solve the mystery of its tragic past before it’s too late to save their budding romance—and their lives.

Exhibition. A performance artist inspired by the inhumane treatment of refugees finds her gallery transformed into an equally inhospitable environment. Trapped inside the confines of her Plexiglas box, she struggles to piece together what is happening—and how to keep herself alive.

On the Other Side of Sound. A ringing in the ears; a coded message from beyond explanation. It will only ruin your life if you let it.

Her Little Joke. When Mave Kitten is asked to investigate a creepy phenomenon, little does she know to what depths the trail will lead: Ghosts, a haunted well, ignorance, a flapping bird. What of the woman in green?

M/other. I am alone. I do not know exactly how long I have been alone. My husband and child are…gone. Aren’t they? As a storm rages outside my decaying house, I begin to hear and see things that cannot possibly be there. Or can they?

Holy Water. Adolescence can be hell. Adolescence in an all-girl’s Catholic school as a trans teen surrounded by mean girls is a special kind of hell—especially when your school is haunted.

Snipper-Snapper. Cats make the best pets—loving, thoughtful, and loyal. Amour even brings home his own takeaway meals. Except for the stains, and damage to the shag pile, Mummy couldn’t be happier. Everyone needs a playmate.

The Knocking Bird. Knock three times to keep yourself safe. Follow your love across the sea. Obsession threads through nearly every aspect of Steffi’s life. But what happens when it drives her to do the unthinkable?

Bride of Brine. Sylvie hasn’t heard the song of the siren in years. But when she’s called home to help her estranged father find her brother, she’s faced with an impossible choice: save him, or save herself.

Haunt. When Kevin inherits his family home and decides to fix it up with his partner, he quickly discovers that the past can haunt you in more than one way—and he must choose, once and for all, exactly who he is.

Purchase Links

NineStar Press: https://ninestarpress.com/product/listen/

Books2Read: https://books2read.com/listen-sound-of-fear

Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a $50.00 NineStar Press Gift Code!

Direct Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/555033ec991/?widget_template=589504cd4f3bedde0b6e64c2

New Release: Death at Bayard Lodge

Title:  Death at Bayard Lodge

Series: The Mary Grey Mysteries, Book Two

Author: Winnie Frolik

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 09/20/2022

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 67800

Genre: Historical, LGBTQIA+, historical, crime, lesbian, district nurse, private detective, 1930s, country house, death

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/62610915-death-at-bayard-lodge

Book Description

When district nurse Mary Grey and her lover Harriet accept an invitation to visit the latter’s godmother in the beautiful Lake District, they’re hoping for a relaxing outing. But from the very start, they find themselves pulled into a web of intrigue, resentments, deceit, and violent passions.

Young newlywed Rachel Florry is found on the lawn with her skull smashed in and there’s no shortage of suspects. From the girl whose fiancée Rachel stole, to a sinister vagrant, to Rachel’s own mystery lover.

Mary calls on her old friend and partner, private detective Franz Shaefer to come down to Bayard Lodge and help solve the case. But as they unearth buried secrets and hidden agendas, they themselves are at risk.

Excerpt

Death at Bayard Lodge

Winnie Frolik © 2022

All Rights Reserved

England

Summer 1937

The horrific events of the previous winter, when the notorious beauty and heiress Harriet West had lost her brother, her uncle, and her fiancé, had yielded one unexpected benefit. She was suddenly free of any and all social obligations. After all, nobody could expect a girl who’d been through such heartache and trauma as Harriet to attend anyone’s coming-out ball or go somewhere for a spot of shooting, much less throw any parties herself. It was perfectly understandable she would wish to keep to herself and see only a few very close friends.

It made perfect sense for her to settle in a flat in the city rather than stay in the Newcastle mansion that was really far too big for one or even two single women. Nor was it so surprising she chose to have a flatmate. Many perfectly respectable unmarried women these days preferred to live with female companions rather than be completely alone. True, that Harriet’s live-in companion, Mary Grey, was a district nurse was rather unusual, but there was little harm in it. And it really was quite a nice little flat, located in a most modern building in a fashionable neighborhood with on-site service. The flat had a tidy little kitchenette and main living area. The plumbing and heating were quite modern and state of the art. Harriet had an excellent time furnishing the place in the Art Deco style, with sleek lines, metallic finishes, and walls hung with photographs and modern art. Some of the experimental abstract pieces Harriet gushed about looked to Mary’s eyes like things a child could have drawn, but it was Harriet’s money. She did at least like one piece: an extraordinarily colorful and vibrant tableau featuring flowers, monkeys, and birds done by some Mexican artist named Frida.

Ahab, the ginger cat Mary had inherited from a deceased patient, settled into his new surroundings quickly and would spend hours sunning himself on the window ledge. The building had a regular charwoman on staff to handle the cleaning. This had at first bothered Mary; unlike Harriet she wasn’t used to being waited on, but as Harriet pointed out, if they didn’t let the woman clean the place, she would be out of a job. And she had both a crippled husband and two children to support. Mary conceded the point. Besides, over time she came to admit it was nice to be able to come home to a neat and tidy space without exerting oneself.

Harriet had purchased a bar trolley which they kept faithfully stocked with her favorite brand of sherry. They had a little icebox, and Mary could whip up the occasional meal. (Harriet was hopeless as a cook and had once started a fire attempting to make toast.) Other times they’d go out to one of the many little cafés in the area where they were becoming steadily known to the point where they could address a number of servers by name.

Occasionally, Mary and Harriet would quarrel over money; the latter did not see why the former insisted on paying her share of the groceries and rent.

“It really isn’t necessary,” Harriet would protest.

“Oh yes, it is,” Mary insisted. “If nothing else to help maintain appearances.” Nor, much to Harriet’s frustration, would Mary allow her to buy her expensive things. But otherwise, theirs was a life of domestic tranquility. For the sake of appearances, they had picked a place with two bedrooms, but in practice only one was ever used. In the early stages of their relationship, there had been considerable confusion, excitement, and laughter in determining how to make their bodies fit together well. Fortunately, Mary had many years’ experience in such matters and had been more than happy to put her knowledge at Harriet’s disposal. The latter had proven a most adept pupil, and together they had achieved new heights of sapphic pleasures. To Mary, it seemed for a time the two of them had created their own little Garden of Eden.

Then came the summons from Mrs. Diana Allenby.

It arrived in a thick blue envelope. A formal engraved document in beautiful calligraphic script addressed to Miss Harriet West. Requesting the pleasure of Harriet’s company at a country house party at Bayard Lodge, held by Mrs. Diana Allenby on the final weekend in August. She was asked to RSVP at once.

‘Well, surely you can just tell them you can’t attend,” Mary reasoned when Harriet handed her the invitation. “You’ve done it before!” For although Harriet had the perfect excuse for not going out, people still invited her. The people in question were to Harriet’s mind a load of vultures who just wanted an excuse to revel in last winter’s scandal. She’d taken grim satisfaction in turning them all down. This, however, was a different thing entirely.

“You don’t understand,” Harriet told her. “Read this.” She passed over a handwritten letter that had been included with the invitation, and Mary dutifully read aloud.

My beloved goddaughter,

At that, Mary looked up. “Wait, is she really your godmother?”

“She is,” Harriet confirmed.

“And I haven’t heard of her?” Mary wondered.

“Well, she stays at her own place most of the time,” Harriet explained, “and I haven’t been down there for ages. But I’ve known her all my life. She and Mother were very close. Indeed, for many years I called her Auntie Di.”

At this Mary involuntarily bit her lip. Given the familial relationship, it would be far harder for Harriet to bung off Mrs. Allenby the way she did others.

I’ve heard you’ve quite dropped out of society these past nine months. Now after all you’ve been through, my poor child, I certainly don’t blame you for wanting your space. But I do worry about you. It’s been so long since I’ve seen you last! As you know, your late mother was like a sister to me, and I have always considered you family as well. And I worry about you, my child. I truly do. It cannot be healthy for you to hide yourself away from the world like some cloistered nun of old.

This, thought Mary, was stretching things a bit. Living in a very nice city flat with a roommate and a cat was hardly a hermitage. Nor did Harriet’s situation with Mary truly resemble that of anything allowed in a convent. At least not any convent Mary had ever heard of! Though, really, who knew what went on behind closed doors? And as Mary knew full well, there was more than one reason for a woman to voluntarily swear off the company of men. It would be an interesting area for ecumenical investigation. She didn’t get the chance to share these musings with Harriet, though, as the latter continued to read aloud.

Which is why, my dear, it would mean so much to me for you to attend this outing. I’ve deliberately kept it to a smaller gathering, and you already know the Florrys.

“Who are the Florrys?” Mary wondered aloud.

“Raymond and Rachel Florry,” Harriet responded. “Raymond works in London at some big banking firm. I’ve seen him at other gatherings, but the one I’m really familiar with is his wife, Rachel. She and I were schoolmates together, along with her cousin Lily.” She paused momentarily as if uncomfortable. “Actually, Lily was with Raymond first. They were even engaged. But then Raymond broke things off at the last minute. Practically left her at the altar. And not long after he started being seen publicly with Rachel. Which of course led to people wondering if something hadn’t happened between him and Rachel while he was still with Lily.”

“Oh my,” Mary commented. “So, Rachel stole her cousin’s fiancé?”

“Apparently. It was quite the scandal at the time. They say Lily had a complete breakdown and hasn’t spoken to either one of them since. Anyway, Rachel and Raymond just got married this past March. I haven’t seen her in ages either.” Harriet looked sad at the thought as Mary read on.

And some other young people as well. The fresh air will do you good and the new cook is superb! And you know there’s not a more beautiful place in England to come visit in autumn than here!

“Well, that’s quite a boast,” Mary observed.

Purchase Links

NineStar Press: https://ninestarpress.com/product/death-at-bayard-lodge/

Books2Read: https://books2read.com/death-bayard-lodge

Meet the Author

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Library in Oakland was always my second home. I was diagnosed as being a high functioning autistic in college. I hold a useless double major in English literature and creative writing. I’ve worked at nonprofit agencies, in food service, and most recently as a dog-walker/petsitter but the siren song of writing keeps pulling me back into its dark grip. I have co-authored a book on women in the US Senate with Billy Herzig, self-published The Dog-Walking Diaries, and in 2020 my first novel Sarah Crow was published by One Idea Press. I live in my hometown Pittsburgh with my better half, Smoky the Cat. Find Winnie on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/wfrolik

Giveaway

Rafflecopter

One lucky winner will receive a $50.00 NineStar Press Gift Code!

Direct Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/555033ec991/?widget_template=589504cd4f3bedde0b6e64c2

New Release – Save the World

“Writers Save the World” is an annual hopepunk anthology from Other Worlds Ink, featuring hopeful stories by sci-fi writers about ways to solve the world’s problems.

Modern building on the island.3d render

Book Blurb:

Climate change is no longer a vague future threat. Forests are burning, currents are shifting, and massive storms dump staggering amounts of water in less than 24 hours. Sometimes it’s hard to look ahead and see a hopeful future.

We asked sci-fi writers to send us stories about ways to save the world from climate change.  From the myriad of stories we received, we chose the twenty most amazing (and hopefully prescient) tales.

Dive in and find out how we might mitigate climate change via solar mirrors, carbon capture, genetic manipulation, and acts of change both large and small.

The future’s not going to fix itself.

Non-Exclusive Excerpt:

No one ate for a full day. At night, they sat around their fires and counted the stars, their boats bobbing in the quiet, dark waters. No electricity was permitted. The drones were shelved. The holo-projectors unplugged. Even the radios were shut off. The next morning, they washed in the invigorating cold of the ocean, and beat their bodies with branches.

This was what Edgard instructed. And what Edgard instructed, everyone obeyed.

The waters seemed bright that morning, despite the depths below. Small dots of sea foam dotted the surface, reflecting the eager light of the new day. The weather was calm, and the ocean peaceful. It was an auspicious morning.

Jason leaned against the rails, elbowing between his crew mates as everyone shuffled for the best view. There was laughter and chatter, some singing, a few rude jokes. The ocean was alive that morning, all the ships of the tribe lining up, energy buzzing across the wide decks.

Then the drumming started, and silence fell. People leaned forward, craning necks.

The canoe emerged from between boats, paddled by a small crew, its painted bow slicing through the water. At the front was Edgard, standing tall. Jason felt someone nudge him, and as he looked over at Amelia, she nodded at the cloak draped over Edgard’s shoulders. The Thunderbird.

The canoe stopped, and Edgard placed a hand in the water. As he rose, he started to sing, lighting a bundle of dried cedar, and waving the smoke over his harpoon. He removed the muscle-shell hooks and wrapped them in cloth, tied rocks around the yew shaft, and placed it in the water. As it sank, his song ended. Edgard turned to face the ships, opened his arms wide, and smiled.

The crews erupted.

It was done.

The harvesting was complete.

—From “Thunder on the Water,” by Christopher R. Muscato

Buy Links:

Universal Buy Link: https://books2read.com/u/mv1Y1l

Liminal Fiction: https://www.limfic.com/book/save-the-world/

Giveaway:

Other Worlds Ink is giving one lucky winner their choice of $25 Starbucks GC or a $25 donation to the Sierra Club in the winner’s name:

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47244/?

A fantastic city from the future.t.3d render

Tour Type: 7 Day Tour

Tour Start Date: June 22, 2022

Author Names: Gustavo Bondoni, J. Scott Coatsworth, Jana Denardo, Derek Des Anges, CJ Erick, J. G. Follansbee, Geoffrey Hart, M.J. Holt, Jennifer Irani, Christopher R. Muscato, Masimba Musodza, Andrew Rucker Jones, Michael McCormick, M.D. Neu, Jennifer R. Povey, N. R. M. Roshak, Holly Schofield, Lisa Short, Heather Marie Spitzberg

Publisher: Other Worlds Ink

Release Date: Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Format: eBook, Paperback, Hardcover

Is This Book Romance?: No

ASN: Coming Soon

ISBN: 978-1-955778-34-3 (paperback)

Price: $6.99 US (eBook); $19.99 US (paperback); $24.99 Hardcover

Story Type: Anthology

Word Count: 100400

Length: 306 Pages

Cover Artist: J. Scott Coatsworth

Genres: Sci-Fi, Hopepunk

LGBTQ+ Identities: Gay, Gender Fluid, Lesbian, Poly, Straight

Keywords/Categories: sci fi, sci-fi, science fiction, climate change, global warming, future, hope, solutions, fixes, problems, sci-fi, science fiction, hope, hopepunk, gay, gender fluid, lesbian, straight, new release, announcement, giveaway

Is This Part of a Series?: Yes

Series Title: Writers Save the World

Position (Number) in Series: 2

Necessary to Read Previous Books: No, But It Doesn’t Hurt

Other Books in Series Available for Review?: Yes

Info for Other Books in Series:

1 – Fix the World

Author Bios:

Gustavo Bondoni is novelist and short story writer with over three hundred stories published in fifteen countries, in seven languages.  He is a member of Codex and an Active Member of SFWA. His latest novel is Lost Island Rampage (2021). He has also published three other monster books: Ice Station: Death (2019), Jungle Lab Terror (2020) and Test Site Horror (2020), three science fiction novels: Incursion (2017), Outside (2017) and Siege (2016) and an ebook novella entitled Branch. His short fiction is collected in Pale Reflection (2020), Off the Beaten Path (2019) Tenth Orbit and Other Faraway Places (2010) and Virtuoso and Other Stories (2011).  

J. Scott Coatsworth lives with his husband Mark in a yellow bungalow in Sacramento. He was indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine. He devoured her library, but as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were. He decided that if there weren’t queer characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends. A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, and Other Worlds Ink with Mark, sites that celebrate fiction reflecting queer reality, and is a full member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and the head of its self-publishers committee.

Rachel Hope Crossmanis an ex-fry cook, ex-substitute teacher and retired Montessori teacher. Her childhood year in Athens, Greece left indelible imprints of olive groves, pomegranates and the sparkling, turquoise blue of the Mediterranean upon her mind. She is the author of SAVING CINDERELLA: FAIRY TALES & CHILDREN IN THE 21ST CENTURY, (2014) The Apocryhile Press, which examines the world-wide Cinderella story as an archetype and explains the symbolism of rings, knives, birds, pumpkins and more. Her personal heroes are Harold (and his purple crayon), Peggy Hill and Nancy Pelosi.

Jana Denardo is Queen of the Geeks (her students voted her in) and her home and office are shrines to any number of comic book and manga heroes along with SF shows and movies too numerous to count. There is no coincidence the love of all things geeky has made its way into many of her stories. To this day, she’s still disappointed she hasn’t found a wardrobe to another realm, a superhero to take her flying among the clouds or a roguish star ship captain to run off to the stars with her.

Derek Des Anges is an emerging cross-genre author working in London, who consistently fails to stick to a single format or genre but does at least really consistently write about the queer experience (or some of them, anyway). He’s into fungi, industrial and experimental music, and trying to avoid the climate apocalypse actually flooding his flat too many times, because he has far too many books to consider moving out.

CJ Erick’s stories have appeared in anthologies from WMG Publishing, WordFire Press, and others. He won the FenCon short story competition in 2015. He writes in multiple genres, publishes novels in a space fantasy series, and dabbles in poetry. He’s an MFA student in creative writing at Lindenwood University, and an editorial assistant for the Lindenwood Review. He lives in Dallas area with his wife and their rescue superhero dog Saber-Girl, calls his sourdough bread starter “Ursula” (K. Le Guin), and cooks crazy-good Cajun food for a Midwest Yankee.

J.G. Follansbee’s short stories have appeared in several anthologies, including Others Worlds Ink’s Fix the World. Other publications include Bards and Sages Quarterly, Children, Churches and Daddies, the collection Still Life 2018, and the speculative fiction anthologies Satirica, After the Orange, Spring Into SciFi 2019, Rabbit Hole II, and Sunshine Superhighway. He is the author of the series Tales From A Warming Planet and the trilogy The Future History of the Grail. He has won several awards in the Writers of the Future contest, and he was a finalist in the inaugural Aftermath short story contest. He also has numerous non-fiction book credits. He lives in Seattle.

Geoffrey Hart: Startled by an aggressive dictionary late in her pregnancy, Geoff’s mother was delivered of a child with a precocious antipathy towards users of words. Over time, he transformed this antipathy into a more functional, if equally passive-aggressive, editorial career. After nearly 35 years, the flame burns brightly as ever, leading to an errant, semi-evangelical career ranting against the evils of words from pulpits at any editing or technical writing conference that will have him, seeking new recruits for his cause. In his spare time, he roams the globe, entertaining locals with creative and unrestrained interpretations of their linguistic conventions. He also commits occasional fictions, and has sold 46 stories.

M. J. Holt lives with her husband on their 60-acre family farm with many animals on a peninsula in Puget Sound. She is horrified that the entire world isn’t working to decrease pollution of all kinds. When she was a teenager, she and her mother sat under an ancient crabapple tree and read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. Her mother told her that future generations would pay the price for the sins of past generations. That price has increased and now several generations later, some not yet born, will pay the price. Lightning struck that crab tree decades ago. It grew on land her great grandfather bought in 1892. Her great grandmother farmed the land and had the current house, started in 1900, built. The farm passed to her grandfather, and then to her mother. She lives in that house amid the surviving bits of her ancestors’ lives. This generational continuity informs her fiction. Her crime thriller novels, The Devil’s Safe (2021) and its sequel Making Angels (2022) can be found on Amazon. Recent short stories have appeared in the anthologies Black-Eyed Peas on New Year’s Day: An Anthology of Hope, Low Down Dirty Vote Volume II, Alternate Theologies, and her poetry may be found in the poetry anthologies 300K, Timeless Love, and other periodicals. She earned separate undergraduate degrees in History and English Literature, and a Masters in English Literature. She is a member of SFWA, MWA, and other writing organizations.

Jennifer Irani lives and works in southern California. Her story, “Graft,” was inspired by the recent fires in California, Greta Thunberg, and generation Z. A version of this story first appeared in Writing in Place: Stories from a Pandemic. Her work has been published in the anthology Dove Tales Empathy in Art: Embracing the Other. She has published essays in Orange Coast magazine. Her essay, Regeneration, received honorable mention in the Writers Challenge 2021 on Medium.com. Her poem, “Cool Colors Warm the Soul,” was selected for the Connecting Through Color, Art and Poetry exhibit. She is a member of Barbara Demarco’s Literary Posse.

Andrew Rucker Jones was born and raised in Falls Church, Virginia. No muse heralded his birth, and he has not been writing novels since he was in diapers. He received his Bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University in mathematics with minors in computer programming and German. He has always loved reading, so when the time came to choose a new career after twenty years in IT (programmer, system administrator, manager), he decided writing looked like fun. If only it paid. He now lives in Mannheim, Germany, with his Georgian wife, who actually earns money, and their three children, the eldest of whom also earns more than he.

Micháel McCormick likes to write stories in his Batman pajamas. He and his wife also enjoy travel, hiking, Tai Chi, and perplexing cats. They split their time between Saint Paul, Minnesota and Lake Superior. Mike’s work has appeared in Arcanist, Daily SF, DreamForge, Frozen Wavelets, Grievous Angel, Metastellar, Talking Stick, and elsewhere.

Christopher R. Muscato is an adjunct history instructor and writer from Colorado, as well as the former writer-in-residence for the High Plains Library District. He has published over a dozen short stories and is thrilled to be a part of this project.

Masimba Musodza was born in Zimbabwe, and has lived most of his adult life in the United Kingdom. His short stories, mostly in the speculative fiction genre, have appeared in periodicals and anthologies around the world. He has written two novels and a novella in his first language, ChiShona. His collection of science-fiction stories, The Junkyard Rastaman & Other Stories, was published in 2020. Masimba also writes for stage and screen.

M.D. Neu: Growing up in an accepting family. internationally award-winning author M.D. Neu always wondered why there were never stories reflecting our diverse queer society. Surrounded by characters that only reflected heterosexual society, he decided to change that and began writing, wanting to tell epic stories that reflect our varied world. When not writing, M.D. Neu works for a non-profit in Silicon Valley, and travels with his husband of twenty plus years.

Jennifer R. Povey: Born in Nottingham, England, Jennifer R. Povey now lives in Northern Virginia, where she writes everything from heroic fantasy to stories for Analog. She has written a number of novels across multiple sub genres. Additionally, she is a writer, editor, and designer of tabletop RPG supplements for a number of companies. Her interests include horseback riding, Doctor Who and attempting to out-weird her various friends and professional colleagues.

NRM Roshakis an award-winning Canadian author and translator. Their stories have appeared in various anthologies and magazines, including Galaxies SF, Daily Science Fiction, and Future Science Fiction Digest, and has been translated into several languages. They live in Ontario, Canada, with a small family and a loud cat.

Holly Schofield travels through time at the rate of one second per second, oscillating between the alternate realities of city and country life. Her stories have appeared in Analog, Lightspeed, Escape Pod, and many other publications throughout the world. She hopes to save the world through science fiction and homegrown heritage tomatoes.

Lisa Short is a Texas-born, Kansas-bred writer of fantasy, science fiction and horror. She has an honorable discharge from the United States Army, a degree in chemical engineering, and twenty years’ experience as a professional engineer. Lisa currently lives in Maryland with her husband, two youngest children, father-in-law and cats. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association and a Futurescapes 2021 alumnus.

Heather Marie Spitzberg is an environmental author, scientist, and lawyer who lives in New York’s Hudson River Valley with her family. Her writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

New Release Winter Masquerade by Kevin Klehr

Title:  Winter Masquerade

Author: Kevin Klehr

Narrated by: Jon Bolitho-Jones

Publisher:NineStar Press

Original Release Date: January 20, 2020

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 32800

Genre: Fantasy, LGBT, Romance, fantasy, gay, party, musicians, mythical creatures, trial, judge, alternative universe

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60593374-winter-masquerade

Blurb

Ferris wakes on the Sea Queen, an enchanted cruise ship sailing on a chocolate sea. He has no idea how he got here, but he desperately wants to go home to his boyfriend.

The alchemist is the only person who can help Ferris, but he’s been kidnapped. The ransom is high tea with scones and jam.

Meanwhile, the passengers are gearing up for the Winter Masquerade, a ball where love and magic reign.

With a murderous musician, an absent boyfriend, and a mystical party, Ferris soon learns that Wednesday is not the day to fall in love.

Excerpt

Winter Masquerade

Kevin Klehr © 2020

All Rights Reserved

Pitch black. Then candlelight. One lonely flame lit the face of a plump-faced man in a robe.

“How did I get here?” I asked.

“That’s not important right now,” the monk replied. “It’s where you’re going.” He reached for a journal, which sat on the stool to his right, and set the candle in its place. He flipped several pages and held it to the flame. “Are you fond of voyages?”

I shook like nervous prey. “I really need to know how I got here.”

“You’re a troubled man in need of rest and recreation. And a healthy dose of self-reflection.”

“But—”

“I wish you’d stop asking questions. You’ve never bothered listening to those who’ve responded.”

Harmonious chants filled the silence. These men’s voices calmed me, even though a dozen questions still needed answering.

Another light appeared coming from a round window. I shuffled toward it. There I was in the dark on the other side. I lay sleeping.

Purchase at Audible – https://www.audible.com/pd/Winter-Masquerade-Audiobook/B09T3R7XL6

Meet the Author

Kevin lives with his husband, Warren, in their humble apartment (affectionately named Sabrina), in Australia’s own ‘Emerald City,’ Sydney.

His tall tales explore unrequited love in the theatre district of the Afterlife, romance between a dreamer and a realist, and a dystopian city addicted to social media.

His first novel, Drama Queens with Love Scenes, spawned a secondary character named Guy. Many readers argue that Guy, the insecure gay angel, is the star of the Actors and Angels book series. His popularity surprised the author. The third in this series, Drama Queens and Devilish Schemes, scored a Rainbow Award (judged by fans of queer fiction) for Best Gay Alternative Universe/Reality novel.

So, with his fictional guardian angel guiding him, Kevin hopes to bring more whimsical tales of love, life and friendship to his readers.

Author Links

Website: http://www.kevinklehr.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DramaQueensWithLoveScenes/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kevinklehr

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/klehrkevin/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcJrnpZjgSjbpCiBp-pA3Jw

Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a print edition of The Midnight Man.

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New Release – Undercover in Paradise by John Patrick

Title:  Undercover in Paradise

Series: Paradise, Book Two

Author: John Patrick

Publisher:NineStar Press

Release Date: 01/25/2022

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 72000

Genre: Science Fiction, LGBTQIA+, New adult, MM romance, humorous, postapocalypse, transgender, religious order, anxiety, dark, blackmail, undercover DEA agent

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60170727-undercover-in-paradise

Book Description

DEA Agent Hector Ramirez is on his first undercover mission. He’s been sent to a Buddhist monastery deep in the woods of Maine, where he’s investigating a confusing web of connections between a Peruvian drug gang, a prominent Mormon family and the monastery’s leaders.

Dallin Rigby, the young son of a prominent Mormon family, has been sent on a year-long retreat while the scandal associated with his mission to Peru dies down. The men, the sex, the blackmail tape—there’s a lot to get past. He’s not looking forward to a year in the middle of nowhere, but the presence of the attractive Brother Hector might make his time in exile more bearable.

No one at the isolated monastery is aware of the disaster unfolding outside its walls, as a man-made virus sweeps the globe, killing nearly everyone. Cut off from his contacts, and with dwindling supplies, Hector sets out with Dallin to learn what has happened. As the attraction between the two men grows, Hector begins to question the necessity of remaining undercover. But is it too late for him to finally be honest with Dallin, about his job and about himself?

Excerpt

My boss pressed his fingers onto the top of my desk and leaned well into my personal space.

“I just sent you an email,” he said with a suspicious grin. “Open it, Special Agent.” I hated how he sneered at my new title. Until last week, I’d been Hector Ramirez, New Agent Trainee, the lowest of the DEA’s investigative ranks. I liked Special Agent better.

He stood there looming over me. So, I guessed we were doing this right now. I closed my expense report and clicked on his email. There was no title and no text. Just a link to what looked like an encrypted video. Was this a test? I hovered my mouse pointer over the link; nothing looked suspicious. I glanced up at him, a question on my face.

“Go ahead; it’s not a trick.” He paused for a moment. I could tell there was something else, so I waited. “It’s definitely NSFW, though.”

Okay. He wanted me to open a not-safe-for-work link. Now. At work.

I looked around the open space. My newly installed desk was wedged into a corner of the large operations room. There was no one nearby.

“You’ll like it. He’s just your type too,” he added.

What an asshole. He had no idea what my type was, although he knew I was gay, of course, and trans. I’d had to be up front about that; the extortion risk in my line of work was just too high to try to keep that type of thing private.

Besides, it was one of the reasons I was here. I’d been brought on during a push to expand diversity in the ranks, and I knew for a fact most of the other agents thought that was the only reason I was here, which wasn’t true at all. I was as qualified—more qualified—than many of the other guys. Being gay and trans just gave me a shot at being considered for the job.

Behind my back, and sometimes just within range of my hearing, they’d call me a two-for. Two for one. Gay and Latino.

Or sometimes it meant trans and Latino. But never a three-for. The whole gay and trans thing really confused these guys. Sometimes I heard them whispering, “Why would you become a gay dude when you could already get guys as a chick?”

I shook my head to clear it and refocused on the possible trap my boss had set. “This is work-related, right? You’re ordering me to play this video, and it’s necessary for my job?” I was asking for the benefit of any cameras, official or unofficial, that might be capturing this moment.

“Very good, Ramirez. A healthy dose of skepticism and mistrust is necessary for a DEA agent, especially a new one.”

I waited.

“And, yes,” he said with a sigh, “I am ordering you to play this video.”

Good enough. I launched the video.

A naked young man walked past an expanse of windows, the view outside hidden by the closed drapes. He carried two bottles of water, and as the camera tracked his movement, it became apparent he was in a hotel room, possibly a suite, given the furniture and size of the space.

And, ha, ha, I get it. My type. He looked just like me—short and wiry with light coffee-colored skin and straight jet-black hair. I felt uncomfortably exposed sitting at my desk with Director Ferguson leaning in behind me. On the monitor, the man who looked like me took a few steps toward another naked man of similar build and color. The second man held a remote control and stood by a low table. A flat-screen TV mounted to the wall above displayed its own collection of naked men.

The first guy handed a bottle of water to the second, then ran his hand down the other man’s back. Great, the director and I were going to watch gay porn together at work. My parents would be so proud. The two men were speaking, but I couldn’t hear anything. I toggled the volume.

“Don’t bother. There’s no sound,” Ferguson said. “It gets better,” he added, a disturbingly gleeful tone to his voice. I had a bad feeling about this.

The two men turned together and walked to a bed, where they playfully tugged on the foot of yet a third man, lying on the oversized bed, just coming into view as the camera tracked their movements.

Now that the initial shock had faded, I began to pay attention to what I was seeing. First, the camera—it was too steady for a handheld, and it panned smoothly across the room following the men. I guessed it was positioned, possibly hidden, somewhere across the room and was being operated remotely. Second—the surroundings. It was a party room for sure. Empty bottles of alcohol, room service trays, and plates were scattered on desktops; dropped clothes and towels lay next to the bed.

The third man—the one on the bed—was coming fully into view. He looked very much like the others, which is to say like me, and he was laughing as the other two clambered onto the bed on top of him.

Why are we watching this?

“And, now, for something completely different…” my boss murmured.

The camera continued to pan across the bed and revealed, wow…a massive mountain of a blond-haired guy, young, early twenties maybe, and as naked as the others, with light, golden hair dusting his chest, belly, and thighs. I swallowed and tried not to react. He was on his back, his left arm holding the guy on the bed in a tight embrace. He looked…blissful. Maybe on drugs, but certainly in control of himself, so not drugged, exactly. Just…happy?

And, yeah, just my type. Like, exactly my type. But Director Ferguson couldn’t possibly know that. He must have been referring to the Latinos. I paused the video and swiveled my chair to look up at Ferguson. “Why are we watching this?” I asked.

“This is the Peruvian drug gang we’ve been tracking out of Bangor.”

Really? I reversed the video to get a better shot of the faces of the first two, grateful to move the young man with the golden hair off-screen. I studied them for a moment. I’d seen all the surveillance pictures we had of the Bangor gang. “They don’t look familiar,” I said.

“This was filmed in Peru.”

“Oh.” I was feeling lost. “So, who is—”

“Dallin Rigby,” Ferguson interrupted. “Twenty-two years old now. Twenty-one when the film was made. He’s a Mormon…”

Of course he is.

“But he’s about to attend a yearlong retreat in a Buddhist monastery. In Maine. Northern Maine.” He let that sink in.

Purchase Links

NineStar Press: https://ninestarpress.com/product/undercover-in-paradise/

Books2Read: https://books2read.com/undercover-in-paradise

Meet the Author

John Patrick lives in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts, where he is supported in his writing by his husband and their terrier, who is convinced he could do battle with the bears that come through the woods on occasion (the terrier, that is, not the husband).

John is an introvert and can often be found doing introverted things like reading or writing, cooking, and thinking deep, contemplative thoughts (his husband might call this napping). He loves to spend time in nature—“forest bathing” is the Japanese term for it—feeling connected with the universe. But he also loathes heat and humidity, bugs of any sort, and unsteady footing in the form of rocks, mud, tree roots, snow, or ice. So, his love of nature is tempered; he’s complicated that way.

John and his husband enjoy traveling and have visited over a dozen countries, meeting new people, exploring new cultures, and—most importantly—discovering new foods. After such travels, John invariably comes down with a cold. During a trip to Japan in 2019, he was amazed by how many people wore surgical masks in public to protect both themselves and others from viruses. “Gosh,” John thought, “wouldn’t it be great if we’d do this in the US?” John sometimes regrets the wishes he makes.

Author Links

Website: http://johnpatrickauthor.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JohnPatrickAuthor

Giveaway

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One lucky winner will receive a $50.00 NineStar Press Gift Code!

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