Monday, 20 November 2017

New Beginnings (part of the A Holiday To Remember anthology and available standalone)


PRE-ORDER ON AMAZON!

Part of the "A Holiday to Remember 2017 Series"

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.

A Holiday to Remember

Freddy MacKay - Watermelon Kisses
Foster Bridget Cassidy - But to Love More
Toni Griffin - Corey's Christmas Bundle
Angel Martinez - Safety Protocols for Human Holidays
Nicole Dennis - Secrets & Silk
Kassandra Lea - Winter Home
Jill Wexler - The Christmas Eve Craigslist Killer
Jayne Lockwood - New Beginnings
Tray Ellis - A Piece of Ourselves
J. Scott Coatsworth - I Only Want to Be With You
Siri Paulson - A New Year on Vega III


PRE-ORDER ON AMAZON


Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Cover Reveal! Euphoria, coming January 2018



EUPHORIA


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 superbug. 

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 2020. 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 affect on the interstellar traveller. 

Kurt's marriage is on the rocks and his relationship with his teenage daughter is at an all-time low. He is under extreme pressure to produce profitable results, and the last thing he needs is an alien telling 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. 


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The Stark Divide: New Sci-Fi Epic from J. Scott Coatsworth!

Read an excerpt of The Stark Divide below!



Publisher: DSP Publications
Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Length: 284 Pages
Format: eBook, Paperback
Release Date: 10/10/17
Pairing: MM
Price: 6.99, 16.99
Series: Liminal Sky (Book One)
Genre: Sci Fi, Space, Gen Ship, Apocalypse, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer

Blurb:

Some stories are epic.

The Earth is in a state of collapse, with wars breaking out over resources and an environment pushed to the edge by human greed.

Three living generation ships have been built with a combination of genetic mastery, artificial intelligence, technology, and raw materials harvested from the asteroid belt. This is the story of one of them—43 Ariadne, or Forever, as her inhabitants call her—a living world that carries the remaining hopes of humanity, and the three generations of scientists, engineers, and explorers working to colonize her.

From her humble beginnings as a seedling saved from disaster to the start of her journey across the void of space toward a new home for the human race, The Stark Divide tells the tales of the world, the people who made her, and the few who will become something altogether beyond human.

Humankind has just taken its first step toward the stars.

Book One of Liminal Sky

Excerpt:

DRESSLER, SCHEMATIC,” Colin McAvery, ship’s captain and a third of the crew, called out to the ship-mind.

A three-dimensional image of the ship appeared above the smooth console. Her five living arms, reaching out from her central core, were lit with a golden glow, and the mechanical bits of instrumentation shone in red. In real life, she was almost two hundred meters from tip to tip.

Between those arms stretched her solar wings, a ghostly green film like the sails of the Flying Dutchman.

“You’re a pretty thing,” he said softly. He loved these ships, their delicate beauty as they floated through the starry void.

“Thank you, Captain.” The ship-mind sounded happy with the compliment—his imagination running wild. Minds didn’t have real emotions, though they sometimes approximated them.

He cross-checked the heading to be sure they remained on course to deliver their payload, the man-sized seed that was being dragged on a tether behind the ship. Humanity’s ticket to the stars at a time when life on Earth was getting rapidly worse.

All of space was spread out before him, seen through the clear expanse of plasform set into the ship’s living walls. His own face, trimmed blond hair, and deep brown eyes, stared back at him, superimposed over the vivid starscape.

At thirty, Colin was in the prime of his career. He was a starship captain, and yet sometimes he felt like little more than a bus driver. After this run… well, he’d have to see what other opportunities might be awaiting him. Maybe the doc was right, and this was the start of a whole new chapter for mankind. They might need a guy like him.

The walls of the bridge emitted a faint but healthy golden glow, providing light for his work at the curved mechanical console that filled half the room. He traced out the T-Line to their destination. “Dressler, we’re looking a little wobbly.” Colin frowned. Some irregularity in the course was common—the ship was constantly adjusting its trajectory—but she usually corrected it before he noticed.

“Affirmative, Captain.” The ship-mind’s miniature chosen likeness appeared above the touch board. She was all professional today, dressed in a standard AmSplor uniform, dark hair pulled back in a bun, and about a third life-sized.

The image was nothing more than a projection of the ship-mind, a fairy tale, but Colin appreciated the effort she took to humanize her appearance. Artificial mind or not, he always treated minds with respect.

“There’s a blockage in arm four. I’ve sent out a scout to correct it.”

The Dressler was well into slowdown now, her pre-arrival phase as she bled off her speed, and they expected to reach 43 Ariadne in another fifteen hours.

Pity no one had yet cracked the whole hyperspace thing. Colin chuckled. Asimov would be disappointed. “Dressler, show me Earth, please.”

A small blue dot appeared in the middle of his screen.

Dressler, three dimensions, a bit larger, please.” The beautiful blue-green world spun before him in all its glory.

Appearances could be deceiving. Even with scrubbers working tirelessly night and day to clean the excess carbon dioxide from the air, the home world was still running dangerously warm.

He watched the image in front of him as the East Coast of the North American Union spun slowly into view. Florida was a sliver of its former self, and where New York City’s lights had once shone, there was now only blue. If it had been night, Fargo, the capital of the Northern States, would have outshone most of the other cities below. The floods that had wiped out many of the world’s coastal cities had also knocked down Earth’s population, which was only now reaching the levels it had seen in the early twenty-first century.

All those new souls had been born into a warm, arid world.

We did it to ourselves. Colin, who had known nothing besides the hot planet he called home, wondered what it had been like those many years before the Heat.

Buy Links Etc:









Author Bio:

Scott spends his time between the here and now and the what could be. Enticed into fantasy and sci fi by his mom at the tender age of nine, he devoured her Science Fiction Book Club library. But as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were in the books he was reading.

He decided that it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at his local bookstore. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s mind works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He loves to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

Starting in 2014, Scott has published more than 15 works, including two novels and a number of novellas and short stories.

He runs both Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction that reflects their own lives.

Author Links:








Coatsworth/e/B011AFO4OQ





And finally ... I recently read and reviewed this book for WROTE Podcast. To read my review, click HERE!





Thursday, 5 October 2017

FREE LGBT Romance Ebooks!

Here's a FABULOUS deal. Sign up to the mailing list for QueeRomanceInk, any time from now until the end of October, and you get FIVE free sci-fi/fantasy romance Ebooks, one of which is Docklands Diamond by my pseudonym, S A Smythe. You will also get access to some fantastic LGBT fiction by some wonderful authors, celebrating romance, diversity, and fantastic story-telling.

Docklands Diamond is a fun, filthy tale of romance, discovery and one sassy talking dick. What's not to like?

https://www.queeromanceink.com/join-our-email-list/

On the morning after his 35th birthday, Alex Logan is left with two unwanted gifts; the hazy memory of a sensual encounter with a handsome Scottish stockbroker, and a new, opinionated best friend with a constant demand for sex.

Docklands Diamond is the story of one man, one talking dick and one very sexed-up City executive who will stop at nothing to get Alex into bed. He has a sultry sister, Willow, an amateur witch whose love potion has left Alex in this sticky situation. The problem is, Alex is straight, or wants to be, so it is up to Broadsword, his new best pal, to persuade him that Leith is Mr. Right.


A quirky, filthy story of love and acceptance, with lots and lots of hot sex...

Monday, 25 September 2017

Review of Savage (Songs from A Broken World) by Gary Numan


I had always been a massive fan of Gary, right from the beginning and tailing off to nothing during the Beserker years, until I was given the Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind) album in 2014. It took me 6 months to actually listen to it, worried that it would be full of syncopated noodling and dull synth self-indulgence, but the result was so powerful, it stayed on repeat in my car for the next six weeks after the first listen, and is a constant presence on my driving playlist. 

So Savage had a lot to live up to. The next album after a hugely successful one always has massive expectations heaped upon it, and not necessarily good ones. 

Out of the eleven tracks, I would say nine of them are strong, making up for the two which aren't quite so powerful. Each has its own flavour, variably with Eastern-inspired wailing chorals, elegant strings, wafting melodies and irresistibly rhythmic drumbeats. The song structures are familiar; the softly softly build-up, full of Dystopian bleakness, before hitting the listener with throbbing mid-sections that lift each track into its own dimension. There are numerous references to God, but don't worry, Numan hasn't gone all Cliff Richard on us faithful Numanoids. In the Broken World Numan refers to, it's a bit late for that. The future is bleak, thanks to global warming, and Numan gives us insight into what that could be like.

Stand-outs for me are Ghost Nation, the first track, giving an epic taste of what is to follow. Numan's vocals are on point, soaring and breaking, with a depth that seems to only improve with age. And Bed of Thorns is bound to be a crowd pleaser, with its memorable chorus and deep echoes of the classic Down In The Park synth melody

The song chosen for the single, My Name is Ruin, has grown on me with each listen. I love the sinuous, Eastern-influenced synth which offset the slightly shrill vocals. Daughter Persia's voice in the background fits in perfectly on the chorus. It's the only song where I feel Numan's voice is being exercised to its limits, and it has taken a few listens to really appreciate it. 

Some of the tracks sound familiar in other ways. And It All Began With You is a ballad with distinct Wicked Game overtones, yet saved from mawkishness by Numan, who makes a love song sound like the lament of a serial killer.

My initial feeling was that the album faded slightly after When the World Falls Apart. This is another strong track, arguably more suitable to be a single than My Name Is Ruin. I'm sure Numan fans will vigorously discuss this point long into the night. I still feel this is the weakest part of the album, during What God Intended and Pray For The Pain You Serve. This is all relative though, because there is a lot to compete with. Every track has its own tasty little riff or chorus to yell along to in the car. Yes, some of the tracks are similar, and a couple seem to merge into one, but if you enjoyed Splinter, and want more, then you won't be disappointed. 

The album picks up again with the last two tracks. Broken takes the listener to the dusty plains of Tattooine with soaring, atmospheric electronica that is just begging to be used as a film score. 

"I've seen the whole world die," he says at the end, but I really hope it doesn't. Despite the gloomy lyrics and bleak message, this late bottled vintage Numan is a taste worth savouring. 





Sunday, 10 September 2017

No-cook cocoa, nut and date energy bites

First of my occasional recipes!

These are seriously quick to make, about 5 minutes from start to finish. I took the Deliciously Ella Ultimate Energy Bites recipe, and tweaked it because let's face it, who has coconut oil in the store cupboard? Ditto hemp powder... 

You will need a food processor.

Makes between 10 - 20 balls, depending on how big you like them..

– 1 cup of dates, stoned
– 3/4 of a cup of almonds
– 3/4 of a desiccated coconut or walnut or any other nut
– 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
– 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
– 1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder
Approx 1 tablespoon of runny honey

Start by placing the almonds, walnuts and chia seeds in your food processor. Blend for 1 minute, until a flour forms and the nuts have crumbled.

Then add the remaining ingredients. Blend for another minute until a sticky dough forms.

Use your hands to roll the mixture into little balls, adding more honey if they are a little crumbly,  and place each in a miniature cupcake holder if you have them.

Store in the fridge for two weeks.

It goes without saying, but I will anyway, these aren't suitable for nut allergy sufferers...


Thursday, 7 September 2017

Book Review: When Heaven Strikes by F.E. Feeley Jr





I was scared to read this one at first. The striking image on the front cover hinted at a plot concerning wild weather, but I could have been wrong. It could have been an allegory for the chaos that religious fervour can wreak on innocent lives. What if I was disappointed?

Turns out, it is both, and I wasn’t disappointed. First off, it is books like this one that make me love my job. After an easy-going start, the author draws the reader into the lives of Ted and Anderson, before focussing on the aftermath of a homophobic attack that has totally unexpected results. Both parts of the book are cleverly interwoven, yet easing towards an inevitable and dramatic climax.

As an inveterate storm-watcher, I was waiting for the tornado to hove into view, and it does, but I’m not saying when. Everything I was expecting to happen, didn’t happen. I really hoped the author wouldn’t succumb to the normal romantic tropes, and he doesn’t. I was expecting a book full of rage against the religious machine, but the outcome is more one of forgiveness.

This is such an elegant book. The sex scenes are beautifully choreographed, the progress of Ted and Anderson’s relationship feels totally real. Yes, love does happen at first sight. Then the reader gets sucked in by the secondary characters, the most surprising of which was the fire and brimstone preacher and his son. Again, expectations confounded at every turn.

In fact, this book IS like a tornado, throwing the reader into a spin. I loved that the ending made me cry. That is what books are supposed to do. Entertain you, anger you, make you feel. This book has all the feels, and much, much more. A masterclass in how to craft an MM romance, and support it with a plot that is so much more. A strong contender for my Book Of The Year.

BLURB

Artist Ted Armstrong lives a solitary and eccentric life. The survivor of child abuse disguised as religion, Ted has cut himself off from the world. 

Then Ted meets Anderson Taylor, and it’s like being struck by lightning. 

Anderson is a cardiac surgeon whose passion for his work has consumed him. He fears he’ll never find a partner—until he sets eyes on Ted. It’s happening fast, but both men know what they feel is right. 

Confronted with an angry preacher, a scandal, and an act of God that threatens to destroy everything, their relationship will face its first true test.