fiction, writing

Campfire Tales worth writing about

I have a story in a new charity anthology!

Campfire Tales Worth Writing About is the newest edition in the Worth Writing About series which features short fiction and other bits and pieces around a theme.
Each sale’s profits go to a charity and this month’s charity is The Abortion Access Fund

My story, Which Tree, is a little weird modern bardic tale inspired by the tabletop roleplaying game Sleepaway.

I wrote it quickly, inspired by an incident in the game of Sleepaway I played the year before last. It has some gender diverse characters and something living in a tree. I wrote it longhand first up and typed it up within a few hours, which was a pretty fun and breezy way to write. I’ve been enjoying writing short fiction to prompts and I’m hopeful I’ll be able to share more little publications like this with you soon!

If you want to capture the feeling of sitting around a campfire and telling stories, this is the collection for you. Buy now

fiction, Writers

Pride Month Reading List of local authors part 2

Double Exposure (Pōneke Shadows Book 1) by Anne Barwell
MM urban fantasy

Vampires and werewolves live long lives. The Sleepless City saga might have ended but the story continues… Someone is hunting supernaturals. Vampire Simon Hawthorne and his human partner Ben Leyton’s plans for a peaceful holiday with family are hijacked by the New Zealand Supernatural Council. Tensions are on the rise in Wellington. Supernatural councillors are disappearing. Werewolves are suspicious of anyone human or vampire. If they don’t work together, their enemy has already won. And no one with a connection to the supernatural world is safe.


Foxhunt by Rem Wigmore
Sci-fi with a bi protagonist and all-queer cast

Orfeus the musician is searching for hope in the heart of danger…

In a lush solarpunk future, plants have stripped most of the poison from the air and bounty hunters keep resource hoarders in check. Orfeus only wants to be a travelling singer, famed and adored. She has her share of secrets, but she’s no energy criminal, so why does a bounty hunter want her dead? Not just any bounty hunter but the Wolf, most fearsome of all the Order of the Vengeful Wild. Orfeus will call in every favor she has to find out, seeking answers while clinging to her pride and fending off the hunters of the Wild. But she isn’t the only one at risk: every misstep endangers the enemies she turns into allies, and the allies she brings into danger. There are worse monsters than the Wolf hiding in this new green world.


Overdues and Occultism by Jamie Sands
MM urban fantasy, novella

A witch in the broom closet probably shouldn’t be so interested in a ghost hunter, right?

That Basil is a librarian comes as no surprise to his Mt Eden community.
That he’s a witch?
Yeah.

That might raise more than a few eyebrows.

When Sebastian, a paranormal investigator filming a web series starts snooping around Basil’s library, he stirs up more than just Basil’s heart. Between Basil’s own self-doubt, a ghost who steals books and Sebastian, an enthusiastic extrovert bent on uncovering secrets, Basil’s life is about to get a lot more complicated.


Caught (Smoke and Shadows 1) by Naomi Aoki
MM Yakuza dark romance

Available: Amazon, Kobo, Apple, B&N, coming to Google Play soon!
Love can be dark. It can be dangerous, deadly, and tainted.

Chocolate and roses? They weren’t the romantic sentiments expected of those who walked in this world of smoke and shadows. Takeshi Matsumoto didn’t need them… didn’t want them from the man he loved. But he didn’t expect the explosions or the attempts on his life, either. It wasn’t as though Yoshitake had gifted him with those life-threatening events, not when there were plenty of men already within the Shirokawa-gumi eager to get rid of him.

Men who wanted the power that came with being the Head of the Shirokawa-gumi.

Except he was the rightful heir… because he was Takeshi Matsumoto, Fifth Generation Head of the Shirokawa-gumi.

Securing his birthright wasn’t going to be easy, but Takeshi had been trained for this… planned for this… and he wouldn’t hesitate to kill for it.

But the problem was… Takeshi couldn’t trust anyone. Not even the man who shared his bed.

Caught (Smoke and Shadows 1) is a 56k approx. Dark MM Yakuza Romance that involves the twisted love of a yakuza heir and his older bodyguard.


Moonrite by Deonne Dane
MM high fantasy

The son of a Voce healer and a Dracan warrior, Falric Mislan has always questioned where he belongs.


While obligation, the easy companionship of his peers and the unswerving loyalty of his best friend has kept him grounded in his father’s culture, the alluring magic of his mother’s people inexorably calls to him.
Two rites stand between Falric and his fate. One, a simple, but unfamiliar ceremony that will awaken his Voce powers. The other, the Moon of Solitude. But when Falric uncovers a dangerous object, death and vengeance threaten his place and his future. Secrets abound and more than loyalties will be tested.

*Moon Rite is the first book in the Legend of the Ancients series. The books of Locurnia are LGBTQ inclusive and contain explicit material. This series is intended for adults 18 and over.

#Epicfantasy #Otherworld #Riteofpassage #Actionadventure #Magictalisman #Highheat #Romanticelements


Family Ties & Rainbow Bonds by Heather Sylvawood

Over last century the social mores against gays and lesbians forced many of them into secret relationships and exposed them to threats and phyiscal violence. Even as the century came to a close these risks still existed. Family Ties and Rainbow Bonds is set against the conflict of love on both sides of the fence.


Growing up with a strictly heterosexual father, Poppie, young Georgie struggles to find her true identity among her six brothers, including the extroverted pianist Claudios. Always a step behind in the family intrigues, Georgie doesn’t realise how the sons and daughters-in-law sort life so that they can benefit from their mother’s and father’s successful business venture in Christchurch. When Georgie falls for a teenage girl she meets at the family camping ground in Hanmer Springs, New Zealand, Georgie’s life begins to change. Then there’s the realisation that brother Claudios and his ‘flatmate’ walk to the same drum as Georgie does. Each has their own coming out story that they share as Georgie joins the Rainbow Family.
Georgie moves into the political activity that emerged in New Zealand in the early 1980s, at a time when enlightened New Zealanders are working towards the repeal of anti-homosexual law in New Zealand, a time when the good and bad of people on both sides of the debate are exposed. Family Ties and Rainbow Bonds explores the tensions of the time and how love can tie and release the truth of being who you really are.


The Other Side of the Mirror by Jamie Sands
Lesbian and non-binary urban fantasy mystery

The case: a grandmother who vanished from a locked room.
The best lead: a psychic who’s as mysterious as she is cute.

Detective Jack Duarte is the one called upon when weird cases hit Auckland. A fierce loner with a reputation for solving the unsolvable, she is the perfect choice for the latest odd mystery: the locked-room disappearance of a beloved grandmother, who has vanished without trace and, seemingly, without suspects or a motive.

This time around, though, Jack has also been assigned a partner. The fresh young detective Piper, who has transferred in with a difficult history, is determined to prove themself. Smart, perky, and inexperienced. They are exactly the kind of partner Jack manages to scare away. As they dig deeper into the mystery, though, Jack has to put her own reluctance in the back seat and help Piper navigate a whole different world — because the beloved grandmother has her own mysterious past, one that has already cost lives… and souls.

With the help of the enigmatic and beautiful psychic Emmaline, Jack and Piper must confront the strange world on the other side of the mirror. Some mysteries can only be solved with magic!

fiction, Writers, writing

Pride Month reading list – local authors

In honour of Pride here’s a selection of books from Kiwi authors featuring an array of rainbow characters – purchase links in the titles and covers. A couple are preorders at the time of publishing, and some are on sale for the month of June 2022.

The Last God (preorder) by Gillian St Kevern
MM high fantasy
Kel, a former prince turned gravedigger, serves the Unknown God. Bitter about the gods’ neglect of their people, Kel’s limited patience with the divine is tested when his former lover, now a famous general, shows up in the tiny town of Farport. Done with being the gods’ plaything, Kel quits the priesthood—only to discover that the unknown god has plans for him and his ex.

Iscar’s shocked to discover that the prince who was too good for a lowly soldier now follows the god of outcasts. He’s even more shocked when the unknown god declares himself to be War and claims Kel as his high-priest. Having experienced all war’s horrors, Iscar is determined to free Kel from the god, escorting him to Celestial City in an attempt to win Kel away.

Kel fights his attraction to Iscar and struggles with his duty to his god. Iscar’s belief that the gods are just, and reward those who are deserving, is challenged by their journey. His allegiance is no longer to the gods, but to his love. But Kel, consumed by doubt, cannot see what a man—or a god—would want in him.


Rival Princes by Jaxon Knight
MM contemporary romantic comedy

There are three golden rules for new recruits at Fairyland Theme Park:

1. No breaking character, even if you’re dying of heat exhaustion
2. Always give guests the most magical time
3. No falling in love.

Nate’s only been at work one day, and he’s already broken all three.

Fast-tracked into a Prince role, Nate’s at odds with Dash, the handsome not-so-charming prince who is supposed to be training him. Nate doesn’t know how he ended up on Dash’s bad side, but the broody prince sure is hot when he gets mad.

Dash has worked long and hard to play Prince Justice at Fairyland. Now, instead of focusing on his own performance, he is forced to train newbie Nate to be the perfect prince. Nate’s annoying ease with the guests coupled with his charm and good looks could dethrone Dash from his number one spot … so why does he secretly want to kiss him?

Fairyland heats up as sparks fly between the two rival princes. Will they get their fairytale romance before they’re kicked out of Fairyland for good? Find out in this standalone MM contemporary romance by Jaxon Knight, set in an amusement park where fairytales can come true.

How to Get a Girlfriend (When You’re a Terrifying Monster) (preorder), by Marie Cardno – FF/ sapphic monster romance

Trillin isn’t technically a person. She’s a tiny breakaway piece of consciousness from the all-devouring Endless, doomed to eventually rejoin it. But when a human witch stumbles into her world, Trillin suddenly has a new reason to figure out individuality–one shape-shifting tentacle at a time.

Sian is sure important magical discoveries are just around the corner, if she can just get her portals to work reliably. Reaching the dimension of the Endless without being eaten on sight is a dream come true, and Sian is determined to explore every bit of it. For science, of course, not for the strangely adorable life-form who keeps popping up and trying to… flirt?

But Trillin’s world can be a dangerous place, and keeping Sian safe might risk drawing the attention of the Endless itself–which will swallow Trillin up along with all her dreams of humanity. Together, can this unlikely duo escape the Endless, figure out the optimum number of appendages, and maybe even find love?


Ten Acceptable Acts of Arson and other very short stories by Jack Remiel Cottrell
Everyone is queer litfic

here are many messages in this book: Never go drinking using your passport for ID. Make sure to apply lidocaine before ripping out your toenails. Magic might be real, but it never fixes the worst of your problems. Try to fall in love with bastards. You or someone you know may be gayer than previously thought. We’re not going to make it to Mars. A locked psychiatric ward needs more books than a single copy of Jane Eyre. Asking time travellers for advice on your exams is considered cheating. It’s not just human houses that become haunted. The key message is this: Life in the early 21st century is often very strange. So are these stories. With a crisp insouciance and gliding charm, Jack Cottrell’s fiery, fey, finely-tuned fictions leap from sci-fi to fantasy, comedy to horror, literary realism to romance, and to hybrids of all of these. Featuring sport, friendship, love, health, family, climate change, artificial intelligence, desire, magic, Greek gods, ghosts, peanut butter, cyber pranks, racial prejudice, and creepy medical advances, his stories play with the allure of the past, the disturbances of our own times, and the dangerous idealism of our future technologies – each one in fewer than 300 words.


Sanctuary by Andi C Buchanan
F/NB

The once-grand, now dilapidated old house they live in has become a refuge for their found family—Morgan’s partner Araminta, an artist with excellent dress sense; Theo, a ten-year-old with an excess of energy; quiet telekinesthetic pensioner Denny—as well as the ghosts who live alongside them. All people who once needed sanctuary for their queer, neurodivergent selves.

Now they offer that safety to the dead as well as the living.

When a collection of ghosts trapped in old bottles are delivered to their door, something from the past is unleashed. A man who once collected ghosts – a man who should have died centuries before – suddenly has the house under his control. Morgan must trust their own abilities, and their hard-won sense of self, to save their home, their family, and the woman they love.


A Gap in the Veil by Samantha Schenk
MM urban fantasy

As a mechanic, Greg can fix just about anything—except his broken heart. He finds solace in witchcraft, solving problems for ghosts instead of looking closer to home.

When a visiting musician dials up the charm after a gig in town, Greg’s life looks to be taking a turn for the better. His plans to keep things simple between them are complicated by the awakening of a spirit bent on corruption. Greg must make choices between moving on or taking the fight to a whole new level and save Wellington from a past it had almost forgotten.


Pride Month sale titles by Noami Aoki
MMF, MMM and Bi


Dark Attraction by Drake LaMarque
MM vampire romance

Brand: A pansexual college surfer dude looking for love in all the wrong places
Gage: A mysterious goth with something to hide who will do anything to keep what’s his

When they meet at a party, there’s an instant attraction but between Gage’s dominant hunger and Brand’s need to submit to him… the fire may be all-consuming.

an MM vampire/human romance featuring lots of spice – start of a series!


Prelude to Love by Anne Barwell
MM contemporary romance

Joel is a music teacher who knows it’s time to forget his ex and move on, while Marcus runs a lawn-mowing business and has come to Wellington to escape the reminders of a recent breakup. Although they’re opposites, when Joel and Marcus connect, their romance has the potential to hit all the right notes.

Too bad neither of them feels ready for new love.

With family and friends in common, dating is risky and things could get messy if it doesn’t work out. When the sweet song of possibility draws them towards romance, a Chopin prelude ends in a seductive kiss. But it will take some practice and perseverance to find their perfect harmony…

Author’s note: This is the second edition of Prelude to Love. The first edition was released by another publishing house. This edition has some added content, and has been revised and re-edited with the end result being a better, stronger story. It uses New Zealand spelling to reflect its setting.

Uncategorized

Witchy Fiction 99c sale

click for the sale website

The Witchy Fiction project is celebrating the month of May with a 99c sale! A selection of books from four different authors (including me!) is up for cheap on multiple ebook platforms.

Click here to get some cheap urban fantasy from Aotearoa! More about the included books if you read on…

Riverwitch

2021 Sir Julius Vogel Award Finalist for Best Novella

Self-taught witch Ashley Robinson considers it her duty to protect her hometown Hamilton. She spends her time doing community work and picking up litter by the Waikato River.

But something is badly wrong with the river, a sickness deeper than mere pollution can explain. Magic must be the cause, but is it a curse or something else entirely? Ash has to get to the bottom of it, armed with nothing more than the support of her best friend Mikaere and a pocketful of crystals.

Then there’s Bryony Manu, the town’s only other witch. A charismatic practitioner of dark magic, Bryony is infuriating … and captivating. Ash needs their help to track down the source of the spell draining life from the river. Can she balance her work with her attraction to Bryony, and master her magic along the way?

Brand of Magic

An empath witch should be able to keep everyone happy, right?

Hazel has put magic and men out of her mind. A break-up meant her own thoughts were bad enough, without sensing everyone else’s emotions too. The ghost in the attic and her sarcastic dog familiar would be way too much to explain to any partner.

Instead, Hazel put all her energy into her job promoting the city she loves – Dunedin, New Zealand. And she is pretty good at it, too. When her neighbour, Joel, needs her expertise to save his woodworking business and stop the sale of his family land, she can’t resist getting involved. But the more time they spend together, the more stubbornly locked away his thoughts are.

Then her powerful aunt is attacked, and Hazel has to find a way to get through to her and discover who or what is behind it. It seems as if her psychic powers are the key to everything.

Can she bear to let magic – and love – back in?

Succulents and Spells

Laurel Windflower is a witch from a family of magic workers – but her own life is going nowhere. Living in the damp, sunless side of Aro Valley, she works in a café, unable to produce anything more powerful than the most basic herbal potions. Until, one winter morning, Marigold Nightfield knocks on her door. Marigold is a scientist, but she knows plenty about magic. There are strange things happening in her house, and her future discoveries require careful negotiation with monsters. Laurel can’t walk away from a mystery – and she can’t walk away from Marigold either. But what lies ahead could reveal all of her shortcomings to the woman she’s trying to impress… or uncover the true nature of her power.

Microscopes and Magic

Some magical problems take spells and potions to solve… but others can only be understood through the lenses of a microscope.

Marigold Nightfield’s life changed when she absorbed the magic stored in a family heirloom. Now, she’s part of a growing network of magic-working scientists who are trying to change the world for the better, and has a girlfriend from a sprawling, powerful, witchy family.

Things should be coming together perfectly for her… but her magic has a time limit. It’s not hers for keeps and one day, she’ll lose it for good.

When her girlfriend’s work is destroyed by possible sabotage, and strange things start appearing in Wellington’s green belt, Marigold’s amazing new life starts to unravel. With unknown motives and dubious players at work, she faces a destructive force spreading through the city and beyond. She’ll have to not only draw on her scientific background and magical abilities, but make new connections and grow in confidence to face this new threat.

Overdues and Occultism

A witch in the broom closet probably shouldn’t be so interested in a ghost hunter, right?

When Sebastian, a paranormal investigator filming a web series starts snooping around Basil’s library, he stirs up more than just Basil’s heart. Between Basil’s own self-doubt, a ghost who steals books and Sebastian, an enthusiastic extrovert bent on uncovering secrets, Basil’s life is about to get a lot more complicated. 

That Basil is a librarian comes as no surprise to his Mt Eden community. That he’s a witch? Yeah. That might raise more than a few eyebrows.

Monsters and Manuscripts

One Witch
One Paranormal Investigator
Something that went bump in the night…

Library witch Basil and YouTuber Sebastian have settled into life together in the sleepy suburb of Mt Eden.

Basil is overjoyed to have a handsome boyfriend to come home to and he is connecting deeper with his magic. But when strange books start to turn up at his library and an uninvited guest makes noises in their attic, it’s up to them to investigate.

As a paranormal YouTuber, Sebastian can’t resist a new mystery. Especially since he’s been in one place for far too long… Is his enthusiasm for the next story going to ruin everything?

Onesies and Ouijaboards

Be careful what you wish for…

Arrow is fifteen, non-binary, and bored.

It’s one thing to read about magic, or watch ghost hunting shows. But Arrow yearns for something more. When they try out a prosperity spell from a magical library book, things start to go very very right.

Until they don’t.

Arrow’s good luck seems to be affecting a lot of the people around them. From A students suddenly failing quizzes to freak accidents, their good luck seems to be double-sided to say the least. Arrow’s best friend Ren knows not to mess with the unknown, but Arrow’s spell might just affect him all the same.

Arrow’s got to learn about how to wield their magic fast when the power they’ve drawn down proves to be beautiful, but dangerous as well.

fiction, Writers

The Good, the Bad and the Dad is now live!

The fourth book of the Fairyland Romances, the Good, the Bad and the Dad is set at Christmas and features Haru – father of the fan favourite Minako from previous books. Haru is a widower, a translator and a struggling novelist and a Fairyland theme park devotee.

When he attracts the attention of not just a handsome prince, but a rogueish pirate at the theme park and out of it, his life becomes a lot more complicated.

It was fun to write this one and pack it full of cameos from the characters in the previous books, as well as lots of fluffy Christmas touches to warm the heart.

buy book number one: Rival Princes
Book number two: Mischief and Mayhem
Book number three: Recipe for Chaos