River City Chronicles – new release!

COVER-River-City

J. Scott Coatsworth has a new queer magical realism book out:

A group of strangers meets at Ragazzi, an Italian restaurant, for a cooking lesson that will change them all. They quickly become intertwined in each other’s lives, and a bit of magic touches each of them.

Meet Dave, the consultant who lost his partner; Matteo and Diego, the couple who run the restaurant; recently-widowed Carmelina; Marcos, a web designer getting too old for hook-ups; Ben, a trans author writing the Great American Novel; teenager Marissa, kicked out for being bi; and Sam and Brad, a May-September couple who would never have gotten together without a little magic of their own.

Everyone in the River City has a secret, and sooner or later secrets always come out.

Amazon

iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads


Giveaway

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Excerpt

Matteo stared out the restaurant window into the darkness of Folsom Boulevard. It was getting dark earlier as summer edged into fall. Streetlights flickered on as cars drifted by, looking for parking or making the trip out of Midtown toward home.

The sign on the window read “Ragazzi” (the boys), lettered in a beautiful golden script just two months old. Investing in this little restaurant his uncle had left to them when he’d passed away had been their ticket out of Italy. But now with each passing day, as seats sat empty and tomatoes, pasta, and garlic went uneaten, the worry was gnawing ever deeper into Matteo’s gut.

Behind him in the open, modernized kitchen, Diego was busy cooking—his mother’s lasagne, some fresh fish from San Francisco, and some of the newer Italian dishes they’d brought with them from Bologna. The smells of boiling sauce and fresh-cooked pasta that emanated from the kitchen were entrancing.

They’d sent the rest of the staff —Max and Justin—home for the evening. The three customers who had shown up so far didn’t justify the cost of keeping their waiter and busboy on hand.

Matteo stopped at the couple’s table in front of the other window. “Buona sera,” he said, smiling his brightest Italian smile.

“Hi,” the man said, smiling back at him. He was a gentleman in about his mid-fifties, wearing a golf shirt and floppy hat. “Kinda quiet tonight, huh?”

“It always gets busier later,” Matteo lied smoothly. “Pleasure to have you here. Can I get you anything else?”

“A little more wine, please?” the woman said, holding out her glass so the charm bracelet on her wrist jangled.

“Of course.” He bowed and ducked into the kitchen.

He gave Diego a quick peck on the cheek.

His husband and chef waved him off with a snort. “Più tardi. Sto preparando la cena.”

“I can see that. Dinner for a hundred, is it? It’s dead out there again tonight.”

Diego shot him a dirty look.

Matteo retrieved the bottle of wine from the case and returned to fill up his guests’ glasses. “What brings you in tonight?” Maybe they saw our ad.…

“Just walking by and we were hungry. I miss the old place though.… What was it called, honey?”

Her husband scratched his chin. “Little Italy, I think?”

“That’s it! It was the cutest place. Checkered tablecloths, those great Italian bottles with the melted wax… so Italian.”

Matteo groaned inside. “So glad you came in” was all he said with another smile.


Author Bio

J. Scott Coatsworth

Scott lives with his husband Mark in a little yellow bungalow in East Sacramento, with two pink flamingos by the front porch.

He spends his time between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine, he devoured her library. But as he grew up, he wondered where the people like him were.

He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

He runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction that reflects their own reality.

Author Website: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworthauthor/

Author Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/jscoatsworth

 

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth

 

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/

 

Author Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/J.-Scott-Coatsworth/e/B011AFO4OQ

 

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Flash Fiction

Have you come across this term before? Flash Fiction is the term for very short fiction which nevertheless, contains plot and character development.

The word count ranges from 100 words in a “drabble” up to  “microfiction” at 1000 words.

I recently entered a challenge to write 500 words based around the prompt of finding someone else’d diary, to be precise… “you are travelling on a train when you find a worn journal hidden between the seats. Curious, you begin to read the contents…”

Here’s my entry: you can find the original, plus a few more stories on wattpad if you click here

My Lucky Day

I hurried through the crowded train station, dodging elderly pensioners and mothers with small children. One minute left. Naturally enough, my train was at the farthest platform away from the gates. Jogging awkwardly, shopping bags banging against my legs, I flung myself inside the door. Every seat was taken. Resigned, I reached for a strap and hung on, only ten stops to go. The girls were easy to buy for but I never knew what to buy my husband Joe. The latest Scandinavian crime series DVD would have to do.  I swore that next year I was going to do all my Christmas shopping in June.

But it was my lucky day. Two stops in, a young woman stood up and gestured to her seat. “I’m getting out here,” she said, looking at me. “If you’d like a seat.”

“Thank you,” I said gratefully, easing in, and finding spots for my shopping. The train pulled out of the station and my hand brushed something caught between the seat and the side of the carriage. A book of some sort. I looked up but the young woman had gone. Damn!

I pulled out the book and opened it. Maybe she had written her name in the front.

“Nathan promised he’ll tell her tonight, about us.” Omigod, this was a diary, someone’s personal secrets. I looked around but no-one was watching. I knew I should close the book, maybe turn to the opening page to check if there was an address, but…

“He says they are separated, they have separate rooms. He’s only staying because of the children. But they are 15 and 17, surely old enough…” Silly girl, I thought, wryly. What a cliché. This isn’t going to end well. I flicked through a few pages until…

“Wonderful news. Nathan has finally told her! But it’s not sorted yet. She’s Catholic. She says won’t give him a divorce, but surely she’ll have to eventually, when she realises their marriage is really over…”

“I’m getting desperate. It’s been weeks! Why won’t the cow just accept reality and let Nathan go? I’m going to confront her myself. I know Nathan won’t be pleased, but I can’t bear this any longer. When she sees me face to face, she’ll have to change her mind.”

Hastily I turned over the next page, but the pages were blank. Damn. I wanted to know what happened. Luckily her name was in the front of the diary.

I knocked on the door, suddenly uneasy, wishing I just posted the book back. The same young woman I’d seen on the train opened the door.

I held out the diary but she spoke first, face flushed with determination. “I’m pregnant. You have to let him go!”

I went hot then cold with shock. Scarlet blotches stained my cheeks.

A small voice inside my head was reminding me Joe had never liked using his first name, even as I blurted out, “But I’m not Catholic.”

We stared at each other.