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Exclusive Excerpt ~ Walking on Water by Matthew J. Metzger


Title: Walking on Water

Author: Matthew J. Metzger

Publisher: Ninestar Press

Genre: Fantasy, Romance


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Word Count: 80,000

Identities: bisexual, transgender


When a cloud falls to earth, Calla sets out to find what lies beyond the sky. Father says there’s nothing, but Calla knows better. Something killed that cloud; someone brought it down.

Raised on legends of fabled skymen, Calla never expected them to be real, much less save one from drowning—and lose her heart to him. Who are the men who walk on water? And how can such strange creatures be so beautiful?

Infatuated and intrigued, Calla rises out of her world in pursuit of a skyman who doesn’t even speak her language. Above the waves lies more than princes and politics. Above the sky awaits the discovery of who Calla was always meant to be. But what if it also means never going home again?


Alarik tensed.

For a long moment, there was nothing but silence. It rang in the room, clearer than any bell. A great oppressive thing, heavy and physical.

Then the chair scraped. The king rose. Crossed to the window. Hands clasped behind his back, he watched the busy hive of activity on the harbour and spoke slowly. Coldly. The king of a kingdom at war. He had no family in such a voice.

“Leave us.”

This time, there was no hesitation. The admiral bowed out without so much as a word. The first minister, usually so particular, crammed his papers together and scurried after. The silent priest did not linger. And then the great door closed, and they were alone.

“It is that foreign spy.”

Janez knew better than to speak.

“You would betray your kingdom for a foreign spy.”

“I betray nothing!”

“We have one chance, this alliance, and—”

“I am not your heir!” Janez exploded. He flew up from the table. The chair toppled, and crashed to the floor. “You have a daughter! A son! If Sofia’s complexion is to be believed, you will have a third before the summer comes! Why must I be the one sacrificed, when I have found love!”

“You have no right to love!”

Alarik’s thunderous reply stopped Janez short.

“You have no right,” Alarik repeated and finally turned from the window. “You may not be my direct heir, but Sigurd has no sons. Yours may well be future kings. This alliance would last for centuries—so do your damned duty, and—”

“Duty,” Janez sneered. “I have done every duty you have ever demanded of me, and now this.”

“You will always do every duty I demand of you. I am your king.”

“I was your brother, once.”

Alarik’s jaw visibly tightened. He turned back to the window. His hands, still clasped behind his back, clutched about one another into tight fists and shook faintly.

“Other kings have young sons and would entertain Ingrid for many summers in hopes of a match. Yet more have infant daughters, who would make pretty wives in time for your boy. They know nothing of love. They can grow together with their betrothed and love them. But I—I have found it, I do know it, and you would—”

“I would have a prince of my kingdom do as he is ordered.”

The reply twisted that shard of ice buried in Janez’s chest, and he swallowed. Looked down at the table and his shaking hands, pale fists upon it.

“You would have your brother miserable for the rest of his days,” Janez whispered. The truth—the pain, the anger, the burden of the second son only released from kingship in adulthood, too late to have enjoyed his youth—bled out like a suppurating wound. “You would make Father proud. Strip Janez of love, wherever he may find it, and condemn him to misery under the guise of a duty you yourself have never followed.”

The movement flashed in the dim room. The blow was heavy and hard. The ring— the sigil of their people—slashed into Janez’s jaw and left a great, gaping cut.

Slowly, painfully, Janez turned his face from window to his king’s face.

And smiled. It felt brittle. A bubble of blood burst and dripped down his cheek. His collar was damp.

And Alarik’s face was stunned. Eyes wide and absurdly young.

“I have no right to love, Your Majesty, because the kings of my land forbid it,” Janez said. “I have found it—twice—and twice it has been cut out from under me.”

Alarik licked his lips. “Jan—”

“I will pick whichever bride can birth a son the earliest,” Janez said icily, “and I will do my damned duty until she swells. And when she does, I will don my lieutenant’s uniform and return to the sea, and then I will pray—day and night until some god listens—for the storms to drown me and release me.”


A violent hand caught at his shoulder. Janez tore it away.

“If misery is all my duty leaves me, then afford me the mercy of making it brief!” he bellowed. The room was a virulent scarlet. The pain in his chest was a spear that pierced right through. He would bleed ice water onto the stones and dissolve into naught but foam, like the mythological mermaids of old.

He tightened his heart about the cold and sealed it. Pulled his shoulder taut. And clicked his heels. The prince. The lieutenant. A nameless, faceless man, to die a footnote in history, with no trace of any real life left behind.

“May I take my leave, Your Majesty?”

Author Bio:

Matthew J. Metzger is an asexual, transgender author dragged up in the wet and windy British Isles. He writes queer characters living all manner of lives, but especially likes to write the stories from the pub, the beautiful game, and the terraces where he lives and works today. Although mainly a contemporary romance writer, Matthew has recently been found straying out of his zone and playing in other genres’ sandboxes.

When not writing, Matthew is usually at his day job, working out, or asleep. He is owned by an enormous black cat, so should generally be approached with either extreme caution, or treats.

He can be primarily found on Twitter and Facebook or over at his website, and is always happy to hear from readers.

Review ~ What It Looks Like

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Title: What It Looks Like

Author: Matthew J Metzger

Release Date: August 20 2016

Length: 80,615 words


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Eli Bell is the only son of a police chief inspector and a forensic scientist. He’s grown up wonky in a world that only deals with the straight and narrow — and his new boyfriend isn’t helping.

Rob Hawkes is six feet of muscle, tattoos, and arrest warrants. A career criminal and a former guest of Her Majesty’s Prison Service, he’d rather hit Eli’s parents than sit down to dinner with them. One wrong move, and Rob could destroy Eli — and his family — without a second thought.

But this isn’t what it looks like.

Rob’s not in control here — and Eli’s the one to blame.


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The fabulous writing style and the emotionally absorbing story pulled me in right from the start. What it Looks Like is a thought-provoking and informative read that made me consider whether the author had drawn upon personal experience to inspire the characters and their situation. The whole story felt real, with plenty of raw, gritty emotions. We are shown the mind and body of a person transitioning and the difficulties facing them, at home, in the wider world, and in forming a sexual relationship.

I particularly liked how the story begins with an already established relationship and we discover the issues confronting them, both individually and as a couple.

The story could easily have been sub-titled ‘Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover’.  Eli and his family are dealing with his transitioning and Rob being on the scene has made the home situation worse. Eli’s father in particular is prejudiced and stubborn regarding Rob, not necessarily because of the transitioning, but because he can’t see Eli’s boyfriend as anything other than a criminal who is bound to re-offend. He isn’t only thinking of his son’s well-being, but also his professional position in the police force. Plus he is still adjusting to treating Eli as a son rather than a daughter. Eli’s parents might feel they were acting out of love for their child, but they are not responding how Eli wants them to. Rob reacts negatively to this prejudice and non-acceptance of him, which in turn perpetuates the belief that he is a thug.

Through all these arguments and shouting matches we see a person torn between the people he loves, wanting them to accept each other, and to make the situation more harmonious. Yet at the same time, Eli is often angry and stubborn and determined to do things his way. He tends to put Rob first in his life because he’s head over heels in love with him, and that only exasperates the situation.

Rob is loud and angry and yobbish. He comes across as a thug to those who don’t know him well. His tough life has hardened him, yet he is capable of love and affection. He loves Eli for who he is on the inside rather than what he looks like. He  likes the book and is not been put off by the fact that the cover doesn’t quite match what’s inside just yet. Indeed, he loves the whole person and has readily accepted Eli from the start.

This is a complex story with several unexpected twists in the plot and character dynamics. There’s plenty of emotion and anger throughout, which on the whole felt genuine. It’s a realistic and gritty story, where  life is not all chocolates and roses. Nor is it a rose-tinted look at relationships. The story is about working through problems and sorting out how they can be together, even if family members or some members of society object. Rob might be a criminal but he is more than that. Eli might be trans but he is more than that.

I loved that the characters appear real, with plenty of flaws and shortcomings. I particularly liked bad boy Rob and his brother, Danny, and how they accepted and defended each other and Eli. Rob might have been a criminal, but he loved Eli no matter what and was willing to support him. There’s some great banter and humour that goes on between the three of them, which helps to lighten the story.

The hot sexual relationship was a surprising element. These guys are young and kinky and I never quite knew what they were going to try next. There are D/s aspects to some of their scenes, where one of the partner relinquishes control, to the extent that safewords are firmly in place.  We also see Rob and Eli’s softer side when they are not fighting. The cuddling and showing of affection help balance the story and made the love seem real.

There were a couple of things that made me pause when reading. Yes, there are strong emotions and arguments with lots of swearing throughout, but it’s not gratuitous. I felt it was part of their situation and true to the characters. Having said that, I thought one or two of the arguments were rather contrived for a specific purpose, including one that led to a BDSM scene. There’s also a little hypocrisy in Eli’s character. He’s trying to train Rob not to lose his shit and then Eli reacts to a situation just as Rob would have done. Also Eli jumps to a certain conclusion about Rob that leads to a fall out. He’d been trying to show his family that Rob is no longer a criminal, yet at the first hint of real trouble he immediately doubts his lover.

I know the story had to stop somewhere and we’re given a HFN ending in the epilogue with plenty of hints to how things would go. But I really would have liked to see what happened next for Eli and how that affected his relationship with Rob.

Overall, a highly recommended and incredible read with some superb writing. Be prepared for strong emotions and arguments with lots of swearing, plus some D/s sex and control scenes.



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Matthew J. Metzger is the front for a British-born author dragged up in the south of England as part of a typical nuclear family with three kids, a mortgage, and no dog because a dog would get hair on the carpet. A brief escape to the north to study focused his writing from daydreaming rambles to his first novel, Our Last Summer. It is unquestionably better than the dissertation he produced at the same time for his university degree, but probably not as inventive as the excuses he provided for missing classes so often.

Matthew has since returned to the London area, and therefore lives mostly on the public transport. He suspects that his next few pieces will probably involve homicidal characters on the London Underground.

For more information, please visit


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