Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Collection of Reviews for Free Shorts

Seducing the Siren by Dionysia Devereaux - available free from Smashwords and $2.99 at Amazon.

May I start off admitting I love the author's name? I sincerely hope it is her real one as I would love to one day meet in the real world a woman named Dionysia. Such beauty and freedom expressed in that simple name. Not to mention the many nickname opportunities.

Ok, enough of that, here's what I thought of the story:

I thought I knew what I was getting myself into when I started reading this book. Along with my understanding of sirens, who and what they are, and the cover of the book, I was certain the woman we are seeing looking out into the frothy waves was the siren. Little did I realize what I was actually reading. 

This story is a lesbian tale of what would have happened had Shakespeare's The Twelfth Night occurred in the Mediterranean during the age of sirens. A woman, dressed as a boy, and working on a fishing vessel, is saved because of her gender, from the seducing songs of ravenous, literally man-eating sirens which also happen to be grotesque versions of how I always viewed them. I was amazed and slightly frightened by the author's take on the classically understood myth.

Included within these pages are tons of erotic, lesbian sex, including tentacle play and some rather vivid oral ministrations. Well-written and very graphic. I am very pleased I happened upon this tale! Worth reading for sure.

My Inner Goddess 1: Lightning Bolt by Wanda Sasparella - available free from Smashwords and $1.99 at Amazon.

I'm going to just jump right out here and start off by saying that I am pretty sure this name is a pseudonym as I swear the author pulled it directly out of an old "School House Rock" song about pronouns. See the video below:

Tell me I'm crazy, right?

Now, onto the actual review...

This is more of a prequel than a stand-alone story. But, as a story, it does an admirable job. I will start off by saying I figured out the story within the first few pages and wasn't disappointed. For a reader not as well-versed in Greek mythology, the story may contain more of a surprise at the ending.

I enjoyed the beginning, but felt that the story lacked coherent development throughout. The main character spends a lot of time bemoaning her luck, bad boyfriend, lack of confidence, whatever, and her fear and disappointment at having to return home--unsuccessful-to her father. What I never got and what I really wanted, was more information on the how and why. I wanted the backstory and never got it! 

The sex is good, however, I've never been a fare of strangers-on-a-train and oops, public sex... seemed like she was just getting some because she wanted to. Or, because the author wanted her to. Anyways, I felt this story could have benefitted a great deal from more plot and character development. Perhaps the author should have treated this prequel as a novel in and of itself.

To Teach an Ancient God by Sapphire Phelan - available free from All Romance EBooks.

I want to start off by saying I had initially collected four more short stories to review in this spot, but all of the others were pathetic plotted, less than 2,000 words, or so poorly written I had a very difficult time thinking of anything positive to say. So, my first order of business to offer kudos to Ms. Phelan. She managed to rise above the others and stand out.

This is not a work of erotica, nor, really, can I claim it is a work of romance. I would consider this piece somewhere between flash fiction and a short story. It leaves much behind, but still got my interest peaked and my heart going "Aww..." The tale of Hades & Persephone seems to be one of those that just asks for romance and erotica writers to take a stab at. And, this story is nothing new per se. It takes place in modern times with a woman who has been reborn as Persephone. Hades has waited eons (the author repeatedly puts the time lapse at about 1,000 years, but that would make absolutely no sense at all!) for her to come back. So, (and this is what the author left out and could have expanded into quite a nice short story) he works his "magic", twists fate, and has her end up at "her" perfect home from whence he once again kidnaps her. This time, it does end better (i.e. Persephone isn't pissed nor does she turn away the food of the Underworld), but not much else has changed. The ancient god, in the title, is Hades. What he's taught? You'll have to read.

I wish the author had taken more time to flesh this tale out. Her version, though not unique, does offer some exciting possibilities. And, a better cover... I'm sorry but this one does nothing for me!

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