Tag Archives: Science Fiction/Fantasy

New Release Blitz: Behind the Sun, Above the Moon Anthology

Behind the Sun, Above the Moon Anthology   | Multiple Authors

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 17, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: M/NB, F/NB

Length: 91,300

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Blurb

A Queer anthology inspired by magic and the cosmos, a vast and beautiful place where planets, stars, comets—entire galaxies, even—live without borders, specifications or binaries.

Stories span science fiction, science fantasy, contemporary, fabulism and magical realism, and celebrate Non-binary and Transgender characters.

twice-spent comet
On an isolated asteroid, Fer serves out their sentence with a found family of ramshackle criminals. Life takes an exciting turn when they befriend Ophelia, a beautiful humanoid creature with a tail like a comet.

From Dusk to Dying Sun
Jay Morrison almost believes the rumors of magic and mischief haunting the US-50. But their partner, Luis Inoa, has made a career guarding the dusty Nevada trails. According to him, the only scary things on the highway are the silences, until a group of tourists break open the sun and disappear into a fiery blaze.

Lost/Found
When Hollis Griffin, a lonely sex worker living in Venice Beach, forms an unlikely friendship with a fallen star, she begins to face the truth about her life, her past, and what the future holds.

Awry with Dandelions
For thirty seconds every night, a disembodied specter named Mette visits with Orin who has long since written the ghost woman off as a recurring dream. But when Mette suggests meeting in real life, Orin’s inner world turns out to be more substantial than imaginary, and xie embarks on a journey to discover the truth of Mette and their strange connection.

The Far Touch
A long-standing coven of witches trek to their sacred space and accidentally discover life on another planet when their Solstice celebration interferes with a lone practitioner.

Ink and Stars
Locked in a contract to steal their ex-lovers ship, Chaz Neoma comes face to face with consequences, lost partnership, and the chance at a future, after discovering they aren’t the last Weaver in the universe.

Horologium
In the far reaches of the Horologium Supercluster, an astronaux is stranded alone on a long-distance astral ship where they’re visited by three apparitions, telling stories of ancestors who traveled space before them. Coeie must decide whether to follow the ghosts of the past, or forge their own path through the cosmos.

Death Marked
As chief security officer in the Lunar Guard, Enzi is in charge of the security for their sister’s coming of age ceremony. A fragile relationship with their family doesn’t make keeping Ulsa safe any easier, and neither does a group of pesky drones or a hidden plot to overthrow their sister’s place in the family.

Weave the Dark, Weave the Light
On a crisp night, Ari, a supposed elemental witch, meets Jonathan Aster, a powerful being they desperately want to understand. As they explore an intense, intimate and passionate relationship, Ari unearths long-hidden mysteries about themself and their magic.

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Blog Tour: The Empires of Luxor City by Sasha Hope

The Empires of Luxor City | Sasha Hope

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 3, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 77,400

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TheEmpiresofLuxorCity-f500

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.

10 TEOLC BOOK CLUB QUESTIONS

If there are any book clubs out there who’d like to take on ‘The Empire of Luxor City’, I have 10 questions for you!

  1. Who was your favourite character and why?
  2. Who was your least favourite character and why?
  3. What do you think about the struggle each character is facing?
  4. What do you think of the character’s choices? Were they moral? Were they right?
  5. If you could live in Luxor City, which Empire would you choose? Where and why?
  6. If you could insert yourself into the novel who would you want to be? (You don’t have to be one of the characters! Who would you be if you lived in Luxor City?)
  7. If they made TEOLC into a movie, who would your dream cast be?
  8. What kind of TEOLC fan fiction would you read?
  9. Do you have a different pairing or couple you wish you could see?
  10. What was your favourite scene in the book?

Not part of a book club? Answer these questions for fun or post them wherever you’d like! At me! @sashahopewrites! I’d love to see your responses!

About 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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2/10 Mirrigold Mutterings and Musings

2/11 Bayou Book Junkie

2/12 I Love Books and Stuff Blog

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2/14 Boy Meets Boy Reviews

2/17 Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

2/18 Matt Doyle Media

2/19 Velvet Panic

2/20 Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

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New Release Blitz: The Empress of Xytae by Effie Calvin

The Empress of Xytae | Effie Calvin

Tales of Inthya #4

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 30, 2019

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 83,500

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy, LGBT, royalty, new adult, magic, paladins, gods, goddesses

Buy Links:

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Blurb

Crown Princess Ioanna of Xytae has kept her truthsayer blessing a secret for twenty years. In any other nation, her powerful magic would be cause for celebration. But Xytae’s patron is the war goddess Reygmadra, and the future empress is expected to be a brutal warrior.

Reserved and peaceful by nature, Ioanna knows the court sees her as a disappointment. She does her best to assuage their worries every day, working quietly beside her mother to keep the empire running while her father is away at war. But when news of the emperor’s untimely death reaches the capital, Ioanna finds herself ousted by her younger sister Netheia, who has the war magic Ioanna lacks.

Princess Vitaliya of Vesolda has come to Xytae to avoid her father’s upcoming wedding, which she sees as an affront to her mother’s memory. Vitaliya has absolutely no interest in politics or power struggles and intends to spend her time attending parties and embarrassing her family. But when she saves Ioanna’s life during Netheia’s coup, the two are forced to flee the capital together.

Despite their circumstances, Vitaliya enjoys travelling with Ioanna and realizes that the future empress’s shy and secretive nature is the result of her unhappy childhood. Ioanna is equally unaccustomed to being in the company of one as earnest and straightforward as Vitaliya, for she has spent her life surrounded by ambitious and cutthroat nobles.

Ioanna cannot allow her sister to continue their father’s legacy, and plots to rally supporters to her side so she can interrupt Netheia’s coronation. Vitaliya knows she ought to leave Xytae before the nation is ripped apart by civil war but finds she is unwilling to abandon Ioanna.

But Ioanna’s enemies are always watching…and they’ve realized that Vitaliya is a weakness to be exploited.

Excerpt

The Empress of Xytae
Effie Calvin © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Reygmadra

The Imperial Palace at Xyuluthe buzzed with anticipation. Empress Enessa had finally gone into labor, and the heir to the Xytan Empire would be born within a few hours. The archpriest of Adranus and the archpriestess of Pemele were both there to aid with the birth along with countless members of the imperial court who would bear witness to the historic event.

Reygmadra, Goddess of Warfare and Eighth of the Ten, waited just outside the empress’s chambers, unseen by all who passed. She would not deny she was beginning to grow impatient. She was only here to bless the child, the future empress. Then she would be on her way.

If the child ever arrived.

Reygmadra had no tolerance for children, nor for the tedious conversations that always surrounded a birth—discussions of size, weight, and bodily functions. She had left the empress’s room because she had grown tired of the pointless hysterical screaming, but this was undoubtably worse.

Unfortunately, she could not grant a blessing to a mortal until after it had taken its first breath. This was one of the rules she and her fellow gods had agreed upon when they’d first set out to create Inthya. Even Reygmadra could see the value in this one, for if babies could use magic in the womb, nobody would ever risk giving birth ever again.

Emperor Ionnes was occupied, as always, by his campaign in Masim. He would not return to meet his new daughter for several months. Some of the members of the court were muttering about this, but Reygmadra did not see the trouble. What help could Ionnes be right now? He would only be in the way if he tried to help. At least in Masim, he was serving his nation by leading the army.

She longed to be there, whispering ideas in his ear as he slept, soaking up the power she received when tens of thousands of warriors prayed to her in unison. Of course, the prayers would find her no matter where she was on the mortal realm of Inthya or in the celestial planes of Asterium. But there was nothing like experiencing it firsthand.

Babies seemed to bring out the stupidest, weakest aspects of mankind. One of the Xytans was now relaying a tale of someone else’s labor, and Reygmadra decided to take a walk before she lost her temper and stabbed someone.

She moved through the palace like a specter, her face unseen and heavy footsteps unheard. She was dressed as she usually did when she manifested on Inthya, as a common soldier with short sword and breastplate. If someone did somehow see her, they would think nothing of her.

One of the rooms led out into a garden, and Reygmadra decided she had been indoors for too long. She stepped out into the sunlight, into the fresh air.

Reygmadra didn’t think much of gardens—they were really just a waste of space—but this one was empty, so she would stay for a while. As she moved, she kept an ear to the palace, hoping she would soon hear distant cheers.

“Still waiting?”

A woman dressed as a Xytan noble stood there among the flowers. She had olive-toned skin and long, wavy ebony hair, and her face was impossibly, supernaturally beautiful. The dress she wore was simple but elegant, all wine-colored silk that perfectly emphasized wide hips and a narrow waist. Despite her disguise as a mortal woman, Reygmadra recognized Dayluue—Goddess of Love and Seventh of the Ten.

“It will be a while yet,” said Reygmadra. “Why are you here?”

“I’m feeling neglected,” Dayluue said. “You haven’t come to see me in ages.”

“I’m busy.”

“You’re always busy.” Crimson lips pressed together in a pout as Dayluue adjusted the neckline of her dress aggressively. “Maybe I should call on someone else. I wonder what Nara is doing.”

Possessive rage seized at Reygmadra, and Dayluue began to laugh. But the sound was cut short when Reygmadra grabbed her by the shoulders. A moment later, she had Dayluue pressed between the garden wall and her own body.

“I love it when you get jealous,” Dayluue said breathlessly. “Kiss me?”

Reygmadra brought her lips to Dayluue’s throat. Dayluue tilted her head back, hands clasping at Reygmadra’s hair, and laughed again. “I have missed you,” she said.

“I don’t believe you,” said Reygmadra because expecting strict monogamy from Dayluue was like expecting a bird to refrain from flight.

“I’ll prove it, then.” Dayluue’s eyes sparkled.

“No. I’m busy.”

“I never took you for the sort to get excited over a birth. Or are you finally realizing what I’ve been saying about the population—”

“No. I’m just giving her a blessing, and then I’m leaving.”

“It might be a while,” warned Dayluue. “Labor can last an entire day.”

Reygmadra shuddered. “Awful.”

“Well, they wouldn’t have to do it so often if you didn’t keep convincing them to kill one another.”

Reygmadra rolled her eyes. “Did you come here just to argue?”

Dayluue pressed her lips to Reygmadra’s. “Only if you really want to,” she murmured into her mouth. The scent of her mortal body, flowers and sweat and pheromones, was intoxicating.

They were antithesis to each other, and yet, there was an undeniable symmetry to their domains. They were two primal forces, mindless impulse given sentience. And sometimes the fiery lust Dayluue elicited from her felt identical to the thrill of battle.

Perhaps that was why Dayluue always returned to her. Perhaps that was why Reygmadra did not object to Dayluue’s wandering.

When they met like this in Asterium, it was a union of selves, of auras and magic, and two becoming one in the way none but their own kind could hope to understand. It was delightful to have Dayluue’s energy surging through her, to feel her own spirit within Dayluue. Reygmadra always came away from these unions feeling softer, lighter. But not weaker. Never weaker.

On Inthya, with warm bodies made of blood and flesh, things were different. On Inthya, Dayluue was in control, and Reygmadra was helpless under her expert fingers.

“Kiss me again,” said Dayluue. “But lower, this time.”

About the Author

Effie Calvin is definitely a human being with all her own skin, and not a robot. She writes science fiction and fantasy novels and lives with her cat in the greater Philadelphia area.

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