Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Halloween!

Fearful, Foggy Night 
© Patricia L. Cisco

Damp darkness befalls as gray fog settles in.
Frightening shadows lingering within.

Footsteps echo through the black, eerie night
With scrapings and rustlings, yet nothing in sight.

Misty clouds floating across the dull moon.
Heart stopping feelings of horror and doom.

Howling squeals pierce the smoggy air.
My heart pounding harder in panicky fear.

The faster and faster I try to race,
My shaky, weak legs won't keep up the pace.

A scary, awful blood-curdling scream.
I feel so faint, as if in a dream.

Ghostly eyes glowing in bushes distant,
Getting closer and closer in an instant.

Frozen stiff, I shut my eyes tight,
Holding my breath with all my might.

Then swishing past in the chilly breeze,
Opening one eye, I suddenly breathe.

Finally putting my fears at ease.
Oh, it's just Trick or Treaters on All Hallows' Eve!

Published: October 2017

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Finicky Friday Halloween Style - Reese's Bats

These easy Halloween bat treats require only 4 ingredients: edible eye candies, chocolate sandwich cookies, mini reeses cups, and frosting to get everything adhered!

Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings: 25 or more (just depends on how many you want to make!)


25 Miniature Reeses Cups

25 Thin Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (plan on having extra in case some don't break nicely)

1/3 cup Pre-made cream cheese frosting (or homemade)

50 Edible eyes


Remove the wrappers from the Reeses cups.

Break the cookies in half and then separate all of the pieces from one another so you now have four "bat wings". Scrape off the frosting and discard (or eat!)

Fill up a plastic bag with the store bought or homemade frosting. Cut off the tip of the bag and pipe frosting onto the back corners of the broken cookie pieces.

Press one cookie piece on the left of the Reeses cup and another cookie piece on the right of the Reeses cup.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Tuesday Teaser

Bound by Love - Rest of Chapter 3

Gibor flinched. “Of course. I… I wasn’t thinking. I’m sorry, Hamza. Come, I’ll take you to where Neo and Jolak are.”
Grateful, Hamza let Gibor lead him away from that room full of death and heartache. Royal guards fell in behind them as they moved through narrow walkways. No one spoke, which relieved Hamza.
The less he had to think, the better. Instead he focused on the drab walls. This part of the palace wasn’t used often since it was mostly a bunker. Maybe that was why it was so cold. There were no polished floors, pretty draperies, or expensive knickknacks. If the royal family was here, then the cause was nothing good. Kind of like now.
Gibor stopped in front of a plain door with guards standing in front of it, hugged Hamza and left, taking the ones who followed them back with him. Hamza nodded to the males and opened the door.
The lights in the ceiling were set to low in the open living area. Two simple couches and a small entertainment center graced the room. He stepped inside, and it closed with a swish. The floor was stained concrete with a rug to soften sounds. There were no pictures in guiled frames. No windows to let in light. Off to the side was a reduplicator for food and other needs, along with a tiny table for dining. It was all very bare and so basic. And cold. So damn cold.
Neo, sitting on the couch, unwound his legs from underneath him and stood. He didn’t speak, just stood there… waiting. Hamza had never been so happy to see someone as he was to see Neo. He crossed the room, his feet moving of their own accord, and threw himself at Neo. Neo staggered but kept his feet. Wrapping his arms around Hamza, he held on tightly. One hand crept up Hamza’s back and buried itself under Hamza’s hair.
The touch helped ground him, but the screams of pain, of denial, stayed locked deep inside. How he wanted to cry, but there was nothing. Just… nothing, except the black hatred growing within him.
“I have you, love. It’s okay.” Neo rubbed his other hand up and down Hamza’s back.
But it wasn’t okay. It would never be okay again. Hamza had lost his dabba, and nothing could change that.
“I was worried about you.” Hamza forced the words past his tight throat.
“I was scared stupid about you,” Neo admitted. “When I heard the palace and the planetary defense building were under attack, I damn near panicked. Hamza, I’m so—”
“I… I can’t talk about dabba yet, Neo. It doesn’t seem real, and I can’t accept it, and gods above, how dad wailed broke me, and what the hell am I going to do, and the palace took a major hit, and we must secure it, but so did other cities, and so many people are hurt or dead, and, and, and we’re at war, but we’ve been at peace since I’ve been alive, so how do I war against an enemy when I have no experience whatsoever, and, and, by all that is holy, everything is just so… so—”
“Hey, hey, I need you to breathe.” Neo let go of Hamza and leaned back. “You’re about to hyperventilate.”
“I….” Hamza gasped. He started to shake. There simply wasn’t enough air in the room, and the walls were closing in on him. And fuck, why was it so cold? “I… it’s too much!”
“Oh-kay, you’re going to sit down.” Neo pulled Hamza to the couch, pushed him down, and knelt beside him. He clasped Hamza’s wrist. “Too fast,” he muttered. “Your skin is like ice too. Damn.”
“Where do I start?” Hamza jerked his hand free and leaped to his feet. Neo stood too.
“What about our fleet? What about our fighters? And what about the starships? How much damage occurred and had significant?” Hamza sweat dripped into his eyes. How was that even possible when he was so fucking cold? He glared at Neo, who was now standing by the small dining table, digging around in a black bag.
“The Onfe are here too. How could I have forgotten them? Do I need to officially greet them? How do I do that?” Hamza’s vison was going wonky again, but he plowed on regardless. “Fuck, I need Ti.” He jumped when Neo grasped his arm. “He’ll know what to do. He’ll tell me the protocol for—fuck! What… what did you just…. What was that?”
“Sedative.” Neo placed the hydrosedative-spray on the table. “You’re on the verge of a panic attack and very possibly going into shock.”
“How much of a sedative did you—well, shit.” Hamza swayed. Creeping fatigue washed over him. He blinked owlishly at Neo.
“Time to rest, love.” Neo ducked under Hamza’s arm, wrapped an arm around Hamza’s waist, and braced him. He walked Hamza toward another door off the living area. “Bedroom’s through here.”
“You tranqued me.” Hamza accused. Holy shit was the room was spinning now.
“Sure did.” Neo opened the door and led Hamza to a bed. He eased Hamza onto it. “Down you go.”
Hamza could barely keep his eyes opened. All he wanted to do was sleep. “Not… not….” What was he saying? “Yeah. Cool.” He sank into the bedding and groaned.
Neo pulled off Hamza’s boot then covered him with a blanket. “I know, but it was better than the panic attack you were heading for.”
“Tah’Narians don’t have…. Tah’Narians don’t… huh? What was I…?” Hamza slurred.
“Oh bullshit. And as a doctor, that’s my medical opinion too.” Neo sat next to Hamza.
“How’s it get so dark?”
“It’s dark because your eyes are close. Now, go to sleep, dammit.”
“S… stay?”
* * * *
Hamza lurched up in bed, his heart racing. Something… something was wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong. The feeling nagged at him, refusing to be ignored, but he shied away. Whatever lurked at the edge of his mind was not something he wanted to think about. Off-kilter, he scanned the unfamiliar room. This was not his and Neo’s bedroom. In fact, he was pretty sure he’d never seen this area before. Where was he? Why was he here? And where was here?
That nagging feeling turned into a tsunami of memories and images from the past several…. Shit. Neo had knocked his ass out. How long had he been asleep? He swung his feet—where the hell were his boots?—over the side of the bed and stood. Oh, wait until he saw Neo again. He was going to….
The door opened, and Neo leaned against the frame, arms crossed. “Okay, before you start yelling, I did what I had to do. I’d do it again, just so you know. You were close to losing control. Next, you’ve been asleep for three unit hours. That’s all. I’ve kept an eye on your dad too. He’s still out, and probably will be all night. What I injected him with was stronger than what I used on you. Finally, if you’re going to yell, go ahead and get it our of your system because everyone wants to see you. They’ve just been waiting for you to wake up.”
Hamza deflated. Yes, he was upset Neo tranqued him, but how could he argue when Neo did it because he cared?
“No yelling?” Neo asked, eyebrow raised.
“No. But I reserve the right to do so later.”
Neo grinned. “Sounds fair.” He came into the room and wrapped his arms around Hamza. “I am sorry I sedated you without asking, but you were in shock and teetering on the edge of a panic attack.”
“I know.” Hamza allowed himself a moment to cuddle and enjoy the heat from Neo’s body. “And I do feel… well, not really better, but more in control. I’m not so cold either.”
“That’s shock, love.”
“I figured. So, thanks. Can I have something to drink? My mouth’s dry.”
“Already fixed and sitting on the dining table. I put your boots over there,” Neo pointed. “I also fixed you food. And before you say it, I know you’re not hungry, but you need to eat. Doctor’s orders.”
Hamza smirked. “You use that way too often when you want your way.”
“You better believe it. Come on.” Neo took Hamza’s hand and lead him to the table. They sat, and Hamza gulped the water. Knowing Neo watched, Hamza ate what he could.
When he finished, Hamza cleared his throat and mentally prepared himself for what was coming. “Have you spoken to anyone since you knocked me out?”
“Keyno commed me right after I got you in bed and said he was handling everything. He asked me to let him know when you woke up. So, I know less than you, I imagine.”
“How did you know…. I mean, how did you know to come?”
“The Royal Physician sent someone to get me from the hospital. We transported to the palace, but a guard met me. He brought me.” Neo explained what the hospital was dealing with when he got word. He then briefly described what he saw when he arrived at the palace.
Hamza nodded. He wasn’t ready to face those images. Not yet. Instead, he glanced at the closed door across the room. “Is my dad in there?”
“He is. Like I said, I’ve been checking on him. He’s asleep. Would you like to see him though?”
“Yes. I need to… to make sure he’s okay, you know?” How could he explain the overwhelming urge to make sure his dad was alive, that he was still breathing? That he was whole, even if Hamza had seen him just unit hours earlier.
Neo stood and held out his hand. “I do.”
Together they peeked in. Jolak was sleeping… well, not necessarily soundly, but he was out.
“Thank you,” Hamza said, closing the door. He rolled his neck, popping it. He followed Neo back to the living area and sat. “Keyno said everyone was okay?”
“That’s what I was told. There’s no reason to think he’d lie.”
“No, he wouldn’t. I… gods, Neo. I don’t know where to start. There’s so much to do.” What was it Keyno said? Small steps. Right.
“I say we start by getting in touch with Keyno.”
The use of ‘we’ didn’t escape Hamza’s notice, and he appreciated what Neo was doing. It did help him not feel quite so along.
Hamza pressed his comm.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Pucker Up Monday - Halloween Style

Halloween is right around the corner! Whoot! It's my favorite time of the year. Ready then for some... vampire kisses? *cackle* And yes, for THIS Monday, there will be sucking.  ;)

Friday, October 25, 2019

Finicky Friday Halloween Style - Halloween Candy Bark

This white chocolate bark is probably the most simple from-scratch Halloween treat you can make.

YIELDS: 4 - 6




2 c. white chocolate, chopped

15 drops Flo-Coat Candy Coating

1 drop purple food coloring

1 drop green food coloring

1 drop orange food coloring

2 tbsp. large Halloween-colored nonpareils

1 tbsp. Halloween-colored sprinkles


Place chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until completely melted.

Divide 3 tablespoons melted white chocolate into three separate bowls. Add five drops Flo-Coat and one drop of food coloring to each bowl; stir to combine.

Pour remaining white chocolate onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using an offset spatula, spread chocolate until it's 1/8"- to 1/4"-thick. Drizzle colored chocolate on top and drag a toothpick to create swirls. Dust top with nonpareils and sprinkles.
Transfer to the refrigerator to set, 20 minutes. Break into pieces to serve.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Tuesday Teaser

Chapter Three – Hamza
Hamza’s head pounded. Or was it his heart echoing in his ears? Jolak’s wail sliced across his nerves. He wanted to yank his dabba off that damn thing and demand he open his eyes. To get up. Hamza clenched his fists and something popped. The urge to rip and tear, to snarl and hiss, was overpowering. The anger rose higher. He struggled to breathe, and his vision wavered. In the background, Jolak continued to mourn, and the sound stabbed at Hamza.
Gods help him, he couldn’t do this.
A memory flashed through his head—of him and his dabba, climbing trees. Laughter drifted on the warm breeze. Jolak stood on the ground, peering up at them and shaking his head. Leaves tumbled in a graceful dance as his dabba showed him how to slink through the branches, stalking prey from up high.
“Like this, dabba?” Hamza prowled gingerly along a branch. No leaves moved.
“Yes. Well done, my young. Be silent and move gently as you stalk. You have the advantage since prey rarely think to look for attack from above.”
His dabba leap from the tree, landing in a crouch. Standing, he prowled toward his mate, who grinned from ear to ear. His dad chuckled, then turned and ran.
His dabba huffed, hands on hips.
Hamza snickered. No one could catch his dad. The male was as fast as the wind. It was a trait of his people. “You waited too long, dabba,” Hamza shouted from the tree.
“Indeed, my young. But that’s okay. I know where to find your dad.”
Giggling, Hamza leaped, and his dabba caught him. “Let’s track him!”
“Fine idea, although I don’t know if that’s necessary. I bet he’s in the kitchens. And I bet Cook will have something tasty for a young who did very well in his training today.”
“Will dad get a treat too?”
“I’ll make certain he does… later.”
He’s dead. He’s dead. He’s dead. The refrain beat in his head, an endless cycle. He couldn’t lose his dabba. He… he depended on him, on his wisdom, on his thoughtfulness. There was still so much for Hamza learn. He… oh gods, he wasn’t ready to rule.
His chest tightened. The sound of harsh panting echoed in his ears.
As king, his people would seek his guidance. But who was he to be giving out any type of advice? Sweat beaded at his hairline. Everyone would want something from him. Demand something. Or look to him for reassurance. How was he expected to handle all that? The thought alone sent his heart skittering.
What if he screwed up? Or accidently made an ally mad? Or offended someone important? His dabba was the one with the smooth tongue and the ability to handle other species. He needed his dabba to get off that fucking medibed and… and not be… be…. Darkness crept into his vision.
His chest hurt. His nose burned. If only he could draw a breath, then maybe he could… what? Make all this go away? Make it so his dabba was hale and hearty? Make it so his dabba was king, as he should be?
“Love, please!”
Hamza knew that voice, knew it as well as he knew his own. His mate was concerned, and he couldn’t stand the thought of worrying Neo. That… that was not acceptable. The raging panic backed off a bit. He gasped, air finally filling his lungs. His vision cleared as the panic subsided. Neo stood in front of Hamza. In Neo’s face, Hamza saw pain. Sadness. And… worry? 
“Neo?” His hands trembled as he reached Neo. An overwhelming sense of helplessness swamped Hamza, but the madness eased back. “Oh gods, Neo.”
“Easy, love.” Neo glided into Hamza’s arms and pulled Hamza’s head to his chest. “I’m… gods, Hamza. I’m so sorry.” Neo’s voice quivered. “So damn sorry.”
Hamza whined quietly.
“What about Jolak?” Neo whispered, tightening his grip on Hamza. “Should we, I don’t know, do something?”
By all that was sacred, how could he have overlooked his dad? He’d lost his dabba, but Jolak lost a mate. He pulled out of Neo’s arm, horrified by his self-centeredness, and flew around the medibed.
Jolak’s cries continued as he rocked, still holding Duran’s hand. Falling to his knees, Hamza stared at his dad. Only then did he recognize Jolak’s raw wailing was more than just a painfilled racket. It was how his people mourned—how they sang loved ones on to the next plane of existence.
Jolak grasped Hamza’s other hand, shoved his grief aside, and helped sing his dabba on to the afterlife.
* * * *
Hamza had no idea how long they sang, but his throat was so dry it clicked when he tried to swallow. He’d lost feeling in his legs too. His dad slumped against him, finally silent, and Hamza wrapped his arm around Jolak.
“Jolak? Can you stand? Can we…. Are you ready to leave now?” Neo asked, hovering close by.
Jolak nodded, then closed his eyes.
Neo’s worried glance landed on Hamza as he helped Jolak up, then swept Jolak into his arms. Turning, he left the bleak room. Several royal guards fell in around Neo. Numb, Hamza watched as Neo walk away. He had no idea where Neo was taking his dad, which was something he needed to know, but his mind was heavy, and his thoughts moved like molasses.
Keyno caught Hamza by the elbow and helped him stand. His legs cramped from being in one position for so long, but he ignored the discomfort. At least he felt something besides mind-numbing grief. Once he was on his feet, Keyno released him.
A few unit seconds later, a cup of water was thrust in front of Hamza’s face. “Here. Drink.”
After the first sip, Hamza chugged the rest. The refreshingly sweet, clean taste on his tongue was delightful. When he was satisfied, Keyno took it and returned with another full cup. Hamza downed it too and placed it on a nearby stand. “Thank you.”
Keyno laid a hand on Hamza’s shoulder. “Go with them. Take a few unit hours to rest, to grieve alone, and to get your head back on straight. Go be with your family, Hamza. They both need you, and you need them.”
“But, but… I should—” He glanced at his dabba’s body. Wasn’t there protocol for this? He shuddered at the mere thought.
“This is not something you need to do. Let me handle preparing his body.” 
“I… I can’t ask you to do that.” But oh, he wanted to.
“You don’t have to ask. I’m offering.” Keyno patted Hamza on the back. “He’ll have family with him during this time. He might’ve been my uncle, Hamza, but Duran was your dabba. Such memories will do you no good. I’ll contact you when Duran is… prepared. Please, let me do this for you.”
Hamza rubbed his eyes. The warmth of Keyno’s hand seeped through his shirt. “I don’t know where Neo took my dad.”
He couldn’t even keep up with his mate, how was he supposed to handle being king? Wildly he glanced around and noticed Gibor standing off to the side. How had Hamza missed him? Malk stood next to Gibor too. What kind of Tah’Narian was he to be so oblivious? And where was the rest of his friends and family? “I don’t even know if everyone is okay. Gods, I don’t know what happened to my own dabba!”
“The guards will show you where to go. Also, Szin and Dayo are fine, as is everyone else. I’ll explain what happened after you’ve had a chance to rest. Go. I’ll handle things until the time you can take back over.”
“You…. That is permissible?”
“I am of the royal family, so I can stand in your stead for a few unit hours. I have no desire to rule, you know that. You are the one who’ll take our king’s place, but for now? Go be a young morning his beloved dabba. If anything should arise, if those females should dare to return, I’ll notify you immediately.”
Hamza nodded. Right then it was all he could manage. “Thank you.” Fuck it. Maybe it wasn’t the Tah’Narian thing to do, but he flung his arms around Keyno.
“Small steps, Hamza,” Keyno whispered, hugging Hamza. “For now, small steps. We’ll….” Keyno cleared his throat. “We’ll get through this.”
Hamza gulped at the hitch in Keyno’s voice. So lost in his own grief, he’d forgotten Keyno suffered also. His dabba was Keyno’s uncle. And gods above, he had no idea what Keyno had seen or had to do during the attack. “Are… are you okay?”
“I am unharmed too. I promise. Now go.”
“Okay.” Hamza couldn’t resist giving Keyno one more squeeze, then he moved away.
Gibor joined them. “Your Highness, if you’re—”
His stomach dropped, and Hamza grabbed Gibor’s elbow. “Oh gods, no. Not yet. Just… just Hamza. Just like always. I’m not ready for…. I can’t yet—”
Gibor flinched. “Of course. I… I wasn’t thinking. I’m sorry, Hamza. Come, I’ll take you to where Neo and Jolak are.”

Monday, October 21, 2019

Pucker Up Monday

Welcome to Pucker Up Monday. It's not what you think, lol. Since Mondays do tend to suck, I though I'd try to start the week off right for y'all.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Tuesday Teaser

It's time for Tuesday Teaser, and time for more Harvest Young. I think I'm going with Bound by Love for Hamza's book, mainly because the last book with be called Bound by War. You know... love and war theme? It seems like this book would fit the war title, but Laken's book is last and his mate really fits that whole idea.



rest of Chapter Two

Neo pulled his hands out of the young male’s chest, stepped back, and yanked off his gloves, dumping them on the floor. He didn’t even have time to find a fresh lab coat before the guard flipped open his communicator.
They transported into hell.
Ash, and what appeared to be shredded scraps of paper, rained down. Black smoke billowed skyward from the section of the palace that had been destroyed. It looked as if a giant hand had dug into it and scooped out part of the structure.
Twisted metal and broken concrete lay smoldering on top of nearby flyers, which were burning, adding to the smoke. The scent of burnt plastic, metals, and plasma rose into the sky. From where Neo stood, he could see into the twisted support beams of the upper floor. Mangled wires, blowing in the breeze, hung from ceilings.
The heat was stifling. Males sat on the ground, staring sightlessly. Some wept. Others screamed. Guards rushed about, calling out orders. Palace doctors sought to treat the survivors. The palace’s red alert blared, adding to the chaos.
“Good. Gods.” Neo honestly couldn’t understand what he was seeing. It just… didn’t compute. Taking a step, he stumbled over something. Grabbing the guard’s arm to steady himself, he glanced down. “Oh. Oh… fuck.”
A hand. A fucking hand had tripped him. There wasn’t a body attached to it, either. It was an ash covered, mutilated hand with what looked like red meat and a bone sticking out.
The guard next to him heaved.
In every direction he looked there was blood splatter, body parts, pieces of clothing… and the gods only knew what he was standing in. And ash. There was a lot of ash. It continued to fall from the sky, covering every damn surface. This… this couldn’t be happening. The palace was the most fortified structure on the whole damn planet, so why was part of it in shambles? What of all the people inside it? What about….
Neo spun toward the guard and grasped him by his shirt. “My family! My mate! You tell me right fucking now, dammit. Are they okay?”
“There’s been no word from the Planetary Defense building, remember, my prince? Transporters work, but communication is spotty. The last transmission said to get you here quickly and that it was urgent. That’s all I know.”
“Hey!” Another royal guard yelled, waving his arms. “Here. Over here. I’m to escort Prince Neo!”
A groan caught his attention, and Neo turned. Nearby someone lay. His instinct to aid the wounded kicked in, and he ran to them, dropping to his knees next to a badly broken and bleeding body.
The guard yanked Neo right back to his feet. “No! There isn’t time. We must go. I can’t stress how urgent that is.”
There wasn’t time to help someone? How could he leave the male there? Gods, he couldn’t even tell if he recognized the person since half of his face was melted off. It was just gone. And limbs were blown off. How was he even alive? As he watched, the male’s eyes opened, and he gasped. His mangled body arched off the floor… then fell back, collapsing.
Neo watched him die. “Gods. Gods damn it!
It was that moment—surround by unimaginable horror—Neo wanted to cry. To yell. Instead, he had to keep moving, keep going onward toward the next horror. He glanced down, seeing the blood bright against the gray ash on his clothes. Then he took a deep breath, because he knew it didn’t matter. There was going to be more death. More pain. And whatever awaited him was bound to upset him more than this.
Neo tried to shut out the screams of pain as he was dragged along. “But….” Neo tried to stop but his guard tightened his grip on Neo’s arm. “Just a damn minute! I thought I was needed at the Royal Physician’s office.”
The male huffed as they came to a stop by the one waiting. “I said the Royal Physician needed you, not that we were going to the Royal Physician’s office, Prince Neo.”
“Parts of the palace aren’t safe. Medical and the Royal Physician’s office sustained extensive damage. They are… not functionable. The royal family and their friends have been moved to an underground bunker. The Royal Physician has set up a temporary site there for now. Szin and Dayo are there, along with your dad and dabba. I will escort you.”
Sustained massive damage? But Szin and Dayo were there, giving birth. How is this even happening? “Why didn’t we transport in?”
“We’ve managed to get that area shielded, just in case.”
They followed the Royal guard for several blocks. The Darkkit palace was a spiraling complex, thank the gods. Not all of it had sustained damage. They entered the back of the palace and passed through several security checkpoints as they descended farther underground. Fear lingered in the guards faces as Neo passed them.
An uncomfortable feeling settled in the pit of his stomach as they hurried onward. The royal guard led them to a room, which also had numerous males on duty. Grief and anger sat heavy on the air. He could practically taste it.
As they drew nearer, a pain-filled wail reached their ears. Neo broke into a run, his instinct going into overdrive. It’s bad. It’s really, really bad. Fuck. The guards lowered their head as he rushed into a rather drab room. He skidded to a halt, the incredibly bright lights hurting his eyes. Blinking frantically, he swiped at his face, which made matters worse. A hand holding a scrap of cloth appeared in front of him.
“Here, Prince Neo.”
Taking the cloth, he wiped his face. He folded it once he was done, but the soot on it surprised him. Was he covered in ash? Since there wasn’t anything he could do about it, he stuck the cloth in his lab coat pocket. The stench of burned flesh slapped him in the face. Dread washed through him. He knew that scent… he smelled it too often in the last unit hour.
On a medibed in the middle of the room sprawled King Duran, and Neo hurried to his side. His eyes were open, but they stared sightlessly at the ceiling. A cloudy film already covered them. A dried trail of blood marred the king’s mouth. His body was still, no movement at all. No wonder, since King Duran’s chest was torn apart, the ribs protecting his heart shattered. Even the heart muscle was a mangled mess. But the massive wound was cauterized, and only laser pistols would leave behind this kind of damage. There was nothing Neo could do.
He glanced around the room. Jolak knelt next to the bed, holding the king’s limp hand. Keyno was there. So was Neo’s dabba, Doc. Where was Dale, Chad, Gibor and his dad, John? Were they with Szin and Dayo? Were they all being kept somewhere else?
Neo blinked, trying to get his brain to function as that damn wailing raked across his nerves. That unholy sound came from Jolak, and Neo’s head ache from the high-pitched crying. His eyes stung, and his nose suddenly burned. He had seen death, especially in the last unit hour, but this? His heart refused to accept what his mind already knew. King Duran was dead.
He started toward Jolak, unsure what he could do, but the grief pouring out of Jolak demanded Neo do something.
Keyno stepped forward and placed his hand on Neo’s arm. He shook his head. “I know you want to comfort him but wait,” Keyno said softly. “This is how his people guide a loved one’s spirit to its home in the afterlife.” Keyno jerked his head toward Hamza instead. “You mate, on the other hand, is close to losing control.”
Concerned, Neo turned toward Hamza. Hamza stood on the other side on the medibed, staring down at his dabba with clenched fists. He faced Neo, his lips pulled back, exposing the tips of his fangs. Neo’s stomach dropped, even as relief flooded him. Hamza was okay. He was in one piece, at least physically. But mentally? The devastation and wild anger on Hamza’s face terrified Neo. He’d never seen such unadulterated hatred. Hamza looked back down at King Duran.
“Hamza?” Neo whispered. He hurried around the medibed to Hamza’s side. But once he was there, he didn’t know what to do. The vibe surrounding Neo screamed not to touch. His body was bulked up in a dominance display too. Behind Hamza, his tail whipped angrily.
Gently Neo rested his hand on Hamza’s back, and Hamza flinched. A menacing hiss escaped Hamza, but Neo didn’t move away. Hamza would never hurt him. He knew that, but Keyno was right. Hamza was on the edge of losing control.
He wasn’t sure Hamza even knew where he was or who was with him right then.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Pucker Up Monday

Welcome to Pucker Up Monday. It's not what you think, lol. Since Mondays do tend to suck, I though I'd try to start the week off right for y'all.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Finicky Friday Halloween Style - Brownie Bat Truffles




1 13"-x-9" pan fudgy brownies, baked and cooled
1/2 c. Chocolate frosting
7 Oreo cookies, halved and stuffing removed
11 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
2 c. Black sanding sugar
28 royal icing eyes or red M&Ms minis


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, roughly crumble brownie by hand. Mix in chocolate frosting and gently knead mixture until evenly moistened.

Using a cookie scoop, portion out 1 tablespoon brownie frosting mixture and roll into small balls. Insert two halved Oreo cookies on either side to create wings. Place brownie balls on the prepared baking sheet and freeze until firm, 2 hours.

Remove balls from freezer and let come to room temperature, 15 minutes.

Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 5-second intervals. Dip bat brownie truffles in chocolate and dust with black sanding sugar. Decorate with royal icing eyes or M&Ms.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Tuesday Teaser

It's time for Tuesday Teaser, and time for more Harvest Young. I think I'm going with Bound by Love for Hamza's book, mainly because the last book with be called Bound by War. You know... love and war theme? It seems like this book would fit the war title, but Laken's book is last and his mate really fits that whole idea.


TRAUMA FROM A BOMBING/SOME GRAPHIC DESCRIPTION OF WOUNDED. (It's not as bad as the 2nd part of this chapter, and when I do post that it *will* def be graphic.)

 Chapter Two 
“Stupid, war-mongering, batshit crazy females.” Neo darted around hospital personnel, his white lab coat flapping behind him.
Three of his royal guards kept pace. When he arrived at the ER, a multitude of males rushed about, getting ready for the worst of the wounded from Castron, Lowbrett, and Kiton. Being a hospital located in the palatial city had its perks. One being they were the biggest and most advanced. Only the worst of cases were transported to them. Of course, the flip side of that was… well, they got the worst cases. Like now.
He snagged a fellow doctor by the arm. “Status?”
“Transporting to start in two unit minutes, Dr. Kere, over there.” The other doctor pointed at a large empty area.
“Thank you.” Neo moved away from the designated transporter site. His guards moved to the rear of the room. He spared them a glance and then promptly forgot them. Usually he only had one shadowing him, but not today. Not with what was currently going on.
He had a few unit minutes to calm himself and focus his mind. And prepare for the worst. His dad, who’d been a medical doctor on Earth during the last harvest, had taught him how important this was when Neo finally earned his medical degree. 
His dabba, who had served as Chief Medical Officer under Captain Shou, had agreed. Was it any wonder then, with both his dad and his dabba in the medical field, Neo became a doctor too? Medicine was his life, and in his opinion, he was a damn fine physician.
Neo took a deep breath, held it, then gradually released it. The nerves dancing through his body had nothing to do with the horrors coming his way. He’d learned how to appear stoic. Professionally distant even.
He could don a professional mask of indifference at a moment’s notice. Such tricks were necessary for him to do his job. He was, after all, not only Tah’Narian, but also a doctor. And he was prince consort since he was mated to Prince Hamza Duran, the only young birthed to the Tah’Narian king, King Duran.
He found himself taking deep breaths, often.
Sure, there were occasions he fell apart because of tragic events. Even as technologically advanced as they were, awful things happened. Death still came calling, and it wasn’t always the old it claimed. In Hamza’s arms Neo could let go and shed his tears.
No, what had his nerves jangling was what Hamza told him right before he left. Their planet was under attack, thus the reason he had three guards instead of the customary one. War had come to Tah’Nar once more. It didn’t help that he hadn’t heard from Hamza since they parted. He also worried about Dayo and Szin, who were giving birth.
A slight buzz lifted the hair on the back of his neck as a series of vertical lines appeared. “Here we go.”
Numerous medibed appeared. Doctors rushed forward, medical staff following. The silence was eerie, thanks to the sedation the patients were under. Neo ran to a patient and seized the small tablet at the end of the bed. Quickly he read over it. “Adult hybrid male with human DNA. Age mid-thirties.” Blood streaked the male’s facial features. “Traumatic amputation of left arm—limb not found. Multiple fractures with spinal cord injury. Eye penetration. Abdominal hemorrhage and perforation. Airway epithelial damage. Plasma burns over 90 percent of body. Gods.” He grabbed an attending. “Straight into surgery with him.”
“Yes, doctor!”
Neo sprinted from patient to patient, evaluating the worst of them and sending them on. He paused by a teen. It was a marvel he was still alive. As Neo watched, the young drew a last breath. Pain ripped through Neo. He was so young. Too young for his life to be brutally ended.
Fucking females. He sincerely hoped Hamza blew them out of the skies.
Time lost meaning as Neo and the other doctors moved from patient to patient. The ones who weren’t as critical, he did what he could to help while waiting for a surgeon. The cloying scent of blood stuck to the back of his throat.
Another wave of patients transported in, and Neo started the process all over again. He was assessing another male, and treating the injuries, when one of his guards stepped to his side. “My prince?”
Surprised, it took a moment for Neo to respond. At his request, they didn’t often address him by his title. It made him uncomfortable. He was only a prince by mating, not by birth like Hamza. “Yes?”
The guard lowered his voice. “Three more battleships have dropped out of orbit. I’ve been told that—”
The scream of a plasma torpedo streaking past shook the hospital. The ground under Neo’s feet shifted. He clutched the medibed to keep from falling over. “What the…!” Too close. That was entirely too fucking close. The hospital’s lights flickered.
The guard grabbed Neo’s elbow. “Darkkit palace is being attack.”
Neo jerked his head up. “What?
“The Ne Reynains have attacked the palace.” The guard hesitated. “And the Planetary Defense building.”
Outside, sirens blared a warning. He heard the high whine of more plasma torpedoes. Voices in the room raised. “Any word? At all?” Neo demanded. What about Dayo? Szin? Oh gods, both his dad and his dabba were there for the births. All the families were. Hamza. Was Hamza okay? Were any of his loved ones okay?
The guard shook his head.
Questions were asked, then shouted. Someone screamed, pointing. Glancing out a window, he saw a flash of light shoot across the sky and into a tall office building. His mouth dropped as the upper floors exploded outward. Debris fountained out from the destruction in a volatile arch. The hospital rocked again. The raised voices turned to frantic yells.
“By the gods,” Neo whispered, unable to believe what he witnessed. There were people in that building.
“Access the patients we have here, get them moved to the second floor to make room, and set up triage. I require every available doctor who isn’t already in surgery to get ready. We’re going to have wounded coming in soon!” A senior doctor snarled.
Neo thanked the guard, then leaped into action. Moments later, they saw smoke and heard the first cries. Males of all ages staggered in, covered in gore. Limbs were missing. Objects were sticking from their bodies. There were plasma burns. And coughing. And choking despair. Ambulatory services arrived, carrying more wounded. Screams of pain filled the air. Blood, suffering, and horror were his companions as he and the others worked frantically.
“Doctor Kere!”
Neo glanced up, his hand buried in the chest of another young male.
“The Royal Physician has requested your presence,” a guard shouted over the cries, moving toward him. “It’s urgent.”
Oh gods. No. Please. “Why? What was…?”
“Now, my prince.”
“Okay! Fine, let me….” Frantically Neo glanced around for someone to take his place.
Another doctor ran toward him. “Go. I got this. Go, Neo!”