November 18, 2015
I’m Clancy Nacht, and I’m here to talk about my new book, the sci fi thriller romance, Strange Times.
This isn’t my first time at the m/m rodeo. I’ve written several novels and novellas in the past, including the Black Gold series and The WASPs, which was originally released at Dreamspinner Press way back in my early days of writing. Funnily to me, the books I often read are horror and thrillers, but what was in my heart and soul to write was always romance. I think when it came to romance, I had things to say, but it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve really started to merge those interests.
Like many kids, I was taken to see the Star Wars series as a child and I loved it. I wanted to be Han Solo (though in the neighborhood I was always cast as Leia–she’s not bad either but hrmf) but I wanted a light saber. I spent hours with other kids playing war with sticks, imagining epic battles between good and evil. As I got older, I read Asimov and Bradbury, planting the seeds for a love of a genre I wouldn’t write in until much, much later.
This is my first longer work of sci fi. I’ve written the odd short story where you can create a very quick sketch of a vision of the future, but this story required me to think a lot harder and more deeply about what this vision of the future was.
I was working for an electric company and spent a good deal of time considering the power grid. As we add more electric conveniences, we are, as with everything in America, adding to an already overburdened infrastructure which may or may not be able to handle it. Pertinent to this particular novel was the concept of the Smart Grid, which is a blanket term for an electrical grid that can communicate with appliances in your home.
Say your air conditioning/heating unit is able to talk to the grid, which is then able to talk to an application on your smartphone. Say you’re on vacation and realize that you left your thermostat set to 72 and it’s 100 degrees outside. You don’t need to pay for all of that extra cooling, so you set it to 85 from wherever you’re vacationing. Thermostats are the front line for this concept, but the idea is to get all appliances on that grid so you can turn lights on or off, check on your fridge, basically control all your electronics remotely.
It’s hardly Skynet, but amusingly, some people are very, very alarmed by this and would write in on social media that the “chatter” between the thermostat and the grid gave them headaches. Others became very concerned that their appliances might be spying on them. Both suggest very interesting ideas and stories, but this idea of appliance spying and our reliance on smartphones is really what inspired the world of thought control in Strange Times.
That world has been hit by war and disaster but picks up the bones of civilization as we know it–now put under the control of a violent right wing extremist who is deadly serious about eradicating homosexuality. There’s also a symbiotic species of alien whose arrival on earth saves us from ecological disaster….but the aliens have their own agenda and are rumored to feast on humans. Those named criminals are sacrificed to the aliens.
Just to be who they are in this oppressive world, our heroes have to become rebels. Homosexuals are given the option to be reprogrammed and join the military or die. One of the main characters, Turk, is an ex-soldier who turns militant rebel. Alex is a young man about to enter college who’d successfully hidden his homosexuality until being caught in a honeytrap set up by the oppressive government. It’s Turk’s job to save him.
On top of being sexy and exciting, I hope this story also gets people thinking. To that end, one of the ideas posed does have to do with our devices. When you think about it, with GPS on in our phones, our banking information, our email, our texts, our contacts…our devices can paint a frighteningly accurate picture of us. Never before have we had such an invasive set of information collected in a one-stop shop sort of place. Yet, it’s just so convenient to have and use.
Do you ever think about the data that is being compiled? Do you worry about that? Do you think only people doing things that are bad should be worried? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
For these and other slightly frightening thoughts, you can find me in spooky omnipresence:
November 11, 2015
Drumroll please and here it is, my big debut, both as a Dreamspinner Press author and as a writer of m/m romance. It’s pretty nerve-wracking for any author on release day, but with those additional factors, I’m a bit of a wreck right now. My new sci-fi book, Raider Captured, is finally available after what has seemed like months and months of writing, submitting, waiting, and editing. Hold on a minute, that’s exactly how long it has taken. Hopefully all that hard work both on my part and all the talented folks at Dreamspinner will result in an entertaining read for you.
Raider Captured, as the title implies, is, in addition to being a romance and outer space adventure tale, my exploration of the strictures and pressures of imprisonment on both sides of the cage. My initial inspiration for the story was putting two characters in opposition to each other in the most fundamental way; prisoner and jailor. How could I weave romance into such a power imbalance? Both characters would have to overcome many obstacles to eventually place trust in each other and finally discover love. Equally important was having each character empathize with the other’s position. Sagiv, the captured warrior, knows that Daran, his young captor, is facing tremendous pressure to return him for a ransom. Sagiv is certain none of his people would offer up anything for his return as he’s disgraced in defeat. Daran realizes he should feel nothing but disdain for Sagiv, a man who attacked his ship, but he can’t suppress his innate curiosity about the mysterious fighter. There is a connection between them, forged first in the manacles around Sagiv’s wrists, and only strengthened when Daran decides to remove the restraints and free his fearsome prisoner.
There’s always an element of risk when falling in love. Oftentimes we have to give up things we thought were important in order to create that emotional bond with another person. We might have to move, face a friend or family’s disapproval, or open ourselves up to the possibility of rejection. Everyone has to make a leap into the unknown for the chance at romance.
I’m curious about what you had to risk in order to find love. Please leave a comment below for the chance to win a copy of Raider Captured or something useful if you’re ever captured by an alien.
Check out Raider Captured here!
October 15, 2015
To celebrate Halloween this month, some of our paranormal authors will be sharing with us some free fiction.
(This story is set between Breeding Stations and Battle Stations)
“Berit! Faster!” Tom yelled behind me.
What did he think I was doing? Taking a stroll in the park?
Since I didn’t have enough oxygen left in my lungs to keep breathing and ranting at him, I remained quiet. Well, as quiet as one can be when one is being chased by a group of rams. I hated those creatures. I hated all those fucking war beasts the Tash’Ba, our worst enemy, created. Period.
Rams were particularly nasty because they hunted in packs and their razor-like claws could slice you open before you realized what was happening. Add to that their sickly greenish and yellow scales and the red ridge on their heads and they were a nightmare come true.
“I am running,” I wheezed out.
“Watch out!” Tom’s warning came too late. A ram, a rather large one, stepped out behind a large tree with white, fern-like leaves. My momentum propelled me right into the beast’s chest where I impacted with a morbid smack.
That was it. I was dead.
I glanced up, forcing my muscles to stop trembling so much. The ram blinked at me from reptilian eyes as it tilted its head. Slowly, I moved my left hand to one of the many pockets of my pants and searched for a bluster. The ram threw its head back and emitted an ear-piercing trill. Other rams answered immediately.
A branch snapped to my left, and the ram and I looked toward the noise’s source. Tom stood there, the sun glinting on his glistening skin. His frill folded out in all his red and orange glory. “Berit.”
“I’m sorry.” My voice broke when one, two, no, three rams hurried through the undergrowth, appearing at Tom’s back. He clutched his gun in both hands and his chest heaved.
“No giving up,” Tom said.
I gave a short, startled laugh. No giving up? What were we supposed to do? We couldn’t survive this. From the corner of my eyes, I caught sight of more and more rams closing in on us. We were dead, so dead.
I opened my mouth to inform Tom of our impending demise—or maybe I was going to tell him that I loved him more than life itself—when shouts and splintering wood attracted our attention.
Carson, my best friend, crashed through the brush, followed by his wildly firing mate, Niyara. She was yelling at him to go faster. What was it with our Nadisc mates today? There was only so much a human body could do.
An elgoth chased my two friends, trampling whatever got in its way. The elgoth swished its tail from side to side, destroying trees left and right.
“Carson!” I shouted.
His head snapped toward me, his eyes widening even more in his pale face when he discovered me. I didn’t even want to imagine how I must look—on my knees in front of a looming ram—the picture of pure defeat.
He faltered in his steps, which gave the elgoth enough time to catch up with them. An overturned tree trunk cut off their escape route. Niyara took a protective stance in front of Carson. Her tail whipped through the air, obviously annoying the elgoth, who roared at them.
This couldn’t be it. We couldn’t end like that. We’d found the watcher’s station but none of us had managed to get inside because of those damn Tash’Ba war beasts. Although… where was Fleur? She’d come in handy right now.
The rams trilled to each other. What were they talking about? Who got the first dip on the tasty meat right in front of them? I shuddered. Rams didn’t kill their prey before they ate it, and I’d seen enough of my comrades mauled by rams that I knew I wouldn’t go without a struggle.
My fingers closed around the bluster when the ram next to me scurried away. Confused, I watched it leave, whistling a sharp, commanding trill. The other rams formed into a triangle-like formation and scuttled after the one who was obviously in charge.
Inhaling deeply, I rose to my feet. Relief flooded my veins when Tom materialized at my side, sliding his tail around my waist to anchor me to him.
“What just happened? I can’t believe they let us go,” I asked.
Tom’s tail tightened and his eyes darkened. Something was wrong, horribly wrong. I glanced in the direction the rams were heading. A shocked gasp tumbled over my lips. The rams took up position around the elgoth and Carson and Niyara.
Tom pulled me against his chest, leaving me absolutely no room to move. Niyara wound her tail around Carson, imitating Tom’s movement. Even from this distance, I could see tear tracks on Carson’s face. Everything in me turned to ice. This was my best friend. I couldn’t just stand by and do nothing.
“Tom,” I groaned. “I gotta help him.”
“If we shoot now, we might hit him or Niyara.”
I was cut off by the elgoth’s roar. The rams snarled before they attacked. I screamed, “Carson!”
One second one of the rams closed its muzzle on Carson’s right arm and the next moment it dissolved into a puddle of stinking glob.
Carson stared at me, disbelief and relief written all over his face. Niyara pumped a fist into the air, yelling in triumph before she whirled Carson around to kiss him senseless.
I sagged against Tom, battling the urge to curl into a ball and cry. Tom caressed my face as he folded up his frill. “Fleur. She must’ve gotten inside the watcher’s station and found the decoder.”
A yank on my leg caused me to jump. When I looked down, Fleur climbed up on me in her typical lizard-style gait. She bumped her cold, wet nose against mine, then purred, “Berrrit. Fleur help.”
“You did. Thank you,” I said softly.
For now we’d survived. Again.
Thank you for reading!
You can learn more about my books on my blog (there are also links to a couple of free stories): http://christikat.blogspot.com. You can also follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/christi_kat and on GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/ChrisTKat.
October 15, 2015
Someone else cried out, and I whirled around. Parsol, I think was her name—it had become a challenge to remember all the names because on every mission we lost people, so many people—held up her right arm. A ram stood next to her, gnawing on the part it had just ripped off her.
I choked as I lifted my gun again. The ram trilled before it stared at me from cold, reptilian eyes. Parsol was still staring at her limb, gushing with blood, when her knees buckled and she sprawled on the ground. The ram’s head whipped around, the red ridge on its head flaring. Seconds later we listened to crushing bones and tearing flesh.
Tom grasped my hips in his hands and lifted me up, so I could reach a low hanging branch. On autopilot, I grabbed for it and hauled myself up. I reached for the next one and had to assure myself with a glance at my fingers that I was indeed holding on tight because my fingers felt numb.
Tom patted my ass, probably to encourage me, but to me it felt like a slap, and not of the good kind. Startled, I moved up higher. Not a second too soon.
A ram showed up below us, tilted its head sideways, and inspected the tree trunk. After a snapped whistle, another ram appeared next to the first.
On our way up, Tom had made sure to destroy the low hanging branches, probably to stop the rams from following us. How we were supposed to get down from the tree was his secret. For now, it was more important for the rams to stay on the ground.
We stopped our climb halfway up the tree. Not because we couldn’t go up farther, rather due to the gusting wind that threatened to blow us off. When I peered down through the pouring raindrops, my heart stopped for a beat. Seriously, it did.
With a trembling finger, I pointed at the scene below. “Tom? Are they doing what I think they’re doing?”
Tom’s eyes narrowed and his nostrils flared. He wrapped his tail around the trunk and me, anchoring me. I had no time to process whether I should give him a piece of my mind or not because the first ram had finished climbing on the shoulders of the second one and now vaulted up on the first branch within reach. After its landing, it threw its head back and screeched.
Even through the thundering rain, the scream sliced through my body. Tom lifted his gun and fired right at the ram’s head.
The ram had ducked aside and was now steadily climbing the tree, winding around it like a slithering snake. No matter how hard we tried, our shots always missed the target.
I glanced down again, only to see another ram ready himself for the climb. I fumbled with the pocket on my right thigh, grabbed a bluster and lobbed it at the two rams on the ground. As they tumbled down, the bluster went off, destroying both of them. Two less to worry about.
In the distance, I heard more gun shots and another bluster going off. Maybe we would survive this attack after all.
Right at that moment, claws appeared an inch below my boot. I reversed my gun and slammed the butt of it onto the claw. The ram screeched in pain but didn’t let go. Instead, it hauled itself up on a branch opposite Tom and me. Why the fuck didn’t the bough snap under the ram’s weight?
I swiveled the gun around to aim, but the ram’s claw closed around the muzzle. Even though I pulled the trigger, the ram pulled and flung my gun to the ground.
Tom withdrew his tail from the trunk—not a second too soon, because the ram tried to snatch it with its claws—but kept it around my waist. We moved farther away from the trunk, carefully balancing on the narrowing branch. Another blast of wind almost chucked us off.
The ram’s head peeked out from behind the trunk for a moment, then withdrew. Was it pondering its options?
“I’ll throw you to that tree in the back. Do you think you’ll be able to get a hold on a branch?” Tom whispered.
I froze. “Excuse me? What do you mean by ‘you’ll throw me’? We’re like… like high above the ground, and I don’t have wings or anything.”
Tom jerked his thumb over his shoulder, pointing at a tree close to us. “You can’t jump this kind of distance, but I can throw you. Will you be able to hold on?”
“I have no idea!” I burst out. “I’ve never tried before!”
“Berit,” Tom said, his voice so soft it hurt. “I know you haven’t done that before, but if I can’t trust you to find a handhold, I can’t risk the move.”
“I can’t promise,” I said in sheer desperation. What would be worse—getting killed by a ram, or falling to one’s own death? “Can’t you just shoot the damn thing?”
“It always ducks behind the trunk, so, no, I can’t. Ready?”
“Berit!” he snapped. With his free hand, he grabbed for one of my hands and gave it a squeeze. “I’ll follow right away.”
“If you can follow, maybe that beast can too,” I protested.
“It has to come out of its hiding place, and that’s when I’ll kill it,” Tom replied.
“Oh. Well, that sounds reasonable.”
Tom squeezed again, and this time I reciprocated.
“Ready?” he asked.
“Now is probably not a good time to confess that I’m not the adventurous type, huh?”
Tom chuckled. “I’d beg to differ anyway. On three.”
Chris T. Kat loves to write and to read. She writes whatever floats her boat, which means her stories vary from contemporary to paranormal, fantasy, bittersweet dreams or sci-fi. All of her books have a strong romantic element and she’s happiest if she can write about shapeshifters. In real life, Chris is a teacher and couldn’t have hoped for a better job. She’s blessed with a wonderful and supportive family.
April 7, 2015
Today we interview the multi-genre writing Rebecca Cohen!
Dreamspinner Press: What is the most erotic scene you’ve ever written?
In Duty to the Crown (the second of my Elizabethan historical series, The Crofton Chronicles), I have Sebastian Hewel pretending to be prostitute, hanging around the seedy backstreets of South Bank in London. He’d slipped Anthony Redbourn note and told him to meet him. Anthony arrives and is more than happy to play along with Sebastian’s game. Especially as Sebastian has procured a room for their use at a nearby tavern. They act out their roles, Anthony tying Sebastian to the bed with his hose, and promising to get his money’s worth from Sebastian. Which he certainly does.
Dreamspinenr Press: Your new novel is a science-fiction gay romance. What were some joys and challenges writing a romance set in a sci-fi world?
In Under Glass I wanted to play with the idea that for certain people true love is genetically determined. I’m a biology geek, and so I created a concept called psychogenetics to describe how Ollie and Kai, the main characters in ‘Under Glass’, are linked and how the link is mediated by a special organ called the caerellon. Only in science fiction could I get to play and run away with such ideas. Another joy was making Kai a novice planet builder. His species creates planets, one of which is where Ollie was spirited away to by his mother as a young child. New races and planets mean I get to shape the evolution of a species and create their mythology, and that is so much fun. But there are things to be mindful of and it is a challenge to keep the balance right. ‘Under Glass’ is a romance, its focus is on the relationship between Ollie and Kai so the world building and background needs to support and not overwhelm the story. I’m also very aware not to drown the reader in jargon or make them think they’ve accidentally wandered into a lecture.
Dreamspinner Press: Do you listen to music when you write? Snack? Drink tea/coffee/vodka?
I’m very fortunate that I can write pretty much wherever and don’t need specific places or rituals. I tend to curl up on the sofa so I can still be the same room as my family and don’t have to lock myself away. My hubby does provide tea on demand and the odd glass of wine when I’m writing after dinner.
Dreamspinner Press: How did you begin writing gay romance?
I didn’t set out to write gay romance. In fact, I didn’t realise it was a separate genre. I was writing a high fantasy novel and the only way the plot would work was if the two male main characters were in a romantic relationship. When I came to try and get it published I started looking around for a suitable publisher and market and discovered that gay romance was a genre in its own right. The high fantasy story was ‘Servitude’, my first published novel with Dreamspinner Press.
Dreamspinner Press: What are you working on next for readers?
One glance at my back catalogue and you’ll see I like to play in different genres. I’ve written historicals, contemporaries, fantasy and sci fi, and where I’m heading next is a contemporary novella series based around an amateur dramatics society. The series is called ‘Treading the Boards’ and the first novella, ‘Overlay Dramatic’, is already contracted to DSP (tentative release this summer). I submitted the second, ‘Summer Season’, at the end of March and I’m currently writing the final one – a Christmas story called ‘He’s Behind You’ – which I plan to submit before my summer holiday at the beginning of June. They are romantic comedies, each with a different leading couple. The first one includes a papier-mâché goat and a very bad play called ‘Whoops, Vicar. There Goes My Trousers’.
Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.
October 3, 2014
All the Devils Here by Astor Penn
A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title
While struggling to survive a plague, Brie and another girl must ask how they can survive the version of themselves they’ve become. All the Devils Here by Astor Penn, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.
Brie Hall, a sheltered and privileged teenager, is in her final year of boarding school in New York City when disaster strikes. A worldwide biological crisis, the origins of which are unknown, quickly decimates a large portion of the population, and there is no known cure. The threat of contamination is always present, and she cannot trust anyone she sees on the road, and as time goes on, she sees fewer travelers.
While journeying to find her family, Brie meets another wanderer, a girl with a past she can’t or won’t divulge. Circumstance force them together to escape notice of government-issued hazmat vehicles sent to deliver them to unknown conditions. With no hope of a cure, they do only what they can to survive and remain free, picking up new skills and hardening into people they never meant to become. While struggling to answer the question of how to survive a plague, they must also ask how they can survive the version of themselves they’ve become.
Length: Novel (214p.) | Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Lesbian | Release Date: October 2, 2014
August 14, 2014
Binary Boy by RJ Astruc
A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title
When Michel meets Benny online, Michel finds everything he’s ever wanted. But Benny isn’t what he seems. Binary Boy by RJ Astruc, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.
It’s a lonely life being an Interpol kid. With both Michel’s parents working for the international police force and always moving from country to country, it’s hard enough to make friends, let alone find a boyfriend. Then he meets Benny during an online chat, and Benny is everything Michel ever wanted and more. He looks forward to meeting his crush when his family heads to Australia on an important mission. But Benny isn’t quite what he seems, and it may have something to do with the man Michel’s parents are investigating and his relationship to an AI. In order to find out the truth, Michel will have to go to greater lengths—and face greater dangers—than he ever imagined.
Length: Novella (65p.) | Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Gay | Release Date: August 14, 2014
Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-63216-149-9)
July 31, 2014
Harmonious Hearts – Stories from the 2104 Young Author Challenge
A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title
Celebrate with Harmony Ink Press as we recognize the talented winners of our first annual Young Author Challenge. Harmonious Hearts – Stories from the 2014 Young Author Challenge, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.
Celebrate with Harmony Ink Press as we recognize the talented winners of our first annual Young Author Challenge. This anthology showcases the LGBTQ genre’s best up-and-coming-authors between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one.
The transition from childhood to adulthood is never easy, and growing up presents unique challenges for LGBTQ youth. Confusion, bigotry, and struggle transcend time and place, but fortunately, so does love. Travel with these exceptional young authors from country cottages to big cities, into the past and the future, from fantastic lands of magic to the recognizable landscapes of our world. Regardless of the setting, the characters in these stories, along with families, friends, lovers, and allies, fight to claim their places in life. Their identities and situations are different, but the young people in this collection share the strength and courage to succeed, sometimes against great odds, and they invite you to join them on their journeys.
Cigar, Parasol, Star by Laura Beaird
Counting Stars by L.A. Buchanan
The King of Dorkdom by Avery Burrow
Happy Endings Take Work by Morgan Cair
Tess by Becca Ehlers
Our First Anniversary by Trisha Harrington
The Dragon Princess by Eleanor Hawtin
An IRL Love Life by Rebecca Long
On Their Own Terms by D. William Pfifer
Glitterhead by Benjamin Shepherd Quiñones
City Lights Will Carry You Home by Amanda Reed
The Gift of Flame by Scotia Roth
Waiting by Annie Schoonover
Quiet Love by Gil Segev
Paranormal Honor Society by Leigh Taylor
Length: Anthology Novel (294p.) | Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense, Fantasy: High Fantasy, Fantasy: Urban Fantasy, Fantasy: Fairy Tales, Science Fiction, Paranormal: Other, Young Adult, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Genderfluid | Release Date: July 31, 2014
July 22, 2014
Hi all! Angel Martinez one last time – just popping in to announce the winner from yesterday’s launch party:
Our winner is Susan! (skadlec1)
Susan, please pick a backlist book of mine that looks good to you (make sure it’s not one of the free reads, ’cause you don’t need me to give you those) from my website:
(the front page has a quick guide to all the work sort of halfway down)
Email me with your choice, preferred file format (if I have it, I’ll send it) and where to send!
firstname.lastname@example.org (my email)
or PM me on Facebook
Congratulations and thank you so much to everyone who stopped by!
July 21, 2014
One more post from me – thank you to Dreamspinner for allowing me to hijack, er, borrow the blog all day!
Thank you to everyone, my wonderful readers and hopefully curious new readers, for joining me and reading all my silliness!
Thank you to Elizabeth for taking us on (me and my boys) to Erika, my incredible editor, and to Anne for the fabulous cover!
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway – it’s the post that says “Contest”
Gravitational Attraction is available in e-book and paperback at :
And in ebook at All Romance
(Amazon to follow soon!)
Will there be more? Oh, yes. Be patient with me – I have a lot of series work going on, but I’m getting back around to this one