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Harmonious Hearts 2016 - Stories from the Young Author Challenge

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Harmony Ink Press - Young Author Challenge

Harmony Ink Press is delighted and honored to showcase the short fiction of some of the best up-and-coming authors working in the LGBT genre. The stories in this third volume of Harmonious Hearts represent the winners of our Young Author Challenge—a group of talented writers between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one. 

The stories in this anthology are as diverse as their creators and range from the speculative to snapshots of everyday life for people growing up in a society in flux. They confront many issues facing young adults, and they celebrate the joys of this sometimes rocky period of transition: friendship, loyalty, first love, and learning to feel comfortable in one’s own skin. These experiences are universal, and thanks to the courage and talent of authors such as these, young people of all gender identities, expressions, and orientations are starting to see themselves included. Everyone deserves a story that speaks to them, and in these pages, they’ll find that story.

 

Dani Anderson—To Lauren

Nick Anthony—Scrapyard Sunsets

Hilda Friday—A Progression of Love

Arbour Ames—You Saw Blue

Chloe Smith—Plenty of Fish

Caleb Andrews—I Am Logan

Sarah Caulfield—Make Mad the Guilty

Xoe Juliani—Loving You Through the Years

Irene Grant—Jordan and A.J.

Latitude Brown—Equinox

Julia Dupuis—Let No Sin Rule Over Me

Anika Olivo—Melodimensional

Frisk Gillespie—Ten Words


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When the two moons of Thalazar cross orbits, the Warrior Pledge must be completed or the cat-shifting Mafdeti nation will face annihilation. There are four who can save the people and their land: the Silver Shining from Rock, the Great Heart Farseeing, the Changeling, and the Pure. They must find each other before time runs out. 

Silver-eyed Checa is Captain of the Guard for the Mafdeti. Thanks to the friendship and loyalty of Heath, son of the Mafdeti Matriarch, Checa has survived and thrived after a childhood of horrific abuse. He knows Heath is his Bond-Mate but refuses to bond with the younger man because he feels he isn’t worthy. Nor does Heath’s mother approve of her son bonding with a lowborn warrior. 

Together they face deadly wing-strikes from carnivorous birds, earthquake, betrayal, ambush, and an enemy invasion, only to be confronted with the possibility that the Warrior Pledge will bond Checa and Heath to others. If Checa is to complete the Warrior Pledge, he must overcome the belief that he doesn’t deserve Heath’s love and fight for the one man who can make him whole.

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Triquetra

Triquetra Trilogy | Books One - Three

When vampire Kristair binds his heart and soul to a human vessel in an ancient ritual, he never expects to fall in love with Jacob Corvin as well. As The Syndicate moves in to discover the secrets Kristair hold, the bonded pair will discover that not even death can separate them. Unfortunately, it won’t stop their enemies from coming after them, either.


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Dare to Love Forever

New Vampire Justice | Book One

New Vampire Justice: Book One

With pain and loss in their pasts and evil threatening their futures, two vampires will find a love that lasts forever… if they dare.

Carson Locke is dangerous, even by vampire standards. A rare Tabula Rasa vampire, he can wipe the mind of those he bites—human or vampire. Because of this, he’s lived his entire life in isolation. When his family is murdered, Carson runs from those who want him dead. Injured, starving, and about to be executed, he meets Commander Lincoln Samuels, an officer in the New Vampire Justice police force.

Lincoln, a Sanatore vampire, possesses the gift of healing. The moment he encounters Carson, broken and terrified, trying to steal blood to survive, he is compelled to help the other man—despite the risk to himself. Their bond creates something the world has never seen, but others have plans for Carson and his destiny was written long before he was born. He’ll either become a tool to control the vampire world or, with Lincoln by his side, find the courage to fight and become its savior.

2nd Edition
First Edition published by Amber Allure, 2014

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Michael Cook has left his abusive lover and settled in the small town of Banning, Illinois. Having nowhere else to go, he checks into the Raven’s Rest Inn and soon learns that the haunted reputation of the hotel is well deserved. Michael gets a job at a local café, where he meets Trey Ramsey. Though Michael has misgivings about starting up a new relationship, Trey seems to be the complete opposite of Michael’s controlling ex, so he decides to give Trey a chance.

Life at the Raven’s Rest becomes increasingly frightening when the ghost of Coleman Hollis appears in Michael’s room. Coleman seems to want something from Michael, and the mystery deepens when Michael discovers he’s the spitting image of Coleman’s lover from years ago. Together, Michael and Trey must discover why Coleman’s spirit is drawn to the Raven’s Rest—and to Michael.

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Dog Days

Wolf Winter | Book One

A Wolf Winter Novel

The world ends not with a bang, but with a downpour. Tornadoes spin through the heart of London, New York cooks in a heat wave that melts tarmac, and Russia freezes under an ever-thickening layer of permafrost. People rally at first—organizing aid drops and evacuating populations—but the weather is only getting worse.

In Durham, mild-mannered academic Danny Fennick has battened down to sit out the storm. He grew up in the Scottish Highlands, so he’s seen harsh winters before. Besides, he has an advantage. He’s a werewolf. Or, to be precise, a weredog. Less impressive, but still useful.

Except the other werewolves don’t believe this is any ordinary winter, and they’re coming down over the Wall to mark their new territory. Including Danny’s ex, Jack—the Crown Prince Pup of the Numitor’s pack—and the prince’s brother, who wants to kill him.

A wolf winter isn’t white. It’s red as blood.

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Wild Retaliation

Seaside Shifters

Chief of Police John Dakota is in a world of trouble. His peaceful town of Seaside, Oregon, has been rocked by a wave of unsolved murders. The bloody deaths are eerily reminiscent of ones that occurred in Seaside years ago. Back then John worked hard to make sure the truth about the killer was never revealed. Now he’s afraid the past is coming back to haunt him.

Trevor English, the nosy reporter who occasionally shares John’s bed, is demanding information about the crimes. He also wants more of John’s affections. But John can’t afford to give in to either demand without risking the revelation of Seaside’s biggest secret: the town is a haven for shifters, and John is one of them.

To solve the crime—and prevent more victims—John must delve into the past. Many members of Seaside’s shifter community are involved, but it’s becoming harder and harder to tell which residents can be trusted. Even John’s family isn’t above suspicion. The body count is rising, and it looks like John is the killer’s next target.

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Depth of Return

Another Healing | Book Two

Another Healing: Book Two

Betrayed and left for dead by his lover, North has retreated to a secluded island to nurture his coven of witches and their demon partners. His group uses the magic of starlight to bring as much peace to the world as they can. It’s enough. North has no desire to look for love again.

When an accident on a carpentry job reveals that he is a demon, Alan Holsen is sent to North for training. Alan possesses a rare healing ability—one he might be able to use to close the old wounds in North’s heart. While North teaches Alan magic, Alan teaches North to love again, and they both struggle with the leftover resonance of their haunted pasts.

Just when they dare to relax, North’s old enemy returns—and sets his sights on Alan. To save him, North must enlist the aid of neighboring covens, and he learns he isn’t as alone as he thought. But in the end, only North’s love for Alan and the power of the stars have any chance of saving them.

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Enjoy J.S. Cook’s best mysteries, with a side of lust and romance, in this collection. In But Not for Me, gangster boss Nino Moretti rescues beautiful mob accountant Stanley Zadwadzki from a rival, but the consequences may cost them any chance at a relationship. In A Little Night Murder, insurance investigator Frank Boyle may have escaped from danger once with help from detective Sam Lipinski, but a new investigation is turning up trouble once again. In Come to Dust, Inspector Philemon Raft is set adrift among the deceitful ton of turn-of-the-century London, trying to locate the kidnapped Miriam Dewberry. In The Lovely Beast, Jacob van Willingen is on a mission to exterminate the evil Caleb Donnithorn, but things aren’t quite what they seem to be at this Romanian castle. In Skid Row Serenade, novelist and war hero Tony Leonard visits his estranged wife only to find her beaten to death. On the run, he decides to fake his own death, with a little help from private investigator Edwin Malloy.


See excerpt for individual blurbs.

But Not for Me previously published by Dreamspinner Press, March 2013 Cover Art by Aaron Anderson aaronbydesign55@gmail.com A Little Night Murder previously published by Dreamspinner Press, September 2013 Cover Art by Catt Ford Come to Dust previously published by Dreamspinner Press, November 2013 Cover Art by Maria Fanning The Lovely Beast previously published by Dreamspinner Press, July 2014 Cover Art by L.C. Chase http://www.lcchase.com Skid Row Serenade previously published by Dreamspinner Press, August 2015 Cover Art by Aaron Anderson aaronbydesign55@gmail.com

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A Harmony Ink Press Title

One year ago a car accident killed Victoria Dinham’s father, and now all that keeps her going is the hope of getting into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. That is, until an ethereal girl named Ashlinn visits her in her sleep claiming to be the creator of good dreams and carrying a message from her comatose brother. They meet in Victoria’s subconscious, and over time they come to care for each other. Ashlinn is secure in her asexuality, but Victoria has never heard of it. Soon, however, she realizes she too must be asexual.

On the day of Victoria’s big dance audition, her mother is unable to drive her to town so Ashlinn must turn human to help Victoria chase her dreams. While in New York City, Victoria and Ashlinn explore their affections for each other and try to understand what it means to be asexual teenagers. Unfortunately for the couple, Ashlinn cannot stay human forever, and humanity begins to suffer from not having her around to create pleasant fantasies each night.

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A King and a Pawn

Leader Murders | Book Three

Leader Murders: Case Three

Bert Cooper’s life used to be great, until his sister turned out to be a traitor. Now Bert feels the whole pack looks on him with doubt and suspicion. To prove his loyalty, he volunteers to be the first ambassador at Fey Court, gathering information to finally solve the Leader Murders and punish those plotting against the Council and community. At least, that was the plan….

When Bert meets Sir William Matthew Sims, Court Interrogator, and one hell of a sexy man, life becomes a balancing act. And when the Fey King is assassinated, things become really messy.

Pack politics, fey politics, treason, suspicions of treason…. Bert has to choose between being ruled by his fears or standing up for what—and who—he believes in. And it might just break his heart.

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Bones

The Bones Series
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Skinny, quiet hipster Dylan Warner just wants to live a normal life—despite being a werewolf—but when he buys an isolated farmhouse, it comes with more adventure than he anticipated! In Good Bones, Dylan’s sexy neighbor Chris Nock helps Dylan renovate the house, but how can Dylan reveal his furry secret? In Buried Bones, a brand-new relationship is hard enough to handle, but the appearance of a ghost and Chris’s dad threaten to bring Dylan and Chris’s relationship toppling. In The Gig, a chance encounter introduces Dylan and Chris to Drew Clifton and Travis Miller of Speechless. In Bone Dry, artist Ery Phillips is house-sitting for Dylan and Chris when a strange—and beautiful—man appears by the pond and inspires his muse.


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A Dove's Wing

2016 Daily Dose | A Walk on the Wildside

When his nephew shoots a dove with a BB gun, veterinarian Abel March promises the remorseful boy that he will take care of the bird and its broken wing. He doesn’t count on the dove changing into a (very naked) man in the middle of the night.

The shapeshifter’s name is Darcy and his clan has just moved into the area, much to the dismay of some of the residents who hold prejudices against their kind.

Sweet and sometimes sassy, Darcy is the first man Abel has felt connected to for a long time. He wants to keep him safe, and when someone threatens him, Abel reacts with unusual ferocity. He’s falling in love with Darcy, but when circumstances separate them, he’s left not knowing if the sentiment is returned.

The answer to that question will change both of their lives forever.


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2016 Daily Dose package "A Walk on the Wild Side".

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Alpaca Lies

2016 Daily Dose | A Walk on the Wildside

Alpaca shifter Alfie dreams of a life beyond the petting zoo at stately Mattock Hall. He can’t explore his crush on Simon Mattock, heir to the estate and caretaker to the animals, for two reasons. One, he’s never shifted into human form, and two, Simon is saddled with a boyfriend who’s exploiting him for his wealth. But when a fire threatens both the zoo and Simon, Alfie knows the time has come to put his fears aside, make his first shift, and save them. He just hopes Simon will like what he sees.


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2016 Daily Dose package "A Walk on the Wild Side."

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Daniel's Lynx

2016 Daily Dose | A Walk on the Wildside

Daniel Rigaud never imagined he’d be starting over at fifty-five, but relocating from his city practice to small-town Alberta to become the staff veterinarian at the Lac LaForge Wildlife Rescue Center might help him forget his deceitful ex—especially considering his handsome new neighbor, Ronan Magister.

 

At fifty-three, Ronan’s given up on love and prefers to keep relationships short and sexual. It’s easier than revealing his secret—he’s a lynx part of the time. Something about Daniel makes him long for more, but telling the truth proves disastrous. Daniel believes he’s traded one deceptive man for another.

 

If Daniel actually fell for Ronan’s outrageous fabrication, then he might be worried that several animals were caught in poachers’ traps near their homes that morning. He might wonder why Ronan isn’t answering his phone….


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2016 Daily Dose package "A Walk on the Wild Side."

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Holy Cow!

2016 Daily Dose | A Walk on the Wildside

American med student Duncan Stirling is traveling around India with his two best friends, who have just married. Their last stop is the magical city of Jaisalmer, a fort in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan. He feels like a third wheel on their honeymoon, though the three friends had the trip planned for years, to celebrate finishing medical school and have a last adventure before they start their residencies back in the States.

Akash Nandi is an Indian man from a wealthy and well-known family. At least that’s how he appears. He hides the truth that his family is descended from Nandi, Lord Shiva’s bull, and they’ve guarded sacred places for millennia. Being gay and immortal is tough, especially when his family’s expectations make finding the right mate impossible. As his grandmother, the family matriarch, nears death, a struggle for power puts Akash and his new crush, the charming American Duncan, in harm’s way.


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2016 Daily Dose package "A Walk on the Wild Side".

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Man's Best Friend

2016 Daily Dose | A Walk on the Wildside

Sam Eastman lives a lonely existence in the mountains of Colorado, working as a ranger and taking care of holiday cabins during the winter. He gets a new dog from the animal shelter and is shocked to find out he has accidentally adopted a shape-shifter.

Philip, a young Englishman, was on holiday and got a bit carried away on a night out. Sam agrees to help him get back to his friends, but a landslide cuts them off, stranding them in Sam’s cabin together. They end up getting closer than either of them expected.

When they go their separate ways, Sam gives Philip his number to stay in touch, but Philip loses it. He’ll have to resort to desperate measure to find Sam again.


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2016 Daily Dose package "A Walk on the Wild Side".

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More Fish in the Sea

2016 Daily Dose | A Walk on the Wildside

Travel agent Jarrett Joynson won’t let his cheating boyfriend spoil his dream vacation, but being alone in Hawaii is more difficult than he imagined. When his attempts to catch a new lover fail, he turns to his Wiccan faith to ask the moon for guidance.

Shark shape-shifter Kainalu Enakai is in a similar position. His last relationship fell apart because he couldn’t share the truth with his boyfriend. Now Kainalu is on the prowl, looking for a new distraction.

When the moon draws Jarrett and Kainalu together, sparks fly. But the old scars on both their hearts cause trouble between them. If they cannot learn to trust each other, it will put not only their relationship in danger, but possibly Jarrett’s life.


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2016 Daily Dose package "A Walk on the Wild Side".

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