Tag Archives: LGBTQ


Unawqi, Hunter of the Sun

Unawqi_Hunter_of_th_Cover_for_Kindle-194x300In a time when supernatural and industrial worlds are staged to collide, an Andean boy finds himself in the center of an epic struggle between the cosmos and the earth. Unawqi is born with both insurmountable power and a fate of certain death, both of which are challenged by his hunt of the emperor, Aakti, the Sun: the very force that desires to abandon the earth unless Unawqi can overcome him.

Genres: Mythical realism, Folklore, Science fiction, Adventure, LGBTQ.

How easily we take the Sun for granted. We are conditioned to its rising and setting on time, and assume it enjoys doing so, or more likely is indifferent. Unawqi, Hunter of the Sunreveals a more perilous tale: the Sun, Aakti, is a being who is a reluctant player in providing light and warmth to our world, and even more has always desired to leave us to die if he didn’t have certain personal complications standing in his way. Aakti will stop at nothing to get what he wants, even if that involves murder of his own kin or annihilation of an entire living planet. Ironically, what holds him back is the very life he is creating; the family from which he tries to but cannot wrest control, and among them a young intrepid boy emerges, a hunter who sets out on a journey, not to stop the Sun, but to overcome him with a force we also take for granted: our humanity.

Buy Unawqi, Hunter of the Sun on Amazon and Kindle.

Enjoy an Excerpt: Chaper 2 – The Unawqi Awakening

Titu Ilumán walked quickly, his steps close together, to keep the altitude from decaying his pace.  He was in a hurry, but he knew the Quijos canyon well enough to calculate it would defeat him if he broke into a run.

He clutched his treasure beneath his punchu, Aakti Amurugana, words from an ancient language no longer spoken, but everyone knew what they meant.

He was carrying the seeds of the Sun.

At that moment, Titu knew what he had, but he would not comprehend the devastation that would come from them.

He only knew of the seeds from legends he had heard as a child, legends he’d come to mock.  He was unlike most everyone else.  He was not a believer in legends, and so he had forgotten their important details.

The legends say Aakti, the Sun, is not an unfeeling object in the sky.  It is not an it, but a he, a being, no different than are we.  He has a relationship with us, albeit a contentious one.  He is none other than the emperor of earth and sky, who is to be both worshipped and feared.

And here, Titu, a rather common man, had stolen the emperor’s seeds from the hands of his newborn son while his first cries of life were still piercing his ears from the valley floor below.  Titu knew what he had done, but he bristled at the notion of his deed as a theft.  The way he thought of it was that if he were the father of the child, then the seeds delivered through this birth were his rightful property.

Besides, Titu had a further motive.  He was born in a place where his ancestors had been for thousands of years, but it was also on the edge of “the next world,” as his parents put it.  Just over the next few hills from his own village, a people with pale skin had built their own village, made up of strange buildings, with everything laid out in squares.  They were driven and ambitious. They behaved as if nature was theirs to command, and they used tools he had never seen before that were efficient.  Titu craved to be a part of “the next world” and was a malcontent at home, uncomfortable with leaving the supernatural to gods and magicians.  Mysteries were gifts meant to be unwrapped, he believed.  They should be studied, tamed, and put to use for the purpose of advancing the lot of people like him, and not just the pale town a few hills away.

His parents did not encourage him as much.  They wanted to maintain the family tradition and see Titu growing cassava and plantain as had they and their parents.  But from the first time Titu lay ill in the house of the local shaman, he wanted to know what was in the bowls and baskets lining the healer’s walls, and how it worked according to nature, and not according to magic.  His parents chided him for asking, for such matters were not his business to know, which made Titu all the more determined to know.

In a larger drama, Titu was the next in line to be in possession of the Aakti Amurugana, but this was the first transfer of hands in almost a millennium, as they had gone missing for 888 years.  The emperor and the world did not know where they were, but in truth, they had been held captive all that time by the sorcerer of Antisana, the one they called Moche.

Moche was a completely foreign entity to the people of the Quijos.  He was not of the family of the mountains, but a demon who had usurped the mountain in his control, burying its rightful goddess somewhere inside.  Where he came from, no one knew, but his ways, though different, were also wanting of the Sun.

The local people feared him terribly, for he would hunt them and bring them back to the mountain to be sacrificed, drinking their blood, saying it pleased the Sun, even though this was not according to anything they believed or practiced.

As far as Titu was concerned, he didn’t care to think about all of that.  The seeds were the most powerful medicine he could ever hope to find, and there were no parents this time to deny him from taking and demystifying this magic.  This was an extraordinary opportunity for him to become a legend himself, if he could but harness the power of the seeds.

Still, the fact that he was running arrested his conscience.  He was a fugitive, and he knew it.  He had to leave Tamaya behind, a woman whom, at one time, he could not keep himself from.  She was weak and without aid, the blood of her womb flowing, cold, onto the floor of her grass-roofed hut.

Titu loved her, and many times had thought of bringing her home to marry her, but he’d convinced himself he was protecting her from danger.  A great many powerful people–sorcerers, kings, witches–would kill to have Aakti Amurugana.  He needed to get them far away from Tamaya to keep her safe, so far that his footprints would be lost, even if it meant Tamaya would never be able to see him again.

Tamaya never laid her eyes on the seeds because her eyes were closed tight with labor’s pain when they were snatched from the child’s hand.  So for her, Titu’s sudden flight was as mysterious as it was cruel.

Lost in his thoughts, Titu stumbled over a stone in his path.  He rolled down the side of the canyon, and would have encountered his death if another death had not encountered him first.  The still warm belly of a dead, black goat was braced to the edge of a cliff, bleeding, having succumbed to a thicket of tarapacana.  Its bulging eyes stared directly into Titu’s as if pleading with him, a little too late.

Titu had been told to beware if he ever saw a dead, black goat in the wild, for it was an omen of a bad future, so he delicately raised himself to his knees, and blessed the goat with a nod of awe, fearing it might awaken from the dead.  The black goat’s eyes would not leave him as Titu pulled himself back up the hillside.

Those eyes would never leave him.

Through the indigo night he ran west over the Papallacta plateau.  The seeds under his punchu harassed him with a gravitational clash, some craving the fleeting sun in front of him, others pulling toward the cries of the child behind him.  He wondered if the seeds were his captives or his captors.  Who had the greater power, him or them? What if the seeds were to forever maintain two opinions?

When the Sun, the emperor Aakti, passed over the valley the next day, he sensed his amurugana had reemerged, and that they were pulling at him from the west.  This meant they had been stolen, yet again, after 888 years of captivity, and Aakti heated up with anger, ready to burn the grass roofs of the huts underneath him into ashes.

But Tamaya, who had only the knowledge of an abandoned child suffering in the merciless heat, and none of the seeds, cried out for Moche, the sorcerer of Antisana, to save her, to send wind or rain to contest the Sun.

Little did she know that Moche well knew why Aakti had been angered.  Moche himself had kept Aakti Amurugana successfully concealed from the emperor for almost nine centuries, and now he had been robbed of them, the same as Aakti.  He wanted them back, just as much as the emperor, and was pleased this call from a common woman would give him a head start on retrieving them.

Having heard Tamaya calling, Moche put some coca leaves in his mouth, chewed them, and spit out a plume, high into the air, making the sky sneeze, expelling a squall of hail into the valley, and throwing a blanket under the Sun.

When the squall settled, Aakti had fled west to hunt for his seeds.  Tamaya had barely a moment to be grateful when Moche showed up at her door to collect his debt.

He was a scrawny demon, no taller than Tamaya’s waist.  He looked like any of the other people of the valley, but seven times older than old.  His clothes were scavenged from whatever travelers had lost in the mountains: a white Cañari hat, loosely enveloping his tiny head; an Otavaleño scarf he had fashioned into a vest; and pants made from of a sack that probably had carried spices from the Amazon.

He held out his shriveled hand.

“I saved you from Aakti, but he wants what is mine.  Give me the child before the emperor returns.”

The startled mother looked at the little sorcerer, no bigger than her dog, but with enough strength to squash her like an ant between his fingers.  She knew well Moche’s traditions, and of his sacrifices.

“But this is my son!  I cannot let him go!” Tamaya contested.

“Listen to me,” Moche warned, “for I will only tell you this once.  You will not survive tomorrow if you stay, and you will surely die in the caves of Antisana where the child and I will live.  Run away, east into the cloud forest, where the emperor does not know your name and will pass over you.  The child will only be safe with me.  Everything else will die.”

Helpless and terrified, Tamaya ran from Moche, but though he was smaller, he was faster, and stronger.  He caught up with her and pulled the child into his arms, pushing Tamaya down and onto the ground.  She screamed at him for mercy, and tried to pursue him, but the sorcerer stamped his foot on the ground creating a wide hole between them that she could not cross.

Despite his size, Moche had no problem bearing the weight.  He carried the child away without hurry and disappeared over a hill, and Tamaya wept until she had no voice left with which to scream.  Now both Titu and her child were gone.  All that she had were the words of Moche saying the child will live.  She resolved to find a scheme to get him back.

Fearing for the emperor’s return and destroying the rest of her life around her, Tamaya quickly packed her things, gathered her goats, and fled down into the cloud forest, as Moche had told her to do.  But once there, the forest closed around her and she lost the trail she had made.  She could not find her way back to the valley, as much as she tried.

Moche brought the child into the cool underworld of Antisana, a spectacle of a thousand tunnels and crystal streams, with glowing pools of azure-colored lava emitting light and warmth.  It was a land the emperor had never seen, the land where his seeds had once been held prisoner.

The sorcerer entered a chamber so grand it seemed to have a sky of its own, its clerestory heights filled with flying bats, ventilating the air.  There, he laid the sleeping child down on a bed of eucalyptus leaves, and one of the bats flew down and hung over the child’s head to protect him.

“The day will come,” Moche whispered to the sleeping child, “when the Sun will forget you, but I, on the other hand, have found you, and you are now mine.  I will train you to be a hunter, but not of mere beasts.  You will hunt for the atama who stole my seeds in the night, and return them here to my keeping.  Aakti Amurugana: they are crying for you already; I know you hear them.  They need you to keep them planted, here in the world.  Until then, I know who you are.  You are the most gifted creature to ever touch the earth.  You are…Unawqi!”

The child awoke upon hearing his name, and cried like a shrill flute from another world, and all the million bats in the chamber fell stunned to the floor.

About the author:

papakaliPapaKali is the brainchild of Kali Kucera, an American artist, lorist, and entrepreneur.

Since he was 9 years old he has been composing plays, operas, short stories, and multi-disciplinary experiences. He has been both a teacher and performer as well as an arts mobilizer, and founded the Tacoma Poet Laureate competition in 2008.

After some time being a teller, Kali was concerned about the absence of both original and local lore, and no one seemed to be preserving the tradition of creating new narratives, tales, and myth about why the world around us is the way it is. He therefore devoted his energy to filling this void with PapaKali, beginning with tales of the South Sound and continuing with new tales emerging from the inspiration of the high Andes of South America, where Kali currently lives while also running a bus travel information service called AndesTransit (http://andestransit.com).

It is important to understand that in PapaKali lore, self-standing stories are often interconnected with other stories. Characters in one story will appear in a completely different context of another story, hence establishing a pantheon upon which lore can be constructed. The second important aspect is that the stories often change; they live and breathe as the influences of new narratives emerge to support the interconnectedness.

As a reader, therefore, we urge you to not read these like a book, but more like the oral tradition upon which they more appropriately relate. Check back on them to see how nuances have changed like you would listen to a story being told every year around a campfire.

Learn more about Papakali and Kali Kucera on his website at papakali.com.

Interview with Author Melanie Brosowski

Britbear’s Book Reviews is pleased to welcome author Melanie Brosowski with an interview in today’s author spotlight.

About Rough Ride (translated from Amazon):rough-ride-cover

Heath Arlington lives with his father and his employees on a ranch in Montana. He is a lone wolf, who likes to be alone in nature–until Cam hires him. The new cowboy constantly draws his attention, and Heath is interested in him more than he wants to admit at first. But when misfortune opens Heath’s eyes and he gets involved in an affair, Heath must question if Cam is the right man for him.

Buy Rough Ride on Amazon.

Your website says you write gay romance novels. Tell me a bit about your novels. Why write in this genre?

Rough Ride – Rough Ride to Happiness (Rauer Ritt ins Glück) is my first gay romance novel and was recently released. It emerged from a small fan fiction story. Whether I am establishing myself in this genre remains to be seen. I’m still testing it out.

The actual genres in which I write are western and science fiction. I am an author in the Ad Astra series and I’ve also written a historical novel set in Ireland and America. To date I have published more than 20 short stories and poems.

Your resume (vita) says you have been chief editor of Star Trek and the SF newsletter Incoming Message. What do those jobs entail?

Incoming Message is the monthly newsletter of www.trekzone.de. The TrekZone Network is a publication of the science fiction series Star Trek and related topics dedicated to the genre and produced by fans in a volunteer capacity. As chief editor, I am responsible for collecting various articles, as well as compiling the newsletter itself.

I connected with you over your Stingray graphic novel. What made you try a graphic novel instead of a traditional one?

This was originally only a little experiment, a jump from one Ray image with one of his quotes to multiple images with a little bit of dialogue. Unfortunately, my English is not good enough to write a whole Stingray novel, though I have written some smaller, fan fiction Stingray stories in German.

Like you, I’m a fan of Nick Mancuso and Stingray from the time it was first broadcast. Why choose an 80s television show as your content? Why Stingray?

That is hard to say. I think I liked it because it is not made ​​according to a particular formula. It’s not like MacGyver or The A-Team, where each episode has a happy ending. I especially like the mystery behind Ray, and the profound nature of the character and the series. I especially like the idea of “favours for favours”.

Your resume talks about books that have moved you. What is it about those books that interests you? Is it the author’s style, the content or the genre? Which of the three is most important to you when reading and why?

For a book to make a lasting impression on me, I have to like the style of writing. The language must also be versatile. For me, only a very few authors have managed to play with the language to paint pictures and tell the reader a good story. I will read stories regardless of the genre, whether the story is good or interesting, but they do not appeal to me when the writing is bad. In that case, I’ll put the book down and not read until the end. A book that really impressed me was From Breathing Underwater (Vom Atmen Unter Wasser). In that book, “The Miners were a normal family, until Sarah, their sixteen year old daughter, is murdered one evening on the way home. Now, one year later, the trial is over and the perpetrators have been convicted. But what happens to those who fall behind, and who cannot just go on with their lives?” It’s the look at the details, the nuances, the things that make us human, that moves me and carries me away.

Which of your books are you most proud of and why?

Rough Ride – Rough Ride to Happiness.  It was a challenge to write this book, to write about the still very sensitive topic  homosexuality. To tell a good and interesting story but also to show the readers the problems.

What’s next on your writing agenda? Can you tell me a bit about your next project?

I have two projects currently. One is a new gay romance novel. The other is a new science fiction novel in the Rex Corda series by Mohlberg  Publishing. I am also planning a small Stingray fan site in English.

What else would you like to talk about, something that wasn’t included in this interview?

I would like to thank Nick Mancuso. It is unusual that an actor would keep in such close contact with his fans the way he has.

I totally agree. 

Here’s where fans can find out more about Melanie Brosowski:

| Website | Stingray SiteBlog |


Kudos to John Collings for “Hell and God and Nuns with Rulers”

hell-god-nuns-rulers-coverIn Hell and God and Nuns with Rulers, John Collings tells the story of Tristan Adamson, a teenager who goes to Catholic school, works at The Burger House, is enrolled in confirmation class, and since he met Thomas Edwards at a party, questions more than just his identity. Hell and God and Nuns with Rulers is a coming of age story that follows Tristan on his journey of self-discovery and how he comes to terms with what that means for his future.

I loved Hell and God and Nuns with Rulers from the first page. When Tristan begins with a diatribe on how parents just don’t understand, it is clear he is a young man more mature than his years would seem to suggest. As Tristan struggles with school, the crush his best friend has on him, and the crush he has on the young man he met at the party, the reader feels true empathy for the character. Collings’ writing style is conversational, personable, and real; I could almost imagine Tristan sitting across from me at a table in a coffee shop (or maybe over burgers at The Burger House) telling me how he set on his path of self-realization to emerge triumphantly okay at the end of it all.

In Tristan, Collings has created a character with which many teens will identify (indeed, most adults as well). Regardless of the religion in question, most of us struggle for a balance between the pious and the secular, and the ability to live our lives whilst pleasing both our parents and ourselves. And while many of us don’t grapple with the same potentially life-altering, game-changing issues as Tristan, we grapple with the issues nevertheless. That Tristan holds on and refuses to give up who he is to the pressure of others makes him not only memorable, but inspirational.

Kudos to John Collings for that.

Mamabear gives this book


Note: I was gifted an eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Prom Club

tag alongTag Along by Tom Ryan follows the adventures of 4 teens–Roemi, Andrea, Paul and Candace–on prom night. Roemi dreams of he and his Internet date being the first gay couple at prom until he’s stood up. Andrea climbs out her bedroom window after being punished for breaking her parents’ rules. Paul has a panic attack the morning of the prom and gets his mom to break his date by saying he’s sick. Candace is caught tagging a wall and spends most of the night dodging the policeman that caught her. The four of them meet up along the way and form an unlikely bond the reader hopes will transcend the book’s finale.

I read Tag Along because it’s a White Pine book and I signed up as staff adviser for my school’s White Pine Reading Club. Ryan’s book is one of two books from the list most read by the club’s members, so I picked up a copy. It was a quick read and the story moves along at a fast pace, though not as much happened as I would’ve liked. One of the students in the White Pine Club remarked that the entire book unfolds and they still manage to get to prom before it’s over (sorry…should I have called “Spoilers” first?). I’m not as surprised as she; there’s not a whole lot going on in the four or five hours prom is underway.

Don’t get me wrong–Tag Along is well worth the read. Think of The Breakfast Club on their way to prom. The story is told from the points of view of the four protagonists, all of whom are significantly differentiated to believe they are four distinct characters. The events are adventurous (tagging buildings in spite of being stalked by a cop, for example), without being implausible or life-threatening., but the story’s more joy ride than thrill-a-minute roller coaster ride.

In the end, you’ll see the characters as you want to see them–“in simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what [Tag Along shows] is that each one of us” wants to make a coming out splash; not have a panic attack when we think of a date with our mates; rebel against the rules, even if it’s for the first time in our lives; and leave our mark on the world around us.

Sincerely yours, the Prom Club.

Note: the last paragraph quote from The Breakfast Club.

Mamabear gives this book: