Today I am so pleased to welcome KC Burn to Joyfully Jay. KC has come as part of the Rainbow Readers Cruise Blog Tour to talk to us about her release, The Tithe. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

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Backlist Boogie!

Hello! I’m KC Burn and I’m happy to be visiting Jay’s blog again! I don’t often write short stories, but many years ago, I was part of a group putting together a sci-fi anthology. The prompt was “comet”. Not much to go on, but I managed to wedge a comet reference or two in the story. But the anthology never happened. I hung onto the story until another anthology opportunity came along. My little story ended up at the very end of an anthology that was over 1000 pages long. Finally, I pushed it out to the world as a self pubbed short, but I never did much to promote it, despite being one of my personal favourites. I know, I know… we’re supposed to love our babies equally, but I have a few extra special favs, and this is one of them. So, today is the day! Promo day! Please enjoy this excerpt 🙂

rainbow readers cruise logoThe Rainbow Readers Cruise celebrates the readers and creators of LGBTQ+ fiction and romance. The cruise departs from the Port of Fort Lauderdale on August 19, 2024 and returns August 23, 2024, with stops at Key West and Coco Cay (Celebrity’s private island). Along the way, meet and mingle with some of your favorite LGBTQ+ fiction and romance authors and creators, as well as attend panels, meet and greets, small group social activities, and the Signing at Sea. Plus, the cruise itself, with fabulous destinations, food and drinks, entertainment, and more. You can find all the details about the Rainbow Readers Cruise on our website:


Tobin stepped off the shuttle that brought him from the ship and teetered. Gravity was slightly different on the planet, and it made him heavier, clumsy, and awkward. He didn’t look back at the Sungrazer. The recruits he’d met aboard referred to their new lot in life as “riding the comet.” Tobin had ridden the comet for the last time, and if he never saw it again, he’d still have nightmares.

The dusty plains at the end of the gray metallic tunnel called to him, and he hurried toward the exit as fast as he could, his single carryall slung painfully over his shoulder.

Outside, he blinked furiously, eyes stinging at the unaccustomed brightness.

KC Burn Rainbow readers Cruise avatarThe air, redolent with the scent of ruchabas, warmed him. He didn’t think he’d been truly warm since he’d left. In a matter of days, the ship would leave, and he could lounge in the direct sun. Hopefully his eyes would have properly adjusted by then. The gentle breeze of naturally flowing air made him almost giddy.

A sudden burst of noise and a bustle of activity sent him cringing against a wall. He’d been deposited behind the port facility, where the skimmers loaded crops from the great warehouses. He followed the wall around to the public-facing side of the port, hoping he’d adjust to the noise as well as the brightness.

In front of the port facility, Tobin looked around. Nothing had changed. Not one thing. How could he have changed so much in the past seven years and his home not changed at all? For a brief moment, he could almost believe he was his eighteen-year-old self, the one who didn’t doubt, who didn’t hurt.

But the Tobin standing here today was a far different man—a lesser man—than the Tobin who’d left.

Then he twisted his torso to take in more of the sights and nearly cried out. His wounds wouldn’t allow for that sort of torsion. Not yet, and maybe not ever.

When he was finally able to breathe and focus again, Observation Point sat in front of him, only a short walk away. Seven years ago at Observation Point had been the last time he’d been happy. It was worth revisiting the site before he tried to find lodging for the night.

Dust swirled in his eyes, temporarily blinding him. He wiped furiously at the resultant tears, reducing his gait to a mere shuffle.

A broad-shouldered man bumped into him, tilting him precariously.

“I’m so sorry.” Large hands gripped his shoulders in an effort to steady him and Tobin barely held in his wince. “Are you okay?”

Tobin stared up. The red hair was as bright as ever, but much longer. Aric had developed into a stunning man, a man who had absolutely no flicker of recognition in those green eyes Tobin had thought about every day.

“I’m fine.” He could bring himself to say no more. It was better this way. Better that Aric remembered him how he was, not the fractured shell of a man he’d become.

Aric nodded and released the grip on Tobin’s shoulders. He stepped to the side and walked past Tobin.


Seven years ago, Aric watched his best friend enlist in the United Human Coalition military and leave aboard a starship. Aric was a simple farmer, one of many who provided foodstuffs to the UHC. How could he possibly compete with the lure of space travel and the chance to see other planets? But it’s time to move on with his life. Mourning “what might have been” was futile and only made his family worry.

Seven years ago, Tobin had nothing to offer Aric beside his heart and a strong body. Not nearly enough for Aric’s family, who’d already begun the search for suitable brides. Without prospects and unwilling to watch Aric marry someone else, Tobin enlisted. At least he’d have the excitement of seeing new worlds while fighting to protect humanity. But military life was not kind to him, and when he unexpectedly returns home, he has even less to offer Aric than before.

Seeing Tobin again fills Aric with joy and he’s bursting with feelings he’d never dared confess. But Tobin is a different man from the boy who left. Settling back into farm life might be well beyond his capabilities, and the unspoken feelings might be better off left unsaid. Because losing Tobin again could break Aric for good.

Originally published in 2016 as part of the anthology One Pulse.


KC Burn is a Canadian transplanted to Florida who writes happy-ever-afters about men loving men, whether they’re psychics, space travelers, aliens, professors, construction workers, cops, amateur sleuths… you name it, she’ll probably write it. She’s got a pair of black cats, aka muses/nuisances, and a supportive, understanding hubby.

Visit KC at her website or on Instagram/Facebook @authorkcburn