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Review: Michael’s Wings

  • Title: Michael’s Wings
  • By: Tiffany Reisz
  • Series: Original Sinners
  • Overall score: 5/5 stars
  • Recommended?: Major YES! Read This!

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This review is spoiler free. And it wasn’t easy because all I want to do is talk fine details about this story with my two, utmost favorite characters from The Original Sinners series. I am thrilled that Tiffany Reisz wrote more of Griff and Mick…and I definitely plan to return to their world over and over again. Just a great read and one of the best additions to the series so far!

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***Thanks to NetGalley and Tiffany Reisz for the ARC of this book!***

Okay, so when Tiffany Reisz put up on her instagram that this book was available on NetGalley, I ran-not-walked over there and picked it up. Again, the subject matter isn’t my cup of tea (or in Norwegian, en kopp te.) But, that’s not why I keep reading anything I can relating to the Original Sinners’ series. It’s the twisted story that has me grabby-hands and wide-eyed for the books.

Michael’s Wings is a collection of short stories, featuring Griffin Fiske and Michael (from The Angel). I had only been begging for more of these two for what feels like forever. And this came along, and I am over-the-moon happy!

Michael and Griffin…those two. Plus, Griff in a kilt *drooly emoji here*…so…

Anyway, onto the review.

Michael’s Wings ~ The primary story where Michael runs off to Louisana, where King, Søren, and Nora now call home. Griffin asked Michael to marry him (*SQUEAL!*) and now Michael has a few days to ponder his answer. Does he want to marry that spoiled trust-fund-baby dom? Seeing everyone again was great. Nora is ever the same. King and Søren haven’t changed, and if they did, it was for the better… Such a sweet story. And it just made me fall back into old ways where Griff and Mick are concerned. (The thing where I hate to put them down and leave them alone for five seconds. Even snuck in the reading of a single sentence in at work once…) I’m going to leave this story now for fear that I’m going to spoil it because… It was five stars for me.

Griffin in Wonderland ~ This goes back in time to when Griffin was twenty-two and realizing he was at rock bottom. This was back when King, Søren and Nora were in NYC and the 8th Circle was in its hey day! Sort of a discovering himself, coming-of-age-tale for Griff. It was where he learned how to be who he is. So interesting to see young Griffin. Five stars.

Gauze ~ A flashback to the moment Michael slit his wrists and comparison with why he had gauze on his wrists again. The events happened during The Angel and covers some answers we didn’t have before. It was a sweet moment for one of my favorite characters in this series. Five Stars.

The Theory of the Moment ~ So…just after the events of The Angel, Griffin had a talk with Michael’s mom. Just to clear the air about why a much older man was in love with her son and where the future might take them some day. It was enjoyable and gave some insight to the always wild Griffin. Made my heart melt a little. A moment or two, it felt a little repetitive in the ideas being talked about between the two characters, but a great missing piece to the Griff-Mick puzzle. Four and a half stars.

The Couch ~ Sort of funny. Sort of Sweet. Sort of: “Oh good lord!” in a blissful way. It was cute and funny and just a moment with these two guys who are stubborn and yet so in love. *happy sigh* Five stars.

A Better Distraction ~ This one was another random moment of Griff and Mick’s life. Just a short, sweet, naughty tale that makes you love these two together even more. And also some laughs, thanks to a Titanic moment or two. Tied for ultimate fave story from this book. FIVE STARS!

Christmas in Suite 37A ~ A longer story happening between The Angel and Michael’s Wings. Michael went off to Europe to study for three months and Griffin is just trying to survive. Told in three parts. Part one, Griffin is with Nora in NOLA. He’s freaking out because Michael is gone, broke up with him…so in Griffin style, he’s freaking-the-f#@<- out. Part two, Griffin heads home to meet up with Michael who is returning to the US for the holidays. (Ask about the Søren/Griffin moment, and all I can do is laugh.) Part three, Grififn and Michael have dinner. And that’s all I can say about it without wanting to dive into SPOILER details. I will say that this answered some questions I always had and gives more insight to story one…

My only complaint about this book is that it was out-of-order, story wise. That being said, it isn’t that much of an issue. Any time I can get a Griff/Mick story, I am a happy girl. This book was pure joy from page flip one to the tear dropping from my eye at the last page flipped on my Kindle screen.

Is this review fair? I can’t say. I mean, Tiffany Reisz is not only a great person to “chat” with on Twitter and Insta, but her stories are unique and smart and funny and hella hot and…well, I find it difficult to ever want to put one down, this one being one of the most difficult ones, because I do love those characters so much. I’ve come to know and love them. And just when I thought I couldn’t see them anymore, here is this book of bliss.

I HIGHLY REC this book! I would say read The Original Sinners stories before diving in so you get a hint of who is who and why they are. And if you have already read them, do yourself a favor and read this collection of pure happiness!

Thanks again for the opportunity to read this. Anytime for you, my Queen, Tiffany Reisz!

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The master list.

Once upon a time, I was reading a book written by Stephen King and happened upon a character named “Ace Merrill”. He lived in a little place of yore called Castle Rock, Maine. Well, that name/that location sent a smile to my face and memories into my brain. I knew this guy from that story that other time. Talk about being excited when I remembered little things that I loved about the town or couldn’t stand about Ace…It was like being in on a secret. I had to tell people, “Remember that guy from that place? Well, they’re back. No seriously. You have to read it.”

I blame Stephen King for this thing I have about linking my stories through characters, places, or just little hints. Even if no one else gets it, I know it’s there and am proud.

Lately, though, it feels like nothing is connecting. Not a story, a line, a name, or a title. I have a Tinkerbell journal full of notes for another Rom-Com in NYC I think I want to write for NaNoWriMo.

And if I do start writing on this, I will of course crossover locations or mention a person in passing–The Stephen King Effect. (The New York City thing for RomComs came from movies like The Secret of My Succe$s and What’s Your Number? {okay, so that’s Boston, but big city love story nonetheless} and even Something Borrowed.)

I like the idea of Sean and Gemma almost meeting at the same place that Kurt bought an apology latte…I like that Violet works with Sean while Charlie’s boss is Kurt. I like that this one hotspot is used for breakups and make-ups alike. What I don’t like is fishing through over 1000 pages of combined manuscripts to find that name or that place. That’s where the need for a master list of these tales comes into play.

I could just type a list on the computer. I have a few of those in OneNote and Word docs. But I like a solid journal with pages to flip through. I have images of places in my mind that I drew/draw that I like to reference in addition to photos. I like to keep the descriptions the same from story to story to make it more familiar…a home…like Castle Rock before it met its end.

There are three sections: The Stories which has either a book cover/promotional poster idea with a summary, characters, & locations. (The exact reason label makers were made.)

If Only in Our Dreams

Dreams can hold the best life has to offer. Who says they can’t come true?

Gemma has the worst luck with men. After this last date with the loser of her life, she’s ready to give up men. Her friends beg her for one more weekend–because they can choose a better guy for her–of blind dates. She agrees to one last weekend, though she’s regretting it already. Her friends will never find a guy like the one from her dreams. He’s hot and loving and the sex… Impossible.

Sean has the worst luck with women. After this last date with quite the drama queen, he’s ready to give up women. His friends beg him for one more weekend before doing anything drastic. After all, his friends can pick a woman better than the one from his dreams, right? Maybe not.

Life Imitating Art/Life Imitating Art

Every story has two sides, and Jana’s and Kurt’s are no exception. This duet of novels covers the same events, but are two entirely different tales. What he says is definitely not what she says about their lives from the moment they met.

Life Imitating Art: Jana Hampstead–pen name: JR Toscani–is a best selling romance authors of our time. After meeting her new editor Kurt, she realizes their story mimics the first story she’s ever written–Texas Violets, a fanfiction-turned-bestseller. Much like her characters, there’s ups and downs…and more downs…and he’s her editor, so that’s probably frowned upon around the editing firm. Oh definitely it is. Can Jana and Kurt put aside their differences and finish her new novel before their escapades can become office gossip?

Life Imitating Art: Kurt Werner–aspiring novelist and editor at top firm Eckhart & Bernstien–has been suffering a writer’s block the size of Jupiter. Every word he types ends with a delete. The story isn’t there. Then he meets his new client, JR Toscani–real name, Jana Hampstead. She envokes a rage…a passion within him. Next thing he knows, his job is on the line, but the words are flowing like a river flooding its banks. Can Kurt find a way to balance an editing job, Jana, and a new story that just won’t stop before it all comes crashing to a halt?

Wings

Take my hand. I’ll take yours. Together we’ll do this. Until we find love.

Told through two different points of view.

Charlie Everett plays wingman for his best friend, hoping to pay off an old debt. Violet Granger is trying to show “Daddy” that she can make it on her own. One night of wing services, they meet and their world couldn’t be sweeter. But, like always, real life and exes can break some wings. Can Charlie and Violet spread their wings so love can soar?

There are a few more stories not mentioned here. And I’m trying to decide where to put these stories–here, Wattpad, or e-pub them. Plus, this has been great for my story blocked mind. My hands are busy drawing, coloring, painting. My mind thinks as I do this…to the point of generating a new idea for a story that hasn’t been told in YA or adult books that I’ve been able to find. I’ve got a few opening lines to the story I’ve been wanting to type on. And have expanded my old notes on this NYC Rom-Com series, though I have yet to come up with a title.

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all images are my own.
this post is filed under random blathering and writer’s block.

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“Hey, 6B.” ~ Chapter 2

{original image used with permission by Thekaskproject-art}

Story Summary: Bucky is on a Mission. Find out about his past and try to remember the Man in Blue. His “mission” takes him to Boston where he meets the fun and flirty, Colin Shea. With Colin’s help, he might just find all the answers he’s been searching for…but he also might find love. With outside pressures, Bucky has to decide between remaining in the dark and staying with Colin or going after the man who haunts his nightmares.

Crossover: What’s Your Number? meets Captain America: Winter Soldier/The Avengers/Captain America: Civil War (more the movies and less the books or graphic novels)

Rating: R if this was a movie. MA if it was a TV show. Mature on Archive of Our Own. Not rated on Tumblr. There is some LGBTQ/slash sexual situations, though nothing erotic. It’s a simple Rated-R romcom. No porn. (Think along the lines of Wings meets Love, Darrows, kiTT.) As Cap would say: Language! Because yes, there is some language and double entendres. Not so much violence as of now.

Genre: RomCom/Action

Chapter word count: 1,687

Characters: James “Bucky” Barnes, Colin Shea, OFC Dane, Natasha Romanov. (OFC – Original Fictional Character)

Disclaimer: All characters belong to their original creators. There is no copyright infringement intended. This is all done in fun and love for my favorite movies. Thank you for stopping by and reading.

Notes: I think I am having way too much fun writing out Colin, but then I’ve always wanted to write him. He’s a proud mimbo (male bimbo) and such a flirt…and just so funny. In reality, I would never write him as my own, because he wouldn’t be my own, which is why this fanfiction thing is perfect! I’m living my dream. Plus, I’m getting to know Winter Soldier better, prefect timing for Civil War. Depending on how fast I can get this typed, I’m aiming at uploading a chapter a week, more if it keeps going this fast.


 

The sidewalks in Boston have a ring of familiarity as they pass under my feet. Wet concrete under my shoes…This has happened a million times before, but the image isn’t complete. It’s missing something…

No, someone. Tucked up under my arm. A smaller guy. Something about Paramus? Though when I checked there, it lead to nothing about him, nothing pertaining to James Barnes.

“Bucky,” my boss, Dane, says as he struggles with the key in the lock. The key twists and he smiles. He opens the door and holds it, allowing me to pass. “Good morning. Are you excited for your first day?”

His words are a hyper meld.  “Sure.”

Dane nods towards the counter. “Let’s make some coffee.”

#

“And you tamp down the grounds like so…” He presses a flat metal circle into the coffee grinds. “…and attach this to the machine.”

Dane has been explaining this monolithic coffee machine to me for about an hour. The giant puzzle box only creates a shot or two of black coffee at a time. All pomp and circumstance. Just like something Stark would have designed for no real purpose. It’s tedium for something that anyone walking into a diner would be served without question.

He removes the cup and knocks the used grounds free into a bin. The scoop thing is offered to me. One of his eyebrows lifts and he asks, “Care to take your first try?”

I do everything Dane did. Step by step, checking for an affirmational nod with each step. The cup taps into the dispenser for fresh grounds. Tamped and packed tight, I insert it into the large machine with a twist. Two shot glasses are set under the pour spots. Push the button.

Then I have my hand at steaming the milk in the stainless carafe with the wand coming off the side of the machine. Milk sprays out of the pitcher. I slip it further into the liquid and the milk begins to froth. It builds until it’s as high as the rim. I let that sit beside the filling shot glasses and retrieve two paper cups. One gets a pump of vanilla, the other two pumps of hazelnut. They’re placed on the counter and I pick up the poured shots. One tips easily, pouring in the tea colored liquid. The other…well…Black, sooty sludge slides along the glass before plopping into the cup with a wet splat. Then I pour in the steamed milk to both cups, scooping foam and adding it to the top.

“Done,” I say and present the cups with a wave. Just like Dane’s. Sort of…not at all.

My boss stares at my first attempts of making coffee, blinking slowly and giving a subtle nod. He leans over and sniffs each cup. “Burnt milk, uneven pours.” He straightens and adds, “Well, you can be on register today. How’s that?”

A quick glance passes over the flat black screen, unsure. I took this job for the fact it’s morning work—and I’d be awake not sleeping anyway—leaving me afternoons to search for information anonymously. Anonymous is the key word here. I’m supposed to be hidden and out of sight, thanks to the Stark 2000 coffee maker. Not front and center, which this new position will have me doing. I hope this hiding in plain sight thing works.

“You’ll be fine, Bucky. Just touch the options on the screen as they order. Write their names incorrectly on the cups. Dish out a pastry or two. Most of the customers pay with a card so you won’t have to make change…if that’s what you’re worried about.”

I rub the back of my neck and huff. “Why get their names wrong?”

Dane pins a name badge to a green apron and hands it to me. “Because in coffee culture, it’s expected, and we don’t want to disappoint.”

I should have checked to see if the Globe was hiring a paper boy. Same hours, less difficult. Anonymity a plus.

#

Once I got used to pushing my finger onto a glassy screen during morning rush, I started offering a small smile with purchase. The misnomers I’ve come up with seem to be a hit with the customers, according to Dane. As he calls each one, he congratulates me on my brilliance.

“I’ll have a half-caf, no fat, tall latte,” the red-head in front of me says, tapping on the counter with her pristine manicured fingernails.

I push the buttons before picking up the smallest of the paper cups. “Name?”

“Natasha,” she says in a sultry voice. Her lips pucker into a small kiss before she whooshes it my way. Her green eyes meet mine, blinking as slow as her tongue drags along her lower lip.

I freeze mid N on her cup as it hits me. The street fight in Washington DC. She wore a tight, black leather outfit that hugged every curve as she and the man in blue fought me. I shot at her and barely missed. She’s staring at me. Recognizes me, though I wore a mask then. She knows my eyes.

But before either of us can utter a peep or make a move, the man behind her asks, “How about you buy me a coffee and I’ll give you an afternoon of pleasure?”

Her index finger flies up as though she’s about to declare an idea. “Hold on,” she says in a raspy voice. She glances over her shoulder and utters, “Wannabe rocker isn’t my type. Move along.”

Her finger drops and she offers me a smile, the stare down all but forgotten. “How much?”

I scribble the name on the cup and hand it to Dane. Then I plant my eyes on the screen and let my loose bangs hang in my face and read the total from the screen. She swipes her card through the slot on her side of the machine.

The receipt exchanges custody from me to her just as the guy behind asks, “How about you buy me a cannoli and we can talk about why you think I’m a wanna be rocker.”

Dane calls out, “Latte for Anastasia.” His brow crinkles in confusion as he looks at me. I nod at Natasha. She rolls her eyes and walks to the other end of the counter to retrieve her drink.

The guy’s mess of light brown hair almost touches my nose as we lean to watch the Natasha swaying back and forth in her tight black skirt.

“That’s a no, right?” he asks after her. He rights himself and now his nose is almost touching mine and our eyes touch for the first time.

There is such a thing as love at first sight. I felt the pang with the Man in Blue who refused to fight me…this pulse deep in my heart that made it painful for me to hurt him. Mission or not. But as I stare into those eyes of bold ocean blues from afar, I don’t feel love. Impossible. Once in a lifetime—as short as the memories I do own are—is more than plenty to have such an experience.

I’d classify this moment as one of pure lust.

“See you latte,” I tell him and try to focus on the screen. I’m pushing the options, left and right, without his order being spoken. Honestly, I just need something to concentrate on other than the thought of those perfect lips he licks, then presses flat into a playful smile. Those lips on my body, on my—

“Are you taking an order? Because I believe you’re pushing more buttons than what’s required for the one cup of basic coffee I want.”

Huh. I’ve entered: grande, double shot, 3 pumps pumpkin spice, non-fat with whip latte. Too late to change it. And even if I knew how to do it, I wouldn’t. I want him to tell me his name and we don’t write those on the ceramic cups according to Dane when I wrote “Snott Pang” on one earlier.

“It’s on the house,” I say and pick up the largest paper cup we have. The tip of the green Sharpie touches the surface, ready. “Name?”

“Colin. One L.”

I write the name and check the appropriate boxes. I stick the cup into Dane’s hand. He reads the name. He shakes his head and utters, “Amateur.”

“You wrote colon, didn’t you?” Colin laughs. “Typical.” He leans over the counter, giving my name tag a long study. “Bucky” draws out in a deep voice that is as smooth as it is soulful. Our eyes meet again. “Is that your real name?”

Honestly, I don’t know.

“I haven’t seen you in here before. Any chance you’d want to toss in a complimentary pastry as well, Buck?”

The way he pronounces my name gets my heart racing. Every consonant is given special attention with verve as though every letter is as important to say as the next. His finger taps my tag in a flirtatious way, dragging it along every letter from Y to B.

I’d be willing to trade a crème filled pastry for a cream f—

“Seriously, Bucky,” Dane says wholly unamused. “Colin?”

Colin reaches over the stacks of cups to take his drink from Dane. The whip with sprinkles on top wobbles as he brings it to his nose. A deep mmm purrs from him as he sets it on the counter. “I can’t believe you didn’t at least go for Colon.”

I cough and stutter. “Well, I couldn’t think with you…staring at me.”

A sly twinge hits the left corner of his mouth, forming into a devious grin. His finger slides into the whip and swirls around. The white cream clings to his finger when he pulls it free. It slides across his tongue, being cleaned as those intense blue eyes are glued to mine. When his finger is fully clean, they roll in bliss and he groans in pleasure as though he just made the sweetest love on the planet. “You have the best cream, Buck.”

Is it quitting time yet? I have something to take care of. Like now!


Previous Chapter/Story Beginning

Next Chapter


Ending Notes: This is one of the few original chapters I wrote and kept, having deleted the whole story before. Classic Colin, really. Then yesterday, while googling for the link to Thekaskproject-art’s site so I can link him, I came across this perfect image for this chapter. NOT DONE ON PURPOSE. I DON’T REMEMBER HAVING SEEN IT BEFORE. It wasn’t on my Pinterest board for this story (which is where I keep and store a bunch of stuff, it’ll be locked until I’m done writing) or anything. So blissfully coincidental…I hope it’s okay to share…

 

Bucky’s hat is different, the shirt is different, but good lord, Colin is pegged!!! Happy sigh, happy sigh.

 

 

 

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Filed under fanfiction, fictional beginnings, Hey 6B, love story, the fangirling has made it here

Daydreaming of Charlie Everett…

Not that I’m experiencing a writer’s block of any sort. Just thinking ahead as to what I have left to write of Charlie and Violet’s story in Wings. Thinking about the now three questions I have left to answer, and the two extra characters I need to use before the story ends. Because it’s getting close. Just typed out and finished chapter twenty-one today. The question is: Will I proceed to 22 or will I work on something else? Because I just am not ready to give Charlie and Violet an ending yet. Because I love them and once they’re done, I won’t get to spend time with them…well, not as much and not in this capacity.

Sometimes, I just listen to the story’s soundtrack that I build as I go and think over the events and characters. Sometimes I draw out floorplans and diagrams in my journals. This time, I photoshopped. I sort of took Charlie (Chris Evans inspiration) and made him into a graphic novel character. What kind of superhero would he be? Definitely a quirky, fumbling, awkward hero that shines no matter what. (Think along the lines of The Tick or Too Much Coffee Man).

And then I made an alternate possible cover image for the book, though I will say Wings refers to something other than angel wings. This is just my weird obsession.

I’ve discovered a few things while picturing in Photoshop. It’s clear I’m about four chapters away from the end now. I know whose POVs need to be done and pretty much in what order, though one chapter could be told from either POV. I know when and where the answers will come. Maybe within a week I’ll have them typed(?)–*heavy sigh*–though I am far from ready to end this story…because I LOVE it so much! If this could be turned into a film, I’d watch it as many times as I have seen What’s Your Number?…which, let’s say is VERY WELL SO FAR OVER 100, I’m looking in the rear-view mirror and 100 is parsecs away.

Am I the only one who finds it difficult to type THE END on a beloved story?

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This post filed under writer’s procrastination and fangirling.

All images were made by me with PSE with images found on the internet through Google and Pinterest. No copyright infringement intended.

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Filed under author woes, book boyfriends, book covers, having fun, inspiration, love letter to quite the character, random blathering, the fangirling has made it here, wings, writer's procrastination

Entering NaNoWriMode!

In just a few days, NaNoWriMo kicks off! I cannot wait to start on this one story I’ve been daydreaming about since September! Honestly, I’m surprised I’ve made it this far without typing out one word towards the story. SO VERY SHOCKED! Because last year, with Darrows, I didn’t make it. It was screaming at me to write, write, write, and so I did.

Not like this one isn’t screaming, but I’ve had a job of making notes and correlating a few old stories with this one so they’ll all cross over. I’m so excited, I’ve already made a book cover for NaNoWriMo for this story. (Note: This is just with the working title.)

Granted, I could use the photoshopped image for Darrows and Carter and possible some parts of Human Touch…I have a VERY weird wing obsession. I like to stick them on everything…and everyone.

So, who else is going to do NaNoWriMo? I could always use online writing buddies as well as ones IRL. (Note To Self: Check that local list on the site.)

To all my fellow NaNoWriters: Good luck and happy times in your writing goals! Only 50,000 more words to go at this point!

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Filed under book covers, contest, having fun, NaNoWriMo, romcoms are my peeps