Today I am so pleased to welcome J. Scott Coatsworth to Joyfully Jay. Scott has come to talk to us about his new release, the Dropnauts audiobook. He has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Scott a big welcome!

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Exclusive Excerpt

Rai eased back into his seat, buckling the belt and staring out of his porthole. The Earth spun serenely below them. Above, the station was moving into the distance.

We did it. He’d been scared out of his mind that he’d bungle the x-drive installation, but here they were, ready for the moment they had spent years preparing for. He emmed Hera. –Totally not exploded.-

She laughed. –Totally. Now leave me alone to fly this hunk of scrap metal.-

Rai smiled.

Sam and Alpha had mapped out the landing points in each of five major metro areas, places where they hoped a well-trained team of humans could restart critical fabrication facilities—the first step in building a new home back on Earth.

Shortly, the Gday would depart for Sydney, then the Zulu for Cape Town, and finally the Liánhu? for Beijing.

London would have to wait. Rai felt a twinge of pain for their lost teammates.

Good job, ace.-

Rai turned to look at Ghost. –Thanks. I can’t believe we’re finally doing this.-

Ghost squeezed his shoulder.

Rai put his head back and closed his eyes, practicing his deep breathing again. In a few minutes, they would sink into the Earth’s atmosphere, though technically they were already in it, as wisps of the planet’s air extended out as far as Luna. Four hundred-odd kilometers straight down.

Rai grimaced, his stomach twisting. He wasn’t cut out for this sort of thing. I should have stayed on Luna. Too late for that now.

He opened his eyes and glanced over his shoulder at Tien. She looked totally at peace, her eyes closed, her breathing slow and deep. Maybe she was as nervous inside as he was.

Somehow, that made him feel better.

Sam had trained them to avoid disabling fear. You can’t panic and breathe deeply at the same time. It’s not possible.

Rai tried it. Breathe in through your nose. Hold. Breathe out through your mouth.

Sam was wrong—he still felt panicked, his stomach twisting in his gut.

He looked back at his friend and ex. Ghost caught his eye and grinned. No fear there.

Rai turned away and sank back in his seat again as the Zhenyi hit the first bit of tangible atmosphere. She shook a little, then settled down. His stomach didn’t.

He pulled out his emesis bag, holding it in front of his face, waiting to see if he would lose his breakfast. He closed his eyes and tried the breathing thing again, willing his stomach to calm down. After a few moments it settled, and he opened his eyes. He felt better. A little better.

He put away the bag and looked out at the world they were dropping into.

Blue skies extended as far as he could see, painted with white clouds. So much open atmosphere was dizzying, overwhelming.

Wind whistled past the Zhenyi, and Rai pictured its eager tendrils trying to pry the small craft apart. Then again, if the wind didn’t get them, the x-drive might. He chuckled softly. I really am my own worst enemy.

They’d chosen reverent silence for this moment, one of the most momentous in their individual lives, and for the rest of humanity. For all he knew, they and their kin at Redemption were the only ones left.

“Engaging the x-drive.” Hera’s voice was calm, sure. It helped shore up his own fragile spirit. The front of the cabin filled with a golden glow, and their descent slowed. The wind outside dropped to a whisper.

It’s working! Rai opened his eyes and let out a sigh of relief.

Hera turned to grin at him. “That was the hard part. Now we just glide down.”

Rai peeked out of the hatch, looking down at the surface below. It took him a minute to get oriented.

He was looking at the California coast, but it was upside down. The famous bay was wider than in the old maps, and cloud cover obscured half of it. He’d known that things would look different, but he’d spent so much time staring at old maps that the changed coastline and bay still seemed strange.

The ground below was mostly brown, but there were wide bands of green along the coasts and in patches inland. Zongies.

The zongi trees were based on geneticist Anastasia Anatov’s work. They’d taken hold across the planet, scraping carbon out of the atmosphere and providing edible fruit that would help sustain the first colonies.

Rai couldn’t wait to check them out up close. As the crew botanist, he was eager to see what else had survived the Crash too, and the seventy-year winter that had followed. Space surveys had turned up grasses, small bushes, and even a few native trees, which thrilled the hell out of him.

A huge storm was blowing in, but Sam had assured them they would make planetfall before it hit. It was beautiful, a wide, thick band of purplish-white clouds in the distance, just off the coast. So much to see.

“It’s beautiful.” Tien’s voice was reverent, and Rai had to agree.

The Zhenyi dropped into a cloud bank, and the porthole went blank and white.

“Landing in three minutes… mark.” Hera turned to smile at him. “So far it’s textbook—”

A loud alarm shook the cabin.

“What the hissing hell?” Rai leaned forward as Hera scrambled to find out what was wrong. His heartbeat raced, his stomach churning. He closed his eyes. Poppies, Chinese Houses, Fiddlenecks… He took a deep breath, and his heart slowed. A little.

Sam’s voice came through the ship’s speakers. “Everything okay down there? We just got an—” His voice cut out.

Tien’s voice cut through the din. “Turn the alarm off.”

Hera turned to stare at her.

“Here.” Tien unlatched her seat belt and entered a rapid-fire sequence on the smooth deck. The sound abated.

“Thanks.” Hera stared at the image hovering above the deck. “Something’s coming up at us from the ground. Fast.”

Proximity alert flashed in the air. Rai looked out of his porthole. A smoke trail was rising fast toward them.

Ghost glanced at it. “It’s a missile.” He unbuckled himself and pulled his chute from under his seat. “We have to abandon ship.”

Hera shook her head. “Wait. I can outrun it—”

“No you can’t. These things have smart guidance systems, and they’re a lot faster than we are.”

Hera stared at the screen, frozen.

She needs me. Rai took a deep breath, steeled himself, and shook her shoulder. “Hera, snap out of it. We trained for everything. We can do this!” –You can do this.-

She nodded. “You’re right.” Her hands flew across the deck.

Rai sighed with relief, and pulled out his own parachute. Now or never.


Blurb

dropnauts audio coverLife after the Crash.

Over a century after the end of the Earth, life goes on in Redemption, the sole remaining Lunar colony, and possibly the last outpost of humankind in the Solar System. But with an existential threat burrowing its way into the Moon’s core, humanity must recolonize the homeworld.

Twenty brave dropnauts set off on a mission to explore the empty planet. Four of them—Rai, Hera, Ghost and Tien—have trained for two-and-a-half years for the Return. They’re bound for Martinez Base, just outside the Old Earth city of San Francisco.

But what awaits them there will turn their assumptions upside down—and in the process, either save or destroy what’s left of humanity.

Series Blurb:

The Redemption Cycle takes place in parallel time with the Ariadne Cycle, and tells the stories of those left behind on Earth.

Life after the Crash.

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Bio

j. scott coatsworthScott lives with his husband Mark in a yellow bungalow in Sacramento. He was 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 all the people like him were.

He decided that if there weren’t queer characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, and Other Worlds Ink with Mark, sites that celebrate fiction reflecting queer reality, and is the committee chair for the Indie Authors Committee at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

 

Narrator Bio:

Kevin Earlywine is an actor, director, singer/songwriter, and audiobook narrator who hails from Rockford, Illinois! His debut album DANGER was released February 28th, 2017. Kevin started writing songs for the album in 2012, and finally in November, 2015, he started recording the songs!

Website: http://www.kevinearlywine.com/


Giveaway

Scott is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card with this tour:

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