Waving!

It’s been a long time since I blogged. But time seems to have lost all meaning this year anyway. Sigh. The day job has intruded greatly into my writing time, mostly because I’ve had to put all my classes online. Just getting a class set up takes about 150 hours of work.

Nevertheless, my writing hasn’t halted completely. I wanted to give you a quick preview of what to expect in the next several months.

The Solstice Kings, a holiday novella, releases October 6 and is available for preorder now. It’s a fairly quirky tale, but then maybe that doesn’t surprise you coming from me.

In November we’ll have book 7 in the Bureau series, Caroled. A holiday story! We get to revisit Charles Grimes and Tenrael for this one, which is set in San Francisco in 1942.

On December 29, Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking for Love will release from Carina Press. This one is a light rom-com packed with some of my favorite tropes (Oh no! There’s only one bed!). It was a lot of fun to write. I don’t have the cover art yet, but you can preorder! It’ll be available in ebook, print, and audio editions.

Then in February I’ll be releasing a novella as part of the Magic Emporium series–a shared universe in which a bunch of authors each contribute a story in which the same magic shop makes an appearance. Mine is called The Muffin Man and is the result of a particularly bizarre plot bunny.

I also have some audiobooks on the way. ACX is really, really dragging its heels, which means I can’t give you even approximate release dates. However, The Bureau: Volume 2 should be out any day now, and Conned will be out in late autumn or early winter. Both are narrated by the amazing Joel Leslie.

See? I told you I’ve been busy! I hope you’ve been staying well despite these uncertain times.

The Stark Divide by J. Scott Coatsworth

The Stark Divide - J. Scott Coatsworth

J. Scott Coatsworth has a new queer sci fi book out book one in the Ariadne Cycle: “The Stark Divide.” This is a re-release.

Some stories are epic.

The Earth is in a state of collapse, with wars breaking out over resources and an environment pushed to the edge by human greed.

Three living generation ships have been built with a combination of genetic mastery, artificial intelligence, technology, and raw materials harvested from the asteroid belt. This is the story of one of them—43 Ariadne, or Forever, as her inhabitants call her—a living world that carries the remaining hopes of humanity, and the three generations of scientists, engineers, and explorers working to colonize her.

From her humble beginnings as a seedling saved from disaster to the start of her journey across the void of space toward a new home for the human race, The Stark Divide tells the tales of the world, the people who made her, and the few who will become something altogether beyond human.

Humankind has just taken its first step toward the stars.

Get It On Amazon


Giveaway

Scott is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card with this tour, and a signed paperback trilogy of the Oberon Cycle (Skythane, Lander and Ithani) – two winners! Enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win.

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Excerpt

“Dressler, schematic,” Colin McAvery, ship’s captain and a third of the crew, called out to the ship-mind.

A three-dimensional image of the ship appeared above the smooth console. Her five living arms, reaching out from her central core, were lit with a golden glow, and the mechanical bits of instrumentation shone in red. In real life, she was almost two hundred meters from tip to tip.

Between those arms stretched her solar wings, a ghostly green film like the sails of the Flying Dutchman.

“You’re a pretty thing,” he said softly. He loved these ships, their delicate beauty as they floated through the starry void.

“Thank you, Captain.” The ship-mind sounded happy with the compliment—his imagination running wild. Minds didn’t have real emotions, though they sometimes approximated them.

He cross-checked the heading to be sure they remained on course to deliver their payload, the man-sized seed that was being dragged on a tether behind the ship. Humanity’s ticket to the stars at a time when life on Earth was getting rapidly worse.

All of space was spread out before him, seen through the clear expanse of plasform set into the ship’s living walls. His own face, trimmed blond hair, and deep brown eyes, stared back at him, superimposed over the vivid starscape.

At thirty, Colin was in the prime of his career. He was a starship captain, and yet sometimes he felt like little more than a bus driver. After this run… well, he’d have to see what other opportunities might be awaiting him. Maybe the doc was right, and this was the start of a whole new chapter for mankind. They might need a guy like him.

The walls of the bridge emitted a faint but healthy golden glow, providing light for his work at the curved mechanical console that filled half the room. He traced out the T-Line to their destination. “Dressler, we’re looking a little wobbly.” Colin frowned. Some irregularity in the course was common—the ship was constantly adjusting its trajectory—but she usually corrected it before he noticed.

“Affirmative, Captain.” The ship-mind’s miniature chosen likeness appeared above the touch board. She was all professional today, dressed in a standard AmSplor uniform, dark hair pulled back in a bun, and about a third life-sized.

The image was nothing more than a projection of the ship-mind, a fairy tale, but Colin appreciated the effort she took to humanize her appearance. Artificial mind or not, he always treated minds with respect.

“There’s a blockage in arm four. I’ve sent out a scout to correct it.”

The Dressler was well into slowdown now, her pre-arrival phase as she bled off her speed, and they expected to reach 43 Ariadne in another fifteen hours.

Pity no one had yet cracked the whole hyperspace thing. Colin chuckled. Asimov would be disappointed. “Dressler, show me Earth, please.”

A small blue dot appeared in the middle of his screen.

Dressler, three dimensions, a bit larger, please.” The beautiful blue-green world spun before him in all its glory.

Appearances could be deceiving. Even with scrubbers working tirelessly night and day to clean the excess carbon dioxide from the air, the home world was still running dangerously warm.

He watched the image in front of him as the East Coast of the North American Union spun slowly into view. Florida was a sliver of its former self, and where New York City’s lights had once shone, there was now only blue. If it had been night, Fargo, the capital of the Northern States, would have outshone most of the other cities below. The floods that had wiped out many of the world’s coastal cities had also knocked down Earth’s population, which was only now reaching the levels it had seen in the early twenty-first century.

All those new souls had been born into a warm, arid world.

We did it to ourselves. Colin, who had known nothing besides the hot planet he called home, wondered what it had been like those many years before the Heat.

###

Anastasia Anatov leafed through her father, Dimitri’s, old paper journal. She liked to look through it once a day, to see his spidery handwriting and remember what he had been like. It was a bit old and dusty now, but it was one of her most cherished possessions.

She sighed and put it away in a storage nook in her lab.

She left the room and pulled herself gracefully along the runway, the central corridor of the ship, using the metal rungs embedded in the walls. She was much more comfortable in low or zero g than she was in Earth normal, where her tall, lanky form made her feel awkward around others. She was a loner at heart, and the emptiness of space appealed to her.

Her father had designed the Mission-class ships. It was something she rarely spoke of, but she was intensely proud of him. These ships were still imperfect, the combination of a hellishly complicated genetic code and after-the-fact fittings of mechanical parts, like the rungs she used now to move through the weightless environment.

Ana wondered if it hurt when someone drilled into the living tissue to install the mechanics, living quarters, and observation blisters that made the ship habitable. Her father had always maintained that the ship-minds felt no pain.

She wasn’t so sure. Men were often dismissive of the things they didn’t understand.

Either way, she was stuck on the small ship for the duration with two men, neither of whom were interested in her. The captain was gay, and Jackson was married.

Too bad the ship roster hadn’t included another woman or two.

She placed her hand on a hardened sensor callus next to the door valve and the ship obliged, recognizing her. The door spiraled open to show the viewport beyond.

She pulled herself into the room and floated before the wide expanse of transparent plasform, staring out at the seed being hauled behind them.

Nothing else mattered. Whatever she had to do to get this project launched, she would do it. She’d already made some morally questionable choices along the way—including looking the other way when a bundle of cash had changed hands at the Institute.

She was so close now, and she couldn’t let anything get in the way.

Earth was a lost cause. It was only a matter of time before the world imploded. Only the seeds could give mankind a fighting chance to go on.

From the viewport, there was little to see. The seed was a two-meter-long brown ovoid, made of a hard, dark organic material, scarred and pitted by the continual abrasion of the dust that escaped the great sails. So cold out there, but the seed was dormant, unfeeling.

The cold would keep it that way until the time came for its seedling stage.

She’d created three of the seeds with her funding. This one, bound for the asteroid 43 Ariadne, was the first. It was the next step in evolution beyond the Dressler and carried with it the hopes of all humankind.

It also represented ten years of her life and work.

Maybe, just maybe, we’re ready for the next step.

###

The crew’s third and final member, Jackson Hammond, hung upside down in the ship’s hold, grunting as he refit one of the feed pipes that carried the ship’s electronics through the bowels of this weird animal-mechanical hybrid. Although “up” and “down” were slight on a ship where the centrifugal force created a “gravity” only a fraction of what it was on Earth.

As the ship’s engineer, Jackson was responsible for keeping the mechanics functioning—a challenge in a living organism like the Dressler.

With cold, hard metal, one dealt with the occasional metal fatigue, poor workmanship, and at times just ass-backward reality. But the parts didn’t regularly grow or shrink, and it wasn’t always necessary to rejigger the ones that had fit perfectly just the day before. Even after ten years in these things, he still found it a little creepy to be riding inside the belly of the beast. It was too Jonah and the Whale for his taste.

Jackson rubbed the sweat away from his eyes with the back of his arm. As he shaved down the end of a pipe to make it fit more snugly against the small orifice in the ship’s wall, he touched the little silver cross that hung around his neck. It had been a present from his priest, Father Vincenzo, at his son Aaron’s First Communion in the Reformed Catholic Evangelical Church.

The boy was seven years old now, with a shock of red hair and green eyes like his dad, and his mother’s beautiful skin. He’d spent months preparing for his Communion Day, and Jackson remembered fondly the moment when his son had taken the Body and Blood of Christ for the first time, surprise registering on his little face at the strange taste of the wine.

Aaron’s Communion Day had been a high point for Jackson, just a week before his current mission. He was so proud of his two boys. Miss you guys. I’ll be home soon.

Lately he hadn’t been sleeping well, his dreams filled with a dark-haired, blue-eyed vixen. He was happily married. He shouldn’t be having such dreams.

Jackson shook his head. Being locked up in a tin can in space did strange things to a person sometimes. I should be home with Glory and the boys.

One way or another, this mission would be his last.

He’d been recruited as a teen.

###

At thirteen, Jackson had learned the basics of engineering doing black-tech work for the gangs that ran what was left of the Big Apple after the Rise—a warren of interconnected skyrises, linked mostly by boats and ropes and makeshift bridges.

Everything north of Twenty-Third was controlled by the Hex, a black-tech co-op that specialized in bootlegged dreamcasts, including modified versions that catered to some of the more questionable tastes of the North American States. South of Twenty-Third belonged to the Red Badge, a lawless group of technophiles involved in domestic espionage and wetware arts.

Jackson had grown up in the drowned city, abandoned by his mother and forced to rely on his own intelligence and instincts to survive in a rapidly changing world.

He’d found his way to the Red Badge and discovered a talent for ecosystem work, taking over and soon expanding one of the rooftop farms that supplied the drowned city with a subsistence diet. An illegal wetware upgrade let him tap directly into the systems he worked on, seeing the circuits and pathways in his head.

He increased the Badge’s food production fivefold and branched out beyond the nearly tasteless molds and edible fungi that thrived in the warm, humid environment.

It was on one of his rooftop “gardens” that his life had changed one warm summer evening.

He was underneath one of the condenser units that pulled water from the air for irrigation. All of eighteen years old, he was responsible for the food production for the entire Red Badge.

He’d run through the unit’s diagnostics app to no avail. Damned piece of shit couldn’t find a thing wrong.

In the end, it had come down to something purely physical—tightening down a pipe bolt where the condenser interfaced with the irrigation system.

Satisfied with the work, he stood, wiping the sweat off his bare chest, and glared into the setting sun out over the East River. It was more an inland sea now, but the old names still stuck.

There was a faint whirring behind him, and he spun around. A bug drone hovered about a foot away, glistening in the sun. He stared at it for a moment, then reached out to swat it down. Probably from the Hex.

It evaded his grasp, and he felt a sharp pain in his neck.

He went limp, and everything turned black as he tumbled into one of his garden beds.

He awoke in Fargo, recruited by AmSplor to serve in the space agency’s Frontier Station, his life changed irrevocably.

###

A strange sensation brought him back to the present.

His right hand was wet. Startled, he looked down. It was covered with blood.

Dressler, we have a problem, he said through his private affinity-link with the ship-mind.”


Author Bio

J. Scott Coatsworth

Scott 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 and runs Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, Liminal Fiction, and Other Worlds Ink with Mark, sites that celebrate fiction reflecting queer reality, and is a full member member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

Author Website: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com/

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworthauthor/

Author Twitter: https://www.facebook.com/jscoatsworth/

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jscottcoatsworth/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth?from_search=true

Author QueeRomance Ink: Liminal Fiction: https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/J.-Scott-Coatsworth/e/B011AFO4OQ

LOGO - Other Worlds Ink

No Sacrifice by Grace R. Duncan

No one gets to live your life but you.

Out now at Amazon and on Kindle Unlimited!

  You can find No Sacrifice here.   About No Sacrifice: Patrick has taken his acting talents from high school all the way to a role in a major television show. But as the show progresses, his life of absolute certainties crumbles when he finds himself reacting to the kisses of his male costar. He refuses to accept it, reminding himself he’s happily married to a woman and has a sweet son, Avery. So, straight. Right? One night he goes to drink his worries away and meets the gorgeous Chance Dillon. After too many drinks, Patrick spills his problems to Chance, who helps him realize he’s probably bisexual, and the new understanding helps him sleep better. It turns out Chance is a sound technician on the same set, and the two become fast friends. Their friendship grows, Patrick’s marriage ends, and he returns from his family’s home in Hawai’i with Avery who captures Chance’s heart. Patrick and Chance’s romance blossoms, giving both dreams of a life together as a family of three. When Patrick is outed by the press to his unaccepting mother, he pushes Chance away to spare him the mess Patrick’s life has become. By the time he realizes his mistake, it may be too late.   About the author: noh8Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica. As someone who loves to travel and see new places, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind. As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art. Website FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoodreads

Hallelujah blog tour!

Today launches the blog tour for Hallelujah. I’m so excited about this book–which releases March 31–and the early reviews are fantastic. Please join us on our tour for exclusive posts, reviews, an excerpt, and a giveaway! I’ll update the links as we go.

Forbes Mates by Grace Duncan

Grace Duncan is here with an exclusive excerpt!

Hope you get back to chasing mice around soon…. Chad & Jamie.

Quincy pulled out a furry rat and held it up, then a bag of catnip, one of those feathers on a string, and even a ball of yarn. It took Quincy a full minute to stop laughing. “Oh gods, I’m so getting them for this.”

Miles, grinning, took the feather on the string, lifted it in front of Quincy, and shook it. Quincy snorted but batted at it anyway, making Miles laugh. As Miles pulled it away, though, Quincy batted again, chasing after it a little, nose twitching. Eyebrows raised, Miles fought the smirk.

Quincy sniffed. “I was just humoring you.”

His smirk broke out into another grin. “Uh-huh.”

“I was.”

Miles laughed and kissed Quincy’s temple. “Do you know that if we let ourselves go too long without shifting outside of the full moon, we start acting a bit like dogs… even while in human form?”

“You’re kidding,” Quincy said, staring. “Oh, the blackmail I’ll have on Chad….”

“Not kidding at all.” Miles coughed, then said, “I once chewed my own slippers right before my board exam,” as all one word.

Quincy snorted, then started laughing again. “Oh, that’s too much! I’m going to have to remember that. Make sure I hide my slippers.”

Miles grinned, because it showed Quincy planned to be with him, at least at some point in the future. He started to speak again, but the door opened and Sara walked in.

“Time for your vitals,” she said brightly.

Quincy rolled his eyes but sat still and patient as she took his blood pressure, temperature, oxygen level, and pulse. She wrote everything down on a little piece of paper, then stuffed it back in her pocket. “Can I get you anything? Are you ready to order your dinner?” She glanced over and saw the Styrofoam container. “Dr. Grant! Are you smuggling him contraband?”

Miles smirked. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Sara! That was for me.”

She snickered. “Right.” She turned back to Quincy. “Something to drink?”

Quincy shook his head and pointed to the pitcher on the counter, still with water in it. “That’s fine with me.”

“All right, dear. Get some rest.” She patted his foot and left.

“I wonder what she’d say if she knew just how much more healed I was,” Quincy mused.

Miles laughed. “I’d probably be admitting her to Western Psych across the street.”

Quincy grinned. “That wouldn’t be nice, then, would it?”

Miles shook his head. “Nope. Oh!” He hurried around the bed and picked up the messenger bag on the floor. One side had a logo Miles had never seen along with a graphic of a guy with bright orange hair in a black robe with a huge sword resting on his shoulder. He lifted the bag and set it on the bed next to Quincy. “Apparently this got left in the ambulance. I… hope you don’t mind, I checked inside. Your laptop, phone, and wallet are still in there.”

“Oh good.” Quincy opened the bag and pulled out a case. He took out a pair of glasses and slipped them onto his nose. “So much better.” Next he took out a slim Mac laptop, then his wallet, and blinked. “My money’s still in here.”

Miles shrugged. “Guess they didn’t need it.”

“Well. That’s a surprise.”

“I don’t know if they’d get into the computer or phone or anything. I’m guessing you’ve got it locked down fairly well.”

Quincy nodded. “Yeah, and the data’s encrypted too. No one’s going to get to my stuff.”

Miles raised an eyebrow. “What do you do, anyway?”

“Draw things.”

Miles blinked. “I’m sure you do. But what do you do that requires encrypted data?”

Quincy’s lips twitched. “I’m an information broker. The kind you can’t look up in the phone directory.”

“Ohhhh.” Miles nodded. “Well, that makes sense. I’m guessing I don’t really want to know anymore.”

Quincy shook his head. “No, you probably don’t. Um….” Quincy tilted his head and studied Miles for a moment. “Do you think I could see your wolf?”

“Hmm….” Miles raised his eyebrows as he thought it through, but then nodded. “They won’t be in for a bit. I think there’s time.” He kicked off his shoes, pulling his shirt off at that same time and laying it on the bed. It never even occurred to him to worry about getting naked in front of Quincy. He was used to the very sociable wolves, not the solitary jaguars. So when he turned around from taking his pants off, he realized what he smelled was arousal. It did his wolf good things to smell that, but he focused instead on giving Quincy what he’d asked for. Miles laid his pants next to his shirt and let his wolf forward.

His vision turned gray first, and then his claws extended and teeth dropped at the same time. A few seconds later, red fur that matched his human hair erupted over his skin. His bones shifted and muscles realigned, then a moment later, he landed on four paws. He lifted his front paws and braced them on the side of the bed, grinning his wolf grin at his mate.

Quincy reached out, running a hand over Miles’s head. “Wow. I didn’t realize your fur matched your coloring. It doesn’t work that way for us. It’s gorgeous.”

Miles couldn’t resist closing his eyes as Quincy stroked his fur. He had to be careful or he’d end up with a hard-on in wolf form. But it felt so good to have Quincy’s hands on him, even in that form. To keep things out of the realm of sexual, he leaned forward and licked Quincy’s cheek.

Quincy scowled, but there was no heat in it. “Gross. Dog slobber.”

Miles snorted. And licked him again.

“Just you wait. Next time I’m in cat form, I’ll give you my tongue.”

Miles chuffed, then backed up to let himself down.

Before he could rein in his wolf and shift, Sara stepped into the room again.


Join us in celebrating the rerelease of the Forbes Mates books! The celebration tour has a $25 Amazon Gift Card giveaway and lots of fun excerpts from the books. Devotion is also on sale for 99¢ for the whole tour, so you can get started on the series!  

You can follow the tour here (http://www.grace-duncan.com/fm-tour) – hope you have fun!



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Acceptance

Finding his mate is the least of Quincy’s worries–keeping Miles alive is the real priority…and will take every ounce of creativity Quincy has.

Dr. Miles Grant acknowledges that his destined mate could be either gender even though his bisexuality cost him his family and his pack. Luckily he found the Forbes Pack, who happily accept him just as he is. What he never counted on was finding his mate in Pittsburgh or for his mate to be another species entirely—a cat!

Quincy Archer isn’t just any jaguar shifter. He is the heir to the leadership of his pride. Destined mates are nothing but legend to the nearly extinct and generally solitary jaguars, and Quincy certainly never expected to find one for himself, much less a male… or a wolf.

However, finding each other and coming to terms with their species is the least of their worries. Quincy is expected to select a proper female mate, father a cub, and take his place as heir to the pride. Except Quincy refuses, having no interest in women or leadership and knowing he isn’t right for it. But his father will stop at nothing—not even attempting to kill Miles—to get his way. Quincy and Miles must overcome many obstacles to stay together as the destined mates they’re meant to be.

Transformation

The rights have reverted to me for the five novellas that originally appeared in the (wonderful) Gothika anthologies. I’ll be releasing the stories individually, so now’s your chance if you haven’t yet read them.

First up is Transformation. Preorder now; releases February 25.

If you squint hard enough, this story is a pre-pre-pre-prequel to the Bones series. The working title was The Werewolf of Beaverton (which I find hysterically funny, but probably nobody else does).

These stories will also be available on KU.

Preorder/buy here.


Orris Spencer is an abomination. At least that was what his father said in 1886 before banishing him from their Fifth Avenue mansion and sending him across the continent to Oregon. Now Orris must try to find a place for himself on his brother’s farm. His studies did little to prepare him for pioneer living, and when he’s called on to help protect the livestock from a predator, he’s not at all certain he’s up to the task. Then he meets Henry Bonn, a strange and intriguing man who lives in a cabin in the hills. Orris’s attraction to Henry may not be an abomination—but it may prove to be a greater danger than banishment.

Cover reveal: Hallelujah

Can you hear it?

Whispering in the dark.

Secrets only the dark knows.

Joseph Moore, choir director for the First Baptist Church of Lenora, Nebraska, has secrets of his own. Terrible, lonely secrets. One that involves natural human desire. One that calls forth powers he cannot begin to understand. Both with the potential to destroy him and those he loves.

Now the world is changing. The darkness, the shadows, the ghosts, are closing in—and Joseph and his lover, Kevin, are being stalked by a merciless demon, hell-bent on possession.

Can you hear it now?

There in the dark.

It’s whispering your name.

Preorder now!

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