Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Authors: J. Scott Coatsworth
Cover Artist: Anne Caine
Format: eBook, Paperback
Release Date: 2/13/18
Genres: sci fi, mm romance, gay sci fi
Sometimes the world needs saving twice.
Xander and Jameson thought they’d fulfilled their destiny when they brought the worlds of Oberon and Titania back together, but their short-lived moment of triumph is over.
Reunification has thrown the world into chaos. A great storm ravaged Xander's kingdom of Gaelan, leaving the winged skythane people struggling to survive. Their old enemy, Obercorp, is biding its time, waiting to strike. And to the north, a dangerous new adversary gathers strength, while an unexpected ally awaits them.
In the midst of it all, Xander’s ex Alix returns, and Xander and Jameson discover that their love for each other may have been drug-induced.
Are they truly destined for each other, or is what they feel concocted? And can they face an even greater challenge when their world needs them most?
Jameson kissed Xander again, his passion fading, but his ardor for the man still in full bloom. It was good to find time for the two of them in the middle of madness.
Xander was at rest, peaceful as he floated on the surface of the water, his eyes closed and his muscles slack. His black wings trailed off below into the glow of the pond. He looked more like an angel to Jameson than he had since the first time they’d met.
Images flashed in his head—this place, other people, other times. He squeezed his eyes shut, willing them to go away.
Reluctantly they subsided. Jameson stood to get out of the water, shaking his head as if to dry his hair.
Xander pulled him back down for one more kiss. “What’s the hurry? I can still hear the storm roaring outside.”
Jameson growled. “I’m hungry. Don’t you ever get your fill?” He should have told Xander about the memories. He knew Xander saw them too, sometimes, but Jameson didn’t want to ruin the moment.
“Apparently not.” Xander let him go. “But I like to watch your backside, so I guess this is some kind of compensation.”
“Pervert.” Jameson smiled to himself. He was still sore from their exertions, but it was a good kind of sore.
He climbed up to the rock floor next to the pool, using one of the columns to steady himself. Something skittered across the edge of his vision. A bat? Or something like it? He looked after it, but it had vanished.
He went to pull his pants back on and wrinkled his nose. His clothes were filthy.
He opened his pack and grabbed a fresh set. He pulled on his underwear first, then laced up his shirt while Xander watched appreciatively. Getting dressed had been a hell of a lot easier before he’d gotten his wings. To compensate for his lack of skythane clothing, they’d raided the king’s closet, and it had been a challenge to find anything without a fur lining or silver buttons. King Theron had been a big man too—thick in the middle, if his clothes were any indication. Frowning, Jameson cinched his belt tight to hold up his pants.
“It suits you.” Xander smirked, getting out of the water and giving Jameson a full-on view of his beautiful body. He was muscled, but not overly so, his stomach firm and his body sleek. He was perfect.
Jameson felt a surge of love for Xander. He took full advantage of the unguarded moment, enjoying the show. Xander’s well-defined abs and his lopsided grin were almost enough to entice Jameson to give it another go, but the memories were messing with his head, and he really was hungry.
“Let’s eat.” Xander pulled out his own change of clothes and sniffed them.
“A little damp?”
“Yeah. Mildew from all the rain. Still, it’s better than the alternative.”
He grinned. It was a shame Xander needed to wear anything at all. “Um, food. Yeah. Sounds good.”
“We need to be ready to leave as soon as the storm lets up.” Xander pulled on his pants. “That means keeping up our strength. Getting fed, getting some sleep…. I want to look for Quince and the others, and my people need me back home. Things will be confused in Gaelan after the shift.”
My people. Jameson had his own people too, somewhere across the continent. “Things will be crazy in Oberon City too, I’d imagine.”
Xander nodded. As he finished dressing, Jameson took a look around the cavern. It was maybe fifty meters across, and half that deep, and there were dark shadows at several places near the back, leading off to other caves or rooms.
He wondered how far this cavern system went. His new gift—or curse?—wasn’t specific on details like that, though sometimes memories sprang wholly formed in his head.
Back home on Beta Tau, caverns could stretch on for hundreds of kilometers. The Great Rift system went on for at least three hundred and fifty, meaning it was theoretically possible to get from New Davos to Arctus without ever going aboveground.
He closed his eyes, trying to remember this place. The ability seemed to come and go randomly, but there had to be a way to summon it up at will. It had come to him when he needed it, but not of his own volition.
Again, there was a flickering, like something fluttering past in his peripheral vision. This time it slipped past on both sides. He looked around wildly, but there was nothing there. Not bats, then. He was losing his mind.
“What are you thinking about?” Xander asked. “You seem a little… distracted.”
“You didn’t see that?”
“Never mind.” He sighed. “It’s probably just this place. I… remember it, but I don’t.”
“I know. Since that kiss, it’s been hit and miss for me too.”
Jameson nodded. That kiss. The one at the House of the Moon, when memories had flooded through him, through Xander, like a torrent. It had been the second time for him, but for Xander….
“Do you ever… see things that aren’t there?”
“Sometimes. Quick images. Like brief overlays of the past on the present.”
“Do you see them now?”
Xander looked around. “No, nothing now. You?”
“No. I….” He stopped. Something was moving at the edge of his vision. He looked around. The cavern seemed to shift, becoming brighter. There was a weird fluttering, as if a hundred dark wings were flapping just out of sight.
“Jameson, you okay?”
Everything went fuzzy for a moment, and his stomach clenched in protest. When he could see again, golden light flickered from candles placed all around the room. Where had they come from?
He turned back to Xander, but Elyra stood there instead, grinning at him, leaning forward, her breasts like two perfect moons under her vest. “You came. I’ve been waiting for hours.” She pulled him close. He could smell her musky perfume, feel her long raven-black hair brush against his cheeks as their lips met….
The world shifted again.
The cavern was dark, lit by only the smallest blue illumination from the pool, and he was all alone. The deep, keening sadness of loss cut him with a sharp physical pain. In his left hand was a bloody dagger, and his right cupped his torn intestines.
A massive furry creature with eight arms and long teeth like a saber-toothed tiger rose up with a growl, and six eyes stared at him over its wrinkled snout. It swiped at him with a hairy paw tipped with sharp claws and he danced away….
He was out of breath, gasping for air, and covered in sweat. He held on to one of the rock columns for support, staring over his shoulder. Surely they hadn’t followed him all the way back here.
There were shouts behind him, in the main cavern, and he took a desperate gulp of air and pushed himself onward, toward the darkness at the back of the cavern….
He/They/We were joined, feeling a sense of peace and harmony at their union. He/They/We fed on the nutrients in the water, joined body and mind, and mused about the world outside and the events of the last few days. Each part of He/They/We shared its experiences out in the world, the others they had encountered before returning with their knowledge to enrich the whole. The time of the Great Move was coming….
Buy Links Etc:
Dreamspinner - eBook: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/lander-by-j-scott-coatsworth-9317-b
Dreamspinner - paperback: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/lander-by-j-scott-coatsworth-9318-b
Amazon - kindle: TBA
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Scott lives between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine, he devoured her library. But as he grew up, he wondered where the people like him were.
He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.
His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.
He runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction that reflects their own reality.
Facebook (personal): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth
Facebook (author page): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworthauthor/
QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/
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