Cut Scenes from ‘The Chains of Their Sins’

Not everything written in the first draft of a books makes it through subsequent edits. There are a host of reasons for cutting something: it doesn’t add anything to the plot or characterisation, it’s from a self-indulgent author having fun, it slows the pace, or it’s made redundant by plotting changes later. Here are three small scenes that didn’t make it through the editing of The Chains Of Their Sins. Note: the link allows you to download a pdf file.

Finding The Navigation Chamber

A much-curtailed version of this scene was left in the published version after editing. A vignette of life aboard the Gyrfalcon, starring Shield Captain Bennet (currently enduring his final year of rotation out of the Shield Regiment), and Fleet First Lieutenants Flynn and Cruz.

Finding the Navigation Chamber

Playing Tierce

This little scene didn’t make the final cut. It follows Bennet’s return to the Gyrfalcon after he and Felix give evidence to the Intelligence Committee (IntCom) on their findings so far regarding the prisoners Bennet had rescued from the Maess in Makepeace. This slots between that meeting and Bennet and Flynn’s encounter on Yule Day.

Playing Tierce

Writing To Cruz

The first draft of Chains of Their Sins had things in a slightly different order, and Cruz was injured much earlier in the story. A section where Flynn wrote to her while she was back on Albion, recovering, was a flimsy excuse for Flynn to write oodles of stuff all about Bennet in a light-hearted scene intended to ease the tension a bit. But the exigencies of plotting meant I moved Cruz’s injury to a later battle, and the opportunity to meet LiteraryGenius!Flynn was lost. This, by the way, is an example of that self-indulgence I mentioned earlier!

Writing To Cruz

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Skythane – J. Scott Coatsworth

I’m chuffed as heck today to welcome an old friend to the blog who’s willing to be interrogated gently interviewed about his new release, Skythane, and also willing to allow me to swoon over the gorgeous cover art while doing no more than roll his eyes and offer me a handkerchief to deal with the drool.cover

See? (points upward). Very droolworthy, no? So, with my artistic appreciation skills acknowledged by all and sundry, let’s start out with a bit of information on the book before I pin the author into the interrogation chair.

 

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Jameson Havercamp, a psych from a conservative religious colony, has come to Oberon—unique among the Common Worlds—in search of a rare substance called pith. He’s guided through the wilds on his quest by Xander Kinnison, a handsome, cocky wing man with a troubled past.

Neither knows that Oberon is facing imminent destruction. Even as the world starts to fall apart around them, they have no idea what’s coming—or the bond that will develop between them as they race to avert a cataclysm.

Together, they will journey to uncover the secrets of this strange and singular world, even as it takes them beyond the bounds of reality itself to discover what truly binds them together.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Caine
Length: 85K, # pages
Format: eBook, Paperback
Release Date: 2/17/17
Genres: sci fi, mm romance, gay sci fi

Goodreads

Rocket1-5Rain hit the plas and ran downward in little rivulets, separating and rejoining like branches of time as the storm whipped itself into a frenzy over Oberon City.

Xander Kinnson lay on his bed, head thrown back, watching the tempest with a laziness that belied his inner turmoil and pain. Alix had left him and gone missing. A year had passed, and still he had a hard time accepting that simple fact.

His dark wings with their jet-black feathers were stretched out lazily to each side of his supine form, their tips extending past the edge of the bed. His chest heaved slowly up and down, and he breathed easily, as if he were utterly relaxed.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. Below the surface, under the deception of skin and sinew, his heart beat at a thunderous pace, and his mind raced for answers to Alix’s fate that slipped beyond his grasp.

The handsome trick he’d brought home rested his warm hands on Xander’s thighs, his hot mouth engaged elsewhere. Xander smelled the deep, masculine musk of him, slipping a hand absently through the man’s dark, tousled hair as the rain increased to a thundering downpour against the plas. The drops glistened, each an individual universe of shimmering light before running quickly out of sight.

A flash of lightning illuminated the room, thunder indicating how close it had been. As the heavy rain pounded against the arco’s walls, Xander rode the wave of pleasure higher and higher. Despite himself, he rose quickly toward climax, drawn up on the tide as the trick worked his cock. Unable to stop himself, he thrust his hips almost angrily upward into the man’s willing throat. Closer, closer….

He reached the crest, a pleasure so intense it burned through him like phosphorous, a white-hot fire.

Lightning flared again across the wet, black sky, followed by thunder so close it shook the bed. The storm had reached a fever pitch outside, and he arched his back in the air one more time, his wings rustling beneath him. As if in concert with the storm, Xander came, the release of his orgasm radiating from his hips along his spinal cord and down through his toes and the tips of his wings.

The rush of elation washed away his cares for a few brief moments. Xander shuddered, shivered, and shuddered again, and it was over.

For a while, he drifted in an oblivion that was blessed in its emptiness. The rain fell in a steady beat against the window, and he forgot to wallow in his pain. His mind floated free, with no responsibilities, nothing to worry about for those brief moments between sex and real life. This was what he needed. This lack of thought, this pleasurable oblivion where he could just be.

When he opened his eyes at last, the nameless trick was staring down at him, expectant.

“You’re still here.”

“I can do more, if you’d like,” the man said with a grin. Like Alix, he had no wings—a lander man.

Xander glared at him, annoyed. He was handsome enough, tall, dark-haired, with blue eyes and a light complexion. Strangely, he reminded Xander of Alix. The hair and eyes were wrong, but there was something about him, and that annoyed the hell out of Xander, for reasons he didn’t care to examine too closely. “Get out,” he said with a dismissive wave.

The man frowned. “I thought—”

“Oh right, your pay.” Xander took the man’s arm and slitted him a hundred crits from the wrist reader embedded in his own. Then he waved the trick away. “We’re square. Now get the fuck out of my flat.”

The man gathered his own clothes, but Xander didn’t give him time to put them on. Instead he hustled the trick out of the irising door, palming it closed on his hurt and angry expression.

I really have become a bastard
, he thought, staring at his dim reflection in the shiny black door. It had been a long year.

He tapped the cirq in his temple with his left hand, and called out to his PA. “Ravi, any messages for me?”

Rocket1-6Dreamspinner – eBook  |   Dreamspinner – paperback   |  Amazon  |

Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Smashwords  |  iBooks

 

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And now that’s all done, here’s a reminder of that lovely, lovely cover and here’s J. Scott Coatsworth, willing and able to answer any question hurled at him.

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Hi, Scott, and welcome!  Let’s start with the easy one. What inspired you to write this particular story?
I actually started writing this one back in the nineties. But it didn’t take flight (pun intended) until 2014. I had just come out a couple years before I began it, and it was my first attempt to write a story with gay protagonists, so you could say it was inspired by the newfound freedom I felt as an out gay man.

Writing is never angst free -what were the challenges in bringing it to life?
Totally the sci fi part. A dear friend beta read it for me after I did the NaNoWriMo thing, and ha a lot of problems with the world backdrop and the science. So I had to put out some feelers and find folk who knew about gravity and weather, and put together a workable theory about how half a world could and would function in the real universe. It was difficult, but it made the novel stronger.

What is the most heartfelt thing a reader has said to you?
I had my first real fanboy moment at last year’s GRL, when a reader came up to me and told me how much he had loved my novella “The Autumn Lands”, and the twist in the story. It was the first time this happened to me, and it wall always stick with me.

So, what kind of character or topic have you been dying to try to write, but you’ve never worked up the courage?
Not so much a character, but a pairing? I’ve written a couple lesbian characters, but never a lesbian couple. It’s a bit daunting for me as we don’t share any of the parts in common (well, except for the normal “human parts LOL). But I would love to give it a try sometime.

And a last rather cheeky little inquiry – what meds are you supposed to be taking? 😉
That’s between me, my doctor, my psychiatrist, my homeopath, my rehab clinic, my dentist, my street connection, and my medicine cabinet. But thanks for asking! 😉

 

Snort! Thank you!

Scott’s new novel, Skythane, is just out – and it combines his love of sci fi, secret reveals and MM romance. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Rocket1-10Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.

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Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way. He has sold more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before. He is currently working on two sci fi trilogies, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a group for readers and writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and paranormal fiction.

Website: http://www.jscottcoatsworth.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jscoatsworth

 

Flaunt, with E Davies

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I am very pleased to host E. Davies here today to tell us about his new release, Flaunt, which was published on 31 January.

 

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“He’s waiting for me to ask, and I’m afraid.”

“I’m just one more gay guy here.”

Moving to the suburbs of L.A. was supposed to give Nic Montero a fresh start. After escaping his family, coming out as a gay trans man, and excelling in computer programming out of desperation to get financially stable or die, everything should be easy. But joining gay culture now, post-transition, feels impossible… until he runs into the force of nature that is Kyle. Everything Nic isn’t, Kyle embodies. Green hair, garters and cut-off shorts, sports jerseys, and all, brash Kyle is the most gorgeous man he’s ever laid eyes on, and he pulls Nic headlong into the center of his world. If only Nic felt like enough for a man like Kyle.

“One-night stands are my only option.”

Loud, loving, and too much for most men to handle, Kyle Everett catches eyes and occasionally scorn… even at his job at the local HIV charity, Plus. His days and nights are spent at work, his precious spare moments spent with his son, Kevin, when it’s his turn to co-parent, or his best friend, drag queen River. He only has money or time for cheap flings, but the lanky otter who walks into his life makes Kyle want to hold him for longer than a night. He knows what it’s like for Nic to be without a family, but he isn’t brave enough to let this man into his life… until his charity is targeted by bigots, and Nic’s there for him.

“I’ll stay with you if you’re brave enough to be you.”

Nic spent his twenties avoiding family and even his own femininity, but his yearning is impossible to ignore. Kyle’s used to flying solo, but Nic offers him safety and fills gaps in his life he never realized existed and now can’t stand. Living in close proximity, they can’t run from their attraction, but they’re each used to being rejected, with the emotional scars to prove it. Can two men who feel like they’re not enough and too much find something just right?

 

Flaunt is a steamy, stand-alone gay romance novel with a HEA ending and no
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance.
Goodreads

 

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Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

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While he waited for the microwave, Nic headed for the television and turned it on. It was time to distract himself with something or another and stop talking to himself like a total loser all night.

And it was time to take his mind off Jake. He didn’t think of him much these days, and when he did, he didn’t care much. That was probably a good sign. But in his weak moments, once in a long while, he thought about answering him.

Nic never did. He wasn’t that lonely.

But he missed being half of a whole, and he missed having a family. It hadn’t been his fault they’d broken up— Jake had been utterly unready for a relationship— but his family had been sweet, and had welcomed Nic in with open arms.

More than anything, leaving that had broken his heart.

But again… one-way trip. He’d rather be alone here than with a cheater out of desperation. He checked on Jake much less frequently these days. It felt like Jake was naturally fading out of his life, which was as it should be.

Nic just wished there were someone to replace him.

 

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Win a $25 Amazon giftcard in this Rafflecopter giveaway

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e-davies-profile-picE. Davies was proficient in real estate ad shorthand (the old-fashioned newspaper kind) by the age of nine. Growing up moving constantly taught him what people have in common, the ways relationships are formed, and the dangers of “miscellaneous” boxes.

As a teen, he tore through a stack of found romance novels, wishing someone had written similar for M/M, though he could never find anything at Chapters or the library. Just after graduating university in 2013, semi-out and clutching his English B.A. for dear life, he stumbled on an Amazon M/M short story. It was a whole new… phrase he dares not repeat for fear of lawyers. It shone and shimmered splendidly, though.

After failing forty times to avoid crafting happily-ever-after endings for steamy short stories, he plunged into romance novels and hasn’t looked back. As a young gay author whose formative gay fictional role models were characters punished for their sexuality, Ed prefers his stories lightly dramatic, full of optimism and hope.

Now out and proud, he writes full-time, goes on long nature walks, tries to fill his passport, drinks piña coladas on the beach, flees from cute guys, coos over fuzzy animals (especially bees), and is liable to tilt his head and click his tongue if you don’t use your turn signal.

To find out when E. Davies has a new release, you can subscribe to his newsletter.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon  

 

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Review post: Megan Reddaway’s ‘Shelter Me’

Photo by Leigh Anthony Dehaney, from Flickr under Creative Commons 2.0 license

Photo by Leigh Anthony Dehaney, from Flickr under Creative Commons 2.0 license

I don’t often do review posts, because well, time mostly. But this book was such a joy to read, I clobbered the author over the head to let me have some details on it and feature it here so I could share with you what I thought of it.

Dystopian fiction no longer seems outrageously imaginative, does it? Humanity has so many current stresses and anxieties – the misuse of political power, enemies hard to grapple with face to face, societies riven and tribal, lies and propaganda, some people (different, not us, ‘other’) no longer seen as really human and worthy of care and respect, the threat of war more real than it has been for two generations.

This book is fitting for our times. Megan Reddaway cleverly creates an MC so ‘other’ he’s been isolated since birth, a subject for analysis and experimentation. Leo’s disassociation from all that’s normal (for a definition of normal that’s embodied in a failing society) is beautifully conveyed in his essential innocence. The powers that make him different and a life of deprivation and downright cruelty haven’t choked Leo’s intelligence and adaptability, and his gradual awakening to true friendship, loyalty and love is at the heart of this book as he and Cal, the untrusting off-the-grid woodsman, work to save baby Jae from the life Leo himself had led. As they run for the hidden haven in Colorado where they might find refuge, chased by the authorities and only one step ahead of capture and death, Cal and Leo reach an understanding of each other that bodes well for a future together. If there’s a future for anyone, that is.

I enjoyed this book. It’s beautifully written, with clear and concise prose. There’s a clarity about the style, a sort of sparseness, that echoes Leo’s character in its directness, and I rather liked that. It was cleverly done.

Thoroughly recommended!

 

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Love and survivalis that too much to ask?

Leo Park is an empath on the run. He’s escaped the secret research facility where he’s been held since he was six years old, but how can he survive without being captured? He has no money, all his ideas come from old movies, and he’s carrying his baby brother, smuggled out in a carton.

Cole Millard lives by his own rules in the Oregon woods, refusing to fear the world war that’s coming closer every day. Now his freedom is threatened by a naive 19-year-old with a baby in tow and a spooky way of knowing what Cole is feeling. But Leo is vulnerable and desperate. What’s a guy to do?

Shelter Me is a fast-paced dystopian gay romance novel set in a not-too-distant future, with a hot backwoodsman, a desperate fugitive, a six-month baby, and the world on the brink of an apocalyptic war.

Wordcount: 66k
Published: 23 January 2017

 

 

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Amazon.com:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MTC2AXL/

Amazon.co.uk:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MTC2AXL

 

 

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shelterme-cover-500x750Leo set the bag down and took Jae out of it. Jae’s mind brightened at once, happy to be out. Leo turned around slowly, so Jae could see everything.

“Look, little bro, some of the trees are changing color—the ones that aren’t evergreens. I bet you were never up so close to a tree before. What do you think, shall we explore? You’d like that, wouldn’t you? We’re out free in a real forest, and who knows how much time we have together. We don’t have any special place to go, right?”

Jae waved his arms and said, “Bub-bub-bub.”

“Isn’t it prime? You can see leaves and birds and all kinds of stuff.”

Leo went on, carrying Jae and the bag separately, heading uphill, away from the road. It was good to have no people around, asking questions. He wasn’t used to strangers. But being alone, except for Jae, was weird, too. He caught himself checking for security cameras … in a forest.

He found a thin trickling stream and followed that awhile, then sat beside it and ate two bananas, playing peekaboo with Jae—the regular kind, hiding his face and peeking out. He tried Jae with some squished banana from his own mouth, but Jae spat it out, so Leo gave him more milk from the bottle. He sniffed around Jae’s rear. It didn’t smell, and Jae wasn’t uncomfortable, so the diaper must be okay.

Then he headed back to the highway, or he planned to. He went along the stream, but he couldn’t find the place where he’d come out of the trees.

“I know it’s downhill,” he said to Jae. “We crossed the stream a couple of times, but I think we started out on this side. Hey, here’s a place where someone’s come through. Maybe this was it.”

They went on down, away from the stream, following some kind of path. But it twisted and turned and went back uphill. He figured a path was a path—it must lead somewhere—and he kept on going. Then the way ahead was blocked. Leo stopped.

“The bushes weren’t so thick the way we first came up. I guess maybe we took a wrong turn somewhere?”

He concentrated his mind. If they were close to the road, he should sense people zipping through in their cars. But he only felt the low-level fears and hungers of small animals.

Maybe this was a quiet time for traffic. He waited.

Then he sensed one human. A stealthy, quiet mind, moving slowly, coming closer.

Hunting.

Tracking them.

Leo’s heart pounded. He put Jae in the bag and started to run, crashing through the bushes, one arm over his face for protection against the scratching twigs, the other hugging the bag to his chest.

The hunter came after them, moving faster now, his mind focused, hyped on adrenaline. The guy knew Leo was close, knew he almost had them.

Clumsy with fear, Leo skidded on a patch of dry needles and lost his balance. He twisted so he wouldn’t fall on Jae. His head hit a tree trunk, and pain stabbed at his ankle. Dizzy, he tried to get up and couldn’t.

The hunter came into sight—a bearded, shaggy-haired figure in khaki, half hidden by the pine trunks. A figure carrying a shotgun, pointed right at them. A man whose mind was set on killing.

Leo pushed the bag containing Jae out of range behind a tree. Sorry, little bro, I did the best I could. Maybe you’ll hear about me someday. Then he turned his face away and waited for the bullet.

 

 

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MEGAN REDDAWAY has been entertained by fictional characters acting out their stories in her head for as long as she can remember. She began writing them down as soon as she could. Since she grew up, she’s worked as a secretary, driver, waitress, and flower-seller, among other things, but she always has a story bubbling away at the same time.  She lives in England.

For news of Megan’s male/male romance releases and two free stories, visit her website: http://meganreddaway.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/megan.reddaway.9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/meganreddaway1

Chains of Their Sins: Cover and Pre-order links!

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The wonderful Adrian Nicholas has done it again, and produced an AMAZING cover. Maess drones for the win!

PUBLICATION DATE :  13 February.

PREORDER LINKS :

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MZ9QQYQ/

Getting excited here!

 

 

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A Divine 2016 Christmas

blog-hop-graphicI’m delighted to be participating in Divine Magazine’s Christmas blog hop this year. It gives me an excuse (do I need one?!) to share favourite recipes and get myself all geared up for the Festive Season. The very idea of decorating the house fills me with joy and my poor husband with groans, since he has to do all the brawn work of carting stuff around and running up and down stepladders.

Divine asked participants to think about what Christmas means to us. I’m going to be honest here. Not religious, so that element doesn’t really impinge on me. No children, so I can’t share their excitement by proxy. Getting older and don’t need ‘stuff’, so even the presents are viewed with a jaundiced eye these days. More and more aware that this time of year isn’t just Christmas, it’s a multitude of other cultural holidays that are just as significant.

Creative Commons from Margus Kulden on Flickr

Creative Commons from Margus Kulden on Flickr

But still Christmas is my cultural holiday, and I can speak only to that. Christmas is still special and gives me the warm fuzzies. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because it has associated with it this:
“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,” returned the nephew. “Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”

Why I love this time of year is indefinable, even rather inchoate, but still Christmas is a kind forgiving, charitable and pleasant time. I’ll decorate my house; fill it with the smell of Christmas cake and gingerbread; read A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve as I’ve done every Christmas for many, many years now; make the dog wear silly reindeer antlers and post pictures of her up on Facebook; yes, try to do something for those less fortunate than me; and most of all, hold my family and friends close and dear.

 

Divine asked us to post up a favourite recipe. This is a recipe I’ve shared before, but I love gingerbread so much it *is* Christmas to me, and I don’t see why I shouldn’t share it again. It’s in UK measures, but to convert to US cups etc go here

Gingerbread cookies    

Creative Commons from Sergey Galyonkin on Flickr

Creative Commons from Sergey Galyonkin on Flickr

400g plain flour
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2tsp ground ginger
2tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp salt
180g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g soft dark brown or dark muscovado sugar
1 large egg
125g black treacle (or golden syrup if you want a lighter colour)
1tsp grated lemon zest

1. Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl and set aside for a minute while you have a sip of a nice cold Chablis. Or two sips. I don’t judge.

2. Cream together butter and sugar. I use the trusty ancient Kenwood Chef, but any freestanding electric mixer will do. Use the paddle shaped attachment, not the dough hook. Cream on slow speed until the butter/sugar mix is light and fluffy.

3. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat in the egg and treacle and lemon zest. This is messy, and you’ll have that delightful moment when you’re scraping unmixed bits in from the side of the bowl with a spatula and then an instant of cursing later, you’re scraping bits of treacle out of your hair where the mixer has merrily thrown it.

4. Turn the mixer back down to slow speed and add the dry ingredients mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time. You’ll have to stop the mixer now and again to scrape in the bits that have been flung around the side of the bowl—that’s because you’ve learned from your mishap with the treacle, that stopping the mixer first for a second or two may be wise. Go you.

5. Once the dough has formed and is even in colour and texture, take it out of the mixer bowl, divide into 3 and wrap each piece in clingfilm.

6. Leave to rest overnight in the fridge. Retire to the sofa with your glass of Chablis and watch the Muppet Christmas Carol.

7. When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.

8. Take the dough out of the fridge and leave to soften for about 10 minutes. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and roll out the first batch of dough to a thickness of about 4 mm

9. Cut out shapes with the biscuit cutters. I never do gingerbread men because that smacks of festival cannibalism. Instead I have more snowflake biscuit cutters than is reasonable, so I make lots of snowflakes and stars, instead. Arrange the cookies on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake for about 10–15 minutes. Roll out batches 2 and 3 while the previous ones are baking. You can get a neat little production line going here.

10. Leave the cookies to cool slightly on the trays before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

11. Then, if you’re feeling particularly crafty and dextrous, you can ice them. Good luck with that. Seeing me with an icing bag and you will wince and run for cover. It’s usually a repeat of getting treacle out of my hair (see step 3 above). Believe me, I’d never win Great British Bake-Off.

Enjoy! And if you are a really generous, big hearted person, put a few into a pretty bag, tie with a nice tag and give them to people who either you love very much or who you want in hock to you for next year.

 

GIVEAWAY

And now… the  grand prize giveaway on the Divine Promotions Blog. All you have to do is go to the blog and leave a comment on their blog post, telling them your favorite part about Christmas.

Grand Prizes for this blog hop
3D fun face Charms Bracelet – 3 pieces
18 K Gold Filled Crystal Pearls Heart Party Dress Jewelry Set
$10 Amazon Gift Card from RAM PA Group
5 Days Promo Tour from Divine Promotions
Dreamspinner Press Vouchers
$5 gift voucher from Pride Publishing
Ebook of your choice from Author Grein Murray
Swag donated by Author Grein Murray (only available to those living in the USA)
Ebook of your choice from Author Sean Kerr (from his series Dead Camp)
Ebook – The Hard Boys: Alien Abduction (Case #1) from Ian Cadena
Go to Divine Promotions blog for the chance to win
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Participating blogs

If you want to visit other participating blogs to see what they’re posting about Christmas, here’s the list:
🎅🏻 IrishdaisylovesRomance – https://dawn84blog.wordpress.com/2016/12/08/-christmas-blog-hop-2016-/
🎅🏻 Tempeste O’Riley – http://tempesteoriley.com/blog
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And finally, whatever holiday you celebrate at this time of year, I hope you all have a wonderful time.
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Passing Shadows – Cover Reveal and Publication Date!

Coming to an Amazon near you on

12 December!!

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Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow.
Psalm 144:4

A prequel to the Taking Shield series, Passing Shadows is a trilogy of short stories with a lesbian main character, Li Liang, who is one of the few surviving witnesses of the destruction of Earth. The stories tell of the beginning of a long exodus across the galaxy looking for a haven where mankind can start again.

The stories are Overthrown By Strangers | Habitation Of Dragons | Winterlight

Book Title: Passing Shadows
Publication Date :  12 December 2016
Publisher: Self-published through Glass Hat Press
Cover Artist: Kellie Dennis at Book Covers By Design
Wordcount: c 29,100
Category: Sci Fi, Gay mainstream, Short Story trilogy

 

Blurb

Li Liang has found a berth to suit her: chief pilot and first officer of the all-female crew of an old space freighter, the Sappho. Then one ordinary, unremarkable morning, Liang retunes the Sappho’s communications systems just in time to catch the breathless, terrible accounts from Mars of the total destruction of Earth.

Earth’s a cinder. The unknown alien race that destroyed it has left Mars, too, in flames and is ravening outward from the solar system, devouring every human colony on the way.

Liang’s one of the few survivors, racing ahead of the Devourers, rescuing as many frightened, shocked people as she can. Will Liang and the pitiful remnants of humanity find a new haven, somewhere to start again? Or will she, too, echo the dreadful last message coming out of their dead home?

They’re coming. Oh God, they’re coming.

 

 

 

 

Editing by Val Hughes at Scarlet Tie Editing

Cover Art by Kellie Dennis at Book Cover by Design

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Cover Reveal: Brandi Evans’ “Operation Better Tomorrow”

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Title: Operation Better Tomorrow
Author: Brandi Evans
Release Date: November 29th 2016
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: MM Romance

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The interview of a lifetime.

When Aaron Strickland’s assigned to write a feature article on Caleb Douglas, the first openly gay soldier to receive the Medal of Honor, he’s over-the-moon. Meet a sexy, real-life hero? Yes, please. And in the weeks leading up to their interview, the former soldier becomes a recurring player in Aaron’s fantasies.

A man Caleb can’t forget.

Years earlier, lost in the throes of depression and PTSD after an ambush left his body and soul scarred, Caleb was on the brink of giving up when a magazine article changed his life forever—an article written by Aaron. Emerging from the depths of his pain, Operation Better Tomorrow—part homestead, part halfway house for those down on their luck—was born.

Tragedy lurking on the horizon.

As the days pass, Caleb and Aaron’s tragic pasts bind them in ways they aren’t prepared for, but it also leaves them vulnerable. Pushing forward means breaking down walls they’ve built to protect themselves, and just as they’re poised on the precipice of happiness, a darkness descends on the homestead, a hatred that will leave one man clinging to life and the other willing to risk everything to save him.

 

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Aaron’s dick tightened, and he took a step toward Caleb. “I’ve learned a lot about homestead operations today, but I want to know more about you. Tell me, Sergeant Douglas, what inspired you to begin Operation Better Tomorrow?”

Caleb scrubbed a palm over the back of his neck. “That’s kinda embarrassing, actually.”

“I don’t believe that. How can the origin story of a place like this be embarrassing?”

Another minuscule step closer.

“Because of you, Aaron.”

“Me? How do I fit in?”

Caleb looked down, hands fisted low on his hips in a masculine mirroring of Aubrey. “Things got really low for me about six, seven years ago. The physical therapy was torture, and I was in pain all the time. The PTSD and depression didn’t help matters either. I was sick and fucking tired of it all.”

Was that code for wanting to commit suicide? Aaron wanted to ask, but he held back, letting Caleb finish.

“Then, one day, I was sitting on the couch, a bottle of pain pills in one hand and a bottle of Jack Daniels in the other, when a magazine on the coffee table caught my attention. To this day I don’t know how it got there, but a title on the cover caught my attention. So I started reading. Everything the woman in the article was going through, her physical and emotional pain… Change a few things, and it could have been written about me. And by the time I finished, I was in tears.” The left side of his mouth tipped up in a haunting smile. “Although, I’d appreciate it if you’d leave the crying part out of the article. I do have a reputation to maintain.”

“Totally off the record.” Aaron held up his three middle fingers and stepped closer. “Scout’s honor.”

Caleb nodded. “It’s hard to put into words, but the article struck a chord deep inside me. It was one of those life-changing moments where everything becomes clear. The past, the present, the future. And I saw this place in my head. Operation Better Tomorrow, a way to turn my pain into someone else’s better tomorrow.”

“Wow. That’s just… Wow.” Something about the words Caleb used were familiar, but Aaron couldn’t quite place them. “As a writer, that would be the greatest compliment a person could give me, to tell me my words were the bridge they needed to get from a painful past and into a brighter future. I think I would literally fall over from pride.”

Caleb closed what little distance remained between them. “Is that your subtle way of telling me I should be prepared to catch you?”

“Be prepared to catch me?” The question escaped seconds before realization bitchslapped him. Oh, Sweet Baby J. He’d written the article that had saved Caleb’s life.

 

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brandi-evans-profile-picBrandi Evans was raised by a caravan of traveling Gypsies. She spent her days learning the ways of her people and her nights lost in legends as old as time. Okay, not really, but that’s way more interesting than the truth!

In reality, Brandi grew up the oldest child of an ordinary family. Grade school, middle school, high school. Nothing extraordinary happened until she left the nest. She joined the military, went to college, got married, and became a mom. And somewhere along the way, she discovered she liked to read—and write!—stories hot enough to melt eReaders.

These days, she calls The Natural State home where she lives with her hubby, two beautiful daughters, two dogs and a cat who has yet to realize she doesn’t own the place. Soldier. Wife. Mom. Multi-published smut writer. Brandi’s life might not be “traveling Gypsy” interesting, but she’s had fun. And in the end, isn’t that all that really matters?

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

 

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Pictures At An Exhibition

Image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. Attribution: Biswarup Ganguly

Image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. Attribution: Biswarup Ganguly

 

Last year I entered the annual Queer SciFi flash fiction event. The rules were (cough) simple:  Write a complete story—either sci fi, fantasy, or paranormal. Make sure it has LGBT characters and/or an LGBT vibe. And do it all with just 300 words.

All the entries were collected together into an anthology Discovery: QSF’s Second Annual Flash Fiction Contest Contributors were asked not to publish their entries anywhere else for a year, and I’ve only recently realised that the year is up. My entry was Pictures At An Exhibition, where the chance discovery of alien art leads to a moment of connection.

This little snippet influenced the second story in a coming anthology of post-apocalyptic fiction, featuring shuttle pilot Li Liang. More of that later when I have a book cover to show off! In the meantime, here’s:

Pictures At An Exhibition

The city is deserted, half-ruined towers biting up into a sky the colour of a bruised peach. Kit and Will land their scoutships in a plaza, quiet but for the sigh of the wind scything through. The wind smells salty.

Kit shivers. Planets scoured clean of sentient life are a windfall, once explored and cleared for human settlement. Kit likes the finder’s fee, but he doesn’t like exploring dead cities.

“No war damage,” Will says. And when Kit points out pestilence isn’t much better, he adds, “No remains, either. Maybe they just left.” He nods towards a tower. “Let’s go.”

Kit follows. Gives him a good view of Will’s rear. He does like exploring that.

The building is desolate. Empty. And the next. But in the third—a museum? a gallery?—they find something of the planet’s inhabitants.

The walls are hung with images of people, painted onto translucent metal sheets. The people come in two colours, copper or gold. They have heads, arms and legs, but they don’t look human—too many arms and legs. Most paintings are of pairs, one of each colour, sometimes with little ones clustered around.

Domestic scenes. Familiar scenes. Human-ish scenes.

“Male and female, maybe?” Kit says. There’s no other way to tell. No obvious physical differences. No differentiating clothing.

Will shrugs. “They look like family groups. So, yeah. Probably.”

Not human. But they must have been like humans in the ways that matter. Living and loving had been important enough to preserve in paint.

The next painting has two copper people, holding appendages. Not hands. Appendages. They don’t have hands.

Two copper people, together.

Well, now.

Kit slips his hand into Will’s and grins. Yeah. These people hadn’t been human, but they sure were like him and Will in the ways that matter.

 

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Newsletter Poll

graphicNewsletters are a great way to keep in touch with readers, but I’m currently facing a dilemma of whether to carry on with a regular quarterly newsletter when in some quarters – like this one! – I have less to say that’s concrete and interesting, or whether to switch to occasional newsletters that go out only when there is something to announce, such as launch dates or sharing covers for new books etc.

I’m inclined towards the latter, but here’s your opportunity to tell me which you prefer.

 

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