Showing posts with label Book Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book Reviews. Show all posts

Book Review - "Evil Never Sleeps" by Robert Fleming

Evil Never Sleeps
Reading a collection of short stories by a master of the form is one of the great literary pleasures, especially when the writer treats his work as a set of variations on a powerful theme yet manages to make each story as unique as a snowflake.

A good writer is like a musician, a pied piper of words who leads you, heart and mind, into places you might not have gone otherwise.

A steady bass beat pulses through Robert Fleming’s narratives as he deftly examines the point of our lives and the sometimes sad and uncanny ways our fragile hearts, societal norms, and changeable beliefs determine our destinies. His writing demands readers to think about these things, even as they are lulled with stories ranging from funny to horrifying.

Fleming understands groundbreaking writing might be upsetting. He knows great literature is not polite, doesn’t shove uncomfortable things in closets, and doesn’t care about your feelings. It only asks that you feel.

Evil Never Sleeps is a daring, sometimes unsettling portrait of the Black experience throughout history that hits on fundamental truths. Linked by strong themes, this is a story collection done right. Some of the stories might make you flinch, but it is hard to look away. The writing burns with raw, elemental power. The characters are complex and compelling, and the writing is sharp and brave. Fleming’s dark, captivating imagination shines in this wildly diverse collection that is both gripping and timely.

This collection gives readers compact treasures of emotion and realism often wrapped in a deceptive cloak of normalcy. Though Fleming’s stories are worlds unto themselves, each is a grand carnival of the troubling and absurd; the beautiful and the profane blend to form a whole that speaks to the discord and disillusion, hope and triumphs of the Black experience.

Rich with novelistic density, Fleming’s stories make Evil Never Sleeps a full-fledged feast. Observational and piercing, some of Fleming’s stories expose how fraught, and emotionally explosive, our search for connection with other human beings can be. The range of settings, characters, and styles makes for a recurring sense of surprise for the reader.

Evil Never Speaks is a wry, intelligent collection that skillfully navigates the boundary between the demands of faith and the persistence of doubt. In seizing upon the oddities of our shared histories and our enduring, individual searches for meaning, Fleming finds worthy subjects to illuminate at every turn. Soldiers, musicians, traveling preachers, politicians, religious zealots, the famous, and the ordinary all rub shoulders here, each asking you to sit awhile and listen or to walk in their shoes until you understand them.

Plenty of writers have explored racism and the failings of man. However, Fleming, a writer who feels like the novelist equivalent of filmmakers Spike Lee and Robert Altman, has managed to write stories on the subject that feel fresh. His characters often mess up, in both small and spectacular fashion, but their transgressions often prompt our sympathy, thanks to Fleming’s insightful narration. These are tales that make you think, squirm, and sigh with understanding. What more could any reader ask for when immersing themselves in the world of a writer’s mind?

Robert Altman said to play it safe is not to play. Somehow, I am quite sure Robert Fleming would agree.

Read it today

Barnes and Noble

Book Review - "Blue" by LN Bey

Book Review - Blue (an erotic novel) by LN Bey - 4 stars

First, you should know I hated “FSOG”. I tell you this early, so if “FSOG” is your idea of BDSM erotica, Blue might not ring your bell. Why? Because Blue is realistic, offering more than someone’s ideal fantasy of an abusive relationship. It shows BDSM’s good, bad, ugly, and everything in between. Most of the people in the book are normal(ish), almost intentionally so. This serves for a slightly disarming experience (Wait...what? My dentist is into whips?), but it works to ground the story in reality.

Few writers concentrating on BDSM do the lifestyle justice or have experience living it. To these writers, it’s a fantasy. And that’s fine if you, the reader, are looking for fluffy sexual exploits. But anyone who has been involved in any type of BDSM relationship, or wants a glimpse into what really goes on, usually wants—demands—more. Because there is so much more to explore than the shallow fantasyland most authors give us.

In Blue, the author does a fine job introducing us to Janet, a recently divorced suburban woman who enjoys the types of BDSM fantasy novels I just described. When she learns a friend belongs to an exclusive club of kinksters (surprisingly, right in the neighborhood), she jumps at the chance to try what she’s only read about before.

At her kinky and demeaning “initiation” into the club, Janet learns reality isn’t fantasy and fluctuates between enjoyment, fear, worry, arousal, and disappointment. Yet, she sees glimpses of what might be, if only she can learn and give herself over in ways she’s never done before but longs to do. She struggles with the unsettling realization that she was turned on despite the humiliation she did not expect and did not enjoy, contrasted with delight as she feels—for the first time in her life—that she belongs. That she may find her place in this strange, new world she’s only dreamed of before.

In some ways, Blue reminded me of The Story of O (if reset in American suburbia), yet the players seem less experienced and not as concerned with Janet’s “shaping” or wellbeing. They are far more focused on their own pleasures. And Janet is much less sure of herself than O as she hops from scene to scene, experience to experience, never quite knowing what to expect. Sometimes enjoying it, sometimes not so much.

Soon, she’s in the thick of things, sometimes in ways that are difficult to read (like the time she’s beaten so badly, she cannot go to work for days) or is treated poorly by a sadistic woman whose only goal seems to be to hurt Janet as much as she can. While these interactions were not pleasant to read, they did show a side to the lifestyle that does exist and serves as a caution for anyone picking play partners.

When Janet meets the mysterious Dimitri, a filmmaker noted for avant-garde BDSM movies, she is intrigued after months of playing with average Joes (at one point staying in a cheap motel with another submissive, awaiting the pleasure of a man who, for the most part, ignores her...far from the romantic portrayals she’s read about and longed for). I admired the author for including many elements like this one—the not-so arousing and glamorous side and people who use the lifestyle and title of Dom/Domme as a lure to get people to have sex with them or for purely psychotic reasons. In Dimitri, Janet sees something more and agrees to star in one of his films. Like most of the book, she isn’t told what will happen, so the reader gets to experience it right along with Janet. A very effective way to keep one reading.

Janet’s interactions with Dimitri were the most satisfying for me. The writer seemed to lose herself in this world of a man I imaged as a David Lynch type of visionary. The descriptions were lush and mind-bending. I longed for more as it was a welcome respite from the sometimes predictable patterns of power exchanges, sex play, and repetitious inner dialog as Janet continues to question and rehash her self-doubt and feelings of non-worth.

There are parallel stories I could have done without, though they do add different viewpoints and enable the book to wrap in a satisfying way. Though there could be a sequel, none is needed. The story stands alone.

Readers should know Blue contains explicit material and very adult situations throughout.


Book Review - "Havoc After Dark" by Robert Fleming

Book Review - Robert Fleming's Havoc After Dark

Dark and Excellent Short Horror Story Collection

To say Havoc After Dark is a collection of fourteen short stories makes it sound so...normal. Just a few stories in a book, like any other book. But this isn’t any ordinary collection, and these stories are like nothing you’ve ever read. 

Though billed as a collection of stories in the horror genre, the horror comes at you from so many directions that people looking for typical monsters and mayhem might not get it.

Individually, these stories shine as startling gems of originality. Together? They are a masterpiece. A perfect illustration in words of why the short-story format can do so much more than longer fiction. It has to. In the hands of a master writer like Robert Fleming (whose work has appeared in literary magazines, newspapers, and collections), words have the power to move. To change minds. To chill and to haunt. And to spark intense feelings (as illustrated by reader reviews, both good and bad, appreciative and hateful).

I loved this book for the following reasons:

Usually, writers work from the outside in—they observe the world and find ways to describe people, situations, and settings so readers relate, recognizing the world they know or seeing it in a different way. Writers often write to express ideas or feelings, to elicit emotion. Mr. Fleming does this exceptionally well. But what sets him apart, is the way he also writes from the inside...out. He seems to channel voices as disparate as a woman come back from the dead, a paid killer, racists, troubled children in impossible circumstances, a dying man, Edgar Allen Poe, Nazis, a haunted blues musician, lawyers, priests, and voodoo queens.

He writes as if he’s lived a thousand lives and walked every city on earth. Witnessed history from all sides. Has been the oppressor and the oppressed. Been whispered to by ghosts, vampires, murderers, and the devil himself.

Each story is unique. Some are hard to read. The horror so real it punches you in the gut. Each piece is written in a voice so different from the last it’s mind boggling that one person could create such unique tales. Yet, they all contain lush descriptions, making their settings as rich and real as the characters, and this too is a hallmark of Mr. Fleming's work.

From the shortest to the longest, these stories grab you by the throat, drag you into strange worlds, and into the minds of those living the tale, for that’s the way it feels reading this book—as if you step into the story and live it right along with Mr. Fleming’s characters. 

The thread tying them together is the “horror”. The hatred. The loss of hope. The fighting against a world gone mad. And yes...against monsters, both human and otherworldly.

It's difficult to pick favorites, but I particularly enjoyed Life After Bas, The Inhuman Condition, Punish the Young Seed of Satan, and The Wisdom of the Serpents. I won’t tell you what they are about, but instead, encourage you to treat yourself to this collection.

This book is special. This writer is awe-inspiring. These stories will stick with you, and if you are a writer, they will inspire you to reach deeper the next time you set out to write a story.

My rating - 5-stars

Emmanuelle de Maupassant and "Cautionary Tales: Voices from the Edges"

Book Review - Cautionary Tales: Voices from the Edges by Emmanuelle de Maupassant

Every once in awhile, I stumble across a writer who seems to come from another time, a time before Fifty Shades of Grey and the endless stream of imitators that followed. Back to the days when strong, intelligent women with darkly-woven souls wrote thought-provoking, deep, and literary works of fiction. 

Women like Sylvia Plath, Anais Nin, and Mary Shelley. The kind of women men feared and desired, repelled and attracted. Women who often wrote in secrecy, many of whom are still put down today by those who fear the power of their original voices screaming out into what remains largely a man's literary world. The kind of voice you cannot help but notice, penning prose that makes you shiver, think about your inner landscape and demons, and inspires writers to be better themselves.

Most of you know I have been fighting a medical condition for the past several years, one that has prevented me from writing as I once did. I've filled the gap, and my craving for words, by reading and listening to audiobooks when my vision will not allow written words to be seen.

So, though I may be late to the party, I want to introduce you to Emmanuelle de Maupassant, author of Cautionary Tales.

“We are the voices in the shadows …”

Inspired by Eastern European and Russian superstitions and folklore, here are twelve tales. Darkly delicious imaginings for the adult connoisseur of bedtime stories.

Listen with your eyes,
and your lips.

Be drawn into a world where the boundaries between the everyday and the unearthly are snakeskin-thin, where the trees have eyes and the night has talons, where demons, drawn by the perfume of human vice and wickedness, lurk with intents malicious and capricious.

Listen with your skin
and your blood.

Here, the touching of your coat button as you pass through a graveyard can mean the difference between great fortune or eternal misfortune.

We’re here,
at the edges.

Tread carefully, for here the dark things best left behind in the forest may seep under your door and sup with you; the lover at your window or in your bed may have the scent of your death already on their breath.

We are the shiver on your uneasy flesh,
The creep of the unknown on your skin.

Whispered to you from the edges, from the haunted mouths of those who see more than you or I, here are twelve tales of lust and rivalry, of envy and deceit, and of secrets gouged from of the darkest depths of the human heart.

Is your shadow on the wall,
really yours, after all?

Emmanuelle de Maupassant strikes the pitch-perfect balance between rapacious sexuality and moral justice by using one to feed the other. She has done something unique with Cautionary Tales. She’s taken a literary tradition and transcribed it for the sexual landscape of the present day. – Malin James

Read more on  Emmanuelle de Maupassant's website, or purchase Cautionary Tales now.

The stories in this collection could have been written long ago by the Grimm brother's darker sister. The one they locked in a shed with a box full of dusty nursery books and only let out when the moon was full.

They are loosely connected in tone and their morality based sentiments. Despite that (which, I admit, initially turned me off), they are sexy little tales one can imagine pouring from a feverish mind, filled with demons and sex, fantasy and horror of the best kind.

*Disclaimer. My opinions are my own. I never accept monetary compensation for book reviews, nor am I in any way affiliated with AMAZON. I receive nothing from them, or anyone else when I recommend a book or writer, other than the pleasure of sharing good books with other readers.

Book Reviewer's Cheat Sheet

Many readers tell me they'd love to review more books, but since they are not writers, the whole idea makes them nervous. Reviews mean so much to writers, and so few real readers leave them.

Feedback keeps us going and gives us direction. Reviews allow our work to be seen in places like Amazon and BookBub (which is why so many writers resort to paying for reviews).

Here's a brilliant cheat sheet someone came up with to help if you are one of those real readers who'd like to write more reviews but just doesn't know what to say:

Book review template

Review: Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray: A Novel

Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray: A Novel
Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray: A Novel by Mitzi Szereto

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Like the author, I read Oscar Wilde’s classic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray as a precocious child. Also like the author, I picked up on the erotic content so skillfully buried and hinted at in the prose. Later, I read that Mr. Wilde had been forced to edit the story, and I wondered how he would have written had he lived in a different age and had been free to share more of his wildly exuberant intellect and varied proclivities. Reading Mitzi Szereto’s Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray, I was pleased to be in the hands of a writer who respected and admired Mr. Wilde and his work as much as I do. I was pleased we live in a time where Dorian Gray’s story could come to its logical and more satisfying conclusion. I was delighted every step of the way because, as horrific as some of his actions were to read, they were logical and right. Ms. Szereto pulls no punches, and I applaud her for it. If you’re after a sweet romance, look elsewhere. This is the story of a man’s slide into his own personal hell, made more awful because it starts out being his idea of heaven on earth and made more beautiful by the lyrical writing that fans of Mr. Wilde’s writing will treasure.

The premise is simple. Dorian Gray (he who vowed to live a life of unapologetic decadence and depravity, somehow gaining eternal youth while his portrait aged and decayed) did not die as he had to during Oscar Wilde’s time, a time when this final punishment was demanded to offset the rest of the titillating story. Instead, it’s explained, his death was faked so he could go on delving ever deeper into his twisted desires. Few things are left out here as Dorian revels in his freedom to be just as bad as he wants to be. Some of it turned me on. Some of it turned my stomach. But, like all truly great erotica, everything contributed to the story, and it all had a purpose. It all fit. Where the original book had the cadence of a carriage ride through the countryside, this one was more like a ride on the Orient Express, a ride where the devil took the wheel a few times.

The settings are lush and varied. Paris. New Orleans. Marrakesh. Peru. Again, this plays into the sense of diving headfirst into something strange and exotic, a foreign place for most of us where anything can happen next, and nothing is off limits. There’s a lack of control for the reader that plays into the experiences had by Dorian. And then, Dorian meets creatures even more depraved and soulless than he has become and the story offers hope as it seems Dorian (who started off in Oscar’s tale as such a likable chap, don’t forget) might still redeem himself.

I won’t give away the ending, but will say that it was perfect. Exactly what needed to happen to this great literary character. Oscar Wilde would raise a glass to Ms. Szereto for penning such a fine continuation to his classic story.

View all my reviews

Review - Beautiful Losers

I'm a big fan of Remittance Girl. She writes more than just sex scenes. I'm not sure where the story took place. If it was mentioned, I missed it. The culture and place take a backseat and the focus is almost entirely on the micro world the main characters create for themselves.

In this one, she offers a story about a threesome (a triad, as it's called when three people enter into a relationship) between two "gay" men and a woman.

She does a great job creating distinct character voices, and making her gay/bi people more human and unique and not the typical stereotype. A few minor characters do fall into this trap, but it's not grating since they appear so briefly and are used as a contrast to the main characters.

The sex scenes are also thoughtful, and no two are alike. As important as the sex, are the emotions felt by all the characters, though the primary voice and storytelling is from the female involved.

There's a sense of doom throughout, and I liked the fact that I didn't see what was coming in the end despite an impending sense that something horrible was going to happen. This is not a romance or a feel good story, despite its nice message about humanity at the very end.


My only real issue with this book, aside from some editing mistakes (which are always irritating when you purchase something from a publisher and expect more), is that it ended too soon. I would have liked to find out more about what happened after the funeral, who killed Sebastian, and how it affected his lovers. To leave things where they were felt very unfinished. So much so that I thought something was wrong with my reader and had to go to Amazon and get a page count check. Maybe there will be a sequel to wrap up the loose ends.

Despite the editing issues, and lack of a satisfying and complete ending, I'm giving this one 4 stars because of the quality of writing and the very real-feeling glimpse into a poly triad relationship.

Review - I, Zombie

I've never read a book about zombies from the zombie perspective, and I have to admit I was nervous about this one. I loved Hugh Howey's WOOL series, and I adore a good zombie book or movie, but the marketing for this one had convinced me that I, Zombie would focus on the gore to an extreme I wasn't sure I could stomach. However, I read a review that convinced me to give it a read anyway, and I am so glad I did.

Yes, I, Zombie is a gore-fest - those who are seriously squeamish or sensitive may wish to skip it. However, I don't know how you could write a zombie book from the zombie's point of view without going there...all the way there. So, kudos to Mr. Howey for doing so and still finding a way to give us the human side of his zombie's stories.

I, Zombie is a story told from several perspectives. Though all of the characters are zombies, they are all people first. Trapped in their new bodies, dealing with what is happening to them, they reflect on the people they once were, the mistakes they made, and regrets they have while dealing with their new reality.

As a mom, I was horrified by several scenes dealing with mothers, babies and children, even as I admire Mr. Howey for not pulling any punches. One of these scenes actually brought me to tears. That's something I've never experienced reading any zombie book or watching any zombie movie. Was it hard to read? Absolutely. Was it worth it, in the end? Without a doubt.

This book is not so much about zombies, as it is about our collective human experience. It's about life in a big city. It's about going through the motions. It's about making excuses for living a life full of regret. It's about loss and about so much more than the stories it contains. It's a book I will read again someday, because it's a book that made me think about my own life, my own regrets, my own failings, my own "zombieness". This is something many books aspire to, but so few achieve. It is certainly not something I expected in a horror novel about zombies. 5-Stars. 

Review - Solstice

Yay! Something different for zombie genre lovers. And, it's well written, and error free. Kudos to the author, Donna Burgess.

This was a free download. I've been on a quest to download, read, and review as many free e-books as possible. I only download items in genres I regularly read that sound interesting.

Solstice reads like the well-edited work of someone who's been at this a while. The ideas are reigned in, given direction and focus, and the characters are relatable and likable. That's key, in a story like this, to keep it from becoming just another survivors-on-the-run-from-zombies story. I'd say this one is similar to The Walking Dead in that respect - the character stories only add to the zombie story.

I had no issue with the way people become infected (the author calls people who've turned ragers), though some reviewers indicated they did. Like the best horror plots, this one doesn't spend a lot of time on "why" things happened. It just gets right into the here and now, with enough details to make it plausible. Burgess changes up the zombie mythology too - her zombies can think and talk, and this adds some really good moments and a whole new wrinkle.

The ending leaves things open for more. I hope the author delivers. I think this would make a fun movie too. 4-stars.

Review - Coming Together Presents Remittance Girl

Remittance Girl writes erotica in the grand, literary tradition of masters like Henry Miller and Anais Nin. You won't find cookie-cutter characters, tired plots, or porno being labeled erotica here. No inner goddesses, lip biting, or overused clich├ęs either. Instead, this collection offers readers a trip into other worlds and illuminates the private lives of strong women not afraid to explore themselves and the world around them. It shares other cultures and doesn't shy away from taboos, BDSM, and sexuality. No one needs any excuses for their behavior here. These stories are thought-provoking, real, AND sexy. Many are a slow burn, wiggling their way under your skin and tapping into themes other writers often shy away from. 

If you're a fan of FSOG, this may not be for you. But, if you'd like to take a trip into the world of literary erotica, holding the hand of a skilled storyteller and writer, you are in for a treat. Though each story is completely unique, the voice of Remittance Girl is strong and sure. 

Favorites - It's hard to pick from such an amazing collection. So many of these stories transported me into other worlds so well it was like taking a trip of the mind. But, these are my standouts:

Dark Garden - Delves into the mind of a woman who is both sickened and excited by her own sexual needs.

River Mother - Haunting, beautiful tale of an infertile girl in a culture that prizes motherhood above all else.

The Pipe of Thorns - Gorgeous, historical piece that perfectly captures another place and time in a fairy tale worthy of a grown-up Grimm.

The Baptism - Erotic horror incorporating religion and vampires. Scary, hot, and squirm-inducing.

As an added bonus, proceeds from the sale of this book benefit the ACLU.

*Note - I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I am happy to give the collection a five-star review. It deserves every star.

Review - Limited Partnerships Omnibus

I was lucky enough to serve as a Beta Reader during the editing phases for this series. I say lucky because this was one of the best stories I've read in a long time, written by an experienced author who has a gift for adding those little touches that make her characters and plots come to life. You won't find cardboard characters here, or thin plots framing gratuitous sex scenes. You also won't find editing mistakes (always a plus!).

The Omnibus collection includes all four books in the series tied together by a few central characters. I liked all of the stories, but Charlie's was my favorite. His story kicks off the series with a bang. He's sexy in a real way, so I identified with him as someone I might actually meet (and lust after). He's no billionaire with issues who inexplicably falls for some damsel in distress. He's strong, capable and knows exactly what he's doing until his job as an escort puts him into close contact with a woman from his past. And the woman in question isn't an insecure virgin who doubts her every move. She's strong, and capable, and knows exactly what she wants . . . the unattainable Charlie. The way their story plays out has all the best elements of good erotica and romance novels. There's a real conflict, emotion, heart, and plenty of sex that's not just there for shock or show. I appreciated the way the sex scenes were full of dynamics that added to the story, instead of BEING the story.

I can't wait to read more from Louise Kokesh. 5 stars for this one. 

Review - Army Heat: The Boys of Bravo

Army Heat, by Denise Johnson, is hot! I'm new to this genre category, and found the mix of military situations, uniforms, Army lingo and the control dynamic between the Training Instructor and the soldier in training to be very realistic. And that's huge. So many books now try to hop onto the FSOG bandwagon with BDSM stuff that totally misses the mark. This book is not one of those (and it isn't BDSM at all - I don't want you to get the wrong idea). But Army Heat does craftily add D/s elements to the story because that's just how Basic Training works.

Staff Sergeant Jake Moore, the instructor, is a man in charge, in control (with good reason) so his attraction to one of the recruits is a no-no, but one he has a difficult time fighting. This adds a lovely tension throughout the story.

Candidate Little is likable and tough (another welcome change - she's not a girl who bites her lip and twists her hair and thinks she's not good enough). She's strong, capable and has a plan for her life that her attraction to Jake Moore threatens.

I'm giving the story four stars because it's short, and because I think we could have had more story about both characters to round out the story. The ending seemed a bit abrupt. I'd love to read a part two. 

Review - Mistress of the Dancing Bones


I read a lot of books (self-published and not), and I was impressed with the overall professional "feel" of the book. I spotted very few of the types of mistakes that often plague indie novels.

Thomas Alexander's rich descriptive passages added to the overall mood of the book. The varied elements made me think, at different points in the story, of Anne Rice, J.R.R. Tolkein, and George R.R. Martin.

Kick-ass heroine who doesn't need a man to save her, or one to fall in love with.

Vampires who weren't bad guys for a change.


While I enjoyed the mixing of creatures, I have a hard time with books where everyone, thing and place has a strange and unfamiliar name. I know a lot of people (especially fans of Sci-fi and fantasy) are into that. I just find it difficult to get through, and end up skimming over names a lot. In a book like this - with a huge cast of characters - this meant some of the time I had no idea who was who.

While there was a lot going on, tons of people, descriptions of a bunch of stuff, I never really felt I knew this world.


Yes! It's rare to find someone with an imagination this strong and the writing ability to back it up. I think he's going to get better and better with every book. This one earns a solid 4 star rating.

Review - The Princess and the Outlaw

Wow. Jean Roberta's bio says she's an English instructor at a university, and it really shows here (in a good way!). It's no wonder her stories have been published in over 100 publications either - they are that good. Whether the stories center on Amazon warriors and their secret admirers, or medieval princesses; no matter if they are set in ancient Greece or witch-hunter Salem, MA . . . there's an edge to the writing that harkens back to another era. These stories seem like classics, fables, and fairy tales.

I found myself drawn right into the familiar framework of the stories that made the erotic content all the more interesting and powerful.

Favorites? Hubris, the tale of an Amazon warrior and the girl whose fascination turns into a way of life that is so eloquently explained that I wondered how Jean managed to immerse herself in the ancient, fantasy world so deeply that her words read like they came from a real diary. Sister Mary Agnes because I've always had a hot spot for erotica that toys with the church. In this one, we meet a nun and a convent full of women harboring secrets that prove to be the undoing for some, and the salvation for others. Soul Search for its language and for taking on a disturbing era in American history and making it hot. The World Turned Upside Down for its mystery and character development and surprise ending. One of the things I admire most about what's presented here is how none of the stories are preachy, yet most share a good message about acceptance and freedom to be the sexual beings we are. The writing is clean and crisp and a pleasure to read.

I'm thrilled I was given a copy for review and happy to give this my highest rating.

So, How's IMMORAL: Tales of a Vampire Hunter Selling (After Releasing Way Ahead of Schedule)?

If you've been following along, you know I published Immoral: Tales of a Vampire Hunter on the 16th. I'd intended to put it out October 25th and had a very organized and pretty calendar of tasks I wanted to complete before the release date. Long story short, I screwed up and sent my baby out into the world. And . . . it did okay.

Yesterday, it hit #31 in its category. I was just happy to see it on any list, so 31st was worthy of celebration in my book. Granted, some of the sales came from friends, but complete strangers also bought it and a few even posted five star reviews. Yay!

I've been pimping it here and there, and so far find every review site is back-logged with review requests and won't even look at it. Lesson learned - trying to get reviews WAY in advance really IS a good idea. Reviewers don't care who you are, or how good your book sounds. They're just swamped. I did have a few offer to do reviews if I paid for them (aha...light bulb - THAT'S how the big publishers get those top review spots. They pay huge bucks for them). As for me, I said no thanks. I'd rather have honest reviews by people who like paranormal vampire romance and will read and review Immoral because they want to help readers find good books, not because they want to fill their bank accounts and don't give a crap about how good a book is to give a glowing review.

So, I'm still learning. Still having a blast. Still working the day job and dreaming of someday being able to write all the time and actually make enough money to live. If you're the only person reading this post, I'm good with that. Thanks for being here.

Sneak Peek at IMMORAL: Tales of a Vampire Hunter #1

IMMORAL: Tales of a Vampire Hunter by Zander Vyne
See why Flashbot named Oliver and Miranda one of the "World's Sexiest Couples".

Paris, France

 From Chapter 9

“Where are we going?”

“It's a surprise. You’re going to love it. Promise,” Miranda said.

Looking at her sparkling eyes and happy smile, Oliver relaxed. Whatever came, at least they would have this night and, for the time being, she seemed to be as caught up in the moment as he was. They were good together.

Aboard the crowded train, they found no seats. There were poles to hang onto. She slid her hands up the cold metal like a stripper, intentionally baiting him. It felt dangerous. It felt naughty. Her ass pressed into the pole, her back arched, her fingers gripped over her head. She felt many eyes devouring her, and she shivered.

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Licks And Promises

Sometimes a book lands in your hands like a gift, one that keeps you up all night reading, sighing with both contentment and sadness when it’s over.

M. Christian’s newest short fiction collection, Licks And Promises, is like that. A master of erotica writing, he certainly doesn’t need another glowing review of his work, but I am going to give him one anyway—that’s how good these stories are. There is something for everyone represented here.

Dust explores regret, in only seven pages, with a depth that some novelists would need a whole book to accomplish. The richly drawn inner landscape of the main character, combined with the realness of her emotions is breathtaking. Yes, he works in a hot sex scene, but somehow that’s OK. Who hasn’t fucked someone in order to heal themselves, and apologize for something you cannot, or will not, talk about?

The Train They Call The City of New Orleans is as dripping with character as its namesake. The woman in the story is only along for the ride, and what a ride it is. The language is stunning and poetic.

In Control comes off like a kinky little fetish piece and hits that mark with precision, but underlying it is M. Christians quirky sense of humor, and knack for shining a bright light on what’s truly making these people tick. He has the balls to slyly ask what I’ve always wanted to about D/s, but does so with no judgment, no attitude. He leaves recognition of the question, and the answer, up to his reader.

The Naked Supper is pure food porn—a buffet of poetic erotica and self-love, just not in the way you might expect. Nothing M. Christian writes is predictable.

Nighthawks could be a story about the painting of the same name, but to me it was a story of missed chances, people who pass in the night. I like that about his work too—like good art, the reader often can interpret it in a way that resonates with them. It’s almost like having a writer create something just for you.

Regrets is laugh-out-loud funny.

The Waters of Biscayne Bay will tug at your heart and make you want to hug the one you love the most.

Lick And Promises has eighteen stories and each shows why M. Christian really is a master on top of his craft. Yes, he writes about sex, but these are real people, with real problems, and real feelings. They are not picture-perfect, porno people getting it on to make us horny (though you will be turned on, I promise).

If you want to read about more than body parts hooking up, and are interested in finding out just what got all these people fucking in the first place (because we all know that what’s lurking inside of us is just as important as all the action going on outside) this is the book for you.

Buy Licks And Promises at Fictionwise.

To learn more about M. Christian, check out his blogs, Frequently Felt and Imagination Is Intelligence With An Erection.