J. Scott Coatsworth has a new queer sci fi/fantasy anthology out: Spells & Stardust. Please join me in welcoming J. Scott to my blog. He’s here today celebrating the release of his fabulous collection of stories with an exclusive excerpt from Gargoyle.
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Spells & Stardust by J. Scott Coatsworth
p style=”text-align: center;”>Publisher: Other Worlds Ink
Release Date: Wednesday, December 5 2018
Format: Paperback, eBook
Word Count: Novella Length / 40K words
Cover Artist: J. Scott Coatsworth
Genres: fantasy, sci fi, paranormal
Tropes: Friends to Lovers, First Time, Destined Love
Keywords/Categories: MM, gay, fae, elves, horror, reincarnation
Warnings: One story contains attempted suicide; another has a homophobic incident
About the Collection
Spells & Stardust is Scott’s first anthology – eight sci fi and fantasy shorts that run the gamut from regeneration to redemption.
The Bear at the Bar: A gay fish out of water tale with a pinch of magic.
Tight: What happens when your lover disappears in midair?
Morgan: The year when everything changed.
Re-Life: What if you were reborn in a strange new future?
A New Year: They met every eleven years. And each time, Hank’s life changed.
Repetition: What if you wanted to go back in the closet?
Gargoyle: Sometimes you get what you deserve. Sometimes it happens on All Hallows Eve.
Avalon: A few bright moments in the sun, stolen from outside time.
Most of these stories have been previously published in various anthologies and journals. This is the first time they have all been collected in one place.
From “A New Year”
The edge of the old cement pediment crumbled away beneath Hank’s feet into the river far below, glistening in the light of the almost-full moon. The bridge railing was cold at his back—he could feel it all the way through his jacket and shirt to his skin. He could see his breath glowing in the night air.
The nearly-frozen water rushed by in the river below, flowing under the bridge behind him and on toward the ocean far away in a steady flow, silver in the moonlight and heavily laden with winter rain. As soon as he gathered his courage, Hank would let go of his grip on the railing and fall into those icy waters, to disappear forever from the world of men.
It was New Year’s Day, 1986, an hour after midnight, and it was the end of things for Hank.
Or it should have been.
It was also the night he first met Dale.
☆ Exclusive Excerpt ☆
October 31st, 1974
University of South Alabama – Mobile
James Matson—Mattie to his friends—sat in the football stands and watched the Jaguars practice. Helmet crashed against helmet, and a cheer went up from the scattered students in the stands at a long pass into the end zone.
“Which one you looking at?” Candy sipped her Mountain Dew, her perfectly manicured pink nails making a flawless contrast with the green can.
James grinned. “That one. Number twenty-three.” Strong and handsome. Short-cropped dark hair. And blue eyes. Pouring water over his head and shaking it off like some kind of god.
Candy shaded her face with her hand. “Yeah, he’s a real hunk.”
James snorted. “I’d give him a ten-point-five.” Candy was the only one on campus he’d told.
She’d been cool about it. They’d made a pastime of guy-watching together and rating their crushes.
She scanned the team roster. “Number Twenty-three. Twenty-three.” She brushed her feathered blonde hair back from her face.
“That ‘do looks better on you than on Goldie Hawn.”
She laughed, a deep almost-grunt that was one of her most endearing qualities. “Thanks. Here he is! Randy Paxton. He’s from Orlando. Junior.”
James put his hands on his chin, sighing happily. “Ms. Randy Paxton. It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Ow!” He rubbed the back of his head. “Hey, you didn’t have to smack me.”
“Don’t be an idiot.” She put the program down and sat back on her hands, staring at the players. “He’s not your type. He’d beat the crap out of you as soon as look at you.”
“A boy can dream.” He held his hand out, looking at an imaginary ring.
She snorted. “Yeah, like that’s gonna happen in our lifetime.”
“It could.” He was full of hope today. Maybe it was a combination of the cooler temperature and the breeze blowing in off the Gulf. Maybe it was the fact that it was Halloween, and he was going to his first Greek party that night. “Just last year, they removed it from the mental illness list, you know.”
“You told me. Like twenty times.” She rolled her eyes. “But not everyone’s as open minded as me. Especially in Alabama.” She pulled out her candy apple pink nail polish and touched up her nails.
“Hey, watch out!”
James looked up just in time to see something dark flashing down at him from the sky.
He fell backward as it slammed into his stomach, flailing his arms and banging his head on the bleacher seat behind him.
Laughter erupted all around him.
He got up sheepishly and rubbed the back of his head, his cheeks reddening.
“You okay, sport?”
James looked down at the field.
It was him. Number Twenty-three. “Um, yeah.”
“Throw me the ball?” Randy’s teammates had gathered around him.
James looked around and found the ball at his feet. He picked it up and executed a perfect pass.
“Thanks!” Randy saluted him with the ball and ran back out onto the field.
Candy was staring at him, her mouth hanging open. “Seriously?”
“What? My daddy taught me how to throw.”
She grunt-laughed again. “You freak me out sometimes.”
James grinned. “Go back to your nails.”
He spoke to me. It really was his day.
Meet the Author
Scott lives with his husband of twenty five years in a Sacramento suburb, in a cute little yellow house with a brick fireplace and two pink flamingoes out front.
He inhabits in the space between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into science fiction and fantasy by his mom at the tender age of nine, he quickly finished her entire library. But he soon began to wonder where all the queer people were.
After coming out at twenty three, he started writing the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Crown Books. If there weren’t many queer characters in his favorite genres, he would will them into existence, subverting them to his own ends. And if he was lucky enough, someone else would want to read them.
His friends say Scott’s mind works a little differently than most – he makes connections between ideas that others don’t, and somehow does more in a day than most people manage in a week. Although born an introvert, he forced himself to reach outside himself, and learned to connect with others like him.
Scott’s stories subvert expectations that transform traditional science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something different and unexpected. He runs both Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark.
His romance and genre fiction writing brings a queer energy to his stories, filling them with love, beauty and power. He imagines how the world could be – in the process, he hopes to change the world, just a little.
Scott was recognized as one of the top new gay authors in the 2017 Rainbow Awards, and his debut novel “Skythane” received two awards and an honorable mention.
Author Website: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth
Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworthauthor/
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/jscoatsworth/
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth
Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/J.-Scott-Coatsworth/e/B011AFO4OQ
Scott is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:
p style=”text-align: center;”>a Rafflecopter giveaway
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4740/?
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