Wednesday Briefs: July 1, 2020

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.

Unicorn Quests Chapter Thirty-five by Cia Nordwell

I hefted Tinn onto Londe’s back, biting back the groan that wanted to erupt as the skin in my hands split further. He wasn’t the most steady, but he still helped balance Wenn in front of him. “You don’t have to hold on long, just until we can get you to a safer place,” I told him.

He nodded, his expression grim but determined. I checked the cloths I’d wrapped around each one roughly, tying off the knot with the help of my teeth as my fingers trembled with pain. They weren’t bleeding through yet. We needed to go, and

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Wednesday Briefs: June 24, 2020

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.

As Lovely as a Tree: Part 4 by Sarah Hayes

For a moment Yulia thought she smelled smoke lingering on the sleeves of Bonnie’s scrubs as the nurse hovered over her to check her various vitals. She shook her head the moment Bonnie turned away. The synapses in her brain must have fired off the wrong signals, that’s all.

Minutes later, the smoke was forgotten and Yulia was walking around her room, guided by a hand on her arm just in case she stumbled and fell. She forced herself to be ambulatory on a regular basis. It not,  she’d lose muscle definition and be too weak to take care of herself if, god forbid, both Bonnie and Elzie would be unavailable for a prolonged period of time.

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Wednesday Briefs: June 17, 2020

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.

Adrift: Part 8 by J. Alan Veerkamp

Jimmy waited in his truck, having long since bored of thumbing through his phone. Useless piece of junk. Who did he have to call anyways? Unchecked dust greyed the radio’s controls. The chittering of nature would always be preferable over modern music and DJ babbling. With August’s full moon several days behind him and the waning gibbous tomorrow night, he was calm enough to kill time in silence.

Working through the phases of the moon’s gentle caress could be a mixed blessing. When it was new, he missed its presence but found serenity. When it was full, he craved the sight, yet spent day and night agitated and needy.

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Wednesday Briefs: June 10, 2020

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.

Adrift: Part 6 by J. Alan Veerkamp

Two sets of tiny chests swelled and deflated as the twins slept soundly in their crib. Freshly fed, their cherubic faces gave no indication of the chaotic night before. Small puffs of air came through their tiny pursed lips, sweetening their appearance and hiding the duality of their nature. Fergus leaned over the crib, his calloused fingertips ghosting over the wisps of dark hair on their heads, taking care not to disturb them. Royal and Regis hadn’t slept last night, but he couldn’t be prouder.

“The odds were against you. You know that, don’t you, Roy? Don’t you, Reg?”

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Book Review: Lust in the Caribbean by Noah Harris

Lust in the Caribbean     

Author: Noah Harris

American release date: August 6, 2017

Format/Genre/Length: Kindle/LGBT Romance/332 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★

Reviewer: Noah Harris

 

Being a young gay man in the year 1710 is not easy, as Thomas Treadwell can attest. He yearns to be free to be who he is. Shipping out on the Virtue, under Captain Temperance Stone, Thomas discovers that he is not alone in his desire for relations with the same sex. The ship’s head becomes the place for men to hook up anonymously in the night in order to save face during the light of day. But when Thomas is careless and gets caught with another man, there is hell to pay as Captain Stone orders the two men to be whipped to death!

Thomas watches helplessly as his previously unknown hook-up is beaten first and dies. But just as it’s Thomas’ turn to face death, a look-out fortuitously announces the arrival of another ship. Not just any ship, but a pirate ship called Manhunter, infamous for its figurehead which resembles a muscular naked man with a golden appendage, and because it is rumored to contain an all-gay crew!

The pirate ship, with its erotic take on the traditional Jolly Roger flag, hauls up beside the Virtue,  which it clearly outguns. Captain Stone has no choice but to surrender, after first ascertaining the safety of his crew’s “booty” among the gay pirates, who claim they don’t need to ravish anyone, they have plenty of “booty” on their own ship.  The pirates board the ship and their captain, Captain Seawolf, discovers Thomas lashed to the mast and discovers why he is being punished then offers him a chance to go with the pirates, which Thomas reluctantly accepts. He doesn’t really wish to do so, as he doesn’t agree with piracy as a way of life, but he also knows if he stays behind, he will die. Quite the quandary.

And so the adventure begins….

Lust in the Caribbean can be looked on as one man’s journey to be himself despite living in a time of great hypocrisy and prejudice. But primarily it is a sexual adventure, as Thomas revels in the freedom of living openly as a gay man among the pirates. There is a lot of sex in this book, believe it, as well as adventures, as the pirates go from situation to situation.  And what is a pirate story without treasure? Plus, once Thomas learns the secret of some of the crew, he is told he can never leave, but by then will he want to?

Great literature? No, it’s not. The writing is rough at times, and is filled with blatantly purple prose, and it would definitely benefit from better editing. Not to mention, I would say, if given the chance to speak with Mr. Harris, please don’t say sex juice ever again. Ever.  That. Is. Not. Hot. The author certainly knows how to tell a tale, though.  The story definitely held my attention. The characters are fairly well-written, and he does know how to write sex scenes. I suspect the major reason he hasn’t been dinged for bestiality, though, is that he manages to veil it in the guise of the main character keeping his eyes closed and not seeing what or who he is actually copulating with under the full moon. Oh, and did I mention there’s a merman or two? That being said, this is definitely only for mature audiences.

If you’re looking for a story with a lot of sex, this one won’t disappoint. I’ve seen smutty books that aren’t nearly as well written. If you’re looking for great fiction, go somewhere else. For what it is, I considered it to be satisfactory indeed. I might have to check out some of the author’s other writing.

 

Book Review: Spy x Family, Vol 1 by Tatsuya Endo

Spy x Family, Vol 1     

Author: Tatsuya Endo

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: June 2, 2020

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Action & Adventure/220 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Twilight is the best spy in Westalis, a master of disguise. He lives and works undercover in the neighboring country of Ostania. As he reads the information on his next assignment, he’s shocked to learn that he is required to have a wife and child (neither of which he currently has). The target in question, a very dangerous man who is a threat to the peace between east and west, is very reclusive and the only way to reach him is through the elite private school his son attends. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the deadline for admissions is fast approaching. Twilight only has a week to find a wife and child and enroll that child at Eden Academy!

Twilight’s first stop is an orphanage to find a child—a rather shady orphanage at best. But perhaps that will suit his purposes better. He has no experience with children, but reasons that he must find the smartest one he can, so the child can pass the entrance exam to the academy. He finds a girl working a crossword, but she seems too young for the school. She is quick to assure him she is six years old. Little does he realize that Anya is a telepath! Twilight chooses her and is relieved to find no paperwork involved—he is told to take her and go.

Now… to find a wife.

At City Hall, in the capital city of Berlint, Yor is different from the other women she works with. Quiet, and somewhat naïve, she is the object of constant criticism in the guise of helpful hints, such as improving her appearance so she can find a man. Her brother Yuri worries about her, and calls her often. To relieve his mind, she tells him she has a boyfriend and is going to a party that weekend. What no one knows is that Yor is actually an assassin, and a darn good one! But how is she going to find a “boyfriend” to take to a party on such short notice?

Three people are on a collision course with destiny! Each one has needs—Twilight a wife, Yor a boyfriend, and Anya a family. When chance—or is that Fate?—brings them together, they decide to form a family. Will they be able to fulfill Twilight’s mission and gain Anya admission into Eden Academy? And if they do, how long can they maintain their cover… and how long will they want to?

This is the first volume of the series. I confess that it was love at first sight when I saw the cover! And reading the description only made me want it even more. I pre-ordered the first three volumes, the first of which just came out. I love the artwork, and I love the premise of the story, which did not fail to deliver when it arrived. It’s an action adventure story, but there is a lot of humor in these pages as well, and more. The characters are all well drawn, even if the plot is rather basic. It’s not a series about spies as much as it is about people. I see the two countries involved, Westalis and Ostania, as thinly veiled disguises for East and West Germany. (I mean, come on, Berlint?) But that doesn’t really matter. The spy action is secondary to the character development, watching these three interact, each using their unique talents for the benefit of the other two.

Of course, being the romantic that I am, I’m hoping that by the end of the series, Twilight (whose real name I hope to learn) and Yor will fall in love for real and they both embrace Anya as their daughter, so that they become a real family. Only time will tell!

Also take note of Twilight’s co-worker, Franky, who is a hoot and lots of fun.

Great start to the series, looking forward to volume 2!

Wednesday Briefs: June 3, 2020

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.

A mother’s Loyalty, Short scene:  Part 1, by Carol Pedroso

“Do you have any idea what that brat has done now?” Alpha Steven demanded of his wife as he strode into the bedroom. He waited but she just continued folding clothes instead of answering him. “Dee, are you going to answer me? Do you realize what that boy has done and what it could mean for this pack?”

“Yes Dear,” Dee replied absently as she refolded a shirt that wasn’t done to her liking.

“Hey, mum. Have you seen my favourite red shirt?” Harry entered the room as he spoke and froze when he saw his father.

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Book Review: The Way of the Househusband, Vol 3 by Kousuke Oono

The Way of the Househusband, Vol 3     

Author: Kousuke Oono

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: May 19, 2020

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Comedy/160 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

 

Miku arrives home to find Tatsu in a panic and their home in disarray. When she questions him, Tatsu says it’s the black bullet, a hitman with a lot of balls. But he swears he’s not going down without a fight!

When Masa goes to the store with Tatsu, he’s surprised to see his former boss pa Christmasy apron and a Santa cap! Tatsu tells Masa it’s for the neighborhood kids club Christmas party. The kids are somewhat taken aback by Tatsu’s appearance. He certainly isn’t the traditional Santa they expected! Tatsu’s got it all covered, as he puts his own spin on the festivities!

Miku comes home from work, exhausted, to find that Tatsu intends to pamper her with a variety of foods calculated to give her the boost she needs. However, she questions his methods when he pulls out a blindfold. Will this have the effect he hopes it will?

Tatsu is looking to make some cash in a hurry. Something to utilize his particular skill set. Can he serve his customers to their satisfaction?

While browsing the clearance section of the grocery store, Tatsu runs across the wife of the Torii group, who apparently works there. She recognizes him and they catch up on old times.

While Miku and Tatsu are shopping together, Miku suddenly drags him off to show him that there is a live Policure show going on! When the call goes out to the audience for a volunteer to come to the rescue and afterwards have their picture taken with the members of the show, Miku is too shy to volunteer. What else can her loving husband do but offer to go in her stead?

Masa has acquired an item he isn’t sure how to handle, so he comes to Tatsu for advice. Together, can they figure out how to use a toaster oven?

Tatsu encounters his old boss, whom he hasn’t spoken with since he left the family. The boss has something he wants to discuss with Tatsu. Will he suck Tatsu back into the yakuza life?

Masa comes to Tatsu’s apartment, meeting Miku for the first time, in order to bring Tatsu’s birthday present. When he sees the state of the apartment, he offers to help Miku surprise Tatsu when he comes home later that evening. Together, will they make this an occasion to remember?

I am so in love with these books, and with Tatsu! I’ve already pre-ordered the next volume! Tatsu is so adorable! I love him and Miku together. I would love to see more of their past lives, and how they became a couple, see what changed Tatsu from yakuza to house-husband.

The story is very funny, and also touching. The artwork is fabulous, and the characters memorable. I’ve seen some reviewers call the series one-note. I prefer to think of it as variations on a theme, all of them good, and very much fun to read. I would love to see an anime made from this!

Can’t wait for the next volume, although I’ll have to. I think it comes out in September.  lol

 

Wednesday Briefs: May 27, 2020

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.

As Lovely As A Tree: Part 2 by Sarah Hayes

There were no clocks in Yulia’s room. The only indicator of time she had was Elzie leaving. Elzie was the night shift nurse. When Elzie left, and Bonnie appeared, it was only then Yulia knew that outside the sun had risen and the night had officially shifted to day.

Yulia’s doctors wore complete suits of protective gear every time they examined her, which wasn’t very often. They left most of her care to the nurses, Elzie and Bonnie. Bonnie would appear with her bright red hair braided and wrapped around the top of her hair like a halo, freckles blooming across her face and arms. Her round glasses round had thick lenses, likely bifocals.

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Wednesday Briefs: May 20, 2020

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.

Phases of Moon: Part 1 by J. Alan Veerkamp
Acrid with a touch of carbon and sulfur, burnt rubber carried its oily scent into the air. Fresh skid marks marred the asphalt, highlighted by the harsh glow of the full moon, drawing an unmistakeable path to the red taillights shining in the night. An abandoned metal beast along the side of the quiet country road.

Climbing out of his piano black Ford F-150, Jimmy Coutreau crept closer, keeping a firm grip on his loaded sidearm. Peering inside the driver’s side wide open door, the overhead light dimly showcased the empty interior. Local radio banter overlapped the car’s annoying seat belt chime.

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