Now in Paperback: Passionate Prisoners by NYT Bestseller Angela Knight #BDSM #SciFiRomance #Futuristic @AngelaKnight @changelingpress

Passionate Prisoners by Angela Knight
Published by Changeling Press
Cover Art by Angela Knight

Five interstellar warriors clash with heroines who don’t back down from anything — especially love.

Roarke’s Prisoner: Starship captain Elise Morrell remembers the eager animal submission she once knew at Captain Michael Roarke’s ruthless hands. She’s determined not to become his toy again…

Stranded: Hawke’s been alone in the alien “Goldfish Bowl” for far too long. When Alex lands in his arms, they both realize they can fulfill each other’s every need — if they survive…

Chain of Kisses: For years, Prince Admiral Arles of Tor has been obsessed with the woman who jilted him at the altar. Gisel is now a mercenary space captain, and he’s determined to get her out of his system. Too bad she’s also a political liability he can’t afford…

Armored Hearts: Interstellar mercenary Captain Nick Rand is a vampire on the verge of starvation. Lieutenant Zara Tahir is willing to exchange blood for blood — and maybe kinky games — but Rand’s still her enemy. Right?

Blood and Steel: Elyn Castel spent decades as the slave of a sociopathic vampire. Cyborg Jarl “Blade” Bladin has killed the vampire, and now he’s is after Elyn. She’s finished if he gets his hands on her. But escaping is easier said than done…

Author Warning: Capture fantasy scenarios involving dubious consent may be triggers for some readers.

Get it at Amazon

EXCERPT

**Trigger Warning!**

Copyright ©2022 Angela Knight
Excerpt from Armored Hearts

If she hadn’t been so sick, she could have made the G.A.E. bastards pay a higher price when they found her in the middle of the camp. Unfortunately, it had been more than a month since her vampire had died, and Lieutenant Zara Tahir was deep in blood sickness.

They surrounded her, a yelling, laughing mob of massive shapes in helmets and black armor emblazoned with Godsson’s halo and planet logo. Those suits gave them enough raw power to take on a blast tank and win.

Even so, Zara hadn’t made it easy for them. Even in her lighter V.S.S. armor, she had the advantage in speed and agility. She’d fought so ferociously she’d triggered a spontaneous nosebleed. Feeling the hot wetness rolling down her upper lip as she spun and kicked, Zara snarled. It had been far too long since she’d tasted vampire blood. Wouldn’t be long before her own immune system killed her.

Not that these fuckers would give it the chance. They were pissed, and they planned to kill her. And worse.

It took all ten of them to get her down, spread eagled, and stripped. Their strength enhanced by their mechsuits, they shredded her light V.S.S. armor like wrapping paper. Hands clamped down on her arms and legs, pinning her to the camp’s packed dirt so painfully, she knew she’d have bruises.

Assuming she lived that long.

“Hold her still!” A man in lieutenant’s armor straightened, reached down to his belt, and clicked something. The groin cup of his armor slid aside, revealing a jutting erection.

Zara bucked again with a desperate wrenching twist that caught her captors by surprise. Snatching a fist free, she plowed it at the officer’s balls. He jerked back and she missed, though so narrowly she felt the brush of his pubic hair against her knuckles. “Shit!” he swore, spinning away. “That’s it, bitch!” To the men around him, he snarled, “Don’t you fuckin’ let her move. I’m going to teach that cunt her place. You can have whatever’s left.”

When he returned a moment later, looming behind the men who held her down, the lieutenant held a pulse rifle in both hands. He aimed the rifle butt at her face.

Knowing the blow would quite likely kill her, Zara sneered. “Go ahead, you cowardly son of a whore.”

The butt flashed as it began its descent…

“What the fuck is going on here?”

At the furious male roar, her attacker stopped dead in mid-swing, his eyes widening behind his faceplate. The whole mob jerked to face the roar’s owner, their body language shouting guilty alarm.

Good, Zara thought. A senior officer. Maybe he’d save her.

Then again, maybe he wanted to be first in line.

She’d heard Godsson had recently decreed that raping enemy female combatants was not a sin. They were, after all, unnatural creatures in daring to resist Godsson’s “holy” plans for the colony. He said it was his warriors’ responsibility to teach them proper submission.

That kind of callous bullshit was exactly why Zara had joined the Falaran Coalition Army. She had no desire to live under any cult leader’s thumb — especially an asshole who called himself God’s Son.

“We, ah… found an enemy combatant,” the mob’s leader stammered.

“Yes, Lt. Godshammer, I know,” the officer said, his voice steely with sarcasm. “I heard her screaming from the other end of the camp. What, you boys thought you’d commit a war crime or two? Not on my watch. Get the hell away from her.”

“But His Most Holy said –”

“You are not raping that woman, Godshammer.” His tone dropped into a menacing hiss. “Get. Off.”

They let her go and scrambled away with a speed that was almost comical. Without even being told, all ten fell into formation, lining up at attention as if hoping it would save them from their commander’s rage. The lieutenant paused to close his groin cup, fumbling in his haste.

Zara lay in the dirt where she’d been left, too bloodsick to do anything else now that the immediate threat was over.

Boots padded toward her. “Are you all ri…” The officer broke off.

Oh, hell, what now? She looked wearily up at him as he stared down at her.

Zara froze.

He was the biggest damn vampire she’d ever seen in her life. It looked as if they’d turned somebody who’d been genetically engineered to begin with. She’d heard rumors that the G.A.E. had hired vampire mercenaries in response to the Falaran Coalition Army’s Vampire Defense Program. Godsson had ranted against vampires being perverts too many times for the G.A.E. to produce them outright, so hiring mercs was the best their army could do.

In any case, the G.A.E. had obviously gotten its money’s worth.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

New York Times best-selling author Angela Knight has written and published more than sixty novels, novellas, and ebooks, including the Mageverse and Merlin’s Legacy series. With a career spanning more than two decades, Romantic Times Bookclub Magazine has awarded her their Career Achievement award in Paranormal Romance, as well as two Reviewers’ Choice awards for Best Erotic Romance and Best Werewolf Romance.

Angela is currently a writer, editor, and cover artist for Changeling Press LLC. She also teaches online writing courses. Besides her fiction work, Angela’s writing career includes a decade as an award-winning South Carolina newspaper reporter. She lives in South Carolina with her husband, Michael, a thirty-year police veteran and detective with a local police department.

Release Blitz: Returning Heroes by Harry F. Rey #LGBTQ #SciFiRomance #Aliens @ninestarpress @GoIndiMarketing

Title: Returning Heroes

Series: The Galactic Captains, Book Six

Author: Harry F. Rey

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 01/11/2022

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male, Male/Male Menage

Length: 83100

Genre: SciFi, LGBTQIA+, action,adventure, aliens, dark, MM romance, #ownvoices, royalty, sci-fi, futuristic, space, folklore, gods, intercultural, interspecies, war of worlds

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Description

Captain Ales has returned to the galaxy, forever changed as the powers have prepared for war. He’ll accept help from anyone if it leads to the mysterious Turo from whose cage Ales must free himself if he ever wants to return to the Red Moon.

Meanwhile Daeron has been offered the deal of a lifetime by the ruler of the Seven Suns. Marry Osvai, the Kyleri prince, and become heir to the richest star-state in the galaxy while raising an army to restore the prince to his rightful place as Emperor of the Million Suns.

But Viscamon’s grip on Jiwani has only tightened as the nobles imprisoned in the Royal Baths still refuse to bow to the immortal’s cataclysmic theology of destroying the Galactic Balance. It seems the only way for Imperial Guard Captain Antari to avoid a massacre is outright treachery.

While dynasties play galactic politics, the Outer Verge is being torn apart. From a prison cell, Mahnoor watches The Rip destroying Targuline, until the Kyleri rebels offer him the chance to save himself by flying into the heart of danger. He might even become Jansen’s most unlikely hero.

Heroes and villains run riot around the galaxy, unleashing destructive forces and sliding the great powers toward a war from which no one will be safe.

Excerpt

Returning Heroes
Harry F. Rey © 2022
All Rights Reserved

The sleek, spacious travel pod sliced through the swirling burnt-orange clouds of Bazman. Daeron edged forward on the puffed, pillowy chair that consistently failed to relax him. He tugged at the high collar of his pure-white Dalvian silk jacket—yet another gift from President Ezreal. He stared out the window at the spindly towers stretching in and out of the clouds above and below. The teeming city-world of Bazman, capital of the Confederation of the Seven Suns, supposedly the richest star-state in the Shakti Democria, was to Daeron no better than any of the thousands of worlds he’d been on. The rich lived above, flying around in these perfumed and carpeted pods, while the poor shuffled in and out of a noxious atmosphere far below.

Daeron could go anywhere he wanted on Bazman; no store, restaurant, menagerie, or cultural complex was too exclusive for President Ezreal’s new favorite son. Six weeks ago, they’d barely escaped the Kyleri fleet which had blown up Aldegar’s megacollider. Daeron and the remaining crew of the Daring Huntress chased Turo and the double-crossing Ezi into the Shakti Nebula, only to end up invited to land here by Ezreal’s security forces. On Bazman, where he could go anywhere at all, just not leave.

“What’s wrong now, Daeron?” Osvai said, relaxing in his similarly styled—but all black—Dalvian silk suit. The missing heir to the Kyleri Empire sipped on a Lactarian malt from a crystal glass while grinning at an entertainment package broadcast on the holoscreen in front of his seat. Lest His Imperial Majesty get bored in the half hour it takes to get from Bazman’s presidential palace to the restaurant opening. Daeron glanced over at the prince who was now biting his lip to keep from laughing at the holovid. Daeron watched for a moment. He’d never seen anything so stupid.

“What’s so funny about people walking into things? It’s cruel.”

Osvai wasn’t listening. He gasped in laughter as some poor unsuspecting holo-person had a pile of trash dumped on their head. Daeron flung himself against the seat, but it only absorbed the shock and began to massage his lower back. Daeron could huff all he wanted, but Osvai had stopped caring about what bothered Daeron. He stroked his thick black beard, forgetting it was still glistening in the fancy oils Osvai made him use. Daeron wiped his greasy hand on the plush arm of the chair and returned to staring out the window at the traffic lanes of pods gliding through the clouds and between the towers—with no end and no beginning.

“Are Xenia and the rest of the crew coming tonight?” Daeron asked, breathing slowly through his nose, trying to let the fury of being stuck in a gilded prison subside. It wasn’t going anywhere. Just like him.

“They left.”

Daeron spun on the chair to face Osvai.

“They…left?”

“Yeah. Didn’t I tell you?” Osvai said, not looking up from the holovid. Daeron yanked at the silk collar constricting his neck, and it let out a satisfying rip.

“No…you didn’t tell me. That was…my crew. My ship.” Daeron was doing everything in his power to stay calm, but he knew his string was about to snap. Maybe if Osvai understood that, they wouldn’t spend half their nights screaming at each other in their apartment in the presidential palace.

“I guess they went to meet your mom.” Osvai drained his glass, then stretched and placed it inside an alcove grooved into the wall where a nozzle filled it back up. “Isn’t it her crew again now she’s back?”

Daeron fell into a sulking silence at the mention of his mom. Maybe Osvai knew him better than he thought. Because the moment Captain Sanya was raised, Daeron shut down. It had been weeks since she and that Tevian girlfriend of hers, Sallah, had crossed back through the horizon point with her brat, Ales. Had they come to see him? No. Daeron had only learned their mission had been successful from the newscasts. The returning hero Captain Ales, who apparently had an Ingvarian fleet at his disposal now, as well as the entire Outer Verge, had been spotted at the Mayo resort in the Central Star States. After their collective trauma, Captain Sanya, Sallah, and Ales had decided to play happy families and treat themselves to a little vacation at one of the most expensive systems in the galaxy.

It hurt Daeron hard. He’d still not seen her. Not even a holovid call. He stretched out his hand and opened his palm-tech to flick through the only messages his mom had sent since she’d returned.

The megacollider is gone then?

Yeah, as if a rebel Kyleri fleet blowing up an ancient sphere surrounding an entire sun had been his fault. Then, loving, motherly message number two.

Why is Osvai not back on Jiwani? And you lost Turo? Can’t you do anything right?

Good point. Why was Osvai not back on Jiwani?

“Don’t you care at all?” Daeron snapped, spitting his frustrations at Osvai. The prince finally looked up from the holovid, staring back with those thin eyes and sunset skin that Daeron couldn’t deny filled him with lust. Even if he was perpetually pissed off at him.

“Care about what, Daeron?”

“Your fucking empire.” Daeron stood up, kicking the chair hard so it spun like a ship out of control. Osvai drained his glass again and, with an overly audible sigh, came over to Daeron and slid his small arms as far around Daeron as they could go. But Daeron wriggled out of his half hug and slunk to the back of the pod, watching the dusty clouds spinning like a vortex as they flew.

“What do you want me to do, Daeron? Fight Viscamon for my throne with what army, exactly?”

“My mom said to take you home.”

“Oh, your mom said. It’s always the same story with you, Daeron. Your mom says you have to stay on Jiwani with a father you never knew, and you stayed. Your mom says look after me until I’m back on Jiwani, and you blame me for staying in the one place in the galaxy no one’s trying to kill me!”

Here we go. Another screaming match.

“Can we not do this now?” Daeron said, arms folded and his back to Osvai. “The president invited us to this restaurant opening, and since he’s the one keeping you safe and letting us stay for free, we don’t need you getting drunk and making a scene.”

“Excuse me?”

“Sorry, more drunk.”

Osvai sucked in a short breath. If they’d learned one thing about each other since escaping Jiwani together on the night of Osvai’s father, Emperor Kantori’s, assassination, it was how to push each other’s buttons.

“When was the last time you saw Xenia?” Osvai asked, lathered in bitterness. “Or Tal, or Bindi? Or even Voros? When was it? Kaj’s memorial service?”

“Shut up, Osvai.”

“You haven’t asked about them in weeks. So don’t pretend you didn’t know they’d leave. You didn’t want to know.”

“I said shut up!”

“You can say I’m afraid all you want. And yes, I am afraid of going back to Jiwani when Viscamon is imprisoning nobles until he’s blackmailed enough to crown himself emperor. That’s a normal thing to be scared of. But you—”

“Osvai, I’m fucking warning you.” Daeron spun around to see him sauntering around the pod with a look of victory splashed across his face.

“You might look like a big scary man, Daeron, but you’re just a little boy. Afraid of what his mommy will say.”

Daeron had already exploded. Fury prickled his body; sweat soaked the suit. He’d throw Osvai out of this pod if he could. His fists clamped together, ready to test just how much of a punch this glass could take.

“You have arrived at your destination,” the pod’s soft female voice said with a ding. “Have a pleasant evening.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Harry F. Rey is an author and lover of gay themed stories with a powerful punch with influences ranging from Alan Hollinghurst to Isaac Asimov to George R.R. Martin. He loves all things sci-fi and supernatural, and always with a gay twist. Harry is originally from the UK but lives in Jerusalem, Israel with his husband.

Website | Twitter

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New at Changeling Press: Satisfcation by Megan Slayer #LGBTQ #SciFiRomance @MeganSlayer @changelingpress

Darryl Tackas needs a miracle — he wants to find the man who makes him whole. Running Start Me Up and helping other men find their happy endings is great, but Darryl wants a happy ever after of his own. When he learns Lew has a crush on him, Darryl hopes magic will spark between them.

Lew George has wanted Darryl for so long, but he’s been too shy to make a move. When a mutual friend hooks them up, Lew can’t hold back. He’s sure he’s found the one, but can they really have a forever together?

Save 15% at Changeling Press

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Megan Slayer

1981

Darryl watched the pretty boys at the bar, and part of him wished he could convince one to come home with him. The rest of him knew the handsome young men wouldn’t choose him. He had fifteen years on most of them and had seen life. They’d want someone with fewer miles on them.

He wouldn’t be the right fit.

He shifted on the barstool. One day, he’d find someone. He’d thought he had with Owen. He’d loved Owen. Thought they’d have a long future together. That they’d grow old and have a house together.

Then the accident happened, and his life changed.

Fucking hell. He’d never forget seeing Owen on the ground. His heart remained with his lover.

But he couldn’t grieve with everyone else. He’d had to watch from the sidelines when Owen was buried because Owen’s family despised him. They didn’t want Owen to be gay. Besides that, he’d never really healed because, after five years, he hadn’t given himself the chance to move on. It was time, but he had no idea how to do it or with whom.

He had the gift to bring people back from the dead, to give them a second chance at life, but he couldn’t fix his own. What a shame!

“Darryl.” Bob, the co-owner of Start Me Up, their electronics shop, joined him at the bar. He sat next to Darryl. “Watching the wildlife?”

“Yeah.” He chuckled. “I guess I am. What are you doing here? Aren’t you going to see Louise?”

“I was, but she’s busy.” Bob shrugged. “We do this sometimes, you know? We take breaks. It’s a matter of time. We’ve been together for ten years, but we get tired. It’s silly, but the off-time makes us stronger.”

“Whatever makes you happy.” He didn’t see the point of breaks, but he’d have to be with someone first.

“It doesn’t always work, but we come back to each other.” Bob ordered a beer. “Why don’t you get a date?”

“I don’t know if I’m ready.” Would he ever be ready? “Who would want me? I spend a lot of time at the store and in the dark. I’m a nerd.”

“No, you’re not. You’re hurting.” Bob bumped shoulders with him. “But there are guys out there who could love you in the way you need.”

“Yeah?” He finished his beer. “Got any suggestions?”

“Actually, I do.”

“What? I can’t imbue one of my robots with Owen’s spirit. It’s too late.” He placed the bottle on the bar. “None of these guys, right? They’re too young.”

“Hell, yes, they are. You weren’t even born in the same decade.” Bob laughed. “No, the one I have in mind is Lew.”

“Lew?” He stared at Bob. “You’re kidding. He and I are friends. I don’t know if it’d work to change the relationship. He helps us.”

“He does, without expecting payment,” Bob said. “Do you really think he does that out of the kindness of his heart? He does it because he loves you.”

“He told you that?” He’d never gotten a hint that Lew felt that way.

“He didn’t have to say it out loud. It’s obvious.” Bob downed more of his beer. “Why don’t you go to the shop? He’s got a line on someone needing your special help.”

“Another soul to save?”

“Satisfaction guaranteed.” Bob finished his beer. “Go. I’ll see you tomorrow.” He left the bar.

Darryl snorted. Bob had left without paying for his beer. The jerk. Darryl paid for both and left a tip, then walked out of the bar.

Darryl strode into the night and headed for his shop. Summer parties rang out from the various apartment balconies. He enjoyed parties. Hell, he’d had a good time with Rascal and Gage at their parties. But he hated being alone.

When he opened the door to the shop, he spotted Lew at the counter. “Hi,” Darryl said. He locked the door behind him. “I hear you have someone for me. Who is the person needing help?”

“Not just anyone,” Lew said. “I want you to help me.”

“You?” He tamped down his intrigue and rounded the counter. “How? You’re not dying, are you?” Fuck, he didn’t want that to happen.

“No, I’m not.” Lew chuckled. “But I need satisfaction.”

“Oh?” He leaned on the counter. “I’m listening.”

“I’m tired of being alone. I’m tired of going home to an empty apartment. You seem to know who to help and who to ignore. I’m hoping you can help me with that special gift you have. Find that perfect someone for me.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on various e-tailer sites.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.

Awakening by Mikala Ash #steampunk #romance @Ash_Mikala @changelingpress

Anne Device, daughter of a prostitute turned spiritualist, has seen it all — degradation, desperation, anger, pain, and sorrow. Unbroken by the rough and dirty streets of Whitechapel, Anne’s world revolves around her family — her mother, sister, and brother.

Enter the charismatic and attractive Lord Carlyle, a gentleman magician who sees in Anne the potential to move worlds. For the first time Anne experiences the magic of romantic love. A rags to riches story she’d only imagined possible in a Faerie tale.

On her glorious wedding night she willingly gives her body, but the days that followed will test her very soul.

Get it at Changeling Press

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Mikala Ash

I await my husband.

My name is Anne Device. I am nineteen years of age, and this is my wedding night. Already I am in error. Is this the first lesson of my new life? That it is not possible to truly let go of the past?

My new name is Lady Anne Carlyle, the virgin bride of Lord Lucian Carlyle of Lancashire.

How grand that sounds. I whisper it aloud, over and over, hoping it is all real, and not some silly and impossible dream. I began this chronicle to quell my nerves, for truly, my hand holding the quill trembles, and ink drops litter the page like the footprints of a confused imp.

My husband, how strange it is to write those words, for they seem to resonate in my mind like the incantations spoken to create an earthquake or a tumultuous storm at sea.

My husband, my husband, my husband, my husband.

Indeed, what tremors will I soon experience in the marriage bed behind where I sit?

I read what I have written, and a strong desire has taken an irresistible hold. I seem compelled to record my new life so I can remember in my dotage what these times are like. The more I think about it I realise general sentiments will probably mean little to my future self. In fifty years will I remember the context? Probably not. With that in mind I’ve decided to keep as detailed a record as possible of my new state, and how it came about.

My husband, Lucian, is downstairs in his marvellous library. “Prepare yourself, my little dove,” he had said when his closest friends, a curious collection of serious men of science had left. “I return you to your mother’s care for a final word before you become Lady Carlyle in spirit as in law.”

Lady Anne Carlyle. I wonder if I should ever get used to the title, or indeed to people bowing and curtsying as I pass, as they did today at the church.

To think, ten years ago I was barefoot with dirty rags draped over my scrawny shoulders, with my empty belly growling like a wild dog while I hawked matches on the corner of Commercial and Fournier Streets in Spitalfields. Gone now from my life were the slums where my mama sold herself to soldiers and sailors in the cramped room that also housed my younger brother and sister. Jennet and James, both of different fathers, and both unlike me in nature and disposition. Fragile Jennet so meek and mild, and James boisterous and impatient. That James would turn to soldiering was no surprise. He saw enough of them to acquire their rough ways and wanderlust. The mystery was how Jennet and I remained intact. How my mama withstood the temptation to sell our virginity, for we would have drawn a goodly price, is testament to the fact that she has principles, though she disguised them well enough when dealing with her men.

How to explain my conversion from ragamuffin with dirt smudged on my hollow cheeks to a sweet-smelling young woman able to attract the love of a lord? Though seemingly miraculous, and I will not deny the magical quality of the transition, the reason is simple enough.

My mama loves us. Of that there is no doubt. No matter the countless difficulties she endured and overcame, she insisted on educating us. In between male callers and our jobs; my selling lucifers on the corner with Jennet shivering beside me, and James off running telegrams for tuppence a day, she taught us our letters and sums, and how to behave in front of our betters. I grew up on a healthy diet of penny shockers, and sensational novels published in serial form. My favourite stories were those rags to riches tales. I enjoyed them because they were so fanciful, and for a little time they took me out of the squalor that was my daily fare. Never did I imagine I would emulate my brave and virtuous heroines. Mama instructed me in other things denied to Jennet and James. Things I was ordered never to speak about, lest we all ‘end up dangling at the end of a rope.’ A rule I am now breaking, though none shall read this but my future self.

Though he does not know everything about us, Lord Carlyle is fully aware of our lowly state, Mama’s pitiful occupation, and what she had sacrificed for her children. We have hidden little of that time from him. It bothers him not. That is a miracle, and one for which I am grateful.

So much for that chapter of my life. That strange creature who bore my name is gone forever, and I now embark on a new story. I will awaken in the morn a different person. A woman.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aussie Mikala Ash used to be a mild-mannered training & development consultant by day, and a wild sci-fi and paranormal adventure writer by night. Now she is a brazen full-time writer and nature photographer who is concentrating on having among other things, “… bags, and bags of fun!” Mikala can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

Book Blitz: B Free by Cynthia Sax #cybords #scifiromance @CynthiaSax

B Free
Cynthia Sax
(Rebel Cyborgs, #4)
Publication date: November 16th 2021
Genres: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

B is the last remaining B Model cyborg. All of his brethren, the beings he trained with, fought with, cared deeply for, have perished.

Or so he believes.

When he intercepts a communication mentioning the existence of one of his kind, he has to investigate its source. The message could be a trap set by his enemies. He’ll take that risk if it secures him the companionship he requires to be fully functional.

What he finds is a daring brown-eyed female who activates all his systems. She proudly proclaims she’s a researcher, brandishing that information like a weapon before her. He wants to kiss the sass off her beautiful face, protect her from the dangers around them, claim her forever.

Quinn is on a quest to locate the mechanics of an early-version cyborg. She believes the information captured within that frame will give her valuable insights into the past.

When her mission goes zombie-like beings levels of wrong, she comes face-to-face with a living, breathing B Model. He has big hands, a primitive countenance, and stern hard lips crafted for kissing.

She doesn’t trust him. And she doesn’t have time to indulge her desires.

Their shared enemies are chasing them, would kill to get their precious specimens back. One minor mistake could reduce B and Quinn to a mere line in the databases of history.
***
B Free is a STANDALONE Cyborg SciFi Romance set in a dark, gritty, sometimes-violent universe.
It features the sole surviving B Model cyborg warrior, a courageous researcher seeking to uncover the past, and an unplanned visit to a settlement ruled by an extremely scary all-knowing, all-powerful being.

B Free is the fourth of five core stories in the Rebel Cyborgs Series.
Book 1: Containing Malice
Book 2: Under Strain
Book 3: Baring Grudge
Book 4: B Free
Book 5: Seizing Power

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Smashwords

EXCERPT:

Unable to process he was the last of his kind, B had searched for beings like him. There had been mentions of his model type in messages. He’d investigated every occurrence.

100.0000 percent of them had been futile chases, ghosts of brethren long dead.

He projected an investigation into this planet rotation’s message would be a waste of resources also. Heze 478 was a sparsely populated Humanoid Alliance-controlled planet, a leisure site for high-credit and influential humans in their organization, a place where they could get away from the horrors they’d inflicted. It wasn’t rational that they would situate a secret laboratory there.

It would be true to their devious natures to set a trap in that location for someone they correctly perceived as an enemy. He blew out his breath. They could be seeking to capture him, wanting to continue his torment.

A fully operational warrior would ignore the communication.

He wasn’t that being. B straightened to his full height and moved forward. His mechanics creaked. His body throbbed with an ache that matched the one in his soul. The rays of Mercury Minor’s single sun warmed his shoulders.

One of the humanoid females looked up, up, up at him. Her head tilted back. Her eyes widened.

She screamed, the sound piercing the chatter around her.

The other females turned. Their eyes widened also.

The crescendo of screams grew louder.

Fraggin’ hole. B stepped backward, seeking to disappear once more into the shadows. He wouldn’t hurt the females. They were under his protection, as was everyone on the cyborg-claimed planet.

But the females didn’t process that. All they saw was his huge form, his primitive B Model design. They had never viewed another being like him. He was different, and, to their gazes, scary.

That damaged him. He navigated a maze of less-utilized pathways, staying to himself, sticking to the darkness. The screams faded.

His emotional damage remained.

He lumbered past a training ring positioned at the edge of the settlement. One set of warriors, all E Models, faced another set of warriors, all C Models.

If there was a B Model force, he’d be the only one on it.

“Join us, B.” Odium, the leader of the E Model faction, gestured at him. “The C Models need your skills.”

The C Models objected to that. Loudly.

They didn’t need him, and he didn’t belong on either side. He was a relic. His model type had been completely replaced. He was redundant.

B shook his head and continued walking.

Author Bio:

For updates on characters and for very bad jokes, sign up for Cynthia’s monthly newsletter at http://cynthiasax.com

USA Today Bestselling author Cynthia Sax is currently writing cyborg and alien romances with high heat levels. These stories are set in a shared dark, gritty, sometimes violent world. There is always a romantic happy ending between the main characters and this happy ending is FOREVER. But everyone else is in danger.

Her stories have been featured in Star Magazine, Real Time With Bill Maher, and numerous best of… top ten lists.

She loves writing fated to mate or instalove romances as this is her personal experience with love. She fell in love with her Dear Wonderful Hubby at first sight and 25 plus years later, they’re still very much in love. This is what she wishes for her characters and for her readers.

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New at Changeling Press: Planted by the Alien Vampire Scientist by Crymsyn Hart #SciFiRomance #AlienEncounters @crymsynhart

When Abigail Pike goes hiking with her sister, she never expected she’d walk right into a seven-foot-tall green alien.

Jaril came to Earth to study its plants. He didn’t intend to rescue a human when she falls and hits her head on a rock after she runs into him. To save her, Jaril must implant his technology in her.

Overcoming her fear, Abigail returns to the cave where she first met the alien. This time he’s the one who’s injured. The longer she’s around Jaril, the more she’s drawn to him, but Jaril needs to return to his ship to be healed properly.

Abigail doesn’t want to give up her life on Earth, but she might not have a choice if she wants to be with Jaril. Whoever said understanding plants was easier than humans has never met a green alien vampire.

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EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Crymsyn Hart

“Do you think this is a good idea?”

“We’ve had this discussion. I’ll be fine. The lunar caves will keep you concealed. The humans won’t be able to detect you hidden so deep beneath the surface.”

“It’s not me I’m worried about.” Talix leaned against the ship’s gray metallic wall and crossed her arms over her chest. Her solid form dissolved until Jaril could see the console behind her.

Jaril rolled his eyes while he gathered more instruments to take to the planet with him. He could always come back up for more. It offered more risk of exposure, though. The idea of all the various specimens he would encounter made him giddy. He scanned the instruments once more and decided he had enough devices to set up his habitat and lab on the planet. “I’ll be deep enough in the cave the humans won’t find me. The humans are primitive. I’ll be fine.”

“They’re not as primitive as you think. Didn’t you go over the manifests brought back by the other ships? The humans have new technologies. They are aware of us. They’re planning on going to Mars. You’re excited to delve into the vegetation of this puny world. I told you there are better –”

“Talix. Enough.” He threw up his hands and closed the case. Jaril hefted it from the workstation and went into the docking bay where the scout ships were moored. He pressed his hand against the side of one. The metal melted away to reveal a door. He ducked inside and set the case next to the others. Jaril would be cramped with everything he was taking, but he preferred it to scattering his atoms. “Do you have the coordinates programmed into the navigation computer?”

“Yes, they’re entered because we both know you’re a horrible navigator. I’ll be doing most of the flying.” Talix’s image flashed inside the small ship. The instrument panel lit up and the pilot’s chair glided backward for Jaril to sit.

“Yeah, I know I’m better with plants than living creatures.”

“You don’t have to tell me twice. This is still an isolated planet. We really don’t…”

He glanced at the shaky image of his ship’s computer. The artificial intelligence had been his constant companion as he went from one planet to another gathering specimens. He had all the different plant species cataloged on his home planet of Tilleron. Each time others of his race returned from their travels, they brought back data about the worlds they had visited or scanned. The last three ships which had returned from Earth had given him the idea to explore this particular planet for himself. Talix had tried to tell him to stay on Tilleron. He hadn’t want to hear it. The idea of Earth was stuck in his mind. At the moment, they hovered near Mars.

“We’re almost to their moon. We have the coordinates for the lunar cave where you will stay while I’m on Earth. You’ve programmed the route to the cavern in the planet where I’m going to park the scout ship. I don’t intend to be bothered by humans. If I need to go out among them, I have garments to blend in along with our cloaking tech to keep me invisible if needed.”

“Let’s hope you do. How are you going to survive down there without any Plasma Units?”

“I’ll find one among the humans as the others did. I have enough bottled substance to last me a while. If you’re done, we’re in range. I’ll be fine.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Crymsyn Hart is a National Bestselling author of over eighty paranormal romance and horror novels. Her experiences as a psychic and ghostly encounters have given her a lot of material to use in her books. Vampires, grim reapers, shifters, and other paranormal creatures tend to end up in her books no matter how hard she tries to keep them away.

She currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her hubby and her three dogs. If she’s not writing, she’s curled up with the dogs watching a good horror movie or off with friends.

To find out more about Crymsyn, check out her website on: www.crymsynhart.com

BOOK REVIEW: Worse Guy by Ruby Dixon #Aliens #SciFiRomance #bookreview #kindleunlimited

Crulden the Ruiner is the most dangerous gladiator in the galaxy.

I’m his clone – equally ugly, equally dangerous, and just as feared. I’m also being held captive, since no one trusts a creature like me to be let loose.

A curvy, determined human named Bee doesn’t think I’m a creature, though. In fact, she thinks I just need a guide. She’s got half the males on this planet eating out of her hand, and she’s confident she can do the same with me.

The managing little female has no idea what she’s in for. I’m not some fool to be led around by my tail. But…the champion in me loves a challenge.

A champion also wants to win a prize. So I tell Bee I’ll go along with her plans if she kisses me…right on my tusk-filled mouth.

I never expected her to say yes…

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MY REVIEW – 5 stars!

Another fantastic read from Ruby Dixon!

I think what I loved most was the “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” aspect, except in this case the book was the alien males. The clone of Crulden looks fierce, is feared, and caged like an animal… but when it comes to Bee he has a far gentler touch than her boyfriend, Ruffin, a respected guard.

Seeing Bee’s patience and determination with the clone was wonderful. She wanted to give him a chance when others wouldn’t. They feared him, hated him… but Bee saw the good inside him.

This is a heartwarming, feel-good story that will leave you smiling.

*Disclaimer: The reivew above is only my opinion. I purchased this book from Amazon. The author did not request a review.

About the Author

Ruby Dixon is an author of Science Fiction Romance. She likes fated mates, baby-filled epilogues, and cinnamon roll heroes. She also likes to write biographies of herself in the third person, because it feels more important that way.

Ruby also loves coffee and dirty books and will probably be a cat lady at some point. 🙂

Follow Ruby on Goodreads

New at Changeling Press: Queen’s Rules by Treva Harte #SciFiRomance #Futuristic @HarteTreva

In a world where too few women exist, men will do anything to claim them… and their favor.

Every Good Boy Deserves Favor:
Jewel. Ara. Maryam. In a world where too few women exist and too many men want them, three women are about to receive the surprise of their lives because… every good boy deserves favor.

King of the Castle:
Jewel thinks it’s one last chance for adventure. Maryam and Ara think it’s their only chance to escape a terrifying future. But when the women leave Castle Bloomingdell, they are captured by alien renegades with nefarious plans.

It’s a battle of the sexes, and one heck of a sexy battle. But who will end up King of the Castle?

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EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2004, 2021 Treva Harte
Excerpt from Every Good Boy Deserves Favor

“The men will be at the gate, waiting for the champion to enter the keep.” KarLa drummed her fingers against the computer. “If we want to get anyone out, that would be the time.”

“Very well.” Jewel swallowed the nervous excitement rising in her throat and tried to sound matter-of-fact. “That’s as good a time as any.”

“None of us have been outside Castle M’Cee for a generation, at least. We can’t tell you what to expect. I’m only doing this because Bloomingdell has such an emergency. It’s a terrible pity their only healer died.” KarLa frowned. “Their Eldress is a good woman but — ah well, she does her best. It’s our duty to help.”

“Of course.” Sisterhood was one of the only defenses against the rest of the world. Jewel had had that drummed into her since childhood. When there were but a handful of women in the world you had to help your fellow females.

“You may pass for a boy with your looks, but we can’t count on that. Put a dagger in each boot. Don’t forget to use them if you have to.” The Eldress gripped Jewel’s hands. “Be alert. Be careful.”

“Eldress.”

“Yes?” KarLa asked.

“You’re telling me very old news. Don’t worry. I’ll get to the Castle Bloomingdell. I don’t know yet why their women haven’t been able to get pregnant, but I’ve been trained to diagnose and heal such disorders. I’ll e you from there in no time at all.”

“See that you do, Jewel.”

* * *

“Mama Zee?” Jewel looked into the tiny library.

“What is it, child?” Zee looked up from her book. “I was right in the middle of my studies. In fact, I was just reading the most fascinating — well, never mind that. Why aren’t you at tea?”

Jewel bit her lip. Zee was a wonderful healer but her “studies” tended to include far more of the ancient romance novels than medical books. It didn’t matter. No one in the keep dared point such a thing out to the woman who had ushered almost all of them into the world.

Why did Mama Zee bother, anyhow? That old romance world, one where men and women chose a mate for themselves, without needing to worry about pregnancy or kidnapping, was long past. Romance had blown up, along with history, generations back. It might as well be a fairy tale for all the good such stories did now.

Jewel sighed. She didn’t have the luxury of pausing to wonder why Mama Zee did such things.

“I haven’t much time.” Jewel put her hands on the small woman’s shoulders. “I have to fix an emergency. I can’t explain much, but I thought if anyone could give me some advice, it would be you.”

“I love to give advice.” Zee smiled at her and put down her book. “What do you need to know?”

“Causes of female infertility.”

Zee snorted. “That is something I never had to worry about. Eeee. I have eight boys and two girls and you ask me about infertility? If not for my medical work, I’d probably have had ten more, Goddess pity me.”

“Zee, seriously. I need to know.”

“Well, I’m not a writer, but I do have a little list of instructions on the subject. That was from back when darling P’Trice was having her troubles… or was that Karenna? Ay, there are so many of you girls I sometimes can’t remember who had what ailment.” Zee began to fumble through the books scattered on the shelves. “Hmmm. Here. It’s also on the puters, of course. You don’t need my old-fashioned lists.”

“I may not have access to a puter where I’m going.” Jewel snatched the tiny book from Zee’s hands. She knew Zee had done a fine job with her list. Otherwise, the Eldress would never have allowed her to use any of their precious paper.

“Darling! Where are you going if there is no –”

“I can’t explain now. When I get back!” Jewel blew her a kiss and hoped Mama Zee was as clever about infertility as she was about midwifery. Clutching her book, she began to make her way down to the kitchens and from there to the outside world. Was she truly prepared?

It didn’t matter. She was as prepared as she could be, given that she had but a few more minutes to safely leave while the men were distracted.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Treva Harte has always been an overachiever. She also collects things. First it was degrees. First a B.A. in English, then she decided to go back for a Master’s degree. Not content with that, she added a J.D. Since then she’s added a husband, also an attorney, and two children to her collection. She’s continuing her ways as an overachiever, writing her wonderfully offbeat tales of passion and possibilities — in her spare time.

Visit her website at www.trevaharte.com.

BOOK REVIEW: Princess for the Alien Commander by Tammy Walsh #SciFiRomance #Aliens #bookreview

A princess who’s forgotten who she is. An alien commander desperate to protect his people. And a tyrannical king hellbent on tearing them apart.

Sofia
When my mother dies, I’m alone in the galaxy.
No friends. No family. No hope.
Then a pair of royal guards catch me.
I have a family, they tell me. I’m the kingdom’s long-lost princess.

Wait. What?

The kingdom is on the brink of civil war and it’s my duty to marry the king’s greatest enemy—the leader of the kauan clans.
Ikmale Ellas.
He’s powerful, scary, and I can’t take my eyes off his twisted horns and golden irises.
Despite his tough demeanor, Ikmale shows a tender side for his people I never expected.
The kauah are nothing like the rumors have led me to believe.
In his arms, I find a caring and demanding lover.

Could he be my fated mate?

But when the wedding turns out to be a trap, Ikmale holds me responsible and banishes me from his bed.
Can I win his trust and convince him the feelings we share are real?
Or will he imprison me, condemning me to never see that magma-hot spark of love in his eyes again?

Princess for the Alien Commander is a full-length, standalone alien sci-fi romance. It features a possessive, alpha alien in intense, steamy scenes with his human mate. There are no cliffhangers or cheating, and a happily ever after is guaranteed!

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MY REVIEW – 4 stars

Sexy aliens, fierce women, and an evil king… what a rush!

Sophia is the type of heroine you can’t help but love. She’s strong, protects those she loves, and is willing to sacrifice herself for the happiness of her people. I adored her character.

Ikmale only wanted peace, but when it came to keeping Sophia safe, he’d have gone to war. His love for her was sudden but oh so sweet. They were such a cute couple.

I did find a lot of the modern terms coming from aliens to remove me from the sci-fi setting a bit, but it wasn’t too much of a distraction.

* I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review

Release Blitz: I, Volcano by Eule Grey #LGBTQ #sciencefiction @ninestarpress @GoIndiMarketing

Title: I, Volcano

Series: Volcano Chronicles, Book One

Author: Eule Grey

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 08/23/2021

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 62300

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, new adult, alternate universe, bisexual, lesbian, action/adventure, illness/disease, intercultural, doctors, musician, enemies to lovers, folklore, ocean/sea creatures, hurt/ comfort, tear-jerker, grieving, survivor’s guilt

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Description

According to ancient rhymes, the islanders of Ansar and Skarle are children of the volcano, born of fire and destined to be lovers. After the eruption, the prophecies are forgotten as all are forced to flee. Nobody cares about silly nursery rhymes now, certainly not Jalob.

When shy medic Jalob Baleine heads to war, it isn’t for romance. She only wants to help refugees who have no home or allies. Because they are kin. Jalob was born under the same glowering volcano, on an idyllic island surrounded by dolphins. Like the refugees, she fled the lava and secretly cherishes the old ways.

She falls asleep, ignoring the pull of tides, and dreams of a loving touch. Who doesn’t? And sure, maybe Jalob hasn’t felt whole for years, but war isn’t the time for fantasies. She keeps to herself and hopes someone else will sort the war out. One woman can’t heal the world. After all, she has enough to do, what with tending the sick and her supervisor, Susan, always on her back.

Then Jalob meets stroppy violinist, Corail Esplash. After an explosive introduction, they’re forced to spend time together. Stress makes them long for a reprise, and a fragile line dances between love and hate. Inevitably, the young women exchange island stories. Corail is head-strong and rude, a typical Ansar who loves to tease and be chased. And Jalob—strong, loyal, from Skarle—has such fast legs… Could the old rhymes about destiny be right? Ah, fate.

Death and war are relentless enemies, and difficult choices lie ahead. Can a shy girl rekindle the power of a dead volcano and harness the ocean? One woman can’t heal the world, but maybe Jalob is the only one who can save Corail.

Excerpt

I, Volcano
Eule Grey © 2021
All Rights Reserved

The news on TV isn’t good. Refugees march across Mainland with no place to go.

Dad sighs. “Why? What can anyone achieve by systematic annihilation? Why do some people want to own the world?”

“Supremacy?” I guess. The ways of angry people have always been a mystery to me. “I don’t understand either. Why is there so much hate?” I did world history in school and know the basics, but it doesn’t really help. There’s never been peace, despite Mainland being filled with people from all creeds. “There must be wrongs on both sides.”

Dad stirs his tea vigorously. Brown liquid sloshes over the rim. One of these days he’s going to break that mug. “I’m not so sure. It’s territorial, like always,” he says ruefully. “We should be safe.”

Mainland is more than thirty miles from where we live on the island of Farland. Our small-island laws and rules are thankfully removed from Mainland dictation and, by and large, they leave us alone. My people have a long history of looking the other way. Not very admirable, but it has its plus points.

“Yes, but what about them?” The news is full of footage of little kids and old people being carried in supermarket carts. “Will anyone help?” I lean into Dad’s solid frame, glad to be safe in our cottage. We don’t have much, but we sleep at night and have enough to eat.

I remember what it’s like to leave at midnight, knowing you’ll never see home again.

He pats my knee. “I don’t know. Macke says they’ve already started arriving in boats. Families mostly.”

“From where?” I try to think back to geography lessons and books. Although I’ve done well in medical studies, I was no good at other lessons. “From Esk? Isn’t that the nearest coast?” I love Esk. We used to row there often to spend weekends and holidays. “I hope it doesn’t get ruined by war.”

Dad tuts. “Jalob! People are much more important than buildings.”

“I know that. I just don’t get why countries can’t solve things by talking.” The truth is, seeing the refugees is more than disturbing. It’s easier to pretend all the trouble can be solved with a chat than to acknowledge it probably can’t.

“A country behaves the same as an individual,” he says. Any minute now, he’s going to bring up me being bullied at school. “When one person is stronger than the other, or maybe, angrier, more damaged, more hurt, sometimes being friends isn’t an option. You can’t have a conversation if the other person isn’t listening.”

“Mm.”

“Friendship is a privilege, not a given right. Remember when you were at school, and—?”

“I get it, I get it. I’m being selfish. It’s just hard to imagine when you’re seeing it on TV. What even started this war? I don’t mean all the petty arguments. I mean, what was the actual cause?”

“Do you know nothing of the world? It’s your history too.”

I shrug. “I know potatoes make excellent chips and fried eggs are good to dip. What goes on in Mainland isn’t my business.” I’m uncomfortable he’s trying to make this war relevant to me. I don’t mind hearing about Skarle, but I don’t want to start thinking about boats and refugees. It’ll only lead to images of volcanoes and what happens when people can’t get away.

He shakes his head and laughs. “Always thinking with your stomach! What do you mean it’s not your business? Mainland Ansars originate from the islands.” He looks at me meaningfully. “You know—our islands. They’re different from our island Ansars, sure, and they left hundreds of years ago, but still. They’re our people, Jalob.”

Ours? From what I remember, island Ansars certainly didn’t belong to anyone.

“Mm. I know that much.”

Ansars fascinate me. Since I can remember, I’ve had a crush on an Ansar—Berl. Fish and frogs, is she gorgeous! Tall, slim, messy long hair, and full of cutting sarcasm. Everyone fancies her. I’ve always kept out of her way. People like that don’t want to associate with the likes of me.

On the last night of our final school term, students had been allowed to gather. She’d got out a guitar and sung all night. It was spellbinding. I waited until everyone had left, just to watch her pack away. Just to make the evening last a little longer. Maybe I hoped she might talk to me? Skarles and Ansars have a long history. And, like Dad says, we come from the same place.

Berl noticed me, standing by the big oak tree. She sauntered over and looked me up and down. “You’re massive. Are you Skarle?” she asked.

“Um. Yes. I mean. I was. Until the volcano. Yes. Um.”

“Um? What are you, a bee?”

“Sorry.”

I thought she was going to be rude, like she normally is. When she kissed and started touching me, I actually thought I was drunk and hallucinating. It was the best night of my life.

When she unbuttoned my top, I was so excited I didn’t know what to do, so I just watched her do it.

Being tall, big, and clumsy, I’m all the opposites to her. I could probably have lifted her up with one hand if I had wanted to. That night, though, I hadn’t felt very strong at all. She took my top off, unzipped me, and then squeezed and prodded at me. I didn’t know what it was supposed to feel like. Even now, I’m not sure I liked it that much.

Then she walked off, like nothing had happened.

Didn’t answer any of my messages afterwards. I suppose one day, I’ll stop thinking about her and wishing for what can’t be.

Dad gets into his stride. “Over the years, they’ve become undesirable in Mainland. I suppose that’s the word. I don’t know how it started, but Mainlanders started squeezing them out. There were protests, but nobody can stand up to an army. Looks like they’ve ordered the Ansars out of eastern Mainland. But why? Those poor people have to live somewhere.”

“It’s really worrying. Are Ansars safe here in Farland?”

“Are you thinking about that girl?” Dad pats my knee. “She’ll be fine. Mainlanders have no jurisdiction here.”

“Girl? Who?”

“You know who. Berl.”

“Oh! Hah-hah. I wasn’t thinking about her. I’ve moved on,” I lie. “Haven’t seen her since college.”

“She isn’t worth the time you spent pining,” Dad says. “Didn’t have the decency to answer your calls.”

“It’s fine. I couldn’t care less.” I’m absolutely not going to talk about dates with my father. “We can’t just watch.” I nod at the TV, wanting Dad to stop scrutinising me. Sometimes I think he reads my mind. “We have to help.”

Watching Ansar people in trouble is different to seeing Farland folk in trouble. I’d still be upset, but this is more. It’s not like watching people fight and knowing you can step in and help. It’s more like, I’m in the fight and on the losing side.

“Actually—” He starts to speak and then turns away, biting his lip.

“What?”

“It’s just. Well. The International Agency is asking for medics to volunteer.” He speaks slowly, like he might be already regretting it. “It’s nothing. Forget I said anything.”

“For what?”

“Doctors, nurses, anyone medical. All those people walking miles need medical treatment.” He shakes his head and sighs. “The camps must be crying out for help.”

It’ll be another two months before I’m a qualified medic. I haven’t considered doing anything except work at the local hospital and stay with Dad.

“Oh.” I speak fluent Ansar and am used to working with all kinds of people. Theoretically, I could offer. “Do you think they’d accept me? I don’t have any experience except college. I expect they’ll get a lot of applications from some great medics. They don’t want someone like me. I’m sure there’ll be others who can do it better.” Like always.

“Jalob,” Dad tuts. “Why do you have such little confidence in yourself?”

I wait for him to say, Believe in yourself; you’re a great girl, so I can nod without having to answer. He doesn’t though. He waits for me to speak. I blush up like a big red stupid letter box. “I dunno” is the best I can manage. “Stop looking at me.” I stand and head for my bedroom.

“Jalob,” Dad calls.

I lock the door and flop onto my bed. I can’t stand another round of Dad therapy. I hear the words, but they just bounce off my skin. I wish he was right—that I’m a great person who only needs a chance to prove myself.

Truth is, I’m just me. When has that ever been good enough?

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Meet the Author

Eule Grey has settled, for now, in the north UK. She’s worked in education, justice, youth work, and even tried her hand at butter-spreading in a sandwich factory. Sadly, she wasn’t much good at any of them!

She writes novels, novellas, poetry, and a messy combination of all three. Nothing about Eule is tidy but she rocks a boogie on a Saturday night!

For now, Eule is she/her or they/them. Eule has not yet arrived at a pronoun that feels right.

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