Jan 31 2017

A Review of Damned If He Does by Marcella Burnard

Damned If He Does by Marcella Burnard

Damned If He Does by Marcella Burnard

I’ve said many times that story matters. To take characters from where they are to what they become is important and it makes the difference between a story and something more. Characters need to develop, to explore who they are, their feeling and more. Having that makes all else that comes along for the ride worthwhile.

The question isn’t a simple one. What does it mean to love? What touches your soul? What curls your toes and makes you find bliss in that moment? It’s not always sex, it’s not always passion. Sometimes it’s as simple as some ice cream shared with someone that actually cares about you as… you.

  • Title: Damned If He Does
  • Author: Marcella Burnard
  • Length: 333 Pages
  • ASIN: B01HR5R2DI
  • Publishing Date: July 19, 2016
  • This work at Amazon.com

The work tells the story of:

Rejected by heaven, twisted by hell, what’s a damned dead man to do when he stumbles upon a life and love worth fighting for?

Though damned for his earthly sins, Darsorin Incarri likes being an incubus. Prowling women’s dreams to siphon off their sexual energy for Satan’s consumption has its perks: an array of infernal power and a modicum of freedom. Sure, Ole Scratch holds Dar’s soul in thrall, and Dar has to spend a few hours recharging in Hell every day, but it could be much worse. All he has to do is hold up his end of his damnation contract – five women seduced, satisfied and siphoned per night for eternity. So when he encounters gorgeous, bright, and funny Fiona Renee, it’s business as usual. Deploy the infernal charm and rack up another score. Except it doesn’t work. She’s immune. He has to find out what’s gone wrong or face Lucifer’s wrath.

Fiona Renee has the life she’d always wanted: a career, a home, a cat with a bad attitude, and peace. Fiona’s dated. Had boyfriends. And hated every minute of it. She’s reconciled to being lonely. So when a man shows up in her bedroom in the middle of the night demanding to know why her dreams turn to nightmares every time he tries to seduce her from within them, Fiona winds up negotiating a contract with a demon that allows him access to her life. She never anticipated that it would also give him access to her heart. If she’s going to fall in love at all, something she never thought would happen, shouldn’t it be with someone who’s alive? If Fiona wants to hang on to Darsorin, she has to find his true name—the one he’d been given at his birth over a thousand years ago. But Satan, himself, stands in her way. Even if Fiona can dodge Lucifer, she and Darsorin have to face the question neither of them can answer: What happens to a dead man if you manage to wrest his soul from the Devil?

Dar is the greatest incubus there is. But not even the greatest can figure out Fiona. She’s not at all what he expects, her needs are things he cannot quite understand. Ice cream means more than sex to her and Dar needs to know why. A deal made, against the Devil’s wishes, which takes Dar and Fiona on the path to discovering something. What each other really wants, and what that means to them both.

The single thing about this work that caught my attention was the interaction between Dar in his trying to understand Fiona, and she trying to come to terms with him. While much of that revolves around a sexual theme, it’s far more than that. The concepts delved into are something that simply never has been touched in a work about succubi and incubi before that I am aware of. Fiona is someone that Dar has never encountered before. Her idea of pleasure doesn’t match up with that he understands it to be and that opens the door to Dar’s own self examination.

It is that exploration of himself, of learning there is more to life than sex which changes Dar. But beyond that, the path he takes is one that Fiona has a great hand in and it changes her as well. Not to the point where her character betrays herself, but rather she evolves. This is the central point of the story. That both Dar and Fiona aren’t the same once they begin on the path to understanding.

This is not an easy path, there are many obstacles, some within and some without, that make the journey for Dar a battle and for Fiona variously painful in how others “try” to help. There are moments of tears, others of joy and wonder. It’s a rollercoaster ride for the characters and in being so, there’s so much delicious story to tell.

What’s most interesting about the work is also the sexual tension that runs throughout. There is innuendo, both intended and careless. There are expressions of love, romance and desire, but the characters do not fall into a wild hot flash with no meaning. It’s exceptionally well done, and I felt that the relationship between Dar and Fiona felt very real and plausible as a result.

The building of tension leads towards a moment which, for me, was exactly right in how it unfolded. A little bit of truth, a little bit of redemption. The story does not close in a rush, time is taken to explain why things happened, what has happened, and what it all means to Fiona and Dar. It’s a really satisfying conclusion which didn’t leave anything lacking.

Five out of five pitchforks.

I simply adored this work for the characters, the story, and the resolution. A unique work that tells a classic story, but in a way that asks important questions. Richly written, amazing characters and just the most wonderfully heartwarming of tales.

 

Tera

Jan 30 2017

Shared By TeraS

Another one of those very short stories that I’ve been sharing of late, one of those stories in which there is, perhaps, a little of reality seeping into the cracks. There are moments, special ones, in which, sometimes, things that need to be said … are. Those aren’t the worst of times, they aren’t the best of times, but regardless of all else they are the moments …

 

Shared
By TeraS

 

The day comes in the midst of winter, a time when the snows have blanketed the world, turning the air crisp, leaving the sounds a bit muted over the crunching of boots in the snow. It falls between the New Year—when promises are made, hopes are set, and the future is looked towards—and Valentine’s Day—when lovers meet, flowers are abundant, and, if there’s some chocolate as well, that’s not a bad thing either.

This day isn’t one that’s celebrated, held out to the world as being important. It’s a more private day, one in which the meaning is important to one small family. It’s what one would expect, all things considered when the family in question is identified.

Everyone in the Realm knows that Tera never wishes her birthday to be celebrated, and in the same way Keith’s birthday is, again, a day where he doesn’t expect, nor wish, for anything special to unfold. What they don’t know, what they cannot know, is that this approach to birthdays comes from someone that both Keith and Tera dearly love with all they are.

This day came a little bit darker than the year before, a little colder than it had been. The snows were a little deeper, the winds a bit more forceful in their rushing about the landscape. The light coming through the window wasn’t quite as warm as it passed within. It was, all things considered, a little bit bleaker for the three souls that had gathered together this particular morning.

The home was still a home, a dearly cherished place of memories, and so stories came as the three talked, smiled, and shared some black forest cake. There was coffee for one, hot chocolate for the other two souls. There were memories of arriving here, so long ago: to a new house, waiting for the family to make it a home; of the time spent making the home a better place, adding the touches that were needed to bring the love that came with the family to the place that would be their home, the family homestead. There were stories of the embarrassing moments of a son growing up: remembering that one day when he’d come home, carrying his bike, broken in two pieces, and then went off to learn how to weld the broken metal together, learning a skill when he was only a child at his father’s hands.

They mulled over the better things that came as time passed along, of the time spent in the garden, helping with the flowers, putting things as they needed to be, giving up—but gladly so—time with others for the sake of spending it with his parents. They remembered his going off to university and still being with them both; the long hours he’d spent studying, then helping his parents with their lives; that day, when the time came for him to walk across the stage, take the offered parchment, looking out into the crowd, and see them both there, proud of what he’d accomplished.

There were stories of how the family had grown, how a couple had watched their sons go off and become men, starting their lives, making both he and his love proud of all they had accomplished. They had seen their family growing, over time, the seasons changing, the time passing and that day when their eldest came to the door, holding hands with his Eternal, asking for his mother and father’s blessing. They recalled the joy the couple had felt in calling her “daughter,” welcoming her to their family: how she’d become every bit the eldest daughter as he was their eldest son; the visits; the holidays; the time spent together at the river, off on the occasional trip, finding their paths through time and cherishing each and every one of them.

The joys of just being a family.

On this birthday, there was one seat where the sunlight did linger. There was one mug set, for the soul that was with them. Watching, knowing there was warmth, love, and joy to be found. There was, in spite of the gloom of the moment, the feeling that she was there, holding them all, smiling at the black forest cake and nodding in approval. It was his birthday, he not needing—as was his way—anything special to be done.

But it was special.

The family had called through the day, souls from far and wide sending their love to him. There were conversations about everything and nothing at all. There were chuckles when the granddaughters and grandsons had wished him well. He’d spent the morning with his eldest son and cherished daughter—for she was his daughter, make no mistake about that—finding that cake, searching out that coffee, that hot chocolate, being out in the world, being part of what was, what is, and what, in time, would be. The afternoon was spent talking over that coffee, hot chocolate, and cake; spent with the laughter and smiles that chased the gloom away; spent with the stories that made the light brighter, the warmth stronger.

It was, in the end, a day for him, one that he enjoyed, for the family was together and always would be. This was the truth that, in time, would be the comfort needed.

It was a birthday, not of loss, not of missing aches, but of hope, love, and knowing that she’d not left him …

She had shared it with him, and she always would.

Jan 29 2017

A Review of Incubus: A Visit From Hell by Marco Chambers

Incubus: A Visit From Hell by Marco Chambers

Incubus: A Visit From Hell by Marco Chambers

There are some stories that are aimless. By that I mean there’s a character, there’s a long telling about them and what they do, but it doesn’t really amount to much. Having a character seeking to discover themselves is one thing. Ending up in a sex scene that doesn’t go very far doesn’t make the story more. An idea not realized is one of the most difficult things to read.

Magic is powerful, it is something not to be toyed with. Words have meaning, they make things happen. There is always a cost, but it is that cost that can make the story mean something more. Turning that into something that has no emotion or power leaves nothing behind.

  • Title: Incubus: A Visit From Hell
  • Author: Marco Chambers
  • Length: 9 Pages
  • ASIN: B01KAGP5H6
  • Publishing Date: August 11, 2016
  • This work at Amazon.com

The work tells the story of:

Dan is a wizard. He’s sure of it. All he needs in order to prove it is to be able to do a single spell. But when he buys a special spellbook from a special fortune teller, it seems like his time to shine has finally come. However, the results are a lot more intense than he expected when he accidentally summons an incubus, a demon whose purpose is to mate with human women, and he has to assume the role of the female so that the demon can fulfill its purpose.

Dan believes he’s a wizard, but he’s never been able to create magic. A book calls to him, opened to a spell to summon an incubus, and it works. But the incubus needs something from him and Dan decides that the cost of the spell is worth paying.

The work is lacking in heat, story and plot, needing to be taken from a very lukewarm hot flash towards something which the story suggests, but never really gets to. Much of the work is spent with Dan in monologue, talking about himself, his past and what he believes he can do. Once the spells start, it’s a series of disappointments before he attempts to summon an incubus.

This works and an incubus, who is never named, appears. He’s actually interesting as he’s not stereotypical in his words or actions. He’s just different enough to make him interesting. But there’s little time spent in exploring that aspect before the story turns to a rather quick and unsatisfying piece of erotica. There’s really no heat, there’s nothing more than a very quick sex scene and then things come to a rapid close, the story ending on a ‘what-if’.

Being that the work is so short, the balance of plot and heat doesn’t come through, the exploration of Dan isn’t complete and otherwise the story holds not much in the way of being interesting. The author could have well doubled the length, told more about the incubus, brought more character to the characters and had something more than a very short hot flash.

Two out of five pitchforks.

The story really doesn’t go anywhere, there’s really not much of a plot or meaning. It’s a monologue, with little interesting happening. There’s an idea here, one that should be built upon, but as this stands I just didn’t find it interesting.

 

Tera

Jan 29 2017

A Review of Futanari Serves her Sorority by Jocelyn Saragona

Futanari Serves her Sorority by Jocelyn Saragona

Futanari Serves her Sorority by Jocelyn Saragona

It’s been a little while since there’s been something published in the Succubus in the Sorority series by Jocelyn Saragona. While the first two works in the series I found to be disappointing, and you can find those reviews here and here on the Tale, I had hopes for something better to come.

With the third work in the series, the one thing I really wanted to see came to pass and that was Sharis actually having a life. For her to have things to struggle with, trying to come to terms with all of the things that were pulling on her, both within and without. That to me is a story, it doesn’t take a multitude of sex scenes to do so. Getting to the core of who Sharis is makes for a far better story.

It is the story of:

Succubus futanari Sharis works as an escort like the rest of her sorority. Between classwork, clients, and the sorority’s domination sessions, Sharis almost never sleeps! She’s even been with her history professor’s wife -and she’s worried that he knows. Soon, the sorority offers a new rear entry service to their rich, regular, clients and Sharis is called on to help train an endless line up of volunteers. Yet her duties conflict with her perfectionist passion for learning, and the only way out is to break the rules. Sharis loves her history professor too much to cheat, but he’ll never accept a late paper either. With pressure at both ends of her life, Sharis might fail an important class or offend her awesome sorority; and neither option looks good to her right now.

Sharis is finding herself pulled in so many directions she doesn’t know which way is up. If it isn’t her college, it’s her sorority. If it isn’t her friends, it’s her needs. The world is spinning out of control and something’s going to give, whether Sharis will manage to pay the price is another thing all together.

Unlike the prior works in the series, Sharis is the central focus of this work. Everything turns around her, every character pulls on her, every moment is one that comes from her. There’s not a moment within all of that were she can gather herself, find a moment to rest. Burning the candle at both ends is one thing, but she’s throwing the entire candle into the fire. That struggle is telling on her, there’s a real feeling of being lost, trying to manage as she can. But she still needs to give to her friends, obey her sorority, and along the way, manage to have a little sliver of what she, herself, desires.

None of this is easy, it is a struggle and that’s what kept my attention in the story. While there is quite a few erotic moments, they tend to pale in comparison to the crisis that Sharis goes through. It’s not something skimmed over, it has real effects on her and it isn’t forgotten about either. Every moment has a point, a meaning and a result. Sharis can’t escape that.

As things unfold, Sharis, as a character, develops in a way that I’ve been hoping for. She’s been rather static throughout much of the series and here she can’t help but have to confront all that’s come before. The past books had events which now come to press on Sharis, force things to happen and its in the more human moments, when she’s truly herself, that my heart went out to her.

The writing is much better in this work than the prior ones, though some editing still is needed to clean up some dialog and as well remove a few scattered spelling mistakes. While Sharis grows as a character, I felt that much of the sorority didn’t. There’s a disconnect between Sharis and them, an important one, and it is, for the most part, ignored by those around Sharis. When push comes to shove, it’s a shame that they think more about themselves than they do about Sharis.

I would have liked a bit more about Sharis coming to terms with herself, not just emotionally, but more that she sorts out what she wants. That’s still muddled, but it’s getting better for her. At some point she’s going to have to make a choice and that’s going to be interesting. Nonetheless, by far, this work is the most involved and most revealing of the series by far, I hope that continues because telling Sharis’ story brings out a work that’s a lot more interesting than just the sex.

Three and a half out of five pitchforks.

Really it is the best of the three works in the series, mainly because it tells a story about Sharis more than it dwells on her being a futa succubus. That leads to a lot of character development, a reveal of what matters to her the most of all. Getting past all of the erotica and digging into what matters to Sharis, what she fears, needs and desires, is a telling story.

The question is what comes next, for there’s a telling comment made that foreshadows the next work to come I think. I’m hoping that should what I think will happen does unfold that it wouldn’t be for the sake of the erotica, but more to ask an important question of Sharis herself. What’s important to you, why is it, and are you really willing to do anything?

That question, I fear, will result in Sharis facing some of the darkest moments of her life.

 

Tera

Jan 28 2017

A lovely Succubus Art In Progress YouTube…

There are some artworks of Succubus characters that offer something very unique. It isn’t that they are a Succubus, but rather it is their look, style and expression that does something special. It makes one think about who they are, what their story is, and more. I found such a work, which I adore and wanted to share…

If you cannot see the video here on the Tale. please try this link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZizyMMLNcnE

The artist was good to share their art on DeviantArt and you can find the original page with this work here. As well, here is the completed art which shows, I think, an amazing character…

Succubus by AgnesIMG

Succubus
by AgnesIMG

The thing about this character is her overall look. She just looks like, for lack of a better description, the Succubus Next Door. The kind of Succubus you’d want to have as a friend, to be with, to talk to. There’s something in her expression, her style, that I think would draw others to her.

I don’t feel like she’s meant to be “evil” or anything like that. I’m more inclined to believe that she’s at college or something like that, learning her way and making her own choices…

And I really like that idea…

 

Tera

Jan 27 2017

A Review of Hell In a Handbasket: Welcome to Hell – Volume 1 by Jason Hutchinson

Hell In a Handbasket: Welcome to Hell - Volume 1 by Jason Hutchinson

Hell In a Handbasket: Welcome to Hell – Volume 1 by Jason Hutchinson

A review of the Welcome to Hell series by Jason Hutchinson today on the Tale. I’ve read the individual stories, but the author has released the series as a collection of the works so far, so I’ll be reviewing the series as a single work. I think, in all honesty, that it’s a better read as one collection rather than a bunch of books in any case.

It’s quite nice to come upon a story in which there’s some delightfully wicked humour, a story that twists and turns within that silliness and allows for the characters to grow. That’s a difficult thing to accomplish, to make work well, and if it can be, that can be quite a surprise.

The work tells the story of:

Chuck’s Dead.

Apparently that’s good news.

There are rules, though. Apparently, that’s bad news.

Chuck’s mentor in Hell, Lucky, really isn’t that good at his job and failed to mention to him that there was a big taboo about being intimate with the denizens of Heaven, succubi, and even the angels. That’s not going to stop the two of them from having a great time in the afterlife, though!

As he learns to navigate the pitfalls and the rewards, he continues to realize that the women of Hell want all the hard, fast, unprotected sex he can muster, their fertile bodies craving anything their man could ever possibly want!

Will he and Lucky, along with the Hellishly prolific Siggy Freud, author of Making the Most of Hell: 20 After-life Hacks get in even more trouble as they join the Make Hell Great Again resistance?

And lastly, what will happen when Chuck comes face to face with the off-limits but incredibly hot angel, Candy?

Find out in this thrilling, novel-length collection; and…Welcome to Hell!

Chuck’s biggest problem isn’t that he’s dead, nor is it that he’s in Hell either. No, his biggest problem is that he hasn’t a clue what the rules are and that’s getting him into a lot of problems. That would be a problem, considering he’s been intimate with angels, succubi and the occasional soul from Heaven that wants something from him. But then the sex is amazing, even if the narrator can’t seem to be able to give Chuck a break… or a rimshot.

The series is a wonderfully smart story which doesn’t take itself too seriously, breaking quite a number of writing rules in order to bring out the humour that abounds here. There is plot, quite a bit of character development as well, which just added to how much I liked things overall. There’s a real feel of the characters “winking” to the reader, the insanity of some moments being wrapped around snide comments, puns and, of course, as much sexual innuendo as possible.

Chuck, the main character, is very much a fish out of water here, and it takes a bit of time before he gets an idea of what’s going on and how to deal with things. That in turn takes what is a somewhat snide character in the beginning and makes him just a delight to follow through his adventures. The mix of humour and he finding out there are ways to “bend” things to his liking makes for some really hilarious moments, some erotic scenes that I couldn’t help but laugh over, and overall just endeared himself.

There are quite a number of characters in the stories, they coming and going, in various ways, which means that there are a lot of side trips and encounters that fall away from the main plot and create some interesting side stories to follow. One of these brings Lisa, the succubus of the series into play.

Lisa is a rather unique succubus, her character was a refreshing change and I liked her occasional bit of snark from time to time. While she isn’t really a major character, she does provide some odd moments for Chuck to get through, not to mention her interesting way of looking at things as well. I’d have liked to know more about her, the little teases about her made me wonder about a few things as well. Further to that, when Candy the angel appeared I really wanted them to get together, one way or the other, but sadly that didn’t happen.

The writing is, to say the least, rather unique. The humour is in every page, the smirk that must have come to the author from some of the sillier moments, not to mention the sheer number of puns along the way, is really felt.

The erotica is a series of hot flashes intermixed with the overall story and they work quite well, not bring out of place or just there for the sake of Chuck having yet another bit of fun along the way. Some of the erotica was very hot, some of it didn’t quite sing as well as it could have. I think a lot of that comes from the rush, at a few points, of the story leaping from event to event, not really allowing for a lot of exploration of what’s going on around Chuck.

But the humour makes up for much of that, it is a delight to read. Chuck seems to be having the most interesting afterlife, hopefully it won’t bite him in the rear too soon. But with friends in Hell, sometimes good intentions can make anything happen. I think he’s learning that to our amusement.

Four out of five pitchforks.

I’d have liked to see more of Lisa, though really there’s so much going on otherwise that it would have taken a lot away from all else in the series. It’s a fun work, it made me smile throughout, and overall I enjoyed it so very much. There are some things I wish had happened, the one most of all would be Lisa and a certain character named Candy meeting each other. But then, that for my own personal bemusement of course.

The author notes that this series will be continuing in the near future, and I’m looking forward to that appearing. There’s a lot of dangling plots that need to be closed, a lot of jokes still to come I’m sure along with Chuck and a lot of others I’m sure. Hopefully what’s made the series so far will continue and my delight will as well.

 

Tera

Jan 27 2017

A Review of Life Doesn’t Suck by Maria K

Life Doesn't Suck by Maria K

Life Doesn’t Suck by Maria K

The appearance of succubi and incubi in some stories seems like a bit of a deus ex machina. They are there as a threat, a force to be opposed, hated and so on. There’s little time spent in telling about them, leaving them to be main cannon fodder for the moment when it arrives. That’s a bit disappointing because there’s a reason for everything. Not telling that leaves much story unresolved.

Not all things are good and not all things are bad. It is a matter of perspective, and it is that perspective that tends to point out where our failings are, if we are inclined to listen. But then sometimes perspective is forced into being what it is and in that moment there comes little choice otherwise.

  • Title: Life Doesn’t Suck
  • Author: Maria K
  • Length: 25 Pages
  • ASIN: B016TX1PKK
  • Publishing Date: October 17, 2015
  • This work at Amazon.com

The work tells the story of:

International Research Institute of Sleep (IRIS) is the last resort for patients seeking a good night’s sleep. When an odd sleep disorder epidemic flares up in multiple locations around the world, IRIS must call on its secret weapon – a group of sleep experts unafraid to look for answers beyond the boundaries of the ordinary.

Sleepers are being visited by succubi and incubi with dark intent. But they are also real, and need to be confronted. The battle is joined, but to what end becomes the question.

This work is the second in a series and it builds upon the first. The main theme is the invasion, really there’s no better way to explain it, of succubi and other beings onto the Earth, they feeding from humans, to their detriment. Against this, a group confronts them, pushes back, and the battle is joined.

It sounds like a good idea for a series, and it is. However, the story is a bit self absorbed with regards to the main characters. As events unfold there’s little time spent in explaining certain events, how things came together. The characters develop, to an extent, but the world around them seems to be a set piece having little depth or meaning. As I reader I felt like I was dropped into the middle of a conversation, to observe, but not really understand the minutia that the characters delve into. Nor really is it explained how they figured out certain actions and abilities. There’s a massive suspension of disbelief needed and I just couldn’t quite manage that.

There is reference made to succubi and incubi, of past encounters, but nothing really in depth which explains much. It’s a mystery, which is fine, but along the way there are flashes of insight which seem to be almost matter of fact which didn’t work for me.

This brings me to the succubus of this work who is spoken of, thought about and thinly explained. She appears for quite literally a fraction of a second in the story then never appears again. Her name is never known, her reason for being on Earth isn’t told. There’s no communication, only suggested ideas and possibilities about her. She’s question, right to her form, that is never dealt with.

The writing is a bit stiff, the dialogue seeming to be stilted and monotone at times. The characters are really interesting, I wanted to know more about them, but that’s not enough to overcome the feeling of being scattered, almost random at times, in the storytelling. The work is short, which means that every page matters. Some focus I think would help, some expansion of the story as well. A better idea might be to see the other side, that of the succubus, or succubi for that matter. Half a story is still half a story and in this series, considering how important the succubi and incubi are, it would be good to know the why, how and what.

Two and a half out of five pitchforks.

Really there isn’t much of a succubus story here as they are more of a reason for the characters to be together than anything else. There”s no meaning behind the single succubus that does appear and she’s less of a succubus than a evil spirit. This is more of a mystery-adventure with a side of succubus.

Perhaps things might have expanded further if the series continued, which at the time of this review it had not. If so, then the why of the demons being on Earth needed to be addressed. Characters to invest in are good, but a meaningful story is more so.

 

Tera

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