Wednesday Briefs: June 23, 2021

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

An Unholy Alliance #4 (2.1) by Julie Lynn Hayes

“Where exactly are we going?” I was struggling to remain fully alert, fighting against the blood-induced haze of overindulgence. That’s not usually a problem vampires have… unless they’ve had too much to drink. Much like myself. For lack of a better analogy, think of all the humans who stuff themselves silly at one particular meal every November and then nod off after the consumption of the pumpkin pie. Except this was stronger, a force I couldn’t fight.

I can’t even swear my words were intelligible. They sounded like they were coming from far away, even to me. I’d wedged

Click here to read the entire Brief:

Continue reading

Book Review: Bleach, Vol 37 by Tite Kubo

Bleach, Vol 37           

Author: Tite Kubo

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: December 6, 2011

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

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

The unimaginable has happened to the Soul Reapers of Soul Society! They have a traitor in their midst. Traitors, even. None other than Aizen, Tosen, and Ichimaru. Shinji is not surprised, having been suspicious of Aizen from the start, which is why he made him his assistant captain. To keep an eye on him. But Aizen realized that and set Shinji up in a way he could not have foreseen.

 

Before Aizen and his cohorts can finish off Shinji and the others, Kisuke Uruhara and Tessai arrive. Kisuke is confused at what he sees, recognizing hollowfication when he sees it. Tessai tries to attack Aizen and his pals, but they manage to slip away and Kisuke tells him they need to focus on Shinji and his people for now. Good thing he has something prepared for this –  none other than the Hogyoku!

 

When Kisuke and Tessai are unexpectedly arrested, things are not looking good. The Council has determined to destroy Shinji and the others, as being Hollows, and send Kiskue into permanent exile in the World of the Living, but the arrival of a deus ex machine changes things, hopefully for the better.

 

Back in the present, the Soul Reapers realize that Aizen et al know about the fake Karakura Town, and have made their own plans. The Old Man Captain has anticipated them and has set four trusted Soul Reapers at the four corners of the infrastructure of the fake town – Ikkaku, Yumichika, Kira, and Hisagi. To keep Aizen at bay, the old man surrounds the traitors with a huge wall of fire. It’ll take them time to get out of this in order to aid their subordinates.

 

Let the battles begin!

 

Watching the past, and seeing what happened to Shinji and the others, is just heartbreaking. Makes you want to see Aizen suffer greatly for what he did, the heartless, gutless coward. Good thing they have Kisuke on their side, and he is nothing if not brilliant. Still, makes you wonder about what might have been.

 

I love the battles between the lieutenants and the Fraccions, each memorable in its own way. I laughed at Ikkaku’s comment that he thought he heard Yumichika laugh, but surely not in the middle of a battle.

 

The scenes with Alquiorra and Orihime are great. He informs her that Aizen no longer needs her and that she will die there, but she insists that her friends will save her. He scoffs, but she tells him, “My heart is already with them.” And of course Ichigo proves her correct by his arrival.

 

The battles have already begun, but these are powerful enemies. Can these four handle them, or will the captains need to step in? Another great volume, looking forward to the next one!

 

 

Saturday is Horror Day #16 – The Hills Have Eyes 2 (1984)

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

The Hills Have Eyes 2 (1984)

While headed to a race, a group of bikers make the unfortunate decision to go off the beaten path in order to save time and get to the race before it starts. However, they soon find themselves being stalked by some of the locals, who just happen to be a family of survivalist inbred cannibals

Can this end well for anyone?

 

You know the saying, stupid is as stupid does. That pretty well sums up this film. Stupid people doing stupid things. Another saying goes You play stupid games, you win stupid prizes. That applies here as well. The decision to take a short cut despite posted signs that warn travelers not to leave the paved road was a terrible one. Especially since they are familiar with the story of the family who came to an untimely end there and they actually know of the survivors. Not to mention that one of the people with them is actually a member of that family! She should have known better, right?

 

On top of an unbelievable plot, add poor acting and a terrible script. While Papa Jupiter died in the first film, apparently his brother, The Reaper, has come to take his place. He doesn’t speak, just grunts a lot, unlike his nephew, Pluto, whom I don’t remember speaking very much in the first film. The plot is contrived at best, and unbelievable. Hard to believe Wes Craven is responsible for this garbage.

I don’t recommend watching it, seriously. I gave the first film 3 stars. I’ll give this one a shaky 2 stars, maybe even 1.5. These people deserved to die for being so stupid. But not the dog. I hope the remake of this franchise is better. I’m going to give it a go.

Book Review: Taboo by Jo Tannah

Taboo         

Authors: Jo Tannah

Publisher: eXtasy Books

American release date: September 16, 2016

Format/Genre/Length: Kindle/Multicultural Romance/384 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Zach Parker’s best friend, Margaret Maxfield, is getting married, and he’s to be the man of honor. But that’s not what has him stirred up, excited, and scared – all at the same time. No, it’s the thought of seeing Margaret’s dad again. Zach has been in love with Tristan Maxfield forever. As a kid, he set his desires in the category of never gonna happen. But so much has happened, including Tristan and Amanda’s divorce, as well as Tristan coming out of the closet. That is a definite game changer. Not to mention, it’s been five years since he’s set eyes on the man.

Zach wants to be with Tristan so badly he can’t stand it. But what about the repercussions? What will Margaret and her brothers say if they do hook up? Zach practically grew up with them. Not to mention that Tristan and Zach’s dad are best friends and partners in the very successful law firm where Zach plans to work some day. Will Zach’s parents accept his feelings for Tristan, considering the big difference in their ages, and who Tristan is to them?

Tristan has always liked Zach, but seeing him after five years… something just clicks inside of him, a feeling he can’t describe. Yes, he wants Zach, but it’s more than that. And just when he has decided to label himself as a perv, he realizes the feeling is mutual. Should he act upon it?

This book is about a romance that many in society frown on because of the age difference between the two people involved. But age is just a number. And being close in age is no guarantee of anything. I loved these two guys from the beginning and was rooting for them to get together on a permanent basis. They are so hot and sweet and romantic. The sex scenes are also very hot, and the author has a very smooth, enjoyable voice. The ex-wife is a true witch and a major…. Well, let’s just say she sleeps around a lot and leave it at that. And word to the wise – don’t mess with Zach’s mom or the people she loves. She will mess you up!  lol

I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the next one.

Book Review: Monster Perfect Edition, Vol 2 by Naoki Urasawa

Monster: The Perfect Edition, Vol 2

Author: Naoki Urasawa

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: October 21, 2014

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Horrorl/402 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

A burglar named Heckel breaks into the home of the late councilman, intending to loot it, when he runs into Tenma. At the sound of sirens, however, they both make a hasty exit, Tenma following the burglar, to his dismay. When he learns that Tenma is a doctor, Heckel has a brilliant idea of how they can make easy money. Tenma isn’t interested until he finds out Heckel saw the councilman’s murderer, and makes him tell where he is. It turns out that the guy isn’t Johan, but Johan has left a message for Tenma. How did he know Tenma would be there?

With Heckel’s help, Tenma is kidnapped and led to a wounded man and ordered to help him. But the conditions are so primitive, Tenma doesn’t believe he can do it safely. Tenma has a decision to make. Afterward, he goes to East Germany and visits the home of the late Lieberts in the company of a real estate agent as he attempts to glean information about the current owner. The realtor has none to give but points him to a neighbor who does remember the Lieberts and the twins they adopted. This was news to Tenma. The orphanage was located at 511 Kinderheim, but it’s abandoned and very spooky now. A nearby woman guides Tenma to a man who once worked in the welfare ministry, who is fostering a little boy. Tenma bonds with the boy and promises to bring him a soccer ball. Things get ugly fast and Tenma turns to the system for help.

Tenma takes the child, Dieter, with him and gives him directions on how to find the good orphanage. But Dieter refuses to go and insists on following Tenma, so he has little choice but to look after him. He runs across a drunken man who has injured himself and takes him to the doctor’s house but the doctor is away so Tenma treats him himself and leaves. When the doctor returns, he is furious and tracks Tenma down. When the police arrive, he covers up for Tenma and tells the officer to have his mother come in soon, because she’s ill. Concerned about her, he takes Tenma to the woman’s house and Tenma talks her into letting them in. But she soon collapses and Tenma has no choice but to operate, or she’ll die. Will her son, the policeman, see it that way, or will he just see a man who is wanted for murder?

Detective Lunge is obsessed with finding a connection between a murdered prostitute and the late councilman. He is so obsessed that he neglects his wife and daughter. Tenma’s ex calls on him, demanding to know when he will arrest Tenma. And when he informs her that it wasn’t Tenma, it was Johan, she tells Lunge that Johan is just one of Tenma’s personalities!

Tenma runs into an ex-cop, one of the men who killed Herr Maurer and the journalist, who finally admits the truth about the murders, and about the Baby. Apparently Nina Fortner/Anna Liebert has been looking for Johan, and the Baby intends to use her as bait, for his own reasons. Meanwhile Heckel and Dieter uncover a plot that could potentially kill a lot of people.

There is nothing boring about this volume of Monster. Edge-of-your-seat action all the way through. Nina wants to finish the job she started years ago, and Tenma wants to right the wrong he committed by saving the monster’s life as a child.  Maybe he sees Dieter as a form of redemption, which is why he can’t just leave him. Also, I think he realizes that Dieter is wise beyond his years and has seen much that he should never have seen.

This book has some memorable characters, a great plot, and the artwork is awesome! Some of the people remind me of those in Twentieth Century Boys, but is that surprising? Same artist. I look forward to reading the next volume.

Wednesday Briefs: June 16, 2021

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

Ancalagon: Chapter Forty-three by Cia Nordwell
 

The concept that four arms came in handy had occurred to me before, but being knocked off my feet when the ship lurched through the air hammered that home. Without the extra hand grabbing the bunk, I would have slammed my right temple right into the corner. I flopped over onto the mattress.  

“Are you all right?” Garjah stood with his leg spread, riding out the ship’s shudders.  

“You should sit down!”  

“I am fine. I’m sorry I forgot to tell you to brace yourself. You have changed so much I forget you don’t quite have the same bone and

 
 

Continue reading

Book Review: Monster: Perfect Edition, Vol 1 by Naoki Urasawa

Monster: The Perfect Edition, Vol 1   

Author: Naoki Urasawa

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: July 15, 2014

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Horror/426 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Tenma is a doctor whose life seems perfect. The Japanese doctor came to Germany to learn from a brilliant German hospital director, and he has become engaged to the man’s daughter, Eva. But this life is a façade, as he begins to learn. His fiancé is selfish and narcissistic, and her father only cares about the hospital making money rather than saving lives. In fact, the director has no compunction about taking credit for Dr. Tenma’s work, and his daughter tells Tenma that it is her father’s right to do so.

Dr. Tenma performs a grueling operation on a famous opera singer, although a Turkish laborer arrived before him and also needed Dr. Tenma’s attention. But the doctor was told to operate on the singer and the doctor who performed the operation on the laborer failed to save him. The grieving widow spots Tenma and wails that if he had operated, she would still have her husband and her child would have a father. Tenma’s fiancé’s Eva’s response to Tenma’s self-doubts is “Some lives are worth more than others.”

It’s1986, and Germany is still divided. An East German trade adviser defects to the west, and he, his wife, and two children settle in Dusseldorf. One night the police are called to their house to find a horrific scene. Both parents are dead, the son has been shot, and the daughter in shock. The boy is rushed to the hospital and Dr. Tenma is called in. As he is about to go into surgery, he receives word that the mayor is ill and needs Tenma to perform his surgery. He’s ordered to do so by the director. But, remembering how he abandoned the Turkish laborer who then died, Tenma decides to save the boy and tells them another doctor can save the mayor as it’s a simple procedure. He saves the boy but the mayor dies.

Tenma, who was once on a fast track to success, is now ostracized by all and told he will never amount to anything. The police are impatient to question the young girl who was the only witness to the tragedy, as her brother is still in a coma. They persuade the hospital to allow the girl to be brought to the brother’s room in the hope she can help bring him around, against Dr. Tenma’s medical advice, but this doesn’t seem to matter anymore. And that does not end well when the director and two of his flunkies are found murdered, and the children disappear from the hospital. Dr. Tenma has no choice but to step up and take charge in the midst of chaos.

Fast forward nine years. Someone is targeting and killing middle-aged childless couples, but why? Inspector Lunge of the BKA is assigned to the case. He ends up following a clue to Dusseldorf, where Tenma is now head of surgery and his former fiancé has become a whining, demanding drunk with three failed marriages behind her. One of Tenma’s colleagues urges him to get back in the game and at least date, but Tenma isn’t really interested in anything but saving people. He saves the man who Lunge is interested in, and the man tells Tenma about a monster who makes him do things. When the man goes missing from the hospital, Tenma has an idea where he is and finds him, along with the so-called monster, who he is horrified to learn is someone whose life he saved nine years before.

Tenma realizes that he is responsible in some measure for what the monster has done. Plus he needs to save the sister from her brother, and begins to search for her. In the meantime, a young woman named Nina, unaware that she is adopted, and knowing nothing of her past, has been receiving strange messages from someone, as well as flowers. His latest email says he wants to meet her on her 20th birthday at a particular location. Meanwhile, Lunge has become convinced that Tenma is the murderer and will stop at nothing to prove it.

I’ve been meaning to read this series for some time. It’s by the same author who brought us Twentieth Century Boys, which I am still reading, and love. Monster is amazing. It has an extremely interesting story line you don’t often see in manga involving a serial killer. The hero, Dr. Tenma, is not only personable and cute, but he has standards and principles, which all doctors should have. Believing  he is responsible for unleashing the monster on the world by saving his life, he wants to do something to correct that mistake. At this point, I’m not sure if he plans to talk him out of killing or if he is capable of taking the next step and ending the monster’s life. We shall see.

I didn’t like Eva, his fiancé, from the beginning, and my dislike of her is only growing, as well as for the persistent, obstinate, and single-minded Lunge, who wants to solve his case one way or another.  You have to feel for the sister who has everything dumped on her when she has been so happily clueless and she is forced to relive the horrible memory of what actually happened the night her parents were murdered.

This is a great first volume, looking forward to more of the same.

Book Review: How to Find a Princess: Runaway Royals #2 by Alyssa Cole

How to Find a Princess: Runaway Royals #2     

Authors: Alyssa Cole

Publisher: Avon

American release date: May 25, 2021

Format/Genre/Length: Kindle/Multicultural Romance/399 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Makeda Hicks thinks her life is going well… until her girlfriend dumps her, and the store she works for fails to promote her in favor of the woman Makeda trained and then fires her. She calls her Grandmore to cry on her grandmother’s shoulder, and Grandmore suggests she move back in with her for the summer and help her run the Golden Crown, her B&B. What her grandmother doesn’t know is that Makeda helped the girlfriend before this last one with a business loan which she has ended up being stuck with and she can really use the money, so why not? The downside is having to listen to Grandmore’s stories about a long ago liaison with a supposed prince (ie not Makeda’s grandfather) which resulted in Makeda’s mother and which makes both her and her mother of royal lineage. Makeda is beyond tired of hearing that fantasy, especially since her mother abandoned her because of it.

Beznaria Chetchevaliere works for the WFM – the World Federation of Monarchists – as a  junior investigator. During her performance review, her pathetic excuse for a superior has many criticisms for the way she does her job, although she is actually really good at what she does. She has a feeling this review won’t end very well when he asks her about her Ibaranian heritage, and her interest in the story of the lost queen. He knows that Beznaria’s interest lies in the fact that her grandmother, who was the Grand Dame of the Ibaranian Guard at the time of the queen’s disappearance, was blamed for that disappearance and had even accused of having killed the queen, although that was never proved. Beznaria is determined to clear her grandmother’s name, as she knows Henna Jeta would never have done anything so dishonorable. Now the members of the Ibaranian heir team are swamped with claims of pretenders to the throne. Surprisingly, her pompous boss asks Beznaria to investigate and gives her some leads to follow in the United States. Of course she agrees to do so, but it doesn’t take long for her to realize these leads are all bogus. Why is he determined to keep her from discovering the truth? She decides to do her own investigations, and these lead her to Makeda Hicks.

Makeda’s first impression of Bez is far from favorable, especially as the investigator broke into the house and snuck up on her while vacuuming. It becomes even less so when she learns who she is and what she wants. Makeda wants nothing to do with this whole ridiculous theory of her being a princess, since that is what drove her mother away to begin with. Her delusions of royal blood and being more than she was and less than what she should have been, which was a mother to Makeda. But Bez is most persistent, and she takes a room at the B&B, so it’s not like Makeda can avoid her. And, if she’s being honest with herself, she doesn’t exactly want to. There is something about Bez which draws her, even if she is fighting that feeling. How long can she resist the investigator’s wish to take her back to Ibarania as their princess? And how long can she resist the $15k being offered just to show up and submit a claim, whether true or not?

The second book in the Runaway Royals series is just as good as the first. There’s a lot going on in this book, more than just about finding a princess. Makeda is generous to the point of allowing herself to be used by people. She never stands up for herself to say what she wants, as if she’s worthless unless she’s doing something for someone else. Beznaria marches to the beat of her own drummer. She is very driven, especially when it comes to those she loves. If she believes in the path she follows, then she’s not above circumventing the rules to obtain the outcome she perceives to be the right one. She doesn’t lie, but she sometimes omits some of the details. These two fit together perfectly, and watching them come to that realization was priceless.

Alyssa Cole’s characters are wonderfully drawn, whether the main protagonists or their family and friends. I loved the crew of the cargo ship they traveled on. They seemed like people I would love to know. Her stories about royalty are beautifully detailed and she has created quite the world, beginning with the Reluctant Royals series and continuing with the Runaway Royals. I hope there are many more of these stories to come. I am so on board for this! Many thanks to my kid Sarah for turning me on to them.

Highly addictive stories that you will love!

Saturday is Horror Day #15 – Night of the Living Dead (1968), Brahms: The Boy 2

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Barbra and her brother Johnny make a yearly pilgrimage to their father’s grave on behalf of their mother, in order to place flowers on his grave, despite the fact that it’s a six hour round trip. And they only stay for a few minutes, while placing the flowers.

 

 

Johnny is a playful brother and likes to tease his sister by scaring her, telling her that people are coming to

get her. He points at a lone man who is slowly making his way through the cemetery, and tells her “They’re coming to get you, Barbra!” Laughing, he turns away, but his laughter ends abruptly when Barbra is attacked by the man. Johnny goes to her rescue, only to be thrown violently down, hitting his head on a tombstone.

Barbra runs for her life but can’t get far in the car, because Johnny has the keys. She coasts as far as she can then runs to the nearest home. She enters the farmhouse and looks around but there is no sign of life. Heading upstairs, she makes a gruesome discover – a grisly corpse, looking much the worse for wear. Terrified, she runs, only to see headlights and then a man comes rushing in. His name is Ben and he needs gas and stopped there, seeing the gas pump behind the house. Unfortunately, Barbra has no idea where the key is. And the number of people outside only seems to be growing, as they work at getting inside, trying to kill Barbra and Ben.

 

It turns out that there are people hiding in the cellar. Mr. Cooper and his wife and ill daughter, and Tom and his girlfriend Judy. Cooper doesn’t see the point in leaving the cellar, but Ben says they’ll be sitting ducks there. As night falls, things go from bad to worse…

Director George Romero’s film started a trend in horror films that continues to this very day, namely the zombie film. Although over forty years old, this film withstands the test of time. It was a very low budget film, and the zombies were played by friends and relatives. I’m willing to bet you won’t soon forget the final ironic scene. Worth revisiting, for sure. I give it a solid 4 stars.

Brahms: The Boy 2

After a horrific home invasion, Liza (Katie Holmes) and Sean (Owain Yeoman) decide to make a fresh start somewhere else, so they move into the remote English countryside, along with their son Jude (Christopher Convery). Ever since the incident, Jude hasn’t spoken, communicating only with the use of his writing pad, and his parents are naturally concerned.

 

 

Delighted with their new home, they decide to explore the area around it. Jude spies a hand sticking up from the dirt. He unearths it to discover a most unusual doll. He takes it home and they clean it up. Jude seems to like the doll, which bodes well for his recovery, right? When asked his name, Jude writes that it is Brahms… and that the doll told him this. Of course his parents chalked that up to their son having a great imagination.

Or does he?

 

Jude seems to be growing more and more defiant after presenting his family with the rules according to Brahms. Of course no one in their right minds would go along with such rules. Not to mention it’s only a doll, right? But Liza becomes very concerned when she finds pictures Jude has drawn, showing him standing over the dead bodies of his parents, holding a shot gun. She confides her concerns to Jude’s therapist, with whom he remains in contact via Facetime

Jude tries to tell them that Brahms will hurt them if they don’t follow the rules. Accidents happen, but are they really accidents? Is Jude acting up in Brahms’ name… or is there something more sinister going on?

Liza is determined to get to the bottom of things. They live near a manor house known as Heelshire,

abandoned and desolate. Liza follows Jude there and discovers a small entrance that leads behind the walls. Later, the caretaker/man in the woods tells her about the previous family, whose son killed a young girl and then lived for thirty years behind those walls. What was the boy’s name, she asks. 

Brahms.

Liza knows she has to do something or she’ll lose her son – and maybe her whole family – forever.

This is the sequel to The Boy, which I recently reviewed. And what made the first film interesting has been completely changed, but into what?  ****SPOILERS FOR THE BOY ahead*** In the first film, the doll turned out to be just a doll, and Brahms was actually alive and living in the walls. Much creepier than believing in a strange doll entity, right? But in the second film, there is no such explanation, and it’s all on the doll.

How does that even work? I don’t know, but stretches credulity. The film itself isn’t badly made or directed, despite the thin plot. However, Katie Holmes doesn’t give a particularly strong performance. Christopher Convery as Jude is sufficiently creepy, and so is the caretaker, played by Ralph Ineson, whom I never could decide if he was safe or sound or batshit crazy.

At the end of the film, Liza discovers that this doll goes back a long time, which seems to negate the premise of the first film.  Although the two films share the same director, I think someone else wrote the second, which explains much. I’m not sure what sort of vibe they were going for, but if it was supposed to be scary, it failed. 

Okay, I just read something about the ending explained. Let’s just say, it missed the mark, at least for me. I hope they’re done with this franchise. There are better films to watch. I’ll give this 2.5 stars, and shaky ones at that.

Book Review: The Way of the Househusband, Vol 5 by Kousuke Oono

The Way of the Househusband, Vol 4             

Author: Kousuke Oono

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: May 18, 2021

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

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Miku is leaving on a business trip, so it’s just going to be Tatsu and Gin. She tells her husband to try and relax. Has she met him? While he is having fun in his own inimitable way, Masa comes over, having been fired from his job and needing to kill some time, so they have some fun together.

While shopping, Tatsu runs into a former member of the HIrako Group. The two one-time Yakuza get into a rap battle in the middle of the store.

Miku tells Tatsu about a Halloween costume contest at a local mall. The first prize is a hot springs vacation, while the second is a year’s worth of rice. Tatsu really wants the rice, but Miku has her heart set on the vacation. The competition is stiff. Can Tatsu get them the win with his special culinary talents?

Tatsu and Miku go to eat at a buffet. For Tatsu, this is not simply about food, there’s a strategy involved! Especially if he wants to end up with a piece of the much coveted fruit tart!

Miku’s dad wants to do a hot pot for Miku and Tatsu, and he wants to do it himself. Unfortunately, he has the same basic skills as Miku. Can this meal be saved?

Tatsu suddenly takes ill, and treats his illness as equivalent to his turf being invaded. However, his tactics don’t seem to be working and it’s Miku to the rescue!

It’s New Year’s and Masa decides to visit Tatsu… in order to claim a New Year’s allowance. But his hints seem to be falling on deaf ears.

Tatsu, Miku, and Masa run across a local sake fair and decide to check it out. Apparently, not everyone can hold their liquor, however.

A newcomer in Tatsu’s cooking class is getting on Tatsu’s nerves with his sad attempts at making a chocolate cake. When Tatsu tries to set him straight, they end up in a competition to see whose cake really comes from the heart.

Another fantastic volume of The Way of the Househusband. I don’t think I could ever get tired of this! There is an animated comic version on Netflix which I enjoyed, but the manga is the best. Just one situation after another, plus three bonus stories, one of which is Gin’s walk. Gotta love Gin!

Hope there are lots more volumes coming!