QSFer Brandon Witt has a paranormal/fantasy re-release out:
Finn de Morisco knows he is walking into a trap when he enters the Vampire Cathedral to rescue his sister Cynthia. Aided by Schwint and his other sister, Caitlin, he intends to free Cynthia and avoid enslavement. But when he confronts the master of the Voice that has tortured him, Finn faces a grim choice: compromise his soul or lose his family.
For centuries members of the Chromis tribe have disappeared, and Brett Wright is on a quest to discover the fate of the captive mers and to stop the abductions. Despite the risk of tribal warfare, he embarks on a dangerous ocean journey to find other mer tribes experiencing the same plight. When destiny brings him back to land, Brett encounters new allies and old dangers while coming to grips with the past.
First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, December 2013. Men of Myth Book Three
LELAS TURNED and looked at me for probably the hundredth time in the past few hours. Finally the light was enough that I could barely make out her eyes’ seafoam hue. We’d not slowed down since Syleen and Greylin had left us in the trench. Faster than I’d ever swam before. It took every ounce of my strength to keep up. After nearly six months with the mers, I had thought I’d gotten fast enough to keep an even pace with them. However, I wasn’t sure how much longer it would be before I fell too far behind. Lelas continued to look back at me, and I wasn’t certain whether it was to make sure I was still with them, or she wanted to talk.
Therin had glanced back a few times as well. He even smiled most of the time. Apparently, our little father-and-son talk had left him feeling more parental. Not enough to slow down, but I’d take what I could get.
Only Wrell hadn’t turned. He’d swum on tirelessly, both his splay of quilled fins and his long stone spear flat against his sides. It was a testament of how tired I was that I’d quit noticing his sculpted back and straining triceps hours ago.
At first, I’d been so overwhelmed by all that had happened I hadn’t paid any attention to where we were going, just followed the threesome blindly. So much had transpired I hadn’t been able to even begin to form it into a sensible picture. Therin’s assumed responsibility for my homosexual tendencies. Yawn! Same old family drama, just a whole lot wetter. There’d been an ulterior motive for him searching me out, much more than wanting a relationship with his newly discovered son.
What was throwing me off the most was the secrecy between Syleen and Zef. They’d always seemed like an inseparable unit, and the few times they hadn’t, Syleen was clearly always the trump card. To find out that Zef was actually the eldest of the group and Syleen was keeping secrets from him was more than I could piece together.
To top it all off, thinking about trying to find out what had happened to Ventait and the other lost mers seemed like an impossible task—especially considering the basis of our search was no more than pure speculation. The more I thought about it, the more I agreed with Zef. Sure, Ventait had been seen being pulled onto a boat. Horrible, to be sure, especially since he’d been just a kid, but bad things happen. It didn’t mean that was the cause for every mer disappearance the tribe had suffered. Even in my short time with them, I’d witnessed a shark hunt, heard about the death of Wrell’s mother, the suicide of Ventait’s mother, and the disappearance of his father. Syleen had said that mers often went to war when they ran into each other. Not to mention all the things waiting in the ocean to eat you. Typically, the simplest, most obvious, explanation for something is the correct one. Somebody kidnapping mermaids seemed nothing more than a conspiracy theory. And a desperate one at that.
Maybe it had been the clandestine meeting, getting caught up in the secrecy and drama of it all. Maybe finally having Therin acting like my father again. Who knows? But whatever had caused it, I’d been instantly invested in going out, finding the captured mers, and playing hero. The farther away from the tribe we got, the more I came to terms with the fact that we were really just grasping at straws. Like a mother who searches for her child her entire life instead of accepting the obvious—the kid had been taken and killed by some sicko. Simple as that.
Wrell slowed suddenly and turned toward me, the filtered sunlight glistening across his chiseled chest highlighting the mottled burnt flesh and his superhero jawline. Hell, maybe it had just been the prospect of getting to spend a lot of time alone with Wrell that had prompted my sudden buy-in for this half-baked scheme. He gave me a reserved smile as he nodded at me. Yep, definitely the most likely possibility… and not a bad motivation for searching around the entire ocean.
An image of the three of us curled up on top of the sand, Wrell buried beneath it, came into my mind. It only took me off-guard for a moment before I caught on. I shook my head, wishing I could direct my thoughts to just him instead of the whole group. “No, Wrell, I don’t need to rest.”
A dark eyebrow rose toward his closely shorn hair.
“Okay, maybe slow down a little bit, but I don’t need to stop. Not yet.”
Therin reached behind him and pulled his long white-blond hair away from his face. “We have come far enough that it is unlikely Zef would be able to easily find us, since he is not privy to our destination. We can stop and rest, Brett.”
I shook my head again. “No, really, I’m fine. If we could just slow down a bit, that would help.” I almost made a snarky comment about the ridiculousness of Zef being the bogeyman but caught myself in time. “How could he be privy to our destination? We’re just going to swim around aimlessly until we run into another tribe of mers and hope they don’t try to kill us.” I hadn’t even put that bit of information together yet. Saying it out loud, or thinking it out loud, made me realize how truly ridiculous our plan was.
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I grew up in El Dorado Springs, Missouri for the first 18 years of my life. The day of my 18th birthday my mom, dad, brother, and I loaded up the cars and moved to Estes Park, Colorado. I now live in Denver with my two perfect corgis, Dunkyn and Dolan.
Growing up in an ultraconservative, Christian environment, then moving on to get my bachelors in Youth Ministry, I struggled with being gay for most of my life. This included five years in reparative therapy (ex-gay therapy), meeting one to three times a week. At the age of twenty-six, I finally accepted who God make me to be and never looked back, and have never been happier. Each struggle, whether it be church, fearing damnation, heart shattering break-ups, and losing family to cancer and accidents, seems to make it’s way into everything I write, as well as a core of loving being alive. Life is hard, but man, is it ever wonderful!
I’ve worked with children (ages 8-18) with emotional disabilities since 2000, first as a counselor in a residential treatment facility, and now as a special education teacher.
During my sophomore year in high school, Ms. Hungerford introduced me to creative writing, and since that day, I’ve dreamed of being an author. Having Elizabeth North offering a publishing contract was one of the most life-changing days of my existence. I now dream of being a writer full-time. My boyfriend, Stephen, is hoping for that as well, as he wants to tag alone on a world tour. Big dreams. Big dreams.
Though my writing seems polarizing to many readers, both positive and negative, regardless of which of my books you choose, I pray that in its pages you find both the struggle and immense joy of life. I am humbled and honored by each person that reads my books. Thank you so much for making my dreams come true!