Thursday, June 30, 2022

Book Review: Pluto, Vol 5 by Naoki Urasawa and Osamu Tezuka


Pluto, Vol 5      

Author: Naoki Urasawa & Osamu Tezuka

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: September 15, 2009

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Sci-Fi Manga//200 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★


Sometimes life is ironic. Like now, when Inspector Gesicht is taxed with protecting the man who wants to kill him, because he killed that man’s brother. At the same time, Adolf has been instructed to kill Gesicht, and he’s been told where to find the weapon to do it with.  Gesicht reunites Adolf with his family, and Adolf has to tell his wife the whole story of what is going on. She has no real sympathy for the dead brother, and doesn’t blame Gesicht.

Hercules and Epsilon are protecting Professor Hoffman until he is taken to safety, unaware that he knows that they have been fiddling with Gesicht internally. After he is gone, they feel a strange electromagnetic wave approaching. Hercules remembers a robot he fought alongside of in the war, one who couldn’t or wouldn’t stop washing his hands, as if trying to cleanse himself of guilt. Hercules decides to battle whatever is coming and tells Epsilon to observe. Most of the battle is below the water but when the combatants emerge, Epsilon sees a damaged Hercules clinging to what appears to be horns… and he seems to know who his opponent is.

Epison realizes Gesicht is the only one authorized to arrest the guilty party, but he can’t seem to raise him on his comm. Adolf attempts to carry out his instructions, but he soon realizes that the powers that be intend to kill him and his family as well. He begs Gesicht to protect his wife and son.

At Uran’s school, people have noticed a change in Uran. Not surprising since her brother Atom  just died. Even in her sadness, Uran feels someone else’s sorrow and searches for it. First she finds a kitten, and then a little boy who has been bullied. She leaves the kitten with the boy and goes on to help other creatures who are sad. Eventually she arrives at the grave site of Tobio Tenma.

When Dr. Tenma arrives to say his good-byes to Atom, they tell him Atom isn’t really dead but they haven’t been able to bring him back online. They want Tenma to help them. At first he refuses, but then he finds himself trying all the same. Gesicht goes to visit the deposed Persian ruler, and then Epsilon gives him what he recovered from what was left of Hercules. Can this image be Pluto?

Omg, how much more must we endure before we reach the truth? Will Gesicht be the last of the super robots? Another one gone now. Just horrible. We get some back story here, including Dr. Tenma and his son Tobio, as well as war memories. Just watching and waiting to see what happens, and crossing my fingers for Gesicht!

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Wednesday Briefs: Bad Karma and the Family Plan #29 (6.4) (formerly Rose and Thorne 6)

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.

I have an announcement to make today, although if you read the title of this post, you already know lol I have finally chosen a title for Rose and Thorne 6. I am calling it Bad Karma and the Family Plan. Hope you like it! Today we continue with the impromptu road trip taken by Vinnie and Ethan et al. What more can happen? Find out in this week's chapter of Bad Karma and the Family Plan! Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

Bad Karma and the Family Plan #29 (6.4)

Sarah caught up with Benny, and Ethan and I fell into step just behind them. We paused at the door to admit a group of people of various ages who had just arrived, loudly complaining about the cold and lack of Southern hospitality. They seemed to be dressed for the weather. Maybe they were the kind who found fault wherever they went.

As we made our own exit, a straggler from the group hurried toward the building and almost bowled me over, managing to step on my foot as she did. I started to say something but was momentarily struck silent. This woman seemed familiar. Brown wool coat. Green head scarf. Large reflective sunglasses. A warning chill coursed through my body as I tried to place the memory. Had I seen her somewhere or was I just imagining things? And then she swept inside the building and the moment had passed. I mentally shrugged, put it down to some paranoia on my part, all things considered, as we continued on to the car.

“Mommy will sure be glad when her big boy can ride in a booster seat,” Sarah mumbled as she leaned into the back to fasten Alex into the car seat. I could understand the necessity for such safety precautions, but I was also grateful that Benny didn’t require any such measures. The dog, not the uncle.

“Be careful what you wish for,” Ethan said. We were just behind her as Ethan generally walked me to my side of the car and opened the door. My boy was ever polite that way. Of course sometimes it was simply an excuse to sneak in another kiss. “Before you know it, he’ll—”

Whatever he’d been about to say became lost in his next exclamation of “What the fuck?”

My heart leapt into my chest even as my hand went to my gun. Then my eyes widened in horror as I saw what Ethan was looking at—both tires on that side had been slashed. When Benny echoed Ethan’s exclamation, I realized those tires had been vandalized as well.

I quickly glanced around the parking lot at the few vehicles that were there, including a large yellow school bus which must be the source of the group we met coming out. Most were empty except for one small compact car which was just pulling up. The occupants were an older couple, probably in their seventies. They exited their car along with a small dog on a leash. They paid us no attention, walking the dog to the grassy are next to the brick building. I was pretty sure they could be ruled out as suspects.

Sarah finished securing Alex then backed out of the car, regarding us apprehensively before she too saw the carnage someone had wrought. “Oh shit, do you think that was deliberate?” she blurted out before catching herself. “Of course it was. Tired don’t slash themselves, do they?”

“Not likely,” Ethan replied.

I had a sudden horrible thought as a memory surfaced of Ethan and I at the grocery store back in Roanoke, and my cart collision with a woman dressed just like the one I’d just seen. “Caroline St. Clair!”

Ethan’s brows flew up in surprise before drawing together in perplexity. “What do you mean?”

“You might think I’m crazy but I saw a woman who looks like her going into the building as we were coming out.”

Not wasting the breath to argue with me or tell me I was nuts, Ethan calmly said, “We need to get back inside anyway until we sort this situation out. No sense in being sitting ducks. Sorry, Sarah, can you get Alex?”

“Of course.” She instantly reached inside and unbuckled her son, who must have been confused at the change in plans. She held him close to her protectively as she slammed the door shut.

“I’ll go first,” Ethan said, taking point. He motioned to Benny to follow him, then Sarah and Alex, and I brought up the rear. We didn’t draw our weapons, but we were poised to do so if necessary. No sense in alarming the locals if we didn’t need to. As we moved cautiously up the steps toward the building, I could see the same group we’d passed before begin to emerge, two or three at a time. They were still complaining, this time about unsanitary conditions in the wash room. But I didn’t see the woman in the brown with the green scarf among them. She must still be inside. Assuming I’d even seen her.

There was no one inside other than an older man pushing a broom across the tile floor. He never looked at us, intent on what he was doing. As far as I could see, there was no back door. So what did that leave?

“Here.” Sarah pushed Ethan’s nephew at him. “So, what does she look like?”

“What? No,” Ethan protested even as I gave his twin a description of the woman I’d thought I’d seen. Chances were it was someone else entirely, but better safe than sorry. And I certainly couldn’t go into the ladies room.

“I’ll be fine,” Sarah assured him. I had a feeling she was finding this more exciting than she should have, but I wasn’t about to argue with her. Not waiting for a response, she disappeared through the door marked Ladies.

 to be continued

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

Cia Nordwell

J Ray Lamb

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Film Review: Mojin: The Lost Legend

 Mojin: The Lost Legend

In ancient times, a Chinese emperor who was strapped for cash allowed for the formation of the Mojin Xiaowei, official tomb raiders who would enter tombs to "borrow" gold for the use of the emperor. The practice has carried into modern times.  One group consists of Hu Bayi (Kun Chen), Wang Kaixuan (Bo Huang) and Shirley Yang (Shu Qi). Twenty years previously, Hu and Wang and another partner, Ding (Angelababy) found themselves in a tomb with their fellow party members. The three wished to leave the tomb but the others foolishly decided to destroy the statuary, which did not end well and brought about the death of Ding, whom both men were in love with. Twenty years later, another bad scenario causes Hu, Wang, and Shirley to leave China for New York City, but life is not good and Hu decides to quit.

Wang tries to carry on, but it's not easy when you're only one person out of three. However, he is 

enlisted to go to China to search for the Equinox Flower - the same flower that was involved with the death of Ding. He tells Hu, who says he isn't interested, so Wang goes on, hoping Hu will follow, which he and Shirley do. Leading this new group is Sister Hong (Xiaoqing Liu), head of a global corporation who is determined to find the flower for altruistic purposes. The Mojin trio find themselves in the same tomb where Ding lost her life, Is history about to repeat itself? Can the ghosts of the past truly be laid to rest?

This was a fun movie to watch, reminding me of Raiders of the Lost Ark but with even deeper roots in Chinese history. I loved the dynamics between the main characters, and the love/hate relationship between Hu and Shirley. You just knew that when push came to shove, neither would abandon the other one. Same with Hu and Wang, longtime friends. I watched one of the bonus selections about Kun Chen in which they dealt humorously with their relationship and suggested the actors were together. The movie was exciting and action-packed and did not actually delve into the realm of disbelief - it all made sense. I understand, unfortunately, that the Mojin Worm Valley did not fare so well, being not exactly a sequel or a prequel and having been recast for some unknown reason. The reviews are really bad, so I'll pass on that. I do recommend watching the Lost Legend, and I'll give it a solid 4 Stars.

Virtual Book Tour: Loving Summer Rain by Megan Slayer

 Good morning! Please welcome back one of our favorite authors, Megan Slayer! She is here to talk about her new release Loving Summer Rain. Megan will be awarding a handcrafted necklace and bracelet to one randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. 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!



by Megan Slayer




GENRE:  Contemporary LGBTQ Erotic Romance






A match made in heaven? More like a match made in Norville and made to last.


Arthur Burton wants a lover and partner, but no man seems to want to be with the local insurance agent. He’s not the bland two-dimensional man on the billboards, but he hasn’t been given the chance to show his colors.


Summer Rain Davis embodies the bohemian lifestyle. He loves his arts and crafts. He’s always had a thing for the buttoned-up professional types and when he’s set up with Arthur, sparks fly.


Love is possible in a small town if Arthur and Summer Rain are willing to give their romance a try.


Can these two men, seemingly total opposites, find common ground and love to last a lifetime? Or will their differences keep them apart?








James turned him around to face the mirror. “So, what are we doing?”


“A trim and polish. Just neaten me up.” His heart sank. He was too buttoned-up already and not getting out of his comfort zone wasn’t helping much.


James stared at him through the reflection in the mirror. “May I try something? It won’t be too drastic, but I want to try a slightly different look for you.”


James had the ability to style individuals to make their uniqueness shine. If he had an idea for Arthur, who was he to argue? “Okay.”


“Yeah?” James grinned. The piercing in his bottom lip sparkled. “You’re sure?”


“I am.” He needed something. This could be the small change required.


“Good.” James combed Arthur’s wet hair. “Why do you look so lonely and sad, doll? Not because of that review? Talk to me.”


He kept so much bottled up. If he couldn’t tell his stylist, who could he tell? “Because I am lonely.”


“Why? You’re handsome, have your own business, are smart…” James parted Arthur’s hair, then began trimming. “What’s not to like about you?”


“I don’t know, but I don’t give myself the chance to look for guys, that’s one thing.” He cringed. “That sounds doofy.”


“No, you sound scared and like you need a little help.” James continued cutting. “You need a matchmaker.”


“I do.” He shouldn’t have admitted that out loud, but oh well.


“What do you want in a guy?” James asked.


He sighed, buying himself some time to think. “I want a man who is kind, considerate, who will work with me and make me better. A partner. I want a guy who isn’t afraid to date an insurance agent. Someone who sees beyond the shell and won’t let me get complacent.”


“And looks?” James stared at their reflection. He narrowed his eyes, then resumed cutting. “You must have a type.”


“Not really. I like guys based on their attitude and ability to empathize. It’s about being drawn to the man,” Arthur said. “You know? If there’s a spark when we’re talking, then that’s the thing. If there isn’t, then I don’t bother.”


“I do.” James finished cutting, then combed Arthur’s hair. “Sometimes, you just know the guy is right.”





AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on


When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.












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Monday, June 27, 2022

Book Review: Bleach, Vol 65 by Tite Kubo


Bleach, Vol 65       

Author: Tite Kubo

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: November 3, 2015

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/216 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★


The Quincies have managed to lay Zaraki low, intending to finish him off in his weakened state, which would be catastrophic for the Soul Reapers. So of course the others have to help. Shinji and Hinamori quickly arrive to lend their support. Shinji directs Momo to heal Kenpachi. Rukia and Byakuya are also hurrying to aid in the battle when they suddenly feel another spiritual pressure, followed by the long-anticipated appearance of Ichigo! Huzzah, the cavalry has arrived!

Ichigo finds himself face to face with four female Quincies, one of whom is highly indignant that he has covered her in dust! When Ichigo wounds one of the four, she turns to another one to heal her, but admonishes her not to use her blood. Turns out that this particular Quincy, whose name is Gigi, can create zombies with her blood! But she reminds the other girl that doesn’t work on fellow Quincies unless they are dead.

Quincy Bazz-B shows up to take over the fight against Ichigo in order to claim the glory for himself. But he isn’t the only Quincy to have that idea, as he learns to his dismay when four others also arrive, suggesting they all share the glory. Ichigo is surprised to hear the voice of Yhwach thanking him for leading them into the light. What does that even mean? Unfortunately, it means his actions will now allow them entrance into Reiokyu!

Ichigo is dismayed to find Uryu by Yhwach’s side, as are Chad and Orihime. Yhwach asks if Uryu has said his good-byes as they will be eternal. Ichigo demands answers but none are forthcoming. Chad tries to tell Ichigo that they still have a job to do, but Ichigo wants to follow Uryu. “I’ll smack him and bring him back.”  Uruhara arrives, “a step too late”, and asks Ichigo if he wants to book a trip to Reiokyu. Turns out Kurotsuchi has been building a replica of the Shiba family cannon beneath the barracks of Squad 12 because he is that kind of genius, although it isn’t a perfect replica. But they need more energy. Luckily Orihime arrives just then, but what in the world is she wearing?

Kurotsuchi, meanwhile, is having an interesting discussion with Gigi, intrigued by her zombies. But when she produces zombies she created from fallen Soul Reapers, he confesses he cannot fight them so leaves that to others, namely the Arrancars, who have no emotional ties to them. Unfortunately, Gigi has an ace up her sleeve in the form of one particular Soul Reaper she has zombified! Say it isn’t so!

The battle between the Quincies and the Soul Reapers is heating up, but at least Ichigo is back in the fray, which has to mean it must be the beginning of the end. But at what price? And when he succeeds in defeating Yhwach and his nefarious cohorts, what will remain of what once was? So many lost already. And now we face the horror of a former favorite captain who has been turned into a mindless zombie. Can that end any way but badly? Dreading but looking forward to the next volume!


Saturday, June 25, 2022

Saturday is Horror Day #67 - Gretel & Hansel, Rec

 Gretel & Hansel

Forced from their house by an uncaring mother, siblings Gretel (Sophia Lillis) and Hansel (Samuel Leakey) are left to fend for themselves in the dark and forbidding woods. Almost immediately they find themselves in trouble, rescued through the intervention of a kind hunter (Charles Babalola). But their peace is short-lived for he tells them they must make their own way.

The hungry children come upon some mushrooms, but before Gretel will allow Hansel to eat them, she insists on talking to them first. Apparently the mushrooms tell her to eat them, so they do. Continuing their journey, they come upon an isolated house. Hansel insists the house smells of cake and wants to go in. Gretel peeks through the window and sees a veritable feast has been laid out. She reluctantly helps Hansel to enter the house through a window, and he begins to check out the cornucopia before him. Too late, Gretel sees that he is not alone. An older woman (Alice Krige) comes to the door and beckons Gretel to come in as well. But can they trust her?

This version of the familiar children's story is more like the original dark Grimm's Fairy Tales. Everything about this place is foreboding,  with the emphasis being on finding your own way, telling your own story. The children have grown up on the story of the beautiful baby, but now they learn that what they thought was the truth was a lie. And the reality is much uglier than the fantasy. Very dark and brooding, don't expect your childhood story in anyway. I think it was well done. I'll give it 4 Stars.


Angela (Manuela Velasco) is a young TV reporter who covers the night beat with a show called While You Sleep. Tonight she is going to spend some time at a local fire station as her camera man, Pablo (Pablo Rosso) films. She hopes they will get a call so they can see some action.

Be careful what you wish for...

After a period of inactivity, during which the firefighters are seen eating, then getting some sleep, a call finally comes through and Angela and Pablo accompany them to an apartment building. Once inside they learn from the residents, who are massed in the lobby, that they heard screams. A police offer named Joven (Jorge-Yamam Serrano) tries to prevent them from filming, but Angela won't be deterred. Going up to the woman's apartment, they find her screaming and covered in blood. They try to calm her down so they can get her into an ambulance so she can be treated, but she unexpectedly attacks and bites one of the firemen.

The situation goes from bad to worse when they attempt to leave and find that they are not permitted to do so! What is going on here? Joven tells them to calm down and everybody stay downstairs, as he is in charge, but he isn't really helping the situation with his boss mentality. Something is definitely not right here. No matter how they try to leave, they are blocked at every turn. Things begin to come to light... such as the little girl has tonsillitis, and her dog is sick at the vet. The Japanese woman has a father sick in bed up stairs. There is a penthouse, but no one lives there. And then they find that the building has been sealed and no one is getting out, while inside, things are heating up in the worst possible way.

Rec is a Spanish found footage film from directors Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza. It holds your interest from the beginning as the bizarre tale slowly unravels before your eyes and you begin to realize just what is going on. I think the writing is good, and so is the acting, and it will keep you wondering what's going on up until the very end. A must-see film if you enjoy found footage movies. The good news is that there are sequels, and I've already requested the next one! I give this film 4.5 Stars!

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Wednesday Briefs: Rose and Thorne 6 #28 (6.3)

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.

Rose and Thorne 6 #28 (6.3)

As we set out on our road trip, I wondered if traveling with a small child and a woman meant we’d have to make more frequent stops than usual. I didn’t have any experience with children—or women, for that matter, other than my mother, and we were never able to travel—but I had noticed during our brief time with Eva June that she tended to take time out for the ladies room on a fairly regular basis. No criticism, just an observation. We’d only been on the road for maybe an hour and a half when Sarah asked if we’d mind stopping. Ever the gentleman and good brother, Ethan pulled off the highway as soon as he was able and into a small rest area just outside of Atkins, Virginia. Smyth Safety Rest Area read the big blue sign on the small red brick building with arched doorways.

Sarah unbuckled Alex, said she’d be back in a minute, and headed up the steps to the building. Ethan, Benny, and I climbed out of the car and stretched our legs then tossed our trash into nearby receptacles.  I couldn’t help but notice this place boasted of having vending machines.

“Think they might have coffee here?” I asked Ethan hopefully. My first cup of the morning was long gone. He gave me a knowing grin. “What’s that look for?” I asked.

“Oh nothing,” he replied nonchalantly. “Would you like to see if they have any coffee?”

“If it’s not too much of a problem,” I replied. Hey, I could give as good as I got. And, just for the record, this was our normal routine, nothing unusual, although an outsider might think we were sniping at one other. We weren’t.

“I’ll admit I could use some too,” Benny interjected, and that sealed it. The three of us headed up the stairs in search of caffeine. I noticed just outside of the building stood a large wooden map, presumably of Virginia. Inside there was a smaller version, as well as a few travel brochures, no doubt courtesy of the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

I’d taken note of the other cars in the lot when we arrived. There were only a few not surprising as it was a Saturday, and not a particularly warm day at that. Even so, we had Benny to consider. We were his bodyguards, after all. It wasn’t inconceivable that he was being targeted. How they would deduce we were here was a matter for conjecture, but better safe than sorry.

The vending machine selection was limited but adequate to our needs. Three machines stood in one corner of the building. One contained snacks, another one soft drinks and water, and one blessed machine held hot beverages… such as coffee. Actually, it held a surprisingly better selection than that, and I opted for a latte, generously sweetened with extra cream.

Sarah emerged from the ladies room as we stood there, Alex in her arms. He was squirming to get down and walk under his own power, but she seemed reluctant to let him do so. Maybe fear of getting dirty. Or running off. Or maybe it was because we weren’t sure what was going on, the reason for this impromptu road trip. I couldn’t exactly say I blamed her for being cautious.

“Down!” Alex insisted in a determined no-nonsense voice that failed to impress anyone.

“I’ll watch him,” Benny offered.

Sarah eased her son down to the floor and he shot off toward the machine holding the snacks, reaching toward the glass. “Chips!” he said. “I want chips!” He turned expectant eyes toward Benny, who chuckled.

“I think we can do that,” he said before glancing at Sarah, belatedly realizing he should have asked first. “If it’s all right with Mom, I mean.”

“Mama, want chips!” Alex insisted. “Pwease!” He batted his big blue eyes at his mother, and I couldn’t help but think this is what Ethan must have been like as a little boy, and I was instantly enchanted. Sarah obviously felt the same way because she quickly caved.

“Okay,” she said. “What do you say to Uncle Benny?”

Alex looked baffled for a moment. Benny laughed.

“He has nothing to be thankful for yet. What about this kind?” He pointed to something not too spicy and Alex nodded. Benny pulled out a few coins from his pocket, dropped them in and pressed the appropriate buttons. The machine whirred into life and dispensed the correct item without any problems. Benny pulled the bag out and handed it to Alex.

“Thank you, Unka Benny!” Alex cheerfully chirped.

“You’re very welcome, Alex,” Benny responded. He looked wistfully from mother to child. I wondered what was going through his mind. The wasted years when he was estranged from his family? His lack of progeny? Or maybe something entirely different.

“There’s more snacks in the car,” Ethan reminded us. “But we should get going.”

He didn’t say it, but I knew he didn’t want to stay in any one place too long, just in case.

On our way out, I noticed Sarah paused to pick up a couple of the brochures. Ethan stopped beside her. ‘You okay?” he asked in a concerned voice.

His twin looked up at him, shifting Alex on her hip a little. “I will be,” she said after a long moment. “I’m sorry about—”

“No need,” Ethan cut her off. “It’s a done deal. I just want you to be happy, that’s all.”

“I know, and I appreciate that.” Ethan gave her a quick hug, and all was well with the world again. At least for now

 to be continued

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

Cia Nordwell

J Ray Lamb


Monday, June 20, 2022

Book Review: Bleach, Vol 64 by Tite Kubo


Bleach, Vol 64       

Author: Tite Kubo

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: July 7, 2015

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

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★


Isane and Yachiru seem to be facing an invisible foe. He turns out to be Stern Ritter V – “Vanishing Point” Gwenael Lee. He tells them he can’t be seen, felt… or remembered. That doesn’t deter Yachiru, who continues to fight, with surprising results. Another Stern Ritter appears unexpectedly, claiming Lee is just a product of his imagination. His name is Gremmy Thoumeaux, and he manipulates what people imagine into reality. Having noticed Yachiru’s spiritual pressure is down, Kenpachi makes an appearance. This is the first time they have been together since he fought with Unohana.  He finds himself facing what appears to be a little kid.

Gremmy seems to be impressed by the idea that Kenpachi is now the Kenpachi from Zaraki, and thinks he needs a grand stage so he erects a large block of stone for that purpose. Gremmy then boasts that he will kill Zaraki without lifting a finger, just by using what’s in his head. Kenpachi tells Yachiru to flee but she doesn’t move. Gremmy says it’s because he’s made her think her bones are made of chocolate chip cookies and will break if she moves.

Some of the other Stern Ritter believe that Gremmy should not have been released, the guy is far too unstable. And he proves them right by unleashing a meteor that is headed right toward them through the use of his imagination. But the meteor is real enough! Can Kenpachi handle this thing or is everyone doomed?

Most of the action in this volume centers around Kenpachi and Yachiru, and I, for one, am happy to see that. Especially Yachiru who is a great character but gets little story time. She and Kenny make a great pair! It’s always great to see the big guy in action.  These Stern Ritter really get on my nerves. I will be so glad to see the last of them.  Fun volume, looking forward to the next one, and biting my nails!

Virtual Book Tour: Sweetwater Promise by January Bain

 Good morning everyone! Please welcome back author January Bain to Full Moon Dreaming! She is here to today to talk about her new release, Sweetwater Promise. January will be awarding a $35 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.


Sweetwater Promise

by January Bain




GENRE: Sweet romance






Follow your heart to Sweetwater


Daisey Winslow loves her small town of Sweetwater, but wonders how she’d fare living and working in a big city. Just as she’s decided to take a job in New York, along comes Deputy Sheriff Jack Samson.


Her polar opposite, Jack left the mean streets to return to Sweetwater’s peace and quiet, ready to find that special someone and raise a family, and the more time Daisey spends with him, the calmer her itchy feet get and the duller the big-city lights shine.


When she comes across the diary of her seven-times-great grandmother, reading her poignant words with the simple message, follow your heart, make Daisey question her decisions.


But Daisey’s not quite ready to give up on her dreams before she’s even started living them, however…what if the dashing lawman can fill her head—and her heart—with different, closer-to-home desires? Ones they can share?


Readers of Jenny Hale, Carolyn Brown, and Susan Mallery will love this fun, flirty, poignant, and feel-good small-town romance.






 Rose gave a sigh of pleasure. “Ah, that’s our new deputy sheriff, Jack Samson. Just arrived yesterday. Don’t you love a handsome lawman in a fancy hat?”


“Yeah.” I forced myself to turn away from the mouth-watering, outstanding view and focus on Cousin Rose. “Spill.”


She’s always in the loop. Everyone came to the Prairie Rose Café, thanks to the welcoming smile and warm greeting of the proprietor. Her food—the best in North Dakota. Her chicken and dumplings are amazing, and don’t get me started on her world-famous cinnamon apple raisin pie. My only defense against being as wide as I am tall is running. Though I do have an admirable petite shape, sort of Jessica Rabbitesque in the right light.


“He’s single and worked for the NYPD. Can you believe it?” Rose shook her head with feigned surprise. “And he chose to come back to Sweetwater. Fancy that, eh?” She gave me a smug smile like she’d just placed her Ace of Hearts on a winning poker hand.


“Huh. Very odd choice.” I wouldn’t let her trump it. “Samson. Old family name. He related to any of them?”


Rose nodded. “Yup. All of them. Came over on the Mayflower, like us. His parents moved to New York when he was five or six, so he wasn’t with us long and it was before either of us were born.”


Deputy Sheriff Samson not only wears a hat well, he’s one of our own. I can only hope he’s prepared to share all that big city expertise.


The deputy had stopped and was helping Tim, who was struggling with the oversized banner. Even from across the street it was obvious that Jack Samson was in prime condition. Made me want to head to the gym for a complete workout. I’m a bit too much of a fan of Rose’s apple pie and my personal favorite, rum-soaked-raisin oatmeal cookies. I’d already packed a few dozen for the wagon train trip. No point in taking chances.


“He’s a bit old for you,” Rose pointed out, arching a well-groomed brow at me. “Mid-thirties, I think. The scuttlebutt is he’s come home to Sweetwater to settle down with no intention of leaving. Unlike you.”


More movement out of the picture window caught my attention. A familiar black and white cat shot out of the narrow gap between the Barnes & Sons Hardware and Alice’s Flower Shoppe. Five-year-old Luke Barnes bounded out next, short legs pumping, his blond hair standing straight on end in the newest rage. Knowing both ends of Main Street were already blocked off to traffic due to the Ferris wheel perched at one end and the music stage on the other kept my heart rate from accelerating. Besides, Luke was always trying to corral Bandit, the aptly named one-year-old feline who was forever on the lam.


The new guy let go of his end of the banner he’d been helping Tim with and it slumped to the street in a colorful heap. He jumped to the little boy’s aid, dashing after the runaway feline and nabbing the tiny creature in a few broad steps. Then he leaned down and handed over the squirming furry body to the young boy, making sure Luke had a good grip on his constant buddy before letting go. Hmm. Good reflexes too. Didn’t even lose his awesome hat in the proceedings.


The deputy patted the boy on the head, then headed back and finished helping Tim secure the banner. Paragraph two: A diner at the Prairie Rose Café witnessed an incident in the street this fine July morning and reports the newly arrived Deputy Sheriff Samson rescued Luke Barnes’s cat, Bandit. Little does he know that it’s a daily occurrence and he’d best invest in a ladder forthwith.


If I was a romance author, oh my, what I couldn’t do with the new hero. I laid my hand over my heart, imagining the juicy adjectives I could so easily spill out onto the page. Triple sigh. Words like dashing, scintillating, powerful, alpha…




AUTHOR Bio and Links:


January Bain loves being a storyteller. To share the tales of high adventure, mysteries, and full-blown thrillers she has dreamed of all her life since she taught herself to read as a child. The story you now have in your hands is a very special novel that comes from the heart. She hopes to create books that features strong women who live life to the fullest, wild adventures full of twists and unforeseen turns, and hot complicated men who aren’t afraid to take risks. She can only hope her stories will capture your imagination as they do hers.


If you are looking for January Bain, you can find her hard at work every morning without fail in her office with her furry baby, Ling Ling. And, of course, she’s married to the most romantic man! Who once famously remarked to her inquiry about buying fresh flowers for their home every week, “Give me one good reason why not?” Leaving her speechless and knocking her head against the proverbial wall for being so darn foolish. She loves flowers.


If you wish to connect in the virtual world she is easily found on Facebook. Oh, and she loves to talk books…



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Sunday, June 19, 2022

Book Review: Demon Slayer, Vol 16 by Koyoharu Gotouge


Demon Slayer, Vol 16      

Author: Koyoharu Gotouge

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: September 1, 2020

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

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★


Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke begin their training with Gyomei, the Stone Hashira. The regimen consists of three parts – training under the waterfall, carrying three thick logs, and pushing a large boulder one cho (about 110 meters).  The training is grueling but the three demon slayers push through it as best they can. Inosuke is happy, convinced that Gyomei is the strongest member of the Demon Slayer Corps. Tanjiro passes the first two parts, but is having difficulty in pushing the boulder. He feels as though it is pushing back at him. Meanwhile, Muzan is very intent on finding both Nezuko and Kagaya.

When Genya arrives, he and Tanjiro discuss the training, and he opens Tanjiro’s eyes to trying another technique. Following Genya’s advice, Tanjiro is able to push the boulder, finishing his training before either Zenitsu or Inosuke. Genya is impressed by Tanjiro, both for his accomplishments in training as for what he did for the Swordsmith village. Tanjiro modestly claims it was due to Nezuko, not him, thus earning more respect for his honesty. Now Tanjiro is ready to move on to his next training, with Tomioka.

Tanjiro finds Tomioka battling with Sanemi, the Wind Hashira who is also Genya’s brother. When Tanjiro asks if they are really fighting over candy, Sanemi becomes offended and attacks. In the meantime, Muzan has found Kagaya, who is in very bad shape! They have a long discussion during which Muzan attempts to justify what he is doing based on past grievances. This encounter does not end well.

When the Demon Slayers receive the news, they rush to their Master’s side, alas too late, and vow to end the existence of Muzan once and for all.

This was a very hard volume to read. It’s always hard to lose characters you come to love, and this was no exception, but neither was it the first time in this series. The Hashira have been struck a mighty blow, but at the same time the death of the Master has only strengthened their resolve to destroy Muzan. Tanjiro is becoming even stronger than ever, and I’m sure Zenitsu and Inosuke will be close behind. No Nezuko this volume, hope she’s doing well and we will see her again soon. I can only hope they will make Muzan suffer horribly before they kill him. The back stories are interesting and informative, as usual.

Good volume, looking forward to the next one.