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Finn

by Angel Martinez

Book Cover: Finn
Part of the Endangered Fae series:
  • Finn

When Diego rescues a naked man from the rail of the Brooklyn Bridge, he just wants to get the poor man out of traffic and to social services. He gets more than he bargained for when he discovers Finn is an ailing pooka, poisoned by the city's pollution. To help him recover, Diego takes him to New Brunswick where Finn inadvertently wakes an ancient, evil spirit: the wendigo.

 

While they struggle to find a way to destroy the wendigo before it can possess Diego or kill nearby innocents, Diego wrestles with his growing feelings for Finn. Kill the monster and navigate a relationship between a modern man and a centuries old pooka. Piece of cake.

Published:
Publisher: MLR Press
Editors:
Cover Artists:
Genres:
Tags:
Excerpt:

The figure crouched on the bridge shocked Diego so thoroughly he drove a hundred yards before he realized what he had seen.

A man squatted on his heels on the rail, one hand on a cable, the other clutching a ragged blanket at his throat. Threadbare cloth flapped around bare ankles. The persistent wind yanked it this way and that to show flashes of naked legs.

"Holy shit," Diego muttered, as he wrestled his ancient Toyota into the nearest side street to park. This was none of his business. Didn't he have enough problems? Even as he argued with himself, he ran, dodging traffic and ignoring angry epithets as he pelted back up the bridge against traffic. The inevitable gaper delay had slowed the flow at least, making his precarious journey easier.

People stared from the safety of their vehicles as they inched along but no one stopped to help.

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Diego ignored them. His primary concern was not to startle the man into falling. He slowed his approach, ready to offer soothing words, but the man heard his footsteps. Long black hair whipped and snaked in the wind, hiding his face, though Diego caught a glimpse of bared teeth.

"Did you come after me?" the jumper snarled. "I won't go back."

"Go back where?" Diego seized the opportunity to start the man talking.

The jumper shook his head to clear the hair from his eyes and peered at Diego. Black eyes, not dark brown, but black, set in deeply shadowed sockets. "No, I suppose you don't look like one of those," he said in a softly accented, weary voice.

"One of who?" Diego edged closer to stand next to him.

"The ones who shut me in the iron cage. I changed. I escaped." His words seemed to stick in his throat and even above the traffic, Diego heard him swallow hard. "But now I'm too tired. I can't...and the river is so filthy. I think it might kill me."

At least he doesn't sound like he wants to die. "Look, if you don't want the police catching up to you, or the hospital staff, or whoever it is, this is about the worst thing you could do. You're upsetting all these people and attracting a lot of attention. They'll be here any minute." Diego reached out a hand, palm up. "Please come down. Let's get you safe and out of the wind. Then we'll see about straightening all this out."

The man regarded him through the shifting curtain of hair for a long moment. "What are you called?"

Depends who you talk to. "My name is Diego. Diego Sandoval." He lurched forward when the man swayed, his stomach plummeting to his feet, but the jumper retained his place on the rail.

The man repeated his name a few times as if trying it out and then nodded. "It's a good name. Pleasurable to say."

"And you?"

"I am called Fionnachd."

Diego tried to repeat it and won a hint of a smile from the man when he mangled the pronunciation. "Could I call you Finn?"

That got a shrug. The blanket fell back from his shoulder to reveal all too prominent bones. "You could. Some have. I don't mind."

"Climb down, Finn," Diego urged again. "I'll help you. Let's get you somewhere quiet where you can rest."

Finn took his fingers in a light grip and Diego caught a whiff of rotten orange rinds as he slid from the rail.

What the hell am I doing? He could have Hepatitis or HIV or tuberculosis, or worse. He's probably crazy. Maybe even dangerous.

The intense plea in those black-on-black eyes silenced his practical objections. Lost and alone, he needed someone. Diego had never been good at walking away.

He slipped out of his trench coat, placed it around Finn's shoulders, followed it with his arm and led him away. His "latest project", Mitch would have sneered. Not that he should care anymore what Mitch thought.

They reached the car without incident, but here, Finn balked. "They put me in one of those before."

One of...the car? "Well, I doubt it was as beat up as this one," Diego tried to joke, but Finn backed up a step. Diego patted the car's roof. "No lights. Not a police car. Or an ambulance."

Finn lifted his chin and sniffed the air. "You do smell kind and trustworthy. But some of the others did, too."

"They probably wanted to help you and didn't know what would upset you. Why did they arrest you? Did they say?"

Finn rubbed a hand over the side of his head, further snarling the mess of hair over the top half of his face. "Indecent exposure. I don't know what's indecent about standing on the dock watching the boats, though."

Irish. Diego was certain he'd placed the accent. "It's usually because someone's stark naked, not because they're watching boats."

"Oh."

He had no idea how much of this was a put-on. No one could be that naive. Though someone could be that deluded. Time enough to sort it all out later. Right now, he had to get Finn off the street before he crumpled to the pavement.

COLLAPSE

About the Author

The unlikely black sheep of an ivory tower intellectual family, Angel Martinez has managed to make her way through life reasonably unscathed. Despite a wildly misspent youth, she snagged a degree in English Lit, married once and did it right the first time, gave birth to one amazing son, and realized at some point that she could get paid for writing.

Published since 2006, Angel’s cynical heart cloaks a desperate romantic. You’ll find drama and humor given equal weight in her writing and don’t expect sad endings. Life is sad enough.

She currently lives in Delaware in a drinking town with a college problem and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes.


Gale Force

SoulShares #2

by Rory NiCoileain

Book Cover: Gale Force
Part of the SoulShares series:
Editions:ePub: $ 6.99 USD
ISBN: B00ZG85LVY
Pages: 323
Paperback: $ 16.99 USD
ISBN: 978-1626012011
Pages: 323

Conall Dary is the mightiest mage born to the Fae race in more than two thousand years, ever since the Sundering of the Fae and human worlds. But that power condemns him to an untouched, virginal life — sex calls to power, and his power is enough to drain the magick, the life, from his entire world. Exiled from the Realm for refusing to turn his talent to service a Noble’s petty revenge fantasies, his soul is torn in two and his magickal gifts blocked.

Josh LaFontaine is a gifted tattoo artist with a heart of gold. While doing a good turn for an ex-boyfriend, he’s stunned when a gorgeous red-haired twink appears out of nowhere at his feet during New York City’s Pride march.

The Marfach was thwarted in its first attempt to capture a Fae. But when a terrible accident separates Conall and Josh before they bond, it’s a race to see who finds the mage first, the monster who will use him as a weapon to destroy his race, or his SoulShare.

Published:
Publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books
Genres:
Tags:
Excerpt:

 

Movement caught his eye, and he startled. But it was only an old mirror, meant to hang but leaning now against some shelves, and his own reflection coming back to him. Shirtless and barefoot and in a pair of Terry’s jeans; a pale, drawn face looked back at him, eyes almost glowing, feverish. Behold the greatest power in two worlds, rider of storm, master of hurricane. How the mighty mage has fallen.

He grimaced at himself, and reached out a hand; it was lost to view even before his fingertips brushed the floor, vanished in the light that was not light.

Fingertips brushed dank cement. Nothing.

And then — everything.

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A force surged up through the floor, strained to enter his body. Overwhelmed, panicked, he tried to fight it off, or to control its entry. But there was no controlling this. It seized him, it coursed through him, it met the walls of his flesh and thundered back into his truncated soul, flaring for an instant as bright as the sun, as cold as the moon.

When the glare faded, the streams of light were gone, as if they had never been.

And so was Conall Dary.

 

COLLAPSE

About the Author

Rory Ni Coileain has been writing almost as long as she’s been reading, and reading almost as long as she’s been talking. She majored in creative writing in college, back when Respectable Colleges didn’t offer such a major, so she designed it herself—being careful to ensure that she never had to take a class before nine in the morning or take a Hemingway survey course.

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa at the age of nineteen, sent off her first short story to an anthology being assembled by an author she idolized, received the kind of rejection letter that fuels decades of therapy, and found other things to do for the next thirty years or so, including nightclub singing, working as a volunteer lawyer for Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and studying ballet in New York City, until her stories grabbed her by the shirt collar and announced they were back.

Now she’s a legal editor, a soprano in her church choir and the St. Mark’s Cathedral Choral Society (unless they’re singing Mozart, because she’s decided that Mozart didn’t like sopranos very much), the mother of a teenaged son and budding film-maker, and amanuensis to a host of Fae, Gille Dubh, and shapeshifters who are all anxious to tell their stories, and some of whom aren’t very good at waiting their turns.


Hard as Stone

SoulShares #1

by Rory NiCoileain

Book Cover: Hard as Stone
Part of the SoulShares series:
Editions:ePub: $ 6.99 USD
ISBN: B00YB9RSNI
Pages: 282
Paperback: $ 16.99 USD
ISBN: 978-1626011939
Pages: 282

Tiernan Guaire was exiled from the Fae Realm a century and a half ago for his brother’s murder. His soul torn in half, he lives by his vows — never to trust, never to love. And if he can only be whole by finding and loving the human with the other half of his soul? He’s content to live broken and half-souled.
Kevin Almstead’s future, the career he’s worked for as long as he can remember, has been taken away by a vote of the partners at his law firm. Chance brings him to Purgatory, the hottest all-male nightclub in Washington, D.C., to a meeting with a Fae, with long blond hair, ice-blue eyes, and a smile promising pleasures he’s never dreamed of. But there’s no such thing as chance.
But Tiernan isn’t the only one to find Kevin in Purgatory. The most ancient enemy of the Fae race sees in the handsome lawyer a way to destroy the world from which it, too, was exiled. And only the strength of a true SoulShare bond can keep it from what it seeks.

Excerpt:

“Three things you need to know.” There was such a weight of pain in Tiernan’s voice that Kevin nearly cried out with it. He reached out and caught the other man’s hand, and felt him tense, as if he wanted to pull away. But the hand relaxed, and Kevin breathed again.

“First, I can’t love you.”

Kevin shook his head gently, stroking his thumb over Tiernan’s palm. “You don’t have to.” I can manage to be in love enough for both of us.

Tiernan winced. “Second, I need to be with you.” His hand tightened around Kevin’s, used it to draw him closer. “I need back what we made.” The other man groaned softly. His free hand went to the back of Kevin’s neck, gripped him hard, and drew him into a kiss. No, not a kiss, a possession. A devouring. Tiernan’s tongue forced his mouth, searched it, and the faint sounds from the other man made Kevin’s heart pound, because they were pure ecstasy.

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That kiss was followed by others, a hot line of them down Kevin’s throat, and his head fell back again, too heavy for him to hold up properly. He felt Tiernan rise up from the floor, pin him against the back of the loveseat, kneel astride him. He opened his eyes, and his arousal surged as he looked into the mirror overhead and saw the blond’s back, the mouth traveling over his throat. Oh, fuck.

“What’s the third?” he gasped, like an idiot.

The eyes that met his were clear blue crystal, shadowed with pain and glinting with desire. “I’m not human.”

 

COLLAPSE

About the Author

Rory Ni Coileain has been writing almost as long as she’s been reading, and reading almost as long as she’s been talking. She majored in creative writing in college, back when Respectable Colleges didn’t offer such a major, so she designed it herself—being careful to ensure that she never had to take a class before nine in the morning or take a Hemingway survey course.

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa at the age of nineteen, sent off her first short story to an anthology being assembled by an author she idolized, received the kind of rejection letter that fuels decades of therapy, and found other things to do for the next thirty years or so, including nightclub singing, working as a volunteer lawyer for Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and studying ballet in New York City, until her stories grabbed her by the shirt collar and announced they were back.

Now she’s a legal editor, a soprano in her church choir and the St. Mark’s Cathedral Choral Society (unless they’re singing Mozart, because she’s decided that Mozart didn’t like sopranos very much), the mother of a teenaged son and budding film-maker, and amanuensis to a host of Fae, Gille Dubh, and shapeshifters who are all anxious to tell their stories, and some of whom aren’t very good at waiting their turns.


Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists

by Angel Martinez

Book Cover: Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists

A poltergeist haunts Taro, dogging his international travels. It washes glasses, puts dishes away, and even dusts. At least he hopes it's a cleaning-obsessed poltergeist and not his own anxieties burbling over into neat freak fits he doesn't remember. When his property manager suggests he call paranormal expert, Jack Montrose, Taro's skeptical but desperate enough to try even a ghost hunter.

Jack's arrival crushes Taro's hopes of a dashing Van Helsing-style hero. Instead of an invincible hunter, he gets Ichabod Crane. As the paranormal puzzles multiply and Jack begins to suggest the entity might not be a ghostly one, Taro adds a budding friendship with Jack to his pile of anxieties. It's a race to see whether Taro's poltergeist or his relationship with the obviously-not-ace Jack will reach maximum strangeness first.

About the Author

The unlikely black sheep of an ivory tower intellectual family, Angel Martinez has managed to make her way through life reasonably unscathed. Despite a wildly misspent youth, she snagged a degree in English Lit, married once and did it right the first time, gave birth to one amazing son, and realized at some point that she could get paid for writing.

Published since 2006, Angel’s cynical heart cloaks a desperate romantic. You’ll find drama and humor given equal weight in her writing and don’t expect sad endings. Life is sad enough.

She currently lives in Delaware in a drinking town with a college problem and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes.


Flight

Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction Contest V2

Flight
Editions:Kindle - First Edition: $ 4.99 USD
Pages: 262
Paperback - First Edition: $ 12.99 USD
Pages: 262
Paperback - First Edition: $ 24.99 USD
Pages: 262

A 300-word story should be easy, right? Many of our entrants say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever written.

Queer Sci Fi's Annual Flash Fiction Contest challenges authors to write a complete LGBTQ speculative fiction micro-story on a specific theme. "Flight" leaves much for the authors to interpret—winged creatures, flight and space vehicles, or fleeing from dire circumstances.

Some astonishing stories were submitted—from horrific, bloodcurdling pieces to sweet, contemplative ones—and all LGBTQ speculative fiction. The stories in this anthology include AI’s and angels, winged lions and wayward aliens. Smart, snappy slice of life pieces written for entertainment or for social commentary. Join us for brief and often surprising trips into 110 speculative fiction authors’ minds.

Discovery

Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction Contest V1

Discovery
Part of the Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction Contest series:
Editions:Paperback - First Edtion: $ 9.99 USD
ISBN: 978-1514735473
Pages: 232
Kindle - First Edition: $ 3.99 USD
Pages: 232

The rules are simple enough. Write a complete story—either sci fi, fantasy, or paranormal. Make sure it has LGBT characters and/or an LGBT vibe. And do it all with just 300 words.

The stories in this volume run the gamut, from platypus shifters to alien slug monsters, from carnival horror stories to haunting stories of ships with souls. There are little jokes, big surprises, and future prognostications.

Brandywine Investigations: Open for Business

Books 1-3

by Angel Martinez

Book Cover: Brandywine Investigations: Open for Business
Part of the Brandywine Investigations series:
  • Brandywine Investigations: Open for Business
Editions:ePubPaperback

When humans forsake the temples, the gods need to find other employment. Hades opens Brandywine Investigations after his divorce and his subsequent move to the modern world. If he was hoping for boring infidelity cases and lost dogs, he’s sorely mistaken as murder and mayhem find his agency and his extended family at an astonishing rate.

Includes:
Canines, Crosshairs & Corpses: Brandywine Investigations #1
No Enemy But Time: Brandywine Investigations #2
Dragons, Diamonds & Discord: Brandywine Investigations #3

Excerpt:

"Grab that cable, Dio." Orpheus pointed with a drumstick as he packed up the last of the kit.

Dionysus, wild god of Wine and Ecstasy, threw him a mock salute. "Yes, your bossiness."

It probably should have annoyed him, the way Orpheus ordered everyone around after a show. Lesser deity and all that. But, damn, that had been one sweet gig, everyone just completely on and the crowd in tune with every change in pace and mood. His blood still hummed and sang with it. Dio had to stop coiling the cable to adjust his overeager cock in his skintight leathers. Lots of grabby hands in the crowd that night, to his everlasting delight, and he was raring to go, willing to do anything that got them to the after party faster.

He straightened and stretched to pop his spine, taking a moment to look around the club. A few employees lingered to clean up the tables in the back but all the patrons had filtered out.

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Almost all… Dio chuckled when he caught sight of the club's last occupant, a white-haired man in a black leather duster facedown on his table. "Should we wake up Daddy Warbucks back there and see if he wants to come with?"

Hermes snapped the last guitar case closed and turned to squint into the gloom. "We probably…oh, damn. Dio, doesn't he look a little too familiar?"

The excess of blackberry brandy made focusing a bit of a challenge, but Dio took a hard look at the broad shoulders, at short-cropped hair that was silver rather than white. "Fuck."

Orpheus joined them, stepping over their faun drummer who lay snoring on the stage floor. "Oh, him. It's none of our business. Let's get packed up and go."

"Might not be your business, but that's my favorite uncle. And he doesn't do shit like this." Dio hopped down from the stage, Hermes right on his heels, and jogged over to the inebriated figure at the back of the room.

"Uncle Hades?" Hermes shook one powerful shoulder gently while Dio examined the empty glasses.

"Jagermeister. Hell of a lot of it. Think he's out for a bit." Dio scratched his head, baffled. "Last place I'd expect to see Uncle Straight and Narrow. What the hell was he thinking?"
Orpheus lifted a black clad arm far enough to tug out a sheaf of paper. "I'm thinking maybe this is a piece of it."

"Lemme see." Hermes snatched the documents before Orpheus had a chance to open them. His handsome brow furrowed as he unfolded them and began to read, and then his mouth fell open in shock. "Shit. Oh, for the earth's sake…"

With his lips compressed in a taut line, he handed the papers to Dio. It looked like a lot of legal hoohah to him at first, stuff he couldn't even begin to decipher, but then bits and pieces started to jump up and bite him on the nose.

"Divorce?" he squeaked. "Aunt Persephone is divorcing him?"

"No, it can't say that." Orpheus scowled as he snatched the papers back. "You can't read worth shit, Dio." But a few seconds perusal turned his glower into shock. "How can she…I mean, they've been together for how many centuries?" He kept skimming even as he spoke, turning pages faster and faster. "Guys, this is bad."

"How bad?"

"Epically bad." Orpheus dropped the divorce papers on the table, shaking his fingers out as if the words had singed him. "She's kicking him out, too. Keeping the palace and the dog."

COLLAPSE

About the Author

The unlikely black sheep of an ivory tower intellectual family, Angel Martinez has managed to make her way through life reasonably unscathed. Despite a wildly misspent youth, she snagged a degree in English Lit, married once and did it right the first time, gave birth to one amazing son, and realized at some point that she could get paid for writing.

Published since 2006, Angel’s cynical heart cloaks a desperate romantic. You’ll find drama and humor given equal weight in her writing and don’t expect sad endings. Life is sad enough.

She currently lives in Delaware in a drinking town with a college problem and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes.