#BlogTour: Migration, QSF’s 5th Annual #FlashFiction Anthology by multiple authors #LGBTQ #SciFi #Fantasy #Paranormal #contest

Please welcome to Moonbeams over Atlanta, the return of the annual Queer Sci Fi’s (5th) Flash Fiction Anthology published today in eBook or Paperback. For the fifth year in a row, I have a story published in it. *smile* Note the chance to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway below.

Migration

Queer Sci Fi has just released the annual QSF Flash Fiction anthology. This year, the theme is “Migration.”

MI-GRA-TION (noun)

1) Seasonal movement of animals from one region to another.

2) Movement of people to a new area or country in order to find work or better living conditions.

3) Movement from one part of something to another.

Three definitions to inspire writers around the world and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell. Here are 120 of our favorites.

Migration features 300 word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum, from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

Other Worlds Ink | Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads


Giveaway

Queer Sci Fi is giving away a $20 gift Amazon certificate with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Excerpt

Migration meme

Each year, hundreds of writers send in stories for the Queer Sci Fi flash fiction anthology. Here are the opening lines from some of the stories chosen for the 2019 edition – Migration:

“Darkness has substance. It is tangible; different shades within the black, sounds, a taste. It is accompanied by self-awareness of time and thoughts, even when other senses fail.” —Hope for Charity, by Robyn Walker

“The sky has been screaming for five straight days when the shrimps come to take us away. They’ve been boxing up the others and hauling them off. Now they’re here for us, soaking wet, dragging cords and crates behind them.” —Shrimpanzee, Sionnain Bailey

“Allister always had faultless hair. He’d comb and gel it to perfection while gazing in the mirror. One day a pair of eyes stared back.” —Zulu Finds a Home, by Kevin Klehr

“On her sister’s wedding day Ari noticed that one of her ears had migrated to her hand. It was right after her high school crush, Emily, arrived with Cousin Matt.” —Playing It By Ear, Aidee Ladnier

“The wound was fatal. Their vessel wouldn’t live much longer. This is what came from leaving loose ends. Frantically they sought out a new vessel to migrate to. “ —The Essence, by L.M. Brown

“That night, we were sitting in the bed of her daddy’s old pickup truck and the radio was playing the best song. We had a pack of cigarettes between us and her hand was almost touching mine. The wheat field was silver in the moonlight. When they came, we weren’t surprised, just disappointed that our time was up already.” —Our Song, by Lauren Ring

“Willow said she was my wife, but I knew it wasn’t her, not the right her, anyway. Sure she looked like her with olive skin and bright pink hair. She even smelled of mango flowers, just like I remembered, but there was something about her smile that was slightly off, something about when she said she loved me that didn’t sit well in my old heart.” — They Said It Would Be Her, by Elizabeth Andre

“Agnes is eight when she first sees the river. Cutting its way through town, the only thing she knows not coated in coal dust. She sticks her toes in, comes home with wet socks and a secret. See, the river hadn’t been there yesterday.” —Stream of Consciousness, by Ziggy Schutz

“Terry twirled in her green synthsilk dress, looked at her reflection, liked what she saw. She felt good in her own skin, for maybe the first time.” —Altball, by RE Andeen

“The thing was in the corner. It had come through the window and had slid down the wall. Scratch went the sound. The noise of a hundred nails clawing at the wood. Nails of white bone. Alex pulled the sheets up quickly, covering every inch of skin and hair in a warm darkness.” —Whose Nightmare, by Jamie Bonomi


Author Bio

AUTHORBIO

A hundred and twenty authors are included in Migration:

  • Butterflies, by A O’Donovan
  • The Return, by A.M. Leibowitz
  • A New Spring, by Aaron Silver
  • Universal Quota, by Abby Bartle
  • The Call of Home, by Adrienne Wilder
  • Starfall, by Adrik Kemp
  • Playing it By Ear, by Aidee Ladnier
  • Rabbit, by Amanda Thomas
  • That Does Not Love…, by Andi Deacon
  • Inborn, by Andrea Speed
  • Saving Ostakis, by Angelica Primm
  • A Dawn Wish, by Antonia Aquilante
  • Diaspora, by Ariel E. James
  • Transmigration, by Ashby Danvers
  • Across the Mirror, by Ava Kelly
  • Between, by BE Allatt
  • The Speck, by Bey Deckard
  • The King of the Mountain Cometh, by Bob Goddard
  • Before and After, by C. A. Chesse
  • Home, by C.A. McDonald
  • Too Much Tech, by C.L. Mannarino
  • Ze Who Walks Into the Future, by Carey Ford Compton
  • The Gate, by Carol Holland March
  • Our Last Light Skip, by Chloe Spencer
  • Passage, by Christine Taylor-Butler
  • The Perils of Pick-Up Lines, by Colton Aalto
  • Parched, by Crysta K. Coburn
  • Changeling Dreams, by Damian Serbu
  • Destinations, by Dave Creek
  • Another Job, Another Planet, by David Viner
  • Thiefmaster Rosalind’s Apprentice, by Devon Widmer
  • A Weight Off Their Shoulders, by Diane Morrison
  • Once a Year, by Dianne Hartsock
  • Mettle, by Die BoothForever Bound, by E.W. Murks
  • They Said It Would Be Her, by Elizabeth Andre
  • Til Death Do Us Part, by Elizabeth Anglin
  • Little One, by Eloreen Moon
  • GBFN, by Emilia Agrafojo
  • The Long Distance Thing, by Ether Nepenthes
  • Call My People Home, by Evelyn Benvie
  • Jace vs. the Incubi, by Eytan Bernstein
  • A New Tradition, by Foster Bridget Cassidy
  • The Curious Cabinet, by Ginger Streusel
  • Ready, by Hank Edwards
  • The Albatrosses, by Harry F. Rey
  • A Boy’s Shadow, by Helen De Cruz
  • Portrait of a Lady, by Isobel Granby
  • Beam That Is In, by J. Comer
  • The Hunt, by J. R. Frontera
  • Repeating History, by J. Summerset
  • Neil’s Journey, by J.P. Bowie
  • Homeward Bound, by J.S. Garner
  • Whose Nightmare?, by Jamie Bonomi
  • A Moment of Bravery, by Jessie Pinkham
  • Laetus, by Jet Lupin
  • Where You Go, I’ll Follow, by Joe Baumann
  • Ambrose Out of Ash, by Jonathan Fesmire
  • Shooting Modes, by Joshua Darrow
  • TerrorForm, by Juam Jocom
  • The Curse, by Jude Reid
  • Throwing Eggs, by K E Olukoya
  • Fly, by Kayleigh Sky
  • The Keep, by KC Burn
  • Zulu Finds a Home, by Kevin Klehr
  • The Risks and Advantages of Data Migration, by Kim Fielding
  • Irreversible, by kim gryphon
  • Looner, by Krishan Coupland
  • The Essence, by L.M. Brown
  • Our Song, by Lauren Ring
  • O Human Child, by Lisa Hamill
  • Goodbye Marghretta, by Lou Sylvre
  • Choices, by LV Lloyd
  • Endangered Species, by M Joseph Murphy
  • Planet Retro, Unplugged, by M. X. Kelly
  • Elemental, by M.D. Grimm
  • To Wish on a Love Knot, by Margaret McGaffey Fisk
  • Firebirds, by Marita M. Connor
  • Breeding Season, by Mary Newman
  • Kooks at Home, by Matt McHugh
  • Spring, by Mere Rain
  • Into the South, by Mindy Leana Shuman
  • Not How We Planned It, by Minerva Cerridwen
  • What Is Left Behind, by Monique Cuillerier
  • How Far Would You Go for the One You Love?, by Nathan Alling Long
  • Innocence, by Nathaniel Taff
  • Heart and Soul, by Nils Odlund
  • Tides, by Patricia Scott
  • Killer Queen, by Paula McGrath
  • Genesis, by Pelaam
  • If Pigs Could Fly, by Penelope Friday
  • Click, by R R Angell
  • Be Kind to Strangers, by Raina Lorring
  • Altball, by RE Andeen
  • Far From Home, by Riley S. Keene
  • Hope for Charity, by Robyn Walker
  • Night Comes to the Bea Arthur, by Rory Ni Coileáin
  • MIG Ration, by S R Jones
  • Going Back, by Sacchi Green
  • World Behind and Home Ahead, by Sara Testarossa
  • The Call of the Suet, by Sarah Hadley Brook
  • Research & Development, by Shaina Phillips
  • Into the Void, by Shannon Brady
  • The Silkie’s Dance, by Shannon West
  • Seal Hunt, by Shirley Meier
  • Shrimpanzee FIRST IN BOOK, by Sionnain Bailey
  • The Woman With No Name, by Siri Paulson
  • Memories of Clay, by Spencer Mann
  • Simulacrum, by Steve Carr
  • The Experience, by Steve Fuson
  • Flight, by Steven Harper
  • Birds of New Atlantis, by Stewart C Baker
  • Lurching Forward, by Sydney Blackburn
  • Spores of Retribution, by Tray Ellis
  • Skin Hunger, by Treasure Nguyen
  • Elvira, by Trevor Barton
  • Ever After, by Warren Rochelle
  • Into the Light, by Wart Hill
  • Dryads, by X Marduk
  • Stream of Consciousness, by Ziggy Schutz

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I’m Published! Thrice! Three Anthologies by Multiple Authors #PreOrder #PersonsOfColor #Romance #LGBT #NewRelease #GAEmergingWriters #SciFi #Fantasy

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*****Beautiful Skin: A People of Color Anthology*****
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So, Amazon came through and provided a preorder link. Really fast. See link below the Preorder image. In addition, I got notified that Z Publishing House released the Georgia Emerging Writers Anthology I mentioned earlier this year. That link is below the cover for it. 😀 It’s a paperback so it’s a bit more expensive but you get to see all kinds of other stories. They are all short, less than 1250 words each. While building this post (over the course of several hours because of other things), I found out that a third anthology recently released that has my 300 word flash fiction in it. Impact: Queer Sci Fi’s Fifth Annual Flash Fiction Contest. Whoa. Things just real, really fast. 🙂

So, readers. I’m an officially published author with multiple publications under my belt. How did that happen? A lot of work. Thank you Emmy, the POC FB Group, J. Scott Coatsworth

Release date: 8/23/18

Buy Links: Books2Read: Amazon | Smile Amazon

There will be a Paperback version for those that want a physical copy. I’ll update when that is live.

Add this wonderfully diverse anthology to your Goodreads TBR list today, because you won’t want to miss it when it releases!!

Link to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41067383-beautiful-skin

If you are a blogger or supporter (you don’t have to have a blog to join), please sign up at our Release Blitz form below:

https://goo.gl/forms/cLFVvbqchEPmJ28B2

A few days before the release date, you will get an email with a kit for the Blitz

And thank you! Continue on to see the second anthology. 😉

 

*•.¸(`*•.¸(`*•.¸★¸.•*´)¸.•*´)¸.•*´
*****Georgia Emerging Writers: An Anthology of Fiction*****
¸.•*´(¸.•*´(¸.•*´★`*•.¸)`*•.¸)`*•.¸

 

So, I was invited to join this anthology by the publisher, Z Publishing House, way back in May. I was able to pick and submit 5 options, on my birthday no less. A month later, they’d picked one! The Lotto Ticket was a submission I did to a Fantasy and Science Fiction Flash Fiction contest that would turn your 500 word submission into a podcast. Well, I didn’t make it past the first round, and it had been languishing since. I did a few edits but basically left it the way it was written and near the 500 words. I liked the story a lot for being so short. This is a paperback but you do get to see other emerging writers from the lovely state of Georgia that I call home. They run the gamut of stories, and not just LGBTQ or even romance. I think you will like it.

 

Buy Links: Amazon | Smile Amazon | Z Publishing House

About Z Publishing House: 

Having begun as a blog in the fall of 2015, Z Publishing, LLC, soon transitioned into book publishing. This transition came in response to the major problem currently plaguing the publishing world: For writers, finding new readers can be tremendously difficult, and for readers, finding new talented authors with whom they identify is like searching for a needle in a haystack. With Z Publishing, no longer will anyone have to go about this process alone. By producing anthologies of multiple authors rather than single-author volumes, Z Publishing hopes to foster a community of readers and writers, bringing all sides of the industry closer together.

You can follow the growth of Z Publishing on Facebook here!

Website: https://www.zpublishinghouse.com/

 

*•.¸(`*•.¸(`*•.¸★¸.•*´)¸.•*´)¸.•*´
*****Impact: Queer Sci Fi’s Fifth Annual Flash Fiction Contest*****
¸.•*´(¸.•*´(¸.•*´★`*•.¸)`*•.¸)`*•.¸

 

And now for the third anthology that I just found out released July 26, 2018. It’s the Queer Sci Fi’s 5th annual Flash Fiction contest that I a contribution for the 4th year in a row. 🙂 I’m very proud of that. Without further adieu, here is Impact!

 

Buy Links: Amazon KindleBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboAngus & RobertsonGoodreads

Series Title: Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest

Position (Number) in Series: 4

Necessary to Read Previous Books: No

Other Books in Series Available for Review?: Yes

 

Warnings: This book contains 110 stories of 300 words or less each.

 

Book Blurb:

IM * PACT

(noun)

 

1) One object colliding with another

2) An impinging of something upon something else

3) An influence or effect on something or someone

4) The force of a new idea, concept, technology or ideology

Four definitions to inspire writers around the world, and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell, but only 110 made the final cut.

A difficult choice to be made. An object hurtling recklessly through space. A new invention that will change the world. So many things can impact a life, a society, or a planet.

Impact features 300 word speculative fiction ficlets from across the queer spectrum from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

Welcome to Impact.

 

Series Blurb:

It’s hard to tell a story in just 300 words. Each year we ask writers to take the challenge, turning in stories across the queer spectrum. The rules are simple. Write a complete sci fi, fantasy, paranormal or horror story, include LGBTIQA characters, and do it all with just 300 carefully chosen words.

 

Excerpt (Non-Exclusive):

 Since this book is composed of stories of no more than 300 words, we can’t really do a standard excerpt, so we’re offering you the teaser first lines from a number of stories.

“She’d needed new oil. She felt her joints grow stiff, her muscles grow tight, her follicles thickening. If she didn’t get fresh quarts soon, people she passed would start calling her sir, asking, Where’s your gun?” —Crossville Station, by Nathan Alling Long

“The mallet’s impact on the hard, bright disk shattered the silence in the talking chamber. The resulting deep tone reverberated through the vault, through Saskia, as she fidgeted beside her lover.” —Settled, by Aidee Ladnier

“This is how the world ends, or so they say. From where I’m standing, it simply looks like a rolling darkness as distant lights flicker and die.” —Visitors, by LJ Phillips

“’What have you done?’ The mechanical eyes came to rest on his face, the droning beep sounding loud in the small room.” —Identity and Change, by Jo Tannah

“’Once upon a world, we were the same,’ he said, lifting my hand to his lips; the ground shaking beneath us.” —Impact, by Jack Ladd

“I been a tinker and soothsayer long enough to know this country’s at the cusp of war. They stir up hate easy as breath. And, oh, it pains my soul to see it. “ —Impact of Intervention, by Patricia Scott

“All lives begin with a messy impact of some kind. The crash of zygotes and gametes. Splats of silica gel between cybernetic synapses. Two women slam into each other carrying full cups of coffee.” —Quintessence, by E.M. Hammill

“If I venture far enough into the house, I’ll find my closet.” —The Closet, by K.S. Trenten

“It touched Ligaya when she was a child. Or she touched it. A half-glimpsed shape under her bed.” Mas Mabuti An Answang, by Foster Bridget Cassidy

“Jam zipped down the neon track, feather-light in low gravity. She rocketed forward, a glowing haze in her starred helmet, and shot past the pack. “Space Jammer!” echoed as she neared the line. Time to rack up the points.” —First Bout: Andromedolls Vs. Crotch Rockets, by Ginger Streusel

About Queer Sci Fi:

At Queer Sci Fi, we’re building a community of sci fi, fantasy, paranormal and horror writers and readers who want a little rainbow in their speculative fiction. We run a great discussion group on Facebook, a twitter feed, and have a website full of useful materials, news, and announcements for readers and writers of queer speculative fiction.

WebsiteFacebook Discussion Group | Facebook PageTwitter

Jimmy’s Erotic Adventure in Time and Space Continuum by @periewolford #ReleaseDay #Amazon #SciFi #LGBT #Illustrated

Another new author in the Science Fiction/Gay arena. Please welcome Perie Wolford to Moonbeams over Atlanta. Today is release day for his new release Extraterrestrial Anthology.


Title: Jimmy’s Erotic Adventure In Time And Space Continuum (Episode 1)
Author: Perie Wolford
Length: 100 pages
Genre: Gay/SciFi

Release date: 11/16/2015

Blurb: 

Jimmy the time-traveler, while trying to solve a time-riddle his late father left for him, gets accidentally flung back in time, to the year 1871, the days of the Wild West, landing squarely in the middle of a valley of death. He stumbles into a pack of gun-toting rustlers, who capture him. To Jimmy’s luck though, the youngest of the rustlers, Kit Fisher, is not like the rest of his folks.

Book Trailers:

Links:

Goodreads | Amazon

 

newseries

Author Bio

Perie Wolford is an optioned and produced screenwriter and published author.perie

His first feature-film movie Dark Harvest The Movie was shot in California by Emerging Artist Productions in 2011 and is now in post-production.

Perie became a published author in 2014, with his debut novel PRESENCE. Following Presence was book 1 in SAM DORSEY series, which instantly sold over 5,000 copies. In 2015 Perie returned to science fiction with ENCOUNTER, a tribute to CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE 3RD KIND. His next sci-fi book LIGHTS is available as Kindle edition 10/12/2015.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads | StoryFinds | YouTube

 

Extraterrestrial Anthology by Perie Wolford #ReleaseDay #Amazon #SciFi #LGBT @periewolford

Another new author in the Science Fiction/Gay arena. Please welcome Perie Wolford to Moonbeams over Atlanta. Today is release day for his new release Extraterrestrial Anthology.


Title: Extraterrestrial Anthology
Author: Perie Wolford
Length: 315 pages
Genre: Gay/SciFi

Release date: 11/02/2015

Blurb: 

2 ALIEN ENCOUNTER STORIES IN 1 PACKAGE

ENCOUNTER
In an attempt to prove it to the world that crop circles are man-made and aliens don’t really exist, Ricky and his team of young enthusiasts (including one particular enthusiast, Josh, who is hopelessly in love with Ricky) start falsifying the phenomenon by creating their own crop circles. Their endeavors prove successful, pretty much so, but only until the day when Ricky sees his unique circle design replicated throughout the country by the force unknown.

LIGHTS
Coming home for summer break, two film school students, Bradley and Tag, decide to shoot a staged UFO encounter video, one that could potentially generate a lot of attention and a lot of clicks on YouTube. Unexpectedly for both of them, during the filming they accidentally discover a real alien presence in the dark waters near their coastal home town.

Book Trailers:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqaBDdJSZRg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7BJrRKCukI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X00sPZPgN-k
Links:

Goodreads | Amazon

 

Excerpt:

Another rifle shot resounded and the barking of dogs followed it. It sounded like the pack of Sullivan’s dogs was smaller now, probably two or three old raggedy bitches died since the last time the gang was here. Now only about three or four dogs were barking, but they were all Dobermans, vicious as hell. Even the three of them could rip a person to shreds, which was probably even worse than a gun shot.

Josh started moving towards where the guys were hiding, moving fast, but trying to keep as low as possible.

Yet another rifle shot ripped through the silence.

“I’m gonna make you regret you ever came here, freaks! Destroying my crops, do you think this is funny?” Sullivan shouted, raging against the stupid youth. This time he was probably right. Coming here was indeed a stupid idea. Everyone on the team knew it, but they went along with it for the cause and because Ricky’s unusual determination made them believe that they could probably make it this time. They sure were wrong.

“Do you think it’s a game?” he shouted again.

Josh made it to where Emily and Ricky were sitting. He joined them, but that was probably pointless; together or apart, they were screwed all the same.

“Shit, guys! Shit!” Josh whispered, distinctly hearing the rustle of dogs running through the wheat somewhere not far away from here really, really not far away.

Ricky commanded in a loud whisper, “Keep quiet!”

Author Bio

Perie Wolford is an optioned and produced screenwriter and published author.perie

His first feature-film movie Dark Harvest The Movie was shot in California by Emerging Artist Productions in 2011 and is now in post-production.

Perie became a published author in 2014, with his debut novel PRESENCE. Following Presence was book 1 in SAM DORSEY series, which instantly sold over 5,000 copies. In 2015 Perie returned to science fiction with ENCOUNTER, a tribute to CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE 3RD KIND. His next sci-fi book LIGHTS is available as Kindle edition 10/12/2015.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads | StoryFinds | YouTube

 

5 Star #Review ‘D.N.A.’ by Alex Hurst #ScienceFiction #Amazon

Here is the review I promised from the release day post. I’m slowly catching up on my reviews. 🙂 Blurb, purchase information, and author info at the end of the review.

 

The Review:

5 Stars

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So, I ran across this from the author requesting blog space.  It was intriguing because of the “science” for a full-skin transplant that involves nanonites and synthetic tissue, resulting in a little bit more than expected when Alta, the main character, was given technology to save her life.  It’s short and has funny parts, and makes you want to read the rest. The illustrations are wonderful and I can’t wait to see more of them as well. D.N.A is a little different in that it’s an illustrated story and not a comic. You don’t see that everyday. It does read a little bit like a comic–I like that, but it doesn’t distract from the words or the illustrations. I read it on my Nook Color, just fine.

Alta has a symbiotic relationship with the AI, called Digital Nanocell Accelerator, or D.N.A, for short, that controls her nanoCell skin. She is elevated to an almost superhero power of a Chameleon. It’s an unique way for someone to gain paranormal capabilities. Definitely a must read for the Science Fiction fan. While there was not romance in this story, there were hints that there might be some in future installments. It was still fun to read, and look forward to more.

With this, I give D.N.A. 5 stars.

Eloreen

DNABlurb: 

The story chronicles the adventures of Alta Williams, a woman of a future where genetics dictate quality of life and scientific discovery advances at an inconceivable rate. Alta is known to the media as the Human Doll, the first successful case of a full nanoCell organ transplant.

Alta appreciates the technology around her: without it, a chemical fire would have killed her in her early twenties. Though the fire destroyed her extracellular matrix, scientists from the medical behemoth nanoTech were able to replace her ruined skin with their patented nanoCell material, giving her a second lease on life.

However, with nanotechnology now advanced enough to alter the human genome, and a company determined to capitalize – and control – the endeavor, it is up to Alta to expose their plans.

And she’s not alone.

Helping her every step of the way is D.N.A., the Digital Nanocell Accelerator, a self-learning computer program charged with telling synthetic cells which tissue they should build. D.N.A. fuses with Alta’s fully-synthetic skin and convinces her to fight against those who would otherwise oppress society as she knows it.

Of course, it helps that D.N.A. can change the genetic makeup of Alta’s skin at will, gifting her with the characteristics of any living recorded in the Genome Project. With the world’s genetic code at her whim, Alta has the power to overcome anything…

…but at what cost to her humanity?

**Please note that this is a novella with illustrations, not a comic or full-length novel**

Buy Link: Amazon

Title: D.N.A.: Alta
Author: Alex Hurst, Illustrated: Kevin Nichols
Series: D.N.A. Book 1
Print Length: 24 pages (Novella)
Publisher: Bookmark Comics
Published Date: July 15, 2015
ASIN: B0101Y6Z9Y

Author Bio

fun_portrait

Alex Hurst writes primarily character-driven fantasy, in such sub-genres as urban, Gothic, uncanny, and regional fantasy. Sometimes, she dapples in science fiction, horror, and LGBT literature.

She was raised in the wilds of the south. Lightning storms and hurricanes created the playpens of her youth, and in the summers, she used to spend all of her time dodging horseflies in a golden river, catching fish and snakes with her bare hands, swinging from vines, and falling out of magnolia trees.

In the dawn of her adolescence, her family took her on a journey across the United States, from the white sands of Pensacola, FL, to the razor’s edge of the Hell’s Backbone in Utah. They finally landed in Marin, CA, where lotus eaters tried to make city folk out of them (but miserably failed.) She currently lives in Kyoto, Japan, working as a writer and dream-smith.

She also freelances as an editor for the Writers’ Anarchy anthology series, designs book interiors at Country Mouse Design, and admins on the Fiction Writers community on Facebook, assisting emerging writers.

Feel free to stay a while, leave a comment or send her an email. If you feel so inclined, you can also follow her on any of the links below.

 

Blog | Facebook | Google+ | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | LinkedIn | Flickr | DeviantArt | YouTube | StumbleUpon | B’ | RSS

D.N.A. by Alex Hurst #CoverReveal #ReleaseDay #Amazon #Contest

Welcome new fantasy/science fiction author (to me) Alex Hurst to Moonbeams over Atlanta! I was contacted by Alex regarding this illustrated, serial science fiction novella called D.N.A. and about futuristic world in which nanotech is the norm. An illustrated story about science fiction was not something I have review requests for normally. Intrigued, I read the blurb, liked the ideas, and that it’s short. So, I decided to review it, but it releases… today. 🙂 Two days notice for a review is a little tricky despite the fact that I do read fast. I offered to post a cover reveal and the author has provided a #giveaway of 10 Kindle codes (yes, 10)! Stay tuned for the review to post here in the near future.

Contest rules for the 10 Kindle codes are at the end of the post.

FB_Share_Image_DNA

DNABlurb: 

The story chronicles the adventures of Alta Williams, a woman of a future where genetics dictate quality of life and scientific discovery advances at an inconceivable rate. Alta is known to the media as the Human Doll, the first successful case of a full nanoCell organ transplant.

Alta appreciates the technology around her: without it, a chemical fire would have killed her in her early twenties. Though the fire destroyed her extracellular matrix, scientists from the medical behemoth nanoTech were able to replace her ruined skin with their patented nanoCell material, giving her a second lease on life.

However, with nanotechnology now advanced enough to alter the human genome, and a company determined to capitalize – and control – the endeavor, it is up to Alta to expose their plans.

And she’s not alone.

Helping her every step of the way is D.N.A., the Digital Nanocell Accelerator, a self-learning computer program charged with telling synthetic cells which tissue they should build. D.N.A. fuses with Alta’s fully-synthetic skin and convinces her to fight against those who would otherwise oppress society as she knows it.

Of course, it helps that D.N.A. can change the genetic makeup of Alta’s skin at will, gifting her with the characteristics of any living recorded in the Genome Project. With the world’s genetic code at her whim, Alta has the power to overcome anything…

…but at what cost to her humanity?

**Please note that this is a novella with illustrations, not a comic or full-length novel**

Buy Link: Amazon

Title: D.N.A.: Alta
Author: Alex Hurst, Illustrated: Kevin Nichols
Series: D.N.A. Book 1
Print Length: 24 pages (Novella)
Publisher: Bookmark Comics
Published Date: July 15, 2015
ASIN: B0101Y6Z9Y

Excerpt:

Alta’s hands couldn’t protect her face from the wild winds of the rooftop. The sharp, chilly gusts across the high-rise felt like tiny knives against her skin.

[Head to the eastern end of the building. The force of the winds will be blocked by the building’s mass.]

Talking about the risk of the wind didn’t make the prospect of sliding down the wall any more appealing, but she followed D.N.A.’s instructions. “There’s really no other option?”

Down below, Alta saw nothing but quiet streets. There were no police lights, no security vehicles. Of course, it was expected: nanoTech wouldn’t want the intruder caught publicly. There would be no telling what she’d heard; what she knew… should she be apprehended by law enforcement, a public

statement could follow. They needed to handle it internally. The thought made her shudder—how many times had nanoTech made a pest disappear in the past?

[I need you to focus, Alta. Uroplatus fimbriatus had reversed knuckles. That’s how they climbed walls.]

But I only have regular knuckles. What do you want me to do, break all of my fingers?

The length of silence that followed did nothing to ease Alta’s tension.

I was joking, D.

[Yes. Right.]

Did D.N.A. understand her fear? Did he recognize what he was asking of her? Maybe for him, her physical limitations were only an algorithm, her emotions an illogical outlier––for her, those very things were what made her human.

[I will adjust my program to be more responsive to emotional stimuli.]

Not particularly encouraging, D.

Shivering again, Alta clasped her arms across her breasts and looked over the edge of the eighty- story building. Vertigo settled deep in her gut and she jerked back, fighting the sensation that the whole building was lurching. I don’t know if I can do this, D.

Author Bio

fun_portrait

Alex Hurst writes primarily character-driven fantasy, in such sub-genres as urban, Gothic, uncanny, and regional fantasy. Sometimes, she dapples in science fiction, horror, and LGBT literature.

She was raised in the wilds of the south. Lightning storms and hurricanes created the playpens of her youth, and in the summers, she used to spend all of her time dodging horseflies in a golden river, catching fish and snakes with her bare hands, swinging from vines, and falling out of magnolia trees.

In the dawn of her adolescence, her family took her on a journey across the United States, from the white sands of Pensacola, FL, to the razor’s edge of the Hell’s Backbone in Utah. They finally landed in Marin, CA, where lotus eaters tried to make city folk out of them (but miserably failed.) She currently lives in Kyoto, Japan, working as a writer and dream-smith.

She also freelances as an editor for the Writers’ Anarchy anthology series, designs book interiors at Country Mouse Design, and admins on the Fiction Writers community on Facebook, assisting emerging writers.

Feel free to stay a while, leave a comment or send her an email. If you feel so inclined, you can also follow her on any of the links below.

 

Blog | Facebook | Google+ | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | LinkedIn | Flickr | DeviantArt | YouTube | StumbleUpon | B’ | RSS

10 Kindle/Amazon code Giveaway!

To Enter, comment on this post and the first 10 commentators will receive D.N.A for free via Amazon. If more than 10 unique commentators, then Moonbeams over Atlanta will use Random.org to pick the 10 winners. Contest ends 7/22/2015 11:59 PM EDT. Please provide email address with your comment where you would like to receive your prize, and the author will contact the winners directly.

 

@BitnBookPromote #BookTour: “Steampunk Carnival” by Cassandra Leuthold #Contest #Interview #Excerpt

 

 

STEAMPUNK CARNIVAL By Cassandra Leuthold

Genre: Science Fiction/ Steampunk

 

Katya Romanova gave up everything to work at the one-of-a-kind Steampunk Carnival – her family, her home, her reputation. She wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.As a guide to the guests, Katya enjoys more freedom than most. She makes time to gossip with her best friend, Magdalene.

She basks in the elaborate costumes that bring her awed attention, hoping they might also win her a husband. And no man pays her more attention than her boss and carnival owner, William Warden.

But in the summer of 1887, death threats against Mr. Warden break the spell. Katya knows he might be as underhanded as he is charming, but who would
actually want him dead?

When Katya finds unexpected evidence about the carnival’s true origins, the stakes jump even higher.

Not sure whom they can trust, Katya and Magdalene work to unravel the carnival’s mysteries. Who really invented the innovative rides?

Is Mr. Warden protecting his employees or only himself from the looming violence? And will Katya cling to the better side of his nature or eventually turn her affections for him into a powerful rivalry?


BOOK LINKS

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads


ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Cassandra Leuthold

Cassandra grew up in the small town of La Porte, Indiana, exploring wooded parks and sparkling lakes. Making South Bend her home, the scenery hasn’t changed much – inspiring trees and a long, winding river. From the time she started writing in second grade up to the projects she works on now, the nature, history, and people around her inspire the stories she tells. You can find her work listed under many different genres, but the heart of each story remains the same. What keeps us together, and what pulls us apart? She lives with her writer husband and their moody cat, Gaia, in a house three sizes too big. She holds a Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in English. When she’s not writing, you can find her sewing, enjoying nature, listening to music, researching family history, and watching TV.

 

 


EXCERPT

With a gentle lurch, the car rose into the air. Katya grabbed hold of the partitions between the seats, her knuckles bumping the hand of the guest on her left, who had also grabbed for it. Maddox did not reach for a stronghold. His mouth twisted in amusement, watching Katya seek security as everything that held her ascended ten, twenty, thirty feet.

The climb proved gradual and effortless. Once Katya began to relax, she realized how far she could see. The lamplights of the carnival looked beautiful and elegant below them. The slight flickering of the burning gas gleamed off the metal structures throughout the carnival. It lost itself in the velvet of patron jackets and glimmered off their silks. It flashed across buckles on top hats and shoes. It lit up gold and silver jewelry.

Katya could barely breathe. She almost forgot how nervous she had been moments before. The car reached the top of the tower and stopped there, offering its occupants a rare view at the world around them. Katya stared down at the carnival, trying to pick out the details of the band playing in the center of it all. The massive Beast behind it still intimidated, but from this height, Katya marveled in the majesty of its design.

The car shuddered and lowered itself, detaching from its part of the sky. The other occupants chattered to each other excitedly, but Katya could barely form thoughts in her head.

“What do you think?” Maddox asked her.

Katya recited the first thing that came to mind. “The ride lasts for three cycles.” She admonished herself for relying on the only words she knew about the carnival and gave in to sharing Maddox’s enthusiasm. “It’s thrilling.”

The car paused briefly at the bottom before lifting again. Each time it rose, Katya focused on a different part of the carnival. She looked across to the other side, where the Kaleidoscope competed against the game stalls and the Cannon for popularity. It really did shift like a kaleidoscope from this height, the colors of the booths smearing in her vision as they rotated. She looked past Maddox to the El and the food stall beyond it. Magdalene would be handing out cinnamon-sugar desserts and sausages on buns, but Katya was riding the carnival they had staked their lives on. She was riding the dream Brady had worked on years ago. She doubted even he had been able to enjoy it.

The car rested on the ground and stayed there. The operator made his rounds again, helping the patrons get unbuckled and return to their feet. He directed them to an exit gate in the fence. Katya and Maddox filed out with the others to the common grounds of the carnival.

“Where to next?” Maddox prompted.

Katya’s heart pounded with the possibilities. “The coaster.”

“The big one?”

“No, I don’t think I’ll ever be brave enough for that.” Katya watched the Beast’s cars roar high above them. “The smaller one here.”

Katya linked her hand around Maddox’s arm, and they walked to the nearby El. Maddox repeated Katya’s lie to the ticket taker. “Mr. Warden wants us to make sure the coaster’s operating properly.”

The man hurried them past, offering a more courteous front to the waiting customers. “You’ll all have a turn, I assure you. Just a routine inspection.”

Another operator stood a few feet inside the fence, and he motioned for Katya and Maddox to stop where they were. They watched the coaster cars slide and weave their way along the track. A minute later, they slowed into loading position on the platform. The operator stepped over to help the guests out, and once they left the platform, his flexing fingers invited Katya and Maddox toward him. He buckled them into the front seat of the first car.

“Are you nervous now?” Maddox whispered into Katya’s ear.

Katya nodded, but she felt the rush of anticipation filling her chest. “It’s not too fast, is it?”

“You should know.”

“I don’t know. I can’t think of anything except how fun this is.”

The operator filled the remaining seats in the connected cars. With a signal to the ticket taker and the man Katya could not see who ran the switches, the cars jerked forward. This time, Katya and Maddox both reached for the metal grab bar in front of them. A mechanism in the track pulled the train of cars up the initial slope. The passengers behind Katya and Maddox murmured with apprehension and breathed audibly, awaiting the first of many drops.

The train rose steadily, taking its passengers up to a short plateau. Within seconds, the cars slid down, lifting Katya’s stomach into the top of her chest. She let out a shriek amidst the screams and shouts behind her. The train twisted to the left, curving to parallel the outer fence of the carnival. It rose a short distance and fell again, racing its passengers lower toward the ground. A second mechanism pulled the cars even higher than before.

In one graceful motion, the cars slipped down the next slope of track, curving away from the back of the grounds. They dipped down beside the side stage, where Katya could not tell what contest was taking place. The cars sped along, turning left only to bend back to the right. The track led them down beneath the iron structure and returned them safely to the platform.

Katya barely had time to catch her breath before the ride operator unbuckled her belt. She walked with Maddox to the exit gate, where a small wooden sign bore the words Thank You in painted, curling letters.

Copyright © Cassandra Leuthold

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

  1. What is the best comment that a readers has given you?

 

I’ve gotten great support from a lot of people that keeps me going when the work gets tough.  One of the best things a reader told me recently was in a voice mail my mother-in-law left me when she finished my novel, XZA.  She said it was awesome and now that she knew the ending, she wanted to reread the whole book to enjoy it even more.  That’s a high compliment, creating a book readers want to revisit instead of always reaching for a new story.  There are so many great stories out there.

 

  1. Where do you prefer to write? In your home? In a café?

I work from home for my day job, so I already have a home office set up where I can type for eight hours a day.  I have to be comfortable without too many distractions in order to write, and I like knowing I already have everything I might need at hand – pens, paper, my desk planner, a glass of water, my phone, and some lip balm.  I used to be more fluid about where I wrote, and I’ve written in some unexpected places – during class, while sitting waiting for an appointment, bored at a restaurant, watching TV.  Most of my writing is computer-based now unless I get an idea I have to write down.

 

  1. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

 

I wrote and published for an entire year based only on belief.  Belief in myself.  Belief it would be worth it.  Belief readers would find and enjoy my books.  It was a tough year as I learned the new landscape of publishing.  I have a beautiful deck of cards with a different word and picture on each of them, and I stood the card for Believe where I could see it every day.  I made sure I looked at it, especially when I didn’t believe what I was doing would make a difference.  When I finally felt ready to move on to a new word, I realized it’d been a year since I started.  I knew then – and I feel now – I never could’ve willingly gone a whole year on belief if I’d known how long it would be ahead of time.  Focusing on what I was doing and the results I wanted pulled me through it.  I learned a lot about myself, and even though I still have lessons to learn about life and publishing, I’m much more confident today than I was then.

 


TRAILER

http://youtu.be/PXH02pnBtjM

PLAYLIST

http://open.spotify.com/user/knovitzke/playlist/69TP9kW9jha9Vmidx6IMO3

“What I Wouldn’t Do,” She Swings, She Sways

The first chapter of Steampunk Carnival is different than the rest of the book. It’s narrated by someone whose name isn’t revealed for several chapters. The reason he’s obsessed with filling a journal with his ideas isn’t clear until we find out who he is, but the song gives insight into his situation. He’s a man driven by longing, loneliness, and desperation. It adds extra layers and emotions to what’s shared at that point in the book.

“Kill The Lights,” The Birthday Massacre

I’m a big fan of the movie “Moulin Rouge.” In the director’s commentary, Baz Luhrmann talks about the interesting difference between points of view in the climactic scene when Satine dies after the big, pulse-pounding performance. The audience applauds. They loved what they saw. But what they missed was a murder attempt, and what they can’t see after the curtain closes is Satine’s heartbreaking death. This song represents that for Steampunk Carnival. All the guests see are beautiful costumes, spectacular rides, fun games, and delicious treats. They don’t know about the death threats, the violence, and the arguments. They never find out the games are rigged.

“Common Reaction,” Uh Huh Her

As the story unwinds, Katya finds herself in deeper and deeper trouble. She acquires more to lose – friends, her safety, a boyfriend – and realizes there are fewer things she can be sure of. A lot she took for granted isn’t true. This song expresses Katya’s confusion and caution. She doesn’t know how much to trust her boss, William Warden. She hopes everything will work out all right, but she knows any ending is possible.

“Hold My Hand,” Mister Heavenly

This song reminds me of Maddox’s approach to Katya in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way. If Maddox has one thing going for him, it’s persistence. He tries several different tricks to get Katya to go out with him, and she turns him down several times. She’s not easily persuaded to trade her love of money for appreciation of simple fun.

“Shake It Out,” Florence & the Machine

This song provides the perfect backdrop to the night Katya finally gives in to spending time with Maddox. She leaves her fear, her distrust, and her rigid ideas about dating behind. Katya and Maddox ride three attractions at the carnival, which thrills Katya more than she anticipated. But more importantly, they’re finally able to share more about themselves and build a solid foundation for their relationship.

“Baptized by Fire,” Spinnerette

The lyrics and driving guitar in this song mirror what Katya and her friends are feeling by the time they confront the forces conspiring against them. Katya has seen William Warden’s inner nature, and she doesn’t like it. His security guards, allegedly hired to keep the employees safe, have been watching Magdalene like a hawk for weeks. Katya’s tired of meeting in secret, worrying about how the carnival’s reputation will survive the truth about its origins. But true to the song, with going to battle against powerful rivals comes a new beginning for all of them.

GIVEAWAY

 

 

http://www.bitnbooktours.com/

Muse Charmer PR: Blog Tour: “Abducted” by Adera Orfanelli

1. How did you get the idea for this book?

This book was actually written a long time ago, and then unearthed and polished (quite a bit). However, I wanted to play with the science fiction trope of being abducted by aliens. Instead of the “grey men” doing experiments, I wanted something different. What if the abduction led to a hunky man and a new life?

2. Why do you write science fiction?

I write science fiction because I love the unknown and the possibility of what might be out there. I’m fascinated by space (and weather, among other scientific things), and the belief that we might not be alone.

3. Why should readers pick up this story?

It’s fun. While there are some issues, such as the loss of a friend and starting over, to be dealt with, most of all I wanted Abducted to be a great escape.

4. Who is your favorite science fiction author?

I can’t really count a single favorite. I love David Weber, Elizabeth Moon, Tanya Huff, and Anne McCaffrey.

5. What is your favorite thing about outer space?

I love the stars. I love looking up and seeing all these constellations (man-made) and knowing that they are comprised of stars so vast and distant from each other that it takes hundreds or thousands of years for their light to reach us. We really are looking at a snapshot of history when we look at the night sky.

 

Abducted_AderaOrfanelli_coverlgGetting abducted by a hunky android wasn’t on Jacey’s list of things to do to try and reclaim her life after the death of her best friend and the loss of their business. But when her car crashes during a storm, she’s saved not by any rescue vehicle, but by Aiden Starsek, the Lord of BelaZed who informs her that he must have a wife or face deactivation. Jacey blames herself for her friend’s death. If she can stop another one, even if it means giving up everything she’s ever known, she will.

Aidan knows Deactivation Day nears and unless he’s able to find a human to love him he’ll die.. Unable to find love on his own planet, he discovers the beautiful Jacey on her own world, Earth. Her beauty entices him. Her compassion humbles him. And though in bed their passion is insatiable, he fears that it won’t turn to love in time to save his life. Only her love will save him, not just from Deactivation Day, but also from himself.

Erotic SF Romance, Published by Loose Id

Purchase direct from the publisher.

Visit the author’s website.

Twitter: @aderaorfanelli

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

 

WIN THIS PRINT!

Enter using the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

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5 Star Book Review: “In His Sights” (Don’t Tell 1.5) by Rie Warren

Hello peeps! This is a review for Moonbeams over Atlanta instead of Rainbow Gold Reviews. 🙂 How about that? It’s been crazy these past few months.  Now I’m getting back on track with beta reading, reviewing; and, of course, writing.  Be on the lookout for an update about my writing…
I was provided a copy of this from the author for the purpose of writing this review.  I was a little leery of reading something that was part of a series but Rie assured me that this was a stand-alone short story.  Oh boy.  It was wonderful!  Now I need to read the rest in the series. 😉

5 Stars
bluestarclipartbluestarclipartbluestarclipartbluestarclipartbluestarclipart

inhissights

Blurb:

These sworn enemies have everything to lose and each other to live for. 

At the outset of the Revolution against the oppressive Company regime, Hawke is a freedom fighter on a mission. Infiltrate Alpha Territory, kick some Corps ass, and stay alive. His plans unravel when he’s captured by the enemy on his first sortie. Waiting for death by the soldier sworn to kill him, all his training couldn’t have prepared him for what happens next. 

A corporal in the Company’s military branch, Mayce is a hard-liner intent on ridding his city of the insurgent threat. Yet one look at the gorgeous Freelander named Hawke and years of yearning and unrealized desires change his course permanently. If discovered, he’ll be branded a traitor and a homosexual—and sentenced to death. 

Mayce and Hawke act on their intense and immediate attraction. But amid the escalating war their dangerous trysts come at the risk of their own lives. 

Review: 

It is the year 2070 set in a dystopia Earth following a mostly destroyed planet population two generations previous.  In order to rebuild the population, homosexuality is a death sentence by the Company, the ruling body of sixteen identical international territories that were once big cities: damaged but not destroyed.  In His Sights is a stand-alone story set in the same universe as the Don’t Tell universe.  It follows the explosive meeting of two enemies:  Corporal Mayce from the Company and Hawke, a freedom fighter for the Revolution against the Company Corps.

What happens is a sexy, fast-paced, and dangerous run through Hawke and Mayce’s trysts in Alpha Territory where they come together with a passion neither expected to find, let alone continue.  It’s stupid.  It’s crazy.  Both men shouldn’t be doing this, but they can’t stay away.  From the beginning to the end, you can’t put it down.  There is a happy for now ending and makes me wonder if there might be a sequel to Hawke and Mayce’s story. 😉 I loved it and I give it 5 stars.

Eloreen Moon

Book Links

Goodreads | Amazon

IHS AVVY 99 CENTS

About the Author

Rie Warren

riewarren

Erotic Romance…Heat, heart, and a hint of the dark

Author of Sugar Daddy, the Don’t Tell series, and Carolina Bad Boys

www.riewarren.com | Facebook Page | Amazon Author Page

Chapter One from Space Love, a WIP

*cracks knuckles* *dusts off virtual desk* *looks around* *smiles*

Ok.  Since part of my New Year’s resolution was to actually post excerpts of my works in progress (affectionately called WIP in the writing world)–I have three– and maybe manage to finish one, I have written enough on one to post a couple of chapters or so. 😉  Maybe I’ll turn it into a blog-published story and see about wrapping it into a novel later. *shrug* Might get me to actually finish the darn thing if I post it here.  So, I will present the first Chapter of the novel, Space Love.   This Chapter, and the beginning poem I wrote for it, are also listed on Goodreads, but this is a newer version. The novel was actually started from the beginning and I mostly stuck with that.  I’m thinking of adding a prologue for the love interest of the MC explaining more of the “dreams”.  Let me know what you think and if you think that would be a good idea.  Also let me know if you think you would like to see this as a serial on my blog once a week or so.  This is a science fiction, paranormal, slightly angsty, and becoming more angsty the more times I work on it.  No sex, so safe for kids.  I have not worked on it in several months but will when I get my new iPad.  There are probably grammar errors.  I’m sure I need to rework the dream sequence, and probably misspellings.  It’s not edited so be warned…

 

Space Love

By Eloreen Moon

Chapter 1

2036 June 15, 0300, Julian Calendar

Near –Earth orbit, Space Station Cassiopeia

Ship UTASA Sydney

I snapped awake, panting.  Sweat dripped from my soaked hair and naked body. Shivering, I discovered I was tangled in my sheets and still in early morning.  Well, if I was on the planet anyway.  I slowly drew myself from the clinging sheets as I tried to slow my breathing.   I sat up facing the bathroom.  Looking at it and the slightly open track door with the light I had left on before going sleep, I remembered why I was awakened in the first place.

A Dream.  Really bad dream.  Yeah.  I remembered now.  Sort of.  Maybe.  Kind of.  Crap.  I didn’t want to remember.  I really, really didn’t want to remember.  But the dark night with the soft glow from the bathroom triggered the remembrance and my mind went back in time.  The same dream I’ve had all my life.

I’m running through green fields, so green it almost hurts my eyes.  I’m in tiger form with white and black strips, which is unusual in itself because my tiger sleeps within me. I know I’m dreaming because of this.  I feel the hunters coming.  I can taste their greed.  I can smell the lush field, an almost sweet honeysuckle smell, surrounded by a dense forest in the distance.  I don’t recognize the location, however beautiful it is.  I never have.  The grass feels good on my paws but that is a fleeting thought.  I’m running for my life and I have no idea why.  The fear eats at me.  I must run and continue to run as very bad things will happen should I stop.  I do not know the bad: It’s just a feeling. Horror fills me as I feel something breathing down my neck.  It’s getting closer. Closer. So close, that I feel as if it will consume me.  I must stay free.  I must.  It is an imperative that I am not caught.  I have no idea what will catch me but I cannot be caught, ever.

 

Something’s changed.  This time, it is slightly different.  Emotions are high and I almost feel someone else’s emotions.  I feel myself slip into the meditative state whereas I’m lucid dreaming, trying to control the dream to see something new.  With a slight distance, I feel the emotions and form of someone…different.  Almost, like, they are trying to tell me something.  I stretched for the tantalizing hint of a thread of emotion.  Fear, yes, but not for themselves.  Fear….for me?

As I slowly came to from the remembrance, I realized why I was startled awake.  The dream changed.  I’ve never had that happen before.  I briefly wondered why.  Shrug.  I’ll think about it later.  Right now, now that I’m awake, my bladder was making itself known.  I stood up, and walked to the bathroom.  Taking a deep breath, I walked up and the automatic door slid the rest of the way open at my approach.  I smirked a little as I thought about the hoops I had to go through to get that feature available.  As it slid open, I shakily walked to the toilet to relieve myself, washed my hands, and then threw some water on my face.  I looked up at the mirror.  My eyes were gold.  Not good, not good at all.  Shifting here would be a poor choice.  Not that I have ever shifted before but I knew the signs that my family told me to expect when it was time.  Time that seemed to be an unusually long time in coming.

“Casaen, you look like shit.”  My voice was harsh in the small room.  I hadn’t had much sleep lately.  The dreams were not helping.  Someone was trying to tell me something, I just knew it.  But I didn’t have a clue what was being said.  So much for me being a Dreamwalker.  You would think I would understand this kind of stuff.  But, Noooo.  I’ve been having dreams all my life and sometimes they were direct enough I could interpret.  And, sometimes not.  It was those nots that had me tied up in knots.

Great, I was making puns again.  Even in my own head.  Rolling my eyes, I sighed and looked at myself in the mirror.  The light on my face and hair was not especially harsh.  I never liked those halogen things and so went with anything that did full spectrum sunlight.  I had heard fluorescents were high demand back in the day, but I’ve never seen one.  They were outlawed when I was little in the latter part of the first decade of the 21st century.   I had a good face, I guessed.  My eyes were back to normal now.  They are brown-green eyes with a slight almond shape from some pan-Asian ancestor set in a slightly tanned face.  Wavy hair to just past my shoulders had multi-colored red, gold, brown, and some blond mingled together for a crown that covered my head.  Ok, maybe a lot of blond.  Alright, I’m mostly white blond with the rest accenting since I’m a White Bengal Tiger.  Well, I would be if I ever shifted.  Not that I really paid attention to my hair but people said it was cute.   And, it was probably too long for a guy.  Strong nose, high cheekbones, oval face, and an average forehead went with the rest of my features.  I had a long neck too.  I look almost like a girl.  I guess you would call me a twink in the old fashion vernacular.  Although that term referred to someone younger than I, I guessed as a body type, it would apply.   Five foot seven inches is not tall and with a muscular body that would be called lithe, I wasn’t in too bad of shape.  At least, that is what the ex-boyfriend told me.  At 30 standard years, I was not young by any stretch of the imagination.  Considering I just had a birthday last month, I started feeling my age.

With a wry smile, I looked at my face one more time and left the bathroom to my quarters.  Not much, but it’s my own.  With a brother and 3 sisters, you tend to find space anywhere you can.  Looking around the room, you have your basic gun-metal gray that all starships share.  I’ve not had time to decorate as I’ve only been on here only a few days.  My anti-gravity totes were stacked neatly against the far wall on the other side of the bed and next to the door to the kitchenette.  Wait, they don’t call it that here.  A food replicator?  I’ll have to ask Father.   Not that it wasn’t anything more than a cover over an alcove with a machine to synthesize food and drink.  Luckily, I had the version that would make whatever I needed without the chemical taste.   I waved my hand in front of the door sensor and it slid up into the top.  It never ceases to amaze me these new technologies.  Being someone on the far side of technology, I tend to be fairly grounded considering.

“Water with ice.”  I said to the room.

“Anything else, Mr Hagonsun?”  I startled a bit when the female voice of the Artificial Intelligence aboard the ship spoke.  Sandy, she was called.  She?  I wasn’t sure the protocol for referencing ship AI’s, let alone ships in general.  Heck, the closest I got to technology was my tablet computer and only then because I grew up with technology readily available.  Sure, I read Science Fiction being an avid reader.  You can’t get away from technology, or the reading, when everyone in my family worked there in some form or fashion.  I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.  You know that old adage? Truth is stranger than fiction?  Yeah, that’s the one.  Welcome to my world.

I never could get used to cutting-edge technology. My brain just went to mush when Dad start talking about his work on the creation of them.  Mom is an Astrogator; a space navigator if you will.  Mother and Father, Mom and Dad’s mates, also worked in space and technology.   Mother dealt with Rocketry and propulsion and Father dealt with nutrition and food replication.  Dad’s baby, AIs, were just emerging as viable ship cores when I was in my teens, thanks in a large part to Dad’s research and programming.  That was not too many years after the first learning AI was setup by the University of California named Wilson.  It was a big thing in my parent’s day and happened when I was a baby.  They told me about it when I told them I was leaving Earth for this trip.  Gods, was that a month ago?  Everything has happened so fast.  From the time the United Terra Aeronautics and Space Authority (UTASA) contacted me for this assignment some 3 months ago until now, I had been eating, sleeping, and breathing the training to go into deep space.

I guess I should have known I would end up on an extended mission in space.

“No Sandy.  Just the water.”  I said.  I still feel weird talking out loud to basically nothing and nobody in the room. 

Case, you ok?

I sighed.  I knew Cadmaen would contact me after the dream.  Since all of the Family could talk to each other with our telepathic link, talking was overrated.  I didn’t talk much unless there were humans around.  And with me being a Dreamwalker, I could send and receive emotions too.  I’m pretty sure Cade would wake up regardless considering we are littermates.  I was impressed that I could “hear” him this well though.  Hi bro. Yeah, I’m ok.  I guess.  I sent him my love, a little subdued since it was still “night” on the ship and I hadn’t fully awakened even with the dream and all.

Are you sure? Do you need me there?

NO!  You do NOT need to expend that much energy! I stood there, clutching my hands to fists and my heart thumping a mile a minute at the thought of Cade using his telekinesis ability to come up to the ship, or even the space station the ship was attached to.  That’s all I needed.  Explain a 500-lb white tiger randomly showing up in my room.  The Captain would surely want to know how that happened.  Considering she is human and does not know the extra traits our family has, I wasn’t in a hurry to enlighten her.  Not that humans don’t know, we just didn’t want our family’s heritage to be out there.  We have rather unique abilities that we don’t want to have to explain.  I’m ok, really. I’m getting water from the food replicator-thingy.  Um, what did Father call them again? And, how am I hearing you so well?  The short trips I took before for training gave me the impression that we couldn’t speak mind to mind while in orbit.

Cade snorted humorously. That was what Mom and Mother told you so you wouldn’t tax yourself while in training.  It’s never been tested as I think you are the first of our kind in space for any length of time but we think based on current psionic research that the distance doesn’t matter.  Thank you General Relativity and Albert Einstein. I suddenly had a mental picture of my brother smirking in his oh, so superior way.  Never mind that he was only 5 minutes older than I was and wasn’t superior, at all.

Our older sisters Cassandra, Crystal, and Carrie were from the litter of Mother and Father while Cade and I were the litter of Mom and Dad, officially anyway.  Since they were all mates, it didn’t really matter.  Human marriage laws have come a long way from the time when our parents were having us.  Gay, straight, lesbian, multiple partners: It didn’t matter anymore.  I know that the parental units breathed a lot easier these days as they don’t have to hide that part of their relationship.   Most humans we lived near thought we were incredibly fertile.  That’s true, just not the way they thought.  It’s because we are shifters and have litters make multiple births the norm.  We’ve kept a low profile since we didn’t want any one hunting us because we were different.  Story of our lives.  We are typically bisexual in general but some of us have a preference.  Cade and I are gay.  We just haven’t found our mates yet.  And with me in space, the likelihood of finding mine is slim and none and Slim left the solar system ages ago.  I wasn’t too worried about it since shifters tended to live longer than humans and I was only on this mission for 6 months.  I figured I had time to settle down.  Didn’t mean I wasn’t lonely though.  My last boyfriend was a year ago.

I sighed. Figures they would do that “for my own good.” I’m not 10 you know. I’m sure I wouldn’t have anyway.  Standing in the middle of training staring off to space while I talk to you probably would have been a poor choice.  I’m sorry I woke you though.  Are you ok?  You feel…a little strange…

Cade said quickly: I’m fine, really.

Why don’t I believe you?  I replied, concerned with a slight snort of my own.  He could never lie to me.  Nobody could.  It’s why I was probably here.

Crap, I could never get passed that lie-detector mind of yours. He did a mental shrug and started talking quickly. I have someone with me.  You know. In my bed.  Overnight and all.  Jeez.  Do I really have to spell it out?  My normally stand-up-and-take-charge brother was embarrassed, frustrated, horny, and…oh, damn.  My awakening him had become coitus interruptus.

I flopped on the bed.  Oh man, I’m really, really sorry.  I hadn’t expected the dream I had to change and it startled me badly.  Please apologize to your date…I assume it was a date and not your mate?

He answered: Yeah, it was only a date.  He’s human though so I had to send him off before I contacted you.  It would have been a little bit odd to explain to him that my brother miles over Earth caused me to freeze in the middle of getting off. Now he sounded annoyed.  Oh boy.  I’m going to be groveling for a bit on this one.

I’m really, really sorry? Really? I flashed him a mental smile with my dimple in place.  He always forgives me.  Well, usually forgives me.  This was no exception.

I know.  With a whoosh, I felt him send me his love, exasperation, and concern to me.  Pictured with it was someone identical to me but slightly beefier.  And – tapping his foot.  Typical Cade.  Cade continued, Are you sure you don’t need me up there?

I’m sure.  Go back to sleep Cade, I’ll be fine.  I’ve been up enough that I should be ok to go back to sleep before I start my day. Thank you, bro.  For being there.

Anytime, and I mean that literally. He sent me a wry smile, a little of his amusement seeping through, and a last parting request. Find someone, Case.  You need to get laid before taking off.  Your dreams were better when you are with someone, even when you were with what’s-his-name douche-bag-on-a-stick asshole.  You’ve been alone long enough.  At least find someone for the night.  I doubt you will find your mate in deep space but for one night, I would prefer that you slept without dreaming.

And he was gone.  A sense of a wave good-bye and the link closed.

“Well, that was entertaining.”  I said out loud sarcastically. 

“Sir?” Sandy queried.

“Never mind, I’m just talking to myself.  I do that a lot.”  With a snort, I rolled over and picked up my water, drank it down and left it on my utilitarian bed-side table.  I never did get an answer from Cade what Father called those new-fangled food replicators.  Sigh.  I’m going to have to unpack when I get back up and drifted off to sleep.  Thankfully, a dreamless one.