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Dark Hunter (Zeta Cartel #4)
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Dark Hunter (Zeta Cartel #4)
J. Scott Coatsworth has a new queer sci fi book out:
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.
Book One of Liminal Sky
“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.
Scott spends his time between the here and now and the what could be. Enticed into fantasy and sci fi by his mom at the tender age of nine, he devoured her Science Fiction Book Club library. But as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were in the books he was reading.
He decided that it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at his local bookstore. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.
His friends say Scott’s mind 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 loves to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.
Starting in 2014, Scott has published more than 15 works, including two novels and a number of novellas and short stories.
He runs both 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 lives.
Wow. Time flies when full time work explodes. (I see a theme here.)
While I’ve been working an inordinate amount of hours for that blasted Real Life job, I have done some writing and plans are in the works for more. Not as much writing as I would like; but between reading, reviewing and the little writing I have done, it’s kept my sanity on more than one occasion.
I just finished creating posts for another review (see post today) and I had posted one from a new author 11 days ago: The Palisade. Great story. I would recommend it. I’m working on the second book in that series in my copious spare time (yes, the sarcasm is high in that one). Expect a review for it in the next month. I hope.
I am doing more reviews both here and RGR. In fact, RGR is doing a Transgender Awareness Event starting today in response to a certain President’s stance on Transgenders in the the military a couple of weeks ago. It’s two weeks of reviews, spotlights, giveaways, guest post, and fun. Come join use as we celebrate all Transgender fiction. There’s even a podcast done by one of our own at RGR. (Not me, thank goodness). Links below.
Podcast: Big Gay Fiction Podcast
RGRTransAwareEvent: RGR Trans Aware Event Kickoff
Back in early June, I posted about the new QSF Flash Fiction story in Renewal. Still haven’t heard much more about it as the last couple of months have been hectic. (see start of this post)
Later in June, I found another Flash Fiction contest from a QSF post somewhere on social media, and decided to enter it. PodCastle‘s 2017 Flash Fiction Contest was completed but I didn’t get past the first round. Most liked the beginning but didn’t like the ending. Shrug. There were definitely others more worthy of winning so I’m not surprised. I like my twisty stories. 🙂 Since I didn’t make it, I am free to post it here. It was a whole 500 words and that seemed like luxury. Here you go. Let me know what you think. I might expand it later on. When I get a chance. Isn’t that what a writer says? *smile*
by Eloreen Moon
“I have no idea what I’m going to do.” I stared at the Lotto ticket I had at my hand. It matched the numbers just announced on the TV. I turned to my bestie Mitch panicked. I had plenty of magic in me but nothing prepared me for Lady Luck.
“Lucas, before you do anything, you talk to a financial guru.” He immediately answered. “With that much money, once you claim it, you’ll be mobbed by every warlock, ‘were, and weremage– anyone who has even a remote familial connection to you will come out of the woodworks.”
“You’re not kidding,” I snorted. “You know anyone? I’ve got nothing.” My lemur half wanted to get going. As a weremage, a shifter and a magic-user combined, we tend not deal with mundane things like finances, ever.
“Actually, I do.” Mitch stood up smirking, pulled out a warn business card from his wallet, and then presented it to me with flourish. My impatience had me wanting to beat-down his cocky werewolf hide. He pointed to the card. “Kenton’s a distant cousin. He gave that to me when he started up some number of years ago after finishing school here. He’ll know what to do.”
With that, I typed the digits into my phone, and called.
The next day, I teleported to the address Kenton had given me when I had set up the appointment for this morning. Driving was a bitch and my magic was fresh. The ticket was in my safe at home– at Mitch’s insistence and Kenton’s confirmation– photo proof the only thing needed on my phone. I walked up to the entrance.
The door swung in as I reached to open, and the most gorgeous guy I had ever seen stood in front of me. Shorter than my 6 feet, a lean swimmer’s body, and an adorable face with dark hair tripped all my buttons. I reigned my lust in as much as I could and reached to shake his hand.
“Hello Lucas, I’m Kenton–” he started; but when our hands met, both of us twitched as the shock of desire, emotions, and recognition passed between us.
We said “Mate” at the same time already in-sync as if we had done this before.
I pulled him into my arms and he went willingly staring at each me in such wonder. “I never thought I would find my mate after all these years.”
“Neither did I.” We kissed, and I realized we had done this before as snippets of lifetimes we had previously lived played through my mind. Startled, I pulled from the kiss both reluctant to stop and curious to know. “Um. Did you see—?”
“Yes,” Kenton said, shock adding to the wonder in his face.
I loosely held him in my arms staring into those intense blue eyes as he held my brown-green ones. Silently, I thanked Lady Luck and the Lotto ticket that had brought us together as we went inside to a new life.
What do you think? Comment below and I’ll respond. Might not be quickly, but I’ll get there.
As for other writings, I’ve gotten some ideas, a request to co-write something, and the urge to work on previous WIPs. I did a little for Camp NaNoWriMo but work, again, got in the way, and writing in July didn’t happen. It’s now mid-August and the work schedule is still high. I spent most of this past weekend working. No rest for the weary.
Well, I have to run. Read some more trans stories for the RGR event and reviews for others. This includes a possible MF story for next month. We’ll have to see. Dragon Con is coming and my annual trek to it.
Boxed Set Compiled and Managed by Gina Kincade
Jade C. Jamison
Theresa is a mother of two and the wife of a retired Air Force Master Sergeant. After seventeen years traveling the country, moving from base to base, the family has settled their roots back in Theresa’s home town of Olive Branch, MS, where she enjoys her time with old friends and family.
After almost three years of managing a retail bookstore, Theresa has gone behind the scenes to write romantic stories with flare. She daydreams of the perfect love affair and takes those ideas to paper.
Jennifer L. Allen
Lindy S. Hudis
A 300-word story should be easy, right? Many of our entrants say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever written.
Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest challenges authors to write a complete LGBTQ speculative fiction micro-story on a specific theme. “Flight” leaves much for the authors to interpret—winged creatures, flight and space vehicles, or fleeing from dire circumstances.
Some astonishing stories were submitted—from horrific, bloodcurdling pieces to sweet, contemplative ones—and all LGBTQ speculative fiction. The stories in this anthology include AI’s and angels, winged lions and wayward aliens. Smart, snappy slice of life pieces written for entertainment or for social commentary. Join us for brief and often surprising trips into 110 speculative fiction authors’ minds.
The book us available in eBook form (4.99), and will soon be available in paperback with b/w illustrations inside (12.99) and in a special collector’s edition with color illustrations (24.99).
We lay on the earth caressed by its illusionary
Comfort, as we recover from love’s flight.
“We have to go back, you know,” I say
Wistfully, wanting things to be different.
“I know,” he says wistful as well.
I grew up and still live in the great state of Texas where everything is bigger, where we have warm weather and a central location. I love my state, my town, and my family, which includes my four sons, my significant other, and many friends as well.
I have thoroughly enjoyed writing the books that are currently available and hope you will enjoy reading them just as much. And of course, there will be many more stories to come.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SamJacobey
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00GEB5LX0
Twitter – https://twitter.com/SamJacobey
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/samanthajacobey/
Fan Club / Street team –https://www.facebook.com/groups/518336211610077/
Please welcome new guest post from Oliver Sparrow to Moonbeams over Atlanta!
How do you place a reader in a completely new world? Historical fiction tends to work out from a familiar situation – a love story, a war – and bring in the oddities a step at a time. Science fiction generally talks to an audience which is steeped in the tropes of the genre, and builds out from those: the star ship, the post-apocalyptic society. What do you do, though, when virtually nothing is familiar to the reader?
Dark Sun, Bright Moon is set in a time and place about which even anthropologists know very little: a thousand years ago, in the utterly isolated Andes. The first popular landmark, the Incas, is five hundred years in the future. The people who live there have been isolated for ten thousand years, having – so far as we can see from their remains – neither cultural nor commercial contact with anyone beyond their eyrie amongst the crag and deserts of the region.
Isolated societies develop their own views of the universe, of human origins and meaning. Even filtered through five hundred years of slow massacre, religious indoctrination and forcible relocation, the Andean perspective remains a strange one to the rest of us. Individual humans are pinched off from a community pool of existence. They matter little, and return to that pool on death. All that matters – practically, ethically – is the maintenance of harmony within the community. Why this is so is down to the Andean metaphysic.
Our little world is a membrane, a space that is continually re-created, instant by instant, by vastly greater and more potent neighbouring universes. All of this is driven by a titanic unwinding of a domain of utter crystalline perfection into a shapeless zone of utter chaos. One of our neighbouring universes harbours the creative principle, a teeming myriad of potential, inhabited by odd sentiences that have nothing to do with conventional deities. The other is a repository of information, the consequences of all that has been. Is this domain which tasks the creative universe endlessly to remake us. This slow process is what creates time, and prevents the realm of perfection from annihilating itself into the zone of formless chaos. Information streams which lack harmony – coherence – lead to poor reconstruction of the society from which they came. Ill health and worsening social relations follow. Individual disharmony has the potential to destroy any community from which it stems.
Human societies are, then, a potent source of information, and they create streams of it on which sentiences can grow. These are the apus, which – now crowned as Christian saints – still inhabit the peaks and lakes of the Andes. Apus actively manage their communities for harmony. However, they may become greedy and so roboticise their villages, ultimately destroying them. Apus are connected by what the West would call ley lines, and so such parasitism can spread. As the book opens, just such an infestation is spreading.
Well, so much for the plot engine. How does one convey this in approachable text? As is said of the mating of hedgehogs, slowly and with care. As ever, the writer has three things to establish: the mise en scène, the plot engine and a narrative with which to grip the reader. All of that has to be done quickly, then enriched by iteration. We open, therefore, with a sacrifice on a pyramid, located in a desert complex that comprises a modest mountain range of these. A group of elderly people make an arduous pilgrimage in order to have their throats cut at dawn, and are happy for the privilege. The pyramid complex is, however, the home to a major apu which survives through such deaths. It manages a complex priesthood which ensures this flow. In the next chapter, we learn that this ancient apu is also under threat from the parasite. It may be subsumed, or its flow of pilgrim-fodder may be choked off.
The book is in three sections. The first of these tracks the catastrophic consequences of this confrontation, and in parallel brings a broad familiarity with the cosmology. The second introduces the main plot and characters. It follows the ascent of a naïve girl to her pivotal role in the resolution of the parasite’s threat. Those who recruit and use her are, however, overcome the third section, which follows the chaotic events leading to the settlement of Cuzco. The first section is a series of squibs, therefore, but the second and third sections rest on a coherent narrative drive.
The Dark Sun, Bright Moon web site is at http://www.DarkSunBrightMoon.com
Title: Dark Sun, Bright Moon
Author: Oliver Sparrow
Chapter 1: A Small Sacrifice at Pachacamac
A priest knelt before her, a feather from his head-dress tickling her face. His musky odour of old incense and stale blood was rank, even here on the windy summit of the pyramid. Four other priests held her body tipped slightly forwards, and the pressure that this put on her tired old joints hurt far more than the fine, cold bite of the knife at her neck. Quick blood ran thick down her chin and splashed into the waiting bowl. Then the flow weakened, the strength went out of her and she died, content.
Seven elderly pilgrims had set out for Pachacamac, following their familiar river down to the coast and then trudging North through the desert sands. Two of the very oldest of them needed to be carried in litters, but most were able to walk with no more than a stick to help them in the sand. Lesser members of the community had been delegated to carry what was necessary. These would return home. The elderly would not.
The better-regarded families of the town were expected to die as was proper, sacrificed at the Pachacamac shrine for the betterment of the community. Such was to be their last contribution of ayni, of the reciprocity that assured communal harmony and health. It was also their guarantee of a smooth return to the community’s soul, to the deep, impersonal structure from which they had sprung at birth.
The Pachacamac complex appeared to them quite suddenly from amongst the coastal dunes. They paused to marvel at its mountain range of pyramids, its teeming myriad of ancient and holy shrines.
Over the millennia, one particular pyramid had come to process all of the pilgrims who came from their valley. They were duly welcomed, and guards resplendent in bronze and shining leather took them safely to its precinct.
They had been expected. The priests were kind, welcoming them with food and drink, helping the infirm, leading them all by easy stages up to the second-but-last tier in their great, ancient pyramid. The full extent of the meandering ancient shrine unveiled itself like a revelation as they climbed. Then, as whatever had been mixed with their meal took its effect, they were wrapped up snug in blankets and set to doze in the late evening sun, propped together against the warm, rough walls of the mud-brick pyramid. Their dreams were vivid, extraordinary, full of weight and meaning.
The group was woken before dawn, all of them muzzily happy, shriven of all their past cares, benignly numb. Reassuring priests helped them gently up the stairs to the very top tier. In the predawn light, the stepped pyramids of Pachacamac stood sacred and aloof in an ocean of mist.
Each pilgrim approached their death with confidence. A quick little discomfort would take them back to the very heart of the community from which they had been born. They had been separated from it by the act of birth, each sudden individual scattered about like little seed potatoes. Now, ripe and fruitful, they were about to return home, safely gathered back into the community store. It was to be a completion, a circle fully joined. Hundreds of conch horns brayed out across Pachacamac as the dawn sun glittered over the distant mountains. Seven elderly lives drained silently away as the mist below turned pink.
“Dark Sun, Bright Moon describes people isolated in the Andes, without the least notion of outsiders. They evolve an understanding of the universe that is complementary to our own but a great deal wider. The book explores events of a thousand years ago, events which fit with what we know of the region’s history,” says Sparrow.
In the Andes of a thousand years ago, the Huari empire is sick. Its communities are being eaten from within by a plague, a contagion that is not of the body but of something far deeper, a plague that has taken their collective spirit. Rooting out this parasite is a task that is laid upon Q’ilyasisa, a young woman from an obscure little village on the forgotten borders of the Huari empire.
This impossible mission is imposed on her by a vast mind, a sentience that has ambitions to shape all human life. Her response to this entails confrontations on sacrificial pyramids, long journeys through the Amazonian jungle and the establishment of not just one but two new empires. Her legacy shapes future Andean civilization for the next four hundred years, until the arrival of the Spanish.
Dark Sun, Bright Moon takes the reader on a fascinating adventure that includes human sacrifice, communities eaten from within, a vast mind blazing under the mud of Lake Titicaca, and the rise and fall of empires cruel and kind.
About the Author:
Oliver Sparrow was born in the Bahamas, raised in Africa and educated at Oxford to post-doctorate level, as a biologist with a strong line in computer science. He spent the majority of his working life with Shell, the oil company, which took him into the Peruvian jungle for the first time. He was a director at the Royal Institute for International Affairs, Chatham House for five years. He has started numerous companies, one of them in Peru, which mines for gold. This organisation funded a program of photographing the more accessible parts of Peru, and the results can be seen at http://www.all-peru.info. Oliver knows modern Peru very well, and has visited all of the physical sites that are described in his book Dark Sun, Bright Moon.
To learn more, go to http://www.darksunbrightmoon.com/
Please welcome Book Publishing Services and Natalie Scott to Moonbeams over Atlanta! See the end of the post for a giveaway opportunity.
Title: Becoming Famous
Author: Natalie Scott
Series: Sequel to Rules for Riders
Published: August 22, 2015
Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Perfect Bound Marketing
My name is Bebe Barkley. I’ve never released a sex tape. I’ve I’m not America’s Next Top Model. I didn’t get pregnant at sixteen and I’ve never auditioned for American Idol. In fact I’m holed up at the Waldorf totally depressed. But, even though I don’t know it yet, I’m about to become famous. This is my story and how it all went down.
Let’s face it: At the moment I’m a hot mess. How do I know this? I haven’t showered or gotten out of bed for three days. I’ve been watching reruns of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and a lifetime marathon about women who kill. I know how they feel. Thank God for room service or I would’ve starved to death by now!
In order to figure out my screwed up life, my mother’s best friend Georgie is letting me use her suite while she’s in London. But without her here getting on my case, and her eccentric husband Harry walking around half-naked, it just doesn’t seem like home.
I guess the best thing about modern technology is that you don’t actually have to talk to anyone. Unfortunately, the worst thing about modern technology is that you don’t actually have to talk to anyone! I’m so damn lonely I could cry. Still, I keep texting everyone back home, telling them I’m just fine.
My life wasn’t always like this. I was a champion equestrian rider with a bright future, before tragedy struck. If only they hadn’t shot king—things might have turned out differently. He was my horse, and I loved him more than life itself. I don’t know how to move forward, but I can’t go back.
Thinking about it, I can’t breathe. I feel like I’m having a major anxiety attack. Maybe I need to go outside and get some air. I throw on a white tank and some jeans. I’m about to leave when a card falls out of my pocket.
The last time I was in New York, I met this hairdresser, Antonio. Thank god for small mercies—his number’s still in the pocket of my jeans. After I’m fully dressed, I walk outside, pull out my cell phone and call him.
It goes straight to voicemail, story of my life! But as I start walking, my cell phone rings.
“Hey there,” Antonio says, “who is this?”
“Hi, it’s Bebe,” I say. “Remember me? Georgie Astor’s friend?”
“Hey sweetie! How are you? What can I do for you?”
“I’m holed up at the Waldorf and Georgie’s gone back to London. I don’t know what to do with myself.
“Oh my God! White girl problems! You know what, doll? You’re probably just lonely! You need some company.”
“Hey Antonio?” I ask, “I was wondering—do you know if anyone needs a roommate?”
“Well, I’d let you stay with me, but I have this really jealous boyfriend. You know how that goes.”
I smile to myself. “Only too well.”
“Wait a minute,” he says, “I have an idea. I finish work at around six tonight. Can you meet me?”
I laugh. “Let me check my hectic schedule. Sure!”
“Girl, you’re so crazy!” he says. “I’m not working at the salon on Fifth Avenue anymore. I’m at Frederick Fekkai in Soho between Bloom and Spring.”
“No worries, I’ll Google it!”
I meet Antonio at the salon at six o’clock on the dot. I’d forgotten how handsome he is. He looks like a coffee-colored genie from the Mr. Clean commercial.
“So, where are you taking me?” I ask.
“It’s a surprise!” he says, smiling. “You’ll see.”
We walk a few blocks till we reach the building. I flashback to the party with Georgie and the night I’d met Luis—my drug-dealer ex-boyfriend who convinced me to go to Puerto Rico and then tried to kill me. God, my life sucks!
Antonio looks concerned. “Are you okay, Sweetie?”
“I’m fine,” I say, trying to feign enthusiasm.
“Well, come on then, girl! You’ll love Blue. Everybody does.”
We take the elevator to the top floor. The door’s open, so we walk in. Immediately, I’m assaulted by the beautiful paintings displayed on the wall. The last time I met Blue I fainted. How embarrassing! Today, he has his back to us while he furiously works on a large white canvas in the middle of the living room.
“Hey Blue, we’re here!” he calls out.
When Blue turns around, I’m once again facing the spitting image of my dead brother. Except he smiles at me this time—the kind of smile that lights up a room. It’s both comforting and disturbing—my brother hardly ever smiled.
“Hi,” he says, walking over, “Blue Benson. We met briefly at my party just before you passed out.”
“Oh my God I’m sorry,” I say, averting my eyes. “It’s just that you remind me of someone I used to know.”
Antonio cuts in, taking charge of the situation as usual.
“Bebe’s looking for a place to stay; I instantly thought of you.”
“That’s great,” Blue says. “I’ve got plenty of room. Stay as long as you like.”
“Just like that?” I ask.
“Just like that,” he says.
Bebe Barkley has never released a sex tape. She’s not America’s Next Top Model. She didn’t get pregnant at 16, and has never auditioned for American Idol. In fact, she’s holed up in a hotel room at the Waldorf in New York City, totally depressed. She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s about to become famous. A former equestrian rider, Bebe had a bright future until a tragic accident changed everything. Now she’s unable to return to her old life, yet incapable of moving forward.
Follow her as she ventures from New York to LA, the City of Broken Dreams, where she will find everything she’s ever wanted, only to risk losing the things she truly loves. Join Bebe in her heart-stopping journey in Becoming Famous.
About the Author:
Natalie Scott enjoys writing young adult contemporary romance novels. She published her debut novel Rules for Riders in August 2014. Rules for Riders is a fast paced coming-of-age novel set in the competitive world of equestrian riding. Becoming Famous, the long anticipated sequel to Rules for Riders, was released in July 2015.
Natalie is originally from Australia and has lived in New York and Los Angeles. She currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.
To learn more, go to http://www.nataliescott.com/
One Amazon/Kindle ebook of Becoming Famous.
Contest ends 1/20/2016 at 11:59 EST. Please provide an email address for your Amazon account in the comments of this post only. Random.org will pick the winner. I will email/post on the blog within 48 hours of the end of the contest.
Title: Indigo Road
Author: R.J. Jones
Genre: New Adult, Gay Romance, Contemporary
Cover artist: Meredith Russell
Two best friends take a year off to find themselves… and end up finding each other.
Joshua Simpson has just finished four years at Purdue University, but that’s not why he’s buzzing with excitement. Once they’ve said goodbye to their families, Josh and his best friend Alex are taking off to discover America in an old but reliable VW van, planning on not seeing snow for an entire year.
Josh has always considered himself straight—except for that one time in college—so when he and Alex are living in such close proximity on the road, he’s unsure what these new feelings mean. Is it because they’re spending 24/7 together, or is it something deeper? And does it really matter since Josh has only ever seen Alex with women?
While in Oregon, Josh meets Johnno, a sexy but confusing Aussie surfer. While having an impromptu surfing lesson, Johnno helps Josh realize who he is and what he wants—but Alex’s reaction leaves Josh confused.
From a Montana ranch to the bright lights and dangerous streets of Los Angeles to a dark and lonely deserted highway in Alabama, join Josh and Alex as they drive around the US, discovering not only who they are, but who they can be together.
“Johnno kissed me. I didn’t instigate it but I didn’t push him away either, at least not to begin with. And…” I hurried on, needing to tell him everything. “And I’m glad he did. I’m glad he kissed me. He made me realize that kissing a guy wasn’t as weird as I thought it would be. It was right, but wrong at the same time. Kissing a guy was right, but not him. He wasn’t right.”
I searched Alex’s eyes, hoping he understood. He looked drained, emotionally wrung out, but there was a tiny spark of hope in his gaze. I stepped closer, bringing our bodies in line until I could feel his warmth seep into my bones. I stood on tiptoe and leaned forward slightly, our mouths just an inch apart. Alex’s lips parted on a breath, but he didn’t close the gap. If I wanted to kiss him, I had to make the effort. He wasn’t going to meet me halfway.
Closing my eyes, I brushed my lips gently over his. They were softer than I remembered from my fever-induced haze but just as sweet. Our mouths moved together hesitantly, testing. Did Alex still want this? Did he want me to kiss him after I’d just kissed Johnno? God help me if he didn’t, because this was right. Alex’s mouth on mine, my hands on his skin, was right.
I removed my hands from his shirt, intending to break apart so I could see his reaction, but just as I was about to move, Alex brought his arms around me, holding me prisoner. He tilted his head and deepened the kiss. I had no choice but to open for him as he explored my mouth, and I melted against him, my hands circling his waist. Our lips and tongues tangled together as we discovered a side of each other we’d never known before. Alex kissed with a passion I hadn’t suspected he possessed. This kiss wasn’t at all like the one I shared with the strange Australian. This kiss was filled with possibilities, with plans for the future, and it lasted for what seemed like an eternity.
This kiss was right.
The need for oxygen was the only reason we broke apart, albeit reluctantly. Alex rested his forehead against mine as we caught our breath and it mingled in the small space between us.
In the distance I could hear hollering, and I looked toward the dunes, wondering what it was. Johnno was standing on the top of a dune, cheering. I waved, wrapping my other arm around Alex and resting my head against his shoulder.
Johnno gave us a final cheer and a wave before jumping down the other side of the sand, disappearing.
“I should thank him, you think?” Alex asked, nodding in the direction that Johnno had stood.
“I would’ve kissed you eventually, but yeah, he just made me do it sooner.”
Prizes: 1 ecopy of Indigo Road; 1 ecopy of any RJ Jones’ backlist titles, winner’s choice
R.J. Jones started as a reader and eventually made the progression to reviewing. It wasn’t until two men popped into her thoughts, insisting on telling her their story that she started to write.
It started with one scene. A hot and dirty one in the shower…
R.J.’s initial thought was if she could write their scene then they’d shut up and allow her to concentrate on other aspects of her day. Not so. That shower scene ended up being 3000 words long and three hours of work. And still, they didn’t shut up. They told her their entire story and she didn’t sleep for days. Sometimes she couldn’t keep up with what they were telling her and she had to keep a notebook by her bed.
Whilst she was writing their story a side character decided he needed his story told too. Then other characters followed suit.
You see the problem? If she ever wants to sleep again then she needs to write.
R.J. is a wife and a mother to two boys. She is surrounded by males. Even her dog is a boy.
R.J. Jones can be found at:
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