Apr 19 2016

A Review of Binding the Beast by Eric Stray

Binding the Beast by Eric Stray

Binding the Beast by Eric Stray

A review today of the second work in the Nightlife series by Eric Stray. I reviewed the first work in the series a short time ago and you can find that first review here on the Tale. I really loved the first work and I wanted to know more about Mirri and Rachel, the two succubi in the story so far. In the second work, the author opened some interesting parts of each of their personalities, gave some insight to who they are, their hopes and fears, but something more. Their souls.

When one has to face their own fears, there are few choices. One of the hardest is to believe in not just yourself, but the ones that believe in you. You might be asked to do the impossible. You can bend or break, either can be, if you can decide which is the right answer.

  • Title: Binding the Beast
  • Author: Eric Stray
  • Length: 36 Pages
  • ASIN: B01E85M7GW
  • Publishing Date: April 13, 2016
  • This work at Amazon.com

The story tells of:

Seeking new additions to their peculiar workplace, Mirri the succubus and her friend Rachel go on a recruitment mission. Making their way deep into an arcane-created forest, the girls seek to cure, and retrieve a woman cursed by the infamous Queen of Flux: a godlike sorceress long thought to have been sealed away. Danger lurks all around them in the form of the beast they hunt, the past they’re about to uncover, and their own insatiable hungers. Only time will tell if they’ll make it out of the forest alive, unchanged, and unbound.

Mirri has found her home and it is everything she could imagine it could be. She is wanted, needed and has found something she never expected, a friend. A quest takes them both into a world where things aren’t safe, aren’t what they seem to be. When push comes to shove, Miri needs something she’s never really had before. Trust.

The work follows on a short time after the first work in the series, and there’s been some really interesting changes to both Miri and Rachel from the first page. The tone of the characters are more developed, there’s a real connection, friendship, trust between them that began at the end of the prior work and has really blossomed here.

Along with the broadening of their characters, there’s quite a lot of each of their own needs, questions about themselves, a bit of feeling lost and then comparing each other against one another. I found that telling because it made both characters more real. Neither is perfect, and that really comes out in this work. The introspection that each has about themselves, about each other, is wonderfully told and I loved that dearly.

For Miri, I thought the slight undertone of her becoming somewhat addicted to her new life, when she transforms herself into a bimbo personality, told a lot about her. There’s a craving within, one that’s hard for her to resist and that battle does a world of good to making Miri shine in the story. For Rachel, the admissions she has, of being needed, of wanting to be told that she’s great, better than great, belies something deeper within her, something that she’s been hiding and when that comes out, the moment she shares with Miri works perfectly.

The main plot of the story is an adventure wrapped in a mystery and as that unfolds the reality around Miri and Rachel shifts and changes, but that isn’t something really obvious for the most part. It can be a little confusing at times, but that’s part and parcel of what transpires. Sorting out what is going on, when it does, takes some time and at one point the turn takes the work into the realms of asking just what is real and what part of what you see can you trust?

There’s a smattering of erotica in the work, a bit of self-pleasure for Miri complete with a transformation that I thought worked well. There’s also a short scene between Miri and Rachel that fit them in a lovely way that I enjoyed as well.

The climax of this work brings about a slew of questions and not many are answered by the end of the work. But that’s perfectly fine as the final line reveals what seems to be a major series plot point and one that seems to be shattering for them all.

I’m really looking forward to seeing how this plays out, whether the reality matches the legend and vice versa. The work takes Miri and Rachel quite a distance from where they began, but it leaves other characters not having their moment. As this work does focus on Miri and Rachel to all else, that makes sense and the little bits of remembered past fill in some blanks. Still, the other matters, and really as much as we know about them from the first work, there’s a lot still untold. The ending, and a revelation along the way, suggests there’s something else going on and I wonder about that.

Every bit as enthralling, well told, and wonderful as the first work and a really worthy sequel by far. I loved how Mirri and Rachel are developing as characters, how they have gained their voices in this work, seem to be “comfortable” with who they are. There’s a giant mystery here and seeing  what happens next is something I look forwards to. Perhaps the reality isn’t what was expected, but then, sometimes neither is the fantasy.

Four out of five pitchforks.

The series moves from strength to strength, the characters remain true. A mystery has arrived and where that takes things will be something I will be waiting to see.



Apr 19 2016

A Review of The Wrong Woman by J. Scrimm

The Wrong Woman by J. Scrimm

The Wrong Woman by J. Scrimm

There are some stories in which the main character is dislikable from the first word of the story. There are those characters which you know, fully, there will be something bad happening to them because that is, as a whole, expected just from who they are made out to be.

Many times what happens to them has a certain amount of poetic license. That, in a way, they have what is coming to them and they deserve it fully.

The thing is, when most of the story tells of how horrid they are, that takes away from the other character in the work that just leaves one wondering about them… and wanting to know more, but that never comes.

  • Title: The Wrong Woman
  • Author: J. Scrimm
  • Length: 11 Pages
  • ASIN: B015G7TG0Q
  • Publishing Date: September 15, 2015
  • This work at Amazon.com

The story tells of:

A sadistic pervert with a badge sits on a back road, watching and waiting for drunk driving women to victimize. Tonight he picks the wrong woman to stop.

John is a police officer who’s morals simply do not exist and he is proud of that. Waiting for his next victim, he encounters a redhead driving a red Corvette and finds that the universe has a way to bring about justice… in time.

The work tells a story that revolves around a main character that is simply unlikable and being so, and seeing the book summary, one expects that something is going to happen to him. The thing is that most of the story tells about his past, the crimes he had committed, the lives he has ruined and more. There’s more time spent on making him the worst he can possibly be than there is on the actual encounter in which justice is served.

In this work, Lilith, who is exactly who you would expect her to be, appears for about three full pages and through that short appearance is a far more interesting character. That isn’t just because she is Lilith, but it’s more of her attitude, the expression of her power, and the way she just takes over the story that causes it to take a turn, if not for the better, than certainly to make it more interesting.

Lilith is written to be seductive for a moment, but then she moves towards being evil, destructive, and, as an aside, more of an avenging angel as a whole. There’s a certain poetic justice in what she does, as horrific as it is. Past the climax of the work, there’s an interesting little hint towards what could be next, and the examination of how far humans can do evil things.

Overall, I didn’t care for the work because of how much time was spent in talking about John’s past and building up the dislike for him. While I understand the point, for me at least, Lilith is more interesting and not learning about her I think was disappointing. It’s assumed that the reader knows something about her, has an idea at least, and then the author moves directly towards the abrupt ending. It is a work of horror, there’s no question. But it is the horror of what one person can do to others. The supernatural horror of Lilith, as brutal and violent as it is, really cannot compare with that.

Written well, though the characters were not developed much. Lilith had a presence, which worked well, but John himself just sucked the oxygen out of the story and his presence remained the overwhelming focus.

I wonder what it would have been like to see things from Lilith’s perspective in the time before John encountered her. What she was thinking, why she was focused on John exactly. There is good reason in the story, which is lightly told, but I wanted to know more.

Two and a half out of five pitchforks.

Too much reading of John justifying himself which really takes too much out of the story, and far too little about Lilith where the story could have turned the corner into something more than it was.



Apr 18 2016

Part of the Story By TeraS

This past weekend was special. Some know why, some don’t, and I don’t think I can ever really tell the whole story well enough … not even in the Tale. And so, I will tell …


Part of the Story
By TeraS


The story begins, as so many of them do, at the beginning. Or rather a beginning, for the story that this one is connected to had been in existence for some time before. That story is just as important as this one—probably more so—but, in the here and now, this is the story to tell. The story that comes from this one is one for … another time and place.

It begins shortly after two souls met, had been through their awkward moments, and come to realize something, or several somethings. For one, it was coming to know she had met her Eternal, the only one for her, the one that accepted her, not for what she was, but who she was. For the other, it was him finding the one with that smile, that little sparkle in her eyes when they met, and how they held each other, how their bodies and souls fit together in just the right way.

Not too long before, in another place, another Realm, the two had appeared to her mother—the Queen—and he was … if not grilled by her, at least thoroughly examined as to exactly what his intentions were for her daughter. His answer was truthful, there was no question, and the encounter wasn’t nearly as terrifying as his intended thought it might be. After all, it was her mother, and if there was the slightest question of him not being her Eternal … but there wasn’t, there never would be, and, when it mattered most, when the time came, he would always stand with her.

As he did on this particular day.

It was, quite possibly, the most terrified that she had ever been. She had hidden away her horns and tail; this was the Human Realm, after all, and walking about with them visible would have been a rather poor idea. She had been hyperventilating during the drive, her hands covering her nose and lips, worrying about what was to happen next. She had faced all kinds of things, large and small, and not once had she been this paralyzed with worry and concern.

It was, after all, the first time she would meet … her … far worse than her mother; it was his mother.

They had parked in the driveway, sitting there for a time. He held her hand and promised that it would be fine, that she had nothing to worry about. But she was worried. What if his mother didn’t like her? What if, in that first moment, she was turned away, rejected, told to leave and never return?

They waited in the car for a few more minutes, then he gave her hand a squeeze and told her: “She’ll love you.”

Fidgeting wasn’t something she normally did. But, as they waited at the door, he knocking lightly upon it, she worried her hands over and over, looking down at her sensible red shoes, worrying they were too much. Her thoughts scrambled around the red dress she wore, worried that it was a little too short, a little bit too … red. She worried about her looks being too … too much.

Then the door opened, and the time had come. She expected a moment of being judged, of her measure being taken. After all, this was his mother and, Goddess knew what her own mother was on meeting him, and she was prepared for the same now.

What happened was a smile, a long, tight hug, and the first words spoken, words that she would never forget: “Hello, Daughter. Welcome home.”

The visit was a whirlwind. She was put off balance some of the time—well, really most of it, to be truthful. She tried to help, but was always told, “No, thank you. Everything is fine.” In the end, it seemed, she found herself much like she was with her own mother. She listened attentively to the wisdom, the love, the secrets shared. She laughed without fear, teared at times without shame. The moment was but one afternoon and evening, but she remembers it as being one of the most important moments in her life.

Second only to meeting him.

She instantly understood that she was loved without question, that she had found a mother, one of the human world, but meaning as much as her own mother. She came to see, in the blue eyes of the woman that insisted on being called ‘Mom’, who never, not once, allowed her to use her proper name, which was something she always did.

It was just as the dishes were being cleared away, she and he helping, over the protests of his mother, of course, that there came a moment when she was alone in the dining room and looking for things to put in their right place.

And that is when she first noticed it.

There was a picture turned upside down on the mantle. This seemed odd, and she was just reaching out to put it right when her hostess came into the room, took her aside, and they continued to chat.

By the end of that first visit, she knew one thing for certain: she was loved every bit as much as he and always would be. She wasn’t born as the daughter of this family, but she felt like now she had two mothers that loved her without reservation, with all of their hearts.

But she felt like there was something unsaid, something important, and that picture was part of it. Perhaps it was how, when she was talking with Mom, she kept looking, occasionally, at her hair, or how Mom smiled when she spoke of her own mother. It felt like there was something unsaid, something that mattered, but she never asked, and Mom never explained.

Time passed, as it does, and throughout the years that came, the laughter and tears, the highs and lows, every time she came visiting, every time, without question, that picture frame remained laid down. She was never able to see what the picture was. It was many years later, in the midst of a dark time in the lives of her family, that she found herself alone in that room with that picture still face down on the mantel. She wanted to look at it, to find out what the secret was, and again, for the umpteenth time, tried to look at it. But again, no. She was drawn away, off to help, to comfort, to give what her family, her mother, as she now thought of her, needed.

The truth would come in time, eventually, just not on this day. After she had left, the sound of her car pulling away on an errand, a somewhat older hand, but the same soul that had met her so long ago, stood the picture up once more.

The picture revealed two teenagers, both blond, one with a bob cut, the other with her hair in a wild mane about her. Both smiling, holding each other. Each making bunny ears over the other’s head in a joyful moment together.

The one was Keith’s mother.

The other was Tera’s.

Eventually, when Tera would finally see the picture, she would cry for days on end, not knowing why she was never told … until she read the diary that explained … everything.

But that story is for a day yet to come and it is one that she and he pray is far, far away …

Apr 17 2016

A Review of Loving Reflections by LC Cooper

Loving Reflections by LC Cooper

Loving Reflections by LC Cooper

Many times there is a story within a story that doesn’t quite come out in the right way. There’s focus on the main character, what they are dealing with and so on, but off to the side comes another character that leaves many questions from the moment they appear.

While that can serve to add depth to the work, there comes a point where the main plot comes to a close and all seems to be settled. So why is it that so many authors find the need to toss in an unexplained twist that reminds me of a teen horror movie when the work stands up so well without that being part of it?

It is the story of:

What if those things that go bump in the night are real? How do you feel as you stand before your bathroom mirror at midnight? For Damon, the experience was far too real to be dismissed. The love of his life was not his fiancee, but a mysterious woman he couldn’t touch until Halloween.

As the hairs rise and the goosebumps quiver, who do YOU see in the mirror?

Soon after Damon moved into his house, a beautiful woman began appearing in his dreams. Unbeknownst to his fiancee, Damon and the woman carried on a year-long affair. Halloween night was to be their joyous and climactic reunion, but their celebration will far exceed Damon’s expectations.

Damon finds himself enraptured by a woman who appears in his dreams. She asks for his help to be freed, to enter his world, and he starts on the path to make this happen. But what is the truth, and when Damon finds out what it is, is he prepared for it?

The work is interesting as it reads more as a story about Denise, the woman in the mirror, using her charms to seduce and guide Damon into doing as she asks him to. There’s a reason for this, she is, for the most part, a succubus, and she wants to be released from the mirror prison she is within.

Along with this, there is some physiological drama between Damon, his fiancé, and, as a side plot, the drama that Denise brings along as well. There’s very little erotica, and that isn’t the point of the work regardless. The story is what Damon was prepared to do, what happens when he starts to do so, and then, when the truth comes out, what he does in the end. It’s an interesting progression of his character and there is some growth which I felt worked well.

Denise, the succubus of the work, is in a lot of ways very stereotypical in her real appearance, her actions, the way she holds Damon’s attentions and what she promises to him. It’s quite clear from the first moment she appears to Damon that she isn’t telling the truth, that she’s hiding or bending the truth as much as she can, and it isn’t all that surprisingly when what she really wants comes out.

The climax of the story is a little unexpected, mostly in the actions that Damon takes, but otherwise fulfilled the plot of the story well. However, there is a postscript at the end of the work that I just don’t think worked well. I can understand putting a twist in the end of a story, something to catch the reader and surprise them. In this case, I don’t think it works all that well considering all of the events of the work to that point.

While the main plot comes to a close, the relationship between Damon and his fiancé also seems to be off from the beginning of the work. It’s hard to understand just how the two of them became a couple, how Damon ever proposed to her, and most of all, why it is that Damon continues to be with her considering the abuse she deals to him. I could place some of that to Denise holding power over Damon, but that’s a bit of a thin reason i think.

While the characters are interesting, the story is a bit thin, reading very much like a teen horror film at times and I wish there was more. There are questions left unanswered, many of them revolving around Denise and Damon’s fiancé, and there isn’t a lot of depth to the answers when they arrive.

Three and a half out of five pitchforks.

Really the very last paragraph of the work just ruined things for me. I couldn’t quite see why things had to turn out that way, nor how it made the work better. Leaving the work to end a few paragraphs before, allowing some sort of closure after everything that transpired in the work I think would have worked better.

A story where things are tied up neatly, then suddenly aren’t doesn’t quite work. It’s a bit too stereotypical for my liking and that’s a shame for how interesting the story is otherwise.



Apr 17 2016

A Review of The Devil’s Playthings by Alana Church

The Devil's Playthings by Alana Church

The Devil’s Playthings by Alana Church

A review today of the second work in a new series called The Succubus by Alana Church. I reviewed the first work in the series here on the Tale recently and I noted that I have a lot of hopes for the series overall. The second work satisfies some of those hopes, and opens the door to some interesting things to think about for all involved.

The question of what one wants is an important one. for some it is knowledge, for some it is fantasy. For others is might be forbidden, in some it can be life itself. But in each case there comes a moment when those desires are laid bare, open, the truth revealed. How one either accepts, or rejects, that moment tells the real story.

The work tells the story of:

Dark currents are flowing through the home of Rachel Wainwright. A successful attorney, she has become the unwitting vessel for a succubus. Now, in order to increase her power and to escape the prison of Rachel’s body, Althea is slowly turning the conservative lawyer towards a more sexual lifestyle.

While she waits impatiently for her husband to return for the weekend, her eyes roam, wondering what pleasures might be found among the other members of her household. Will it be her sexy maid? Or someone else? No matter who catches her eye, Rachel and her family have become…The Devil’s Playthings.

Rachel finds her thoughts turning in directions she never seriously considered before. A voice whispering to her, calling for her, wanting her, but she not quite able to understand what it means. Still, she has other things to think about, not least her family. But with those thoughts comes desires, needs and wants. Fulfilling them leads Rachel to discovering herself, her needs, and, along the way, discovering that there is someone sharing her body and mind.

In the second work of the series, there is quite a lot of character development involved that answers quite a number of things that had been bothering me in the first work, not the least of which is… just where is Althea’s body and what has happened to it. Thankfully the author gets that question out of the way very quickly and in doing so serves to add even more questions about Althea herself that I now have spinning within my mind.

Along the way, there’s a moment where Althea comments about what succubi are in this universe and in that moment about a thousand new questions about the succubi, and Althea, came to mind. Personally I think her description is wonderful, but the thing is, now I have an expectation that the author will allow the series to tell that story, to have Althea and Rachel involved within that role and see what happens with that.

Rachel’s family, her husband, son and daughter, are focused on more in this work than the prior and in doing so, some of their own personal quirks, personality and sexual, are hinted at, or laid bare. As well a new character, Maria, in introduced and I simply adored her and dearly so. There’s something very real, very truthful about her, there’s nothing separating who she is from what she appears to be and I think that really works well.

There is some conflict amongst the characters, but it isn’t strange, odd, or creates moments where the events simply feel wrong. They make a good deal of sense, feeling in many ways like the connections, and missteps, that all families face. There are, of course, some that are quite unique, and in being so, they offer Althea something to think about, to consider, and, possibly, something that she herself needs most of all. A purpose.

There are two really quite well done hot flashes, both of which have Rachel at the focus. One tells of a desire another character has, one tells of Rachel’s desires and Althea’s feeing of them. There are also two other, quite short moments where the erotica is used to tell of a character’s needs and in a way that doesn’t make it seem like an information dump, which worked really well and kept the story alive.

One of the plot threads comes to a close, but in that a door opens to allowing Rachel to be herself and not have other things distracting her. The means to that, what leads up to Rachel’s surprise to her family, I liked because of the passion that Rachel put into her words and what it made happen. Along the way, Rachel gains something she’s wanted, and the reason behind it, I hope, Althea will have something to say about, if for no other reason than Rachel’s family after her admission to herself about what she has been missing.

The development of the characters is the real focus in this work, but along with that comes the background I wanted to know of. Defining the succubi as the author did, has my attention now. Revealing where Althea’s body is leaves a huge question to answer. Giving voice to Rachel’s family, in all they hold within, tells of the story to come.

Really a stellar followup to the first work in the series and I thoroughly enjoyed this work as much as I did the first. A wonderful read, many things to think about and ponder, and the ending, which is so very short, is a bit of a cliffhanger, makes me wonder what’s coming next. Obviously that will be Rachel, at least, but somehow i think that Althea won’t be disappointed either.

Four and a half out of five pitchforks.

Everything I could have hoped for as a follow up in the series, offering much to think about, smile over, and adore. There’s much still to be told, the mysteries still abound and as they become answered I think the series will continue to shine…



Apr 16 2016

Succubus Red YouTube Speedpainting

I found another of the many YouTubes of an artist colouring their art of a Succubus. In this case, I just though the character herself was interesting and wanted to share that today on the Tale.


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


The artist also posted their completed art on DeviantArt as well:

Succubus Red- by AldanaRociio

Succubus Red- by AldanaRociio

You can also find this art on the artist’s DeviantArt site here.

I think she’s really cute, the blush is a neat little touch most of all. She is, at least to me, sort of a slightly bashful succubus, and I really do adore that.

She would make, I think, a good webcomic succubus and perhaps that might be something to consider?

Nonetheless, a lovely succubus, and a joy to see…



Apr 15 2016

A Review of World’s Shyest Succubus 2: Playing Doctor by Taylor Knobb

World's Shyest Succubus 2: Playing Doctor by Taylor Knobb

World’s Shyest Succubus 2: Playing Doctor by Taylor Knobb

A review of the second work in the World’s Shyest Succubus series by Taylor Knobb. You can find my first review of the series here in which I had some high hopes overall and how much I adored the main character.

The thing about creating a series is that there needs to be some kind of framework or setting to make things make sense. A character that acts oddly, without explanation, can cause issues with understanding the plot, the world, and what’s going on.

Confusion is never a good thing. A character knowing more than they let on, and why, makes for a lot of confusion and can derail a story.

  • Title: World’s Shyest Succubus 2: Playing Doctor
  • Author: Taylor Knobb
  • Length: 21 Pages
  • ASIN: B01E4DQV2E
  • Publishing Date: April 10, 2016
  • This work at Amazon.com

It tells the story of:

Adina has had a rough day. First she got caught in an explosion of some sort of weird energy, and then she and her roommate did unspeakable things…things that felt so good, but that were so wrong. Adina has an appointment to see a doctor, though, and she’s sure that he can help her work out what the heck is going on. She’s sure that it’s not going to matter that he’s tall and handsome, with a slender, tight body…or that the hunger that drove her into her roommate’s bed seems to be coming back, stronger than ever! Life is hard for a shy succubus.

Adina goes to see the campus doctor about what’s happening to her and in doing so finds her new needs and desires getting the better of her. But something is going on and Adina is stuck in the middle of it whether she likes it, sometimes, or not.

Adina continues to transform, becoming more and more ensnared by her new needs and now understanding why things are happening. There’s a real crisis of conscious in this work, and that added some depth to Adina’s character that I liked very much. She isn’t just falling into being a succubus, she’s fighting, struggling, but even so, her needs overcome her and when she arrives at her doctor’s appointment, that needs takes over.

The scene that comes has some good heat, a bit more succubus mental control, and a bit more of a transformation for Adina when the moment is over. The erotica is a hot flash, actually one scene edging towards being so, the other fully so.

Following this, the doctor directs Adina to see another character to learn what’s going on with her and it is that point in the story where it lost me. The doctor seems to know what’s going on, that there are many more women effected is clearly shown. But what I can’t quite understand is if magic is something known and part of this world or not. There was no mention of it prior to the new character’s appearance, who explains something of what’s going on, but again, there’s little context to put that into understandable terms.

Nathan, who is the new character that seems to know what’s going on, is a mystery, having a personality that is simply grating, and overall isn’t at all likeable. That seems to be a real problem as he appears to be a focal point of the series going forwards and not liking him, for me, is an issue. As well, there appears to be a number of other women that have been effected, one of which, who if she is what she seems to be, a gorgon, can only lead towards some real completions.

Adding this twist to the series is interesting, but I’m hoping that the series doesn’t run off in multiple directions as a result. The series has Adina at the core of it, and jumping from character to character, mythologic being to being, can only weaken the series overall.

I still like Adina, I like her being real to herself. But I can see that she’s changing, possibly not for the better. Keeping Adina’s personality intact will be a challenge, the next work in the series seems to suggest that she will not be. How that is handled, if Adina falls over the edge, will at least for me, tell me quite a lot about how well this author can tell a story and if he can avoid making Adina a stereotypical succubus.

Three out of five pitchforks.

Suddenly having a character appear that seems to know what’s going on, then having the problem for Adina effecting so many is one thing. Not explanation why things are as they are is a problem. More so, there’s a problem when another character seems to be on the way to becoming a deadly threat. One that can cause no end of problems for every one around her. How the author gets around that issue will be interesting.

Adina is changing, she knows what she is, thankfully not a stereotypical succubus. There’s hope in the story remaining cute, interesting, and more. I hope so.