DIRECTOR, Producer, Lover, Oh My

So filled by terror, there wasn’t room for shame or modesty while baring every part of myself to strangers. ― The Director, Lily White (2017)

The lack of the author’s fear is what impressed me the most with this title, no shame, no modesty, plenty of terror and nothing to apologize for, though I’m still not giving it five stars, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t wonderfully wicked. A work like this is supposed to make you feel it, to see it, to make it believable and this. Honestly, I wish I could see it on my bookshelf; I hope I could see it on the big screen just saying, I’ve probably seen it in porn here or there I’m sure.

I saw once that we read to know that we’re not alone and I look at my writing, my life, and see the flack I take for it, but again Lily White doesn’t give a rat’s behind she shines the camera directly in your face and dares you not to look away. Maybe that should scare some people but I’ve never published anything like this and she did it, how I would like to know what was going through her head at the time of this but maybe I should focus more on Emma Hart. Now I won’t say the story is somewhat original but this fictional work does give a peek into an all too real world, mentally, physically and the line between right and wrong; yeah wrong and yet I read on indeed.

It’s the usual state of affairs, good girl, bad boy, and if you’re a fan of the dark erotica genre you can pretty much guess what happens next, but it is still well worth the read. No BDSM because such a practice involves rules while the sexual escapades in this are anything goes, and as Jigsaw would say, there will be blood and not just that of the victims. I was also quite fascinated with the artist, and I don’t just mean the author but “The Director,” and it calls into question what would we do to express art in such a form as this.

That’s what got me the most about Ethan Cole, keeping in mind the crime and the evil it was revealing humanity, how easy it is to toss it away and then pick it right back up but maybe we shouldn’t be able to. Speaking of which I didn’t want to put this down, but that’s like being one of the people behind the camera, however, could I continue to look.

Well first let’s start with the hero and villain, no those are the wrong words, the victim and the artist, “beauty and the beast,” I could go on, for now, let’s just say Emma and Ethan/The Director. For such dark subject matter, I found myself transfixed with the beauty of it all from the scenes Ethan shot, to the evolution of both characters and there is a moment that will break your heart entirely devastating.

Emma starts out as the typical woman, what is that wrong to say, walks out on a date with a man only to end up with several worse ones, and the devil himself Ethan. It’s with him that she is forced to evolve or maybe forced is too much counting the fact that she eventually understands where he is coming from, let’s hear it for Stockholm Syndrome of course. From victim to a warrior, to lover Emma pretty much goes through the usual story progression but the ending I have seen in a few stories.

Ethan, now usually I find myself falling in love with the victim but Ethan; I feel like I know him well, any artist and it doesn’t matter which kind whose heard no you don’t do that because it’s risqué, people won’t understand, are you crazy will relate to him. Yes, he’s a monster, but if Emma can fall in love, I can look at the guy as living the dream and after all Emma would become his masterpiece to be sure. What about the lies, I’ve seen those from the most innocent of things like “The Giver” when it comes to our life’s work our creations and the fact that we live such boring lives, seriously Ethan makes good points.

I was also all about the voyeurism and exhibitionism, along with ravishment concepts and it makes me feel somewhat taken aback but then the author wrote this, it’s a fetish to many, and even shows that say this is brutal still show it. Anyway, the focus stays mainly on Emma and Ethan and any other characters are merely extras, like on Ethan’s stage there is only a man and woman.

I can honestly say it’s a four out of five stars and leave it at that, compelling and wholly visceral but comes just short of that spark but honestly a favorite. Also spoilers ahead but as I so often state, in this genre, it always follows the same formula and if we’re lucky a twist here or there, though not The Director so much honestly.

When it comes to stories like this, there is usually a span of a few days, months, a year, but the fact that story looked like it could use a montage of Emma in action. It makes the book seemed rushed by the end, not surprising, not unexpected just quick, though the revelations brought out the artist in me and what would you do with no inhibitions? In a way in reminds me these true-life stories of survival, Lily White’s tale could easily be on the evening news, with her heroine Emma recounting the horror.

Though the most heartbreaking portion wasn’t Emma at all and I won’t spoil it but that twist, talk about being a killer. The idea that even in Hell the concepts of mercy, compassion, even humor are allowed to exist even amongst all the sex and death that prevail overall. What about the bad guy winning, in these stories the villain always finds a sure way to love but I’m not just talking about Ethan, and you’ll have to read to know more about that part.

You know what you’re getting into, a broken heart and the typical ending but the lights, the camera, the action, there is a reason that porn is continually evolving, and your tastes may change by certain degrees with this title. For better or worse, this is honestly so much better; Lily White is an incredible author and this work wow DIRECTOR, Producer, Lover, Oh My.

Advertisements

The AXEL Man Has Cometh

Tons of issues but I don’t mean that terribly for the most part… indeed that’s what makes “Axel” so relatable to people, but this hit me on a personal level. It’s not a title I would have sought out myself, more a right place, right moment sort of deal, much like the characters of Axel and Aly, surprised no one went to AA, ok that was a lame joke, but there are plenty of issues.

This novel covers all of the bases, anger, mental health, sex, religion, but in a more realistic way than a standard all you need is love campaign, though there is a sweet love story from the protagonists. It doesn’t make any particular group look bad; I mean religious people often don’t like to be portrayed negatively and given specific events that have been unfolding around sex and such as I said this book points them out for all to see. I wish that were all I saw because I can’t give this book five stars right off the bat, but I’ll explain that soon enough.

Axel is a coming of age story as well, the difference between strong children and broken men, going into more of the latter when it comes to the heroes. It’s the realism that’s the real crux of the story, and that should scare a lot of people in a way when you think about it, and you will be long after you finish reading. The ending is a bit rushed as if you can’t tell how this is going to end; don’t get me wrong it’s an original story but easy to predict mostly and the surprises appear out of left field talking about WTF.

If you don’t want to head further in just know that Bry Ann is a hell of a writer, and I would admittedly delve into her work; not right away but I’m glad I did. Also if you like to think you’re without any particular sin you probably won’t like it but Axel, Aly, alright.

The good news is I can’t automatically place it in one particular genre and while the concept is somewhat familiar other than The Twilight Zone or the nightly newscast I can’t compare it to anything. Most of the characters find themselves out while others just drift with the barest of motivations but every persona should want something, and this delivers.

Messed up boy, good girl with twisted history sounds about right, also throw in a bit of Thirteen Reasons Why (so I found a comparison), and you have the story. Axle has anger issues, gets into boxing, and mental problems notwithstanding he has every reason to be pissed at the world. Aly, the proper religious girl with her growing anger at events but she refuses to let them consume her. Also, she was lost throughout the book not that you can blame her. A couple that is just perfect together, and I could relate to Axel on a mental level and anybody else will, with the past that haunts him.

His parents are well thought out, two people who just want the best for their son, but Aly’s weren’t so much, then again does this book need even more anger, still in a right way. None of the villains were spectacular other than the; you had a sister, I want the girl, this is a perfect life, reminiscent of The Count of Monte Cristo, or how the enemy of my enemy friendship, Axel with Aly, Ryan with Brandon. Other characters seemed just to pop in and what I mean is maybe there should be sort of a drifting in rather than a teleportation if that makes any sense at all.

For a book with so many psychological aspects there is a character here, or there I would have liked to learn more about instead of just the appearance and the disappearance of her. No character is wasted though, and the evolution of the protagonists is well paced beginning to end.

I’ll try to keep any spoilers small, no promises but if you don’t wish to proceed, a solid four stars but barely because of one critical aspect. As for my insights well, I feel a type of way about this title as I do with any other work read but as for my own opinion?

More often than not I blame myself and not the author, I received a free copy for my honest review, but my Kindle has a habit of making things disappear so being a man of my word I purchased a copy from Amazon since I lost the file. Now that should show that I think this work is promising and enjoyable but then I ask, did the author or the editor not know how to use a spacebar? I would blame my Kindle, but with the novels, I’ve stocked. I have never seen this many words just smashed together. I would be ashamed to share it with a friend even with the satisfying storyline and for all its merits and if a hard copy shares the same faults, I *shiver*.

I could have done with some vivid and hardcore descriptions, not Bry Ann’s fault but I think I belong to a specific genre and when I get used to that “type” of writing you find yourself craving more. Namely for me the romance and lack thereof, Axel and Sarah, Aly and Axel, Sarah and Ryan, Aly and Brandon but that’s just me, and it is somewhat refreshing to see Aly stick to her morals. The ending though seen, just barreled on me so quickly, I have done worse in my writing, and for the back end of the book, everything was predictable except for the sister who was just, whoa.

Four stars for significant spacing errors and a bit of an unfinished backstory here and there, I’m almost sliding back to three, but the story is fantastic if you can hang in there. Too bad Santa didn’t bring me a punching bag for Christmas, with my issues and another finished book, punches just seem right, The AXEL Man Has Cometh.

Bed… It’s Not For Sleeping

With “Brutal Bedtime Stories: A Supernatural Horror Story Collection” it’s for hiding underneath the covers, it’s for finding a playmate, and it’s for reading until the sun comes up because you won’t be getting any sleep. Is the book that scary or so good, I’ll give you a hint, it’s excellent, but of course, I’m all sorts of twisted indeed.

These are the types of stories I wish I knew at bedtime… who hurt you; that’s not the only past I see, these stories make me all nostalgic for The Twilight Zone because I could see any of these made into an episode without a doubt. It isn’t something that I honestly set out to find receiving a free copy, and so I wonder what Tobias Wade thinks about me, hell the question is how do I consider him and the other writers of this work. Do you have any more, that’s the question I kept thinking with every story, what else you got hmm, is it worse than this?

I mean that in the best possible way, going from story to story, saying this is my favorite, no this, maybe this and as far as my actual love and the best overall, I wish us all luck with this review. Now again, personally I wasn’t frightened, everything but that, I could say apprehensive about a story here or there, turned on, mad, twisted, even queasy at points but not scared. Brutal Bedtime Stories is a book for the person that imagines the world inside their head is Hell; it’s nice to know you aren’t alone in this universe thankfully.

Sometimes I look at my work, and it’s like, this is child’s play… can’t remember any killer dolls in these stories though, for the most part wholly original and relatable if you’re studying Psychopath 101. Hopefully, I’m not boring anyone so far and if I am, go ahead and read this title now with my blessing, it will keep your eyes open for some time.

Your bed is for wondering where the real monsters are, underneath it, hiding in the closet or inside you all along, that’s the problem too many monsters and not enough people to haunt; a problem for this book, just way too many good ideas perhaps?

We begin with David Maloney, and his first story should start with a warning that you’re about to be sucked into this universe, from the get-go I was hooked and impressed, wow. Excuse me for trying to narrow down my top picks but if I go author by author with his work it would be between “She Says the Smell of Death Turns Her On” and “The Blue-Eyed Painting.” Already you know which stories I’m into if you read my reviews often enough but his collection contained a few twisted happy endings as I recall.

Tobias Wade had some weird family stories, some I wanted to see continued into even more extended versions of themselves, while every story makes you think, you want to go deeper. His first entry “Hell is Heaven to the Demons” that would honestly be my sort of afterlife, and if it becomes a full-blown novel wow, just the idea of coming back reminds me some of the Shusaku, Isaku, Kisaku series if that makes sense.

With Ha-yong Glenn Bak we get some more family dynamics but also the businessman of the group seeing as how plenty of his stories are about making money. “Make Money or Die Trying” is his first entry but we also have “A Site Called “Cash For Confessions” and “An App Called “Time is Money” also murder seems to run in the family with his tales.

Last but not least we have Kyle Alexander, the only one to give a character his name and while “Teenagers” was the last story and the longest, I much preferred “Shooting Stars” in its simplicity, scary it resonated with me. Sci-Fi fans though will get a kick out of Teenagers, not saying it was terrible but somewhat anti-climatic though it bit surprising for the end.

Put all these stories together you have an incredible combination, and they say, no man stands alone, but any one of these given their book could win me over overall.

Five stars without a second thought, from beginning to end it was like a rollercoaster of madness and mayhem and what are beds meant for, to be tied up in, sexy or lunatics, I have to wonder did these guys meet in an asylum. I can’t promise “no spoilers” or no bad times but this book what else can I say about it just saying.

I’m no doctor, but David Maloney has some ideas about sex both good and bad, but most have the villain getting his so he knows right from wrong. Tobias was all madness and death, if you’re sick of zombies he’s the guy to call, he has a refreshing outlook on ghosts, but maybe he’s not the family man just saying. Along with David, Ha-yong Glenn Bak is the one I most related to, sex and money it has to be between those two, and no offense but Kyle was the weak link, or maybe he was the one chosen for the cooling off period, to a certain degree I think.

Sad to say but it might be all downhill after the first series with David Maloney, and I don’t mean that to sound wrong, but he was the most original with Ha-yong after “Make Money or Die Trying” you see where his stories go, maybe it’s right, sex sells. If there is anything to complain about, it could be that I didn’t exactly know how to read this book, front to back of course but the stories blended together and as soon as you start the next you already forget the other. It only took me seconds upon reading each title to recall, but as I’ve been trying to do this whole time if one story stands out well two, She Says the Smell of Death Turns Her On and Make Money or Die Trying.

If you’re squeamish or have never thought about killing the person next to you, maybe this won’t be your book of choice but if you’re human than feel free. Now if you’ll excuse me this has been my confession, and now I need to find me sort cute girl turned on by death because truthfully Bed… It’s Not For Sleeping.

Thinking Outside The Box, “SHIVER”

NOTE: Excuse me for not reading categories, that’s how focused I am with books that I didn’t notice that “Shiver” was placed in the Gay & Lesbian Erotic genre on Amazon, if I can make any excuses, one I’m a book addict so getting another one was just another hit. Two, I’m also a guy, and anyone that knows how guys watch/read porn knows we always skip ahead for satisfaction.

Not that this book scared me, uncomfortable yeah when I realized what I was reading, but then I chose to keep turning the page and other than being weirded out; what I couldn’t help it, the story is pretty good. Now I’m going to do something the authoresses should have pointed out that this a male with male romance (probably would have guessed if I bought a paperback) and already I can feel you judging me, and I don’t want to sound like some of the media or religious bigot.

Let me just state for the record, ever since I’ve gotten into the erotic genre, specifically dark erotica, I’ve grown used to the covers of these alpha males that make women go gaga so if this was to serve as a warning to me, uh no. It also wouldn’t be the first gay “lust” story I have read, I’ve read works from Kit Rocha but of course, most of those are straight, and the male/male scenes are quickly made up for in my eyes. Lastly I have no problem with the LGBTQ, but I don’t watch gay porn for a reason because I was born straight, but anyway regarding “Shiver.”

Yes, I was thinking outside the box, seeing how the other… I don’t know, give me a percentage lives, and it turns out the rich guy going after the small time boy/girl still applies, nothing different there. The two main characters Salvatore Wolfe and Jesse Clark, I can’t say I identified with either one, but they fit the bill of this shared passion though I think either the authoresses said this wasn’t a romance or a love story. What got me were the parts inside The Wolfe’s Den and when they talked about the background of this obsession with Jesse, personally though I couldn’t help but draw a parallel between this and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, to be honest.

I’ve read some pretty whacked out stuff having to do with obsession, stalking and the like which is what made the ending all the more engaging, but would I read a sequel? Anyway, I bring up The Rocky Horror Picture Show because for the day and age that was made and it made gay people look, well strange and seeing how most of the stuff I read has that reconciliation of the madness, Shiver well…

Okay so stop me if you know this routine, rich guy Wolfe, sees new graduate Jesse and is bitten by the love bug. I’m sorry it’s Salvatore that does the biting in this, romance blah, climax blah, will they won’t they, not that I was bored just busy, which explains how long it took me to read this. I could have stood to hear plenty more about Salvatore’s right-hand girl Trinity, and Brayden, who knew you could get me to root for the athlete best friend, new horizons to see.

The BDSM aspects were on point, I’ve read plenty about alpha vs. beta males, and Jesse played the beta for as long as he could until the eventual climax, falling out that always accompanies these stories. I can say the same for Wolfe minus the madness, his backstory was typical, but it does leave you with questions which kept me wanting to know how he accumulated his power though I can make a guess. What about the erotic scenes, let’s just say that these books usually are porn for women, being a guy after reading this I appreciated women in all sorts of ways yeah.

For those who needed another villain, that man would be King, see ladies, men are idiots whether guys are gay or straight and the scenes between him and Wolfe were all about establishing Wolfe’s masculinity. Trinity served as the voice of reason though her part was small, though she couldn’t stop either Wolfe nor Jesse and it might be pretty cool to see things from her perspective, hers and Brayden’s, am I trying to find a straight romance here? The convenient timing of the sister finding Jesse though; I like to think of myself as an author and have probably done the same thing in my work, but it doesn’t make it any less out of the blue or semi-lazy.

Parts that made me think were when Jesse wasn’t; I’ve heard of people dying like that and again makes me go into that whole this is a weird scenario, like my fetishes, are different. Other than the kink that almost ended the book prematurely and my initial shock and surprise, “Shiver” kept a steady pace, a decent addition to this genre if I say so.

Now if you don’t want any spoilers I give it three stars, and you can stop here because there might be some. Is there anything that this book could have done differently, again who am I to judge being so new to this type of novel and trying to be as fair, if I may.

It was a different kind of dark given Wolfe’s stalkerish tendencies, but I’ve seen worse that have ended better, not that I can say I was rooting for any ending either way… was I that caught up? I still wanted to know so much more about The Wolfe Den, the book covers the different levels of course, but I found it all fascinating and lacking any personal experience this is a great place to start. I saw Jesse and Brayden’s relationship somewhat pleasant; truth be told I don’t see many heterosexual relationships amongst men that don’t include, sports, violence, or women but two guys just hanging out together at home.

As for the three stars, I just can’t help but feel like I let myself be readily convinced, yes I’m a Kindle reader, but when I saw this book from my erotica reading group, I figured what could it hurt and just shock and not my cup of tea. Erotic Asphyxiation I know some people that like choking or other forms of breath play, but it seems to me this was just used to give Wolfe yet another type of darkness when the hunting of Jesse in the woods was enough. With the ending, they chose I’m not sure, again most books might give you a heads up, but with this title, I don’t know whether I’m impressed maybe or whether the authoresses are trying to say something else with this, not a love story.

I will have to keep an eye out for Ella Frank and Brooke Blaine, can’t say I’m in any rush to get my hands on another book of theirs but don’t let me dissuade, ladies it’s a good read, gentlemen unless you swing that way, seek life elsewhere. Three Stars and I think I’m going to find a box because Thinking Outside The Box, “SHIVER.”

Natural Born Sick Fux II

“Have I gone mad?”

“I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” Alice in Wonderland (2010)

I never got the fairy tales read to me in bed or if I did the bad outweighs the good and I just can’t remember, honestly I don’t even think I want to. This book though “Sick Fux” by Tillie Cole is something I will never forget, it haunts me.

Now this isn’t a squeal to anything but take “Natural Born Killers” plus “Alice In Wonderland” and seriously you have a worthy successor to either, though I wouldn’t let your kids see the latter and then move on to this. I’ve seen porn that has been cleaner honestly but the fact that I keep seeing this, picturing it, maybe I’m no different from Heathen and Ellis, oh and do I hear sirens? How about the author, the first book I have ever read from her and I can’t help but wonder what brought this on, I’d buy her a cup of tea, Earl Grey, for god sake’s Earl Grey nothing else will ever do, wow.

Five stars easy but how can I glow so much over this book as sick and as twisted as it is, I don’t mind tweeting quotes but there were so many I have to keep to myself here. It’s dark, terribly dark and when you do see the light, it’s the fires of Hell, not brimstone but gunfire, and however, do you wipe away the stains of blood? Okay to make a long story short, again refer to “Natural Born Killers” and give them a righteous cause and no “fux” to give except for each other Heathen and Ellis becoming Rabbit and Dolly, nothing more.

I don’t know if I’m more jealous of the talent or the fact I’m still looking for my Dolly, another comparison could be Bonnie and Clyde but this book, I’ve never read anything like it. Goes without saying I’ll be buying a copy for my actual shelf and I’ve already been talking it up to a good friend as well.

“The three always turned me on: blood, and death, and Dolly. And better yet . . . Killer Dolly”
― Tillie Cole, Sick Fux (2017)

Maybe the fact that this book turned me on so much should probably be a bad sign, things a girl could do to get me, my dog likes her, sing to me, or be anything like Dolly in this book, allowing me to be Rabbit.

Heathen James/White Rabbit, we both wear black, I’ve got at least five clocks, we both imagine a lot of people dead, both been dominated by men (not like that for me thank god), and both filled with darkness. I should also mention there is a bit BDSM master in him; should I call him a hero, given what he did for Dolly, sure and I actually believe everybody he kills people wise had it coming. They say that hate is taught and with Rabbit, the man became a Ph.D. but the question becomes could he have done better by Dolly.

To me personally once you get past their childhoods then the blood and the death doesn’t seem to be enough, trust me just let them grow up and you’ll be cheering this Wonderland duo. What about the sex though… well how sick are you, there are plenty of scenes from evil, to rough, to sensual?

Do I even have to say it… I have fallen in love Ellis Earnshaw/Dolly give me a girl like her and I’m good and no I don’t mean like one of her uncles. Honestly, Rabbit did the best he could because there is no way therapy could fix her, and I’m sure there are advocates that would say otherwise but those same people scream for punishments of the perpetrators and with what was done to Dolly… Even she acknowledged a part of herself being born and dying and there was no other choice, just saying.

As far as other characters, besides hating Rabbit’s parents and Dolly’s father, the only other character that concerned me was The Mad Hatter who plays everyday man you saw this now tell me that Rabbit and Dolly are so wrong.

This book has my five stars and even more of my money and should have yours too but if you don’t want any spoilers you should stop here. Maybe I should start saving the best for last but was there anything wrong with this title, that five stars can’t fix.

I can’t pick my favorite sex scene, but the mutual masturbation scene when they watched each other and spoke the epitaphs that they once heard, I’ve never met a girl that would let me talk like that. How about the deaths, so much death and I found myself hoping that Chapel or Henry/Hyde was sort of a Jigsaw figurehead which they sort of were for Rabbit. Now here’s something quite new, so I’m at work listening to Spotify and I looked up the “Sick Fux”, and “Dolly’s Mixtape” playlists… go download these now, incredible, spectacular.

Now Rabbit I think was pretty lucky to meet Chapel and Henry/Hyde despite the circumstances, two killers and protection so he could learn how to take revenge and help his Dolly, just seems convenient. I also didn’t like Dolly’s continued ignorance, not her fault but after everything how about learning to read, from a psychological standpoint she’s genius and living in Wonderland is good but reading I think might have been another tool for Rabbit to control her. Also, the simplest answer is usually correct but I guess I was expecting more near the end not that it isn’t surprising.

Surprise that I love this book, that I love Dolly, that I feel like I know Rabbit, that I’ll have to look into more playlists in the future and maybe keep my eye on Tillie Cole’s works. What else is there to say, Natural Born Killers, Alice In Wonderland, Sucker Punch, in a blender and you get a masterpiece that is Sick Fux, but you’ll never look at Alice the same again, I guarantee that.

Four More Years, Days, Pages

“Sometimes I just wished life could be different”
4 Years Trapped in My Mind Palace

From the get-go, this is way more than four, five stars all the way and normally I don’t start with a rating but this is truly an awesome read. Now I’ve read Johan Twiss’s work before and to be honest I felt somewhat pressured to rank him somewhat high but with this work, I would give the guy more stars if I could, talk about having only seen the tip of the iceberg and I wish more books could be like this, just amazingly wow.

I’m not even sure what to call this genre since the first book of his I read “I AM SLEEPLESS: Sim 299 (Volume 1)” was clearly a sci-fi but with “4 Years Trapped in My Mind Palace” if I must compare it to anything it would be Andrew Davidson’s “The Gargoyle” just tuned for a younger demographic but don’t get me wrong, being an adult this book is amazing. Now the author sent me a free copy for an honest review and with my last review, I thought the sci-fi wording was somewhat wonky and while this is clearly a different sort of book, Johan clearly did his research. He even goes into detail about his research which means he is clearly hoping his fans might get him… message received Mr. Twiss and well done.

Usually, I’m one to talk about cliché and not to toot my own horn but I read plenty, I’m no critic but anybody who’s anybody will tell you I know my references but this story is quite unique and original. The rare form of “meningitis” for example, I’m sure most people would have gone straight for comatose but Aaron is quite active for someone that can’t move at all. As he is drawn into his Mind Palace we are drawn into him and as far as moving, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough really.

Is it too soon to mention Solomon the great, Solomon the amazing, how about Solomon the wise, I’m sure the author mentioned King Solomon. Most can only hope for such a life, keeping in mind the joy and pain, sunshine and rain… something from my own memory/mind palace and that’s another thing the music, I swear I can hear it.

“People do this to me all the time. For some reason, they feel compelled to share their life problems and hidden secrets with me. Probably because I’m like a pet dog that can’t talk back. All I can do is sit and listen, even if I don’t want to”
― from Johan Twiss, 4 Years Trapped in My Mind Palace

You’ll find no, stop me if you’ve heard this from me today, at least not story wise, again I’ve somewhat seen the concept in The Gargoyle, Forrest Gump, and probably a hospital drama here and there but the story is an original and between you and me it beats interesting, truth be told I hate when people call my work interesting. Aaron Greenburg deserves so much more along with Solomon and most of the other characters, some were only bits but you felt for all of them, even Dr. Idiot.

So if you’re still listening how exactly would I sum this up, not that you shouldn’t already be looking this up for yourself… Aaron Greensburg has meningitis which prevents him from moving and speaking, his only respite being his mind palace until he meets Solomon who has the ability to hear Aaron’s mind and opens him up to his own history, from boxing to jazz, to World War II and if you want a trip to Disneyland or should I say Wonderland this is the book for you. My third favorite character has to be Solomon’s granddaughter Sarah, not trying to spoil anything yet but I would like to read more of Aaron’s future, immediate future while the ending itself is awesome.

As for the other characters, there was no waste, each character if only for a few pages was developed and felt so real; unique, original, leaving not a single doubt in my mind. Speaking of the mind, I sort of see Aaron’s mind palace as a video game or at best VR but when he began experiencing Solomon’s dreams and dementia, that was a whole new way to fly, Matrix parallel could be. The story brought out so much in me, can’t say I was much into jazz but my aunt would play her classics on the radio and tell stories here and there about her life sometimes.

Also while the author is being so creative, I like how he puts a bit of himself I mean his own experiences in this and he doesn’t sugarcoat any of it. Well, I take that back but I wished for just a moment to be sixteen again, did I mention how much I adored Aaron and Sarah throughout the story.

“Nothing hurts a man’s ego like hearing a pretty girl talk about all the cute guys she likes. Guys who are not him, that is”
― Johan Twiss, 4 Years Trapped in My Mind Palace

If you think I’ve oversold this book or you think I just talk too much, five stars and go out and get it because I’ll have to buy a physical copy myself and I’m about to spoil some of it. Is there anything that I don’t like about this book… *crickets chirp*, *tumbleweed drifts by* ahem okay so I’ll save that for the end huh.

The book has several Forrest Gump moments, as Aaron is inserted into pivotal moments in Solomon’s past and it comes out when both JJ and Big Tom compare Aaron to the person that helped Solomon and them as well, mind blown. There are grown women that need to be more like Sarah, I mean come on, a guy that always listens, thinks you’re the most beautiful thing ever, and is willing to do anything, even learn how to talk; a friend of mine and I agree that guys will literally do anything for a pretty girl which makes the ending even more spectacular. There are too many moments between Solomon and Aaron that I enjoyed so maybe another great scene I’ll leave with is the Valentine’s Day dance, so sweet.

Okay, I’m slightly annoyed that now I’m going to have to look up some jazz on Youtube, Blue In Green or how about that Jack Dempsey fight? The idea that I read the first book and was wondering how I was going to spend this title and now I’m stopping myself from typing awesome about a thousand times like doing a term paper in school. Speaking of school, perhaps that’s the only flaw, that ever so slightly I felt like I was reading some historical narrative I suppose but only really comes out at the end as Johan Twiss attempts to explain himself, like telling a joke but then having to explain it, I get it and there is so much he is trying to say and didn’t want to tick off the history buffs.

Five stars anyway but now the bar has been set, the first book he sent was a solid three but I went one higher because… anyway if I become a fan of Johan Twiss, two points is a line, three points a pattern, usually singers have to get me to like five songs, an author has to get five stars but shall I dare call myself a fan? This book hooked me, from start to finish and what higher praise is there that I want a physical copy for my traditional library, anyway I didn’t want Aaron to be stuck like that forever but really Four More Years, Days, Pages.

“Kid, some things in life just are what they are because God allows it to be so. Maybe we’re not meant to know all the answers. Maybe we’re not ready for them yet. Knowing them now won’t change a thing, and trying to figure it out will just take up our time and leave us with more questions. I’m old, and I don’t have much time to waste. I prefer to live life as it comes, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll get the answers to my questions after I die”
― Johan Twiss, 4 Years Trapped in My Mind Palace

 

 

Veiled Planet But Veiled Woman?

“Assumptions should be proven or disproven by facts” Veiled Planet

As for my assumptions, this book would be cliché, the indigenous people would be ‘hominids’ or like people, and that I would thoroughly enjoy this book, done, done, and done. Veiled Planet keeps you on the edge of your seat the same way the movie “Avatar” does, an adventure, a love story, intrigue, and mystery, but to a certain degree.

Even knowing what was going to happen, I still wanted to read about it, I can appreciate Teagan Kearney’s twist on the genre. It reminds me plenty of young adult heroines I’m so fond of, just set in an, even more, sci-fi universe although besides the wording don’t expect to see much of it since the story is set more in nature. Maybe I shouldn’t be comparing it to so many other titles and experiences but I mean them all as compliments; I know what I like and to be sure this was so amazing.

The male protagonist “Rishi” was somewhat reminiscence of some of Gary Paulsen’s titles but it was awesome to see him play off of the heroine Kara, so there were respites of humor mixed in as well. Maybe I’m being bias considering this is a story that has been done before, so I know it well but I was still excited every day when I picked it up. That’s also a bit of bad news, you see the ending and it’s sort of like hitting a brick wall and you’re still smiling but yeah um ouch.

You shouldn’t let that stop you though, most good books leave you hurting and a somewhat sweet, predictable but abrupt ending didn’t stop my enjoyment. If you’ve read this far, just know that the title has my stamp of approval without a doubt but if you’re lazy you can always pick up Avatar and switch Jake Sully’s character with Neytiri.

“The family is sacred. Without the family, society fails”
― from Teagan Kearney, Veiled Planet

So would you prefer once upon a time or stop me if you’ve heard this one, a human comes to alien/hominids planet, falls in with the natives, falls in love with one and now it’s time to save the world or maybe love conquers all perhaps. Space people bad native people good, just a lot more diplomatic, which is another thing this book was filled with politics but not bogged down like any Star Wars.

I related to Kara in a certain way and nobody can blame Rishi or Miklo for that matter for being guys but again, the somewhat teenage aspect of things or boys will be boys. Of course, Kara is so smart and right about everything she is simply busy employing her moral sense into her new world but that doesn’t last too long. I would say the author has some weird ideas about men and women but I can’t stress this enough, with the world we live in who isn’t influenced?

Take some of the characters such as Ikeya and Yleni for example, some people would be insulted by this male-dominated society, Ikeya has his place and Yleni is just the woman behind the man you see the same in Kara’s relationships. You have the big flashy tribal leader who is more of a shower than a doer with his own hidden agendas for what he does. How about the colonists who behaved exactly as if Kara has gone crazy not that the “Maruts” weren’t sticklers about their own rules too.

You have to wonder if the author making a not so subtle estimation of humanity or was this purely coincidental because I can see the parallels in society. On the other hand, she’s a genius and this was fate or in the DNA, but that makes me sound like Rishi.

“Our coming across you the way we did wasn’t an accident. It was what you call Fate or Destiny.” ― from Teagan Kearney, Veiled Planet

If you want to discover this book for yourself, I suggest you turn away now but how great was this book… four stars and my Kindle kept erasing the copy I got for an honest review so I went and bought a copy because I was so caught up. No book is perfect, I’ll take that back, this book wasn’t perfect but the point is to hook the reader and sadly I already was, clichés.

Anything with a solid love story has my vote and while I believe that love could have been a bit more ‘descriptive’ I fell in love with Kara but I’m sort of easy like that. The nature aspect always gets to me, reading about them on the road and the traditions and customs but for the life of me, I couldn’t get the look of “satyrs” out of my head, the way we normally think about them. It was really inspiring though when Kara found out she had been made somewhat a Helen of Troy archetype with the Maruts coming to get her back, I cheered at that fact honestly.

As for my dislikes, a lot of books are scaring me these days, working on my own stories I know I have to buy Grammarly and a half-dozen editors because there were a few problems, typos and such. Kara didn’t appear to be flawed in any way but the people around her always seemed to be, especially the part with her and Rishi after the storm, boys will be boys but still, that wasn’t fair at all the laws. I said the ending was a wall but while the story overall was incredible, just cliché after cliché, you can’t call it uninspired, it’s a work of art but let’s just say I know the author has other people to thank.

Four stars without a doubt, would I read what comes next, definitely, any advice, as people tell me sometimes, more you and less them but yes this is awesome. Teagan Kearney will not put you to sleep but if you do sleep make sure you know all the rules because, in the end, it’s a Veiled Planet But Veiled Woman?

“Freedom is the most precious gift.”
Teagan Kearney, Veiled Planet

A Captive in the Dark

“Not getting what you wanted was always the first lesson”
― Captive in the Dark

In truth I don’t know what I wanted when it came to this story, being a fan of the genre is one thing, being a first-time reader of C.J. Roberts is quite another. With that being said does this story give you what you want or what you need… it gets the job well done.

I never really get to talk about originally when it comes to these tales, I mean the story of course is but it’s always the same formula which is standard when it comes to porn for women. That’s maybe the first thing though, this isn’t really porn, at least hardcore, I was on again and off again with this story, not that it’s bad by any means, just time constraints. So while living life, in this story how long does it take to make someone fall in love, I’ve always been one for love at first sight and so it was with pretty Olivia “Livvie”.

How about from Caleb’s standpoint, I must admit I relate to him, not I’m not a criminal as it has been suggested but I wonder what it was that drove him to Livvie a.k.a Kitten other than her being the most beautiful thing he has ever seen; as a friend of mine would comment “men”. The reader is kept in the dark as much as the would-be victim which I find impressive, you learn the back stories but I feel like Winston Smith still wanting to know why these two. Loyalty loneliness, love, this story has it all, and even when I was reaching the end I figured my Kindle must be broken because I was thinking no way would she end the story like she did here; awesome cliffhanger.

I usually save this for the end of reviews but I have to say I’ll certainly buy the next one of these books, just because I have to know what comes next. I’m not afraid of the dark only to be fair this isn’t darker than some of the stories we hear on the news just fiction and less sex than I’m used to honestly.

“She was a woman, how difficult could it be to pacify her”
― C.J. Roberts

“He felt powerful, and nothing was more important than power”
― Captive in the Dark

Every woman likes a bad boy but being a guy again I can to a degree understand where Caleb is coming from, I guess it’s good most men don’t adopt the same overall strategy, it’s how some people talk about “Christian Grey” of Fifty Shades, he was hurt and in turn hurts others. Livvie on the other hand “Act like a whore and get treated like one…” except she wasn’t that, another telltale sign of the genre, good girl that just has to be naughty and then it goes on.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one, good girl gets captured by the bad guy and has one possible outcome but then we have a twist, in the usual plot. While it’s not unusual for the bad guy to be pushed into his role the fact remains Caleb actually wants to be there is new, at least for a little while, loyalty vs love, honor amongst thieves or doing the “right” thing. It also can’t be ignored that every woman seems to have a dark side, I take plenty of flak for being a guy and for liking books like this but *cough* Fight Shades *cough* millions of copies *cough* so somebody is misjudging women but not C.J. Roberts really.

As for other characters, again anyone could relate to Rafiq though most might not go to such lengths I’m guessing but I root for him despite those lengths he’s going using Caleb and Livvie. There are also two clichés the first being parental problems, shows how men think all women have daddy issues which Livvie does, but her mom was more her problem. There is also the idea that all men are criminals of that sort, I mean given Livvie’s situation I don’t doubt it but from Caleb right into the arms of somebody with the same idea, come on.

I like Caleb and Livvie without a doubt, and while I was reading an excerpt I just couldn’t wait to see how they apparently found such a deep connection with each other. If anything they are both damaged and despite Caleb’s protests I think Livvie is going to be the one that saves him, but that’s how the genre goes.

“Only women were capable of being so fucking sexy you wanted to lick them clean when they considered themselves dirty”
― Captive in the Dark

“she lived in a man’s world, and she reacted accordingly” – Captive in the Dark

Been awhile since I have given anything four stars and truly meant it, am I really that hard to please, if anything I only have one real beef with this story. As for who would enjoy this story, well that’s an easy answer as well, there is so much to like, so here are spoilers.

Again I like how you can’t hate Rafiq and Caleb, Livvie is a means to an end, does it suck that they are using her, from her standpoint of course but they use the means afford them to have revenge. I thoroughly enjoy the BDSM aspects of the story, if Livvie is to be a survivor she has to be a submissive and Caleb, taking away his criminal aspirations doesn’t hide the fact that he enjoys such things. My absolute favorite part is the realization of Olivia, the fact that she holds sway with Caleb and if a virgin is what he needs then that is the last thing she ought to be if she wants to avoid her fate.

With all of this, my biggest problem with the book is the lack of sex, she and Caleb have sex once in the entire book, preserving her virginity of course so a great scene but other than that if you’re expecting a sexual romp, you probably won’t like it. Which is perfect for a guy trying to swear off any stimulation not that the whole book isn’t lust driven, there is more than enough, will they won’t they for the ladies. Isn’t this the whole point of the book, to be as open with the characters but still as Livvie was kept in that dark room, the reader is kept in the dark as well.

Bravo C.J. Roberts but I would have liked it if Caleb and Livvie just got it over with but always leave them wanting more; it is a book like this that makes me rethink my own writing. So four stars and another fan, can you ask for more, sure but for now I’ll be in the dark reading something else.

Wake Up and Smell the Nuts Everyone

“It’s only forbidden, but nothing to be ashamed of”
― D.S. Wrights, Wake

For the most part, no, I mean it was a bit slow in going but once it picked up, I was in a way rooting for the villains, not all the way to the end of course but I was somewhat impressed by the sheer villainy. Nothing to be ashamed of story wise though the editing, I’m no editor, not in the slightest, except when I’m noticing these things every few pages… seriously me being a writer, it puts the fear of God into me.

Speaking of God, I always applaud any of author with the guts to go after the religious even if they are a “cult” and we all know these sort of groups, lie somewhere and nobody can escape unscathed. You won’t find any voices of reason in this book, either everyone is crazy or lying to some degree just to maintain, whatever they hold sanity to be. Character development pretty much lies on one concept, how crazy are you and when will you cross the line.

Nobody embodiments that more than our antihero Samael, and the heroine Anna, Samantha, Anna, trying to be Rachel it gets pretty confusing for both characters and reader alike. I guess love is sort of crazy when you look at it and of course, this is one of those stories where somebody has plenty of cash on hand, and while it doesn’t justify the crazy, I’m sure plenty of women will read it. Guys too if they have ever had such and such a dark urge and I will not delve into that rabbit hole, here.

So if you’re ready for crazy and a whole lot of dominant males though I was surprised by mother Rachel which shows women can be just as evil then this is a decent read, I won’t say good, for plenty of reasons but again we will get into that in a bit first the rundown.

Crazy mom, decent grandparents, indoctrination into a cult, predators, molesters, oldest crimes in the oldest traditions, girl falls in love with a boy/man-child and then escapes without him, not her choice. Retaken by the cult, boy/man-child has been warped and still crying out for daddy’s acceptance is going to train the girl and if you’re into this genre you can sort of see where this is going, not rocket science.

Now a part of me actually wants to say I sort of agree with Samael because I know how churches/cults can be that’s why you start with children but the ending in a way negates all that. Him being convinced that Anna betrayed him but he was already grown if he could break through the conditioning long enough to help her escape how could he be so sure it was all her fault. He truly got me in the end though, you don’t see many stories that don’t end with a happily ever after scenario, a change of pace indeed.

In all fairness, with Anna’s background, anyone would be messed up too and the captivity doesn’t help with that so her staying the same throughout is par for the course. I do think her character was somewhat beyond belief but again maybe it was her upbringing that kept her from screaming bloody murder for the most part. The scene between her and Samael was explosive when they finally got her virginity out of the way, though the teasing was awesome as well, to an extent, it grew tedious after a bit but the stories of Samael’s past with Rachel were wow with a bit of sick to go with it.

I think the ending could have been something more if the other characters were flushed out, don’t get me wrong we get back stories to most of them but again beyond belief when Anna can just present an idea and okay it’s been years nobody thought to do this? The Church of the Second Reckoning and everything maybe the author could have flushed Joshua out more, and explained how he kept power, though I have seen infighting in most churches.

In all I give “Wake” three stars, it was dark, it was creepy, not the typical ending and pretty twisted indeed there was plenty to like and if the author would just get some new editing and crank up the sex but maybe that’s just me being a guy. The editing just pulls you out of the story, you’re falling right into and next thing you know you’re ripped out.

I suppose my favorite part is when Anna is alone with the Samael’s other two brothers, I guess I should also mention spoilers but come on, everyone knows when it’s coming. Personally, I could have used a bit more graphical language but just the fact that the hero doesn’t come in and save the day just in the nick of time. Also the ending, there are few books especially a standalone that leave characters still screwed up and just saying, okay this is life so deal with it as so.

Other than the editing, I think Anna’s character, like mother, like daughter, came off a bit too cunning with her manipulations, in a place where people are killing each other left and right, nobody had an inkling to I don’t know get to Joshua? The teasing got a bit annoying after awhile, I’m never sure with erotica but some are a straight sexual smorgasbord and others are, maybe, still waiting, and okay. Also while Sam’s dad was lying to him, why was everybody lying to Anna, okay she’s a kid but the fact that they lied while soothing themselves did nothing for Anna, the characters could be pretty dense if they weren’t psychotic or just plain mad; genius and insanity.

This isn’t something I would have sought out, probably because of the religious jargon but it hits the right note between what we know in the news and completely unbelievable. Three stars, pay the money for the editing I know I will, now if you’ll excuse me I might actually need a nap after this, exciting and my brain hurts.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑