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.


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


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!


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


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”
blog · book review

Two Book Tuesday

So, I started reading Seven Tears at High Tide by C.B. Lee about two weeks ago and had to put it down because I was busy with work and life in general.  My plan is to start back at the beginning instead of picking up where I left off…

Seven Tears at High Tide by C. B. Lee is a young adult fantasy / romance about a teenage boy who wishes for a summer of love, a wish which is granted by a nearby selkie who overhears his heartfelt plea.

Kevin Luong has had his heart broken by the boy-next-door who decided he is no longer gay and doesn’t want to “fool around” with boys anymore. Instead of spending the summer together with Miles, Kevin is suddenly alone and feeling particularly unloved.

On a whim, he sheds seven years into the ocean and makes a wish, asking for just one summer to be happy and in love. He doesn’t really expect his wish to be granted.

What Kevin doesn’t know is that someone hears his wish. Morgan, a selkie boy, happens to be swimming near enough to hear and hope that he will be the one chosen to fulfill the request. His mother, and matriarch of his selkie herd, grants him permission to shed his skin and go ashore to meet Kevin.

So begins a summer of innocent love, with Kevin teaching Morgan how to be both human and to pass as a normal teenage boy.  But, as the boys grow closer, they begin to realize that there is something sinister in the works in their little seaside town.

Semiosis by Sue Burke just flat out sounded like a cool book.  I remember getting an email about it pre-release date and wanting desperately to read it.  I even texted my friend, and local librarian, asking her to purchase it for the library so that I could read it!

This book appears to be right up my alley, with first contact situations, space colonization, and an alien (possibly plant-based) intelligence. With the summary including fun words like “bizarre, inexplicable, and grapple” who wouldn’t want to read this?  😀

blog · book review · review

Book Review | Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
~Thomas Merton.

Ultimately, Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan is a story about finding your place in the world, finding a family and friends who love and accept you for who you are, and discovering a love that knows no bounds.

A self-proclaimed fan of happy endings, author Heidi Cullinan doesn’t shy away from putting her characters through the ringer.  Neither man has a good relationship with their parents; Skyler does everything he possibly can just for the chance of hearing his father say he’s proud of his son and Xander ignores his mother’s care packages even while he wishes for her to put him before her new husband and sons.

Xander Fairchild fits the “grumpy, hermit like artist” bill perfectly, but an unexpected meeting with frat boy Skyler Stone changes the course of his life forever.

When hooligans from his fraternity deface a beloved mural, Skyler Stone makes a point of apologizing in person to the artist and asking how the fraternity can make amends.  He is surprised to hear that the artist, one grumpy Xander, isn’t willing to go along with his plans to restore the piece.  A copy will never be as good as the original, he claims.

In an effort to make things right, regardless of if the artist cares or not, Skyler proposes that his senior project be to work with the art department, using his business and networking skills to showcase their talents.

Tasked with creating a successful promotion for Xander’s exhibit, Skyler discovers that the best way to complete his assignment is to befriend the standoffish artist.  Through sheer force of will, he slowly works his way past the walls that Xander has put up and finds, to his surprise, that the other man has wormed his way into Skyler’s heart as well!

Their attraction is a difficult road to walk, as Xander has accepted that he is gay… but Skyler is still trying to convince himself that he can ignore who he is and continue pretending to be what other people want him to be.

I’d like to note that this is the first book I’ve ever read with a grey-sexual character in it and I feel like I came away with a new understanding of people who might identify as grey or ace.  Grey-sexuality being when a person doesn’t normally experience sexual attraction but can, under certain circumstances, feel sexual attraction.

I enjoyed seeing how Xander and Skyler negotiated their wildly different needs (both sexual and otherwise) into their relationship.  Their secret kisses and understanding of each other’s quirks was unbearably sweet.

The inclusion of Japanese culture, both old (Shinto shrines and the Shichifukujin) and new (anime and manga), was integral to Xander and Skyler finding common ground.  Skyler dreams of finding a person who will love him with cherry blossoms and bento boxes and Xander wishes for the chance to become a great mangaka.

It was heartening to see that, in the end, Skyler and Xander were able to find love and happiness and to make their dreams of moving to Japan a reality.

They found family they deserve, both in each other and in friends.  Sometimes, a found family can love you better than blood family ever will.

blog · book review

Book Review | Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember

I really enjoyed Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember.  It seamlessly combines elements of our world with the fantastical to create a place full of excitement and wonder.

Both of the main characters are interesting and well rounded. I found myself rooting for Mnemba from the first and was desperate to learn more about her life before becoming a guide for her cousin’s business.  Kara took a little longer to warm up to, but I enjoyed how independent and curious she was… even with the mermaids, lol.

Unicorn Tracks doesn’t shy away from the topic of rape or the aftermath of it.  While Mnemba’s attacker was punished for his crimes against her, she still ended up leaving her home because of the judgement and expectations of those who would claim he was a good man and this was a one-time incident.  It was an especially heartwarming moment when her father said that he would kill Mnemba’s attacker if ever he were set free.

Her relationship with Kara was slow going, as they figured out how to work past the trauma of the past, but it was all the sweeter when they were finally able to connect.  At the end of the story, Mnemba isn’t “over” what happened to her, but she is able to keep moving forward with the support of her lover, friends, and family.  ❤

I would suggest this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy, adventure, or alternate histories.  It’s a quick read, but a darned good one!