By Renee Stevens
Gay Authors has always managed to remain free to its members, one of the ways that it has managed to do so is through its Premium Subscribers. Members choose to help support the site and keep it going by purchasing Premium Content which consists of a number of stories that are only available on the site by purchasing Premium. There are many great stories to be found in the Premium section.
With the ending of Studly Ranch Hands, it was time to start posting a new premium story. Now, every Saturday, you get a chapter of Negative Splits, a contemporary story written by Cia. To learn a little more, check out the info below, and if it sounds like something that you might enjoy, here's the links for you to purchase Premium Content.
Kyp had enough smothering to last him a lifetime. He overcame so much to graduate high school. Now that he's finally at college, he's finding that the start is harder than he thought.
He has a roommate for the first time in his life, and people who would like to be his friends if he'll let them in. Kyp wants to be independent, but circumstances beyond his control will teach him that sometimes the second half of the race is the hardest part.
Category: Fiction Genres: Drama, Romance Tags: Disability, College, North America, Coming of Age, Modern
Rating: Mature Words: Currently Posting
Negative Splits Excerpt:
“You don’t have to come up.” Kyp hefted the bag higher on his shoulder and picked up his new coffee pot.
“Sure we do. Do you think we’re just going to sit here in the hot car while you go back and forth?” Kyp’s dad picked up a bag with Kyp’s exercise equipment. “Or are you embarrassed to be seen with your parents?”
There were a lot of other parents on campus, since students were all filtering in before classes started. Kyp had explored campus a few times over the summer, learning how not to get lost, and today was finally move in day at the dorms. “I don’t want you to get hurt lugging my stuff around.”
“We’ll make a few trips. It’s not like there aren’t a ton of people here doing the same thing.” Kyp’s mom picked up a laundry basket full of clean towels and sheets she’d insisted he’d need. At least they were all from his bedroom and bathroom at the house; his mom wanted to go pick up some to coordinate his dorm room, but he’d pointed out he had no idea how his roommate was going to decorate his side.
The concept of sharing a room was fucking weird. By the time Kyp was really old enough to remember growing up, both his sisters had left home. Most of the time it was just him and his parents, so he had his own room and bathroom. Kyp was used to a lot of privacy, and that was going to end as soon as Gibson Sheppard, his new roomie, showed up. Of course, he could’ve stayed home instead of choosing to live in the dorms, but he’d had about as much of his mom coddling as he could stand over the last year.
Maybe sharing a room would show him what it’d be like having a sibling close to his own age. A lot of his friends growing up said they were jealous of him, telling him that wishing for a brother or sister to share with was nothing more than a pain in the ass. His mom had quit work to stay home with him when he came along late in their life, ferrying him around so he could do every sport and club. He’d had all the attention he could want—more attention, in fact.
He’d had to work hard to get to this day, and he was going to be independent, even if his mom had teared up on their way back to the school, yet again, about not being there to take care of him. He’d reassured her over and over that he’d be fine, and they were only a half hour away, but it seemed like the third time she sent a kid off to college was not charmed.
The wait for the elevator took nearly ten minutes, but they were able to squeeze in with a girl towing two suitcases behind her. She got off on the floor below his.
“Coed dorms.” His mom shook her head. “In my day, girls at least had their own buildings.”
“Not like it really matters to me,” Kyp said. As soon as the words left his mouth, he wished he could take them back.
By Renee Stevens
The Anthology Review
Did you miss the posting of the fall anthology? Maybe you saw it but were wondering: Exactly what is an anthology and why should I read it? Anthologies have themes, and contributions have to be self-contained short stories that incorporate that theme in some aspect. This is a chance for authors to be inspired to write something new, especially if they’re struggling with their current project, just need a break, or are trying out writing for the first time. The anthologies garner a lot of attention and are a great way for authors to gain new readers. If an author wants to expand their reader base, the anthologies can give new readers a short glimpse of the writer’s style.
For readers there are also gains to be gotten from the anthologies—apart from getting a bunch of new stories all at once. It’s fun to see the different interpretations of the themes, both by familiar and new authors. Reading a short story can be a good introduction to a range of GA authors rather than trawling through the whole list of stories. Readers might read one story and be inspired to check out other works by the author—and maybe even find a new favorite author.
To celebrate the release of the fall anthology, the review team wanted to showcase some of the past anthology entries. The team chose Nature’s Wrath—the first anthology from 2014—as the focus of our reviews.
The River Ran Backwards
Reviewer: Renee Stevens
Word Count: 11,979
The River Runs Backward is a very strong story with a great cast of supporting characters. The main character is River, and the story is told from his point of view. I sincerely enjoyed the entire story, but I think my favorite part was how River associated himself with the Mississippi River. Whether the author, Aaron Penrose, meant to do it or not, this story shows that one change in circumstance can be the catalyst for making things better.
In The River Ran Backwards, that catalyst comes in the form of Matthew. River has no friends, he’s the target for bullying at his school, and he has some emotional/personality issues. River has lost hope of things ever getting better, especially when his parents explain to him that they are committing him to a mental institution. River is exceptionally smart, but he’s not crazy, or is he?
He needs to escape the fate that his parents have outlined for him, but in doing so, he runs into Matthew. Matthew who stares at him, but never says anything. Matthew that awakens something in River that he’s never felt before. It is Matthew who changes the way River sees himself. Only time will tell if that change is for the better.
I’d strongly recommend this story. This is the first—and only—story by Aaron that I have read, but the strength of the writing and the emotions that it invokes, ensure that it will not be the last.
A Ranger’s Duty
Reviewer: Timothy M.
Word Count: 3,929
Some readers dislike when authors use an Anthology theme to test or introduce new story settings and characters which are reused in later anthologies. The Nature’s Wrath had at least two such stories, and I for one am glad Cia was inspired to start her Maze for Three series, and that Aditus continued the Four Perspective series. While short stories can be nice too, I often end up investing myself in characters which interest me and I long to know more. So the one thing worse than having a story continue via anthologies is not having that happening.
A good example is Myr’s story A Ranger’s Duty, which quickly became a favorite of mine. I loved the world which was shown and hinted at, and the main character Ryn, who is a King’s Ranger. His duty leads him to venture into the path of a vicious snow storm, showing the wrath of nature at its deadliest. His mission is to rescue a caravan heading into danger and what he finds may chance his life forever. There’s magic and honor and an aching loneliness in Ryn, which calls to the reader.
I desperately want to read more so I was pleased the story note said ‘This story will continue in a future Anthology and it exists in a larger world I am writing.’ Thus I keep hoping for an Anthology theme which inspires Myr to continue the tale. Maybe Blindsided or The Forgotten will do the trick, but otherwise Myr has lots of themes in the Special Anthology for 2016 to choose from. Please join me in begging for more after you've enjoyed reading the first installment of the story.
The Storm Singer
Word Count: 3,444
When I read the title The Storm Singer, I was immediately intrigued. It sounded mysterious and ominous to me, and I could hardly wait to get home and see what it was about.
I then learned about the tiny planet Gadet, and its quick-witted, sharp-tongued, and sometimes acerbic people. As their planet is rich in the rare metal cacese and the gemstone caruni, the planet is wealthy. They only have one real problem—storms, but their scientists developed a warning system, so they thought they were in control again, until they are not.
Hit simultaneously by a multitude of different storms for weeks, the people of Gadet are facing ultimate destruction when, seemingly out of nowhere, the storm singer appears in his jet-black starship and promises to save them—for a price. And drama unfolds.
TMcCallahan describes everything so beautifully and with much detail, I thought I was there and I knew exactly how everyone ticked. The characters are designed to antagonize each other, and in the end, I kept mumbling nononono, not that it helped.
This is a wonderful interpretation of the anthology’s theme Nature’s Wrath. It also helps that the Storm Singer is really hot, IMHO.
Maybe it’s a little farfetched, but I understood ‘The Storm Singer’ as a fable. And the moral of the story is…
Word Count: 9,758
Have you ever felt like you want to let loose and just take a break from your life? Have you pondered the consequences of doing so? I bet you never imagined being hunted down by alien shifters would be one of them. For Miah, that’s what happens when he decides to throw caution to the wind and celebrate passing his final exams.
On a future Earth, alien shifters have sought refuge and been allowed to stay, even though some wants them gone. To satisfy human thrill-seekers, someone has arranged for the opportunity to be hunted by the shifters. Hunted as prey. Not the kind of fun a responsible young man from the countryside should seek, now is it? Miah finds himself intrigued by the idea, even though he tries to deny it to himself.
The aliens keep to themselves and cause no problems, as Miah sees it. Of course, he’s never met any as far as he can tell. He's too busy focusing on his studies and getting his degree. On his last day in the city he finally decides to act like an irresponsible college student, telling himself he should at least once in his life. Will he regret his decision when things take a turn? Maybe even for the worse? I guess you’ll find out when reading the story.
Miah’s Maze is part one of a five-part story now turned e-book. A story of an unexpected and life-changing encounter, shaking Miah’s world completely. Could it be experiencing something you never wanted is exactly what you need? And can getting lost lead you to exactly where you’re supposed to be?
These are by no means all of the stories from the Nature's Wrath anthology, there are many more wonderful stories for you to take a look at. You can read all of the Nature's Wrath stories here.
By Renee Stevens
It's time for another author promo! If you'd like to promo your own work, take a look at the thread for guidelines and then PM me. For this month, our featured promo spot is for Cia. There were three questions that Cia had to answer for each story. The questions were What gave you the idea for this story? What was your favorite thing about writing this story? & Please tell us something about this story that is not already in the description. As a Signature Author, Cia also had the option of picking one of her published stories that could be found on Amazon. Hope you enjoy this look into Cia's work.
55 stories * 1957 reviews * 1,249,873 total words
The Price of Honor
Description: One man wakes to find himself alone...and not where he expected to be. Who is the strange man that appears..and why is he...blue? Follow the story of Cale and Bel'loc as they find out where their honor will take them, and what they will pay to keep it.
Oh, The Price of Honor… written so, so long ago. I honestly can’t remember how the idea came to me, but I just knew I wanted to explore new worlds and aliens. The best part of writing this was ‘The End.’ Before I joined GA, I’d never really focused on what I could do writing down the weird things in my head. Now, my skills back then were horrible (I use this story to show that everyone starts somewhere and even writing geeks like me can have a time when they’d forgotten all the lessons they learned in school and had to relearn them) but I told a story that I still really thinks has merit today. One thing you might not know from reading the description is that there’s a short prequel written after the story was completed titled, “The Lords Sacrifice”.
Coupled in Synchronicity
Description: Synchronicity acted in mysterious ways in my life, it always had. Scientists had been trying to decipher the magic of the planet since we landed; there seemed to be no guided intention to the events that happened, no sentient design, but still … things happened, important things, that could not be accidents.
This is one of my favorite short stories, and I’ve a longer novel planned that just has to be written. I got the idea for the plot while I was doing some research into philosophy. It’s in the title, but the theme of ‘Synchronicity’ is part of Jung’s theory that nothing is truly coincidental and seemingly random events are actually connected. Researching this was actually my favorite part; I’m a ginormous geek as anyone who has worked with me on a story knows. I think I probably spent twice as much time coming up with the concept than I did writing it, lol. A fun fact not many people realize in the story… the planet, Synchronicity, is sentient!
Description: In the distant future, humans wage war against the alien planet Caeorleia, with no tactic off-limits if it will help the humans get their hands on Caeorleia’s resources. Ask Ryker. He thought he volunteered for a simple experiment that would help his government in the war. He didn't realize sadistic doctors would turn him into the experiment—by injecting him with blood from a captured Caeorleian, Seral Iorflas.
Nor did Ryker realize he’d be sent to sabotage a planet full of the very beings his world is battling, beings who kill humans on sight. But then, thanks to the experiment that irrevocably changed him, he isn’t exactly human any longer—and with each passing day, as his blood bond with Seral strengthens, he’s less and less sure as to whose side he's on.
The Experiment actually started off as a prompt response, if I remember correctly. Before this was published, it existed as a free story that morphed into a novel, and that’s how I’ve continued to write the rest of the books in the series before I submit them to Dreamspinner Press for publication. You can still find the stories in GA’s Premium section if you don’t like to buy eBooks. My favorite part of writing The Experiment was coming up with the alien stuff, like the fizzy seeds in the mae fruit and the trees that glow when they absorb energy from other living things. I didn’t share this in the description, but most of the time the planet is so warm that Caeorleians go about in short cloth wraps around their hips… or naked!