Friday Reads: Machete Betty and the Office Sharks

It’s Friday, and I was this (imagine me holing up thumb and forefinger really close together) close to skipping writing a blog post today. But here I am, well caffeinated and ready to tell you about an excellent author I’ve kidnapped – no, not really, but he’s become a good friend of mine.

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A little over a month ago Seasons of Love was released, and one of the authors in the anthology is Neptune Flowers.

Machete Betty and the Office Sharks is one of the most bizarre stories I’ve read this year – in a good way!

Tim is part of a highly professional team trained to spot anomalies, in other words, mass hypnosis and stuff. They’re bored working at their office, but no one has noticed anything strange…or maybe but…

Things escalate pretty fast, even the shark in the screensaver begins to act weird, and soon the team are up to all kinds of things. It can’t be described, it must be read!

It’s hot, it’s surreal, it’s an office romance, and it has a merman. Yup, it’s true, a chain-smoking merman.

And while all this is really really good, the best of all is that Mr Flowers will join Amy Spector and me in this year’s Buried Desires. The manuscripts are with our publisher and have you noticed things getting a little scarier? The evenings are darker, the mist is rolling in over the fields, and there are strange noises here and there. That’s because Halloween is getting closer, people. Ghosts, zombies, and serial killers are on the way…


40801600Tim is in the A team, professionally trained to investigate allegations of the potential mass hypnosis of the nation… But Tim is bored and horny. Who wouldn’t be? The office is full of idiots, and summer just keeps getting hotter and hotter. Reality starts to blur, screensavers come to life, and before he can say jiggyjig, he finds himself cavorting with a chain-smoking foul-mouthed merman.

Tim’s training is forgotten as he becomes immersed in fishy hedonism and office shenanigans. Can he save the day? Or will the team be forever lost in shameful acts of bouncybounce?

Find out in this tail of office boredom and surreal fun.

Warning! This story does not reflect realistic relationships with mermen or sharks.

Part of Seasons of Love Anthology

My Favourite Sci-Fi Stories

Yesterday, It Doesn’t Translate was released. A sci-fi story, yes sci-fi. I never thought I’d write one, not one taking place in space at least, and you’ll never find me writing hard sci-fi, sorry. I’m not techy enough to pull that off. But everyone needs a little alien love now and then.

I wouldn’t say that I read a lot of sci-fi, but I have my periods when my iPad is filled with spaceships and aliens. Many of these stories I’ve read several times so I thought I’d share in case you’re on the lookout for a good read. I won’t do any ranking because that changes from day to day depending on what I’m in the mood for.

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Bone Rider by J. Fally. I love this books so much, I’ve read it several times, and I would say it’s one of my absolute favourite stories, sci-fi or not. It takes place here on earth. A spaceship crashes and an alien armour system that crawls into a man and connects with his being escapes. At the same time Riley Coper, super hot Texan guy, figures out his boyfriend, Misha Tokarev, is an assassin for the Russian mob and runs away. This is such a great story, you get sci-fi, the mob, love, and a great adventure. Awesome!

Blind Space by Marie Sexton.  Now, we’ve gone on board on a spaceship. Captain Tristan Kelley is taking the Prince on a luxury trip when the ship is boarded by pirates. The Pirates uses a device that makes Tristan blind for a few weeks. They keep him as a prisoner, but one of the pirate captains (yes, there are several) takes an interest and soon love is in the air, there is just this little problem of them being pirates and someone in Tristan’s crew being a traitor, and all of that. If you like space pirates and a little lace with your men, check this one out.

Freighter Flights by Drew Zachary.  Some days I just want a healing-power-of-sperm book. You know when the traumatised MC meets Mr Right, they have sex, and then all troubles are fixed…if only real life what like that. Will is a pilot on a spaceship, Tab is his mechanic, and they too run from space pirates. This book is mostly arguing and sex, it starts out with a good plot but ends up in bed LOL. And some days that’s alright.

Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts by Lyn Gala. While we’re in space, we might as well land on a planet, right? Here we have purple aliens with tails. Liam is a trader and a linguist, and he trades with Ondry, one of the Rownt (alien race). I love this story because of the cultural differences. It’s actually a BDSM story, and that’s not my thing, but I like this one. Liam is a sub, and Ondry most certainly isn’t, but it’s about living in a D/S relationship and not about the sex, and about living with an alien in a different culture of course. I’ve read this entire series, or I thought I had, because now when I went to check that I had the title right, I saw there’s a new book. Yay!

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Rarely Pure and Never Simple by Angel Martinez. This was published back in 2013, and it says it’s #1 but there isn’t a #2, I want a #2! Okay, we’re back on Earth again. Damien and Blaze are variants, humans with special talents. Damien is a human GPS and Blaze tends to blow things up with his ability to create fire. Damien isn’t doing well around people, but he has to find several variant children that have gone missing. There is also evil scientists, always a good thing. I love this one!

Seven by Adrienne Wilder. While we’re talking about evil scientists… This is a gruesome story. Seven is on the run, has been on the run for a long time, which isn’t easy when he has people with special talents hunting him. He can’t afford to get tangled up with Chase, love is not in the cards for him…or is it? This story is funny but there is also so much cruelty it’s hard to understand how anyone can do the things they do…but then again they’re not real, because they’re just characters in a book.

Falloucaust by Quil Carter. Now we’re really taking a step into the dark and gruesome. It’s been a long time since I read this story, and it hasn’t been one that I’ve re-read, but it’s hard to forget. We’re in a dystopic world where cannibalism is the new black. It’s long and, while I’ve read it’s now been edited, I read it unedited (if you want to give this a go, get yourself an edited copy). It’s unforgettable, but not for everyone! Cruel and dark and amazing LOL.

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The Dissasembled Life of Duncan Cole by S. Hart. Now we’re stepping into another subgenre – steampunk! Every time I read a steampunk story I tell myself I need to read (and write) more steampunk. This is a long read, but I love Duncan so much, and his conversations with his coffee machine. It needs to be read. There is steam, and trains, and inventions, and love, and adventure.

That’s it, people! I’ve probably forgotten a few but, at large, these are my favourite sci-fi reads. What are yours?

Max Burgers – The Best Burgers in Space

What’s your favourite burger restaurant? For the last sixteen years, MAX Burgers AB has been appointed as the most liked hamburger restaurant in Sweden…every year for sixteen years, people! That’s something, isn’t it?

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Now you’re wondering why the hell is she talking about burgers? And yeah, I admit it might seem a little strange, but I wanted you to know that here in Sweden we have this hamburger chain – and there are actually four restaurants in Norway and two in Denmark too – that’s really popular among Swedes, and it’s called MAX.

So it only seemed natural that if I were to open a restaurant in space, at say the Luna Terminal – approximately a light year’s distance from Earth – I would, of course, have to tell all the aliens that it was a human restaurant, but I’d also want them to know that I had great burgers. And here, the name MAX is associated with quality, at least when we’re talking burgers.

And if I were to open a restaurant in space, I’d need someone to run it for me, because there is no way I’d ever set foot on a spaceship. And that’s how the main character of It Doesn’t Translate was born.

Max’s Human Hamburger Bar has the best burgers in space…or at least in a light year’s distance, Max says so himself.

Max Welch grabbed onto the counter as the sound of metal soles clinking against the titanium walkway on the arcades of The Luna Terminal reached him. They shouldn’t be here yet. It had only been two days since the last time.

With a deep breath, he forced himself to relax his shoulders. When opening the Hamburger bar, Max had figured they’d be kind to him since he was the only restaurant for at least a light year—days’ worth of travelling in the fastest high-speed ships—but of course, the fucking pirates didn’t care.

Maybe they’d only come here to fuel up… Yeah, right.

Maybe they’d come to the floating city to do some grocery shopping. Pirates probably needed to stock up on necessities too, right? They couldn’t steal everything they needed.

He held on to his hope as he glanced over to where Quam sat and sipped on his coffee. Max was proud of his coffee; not many were able to get it on their menu and Max had managed to land a deal with one of the top brands. It was the real thing, not the bland laboratory-grown kind you could pick up at any space colony.

When the hollers of men jostling and laughing came close enough to make the one customer who had been enjoying a cup hurry out of his—her?—seat, Quam sighed and put down the tablet. “They’re early.”

Max swallowed and gave him a terse nod. He hated when Bair and his crew came, but he’d be damned if he was to give them the satisfaction of showing it.


It Doesn’t Translate is a Tattooed Corpse Story, so in other words, it’s a stand-alone story where at some point a body will show up, and it’s the same body you’ll find in any of the other Tattooed Corpse Stories.

ItDoesn'tTranslateGifRelease date August 31st, but you’ll find the pre-order links here:

Amazon

Smashwords

B&N

Kobo

There might even be an ARC copy or two left to grab on booksprout.co

 

Friday Reads: Angel and Firebird by Nell Iris

I picked up Angel and Firebird by Nell Iris a while ago, but I didn’t get around to reading it until now. I love a good short story, love that despite having a thousand things to do I can read a story from start to end and for a few minutes laugh or cry alongside a character. This is more of a cry story…definitely a cry story.

Angel-and-FirebirdPhoenix lost his lover, Gabriel, in a hate crime five years ago and hasn’t been able to move on. How can you? He’s functioning, goes to see his parents every week, works out, goes to work. He does what’s expected of him, but he isn’t living.

At night, his dreams are filled with memories and images of Gabriel and waking up is tearing him apart. Then there is a fire and Phoenix has to decide if he’s gonna leave the flat he and Gabriel shared to save himself…or not.

There are some heartbreaking moments in this one so if you’re in the mood for a good cry, snuggle up with some tissues.


39853288Five years ago, Phoenix lost his lover Gabriel, his angel, in a horrific hate crime. All he wanted was to follow him into death and he struggled a long time trying to get his life back together. All this time later he still hasn’t been able to put the past behind him and forget about the love of his life.

On the anniversary of Gabriel’s death—and 25th birthday—Phoenix’ apartment building catches fire. Will Phoenix do the reasonable thing, or will he rise from the ashes to reunite with his beloved angel?

Friday Reads: Winter Blossoms by Paul Iasevoli

A Friday Reads post…on a Saturday…again. I need to rethink this whole posting on Fridays, Friday is my most hectic day of the week, and while there is this thing called scheduling I have a hard time motivating myself to blog beforehand.

This morning I got up to a quiet house, almost. My husband took the kids crawfishing, so it’s just me, the cats, the fishes, the hamster, and the dog at home. I went for a short walk with the dog, made myself breakfast and a big pot of coffee and sat down to read Winter Blossoms by Paul Iasevoli.

Chris is a twenty-something young man struggling to get over a failed relationship as he’s looking for love in the New York bars. Normally, I don’t read YA or NA books, I’ve lived through the struggle of becoming an adult, I don’t want to be reminded of what it was like LOL, but this story shouldn’t be missed!

It’s so carefully crafted it almost made me feel bad for the way I haste through my stories when I write. I’ve never been to New York, and I was just a baby during the 1980s, and yet it felt as if I was there walking the streets with Chris. Beautifully done!


40801877Chris, a naïve twenty-four-year-old, breaks up with the first man he’s ever lived with. In the months that follow, he travels from Queens to The Hamptons, Manhattan to Brooklyn to find love. In the process, he discovers more about himself and realizes the man he hoped to meet has been in front of him the entire time.

Winter Blossoms will take you on a ride through the streets and subways of New York City. Every stop along the way highlights the 1980s’ vibrant, gay nightlife. Part nostalgic romp, part coming-of-age story, Winter Blossoms will delight the reader as it comes into full bloom.

Part of Seasons of Love Anthology

Release Day Once Around Seven (Nortown #5)

NortownI’m a bit out of practice, it was such a long time ago I had a release day – not since Worth His Salt in January. But, now we’re here, and it’s time to let Once Around Seven out into the world.

 Once Around Seven is the fifth story in the Nortown series. The novellas can be read as standalones, the short stories are all about Aiden and Tristan so it might be best to read them in order.

SeasonsofLove
Love follows no rules. Like sun in winter and rain in summer, love can blossom in the most unexpected places. This richly diverse collection of stories proves that love is as universal and as varied as the seasons.

Once Around Seven is part of the Seasons of Love anthology from Beaten Track Publishing. I love writing anthologies, and this time there are several authors I’ve never worked with, or even read, before so that’s great.

You’ll find the authors and stories in the anthology here:

Seasons of Love
Tourist Season by Deven Balsam
Machete Betty by Neptune Flowers
Once Around Seven by moi
Winter Blossoms by Paul Iasevoli
Year of the Guilty Soul by A.M. Leibowitz
The Great Village Bun Fight by Debbie McGowan
A Springful of Winters by Dawn Sister
Out of Season by Bob Stone
Seashell Voices by Alexis Woods
Courting Light by A. Zukowski

If you’ve read any Nortown stories before you know they’re tropy M/M romances and this is no exception. Oswald left his finacé and has been living in his car ever since, but he’s running out of money.  In Nortown he can get a job, not that really wants to, but everyone needs to eat.

Joshua notices the stranger in the parking outside Jen’s café, he isn’t looking for love, but something about Oswald pikes his interest.


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Oswald Sattle is out of money and out of options. After more than eight months of sleeping in his car, when an acquaintance from his past offers him a job opportunity in the middle of nowhere, he can’t turn it down. No matter how much he’d like to.

Joshua Roth moved to Nortown four years ago, and he has everything he needs—a job, friends, peace and quiet. He’s not interested in a relationship, or anything else that would upset the life he’s built for himself.

But sometimes fate has other plans, and a single glimpse can completely change the course of a life.

In a small town, where everyone knows everyone else’s business, reaching for what you want can feel like a risk. But some risks are worth taking.


The real release day is tomorrow but we’re making a false start on Amazon where the stories are available right now.

Nortown is growing larger…

Are you longing for the autumn? Here in Sweden, we have the hottest summer in over 150 years, our groundwater is drying up, the farmers aren’t getting any harvests, and the slaughterhouses are fully booked for months to come because farmers have nothing to feed their animals with so they have to reduce their stock. It’s a crisis.

But, in Nortown, it’s autumn. The leaves shine in fiery colours and the cold in waiting just around the corner. Oswald has been sleeping in his car for the last two hundred and seventy-three days, but now he has arrived in the town where anything can happen…at least if you’re a lumberjack LOL.

On the 31 of July, Oswald and Joshua will be released into this world, and I’m super excited because it was a long time ago since I visited Nortown, so it’s good to be back.


Once Around Seven (Nortown #5)

SmallCoverOswald Sattle has been sleeping in his Toyota Camry for the last two hundred and seventy-three days, the exact number of days since he discovered his fiancé cheating on him. Now, out of money and out of options, he’s on his way to Nortown. Aiden, an acquaintance from his past, has offered him a job opportunity he can’t turn down, no matter how much he’d like to.

Joshua Roth moved to Nortown four years ago and he has everything he needs—a job, friends, peace and quiet. He’s not looking for a boyfriend; no one even knows he’s gay, and he’d like it to stay that way. But a stranger in town has Joshua rethinking his decision.

Oswald looks like he wants to hide from the world, and Josh finds himself wanting to get him to smile, to feed him, and make everything better.

In a small town, where everyone knows everyone else’s business, reaching for what you want can feel like a risk. But some risks are worth taking.

Part of Seasons of Love Anthology


Oswald tapped his forefinger seven times against the steering wheel and looked at the clock on the dashboard. Aiden would be here soon. He glanced at the sign above the door to the massage studio next to the rundown motorway café—could he work there? He couldn’t breathe.

No!

He couldn’t stay here, couldn’t be around people. He had to leave, had to keep on going. He cast a glance over his shoulder. The mattress he’d squeezed into the back of the car, the pile of clothes, and a few sets of untouched acupuncture needles was all he owned.

Tapping his forefinger seven times against his knee, he filled his lungs with air. Breathing. That was the only thing he had to do. Just keep on breathing.

The key dangled in the ignition, but somehow the little leather owl keychain slipped between his fingers when he tried to grab it. His hand trembled as he tapped the steering wheel seven more times, but at least the tapping calmed his heart and let some more air into his system.

The sound of a door clicking shut made him glance to the left. A man hurried out of a tenement house and crossed the street. He wore grey sweats and a black T-shirt that clung to a chiselled chest. His hair pointed in every possible direction, and he was rubbing a hand over a coppery beard as he yawned. Oswald turned away, not wanting to get caught watching anyone.

A tap on the passenger side window made him jump. Fuck!

Aiden waved at him through the glass, his green eyes sparkling and his dark curls peeking out from underneath a knitted cap. Oswald forced a smile onto his lips. Fucking Aid.

Why had Aiden called him? Why couldn’t he just have forgotten about him like everyone else had?

Aiden yanked the passenger door open. “Hey, man! Come on, let me buy you a cup of coffee.” He nodded towards the café, and just as Oswald looked at the entrance, the man from the tenement house slipped inside. He quickly tore his gaze away from the man’s backside.

Once Around Seven