Matthias Reynolds loves his life. He’s starting to make it as a graphic artist at last and has a job he really likes at a local café that pays the bills. When a night out clubbing leads to an awkward morning after, he’s embarrassed and more than ready to forget all about it. When Talani Enforcers show up at the café, he doesn’t know what to make of it all as he’s led away in restraints.
Standing accused of crimes he struggles to understand, he finds he has an unexpected champion: the Talani warrior and war hero J’nah Quislin. J’nah knows that Matty is his. All J’nah has to do is keep Matty safe from those who engineered Matty’s charges and sentencing. That, and get Matty to accept that universe always intended them to be together as one. All it requires is for Matty to return J’nah’s devotion and offer his willing submission. Can Matty do it, with all that it will mean for his future.
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Escaping to the Stars:
My sophomore year, I suddenly found myself being sent across country to stay with an aunt I had apparently met once when I was three years old. She lived in the middle of what seemed like no-where, in a large Victorian house that was only partially renovated. I say partially because all except 1 unused bedroom and a single front room had been. On top of it all, she took one look at my very 80’s European hairstyle and my trendy wardrobe from San Diego and didn’t even stop at home first before taking me straight from the airport to an emergency hair appointment with her small town hairdresser.
I felt numb. My father had retired from the military not even ten months before, and I was thrown from living on post to living in a civilian city away from a military base for nine months, untl he landed a job in San Diego with the Navy. Then my parents separated, temporarily, and my mother pulled a stunt that ended up involving the police and her being remanded into a mental health facility. So one morning I woke up and was told she was being put in the facilty and in the next moment that he’d arranged for me to go live with this aunt. That very afternoon I was on a plane, arriving so late in DC that I spent the night in the airport, alone, before catching the connecting flight to Baltimore as they’d decided 15 was old enough to do that.
This aunt was my father’s older sister, and it became quite apparent that she didn’t approve of my mother and never had. Over the years, she and her husband had fostered very troubled teens and she currently worked as a volunteer with some sort of penal youth program where they did community service under her watchful eyes. She’d decided that since I was ‘obviously wild’ and ‘had been raised by that woman’, that I needed ‘guidance’. I was given a chart, detailing house chores- everything from scrubbing the steps of both staircases, the kitchen floor, hand waxing the wooden floors, washing all the dishes, scrubbing down the pantry and organizing it, and so on, an next to each of those was a number. That number represented how many points I got for doing each chore, and ranged from 1 to 2 points for each chore. Under that chart was a list. It told me how many points I needed to do things. Watch TV for an hour was 20 points, meet up with friends (those she arranged me to have, that is, later) was 25, listen to the radio (my choice of music) for an hour was thirty points, and so on. The only thing recreational not given points was going out for a walk and reading. I hadn’t been given time to pack anything but a single small suitcase of clothes, nevermind go back to my mother’s to pick up some of my books. There wasn’t a library within walking distance, and to get her to take me, well, that would take points too (short personal outing, 50 points).
So I took walks and explored the house. I discovered that unfinished front room, which curiously wasn’t just unrenovated. The original builders had actually never finished it, some of the walls even lacking plaster and molding. It was there, in this unfinished, dusty, and lit only by daylight room that I made a great discovery. There, sat in stacks on the floor, were dozens of paperback books that had been shoved in there, left behind as unwanted by my aunt’s eldest daughter when she’d moved out years before. I wiped the dust off of one cover, then another, and looked at the cover of yet another. Anne McCaffrey, Clifford Simak, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, and more beckoned. I was sure I wouldn’t be allowed to read them, at least not without points. Points which not only could be earned, but taken away and they were taken away in increments of 5. I found this out thanks to not hanging up my clothes in ‘appropriate order’ when first putting them away (minus 15 points). I backed ut of the room carefully, returning only to dust, sweep it, and arrange books neatly instead of the haphazard stacks on the floor I’d found them in. Then I cleaned myself up before letting my aunt know that I’d cleaned the room and what I’d found.
I was overjoyed when she not only went to look and granted me my points, but said I could read them, and keep them, no points necessary. They were my tickets to other worlds, and though I’d grown up watching the original Star Trek and Space: 1999 and the like, given my circumstances and the depth of respite and hope they brought me, made a lasting impact on my life. This is why science fiction and fantasy are my favorite genres, and what led me to write Accused. The sense of resignation Matty feels, the inevitableness of it all to him, has been commented on by readers. Looking back, I think a bit of my fifteen year old self crept in there. It must have wanted one last jaunt to the stars, to freedom.
Leona is a longtime staunch supporter of human rights and environmental causes. Her favourite genre to read is M/M fiction and she particularly enjoys science fiction, fantasy, and action/suspense subgenres—especially if they have a nice seasoning of romance. She has far too many books on her Kindle, has overloaded her phone with even more and, when not reading, writing, being driven to distraction by her children, or being overlorded by her three cats, can be found trying to locate the portal that the sock monster uses to steal socks from her dryer.
Recently head-reeling news for her included her novel Jared:Urban Wolves #1 being nominated for an Indie Award from Metamorph and placing as a finalist in the 2016 Rainbow Awards, earning an Honorable Mention. She’s still suspicious that it’s all been a dream, but as long as her readers are happy and she can find at least one of the missing socks, she’s happy.
You’ll find her books on Amazon (universal link is http://author.to/LeonaWindwalker), including on Kindle Unlimited. You’ll also find her on Facebook at Leona Windwalker, where you can keep up on news regarding current, new, and upcoming releases.