To celebrate the first anniversary of The Kraken Collective, an alliance of indie authors of LGBTQIAP+ speculative fiction, there’s a big sale going on right now with speculative fiction books featuring LGBTQIAP+ main characters! I’m excited that BALLAD OF THE BEANSTALK is a part of this. Play games, get to know the 19 authors involved, and get some wicked deals during the event! Watch the hashtag #KrakenFriends2018 for more. The sale ends February 1st.
In addition to getting some great deals, you can also take a fun personality quiz that will match you with a character from one of these books! Click here to play.
We’re each hosting another author who’s participating in the sale, and I’m excited to present to you author Miri Castor.
Here’s an excerpt from Miri’s featured novel, Hope in Nautical Dusk:
Dawn cast a pale orange hue in the sky as Opal’s eyes fluttered open. Her heart raced, threatening to claw out her chest as she pressed her hand against her forehead.
“A nightmare?” she moaned.
Opal’s recollection was murky. All she knew was that her slumber was disrupted with some kind of dream. Her race car alarm read 5:35 AM, twenty minutes before she had to wake up for the trip to Manhattan. Eager to get more sleep in, Opal closed her eyes and allowed soothing darkness to blanket her once more.
At the sound of her alarm, she hauled herself out of bed to see golden sand piled atop her legs. The nightmare slashed across her chest and the back of her head – Mimoza threw cars at her, and slammed Aaron’s head into the car. Maybe he did worse.
Opal panted as she turned on the lamp and examined her face. Nothing hurt anymore, and her mouth reeked of a musty morning odor.
“I did it! I went back in time.” Opal had to smack herself to make sure it was real. “Is Aaron…?”
She picked up her phone and called him.
“Mmm, yeah?” he groaned.
Tears welled up in her eyes. Too happy to speak, Opal dropped to the floor. “Mmm…this a wakeup call?”
“Aaron, I –” Opal started.
What am I doing?
She shook the idea from her mind. Was she going to tell Aaron she came from a timeline where she saw his head get smashed in? Now that she was back here, things could play out differently. They had to.
“L-let’s go somewhere else, Aaron,” Opal said. “Like Union Square or Bryant Park.”
“Wait, what? What about Times Square?” Aaron moped. “Let’s talk about it later. I gotta get ready.”
He hung up, and Opal’s hand trembled. She squeezed the tears out of her eyes as she rushed to the bathroom. After finishing up, Opal put on her outfit and undid the soft twists from her hair.
She went toward Sarah’s room, her last memory of her bringing Opal to a halt. She smacked her cheeks, the sudden fear leaving her.
It’ll be different this time. It’ll be a better future.
“Sarah, get up.”
The train arrived at the same time as last time. Sarah slid into the window seat, Opal and Aaron behind her. Aaron started off with the same jokes about everyone. The same hot coffee spilled on the same slacks, and the same couple talked about the same interview; Opal let the déjà vu wash over her as she listened.
She watched Aaron as he slept against the window. He had a clean face – no blood, no dirt. Nothing but peace as he dreamed beside her.
You believe in me and my Twilight, right? Then I’m not letting you get hurt again, Aaron. I promise.