QSFer Eddie Newton has a new lesbian/trans fantasy/paranormal book out: Truth to Light. And there’s a giveaway!
Sofía Hernandez has been looking for her truth all her life. She was adopted as a baby and never knew her birth parents. She was assigned male, and that wasn’t the truth either. So when she gets a phone call from someone offering to clear up the mysteries in her life, she starts on an adventure that leads to revelations she can hardly believe are true.
Sofía’s birth sister reaches out and reveals a world full of greater mysteries than Sofía ever could have imagined. A secret organization called the Illuminati created a universal lie about the population of Earth, concealing the true nature of the world. The Illuminati hides the real Wider World behind a magical glamour, concealing the existence of ghosts, aliens, monsters, angels, demons, and more.
Truth to Light is a novel that explores what it means to be true to yourself and what truth can mean to different people. Sofia is a transgender woman who must deal with changes both within and without. Her transformation will need to accommodate not only her own identity, but the very nature of the world around her.
One lucky winner will receive a $50.00 NineStar Press Gift Card!a Rafflecopter giveaway
“Do you want to see a magic trick?” Vincent Prospero asked the trio of college kids in response to their drunken taunts concerning his anachronistic attire.
Vincent stood at the bottom of the hill in the middle of Ningúno Lane in Eden, Delaware. For the first time in three years, he was back. On a Saturday night, this part of Eden featured frat boys and sorority sisters stumbling between saloons up and down the neighborhood. There was not a sober undergrad in sight. Vincent had originally planned on walking past the partiers and straight up the street to the house on the top of the hill.
But the three inebriated instigators just had to make a comment on his top hat.
Vincent was tall and thin and dressed like Abraham Lincoln. He tipped off his top hat to reveal a mess of blond hair, which matched his wispy goatee and made him resemble a man featured on a circus advertisement from the nineteenth century. Vincent held the hat out for the college kids to inspect.
The brilliant grin of a small child bloomed on the face of the big jock in a football jersey, intoxication imitating innocence. He wore the number seventy-seven with the name “Murphy” above it. Murph put his two palms together and rubbed his hands like a miser surveying his millions.
“So that ‘splains the goofy getup,” Murph drooled, and a string of spittle connected his bottom lip to the pavement of Ningúno Lane. “I wanna see a maji-trig.”
“Me too,” said the girl beside Murph. His girl. Certainly, she was always a me-too.
“Yeah,” agreed the third wheel.
Magic was all about secrets. The trick worked because you did not know the truth. You couldn’t figure out the how. Vincent liked his secrets.
“Here,” Vincent said, handing his cane to the third wheel. “Hold this. Careful now, the magic is in there.”
The young man held the cane across his open palms as if cradling legendary Excalibur itself.
“Just a normal top hat. Nothing inside. Here, put your hand in.” Murph’s girl put her petite hand in halfway up her forearm. Nothing inside. “Empty. Agree?” She nodded. Vincent turned it around and spun it in his hands. “Look all around it. Nothing suspicious?” Three heads shook, all a little wobbly.
Vincent held out the hat and opened it upward. The sun hung over the rooftops of Eden, evening languidly exhaling the last light of day. Twilight blanketed the lane in cozy shadows, obscuring the interior of the top hat.
“Now, young man, tap the cane on the edge of the hat,” Vincent instructed the third wheel. The man raised one manicured eyebrow. “Nothing to fear, I assure you. Magic is only dangerous when it needs to be.” The third wheel took the end of the cane in his hand so gently he must have been imagining it was a tender lover who might scorn him if he handled her too roughly. “That’s right. Just a light rap. Very good, young man. Just that way.”
Vincent reached inside and fumbled around a bit. His arm went inside the same distance as the girl’s had when she checked the hat. Vincent made a show of pawing around for something inside, like an old lady searching for Tic Tacs at the bottom of her purse. Then he grinned, a showman’s expression, and his eyes popped open in dramatic flair.
Vincent pulled a rabbit out of the hat.
Murph and his girl oohed and aahed, swooning like teenage girls at a boy band concert. But the third wheel frowned, staring suspiciously at the white rodent. His nostrils flared as if he smelled something rotten about this whole thing.
“Lame,” he commented. “That is the same thing I’ve seen a hundred times. It’s the oldest trick in the book!”
“Oh, I don’t know if it is the oldest,” Vincent opined, “but it is tried and true. Not as flashy and loud as you young people prefer nowadays?”
“You only pulled a bunny out of a hat,” the third wheel sneered. “My gramma could have done that trick a hundred years ago.”
“You want to see something epic?” Vincent asked.
“Epic,” he agreed. “Yeah.”
“Me too,” said Murph’s girl. Again with the me-too.
Murph was too boozed to form a full response. He managed a clumsy nod.
Vincent let the bunny go, and it hopped down Ningúno Lane in the opposite direction of the hill. He twirled the hat in a theatrical flourish and held it out once again for the third wheel to tap with the cane. This time the undergrad knew his role. Tap tap tap.
“You may want to step back,” Vincent warned.
The trio of young drunkards took a step back on rubbery legs. Vincent reached into the hat. This time he pushed his arm farther into the opening. He smiled at the students, gave a wink. His arm went in even more. He pushed his tailored sleeve into the top hat all the way up to his shoulder. The girl’s eyes grew as big as a werewolf’s.
“Impossible,” she whispered.
“You ain’t seen nothing yet,” Vincent answered.
Vincent yanked. Hard. The object in the hat was stubborn. It had slept for a thousand years, and waking was a ponderous endeavor. Vincent had the thing by the tail. With a final violent yank, he drew the contents of the hat out through the small orifice like an obstetrician pulling a newborn from the birth canal. This baby was as ugly as a troll and as angry as a poltergeist. As big as any beanstalk giant. Rearing a scaly head in rage, the dragon vomited fire into the twilit sky.
“Mama,” Murph managed to mumble before the dragon noticed the marinated morsel. It snapped its beak over the big football player. The dragon’s mouth was a kiln, and Murph melted in a matter of moments; boiling blood and liquified bones slid down the gullet.
Murph’s girl and the third wheel screamed like toddlers and turned to run for their lives. The dragon pivoted its head on a serpentine neck and scooped them up from the side and its jaws snapped shut on the main parts of the undergrads, leaving behind two rolling noggins and two pairs of trendy tennis shoes, the smoldering stumps of their feet included.
The half-dozen drunkards standing stunned along the street scattered, screaming. Vincent looked at the dragon beside him: wet scales glowed from the streetlights, intense eyes roamed the avenue for further prey, and smoke issued from flared nostrils. Demonic wings stretched and threatened to fly.
“Not yet,” Vincent told the creature. “We need to visit an old acquaintance. Afterward, there will be plenty more to eat.”
Vincent looked up Ningúno Lane to the house high on the hill.
Edward Newton lives in Florida and enjoys few things more than the beach. An accomplished author, he received the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the Best First Short Story. His previous works include Horrorfrost, a chilling tale, as well as several published short stories. Edward spent a year traveling the continental United States and found something intriguing everywhere he went—this country is an amazing and fascinating place. His heart is his family and he couldn’t do any of this without his wife Treina and his amazing kids Kobe, Gage, Oliver, and Bennett.