Title: Spells & Stardust
Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
Publisher: Other Worlds Ink
Release date: December 5, 2018
Cover artist: J. Scott Coatsworth
Genre: fantasy, sci fi, paranormal
Tropes: Friends to Lovers, First Time, Destined Love
Tags: MM, gay, fae, elves, horror, reincarnation
Length: approx. 40,000 words
Warnings: One story contains attempted suicide; another has a homophobic incident
Spells & Stardust is Scott's first anthology — eight sci fi and fantasy shorts that run the gamut from regeneration to redemption.
The Bear at the Bar: A gay fish out of water tale with a pinch of magic.
Tight: What happens when your lover disappears in midair?
Morgan: The year when everything changed.
Re-Life: What if you were reborn in a strange new future?
A New Year: They met every eleven years. And each time, Hank's life changed.
Repetition: What if you wanted to go back in the closet?
Gargoyle: Sometimes you get what you deserve. Sometimes it happens on All Hallows Eve.
Avalon: A few bright moments in the sun, stolen from outside time.
Most of these stories have been previously published in various anthologies and journals. This is the first time they have all been collected in one place.
It was the first day of Spring. I’d taken on a heavy class load in my junior year at OSU, and I was in one of my favorite spots—the base of a little hill on campus with my back against an oak tree, studying for my physics exam the next day.
“Hey,” someone said, and I looked up to see himstanding there above me. Tall, thin, blond, I couldn’t see much more with the sun shining from behind him on the late afternoon day. The hill was crested with a ring of mushrooms and wild flowers, and their perfume only enhanced the promise of the unnaturally warm spring day.
“Hi.” I shielded my eyes and he sank down into the grass in front of me. His eyes were hazel, almost golden, and his high cheekbones gave him an exotic look. I couldn’t place it, but it was clear that he wasn’t from around here.
“I’m Morgan.” He offered his hand, and as I took it, something electric passed between us. He had a yellow yarn bracelet tied around his wrists, the significance of which I would only come to understand much later.
“Zach.” I offered my hand after setting the textbook aside in the long grass. His features were fine, finer than mine, and he looked subtly… foreign, in a way that immediately appealed to me. I was out on campus—mean, not rainbow flag-waving out, but I’d had a boyfriend or two, though I was currently experiencing a bit of a dry spell. “Are you new here?”
He laughed as if I’d just made a joke, and I was full-on entranced by the melodic sound of his voice. “Yeah, I just got here.” There was a strange something in his voice - a hint of an accent… French, maybe? It was elusive.
“Foreign exchange student, huh?”
He nodded. “I’m here for a year. Just transferred in. I wanted to make some new friends.”
“What’s your major?” I was aware just how lame that sounded as soon as it came out of my mouth.
He didn’t seem to notice. “English literature.” He grinned and shrugged. “I especially love the British classics. We don’t have many of them at home. But I’ve read a few.”
Then he leaned forward and kissed me. Right there in the open, with no warning. Just like that.
“What the hell was that?” I stumbled to my feet. Though I had kinda liked it… okay, Ireallyliked it.
He stood up in one fluid, beautiful motion. “I wanted to see what it would feel like."
Our faces were just inches apart. I could hear him breathing. "Well?" I said finally.
"I liked it.” He kissed me again.
This time I didn’t stop him.
He moved into my off-campus apartment later that week.
About the author:
Scott lives with his husband of twenty five years in a Sacramento suburb, in a cute little yellow house with a brick fireplace and two pink flamingoes out front.
He inhabits in the space between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into science fiction and fantasy by his mom at the tender age of nine, he quickly finished her entire library. But he soon began to wonder where all the queer people were.
After coming out at twenty three, he started writing the kinds of stories he couldn't find at Crown Books. If there weren't many queer characters in his favorite genres, he would will them into existence, subverting them to his own ends. And if he was lucky enough, someone else would want to read them.
His friends say Scott's mind works a little differently than most - he makes connections between ideas that others don't, and somehow does more in a day than most people manage in a week. Although born an introvert, he forced himself to reach outside himself, and learned to connect with others like him.
Scott's stories subvert expectations that transform traditional science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something different and unexpected. He runs both Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark.
His romance and genre fiction writing brings a queer energy to his stories, filling them with love, beauty and power. He imagines how the world could be - in the process, he hopes to change the world, just a little.
Scott was recognized as one of the top new gay authors in the 2017 Rainbow Awards, and his debut novel "Skythane" received two awards and an honorable mention.
Scott is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter: