E.L. Reedy and A.M. Wade Author Interview—Upon Broken Wings blog tour and giveaway

Lou’s (Queerly) YA blog is happy to welcome E.L. Reedy and A.M. Wade, stopping by on their tour celebrating the release of Upon Broken Wings. A contemporary, Gay YA paranormal romance, it was released in April by Evernight Teen, and this impressive cover is by artist Jay Aheer. Read on for an author interview with some surprising (and delightful) questions and answers, an excerpt, and a giveaway.

Bound by a dark act of hate and despair, high school freshmen, Andrew and Kiernan, learn that their untimely deaths did not bring an end to their pain, but only began the suffering of those left behind. While his lost memories return, Andrew must master seemingly impossible feats, both spiritual and physical. As a dark spirit stalks Kiernan through the borderlands of life and death, he must also face the pain his actions have caused his loved ones. To save both their souls, Andrew must convince Kiernan to return to life and open his eyes to the love and beauty which had always been there.

Format: ebook
ISBN: ISBN: 978-1-77339-634-7
Price: 4.99
Story Type: Novel
Word Count: 69,500

Genres: YA, LGBT, Fiction, Paranormal
Pairings: Two young adult males

Necessary to Read Previous Books: No
Warnings: Death, Suicide, Demons

The Interview:

What fictional speculative fiction character would you like to spend an evening with, and why?

A – Tanya Huff’s Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr. I want to know how she stays so strong and keeps pushing through to the other side, even when, especially when, everything seems hopeless.
E – Gandalf. I’d like to ask him if he really knew he was condemning Frodo and Sam to their dooms.

Would you visit the future or the past, and why?

A – I would like to visit four separate days in the past, the day each of my children came, so I could say hello and hold three of them for a while without interference from the world and have a little more time to say goodbye to one, and just hold her again.
E – The past, because it is real and set in stone. The future is fluid and I am a terrible swimmer.

How does the world end?

A – With a soft rain bringing water to the animals and plants that are left after we humans take ourselves out of the equation.
E – With a whistling wind scattering the last leaves of the last dying tree over a burning world that has long since lost its human inhabitants.
What was one of the most surprising things you’ve learned in writing your books?

A – How entire scenes that came so easily to mind are so hard to fit into the story because of timing or just not being able to make things fit that are needed. A conundrum.
E – I’d have to say how many words one has to write before he or she finds the ‘right words’ in the ‘right order.’

Where do you like to write?

A – At the table in the kitchen, where I can have my pen, tablet, and laptop all spread out and grabbed as needed.
E – Anywhere I can get comfortable and hold a tablet.

What do you do if you get a brilliant idea at a bad time?

A – Write it down, speak in to my phone’s tablet app, or even tell the person/s I’m with to help me remember something till I can get to an instrument of note-taking.
E – I always have a minimum of 3 pens on my person, but even so, sometimes when I can’t jot it down, I will repeat it to myself over and over.
What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?

Both – We’re working on a three or four book saga of fantasy that follows a group of druids from their initial creation to modern day wars with forces of darkness. The first book is done, or so we thought – as we expand our notes for the other books, we keep finding ourselves returning to the source and making a change here or there. When? One thing at a time, but the first book, probably sometime this year.


Andrew was at the graveyard that same morning, of course—every morning, windy or calm, snow or shine—he hadn’t missed a single day since the previous Halloween, when he said the final goodbye to the last of those dear to him.

Despite the sun’s half-hearted attempt to shine, the chill of autumn easily seeped through his black jacket, which he wore in turn over a black shirt and pants. He had not taken up an interest in the Goth Mythology, in truth, he did not even know the meaning of the word. He simply wore the only color that could accurately reflect the feelings tormenting a fourteen-year-old autistic boy who had found no other way to share with the world he felt no longer cared about him.

Andrew had placed his offering of white roses at four graves that morning, the fourth being that of his father, Matthew, whom he had never met. Michael’s final gift, the gold medallion, hung free from a chain around his neck and glittered in the morning sun.

The mysterious angel statues—there were two of them now—the woman, his mother, and a slightly shorter male, which could have represented a young teen—shone in the sparse daylight. The second statue, which held a book in both hands, had appeared within days of Michael’s funeral, but it never struck Andrew as odd and he never guessed its purpose, despite the resemblance and the timing of its appearance. As you might understand, he was rather wrapped up inside of himself, far more so than usual in those dark days of mourning, numbness, and irreparable regrets.

He glanced one last time at Judith’s grave. “Love you, Mom,” he half mumbled. He then sighed, resigned to a fate he lacked the strength to change and regarded Michael’s headstone. “When you left, you took my heart with you.” He sobbed quietly for the longest moment, before whispering, “and today—tonight—I want it back.”

A sudden gust of wind disrupted his reverie and reminded him that he still had to go to school. And that’s when he saw him—a sad-faced light-haired boy, right around his age, with his head down—who walked through the rows of tombstones. Something slipped free from the boy’s fingers and rode the wind, twirling high at first, then as if driven by destiny, it sailed the distance between them and landed at Andrew’s feet, coming to rest against one of his shoes.

While wringing the fingers of one hand—he had perfected that ability—he retrieved it, a business card with the name and number of a local suicide hotline. The irony of the situation escaped him. As I may have eluded to earlier, that was another part of his autism. Things made sense or they did not, there was no in between, no use of symbolism to make understanding easy.

He only shrugged and crumpled the card, before letting it go. He shot another curious glance back toward the sad boy, and he could swear that he vanished before his eyes. He shook his head and blinked rapidly, disregarding what he had seen, and put one foot in front of the other, and walked aimlessly with only the thought of reaching school on time.

Andrew paused when he came to the old rustic bridge, a decorative path across a small pond at the edge of the graveyard. He had a sudden flash of Michael’s face, and the memory of how he had died. He walked the long way around the pond and he never looked back.

About the authors:
E. L. Reedy—Was born and raised in Iowa, where he devoured tomes of fantasy, sci-fi, and young adult novels as a child. In his free time, he is an avid gamer (D&D and Pathfinder). He has traveled the world as a soldier in the U.S. Army, and now lives in Iowa, where with his writing partner, he continues to pen works in the realms of Fantasy and Horror in the Young Adult Universe.

A. M. Wade—As the only girl in a family with five boys, she readily escaped into fantasy, sci-fi, and other fiction novels. Having traveled through most of the US, she enjoys using scenery and characteristics of the different states in the story adventures she created for the little ones in her family. Now, she writes sci-fi, fantasy and horror with a lifelong co-conspirator.

Author Website:
Author Facebook (Author Page):
Author Amazon:

The authors are giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour via rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Filed under Blog Tour, GLBTQ fiction, New release, Uncategorized, YA Fiction

The Sun Child Chronicles—fantasy with one foot in sci-fi territory

Hello readers! Progress on the Sun Child Chronicles continues. I just returned the final round of edits on Ciarrah’s Light (book 3), to the publisher, I have the mockup of a fabulous cover from Catt Ford (which I wish I could share, but can’t), and we’re rolling on to final preparations for an October release. Since I haven’t shared here in a while, I thought I’d stop in and talk about one of my favorite things about the Sun Child Chronicles—its sci-fi roots.

Ethra, main character Lucky’s home world, has little of what we think of as technology. They still use candles for light and fires for heat, and the books are full of swords and horses, talismans and spells. But I’ve mentioned before that the core of my idea for the series came from quantum physics and string theory, which proposes the likelihood of multiple dimensions, possibly with worlds proceeding in parallel fashion on each one. In the series, Ethra and Earth are twinned worlds occupying roughly the same position in space, but with varying time streams and different environments. In book three, a third world, Terrathia, is introduced, and it could not be more different from Ethra. There, science ruled, intelligence valued above all else. That proved to be a problem in the end—for the Terrathians, but also for Earth and Ethra, after the Terrathians got desperate. Here’s one of the book’s short prologues, to give you a hint of the trouble in store for Lucky, his friends, and Ethra in Ciarrah’s Light.

Pahlanus, Ancient Prime of Terrathia, sat uncomfortably in a chair made for Earthborns in the Valley City, California boardroom of an Earth enterprise known as Allied Biotech, Incorporated. The five Earthborns present, though touted as their world’s leaders in what they called “bio-development,” seemed to Pahlanus rather dull-witted. That suited his purposes, but he wondered: if these were Earth’s best minds, how had they ever managed to uncover the secrets of DNA and gene-splitting?

In many ways, though, even the crude Earthborns had advanced their technology beyond the Ethrans. To a refined Terrathian Prime, the people of Ethra seemed farmers to a man, with no more education or insight than what was required for ploughing or woodcraft. Yet Pahlanus knew this to be deceptive. In the sciences, Ethra clearly remained a backwater. Yet it had been Ethrans who’d best learned to manipulate energy with their minds, to channel that energy work into instruments, charms, and talismans for even greater strength. This excellence could be accounted for by the sheer abundance, in Ethra, of the particular energy they employed. They called it magic, but it was life force, and it sustained their world. Perhaps because of their attunement with that deep energy, Ethrans were also the first to find the double-sided, hollow, interdimensional barrier they called Naught. And, astonishingly, they’d been the first among the triplet worlds to understand the permeable nature of that boundary and exploit its weakest sections, using them as portals to other dimensional realities—other worlds.

Pahlanus shifted the pillows stuffed between his narrow Terrathian body and the arms of the chair. They provided not-quite-enough support, and the longer he sat, the more his long spine tended to curve in ways it shouldn’t, and his tall head, with only his own stiff collar to help his undeveloped muscles, seemed very heavy. Yes, he was physically uncomfortable, and alarmingly aware of it. This was another sign of Terrathian decline, which is what had brought him to this meeting.

Life-splitting, or gene-splicing as used in Earth, had been discovered in that backwater world only forty or so years earlier, but in Terrathia time had moved differently, and many generations had passed since the appropriated science had first been used in the laboratories of great Terrathian Primes. Pahlanus himself had made the key connection, adding Ethran life-force magic as a wedge to accomplish true life-splitting. With these tools, all emotional baggage—and unnecessary physicality—had been sequestered away. The Terrathian Primes were perfected, and mining lives provided all the energy needed to keep these superior beings nourished.

After many years of progress, Pahlanus was the foremost example of the end result. He was all mind, his brain capacious, attached physically to a minimal body able to handle objects and move him from place to place. His emotional “Echo,” to use a translation of the Terrathian term, had been bundled into an ethereal, barely visible form loosely bound to him by a cord of energy. For the hundreds of years he’d lived in this state, he’d been able to ignore the presence of the Echo entirely, allowing it to feed silently from the life force he consumed in lieu of material food.
Until now.

Like other Primes, Pahlanus increasingly found himself aware of both physical and emotional discomfort, for the separation from the Echo had weakened. Terrathian life force, even supplemented as it had been by the energies of Ethra and Earth, had become scarce, for in their exuberant pursuit of perfecting themselves, his kind had failed to realize the resource did not infinitely renew itself. As Terrathia died, they’d taken emergency measures and stockpiled life-force energy, enabling them to create a small, temporary, substitute world. It could not be sustained indefinitely, but it must be maintained until the Primes of Terrathia had regained sufficient strength and physicality to colonize elsewhere.
To do that, they would need a vast amount of pure life force.

Pahlanus cleared his long, serpent-slender throat, preparing to speak in the reedy remnant of his voice. He surveyed the five heavy-featured Earthborns present, and then locked his gaze on the glowing eyes of the single Ethran attendee. In a deplorably emotional quest for vengeance and power, this woman had cooperated with an experiment of Terrathian science. That test had succeeded. Though technically dead, the Ethran woman now existed and acted in a kind of quasi-location between Naught and the living worlds.
The Earthborns at last ceased their prattle and looked toward Pahlanus expectantly. He spoke, his words barely loud enough to break the silence.

“Gentlemen, my lady Liliana. We need your children.”


Filed under Harmony Ink, Lou Hoffmann, Sunchild Chronicles, Uncategorized, YA Fiction

The Sun Child Chronicles continue in 2018—excerpts here!

Hi friends! I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted here, but one of the things I’m set on making happen in 2018 is suiting up and showing up here more often. I’d like to make this blog a little busier in support of YA authors who are unafraid to represent people from across the gender and sexual identity spectrum in their work, and in the process make it interesting and fun for readers. There’s only one of me, and at the present time I just don’t have enough news to keep it fresh all by myself. If you know of an author you’d like to see here, let me know in comments and I’ll see if I can get that done.

The Sun Child Chronicles are continuing! Book 3, Ciarrah’s Light is in editing with the publisher (Harmony Ink) right now, and it will be out in October—still a way off, but not too far. Here’s the blurb, and the graphic here has a snippet to tempt you.

Luccan, future Suth Chiell of the Ethran Sunlands, also known as Lucky, has completed one harrowing quest, but his adventures and hardships are only beginning. There’s little time to recuperate before his mother’s apparition attacks, drowning Lucky in horrible nightmares that drain his life and nearly kill him. Only through the power of his sentient obsidian blade, Ciarrah, can Lucky claw his way out of the shadowy visions and back to consciousness. But further horrors await him when he opens his eyes, and his country needs him more than ever.

Unstoppable wraiths—products of an advanced but dying alien world called Terrathia—are attacking, and swords and arrows cannot stop them. Fortunately Ciarrah’s magical light can, and with his uncle Han, the wizard Thurlock, his winged horse, and a horde of shifters from Earth at his back, Lucky faces them, determined to put an end to his mother’s destructive evil once and for all. But will stopping her end the horrors facing his world?

Meanwhile, the plan for the series has been expanded from five books total to six, and I’m busy writing book 4, Dragon’s Rise. Here’s a brief excerpt from my work-in-progress, just for fun.

Morning came cool and damp by the stream, but the music of the flowing water was sweet, and the day promised to be fine. Thurlock sat upon his bedroll and, listing to one side, flicked a lazy magical hand at the fire to light it. He clearly hadn’t been awake for long.

“Good morning, Thurlock,” Lucky said—very softly because he felt like loud words might shatter something.

Thurlock grunted and rolled onto his knees. He looked as though he was preparing to stand, though it might take some time. Lucky shot up and rushed over to offer him a hand. Thurlock accepted the help, which surprised Lucky once he thought about it.

“Thank you, young man,” Thurlock said. “Some days I do feel like I’m getting older, and this is one of them. I suppose it’s to be expected. I’ve not truly rested for days.”

“Didn’t you sleep last night, sir?”

“With one eye open, Luccan. With one eye open. Give me a few moments to wake up and drink some tea, and we’ll talk about your dreams.”

“My dreams?” How had Thurlock known?

“And some other things. How are the horses?”

Lucky recognized a dismissal when he heard one, so despite his discomfort with the idea that Thurlock had somehow known what had gone on in his head during the night, and despite his anxiety over what “other things” might be on the agenda for conversation, he left the wizard alone and went to tend the horses.

Lucky had always liked horses, though he’d been clumsy with them at first. After his stay with Morrow’s family, he’d gained confidence and come to understand them a lot better, and now he thought they liked him, too. Even the noble Sherah nuzzled him in greeting. He’d rubbed them down pretty good the night before, and they’d had access to fresh grazing and water where they were picketed, so there wasn’t a lot they needed. He looked them over, checked their hooves the way he’d been taught, and then gave them a light brushing to wake them up. He left them happily munching oats and went back to see about his and Thurlock’s breakfast.

He didn’t actually have to, though. He came back to the camp to find his plate keeping warm on one of the rocks lining the firepit, already loaded with bacon, slices of hearty bread, and a roasted apple. He smiled, and then smiled wider when he watched the water in his cup transform to hot cocoa. “Thanks, Thurlock,” he said, but he was wondering how the old man would take it if he asked for mocha from now on. He had recently developed a taste for coffee with his chocolate in the morning.

Lucky was still eating when Thurlock put his plate aside, refreshed his tea, and sat back, settling his gaze on Lucky. Which felt a little creepy and made Lucky wonder if he had a chocolate moustache or something. Of course that wouldn’t be what was on Thurlock’s mind, though. More likely he was about to treat Lucky to a serious wizardly conversation.

“Of course you know I can’t enter your mind like Han can, Luccan, but I set a spell—for your safety of course—to catch your dreams, and this morning it was quivering like a spider’s web when a giant fly lands in it. It’s a marvelous little spell, really, one I worked up when Han was young and his grief for his family was fresh. It catches the worst of the things that enter through our dreams and prevents them from getting deep into the mind.”

Flabbergasted that Thurlock had this remedy at hand and hadn’t used it to save him from his mother’s awful shade, Lucky blurted, “Why didn’t you use it to get me out when my mom had me trapped in the dark?”

“Oh,” Thurlock said. “I wish I could have, but it doesn’t work after the fact. Only if it’s set up ahead of time. But let me tell you more about it. It siphons off some of the more troubling aspects of the dream that are internal, coming from inside a person, and if one examines the web of the spell, they can see hints of the dream’s material. In this case, I saw mists and colors—that lovely electric blue we’ve both come to associate with evil things, and violet. The colors of darkness.”

“But you didn’t wake me?”

“I started to, but I saw your face, and you weren’t afraid, or hurt, or sick—not at all the way you looked during those other dreams. Instead you looked alert, interested, and maybe a little sneaky. Do you remember your dream, this time?”

“Yes,” Lucky said, noticing with surprise that it was true.

“Want to tell me what you saw?”

Lucky told him about his spying in the dream, and then, in conclusion, insisted, “Thurlock, I know the place I saw is a real place. It wasn’t like where my mother took me when she had me… my mind… captive. I don’t know where it is, but it’s part of the real world. This world. They… the enemy, I guess… they’re planning something big—bigger than the battle of Hoenholm. I’m sure of it, and that place I saw is where it’s going to happen.”

Thurlock spent a few minutes torturing his beard and sipping his tea, making a rude noise once when he shifted on his rock, followed by a muttered “oops.” Finally he looked once again at Lucky and said. “Could be just a dream, Luccan.”

Lucky wasn’t fooled. “You don’t believe that.”

“No. But it could be. Do you remember the features of this place you saw? Landmarks and such?”

“I… think so. Maybe.”

“Could you draw a picture of it?”

Lucky laughed out loud. “Thurlock, I can’t draw a stick figure so’s anybody’d recognize it as human.”

“Oh yes, I recall your runes were pretty sloppy. We’ll have to work on that—runes are important. But as to this other, perhaps, would you recognize the place if you saw a picture of it?”

“Um… probably?”

“Are you asking me?”

“Probably, sir.”

“All right then. That could be useful. Saddle up. We’ve got to get moving. Wait, though.” He picked up a pile of metal bits from a rock next to him and held it out to Lucky. “Put this on.”

When Lucky shook it out, he discovered it was a hooded shirt made out of disks of sun metal linked together—leaf mail, he supposed. “I’ll bake,” he said, letting it show that he also thought it was ridiculous. They weren’t being shot at, for the gods’ sakes.

“Would you rather wear full, stiff armor like Gimli the Dwarf?”

“How did you know I read Lord or the Rings?”

“I know you read it twice.”

“Three times.”

“I know lots of things. Answer the question?”


“Put it on then.”


“Because I said so.”

This was not the sort of argument Lucky was likely to cave in to, generally speaking. However when the person saying it was an obscenely powerful wizard who was currently causing sparks of irritation to stream from his magical staff…. Well, Lucky put the mail shirt on.

“Can I leave the hood down.”

“Of course you can—for now. I’m not unreasonable.”

That’s it for this time. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope to see you soon.

Click here to go to find the first two books at the Harmony Ink Press store.

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Filed under GLBTQ fiction, Harmony Ink, Lou Hoffmann, Sunchild Chronicles, YA Fiction

Wraith Queen’s Veil Blog Tour Stops: Links are here!

Hi! This is it! Wraith Queen’s Veil is out October 6th, but the blog tour has already begun! Check out the stops below for some fun posts and ways to win some prizes. I hope to see you along the way. (I’ll post specific links to the posts as soon as they’re available for each stop. Disclaimer, the post title may change if strange inspiration strikes.)


MM Good Book Reviews”: “Interview, Excerpt, and Giveaway”

Harmony Ink Press Microblog

Queer Sci-Fi: “Humans + Magic=Wonderful Mayhem”

Divine Magazine: An exclusive excerpt!

My Fiction Nook: “Meanwhile back in California, the shifter…”

Prism Book Alliance: An author interview

C. Kennedy, Author blogspot: “The Beasts in Lucky’s Worlds: A loving look at the horrible, wonderful, treacherous, loyal, extraordinary non-humanoids in Lou Hoffmann’s The Sun Child Chronicles”

The Novel Approach “Come along with us to meet Han, the warrior badass”

Drops of Ink: A different author interview.

C. Descoteaux Writes: “Mean Authors Build Strong Characters”

Emotion in Motion: “Character interview: Lucky and Rio (Yes, Virginia, there is a little romance in this fantasy)”

Rhys Ford: “How to Play the Game of Skies”

Rainbow Gold Reviews: “Blog Tour Finale: Why Magic? And Win a Signed Paperback Wraith Queen’s Veil!”


Filed under Blog Tour, GLBTQ fiction, Harmony Ink, Lou Hoffmann, New release, Sunchild Chronicles, Uncategorized, YA Fiction

The Sun Child Chronicles—get ready for book 2! Trailer, recap, and a chance to win book 1 Key of Behliseth

Lou Hoffmann Icon-logo-squareDear Reader,

When you read Wraith Queen’s Veil, you will go with Lucky down a long, winding, treacherous path. It will take you to the Wraith Queen’s veil and through it to reach dangers and glories awaiting beyond. But a fair amount of time has passed since book one was released, so while you’re packing your travelling shoes for that trip, I’ll give you a quick “in-a-nutshell” refresher.

In Key of Behliseth, I introduced you to Lucky on his fifteenth birthday, which had not been a good-luck sort of day. In fact, his luck had been far more bad than good for three years at that point—worse than it sounds, because Lucky couldn’t remember anything before that. Not where his home was, who his parents were, or even his own name. (Okay, to be truthful, he knew his real first name was Luccan, but that was all.)

Key of Behliseth cover

One of the most important things Lucky didn’t remember happened on his twelfth birthday. He’d been banished by a curse from his home world Ethra to Earth. It was the first time he landed in a dark cave—and oh, yes, he did remember that! He’d had nothing to hold onto, nothing in his possession at all but a pocketful of strange things he knew nothing about: coins, a knife, and a key that didn’t look to him like it could possibly work in any lock. No grouchy wizard present on that go-round, but he did have his only stroke of solid luck that same night when he met up with Hank George, an old man who’d been watching that very cave for new arrivals for fifty years. Hank became his family, his teacher, his protector, and his friend, and Lucky lived with him for two years until Hank died suddenly on Lucky’s fourteenth birthday.

Reader, I’m sure you begin to see a recurring motif: Lucky’s Midsummer Day birthdays are not harbingers of cake, candles, and party hats. They seem (to him at least) to be variations on the theme of “oh crap.”

For a year after Hank died, Lucky a led a homeless life in the mid-sized metropolis, Valley City, an isolated (fictional) city in Cirque Valley (also fictional) in central California. He tried getting by panhandling and in less savory ways—the usual ways homeless teens survive on the streets but to say they didn’t work well for him would be an understatement. Eventually he found a niche—doing household chores for Valley City’s petty criminals—and moved himself and his dog Maizie into an abandoned shed located precariously on the edge of the infamous, unpopulated Black Creek Ravine, a gorge running right through the middle of town. Basically, not such a bad setup.

But then, Lucky’s fifteenth birthday rolled around and he was right back to “oh crap.”

Bad dreams, money problems, and a bump on the head were just the beginning. On that day, he met an extremely odd, very old man (Thurlock) who insisted on talking despite Lucky’s best efforts to brush him off (while being polite). The stranger kept popping up around town, and that felt sort of creepy. Creepier still was a very strange, very mean woman (Isa) whom Lucky encountered at the grocery store. And then and there Lucky started doing things he never meant to do—being rude, to say the least, which was unsettling because Lucky always tries to be polite. Really, he didn’t stop at rude, went right on to coldhearted and mean. He would have liked to have left the memory at the store and never looked back, but surprise! Isa is a witch, and Thurlock is a wizard and they fought over Lucky in the pasta aisle.

And then… well, let’s just say stuff kept happening, and one not-so-good thing kept leading to another no better. The next few days Lucky found himself (1) getting that odd and apparently useless little key stolen, (2) crossing the scary threshold into Thurlock’s house, and (3) getting attacked by (a) his own dog, (b) a storm, and (c) a horde of black-cloak-wearing people acting like zombies led by a man (Mordred) so hateful he’s mean to his own twin brother.

On the other hand, Lucky did get to sleep in a very comfy bed in his own room—luxury for a homeless teen like himself—and he had plenty food that was damn good. Also, he repeatedly got rescued by a caring, watchful, warrior type stranger named Han (who could read Lucky’s mind and who is gay like Lucky and gives advice and who works for the wizard), and he did get to feel like a hero himself when he rescued a girl named L’Aria. He got to speak to his mother (Liliana) and his aunt (Rosishan) through an awesome magical device called a M.E.R.L.I.N., and even though he didn’t remember them, it felt right.

Overall, despite the scary—no, horrifying—people and events, in the balance he had started to feel… loved! And the idea of this other-world home, Ethra, had begun to pull on him like a magnet. So, when Thurlock suggested going home to escape all the nastiness, he got ready for the trip.

Unfortunately, he quickly relapsed into “oh crap” syndrome. Han turned out to be his uncle, but as soon as Lucky remembered that (Yes remembered!), Han left him to tend to other duties. And then, the wizard’s way home involved traveling through an awful thing called a Portal of Naught. Bad enough on its own, but Lucky got confused about which way he wanted to go, and consequently got left behind, and then kidnapped by Mordred and held captive in the witch Isa’s enormous, magically hidden, blue-glass-and-steel tower. Lucky found out there he had never before had any true notion of what evil meant. Isa’s evil deserved a capital E. And not only that, but it turned out gods (yes, reader, gods) were involved: one good and all about light and balance named Behl; one unspeakably bad, a living black hole that can never be filled, called Mahl.

Stubbornly insisting magic didn’t exist failed miserably as a safety plan. Not only did Lucky have to admit the world is full of magic, but he’d met people who kept to its darker side, and they meant to do him serious harm. For one thing, they wanted to keep him from going home world. Lucky didn’t know exactly why they wanted him away from there, but it supposedly had to do with the destiny he’d been told about—he was supposed to become the Suth Chiell, which meant Sun Child and involved having the key and wearing a crown. Much worse than that, though, Isa wanted to use him for her own masterplan—to subsume both Earth and Ethra in a lightless nothingness for the sole purpose of feeding Mahl, her chosen divinity.

Lucky had to accept another truth: he had magic of his own. He didn’t know how to use it, and though he was told its the good stuff, full of light and balance, harmony and even love, he didn’t want to learn. He would have preferred just to shed it quietly and leave it laying where someone else could pick it up and do some good with it, if such a thing were possible. He didn’t want to get acquainted with it, much less use it in dire circumstances.

Dire circumstances, reader, truly! Outside Isa’s tower, Han leads an odd assortment of allies eventually including the wizard’s horse, mighty Ethran birds called flame eagles, and a California condor shifter named Henry George, nephew of old man Hank. They wage a battle against Mordred, whose powers have been up-scaled and who leads enthralled Earthborns, huge Ethran beasts called glacier wolves and their handlers—thin, pale, humanoids called Cairnwights. Greatest among the foe and not bowing even to Mordred’s wishes, Sahlamahn, an ice-breathing blue dragon, flies aloft looking for her next meal.

Inside, Lucky faced off with the witch Isa.

Umm… Well, maybe I’d better leave this here. I mean, if you read the book, surely you remember the end. It’s kind of big. If you haven’t read it, I don’t want to spoil it. Comment here to be in the drawing for a free copy of Key of Behliseth, and if you don’t win, watch for special deals coming soon. A good place to keep an eye on things is The Sun Child Chronicles Facebook group.

Sun Child new banner with CF logo

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Filed under GLBTQ fiction, Harmony Ink, Lou Hoffmann, Sunchild Chronicles, Uncategorized, YA Fiction

Wake up, blog! We’ve got a post! Wraith Queen’s Veil is coming this fall from Harmony Ink

Hello! I let the blog sit undisturbed for so long, it fell asleep—at least that’s how it seems. But there are things coming up, particularly, book 2 in the Sun Child Chronicles series will be out this fall. It’s called Wraith Queen’s Veil, and today I’ve got a (not official) blurb for you, and a short excerpt. Also, I started a facebook group (click here) for announcements and various fun (hopefully) things related to the series. I’m officially inviting you, and if you know anyone else who might be interested, they’re invited too!
WQV title graphic

Here’s that blurb:

When Lucky arrives in Ethra, the world of his birth and destiny, he expects a joyful reunion, but the first thing he notices when he reaches the Sisterhold—his home—is something false behind his mother’s smile. In a matter of weeks, the Sisterhold becomes agitated with worries and war plans. People he trusts—like the wizard Thurlock—frequently can’t be found. His mother seems angry, especially with Lucky. Even Han, the warrior uncle he has come to rely on and love above all others, maintains a sullen silence toward him.

When Lucky’s resentment builds to the breaking point, his bad decisions put him and his friends, L’Aria and Zhevi, in unthinkable danger. Han Shieth arrives to help, but he can’t claim invulnerability to the hazards and evils that threaten at every turn. Events launch Lucky, alone, on a quest for he-knows-not what, but every step brings him closer to his identity and full strength. Self-knowledge, trust, and strength lead to smarter choices, but even his best efforts can’t render his world truly safe, now or for the future.

… and the excerpt!

Shoulder to shoulder, Lucky and Zhevi crept out from the cover of the thicket and into a night of inky shadows, starless and with no hint of the moon. The only light seemed to be coming from all the eyes. Glowing eyes—in pairs, of course—studding the rim of the shallow bowl in which they had made their camp.

“I knew this camp was too easy,” Zhevi whispered.

Lucky gulped in response.

“Get your sword.”

“What do I do with it?”

“Anything except hurt yourself, the horses, or me. Just get it!”

“What about arrows?”

“Luccan, it’s too dark and they’re too close. Sword. They’re coming!”

The eyes slowly closed in on them, followed by shadows blacker than the rest of the night. They hadn’t tied their mounts, and now as the predators drew close, the horses began to whinny nervously. Soon at least one of them let out a blood-chilling scream and bolted, scattering some of the creatures on the way out.

“Cats,” Zhevi said. “Damn! They’re dawn cats! Luccan, listen to me. These cats are really, really vicious. Deadly. But they’re called dawn cats because that’s when they kill. They close in on their prey—”

“Like they’re doing to us, right now?”

“—in the hours before dawn, and then just as day breaks, they strike. And it’s almost impossible to survive. Or so I’ve heard. That’s why their other name is death kittens.”

Frightened beyond clear thinking and appalled at the image that nickname conjured, Lucky pushed his hair out of his face, and asked, in a hoarse whisper, “Kittens?”

“Um, yeah. Also thrall-gazers, because if you look at their eyes long enough… well just don’t do it, okay? Oh, and also they’re sometimes called venom cats.”

“Just guessing here, but maybe they bite?”

dawn cat from pixabay cougar-718092_1280

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Filed under GLBTQ fiction, Harmony Ink, Lou Hoffmann, Sunchild Chronicles, Uncategorized, YA Fiction

Key of Behliseth characters: these are a few of their favorite things

Key of Behliseth coverHi everyone! I’m having a little fun with my characters today! Someone asked me for a list of five things my characters could not do without, so I tracked down Lucky, Thurlock, and Han, and asked them to remember where they were and what they needed on the day Lucky turned fifteen. That’s the day Chapter One (Pale Blue, Wicked Cold) of Key of Behliseth begins. They each named a few things, and I figure I know them well enough to add a couple. If your interest is piqued and you’d like to know more about the book, a good place to start is here, at Dreamspinner Press online, which has description (aka blurb) and the first chapter. You can also find the info and purchase links at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Oh! Almost forgot… You may have noticed I started a contest with my first blog post here on Queerly YA, but I haven’t announced a winner. That’s because I want to include anyone who comments on this blog and answers this question: What is one ingredient you can’t do without in a book?. Could be a character thing, a plot thing, beautiful cover, whatever!
Colorful Heart With

Now, here are those lists.

Five things Lucky can’t live without:

  • Maizie—his canine best friend.
  • Ramen noodles—he doesn’t have much money, and a boy’s gotta eat!
  • Man With Dog

  • The strange belongings he had in his pockets when he landed in a world called Earth three years earlier—they are the only remnant of a childhood he doesn’t remember.
  • Honest work—he is genetically unable to lie without pain, so petty crime is out of the question.
  • The petty criminals of Valley City—they make up most of the clientele he does chores for to earn enough money for his and Maizie’s necessities.


Five things the wizard Thurlock can’t live without:

  • Sweets—maple bars, candy, lots of jam on his toast. He’s a thousand years old and still has all his teeth, but I’m guessing he’s used magic to keep them.
  • Instant hot chocolate—one of the things he’s found in the world of Earth that he thinks is far more wonderful than magic.
  • Image of zen balance still life, abstract peaceful background, s

  • The M.E.R.L.I.N. device. Sorry, no explanation here, but it’s in the book.
  • Help keeping his blood pressure down—mainly with tea, aspirin, and reminders to “breathe.”
  • His umbrella, which may or may not really be an umbrella.

Last, but not at all least

Five things the gorgeous hunk of a warrior, Han, can’t live without

  • Order and simplicity.
  • His weapons, dragon’s hide shield and sun metal sword, bow and arrows (especially flame arrows, throwing knife, fists and feet.
  • Loyalty and honor.
  • han sword rain from -for wallpaper-

  • His industrial lawnmower, the refrigerator and range, washing machine, and the microwave, which are the only pieces of Earth technology the wizard will let him have.
  • Valley city rapid transit (see above—the wizard won’t let him buy a truck).

Comment to enter the drawing for an ebook of Key of Behliseth.


Filed under GLBTQ fiction, Harmony Ink, Lou Hoffmann, Sunchild Chronicles, YA Fiction

Key of Behliseth releases tomorrow! (And I’ve got a brand new blog)

Key of Behliseth cover
I’m celebrating the beginning of my new blog, and to share the joy, I’m giving away a ebook copy of Key of Behliseth, the first book of the Sunchild Chronicle, which is out September 11th from Harmony Ink Press. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment that has something to do with YA books.

I’ll be doing another giveaway on release day (9/11) when I hi-jack the Harmony Ink Press blog for a release day party. You can find the blog at http://www.harmonyinkpress.com. Come by and chat about books, fantasy fiction, sci-fi, or whatever comes up. I’m looking forward to seeing you. I’ll be there 12:30 to 5:30 Pacific time (3:30 to 8:30 Eastern). Please join me!

Key of Behliseth Blurb

On his way to meet a fate he’d rather avoid, homeless gay teen Lucky steps through a wizard’s door and is caught up in a whirlwind quest and an ancient war. He tries to convince himself that his involvement with sword fights, magic, and interworld travel is a fluke, and that ice-breathing dragons and fire-breathing eagles don’t really exist. But with each passing hour, he remembers more about who he is and where he’s from, and with help, he begins to claim his power.

Lucky might someday rule a nation, but before he can do that, he must remember his true name, accept his destiny, and master his extraordinary abilities. Only then can he help to banish the evil that has invaded earth and find his way home—through a gateway to another world.


harmony ink

Colorful fashion makeup with rainbow magic color


Filed under GLBTQ fiction, Harmony Ink, New release, Sunchild Chronicles, YA Fiction