Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Wednesday Briefs: In Pieces #82 (19.5)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

Ryan and Ben want to get away from Cameron's house as quickly as possible,all things considered. But where to go? Ryan's stepmother has the perfect solution - a trip to St. Louis! Can they get away from a bad situation unscathed? See what's going on in this week's chapter of In Pieces. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

In Pieces #82 (19.5)


“I guess we’ll Uber to the airport,” Ben said. Aiden and Abby had taken the van for the trip to Atlanta, and Deacon and Keanu had already taken an Uber to the airport. The keys to Cameron’s sedan sat on an end table in the foyer, where he could easily find them.

“Sounds good,” Ryan agreed. He was happy that Ben seemed as delighted as he did at the prospect of going to St. Louis to stay with Cassie. He’d been apprehensive, considering Cassie lived in the same house where he and Ben had lived as boys, unsure what bad memories might linger from that time. But when Ben had finished using the Uber app, and Ryan mentioned his misgivings, Ben just shook his head.

“That’s the place where I fell in love with you, Ryan,” he said, almost shyly. “Those are the best memories, you and me together.”

Ryan’s cheeks warmed at Ben’s words. “I couldn’t agree more. Want to wait for our ride outside?” The sooner they were out of this place the better, he couldn’t help thinking. They might not know where they would go after St. Louis, but he sure as hell wanted to forget where they’d been.

“Good idea,” Ben said. Carrying their bags, they exited the house, locking the door behind them. “No reason to go back here ever. Good riddance…”

“I see a car at the end of the drive,” Ryan said, shading his eyes to squint into the distance. “That was fast.”

Ben frowned. “I thought he said fifteen to twenty minutes. Maybe he was closer than he realized.” He too looked toward the approaching vehicle. “Shit, shit, shit. That’s no car, it’s a truck.”

Ryan realized his mistake immediately. Cameron was back. Well, they could put up with him for the few minutes they had to wait until their Uber arrived. With any luck, and a little bit of common sense on Cameron’s end, maybe he would avoid them completely.

No such luck, of course.

Cameron parked his pickup and hopped out. Rounding the bed of the truck, he strode straight toward them, a huge smile of greeting on his lips. “Hey guys, almost missed you didn’t I?” He glanced at the luggage on the ground at their feet.

“Bad timing on our part,” Ben said wryly.

“No harm done,” Cameron said jovially. “You guys will be back in a week or so. We can catch up then.”

Ryan tried to keep from showing the amazement he felt at the older man’s words. Was he really that clueless? Or was he playing some kind of game?

“We’re not coming back,” Ben said. “Ever.” Ryan was proud to hear the note of confidence in Ben’s voice. As if he’d faced his demons and didn’t have to worry about them anymore.

For just a moment, Cameron’s smile slipped, but then he recovered himself and playfully punched Ryan’s arm. “I know you’re just kidding me, aren’t you? Can’t fool me.”

“Don’t touch him!” Ben almost snarled, moving protectively between Ryan and Cameron. “Never touch him. Or me.”

“I’ve never laid a finger on you,” Cameron protested. “Your mama warned me you were off-limits, but she never said anything about the rest. This one’s a cutie, don’t you think?”

“I think you’re disgusting is what I think,” Ben replied. “Pretending to be our friend all this time. Our benefactor. When all along you knew it was her, and you never said a word. Not to mention, you haven’t left Abby alone since you met her. I don’t even care which team you play for, but you sure as hell need to leave every one of us alone. You read me?”

“Loud and clear,” Cameron said smoothly. “But before you get all high and mighty on me, I know about you and Liza, so just don’t. Not that I care. I have my own kinks, and Abby answers those pretty well. I mean, just knowing what that pretty gal has been her legs makes me want to —“

Whatever his desires toward Abby might be, Cameron never got to say, interrupted by Ben’s fist pounding into his mouth. Cameron staggered backward, but didn’t lose his balance. His hand flew to his face and came away bloody.

“Son of a bitch!” he swore. “Seems like you have more of your mama in you than I realized. She can be a real spitfire too. Especially in the bedroom. Go on and leave if you like, makes me no never mind. But just remember this. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. And know that she’ll find you, wherever you are. You can’t hide from Liza.”

Ryan was ready to punch the miserable bastard himself, but Ben laid a restraining hand against his chest, clearly in control of the situation. Luckily, just then their Uber arrived.

Perfect timing.

The driver jumped out of the car and opened his trunk so they could put their bags inside. He gave Cameron a curious look but said nothing. Opening the passenger door, he returned to the driver’s side. Ben waved Ryan inside, then followed him. Just before he took his place inside, he looked at Cameron and said loudly, “Fuck off.” Then he settled on the back seat, closed the door, and told the driver they were ready. Probably picking up on the tension in the air, he asked no questions, just stepped on the gas, heading around the circle and back up the drive.

Neither Ryan nor Ben looked back. Ben took Ryan’s hand in his. Their glances met. “Now we live our lives,” Ben said.

Ryan hoped that was true. But the question was did they still have Liza to contend with?

to be continued

Now go see what's up with the other Briefers!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Virtual Book Tour: Christmas with You by Nan Reinhardt

Good morning and please welcome author Nan Reinhardt to Full Moon Dreaming. She is here to tell us about her new release, Christmas With You.  Nan will be awarding a set of six homemade wine charms and a $10 Starbucks GC (US only) to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find the other stops on the tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post.





Christmas with You
by Nan Reinhardt

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

She’s loved him all her life… but will he be there when she needs him the most?

Disheartened and adrift after being written out of a hit TV show, actor Aidan Flaherty returns to his family’s historic winery, where he’s invested some of the fortune he’s made. As the holidays approach, Aidan becomes intrigued with the old showboat that’s dry-docked just east of town… and even more intrigued with the daughter of his former mentor, who now owns it. He decides to buy the boat and restore it to its former glory.

Single mom Holly Santos is back in River’s Edge after her divorce and she is over men in general and actors in particular. If she could only get rid of her father’s old showboat, a source of fascination for her son, Mateo. She never expects her old crush to walk into her tea shop or the fireworks that happen every time they’re in the same room. Can Aidan convince her that he is determined to restore their shared heritage on the showboat and that he’s home to stay?

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EXCERPTS:


A knock on his car window jerked him back to the Mickey D’s parking lot and he turned to see a young woman peering in. “Hey?” She tapped on the glass again. “Hey? Aren’t you that cop? The one on TV? Pete At-Atwater?”

Aidan came within a second of simply shaking his head since she didn’t even have the name of his character right, but another girl came up behind the blonde, a huge smile on her face. “It’s him!” She gripped the blonde’s arm. “It’s Pete Atwood from LA Detectives!” Elbowing her way to the window of the little MG, she stooped down. “We love you, Pete!”

Pinning on his celebrity smile, the one that showed off his dimples and made hearts race all over America and Canada, Aidan rolled down the window. “Good morning, ladies.”

They clutched each other and giggled, jiggling with excitement. “Can we get a picture with you?” the blond one asked while the other one bit her lip and sighed.

“Sure.” Aidan opened the car door and got out, surreptitiously scanning the parking lot as he did so. Most of the cars were in the drive-thru and the people in line weren’t paying attention to the activity in the corner of the parking lot, where he’d deliberately parked to avoid being recognized. How had these two figured out who he was?

Oh, crap, the California license plates on Pete’s distinctive MG! A dead giveaway and it’s no secret that the actor who plays Pete Atwood is from a small river town in southern Indiana.

At least ten pictures and a couple of autographs later, he was back in the car while the two girls scurried off. Aidan watched out of the corner of his eye as they high-fived each other before getting into an older compact car. No doubt they were both on their phones letting friends know that Pete Atwood was haunting the parking lot of the McDonald’s on the highway, so heaving a huge breath, he buckled up and turned the key in the ignition.







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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Nan Reinhardt is a USA Today-bestselling author of romantic fiction for women in their prime. Yeah, women still fall in love and have sex, even after 45! Imagine! She is a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother. Nan has been a copyeditor and proofreader for over 25 years, and currently works on romantic fiction titles for a variety of clients, including Avon Books, St. Martin’s Press, Kensington Books, and Entangled Publishing, as well as for many indie authors.

Although she loves her life as an editor, writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. Her latest series, Four Irish Brothers Winery, includes A Small Town Christmas, Meant to Be, and the newly released, Christmas with You, all from Tule Publishing. Nan is busy at work on Book 4 of the series, as well as brewing a cozy mystery idea.

Visit Nan’s website at www.nanreinhardt.com, where you’ll find links to all her books as well as blogs about writing, being a Baby Boomer, and aging gracefully…mostly. Nan also blogs every sixth Wednesday at Word Wranglers, sharing the spotlight with five other romance authors and is a frequent contributor the RWA Contemporary Romance blog, and she contributes to the Romance University blog where she writes as Editor Nan.

Word Wranglers:  http://www.wordwranglers.blogspot.com/
RWA Contemporary Romance blog:  http://contemporaryromance.org/2018/03/awesome/
Romance University blog:  http://romanceuniversity.org/ru-contributors/

http://www.nanreinhardt.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5758438.Nan_Reinhardt
https://www.facebook.com/authornanreinhardt
https://twitter.com/NanReinhardt
https://www.instagram.com/nanreinhardt/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Nan-Reinhardt/e/B007OYDC6O?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5&qid=1570744315&sr=8-5

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YNZQCWX/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

A Small Town Christmas: https://www.amazon.com/Small-Christmas-Irish-Brothers-Winery-ebook/dp/B07HBZPKDH/

Meant to Be:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07S7FW8BR/

Christmas With You:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YNZQCWX/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i7




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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Wednesday Briefs: In Pieces #81 (19.4)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

Ben and Ryan find an unpleasant reminder of Liza in their motel room, but Ryan deals with the situation. Will they always have to be looking over their shoulders for her? What will it take for her to leave Ben alone? See what's going on in this week's chapter of In Pieces. Don't forget to see what the other Briefers are up to. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

In Pieces #81 (19.4)


“I’ll take care of that,” Ryan said. He moved past Ben and snatched up the offending bouquet. “Be right back.” Leaving the motel room, he hurried across the parking lot to the huge dumpster that serviced the motel, lifted the lid and tossed the flowers inside. Then he hastened back to the room. Ben sat on the edge of their bed. He looked up at Ryan’s entrance.

“How do you think she found us here?” he asked.

Good question. Ryan took a seat beside Ben, taking his hand and twining their fingers together. Then the answer dawned on him. “Cameron,” he said. “He has a copy of our itinerary, doesn’t he?”

“Oh yeah, I guess he does.” Ben sounded disconsolate. “Well, at least for the next couple of weeks. Marge doesn’t give them out too far in advance.”

“I’m glad to hear that. We’ll just have to let her know that Cameron’s out of the loop from now on,” Ryan said in a firm voice. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t figure that out for herself. She’s pretty sharp, from what I’ve seen.”

“Yeah, she is. She’s great,” Ben agreed. He leaned against Ryan, and they sat together in silence until it was time to get ready for the show.

The engagement in Lafayette went well. The fans were very enthusiastic and showed their appreciation of the music by buying a good number of CDs. Even better, neither Liza nor Cameron was anywhere to be seen, to everyone’s relief. Still, Ryan was worried about Ben. Even though he performed as well as ever, and gave his audience all he had, he knew that inside Ben was hurting. He wished he could do something to take away his pain.

After Lafayette they traveled to Baton Rouge and spent two nights at a small concert venue. They sold out the rest of their CDs, plus some others Marge had sent ahead of them. The concerts were very successful.  During one of the band’s breaks, they met a music blogger who was planning to write about them and promised to send them a link to his story as well as a music critic for a local newspaper. Ryan had no doubt that Salvation was on its way to stardom.

He kept in touch with Cassie all week, keeping her informed as to what was going on. She was a sympathetic listener. It felt good to talk to her. She made him promise that he’d call once they reached Mandeville, and he swore he would.

Saturday morning they checked out of their latest motel. There had been nothing else from Liza after the first flowers, but Ben was still ill at ease every time they entered their room, as if fearful she had sent something else, or had come herself. Luckily that never happened. Baton Rouge was located less than an hour and a half fromMandeville, so the trip to Cameron’s house didn’t take very long. When they pulled up in front of the house, there was no sign of Cameron’s truck. Ryan hoped that was a good thing and maybe the man was keeping his distance.

Everyone collected their belongings from their bedrooms and then gathered in the living room for a brief band meeting. The group was dispersing for the week. Keanu and Deacon were heading home to San Francisco to visit Keanu’s family, and Aiden and Abby were meeting friends in Atlanta.

“I’ll be in touch,” Ben promised. “I’ll let you know what’s going on, where we’ll be going and where we’ll be staying and stuff. Have a great time.”

Ben and Ryan hugged everyone good-bye as they went their separate ways, until they were alone in the house.

“I don’t know what we’ll do,” Ben confessed. “I haven’t come up with any ideas since I decided we wouldn’t be staying here.”

At that moment, Ryan’s phone rang. He’d texted Cassie on the road and she had told him she’d call back soon. Sure enough, it was her.

“Hey,” he answered the phone.

“Hey yourself,” she responded. “You back in Mandeville yet?”

“Yeah.” He mouthed Cassie’s name to Ben and he nodded. “We’ve already packed up and said good-bye to the others and all that.”

“And you still have no plans, right?”

“Right,” Ryan replied. “I’m sure we’ll think of something.”

“You don’t have to,” Cassie said mysteriously. “I already did.”

“What are you talking about?” Ryan asked, puzzled. He glanced at Ben, who was giving him a quizzical look.

“Now, don’t be mad, but I told you I was planning a little surprise for you. I got you two tickets on a flight leaving for St. Louis in about three hours.”

“You did? But why?”

“I think you two need some time away from the road, and I’d love to have you stay with me on your break. I miss you and I want to get to know Ben.” A moment of silence fell between them. “I hope… I mean, I didn’t do something wrong, did I?”

“Wrong?” Ryan quickly said, his heart filling at her words. “God, you’re wonderful, Cassie. I love you. And I know Ben will too. Text me the details, okay?”

Ryan heard relief in Cassie’s voice. “Can’t wait to see you. I’ll pick you up at Lambert, okay?”

“We can Uber,” he started to say, but Cassie interrupted.

“I’ll pick you up, okay?”

“Yes, ma’am.” Ryan couldn’t help but smile as he hung up and turned toward the bewildered Ben. “Looks like we’re going to St. Louis to visit Cassie. Is that cool with you?”

Ben’s smile, followed by a long kiss, told Ryan all he needed to know.

to be continued

Now see what's up with the other Briefers!







Friday, November 29, 2019

Virtual Book Blast: Audition by Skye Warren

Good morning!  Please welcome author Skye Warren to Full Moon Dreaming. She's here to tell us about her new release, Audition. Skye will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour via Rafflecopter. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find the other stops on her tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post!



Audition
by Skye Warren

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Blood and sweat. Bethany Lewis danced her way out of poverty. She’s a world class athlete… with a debt to pay.

Joshua North always gets what he wants. And the mercenary wants Bethany in his bed. He wants her beautiful little body bent to his will.

She doesn’t surrender to his kiss.
He doesn’t back down from a challenge.
It’s going to be a sensual fight… to the death.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT:



Blinding lights. Aching lungs. Thunderous applause. The final show concludes the same way we rehearsed for months, the same way we performed for weeks. My muscles know the movements better than they understand rest. The prospect of after, of what comes next, makes my breath catch. Even as the primas take their bows, relief echoes around the stage. Vacations are planned. Relief for strained muscles. Everyone needs a break, even professional athletes. I’m the only one onstage dreading it.

We bow and curtesy with practiced grace. The curtain descends to the floor. Almost to the second we break formation—a flock of crows startled from the woods. The more exuberant among us, the young ones, the new ones, the ones using steroids, prance and jete toward the dressing rooms. Most of us limp our way out. One hundred percent of NFL players are injured every season. Professional dancing is the same. We hurl our bodies through the air, forcing massive impact through tired joints night after night. I catch my friend Marlena in my arms. Her face is white with pain.

“Ice,” she says. “Or better yet—tequila.”

I push my shoulder under hers as we exit the stage. “Don’t sell yourself short. You can have both.”

A delicate snort. “Not likely. We have to smile and flirt with the old men with big, fat wallets. And for what? I won’t be here next season. You won’t be, either.”

The reminder clangs inside me like a copper bell. I won’t be coming to the New York City Ballet after the break. We fall into our creaky chairs in the dressing room. “Are you going to miss it?”

“Miss it? Of course I’ll miss it.” Marlena turned twenty-eight last month. It’s comfortably retirement age for a dancer. “When the little children do their terrible pirouettes, when they sneeze and throw up and cry all over my leotard, I’ll think fondly of the beautiful art I left behind. Then I’ll be able to walk home. That won’t happen if I try to dance another season.”

“You’ll make a wonderful teacher. You know you were mine.” She didn’t teach me to dance. It was my first love, before I learned to flip and contort myself. Before I ever leapt from a trapeze bar.

Marlena taught me the ropes of the ballet company when I joined two years ago. Most of them thought I wouldn’t last a week. Some of them didn’t want me to. It’s a rigid world, the hierarchy stacked with graduates of Juilliard or the John Cranko school.

I don’t have a pedigree.

All I have is a body that does what it must, no matter how much it hurts.

Which means changing out of my sweaty leotard into a fresh one. We’re contractually obligated to attend the ball. Like Marlena said, we should smile and flirt with the high society people who attend. Both the male and female dancers have to do it. It’s what convinces the sponsors to write checks that will fund the next season. By the time they’re rehearsing The Nutcracker I’ll be in New Orleans, the place I swore I’d never return.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance. Her books have sold over one million copies. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.

http://www.skyewarren.com/books/audition/

Buy Link:






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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Wednesday Briefs: In Pieces #80 (19.3)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

Looks like Liza is up to her old tricks. Ben and Ryan are more determined than ever to get out of her financial grasp, no matter what, although they have no idea how to do that. See what's happening with them in this week's chapter of In Pieces. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

In Pieces #80 (19.3)

Once the rest of the band arrived, they all went to breakfast at a nearby restaurant, Marge’s treat. The atmosphere was somewhat subdued, not surprising considering everything that was going on. But once they all ate, they began to relax a little. Ryan appreciated that everyone was so considerate of both Ben and Abby. That was just one of the things he loved about them. Afterward, they returned to the motel and Marge checked out. She dropped Ben and Ryan at the park on her way out of town, so they could retrieve Cameron’s sedan.

“Don’t worry, we’ll figure out something,” she said when she hugged them good-bye. Ryan hoped she was right.

A light rain was falling by the time they got to the motel, so hanging out at the pool wasn’t really an option. Ryan decided to work on the book. He sat on the edge of the bed, Ben curled up beside him, and wrote for a while. He thought everything was going pretty well so far. His goal was to let the personalities of the various band members shine through his words. They already had a fan base, but hopefully the book would get more people interested in them and their music.

After a couple of hours, he shut down his laptop and he and Ben made love, then took a nap. When they woke, they took a shower and dressed, then met the others for dinner at a local burger joint. They discussed the schedule, as well as the week off that was coming up.

“I figured we’d hang out at Cameron’s until we hit the road again,” Aiden said. “But now I’m not so sure I want to. Guess it depends on if he’s there or not.” Nobody had to ask who he meant. “On the one hand, I hope he isn’t, but on the other, I am dying to knock his stupid ass out.”

Ryan could easily understand how Aiden felt. He felt the same way, even though he wasn’t usually given to violence.

“We’ll work it out when we get there,” Ben said. “No sense in worrying about it now. Besides, you know how he is. Comes and goes, no rhyme or reason. It’s just as likely he won’t be there. Either way, we’re parting ways with him, once I sort out our financing.”

“Good riddance,” Abby said. Ryan thought he saw dark circles under her eyes. Maybe she wasn’t sleeping very well. Not surprising, under the circumstances.

“Something’ll work out,” Deacon said, his usual optimistic self. “We just have to believe in ourselves.” Ryan appreciated his outlook. He just hoped the other man was right.

The next day was sunny and warm. They drove the short distance to Lafayette and quickly found their motel and checked in. They weren’t due onstage until nine, so they split up for the afternoon. Deacon and Keanu opted to stay at the hotel in order to check out the pool, but they weren’t fooling anyone when they made a beeline to their room. Aiden and Abby decided to walk around the area and get some exercise, so Ben and Ryan took the sedan and drove around Lafayette. Ryan offered to drive, so Ben scooted up against him in the front seat and played navigator.

They stopped for lunch at an Indian restaurant. The food was delicious and the proprietor very friendly. They were feeling pretty good by the time they returned to their hotel.

“Whoa, when they say spicy, they really mean it.” Ben laughed as he used his key card to let them into their room. “I’m glad I didn’t order it any hotter than I did. That might—”

Ryan had been trailing Ben, listening to him, when he heard Ben’s words stop abruptly. He looked at Ben in surprise. Ben was staring at something in the room. Oh no, it couldn’t be, could it?

But when Ryan moved past Ben, intending to shield him from harm, all he saw at first was a large flower arrangement sitting on their dresser. Then he spotted the card attached to it.

All my love, L.

What the fuck? Really?

to be continued

Now go see what's up with the other Briefers!



Thursday, November 21, 2019

Book Review: Bleach, Vol 10 by Tite Kubo


Bleach, Vol 10     

Author: Tite Kubo
Publisher: Viz Media
American release date: December 6, 2005
Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/208 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Ichigo is confused when he learns that the person who is going to help them get into the Seireitei is a fireworks expert. What use is that? Turns out she plans to use her expertise to launch them through the sphere that surrounds their target. But they all have to be able to create a reishukaku a spirit core which means training for everyone. And Ganju is to help them. When the others stop to eat, Ichigo persists in continuing with his training and Ganju remains, to Ichigos annoyance. Ganju confronts Ichigo and demands to know why he is working so hard to save a soul reaper.

The Thirteen Court Guard Squad captains and their lieutenants have been instructed to assemble in full insignia. The captains question Gin as to how and why he let a ryoku past him, although Gin seems unconcerned by their anger. When the Head Captain asks for an explanation, Gin has none to give. An intruder alarm interrupts the discussion, as everyone rushes out to see whats happening.

After a short rest, the team is ready to be catapulted into the Seireitei! K√Ľkaku warns them that they must keep their focus and not let their energy level grow too strong. Yuruichi cautions them to stay together inside the Seireitei and avoid confrontations with anyone of captain level. (Famous last words!)

Their entrance does not go unnoticed.

Despite their best efforts, the group becomes separated into smaller groups. Ichigo and Ganju come up against Ikkaku and Kamichiki. Ganju decides to run, and is chased by Kamichiki, while Ichigo faces Ikkaku in battle. How will Ichigo fare against such an opponent?

This volume of Bleach sees our heroes training for entry into the Seireitei in order to rescue Rukia from her death sentence. As usual, Ichigo never stops to think what the consequences might be. He sees what he thinks has to be done and he decides to do it. He has a very strong sense of loyalty and commitment, especially when it comes to Rukia. But then again, we have to remember he’s a fifteen-year old teenager. At that age, they think they’re invincible. Although I will admit that Ichigo has a better sense of life and death than most young people since he can see dead people.

Watching Ichigo and Ganju go at it is hilarious! Ichigo makes friends easily but he can also rub people the wrong way until they get to know him. One thing I’ve learned with this series is don’t necessarily trust your first instincts when meeting a character, things are not always what they seem. And that works both ways. The person you thought was so nice and good may turn out to be a major league villain!

I love the battle between Ichigo and Ikkaku. And I love what Ichigo tells him when Ikkaku wonders why he didn’t run, like his friend, which he considered a smart move. Ichigo replies: “If your power is greater than mine, then it would be pointless to run ‘cause you’d catch me for sure. But if your power is less than mine, then I just have to beat you.”

This is the beginning of a lengthy arc involving the rescue of Rukia, but it’s a very interesting one in that we become familiar with the captains and lieutenants of the Thirteen Court Squads. We’ll be seeing a lot of them, trust me. And when we get to the one I’m crushing on, I’ll let you know lol

Another great volume of Bleach, looking forward to the next one.





Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Wednesday Briefs: In Pieces #79 (19.2)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

Ryan and Deacon found Ben and brought him back safely, but an early morning phone call from Cassie means more problems for the band, as well as for Ben and Ryan. Is there a way out of this mess? See what's going on in this week's chapter of In Pieces. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!


In Pieces #79 (19.2)


Ryan felt better after pouring his heart out to Cassie, feeling some of the stress of the situation ease a little. He trusted Cassie implicitly, knew he could rely on her to keep his confidence.

“Ben’s lucky to have you, Ryan,” Cassie said when he had finished speaking. “You two deserve to be happy, how dare this bitch try to keep you apart, especially after what she’s done to poor Ben? I can certainly understand Ben getting away from her. It’s not right that she pulled him right back in like that.”

“I don’t know what will happen if she pulls her backing,” Ryan said. “At the same time, I’m sure Ben doesn’t want anything from her either. So I’m not sure where that leaves the band, you know?”

“I’m sure we can figure something out, Ryan. I think right now you need to focus on taking care of Ben and keeping him away from her.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” Ryan agreed. He heard a knock at the bathroom door.

“Ryan, you there?” Ben’s voice sounded slightly panicked.

“Yeah, be right out,” Ryan called out, quickly rising from the floor where he’d slumped while talking to Cassie. “Look, Cassie, I have to go, Ben’s up. I’ll call you back later when I know something.”

“Promise?”

“I promise.” Ryan clicked off and opened the door. Ben’s expression changed from worried to relieved in a moment.

“Sorry, I didn’t want to disturb you,” Ryan apologized, holding his phone up. “I was talking to Cassie. She called.”

They headed back to the bed, sitting on the edge, side by side. “Is she okay?” Ben asked. “Nothing’s wrong, I hope?”

Ryan took a deep breath, hating what he was about to say, as he explained about the threatening call Cassie had received from Liza. “I’m sorry. I don’t meant to upset you, but I had to tell you, I swore to you I’d never lie.”

“Yeah, I know, I’m glad you told me.” Ben shuddered. Ryan quickly put an arm about him, and they huddled together.

“I’m going to be free of her,” Ben said. Ryan was glad he sounded less lost and more in charge of himself than he had the night before. “I don’t care what she says. She’s no good for either one of us. Just have to figure out how to get the band out from under her thumb financially, now that I know it’s been her, not Cameron.” 

“Absolutely,” Ryan agreed, although he didn’t have the first clue as to how they were going to do that. He was also reminded that the next time he saw the man, he had a few choice words for Cameron Pope. “Do you have any ideas?”

Ben sighed softly. “Not really. I think the first step is to talk to Marge, see if she has time before she has to go so we can go over things with her, see what she thinks.”

“That sounds like a very good idea,” Ryan said. He pressed a soft kiss against Ben’s forehead.
At that moment, they heard a ding, but it wasn’t from Ryan’s phone. They glanced apprehensively toward Ben’s phone on the nightstand. “Do you want me to look?” Ryan offered.

“No, I have it.” Ben reached for his phone and checked the text message that had just come in. Ryan watched him anxiously until he saw Ben visibly relax. “Speak of the devil, it’s Marge. She wants to know about breakfast. Brunch now.” He quickly typed in a reply and hit send. “I told her we’d love to. We’re to meet up in her room in half an hour. I’ll contact the others, then we can get dressed.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Ryan said. As Ben texted the rest of the bank, Ryan watched him anxiously, but he seemed to be doing okay. Once he received replies from Aiden and Deacon, they got dressed and headed up to Marge’s room so they could have a few minutes alone with her.

“We’ll have to go get Cameron’s car,” Ryan reminded Ben. “We left it in the park last night.”

“If we didn’t need it, I’d be tempted to leave it there,” Ben Said. “But I won’t. Yeah, after breakfast we can go after it. We can Uber over or something and drive it back.”

Marge didn’t seem surprised to see them when they knocked on her door without the others. She ushered them in and invited them to have a seat on the extra bed. The reason became obvious when she began to speak.

“I didn’t want to say anything in a text, but I got an odd call last night—” she began. Ben and Ryan groaned in unison.

“I’m sorry, Marge. It was my mother, wasn’t it?”

Ryan took Ben’s hand in his and squeezed it reassuringly.

“She said she was,” Marge replied. “Told me the band is breaking up and my services were no longer needed.”

“What the hell?” Ryan spluttered.

“Don’t worry, I didn’t believe a word she said. I told her where to go and what she could do with herself once she got there.”

“I’m glad you knew better,” Ben said.  “But there’s more to it than that. Apparently, she’s been bankrolling us, not Cameron. We have to figure out how we’re going to make it without her money.”

Marge frowned at his words, falling silent for a minute. “You know something,” she said. “The group has a little break coming up. You head back to Mandeville tomorrow. Then you have one date in Lafayette, two nights in Baton Rouge, and then you’re back at Cameron’s place. Then nothing for a week. That might be a good time to re-organize. What do you think?”

“Sounds like a great idea,” Ben said.

“Okay then. Contact me when you’re ready and we’ll get together?” Moving toward them, she hugged both men. “Now, how about some breakfast?”

Ryan’s heart felt lighter. Maybe things weren’t so dire after all.

to be continued

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