Sunday, February 27, 2022

Saturday is Horror Day #50 - The Craft

 The Craft

After her father and stepmother move the family to San Francisco, Sarah (Robin Tunney) finds herself enrolled in a Catholic prep school where she knows no one. At first feeling like a fish out of water, she's attracted to fellow student Chris (Skeet Ulrich). When Sarah asks him about three girls who are staring their way, he warns her against them, saying they are considered to be witches. Sarah doesn't believe him, and when she is approached by group leader Nancy (Fairuza Balk), she is introduced to the others - Bonnie (Neve Campbell) and Rochelle (Rachel True). Nancy witness something during class which makes her believe that Sarah can be the fourth they have been looking for.

Joining them on a little shopping trip, they end up at an occult bookstore, where Sarah reveals her interest 

in witchcraft, an interest which they all share. Nancy warns Sarah about Chris, but she goes out with him anyway, and the next day he spreads untrue rumors about her. It's time to get even.

Believing in themselves and the power within, the four girls feel they can do no wrong. They start by fixing things about themselves, such as Nancy's scars, and Rochelle's problems with a racist student. But the power goes to their heads, and people are getting hurt. Sarah begins to realize this is wrong, and it's not something she ever wanted. But they don't want to let her out of the circle... at least not without consequences.

More than a story of teenage girls and witchcraft, The Craft can be taken as a cautionary tale about letting power get to your head, and thinking you can do what you want and never be harmed in the process. The girls cast a spell on Chris so that he is obsessed with Sarah, to get even for the lies he told about her. But that brings out problems of its own. And as the girls began to turn on one another, it's hard to tell what is real and what is a glamour.

The acting in this is good. Fairuza Balk plays a bitch pretty well. I've always liked Neve Campbell and find her to be underrated. There is a sequel, which was made over twenty years after the first, which I also intend to watch. I'll give this a solid 4 Stars.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Book Review: The Way of the Househusband, Vol 7 by Kousuke Oono


The Way of the Househusband, Vol 7     

Author: Kousuke Oono

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: January 18, 2022

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Comedy/168 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★


Ms. Torii is trying to keep a low profile as she indulges in a guilty pleasure, but she has the misfortune to run into Tatsu at his part-time gig. He shows her the ropes, and helps her to enjoy the experience.

A typhoon is rolling into the area, and this means war! Tatsu is up to the challenge, determined to defend his turf from the invader, no matter the cost! But when he learns that Masa is out and about at this perilous time, he is determined to save him!

Tatsu, Miku, and Masa go camping. When Masa accidentally knocks over the rice, he approaches the other campers in hopes of finding someone with extra and runs into Tora, who is also camping. When Tatsu finds out, the one-upmanship begins!

Tatsu and Masa are taking collections… for the neighborhood association. But oddly, the people they approach seem to take Tatsu’s requests as some kind of threat. When he approaches one particularly difficult group of men, Tatsu has to make them understand what the money is actually going to be used for.

Miku absolutely loves watching Policure, and Tatsu enjoys it along with her. But she has a favor to ask of him. Her friend has a very ill child in the hospital who also loves Policure, so can Tatsu visit her… but dressed as a character from the show?

Tatsu and two of his associates are called upon for a delicate job involving a man’s beloved daughter named Pinky’s birthday.  Of course they’ll do it, and each plans the perfect gift according to their own talents. Which will the beloved canine prefer?

Tatsu shows Masa how to make malt amazake, a non-alcoholic sake. Tatsu has to keep reminding Masa to have patience or he’ll ruin the product! The next day, Miku is subjected to the amazake everywhere she turns, to her dismay. Is there no limit to the stuff?

Miku’s father invites Tatsu to go with him to a meeting of his haiku club, and is gratified to find Tatsu admires his haiku. When Tatsu tries his hand at some haiku of his own, there seems to be an oddly familiar theme in what he writes. When the club runs into a rival group, a friendly haiku slam is proposed.  Can these two groups discover any common ground?

After meticulously ironing everything, Tatsu overdoes it and  has thrown out his back! Miku discovers him lying face down on the floor. But he refuses to take it easy, and she ends up having to carry him to a doctor… for the second time in their relationship.

I never get tired of these stories. I could read them forever! Each volume is so good! I love everything about them, the art, the stories, the characters. I think they are perfect. My favorite story in this volume was the one with the child in the hospital, made me cry (good cry, not bad). Also, another glimpse into how Tatsu and Miku met. I hope we get to see more of that, cause I am dying to know how the demure Miku met and fell in love with a Yazuka! Look for the bonus stories involving Tora going camping and Gin’s encounter with an otaku.

Can’t wait to read more!



Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Wednesday Briefs: Rose and Thorne 6 #12 (3.2)

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.  

Ethan and his uncle Benny have a joyous reunion, and he introduces the love of his life to his uncle. See how things are going in this week's chapter of Rose and Thorne 6. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers to see what's up with them! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

Rose and Thorne 6 #12 (3.2)

Beautiful blue eyes certainly ran in this family. As did good looks. And killer smiles. Okay, not Joe Junior, but all the rest were good-looking people. At least from the outside.

I hung back as uncle and nephew hugged it out. Deciding I should make myself at least somewhat useful, I retrieved our suitcase and set it on the floor.

“It’s so good to see you, Ethan,” his uncle was saying. “You’ve become quite the looker, you have. Breaking all the hearts?” He laughed at his own joke even as his curious glance took me in. I remained silent, not sure what to say. Hello might have been nice, but words had apparently deserted me.

His next comment startled me, as he set Ethan on his feet, still glancing at me. “And this must be Vinnie, yes? Your Vinnie? Please tell me I haven’t made some horrible mistake and this man’s going to shoot me where I stand.” He laughed again, a most pleasant sound. How similar to Ethan he sounded at that moment.

“How did you know?” Ethan sounded surprised himself. “I mean yes, that is my Vinnie. My fiancé, as well as my partner.”

“You have great taste in men, Ethan,” Benny replied before grabbing me in a big bear hug of my own. He placed me back on my feet before he turned to Ethan and answered his question. “Your mother. She and I have been in touch recently, playing catch-up, and she told me how happy you are, and how you got engaged and everything. I’m so tickled for you both!”

As if suddenly remembering his manners, he waved us farther into the room, which turned out to be a pretty decent suite. “Here I am running off at the mouth. Shame on me. Would you like a drink? We can order up some dinner. No, too early for that. How about lunch? Have you eaten?”

We ended up declining the drink, as we were on duty, but agreed to burgers and fries. Ethan and I sat together on the couch, with Benny facing us in a comfortable-looking armchair. I’d mistakenly tried to call him Mr. Tyler, and he’d immediately corrected me with a no-nonsense “Call me Benny, please.”

I agreed, but it still seemed strange, when normally Benny referred to our little law-breaking Pekingese. The one with the bad habit of stealing purses.

“So, tell me all about yourselves,” he encouraged us. “I want to know everything. And don’t forget about my namesake. I’ve heard about him too.”

He didn’t seem offended that we’d named our dog Benny, and when Ethan pulled out his phone and showed him pictures of the little rascal, he smiled. Having met Ethan’s uncle now, I understood better how he’d decided on that name.

I left most of the storytelling to Ethan, because that’s just how I am, and he understands that. Of course, he exaggerated some details, mostly about me and how great he thought I was, and I couldn’t keep from blushing. But I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t an ego boost to hear him talk that way. No doubt about it, Ethan Thorne was very good for me, in every way.

Of course we had to show off our matching engagement rings. Benny admired the princess cut sapphires flanked by small diamonds on a platinum band. “Those are so beautiful,” he said before turning thoughtful. "Things have come a long way, haven’t they? Guys like us can get married now. We don’t have to hide who we love anymore.”

“We’ve still got a long ways to go,” Ethan said. “Not everyone approves of the new marriage laws, and some are more vocal about it than others.”

“Isn’t that the truth?” Benny let out a soft snort. “How did your father take the news of your engagement?” He glanced between us, but I let Ethan respond. His father, his answer.

“Surprisingly well,” Ethan said. “All things considered.”

He’d already told the story of how I posed as his girlfriend when we flew to Georgia after Ethan’s mother’s stroke, including how Joseph Thorne had blown up when he learned the truth.

“He’s coming around, I think. Which is more than I can say for my brother.” If Joe Junior’s continued bad attitude disturbed Ethan, he didn’t show it. His voice was calm and cool as ever.

“Well, I suspect your brother has issues of his own,” Benny said mysteriously. What did that even mean? If I didn’t know better, I’d suspect he meant the strange triangle between Joe Jr, his wife, and his father. But I didn’t see how Benny could know about that, not having been around. Was there something going on that we didn’t know about?

Or maybe I was just being my usual paranoid self.

After we’d eaten, we settled down to coffee and dessert. And then Benny cleared his throat.

“I guess it’s time I tell you my story,” he said.

 to be continued

Now see what's up with the other Briefers!

Cia Nordwell

J Ray Lamb


Monday, February 21, 2022

Book Review: Bleach, Vol 51 by Tite Kubo


Bleach, Vol 51     

Author: Tite Kubo

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: November 6, 2012

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★


Riruka sends Ichigo into her doll house in order to train and then takes off, as if she is indifferent to what happens. But we know that’s not true. Ichigo is facing Jackie Tristan. When he doesn’t attack first, she does, as she proceeds to demonstrate what her dirty boots means. It’s not exactly what he expects.

Orihime confides to Chad about her interaction with the strange man who she is positive cut her, and how suddenly she felt as though he was her friend, although how is that possible? Meanwhile that same man, Tsukishima, speculates as to how Ginjo would feel if he were to attack Ichigo directly.

Chad goes to Ginjo to tell him what Orihime said and to question him about Tsukishima’s ability. But Ginjo is cagy and reluctant to speak openly. Even as he tells Chad that it couldn’t have been Tsukishima who stabbed Orihime, the man in question bursts into the room and then inserts himself into the doll house. When the doll house explodes, forcibly ejecting everyone inside, Ichigo finds himself facing Tsukishima, while the others wonder how they are going to explain the damage to the neighbors. Time to move?

Uryu calls Orihime to come to the hospital where he is recuperating. Previously, he rejected her offer to heal him, but he has come to the realization that he should avail himself of her ability, as the situation has changed. Now he detects spirit energy that is Ichigo’s! Is that even possible? Leaving the hospital, Orihime runs into Chad, who tells her about Ichigo’s training, and how he will need her to play a part in it. He brings her to the new headquarters where she is instantly beset upon by Rurika. The jealous Rurika tries to warn Orihime off by telling her that healing Ichigo will lead to greater suffering on his part, but Orihime has an answer for that. Rurika ends up spending time with Orihime while Ichigo trains, and Orihime sees through her tough as nails exterior.

I find it interesting how even in the midst of battle, whether a training battle or a real one, Ichigo finds time to have a discussion with his opponent. This volume is mostly about Ichigo’s Fullbring training, but we are also learning a few things, such  as Tsukishima has an agenda, Orihime isn’t as naïve as she once was, and Rurika isn’t as hard as she appears. It’s also becoming clear that maybe Ichigo can regain his Soul Reaper powers. Huzzah for that, if true! Looking forward to the next volume.


Saturday, February 19, 2022

Saturday is Horror Day #49 - The Unholy (2021), V/H/S 94

 The Unholy (2021)

Gerry Feen (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is a journalist who's lucky to receive any assignments at all, considering the colossal blunder which basically destroyed his career. He's in no position to argue when he's sent to cover a story about a cow in rural Massachusetts. The story proves to be bogus, to Feen's dismay. But he's determined to write something, so when he discovers a strange doll buried in the hollow at the base of a tree, he smashes it and then photographs it in an attempt to make something out of nothing. Little does he realize what he has done.

While standing near the tree, Fenn encounters a strange young woman who appears to be in a trance. She 

kneels before the tree, as if mesmerized by it, and speaks strange words he doesn't understand. When he tries to help her, she faints and he carries her to the church, to seek the aid of the priest, Father Hagan (William Sadler). It turns out the girl is his niece Alice (Cricket Brown). But Hagan tells Fenn he couldn't have heard her speak, as she is deaf and mute. But something strange happens when she comes to - she can hear and speak! And she says it's because she saw the Virgin Mary!

Realizing this is a much better story, Fenn persuades his editor that he needs to stay on it as he grows close to the young woman. Strange things begin to happen, including Alice curing a young boy who couldn't walk previously. People are drawn to the church, seeking out the young miracle worker, and a media frenzy ensues. But she trusts Fenn, who gains sole access to her. Of course the church steps in in the form of Bishop Gyles (Cary Elwes) as well as Monsignor Delgarde (Diogo Morgado), who is playing devil's advocate before the church will declare Banfield, Massachusetts to be a shrine.

But all is not as it appears to be, as Fenn delves into the story more deeply, and he begins to realize that appearances can be deceiving. But can he save the people who are so willing to believe that they can't recognize evil when it's staring them in the face?

This isn't necessarily a new trope, a demonic entity posing as a holy one. I love Jeffrey Dean Morgan in everything he does and he does well here as the disgraced journalist who sees what needs to be done and is willing to do what is right, no matter the cost. Cricket Brown is sufficiently naive and compelling as Alice, who means well but doesn't realize she is being used. This is a Sam Raimi film, so of course production values are high. But even so, I've seen this played out better. I wouldn't say don't watch it, Morgan is worth the price of admission alone. Just don't look for The Exorcist. I'll give this film 3 Stars.

V/H/S 94

A SWAT team searches a warehouse in what they think is a drug bust, but nothing makes sense... from the various corpses with gouged-out eyes to the static-filled television sets.

A news reporter and her cameraman are sent on location to cover a story concerning a local cryptid 

known as the Rat Man, who supposedly lives in the storm drains. Holly, the reporter, interviews a local man just outside the storm drain, just before her boss tells her to take the story into the drain. Holly is reluctant before she agrees in order to stay out of the creepy man's line of sight. She and Jeff, the cameraman, make their way inside as they begin to discover strange things, including a man who must be the Rat Man they're looking for. But then they discover more than they bargained for.

A funeral home is requested to video record the wake of a loved one throughout the night. A young woman named Hailey is assigned the task of keeping vigil while the wake takes place. She chooses to read in order to pass the time. However, she begins to hear strange noises and calls her boss to suggest maybe the deceased isn't quite deceased, but her boss assures her that is not the case, and the condition of the body precludes any chance of his being alive. A storm rages outside, with occasional power outages, which unnerve Hailey. A man shows up for the wake, stands before the casket and speaks in Hungarian before making his departure. During the next power outage, Hailey is dismayed to find the coffin not only has been knocked down, but it is now open and empty.

A mad scientist is performing experiments on test subjects - willing or unwilling - intent on fusing flesh and metal. The SWAT team arrives and mayhem ensues as they shoot what they perceive as monsters. One soldier recognizes a young woman as a girl reported missing who is being sought and he urges leniency. But his commanding officer is adamant that she not live either. 

An extremist military group with sedition on its mind have a compound somewhere in Detroit, Michigan. They intend to purge evil from America. But these men are not the simple garden variety of crazy. They are holding a vampire prisoner, and they keep siphoning his blood  which becomes explosive when exposed to sunlight. Oh the plans that they make!

Once again we have a collection of found VHS footage, seemingly separate stories, but are they? The tale which binds these together is that of the SWAT team, but watch carefully as the others have their ties.

These stories are definitely original and very creative, and most decidedly gory. This series is not for the faint at heart. I think my favorite two stories were Storm Drain, about the lady reporter and the Rat Man, which has an unexpected twist and ending, and The Subject, with the crazy mad scientist who loves his metal prosthetics. I have enjoyed this whole series, and this latest entry is no exception. I hope they continue to make these, but I couldn't find any information either way. Well worth the watch, I give this one 4 Stars.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Virtual Book Tour: Out of Due Season by Benjamin X. Wretlind

 Good morning everyone! Please welcome author Benjamin X. Wretlind to Full Moon Dreaming. He is here to tell us about his new release, Out of Due Season. Benjamin will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find the other stops on his tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post!


Out of Due Season: The First Transit

by Benjamin X. Wretlind




GENRE: Sci-fi, Thriller (Techno)






What if humanity had a second chance?


On a June afternoon, a body is discovered floating in a remote lake in northwestern Washington. When a recovery team attempts to retrieve it, they make a shocking discovery: 311 other bodies lie under the water, all members of a previously unknown religious cult. However, what appears to be a tragedy of immense proportions is only the beginning.


When a few relatives and friends of the victims discover inconsistencies in the stories, a small group bands together to learn the truth. As government agencies apply pressure for reasons unknown and civil unrest in the country makes communication and movement difficult, this tiny yet determined team unravels what may be the greatest event in recent—if not all—human history.


Something epic is about to happen in that remote lake, and as competing sides inch ever closer to the truth, the last pieces of the puzzle are revealed.


The First Transit is for those who follow the rules, while disaster awaits everyone else.







“Anything of interest?” Tyler asked, breaking the silence.


“A lot of nothing,” Virgil said, still peering through the window. “It looks like our campers weren’t keen on material possessions. Either that or they took everything with them.”


The two walked away from the building and over to another as a light rain began to fall. Inside, they found much of the same: a few table settings, beds made of nothing more than rags, and the remnants of a few meals. On a board holding up what may have been part of a door jamb, there was a strange carving, six perpendicular lines like three off-center Xs. Aside from that, there were few clues about the inhabitants of this camp, and that meant there was little they could report back. Every building they examined was different. The tents smelled the worst while the wooden shacks stood precipitously on their weak foundations. Whatever happened to the people, it was not catastrophic, but it was weird.


“Hello?” Tyler called out. Lapping water and the chirps of a few birds replied, but no one else. “Hello?”


They both stood ankle deep in mud for another minute, looking, listening. Finally, Virgil unclipped his radio. “Base, Recovery Two.”


“Recovery Two, Base. Report.”


“There’s nothing here. Seems to be about twenty buildings and a few tents, all run down.”


“Any sign of life?”




AUTHOR Bio and Links:



Benjamin ran with scissors when he was five. He now writes, paints, uses sharp woodworking tools and plays with glue. Sometimes he does these things at the same time. He is the author of Castles, Sketches from the Spanish Mustang and many other novels.


Benjamin lives with his wife Jesse in Colorado.




The Book is on sale for $0.99 Until February 14, 2022











Amazon Author Page:





a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Wednesday Briefs: Rose and Thorne 6 #11 (3.1)

 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.  

Vinny and Ethan head to the Hamilton Arms for their new assignment - guarding Ethan's Uncle Benny! See what's going on in this week's chapter of Rose and Thorne. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

Rose and Thorne 6 #11 (3.1)

As we entered the Hamilton Arms, I found myself filled with conflicting emotions—a mixture of anger and apprehension. I couldn’t help but remember the last time we’d had to take up residence at this hotel, just last year, as well as the reason for our being there—namely, to satisfy the self-serving whims of a very spoiled and entitled actress. Even after all this time, simply hearing the name Caroline St. Clair was enough to set me off. Not surprising considering all the shit she pulled or tried to pull on us, including her misguided attempt to claim Ethan as her own. Despite all that, we’d managed to come through everything relatively unscathed. Plus we had a new friend to show for the experience in the form of Troy McGarrett, the popular and very handsome actor, whom we’d introduced to his new significant other, Brendan Muldoon. So it wasn’t entirely time wasted.

I decided to put past history aside and focus on Ethan instead of dwelling on what couldn’t be changed. What was going through his head right now? He was about to see the uncle who’d been kicked out of the family for being gay, thanks to Ethan’s homophobic preacher father. And under less than agreeable circumstances. I wasn’t sure how old Ethan had been at the time, but something like that was bound to have an effect on someone as sensitive as my Ethan. Just what was going on here? Who or what were we protecting this man from? Would this be a joyous family reunion or something far more sinister?

We’d read the file Anderson had given us before we left the house, but the information it contained was sketchy at best. It was hard to be completely objective when a member of Ethan’s family was involved. Color me surprised that the two of us had been given the case to work, all things considered. I would have thought that wouldn’t be allowed. But then again, we didn’t exactly fly by the same rules as other organizations, so maybe that made it okay? I didn’t know, and right now that didn’t really matter.

We entered the elevator in silence. Ethan had insisted on carrying our bag and I didn’t argue. I figured it gave him something to do with some of his nervous energy. He pressed the button then reached for my hand and I squeezed it in what I hoped was a reassuring fashion.

“How long since you’ve seen him?” I asked.

“It’s been ten years,” Ethan replied, a slight frown marring his perfect features. “I was about sixteen when my father found out. On the same day he learned that Benny was gay and that it was his boyfriend that got him sent to prison. I’ll never forget the way he yelled at Benny. Told him to get out of his house and never come back. And he didn’t.”

Wow, double whammy. And look how well Joseph Thorne handled that situation. In stereotypical ministerial style. He’d cast out his wife’s brother for being someone he couldn’t or wouldn’t understand. Hadn’t he tried to do the same to me? That hadn’t worked out as well for him this time.

“Did he know you were gay too? I mean your uncle, not your father.” Obviously the minister did not, as I well knew. That coming out had taken place just recently, when Ethan’s mother had a small stroke and he and I had gone to Georgia to see her. That scene had not been fun, so I could only imagine what Benny had had to go through at the hands of his tyrannical brother-in-law.

“I never had the chance to tell him. I mean, I barely understood how I felt about my sexuality myself, much less feel secure enough to confide in anyone about it. And when I saw my father’s reaction to my uncle, I was too terrified to say anything to anyone. So I just hid the truth from my family.” Ethan’s voice seemed to choke on his last words.

This was not what I’d wanted when I started this conversation. Was this elevator being extra slow or was that just my imagination? We reached the floor at last and I heard the bell ding our arrival. I stepped into the doorway to prevent the doors from closing as I turned to Ethan.

“If you don’t want to tell him now, I’ll understand. Especially under—“

“Hush,” Ethan said promptly. He drew a deep breath, his voice its usual rich, confident timber. “I know what you’re offering and I won’t do it. My uncle is going to know who you are and what you mean to me. I will never hide you from my family ever again, Vinnie. This I swear to you.”

My heart swelled at his words. We exited the elevator, consulting the numbers on the wall as to which way the room we sought lay, then turned toward our right. Just a couple of doors down, Ethan set down the case and knocked on the door in the pre-arranged signal. I could hear movement inside the room. Moments later, the door opened and there stood the man from the photo himself. He seemed both relieved and happy to see us. Well, Ethan.

Before either one of us could say a word, he’d enveloped Ethan in a great big bear hug, lifting him from his feet. I stood back and watched the joyous family reunion with a little bit of envy, I have to admit.

to be continued

Now go see what the other Briefers are up to!

Cia Nordwell

J Ray Lamb


Virtual Book Tour: The Crossing by Ashby Jones

 Good morning everyone! Please welcome author Ashby Jones to Full Moon Dreaming! He is here to talk to us about his new release, The Crossing. Ashby will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find the other stops on his tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post!


The Crossing

by Ashby Jones




GENRE: Historical fiction






The Crossing is a powerful and haunting love story of surprising discovery set in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen during Prohibition. Its mission seeks to reconcile love and guilt, grief and promise. Set apart from other stories, it combines history, fact, surrealism, and reality into an ever-recycling boost of the human spirit.


Irish-born Johnny Flynn, a former British soldier, is banished from his homeland and sent to America on a ship so riddled with disease that he realizes the voyage was meant to murder him. When he survives the trip, the captain forces him to walk the plank into the Hudson River. Miraculously, Johnny is rescued by a rumrunning Irish gang, the Swamp Angels, and given a job running whisky in Hell’s Kitchen just as Prohibition makes liquor a hugely profitable, dangerous business.


Fighting for his life and livelihood amid the denizens of the Manhattan piers, Johnny is plagued by the memory of his lost lover, Nora, whose father, the famed Irish revolutionary, James Connolly, met his death through a firing squad that included a reluctant gunman named Johnny Flynn. Nora’s last words to him, when she learned of his betrayal and left him, “I love you, Johnny Flynn”, echo in his heart, leaving him pulsing with guilt, yearning, and the hope that she might yet forgive him.


Johnny drinks hard. One night, drunk on the floor of Hailey’s speakeasy, he encounters a seeming apparition on stage, the ghostly Esme, an Irish singer who suffered unspeakable horrors at the hands of the British Black and Tans. Johnny is dazzled by her. She is not only a singer but a healer, teaching poor and afflicted children to sing and gather hope at an old theater called The Woebegone. From Esme Johnny learns how to overcome the desire for revenge, only to discover that she, too, clings to her own dark dream of retribution.


Hell’s Kitchen, Johnny discovers, is thronged with people whose damaged hearts ache for revenge, repentance and love. As he grapples with taking responsibility to help others resolve this overwhelming dilemma, he learns that Nora is coming to New York to advocate for Irish independence. As he confronts her and soon thereafter receives a piercing love letter from Esme, the story comes to a turbulent climax.







“My God, let’s get this sack off you,” one said. “Two stones inside? They threw you off, did they?


“Thank you,” Johnny rasped, barely able to move and unwilling to answer. “God, thank you.”


A man with a scared face leaned closer. “You sound Irish. Well then, God may have had something to do with saving you, mate.” The man pointed to Liberty. “After all, how could something that large have made it across the Pond without His help?”         


“Where … where are …” Johnny couldn’t finish.


“We’re headed to Hell’s Kitchen,” the voice answered. “They call it Satan’s playground, though some say God’s been seen there having a drink or two. We’re the Swamp Angels, rum-runners, who keep Him supplied.”


Johnny could not feel his lips move as he attempted to smile. He looked up at the sky, bound for America at last. The boat inherited the flow of the water and so too did he.


He struggled to remove a small cross from his pocket. It was made of the finger bones of the baby twins whose skeletons he’d pried from their mother’s ossified grasp. As if memories were flowing through the bones, they were warm to the touch. Before following Bile’s order to throw the skeletons away, when he was searched before boarding the ship, he’d slipped the tiny bones into his shirt pocket and later knotted them with a bootlace. The tiny fingers clasped each other in the shape of a cross. He’d sworn to keep it with him always, as a reminder that forgiveness for killing another, regardless of the side one was on, stood forever apart from the seeker. And for those who had served on a firing squad, though justifications could be had, not even with love as powerful as he and Nora had shared, could forgiveness be found.


“My name’s Seth, mate, and the young insect by me we call Locust. What’s yours?”


“Johnny,” he whispered.


“And your last name?”


“Johnny,” he replied and closed his eyes. If he had no full name, maybe he would not be pursued in this new world. Maybe he could find a new beginning, a purpose which could not be taken from him, neither by his guilt nor his longing for Nora.





AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Ashby Jones has been writing historical novels for 50 years. With degrees in Literature and Clinical Psychology; Creative Writing at UCLA under the guidance of Leonardo Bercovici. Jones previously published: The Angel’s Lamp in 2017 which was well received and reviewed by the Irish Times. Jones’s passion is writing literary fiction that attempts to understand mankind’s never-ending battles with irony, tragedy, blatant contradiction, and the anomalies of love. Such is the focus of 'The Crossing', a stand-alone sequel to 'The Angel’s Lamp', his first novel. He studied under such notables as William Hoffman, a best-selling author, and years later at U.C.L.A. under Leonardo Bercovici, a highly regarded screenwriter.



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Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Virtual Book Tour: Blinded by Love by Gladys Cross

 Good morning everyone! Please welcome author Gladys Cross to Full Moon Dreaming! She is here today to tell us about her new release, Blinded by Love. Gladys will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter during the tour. 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!


Blinded by Love

by Gladys Cross




GENRE: Romantic Comedy, (RomCom), Contemporary






Kassie knew she was in trouble when her matchmaking best friend announced she’d gotten professional help in time for Valentine’s Day. Her friend’s attempts had always been hilariously ridiculous and never in a million years was Kassie expecting a hunky firefighter to show up on her doorstep.


Her online dating profile said she was looking for a superhero, and Declan couldn’t help but believe it had to be fate. But fate was a fickle mistress who left him to wonder who he was behind the mask. He’d been hiding in plain sight for long enough that he wasn’t sure if he even knew the answer. And until he figured that out, he had nothing to offer the world, let alone Kassie.


Love had already ended in tragedy once for Kassie, and she feared that history was doomed to repeat itself unless Declan could learn to trust her with his secrets. This time around, would it be enough to harden her heart for good, or would his deception restore her faith in second chances?






“Declan went on a date and called me from in front of her apartment.” There was a hushed conversation that I only caught bits and pieces of, mainly hugged, and thought he was gay. Fuck my life, I thought as I drove down the long straight-away leading out of her apartment complex. “Are you still there?”


“Of course, I’m still here. Who else am I going to call Spencer?” I asked sarcastically. “I’m not even sure the boy’s balls have dropped yet.”


Sadly, there was no one else I could call for love advice outside the guys from the firehouse and it made me miss my mom that much more. Hell, she’d probably be calling Kassie herself, asking what colors she wanted for the baby blanket. 


“He is eighteen,” Webster said pulling me from my melancholy. “It’s always the quiet ones you have to watch out for.”


I snorted. “Do you remember that call we went on where there was an eighty-year-old dude in leather that had lost the keys to his handcuffs?”


He chuckled. “Don’t remind me, and I mean that literally. I’m still not fully recovered, and that was two years ago.” There was silence on the other end of the line as I drove under the overpass. The nothingness went on for long enough that I wondered if we’d gotten disconnected when he snapped his fingers. “Call her back right now and ingeminate the date tomorrow.”


“Do what with the date?”


“Repeat the date.” He huffed an exasperated sigh. “You didn’t make it to the movies, right?”


“Webster you're a genius!”


“And Declan. This time kiss the girl, so she doesn’t have to ask if you're a homosexual.”


“She only asked me that because I admitted to watching every episode of Sex and The City.” I hit my head against the back of the seat. “Never mind, I just heard myself, I am an idiot.”





AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Books transport us to a fantasy world where anything can happen, and once I overcame my difficulties in learning how to read, I was hooked. My mother always carried a Harlequin Romance with her, so it was only natural that I was drawn to that genre. There was something magical about the concept of eternal love and as I grew older, my tastes within the genre broadened to include everything from historical to dark.


My writing blossomed in much the same way. The first story I wrote was the Vanderbilt Affair, which was inspired by a field trip. Back then, I was fortunate enough to have an English teacher willing to nurture my love of writing by becoming my editor after school.


The writing bug stayed with me, but over the years, life got in the way, and it wasn’t until my early forties that I published my first short story in a Christmas Anthology. From there, I began writing and publishing across many sub-genres, with each book carrying some element of the unexpected.


When I’m not up to devious pursuits, like shooting a character, you’ll find me curled up with a book next to my dog, watching TV with my better half, or engaging in random water gun fights with my daughter and the neighborhood kids.


Stalk Me!


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The book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.


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Full Moon Dreaming Q’s


The Questions – please choose at least 5
1) You’re marooned on a small island with one person and one item of your choice—who is that person and what item do you have?

If I were marooned on a small island, hands down, I would pick my husband to be with me. He’s loads of fun and handy to have around. As for the item, if we’re going full on Gilligan’s Island, you can’t go wrong with a knife.

2) Which musical would you say best exemplifies your life – and which character in that musical are you?
3) Take these three words and give me a 100 word or less scene using them: hammer, saucer, traffic lights
4) What is your idea of how to spend romantic time with your significant other?

Romantic time is at a premium when you have a kid, so date nights are normally dinner out. If we can get away, I’ll take any trip he’d care to take me on. One of my past favorites was a trip to Charleston. We both love botanical gardens and plantations.

5) When you start a new story, do you begin with a character, or a plot?

My latest work in progress started with a character, but that’s not normal for me. Usually, an idea or dream will come to me that ends up being a piece of the plot.

6) If they were to make the story of your life into a movie, who should play you?

If I were to pick an actress to portray me, I’d pick Scarlett Johansson. She has the range to capture my quirky nature and, to be honest, I wish I had her figure.

7) Who’s your favorite horror villain and why?

Michael Myers is my favorite horror villain because he’s totally believable and still scares me to this day.

8) Do you have an historical crush and if so, who is it?

My historical crush is Abe Lincoln. He was tall, eloquent, faithful, and loved his country.

9) Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?

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