Migration Anthology… coming soon!

Time to announce the Migration Judge’s Choices and Directory’s Choice (in no particular order) Thanks to the judges, and congrats to the authors!:
Brenda Noiseux: Zulu Finds a Home, by Kevin Klehr:
In a genre that can lean heavily to the dark side, Kevin Klehr’s Zulu Finds a Home pokes lighthearted fun at the imagination. It’s thoroughly enjoyable at face value as a campy tale or viewed with a finer eye reflecting our own societies.
Ben Brock: Skin Hunger, by Treasure Nguyen

Unapologetically sensual, at times disgusting, and slightly silly, this story took some extreme risks and they all paid off. Told in second person, we, the main character, finally find someone who loves us for who we truly are, vagina dentata and all. I appreciated how sex doesn’t always have to be sexy to the voyeur, the reader, for it to be compelling and valid. And if you do find it sexy? So much the better.

Angel Martinez: The Curious Cabinet, by Ginger Streusel

I’ve been privileged to judge the flash fiction contest every year, and each time I’m heavily drawn to the stories that take the theme and bend it in interesting ways. The Curious Cabinetis one of those stories. For this year’s Migration theme, we expected seasonal migrations and the migrations of displaced people. What I did not expect was the migration of a paranormal cooked cabbage odor attached to an inherited cabinet. This is a warm and gently funny story that sketches out a character and their relationship to their grandmother in small, careful brushstrokes. Underneath the humor is an undercurrent of loss, too, and a lovely message about how those we’ve lost never truly leave us. I loved the story for all of these things, for the casual reference to the character’s non-cis gender, and for the cabbage. Hey. I have a genetic weakness for cabbage – what can I say?


dave ring: Repeating History, by J. Summerset
Repeating History comes across as an unsettling exploration of trauma, both personal and intergenerational. Though the protagonist is leaving behind at least one source of their pain, they can’t help but bring some of it with them, as well. This story contains a well-crafted snapshot of horror, just enough to make the reader start backing away slowly as soon as they’ve finished reading.
Amir Lane: The Essence, by Lm Brown
This was an amazing story. Right from the first sentence, I was hooked. The world-building was as clear as you can get in 300 words. The main character has a defined personality, and they took on a very unique spin on the concept of migration. One of the things I loved about this story is that the main character is morally ambiguous. Through the story, you’re not sure whether the MC is good or bad, but you can feel that they’re desperate enough that you almost start to root for them. Until the end. It was a really well-written story that stuck with me.
J. Scott Coatsworth: Stream of Consciousness, by Ziggy Schutz (Director’s Choice)
For me, the measure of a flash fiction story is how it sticks with me long after I’ve read it. Each of my Director’s Picks reflects this philosophy, and Stream of Consciousness is no exception. It’s wistful, a little sad, and a little magical, with a dollop of hope at the end. Everything I want a flash fiction story—or any story—to be. And in the end, it swept me away with it too. Beautifully done.�
Preorder Now
Amazon Paperback: Coming Soon
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Blood is Forever – a new release by Asta Idonea


Blood is Forever

Asta Idonea

NineStar Press

3 June 2019

74,000 words

MM/Paranormal Romance/Murder Mystery


Sometimes catching a murderer means risking one’s heart.

 As a fae-vampire hybrid, scorned by all, Holden’s life has never been easy. The one bright spot is his job testing blood at supernatural crime scenes. It’s routine work, until the day he finds a victim he can’t read.

When one murder becomes two, and then three, it’s clear there’s a serial killer on the loose—one with a penchant for collecting hearts. Finding the bad guy could cement Holden’s career, but he’s drawing a blank. And it doesn’t help that the expert his boss calls in to assist him is the man Holden’s been crushing on for years.

With lives hanging in the balance, Holden and Val must solve the case before the killer strikes again. But will they come out with their hearts still intact?


SoundCloud Excerpt: https://soundcloud.com/nickijmarkus/blood-is-forever-by-asta-idonea-audioexcerpt

YouTube Excerpt: https://youtu.be/CuYWU05z_8w


NineStar Press: https://ninestarpress.com/product/blood-is-forever/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07S8Y4J15

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07S8Y4J15

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/blood-is-forever-1

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1131770704?ean=2940161326251


Author Bio & Links

Author Pic 2015

Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.

Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!

As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel, all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.


Blog: http://www.nickijmarkus.com

Newsletter: https://forms.sendpulse.com/519d85da9c/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NickiJMarkus

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nickijmarkus/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/aleera21

Linktree (for all other links): https://linktr.ee/nickijmarkus

Testing out Tapas

So many writing platforms these days! Tapas was recommended to me by a friend. Although it was established to promote comics, it has branched out recently into novels and stories.

I’ve posted a few of my free books there to see what reaction I get. A slow start, but – like any social media – you need to be active to get results. We’ll see what happens! Here’s the link to my account if you’d like a look.


Two Free Offers – until 12th Dec!

Celebrating the holiday season, I have two ebooks available for FREE download from Smashwords until 12th December

Gothic Romance

When Jonathan Winters accepts a post as tutor to the only son of Lord D’Anvers, he looks forward to sharing his love of learning with his young pupil. Not even arriving at Castle Blackstone in the middle of a thunderstorm can dampen his enthusiasm.
Absorbed with Evelyn’s education, Jonathan is completely unprepared to find himself the object of Lord D’Anvers’ attentions.
Until D’Anvers kisses him
Gothic Romance1


Rough Play and More

Three Novellas:
Rough Play – Lieutenant Matthew Ferris stumbles on a scandal that could tear his spaceship Jerez apart. Some call it rough play, he calls it unacceptable.
His Guilty Secret – Heir to a wealthy shipping family, Adam S Hayes has his life carefully mapped out. Career, marriage, family. After establishing himself successfully as Captain of the Patrol Ship Revel, it is time for the next step. Everything is going according to plan … until he meets Danyel King. Troubled and confused, Hayes risks losing his chance for love as he finds himself torn between his heart and his head.
Dangerous Tension – Spaceship Captain Matthews has kept his sexuality a secret. What happens when the crew finds out? is Lieutenant Kent as straight as he always believed? Will he hit him or kiss him, or both?
Gay romantic Sci-fi


TimeLabs Inc now FREE from Smashwords!

My book of gay science fiction short stories is now available for FREE from Smashwords, gradually trickling through to other ebook outlets.

“Welcome, Mr Reese and Mr Connor… I trust your special day was all that it was cracked up to be? And what better way to compliment your union than with a honeymoon across time, eh? We here at TimeLabs are the premier time travel company and our guides are highly trained. Anything you want, anywhere you want to go… The possibilities are very nearly endless…” Escorted in a private luxury time machine, complete with five star meals and champagne, what could be more romantic? TimeLabs Inc

Tom loved his master, his job and the wonderful society he lived in – until one day, somebody hacked his tattoo and his world changed forever. Tattoo

Evan and Joey find themselves in a whole new world where mythical creatures are as real as they are. Love Spider

General Parker Rodriguez didn’t believe for one second in the existence of flying saucers with little green men conducting random probes, but he still knew that Aliens were out there. And when they came, he would be ready. E Contact

Kel meets his first alien and falls in love with her. Except… Alien Love Story

A collection of six gay science fiction short stories, all with a romantic theme. Not explicit. Suitable for both teens and adults.

TL_1pf - Sm

Coming Soon! “The Rising Tide” by J Scott Coatsworth

The Rising Tide

J. Scott Coatsworth has a new queer sci fi book out: “The Rising Tide.”

Earth is dead.

Five years later, the remnants of humanity travel through the stars inside Forever, a living, ever-evolving, self-contained generation ship. When Eddy Tremaine and Andy Hammond find a hidden world-within-a-world under the mountains, the discovery triggers a chain of events that could fundamentally alter or extinguish life as they know it, culminate in the takeover of the world mind, and end free will for humankind.

Control the AI, control the people.

Eddy, Andy, and a handful of other unlikely heroes—people of every race and identity, and some who aren’t even human—must find the courage and ingenuity to stand against the rising tide.

Otherwise they might be living through the end days of human history.

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.

DSP Publications | Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads


Scott is giving away two prizes with this tour – a $25 Amazon gift card, and a signed copy of “The Stark Divide,” book one in the series (US winner only for the paperback). For a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4734/?


The Rising Tide Meme

Eddy Tremayne rode his horse, Cassiopeia, along the edge of the pastures that were the last official human habitations before the Anatov Mountains. Several ranchers along the Verge—the zone between the ranches and the foothills—had reported losses of sheep and cattle in the last few weeks.

As the elected sheriff of First District, which ran from Micavery and the South Pole to the mountains, it was Eddy’s responsibility to find out what was going on.

He had his crossbow strapped to his back and his long knife in a leather sheath at his waist. He’d been carrying them for long enough now—three years?—that they had started to feel natural, but the first time he’d worn the crossbow, he’d felt like a poor man’s Robin Hood.

He doubted he’d need them out here, but sheriffs were supposed to be armed.

He’d checked with Lex in the world mind via the South Pole terminal, but she’d reported nothing amiss. In the last few years, she had begun to deploy biodrones to keep an eye on the far-flung parts of the world, but they provided less than optimal coverage. One flyover of this part of the Verge had shown a peaceful flock of thirty sheep. The next showed eight.

The rancher, a former neurosurgeon from New Zealand named Gia Rand, waited for him on the top of a grassy hill. The grass and trees shone with bioluminescent light, and the afternoon sky lit the surrounding countryside with a golden glow. The spindle—the aggregation of energy and glowing pollen that stretched from pole to pole—sparkled in the middle of the sky.

The rancher pulled on her gray braid, staring angrily at something in the valley below. “Took you long enough to get here.”

“Sorry. The train was out of service again.” Technology was slowly failing them, and they had yet to come up with good replacements.

She snorted. “One helluva spaceship we have here.”

He grinned. “Preaching to the choir.” Forever didn’t have the manufacturing base yet to support anything close to the technology its inhabitants had grown used to on Earth. Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you asked him. With technology came new and better ways to kill. He’d seen it often enough in the NAU Marines. “What did you find?”

“Look.” Her voice was almost a growl.

Eddy looked down where she was pointing. “Oh shit.” Her missing sheep were no longer missing. They had been slaughtered.

He urged Cassiopeia down the hillside to the rocky clearing. A small stream trickled down out of the mountains there. He counted ten carcasses, as near as he could tell from the skulls left behind. Someone had sheared a couple of them and given up. It looked like they had skinned and cut the rest up for meat, the skin and bones and extra bits discarded.

Gia rode down the hillside behind him.

“Didn’t you report twelve sheep missing?”

She nodded. “Bastards took the two lambs. Probably for breeding.”

“That actually might help us.”

“How’s that?”

He dismounted to take a closer look at the crime scene. “They’ll have to pasture them somewhere. May make it easier to track them down.”

“Maybe so.” She dismounted and joined him. “This was brutal work. Look here.” She picked up a bone. “Whatever cut this was sharp but uneven. It left scratch marks across the bone.”

“So not a metal knife.”

“I don’t think so. Maybe a stone knife?”

He laughed harshly. “Are we back to caveman days, then?” It wasn’t an unreasonable question.

She was silent for a moment, staring at the mountains. “Do you think they live up there?”

“Who?” He followed her gaze. Their highest peaks were wreathed in wisps of cloud.

“The Ghosts.”

The Ghosts had been a persistent myth on Forever since their abrupt departure from Earth. Some of the refugees had vanished right after the Collapse, and every now and then something would end up missing. Clothes off a line, food stocks, and the like.

People talked. The rumors had taken on a life of their own, and now whenever something went missing, people whispered, “It’s the Ghosts.”

Eddy didn’t believe in ghosts. He personally knew at least one refugee who had disappeared, his shipmate Davian. He guessed there must be others, though the record keeping from that time had been slipshod at best. He shrugged and looked at the sky. “Who knows?” It was likely to rain in the next day or so. Whoever had done this had left a trail, trampled into the grass. If he didn’t follow it now, it might be gone by the time he got back here with more resources.

Gia knelt by one of the ewes, staring at the remnants of the slaughter. “Could you get me some more breeding stock? This… incident put a big dent in my herd.”

“I’ll see what I can do.” He took one last look around the site. It had to have taken an hour or two to commit this crime, and yet the thieves had apparently done it in broad daylight. Why weren’t they afraid of being caught? “I’m going to follow the trail, see where it leads.”

Gia nodded. “Thanks. We’re taking the rest of the herd back to the barn until you get this all figured out.”

“Sounds prudent. I’ll let you know.”

Slipping on his hat, he climbed back up on Cassie and followed the trail across the stream toward the Anatov Mountains.

Author Bio

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, he runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction reflecitng their own reality.

Website: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com

Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth

Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworthauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jscoatsworth

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth

QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/J.-Scott-Coatsworth/e/B011AFO4OQ/

LOGO - Other Worlds Ink

Rocky? Habitable? Sizing up a Galaxy of Planets

The planets so far discovered across the Milky Way are a motley, teeming multitude: hot Jupiters, gas giants, small, rocky worlds and mysterious planets larger than Earth and smaller than Neptune. As we prepare to add many thousands more to the thousands found already, the search goes on for evidence of life– and for a world something like our own.

Source: Rocky? Habitable? Sizing up a Galaxy of Planets


This fascinating article appears on the NASA website. For readers and fellow writers, it’s well worth your attention