Author Name: J. Scott Coatsworth
Book Name: Skythane
Page/Word Count: 244 pages, 85K words
Categories: Fantasy/Paranormal/Sci-Fi, Gay Romance
Release Date: Febraury 17, 2017
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Okay, so I promised in an earlier guest post on the Skythane blog tour to talk about how all writers are secretly gluttons for punishment.
Some of us are more open than others about it – have you seen all the BDSM books on the market these days? *grin*
But all of us writers have a streak of it inside. How else do you explain the fact that we do this job, come rain or shine, often late at night after kids have gone to bed, or between our two or three other jobs, or when we can squeeze in time on our smart phones in line at the post office?
Or the fact that we do it in spite appallingly low returns? For every Stephen King, there are ten thousand, a hundred thousand starving writers who struggle to sell a handful of stories a year.
We do it because we are masochists. And we do it because we can’t not do it.
Inside my head, there are a hundred stories ready to come out to take their turn on the page. It’s like a gumball machine up there, and for every quarter someone sticks in my ear, another one comes out.
I hope to make a living at this thing we call writing someday. I hope to touch people in a way that only I can, to leave a mark on their souls with stories that I write.
Will it happen? Only the fates can tell.
In the meantime, I look forward to the next crack of the whip.
My new novel, Skythane, is just out – and it combines my love of sci fi and secret reveals and MM romance. I hope you enjoy it!
Jameson Havercamp, a psych from a conservative religious colony, has come to Oberon—unique among the Common Worlds—in search of a rare substance called pith. He’s guided through the wilds on his quest by Xander Kinnson, a handsome, cocky skythane with a troubled past.
Neither knows that Oberon is facing imminent destruction. Even as the world starts to fall apart around them, they have no idea what’s coming—or the bond that will develop between them as they race to avert a cataclysm.
Together, they will journey to uncover the secrets of this strange and singular world, even as it takes them beyond the bounds of reality itself to discover what truly binds them together.
Rain hit the plas and ran downward in little rivulets, separating and rejoining like branches of time as the storm whipped itself into a frenzy over Oberon City.
Xander Kinnson lay on his bed, head thrown back, watching the tempest with a laziness that belied his inner turmoil and pain. Alix had left him and gone missing. A year had passed, and still he had a hard time accepting that simple fact.
His dark wings with their jet-black feathers were stretched out lazily to each side of his supine form, their tips extending past the edge of the bed. His chest heaved slowly up and down, and he breathed easily, as if he were utterly relaxed.
Nothing could have been further from the truth. Below the surface, under the deception of skin and sinew, his heart beat at a thunderous pace, and his mind raced for answers to Alix’s fate that slipped beyond his grasp.
The handsome trick he’d brought home rested his warm hands on Xander’s thighs, his hot mouth engaged elsewhere. Xander smelled the deep, masculine musk of him, slipping a hand absently through the man’s dark, tousled hair as the rain increased to a thundering downpour against the plas. The drops glistened, each an individual universe of shimmering light before running quickly out of sight.
A flash of lightning illuminated the room, thunder indicating how close it had been. As the heavy rain pounded against the arco’s walls, Xander rode the wave of pleasure higher and higher. Despite himself, he rose quickly toward climax, drawn up on the tide as the trick worked his cock. Unable to stop himself, he thrust his hips almost angrily upward into the man’s willing throat. Closer, closer….
He reached the crest, a pleasure so intense it burned through him like phosphorous, a white-hot fire.
Lightning flared again across the wet, black sky, followed by thunder so close it shook the bed. The storm had reached a fever pitch outside, and he arched his back in the air one more time, his wings rustling beneath him. As if in concert with the storm, Xander came, the release of his orgasm radiating from his hips along his spinal cord and down through his toes and the tips of his wings.
The rush of elation washed away his cares for a few brief moments. Xander shuddered, shivered, and shuddered again, and it was over.
For a while, he drifted in an oblivion that was blessed in its emptiness. The rain fell in a steady beat against the window, and he forgot to wallow in his pain. His mind floated free, with no responsibilities, nothing to worry about for those brief moments between sex and real life. This was what he needed. This lack of thought, this pleasurable oblivion where he could just be.
When he opened his eyes at last, the nameless trick was staring down at him, expectant.
“You’re still here.”
“I can do more, if you’d like,” the man said with a grin. Like Alix, he had no wings—a lander man.
Xander glared at him, annoyed. He was handsome enough, tall, dark-haired, with blue eyes and a light complexion. Strangely, he reminded Xander of Alix. The hair and eyes were wrong, but there was something about him, and that annoyed the hell out of Xander, for reasons he didn’t care to examine too closely. “Get out,” he said with a dismissive wave.
The man frowned. “I thought—”
“Oh right, your pay.” Xander took the man’s arm and slitted him a hundred crits from the wrist reader embedded in his own. Then he waved the trick away. “We’re square. Now get the fuck out of my flat.”
The man gathered his own clothes, but Xander didn’t give him time to put them on. Instead he hustled the trick out of the irising door, palming it closed on his hurt and angry expression.
I really have become a bastard, he thought, staring at his dim reflection in the shiny black door. It had been a long year.
He tapped the cirq in his temple with his left hand, and called out to his PA. “Ravi, any messages for me?”
4✨s – Whenever I’m asked to review a book in the science fiction genre, I hesitate because I’m not a huge fan of the genre itself and I always feel like that makes me ill-qualified to review the work. But a good book is a good book and that’s what we have in Skythane.
The world building alone is a totally wow and if this isn’t the foundation for a series, I’d be hugely disappointed. Set 800 or so years in the future, Landers, or earth people, have populated one half of the split planet Oberon and overrun the winged population known as Skythane. So, what happened to the other half? That information is something to be discovered within the pages of the book.
Strange things are happening in Oberon and there’s a sudden shortage of pith, which is used across the galaxy. Enter Jameson, a manly man from a conservative planet who is sent to uncover the cause of the shortage and finds himself guided by Xander, who doesn’t understand the meaning of the word conservative. This made for some great tension as they are first tasked with working together and then find themselves fighting for their lives.
Enter Quince, who has all the answers, but isn’t willing to share necessary details until they become important. This could have been frustrating if not for the way it made the book flow. There was not overload of information in any one spot and things were revealed as became necessary.
Unraveling the past and uncovering the secrets that will save them and Oberon will take Jameson and Xander out of their comfort zone and put the weight of this new, futuristic world square on their shoulders. Right where it belonged.
The build-up and world building make it so that it gets better the further you delve into it. It’s not a book to skim lest you miss some important nugget that will either provide insight or be another twist to the saga. You’ll not only walk away satisfied, you’ll definitely be asking ‘when’s the next book coming out?’
Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.
Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”
Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way. He has sold more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before. He is currently working on two sci fi trilogies, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a group for readers and writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and paranormal fiction.
Where to find J. Scott Coatsworth: