#Review: The Orgy at the End of the World, by @cerebraltart

The Orgy at the End of the WorldTitle: The Orgy at the End of the World
Author: India Reid
Rating: 5/5 stars

“Melissa Smith has let her whole life pass by without taking any chances, and the whole world is going to be gone by morning.

As a comet quickly approaches Earth, Melissa ventures to the infamous Time Square Orgies. Late to the game and unsure of how to even begin to play, she nervously meets James, a rugged bastard with a southern drawl. When he crushes his lips against hers, she can see starlight behind her closed eyes when she’s never even bothered to notice the night sky before. With the help of a devilishly handsome Irishman and a gorgeous, curvy redhead, James makes Melissa beg and plead as she begins to feel things that she never thought possible… but with the world as they know it coming to an end, can one night possibly be enough?

Warning: This 5200-word MFFM foursome includes double penetration, oral sex, dominant men, sensual women and also, there’s a weird bit with some cucumbers. Author is not liable for unmentionables tossed away with reckless abandon, only to be found hours later dangling off of the ceiling fan.(description from Goodreads)

fancy lineresize

I recently read Reid’s other story Flirting with DeathFrom that story, I knew that this story would most likely meet my approval. It did.

The strengths in character and story development that I saw in Flirting with Death are apparently, and in a way even stronger, in The Orgy at the End of the World. Being set in the same “universe”, the sense that the world is going to soon end and people can just let go and do whatever they wish is a strong part of what makes the stories great. This story goes further by showing a massive orgy (a spectrum of sexy from lovemaking to more brutal acts) instead of a more violent subject matter.

The end of the world can bring out the real character in a person, and that’s exactly what Reid explores with Melissa in this story. She was even able to make the end of the world a romantic scene, even though it’s the apocalypse. Her skill to weave a great story into a genre sometimes lacking in the department will keep me coming back for more stories, especially if they’re similar to this one. Various aspects of sex at the end of the world is fascinating to read about.

fancy lineresize

If you’d like to purchase a copy of this story, you can find it on:

Amazon

fancy lineresize

About the Author:

India Reid is an American expat writer of alternative, cerebral erotica.  She has a sense of humor, just not a very good one.

Her writing is provocative, witty, and often charming, with thematic focuses on the psychological and philosophical.  Interests in science fiction, fantasy, horror and history have shaped her stories into tales of dangerous men and sharp-tongued women that transcend the pornography genre.

She loves men, women, film noir, tongue-in-cheek banter, literary theory, giant robots battling inter-dimensional alien invaders, failed revolutions and feminist liberation.  Most of her words come out heavily lubricated with whiskey and wine.

Her first full-length novels, With a Whimper and Hell on High Heels will release in September.

Find out more:

Books on Books

…no this isn’t a post about books having sex with other books. Well, I hope it’s not going to be like that. That could get awkward with all the high risk for papercuts. Let’s not let my mind wander further into that land of weirdness right now.

Books on books. What’s this all about? Well, I just finished reading Susan Hill’s Howards End is on the Landing and loved it. I’ve never read any of her novels before, but this one was mentioned on the Books on the Nightstand podcast  and like many books Ann and Michael mention, I felt the need to buy it. As you might remember, I found it at a garage sale last month and it became book number 2000 for my collection. So anyway, I finished reading this book today after stretching it out for a month. I didn’t want to finish it to be honest. It’s a shortish book (236 pages), so that was a task. I seem to enjoy when an author dedicates a book to talking about books.

It might seem dull, even to people who enjoy books, to talk about books passed the extent of a book review or blog post, but what I find happens more often than not, a writer brings in so much about life, a book’s author, history, and more. They turn into explorations of those topics, almost leaving the book behind. That’s why Hill’s book was enjoyable to me. Through her discussing the books she read from her home’s shelves for a year (without buying any new books, as her challenge to herself dictated), I got to know her. I got to learn about authors she’s known in her life and others that influenced her. I also learned that I’m not alone in they way I might impulse buy books or feel guilt about not reading a book I bought until years later.

Another notable “book on books” author is Nick Hornby. I love his books, but what I also enjoy his column, for The BelieverStuff I’ve Been Readingwhich has been compiled into a few collections so far. I think this was my first taste for someone writing about books. Hornby’s style really makes the column what it is, but it’s also the sharing of his reading life and lack of regret for certain habits (which many of us book lovers share) that keeps me coming back for more.

I’ve read a few more books in the past that fall under this category, and a few that barely do. I’d say memoirs in which an author talks about his/her writing life have a similar spot in my heart. I remember reading Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life and ending with the feeling that she was human like the rest of us. The same goes for other writing memoirs. Whether it’s a book loving author or an author writing about life and writing together, it grips me and makes me feel like I’m not so alone in some of my feelings about things. These people aren’t always extraordinary, but are just as interesting as if they did lead extraordinary lives.

Next time you pick up a book, or just look at one of your shelf, think about all that’s attached to it. The events that lead to you bringing it home or how you felt the last time you read a book by the same author. Books aren’t just objects and aren’t just the words types on the pages. They have a life of their own, and we’re lucky to be able to share the journey and add to those lives.

Line curvy

Do you enjoy reading about books? What are some of the books on books that you’ve enjoyed in the past? I’m always looking for more suggestion because my collection, though vast and diverse, doesn’t have many more to satisfy my craving of this type of book.

P.S. – One of the most dangerous things to come from reading books like this is that a TBR pile is almost guaranteed to double or triple. It’s unavoidable as books sound amazing as you read and have to write them down to check out later. You’ve been warned.

#Review: Flirting with Death, by @cerebraltart

Flirting with DeathTitle: Flirting with Death
Author: India Reid
Rating: 5/5 stars

“When they announced the comet approaching earth, she had to cope with only having six months left to live. But as it turned out, thanks to a perverted home invader, she only had a few minutes…

She thought that Michael Arthur, her sleazy man-child of a next door neighbor, was going to rape her after shooting her. When a mysterious stranger wearing all black appears, Michael seems to be in line for his just desserts, but the act of salvation doesn’t make up for the man’s strange, shimmering skin, or why she can’t look into his eyes for more than a few seconds, or how he could possibly know her name. And as it turns out, her salvation comes with a dark, intimate price– but is it one she’s willing to pay?

Fate may not have been on her side that day, but Death certainly was.

Warning: This 5400-word short story contains a badass, fearless woman, a sexy, smooth-talking man, earth-shattering orgasms, a passionate, emotional love scene and the just, timely death of a brony who was asking for it. Author is not liable for passionate swooning, vengeful urges or uncontrollable attraction to godlike entities.” (description from Goodreads)

fancy lineresize

I’ve been finding it more and more difficult to come across an erotic story that grabs me and keeps me reading to the end. With Flirting with Death, the story did just that. It starts out showing the promise of being well-written, and not only a story to get to the sex. Reid sets up a good voice for her main character. It’s an interesting voice as well due to the fact that she’s dying from the beginning. I found that start alone to be unique for a story the reader knows will become erotic at some point.

Also, just as I thought the story was going to get a bit awkward (see description and you might know what I mean) it doesn’t go down that route. There’s no unnecessary shock value here when it easily could have had some. And when it got to the more erotic later section of the story the author didn’t ease up in her skill to write a good scene. It was steamy and classy, which I admire in erotica. Get the reader into it, but not to go overboard.

I grabbed another story from this author, which seems to be set up in the same “world” as this one. I’m expecting to enjoy that one, as well. I wouldn’t mind seeing where Reid takes the characters from this story also, if she happens to write more with them.

fancy lineresize

If you’d like to purchase a copy of this story, you can find it on:

Amazon

fancy lineresize

About the Author:

India Reid is an American expat writer of alternative, cerebral erotica.  She has a sense of humor, just not a very good one.

Her writing is provocative, witty, and often charming, with thematic focuses on the psychological and philosophical.  Interests in science fiction, fantasy, horror and history have shaped her stories into tales of dangerous men and sharp-tongued women that transcend the pornography genre.

She loves men, women, film noir, tongue-in-cheek banter, literary theory, giant robots battling inter-dimensional alien invaders, failed revolutions and feminist liberation.  Most of her words come out heavily lubricated with whiskey and wine.

Her first full-length novels, With a Whimper and Hell on High Heels will release in September.

Find out more:

#Review: Four p.m. Plumber, by @AlisonTyler

4 P.M. PlumberTitle: Four p.m. Plumber
Author: Alison Tyler
Rating: 3/5 stars

“In this bonus story for Morning, Noon and Night,” Alison Tyler tells the tale of a woman lying in wait for her plumber to help her out. And we all know blue collar guys can be THE HOTTEST of all. You are in for a sweet surprise with this lovingly crafted story by one of the best erotica authors around!” (description from Goodreads)

=

=

fancy lineresize

For a story only a few pages long, it had just enough story packed into it for a few minute enjoyable read.

There was one error near the middle that jarred the flow momentarily. For a work as short as this, even one error can change the overall experience. Also, the ending was predictable enough mainly because there are many erotic stories out there with this exact ending. I felt that if I hadn’t read the last bit, my overall enjoyment would have been more.

But still, overall, it was worth checking out and if it’s a taste of this author’s other work, I’ll be see what else she has to offer.

fancy lineresize

You can grab this story free (at the time of posting) from the following ebookstores:

Amazon | B&NKobo

fancy lineresize

About the Author:

According to the East Bay Literary Examiner, Alison Tyler is “Erotica’s Own Superwoman.” She’s also been called a “literary siren” and a “Trollop with a Laptop.” Her work has appeared in over 100 anthologies, including Sex for America edited by Stephen Elliott, Purple Panties edited by Zane, and Best Women’s Erotica 2010 edited by Violet Blue. She is the editor of 50 erotic anthologies, including the Alison’s Wonderland (Harlequin, 2010), and the author of 25 naughty novels, including Melt With You (Cheek).

Find out more:

#Classic Read: #Dracula by Bram Stoker

22617397

DRACULA by Bram Stoker
Rating: 4/5 stars

In a huge, desolate castle in the dark forests of Transylvania, an Englishman is held captive and awaits his terrible fate. In a suburb of London, a beautiful young woman is plagued by a mysterious illness that seems to suck the very blood from her veins. it is an unspeakably evil force that threatens their lives: the centuries-old vampire, Dracula.

The extraordinary horror of this tale in which the restless dead are pitted against the living has held generations of readers spellbound (description from Goodreads)

Line bat

I’ve finally read it. It only took me about three attempts, but I’ve read the classic horror/vampire novel Dracula. I attempted the book a few years ago by both reading it and listening to it. At the time it just didn’t work for me. The epistolary novel isn’t always my cup of tea, even though the concept always gets me to check them out. I think when you throw epistolary and classic together, it’s almost certain to be a struggle for me because I always have trouble reading classics (nothing against them, the language, style, etc is normally just hard for me to enjoy a story through).

This third time, I have an audiobook version with a great cast and production value. I think that was the key to success for me. I was able to enjoy listening and be into it enough to get how the journal entries and letters made the book what it is (even if I feel it could have worked from one narrator as well with a slightly different way of bringing all the stories together, but I’ll save that for another day). The only thing I was disappointed with for the audiobook was that Tim Curry was listed high on the cast list…but we don’t get much of a performance from him. He does the narration for Van Helsing’s parts, and there aren’t that many of them. At the same time, I do think he was a good choice for that part.

So to the story, we all know the basics. I’ve seen a few of the film adaptations, I’m sure many of you reading this have as well, and maybe even read some adaptations. Many of us also know of the modern vampire mythology, whether it’s Twilight, Buffy, or any of the other vast interpretations (one of my favorites comes from Thomas Winship’s Vaempire’s series). How does Stoker’s early vision match up for the modern reader? Well, it was interesting how much has been taken from this mythology, and also how much seems to have been left behind. Yes, we’re still using stakes and beheadings. Garlic is even still a thing. But what about the deal with the tides and crossing bodies of water? For me, I haven’t seen that anywhere else. It was also interesting to see Stoker take a literary figure we seem to hold high up as a cunning, strong, and dangerous creature/man in the horror world and have Van Helsing say he has the brain of a child, compared to their “man brains”. There’s more to that than I’ll get into, but on the surface, it seemed strange that he’d feel the urge to write that this man, centuries old, would not have matured and become powerful in mind in order to overcome our heroes. He was too easily “outsmarted” in my opinion. From the beginning Dracula seemed to be the figure we all conjure up and able to outwit many.

How did I feel about the story overall? I was surprised to found that I enjoyed it almost completely. Yes, there were parts I felt had no need to be in there, and I also thought Renfield was somewhat unnecessary, even though I enjoyed his character. But after all, all readers have opinions on what is and isn’t “needed” in a book. All that matters is that the story was enjoyed and that this one in particular has continued to reach readers even 100 years later. Would I read it again? Probably not. But I’ve gained an appreciation for another classic (doesn’t happen every day).

What’s next? I don’t know yet, but I have a few books to follow this one up with in time. Should I read Dacre Stoker’s Dracula: The Un-Deadthe sequel from Stoker’s descendant? Or maybe I should read the copy of Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula (by Loren D. Estleman) that I picked up recently? The possibilities are almost endless. What I do know is that I won’t be leaving vampires behind any time soon…as long as non-of them sparkle ;)

Line bat

If you’d like to grab a copy of Dracula to read yourself, it’s a public domain work and can be found free in ebook form from most stores and other resources online. Here are some of them:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Project Gutenberg

And if you’d like to grab the audiobook version I read it’s over on Audible here. (note that there is a DRASTIC discount if you own the Kindle ebook version posted above.)

But if you would like a free version, Librivox has it:

Version 1 | Version 2

#Review: Twinkle and the Little Red Ball, by @PCMarotta

TwinkleTitle: Twinkle and the Little Red Ball
Author: P.C. Marotta
Illustrator: A.L. Houghton

Rating: 4/5 stars

“There once was a little Shih Tzu dog named Twinkle, who loved his little red ball more than anything in the whole wide world. This special little red ball went everywhere with him. But one day, it was gone! Will he ever see his little red ball again? Who will help him find his ball? Will you? Let’s help Twinkle and his friends find his ball then get creative with pages to color at the end of the story!” (description from Goodreads)

fancy lineresize

This was a cute children’s book to read and it has a great message in it for children to learn from. I’m confident young readers (or listeners if they can’t read the book just yet) will enjoy the story and want to read it many times over. I wouldn’t be surprised if Twinkle and his other canine friends showed up in future books. They’re cute characters, great for a children’s story.

The only real issue I had was with the layout of the book. The illustrations were well-done, but I felt that they should have been on pages facing the text that corresponded with the image. Instead, the book starts out with text on page one, then on page 2 (the back of page one) the image that goes with the text is found. For a child, and even myself as an adult, I feel that it’d be a better experience to see the image while reading the text. Flipping to the next page for it didn’t work. I remember reading as a child and that the pictures were just as important as the words. But it might be a slight issue for others, that’d be overlooked quick enough.

Again, this would probably be a great addition to a child’s book collection. As an added bonus, there are a few pages at the end of the book with uncolored illustrations for a child to color in his/herself. I found that to be a nice touch.

fancy lineresize

If you’d like to grab a copy of this book, you can find it:

Ebook: Amazon
Print: Amazon | B&N

fancy lineresize

About the Author:

P.C. Marotta is an independently published author. Her books, Brooklyn Italian: A Memoir of Recipes of Days Gone By and In My Mother’s Kitchen take you back to a simpler time of family traditions, food and remembering.

Her newly published children’s book, Twinkle and The Little Red Ball is beautifully written with a section for children to color in the back. Illustrated by the very talented Amy Houghton from the United Kingdom, this book once again shows the uniqueness of the author. Always with a message, Twinkle and The Little Red Ball is a wonderful story which will entertain children while teaching them that no matter how different we all look, or where we may come from we can all come together as a team for any good cause.

She has appeared on Chicago’s WGN Lunch Break Show, Author’s First Radio Show, The Creative Life with Erin Denk Radio Show, Chicago’s Daily Herald Cook of The Week, The Lake County Journal, Fra Noi Italian Magazine and the UA Journal.

Her books are sold worldwide on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble Nook in paperback and e-book format.

When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and her beloved dogs.

Find out more:

#Review: Life After – Episode 1, by @JJHoldenWrites

LA- Ep 1Title: Life After – Episode 1 (of 20)
Author: JJ Holden
Rating: 4/5 stars

“Note: This is the first episode of Life After.

The ultimate fight against an American dictatorship is about to begin…

Following a civil war that left the United States in ruins, the remaining few who managed to escape the Imperialistic Army and the horrors of their death camps must unite and fight to reclaim their country.” (description from Goodreads)

=

fancy lineresize

I’m not a reader who always jumps at the idea of a serial novel, but at times I do. Life After sounded like a good concept that could work for the serial form, so I took a chance with the first episode.

For being about 7k words long, I feel that the author was able to establish just enough of the world and a few characters to keep me intrigued to keep going in the novel. So far it doesn’t sound like there’s much to call unique about the story compared to many of the dystopic, near future in America stories/novels out there, but I don’t have much to base a solid opinion on yet. It seems like a good start, and has the potential to expand into a great novel.

I’ll have to see if I can get my hands on episode two (or debate on getting one of the many bundles available) and see where this story goes.

fancy lineresizeYou can purchase a copy of this episode of Life After from:

Amazon | Smashwords | B&N

fancy lineresize

About the Author:

J.J Holden lives in a small cabin in the middle of nowhere. He spends his days studying the past, enjoying the present, and pondering the future.

Find out more: