Bee and Puppycat Fridays Episode 2 – I Have No Mouth and I Must Eat

The episode opens with another of Bee’s surreal dreams. These sequences are pretty look at but don’t contribute anything to the story line. They seem to be much like the pink elephants sequence in Dumbo, an excuse for the animators to go hog wild. In this dream, Bee floats above a pool of water alongside the mini-Puppycat clones. Suddenly, the water flies up into the air, encasing the Puppycats in a bubble. The one that looks like the real Puppycat reaches out to Bee and when she touches his paw, electricity shocks her. Bee awakes up on her couch and laments that she never dreams about food.

A magazine lays open on her lap. Unable to sleep she thumbs through it and becomes transfixed by a recipe she finds inside. She immediately texts Deckard and asks him if he will help her make the recipe if she buys the ingredients. Deckard is awake in bed contemplating a letter he’s received and texts back that he’s free to help her with the cooking.

Bee gets Puppycat, who is awake and tormenting a moth, to go to the grocery store with her on her ‘wheels,’ a motorbike that looks like something Fischer-Price would make. At the store, they buy a lot of frivolous stuff and come in just under the amount that Bee has on hand. To celebrate, they add on a pack of gum and now they money’s all spent.

They take the ingredients to Deckard’s house. Things do not go well. Puppycat takes an immediate dislike to Deckard and tries to sabotage him as he works in the kitchen. Bee is completely clueless and ends up adding a bunch of things to the recipe that aren’t called for. Deckard tries to make it work but they end up setting the food on fire.

Deckard’s sister, a computer programer, comes home with take-out hamburgers and asks why he is home in the middle of the day. Deckard admits that he blew off work to help Bee with her cooking project. The sister asks him about the culinary school he applied to but Deckard says he has doubts about attending in the off chance they accept him. In the background, Bee and Puppycat eat his hamburger. When Bee asks if they can try to make the dish again, Deckard says that it’s impossible because she forgot to buy one of the key ingredients. Bee loudly announces that she’s going to the bathroom and hauls Puppycat with her.

Bee is upset that she wasted the last of her money on gum and angrily eats a stick. Puppycat notes that it’s gross to eat on the toilet. Bee begs him to take her to Fishbowl Space so they can do a quick temp job. She’ll let him keep all the extra money once they buy the missing ingredient. Puppycat imagines how cool he’ll be with a leather jacket that he plans to use the money to buy and off to see Temp Bot they go. Outside, Deckard and Sis get into a wrestling match. Afterward, Sis tells Deckard she knows that he was accepted to the cooking school and she is worried he might whiff on going because he wants to hang around Bee. She advises him not to use Bee as an excuse to put off his future.

Temp Bot sends them to the Jelly Cube Planet. They meet an alien farmer who explains their task – to bring him a candied cherry on the other side of the planet. Bee goes alone and the farmer admits to Puppycat that he’s using Bee as a sacrifice. The cherry is actually a monster who eats the temps that come to his planet and turns them into fertilizer. Puppycat uses the bubblegum to fly over to Bee by using it like a balloon and tries to rescue her before she can be eaten. When Puppycat tells her what’s going on and they see the bodies of former victims trapped in the jelly, Bee cuts open the cherry-monster with a trowel and the souls of the other temps fly out.

Bee confronts the farmer and gives him what’s left of the gum to feed his pets now that the cherry-monster is dead. She steals the leaf sprig from the top of his head. After she leaves, the animals eat the farmer. It is night when Bee returns to the real world and steps from the bathroom. Deckard is asleep at the table with the dish, a large jellybean, sitting in the center. Bee sticks the sprig into the top so it kind of looks like an eggplant and tip-toes out of the house.

Because they didn’t complete the job properly, Bee didn’t get paid. With no money to buy the leather jacket, Bee gives Puppycat an old one she wore as a kid and it is super cutesy. Puppycat is not thrilled but thanks her for the gift.

Episode two is entertaining but largely follows the same formula as the pilot. Bee acts wacky and ends up short on cash due to being poor at adulating skills. Puppycat has to save her from herself by getting them a temp job that seems simple and easy on the surface but has hidden danger. Strangely, instead of developing the two main characters, Deckard emerges as the character that the creators wanted to endow emotional depth on. He’s a prep cook at a restaurant and wants to train as a chef. But he’s uncertain about following his dream as that would entail leaving home, growing up and growing apart from the clueless Bee that he’s crushing hard on. And he is the only character to get a cohesive character arc.


How About Some Cutlass! Book Banners with a Side of Shameless Bragging?

How’s your week been going? Last week was full of win from me. Since I put Flower Among the Ashes on perma-free status, I’ve gotten enough downloads to flirt with the top 100 chart for my categories at Amazon. Last Thursday, I surged up the charts and took the number 2 spot on both categories. Not only that, I broke into the top 100 overall in entire free store. My Instafreebie drive continues to go strong. Why not snag The Sizzle of Lightning: a Remnas Novella, a short yet satisfying romance set in the Remnas world, and sign up for my mailing list all at the same time? I’ll be pulling back the curtain early next month and showing off my beauteous cover for The Wisdom of Fools for newsletter subscribers before it hits my other channels.

Fata rank 3-15-16 midnight

But you’re here for Cutlass! right? Good! Even though edits haven’t begun in earnest yet, I have the first teaser banner for your enjoyment.



Manga Read Along: Tail of the Moon Vol. 3 – Encounters with Not-So-Gentle Ben

Spoilers ahead! Need to catch up on this ninja-riffic adventure? I got all the past volumes collected in the archive.

After finding out that Usagi was a boyish-looking girl, the womanly yet biologically male Yukimura fainted dead away. Usagi tends him while he’s out as Hanzou’s dad (Bearded Hanzo) explains that Yukimura has a terrible fear of woman which is why he fell into a swoon after he learned Usagi’s real gender. This hampers his ability to treat the castle-women as he freezes up around every one of them aside from Bearded Hanzo’s wife. When Yukimura regains consciousness, he is very cross with Usagi because he feels like she tricked him.

Continue reading “Manga Read Along: Tail of the Moon Vol. 3 – Encounters with Not-So-Gentle Ben”

Bee and Puppycat Fridays: Episode 1 – A Fish Called Wallace

Bee and Puppycat began life as a ten minute short about an aimless, jobless and clueless twenty-thing woman named Bee who crosses paths with an odd creature who isn’t quite a dog or a cat. She names him Puppycat and he takes her on a whimsical adventure to earn quick cash at an interdimensional temp agency. The short proved popular and it’s not hard to see why. The animation quality is top notch and shows a lot of visual creativity. The writing was also punchy and clever. The short was very reminiscent of the quirky Cartoon Network show Adventure Time and that’s not a coincidence. It comes from the same production company, Federator Studios, and the creator also worked on Adventure Time.

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Announcing Cutlass!: A Scifi Space Pirate Romance Coming Summer 2018

I’m so excited to formally announce my next project. Introducing Cutlass!: A Scifi Space Pirate Romance for Summer 2018. Yes, this book is so exciting that the title needs an exclamation point (you pronounce it *jazz hands*). Get ready everyone for the Space Pirate vs. Space Vampire science fiction romance you never knew you needed.


Don’t look at me like that. Of course, it had to be Space Vampires. Space Pirates vs. Space Ninjas just would have been stupid.

This one is a departure for me both in terms of genre and style. I’ve never written a scifi before and the more active first-person, present tense narration that you often see in New Adult and Young Adult fiction was something of a challenge. This is the first book in a series called Rogues of the Lawless Galaxy. I’m committing to two books at the moment, but who knows, if this one takes off I might do more.

I literally finished the first draft last night. Now to put it in a drawer for a few weeks and come back to it with a fresh mind so I can pick it apart.

Manga Read Along: Tail of the Moon Vol. 2 – Breaking and Entering

I’m changing up the blog schedule. For the past two months I have been doing the Manga Read Along twice weekly on Mondays and Fridays. I’m going to scale it back. Manga Read Along will go back to be a weekly feature every Monday. Wednesdays are and remain shameless self-promotion days and on Fridays I will be blogging Bee & Puppycat.

Enough with the administrative junk. You all came here for the ninjas. Will Goemon make Usagi forget all about Hanzo? Let’s find out. As always, there are spoilers ahead and you can catch up with any missed installments in the read along archive.

Continue reading “Manga Read Along: Tail of the Moon Vol. 2 – Breaking and Entering”

Manga Read Along: Tail of the Moon Vol. 1 – The Real Ultimate Power

Spoiler warning. Want recaps of the earlier volumes? They are helpfully collected in the archive.

Now that we have the prequel out of the way, it’s time to dig into the meat of the series proper. The heroine of Tail of the Moon, Usagi, is the complete opposite of Sara from the prequel story. Where Sara was very feminine with her long hair and her elegant kimono disguises, Usagi is almost boyish. She has very short hair and if not for her super large eyes and the slight swell of her bust, you might even mistake her for a young boy. She shares the same name as the main character from Sailor Moon and they have the same general personality – clutzy, cheerful yet kind of a screw-up.

Well, a big screw-up in ninja Usagi’s case. She can hardly run without tripping over something (she face plants right into the ground on the second page) and can’t throw a shuriken straight to save her life. She skips ninja training to get fuffle about the countryside with her best friend and follower, a young boy named Mamezo. The elders won’t let her out of the village to go on a ninja mission because they know she’d muck it up.

Her grandfather, the ancient leader of ninja village, calls her over to his hut because he’s finally found a use for her. Already in her middle teens, he despairs that she will never make a good ninja but maybe she can make good ninjas. By marrying Hattori Hanzo who is still looking for a wife to make little Hanzo ninja babies with.

Usagi is not thrilled to be given this job and tries to cry off, citing her general fragility and lack of energy, but granddad guilt trips her by saying he is old and he worries what will become of her after he dies. Usagi’s milkshake isn’t bringing all the boys to her yard and she sucks as a ninja so he figures that she’ll starve to death if she doesn’t have someone watching out for her. Usagi is still not sure about this until granddad tells her that Hanzo is the hottest guy around and marriage to him comes with three hots and a cot. This perks Usagi’s interest and she heads for Hanzo’s village with the idea that she’ll have it made in the shade as the pampered wife of a hot guy.

She takes Mamezo with her but almost immediately gets into trouble when she gets chased by a dog. She trips and falls is about to get mauled until Hanzo, who happens to be the hound’s owner, calls it off. Hanzo washes and bandages her skinned knee. Usagi’s heart is racing but when she asks if he is the famous Hattori Hanzo, he denies it. They part ways.

She isn’t alone long before Hanzo’s ninja underlings come searching for her because she is so late getting to their village. Usagi says she isn’t interested in being Hanzo’s wife anymore. She’s infatuated with the ninja she just met, but they force her to Hanzo’s estate anyway. Hanzo arrives in time for the grand feast the household put together in celebration of his bride’s arrival and Usagi is over the moon to learn that the ninja from before and Hanzo are one in the same. But Hanzo is not as thrilled and tells her to hit the road.

As it turns out, all of this was arranged behind Hanzo’s back as the clan is eager for him to part pumping out mini-ninjas. Hanzo is vehement that he has no interest in marrying anybody after the first botched attempt to find a wife. Usagi is undaunted and tries to work her feminine wiles on him. Unfortunately, her idea of feminine wiles is to leap on him and try to kiss him. She chickens out at the last moment and Hanzo gets a good look her puckered-up, unattractive guppy-kiss-face. Usagi remains steadfast and tells Hanzo that she’s not leaving until they’ve made a little ninja baby together. He lets her stay but he tells her that he wants nothing to do with her.

Usagi lets it slip that she is not qualified to do ninja work and this sends the retainers into a tizzy. They try to put her through remedial training but Usagi screws up everything and ends up getting put in the same ninja class as the little kids. While walking on a tight rope, Usagi gets a stomach ache. The reason she comes across as so lazy about her training is she finds it so humiliating and anxiety-inducing that she has a mental block and makes herself sick at the thought of doing ninja stuff.

Usagi trains on the rope until her feet are bloody. She’s powering through like never before because she wants Hanzo so bad. Hanzo has noticed that she’s trying hard and comes over to tell her that he won’t accept her no matter what she does to impress him. However, he saves her when she falls off the rope and is still undeterred by his stated desire to be alone.

The next day, Usagi gains a rival with arrival of Yuri, yet another ninja sent to marry Hanzo. Yuri is everything Usagi is not – womanly, beautiful, graceful and a very talented ninja. She even brought a dowry as her family is loaded. Usagi runs off to the forest to find a wedding offering she can give Hanzo and comes back with a wild boar cub that she thinks would make a good stew. Unfortunately, Hanzo is a vegetarian and turns down the gift. Piggy becomes Mamezo’s new pet.

Hanzo turns Yuri down too, but that doesn’t stop Usagi from getting into a catfight with her. They both intend to live on the estate until Hanzo picks a bride. That’s fine with Hanzo as her grandpa has decided that she can stay in Hanzo’s village for one year in the hopes she completes her ninja training. Yuri decides to remove her from the competition by poisoning her food but the poison has no effect on Usagi.

Yuri accidentally poisons herself while trying to hurt Usagi and Usagi treats her so she doesn’t die. As it turns out, Usagi is a talented apothecary and she’s immune to most poisons due to building up an immunity. Soon she gets acknowledged for her ability to make medicines after she cures one of the village elders. Hanzo is pleased to have a herbalist in the village but in her fervor to win him over, Usagi bites off more than she can chew and commits to making too many tonics.

Exhausted from working all day and with dwindling supplies, Usagi has to slump out to the forest at night to gather more herbs. She bumps into Hanzo out the woods who takes pity on her and helps her get the plants. Usagi gets to hold hand with him in the dark and they watch fireflies dance together in a clearing. She blurts out that she wants to get closer to him but he is always so distant. Hanzo notices that she’s teary-eyed and hugs her to make her feel better.

Usagi wakes up the next morning with a sack of herbs in bed with her and no memory of picking them and coming home. She figures that she must have fallen asleep while hugging Hanzo and scrambles to finish making all the medicines. She meets Hanzo in the hall and notices he’s all dressed up to go to the big city. Usagi is afraid that Hanzo will be identified as a ninja and captured as the local lord has ordered all ninjas arrested if discovered.

After she finishes the medicine orders, she ends up breaking a vase while cleaning her room. The maid scolds her for destroying a priceless family heirloom. Usagi rushes off to sell more medicine and tonics because she thinks she can mitigate the damage if she’s able to repay Hanzo for the vase. She isn’t at it very long until she gets into a row with some gangsters, but Hanzou comes to the rescue.

Hanzou takes pity on her and takes her to town to buy her nice new kimono. Usagi thinks she’s being kidnapped and taken to the big city to meet a bad end. After getting dolled up, Usagi is able to walk around and see the sights. At dinner, despite her gross table manners, Hanzou starts to mack on her. Usagi flips out and leaps off a second floor balcony to get away from him and ends up landing in front of Hanzo.

Usagi confesses about the broken vase but he is more annoyed that she’d think he’d be so petty as care about a babble than anything else. He is more angry at his cousin for groping Usagi’s tiny bewbs when he already has Sara. Forgetting Hanzou’s wandering hands, they team up to follow Hanzo. He came to town to meet Princess Sara who has offered to return the stolen gunpowder recipe. Sara confides to Hanzo that she’s put off by Hanzou’s horn dog behavior and Usagi starts to suspect Hanzo’s reluctance to wed might because he has a thing for Sara.

A group of samurai bust in on the meeting, forcing Hanzou and Usagi to intervene. They want to kill Sara, but she throws off her kimono to reveal her sword and ninja gear beneath. After making short work of them, Usagi gets to meet Sara and notices that she’s nice on top of being beautiful and strong. Hanzou begs Hanzo to let Sara hide out at his estate as many of Sara’s father’s enemies are looking for her. Hanzo refuses and storms away with Usagi.

Even though Sara makes her feel like a slob by comparison, Usagi is confused by his callous behavior when he’s been nothing but chivalrous to her. After she scolds him, Hanzo gives in and they all return to the estate. Hanzou confides to his cousin that his father is opposed to his marriage to Sara which is why they haven’t tied the knot.

Later, Sara walks on Hanzou flirting with Usagi (to both women’s dismay) and they have a blow up. They break up and Usagi is beside herself with guilt. This has been a long running problem with the couple but Usagi thinks it’s her fault and begs Hanzou to make-up with her. He leaves the estate without talking to Sara. Usagi tries to get Hanzo to talk to them, but says that they fight and break up often and it’s not worth getting in a tizzy over. That just leaves Sara for Usagi to try to convince, but Sara thinks that with all the problems they have maybe they weren’t meant to be.

After seeing how protective Hanzo is of Sara and how Sara admires Hanzo, Usagi wonders if they are really secretly attracted to each other. To make matters worse, one of the household servants tells her about their fake marriage that happened back in the prequel story. Usagi is crushed because now she’s certain they have feelings for each other and Sara really is the perfect ninja and would be a good wife.

She gets so depressed that she stops attending the training sessions because she thinks it’s worthless to become a ninja if she can’t win over Hanzo. Hanzo comes to get her and gets pissed at her stubborn refusal to train. He carries her to the gates surrounding the estate and tosses her out on her arse. Usagi instantly regrets everything and begs to be let back in. She sits in front of the gate for a long time, hoping that Hanzo has a change of heart.

When it starts to rain and get dark, Hanzo goes to get her only to find that she’s already taken off with Mamezo. Hanzo chases after her and when he catches up with, Usagi says that she’s had enough. Watching him moon over Sara is too painful and she hates training. He lets her go home. Usagi collapses in the mud and has a nightmare where Hanzo marries Yuri. She wakes up to find grandpa looming over her. He berates her for having failed to seal the deal with Hanzo.

Usagi stalks off to her room only to stumble over her hot, shirtless pal Goemon giving seduction lessons to a room full of ninja girls. Goemon has taken over training the girl ninjas since he hurt his leg while on assignment. After dismissing the class, he tries to cheer up Usagi but she tears up when she thinks of Hanzo. Goemon has it bad for Usagi. He pounces on her and says that he wants to marry her and make her forget all about Hanzo… in a very sexy way no doubt.

Yes! I totally remember why I liked this one back in the day. Usagi is a relatable main character because she is so flawed. She comes across as character in her own right and not some every girl vehicle that the reader is supposed to live vicariously through. But at the same time, her antics stay on the right side of funny and endearing.

It’s Alive! The Sizzle of Lightning is Live!

The Sizzle of Lightning is now available to all my newsletter subscribers for free. Not on the list? That’s easily fixed. You can sign up using the form here.

Don’t like that spartan form? For a limited time, I’m doing an Instafreebie drive and you sign up using their more attractive interface by clicking here.


She only wanted to take his money. She ended up stealing his heart too.

Marni, a traveling street performer and self-proclaimed genius thief, is so deep in debt to her cruel master she has given up all hope of being free of her indenture. Content to pick the pockets of spectators who come to watch their shows, she instead devotes her time to protecting the younger children who fall in with the troupe by teaching them skills they need to avoid getting caught. But one night while plying her trade, Marni lifts the wrong purse… and ends up in the arms of the right man.

The energy of their fateful meeting was palpable. It crackled across his skin like lightning.

Drev prides himself on having a realistic if pessimistic outlook on life. Ogresses don’t fall in love at first sight for men like him. But Marni claims that they are mates–meant to be together for all their days. When she makes off with his money, Drev thinks it’s a trick until he returns home to discover she has moved into his rented room. Baffled and perplexed by her actions, Drev finds he has little desire to force her out.

Manga Read Along: Tail of the Moon Prequel: The Other Hanzo(u) – Crazy About Yo(u)

Welcome to a brand new manga read along. I hope you are ready to flip out because this next one is about ninjas. Everything is better with ninjas, so I sincerely hope I find this one more entertaining than the hate-read-tastic Jyu-Oh-Sei, the last series I tackled.

I had honestly forgotten all about Tail of the Moon until I happened to be cleaning out my closet on New Years Eve as I promised that I would finally start getting rid of series would never finish their English run due to either the original artists or publishers dropping them when I stumbled across this one. Oh yeah, I thought to myself. This is the one about the clutzy ninja girl who falls into love with ninja spy-master Hattori Hanzo. I remember that it was pretty good.

Continue reading “Manga Read Along: Tail of the Moon Prequel: The Other Hanzo(u) – Crazy About Yo(u)”

Manga Read Along: Jyu-Oh-Sei Part 8 & Conclusion – Ragnarok

The journey is at its end. Spoilers ahead! The rest of the series is recapped in the archive.

I made it through to the end. Let’s wrap up the recap and give its post-mortem. As a bonus I’ll even try to explain the significance of the Norse names, because it surprisingly adds a tiny bit of depth to the genetic rebirth theme it’s aiming for. But is that enough to save a series that has such an unpleasant cast?

Continue reading “Manga Read Along: Jyu-Oh-Sei Part 8 & Conclusion – Ragnarok”