blog · book review · review

Two Book Tuesday

I’m sitting here, enjoying the second movement of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, waiting for my coffee to finish brewing and thinking about the books for today. It’s the kind of morning where you could easily have slept in, or pulled yourself from that comfy place under the covers and enjoy the sun coming up on a new day.

Tuesday just might be my favorite day of the week.

But you’re not here to listen to me go on and on about days of the week, lol, you’re here for the books! Rather than including a book I’m reading and one I’m about to read, this Two Book Tuesday is about two books that I am reading. They’re a little behind from their original TBR month, but life has conspired to keep me from my ‘4 books a month’ goal, lol.

I hope you enjoy my rambling about two really good books!


Now that I have a computer again, I can spend money during the Steam Summer Sales, lol. One of the games I purchased was the Windows version of one of my favorite PS4 games, Final Fantasy XV.

Between fighting zombies in 7 Days to Die and the Covenant in Halo: Reach, I started a brand new game in Final Fantasy XV and it felt a little like coming home, which is the best way to tell if the game was good for you. 🙂

The Dawn of the Future begins near the end of the game, but before the final battle and epilogue.

We get to see Ardyn as the healer king and his tense relationship with his brother Somnus, learn more about Niflheim and it’s people, and we get to see Luna in her wedding dress, yay!

I’ve really only taken a nibble of this book, but I’m already hoping for a happy ending.

Oh, and the artwork is absolutely breathtaking! There are images of characters both known and unknown, illustrations of events past and future, and towards the back of the book a collection of promotional pictures.


I’m half-listening and half-reading Undetected by Dee Henderson, lol.

Purchased as a title from Kindle, I decided to try out the Audible Whispersync function. Basically, you get to listen to someone reading you the book while it follows along by highlighting the words being spoken.

So far, it’s a pretty fun book.

I really enjoy the camaraderie the captain and crew of the USS Nevada have for each other and the rivalry they have with the blue crew, with whom they share joint custody of the submarine.

It’s fun and believable and really helps to show the family that these crews become to one another whilst aboard their ship.

This bit made me laugh out loud when I read it…

We’re going to snuggle with the Seawolf. Let’s remind them who’s the better boat.

Mark Bishop captains the USS Nevada, spending months at sea before coming ashore to watch another captain take the submarine out before he gets to return to her. Mark desperately wants to find a wife that he can build a relationship with, honor as God requires, and love for the rest of his days. But he’s still not 100% over the death of his first wife and it’s made him skittish to try his hand at dating again. He’s looking for serious and isn’t sure he’s going to find it.

And Gina Grey? Well, she’s a wicked smart woman who dreams of being married before she’s thirty. After a bad break-up, she moves out west to be with her brother, to work, and hopefully to find the man of her dreams. She’s been praying for the right man to come into her life and maybe, just maybe that man is the one she meets when he’s buying ice cream after returning to shore.

These two are super cute together, their love for God and for each other is refreshing to see and I look forward to reading more of Dee Henderson’s works in the future.

blog · book review · review

Book Review | Buzz by E. Davies

I was suggested The Riley Brothers series by E. Davies by someone who knows I’m a sucker for hockey stories. Surprisingly, the entire 40-hour series was on sale on Audible for just 1 credit! It sounded like a steal and the series had some good reviews, so I went ahead and spent the credit.

Kind of wish I hadn’t.

There isn’t anything particularly wrong with the story or even the narration of it… it just didn’t work for me.

Up and coming hockey player, Cam Riley (one of the brothers), has to give up his dream of joining the big leagues when a medical condition causes him to pass out whenever his heart rate is too high for extended periods of time. He heads home where he meets art director, Noah Clark, and sparks fly.

Even as their relationship grows, Cam chooses not to tell Noah the entire truth about his condition and that he’d been a professional hockey player. But his condition doesn’t let him keep those secrets for long and the truth comes out.

There isn’t much conflict between the two, even with all of the lying, and they resolve things easily. Cam gets his surgery, recovers, and they live happily-ever-after.

Oh, and Noah’s uncle is a beekeeper. Cam ends up working for him, which is where the title Buzz comes from… I thought that was cute.

Like I said earlier, it’s not a bad story, just not for me.


Series: The Riley Brothers, book 1
Format: Audible audio book
Publisher: Audible
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Links: Amazon || Goodreads

blog · book review · review

Book Review | Altered Heart by Kate Steele

Altered Heart by Kate Steele was the first book I read for my O.W.L.’s back in April and it was a good one to kick off the book challenge with.

Mick Matranga is basically a supernatural enforcer who hunts down bad guys and gives them their due, whether it be jail time or death. It’s his job and he likes it.

But when the victim of his latest case, one Rio Hardin, turns out to be his mate, Mick isn’t sure what to do.

Widowed for four years after being happily married to the woman of his dreams, Mick doesn’t need the hassle of falling in love and then losing another person he cares about. He chooses to keep Rio at a distance, even while the human-turned-werewolf comes closer and closer to his first shift.

Rio hates that he’s been turned and is terrified of his first real shift. After the psycho-alpha who bit him forced him from shifting into his wolf during his first full moon, all he can think of is the absolute pain he experienced. When Mick tells him that sex can help distract a were from the pain of the shift, he begins to have hope that things won’t be so bad with Mick around.

But Mick is too bull-headed to accept what Rio wants and ends up torturing the both of them when he refuses to open up and accept Rio as his mate.

My favorite thing about Altered Heart was how believable Rio and Mick were as characters. Their decisions made sense; from Rio’s running away from home to Mick’s refusal to start anything serious with Rio, there is a reason for every choice they make. (even if they are stupid decisions, lol)

Altered Heart is a solid 3/5 stars for me. The writing and world building is solid, but it didn’t blow me out of the water. It was good enough that I think I’ll read the sequel Amended Soul if I can get my hands on it.


Format: Paperback
Publisher: Loose ID
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon || Goodreads

original work · writing

Writing | The Morning After

“I think that it says an awful lot about your character, that you insist on keeping to your morning routine even knowing that the rest of your day is going to be completely off that routine.”

Quill hummed in response, moving from cobra into downward facing dog and breathing deeply as he did so.  He enjoyed the feeling in his muscles as they were stretched and the pull of muscles unfamiliar with the activities of the night before.  Quill absolutely loved performing his sun salutations the morning after getting laid, reveled in the way his body seemed to still be singing even so many hours after it had been overwhelmed with pleasure.

“You are extremely flexible. If I’d remembered that last night, we could have been a lot more creative.”

Quill grinned to himself, chuckling as he stretched and moved into a headstand.

“Well, if you’d been more awake last night, we could have been more creative. Instead, you decided not to sleep on your flight here and were too tired to do anything more than good old vanilla sexing last night.”

Ransom laughed, rolling back up onto the bed as he did so, and gazed up at the ceiling.

“I can’t believe that you can say ‘sexing’ with a completely serious face and while you’re upside down. But, I have to say that your morning after glow is coming in quite well.” He commented, turning his head to gaze appreciatively at his lover.

Quill rolled his eyes, praying for patience in dealing with the silly man, his best friend and lover, before the man had had his morning cup of coffee. Before he had his morning caffeine fix, Ransom tended to revert to his college-aged way of speaking. Quill couldn’t help but find it helplessly endearing.

©2016 S Hostetter

“A warm window view” by Mourner is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

book review · challenges · review

Two Book Tuesday

This month’s post is pretty much themed around the O.W.L.’s Magical Readathon I’m participating in during the month of April. I’ve been enjoying going back to books and series’ that I remember liking in the past, as well as venturing way outside of my comfort genres and reading things like straight up romance *gasp*!

Okay, confession time… I haven’t had the chance to really get into this book. Shame on me, but I spent most of my free time sewing up a face mask to wear out-and-about.

Altered Heart follows Mick Matranga as he works to rid his city of the lowest scum out there. Along the way, he discovers his mate, one Rio Hardin, a human-turned-werewolf about the experience his first shift.

I’m pretty sure this is my first time reading Kate Steele, so here’s hoping it’s a good first introduction, lol.


By the title alone, The Perfect Wife by Gina Fields doesn’t sound like something I’d enjoy, but it comes highly suggested by my mother and she has great taste in books, so we shall see.

My mom says that it’s just a “really great story without a lot of extra stuff to clog up the plot” and “one the nicest romances I have ever read”.

I’m looking forward to reading this, even though it’s kind of short, lol.

blog · book review · review

Two Book Tuesday

It has been notoriously difficult to get my hands on the books I really wanted to read this month. I’ve had a title requested at Barnes & Noble for nearly 4 weeks with no delivery date in sight, hunted down three books at local libraries only to have them checked out mere hours before my arrival, and just had pretty bad luck all around.


Once I finally found a handful of books to read, I sat myself down and started Bob by Wendy Moss.

Honestly, Bob feels like a story I might have read when I was a child. There is a sense of nostalgia and childlike wonder and belief in the imaginary that brought me back to my early years as a reader.

It was such fun remembering along with Livy and discovering where Bob came from.


The second title for Two Book Tuesday is Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat. It has been on my TBR for an absolute age and I’m going to read it, even if it kills me! (spoiler: it probably won’t)

I’ve heard that it’s about a prince who is betrayed by his brother and sent as a slave to serve the prince of another country with whom tensions are high.

It sounded interesting and it’s been suggested to me a number of times, so we’ll see what the verdict is once I get into it.


What do you think of these two books?
Do you think I’ll be captivated by Captive Prince?
Let me know in the comments!

blog · original work · writing

Writing | Mythentario

Their meeting was the kind of slow-coming, unavoidable fate that one reads about in grand stories, but it was one that would shape the path of their combined future irrevocably.


Dylan couldn’t breathe. He was lying on the cold sidewalk outside of his apartment building staring up at the sodden, dark grey clouds hanging low in the sky.

He honestly had no idea how he’d gotten to be in this position.

“Oh, I am sorry!” A lilting voice said.

Dylan looked down, or rather up, at the owner of the voice. The blonde man was perched across his chest, slim wrists bracing him up as his hands pressed into the wet concrete on either side of Dylan’s head.

“Oh…”

Their eyes met and Dylan couldn’t help but fall into those sea foam orbs, his discomfort at being knocked over and soaking wet falling to the wayside as he stared up at the other man.

“Umm, hello there. I think you’re the one I’ve been looking for.”

“One what?” Dylan found himself asking. He was beginning to question why the other man had yet to stand up.

And then he saw it. The tip of a tail peaking over the man’s shoulder, twitching slightly.

‘From nerves?’ He wondered. For all his knowledge of creatures, he had no idea what exactly the tail was supposed to communicate.

“You’re the one who let us go, my brethren and I… don’t you remember?”

And suddenly Dylan did. He remembered the almost suffocating humidity of that jungle night, the way everything went absolutely still, and how his heart seemed to want to leap from his chest at the sight before him.

As a Mythentario, he’d been hired to track and kill a ravenous nest of naga that had recently appeared in the area and begun killing livestock and stealing children.

Or so he’d been told.

What he had found instead was a small group of adolescent naga that had been offering shelter to those who’d been sold into slavery or suffered abuse. Both were crimes that had been ignored by those who held power in the region.

Mythentarios were not just hunters of demons and monsters, they were also keepers of the peace and were tasked with dealing out justice to those who broke the laws of the land.

That justice took the form of fever and boils in the guilty and those who had turned a blind eye. The perpetrators died painful deaths and those guilty of willful ignorance had been left with visible scars to mark their crimes.

Dylan returned home after making sure that the victims would be cared for and then he made the trek back into the jungle to see if he could locate the naga’s nest again but had been unsuccessful. It appeared that they had moved on once the Mythentario had taken care of things.

“I remember.” He said. “But I don’t understand why you’ve been looking for me. You didn’t wait for me to arbitrate for your group and it’s been years since that happened. What could you possibly want from me now?”

Their eyes met again and Dylan could almost feel a bit of the power the naga’s distant cousin, the gorgon, held as the world seemed to slip away.

“Of course I would search for you. You’re my soulmate.”

©2019 S Hostetter

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February TBR

I try to pick at least three books to read each month and here’s what I have in the pipeline for February… Some have been on my to read list for ages, others are quirky, and one just sounds like fun!


Nonfiction:

One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer by Nathaniel Fick

If the Marines are ‘the few, the proud,’ Recon Marines are the fewest and the proudest. Nathaniel Fick’s military training begins with a hellish summer at Quantico, and just after 9/11 Fick finds himself leading a platoon into Afghanistan.

Two years later he advances to the pinnacle — Recon — on the eve of the war with Iraq. Leading twenty-two Marines into this deadly conflict, he vows to bring them all home safely. To do so, he’ll need luck and an increasingly clear vision of the limitations of his superiors.

Fick unveils the process that makes Marine officers such legendary leaders and shares his hard-won insights into the differences between military ideals and military practice, which can mock those ideals. One Bullet Away never shrinks from blunt truths, but ultimately it is an inspiring account of mastering the art of war.

Goodreads | Amazon


Graphic novel:

The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg

This book contains many stories, big and small, about and pertaining to the following things: Gods, monsters, mad kings, wise old crones, shamans, medicine men, brothers and sisters, strife, mystery, bad science, worse geography, and did we already mention true love?

Critics are saying it is probably the best thing since sliced bread.

Goodreads | Amazon


Romance:

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius–his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House.

There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Goodreads | Amazon

blog · original work · writing

Writing | Fire Burning

The first time he saw Toni, it was at the local nightclub, Riptide.

‘So damn hot.’ Christopher thought, as he watched the stranger out on the dance floor, moving sensuously to the music.

“You should ask for a dance.” His friend and fellow firefighter, Simon, urged him.

Christopher rolled his eyes at the suggestion.

“I can’t dance.”

“Yeah, right, I’ve seen you moving in the flames, don’t you give me that shit!” Simon laughed, “Go on!”

Simon pushed Chris roughly toward the dancing stranger and, once he started moving, Chris couldn’t stop his forward momentum. As if drawn my some magnetic force, his feet propelled him unerringly toward the object of his attention.

As he came close, emerald eyes slit open to meet his own, plain brown orbs. Chris could almost feel the sparks dancing between them.

“May I have this dance?”

At the time, he’d thought that was the most lame thing he could say.

“You can have all my dances, handsome.”

Yet here he was, eight years later, with Toni curled into his arms as they lounged in bed on a rainy, autumn morning.

©2019 S Hostetter

blog · movie review · review

My Favorite Movies of 2019

According to my Letterboxd account, I’ve watched nearly a hundred movies this year! Which is insane, because I don’t really like to sit around in front of the television… I guess being in a long-distance relationship and having PlayStation Party Dates has encouraged my couch-potato-ness.

Because the list is SO long, I’m only going to share new films I watched. Perhaps I’ll do a favorite re-watch list another time?

Continue reading “My Favorite Movies of 2019”