Wrap-Up Wednesday | November

An early Wrap-Up Wednesday this month, but next Wednesday is December 1st, so we’ll just have to live with it 😊

This month, I’ve read a lot. I sort of checked out of social media for a bit and just read. I’ve read, not all but a big part of my WIPs – it was fun! Then, as I told Nell and Ally from the morning office, I didn’t have the energy to read anything new, so I’ve reread old stories. When I was younger, I never reread books, I just wanted to move on to the next one. Now I find it restful to reread stories. I know what’s gonna happen, I know it’s gonna be good, and I can skim if there is a scene I don’t like LOL

We have a sauna, and I love to read while I’m there, but you can’t bring your phone into a sauna, so I’m grabbing random books from the bookshelf. And since I’ve become wiser every time I’ve moved, I’ve stopped buying print books – they take up too much room and are too heavy to carry. But many of the books I still have in paperback are the old paranormal romances, mainly M/F. It’s The Black Dagger Brotherhood, Anita Blake, Nighthuntress, and other series. This month, I was in the mood for some Sookie Stackhouse (The Southern Vampire Mysteries). I’ve had great fun revisiting Bon Temps, and several times I’ve stopped just to tell hubby how much better the books are compared to the True Blood series. I skipped the first three books since I never was on team Bill 😆

But, my rereading frenzy didn’t stop with ten Sookie Stackhouse books. I read a few others too.

Freighter Flights (Freighter Flights 1) by Drew Zachary

I was talking to Ally (A.L. Lester) about the Claimings series by Lyn Gala and thought to myself that I’m gonna read them again. I curled up on the sofa with a cup of tea, and opened the book app on my phone – the Calimings books weren’t there. But by then I was set on reading some Sci-Fi and in the library was Freighter Flights. It’s not the same, no aliens, but it’s sci-fi smut with light kink and I didn’t mind. I’ve read it before, so I knew what I was getting into. I don’t think this is available anymore.

Freighter FlightsWill is the hot shot pilot and second in command on the Arillia, a pretty little cargo ship making runs just this side of legal. When they lose their engineer, Will goes on the hunt in spacedock for a new one. What he finds is Tab, a gruff, scarred man who can get the job done. For Tab, the Arillia is a job, a good one at that, and if the pilot makes him growl and want more than he should, well it sure beats starving. The sparks fly between them and they begin to care, whether they want to or not. If they can survive their pasts, space pirates and nearly being blasted out of space, they just might be able to survive each other.

The Claimings Series by Lyn Gala

I dug up the books, not on my laptop where I thought I’d stored them, but on a portable hard drive – I’ve changed laptop since I last read them. Still awesome! I love Ondry. I read the first three, or the first two and the prelude (which I’m unsure of if it’s still around.)

Prelude to Claimings, Tails and Other Alien Artifacts

Before Liam had a new commander who openly distrusted him, before Ondry earned his ka status, there were two traders. Ye Ondry wants to earn status, and he is curious about this new human. Liam has just arrived on the planet and he’s trying to figure out these aliens who supposedly have good metals to trade. Neither of them suspects that a chance trade and a few pots knocked off a table could lead their lives and their fates to intertwine.

Note:This free story is a prequel to the story of Ondry and Liam that details how they met. As such, it’s not a romance. 

Claimings, Tails and Other Alien Artifacts

Liam loves his life as a linguist and trader on the Rownt homeworld, but he has ignored his heart and sexual needs for years. After escaping the horrors of war, he wants a boring life. He won’t risk letting anyone come too close because he won’t risk letting anyone see his deeply submissive nature. For him, submission comes with pain. Life burned that lesson into his soul from a young age.

This fear keeps him from noticing that the Rownt trader Ondry cares for him. Ondry may not understand humans, but he recognizes a wounded soul, and his need to protect Liam is quickly outpacing his common sense. They may have laws, culture, and incompatible genitalia in their way, but Ondry knows that he can find a way to overcome all that if he can just overcome the ghosts of Liam’s past. Only then can he take possession of a man he has grown to respect.


Assimilation, Love, and other human oddities

Ondry and Liam have settled into a good life, but their trading is still tied up with humans, and humans are always messy. When political changes at the human base lead Ondry to attempt a difficult trade, the pair find themselves entangled in human affairs. Liam wants to help the people he left and the worlds being torn apart. He also wants to serve Ondry with not only the pleasures of the nest but also by bringing human profits.

Ondry has no hope of understanding human psychology in general, he only knows that he will hold onto his palteia with the last breath in his body, and he’d like to keep his status and his wealth too. Unfortunately, new humans bring new conflicts and he is not sure how to protect Liam. He does know one thing that humans seem to constantly forget—that the peaceful Rownt are predators and when their families are threatened, Rownt become deadly killers. Liam is his family, and Ondry will protect him with his last breath… assuming that he can recognize the dangers in time to do so.


The Whiskey Den (House of Witches 2) by Amy Spector  

I read this at the end of October, but after I’d written the wrap-up post for the month. This is the second story in the House of Witches series, and I thought it was great. I liked it more than I liked the first, and now I’m waiting for book three to be written 😊 

The Whiskey DenBad things happen for a reason.

Adam Neive’s expiration date is closer than he would like, and it’s only a matter of time before he loses his position as a Ganymede counter-boy. When a friend helps him secure a part-time job at a whiskey bar, his only thought is to escape the looming shadow of the brothels. He never expected another run-in with the witch Sebastian.

Fourteen months after being booted from his coven, Sebastian has become convinced his brother’s death is connected to the wolves of the Whiskey Den. He just needs Adam’s help to discover how. But things are not always as they seem, and justice is more elusive than expected.

When an announcement from the House of Witches changes everything, Adam will need to choose between life within the safety of the king’s Monastery and the uncertainty of the city. While Sebastian will have to decide if his family’s honor and the life he thought he had lost forever is worth more than the life he’s only begun to realize he wants.


The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings (Black and Blue 1) by Lily Morton  

I’m almost embarrassed to say, but I haven’t read Lily Morton until now. I have a couple of books in my library, but I haven’t read them. When several people recommended The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings to me, I thought it was time. I’ve looked at it several times but always picked something else in the end. Not now, now I decided to read it, and OMG! Why didn’t I read it before?! Someone, more someones, should’ve told me it’s awesome. It’s AWESOME people! If you haven’t read it, do! 

So naturally (naturally, says the woman who seldom reads more than the first book in a series *snort*) I read the second book in the series, The Quiet House, too and it was even creepier *shudder* 

I really hope there will be more adventures with Levi and Blue. 

The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings

Levi Black is at a crossroads. After suffering a loss and breaking up a long-term relationship, he’s looking for a change. When he receives the news he’s inherited a house in York, he seizes the opportunity to begin a new chapter in his life.

However, when he gets there, he finds a house that has never kept its occupants for very long. Either through death or disinclination, no one stays there, and after a few days of living in the place, Levi can understand why. Strange noises can be heard at all hours of the day and night, and disturbing and scary things begin to happen to him. He never believed in ghosts before, but when events take a sinister turn, he knows he must look for help. He finds it in the unlikely form of the blue-haired leader of a ghost tour.

Blue Billings is edgy, beautiful, and lost. Utterly lost. He conceals so many secrets that some days it’s a miracle he remembers his own name. He knows that he should ignore Levi because he threatens the tenuous grip Blue has on survival. But there’s something about the kind-eyed man that draws Blue to him. Something that demands he stay and fight for him when he would normally run in the opposite direction.

As the two men investigate the shocking truth behind Levi’s house, they also discover a deep connection that defies the short length of time they’ve known each other. But when events escalate and his life is on the line, Levi has to wonder if it was wise to trust the Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings.


The Quiet House

Levi Black has mostly recovered from the events of a year ago. The only lingering effects are that he’s much more well known in York than he’d like to be, and he’s a lot more cautious about walking around his house naked. However, those events brought him the capricious and fascinating Blue, so he’s not complaining. On the contrary, he’s happy, in love, and looking forward to Blue finally moving in with him. And if sometimes he wonders what Blue sees in a boring cartoonist, he keeps that to himself.

Blue Billings is finally ready to throw off the memories of his past and move in with the person who means the most in the world to him. His psychic abilities have grown in the last year to his mentor Tom’s consternation, but Blue is determined to look on the bright side. He’s also focused on ignoring all the warning signs that he’s received lately.

However, even deeply buried secrets have a way of rising to the surface. And when a surprise from Blue’s past turns up and draws them away to a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors, Levi and Blue must fight for their survival once again.


I have the feeling I’ve forgotten a title or two – as you can see, I took a little break from being an author and reclaimed some reading time. But, I think it’s time to get back to getting things done. December is just around the corner and both Holly and Ofelia have releases, so…

Guest Post | How to Soothe a Dragon by Holly Day

Hello everyone! Holly here stealing a spot on the blog again 😊 Did you know that it’s National Button Day today? It is, and I happened to write a story to celebrate it. It might be hard to tell from the title, How to Soothe a Dragon, but it’s about a button.

I didn’t think about this story as a dystopian until I hopped onto Goodreads to grab the link, and the first line I saw was:

There’s a remarkably sweet love story set amidst a deeply dystopian world in this novella

I stared at it for a few seconds and thought: Yeah… They’re right. LOL

So we have a dystopian world where aliens have invaded Earth and rule through mind control – you’d think as the creator of this world, the word dystopian would’ve popped up in my mind, right? But nope, I’ve only been thinking about dragons, aliens, lemons, and buttons.

Derek is human, but where everyone else follows the Pacurians (the alien race) blindly, he is not affected by their mind control. He can sense when someone is trying to control him, but he doesn’t have to obey if he doesn’t want to.

His neighbour, Ocren, is Pacurian, and he’s always chasing Derek, which Derek finds terrifying. The problem is that Ocren is a cop, so Derek doesn’t think there is any point in reporting him.

Then one day when he comes home from work, there is a button on his living room floor. A black button. The same kind of buttons Ocren has on his uniform.


Derek unlocked the door to his apartment and stilled. Nothing was out of place, but the air was wrong. He didn’t know how he could tell, but something had the hairs on the back of his neck standing on end.

Slowly, he took a step away from the door and locked it. He hugged the bag of groceries to his chest. Lemons, he’d bought lemons with his last grocery money—and some beans and rice. He feared beans and rice would be what he’d live on for the coming week, and then he’d die. A bit dramatic perhaps, but he had no money, and he had no work. How the hell would he live?

Panic closed in on him. He’d have to leave, and with no income, he wouldn’t be able to find another place to live. Casey would let him sleep at her place for a few nights, but he couldn’t move in. Her apartment was tiny.

He put the bag on the kitchen table and pulled out one of the chairs. Right as he sat, the light from the living room window reflected on something on the floor. He stared. Had he dropped something? For a few seconds, he didn’t move, but then got up and stepped closer to whatever it was.

The air refused to move out of his lungs as he stared at the button. It was a few feet from the window, but it could’ve come from someone squeezing through and getting caught on the window frame.

A Pacurian had been in his apartment.

If he remembered correctly, their buttons were the same color as their uniforms. There were some golden details, but the primary color was the same as the uniform.

The button on his floor was black—a police uniform button.

A cop had broken into his apartment, and there was only one individual wearing black who knew where he lived. Since nothing was taken or out of place, he had no idea what Ocren had been doing there, but it had to end. He had to be able to come and go without fear of getting eaten by his neighbor—not that he’d be living here for much longer. And said neighbor had to respect his boundaries. Being a cop didn’t give him the right to break into Derek’s apartment.

He grabbed a lemon, cut it in half, and opened his window. If Casey was wrong about the lemons, Ocren would get a good laugh, and then he’d kill Derek, but this had to end.

His legs were unsteady as he walked down the grid stair to Ocren’s apartment. With a deep breath, he stopped at the landing outside his living room window and squeezed the lemon so the juice trickled through his fingers.

Ocren was there. His green eyes bore into Derek, his dark skin was duller than he’d ever seen it, and the little ridges the Pacurians had where humans had eyebrows stood out like horns. They were similar to humans—lips, nose, the shape of their eyes, everything was the same. But they were bigger, and they had those little horns almost as lizards did. Ocren had one on each cheekbone too—most of the others didn’t.

And the eye color was wrong. Pacurians had different eye colors, as humans had, but they were more intense. And at times they glowed.

Ocren’s glowed a vivid green.

Derek held up a lemon, waiting for Ocren to laugh at him—he didn’t.

Seconds went by and neither of them moved. Derek’s heart banged hard in his chest, but he had no idea what he’d do now.

With the glass between them, they continued to stare at each other. The November chill was creeping into Derek’s core.

An eternity went by, and Ocren continued to stare at him. Slowly, he reached for the sash lift and pushed the window up.


The growly tone made him shiver more. “Stay out of my apartment, fucker.”

Ocren raised his lips like an aggressive dog, showing off piranha teeth identical to those he’d seen at the bar. What the hell was wrong with the world? Had they suddenly been invaded by crazed aliens? Not suddenly—they’d been invading since long before Derek was born, and he’d always known they were far more dangerous than they’d let on, hadn’t he?


howtosootheadragonDerek Herman is living a nightmare. Long before he was born, the planet was taken over by a mind-controlling alien race, and everyone is affected except for him. Derek does his best not to draw attention to himself, but it’s not going well.

Ocren Starburst is obsessed with his human neighbor. Every time he sees Derek, he wants nothing more than to grab him, hold him, and keep him forever. And four years of chasing him up the stairs in their apartment building has resulted in Derek refusing to even acknowledge his existence. That is, until Derek accuses Ocren of breaking into his apartment.

Derek found a button on his living room floor, the same kind of button Ocren wears on his police uniform. And while Ocren hasn’t broken in, he knows the button means someone has. Ocren’s race has kept their shape-shifting abilities secret for years, but now his other form wants out to slaughter everyone that dares to get too close to Derek. And staying in control proves hard when threats toward Derek increase.

Will they be able to keep Derek safe without Ocren losing control of his dragon self?

Buy links:

Gay Paranormal Romance: 28,195 words

JMS Books :: Amazon :: www.books2read.com/HowToSootheADragon

How to Soothe a Dragon

About Holly

According to Holly Day, no day should go by uncelebrated and all of them deserve a story. If she’ll have the time to write them remains to be seen. She lives in rural Sweden with a husband, four children, more pets than most, and wouldn’t last a day without coffee.

Holly gets up at the crack of dawn most days of the week to write gay romance stories. She believes in equality in fiction and in real life. Diversity matters. Representation matters. Visibility matters. We can change the world one story at the time.

Connect with Holly on social media:

Website :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Pinterest :: BookBub :: Goodreads :: Instagram

Wrap-Up Wednesday | September

Another month has gone by, can you believe it?! I can’t 🤯 I’ve been dreading writing this post. In the last two weeks, I haven’t gone near a book that hasn’t been my own. I’ve been panic-writing, editing, dealt with The Dragon Next Door (Holly’s) release.  

It’s been hectic, but I’m really close to pulling this off, guys! Deadline is tomorrow, and I’m just gonna read through How to Soothe a Dragon one more time before sending it in. Then Holly will have 12 releases this year. I think I deserve a bottle of wine and some chocolate. 

But, this post is about other people’s books, not mine, so let’s focus! I thought I’d have to panic read a couple of short stories simply to be able to write a post, and it probably would have benefitted from me doing that, but checking my notes, I realised I actually have read a book or two this month – yay me! 😄 

Forsaken Fae: Book Two (Forsaken Fae 2) by R.A. Steffan  

Remember how I read the first in this series last month and was surprised I liked it? I continued the series, I hardly ever continue a series! I read the first book, then I get tired. I may love the book, but a series is too much of a commitment LOL 

Anyway, I enjoy the second book too, maybe not as much as the first, but it was good. When it ended, I was annoyed because it ended on a cliffhanger, and I fully intended to grab the last book in the series, but… Maybe I will once my stress levels down a bit, now it felt like… too much of a commitment 😆 

Forsaken Far R.A. SteffanLen needs to track down a handbasket ASAP, because things are going straight to hell.

In the aftermath of the disastrous battle to close the rip between realms, he’s stuck with a Fae who seems convinced that the only way to fix things is to leap directly into the maw of the Wild Hunt.

Len recognizes martyrdom when he sees it, and he’s not about to let Albigard of the Unseelie sacrifice himself on the altar of his own guilty conscience.

After the events of the past few weeks, it’s looking more and more like Len’s ghosts may hold the key that can lock the Hunt back inside its box of horrors. But when circumstances trap him alone with Albigard in a dead pocket realm, it becomes increasingly clear that the Fae is every bit as damaged inside as Len is.

Before they can stop the Hunt and save the lost souls of their closest friends, they’ll have to glue their broken edges together somehow. Only then will Len have a shot at undoing the damage that’s already been done.

He just has to keep himself—and Albigard—alive long enough to get the chance.


Crushing on Him (Men of Summer 0.5) by Lauren Blakely 

I thought I’d give a sportsbook a try since they seem to be everywhere these days… I grabbed a short one. I knew it was a prequel to a longer story, but it felt a bit like a sample. Not saying it was bad, but not much was resolved, and… well sports. 

Crushing on Him Forbidden. Off limits. Dangerous.

This desire for my teammate was all of those things. For the last few years I crushed on him safely, from a distance.

Then on the first day of spring training, I come face-to-face with him for the first time and when our eyes meet and linger, it’s a whole new ball game. A much bigger risk too, one that can threaten my brand new career. But, he’s always been irresistible…

CRUSHING ON HIM is a prequel in the Men of Summer series and it leads into the full-length novel SCORING WITH HIM. You don’t have to read CRUSHING ON HIM to enjoy SCORING WITH HIM, but you’ll likely enjoy this story before the story!


Unnatural (The Wrong Alpha 1) by Alessandra Hazard  

Alpha-Omega, aliens, arranged marriage and lots of possessiveness. See, I’m usually fine with growly alphas, heck I write a lot of growly alphas, and I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with this – it has a good rating on Goodreads, and many rave over it – but it didn’t grab me. Don’t let that put you off from giving it a go if you think this is a book for you, though. 

Unnatural AlphaA planet at war. Two alphas forced into a political marriage. Attraction that defies all reason and logic… Or does it?

The Kingdom of Pelugia and the Republic of Kadar have been at war for decades. Peace isn’t popular, but the planet can’t survive without it.

Forced to marry an enemy prince for the sake of peace, Senator Royce Cleghorn doesn’t like his husband, his alpha scent, or his damned pretty blue eyes. More than anything, Royce hates what Haydn makes him become: a primitive alpha cliché who’ll do anything to mark his territory, even if that territory is his alpha husband. Royce likes omegas; he isn’t into alphas, no matter how pretty their eyes are. It’s just a weird territorial instinct. It has to be.

Prince Haydn has always tried to be the perfect alpha his father wants him to be. He’s the heir to the throne. He’s a war general. He isn’t supposed to bare his throat to an enemy alpha–and it isn’t supposed to feel so good. Everyone knows a marriage between two alphas is a recipe for disaster. He isn’t supposed to crave his alpha husband–their marriage is just a political arrangement, nothing more.

But when disaster strikes and loyalties are tested, which bond will be the strongest: their marriage, or their allegiances?


One of Those Days by Zathyn Priest 

This is a re-read. I was checking if it was still available in the shops because I was talking about it in another blog post – it is, and it’s free. I ended up reading it in the ‘read online’ over at Smashwords. It’s a short get-together-with-your-childhood-bully story. Funny and easy to read, but glossing over years of trauma a bit too easily. Still, it’s a short story, and the aim isn’t to dig into the hurt but to describe one of those days. 

One of Those DaysFrom the moment Alex woke up that morning, he knew it would be one of those days. Things go from bad to worse when his old high school bully, Ric, shows up at the chiropractic clinic where Alex works. Torn between having to fix Ric’s neck and wanting to break it, Alex sees the appointment through with the hope he’ll never cross paths with Ric again. But, Ric has other ideas.