Trans Deus by Paul Van der Spiegel #giveaway

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Trans Deus

Author: Paul Van der Spiegel

Publisher: Perceptions Press

Cover Artist: Paul Van der Spiegel

Release Date: August 11, 2020

Genre: LGBTQ – Christian

Tropes: Trans Christ in modern day England 

Themes: Trans Christ persecuted by the religious, the transphobes, the haters; closeted Peter, terrorist Judas, addict Andrew, humanist Thomas.

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 75 000 words/ 249 pages

It is part 1 of 4 Queer Gospels – each one is a different take.

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Trans Christ born in a modern-day, transphobic England

Blurb 

The Word was with God. The Word was God. Nothing was created apart from the Word. The Logos became a trans woman and she dwelt amongst us, full of grace and truth.

Four men have their lives changed forever: Jude, the terrorist sent to kill the transgender Christ; Peter, the repressed gay man grasping after a religion of certainty; Andrew, the slave to his sexual appetites; and Tom, the ardent atheist with crippling financial problems.

From the towns and moors of northern England to the shadow of the cross in the City of London… the light shone in our darkness and the consumer, military technocracy comprehended it not.

Excerpt

Tom Bauer scanned the myriad titles in the Selfish Help, Mind n’ Body, Religion, and Pop Psychology subcategories, publications propped and penny-stacked on white MDF shelves.

Pop Psychology? What’s the world coming to? Tom thought. What he wanted was Death Metal Psychology, Hip Hop Head-Help, Roland TB 303 Counselling: anything but fluff and bluff. He started to laugh, at book shops, at life, at himself for being such a useless sack of shit. How have I ended up here? he demanded of existence, desperate for a fix of some arsehole’s fake positivity? 

The woman stood next to him reading the inside cover of The Secret slid it back onto the shelf, then hurried away.

The man who didn’t believe in belief pulled a volume from the packed display and examined the recommended retail selling price printed beneath the barcode—the book was the same price as a leg of lamb, as three large chickens. How the fuck can I justify spending that? he thought.

There was enough money to last another couple of months. His personal account was overdrawn, as was the joint account. There was always the credit card and the emergency second credit card, the one that Kristin didn’t know about. The feeling of being overwhelmed, of drowning, washed over him. Tom was scared: scared that they could lose their house, scared that what had been certain, mundane, predictable was now fuzzy and nebulous.

He picked out a copy of the Selfish Help bestseller I can make you Bulletproof and tried to read the introduction, but the words expanded and went blurry against the paper. Kristin stepping up her working hours to full-time helped, but it wasn’t anywhere near enough to cover the shortfall in his wages: the choice was now which bills had to be paid. 

Tom knew that he was not on his own: across the Public Sector thousands of people were being let go, especially, it seemed, in the north of England. Every suitable vacancy had hundreds, thousands, of applicants. His mind flicked to the visit he had made to the Didsbury Job Centre that morning: there was nothing, not unless he wanted to be an amusement park squirrel on minimum wage. He had asked the stony-faced Employment Agency manager whether a drug habit was a mandatory requirement for the role. 

Some people have no sense of humour, he reminded himself.

Once he had been on an upward trajectory within society. Now, Tom visualised his family falling into the abyss of poverty.

Tom pushed I can make you Bulletproof with its free hypnosis CD back into the shelf. He stared at the rows of crack-lit books, at the dope publications, at the trash written by authors selling glass pipes and rocks to the vulnerable, pushers who peddled badly cut gear to existential junkies. Bluffers and bullshitters, he thought, the lot of youAnd yet, I want to buy your product, get high, face the inevitable come down, buy the sequel. The thought compounded his sense of despair. 

That was when Dave Lucas and Bob Nielson from the Salford Health Trust Planning Department strode past the end of the aisle and took their seats in the coffee bar. Tom had forgotten the two spreadsheet goons read manga and graphic novels for free during their lunchbreak. The last thing he needed was Dave—the Lurch lookalike in his X Files T-shirt—and Bob—his skinny anaemic monosyllabic sidekick—asking him how he was. And he certainly didn’t want to hear how things were going back at the office, didn’t want to see that “you-poor-bastard” smile, or, even worse, the sparkle of glee in the eyes of those spared the executioner’s axe. In Tom’s considered viewpoint, anyone who still believed in “love for your neighbour” need only set up a corporate redundancy programme to see the reality of the human: fuck thy neighbour lest thou too get fucked.

Bob Nielson—a sadistic un-helpful prick in Tom’s opinion—was the man widely suspected of being the elusive Phantom Logger, that desperado of the digestive system who delighted in cooking up foot-long turds and depositing them in the men’s third-floor toilets and leaving without flushing. A closed toilet bowl lid was a sure sign that Nessie was back in town. Neilson had been spotted giggling outside Trap One just before one particularly unpleasant discovery. Maybe Bob n’ Dave took it in turns, Tom considered, competing in their own ghastly gastrointestinal game.

How had those two morons survived whilst he’d been cast aside? 

He needed to escape the book shop ASA-fucking-P. Tom knew that if he had to engage in any form of communication with Beavis and Butthead, he was liable to murder one, or both, of them; bash their heads in with a British Bake Off cookery brick. 

Option One was to hide in the stinking toilets for an hour like a junkie. Screw that, Tom decided, which left him with Option Two. 

Option Two was printed on the flyer that he had been given by a smartly-dressed woman outside Boots the Chemist on Market Street, a piece of paper that announced Manchester Cathedral were running a lunchtime programme of speakers with that day’s febrile attempt entitled, “The Myth of Eden—a new approach to Genesis.” Having someone attempt to defend the Great Book of Fairy Tales enraged and fascinated Tom at the same time. 

He decided that facing down a representative of a misogynistic, homophobic, corrupt organisation staffed by paedophile pensioners would take his mind off his financial woes, even if only for a short time. Tom wondered if he could get thrown out of church for heckling. Watch out all you bishops and kings, he thought, the Pale Rider is at your gate

He paid for a copy of The Times at the self-scanning machine, extended it to its full height, hid his head behind the newspaper, and strode through the main door. Once he was on Deansgate, he stuck his tongue out at Dave and Bob through the window. The two men didn’t notice, but an old man drinking a latte from a tall glass stared at him in surprise. 

It took two minutes for Tom to walk to his favourite place in the whole world, the John Rylands library. Tom loved everything about the building—the décor, the stillness and, most of all, the collection of ancient writings, works that covered every aspect of the human experience across three millennia: legal, medical, science, and the history of tribes and lost nations. He could spend his entire life in this one library and still only scratch the surface of the knowledge within. 

Plus, it was free admission.

Through the glass entrance, through the gift shop and café, up the modern staircase, past the Italian tourists, then into the red-stone vaulted cloisters, and up the stone staircase to the third floor where Thomas reverently entered the Reading Room. There, he was greeted by old friends: Luther, Milton, Shakespeare, Goethe, and Calvin, evidently no girls were allowed in Enriqueta Ryland’s library, apart from the lady herself. Tom sat at the mahogany table beneath the statue of Gibbon. Trusting in the presence of this enemy of Faith he read the newspaper, searching all the while for the one-liner that would transform his life.

Tom finished the easy, then started the medium difficulty, Sudoku puzzle. Thirty minutes later, he had ground to a frustrating halt. Checking his watch, he noticed he was late for the Genesis gig at God’s gaff. He had a choice to make—sack off scripture or go and put the righteous in their rightful place. Still holding the newspaper, Tom legged it from the library, dove down Deansgate, veered along Victoria, and arrived, gasping for breath, at the Cathedral doors. 

The presentation in the Saviour Chapel had already begun and all the black metal chairs had been taken. Tom edged right and stood, leaning against the cold stone wall. 

A blonde woman in jeans and a blue t-shirt prowled the front of the chapel. “Clothes are made from the cotton plant,” she said to her audience, “from animal hide, from nylon that is made from oil found under the seabed. Clothes are human constructs of naturally occurring materials. Gravity is a physical law, but our certainty that the universe is a matter machine is a human construct, a metaphor. Even when we are given fact, we fashion it into meaning to wear about our person.” 

“Amen,” a man in front of Tom said.

“For fuck’s sake,” Tom muttered, shaking his head, realisation dawning on him that he had made a dreadful mistake. 

“Our certainties adjust during our lifetime,” the woman said, “new knowledge and different learning become more important, people we love die, friends change, our pets grow old and die, the world around us changes, new roads are built, and our favourite breakfast cereal has a packaging redesign.”

To his left was a disabled man in a wheelchair—twisted limbs, twisted face, thick oversized ears, and jam-jar spectacles. Tom averted his gaze. Poor sod, he thought. It would have been better for him, for his family, for society, if he’d never been born.

“That which is our reality, our certainty, is but a metaphor. It is unreal in the sense that it is a construct of a construct. All our certainties are torn down at our death. We arrive at check-in stark naked and shivering, belonging to no culture and belonging to all. Stripped of all that we have ever wrapped around ourselves, what is left?”

You’re shit-boring, love, Tom thought. Wish I hadn’t come now. Behind the altar, a huge red curtain hung from the roof. Tom was struck by how much the church resembled the 2-3-74 temple in Ultimate Negation 2—the first-person shooter game that had used a digitised version of the building as the backdrop for all-out war between the remnants of humanity and hordes of gun-toting alien invaders. The Church authorities had claimed on the TV news that their Cathedral was a “space for grace,” and the Japanese corporation who had produced the game had violated this sacred principle. Tom had never heard anything so stupid in all his life: most city-centre tourist attractions would give their right arm for that kind of publicity.

About the Author 

I am the author of Trans Deus, 7 Minutes, Parably Not, and A Particular Friendship. My stories are about the intersection of faith and sexuality. I am a William Blake obsessive, and I’m working on new books with Blake’s themes – sex and gender, revelation and rebellion – at the heart of the narrative.

Author Links

Blog   |   Twitter

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

one of two paperback copies of Trans Deus

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The Perfect World Series by Shari Sakurai #kindleunlimited #giveaway

SERIES TOUR and NEW RELEASE

The Perfect World Series by Shari Sakurai

Superhero. Supervillain. Super-complicated

The stories should be read in order:

Perfect World (Perfect World #1)

Adam (companion novel)

New Era (Perfect World #2)

Broken World (Perfect World #3)

Publisher: Farnhurst Publishing

Cover Artist: Shari Sakurai

Genres: LGBTQ / Science Fiction / Superhero Fiction

Tropes:  Enemies to lovers

Overall Heat Rating for the series: 1 flame

BOOK DETAILS

BOOK 1

Book Title:  Perfect World

Length: 341 pages

Release Date: July 18, 2014

This book ends on a cliffhanger.

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Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US   |  Amazon UK 

Blurb 

London, 2115

It is the year 2115 and the world is very different. With climate changes, natural disasters and war shaping the landscape, England has become a nation made up of several super cities and wasteland in between.

Eric Rawlins is a genetically engineered superhero created by the London Security Agency (L.S.A) to defend and protect the city against both national and international threats. With his superior abilities, celebrity status and beautiful girlfriend, Eric appears to have the perfect life. However, it is an illusion created by the L.S.A in order to control him.

Eric’s nemesis is the charismatic Adam Larimore. The only son of billionaire business tycoon Victor Larimore, Adam is gifted with a genius level IQ as well as the same longevity as Eric.

When the actions of the L.S.A throw the two of them together Eric finds himself questioning everything that he has ever known as well as discovering the true course of events that led to Adam turning to a life of crime. As they become closer Eric realises that the L.S.A may be the real threat to London. But can he trust Adam or is he part of Adam’s plan for revenge against those who have wronged him?

BOOK 2

Book Title: Adam

Length: 243 pages

Release Date: March 12, 2016

It can be read as a standalone but it is best to read with the Perfect World series.

The book does not end on a cliffhanger.

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Blurb

Adam Larimore is on a mission of self-destruct. After learning that he was genetically engineered for the sole purpose of inheriting his father’s empire, Adam has been determined to ruin his father’s life and, in the process, his own. When Ivan Williams, the man soon to become the Head of the London Security Agency (L.S.A), approaches Adam with the offer of a business partnership, Adam discovers the appalling truth behind the technological and genetic advancements that have come to shape England. His relationship with his father is at breaking point and when events take a devastating turn, Adam finds himself pushed further than perhaps he wanted to go.

BOOK 3

Book Title: New Era

Length: 272 pages

Release Date: May 28, 2018

It is not standalone story and does the book end on a cliffhanger.

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Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

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Blurb 

Eric Rawlins is a broken man. Still reeling from the L.S.A’s betrayal and then the death of his lover, Eric is struggling with his new responsibilities in north London. When a proposition from the Government heightens the stakes, Eric very quickly finds himself faced with a choice that could change the destiny of the entire country.

Eric knows that he has to step up and become the hero that those closest to him are convinced that he can be, but a deadly confrontation with the L.S.A’s new special agent leaves his belief in tatters.

Meanwhile, unknown to Eric, Adam awakens to once again find himself a pawn in Ivan Williams’ play for power.

BOOK 4 – NEW RELEASE

Book Title:  Broken World

Length: 87 569 words

Release Date: July 8, 2022

It is not a standalone story. It does not end on a cliffhanger.

Warning for some readers: This novel contains a brief non-graphic depiction of a suicide attempt, which may be a trigger for some readers.

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Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

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Blurb 

Eric Rawlins has made the people of England a promise. That he will stand for them against Ivan Williams and the L.S.A, but with politics and agendas threatening to dictate his every move, Eric struggles to find allies that he can trust. 

When a daring mission to rescue Adam’s staff goes awry, Eric finds that he is starting to question himself in ways that shake him to the very core. Whilst grappling with his inner turmoil, Eric can also see that Adam is struggling against his own demons. 

As the pressure begins to build, Eric takes the fight to Williams. However, Adam’s dangerous obsession with revenge threatens to not only put the entire operation in jeopardy, but his relationship with Eric too.

Excerpt from Broken World

Adam moved as soon as the L.S.A agents did. He slammed into Elle and knocked her to the ground. As the gunfire started, Adam kept her covered with his own body. Beneath him her screams were barely audible over the shooting. It was not just coming from the White Tower, but from the opposite direction where the barracks had been located.

Then he felt a hand on his arm. Glancing up he was relieved to see Eric leaning down over them. Adam reacted immediately. He got to his feet and dragging Elle up with him, Adam pushed her into Eric’s arms.

“Go!” he snapped when he saw how Eric hesitated. “I’ll be right behind you!”

Lifting Elle up off the ground, Eric started to run back towards the bridge and Perses. The gunfire began to fade into the background as the L.S.A seemed to now be concentrating on whoever it was who had started shooting at them.

They had passed the ruins of the Bell Tower when it happened. Adam felt something crash into him, and he was thrown back into the masonry. Pain exploded from his left shoulder and travelled all the way down his arm.

“Eric!” he tried to shout, but the pain had robbed his voice of its strength and his boyfriend’s name came out as a choked whisper.

“I’m afraid he’s long gone,” Neil’s sneering figure appeared in Adam’s line of vision. “It’s just you and me!”

Neil reached down and dragged Adam back to his feet by his good arm. He looked battered and almost deranged. Neil’s nose was still bleeding and when he spoke Adam could see blood staining his teeth red. His eyes were wild and one of his pupils was enlarged. There was blood in his hair, matting the blond against his head. Still despite all this, he seemed supercharged with his fury. All of it was directed at Adam.

“Dad’s going to be pretty pissed off about this mess!” Neil snarled as he started to pull Adam back towards where Traitor’s Gate had once stood. “But maybe if I bring him you, he will be more inclined to look passed all of this!”

Adam tried to dig his heels into the ground, to make it as difficult for Neil as possible but his struggles barely seemed to make a difference.

“Eric!” he croaked into his radio. As soon as he spoke, Neil lunged forwards and ripped it from his ear. Suddenly free, Adam drew back whilst his uninjured hand went for his gun. Neil was on him before he could raise the weapon. He struck Adam hard around the side of the head. Pain blossomed from the impact as he once more fell to the ground. The cry that escaped Adam as he landed amused Neil. His snarl twisted into a sadistic grin as he once more hauled Adam back to his feet. For a few seconds, the pain forced Adam let himself be dragged through the former Traitor’s Gate site and towards the river.

If he gets me back into south London, then it’s all over…

Adam renewed his struggling. He could not move his left arm and Neil still had hold of his right, so he quickly changed tactics. Using his momentum to push himself closer to the other man, Adam brought his knee up between Neil’s legs with as much force as he could muster. Neil yelled angrily, but he did not let Adam go as he doubled over. His action jerked Adam off his feet, and he would have fallen had Neil not kept his hold on his arm.

“You’re going to fucking pay for that!” Neil screamed furiously as he slammed Adam against the metal railings that cordoned off the Thames from the Tower of London site. One hand still held Adam firmly in place whilst the other closed around his throat.

Adam gasped. Pinned between Neil’s body and the railing, he was unable to move more than a token struggle. He tried to pull his arm free, but with the pressure on his neck increasing Adam was finding it impossible to breathe. Neil loomed over him, and he was close enough that Adam could see the red lines streaking through the whites of his eyes. He was not trying to kill Adam, just force him into unconsciousness. This thought gave him little comfort. If he was taken back to the L.S.A headquarters, then he would be dead by the end of the day.

Adam’s vision was starting to blur, and he had stopped fighting. He could feel the cold press of the railing at his back and the metal shaking under their combined weight.

“Neil…” Adam choked out with the last of his strength. “The railing…”

Yet as he spoke, he felt it give way. Adam shot his arm out, trying to reach for something – anything – to save him, but his hand closed around nothing other than air. As he felt himself falling, Neil drew back and managed to catch his footing right on the edge. The sight of him stumbling onto the firmer ground was the last thing Adam saw as he hit the water. Immediately as the cold river enveloped him, Adam fought for the surface. However, with only the use of one arm, he was unable to break his head above the water. Feebly he tried to kick, but his already oxygen-starved lungs could not take anymore. Adam barely had a moment to feel afraid before he blacked out.

Copyright © 2022 Shari Sakurai

All rights reserved

About the Author

Shari Sakurai is a British author of paranormal, horror, science fiction and fantasy novels that almost always feature a LGBTQ protagonist and/or antagonist. She has always loved to write and it is her escape from the sometimes stressful modern life!

Aside from writing, Shari enjoys reading, watching movies, listening to (loud!) music, going to rock concerts and learning more about other societies and cultures. Japanese culture is of particular interest to her and she often incorporates Japanese themes and influences into her work.

Shari loves a challenge and has taken part and won the National Novel Writing Month challenge thirteen times!

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook

Twitter  |   Instagram  |  Goodreads

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

one of 3 ebooks from the author’s backlist

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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CLUBBED TWO: Anxiety, Anger, Activism by Robert A. Karl #kindleunlimited #giveaway

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: CLUBBED TWO: Anxiety, Anger, Activism

Author: Robert A. Karl

Cover Artist: Nirkri with original art by Alejandro Mesurado 

Release Date: January 31, 2022

Genre: LGBTQ Historical Fiction

Themes: LGBTQ Pride; Diversity; Disability Awareness and Acceptance; Interracial Love; 1980s Queer Fashions and Fads; Ageism, Infidelity, AIDS Activism

Heat Rating:  4 flames   

Length:  81 516 words/ 291 pages

It is part of a series, but can be read as a standalone.

It does not end on a cliffhanger.

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Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

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Every day is a good day to be gay.

Blurb

CLUBBED TWO is historical fiction, set in Philadelphia from 1982 to 1992. Club Sanctuary can be seen as a metaphor for the greater LGBTQ community, but it is written as a real place, with characters who are fabulous, funny and flawed.

The author combines historical characters and events with fictional ones, creating a story that’s entertaining, informative and emotional. The love story between the two main characters, Joey and Henry, serves as a vehicle for connecting the stories of diverse, Queer characters.

This second book in the CLUBBED series continues the story as the LGBTQ community fights prejudice and ignorance in an effort to be recognized as people worthy of respect. Will the community be torn apart by fear, or will they come together to support PWAs? (People With AIDS)

Experience the drama, the beauty, and the excitement as well as the music, fashion and fads of the 80s with CLUBBED TWO: Anxiety, Anger, Activism. 

Excerpt 

When he let himself into Kirk’s room, he found Kirk sitting on a small sofa in front of a 13-inch black and white TV with no cable. The picture was fuzzy and the volume was low while a rerun of Happy Days was on.

“Just put the box on the coffee table and we can eat here. And keep out two beers and put the rest in the fridge.”

Kirk proceeded to eat, with no hint that anything sexual was about to take place between them. This felt awkward to Jando who didn’t really know how to act on a date. He was used to quick fuck-n-sucks, usually in a public place like The Hole at the club. So, he copied what Kirk did. He figured Kirk knew how to act better than he did.

After a few minutes, there was only one slice of pizza left. Kirk looked at the young Puerto Rican guy sitting next to him with a mischievous grin.

“Hey Bae, you know what I always wanted to do?”

“Please don’t tell me you always wanted to smash a guy in the mouth with a slice,” Jando joked.

“No, not that. But you know how in the movies, a couple will share something they’re eating, until they end up mouth-to-mouth. And then they have to decide whether to kiss or what they’re gonna do next?”

“Yeah,” Jando said. And not just people do that. Remember in that cartoon where Lady and the Tramp were eating spaghetti?”

Kirk laughed, actually snorting a little as he thought about that famous scene.

“If you’re the Lady, I guess that makes me the Tramp,” Kirk said, still laughing.

“You wanna try it?” Kirk asked, reaching for the final slice, trimming it into a very slim slice and pointing the uncrusted end towards Jando’s mouth.

Kirk closed his eyes and started to eat the crust on his side of the slice. He felt the pull as Jando joined him, taking small bites of the other side.

Kirk started laughing again. “Damn! I didn’t think about that we actually have to stop to chew.”

Now both of them were laughing, as Kirk continued to hold the slice in mid-air between their two mouths.

“Keep going, Bae. Keep going.”

With gooey cheese dripping down and various pieces of pepperoni, green peppers, onions and mushrooms falling, and while they tried to keep from laughing, their mouths continued to inch closer. 

Finishing the slice, they were both chewing as their lips finally brushed up against each other’s. 

Swallowing hard, Kirk took the lead and kissed Alejandro forcefully. He pushed Jando back so he was prone on the sofa as he slid his tongue into Jando’s mouth, tasting the pizza but also the sweetness of Jando’s lips and tongue. Jando returned the favor, kissing with a passion that he’d been holding back for a few hours, needing some release soon. 

“I wanna do this right. Let’s go in the bedroom,” Kirk whispered, lifting himself off Jando’s writhing body. “And bring the beers with you,” Kirk reminded him as he took hold of a walking cane that was next to the sofa, unnoticed by his Bae.

About the Author 

Robert A. Karl is a native son of Philadelphia, PA, a retired educator, a queer author, and the proud Gay Dog Dad to Zuna, the Awesome Boston Terrier. He now resides in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he enjoys the beauty and culture of La Isla del Encanto, The Island of Enchantment.

Social Media Links

Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter 

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

a $25 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Series Tour – Demon’s Blood by Shari Sakurai @ShariSakurai #KindleUnlimited #giveaway

SERIES TOUR

Demon’s Blood Series by Shari Sakurai

The stories are best read in the following order:

Demon’s Blood (Demon’s Blood #1)

Never Change (Demon’s Blood short story)

Demon’s Life (Demon’s Blood #2)

Genres: Paranormal/vampires, LGBTQ, gay fiction

Overall Heat Rating for the series: 1 flame 

Publisher: Farnhurst Publishing

Cover Artist: Farnhurst Publishing

BOOK 1

Book Title: Demon’s Blood (Demon’s Blood universe #1)

Author: Shari Sakurai

Length:  302 pages

Release Date: January 23, 2014

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Blurb

Immortal blood is precious and Kokawa Taku’s makes him especially unique.

After vampire hunters force them to flee Tokyo, Taku and his lover, Thane, try to make a new life for themselves in England. But three months later Thane is still tormented by nightmares of the fire that almost cost them their lives. This leads to carelessness and the discovery of one of his victims.

When faced with threats from all sides Taku tries his best to protect them although his actions are met with disapproval and anger from Thane. Unknown to his lover, Taku is also struggling to keep hidden the truth of what really happened three months ago.

However, it is only a matter of time before Taku’s past and bloodline catches up with him.

BOOK 2

Book Title: Never Change (Demon’s Blood universe short story)

Author: Shari Sakurai

Length: 47 pages

Release Date: December 1, 2018

It is part of the Demon’s Blood universe, but can be read as a standalone.

Add on Goodreads

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Blurb

Thane’s arms curved around his back and he felt the younger vampire trembling as he rested his head on Taku’s shoulder. So easily broken, Taku often forgot what it had been like in the beginning. For him things had been different, he reminded himself. He had already known what it felt like to take a life.

With Nagasaki in the grip of a bitter winter, two vampires struggle to hunt in the challenging conditions. When an opportunity to feed from a dying man presents itself, Taku insists that they take advantage of it. Yet his newly turned lover is left feeling devastated by their actions. Seeing Thane so distraught is more than Taku can bear and so he makes a decision to shield Thane as much as he can from the darker side to their existence. However his desire to protect Thane might one day cost him everything.

Never Change is a short story set in the Demon’s Blood universe.

BOOK 3

Book Title: Demon’s Life (Demon’s Blood universe #2)

Author: Shari Sakurai

Publisher: Farnhurst Publishing

Length:  322 pages

Release Date:  November 4, 2019

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Blurb

Out of respect for the relationship we once had I will spare your life. However, if you try to obstruct me again then I will kill you

Vampires are now an endangered species. Possessed by the demon Kurai, Kokawa Taku has sworn to eradicate all those whom he deems inferior.

Determined to free Taku from the demon’s corruption, Thane seeks help from Taku’s sire, Takata Koji. Thane’s search for answers takes him to Hong Kong where he learns the devastating truth. That in order to save Taku, Thane may have to kill him.

Refusing to accept this, Thane makes a decision that places the fate of all vampires in the balance. However Thane is unaware of the betrayal around him and that his actions will either save Taku or destroy him.

Excerpt from Demon’s Blood (Demon’s Blood universe #1)

Ōtsuki, Kai Province, Honshū, JAPAN, 29 January 1714

Takata Koji knew he was dying. The sickness that had swept through his village had been relentless and had claimed the lives of scores already. He had fallen ill five days ago, two days after his younger sister, Kaede, died. The physician had just been to see him. The grim expression on the man’s face and the distraught weeping of his mother only confirmed what, deep down, Koji already knew. He did not want to die. He was only twenty-five. He wanted to cling onto life with every fibre of his being. But simply the will to live was not enough. Koji’s body ached and he could not get warm, no matter how many blankets his mother brought him. His voice had failed him two nights ago and was yet to return.

It was a cruel hand of fate that the direct descendants of the Takata clan had managed to survive elimination at the hands of their enemy only to perish now. The Okada clan had defeated his relatives almost a hundred and fifty years ago in battle. Of their branch of the family Koji was the only male born; the last heir. His mother could bear no more children.

Hearing the voices of his parents Koji glanced towards the shoji. He had only seen his father once since he became ill. His mother said the man was consumed by grief. Koji knew better than this. Takata Kazuhiro had talked of nothing other than reclaiming his clan’s status and land since Koji was a boy. Yet his own frailties had prevented him from achieving this himself. Some of the Takata clan’s descendants had managed to secure positions within the Tokugawa Shogunate. However, a poor background and ill health had prevented Kazuhiro from doing the same. Koji had been his last hope. It was more than his son dying; it was Kazuhiro’s dreams too. 

Koji inhaled deeply, finding even this intake of air difficult as he shifted his position on the futon. The movement caused one of the woven blankets to slip off him and onto the tatami floor. There it remained. Koji lacked the strength to reach over for it. A hacking cough shook his fragile form. He had lost so much weight that his clothes hung off of him. The last time he had gazed at his reflection he had seen a corpse rather than a man staring back. 

Koji gasped, fighting to catch his breath as the painful tickling sensation in the back of this throat relentlessly forced the violent coughing fit. A metallic taste welled up in his mouth and the frightened young man gagged over the side of the futon. The hand automatically flying to his mouth came back slicked with crimson. 

“Nishimura-san!” his mother raced into his bedroom screaming for the physician at the sight of her son’s blood. Koji felt hands on his shoulders. He was roughly shaken when he failed to respond. Panicked golden eyes raised to meet his mother’s terrified ones even as his vision began to fail him. 

“Koji! Koji!” 

Her cries were becoming fainter now and the darkness that he was falling into was more inviting. As much as he feared death, Koji now felt some relief at its embrace. He was so tired. As much as he wished to hold onto life he realised that, deep down, all he really wanted was to be free of the pain.

***

Candles flickered in the dark, the heat from their burning light touching his sensitive skin as he was drawn from unconsciousness once more. Hot, red wax dripped onto the stone altar from the ceiling above. One spot landed on his palm, causing a hiss of pain to escape him. The clan’s Mon – coat of arms – was etched crudely into the low ceiling. The large circle and rhombi making up the outline of the symbol seemed to swell in size the longer that he stared at them. The two smaller diamonds in the centre were coloured completely in red. 

Koji could hear the hum of lowered voices around him yet they remained in shadow. He tugged weakly on the rope that bound his arms above his head and back against the stone surface. An unnecessary precaution, for the fever had robbed him of most of his strength. He could barely curl a palm into a fist.

A weakened cough alerted them to his wakefulness and one man stepped forward. Koji tried to make a sound but a gentle gasp was all that was permitted from dry lips as his father approached. Takata Kazuhiro’s stern expression did not falter although there was some regret lingering in his reddened eyes. 

Kazuhiro sustained a leg injury in a fight before Koji was born and had walked with a stick ever since. He leaned heavily on this now, as though it would somehow give him strength. A candle lit lamp was held in his free hand. Koji shifted slightly under his father’s gaze not understanding the situation or the reason for the man’s silence. He had slowly begun to recognise the room that he was in and confusion filled him. It was the village shrine. 

“Kazuhiro!” Another voice broke through the quiet murmurs. Koji’s gaze turned to the newcomer. Tears stained his mother’s cheeks. Her hair had fallen free from her usual ponytail to tangle around her face in wild waves. The streaks of silver were clearly visible now. Since he had fallen sick she seemed to have aged twenty years.

“Do not do this,” she pleaded softly of her husband. “Nishimura-san—”

“Cannot help him,” Kazuhiro finished for her. His words were as hard as stone. “This is the only way.”

“He is our son! And you would condemn him to this!”

“It will save his life,” Kazuhiro gestured to the two men – whom were neighbours of the Takata’s – standing behind him. “It is a great gift, Natsumi.”

“How can you call it a gift? It is a curse!”

Koji watched helplessly as the two younger men seized his mother and dragged her from his line of sight and back into shadow. He could make out her further protests and sobs for a few moments. A cry pierced the calm of the room. Then silence followed. 

About the Author

Shari Sakurai is a British author of paranormal, horror, science fiction and fantasy novels that almost always feature a LGBTQ protagonist and/or antagonist. She has always loved to write and it is her escape from the sometimes stressful modern life!

Aside from writing, Shari enjoys reading, watching movies, listening to (loud!) music, going to rock concerts and learning more about other societies and cultures. Japanese culture is of particular interest to her and she often incorporates Japanese themes and influences into her work.

Shari loves a challenge and has taken part and won the National Novel Writing Month challenge eleven times!

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New Release – Atonement Camp for Unrepentant Homophobes by Evan J. Corbin #KindleUnlimited

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Atonement Camp for Unrepentant Homophobes

Author: Evan J. Corbin

Publisher: Atonement Book, LLC

Cover Artist: The Book Cover Whisperer

Release Date: September 3, 2020 for the print book and

September 17, 2020 for the eBook.

Genre/s: Contemporary LGBTQ Fiction; Speculative Fiction; Humour

Trope/s: Fish-out of water comedy

Themes: Coming out, cultural assimilation

Heat Rating:  2 flames     

Length:  70 600 words/ 283 pages

Goodreads


Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited and Paperback

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Atonement Camp. Pastor Harris is only going to save his career. But while he doesn’t want to be there, a change of heart may be just what he needs…

Blurb

The oldest translation of a Gospel is returned to the world by a secret society long dedicated to its preservation.  In it, Jesus explicitly condemns bigotry and homophobia. In a new world in which LGBTQ passengers receive preferential boarding for flights and the United States has elected its first lesbian President, Pastor Rick Harris is stalwart, closeted preacher who doggedly holds onto his increasingly unpopular convictions.

When an incendiary sermon goes too far and offends an influential family, Rick makes a painful choice to keep his job:  He attends an atonement camp run by drag queens for society’s most unrepentant and terminally incurable homophobes.

Atonement Camp is immersion therapy for Pastor Harris, and it might be working. An open bar with pedicures, a devastatingly attractive roommate and an endless supply of glitter help him manage to make new friends. Soon, Rick and his cohorts learn the camp may hold its own secrets.  Amid the smiling faces and scantily clad pool boys who staff the camp, a clandestine group plots to discredit the New Revelation and everything it stands for.

If Rick has the conviction to confront his own hypocrisy, he might be able to uncover the conspirators with help from his adopted flock—and find new truths within himself.


Excerpt 

Chapter 1

Northern Syria

It was just after sunrise. The call to prayer from the nearby city’s rooftop loudspeakers receded as Dr. Michael Donahue’s driver left a familiar road for the makeshift trails that led deep into the desert. One faith bridged to the next, he thought. Before long, he wouldn’t need the light jacket, but he wore it anyway. It was a mysterious quest, and he tugged the jacket tight around his chest.

The jeep bounced over the rough terrain as Dr. Donahue carefully poured hot water from his thermos over his yerba mate leaves. His second mate would be less bitter than the first. Each time he made a fresh tea, the leaves lost more of their bitterness to the boiling water. The same leaves could be used again and again any given morning. It reminded him of his profession. Archeology was the sober study of the forgotten—people who lived, laughed, suffered, and died, their history diluted by each passing year. Dr. Donahue was determined to learn as much as he needed to reanimate their past with subtle detail, adding context to what would otherwise be merely more than a list of dates and details for his undergraduates to memorize before a test.

As promised, a man stood by the still-empty dig site. He was dressed in a Western style—no keffiyeh or other head dressing. With short sleeves and rugged boots, his attire was more practical than fashionable. Dr. Donahue always appreciated utility and function above much else. He acknowledged that his estimation of the man’s credibility was thus-far unearned, but he nonetheless felt more comfortable in the company of the familiar. 

The site had been Dr. Donahue’s home for most of the past year. His team would return after Ramadan. Dr. Donahue’s research specialization centered almost primarily around the early Christian era. He took a certain guilty pleasure in casually admitting his atheism each semester to the newest crop of freshman at his university in Washington, D.C. Like all things, he saw it as a learning opportunity. One is not excused from understanding something just because they don’t agree with it, he’d remind them. The site itself was an early Christian refuge under the Roman Empire. Forgotten by time, but now rediscovered. Painstakingly, he and his team would uncover artifacts and consider what stories they told about the people who made them. Dust from the jeep’s tires made a gritty fog that enveloped the air. Dr. Donahue squinted, his eyes already dry. He coughed and plodded through the sand to the man silently awaiting his arrival.

“Dr. Donahue.” The professor extended his hand to the stranger.

The man took his hand and smiled. “Thank you for coming. Your research associate mentioned your name last year when he worked with us, and we immediately knew we needed to meet with you.”

Dr. Donahue fanned the remaining traces of the sand from his face. “We?”

The man flashed a half smile. “Consider us like yourself, Professor. Archeologists.”

“I would assume, but that doesn’t answer my question.”

The man chuckled. “By the end of the day, I expect that to change. Come. Follow me,” he beckoned.

Still confused, the professor followed the man down the makeshift stairs to the dig site.

“We’re not certain where it was found,” the man said, waving his arm over the site, “but this is likely close and as good a spot as any.”

“What, exactly, was found?”

The man frowned. “Technically, it was never lost. Let me be more precise. This is where it will be rediscovered.”

The professor felt his frustration growing. “What, and by whom?”

The man turned to face the professor, still smiling. “The oldest copy of the Gospel of Mark ever discovered. I’m what we refer to as a Custodian—a group of people committed to protecting this draft as we have done for more generations than our history may account for.”

The professor’s jaw dropped. He looked for answers in the man’s eyes to questions he could not manage to formulate.

“Every truth has its season, professor,” the man said, lowering himself to sit next on an empty crate near an assortment of digging tools. “This region has been plagued with war. We fear that if the artifact is not returned to the world now, it may never be.”

If his research associate hadn’t already vouched so strongly for the meeting, the professor was certain he would have already left the madman in another cloud of obscuring sand. Instead he asked: “Why have you kept it in the first place?”

“It contains a passage not found in any modern text. What’s the American expression? ‘One man’s waste is another man’s treasure’? That’s how our forefathers saw it. They saw something worthy of protection until the world was ready for the message. That time is now.”

Dr. Donahue smiled. His birthday was the following week, and the realization that his research associate might have set this up as an elaborate practical joke began to seem like the most likely explanation. It wouldn’t be out of character for him, he thought.

“So, where is it?” he asked, playing along.

The man pointed to a black chest. Taking the bait, Dr. Donahue carefully lifted the lid, expecting some puppet to pop out and exclaim “Happy Birthday!” Instead, the heavy lid creaked open to reveal a scroll bound in plastic and wound over on itself. His smile faded. Even without the aid of his radiocarbon dating equipment, he could tell the document was old. Very, very old.


About the Author 

Evan is a member of the LGBTQ community who fancies himself as a playboy socialite, living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Between work and lucid moments of sobriety, he writes a little.  His debut novel is a light-hearted work that still manages to confront religious hypocrisy and contemporary LGBTQ struggles to balance their loss of culture with new-found civil rights.  His friends say the book is great!  Hopefully, you will as well.


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