Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Books This Week - Cold Moon

Title: Moon #3 - Cold Moon
Author: M.J. O'Shea
Publisher: M.J. O'Shea
Length: 58,000 words
Rating: 4.5 Quills
Tags: paranormal, shifter, vampire, series, adventure, over time

Charlie Fitzgerald is sick of being the kid who nobody takes seriously. His older brother Colin is off in New York City fighting bad vampires and other trouble causers and Charlie wants in on the action. He thinks it's impossible until he overhears something that seems like the perfect opportunity. The Lycan council is looking for a human emissary - someone to take a message of peace to a volatile werewolf who lives in the dark forests of Romania. Charlie decides that emissary will be him.

Xan, or X'andrien as he's know to his people, is furious. His best friend, who also happens to be one of the Fitzgeralds his family has vowed to protect, has gone missing. When they find out where Charlie has gone, Xan has to chase him all the way to Europe and eventually save his stubborn butt in the middle of the night the freezing cold Romanian forest. He never realized how much his best friend and charge meant to him until he was nearly killed.

Together, they end up stuck in the middle of a political mess that includes the lycans, the werewolves, and some very nosy vampires. If the two of them manage to make it out alive, they may realize that stuck together or not, years of friendship for one stubborn hunter and an equally bullheaded dryad protector can turn into a love neither of them is willing to live without.

First off, I must note that this is the THIRD book in M.J. O'Shea's Moon series. Book 1 is Blood Moon and Book 2 is Hunter's Moon. Both are well worth the read and this is a series where you MUST read books 1 and 2 before you read book 3. =)

This book runs parallel to Hunter's Moon at the beginning which was interesting because it let us see what was happening outside PC and Miles' POV from book 2. Charlie is bored of high school and can't wait to start his training as a hunter. Whereas most hunters don't get clued into the paranormal until their 18th birthdays, he has known for years due to his well developed eavesdropping skills. What he doesn't know is that he fits the bill to fulfill a dryad prophecy. Unbeknownst to him, his best friend is really a dryad protector meant to keep him out of harm's way until he exacts the justice the prophecy promises or the next third son is born into his family. This gets him into all sorts of trouble when he traipses off in a fit of teen angst to prove to himself, his family and his best friend that he does have what it takes to be a hunter.

Xan and Charlie trek across Europe and back to NYC embroiling themselves paranormal politics, trying to stay out of trouble and dreading what their Moms will have to say when they get home. Somehow, through it all, they begin to realize that they are more than just best friends. They realize that they are in love with each other. This was a great book in that the plot and the romance were woven seamlessly together. M.J. continued to capture the wonderful intricacies of the paranormal world she has created for this series while not falling prey to the temptation to over complicate her world building. She also balanced Charlie and Xan's relationship plot with equal parts internal and external conflict. During the first part of the book, they are at odds with each other because neither feels they can tell the other the full truth. Eventually, all lies are revealed and their feelings come out. Then, the situation conspires to keep our two lovebirds apart. None of the conflicts felt overdone or tedious but rather seemed a natural progression. I felt particularly sympathetic to them when they were having live a part for so much of the time as I am living in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend. :/ 

Overall, this was a great continuation of what has come to be one of my favorite series. I think PC and Miles from Book 2 will always be my favorite but I had a seriously good time getting to know Charlie and Xan. 4.5 stars...We shall see if it gets upped to 5 next time I read it. =)

You can find Cold Moon here at All Romance eBooks for $0.99.

New Books read this week:
St. Nacho's 4 - Book of Daniel by Z.A. Maxfield- 3.5 stars
Ex-Equals by L.A. Witt - 3.5 stars
Love Means...Family by Andrew Grey - 3.5 stars
Bellskis 2 - Miracle of the Bellskis by Astrid Amara- 4 stars
Chase in Shadow by Amy Lane - 4 stars
Stroke! by M.J. O'Shea - 4.5 stars

Re-reads for this week:
Don't Look Back by Josh Lanyon - 5 stars
Rhapsody for Piano and Ghost by Z.A. Maxfield - 3.5 stars
Between Sinners and Saints by Marie Sexton - 5 stars
St. Nacho's 1 - St. Nacho's by Z.A. Maxfield - 4 stars
St. Nacho's 2 - Physical Therapy by Z.A. Maxfield - 4 stars
St. Nacho's 3 - Jacob's Ladder by Z.A. Maxfield - 3.5 stars
The Dragon Tamer by Megan Derr - 5 stars
The Bastard Prince by Megan Derr - 5 stars
Wes and Toren by J.M. Colail - 5 stars
Bellskis 1 - Carol of the Bellskis by Astrid Amara - 4 stars

So, that concludes Books This Week. Hope you enjoyed it! =)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tattoo Tuesday

Hi Folks! I've never done a Tattoo Tuesday before but I was getting a hankering to post some pretty cause I haven't done that in awhile and I remembered some of my ertswhile bloggy companions do the lovely Tattoo Tuesday Blog Hop soooo, I decided to participate this week. Enjoy these lovely tattooed men and if you want to share your own just add your link to the linky tool at the bottom. =)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Music Monday - Nostalgia (aka Dance Party) Edition

About 5 years ago, one of my best friends was killed in a car accident. For some reason this weekend I have been doing a lot of remembering about her. So, I want to dedicate today's Music Monday to Fatema! =)

First up, we have Seasons of Love. This song always makes me think about our last year of college together, living in house with 5 of our best friends, loving each other and loving life. It also always makes me bawl my eyes cause one of the most defining moments of that year is so tragic. But the overwhelming feeling I get looking back is one of love. So here you go!

Next up, we have a few of Fatema's favorite midnight, don't want to do our hw, dance party in our pyjama songs. Feel free to get up and move around, shake your booty while you're listening. =)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Snog - The Healing Power of Sunflowers

So many (some?) of you probably read about the whole picture/prompt thing going on over at goodreads right now from my previous post. When I was picking there were a bunch that I felt drawn to but I could only choose one. So I figured for today's Sunday Snog I would do a short version of what I was thinking for one of my missed prompts!

Here is the picture and prompt:

Prompt (from Gabbo): They say I will never walk again; thus they carted me to this island, to oblivion. The days are sunny and help me forget their disdain. The terrors come at night. The young man taking care of me, it's the only true balm in this beautiful hell.

*I didn't stick exactly to the prompt but close enough for government work. ;)

Here you go:

I stared blankly at the red light from my idling car. It was almost midnight and my higher brain function was at it’s lowest after an 18 hour shift at the hospital. I drummed my fingers on the steering wheel, willing the light to change so I could crawl in my bed those 30 seconds sooner. Those 30 seconds seemed really important to me for some reason.

It turns out they were.

In those thirty seconds, when the light could have changed but it didn’t, my life changed forever.

The first thing I noticed was a terrible screeching sound like a thousand crows all crying out at the same time. Next I watched as the brilliant white light of headlights grew until it encompassed my entire back window, my whole rearview mirror.

Then, in almost beautiful slow motion, the lights were in my back window. I felt the metal of my car groan and crumple like an accordian being compressed. The straining and bending of metal screamed it's music into the night. My head flew forward and my chest bucked against my seatbelt. In that moment of jolting my right foot moved off the break pedal.

It wouldn’t have mattered. My 20 year o;d Toyota Corolla was no match for the 18-wheeler behind me. But for some reason, looking back, I always think that that break pedal could have made a differece. If only my foot had stayed in place, my car wouldn’t have slid so far into the intersection. And maybe I could have prevented what happened next.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Love is Always Write!

So the M/M Romance Group over at goodreads is having this super awesome event right now called Love is Always Write. There was an opportunity for folk to write prompts for moderator chosen photos or to choose their own photo and write a Dear Author letter. THEN, all the authors come out and pick prompts/letter to write stories from.

As you can probably guess, I am totally participating both as a letter writer and a prompt grabber!!! I just chose this photo/prompt to write a story about:

Prompt (from Julia): Shit. You always think there's plenty of time, plenty of chances. Staring down a %20 survival odds has made me rethink a lot of things. I wish I had come out of the closet instead of letting him leave, wish I'd been more willing to rock the boat before it started to sink. Maybe he meant it when he said he's still be there for me, still be my friend.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Update Extravaganza and Awesomeness

Soooo...I am finally almost recovered from my horrible bout with Bronchitis!!!! So today we get a whole slew of posts. I am giving you one each of my regular posts cause I have been gone for so long. You can scroll down or click on the links below.

But before we go into that, I also wanted to point out that I added a tab up top for my Poetry. I usually write poetry to get stuff out of me that I need to express but have no other way to do it, so they are very personal and not really gay or romantic for the most part. But, if you have any interest, click away and feel free to comment. =)

Sunday Snog - Belated

I flipped open my phone for about the hundredth time today. I had been paying such close attention to it that I knew there were no new text messages or emails and no missed calls, but a heart can hope. Today was my birthday. I had received the requisate cake during lunch hour at work, the regular phone call from my parents, the expected 50 bajillion facebook birthday wall posts. But the one thing I wanted, the one present I yearned for, I had not gotten yet.

Kevin always called on my birthday.

We had been best friends in high school and I had been half in love with him since about 5 minutes after meeting him. Over the years, that teenage crush had grown into full on unrequited love. Kevin was some sort of jet setting high finance paragon. His company sent him all over the world to do things that I generally didn’t understand. But that meant he spent more time out of the country than in. So I made due with his regular phone calls and nursed my bruised heart.

But in the ten years since we graduated, he had never missed calling me on my birthday.

I opened the phone one last time as the clock ticked over to 12:01am. I sighed and curled in a ball on my bed, refusing to acknowledge that the wetness on my cheeks was tears. My mind flitted to a thousand different places as I tried to fall asleep. Why hadn’t he called? Was he someplace he couldn’t get phone reception? Or worse, Had he just forgetten? My heart skipped a beat and considered an even worse possibility, Had there been some sort of accident?

True Love's Kiss - Part 2

Previous Chapter - Part 1

True Love's Kiss - Part 2

“It would seem so,” Prince Kalristian replied with a bit of exasperation in his cultured voice. I remained with my rump planted firmly on the ground as I stared disbelievingly up at the prince as he shook the sleep from his body. He stood and stretched his lithe body one muscle at a time. I gaped at him, still not able to believe that my kiss had woken him up.

Finally, he turned to look at me and noticed I had not yet gotten up. “Do you plan on reclining on the floor all day?” Kalristian inquired politely. “Or shall we move our introductions to somewhere more comfortable?”

I flushed bright red and scrambled to my feet. “Sorry, ummm…wherever’s good.”

A look of mild irritation flitted across his features as he replied, “Then follow me and we shall search out," he paused, "wherever.”

He opened the door on the opposite side of the chamber and I scurried after him, only to slam into his back when he stopped right outside the door. There was a crowd of people in the ante-chamber and everyone from highest Lord to lowest servant was staring at Prince Kalristian. What little emotion I had seen from him thus far was instantly wiped from his face and a mask of haughty superiority fitted itself over his features.

Before anyone could speak, he turned to the nearest servant and spoke into the shocked silence, “We require a sitting room and light refreshments.”

The startled servant stammered out a, “Yes, Your Majesty” and turned to lead us down an adjoining hallway to the nearest sitting room, I assumed.

We sat in an awkward silence until the servant had left and returned with a tray of pastries and tea. When the door was firmly shut behind the servant with instructions that they not be disturbed, Prince Kalristian turned to me.

“He called me Your Majesty. Is my father the King dead then?” He asked in a clipped voice.

Book of the Week - Holed Up

Title: Up To Trouble #1 - Holed Up
Author: Hank Edwards
Publisher: LooseID
Length: 101 pages
Rating: 2.5 Quills
Tags: law enforcement, contemporary, mystery, series, novella


FBI Special Agent Aaron Pearce, tall, muscular, a lone wolf with an attitude, is assigned to protect Mark Beecher, a witness to the plans for a terrorist attack. The discovery of an unknown informant within the FBI's ranks, however, forces the two men to hole up in a loft apartment with only one another for company.

After long conversations and their shared attempt to unravel the puzzle of the terrorist group's next target, Pearce and Mark find they cannot deny their mutual attraction. Pearce gives in to his passion, sleeping with the man he's sworn to protect and going against his training as he risks heartbreak once again.

When the informant reveals himself to Pearce and takes him hostage, Mark finds he cannot run and leave Pearce to die. Instead, their roles have been reversed and now he is the only person who can save Special Agent Pearce.


This is the story of Mark, who overheard a terrorist plot being planned by a fellow resident of his apartment building. Being the upstanding citizen that he is, he cannot let that slide and reports it to the authorities. He is then put in witness protection under the watchful eye of FBI agent, Aaron Pearce. Mark and Aaron end up running for their lives once a mole within FBI security is discovered. They end up hiding out at Mark's ex's apartment while the ex is out of town. Then after a very limited resistance (I am supposed to be protecting him, I am running for my life, ahhh) they fall into bed together and by the end of their story, in love.

I guess the first thing to say is that this was not a bad book. It just wasn't a good book either. I am pretty willing to suspend my disbelief about how MCs are thrown to together (if the author makes it work) but hearing a terrorist plot through the air vents of his building seems a bit far fetched to me. Also, it seemed a lot like insta love to me. The author makes a point of saying that they stayed up talking for a long time and bonded but didn't show it to us or at least didn't make me believe it. I admit, here and now, that I almost always hate insta-love, unless there is something more to the story that challenges the relationship (internally not externally...J.L. Langley's With or Without series is a good example of ok insta love) so that is a bias of mine. And you can't always tell, from a blurb if a story is going to be insta love so it hard to just avoid them.

That being said, I enjoyed Hank's style of writing and felt that the pacing of the story (other than the sex/love aspect) was good. So overall, I give this story 2.5 Quills. I do not regret reading it but it was not my cuppa. However, I would be willing to read another book by Hank Edwards to see if perhaps my reaction to this book was due to mood/illness/weird day/etc.

If you are looking for a good witness protection/federal agent type book two I really enjoyed were Shades of Gray by Brooke McKinley and Under a Rock by India Harper. If I have not scared you off Holed Up (everyone has different might love it) then you can find it for $4.99 at Loose ID.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Snog

Hi All,
I came down with a case of Bronchitis this week and have been doped up with codeine cough syrup to breath. So, instead of writing something new, which would likely not make much sense in my drugged up state, I am posting Liam and Alex's flashbacks from Christmas Tradition. This is not meant to be a whole story. It is just flash backs during the present day story. Hope you enjoy and I will post something new once I am feeling better. =)


I would love to be able to say that the first time I saw him I knew he was the one for me. It would be so romantic. But Alex was my roommate Terry’s lab partner in whatever gen ed science class they had been forced to take. So I’d seen him around, even talked to him a few times.
The first time I really noticed him was on a rainy day in early October. I walked out of the building where my euro civ class had been and everything around me sparkled with a glistening sheen from the recent drizzle. If hadn’t known better, I would have said it was an early spring day, sun shining through the clouds filled with anticipation for the coming summer.
As I stepped into the quad, I glanced up and saw him standing there outside the side entrance to one of the upper class dorms. His dark hair was damp and wild from the brief rain and a ray of brilliant sunlight shone directly down on him, illuminating him and reflecting the happiness in his face.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I just posted a poll on the right sidebar over thar! Soooooo, you should.....

Some of you have mentioned wanting follow ups to various Friday First Kisses. Here's your chance!!!! I am going to start a new post called Friday Follow Ups. This will not happen every week. It will happen whenever I am inspired. ;)

If you vote in the poll, then I will do my best to write what y'all want to read cause I am awesome. And now some pretty cause that's what I do with these random update posts. =)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sunday Snog - Difficult Realizations

I tried to inch slowly away from Kelsey but everytime I managed any reasonable space between us she leaned over and closed the distance again. Damn it. I should never have let her in my dorm room. We were assigned as partners for Chemistry lab and since then she had been showing up everywhere and trying to get me to “study” with her. I couldn’t get any further from her without climbing on the bed. And that was so never gonna happen. However much I feared touching her on purpose would be a bad idea, if this went on much longer, I was going to have to physcially push her away.

I was saved by a knock at my door. She jumped at the sound and in that moment of distraction I darted past her towards the door. I didn’t care who it was. They were my new best friend.

I opened the door and was briefly confused when it was my actual best friend standing there looking markedly bedraggled and carrying two duffle bags. I gave him a look that I hoped said please, for the love of God, play along. Then I pulled him into the room and threw his bags on the bed.

Whirling around with a  falsely bright look on my face, I exclaimed, “Ryan, you’re here early!” And then I kissed him. It was supposed to be a brief hello type kiss that might be shared between boyfriends who hadn’t seen each other in awhile but were in public. Enough to convince Kelsey I was not on the market but not enough to squick out a straight best friend too badly.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Update and Pretty Things

Hi All!
As may be apparent with my lack of a Friday First Kiss the last two weeks, my new school schedule is not conducive to getting a story out on Fridays. SOOOOOooooooo I am changing Friday First Kiss to SUNDAY SNOGS! Hopefully this will work better with my schedule and y'all can continue to enjoy kissy goodness. So check back tomorrow evening for some snogilicious fun! =)

And now, because I like pretty things, I will share these with you now!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Book of the Week - Digital to Analog

Title: Digital to Analog
Author: Evie Kiels
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 4,600 words
Rating: 3.5 Quills
Tags: contemporary, short, sweet, friends to lovers, online relationship


College is not proving to be exactly all it's cracked up to be for Seth. His only relief from classes, loneliness, and asshole peers is his online friend, Atropos. But even that is a problem because Atropos is also one of the assholes he hates most, leaving Seth confused as to who is more authentic: the asshole from class or the friend online.

Then Seth slips up, and he fears he may have ruined the only good thing he had ...


Seth has been talking online with Atropos for over a year and found himself falling in love with his online companion. One problem: In real life Atropos is the asshole who seems to always be tormenting him at school. This seems like a recipe for disaster. Until we find out that Atropos' real life persona may not be making fun of Seth for the most apparent reasons. As soon as he discovers Seth is the man behind the screen, he does everything he can to make this Valentine's Day special for both of them.

This was a short (14 pgs) sweet story. There were one or two places I had to suspend my disbelief a bit as the situations appeared unrealistic. However, if I am enjoying a story, I am more than willing to do so. The only place that stopped me in my tracks was when Seth was telling us how he figured out who Atropos was. I get how he figured out they were in the same class but the individual person. I read it three times and still don't know. That aside, I really liked this story. I was in the mood for something simple and romantic and Digital to Analog delivered. If you have 10-15 minutes to spare and want to read something that leaves you with a happy romantic glow, you should definitely read this story. 3.5 Quills.

You can find Digital to Analog at Less Than Three Press for $1.49 if you buy it by itself or you can buy it as a part of the Kiss Me Quick: Bundle 1 which comes with seven Kiss Me Quick shorts for $8.99 (this is essentially buy six get one free).