Monday, September 26, 2022

Review Tuesday: Grayality by Carey PW -- #LGBTQIA #Transgender #ReviewTuesday

Grayality by Carey PW

Pride Publishing, 2022

Pate Boone was born Patricia, but he never felt he belonged in a woman’s body. His partially complete transition brings him both freedom and anxiety – freedom to express the man within, anxiety that someone will discover he still has female genitals.

Oakley Ogden was Pate’s lover, before the transition. Now, they’re closest of friends. When Oakley moves to the little town of Cloverleaf, Montana, to help his beloved grandmother in her battle with cancer, he invites Pate to join him. Both of them are looking for a fresh start, and in Cloverleaf, they find both new friends and new challenges.

Pate falls in love with Maybelle, a pretty eighteen-year-old college girl. Oakley finds himself drawn to sassy, gender-fluid drag performer Jody. Though Maybelle claims to be his girlfriend, Pate can’t let down his guard for fear she’ll reject him when she learns he’s transgender. Meanwhile, Oakley struggles to reconcile his conviction that he’s straight with his attraction to a person with a penis.

In a small rural community like Cloverleaf, it’s tough to keep secrets. Revelation of the truth brings heartache, prejudice and violence. Both Pate and Oakley need help in trusting their hearts and opening their minds to relationships that blur the rigid lines of gender.

About a month ago, I featured a promo post about Grayality on my blog. I liked the author’s subject and voice so much that I requested a review copy of the book from the publisher. I’m very glad that I did.

In this novel, Carey PW is brutally honest about the transgender experience. The visceral rejection of a female body – the physical and psychological roller coaster of transitioning – the fear of being outed -  the doubts about whether you’ll ever be accepted or find love – this book made all of that real for me. Grayality is a romance, but it’s about as far as you can get from the fantasy/wish-fulfillment that characterizes much of the genre. A loving relationship takes hard work under any circumstances. The difficulties multiply when the object of your affections doesn’t fit into the societally-sanctioned gender pigeonhole.

Readers will empathize with Pate and Oakley, the focus characters in this tale, but I found secondary characters Jody and Stormy even more appealing. Both of them flaunt gender norms with a level of self-confidence that neither Pate nor Oakley has yet achieved. Jody in particular blends sexy femininity and casual masculinity. She’s completely comfortable in her own skin, but the author makes it clear that this comfort did not come easily.

If you’re looking for a feel-good MM romance that conforms to popular tropes – soul-mates, instant physical attraction, life in a queer-friendly world where you’re free to love whomever you choose – you probably won’t like Grayality. It’s too raw, too real.

I loved it.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

My life is kinda nuts … #SciFiRomance #Comedy #AlienRomance @Askole

Forever Askole cover


My name is Ella McAllister, I’m a psychic witch and a healer. My life is kinda nuts. Not only do I have the Coletti hunters chasing me, but now I also have a very determined Askole High Commander after me. Why? I shot his ship down and it crash landed, and it blew up. Yep, itty-bitty pieces everywhere. My bad, but his ship was a dead ringer for a Rodan Marauder, and it was my civic duty to blow the enemy spacecraft out of the sky. Wasn’t it? Any hoo, I healed his owies and boogied.

I thought that was the end of it, but oh no. For some unknown reason, Sariel, the Askole High Commander, decided I would make him the perfect mate. As if. I think the blow to his head made him completely bonkers.

Sariel informed me the mating dance had begun and there was nothing I could do to stop it. The idiot had obviously never dealt with a witch before. I didn’t have the time to play games with him, so I did a little abracadabra alakazam and ran.

Sigh. The persistent Askole found me. Now I have a decision to make. Keep running or surrender to the High Commander. He is a damn good kisser.

Would the mating dance bring two lonely souls together? Who knew?


The pilot let out a furious roar.

Huh? He had been playing possum. “Relax, you aren’t paralyzed. I just restrained you,” I explained in Galactic Basic.

The pilot growled menacingly.

I patted his chest. “Very intimidating. Add in that horned helmet of yours, and I bet you scare the crap out of most folks. Once I heal you, you can go back to terrorizing the galaxy.” I stared at his armor. “But first I need to figure out how to get your armor off.”

The word belt formed in my mind.

I blinked in surprise. He was cooperating. “Thanks.” Sure enough there was a red crystal in the center of his belt. I pushed it.

Snikt. Schlik. Schlik. Schlik. Schlik. Schlik. Within seconds his armor retracted, revealing something out of a horror movie. Holy shit! I shivered as goosebumps erupted over my body and for a moment, I was tempted to run for my life. The only Askole warriors I had seen were on the news vids and they always wore their armor. Now I knew why. Tentacles squirmed about his snakelike features. His yellow eyes were clouded with pain. Instead of skin, he had black armor-plated scales. Whoa! Big Bad’s torso was sculpted perfection. Thick muscles corded his arms and legs. Who knew black scales could be so appealing and even sexy? My eyes bugged. Oh my God! He had the biggest penis I had ever seen. Their women must have gigantic vaginas.

About the Author

I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher for the Glendale Police Department and to keep from going totally bonkers – I mean people have no idea what a real emergency is. Take this for example: I answered, “9-1-1 emergency, what’s your emergency?” And this hysterical woman yelled, “My bird is in a tree.” Sometimes I really couldn’t help myself, so I said, “Birds have a tendency to do that, ma’am.” The woman screeched, “No! You don’t understand. My pet parakeet is in the tree. I’ve just got to get him down.” Like I said, not a clue. “I’m sorry ma’am but we don’t get birds out of trees.” The woman then cried, “But… What about my husband? He’s up there, too.” See what I had to deal with? To keep from hitting myself repeatedly in the head with my phone I took up writing.

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Saturday, September 24, 2022

Charity Sunday for Peace – #PeaceDay #DefundHate #CharitySunday @afsc_org

Charity Sunday Banner

Last Wednesday – the day I posted the sign-up for Charity Sunday – was the International Day of Peace.

Given all the conflicts in process around the globe – in Ukraine, in Syria, in Ethiopia, in Myanmar, in the Middle East, on the U.S./Mexican border – it may seem na├»ve and silly to hold such an observance. It’s difficult not to feel discouraged, or overwhelmed by the suffering, violence, and injustice that seems to be everywhere. What can one person do? How can I personally stop the murder, the rape, the deliberate destruction of people’s homes and livelihood?

I believe that making peace is as much an active process as making war. It begins in our own lives and communities: when we advocate for fairness and social justice, when we act with compassion, when we treat others as worthy and deserving of respect – no matter who they might be.

War serves the ends of a few, but brings suffering to the many. It thrives on fear, the deliberately created false narrative of the threatening, evil Other. With our daily choices, we can deconstruct this illusion, one individual at a time. The huge majority of people in the world, including the people we’ve been taught to believe are enemies, want the same things as we do: safety, shelter, family, freedom, respect, and a sense of belonging. Our languages, cultures and values may vary, but we have a great deal in common as members of humanity.

Peace building starts from this realization and works to share this vision with others.

For today’s Charity Sunday, I am supporting the American Friends Service Committee, a faith-based organization working for peace and social justice, in communities and in the halls of power. AFSC understands that war can’t be abolished with the stroke of a pen, and that peace can be planted and nourished, one person at a time. I encourage you to visit the AFSC website to learn about their actions and themes.

I’ll donate two dollars to AFSC for every comment I receive between today and the 30th of September.

Meanwhile, to entertain you, I have an excerpt from Refuge, one of the few stories I’ve written that has a character who’s a soldier. If you’d like a free copy of this tale, just say so in your comment. Include your email and let me know if you prefer mobi, epub or pdf format. This is not a giveaway; anyone who wants a copy can have one for the asking.


Excuse me, do you have a pencil?”

I jumped. I had been daydreaming about home, eating somtum and gai yang with Mum and my brother Daeng under the tamarind tree in the backyard. The light tap on my shoulder dragged me back to the smelly, dusty camp where I was supposed to be on guard.


A pencil? Or a pen?” The young woman gestured back towards a knot of kids gathered in the shade of the water tower. She held up a sheet of corrugated cardboard scavenged from some trash heap. “I’m teaching them their alphabet. I’ve got this, but nothing to write with.”

She wore a faded tee shirt, baggy shorts and flip flops. Her hair hung down her back in a messy ponytail tied with an old shoelace. Still I could see that she was pretty, slightly built, with sharper features and paler skin then the girls back home. Her smile appeared genuine, though her eyes appraised me nervously. I guessed that it took some courage for her to approach me, a uniformed soldier with a loaded rifle—never mind that I was only a year or two older than she was, and wanting nothing more than to go back to my family in Yasathon.

I leaned my gun against my thigh. “I’ve got a pencil back at the barracks, but I can’t leave my post until my shift is over. Maybe you could postpone your lessons until after three? I’ll bring it to you then.”

Her face lit up. She grabbed and squeezed my hands. Hers were tiny, but strong. “Oh, thank you, sir! Thank you.”

I blushed at her enthusiasm. “Never mind. Now you’d better go.” I’d noticed Sergeant Chokchai headed my way. He didn’t approve of what he called “fraternization” between us and the camp’s inhabitants.

Everything secure, Private Nu?” He loomed over me. I swallowed hard. He came from Bangkok. He had made it clear in his view, I was just a stupid hick from the Northeast.

Yes, sir. Everything is normal, sir.”

What were you doing, talking to that filthy Burmese cunt?”

I winced at his foulness. “Nothing. She wanted to know the time, that’s all.”

Why should she care? She’s not going anywhere!” Chokchai gave a nasty chuckle “You should know better, though. Don’t talk to them. Don’t get involved in their affairs. Oh, they’ll act all polite and respectful, but they’re snakes. They’ll stab you as soon as your back’s turned. You remember what happened to Sakon, don’t you?”

Yes, sir.” Sakon had been another sergeant. They had found him behind the mess hall with his throat slit. Everyone assumed that he’d been murdered by one of the refugees, even though he’d been a brutal man who had many enemies.

Just remember, they’re animals. Ignorant, superstitious animals.” He looked over his shoulder in the direction that the girl had disappeared, shaking his head in obvious disgust, before returning his unwelcome attention to me.

Private Bom has the runs. I want you to take his guard shift after you finish yours.”

But, sir...”

That’s an order, Private. Or are you tired of being a soldier?”

No, sir.” There were no jobs in our village these days. My mother depended on the thousand baht that I sent her each month, though she cried whenever I phoned her.

If army life is too tough, we can always send you back the rice fields.”

I can handle it, sir. But can I have fifteen minutes between shifts to go to the toilet and get something to drink?”

Chokchai’s grin made my skin crawl. I could tell that he wanted to say no. Then he decided that the extra four hours standing on guard was torture enough—for the moment. He nodded. “Why don’t you go now? I’ll take the watch until you get back. But you’d better be on time.”

Yes, sir.” I handed him my rifle. He slung it over his shoulder, then strolled over to lounge against a tree, out of the sun but still within view of the gate.

After a quick stop at the latrine, I hurried back to the thatched bamboo hut that served as our quarters. The single room dwelling was empty. Afternoon sunlight filtered in through the chinks in the walls. A fly buzzed in lazy circles near the ceiling.

I unlocked the chest at the foot of my cot and rummaged around until I found a brand new pencil. On impulse, I grabbed a cheap school notebook, too. I had planned to try keeping a journal. Between the work load and my homesickness, I hadn’t gotten around to writing a word in the three months that I’d been stationed here.

About to close the trunk, I hesitated. Maybe Chokchai was right. Maybe I shouldn’t get involved. It could be dangerous, if not physically than economically. I couldn’t afford to lose this job, awful as it was.

Nonsense. She might be chao khao, from the primitive hill tribes; she might even be dirty and disease-ridden, as Chokchai believed, but I couldn’t believe that she meant me any harm. She was just trying to survive.

* * *

Don’t forget to leave a comment and contribute to a more peaceful world. And let me know if you a copy of the story!

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Two broken men – #BDSM #GayRomance #Giveaway @MCRoth4

Unkinked Cover

Book Description

Two broken men. One secret addiction. No turning back.

When Derreck stumbles upon Maddy, who is sitting in his car and nearly sweating to death under the summer’s sun, he is at his breaking point.

But Maddy is just as lost, searching for a Dom he only knows by name and waiting in his car outside the club Unkinked on the tiny chance that the Dom might find him. When it is revealed that Derreck is the man Maddy has been searching for from the very beginning, it seems fate couldn’t get any sweeter.

Derreck invites Maddy into Unkinked as his guest, with the promise of the pain that Maddy so desperately craves. A scene that should have been simple opens Maddy’s mind to a new world and community that aren’t riddled with guilt or judgment.

Derreck knows he can’t let his sub slip away, but Maddy is keeping secrets from his new Dom—secrets that could change their relationship forever

Reader advisory: This book features pain play, edge play and knife play. One character has a history of addiction and self-harm.

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Unkinked by M.C. Roth

Book 2 in the It's a Kink Thing series -

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Stepping outside, the sun instantly soaked into his skin, blanketing him in warmth and urging sweat from his body in seconds. The sun had barely moved in the sky, blazing down with what must have been record-breaking heat.

He could barely feel his feet as he stumbled his way along the sidewalk to his car, stopping at the lamp post and leaning on it as he took a deep breath. The post seared through his shirt, heat bursting over his flesh until he thought he might erupt into flames. It did nothing to quell his exhaustion.

He’d never let it get quite that bad before, but he’d never stayed away so long, either. He hadn’t wanted to face Trick or Nav or anyone else. He just wanted relief. The apology had given him a touch of respite but not enough to calm the restless energy in his core.

You sure you’re okay?”

Derreck looked up and his gaze followed the sound of the voice.

The guy was still sitting in his car, as if it hadn’t been almost an hour. He had pushed up one sleeve of his sweater, one thin and delicate wrist exposed, but the rest of his upper body was still covered with thick, black material. The flush on his cheeks and the sweat in his hair told of how hot he must’ve been, but he was making no move to remove his sweater.

Still waiting?” asked Derreck, looking back at the club entrance. None of the couples had been missing a third that he knew of. And no Dom would leave their sub in a hot car like he was some sort of oven-baked dog.

No responsible Dom, at least.

The man nodded, flicking his gaze to the door and back to Derreck quickly. His eyes had gone shiny, as if he was just managing to hold back tears. How long had he been there before Derreck had come to the club? How long would he wait?

It pulled at what few heartstrings Derreck had, but it also spoke to his Dominant side.

It pissed him the fuck off is what it did. He clenched his hands into fists, crossing his arms and staring down at the man in his car.

Who are they? I’ll go get them for you,” said Derreck. There was no way he was walking away with this guy still sitting in his car as he got closer and closer to heatstroke.

Oh.” The man dropped his gaze, the pureness of his submission pulling Derreck deeper into the strange thrall. His cheeks flushed brighter, sweat beading under his eyes.

Perhaps it had been the wrong question. Some Doms insisted on titles, and Derreck would have no luck if the guy simply said ‘Sir’ or ‘Master’.

Describe what they look like,” said Derreck, taking a deep breath to keep the anger out of his voice. He was definitely kicking someone’s ass tonight—just not in the way he’d hoped.

I—I don’t know,” said the man, his gaze still fixed on his lap. “I only have his name. Someone—a friend online—gave me his name and said that he might be able to help me. They said he comes to this club, but I can’t get in without an invite.”

You can if you’re a guest,” said Derreck, letting out a sigh. This was just getting stranger and stranger. “Your friend can invite you as a guest, and you’ll have a temporary pass.”

Oh, they aren’t a member,” he said, finally looking up, but only for a moment. “They went to an open house event here years ago, but they don’t live in the city. I don’t know anyone with a membership.”

It was a conundrum that had always bothered Derreck. Privacy came with the price of inaccessibility and exclusivity, especially for subs who were heartbreakingly shy. He would still take his privacy, though. The one-and-done kinksters could fuck off.

He ran a hand over his scalp, scratching the short, tight curls. It was too fucking hot to think, and he had to get off the street before he passed out.

What’s the name, then? I can tell you if they are here,” said Derreck. He wouldn’t give away much, because if this guy was a stalker, which was quickly becoming a possibility, then he didn’t want to encourage him.

Oh, it’s… Let me grab my phone. I have it in there.” He fumbled with his pockets, finally sliding his phone out from the pouch in his sweater. Why the hell was he wearing so many layers? Derreck was getting warmer just looking at him. “I saved it in here, ’cause I’m terrible with names. The guy’s name is Derreck.”

Derreck almost choked on his spit when he heard his own name. Cocking his head to the side, he dragged his gaze up and down the guy’s form one more time. His first impression had been pure madness, but he never was one to hold on to a first impression for long. He usually waited until the sixth before he really made up his mind.

The guy was in shorts and flip-flops, which Derreck hadn’t noticed before. It couldn’t have been great for driving, but at least he wasn’t insane enough to wear long pants along with his sweater. His clothes were good quality but well worn, so he probably wasn’t out to try to kidnap Derreck. He didn’t stand a chance either way, unless he had a gun in his pocket.

The man fiddled with his thumbs as Derreck watched him, the chewed edge of his nail vibrant with fresh blood. All his nails were like that—bitten past the quick to the delicate pink flesh beneath.

How did your friend say he could help you?” asked Derreck, eyeing the guy’s cell phone. It was a new model, fresh out of the store with a custom case.

I…” The man trailed off, bringing his thumb to his mouth and catching the vermillion edge with his teeth. A fresh droplet of blood oozed up, shining against his lip until he slowly dragged it away with his tongue.

I heard he could hurt me,” said the man, so quietly that Derreck had to strain to hear him. “I need someone to hurt me.”

Pushing away from the post, Derreck circled around the car and pulled the door open with a jerk. The man’s eyes went wide and he drew back, shrinking into his seat as Derreck loomed over the car.

What’s your name?” asked Derreck, lowering himself into a squat. It left the man with a slight height advantage, hopefully easing some of his fear that had sprung up. Derreck reached for the man’s hand, pulling his thumb from his mouth. The flesh was burning beneath his palms, slick with sweat and clammy.

Maddy,” he said, letting out a sigh at the touch.

There was no buzzing under Derreck’s skin or desire to wipe his fingers clean. It was the rare perfection that always seemed to elude Derreck when he needed it most.

And why do you want me to hurt you, Maddy?” asked Derreck, watching as Maddy’s eyes went wide with realization.

So I don’t hurt myself.”

About the Author

M.C. Roth -

M.C. Roth lives in Canada and loves every season, even the dreaded Canadian winter. She graduated with honours from the Associate Diploma Program in Veterinary Technology at the University of Guelph before choosing a different career path.

Between caring for her young son, spending time with her husband, and feeding treats to her menagerie of animals, she still spends every spare second devoted to her passion for writing.

She loves growing peppers that are hot enough to make grown men cry, but she doesn’t like spicy food herself. Her favourite thing, other than writing of course, is to find a quiet place in the wilderness and listen to the birds while dreaming about the gorgeous men in her head.

Find out more about M.C. Roth at her website -

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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Action and adventure, danger and treachery... join the crew of the cutter Kauai! – #CoastGuard #SpecialOps #MilitaryThriller #Giveaway

Dagger Quest cover

Dagger Quest

An aging Coast Guard patrol boat is all that stands between the world and nuclear annihilation!

The world is on the brink of war, with NATO mobilizing to counter a Russian threat to Poland and Lithuania and leaders openly discussing war options. In the midst of the crisis, a Russian bomber collides with a U.S. fighter off Florida causing the accidental launch of a nuclear-tipped hypersonic missile.

A Coast Guard cutter on a routine patrol finds a drug-laden sailboat smashed and adrift north of the Florida Keys. The boat’s damage is from a near miss by the Russian missile which has not harmlessly flown deep into the Gulf of Mexico as initially thought, but crashed somewhere in the Keys.

The Coast Guard crew is in a race against a vicious and powerful international crime syndicate to find and recover the Russian nuke before its discovery can trigger a nuclear war.

Exploring the friendship and teamwork of a typical ship's crew, in the face of unexpected and hazardous challenges, Dagger Quest provides a fast-paced, taut story - excellent fare for both sea adventure and military thriller fans.


Caribbean Counterstrike

Mission: Five days to destroy the enemy in the Caribbean before a catastrophic weapon is unleashed—but all he can think about is the woman he left behind…

The deadliest nerve gas ever made has fallen into the hands of a murderous Caribbean drug cult. The criminal 252 Syndicate has the gas in a secret lab on an oil rig servicing ship, but the ship has been taken for ransom by the Salinas Cartel in a violent drug war. The U.S. can’t use airstrikes and calls on Coast Guard Officer Ben Wyporek to lead his crew through a risky covert raid on the Salinas cult’s fortified island base. He accepts the assignment, but remembers a previous lethal encounter with the 252s and struggles to say goodbye to the love of his life, Victoria Carpenter.

Ben and his crew aboard the stealth-equipped Cutter Kauai must sneak into the harbor and tow the ship away. But if Kauai is detected and defeated, death by gas or at the hands of vicious adversaries will follow. Now, every decision Ben makes will determine the fate of his entire crew—and the chances of reuniting with Victoria.

This second book of the series builds on the friendships and teamwork of Kauai's crew, this time in the face of several challenging missions and one potentially lethal encounter. It is a worthy sequel to Dagger Quest that sea adventure and military thriller fans will enjoy.


Bravely and Faithfully

A new captain’s first patrol turns into a fight for their lives

Young Coast Guard Lieutenant Haley Reardon has not even gotten her feet on the ground on her new patrol boat command when she finds herself and her crew supporting a dangerous covert mission. They must insert and retrieve a Defense Intelligence Agency operations team trying to seize a transnational criminal syndicate boss from a small Caribbean island controlled by a front company of the Chinese government and protected by a superior military force.

A honeymoon period would be lovely, but, as always, the world gets a vote.

Can Haley avoid leaving the DIA team to their fate, when attempting to rescue them could destroy her crew and boat and lead to war?

This third installment of the series conveys the humor, friendships, and teamwork of Kauai's crew from the previous books, with a new series of exciting actions from search and rescue to combat. The crew and their new skipper must come together for the toughest mission they have ever faced.

Excerpt (from Dagger Quest)

The 252s launch a chemical attack on Ben and Simmons on Resolution Key:

Ben had already spent one magazine and slammed another into the carbine, resuming fire. His pistol was also charged and ready. Suddenly, there was a pause in the firing, and all the targets were out of sight. Ben glanced left along the barrier and froze in shock. Bill was sprawled out face up behind Simmons, eyes open and blood leaking from a hole in his forehead.

Eyes front!” Simmons whispered urgently.

Ben whirled back to peer at the SUVs and whispered, “What are they doing?”

Retasking,” Simmons said, pulling a small package out of one of his pockets. “They’ll try to take us now for interrogation.”

What do we do?”

Don’t get taken.”


No, I mean, whatever you have to do, DO NOT get taken by these guys.” He looked Ben in the eyes. “Nothing would be worse, believe me.”


Some activity behind his SUV attracted Ben’s attention. There was a “whump” sound, and a grapefruit-sized object sailed overhead their position.

FACE DOWN!” Simmons shouted.

Ben turned and buried his face in the sand when a loud “pop” sounded overhead, followed by a “whir” and a stabbing pain in the back of his right leg. A severe muscle cramp-like pain spread over his body within seconds, and he could not move. He tried to shout in terror, but all he heard was, “Ahhhhhh!” He felt another prick in his neck, and the pain subsided, although he still could not seem to get his muscles to work.

It was a micro-flechette with a tetrodotoxin derivative. I’ve given you the antidote, but it’ll be about thirty seconds before it’s fully effective,” Simmons whispered as he pulled the now empty syrette out of Ben’s neck. “Fight it! They’ll be rushing us in a few seconds—you need to be shooting.”

About the Author

Edward Hochsmann is the pen name of a retired U. S. Coast Guard search and rescue and law enforcement professional. The veteran mariner, aviator, college professor, and defense analyst has added “author” to his list of experiences. Ed likes reading, police procedurals, contemporary music on the road, and classical music in the office. After a career traveling from Australia in the west to Italy and Germany in the east, Ed has settled into a quiet life in the Florida Panhandle to focus on writing (and not shoveling snow!)

Ed has three novels in the Cutter Kauai Sea Adventures series about a Coast Guard patrol boat assigned to "special" missions. Dagger Quest takes place in the Florida Keys and involves an aging Coast Guard patrol boat dragooned into a search for a lost Russian nuclear weapon in a time of international crisis. The second, Caribbean Counterstrike, features the same patrol boat and crew, now with equipment and training upgrades, sent to recover a deadly nerve gas from a murderous Caribbean drug cartel. Bravely and Faithfully has Kauai, under a new captain supporting a covert raid on a Caribbean island held by the Chinese.

Ed's second series, C6S: Patrol Force deals with a combined defense establishment and constabulary for a galactic economic empire called the Confederation of the Six Systems (C6S). Ed has published two novellas and a novel-length collection late last year.

Stay connected with Ed –





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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Join us for Charity Sunday, 25 September 2022! #CharitySundaySignup #Altruism #Marketing

Autumn Field image

Image by Alfred Derks from Pixabay

This coming Sunday, the 25th of September, I’ll be hosting this month’s Charity Sunday blog hop!

Charity Sunday is a meme designed to give authors and bloggers a chance to give back to the world—as well as, hopefully, to attract new readers.

How does it work? Each participant selects a favorite charity. Before Charity Sunday, you should prepare a blog post that: 1) talks about the charity and why you support it; 2) provides a link to the charity; 3) includes an excerpt from one of your books; 4) includes the code to show links to other participating blogs.

It’s fun if you can make the excerpt relate somehow to your chosen charity, but this isn’t required.

For every comment left on your post, you commit to giving some amount to the relevant charity. The specific charity and the amount to donate are up to you. You can set an upper limit to your donation if you want.

If you’d like to participate in the next Charity Sunday
on September 25th, just sign up using the Linky List below. Please be sure that the link you enter will lead directly to your Charity Sunday post, not just to the home page of your blog.

For more detailed instructions, go here:

You can get my
new 2022 Charity Sunday banner from here.

For an example
post, check out this link from my last Charity Sunday:

Monday, September 19, 2022

Review Tuesday: Dancing in Circles by Daryl Devore -- #YARomance #Prejudice #ScarredHero @DarylDevore

Dancing in Circles cover

Dancing in Circles by Daryl Devore

Self-published, 2022

Living in a luxurious house with her wealthy, loving family and studying at prestigious and exclusive Westland Preparatory School, Julie Anderson is aware that she lives a privileged life. She doesn’t really understand just how privileged, though, until she meets Robert Holiday, a gang leader from the dangerous, impoverished Shore area of town who has been forced to attend Westland Prep as an alternative to prison. Robert grew up on the streets, stealing to survive, selling drugs and turning tricks. He seems rough, cold and uncultured, but when Julie’s classmates ridicule, assault and falsely accuse him, he responds with surprising dignity and restraint.

Recognizing the prejudice shown by her friends, Julie comes to his defense, reaching out to claim him as a friend. Gradually he opens up to her and their friendship turns to love. But they face a myriad of obstacles as they try to navigate the twists and turns of their relationship. “Love conquers all” may be a convenient platitude, but both of them understand the risk. They’re smart enough to realize that two young people from such different worlds may never succeed in making a life together.

Daryl Devore’s young adult romance has more than a few echoes of Romeo and Juliet, and I half-expected it to end in tragedy. That’s not exactly the case, but I should warn readers that this book is too realistic to offer a happily ever after. Indeed, one of the things I most enjoyed about Dancing in Circles is the fact that it does not take the easy way out. Robert and Julie find love, but they’re both aware that their happiness is fragile. Both society and personal history will pull them apart.

Though Robert proves his worth and is accepted into Julie’s family, nothing can erase the scars of his past. He’s prickly and sensitive, moody and occasionally violent. He misinterprets kindness and expects rejection. Meanwhile, Julie’s a bit immature and understandably spoiled. Much as she adores Robert, there’s no way she can fully appreciate the hellish life he’s endured – not even after he introduces her to his gang and is nearly killed fighting a challenger who wants to oust him as leader.

Robert is a fantastic character. He’s a true hero, even though he’s no angel. He’s not easy to love, though. Julie does her best, but she’s just nineteen. I remember how intense and how confusing life was at that age.

In any case, though I’m hardly a young adult, I really enjoyed Dancing in Circles. Some of the details struck me as a bit implausible (for instance, the convenient existence of Westland University alongside Westland Prep and the remarkable open-mindedness of Julie’s family). There are also some problems with head-hopping. However, I cared enough about the characters to forgive the book its flaws. The novel is an emotional roller coaster, with some of the most romantic scenes I’ve ever read as well as wrenching sorrow. I really wanted Julie and Robert to find long-term happiness together. Perhaps they will in the next book in the series.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, with no commitment to review.