As the height of the largest Holiday commences, Joe responds to a cave-in.
For Doctor Mather Stone, Sky Serum day is another typical celebration. For assassin Snow-Everyone-Joe, he’s uncovering a secret plot that caused a cave-in. Neither have time for silly holidays. But both men’s lives change with one explosion and a snowman cookie.
Right as Doctor Mather Stone thinks this celebration will be like all the others, a blast rocks his world. As Mather accepts his death, a stranger saves him, altering his life forever.
"Snow-Everyone-Joe", the feared member of the H.S.P.C., doesn’t want to be anyone special and when he saves a doctor trapped in the underground den, Joe discovers the joy of being “Jack”. A no one. Just a friend.
”Jack” and Mather start off as strangers, but their time together as friends grows into more. Problem is, Joe isn’t who he says he is, and Mather is suspect in the Earth Den bombing. But fate is in no hurry to change the slow and easy love building between them.
It took a few years and hefty persuasion to get this wonderful story published.
It was written by Monica, the "M" in C.M. Moore and at first she wasn't going to send it for publication. But a few of her friends, including her publisher, demanded to have this story out into the world!
The first rendition delved very deep into the relationship, but as it was set in the Ice Era Chronicle world, it was changed to fit the usual style of the "Off-the-Rails" motif in plot and action.
Thus, the awesome story it is now!
I think Kay McDaniel puts it perfectly:
Some books pull at your own heart strings. As the reader I felt empathy for the two main male characters in their struggle to accept sexual feelings for each other. Those feelings were foreign to them.
How could this happen?
The writer takes you through their soulful journey as they try to fight the tenderness of their fledgling love affair and the consequences that will follow from their choice.
Along with the suffering interior conflict of Joe and Mather is the adventure of explosions, hair raising rescues and assassinations of the “bad guys.” I was swept along in the chaos hoping for a happy ending.
The “Hallmark” happy ending does happen amid snowman cookie humor and family loyalty.
I recommend this novel for anyone struggling with their sexual orientation. Also for anyone who loves adventure and a good read. I really did like the story.
I Would Recommend This Book to Fans of:
Straight to Gay Romance
Anyone Struggling with their Sexual Orientation
Excerpt of Holiday Cup of Joe (Off-the-Rails) Ice Era Chronicle
Mather rolled onto his stomach. More darkness. Smoke filled his lungs, and he coughed. How long had he been sprawled here? After a few minutes, he caught a clean breath and pushed down his rising terror. After hacking up another lung, he drew himself up on all fours. His palms scratched the rough stone floor of the water base hall.
What just happened?
“Help!” Screams echoed down the corridor, but Mather couldn’t see anything without the illuminating wall sconces. Someone cried. A child, maybe a girl? The world had gone black. The pleas were muffled. When the blast had gone off, his hearing took a beating.
There was more yelling, but Mather couldn’t pinpoint where the noise was coming from. Even if he could get up, his limbs respond sluggishly.
As he fumbled, his palm hit the clear-plastic case he’d been carrying. Oddly, the box was a comfort. Like a teddy bear or a blanket, Mather drew the container of cookies into his arms as he stood.
A beacon of hope glimmered ahead in the form of a flashlight. The beam struggled to cut through the thick smoke. Mather stumbled toward what might be help. He tripped over broken rock, righted, and stopped. Mather shoved his Sky Serum snowmen cookies into his bag before he staggered down the hall. As he moved near the light, the outline of a tall young man brought relief. Someone else was with him. The stranger’s tiny lamp illuminated his dark-red hair and a little girl with him.
“Hello?” Mather called, but the redhead didn’t look his way. Too focused on the child, the stranger grabbed the girl and tugged her over broken fragments.
“My name’s Joe.” The man’s menacing tone didn’t soothe Mather at all. “Agent Snow-Everyone-Joe.” The redhead with the headlamp gripped the kid’s shoulders. There was another hard jerk. “I’m an important H.S.P.C. agent. Come here.”
When the girl was in his arms, he pulled a needle out of his pocket. “What’s your name?”
The child wept but answered. Mather couldn’t hear the muffled response.
“Hey?” Mather coughed. The agent glanced around the hall but then focused back on the child.
“No.” The girl fought to get out of the stranger’s arms. Sunglasses fell from the agent’s pocket and shattered on the stones.
“Hey, Joe?” Mather called. “Agent Joe? Snow-Everyone-Joe?”
A second blast split the air. A force like an invisible train hit Mather square in the chest. Before he could gather his wits, he was thrown backward. Mather hit a stone pillar. Panic got the better of him. Once more he was on his knees. One hand gripped the strap of his backpack as his other hand struck a door. Thank God, a handle. The smell of fire assaulted his nostrils, and he hacked. A foreboding rumble shook his entire body.
Death was here.
Grabbing the metal knob, Mather tossed the door open and threw himself into the next room. The propulsion sent him forward wildly. Another crash tore through the air. Something struck the door that he’d scrambled through. The wood slammed shut.
Mather legs hit a solid piece of metal. He tumbled and landed flat on the floor.
“Geeze.” As he rose, he grabbed his bruised shin. His hand smoothed over a bench.
He yanked on the door, but the entrance didn’t budge. Showers, benches, hooks, tiles. This must be the locker room for the water base guards. He walked in circles feeling like a caged animal.
Mather had no clue how long he’d been looking for a light or a way to escape. He found a switch. Clicking it did nothing. This was the end for him. He pictured his End-Of-Life ceremony with an officiant saying, Doctor Mather Stone died trapped in a locker room on a water base. That’s what they would say. Dead and alone on Sky Serum Holiday. This day was supposed to be about being thankful for life. The irony did amuse him.
Finally, he sat. Cold tiles greeted him. Fishing out his holiday container, Mather popped the lid. A blue snowman with thick icing and a plastered smile laughed at him. Mather bit the head off the baked good holding back a sob. He kept eating the heads of snowmen to keep the tears at bay. It wasn’t manly to cry. When he was a child, his dad used to say man up to him and his two brothers. In all the years of working high stress as a surgeon, he’d never felt this need to fall apart.
A single tear slid down his cheek as he bit another cookie. There was no point in removing the drop. No one could see him.
Shoving away the sugar treats, Mather pressed his head against the cool wall. He wished he’d said goodbye to his ma. He could’ve gone to see his older brother more. He should’ve invited his younger brother to visit. His empty life paraded across his mind in cruel detail. Geeze, he didn’t even give a proper farewell to his colleagues before he moved off Water Base Cure.
A swish-swish cut through his demoralizing thoughts. Maybe he’d imagined the sound. There was nothing to see in the dark room. His eyes ached from the unshed tears, the smoke, and the strain. Weak and tired, he took a deep breath. No one was here for him.
“I’m going to die alone on Sky Serum Holiday.”
“Look what I found.” A husky male voice slammed into Mather. “You sound scared stiff.”
“Can you help me? I’m trapped.” Shaking with excitement, Mather came to his feet. He shoved his container into his backpack and stayed to the wall. Hope spun him up while his bruised shins reminded him to stay focused. Falling over again didn’t appeal to him.
“Wow, okay. Let’s see what I can do.”
“Please? Sir?” Mather scooted toward the deep voice. A light, airy feeling lifted his spirits. Joy bubbled up like a spring. Maybe he wouldn’t die alone after all.
As he shifted, his long coat caught, as if the material was conspiring against him. Exhaling a puff of frustration, he yanked. Cold water sprayed him in the face.
“Geeze.” While he fumbled for the shutoff handle, Mather tugged on his coat. In seconds, his jacket, scrubs, and shoes were completely drenched.
“No need to shower on my account.”
“Sir, can you help me?” Mather tipped his head one way and then the other to gauge the stranger’s location “There’s something wrong with the doors.” The spray beat him with no mercy.
“Don’t call me sir. I work for a living.” A hefty chuckle followed his sentence as Mather got hold of the handle and turned it the right way till the spray ended. “Is your altogether all together?”
“What?” Mather ran his hand over his sopping face.
“Are you hurt?”
“No, but—” Mather started, but he cut off the rest of his answer when a heavy hand touched his chest.
“No butts, huh?” The stranger laughed. “Wow.”
As shivers and water raced down his spine, Mather stood like a statue. His own hand shot out from the wave of dizziness, connecting with warm, dry fingers. This could be fear. Or it could be cold. He could have stood too fast.
His heart raced and his hands tingled.
No. Mather wasn’t scared of this stranger. He was merely terrified this man, this rescuer, would leave.
“Please,” Mather whispered. “I need to know you’re here.” At least, he would die with someone.
“Hey.” The owner of the meaty hand slipped his palm to Mather’s shoulder and squeezed. “I’m here.” The calm tone seeped into Mather’s bones. “I’m here.”
Just as Mather exhaled his tension, a loud boom jolted his insides. His stomach dropped to his wet sneakers. The stranger tossed his body toward him with a cussword and an oomph. Mather was pinned. Shaking, he dipped his head into the hard male chest. He embraced the huge muscled frame. Fear seized his whole body. He didn’t even care if hiding under this stranger was childish.
“I’m here.” Again, that husky, reassuring tone chased the fear from Mather’s brain. “It’s you and me against the world.”
“Thank you.” Mather’s lips lifted in answer to the teasing. How did this man make him relax in such a dire situation?
As fast as he was enveloped by the rock-hard flesh, the human shield was gone. Tossing out his arms and finding nothing made the fear edge closer.
“Sir?” Slowly, Mather came to his feet and reached into the darkness. “Sir?”
“I was looking around.” A warm steady hand palmed Mather’s chest.
“Looking around?” In the dark void, strong fingers dug into Mather’s hand. “Are you gifted? I’ve heard about this woman who can see in the dark. Her name is Karma Something. She’s famous. Can you do that?”
“Wow.” There was that upbeat chuckle again. “Really hoped for that, didn’t you?” The stranger’s hand stayed firmly in his. Even if Mather was slightly annoyed at this person’s overly confident attitude, he was happy to have him. “No, I can’t see in the dark. I know the layout of the locker room. I’m sizing up the vent. I’m going to walk away.”
“Sir?” While he mentally kicked himself for his weakness, Mather clung to the thick fingers. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry.” There was a pause. “Unless…” There was another pause. “You know anything about this cave-in.”
Mather expected a chuckle. When the laugh didn’t come, he realized that the stranger wasn’t making another joke.
“Why would I know anything about this?” Irritation dropped over his face. “I just live and work here. I’m a surgeon.”
“Wow, I got under your skin.” There was a quick squeeze to Mather’s fingers. “I believe you. You work here.”
“Yes.” Mather exhaled his annoyance.
“Well, if you’re sorry that you’re holding my hand, it’s okay you’re scared.”
“Aren’t you scared?” Mather asked. “We’re buried alive.” With his other hand, Mather wiped at a tear that streaked down his cheek. “This isn’t how I thought I’d die. Alone and buried on Sky Serum Holiday.”
“Did you want to be buried on a different holiday?” the deep voice snickered.
“No,” Mather huffed. “I mean that I have no one. I’ve one friend and my ma. That’s my whole life.” His voice clogged with tears, and he coughed to keep from making a fool of himself. “I never thought this would be my last day alive.” This man would think he was a child and not a thirty-five-year-old accomplished doctor if he didn’t get his emotions under control. He took a steadying breath. “Sorry. I’m normally good under pressure. I guess facing death has a way of making a grown man cry.”
“I’m not scared of anything.” His rescuer brushed closer to him. “And you’re not alone. I’m here. Don’t be sorry.” The stranger’s hand traveled from Mather’s fingers to his arm. A sturdy grip warmed him. “This won’t be your last day alive. I’ll get you home for some fun Sky Serum festivities.”
“I’ll get us out faster than you can call me Jackrabbit.”
“Jackrabbit,” Mather quipped as a smile spread across his mouth. He didn’t know where the happiness came from, but the feeling surged inside of him. This man’s good humor rubbed off on him. “But we’re still in here.”
“Wow, smart-ass.” The stranger’s fingers intertwined with Mather’s. “Okay, if you’re not going to let go, then you’ll have to follow me.”
Mather nodded and then realized that was pointless. “Where are we going, sir?”
“Do you have a suggestion? Or did you want to keep groping the shower nozzle?”
“Groping? Geeze. My coat got caught on the handle.” Mather absently ran his free hand through his wet hair.
“I wish I’d seen that nail you in the face.”
The other man’s smile was so loud, Mather could hear the smirk. An answering grin twitched his lips. The way this person talked, like the whole world was a joke, made Mather trust him. His devil-may-care attitude buoyed him. That light, airy feeling lifted him like weights had been removed. Maybe this situation would work out as long as they stayed together.
The other man tugged on his arm, and Mather walked through the darkness. Mather’s shoulder bumped a locker with a clang, and he fell forward. The awkward stumble forced him to spread both hands across the man’s back to save himself from hitting the floor. His fingers slid on thick corded muscles under a shirt covered in goo.
“Is this mud?”
“It’s my beauty routine.” There was a snort. “I’m going to open these lockers and see if I can find a flashlight. Mine’s busted.”
“They’re locked.” Mather removed his hands from the muddy back and rubbed his dirty palms on his pant leg. “I’ve tried that.”
“How long have you been in here?”
“Long enough to eat snowmen cookies, reevaluate my life, and cry like a five-year-old.”
“And to take a shower.”
“And take a shower.” Mather set his palm on the other man’s back as his lips tipped up at the corners.
Jingling, muttered swear words, and metal grinding on metal cut into his thoughts. Mather pulled his hands away from the broad back.
“Hold this.” His rescuer grabbed Mather’s hand. A cold metal bar was placed in his palm. “And this.” A soft towel was shoved into his arms next. “Use it.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Stop calling me sir.”
“I don’t know your name. Unless I really should call you Jackrabbit. If your last name is Rabbit and your parents named you Jack, they have a bizarre sense of humor.”
“My parents are a real comedy act. My brothers are Bunny and Hoppity.”
“Jack Rabbit isn’t the oddest name I’ve ever heard,” Mather muttered as he toweled his face. “But it’s up there.”
While Mather dried his arms, Jack must’ve walked away. After Mather juggled the crowbar and the towel, he threw out his hand. He hit nothing but air. Further away, metal tinkled.
“Are you opening all the lockers?”
“Only as many as I need.” There was a quick flash. “We have ourselves a smoker.”
The flicker of a tiny flame from a small hand-lighter wavered in front of the shadow of a solidly built man. The guy was easily two hundred pounds of pure muscle. There wasn’t a lot of Jack that Mather could make out other than his size. Shuffling closer, Mather worked to get a better look at his rescuer. Jack handed the mini light to Mather.
“Hold this next to the doors.”
Lock after lock, they stepped down the aisle. Mather noticed four things about the man next to him. The first thing was that Jack only used one hand to open the latches. Second, the stranger was younger than Mather had first guessed. Twenty maybe. His savior was caked with mud, and his hair was black and slicked back. Third, this guy was all power and strength, almost in a frightening way. He wasn’t tall, a little shorter than Mather, but he was built like one of the cement columns in the Northern Earth Dens.
The fourth was Jack had never asked Mather his name. With a shake of his head, it dawned on him that he hadn’t introduced himself either.
“Top-notch equipment.” Jack’s jet-black eyes jumped to Mather’s across the flame. With a poof, his protector blew out the lighter.
“Why did you do that?” Frantically, Mather swept his thumb over the tiny wheel to start the flame again.
“We don’t need it.” A bright yellow glow illumined the space between them. “Normally, I’m faster than this.”
For the first time, Mather and Jack stared at each other’s faces.
C.M. Moore is a retired soldier, and a romantic at heart. After being blown up in Afghanistan and receiving a purple heart, he began writing with his wife.
Connor’s first book 1:05 am is a mixture of love, sex, and action.
Today if you are looking for Connor, you can find him volunteering with veteran organizations, and harassing his military buddies. You can also find him attempting to “hunt” in the woods and ponds of Minnesota. In the event you find him in the woods, don’t be scared, he can’t hit anything.
If you want to contact him message him at:
Connect with C.M.Moore
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They were unique among their kind.
Ancients were the first-born of the originals. They didn’t seek out destruction or evil. It sought them, challenged them, and tried to possess them.
Kane de Medici is the powerful first blood son of Brogio, the original vampire. Devoted to learning, he has chosen a life of knowledge and experimentation. After centuries of war and battle, he longs for peace and fulfillment with those he loves.
Moon, Kane’s hybrid wolf progeny, is loyal to him above all, while Enzo, her magical spirt wolf, is devoted to her protection.
Zandra Moretti is the first born of King Lycan, the original werewolf. She and her ten brothers are hybrid vampire Lycans committed to not harming innocents and to fighting for what is right. Kane is the love of Zandra’s existence, and with him, she and her brothers will give their lives to fight against the evil that endlessly seeks to capture or destroy him.
Anointed as God’s chosen warriors, they are pitted against Satan and all manner of evil from their past. Giving their all to protect each other and humanity, the de Medici vampires must face the ultimate test of their strength, skills, and intelligence. Underneath it all, love and loyalty are the keys to victory with Moon and Enzo showing them the way.
The ultimate clash of Good against Evil plays out in Moon Blood Book 5, the culmination of the First Blood Son Series.
This is the last of the Moon Blood series, but another shall arise.
Brogio has Snow Blood.
Kane has Moon Blood.
Who is next?
The "Z" brothers?
One of the coven leaders?
We have to wait and find out which lucky vampire or hybrid gets their own wolf!
This is sadly the last of The First Blood Son series.
It's also the one with the most monsters, the highest stakes and yields the greatest reward.
After centuries of war and battle, Kane longs for peace and fulfillment with those he loves.
I never really saw Kane as a fighter, though he holds his own. He was always the mastermind, the dandy─the free spirit. But being the head of the coven has changed him. He's more like Brogio, and Brogio while still controlling, is calmer and seems happy.
This was a roller coaster that went so far up the downhill never stopped until the very end. When you get on this ride, be prepared not to stop until it's done.
I Would Recommend this to Fans of:
Greek Mythology Fiction
sample from Moon Blood 5
© 2019 Carol McKibben
Enzo’s shaggy black fur shimmered in the Tuscany moonlight. His golden eyes transfixed on nothing. His body stood frozen in place. I knew the signs. My spirit-turned-corporeal wolf was experiencing another vision.
The forest around us just outside my master Kane’s Italian wine estate was silent save the laughing voices of Zandra, her brothers, and James, her newly turned hybrid vampire Lycan, as they hunted for prey in the far distance. They had no need to be quiet as their vampire speed allowed them to take down the fastest prey. Through my preternatural connection to Kane, I alerted to my sire taking down a large bull moose and sating his thirst at the beast’s jugular. I longed to have a taste.
Instead, I padded to Enzo and pressed against him until his eyes focused and he shook his head. I sat back on my haunches as he gazed into my eyes.
We will have little rest. The worst approaches.
His warning shook me to the core. I twisted my head at the one I loved only second to Kane and wondered, What could be worse than what we have experienced? Enemy werewolves, flesh eaters, shifters, and zombies have attacked us repeatedly. Lilith, the original succubus, has tried to control us. Satan has tried to destroy us. Prior to ever meeting you, human greed captured and tried to use us.
Before he could telepathically respond, we both lifted our noses to the air and took in the stench of danger lurking around us.
An arrow whizzed past my right ear. A sharp sting and the whiff of deadly silver alerted me as a chunk of my furry white ear sailed through the air.
Enzo whirled and placed his backside to mine. We circled as some twenty men dressed in brown leather pants and boots surrounded us. They carried axes, crossbows, and swords. Their faces and bodies reeked of hate.
My injured ear stung. The insidious burn of it seeped inward from the minor cut. Liquid fire ran down the rest of my injured appendage numbing everything it touched. I feared silver poison but ignored it and sprang just missing the sharp side of an axe intended for me. I went for the hunter’s weapon-wielding arm and bit down.
The man screamed, convulsed, and foamed at the mouth. He died before he hit the ground.
Behind me, I heard Enzo tear into several others. Skin and cloth ripped. Screams of humans being devoured rang through the air. The spirit wolf’s throaty growls and gnashing teeth mingled with their cries.
A few of the enemy backed off momentarily in surprise at Enzo’s ferocity and their comrade’s death from my one bite. They must not have known that I had inherited my biological father Snow Blood’s deadly bite. I took off to my right, grabbed the extended arm of one man, and ripped it from his shoulder. He shuddered and fell face first into the budding spring ground cover. I whirled and this time bit into the leg nearest me. Knowing I had killed again, I moved on and sprang, tearing out the throat of a third victim.
The screams of those Enzo attacked were short-lived. His powerful jaws ripped throat after throat. Dead bodies littered the forest ground. The smell of their blood incited me. The bloodlust within me overpowered my senses.
I leapt for another would-be victim but was taken down by a silver arrow to my spine. The pain shot through every nerve ending, and the deadly metal surged through my core paralyzing me. Four more attackers surrounded me and began to slash and hack at me with both swords and axes. A blade bit deeply into my shoulder. I yelped in agony. The pain became intolerable.
Enzo instantly jumped them and became a killing machine. Body parts flew in the air. A head rolled next to me. The man’s blank, dead eyes stared at me. An arm plopped down just next to the head. A headless torso took flight and smashed against an oak tree.
I struggled to stand as another blow landed on me from behind, taking my hind legs out from under me. I whirled and took off the offending hand with one bite. The soft appendage still wiggled. My body began to morph into my inner demon, but blood poured from me. I fought to keep my eyes open and was sinking fast. I felt my life slipping away.
As another attacker bent to slice my throat, I sprang with all my remaining strength and tore out his. With nothing left, I slid toward the earth. As the world went dark, I heard Kane’s voice. Hold on, girl. We’re here.
About the Author - Carol McKibben
Carol's love of animals, especially dogs and horses, is obvious in everything she writes. When Carol isn’t feeding her horde of canine rescues, she’s out riding her beloved Friesian on the plains of Texas. Her love of animals leads her to write through a dog's eyes. Carol’s message is clear. "If a dog can love us unconditionally, why can't we do the same with each other?" And, her paranormal stories are often filled with characters that might be the most difficult to love.
Carol's writing career began at 14 years of age when she started telling her stories to Labrador Retrievers, Basset Hounds, and any stray that happened by. It wasn't long before people stopped to have a listen as well. Now, Carol writes for people and speaks to large audiences, dogs included.
Contact Carol at http://www.carolmckibben.com or join her on Facebook:
Where to find Carol McKibben
For anyone who is new, this sums it up:
I won the SUMMER READING HAMPER Sweepstakes and was given a boat load of books and got on twice as many author newsletters.
It was awesome and I couldn't wait to get into my stash!
Each book & author was given a chance no matter the genre.
However, I gave you a few I liked and others that weren't for me and why. What I consider books I can recommend are books that interest me. Take in mind, if I was not able to finish the book, my tastes are eclectic.
With all the different distractions of t.v., other books, games, and various activities for fun & pleasure, if I put a book down it doesn't mean the story was bad. It just means I was not interested in it and I explain why in my reviews.
The way I define books that aren't for me... but could be for someone else, are:
I start with the status of the book, DNF, Read through the train wreck, stopped half-way, etc. Then I give a short reason why the status is as is, followed by a longer explanation.
Now that everyone's caught up, here is current events...
I started realizing all the books were from one genre. There were a few romances, dystopian and off-the-wall type of books in the mix to throw me off the scent, but I soon saw a pattern. The bulk of the books were crime/mysteries.
My most beloved genre is m/m romance. I don't know what's going on with that genre, but it seems there's a lot of interesting going on there.
Next beloved genre is romance (just in general). There are some stories I gravitate more to than others. Those with a paranormal (but not ghost), sy-fy, fantasy or contemporary flavor will attract me first.
But as I read further, it got to the point that I didn't want to read any more of the books I'd won.
Call me picky.
It wasn't even that the writing was bad (on some of them), it's just, I have to read things for work that I'm not terribly interested in already. Reading things I don't want to read in my free time just isn't going to happen.
MANY of the books were very well written. Take High Crimes by Libby Fischer Hellmann for instance.
A Book for Thriller Lovers
Status: DNF (Did Not Finish)
I wasn't into the drama.
Which makes me want to educate people on drama vs. dramatic.
Off on a tangent but here's the short example:
Dramatics = the 5 minute death scene where the actor moans, falls to the floor, raises a hand to the sky and carries on until finally he decides to die with a huffing last breath.
Drama = a gripping event that you can't take your eyes away from, have an amazing realization and changes your outlook on the character entirely.
There is no crying, no screaming, no "Why, God, why?" and often times there's just... silence. The kind of quiet that seeps into your bones and haunts you, forever. That is drama.
The best example I can think of is when we realize Professor Snape has been on Harry's side all along.
If you can't tell the difference, I'm done with you. Find someone else to explain.
So High Crimes─probably a great book.
And then, I just wasn't interested in any of them.
Books Only a Mother Could Love
My belief on my reading burn-out is... it became so difficult to find the diamonds in the rough that I went back to the tried and true authors I love. I've even found some authors that are under the "must buy" banner within my winnings, but while someone might be in heaven, I'm feeling more and more genres that I'm not interested in are being foisted upon me, which is also why genre giveaways would attract me more. I'll dare say it would be good for giveaways to be even more specific.. like POV & genre. Or writing style & genre.
I've become a snob.
I know it.
I admit it.
There's just a certain type of writing I like.
Honestly, I get diversity from my job.
I guess it's the hazard of editing.
But I think I'll leave the rest for when I'm desperate and wanting.
Don't worry. I'll be sure to tell you when I come across a good 'un!
But these... well, they're a crash and burn for me.
A Christmas Dream come true—twice over.
As Tash Freeman embarks on her lifelong dream of being a dancer on a cruise ship, the strong bond she made with her hot summer fling needs to end. Though Tash has grown fond of Jay, she needs to move on with her life… or so she thought.
Because Jay is supportive of Tash’s life-long dream come true he’s hesitant to share his deeper feelings. He’s in love with Tash. There won’t be another like her in his life, ever. Yet he digs deep and finds the courage to let her go. But when she leaves, a large part of his heart is torn away and it’s too late to remedy his mistake.
Both struggle for a happy medium between their long-distance relationship that’s pushed beyond the breaking point. Jay finally knows how to make it work with Tash… but as she gains new friends and meets new people his efforts might be too little too late.
Destination Dream is a Christmas Novella for year-long and round-the-globe fun! The fourth installment of The Beach Reads Romance is set in Cromer where charming characters, burning hot love scenes and adorable personalities come together for a wild ride! Toya Richardson’s sweet beach read will have you falling in love all over again.
This is book 3.5 of the Beach Reads Romance series. The story is set in Cromer, UK where the author spent some time. She interviewed a dancer from a cruise line to get all the parts right for Tash, the main character who is a cruise-line dancer, and set this tidy little story to a Christmas theme.
Destination Dream is about redemption and sacrifice (which is a strong theme in most her books) pitting the Dream job against the Dream man.
There will be more in the Beach Reads Romance series, with 2 more novels (at least) before we see the end of this series.
Because the author loved these two characters, she made a novella for them after writing DESTINATION REDEMPTION.
Take note that all the Beach Reads are stand-alone. You will find even reading this series out of order that when characters appear in other books it will not cause confusion and only a flurry of delight in your belly!
DESTINATION DREAM is shorter than the others books but is no less of a story because of it. I find that I'm not alone in wanting to read their story. See the Goodreads reviews below!
A perfect festive read!
Oh boy this book is full of emotions and yours will run wild as you read. A beautiful Novella to sit with a hot chocolate on the run up to the festive season. A story of friendships and love puts all the magical fairy dust into it. I loved it.
Loved it!! I always wanted to know what happened with Tash and Jay after the third book and now I do! So happy!! The characters are lovable and full of depth.
I look forward to reading more of this series and the great characters in them.
Loved catching up with the destination characters
Such a heartwarming series that had me hooked from the beginning of the series and has me looking forward to the next instalment lol
A great series to get you hooked
love love love, i really enjoyed reading a destination dream such a beautifully written story i loved every moment
Yet to find a bad Toya book. Absolutely loved this one. What a fab read. Made me wanting the next one in the series. Loved the boys.
Wow I didn't expect to read this as quickly as I did! This is the Christmas novella for Toya's destination series. It was a fast paced but emotional read which has you feeling every emotion possible and then leaves you with a huge grin on your face. I have yet to find a Toya book that I haven't enjoyed and I for one am itching for the next one.
Loved this book a lot! This series is brillant!
I Would Recommend this Book to Fans of:
Second Chance Stories
© Toya Richardson 2019
Tash sat with Jay in Indian on the Cliff and chuckled to herself.
“What’s so funny?” Jay asked her whilst he poured them both a glass of wine.
“Just remembering the first night I came in here with Erin. We were sitting at this table.”
“Yeah, I remember it well. That was a perfect night, wasn’t it?”
Tash sipped her wine. “Hmm, it really was.”
She studied Jay when his face turned serious. “Oh dear, why the stern expression?”
“I want to ask you something. Not sure how you’ll take it.”
Her stomach turned over. “Uh-oh, sounds serious.”
“I know you were going to take the train to Southampton, but I’d love to drive you down there.”
His offer warmed her heart, but was this just going to prolong the agony of saying goodbye?
“It’s such a long way to go. Of course, it would be great, but then you’ll have a long journey home. I… I’m not sure.” She rubbed a hand across her forehead.
“Look,” he said taking her hand from across the table, “you will have two massive suitcases, a handbag, and backpack. You have two changes of train before you even get to London, the underground, and then another train to Southampton. Just think it would be easier if I took you. It’ll be my pleasure.”
Tash turned thoughtful. It would be a nightmare the more she thought about it. And to be honest, she’d love to spend a little more time with him.
“Thanks.” She squeezed his hand lightly. “I’ll be more than happy for you to take me. It’s really sweet of you.”
He lifted her hand to his mouth. “I’m glad you have accepted my offer.”
She just hoped she wouldn’t burst into hysterical tears when they finally said goodbye. Leaving Cromer, and Jay, was going to be more difficult than she’d ever envisaged.
About the Author
A very important moment for her was giving a reader closure after surviving domestic abuse. It was after reading her Romance/Thriller, Flame, about a domestic abuse survivor, who sent her a thank you message and she’s never forgotten it. “If it means I have helped one person, then I’m blessed.”
Writing has been Toya’s passion since a very early age. Sadly, it wasn’t until the death of her mum, who was also her best friend, in 2009 that she started to take it seriously. Her mother’s wish was to see her published, which didn’t occur until 2014. And now, each book she publishes is dedicated to her.
Always a shy person, becoming an author has helped to broaden her horizons and grow in confidence. Toya still laughs when she reflects on her dislike of social media. One by one, she began to use different platforms and is now very active on FB, Twitter and Instagram – not forgetting her brand new website. Now she is quite vocal about how important these platforms are for networking, an huge aspect of an indie author’s life. If not for social media, she would never have connected with two of her three publishers.
Social media to her is a wonderful way to connect with fellow authors and readers. So many friends have been made by her in this way, she loves nothing more than helping others. It still amazes her how wonderful and supportive the indie author community is. Everyone, without exception, is always willing to give others a hand. She always says she may not be an expert but is always willing to share anything she does know.
Whilst attending a workshop many years ago she learned a very valuable lesson from another author. He said, “Write because you love to write. If you’re doing it for the money, you may as well forget it now.” This is so true and is her mantra.
It still amazes her how much she’s grown when it comes to “putting herself out there”. She loves to read live from her work when she partakes in numerous FB takeover events. She’s given talks about her writing journey to Women’s Institute groups, and one at the assisted living facility where she works. She also enjoys open mic events. These still fill her with nerves, but that’s normal. And starting this year, she is about to embark on several big author signings, which she’s very excited about. Finally getting to meet so many people she’s connected with via social media.
Apart from working on her Destination Contemporary Romance series, she’s currently planning a Paranormal Romance series called Nature’s Warriors. A series of fantasy romances, notes in books at present, which she’s very excited about. And as if that isn’t enough to keep her occupied, she’s attempting to push herself even further. Toya’s written a standalone Rock Star Romance, which she is attempting to self-publish. This is to prove to herself she can push her boundaries, even though it terrifies her. Always happy to learn new skills and take advice from others is helping her to grow as an author, and person.
When not writing, or reading her main hobbies are; cinema, theatre, gardening, keeping fit, travelling, watching live bands, Formula One racing, watching darts and spending time with friends. She lives in Suffolk, UK with her husband, grown up son and Masai the cat.
Where to Find Toya Richardson:
For Those Who Are New:
I won the SUMMER READING HAMPER Sweepstakes and was given a boat load of books!
Normally, I only review books that I want to shove in your face (meaning, I recommend them and want to talk about them with you), but since the goal was to get my review and buy more of the authors books, I am at least keeping to that expectation.
It's not really an expectation, it's a hope. The authors hope I'll like the books and buy more or give them a good review.
I will do what I can to give a review on Amazon but because of their freaky review policy I'm a bit turned off to write reviews for Amazon at this time. Though, I will try.
I'm posting reviews here on my blog but I plan on only reviewing the "shove in your face" books on Goodreads. Because it's called GOODREADS not badreads.
If you want to read my reviews of books I've already done click the button below.
You can also hit "Book Review" under Categories in the right hand bar and riffle through a boat load of books I recommend for your reading pleasure!
For Those Who Have Been Here Before
Scroll Down to the Next Image to See This Month's Reviews!
Each book & author is given a chance no matter the genre. Beware, I like many genres, but there are some I gravitate more than others. Those with a paranormal, romance, sy-fy, fantasy or contemporary flavor will attract me first.
Then there's the book cover.
If I find the cover intriguing, I'm going to open the book.
However, the blurb is also considered.
Slow as I read, the books I really like are ones finished in a day or two.
What I consider books I can recommend are books that interest me.
Take in mind, if I was not able to finish the book my tastes are eclectic.
With all the different distractions of t.v., other books, games, and various activities for fun & pleasure, if a book is put down it doesn't mean the story is bad. It just means I was not interested in it and I explain why in my reviews.
With that said, I have a few I can recommend!
Books I Will Shove in Your Face!
(Because I love them so much and will talk about them)
A Heaven for Taosters
Nicholas C. Rossis
Detective Mika Pensive has a new partner. He's hot. Smart. Funny. And an android.
Set in the near future, A Heaven for Toasters is more than a sci-fi crime adventure with plenty of romance and wit. It's the book that will make you look at your toaster in a whole new way.
I Will Not Apologize For Wanting My Own Sexdroid!
Robots, Androids and clones, OH MY!
Take note that the cover on my kindle is the one above.
There seems to be a newer cover on Amazon and I agree with the change. It's of a male body instead of two people kissing, (in which you can't really tell it's two people kissing on the thumbnail) it just looks like some weird effect.
The description on Amazon is somewhat lacking, so I'll give you my own.
Detective Mika Pensive finds herself the suspect and intended victim of an explosive hover-craft murder. While she and her new, android partner, Leo, look for clues and search a bizarre island where cloning is legal, Mika discovers how lifelike Leo can be. As the two grow close, they unravel a scheme that endangers all humanity.
Hey, it's my first try, I know I could improve on it. But this one was a five minute effort.
While I may want to rewrite the blurb for the author, the story was perfect! Engaging even though I was going...
Another detective story?
I fully enjoyed this off the cuffs adventure.
I would have like to have other cover grace my kindle though. This cover (above) didn't make me want to pick up the book, the title did.
So let me go a little more in-depth as to why I liked this story.
This could be a series.
I want it to be a series.
Please let it be a series.
Dam it! I'm writing the author and demanding a 5 book contract.
I WANT TO SEE MORE!
So, yeah, there's that book.
Books That I Can Recommend:
But didn't love
The relationship was over long before it ended, so when her boyfriend dumps her, Kristy craves a change in life. Kristy's best friend, Sherry, is into the BDSM scene, and on a whim and a bet, Kristy finds herself in the playroom at an exclusive club.
A disguised Dom named Master Jay uses sensation play and a piece of silk to help her discover the world of kink. She finds it enjoyable and addictive, but what she doesn't know is that Master Jay is really Jake, a much younger man to whom she's strongly attracted.
For the past couple of years, Jake quietly watched Kristy in his gym. He doesn't care that she's older than him; he wants her. When the virgin BDSM sub he's hired to train ends up being Kristy, Jake almost falls apart.
During the scene they play at the club, he fantasizes about getting her into restraints in his own playroom. But Kristy is shocked when she learns that the two men she desires are one and the same. Can Kristy who's led a vanilla sex life, and Jake, who knows nothing but kink, find a future together?
I like what the author states in the description here:
For mature audiences 18+
A note from the author:
BDSM is variable; it's not black and white, it's not always deep and dark. It's whatever the participants want it to be, it's individual, and there is no "right" way to do it - as long as it's SSC (safe/sane/consensual).
I've done my research. I've been to clubs, private play parties, demonstrations, forums, workshops, conventions, and conferences on the subject of kink/BDSM.
Don't let what you think you know about the lifestyle, or what you've read in novels affect your thoughts on the subject. Be open-minded.
Though a little on the preachy side, I agree.
I only liked this book.
Because there were no separations between scene changes. It cause me confusion.
There were also places where the story jumped unexpectedly from a scene.
I call this the Dumas.
Let me explain...
In the three musketeer's (the original version of the book) our hero's are fighting in England a top a roof.
*Turn the page.*
Our heroes are now running from the French army on the ground.
Just like this kitten... the reader is left hanging.
Prying invisible pages to catch up on how they got from England to France in a span of a not forthwith paragraph truly makes the reader wonder... did a page go missing?
It makes no sense.
Truth be told...
Dumas forgot where the hell he was in his writing─mid paragraph.
I guess he was the type to stop, come back weeks later and just keep going without checking where he was in the story.
"That's what editors are for!"
The Dumas happens when an author stops and starts and forgets what was happening in the scene and picks up where they left off, just not in the right place.
That, my dear, is a Dumas.
Or Dum Ass.
Hey dumass, you forgot a few scenes.
Write them back in.
This brought me out of the book in places. Soooooo.... Laci Paige has no editor or the worst editor ever. I vote no editor. Nor does Laci re-read her own book aloud after edits.
Despite the Dumas, the story wasn't bad. I liked the characters and it veered away from expectation enough to be a pleasant surprise. The hidden identity was actually done very well and the momentum didn't flag afterwards. Our heroine wasn't stupid and had real issues.
But the writing itself didn't capture me.
There are too many talented authors in the BDSM genre that I'd go to first. Being Elizabeth SaFluer and Joey Hill. I think I'll stick to them because...
Research does not make you a great writer. Practice does.
The practice of writing that is.
However, glutton for punishment is my kink, so I'll be giving Laci Paige another chance.
Books that Weren't For Me
Please take the tile of this section seriously. These books ARE for someone else. Just not me.
Additionally, I give you the reason why they aren't for me so you can determine if you might like it.
My honest opinion will show if our reading tastes are the same, and I'll pinpoint why you should just go read the ones I'd love to talk about above.
The way I define books that aren't for me... but could be for someone else, are:
I start with the status of the book, (DNF, Read through the train wreck, stopped half-way, etc.) then I give a short reason why the status in a short sentence followed by a longer explanation.
So, let's get started.
2 Readable, 4 Uninterested
That concludes this month's round of books! I hope you've enjoyed my rantings and if by chance one of the authors comes along to read my review, I hope I've given insight. My passion has always been to help writers build better books. Keep writing. You're only as good as your last book.
To all my readers...