BLOG TOUR – EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT – The Shoreless Sea by J. Scott Coatsworth – #Excerpt #Giveaway

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🌟 Please join me in welcoming author J. Scott Coatsworth to Stories That Make You Smile. Scott is here today celebrating the release of The Shoreless Sea, the fabulous conclusion to his epic Liminal Sky series. He’s brought alone an excerpt, a generous giveaway, and an additional, exclusive excerpt. Read on to learn all about this fabulous series! 🌟

The Shoreless Sea by J. Scott Coatsworth

The Liminal Sky trilogy comes to its stunning conclusion!

Series: Liminal Sky (book #3)
Publisher: DSP Publications
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Release Date: October 15, 2019
Length: Long Novel / 131k words / 488 pages
Genre(s) etc.: SciFi, near future, space opera, gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, nb, non binary, transgender, future, generation ship, AI, artificial intelligence, deaf

It is not necessary to have read the previous books, but it doesn’t hurt.

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Series Blurb

Humankind is on its way to the stars, a journey that will change it forever. Each of the stories in Liminal Sky explores that future through the lens of a generation ship, where the line between science fiction and fantasy often blurs. At times both pessimistic and very hopeful, Liminal Sky thrusts you into a future few would ever have imagined.

Book Blurb

As the epic trilogy hurtles toward its conclusion, the fight for the future isn’t over yet. It could lead to a new beginning, or it might spell the end for the last vestiges of humankind.

The generation ship Forever has left Earth behind, but a piece of the old civilization lives on in the Inthworld—a virtual realm that retains memories of Earth’s technological wonders and vices. A being named Lilith leads the uprising, and if she succeeds in setting its inhabitants free, they could destroy Forever.

But during the generation ship’s decades-long voyage, humanity has evolved. Liminals with the ability to connect with the world mind and the Inthworld provide a glimmer of hope. They’ll have to face not only Lilith’s minions, but also the mistrust of their own kind and persecution from a new government as homotypicals continue to fear what they can’t understand.

The invasion must be stopped, the Inthworld must be healed, and the people of Forever must let go of their past and embrace what they’re meant to become.

Excerpt

Kiryn Hammond-Clarke floated in the darkness of space, stars he’d never seen in person twinkling against the velvety black depths.

The voice came to him from out of nowhere. “Can anyone hear me?”

In his dreams, he could hear. Like when Belynn let him ride in her mind.

The voice repeated, sounding stretched and thin. “Is anyone out there?”

In the distance, a single star glowed brighter than all the others, though it was still just a small golden dot.

Kiryn reached out toward the light, his hand naked to the cold of the void.

Ice crystals formed on his arm, hardening it in place. The cold reached into his bones like knives of frozen glass. It raced up his bicep, the burning cold fire of the void.

He snatched back his arm, but he was too late. The freezing grip reached his heart, and he screamed silently—

Kiryn awoke with a start, sitting up in bed in his dorm room drenched with sweat. He ran his hands through his dark hair, letting them come to rest clasped behind his head.

First Light flashed past in the trees outside his window, brightening up the room.

The world was utterly silent.

The silence, his constant companion since birth, was particularly soothing after his rude awakening. It wrapped itself around him like a blanket, a suit of armor, a barrier between him and the hustle and bustle of the outside world.

Between him and emotion.

He held his arm out for inspection, half expecting it to be blackened by the void. Instead, it looked perfectly normal. Warm and tan, halfway between his mothers’ sepia and white skin tones.

He shivered at the memory.

The bed moved under him, and his date from the night before sat up, his mouth moving soundlessly.

The man was handsome, a Thyrean sent to the university at Micavery for his higher schooling—long limbs, blond hair shaved short, warm brown eyes.

His name was Dax. Or Zack. Or something.

Kiryn’s lipreading was decent, but he hadn’t bothered to spend too much time learning this one’s name. Dax or Zack hadn’t seemed to mind much.

Kiryn pointed at his ear and shook his head.

The man’s mouth closed, and he blushed. “Sorry. I forgot.”

That one was easy enough to read.

He grabbed the piece of cotton paper and a pencil Kiryn kept at his bedside just for that purpose and scribbled something out longhand, then handed it over to him.

It’s Dax. And are you okay?

Kiryn stared at him. Did you just read my mind? Maybe there was a little Liminal in him. He laughed, wondering not for the first time what it sounded like from the outside. It felt clunky and awkward on the inside.

He sighed and took the paper and pencil.

Dax’s hand lingered over his for an extra second before letting go.

Bad dream. Class in fifteen minutes. He hesitated, then scribbled, Dinner?

Dax took the paper, and a grin lit up his face. His eager nod needed no translation. I work at the hatchery until six. Meet me there?

Kiryn nodded and grinned.

Dax slipped out of bed and pulled on his trousers and white shirt, the V-neck showing off his chest to perfection.

Kiryn sat back with his hands behind his head, admiring the view.

He leaned over, kissed Kiryn on the cheek, and mouthed, “See you.”

When Dax left, Kiryn grabbed a change of clothes and headed down the hall to the dorm bathroom. He hopped into the shower, using the aromatic red berry soap bar his mom and mamma had sent him from the Estate. The smell transported him, and he closed his eyes and imagined himself standing among the long, even rows of red berry vines that arched across the hillsides.

His parents worried about him, out here alone, but it was Andy who had insisted he go.

When Kiryn had been born congenitally and profoundly deaf, Andy and Shandra had learned sign language from the world mind in vee.

There were so few other deaf people in Forever. So few like him.

The day before he was set to leave for university, to catch the public wagon headed for Darlith and then Micavery, he’d had a huge panic attack.

His parents had sat him down along with his sister, Belynn.

“I’m scared. Why do I have to go away?” He was fidgeting, nervous.

“You have to go. There’s nothing here for you.” Andy indicated the Estate, where the family had built a thriving agricultural business on the backs of Trip’s and Colin’s earlier work.

You’re here.” His hands signed it while his knee bounced up and down.

Andy shook her head. “This is our place. You need to go.”

He flushed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize I was such a burden.”

“No.That was emphatic. “That’s not what I meant. We don’t want you to get trapped here, working on the Estate for the rest of your life. There’s a whole world out there for you to explore.” She looked up at Shandra, who nodded.

“I’ll go with him,” Belynn said and signed it at the same time, but he could hear her inside his head too.

Mom could do that, too, of course, but she had to touch him to do it.

“You’re not ready.”Shandra glared at Belynn and shook her head.

“I’ve been with Kiryn in every vee class since I was born. I’m only two years younger than he is. Let me go with him to help.”

Kiryn frowned. He wasn’t sure he wanted his little sister tagging along after him, cramping his style. If he decided to go.

Belynn’s hand found his, palm to palm, and he could feel her emotions. We can take care of each other. That thought was private, just for him, inside his head.

Maybe so.

Andy looked at Shandra. “They could take care of each other.” She echoed Belynn’s thought and touched Shandra’s hand. Something passed between them.

Shandra looked at him and then at Belynn, uncertainty clear on her face. “We could… try it.”

Belynn squeezed his hand. “Yes!”

“For a semester.” Andy kissed Shandra on the forehead.

Kiryn thought about it. It would be nice to have someone close by, just in case. Someone who really knew him. “Okay.” And it would be a lot less scary.

Now he was here, and Belynn wouldn’t be far behind.

Where are you, big brother? Belynn’s insistent voice.

I’ll be back in a minute. He pulled the towel from its wooden peg, dried off his hair and shoulders.

A couple of the other guys in the dorm, Stave and Trevor, waved on their way to their own showers. Cute as hell, but straighter than the old antenna on Micavery’s village green. Well, except when Stave got drunk on red berry wine….

Kiryn grinned. He pulled on his trousers and shirt and padded back to his room. Belynn was waiting for him on his bed. “How did you get in?” he signed.

They touched palms, the emotions flowing between them and synching.

“Easy. Aric at the front desk is a sucker for a pretty girl.”

“Like I said, how did you get in?”

She stuck out her tongue at him. “Come on. We’re going to be late.” She tugged him off the bed, and Kiryn barely had time to grab his carry sack before she had him out the door and down the hall.

☆ Exclusive Excerpt ☆

From the Prologue

Andy soared above her world on the wings of an albatross, riding the slipstream beneath the glowing light of the spindle.

Below, the curve of the world stretched up and around her, wrapping over the spindle to touch again somewhere above her head.

It was midafternoon, and the plants of Forever far below were aglow too—the golden light of the open plains and the greenish glow of copses of trees and orchards. She flew past the new sea being formed near the North Pole, purified water extracted from a snagged comet in the Kuiper Belt slowly filling it up. One day it would be both a resource and a formidable barrier to the human inhabitants of Forever, a small ocean that wrapped all the way around the world.

Barriers were a necessary part of any human society and ecosystem.

Past the lowlands, she flew over Thyre—formerly the Eyre—a small but bustling community that sat at the end of the highlands where the Rhyl dropped down a high black cliff to the lowlands and then out to sea.

She wondered for the thousandth time if Lanya had been right to limit access to the world mind. Somewhere far below, at the Eyre Estate, the human Andy knelt beside a red berry vine, laying in fertilizer to encourage the plant to keep producing the Estate’s prized berries.

Andy thought about reaching out to her doppelgänger, about having that conversation for the umpteenth time. But she decided to leave it alone.

Instead, she let the beautiful bird go on its way.

The albatross had been created with an affinity for her and her kind. Once called the Immortals, Andy and Shandra had instead taken to calling themselves the Caretakers. Events had proven how unimmortal their kind was, though in theory they could long outlive their human kin.

She’d had an uneasy feeling for weeks. A sense that something was off. Wrong.

She had tried to seek it out, in the world mind and in the world at large, but nothing had presented itself.

She returned to her own virtual garden, where the sun was always in the sky, the rain came every hour, and her red berry vines were the picture of perfection. The privileges of a virtual life.

“Thought I’d find you here.” Shandra sounded uncertain, as if she wasn’t welcome in Andy’s garden.

“Yeah, I was just thinking about Andy.”

You’re Andy.”

“You know what I mean.” Andy reached out to touch one of the velvety red leaves of the closest red berry vine. She and Shandra had avoided the trap of becoming too close—of literally becoming the same entity—as Ana and Lex had eventually done. Maybe it was because they had already spent so much time together in their previous lives and had developed a fine balance.

Sometimes, though, that balance felt more like a yawning chasm between them.

“You okay?”

“I’m scared.” Andy looked down at her hands. They were every bit as real as they had been—as they still were—for real Andy. But sometimes she felt counterfeit and lost.

Shandra put a hand on her shoulder. “Whatever it is—if it’s anything at all—we’ll face it together.”

It was the first time Shandra had reached out to her in months, literally or figuratively.

Andy turned to her and held out her arms, and they merged.

They mingled their essences, sharing an intimacy that had never been possible for their Forever-bound counterparts, and their thoughts mingled too.

I’m scared don’t be I’m here what if things are never easy but we can handle them together sometimes I just need you I know.

They separated, and Andy took Shandra’s face in her hands and kissed her gently. “I still need you.”

“I need you too.”

Andy reached down to take Shandra’s hand. “Walk with me for a few minutes?”

“I’d like that.”

Andy sighed and let go of her anxious fear.

Together, they wandered through the vines, tasting the ripening berries. For now, this was enough.

Meet the Author

Scott lives between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine, he devoured her library. But as he grew up, he wondered where the people like him were.

He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

A Rainbow Award winning author and Science Fiction Writer’s Association (SFWA) member, he runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction reflecting their own reality.

Website | Facebook Profile | Facebook Page | Twitter (@jscoatsworth) | Goodreads | QueeRomance Ink | Amazon

Also by J. Scott Coatsworth

The Liminal Sky Series

The Oberon Cycle Series

Giveaway

Scott is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card with this tour, along with three eBook sets of his Oberon Cycle trilogy. For a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter:

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