Monday, February 20, 2017

Guest Post: J. Scott Coatsworth

Skythane8 1

Thanks for having me to celebrate the release of my first novel, “Skythane.” :) Here are my answers.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I used to be a total pantser. I started so many stories, because it was such a thrill to set off o a new one. But I hardly ever finished them.

Fast forward to now, and I’m a controlled pantser. I take the time to figure out where to start and where to end, and generally how I’m gonna get there. I leave enough fuzziness to wander and keep the story interesting for my writer brain. :)

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

LOL… three things. Well, four, actually. Writer, astronomer, astronaut and rock star. The astronomy thing had way too much math. The astronaut thing too much physical exercise. And the rock star thing… let’s just say that never panned out. Might have helped if I’d actually tried, but the music thing never came easy for me.

So that left writing, which it turned out I was pretty good at.

Did you start out in (online or real life) crit groups?

Yeah, kind of. When I was in my early twenties, I took a writing class at my local community college. The class ended, but the group continued on, and for several years we had a wonderful, vibrant writing community. I still miss it at times, but it helped affirm my love of writing.

Do you ever get writers’ block?

I do, kinda. I don’t know that I am ever completely blocked, but I do run into dead ends sometimes.  Usually it means there’s a part of the story my subconscious is working on. So I like to have two or three projects going at any given time, so when I get what I call “writer’s slowdown”, I can switch lanes and move ahead on another one until my brain figures out what’s wrong with the first.

Do you have any strange writing habits or superstitions?

Hmmmm… not really? I do have certain things at my desk that help inspire me… my little Marvin the Martian flash drive, my Buddah Board (you paint on it with water) and the cool magnetic hourglass Mark got me for our anniversary. They help distract my brain when I get stuck or stressed.

And music. Music keys into my creative impulse, so it helps me write, especially when I find the right song for a scene.

——————
My new novel, Skythane, is just out – and it combines my love of sci fi and secret reveals and MM romance. I hope you enjoy it!

Blurb:

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.

Excerpt:

Rain 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?”

Buy Links Etc:

Dreamspinner - eBook: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/skythane-by-j-scott-coatsworth-8154-b

Dreamspinner - paperback: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/skythane-by-j-scott-coatsworth-8155-b

Amazon: Coming Soon

Barnes & Noble: Coming Soon

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/skythane

Smashwords: Coming Soon

iBooks: https://linkmaker.itunes.apple.com/en-us/details/1195468498?country=us&mediaType=books&term=Skythane

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33899235-skythane?from_search=true

 Author Bio:

 Scott 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.

 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

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

What I'm Working on this Week

*smooches*
 
Writing:
Turquoise, NM
Leading the Blind
 
In edits/rewrites:
Best New Artist
The Wounded Warrior
Midnight Rodeo: Above the Fold
 
At beta:
Finding Mr. Wright
 
At proofing:
Seashores of Old Mexico
 
On hold:
Soft Place to Land
Cereus: Never is an Eternity
 
Subbed:
Finding Mr. Wright
 
The week's plan?
Write and work

Monday, December 26, 2016

What I'm Working on this Week

Happy Holidays, y’all!
 
Writing:
Cereus: Never is an Eternity
Redneck Wedding Planner
Leading the Blind
 
In edits/rewrites:
Best New Artist
The Wounded Warrior
Tropical Depression
Midnight Rodeo: Above the Fold
 
At beta:
 
 
At proofing:
Seashores of Old Mexico
 
On hold:
Soft Place to Land
Turquoise, New Mexico
 
Subbed:
nothing
 
The week's plan?
Finish Redneck Wedding Planner

Monday, December 19, 2016

Guest Post: J. Scott Coatsworth

Cover front

Things I Learned Writing Wonderland

J. Scott Coatsworth

Whenever I write a new story, I try to learn something.

Sometimes it’s about the craft – not using so many adverbs. Not starting half my sentences with “but” or “and”. And (there it is) cutting waaaaaay back on my em dashes—whether I want to or not.

At other times, though, it’s all about the research. This time, it was the research, in spades. I had so much to find out for this story:

How far it is from Vermont to Vancouver?

About 3,161 miles.

How could you get gasoline out of a pump if there’s no more power?

You siphon it out. A battery powered hand pump doesn’t hurt.

What causes OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)?

There are a number of potential causes, but one of them is called PANDAS or PAN (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus) – you can get OCD from a strep infection which affects the brain.

Is there a cure for OCD?

No, but medications and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help people with OCD manage it.

Is everyone with OCD like Monk?

This was one of the biggest complaints my friends with OCD had. OCD does not mean you are a neat freak. What it does mean, typically, is that you have a “ritual” or set of rituals that you believe will forestall something negative from happening, and that you have a very difficult time moving past this, no matter how illogical it may seem.
Researching OCD was one of the most rewarding parts of writing this story. I love writing non-traditional characters, and getting away from pretty young perfect twinks. I had help – two writers with OCD and one who treats it. I only hope I did them justice!

I hope you like the story. It’s a bit off the beaten path, but in the end, it is an MM Christmas love story with a, HEA. 

So Merry Christmas!

***

Publisher: Mischief Corner Books

Authors: Gregory L. Norris, J. Scott Coatsworth & Wendy Rathbone

Cover Artist: Freddy MacKay

Length: 40.8k, 228 pages

Format: eBook, Paperback

Release Date: 12/14/16

Pairing: MM

Price: 4.99, 10.99

Genres: mm romance, holiday, Christmas, gay science fiction, gay contemporary

 

Blurbs:

Warmth, family, good cheer? Not everyone associates these things with the winter holidays. For some, it’s a time of longing and reflection. Mischief Corner Books invites authors to create stories set during the holiday season and centered on the fulfillment of a wish or desire.

Fear of Fire by Gregory L. Norris

Glass Artist Lucius Price works desperately to create a holiday symbol intended to help the town of Villatopia heal from a rash of unsolved hate crimes against gay men. When he is targeted next and his studio set ablaze, handsome firefighter Oscar Ramos rescues Lucius from the flames, creating a different kind of fire during an unforgettable Christmas.

Wonderland by J. Scott Coatsworth

Zeke is a loner his late forties, living in a small cabin in rural Montana. Nathan has been traveling across country on foot since the zombie apocalypse, dealing with his OCD in an empty world.  Zeke just wants someone to love. Nathan just wants to be home again.

Fate brings them together in a winter wonderland, but their own fears and baggage may tear them apart.

Is there still hope for love at Christmas, at the end of the world?

Eve of the Great Frost by Wendy Rathbone

Remi has prepared for over a year to be the king’s gift at the annual celebration of the Eve of the Great Frost on the planet Niobe. Twelve men, taught under the tutelage of the Pleasure Master, hope to be the one (or one of several) chosen to spend an erotic night with the mysterious alien king who always wears a mask. But when Remi’s turn comes to be presented to His Majesty, everything goes wrong from a costume malfunction to breaking protocol. What happens next is a shock, and a night he will never forget

 

Excerpt from Wonderland:

December 19

 

Zeke stared up at the darkening sky from the porch of his log cabin. The clouds were rolling in over the mountains, thick as cotton. A year and four months he'd been here all alone, since he'd last seen another living human being. At forty-eight, he was resigned to the fact that nothing much was likely to change in his life from now on.

A good storm was coming—he felt it in his bones, although the winter had been unusually warm and dry so far. He'd need to haul some firewood inside the cabin and check his food stocks. He scratched at his scraggly beard as he carried in the chopped wood to lay it next to the fireplace.

Zeke lived off a combination of trout from the Clark Fork River and an assortment of canned goods from the local Grocery Surplus store, but even that vast source of food was starting to wear thin. Winter was just starting—and still not an inch of snow, though that looked to be changing quickly.

Sometimes he wished that he wasn't the last man on Earth. He'd always been a loner. He'd lived up here on the slopes of the Reservation Divide his whole life, first with his father, and then these last ten years by himself. He'd acted on his impulses once or twice, driving down to Missoula for some big-city life in the town's two gay bars, but he'd never found what he was looking for, and now it was too late.

It turned out that absence really did make the heart grow fonder. He wished that he had someone—anyone—to talk to. He snorted. If wishes were fishes, we'd all live in the sea—one of his father's favorite sayings.

Maybe I should think about heading south.

The first year after the plague, he'd stayed put as it ravaged Thompson Falls down in the valley below. Even rural Montana hadn't escaped its reach. Even so, he'd run into one of the besotted, still living a couple weeks after the end, and had blown it away with his rifle. Its blood had splattered all over his face, but he hadn't gotten sick.

He shrugged. Someone had to be immune. Maybe I was the unlucky sod.

Zeke covered the rest of the wood with a new waterproof tarp to keep out the snow and sleet. That was one advantage of being the last man in the world—there were so many things at his disposal, right there for the taking, and he didn't have to pay a dime for them.

He snorted. Money—such a strange, strange thing. Sometimes he would crack open a cash register in town to grab a handful of metal coins—quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies—just to run them through his hands.

He cranked up the generator out back and went into his library room to check the shortwave radio, just like he'd done every day since the plague. It was his ritual, though he'd long since given up hope.

He sat down and scanned through the bands, listening intently for anything signifying human contact. There was only static.

Zeke went back outside and sniffed the air. Cold wind whipped at his beard. Snow was coming, for sure, but he should have enough time to make it down to the market for a quick supply run before the storm began.

He checked the fuel gauge on his ATV. It was low—he should probably top off in town. The first month after the plague, when he'd deemed it safe again to go out, he'd found a way to tap the underground tanks at the old Sinclair gas station, so he had all the fuel he needed.

He strapped one of his heavy-duty canvas sacks onto the back of the vehicle and hopped on, firing her up. He took a deep breath of the cool pine-scented air and then started off down the canyon toward the empty town of Thompson Falls.

 

Excerpt from Eve of the Great Frost:

I stood quiet and still as instructed, my hands clasped behind my back, my head slightly bowed. The red jewels on my sleeves caught the light, winking. All twelve of us glimmered in rubies.

We waited.

The pleasure master was a short, portly man with gray-silver hair tied tightly back. His black shirt was trimmed in white fur. He held a traditional leather whip, black as onyx, that he gestured with the way a conductor of an orchestra might use his baton. Since the new ways and laws came into effect, whips were for ornament only, never used for punishment.

Some said the new young king wanted to do away with slavery for good. I did not know. If it were true, why were we here tonight, clad in the Cloaks of Erotic Promise? Was it for the ritual and nothing more?

My stomach lurched at the thought. I wanted more than ritual. I wanted this night to prove to myself I had something to give. I'd trained hard and with great dedication. I longed to belong to another in pleasure, in surrender. Decadence, sensual ardor, red passion's heat—these were things I craved. To be worthy. To be wanted. I would not have sold myself otherwise. I knew my family would be taken care of by being chosen, but honestly, I was doing this for myself.

I stood on that gold stage worried, nervous, excited. My fingers clenched to fists, something we were told not to do. The sounds of revelry began to diminish, the volume softening across the ocean of dancing, moving bodies until only the voices from the guests outside could be heard wafting on the cool breeze.

Heads turned. The celebrants looked in the direction behind me. I was not allowed to move. I could not see what was happening, but I could feel it: the electricity of his approach; the change in air pressure.

The king had made his entrance.

The air seemed to flutter about me. Light and flame, gilt and tinsel—everything glowed. The great hall seemed too small to contain it all.

I could feel his presence looming closer, a psychic weight, a change in the dimensions of reality both subtle and dramatic. Everything blurred, all heat and distant ringing of stemware and held breaths mixing with raised pulse rates, the inner hum of awe, the rustle of silks as people realized they now occupied the same space as a legend.

Every part of my being wished to break formation, to turn and look upon the origin of this catalyst of change and upheaval, this man who'd brought an end to our suffering ways.

Only my vow of discipline kept me in my place.

The pleasure master said from somewhere behind me in a voice of wavering bass tones, "Welcome, Your Highness, Emperor of Niobe, Greatest of Venerables, King Shin. I have the honor of presenting to you on this glorious evening the revered and most exotic gifts of our land, the finest and most beautiful physical representatives of our male citizens, trained in the esteemed art of exquisite gratification."

An enthralling voice replied, "The honor is mine."

 

Buy Links Etc:

 

Publisher: http://www.mischiefcornerbooks.com/this-wish-tonight.html (info only)

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NAEIP8C (preorder until 12/14)

 

Apple: Coming Soon

 

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thiswishtonight-2181667-166.html  (preorder until 12/14)

 

Barnes & Noble: Coming Soon

 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/this-wish-tonight

 

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/686756

 

iBooks: Coming Soon

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33197468-this-wish-tonight?from_search=true

 

Author Bios:

 

Gregory L. Norris

I am a full-time professional writer, with numerous publication credits to my resume, mostly in national magazines and fiction anthologies. A former writer at Sci Fi, the official magazine of the Sci Fi Channel (before all those ridiculous Ys invaded), I once worked as a screenwriter on two episodes of Paramount’s modern classic, Star Trek: Voyager and am the author of the handbook to all-things-Sunnydale, The Q Guide to Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Alyson Books, 2008).

In late 2009, two of my paranormal romance novels for Ravenous Romance (www.ravenousromance.com) were reprinted as special editions by Home Shopping Network as part of their “Escape with Romance” segment – the first time HSN has offered novels to their customers. In late 2011, my collection of brandy-new terrifying short and long fiction, The Fierce and Unforgiving Muse: A Baker’s Dozen From the Terrifying Mind of Gregory L. Norris is being published by Evil Jester Press. I have fiction forthcoming from the fine people at Cleis Press, STARbooks, EJP, The Library of Horror, Simon and Shuster, and Pill Hill Press, to name a few.

Website: http://www.gregorylnorris.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gregory.norris.10

 

J. Scott Coatsworth

Scott 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.

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 currenty 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

 

Wendy Rathbone

 

Wendy Rathbone has been writing for many years in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, horror, romance and erotica. Her poetry and short stories have been widely published in magazines and anthologies, and won many awards. She is a Writers of the Future alum (second place, vol 8 and has two stories in the classic, still in print, Hot Blood series, as well as a story in the scifi volume of the classic gay anthology Bending the Landscape.
 
While she has always written GLBTQ characters in her fiction and fan fiction, in 2011 she began to delve deeply into the realm of male/male romance and erotica. She has many indie m/m romance novels, the most recent being “The Moonling Prince” and its sequel “The Coming of the Light”. This year she sold her newest novel “The Android and the Thief” to Dreamspinner Press for publication in April, 2017.
 
Wendy lives in Yucca Valley, CA with her partner of 36 years, Della Van Hise, and is currently hard at work on a new m/m romance novel.

Website: http://wendyrathbone.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wendy.rathbone.3

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wendyrathbone1 

Monday, December 5, 2016

What I'm Up to this Week

Back on the horse again, giddyup!
 
Writing:
Cereus: Never is an Eternity
Midnight Rodeo: Above the Fold
Turquoise, New Mexico
Redneck Wedding Planner
Leading the Blind
 
In edits/rewrites:
Best New Artist
The Wounded Warrior
Tropical Depression
 
At beta:
 
 
At proofing:
 
 
On hold:
Soft Place to Land
 
Subbed:
nothing
 
The week's plan?
WRITE ALL THE WORDS!

Monday, November 7, 2016

What I'm Up to This Week

Car thieves suck. Just sayin’.
Writing:
Cereus: Never is an Eternity
Midnight Rodeo: Above the Fold
 
In edits/rewrites:
Calling His Bluff
 
At beta:
 
 
At proofing:
Just Like Cats and Dogs and Bonus
Two Cowboys and a Baby
 
On hold:
Soft Place to Land
 
Subbed:
The Wounded Warrior
Best New Artist
 
The week's plan?
Try to survive through Tuesday.