Tag Archives: Sci-Fi

Release Blitz: Peacemaker by E.M. Hamill

Peacemaker | E.M. Hamill

Dalí Tamareia #2

BANNER - Peacemaker

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: Monday, March 2, 2020

Length: 78,000

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Buy Links:

NineStar Press | Amazon

iBooks

Barnes & Noble

Kobo | Smashwords

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COVER - Peacemaker

Blurb

Third-gender operative Dalí Tamareia thought their life as an ambassador ended when they joined a galactic intelligence agency. When they’re yanked out of the field and tapped to negotiate the surrender of deadly bio-engineered warriors who crashed into hostile territory, Dalí is thrust headfirst back into the tumultuous world of galactic diplomacy.

Dalí has faced Shontavians before, but not like these. The stranded mercenaries are highly intelligent and have an agenda of their own. Dalí can’t afford to be distracted from the negotiations by their own demons or the presence of a charming diplomat with a mysterious past.

As a brewing civil war threatens to derail the entire mission, Dalí must use all their skills to bring this dangerous situation to a peaceful end—but the Shontavians may not be the biggest monsters at the table. Someone is determined to see Dalí and their team dead before they discover the brutal truth hiding in the wreckage.

Warnings: Violence, Violent death, PTSD

MEME1 - Peacemaker

Excerpt

I took a quick turn in the cleanser to rid my skin and hair of the tacky residue left by the decon spray. In the warmth and vibration, I shuddered as the last of the physical characteristics I’d adapted to pass as male shifted back into my neutral, sexless state. My crewmates didn’t expect me to assume a gender, something for which I remained grateful. Without hormone stimulation to drive the change, the process was more painful, and my shoulders complained against the grind of bone and muscle.

I tamed my wavy brown mop as best I could, drawing it into a short, braided queue at the back of my neck before putting on the dress black uniform hanging in my quarters. The white starburst of diplomacy blazed in holographic relief on my left shoulder with the multiarmed spiral of the Remoliad’s sigil on the opposite sleeve.

To be back in the uniform of an ambassador felt strange. Transient reflections in the narrow window showed a me I hadn’t acknowledged in over two years. I barely recognized the echo of who I used to be, a transparent ghost against the stars outside.

The reason I had been pulled out of the field began to make sense, though I still didn’t know what the assignment entailed. Time to find out.

At the closed door of Sumner’s ready room, I tugged at the tunic’s high collar, squared my shoulders, and tapped on the panel to request entry.

“Commander. Permission to enter?”

“Granted.” The door slid aside with his verbal acknowledgment. I stepped through.

Silhouetted by the flicker of busy data screens behind the desk, Sumner wore a black uniform with insignias of diplomatic service similar to mine but without the starburst rank of ambassador. Instead, he wore the pips of an officer in the Remoliad Fleet on the high neck of his collar. He stared at the screen of a PDD, his expression dark and troubled.

Sumner glanced up and a crooked grin formed on his lips as he rose. “Ambassador Tamareia. I haven’t seen you in a while.”

His vocal inflections sounded almost normal, but his eyes still held frost. We were never this formal with each other, a sign of the tension between us.

“I haven’t seen me in a long time either. It feels very strange.” I took a deep breath. “I would like to apologize for my insubordination, especially for what I said in med bay, Commander. I was out of line.” Embarrassment burned in my cheeks, and I lowered my gaze. “I owe Melos and Ziggy more than an apology. I was under the influence on a mission, and I put the lives of my teammates in danger. I will accept the consequences of my actions as you deem appropriate.”

“Grab a chair.” He gestured opposite his desk, and I sat. “I think I owe you an apology as well. I’ve gotten used to autonomy. When some bureaucrat tells me to drop whatever I’m doing and pull my operatives in the middle of a potentially productive mission, it pisses me off. The order to recall you came from so far over my head I got vertigo. The rest is just the frost on the comet, and it pushed me over the line.” He cleared his throat. “I’m sorry for the vendetta remark.”

“No, you were right. I needed to be reminded why I’m here. You promised only that I will be involved when we take them down, not that I would be the instrument.” No matter how badly I wanted the privilege, I had a bigger job to do. “Who told you to recall me?”

His mouth twisted in an ironic smile. “The Remoliad security council.”

My eyebrows threatened to merge with my hairline. “The security council has authority over the Penumbra?”

“Technically. My superior answers to the secretary general, but it’s almost unheard of to receive a direct order from any office.”

“I don’t understand.” I frowned. “Did my mother have anything to do with this?”

“No, Ambassador Urquhart isn’t involved as far as we can tell. We checked since the order was so specific. But I just received more details.” He handed me the data device he’d been scowling at when I came in. “Against all previous declarations of disdain for galactic alliance, the Ursetu recently issued an emergency petition for their planet to become a member of the Remoliad.”

I narrowed my eyes at him and took the PDD. “I saw something about that in my debriefing file. The crown princess is dead?”

“Yes. The queen and her grandson, Prince Razaxha, are still alive.”

“What happened? Was the planet attacked?”

“Yes and no.” He swept his hand and a heads-up display swirled into view between us. “I’ll warn you up front, this is brutal.”

The wreck of some immense ship blighted the forested grounds of a ziggurat-like palace, silhouetted against the backdrop of a sharp black mountain. Columns of smoke and flames traced the outline of warped and twisted debris. The recording lens zoomed in on a section of the disaster where tiny flashes of light sparked and died. As the picture enlarged, I sat forward in shock.

“Enhance this area.” Sumner circled the spot on the heads-up and spread his fingers. The portion of the holovid expanded, grainy, blurred, and blocked by foliage, but I made it out plainly enough. Enormous, gray-skinned figures piled out of the wreckage.

Shontavians.

The four-armed beings appeared unstoppable as they swatted aside the Ursetu and their guns, snatched up the soldiers with their sharp-taloned hands and—

A psychic memory of the taste of blood and entrails hit me so hard I fought the urge to vomit.

“Stop the playback!” I drew heavy breaths through my nose until the nausea passed and my heart stopped pounding. Sumner swept his hand over the enlarged holo, reducing details to a safe distance as my mind attempted to process what I’d seen.

A ship hadn’t crashed in the middle of an Ursetu city. It was the orbiting laboratory where Shontavians were engineered and kept isolated until their sale to whomever bought their mercenary services. It crashed into the planet or was deliberately brought down.

By whom?

The Ursetu faced monsters of their own making—huge, intelligent creatures with the serrated teeth and claws of a predator, created solely for fighting wars. And they had a craving for sentient meat.

About The Author

E.M. Hamill

Elisabeth “E.M.” Hamill is a nurse by day, unabashed geek, chocoholic, sci fi and fantasy novelist by nights, weekends, and whenever she can steal quality time with her laptop. She lives with her family, a dog, and a cat in the wilds of eastern suburban Kansas, where they fend off flying monkey attacks and prep for the zombie apocalypse.

Her other books include the acclaimed sci fi novel Dalí, the snarky urban fantasy Nectar and Ambrosia, and several short works of fiction. Visit http://www.elisabethhamill.com for a full list of literary work.

Social Media

Author Website: https://www.elisabethhamill.com

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

Author Twitter: @songmagick

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16592440.E_M_Hamill

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/e-m-hamill/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00JY0FV8S

Giveaway

E.M. is giving away a $15 Amazon gift card with this tour.

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Release Blitz: When Are You? by Addison Albright 

When Are You? | Addison Albright

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Publisher: JMS Books, LLC

Release Date: Saturday, March 7 2020

Length:  Around 50k

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Buy Links:

Publisher: https://www.jms-books.com/addison-albright-c-224_227/when-are-you-p-3197.html

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/WhenAreYou-AA

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51501947-when-are-you

COVER - When Are You

Blurb

They have to find him…but how?

A former member of an elite military special forces unit, Leo Bailey can handle anything life throws at him. Except maybe approaching a certain gorgeous, purple mohawk-wearing, heavily pierced artist. Not without his three eye-rolling wingmen along to push him in the right direction.

One look at the mouth-wateringly muscled, military buzz cut-sporting man with the endearing blush, and Vincent Noland is in love. Or at least in lust. Love comes later. Then marriage…and sweet, adorable Oscar.

Life is perfect—the stuff of fairy tale happily ever afters—except for Arthur Fletcher, whose unsettling reactions to them threaten to upset the happy balance of their lives. But it isn’t Arthur who throws their lives into turmoil.

A freak event causes Oscar to go missing and leaves both men frantic to rescue their son. As they piece together the clues, they discover that Oscar isn’t somewhere. He’s somewhen. And Arthur Fletcher holds the key—or rather the glass beads—to their one chance of finding Oscar.

Will Leo’s training, Vinnie’s determination, and Arthur’s knowledge help them rescue Oscar, or is the little boy doomed to spend the rest of his life at the mercy of a primitive civilization? Could there be a third possibility?

MEME1 - When Are You

Excerpt

They reached the quivering wall of air and rushed through it to the sound of the old woman on the bench screaming as their shoes found purchase on the park’s pervious rubber pathway, and they surged forward…then tumbled headlong onto the surface as the counterweight they’d been pulling vanished.

Leo grunted as his forearms scraped along the path. He stared uncomprehendingly at the stroller’s handlebar, still clutched in one hand. The handlebar and about six inches of pole on either side ending with a clean cut.

Leo gaped, unblinking and breathing heavily, at the path behind them. The wavering air…it was gone. The air was normal.

The woman hadn’t stopped screaming. Vinnie was panting—hyperventilating?—and snatching at bits of light green fabric that matched the stroller’s canopy.

“Oscar?” Leo’s voice came out in a squeak. Louder, he repeated, “Oscar?” He sat up and scanned the area. An unrelenting hand clutched his heart. Squeezed it. Squelched it. Liquified it. Oscar was gone. The entire stroller, other than the handlebar, was…gone.

Leo shoved his sunglasses to the top of his head. His breath caught in his throat, and he looked around again. He shouted, “Oscar!”

“No, no, no, no…” Vinnie chanted as he stumbled to his feet and spun around, fruitlessly looking everywhere…anywhere. He snatched another bit of green fabric floating on the air. “No, no, no, no…this isn’t happening.”

“Oscar!” Leo yelled again. His stomach lurched, threatening to heave because their actions were pointless. Wherever they’d been, that’s where Oscar still was. The portal had snapped shut, cutting them off, but every cell in Leo’s body screamed in denial of this reality. “Oscaaaaar!”

The woman stopped shrieking but sucked in rattling breaths behind her hands that now covered her face. Behind them on the path, voices broke through Leo’s focus.

“Oh, my God, did you see that?”

“What the hell just happened?”

“They just disappeared…into…thin air.”

“What happened to the kid?”

“Somebody call 9-1-1!”

In the field, the people who’d been kicking soccer balls had stilled and were staring, wide-eyed.

Vinnie crumpled to the ground, hugged his knees to his chest, bits of green fabric clutched in his hands, and rocked. Leo barely heard Vinnie’s words as they tore his heart in two. “No, no, no, no…”

Leo doubled over and retched. He’d failed Oscar. He’d failed Vinnie. He’d failed. Utterly and completely failed.

He hadn’t cried since middle school, but a garbled sob escaped him now. He dragged a forearm across his mouth and turned back toward where the wavy air had been. “Oscaaaaar!”

“Where did it go?” Vinnie choked on a rattling sob of his own. “Where did it go? We’ve got to go back and get him! Where did it go?”

Leo lifted his face to the sky. “Oscaaaaar!”

The faintest of echoes was the only answer to Leo’s agonized plea.

AUTHOR PIC - When Are You - Addison Albright

About The Author

Addison Albright is a writer living in the middle of the USA. Her stories are gay romance in contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction genres. She generally adds a subtle touch of humor, a smidgen of drama/angst, and a healthy dose of slice-of-life to her stories.

Her education includes a BS in Education with a major in mathematics and a minor in chemistry. Addison loves spending time with her family, reading, popcorn, boating, French fries, “open window weather,” cats, math, and anything chocolate. She loves to read pretty much anything and everything, anytime and anywhere.

Social Media

Author Website: https://authoraddisonalbright.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/addison.albright.profile

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

Author Twitter: http://twitter.com/AddisonAlbright

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/addison.albright/

Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2739864.Addison_Albright

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/addison-albright/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Addison-Albright/e/B00J119QGS/

 Giveaway

Addison is giving away three sets of a $10 Amazon gift card and a backlist eBook with this tour.

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Release Blitz: Tundras, Travelers, and Other Travesties by Amara Lynn

Tundras, Travelers, and Other Travesties | Amara Lynn

Tundras-Banner.jpg

Release date: 22.02.20

Length: 5,700 words/26 pages

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0833P5M6F

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tundras-travelers-and-other-travesties-amara-lynn/1135751677?ean=2940163803910

Universal: https://books2read.com/tundras/

Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/l/tundras

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50396709-tundras-travelers-and-other-travesties

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Blurb

Eis has lived on a solar powered outpost in a tundra covered land all zir life.

After zir parents passing, Eis is left to maintain the outpost alone, struggling to do so between chronic pain flare ups, waiting for the day a traveler might come in need of a warm bed and a meal. A day Eis thinks might never come, until a mysterious craft crashes into one of the solar panels.

Eis never expected a traveler to come out of the craft, or for him to be so captivating and beautiful. Everything Eis knows could change with the coming of this traveler, and yet the greatest travesty would be never knowing what else is out there, beyond the tundra, beyond the skies.

Tundras, Travelers, and Other Travesties is a 5800 word solarpunk post-apocalyptic sci-fi short with a queer protagonist. 

Excerpt

I’m huddled up comfortably in front of the fire for the evening when the main power cuts out.

I let out a heavy sigh. It’s late, I’ve eaten my supper, stabled up Ieas for the night, and all I want to do is stay where I am, basking in the heat which feels like heaven on my aching muscles and ribs.

I groan and curl into a ball, even though that’s an awful position for my ribs. Tomorrow. I could take care of it tomorrow.

There’s no telling what the problem is, though. Either snow has built up on one of the solar panels, or one of those dang sheep has nibbled through a wire again. The backup generators shouldn’t run for too long, or else they’ll burn up. I know I shouldn’t leave the panel unattended long in these conditions.

Outside, it’s a literal tundra. I hadn’t bothered braving any cold weather today between the on and off snow and having a bad pain day. In fact, I’ve been neglecting my duties for a few days because of my pain.

Now, I slink out of the warm embrace of my weighted blanket, my muscles protesting immediately. I sip the rest of my herbal tea, hoping it’ll do me some good before I journey out into the harsh cold.

Ieas looks to me when I come into the stable, and even though they’re a moose, the confusion on their face is almost human-like. Their red eyes blink down at me when I walk over and pet their snow-white snout.

“Hey, Ieas, buddy. Up for a late-night hike?”

Ieas huffs and puts their mouth on my hair. I gear Ieas up for the trek to the solar panels. It isn’t that far, and some days I could walk it. Not today, though. Not with the snow and my pain.

Once I’m huddled up as best I can be, I lead Ieas out into the angry blizzard. Ieas knows the way to the panels as well as I do and needs almost no guidance navigating the white slopes up to the solar panel.

About The Author

mepurpleeyes-copy

Amara Lynn has always been a quiet daydreamer. Coming up with characters and worlds since childhood, Amara eventually found an outlet in writing. Amara loves anything to do with pirates, villains and superheroes, angels and demons.

Amara is addicted to music and gets the most inspiration from moving songs and lyrics. When not writing, Amara usually reads, listens to podcasts, watches anime, plays a video game here and there (but mostly collects them), and takes way too many cat pictures.

Amara is non-binary/enby and queer and uses they/them pronouns.

Twitter: @AmaraJLynn

Website: https://amarajlynn.wordpress.com/ 

Cover Reveal: Back Issues by Dani Hermit & Nevi Star

Back Issues | Dani Hermit & Nevi Star

Burn Outs #1

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Release Date: Friday, March 6 2020

Length: 72,000

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083HHFQHG/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/back-issues-dani-hermit/1135981145?ean=2940163435357

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/back-issues-1

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/back-issues-burn-outs-1/id1493808724

Google Play: https://books.google.com/books/about?id=YvTHDwAAQBAJ&hl=en

Publisher: https://hermitstarbooks.wordpress.com/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/998647

QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/book/back-issues/ ‎

COVER - Back Issues

Blurb

From the Best-selling Authors of the Parliament of Twilight series comes a new erotic world of Heroes and Villains

53 year old Matt Evans never thought he would be drawn back into the world of the Chosen and their staged battles of Good versus Evil. But with the return of his long dormant super powers on the heels of a devastating attack on the Chosen, Matt is forced to come face to face with the lover he left behind.

When Professor Colton Stephens sees Matt again, all of the pain of their past is brought to the surface. Thirty years of secrets and heartbreak must be overcome so that they can work together against the plotting of a Hero who turned into a terrorist.

When that terrorist uses Colton’s powers and proclivities against him, will his bond with Matt be strong enough to keep him out of the grip of Evil, or will Colton fall into the clutches of the first truly evil being in the known history of the Chosen?

Excerpt

“The reason that we have to put the current events in perspective, other than to avoid mass panic, is clear.”

The gray and white streaked hair of the lecturing professor bounced with a youth he no longer possessed as he paced the college coliseum’s floor. Four hundred students made up his Relevant History class and at least half, if not more, were there not for his knowledge but because of his own history. Still they were here. Now more than ever, in this new world without Heroes, they needed to have a new understanding of ethics.

“If you consider the Phoenicians…”

A hand went up. “Mythos? I mean, Professor Stephens.”

Twenty seven years after his last battle, after he’d burned out his power and said a sad farewell to the name and life he loved, somehow he still had fan-boys. Still, he was good-natured about it. Colton “Mythos” Stephens wasn’t a Hero anymore but he knew he was still an example for the next generation. He’d be eighty and they still would be cheering for him. He attempted to placate his admirer.

“First, we learn. Then maybe in the last ten minutes of class we can-”

“Tell us about the battle where you defeated The Hammer and ended his reign of terror.” The student begged with excitement.

Of course. They always wanted to hear about the very last thing he wanted to talk about. The former Hero did his best not to think about the Hammer. Privately, the Hammer had been his closest friend but publicly, they were bitter rivals. Most importantly, he was the man who Colton had found a peace with within the chaos of learning the demands of the powers the Disk had bestowed on him. Though the memory that came back the most often of Matt “The Hammer” Evans was the day he walked out of Colton’s life, disappearing into anonymity as if they had meant nothing to each other.

“The class is called Relevant History. Please keep your questions about the unit we are currently-” Colton forgot what he was going to say as his eyes fell on the last man he ever thought he’d see again.

Standing in the back of the lecture hall, barely more than a profile with the light behind him, looking for all the world like a specter summoned from the depths of Colton’s psyche, was Matt. Even after twenty-nine years, seven months, and two days, Colton would know him anywhere.

“Class dismissed,” was all he could think to say as he bolted from the lecture stage, not sure whether he wanted to run to Matt or find some dark hole to hide out in.

Colton made it about ten feet out the side door before he heard Matt’s voice behind him. “Still got some run in you, dontcha Pony?” Matt used the nickname he’d given to the much smaller boy Colton had been back in their early days as rivals. “Did I scare you?”

“How dare you?” Colton stood rigid, trying not to shiver at the sound of Matt’s voice and to keep his resolve to send him away. “Don’t say another word, you… You don’t get to call me that anymore. And you not only don’t sca-scare me, you have no effect on me at all.” He kept his eyes front as if staring holes in the far wall would somehow make the storm inside his heart calm.

“Great, that’ll make things easier,” Matt’s sarcasm was an almost physical assault on the back of Colton’s head. “I don’t have time to rehash the past right now, Pony. Is there somewhere private we can go?”

Colton spun around and instantly regretted it. Now it was real. He quickly looked anywhere but Matt’s piercing eyes. “Nothing about this is going to be easy.” He was about to start another kind of lecture.

Then he saw it. Beyond the fire he knew so well, there was fear in Matt’s eyes and damn himself, Colton was going to care. “Fine. I’ll give you ten minutes. We can go to my office. It’s really private. They put it under the library for me.”

Matt nodded and waited for Colton to lead the way. When they just stood there, looking at each other, he spoke up. “Yeah, I’m getting old.” He self-consciously ran a hand through his dark blond hair, longer now then he used to wear it, and streaked with silvery lines. “Happens to the best of us. Can we get out of the hallway before one of your fan boys recognize me?” Matt inclined his head towards the group of students who were gathering at the end of the hall, curious about the man their famous professor was talking to.

“Down the hall. Take a left. Then a right. Take the door outside. Go in the library, the one with the big gilded doors and walk into the third study room. It will look locked but go in. I’ll be there after I double back around. Try not to get bored without me.”

Colton had tilted his head up and taken a couple steps forward so he could whisper in Matt’s ear. His voice was breaking as he fought back a sultry tone, one he reserved for much more delicious words than directions to his office. Whatever Matt needed to say, he needed to say it quickly. And then Colton needed to get Matt as far away as possible because Colton finished his words with the first syllable of the intimate nickname he used to use for Matt and almost choked on it.

Colton pulled several feet back, pretending to be considering the snack machine. Maybe Matt hadn’t noticed. “Go. Now.”

About The Author

AUTHORS LOGO - Back Issues

The writing duo behind the Parliament of Twilight books (and several briefly notorious YuGiOh fanfics), Dani Hermit and Nevi Star have been romantically involved for over 20 years, though they have been telling stories together for even longer.

A mutual love of slash fan-fiction and high fantasy novels lead to a love for each other that hasn’t faded through the years. Together they created the various incarnations of the characters who would one day emerge as the cast for the Parliament of Twilight.

Dani also does cover design both for the Hermit & Star books as well as a side-hustle to pay for coffee. She’s also been known to crochet odd little creatures, read Tarot, and play a wicked good game of Cards Against Humanity.

Art school survivor Nevi does half of the cover design work for their novels, as well as kawaii anime style art of her own, when not drowning in an ocean of baking shows and home shopping binges.

When not fully emerged in the imaginary worlds they’ve created, Dani and Nevi spend their time absorbing books, anime, and reality TV. They live in a lovely little community in suburban Indiana with their pirate crew and a few cats.

Social Media

Authors’ Website: https://hermitstarbooks.wordpress.com/

Authors’ Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/hermitstarbooks

Authors’ Twitter: https://twitter.com/hermitstarbooks

Authors’ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hermitstarbooks/

Authors’ QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/dani-hermit/

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New Release Blitz: The Empires of Luxor City by Sasha Hope

The Empires of Luxor City | Sasha Hope

The Empires of Luxor City Banner

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 3, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 77,400

Buy Links:

NineStar Press | Amazon

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Add to Goodreads

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Blurb

In the aftermath of his father’s funeral, Dom Wesa, the new Alpha of Luxor City’s Central Empire, stumbles upon an Omega in desperate need of help. The Omega, Lin Vasiliev, wakes to find he’s been taken into Dom’s home to be rehabilitated.

Dom thinks the young addict may have information about the illicit drug trade going on in his Empire. He gets Lin sober to question him only to discover that Lin is new in town and ignorant of Luxor’s laws.

Dom and Lin are both suspicious of each other at first for their own reasons, but as that wariness wears away a deep attraction develops between them. Dom dotes on Lin, leaving the once stone-broke Omega bathed in finery he never could have imagined.

They start planning for Lin’s upcoming heat, when they will be driven together by their kindling bond and strong compatibility as an Alpha and Omega pair. However, in the midst of their swelling romance, Luxor’s most notorious Alpha reappears sparking a gang war that threatens to turn the entire city into a battleground.

Excerpt

The Empires of Luxor City
Sasha Hope © 2020
All Rights Reserved

There had never been fewer tears shed at a funeral.

It was strange. Crowds had wailed at funerals for worse men, but not a single soul in Luxor City wept for Malik Wesa, a business magnate who’d left behind a wife and two sons. They just stood there, all of them staring straight ahead with cold black eyes as the funeral director rolled the old man’s coffin into the crematory. Visible through a tiny char-stained window, the man who’d once been their leader burned down to ash and bone until there was nothing left of him but dust.

Shaking the image from his mind, Dom Wesa walked out through a wrought-iron fence and left the inner-city funeral home. He buried his hands deep in the pockets of his overcoat and made his way back across the busy city streets toward his office on the east side of town.

A chill rolled off the water near the docks as the year moved into fall. Dom originally drove to the funeral home with the rest of the family, but he couldn’t bear to spend another second with them even if it meant enduring the icy wind.

When a family member dies, all too often they are given a whole new life story. This was a universal truth Dom struggled to wrap his head around. There weren’t any tears at his father’s funeral, but there were enough artificial words of kindness to make him grit his teeth and bite his tongue until his eyes watered.

They all loved to mention how hard things would be for Dom with his father gone; how much weight would now fall on his shoulders.

Dom wanted to laugh. He’d been running this town without his old man’s help for ages. The death of the man he had stopped calling father a long time ago wouldn’t change a thing in his day-to-day life; it just made his position more official. Dom was now the eldest Alpha of the Wesa family, one of the great crime families in Luxor City, the capital of New America.

Decades back, when the government’s power over New America first started to crumble, the gangs of Luxor City went to war, fighting for control over the expansive city’s lucrative ports. As Dom walked through the streets, he passed the remnants of that conflict in the form of bullet holes etched into brick walls that lined the sidewalks and boulevards. Luxor hadn’t always been a haven of prosperity. These wounds were stark reminders that they should not let war tear their city apart again. They’d been preserved during reconstruction.

After years of brutality and gangland warfare, the dust finally settled over the metropolitan battleground. Only three factions were left in a city divided by chaos. They brokered a peace treaty, a deal that divided Luxor into three Empires, each ruled firmly by the Alpha heads of the surviving crime families: Wesa in the Center, Faraji in the North, and Sun in the South.

Dom Wesa was the sole Alpha heir to the Central Empire, a great strip of land stretching from the high-rises along the city’s eastern ports all the way to the cliffs on the western coast. Their portion of city was the smallest, but the Center also included the West Island, the final stretch of green pasture and woodland in Luxor, a place where only the wealthiest families could afford acreage.

Sila Wesa, the family’s Omega matriarch, still maintained an estate there. She would probably return home once the ladder-climbing mourners all left her in peace. As an Omega, she was expected to stay home and mourn her Alpha’s death for at least a year. Dom hated thinking of her returning to that vast hollow estate, but she wouldn’t be alone. She had his younger brother, Atsadi, with her.

Maybe they could be happy there now, but Dom couldn’t stand the place.

He made his way to his portside office, the private sanctuary where he conducted the family business, far removed from his father’s offices across from the luxury hotels and nightclubs downtown. It was an old-fashioned Deco-style building, relatively small compared to Luxor’s expansive high-rises, but taller than the nearby brownstone residences lining the old dock’s edge.

Dom entered through the public hall and took the stairs to his office instead of his private elevator. He couldn’t stand still, not even for a minute, not until he got a drink in him.

His office took up most of the fifth floor. A large window lined the street-facing wall, giving him a view of his docks and businesses as well as the swaying blue horizon of the Pacific Ocean.

Ships pulled in and out, always coming and going. The ports were the center of all business in Luxor. They had been around since the city’s foundation and wrapped around the entire coastline, enclosing Luxor in a circle of docks extending out into the water like a sea urchin’s spikes. It was a well-known fact that he who controlled the ports, controlled the trade, and he who controlled the trade, controlled the city.

Dom was fond of the old portside architecture. He had always been keen on the brutalist, Deco styles of ancient cities. He even decorated his office to match with polished wood and geometric patterns of gold emblazoned on black surfaces.

Inside the familiar space he’d made his own, he poured himself a glass of whisky from a decanter on his side table. He took a good long swig before taking a seat in the plush leather chair behind his mahogany desk.

Sighing heavily, he closed his eyes until a quiet thud on his desk drew them open again.

A thin newssheet folded down the middle sat in the center of his desk. Images flashed across its holographic surface. Dom recognized himself, his brother, and his mother in more than one. Fucking paparazzi.

The Luxor City Times headline read: Death of Malik Wesa leaves Central Empire in hands of son, Dominik.

Dom stared at the paper with a deadpan expression. Unblinking, he took another sip of his drink.

“Somehow I figured you’d be back in the office today.”

Dom’s gaze shifted in the direction of the voice.

His right-hand woman, Isa Saqui, stood over his desk smirking down at him.

Isa had been Dom’s eyes and ears ever since terminal illness took his old man out of power and put Dom in charge. She was an Alpha, a member of the dominant sex, like everyone in his inner circle. Isa stood tall, a muscular and imposing woman with angular bone structure casting dramatic shadows over her olive skin. Her long hair was tied in an intricate brunette braid that fell over one shoulder.

Dom turned away from her and picked up the newssheet. Without giving it another glance, he tossed it back across the desk toward her.

“The headline is hilarious,” he muttered before taking another drink.

Isa chuckled as she snatched the thin device back up.

“Isn’t it?” she said as she examined the article. “I mean, it’s not even news. Your old man hadn’t been running shit for years.”

Dom huffed.

It was true. Even before his father’s illness, Dom had been in charge, but Malik’s stint in the hospital had truly put him in power. In under a year, he’d earned the city’s respect and made vast alterations throughout the Central Empire to counter his father’s ineffective rule. Dom had always been in control; nothing would change now Malik Wesa was gone.

“We shouldn’t speak ill of the dead,” Dom said, smiling around the rim of his glass.

“Then let’s talk business.” Isa grinned like a shark. “Because I haven’t got anything good to say about the old bastard. How was his funeral, by the way?”

Dom simply shrugged in response. “Let’s talk business.”

With another snort of a laugh, Isa pulled out her phone and started going over a list of the day’s imports. The ships had come in on time, and their guys on the docks were already warehousing their “product,” storing it until it could be shipped throughout Luxor.

“So, we finally received those luxury cars we’ve been waiting for, two weeks late, but that’s the Southern trade route for you. Same shipment had a few crates of unprocessed opium—”

Dom cut in with gritted teeth, “Make sure that goes straight to the labs. Apart from heat suppressants, I don’t want to see that shit on my streets.”

“Already done.” Isa hardly even glanced up from her phone. “The independent Omegas of Luxor are already thanking you. You truly are a hero, Dom, providing them with suppressants and saving them from their dreaded heats. Less mating means more working. Off your backs and on your feet. That can be your campaign slogan.”

Dom eyed Isa, trying to gauge her level of sarcasm before gesturing for her to carry on with a short huff of amusement.

“What else?”

“Firearms from the mainland,” Isa said before listing off the models and manufacturers. “About half of this shipment is being sold to the Sun family in the south. They’ve got an underground trade problem on their hands.”

In the south of Luxor City, the Sun family controlled the majority of the city’s ports, but only imported from the Second Continent, across the western seas. This made them an excellent trading partner for Dom whose eastern ports shipped to and from New America. Whenever the Southern Empire wanted products from the New American mainland, Dom was their man, and when he needed Second Continent shipments, he knew just who to ask.

“All right.” Dom stood from his chair, rubbing his hands together. “The agent from the Sun family will want to see the guns before we truck them over. I’ll call—” Dom stopped abruptly when a terse shout erupted from the streets below, loud enough to resonate through the glass window and into his fifth-floor office.

“What the hell was that?” Isa asked with a furrowed brow.

Dom walked over to glare out of the window. They were right above the lobby, so a glance down offered a clear view of the ground below.

Across the street, a young man stumbled along the sidewalk. Even from the distance, Dom could tell there was something off about him. He swayed with each step, unable to keep to a straight line and using one hand to balance himself against the wall of the opposite building to keep from falling over.

He disappeared into an alleyway, followed closely by another man. This much larger man was the one shouting furiously as he marched into the narrow passage after the boy.

Dom turned from the window and grabbed his coat. Without a backward glance, he stormed out of his office.

“Dom? Hey! What the hell was that?” Isa repeated as he passed. She tried calling after him again, but he was already out of the door.

Meet the Author

Sasha Hope is a lover of story, art and design based in Canada. As a writer and an artist, she enjoys having the opportunity to create new characters and build new worlds for readers to explore.

Having studied linguistics and a myriad of languages from a young age, she is passionate about including characters of different backgrounds in her work. Whether the setting is fantasy or reality, she believes that a diverse cast with diverse languages and cultures is a wonderful thing.

Crafting stories that embrace MM romance and erotica is her modus operandi. When she is not creating new worlds she is travelling this one looking for inspiration or enjoying her career in the videogame industry.

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The Empires of Luxor City Now Available

Release Blitz: Starfall Ranch by California Dawes

Starfall Ranch | California Dawes

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Release Date: October 26, 2019

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZMR2PT3

Powell’s: https://www.powells.com/book/-9781702848992

Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781702848992

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/993918

STARFALL RANCH PR TEMPLATE

Blurb

Two women seeking refuge from trauma on an alien world meet in a storm under the unlikeliest circumstances. At the edge of the galaxy, under the apple boughs, can they reach out and take hold of their happily-ever-after?

Thisbe Vandergoss is a London socialite on the run from her controlling family. With all her assets frozen and her friends on Earth just as likely to sell her out than help her out, Thisbe signs up to be a mail-order bride on the lush moon world, Sirona.

Shiloh Kerridan left Earth five years ago, seeking to put a galaxy between herself and the people who hurt her. Shiloh has thrown herself into the creation and maintenance of Starfall Ranch, a cozy piece of farmland that boasts juicy apples and the best goats cheese on Sirona. She’s vowed never to let anyone in again, and she certainly has no patience for rich off-worlders who show up on her doorstep unexpectedly.

Especially when Thisbe shows up in the middle of a streak of bad luck: her fruit trees have succumbed to disastrous blight, her farm bots keep mysteriously malfunctioning, and a local mining company is breathing down her neck to parcel out her land. If Shiloh’s bad luck keeps up, she’ll have no choice but to sell her beloved farm and sanctuary. Thisbe is determined she won’t let that happen, but will Shiloh open her heart enough to trust again?

Excerpt

“Shy! Welcome to the Galactica!” The bartender sidled up to them on the other side of the bar as they approached.

He looked like a porn star version of a lumberjack, dressed up in a sleek holographic purple pair of trousers and waistcoat on top of a crisp white shirt. His elegantly trimmed beard was a matching shade of purple, and he had had his eyes augmented to be UV reactive; they glowed soft lilac in the dim light of the club.

“Taryn, congratulations on your big opening. The place looks great.” Shy smiled, but her voice held the same rigid tension Thisbe could sense in her entire body.

“Wait ‘til you try the drinks!” Taryn smirked boyishly as he reached for a series of bottles and ingredients. “And who is this?”

“This is Thisbe!” Shy had to shout as more people poured into the club and the DJ turned up the volume.

“A pleasure, Thisbe! New in town, I take it?”

“Arrived with the storm!” Thisbe said before Shy could reply. “It’s so good to finally get out on the town for a night!”

“Well, welcome to Banidavale! I’m so glad you two could make it out for tonight! Cheers!”

dawes-headshotAbout the Author

California Dawes is a lover of romance, fantasy, mystery, and the allure of the open road. Her romances are always set in queernorm worlds where complex characters explore the depths of their desires, pursue the truth of their hearts, and sometimes fight some demons along the way.

She lives in the San Francisco area with two highly opinionated cats and the sweetest dog in the universe. When she’s not writing swoon-worthy romances, California enjoys RPGs, running, road trips, and good coffee shops.

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Social Media

Website: http://www.californiadawes.com

Twitter: @inkyfirelight

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Book Blast: Earnest Ink by Alex Hall

Earnest Ink | Alex Hall

EARNEST INK

Publisher: Nine Star Press

Published: October 14, 2019

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Heat Rating: 1 flame

Length: 72,100 words/244 pages

It is a standalone book

Buy Links

NineStar Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Smashwords | B&N | Kobo

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Blurb

While twenty-year-old FTM Hemingway is making an excellent living as a tattoo artist in a near-future version of Hell’s Kitchen, the rest of the country is splintered and struggling in the wake of a war gone on for too long.

Technology has collapsed, borders rise and fall overnight, and magic has awakened without rhyme, reason, or rule, turning average unwitting citizens into wielders of strange and specific strands of magic.

Hemingway’s particular brand of magic has made him a household name. Not only is he a talented artist, but his work comes to life. Literally.

When NYC’s most infamous serial killer—the East River Ripper—abducts Hemingway’s best friend, Grace, he has only days to save her. Hemingway teams up with his stoic cop roommate to hunt for the killer and rescue Grace before she becomes the Ripper’s latest victim.

But as the duo chase clues to the serial killer’s identity, Hemingway begins to fear the magic he and the Ripper share might eventually corrupt him too.

Excerpt

Earnest Ink

Alex Hall © 2019

All Rights Reserved

I work without speaking because that’s the way I prefer it. The vibration of my machine, the softer buzz of the fluorescent lights overhead, the tap of my foot on the pedal—it’s the best music in the world.

When I hit a ticklish spot, the girl I’m working on gasps, jolting in my chair.

“Don’t move,” I say. And then, with a salesman’s false cheer: “Almost done!”

The girl is sweating down the crook of her neck. She’s got silver glitter paint on her eyelids and cheeks, a new fashion trend I just can’t quite get behind. Under my lights the mix of perspiration and makeup looks like a blurry constellation.

She wanted a bee inked onto her collarbone, one of those tiny honeybees you find on good tequila bottles. Easily done, and she met the cash requirement. She’s eager, nervous, and breathing in and out in little puffs.

I can’t remember her name, but that’s fine. Customer relations is Eric’s job.

There’s another kid leaning over my glass counter, watching eagerly as I work. “Does it hurt?” he asks. “When the magic happens?”

The bee’s fat yellow thorax wriggles from side to side as it begins to wake, fighting the pressure of my needle, hungry for life.

“It looks like it hurts,” the kid says. I ignore him.

One minute more and—thanks to my peculiar magic—this bee will fly free.

I’m perched on a swivel stool, a wet paper towel in my hand to wipe away ink. It’s too hot in my studio, even with the industrial fans whirling overhead and the door propped wide open. Evening light slants in through the door and the north-facing, floor-to-ceiling window panes that look out onto West Forty-Sixth. It’s muggy, too warm for New York in October, and all of Hell’s Kitchen is wilting, including my client.

“What does it feel like?” the kid demands. He’s leaving greasy fingerprints on the surface of the glass as he strains to get a better look at what I’m doing. I study him out the corner of my eye, wiping sweat off my nose with the back of my wrist before it drips on my customer. He looks like one of the street punks who have taken to running in packs near the cruise terminals, sleeping in old, abandoned cargo containers and panhandling up and down the marina.

He’s skinny and tall, hair dyed an unsettling violet and styled into spikes all over his head. He’s got a silver ring in his septum and more hoops in his ears; his eyelashes are coated with purple mascara to match his hair. Green glitter paint sparkles on his lids. His T-shirt and jeans are torn and dirty, and he’s got a pack of black-market cigarettes rolled into one sleeve against his upper arm.

About the Author

Sarah Remy/Alex Hall is a nonbinary, animal-loving, proud gamer Geek.

Their work can be found in a variety of cool places, including HarperVoyager, EDGE and NineStar Press.

Social Media

Blog/Website | Twitter: @sarahremywrites

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