Sunday, December 9, 2018

Week at a Glance: 12/3/18 - 12/9/18

Sunday's Steampunk Spinner: The Glow of Luminiferous Aether on Tinsel by Jana Denardo

As Chief Tactician for the airship DeGrasse, Jacob Scarberry has spent the last six months on a wearying tour of duty. He’s missing home, and his prosthetic leg is conducting the December cold straight to his core. But with the holidays coming up, he's looking forward to a well-earned leave, sharing some Christmas surprises with his lover, Dr. H. Alphus Troyer, and welcoming in the dawn of the 20th century.

A professor at Ohio University, Al is already on Christmas break, and his unconventional household is in a festive frenzy. Al is a bit less joyous, his anticipation of Jacob's return warring with uncertainty over the special gift he had commissioned for him. Would Jacob appreciate it, or will it put a strain on their relationship?

Suddenly Al's worries become trivial when the newspapers report an attack on the DeGrasse. With Jacob fighting for his life miles away, Al is left to wonder whether Jacob will return at all, or whether the planned festivities will become holiday heartbreak instead.

Original Review January 2018:
A wonderful blend of holiday and steampunk.  Those who follow my blog will know that I don't really see steampunk as a separate genre, for me its all science fiction but that is just my personal feelings.  Steampunk, or science fiction in general, is not a genre we often associate with Christmas.  For some not being a typical genre means its pretty open game for plot, for me it actually means it has a lot to live up to.  Jana Denardo does not disappoint.  Taking a common theme, loved one waiting at home while their significant other is away serving and hearing news of danger, can be a dangerous thing for authors when treading the line of cliché and original storytelling.  The Glow of Luminiferous Aether on Tinsel is a lovely blend of said cliché and steampunk originality letting Jacob and Al(and the reader) remember what is really important.  Whether you like steampunk, alternative history, or just a great heartwarming tale, I seriously recommend checking this short story out because it certainly left me smiling and I certainly wouldn't say no to reading more if the author were to explore this universe further .


The icy night wind bit deep, like a dog gnawing down to the bone. Jacob Scarberry pulled his blue wool pea coat tighter as he shivered. The cold burned his fingers through his gloves, and he shoved his hands up under his arms. Thick charcoal clouds obscured the silvery light of the moon, making the night more forbidding. Jacob ignored the urge to yank out his pocket watch to test how much longer he’d be on the deck of the DeGrasse. It wouldn’t be much longer, but at this point, as the wind and the airship’s engines carried them lazily eastward, he’d be home soon.

Jacob wished he could wear a third set of pants to keep out the cold, but he’d never be able to move in them. A union suit and woolen uniform trousers should have been enough to keep out the December chill, except his metal prosthetic leg, a miracle of spring-work technology, conducted the cold straight through his stump, up into his jewels, and even made his bladder ache. His slow path around the ship’s deck as he kept watch did little to warm him.

He had one sure way to feel warmer: thoughts of a certain Dr. H. Alphus Troyer waiting for him back home. Theirs was a strange and beautiful relationship. He’d never understand why a man as smart as Al would want to be with an air corps man like himself. Al argued that Jacob, as the onboard tactician, possessed intelligence in abundance. Though it would seem not enough to figure out a way to avoid guard duty in the middle of the frigid night just before Christmas. The airship’s engines growled a bit as a crosswind caught the balloon, rocking them. Jacob braced himself, widening his gait to help keep his balance, and his heavy boots thudded on the wood decking. Above him, the airship’s bladder rustled from a strong gust. He’d need more than thoughts of his debates with Al to keep him warm if the wind got any colder. Luckily, he had many fond memories of sharing Al’s bed. Now those were warm thoughts.

“My goggles are frozen to my face.”

Turning to face Marion Rose, Jacob tried not to laugh at her sour tone. Her lovely hair had been jammed up under a hat, and her goggles did look fogged. They wore them mostly to keep the wind out of their eyes, and when it was this cold, Jacob appreciated the lenses. The same could be said of the thick hat he wore over his dark hair. Behind Marion, the tinsel some wag had hung on the inside of the railings fluttered in the breeze, dully reflecting the bright moonlight.

“Everything is frozen to us,” Jacob said, patting his right thigh just above the leg Helen, his prosthetist, had crafted for him. “My leg is probably giving my stump frostbite.”

She crossed the gondola and tossed her arms around him. Between her thick woolen coat and his, he could barely feel the embrace. “Hmmm, this should be warmer, but it isn’t.”

“No, not really.” He rubbed her back. If he had any interest sexually in women, he would have considered Marion a perfect mate. Maybe it was better this way. He could be friends with this bright lady mechanic without sex messing things up.

“I bet you’re looking forward to getting home to Athens.” She hip bumped him. “To a certain professor.”

“Hush.” He meant that sincerely. Marion had guessed his love for Al—he wasn’t sure how—but he didn’t want it to be common knowledge.

“No one else is on the deck freezing to death,” she replied. “But point taken. The both of us could find ourselves committed to Athens Lunatic Asylum. You, a wedded bachelor, and me, a woman who thinks independently.”

The bitterness in her words crystallized in the night air. Jacob swallowed past the boulder in his throat—The Athens Lunatic asylum. It was a real fear. It wasn’t unheard of that homosexuals and mouthy women who didn’t know their places were committed as insane. The asylum was a beautiful place—even had dances, inviting the town, to give the patients something positive—but Jacob didn’t want to end up inside its walls for good. He doubted the new age looming before them would bring fast changes on how women or homosexuals were viewed.

They were less than two weeks to the turn of the century—1900. The mere thought of seeing a new century excited Jacob. He didn’t understand the hysterical types who swore the world would end. It hadn’t ended with any other turns of the century. Why should this one be any different, no matter what the religious zealots said? Al already had a party planned for New Year’s Eve that Jacob looked forward to nearly as much as he did Christmas. Given all he’d been through with the military, Jacob counted himself lucky to see a new century. At least this guarding precious cargo detail should be an easy one provided they avoided airship pirates.

He peered over the upper deck’s rail. A large, inky snake cut across the landscape—the mighty Ohio River. Pinpoints glittered in the darkness from all the gas streetlamps lighting up the small river towns that had cropped up along the waterway. Gazing east, the darkness seemed endless, consuming all.

Author Bio:
Jana Denardo's career choices and wanderlust take her all over the United States and beyond. Much of her travels make their way into her stories. Fantasy, science fiction, and mystery have been her favorite genres since she started reading, and they often flavor her works. In her secret identity, she works with the science of life and gives college students nightmares. When she’s not chained to her computer writing, she functions as stray cat magnet. She’s also learning that the road to enlightenment is filled with boulders she keeps falling over and that the words gardening and Zen don’t go together no matter what anyone says.



Release Blitz: The Selkie Prince's Unexpected Omega by JJ Masters

Title: The Selkie Prince's Unexpected Omega
Author: JJ Masters
Series: Royal Alphas #3
Genre: M/M Romance, Mpreg, Paranormal
Release Date: December 8, 2018
Cover Design: Megan Parker of EmCat Designs
An alpha claim. A possible heir. A Selkie prince whose mistake might just be what the fates intended.

Zale, the third alpha-born son of King Solomon, is concerned. His youngest brother, Caol, has been spending time with an unbonded omega. Being a responsible alpha, Zale feels it’s his duty to warn the omega Finn before he and Caol get into trouble. Especially since Finn had only been brought to the colony by their father in case his oldest brother’s fated mate couldn’t conceive. However, when Zale goes to Finn’s quarters to have a word with him, he isn’t expecting to discover what he does: the omega in the throes of oestrus and begging for an alpha’s assistance.

Finn has nowhere else to go. Not only unwanted by his own family, his previous alpha perished in a tragic accident. So for the past two years, the omega has relied on the King of the North’s generosity, even if it means he may end up as a surrogate for one of the alpha-born princes. Or even worse, the king’s sixth mate. But when the Prince Zale comes upon him during his heat, Finn demands relief from the alpha. Although afterward, has to live with the guilt. Now, he might not only be carrying the prince’s son, he may have very well ruined Zale’s chance to find his true fated mate...

Note: A 58k-plus word m/m shifter mpreg story, this is the third book in the Royal Alpha series. Due to the “knotty” times in this book, it is recommended for mature readers only. While it can be read as a standalone, it’s recommended to read the series in order. And, like all of my books, it has an HEA.

Zale’s jaw was tight and his teeth gritted as he waited in the hall outside of Finn’s quarters.

He knocked again. This time more loudly using the heel of his fist, since, apparently, his knuckles weren’t getting the job done.

The alpha-born prince was losing his patience, which he usually had an abundance of. Just not today. Especially since the visiting omega, Finn, had been seen sneaking off with Zale’s youngest brother Caol.
Which was dangerous.

Particularly since Caol was considered a Selkie slut. What humans would call a man-ho. He loved to rut with anyone who would let him, be it Selkie, human or hybrid. Most likely any male with a cock swinging between his legs.

Hell, he probably rutted with other species of shifters.

But even so, it brought Zale back to the problem at hand. He and his brothers had told their father, the King of the North, that he should send Finn away. Return the omega to his own colony. That he was no longer needed here at the Northern colony. But his father hadn’t listened.

No surprise there.

They all suspected that King Solomon had considered taking the omega for himself.

But a whole two years had passed since the King first brought Finn to the castle, so it made no sense for the unbonded male to remain. His father needed to shit or get off the pot. Either take Finn as his own to bear more sons or send the poor omega home so he could find an alpha of his very own.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a fated mate waiting for Finn anywhere. His supposed alpha had been killed and eaten by an orca during their bonding swim from what Zale understood.

None of them had ever asked Finn about it because neither Zale or his brothers wanted to know those cringe-worthy details and they also were inclined to avoid him since he was an unbonded male. Again, being around an unbonded omega could be dangerous.

However, Caol tended to be reckless. If the omega came into heat, Caol would most likely be the proud father of a future pup. Zale could just imagine how the king’s head would spin at that news.

So, Zale needed to nip whatever was going on between Finn and Caol in the bud. For his youngest brother’s sake and also for Finn’s. If the omega had the urge to rut, he could do so with some of the betas the king kept on hand for that purpose. Nothing stopped Finn from taking a beta lover, especially since his corona membrane was no longer intact.

But an alpha? No. He could not rut with an alpha that was not his mate.

That was against Selkie law.

Caol knew that. As did Finn.

Therefore, Zale was being a good older brother and trying to head off a disaster.

Or that’s what he told himself.

Yes, he was protecting not only Caol but this omega... who continued to live among a castle-full of alphas even though that was unsafe.

He stared at the heavy wood door and cursed. Why wasn’t Finn answering?

He leaned closer and shouted, “Finn! Are you in there? Open your door.”

Zale listened carefully. Nothing.

He was done knocking. He had announced his presence and now it was time to take the next step...

Into the omega’s quarters.

Author Bio:
J.J. Masters is the alter-ego of a USA Today bestselling author who writes hot, gay romance filled with heart, humor and heat. J.J. became fascinated with mpreg romance as soon as she figured out what mpreg stood for. She loves to write about "knotty" men!

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The Selkie Prince's Unexpected Omega #3


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