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Push Back

Sometimes even the calmest of people get annoyed and that has happened recently in the LGBTTAQI fiction community. The news that a family run pizza business has received over a million $ from like minded bigots after being criticised for refusing to serve LGBTTAQI customers was so startling, infuriating and ridiculous, that several writers had a chat and decided to put their ire to good use. Invitations were issued, word spread and the initial group were soon joined by writers bloggers, designers, and publishing companies – in all two hundred and twenty four individuals – all of whom agreed that they too were just a little peeved and felt something should be done.

Now obviously there’s nothing to be done directly about the pizza parlour’s spectacular windfall but we can do a charity fund raiser of our own.

Click on the graphic to be taken to the master post where you will find a list of all participants and the instructions about how to win one of the many prizes.

What do you have to do? Donate to the LGBTTAQI charity of your choice then tell us about it in a comment to that blog post. No need to comment here. I’m just a conduit. When you comment, providing links to the charity’s donation page would be a really cool thing to do in case any potential donors would like to donate but haven’t chosen where yet. Not to be pushy but my own personal favourite is the Albert Kennedy Trust that does terrific work here in the UK by providing a safe clean home for LGBTTAQI youths who have nowhere else to go. HOWEVER, if you’ve read this far I’m sure you have your own favourite local charity and it would be really cool if you can show them some love. It doesn’t have to be much. For the price of a couple of days worth of fancy coffee AKT can take a kid off the street and give them a safe place to sleep for the night.

Here’s the link again. Please click it and do what you can.

The Luxorian Fugitive

Synopsis

Sergeant Liam Jacks is the security chief of transport vessel, The Santa Claus. He travels the planetary cluster with Marc Danverse, his best friend and captain, seeking to escape his tortured past and find some peace of mind.

Having been through a civil war together, Danverse and Liam are close. Maybe too close?.

All that changes when mysterious stranger, Hadrian Jamison, an escaped Adonirati, books passage to Alpha Centauri. Can he be trusted? Can the stories of his past be believed?

The Luxorian Fugitive by Mann Ramblings

As Liam’s fascination with Hadrian grows, jealousy threatens to tear apart his friendship with Danverse.

When Hadrian’s owner shows up, Liam is forced to go against orders in order to launch a rescue mission to save him.

The ensuing conflict may be more than any of them expected.

Buy Links

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon AU
WIP ~ ARe ~ B&N

Book Trailer

Excerpt

Cold sweat rolled off Liam’s body as he sat upright in bed, sheets tangled around his legs. His deafening pulse drowned out the soft whirr of the environmental systems and the mechanical hum of the ship’s movement. There was a hollow quality to the titanium hull of his private quarters that seemed to amplify the resonance of the dream.

?Pull it together, Marine. You’re not a child.? The horror refused to recede even now that he was awake.

Liam looked around his room as his reality began to settle. The windowless room was nearly pitch-black; the only illumination came from the data screen on the wall, its soft cyber-green time code proof that he was not lost in the abyss. Yes, he was aboard the cargo vessel the Santa Claus. Yes, they were en route to Luxorian from Alpha Centauri Prime for a supply delivery and pickup. Yes, he was the security chief of the thirty or so men employed on the ship. Yes, the dream was of a harsh memory, but still just a dream.

“Mrs. Claus. Status report please.” Liam spoke in quiet, shaken tones while his unsteady hands threaded through his hair. A synthetic voice, sounding like a middle-aged woman, hummed back in response.

“It is zero three seventeen, Sergeant Jacks. We will be docking at Luxorian Spaceport Alpha at approximately eleven fifteen. System sync to the Luxorian environment is in progress and will be complete in two hours and twenty-five minutes. Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“No.” His reply was brusque, but Mrs. Claus’ feelings couldn’t be hurt; she was artificial, after all. Normally, Liam found Captain Danverse’s penchant for ancient Earth history – including the ship’s name and the computer’s voice identity – endearing. Marc was his best friend, after all. But tonight there was no comfort in it.

Even without the nightmares, it was hard to sleep well when forced to acclimate to a new planet’s environment and timeline every time you came into port. The ship’s systems were designed to gradually shift the sleep cycles of everyone on board to match up to the active hours for each destination. Add the dreams into the equation, and his rest was as fractured as his self-esteem.

“Lights. Low,” he commanded. Twin light panels on opposite sides of the small room began to glow. The undecorated metal walls were nothing more than panels hiding the storage spaces within. The large bed looked out of place in the three-by-four-meter space, but was required for any chance of a comfortable night’s sleep. Not that he’d seen many of those in a long time. A lone desk sat in the corner with a basic chair on wheels, covered in dirty clothes. Several recessed shelves held stacks of paperwork, but the entire room was devoid of anything personal.

Liam peeled himself from the dampened sheets, the fabric refusing to release from the tackiness of his salty skin. He knew he couldn’t sleep anymore, even if the bed weren’t already cooling and saturated. The ship ran warm, but he couldn’t suppress a slight shiver as the air hit his bare skin. Even the dense pelt of hair that covered his chest, arms, and legs provided little warmth at the moment. He slid into a pair of cargo shorts and sleeveless shirt that were piled in the corner, too shaken to care if they were clean enough to wear. A pair of thick-soled sandals waited for him in front of the room’s exit. Out of habit, he picked up his communicator from the random pile on the desk and put it in his ear.

He placed his hand on the plexiglass palm reader embedded in the hull and the door slid open with a loud hiss. From the outside, he slapped the matching panel to close the door and trudged out into the hallway.

His footsteps gave a soft metal echo as he wandered in no particular direction through the dimly lit tunnel. This was no luxury liner; a subtle vibration could be felt at all times from the tech and mechanicals hidden behind the scuffed and weathered walls. The Santa Claus was sturdy, but not designed for creature comforts. Captain Danverse had purchased the decommissioned cargo ship nearly a decade ago and offered Liam a job when the pair had left the military following the Centauri Prime civil war.

Intelligently, Danverse had populated the Santa Claus with a crew of men who could stand the long distance between stops and could appreciate the company of their fellow men. Ports were few and far between, and it was a small world to live in for an extended span.

MannRamblingspic-225x300About the Author

Like many gay men, when Mann Ramblings grew up, there weren’t any heroes he could relate to. The world held him back while he tried futilely to hide the real person inside. So much has changed since those hollow days. He finally found his voice, the voice that says it’s all right to revel in the so-called inappropriate joys, laughs, and loves that storm inside a man’s head. It took a long time to find that courage and now that it’s here, he plans to use it well.

While spending years more focused on visual arts, he never let go of his innate passion for storytelling?he wanted to write and draw comic books when he grew up. Once he discovered M/M fiction, a whole new world opened with new possibilities. Why couldn’t you have fantastic and dynamic tales with an M/M cast? He started reading the online tales of authors like, Night Tempest, Rob Colton, and Alicia Nordwell, which only fueled within him the need to create. Eventually he found GayAuthors.org, and with a little coercive nudge from Night Tempest, started sharing his tales with an unexpected level of positive response. That experience and support gave him the courage to cross his fingers and aim for the world of M/M publishing.

Born and raised in Michigan, Mann Ramblings continues to type away, wishing it was practical to use a noisy, old fashioned keyboard that clacks with each strike, if only to annoy his loving partner and spoiled miniature dachshund.

Email: mannramblings@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mannramblings
Twitter: @mannramblings

It’s always great to see a new book from Sue Brown and I’ve been anticipating this one – the next in the Little Mowbury series Left at the Crossroads.

Here’s the blurb:

Little Mowbury is a sleepy English village deep in the Cotswolds. The kind of village where you’re only a local if your lineage can be traced back to the dinosaurs. Where you can find everything in the single village shop from morning newspapers to dry-cleaning, and getting your shoes mended. And, of course, where everybody knows everybody else’s business. It’s easy to find… you can’t miss it… just ask anyone and they’ll tell you… “It’s left at the crossroads.”

Eighteen months ago Jason Havers lost the love of his life and it’s time to move on. Applying for the position of chef in a sleepy country pub, a million miles away from his previous life, may well be the fresh start he needs. His new employers immediately take him under their wing and before long he finds himself with a passel of new friends and a job he loves. What he doesn’t expect is Tom, a gorgeous midwife, who stirs up feelings he’s not ready to deal with.

But when someone from his previous life turns up in Little Mowbury, will Jason be able to keep them from revealing the secret he’s been keeping from those he’s come to love?

I really enjoyed the first in the series, Un-Expected by Lisa Worrall, and had been wondering who would be the hero of this story. I hope there are very many more episodes.

You can get your copy here:

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Kobo ~ ARe

Happy reading.

Author Name: Andrew Q. Gordon

Book Name: The Eye and The Arm

Series: Champion of the Gods  Book 2

Release Date: April 14, 2015

Pages or Words: 296 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Gay Fiction

Publisher: DSP Publications

Cover Artist: AngstyG

 

 Blurb:

After defeating Meglar at Belsport, Farrell returns to Haven to recover from his injuries, but Khron, the god of war, has other ideas. He gives Farrell a new mission: free the survivors of the ancient dwarf realm of Trellham from their three-thousand-year banishment. To fulfill Khron’s near impossible task, Farrell will need the help of his distance ancestor, the legendary wizard Kel. But Kel has been dead for a thousand years.

Farrell finds information hinting that Kel is alive, so he moves his search to Dumbarten, Kel’s birthplace. To reach Dumbarten unannounced, Farrell and Miceral disguise themselves as mercenaries on board a merchant vessel. Their journey is disrupted when pirates attack their ship. While attempting to subdue the attack, Farrell is struck down by one of Meglar’s minions.

Unconscious and trapped in his own mind, Farrell’s only chance for survival rests with Miceral and the peregrine king Rothdin entering his thoughts and helping him sort fact from illusion. To reach Farrell, they will need to rely on an untested spell from one of Kel’s spellbooks. If they succeed, Miceral can guide Farrell home safely. If not, Farrell will destroy not only himself, but Miceral, Rothdin, and everyone around him.

 

Excerpt:

Miceral grabbed his last javelin and crept toward the starboard rail. The tip of pirate’s prow had just reached their stern. He could see men crouched under the protection of the gunwale. “They’re almost here—be ready.”

Moving faster than the enemy could react, Miceral scaled the short staircase and quickly found a protected spot in the aftcastle. Peering through a narrow opening, he scanned the clusters of men he could see. At the rear of the largest group, Miceral spotted someone who, by clothing at least, appeared to be an officer. With no one else standing out as being the captain, this man became his target.

Springing to his feet, he hurled the spear before anyone could target him. One of the pirates huddled by the rail fired an arrow, which Miceral caught in midflight. Flashing the enemy a wicked grin, he snapped the shaft in half before dropping back behind his cover.

Miceral closed one eye and stared through the space between crates. He watched the men look toward where their officer had been standing, and from the shouts he knew he’d hit his mark. One pirate tried to pull the spear out but failed. When he turned to ask for help, a stream of blood dribbled out of his mouth and over the feathers of the arrow protruding from his neck. Everyone else ducked immediately and remained out of sight.

Miceral traced the shaft’s path back to where Peter knelt, nocking another arrow. He gave his friend a wink and a nod. Before either could enjoy the small victory, a hail of arrows and spears whistled across the deck. Under the cover of this barrage, dozens of grappling hooks landed on the deck of the Rose. Once the barbs dug into whatever purchase they could find, the two vessels inched closer. Miceral heard the faint thud of the two ships colliding and slipped the mace and axe from his belt.

With the ships tethered together, the pirates flipped long wooden planks from their ship onto the Seafoam Rose. Hooks on the ends secured the slim pathway firmly in place. The first wave of invaders ran across the boards, screaming at the top of their lungs. If they expect to scare the crew into surrender, that hope dissipated when four of their number fell dead from a round of arrows.

Miceral used the distraction to leap from his hiding place. Screaming his own battle cry, he rushed the startled pirates. From his right, Emerson and Nathan led the crew in defense of their ship.

The ferocity of the resistance appeared to catch the invaders by surprise. Miceral killed anything in his reach, stalling the attack momentarily. Peter stood next to Miceral and proved the value of all the long hours of practice he’d been put through.

Unfortunately, Miceral couldn’t defend all points of entry onto the vessel. The pirates quickly learned to avoid the armed warrior who moved with the speed of lightning.

The initial advantage of the Rose’s crew quickly evaporated as the pirates brought superior numbers onto the trading ship. To avoiding being surrounded, the defenders fell back to a predetermined, more defensible position. This allowed the rest of the pirates to cross unimpeded.

“Now would be a good time to arrive, Farrell.” Miceral didn’t know if Farrell could hear him, but if he didn’t arrive soon, there’d be no one left to rescue.

“I’m almost there, Ral.” Farrell’s voice distracted Miceral enough that he cut off an opponent’s arm instead of slicing through the man’s neck. “Hang on!”

 

Sales Links: http://www.dsppublications.com/books/the-eye-and-the-arm-by-andrew-q-gordon-95-b

About the author:

Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write.

He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his partner of twenty years, their daughter and dog.  In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. ‘insiders’, Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and seeing how much coffee he can drink in a day.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dominic.andrews.7568

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/andrewqugordon

Twitter: @andrewqgordon

Website: www.andrewqgordon.com

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AndrewQGordon/posts

email: andrewqgordon@gmail.com


Tour Dates & Stops: April 15, 2015

Parker Williams, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Bayou Book Junkie, Cate Ashwood, Charley Descoteaux, BFD Book Blog, Full Moon Dreaming, Divine Magazine, Butterfly-O-Meter, Molly Lolly, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Rainbow Gold Reviews, The Hat Party, Love Bytes, Inked Rainbow Reads, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, The Novel Approach, My Fiction Nook, Velvet Panic, Prism Book Alliance, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Fallen Angel Reviews, Amanda C. Stone, Elin Gregory, Nephylim

In order to have a chance to win aRafflecopter Prize – one of 3 e-copies of the Last Grand Master with the new cover art – please CLICK HERE

Title: Baked Fresh

Author: Annabeth Albert

Release Date: April 13, 2015

Pages or Words: 45,000 words

Categories: Erotica, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

Publisher: Kensington

Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde

 

Blurb(s):

From its famous coffee to the mouthwatering fare at its cafés, restaurants, and bakeries, Portland, Oregon, has a lot to whet the appetite, including the hard-working men who serve it all up—hot, fresh, and ready to go—with no reservations…

Vic Degrassi is a baker on the rise, and it’s all thanks to his rare ability to make—and keep—his New Year’s resolutions. Whether it’s losing weight, giving up smoking, or graduating from culinary school, Vic goes after what he wants—and gets it. This year? He wants Robin Dawson, the sweet-hearted hottie who volunteers with him at the local homeless shelter. When he learns that Robin is suddenly single after being unceremoniously dumped, Vic is more than happy to offer a shoulder to cry on—or at least a fresh-baked pastry to bite into. But it’s been a long time since Vic’s gone on a date, and he’s nervous about risking his friendship with Robin. So when their flirtation turns into a steamy night together, Vic and Robin have to figure out if they’re friends with benefits or lovers in the making, and if Robin is ready for something more than just a rebound. There’s only one way to find out: turn up the heat…

 

Excerpt:

“So, what’s your plan this year?” Cliff asked as we unloaded pallets of food for Victory Mission. The stinging December wind whipped through the loading dock, howling against the concrete walls. I had to strain to hear Cliff’s booming voice. “Sky diving? Marathon? How you gonna top last year, Vic?”

“Dunno.” I hefted a box of tomato sauce cans. That’s what everyone wanted to know—how I was going to top last year’s resolution to lose a hundred pounds. Truth was, I was pretty good at resolutions. Four years ago, I’d resolved to go to culinary school. Three years ago, I gave up smoking. And last year I lost 111 pounds. But this year I had a smaller, simpler goal in mind.

“Thought I might try dating.”

“Dating? As in a boyfriend?” Cliff snorted, a dry sound that echoed off the metal loading bay doors. “I’d go with a marathon.”

My stomach churned as I grabbed another box of rolls. I had my own doubts. I was hardly a prize catch. I hadn’t dated anyone in the four years I’d been working for Cliff. Never had a boyfriend beyond the rare three-peat hookup. ’Course, Cliff didn’t know about my hookups, but I hadn’t even had one of those in eight long months. Up until a few months ago, I hadn’t realized what I was missing. Ever since then, this weird, restless longing had plagued me. New Year’s was the perfect excuse to do something about it. Get out there.

“You guys done out here? Whole stack of boxes waiting inside. We don’t have all day.” Robin bustled out onto the dock, bringing a shit-ton of bad mood with him. A far cry from the sunny, talkative guy who made me think crazy thoughts, like that maybe dating wasn’t a terrible idea. He was gone before either Cliff or I could reply.

“What’s up with him?” I asked Cliff once I heard the pantry door shut inside.

“Melissa said Paul broke up with him.” Cliff always found the gossip. The food bank volunteers were like bored high schoolers, passing rumors around their shifts like joints at a party.

“Finally.” I didn’t realize I’d said the word aloud until Cliff laughed.

“Aha! On second thought, I highly approve of your resolution. I’m gonna have to get a bet going with Trish about whether or not you can land your man. Talk about aiming high though, kid.”

“Didn’t say anything about dating Robin,” I mumbled into a sack of rice. The last time Robin was single, I had spent months thinking about him. Wondering if he was out of my league. Knowing he was out of my league but trying to work up the courage to ask him out anyway. Coming to volunteer more often just to be around him. Then Paul swooped in like a star pitcher and sent me back to the minor leagues, where I belonged.

I readjusted my grip on the sack so I wouldn’t accidentally tear the darn thing in two. No, I wasn’t stupid enough to make a resolution to date Robin. I just wanted to get out there. Give myself a chance to maybe meet a nice guy who wouldn’t care about my food issues and my loose skin and my bald-by-choice look.

But now that Cliff had planted the dating-Robin idea in my brain, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Which irked the hell out of me. I’d worked hard to deep-six my crush on him. Finding out he was single was a stupid reason to unearth it. Robin was the nice guy of my fantasies. And fucking gorgeous. He was sex walking around in KEENs and hipster T-shirts. He was everything I wanted and everything I wasn’t ever going to have.

*****

Once Vic resolves to be Robin’s rebound guy, can he convince Robin that they’re meant to be? Find out in BAKED FRESH!

Sales Links:

B&N ~ Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

About the Author:

 

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter.  In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.

Represented by Saritza Hernandez of the Corvisiero Literary Agency

 

Where to find the author:

Website: www.annabethalbert.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/AnnabethAlbert

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annabethalbert

Tumblr: www.annabethalbert.tumblr.com

Fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/annabethsangels/

 

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23450161-baked-fresh


Tour Dates & Stops: April 14, 2015

Parker Williams, MM Good Book Reviews, Divine Magazine, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, BFD Book Blog, Tara Lain, Hearts on Fire, Bayou Book Junkie, My Fiction Nook, Inked Rainbow Reads, LeAnn’s Book Reviews, Love Bytes, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Bike Book Reviews, Molly Lolly, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews,Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Cathy Brockman Romances, Cate Ashwood, Three Chicks After Dark, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Because Two Men Are Better, Than One, Charley Descoteaux, Foxylutely Book Reviews, Elin Gregory, Andrew Q. Gordon

There is, as ever, a prize allocated via Rafflecopter.

Click here for a chance to win a $10 gift card + a book from Annabeth’s backlist

I hope you were all able to take advantage of this weird and wonderful weather. Being able to stroll around outside in a tee shirt in April has been a real treat but today the lazy wind is blowing and we’re all glad we haven’t put our winter woolies away.

So if you’re chilly and have decided to stay inside it might be a good idea to have something to read, yes? And so it might be an idea if I posted a recommendation.

Right then. This is a book I bought some time ago but managed to lose in the depths of my Kindle. It took me a while to realise that if I don’t tag and add books straight away they disappear into the largely inaccessible files and never appear again. So it was a pity that I couldn’t read it and appreciate it straight away but it gave me a heck of a treat this week.

The Bridge on the River Wye by Adam Fitzroy

I get a real kick out of reading books set in places I recognise, even more of a kick when I know from the start that I’m unlikely to find those weird assumptions – like every tiny English village having its own tea shoppe – that can jolt one out of a narrative. I knew I was in safe hands with this author so just settled down to bask.

Bridge tells the sometimes sad, sometimes edgy, but generally good humoured tale of sous-chef Rupert who has returned from Australia leaving his fraudulent partner in jail, his dog in kennels and his money lord knows where. Luckily for him, charismatic TV chef Ren is glad to employ him again and Rupert looks about him for old friends. One person he particularly wanted to see again was market trader Jake, whose organic fruit and veg is beyond par and the rest of him was pretty juicy too.

What has happened to Jake, why he left the market and what Rupert can do to help him and his beleaguered family make up the rest of the story.

This is such a British story, but I suppose there are parallels to be seen in every agricultural district. Small time operators who wish to sell ethically produced high quality wares are bound to be pushed around by the agri-giants. Town dwellers often under-estimate the isolation of country dwellers and in this case Jake etc are made even more isolated by the presence of the Bridge in the title, the scene of a personal tragedy.

If you like the more cosy sort of mystery and heroes more at home with kitchen tools or a trowel than a Glock and nicely drawn portraits of kids and dogs that aren’t the least bit cutesy-poo, then I think you’ll enjoy this book as much as I did.

Craving Stains Release Day

Synopsis

Wynn Brenwood has been trapped by his mother since birth, shut away in a sterile, hospital-like apartment.

Is it her desire to keep him safe that sees him locked up in his pristine cage? Or are her motives less innocent and well-intentioned?

Wynn longs to break free to experience the world he sees beyond his window.

Desperate to escape, he meets Doyle, a handsome, leather-clad, and enigmatic stranger.

But is Doyle real, or is he just a figment of Wynn’s imagination?

cravingstains-waywardinkpublishing-JayAheer2015--samllpreview

Buy Links

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UUE58SU/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00UUE58SU/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00UUE58SU/
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00UUE58SU/
WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/craving-stains-by-alina-popescu/
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-cravingstains-1766728-145.html

Excerpt

A nervous giggle escaped him and he rolled his eyes. It was hard to keep his emotions under control. Twenty years made for one long wait to finally breach the confines of his apartment. He looked around, taking in the large, pure white room with its scarce, minimalist furniture. The wall made of nothing but floor to ceiling windows was his favorite part. Sure, it threw away anything from the sun that was not pure light—UV filters, air cleansing devices, and CDC grade measures all made sure no microbes or bacteria ever penetrated this cage—but it was still his only direct connection with the outside world.

Wynn snorted, thinking of how unnecessary it would all become the moment he stepped outside and returned home alive. Only then would these absurd measures his mother had taken be forgotten. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He had to prove to her he could stay healthy and walk outside. He was tired of the Maid Bot 2000, his computer, his TV, and the books he kept buying. He supposed he should be thankful for the ‘Rise of the eBook’, yet he could not love them, not really, not like a normal reader. The TV programs, the news and stories on the Internet, the photos and videos of faraway places, the gripping stories in the books he read, they were all cruel reminders of the life he’d been denied. A normal human being, even if they never did go to that exotic beach on the other side of the world, still knew they could. They weren’t stranded, abandoned in their own home, with the somber doctor that came to inspect every inch of Wynn’s body as their sole contact with the outside world, other than his mother of course.

He perked up when he heard the click of the outside door opening. It unlocked when a certain code was pressed into the keypad on its right side. Wynn had seen the process through the security system; he’d never been on that side of the apartment. His mother’s high heels clicked on the floor, the hiss of dry showers cleansing her followed. Ten meters of different heads pushing air and heuristic nanobots, mixed into the traditional bacteria- and virus-killing formulae. It was all the rage in disease control: microscopic machines programmed to guess what would make a potentially deadly intruder, and isolate the tiny killers before they could be spread. Wynn imagined it cost a lot, but there was nothing his mother wouldn’t do to keep him alive. To what end, he could not guess. Maybe she just enjoyed having him a prisoner.

A bright smile curved his mouth, this time reaching his eyes. Wynn did not have to fake his pleasure at seeing his mother; it was as natural as it could be this time around. She was taking him outside. He supposed it made sense to even think he might love her one day. If he got to enjoy a normal life, experiencing the outside world, Wynn was ready to forget everything about how she’d kept him locked up and alone for as long as he could remember.

She walked to the armchair he was sitting on, taking step after stiff step. Wynn had always thought he hated the sound of her heels hitting the marble floor, but today it heralded amazing new adventures, so he smiled and stood up. She took his hands in hers, giving them a little squeeze and gracing him with a tight smile.

Moira Brenwood was a beautiful woman, he knew. She was tall and slim, always full of grace, perfect in every detail, from the way her hair was pulled up into a messy bun, to the impeccable line of her eyebrows, and the flawless makeup.

“Good morning, darling. How are you today?” Her voice echoed in the large room, coming back to him with the same rehearsed warm notes.

“I’m great, Mother. Let’s go!” he urged, shaking her hands and chuckling.

“Wynn! Where are your manners?” she hissed through clenched teeth. He saw the disapproval in her look and the way her lips were pressed together. Moira didn’t take too kindly to rude people.

He cringed and gave her an apologetic smile. Damn it, don’t screw this up! Don’t give her any reason to take back her promise of allowing you outside!

Alina PopescuAbout the author

Writer, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and she has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm. Born and raised in Romania, she finds her inspiration in books of all genres, in movies, and the occasional manga comic book. She is a proud geek who needs her fast Internet and gadgets more than she needs air.

Social Links

Site & Blog: http://alina-popescu.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authoralinapopescu
Twitter: http://twitter.com/alina_popescu
Instagram: http://instagram.com/alinapopescuwriter
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/alina-popescu
Google+:  https://www.google.com/+AlinaPopescu
Amazon:  http://amazon.com/author/alinapopescu

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