Feb 23 2016

A Review of I’ll Never Forget You by Nanea Knott

I'll Never Forget You by Nanea Knott

I’ll Never Forget You by Nanea Knott

Beginning today, and for the next week, I will be reviewing the Sex Demon series by Nanea Knott here on the Tale. I’ll start with the prequel work today, then move onto the series in order, ending with the third work in the series which was released this month.

The thing about knowing one’s soulmate is that you are the only one that can see, believe and know the truth. The world around you might think you mad, but it isn’t madness, it is certainty. The real problem comes when that becomes desperation, loss, and a feeling of being alone with no hope. Then it isn’t a question of what you might do, but rather what you will do, regardless of the consequences.

  • Title: I’ll Never Forget You
  • Author: Nanea Knott
  • Length: 26 Pages
  • ASIN: B013NWF948
  • Publishing Date: August 8, 2015
  • This work at Amazon.com

It tells the story of:

Sex, Lies and Betrayal. Celeste’s whole life seems to be about those three things. Her sister is a succubus, but Celeste is human. She knows that finding a mate is something most sex demons never do, but she’s found hers. She’s in love with an incubus, and she knows Tanner is her mate, but no one believes her, not even Tanner.

When reports of unthinkable crimes surface, Tanner is accused, and she begs for his life. She gets her wish, but there is a price. Tanner is being sent to where she will never see him again.

She vows to get him released. She doesn’t see how until she meets someone that is considered an enemy. He gives her hope of saving Tanner, but she must make a choice. How far will she go to save her mate?

Celeste’s world is in upheaval and she doesn’t know what to do. Her love is an incubus, but she is “only human” to everyone in his world, including her own sister. He has been charged with a crime that means she will never see him again. She cannot prove she is his and he hers and can only cry in frustration. When even her sister cannot accept the truth she knows, Celeste chooses to gamble on the impossible, no matter the risk.

The work is told from Celeste’s point of view which is interesting because she is a human living in a world of succubi and incubi. Her sister Marissa is a succubus, one of many, like Tanner, who is an incubus. Overall there isn’t really a lot told about how things work for succubi and incubi in this universe, save for they feed on sex with humans, but also a rather interesting side effect of doing so that reflects the titles in the series quite nicely I thought.

This particular work isn’t focused on erotica, really there is but a single short passage, but rather in telling a story, a complicated and involved one, and I was well drawn into things as the story was told. The storytelling is very well done, there is a connection between the characters and I enjoyed how they all dealt with each other.

There is a mystery of course and it’s one that is touched on, offers a path for the story to follow, but isn’t really delved into very deeply. Being this is a short story, that makes some sense and I expect that the themes in this work will pop up again in the following works as well. The lack of detail at some points along the way was a little frustrating however. Places are mentioned, but not explained. Some of the personality quirks of the characters aren’t probed and that leaves a lot of questions behind.

One of the main ones being that of Tanner, why and how he is where he is now, for one. As well, there’s an odd relationship between Celeste and her sister that brought me up short for a time. I think I have worked that out in my mind and I hope the following works will get deeper into the family relationships, the society all of these characters live in, and how that all works.

World building is a difficult thing to do well. To lay out a setting, people, events which tie together well is a challenge and this author managed that well. The point of a short story like this is to offer a glimpse of what is to come and I think that was well accomplished. I think however it could have been somewhat longer a story, perhaps another ten or so pages to flesh out the relationships more than they were. Some of the actions the characters take seem to be odd, but by not really knowing their motivations well, that brings some confusion.

The writing is very strong, there wasn’t really anything that drew me from the story. It is a quick read as a whole, but really shouldn’t be read in a rush. There are a lot of nuances that need to be understood which matter I think going forwards in the series. An interesting tale and it gives me quite a lot of hope for the series going forwards.

Four out of five pitchforks.

As a glimpse into the universe of this series, it does very well. There’s a good deal of information, but it isn’t treated as an info dump which I appreciated. I found myself wanting to know what comes next and that’s the point of something like this. To wet one’s curiosity and make one wonder what is to come. There’s something interesting here to unfold and I look forward to seeing that be.



Feb 23 2016

A Review of the My Erotic Abyss series by Lilith Asenath

My Erotic Abyss series by Lilith Asenath

My Erotic Abyss series by Lilith Asenath

A very short pair of works as a series for review on the Tale today in which the theme is one of exploring one’s self, purpose, desires and, at the core, discovering why they are as they are and not as they wish to be.

The belief in oneself, how we see our core emotions, reflects on those around us. It also becomes how the incubi and succubi come to be seen in our eyes as well. But in the depths of sadness also comes the truth of something more. That we can find our purpose, rise above our sadness, and discover there is love to be found…

The works tell of:

A series of erotic short stories describing one bisexual woman’s journey of self-discovery through sex magick and the evocation of incubi and succubi.

The summary is, really, not telling the story well and as such I think a better one would be: Layla is a new arrival to a small coven of witches. Her guide, Charlotte, gives her tasks to perform, to begin her path, and in doing so Layla comes into contact with two incubi that help to open her eyes, and mind, to what her path can be. In walking her path, Layla finds her reality opening, her mind exploring, and her world being more than she could have imagined it was before and along the way, the pleasures discovered, felt, and shared are surprising even for her.

The most amazing thing about these two works is not the erotica, which is lovely, has wonderful heat, and in being so, helps to tell a story of discovering oneself that I did find captivating. The amazing thing is that in such a short work there is so much character development, so much story, so much emotion. In having all of this, opening Layla to finding out about herself, who she is, what goes in within herself, that’s where this series shines.

The two incubi of the work, who’s names are in each title, are reflections of Layla herself as she learns of her own soul. They show her own sadness, but also her own desires, wants and needs. They offer a means to exploring who Layla is, what she needs, but at the same time, they open to her the gift of seeing there is more to her own self, and that of the mysteries around her, that she expected.

In telling that story of self-discovery, there’s so much more than simply a story of sex and summoning, which for me made this so much more than what the summary suggested. I wish the author had taken more care in their summary, to offer a hint of what really awaits in the stories than what was. Being so short, not telling more of the amazing writing that these works have did a  disservice and that, more than all else, hurt things most of all.

The writing is excellent, the characters are strong, whole and complex. There is very little wrong with the works, a very few minor spelling mistakes here and there, but that doesn’t take much away from the story told. The thing that does take something away is just that the story told is too short, comes to the end too fast and in doing so, the work leaves one wanting just as the fullness of the story crests. Like pleasure brought to the full too soon, there is want unfulfilled and it is a shame that happens here.

The story deserves better and almost gets there, but stumbles at the last. Much like Layla herself, the story leaves a hint of sadness, wanting and needing in being unfulfilling at the very last after all of the wonder is offered.

Four out of five pitchforks.

I wish there was more of the series beyond these two short works, and really there should be. There is so much promise in the small taste of Layla, her path, her discoveries about herself and the world about her. The joys in finding her way are wonderful, true, and more…



Feb 22 2016

Discussion By TeraS

Probably one of the shortest stories I’ve ever written today on the Tale. We will leave it just as it becomes something that means something … something that is worthy of…


By TeraS


Those that find their way to the Realm often expect that Tera would never have time for them. After all, she is the Queen, those asking for her time must be many, and so, because of this, so many simply never expect to actually encounter her.

Of course, Tera being who she is, there is always a part of her that has time for others. Thus, visitors to her Realm could find themselves in a moment like this:

“May I offer you something, Theodore?”

“It’s Theo, please. And no thank you, Ma’am. I’m fine.”

“Well, if you’d like me to use “Theo,” then I expect you to call me Tera, otherwise I shall be using your proper name—quite a lot, I think.”

“Yes Ma’a— … Tera.”

The smile he received from her was stunning: a warm, truthful, caring grin—which wasn’t a surprise considering who she was and the stories about her. Right or wrong, they were all clear on one point: when you were in her presence, you were the only one who mattered. Settling into her chair, she rested her chin onto her left hand and studied him for a moment before asking: “What would you like to talk about?”

Fidgeting slightly, he replied: “Tails.”

There was a nod for him to continue, her own tail arching behind her to seemingly look at him.

“I would like to submit myself, to be the slave of the One Who Is Not Named.”

The tip of her tail turned sideways slightly, as if unsure of what had just been said.

“Your Realm is beautiful—wonderful, really—but …”

“But it isn’t what your desires are drawing you to.”


She tapped a finger against her lips, then: “You do understand that submitting yourself to Her isn’t that simple. You have to be committed to both of Us.”

“I don’t … I’m sorry, I don’t care about you, Tera … I mean … I don’t not care about you … ummm … I only…”

He was brought up short by Tera’s tail beginning to turn black. He knew exactly what that meant and who it was. The only thing to do, as her tail turned blacker and blacker, her hair turned flame red then beyond, and her horns the same deepest ebony of her tail, was to scramble from the chair he had been in and fall to his knees. He didn’t look up—didn’t dare to—as She spoke.

“You are not worthy of submitting to either of us.”

He didn’t reply, but just continued to look at the floor as he heard Her descend from her throne. The sound of Her heels walking towards him was like thunder in his ears.

“You are selfish and self-centered and you are not worthy.”

The words bit into him. He closed his eyes as She rejected him out of turn. She came closer. He could smell her now; the scent of leather, cherries, and latex was unmistakable. He had known it for so long, even if he had never experienced it before.

She paused in front of him. Opening his eyes just slightly, he could see a pair of black leather boots. He wanted to look upwards, to see them clinging to Her legs, to glimpse the latex skirt around Her hips, the leather corset that worshipped Her form, to see the glint of light against the black latex opera gloves with which She could, if She wanted, control him …

… like in his dreams.

“You ask to submit? What gives you the right?”

There was but a whisper: “It is the old way. I submit myself to your will.”

He felt Her hand running through his hair, as if examining him, before She fully entangled Her hand and pulled slightly: “The old ways are gone. They are no more.”

The pull made him look upwards, but he continued to keep his eyes closed. If he looked, he would fall to Her will, Her power that had been over him from the moment he had learned of Her. “I claim the right to be considered.”

He felt the tip of Her tail stroking his cheek: “Very well. You are refused.”

The shiver that passed through him was terrible. She had formally refused him. By the laws of the old ways She had the right to discard him, change him, or take that which was most precious to him. She could do anything … and he knew it.

“You think it is so simple to be allowed to serve? To submit? To be collared and be a pet? It never was and never will be.” Her breath was hot against his ear, he imagined Her now, seductively close to him, Her body so close now that he mewled quietly. “It is not a game. It is not something you can have because you ask.” A whimper of need escaped him as the truth of his folly was slowly revealed: “A collar is a gift. It has meaning. It is not adornment alone. It is a symbol of My will and your submission to Me.”

Her hand moved to cup his chin: “It marks those I choose as ours. I would never choose one that could not accept both of us.” Her voice became less harsh, but her touch on his chin did not waver: “You cannot serve half a Mistress. That would mean you do not worship her properly.”

He couldn’t argue with Her. He had thought that being Hers would be what She wanted. Opening his eyes, he startled at what he saw.

It was Tera.

She drew her thumb over his lips: “You cannot discuss your needs alone. You cannot just give up or give in without understanding. That’s what she is telling you.” Releasing him, she walked to her chair, no throne. It had been a chair before, it was a throne for Tail, it was a chair now … except that it was a throne, because the Queen was sitting in it. She settled there, then motioned for him to approach her. When he was in his place, at her feet, she spoke again. “You never wanted to discuss anything before, now we are going to discuss your needs, Theo. Perhaps then we’ll both know what you want and why.”

He was quiet for a time, not knowing where to start, when she asked: “Can I offer you something, Theo?”

He allowed himself a small smile: “Thank you, but I’ll be fine.”

Tera nodded and smiled in return: “I think you will be … in time …”

For everyone who meets Tera, it is when the exchange becomes a discussion that something truly worthwhile begins …

Feb 21 2016

A Review of Max’s Long Night by Natalie Severine and Eric Severine

Max's Long Night by Natalie Severine and Eric Severine

Max’s Long Night by Natalie Severine and Eric Severine

The fifth review of the ongoing series called Lily Quinn written by Natalie and Eric Severine this time on the Tale, though as the author calls this a short story and the fourth-and-a-half work in the series you can think of this as that if you’d like. You can find the first review here, the second review herethe third here and the fourth here on the Tale if you’d like to know my frustrations and amusement with the series so far, of which there are a lot of them honestly.

Part of Lily’s past and present, and I hope future, involves Max, her closest and dearest friend. There has been a little told about Max, what he does, but like in the case of Lily’s past, little really has been revealed about him.

We know he cares about Lily, and she about him. We know what he does and how knowing Lily has effected his life. We’ve seen Lily and Max being entwined together many, many times in the series. There’s an obvious connection, but neither of them do anything about it. Being friend zoned is a terrible thing sometimes. Especially on Valentine’s Day and your friend is a Succubus like Lily.

It tells the story of:

My name is Maxwell Ferguson. Max. My best friend is Lily Quinn… but she’s probably not like your best friend. For one, she’s not entirely human. Lily’s half succubus and uses the power that sex gives her to hunt down monsters on behalf of the College of wizards. So let’s just say that being Lily’s friend can get really interesting.

Now she’s invited me out to dinner for Valentine’s Day. The restaurant is nice and everything seems pretty normal so far, but there’s no way things will go that smoothly. You know Lily better than that. What have I gotten myself into this time?

It’s Valentine’s Day and Max finds himself going on a date with Lily, even if it really isn’t a date, they are the best of friends after all. Lily has a surprise for Max, one that gets very hard for Max in a very short time. After finishing dinner, a drive together leads to a surprise that neither of them expected.

While the rest of this series, so far, has been told from Lily’s prospective, this work is seen from Max’s and being so there are quite a few hints and revelations about Max, who he is, and how he sees Lily. But there’s more than that. Max is a good soul, he cares very much about Lily, and only wants the best for her, even if he can’t give that to her. There’s a telling moment in the work when Lily tells Max an important truth, one that matters very much to their relationship and in that moment I found the real Max and Lily, and it was almost perfect.

Almost because it seems that neither of them can get past being “friends in a relationship” and to the point of being “a relationship” which is a sad thing honestly. There are so many hints that seem to float right over both of their heads, it’s very clear they are meant for each other, somehow, but that just doesn’t come in this work. Perhaps in the future, I can hope. That thought brings up an interesting thought about Max, one that if it is true would solve a lot of problems, explain some interesting things about Max, and more importantly, get both of them past the awkwardness and to where they should be as a couple. But getting there will involve at least one detour along the way it seems from this story and that might be the catalyst for what might be.

There is purpose to this work and it mainly comes to telling more about Max, understanding his feelings and how he fits into Lily’s life better than has been explained. There are two main erotic passages in the work, involving a few moments in the restaurant, and the other in the back of ‘The Truck’ which made me giggle I have to admit. The work has a tone in the erotica that is less to the point than it usually is and that means there’s more characterization for both Lily and Max. There’s time to see them together, to watch them dance around each other.

Eventually there is a crisis, one that Max gets involved in with Lily which unfolds rapidly. That’s mainly because Max doesn’t know, or see, all that happens, but in spite of this, he is… well… Max in what he does and being so was exactly right.

The writing is quite good, as it has been through the series. There was more story in this work, though there was still the main focus on the erotica. Regardless of this, I felt like this work was the best of the series so far because of the change of tone. There was nothing of Lily being flippant, self-centred, or similar and that meant there was more story, more dialogue, more exposition. I found myself liking Lily more because she cared about Max, he was the centre of her attention.

I would have loved to see Lily and Max move on in their relationship a little more than it did. I would have liked to see “friends” become “lovers”, mainly because for the most part, they are there already save for expressing that to each other. I’m hoping there doesn’t come a time in the series when Lily will bemoan not seeing what she had when she doesn’t anymore because that would be the worse thing of all.

Four and a half out of five pitchforks.

The story matters, the fun along the way makes it stronger for being so. Two souls orbiting each other closer and closer, but where that goes is to be seen. The next work in the series will be a collection of the first four stories and this short story. The next new work in the series will be Raising The Dead which, at least from the summary I have seen, appears to take the series back towards the main plot which has been languishing for a time. I think that will be interesting.



Feb 21 2016

A Review of Futa Secrets: Taming my Succubus Roommate’s Demon Boss by Ros Allaway

Futa Secrets: Taming my Succubus Roommate's Demon Boss by Ros Allaway

Futa Secrets: Taming my Succubus Roommate’s Demon Boss by Ros Allaway

Back in November of last year I reviewed the first work in a series by Ros Allaway called Futa Secrets which had a succubus as one of the main characters. You can find that review here, for those that are interested in my thoughts then.

I wasn’t sure what to expect in the second work, hoping for the best at least, and more to be surprised at what might happen. The second work took a turn that I didn’t expect, brought in a new character who turned things a bit on their side and made the story a lot more complicated for the main character.

Sometimes you have what you want, but then it might be taken away from you. What can you do about that, and if you manage to succeed, then what happens next?

  • Title: Futa Secrets: Taming my Succubus Roommate’s Demon Boss
  • Author: Ros Allaway
  • Length: 21 Pages
  • ASIN: B012B9GVUK
  • Publishing Date: July 21, 2015
  • This work at Amazon.com

The story tells of:

After she found out her roommate was a succubus, Carly’s life has been pretty damn good. She makes rent, doesn’t hate her job, and having a sexy demon as a friend-with-benefits doesn’t hurt. But, like most things in life, her relationship with Lia comes with some complications.

What can a girl do when she finds herself pulled into weird, demonic pyramid schemes? What’s the cost of keeping the status quo that includes hot, hard sex with a curvy devil? Will Carly even be able to keep her cool when Lia’s sexy ex-boss comes to collect?

But Carly’s got some big surprises up her sleeve. She’s ready to go down deep in that rabbit hole, especially if it means keeping her friend happy.

Carly has been enjoying her life with Lia, finding that having a succubus for a roommate isn’t a bad thing when she’s cute, they really like each other, and are getting along well. Oh, and the sex is just amazing, which for a futa is a good thing and a succubus a better one. However there are bumps in the road when Lia’s ex-boss appears and Carly has to deal with a challenge from him. Where that leads to is something neither of them really expected.

The second work in the series does, in a lot of ways, expand Carly as a character, developing her quite a lot more than in the first work. Lia isn’t quite so much so, really only appearing for a few pages at the beginning in the shower with Carly, and then at the end when the story is done. But there are a few little hints about Lia’s quirks, which I thought were quite nice to see.

As Carly is the focus of the work, there’s a lot of development told about her life, what she thinks, and what has happened since she and Lia became an item. But then August appears, and Carly gets into some situations that prove she isn’t a pushover.

August is described as Lia’s ex-boss, but that isn’t the whole story by any means. He’s also described as a succubus, which he isn’t, and proves that when see his true form. He’s an incubus, quite clearly, and that bothered me to a point, but I’ll get back to that. As a character he comes into the story with quite the personality and focus which isn’t told in rote, but rather unfolds as an important part of the mythos in this series and, more importantly, explains quite a lot about what has been happening to Lia and Carly.

There are two bits of erotica in the work, the one at the beginning with Lia and Carly that is very quick and to the point, serving mainly to tell how things are in the current time and set up their relationship to a point. The longer passage is between Carly and August which is a contest of domination between the two of them that takes most of the work to unfold. Both have heat in their own ways, though I thought the latter was slightly confusing and scattered by the time the climax arrives.

The work ends on a note which offers some interesting paths for the series to take going forwards. There’s really a lot of promise in that, both quite serious and as well quite funny too. Carly leads a complicated life and that seems to be continuing at the end of the story which is good.

There are problems however, The work needs a serious editing for all of the mistakes that I came across. For example using “its” instead of “it’s” quite a lot. Also, it isn’t good form to leave a characters name as a placeholder like: [coworker]. This is just sloppy and takes away so much from what otherwise is an interesting story with interesting characters. I’ll also add that August, being referred to as a succubus, even though he is male, is a stumbling point as well. More care taken with telling the story, making it read better, would be helpful as well. There’s more than a hot flash here, there is the character development to prove that, and it needs to come out more.

I’ll give this two pitchforks out of five.

The author needs to go over this work again, fix the mistakes, clean things up, and then I think it would be at least equal to the first work in the series, if not slightly better. There seems to be a part three to come, I hope the author takes more care before releasing that work.



Feb 20 2016

A lovely Lilith Aensland Speed Drawing YouTube

What I think, in a lot of ways, is a more mature looking image of Lilith Aensland being created today on the Tale… I’ve always preferred Lilith to be slightly older in appearance than she is, mainly because I just think that she and Morrigan are equals… While the art does make Lilith seems a bit older, that might be more due to the artist’s style than actual fact, but I like this very much nonetheless…


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


And here is a screenshot of the completed art by the artist calling themselves Demitri48 on YouTube:

Lilith Aensland by Demitri48

Lilith Aensland by Demitri48

I feel, though again it’s probably just my perception, that in this art Lilith seems a bit older, a bit more mature a bit more… I do like the smile and expression, I think they both suit her really well.

A lovely work of art and I think it shows a side of Lilith that isn’t seen enough…



Feb 19 2016

A Review of Captain Caroline: Succubus of the Seas by Tiggy Mills

Captain Caroline: Succubus of the Seas by Tiggy Mills

Captain Caroline: Succubus of the Seas by Tiggy Mills

A review today of a work that, in truth, doesn’t have a character within the pages that is a Succubus. There is no supernatural aspects, nothing to suggest that the main character is anything other than completely human as the story goes on.

However, being human also means that one can, in some ways, have aspects of the behaviour of a Succubus within them. That can be in their sexual needs, for one, and in another it can reflect their animal instincts in more ways than one. Sometimes that can lead to a legend being formed and a label placed upon them. For all good myths must have a name to go along with them…

  • Title: Captain Caroline: Succubus of the Seas
  • Author: Tiggy Mills
  • Length: 86 Pages
  • ASIN: B00YO48WVM
  • Publishing Date: May 31, 2015
  • This work at Amazon.com

The work tells the story of:

In the 1700s, Lady Caroline Darcy is on board the navy ship Mars secretly eloping and bound for the new Americas. She is undoubtedly young, beautiful, headstrong and deceitful…and the only girl on a ship full of lusty sailors under the rule of brutal, dictatorial, Captain Brigham. Mutiny, malevolence, mayhem and sexual debauchery abound, but perhaps surprisingly the real villainess is as yet to be discovered; that is until fate and destiny lends a hand and sets, Lady Caroline on the devilish, libidinous and cruel path no one would or could have ever foreseen or predicted.

What defines a phantom or where does a ghost story begin? Sometimes it is with just an innocuous stroll up a gangplank towards an illicit, promised, new and better life. ..

Tiggy Mills gives her unique, salacious take on sea and pirate life in the distant past and creates a deliciously new, sexually rapacious, scourge of the seven seas. Accurately, graphically recorded and with more sexual twists or turns than there are fish in the notorious Caribbean ocean, where legend has it, Captain Caroline still roams to this very day. For those of you with a faint heart stop now…but for the courageous then read on and prepare to be terrified, aroused and amazed.

There is a legend of Captain Caroline, known as the Succubus of the Seas which is told in whispers among the waves. But all stories come from humble beginnings and then, over time, the truth is as mysterious as the myth that comes afterwards.

The work is a quite well told story of adventure on the seas, following Caroline as her plans are turned into dust and then she finds her own measure of strength within herself to deal with a world of the sea, pirates, and all that comes with them. Her transformation as the story unfolds is quite amazing, and does not feel out of place, or odd, in the context which it is set in. Going from a cultured, somewhat restrained youth into a legend is a very convoluted path to take, but each moment along the way builds upon the last and there’s a certain continuity within the work that allows suspension of disbelief to happen very easily.

That is not to say that Caroline’s life is simple, it isn’t, or that this is a story where the main character, for lack of a better phrase, sleeps her way to the top. Caroline changes as the world around her does, surviving in a world where a woman would never normally last long as a pirate. How she survives makes the connection to her being called a succubus. Her sexual needs are very strong and there is, as the story goes on, the evidence to why she would be called a succubus. Needless to say, few manage to escape her when she is done with them. The ones that do make an interesting comment about Caroline which lays the last piece of the puzzle together and gives rise to her myth and her name.

The work is violent at times, but that is a reflection of the time told. Battles and pirates, and the seas in the 1700s were that way and there isn’t anything that seems out of place or unreasonable in the setting or characters as a whole. There is quite a lot of erotica as well, themed to the time, and because it is written as such, there aren’t any moments in the erotica where something is said, or done, that is out of place or wrecks the mood and tone of the work.

Well written with a solid plot, well fleshed out characters and nothing remains static as the story unfolds. The characters develop, some in unexpected ways that are quite surprising at times, but also telling about themselves as well. A solid adventure with just enough erotica to provide a means for Caroline to come to her own.

Four out of five pitchforks.

Not a work about Succubi, but rather a work about one woman who has the strength of one and the will to be.