Saturday, December 16, 2017

What is on the Reading Radar: Holiday Edition #TBR #WishList

Welcome to the Reading Radar's Holiday reading list! 

A couple of weeks ago I asked for holiday recommendations with the catch that it could be anything but contemporary. There are a ton of holiday stories set in the modern world, which is awesome, but for a reader like me who prefers Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Paranormal, I wanted to see more holiday stories in the genre I love to read. 

This is the result when I asked for recommendations on Facebook. There were enough of them to cover both today and last Saturday. (here's last week's link.) 


Title: Magical Rescue
SeriesShifting through the Snow
Author(s): Laura Baumbach
Publisher: MLR Press

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Shifter / Gay /

Notes: The MRL website says due Out 12/2017 but its not up for sale yet.

BlurbChristmas is only a few days away. New Year's Eve, with all its terminal finality, would, thankfully, bring an end to Daniel Sherman's traumatic, pain-filled, empty year. Its seem like an appropriate time to bring everything in his world to a close. Spirit broken, Daniel's plan is to enjoy maybe his last holiday in the icy cold of his beloved wilderness. It would be a comfort to end his days wrapped in the peace and solitude of the mountain -- If only he didn't feel like he was being watched, a feeling he'd had since his accident. Maybe adventure wasn't out of his life yet.

Title: Love Shift
SeriesShifting through the Snow
Author(s): Neil S. Plakcy 
Length: 83 pages
PublisherMLR Press (December 15, 2017)

Genre: Romance / Paranormal /  Shifter / Gay /


BlurbCan a snow-loving Prancer give up shifting and service to Santa to follow his true love to Florida?

Peter's ability to shift into reindeer form appeared at puberty. As a Prancer, he's in service to Santa, and working as an EMT in rural Vermont when he's not delivering gifts to kids around the world. But when his boyfriend needs to relocate to Florida, where it's too hot for Peter's shift to take place, which will he sacrifice -- his love or his service?

Title: Pushing Phillip
Series: Common Powers
Author(s): Lynn Lorenz
Length: 286 pages
Publisher: Pride Publishing (December 19, 2017)

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Gay /


BlurbBook four in the Common Powers series!

Jobless, homeless and alone at Christmas—can his new friends keep him from running?

When the guys decide to spend Christmas together at the ranch, it’s going to be a time for catching up with each couple. Rush and Brian are hosting, Edward and Jack will be there and Mitchell and Sammi are coming in from Houston.

When Brian and Rush take Phillip, a newly outed gay man, under their wings, they discover he’s got a power. But this power is one that makes all of them uncomfortable, along with the young man himself as issues of trust arise.

Phillip finds himself jobless, homeless and alone for the holiday, and he’s run out of options. Just when he’s ready to move on, he finds new friends who are ready to give him a second chance at his dreams. Along with a second chance at love.

Title: Of Christmas Past
Author(s): Teryn Day
Length: 44 pages
PublisherNineStar Press (December 5, 2016)

Genre: Romance /  Paranormal / Spirits / Bisexual / Ace/Aro / 


BlurbJonathan Barthes has always been able to see—and speak to—the dead. Unfortunately, restless spirits tend to be somewhat needy, and his “gift” has cost him everything from a promising acceptance into med school to a long string of failed relationships. Unable to find a purpose after a terrible autumn semester, he accepts his aunt’s offer to become the caretaker of one of the estates his great-uncle left her over the holidays. He expected the restless spirits: the little girl, the mean governess, and he especially expected the ghost of the vindictive young man who calls himself Cecil.

Cecil's handsome enough when he’s not making the mirrors bleed or the radios speak in tongues. As the year crawls on and reaches its end, however, Jon begins to help Cecil uncover the mystery of his life—and his tragic death. Jon had a dream of helping the living—but maybe, just this once, when he helps a ghost, that ghost will help him back.

Title: North Pole City Tales bundle
Author(s): Charlie Cochet
Length: 380 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Gay 

Notes: Releases 12/20

BlurbCity Tales Anthology: The Complete Set

Everyone has heard of Santa’s home in the frozen north, where elves and reindeer work hard to ensure Christmas cheer for the world. But that’s only part of the story….

All is not sparkly snowflakes and sweet candy canes in Mayor Kringle’s city. Sometimes it takes more than a little courage to keep the workshops running smoothly and enemies at bay. When their duties are complete, the Rein Dear, elves, winter spirits, and a legendary figure or two are ready to spice up their chilly nights—and hopefully find a happily ever after along the way. Sometimes it’s waiting in the last place they expected.

With adventure, magic, and romance hot enough to melt the polar ice, these holidays won’t soon be forgotten. Welcome to North Pole City, where love is the greatest gift of all.

Title: My House Boy Elf
Author(s): Kimberly Hunter
Length: 26 pages

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Magic / Gay


BlurbIt's the Christmas season and two of Santa's elves have a very special mission. Bring two deserving souls together for the ultimate gift ~ True love. 

Trace Moore has been alone and on his own since his parents kicked him out at age seventeen. Now 22, the only thing he wants for Christmas is a new place to live since he's being evicted.

Donovan Eliot has wealth, respect, and security. What he doesn't have is someone to share it all with. But losing his lover and best friend to prostate cancer three years prior has made Donovan wary of getting back into the dating pool.

That all changes when he spies a gorgeous little man dressed as a sexy elf working in his club.

The attraction is instant for these two, but can old wounds and insecurities be overcome?

With a sprinkle of Christmas magic, anything is possible.

Title: Magic & Mistletoe
Author(s): Annabelle Jacobs
Length: 114 pages

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Magic / Gay / 


BlurbChristmas is Harry’s favourite time of the year, but it looks like he’ll be spending it alone. When it comes to the men he fancies, his luck is non-existent. Harry’s nerves always get the better of him—especially when he tries to talk to Andrew, the hot guy downstairs.

Everything changes when Harry meets a mysterious girl in the woods who professes to be a witch. He dismisses her claims, but when odd things start happening to him, he has to reconsider.

Andrew was attracted to Harry from the start, but their awkward encounters put him off. All goes well until Harry opens his mouth—and ruins it with his stupidity and silly comments. When Harry suddenly becomes more relaxed and they have a proper conversation, Andrew realises his first impression was wrong. As the days count down to December 25, they get swept up in the Christmas spirit and their relationship moves faster than either expected.

A little winter magic might have been the push they needed, but Harry worries that when it wears off, he’ll no longer be the man Andrew wants.

Title: Reindeer of a Gift
SeriesShifting through the Snow
Author(s): Nina R. Schuntz
Length: 25 pages
PublisherMLR Press

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Shifter / Gay /


BlurbGetting hurt on Christmas Eve hurt Prince's pride more than his ankle, but he never imagined to fall off the roof of a such a hottie.

Prince knew his ankle was tender so it was no surprise when he slipped off the roof during deliveries. The team and Santa continued on, leaving Prince to wait until morning for a lift a home. The broken family in the home welcomed him inside and Prince found his accident was exactly the present the single father needed.

Title: Rudolph's Reins
SeriesShifting through the Snow
Author(s): Pelaam
Length: 77 pages
PublisherMLR Press

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Shifter / Gay /


BlurbA reunion of friends leads Clevelly to a magical revelation.

Rudy makes a surprise visit to an old friend, Casey. Rudy, and his friends Nic and Jack haven't seen Casey since he and Jared admitted their love. But all doesn't go smoothly.

A misunderstanding by Jared needs addressing, and Rudy's just the one to put things straight.

At the offer of attending reindeer games with Rudy, and seeing Nic, and Jack again, the couple quickly agree, and Jared arranges to be met at the airport by his cousin Clevelly.

When Rudy meets Clevelly, he immediately recognizes the man as his mate. But since Rudy is a reindeer shifter, and Clevelly a human, courtship proceeds slowly.

When danger strikes, will Clevelly accept Rudy for who, and what he is, will he don Rudolph's reins?

Title: Rudy
SeriesShifting through the Snow
Author(s): Terry Poole
Length: 158 pages
PublisherMLR Press

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Shifter / Gay /


BlurbHated by his family for simply existing, Rudy never thought a blind date mix-up would change his future and possibly save his life in this modern retelling of Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.

Hated by his family for being a living reminder of his father's infidelity, Rudy never expected that a blind date mix-up would change his life in this modern retelling of Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.

Clay, an engineer fresh out of the military, is the answer to Rudy's dreams, becoming Rudy's co-worker, protector, and lover all rolled into one gorgeous package.

Not only do they mesh well together to bring Rudy's vision to life, neither can deny the overwhelming attraction that sizzles between them. An attraction that almost ends before it can begin because of a misunderstanding that leads to Clay being in jail for assault.

Filled with hate, Donny, Rudy's older half-brother, tries to destroy him and stop Rudy from saving his grandfather's toy factory.

Only Clay can save Rudy's life and the toy factory, if he's not too late.

Title: Safety Protocols for Human Holidays
Author(s): Angel Martinez
Length: 55 pages
PublisherMischief Corner Books, LLC; 1 edition (December 9, 2017)

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Lesbian / 


BlurbAs a security officer on an interspecies ship, Growlan Raskli's experienced in heading off species-specific aberrant behaviors in order to keep the peace. But when her captain asks her to find out what's bothering their sole human crew member, Raskli's out of her depths. She hardly knows anything about humans and she's not a psych doctor.

Something's definitely upset Human Jen, something to do with human holidays. The more time Raskli spends studying humans and interacting with the intriguing Human Jen, the more personal the assignment becomes. Determined to lift the dark cloud from Human Jen, Raskli will do whatever it takes—within safe parameters, of course.

Title: Snow Creek Mountain
SeriesShifting through the Snow
Author(s): Shiloh Saddler
Length: 57 pages
PublisherMLR Press

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Shifter / Gay /


BlurbWhen Marshal Oden is left for dead on Snow Creek Mountain he never thought his rescuer would be a reindeer shifter.

Two outlaws take Marshal Oden prisoner and leave him to freeze on Snow Creek Mountain. Marshal Oden tries to find shelter and build a fire, but he knows his time is running out. He sends up a silent plea for help, and is shocked and relieved when a mountain man comes to his aid.

Horatio Kringle is a member of K herd. He knows he’s different from the other reindeer shifters-he prefers men. He hasn’t come out yet, but when he saves Marshal Oden he knows the lawman is meant to be his mate.

The two of them are vastly opposite. Can they find a way to make this sudden pairing work?

Title: The Elves of Christmas
Author(s): Wendy Rathbone
Length: 77 pages
PublisherEye Scry (November 19, 2017)

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Gay


BlurbTwo months before Christmas at the North Pole, Santa’s workshop bustles with activity. Santa is coming early with only half a day’s warning to inspect the elves’ progress!

Pepper, who designs and makes special one-of-a-kind dolls, is ordered by his boss Jingle to take time out of toy-making to wash three stories of windows and decorate every room in preparation for Santa. He assigns Ice to assist. But for Pepper, it’s a bit of a problem. Ice is a surly elf, even disrespectful toward Santa, while Pepper reveres Santa to the point of hero-worship.An unlikely pairing, they must work together in order to finish before Santa’s arrival.

But can two elves with conflicting value systems even get along?

Amidst secrets, resentments, toasted cheese sandwiches, snowman building, a blizzard, and Santa’s nerve-wracking visit, Pepper and Ice discover a mutual attraction. If they can overcome wrongful assumptions and failed expectations, love might just take its natural course and lead them to a Merry Christmas.

Title: The Holly Groweth Green
Author(s): Amy Rae Durreson
Length: 62 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Historical / Fantasy / Gay


BlurbWhen wounded doctor Laurence Payne is stranded in the snowy English countryside on Christmas Eve, 1946, he is surprised to stumble upon Mistle Cottage and its mysterious inhabitant. Avery claims to be an Elizabethan wizard, and Laurence struggles to explain away the atmosphere of the cottage as mere coincidence and trickery. He spends a magical twelve days of Christmas celebrating with Avery, but then wakes to find his lover has vanished and the cottage has fallen to ruin overnight.

Laurence’s investigations lead him to the story of an ancient fairy curse—Avery is doomed to spend only Christmas Eve to Twelfth Night in human form until he finds true love. Laurence sets out to give Avery the greatest gift of all—his heart and with it the chance to live for more than the fleeting winter weeks he’s been sentenced to.

Title: The Reindeer Conundrum
SeriesShifting through the Snow
Author(s): Mark Zubro
Length: 95 pages
PublisherMLR Press

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Shifter / Gay


BlurbRudolph must find the true message of Christmas to save Santa and the holiday for the world. During the frantic search for the missing Santa, we learn the heart and soul about what is important in the way we deal with each other, including among the magical reindeer, elves, and people - all the denizens of the North Pole. Who they are and how they care for each other leads to the truth and about what we all need to value.

Title: The Werewolf before Christmas
Author(s): Charles Payseur
Length: 40 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Aliens / Gay /


BlurbRay seems like the perfect boyfriend—he’s gorgeous, incredibly romantic, and has a mechanical suit he invented to become the dastardly MantaRay. For Alec, who also spends his nights making life difficult for do-gooders everywhere, it’s a match made in supervillain heaven. Except that Ray is a bit too into the hit soap opera All My Werewolves. When tempers flare during what’s supposed to be a quiet night out, Alec nearly ruins everything over a stupid bet with an alien gorilla.

Title: Vampire Claus
Author(s): Robert Winter
Length: 112 pages

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Vampire / Gay /


BlurbA lonely vampire and a fearless mortal with no instinct for self-preservation. Isn't that what Christmas is all about?

'Twas the night before Christmas, but what's stirring is a little more dangerous than a mouse.

Taviano is nearly two hundred years old and never wakes in the same place twice. Weary and jaded, the vampire still indulges in memories of childhood Christmases in Naples. He lingers in shadow, spying on mortals as they enjoy the holiday.

When Taviano spots a handsome young man in Boston loaded down with presents and about to be mugged, he can't help but intervene. Soon he's talking to joyous, naïve, strong-willed and funny Paul, a short-order cook who raised funds to buy Christmas presents for LGBTQ children. Before he knows what's happened, Taviano is wrapped up in Paul's arms and then in his schemes to get the presents delivered by Christmas morning.

A vampire turned into a Christmas elf... What could go wrong?

Vampire Claus is a 30,000-word standalone gay romance about a lonely vampire and a fearless mortal with no instinct for self-preservation. A heartwarming ending, no cliffhanger, and a young man who discovers he has a thing for fangs. Isn't that what Christmas is all about?

Title: When Christmas Lights are Blue
Author(s): Harper Fox
Length: 47 pages

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Spirits / Gay

Notes: and this is on Audible

BlurbRob and Karan are a great couple, but they’re tearing apart under the pressures of modern life. They both work as paramedics for the NHS, and just before Christmas, their plans for the future are in jeopardy.

Rob knows he’s on thin ice with the man he loves more than anyone else in the world, and he’s at a loss to fix it. The job is getting tougher, and Karan, who’s of Sikh descent, is facing violence on the streets in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the EU. Financial problems, hostile families on both sides... Their troubles seem insoluble.

An emergency callout stops them on the brink of a final and heartbreaking row. In a forest on the bleak northern hills, Rob loses control of the van in the snow. The only gleam of light comes from a strange, lonely house among the trees. Lost, cut off from the world they know, can they find their way back to one another? It’s the longest night of the year, and spirits are abroad among the pines...

Title: Wild R Christmas
Series: Wild R Farms Series
Author(s): Silvia Violet
Length:  142 pages

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Alternate World / Shifters / Western / Gay /


BlurbWild R Farm Book 7

Every year Cole Wilder hosts a big Christmas dinner for all the employees of Wild R Farm, and every year he takes on too many responsibilities then ends up exhausted and even more cranky than usual. This year, Cole’s husband, Jonah, is determined things will be different. Not only is he having their bathroom renovated to add a little luxury to their lives, he’s got plans to whisk Cole away for a Christmas vacation. But getting Cole to agree to let their ebullient friend, Tristan, organize Christmas at the farm is easier said than done.

Tristan promises to take perfect care of the farm, but as soon as Cole and Jonah leave, chaos ensues—couples fighting, construction disasters, kitchen woes. The only thing keeping confessed Christmas-o-phile, Tristan, merry is his boyfriend, Wes. He knows exactly what Tristan needs so they can pull the whole Wild R Farm crew together for the happiest Christmas they’ve ever had.

Title: Winter Knights
Series: Men Under the Mistletoe
Author(s): Harper Fox
Length: 107 pages
PublisherCarina Press (December 5, 2011)

Genre: Romance / Magical Realism / Gay /


BlurbHistorian Gavin Lowden is in Northumberland on Christmas Eve for two reasons: to find evidence of a romantic bond between Arthur and Lancelot, and to finally tell his partner Piers that he loves him. Piers has promised to come clean with his conservative family and join Gavin for their first holiday as a couple, but at the last minute, he bails. Devastated, Gavin heads out onto the moors alone, just as snow begins to fall...

Gavin stumbles into an underground chamber, where strange happenings cause him to question what is real and what is fantasy. He's found by two mysterious men who offer him a bed for the night—and awaken him to nuances of erotic pleasure he didn't know existed. Pleasure he hopes to share with Piers.

When Piers learns that Gavin has gone missing, he is desperate to find him. He knows now breaking up was a terrible mistake, and he's ready to take the next step in their relationship—if it's not already too late.

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

#PactDays - Erdaian #ValespianPact

Welcome to Thursday's Pact Days! Today, we have the Erdaian.

This is a species that hasn't been introduced yet. Like the Dire D'Noss, the Erdaian are also a favorite of mine.

A couple of side notes: For a list of species that have been posted so far, see the The People of Valespia pageI'm placing these in alphabetical order so I won't unintentionally place importance on any specie. I will leave off information on the species that will spoil future books. My standard sheet has the same categories for all species. So there will be blank categories just because that species didn't need them.


Species: Erdaian (enhanced humans)
Planet: Gaia
Other races on the planet:
Planetary Terrain:
Capitol: Anthropoi (Greek meaning both men and women)
Patron Ryo Pardeep:

Description: average height range 5'11" to 7'4". Humanoid in shape but more robust, heavy muscles and very dense bones. Darker skin tones. Light colored hair is unusual among them.

Advance subspecies of human, and technologically more advanced than Terrens. The Erdaian despise humans/Terrens. If asked, they aren't humans, barely acknowledging a shared origin with the Terrens.

Survival of the fittest – dirty tricks – purists.

History: The Stonewall Corporation collected mutant children from the wasteland planets, selecting only the mutations they found useful for advancement and the benefit of the people under the Company's umbrella. Stonewall Corporation was a smaller company, not a part of the Big Four and they were looking for a leg up so they could initiate a hostile takeover of one of the Four. Tapping the genetics of those mutated humans and figuring out how to give the enhancement to people of their choosing created a torturous environment for these ill-gotten children to live in.

Ten years later, these children—now teenagers—escaped from Stonewall, taking all the captives with them and destroying everything in their path. They stole what they could, including starships and escaped to one of the worlds, Gaia, controlled by Stonewall. One of the ships they stole was an experimental, faster than light starship.

They kicked the Stonewall colonists off Gaia and sent out ships to gather more of the mutated to them. The Company had been putting people on planets/moons that weren't fully terraformed, hoping that those who survived would have a useful mutation, deeming them expendable. Later, when other humans arrived on the terreaformed world, the occupants were pushed to the side, having their work and homes taken from them. This ill treatment gave the Erdaians the upper hand when they went to speak to these forsaken colonists. They were ruthless in their bid to survive and sided with the Erdaians. The Company then hired mercenaries to hunt the mutated to put them down.

When the displaced colonist were brought to Gaia, they challenged the teenagers and got their asses whipped. Those original teenagers developed a ruling society that still stands, the family houses are strong pillars to this day. The leaders of these Houses are the deadliest of the Erdaians called Titans.

Occasionally, the Houses will see a person and recognize their greatness. Instead of challenging them to prove their strength, the Houses will name the person "progenitor" and start a new house. People fight for the honor to enter the new progenitor's House.

They believe in the survival of the fittest within their own society. Those who are weaker are not a member of a House but stay in the general population. But even those in the general population live by The Code. Conflict is an accepted part of life and many Erdaians have the right to challenge another to ritual combat, which cannot be interfered with by others and is always to the death. In such situations, it isn't uncommon for entire families to challenge each other. In such fights, both sides are expected to use all the resources at their disposal, including dirty tricks and other subterfuge.

Despite this, Erdaians are quite tolerant of the short comings of other species, since they regard all others as inherently inferior, albeit potentially useful in a limited way. They are strict about their breeding and won't consider mating outside their own society.

The only race they don't truly trust are the Terrens. They actively hate them.

They work with the T'Sali, acting as front men for the T'Sali. Responsible for several rebellions that lead to the Free Trade Organization, which they eventually joined.

Their tech is superior to the Terrens.

Common Occupation: military, engineer, scientist

Government Systems: Council of Houses, one Speaker is the Proeliator

Current Leader: Proeliator
State House: Othrys

Council of Neighn of Member: none as of yet

Allies: The Erdaians have recently been seeking an alliance with the Asani for trade in sea pearls and other ocean delicacies. They have been politely turning away offers from the Gaziniti.

Current allies: T'Sali, Dire D'Noss, Chi-Lin, Chtichlian, Aetherian,

Star System: Spartan Star System

Other planets occupied by species:

Military Leader:

Military designation: Carnali, Mortali

Cultural names and terms specific to species:

Progenitor – Primogenator – Proeliator – Belligerator

Possible Names for Erdaians: Uranus, Mnemosyne, Tethys, Theia, Phoebe, Rhea, Themis, Oceanus, Hyperion, Coeus, Cronus, Crius, Iapetus, Helios, Selene, Eos, Lelantos, Asteria, Metis, Astraeus, Pallas, Perses, Zagreus

Space Station on Gaia: Tellus

Elite Houses – founding families

Gibborim (mightiest, a people who are valiant and great in stature)
Maccabbee (throwing off the yolk of slavery)
Bar Kokhba

The leaders of the Houses are titled Titans.
Their right hand is titled Belligerator (Latin for warrior)
Their leader is titled Proeliator

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Gentleman's Holiday On Pause

Hey guys! So I wanted to leave a quick note (that turned out to be not so quick) about the blog story, Gentleman's Holiday, I've been posting on Tuesdays. It is temporarily going on pause. It will be back on January 2nd but I wanted to give a reason why. 

As you know, I've been writing this by-the-seat-of-my-pants and it has evolved into something a bit different than I envisioned when I first started. I didn't do any character development or world building, just seeing where it would go. I start working on it in my spare time on Thursdays and by the next Tuesday it is posted. Even when I do have the characters developed and the world built, sometimes the first 10-15k of the story is an exercise in getting to know the characters, figuring what works and what doesn't and then altering things to support what's best. When pantsing that first part of the story is 100x worse.

Right now, I have a good idea what the plot is settling into being. With there being so many characters, it is going to take a few chapters to get them down. BUT while this is all happening 'organically', when I finally get a hang of the characters, their backstory, and what makes them tick, I have to go back to insert things that support that character... And those chapters have already been posted and shared, which leads me to the current issue.

While writing chapter six from Zane's POV, I was mulling over some options I'd read in some reference materials earlier in the week. I was rolling the plot ideas around while Zane is stalking a couple of creatures in a dark and cold forest when pieces of his background with both his relationship with his father and his assassin mentor fell into place. Which is GREAT but... the supporting material needs to be added to the prose PRIOR to this chapter. I think the best place to add this would be all the way back to chapter three.

Other authors with blogs stories who I've spoken to always recommended I have the story completed before splitting it up and sharing it. (Obviously, I ignored the advice otherwise I wouldn't have this conundrum. :-D) I acknowledge that having the characters mapped out before hand would have been key to keeping something like this from happening. Pantsing is fun. But this is the first time I've done it with the intention of posting the results days later. I thought I had a pretty good idea who Zane was and what his background entailed. If I had kept it contemporary and a short holiday erotic romance, what I had on Zane would've been more than sufficient. But since it evolved into a supernatural world, his background had holes. New questions popped up. Things like, had he encountered things before that boggled the mind? As observant as he is, had he ever seen hints of a otherworld? How would he react to a mythical being? Is there a figure in his past that would help anchor him as the changes to his perception of the world rocks his? 

So what I'm going to do is get ahead by having several chapters under my belt before I post more chapters on the blog again. It won't be too long. I figure I'll start putting them up again on January 2nd under the new title my Facebook group helped me to pick. Assassin's Retirement: Scion of Beowulf. The whole holiday wasn't working anymore. :-D 
I apologize for the inconvenience!

In the meantime, I'll have other posts ready to fill the slot. I've yet to do my, "What's on the writing schedule for 2018", and I have been compiling my list of, "Favorite reads of 2017". Also! Oh, I can't forget to tell you that on December 22nd I'll be at Rhys Ford's Coffee, Cats & Murder getting up to all kinds of shenanigans. Don't miss it!

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

What's On The Reading Radar: Holiday Edition #TBR #WishList

Welcome to the Reading Radar's Holiday reading list! 

A couple of weeks ago I asked for holiday recommendations with the catch that it could be anything but contemporary. There are a ton of holiday stories set in the modern world, which is awesome, but for a reader like me who prefers Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Paranormal, I wanted to see more holiday stories in the genre I love to read. 

This is the result when I asked for recommendations on Facebook. There were enough of them to cover both today and next Saturday. 

At the end of today's list, I'm also adding my favorite holidays reads that I reread often.


Title: The Solstice Prince
Series: Realms of Love, 1
Author(s)S.J. Himes
Length: 173 pages

Genre: Romance / Sweet / Gay / Fantasy /

Notes: I'm starting off with this one because I read it the day after it came out and really liked it but I doesn't fall into the reread list because I haven't reread it... yet. I will but probably not this month because I'm swamped! Great story!

BlurbRescued from slavers, healer novice Jaime Buchanan finds himself alone and free in Pyrderi, a kingdom of magic, mythical creatures, and a culture as open and kind as his homeland was cruel and close-minded.

Despite his rescue, Jaime is not left without scars, both mental and physical. Traumatized by his experience and hiding his gift, Jaime struggles to earn his place in the kitchens of Angharad Palace, the heart of Taliesin City. His former life as a student of the healing arts leaves him at a disadvantage in the kitchens, and his damaged state is becoming more apparent by the day.

One day, when necessity and fate intervene, Jaime meets someone unexpected—Prince Maxim, youngest son of the Pyrderian king, a sword master and a devastatingly kind man. Unaccustomed to powerful people with compassion and heart, Jaime flees. A cascade of events reveals Jaime’s hidden talents of healing, and he finds himself not in chains, but at the beginning of a new life.

This swift change of fortune opens Jaime up to new possibilities, including a smitten prince who cautiously courts Jaime, easing him away from his fears and reminding him that compassion and love can make him strong. The winter solstice is quickly approaching, and Prince Maxim shows Jaime the enjoyment and excitement to be found in a land that embraces the ice and cold, and the mysteries of all things magical. He learns to see the man under the royal mantle, and Maxim is more than even Jaime suspected.

The winter solstice is nigh when tragedy strikes, and Jaime learns that his past of grief and sorrow can be a pillar of strength for his solstice prince. If there is one thing that Jaime believes above all else, it is in the healing power of love.

Title: An Unexpected Sanctuary
Author(s): Cassie Decker
Length: 38 pages
PublisherDreamspinner Press (December 1, 2017)

Genre: Romance / Dystopia / Gay / 


BlurbAn aggressive super-flu pandemic wipes out a majority of the population over the course of one Christmas holiday—and brings Tobin and Kyle together. For almost a year, they’ve been trekking across the country from Colorado toward a sanctuary in upstate New York. Kyle’s survival skills have kept them alive, and Tobin wants to repay the man he loves with a very special gift of his own making. He sneaks off in search of the last few pieces… only to get himself and Kyle kidnapped by a desperate stranger. With their journey to New York on hold—possibly indefinitely—they’ll need to accept that home isn’t always defined by a place as much as the person you’re with.

Title: A Triad In Three Acts: 
The Complete Forester Trilogy Series(Tales of the Forest Book 0)
Author(s): Blaine D. Arden
Length: 342 pages


Notes: All three acts take place during Solstice.

Blurb“There is always a way.”

Kelnaht, Taruif, and Ianys are meant to be together, but old promises and the decree of the elders prevent them from claiming each other openly at Solstice. Kelnaht can investigate murder and foul play, but he can’t see how he can keep both his lovers without breaking the rules. But if he believes in the guide’s words and trusts his faith in Ma’terra, they will find a way to clear the fog and puddles from their paths.

The Forester
Kelnaht, a cloud elf, is a truth seeker caught between love and faith, when a murder reveals an illicit affair between two tree elves he desires more than he can admit. Kelnaht’s former lover Ianys once betrayed him, and the shunned forester Taruif is not allowed to talk to anyone but the guide, their spiritual pathfinder.

Lost and Found
A stripling goes missing from the tribe, and heavy rainfall hides all traces of his whereabouts. With days creeping by without a lead, it’s hard to keep the tribe’s spirits up, more so when Kelnaht’s own future depends on the elders. Taruif has been shunned for almost twenty turns, but now that a possible forester’s apprentice is coming of age, the elders consider reducing his sentence. Taruif could be set free.

Full Circle
When several children fall ill with more than a summer bug, truth seeker Kelnaht is assigned to investigate. What he finds is deadly and threatens the life of every underage child in the tribe, including Ianys’ daughter Atèn. Then a wounded traveller is found in the forest, left to die after a vicious attack.

Title: A New Year on Vega III
Author(s): Siri Paulson
Length: 35 pages
PublisherMischief Corner Books, LLC; 1 edition (December 30, 2017)

Genre: Romance / Sci-fi / Genderqueer / Space Colony /


BlurbPart of the "A Holiday to Remember 2017 Series"

On the colony planet Vega III, everyone knows Beck—outgoing, fabulous, and genderqueer—and nobody notices Anil, the quiet plant biologist. But when Anil finds Beck hiding in his greenhouse, lonely and missing Earth, it's Anil who is able to comfort Beck by letting them talk about what they miss most—the feeling that comes with celebrating the holidays with loved ones, especially New Year's Eve.

​The two of them are drawn to one another, but both of them are hiding secrets about their sexuality. With trust between them already on shaky ground, Anil's elaborate plans to cheer Beck may well backfire.

Title: A Dragon for Christmas
Author(s): MD Neu
Length: 50 pages
PublisherNineStar Press (December 18, 2017)

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Lesbian / Dragons / Magic / Young Adult / 


BlurbCarmen is eleven years old and wants to get her dragon. Since she was seven years old, she understood two things. One, she was going to be the strongest Dragon Keeper there ever was. The second was that she was going to marry her best friend, Mattie.

As Christmas approaches the magical charms Carmen has to use to fight off her curse are taking a toll on her health. But that can’t stop her from taking her final test to become a Dragon Keeper. If she passes her test she gets her dragon, if not, she has to start all over, relying on different magical charms to fight the curse for her. That is something Carmen doesn’t want to have to go through. The testing is difficult and charms make her sick. Carmen has decided that if she doesn’t get her dragon this Christmas she’s not going to go for a third attempt, even if that means she can’t marry Mattie when she grows up.

Title: A Touch of Mistletoe
Author(s)J.K. Pendragon, Talya Andor, A.F. Henley, E.E. Ottoman, Megan Derr
Length: 228 pages
PublisherLess Than Three Press, LLC (December 17, 2014)

Genre: Romance / Anthologies / Fantasy / Gay / Genderqueer / Lesbian /


BlurbLess Than Three Press presents a collection of stories about people brought together by the magic of mistletoe...

Here for You by J.K. Pendragon
Warren's life has been shrinking ever since his wife passed away. Blind, and finding it difficult to adjust to life on his own, it's easier to hide away in his house. When his friend Missy invites him to a Christmas party, an unexpected kiss with a stranger under the mistletoe leaves him confused and wondering...

The Christmas Spirit by Talya Andor
Christmas in Japan is no big deal for Ash Harmon, with his family half a world away and supernatural problems that have no respect for the holidays. When he picks up a bodyguard job for a rising star of figure skating who seems to be encountering trouble with a restless spirit, he stubbornly resists the unexpected attraction to his charge, wary of the risks that come with relationships. But the mistletoe has other ideas...

A Beautiful Thing by A.F. Henley
Sometimes, Fate gets tired of being ignored. And some nights, Fate decides something will just have to be done about it. Enter Drualus, Senior Correspondent for the Collective Assembly of Christmas Fae, working with the Night Before Reach Out Program. He's got a few short hours to change Scott Misener's outlook on life, love, and understanding. Lucky for Scott, Dru knows a tried and true trope that might just do the trick...

Ad Meliora by E.E. Ottoman
It's Christmas Eve and An-An and M.C. have plans to spend Christmas in Texas with An-An's family. But their plans are cut short when M.C. takes on a last minute case. Thankfully, though, it should be an easy exorcism.

Until they arrive at the snowbound lodge where trouble resides, and come face to face with a demon wolf unlike anything they've ever encountered.

Two Parts Mistletoe by Megan Derr
Kingston has worked hard to get where he is: owner of his own shop, master potion maker, well-respected... and lonely, too busy with life to enjoy more than his regular visits to Acacia House. If he wishes his loneliness might be eased by Hux, the man he meets at Acacia twice a month, well, someday he'll work up the nerve to ask. Maybe.

Then Hux unexpectedly visits his shop, distressed and in desperate need of help to save his employer from a love potion...

Title: Boldt's Vixen
Series: Shifting Through the Snow series
Author(s): Jenn Dease
Length: 67 pages
PublisherMLR Press (December 15, 2017)

Genre: Romance / Gay / Paranormal /


BlurbCan a flight instructor and stable manager find love, especially when one is a reindeer shape-shifter and the other is Santa's relative?

Lester is a flight instructor. Humboldt is the village stable master. After Humboldt suggests something that helps two of Lester's students, they begin the journey both have wanted but hadn't taken the chance to start.

It's a month before Christmas and Humboldt's Uncle Nick needs a reluctant Lester to once again join his team for the holiday. Humboldt has Miriam doing her best to get between the two.

With the village behind them, and family encouraging both of them, can the two find lasting love? The reindeer shape-shifter with a secret, and St. Nick's (Yes, we mean Santa Claus) Austrian relative?

Title: Loving and Loathing Vegas
Author(s): Lex Chase
Length: 63 pages
PublisherDreamspinner Press; 1 edition (November 30, 2015)

Genre: Romance / Gay / Urban Fantasy


BlurbJackson has loved Vegas since God created Man—literally. As demonic incubi hailing from the Seventh Circle of Hell, Jackson and Vegas have never been anything more than roommates. Now living among humans, they run Eaven, a TripAdvisor-recommended detour-worthy diner famous for its devilishly decadent pies. Business is dead on the holidays, and Jackson will gleefully stab himself with a spatula if he has to clean spotless pots and pans one more time.

For fun—or torture—Vegas makes him a bet that should Jackson win, they take a much-needed vacation. Should he lose, he’s doomed to clean out grease traps for all eternity. When the challenge is to fall in love with other people by Christmas, it proves Vegas isn’t the least bit interested. But when they find an abandoned baby in the trash, she could be the Christmas miracle to warm Jackson’s cynical heart.

Title: Dashing
Series(The Enchanted Series Book 2)
Author(s): Shawn Bailey
Length: 83 pages
PublisherMLR Press (December 22, 2017)

Genre: Romance / Gay / Paranormal

Notes: The first book in the series is Don't Fear the Reaper, a Halloween story.

BlurbCan an enchanted reindeer and a cupid angel find love in the North Pole?

Reindeer Lancelot Rein has been in love with angelic singer Gracien Camari from the first moment he laid eyes on him many years ago. He never really thought he'd stand a chance with someone so glorious until he got assigned to be Gracien's bodyguard and asked to accompany him from his present home at the North Pole to Rome to sing with the Vatican choir. Just being near him made Lance' heart beat faster. But could a singer for the Pope date an everyday Joe like him? Just one kiss from the angel's full lips made Lance brave enough to take their relationship to the next level. Then he learns that Gracien was created by the archangels and had a preordained future waiting for him. Could Lance let Gracien go to Heaven to do the Lord's work after seeing the beautiful angel naked and in his bed?

Title: Eternally Timeless
Series(Eternal #1)
Author(s): HL Holston, AJ Burke
Length: 27 pages
PublisherSH Publishing (December 4, 2016)

Genre: Romance / Historical / Gay / Paranormal /

Notes: Right now it is FREE

BlurbArchibald Pearce fights the Germans, but he can’t fight his heart or destiny.

When an extraordinary Christmas gift from his French lover, Frédéric Lafont, triggers memories of lost love and holidays past; can the two men survive long enough to cherish their second chance at a timeless love?

A Christmas paranormal M/M romance short story.

Here is the list of my favorite holiday rereads!

Title: A Christmas Cactus for the General
Series(IMP Universe)
Author(s): Angel Martinez
Length: 84 pages
PublisherMischief Corner Books, LLC; First edition (December 23, 2014)

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Gay

Notes: One of my favorite all time holiday reads!

BlurbExiled to Earth for perhaps the worst failure in Irasolan history, General Teer must assimilate or die. Earth is too warm, too wet, too foreign, but he does the best he can even though human males are loud, childish louts whom he can't imitate successfully. When a grieving seaplane pilot strikes up a strange and uneasy friendship with him, he finds he may have been too quick to judge human males. They are strange to look at, but perhaps not as unbearable as he thought.

Series(The Warder Series Book 6)
Author(s): Mary Calmes
Length: 213 pages
PublisherDreamspinner Press (December 27, 2011)

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Gay / Urban Fantasy /

Notes: My favorite book of the series and one that I reread at least 2x a year.

BlurbMalic Sunden is in hell—only not literally... yet. As a warder, Malic is used to fighting demons and squaring off against all kinds of creatures from the pit, but this year he’s facing a new and terrifying prospect: Christmas holidays with his much-younger boyfriend and his family.

He loves Dylan, his hearth, but Dylan’s parents, the Shaws, are another story. They think Malic is a cradle-robber, among other things. At least their neighbor, Brad, seems to like him. Then again, maybe not. When Malic gets offered to a demon who wipes his memory of everything but Dylan’s name, it will take all Malic has to escape his new life in a hell dimension and return to the man he calls home.

Series(Family Of Misfits Book 1)
Author(s): K-Lee Klein
Length: 175 pages
PublisherMLR Press,LLC (June 21, 2012)

Genre: Romance / Gay / Paranormal / 

Notes: My first book by K-Lee Klein and one of my favorite paranormal series.

BlurbOne bite has never been a life changing decision but it is now --- to bite or not to bite that is the question.

All Lucius needs is his family. They might be a mismatched and unconventional group but they're the only "real" family he knows and wants. What Lucius doesn't need is the strange, beautiful man who arrives as a last minute dinner guest and knocks him and his wolf on his ass, literally.

Just being in the same room with the mysterious Nicu proves disastrous. Lucius knows without a doubt he doesn't need the havoc Nicu threatens to bring to his predictable, but comfortable existence. But when he stands to lose the man who is tearing his life apart, Lucius realizes he doesn't know what he needs at all.

Author(s): Kenzie Cade
Length: 68 pages
PublisherLess Than Three Press, LLC (December 8, 2015)

Genre: Romance / Gay / Paranormal / 

Notes: Sweet, and cute, and fun read.

BlurbDashing von Stride has one thing on his mind: winning the window display contest for the Miracle on Main Christmas Contest. His plans are set and ready—and then he walks into his toy store, Reindeer Games, to find a sleigh that shouldn't be there. The mystery sleigh sparks a new plan, however, and now all Dash needs is the perfect Santa to model his display after. 

This year, the pranks with his reindeer have gotten out of hand. Instead of preparing for the Big Day, Niklaus Kringle is hunting for his missing sleigh. Locating it should have been easy, but games easily won are seldom worth playing...

Series: I.O.N. Series, 1
Author(s): Lexi Ander
Length: 138 pages
PublisherLess Than Three Press, LLC; Second edition (February 29, 2016)

Genre: Romance / Gay / Urban Fantasy / Paranormal /

Notes: LMAO! Yes, I just inserted one of my own sorta-holiday stories into the mix. Why yes, I do reread this story and not just when I'm getting ready to add another book to the series. Diego and Beck have a special place in my heart. 

BlurbEager to escape the shadows of a tragic loss, Diego built a new life with his best friend, Beck. When he finally decided one night to admit that he's in love with Beck, that new life takes a new, hot and happy turn. But happiness is easily shattered, as he's learned all too well, and this time it's ruined by the arrival of a mysterious package and then men bent on violence.

Memories of a dead brother and an untouchable drug lord rise inevitably to the surface, and Diego dreads that the man he loves is mired in the world that Diego tried to escape. But Beck's secrets aren't so simple, and neither is the world in which Diego has been living...

Author(s): Freddy MacKay
Length: 217 pages
PublisherMischief Corner Books, LLC; First edition (December 21, 2014)

Genre: Romance / Gay / Contemporary Fantasy /

Notes: Wonderful story with lots of heart that wrings the tears from me.

BlurbAlone in Japan, Finni is struggling against the constant distrust, avoidance, and xenophobia he experiences every day. He misses home. He misses his family. Nightmares come all too frequently because of the stress, and well, Christmas is just not Christmas in Japan. Not how he understands it.

Distressed by how miserable Finni is, his roommate, Mamoru, offers to be Finni's family for Christmas. Little does he know how much one agreement would change everything between them, because both of them kept secrets neither ever dreamed were true.

Author(s): MA Church
Length: 70 pages

Genre: Romance / Gay / Sci-Fi

Notes: This is a fun addition to the series. Can it be read alone? Probably not but if you wanted to give it a try, it is FREE.

Blurb: So what’s an alien to do when his mate refuses to say what’s bothering him? Why, he sends a deep space message to his mate’s mother on earth, what else? 

Keyno not only learns the importance of Christmas to his chosen, he’s also shocked and confused as to why Dale hasn’t shared this with him. There is no such celebration on Tah’Nar, but that doesn’t stop Keyno from trying to bring happiness to Dale. He’s not only a starship captain, he’s also an excellent strategist. He gathers his closest friends—Doc and Gibor—and researchers the holiday.

He finds three important things about Christmas: First there is an older, heavyset male called the Santa Claus. The second is the holiday usually revolves around a tree laden with shiny baubles and lights with gifts under it. And finally they learn they’re supposed to eat way too much, then lie around and moan because they ate too much.

Humans are so odd.

These mighty warriors survived the birth of their young, surely an undertaking of this magnitude is not beyond their grasp. Hopefully Dale will be pleased with all the trouble Keyno went to. But just in case, Keyno has a very special surprise in store for his chosen for his first Tah’Narian Christmas.

Series(Fur, Fangs, and Felines Book 1)
Author(s): MA Church
Length: 234 pages
PublisherDreamspinner Press; 1 edition (December 26, 2014)

Genre: Romance / Poly / Gay / Paranormal / 

Notes: This is one of my favorites and I have it both on ebook and audio. :)

BlurbA snowstorm in the South—on New Year’s Eve—is a perfect recipe for a catastrophe. After two soul-crushing bad breaks, Kirk’s waiting for disaster number three to strike when, naturally, two stray cats arrive on his doorstep during the storm and decide to make themselves at home. Tenderhearted Kirk lets them stay even though there’s something decidedly odd about his overly friendly felines. 

Out of the punishing weather and full of tuna, Dolf and Tal are happy to be snug in Kirk’s house. But then their human goes outside for firewood and suffers a nasty fall that leaves him unconscious. Now the two cats have no choice but to reveal themselves.

Kirk wakes up to find the two kitties are actually Dolf and Tal. They’re cat shifters—and his destined mates. Being part of a feline threesome is enough for Kirk to grapple with, but soon he learns they come from a clowder that doesn’t believe humans and shifters should mix. Kirk knew those two cats would be trouble. Little does he know the real trouble lies ahead.

Author(s): Piper Vaughn
Length: 43 pages

Genre: Romance / Gay / Dystopia / Zombies

Notes: I get a stupid grin on my face whenever I pull this up on the app. A holiday with a little suspense of the unusual kind.

BlurbNothing says Christmas like droves of the undead….

All Emery wants for Christmas is someone to share it with. It looks like he might finally be getting his wish in Ross, the sexy customer he’s been crushing on for months. But neither of them counted on the zombies or on being caught in the worst blizzard in half a century. Even with a plan for contending with the zombie hordes, surviving will take a miracle.

It’s not exactly how Emery dreamed of spending Christmas with Ross, but he can’t think of a better way to spend a zombie apocalypse.

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!