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mm queer literature

Chapter #1

Reykjavik, Iceland

Age of the Barbarians

Five years later…

 

LANTERNS WASHED THE room in a drunken golden haze. The floorboards creaked like old bones beneath the shifting weight of his feet, while intricate wooden carvings made up most of the outer structure. Kristján kept his gaze low, pinned to the table that was still warm from the meager meal he’d had earlier. Rats scurried around his feet, while the stench of sour milk and sweat lingered in the air.

“That’s how it has to be, dearest.” Nathanial’s voice was like the soft strings of a melody. He reached a delicate hand forward, long slender fingers poised to touch, but skittered away like a cockroach at the last minute.

They haven’t touched in years. Two large men loomed by the door; their hulking statures were enough to make Kristján’s knees quake. Beady eyes drilled into him, and he caught a whiff of their open disdain. Filthy skrælingjar. Well, they could fuck off to hell and back. Yet still, Kristján snaked his hands beneath the table, hiding the talon-like claws and his perked ears flattened.

“B-but…” Kristján’s voice was tired. Weak. Nothing but a frail squeak of nonsensical sounds.

“Don’t you want to leave? Isn’t this the perfect opportunity?” Nathanial cut him off, a hint of impatience in his tone. “Come now, it won’t be for too long.”

The words made his head snap up. He gazed at Nathanial disbelieving before his eyes darted to the men by the door carrying heavy iron chains. A viperous grin slithered over Nathanial’s lips, and his black hair cascaded over his broad shoulders, pooling on his lap like ink. Pale as the moon, Nathanial’s peach blossom eyes were curved with mocking laughter, and his pink lips were the color of red wine.

“Cousin,” he half moaned and half pouted. “Don’t you want to do this favor for me?”

Acid sloshed around in Kristján’s stomach. Favor? How the fuck was any of this a favor? Nathanial always had this way of twisting things, downplaying the seriousness by cooing noises. The reality was that Kristján was being sent to his death and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it. 

He wanted to spit, but instead, his hands curled around his ratty clothing. Nathanial’s shirt gaped at the collar into a large V-neck; his slender hands were those of prestige, while he dripped with diamonds and jewels. Kristján wished to the gods he’d choke on them.

A knot swelled in Kristján’s throat, and tears burned his eyes. This was it. There was no going back now. Nathanial was a Þrælar of nobility, his status worth more than gold. They both knew Kristján couldn’t refuse. Not if he wanted to keep his head and neck intact.

“It’ll be a few years at most,” Nathanial continued, drumming his fingers on the table. “You’ll be back before you know it.”

Kristján didn’t dare argue. If he did, he’d cut Nathanial to pieces in one fell swoop. Yet, Kristján refrained. He was smarter than that. Although they were cousins, the skrælingjar had no rights and Nathanial could decide to just kill him and be done with it. “Where…will they take me?”

Nathanial stood suddenly. He swept across the room, intoxicating the air with his sweet scent of pear cider. He walked towards an old picture hanging on the door. It was of the three of them when Nathanial came to visit as a child, towering over Kristján with their arms around each other, while Kristján’s mother hugged them from behind. Nathanial thumbed the photo gracefully, but his brow twitched and darkness clouded his features.

Fear seized him by the throat.

Kristján wanted to jump up and snatch the photo off the wall to stop him from crushing it. Nathanial’s mouth curled in disgust, before he pivoted sharply, forcing a waxy smile. “To Dalvík,” he said. “You’ll be back in no time. Now, I really must be going, so say goodbye and we’ll be on our way.”

Kristján choked on despair, tears brimmed before spilling over, but he hung his head and did what his cousin commanded. The journey to the backroom felt endless. Kristján felt as if he were walking in slow motion, his body on autopilot. Opening the door, his heart thundered in his chest when he took in his mother lying on the cot.

Kristján fell to his knees, fisting the blanket as he sobbed. Her pale skin was chalky, covered in a thin film of sweat while her cheeks were hollowed. Her lungs rattled with every breath, like the sound of coins in a basket, and Kristján knew this would be the last time he ever saw her.

Don’t be afraid, Mother used to say, cupping his cheek. Kristján’s mother had been raped by a jarl noble. When her Þrælar family found out, they disowned her, forcing her out of the house and into the streets. Skrælingjar were considered rare, an abomination due to the intense hatred between jarls and the Þrælar, a sick amalgamation fused with dark magic.

“Mother,” Kristján cried, burying his face in the cot. “I’m sorry.”

She got sick several months ago with yellow fever. Kristján worked at the factory for years before they fired him when new management took over. They didn’t want someone as disgusting as a skrælingjar to be seen by their customers. Kristján had been forced to do odd jobs here and there, but they never kept him for long and it was mostly out of pity.

“Dearest?” Nathanial called from the kitchen. “Are you almost ready?”

Kristján clenched his jaw so tight that it nearly snapped. He pressed a kiss to his mother’s forehead, inhaling deeply, trying to imprint the memory of her in his mind forever. Then he stood, gathered what belongings he could, and threw on his beige cloak. The white fleece shirt hung off his lithe frame. Apart from the tears and stains, it kept him relatively dry from the bitter cold.

Kristján’s pants stopped at his ankles and were torn at the kneecaps, while his shoes had more holes than anything else. He packed what he could, biting his lip as the tears refused to stop falling, and threw the knapsack over his back. He turned back to his mother lying on the cot, her body still as if she were asleep, but Kristján knew otherwise.

The doctor told him by tonight she would be dead.

There was nothing he could do. No burial. No gifts to Addum, God of the Moon. Nothing to guide her soul to the netherworld. Maggots already writhed in her toes, and the rats would feast on her tonight. A shudder ripped across his skin, but he forced himself to keep moving. He blew out the candles and turned off the lights; his heart clenched when the door was firmly closed shut.

Nathanial was pacing the kitchen, irises the color of liquid gold. “Finally,” he breathed out, but it was poised like a knife over his chest. “Come along now. Your new adventure awaits.”

Kristján wiped the tears from his cheeks; he felt chilled to the bone. “Who did you sell me to?”

“Never mind all that.” Nathanial waved his hand dismissively. He slipped the photo into the bag holding all of Kristján’s belongings. “It’s only for a little while, trust me. Now come, this place is making my skin itch.”

The man took his bag and clasped his hands in chains. Kristján kept his head low as they walked him out of the only home he’s ever known like a prisoner. At night the street was still bustling with people. Few stopped and stared, and Nathanial brought him to a small carriage, then pivoted abruptly.

Oh,” Nathanial laughed, but something ferocious glinted in his eyes. “There’s no room inside! You understand, right dearest? Plus, you’re used to walking, aren’t you? The ride will be quick, don’t worry. We’ll just chain you to the back to make sure you don’t escape. I can’t have my asset running off now, can I?”

Crisp winter air slapped at his skin, snatching the little warmth he had left. Kristján bit his tongue until it bled. He said nothing as they chained him to the back of the carriage, and the horse took off at a moderate speed, slow enough for him to keep up.

Nathanial was always like this. He never cared. Even if they were cousins, to him Kristján was nothing. A yellow stain upon pure white snow. Nobody knew of their relations, and Nathanial would rather die than tell anyone. Grief settled like a shard in his chest. Kristján tried to breathe around it, but his lungs cinched tighter and tighter.

He looked back at his house, watching it fade in the distance until it became a speck.

Ridged fingertips and floral scents made the edges of his vision blur.

Nathanial had sold him to clear his debts.

As if his life was worth nothing more than a penny.

#5 Teaser: Warlord of the Titans

Characters & Clans

House of Blackford

Location: Reykjavik, Iceland

  • Nathanial Blackford
  • Kristján Blackford
  • Anný Blackford
  • Silva Blackford
  • Elvar Blackford (Lord Elvar)

 

 

The Raven Claws

Location: Dalvík, Iceland

  • Theron Decimus
  • Hólmar Gabrielsson
  • Arthur Bentsson
  • Börkur Sigurgeirsson

 

House of Wilmer

Location: Dalvík, Iceland

  • Leónóra Hugleiksdóttir (Lady Leónóra)
  • Máni Andrésson
  • Leon Hringsson (Lord Leon)
  • Alla Manúelsdóttir
  • Vigtýr Magngeirsson
  • Abel Aríusarson
  • Hlíðberg Valdimarsson
  • Parmes Tímóteusarson
  • Daríus Brynmar Liamsson

The Ethereal Guardians

Location: Hornafirði (Höfn), Iceland

  • Loghlan Rushton
  • Eamon Corrin
  • Adam Orme
  • Finlo Gretehede
  • Reina Gorry

 

Gods

  • Zathos, God of the Stars
  • Hithar, God of Death
  • Bydos, God of the Mountain
  • Shomus, God of Beginning
  • Ikses, God of Winter
  • Addum, God of the Moon

 

 

Goddesses

  • Cephy, Goddess of the Sea
  • Yher, Goddess of Pleasure
  • Nimera, Goddess of Judgment
  • Dydea, Goddess of Love
  • Buhena, Goddess of Tricks

 

 

 

Class Structure

Jarls: the noble class. Consists of only humans.

Karls: magicians or mages, witches or warlocks

Skrælingjar: half-wolf, half-humans mixed breeds. Considered extremely rare.

Þrælar: wolves or wolf warlords, previously regarded as slaves

Books

LGBT Romance: Dark MM Romance

The world of literature has a tendency to stick to predefined genres.

Once a genre takes root, most authors create more material staying within its confines.

However, the modern world needs more genres that are inclusive of the realities of contemporary times.

The conventional romance genre needs to be updated to cater to all sexual orientations.

woman, fantasy, forest
The LGBTQ Romance Genre

 

Today LGBTQ Romance genre caters to stories of modern romance that is not restricted to heterosexual relationships.

This openness in literature is not just a great addition to the existing material and stories, but also brings to light the intricacies of homosexual romance.

woman, female, beauty
Dark MM Romance
man, face, surreal

But even within the LGBTQ Romance genre, niches exist that must be explored.

The paranormal/dark sub-genre is a very popular one and presents some truly frightening tales.

Not only is this genre unique in its matching of two largely avoided genres (Horror and LGBTQ) but also makes for some of the best stories.

The genre brings to life the tales of mythical and paranormal creatures in the background of a male to male romantic relationship that defies the odds of existing culture and society.

Given that such a genre defies most boundaries of society, the relationship itself might be kept open to spice up the story.

Final Word

In expanding the confines of existing literature, it is essential that new genres be explored.

Without a doubt, LGBTQ romances present a great opportunity for such an endeavor.

Moreover, the more complex the relationships, the better the stories. So, it really is a win-win situation.

LGBTQ Book Genres And Niches

LGBTQ identity, expression, and well-being should be celebrated. Period.

LGBTQ books help do just that.

Among the several niches of LGBTQ books, the MM genre that focuses on male-on-male relationships is all the rage right now and rightly so.

MM genre has several subgenres that bring to light the most interesting stories, such as those mentioned below:

girl, color, black and white
handshake, businessmen, clock

1. MM Romance Genre

 

The MM romance genre explores the love between two males.

The storyline often pivots around the intimate relationship of two, or even more, men.

Most often, you will find stories of how such a love causes problems in the lives of the protagonist(s) and what ensues. The discussed relationships may be open or closed.

2.    MM Paranormal

 

MM paranormal is a scary touch to the male-on-male relationships.

The storylines in this genre can be extremely complicated.

They explore the relationship in a paranormal surrounding with unhuman creatures.

The relationship could even involve these very creatures. That is where the story really gets complex.

Definitely not recommended for the faint-hearted.

fairy tale, revisionist, red riding hood
black and white, angry, portrait
3.    MM Enemies to Lovers

 

The MM enemies to lovers seems rather self-explanatory.

The center point of the plot here are always two males that initially do not get along and later go on to become lovers.

Or, it could be that the two characters simultaneously hate each other but still can’t get enough of each other. All in all, it makes for a very interesting read.

Final Word

 

The MM genre continues to introduce excellent storylines and hook readers around the globe. If you wish to learn and explore the LGBTQ world, then the MM genre is definitely for you!

More Inclusive Genres in the World of Romance Literature

Every time you see conventional works of literature, you will see them categorized in the genres that have existed since the beginning of time.

Now that the world has progressed into a world of digital libraries and e-books where publishing a book over the internet is easier than ever, literature needs new genres.

Here are some genres from romance that exist but are not known to the wide audience:

1. Young Adult (YA)

These stories are for teens. With that said, the language is usually family-friendly and descriptions of romance are not very explicit. The storylines are also not as complex to keep the interest of teens.

2. New Adult (NA)

New adults are people between the age of 18-25 and look to bridge the gap between a teen and an adult by introducing slightly complex storylines. The themes often include college romances and explicit descriptions of sex as well as abusive language.

3. Paranormal Romance (PNR)

This is a unique genre that can deal with stories in the context of different mythical creatures. The romance can be anything from timid to erotic depending on the storyline and author’s preferences.

4. Male x Male (MM) or Female x Female (FF)

These storylines are the most contemporary and deal with same gender romances. These may be within the confines of closed or open relationships and there are often very few boundaries for this genre.

Picking Your Genre

Finding the genre that interests you most is all about trial and error. But it is just as complex for readers as it is for the authors.


Popular MM Novels Featuring Enemies to Lovers Storylines

There’s nothing like a storybook that blurs the lines between protagonists and antagonists, right?

And if you’re longing for some MM genre, here are the best enemies to lovers storylines that you can find out there:

1. The Captive Prince Series

Written by C.S. Pascat, the series follows Damen and his master prince along treacherous roads and political webs. The reader gets a flavor of both romance and thrill in these three masterfully written novels.

The books have received widespread acclaim and are often regarded as the best MM novel of all times.

2. Just a Bit Wrong

The 4th book of the Straight Guys series presents Zach Haradaway and Tristan DuVal that hate each other from the very first instance. But they must continue to frequent each other given that Zach is treating Tristan’s groin injury as his physiotherapist.

But while they Tristan hates Zach, he also finds himself helplessly drawn towards him. It’s a treat to read!

3. Wicked Lies Boys Tell

This book comes from the USA Today best-selling author K. Webster and it is unlike anything you have ever read before. The tale of two best friends that constantly blur the lines of love and hate is one of the best enemies to lovers storylines you will find!

Paranormal Queer Romances In Novels

Romance is always the go-to genre when you’re disillusioned by the realities of life. But everybody appreciates some extra flavor to their romance.

If there’s one way to add that flavor, it is through queer romances that take place in a paranormal world!

Why Read Paranormal Queer Romances?

For such a genre, you will be exposed to an open or a closed world with some dark secrets and tantalizing romance, which is more than you can ask for.

But even more important are the great plot points that can be seen from different contexts if you have the eye for it.

Best of all is when authors create elaborate maps to help the reader navigate their fictional world. It all adds up to offer a reading experience like none other – quite literally!

Finding the Best Paranormal Queer Romances

As great as the genre sounds, there aren’t many writers that have mastered the art of writing it. At best, you can find too little romance overshadowed by too much paranormal.

When looking for paranormal queer romances in novels, always look at the blurb rather than just the cover.

The cover can be very misleading, and you wouldn’t know until you’ve already invested so much time in the book.

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