Category Archives: Events
This month, the SFR Brigade Showcase is full of holiday cheer, stories and gifts. 2016 has been a quiet year for me, publishing wise. I had a great spring with publishing in the LGBTQ Romance genre, but then took some time off to give my brain a break and switch gears back to my true love – Science Fiction Romance. I have two novels on the go for 2017 – Corwint Central Agent Files Book 5: Promise The Stars, and a new novel Not In Kansas Anymore, which will be part of a whole new SFR series.
Spaceships, and aliens and adventure, oh my!
Seeking an escape from her life back in Kansas, Dottie signs up on a whim to become a Federation space captain! – of a tiny, solo-crew cargo hauler. Alone in space and wishing for adventure, Dottie goes off course to an uncharted star system to answer a distress call. Sure, the call is in an alien language she’s never heard, and yes, she’s probably going to get fired on her first Federation mission, but… to adventure!
After being forced down to the planet by an alien probe in orbit, Dottie meets Croen, a handsome grey-skinned man with vivid purple eyes and an energy rifle pointed right at her. Learning they are in a shared predicament, they set off together in search of the probes’ origins, what happened to the aliens whose ancient ruins litter the jungle, and how to get back home.
Along the way, they’ll face challenges, meet unexpected friends and learn home is where your heart is.
This is a science fiction romance, intended for mature audiences. Quirky aliens, passionate love and sci-fi adventure awaits!
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Click Here to signup and receive Not In Kansas Anymore for free once it is released, no strings attached. Expected release date is spring, 2017. (This offer is no longer available.)
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May 21st is a blue moon night. A blue moon is an additional full moon that appears in a subdivision of a year: either the third of four full moons in a season, or a second full moon in a month of the common calendar. Owing to the rarity of a blue moon, the term “blue moon” is used colloquially to mean a rare event, as in the phrase “once in a blue moon”[wikipedia]
We’re celebrating by featuring science fiction romance books and authors that feature ‘blue’ heros and doing a huge prize giveaway!
For my stop on the hop, I’ll be discussing my blue hero, Ethan, from Ghost In The Machine. When I first wrote Ethan’s character, I already had the blue skin in my mind. He’s a Mechatronic Automaton – the term used for android in the Corwint universe. Although the Corwint universe has many Mecha who have natural-colored skin and can appear more ‘organic’, I wanted Ethan to stand out in more ways than one.
The differences highlight his ‘otherness’, and are part of something he must overcome and accept as his character develops. There are reasons behind his design – at first seen as flaws until they are revealed to be incredibly special in later books in the series. He was designed with a purpose; a role to fulfil that has the power to send ripples through the universe and bring a dying planet back to life.
“How old are you?”
Ethan let out a light chuckle. “I guess I opened myself up for that one. I’m sixty-two years of Corwint.”
“Sixty-two?” Orynn leaned back in surprise. She’d thought, due to his advanced nature, that he was much older. “That is actually quite young for a Mecha. Much younger than I suspected.”
“I hope you aren’t trying to say I look old?”
Her cheeks warmed with a flush of color as her eyes looked away from him. His face was not at all old-looking. It had a strong but youthful appearance with a well-defined jaw line. He had a small dimple that would appear on his chin when he laughed, and she enjoyed the playful way his dark blue hair arched over his brow. The strong thin frame of his body was also pleasing to look at.
And his eyes. Blue sapphires that held more depth than she had seen in most Organics. She couldn’t deny that she found him attractive.
“No, not at all. I meant that your social abilities seem so advanced. I have worked with Mecha three times your age that had evolved less personality than the hydrator in the kitchen.”
She looked back at him as he let out another laugh. She hadn’t intended for her words to be amusing, but when she thought back on it, she supposed that they were. Her own light laughter joined his. “Well, it is true. The way in which you socialize with others, and the emotions you exhibit, it all seems so…” She stopped.
“Organic?” Ethan gave voice to her thought. “It’s true. It’s how I was designed.”
Her fear of insulting him diminished. “I would assume that it was not a factory design, as I have never met another with your specifications.”
“Correct. My designer was a Mechatronics engineer at Central Command’s Research and Development department. He was actually quite a genius in his own right, and he felt limited by the A.I. governance laws that were in place at the time. So, he built several models on his own time using a lab he built in the basement of his home. I was his fifth attempt.”
“You were built in a single man’s spare time? In a basement?” Her eyes roamed his body again in amazement. “But how is this possible?”
“He had several connections on the Mechatronics black market.” He held up his hand and flexed it. “My hands, for example, were designed using a schematic that was still under development and smuggled out of a lab on Merae. The design never made it to production due to a flaw in the servo motor timing relays, but Marcus was able to compensate.”
“Marcus was your designer’s name?” She stared at his hand, taking new appreciation at how natural its movements were. The digit of every finger moved without a single stutter or pause.
“Yes.” He dropped his hand, his reply full of the unspoken pain she could see in his aura as clear as any Organic’s.
Their eyes met and she saw how truly deep the sadness dwelled. It was the reserved melancholy that only came with time after a wound on the soul had begun to heal. “He must have been very proud of you.”
“I was actually one of his greatest disappointments, and it was something he reminded me of every day, until the day I left.”
“But, why?” She shook her head slowly, unable to comprehend how anyone could have looked at Ethan, especially his designer, and been disappointed.
“He was trying to engineer the next generation of Mechatronic advancements that would allow us to cross the line with Organics, and, as he liked to say, he got me instead.”
He sighed “Marcus had an obsession with perfection. Despite his genius, he wasn’t able to overcome subtle flaws in my design, such as the tinting of my skin, which is caused by the cooling fluid required for the multi-processor construct and nanite designs he used. My height, another giveaway that I’m either not Organic or I’m a very odd looking Ruisk, was needed to compensate for a stabilization issue he never quite worked out. I became the embodiment of his failure to overcome those obstacles.”
He let out a bitter laugh. “Even my name was an afterthought for him. I went two years without one, until one day he ranted about how he’d gotten tired of referring to me as the Mechatronic Automaton Number Five in the research papers he was writing. He yelled and said ‘every thing has a name!’, E.T.H.A.N., and that became my name.”
Ghost In The Machine is available FREE!
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Continue to the next blog in the Blue Moon Blog Hop!
Join us for the Midsummer Madness Flash Fiction Blog Hop! July 4th, 2015. M/M romance authors will be sharing exclusive, never before published, flash fiction stories full of two men kissing and equal love. Be sure to check out the other blogs at the end of this post, and grab your copy of TRUE NORTH for free!
Clowns & Cowboys
by C.E. Kilgore
“You girls just about done putting on your faces?”
Clint glanced up from his small magnified mirror to the larger one backing the wall of the prep-trailer. In the reflection, Colby Jackson was having his usual laugh at watching the rodeo clowns putting on their makeup. The guy was a damn good bronco rider; a crowd favorite. He was also a colossal douche.
Colby flashed his smile, a dimple on his left cheek winking and his cow-brown eyes meeting Clint’s muddy hazel in the mirror. Clint’s cheeks heated, but luckily he’d already put on his white base. Though, it did nothing to hide the blush creeping up the back of his neck.
“You sure are lookin’ purdy, Clint,” Colby snickered. “I do believe yellow is your color.”
“The kids like it,” Clint muttered, pulling his yellow, Sponge Bob bandanna further up his neck.
“Get on out ‘a here,” old Branson shooed the cowboy out of the trailer, following down the steps with an elderly earful. “Didn’t your daddy teach you any manners ’bout respecting the clowns who’re ’bout to safeguard your skinny arse in the arena?”
“Aw, c’mon ya old goat!” Colby protested, his hand holding onto the metal doorframe as Branson hit him with his cowboy hat. “I was just pokin’ fun! What kinda clowns are ya? Y’all should appreciate a good joke!”
“I’ll give you a good joke,” Branson grumbled with another shove out the door. “About how my boot got stuck up your ass.”
The rest of the clowns in the trailer had themselves a good chuckle, but Clint scowled at his mirror instead. It pissed him off something fierce how attracted he was to that douche Colby. It’d been that way since Clint had first laid eyes on the man and noticed Colby didn’t get pissed off at being stared at by another dude. Not that them both being gay upped Clint’s chances of hooking up with the cowboy.
Not that he wanted to. Okay, maybe he did. A little.
The red oil crayon in his hand drew an unsteady line below his bottom lip. Dangit. Now he was all shook up over Colby’s stupid smile.
“Don’t let that mule shake you, son,” Jeb said, his hand clasping Clint’s shoulder with a firm, callused grip. “You being new to the circuit just makes you the default target.”
The other clowns in the trailer all gave similar words and grunts of agreement as they finished getting ready. As they filed out, Hank stopped to point at the yellow bandanna. “My niece loves Sponge Bob. Jackasses like Colby forget the rodeo ain’t just about them and their belt buckles. A clown’s job-”
“-is to safegaurd the cowboys and entertain the crowd,” Clint finished. He may’ve been new to the PRCA National circuit, but it wasn’t his first season working a rodeo. He’d been a clown since his dad first put him in the ring at thirteen, realizing he had more skill for managing the bulls than riding them. After graduating, he’d jumped fence, with his dad’s blessing, and joined the weekend warrior Prairie circuit.
College wasn’t for him, but facing down bulls and broncos while putting on a show for the crowd? Well, that just seemed to be in his blood. Still, he was young compared the other scarred veterans in the trailer, and he knew he had a long way to go to earn the marks and respect he wanted and the chance at clowning the PBR Nationals.
“Yes, sir,” Clint finished respectfully. “Thanks, Hank.”
Hank smiled the easy grin he always wore then left the trailer, leaving Clint alone and lagging behind. He adjusted his Sponge Bob bandanna again, taking more pride in it. On the bandanna, Sponge Bob had a cowboy hat and boots while twirling a lasso. He’d never actually seen the show, but it always got even the most skittish kid to smile.
He’d been a skittish kid once. Losing your momma early can do that. The rodeo had pried his shell back open. If he could do that for a kid or two, then heck, he’d wear a Sponge Bob costume and ride around on a stick-horse while trying to lasso a piglet. The visual made him chuckle.
“What’s got you giggling like a schoolgirl?”
Clint flinched at the sound of Colby’s mocking voice. The cocky cowboy was back in the trailer’s doorway, leaning back on the frame with his arms crossed and his hat tilted downward. Damn. The man looked like a Stetson ad.
Clint darted his eyes away before they lingered way too long on Colby’s tight bluejeans and red western wear button-up with its sleeves rolled to the elbow. “Thought Branson made it clear, cowboys ain’t welcome in this trailer.”
“Aw, shoot,” Colby pouted with a hand slapping his chest. “You done wounded my heart.”
“Oh? And here I’d reckoned you didn’t have one of those.”
“Ouch.” Colby went quiet for a moment then stepped further into the trailer, the spring-hinged door snapping shut.
Against his better judgement, Clint let his gaze lift back up to the mirror, only to be caught up in a pair of sad-looking puppy dog eyes staring straight back at the reflection. Feeling like crap, Clint muttered an apology. “Sorry. Just pre-arena jitters, you know?”
“Nah,” Colby sighed, taking off his hat and raking a hand through dirty blond hair. “Guess I rightly deserved that.”
Clint tried not to stare at the man’s hair. “Well… You can be kind of a dick sometimes.”
“I know,” he huffed, flopping down into the chair next to Clint, straddling the seat backwards and leaning forward against the backrest. “My ma used to clock me good for it. Nervous habit. I turn into a real smart ass when I don’t know what else to say, or the words I want to say won’t come out.”
“Oh.” Clint glanced over, surprised by the fact that they were having their first real conversation and that Colby had been so forthright. “Wait, what’re nervous about? You’re the top seat for this year’s nationals in bareback and saddle bronc. Shoot, you’d have to fall off every dang horse from now till November to lose your spots.”
Colby’s gaze dropped, bottom lip disappearing between his teeth for a moment. “Yeah, if I can keep the sponsors on my vest.”
Clint’s eyebrow raised. Was Colby in some kinda trouble? “Why would any of them sponsors drop you? That’d be stu-”
Clint didn’t get another word out as Colby sprung forward, fisting Clint’s Sponge Bob bandanna and tugging him hard into a kiss. Sweet mercy. Clint’s brain short-wired as Colby tongue slipped in and rode his mouth like a buckin’ bronc. When they came up for heavily panted breaths, Colby’s lips were smeared with red and white oil pencil. Clint couldn’t help but snort.
“You look good in red,” Clint chuckled while wiping the man’s face clean with a wetnap.
“And you’re gonna have to fix your face.” Colby blushed, his head ducking down a bit. “Sorry.”
“Somehow, I doubt that.” Clint reached out and brushed his fingers along Colby’s chin. “So, is that why you’re worried about your sponsors? Because you like kissin’ men?”
“Because I wanna take you out on a date, proper like,” Colby argued. “Been wanting to. Couldn’t hold back on wanting to kiss you no more, but going out…in public…”
“It could be trouble.”
“Could be,” Colby smirked. “Then again, I’ve kinda always had a love affair with trouble.”
Clint put on a serious expression. “And what makes you think I wanna go out on a date with a cowboy?”
“Oh. Uh…” Colby’s confidence deflated right before Clint’s eyes. It was kinda adorable. “Well, I thought you’ve been looking at me, and I’ve been looking at you, and… What? Stop laughing at me ya dang clown!”
“Not until you kiss me again, cowboy.”
“Damn.” Colby grinned wide, taking hold of Clint’s bandanna again. “We’re gonna need a whole lot more of them wetnaps.”
If you liked Clowns & Cowboys, you might like more of my gay romance stories:
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An apocalyptic M/M Romance series. Electricity is gone. Society is on its knees. The heart’s compass becomes the light in the darkness.
Joshua has had enough of people. Especially those desperate, starving bastards who he’s certain ate his dog. When people decide to leave the university town of Lincoln, Nebraska and head south before winter sets in, Joshua heads north instead. When he lands face-first in a snowbank, he welcomes death. What he finds instead is the handsome smile of Chris, a lone goat farmer who’s trying to make the best of life without power.
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