Aug 03 2014

A Review of Burning Up by Candra Aubrey

Burning Up by Candra Aubrey

Burning Up by Candra Aubrey

There is something that isn’t quite right about the way a lot of self published works appear. There are writing flaws, lack of editing and other things that are simply a matter of the author not quite doing all they should do when they create. But the one thing that I cannot stand is when a book is, for example, billed as being 15 pages in length but 8 pages of that is for copyright, book summary, self-promotion and so on. If makes it hard to actually enjoy the writing when you have to page past so many almost blank pages to get to what you are looking for… story.

  • Title: Burning Up
  • Author: Candra Aubrey
  • Publishing Date: September 11, 2012
  • Length: 15 Pages (3,694 Words)
  • ISBN: 9781623271985
  • This work at Smashwords

The summary tells of:

Desiree Nyman has always liked virgins. As a thousand-plus-year-old succubus, she’s had the time to refine her palate and enjoy the sweet taste of the innocent. She also has a soft spot for those who were bullied and a bit of a vindictive streak for those who did the bullying. After having her way with nineteen-year-old Fisher Whyte, Desiree heads for New York City for a bit of payback on his behalf. There she finds what she’ looking for as she drains the energy from two aggressive men, Ilias and Boone, who tormented Fisher when he was younger. She uses her power to pull the two of them together and seduces them into pleasing her and each other, before moving on. In one night, she is able to feed enough to satisfy her for awhile and also manages to even the score for the sweet, naive Fisher.

The thing about this summary is that… it’s missing a lot to be honest. You do know of course where the story is going overall from it, and that’s the point. But what’s missing from it is so much more.

The author speaks of where Desiree came from, but more interestingly, some of her past, which to me was more interesting than the rest of the story to be honest. How she was changed by Fae into what she is now, the Incubus she met, many little interesting points about her that aren’t developed. Especially with regards to nature and civilization, and most of all, her ability to shift herself and others through space.

All of that, to me, really are things I want to know about. But we don’t. The teases we see are there for a moment and then lost to the menage a trois which is the climax of the work. What makes that sadder is that the story is rushed to that point with little regard to actually using the character reveals we see.

Why can she only be in civilization a short time? What did she do that she was cursed to be a Succubus? How is it that she isn’t Fae and isn’t human? What does that mean?

There are other questions left unanswered and that brings me back to the comment I made at the start. The entire work is less than 4,000 words. The page count is 15 pages, but really there are only 7 actual pages of story.

Could the author not have fleshed out the story some more? Make it less a story of sex and in doing so make it a better story? I know that some people like hot flashes that have no story to them, but I personally don’t. I need some meat in my story and this one lacks somewhat for that.

Setting that aside, I liked Desiree, I liked her a lot and I wanted to know more about her. She isn’t just there for sex, that’s clear in  her thoughts and actions. But rather than see more of that, to understand her wants and needs… It’s skimmed over for the sex.

The writing is quite good, and has some lovely moments of inspiration in it. It just really neeed more of that in having a longer story. It wouldn’t be that hard to make this story twice or three times as long, and really that would add so much to it. Character matters. There is the hint of that…

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

Again, far too short for all of the lovely hints of a larger universe that are given. I would like to see that… someday.

 

Tera

Aug 02 2014

When Harry met a Succubus

I came across a short comedy film that has a Succubus in it that I’m going to share on the Tale today… There really isn’t much to be seen of the Succubus, she isn’t quite what I expect as a Succubus, but then again the story isn’t about her really…

It’s called… Harry and the Succubus…

And if you cannot see the film here on the Tale, try this link:

https://vimeo.com/42434491

I had to think for a bit how to describe this film, and the summary I came up with is:

Harry is hanging out in a cemetery when he disturbs a Succubus while she is feeding there. She kills him and Harry starts out on an adventure. He doesn’t quite believe he’s dead, or anything that Crawford, a supernatural hunter tells when, when he feels like it. Harry deals with his new reality with wisecracks and acting like a stoner until he’s told how to get his life back. But will he or will the Succubus claim him as well?

It really is more about Harry and Crawford fighting with each other, mostly nagging, through much of the film. The Succubus herself appears in two scenes, once at the beginning and once at the end of the film. She’s more of a monster, quite literally a “man-eater” more than anything else. For me that’s disappointing, it’s a bit too much of a trope for me anyway… Still that is how she was represented in the film, and as such she isn’t the worst Succubus I have ever seen.

Geting past her, the rest of the film was amusing in its own way, the effects were surprisingly well done and overall I mostly liked the film. I will admit that Harry got on my nerves a bit, the stoner attitude just started to become irritating after a while and that took much of my enjoyment out of the film.

It ends on a cliffhanger, one that I kind of expected from the moment that Harry was killed and turned into a Zombie. As a whole the film had promise, it’s the little nits that get to me by the end that is the tragic part of this. The actors are very good, quite believable in their roles and the world they live in was nicely put together and visually interesting throughout the film.

There are quite a number of hints about things, mainly rules, that those passed on have, which left me with a lot of questions, but they couldn’t possibly be answered in a film this short… But it would have been interesting to know the answers for me at least…

I’ll give this film three out of five pitchforks…

I laughed, and that’s always a good thing…

 

Tera

Aug 01 2014

A Review of Incubi’s Lust by Rebecca Kind

Incubi's Lust by Rebecca Kind

Incubi’s Lust by Rebecca Kind

I don’t like coming into a story where it is part of an ongoing series of stories. The main problem is that you lose so much about the main characters, their history, what drives them and so on.

But it can also give a view of them that isn’t held by previous exploration of who they are and why they choose what they do.

A series about a group investigating the existence of monsters sounds like it would be interesting. The hope I would have is that, based on this story at least, there is a real payoff as the series progresses forward. Lots of questions, few answers…

…but lots of sex and mind control does make up for that… to a point.

  • Title: Incubi’s Lust
  • Author: Rebecca Kind
  • Publishing Date: May 15, 2013
  • Length: 30 Pages
  • ASIN: B00CTS9UZ2
  • This work at Amazon.com

The story tells of:

Most people don’t think monsters exist but they’re wrong. We know this because we track them down. The six of us were brought together based on our individual skills. We hunt them down to study them and sometimes things get very interesting.

In this installment, the group is investigating a possible Incubus. The twins Angelique and Domonique are assigned to distract the man and keep his attention while the others work. But will the two be strong enough to resist the mans charms, or will they give in to the lust this strange man draws out of them?

Rumours of an Incubus existing in the world bring a team of woman looking to see if they are true. Two of them, twins, are placed in charge of distracting their target so the others can do their jobs. The problem is, what happens when the rumours are true and the Incubus has his way with the twins?

This story is, in its own way, a hot flash, but for me at least, it really does go past that point in creating an Incubus that seems very much like the ones that I enjoy reading about. He isn’t evil as such, he isn’t after the souls of the twins. That makes him very much more interesting to me overall. Adding to that, there is a really well written use of “mind control” that just fits his character and the situation very well. It isn’t written in a “you are under my control, poof” kind of way. It’s smoother, more seductive than that.

What is more delicious is how the twins act and think within their minds as he controls them and has them do all kinds of deliciously erotic things with him and to each other. There is more than a simple sex story here, which is what I want to see. There a lovely opening to the story with the Incubus controlling the twins, a flashback to what led up to that moment, and then returning to the climax of the story.

Throughout the sex there is a wonderful simmering heat that I enjoyed very much, it’s not silly or beyond the realm of possibility in what happens. It’s also a neat touch that the power of the Incubus is shown in what he is able to do not just to the twins, but those around them.

There is a moment in the story when the Incubus feeds and that’s quite neatly done in that it isn’t flippant or a simple “use up the twins and walk away” moment. There is a reasonable plot to follow which ends in a very interesting conclusion to the story that made me wonder about a few things.

I think I will go back and read the first story and probably follow the entire series as a whole, mostly to see if the Incubus appears again… There are a few of the characters in the series that I think could use some time in the Incubus’ thrall…

Overall the writing is quite good, and there really isn’t much to nitpick over save that at a couple of points there were odd characters that appeared like equal signs that might have been an error on Amazon’s side of things and not the author themselves. I think the strongest thing was the personalities of the characters, that was done exceptionally well. However some of the choices made by Angelique and Domonique didn’t sit right with me, though needed for the plot however in they are who they seem to be, they would have not done what they did. That’s quite vague I know, but it is important to the plot and so I won’t spoil it.

Four out of five pitchforks.

In spite of this being part of a series, or because of it, the interplay between the characters took a lot of the enjoyment out of the parts where the Incubus appeared. Mind you, I would like to see him appear again if for no other reason than to see what happens…

 

 

Tera

Jul 31 2014

Succubi Image of the Week 342

An interesting Succubus character this week on the Tale in many ways. She looks a little bit cartoonish in a way, and that just makes her more adorable to me. Really the only thing that I wish she had was a red tail, but otherwise she is just a lovely Succubus…

Succubus by NocturnaHX

Succubus by NocturnaHX

This work is simply titled Succubus and is by an artist on DeviantArt called NocturnaHX. You can find the original page with this art here and this artist’s page on DeviantArt is here as well.

When I first found this work, my first thought was, she doesn’t have red skin. Then the next was, but she doesn’t have a red tail either. That has a lot to do with my personal kink about Succubi in that I like them to have normal skin tones but a red tail. I love her hair, really expressive I think of her pose and actions here. I am not sure that I like her white eyes, though they do work for her overall.

The other thing that I wondered about was how she might fit into a comic book series of some kind. The artist’s style just feels like she was meant to be in one and that does make me pause and wonder about her more…

 

Tera

Jul 30 2014

The costume that wouldn’t die is back… again…

Red Fluffy Devil CostumeIt’s back. Yes, that costume with that stupid sort-of-kind-of flame pattern that has appeared on well over five different versions of costume lousiness has returned…

I wonder what will finally kill it?

This is called the Red Fluffy Devil Costume, at least this time it is, and it comes with the dress, the horns and the pitchfork that is the worst ever made honestly. Shoes are not included and it sells for $45 US on the site I found this on…

Honestly the dress would be fine if it wasn’t for that stupid pattern stitched on it. It adds nothing to the look at all, and really just takes a lot away from what would have otherwise been a lovely little dress. I even like the black fringe on it which is saying something I think.

The horns are, of course, silly looking and far too large, they would find themselves sharing the garbage bin with the pitchfork soon enough.

There is, at least, a little bit of cute in the dress and perhaps removing that flame pattern… somehow… would leave something that looks semi-sexy…

You never know…

Three out of five pitchforks and I am being generous I know…

 

Tera

Jul 29 2014

A Review of the Ari Lasher series by Sarina Asheford

Derek - An Ari Lasher Story by Sarina Asheford

Derek – An Ari Lasher Story by Sarina Asheford

It is common for many Succubi to be written as having no hope, no will to try to be more than they are. It seems like the idea of a Succubus begin more, having a little bit of joy in their lives is something that they cannot have. But what if they can be, even a little bit happy and win something for themselves?

I found two short works that tell the beginnings of a story about a Succubus named Ari and her world… a very well told one at that.

The first work:

  • Title: Derek – An Ari Lasher Story
  • Author: Sarina Asheford
  • Publishing Date: March 3, 2012
  • Length: 14 Pages
  • ASIN: B007H1BLNA
  • This work at Amazon.com

The work tells the story of:

When Ari meets a sexy man who can detect her succubus activities should she come clean and tell him the truth about her mysterious glow or convince him that there’s something wrong with him?

Confessing leaves her vulnerable and possibly alone, insulting him will definitely leave her alone. It is decision time for the centuries old succubus and she finds herself feeling like a young girl dealing with a first love.

Ari is a Succubus, and she became one in order to exact a measure of revenge against someone that wronged her many years ago. She finds herself drawn to a place where she meets a man, something she didn’t expect. named Derek. They are drawn to each other, share a moment of passion and then… Derek knows that Ari did something or rather is something different. She tells him what she is, expecting him to run away… But he doesn’t.

And that, truly, is a really amazing hook for a story when you think about it. What follows is the entwining of two beings, one with a good soul, one that believes she has none and their attempt at understanding each other.

It isn’t the erotic that drives this story forwards, it is the emotional connection between the two of them that is captivating. The opening of Ari to someone, for the first time, that can accept her for what she is, and wants to be with her… That brings out the real Ari from beneath the Succubus. And while she has no horns or tail, she does, and has taken others in the past of course. But it is where she makes the choice to protect Derek, to not take from him and corrupt him as she has done to others in her past that is telling I think.

There are few Succubi that have a moral compass… She has one and that is important…

I’m giving this work four out of five pitchforks.

It drove me to find the next book in the series and in doing so I discovered a wider universe that looked to be even more interesting still…

Jan - An Ari Lasher Story by Sarina Asheford

Jan – An Ari Lasher Story by Sarina Asheford

The past is something that haunts us all. We can remember our mistakes, the things we did that at the time seemed like the right thing to do… but were not.

When you see the present of someone else, knowing what has been and will be, that isn’t the problem. The problem is when you have little choice but be involved and not for the right reasons… But what if you had someone to help you find a way to make things right? That becomes a more true journey in yourself as well…

The second work:

  • Title: Jan – An Ari Lasher Story
  • Author: Sarina Asheford
  • Publishing Date: September 8, 2012
  • Length: 24 Pages
  • ASIN: B00989ZUNQ
  • This work at Amazon.com

The work tells the story of:

Can Ari face her own past and help an abused woman? Recruiting has never been Ari’s thing. She knows why she is a succubus and it’s a great life for her, but the idea of convincing someone else to sign over their soul for an eternity of siphoning soul feeding of unsuspecting sexual partners is not one of her job duties.

Jan Moss has been suckered into an abusive marriage and she is at her breaking point, if Ari can’t save her she’s got few options. Her husband is going to kill her or she is going to kill him. Will she be willing to sell her soul and become a demon for her freedom?

In the next work of the series, Ari is told by those that she “reports” to that she is assigned to bring another into the fold of the Succubi. When she sees who that person is, what her life is… then her dislike for doing so changes. Jan’s situation hits very close to home for Ari and in the end, with some help from Derek, she decides to make a difference… But in a way that those above her do not quite expect.

With this work, Ari’s real personality comes to the fore. I especially loved that she liked to make muffins and enjoy them very much with others. It really is a lovely personality quirk that makes me like her even more than I did in the first work. While the first work was mainly setup and introduction, this one develops Ari into a fuller, more real character. The same is true of Derek as we learn he is perhaps a bit more than he seems to be, though that question isn’t answered in this work. There is also the appearance of the Succubus that transformed Ari into one as well who has her own quirks and oddities.

While a large portion of this story revolves around Jan, it is seen for the most part through Ari’s eyes and in doing so there is more told about her as time goes on. She has her moments, some sad, some very happy. Many of the happier moments are through Derek for which I am quite pleased to have seen. When the climax of the story arrives, there is a lovely erotic Succubus scene to enjoy, but it is the choice made by Jan that I found interesting and made me wonder about some of the things said about Succubi in this universe.

It was a wonderful closure to this part of Ari’s story and it did leave me wanting to see more of her…

I give this work four and a half out of five pitchforks.

But now comes the problem… The author wrote at the end of this work that there was going to be a novel or something similar appearing… and it hasn’t. I really would like to see more of Ari, the muffin loving, intelligent, in love Succubus, her lover and her protégé.

It is simply a thoughtful pair of works that draw you into a tale of personal truths and what revenge is… but also what happens when one finds the hope they thought they lost…

I will keep looking for this universe to continue… Someday I hope…

 

Tera

Jul 28 2014

Storm Clouds 204 by TeraS

Starting Chapter 35 this time on the Tale … Trying to go and clear up some loose ends and threads that have been dangling around for too long, I think … We’ll see … obviously, I need to move the story along more than I have … Again … we’ll see …

For those that would like to read Storm Clouds from the beginning, you can click this link, and it will take you to the page where all of the previous chapters can be found.

_____________________

Storm Clouds 204
Chapter 35
By TeraS

 

Bill was in his office watching the clock as the red numbers ticked away the time until the day’s work was done. He hadn’t seen his son, Billy, for most of the day, and that wasn’t like him. Bill knew full well that Billy did more and worked longer than anyone else in his business. Billy had his finger on the pulse of the company and kept things running smoothly, even if he didn’t see just how vital he was.

Still, when Billy asked for permission to take the afternoon off, Bill didn’t hesitate, didn’t question it. If Billy wanted to do something, and it was important enough for him to take time off his duties, Bill wasn’t going to refuse him.

As the clock reached quitting time and he heard the office staff gathering up their things to leave, he started to worry. Billy hadn’t called; normally he would. It wasn’t like him not to keep in touch. There was something going on, and Bill feared the worst.

He called out: “Tenshi! Come in here, will ya’?”

There was the sound of a filing cabinet closing, and then, in the doorway, there appeared a short, blond, Asian woman. She clutched a small stack of folders to her side and asked in a submissive tone: “Yes, Sir?”

“Where’z Billy?”

“I do not know where your son William is. There have been no phone calls or messages from him, Sir.”

Bill strummed his fingers over the top of his desk before pushing his chair back and snatching a briefcase that waited close by: “Not like him. Shoulda’ called or somethin’. Make sure ya’ leave the answering machine on in case he calls. I’m going home. I’ll check for messages.”

She nodded, then stood to the side as Bill left his office.

He added, just before he turned the corner and moved towards the exit: “An’ don’t ya’ stay late, either, Tenshi. Get home. That filing can wait ‘til tamarrow.”

“Yes, Sir. Goodnight, Sir.”

Tenshi didn’t leave. She spent the next hour carefully putting away the files she had. She had to wait, anyway.

They always made her wait.

He always made her wait.

As she closed another drawer, her thoughts spun around the situation she found herself in. If it wasn’t for the debt her family owed, she would never be doing what they asked her to do. Bill was an honourable man. So was his son. But that didn’t seem to matter to them.

Nothing she honoured mattered to them.

The shadow that blocked out the light from the office startled her and she turned to find … him … again. It was always him: a dishonourable man with dishonourable intent living a dishonourable life. The colour of his skin reminded her of the legends her family told of those taken by dark spirits to do their bidding.

Again, she wondered what could have tempted him to be … this.

“Have you news?”

“His son is missing; I do not know where. He left after the police came to see his father. He spoke with one of the detectives, a woman; I do not know what they spoke of.”

The man frowned and then produced a knife from beneath the robes he wore, the silver clashing against the white of his skin and the black of his robes: “Sloppy. You’re supposed to be watching the two of them.”

Her brown eyes narrowed: “I cannot watch them both all the time. I was unfortunate to encounter one of the detectives.”

The knife began to trace a pattern over his palm: “Are they suspicious of you?”

“No! They both left; nothing was said!”

“That has best be true for your own continued existence.”

She said nothing to this. The penalties for failure, she had heard, were as brutal as any nightmare she could imagine and more.

The knife stopped moving and he looked at her with eyes so black she thought her life was being sucked into them, her breath catching in her throat: “The son is no longer your concern. I will deal with him.”

A coldness creeped up Tenshi’s spine as she asked: “What does that mean, exactly?”

The answer echoed the cold she felt as the black eyes looked clean through her: “His life is inconsequential. But he has value as a pawn in a larger scheme.”

She turned away from him, not wanting to see him any longer: “Please. Do not touch him. He is an innocent in this. Please.”

The smirk was awful, the words full of despair: “Who can stop me—you? You forget your place. We will have to remind you … soon.”

“I know my place. I serve without question.”

He waved the knife at her, the tip flashing in the light: “See that you do. You are still human, but there are suitable dark beings who would dine upon your life, soul, and mind.”

She shivered at the warning, knowing it was not an idle one: “What would you have me do?”

The knife vanished under the robes: “Continue the plan. Other pawns have been ordered to move tomorrow. Have the trap set.”

She did not hesitate: “Of course.” She even bowed to emphasis the point.

He turned away, dismissing her, but, before he vanished into the shadows of the office, he added: “And be sure to be suitably shocked when he is arrested for murder … and the son turns up in the river.”

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