Spotlight & Excerpt: Carillon’s Curse + Giveaway

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Carillon's Curse - Sionnach Wintergreen
Sionnach Wintergreen has a new MM Western paranormal thriller out: Carillon’s Curse. And there’s a giveaway!

In 1888 Austin, Texas, a shy medium with clubfoot is visited by the grisly spirits of murdered children and enlists the help of a rugged Texas Ranger to pursue their killer. As the two men hunt the murderer, they find themselves not only in the grip of a taboo love that could—at best—send them to prison, but also in danger of becoming the killer’s next prey.

In the twenty three years of his life, Thomas Carillon has known nothing but unrequited love. People don’t notice him; they only notice his clubfoot. He has given himself up to a solitary existence with only the companionship of his cat and the ghosts who visit him. When a rare child ghost, her massive injuries evident, asks Thomas for help, the only law man that will listen is a hard-bitten Texas Ranger who reawaken’s Thomas’s secret desires. The two grow closer as they chase the killer, but can they hold onto their fragile, budding love in such hard times?

Hadrian Burton thinks Thomas looks like an angel, except for whatever horror he’s hiding in that strange boot. Temporarily leaving life on the range and his complicated past to track down a killer with Thomas, Hadrian finds himself doing something he vowed never to do again—falling in love. Their “congress,” as Thomas calls it, is more intense than he has ever experienced. After a lifetime of virginity, the clubfooted man is going wild, and he doesn’t balk at Hadrian’s unconventional appetites. But Hadrian fears he will only hurt Thomas in the end. And yet, he has never fallen so hard for another man. How can he keep both his and Thomas’s hearts from being broken? And how can he bring the elusive Child Slayer to justice with only the help of a medium and ghosts?

Get it On Amazon


Giveaway

Sionnach Wintergreen is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this reveal:

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Excerpt

Carillon's Curse

Friday, January 27

Austin, Texas

Thomas Carillon set down his teacup as he watched his cat, Gracie, lift up from his lap in a black and white ruffle of fur, her ghost puff. She had sensed a presence. He sighed. Ghosts never respected his privacy. He enjoyed helping them, but sometimes they demanded attention—usually when he wanted to be alone in his drawing room. “Is it more Confederates? I’m so tired of goddamned Confederates. It’s always ‘what did I die for’ and telling them, ‘not a damn thing’ doesn’t send them off to the Great Beyond.”

Thomas smoothed Gracie’s rumpled coat. It was thick and wispy at the same time, too short to call long and too long to call short. Consequently, the only time it laid flat was when Thomas sleeked it back with his hand, and then it only stayed down for a few seconds. This excited burst of hair, of course, was different. Gracie’s ghost puff. He was the medium, true enough, but Gracie always saw ghosts first, and it was this distinctive puff of hair and body that announced every spectral visitor to Carillon House.

“Show yourself, spirit. I sense your presence and will endeavor to listen to your tale.” He left out that Gracie was truly the one who sensed the specter’s presence. Gracie, for all her intuitiveness, couldn’t speak to ghosts. That was his talent.

This spirit didn’t have the distrust or sudden coyness displayed by most of the ghosts who called on him. This one appeared right beside the arm of his wingback chair. She flickered, wan and bloodless. His breath caught in his throat, and his chest tightened. Seeing a spirit rarely triggered one of his asthma attacks anymore, but the ones who had suffered terrible injuries still affected him.

“You are Mister Carillon” asked the girl. He didn’t usually see child ghosts. Something about them, perhaps their innocence, allowed them to cross over without all of the problems that burdened adults and kept them bond to the realm of the living.

She looked about five years old with duckling blonde hair done up in curls atop her head and crowned with a large red bow. Dirt and blood-stained white lace gloves were the only article of clothing she wore. She held her bowels in her arms as if cradling a large bouquet.

“Yes. Yes, I’m Mr. Carillon. Please, call me Thomas.” He tried to right himself. Whatever had happened to this child, he knew she meant him no harm. People were scared of ghosts, but the most fearful beings wore flesh and skin flushed with blood. “What is your name, my child?”

“Rebecca. The pretty painted ladies told me to come here.”

The whores. All of the whores liked him. They knew he wasn’t like the men who plagued them in life. Homosexuals spent as little time as possible with naked females—and they certainly didn’t pay to do so. He had helped some cross over and entertained with the others. A number of them didn’t want to cross over, content to haunt men and make them impotent or help him impress rich old women at séances.

“Rebecca. That’s a lovely name.” He could have used a sip of tea, but Rebecca’s condition made his stomach shiver. “What brings you to seek me out?”

“I like your cat.”

“Do you? Thank you. Yes, she is a rather nice cat.”

“What’s her name?”

He was thankful most children crossed over. He wasn’t accustomed to dealing with them. He hadn’t understood them even when he was one. At twenty-three, he should have been starting his own family, but he didn’t call on women. He knew they wouldn’t have wanted to marry him even if he had courted one. The two his mother had tried to collect for him had practically run away. “Her name is Gracie.”

Rebecca giggled, holding twists of guts as easily as she might lift a skirt. “That’s a funny name for a cat!”

“She’s a funny cat. Tell me, dear, what happened to you?”

She sobered. “He hurt me. He hurt my private places, then he cut me with his knife.”

A burst of anger flared bright and hot in Thomas’s face.

Rebecca cringed. “Please, don’t be angry, Mister.”

His grief at her condition and her fear fanned the flames of his asthma. He fought for a breath. A small wheeze escaped him. “I’m not angry at you. Not even a trifle. Tell me, Rebecca, tell me who he is.”

“His knife was the biggest knife I’ve ever seen. It was much bigger than his…. He hurt me.”

Raw fury tightened his chest more than asthma. He fought to keep his voice even, not wishing to frighten the child. A Bowie knife—that could have belonged to nearly half the men in Austin. He needed more information. “Did you know him?”

She shook her head negatively, curls bouncing. “I was playing with Sarah and Rose outside Rose’s house. Her house is next door, but Sarah lives on another street. He came up and wanted to tell us a Bible story. I didn’t like it. It was about Lot. He said I needed to come with him because my mother said so, but we didn’t go see my mother. We went to some place where cows are, and he did things to me. And chickens. There were chickens there, too. The black spotty kind. I like those.”

Thomas went ahead and helped himself to his tea. He drained his cup despite its coolness, and set it back down. “I’ll go see the Marshal,” he said gently. Maybe, if he was truly fortunate, the police would discover her corpse so her poor mother could bury her. “That was a terrible man, but no one is going to hurt you anymore, Rebecca. What happened to you in life didn’t happen to your spirit body. Think about how you usually looked.”

As she thought, her ghostly flesh righted itself, and she became well and whole, although she was still a specter, pale and flickering like a candle flame. She wore a pretty, lacy frock and was a lovely little girl. Thomas smiled at her. “There, that’s better, isn’t it?”

He was about to try to send her to the Great Beyond, when she chirped, “What about the boy?”

“What boy?”

“The boy in the barn. The man brought him there after he hurt me. Before he cut me. He hurt the boy, too. The boy was a tiddy baby, but I didn’t call him one. He wouldn’t stop crying. I don’t want the man to cut him, though.”

Thomas tapped his shoulder. Gracie, who had been quiet in his lap, leapt on his shoulder and balanced as he grabbed his cane from against the chair and stood. Even with the special boot, the clubfoot was a menace. It kept his bed empty and his heart forever yearning.

“What are you doing?” asked Rebecca.

We’re going to see the police.” He reached into his vest and pulled out his pocket watch. He opened it and showed it to Rebecca. “You can ride in here, and I’ll let you out when we talk to the Marshal.”

She tilted her head to the side. “It’s a special watch?”

He smiled. “It was my great grandfather’s. It’s very special to me. I don’t know why it works the way it does, but I can carry two spirits in it if they are so inclined.”

“And Gracie’s going, too?”

“Gracie goes everywhere I go. Always.” He actually went precious few places, preferring the quiet seclusion of his home.

Gracie blinked at the girl with a slow bat of her black lashes. A cat kiss. A blessing.

Rebecca’s face broke out in a huge grin. “Then I’ll go, too.” She turned to a white mist and disappeared into the watch. Thomas put it in his pocket and shuffled toward the foyer. Despite his confidence when speaking with the girl, a chill licked down his spine. He hoped they could find the boy before he became a specter as well.


Author Bio

Sionnach Wintergreen
I’m Sionnach (pronounced SHUHN ukh) and I’m a trans male author (he/him) of romance and fantasy. Most of my books are gay romances because they’re so much fun to write. Opposites attract is my favorite trope with hurt/comfort right behind it. Few things are as fun to me as bringing men to life and pushing them into each other’s arms. I love happily ever afters and believe true love is absolutely real.

Before I started writing full time, I volunteered as a grant writer for animal rescue nonprofits. I love animals, and they inevitably find their way into my stories. I share my life with my husband and seven spoiled cats. I’m also the emotional support human to a husky.

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Book Blitz & Exceprt: Soul of the Imperian, by Jessamyn Kingley

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Soul of the Imperian (D’Vaire, Book 26)

Author: Jessamyn Kingley

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: LJ Anderson of Mayhem Cover Creations

Release Date: December 9, 2021

Genre: M/M Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Tropes:  Enemies to lovers, fated mates

Themes: Fate, love

Heat Rating:  3 flames

Length: 96 664 words

It is not a standalone story, but does not end on a cliffhanger.

Check out the D’vaire Series on Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

Demons are expected to hate the Imperian, but what if he’s your mate?

Blurb

Praetor Sashati Soriandras is adjusting to his wonderful new life as part of the Council of Sorcery and Shifters. His new leader’s choice to leave the demonic realm gained Sashati’s immediate approval. There is nothing there but dark memories and a horrible legend about the butcher who ripped magic from the demons a millennium ago.

After being banished to a tiny realm, Imperian Paszratorabiel—or Paszra, as he prefers to be called—is waiting for his wings to grow back. The minute he recovers, Paszra hunts for a place to bring his family so they can find mates. When Paszra finds a planet full of interesting beings, the presence of demons is the only thing he hates about his potential new home.

When Sashati and Paszra meet, neither man is happy to learn they are mates. The demons blame Paszra for everything, while the Imperian despises Sashati’s people. However, they share a tradition of not denying Fate. But to honor the way their souls are connected, Paszra and Sashati must overcome much more than their initial dislike of each other.


Excerpt 

After they arrived in their office space, Sashati sprawled in his office chair and opened the book Arch Lich Chander Daray had suggested would further his education on the Council. 

“Reading again?” Diyarta asked. Once forced into teaching, Diyarta had left that life behind her for good. Her preference was to be in a gym sweating rather than burying her nose in between pages.

“I’m an advisor to our leader. I cannot function in that role if I don’t fully understand the Council.”

“Are you suggesting that I’m failing in my role as advisor?” Diyarta asked.

“I believe we have different strengths. You have the ear of the demons. You can advise Hexaniys on how to improve their lives. They are strangers to me and him. In our former realm and here in the Council, advisors have areas of expertise. If we were to study the same thing, our voices would be redundant.”

“You were so wasted as a guard in that palace,” Diyarta remarked.

“As long as I never have to return to such a role, I will have no complaints.”

“The same cannot be said for our people. You want to be an expert on the Council, but you cannot forget your place. Hexaniys lives with the Darays because he is one now. You are not. Hexaniys is safe surrounded by sentinels.”

“So are the demons,” Sashati replied. “They live in the Daray Sentinel Complex.”

“It is a temporary home, or at least it was supposed to be, I believed. They want to embrace being demons, not be forced into training and the things that sentinels love simply because the Imperator is mated to one.”

“No one has asked them to train. I do it because I like it.”

“As do I,” Diyarta said.

“One reason the complex suits them is because of the many classes the sentinels offer in the evenings and on weekends. It was supposed to be an avenue for the demons to learn about the Council and to find something to give their lives purpose. Instead, they shop and rest in their apartments. They will go to restaurants for meals but not to the sentinels’ cafeteria.”

“I told you, they fear being lumped in with the sentinels.”

“They must find hobbies at the very least,” Sashati replied.

“They are recovering from the atrocities they’ve endured.”

“Diyarta, they refuse to even explain what happened while we were here at the behest of Masal’akra. How are we to help them if they will not discuss the war?”

“Perhaps when the wounds are not so fresh, they’ll be more forthcoming.”

“It has been many weeks,” Sashati said.

“They worry about you living with Hexaniys among the sentinel leadership.”

It was a cause of disagreement that had slowly grown between Sashati and Diyarta. The demons supposedly wanted Sashati to live among them, but Hexaniys and the Darays had offered bedrooms to Sashati and Diyarta. His fellow praetor had refused the invitation and gone to the Daray Sentinel Complex. 

Sashati was torn between the two places and didn’t know if he was right to stay near Hexaniys, but the demon refused to be dictated to by anyone. That was a life they’d left behind, and the new Imperator gave them plenty of space to make decisions for themselves. The problem, as far as Sashati could see it, was that the demons wanted to do nothing. They spent money and complained to Diyarta instead of exploring the Council.

“The guards of other leaders often elect to share homes or land with them,” Sashati said.

“Demons must find their own path.”

“I’m entitled to do what I choose.”

“Just don’t forget that you’re a demon.”

“How could I ever do that?” Sashati asked.

“It’s easy to get swept away into this world of sorcery and shifters, even though we differ from the others in this world. Our power is lost, and we must never forget how that came to be or that there is no ability to regain it.”

“My hatred for the Imperian burns as brightly as it has since the first time I heard his name,” Sashati growled. The Imperian inspired rage in him like nothing else could, and he doubted any demon lamented the loss of their magic more than Sashati. There was so much of it around them, and it pissed Sashati off to think that if it weren’t for a single man, he’d be casting spells alongside his new allies.

“I wish I had been alive in those days. I would’ve slit his throat myself.”

“Get in line, Diyarta,” Sashati retorted.


About the Author 

Jessamyn Kingley lives in Nevada where she begs the men in her head to tell her their amazing stories which she dutifully writes it all down in what has become a small mountain of notebooks. She falls in love with each couple and swears whatever book she wrote last is her absolute favorite.

Jessamyn is married and working toward remembering to start the dishwasher without being distracted by the scent of the magical detergent. For personal enjoyment, she aids in cat rescue while slashing and gashing her way through mobs in various MMORPGs. Caffeine is her very best friend and is only cast aside briefly for the sin better known as BBQ potato chips.

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Join her Facebook group, Jessamyn’s Ruffian’s

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Spotlight & Excerpt: Tangents & Tachyons + Giveaway

BANNER FB - Tangents & Tachyons

Tangents & Tachyons - J. Scott Coatsworth
J. Scott Coatsworth has a new queer sci-fi collection out: Tangents & Tachyons. And there’s a giveaway!

Tangents & Tachyons is Scott’s second anthology – six sci fi and sci-fantasy shorts that run the gamut from time travel to hopepunk and retro spec fic:

Eventide: Tanner Black awakes to find himself in his own study, staring out the window at the end of the Universe. But who brought him there, and why?

Chinatown: Deryn lives in an old San Francisco department store with his girlfriend Gracie, and scrapes by with his talent as a dreamcaster for the Chinese overlords. But what if a dream could change the world?

Across the Transom: What if someone or something took over your body on an urgent mission to save your world?

Pareidolia: Simon’s not like other college kids. His mind can rearrange random patterns to reveal the images lurking inside. But where did his strange gift come from? And what if there are others like him out there too?

Lamplighter: Fen has a crush on his friend Lewin, who’s in a competing guild. But when the world goes dark, only a little illumination can save it. And only Fen, Lewin and their friend Alissa can light the spark. A Liminal Sky short.

Prolepsis: Sean is the closeted twenty-five-year-old editor of an 80’s sci-fi ‘zine called Prolepsis. When an unabashedly queer story arrives from a mysterious writer, it blows open Sean’s closet door, and offers him the chance to change the world – and the future.

Plus two flash fiction stories – The System and The Frog Prince, never before published.

This is the first time all of these stories have all been collected in one place.

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Scribd | Thalia | Vivlio


Giveaway

Scott is giving away a full set of his previously self-published eBooks to one lucky winner:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47214/?


Excerpt

Eventide

Tangents & Tachyons meme - J. Scott Coatsworth
I felt a little sick. Okay, a lot sick—like something had wrenched my stomach out of my gut and pulled it halfway to Mars.

Not far from the truth, as it turned out.

I reached for my stomach. My furry belly was a little thicker than I would have liked—too much processed sugar, Peter said. That and the whole no exercise thing.

What did I eat this time? My memories were a bit fuzzy.

I remembered bright lights and a sharp smell. And a keening whine.

I opened my eyes. The light above dimmed of its own accord.

That’s weird. And the smell… kind of antiseptic?

I sat up, and my fingers sank into the soft blue mat beneath me, leaving an impression when I lifted them up which just as quickly disappeared.

I was naked. What the hell?

Alarmed, I looked around as my eyesight cleared.

I was alone in a plain white room. White walls curved into a white floor and ceiling, and only the “bed” had any color—a bright blue pad on a raised pedestal. There were no doors or windows.

I pushed myself up and my head spun. My stomach clenched, and I felt sick.

The room swam around me, darkening, changing.

I’ve been sick. I was certain of that, but the details were vague. I fell back, cushioning my fall with my left hand. “Hello? Peter?”

“Hello, Tanner Black.” The reply was warm, cordial. Feminine, maybe? Hard to tell.

“Hello.” My head ached. “Where am I? Who is this?” The walls continued to flow.

“I am Sera. You are in an awakening room. Welcome to the Seeker.”

“Welcome to where?” None of this made any sense. Where’s Peter? He must be looking for me. I tried to get up again and a searing pain clenched my gut.

“Please lie down, Mr. Black. You have not fully recovered yet, and your room is not ready.”

Recovered from what? I wanted to argue, but suddenly resting seemed like an eminently sensible idea. I was tired, and my head hurt.

Maybe just a short nap.

I pulled my feet up and lay down, wishing for my comfy feather pillow.

The foam conformed to my body, hugging me. So comfortable.

That thought faded as sleep took me, and the light went out.


Author Bio

J. Scott Coatsworth Avatar
Scott lives with his husband Mark in a yellow bungalow in Sacramento. He was indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine. He devoured her library, but as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were.

He decided that if there weren’t queer characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, and Other Worlds Ink with Mark, sites that celebrate fiction reflecting queer reality, and is a full member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

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