Oct 17 2016

The Second Coming – Part III By TeraS

Part Three of the ongoing story I’ve been working on for Halloween this October on the Tale. If you’d like to read the prior two parts of this story, you can find them here on the Tale.

Sometimes we do things that, at the moment they happen, we believe to be the right thing. We make a choice and pray that the best happens. However, there are those that set events into motion where knowing what will happen and looking forward to the result. Because not all things are as they seem, and many of them can turn out to be the worst things of all …

 

The Second Coming
Part III
By TeraS

 

The hotel was a speck in the distance as Mandy fumed, time ticking away from her. The cab was stuck in traffic, and it was taking ages to get to Cleo, time that she feared she couldn’t afford to waste.

It did, however, allow her to think about what she’d learned about her Cleo. Thinking of Cleo as being her’s, even if that wasn’t exactly true, caused a smile to appear. She loved Cleo, really had from the moment they’d met, ages ago. The guilty wish that she made with shocking regularity came to her thoughts once more: “If only …”

The rest was between herself and those above that might be listening.

The smile ebbed away as the apprentice put the pieces together as best she could. Cleo and … whomever he was—damn him for not saying his name—had been caught in the whims of otherworldly beings and had suffered for that. Somehow, and she didn’t know how, exactly, they’d both managed to get free, cover up the mess and moved on.

At least Cleo seemed to. He, on the other hand, Mandy wasn’t so sure about. She scanned the buildings around her as the cab started to move again, her thoughts now picking apart his story. Was he the one to be possessed first, or was it Cleo? Did she take him, or vice versa? The story she had didn’t say one way or the other.

Either way, in the end it didn’t seem to matter all that much. He’d become the incubus and Cleo had been transformed … probably … it was so unclear … into a succubus. Mandy couldn’t help but pull on her hair in frustration over that, wondering why it had failed, how they had become themselves again. But most troubling of all: how was it that someone else had been possessed by a succubus, and what did she want? Something in all of this didn’t make any sense, and it was bothering her.

The rumbling of the cab over a curb finally announced that she’d arrived at her destination. Throwing more money at the cabbie than the ride could have possibly cost, Mandy shoved the door open, rushing into the hotel in the next moment.

It wasn’t the most modern of hotels, and, if Mandy had cared, she might even be somewhat surprised at the “old world” charm of the place. But she didn’t, her focus being on the young receptionist. Idly, in passing, Mandy thought she looked a bit stern for her age, but then she supposed that was more a reflection of the hotel than the woman herself. “Room key for Sister Miranda, please?”

There was a palatable pause as the holder of the keys looked Mandy over, considering that the young nun didn’t exactly look like she was “religious”—whatever that meant. But Cleo’s assistant she had already slung the backpack onto the desk before pulling a card out of her pocket and handing across the oak tabletop. The pause continued a bit further, as Mandy wondered if, had she appeared in a habit, there’d be half as much delay. Her temper got the better of her: “Is there a problem? Shall we call Sister Cléophée?”

Her card vanished behind the desk and a bronze key attached to a plastic fob was placed in front of her. “Sorry, Sister. You …” again there was a pause, a delay, “… don’t look like what I expected.”

“How do you mean?”

The answer was, in its own way, telling: “I was expecting someone much older.”

And there it was, the entire issue between Mandy and Cleo: their ages.

“Of course you were. Sorry to disappoint.”

What came next was … confusing. The strawberry blonde smiled: “Oh … so not disappointed.” That smile followed Mandy right to the elevators … and it made her shiver.

Many floors above, Cleo was sitting beside the bay window in her room, not seeing the view outside—which only consisted of another building’s brickwork and a sliver of light that was heating the bricks. She had been considering what to do, and she didn’t particularly like where her studies had taken her. The case she had brought was resting between her chair and the window, the seals broken and one item from within the case now laid on the table in front of her. An ancient work, telling of banishing spells, orders of control, and more darker things that were, so it was told, the only means to overcome a succubus, or incubus for that matter.

Sacrifices would have to be made.

That thought was interrupted by a key rattling in the door: “Damn it, Cleo! You’d better be in there!”

Mandy? So soon? Cleo hadn’t expected her, wasn’t prepared for her. Her eyes fell upon the open page and, as Mandy threw the door open, she closed the book, hiding away what she knew she had to do.

Time came to a crawl. Mandy was framed in the doorway, her expression a mixture of worry, concern, and something approaching terror. Cleo’s hand rested on the book, her expression as neutral as she could make it … until Mandy spoke: “In God’s name, Cleo. I want the truth no matter what, and I want it right now!”

Cleo’s eyes turned away: “You met him. How … is he?”

She didn’t look as the door was slammed shut, nor as she heard the sound of Mandy’s backpack being thrown into a corner of the room. Cleo did look—she didn’t have a choice—when her cheek was touched by Mandy’s fingers.

Mandy stood there, her red hair wild, her expression pained and hurt. The saying on her shirt, asking for cuddles, made Cleo sigh: “Is … he …?”

“He’s there. Said to say ‘Hi’ … among other things.”

The senior partner brought her hand to touch her junior’s, carefully moving it aside: “Mandy …”

“No! Just … Damn it, Cleo, tell me what the hell’s going on!”

She didn’t want to. She was certain that telling Mandy everything would likely get her young lover damned. She’d be as cursed as Cleo was … and she wasn’t going to do that. This was her burden, and she’d make things right no matter the cost.

“He and I were … attracted to each other, a long time ago.”

Mandy nodded as she took the other chair by the table and focused her attention on Cleo: “I figured that.”

“Does that upset you?”

Mandy’s expression was hurt: “No! Why would it? I wasn’t around then, so how can I be upset about you being happy? For fuck’s sake, Cleo, haven’t you figured out that I just want you to be happy?”

“I’m … too old. You’ve got your entire life ahead of you, and …”

“… and it’s my choice who I want to be with, to care about, and yes, believe it or not, Cleo, you don’t get the right to tell me who I want to fuck, either.”

Cleo’s eyes were wide as she peered through her glasses, her voice being lost in that admission. But they got larger still as the redhead continued: “I don’t care about your age or mine. I don’t care who’s older. What I do care about is that I love you.” The dark-haired scholar was going to protest, but Mandy’s hand covered her own resting on top of the book: “You care about me, Cleo, I know that. You don’t have to say you love me back, but I am telling you I love you.” The passionate novice nodded at the book: “I want you to know that. I know you well enough to know that you, dearest Cléophée, are about to do something incredibly stupid. But, before you do, you’re going to know that I need you, that I’m not leaving you, and that I’ll do whatever I have to.”

The room was silent for a time, the two looking at each other for several moments before Cleo answered: “It is incredibly stupid.”

Mandy shook her head: “Of course it is.”

“She’s possessed by the succubus. This book explains that she’s a vessel, not in control of what she does. The succubus uses her body, growing in power, feeding. She’s building a nest for her thralls to protect her. That takes time. She probably has at least one by now. She probably has her hooks into a lot of others.”

Mandy’s thoughts turned to the receptionist downstairs: “How can you tell?”

“We can’t. There’s nothing, really, that would be obvious to us. Oh, they might be more sexually active, their sexual congress being a means for the succubus to feed faster.” Cleo nodded at the case: “There’s an item in there that warns when one is close by.”

“Have you checked?”

“I did when I arrived. It seems like we’re safe enough.”

Mandy’s tension ebbed slightly. That woman downstairs must have a thing for redheads or something. “Okay. What’s your plan, then?”

“We go to her.”

“That’s bad idea number one.”

“I have to get in the same room with her.”

“That’s bad idea number two.”

“I’ll have to be touching her when I recite the hymn to banish her back into the emerald she was imprisoned in.”

“Annnd that’s number three.”

There had been little conflict between them in all of the years they’d know each other, but this time there was going to be some. “Who else is going to do this? You? You haven’t a clue what to do!”

“I’ll learn! Cleo! Listen to yourself!”

“No! You are not! I will not let you!”

“Fuck that, Cleo! I’m not going to lose you because of some bitch from hell!”

“I won’t be lost!”

“Bullshit! You’re going to be a martyr, and I know what that means!”

Cleo’s next words were a whisper: “Miranda … I do love you.”

“Then … why?”

Cleo looked almost ancient as she replied: “I’ve been through this. I know what she’s feeling, trapped inside, not being able to act, to do anything to stop … it. Even if I had to kill the soul trapped. It’s what I would do if it was you that was possessed.”

“Cléophée …”

“You cannot understand what it’s like … The … need … how strong it is, what you’d do to feed it.”

“No, I can’t. Please …”

“I wasn’t possessed by a succubus, I was the succubus. I was—every part of me—a succubus in all ways that mattered. I threw him to the ground, rode him, fucked him, and made him cum over and over.”

Mandy’s eyes widened at Cleo’s admission. She’d never talked like this often, if at all.

“I craved his lusts, I suckled on his needs. I drove myself on his cock relentlessly. I was sex incarnate. I wanted more and more, but I couldn’t reach that perfect orgasm that I knew was there, just out of reach.”

“What … stopped you?”

Cleo laughed a bitter laugh: “I couldn’t have the orgasm that would complete me. Not that I didn’t try, not that he didn’t try. We fucked in the catacombs for hours, every possible and impossible way you can’t imagine.”

“What happened when it was over?”

“We were a sweaty mound of flesh, covered in dirt. Anything that I cared about him wasn’t there any more: a … pound of flesh for my not becoming the succubus that he wanted. We couldn’t even look at each other. We sealed up the damned place and went our separate ways.”

Not the complete truth, but good enough that Mandy nodded, accepting it: “Which explains why he went where he did, but not why this succubus appeared near him. Why not you?”

Cleo thought for a moment: “I think that Amber, the girl possessed, found the emerald somewhere on her travels; she’s an archaeology assistant. Her home’s here, the apartment the succubus is using as her nest. She might have come into physical contact with it at the university. The succubus would know that he was nearby and tried to draw him to her.”

“Instead, he called.”

“Yes. He did.”

“And now you’re here.”

“Yes.”

“You do realize that this is a trap?”

“I know. I still have to stop this.”

Mandy’s eyes fell upon the book: “Wonderful. When do we …”

“The tomes say that we have to catch her feeding.”

“When?”

“After midnight … before three in the morning.”

Mandy looked at her phone: “A lot of time till then.”

“Better get some rest.”

Neither did, if they were honest with themselves, but sometimes sleep isn’t as important as being.

They arrived at the apartment at one in the morning. The entire building was silent, lights out or dimmed. The hallways weren’t lit up, but why would they be? Sane people weren’t creeping around at one in the morning, after all.

The only light that was seen outside was coming from Amber’s apartment. But even if there hadn’t been a light on, the moans were calling out to Cleo and Mandy as the two made their way upwards.

Amber, or what had become her, was very much awake … and feeding … loudly. It should have been enough to keep the entire building awake, someone making that much noise would wake the dead, Mandy thought.

“She’s loud.”

“The place is under her spell. She’s feeding off their dreams and the one she’s …”

Mandy nodded: “I get it.”

The rest didn’t need to be explained.

The door to her apartment opened easily. It wasn’t locked; why would it be? The succubus controlled Amber, she controlled the building. There was no reason for it to lock the door. Once inside, they found a typical university post-grad’s meager apartment: put-together furniture, books for tables, a living room was strewn with take-out boxes, some empty, some not so much so. Clothing was strung here and there, some women’s, some men’s. It was clear that nothing really mattered around them.

Save for whatever was going on in the bedroom. Cleo held the book in her hands, a finger marking the page she needed in case she forgot the words. Mandy was beside her, waiting for the moment to rush in with Cleo. They hadn’t noticed the change when they came in, but it suddenly struck Mandy. The screaming and moaning had stopped. The apartment was as still as a tomb: “Fuck. She knows we’re here.”

Cleo nodded as they approached the bedroom door. Cleo motioned to Mandy to stay behind her as she looked around the corner. She hoped, dearly, that it wasn’t going to be how she remembered things from so long ago.

It wasn’t. But it was worse in so many ways.

Amber—what had been Amber—was hovering over her victim, who had a glazed look in his eyes. Her hair was red, so amazingly red, cascading down her back in a mangled wave of curls. But it wasn’t as red as Mandy’s. Somehow that thought made Cleo nibble her lip and catch her breath.

Amber bent over at her waist, her hands on either side of him. Cleo couldn’t see exactly what the succubus was doing, but the sound of her thrall sucking in a breath made it clear. She’d wrapped her lips around his cock, taking him deeply. Cleo was mesmerized by her back undulating as she caressed his shaft with her tongue and lips. He bucked every time her lips bottomed out on him.

Cleo tried to look away, but Amber’s hand, her long red nails appearing between her legs then starting to toy with her clit, held her. Cleo shuddered, her vision held by the scene, her ears hearing nothing but the slurping and needful moaning of her thrall.

It took Mandy pulling Cleo back to break the spell. Even so, the sounds didn’t stop now. Amber’s moans mixing with her thrall’s as she continued to take him deeply. Mandy looked at Cleo with worry. Cleo nodded and managed a wan smile, even as her sex trembled and weeped from what she’d seen. Mandy pushed her way around Cleo, then looked herself to see what was going on.

The assistant found the succubus’ host stoking her thrall’s shaft, it being slick and wet with her saliva. She licked the tip, he cried in need, and she pushed him back on the bed. Many watched the succubus tie her victim up with scarfs, holding him fast, before she straddled him and his cock, which was pointing upward. He tried to thrust himself upwards, to envelope his need in her slick hot sex. but she refused him.

He was hers. Not the other way around.

Mandy looked back to her mentor, she reading the page in the book, mouthing the words to herself in preparation. The succubus wasn’t feeding, just yet. Cleo had explained what that moment was. When she looked again, Mandy found Amber playing with her food. She lowered herself, achingly slowly, onto him. No human could possibly have managed what Mandy witnessed, as it took almost an entire minute for Amber to edge him slowly within her sex. Inch by inch she took him until with a lustful cackle of pleasure. She had trapped him beneath her.

As Mandy watched, Cleo stifled a moan in surprise. She could feel it. She felt every bump and ridge as Amber lowered herself upon him. It became far worse when the succubus started to ride him, her glistening folds gripping his shaft, milking him, drawing from him what she desired. The elder nun’s hips bucked in time as the succubus screamed in pleasure as she came … as she fed.

That realization broke the spell, and Cleo rushed past Mandy before she could react. The door slammed shut the moment Cleo was inside and all that Mandy could do was beat her hands against it, screaming Cleo’s name.

The succubus didn’t turn to look: “Cléophée.”

In spite of the slickness of her sex, Cleo managed a growl of anger: “Demon spawn.”

Amber laughed: “It takes one to know one.” A grunt of pleasure came, then Amber turned to look at her visitor, her wild mane of red framed seduction. Her curves were mesmerizing, and there, in the middle of her cleavage, was that damned piece of jewelry, bound to Amber’s body, warping her.

Cleo’s hands gripped the book tighter: “Release her.”

Amber giggled, then looked at her thrall and purred: “Cum.”

His scream was ecstasy, pain, and submission mixed into one unforgettable sound. Amber licked her lips and savoured the taste: “mmm … Never. So deliciously wanton they are. So easily corrupted to serve … me.”

The wave of his soul that washed through the room drove Cleo to her knees. The book fell to her side, one hand on top of it, the other desperately searching for her clit, trying to make herself orgasm in spite of herself. Her breath caught, her vision blurred.

“Nnnnnooo … I … I won’t let you.”

Outside of the room, Mandy heard the screams, and her banging on the door became more and more frantic. Seeing no other choice, she ran outside of the apartment. A fire axe was nearby and, in the next moment, she was trying to smash through the door, screaming Cleo’s name at the top of her lungs. The pastor’s warning echoed in her mind: “Do not leave her alone with the succubus.”

Cleo stumbled to her feet, the book left on the floor. Her legs wobbled, her sex drooled, her mind was awash in the pleasure the succubus was taking. As her fingers took hold of Amber’s hair, Cleo’s thoughts were of Mandy.

Then, she spoke the words. Words of banishment, her other hand taking hold of Amber’s arm. Words of damnation, her body pressed against Amber’s back. The Word as her hand moved from Amber’s hair to touch the jewel above her cleavage from which the succubus had come.

Mandy smashed the door open as a wave of red light exploded from within and threw her away from the door, leaving her crumpled in the middle of the living room. She looked at the open doorway, the room dark, the red light vanquished. She groaned in pain, crawling over to see within, fearing, praying.

The scene within was nothing that she expected. On the bed was the man Amber had been feeding from, out cold, but alive. draped over him was … Amber … Amber from before the succubus came into her life. Mandy stumbled over to them both, checking to be sure they were breathing. Amber was face down on the bed and Mandy turned her over. Amber was just another ordinary girl, nothing more. Between Amber and the man lay the emerald. It looked harmless, ordinary, nothing like the threat it was holding within itself.

Then she saw Cleo’s legs on the far side of the bed. It was but a moment before she was holding Cleo in her arms, her body like a rag doll. Mandy said a prayer as she watched Cleo’s chest rise and fall.

They’d won. They’d saved Amber, Cleo was alive, and things were going to be okay. She hugged Cleo’s body to her own, her hands stroking through Cleo’s hair aimlessly. Cleo looked to be asleep, she didn’t seem to have any broken bones, and there weren’t any bumps or bruises.

Mandy smiled softly as she pushed some of Cleo’s hair, with its enchanting red highlights, away from her forehead, which she kissed gently.

Then something brought her up short: Cleo’s hair had never had any red in it.

But this red was almost as brilliant as her own.

Oct 16 2016

A Review of The Story of Lilith: The Mysterious First Wife of Adam by Johnnie Hogue

The Story of Lilith: The Mysterious First Wife of Adam by Johnnie Hogue

The Story of Lilith: The Mysterious First Wife of Adam by Johnnie Hogue

There have been, are, and will be, many works that attempt to tell the story of Lilith, her mythos and how that relates, in many ways, to the story of Adam, Eve and the Garden of Eden. Many of these works are written for a more adult audience, one that can accept the questions raised, the thoughts expressed.

It is, for me at least, quite a surprise to come across a work about Lilith that can be described as a picture book for children about Lilth’s myth and the story behind it. The thing about writing such a work is that it is very easy to tell a story with a particular slant. A statement about God and the relationship between men and woman. Words that, sadly, express that the concept of equality isn’t possible, and more so that God isn’t in favour of it.

Tone means everything, and some tones, some words used, leave deep marks behind when they are expressed.

  • Title: The Story of Lilith: The Mysterious First Wife of Adam
  • Author: Johnnie Hogue
  • Illustrator: Dyra Mika Manangan
  • Published By: Amazon Digital Services
  • Length: 16 Pages
  • Format: eBook
  • ASIN: B01MAVU8LV
  • Publishing Date: October 11, 2016
  • This work in Kindle Format at Amazon.com

 

This work is described as:

An Illustrated Book to Teach the Forgotten Story of Lilith, Adam’s First Wife.

A picture book that tells the mythos of Lilith in words and images. The story of the first woman seeking to be equal to her mate and finding that he cannot accept that. The pain of hearing from God that she has no value unless she submits and her reaction to that, and the cost she suffers in only wishing equality.

I’m very conflicted about this work, and I’ll explain further, but first I think I should say the positive here. The art is lovely, the characters of Lilith, Adam and Eve look delightful in all of their forms. There’s a lot of joy it seems in the illustrator’s art and I loved the art for that. The art is, at least to my way of thinking, made for a young reader, to captivate them, to draw them into the story and that does work well.

The problem, for me, is how Lilith’s story is told as a whole. There’s a certain viewpoint here which makes me very uncomfortable, especially as the work would be attractive to young readers because of the art. The work states, clearly, that as per the mythos, Lilith and Adam were equal in God’s eyes, but Adam wanted Lilith to submit to him. The conflict described as the work moves past that point makes it seem like God became vengeful because Lilith wanted equality and then spiteful to make Lilith a demoness, or succubus.

Lilith isn’t described as a succubus, her actions as a succubus are not delved into, only that she causes pain to mothers and visits men. But the story pushes a view of Lilith seeking revenge, looking to cause pain and so forth. The work adds that beings like Lilith, who are “fighting against God” are doomed to suffer eventually.

And that statement, more than anything else, is what nags at me. From my perspective, the story seems to suggest that women seeking equality are doing so against God’s wishes. I’m sorry, but I can’t subscribe to that view. What this does, for impressionable young minds, is plant a seed in their thoughts that being equal, respected, a partner in life with men isn’t a good thing. That a woman’s only purpose is to be submissive and nothing more. Because God wants things that way and one must obey the word of God.

That simply isn’t true.

God, or Goddess, whichever one believes in, isn’t a cruel being. They want their children to be happy, content, to live and love equally. That, for me, was what the Garden represented. The expression of why Lilith and Adam came from the same dirt. The desire of their children, all of them, to live together, be together.

Lilith expresses that need within to be equal, to have value, to be a partner, to share in the life given for the greater good of all. That’s not an evil thing, that’s not an expression of being against God’s wishes. It is, however, the expression of the need for all souls, regardless of they being male or female, to see each other as equals.

This work, placed in the hands of young souls that do not understand, that cannot make up their own minds, will tend to push them to think in a way that doesn’t allow for equality. That’s the greater shame here. Lilith’s story, though not part of the Bible, matters in the here and now. It means something in the world we live in. It is meant to make us think. We should be.

I’m not giving this work a rating.

I find myself unable to separate my dislike of the tone used, the expression that women shouldn’t be equal to men. The words used press home the idea that God didn’t want women and men to be equal, even though, at least in the story of Lilith, both she and Adam came from the same dirt.

There’s a conflict in the telling, an expression of somehow “putting women in their place” which is telling.

 

Tera

Oct 16 2016

A Review of Kissed by Temptation by Deanna Chase

Kissed by Temptation by Deanna Chase

Kissed by Temptation by Deanna Chase

The second of two reviews of works in the Coven Pointe series by Deanna Chase, and you can find my first review here on the Tale. One thing I noticed was that this second work in the series appeared almost a full two years after the premiere work did. Now, in the meantime, the author continued their Bourbon Street series, releasing a number of works in that series.

Continuity between works in a series is an important thing. Reading one work and finding a character has come into their powers, with seemingly no understanding of them sets up a certain expectation. Moving into the next work and finding that character has a sudden mastery of what they can do is a bit jarring.

While that can be overlooked by the story they appear in, another trap can be creating a force of evil that is, sadly, stereotypical in their nature and their actions. While that can just be a means for telling the larger story, if that stereotypical character is exactly that and nothing more, it becomes rather disappointing.

The second work in the series is:

  • Title: Kissed by Temptation
  • Author: Deanna Chase
  • Length: 32 Pages
  • ASIN: B01DRZSXQW
  • Publishing Date: April 2, 2016
  • This work at Amazon.com

It tells the story of:

The last place sex-witch Mati Ballintine wants to be is at a holiday sorority party. But when the high angel from the council orders her to protect a new angel recruit, she has no choice but to go and grit her teeth through the frat boys’ advances.

The night turns from bad to worse when a demon appears and is hell-bent on taking the angel to Hell. Mati and her incubus boyfriend Vaughn will need to combine forces to not only save the angel, but everyone else the demon leaves in his wake.

Matt’s list of problems has gotten longer. Now responsible for an angel, working for her sister, and then getting invited to a sorority party held by witches is painful enough. When an incubus appears, and it isn’t her boyfriend, then trouble is brewing. When her boyfriend does appear, then things turn to a boil.

Being that this work was released almost two years after the first in the series, there’s a feeling of a lot of time passing, a lot of events going on with both Mati and Vaughn, but the problem comes in that the author doesn’t really delve into what’s happened between the end of the prior work and this one. References are made that hint at things, but not in a detailed way. For Mati, that’s more of a question of how she got into the situation she’s in, and why it happened. For Vaughn it’s quite a lot more confusing as he’s moved from “just becoming” an incubus into being one that has a lot of power, is part of a larger group, and seems to be more mature and developed a character than he was in the first work.

And there’s the problem. The shifting is jarring, confusing, and having not read the main series by this author in which I assume that all of this is explained, things didn’t quite ring true. As well, the popping up of characters from the other series in passing, the dropping in of other characters that Mati knows out of hand, but the reader doesn’t leads to more confusion.

That then brings me to the “main evil” in this work, which is the appearance of another, unnamed incubus. I don’t like characters that seemingly have no plan, no real personality, and seem to be in the story as cannon fodder, or a means to an end. An incubus that only seems to care about having sex with another character, and being singularly focused on that, is boring. Such characters are doomed to fail and that’s clear from the moment this one makes his presence known. Everything is pretty much expected, there’s nothing which shows some sort of intelligence, planning, or even a semblance of a scheme. As such, while some of the scenes are cute, occasionally funny, and have just enough to keep my interest, the unnamed incubus really doesn’t amount to very much and I wish they had.

There’s really not much in the way of erotica in this work, though there are some wonderful romantic moments that I adored. The work is mainly an adventure/mystery and it manages to make that work overall. The issue for me comes from the disconnect from the first work to this one and the threat, which wasn’t more than it appeared to be.

The writing is stellar in how scenes are described, Mati’s thoughts and actions, and overall there’s quite a lot to enjoy overall. I just wish there was more to be found in the main plot, how it was resolved, and, most of all, a better connection with the first work in the series. Explaining Vaughn’s shift, or perhaps more on an explanation of how time has passed would have made the difference.

Three and a half out of five pitchforks.

I wanted to like this work more than I do, but the unnamed incubus being so very stereotypical took away so much from the work for me. Mixed into that the sudden unexplained shifting in Vaughn’s abilities and my confusion grew. Then putting Mati’s new situation into things, and not really explaining much about that save in passing, left me lost and at a point where I had to push all of that aside before it overwhelmed the story for me.

Again, much like the first work in this series, the author is assuming that someone is familiar with their main series and I think that’s a bit of a mistake. Sometimes a story is interesting on its own and it needs to stand on its own merits. There shouldn’t be a need to read another entire series to gain understanding. A little more exposition in setting up the moment would have helped me to get past the changes from the first work. A stronger incubus as an opposing force, one with a mind, a scheme, and a plan other than just “being evil” would have helped too.

 

Tera

Oct 15 2016

The Dance of the Succubus – A Bellydance YouTube

Occasionally on YouTube, there are dance videos shared that have somewhat of a succubus theme to them. Some of the most sensual and mesmerizing are those created by bellydancers. I’ve always been fascinated by how succubus-like, at least in my mind, some of the sinuous movements are. I found this particular video some time ago, and I wanted to share what I felt was something quite special…

 

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_47UjF27eY

As well, here is an image of the artist herself, Elizabeth Stuardo in the midst of her dance…

Elizabeth Stuardo Succubus Dance

I feel the dance captures the essence of the seductive qualities of a succubus, the power she has to hold the eye, the imagination, and more. I mentioned the sinuous feel of her dance and there’s a bit more than that here. There’s a simmering of the sensual, but also there’s a level of control, of holding her powers tightly within herself, allowing them to tease and tug at those watching.

It is quite the talent to be able to do so, and that makes this dance a bit more than I expected it to be. I’ll also add that her appearance, horns and all, lend themselves to the dance in the most perfect way and, for me, was a joy to see…

 

Tera

Oct 14 2016

A Review of Guilty Pleasures by Alana Church

Guilty Pleasures by Alana Church

Guilty Pleasures by Alana Church

A review today of the penultimate work in The Succubus series by Alana Church, the seventh work, and for me, one that answers many questions that have been simmering within the series so far. My first review is here, the second is here and my third review cab be found here. The fourth review can be found here on the Tale with the fifth review being here. The review of the prior, sixth work in the series, can be found here.

The past matters. Whether that is the past of the universe, Goddess herself or one particular succubus named Althea, it haunts. But it also allows for reflection, the finding of purpose, and the memories of the words and actions of those we hold dear in our moments of crisis.

The answers, after all, are within each of us. We just need to listen to them.

The work tells the story of:

The tides of fate are swirling. Althea, the immortal succubus, knows the time for the final confrontation with the demon-spawn is nigh. As she prepares herself, she is haunted by memories of the past. Will the love of her new family sustain her? Or will she succumb to despair? No matter what happens, there is still time to indulge in some…Guilty Pleasures!

Althea knows three things. Duty, family and light. Combined within her, they are what grounds her, gives her purpose, drives her onwards. But there’s something else which is the hidden fourth cornerstone within her. Her past, her experiences. What she’s lost, who she’s lost. We all have burdens that play upon our souls. Facing them can be freeing, but also can be more, if given the chance.

The work is best described as a pause in the series. A means for the characters to catch up with all that has been, what they face. Throughout the series, each character has been developing a piece at a time, and in doing so that development has been reflected against all of the other characters. But even so, the one character who’s thoughts have been somewhat blurred has been Althea herself. We know what she is, we know her purpose, but the telling of her past, of her family hasn’t been really delved into deeply.

The telling of some, not all by far, of Althea’s past revealed depths within her that, for me, brought Althea to being one of the most captivating succubi characters I have encountered. The mixture of religion, theology and history, all of which I enjoy, was wonderfully wrapped together and made it possible for Althea’s past to be more than being told in rote. She relives her past, recalls the pains and joys. The emotional void that has been simmering within her finds a means to be expressed, to be formed fully and when it comes together, that changes Althea for the better.

There’s a difference in her by the time this work closes. A sense that she’s opened not her mind, but rather the heart and love she’s kept hidden for so long, to being able to live again. That turning point brings with it a change in tone for her. There’s been hints, at least within Althea’s mind, that something hasn’t been quite right. She finds the key and then what I think of as the true Althea comes to the fore.

The depths of theology than come out appealed to me, in many cases I couldn’t help the smile I had when Althea’s thoughts were expressed to other characters. Some moments of joy, outside of passion and pleasure, were delights and gave that little extra push to Althea’s own transformation.

While the work pauses, setting up the next, and sadly for me, final work in the series, there’s no lack of story telling. All of the characters have their moments, their realizations. There are passions, but also understanding and acceptance among them all. Story matters here, dearly so, but hand in hand comes some light erotica which simmers along the way. It doesn’t overcome the story, rather adding that little bit of heat which makes some of the revelations that much more delicious.

I do wish there would have been more told about Althea’s parents, her past, perhaps telling of her first encounters with humans and otherwise. But what is revealed tells something important that has always been with Althea, whether said or not. She needs. More than pleasure, she needs the emotional connection of having someone close. That then, is the point. Coming to see the truth and accepting it completely.

A needed pause for all that has been in the series so far, but not leaving out the heat and story. The story offers much to ponder, which I loved, but also it gave rise to some very important questions about Althea, Rachel’s family and most of all, where Yasna fits into things as a whole. Yasna’s presence, her thoughts, suggest something vital and where that goes I think will be telling for all involved.

Lovely writing, the characters are everything that I expect them to be. The heat is there, the story is told. The moments of collecting one’s thoughts have come and gone, now what comes next is the question to be answered.

Four and a half out of five pitchforks.

A well thought out pause in the series which allows the characters to reflect, but also to find themselves. It develops all of the characters into being more than they have been, opening them towards a stronger and brighter whole. For me, that development, being able to fit the pieces of their lives together and see a path forwards was as captivating as the erotica, if not more so.

Being able to see inside of Althea, to know what she is thinking, reflecting on, gives depth to her character that I think brought her more fully into the story. Not from the perspective of acting within it, but rather in expressing her motivations, her fears and her needs. She might not have revealed everything, but a piece of her was missing and now she’s whole.

The family is gathered, they look forward with concern, worry. They know the future is uncertain, but in spit of this, they also know that there is hope. That in itself is a powerful thing and should never be discounted by those that cannot see that themselves. Not all weapons are those of being physical. Many times the ones within our own minds are the sharpest of all.

The final work in the series, Passion’s Price, appears today… The story of Althea approaches the climax… I’ve dearly loved every work in this series and I have every expectation that what comes next will be as wonderfully written by far…

 

Tera

Oct 14 2016

A Review of Marked by Temptation by Deanna Chase

Marked by Temptation by Deanna Chase

Marked by Temptation by Deanna Chase

The first of two reviews of works in the Coven Pointe series by Deanna Chase, the second will follow in this Sunday’s book reviews. The author has published another series and this one runs parallel with the first, and, overall, that works for the most part.

There is such a thing as giving some basic information when doing so, to lay out how things work. While the story is well done, there is quite a lot of good here, for someone that had not read this author’s other series before this one, I found myself lost for much of the work, more so towards the end of it. They say knowledge is power. Perhaps the same can be said of understanding.

In each soul there is a missing piece, something which calls out to another, to draw them close and, with luck, hope and sometimes misunderstanding, makes them whole. The problem sometimes is that in being so, what you are isn’t what you expected.

The first work in the series is:

  • Title: Marked by Temptation
  • Author: Deanna Chase
  • Length: 144 Pages
  • ASIN: B00K1MNB0I
  • Publishing Date: April 29, 2014
  • This work at Amazon.com

It tells the story of:

Mati Ballintine is a sex witch looking for a hot one-night stand to bolster her power, and sexy Vaughn Paxton is cocky enough to make her work for it. But when their one night turns into more than they bargained for, one life is changed, another threatened, and suddenly there’s a whole lot more than lust at stake.

Mati’s powers as a sex witch are fuelled by sex. Quite a lot of it in fact, if she didn’t know better she might think she was a succubus. An encounter with Vaughn leads towards something more, and when that turns unexpected, neither of them will escape unscathed.

Overall I liked the story, the characters and the overall themes in this work. Both of the main characters, Mati and Vaughn are complex, interesting, and they do mesh together so very well as the story unfolds. There’s some delicious erotica mixed into the telling of an overarching series of mysteries that didn’t overcome the story to be told.

Some of the minor characters are quite unlikeable however, that being part of the plots of course, and one particular instant where Vaughn comes in contact with a group was, at least for me, rather uneven, odd, and confusing. More so was Mati’s family, there reactions to Vaughn and the seemingly single mindedness of many of the minor characters and how that drives a wedge between them.

What’s more confusing, at least to me, is that the author seems to assume that someone picking up this work will be familiar with their other series Bourbon Street and thus simply know what’s going on with other characters from that series that drop into this one. As much as I liked this work, that for me was where the story lost me entirely. There’s little in the way of explaining about how things work, who certain groups are, why this universe is shaped as it is. Events unfold and I couldn’t quite understand some of the references made, which matter it seemed to the characters themselves.

Getting back to this work in isolation, the questions that came up from Vaughn’s true nature, the questions about what incubi are, and how all of things links together really isn’t expanded on. For example, a character is said to have opened a portal, but not much more. Mati is said to have quite a lot of power, but not really how that works. There are moments when I felt I was groping around for answers and I didn’t quite find them.

While it is explained that Vaughn is an incubus, at least partly so, and Mati is responsible for his transformation, that event is difficult to sort out, not the least of which comes from a group rushing in to pull the two lovers apart. What follows from that moment was, for me, the weakest part of the work. The work moved from a hot, passionate story about two soulmates into what I can only describe as in-fighting within a family, misunderstanding all around, and a horrid lack of trying to find answers.

This all leads into a bit of a train wreck for Mati, and then, suddenly, with the help of a certain character from the author’s other series, everything gets straightened out and the work resolves in a lovely way. It’s a bit too pat, too quick however and considering all that came before, and Mati’s personality, I expected more from the ending.

Written well, the main characters are wonderful, the plot is complex and interesting. The need to lean on a reader having read the author’s other series and being familiar with this universe is a bit of a problem and perhaps the author needs to give more background to things than they did here. The heat is delicious, Mati and Vaughn as a couple seem almost a perfect match. But this series needs to stand on its own, to bring new readers into a new series.

Four out of five pitchforks.

I rather liked with work as a whole, how the characters intermixed and how things came together and fell apart. There’s quite a lot of plot and atmosphere to build on, but really this work is an adjunct to the author’s main series. That seems to come out in the second work which was released almost two years after this one and, like this work, has one important thing missing. Understanding. Save that point in this work, I would have liked this a lot more than I do.

 

Tera

Oct 13 2016

Succubi Image of the Week 456

One of the more rare images for the Succubi of the Week are those Succubi that have blue tinted skin. Red of course is the most common, but there is a bit more blue appearing here and there from time to time. I found one image that I thought was interesting, and as there hasn’t been any blue for some time…

(SUCUBO) naomi by DOM STYLE X

(SUCUBO) naomi by DOM STYLE X

This work is called (SUCUBO) naomi and is by the artist DOM STYLE X on Pixiv. You can find the original page on Pixiv where I found this art here.

I think there’s a bit of a warrior succubus vibe to this character in a few ways, mostly in her expression, those bracers on her wrists and just her overall look. Perhaps she’s a wrestler of some sort? That in itself brings a smile to me as I think the match would be over fairly quickly all things considered.

Setting aside the questions about her, I like her look, it’s nice to see her tail and horns match. I also think that having her outfit match her hair in a neat thing too.

Just something that made me smile, and wonder…

 

Tera

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