Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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.

Salvation has arrived at their motel in Lake Charles, now they're waiting for their manager, Marge, to arrive. While they wait, Ryan and Ben hang out at the pool and talk a bit. See what's going on in this week's episode 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 #58 (14.3)

The late afternoon sun was warm but not overly so. “Mmm, this feels nice,” Ryan said as he stretched out. They sat close enough together that Ben, who sat to Ryan’s right, had laid his hand on Ryan’s thigh in a possessive gesture that he didn’t mind at all, while he texted with his other hand.

“Aiden and Abs said they’d look for us here. Said they wouldn’t be long.” Ben slid his phone into his pocket. “Yeah, it feels very nice. Not too cold and not too hot.” He glanced over at Ryan, his expression apologetic. “I know we haven’t had much time for us since you got here.”

“Well, I wasn’t expecting any when I took the job,” Ryan replied. “But then I didn’t know you were here, either. I mean, I thought it was just another job.”

“And what is it now?” Ben leaned in closer to Ryan.

“My life,” he replied. “The life I thought I lost ten years ago.” He leaned closer to Ben, until their lips met with a soft sigh. They drew apart, smiling.

“You knew I was coming, you knew it was me. Did you expect this?” Ryan asked, wondering where he’d found the nerve to ask something like that. Maybe with age? What were Ben’s expectations when he arranged for Ryan to go on tour with his band? Did he know they would be together? Or did he anticipate they would have a more businesslike relationship?

“I hoped,” Ben admitted. “And I wanted. But expect? No, I wouldn’t say I expected it. I mean, after ten years, I didn’t know if you would… if you felt….” He seemed to be fumbling for words all of a sudden. Ryan couldn’t help but be touched by the vulnerability in his voice.

“For all I knew, you were already with someone. Or married. Or something.” He cast his eyes down so Ryan couldn’t read his expression.

“I haven’t been with anyone in forever.” Ryan tiled Ben’s face up so he could look into his eyes. “No one ever measured up to you. You were the only one I ever wanted.” His face heated as he remembered his few failed relationships, and the disparaging comments he’d received from them.

“Is something wrong?” Ben’s brows were knit, his look concerned.

“No,” Ryan tried to assure him. “The few guys I went out with… tried to have sex with…” He fumbled for words, embarrassed until Ben gave his hand a reassuring squeeze. “I couldn’t get it up for anyone else,” he finally admitted. “Because they weren’t you. I know that probably sounds silly—”

“No, it sounds amazing.” He raised Ryan’s hand up to his lips and kissed it reverently.

“Did you ever—?” Ryan blurted out before he could stop himself. “I’m sorry, forget I said anything.” 

He was horrified at himself for asking. Ben was too beautiful not to have had boyfriends. None of that mattered now. He was with Ryan, and that’s what counted, not who came before. Just because he played a priest on stage didn’t mean he had to live like one.

“Shh.” Ben stilled Ryan’s apology by laying two fingers against Ryan’s lips. “You are the only man I’ve ever loved. The only man I’ve ever been with.”

Ryan felt his heart swell at Ben’s words. He’d known Ben was a virgin when they’d made love for the first time, didn’t mean he hadn’t done anything else. Was it selfish of him to be glad Ben hadn’t touched another man?

But before he could say or ask anything else, he became aware they weren’t alone. Aiden and Abby had arrived, and Deacon and Keanu were right behind them.

“Later,” Ben whispered in a voice that turned Ryan hot and cold at the same time.

to be continued

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Virtual Book Tour: Beneath Black Clouds and White by Virginia Crow

Good morning! Please welcome author Virginia Crow to Full Moon Dreaming! She is here to talk about her new release, Beneath Black Clouds & White. Virginia will be awarding a paperback copy of Beneath Black Clouds & White (international giveaway) to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning! To find the other stops on Virginia's tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post!

Beneath Black Clouds and White
by Virginia Crow


GENRE: Historical Fiction


NOTE: The book will be on sale for $0.99.



Accompanied by his wife to Flanders, Josiah Tenterchilt meets a man who could not be more different from him: an apprentice surgeon named Henry Fotherby. As these two men pursue their own actions, fate and the careful connivance of a mysterious individual will push them together for the rest of their lives.

But it is a tumultuous time, and the French revolutionaries are not the only ones who pose a threat. The two gentlemen must find their place in a world where the constraints of social class are inescapable, and ‘slavery or abolition’ are the words on everyone’s lips.

Beneath Black Clouds and White is the prequel to Day's Dying Glory.



“Henry, you saved so many lives, but some men are beyond curing.”

“No, it was not that.” He turned to face his uncle once more. “He was court martialled and shot.”

“Good lord, Henry,” he said quickly. “Whatever for?”


“And you defended him?” His uncle scowled up at him and shook his head. “Do you want the revolution here in England? King George may struggle with himself but that is no reason to guillotine him.”

“I defended him because he was wronged,” Fotherby replied, as calmly as he could. “He was not able to consider his actions.”

“You cannot do it, Henry.”

“Do what?”

“Bring that into Wanderford Hall.”

“What do you mean?” Fotherby whispered, staring at the man before him.

“I tolerated your engagement to a woman of no birth and no money. I accepted her and her father into this house. But you cannot take the daughter of such a man and make her the mistress of Wanderford Hall.”

“It is not your house to tell me what I can and cannot do. I say that Miss Simmons shall be a fine mistress of Wanderford Hall. How can you judge a woman on the actions of her father? I should not care to think that I were judged on your actions simply because I am your nephew.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Virginia grew up in Orkney, using the breath-taking scenery to fuel her imagination and the writing fire within her. Her favourite genres to write are fantasy and historical fiction, sometimes mixing the two together such as her soon-to-be-serialised books "Caledon". She enjoys swashbuckling stories such as the Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and is still waiting for a screen adaption that lives up to the film!

When she's not writing, Virginia is a music teacher in Caithness. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of music, especially as a tool of inspiration. She also helps out with the John o' Groats Book Festival which has just celebrated its 2nd year. Hopefully they'll be plenty more to come!

Book Trailer (Beneath Black Clouds and White)



Amazon Book Link



Hi! Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hello! My name’s Virginia Crow, and I’m pleased, excited and grateful to be invited to share a bit about my books and my writing with you.  Or, as they say where my family’s from: I’m reet chuffed!  I’m below half the age of my life expectancy, so whatever anyone says,  think I’m still young!  Writing historical fiction was not at all what I thought I’d be doing when I grew up.  For years I wanted to be a paleontologist – before the Jurassic Park film came out! – and any story I wrote when I was growing up was either high fantasy or ghost stories.  So, seven years ago, when I started writing (what was to be) my first published book, it was a surprise to find it was in the historical fiction genre.

Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?
Thank you for your support.  I value each and every one of you, and just hope you enjoy the books’ journeys as much in the reading as I did in the writing.

What do you do when you are not writing?
I’m a self-employed music teacher, so music is a big thing for me.  I’m usually either making or listening to it.  Otherwise, I try to turn my hand to as many different crafts as possible.  Every summer I enter the “Industrial Section” of the County Show.  Traditionally this tent was an opportunity for farmers’ wives to show the skills and crafts they exercised while their husbands worked the land.  Nowadays anyone can enter.  I’ve got a special love of knitting and visual art, and always try to enter these crafts even if I don’t enter any of the others.  [I’m not a farmer’s wife, by the way!]

Do you write an outline before starting a book or just write?
I do write an outline, but it is a very vague one.  I used to write books completely out of synch, but then I realised that I was never going back to fill in the missing chapters.  And if I didn’t want to write them, why on earth would a reader want to read them?  A complete change of style ensued and I started writing chronologically, and then I realised that I was incorporating dozens of subplots which just *happened*.  My books then took on a believable aspect, because life is not about one storyline or event, it’s about a whole host of them.

Can you tell us, in your own words not the book description, a little about your book?
Beneath Black Clouds and White is a book on several levels.  Sure, it’s got a complex and intricate storyline – which I’m pretty proud of! – but it’s also readable on so many levels.  You know when you’re given a book at school and told to find what the author was saying without saying it?  And you make something up just to get the number of marks you need to pass?  Well, this one has no need to make things up.  There are obvious overtones of social discontent, and the book deals with the world at one of the occasions when there’s been a massive change of opinion and global forces.  Nowadays we can look back with hindsight and say, with 100% surety, that these changes were for the better.  But at the time it was frightening for people to try and achieve these ideals, and people had to be daring and brave if they wanted to join the abolitionist movement.  I think the book puts humanity at the heart of this debate and looks at the fear and frailty of both sides.

Where can we purchase this book?
Everywhere! There is a PoD system set up for paperbacks, so all you have to do is ask your local bookstore and they can have it printed for you.
It’s also available via the publisher’s website
If you’re after the eBook, you can find it at Crowvus, Kobo, Amazon and Smashwords

What is the hardest part of writing in your opinion?
Having the time!  Because of the nature of my job, I work in the afternoons and evenings which means my main writing time is in the morning.  The only problem is, for me writing is an immersive art, and waking up into the “real world” to do my job, can be quite difficult.  There are some books, or parts of books, I knew I would have to write at a different time.
On one occasion, I can remember walking Orlando (our dog) into town after a morning of writing.  A man came up, wanting to say hello to Orlando (who, notoriously, hates men) and I warned the gentleman not to go near Orlando.  I didn’t think anything of it until my sister started laughing at me.  Apparently, instead of using normal, modern words, I’d addressed him as someone in the Georgian period.  So, at that point I decided not to write if I knew I was going to be going out into the world afterwards!

Is there a genre that you love to read, and would like to write, but just cannot?
Children’s literature.  I recently became an auntie, and it has inspired me to rethink over all the books I loved and which inspired me as a child.  I’ve had a go at writing for children, but somehow it doesn’t seem to be quite right.  I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, it’s just not right!  But, I’ve been practicing, and this year I managed to put together an entry for the Kelpie Prize (for children’s literature) which I’m quite pleased with.  Who knows, if they like it too, I might have cracked it after all!

Favorite kind of chocolate?
Definitely Alpine chocolate! Swiss or Italian.

Cats or dogs?
Dogs – I’m the proud owner of a Sprocker Spaniel called Orlando, and I’m under no illusions: he runs my life far more than I run his!

Do you read more than you write?
No. I’m a spectacularly picky reader – I think I annoy people with just how picky I am!  But when I find a good book I do find it difficult to
a)     stop reading
b)    stop thinking about it the whole time
I tend to feel totally bereft when I finish a good book, and I have t allow myself a mourning period before I’m ready to embark on my next literary adventure!

Hardback/Paperback or eReader?

Why do you like hardcover/paperback more?
I don’t possess an eReader!  I don’t have a mobile – or at least not one which has been charged in the last three years – and only put the TV to good use during the Football (Soccer) World Cup and the Olympics.  I’m not exactly a technophobe because I love my laptop and lose several hours each week to Twitter.  But I love the sense of age and endurance with a book.  The oldest book in the house dates back to 1664.  It’s seen two world wars, the French Revolution, American Independence, three Jacobite uprisings, and the Great Fire of London.  Holding so much history in one (comparatively) tiny book is incredible.  I just love being a part of it.

Favorite color?
Yellow, it’s chirpy and cheerful!

How many paperback/hardcover books do you own?
When my parents got married they said they would never throw away a book – although they have, on occasions, given books to secondhand stalls and charity shops.  Having grown up with that attitude, 33 years worth of books have accumulated.  I have no idea how many books I have, but it’s probably closer to thousands than hundreds!

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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Book Review: Blue Morning, Vol 4 by Shoko Hidaka

Blue Morning, Vol 4        

Author: Shoko Hidaka
Publisher: SuBLime Publishing
American release date: February 11, 2014
Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Yaoi/218 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Akihito has moved into humble lodgings, occupying part of a house once owned by Ishizaki’s old housekeeper. As far as the servants at the manor know, he is staying at the Ishizaki villa. This is a brand new world for Akihito, who has no practical knowledge of how anything works, including such basics as using a sink or a stove. He has a lot to learn! The reason for downgrading his lifestyle is that Akihito plans to relinquish his title in favor of Katsuragi, which he confides to Ishizaki, even as he strongly impresses upon him that Katsuragi must not find out.

Akihito confronts Amamiya at the manor. Amamiya is surprised that Akihito bears him no animosity, considering that he has been working to ensure Katsuragi inherits the Kuze house, unaware that Akihito has the same goal. His surprise becomes even greater when Akihito makes Amamiya the new butler of the Kuze household. However, Akihito is adamant that Amamiya not use Katsuragi’s old room.

Katsuragi has taken on the task of instructing Ishizaki, as once he did Akihito. While discussing the arranged marriage for Ishizaki, Katsuragi reveals knowledge of ishizaki’s true love, a geisha, and tries to tell him that he can have both. Ishizaki laughs, saying that is what Kuze has said too, so why can’t the two of them manage to do that themselves? Katsuragi has no answer to that, and Ishizaki silently wishes he could do something to help the two of them.

Getting into an argument with Katsuragi, Ishizaki inadvertently lets on that Akihito has done something stupid because of his former butler.  Learning the truth, Katsuragi goes to see Akihito in his new home, and Akihito serves him tea, while trying to gauge how much he knows. Akihito confesses to burning some bridges and the reason for doing so. Not surprisingly, a heated discussion between the two men ends with passion. The next day, Katsuragi is convinced he knows what he must do in order to save the Kuze house, but he must act quickly.

When Akihito returns to the manor, he is annoyed to learn Amamiya is in Katsuragi’s old room. But when he goes to confront him, he is surprised to find Katsuragi there as well. Amamiya leaves the two men alone, and they discuss the future of the Kuze house, which will necessitate their working together. Katsuragi makes the first move this time, and passion once more holds sway, which leads to a surprising admission on Katsuragi’s part.

It’s interesting to watch Akihito and Katsuragi go to such lengths, each for the other. It reminds me of The Gift of the Magi, in which a young couple each sacrifice something of value to them in order to give something of value to the other, but the sacrifices negate the gifts, leaving only the love. I’m hoping that’s how this turns out for these two. From the bottom of my heart, I want nothing more than for them to end up together, whether at the Kuze manor or somewhere else. I’m not sure they’re at that point, and it won’t be an easy road to happiness, but I believe they can do it. I love the passion between the two men, and the way Akihito doesn’t care about status or lack of it, he loves the man Katsuragi is and wants to be with him forever, even if he forfeits his own status and wealth to do so. Akihito is the seme in this relationship, and I wonder if Katsuragi’s accepting the role of uke is indicative of something in his past which we aren’t privy to yet. Only time will tell.

Ishizaki is proving to be a very good friend to Akihito. I have to believe his words spoken in anger to Katsuragi were simply a Freudian slip and that he wanted Katsuragi to do just what he did, in the hopes he would be able to talk some sense into Akihito. And now, with another candidate for head of the Kuze household looming on the horizon, what happens next remains to be seen. We’ll have to meet this other person to get a sense of his worth, or even his willingness to assume the Kuze title.

Wheels within wheels and a great deal of machination going on. Where will it end? No one knows. Loved this volume, can’t wait for the next one.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Book Review: Bleach, Vol 3 by Tito Kube

Bleach, Vol 3           

Author: Tite Kubo
Publisher: Viz Media
American release date: October 12, 2004
Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/200 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

 Ichigo and Rukia deal with the problem of the Mod Soul by inserting him into a stuffed lion and naming him Kon. Now Ichigo has two roommates – Kon and Rukia, who is sleeping in his closet.
The anniversary of Ichigo’s mother’s death arrives, and the Kurosaki family head to the cemetery to pay their respects. Ichigo’s friends know in advance not to expect him to be in school on that day. Surprisingly, when they arrive, they find Rukia there. Ichigo takes her aside to ask why, and she explains she wants to be near him in case a Hollow should show up.

Ichigo was nine when it happened. Even then, he could see dead people, but he couldn’t always distinguish between the living and the dead. So when he first saw the little girl standing by the river, he wanted to protect her and went to her. His mother, who was with him, came rushing after him. He didn’t see what got her, but when he looked she was dead. Since then, he’s blamed himself for her death.

Waiting for Ichigo, Rukia senses a hollow, although there hasn’t been an order. She and Ichigo hurry toward its spiritual pressure, which is close, only to discover Karin already there, on the ground. Worse than that, the same little girl is there who was by the river six years before, when his mother died. Will he be able to settle the past, or will the Hollow defeat Ichigo by dredging up his guilt surrounding his mother’s death?

Rukia pushes Kon into Ichigo’s body while he soul reaps, and she and Kon tend to Karin and Yuzu, taking them home, so Ichigo can do what he needs to do. Afterward, Rukia returns to Ichigo, but she’s promised not to interfere, as he says this is personal, and he has to do it. Can she keep from joining the fight, if Ichigo’s life is on the line?

This is a very poignant volume of Bleach and deals with a lot of what makes Ichigo tick, starting with his mother’s death, which changed him forever, and for which he blames himself.  Ichigo and Rukia’s relationship is strengthened. I have to believe that at some point they will become a couple, but as I’m 169 episodes into the anime and that hasn’t happened yet, I guess we have a ways to go before we see that happen.

The scene with Ichigo and his dad at the end is priceless. And having seen the anime, I realize something I hadn’t noticed before, but that would be shenanigans to call that out so soon, so you’ll just have to figure it out yourself or wait for the revelation, which is a ways off. Kon’s character has toned down, maybe because he’s stuck in the lion body or maybe because he isn’t in fear of being killed now, and he isn’t alone.

Next volume should be great, as we meet Don Kanonji!  Can’t wait!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Wednesday Briefs: In Pieces #57 (14.2)

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.

Salvation has arrived at Lake Charles, which will be their base of operations for a few nights. To their delight, the motel their manager has booked them into has a pool! And they don't have to work that night. Maybe they'll get a chance to have some fun. See what's happening in this week's chapter of In Pieces. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's going on with them! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

In Pieces #57 (14.2)

Checking in was easy, since Marge had pre-registered the band. All Ben had to do was show his ID and sign the guest register and the smiling desk clerk gave him three key cards.

“Your rooms are in the back, first floor,” he said, motioning with his thumb in that general direction. “Just follow the parking lot around and you should be able to get a spot right by your rooms. We’re not really very full right now.”  He reached for a colorful brochure from a stack on the counter and handed it Ben. “This lists some of the nearest restaurants,” he told them. “And things to do in Lake Charles too. If you have any questions, or need anything, don’t hesitate to ask. We have a breakfast buffet that opens at six o’clock.”

“Thanks, we will.”

Ryan and Ben walked out of the office, hand in hand, headed toward the car. There was no sign of Keanu and Deacon, but Ryan wasn’t surprised. He could understand wanting to be with someone so badly you couldn’t wait the extra few minutes until you received access to your room. Sometimes, the need was too immediate to be denied.

“Let’s grab our bags and go to our room. They can come get their keys after that,” Ben said. Sounded like a great idea to Ryan.

When they reached Cameron’s sedan, Ryan waited for Ben to open the trunk. “Marge seems very nice,” he commented. “At least from the little I’ve talked to her.”

“She is. Very. Salt of the earth,” Ben replied as he reached into his pocket. “She takes very good care of us. And she’s on top of everything that has to do with business. Shit!”

“What’s the matter?” Ryan war alarmed at Ben’s sudden exclamation, but when Ben began to laugh, Ryan relaxed.

“My bad. I totally forgot Aiden’s got the keys. Guess we’re not going to our room right now, are we? Sorry about that.”

“No big deal,” Ryan assured him. He took Ben’s hand in his and squeezed it. “If that’s the worst that happens to us, we’ll be fine. Besides, they said they wouldn’t be long. Why don’t we text them, and while we wait, we can go sit by the pool?”

“Good idea. I like the way you think.” Ben squeezed Ryan’s hand in return. “The boys can join us here if they like. If they decide to come up for air or something.”

Acting on impulse, Ryan wrapped his arms around Ben and kissed him. He felt as well as heard Ben’s moan as Ben parted his lips. His tongue entered Ryan’s mouth, gently probing and exploring. They drew back only to breathe.

“What brought that on?” Ben asked. “Not that I’m complaining, mind you.”

“That was just because I love you,” Ryan said. “More than anything in the world. And I don’t ever want you to forget that.”

Ben’s beautiful blues eyes sparkled, his smile both shy and radiant. He didn’t speak immediately, color rising in his cheeks. Ryan couldn’t help but think how beautiful he was, and how much he liked him without the contacs.

“You know I feel the same way too, don’t you, Ryan?” His voice vibrated with emotion, as though he was on the verge of tears.

Ryan nodded, not trusting to his own voice at that moment.

“Nothing can separate us ever again, right?” Ben continued in a low voice. “Promise?”

Ryan was both touched and alarmed at Ben’s question. Why did he seem so… desperate? What did he think could possibly separate them, now they had found each other, now they were finally together? Pushing aside his concern and focusing only on alleviating Ben’s fears, Ryan responded in heartfelt tones. “I promise,” he vowed. “You and me forever.”

 A wave of relief passed across Ben’s handsome features, his sunny smile returning once more. “Let’s go to the pool,” he said, twining his fingers together with Ryan’s.

As they strolled toward the pool area, Ryan thought to himself that he would reassure Ben as often as Ben needed him to, whatever it took to make his sweet prince happy. And if that made him the princess, then so be it. Or maybe this fairy tale just happened to have two princes after all.

to be continued

Now see what's up with the other Briefers!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Virtual Book Tour: The Burn by Kristal Dawn Harris

Good morning and please welcome author Kristal Dawn Harris to Full Moon Dreaming! She is here today to talk about her new release, The Burn. Kristal will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning! To find the rest of the stops on her tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post!

by Kristal Dawn Harris



Paranormal Romance



Leon, a fallen angel cursed to exist as a vampire, has waited for his mate for centuries when Shana shows up on his dance floor wreaking havoc with the other immortals in his club. Embittered by the deaths of her angelic parents, Shana denies Leon. She wants nothing to do with vampires, and walks away only to put both of their lives in danger. Compassion brings Shana back to Leon's side only to find him hovering close to death. Love grows until they are both encompassed by The Burn. Together they battle dark spirits and Lucifer himself, all the while falling deeper in love.



Leon winced when he heard Shana’s name. He wanted to hate her. He tried to curse her. He couldn’t forget her. The taste of her blood burned into his memory. Even now he craved one delicious drop. He didn’t want to look, but he couldn’t turn away. He didn’t want to know anything about her childhood. Her small voice whimpered as her tiny arms wrapped around her sister’s neck. Loud footsteps stomped across the old, linoleum floor. He couldn’t stop himself from watching the nightmarish scene play out before his eyes.

Just as the older girl picked Shana up and started for the basement door, the older woman swung her arm with the metal spatula in her hand. It smacked hard against the bare skin on Shana’s back. The sound of metal striking skin made Leon jerk in outrage. Shana’s small body arched in pain. Leon wanted to comfort her as she cried out then buried her face in her older sister’s shoulder. He watched helplessly as the girls hurried through the dark doorway and disappeared down the steps.

Leon turned his hatred on the older woman with the spatula. She stood in the doorway where the little girls disappeared with her hands on her hips. She grumbled underneath her breath then stomped back to the stove as if nothing ever happened. Fire shot from his eyes as his hands clenched at his sides.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Kristal Dawn Harris is an American author, born in Middletown, Ohio, on August 16, 1970. She currently resides in Ohio with her husband. Kristal has been married for 27 years and has two children. She graduated from Carlisle High School in 1988, then furthered her education at Miami University. She has a business degree in Accounting Technology. Kristal spent twenty years working as an Office Coordinator in the hospital until she released her debut novel, “The Rings of Faolan-Emeralds,” through The Wild Rose Press.

In 1999, Kristal suffered a debilitating disease called “Guillain-Barre Syndrome.” This rare disease damaged the nerves in her body requiring the use of drop-foot braces in order to walk. Kristal considers herself a survivor and encourages anyone with a disability to follow their dreams.

Kristal has one more book contracted with The Wild Rose Press which will release in 2019. She is considered a hybrid author since she published “Hand-Carved Wolf” on her own. Kristal is an avid reader who enjoys romance from all genres, but paranormal is her favorite.

The Rings of Faolan-Emeralds
Hand-Carved Wolf
The Rings of Faolan-Rubies
The Burn
The Red Heart

Red Snowflakes


Buy link:


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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Wednesday Briefs: In Pieces #56 (14.1)

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.

The boys are headed to Lake Charles, Louisiana, where they'll stay at a motel while they play a few gigs in the surrounding area, then head back toward Lafayette. Life is good! Everything is going great. Their manager is going to meet them when they get into town, and maybe there will be time to play! See what's happening in this week's chapter of In Pieces. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what they're up to! Their links follow my tale. Enjoy!

In Pieces #56 (14.1)

As the afternoon progressed, Ryan was enjoying the drive so much that he almost hated to see it end. He’d offered to take the wheel for Aiden, but Aiden had graciously declined his proposal with a knowing look, telling him to just sit back and relax. So Ryan and Ben had done just that. They kissed and cuddled in the backseat and listened to the soft jazz that flowed through the car’s speakers, not saying much. But every touch spoke volumes.

At one point, Abby turned around from the front seat to face them, phone in hand.  She wore a mischievous grin as she regarded them. “Want me to take a picture of you guys for the book? Just the way you are now? Ryan can add it to his love on the road chapter.” She winked at them. Ryan had to laugh in spite of himself. He felt too good not to. He knew there was no such chapter— unless, of course, Ben told him he wanted one, and then that was a different story. He stole a glance at his lover. Ben was unfazed. He stuck his tongue out at Abby then asked. “Want that as part of the picture?”

“Naw, you can keep that for Ryan,” she riposted. “But thanks for the offer anyway.”

“Hey guys, I think we’re here,” Aiden interrupted.

Already? Ryan had lost track of their surroundings. He hadn’t realized they’d reached Lake Charles already. Not only that, they were turning into the motel parking lot, just behind the equipment van. He and Ben straightened from their slumped positions to get a first glimpse of the motel. Ryan wasn’t sure what he’d expected, but he was surprised at what he saw. The motel had a definite southwestern vibe, both in style and color.  Yellow stucco walls, with turquoise and brown accents. Colorful earthenware jars, as well as a variety of cacti  with pink, red, and purple blossoms. An expansive parking lot, with plenty of room. And in the midst of it all…

“Swimming pool!” Aiden cried in obvious delight. “Thank you, Jesus!”  He pulled Cameron’s car up beside the van. Deacon and Keanu were just getting out. From their broad grins, Ryan guessed they’d seen the pool too. The water did look inviting, he had to admit. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been swimming.

“Anybody up for a swim?” Keanu asked. “Last one in’s a rotten egg!”

Ben shook his head. “Sounds good, but we can’t. We’re meeting Marge, remember? Besides, we have plenty of time to have fun after we see her. We’re not playing tonight.”

Before Keanu had time to even think about pouting—which Ryan was coming to realize was his favorite method of dealing with situations he didn’t care for— Deacon forestalled him with, “That gives us time to get swim suits too. I’m guessing none of you packed those, right?”

And there was the reality of the situation. Ryan knew he hadn’t brought one. Why would he think to do that? The idea had never occurred to him that he’d need one. He was pretty sure he wasn’t the only one.

“We could always skinny-dip,” Keanu suggested, but one arch of Deacon’s brow brought him back to earth. “Just an idea.” He shrugged.

“An idea that could get us arrested in public. A private pool is one thing, but not here. You want me to cool you off again? Instead of just your head, how about your whole body? Right in the pool, clothes and all.”

Deacon’s words elicited laughter from everyone, even Keanu. Ryan had the feeling he’d never actually go through with his threat, but at least the situation was easily diffused. The two men might be volatile, but not in any way that made him uncomfortable. They complemented one another very well. Keanu was energetic and outspoken, and Deacon was laid-back and sensible. But it was obvious they came first with each other.

Ryan was about to ask Ben something when he noticed Ben’s eyes were raking up and down Ryan’s body, as if he were taking his measure.  “What would you think about a Speedo?” he asked.

Ryan felt his cheeks grow warm. He couldn’t be sure if it was Ben’s words or the look he was giving him. Whatever he’d been about to ask was quickly forgotten. “I don’t think so,” he stammered.”I don’t really have the body for it.”

“Some people might disagree,” Abby said, which only increased the heat in Ryan’s cheeks. Ben patted Ryan’s inflamed cheek gently.

“Don’t worry, you have the body for it, but I’m not about to share that. We’ll find something not quite so….”

“Skimpy?” Aiden suggested.

“Exactly.” Ben winked at Ryan then pulled his phone from his pocket, typing swiftly. When he was done, he pocketed it again. “I just texted Marge. I have no idea where she is, so while we wait to hear from her, why don’t I get us checked in?”

“Sounds like a plan,” Aiden agreed. “I think I’m gonna stretch my legs a little. Wanna come with, Abs?”

“Sounds perfect,” she agreed. “Scout out the area a little bit while we’re at it.”

“We can guard the van,” Keanu offered.

Ben looked pointedly at the back of the van then back to Keanu. “Seriously, dude? As hot as it is?”

“I never said that.” Keanu held up his hands in protest. “You just have a dirty mind.”

“And who gave him the idea in the first place, hmmm?” Deacon folded his arms across his chest and gave Keanu a pointed look.

“I’m not that much of a horndog!” Keanu attempted to defend himself.

“Yeah, right, tell that to someone who doesn’t know you.” Aiden laughed. “We’ll be back in maybe twenty minutes or so. Text us your room number so we can get our key.”

“Will do,” Ben said. “C’mon, Ryan.” He took Ryan’s hand and headed toward the motel office, leaving the two men to their own devices.

to be continued

Now go see what the other Briefers are up to:

Book Review Tour: Derrick by Russell

Please welcome author Russell to Full Moon Dreaming. He's here to tell us about his book, Derrick, the second book in his Gavin Nolan trilogy. Russell will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find the other stops on Russell's tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post, as well as my review of Derrick.


by Russell


GENRE: Horror, Suspense, Thriller, Mystery, LGBT



In Hyde Park, a movie theater erupts in flames on a bitterly cold November evening.

It seems like a job for the fire department, but under Captain Creighton’s direct orders, Detective Gavin Nolan and his partner, Derrick Williamson, must investigate. Arriving on the chaotic scene, they find multiple fatalities —but one of the victims is most peculiar…

Gavin soon discovers that this fire wasn’t the first of its kind. The arsonist has set ablaze other buildings around Chicago, and more female victims left in the same gruesome state have been discovered.

Gavin and Derrick determine that the arsonist is not an arsonist at all—but a sinister serial killer with an agenda.

Juggling the unexpected events in his personal life, Gavin digs into the locations of the explosions. At the same time, Derrick probes into the victims’ lives, searching for any possible connection. 

However, when the next explosion occurs, the killer leaves behind a significant object, and Derrick becomes noticeably reserved. Gavin soon uncovers an enigmatic link, one that points to Derrick’s military past. A time that his partner had wished to forget. Yet, to catch the vicious maniac, Derrick must tell Gavin everything.

In a suspenseful, gripping ride to the end, it is up to Gavin to rescue his partner from the clutches of a  killer. But will he make it in time?

WARNING: This book contains graphic scenes, explicit language, and violent sexual situations.



“Look at that.” Derrick pointed over to the front rows.

At the fifth and fourth rows in the dead center, several more CSI members were photographing two burnt corpses. The explosion blew back the bodies into a crumpled position on the chairs.

Hopefully they had a quick death. Gavin stayed silent.

Moving on, they reached the exit door near the front of the theater. Another warning from Delanie informed them of the rubble and potential structural damage in the next section. Briefly looking back, Gavin heard the crackling of radios, like eerie ghostly crickets fluttering in the distance. In the opposite direction, three firemen were still containing some smoldering chairs.

“Shit,” Derrick muttered, tapping Gavin’s shoulder. He nodded up.

The once ornate ceiling now had entire sections missing. Squinting slightly, Gavin could see the dark night sky.

Once they passed the doorway, a series of portable lights cascaded over the area. Gavin was unable to decipher the debris, the contents of which were haphazardly pushed away from the clear epicenter near the opposite end of the room. Up above, about a third of the ceiling had disintegrated, leaving a huge hole. The cold wind invaded the space, dissipating the soot scent slightly. More CSI team members shifted diligently, gathering debris in clear evidence bags and marking each spot with photographs and red markers. Near the apparent epicenter of the blast, several firemen were discussing the area, pointing at spots.

“Have to get back to my captain,” the young fireman said. “Need anything else, just let me know.”

“Thanks,” Gavin replied.

“Where the fuck do we begin?” Derrick grumbled.

“You can begin by bringing back that hottie,” Susan said behind them.

Gavin turned to find the doctor kneeling near a shriveled, burnt corpse. Her scalpel gingerly poked and prodded the body’s seared skull.

“Isn’t he too young for you?” Derrick returned with a snarky grin.

Gavin stated, “I didn’t see your van.”

“Came through the back.” She looked up at him and then at Derrick. She added, “As long he’s eighteen-plus, no laws broken, baby.”

Shaking his head, Derrick snickered. One of the CSI team, an annoyed-looking woman whose gray hair probably came directly from her stressful job, shot him a glance.

Standing up and ripping off her plastic gloves, Susan said, “No offense, love you guys, but what the hell are you doing here?”

“Creighton’s orders,” Derrick answered first. His midnight eyes darted over the scene.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Russell has been writing for the majority of his life. Slipping into alternative universes allows him to enjoy the process of creativity from the novel’s conception to its final draft. Currently, he lives in South Texas with his wife, two kids and several cats.

DERRICK is a 2018 Winner in the New Apple Literary Awards, receiving Official Selection in Psychological Suspense.


 Full Moon Dreaming Interview

DERRICK by Russell
I must share some exciting news with all of you!
My new book, DERRICK, just won in 2018 New Apple Literary Awards Contest as Official Selection in Psychological Suspense. I am completely surprised, flattered and humbled by the honor!
Also to add, GAVIN (Part 1 of The Gavin Nolan Trilogy) won 2017 New Apple Literary Summer E-book Awards as Official Selection in Horror.
What's the hardest part of combining genres in one book?
            I have to discuss the Gavin Nolan Trilogy as a whole, and my unique writing process.  When I began writing, I truly did not know what to expect as the story begins to take hold. As I pen a new story, a beginning usually appears in my head and I start writing. In essence, I write without character descriptions, no outlines nor any research. I just let my fingers (and quite active imagination) command the ship. Because of this, the story builds momentum, meaning that I do not necessarily know what happens at the end until midway through. So if I’m surprised, my reader will feel that rush as well.
             For the series, I was inspired by other authors who create dark, gritty thrillers, which borderline on horror genre. Similar to Harris’s The Silence of the Lamb and Flynn’s Gone Girl, my series heightens the intensity of the scenes, and puts the characters in perilous conditions. Echoing the likes of Clive Barker, Peter Straub and even John Connolly, I create some visceral, graphic content which some of my readers found rather disgusting still they could not help but to keep reading. Finally, I truly love interwoven plots. Perhaps, my inspiration comes from daytime soap opera that my mother used to watch in the 80s. As you will see in the Gavin Nolan Trilogy, my books are not for the light reader. I create multi-layered plots involving my man character and trickle into the secondary characters. On the surface, my series could be easily described as homicide detective novel. However, as you read my books, so much more occurs.
            Needless to say, I wrote GAVIN (Part 1) with a clear intention as a stand-alone piece. However, Gavin Nolan, the protagonist, became a formidable, strong character with a several skeletons in his closet. Being stated, the secondary characters also had strong personalities which develop and push the story forward. Despite the climatic, intense ending, I realized that Gavin’s partner on the force, Derrick Williamson, had much more to say. When I completed the first draft, and began editing GAVIN, I quickly began to write DERRICK (PART 2). In a way, the story starts six months after the events of GAVIN, and the reader discover Gavin in a different point in his life. Yet, the strong friendship between Gavin and Derrick is tested by the hands of deadly madman’s agenda--something connected to Derrick’s military past. As a side note, DERRICK subtly alludes to the final book, QUINN (Part 3). Currently, I’m editing it and hopefully have it out by Spring 2020.  In fact I have a preview of QUINN at the very end of DERRICK.
            Finally, GAVIN and DERRICK is for a mature audience and not for anyone under 18. I have graphic depicted violence, explore and develop strong sexual situations and include rather explicative language. If you are not dissuaded from my disclaimer, then you will absolutely love my books!
            Thanks for having me today! Please follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Russell_Writer. Also, check out my website:
            Read to Escape!

Derrick (Gavin Nolan Biography Book 2)
Author: Russell
Publisher: CreateSpace
American release date: November 27, 2018
Format/Genre/Length: eBook/GLBT/Mystery/493 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★

Someone in the Chicago area is killing women in a horrific manner. In an attempt to obfuscate what has been done, the bodies become part of an arson scene, probably to throw the police off the track. Detective Gavin Nolan has only recently come to terms with his sexuality, and isn’t open with his friends, family, and co-workers yet. On the other hand, his partner, Chad, has introduced him to friends and family, who have accepted Gavin with open arms. While on a date with Chad, Gavin receives a call from his partner, Derrick, to come to the Opus Theater, where a fire has occurred. When Gavin protests that they don’t do fires, Derrick snorts and tells him these are their boss, Quinn Creighton’s, orders, so they have no choice. Arriving on the scene, they try to figure out why they are there. Looking around among the victims of the fire they come across the body of a woman. Something seems different about this one.  The medical examiner thinks there is residual evidence of rope on the wrists, which has bonded with her flesh. And she appears to be nude.

The detectives don’t realize it, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Working this case will involve digging into the past, as well as taking a good hard look at who they are, and how they got where they are now.

Derrick is the second book in a trilogy, which I didn’t realize when I agreed to review it. I was able to read this book despite that, although there were probably nuances I would have understood better had I read the first book. If you’re interested in reading this, I would suggest starting from the beginning, with Gavin.

This book is very long and complex, especially for a mystery. There are a lot of different characters, some of whom I suspect were introduced in the first book, especially Gavin’s superior, Quinn Creighton, with whom he has some kind of past history. I am guessing we meet Chad in the first book, and that their relationship was more front and center, while in this book, it’s relegated more to the sidelines. Gavin’s relationship with his partner, Derrick, is more central.  The two end up on the murder case at the theater, and are working with a female detective named Evelyn, who is actually under another jurisdiction but whose presence has been requested. Apparently her partner hasn’t bothered to train her very well, and her superior is a dick.

The author, who uses the single name Russell, is not without talent, and he creates memorable characters. The plot is interesting, even if the resolution is somewhat simplistic. What the book suffers from is a lack of good editing, however, including everything from simple word errors to stilted dialogue, which detracts from the enjoyment of the book. These are not major problems, and they could have been easily handled in the editing phase, but they weren’t. This book was obviously self-published, which doesn’t automatically mean it’s bad, but self-published authors are often notorious for either not having editing or having poor editing.

Another problem, at least for me, was when the story changed from being Gavin’s story, completely told in third person narrative, to his partner Derrick’s story, which is done in a first person POV, and goes on for some chapters. And pretty well sets up the ending, including the who-done-it. The only question is how will this play out and who will survive?

It’s an enjoyable story, and if things like the ones I mentioned don’t bother you, then go for it. There is another book left in the series, but I’m afraid it will probably suffer from the same poor editing. I don’t think I’ll be reviewing that one.

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