ebook price: $5.99
The ebook edition is also available at: Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo & AllRomanceEbooks.
About the Book:
The common conception of gender is turned on its head in these eight sensual stories by longtime Circlet author Raven Kaldera. From the ancient Roman Empire to the virtual-reality-filled future to fantasy worlds filled with fae creatures, these stories follow people (and other beings) who are transgender, intersex, androgynous, or otherwise beyond the gender binary in their exciting and often kinky erotic adventures.
In these stories, a woman becomes the lover of a deity who comes to her through the bodies of people who are more than simply men or women; a would-be superhero with a less-than-useful mutation seduces an androgynous shapeshifter with ambiguous loyalties; a woman inherits some strange artifacts from a witchy great-aunt and, with them, a startling and transformational family legacy; and more. Combining love, worship, power, and gratification, these encounters are surprising and challenging–and, of course, always sexy.
About the Author
Raven Kaldera is the author of 34 books and innumerable short stories. He lives on a small homestead in Massachusetts with his polymorphously perverse polyamorous family, and a few goats, sheep, and chickens. ‘Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.
Look under the cut for a hot excerpt!
from “Only Fate”
Fucking women. That’s the only thing that kept running through my mind when she said it. “It’s your fate. I can read it right here. You’re doomed to do this thing. You can’t escape Fate.”
“Why the fuck not?” I asked. My hands gripped the edge of the table and her lamp with its fringed shade teetered a little, cast fluttering shadows over the spread of her cards, flickered on her face below that stupid turban she wore in order to look all mysterious and Miss Cleo-like. “Why can’t I just choose?”
“Well, some things you can choose,” she said. “But not this. Look, I’m just telling you what I see. You have to let go of this relationship, and you have to go east again and pick up the work you put down. If you don’t do it, everything will go wrong for you–like it has been, like you said. And you’ll end up doing it anyway because Fate will just push you over there eventually anyway.”
“Are you telling me it’s some sort of punishment?” I grunted out angrily. Fucking women. All my life, it’s been women telling me what to do. Fuck them.
She opens her mouth, as if she’s about to say something smug, and then suddenly stops. “I don’t know,” she admits. Well, thank some Bitch up there for some honesty, finally. “You believe in the Gods, you told me,” she says. “Why don’t you ask the Fates? The three women? Maybe they’ll tell you.”
“That’s all I need. More fucking women telling me what to do.” Oops. That wasn’t supposed to come out of my mouth. She sat back, her eyes widening, emotions fighting it out on her face. Before one of them could win, I sighed and pulled out my wallet-chip. “Never mind. Thank you for trying. I’ll show myself out.” I punched in thirty, passed the chip over her credit-wand and left. Why didn’t I find a male diviner? Because of the four that I emailed from my chip, none had open appointments for the next three weeks. Even Astreyson was traveling to the MariCorp islands for a convention. Only these damn bitches left, damn it, with their smug superiority and their too-much-eyeliner pics on the diviner’s union page.
I jabbed at my chip as I sat on the lightrail on my way home, scrubbed my finger along the glowing lines–it only took me a couple of seconds to find my email–and watched the page unfold in large-scale in front of my eyes. It was translucent; I could see through it to the facing row of people, many of whom were also holding their chips and staring off into space. The hologram was keyed to my retina, just like theirs, so we couldn’t see each other’s pages, although I could see some of them moving their lips, dictating subvocalized letters. I deleted all the spam with quick eye movements. I didn’t want to see any omens in them. Yes, I believe in Gods. A few times in my life, they’ve actually spoken to me. And omens? I don’t listen when those songs appear on my chip that I didn’t download, that describe my problem in ways that piss me off. I erase them, OK? Go away. It’s not your era any more. Go back to the ancient times where you belong and leave me alone.
There were ads along the side of the hologram. One was for Club Fatima. Dammit.
I switched to a different page with a jerk of my eyelids so hard that I almost closed the whole window. The ad that slapped at the side of my vision is for Jim Weaver, Attorney at Law. I switched again. This time it was another club, Spin City. I turned off the chip. No more. I’ll just stare at the white walls of the lightrail all the rest of the way home. I remember when those walls had posters and things, but now they’re white, because the majority of people on the lightrail use this time to check their chips and a white wall is so much less distracting when you’re staring at a hologram. Of course that meant fifteen minutes of boredom for me, but … The lightrail swoomed to a halt and the door opened. “Please evacuate the train. We are having technical difficulties. You will receive free passes upstairs.”
I grumbled my way out with the rest of the grumbling crowd, kloms away from my home stop, and got my free pass. Not that this would make up for the helicab I would have to pay for, or the hour I would to have to wait before enough helicabs showed up to take this whole crowd. Bah. On the street, the cold and slightly salty air hit my face, even though we were kloms from the water. Somehow the artificial corporate islands all smelled like seawater, no matter where you were. I squinted across the street in hopes of finding a barstool I could curl up on and wait, and yellow letters curled across my vision, juxtaposed on a spiral. SPIN CITY.
* * * *
Sometimes you just have to face things down. I went in, suspiciously. People were dancing under glitter-filled lights. I hated the popular effect of light-particle glitter sifting down through the spotlights, it made me feel like there were bugs flying around my head and I wanted to swat them. A woman smiled at me, her full lips painted and parted. I pulled my collar up and didn’t make eye contact. No more women. Ever. I’m tired of being hurt by them, tired of being controlled by them. Come on, Bitches, I’m here, what am I supposed to see?
A body caught my eye, dancing, and I had to stop and look because it looked so much like Kevin, the guy I was breaking up with. Oh, not so much like him that I thought he might actually be here, dancing in a club–the figure had black hair, not Kevin’s medium brown, and anyway Kevin didn’t dance in clubs. Kevin was soft-spoken and wore old-fashioned glasses and spent all his time researching things that grew on the bottom of the ocean. Kevin would never hurt me deliberately, he cried when he told me that this job was his dream job, his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and he was so sorry, he knew I couldn’t come along because of my security clearance, he was so sorry…
I dragged my thoughts away from that. The figure was lean, hard-bodied, tight pants over lean muscled legs with a modest bulge at the crotch, and a sleeveless shirt that seemed to be made of a hundred strands of whipping yarn. It showed nice deltoid definition, though. Long, long black hair, and I couldn’t see the face, but who cared. Screw the omens. I wanted to dance with this one.
To read the rest, download the book today!
The common conception of gender is turned on its head in these eight sensual stories by longtime Circlet author Raven Kaldera. From the ancient Roman Empire to the future to fantasy worlds, these stories follow people in their exciting and often kinky erotic adventures beyond the gender binary.
Also in paperback!