Apr 03 2015

A Review of the Catalina, Queen of the Nightlings series by J. Lee Roberts

Catalina, Queen of the Nightlings: Cleopatra's Pearls by J. Lee Roberts

Catalina, Queen of the Nightlings: Cleopatra’s Pearls by J. Lee Roberts

It isn’t often that there is a Succubus, or Succubus-like character that has a bit of an Raiders of the Lost Ark feel about them that mixed well with who they are. For the most part, stories about such characters tend to focus on the erotica and not leave much for telling of their history, who they are, and the world they live in.

It’s a rather difficult line to tread, to try to write an adventure that still has quite a lot of erotica in it as well. More so when the story is told over two works in a series and more still when, at times, the erotica runs roughshod over the story itself.

The first work in the series is:

  • Title: Catalina, Queen of the Nightlings: Cleopatra’s Pearls
  • Author:  J. Lee Roberts
  • Length: 65 Pages
  • ASIN: B00KSPZOEY
  • Publishing Date: June 5, 2014
  • This work at Amazon.com

The work tells of:

“I’m not your average monster. In the past, I have toppled, liberated, and even ruled kingdoms. Believe me, I’m over that lifestyle. My motto is, ‘Learn from the past; love in the present’.

“By day, I’m Catalina Purdy, proprietor of Purdy Antiques. By night, under cover of darkness, I expose my true nature.

“I enjoy; long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, easy men, and feasting off the chemicals they produce when sexually aroused.

“I also love my job. I am eternally thirsty for the chance to hunt down rare, exotic pieces. However, I’m not hard to please, I’ll take any piece I can get, and I always get what I want.”

Catalina is a Succubus, but she is also an adventurer, a mystic, and, at least according to quite a number of beings in her world, also has quite the story to tell. Sometimes the story however is more about Catalina than she’d like it to be. But being a Succubus tends to bring you all kinds of attention.

Catalina is a mix of being vampiric, in that she feeds on the blood of others, but also she defines herself as a Succubus in that she can mesmerize others and have them do her bidding, not to mention that she really needs sex on an ongoing basis in her life. She is an interesting character in that her past, though shrouded in mystery, defines who she is to others but at the same time she tries very much not to allow it to define herself. There is a bit of an internal struggle at times over that conflict, mostly through her using her past to occasionally obtain something she wants.

Still, in the here and now, she is somewhat of an Indiana Jones sort of main character, tending towards a focus on adventure, but not at all shy about using her abilities at the most interesting times in the story. But that’s where the problem starts. There is a vast background about Catalina that is skimmed over, relationships mentioned, and so on, but really the work doesn’t delve into that part of her.

The work focuses on all of the sexual interruptions and moments that she encounters and when they come to pass in the work, they take up quite a lot of the work as a whole. There’s many sex scenes which are, to be clear, very hot, very well written, and as a whole I thought they were quite good. But this alone cannot hold the work together and so the story falls back on the introduction of a number of characters connected to Catalina, When it does so, those moments aren’t long enough to give a lot of character development or direction to them. There’s a lot of suggestions, some quite lewd, and it adds flavour to the work. It’s just not interesting enough.

While the writing is very good and there aren’t many editing problems, save for a few minor ones that cropped up here and there, good writing couldn’t make me like this work as much as I wanted to from the start.

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

A bit too much erotica and not nearly enough story for my personal taste. That’s a shame because Catalina is interesting outside of the erotica by far.

Catalina, Queen of the Nightlings: The Aztec Goddess by J. Lee Roberts

Catalina, Queen of the Nightlings: The Aztec Goddess by J. Lee Roberts

The other work in the series managed, I thought, to find that balance better as a whole and in doing so created a much more interesting and complex story than the first work did. It also gave a better glimpse into Catalina herself, her past, and some of the important people in her life, human and otherwise.

Sometimes your past confronts you in ways you never expected. When that moment arrives, the question one needs to ask is… why? The answer to that can, in many ways, reveal more about yourself than the person that asked the question in the first place.

The second work in the series is:

The work tells of:

Witches, shifters, and shamans. Oh my… Catalina is at it again, and as always, no one is off limits. Strong, smart, and sexy, the Queen of the Nightlings is all but invincible. All except for one little weakness—twins.

Deep in the heart of the jungle an ancient power calls. As Catalina searches for its source, she discovers a lost Viking warrior washed ashore after a sudden squall. Although she is forced to abandon her prey, Catalina knows she will never get over the mysterious stud without at least one little taste. Trouble is—while the Cat was out to play, tall, blond and handsome has gotten away.

The journey is only beginning when she finds her prize has been captured by a crafty coven. Catalina may be a monster, but what the witches have in store for the warrior is downright evil.

Catalina receives a visit from a new client that wishes to have her find a particular statue. The problem is that Catalina knows, exactly, where that statue is and what it can do. A long time ago, she came into contact with it and her life took some unexpected turns. So did a lot of others that still haunt her to this day.

The really interesting thing about this work is how much of the work tells of an important moment in Catalina’s past, what it meant for her future then and her present now. It also links into the previous work and explains quite a lot about Catalina and how she came to be where she is. It’s also interesting to see the one human in her life, a human that isn’t affected by Catalina’s powers and the dynamic that exists between them.

It’s through that relationship that most of this story is told, through Catalina telling of her first encounter with the statue in the past. It is told in Catalina’s voice as she is telling it as a story and it’s more personal that way. The story doesn’t read as a flashback so much as a somewhat fond memory. I though that work well, told more about Catalina’s personality and in doing so, more was learned about her.

There was also an interesting origin story told about another character, how Catalina was involved in that and where they came from. Another character’s relationship was also explained, but that relationship was both business and pleasure and I though it worked well.

The erotica in this work is spread throughout and as such it isn’t so overwhelming as it was in the first work. It’s less “happenstance” and fit better in the story overall which made the story a better read. This work is quite a bit longer than the first one because of all of the story, background and world building that is mixed in. There’s a better balance of story to erotica and it makes Catalina more interesting, a more full character and held me in the story much better.

There are still a few minor editing mistakes in the work, but they are minor ones, mostly a similar sounding word being wrongly used. Otherwise the writing is much better, the characters grow in the story, and there is a nice direction that it takes which kept my interest and I liked that.

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

By far the better of the two stories and I think that really this work needed to be the first one in the series, though it isn’t. It’s a fuller, more involved story and as such it’s better written, makes better use of the erotica and has a better balance as a read.

I’d like to see a third work sometime, there are still a lot of stories to tell that have been hinted at and perhaps time will make them appear.

 

Tera

Apr 03 2015

A Review of All This and Love by J. Libby

All This and Love by J. Libby

All This and Love by J. Libby

It is to me interesting when an author takes established myths and legends and tweaks them slightly. You are never quite sure where the story goes or why it does the things it does.

I found a collection of such works which was a delightful read and the one work with connections to Succubi was quite remarkable in its own right…

The work tells about:

Love in many flavors takes center stage in All This and Love. From a wolf hunt in the catacombs beneath an unnamed city to the last kiss shared by a fallen angel and his immortal, human lover, love gets complicated by some of the things that go bump in the night. Explore lust, betrayal and star-crossed romance in five short stories in J. Libby’s debut collection.

Touching on the Succubus story, to the waters and the wild firstly, Kay is travelling through Ireland and picks up an odd hitchhiker in her travels. Aislinn is… odd… in some ways but there is an attraction that grows between them. The question is where that leads them both.

The story just barely touches upon what Aislinn is and that reveal is left until the very end of the story. In spite of that there are many little hints along the way which, if you are aware of the myths and legends, are signposts to the theme and direction of the story.

The descriptions of where the two go, what they see and experience is lovely and adds so much to the story. But with that the moments passing between them, Kay’s past history and Aislinn’s attractions are the core of the work. There is an otherworldly feeling to everything which made the story come into sharper focus overall and that little touch was perfect and needed for the story to be what it is.

The rest of the works are interesting in how they touch upon fairy tales, myths and legends and bend them by the author’s hand into something that lurks beneath the words but isn’t too obvious until the veil is lifted and the truths appear. The descriptions of the moments, the characters and more are really well done and make the collection much more than I was expecting. The stories are a bit short, some could easily have been much longer, such as the story about Kay and Aislinn for one. Perhaps that can be sometime… you never know.

For the Succubus story, I give four and a half pitchforks. I’m giving this work overall four out of five pitchforks.

Wonderful collection of writing and I do hope that the author tries their hand at writing some longer more involved things as I think they have quite the story telling talent…

 

Tera

Apr 02 2015

Succubi Image of the Week 376

Some Morrigan Aensland pencil art today on the Tale for the Succubi of the Week. So often the focus on Morrigan is, of course, her prominent assets. That really isn’t a surprise, but when it happens the rest of her tends to fall into the background and that’s a shame. However, the right pose, and the right expression can divert one’s attention very well…

Morrigan Aensland by 冬羿兒乙

Morrigan Aensland by 冬羿兒乙

This art of Morrigan Aensland is by an artist on Pixiv called 冬羿兒乙 and you can find the original page with this art here.

I’ve always been fascinated with Morrigan’s hair. Mainly because there’s just so many ways to drape it around her to change her looks as it does here. It gives action to this image, but it also hides one of Morrigan’s eyes and adds some impact to her expression as well. I just think that’s really well done and it’s what really drew me to this art.

It is also a somewhat different pose for Morrigan in that she’s so often draw in just about all directions except above her which I think provides some really interesting possibilities…

Perhaps she’s in the middle of a battle? It does look like that doesn’t it?

 

Tera

Apr 01 2015

This costume is missing something and will never find it

Sexy Red Devil CostumeThere are lots of costumes that I have looked at that are missing something… Some more than others, but it is, as I’ve seen, a theme… Here’s another example of that…

This is called the Sexy Red Devil Costume and it comes with the dress, the horns and the tail. It sells for $56 with only $25 charged for shipping and handling at one of the places I found this.

It’s just… well tacky is probably giving it a compliment, but that is about the best description of this that I can think of. The horns are lousy, the tail looks like an afterthought and the dress itself, especially that glitter bow are too ugly for words.

I can do a lot better with a red strapless dress, a pair of horns and a tail than this and I won’t feel half as silly… Well, actually not at all as silly as I would in wearing this disaster.

I can’t see a way to save this, nor really would I want to try as it would make more sense to put the time into something a lot better than this.

As well, I think that charging almost as much in shipping as the costume itself is a bit on the tacky side as well.

Zero pitchforks out of five.

I’m not even sure why this exists to be honest…

 

Tera

Mar 31 2015

A Review of The Second Circle by N. T. Gore

The Second Circle by N. T. Gore

The Second Circle by N. T. Gore

There are some stories with Succubi in them that really don’t do a lot for me. The story itself can be very good, the characters interesting in all sorts of ways. But within the pages of the work comes something that just… rubs me the wrong way. The one thing, more than anything else, that takes away from a story for me is pain and suffering.

I can understand when it is needed to tell a story, and in many ways a story cannot be told without some sort of conflict and so on. I understand that. But personally I just have issues with it.

  • Title: The Second Circle
  • Author: N. T. Gore
  • Length: 142 Pages
  • ASIN: B00JLRM4ES
  • Publishing Date: April 9, 2014
  • This work at Amazon.com

The work tells of:

What would you do if you were the object of supernatural affection? Liam’s irresistibly attractive succubus lover wants him to bring her other women…first for him to make love to, then for her to sacrifice them.

Liam has a Succubus haunting him, he’s completely smitten by her, and when she asks him to bring them to her, he does so. Over the course of the story, reality blurs with his experiences with his Succubus and then things turn in ways Liam cannot understand… until it is far too late.

Isabella is the Succubus of this work, and for the most part she doesn’t actually appear very much in her true form. She takes a more human form, though there are Succubus aspects to it, and really uses Liam for her own ends that are not made clear until the end of the work. She is, when all is said and done, very close to the stereotypically evil Succubus with only thoughts of evil in her mind no matter the pleasant exterior she offers.

That’s kind of disappointing in that I had thought she might be something better than that at her first appearance. But as the story unfolds she turns more and more obviously manipulative, controlling, and demanding. She tries to misdirect, confuse, and sexually control Liam, which for a Succubus isn’t a surprise really. It gets more complicated, and to be honest a little more confusing when a second character appears who is hauntingly familiar, and then more so when a third appears to warn Liam.

Liam himself goes from rapturous, blind acceptance in everything Isabella says to doubting over time and I would have liked to see more a struggle within himself over the events of the work. But a promise from Isabella takes that away much of the time, he continues with her wishes and… it does get repetitive in a way.

The story has a lot of echoes within it that I thought were well done and helped to tie things together. It’s well written, the characters, both major and minor have depth to them which was good to see. Even the erotica had some lovely heat in it as well. All of that were good things, but, it’s the pain, suffering, and death in the work that just muted a lot of my enjoyment of it. As horror erotica, I think it does very well. But I don’t care for that theme and that’s my problem I suppose.

Three and a half out of five pitchforks.

Overall a well written story, lots of layers and meaning within it. The problem is that there’s too much death and the darker side of humanity in it for me personally. That’s a shame because I think that not all of that had to be in the story for the story itself and the characters living within it.

 

Tera

Mar 31 2015

A Review of Summoning the Succubus by Bellatrix Reneaux

Summoning the Succubus by Bellatrix Reneaux

Summoning the Succubus by Bellatrix Reneaux

Sometimes I find a story about Succubi and there’s a problem. Sometimes that’s the writing, sometimes it’s the characters. On occasion it’s too short, written poorly or there is something else that just isn’t right.

In the case of this work, my problem is that, save for the character’s name, the entire story is, word for word, a copy of one that one of my favourite authors, M.E. Hydra, published many years ago. That’s a problem for me in two ways. The original author sis not republish this work as a stand alone work under a new name. That means, most likely, that omeone else took their story and released it under their name.

And that’s exactly what happened here.

  • Title: Summoning the Succubus
  • Author: Bellatrix Reneaux
  • Length: 14 Pages
  • ASIN: B00TT68SXC
  • Publishing Date: February 18, 2015
  • This work at Amazon.com

The work tells of:

Alec visits his crush at a new age store and is given some magical bubble bath in order to help him relax. Little does he know that the mixture contains something delightfully sinister.

This particular story was originally published as part of the collection: A Succubus for Christmas and Other Tales of Devilish Delights in 2010. You can find the original work here on Amazon and here on the SuccuWiki.

I reviewed the original collection and noted that the original story was:

  • Bubble Bath – A man enters a shop and finds himself purchasing a container of bubble bath with some very unique effects. Really a very hot story for the start to the inevitable finish. A really unique means of a Succubus being summoned and one that will stay with me for a while I think. Lots of questions left at the end, but overall a nice, tightly written short Succubus story.

You can find my original review of the collection that this work appeared in here on the Tale.

It’s quite clear that someone just changed the main character’s name and that’s all they did before publishing this work as theirs.

My thanks to M.E. for commenting below and confirming my suspicions. This is a very, very lousy thing to do. It’s worse still for all of the other works this person claimed as their own. I hope to see Amazon remove Bellatrix Reneaux from their site immediately.

 

Tera

Mar 30 2015

Purpose by TeraS

I received a question, or perhaps more of a thought, on my Tumblr blog:

“What are the original purposes for Succubi/Incubi being among us? What is their mission for us and for their own evolution? Now do not get me wrong. I love them all, it’s just that no one seems to ask.”

I think it is an interesting question and I have thoughts about that … because … there is always a …

 

Purpose
By TeraS

 

One of the most basic questions that can be asked is … “why?” That is, of course a very broad question, and the answers can be as difficult to define as the question itself. That does not mean, however, that the question shouldn’t be asked, or answered.

To be clear, not everything—or everyone, for that matter—has all of the answers … well, with the possible exception of Tera and her Eternal … but the thing of that is: one cannot give the answer if the question isn’t asked. From that realization comes the explanation of why it is that Tera always, in all ways, makes time when someone in the Realm poses a question to her.

“Tera? Umm … Why are we?”

The question was asked by a purple-tailed succubi who was serving Tera a cup of tea at one of the Realm’s many, many tea shops. While, in the background, two black-tails talked loudly over their pie, Tera thought about the question for a moment. She smiled: “That sounds like how I would ask a question. Have you been taking lessons from me?”

Sybil, the purple-tail, replied with a faint smile: “Uh … a little? Kind of cute, you know.”

Tera picked up her tea cup: “Yes, you are. Come and sit with me for a bit. I’m sure that will not be a problem.”

Sybil was going to reply that she was working and needed to look after the other tables, but a look from Ester, the orange-tail that was serving customers with her that day made her change her mind and sit down with Tera.

The look was: “Dummy, she’s the Queen. Sit the hell down.”

After Sybil had done so, Tera regarded her as she traced a fingertip around the rim of her cup: “You ask “why?” My first answer is … ‘Why not?’”

Sybil sighed a bit. She was well aware of Tera’s mannerisms, she had been one of the Succubi for just over two millennia, and so she wasn’t all that surprised when Tera turned the question on her.

“Tera, please … I know you love to do this, but, please, could you just answer the question?”

“It is a bit difficult when you aren’t exactly sure of what the question is. Reminds me a lot of how the answer to the meaning of life is forty-two. We have an answer, but not the question.”

Sybil smirked: “Okay. What’s the question if the answer is ‘forty-two?’”

Tera lifted her tea cup to her lips and replied just before taking a sip: “How many licks does it take to make Sybil …”

Sybil’s eyes got really big and she waved her hands at Tera: “No! Stop!”, and at the same time she looked in the direction of Ester, who was trying not to be obvious in overhearing the conversation.

That question was one that Sybil did not want Ester to know. She’d been on the receiving end of many of Ester’s licks and did not, ever, want Ester to know what forty-two licks would do … probably. She’d have to think about that again.

Tera sipped at her tea, her tail swisching behind her slowly: “You asked. I was going to answer. That is what you wanted, is it not?”

Sybil shook her head and then sighed: “Tera, you know full well it isn’t.”

Tera shrugged and continued to enjoy her tea, occasionally looking at the two nearby incubi who kept looking in the direction of Ester, all while smiling to herself.

After a bit of time, Sybil asked: “Why are we not … well …”—she did finger quotes in a very Tera-like way—“Evil?”

Tera put her teacup down and then replied: “Evil is, to be blunt, boring. To be so is to act in a way that everyone expects you to. It’s boring to do the same things over and over again simply because you are …”—this time it was Tera who was doing the finger quotes—“Evil.”

“Okay, but that doesn’t explain the why.”

“The why isn’t all that complicated. Love is better for us. Lust is, as well. Passion, too. All of the positive things that we can do, can share, can be, makes us better and those that accept us better, as well.”

Tera pointed a finger in the direction of the two incubi: “In another place, another world, they would be seen as evil, corrupt, or worse. The same is true of every one of us. There are some places where we go and find that others, similar to us, have done much evil, and we have to deal with that.”

“So, why? If things are so stacked against us, what’s the point?”

Tera wiggled that finger: “My usual answer is, ‘Just ‘cause.’ But I’ll do better than that. The point is that we can change things. We can do things that others cannot. We can make dreams.”

“Sounds like a business card.”

Tera had the oddest smile as she replied: “Yes, actually it is. But you wouldn’t be aware of that; you’ve never been outside of the Realm since you came to be. We’ll have to do something about that sometime.”

Tera looked at the two incubi and saw that they were surrounding Ester and she was becoming a bit flustered. Turning to Sybil, she commented: “But, for the moment, your girlfriend has her hands full with two horny incubi, and I think you had better go help her.”

Seeing that Tera was right, Sybil excused herself and went over to “help” Ester with the problem. At the time, Sybil didn’t think anything of what Tera had said, but, the next morning, she found a note by her bed that read: “Sybil, would you and Ester please see me?”

Sybil considered the tangle of limbs, tails and sheets around her and sighed: “Me and my big mouth.” The muffled answer from Ester left her with a blush that was still on her cheeks when the two of them finally arrived at the Realm Castle, where Tera was waiting, standing just outside of the main doors.

Looking at them with a knowing smile, Tera asked: “So … had a nice time, I hope?”

That blush of Sybil’s turned contagious as Ester blushed as badly as she did. Then Sybil asked, in a very embarrassed tone: “Um. Why did you ask us here, Tera?”

“I have an answer to your question of ‘why.’”

The confused look that Sybil had was nothing compared to that of Ester, who had no idea what was going on.

“Okay. But why are we here?”

Tera’s tail pointed in Sybil’s direction: “And there is the question, is it not? Why are we here, exactly?”

In reaction to Tera’s answer, both Sybil and Ester began rubbing their temples as their migraines started. However, Tera simply smiled in response and pressed onwards. “If we were anything other than who and what we are, none of what happened to you at the cafe and last night would have. There would have been no passion, no love, no need, no desire. None of these things would have been part of you.”

Tera looked at the Realm beyond where they stood: “None of what is would have been. All of this would be nothing.”

She turned to them once again: “Why we are here, why we exist, is because we do. Why is not the real question. How is the better one. How is it that beings like us can exist? How is it that we can do what we can? How does it happen that beings like us, that look to some to be evil, are not?”

Ester, a white-tail, answered: “Because we made a choice?”

Tera smiled: “Exactly. We chose to be. We decided that this, all of this, was what we wanted to be.”

Sybil was still rubbing her temples: “Migraine … getting worse.”

Ester had a slightly mischievous smile: “We’ll take care of that soon. I think forty-two licks will do it.”

Sybil froze and then rubbed her eyes: “Oh, geez.”

Tera giggled lightly: “It is a nice thing to have problems like that, isn’t it? To be able to be different, to feel something that others cannot … to have a purpose?”

Sybil looked at Tera: “A purpose?”

Tera ticked off her fingers in turn as she replied: “To give, to receive, to share, to belong.”

Sybil just blinked at Tera’s answer, so the Queen continued: “To have a purpose, to be able to make that choice on your own, to find your way; that’s why and who we are. We exist because we have a purpose. It’s simply to be. That’s all. Everything else is optional.”

Ester tapped Sybil on the shoulder: “If you haven’t figured it out yet, the answer is that it doesn’t matter why. It matters that we do the best we can and be all that we can be.”

Tera winked and then waved at them: “And that’s the answer to the question … or at least the one for today. There will be more, there always is more. Now go on. You have better things to do than be here.”

Tera watched them leave, smiling knowingly and waiting patiently. Just after the pair of succubi had left her sight, she felt a familiar and beloved presence at her side.

“You know you didn’t answer her question.”

Tera looked at her Eternal and batted her eyes: “Didn’t I?”

Keith chuckled: “No. You didn’t. You danced around it really well, confused them to no end, but you didn’t answer it.”

Tera kissed him as she hugged him tightly: “They’ll figure it out soon enough. How does it help if I reveal to them something that they need to find on their own?”

Keith kissed Tera on her horns: “Right. I forgot how much you like riddles.”

“Oh I do. But there’s one riddle that I know the answer to: the one that gives me purpose.” She looked into his eyes, smiled knowingly, and took his hand in her own.

As they walked off down the path together, Keith replied: “The best one of all.”

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