Saturday, September 23, 2017

Flash Fiction: Unwanted Attention #ValespianPact

I'm going to be lazy today. I forgot to put together a Reading Radar post for today. Instead of working on it this morning, I want to write so I'm moving up a post that I had scheduled for this coming week.

If you have read the Valespian Pact, you might recognize the names of Prince Mestor and Warlord Sohm'lan. Mestor is Zeus's brother, the hothead of the twins. Warlord Sohm'lan is Emperor Valdor's (Zeus's father) best warlord.

Within the confines of Bespoken and the books following, Mestor and Sohm'lan have a rocky relationship that weaves through the plot. The tension between the two of them started before Azaes and Mestor left Atlainticia to bring Zeus home. There are going to be a couple of flash fictions for Mestor and Sohm'lan that span Striker. There are things that happen in the background between the two that I'd originally planned to be for my eyes only. I typically write character pieces that help me come to know the person so when I write them into the main story I have a good grasp about who they are and what came before. This time around, Sohm'lan kept talking to me which lead to today's flash fiction. Again, I'd only planned two flash fiction stories, but as I was writing part two yesterday, I realized this little side story might be three or four parts. So I'm just rolling with it. 

For those who haven't read Alpha Trine and Striker, you can read this as is but I didn't going into detail about the people or the situation on board The Gorgon. So there is a chance that you'll be lost since it relies heavily that the reader already knows the main stories.

This is unedited and copyright by me. Enjoy!

Unwanted Attention

Sohm'lan sat in the lounger, the lights of the cabin dimmed. The other warlords would be rising soon to start the day. The Monticore would be readying for a shift change. Prince Mestor… Sohm'lan surged to his feet and began pacing.

He had done the right thing last night, turning the prince away. For a year now, Prince Mestor had been increasingly aggressive in his pursuit. If Prince Mestor wasn't careful, people would begin to notice how the prince circled him as if he was getting ready to make a declaration. Sohm'lan could not allow that. Prince Mestor could pick from the eligible of any noble house and yet, every time Sohm'lan turned around Prince Mestor was there in Sohm'lan's space, breathing his air.

At first, Sohm'lan thought it was an itch the Prince was looking to scratch. He was twice Prince Mestor's age and though he was still in his prime, there wasn't any reason for Prince Mestor's attentions. The palace abounded with rumors of Prince Mestor's voracious appetites. He had no need to search out a lover when they flocked to his bed unbidden. That Prince Mestor persisted when Sohm'lan had ignored all of his overtures spoke of a stubbornness that Sohm'lan knew all too well. Prince Mestor had started going to bed alone, turning away lovers who decorated his sleeping platform like flashy limpets, causing rumors to circulate like wildfire. Sohm'lan listened as people speculated why the prince made the change, wondering who had caught Prince Mestor's attention.

When Prince Azaes selected Sohm'lan for this detail he had been both relieved and happy. Relieved to have a reason to put some space between him and Prince Mestor, and happy to lay eyes on Prince Zeus once again… thenPrince Mestor announced that he was coming as well.

Then last night Prince Mestor had cornered Sohm'lan as he returned to his cabin after late meal. The barest swish of the tail sweeping against the floor had given gave Prince Mestor away. Sohm'lan had sidestepped and with a twist grabbed the uniform and shoved the person sneaking up on him into an alcove. Sohm'lan was in no mood for games and had planned to dress down the foolish warrior who thought attacking him would be fun… until he registered he stared into Prince Mestor's expectant gaze and not that of an ambitious recruit.

Sohm'lan quickly released Prince Mestor's uniform as if it burned him. "Prince…" He stammered as he went to take a step back. With a snarl full of frustration, Prince Mestor lunged and Sohm'lan found their positions reversed. His back was pressed against the wall and Prince Mestor leaned into him, the corner of his lip curled. The moment thickened with tension as Sohm'lan stared back at Prince Mestor, waiting for what the prince would do or say. He could not remember the last time Prince Mestor attempted to ambush him. It had been at least five years.

"Why do you not touch me?" Prince Mestor finally asked. "Why will you not engage? I have signaled I am amiable to more and yet you look past me as if you see nothing. Are you otherwise entangled? With someone no one knows about?"

Sohm'lan blinked, not surprised by the question but still confounded that Prince Mestor hadn't already devised the answer. Prince Mestor was many things but he wasn't thick in the head.

"I do not participate in bed play for entertainment," Sohm'lan replied, spreading his palms flat against the wall, wishing for something to hold onto because suddenly he itched to smooth out Prince Mestor's wrinkled uniform.

"Neither do I," Prince Mestor replied. When Sohm'lan lifted his brow ridge incredulously, Prince Mestor suddenly smiled and his countenance turned breathtaking. "Now, that is," he amended with a mischievous grin. "I have given up frivolous bed partners. Have you truly not seen my efforts?"

"Prince M—"

"Don't call me that. Say my name. Just my name."

Sohm'lan refused to be informal with Prince Mestor, it would only spur him on, encouraging whatever mad idea that was brewing behind that arresting gaze.

"I'm ready to settle, to build a nest." Sohm'lan met Prince Mestor's probing gaze again, those sunrise yellow eyes so familiar and yet not. In all of Prince Mestor's life, he never looked at Sohm'lan as he had this past year, as if Sohm'lan held the key to a great treasure.

He realized Prince Mestor was waiting for response. "I am happy for you."

The fierce scowl returned to Prince Mestor's features. "What is that supposed to mean? Happy for me?" Prince Mestor gave an indignant hiss.

"The court young have been clamoring for years, waiting for the day you would choose one of them to stand by your side." Sohm'lan held his breath when Prince Mestor snarled and pressed his body hard against Sohm'lan's. His lips pulled back to show needle sharp teeth and black gums.

"There are none among their number that I would tie to me. You on the other hand…"

For the first time in decades, Sohm'lan panicked and shoved Prince Mestor away with enough force that he stumbled back several steps. "Do not bring me into your games! I will not be a part of it. If you are wanting to bed someone older than go somewhere else."

"Is it Zeus then?" Prince Mestor said as Sohm'lan stepped out of the alcove and brushed by him. "Is it he the onw who holds your heart? Even I can see he has chosen the Dar Massaga."

A swell of pride filled Sohm'lan at the thought of little Zeus. "Don't be ridiculous," Sohm'lan snapped. "Zeus is like a son to me."

Prince Mestor's thunder-filled expression brightened. "Then your heart is unencumbered?"

This time Sohm'lan snarled because the question brought up unwanted memories. He had not worn the black veil for years, but the memories of what had been always tore him asunder. He hiss- clicked a warning, signaling the peril Prince Mestor had unwittingly uncovered. Without replying, Sohm'lan spun on his heel, leaving Prince Mestor standing there in the middle of the corridor. He did not look back, only prayed to Poseidon that Prince Mestor had the good sense not to follow him.

Once behind his locked cabin door, Sohm'lan sagged against the wall, his legs no longer able to bear his weight. The memories of his beloved took him away to a time when he'd been the happiest. When life had been filled with innumerable, wonderful possibilities. Then he recalled how it all had been taken away when his beloved and unborn passed into the fade.

Sohm'lan had spent the evening and the long agonizing night sifting through his recollections, unable to sleep. When he lost his Niobe he allowed himself to publicly mourn the allotted time and then packed up his heart, even as he continued to wear the black veil for another two years.

The day Empress Ashari gave birth to twins, Sohm'lan's life had changed once again. Emperor Valdor had summoned him to the nursery. As soon as he'd entered the room, Empress Ashari placed the two youngling's in his arms. His protest stuck in his throat when he looked into two sets of beautiful yellow eyes.

"As I thought." Emperor Valdor grinned. "I will announce to the court you have accepted our offer to be our sons' Water Father."

Sohm'lan had not been foolish enough to tell his ruler no. That night he'd finally removed the black veil of mourning, putting it aside so that he could in turn be absolutely everything the younglings needed. Over the years he had been their father, brother, friend, mentor, and when needed, disciplinarian, first for the twins and then for Zeus.

He stopped pacing, tired but filled with purpose. Ignoring Prince Mestor had not dissuaded him. So Sohm'lan would speak with him and explain why he could not be what Prince Mestor wanted, what he needed. Then Prince Mestor would understand and turn his attentions to another.

With the course of action decided upon, he approached his cabin door. His com beeped.

"Switching Prince Zeus over," the bridge's communications officer announced.

When he heard the click, he said, "Prince Zeus, how may I help you?"

"Could you please come to Dargon's quarters? An incident has occurred. Azaes, Mestor, and I have returned from the Waters of Poseidon injured. The medic is on her way here, but there are Monticore outside. If they smell the blood, they will react without question. I do not have the strength—"

Sohm'lan started running the moment Prince Zeus said Mestor's name. His heart pounded in his ears to the rhythm of his pounding feet. "I am on my way."

He sent up a hurried prayer to Poseidon that the three--that Mestor--was not mortally wounded. He did not think he could endure the loss of someone else he cared for.

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Guest Post: Andrew Gordon with Champion of the Gods Series #contest #giveaway

Today's blog guest is Andrew Q. Gordon, author of one of my favorite epic fantasy series, Champion of the Gods. If you haven't picked it up, I highly recommend it!

First, I want to thank Lexi for hosting me today. I appreciate being able to speak to her fans and readers. 

For those who haven’t met me yet, I write epic fantasy. My current series – Champion of the Gods – is a five book epic fantasy work. Books One through Four are already available and Book Five is almost finished.


To introduce you to the series, I’d like to give everyone a free eBook copy of Book One – The Last Grand Master. And to pique your interest a bit more, I’m holding a gift card giveaway. If you sign up for my newsletter, you get a free copy of The Last Grand Master, a 35% off DSP Publication coupon and you’ll be entered to win one of three gift cards. Click the link below to enter the contest and get your free gifts.  

Click HERE to enter the contest.

(The details are on the sign up page.)

Or keep reading for more details. If you already get my newsletter, thank you very much. But you can also get the 35% coupon and enter the contest by clicking the same link. 

Want to earn more chances to win a gift card? Spread the word about my contest on social media. After you enter the contest, you’ll get a unique link you can share on social media. Every person who uses your link to enter the contest will earn you three additional entries. 

[Yeah, I get that might be confusing, email me if you have questions or click THIS LINK and you’ll be taken to a blog post on my site with info about the contest.] 

If you want more information about the series and The Last Grand Master, click the image below and you’ll be sent to the series page on my website with more information about each of the books. There are video trailers for those who want something visual (Five points if you just said, “that’s not too abysmal, we can take in an old Steve Reeves movie) and information about the characters, geography and culture of the world.


I hope you’ll check out the series, sign up for my newsletter and claim your free gifts.   

Enjoy The Journey!   

Andrew Q. Gordon



 “So”—Erstad arched his brows, keeping both hands around the steaming mug—“what prompted this morning ritual of beating Farrell?” 

“Miceral and I were discussing magic and why it made me so tired.” He couldn’t resist sneaking a peek at his lover. “He asked whether better conditioning might assist my wizardry.” 

Miceral reached out and squeezed Farrell’s hand. “I figured better conditioning would give him more stamina for working magic.” 

“So to improve his physical condition, you suggested he let you beat him on a daily basis?” Erstad’s light tone let Farrell know he was only half-serious. “Why not tie him to Nerti and make him run after her as she gallops around Gharaha?” 

Farrell snorted water through his nose. 

“Actually,” Miceral said when he’d stopped laughing, “this is very good conditioning, and it also serves to hone his self-defense skills.” 

“Or at least his self-preservation skills, judging by the welts.” 

“Hey!” Farrell gave them a mock scowl. “I’m still in the room, you know.” 

“Yes, I can see that from the red glow of your body.” Erstad’s shield went up just before Farrell considered tossing a ball of water at him. 

“So, what prompted your unexpected visit?” Hopefully, that would end the talk of his bruises. 

“I haven’t seen much of you lately. I figured I’d come early and we could talk on the way to the Elder Circle.” Erstad gave him a sharp look, and Farrell stood to hide his frown that the mere mention of the session brought to his face. “You are planning to attend?” 

“Of course. We began our training earlier today so I could make the meeting. Just because I’m in love doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten my responsibilities. Horgon and I went over the agenda last night.” 

“Wesfazial and I are still amazed at how well you and Horgon work together.” Erstad arched a bushy eyebrow at Farrell. “Especially after how you treated him when you first met.” 

“Hey!” Miceral pointed a finger at the elder wizard. “My father didn’t exactly welcome Farrell with open arms.” 

Erstad nodded once. “That’s true, but dropping Northhelm’s leader onto the dirt within minutes of meeting him wasn’t an exercise in restraint.” 

“Once we put that behind us, we found we liked each other.” Farrell shrugged. “I guess we both realized neither of us were a spawn of Neblor. And I needed someone to run Haven besides me. None of the other displaced rulers have the ability, so I figured I’d try the new guy.” 

“He’s being modest.” Miceral wrapped an arm around Farrell and gave him a brief hug. “Father told me Farrell’s offer upended his feelings toward us. Rather than use his authority to humble my father, Farrell reached out to try to make amends. He didn’t expect that, not after how they met. Once they started working together, Father found he couldn’t help but like Farrell. That of course changed his attitude toward me, and now we’re all getting along.” 

About Andrew:

    AQGLogo Full Size 

 Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write. 

Since devouring The Lord of the Rings as a preteen, he has been a fan of all things fantastical. His imagination has helped him create works of high fantasy, paranormal thrills and touch of the futuristic. He also writes the occasional contemporary story. 

He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his husband of twenty-two years. Together they are raising their pre-school age daughter and three dogs. Andrew tries to squeeze writing time in around his most important jobs, being husband and ‘Papa.’ Along with teaching how to kick a soccer ball or ride a scooter, he has become fluent in cartoon characters and children’s books. To find out more about Andrew, his writing and his family, follow him on his website or on Facebook. 

You can also sign up for his monthly newsletter and get an exclusive short story only available to subscribers. Use the link below to join:

Follow Andrew:

Twitter: @andrewqgordon 


From DSP Publications: 

The Last Grand Master: (Champion of the Gods–Book 1) 
The Eye and the Arm: (Champion of the GodsBook 2) 
Kings of Lore and Legend: (Champion of the GodsBook 3) 
Child of Night and Day (Champion of the Gods—Book: 4)

Self published: 

Ashes of Life

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

#PactDays: The Aetherians

Good Morning!

Welcome to the second ever Pact Days. If you missed last week's post, every Thurday I will be sharing information on a species from The Valespian Pact. 

Fair Warning! If you haven't read the series so far, Alpha Trine and Striker, you might want to ignore these posts because some of will give spoilers to species that were present in those two books. 

Those who have read the books, any new species I reveal will not have spoilers for future installments in the series. With the Aetherians, their description (among a couple other details) has been removed because it would giveaway too early who they are in Bespoken.

Species: Aetherians
Planet: Hellion
Other races on the planet:
Planetary Terrain: Blue lava fields surrounding a tropical paradise
Capitol: Nyx
Country: Olgaria, Etrua, Mostro
Patron Ryo'Pardeep: Black Night, Shadow Dark


Sanctuary of Nyx- The brothers of the sanctuary are trained in pleasure, subversion, and combat. But they're also good at the arts such as singing bards and poetry. They are rumored assassins for hire, or are hired to secretly rectify a 'situation'. The saying of "going to Hellion in a handbasket" means the situation is so dire *fucked up* that one may or may not be seen again.

In dire straits, someone will offer up their most prized possessions to pay these assassins for their help. Occasionally, the petitioner will offer up the life of another in exchange/to pay for a deed. No one knows what happens to the people sent to Hellion in a handbasket. Sometimes the person is returned to the petitioner but they refuse to speak of what they've seen. Others don't come back at all and rumors widely vary about what actually happens to the people. But whatever the reason, everyone knows that going to Hellion in a handbasket isn't good.

Handbaskets are crafted of chiseled stone by Choron, The Guardian of Nyx. As the gatekeeper, Choron has a strong all seeing third eye. They take the palm of the requester's dominant hand and press it to their forehead, and will lay their hand over the person's heart. Empathic. Even though no one is required to give personal information, the gatekeeper gleans that and more as a touch clairvoyant. They will then choose one of their handcrafted baskets and send the 'offering' down the Styx lava flow. The 'blue river'.

When the handbasket is taken down the lava flow, monastery acolytes will collect it or its occupant along with the requester's written request. All of it is brought before Thanatos Titus. Thanatos is twin to Choron and will either know Choron's thoughts or he'll speak to them telepathically.

If the request is accepted by a member of the sanctuary, then the price is set by the assassin who takes on the job. The person's child, an object of great worth (to the monastery), or other item may be demanded for payment. If the petitioner has already sent a child/person, the assassin will always ask for something else but will still keep what was already sent. If the petitioner is willing to pay any price, they will do anything to acquire their goal. The assassin's view is that they are doing the person offered as payment a favor by not sending them back to the petitioner. But those petitioners deemed worthy will have the payment they offered returned to them

If the request/job offends the assassins, the petitioner could find themselves dead. This rumor has detoured many who thought about petitioning for help, but there are still fools in the universe who think they are above reproach.

Many of the sanctuary's servants have been acquired through petitioners. Usually, these people are never turned away because they more than likely came from abusive homes or kidnapped by the petitioner from deplorable origins. They are given a second chance at life on Hellion with most flourishing and thriving. Some even join the Sanctuary of Nyx and learn the trade of assassination.

Those people who are returned to the petitioner are going back to a people who love and care for them (Info gleaned by Choron). Before they leave, they have to drink from the Spring of Lethe.

The Spring of Lethe: when given the water of Lethe, the person will forget what they've seen.

Those living in the bustling city of Nyx are a mixture of species. Some come from petitioner offerings. Some are Fal'Amoric who are born with white hair. Some were picked up by the assassins while they were offplanet.

Space Station Oneiroi: No one, other than citizens, is allowed on Hellion's surface. All trade is conducted on the space station. No one can see the surface of the planet through the opaque shielding. The people on the planet can see the sky and stars just fine. The shielding acts as a two-way mirror.

Those who wish to petition must wear a helmet that blinds them for the shuttle ride down to the gatekeeper. Four guards chaperone the person. The shuttle has no windows in the passenger section. The flight corridor lands the shuttle outside the gates. The area is blackened and gray, with an oppressive air. The area had been over run in the past by the blue lava and looks like a warfield. Gray, cloudy skies are caused by the nearby volcanic activity. An unusual fog comes from the blue lava river. The object of note is the gateway is between the legs of a colossal carved statue. It really freaks people out. Just the sight has scared petitioners away.

Common Occupation: Assassin, Monks, Artisans, Bards

Government System: council of elders with one who decides when the group is at an impasse. If the others disagree, then they petition the Ryo'Pardeep

Current Leader: Thanatos Titus

Council of Neighn of Member:


Star System: Epsilon Hydrae System

Other planets occupied by species: n/a

Military Leader:
Their planet is surrounded by a clouded shield designed and built by the Gaziniti. There is one entry point.

Cultural names and terms specific to species:

Moros (doom, destiny)
Ker (destruction)
Thanatos (Death)
Aether (brightness)
Hemera (day)
Hypnos (sleep)
Oneiroi (Dreams)
Momus (Blame)
Oizys (pain, distress)
The Herperides, the Moirai (fate) (Chtichlian)
The Keres, Nemesis (indignations, retribution)
Apate (Deceit)
Philotes (friendship)
Geras (old age)

Ushas (dawn)

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

What is on the Reading Radar #TBR #WIshLIst

What have I been doing? Working on Bespoken and such. I was without a car for a little while so I wasn't able to get up much mischief. 

Today's Reading Radar is short. I haven't been searching for new reads for a few days so the folder is a bit bare. :)

Title: Dragonwatch
Series(Wytch Kings Book 4)
Author(s): Jaye McKenna
Length: 274 pages

Genre: Romance / Gay / Fantasy / Dragons / 


Blurb: The balance of power in Skanda is about to shift…

Beautiful, broken Tristin of Ysdrach would rather hide in his dragon form than live with a Wytch power that forces him to feel the pain of the past in every object he touches. Struggling to come to terms with a future he never believed he’d have, Tristin needs a reason not to surrender to the beast within.

Without Wytch power, Prince Mikhyal of Rhiva is not qualified to be his father’s heir, but newly discovered knowledge possessed by Rhiva’s allies could change that. On their journey to a secret negotiation that could shift the balance of power in Skanda, Mikhyal and his father are attacked, and Mikhyal is left bonded to an ancient sword with a mission, an attitude, and a penchant for blackberry tarts.

Even with the distractions of a royal betrothal ceremony, an enemy striking from the shadows, and the complex negotiations of alliance and rebellion, the painfully shy Tristin still manages to catch Mikhyal’s eye. The two men barely have time to acknowledge their mutual attraction before another attempt is made to end the line of Rhiva.

Can Tristin and Mikhyal get to the bottom of the plot? Or will the Northern Alliance be torn apart before the ink on the treaty is dry?

Title: The Warrior's Mage
Series(The Warriors of Love & Magic Book 4)
Author(s): AC Fox
Length: 213 pages
Publisher: Etopia press

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Gay 


Blurb: A ruthless warrior, a curious mage, and an ancient secret that could destroy them both...

When Tamas discovers the long-forgotten ruins of the Nystrean Mor—an ancient and powerful civilization—he's certain the incredible find will lead to fame and respect. Instead it leads to the end of a Boa Visk sword, its poison blade biting his throat. Tamas, a scholar mage without the power to defeat the Boa Visk warriors that surround him, is certain he'll die unnoticed in the haunted Tyrasha Forest, where no one will venture to find him. And the secrets he's spent his life trying to uncover will die with him. Until a mysterious swordsman drops from the trees and saves his life...

Damen has only two things left in his life: his dragon-forged swords and his personal vendetta against the Boa Visk. The monstrous beings who've subjugated humans all across the continent have taken everything from him, leaving him broken and alone, with nothing to sustain him but the death of any Boa Visk who wander into his forest. But when he sees their captive mage, poisoned and weak, he hasn't the heart to let the man die alone. Compassion is his first mistake. The kiss he shares with Tamas is his second. With emotions he believed long dead flaring back to life, and the foolish mage destroying the walls Damen worked so hard to erect, Damen is certain his next mistake will be his last. But the secrets of the ruins that compel Tamas might be more dangerous than they imagined, more dangerous even than the Boa Visk, who have no intention of allowing them to leave the forest alive...

Title: In the Ruins
Series: Metahuman Files, 2
Author(s): Hailey Turner
Length: 362 pages

Genre: Romance / Gay / Military Sci-fi / 


Blurb: Truth and lies.

Captain Jamie Callahan knows the Metahuman Defense Force frowns on fraternization. For once in his life, he’s breaking all the rules. Having Staff Sergeant Kyle Brannigan on his team and in his bed is worth the risk of being found out. When a mission comes down requiring Alpha Team to go undercover in order to infiltrate a criminal alliance, Jamie knows it won’t be easy. Putting his family’s name on the line is nothing compared to the role the MDF wants him to play—that of a billionaire’s son, discharged from the military, with a lover on his arm, looking to make his own shady business deals.

Dirty little secret.

Kyle knows the only way to be with Jamie is to hide their relationship from their superiors. Waking up to Jamie at home is more important than being together in public, or so Kyle thought, until he comes face to face with what he’s been missing. Pretending to be a couple on paper for the sake of the mission thrusts Kyle into a world of incredible wealth and a social status he’s not sure he belongs in, but he’ll do anything to stay by Jamie’s side.

Play the game to win.

Surrounded by the enemy, Jamie and Kyle need to trust each other now more than ever. Their covers—and the life they’re trying to build together—depend on it.

In the Ruins is a 105k word steamy gay sci-fi military romance with a HFN ending that skirts HEA. There is military violence within the story that may not be suitable for everyone, as well as explicit intimate scenes not suitable for readers under the age of 18. This is a sequel to In the Wreckage and reading the first book in the series would be helpful in enjoying this one.

Title: Laurent and the Beast
Series: Kings of Hell MC
Author(s): KA Merikan
Length: 322 pages

Genre: Erotic Romance / Gay / MC Club / Urban Fantasy / 


Blurb--- Nothing can stop true love. Not time. Not even the devil himself. ---

1805. Laurent. Indentured servant. Desperate to escape a life that is falling apart.
2017. Beast. Kings of Hell Motorcycle Club vice president. His fists do the talking.

Beast has been disfigured in a fire, but he’s covered his skin with tattoos to make sure no one mistakes his scars for weakness. The accident not only hurt his body, but damaged his soul and self-esteem, so he’s wrapped himself in a tight cocoon of violence and mayhem where no one can reach him.

Until one night, when he finds a young man covered in blood in their clubhouse. Sweet, innocent, and as beautiful as an angel fallen from heaven, Laurent pulls on all of Beast’s heartstrings. Laurent is so lost in the world around him, and is such a tangled mystery, that Beast can’t help but let the man claw his way into the stone that is Beast’s heart.

In 1805, Laurent has no family, no means, and his eyesight is failing. To escape a life of poverty, he uses his beauty, but that only backfires and leads him to a catastrophe that changes his life forever. He takes one step into the abyss and is transported to the future, ready to fight for a life worth living.

What he doesn’t expect in his way is a brutal, gruff wall of tattooed muscle with a tender side that only Laurent is allowed to touch. And yet, if Laurent ever wants to earn his freedom, he might have to tear out the heart of the very man who took care of him when it mattered most.

Title: Mirror Skin
Author(s): Eric Del Carol
Length: 87 pages
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (August 29, 2017)

Genre: Romance / Gay / Fantasy/Sci-fi / Detective-Cop /


Blurb: Seedy private detective and burnt-out ex-cop Nick Jordon receives a visit in the night. It's his long-dead lover Dane, naked, his memories wiped, asking for help. Worse, Dane is being pursued by armed goons.

Together the onetime lovers flee, but now Nick must solve the craziest case of his life. How can Dane be alive? And want him back? To complicate matters, Nick starts to feel his old desire for his long-gone lover. But is this really Dane?

Title: Present Uncertain
Author(s): Harrison Phillips
Length: 181 pages

Genre: Romance / Gay / Military / Fantasy / Alternate Universe /

Note: OMG "he can't deny the attraction when his wings pop out every time he's around the man"

Blurb: The First Solis Elf in 500 years, Callon joins the military to escape his father's plans. Unfortunately, he can't escape his Solis Genes. Sent from the Elvan Army to the Fae Honor Guard to the Fae Marines, he knows the transfers are his father's manipulations to make him marry Brant, his ex-fiancé.

Gunny, a Fae Master Gunnery Sergeant, wants nothing more than to stay away from love and take care of his platoon. Playing nursemaid to the pretty Elf Lieutenant is not on the list but he can't deny the attraction when his wings pop out every time he's around the man.

But Callon's father has plans for the power he will gain through Callon's marriage and he's not about to let anything, even the Marines, stand in his way.

A protective platoon, Ex's who don't understand no, and Callon's father's plans stand in the way of Callon and Gunny, making a Present Uncertain let alone a future.

Title: On Borrowed Luck
Series: The Chanmyr Chronicles, 1
Author(s): TJ Muir
Length: 322 pages

Genre:Non-Romantic / Fantasy / Sword & Sorcery / Coming of Age / Queer Characters /


Blurb: Fatherless. Foreign. Out of Luck.

Scrappy but small, Kirrin gets beat up. A lot. So, when he hides from the local bullies in a powerful man's carriage, he's inadvertently transported to a vast rural estate. Far from home and hungry, Kirrin is caught stealing from the kitchen and fears the worst.

But the So’har Hak’kar is impressed with Kirrin’s tenacity and quick wit. Instead of having him criminally punished, the great ruler sentences Kirrin to serve him while learning to fight, move with stealth, and solve intellectual puzzles. Unfortunately, Kirrin doesn’t realize he’s being trained as the lord’s personal assassin until he accidentally kills his first victim.

Now, Kirrin’s family is at risk. His life is at risk. He struggles with who he's becoming. After all, he's living a life on borrowed luck. But borrowed luck never lasts.

Title: Taoree
Series: Taoree Trilogy #1
Author(s): Michele Notaro
Length: 242 pages

Genre: Romance / Gay / Sci-Fi / 


Blurb: If you’re reading this, I hope that means that we’ve survived, but after everything I’ve seen, I’m sure that’s only wishful thinking…

This is my story… a story of what happens when you trust an alien race. A race that lived peacefully with humans for over two years, but something suddenly changed. When all hell breaks loose, can we count on the Taoree to step up and help or could they be the real cause of all the terror?

Three of my friends and I try to make our way back home to our families, but there’s chaos at every turn. We can trust no one; we only rely on each other. And even though we work together, nothing can stop the heartbreak and terror that surrounds us.

Before you judge me, ask yourself this: When there’s danger at every turn and nowhere safe to hide, what would you do to keep you and yours alive? Some of us won’t survive… What will happen to those of us that are left behind?

Taoree is Book One in the Taoree Trilogy and is meant to be read as part of a series. This book ends on a cliffhanger, but there is a promise of a happy ending at the end of the trilogy.

***WARNING: This book is recommended for ADULTS ONLY. It is rather gruesome, so if you don’t like violence, death, blood, and the like, don’t read it. There’s also explicit language, as well as romance and graphic sexual content between two male characters.***

Title: Triad Soul
Author(s): Nathan Burgoine
Length: 379 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes

Genre: Romance / Gay / MMM / Paranormal / 


Blurb: The law of three is everything: three vampires for a coterie, three demons for a pack, and three wizards for a coven. Those alone or in pairs are vulnerable to the rest. Luc, Anders, and Curtis—vampire, demon, and wizard—sidestepped tradition by binding themselves together. 

When something starts brutally killing demons in Ottawa, the three find themselves once again moving among the powers who rule the city from the shadows—this time working with them to try to stop the killings before chaos and blood rule the streets.

Hunting a killer who seems to leave no trace behind, the triad are forced to work with allies they don’t dare trust, powers they barely understand, and for the good of those they already know to be corrupt.

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Valespian Pact: The Alpha-zetamite

If you haven't heard yet, one of my current projects is the third book in The Valespian Pact, Bespoken. Detailed plotting and world building are essential to making sure that I get everything correct from the two books that came before and don't lose track of the details. The Valespian Pact is a space opera. There are plots within plots with dashes of action and adventure mixed in with the romance. There will be a few essential POVs which in 3rd person is so much easier than 1st (LOL). Suffice to say, it is going to be another behemoth of a story and I might have to divide it up. I was resistance to that thought a few months ago but the more I think about it, the more I'm on board. 

Putting that aside, I needed to fill out the information for the species list on the website and here on the blog and I had an idea. Every Thursday for the next several weeks have a "reveal" of sorts before I update the list, making Thursdays "Pact Days" (or something else snappy). :)

So for the first "Pact Day" I'll start off with a species that everybody know--if you've read Alpha Trine or Striker--(if you haven't, go no further or you'll be spoiled for the 1st two books) the Alpha and Zeta. Feel free to ask questions and I'll answer them as long as the answer doesn't give spoilers for future books. (I'll let you know if it does.) And as such, I won't include things on the these specie public profiles that gives away spoilers for the upcoming books.

Without further ado:

Species: Alpha-zetamite
Planet: Hedisa and Hedisa Gamai (currently)
Other races on the planet: Dar Massaga
Planetary Terrain: Jungles and oceans
Capitol: Chaclea (Hedisa) and Thoricea (Hedisa Gamai)
Country: n/a

Description: The skin is a deep green almost black, marbled with pink veins. Telepathic. When all the Alphas or  Zetas come together, they form a very large mass. Born in space, the Alpha-zetamite doesn't have a skeletal structure. They see through their skin. When they are in space, they absorb the nutrients they need through their skin. In order to live in a gravity environment, they need to pair up with another being as a symbiote, sharing nutrients with their host. With the Dar Massaga, they share their telepathy and they are the go-between, helping the Dar Massaga procreate without the need to lay with the opposite sex.

Only two individuals comprise the Alpha-zetamite species, Alpha and Zeta. They were born from the primordial 'waters'. (see Striker, the Qrxzl's Pool of Truth, loosely related.) "Alpha and Zeta had been the first to rise to awareness, back in the beginning when there were no races, no species, no other life to be found. Countless millennia passed, the cosmos grew, galaxies multiplied, he and Zeta drifting down different paths only to eventually end up together again. Drawn by two races, they integrated with them, knitted into a family once again."

They traveled space together without the aid ships. No one has been able to time speed with which the Alpha-zetamite moves. It is rumored that they can move faster than any current designed star ship. (When the Dar Massaga passes away off planet, the Alpha or Zeta returns to the Dar Massaga home planet much sooner than the body of their host can be transported.)

The Alpha-zetamite is huge, like bigger than an ocean liner huge. More like big as a moon in size. They pair themselves down and that small piece of themselves will bond with a juvenile Dar Massaga. These small, individual Alphas and Zetas have their own personalities, their own likes and dislikes, unique and autonomous. When they return to the main mass, they share their information (hive mind) and experiences.

The Alpha-zetamite has the ability to invade another's mind when touching. Depending on the situation they can either use their telepathy to speak with the person or crush/scramble that person's mind. They don't like to hurt others but when faced with hostile forces, they have no mercy. They are a terrible and wrathful enemy to have.

Seemingly immortal.

The Alpha-zetamite are genderfluid and they can be either male or female at will. (They were modeled off ocean flat worms that during mating season will fight each other with their penises. The loser becomes the female.) Both can bear offspring.

They are the progenitor of the Ryo'Pardeep. Their offspring are all slightly different depending on the environment the Alpha-zetamite was in while the offspring grew within them. This gives the 
Ryo'Pardeep different abilities and affinities (i.e. Poseidon's affinity is water). These offspring of the Alpha-zetamite experiment with their form whereas the Alpha-zetamite is comfortable in their skin and find no value looking other than what they are.

he Alpha-zetamite haven't formed may trines since the Arthro War. Before the V'saar invasion of the Arthro Galaxy, Alpha and Zeta bonded in a trine with peoples compatible with them. They also moved about freely, only going to their host when they needed sustenance.

The first trine was a 'fluke'. Zeta sent a piece of herself to befriend a race in a newly discovered star system and ended up bonding. The experience was beyond what the Alpha-zetamite knew up to that time and the Alphas and Zetas flocked toward this new experience, falling in love for the first time in their long existence. "When he found his bondmates, that was the first time he had felt whole. When he fell in love, he finally understood what he lacked. He and Zeta had been caretakers for so long that they knew no other way to live."

The Alpha-Zetamite had been lured away from their adopted home world, the planet of Belforix, only for the V'saar to invade the planet, taking all the bonded of the Alphas and Zetas to their star ship. Some people became cattle for the V'saar and others were used to lure the Alpha-zetamite into traps. That didn't turn out as the V'Saar expected. They were slaughtered mercilessly by the Alpha-zetamite. When the remaining bonded had been found, the bonded died mere hours later. The Alpha-zetamite was inconsolable and turned the grief they'd never experienced before into rage. "Living and loving were not the only lessons Jiann and Volante taught him. The day he found his beloveds in the queen's hive, he learned the concept of loss, sorrow, and marrow-eating fury. The V'Saar fled like sheep before him and Zeta. He gathered what was left of his family to him just in time for them to breathe their last. Nothing—absolutely nothing contained his sorrow. He did not know how long the war continued, how long he allowed murderous rage to consume him until one day he woke numb, exhausted, and tired of a conflict that would not bring back his loved ones."

Since the war, they haven't formed many trines, believing they would never have what they once had… until Zeus.

Question and Answers from my FB group:

Question: "So when Stareater says "Father" he means the Alpha as a whole. Would he would call any alpha father?"

Answer: Yes, Star Eater would call any Alpha he came across as father. All Alphas/Zetas would have memories of Star Eater's conception, birth, and growing up. And if one Alpha saw Star Eater a year ago, he would communicate with the whole his memory of what happened so they all know and have the same recollection.

Question: "Are the smaller Alphas and Zetas in communication with the "rest" of them? Subspace communication in live time or do they only share info if in proximity or when they reconnect physically?"

Answer: Over a certain distance, they can communicate with each other through subspace. At the end of Striker, they, and some of the Dar Massaga, arrived at Valespia shortly after Zeus which means they set off in star ships when Alpha first scented Zeus at Space Station Basker'Qa. They were just as excited as Alpha and came to investigate. Trines to them are like the holy grail. I say a certain distance because within the Andromeda Galaxy, which is 220k light years across, they can keep in contact, but put 10 Andromeda's side by side and it becomes a little harder. Since Alpha and Zeta haven't been more than that far apart ever, they aren't sure how far is too far.

Common Occupation: see Dar Massaga

Government Systems: see Dar Massaga

Current Leader: see Dar Massaga

Council of Neighn of Member: see Dar Massaga

Allies: Qrxzl, Ryo Pardeep, Gaziniti, Reasaian, Shia'Marr, Kracciam,

Star System: Durega System

Other planets occupied by species:

Military Leader: see Dar Massaga

Cultural names and terms specific to species: see Dar Massaga

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Guest Interview: Wayne Goodman for Better Angels #giveaway

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Welcome all!

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Wayne Goodman author of “Better Angels”

Hi Wayne, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

What were you like at school?

As far as my education, I was always an avid learner. I enjoyed math, music, and English particularly. Being creative came naturally to me; ideas seemed to pop out of my head when I needed them.

Were you good at English?

I don’t know if I was always “good” at English, but I have enjoyed reading and learning the craft of creative writing. My vocabulary tends to be larger than most people, and I like being able to utilize it from time to time.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

Aside from becoming a Best-Selling Author, recognition is my primary goal. I have no fantasy of living a life of luxury from book sales. So far, I have lost money in book sales. Respect and admiration is the most I could hope for.

Which writers inspire you?

My own reading has consisted mainly of SciFi/Fantasy, which is now referred to as Speculative Fiction. Early on I read H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and Isaac Asimov. Later on I started on J.R.R. Tolkien, Anne MacCaffrey, Kage Baker, and Barry Hughart.

So, what have you written?

My latest work is “Better Angels: A Retelling of Bayard Taylor’s ‘Joseph and His Friend: A Pennsylvania Story.’” It is based on the first American Gay novel, written in 1869. As the time period did not allow for open descriptions of physical and emotional expression for same-sex characters at that time, I have added material that makes the relationships much more open and obvious. Also, I have changed the main character’s love interest to being African-American. This adds another wrinkle, as the story takes place soon after the U.S. Civil War.

Other books I have written are:

“Vanya Says, ‘Go!’” is a retelling of Mikhail Kuzmin’s “Wings,” the first Russian-language book to discuss same-sex relationships in a positive way:

“Borimir: Serving the Tsars” is Part 1 of a (potential) trilogy that follows the lives of two men who meet at the Tsar’s Palace in 1880 until their death with the Royal Family in 1918:

“Britain’s Glory” tells the tragic story of Princess Charlotte, granddaughter to King George III of England:

“The Last Great Hope” speculates about the existence of a third Kennedy child who was adopted out under a false name:

“The Seed of Immortality” is a tale of Chinese myth, history, philosophy, and two immortal Mahjong sharps who travel around China at the time of the first emperor:

Some of my works are also available as Audio books through Audible and iTunes.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Joseph Asten, the main character in “Better Angels,” is a 23-year-old farmer living in the Allegheny River Valley of Pennsylvania shortly after the U.S. Civil War. He knows he has a preference for men, and he had had physical relationships, but he feel social pressures to marry. When a woman comes along who seems to understand his secret situation, he proposes.

What are you working on at the minute?

My current project is a retelling of the first English-language gay novel, “Live and Learn,” by Francis Lathom. First printed in 1823, it has been recognized as the earliest work in English to contain same-sex relationships.

What’s it about?

The original story (in 4 volumes) is a gothic tale of rags to riches and the various people who stand in the way of achieving wealth and happiness. John Brown, the main character, inherits a stranger’s estate and seeks to find love despite having lots of money.

What genre are your books?

I tend to write Historical Fiction. Discovering people or events lost to history and bringing them to new light fascinates me. Recently, I have begun retelling books that are historically-significant but have been forgotten or neglected.

What draws you to this genre?

After my previous book, “Vanya Says, ‘Go!’,” which was the retelling of the first Russian-language book with a positive take on same-sex relationships, another author suggested to me that I had started a new genre of taking historically-significant books and reviving them.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

As Joseph Brown, the main character in “Better Angels,” is supposed to be young and handsome, I could see Ryan Gosling, or someone of his style, play him.

How much research do you do?

I generally buy a few books on the subject I am writing about, as well as lots of research on the Internet. Slang appropriate to the place and time really gives a sense of authenticity to the dialogue, and I attempt to pepper my writing with as many colloquialisms as possible.

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

I generally write alone, but I would be open to collaboration. My partner also an author (but in a different genre). We have discussed working together, but that has not happened so far.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I had started creative writing in High School, took a few courses in college but never became serious about writing until 2001.

Why do you write?

Writing has been quite therapeutic for me. While recuperating from a life-threatening illness in 2001, it provided a sense of purpose and gave me a goal to complete.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

My very first full-length book I wrote while working as a word processor at a large law firm. There was a bit of down time, and I used it to write. That way, I always appeared busy.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

Because I do not have a job (I’ve been on disability since 2001) I have more time than most to devote to writing. I tend not to stick to a schedule and write when ideas come tumbling out of the back of my brain. Most of the time I am doing research the book when I get really inspired to write more.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

Because my writing is not very structured, I don’t set goals for myself. The goals I usually set are the number of words in a chapter (usually around 5,000).

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

Writing on a computer provides the freedom to make changes as necessary. When I used a typewriter (or wrote by hand), making changes seemed daunting. With the ability to play with words, try different things, experiment, I have found my creativity unleashed.

Where do your ideas come from?

As I read other things (books, news, Wikipedia), ideas come to me. One book about the history of maps, gave me at least two ideas for future books.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

Always a tough question. I tend to have some kind of vague outline in my mind before I set out, and an endpoint to aim toward. Along the way I enjoy discovering sidetracks that pop up and seeing where they lead. At some point I do sketch out the flow of the narrative, but I wouldn’t call myself a total plotter.

With my latest project of retelling previously-written stories, the plot and characters are pretty much presented before I begin. My job, as I see it, is to re-interpret the original ideas, update the writing, and present the same story but aimed at 21st Century readers.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

They say the more you write, the better you get. I have now completed six published works with a total of over 400,000 words. Also, I have been part of a writers’ group, and receiving direct feedback also provides for growth. I would like think that my latest book will always be better than the one before it.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Seeing your work for what it is tends to be the most difficult thing. Until someone else reads or hears what you are doing and validates it, you have no idea if you are wasting your time or working on something significant.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

Because my latest book, “Better Angels,” is a retelling of a previously-published work, my goal was to present the same story and characters in an updated way. I wanted to be true to the original and yet have the new version be better and more accessible by 21st Century readers. In the sections I added (mostly emotional and physical interactions), I attempted to make the new material match the original as much as possible in a seamless fashion.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

Typing the words, “The End.”

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

The shortest time I ever needed for a first draft was two months. I like to keep to a schedule of one new book each year.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

Many of us in the U.S. went through a period of shock after the presidential election of 2016. I had been working on a very promising book but stopped writing it shortly after the inauguration earlier this year. Working on “Better Angels” helped to get me through that period of grey days.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

As I would say to anyone, if you feel stuck, put the manuscript aside for a while and come back with fresh eyes. During the intervening time, your brain should have worked things out for you.

Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.

I don’t read as much as I used to. Because of the amount of research I do for each book, I have little interest in picking up other people’s books. If I do read, it is most likely from one of the circle of author friends I have made through hosting a local queer authors reading series with my partner.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

I prefer reading from my iPad Mini. It’s just the right size to hold, you can read in the dark, and you can have a whole library at your fingertips.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

Fortunately for me, my partner is also an author, and we read our first drafts to each other to get initial feedback. As far as proofreading, I used to do that as a job, and I generally take care of it myself. However, before sending a manuscript for publication, I like to have a few close friends read it over for general readability, and if they find a few stray typos, so much the better.

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?

I know there are people who take years, sometimes up to 10 years, to produce a book. I am not one of those people. Now that I am 60 years old, I’m not sure how much writing time is left for me. My current pace is to publish one book per year. After the initial draft, I do put it aside for a while, read and edit a few more times, but I would never leave it go for very long.

Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.

I design my own covers. While not formally trained in design, I have learned over the years what works and what I like.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

For a paperback book, the cover is probably the most important factor in sales. If your design does not call a potential buyer across the room to look at your book, you’ll not get sold. With eBooks, the cover is not as important.

How are you publishing this book and why?

I have self-published all of my books. Over my years of work I have acquired editing and typesetting skills. The covers are designed by me and I arrange for printing.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

With self-published books, the author has total control over the content and availability. With an established publisher, even if it is accepted you may not get your work published and distributed when you want it. However, established publishers can also provide publicity or advances, both unavailable when you self-publish.

How do you market your books?

I place my eBooks on Amazon and through SmashWords (Nook, Kobo, iTunes, etc.). Audiobooks are available through Audible and iTunes. Paperbacks are generally at local independent booksellers.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?

Having a social-media presence is the most important thing for authors these days. Even though you might spend hours of writing time posting to Facebook, Tweeting, blogging, etc., it is the best way to keep your fans apprised of your works.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?

Just like most other authors, marketing is the most dreaded part of writing. If I could afford it, I would hire a professional marketer to take on these tasks. I try to spend a few minutes each day posting something somewhere for people to read about my books.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?

I just completed a Goodreads book giveaway for “Better Angels.” Over 300 people signed up, and I gave away 5 copies of the paperback version.

Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?

As my partner and I host a few local queer author reading series, we arranged for our own book launches. I did one interview on a local radio station.

Why do you think that other well written books just don’t sell?

There is such competition for books that many well-written books never see the light of day or end up in the hands of readers. It also seems that our society is moving away from traditional word-based fiction and toward a more graphic style. Movies and television also take away from traditional literature.

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?

My partner used to work in publishing, and he has frequently advises me never to give books away. I disagree. If giving a book to someone can help generate word-of-mouth book sales, I will gladly do that.

Did you format your own book?

Because of my work history with word processing, I format my own books.

In what formats is your book available?

Most of my works are available in paperback, as eBooks, and audiobooks.

How do you relax?

I’m not sure I ever learned that skill. My mind is constantly “on” and even if I appear to be sitting still, I’m thinking about something. If only I could find the “off” switch…

What is your favourite motivational phrase.

I don’t know if it is a phrase, but I do not believe in giving up until it is absolutely, positively, without-a-doubt, the end of the road for a project. I tend to be very persistent in most things. Sometimes, rescue comes at the very last minute, and you have to be ready.

What is your favourite positive saying?

I expected to have died years ago, and because of that, I like to say, “Every day is a gift; some days are giftier than others.”

What is your favourite book and why?

“Bridge of Birds” by Barry Hughart, has been one of the most amazing journeys I have taken. It is one book I can read again and still enjoy.

What is your favourite film and why?

Baz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge” is my favourite mainstream film, and Peter Greenaway’s “The Pillow Book” is my favourite art film. “Moulin Rouge” is such eye-candy, and even though it gets silly at times, the story is compelling and the music enjoyable. “The Pillow Book” is a complicated, multi-layered film that I have had to watch a few times before I understood it. Also, it contains Ewan McGregor in full-frontal nudity.

Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?

I would say “Australia” is the first thing that popped into my mind. We took a holiday there last year, and I really enjoyed the country. Melbourne seems like a place I could live comfortably.

With respect to writing, I don’t see much of a change, even if I won the lottery or became a best-seller.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Everything happens for a reason. It might not be apparent at the time, but in a while, all will become clear.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

I have learned it can be dangerous meeting your idols. They are real people just like us, and sometimes it can be disappointing finding out that your favourite writer was not a very nice person.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read all you can, write all you can, and learn how to accept criticism with grace.

Where do you see publishing going in the future?

Every time we hear the death knell for paper-based books, they seem to make a comeback. While I personally look forward to a paperless future, many people still enjoy the sensation of holding a book in their hands.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

My Twitter: @WGoodmanBooks

Title: Better Angels
Author: Wayne Goodman
Release Date: June 4th 2017
Genre: Gay Fiction, Retelling, Historical

Better Angels-Cover


Joseph Asten, a handsome, 23-year-old farmer living in the Allegheny River Valley shortly after the Civil War, secretly longed for intimacy and love with other men. He devised a misguided plan to marry a woman who knew of his “dual nature” then his life took some unexpected, fateful turns.

Bayard Taylor’s Joseph and His Friend: A Pennsylvania Story is considered the first American Gay novel. Originally published in 1869 as a serial in The Atlantic, the author could not relate the story openly and had to use suggestive ways to describe his characters’ activities and motivations. In Better Angels, Goodman retells the tale frankly and candidly, free from antiquated 19th Century cultural restraints. This is the author’s second book revivifying forgotten, historically-significant Queer stories. Previously, in Vanya Says, “Go!,” Goodman updated the first Russian-language Gay novel Wings, by Silver-Age poet Mikhail Kuzmin.

Find Better Angels on Goodreads

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Praise for Better Angels:

“A lovely story, sumptuous in language and ideas with a rich ambience. For people who love a love story, it is thoroughly rewarding.” Vincent Meis, author of Deluge

“Goodman has turned the pallid prose of travel writer Bayard Taylor into a scintillating trip through 19th Century America. Those who loved James Baldwin’s Another Country and Giovanni’s Room will find something of value in Goodman’s latest triumph.” Kevin Killian, author of Tony Greene Era

Better Angels is a great read and a wonderful glimpse into a story of the 19th Century that has rarely been told. It writes queerness back into liter­ary history, with an anti-racist spin.” Dr. Ajuan Mance, author of Before Harlem

“A remarkable literary feat of resurrecting the first American gay novel. With meticulous prose and clever dialogue, Goodman offers a fascinating glimpse into love between American men in the 19th Century.” Elizeya Quate, author of Face of Our Town

Better Angels takes another obscure, early Gay novel and brings it back to life, updating language, amplifying the story, and presenting love between men and men, and women and women more di­rectly than it could have been presented when the book was first published. Goodman performs a his­torical service, giving readers a glimpse of Gay life lived 150 years ago.” Richard May, author of Inhuman Beings


Joseph felt the hum from the multitudinous spirits of life in every nerve and vein, marching triumphantly in a procession through secret passages and summoning the phantoms of sense to their completed chambers. He imagined his mind and soul balanced above a strong pinion as he rode farther and farther from his home.

At once, the great joy of human life filled and thrilled him. All possibilities of action and pleasure and emotion swam before his eyes. He envisioned many of the individual careers he had ever read about in all ages, climates, and conditions of humanity–dazzling pictures of the myriad-sided Earth. All this could be his if he but dared to seize the freedom waiting for his grasp.

He finally accepted that he did feel love for his longtime friend, Elwood Withers, as he himself had described it on their ride to the first gathering at the Warriners. Joseph would rather touch Elwood’s hand, or shirt, more than kissing anyone else. Miss Blessing and Lucy Henderson may have stirred a mild passion in him, but nothing like his constant craving for male companionship. Even with all the buffoonery and loud talk, Elwood had captured Joseph’s heart. Elwood embodied all the things Joseph aspired to be–outgoing, confident, worldly–and it made his brain run to his heels whenever Elwood came into view. However, Elwood professed to be interested in the young women, particularly Miss Elizabeth Henderson. Joseph understood his feelings could not be reciprocated, and he had to accept that his feelings differed from the others. His love for another man made him feel like a lone stalk of corn in a field of waving wheat.

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About the Author

Wayne Goodamn profile pic

Wayne Goodman has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area most of his life (with too many cats). When not writing, he enjoys playing Gilded Age parlor music on the piano, with an emphasis on women, gay, and Black composers.

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Thank you for stopping by and reading!