Guest Post: J. Scott Coatsworth

J. Scott Coatsworth has a new queer magical realism book out:

A group of strangers meets at Ragazzi, an Italian restaurant, for a cooking lesson that will change them all. They quickly become intertwined in each other’s lives, and a bit of magic touches each of them.

Meet Dave, the consultant who lost his partner; Matteo and Diego, the couple who run the restaurant; recently-widowed Carmelina; Marcos, a web designer getting too old for hook-ups; Ben, a trans author writing the Great American Novel; teenager Marissa, kicked out for being bi; and Sam and Brad, a May-September couple who would never have gotten together without a little magic of their own.

Everyone in the River City has a secret, and sooner or later secrets always come out.

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Matteo stared out the restaurant window into the darkness of Folsom Boulevard. It was getting dark earlier as summer edged into fall. Streetlights flickered on as cars drifted by, looking for parking or making the trip out of Midtown toward home.

The sign on the window read “Ragazzi” (the boys), lettered in a beautiful golden script just two months old. Investing in this little restaurant his uncle had left to them when he’d passed away had been their ticket out of Italy. But now with each passing day, as seats sat empty and tomatoes, pasta, and garlic went uneaten, the worry was gnawing ever deeper into Matteo’s gut.

Behind him in the open, modernized kitchen, Diego was busy cooking—his mother’s lasagne, some fresh fish from San Francisco, and some of the newer Italian dishes they’d brought with them from Bologna. The smells of boiling sauce and fresh-cooked pasta that emanated from the kitchen were entrancing.

They’d sent the rest of the staff —Max and Justin—home for the evening. The three customers who had shown up so far didn’t justify the cost of keeping their waiter and busboy on hand.

Matteo stopped at the couple’s table in front of the other window. “Buona sera,” he said, smiling his brightest Italian smile.

“Hi,” the man said, smiling back at him. He was a gentleman in about his mid-fifties, wearing a golf shirt and floppy hat. “Kinda quiet tonight, huh?”

“It always gets busier later,” Matteo lied smoothly. “Pleasure to have you here. Can I get you anything else?”

“A little more wine, please?” the woman said, holding out her glass so the charm bracelet on her wrist jangled.

“Of course.” He bowed and ducked into the kitchen.

He gave Diego a quick peck on the cheek.

His husband and chef waved him off with a snort. “Più tardi. Sto preparando la cena.”

“I can see that. Dinner for a hundred, is it? It’s dead out there again tonight.”

Diego shot him a dirty look.

Matteo retrieved the bottle of wine from the case and returned to fill up his guests’ glasses. “What brings you in tonight?” Maybe they saw our ad.…

“Just walking by and we were hungry. I miss the old place though.… What was it called, honey?”

Her husband scratched his chin. “Little Italy, I think?”

“That’s it! It was the cutest place. Checkered tablecloths, those great Italian bottles with the melted wax… so Italian.”

Matteo groaned inside. “So glad you came in” was all he said with another smile.

Author Bio

J. Scott Coatsworth

Scott lives with his husband Mark in a little yellow bungalow in East Sacramento, with two pink flamingos by the front porch.

He spends his time between the here and now and the what could be. 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 the people like him were.

He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

He runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction that reflects their own reality.

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Oh look, Kim’s alive!

Let’s just say the past few weeks have been… full. The end of the semester is always busy for me, plus of course my kids keep me on my toes. And I had a week at RT in the middle of it all, plus some writing deadlines to meet.

So here I am, taking a breath. But only one, because life just doesn’t slow down. And I’m going to resort to bullet points.

  • In case you missed it, The Little Library is out on audio now! It’s narrated by the talented Andrew McFerrin, who also did such a wonderful job on Ante Up.
  • Any minute now–seriously, any minute–A Full Plate will release on audio, narrated by Kenneth Obi.
  • And while we’re on the topic of audiobooks, Joel Leslie is currently recording the first three books in the Bureau series! I can’t wait to listen.
  • I’ll be releasing all three of the Bureau stories as a set. You can preorder the Kindle version now, but it’ll also be available in other ebook versions from Smashwords, and in print from Amazon and bookstores anywhere. It comes out June 11, and as with all my self-published books, all royalties go to Doctors Without Borders.
  • Blyd and Pearce comes out July 24. I’m really excited about this novel, a noir private eye story in a medieval fantasy setting. With an homme fatal, of course.
  • I’m working now on a couple of Christmas stories and a novel about a lifestyle guru and his personal assistant.
  • I’ll be traveling this summer too! Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Chicago (by train!), and Sarajevo.

How’s your summer stacking up?

Have you met Creature yet?

I’m excited to say that Creature releases on Monday! You can get it at Amazon or Smashwords, and all my royalties go to Doctors Without Borders. No worries if you haven’t yet read the first two books; they can be read in any order or as standalones. Click here to read more about the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs.

And I’m doing a blog tour. Stop by for excerpts, guest posts, and a giveaway.

Oh, and if you love audiobooks? Joel Leslie will be narrating all three books soon!

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews — May 3

MM Midnight Cafe — May 3

Queer Sci Fi — May 3

QueeRomance Ink — May 3

Annette Gisby –May 4

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words — May 4

dream, love, imagine — May 5

Stories That Make You Smile — May 6

Drops of Ink — May 7

Open Skye Book Reviews — May 8

The Novel Approach — May 9

Emotion in Motion — May 10

Love Bytes — May 11

We Three Queens — May 12

Dog-Eared Daydreams — May 13

Jessie G Books — May 14

Louise Lyons — May 15

Bayou Book Junkie — May 16