Graven – part 4

Sorry I didn’t post on Wednesday. This week escaped me.


“Because you will always be beautiful to me.” He responded stepping closer.

The man tried to back away from the prince but unfortunately for his mate the wall stopped him from going further. “You were supposed to mate with my sister.”

Tilting his head, Graven took in the covered figure. “Why is that?”

“Our prophet said that the last one of my family would be your mate.”

“But the last one is you brother.” A familiar woman’s voice spoke behind him. A little startled that she got so close without him noticing, Graven moved away from her and nearer to the male. He only wanted one person close to him now. To inhale the scent of the one meant to be his. Excitement pulsed through his body at the thought of having someone all his own for the very first time.

“But you were supposed to be the one.” The smooth velvety voice said with a hint of a pout. “Father’s not going to like this.”

Damn, would the man’s lips be full and lush pursed in a sulky expression? Just the image in his mind was enough to make Graven hard.

Tinkling laughter came from the girl. “Father will have to adapt. The seer said the last of our line. If you take out the male/female quotient you are the last.”

Irritated with the lack of attention from the other man, the prince grabbed his mate’s arm.

“Come with me and we will discuss this in private.”

A sigh came from beneath the veil. “Is there any way to convince you this is all a big mistake?”

“No.” The prince made sure his voice was solid and firm he didn’t want any misunderstandings. This man would be his mate willing or no.

“Okay but could you have one of your men escort my sister to our hotel. I don’t want her out there alone.”

Pleased that his mate was so considerate of others Graven ordered two of his men to escort the woman.

He watched with simmering impatience as the pair exchanged hugs and the girl was sent on her way.

“Did you catch yourself a little mouse, cousin?” Dail’s voice was cold and hard but nothing could ruin this moment for Graven. His cousin yearned for Graven’s throne with an unseemly lust. Vampires couldn’t ascend the throne until they were mated. But now that he found his fated one nothing would keep Graven from his crown.

“No,” He said smugly, “I found my mate.”

“Well don’t hide her in the corner bring her on stage so we can all see. I’m sure the others want to meet your soulreen. You’ve waited so long after all.”

Damn. Visions of his family frightening off his mate filled Graven’s mind. He would kill them all if they harmed what was his.

“Sure let’s present him to the family.” He agreed with a smile as sincere as his cousin’s.

He felt a flash of pleasure when Dail missed a step. It was rare for a prince to find a male mate. In the vampire kingships’ long and rich history it had only occurred twice. Both times led to reigns still upheld as being the strongest ever.

The goddess did well by him and he hadn’t even seen his mate.

“Tell the others they can meet him later. We’ll do a presentation in an hour or so.”

After marking the man as his. No one was going to take this man away.

* * *


Steerl replayed the prophet’s words over and over in his head as he stood next to the prince. Delilah was right. The woman did say the youngest of them. The whole family just thought it was his sister since she was the last female.

That will teach them to assume anything.

Fire raced up his arm where the vampire prince touched him. He could feel the man’s warmth through the thin cloth. If the prince’s touch had this much affect on Steerl when there was fabric between them he was eager to find out what it would be like skin to skin.

The prince groaned. “You’re going to kill me if you don’t stop projecting. I’m holding on by a thread here.”

Images of fucking the vampire prince filled his head until a low growl brought an end to his fun. “I think you have things in the wrong order, my sweet.”

“No.” Steerl said. “If we’re mates and fated to be together you’re going to have to receive sometime. I’m not spending the rest of my life as your bottom boy.”

His father always said to start negotiations as you plan to go.

Throwback Thursday!


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Cebrus had thought his quest would take him to new parts of the land. He didn’t know it would lead him to the prince of his dreams. When Prince Silvan catches sight of the sexy wandmaker it’s love at first glance. However, it takes a battle, a journey and an encounter with a fantastical beast before the two lovers can find their middle ground.

Silvan is determined to do anything to marry his mate even if he has to go against a king and give up everything to keep the man he has claimed for his own.


Cebrus Starn strolled down the road with a small pack strapped to his back, a stick of wood in one hand, and a knife in the other. He whittled as he walked, flicking bits of wood behind him like a trail of breadcrumbs. The soft wood began to take shape beneath his nimble fingers as he continued to chip away at the outer bark to reveal the brighter wood hidden beneath. Several minutes later, he stopped by the side of the road to examine his work.


The rough column now fit the needed size and shape for a good-sized wand. He slipped his bag off his shoulders and set it on the ground. Crouching down, he opened his pack, pulled out a leather sheath, and slid his knife inside. He’d been taught young the value of keeping tools in their proper place and the harsh penalty for losing one. Small scars decorated his fingers, tiny reminders of his painful learning curve.

Clutching the stick in one hand, he used the other to search the bag’s inner pockets. After a few minutes of feeling through the contents, he wrapped his fingers around a shaping stone. A fond smile curled his lips as he pulled it out. One of a set of three given to him by his father, each piece helped smooth and conform the wood to create a plain, blank wand ready to be bonded to its new owner. It always served him well to have a good variety of wands prepared when he entered a new town.

Pleased he had found the right stone on his first try, Cebrus straightened, refastened his pack, then returned it to his shoulders, the soft sound of wood clattering together followed his movements.

As a wandmaker, Cebrus traveled from town to town trading his skills for food and shelter. Most wandmakers stayed in one place, plying their trade to the locals and merchants who traveled into town for their services. Cebrus’s itchy feet didn’t allow him to settle down in one location, despite his family’s disapproval of his nomadic ways. He tried to make sure he visited them once a year during festival season to help out with the influx of additional customers, but this year he’d miss it. His quest didn’t allow for backtracking or returning home halfway through his travels. If he’d even gone halfway.

He’d never met another traveling wandmaker. A shame since their specialized abilities were needed in every town and there were too few wandmakers to serve everyone. Most places had to use standard wands mass-produced by apprentice wizards and not properly matched with their new owners. Shabby bits of wood that most people didn’t realize were a step below their potential. Only high-level wizards bothered to have their wands correctly bonded because of the time and expense involved in traveling to a wandmaker.

Cebrus had no idea how close the next town might be, but the beautiful weather didn’t prod him to be too concerned about distance. There was no need to hurry, and he enjoyed the journey as much as his possible destination.

The sound of hooves had him looking up from his task to discover a team of five soldiers in full uniform riding toward him. Their large, powerful horses stirred up dust and thundered like an oncoming storm against the dry ground. He didn’t bother to hide his surprise when the men pulled to a stop before him. What could they possibly want? He didn’t have the wealthy appearance of a successful merchant or any discernible luxury about him. Stories of soldiers preying on unwary travelers drifted through Cebrus’s mind. He braced himself for possible confrontation.

“Halt, stranger.” The leader of the group blocked Cebrus’s path with his horse, his face stern and commanding.

“Is there a problem?” Cebrus examined the soldier with great interest. He’d never been stopped before. In general, people left wandmakers alone. Their special jurisdiction allowed them to travel wherever they chose.

“We’ve heard rumors a wandmaker is traveling this road. Are you that man?”

Cebrus looked at the wand in his hand, then back at the soldier and raised an eyebrow.

The soldier blushed, but quickly rallied. “Under the command of the king, I order you to accompany us to the royal palace.”

Cebrus sighed, then shook his head at the soldier. “I’m on a quest. I don’t have time for spoiled royals.”

Stepping to one side, Cebrus moved to go around the soldier’s horse. He grinned when the officious guard pointed his wand at Cebrus and muttered some garbled words Cebrus assumed created a spell.

Of course, nothing happened.

The soldier paled.

Why was it that people were never aware of the primary skill of a wandmaker? Taking pity on the confused man, Cebrus paused to explain. Maybe the soldier could pass on his knowledge to others. People were woefully uneducated these days.

“Magic doesn’t affect wandmakers. You can wave that thing all day, and it won’t do anything to me. Besides your wand doesn’t suit you. Whoever you got it from was an idiot.”

Nothing irritated Cebrus more than people who bought whatever stick someone offered to sell them under the assumption one wand was as good as another. Only a properly trained wandmaker could correctly calibrate a wand. He didn’t blame the soldier for his inferior tool. He likely had nothing else to choose from.

To Cebrus’s surprise, the soldier got off his horse to approach him.

“I’m Trelfan Fairwen, King Minr’s captain of the guard,” the soldier introduced himself.

Cebrus bowed at the introduction. “Cebrus Starn, wandmaker.”

“How can you tell my wand doesn’t suit me?” Trelfan asked.

Cebrus never knew how to explain to someone when they had a bad wand, but he gave it his best try. “Part of my ability is I can see the magical connection between wand and user. It’s a talent of mine.” Most wandmakers shared that skill, but not all. Cebrus didn’t like to brag, but his family considered him the strongest wandmaker ever born into their clan.

“What kind of wand would suit me?” The soldier obviously wasn’t going to let the subject or Cebrus go without a more thorough explanation.

Tilting his head, Cebrus focused entirely on the soldier, he let his power pour over Trelfan and waited for his magic to give a proper answer. Pulling his pack off his shoulder, he opened it again. He tucked his current blank in with the others as he searched around until he found the wand he sought. It was long, heavy, and made out of a grainy hard wood he’d come across during his travels. Perfect.

“This one.”

The soldier gave Cebrus a cynical look. “And what will it cost me to get a wand like that?”

“Your old wand. I would like to give it a home with someone who can use it. I will siphon the absorbed magic from your old wand into your new one and take the empty one with me.” Cebrus hated to waste a wand, and even though the poor quality of Trelfan’s wand offended him, Cebrus could salvage the piece.

Interest sparked in Trelfan’s eyes. “Really? That’s all you’d ask for?”

Cebrus never understood why his fee always surprised people. “My father gave me a bit of advice before I started out on my own. He told me, ‘A man who only asks for what he needs will always be wealthy.’ I don’t need much besides food, the occasional roof over my head, and a bit of coin to replace my clothes when they wear out. I’m a man of simple needs. Now would you like the wand or not? I have a bit more land to travel before I reach my stop for the evening.”

Trelfan’s face took on an even more serious mien. “Yes, thank you. Will the transfer hurt?”

“Why would it hurt?” Where did people get their foolish ideas? Preposterous.

“Because it hurt the first time.” The shadow in the soldier’s face told Cebrus all he needed to know about the other supposed wandmaker’s skill.

“Magic transfer shouldn’t be painful. It is your magic going where it belongs. I’m sorry you had someone incompetent last time.”

“Then I want to do it.” Trelfan straightened his shoulders as if he were still expecting pain despite Cebrus’s reassurance.

“Captain.” One of the other soldiers sounded like he was going to protest, but Trelfan glared over his shoulder and nothing more was said.

“Give me your old wand.” Cebrus held out his hand.

Trelfan handed it over.

“Take your new wand in your right hand and put your left on top of mine.” Cebrus held out his right hand flat while clutching the soldier’s wand in his left.

Trelfan audibly swallowed before taking a deep breath and obeying Cebrus’s command.

“Relax. This won’t hurt, I swear.” Cebrus felt a pang of sympathy for Trelfan. No one should be afraid of their own magic.

Closing his eyes, Cebrus focused on the transfer of power from wand to wand until he felt the connection click in his mind. “Transfer,” he whispered. He opened his eyes and watched the wand in his hand dim and the wand in Trelfan’s hand glow a bright white before turning back to its natural brown color.

“Wow.” Trelfan’s eyes widened.

“We’re not done yet,” Cebrus warned.

He tucked Trelfan’s old wand into his pack before turning back to the soldier. “Put your hands together with the wand in the middle. We need to connect you to your new wand and rebind it with your magic.”

Cebrus placed his hands on the outside of the soldier’s fingers. “Bond.”

The air crackled with electricity, and an intricate tree design worked its way around the wand until the carving covered the entire surface.

A soft chime sounded, and Cebrus released Trelfan’s grip. “There, all done.”

He looked at his work with the satisfaction of a job well done. The wand’s energy now aligned in perfect rhythm with the Trelfan’s magic.

Trelfan turned the wand over and over in his hand. “This…this is my family crest. How did you do that?”

Cebrus frowned. “I didn’t do it. You did. That’s what happens when a wand is matched properly.”

Personal symbols helped magic users identify their stick. How did he not know this? Cebrus couldn’t remember what Trelfan’s wand had looked like before. He just remembered it hadn’t fit the soldier.

The captain shook his head. “No one in the kingdom has any carving on their wands. I’ve never heard of this. Will the magic wear away the engraving?”

“A bit. Yours will last until you either die or you change wands again.”

Trelfan’s forehead creased, and his bushy eyebrows almost met in the middle. “Why would I change wands?”

Cebrus stared at the soldier. “Do you people know nothing about wands? You need to change your wands as you age and fine-tune them as your magic changes. If you don’t re-bond your wand every ten years, your magic will stagnate at that level.” The idea that no one in this kingdom had such essential information changed Cebrus’s mind. He couldn’t let them remain uninformed. It was almost criminal. “I will come with you after all. It’s obvious you people need some instruction.”

He’d have to put off his quest for a bit, but he’d already done it for three years, a little more time wouldn’t make much difference. Besides, the more kingdoms he could enlighten about the importance of a proper wand, the better off they would be. Although his family might not thank him for the additional work bound to come out from Cebrus’s educational tour.

Cebrus rode behind Trelfan on the soldier’s horse. He tried to concentrate on not falling off. He didn’t enjoy horse riding, mostly because horses were evil. They enjoyed tossing off their riders and stomping on them afterwards. He had a scar on his left shoulder from one such occurrence.

Trelfan spent the time enthusing over his new wand. A few of the other soldiers cast Trelfan envious looks, but maybe they figured the captain should receive special services. Cebrus silently vowed to help them later. Everyone deserved a proper wand.

Even on the back of the devil spawn, it still took almost two hours to reach the castle. Cebrus hadn’t realized he’d wandered so close to a kingdom. Generally, he avoided the royals and went directly to the townspeople. Even with protection laws in place, royals always thought they could order wandmakers around. Explaining they were mistaken never went over well. One of these days, he’d end up in a royal’s prison, but hopefully not today.

The soldiers were saluted at the gate and allowed in with only a few curious glances toward Cebrus. Maybe the soldiers brought strangers in often.

After dropping their steeds off at the stables, Cebrus was escorted to the throne room.

“He might be a bit bossy, but he’s a good king,” Trelfan swore.

The first thing that caught Cebrus’s attention was the size of the throne room. He could easily fit his entire village inside the audience chamber. The second thing he noticed was the man sitting beside the king. Tall with pitch-black hair and brilliant blue eyes, he had the build of a soldier and the sex appeal of a man Cebrus wouldn’t mind finding in his bed.

“Your majesty,” Trelfan bowed to the monarch. “I present to you Cebrus the wandmaker.”

“You’re a wandmaker?” King Minr was a big, muscular man who looked as if he could wield an axe with one hand and a sword with the other. His cool gray eyes examined Cebrus like he was an interesting bug who had mistakenly wandered into his court and might need to be smashed at any moment.

“Yes, Your Majesty.” Cebrus didn’t bow. The man wasn’t his king, after all.

King Minr frowned. “I expected you to come to me sooner, but never mind, you can still be of some use. I want you to make me a wand out of heartwood. I expect it ready in two days.” He waved his hand as if dismissing Cebrus to go carry out his request.

“Sorry but no, Your Majesty.” Cebrus gave a respectful nod, hoping to take a little sting out of his rejection. Royals never appreciated hearing no. It never failed to get Cebrus threatened with prison time. Monarchs were a pretty predictable lot overall.

“What?” The king’s shout echoed through the chamber.

Cebrus sighed. “You aren’t suited to heartwood. You would do better with iron wood.”

“I want heartwood,” King Minr insisted.

Damn, royals were stubborn.

“I won’t make an inferior wand. If you want heartwood, find another wandmaker.” It didn’t matter to him what the king demanded. He refused to make something unsuitable.

The king jumped to his feet. “I could have you killed.”

Cebrus pulled out the pendant he had hidden beneath his shirt. He hated confrontation, but that didn’t mean he’d back down. “If you don’t mind losing your kingdom and your life, go ahead.”

He hated bullies.

The king stomped over to look at Cebrus’s pendant. “Well crap, you’re a heritage wandmaker.” He paused for a moment. “So, iron wood, huh?”

Cebrus bit his lip to hold back his smile at the king’s new respectful tone. Curiosity compelled him to ask, “What kind of wand do you have now?”

“I don’t. I lost it while hunting.” The king returned to his throne.

Cebrus gaped. “You lost your wand?”

How was it even possible for someone to lose their wand?

The king blushed.

“Was your old wand heartwood?”

“Yes, and it suited me just fine,” King Minr insisted. If he weren’t a king, Cebrus would accuse him of pouting.

“Uh-huh.” Cebrus didn’t even try to hide his disdain over the king’s previous wand. He probably got it from some charlatan. Opening his sack, he pulled out the iron wood blanks he’d stuffed inside. After some contemplation of their differences, he pulled out the thickest. The king had big hands. He’d need something solid to hold.

“Put both of your hands on your wand.” He pointed where he wanted King Minr to place his grip. A few minutes later, Cebrus had the king bonded to his new wand. He also now knew the king didn’t have much magic since the transfer process took hardly any time at all.

The king stared at the piece of ironwood in shock. “It has my family crest.”

Cebrus rolled his eyes, but refrained from mentioning the king must’ve used a second rate wandmaker for his last wand. He might not like royalty, but he didn’t want to get a reputation for being too rude.

A yawn had him covering his mouth.

“Sorry, it’s been a long day.” And the king was boring, but he kept that part to himself.

The king nodded to the sexy man Cebrus had been eyeing during their entire encounter. “Silvan, escort our wandmaker to the blue room.”

Silvan raised an eyebrow at the command, but didn’t argue. Instead he walked over to Cebrus and offered his arm. Surprised by the old-fashioned show of manners, Cebrus tucked his hand in the crook of Silvan’s elbow. At the contact, a crackle of electricity went through him, and he gasped to catch his breath.

“Mmm, don’t worry, little wandmaker. I’ll take good care of you,” Silvan’s voice, filled with dark promises, sent shivers of need down Cebrus’s spine.

He cleared his throat. “Who are you exactly?” he asked as Silvan led him down the hall. He had no objection to the handsome stranger gracing his bed, and being taken care of sounded like just the thing to make this entire side trip worthwhile. However, he liked to know a bit about his bed partners in case they turned out to be psychotic killers.

“You don’t know who I am?” Silvan stopped in the middle of the walkway and turned Cebrus to face him. As he searched Cebrus’s expression, a look of wonder filled his eyes. “You really don’t know me.”

“Should I?” Maybe Cebrus should’ve known one of the king’s companions was half a load short of a cartful, but he didn’t exactly follow castle gossip in any kingdom. He didn’t like it when people talked about him. Why would he encourage that sort of rumormongering from others? He didn’t really care who Silvan was, as long as he knew what to do in bed.

A wide smile brightened Silvan’s dark features. “I don’t believe it. The fortuneteller didn’t lie. I did meet the one man who didn’t know me.”


“Don’t think so much of yourself. I’m sure there are others who haven’t seen your face before. No one is that famous.” Cebrus frowned at the impudent man even as a dawning suspicion grew. But surely the king would’ve mentioned…

“Ah, you finally figured it out,” Silvan said, a smile spreading across his face.

“You’re the crown prince.” Cebrus was ready to accept his award for dumbest man in the kingdom. Only someone royal would share the throne dais with the king. He blamed the long day of travel for his idiocy. He searched his mind for details about this particular kingdom and drudged up a few facts from his memory.

The prince was known for leading a successful battle against the troll rebellion, for single-handedly negotiating a treaty with the giants, and for being the best strategist in any kingdom. He thought he’d heard a story about Silvan enjoying both men and women, but gossips rarely got those sorts of details right.

“I see you figured it out. I knew you were a bright lad,” Silvan teased. His brilliant eyes glowed with approval.

Graven – part 3

Prince Graven smelled the hint of his mate and everything in his body seized. After all the fruitless years of searching, his mate was in the room. He could feel it in every pour of his body. Dormant hunting instincts surged into overdrive as the mating urge overtook him.

“Close the doors. Seal the room.” He roared, his deep voice echoing off the walls.

Damn it was hard to focus with his body vibrating like mad. Four hundred years old and he was as anxious as a guy on his first date.

Too impatient to wait for the procession to come to him, Graven leapt from the throne and worked his way down the line not even trying to hide that he was taking in their scents.


After Graven finished with each group he motioned for the guards to release them. Most were reluctant to go, eager to see who would be the prince’s new mate. However a show of arms from the stone-faced warriors kept them on the move.

Frustration gave way to anger when an hour passed and he was no closer to finding his mate. There were still too many people around and his mate remained hidden.

The elusive scent slapped him in the face again. Grabbing the arm of a tall figure he leaned in to sniff.

Disappointment speared through him when he felt the soft upper flesh of the arm.

A woman.

Somehow it was a man he always dreamed of when he thought of his mate. But if this was what fate decreed he would bow his head to a higher authority.

Leaning over he breathed in the woman and caught a scent of his mate.

Not her but someone close to her, someone who had touched her recently.

“Did you touch someone before coming to me?

“Just my brother. He gave me a hug.” Her voice had a go to hell tone that Graven appreciated. All the fawning got to him after a while. His heart slammed against his chest at the word brother.

“And where is this brother of yours?” Graven purred, pleased when he saw a shudder go through the woman. He might prefer men but it was always nice to know he had an affect on both sexes.

“Over in the corner.” The woman waved a hand towards the northern side of the room.

Not giving his prey time to move, Graven leapt through the air and landed in front of the only figure standing between a potted plant and an upholstered bench. “Hello beautiful.”

A warm, nervous laugh came from the veiled figure. “What makes you think I’m beautiful?”

The voice was smooth and sweet, a seductive siren song, luring the prince forward. Graven leaned closer inhaling the man’s scent, his cock hardening so fast he felt lightheaded.



Throwback Thursday!


Amazon | Pride Publishing | B&N | ARe

Sometimes the perfect man is the one determined to give you away.

Tucker Right has loved Norman Wells since the first day they met, but the mercenary believes the beautiful scientist needs a gentler soul to care for him.

Determined to find his friend the perfect man, Tucker is astonished to learn Norm has no intention of being set up.

When the mob targets Norm for his scientific breakthroughs Tucker has to step up and claim the man who had every intention of Catching Mr Right.



Continue reading “Throwback Thursday!”

Graven – part two

Sorry this is my first post of the week. I’m still battling this horrible cold. Hubby blames the children for the infiltration of germs. LOL

* * * *

Steerl shrugged tossing the thought from his mind as he focused on his true purpose. “My sister here is concerned that a mate wouldn’t find her attractive. Perhaps you could set her at ease.” He whipped back her veil for the knight to get a good look at his attractive sibling.

The soldier’s smile had a kindness at odds to the huge sword strapped to his hip. “You would appeal to many, dear lady.” He said in a deep voice “Whether you’ll appeal to the prince I don’t know but if you’re still available after visiting his chambers I’d be happy to escort anywhere you wish to go.”

It would take a bigger person than Steerl to resist digging his elbow into his sister’s rib. “See baby girl I told you we’d find you a mate.”

“Shut up.” His sweet sister said kicking him with unladylike force. Wrapping a hand around his arm she repositioned her veil and dragged him off.. “I can’t believe you did that.”

Steer laughed. “Well at least we know you’re attractive to vamps and now you have a backup groom.”

Delilah giggled, poking him rudely in the ribs to let him know that she wasn’t mad at his interference. After all if a beloved brother can’t cause embarrassment where was the fun?

The line to the throne room was long but it went quickly since each person was only given a second with the prince. Apparently it some sort of karmic association let the prince know his mate when he found her. Since the prince was four-hundred years old and they did this ceremony every year Steerl thought it might be time for the man to try something new.

As soon as they entered the room all Steerl’s attention went to the man on the dais. Even sitting he looked huge. Ropy muscles strained the seams of the silvery shirt stretched across his chest, while black leather pants outlined the man’s thick muscular thighs.

A need so strong it almost buckled his knees hit Steerl like a boulder to the gut. He felt a compelling urge to run up there and lick his way across that muscular chest. It took more effort than it should to hold back from leaping up to the throne and throwing himself at the gorgeous prince.

Steerl wondered if others felt the same level of want and need currently pulsing through his body. Was this a long line of horny women waiting to fling themselves at the muscular feet of the stud on the throne?

Barely restraining a laugh, he followed his sister as they moved up the line. The veils prevented him from viewing other petitioner’s faces but he could almost see the pheromones drifting through the air.

“I’ll wait in the corner by the door. Come get me when you’re done.” There were more than enough guards to see to his sister’s safety. With all of the hormones rushing through his system it was a good idea to put more space between him and prince stud if he wanted to keep his dignity and not ruin his sister’s chances.

Delilah nodded her head before turning back towards the prince. “He’s really handsome isn’t he?”

“Sure if you like the gorgeous, green-eyed immortal type.” Steerl teased.

Exchanging a quick hug he left her to go hide in the corner out of the way of the stampeding herds.


Welcome Guest J Scott Coatsworth!


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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.




Smoke, by Zev de Valera

He rubbed his temples and squinted at the soft light of his surroundings through the fans of his thick eyelashes. The last drink had been a mistake.

Was that a shaker he’d felt, or the onset of a hangover?

He clutched a silken pillow and waited.

Suddenly, he felt his home tremble; a few pieces of glass

and ceramic ware teetered and then fell to their demise.

Shit. This is the real thing.

With an effort, he hauled himself from his bed.

How many years had it been since the last one?

Sixty? Seventy?

The shaking ceased, and he looked around his small dwelling.
A model unit when he’d purchased it. Now filled with the result of years of collecting: a gramophone, a first generation television set, a water clock. And much more. All of it all had sentimental value—as did the photos of the various men that sat atop or alongside the items in his collection. Some of these men had loved him. All of them had once owned him. Now he owned their memories. That was the bargain.

Another shake. Followed by several unnerving tilts. He willed his cherished possessions to remain in place and willed himself into sobriety and a more becoming appearance as he prepared himself for work.

What to wear?

He selected a red brocade tunic and pants. A classic look always worked best for the initial consultation.

A resounding thud.

He peered up into the small shaftway at the center of the ceiling.

A pop.

Then a small circle of light at the end of the shaft.

He sighed, folded his arms, and transformed into a cloud of red smoke.

Up and away to meet his new master.



Throwback Thursday!


Amazon | B&N | ARe | Amber Kell Books

Sammy Dunn had always dreamed of being a musician. When his mother’s employer offers to pay for his music school in exchange for Sammy to return he agrees.

Jonah Croft had longed for someone like his boyfriend Sammy his entire life. When Sammy disappears Jonah refuses to let his vanishing go unremarked but what he discovers when he finds him changes his entire world view.

Will love prevail or will evil tear the lovers apart?


Sammy Dunn tapped at the piano keys seeking the right combination, trying to match the sounds in his head to the pattern beneath his fingers. The music drove him. It whispered in his ear a steady, insistent chatter he tried to write down before it vanished. Sometimes the sounds overwhelmed him, and he had to stop, close his eyes, and take deep breaths until he could focus on one note of music at a time.

He pulled one more string of sound from his head and scribbled down the marks in a furious rush of motion. His pencil broke, and he almost cried. The tune spun dizzily around in his brain.

“Shh, boy, calm down. It’ll be fine. You’ll get it.”

Sammy glanced over his shoulder. Mr. Strassford, his mother’s boss, stood behind him. Age wrinkled the skin around his eyes and deep grooves lined his mouth, but his eyes held a kind light.

“Sorry, sir, I didn’t mean to disturb you.” His hands shook and rustled his music sheets. He’d been given permission to use the piano while his mother cleaned, but maybe Strassford didn’t approve after all.

“You should be in a music school. You’re very talented.” Mr. Strassford tapped a piano key as he spoke.

Sammy bit his lip and hunched his shoulders. “We can’t afford it.”

He’d begged his mother to send him to a boarding school on the East Coast. They had the best music school in the United States. She’d cried for two days after she had to admit she couldn’t afford to send him.

He never brought it up again.

“I hate to see talent wasted. I will pay for your schooling if you promise to come back and visit me on your twenty-first birthday.”

“Why then?” Although his heart sped up at the opportunity, his instincts twanged warily at the strange request. No one gave away anything for free. His mother taught him that with her hard work.

“Because that is the price of understanding your gift. Everything has a cost, my boy. Everything.”

Sammy didn’t trust Strassford. Although the offer appeared good on the surface, the price might prove too high. He only knew of one person he could trust unconditionally. “I’ll talk to my mom.”

Two days later, he was off to school.