Thursday, September 19, 2019

Book Review: Innocence and Carnality by J. Alan Veerkamp


    

Innocence and Carnality
Author: J. Alan Veerkamp
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

American release date: April 23, 2019
Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/LGBT Romance/350 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Nathan is a bird in a gilded cage. A member of the Deilian aristocracy, his life is proscribed by a series of rigid rules. But something goes horribly wrong when his “inclination” is discovered—that is, his homosexuality. Suddenly he has become the black sheep of his family, and his future looks bleak indeed, as the people of Deilia do not tolerate such behavior. Nathan’s father has him fitted with a chastity belt to keep his virtue intact until such time as he can find him someone who is willing to wed him, sacrificing his very dignity in the process.

Nathan’s father eventually comes up with a husband for his wayward son… enter Lord Rother Marsh Delaga III. He shows up one day and is unlike anyone Nathan has ever met. He is quite open about being gay, and is very obviously interested in Nathan. The wedding takes place right away—this is a man who doesn’t let the grass grow under his feet when he wants something—and he whisks his handsome and innocent young husband off to the strange and seductive land of Marisol.

Delaga House is not what Nathan expected. In fact there’s no way around it, it is a bordello. With some very interesting occupants.  Such as Alexandra, the very competent manager, and Blythe, the rather large bodyguard with a mind of his own and a mouth to match, and Vivian, who has a sharp tongue and an inflated sense of her own importance. Luckily, Nathan has brought his valet Harston with him, with whom he is close, someone to anchor him in this strange land.

Thanks to his strict upbringing, Nathan has trouble adjusting to the sensuality of his new life, but it feels oh so good. And just when he thinks maybe life as a married man in Marisol will be good, he the blinders torn from his eyes. Has he traded one kind of cage for another? Where can he turn and who can he trust? If he doesn’t lost his innocence and learn how to deceive, he will never survive the experience.

Innocence and Carnality is my first book by J. Alan Veerkamp, but it won’t be my last. I’ve been looking forward to reading this ever since I saw snippets of it in our writer’s group. It was well worth the wait. It’s sci fi with a definite steampunk vibe that I love. I especially loved Nathan, and enjoyed reading about his journey, and the things he had to do to survive as he became less and less innocent through necessity. The author has a wonderful writing style that flows easily, and he creates very memorable characters. The sex scenes are very hot and steamy and very explicit.

If there is a lesson one can take away from this book, perhaps it’s that there are no absolutes with good and bad, and what may seem to be good may not be, and what is looked down on as bad might be just a matter of understanding. I think this book would make an awesome movie.

In all good books, a character should grow in some way, not simply exist. Veerkamp has accomplished that with young Nathan, who not only experiences new things, but learns from them and develops as a person. You can’t help but cheer for him and hope he rises above the bad in his life in the end in order to emerge triumphant. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy men having hot steamy sex but are also a romantic heart, and liked it with a touch of sci fi.

Well done, J. Alan, well done indeed!








Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Wednesday Briefs: In Pieces #70 (17.3)

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.

Everything is going well at Salvation's gig. Ryan and Ben get to dance together on the band's break. That's when Ryan has an epiphany - he wants to marry Ben, but he doesn't want to pop the question inside the club. Ben agrees to leave the club so they can talk, but they run into two unexpected familiar faces. The first is Cameron, who's acting weird. And the second is Ben's mother, Ryan's once time stepmother, Liza. See how this plays out 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 #70 (17.3)


What the hell was she doing here was Ryan’s first thought, followed quickly by how the hell did she even find them?  What does she want? Questions swirled through his head, so many he had no idea where to begin. But then he realized how stiff Ben had become. Not to mention he hadn’t said a word and neither had she. The hair on the back of Ryan’s neck felt as though it had just come to attention, as a wave of panic surged through him. He fought to control it, focusing on the silent Ben.

Liza looked surprisingly much as she had when Ryan had last seen her. She was blonde, like Ben, but where his eyes were crystal blue, hers were dark and soulless. He could not remember a single time when she had voluntarily smiled at him, except perhaps in his father’s presence, when she’d put her on loving stepmother act, such as it was. He hadn’t liked her when he was eight, and their ten year acquaintance had done nothing to endear her to him. Especially after she had torn him apart from Ben.

Her gaze was fixed on Ben for a long moment before she glanced up, in his direction. Perhaps gauging if they were together or not. Their linked hands should have been a clue. Ryan stared back almost defiantly. What could she do to him now? Nothing. He was beyond her reach. She had no power to hurt him anymore. But Ben was another story.

At first, her eyes held no interest in him, as though he were of no importance. But then, as he watched, sudden recognition flared, and her lips curled back into her familiar sneer.

“Little Ryan. I didn’t expect to find you here. So it’s true, what I was told. You crawled out of the woodwork, did you? Come back to finish what you started, ruin my sweet Ben?”

Ryan tried not to flinch at her words, even as he wondered what she’d been told and by whom.

“What do you want, Liza?” Ben spoke before Ryan could frame a response. His voice held no warmth. It took a moment for Ryan to realize the words had actually come from Ben. Since when did he call his mother by her given name?

Liza seemed taken aback by his tone as well. Her eye widened as she turned her attention to her son. “What do I want? Do I have to want anything in order to see my only son?

“I think you do. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we were just on our way outside. We only have so long before we need to start the next set. I don’t want to spend that here with you.” Ben tightened his grip on Ryan’s hand. He sidestepped Liza, but she quickly moved to block them.

“Benjamin,” she admonished him sternly. “I will not have you treat me in this way. I gave you your space, let you go out on your own. But if I had any idea you would find this… this creature again”—she cast a contemptuous glance upon Ryan—“I would have called a halt to this foolishness much sooner. I think it’s time for you to come home.”

Foolishness? What the hell? Anger bubbled up inside of him, emotions he’d never been able to display in her presence before, out of deference to his father.

“Don’t you dare refer to Salvation as foolishness!” he snapped. “Salvation is a great band, and Ben’s a great singer. And he doesn’t deserve to have you treat him like this.” Still clutching Ben’s hand, Ryan moved ahead of him, taking the lead. “Like Ben said, we’re going outside. Don’t try to follow us.”

Ryan could tell Liza was seething, by the tightness of her cruel lips, the narrowing of her dark eyes as he maneuvered Ben and himself around her. She followed them with her cold glare.

“You have no idea what’s going on here, Ryan Fremont. You can’t break the bond between us, no matter how you try. No matter what you think you have, Ben is mine and always has been. Ask him about us… I dare you.”

Ryan could feel Ben tremble. He quickly slid an arm about his waist, afraid he was going to faint or something, willing his strength to flow into Ben. Ignoring Liza, he ushered Ben outside. Glancing up and down the street, he spotted a bench a short distance away and guided their steps there.

Ben felt limp as he handed him onto the bench, then took a seat beside him. Ryan pulled Ben to him and held him close. He began to shake again.

“Shh, shh,” Ryan tried to soothe him. “It’s all right, it’s all right, I’m here. I’m here.”

Ben’s tremors grew stronger. Ryan realized, with a start, that he was crying. He held him even tighter until Ben pushed back enough to raise his tear-stained face toward him. “You won’t be,” he whispered. “I’m going to lose you again.”

Ryan’s heart broke at Ben’s words.

to be continued

Now go see what the other Briefers are up to!




Virtual Book Tour: Kingdom Cold:: The Complete Series by Brittni Chenelle


 Good morning!  Please welcome author Brittni Chenelle to Full Moon Dreaming. Brittni is here to tell us about her new release, Kingdom Cold: The Complete Series. Brittni will be awarding an eBook of the collection to one randomly drawn commenter during her 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!






Kingdom Cold: The Complete Series
by Brittni Chenelle

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GENRE:   Fantasy

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BLURB:

Kingdom Cold
The Complete Collection
-------
Book I: Kingdom Cold
Book II: Kingdom Soul

Book III: Kingdom Untold
-------
Beware: a binge awaits.
Deliciously dark, romantic and gripping, the Kingdom Cold trilogy now can be yours in a dazzling collection.
Kingdom Cold follows the impulsive, teenage princess, Charlotte, as she attempts to murder her betrothed. But an arranged marriage is only the beginning of her problems, for the world as she knows it is falling apart. Her kingdom faces total destruction at the hands of Merlin and Lancelot, leaders of power-crazed Camelot.
Will wicked King Arthur prove, once and for all, that ruthless deeds create the legend? Can Princess Charlotte sacrifice love to save her home?
Only one can reign.


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EXCERPT:



A thud sounded on my door. My shoulders tensed. I hoped it was one of my maids—I needed to get out of this thing. I hurried to the door and pushed it open. Prince Young stood in my doorway.

"Charlotte," he said. I looked into the hall behind him to see if someone else was passing, anyone who could help me—but it was only him.

"Please pardon me for coming to your chamber. I wondered if I might be able to have a word with you before the—"

Grabbing him by the shirt, I pulled him into my chamber. "Get in here," I said, shutting the door behind him. I took two steps toward the center of my room and said, "Quick, untie it. Help me take this off."

"Well... this is going better than expected," he said, half under his breath.

"Hurry, I can't breathe," I shouted.

Young's hands moved clumsily over the ribbons. "Sorry, I've never done this before," he said, "Uh-uhm. I mean—"

"That's okay. Neither have I," I said without thinking. What did I even mean by that?

"How do I do this?" he whispered.

I said, "Just try to loosen it. I just need a deep breath."

He pulled at the ribbons and I felt a slight release around my waist. I exhaled. "So, what was it that you wanted to talk about?" I asked as he continued pulling aimlessly at strings behind me. He let my question hang there. I wasn't sure if he would answer.

"I wanted to know if you're happy with Emmett."

I opened my mouth to answer. "A-"

"No, that's not what I wanted to say. I guess what I mean is, do you still want to marry me? No, I guess you never really did want to. What I'm trying to say is, I miss Vires."

My heart thudded and I felt my corset tighten.

He continued. "Now that I'm free, I can return there, but for some reason, I can't—and I think that reason is that I want to marry you. Still."

My heart slammed into my ribcage. Was this a proposal? I turned to face him, holding the front of my dress up with my arm. It made no sense. "Why? There's barely a kingdomleft. You know what Emmett will do if I don't go through with this."

"I don't care." He stepped closer. My eyes disobeyed me and my gaze slipped to his lips for a fraction of a second. His eyebrow raised slightly. He'd noticed. As if he was reading my curiosity, he leaned in.

The door swung open, "Brother! Emmett is headed this— Oh," Minseo said, eyeing my half-untied dress. I sprang back from Young in a panic. Minseo grinned. "Wow, that really went better than I expected." My face exploded with heat.

"Minseo, she can't breathe. How do I untie this?" Young said, gesturing to my back. With three quick fluid motions, Minseo untied my entire corset. One thing was clear: Minseo had done this before.


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



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

BRITTNI CHENELLE currently lives in Seoul, Korea which inspires her multicultural fantasy books. Her favorite genres to read and write are Young Adult FantasyYoung Adult RomanceFairytale Retellings, and Young Adult Dystopian novels. She's very passionate about equal representation and makes a point to include characters from different backgrounds and cultures in her Fantasy stories.
Social Media
Facebook:
Instagram:
Twitter:
Blog:
Website:
Amazon buy link:


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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Wednesday Briefs: In Pieces #69 (17.2)

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.

Everything is going beautifully at Heavens Above. Ryan is feeling pretty good, and feels this is where he really belongs. He wants nothing more than to be with Ben for the rest of their lives. Maybe they should make their relationship permanent? See what's going on in this week's chapter of In Pieces. Don't forget to check out the other Briefers and see what's up with them! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!


In Pieces #69 (17.2)


When the first set ended, the band took a break and the dance club switched to a computerized music system. Ryan expected Ben to take a seat at the table he was sharing with Marge and relax before the next set, but apparently Ben had other ideas. Standing in front of Ryan, he reached for his hand as he swung his hips to the rhythm of the music that surged around them.

“C’mon, baby, let’s you and me shake it up a little!’

Ben led him into the crowd until they found an open spot. Ryan didn’t consider himself a great dancer, but tonight he didn’t care. Tonight was perfect, and he wouldn’t want it any other way. He followed Ben’s lead, mirroring his movements carefully. No one else was paying attention to them anyway, he realized. If anything, they were admiring Ben, and that was okay. Expected even.

Ryan wasn’t surprised to spot Deacon and Keanu dancing not too far from them, as well as Aiden and Abby. Abby looked to be in her element. The two siblings moved together as if they’d been doing this all their lives, each twin perfectly in sync with the other. Maybe he and Ben would become that way, someday.

There was so much he wanted to share with Ben, so much to experience. Ryan knew without a doubt that he wanted this to last forever… wanted him and Ben to last forever. For better or worse… come what may…

With a start, Ryan realized he wanted to marry Ben, something he’d never even considered before,  not with anyone else. Take the vows that would bind them together in ways that no one could tear apart. But would Ben feel the same way?

Just at that moment, as if scripted in some romantic film, the fast-paced music gave way to something much slower and sensual. Ben wasted no time in drawing Ryan closer, hooking his arm around Ryan’s waist. “Want to receive my sacraments?” he whispered hotly in Ryan’s ear just before he licked it.

A tingle surged through Ryan. If they were alone, the things he could do and say… but not here, not now. If he gave in to these delicious sensations, his thoughts would be derailed, and he wanted to focus on what he wanted to say.

“Ben…”

“Yes, baby?” Ben was dancing oh so close now, his breath hot on Ryan’s neck, even as his fingers skittered down Ryan’s back, over his buttocks.

Ryan drew back far enough to be able to look into Ben’s baby blues, although they were violet now, due to the contact lenses he wore. “I love you so much,” he said in a voice choked with emotion. “So very much.”

“You know I love you too, you’re everything to me,” Ben said in reply. His lips were so close to Ryan’s that his words vibrated against them. “My life begins and ends with you, Ryan. Always has. Please don’t ever leave me. No matter what.”

Why did Ben sound so… hell, he couldn’t describe what he heard in Ben’s voice.  Deep love, yes, but something more… almost a sense of desperation. But what did Ben have to be desperate about?
They needed privacy, and they needed it right now. This wasn’t the proper place for what he intended to do. “Let’s go outside,” he suggested. “There’s something I want to say to you.”

Ben didn’t make an immediate reply. Ryan’s heart felt as though it might beat out of his chest, waiting for a response, until suddenly Ben kissed him, long and hard, with a fierce passion. Ryan felt himself moan into the kiss, felt Ben’s own moan. And then Ben released him, gazing at him for a moment. He took Ryan’s hand in his, grasped it firmly, then turned, navigating a path through the dancing throng. Ryan noticed with relief that they were headed toward the door. He followed silently, turning over words and phrases in his mind, searching for just the right one.

So focused was he on his impending proposal that he wasn’t prepared to have Ben come to a sudden halt. He ran up against his back before he could stop himself.  As he automatically started to apologize, he glanced up to find a familiar figure standing in front of them. What was Cameron doing here? Was Ben expecting him? Ben’s first words dispelled that notion.

“I didn’t know you were coming,” Ben said. “But we were just headed outside. Catch you in a few.”
Was it Ryan’s imagination, or did Cameron seem kind of jittery? Nervous, even. Maybe he was just surprised at running into them like this. Ryan decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. Besides, he had more important things on his mind than Cameron. He wasn’t sure entirely trusted Salvation’s backer, but that wasn’t really his call to make. At least not until he had a tangible reason to mistrust him.

“Then I’ll get a drink,” Cameron announced, giving Ben a quick once-over. “Looking good as always.” He winked somewhat lasciviously before disappearing in the direction of the bar.

Ben turned toward Ryan, frowning. “Something feels off,” he said. “But I don’t know what.”

“I think you’re right but I’m not sure what either,” Ryan agreed.

“Sorry, we were going out.” Ben squeezed Ryan’s hand. At least Cameron hadn’t ruined their plans. Now he could propose to Ben, and hopefully Ben would say yes. The thought was both frightening and intoxicating.

They’d almost reached the door when it opened, admitting new customers. They stood aside to make room for them to pass. All but one made their way into the dance club, laughing and chattering together. Guess they’d have to go around this one to get outside.

But Ben stood frozen before him.

Ryan looked past him with apprehension, staring at the roadblock to their progress. Then his eyes grew wide with comprehension.

Liza!

to be continued

Now go see what the other Briefers are up to!










Monday, September 9, 2019

Virtual Book Tour: Fragments of French, an Unexpected Journey of the heart by Wanda St. Hilaire

Good morning!  Please welcome author Wanda St. Hilaire to Full Moon Dreaming. She is here today to tell us about her new release, Fragments of French, an Unexpected Journey of the Heart. Wanda will be awarding a ribboned beret and Paris coin bag with a eBook of Fragments of French to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour via Rafflecopter. The more you comment, the greater 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!




Fragments of French, an Unexpected
Journey of the Heart
by Wanda St. Hilaire

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GENRE:  Memoir  (travel)

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BLURB:

After a harsh brush with her mortality, shadowed by a premature divorce, Wanda St. Hilaire pledges to be true to her primary passion—living ardently through travel. On the fateful day her life intersects with Jean-François, a charming Frenchman, on a bustling street in Lisbon, every fiber of her being feels as though she has finally entered the doorway to a magical world that she knew existed since she was a young girl.

St. Hilaire turns a complicated romantic ballet full of missteps into a collage of people, places, and cultures. Fragments of French is an exquisitely detailed travelogue of Portugal, Canada, France, and Mexico, filled with minor characters who delight with their humanity. However, what really makes this tale a standout is a gift for pacing and description to rival Tom Wolfe.

The hero’s journey is not only for the characters of our favorite stories or mythical legends. At some point, each of us receives the call to adventure. Fate summons the hero; we can refuse the call, or step into something that will turn our lives upside down, and potentially change everything we know to be true.

From feeling “completely disarmed, no fortress standing”, to embracing her untethered strength, the author turns this account of living life out loud into lessons for us all.

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EXCERPT:









After his shower, Jean-François invites me to join him at a nearby café he visits each morning before work. He looks squeaky clean and refreshed. We pass a tiny desk in the dim hallway, and a smiling, motherly landlady pops out from a doorway, insistent on meeting me. Although this short conversation is in French and Portuguese, it is clear that she is pleased for Jean-François to have found a woman, and I can see that she has adopted him as one of her own.

The noisy pâtisserie has standing-room-only at the bar, typical for a busy European weekday. Jean-François orders a double espresso and two pains au chocolat, and I my daily cappuccino. The baker pulls a fragrant tray of freshly baked pastries from an oven directly in front of us. As I bite into my croissant, the chocolate still hot and velvety and running down my fingers, I cannot know that this is a moment I will never forget, and one I will seek to relive, to re-taste.

He draws me a map of the way back to Rossio on a small blue napkin, and I leave him only after he boards the bus. Passing businessmen in tailored suits and starched white shirts, I observe the workaday life of the Lisboans from my wistful world, a million miles away from my everyday life—energized by the tender night, twitterpated by the possibility of love, and high on travel. On the way, I plan for a daytrip to Sintra by train today.



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Her prime passion is the thrill of travel—of experiencing other cultures, traditions, lifestyles, and languages—thus expanding her perspective.

Wanda St. Hilaire has a predilection and passion for all things Latin, and she believes life is too short not to do what you love, where you love. She spends time writing in Mexico for inspiration, and to escape the frozen landscapes of Alberta.

Through writing, St. Hilaire shares what she’s learned from the high peaks of adventure and love, to the dark valleys of illness and heartbreak. Her mission is to help people overcome the self, and tap into their wise inner guidance system. Her wish is to inspire others to live true to their unique and beautiful nature.



Companion Poetry Book, Of Love, Life, and Journeys


(Inspired during the story of my travel memoir, this collection of poems and verse was first published in 2004 and became a Canadian bestseller for poetry. This second edition was created as a companion book to Fragments of French,)


The embed code for the book video.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OPp3vMOpFFw" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Blog: www.lifebyheart.wandasthilaire.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wandasthilairethewriter/

Twitter: @spicytraveler  (https://twitter.com/spicytraveler



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Friday, September 6, 2019

Book Review: Blue Morning, Vol 7 by Shoko Hidaka


Blue Morning, Vol 7     

Author: Shoko Hidaka
Publisher: SuBLime Publishing
American release date: March 13, 2018
Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Yaoi/232 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Akihito finds one of his father’s old suits and tries it on, only to find it fits him as if it were made for him. He has a reason for dressing this way. He’s going to pay a visit to the dying head of the Katsuragi house. Meanwhile, Tomoyuki is returning to the Ashizaki house, along with Amamiya, having spent the night with Akihito. Now he has to face the anger of Saemon Ashizaki.

On Akihito’s arrival at the Katsuragi house, he is met by Takayuki Katsuragi, who is highly displeased at this unannounced visit, fearing it’s being done to cause him to lose face. Akihito insists he has no desire to place Tomoyuki as head of the Kuze house, he merely wishes to speak with Takamasa Katsuragi before it’s too late.

Soichiro returns home to find Katsuragi in his room, and he’s surprised to find the man has been drinking. Not surprising considering what happened between him and Soichiro’s father. They speak of Akihito and his plans to spend the summer at Kamakura before leaving for his studies in England.

When Akihito, dressed in his father’s suit, is finally permitted to see Takamasa Katsuragi, the dying man confuses him with his father, and at Akihito’s urging, begins to spin a tale going back some thirty-odd years. Afterward he retires to Kamakura. Time passes, and summer is nearly gone, but no sign of Katsuragi.

Katsuragi and Soichiro have a confrontation regarding the latter’s marriage, as well as the geisha he loves, but it’s not satisfactory to him, even after Katsuragi explains his reasoning. He dismisses Katsuragi peremptorily, tells him to get out.

Things are surely coming to a head in this series, truths are coming out, revealing a complicated web of lies. Akihito has learned that which Tomoyuki yearns to know, and is about to tell him the truth. Surely, using this information, they can find a way to stay together and be together, as equals? I believe that is what it all comes down to in the end, finding the common ground on which they can be equal partners, not master and servant, and free to live their lives together.

Even so, I worry that there are forces who may work against them. At this juncture, although Soichiro has long been supportive of their relationship, right now he is angry, so there’s no telling what he may do. His father is angry too. I think the next volume is the last one, and should be here in just a few months. I’m looking forward to seeing these two men get the happy ending they deserve.

Another great volume, waiting anxiously for the next one!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Book Review: Bleach, Vol 7 by Tite Kubo


Bleach, Vol 6     

Author: Tite Kubo
Publisher: Viz Media
American release date: April 5, 2005
Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/200 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

As Ichigo battles Hollows which Quincy Uryu Ishida has lured with his bait, Orihime and Chad awaken to find themselves safe, having been removed from the battle by a mysterious stranger in a striped hat. Chad demands to know what has happened, and what it has to do with Ichigo. Ishida is finding that his plan is going awry. He can’t kill the Hollows with just one shot anymore, alarmingly, and as his strength wanes, the number of Hollows only increases—not quite what he’d had in mind when he began the contest with Ichigo.

Rukia is dismayed to find that her strength is not what it should be. Suddenly beset by what she at first thinks is Ichigo, she realizes it is Kon clinging to her like a leech, she spots Ishida and learns that this sudden infestation of Hollows is his fault and wants to know what he was trying to prove. Meanwhile, Kiskue is revealing the truth about their powers to Orihime and Chad, and how they were activated. Seeing their skepticism, he invites them to come along with him and see for themselves.

Ichigo has finally caught up with Kon and is furious that he didn’t do what he sent him to do, which was to retrieve Rukia’s thingamajig. Ishida is still intent on having Ichigo as his opponent, but Ichigo notices the ominous cracks in the sky. As they watch, Rukia explains to him about the Quincies and why they had to be destroyed.

Despite everything, Ichigo wants to work with Ishida, not against him. Ishida explains why he hates Soul Reapers so much, and Ichigo explains about the death of his mother, and his own war against Hollows. Can these two work together to defeat the Hollow horde? And what the heck is a Menos Grande?

Should they be frightened?

There is a lot going on in this volume of Bleach. Since I’m watching the anime (although I’ve way ahead of where I’m reading), I find it interesting to note things in the manga I would have liked to see in the anime. Such as the scene with Kiskue and Orihime and Chad, where he explains about their powers. Watching Ishida and Ichigo learn to work together is great, as they both have issues to work through, mostly Ishida. Ichigo, for the most part, is pretty laid back, and takes things in stride. Ishida, on the other hand, is rather high-strung and nervous.

The fight against the Menos Grande is pretty awesome, not to mention we get to see more of Kiskue Uruhara and Tessai, although there is much we don’t yet know. I loved seeing Rukia and Ishida assimilate with their schoolmates, and the first appearance of Mr. Yoruichi is priceless.

Another great volume of Bleach, looking forward to more of the same!


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Wednesday Briefs: In Pieces #68 (17.1)

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.

It's been nice having time off with Ben, but now it's back to work. Salvation is playing a dance club, and everything is going well. See what the boys are up to in this week's chapter of Salvation. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

In Pieces #68 (17.1)


Once they reached the dance club, Ryan helped the band to set up, his heart light, his mood upbeat. The name of the venue was Heavens Above, and it was decorated with a stars and planets motif, as well as the astrological signs. The club permitted patrons under twenty-one to enter, but they weren’t allowed to purchase alcohol. The club manager was a pretty black woman who looked to be somewhere around forty. She welcomed them warmly, told them her name was T’Neisha, and to let her know if they needed anything.

Marge secured a table for the two of them, near the stage. Once they were set up, Ben joined them for a few minutes, pulling a chair as close as he could get to Ryan’s. Taking Ryan’s hand in his, he twined their fingers, then raised their joint hands to his lips, kissing the back of Ryan’s hand. Even in the bright lights of the club, his eyes shone with his devotion to Ryan.

All too soon, it was time for the show to begin. Ryan reluctantly released Ben’s hand, but was rewarded when Ben rose and closed the slight gap between them, bending down to lay a serious liplock on Ryan. Nearby customers cheered and catcalled, but there was no malice in their tones.

“See you soon, sexy,” Ben murmured in Ryan’s ear once he’d released his lips. He headed up to the stage, shimmying for Ryan’s benefit, which produced more applause. Ryan heard someone comment, 

“I wish I had a priest like that!” while someone else remarked, “He’s so lucky, what a sexy guy!”

Yes, Ben was definitely that, Ryan acknowledged. And he was all Ryan’s.

“Hey, Ryan, want a drink?”

How bad was it that he’d forgotten Marge was at the table too? He seemed to have tunnel vision whenever Ben was around. Marge wore a huge grin, and he knew she understood his preoccupation with Ben.

“Thanks, not right now,” he said. “I’m good.”

“I know Ben thinks so.” Marge chuckled. “Be right back.” She melted into the crowd, heading toward the bar at the back of the club.

Ryan removed the camera he’d hung around his neck, and began to take photos, being sure to save them in a separate folder he’d named for the venue. 

“Man, you have a great view here.” A voice broke into his reveries. Startled, he turned to see a young girl, maybe fifteen or sixteen, standing beside his table. “Mind if I sit here for a few and watch the band with you? You must really like them a lot, right? Is it okay to take their pictures? Like do you have to get permission or anything?” Not waiting for an answer, she slid into an empty chair, still chattering away. Ryan couldn’t help but stare at her, wondering when she was going to take a breath amid her landslide of words.

“My name’s Lilah, how are you? It’s short for Delilah, but no one ever calls me that. I think my mother got it out of the Bible. You know that Samson and Delilah thing? She thought it might make me good at handling men or something, I dunno. Parents? Who knows what they’re thinking, right?”
She cocked her head and peered at him from behind bright purple eyeglasses. “Are you okay?”

“Um…. Yeah, I’m fine,” he managed to get out. On an impulse, he aimed the camera at her and took a quick picture. Belatedly, he realized maybe he should have asked her permission before he took the photo. “Sorry, was that okay?”

“That all depends, what do you want to do with it? Well, it’s not like I’m naked or anything, not like I ever would, but still, once has to be careful about that sort of thing, you know?”

His blood turned to ice until he saw her smile, and he realized she was joking. That wasn’t something he was used to getting, especially from girls.

“About the pictures,” he hastily interjected while she seemed to be between sentences. “It’s perfectly fine. I’m with the band, you see. I’m supposed to take photos.”

“Oh, cool.” She beamed at him. “What’s your name? I’m Lilah. Oh wait, I said that, didn’t I?” She giggled. “I didn’t know you’re with them. Do you play anything?”

“My name’s Ryan,” he responded. “I’m not a musician, though, I’m a writer. I’m writing a book about the tour.”

“How awesome. So that’s why you’re taking pictures, now I get it. Do you think you’re going to use that picture of me in your book? That would be amazing! I would tell all my friends and they’d be soooo jealous, and I’d make them all buy copies of the book.” She took a deep breath before continuing. “So, who do you like the most in the band? I mean, like who’s your favorite? I bet it’s Aiden, ‘cause he’s just do dreamy. His sister is cute, but he’s cuter. Besides, she’s a girl. Think he might think I’m cute? Oh my goodness, I’d just die if I thought that, but wouldn’t that be so awesome?”

Ryan found it hard to follow all her perambulations, but he did realize she was definitely under age, and he had no idea what Aiden’s type might be. “I honestly couldn’t say,” he managed to slip in when he spotted a slight break in the conversation/monologue.

This girl was definitely high-spirited, he had to give her that. And somewhat distracting, as she’d managed to garner all his attention. But he suspected Ben wouldn’t mind, since it was for the good of the band. But he seriously needed to get back to work.

Just then salvation arrived—no pun intended—in the form of another young girl in a pink Lolita dress. “Lilah, come here, you’ll never guess who just called me?” Both girls squealed then headed off to discuss this new development. Ryan sighed in relief.

to be continued

Now go see what the other Briefers are up to!


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Book Blast: The Fixer Upper by Maggie Mae Gallagher

Good morning! Please welcome author Maggie Mae Gallagher to Full Moon Dreaming! She is here to tell us about her newest release, The Fixxer Upper. Maggie will be awarding a $25 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!



The Fixer Upper
by Maggie Mae Gallagher

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

Abby Callier is more in love with Shakespearean heroes than any real man, and she’s beginning to wonder if there is life for her outside the pages of a book. It doesn’t help that her esteemed parents tend to view her as they would one of their science experiments gone wrong. On the eve of finishing her dissertation, she escapes her staid existence to live in the house she inherited from her Great Aunt Evie in the small town of Echo Springs, Colorado. Because, let’s face it, when a woman starts comparing her life to horror films, it might be time for a break.

Sheriff Nate Barnes believes in law and order and carefully building the life you want. In his spare time, he has been remodeling his house in the hope that one day it will be filled with the family he makes. But Nate doesn’t like drama or complications and tends to avoid them at all costs. And yet, when Miss Abigail Callier, his newest neighbor, beans him with a nine iron, he can’t help but wonder if she might just be the complication he’s been searching for all along. It doesn’t hurt that he discovers a journal hidden away by the previous tenant and decides to use Old Man Turner’s advice to romance Abby into his life.

Abby never expected her next-door neighbor, the newly dubbed Sheriff Stud Muffin, to be just the distraction her world needed. The problem is she doesn’t know whether she should make Echo Springs her home, or if this town is just a stopover point in her life’s trajectory. And she doesn’t want to tell Nate that she might not be sticking around—even though she should because it’s the right thing to do, the honest thing—because then all the scintillatingly hot kisses with the Sheriff will come to an abrupt halt. Did she mention that he’s a really great kisser?

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EXCERPT:



“Stocking up a bit?” Nate asked as they set the cooler down next to the deepfreeze.

Abby shrugged, flipping the lid up to reveal packages of steaks, chicken breasts, pork chops, ground beef, bacon, sausage, turkey. Staring at the mountain of meat, she had to admit she was a little obsessive when it came to being prepared. “Well, I did some research before accepting the position at Echo Springs Community College, and it said that roads can be impassible during the winter.”

“They can, but we do try to stay on top of road clearing. When it snows, the skiers come out in full force and head into the mountain resorts. All those travelers are the life-blood of this town, as they stop at the gas stations, restaurants, and shops. Without that, this town would go belly up in a New York minute. When the snows hit, the Styman boys stop working the appliance store and clear the streets, along with a few more of the locals. They work together to keep the city’s roads as clear as possible.”

“Good to know. But we aren’t in the city.” Which was something that wasn’t lost on her. 

“No, we’re not. It can get a bit dicey out here. I tend to stay in town more and sleep at the station, but it’s good that you’re stocking up. Make sure you’ve got yourself some long underwear and some firewood.”

She blushed at the underwear comment and wanted to kick herself. What are you, a teenager? Just because Sheriff Stud Muffin’s topic made her wonder whether he was a boxers or briefs kind of man, and that she’d love to find out which he preferred, was no reason for Abby to act like an unschooled virgin.

Wait a second… “Firewood? Why would I need firewood?”

It wasn’t something she had considered she would even need. Where did she get some? Would she have to cut the wood herself? Abby could see herself trying to heft an ax to chop wood. Coordination was not her strong suit. More likely than not, she’d end up hacking the wood to bits, all while taking off a few of her limbs. It wouldn’t be pretty. Besides, knowing her, she’d leave the ax outside for the psycho killer to find and use to attack her in her home. She could imagine the headline:

Evie Callier’s great-niece hacked to death because she didn’t listen to her parents. Murder weapon apparently belonged to the victim, army of dolls suspected, news at eleven.

Jesus, she needed to get a grip. 

Nate regarded her, his modest expression calling her a hundred times a fool for not being better prepared for life in the mountains, and said, “In case you lose power during a storm. It can get mighty cold up in these hills, especially when we are being pummeled with blizzard conditions. It doesn’t happen all the time, but in these older homes, power can get knocked out and be out for days.”

“What about a backup generator? Would that suffice?” Because if so, she’d turn right back around and head back to Gundry’s Bulk Superstore for one. The thought of being without power during a blizzard chilled her, and for a millisecond, she considered hightailing it back East. Until she remembered that back East would mean having to deal with her parents’ disapproval nearly twenty-four seven. She’d already visited that amusement park fun house, thank you very much, and didn’t want to return. 

“Yes and no. Most are gas-operated, although there are newer models that are solar but come with a heftier price tag, and if you run out of fuel…”

“You run out of electricity. Does anyone sell firewood in town?” She’d start looking tonight online for a backup generator. The thought of having only a fireplace for warmth made her shudder involuntarily. With her luck, that would be when all the creepy dolls decided to rise up en masse and strike. 

“Check with Styman’s. I’m not sure what their stock is this time of year, but if you’d like some help, I’d be happy to get you started.”

She unloaded the last of the meat into the freezer, and shut the lid. “That would be nice, if it’s not too much trouble. Thank you.”

“It’s no problem at all. After you.” He gestured at the wooden stairs.

Nate trailed her up the steps; she could feel his gaze boring into her back as they entered the kitchen. Abby restrained from fanning her face at the jolt of heat that hummed in her system whenever he was near.


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Maggie Mae Gallagher

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Maggie grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Maggie never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.

Maggie is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes erotic romance under the name Anya Summers. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.

Visit her website here:
www.maggiemaegallagher.com

Visit her on social media here:
Facebook: FB.me/MagMaeGallagher 
https://www.facebook.com/MagMaeGallagher/
https://www.instagram.com/magmaegallagher/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7846308.Maggie_Mae_Gallagher  
Twitter: @magmaegallagher
https://twitter.com/magmaegallagher?lang=en
https://www.amazon.com/author/maggiegallagher 
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/maggie-mae-gallagher

Amazon Buy Link:  https://amzn.to/2kmZHUm

Nook https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-fixer-upper-maggie-mae-gallagher/1132011648



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The Mystic Series

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The Cantati Chronicles

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And if you like your romance with a bit of spice and kink be sure to check out Maggie Mae Gallagher writing as Anya Summers on Amazon!





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