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.”

Jul 27 2014

A Review of The Demon of the Night by John Dylena and Lana Hart

The Demon of the Night by John Dylena and Lana Hart

The Demon of the Night by John Dylena and Lana Hart

The question of one’s origin, of who someone is matters. When it is of a character whom you love, care about, and most of all, respect, that origin means a lot more than some might expect.

One of my favourite authors, John Dylena, has written with Lana Hart, a story that connects to the Raethiana series, a series that I dearly love and cherish more than I can possibly say. It is a story of finding one’s inner strength and making a choice, one that from the beginning cannot see the ultimate path to be.

And what a path it is to tread upon…

The story tells of:

Before she was the demon at his door, she was the woman at the window…

The year is 1684, and the colonial village of Ashtonburg, Pennsylvania is experiencing a winter of death. Four men in half as many months have been lost to some foul beast leaving only brittle husks in its wake.

Ella Archer, wife of the town drunk, can’t help but to wonder what this creature is… and if it can help her escape the wrath of her husband.

In her quest for freedom Ella must make a choice to condemn or forgive. What price will she pay to become the mistress of her fate?

Ella’s life is about as close to hell as you can be without actually being there. Her husband, all of the men in the town around her, see her as being less than human, ignoring the harm that her husband causes and more. What they do not see is the intelligent woman beneath who understands something they do not. Strange deaths and she is the only one that sees the connection. Ella decides to seek out the one responsible and when this happens, she finds that the price of freedom is one unexpected.

The surrounding cast of characters around Ella are all male which brings a rather unique point of view in the story, that of seeing the world of Ella from her point of view, both internally and externally. Of the men that surround her, not one of their internal thoughts are heard. While the attitudes of the men towards Ella, and sadly, in particular her husband, are of that time in the past, looking at what transpires through the story is quite hard to read at times.

There is abuse, so much abuse that Ella suffers through from the first moment she appears. That shapes her thoughts and actions as the story continues and, honestly, the choices she makes are ones that are forced by the time and society around her. None of them are right or just from the perspective of the present, nor are they ones that should have been treated as they were in that time. But it is historically the truth of that time, sad as it is, and with that comes the question of the deaths of late where Ella lives.

It is quite telling how openly dim the men around Ella are, and that, more than anything else is their undoing. Ella’s husband is a prime example this, but, again, it is the society that gives him power regardless of his actions. There is but one single moment of defence for Ella and that is a fleeting thing.

The turning point is when Ella realizes what has been happening and puts one important piece of the puzzle together. Doing so takes her to an internal struggle which I thought was well told and carried forwards through the story. When she makes her choice and seeks out the one responsible, that’s where the story turned in a direction that answered questions I have had about Ella and as well Norrana.

Ella finds out the truth, Norrana opens the door to something that Ella desires, and she has to make a choice. Considering all that has happened to Ella in her life, it is a choice that was inevitable, but also justified, right, and liberating.

The scene where Ella sees Norrana for the first time, sees what she is capable of, and then, at last, comes face to face with what Ella has been told is the undoing of all women at that time in history turns into something… considered. The thoughts Ella has, the consideration she gives and then the process she goes through to make a choice all work very well and felt true to her character here and that of the character she becomes.

There is one scene of erotica in this work which worked well for the setting and tone of the story, but this work isn’t about that single scene. It is about Ella making a choice. Being the one to decide her future. That’s a powerful story in its own right and isn’t forgotten in that moment. That was important to me and spoke to why Ella is as much as who she is.

The writing is excellent, Ella is a strong voice in this work, the scenes are richly told. There is a point, a purpose. For me this origin story connects truly to the Raethiana series, does not change that series, but strengthens what we knew about Ella there. That matters, very much to me and for that new door into Ella herself, I am very grateful to John and Lana for giving this part of her past a voice and be told.

Five out of five pitchforks.

A fitting, truthful and real tale about the beginning as all such stories should be. Revelations that looking back on the Raethiana series make what happened in that series more powerful and in that, assuredly, Ella made the right decision.

 

Tera

Jul 26 2014

An interesting Succubus 3D model…

I found a video on Vimeo recently with a Succubus character that I thought was well done and interesting in a lot of ways…

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

https://vimeo.com/48987600

And, of course, a still from the video in case it vanishes…

Succubus Model by Jangho bae

Succubus Model by Jangho bae

There is quite a lot I like about this work, both in her look but also in the thoughts she gives me story-wise as well. I wonder about what she’s seen, where she’s going, why she is who she is. Now I also realize that there really isn’t a story as she is just an example of this artist’s work. But as inspiration?

I think there is quite a lot here…

 

Tera

Jul 25 2014

A Review of The Missing Sacrifice by Glenn Scrimshaw

The Missing Sacrifice by Glenn Scrimshaw

The Missing Sacrifice by Glenn Scrimshaw

It’s something that does, occasionally, bother me when Succubi appear, quite literally for two paragraphs in a story, then aren’t part of the story again, but the summary of the book uses them as a hook for readers to consider buying it. So, in this case, yes, there is the barest hint of Succubi in this story, but otherwise? I hope you like odd vampires and werewolves…

The story tells of:

A family holiday to Paris starts off well – until Eloim meets a sexy succubus on a boy’s night out at an Abba tribute concert. Eloim’s natural ability to find trouble reaches a new height as werewolves, demons and the greatest vampire hunters in Transylvania hunt for the cross dressing vampire teenager.

The second of the vampire Eloim short stories sees Eloim blunder through a plot to depose a king while struggling to stay as fashionable and stylish as only he can be.

This is a rather odd story about a rather odd vampire. He’s a bit.. well gay in nature, has a very odd fashion sense and sense of humour as well. That could have been interesting on it’s own, and it was to a point. The problem for me comes in with the succubus in this story… Actually there are two of them, sisters, they look the same as well.

The only reason that the main character in this work notices the first sister is that she’s wearing an outfit he adores. Past that meeting, and it’s a really short one, there isn’t any other sign of her. And the appearance of her sister later in the story is as vague as well.

Both of the Succubi in this story aren’t described save in the barest means possible for the clothing they are wearing. Otherwise there is no clue if they have horns or a tail, or what their hair colour is or anything else.

Now I understand that they are a means to an end within the story, but as they are mentioned in the book summary, a reader, like me, would assume that they are central to the story, have a major role in it, and, one would hope, we might be able to form a picture of what they look like, how they act, and what they want.

That just doesn’t happen here to my regret.

Now, as this work is the second book in a series, there is a background for the characters and a world they reside in. You get a fair idea of what that is all about, which is useful. The appearance of vampires, werewolves and demons seems almost natural in a way. And yes, the vampires use humans in the ways you would expect from them as well.

The focus is, of course, on the character Eloim, who sometimes I enjoyed reading and other times I couldn’t help but shake my head and sigh in resignation over his actions. Still, he is the core of the book so he must survive of course… Perhaps he might even grow up in a later book when he has to face a demoness that is rather mad at him for reasons that are not clear in this book, not that I expected them to be really.

The author can tell a story, there is no doubt of that. I have to wonder though why this story kept moving in and out of comedy all the time. The mix of mild horror, adventure, light sexual innuendo and flippant humour was very odd for me. I know that is really the characters, how they are more than anything else, but, it got on my nerves a bit by the end of this book.

I’ll give this work one pitchfork out of five for the Succubi in it. Two pitchforks out of five overall.

It is, I admit, the second book in a series, and I didn’t read the first book. In spite of that, I can’t give a good rating for Succubi for it, nor can I really say that I enjoyed the work as much as my expectations were from the summary for it.

That’s a shame really…

 

Tera

Jul 24 2014

Succubi Image of the Week 341

A really neat piece of Morrigan Aensland art on the tale today… It isn’t often that art of Morrigan shows her… moving. By that I mean usually she is in a pose that really has nothing much happening around her and it’s is more like a portrait most of the time. However there are some artists that can capture her poise and power really well…

Morrigan by Soyungnomo

Morrigan by Soyungnomo

This art of Morrigan is by an artist on DeviantArt called Soyungnomo and you can find this artist’s page on DeviantArt here and the original page I found this art here as well.

I just love the hair swoosh the artist created in this work of Morrigan… It’s a lovely touch and frames her quite well I think. She might be a shade over endowed, but somehow the way she is posed makes that less noticeable really. Lovely share to her wings and I really don’t like wings all that much so for me that’s quite something.

The background is a neat backdrop to Morrigan being, for lack of a better word, forceful and showing her power here. She has a bit of an odd expression, which bothers me a little bit. I wonder if she’s seen something and is trying to decide what to do about it.

Lovely little touches in her outfit, the shine looks very nice and right in many ways, and it’s just right how Morrigan’s outfit shapes her so very well. She has a nice mix of sensuality, power and presence that just makes this one of my favourites for this year…

 

Tera

Jul 23 2014

Where’s the inferno in this costume anyway?

Inferno CostumeInferno is a word that, for obvious reasons, is connected with Succubi on occasion. As well, having that word connected to a costume would make me expect something as well…

But does this costume have it?

This is called the Inferno Costume, and it comes with the halter dress and skirt, horns and the pitchfork the model is holding. Shoes are not included and it sells for $75 US, but is can be found for less than $50 US.

Well, obviously the pitchfork is the one I hate, so I’ll get past that and to the horns. Really lousy to be honest, they don’t match the dress though they seem to match the pitchfork so, again, lousy.

I don’t mind the dress all that much, though I find myself hard pressed to see anything infernoish in it really. Again this is an example of pseudo-flames as a hem for the dress and I feel it cheapens the look quite a lot.

Setting aside my dislike for that one part of the costume, I actually might think about wearing it if there wasn’t much else to choose from. That’s not a huge endorsement, but really it’s not meant to be one.

I’ll give this two and a half pitchforks out of five.

There is better, there is worse, but I think that average really describes this costume best…

 

Tera

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