Review:

Our heroine, Etti, is a live at home Native American tattoo artist at her shop, which caters to shifters. One night, in her shop, she meets Grey, who is a member of The Hunt, which is charged with revenge against humans for ancient wrongs.
I won’t spoil the story with further details. But I am guessing that you read the blurb, so you know all of the above details.
There are twists and turns, betrayals and lovemaking, violence and abandonment, secrets and trials through the story. The steam level is fairly high with some variety in the encounters, which are free of kink. There is a good helping of necessary and justified character development as the delicious plot unfolds. I loved the way the story elements were woven together.

This is the first novel in a series, and I enjoyed trying to recognize foreshadowing for subsequent stories. It’s probably not even a minor spoiler to mention that there’s unresolved issues at the end of the volume, leaving a “cliff hanger” feeling, even though there is a kind of happy-for-now denouement.

There were bothersome changes in the voicing of the characters at some of the chapter breaks. It felt to me like there may have been multiple recording sessions spread over a long enough period that the characterizations were not fresh in the narrator’s mind after the breaks between sessions. This takes a bit away from the listener’s sense of continuity, but the overall performance was still great, as far as I am concerned.

I heartily recommend this listen.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this recording through StoryOrigin and am voluntarily submitting this honest review.

Something New: A Story Fragment

Friends to Lovers FMC Background flavoring

First some background —

We have an upcoming 4-day Uni weekend. A classmate is planning a trip home. My folks are traveling, as is my safe guy and his family, so I’m not looking forward to being alone and bored at home. She invites me to go along to her folks’ home.

Turns out that there are several classmates who are from the same town going home for the weekend. One of them is driving her Mom’s retired carpool van. Come the appointed noontime and we pile aboard for the 9-hour trip.

Begin interesting parts (but not up to the date, yet) —

I’m sitting in a row with five backpacks/suitcases and one fairly hot guy. We start driving and the really stiff shocks on the van cause us to bounce around a bit. Talking classes and recent movies with my hot seatmate and I’m beginning to get excited. On a bounce, I decide he needs a kiss. Yea! The kiss turns deep, open, and lasts for several minutes. We break, sip some soda, and proceed to try and suck each others’ tonsils out. Soon we’re climbing all over each other, rolling around as well as possible in a van seat. Doesn’t take long to notice that he’s reasonably well endowed for a shorter than me white guy. Stop after about 5 hours at a fast-food joint. Take a potty break, and get burgers, fries, sodas. Back at the van we take the back seat. None of the others, who had been subjected to various sound effects, slurping, and moving distractions objected, so we had most of a 4-seater bench seat to play on. OK, lip locks, ear and neck nibbles, palm licking, finger sucking, hugs, caresses, etc. for the next four hours. Even though I kept the kissing and nibbling to already-bare skin areas and caresses to outside our clothes, we were both really effectively turned on. I was certain he had been hard for the full four hours when we pulled up to his home to drop him and his backpack off.

I didn’t know his name, and I didn’t ask my classmate. As soon as I got to a bathroom, of course, I had to rub a few out. Over the next three days we had a fine old time. Had a pair of three or so hour horseback rides/picnics, a trip to their local movie theater, and another trip to shop at their outlet mall. Lots of homemade farm/ranch style eats, friendly and interesting conversations, and relaxation. I even got to drive a hay baler one afternoon. Soon enough it was time to head back to LA.

Van girl picked us up first. I spread myself out on the back seat and simulated taking a nap. Three other pickups and we reached my new friend’s place. When we stopped, I hopped out and grabbed his backpack to sling it onto the backpack pile. He seemed stunned. Oh, guess I didn’t mention that I picked up a ruffle halter Bikini top and a pair of short shorts at the outlet mall and that I didn’t care that my girls wouldn’t be tightly restrained during the trip. He was wearing a tee shirt and walking shorts.

After making out for 15 minutes or so, he told me he kept being reminded of me all weekend because his tongue and lips were sore all the time he was home. I took that as a compliment. That didn’t hamper us, but I did allow him to have some of our tongue play in his mouth. Our route back down to LA retraced our route up. At the food stop I chose the Colonel’s fried chicken; he walked over with me and got the same. After a restroom trip we climbed back into the van to eat on the road.

I had another bright idea. Ever thought of the fact that eating chicken wings can be a truly sensuous activity? Grab the middle section of a wing and detach it. Tear off the skin with your teeth, crunch it up, and gobble it down. Hold the piece of chicken by the cartilage connecting the two bones on the small end. Slowly suck it into your mouth. Keep sucking and pull the now-naked bones out from between your lips. For extra credit, push the flesh part way out of your mouth and lean over and rub it on his lips. Of course, he’ll play along and nibble on the offering until he reaches your lips. Wash, rinse, and repeat. Once the chicken’s gone, return to our serious make out session.

About 45 minutes away from the Uni, I finally ask his name. He turns bright red and starts stammering. I pull his wallet from his back pocket and get his name from his license. Then I set up a date with him for a picnic on the coming Sunday. When we’re a minute or two away from his dorm I ask, “Hey, <name>, want to have sex?” Again bright red, mumbling something about having a girlfriend from his home town who is going to a college in Iowa. By then we’re stopped in the parking lot for his dorm. I grab his backpack and hand it to him as he climbs out the sliding door and tell him, “OK, I’ll pick you up at noon on Sunday. I’ll be driving a blue pickup. Sleep tight!” He’s still flustered and blushing as he walks to the dorm door, where he turns back and waves. We haven’t even exchanged phone numbers, but I really want into his pants.

That ends the preliminaries. On to the bad date part.

I arrive at his dorm about 11:50 on Sunday. He’s waiting outside the dorm door. I beep my horn and he starts walking over. I jump out and extend my arms for a hug. He walks around the truck and gets in the passenger seat. A bit confused, I get into my seat and lean over to give him a kiss. No go! He doesn’t lean toward me at all. I don’t make a scene and drive off to my favorite picnic area in the foothills.

After I park, I scoot over, grab his face with my palms on his cheeks, turn his head and start kissing. It takes several tense seconds, but he eventually reciprocates. The kiss lasts a few minutes and ends somewhat reluctantly. We exit the truck, gather the picnic supplies, and head over to an empty table. I set out plates, silverware, napkins and the food. We sit together on the uphill side of the table looking out over the city towards the sea and begin eating. I’m sitting very close to him, so each time he moves his arm it touches mine and I break out in goose flesh and sigh.

The family at the next table finishes their lunch and the kids start clambering for dessert. Turns out that the family was having their picnic to celebrate a birthday. The Mom reaches down and pulls up a cake carrier holding a well decorated birthday cake. She looks over and offers us pieces, but we are already full and pass. I gather up the detritus of our picnic. We put our trash in the county’s dumpster and take the good stuff back to the truck.

I grab a flask of coffee and some paper cups and I suggest we walk on one of the trails, and we do. As the trail wanders into the trees, I reach over to take his hand. He notices and steps away before I make contact. That was enough for me. We had spent about 18 hours heavily making out to our mutual satisfaction a week ago. Now, suddenly, it’s no contact allowed?

I not so gently confront him and he sets off stammering. Again. I get him to sit with me on a downed tree trunk. After a lot of verbal poking and prodding I extract his story. He intends to someday propose to his girlfriend. For some reason over the past few days he has committed to staying a virgin until his wedding night. He’s afraid that any making out might lead to the loss of his V-card. Internally I’m screaming “What the fuck were you thinking?” Externally I somewhat calmly let him know that some several hour sessions of 69 wouldn’t impact his V-card. He goes white as a sheet and his eyes start rolling back in his head. I haul off and give his cheek a sound slap; he jerks, but at least he doesn’t pass out.

I give up and we walk back to my truck. In total silence I take him back to his dorm. As he gets out I deadpan to him “Have a nice life.”

Thus ended my worst, most frustrating, most disappointing date ever.

Review: Holiday Terminal by Gwyn McNamee

I was very pleasantly surprised to find an excellent read in a Holiday package. There was no appearance of hastily thrown in content to meet a publishing deadline. This Holiday novel would be good and enjoyable without the Holiday context. But it was hard to avoid spoilers due to the tight presentation.

There was well-incorporated angst. A few times I wanted to reach through my Kindle’s screen to scare some sense into the fraught with confusion main character’s heads.

This is a second chance romance, so we know before picking up our e-book reader that there shall be big secrets and multiple misunderstandings on the way to the denouement. That’s part of the genre definition. But in this case the paths to revealing the mysteries and the way in which the misunderstandings arise and are resolved are masterfully presented. The characters growth is sometimes unexpected. It’s a short volume, so it had to be a fast-burn rekindling of mutual attraction, and that turning up of the steam, at least for me, was not rushed at all and the overall steam level was quite acceptable. I heartily recommend this excellent short read.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced review copy of this e-book and am voluntarily writing this honest review.

Requested photo

Sixelleven asked, and here it is.

sneaky Lauren took this

Gymnastics exercise fragment on a beach in LA County. Hair looks horrid. Didn’t know it was going to be taken or I’d have made a quick ponytail before I started playing.

Review: Into Darkness (The Five Orders Book 4) by Holly Roberds

This volume is the best so far in the series. Looks like Holly accepted the constructive criticism of the viewpoint transitions in volume three. In Into Darkness the transitions are smooth and wholly appropriate to character development and in moving the plot forward. This book of the story might well be one of the best multiple-viewpoint treatments I’ve ever read.
The growing collection of players in the quest and their travels toward home through Hell is engrossing, especially as concerns Emma and Calan’s attempts to do the “right” things while their plans go off somewhere into the distance. And the ways in which Calan manages to protect Emma are necessary, even though she doesn’t pay a lot of attention to her various situations.
I’m sure I won’t be the only reader anxiously awaiting Book 5.

I received an advance review copy of this e-book and am voluntarily leaving this honest review.

Review: Meows and Mistletoe: A Holiday Anthology (Cat’s Paw Cove) Kindle Edition

Like most anthologies, there can be some variation in a reader’s enjoyment from story to story. That was true for this collection, with my perception being five fives, two fours, and one three. Averaging that out, I’m left with four five and four four stars. One of the fives was really excellent, in my opinion, so, since none of the original fours was almost a three, I picked five stars overall.
The tie-breaker was Sharon Buchbinder’s CHARLOTTE REDBIRD: GHOST COACH. After I got over my surprise with having Charly as a nickname for Charlotte (the nickname for all of the Charlottes in my life has been Shar) I really fell into this story. When Charly has a string of guided horse race gambling successes, she opens a life coaching business. Then, when a rich family tries to influence her evaluation of a trainee, Charly remains completely ethical. The rich family rather quickly gets her blackballed and torpedoes her operation.
Through a combination of fortuitous happenings, Charly’s retreat to her Grandmother’s place in the town of Cat’s Paw Cove in Florida results in her living in a rather unusual residence. While some folks might have been put off by the house’s proximity to a cemetery and the railroad station, Charly is happy to take the property. Charly has had, as far as she knows, a completely mundane existence; that’s about to change.
The story moves quickly with good humor (several out loud laughs came to me in the course of the story), an old mystery, and the antics of several very special felines (or are they mundane house cats?), and of course, since we have a romance anthology on our Kindle, a mysterious man. I really enjoyed that story.
Overall, this was perhaps the best psychic/paranormal ghost collection I’ve ever encountered. I highly recommend it.
I received an early release review copy of this volume through the publisher’s good graces. I voluntarily prepaired this honest review.

Coming out three times is hard (I)

The first time I came out was in my very early teens

The earliest memories of my life I can dredge up were related to discovering that it mattered which shoe went on which foot. At that time I was a Daddy’s Girl slash His Little Princess. Between the end of preschool and the start of my public school years people started calling me a tomboy. In my naivety I equated that to “being normal” since adults around me advised me to just be normal and never told me I wasn’t.

Dad died when I was twelve. I stopped wearing the dresses and skirts he preferred; only well-worn jeans and tee shirts would do. Patent leather shoes, except for my taps, were destined to arrive at the thrift store I passed on the way to school. Mom would occasionally show up with a dress for me to wear on weekend occasions. The first or second time I wore one I’d end up climbing a tree or a rock wall at a nearby defunct quarry, putting numerous tears into them, accidentally on purpose. Girls at school teased me about my change from the girl who always wore girlie clothes into a real tomboy. But, other than a neighbor boy, all of my friends were girls, so I just put up with that treatment.

Also, at that time in our extended neighborhood, there was an expectation that girls would want to have sleepovers. I gravitated toward a group of five girls at school who were reliably part of most sleepovers. Sometimes we would have sleepovers with just the team of six; sometimes two to four other girls would join in. It soon became a regular Friday night event. After five or six weeks one of the older girls showed up with a lunchbox thermos and a small stack of paper cups. So as we sat talking, we sipped about two ounces each of a very sweet concord grape kosher wine. Surprisingly everyone enjoyed the wine.

The girl who brought the wine then suggested we play Spin the Bottle. As the youngest girl there, I had heard of the game but never played it. Of course everyone wanted me to spin first. The bottle stopped pointing at my friend Janette, who was the night’s host and the tallest girl in our group. She stood up, took me by the hand, led me into her darkened closet, and shut the door. Her other hand came up to the back of my neck. I shivered and started raising a crop of goose flesh. She released my hand and brought hers up to my chin, tilting my face up. Then she kissed me, brushing my lips with her lips and sucking my lower lip between her lips. That really felt wonderful and I gasped. Her tongue flicked into my mouth and tickled mine, causing the gasp to turn into a moan. Never before had I been so thrilled by a few seconds of contact. I felt a tingling in my vulva, inside my lips, very similar to the sensations I’d receive from starting to masturbate as she sucked my tongue into her mouth.

Her hand moved from my chin to take my hand and raise it to her breast and rub it around. Then she dropped her hand to my chest and used her fingertips to search for my nipples. I gave her breast a light squeeze and was rewarded with a gasp. She found a nipple and started making circles around it with a fingertip, adding to my excitement. I couldn’t find her nipple through her bra, so I started lightly scratching the tip of her boob with my fingernails. Her suction on my tongue increased as I located her pebbling nipple and gave it a light squeeze. She returned the nipple squeeze and my knees started to buckle.

Janette put her hands into my armpits, supported me and pushed me against the back wall of her closet before resuming our kiss. One of her feet moved in to separate mine and one hand dropped to push against my vulva and move in little circles. Wow, that felt so good. One of her fingers started poking like she was trying to put it into my vagina through my jeans. That felt even better, and I was trying to figure out something I could do to return the sensations, when the door opened, the light was flicked on, and one of the girls said, “Times up. Get out of here.”

Janette started to leave and I slumped down to a sitting position breathing heavily and wiping at a sheen of perspiration on my forehead. She squatted in front of me and asked if I was OK. It took a little while, but I manage to get out, “I’m SO much more than just OK.”

She grinned as she took my hands, helped me to my feet, put an arm sound me for support, led me back to the circle, and helped me sit. All of the girls were sporting big grins. One of them said, “Must have been your first time in the closet with Janette.”

I replied, “It was my first time in the closet with anybody!” They all giggled and one of them applauded a few times. Janette gave the bottle a spin and it stopped pointing at Rhonda, who was only a little taller than me, but had developed a lot more curves. They left for the closet. One of the girls started a kitchen timer while they all asked for details of my experience in the closet.

“Wine and spin” became a normal part of our sleep-overs. The lunch box thermos soon became a full bottle, which after a month or so became two bottles. Eventually we had a “extra” girl in the sleepover who refused to participate in the spin. Over the subsequent week rumors about drunken lesbian orgies spread through the school and were associated by name with the six of us who were regular attendees. We started being harassed (mostly by boys) in the halls, lunchroom, playground, and streets around the school. The school team jocks were the worst, trying to trip us, bumping into us to knock us over, grabbing boobs, slapping butts, and shouting things like, “As soon as I get my cock in you, you’ll be cured.” Janette and Rhonda started very visibly dating boys and were seen around school kissing and hanging off their boys. As their reputations as being easy sluts spread they stopped getting any harassment.

Eventually the behavior was noticed by enough parents and female teachers that the principal was forced to tell the coach to discipline his teams. It soon became well known that the discipline meted out was having to erase the blackboard in the boy’s locker room. The behavior continued unabated until an unannounced visit by two elected county school board members caused the principal to be called into the county offices and reassigned to a different school. The coach was not seen again. His replacement was a woman. The overt in-school crap ended.

So that was my first traumatic, soul-scarring “coming out” at 13 when I didn’t even think I was “in.” During the whole thing I considered myself straight and merely enjoying some games and experimentation.


I hope to have coming out #2 up within a calendar week.

Review: Claimed: A Paranormal Shifter Romance Novel (Crescent City Wolves Series)

Audible Audiobook – Unabridged Bella Night (Author), Denise Krueger (Narrator), Crown Atlantic Publishing (Publisher)

Our heroine, Etti, is a live at home Native American tattoo artist at her shop, which caters to shifters. One night, in her shop, she meets Grey, who is a member of The Hunt, which is charged with revenge against humans for ancient wrongs.
I won’t spoil the story with further details. But I am guessing that you read the blurb, so you know all of the above details.
There are twists and turns, betrayals and lovemaking, violence and abandonment, secrets and trials through the story. The steam level is fairly high with some variety in the encounters, which are free of kink. There is a good helping of necessary and justified character development as the delicious plot unfolds. I loved the way the story elements were woven together.

This is the first novel in a series, and I enjoyed trying to recognize foreshadowing for subsequent stories. It’s probably not even a minor spoiler to mention that there’s unresolved issues at the end of the volume, leaving a “cliff hanger” feeling, even though there is a kind of happy-for-now denouement.

There were bothersome changes in the voicing of the characters at some of the chapter breaks. It felt to me like there may have been multiple recording sessions spread over a long enough period that the characterizations were not fresh in the narrator’s mind after the breaks between sessions. This takes a bit away from the listener’s sense of continuity, but the overall performance was still great, as far as I am concerned.

I heartily recommend this listen.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this recording through StoryOrigin and voluntarily created this honest review.

Introduction

I’m a (hopefully) budding author. This blog is intended to let my readers know what I’m up to, when releases occur, to communicate with other readers, and to provide me with feedback.

As some of my correspondents are leaving Facebook due to privacy and censorship concerns, I’m hoping that a blog welcoming comments and interaction here will be useful for folks avoiding Facebook.

#zerotohero #romance #reverseharem #erotica #author