Author Archives: wedbriefsfic

Wednesday Briefs: January 29, 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: Chapter 76 by J. Alan Veerkamp

Nothing short of a plasma torch could release him from Shichi’s steel grip, yet Arad cursed and thrashed until they crossed the border of the infirmary. When no one stopped inside the lines for decontamination, Arad freaked. His feet flailed out recklessly, kicking over a tray of instruments. Only when Shichi slammed him onto a bed hard enough to force the wind out of his lungs did he stop yelling.

“Be quiet or I’ll have Shichi remove your tongue. You don’t need it to keep Roku’s imprinting instinct in check.” Bryce tapped at the bed’s controls near his right hand and restraints spun out…

Click here to read the entire Brief:

Continue reading

Book Review: Bleach, Vol 13 by Tite Kubo

Bleach, Vol 13      Bleach, Vol 13 cover

Author: Tite Kubo

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: June 6, 2006

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/208 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

 

Despite his size and brute strength, Chad has been bested by 8th Squad Captain Kyoraku. When his lieutenant, Nanao, arrives with an important message concerning the death of Captain Aizen of 5th Squad, she offers to finish Chad off, as probably the Ryoka are the cause of his death. But Shunsui tells her no, they can’t be sure of that, and wants him taken to the 4th Squad instead, for healing. Shunsui sighs. “Things are getting complicated.”

Meanwhile, Ichigo is battling Kenpachi Zaraki, who is one scary and fierce dude, which makes Zaraki’s lieutenant, Yachiru, happy because it makes Kenny happy. Ichigo becomes cocky, which translates to careless, and is run through by Zaraki’s sword, to the captain’s disappointment. Bleeding and dismayed, Ichigo recognizes Zangetsu, his zanpaku-tô, who questions him: “Do you want to win or do you want to live?”

Meanwhile, Ganju and Hanataro have reached Rukia’s cell, prepared to liberate her. But there is a slight wrinkle in their plan as Ganju realizes who she is. Will he still rescue her, or will he try to kill her himself?

The action continued in this volume of Bleach. I love how relentless Ichigo is, how determined and sometimes headstrong and brash. Well, he is a teenager after all, and probably imbued with the same spirit of seeming immortality that so many teens are because they can’t conceive of maybe dying. Ichigo is loyal to a fault and will do anything for his friends, but he doesn’t always think before he acts. I love his interactions with Zangetsu. The old man is usually good at instilling a modicum of good sense into Ichigo, as well as strength.

I loved seeing the back story between Kenachi and Yachiru. At first I found her annoying but she’s grown on me. There is a lot of back story in Bleach, which I enjoy. The problem with Ganju and Rukia sets up a question of principle, but I suspect there is more to that story than meets the eye, and probably a flashback to go with.

The ending contains a good cliffhanger, looking forward to the next volume to see what happens!

Book Review: Blood of Elves (Witcher series) by Andrzej Sapkowski

Blood of Elves(The Witcher series)      Blood of Elves cover

Author: Andrzej Sapkowski

Publisher: Orbit

American release date: May 1, 2009

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Fantasy/324 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

War is raging. Nilfgard is aggressively consuming all the territory it can, gaining in power at an alarming rate. Something has to be done about this. But in order for that to happen, the other countries have to come to some semblance of agreement. Is that even possible?

Dandelion, the celebrated bard, thrills audiences wherever he goes with his original music, his tales of people and battles and lost loves. But Dandelion doesn’t always use common sense in singing of things which should not be mentioned, such as Geralt and Ciri. People should not know that Ciri exists, for that would only bring danger down upon her. The time is not yet come, for she has much to learn…

Other than himself, Dandelion truly loves wine, women, and song, sometimes to his detriment. Caught in a trap at a house of ill repute, he finds himself being tortured by an unpleasant fellow with a burn scar, by the name of Rience. Rience wants to know the whereabouts of the witcher and the girl, and doesn’t believe Dandelion’s protestations that his stories are tales without foundation, not truth. Luckily, help comes from an unexpected quarter for the outspoken bard.

Geralt takes Ciri to Kaer Morhen, the secret witcher stronghold. By the time Triss Merrigold arrives, she is surprised to find the young girl training as a witcher. Triss also senses that there is more to the girl than outside appearances might indicate. Do the witchers know this? When a young witcher accidentally lets slip a vital piece of information, Triss realizes more of the truth about who Ciri really is. And Geralt knows that the next step in Ciri’s preparation lies, not with him, but with Yennefer.

Ciri is definitely developing as a character. Of course, we know who she really is, but it’s interesting to watch her blossom under Geralt’s guidance. Their relationship is complicated, but I think it’s something of a father/daughter relationship, the only kind Geralt can enjoy. The same can be said for Yennefer. Reading the books as I watch the series is enlightening, as I’ve seen Yennefer’s backstory, which I haven’t read yet. I’m not sure how much I care for her, but her treatment of Ciri has redeemed her at least a little bit. I’m baffled as to the change of Dandelion’s name for the series, but a bard by any other name is still a fun character And now there is a song, Throw a Coin to Your Witcher which has become an Internet sensation, apparently.

There’s a lot going on behind the scenes in this book, and sometimes you really have to wonder which side to root for. The choices aren’t necessarily clear cut.  I loved the scenes with Geralt after he became a hired mercenary to protect certain barges from harm. But Geralt has his own agenda, as always. I also enjoyed Geralt’s travels with Ciri and Triss. This was a really good book and I look forward to the next one.

 

 

Wednesday Briefs: January 22, 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.

In Pieces #88 (20.6) by Julie Lynn Hayes

“If you’ll have me, that is,” Cassie quickly added. “It’s your decision, of course. I’m sure you’ll need time to think about it, but I’m totally serious about this. I believe in Salvation. I think the band is going places. But most of all, I believe in you and Ryan.”

“But how… I mean… That’s very sweet of you, but…” Ben stammered. “I can’t ask that of you…”

“You’re not asking, I’m offering,” Cassie said,

Click here to read my entire Brief:

Continue reading

Book Review: The Lady’s Champion (Disgraced Martyr #3) by M.F. Sullivan

The Lady’s Champion (Disgraced Martyr Trilogy, #3)        The Lady's Champion cover

Author: M.F. Sullivan

Publisher: Painted Blind Publishing

American release date: January 9, 2020

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Sci Fi/LGBTQ/356 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Dominia di Mephitoli has come a long way since her stint as governor and one-time rabid general for the Martyr cause. She’s lost her wife, who was her reason for living, as well as her family, and she’s afraid of losing everyone else. And why? Because of the Martyrs, and one in particular, her Holy Father, the Hierophant.

And yet, if she doesn’t continue the fight, the world will be doomed. Worlds. All of them. Past and present and future. For they all tie together, and sometimes it’s hard to separate what was from what shall be.

Dominia kidnaps her brother Theodore, her replacement as governor. But her father does her one better and snatches Rene Ichigawa’s cousin Tenchi, putting Dominia in an awful position. What else can she do but as the Hierophant requests, in order to save Tenchi’s life. Which involves returning to her father’s house. At least she can see her sister Lavinia again, who has sorely missed Dominia. And is still as innocent as ever.

Dominia has so many questions and few answers. Can she get herself out of this new predicament, defeat her father, and also bring back Cassandra? What is the truth about the Hierophant and his origins? Does he really come from a planet called Acetia? And whose future is the true one?

The Lady’s Champion is a roller coaster ride from start to finish, one that will make your head spin. As soon as you think you understand what’s going on, the roller coaster veers off in a new direction and you have to rethink everything. Before the final curtain drops, everyone is called to the stage once more. Old friends and new. Old enemies and new. And sometimes it’s hard to tell who’s who and what’s what.

The third book of the trilogy kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering what was going to happen next, and hoping against hope that my favorite character, my darling Hierophant, would emerge unscathed. The scope and imagination of this series is staggering. A real mind-blowing story dealing with both physical as well as metaphysical realities, one that will open your mind to unimagined possibilities. Who’s to say what is real and what could become so in the future?

Dominia is a great, somewhat flawed heroine, as all good heroines are. The worst I can say about her is that her obsession with Cassandra did get on my nerves. Just my opinion, but I was never fond of Cassandra, and saw no reason for Dominia to carry on so over her loss. Of course, many will disagree with my own obsession with the Hierophant, who I admit is no saint, but there is just something about him that draws me to him. I make no apologies for him. He does some seriously bad stuff, but I still feel he has redeeming qualities.

This is a series that requires re-reading at some point, and I’m sure I’ll see things I missed and gain a new perspective of other things. I’ve enjoyed the journey greatly and will be sorry to leave this world behind, hence the need to revisit it again. I highly recommend the entire series. Give a copy to someone you love.

Congratulations, MF Sullivan, on a job well done!

 

 

Wednesday Briefs: January 15, 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.

In Pieces #87 (20.5) by Julie Lynn Hayes

Liza visibly flinched at Ben’s words, as if she’d been struck. She pressed one hand against her bosom in a melodramatic expression. But her eyes told the true story, battling between barely repressed anger and shock.

Cassie spoke up, filling the void. “You have ten seconds to get off my property before I call the police,” she said. “I don’t think they’ll be impressed when you tell them you lived here ten years ago. If I have to, I’ll get a restraining order against you. Don’t think that I won’t.”

Click here to read the entire Brief:

Continue reading

Book Review: Blue Morning, Vol 8 by Shoko Hidaka

Blue Morning, Vol 8    Blue Morning, Vol 8 cover

Author: Shoko Hidaka

Publisher: SuBLime Publishing

American release date: November 12, 2019

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Yaoi/282 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

 

The time is fast approaching for Akihito’s departure for England, and there is so much to be done, arrangements to be made. Knowing the feudal system is dying, Akihito is building the future of the Kuze house on much firmer foundations, such as the railroad and various industries. He and Katsuragi must fit in as much time together as they can, knowing they will be separated for two long years.

Meanwhile, Soichiro has been coerced at least into the arranged marriage he never wanted, his heart belonging to a geisha he can never have. He girds himself to meet his intended, only to find that Katsuragi works in mysterious ways.

Their time together drawing to a close, Katsuragi bares his soul to Akihito and tells him two years away from him is too long. In talking to Amamiya, Soichiro expresses his gratitude for what Katsuragi has done for him, and wishes him and Akihito the same good fortune. Akihito has had matching watches made for him and Katsuragi, which he presents to him just before he asks would he like to come to England with him.

What will Katsuragi’s response be?

This is the final volume of Blue Morning. So much going on, so much up in the air. I grew hopeful and anxious by turns the farther I read. This is the culmination of what Akihito and Katsuragi both have been working toward, even if it didn’t always appear so. This is a story very rich in both plot and character development, as well as beautiful artwork. I invested my heart in the story of these two men, followed their relationship through good times as well as hard times. Cheered, laughed, and cried. I’m sorry the story has come to an end, yet in my heart it isn’t over, and I know it will go on forever.

Beautiful finish to a lovely story.