Friday, December 30, 2016

It is my pleasure to share with you today the cover reveal of Louise Lyons new release...


Regeneration by Louise Lyons


Release date: January 15, 2017
Genre: Gay fiction, science fiction, MM romance
Length: 75,000 words
Cover design: Simon Searle


In the 23rd Century in the galaxy of Sigma Kappa, Kim Fortune was the first surviving experimental enhanced human—a regenerate. Aged fifteen, he escaped the lab and years later, his failings as a regenerate and the suspicion of regular humans, leave him lonely and lacking in self-worth. Stranded on an abandoned planet, the arrival of a stricken ship and its crew give him hope that he may finally find what he always longed for—love.
Christian Novak is a successful regenerate with all the intended attributes—including lack of human emotion. Despite their immediate attraction to each other, Kim's failing confidence, and Christian's inability to empathize are a recipe for disaster. But war, imprisonment, and danger throw them together, and after each saves the other's life, their feelings begin to change.
Can a seemingly unsuitable pair ever find love, or is a future together destined to fail?

Author Bio

Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy.
Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties. Posting stories based on some of her favourite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing "hobby" more seriously.
Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad dog called Casper, collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races home afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.
Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and job, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

Social Media

Monday, December 26, 2016

Yes, it's December 26th and yes, I'm wishing you a Merry Christmas. The reason is simple. My wish for each of you, is that the feeling of joy and peace that surrounds us at Christmas, is with each of you every day of the year. Not just on one day. 

My holiday was quiet. Spent at home with my husband and two adult children. No piles of presents under the tree. No stockings stuffed with treats and tiny presents. No bounty of family and friends to make the day brighter. My parents are 900 miles away, my mother-n-law is in a retirement home (we visited her on Christmas Eve) and no grandchildren, as of yet. For the first time ever, we exchanged gifts on Christmas Eve. Daughter had to work Christmas morning. So, to say the least, it was not like any other Christmas we had shared before. 

This led me to do a lot of thinking about those people who spent Christmas in a shelter or their car or a park bench. Alone, probably hungry, maybe needing a hot shower and clean clothes. And what about the child who buried their parent in 2016 or the spouse who laid to rest their life long partner or God forbid, the parent who said a final goodbye to their child? Those are the folks who were on my heart this Christmas. We all know people like this. They don't want to see the Christmas lights or hear a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays shouted at them every time they turn around. Their hearts are broken and Christmas isn't going to mend it in just one day.

I don't know about you but I tried really hard to smile more during the last few weeks. Tried really hard to connect with everyone I came into contact with along my journey. Then it dawned on me, it's not enough. It's not enough to do this just because it's Christmas. That's not what Christ had in mind. 

I know, I know, those of you who don't know me personally. Who just know me by the stories I write and the tidbits you read on another blog or contest on Facebook. You are probably wondering what the heck is this all about. Here is what that is all about.

This has been a horrific year. From the losses our country, our world has suffered, to the circus that was the 2016 Presidential election. Too many people have suffered this year. Too many have lost loved ones. Too many have lost hope. I don't want to be a part of that. I want to be the one that says "I love you and I care". Doesn't matter to me who you love, the color of your skin, where you live, what you believe or how you live your life. What matters to me, is that you know someone in this crazy, screwed up, devastated world cares about "you". 

Will you join me this year and find a little more kindness in your heart for those that are hurting around you. Open your eyes and see them. They are everywhere. Take a moment to smile and offer a kind word. It can change the world if we all do this. I believe in the miracle of Christmas but I believe it's meant to share everyday of the year. 


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving

2016 has been a year of ups and downs for many of us. Many in the LBQT communities lost loved ones as well as ethnic groups who felt targeted for just being who they are. I feel blessed that this year my family had little loss. Oh, we had our share of problems but we're all still here and we are moving on.

This is not a political post of any sort. That's just not my style. You have a right to your beliefs and even if they differ from mine, they are YOURS and you have a right to them. I respect that. 

So today, on Thanksgiving, my prayer (yes, prayer) for each of you is peace in your heart, health, love (in whatever form it takes for you), shelter, food and family. If no one else says it today, thank you for being you and a part of my world.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

It is my pleasure to have Asta Idonea on the blog today with her new release 
"The House Guest"

The House Guest
Asta Idonea
28 October 2016
MLR Press
Short Story/MM/PNR
Heat Level: 4

Zach is thrilled with his new flat, until strange noises disturb him. Who wanders his home at night, laughing and singing, and why is the place always spotless when he never cleans? There was no mention of a house guest in the contract, but it seems Zach has a nocturnal visitor.

Bogdan never expected to end up in Zach’s tiny flat, but now that he’s here, he intends to make the best of it. Zach seems preferable to his last master, and he waits for the right moment to announce his presence. He doesn’t count on Zach’s determination to seek out the truth himself in the meantime.

“Ha, ha, ha!”
Zach shot upright and blinked into the darkness. He strained his ears, listening for the smallest of sounds, but the flat was silent, save for the gentle creak of the window when the wind buffeted against it and the refrigerator’s soft hum. For a moment, he could have sworn he heard laughter, but it must have been his imagination, or else the remnants of a dream he had not realized had begun. Chastising himself for his jumpiness, he settled back down.
“Ha, ha, ha!”
This time he was certain it was no dream. There was laughter coming from within the flat. Someone was in the next room. For all he’d joked earlier in the day about how ridiculous the idea was, it turned out there was an intruder in his home.
Zach gripped the covers and wondered what to do. He’d left his mobile in the lounge when he went to bed, so he couldn’t call for help without going out there. What was the best way to deal with an intruder? Should he stay still and quiet and hope the man—the voice had sounded male—left without attacking him, or should he get up and attempt to scare him away by catching him in the act? Either seemed risky, but he needed to decide one way or the other. For a moment, he wished his older brother were there. Steven was a black belt in karate and a weightlifter. His strong build was better suited to putting robbers to flight than Zach’s skinny frame. However, Steven wasn’t present. He had no choice but to handle this alone.

Author Bio & Links
Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.

Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!

As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel; all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.

Amazon Author US:

Amazon Author UK:

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Queen of the West Book Bash is on at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati, Ohio on Saturday, October 29, 2016.

I am a signing author for this event. I am excited to be at an event so close to my home. Below is a link to the website for Queen of the West where you can get information about tickets and times, as well as a link to a preorder form for my current paperback books that are available.

Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Happy Tuesday everyone. Well, Glass City is over for 2016 and I'm already making plans for 2017. Thank you to everyone who stopped by my table and visited with me. I was so excited to meet some folks that I had been chatting with online for ages. To finally meet them face to face, share a hug and conversation, was a dream come true. The venue was huge but had an air of "Welcome. Come in and join us for the fun". 

It was a pleasure to see authors, I'd met at other events again, and catching up and admiring new releases with them. I was thrilled to see my VIP winners and the excited looks on their faces at such an amazing event. 

Coming up I will be at Queen of the West Book Bash at the Duke Energy Center in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio on Saturday, October 29th. Below there is a link for more information and a link to where you can get tickets. General Admission is now $2.50. Hope to see you there.

Queen of the West Book Bash Information

Here are a few pictures from Glass City, I thought you might enjoy. The official photographer hasn't posted his pictures yet so I'll share them as soon as I can. You just won't believe how huge this event was until you see them. There were so many authors that we had to be split into two groups for two pictures of us. 

Until next time, have a lovely week and enjoy the coming fall weather and changing foliage. 


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

I'll be there!!!

This Saturday, October 8th in 
Toledo, Ohio 
at the 
Seagate Convention Center

Me and about 150 other authors, bloggers, and models will all be together in one room. 

VIP tickets are all sold out but General Admission tickets are still available.

So many give aways, I can't name them all. I can show what I'm giving away at my table. One lucky winner will receive this hardwood box filled with Twilight Woods Bath and Body Works items, nail polish, a compact and a mug filled with candy. The other lucky winner will win a $10 Amazon Gift Card and a bottle of white wine from the Hillside Vineyard in Pigeon Forge, TN.

I will also have beaded key chains for every purchase of either Crashing Waves ($15.00), Drifting Sands($15.00) or The Pinkerton Man Series Bk. 1 & 2 ($10.00). Supplies are limited on the key chains. I will also have paperback copies Island Paradise, Whispers, Rumors, & Lies and A Buggy Ride for Christmas at $5.00 each

Please stop by at table #100 and let me know if you saw this post and I'll enter your name for a special drawing of a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Give me the code word "FUN" and you'll be entered.

This is going to be an amazing event. So many, wonderful authors all in one place. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

I am so excited to be a part of this new event at the Cave City Convention Center in Cave City Kentucky this Saturday, September 24. Please join us for a great time. There will be raffle baskets with some wonderful prizes. I will have paperback copies of all my books but sadly, Crashing Waves my latest release. I couldn't get them from the printer in time for this event. 

Stop by my table for a chance to win a basket of Bath and Body Works items from me too. I also have an extra little gift for those who purchase a copy of Drifting Sands, Bk 1 in the Warfield Hotel Mystery Series or The Pinkerton Man Series Bk 1 & 2. 
Free Key Chain with purchase of Drifting Sands or The Pinkerton Man

 Free Raffle Giveaway

We are going to have a great time and I'd love to see you there. If you find me at the event and mention that you saw this post, I'll give you an ebook copy of Whispers, Rumors, & Lies or Island Paradise. 

See you all there.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

☼⁂♡ It's Live  ☼⁂♡
Crashing Waves
Book 2 in the Warfield Hotel Mystery Series

More buy links to come later.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Crashing Waves Release date September 18, 2016
Here's another teaser!

Their conversation quickly came to a halt when a familiar voice caught both brothers off guard.
“Goddamn, can’t you Warfield boys stay out of trouble for more than a day or two,” Chief Moses Lee said, clearly not expecting an answer.
“Who the hell called you?” Justin asked as he glared at the big black man. This was the last person on earth he wanted to see in his hotel again.
“I called him, Justin. We all know someone is causing this shit, and he needs to do something about it,” Robert answered, joining the group gathered in the bar.
Robert looked toward Justin. A subtle grin spread across his face. Justin felt his cheeks flush, and he turned away quickly to face Chief Lee.
Moses Lee took out a notebook and walked around the room. His boots made squishy sounds as they tramped across the damp carpet. He stopped in front of the large plate glass mirror behind the bar. He made a few more marks in his notebook then closed it.

“I’ve got a forensic crew on the way, though I doubt we’ll find any prints. Don’t start your clean up until they’ve finished. I’ll have them take several shots of the message,” he said as he pointed his notebook at the mirror. “Seems like you’ve made yourselves an enemy.”

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Crashing Waves *** Teaser #3

Robert Wyler sounded agitated, so Justin quickened his pace to see what had happened now, only to find Robert had left the bar through the main doorway and was heading down the hall toward the offices. As he took another step into the room, broken glass crackled under his shoes and wetness seeped into the canvas.

“What the hell?”

Peter was standing in front of the back wall of the bar but swiveled around at the sound of Justin’s voice. As he moved, Justin caught sight of red paint scrawled across the glass mirror.

Get out before it all comes falling down around you and someone dies.

Shivering, Justin briefly wondered if this had anything to do with Caroline and the other deaths last summer. It didn’t seem likely. Caroline was dead now, and even though he didn’t like to think it true, his wife had admitted to killing his former lovers. This must be something entirely different. He just couldn’t think of who would want to do this.

“Peter,” Justin said as he clasped his hand on his brother’s shoulder. “I don’t know who is doing this, or why, but now that I’m back, we’ll figure this out together.”

Release Day *** September 18th

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Warfield Hotel Mysteries Book 2 

A new book is always exciting. It's exciting for you the reader and it's exciting for the author to be able to share their work with you. I know some of you have been patiently waiting for Crashing Waves, the second Warfield Hotel Mystery, to be available. Thank you so much for that patience. I think you are going to love this continuing story of Justin Warfield and Marcus Drummond. Here is the first teaser for you.

Justin Warfield wrapped the blanket tighter around his body. Though the ocean didn’t quite reach the dune where he sat this early in the morning, the air was chilly and damp. It was mid-October, and the beach was deserted. Even the locals didn’t spend much time here at this time of the year. Waves crashed and pummeled the tiny shells and rocks into submission along the shoreline. Seaweed and driftwood littered the sandy beach going north and south as far as he could see.

The sky was overcast, gray. Dark clouds sure to bring a heavy rain storm later in the day matched Justin’s mood and his thoughts. Not for the first time, Justin realized this place—the ocean, the beach, the dunes—were a part of him. At any given time, he could come here and he see his life played out in nature. He picked up a nearby stick and began to draw circles in the sand by his feet. His shoulder ached, a constant reminder of the events from the past summer. His thoughts drifted exactly where he knew they would. He didn’t want them to go there, but it was no use to try to stop them.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Spend Time With the Squirrels 

I seldom write anything personal on this blog. I share new releases, giveaways, blog tours for both myself and other authors. The genre means little to mean. I love the written word and it is a pleasure to share when an author as a new story to share.

Today is a little different. Most of you know that recently I retired from my full time day job, though I am going back 2 or 3 days a month to help out with intricate reports until someone can be fully trained to help out with these. Most of my time now is to be dedicated to writing and getting more books out for readers. 

Though sometimes, you need to just slow everything down and doing nothing with the people you hold closest to your heart. That's what I've done this weekend and so what that I didn't get 10k words written this weekend. I did spend time laughing and talking with my children and husband and my BFF who came for a visit. It has been wonderful.

I'll start writing again tomorrow. I've got a new Pinkerton Man story under way and two other stories that are just busting to get written. But for today, I'm going to watch the squirrels playing in the backyard, my cat sleeping in any spot he danged well chooses and I'll talk to my BFF or just sit in the same room with her and watch a silly tv series. I'll  kiss my husband as he leaves for his job and I'll watch the cars go by the window until my adult kids come back from their trip to the Columbus Zoo today. 

And I'll just listen to life and watch it around me and be thankful for every moment of it. 

Hope you spent your Labor Day Holiday as you wanted, whether it was with family and friends or working. Just don't forget life is short and each moment should be as special as we can make it.


Friday, September 2, 2016

Crashing Waves Blurb

Justin Warfield ran away to Italy to put the events of last summer and a certain dark-haired private eye behind him, to no avail. If anything, he can’t help but rehash what happened over and over. When he finally returns to South Carolina, the hotel he runs with his brother has suffered a series of incidents that are starting to look less accidental after a death threat is received.

Not satisfied that Moses Lee and his local police will find the culprit, Peter Warfield calls in the services of his good friend Marcus Drummond to help. Marcus is torn. He wants to help his friend, but he also knows that if Justin has moved on after their failed flirtation last summer, he will be devastated.

Tensions mount as danger seems to follow them at every turn, stalking them as they get closer to solving the mystery of who is behind the sabotage of the hotel. 

Available September 18, 2016

Thursday, September 1, 2016

It's Finally Here!
Release Day - September 18, 2016

Crashing Waves:

Justin Warfield ran away to Italy to put the events of last summer and a certain dark-haired private eye behind him, to no avail. If anything, he can’t help but rehash what happened over and over. When he finally returns to South Carolina, the hotel he runs with his brother has suffered a series of incidents that are starting to look less accidental after a death threat is received.

Not satisfied that Moses Lee and his local police will find the culprit, Peter Warfield calls in the services of his good friend Marcus Drummond to help. Marcus is torn. He wants to help his friend, but he also knows that if Justin has moved on after their failed flirtation last summer, he will be devastated.

Tensions mount as danger seems to follow them at every turn, stalking them as they get closer to solving the mystery of who is behind the sabotage of the hotel. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Angus Macgregor has endured a lot in life. Mother passing when he was a small child, he also nursed an ill father to his last breath. But when he loses his one remaining relative, an uncle he’s never met, his existence is turned on its head forever. Bequeathed Clan Gregor Castle in the Scottish Highlands, Angus leaves Australia behind to take on the family business. It’s there he finds more waiting for him than he ever dreamed possible.
Daniel Ramsey is a man with secrets, none more dangerous than the fact that he can see what others can’t. When he meets one particularly handsome Australian, the attraction is immediate. Hesitant to let down his guard, his hand is forced when a former guest of the castle comes calling and attempts to stake a claim on the very man Daniel wants.

Buy Links

Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Amazon AU:
Amazon DE:


Prizes: $5 Amazon Gift Card; 1 e-copy of Just Like Pulling Teeth; 1 e-copy of Heart of Glass.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author

J. HARRIS is a mother, wife, an introvert and author. Her family is her life, her soul, and the very reason she gets out of bed every day. Coming a close second is her writing.
She discovered a passion for putting pen to paper in her later years, jotting down poems in birthday cards for family members.
It was then a spark was lit, and ever since, she hasn’t been unable to switch off the urge to share her stories.
L.J. Harris discovered that as much as experiencing pain, loss and betrayal can be devastating, capturing the feelings of anguish and loss that some of her characters have had to endure without firsthand knowledge would have proved difficult.
L.J. has been previously published and has shared several online stories and looks forward to continuing to share her work.
L. J. Harris can be found at:

My review.

There is so much to this short story that I have had trouble getting my thoughts onto paper. The main characters are well developed and the additional characters as well. Loved Maddie!

Angus Macgregor steals your heart from the very first page with his longing for a family, the loss of an uncle he didn't get to know and his longing to express his true feelings and desires. Daniel Ramsey has been hurt before, but he wants Angus as soon as he sees him and is willing to fight a violent ghost for him.

There are actually two stories here. A modern day story of Angus and Daniel and the awful story of James Macgregor and Alexander Ramsey and the love that was stolen from them. This left Alexander an angry and violent ghost searching for the love he had been denied.

When all four characters intersect in the climax of the story, I found it a little difficult to follow which character was which. It didn't take anything away from the intensity of the moment and it was probably me. Also, it was a very erotic scene and I could have been more focused on that more than the characters. (Yes, I'm blushing.) Ms. Harris does have a way with those types of scenes.

All in all, I found the Haunting of Angus Macgregor to be a great read and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys star crossed lovers, sexy men in kilts, ghosts who enjoy giving pleasure to unsuspecting mortals and anything L.J. Harris writes.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Blog Tour – Priest and Pariahs by Mann Ramblings
Title: Priest and Pariahs
Author: Mann Ramblings
Series: Ship Logs of the Santa Claus, Book Three
Genre: Gay Romance, Science Fiction
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Synopsis – Priest and Pariahs
Ship Logs of the Santa Claus, Book Three
Costa McQuillen is a Pariah, a para-human with tech empathic abilities who has escaped from Earth, where being para-human is illegal—and marks him for extermination. Arrogant and standoffish, Costa is unable to trust anyone, but is willing to risk everyone's safety to reach the planet Omoikane. His best solution: gaining passage on board the Santa Claus.
Arbor Kittering, the crew's newest coding tech, is a medical oddity. With the technologies available to prevent birth defects, Arbor's status as a dwarf brings the kind of attention he could happily do without. Having spent a short time in prison for data hacking and falsifying government files doesn't help. The Santa Claus is his last chance at a new start, if he can decipher the strange malfunctions plaguing the ship.
Priest, the Santa Claus’ Head Pilot, is a bit of a scoundrel. Perpetually single, Priest is attracted to Costa for his exotic looks, and to Arbor for his unique qualities. In truth, he'd like to have both, but it's clear such a thing isn't in the cards. Now Priest needs to make a choice, before it's too late.
Buy Links
Don’t miss the discounted release prices on all retailer sites!

Start with Books One and Two of Ship Logs of the Santa Claus!

The Luxorian Fugitive
Sergeant Liam Jacks is the security chief of transport vessel, The Santa Claus. He travels the planetary cluster with Marc Danverse, his best friend and captain, seeking to escape his tortured past and find some peace of mind.
Having been through a civil war together, Danverse and Liam are close. Maybe too close....
All that changes when mysterious stranger, Hadrian Jamison, an escaped Adonirati, books passage to Alpha Centauri. Can he be trusted? Can the stories of his past be believed?
As Liam’s fascination with Hadrian grows, jealousy threatens to tear apart his friendship with Danverse.
When Hadrian’s owner shows up, Liam is forced to go against orders in order to launch a rescue mission to save him.
The ensuing conflict may be more than any of them expected.
Buy Links
Amazon US

A Cook’s Tale
The trials and tribulations of the crew and passengers of interplanetary transport vessel, The Santa Claus continues in A Cook’s Tale.
After a horrific breakup, Erron Murfin is bitter, homeless, and friendless. When the cook’s position on the Santa Claus presents itself, Erron decides to escape his current circumstances and join the crew. On board he reconnects with family friend Gamin Wells, whose own secrets and issues begin to surface upon Erron’s arrival. The least of which is the reason the pair haven’t laid eyes on one another in over twelve years.
As Erron settles into his new duties, the men on board take an interest in their newest crew member. Among those intrigued by Erron are polyamorous couple, Barrus and James. Despite Erron’s cautious nature, he’s drawn into a triad relationship with the pair.
But there’s something about Gamin…
Is Erron too damaged to confront his own feelings?
Will his past prevent him from finding what he needs?

Buy Links
Prizes: 1 ebook copy – The Luxorian Fugitive; 1 bundle – Books 1 & 2 of Ship Logs of the Santa Claus


About the Author
Like many gay men, when Mann Ramblings grew up, there weren’t any heroes he could relate to. The world held him back while he tried futilely to hide the real person inside. So much has changed since those hollow days. He finally found his voice, the voice that says it’s all right to revel in the so-called inappropriate joys, laughs, and loves that storm inside a man’s head. It took a long time to find that courage and now that it’s here, he plans to use it well.
While spending years more focused on visual arts, he never let go of his innate passion for storytelling—he wanted to write and draw comic books when he grew up. Once he discovered M/M fiction, a whole new world opened with new possibilities. Why couldn’t you have fantastic and dynamic tales with an M/M cast? He started reading the online tales of authors like, Night Tempest, Rob Colton, and Alicia Nordwell, which only fueled within him the need to create. Eventually he found, and with a little coercive nudge from Night Tempest, started sharing his tales with an unexpected level of positive response. That experience and support gave him the courage to cross his fingers and aim for the world of M/M publishing.
Born and raised in Michigan, Mann Ramblings continues to type away, wishing it was practical to use a noisy, old fashioned keyboard that clacks with each strike, if only to annoy his loving partner and spoiled miniature dachshund.

Twitter: @mannramblings

Here's a special excerpt for my readers.

The drink in his hand was already half empty when he spotted the man at the bar. He was lithe and pretty with rich, dark hair. It fell in a gentle wave, barely brushing past his shoulder line. The decorative tattoo running along his right cheek did nothing to stall his youthful appearance, but his confident gestures told the story of someone much older.
The bar was crowded, but he sat alone, biding his time and enjoying his drink. He paid no attention to the people around him. Aloof and uninterested, he presented an irresistible challenge.
With luck on his side this evening, Priest could be patient and wait for the blond sitting next to the beautiful man to vacate his position. Winning the poker game and collecting his drink without incident left him feeling invulnerable. The nameless blond paid his tab, and before anyone else could close the gap, he swooped in.
Is anyone sitting here?”
The pretty man turned to Priest, giving off the slightest hint of a smile before shaking his head. As Priest mounted the stool, he noticed how the young-looking man’s gaze roamed over him, and he turned back to his near-empty glass.
Are you traveling or arriving?” Priest asked.
I suppose that in a space station this size it would have to be one or the other, wouldn’t it?”
Pretty much.”
A bit of both, really. Just arrived, but I’m heading out again soon.”
Priest flagged the bartender, ordering another round for both of them. “Where ya hoping to land?”
I’m booked to leave tomorrow to settle on Omoikane.”
Really? We end up in port there, but have a stop on Gamma Centauri first.”
Who’s we?”
I’m the head pilot for the cargo vessel, the Santa Claus. We have contracts with about half the planets in the cluster, but Omoikane is a new one. What’s so special about it?”
Oh, they have the most amazing technology. Light years ahead of everybody else, they have the first prototypes for anything worthwhile. The data coding techniques they use there are nothing short of revolutionary. They’re building new memory caches that make the current ones look obsolete as soon as they’re perfected. I even read about the first life-like android, complete with synth-flesh and artificial intelligence capacity that rivals human beings.” The pretty man paused, his posture suddenly awkward. “Sorry, the subject excites me, but I know that it can be painfully dull to others.”
It was adorable how his cheeks colored as he averted his eyes. With a nervous hand, he ran a lock of his hair behind his ear. Priest couldn’t help but notice how he turned in his seat, opening his body a little more towards him.
No worries. I’m Priest, by the way.”
Priest? I’m willing to guess that’s a nickname. Why would you be called Priest? You’re hardly dressed like one.”
He leaned in closer, taking in the smaller man’s fresh scent. “It’s like a big guy named Tiny. He’s nothing of the sort.”
A graceful snort turned his smile up a notch. “Well, that I can believe. My name is Costa. It’s nice to meet you, Priest. I wanted to thank you for the drink.”
Oh yes. All the signs were there and Priest was feeling good. This was a guaranteed bet. Why stand on ceremony when you can get the party started and make it last longer?
Tell you what, Costa. We’re both on borrowed time here, so let’s just skip forward and find a place to smash your back doors in.”
Costa’s drink was in Priest’s face almost as fast as his expression flashed its outrage. The alcohol stung his eyes almost as much as the slap to his face, nearly knocking him off his stool.
“What the fuck’d you do that for?”
Prizes: 1 ebook copy – The Luxorian Fugitive; 1 bundle – Books 1 & 2 of Ship Logs of the Santa Claus a Rafflecopter giveaway Link:
“You pompous ass! I knew you were gearing up for some arsehole move.”

And here's a special blog post!

Fear and Prejudice

It's no secret that my series, Ship Logs of the Santa Claus is set in a far undisclosed future where people of Earth have migrated to the planetary cluster surrounding Proxima Centauri—the closest solar system to our own—to escape overpopulation and environmental collapse. The migrants take the five-year journey for a chance at a new life in a new universe, outside of the corruption back home. Priest & Pariahs opens with Costa McQuillen's arrival in new space, setting the stage for a new beginning.

A new wave of hope exists in the cluster when genetic engineering can erase diseases and give the population a chance to flourish. Even so, no matter how elaborate the technology becomes or how magical the medical advancements, not everyone is equal. Not everyone is seen as valid. It's an insanely small fraction to fight for acceptance, but they're there nonetheless. Some of the battle is external. Such as the derision Dr. Saarken experiences in the Luxorian Fugitive among the flawless elite on Luxorian. Some of it internal. Such as Arbor's self-loathing over his achondroplasia in Priest & Pariahs.

Some people ask, “If the future has so many advances and can cure most illnesses, why is there prejudice against anyone who's different?” But I think therein lies the problem. People fear what they don't know, or have every had the opportunity to witness.

I imagined that in a future where disabilities are virtually unknown, why would they make the effort to cater to the disabled, a non-existent category of people? If they're not there, why bother? But random nature creeps in, no matter what, refusing to be contained or controlled. By accident or design, the utopian condition begins to fray and people with incurable conditions and birth defects begin to make extremely rare appearances, from Dr. Saarken's MS, to Arbor's dwarfism. And when this unlikely situation presents itself, the population has little personal understanding. They've been raised to be ignorant of things that only existed before in medical histories.

This isn't to say my world is overfilled with bigotry. There are plenty of people in it that don't raise an eyebrow when a dwarf walks in the room or sneer when a man with compromised motor functions shuffles by. But for some, the understanding is a harder battle, just like in the present. Even in the future, real-world struggles exist.

That, I believe, never changes.