Tag Archives: Elementals

Blog Tour: Striking Balance by Jeanne G’Fellers

Striking Balance | Jeanne G’Fellers

Appalachian Elementals #3

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Publisher: Mountain Gap Books

Release Date: July 21st, 2020

Buy Links:

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Blurb

Benjamin Schnell is the possessor of secrets he wishes he could bury beneath the rich Nolichucky river flat dirt he farms alongside his dear friend, Conall. But secrets lead to lies, lead to more secrets, and all eventually come home to roost in a bed of distrust, even on the 1779 Appalachian frontier.

After Ben is injured, he realizes there are odd things happening around him that others cannot see. Corner shadows take human shapes, lightning bugs dance in broad daylight, and the farm’s strange owner, Master Gow, returns with an offer Conall cannot refuse if Ben is to live. But making a deal with Master Gow will take them deep into the mountains to where a haunted king reigns and Fire balances Water in a delicate natural friendship.

Ben must learn self-acceptance and trust if he and Conall are going to survive because there can be no secrets in the mountains, only truth.

Another rich tale from the Appalachian Elementals world focusing on complex families containing rich LGBTQIA+ characters.

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Excerpt

I open my eyes to whitewashed walls and sunlight streaming through large open windows covered by gauzy curtains. This is a quiet space reminiscent of my youth. The window is wide to the afternoon air, my pillow is soft, my bed comfortable with sweetgrass, and I rest beneath the lightest of patchworks. And my shirt ‘tis cotton. Heaven. Yes, I am certain I have reached the hereafter. Perhaps I can see Mutti again and—

“Get back here ye’ fool!” I turn my head in time to see Alexandria pause before a window. Her face is flushed, and her hands are in fists at her sides. “Get back here wit’ mah pie!”

“Come get it, you flightless baggage!”

My thoughts of Heaven erode when Alexandria launches into a long line of Scots-Gaelic curses of the likes I have not heard since I left the mine. This is not the Alexandria I know and respect, not the voice of a proper lady at all. She hisses as she threatens to cut off his twiddle-diddles with her kitchen knife, cook them in the pottage, and feed them back to him.

“Return Lexy’s hard work, boy.” This is Master Gow’s voice, but ‘tis also not, higher in tone but equally powerful, and I wonder if he has a sister. “And the crust best not be broke!”

“But… ow!” I am unable to see what occurs next, but a man crosses in front of the window with a pie in his hands and something or someone I cannot see is dragging him. “Ow! King Dane, please! I am sorry, Lexy, real sorry!”

King? This woman who I suspect is related to Master Gow is named King Dane? Whatever… My cough returns, deep and fluidic, but ‘tis clearly not to be my death so I look for something to spit into.

“There’s a bucket of sawdust at your bedside, Benjamin.” Master Gow’s sister speaks from just outside the window. “I’ll be there shortly to talk with you.” Her voice turns away. “Go cut two days of wood for the main kitchen,” she tells the man who is still apologizing to Alexandria.

“But I got hides to scrape and…”

“Do it! Then scrape them hides.”

“Ow! Yes, King Dane.”

I crawl deep beneath my quilt when their voices fade. Where am I? At this point, I have no clue, but I believe I am alive. The table beside my bed is laden with bottles, jars, a fleam and cup, but there is also a mug so I sit up, examining the contents, water, before I drink.

I startle when the door to the apartment swings open. “Ah brought ye soup an’ tea.” Ceardach deposits a tray onto my lap. There’s also buttered bread on the tray, along with bacon, eggs, and a bowl of beans.

“Thank ye, but I need to…”

“Of course.” Ceardach pulls the tray away. “Th’ pot’s under th’ bed.”

I hesitate, but my need is too great so I swallow my pride, thankful when he moves to stand in the doorway with his back to me.

“Ye need tae drink more.” Ceardach returns to my side when I am abed and pushes the pot under the bed after he examines the contents. “An’ ye best get over bein’ bashful right quick. Someone will use it against ye.” He drops the tray onto my lap, “Eat.” pulls his pipe and pouch and begins filling the bowl, watching as I take up my spoon. The food has most certainly been made under Alexandria’s watch. I can tell by the seasonings, and… I am nearing famished.

“Slow an’ steady. Let one bite settle afore th’ next.” Ceardach lights his pipe so quickly I see nothing but a flash. The outside din continually grows while I eat, but Ceardach pays it no heed. I hear hammers striking anvils, a proliferation of swearing, wood being split and stacked, the sounds of a wider community. The smells coming through the door would be enough to turn my stomach if I was not so hungry. Baking bread, multiple privies, wood, ash, dirt, burning wood, herbs, and… I smell iron and sulfur, but none of it quells my appetite to the point I cease eating.

“Am I in a town?” I shovel more into my mouth.

“Of sorts. Ye will grow accustomed tae it all.” Ceardach blows out a billow of white smoke that rings his head then drifts away. “Yer cough an’ congestion will fade in time.”

I nod and bite into my bread. My appetite must be part of my recovery, a drive for nourishment so I might heal quickly. There is another bed I have ignored until now, unmade, with blankets folded neatly at the foot. “Where am I?”

“In the kingdom.” He points to my water. “Drink.”

“But…”

“Drink first.”

I am obedient, but he tells me to empty the mug before he will speak further. “Good, now—” Ceardach raises his head. “Ah, here’s yer answer.”

I attempt to sort through all I see, but ‘tis difficult. Is this Master Gow or—

“Stop gawkin’. ‘Twill get you slapped ‘round here.”

“If not hit or cut,” adds Ceardach. “Sit, Dane. Ah will step out but stay close.”

“Aye, Ceardach, thank you.”

I see a woman’s face, a man’s work cap atop her head. “You’re still under my protection. That hasn’t changed, but the rest…” She wears trousers and a calf-length smith’s apron over a man’s red check work shirt with rolled sleeves. “You’re starin’ even longer than Conall did.” She pulls a tobacco twist from her apron pocket and bites off a piece. “Are you as tongue-tied too?”

“I…” This woman bears the same tattows as Master Gow. “No, sir, I mean, miss, I mean…”

“You’ll address me as King Dane ‘til I tell you elsewise.” My spit bucket slides across the floor to her feet. “How will you address me?”

“I…”

“Say it, Benjamin.” She spits into the bucket. “‘Tis important you know my station ‘round here.”

“Yes, King Dane.” But this is a woman. How does she warrant the title of king?

“And you never disobey your king, right, Benjamin?”

“Yes… King Dane?”

“Smart man. ‘Tis why I chose you, but I made Conall in the process, an excellent deal I am pleased we could accommodate.” King Dane seems amused by my gaping mouth. “Calm yourself. I hear your heart poundin’ from here.”

About The Author

AUTHOR PIC - Striking Balance - Jeanne GFellers

Born and raised in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Science Fiction and Fantasy author Jeanne G’Fellers’ early memories include watching the original Star Trek series with their father and reading the books their librarian mother brought home. Jeanne’s writing influences include Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia Butler, Isaac Asimov, and Frank Herbert.

Jeanne lives in Northeast Tennessee with their spouse and five crazy felines. Their home is tucked against a small woodland where they regularly see deer, turkeys, raccoons, and experience the magic of the natural world.

Author Website: https://jeannegfellersauthor.com/

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/Jeannegfellersauthor

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlgfellers

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorjeannegfellers/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B01N0YWCT7?

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New Release Blitz: Hearts of Blood by Kay Doherty

Hearts of Blood | Kay Doherty

Series: Chevalier #2

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: July 29, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 42,000

Buy Links:

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble

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Blurb

Omega wolf shifter, Vance, and the rest of his small pack have finally found an Alpha willing to take them on and were still trying to regain their footing when the McBane Pack attacked them. When a vampire appears in front of him, Vance realizes he’s looking into the ice-blue eyes of his mate, and the fact that his mate is something other than wolf scares him.

Sakima knew the wolf shifter was his destined companion the moment he scented him at Elysium, but claiming the gorgeous young Omega wolf is a dangerous proposition. Vance and his unconventional pack have attracted the attention of the vampire coven. As the owner of Elysium, Sakima has been asked to use the club to gather information on the powerful interspecies pack and its Alpha.

Unfortunately for Vance and Sakima, the vampire coven and the continued attacks by the McBane Pack are only a portion of their problems. Amidst concerns over Alpha Tanner’s abilities growing with Sakima’s addition to the pack, a spurned ex targets Vance in an attempt to remove him from Sakima’s life, and Elysium becomes a hotbed for interspecies mingling where anyone could be an enemy.

Excerpt

Hearts of Blood
Kay Doherty © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Sakima

Sakima glanced around the yard at the wolf shifters, both in human and wolf form, before settling his gaze on the one he’d come for—his destined companion. He had waited hundreds of years for this creature to arrive. The beautiful golden-brown wolf whined and took a small step back, crouched in wariness, tail tucked.

“What do you want, vampire?” the Alpha asked.

“My name is Sakima Hawke, and I want him,” Sakima answered as he took in the tawny wolf.

The wolf began to shake, making Sakima’s skin itch. This creature was his destined companion; he should never be fearful of him. Sakima squatted so he was eye level with his wolf, his gaze never straying from him, in an attempt to show through action he was not a threat. He’d known the moment the tawny-haired man had brushed against him at Elysium they were meant to be together, but the place had been packed that night and the wolf shifter had quickly melted away into the throng. Sakima had searched the club, attempting to pick the man out from the crowd, but the wolf shifter had turned out to be quite elusive. He’d lost the wolf’s scent for weeks before finding it again quite suddenly moments ago while on his way home.

It was an act of the fates Sakima had decided on a leisurely stroll rather than traveling home at hyperspeed after visiting one of his oldest friends: a human donor who was declining in health. Excitement he’d not felt in decades thrummed through his veins at the sight of the wolf now crouched before him. The sharp tang of fear wafting from him increased Sakima’s discomfort. Perhaps the wolf wasn’t aware of what they were to each other yet, though it was more likely he was simply uneducated about vampires. Sakima was well aware of the fear his kind generated. Too many rumors, myths, and misunderstandings circulated about vampires.

Many believed they were the walking dead, that anyone they fed from would become a vampire as well, but that was all fallacy. Sakima was no more dead than anyone else present, though he knew he appeared to be with his pale skin, long white hair, and ice-blue eyes. He could love, mate, and feed from his partner without changing the beautiful creature. Sakima would take great care in helping his destined understand he was no more of a threat than the Elemental, dragon, or Alpha he kept company with, each of whom had their own myths and rumors.

Desire to touch the gorgeous animal before him had Sakima extending a hand. He did so with extreme caution, so as not to frighten the wolf further, but was unsuccessful. The wolf curled into himself, becoming as small as his bulk would allow, crouching lower to the ground on shaky legs, ears flattened to his skull. Sakima lowered his hand to the grass but otherwise remained still. Instilling trust with a shifter while they were in animal form being ruled a great deal by their animal instincts was difficult. This would be far easier if the young man would shift back to human, though Sakima understood why he wouldn’t do so at this moment. When the man shifted, he would be naked, which the shifter may view as a vulnerability in his human form.

“You must know I won’t hurt you,” Sakima said softly. “We are destined companions.”

The wolf whined and turned to the pack leader. If Sakima understood wolf shifters well, there was a bond between his wolf and the Alpha that allowed them to speak telepathically. He’d never been jealous of such a thing before, but he didn’t like his fated companion being able to communicate telepathically with anyone other than him. Unfortunately, the telepathic bond was an inevitable part of being in a wolf pack. And if he wanted to claim this wolf shifter, he would have to accept the pack as a whole because there would be no removing his companion from them. Not safely. Sakima rose to his feet, his heart sinking a bit when his wolf scurried away to hide within the house. He gave no reaction outwardly, but he gave a mental sigh as he turned to face the Alpha.

“My apologies,” the Alpha said. “I asked him to go inside for a moment. He’s a bit overwhelmed.”

“Frightened, you mean,” Sakima corrected.

The Alpha wasn’t concerned with semantics. “We’ve all been through quite a lot recently, and this is a bit of a surprise. I’m sure you understand…Sakima? May I call you that?”

Sakima inclined his head in acceptance. “And you would be?”

“Tanner McBane. I’m the Alpha, and Vance is a member of my pack.”

Vance. A unique name for a uniquely beautiful wolf. Sakima scanned the “pack,” his gaze drifting from a gray wolf to a gray-and-brown wolf to a dragon to a white wolf with wild eyes to an Elemental, finally coming to rest once again on the Alpha.

“Quite the unconventional pack, if I may say.”

“Yes, I know.”

“Word has spread through the paranormal ranks of a pack of outcasts who have gained more power than is considered safe or wise. I feel I should be concerned for the welfare of my destined companion being bonded to such a pack.”

The statement was met with several growls and a strong wind that only affected Sakima, whipping his long hair in every direction. Sakima smiled. Vance was clearly cared for and protected. Tanner glanced at the dragon on his left.

“Have you ever heard of a wolf mating a vampire? Chevaliers aside.”

“No,” the dragon answered. “But I’d never before heard of a wolf mating an Elemental either. Or a dragon.”

The expression that passed between dragon and Alpha was not missed by Sakima. The name Chevalier shook him, but he pushed the memory aside—a centuries-old mistake best left to the dust of time.

“So, the rumors are true,” Sakima said.

“What rumors?” the Elemental asked.

“Of same-sex, interspecies matings taking place openly. I had hoped, given what I now know of my own destined companion, but had remained skeptical,” Sakima answered.

By way of introduction, Tanner said, “The dragon shifter is Luca. He’s my mate. The Elemental is Deacon and his mate is the white wolf, Ross. The gray wolf is Ean, and the grayish brown wolf is Theran. If you truly plan to claim Vance as your mate, you, too, will be an openly mated interspecies couple. You need to be comfortable with that if you’re going to become part of the pack.”

Sakima showed plenty of fang when he spoke. “Oh, I have every intention of claiming my fated mate, Alpha, but I said nothing of joining your pack.”

Movement at the patio doors drew Sakima’s attention. Vance in human form was as handsome as his wolf was beautiful; golden-brown hair and the lithe, toned physique all wolf shifters possessed. Those hazel eyes showed fear and hesitation, but also recognition, making Sakima believe Vance knew they were destined companions. Vance simply wasn’t accepting it, yet.

“You would risk his safety and sanity by taking him from his pack, severing his pack bond? What kind of mate would do such a thing?” Deacon asked through clenched teeth.

Sakima was surprised by the vehemence and animosity coming from the Elemental. He’d made the simple suggestion that claiming his wolf did not necessarily equate to him joining the pack. Nothing more. Though perhaps removing his destined companion was something to consider, given the volatile nature the pack exuded.

“I won’t leave my pack,” Vance said softly.

His voice was melodic to Sakima’s ears. Despite the fear and uncertainty, Vance’s words didn’t waver. They were strong and decisive, despite the fact the wolf was still hiding behind the pack. Vance had donned a pair of shorts and a tank top, leaving his toned arms, legs, and feet bared to Sakima’s perusal, and he soaked in the sight.

“I know what I’m about to suggest will be difficult for you,” Tanner said. “But I think you should leave. Perhaps stay away for a few days to give Vance time to acclimate to the idea of having a vampire for a mate.”

“Not as difficult as you might think,” Sakima said.

He’d been living a solitary life for nearly forty years, and he planned to use the time apart from Vance to prepare for the wolf to join him. He moved with vampiric speed past the pack to stand before Vance. While he was willing to leave for a short time, he wouldn’t allow his companion to put the pack between them. When he stopped, he stood face-to-face with his beautiful man. Vance yelped and jumped back, but Sakima caught him with an arm around his waist, aborting any attempt at escape. Heat immediately seeped through the cloth of his shirt, warming his skin.

“Until next time, pet.”

Sakima placed a chaste kiss on Vance’s lips so as not to cut him with his fangs. Not yet. He would draw blood from Vance only after they became lovers, and Vance demonstrated his willingness. As quickly as he had appeared before Vance, he disappeared, leaving the outcast pack and his destined mate behind. It was a temporary situation, after all. Now that he knew where his wolf companion was, he felt far more relaxed and willing to let things progress at a pace comfortable for Vance.

About the Author

Kay Doherty is an omnisexual/polysexual who lives in Colorado with her poly-family, Mike, Keri, and Tigz. Her house is overrun with cats and dogs. Family is important to her so there are daily texts, frequent visits to her parents, and constant banter with her brothers.

She happily suffers a severe addiction to coffee and Mexican food. She loves to read and write and can easily become consumed by it for hours, much to the dismay of Mike and Keri (Tigz is an enabler).

On occasion she can be convinced to venture out into the world of the living despite being annoyed by the sun shining in her face.

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