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Posts tagged “LGBTQIA+ fiction

Light in the Lantern: With K. S. Trenten

Over a blasted landscape, a mouse scampers. He lifts a defiant paw to the heavens, oh, wait, he’s just saying hello…

Mousetrick: Greetings! Welcome to Steampunk Lancaster! My name is Mousetrick, prince of the warren, owner of whiskers extraordinaire…

Theodora: Grrrowrr…

Theodora is the large, stuffed bear carried in the arms of the little girl wearing a red cape. 

Grace: (the girl in the cape) Theodora says you’re supposed to introduce our scribbler. Not yourself.

Mousetrick: Says who? (chitters) I am a lot more interesting than she is! Just look at my whiskers. (twirls his whiskers)

Theodora: (unimpressed) Growrrr…

Mousetrick: Oh, fine. We were created by K.S. Trenten. She scribbles. Back to what I was saying. Strange time have struck the Islands of Ire…Flesh eating Liver birds plague the sky…

A sinister cackle erupts as said birds dive-bomb Mousetrick…

Mousetrick: Squeak!

An army of tiny soliders march over the landscape, taking aim at the birds with their tiny toy guns. They’re lead by a nutcracker. They take aim at the sky.

Pop! The birds screech their indignition and depart.

Mousetrick: That’s my toothy beauty! (preens and smooths his fur) As if those weren’t bad enough Sugar-Zombies roam the streets, spreading their curse like a plague…

There’s moaning and shuffling sound from all directions. Mousetrick, Grace, Theodora, the soliders, and the nutcracker freeze in their tracks.

Theodora: Growwrr!

Grace: Quick! To the lighthouse!

Everyone runs in the direction of the lighthouse, glowing, emitting choral music which stops the zombies in their tracks. It gives mouse, girl, and toys a chance to pound on the door. 

It’s opened by a sleek, attractive individual of indeterminate gender, dressed in the somber black attire of a household servant. 

Claude: Good evening. You’d better hurry inside. 

They stand out of the way to let the refugees race up the stairs. 

At the top; a slender boy and four young women stand together, singing in perfect tune. 

In the old tower

We re-kindle the beacon

Keep watch on the hour

So hope may awaken

They stop singing when the little party stops and stares at them. 

Grace: Nat!

Nathalie: (for she’s one of the women singing, a coppery-skinned young woman dressed in loose russet) Grace! 

Mousetrick: Christopher!

Christopher: (for he’s the boy. Never mind how he knows Mousetrick, he knows all of my characters) Mousetrick! 

Theodora: Growwr! 

Cinders: (the dustiest of all the four women) Claude let you in? You found your way here? 

Ariella: (a dark-haired lady in dark blue with sharp ankles visible beneath her skirt) Of course they did. 

Maia: (the last woman wearing a top hat) Grace, what were you doing out there? Didn’t you hear what we were singing?

Grace: It’s all right. We got away from Liver Birds and Sugar-Zombies. 

Mousetrick: (smoothing his fur once more) As you can see, we are well-armed and able to protect ourselves.

Cracktooth: Except we ran. 

Mousetrick: Oh, don’t sweat the details! I’m well-armed with my toothy beauty and our army of tin soldiers. We shall keep the beasts at bay. 

Christopher: We shall? 

Grace: We’ll think of something. Won’t we, Theodora?

Theodora: Growwr. 

Nathalie: I could distract them with a story? Maybe they’d go bother someone else. 

Cinders: As guardians of hope, should we really encourage them to go bother someone else?

Maia: I could take them down a casserole. Or gingerbread. Are Sugar-Zombies fond of sugar? Maybe they’d prefer gingerbread to brains. 

Mousetrick: You’ll attract all sorts of riff-raff if you start carrying around gingerbread. (He sniffs in unease at the night. Yes, among the monster sounds there’s the chittering of other rats.) 

Christopher: (opening eyes filled with color and stolen memories) I wonder if what’s out there is worse than what I’ve found beyond the Door. 

Theodora: Growwr!!

Grace: Let’s not find out! 

Nathalie: I agree. 

Cinders: Let’s just keep the forces at bay. Keep hope alive. 

Grace: We can do that. 

Mousetrick: (striking a pose) Of course we can!

Cracktooth: Aren’t we supposed to be introducing our scribbler’s work? 

Mousetrick: (striking a pose) Of course! Her’s is the tale of our torrid passion, Cracktooth’s and mine, misunderstood in many a story or ballet; Seven Tricks…

Some say a mouse king has seven heads. Hah, trust a human to get our legends wrong. A mouse prince must perform seven tricks before the twelve days of Christmas are up. It’s how he wins his crown, but I’ve got my whiskers set on something else. A stiff beauty with a magnificent jaw, waiting for me under the holiday shrub. I caught his scent in a dream, which I’ve been sniffing after ever since. Scamper with me through my adventures and misadventures, dodging traps, cats, and giants, while I win a steadfast nutcracker’s heart.  

And if you wish to read about our adventures-

Cracktooth: Or misadventures.

Mousetrick: (unphased) -go to…

Nine Star Press:  https://ninestarpress.com/product/seven-tricks/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seven-tricks-ks-trenten/1127424849?ean=2940158598838

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Seven+Tricks%2C+by+K.S.+Trenten

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/seven-tricks

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/758279

Maia: And here’s where you read about my torrid affair with Nathalie…

Nathalie: Not to mention Grace’s adventures. Or misadventures. 

Maia: No matter how much of it is inside her head.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: You tell them, Theodora! This is our story. As long as Princess Grace’s story. And Iama the Terrible’s story.

Maia: I’m *not* that terrible. 

Nathalie: Depends on which Iama you’re talking about…

When their home becomes too dangerous for them, Nathalie and Grace’s mothers decide that Mama Morisot will move with the girls to the city of Verity while Mama Bibi stays behind. There, they find safety and friends—Nathalie in the dashing Maia and Grace in Theodora Bear—but all is not right in Verity.

The gears of industry grind on relentlessly in the city, threatening to stifle creativity and magic, seeking to end childhood. One tragic blow at a time, Grace watches as the magic and love around her dies until she also begins to give into despair. It will be up to a stuffed bear and the magic of the holidays to remind Grace how vital imagination is in keeping her family whole.

Maia: Nat, the buy links! We need to tell them where to buy our story at!

Nathalie: Oops. (abashed grin) Here’s where you can find Wind Me Up, One More Time…

Mischief Corner Books/Shenanigans Press: https://www.mischiefcornerbooks.com/wind-me-up-one-more-time.html#/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081LPX2WH

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/wind-me-up-one-more-time

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wind-me-up-one-more-time-ks-trenten/1134959345

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1488235515?fbclid=IwAR1_ox2T5jIHibPFBHUqTck0SNaP3pcZIgNM4DS3VAjU47mn3o5iu260bMA

Cinders: Ariella and I-

Ariella: And Claude.

Cinders: And Claude. We have our own story, At Her Service which is searching for a home.

Ariella: Which means it needs to be republished. 

Cinders: Our scribbler does have another story, A Symposium in Space. I feel a lot of empathy for Phaedra. She’s on a journey, too, only it’s through the stars. And her heart is being tested. 

Ariella: You go to a ball. She goes to a symposium. 

Cinders: Yes, there is that, isn’t there in A Symposium in Space?

Phaedra and her lover, Pausania are invited to a dinner party. Only this won’t be like any party Phaedra has ever been to. Nor does Pausania want her to go. Phaedra is determined, even if she has to find her own way to this symposium in space. A fateful encounter with the spaceship of her dreams and the wandering philosopher, Sokrat, lead Phaedra to a unique gathering of individuals where thoughts of love are offered up…and consumed.  

Tagline: The party continues in a decadent matriarchal future where the guests may find themselves eating their words…literally. 

Ariella: You can find A Symposium in Space at…

Nine Star Press: https://ninestarpress.com/product/a-symposium-in-space/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Symposium-Space-Feast-Words-ebook/dp/B07PGB15FY/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3BPACY58MCCMV&keywords=a+symposium+in+space&qid=1552937461&s=digital-text&sprefix=A+Sympo%2Caps%2C239&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130883509?ean=2940161507872

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-symposium-in-space

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/928136

Christopher: I’m involved in a series of stories our scribbler has been working on for some time, Tales of the Navel. You can find some of those stories at her blog, the Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration. I’m there most Mondays, having conversations with other characters. When I don’t have to share the space with a particularly obstinate dwarf. 

Quartz: (his voice comes from the air) Who’s obstinate?!

Christopher: Ahem, we’re at inspirationcauldron.wordpress.com 

Quartz: Ruddy shadows. Don’t eat, just devour memories and feelings. Like vampires or ghosts they are.

Everyone looks at Christopher.

Christopher: (lowering his eyelashes) I’ve never denied it. Our scribbler sometimes writes as herself at…

cauldronkeeper.livejournal.com

Christopher: Or she indulges in flights of fanciful fandom at…

rhodrymavelyne.dreamwidth.org

Quartz: Ruddy Hannibal. As if she wasn’t distracted enough.

Christopher: You’re not here! Fairest needs to find a new home, too! And Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystals Coffins, your story, hasn’t been published yet! 

Ariella: He’s right, though. She is distracted. 

Cinders: This may be why many of us are distracted, too. Grace?

Grace gazes off into space, not answering. 

Nathalie: I guess that proves your point. 

Christopher: Anyway if you’d like to find our scribbler, K.S. Trenten on social media, look at these places…

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rhodrymavelyne

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14876500.K_S_Trenten?from_search=true

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/kstrenten

Nine Star Press Author Page: https://ninestarpress.com/authors/k-s-trenten/

Grace: Is that all?

Mousetrick: (twirling his whiskers) Our shift is over.

There’s a pounding at the door below.

Mousetrick: (scampering behind Cracktooth) Liver-Birds?

Grace: (hugging Theodora) Or Sugar-Zombies?

Christopher: They have a taste for artists. Ever since one fell afoul of them. 

Nathalie: (raising an eyebrow at Maia) We’d better be careful. 

Maia: (walks to the stairs leading up) As if Iama the Terrible has anything to fear. 

Christopher: (follows) I thought she was just a character in your mother’s novels. 

Maia: (smiling with a glint in her eye) Oh, Christopher. Is anything “just” anything in a place like this? 

The two of them watch the stairs. Happily the rest of the watch passes peacefully…we hope!  


Silk and Steel

Happy Halloween weekend! And full moon as well – woop! I hope you all have splendid plans despite the lockdown putting a bit of a damper on things! xx

Content warning – this post contains stolen words, phrases and philosophies pilfered from the pockets of well respected writers and thinkers and mercilessly mutilated out of recognition. It also contains a hidden lost poem by James Joyce and probably a lot of nonsense… I have no idea if it makes sense but hopefully you will enjoy it anyway as Vraxi enjoys his first taste of Church…

Deep into the rusky-dusky neon dusty where high cathexis reigned.
The petrichor struck him first – attar half-dreamed backwards. Lives overlapping. Tang. Saline and sour – the hot liquor that runs its corniche passage out to the ethereal sea – damned spot – Spyro may have teased him many times for the fiction he enjoyed but. He had read other things. He did have a library card after all.
Now. The primal scream of body fluids calling across the womb-world he was stepping into snatched at his senses; transcending the ineluctable modality of the visible until it brine-bleached him out and washed him up. viii
A husk. Longfellow’s wretched wreck.
Blood-boiling-sea-spewed and spineless and ready to receive the sacrament : The sound. The Demonsong that plunged unrelenting talons into intercostal space and tore.
Rent.
With ferocious delight the fabric of assumed reality.
Result? Strange gibbosity of chroma. Not the art of oracular contemplation – not thinking through the eyes – not thinking at all for his ears now perceived the waves of colour before his blundering matter grasped for purchase on a description.ix
Even then. All there was to grasp at was the tincture – vanished or obliterated the form. The form has left the building. Thankyou and goodnight. And jolly good luck. Like the long snot-green sari wraps of kelp which drag the mariner down or lash the frozen maiden from her grotesque vigil at the prow.x
The myriad layers which enabled sight were filtered now through the portals of his auditory lens…and so-spinning not transmuted but perceived with something like a third eye.
Eyes shut tight.
Looking in and seeing out.
Lives and worlds overlapping.
Hearing backwards and seeing scents.
Each cast then became. Not a component of some puzzle to be assembled into karoo, egg, brake, hominid, demitasse or walrus.xi Coo-coo-Ka-chooxii. But symbols to be read and understood.
Sigils of power; their purest essence now revealed in perfect, sacred, sublime simplicity.
Here was rust and silverbluexiii
icterine
sandy taupe
quinacridone magenta
ultramarine
and here was violet Caran d’Ache and violet and very light blue
isabelline
nadeshiko pink
titanium yellow
palatinate purple
eigengrau
rose madder
chartreuse
heliotrope
eggshell
deep space sparkle
ao
ecru
rubine red
ivory
emerald
oxblood
nyanza
timberwolf
hunter green
ecru
caput mortuum
razzmic berry
amber
gamboge
saffron
orchid
feldgrau
turtle green
inchworm
magenta
electric green
wild strawberry
harvest gold
eggplant
rojo
erin
telemagenta
honeydew
ebony
rhythm
umber
dutch white
eton blue
denim
indigo
neon carrot
old burgundy
fiame
tangerine
harlequin
india green
sepia
celadon
earth yellow
navy blue
tennè
ultramarine
rose pompadour
yellow
Carnelian
arylide yellow
nickel
teal
redwood
olive
upsdell red
bistre
lapis lazuli
eerie black
hot pink
Illuminating emerald
maroon
naples yellow
onyx
mindaro
olivine
richblack
electric lime xiv

And now here. He perceived himself; manifesting his resonance, and his companions – himself and all of them – grey in their unripe and pitted youth.
And now. Here. Here she came. A Goldmother, sweet like honey in the veins; bearing lightly that radiant maternal sheen of stars… her twin pronged crescent crown rising through the dark.
Chi-chi was demanding they seek council from the very capable somebody or other and it was explained, then, that Chi Chi was a Priest Of Dust and ever opposed to the ‘pestilent, boiling light’ of candles who would one day inherit the earth and bring about its destruction.
Everyone ignored him.
Everyone was a lost sheep who had found his own gibbosity to give a sermon from.
Gathering followers like a carcass gets flies.
Matti was talking seriously about the pinpricks of light at his feet. The pinnacles of grass blades. Bubble universes. Synchronicity. Feeling the feathers tickle his flesh through his boots.

And Klauda was weeping like Mary The Mare or Sara with nothing but her cloak to save the sinking vessel carrying all the Hope in the world…

crying the blades were steel and had stripped his flesh to ribbons. Rivers of boiling blood and not a rock to run to.xxi Crying “As the soil is that brought forth these, so the heart of this city – the heart of Man.”


Vraxi could see none of it. Not the grass. Not the blades. Not the rivers of boiling light and blood.


He saw the diaphanous haze, like a scrying screen, reflecting each object’s inner truth – each sigil-self, each signature of dust, imprint, riddle. Secret name… each code for adding up the dots of every chunk of matter… each idea, building on the other until he felt himself ‘The Master Of Those Who Know’xxiii and the truth of all the world prostrated itself before him like a red carpet as the diaphane slid, its limits shifting like the dust, or his consciousness, or the sand of a strip of lonely strand.


And there was the Goldmother. Coming towards him – sung by demons into bright and resonant form.


“Touch me?” He whispered. “Touch me that I might know I am real, and you are real?”


But the Goldmother laughed and shook her head. Her wax face began to melt. “None of us is real.” she whispered back. “We are just the memories of dust – and a poor memory it has indeed. But it matters not. Come through. There is still work that we can do, and the fates need us. Candles have seen your light. Candles have chosen you because you burn like them. Come and join us in the cult of candles.”


Nacheinander, nacheinander, as if to wake the clocks and remind them of their duty, he went with her; pious as a Jesuit scholar, trusting in the ineluctable modality of the audible – the song of demons and the voice of the wax melting Goldmother, the priestess of candles, one foot after the other, nebeneinander; side by side, through spaces occupied by the signatures of so many souls all merging into clouds of diaphanous coloured dust – one becomes the other – sound becomes vision, scent becomes sound, space becomes time, and still the clocks sleep on and the dust in its frustration and powerlessness pines for company and tries to remake the world with the petulance of a little Nag Hammadi not-god – so many stories – now nothing but shadows on the cave wall…


And now here it was.
The wall.
Wrought by the Demiurge no doubt; a last stand against this journey into eternity.
Strands of times and spaces. All woven into one. One. And not-One. In the End.
As if in confirmation – the image of a raven.
Carved into the stone.
And Goldmother struck it with her rowan staff, that grew into a persimmon tree and rooted itself to the ground.
She pressed the fruit into his palm and he opened it. Five fingers in.xxvi
Found in his hands a necklace of shells

To place around her neck. Something he had crafted as a child and now forgotten – lucky silver, saved up under boards / secret safe between himself and the accumulated attic dust.
Lucky silver to keep her safe on those dark nights, walking home in her honey-sweet dreams. She had two nights off a week to do as she pleased and always he was afraid he would never see her again.
So.
Silver bells and cockle shells – he’d heard the street birds singing of His delight.
“Is this the way to Deasyville, four score and ten , pray go up and pray go down and widdershins ye turn around, a jump to the left, a step to the right and ye’ll be there by candlelight, the triptogram the hare goes down, is this the way to Mulligan’s Town? Widdershins ye turn around and wade up to yer knee. For all the blood in all the world runs through the veins of that country.”
And the Church men.
The Old Church men.
Processed the goddess of life on their shoulders, where no woman or unclean thing was permitted to step.
On their shoulders into the sea.
White horses a-gallop in the spray.
Silverblue were her eyes as the fairy-flax, her cheeks like the dawn of day.
And it seemed a hundred lifetimes ago, and only yesterday.


“Close your eyes now.” she whispered.
He felt they had been closed eternally.
Only now beginning to open.
“Three, four, knock on the door, five the gate and six too late…”
And he reached into the warm fissure of his memories, of the memory of her memory, through the shadow-mimes on their rock-wrought canvas stage, hearing in his bones, the children singing on the strand below the gibbosity of his own firm plateaux.
For half
For a gasp
For half a heart beat he was afraid to wake, lest the world be gone away, as so it seemed.
Open your eyes now, do, no cliff-top plummet down for you, no slughorn knell.
See?
You are through. The victory of the adiaphane is not redeemed.
And there. Opening eyes. The world is returned. No black adiaphane of eternal nothingness but light!
Light!
Candles in their multitudes. Their stuttering a catalectic tetrameter of iambsxxxi – goo goo g’joob – pulsing back the diaphane, revealing the signature of everything.
And there she stood, his own goo goo goosth goldmother, mountain of femininity, Astarte in crystalline relief.
“I… I… I need four vials of demonsong.” he blurted. Anchored to that thought. Tears streaming down. On his knees before his Not-mother Mother : all Gold and Horned and Radiant perfection and melting before his eyes.

“I need four vials of demonsong, or… or else they’re going to kill me… the Colonel will, certainly, and when Ros and Spyro find out, perhaps they will too…and Keyja… Keyja has sworn that she will turn me inside out and…”
“Serve the light.” she whispered. “Serve the bleeding river and the boiling sea, serve the dust and the rock-mothers, serve the candles and the memory of me. Soon the dying sun will bring all things to an end – even eternity.”


Silk and Steel

Happy Friday! Well our forray into Icewind Dale last weekend nearly wiped our entire high-level party just from the cold and scary as that was it really set the scene for the horror-feel and made everything super intense and sand-boxy which we haven’t had for a looooong time – it felt more like playing something like Blades in The Dark. Brilliant 😀

But enough Dnd – here is the next bit of Silk and Steel – if you happened to miss the chapter waaaaayyyy back where the Doctor met Pan Twardowski in the park in the form of The Crow Man you want to know that Pan gave the Doctor a mysterious vial that looked similar to demonsong and told him to find a way to make Spyro drink it…. just sayin… XD XD XD 😉

“And now that they are out of the way,” the doctor said, as he placed a glass in front of Spyro and took one for himself, “if you expect me to be involved in this scheme, then I expect absolute candour from you, as always.”
Spyro ingnored the drink and leaned in close.

“All I require for this one is your advice and your discretion.” he said, his voice low and intense.


The Doctor stared hard at him. “The more information I have, the better the advice I can give.” He spread his palms, “As for discretion, you know it is not a concept I have ever had much time for, but… it would not suit me at present to see you in any form of difficulty.”

Perhaps the only reason I am still alive. – Spyro couldn’t help reflecting and he supressed a shudder at how close he thout he had come to pushing the powerful Ghani too far.


He nodded, intimating that the sentiment was both accepted and reciprocated, for now. “Very well then. An old aquaintance has returned to the city – an unimaginably powerful one who, for reasons I won’t bore you with, wishes to put an end to our lucrative corporation.”

“You mean he wants you dead.”

Spyro spun his glass again,still ignoring the full one the doctor had givenhim. “I did not say that,” he said, smiling up through his fringe of dark curls.


The Doctor held his gaze. “You did not have to.”

Spyro licked his dry lips and for a long while they sat there, locked in yet another of their many stand-offs.


At length, the antiques dealer leaned back, threw his arm over the back of the bench and let his gaze wander around the room before finally deigning to re-join the conversation. “This person commands an uncommon power,” he said, keeping his voice low, “something akin to that wielded by the church and the vesperai…”

“Then perhaps Blondell is your better choice of confident…”

“Damn it!” He struck the table with his fist in frustration and instantly regretted it as he saw the ghani’s colour begin to rise.

“Look, I can’t trust Blondell,” he said earnestly, “you are my business associate and one of my oldest and closest companions, I am trusting the matter to you and to no one else.”


The Doctor nodded thoughtfully. “Fine. Then speak.”
“I need a way of combatting that power myself. I have seenthis man bested by demons once before andI am curious – what would be the effect on someone who is not demon-bound if they drank demonsong? Would it give them a similar power?”


The Doctor raised his eyebrows. “I am a man of science…”


“You are an alchemist is this not your area of expertise?”


“Demonsong remains at present a theological conundrum. However,” he added as he saw Spyro was about to make a retort, “I have been regularly subjected to the pompous rhetoric of my fellows enough to convey that the most widely accepted theory on the subject maintains that demonsong works the way it does because it calls to the divine spark present in all things – god calling to god, if you will.”


Spyro shrugged as if it mattered little and the The Doctor pressed on.
“When a demon-bound person drinks demonsong it is generally supposed that it awakens that divine spark within the demon and grants it, for a short while, a burst of god-like power. If there were no demon, then…”

“Oh my goodness! I am SO so sorry!!” The barmaid who had bustled over to clear their empty glasses suddenly slipped, sending the four untouched drinks spilling all over the table.


“Don’t trouble yourself, it was merely an accident,” The Doctor said, “I have not a splash upon my person.”


Spyro, who was quite drenched from the waist down and now sported claret stains upon his white shirt smiled reassuringly as he pulled a handkerchief and began mopping at his trousers. “The Doctor is right, it matters not at all, “ he said pleasantly.


The barmaid shook her head, “I will get you another round out of my tips, my loves,” she said, patting his arm and collecting the glasses onto her tray.

“I wouldn’t hear of it,” Spyro said, “have one for yourself instead.” And he gave her a handful of fleshcoins and a winning smile.


They waited until she had gone before resuming the conversation.

“So you think it would have no effect because there is no demon?” Spyro deduced.

The Doctor shook his head. “Quite the opposite, I think the results would be very interesting. I will bring you a vial of the stuff tonight if you wish.”


Spyro frowned. He had been certain that the Doctor had been heading down the opposite track and now he wondered how he could have misinterpreted his tone and expression so badly. I am letting this Twardowski business affect my judgement. He chided himself. The sooner it is dealt with the better. “So, theoretically, drinking demonsong would give a person a burst of power similar to that of a demon? For a short time.”

“For a short time, it would seem so.”

“Then I am for it. Thankyou,” he said earnestly, as Fey returned to the table, steering an unsteady looking Xander gently but firmly by the shoulders.


“Don’t mention it.” The Doctor replied, moving over so that the pair could take their seats again.

“Ready to play?” Spyro asked.

“All set.” Fey grinned confidently.

Xander nodded but didn’t say a word.


#RainbowSnippets: Curious Adventures

Happy Saturday!  Here’s my #RainbowSnippets post for this week – if you’re new to this, Rainbow Snippets is a chance to read and share 6 sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction every Saturday. There’s a huge variety from Steampunk, like mine, to Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Comedy and everything in between. You can join the fun and read all the other fabulous snippets at the wonderfully friendly and supportive official facebook group here.
This week I’m snipping from the first book in my Ashton’s Kingdom series, The Curious
Adventures Of Smith And Skarry, which is now available to pre-order on Kindle or free if you sign up to support us on Patreon. Hugest thanks to everyone who has already pre-ordered, I’ve been really blown away by the support from everyone, it really does mean so much, thankyou 😀

 

This story started life on my kitchen wall, scribbled on the backs of envelopes and slips of paper whenever I got the chance and blue-tacked in place until there wasn’t room for any more and I had to start typing it up! It includes diverse characters from across the gender spectrum and beneath the humorous veneer it asks big questions about the important issues of power, identity and, most importantly,  fine china.

 

For reference, if you’ve been enjoying the Jack and Marjory snippets, this story happens immediately before those events, so Jack and Marjory are still working down the treacle mine at this point – and the Pirate Captain on the front cover is Jack Diamond who rescues them in book two 🙂
If you’d like some world background you can find it here in the INTRODUCTION which is at the start of the book as well.

We’re still on the opening of the first chapter and this week follows on from last week’s snippet which you can find here: #RainbowSnippets: Curious Adventures

 

Mercurio Smith obviously valued his own neck above anything else on earth and his plans were never less than meticulous. No, the danger involved here was not Skarry’s objection.

What is your objection, now?” There was a mocking condescension (just a modicum, just enough to nip without drawing blood) flirting with the weariness in Mercurio’s voice.

Skarry frowned at him, “It’s stealing,” he said plainly.

Mercurio shook his head pityingly. The moonlight caught his smile and Skarry almost shuddered, ”You know, I’m beginning to think that you are far too demonic for my own good.”

 

Untitled design (1)

The evil overlord Wiz has seized control of all the tea, cake and magic in the universe. In a world crammed with dubious science and cream-powered technology, crippled by sugar tax and loose leaf ration books, overrun by cake smugglers, tea fiends and lemonade dealers, ruled over by Tea Time Lords and policed by vigilante mechanical angels, only a band of truly extraordinary adventurers can bring down this oppressive empire and save the good people of Ire from this tea time tyranny. Could these two would-be wizards, Messrs Smith and Skarry, and their band of land pirates, skywaymen, witches, orphans and other relentless rogues, be the anti-heroes The New World has been waiting for, or have they simply stirred up an enormous storm in a rather tiny teacup?

 

Wishing you all a most splendiferous week and don’t forget to check in at the #rainbowsnippets facebook group for more fabulous snippets of LGBTQIA+ fiction


#RainbowSnippets: Jack and Marjory

Happy Saturday!

Last weekend we had a wonderful time at the annual kite festival – think endless sandy beach covered in giant kites including a purple and black dragon and a giant blue octopus! Plus vintage fair ground rides and candyfloss 😀 We also saw japanese kite fighting for the first time which was thrilling and got to shout ‘WASSSOIIII!” to cheer on our fave gekko kite 😀 This weekend we’ll be spying for the harvest moon and the last of the Perseids (we saw them right at the start of their peak but now we might have resort to the internet, lol) and basking in what seems to be ‘St Michael’s Little Summer’ come early!

Here’s my #RainbowSnippets post for this week – if you’re new to this, Rainbow Snippets is a chance to read and share 6 sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction every Saturday. There’s a huge variety from Steampunk, like mine, to Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Comedy and everything in between. You can join the fun and read all the other fabulous snippets at the wonderfully friendly and supportive official facebook group here 🙂

So, here is the next snippet from Jack and Marjory – my novella-in-progress which gives two of my Bi-Gendered characters a chance to tell something of their own little side-adventure, which actually had a massive impact on the history of Ire in a ‘behind-the-scenes’ kind of way.

If you missed last week’s snippet you can catch up here: #RainbowSnippets: Jack and Marjory

If you want to start from the beginning you can do so here: https://blakeandwight.com/2018/09/29/rainbowsnippets-jack-and-marjory/

To recap, Jack and Marjory have completely lost track of the teaset thanks to the smooth talking painter / poet Michael Biscotti and his crew of Beautiful, Beatnik, Bastard associates…

 

Michael had told us to ‘come and find him later’ and then promptly vanished, leaving us surrounded by a superfluity of creative coves all far too stuck up their own chimney stacks to pay any attention to us. And, after a few minutes careful consideration, we was still not a stone’s throw on in our quest to take some sort of decisive action.

So we just sat back and enjoyed watchin’ the birds all doing their thing. It was true that we’d been stupidly distracted by the divine bastard that was Michael Biscotti and forgotten to notice what happened to the teaset ( and later we felt that in this respect our arrival at The Lion was not our finest hour) but for now the pressing matter of that fine porcelain and all it portented   was eclipsed by the pre-raphs turning the carpet into a canvas of tea-painted utopian scenes from mythical antiquity and Joyce Jameson standing on a table in the centre of the room, draped in the Mor-Irate flag crying 

“Whoever has the last bag of flour…  whoever has the last bag of flour…  push the  limits of the diaphane… find the soul of the commonest object… the soul of the teapot… the soul of the teasot… the last bag of flour…” 

 While two ladies sat on the floor surrounded by dried out teabags writing every word she said in tiny, tiny script on those tiny, tiny dried out bags, while five men stitched the finished ones together to make…  we had no idea… 

JACKANDMARJORYCOVER

being an entertaining and informative piece of travel writing by a couple of rogues on the run as they attempt to avoid the machinations of wizards, monarchs and a ruthless band of beatnik poets, deflect a civil war and deliver a priceless, historical tea set before the owner finds himself at the gallows.

 

Wishing you all a most splendiferous week and don’t forget to check in at the #rainbowsnippets facebook group for more fabulous snippets of LGBTQIA+ fiction 🙂 

 

book cover image by Renphoto 


#RainbowSnippets: Jack and Marjory

rainbow keeper, put the fairy rainbow on the sky, magic ship in the dreamland, scene from wonderland,

image copyright Nadiaforkosh

Happy Saturday!

Autumn has arrived here with a vengeance but it seems the wind might just have died down enough for the kite festival this weekend – tentacles crossed!  😀

Here’s my #RainbowSnippets post for this week – if you’re new to this, Rainbow Snippets is a chance to read and share 6 sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction every Saturday. There’s a huge variety from Steampunk, like mine, to Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Comedy and everything in between. You can join the fun and read all the other fabulous snippets at the wonderfully friendly and supportive official facebook group here 🙂

So, here is the next snippet from Jack and Marjory – my novella-in-progress which gives two of my Bi-Gendered characters a chance to tell something of their own little side-adventure, which actually had a massive impact on the history of Ire in a ‘behind-the-scenes’ kind of way.

If you missed last week’s snippet you can catch up here: #RainbowSnippets: Jack and Marjory

If you want to start from the beginning you can do so here: https://blakeandwight.com/2018/09/29/rainbowsnippets-jack-and-marjory/

To recap, Jack and Marjory have pretty much failed on their mission to deliver the teaset to Max, Max is now going to be hung for being an evil revolutionary and tea-addict and J&M now find themselves heading into the The Golden Lion and possible poetic peril…  (slightly less than 6 sentences this week, but they are long ones!)

 

So, The Lion has ghosts; for certain. But there weren’t room for a spirit when we got there; it was crammed from floor to rafters with bodies. Poets, painters, musicians, writers, actors, tea fiends, tiffin madames, gutter wizards, hex slingers, The Garish Regulars were there and even some of the scribes from the Burlington Arcade. 

Michael steered us unerringly through the coterious jungle of flesh and fancy fabrics and faces we recognised from theatre programmes and wanted posters.

“Christina! Darling! Bill! We’re back… yes, this is the Hex slinger, the ‘woman of the hour’…yes, indeed… somebody get Margo here some cake… and get us all a  Black Dragon we’re dry as rocks aren’t we dear?” 

If you’ve never been at a so-hot-you-might-combust party with a so-hot-you-might-combust poet’s hand on your shoulder and his silky voice like a smooth skinned chilli pepper spicin’ up the soup, then you’ve probably no sympathy for us at all, Pal, when we tell you that it was well over an hour before we came to our senses and found ourselves sat on the floor with a hip flask full of  oolong, a belly full of sponge and not the faintest idea what had happened to the teaset or what, exactly, we ought to be doing with ourselves.

JACKANDMARJORYCOVER

 

being an entertaining and informative piece of travel writing by a couple of rogues on the run as they attempt to avoid the machinations of wizards, monarchs and a ruthless band of beatnik poets, deflect a civil war and deliver a priceless, historical tea set before the owner finds himself at the gallows.

 

Wishing you all a most splendiferous week and don’t forget to check in at the #rainbowsnippets facebook group for more fabulous snippets of LGBTQIA+ fiction 🙂 

 

book cover image by Renphoto 


Soup of the day: With Ceri Harper-Leigh and George Shorttail

ceriandgeorge

Hello! Mrs Albert Baker here, otherwise known as The Last Witch Of Pendle. Obviously there is no Pendle any more, since The Chronic Agronauts utterly destroyed it with treacle and sprats, but I’ve set myself up quite nicely here in Lancaster, running this little soup kitchen for the street urchins. There certainly are a lot of them and I’m always looking for helping hands to cook up and serve something delicious!

Helping me this morning I am extremely honoured to welcome Admiral Ceri Harper-Leigh and George! Thankyou so much for coming to help me in my soup kitchen today, me Dears! May I take your hats and coats? We may be over St Michael’s Little Summer but here in the kitchen the fire is nice and warm

Thank-you, its splendid to be here. George and I feel quite at home sat  by the fire.

How was your trip from your own dimension? I hope you did not run into any hostile skypirates or alien life forms on your way?

Fortunately the Sky Pirates and aliens stayed away.  Luckily we managed to cadge a lift from the Regius Professor of Chronology at St. Cedd’s college, who just happened to be passing by your time/space co-ordinates.

Oh that’s marvellous, how convenient for you! And  have you brought along some soup to share with us?

I think we should have Georges favourite meal of “Magical Soup” – basically a mixed vegetable recipe with a star shaped toasted cheese crouton to float on top..

Mmm, it smells delicious, what a lovely idea! I’m sure the little urchins will enjoy it immensely. Now George why don’t you stand on a stool beside me here and as I chop the vegetables you can put them into the cauldron for me?

oooo, thank-you Mrs. Baker

You are most welcome my Dear, It’s so nice to have a little helper in the kitchen! There, now while the soup is simmering away,  why don’t you tell us all a little about how the two of you first met?

We first met when we (The Royal Steam Navy) rescued George and his family from the pirate Red Tail and his dastardly crew of grey squirrels when they unsuccessfully tried to sell the bears into “showbiz”.

Oh my goodness! What a dreadful scoundrel! George have had many adventures, haven’t you dear?

I have, thank-you. Not only pirates, but also martian mice, and my latest adventure which is yet to be published with queen Victoria.

Indeed! And Admiral you have begun documenting them in a series of beautifully illustrated books, have you brought some with you to show the orphans?

 

Is it an easy task to keep up with the adventures of such an intrepid young bear?

Yes, they a very easy to write down as I keep a personal journal of my travels, and I can assure the fans of the “bear that dares” that his adventures will continue for at least three more books, bringing the total to six.  So when you place them in order they will portray the colours of the rainbow flag.

I think that is a very beautiful idea! And which has been your favourite adventure so far George? (I know that Max and Collin have enjoyed reading all about your trip to Mars!)

oooo, tough question, but I think I have to say it’s my latest adventure with queen Victoria.

We are all excited to read about that when it is available! And will you be having any other adventures in the near future?

Most certainly, Mrs Baker. I love having adventures

Splendid! Good for you, Dear! But the life of a small grey bear cannot only be about adventuring, surely you have a loving home and family George where you spend most of your time?

Sometimes I can get a little sad when I’m away from my mums and my cat, spot.  but I sing my “happy bear” song and I feel so much better. would you like to hear it?

Oh yes please! We love a good sing-song!

(ahem) # i’m a happy little bear, i never try scare.  i always am polite and i never like to fight. i love my mums and spot so i never ever stop from be-ing a hap-py little bear…#

Oh that is marvellous! Well done indeed! Ah now the kettle is boiling, what can I offer you my dears? – I have contraband tea of all descriptions and a very little coffee saved for special guests (assuming you don’t want the government-standard-issue-decaff?)

Thank-you, tea for me, milk and no sugar please, and a baby-bear-o-ccino for George please.

There you are, now where can we purchase copies of your small grey bear adventures?

Funnily enough you can find us on Facebook as “Small Grey Bear Adventures”

Marvellous! And will you be making any public appearances in the near future?

We are planning to return to the “Festival of Steam and Transport” at Historic Dockyard Chatham next Easter as part of the “Steampunk Village”

Well perhaps we will see you there! Thankyou so much for coming to help out in the soup kitchen today, Admiral, and for bringing young George along to help as well! It’s been wonderful to meet and chat with you both and I must say that soup smells delicious. I think it must be about ready and the little urchins have their rosy noses pushed up against the glass in anticipation so shall we start dishing it up?

 

Thank-you Ma’am for inviting us to your cosy cottage. Sadly we have to return to our own dimension now as I believe I’m needed back on the bridge of my flagship HMS Essex, and George has school in the morning and we wouldn’t want to upset his teacher Mrs. Shorttfur.

No indeed! Thankyou all for joining us in the soup kitchen today, you can find George’s adventures by following the links below – Blessings on your brew my dears!

George books LINK: http://www.smallgreybearadventures.yolasite.com/

Umbrella publishing group LINK: http://ghostbearpublishing.yolasite.com/