Tag Archives: non binary

Blog Tour: Striking Balance by Jeanne G’Fellers

Striking Balance | Jeanne G’Fellers

Appalachian Elementals #3

BANNER - Striking Balance

Publisher: Mountain Gap Books

Release Date: July 21st, 2020

Buy Links:

Mountain Gap Books | Amazon US Kindle | Amazon US Paperback

iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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COVER - Striking Balance

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?

Giveaway

Jeanne is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter:

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Blog Tour: A Fine Mess by Angel Martinez

A Fine Mess | Angel Martinez

Brimstone #7

BANNER - A Fine Mess

Release Date: July 28th, 2020

Publisher: Mischief Corner Books

Length: 80,000 words

Cover Artist: Freddy MacKay

Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BNHYM3C/

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-fine-mess-14

Apple:https://books.apple.com/us/book/a-fine-mess/id1520850079

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-fine-mess-angel-martinez/1137247311

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/a-fine-mess-brimstone-book-7-by-angel-martinez

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54253395-a-fine-mess

COVER - A Fine Mess

Blurb

Beware the demon prince who’s sick and tired of running.

Federico Duomo is dead, to begin with. But this is only the first bit of Shax’s problems resolved. Powerful crime lords and an obscenely wealthy oligarch are still determined to destroy him and his crew, and Fluffy’s original owner may be coming after the Brimstone now, too. It would be splendid to be able to take on one thing at a time.

Adding to the external conflicts, life on board the Brimstone has only grown increasingly stranger. Shax has no idea what to do with the seven partly human children that Heckle rescued from slavers. Heckle himself has grown short-tempered, even with Mac. Someone from Julian’s past catches up to them on Barbary. It’s enough to put a demon off his cinnamon buns.

Shax isn’t panicking, though. In fact, he’s had it up to his handsome royal nose with the people he loves having to live in constant fear. The fox has turned at bay and the Brimstone’s enemies are in for a shock. The demon prince of thieves is coming for them.

Warnings: Some violence and one group of very creepy hell denizens

Series Blurb

Due to circumstances completely within his control, Shax, the Demon Prince of Thieves, has fled, er, emigrated from Earth to seek his fortunes out in the galaxy. Who said Science Fiction always has to be serious?

1- Potato Surprise

2 – Hell for the Company

3 – Fear of Frogs

4 – Shax’s War

5 – Beside a Black Tarn

6 – The Hunt for Red Fluffy

Excerpt

Chapter One

“Captain Cream Puff, Glkix is on the line for you.” Ms. Ivana kept her voice to a throaty purr, probably in deference to the early hour.

While Shax had been expecting the call, he would’ve preferred at least one more cup of coffee beforehand. “Thank you, my dear. Put her through to my comm, please.”

He arranged himself in his desk chair to appear calm and unaffected, coffee mug in one hand for any necessary sardonic or thoughtful sipping. A brief flicker through the relays, and Glkix’s image hovered above the holo plate on his desk. Her blue-black hair swept up and pinned with obsidian, her gray-green face smooth and serene, his mother’s personal assistant was as elegant as ever. Few people would have picked up the tightness around her eyes, and only if they’d known her as long as Shax had. Not good news, then.

“Good morning, highness. Your royal mother sends greetings.”

“Thank you, Glkix. Please convey my filial greetings in return.” Shax’s nerves got the better of him. He sipped. “You have something for me?”

Incomprehensible data flowed across the screen as Glkix typed. “We were able to track her genetic material through registered bloodlines and make discreet inquiries regarding missing stock. Her lineage is well-documented and highly prized among certain demon lords, highness.”

Is this flattery or an explanation of methodology? Sometimes it’s so hard to tell. “Yes? Do you have an answer, or is this just an update on progress?”

Glkix cleared her throat, eyes glued to the data stream. “An answer, highness. Your hellcat belongs to Baphomet, Lord of Beasts.”

Hell’s shiny, pointy gates. Inside, Shax ran in little circles screaming. Outwardly, he sipped. “I see. Does he know I have her?”

“Abject apologies, highness. I’ve little data on that.” Glkix ducked in a strange sort of seated bow. “We know that Lord Baphomet was visiting a forested moon near Opal when the hellcat in question—”

“Fluffy.”

“Pardon, highness?”

Though he knew she’d never approved of his names for his pets, he persisted. “My hellcat’s name is Fluffy.”

Glkix cringed. “Er. Yes. When Fluffy was stolen from her pride.”

“Do we know by whom?”

“No, highness. Not yet.”

Shax drummed his fingers on his mug and forced himself not to sip. Control. Control. “And m’lord of beasts? Where is he now?”

“Hunting, highness. In his ship, Cornuta.” Glkix shook her head. “We are trying to redirect wherever possible, Prince Shax.”

“Understood.” All too well. “Thank you for the information. Mother can’t possibly be paying you enough.”

“I live to serve, highness.” She executed her seated bow again, and Shax cut the connection.

Carefully, he placed his mug on the desk. Pushed back his chair. Bent over his knees and screamed into his hands for a solid forty-five seconds.

Of course, he should have known better. Boots pounded down the corridor almost before he’d stopped, and his door whooshed open. Through his fingers, he spotted Ness in the doorway with his wings mantled in a fierce defensive position and his plasma pistol drawn. Julian, knives out, slid in under Ness’s wing and dove behind the trunk Shax had pulled from the closet earlier.

“Shax? Everything all right?” Ness ventured after a stunned and puzzled silence.

Julian vaulted the trunk to sit on its lid. “We thought something was murdering you.”

“No murders.” Shax sat up and forced himself to draw in a slow breath. “Not yet, at any rate.”

Instead of acknowledging him, Ness turned to Julian. “I don’t think it was an angry scream.”

“Right.” Julian nodded. “No prince-in-a-snit smoke. I’d say frustration, except there was definitely a squeaky note to it.”

“You’re both vastly entertaining and should consider taking this on the road.” Shax scowled at each in turn. “But this is serious.”

Ness flipped and reflipped his wings as he folded them before sitting on the bunk. “Perhaps you could enlighten us, love.”

“Fluffy…” Shax paused as the hellcat in question trotted through the open door to butt her head against him almost hard enough to knock him from his chair. “Yes, you’re a good girl. Who’s the best Fluffums? Ahem. Fluffy was stolen from Baphomet.”

“I’m gathering that’s not good.” Ness let her waving tail run through his hand, careful of the sickle blade on the end, his expression unreadable.

“ISE lists Lord Baphomet as a class IV demon lord. Not of the highest rank, so he’s able to leave Sol system,” Julian offered softly. “Unpredictable, motivations unclear; do not, under any circumstances, engage.”

“While Enforcement and I disagree on many things, that’s a frighteningly apt assessment.” Mug back in hand, Shax took a fortifying sip. “He may be hunting us and, I’ll be honest, this is definitely cause for alarm. Mum and Glkix have apparently been sending him off in various directions, but he will find us at some point.”

The crinkle in Ness’s forehead showed the first sign of real concern. “Is he family? Do you know him well?”

Shax waved a hand at the universe. “All demon lords are family in a sense. I don’t believe we’re directly related, mind you. And Mum would never allow association with the more, ah, nature-oriented demons. Mud and dust and sticks in your hair…”

“That’s a no, then,” Julian drawled. “This may sound absurd to you, our lovely prince, but could you contact him? Let him know what happened?”

A cold iron weight lodged in Shax’s stomach and the backs of his eyes burned as he choked out, “But he’ll want Fluffy back.”

Everyone lunged toward him with huffs and other distressed sounds, and he found himself surrounded by arms and wings, with a huge hellcat head in his lap.

“Shax. I’m so sorry,” Julian whispered. “Please don’t cry.”

“I most certainly am not.” Of course, a hot teardrop chose that moment to splash onto Julian’s hand.

Ness stroked his hair. “We know you love her. But she had a pride once, didn’t she? Maybe a family?”

“Of course.” Shax shook himself and swiped at his eyes. Part of him wanted to collapse against them and howl like a six-year-old demon, but he was the captain, and there was such a thing as dignity. “Of course. And better to inform him than to have him come after us in a rage. I’ll… send the message.”

AUTHOR PIC - A Fine Mess - Angel Martinez

About The Author

Angel Martinez is the pen name of a writer of several genres who writes both kinds of queer fiction – Science Fiction and Fantasy. (What? There are others?) Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware, (and full time inside the author’s head).

Angel has one husband, one son, at least one cat at any given time, a changing variety of other furred and scaled companions, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.

Social Media

Author Website: https://angelmartinezauthor.weebly.com/

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/amartinez2

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/Angel.Martinez.author/

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

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1010469.Angel_Martinez

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/angel-martinez/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Angel-Martinez/e/B001KHMFTG

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Giveaway

Angel is giving away a $25 Mischief Corner Books Gift Card with this tour.

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Release Blitz: Power Inversion by Sara Codair

Power Inversion | Sara Codair

Evanstar Chronicles #2

BANNER2 - Power Inversion

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: Monday, June 22nd, 2020

Length: 84,000

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Buy Links:

Publisher: https://ninestarpress.com/product/power-inversion/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BF1KP2C

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/power-inversion-sara-codair/1137213317?ean=2940164399986

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50517249-power-inversion

COVER - Power Inversion

Blurb

Do you have to be a monster to fight one?

Erin Evanstar is a demon hunter, a protector of humanity from nightmarish predators that feed on people’s fears and flesh. They are settling into their dual life of being a teen and hunting demons.

When a tentacled horror abducts Erin’s partner, José, Erin and their family go on the hunt to get him back. But Erin gets an ultimatum: help the Fallen Angels bring on the apocalypse or watch José die. Erin will do anything to save José, but fighting monsters comes with a grim price–becoming one themselves.

Trigger Warnings: Violence, Death, Death of a Minor Character, Temporary Death of a Main Character, Mention of Past Abuse, Mention of Miscarriage, Pregnancy of Side Character, Self-harm, Suicidal Ideation, Guns, Grief, Kidnapping/abduction, alcohol use, brief depiction of humans enslaved by a supernatural creature

Excerpt

White graduation caps fell from the sky like flakes of vaporized Demon. High school was a beast, and I’d vanquished it like every monster I’d fought, with one exception—myself.

This moment deserved savoring.

Breathing deliberately, I slowed my perception of time until the caps seemed as if they were falling through cold honey on their way to the ground.

The late-spring sun beat down on me, but a breeze kept the temperature bearable. Some tassels lilted southeast—away from the towering clouds bruising the northwest sky. The weather wasn’t going to hold much longer, but I was okay with that. Thunderstorms awoke something wild in me—a pulse-racing, dance-around-like-no-one-can-see-you kind of wild—a rush of adrenaline almost as good as what I’d get from battling a Troll or sparring with Mel.

With my sense of time slowed down, the distant thunder sounded like a lion purring. The clouds glowed purple as lightning forked through them like an X-ray, temporarily revealing a mass of tentacles undulating in the clouds.

Mel, did you see that? I thought as loudly as I could, hoping my telepathic cousin would hear me.

I’d seen a lot of different Demons in the three months I’d been hunting them, but based on the stories and the Lexicon, the massive tentacled ones only materialized in oceans, and they certainly could not fly. Yet, every time lightning flashed, there they were, waving as if violent updrafts were a gentle breeze.

My heart sped up. My hands closed into fists. Mel didn’t reply.

I shut my eyes, opening my mind so I could feel all the energy around me. Most humans were blobs of buzzing heat, but Mel, a hybrid of human, Angel, and Elf, had a hotter, more intense aura with a spritz of simultaneously depressed and optimistically peppy texture. I found her near my Elven grandmother, who felt like a condensed thunderstorm.

Mel? Niben? Can you hear me? Did you see that?

Of course, there was a good chance they were both shielding. What telepath would have their mind open to other people’s thoughts when there were so many other people around?

One who hasn’t been able to properly shield in months. Mel’s melodic yet squeaky voice was a welcome presence in my mind. Shut down the hyper drive. You’re giving me a headache.

I exhaled over the course of ten seconds, willing my sense of time back to normal.

A garbled din of stretched-out voices morphed to something more akin to a clattering avalanche of pots and pans. A shoulder jostled mine. The corner of a graduation cap crashed into my head.

Erin? What had you wanted to tell me?

There were tentacles in the clouds, I thought at Mel, turning in the general direction I sensed her in.

I crashed into José, who, of course, stood right next to me.

“You okay?” he asked. Tears glistened in his midnight eyes and trickled down his sun-kissed cheeks. One snagged on the crooked tip of his nose. He clutched two graduation caps, his and mine, so tight that the scars on his knuckles were visibly stretched.

“Yeah. Are you?” I wondered if I should tell him what I’d seen. He’d been hunting Demons longer than me, but he also thrived on keeping school and the supernatural as two separate entities. And what if they hadn’t been tentacles? What if the storm had just appeared that way with the lightning in slow motion? I didn’t want to ruin his day if there wasn’t an actual threat.

“I’ll miss everyone.” He stuffed the caps under his arms and hugged me. While I wanted to celebrate because I’d made it out alive, he mourned the loss of a place that had been a haven to him for four years.

I leaned my head on his shoulder, listening to his heartbeat, trying to let his steady warmth calm the worry growing in my mind. José’s body was a rock in the sense that it was hard and athletic, but also because it anchored me when I felt as if my mind was running away.

Have you ever watched a storm with time slowed that much? asked Mel.

I shook my head before I remembered there were dozens of people between her and me. No. Do storm clouds in slow motion look like tentacles?

José kissed my hair and whispered, “Are you talking to Mel?”

I nodded.

“Is she okay?”

“She’s having trouble shielding. We should go meet up with her and the others anyway.” I stepped away from him and walked uphill.

Students, who wore white graduation robes, and their parents, who were dressed mostly in summer dresses, slacks, and collared shirts, were clumped all over Saint Patrick’s sprawling lawn.

José draped his arm over my shoulder as I wove around groups of people. The pressure was calming, lulling panic monsters back to sleep with its warm weight. I glanced up at the clouds. They were closer and darker. The wind sped up, stealing programs from a dozen people’s hands. The clouds lit up with lightning, but I didn’t see any tentacles.

Mel’s voice popped back into my head. I don’t sense anything in the clouds, and neither does Niben. I guess she’s been restraining the storm for half the ceremony. Perhaps you were seeing her power mingled with it?

Maybe. Some tension unraveled from my chest. I’d heard stories about my grandmother, Niben, controlling storms, but I’d never seen her do it. In fact, I’d never witnessed her do any magic unless she was modeling something she wanted me to try. She’d come on a few hunts, but she’d just watched with her unblinking feline eyes and later quizzed me on what I did right and wrong. For all I knew, her fabled storm magic could resemble tentacles.

BANNER1 - Power Inversion

About The Author

no glasses rock headshot arms crossed

Sara Codair is an author of short stories and novels, which are packed with action, adventure, magic, and the bizarre. They partially owe their success to their faithful feline writing partner, Goose the Meowditor-In-Chief, who likes to “edit” their work by deleting entire pages.

If Sara isn’t writing, they’re probably teaching, swimming in the lake, reading fantasy, or walking their dog.

Social Media

Author Website: https://saracodair.com/

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/SaraCodair1

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

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

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15858102.Sara_Codair

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sara-Codair/e/B072L4C869/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 Giveaway

Sara is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this blog tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MEME2 - Power Inversion

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