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Telepath 1

It’s the year 2113. Telepaths are real. They’re exalted. Feared. Hunters. Hunted. Kingmakers and slaves. With his expression, Ken is catapulted into the ranks of a tiny elite. With immense telepathic potential, he will have to learn how to use his powers and whom to trust. And quickly. Because there are enemies, both within and without, and they’re not going to wait.


Release Date: Monday, August 10 2020

Cover Artist: Colin D. Vaughn

Length: 79K

Genres: Sci-fi, LGBT, Black, Multi-racial

LGBTQ+ Identities: Gay, lesbian

Keywords/Categories: telepaths, cold war, university, student life, prejudice, sci-fi, LGBT, black, multi-racial, sci fi, science fiction, LGBTQ, queer, gay, lesbian

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Buy Link

Amazon US ǀ Amazon UK ǀ Amazon CAN



Interview

OK – very important question: Star Wars or Star Trek?


No question – Star Trek. I was born in 1980 and grew up with Trek. I’ve watched every series – and though I, like every trekkie, have my personal ranking – I have never stopped loving that universe.


Star Wars is fun in a different way. For example, my husband and I are enjoying “The Mandalorian” now. And yet I’m still a late-comer to Star Wars. I hadn’t even seen the movies really until a few years ago. Oh, of course, I felt like I had seen the movies, because they’re such a part of the cultural zeitgeist that I knew the plot and everything. “Luke, I am your father,” and so on. But the experience of having sat down and watched the movies – no, not until my 30s. A couple of my friends recommended that I watch the movies “machete order.”


“Machete order?”


Yeah, some fan came up with the idea that newbies to the series might enjoy watching the movies, not in release order, but in an order (IV, V, II, III, VI) that’s framed around Luke Skywalker’s story, beginning with IV: A New Hope and ending with VI: Return of the Jedi, rather than Anakin’s. I followed the suggestion and appreciated ending things with a bang with Return of the Jedi, rather than III, Revenge of the Sith. Though I imagine there’s an entirely new recommended order given all the other movies that have come out since…


OK, back to Star Trek – what makes you love the universe as you do?


Well, I only have a limited appetite for dystopian futures. I mean, I like seeing difficulties, challenges and grit in my sci-fi works. For example, I’m also a huge fan of Babylon 5. But there needs to be some sense of progress – that humanity has moved in a positive direction and can continue to do so. And this desire for progress is reflected in my story. So the narrative tension comes from the fact that progress is not preordained or always linear. There can be significant reversals. Wars can erupt, civilizations can fall, dark ages can occur, and reactionaries can prevail.


So, cool technologies and aliens aside, Star Trek has the requisite mix of progress and challenges to really resonate with me. Star Wars, for all its fun, can, for me, have a whack-a-mole aspect to it with the Empire that can feel bleak at times. Have I geeked out enough?


Not quite. Let’s throw Babylon 5 in the mix!


Cool! As any B5 fan will know, telepaths feature quite prominently in the show. So I’m sure that there are many intended and unintended influences from the show in my book. That said, for all their centrality, the show never really delved into what a telepathic society would look like. I probably can think of only one episode – “The Corps Is Mother, The Corps Is Father.” Star Trek is similar. You have multiple well-developed telepathic races – Betazoids and Vulcans most famously. But again not a ton of depth.


So watching these shows I always wanted more episodes about telepaths. And so I guess that interest spurred on my own writing, since I felt a need to create the stories I wasn’t getting elsewhere.


excerpt

Tarrington placed his datapad on the table. “This begins the psychic assessment of Kenneth Jared Kawashima. Nigel Tarrington, Authorized Facilitator of the Ministry of Citizen Services and Mauricio Vargas, an Authorized MCS Liaison from the Ministry of Psychic Affairs, presiding. Also in attendance are the subject’s father, Takahiro Kawashima; mother, Claire Alma Reed; and sister of minor age, Stephanie Fusako Kawashima.”


Tarrington turned to me: “Kenneth, pursuant to the Telepath Registration Act, as a suspected telepath you are required to undergo psychic assessment. You may not decline, delay or obstruct this hearing in any way. You may, however, have the presence of counsel at this proceeding. If you do not have one available to attend within 24 hours, one will be provided to you by the Ministry. Please touch the datapad and state whether you request or waive counsel.”


All of this was rather pro forma – I was surrounded by my family and it wasn’t as if a lawyer could stop or save me from this process. Not that I wanted it to stop. I touched the pad. “I waive counsel.”


The datapad chirped: “Identity confirmed. Waiver of counsel acknowledged.”


Tarrington turned to my parents. “Please touch the datapad to confirm that you have no objection to this proceeding, its recordation, or your son’s waiver of counsel.”


My parents touched the pad and it chirped: “Identities confirmed. Acknowledgements confirmed.”


Tarrington smiled, “Well, now that all that fussy business is complete. I will turn things over to Mr. Vargas.”


Vargas smiled at me, and then, clear as a bell in my head, I heard him sing a jaunty tune: I am the very model of a modern major general. I am the very model of a modern major general.


I laughed and asked him, “So you’re a general, eh?”


He smiled: No, more like a lowly foot soldier, little brother. Ask me a question. In your head – look into my eyes and say the words of your question one at a time. Remember, don’t speak.


I looked him straight in the eyes and thought: Where. Are. You. From?


Honduras. Suddenly I could see a wide stretch of forest, leading to deeply forested mountains, their tops veiled in low-lying clouds. Though I knew I was still crouched on the floor of our living room, I cool also feel moist spongy earth under my feet, a cool breeze across my cheek. This is my home. Well, actually, my hometown is the metropolis of Gracias a Dios, but the rainforests on the outskirts are what I think of as “home.”


For a moment, I almost felt like it was my home, too. I, who had only ever left Tennessee for our family’s annual trip to the Japan Territory, almost ached to return and hike those forests. Gracias a Dios. Thank you.


It wasn’t until Vargas smiled and said aloud: “My pleasure” that I realized that I had spoken to him mind-to-mind again, but in a natural, almost instinctual, way.


Was this what it meant to be a telepath? This incredible sharing, this intimacy? I felt as if Vargas – no, Mauricio – was some long-lost friend. Could he sense the same about me? I was just about to ask him for more when Tarrington clapped his hands once and said, “I take it that it was a success? He’s a true expressive?” I came to and looked around. My family was just staring at me. At me and Mauricio.


Mauricio nodded, then reached and touched the datapad: “Confirmed that subject’s telepathic gene has expressed, as verified through the receipt and transmission of audio, visual and tactile stimuli between subject and myself.”


Tarrington said: “Excellent! Now, Ken… I may call you ‘Ken,’ yes? . . . You understand that you will be more fully and properly assessed by the Psych Ministry at a later point?” I nodded. He then continued, “However, for my Ministry’s purposes an initial, somewhat rough assessment is necessary. Mr. Vargas will perform this. I am sorry for any discomfort.”


Mauricio then said aloud: “Ken, I will now force myself onto you” – at my sister’s gasp, he addressed everyone and continued – “in a very safe and controlled way, I assure you all. Though unpleasant, I will not harm Ken, I promise you.” Then turning to me: “Ken, what you must do is push me away. Pretend there’s a door that you’re trying to push closed. Or pretend there’s a pot on a heating unit bubbling over that you need to slam a lid onto. Or think of it however you think right – trust your instincts. OK, here goes.”


Then, before I could even begin to ponder what Mauricio was getting at, I saw his green light brighten and felt him touch me as he did before, but somehow both heavier and louder than before. Where before I felt like I was sharing with Mauricio, walking in his shoes, I now felt like he was walking on me. Instead of beautiful forests, I saw a man wielding a leather strap. The man – Father! – started hitting me over and over with the strap, shouting. It hurt! God, had this really happened to Mauricio? Or was this all part of the test? I couldn’t imagine my own gentle father or mother (however strict) ever acting so. But – ow! – the bastard kept hitting me! And I felt so angry, that he was hitting me, that he might possibly once have beaten my friend this way. I jumped up and yanked the strap from him. I then pushed him and lashed the strap across his face. He started to back away and I lunged after him hitting him again and again with the strap…”



Giveaway

Colin is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour

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The author

Colin is a Midwesterner by birth who lives in Washington, D.C. with his husband. Lawyer by day and aspiring writer by night (and lunch break). Since discovering Asimov and Tolkien as a child, he's had a lifelong love of science-fiction and fantasy. And he has enjoyed the explosion of wonderful stories featuring fellow LGBT and people of color.


But the more he read, the more he realized that he had his own tales he wanted to tell. And themes he wanted to explore - power and temptation, social progress, the fall of civilizations, ways to love, futurism, beloved community, and many more.


He very much hopes you enjoy his story!


Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/colin.vaughn.5203

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Colin-D.-Vaughn/e/B08FJBW69M/





Grim and Sinister Delight

Lyric waits twenty-five years to rise to the water’s surface with his father’s permission. When he finally breaches the ocean, he unexpectedly sees a most breathtaking human. A rogue wave destroys the human’s boat, and Lyric saves him, taking him to land. Since that fateful day, Lyric longs to find his human once more. He is even prepared to make a great sacrifice to finally meet him again. Ethan Turmont comes from a family of fantasy hunters, or at least that’s what the locals call them. His father has always been adamant that mermaids exist, and he has searched the ocean for years, looking for the mythical creature that made them the laughing stock of their town. A night out in the boat leaves Ethan fatherless after a storm, but it makes him as determined as his father once was to solve the oceanic mystery. He knows a merman saved his life, once upon a time, even if his friends think he’s gone as crazy as his father. When Ethan meets a voiceless man, there’s something familiar about him, and he’s more beautiful than any woman Ethan has admired. He’s never been attracted to a man before. Between his newfound desire for someone of the same gender, and his obsession with finding the merman who saved his life—so he can take his tail as proof—Ethan has a new view on life.


available on the 30th October, 2020

You can find the story here: mybook.to/amermanstail


guest post

Hello everyone, my name is M.D. Gregory, also known as Meg Bawden, and I’m here today to share an excerpt from my latest release, A Merman’s Tail. Based on The Little Mermaid fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, this story is a dark and twisted version with murder and kink.


***

The witch wasn’t anything like I’d imagined. He wasn’t green, but he wasn’t pretty, either. Scars crisscrossed his face and his eyes were strange: one a vibrant green and the other a strange red. Were his disfigurements the consequences of practicing with dark magic?


“Why are you here, little prince?” The witch sneered, nostrils flaring in irritation. He wasn’t ugly, even with the scars and weird eyes. He had a handsome face and soft jaw, and a muscular chest with skin a shade lighter than mine. Definitely not green.


“I want legs,” I announced as confidently as I could.


The witch grunted and flicked his tail, swimming toward what looked like a chair made of stone. He sat, resting his elbow on the arm, and stroked his chin. His deep red hair was cut short like mine, and I’d never seen anything quite like it before. “And why would you want that?”


“I want to be a human and live above the surface. I’ve met the man I will marry.”


“Marry?” The witch laughed, and I cringed at how mocking it sounded. “You poor, innocent child. Humans are no better than merfolk, if not worse.” His top lip curled and the puckered skin of a scar that swept over his mouth upturned with it. “Love is a trap.”


“I want to be a human,” I repeated with more force as I swam closer. Raising my chin in determination, I held out my hand to him. “I’ll accept any deal.”


“You fool.” He shook his head and clicked his tongue in a way my mother used to when she was mad at me. “Does your brother know you’re here?”


“My brother?” I furrowed my brows in confusion. “Which one?”


“Wily. He cares deeply about all his brothers. I doubt he’d let you come here.”


My frown deepened. “How do you know Wily?”


The witch snorted and flicked his tail in my direction, and I took it as a gesture that he wanted me to go away. I wasn’t going to do that, though. I’d come here for a reason, and I wasn’t going to leave until I got what I wanted.


“I am a prince of Atlantia. You should do what I say.” I crossed my arms, as though that would make me seem more confident. I’d never used my political power before because I hated being a prince, but I’d do anything to be a human.


He laughed again and cocked his head. “Oh, really? You’re so much like him.”


“Wily?” I asked.


He shook his head and pursed his lips. “Fine. If this is truly what you want, I’ll give it to you.”

Excitement made my skin prickle and I grinned. “Really?”


“Nothing is for free, little prince.” He shot forward and grabbed my chin in his fingers with a hard grip. I gasped, but that only made him tighten his hold. “I’ll give you the legs you want, and the ability to still understand your merfolk family, even as a human, but I want your voice in return.”


“My voice?” I mumbled, eyes widening.


“If you’re so sure this human will love you, make him do it without speaking.” His mouth twisted into a cruel grin. Now I understood what they meant when they said he was ugly because I’d never seen a demented smile like it before. “Your voice for legs.”


I should have said no, but I nodded instead. “Deal.”


I would never forget the way he laughed then.

Grim and Sinister Delights

Naked Ambition by Lisa Henry, With a Twist by Kate Sherwood, Bound by Sean Azinsalt, True Mate’s Kiss by Rorie Kage, The Elves and the Bondage Daddy by JP Sayle, Pied Piper by Emma Jaye, The Devil Told Me by Alexis Jane, Crimson Painted Snow by Brea Alepoú, Shards of Ice by R Phoenix, Beauty Bound by Megs Pritchard, False Feathers by Adara Wolf, The Rejiorling by Leona Windwalker, Consequences of Crying by Abigail Kade, A Merman’s Tale by MD Gregory & The Black Sea by Dora Esquivel


you should check out the readers group for this great collaboration. Along with some other things they have going on, they have this awesome couple of bingo cards, which has prompts for every book in the series.


Criminal Delights Readers Group


Beyond the Realm: Remember is a multi-author series.


Each book is set in its own world and can be read as a standalone novel.


Join eight authors on eight very different, romantic, and magical stories as each one writes their own take on the same concept.


“There’s no time. Remember…”



There are eight separate release dates.

All the books are available for pre-order and available on Kindle Unlimited.



Rueberry Orchard by Michele Notaro

“There’s no time. Remember Rueberry Orchard.”


A beautiful man in strange clothing starts invading my dreams, and even though I know he isn’t real, the dreams—mind-links, according to him—are so vivid it’s hard to imagine this man doesn’t exist. After a few of these nightly visits, I start looking forward to meeting him and listening to his smooth voice as he tries to convince me to go to Rueberry Orchard.


To my surprise, the place really exists, but I know it would be crazy to go there when it’s ten hours away… right?


When the visits don’t stop, some deep desire inside me knows I have to listen to this dream man, even if it’s absolutely insane. I follow his instructions to Rueberry Orchard, and nothing in this world could’ve prepared me for what I find. Or for the wild adventure I’m about to embark on.


Buy link

book 1

Available 6th October


Willowhope Manor by Sammi Cee

“There’s no time. Remember Willowhope Manor.”


All Chance wants is a change of pace and a little excitement, so opening a B&B in a town surrounded by ghost stories sounds like the perfect solution.


Throw in Jett, the super-sexy handyman, who is as willing to work him over as he is to help return the manor to its former glory, and Chance knows he made the right decision.


On the surface, the renovation is moving along perfectly. Then Chance asks questions that were better left buried, and the manor is quickly overrun with restless spirits.


Will Chance have to sacrifice his dreams, tuck tail, and run, or will Jett stand by his side to face-off with the ghosts of Willowhope Manor?


Buy link

book 2

Available 8th October


Copper Creek by Jacki James

“There’s no time. Remember Copper Creek.”


From the moment Dimas met Hazzard they had a bizarre connections, it was like a mating bond but not quite. Something was missing. Imagine their surprise when that something turns out to be a someone.


An owl, a wolf, and a bear. All three mates and all three fit together perfectly. Now if everything else in Copper Creek were going as smoothly as their mating.


Unfortunately, an anti-shifter group is getting close to finding the psychotropic salamanders whose toxin can prevent a shifter's animal from surfacing. Join these three as they work with the rest of the Copper Creek clan to find the salamanders and make sure they don't fall into the wrong hands.


Buy link

book 3

Available 13th October


Marcellus by Michelle Frost

“There’s no time. Remember Marcellus.”


Since the Null’s defeat, the land of Ferron had known peace under the guiding hands of the Conservatory of Mages.


After he earned his name in battle, Vian the Scarred set out on every mission the Conservatory put before him. Yet, no amount of hunting monsters or fugitive Nulls could quiet the fitful yearning of his heart.


Until Marcellus came and imbued Vian’s life with his golden glow...for a time.


Set on the path of an unknown monster, Vian hunts with a ferocity that feels misplaced while vivid flashes of golden hair catch at the edges of his dreams. Fulfilling the Conservatory’s orders has always been his life’s work, but this time the demands of his heart might win out if only he could remember.


Buy link

book 4

Available 15th October


Amos Ridge by BL Maxwell

“There’s no time. Remember, I love you.”


It all started with a discovery. A cave beneath a waterfall that held a crystal. Two boys—best friends—embark on a journey they’re told will help all mankind. As the years go by, their friendship turns to love, and their adventure turns into a battle.


Drew Langly is the keeper of the crystal. With his contact, the crystal allows them to jump to different timestreams and help, if they can, to further that society or fix anything that improves their lives. When he’s ripped from the timestream, it’s the beginning of what will change everything they’ve come to know about how the different timestreams function.


Colby Adams is Drew’s boyfriend, fellow traveler, and jump partner. When Drew is left vulnerable after a failed jump, he’s there to help and try to figure out what went wrong. They soon discover another team of travelers is in trouble, but they’ve been warned against trusting them. The more they learn, the more they realize everything has been a lie. To rewrite a history that’s been full of deceit, they’ll need to put their trust, once again, in strangers. Can they rewind it all and begin again? Experience the history they were always meant to? With some unconventional help, maybe…


Buy link

book 5

Available 20th October


The Manuscript by J.D. Light

“There's no time. Remember the Manuscript.”


Omi has had vague but vivid dreams his whole life but would forget them within minutes of opening his eyes. When he started writing the dreams down as soon as he woke up, he suddenly realized the significance when things in those dreams would pop up in his daily life. A broken toaster that caused a ridiculous automobile accident that was thankfully not fatal to anyone. A pop can that exploded in the middle of class and covered his least favorite teacher in orange soda.


Omi's dreams about a man with sunflower eyes were his favorite and enough to fill the pages of a manuscript. He couldn't help but fall madly in love with the man, even if he never had a name. But the beautiful stranger never appeared like the other objects in his dreams and with every day that he didn't, Omi became more and more depressed until he finally had to lock the manuscript away and stop writing about the man.


Six years have passed since Omi has touched the manuscript, but he would recognize the man that shows up at his favorite coffee shop anywhere, even before he gets close enough for Omi to see his sunflower eyes. How is a guy supposed to react to seeing the man he's been in love with from the time he was eighteen in real life for the first time? Probably NOT how Omi does.


Canton knows that Omi is his oracle the moment he sees him… just like he knows that Omi is his mate from the very beginning. But that is impossible, since fate weavers haven't had mates in centuries, and it is absolutely forbidden to mate your oracle.


Canton has waited for his oracle for two hundred long years, and he desperately wants to finish his work, but the more time he spends with the feisty man, the harder it is to remember to keep his distance emotionally. How can he possibly spend endless hours with a man he wants so much and not get to treasure him like he wants?


The answers to that just might be found in the pages of a manuscript Omi isn't sure he wants to share.


Buy link

book 6

Available 22th October


Amethyst Isle by Wren Kenzie

“There’s no time. Remember Amethyst Isle.”


Never trust a stray cat that follows you around and stares at you like it knows your darkest secrets. Especially, when that cat shows up perched on the shoulder of a huge man who demands I meet him on an abandoned pier at midnight if I don’t want to die. A man who also exposes those dark secrets right there on the street in front of my office.


My parents warned me to fear anyone who knew what I was. I should run away, but I can’t make myself do it. I’m drawn to him, and I need answers. I have to know how he knows. And just maybe he can explain the nightmares that have been ruining my nights. Explain why I feel like I’ve known him my entire life. But you know what they say about curiosity killing the cat, except this time, it’s the cat himself that might kill me.


Buy link

book 7

Available 27th October


Imaginary Lover by Morgan Brice

“There’s no time. Remember your imaginary lover....”


Cory Caldwell woke up by the side of the road with no memory of how he got there. He pieces together who he is but has no idea what happened to him.


Dark visions haunt him—flashes of blood, magic, and a brutal fight. Scorching dreams of a faceless lover offer no clues. His gut warns that something urgent is eluding him, and that time is running out. Worse is the sense of bone-deep grief, as if Cory is missing part of his soul.


Desperate for answers, he hops a bus for Fox Hollow, a town famous for psychics, mediums, and those with supernatural abilities. Then a stranger calls Cory by name and casts a furtive glance around him. “There’s no time,” the man says. “I need your help. Remember...” Can Cory unlock his missing memories and rescue the stranger before it’s too late?


Imaginary Lover is full of dangerous magic, hurt/comfort, brave monster hunters, dark curses, sincere psychics, found family, and forever love.


Buy link

book 8

Available 29th October


reviews

To start with I received some of these titles for an honest review and some I used KU for the reviews you’re about to read.


Rueberry Orchard by Michele Notaro

I really enjoyed this.

I liked the authors writing, to a point where three pages in I was downloading the handfuls of audios of this author’s work.

I really liked that twist of this second chance romance where as well as the world building and the cast of characters where enjoyable and well rounded. Overall, I really enjoyed the story – 4 stars


Willowhope by Sammi Cee

I’m not the biggest fan of ghost stories but I really enjoyed this one. The romance was sweet, if a little tell over show, but I liked it, liked them together – 4 stars


Imaginary Lover by Morgan Brice

I really enjoyed this book, which is and isn’t surprising as Brice is a hit or miss author for me.

I really liked Cory and the fact that he woke up on the side of the road without memories and wasn’t annoying about it, which is something I come across a lot. He had great instincts as he moved forward. Had a voice in his head, I’m guessing his lovers, who helped made him realise he had a better than average ability to work it out and with help from character in past Brice books he was able to help (or I’m guessing more then most were past characters, I have only read 1 other book all the way through). I find it really interesting and entertaining the whole way through – 3.5 stars.


The Manuscript by JD Light

It was fine. a sweet story about fate getting its way, I guess.

I liked both the characters, how they interacted with each other.

the world was ok, it was basic Greek Myth I think, had a lot of those elements anyway – 3 stars.


Marcellus by Michelle Frost

This was a fine read which needed to be longer and/or have more books to come, it seemed very much a quick and fun overview of the world. I liked both characters but would have liked to see more. Their first meeting, the tension, but it didn’t lose a lot not having it – 3 stars.


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