The scene was set in Book 1: Skythane, and the danger with second books is that the plot can fall a little flat, but that is not the case here. Wisely, the author has created another world out of the old one, with the occupants of Oberon and Titania having to get used to their new reality.
Not everyone is happy with this new world order, and conflicts from the last book rear their ugly heads. The good news is that Quince makes a discovery laced with tragedy, and Xander and Jameson’s fledging relationship suffers a knock when an old flame arrives on the scene. Amidst all the fantasy elements, there is a good old human story of love, of struggle and torn loyalties.
I loved how human these characters are. Having got to know them in the first book, I really cared about their various predicaments. There is an element of fairy tale as well as sci-fi, which stops the plot from being too tech-heavy, with panoramic scenes to enable the characters to spread their wings. And it had a very welcome dash of corporate intrigue which was a great foil to the fantasy element. It is a very visual book, as the last one was, and painted in vivid colours. I could definitely see the climax being directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium) It had that kind of cinematic feel.
The story lagged slightly in the middle of the book, but soon picked up again when Jessa, Jameson’s former fiancee, is thrown into the mix. She could have been given a bigger role, as she was a strong character, but I loved her kick-ass feistiness. The big message of this novel seems to be “seize the day” although it never actually says that. It was done beautifully and it’s hard to say which book I enjoyed more, the first one or this one. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the next in the series.
Friday, 16 February 2018
Tuesday, 13 February 2018
Today is Release Day for Lander, J. Scott Coatsworth's epic second instalment of the Oberon Cycle!! See below for an EXCLUSIVE excerpt, and find buy links as well. My review will be coming very soon....
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Tuesday, February 13th, 2018
Format: paperback, ebook
Story Type: novel
Word Count: 90700
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Genres: Sci Fi, MM Romance
Pairings: MM, also includes FF
Tropes: second chances, ex lovers
Keywords/Categories: Wingfic, Gay, LGBT fiction, Queer Sci Fi
Series Title: Oberon Cycle
Position (Number) in Series: 2
Necessary to Read Previous Books: Yes
Other Books in Series Available for Review?: yes
Book BlurbSometimes the world needs saving twice.
In the sequel to the Rainbow-Award-winning Skythane, Xander and Jameson thought they’d fulfilled their destiny when they brought the worlds of Oberon and Titania back together, but their short-lived moment of triumph is over.
Reunification has thrown the world into chaos. A great storm ravaged Xander's kingdom of Gaelan, leaving the winged skythane people struggling to survive. Their old enemy, Obercorp, is biding its time, waiting to strike. And to the north, a dangerous new adversary gathers strength, while an unexpected ally awaits them.
In the midst of it all, Xander’s ex Alix returns, and Xander and Jameson discover that their love for each other may have been drug-induced.
Are they truly destined for each other, or is what they feel concocted? And can they face an even greater challenge when their world needs them most?
The Oberon Cycle: Book Two
Xander is a skythane man whose wings have always been a liability on the lander-dominated half world of Oberon.
Jameson is a lander who has been sent to Oberon to find out why the supply of the psycho-amoratic drug pith has dropped off.
What neither knows is that they have a shared destiny that will change the two of them - and all of Oberon - forever.
Exclusive Excerpt from Lander
Quince struggled up the slope toward the cliff, trying to see far enough ahead to find a protected spot where they could rest.
Venin let her put an arm on his shoulder, supporting her. She was grateful for the kindness.
She’d considered flying, but the rain and wind were still heavy enough to make that a really bad idea. She’d been lucky to get off with just a sprained ankle in her last fall. What if she broke a wing?
For a brief moment, the rain let up.
Quince looked into the gray sky and then back the way they’d come. The shimmering air parted to reveal the ruined valley, half-filled with water from the storm.
She hoped Xander, Jameson, Kadin, and Alia had survived. “The prophecy never mentioned a flood,” she grumbled and turned back toward the ridgeline.
Venin laughed. “Prophecies are notoriously vague. Let’s keep going. We’re almost there.”
He seemed solid and steady. She needed both at the moment, though she’d never admit it.
They resumed their climb as the rain descended again in heavy sheets. Venin helped her clamber over slippery logs and boulders. She’d scraped up her knees several times, and the blood now flowed freely down both legs along with the rainwater. Her cuts were small enough to pose no immediate danger of blood loss, but she’d be lucky if they didn’t get infected.
At last they reached the white cliffs that ran along the south side of the valley. She stared up to the point where the limestone disappeared into the mist and rain above. “Which way?”
“West it is.”
They found a rock hollow about a hundred meters along the cliff face, with an overhang deep enough to give them respite from the rain. Quince pulled out her pulse pistol and used the laser sight to provide enough light to check for inhabitants. There were whipcats up in the mountains, and who knew what else. Luckily the hollow was empty, with a deep loam of leaves and dirt to provide them with some cushion.
“Looks like heaven to me.” Venin let her go in first.
She stooped and made her way under the protection of the cliff.
She was itching to return to Gaelan. The shift had many practical consequences, including the fact that OberCorp now shared a world with Errian and Gaelan, the skythane nations. The corporation was a clear and present danger to both, and the denizens of the Slander wouldn’t be far behind. She had promised Rogan a shitload of pith, after all, that she’d failed to deliver.
They’d have to do something about all those things, and figure out how to shift the damned Oberon half of the world back to its own universe once the flare was over. Otherwise the misplaced landers would soon take over all Titania—Erro now—and the skythane nations would never be the same. It looked like she was going to be needed, after all.
Until the storm passed, they were stuck.
She opened her carry sack and pulled out some more of her rations, and Venin did the same. She was still hungry. It had to be late afternoon, maybe? She’d lost all track of time in the rush from the Mountain and during the storm.
She took a bite of the remainder of the bread and dried fruit they’d brought with them. The bread was soaked through, but it filled her stomach with nourishment, and for that she was grateful.
They watched the rain fall outside.
“I’ve never seen a storm come up so hard and fast.” Venin chewed on some bread.
She offered him her canteen.
He shook his head and held up his own. “I brought something stronger.”
“What is it?”
“Mothrot, my mother called it. It’s a home-brew liquor, and it’ll take the sting out of just about anything. Want some?”
“Yes, please.” She had a lot of sting to lose. She took the flask and sipped it. It was about the vilest thing she had ever tasted. “Oh my gods, what’s in this?” She stared at the canteen with disgust.
He laughed. “Wait for it.”
“For what?” Then a warm feeling of contentment began to spread through her gut and out to her fingers and toes. “Oh man, that’s nice.” She looked at the canteen with new appreciation. “What’s in it?”
Venin grinned. “You don’t want to know. Splash a little on your wounds too. It’ll kill just about anything.”
She did. “Damn, that burns.”
He winked at her in the dim light. “That’s how you know it’s working.”
An errant breeze blew a splash of rainwater into the rock hollow. Quince laughed. “I imagine this storm is all the atmosphere on the split side of both worlds, forced out by the shift. Unintended consequences and all.”
Venin nodded. “There’s a whole mountain-sized pile of rubble out there that could fit under that header. What happened back there?”
Quince shook her head. “I don’t know. Something new. I still don’t understand how Morgan vanished. Or what he was.”
“Maybe a sneach?”
Quince shook her head. “I thought so at first too. But now…. He had his own agenda. But he helped us when we needed him most.” She could still see him, there between Xander and Jameson, pulling the worlds together. Then vanishing as if he’d never been.
“There are stranger things than we know in the world.” Venin held up his flask. “More ’rot?”
“No thanks. That little bit did the trick, I think. Tell your mother thanks for me the next time you see her.”
“Wish I could. She’s been dead three years now.”
Well, shit. “Sorry.”
He squeezed her shoulder in response.
They sat in silence for a while. Quince pulled out a clean, damp shirt from her carry sack and used it with some rainwater on her legs, wiping off her wounds as best she could. They were shallow—mostly just scrapes, but she longed for some warm water and soap to truly clean them out. The mothrot would have to do, for now.
City life had made her soft. Time to harden herself up again.
Buy and Review Links
Dreamspinner eBook: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/lander-by-j-scott-coatsworth-9317-b
Dreamspinner paperback: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/lander-by-j-scott-coatsworth-9318-b
QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/book/lander/
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38088645-lande
Friday, 26 January 2018
Because I'm between manuscripts, and not really ready to get stuck into another big one, I have a little time on my hands to make mischief. This doesn't mean I'm not writing. Oh no. It just means I can have some fun with some fan fiction.
So I've created a Wattpad account, which you can follow via the link below. I'd love some followers! You can read excerpts from my books, as well as indulge in shorter stories teased from my (frankly) odd imagination.
And I haven't even got to the tentacles yet....
I will be adding more as time goes on, but in the meanwhile, here is the latest, a short story based on What Could Have Happened Next to Henrik Hanssen in Holby City. There will be more in the future. No tentacles involved.
And here's a lovely picture of my latest muse.
Tuesday, 23 January 2018
Okay, so I know I said Euphoria would be published early in 2018, and the manuscript IS completed, but late last year I did a Thing, and to cut a long story short, Euphoria is being considered for publication by a publisher. (I'm keeping everything crossed!)
It will be a while whether I know what is happening next, so in the meantime, I'll just keep posting little snippets and AS SOON AS I'M ABLE TO SAY, I'll let you know what is happening!
Here's a snippet, where Kurt and Vardam get cosy.
As he took the book from Vardam’s outstretched hand, he was struck by the Var’s height. He told himself to calm down. The rapid beating of his heart wasn’t necessary. Vardam wasn’t going to hurt him.
That isn’t what you’re afraid of, a silky voice whispered in his mind.
He took the book and sat on the bed, feeling ill-at-ease. He was very aware of Vardam’s fresh grassy scent, the warmth and serenity radiating from their body. He had felt a spike of something similar recently, watching Vardam and Tom talking together. It felt almost like…
The book fell open on the first chapter. It felt fragile in his hands, the spine wrinkled where it had been broken in the past. The pages were soft and much handled, as if someone had loved the book very much indeed. He experienced another new sensation. This book was precious, much loved in the past, it deserved respect.
Christ, what was wrong with him?
Vardam sat next to him, so close he could feel the warmth of their thigh. He edged away, but Vardam seemed to have no idea about personal boundaries, shifting close again. They tapped the book and then their shapely lips, watching Kurt intently.
He cleared his throat. ““Last night, I went to Manderley again…””
As he continued, he moved to the side of the bed where the wall was so he could rest back against it. Vardam followed. The Var looked entranced, but whether that was by Kurt or the words he was saying, it was impossible to tell.
By the fourth chapter, Vardam’s head was resting on Kurt’s shoulder. After a few moments, he realised the alien had fallen asleep. Kurt lay them down as best he could and covered them with the duvet, putting the book on the bedside cabinet.
He was so tired. The pillow looked inviting, so he lay down alongside the Var’s long body, being careful not to touch them, and closed his eyes. Five minutes, he thought. Just five minutes….
Arrick’s view – myBook.to/ArricksViewThe much awaited complimentary addition to the Heart books, which are already on sale on Amazon.The Carrero Heart – Beginning , which sees our best friend duo Sophie and Arrick come to face the fact that her feelings for him have grown to so much more and the train wreck that follows as they try to figure out how they feel about each other.ᖇ[̲̅e̲̅]ᗩᗪ ᗩᒪᒪ ᗰ[̲̅y̲̅] ᗷ[̲̅o̲̅][̲̅o̲̅][̲̅k̲̅]ᔕ – ᑌᑎ[̲̅i̲̅]ᐯ[̲̅e̲̅]ᖇᔕᗩᒪ ᗷ[̲̅o̲̅][̲̅o̲̅][̲̅k̲̅] ᒪ[̲̅i̲̅]ᑎ[̲̅k̲̅]ᔕBook 1 – myBook.to/TheCarreroEffectBook 2 – myBook.to/CarreroInfluenceBook 3 – myBook.to/CarreroSolutionBook 4 – myBook.to/CarreroHeart1Book 5 – myBook.to/CarreroHeart2Jakes POV – myBook.to/JakesPOVStandalone bookJust Rose – getBook.at/JustRoseWhat is a bonus book?What does it contain?Why should I read it after I have read the others?Why do fans like them?I have a good assortment of the fan requested chapters in Arrick’s POV, also one from Natasha, and one extra scene from Sophie on how they first met. I also included the 2 brother interviews from my blog, and the Christmas bonus that went to my email sub list. It’s a collectors book so all of that will be valued just as much.
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Author of The Carrero Series and Just Rose
Thursday, 21 December 2017
A Short Story For Christmas
Nick is not looking forward to his second Christmas without Sammi, his gorgeous ex-fiancee. She left him on New Year’s Eve, a week after their engagement, and he still doesn’t know why.
A chance meeting whilst out Christmas shopping reveals that Sammi is now Sam, a transgender man. As the reasons behind their break-up become clearer, Nick cannot make sense of his new feelings. He is shocked by the deep attraction he still has to Sam, and what that says about himself.
It will take Nick's straight-talking family, and Sam’s guiding hand, to help him discover that gender is no barrier to love.
Genre: Christmas, MM Romance, Contemporary, Trans Romance
Friday, 15 December 2017
I've just realised something. For the last six months I've been in my writer's cave, working on my latest novel (Euphoria, to be published on February 1st 2018) so haven't taken much notice of popular television programmes, including Holby City. For those in the States who don't know, this is a very long-running medical drama which goes out every Tuesday night, rather like ER, without roller-skating medics.
One of the main characters in Euphoria is Kurt Lomax, a Professor of Genealogy who runs the Pharmacure Research Facility, where the book is based. He's a difficult man, with OCD tendencies and no idea how to relate to his family. His marriage is failing, and he's still suffering from the effects of a traumatic childhood. He doesn't know how to show affection or love, but despite all that, he is capable of looking after the people in his employ and making sure they are treated fairly. Because of his extreme dietary needs (he's apparently coeliac and vegan) he's extremely lean.
Holby fans - does this remind you of anyone? (And current readers, please don't say "every other MC you've written" because yeah, I have a type. I know....)
He's dark-haired, with angular features and green eyes. And he has an excellent taste in suits. In fact, people never see him in anything else. At over six feet in height, his presence darkens the laboratory every time he is in residence. Most people are terrified of him.
Holby fans - How about now?
Here's a clue....Of course, from my writer's cave, I knew nothing of this. I tend not to watch long-running television shows or soaps anyway (traumatised by my mother's obsession with Crossroads...) So I was somewhat shocked to see Kurt Lomax staring back at me in glorious HD a couple of weeks' back. I had two instant reactions.
1. HOLY SHIT!!! (fanning myself.) It's pretty rare to see the man you've been crafting, writ large so you can see every facial tic,
2. Shit, people are going to think I stole him. They're going to think I've written fanfic! Oh God..... Which I haven't. Hand on heart. It's my muse shape-shifting again, testing my creativity. Sometimes he's Christopher Walken (circa True Romance), sometimes he's William Fichtner (circa Prison Break.) My heroes have never been hard-bodied, hairless pretty boys. I've had those in my S.A. Smythe books, sure, because they suited that kind of erotic premise, but no.
The men I write have to be conceivably real, with flaws, not conventionally handsome (okay, so Richard Mason (Closer Than Blood) was hot, to be honest.) But MY idea of handsome, good-looking, whatever, is just not the same as other peoples.' A friend said she saw Ryan Gosling as Richard. Great. I love that! Doesn't do it for me. I see him more as a hybrid of Christopher Walken as Gabriel in The Prophecy and Bryan Ferry, but I'm not going to impose that image on others. As a reader, you see what you want to see.
So when you read Euphoria, you might see Kurt as Gabriel Byrne or Aidan Turner or anyone else. But this is what I obviously see, as I've just discovered.....
Classically-trained actor Guy Henry as Henrik Hanssen in Holby City. He's even a CEO, for Heaven's sake, and I hadn't noticed him before? #alwaysthelasttoknow. So I make no apology for this, even though the geeks amongst you will recognise him as Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars: Rogue One, and Pius Thicknesse in Harry Potter. (He's unrecognisable in both.)
This is who I've been working with for months, and I hadn't realised. They say never meet your characters in the flesh. Well, I haven't had the chance to meet Guy in the flesh. I really wish I could, but if I did, I'd probably get arrested for trying to lick him.
But assuming I didn't, how on earth would I be able to explain the tentacles?
"Well, you fall in love with an alien and bear their child, basically, but not in the normal way. And tentacles are involved. Twelve of them." Pause. "But it's okay. You don't die."
In the meantime, I hope Guy keeps gracing our screen as Henrik, who is getting more intense and agonised by the week, providing an hour of bliss every Tuesday. All he needs now is a good love affair with a non-binary alien, inner peace and the chance to experience childbirth.
And that's where I come in.
Euphoria is out on 1st February 2018.
Far in the future, Vardam’s planet has been destroyed, leaving the
non-binary life form drifting through space. By chance, they arrive on Earth, and find a human race all but wiped out by a man-made super-bug.
Saddened by the pointless destruction, and fascinated by human beings' past achievements, Vardam is determined not to let the race destroy itself. At great personal risk, they step back through time and space to Kurt Lomax’s laboratory, where the drug that begins the chain reaction of destruction is still at the research stage.
Vardam has no idea how to deal with humans in 2025. Amongst them there is Tom, out of his depth as the interpreter employed to communicate with them, and the Head Scientist, Kurt Lomax, who has a profound effect on the interstellar traveller.
Kurt's marriage is on the rocks and his relationship with his teenage daughter is at an all-tim low. He is under extreme pressure to produce profitable results, and the last thing he needs is an alien arriving to tell him his pet project will bring about Armageddon.
In the Bunker, deep underground where Kurt and his team have their laboratory, they have almost forgotten what it means to be human. It takes Vardam and Tom’s arrival for love to blossom, before a misunderstanding threatens to destroy Kurt and ruin Vardam’s plans for a peaceful alliance between the Var people and the human race.