QSFer A.L. Williams has a new queer paranormal romance out (ace, bi, gender fluid, intersex, non-binary), book 3 in their Scars series: “Shameful Scars.”
I can take care of myself…
Please help me…
Her lips are pure damnation…
I will never leave you…
Hayley is determined to achieve her goals even as overworked as she is. She is almost done with school and loves her new internship. Everything is great. Except for a certain angel she wants gone. The others have forgiven Gabriel and Hayley doesn’t understand why. Worse of all she can’t reconcile her deep hatred and attraction to them.
Gabriel has accepted their banishment, but every day on earth is increasingly tiresome. Nothing makes sense and they are unsettled. Especially their growing attraction to Hayley. It contradicts their disinterest in physical pleasures. However, It doesn’t matter because she hates them and nothing is changing her mind. Gabriel has no idea how to convince her otherwise.
Meanwhile, a child has vanished from a local group home, leaving only a single clue. Despite the risk to her life Hayley refuses to stand on the sidelines and Gabriel gets dragged into the chaos. Little do they know they are more involved than they think.
The hunt for answers only forces Hayley and Gabriel closer. They have to confront their demons all while navigating their intense attraction that is far beyond the vanilla. It’s a battle of dominance and submission, but it’s not what it seems.
Can they overcome their internalized Shame and allow themselves what they secretly long for or are the Scars too deep?
When Tammy and I stepped inside the fence, I inspected the building
that looked like a large home bathed in shadow. Playground equipment
peeked around from the back. A sign with guest hours was hung by the
door as we approached.
We entered the quiet house and walked down the hall past several rooms
with bunk beds pressed against the walls. A child filled each bed.
Some of the rooms had two or more single twin beds with older teens
who looked like they were about to age out.
It was just as I remembered. I spent several years in a group home
and being inside one made me sick to my stomach. I was really going to
have to get over this. Weakness did these children no good.
The tension in my jaw increased as we moved further into the
house. The home was filled with simple furniture, whiteboards in the
kitchen with assigned chores next to posted house rules. Along the
walls, ragged books stood together on old bookshelves.
I eyed the kitchen, trying to keep my nerves under control as memories
threatened to take over. A woman stepped out into the hall, and I was
grateful for the distraction. I could see the bags under her eyes and
the slump of her shoulders. It was clear she was worried and
“Thank you for coming so quickly,” she said when she reached us.
Tammy nodded and pulled out a notepad. The woman glanced at me.
“She is my intern,” Tammy said. “When did you notice the child
I looked back to the other woman.
“One of the other children came out and told us he was gone when
she woke up to use the bathroom.”
Tammy scribbled something down. “Was there anything unusual about
the child’s behavior or any clue that they might run away?”
She thought that the kid had run away. I narrowed my eyes. It was true
that children ran away quite often. I was one of them, but did she
have to assume it was their fault? They could have been kidnapped.
Blaming the victim was never okay.
No one will believe you.
My stomach churned as Tammy asked more questions. The conversation
faded into the distance as my mind raced with a million thoughts. Was
he okay? Did someone hurt him? Was he hungry and alone?
Acid rose in my throat as the memory of Eden returned. Eden was a
child Tammy put in my care when it was discovered she was sick—which
turned out to be the bubonic plague. They banished her from the house,
not wanting the other kids to get sick. I took her to Adam, the only
doctor I trusted, but despite his efforts and because of Lucy’s curse,
she died anyway. Both blamed themselves. I wished they would realize
it wasn’t their fault.
“I need to use the restroom,” I said. The woman nodded and pointed me
in the direction of the nearest bathroom. I excused myself.
As I walked further down the hall, the soft snores of children drifted
out of the rooms. Something flashed in my peripheral vision. I peered
into the room, finding a little boy sitting on a bed with something in
his hands. It glittered with an unnatural light that illuminated his
face as he gazed at it in awe.
“Can I come in?” I whispered.
The child’s head shot up, fear in his expression. I softened my voice
and asked again. He nodded, gripping the object.
When I stopped at his side, I studied it. It was a long branch
twisting and curling in on itself in places. The wood grain was fine
and barely visible through the white glow of its surface.
“Can I see it?” I asked. The child frowned and looked down, lost
in thought for a moment, and then handed it to me. I inspected it,
turning it around in my hand. It radiated a warmth as if it was alive.
“Where did you find this?”
“Bobby is missing, and I found it under his bed.”
That must be the missing child, I thought. I peered at the branch,
then backed away. The child played with his hands like it was a
“You’re fine. You didn’t do anything wrong,” I said. The boy relaxed.
Kids got in trouble for everything in these places, and they had
always been on high alert, expecting at any moment that they would be
I plastered the best smile that I could muster on my face. “Thank
you.” He grinned.
I left the room and entered the bathroom, pulling out my phone. “Hey,”
“Hey, I need to talk to Andy,” I said, leaning against the wall.
I heard shuffling and mumbled voices through the receiver.
“Hey,” Andrew said.
“There’s a missing child.”
“I’m aware. It has been reported,” he replied. “That’s not my department.”
I bit the inside of my cheek. “This is not normal.”
“What do you mean?”
“Do you know any trees that glow?”
My name is Alec Lee Williams, a transgender non-binary
artist. My pronouns are He/him/his or They/Them/Their. I have loved
creating things ever since I can remember. I spent my youth drawing
fan fiction and art, as well as writing poetry.
My art is the visual and written expression of what is in my heart and
mind. I have been diagnosed with Bipolar I and PTSD. Mental illness is
the hardest thing a person can deal with and the journey to emotional
stability is long and sometimes painful. Especially as a person of
My vision is to make myself face the pain and the struggle. To make
the world see me and the rest of us and what social expectation and
stigma have created. Mental illness and discrimination are a part of
our history and it’s time the world sees it. The beautiful and the
dirty. The painful and the euphoric.
With my art, I want to show those who don’t have mental illness what
it’s like. I want those that do have a mental illness, specifically
queer POC, to relate and maybe even letting go of their trauma and
triggers by seeing it displayed. I want them to know they are not
alone. Now that I have decided to pursue writing my novels I hope will
do the same.