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PSA for people who say vets don’t care or just want to make money (Educational post, non-writing related)

Okay guys. Today I’m here to speak about a topic that’s very near and dear to my heart. Animal healthcare. This is not a writing related blog entry, but I hope it will be an educational one so please continue reading. It’s gonna be a long one though. ^.^

Many of you may not know this about me, but until December of 2020 when I quit to go full time as an author and publisher, I spent my entire adult life in animal healthcare. We’re talking from 2000-2020. Yeah.

My experience is mainly in clinic settings, but I have worked with wildlife and avian rescues, nutritionists, run a rescue, and much more over the years. In clinic I have done everything from cleaning kennels and working the front desk to diagnostics and assisting in surgeries and treatments. I have worked in numerous facilities, so please trust me when I say I know what I’m talking about.

So why am I telling you this? Because I have reached my limit of being able to tolerate seeing people say things like ‘vets are only out for your money’ and ‘vets don’t care about your pet or know anything’ when they clearly have no idea how hurtful and ignorant that statement is. What’s more, they couldn’t be more wrong. So I want to explain WHY neither of those things are true in a light that you might not have considered before.

Now bear with me on this. When someone goes to medical school to become a doctor they have an absolutely insurmountable amount of information to learn JUST to get the basics of healthcare under their belt before they graduate. While they are in school for a long time compared to many degrees, they still have a finite amount of time to learn those things and thus get basically the ‘condensed’ version of any subject.

Now, consider this. It takes anywhere from eight to fourteen years to become a doctor. It takes eight to ten to become a veterinarian. Here’s the thing… You aren’t just learning about one species in vet school, you’re learning about dozens. As you can imagine, the abbreviated courses relating to certain aspects of health are often even more abbreviated than with human medicine, which makes you kind of cock your head when you think about how many more species they have to learn about.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because you need to understand that a veterinarian is basically the equivalent of a general practitioner in human medicine. They have a grasp of the basics and can treat most common issues. HOWEVER. If your pet has a specific issue that is outside of the information they are familiar with or their experience, it might start getting a little more complicated to treat your patient. They might even recommend you go to a specialist. Are they doing it because they somehow benefit from it or because they are lazy? No. They are sending you to the specialist because said person has devoted their career entirely to one aspect of pet care, and have thus become familiar with quite a bit more knowledge than the average vet might have on the subject.

If you can’t or are unwilling to go to a specialist, treating your pet at the general practice can become more complicated. Why? Because your vet has to start trying to research potential causes for an issue they may not necessarily feel qualified to treat. Even when using peer research and connecting with other veterinarians, it may still take multiple tries to come up with a plan that works and shows improvement, and even that isn’t a guarantee. “Well why would they treat my pet if they don’t know what’s going to happen or if they don’t feel like they know what they are doing?” I’ll tell you why. Because you can’t afford to go to the specialist they feel can help you, or you won’t. They want your pet to get better, so they are going to try. And every time it doesn’t work they will want to try again because they WANT your pet better and feel helpless since their hands are tied and they can’t do anything about the fact that you aren’t going to see the person most qualified to address the issue.

While we’re on the subject, lets talk about pet nutrition because this is a sore spot for me too. This same above information applies to nutrition in clinic settings as well. Your vet only got the basics on pet health nutrition. In an ever changing market there are far too many variables for the average person to keep up with considering the numberless amounts of fads, diets, and tiktok professionals trying to tell people how they should be feeding their pets. They know what the scientific research done by companies trusted by the industry say. They know what the veterinarian research studies say. They know the basic components that are important both to make up your pets food and to avoid in your pets food. No, they aren’t trying to sell you veterinary diets because they get some sort of incentive for it. They don’t. The incentive is they don’t have to keep treating your pet for medical issues over and over that could have prevented with a food they KNOW will solve the issue.

And while we’re on the subject of nutrition, I need to tell you something you won’t like to hear. The internet is full of people who claim to know more than medical professionals and yet have no formal certificates or training to support their education on the matter of animal nutrition. No animal husbandry degrees, no independent programs, no relevant workplace experience. Why in the name of hell everyone has decided to listen to a bunch of strangers on the internet and not a medical professional that’s familiar with your animals actual medical history I will never know.

Are there trash diets on the market? Sure. There’s trash food in the grocery store too. Are certain foods more like eating Chinese takeaway than a salad? Yeah. But again, that doesn’t mean the food is wholly without nutrition and that it should be discounted all together.

NOT ALL KIBBLE IS TRASH AND IF YOU SAY IT IS YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.

Also, not all pets can be maintained on a homemade diet, and my experience in the field tells me that about eighty percent of people will NOT maintain the exacting standards of ingredients and supplements required to maintain a homemade diet because it is way more complicated than you think to get the full spectrum of their needs met. Home diets are labor intensive and judging by the lack of compliance with general feeding guidelines (people love to over feed their dogs despite repeated concerns being expressed for the pets obesity and exact guidelines being given or giving a pet who needs a prescription diet an over the counter diet then having to bring the pet in repeatedly for issues the food would have addressed if they stayed on it like they were told), compliance is likely to be low and the pet will be the one to pay. Please stop telling people to do this when you have no idea what the compliance rate and resources are like.

Nutrition is WAY more complicated than what ingredients are listed in what order on the label. Just because you don’t understand the formal name of an item on the list doesn’t make it a dangerous chemical. And marketing has been scaring you into believing words like ‘biproduct’ or ‘corn’ are the devil, when they aren’t. Biproduct does not mean trash devoid of nutritional content. Corn does not mean filler. These foods have a purpose and are incorporated into diet in a way that allows them to be processed efficiently by the pets body. Don’t get angry because your vet doesn’t sound keen on your trying some internet fad. They are trying to think about what’s best for your pet and a rando diet a so-called expert informed you was better than that ‘trash’ prescription diet designed to keep your cat from forming bladder stones has no scientific backing to show it’s effective so no, they are not going to tell you it’s okay to feed.

I have fed multiple types of kibble over the years, as well as prescription diets and homemade diets under the direction and suggestion of veterinarians. I’ve done extra curricular certifications in pet nutrition. I have seen for myself over twenty years what works and what doesn’t. If your vet recommends something, there’s a reason. If your vet tells you to avoid something, there is a reason. Please don’t discount what they say based on what some internet warrior says, especially if your vet has always been reliable and caring about your pets health before. It’s great to do research but you need to be objective and actually get into the meat of the scientific research about balance and ratios, not just read what a blogger has written on a site dedicated to a specific style of pet diets where all the people think the same.

Now lets skip to the next issue…. “They are only in it for the money.”

Do you have any concept of the amount of money it takes to run a business? Not only do they pay rent, utilities, insurance, payroll, etc., they have to purchase medical equipment that can range from four to five digit numbers and sometimes higher (thousands and thousands of dollars for radiograph machines, processing machines, ultrasound, surgery sweet lights, surgery tables, dental tables, dental machines, computers, anesthesia machines, sterilizing equipment, bloodwork machines, I could go on and on and on. Literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment alone. Equipment that constantly needs updated. Oh, and they also have to purchase inventory ahead so there are thousands of dollars of medications, medical supplies, foods, grooming, parasite control, and innumerable other medications that they have to keep in stock in multiple sizes at all times to make sure they can treat your pets without delay. There are licenses to maintain, there are kennels to create, vehicles to maintain (for large animal vets), and more things than I can even list. Just because they took an oath does not mean they can afford to care for your pet for free or at a loss of profit. Why? Because if they did, then they’d go out of business and no one would be there to provide care for your pet at all.

If you have an issue with what you plan to spend on your pet, then you need to be up front in advance about having a budget and needing to know each cost before your pet is treated so that you can make informed choices about how far you are willing to go to treat your pet (but please don’t ask them to call you while your dog is under anesthesia so you can decide if you want rotten teeth pulled or not. Your pet doesn’t need to sit around waiting under anesthesia for you to decide if it’s worth the money for you to take the bad teeth out that are making them miserable or not, just do it for god sake). Also understand that if they give you an estimate it’s just that, an estimate. They have no idea what their going to find when they get into your pets gut on an exploratory, or what kind of awful dental issues were revealed once they chipped away the years worth of tarter on your pets teeth. They have to charge you for treatments in order to be able to stay open and continue to provide them.

Please, for the love of god, STOP claiming they are only in it for the money. Please, stop claiming they don’t care. The veterinary healthcare field has one of the highest rates of suicide amongst it’s doctors, and the staff are known to suffer from depression and anxiety. It is an emotionally heart wrenching, and often thankless job where we (the entire staff) witness horrible injustice, abuse, neglect, heart breaking and unfair twists of fate, and the loss of beloved patients and friends on a daily basis, all while people try to make them feel guilty for needing to charge for the services. Believe me, if they could feed their families and still do it for free, they would. No one is in this field because of the glory. It’s a filthy often times undignified job where staff and vets work over sometimes late into the night, without lunch or breaks, just to make sure your pets are cared for.

Just food for thought.

Book Review – The Predictive: Deep Space Fringe Wars Series by L.V. Lane

Hey everyone! Back today with another book review for you. Two technically, since it’s a series. :X

Now, I’ve reviewed L.V. Lane here before. Most of us know her for her Omegaverse romance, though she’s also written some contemporary romance as well as this lovely sci-fi series. As a general rule, I’ll read pretty much anything she writes. Her style is easy to read and she has a gift for world building that borderlines on some sort of witchcraft or sorcery. It’s phenomenal!

So, The Predictive: Deep Space Fringe Wars series is a slight departure from her more well known romance-centric books, but no less enjoyable. These are the first two books in the series (sorry, won’t let me post the series page) –>


This series really doesn’t get the love it deserves. The characters are likable, relatable, and so easy to invest in! The backdrop of war and colonization gives tension to the story line which keeps you on edge and reading because you HAVE to know what happens next. She creates a world so rich in detail that you not only feel immersed in the action alongside the characters, you have no problem believing every bit of information you’re fed. It’s a fantastic sci-fi military storyline. I had no problem suspending disbelief and losing myself in this series.

Our hero and heroine are both imperfect but brave, and are given the opportunity not only for personal growth but relationship development as well. While romance isn’t the main focus, we do still find a bit of love here and there through this series and it softens the rough edges of the world just the right amount.

I really hate to say too much, I don’t want to give anything away. But! If you enjoy sci-fi, action adventure, military fiction, or even if you don’t, I definitely recommend you read this series. It’s another ballpark knock out for L.V. Lane as far as I’m concerned, and I can’t wait for the next book. I really can’t recommend this series enough.

If you’d like to keep up with L.V. Lane (and I’d highly recommend it) here’s her link tree for all her social media links –>

https://linktr.ee/authorlvlane?fbclid=IwAR2mV4ayaXo-vk2HEa9QrZYeqphTQ5UNMFcUwgCjkRa9eafn8AVDaZ6Zi5U

Book Review – Wicked Temptations – Cass Alex (Crimson Moon Hideaway Series)

Hey guys! I’m back with a book review for you today. I’ve not had much time to read the past few months but I’m getting back on the horse, so here we go!

Today’s book is Wicked Temptations, by Cass Alex, which is part of the Crimson Moon Hideaway Series. You can find it here –>

Renowned food critic Olivia Freedman enjoys her life as a borderline recluse. After all, if there’s good food and stable WiFi what more does a woman need? But after a suspicious call from her best friend, she finds herself racing off to where Kat was last seen – the Crimson Moon Hideaway resort.
Something’s going on alright, but it’s the last thing she ever saw coming.

Hellhound Aidan Laoch is the newest rising star on the restaurant scene. When he earns a coveted guest chef stint at the famous Crimson Moon Hideaway resort, he never expects to find the fiery little human that is destined to turn his world upside down.

Sparks fly between Olivia and Aidan, and just when things are really heating up in the kitchen, the two find themselves up to their elbows in lies, mystery, crème brûlée… and other wicked temptations that are just too yummy to resist!

So, the Crimson Moon Hideaway Series is a paranormal series featuring all sorts of fantastical creatures. This is the first book I’ve read in the series, but it can be read as a standalone. From what I gather, the resort this series is centered around is a safe haven for paranormal beings. It kind of has a facade of being a normal resort, and I get the impression there are some ‘normies’ here, but the guest list includes just about any kind of sentient being you can think of.

Our heroine Olivia is a food critic/blogger and a total foodie. She’s also a bit of an introvert, which I can totes appreciate since I am too. Can she deal with people and be charming? Sure. Does she want to? Maybe not so much. Olivia has had a bad go of it in the relationship department and has kind of buried herself in her work, where she lets her alter ego shine. It isn’t that she’s unhappy. She enjoys what she does and enjoys her solitude, though she dearly loves her best friend whom is one of the few regular contacts she seems to have. But her life is just a little ‘small’ or ‘shut in’ in some respects. We’ve all felt that way haven’t we?

When her best friend calls unexpectedly and begs her to come to the resort where she’s staying, naturally she assumes something is wrong since it sounds so urgent. She’s got the whole trip up there to stress about what’s happening, so she’s good and riled up once she arrives. Let’s just say her first introduction to our Hero is less than flattering, and also kind of hilarious.

Anyway, so this book centers around her stay at the resort and the growing connection she feels with our Hero Aidan, who is the chef. What better match could you have than a foodie blogger and a chef right? Aidan is facing some challenges-both because someone is trying to sabotage his new job at the resort, and because his inner beasty has decided our heroine is his mate. Poor guy is having a rough go of it, but Olivia proves to be just the kind of distraction he needs. Her relatively easy acceptance of him and his other half obviously gives him something he’s been yearning for.

This is, at it’s heart, a fated mates, insta-love (loosely) kind of romance. It’s got a little bit of a cabin romance feel, even though there are other people at this resort, the focus is really on these two. The development of the relationship between them is so, so sweet. There’s a lot of vulnerability, acceptance, and chemistry going on here, and I’m HERE for it. There’s a bit of drama, but much to the surprise of everyone involved, our heroine actually comes to the rescue here. And even so, it doesn’t diminish the lovely, scrumptious alpha-ness of our hero. There are definitely some refreshing trope twists in this book.

I don’t really want to spoil a lot of the details for you, but I would definitely recommend this funny, sweet paranormal romance. It’s a relatively light and short read, and it left me wanting more. Also… I want a hell hound toting man of my own. Can someone arrange that for me?

If you want to keep up with Cass and what she’s doing, you can find her here –>

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cassalexwrites

Website: https://www.cassalex.com

Amazon Profile: https://www.amazon.com/author/cassalex

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCassAlex

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cass-alex

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19573570.Cass_Alex

Newsletter signup: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/a2i2l7

Happy Reading!

Updates and Coming Releases

Hey guys! I’m a bad book mom, I know. But, I’m here to update you on everything that’s going on! Read on to find out what HAS released, what’s GOING to release, what naughty fun you can look forward to in my blog in the near future, and what’s going on with our publications company! This will be a longer blog than normal, so bear with me!

First, I’ll start with upcoming releases since that’s most exciting, right?

Please, Alpha, the second book in my consent driven Omegaverse/BDSM series His Willing Omega, is releasing March17th! This series follows the developing relationship between an Omega and Alpha who their journey in a BDSM club as play mates. Here’s the blurb ->

Meghan is everything I knew she would be.

Beautiful, sweet, and oh, so willing.

She was made for me, and I’m determined she’ll be more than just my submissive.

Now, someone else has set eyes on what’s mine.

But I’ll fight to keep her.

Now, for those of you who read the first one and complained about the lack of sex, because how could it be a BDSM book without sex, I promise you, the first book was just the set up for their story. This one delivers on the steamy bits. Along with a bit of predicament play, impact play, tickle play, and an unexpected twist at the end. >.>

You can pre-order this bad boy here –>

My next new release is coming at the end of March, and guys… I’m so excited!

The Alpha of Rickett Hall is an Omegaverse/Regency crossover stand alone novel. It’s about an Alpha who was injured in battle, and the determined little Omega that refuses to let him give up on himself. Here’s the blurb –>

All the money in the world couldn’t replace the leg Edmund Harcourt lost in battle. Abandoned by his fiancée and friends, living soon loses its appeal.

What good is a broken Alpha?

When Edmund’s family learns of a young Omega with healing abilities, they hatch a plot to bring sweet Juliana Mooreland to Edmund’s door in the hopes that instinct will bind the two together.

But such clandestine plots rarely go as planned…

I have apparently developed a taste for torturing you people with slow burn romances, because this is another one with sizzling chemistry that continues to grow over the course of the book, but makes you wait until the end of the payout XD But, come on. It’s the Regency period. Can’t be getting it on all willy nilly now.

Edmund Harcourt is such a damaged, angry soul, but Juliana sees him for who he really is, and she absolutely refuses to let him be anything less than his best self. The interactions between these two are full of angst, humor, and longing, and I really hope you love them as much as I do! You can pre-order here –>


As far as my plans for releases the rest of the year, here’s my list of scheduled releases ->

Wish Me Real (A Jinn dark romance short to be included in an Anthology by my publishing company early summer)

The Sacred Omegas Book 2 – Isa (Sci-fi Omegaverse RH)

Elena’s Rebirth – A New Reign Book 2 (Russian Bratva Dark romance)

His Forbidden Prize (Werewolf Dark ‘Romance’)

(Possibly the following as well, depending on time and such)

Donovan’s Girl (Sacred Omegas side novel to be expanded, previously released in ‘The Knotty List’, a Christmas gift to readers.)

The Harvest Gift (Demon Dark ‘Romances)


In other news! For those of you who don’t know, I run the indie romance publications company called Reticent Desire Publications (for site click logo below)

Currently accepting manuscript submissions

Currently, we are the publisher for Isoellen, Ana B. Starr, and we’ve just added another author, Josie Landry. All of our authors have projects in the pipes, so you’ll be seeing some work from them this year too 😀

Additionally, I’ve started a mainstream imprint for our non-romance authors. It’s called AdeCiro Publications (for site link click logo below)

Currently accepting manuscript submissions

Over at AdeCiro, we have two new authors as well! N.C. Halley, and G.L. Francis! I’ll also be adding a mainstream pen name for myself under AdeCiro, where I’ll go by Laurel Pierce. All of the authors under this imprint have books coming this year as well, so keep your eyes open!

Oh! Soon, I’ll have another toy review or two for you >.> Just fyi!

I’ve also been doing rendering and cover art, so hopefully you’ll be seeing more of that from me as well! You can keep an eye on what’s available and what I’m up to over at Merel Pierce Designs on Facebook 😀 ->

https://www.facebook.com/merelpiercedesigns

Okay, guys. I guess that wasn’t as long as I thought. Kind of a brief update, but there you go! ❤

Book Review – The Last Vampire – by R.A. Steffan & Jaelynn Woolf

After a long break, I’m back to do another book review!

This time, it’s for a boxed set of an entire series titled ‘The Last Vampire’ by authors R.A, Steffan and Jaelynn Woolf.

Here’s the link for later (all though you can buy them individually if you aren’t sure you want to commit to the set XD) –>

There’s a smokin’ hot dead guy locked in my garden shed.
That part’s bad enough. But now, he’s trying to get out.


Growing up, my father always told me that I’d come to a bad end, just like my mom did when I was a kid. Hearing that kind of stuff when you’re little eventually gets to a girl, but I can’t say I ever expected my ‘bad end’ to involve an angry vampire with a severe case of iron deficiency and a panty-melting English accent.

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. Ever since my mother was assassinated, I’ve felt like there was something vast and frightening hidden beneath the fabric of the world. Something none of us are supposed to know about.

So far, finding out I was right hasn’t been nearly as satisfying as I’d hoped. I guess the trick will be staying alive long enough to shout ‘I told you so’ from the rooftops.

But before I can do that, I really need to figure out if the vampire who just bit me is one of the good guys or not.

Okay, so… I can’t even tell you how I came across this set. I feel like it was a totally random pick after some amazon ad rabbit hole diving. But, I’m a fan of vampires and I keep trying to find decent vampire novels, and so here we are.

Without revealing tons about it, I can tell you that if you liked True Blood, you’ll probably like this. It’s got all the paranormal prerequisites! Sexy vampire, heroine with special powers she has yet to discover, demons, fae, and more, oh my!

Overall I thought it was a nice series, and I definitely recommend it. For someone like me that will shoot through a book in a matter of a few hours, the set was definitely a nice package since I could just jump straight from one to the next.

In reference to the story itself – Overall, solid. There were some original concepts, good humor, solid and interesting characters, lots of sex and drama, and tons of action.

Now, that being said, if I were going to have a complaint it’s honestly just a personal preference one. For me? There were TOO many types of paranormal beings in the series. It reminded me of the latter seasons of True Blood, where every paranormal beastie in the world made an appearance. Which, some people liked. And it does give you other realms and world to explore within the main story line, which adds some additional variety. But for me, it was just a little busy in that respect. I guess what I’m saying is, I probably still would have read all six books if it were just vampires and demons. Again, this is just a personal preference.

The only other aspect of the book that was a little tiresome for me (and again I think this is just me) was that there was just always some major threat of a mountain to overcome, again and again… These poor characters rarely had a chance to breathe! Now, please bear in mind that I read the entire series in like, three days. I read super fast, so the fact that I was running through them that quickly may be why it seemed a little repetitive in that respect for me. Overall it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the series.

Overall, this series delivered on the action, adventure, heat, and more feels than I was expecting. I’d say probably four out of five stars for this series from me!

If you read these books and find that you really enjoy them, the series continues with a spinoff for one of the secondary characters and his love interest. It looks interesting as well 😀 You can find it here –>

Book Review – Daddy P.I. by EJ Frost

I’m back with another book review! I’ve got a handful to do, and several of them are by this wonderful author, E.J. Frost. 😀

Today’s book review is about the first in her new (April of 2020) series, Daddy P.I. Casefiles. There are currently two full length books in this series with a third coming February 14th of this year. There’s also a boxed set releasing the same day that features a short story (book 0.5 of this series, that started it all), the first two books, and an additional exclusive novella. I’ll put the lengths for everything below, because once you start on this series, you’ll want to be sure to finish it!

Here’s the link for later–>

Death.
Pirates.
And a Daddy Dom to the rescue.

Former Naval officer James Logan is used to being in charge, both in his personal life and his new career as a private investigator. When he’s hired to investigate the suspicious death of a passenger on an alternative lifestyle cruise, Logan swaps his gun for a flogger. All he needs is a good cover, and he knows just the sub to provide it.

Author Emily Martin is no stranger to the lifestyle; she’s a veteran of emotionally unavailable Masters and see-you-later sadists. However, Logan’s no weekend Dom, and his dedication to being her daddy could just convince Emily to give full-time power exchange another try.

But there’s no chance for a happily-ever-after with a killer at large. When the chase turns lethal, Emily must call on every ounce of courage to save her daddy.

Will she be a Little too late?

Publisher’s Note: this book contains references to subjects that readers may find triggering, including incest, drug use, and bullying. The book also contains elements of power exchange. Please do not buy this book if such subjects offend you.

Okay! So! Daddy P.I. is a mashup of the most enjoyable variety! It’s a BDSM/Investigative crossover, with a private investigator Dom who has also recently taken on the role of Daddy to a Little, named Emily. It’s the first time Logan (our H) has been a daddy, but he’s very well acquainted with the overall BDSM scene, since he’s practically been involved his entire life.

Emily and Logan’s relationship with one another is initiated shortly before the beginning of this book. While we don’t SEE their first meeting, we get enough information about it to know how it happened and not to feel like we are missing out (plus if you buy the boxed set in February, you’ll get to read that part anyhow!). Where we pick up here, is with Logan starting a case that involves investigating a death on a cruise ship. A BDSM Lifestyles cruise ship, I might add. But he needs to do so under cover! So who better to bring along for the trip to serve as his ‘beard’ so to speak, than his new Little, Emily?

So, without saying to much, I will say the beginning of this book threw me off kilter a little bit. Almost directly from the start, Emily gets tangled up in the middle of Logan addressing a very personal, private issue and she inadvertently (in the beginning at least) becomes part of his healing process. At first, it’s very confusing and uncomfortable for her because she doesn’t understand what’s happening. For a minute, I was really scared this was going to turn bad.

But, she, being the sensitive empath that she is, understood more than I did at the time. Something important is happening that Logan needs, and thus she allows the scene between them to finish without stopping what’s happened.

Once he explains, and she understands, it only reaffirms her suspicions that he’d badly needed what she has given him, and she sees how vulnerable he had to be to show her this dark, secret part of himself that he’s so ashamed of. She appreciates how valuable that kind of trust is, especially for someone you haven’t known long. Her acceptance and supportive response to his admissions pretty much astonishes him, and he’s obviously overcome with affection for his sweet Emily.

Of course now, everything is right back on track, with both parties having a greater understanding of the other once they start this trip. Having this emotional of an interaction so early in their relationship wasn’t something I (or either of them) were prepared for, but it definitely sets a sweet, hopeful tone for the rest of the book.

They set off on their cruise, and while Logan DOES spend a lot of time interviewing staff and guests, and generally investigating the events surrounding the death of a former passenger, these passages are never boring or stilted. In fact, it’s kind of interesting to see how his mind works in a professional capacity. Plus, it’s a lifestyle cruise! There are tons of steamy ‘scenes’ and sexy times between Logan and Emily.

It’s pretty obvious from the very beginning that their connection and chemistry is pretty out of this world. It’s a fact that’s only reaffirmed as the book progresses and the characters grow closer.

One thing I loved about this book was that this wasn’t all ‘wine and roses’, so to speak. Neither Emily or Logan were perfect. They both made assumptions, didn’t understand, and made mistakes when dealing with one another. They were human. When another kick in the gut from his past hits Logan while they are on the cruise, Emily stands by him supportively with the sort of faith you’d expect to see from a long term partner. Even so early on, we’re seeing that despite their differences and disagreements, they always have each other’s backs. I liked that they had to learn about one another, sometimes by making those mistakes, so that they could grow together as a couple.

As the investigation comes to a head, danger steps in to interrupt their happiness with a right hook I didn’t see coming. Get some tissues, ya’ll. You’ll probably need them for this last bit.

Despite the devastation and upset, in the end Logan’s case is closed, and he and Emily are closer than ever. It wraps up nicely with a happy for now, indicating clearly that Logan and Emily’s relationship will continue into the next book.

Overall, five out of five stars from this reader. As always you get a good bang for your buck with this book, as it’s a thick sucker that will easily suck away several days of your life in the most delightful way!

As I mentioned before, there is another book in this series currently out, along with the third coming and a special boxed set featuring the beginning both the first and second book, their intro to each other, and a special short novella as well. You can find each of these respectively by clicking the images below –>

Book 2
Book 3 (Coming 02/14/21)
Boxed Set (Coming 02/14/21) Featuring Book 0.5, Book 1, Book 2, & a Novella

If you’d like to keep up with E.J., you can follow her here –>

https://emmafrostuk.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/emmafrostuk

https://twitter.com/ejfrostuk

https://www.instagram.com/emmafrostuk/

Book Review – Neon Blue by EJ Frost

Hey all! I know it’s been a while since I did a book review, but I’m getting back in the swing of things!

Now, if you aren’t familiar with EJ Frost, she is an awesome author and a amazingly positive force in the indie writing community. She’s really a treasure.

Of recent I’ve read four… No, wait. Four and a half of her books. One was a short. Anyhow, expect to be seeing more EJ Frost books in reviews in the coming weeks.

Anyhow! On to the review.

Today’s book is Neon Blue, a contemporary witch/demon dark romance (sort of). For future reference, you can find it here –>

An urban witch.
A hungry demon.
A soul on the line.

My name is Tsara Elizabeth Faa, and I have a demon problem. A very serious demon problem.

My ex-best friend has summoned an incubus, and left me to deal with him. Now he’s after my soul.

Thing is, the more time I spend with him, the more I want to give it to him.

One thing I’ve discovered in reading EJ’s work is that her writing style is very unique and immersive. You’re going to get caught up in this story, and at Amazon’s estimated 320 pages long, you’d better plan on setting some time aside for it. Once you start, it’s going to be hard to put it down. I was literally able to accomplish nothing noteworthy for the several days it took me to read this book. Every real life task I had to do was a complete and utter annoyance. XD

While I’m a fan of demons in paranormal writing, I don’t generally have much interest in the witch aspect of the paranormal genre. However, I gave it a chance and I was super glad I did.

Tsara’s life is somewhat ‘normal’ for a witch. This woman is out there every day, helping other people with her magical gifts. They don’t know it, of course, but she’s using her skills for good. She gets paid, too, naturally. But that’s really besides the point when she’s expending so much energy helping other people’s dreams come true.

Our h has a pretty nonexistent love life. Her social life isn’t much better unless you count the numerous supernatural creatures that often make uninvited appearances in her inner circle. Understandable, given the circumstances (namely, that most people aren’t supposed to KNOW she’s a witch) that make it difficult to have close relationships that are generally built on trust and acceptance from your partner and friends.

Early on, I found myself not only identifying with Tsara (amazing, since she’s a witch and I am not XD), but feeling her loneliness and general dissatisfaction with her life on a deeply personal level. Don’t get me wrong, she tries to have a positive outlook, but some days it’s hard, isn’t it? Especially when people disappoint us and things don’t go the way we hoped. We’ve all been there. As the story moved along, I found myself ‘feeling’ what was happening right along with Tsara so deeply that my mood was often tainted by what was happening in the book when I last left off reading it. For me, this was huge.

In my opinion, the mark of a good book is one that makes the reader FEEL. The relatability of EJ’s characters makes this especially easy, and the feels are abundant in this book. Sadness, hope, arousal and pleasure, loss, betrayal, anger, happiness, MORE BETRAYAL… It’s all here, and you’ll feel it ALL.

Also… Sexy as f*ck demon who casually invades her life? Uh, yes please. MOAR Jou please. But I’m going to need a fan, ya’ll. Every little thing he does is…. Well, dark magic. Hawt. XD

The world building is extensive, as it is in all of EJ’s books. She paints a rich landscape full of details that manages to avoid being as cumbersome and intrusive as some intricate setting structures can be. Her characters, even in the most ridiculous of circumstances, somehow manage to remain true to their nature, making decisions and executing actions that are wholly believable and reasonable given the insanity of their lives. It makes it easy to stay submerged in the story.

I’m trying to be vague here. I don’t really want to give anything away. >.>

What I can tell you, in summary, is this-Neon Blue is a hot and sexy dark romance full of amazing creatures and engaging characters that also manages to be deep enough that you are absolutely going to be heartbroken or angry raging by the end (somehow, I didn’t see it coming, even though I really really should have). It’s a soft cliffhanger, as it is the first book in a series. There’s a beginning, middle, and ‘end for now’. You’ll get some wrap up, but it’s very obvious this isn’t the end of the road for these characters.

As a note, there’s also a short that goes along with this series. It comes after this book. You can find it here –>


So, in closing… This is an awesome book. EJ Frost is a pretty epic writer, and totally underrated in my humble opinion. Her books can be a bit of a commitment due to the length, but you certainly get a bang for your buck, so to speak. For a speedy reader like me, it’s fabulous!

EJ has also written some fantastic Daddy/little/BDSM/Investigative fiction and some Scifi that’s great as well. I’ll eventually be doing reviews on those as well. Having read four of her books across very different genres, I can confidently recommend just about everything she writes.

Keep up with EJ Frost on social media

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A Little Encouragement Prompt

Copyright Merel Pierce – Do not copy, transmit, or otherwise use this material in any way.

*

“Dawkins, get down to the pens. One of your dogs won’t come out of the kennel.”

Moira glanced up from the status report she’d been reading, frowning at the burly man standing in the breakroom doorway.

“Which one?”

“28.”

Moira sighed, scooting her chair back and getting to her feet.

“William.”

“Yeah, whatever.” The man said with a sneer. “They want to try him out, and he won’t come. If you don’t want them using the prods, handle it.”

“Jesus, he’s only been in the program a few weeks.” She muttered, annoyed at the impatience of her colleagues. “He hasn’t even finished his training.”

“Not gonna either, if he doesn’t get his shit together.”

Moira closed the folder and gathered up her things, throwing what was left of her lunch in the trash.

“Tell them I’ll be down in five.”

The man grunted as she passed him on the way out of the lunchroom, and Moira had to force herself to ignore the way his head angled to watch her go.

One of only two women in the unit, she was accustomed to the men ogling her. Sexual harassment was common, but Moira didn’t make a fuss. Her pack relied on her to take care of them, and after two grueling years of hard labor earing their trust, she wasn’t willing to risk being relocated for filing a complaint against one of the soldiers the company employed.

Moira dropped her things at her cubicle and retrieved her laminated badge. She slipped the lanyard over her head as she made her way towards the elevator at the end of the hall, swiping the badge beneath the reader that controlled the shaft doors.

The red light blinked green, and the doors parted. Moira stepped inside, typed in her code on the keypad and chse sub-level three from the menu. A buzzer sounded and the doors closed, a series of electromagnetic locks sealing her in as the elevator started it’s decent.

Once she’d reached her floor, the locks disengaged, and another warning buzzer sounded as the doors opened. Moira exited the car into the passage that led to her packs encloser, unbothered by the cold concrete and infrequently placed lights that composed the hall.

She’d gotten used to the dismal conditions on sub-level three a long time ago. It was like perpetual night here, always dark, gloomy, and impersonal. They insisted it was for safety sake, but Moira thought it was unnecessary for them to keep the unit packs in such a depressing facility. She thought it more likely they didn’t care enough to make the space more welcoming. After all, who cared what the hounds thought?

To most of the soldiers and scientists here, they were just animals, pure and simple. Potential weapons, who were only useful if they could be trained to do the bidding of the men running the show.

This program had been in place for more than eight years, but many of the first specimens had been euthanized due to uncontrolled aggression and violence. It took the arrogant bastards behind the scenes years to figure out that their subjects only responded to certain kinds of training, and brute force wasn’t enough to do the job.

That’s where Moira came in. After a chance encounter with an escaped facility subject that ended peacefully instead of the blood and violence they’d expected when trying to retrieve him, they’d offered her a place in the program.

Well, they’d offered her an ultimatum. Work for us, or we’ll ruin your life.

They had the money and influence to do it. They’d made sure she knew it, too. When she’d refused to answer their calls, they’d shut down her bank accounts and sent the police to bring her in on a fake drug charge that her public defender assured her would put her behind bars for at least ten years.

She’d gotten the message.

Moira turned left at a fork in the hall, flashing her badge beneath another reader by a reinforced steel door. The lights flashed, the door sliding open to allow her passage. The small walkway was enclosed, a door on each end. She had to wait for the first door to close before her badge would open the second, which released her into the observation deck above her pack’s enclosure.

She made her way to the bullet-proof windows – the only thing strong enough to keep them from breaking through – and looked down into the pen below.

Fake boulders and skeletal machinery littered the concrete floor below. Canopies made of netting hung over and between the landmarks, providing a sense of cover for the creatures who called the place home. The same straw that was scattered atop the netting was also strewn over the floor, a pathetic covering. She hadn’t been able to convince the company to provide something more pleasant for them.

Moira sighed. It was like a sad zoo in a third-world country where the animals spent their entire lives in a concrete box. She only hoped her work would eventually convince the higher-up’s that improving the quality of life for the pack improved their trainability and cooperation.

There were three soldiers beneath her in the pen, close to the exit, waiting.

She turned away from the viewing window and made her way through yet another door with the flash of her keycard. It was a flight of stairs down to the floor. At the next door, she hung her badge on the wall outside the entrance to the pen, retrieved a remote that controlled the electric collars the pack wore, fastened it around her wrist and fisted the round device before typing a code on the keypad.

You couldn’t wear badges here. They were too smart for that.

She passed through another check-point style room, waiting for the first door to close before she coded the second door that released her into the pen.

Two of the soldiers turned her way as the door opened, electric prods lowered. The third kept watch on the unmoving landscape.

“’Bout time.”

“I didn’t know you were pulling them today.” Moira countered. “Could have saved you the trouble if someone would tell me what is going on.”

“You’ll know what you’re meant to.”

“Are the rest of the boys out already?”

“Three of five. That trouble-making pup and the Beta are still here.”

The Beta of the pack – Tanner, or 23 as he was now called – was still recovering from the pack’s last mission when he’d been too close to an IED that had gone off when they set the pack loose in hostile territory. Thankfully, the higher-ups were smart enough to realize a compromised asset wasn’t much of an asset at all. She was glad he’d been left behind. She wished they’d leave 28 as well. He wasn’t ready for training exercises yet. They hadn’t had enough time to bond properly.

Moira moved between the guards, taking a calming breath as she moved further into the enclosure.

“We’re right behind you.”

She held a hand up behind her, motioning for them to stay put.

“You’ve done enough. Stay there. I’ll get him.”

Moira skirted the hulking remains of a bulldozer, a hand trailing along the metal grill as she searched the shadowed maze beneath the netting. She made a series of clicking noises with her tongue, something she always did when she was coming in – letting the boys know she was there.

It wasn’t until she was out of sight of the soldiers, rounding another large bolder, when she heard the first signs of life. Scuffling, a huff and a sneeze. Moira turned her head slowly in the direction of the sound, not surprised to see Tanner emerging from the shadows of his favorite spot – a low place between several pieces of equipment.

Moira smiled at him as he pulled himself out of the den-like area, feeling a pang of sympathy as she watched him wince for the effort of moving his injured hind leg.

“Hey, Tanner.” She greeted him gently, softening her voice as he got to his feet. “Still feeling pretty rough?”

He chuffed a response, triangular ears drooping as he limped his way toward her, his tail flagging lazily behind him.

Tanner’s fur was tawny – thick and plush. Moira loved burying her fingers in it, feeling the downy undercoat between her fingers. Not that she’d have told the others, but he was her favorite. He was the charmer of the group, with dark eyes that did his smiling for him when a wagging tail didn’t say enough.

He was smaller than the Alpha, but still stood a head taller than Moira, forcing her to tilt her chin up to look at him when he paused before her. As all werewolves were, Tanner was heavily muscled. Broad shoulders, a tucked waist, and thick, muscular bipedal legs that allowed him to move on two legs or lope on four.

She lifted her hand, spreading her fingers and pressing her palm to his chest over his heart.

He gave a low rumble – an odd purr-like noise the weres made when they were happy – and brought his hand to rest over top of hers. Furred and clawed, the underside of palm and digits thick with leathery padding, his touch was surprisingly gentle.

Moira smiled at him again.

“Do you know where William is?”

Tanner grunted, his ears folding back for an entirely different reason this time. He tilted his head to the right, eyes shifting toward the actual den that had been constructed for the pack in the back corner of the enclosure.

Moira scratched his chest, smoothing the hair before she let her hand slip out from beneath his. The pack wasn’t fond of William. He hadn’t been here long enough for them to work out the hierarchy kinks. William had been snatched up right after he was infected. He hadn’t even had a chance to adjust to what had happened to him before he was thrust into the program. The older wolves had all been infected long before the company found them. The transition seemed to be easier once the man accepted his beast. “I’ll come back after I talk to him.”

Tanner dipped his chin in agreement.

Moira continued through the maze, letting her fingers trail along the rocks and machinery as she went. It was good to leave her scent here, it reminded them that she wasn’t far away, or that she wouldn’t be for long.

Contrary to what common folklore taught people about werewolves, they were quite intelligent, their human mind still perfectly intact. They were more primal, short tempered, and strong, but otherwise, the man remained intact – trapped inside the wolf, so to speak. The loss of control wasn’t the only thing folklore had wrong, though. Those afflicted with a werewolf’s curse didn’t suffer it only on the full moon. In fact, it was exactly the opposite. They lived and breathed their curse every day, only returning to their human form through an excruciating transformation during the full moon.

Still human at their core, the violence of the weres had been successfully tempered by her presence in their lives. In the beginning there had been a lot of terrifying moments when Moira was afraid she’d be torn to pieces, raped, or injured when the pack fought over her attention. Eventually, though, things had worked themselves out. 

With so little pleasure in their lives, her company was a balm that soothed and helped them keep in touch with their humanity. They grew protective, eager to please. One of the reasons Moira and the weres got along so well was that she still treated them like men. She was the only one who did in this place.

When she reached the den, she dipped low to clear the entrance. Inside, she could already hear the bristling growl of the were who was hiding in the relative darkness of the makeshift cave.

“Please stop growling at me, William.” Moira admonished as she entered the space. She waited for her eyes to adjust, sweeping over the room and its three alcoves. The straw was thicker here, rustling beneath her feet as she stepped inward. The steady grumbling of the youngest pack member told her where he was even before she could see him.

Black as pitch, William may as well have been a shadow. Tucked back into one of the alcoves, huddled low, the only thing she could see was the white gleam of his teeth as he continued to snarl and growl.

Cautious, Moira came within a few feet of him before she stopped.

“We need to talk.”

The growl changed pitch, but William didn’t move.

Moira crouched down in front of him, giving him a half-hearted smile.

“I know you don’t want to go with them, William. I don’t blame you,” she began, her tone one of practiced sympathy. “It’s terrifying, degrading, frustrating… I know. But this is how we survive.”

A snort sounded amid the growling, the dry grating of straw on concrete detailing his movements as he turned his face to the corner and gave her his back – trying to ignore her.

“William, come on.” Moira pleaded. “Someday, they won’t be able to treat you like an animal anymore. But until we find the loophole that lets us out, we’ve got to work together. Otherwise, well… What they threatened to do when you attacked the guard your first week? They’ll actually do it.”

She scooted a little closer, reaching forward to place a tentative hand on his furred shoulder. He twitched, but the growl died away as she started working her fingers through his fur.

“It isn’t fair that their making you go before you’ve had a chance to do more training, but I’m sure it will be an easy exercise.” Moira promised. “If you stay close to Jack and the others, you’ll be fine.”

His shoulders slumped, an unhappy sound escaping his muzzle as she continued to work fur and muscle beneath her hand. He had never been mad at her, and she knew it.

 Confidence boosted by the relaxing of his posture, Moira went to her knees behind him, laying herself over his back and pressing her cheek to his shoulder. Hugging the giant furred creature to her chest, she jostled him what little she was able.

“It’s just a training exercise, William.” She assured him, inhaling his woodsy scent deep. It always surprised her how they weres managed to smell like the wilderness, even locked in a concrete box. “The boys usually like it. They tear shit up, make a mess, blow off some steam… It’ll be good for you all. Don’t you want to get out of the enclosure for a while?”

William huffed, shrugging a shoulder.

Moira gave him another squeeze, then got to her feet. She wrapped her hands around his upper arm and gave him a tug. “Come on, William. I’ll walk out with you. It’ll be fine.”

With a grumble, the were let her pull him out of the alcove. He stayed on all fours as they moved to the den entrance, Moira’s hand resting on his shoulder. Once they exited into the main chamber, the sleek black creature got cautiously to his feet.

Nervous golden eyes searched the terrain, his ears swiveling back and forth as he listened to every living creature in the enclosure who was making enough noise to be heard.

Moira gave him a minute, not wanting to force him forward before he was ready. When the tension in his muscles lessened minutely, she wrapped her arm around his and gave him another tug.

“Come on, William. I promise it won’t be so bad. You’ll probably even have fun.”

He searched her expression, as if trying to judge whether or not she was telling the truth. Finally, his ears drooped in surrender.

Moira smiled.

“Good. That’s the right attitude to have. Come on then, lets get this over with.”

New Release Coming Soon Alert!

Hello all! It’s been a while since I’ve posted, I know. I’ve been helping some other awesome authors publish their books, and working like a mad woman! However, I swear, I’m still alive 😀

I come bearing good news today! I have a new release coming in October 2020.

Now, I know a lot of you are waiting for the second Sacred Omegas book. I promise it’s coming. The first book is getting a good clean up, and will be getting an updated cover soon as well, and I’m hoping to have the second book in the series out by the end of the year or shortly after. That being said, I’m here today because of a totally separate series!

This new book is the first in a series of dark romance Bratva/mafia books unlike any you’ve read thus far. This couple ya’ll, they are pretty amazing. I can’t wait for you to meet them, and especially for you to meet Evgeni, our H. He’s uh, he’s a pretty special beast of a man. Check out the blurb and pre-order info below 😀

Evgeni’s Obsession: A New Reign – Book One

She came to Moscow to escape, to forget how her life was falling apart.

All sunshine and sweetness, she calls to the predator within me like no other woman has.

I think of nothing else.

But she is a good girl, not made for a soldier of the Bratva. I try to keep my distance, but the pull is too strong.

Oh, my solnyshko. I fear I cannot let you go.

Fate has gifted you to a monster.

** Evgeni’s Obsession is the first book in a new Bratva dark romance series that features sizzling chemistry, danger, suspense, and a cliffhanger that will leave you gasping for breath**

Render Commissions Now Open!

Yummy, right? 😀

Well, good news! I’m now taking commissions for renders! There’s actually a handy little tab on the menu at the top of this page that will lead you to the portfolio 😀

I am open to doing portraits, action shots, avatar png’s, and just about anything else you can think of. I can do most genres – humans, animals, fantasy creatures, aliens, and more are in the realm of possibilities! Complex commissions may even be available for ebook covers.

Commissions start at $25 for simple portrait type images and go up from there. Cost will depend upon how complex the image is, and how many assets (items such as models, clothing, settings, accessories, etc.) must be used to complete the image. Two revisions will be provided if necessary for each commission. You will receive the base image, as well as an image that has had basic photoshop edits to fill in missing pixels, adjust contrast, etc.

I am more than happy to give quotes and discuss ideas so please don’t hesitate to email me at merel.pierce@gmail.com

Have questions about renders or the rendering process? Feel free to message!

IMAGES COPYRIGHT MEREL PIERCE – DO NOT COPY, REDISTRIBUTE, OR SELL ANY IMAGE ON THIS PAGE WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN CONSENT OF THE ARTIST.