Re-Release: No Sacrifice by Grace R. Duncan

Welcome back to Grace R. Duncan with the re-release of contemporary M/M romance new Sacrifice! It’s re-edited, with a swanky new cover, but still has the story and characters I love from its original release and my reread a few years ago!

Points of interest: bisexual MC, chosen family/blood family themes, Hollywood, music, Hawai’i, fun and varied cast with memorable secondary characters as well as the main couple. It’s also longish for a contemporary romance novel, and worth every page. Check out the blurb etc below!


No one gets to live your life but you.

Out now at Amazon and on Kindle Unlimited!


 
You can find No Sacrifice here.
 

About No Sacrifice:

Patrick has taken his acting talents from high school all the way to a role in a major television show. But as the show progresses, his life of absolute certainties crumbles when he finds himself reacting to the kisses of his male costar. He refuses to accept it, reminding himself he’s happily married to a woman and has a sweet son, Avery. So, straight. Right?

One night he goes to drink his worries away and meets the gorgeous Chance Dillon. After too many drinks, Patrick spills his problems to Chance, who helps him realize he’s probably bisexual, and the new understanding helps him sleep better. It turns out Chance is a sound technician on the same set, and the two become fast friends.

Their friendship grows, Patrick’s marriage ends, and he returns from his family’s home in Hawai’i with Avery who captures Chance’s heart. Patrick and Chance’s romance blossoms, giving both dreams of a life together as a family of three. When Patrick is outed by the press to his unaccepting mother, he pushes Chance away to spare him the mess Patrick’s life has become. By the time he realizes his mistake, it may be too late.
 
About the author:

noh8Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

As someone who loves to travel and see new places, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Website FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoodreads

Guest Post: Forgiveness by Grace R. Duncan (Forbes Mates Rerelease Tour, complete with giveaway!)

Today, it’s my pleasure to host Grace R. Duncan for a peek at Forgiveness, a beautiful destined mates M/M shifter romance, which is book 4 in the recently rereleased Forbes Mates series.

Check out the exclusive excerpt, fanart, giveaway, and other posts on the tour, which travels through all the available books!

Nine years ago Eric Joyce went wolf when his chosen mate broke the bond, and he hasn’t walked on two legs since. Convinced he lost his friends when he ran out on them, he cut himself off from the pack. But a surprising visitor prods him back down the mountain, and he finds himself welcomed warmly.

Ben Arellano grew up in Texas with a human, Catholic mother who didn’t understand a thing about wolves–and didn’t try to learn. He spent his whole life being told his wolf was a demon that needed to be exorcised, surrounded by a wolf pack made up of good ole boys who had no tolerance for his Mexican ancestry or his bisexuality. When he’s given the opportunity to relocate to an accepting pack in Pittsburgh, he jumps at the chance.

When Eric and Ben meet for the first time, neither is ready for it and realize they are destined mates. While Ben expects rejection, Eric is convinced yet another mate will leave, break the bond, and put him through the same hell all over again. Can they get past their reservations and have a happily mated life?

In this excerpt, we follows Ben into the forest while he tries to deal with circumstances he can’t control. He meets an… interesting person there…


Ben ran. He knew he couldn’t run from the frustration at his limitations, the anger at his failings, but he couldn’t stop himself from trying.

It’s not going to happen overnight, dude. It took me months to be able to do some of this, and that’s with a linked mate and a shitload of patience from him. Chad’s words echoed in Ben’s ears, but they didn’t have the effect on him he was sure Chad was going for.

He wasn’t a pup. He was a grown man—wolf—and had had years, not months, to get this stuff right. More than twenty years had passed, in fact, since he’d been capable of learning what it meant to be a wolf. He was smart; he knew that. Hadn’t he graduated with honors from both high school and college? He’d passed his CPA exam with top scores. Why couldn’t he seem to get this?

As Ben came into a clearing, he stopped to take it in, marveling at the beauty of the tiny space. A stream came in on the east, curving and leaving again to the south. Trees gave way to sunshine, allowing it to warm the grass that filled the area.

He wandered over to the stream and took a drink, then turned back, moving into the center of the clearing again. With a sigh he lay down in the sun and closed his eyes.

Why couldn’t he seem to get this? What was so different?

You believe there’s so much more depending on this.

Ben opened his eyes and blinked into the sunlight. The voice in his head had not been his own. As he sat up, a figure seemed to materialize across the clearing. Female, that was all he could determine at first. As she stepped forward, it seemed as if her bare feet didn’t even disturb the grass. Her long dark hair spilled over one shoulder, not quite covering the quiver on her back. Simple clothes adorned her—a tunic and plain pants that Ben thought were called leggings—and very little else except for the bow that went with the quiver.

She stopped, knelt in front of him, and ran her hand over his head. Ben closed his eyes as she petted him. Who was she? Where did she come from? She didn’t feel like other humans did, when he’d been in wolf form. She didn’t smell like them either. What was different about her?

“I know you don’t know me, but I understand your struggles, little one.”

When she cupped his face, Ben opened his eyes again. He considered shifting to talk to her, but as soon as he had the thought, he knew he wouldn’t be able to. His wolf wasn’t going to cede control in that moment. Letting that go, Ben turned his attention back to the woman and tilted his head in confusion.

“You were taught I don’t exist. I understand that. But hear me now and try to believe. His fear is not because of you. His worry is not of your making. He will figure this out soon. Just have a little more patience.”

Ben tried, maybe a little desperately, to accept her words. Is that true? Is this really not the problem?

“No, little one, it isn’t. Trust in your bond, trust that I have put you together for a reason.” She bent forward and kissed the top of Ben’s head. Ben closed his eyes as warmth and a sense of calm filled him. “Just a little longer.”

When he opened his eyes, she was gone. He sniffed, but the odd scent had disappeared as well, and there was nothing to show she’d ever been there. He lay back down, once more resting his head on his paws.

Was that who he thought it was? Had he just met their goddess? Why?

Patience, little one….

Ben thought about what she’d said, about his own fears. Was he right to worry? Was he right to fear?

But the frustration and confusing emotions he’d had earlier had eased quite a bit. There was still a nagging doubt in the back of his mind, but he wasn’t nearly as sure anymore that his own lack as a wolf was such a problem.

Could he accept that? Could he let it go and simply wait? How much longer would it be?

The feel of her kiss on his head ghosted through him, and he wondered.


I hope you enjoyed the peek into Forgiveness! Remember to go look for Forgiveness at Amazon with the rest of the Forbes Mates series. During the celebration, Devotion (book one) is on sale for 99¢. And the whole series is also available on Kindle Unlimited!

Finally, Grace is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky reader. Check out the Rafflecopter giveaway below and make sure to complete all of the entries to increase your chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Follow this link and also see below for locations and dates for the Rerelease Celebration.

Author Bio:

Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.noh8

As someone who loves to travel and see new places, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Website FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoodreads

Florentine, by Mazarin Stone: M/M BDSM Romance, releasing 01/28/2020

Today, I’m happy to host Mazarin Stone, whose debut novel, Florentine, releases on January 28th! Florentine is a beautifully written M/M BDSM romance (I devoured my copy when it arrived early!). In this guest post, Mazarin’s sharing about her development of protagonist Mahiro’s distinct aesthetic, which both fleshes out his character and enriches his and Alex’s story.

 

 
One of my very favorite parts of writing has to be adding all those tiny little touches that flesh out a character, that makes them a fully formed person with not just hopes and dreams and preferences, but personality and quirks and tastes, beyond what you might learn about them through the plot of my books.

Mahiro, the main character of my novel, Florentine, has been one of my absolute favorites. Not only is Mahiro a native-born Japanese man living in the US for the last 10 years, but he’s also interested in history and the British Victorian aesthetic. I thought it fitting – as Brits were absolutely fascinated with the Japanese aesthetic during the Victorian period, why not flip the tables and have Mahiro, and his best friend Adam (son of Chinese immigrants) both be interested in history? And how better to really reinforce that aesthetic throughout, than by choosing specific toys and furniture that recur so often that they become characters in and of themselves, like the black leather Victorian chase longue in Mahiro and Adam’s playroom, a piece that comes back in use again, and again:

 

Mahiro walks behind him and releases his bindings with a quick tug. All the ropes fall clear of his hands with a slight shimmy, and Mahiro checks his wrists. Just a slight tinge of pink and barely an imprint.

“Go lie on that lounge, Alex,” Mahiro says and directs him to a leather Victorian-style fainting couch. “And let me watch you. I want to see what you like.”

Alex stands rather quickly, almost too quickly if the first stumbling step he takes is any indication. Mahiro steadies him with a hand on his arm until the head rush passes and helps him lie down on the lounge. “Will you stay close?” Alex asks, already reaching into his underwear. “Will you… will you touch yourself too?”

“I may, depending on how nicely you do,” Mahiro says, palming himself as Alex watches him with heated eyes. Of course you’re going to touch yourself. Who are you even fooling with this nonsense? “Give me a show, Alex. Make me want it.”

 

One of my favorite pieces to find was Alex’s gold and white Venetian masquerade mask for the play party. It took me days and days, combing through masks on google that would be beautiful, but not gaudy; gold and white, but not tacky; and masculine, yet still soft and vulnerable. In the end, the one I found was absolutely perfect, and now has become a symbol in its own right, now being used as my own avatar on Twitter.

Everything, from Mahiro’s black suede floggers to Alex’s gold and crystal nipple clamps, was chosen to convey a very specific sort of aesthetic, a bent toward a beautiful, Gothic sort of look, a suggestion of candlelight and foggy nights and dark-cloaked men whispering in your ear. All of those pieces contribute to the things that mark Mahiro’s character, that round him out and make him feel real. It can be a bit time consuming to find those things that fit (and sometimes a great way to procrastinate writing!) but having those references hit refrains in the narrative, builds a picture in a reader’s mind and helps to immerse them more fully in your story. Spending the time is absolutely worth it.

Starting on January 28, 2020, I will be publishing one link/picture a day of all the things I found for Florentine that I can’t wait to share with readers. Furniture, clothing, toys, locations! Come join me at http://twitter.com/mazarin_stone.

 
You can find Florentine at Dreamspinner Press – https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/florentine-by-mazarin-stone-11500-b or from Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Florentine-Mazarin-Stone-ebook/dp/B082466MW8
 

Florentine – Blurb

Mahiro became a professional figure skater for one reason—to be near the object of his lust from the time he was a teenager, Alex Breschi. But he never advanced far enough for Alex to notice him. Now Alex is retired from skating and working as a thriller author, while Mahiro gracefully bowed out of competition years before to become a successful app developer and practicing Dom in New York City.

Reality and fantasy collide at a penthouse play party when Mahiro meets his idol. Alex is researching a book, and he wants to learn more about the lifestyle. In fact, he wants to be trained as a submissive. By Mahiro.

Mahiro knows it’s a terrible idea. He’s hardly objective, and Alex is a novice. Still, all those years of longing shatter his reserve, and he cannot refuse to have the man of his dreams in his hands. Alex will certainly notice him now, and since Alex is returning to Russia in a few months, Mahiro can have some fun without divulging his past… or his obsession. What does he have to lose?

Just his heart.

About Mazarin Stone:

Mazarin Stone has been a voracious reader since the age of four but didn’t start writing until her thirties. She spent most of her life split between the sunny beaches of Florida and the cornfields of Indiana, until she got married and settled into life in Indianapolis. When she’s not battling her dog over nose-tweeting on her laptop’s touchscreen or shuttling her son to three different sports at a time, she’s an environmental scientist, amateur historian, Sherlock Holmes aficionado, baseball fan, and desperately obsessed with Victorian Era fashion and architecture. This is her first novel, and she’s excited to share her life’s second act with readers.

You can find Mazarin Stone on Twitter.

Music & World Behind and Home Ahead

Sometimes a song plants the seed of a story in my mind. My earliest example is a songfic (in the “lyrics interspersed with prose” style of the early 2000s) for The Matrix set to When Tomorrow Comes by The Eurythmics. It’s lost to a dead hard drive from before I thought to back up my writing. My most recent song-inspired plotbunny (which I may never write) is a character study of Victor of Yuri!!! On Ice experiencing depersonalization, based on Billie Eilish’s disturbing Bury a Friend.

World Behind and Home Ahead, my contribution to Queer Sci Fi’s Migration anthology, is not a story born from a song. But several songs came to mind when I was editing and trying to decide on a title. Story titles that are excerpts from lyrics are something I’d seen a lot of recently and I liked the idea, especially because I find coming up with original title ideas difficult.

At first I tried to find something suitable from Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years. But though the song is lovely, it didn’t really make me think of my lady gays beyond a few concepts (being brave in part for someone else’s sake, undying devotion). And I didn’t like any of the lyrics for a title (One Step Closer was the closest and I didn’t feel it fit well enough).

A song that felt more thematically in line with the story was One Foot by Walk the Moon. I could envision my lady gays embodying the song’s characters, and my narrator being the song’s narrator, when I heard it a few days into edits (I took many more days editing than writing partly because I had many betas, partly because I needed a title and was indecisive). The song felt like it fit my characters fairly literally, even with the song’s characters being implied as a M/F couple, with the singer being male and referring to himself being king and his love being queen. My narrator is the kind of lady who cares little for traditional gender roles, so I doubt she’d mind being referred to as a king or queen! This song became a sort of anthem for the story, and I listened to it many times when finishing up edits and beyond.

But though the concepts (“us against the world” mentality, having each other’s backs, hearts/love protecting from loneliness/wilderness, one step at a time) fit the story I was telling, none stood out to me as a title.

I don’t recall what made me think of the line “home behind and world ahead” from a Tolkien poem/song (probably thinking of my bestie Grace Duncan sometimes using song lyrics as titles and being a major LoTR fan), but I remember having a eureka moment and looking it up to see if the opposite direction of travel was also in the song. It was. And as my narrator is traveling through the unwelcoming world to her new home with her lady love, “world behind and home ahead” became the title. Amusingly enough though, I haven’t listened to the song version of the poem since writing the story!

I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes peek at the songs behind my lady gays!

Here’s more info about the anthology this story appears in, and where you can get a copy:

MI-GRA-TION (noun)

1) Seasonal movement of animals from one region to another.

2) Movement of people to a new area or country in order to find work or better living conditions.

3) Movement from one part of something to another.

Three definitions to inspire writers around the world and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell. Here are 120 of our favorites.

Migration feaures 300 word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum,

About Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction:

Every year, Queer Sci Fi solicits stories around a one-word theme. We receive hundreds of entries with almost as many possible interpretations, and we choose some of the best for this annual anthology. Migration is book five in this anthology series.

Where to find Migration:

Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TX2WMXQ
Amazon Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1732307563
iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1471834289
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/migration-j-scott-coatsworth/1132393683;jsessionid=E570B49A0E713D6F306BCAB9F9760EB4.prodny_store01-atgap10
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/migration-19
QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/book/migration/

Blog Tour Stop: Hope, by Grace R. Duncan

Cover art by Jess Small

 

First, of course, many thanks to Sara for giving me space on her blog today!

One of my favorite part of the writing process is research and more specifically picking out the locations for my stories. I love finding houses or apartments or hotels or whatever to set my characters loose in. I can spend ridiculous amounts of—sometimes too much—time poring over maps or travel guides to find just the right place.

Hope takes place in several different locations, but only a couple of them are long-term. The boys start in LA, in Miguel’s family home, though they don’t stay there for long (not even a full 24 hours before they get on the road). Over the course of the next two days, they pass through a lot of places, but it’s not until the end of the 48 hours that they land somewhere.

What led me here was the realization that I hadn’t actually named most of the packs in the Forbes Mates series. There was, of course, the Forbes pack, and I had Finley’s, Jamie’s, and Miles’s original packs. But that was about it. So, I realized I needed to find the packs Miguel and Luis would pass through, which finally helped me find the pack names and where they might land.

One of my favorite locations in all of the Forbes series is where the boys end up for a while. They find a place in New Mexico’s Gila pack (named after the Gila National Forest in the western side of New Mexico), in a small lodge outside of Silver City (and where the alpha and his mate are located).

 

Credit: Here

 
Bear Mountain Lodge (https://bearmountainlodge.com/) popped out at me. Bonus points because it had a very rich history, having changed hands and been used for a number of different things over the course of its history (https://bearmountainlodge.com/aboutthelodge/lodge-history/). What really struck me is that over the course of time there, all of the history could easily work for a wolf couple. In fact, Mike and Beth very well could have been the same owners, considering how they could have outlived the general residents and even gone away, then come back with none the wiser. While I don’t state their ages, Miguel and Luis both notice that they are somewhat older—actually showing signs of age, which says that both were at least past middle age for a wolf—likely more than 150 years old. The lodge itself dates back to 1910, which means that Mike and Beth could easily have owned it from the beginning.

I didn’t have a lot of time to describe most of the area, but I did include a few bits, including the lobby:

 

Credit: Here

 

The dining room:

 

Credit: Here

 

And while I don’t describe it, I do mention they have the opportunity to wolf out in the forest beyond the hiking trails:

 

Credit: Here

 

I had a lot of fun researching this one. Probably too much, but it’s definitely one of the perks of being a writer: being able to travel, even when you can’t physically visit!

Thanks again to Sara for the space and her time! Hope you enjoyed traveling with the boys. ❤

 

* * *

 

Hope, part of the Forbes Mates series
Length: 13,000 words
Genre: m/m paranormal shifters

 

Miguel Garcia and Luis Rodriguez have been best friends all their lives. For the last year, they’ve been hiding the fact that they’re also destined mates. When Luis’s family finds out, they kick him out. Miguel’s family would keep them… except their alpha has been known to be downright violent against gay wolves.

With the help of Miguel’s mother, they set out to find a pack that will accept them. They run into more that a few obstacles before they end up in Denver, at the national wolf headquarters, meeting the alpha prime. They’re stunned to find, not only offers to join more than one pack, but that their struggle can shine light on a bigger problem–and make things better for LGBT wolves across the country.

 

Hope is available on September 6, 2019 exclusively at Amazon and on Kindle Unlimited.

 

And check out the upcoming blog tour appearances below!

 

noh8About Grace:

Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Website FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoodreads

Cover reveal: Hope, by Grace R. Duncan

Sara’s note: Look at that gorgeous cover by Jess-Small.com! It fits right in with the rest of the covers for the Forbes Mates series. Though Hope can be read as a standalone story, it’s part of the Forbes Mates shifter universe, and takes place chronologically after the fourth book, Forgiveness.

Also, though this is a re-release/second edition of a story previously published in a charity anthology, it’s undergone significant edits. This edition of Hope has some changes and additions that seriously improve upon the original story (and I’m not just saying that because I suggested additions and helped with edits, heh).

Can’t wait for this to come out to get a taste of destined mates shifter goodness by Grace? Check out the rest of the series! Ditto for if after this comes out and you read it, you want more of the universe!

And now, on to more info and an excerpt:

Hope, by Grace R. Duncan
Cover Art by Jess Small
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 12,000 words
Release date: September 6, 2019


 
Miguel Garcia and Luis Rodriguez have been best friends all their lives. For the last year, they’ve been hiding the fact that they’re also destined mates. When Luis’s family finds out, they kick him out. Miguel’s family would keep them…except their alpha has been known to be downright violent against gay wolves.

With the help of Miguel’s mother, they set out to find a pack that will accept them. They run into more that a few obstacles before they end up in Denver, at the national wolf headquarters, meeting the alpha prime. They’re stunned to find, not only offers to join more than one pack, but that their struggle can shine light on a bigger problem–and make things better for LGBT wolves across the country.

When they pulled into the Phoenix station, Miguel found himself annoyed that there didn’t seem to be anything nearby. He’d spent so much time in a city—a real, big city, with a McDonald’s and an In-N-Out on every corner—that to step outside and see nothing besides the bus station but an airport and desert was disheartening.

He shoved the thought off and found the text from his mamá with the Tonto alpha’s phone number. In a few moments, he had directions to a McDonald’s a little distance away by city bus and where to pick it up. They stored their bags in a locker and headed out.

But barely two hours later, he and Luis were once more waiting for a bus, this time with an even less friendly suggestion to move on. He couldn’t say the alpha was hostile necessarily, but the curled lip he got when he saw Miguel and Luis holding hands had said enough. The meeting had been very short, very tense, and ended with the alpha telling them there was a 2:45 a.m. bus from Phoenix going east and they “had better be on it.”

Miguel was already tired of that reaction. While the pack in Palm Springs hadn’t been nearly as mean, he knew quite well it was because they were same-sex mates. Three packs, so far—their original and two others—hadn’t wanted them.

“Maybe we shouldn’t tell them, Miguel.”

Miguel sighed and kissed the top of Luis’s head. “I was just thinking something like that. If we didn’t, if we maybe… made something up about why we left, perhaps we could at least stay for a while.”

Luis nodded. “We’ve only been gone, what… two days?”

Miguel had to think. “Just over twenty-four hours, actually.”

“Damn. It feels a lot longer.” Luis shook his head.

“It doesn’t help that we haven’t really slept. With any luck, Gila will want us. Or at least, let us stay for a bit. Maybe we can get jobs to earn some money.”

“That would be good. How much do we have left?”

Miguel pulled out the cash they still had and carefully counted it, while trying not to be obvious that was what he was doing. The bus station was fairly empty, but he didn’t want to start anything, especially because the best way he had to defend himself and Luis involved claws and fangs. “After the tickets to Deming, just over a hundred dollars. The tickets from Deming to Silver City are another thirty for the two of us. We could see about selling Mamá’s ring in Silver City, if we need to.”

“Let’s… let’s not do that until we are out of money.”

Hugging Luis close, Miguel nodded. “Yeah, I don’t want to either, if we can help it.”

They fell silent, occasionally glancing at the television in the corner, while keeping an eye on the Border Patrol officer sitting in another corner. They both had US driver’s licenses, but that didn’t mean much if he wanted to cause problems for them. He reminded himself to speak English. Then, trying not to worry, Miguel did his best to simply enjoy holding Luis. Luis’s breathing evened out, and Miguel did what he could to resettle his mate in the horribly uncomfortable metal nightmares they called bench seats.

He wasn’t sure if he was more relieved or more nervous when they could start lining up for the bus. He so wanted Gila to be where they could stay, if for no other reason than they could stop moving from place to place for a while. He buried both emotions so he didn’t alert Luis to anything, and they got in line.

 

 
noh8Author Bio:

Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Website FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoodreads

New release: Migration anthology, including World Behind and Home Ahead by Sara Testarossa

 
Big news: it’s release day for my first published story! I’m thrilled that my story was chosen as one of the flash fiction pieces for Migration, this year’s installment of Queer Sci-Fi’s annual anthology.

I’m honored to be in such good company – I’ve read and adored pieces by several of the folks whose stories are in this anthology. I’m looking forward to reading theirs, as well as those from new-to-me authors!

The profits for this anthology are used to keep QSF running. It’s a great community resource for authors and fans of speculative fiction featuring queer characters. More details on the anthology and buy links are later in this post, but before that, I want to talk about my journey to having my first original piece published.

J. Scott Coatsworth has invited me to participate in the flash fiction contest every year, and has always been encouraging about it. This is the first year that his message made me think, “you know what? I’m gonna do this thing.” So, thanks to Scott for the gentle nudge.

My piece is a F/F paranormal story. The contest description said that in the past a large portion of the stories had been M/M sci-fi, and that more variety of character identities and subgenres would be great. That, plus having already wanted to get back into writing queer female characters, was enough to decide on an identity to focus on. How to incorporate the theme came quickly to me, and I started out brainstorming a horror piece involving zombies. But it became clear that my ideas for that world were too much to put into a scant 300 words. So, I changed subgenres, and was able to write the first draft in one sitting. I won’t say more on the plot, because my hope is that part of the fun for readers will be picking up hints along the way until everything falls into place.

For weeks, the document title for this story was “lady gays”, because the phrase made me happy. But it didn’t sound like a title. I ended up nitpicking edits for days longer than the story needed, because coming up with titles is difficult for me. Grace Duncan – my bestie and one of my beta readers – lovingly suggested I just submit it because it was good to go. I explained I’d been stalling to buy time to decide on a title. I’d been brainstorming about song lyrics that might fit the story, because I’ve been reading a lot of great fanfics with song-lyric titles, but had come up empty. Then (possibly because Grace is a huge LoTR universe fan) I remembered “World Behind and Home Ahead”, a line from a Tolkien poem/song. It fit both the story and the anthology theme in general, so I titled the piece, quadruple checked that I’d followed all the formatting guidelines, and emailed the story to QSF.

I had a lot of support while working on this story – the aforementioned Grace and my fandom friends Sintina, Dommi, and verity (all of whom are folks whose writing I adore) were instrumental as beta readers and editors. I can’t thank them enough for helping me polish this piece. I also am so grateful for the more general feedback and cheering on I got from my partner, dad, coworkers, and a few other friends & family members who read it before I sent it in. I was overwhelmed by just how much people supported me, and now I’m a bit overwhelmed at the fact that I’m actually published!

And thanks to those of you who will purchase and read the anthology! My lady gays can’t wait for you to read their story.

(By the way, I still will be migrating to my new domain eventually, as mentioned in my last post, just not yet.)

And now, for more info on the antho, buy links, and a giveaway:

 

MI-GRA-TION (noun)

1) Seasonal movement of animals from one region to another.

2) Movement of people to a new area or country in order to find work or better living conditions.

3) Movement from one part of something to another.

Three definitions to inspire writers around the world and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell. Here are 120 of our favorites.

Migration feaures 300 word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum, from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

 

About Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction:

Every year, Queer Sci Fi solicits stories around a one-word theme. We receive hundreds of entries with almost as many possible interpretations, and we choose some of the best for this annual anthology. Migration is book five in this anthology series.

 

Where to find Migration:

Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TX2WMXQ
Amazon Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1732307563
iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1471834289
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/migration-j-scott-coatsworth/1132393683;jsessionid=E570B49A0E713D6F306BCAB9F9760EB4.prodny_store01-atgap10
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/migration-19
QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/book/migration/

 
Queer Sci Fi is giving away a $20 Amazon gift certificate with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win:

a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4774/?

Balticon, and Announcement (TL;DR summary at the end)

Hello, folks! It’s been so long since I’ve posted – a year and nine months. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may have seen an earlier version of this announcement in April. Hectic life stuff has delayed me, but I’m determined to post this before this weekend, when I’ll be attending Balticon. It’s a great convention for motivating me to work on projects old and new, thanks to helpful panels and spending time with awesome creative friends. My panel schedule is here and I’m also volunteering at the LGBT+ Tea Social.

 

So. The announcement. I plan to blog again, and with a somewhat different scope than my original intentions for this site. I started jotting down notes for posts on a work break back in February, and have since added to them and fleshed out details for some of the essays. Posting this intention is another step forward!.

 

I’ve been following so many blogs (mostly sex blogs, but some others too) for so long while letting my own lapse. I didn’t have much to say about my fiction writing or voice acting (my blog’s original intended topics) at the time. I thought I should work on my unfinished original fiction projects, and felt guilty for wanting to shift focus.

 

But I keep being reminded, by different people and things, that I should write what I’m inspired to, and that it’s better to write something than nothing. Right now, what I’m inspired to write are essays/blog posts and fanfiction (a totally separate thing I’ve started again, which is exciting to me).

 

I’ve previously blogged here about sex positivity and kink, and have many more ideas for posts on topics that often intersect and are important to me: polyamory/ethical nonmonogamy, relationship health, mental illness/health, kink, sex, sex toys, and my work in sex/kink education in a retail setting.

 

And I’m going to give myself the freedom to post about what I want to, even if it doesn’t fit into those themes. I care more about getting my ideas out there than I do about a coherent brand… that may change over time, but for now, I like keeping everything in one place. I plan to tag posts diligently so that people only interested in certain topics won’t have to wade through too much other stuff.

 

I don’t know yet when I’ll start blogging again in earnest, but thanks to two fabulous humans, my best friend and her husband, my new website is in the works over at http://saratestarossa.com/ (nothing to see there as of the time I’m posting this, as we’re working behind the curtain). I’ll leave this WordPress site up for the foreseeable future, so I don’t break any links, and so people can see I’ve moved. All the content on this site will be on the new one. I still have to figure out what to tweak on the site, as I’m shifting focus. I joke that my “brand” is a hot mess because I wear so many hats, but it’s true that it’s hard to encompass what I am passionate about, and what the site is about, in a quick tagline.

 

So, that’s my news! I’m not promising to post with any specific frequency or anything, but I plan to get back to putting out content when I’m able.

 

Current bloggers and any about to start: rock on! I’ll be joining you.

 

(TL;DR version: I’m planning to start blogging again, at http://saratestarossa.com. My current intention is to shift from this site’s original theme of being about my fiction writing and voice acting. I plan to focus my writing more on themes like polyamory/ethical nonmonogamy, relationship health, mental illness/health, kink, sex, sex toys, and my work in sex/kink education in a retail setting.)

An update of some substance, with links to content!

Greetings! Folks who follow me on Twitter or Facebook may know I’m still around, occasionally posting a tweet or status. But I haven’t updated this site in over a year because there’s not been much to say. Except completely dropped the ball on sharing one relevant thing here – my first time doing voice work for someone else.

Last fall, I narrated a story by Nobilis Reed for the most prolific spec fic erotica podcast in the known universe (The Nobilis Erotica Podcast, which anyone who enjoys erotic speculative fiction should check out). It’s an erotic F/M BDSM piece in the Metamor City shared universe, and I had a lot of fun recording it. Listen here if you’re so inclined! And if you like the podcast, consider supporting Nobilis’s Patreon to pay the authors and voice talent who write and voice the stories. When it gets up to a hundred patrons, Nobilis will be commissioning art to go with each Patron-sponsored episode (and there are already great perks like a fun Patrons-exclusive serial, Bra of Holding).

I also had a bit part in Chris Lester’s noir/crime spec-fic audio drama recorded live at Balticon 50 (also in the Metamor City universe). I think it will be airing soonish on the Chris Lester’s current podcast, The Raven & the Writing Desk (though it’s already available for download to patrons of Chris’s Patreon, which you should check out if you like his stuff). [UPDATE: The audio drama is now available on the main podcast at TRATWD Episode 90]

That reminds me, I was going to do a post-Balticon writeup but never did. Now that it’s three months later, I don’t think I’m going to. I want to get back to my fiction. I went over a year without writing a word of fiction (between mid June 2015 and a few days ago), which is extremely anomalous for me. I am not the type of person to write daily, but I want to get back into writing at a rate that feels right, and get my stories out. The bit I wrote the other day is for a fanfiction RP so it’s likely nobody but my RP buddy will see it, but I have so many projects that I want to work on and share with others. It may be slow, especially because I have a longer audio project that I want to prioritize, and I spend a lot of my free time doing things related more to my day job (hey, I need to research sex toys and read sex blogs outside of work to stay current). I’ve learned that being flexible is important, and that it’s ok that my priorities have shifted such that I care about narrating others’ stories more than writing my own at times.

Anyway. Thanks to anyone who read this and hopefully I’ll have more of interest to post soonish. I don’t intend to post lots if I don’t have much to share.

Take care!

Just a quick update

Hi folks!

Wow, I didn’t mean to let so many months pass without posting. Shortly after my last Free Fiction Friday post, I put maintaining a blog on the back burner because of life stuff and just took a long time to get willing to post again. I’ve been on Twitter and Facebook again, just not here. I just wanted people to know that I’m alive and well. I’d like to get back to posting something, at least free fiction and maybe other types of posts.

I’ve got a few projects in the works but nothing is very far along in terms of development or wordcount. I’m thinking about using Camp NaNoWriMo to help me get back into writing.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more posts!

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