Jul 24 2015

A Review of A Taste for Power by Kay Michaels

A Taste for Power by Kay Michaels

A Taste for Power by Kay Michaels

The second of two reviews of works by Kay Michaels which revolve around a Succubus named Carmen. You can find the first review of the book Just a Bite here on the Tale.

The question of who Carmen the Succubus is was, for the most part, unanswered in the first part of this series. In the second Carmen speaks her mind and with it comes some truths that she didn’t expect either…

  • Title: A Taste for Power
  • Author: Kay Michaels
  • Length: 14 Pages
  • ASIN: B00NZFXQXK
  • Publishing Date: September 26, 2014
  • This work at Amazon.com

It is the story of:

Carmen is a succubus. She had a life of excess where she ruled… but now she’s just the hottest thing in a lowly dirt mall. She wants to rebuild; she wants to be back in control. But first, she’ll have to learn about her boyfriend’s past and how it will affect her plans.

Carmen once lived like a Queen. But then everything went to hell and she found herself the lowest of the lows. She found her way out of that hell and now lives in shopping mall purgatory. But even in the darkest places there can be seen angels…

This second part of the series is seen from Carmen, who is the Succubus of the series, viewpoint. It’s interesting to see her thoughts about the people around her, her way of speaking and thinking is rather unique and in it you can see the echoes of her past power clearly. At times she speaks of Simon in language that seems to put him down, but in truth it is a front, a barrier to keep her true feelings out of the way as much as she can.

Carmen wants to be in control, the one that tells others what to do as she did before. But where she is at the moment, who she is with, gives her little choice but to at least grudgingly go along with what Simon wants even while she thinks about “nudging him” or “being the one behind the throne” as she thinks of it.

This all changes when Simon tells her… everything. All of the things that his once girlfriend, another Succubus, had done to him, how close he had come to ending his own life, and most of all, the pain and suffering that he dealt with and deals with every moment of his life. At that moment, and it is a strikingly powerful one, Carmen’s attitude changes and the truth that she held close she finally releases.

Simon had admitted that he loved Carmen in the first work and it is a touching moment when, in the passions between them, when Carmen calls Simon “love”. That, for me, was a special thing and it meant more.  The connections that were starting in the first book come into sharp focus in this work and they are more of a couple, two people that care and love in their own way, than they were in the first. It’s a nice progression in the story which gives a chance for character development for the two of them that I thought was amazingly well done.

The sexual tension between the two is a bit stronger in this work than the first, but there is also a release, a setting of understanding, and as well, a mutual moment where each knows, exactly, what drives the other in the relationship. In that moment, the story turns a corner and for Simon that also changes how he sees himself, what he thinks of, and knows of Carmen, and in that comes a decision and it is an important one.

With all of the past spoken of, their future talked about, once again Simon’s father hovers over the two like a dark angel waiting to strike… and he doesn’t. The threat from the first book is still there, very little time seems to have passed and in that nothing much has changed and the worries are still there.

Which brings up the question of the next book in the series, which has to happen sometime to tie up the loose ends, end the conflict that looms with Simon’s father, and bring the story towards, if not a conclusion, than at least to move the relationship and story ahead more than it did here. While the story being told from Carmen’s view was really telling, the story sometimes felt like it was going over things that had been talked about before.

But in that repetition, came an understanding about Carmen that wasn’t there before and that made this work every bit as strong a piece of writing as the first. Which only made me want to see where this story goes from here more…

I’ll give this work four out of five pitchforks.

It’s good to have a series where the story is wonderful, the characters strong, and the moments ones that say with you when the last page is turned… The hope is what comes next is all that I wish it to be…

 

Tera

Jul 24 2015

A Review of Lesbian Succubus Diary and Other Steamy Stuff by Francis James Franklin

Lesbian Succubus Diary and Other Steamy Stuff by Francis James Franklin

Lesbian Succubus Diary and Other Steamy Stuff by Francis James Franklin

Something a little bit different for review today on the Tale. A collection of short stories, poems and thoughts by James Franklin which I found simply captivating, thought provoking, emotional and, most of all, quite telling in the stories told.

While most of this work revolves around single page stories and poems, there is one work along the way that I loved from start to finish. While that single work was the heart of the collection for me, the rest of the author’s words were every bit as powerful and, in some cases, more.

The work tells of:

A collection of short stories and lyrical poetry with vampires, succubi, mechanical girls and other unusual creatures, that’s sometimes erotic and sometimes romantic, but sometimes quite the opposite. Are succubi sexy? Or terrifying? How would you like to be a vampire? Or to give your blood to a vampire? What if, instead of a heart beating, an oscillator ticked in your chest? And, instead of blood, steam whistled through your veins, driving pistons and spinning gears?

This is writing for the pleasure of writing. Poetry for fun, an exploration of rhyme and metre, from the 5–7–5 of haiku to the constrained repetition of villanelles, and featuring fairytale princesses and terrifying tentacle monsters. With a few dirty limericks thrown in for good measure…

Before I talk about Lesbian Succubus Diary, the core work in this collection, the balance of the stories, poems and thoughts need to be explored as well. The work ranges over a wide list of subjects, and in doing so there are just as wide emotions that each poem and tale brings to light. Not all of the works can be seen as romantic, some are bordering upon light horror, others are contemplative in nature. Still others are unashamedly erotic in tone and nature. The variety of the collected works is simply amazing and in being so there are many opportunities for the author to stretch their writing to the fullest.

Nestled into the midst of these poems and short stories is the single longest work in the collection, and as well, part of the title, Lesbian Succubus Diary. There are some short stories which offer characters that are full, open, and have depth to them unexpected. Truly in this work this comes out clearly in the lives told of the unnamed narrator, the romantic interest Denise and Meridiana. The work holds you from the first moment and continues to weave a passionate story of discovery, love, hope, loss, and in the end, acceptance.

It is not simply erotica, though that is part of the story, nor is it a tale just about the succubi. There’s more to be found in the relationships told, the love shared and how that transforms all of the characters in the work. There is a heart here, one that tells of the ache one succubus feels and how she finds that being human, or trying to be, can bring her to find her love.

I adored this story, really could not put it down and, I freely admit, I reread the story several times. There is just something about the work that tugs at me and I think that comes from the concept that succubi are complex beings, capable of love, but also needing to survive through sex. It is that conflict which pulls at the characters at several points, leading to heartache, heartbreak, and, eventually, revelation.

The story is complete and whole, leaving the characters in a place that feels right, and fulfills some needed release and joy. I do dearly wanted the story to be longer, to tell more about them. The core story itself is almost perfect, but… This could well be made into a full length novel for how strong the characters are and more.

Setting this story amid vivid poetry, eclectic writing and unique perspectives just makes for one of the most thoughtful, and at the same moment, sensual, works I have read. Simply a wonderful collection of thoughts by the author in which there is life, passion and more hiding in each word on the page.

Five out of five pitchforks.

Highly recommended for the art, the style, and, most of all, a story about succubi that is so captivating. I would love, dearly, to see Lesbian Succubus Diary become a novel, really there is so much heart and soul within that story. But then, the author holds that passion of writing so very well…

 

Tera

Jul 23 2015

Succubi Image of the Week 392

A wonderfully fun, cute, passionate and, at least for me, playfully naughty piece of Succubus art today on the Tale. When an artist draws a Succubus, sometimes they just look… right. There’s no other way to explain and in that comes the joy in seeing that creation be what I think Succubi are…

Succubus by axeL-zeck

Succubus by axeL-zeck

This art is called Succubus and is by an artist on DeviantArt called AxeL-zeck. You can find the page on DeviantArt where I found this art here and the artist’s page on DeviantArt can be found here.

I simply adore this artwork… Her hair is wonderful, her expression is ever so cute, and her poise and personality are just wonderfully fun most of all. Her outfit really suits her well, and, as a whole, I think it’s a neat mix of casual seductiveness that the thigh-high boots really put into contrast quite well.

One of my favourites of the year by far and, I think, the source of a story or two to be told sometime…

 

Tera

Jul 22 2015

A costume this expensive really has to look better than this

Sexy Satan CostumeThere are two things that can take a costume from poor to lousy and then beyond that to something close to ridiculous. One is a costume that simply looks lousy. The second is when that costume’s price tag is so insanely high that why anyone would want to buy it is beyond me…

This… thing… is called the Sexy Satan Costume and it comes with the red sequin halter top, booty shorts, red sequin chaps with belt buckle, red sequin devil horn hood and red sequin pitchfork. The choker and heels are not included. This disaster… this mess… sells for $125 US.

I’ve seen some really bad costumes, some of which I have given the title of worst costume ever. I’ve been warned that by doing so I am tempting the universe to have someone design something worse and I have to admit that in this case I think that’s quite true.

There isn’t a single thing I like about this mess. It isn’t sexy, it isn’t seductive. It is however a complete train wreck in that you can’t help but look at it and the overwhelming trashiness just burns into your mind. And I’m really sorry about that, but this is a public service as I see it to keep people from buying things that should be tossed into a furnace and then toasting marshmallows over the ashes.

Seriously, that is the best thing that can possible happen in this case as there is no way to improve this whatsoever.

I’m sure I have a better looking latex skirt and bandeau top in my collection that by themselves would look far better than this. Add a pair of latex stockings, red heels, and a bit of Queen of the Succubi attitude and whomever might be silly enough to buy this disaster would be slinking away into the shadows to hide.

So, please, don’t buy this.

Zero out of five pitchforks and a place in the Hall of Costume Infamy.

Because it deserves to be there.

 

Tera

Jul 21 2015

A Review of Dream Girl by Jeremy D. Hill

Dream Girl by Jeremy D. Hill

Dream Girl by Jeremy D. Hill

It is said that our past influences our present and, eventually, defines our future. There are some pasts that cannot be forgotten, no matter how much we try.

And, sometimes, there is a part of our past that we never really understand, but sense. When that part returns to reveal itself… What happens then?

The work tells of:

Wanna be rock ‘n’ roll star Wes Warrington has a troubled past involving the occult and institutionalization. Now touring with his band can he put his past behind him and find his dream girl? And when he does, will she be what she seems to be?

Wes has lived through a life that really no one can ever understand. Pain, suffering, a family that abused and used him, and a girl in his past that went over the edge because she wanted him. Surviving all that confronted him, he manages to continue on in a band… but on this night… the dream girl of the past he thought he knew will be revealed to be so very real.

Overall, this work is mainly about Wes and his past. There is a lot of detail in that past, all of the bad things and so very little good, that it really, at least for me, was hard to get through. It shapes his personality but more importantly, there is one moment in his life that he did not understand at that time.

Being involved with a “good girl” who involves him with summoning a Succubus, then blames him for everything that happened, would be have been the end of the story for a lot of characters. But Wes survives, moves on, and tries to live his life. But the thing is, he remembers seeing, vaguely, a beautiful woman before things went wrong. And he thinks of her often, making her more and more real in his mind.

When the story comes to the present time for Wes, he meets an odd woman. She captivates him, gains his attention, and for the barest of instants there is the sign that she is a Succubus. One with a very familiar name.

That would have been an interesting story to read but it is a very few short pages towards the end of the work and there isn’t really a lot told of who the Succubus is, what she is, or her character other than she has been looking for Wes and wants him to be “complete”. There are little touches of her wings, of her being, that are told, but her character, her personality is shaded and shadowed… And honestly I would have liked to know as much about her as we learn about Wes.

There is a touch of erotica in this work, but it is very little as the main point of the work tends towards the macabre and horrific. While as a whole the story is an interesting one, I’m not so sure that the work needed to have as much pain and suffering for Wes in it as happened.

The ending was not quite as satisfying as I would have liked, but in the framework of the story it made complete sense. The moments after the climax seemed rushed and unfocused and that was a shame.

The writing had but two points were a word error or misuse of a word happened, but otherwise the writing is quite good and descriptive. The character of Wes and that of the other band members is well told and shown, but, as I have said, the Succubus appears to be mainly about her physical aspects and not really about her personality… I think the story would have been better if that part of the story had been revealed…

Two and a half out of five pitchforks.

There quite a lot about Wes, his life, and the dream that he sees of the girl that he wants to love. Personally I would have liked to know as much about the girl of his dreams than we do…

 

Tera

Jul 21 2015

A Review of Hell On Heels!: She’s The Devils Daughter Looking To Collect! by Michael Uva

Hell On Heels!: She's The Devils Daughter Looking To Collect! by Michael Uva

Hell On Heels!: She’s The Devils Daughter Looking To Collect! by Michael Uva

There are, on occasion, some works that have something a little bit different to them. By that I mean there’s something in the story, the characters, the entire idea that is lurking in the pages that takes things places that no one has ever considered.

I do enjoy that sort of work, mainly for who the characters are and what happens to them over the course of the story. Sometimes the humour that goes along for the right is a little bit odd, but then when there’s something a little bit odd about all of the characters in the first place that isn’t a bad thing to see…

  • Title: Hell On Heels!: She’s The Devils Daughter Looking To Collect!
  • Author: Michael Uva
  • Length: 105 Pages
  • ASIN: B00TNP3QVI
  • Publishing Date: February 15, 2015
  • This work at Amazon.com

The work tells the story of:

If you think the Devil is evil, try dealing with his progeny! Lilith, the oldest of the brood has been sent on a mission of extreme importance to Satan. If she fails, her birthright will be given up to Alona, her little sister. She has one chance to show her metal. In her case, that usually comes in the form of Stiletto spiked, high heel shoes! You see, she’s a zealous Fashionista! Yes, she’s coming to get you… one way or another! There’s no one that can stop her, except Bruce… The Angel Of Death! Who is about to retire!

The book summary is a little bit misleading as, in truth, the story isn’t so much about Lilith but rather what happens to someone that gets involved in situations that Lilith sees to. There’s a lot of mystery about what exactly goes on, who some of the characters are, and what the point of the story is.

But that’s the charm of this work. It isn’t the usual murder mystery or private-eye story, though there are aspect of those themes within the pages. It isn’t a comedy, or satire, though that comes out clearly from the characters, setting and plot as well. It is a quirky story, somewhat odd at times, sometimes quite violent and over the top as well. But more than anything, it is about the characters, how strongly written they are, how independent each is and how they all relate to each other in the most amazing ways.

Lilith, one of the main characters, isn’t quite a succubus, though she has a lot of the aspects of a succubus in her personality and powers. She is quite cruel at times, very much over the top in her sexuality and actions at times as well. But then comes the aspect of her where being the Devil’s daughter means coming home for dinner, now and then, and having to answer Daddy when he calls on her phone. She is a little wild at times, but as well, she’s very calculating, headstrong and has a personality that takes over the pages where she appears.

The work is written a little oddly however in that it reads more like an outline for a television episode at times. Each change of scene is preceded by a note of where things are going to happen and it reads a little bit oddly as a result. There isn’t really chapters in the work as a whole, but rather a series of vignettes that, when collected into a whole and the threads are connected, makes for something quite special.

A strong story, lots of character, a tremendous amount of personality and a series of interwoven themes and lives that simply works. I would like to see where things go from here, there’s an obvious ‘what comes next’ at the end of the book and that interests me.

Four and a half out of five pitchforks.

A unique read and a group of characters not to be found anywhere else.

 

Tera

Jul 20 2015

The Other Side (A Companion Piece to “Traveling”) by James

Last week I shared a story in which I told, in some way, something that I am quite upset over. I am not where I should be, not doing what I should be, not being where I have wanted to be tomorrow… My Heart and his Beloved will be there, my Eternal as well… But not I…

I wrote the piece last week…. upset. I still am, will be for some time I expect because… because that is how I am…

Something My Heart understands…

 

The Other Side (a companion piece to “Traveling”)

by James

 

He had looked forward to this journey for so long, some real traveling that didn’t involve any work, didn’t involve any emergencies or anybody needing any help. He had looked forward to being away from home, as much as he loved it, because, when he was home, there was always work waiting for him . . . someplace.

And yet, there was the part he missed. Their dog wasn’t making the journey with them, but was staying with friends. Beds in places where one travels are never the same as one’s bed at home, no matter how nice the traveling accommodations might be. Nor is the food ever quite the same—for better and for worse. Most of all, he missed seeing the light from the home on the other side of the fence. It was ever a warm and cheery light, not simply for the illuminations of the house itself, but for the light of its occupants, who had become more than good friends—they were good family.

As he looked out of the window of his train, watching the world go by, his mind’s eye was drawn back to the fence. It was, he was pretty sure—the changes in time zones kept him on his toes—the time of day when he would meet his Dear One by the fence, when they would say so little and so much all at the same time, talking of their day, of their Eternals, of their dogs and work and dinner and sundry minutiae. Yet, in that seemingly innocuous banter, they were really renewing a timeless bond, a bond which transcended realities and universes and which neither ever realized existed until the met, quite by accident, so long ago yet not very long ago.

Somehow, their little chats kept reality in balance.

He never knew quite how that was possible, except, he suspected, because she was indeed so important to so many worlds, so many people, so many realities. He was, he thought, probably, the only one to call her “Dear One,” but she went by so many other names, and brought light and how and joy and possibility to so very many other people. How he was a help in all of this, bound to his one reality, he never knew, but he was grateful for his time with her, and more grateful that he could be useful. And, right now, he was missing that one bit of home, even though he still felt connected to her.

One thing he most looked forward to was the stop on the trip where they would meet up with their neighbors for a special day. This hadn’t been the reason for the journey, or even part of the original plan, but it was truly a cherry on the sundae of this whole special, relaxing fortnight, as the four of them would just get to visit and have fun together.

Then came her message: some annoying slugs, flush with their own power and their own over-estimation of their importance, had managed to weasel out a way to force her to take a trip she didn’t want to take. It was in her power to say “no”—there were few things not in her power, in one world or another, though more than she cared to ever admit to herself—but her refusal would leave others vulnerable to bigger troubles, and it simply wasn’t in her to allow that. But she would miss their rendezvous. Her Eternal would be there, provided, the traveler mused, that her beloved was not crushed under the weight of all the instructions she had included for making things “perfect.” For the traveler and his love, having their friend there to wave and say “Hi” was more than sufficient.

Still, his Dear One was beating herself up for not being there in person, in part out of disappointment—which he shared—in part out of duty. He wished he could take that latter bit away from her; he kept trying to tell her that there was no “duty” involved, that it wasn’t that way with them (he knew that, were the tables turned, he would feel that duty, feel that he was letting her down, but he didn’t need to deal with that now, so he pushed forward, ignoring the potential double standard). More than anything, he wished he could take the pain away from her, wished he could just hold that for her, at least the part that concerned the two of them. He also had some passing notions of mercilessly and repeatedly impaling slugs on salt-encrusted pitchforks . . . but that was just for fun.

Then came that night on the train, there in the dark, as the other train passed, and their fence . . . How could it be their fence? And yet, how could it be anything else? . . . somehow appeared, and there seemed to be only one window lit in the train that passed, and, ever-so briefly, but in a nanosecond that seemed to stretch out for a week, he saw her, and heard, “Hello, my heart,” and shared a hug.

Then it was over.

But, also, so much was changed. She would go on, and keep people safe and happy, and keep worlds in balance, and they would both find their way back to the fence in time.

But there would be something more. Universes that believed they could keep these two apart were foolish universes. Bigger forces than these slugs had tried and failed before. The moment he lost sight of his Dear One’s train in the night, the thoughts began spinning in his head.

When he and his beloved met up with Dear One’s Eternal, the plotting would begin.

The other side of this missed moment would be something much more . . .

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