"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Monday, June 22, 2009

FUTURE PERFECT by Helen E.H. Madden - Reviewed by Lisabet Sarai

Future Perfect – A Collection of Fantastic Erotica

by Helen E.H. Madden

Logical Lust Publications, 2009

ISBN 978-1905091-20-1


Blurb (from publisher's website):

What if you made love at the end of the universe ... only to discover your partner was a devastating black hole?

What if you cut down a tree in your yard ... and Mother Nature came after you with a switch?

What if your lover saw the future ... every time she had an orgasm?

For years, speculative fiction has asked the question "What if... " Now go one step beyond and speculate on the possibilities of the erotic.

From the distant future to a mythical past and everything in between, FUTURE PERFECT examines the role of sex in a fantastic world. The stories range from hard science fiction to classic horror and urban fantasy, but through it all runs a thread of explicit sexuality that embraces every orientation and relationship imaginable. Whether it's the force of cosmic creation or the deceitful lure of sin, FUTURE PERFECT takes sex beyond the limits of the everyday to celebrate it on a universal scale.

So open the cover and leave the mundane behind. A world of "What if... " is waiting for you.

Review by Lisabet Sarai

Helen Madden's collection of speculative erotica dazzles with its diversity. Ms. Madden is an accomplished writer, but it is the originality of her premises and the variety of moods and styles that she adopts which set this compendium apart. Perhaps I should mention that sexually, her stories are equally diverse, offering heterosexual, lesbian, gay, and ménage relationships as well as alien couplings that do not fit into any category on earth.

Future Perfect ranges from satire to horror, from sweet, raunchy satisfaction to agonizing loneliness. Ms. Madden's characters include a foul-mouthed dyke mermaid, a creature half-man and half-plant, a hermaphroditic empath, a gaggle of part-animal super-heroes with names like Atomic Eagle and Rabid Rodent, an obese woman drawn to the moon to be free of gravity, and two porn-loving slacker dudes who get more than they bargain for—not to mention the angels Gabriel and Michael and Lucifer himself. When you begin one of these stories, you really can't tell where it will take you.

I'll focus on one of my favorite tales, “Husbands and Wives”, to illustrate my point. It begins with a young man, come to seek a wife at an annual festival

Davy sat alone at a scarred wooden table outside a small café. Twilight draped the sky above him in velvet shades of blue and purple. Stars studded the far horizon like crystalline splinters of ice. Their glinting light sent a chill down Davy's spine. This was his ninth evening in the city of Matrimony, and he still had yet to find his bride.

At this point, we may already have an outline of the story in mind. The situation is familiar from fairy tales, the boy on a quest, seeking a bride but finding something quite different. We expect a happy resolution, from our history and also from the story's title. Still, there's darkness in this initial paragraph. Something is haunting poor Davy, filling him with trepidation.

A bit later, we think we know the answer.

Davy gave a weak smile in response and the matron shuffled off. The hinges squealed, the door swung shut, and he was alone again. His hands shook as he lifted the drink to his lips. He hoped the old woman was right. His mother and sisters were depending on him to make a good match, to marry a wealthy woman who would support her husband's kin. Of course, the richest brides had long since wed, having snatched up the most promising husbands on the first day of the festival.

Davy winced as he recalled that day, the day he had ruined his best chance. He had stepped off the dusty train that had carried him all the way from his home on the East Coast to Matrimony and was thrust into a maelstrom of shouting, frantic females.

In this world, we think, women have the power and wealth, and men are useful only for breeding. Poor Davy is concerned about disappointing his family and leaving them in poverty. But he's grown up sheltered from the outside world; he doesn't know how to attract the sort of bride he needs.

We know that he'll find true love, though, because that is what happens in fairy tales.

A woman stood on the dusty path leading into the café. She was tall, with long dark hair and a flowing cotton dress. Swirling tattoos trailed down her bare arms in delicate henna spirals, depicting the traditional symbols of life and fertility. A smile played over her lips as she studied Davy.

Hello,” she said.

Davy stared at her. He had seen so many women in the past several days, more than he ever would have believed existed. No two had been exactly alike, but his reactions had always been the same. Alarm, dismay, frustration, apathy – he had run through a gamut of adverse emotions. But this woman was the first to elicit something different from him, something new and positive.

She did not stalk toward him, preparing to pounce on him and carry him off to the wedding chapel if he turned out to be good husband material. Rather, she approached him quietly, the way he'd once watched his mother approach a fallen baby bird before picking it up to put it back in the nest. A strange but pleasant prickle ran over Davy's skin as the woman walked toward him, and he felt as though he'd just woken up for the first time in his life.

Aha, we nod smugly to ourselves. She's the one. And she is, the wife and the lover he has been awaiting, the woman he is meant to marry. As the tale proceeds, they talk, they wed, they consummate their relationship. Then suddenly the story twists in a terrible, tragic way that we never anticipated—even though, looking back, we can see that Ms. Madden left us clues.

I won't spoil the suspense by telling you how the story ends. I'll just say that when I finished reading this tale the first time, I had tears in my eyes. I had to go back and reread it, to see how cleverly Ms. Madden had manipulated my expectations and then delivered a conclusion that took my breath away.

Helen Madden is mistress of the original and the unexpected. Nearly every story in this collection surprises, and many delight.

Helen E.H. Madden's links:




Lisabet Sarai's links:




Thursday, June 18, 2009

Interview of Anne Kane by Krystal De Mylar

Hey Anne, good to see you again! I have just a few questions about you, me, Tarik and our book. Got some time?

For you Krystal, I have all the time in the world. Or the galaxy for that matter, LOL. I’ve missed hearing from you since your story was finished.

First I’d like know about ley lines, and how you came up with the idea of putting them in space. What sort of research did you do?

No research, really. Just a lot of daydreaming and a weird imagination. It was a what-if scenario. I always loved stories about the Druids and witches and how they could manipulate the powers of the ley lines. I put that together with my love of Science Fiction and came up with the Stargazers.

Have you ever encountered ley lines here on Earth?

Personally, I haven’t. I’m afraid I don’t have any talent in that direction. I do know people who can douse for water, and some who use the natural energies of the earth for healing, so I do believe they exist. I truly wish I were able to feel them.

I’m intrigued that Tarik is a cyborg. How did you decide to do that? Is he modeled after anyone here on Earth?

I didn’t decide, it was all his idea. That seems to happen a lot with you characters. I think I know all about you, and then when I start to tell your stories, all sorts of little details that I didn’t know start to appear on the pages.

How, and when did you decide to become a writer, and what drew you to erotic romance? What was it like to write your first erotic scene?

I’m not sure decide is the right word. I’ve always told stories and ffrom time to time wrote them down. The fall of 2007 was when I decided to get serious about writing, and try to actually write something and get it published. Angela Knights work was what drew me to erotic romance. I read some of her work and thought YES! I want to do that! Writing my first erotic scene was actually quite easy. I just imagined me as the heroine, and made sure I enjoyed myself. LOL

What was your first contract, and how did you feel when you first got notified that your book sold?

My first sale was to Changeling Press, for the novella Stranded on Earth. I was stunned. I’d convinced myself that it really wasn’t all that good and decided that as soon as I received the rejection, I’d rework it. I even had the areas that needed work marked off on my copy.
I must have gone back and read that e-mail offering me a contract a hundred times on the day I received it. I just couldn’t believe I’d actually been accepted!

What hints do you have for authors just starting out?

Believe in yourself, but don’t be too proud to take advice from anyone who’s willing to help you. I belong to a great critique group and they taught me a lot.

What men (and women) in this world do you think are absolutely hot?

All of them! Tarik is yummy, and Jazlyn and Bryce just send the temperature soaring, not to mention Tyler. Ryland, whom you’ll meet in Wild which releases July 17th, is totally hot. I’m glad I don’t have to choose between them, I’m not sure I could!
Other than me, (and Tarik, of course) who is your favorite hero/heroine that you’ve created?
I think I still have a soft spot for Jake and Liisa, the couple from Stranded on Earth. Jake is in the Space Militia and I just love a man in uniform. Liisa is a feisty redhead with a sense of humor, and the two send sparks flying right from Page one.

What else do you have planned for the Stargazers? Who’s story is next?

Anaya’s story is next. She stows away on a spaceship owned by a bounty hunter named Ryland. He mistakes her for an escaped sex slave and makes her an offer she can’t refuse: become his personal slave and he’ll let her stay onboard. These two have quite a time getting to know each other.

What else are you working on? Where can we go to find out more?

I have a story coming out July 6th in Changeling Press’s new multi-author series, Dawg Town. It’s a humorous series about a biker gang full of prairie dog shifters. I’m also working on a story for another multi author series called Sex and Chocolate. My story is called Seducing Destiny and it’ll be my first attempt at a werewolf story.

You can find out about my work, both available and coming soon at my website www.AnneKane.com or my blog www.annekane.wordpress.com

Excerpt: Stargazers: Wanton by Anne Kane

Stargazers 1: Wanton
Anne Kane
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2009 Anne Kane

Tarik watched the young woman pacing the cargo bay of his ship. Tall and willowy, she stalked the width of the cell with angry strides of long, slim legs. A short, fitted tunic did little to hide her shapely figure, and he felt a spark of heat ignite in his gut despite his mistrust of her kind. Wisps of wavy, chestnut hair escaped from the single braid that hung to her waist, and her green eyes sparkled with rage.

He felt the corner of his mouth tilt upward as she aimed a kick at the wall. He'd bet if he could hear what she was muttering, it wouldn't be very ladylike. Of course, she wasn't really a lady. Krystal de Mylar was a Stargazer, one of the few who hadn't yet sold her talents to the Intergalactic Council. Probably holding out for a better deal, he thought cynically.

The lack of military security surrounding her had made her an ideal target when he realized he needed to acquire one of the accursed witches in order to rescue his brother. Tarik's renegade status made it impossible to post a job proposal with the Stargazers' Guild, so he'd simply used his resources to plan and execute the perfect kidnapping. Unfortunately, none of his cybernetic enhancements would help him explain to the infuriated redhead why he'd spirited her away from her home without her consent.

The woman stopped pacing and pivoted to face the hovering droid, her eyes narrowed so that the green irises sparkled like gems. She'd obviously realized someone was monitoring her. A flicker of heat ran up his spine as she stood still, legs spread and hands on hips. Her mouth moved, and his attention dropped to her full, luscious lips as they moved slowly in exaggerated speech.

You are going to regret this.

It wasn't hard to read her lips. Or the threat in her eyes. He sure hoped she didn't know how to wrap the interplanetary energy lines around his neck.

"Not exactly what I'd expected." He turned to address his second-in-command. "I pictured someone older, and tougher."

Ryan grinned. "And a little less mouthwateringly attractive? Might have made it easier to deal with her. Do you want me to go in first and soften her up a bit? Your reputation with the ladies doesn't bode well for gaining her co-operation."

Tarik sighed. They'd managed to spirit Krystal out from under the noses of her parents and her bodyguards without a problem, but they needed her to co-operate if they hoped to accomplish their mission.

Stargazers could sense the energy lines that connected the stars and planets. They had the ability to grasp those lines and harness the energy for their own use. If she agreed to help them rescue his brother Cynn, all they'd need to do was narrow down his location and the witch could use the energy lines to get them in and out of Intergalactic space undetected by the patrolling warships. He didn't understand how the Stargazers accomplished it, but the results were irrefutable, which explained why the unscrupulous bastards running the Intergalactic Council made a point of hiring as many of the witches as possible.

Before his parents were murdered by the Council, they'd likened the Stargazers' abilities to the witches of Old Earth, who used the planet's ley lines to feed their magic. They'd been baffled though, by the Stargazers' tendency to accept employment with the restrictive Intergalactic Council. He sighed, running his fingers through his short hair. The longer he put this off, the angrier the witch would get.

"Get her into a set of restraints and bring her up to the interrogation chamber." He turned to leave, pausing when Ryan grabbed his arm. He looked pointedly at the offending hand, raising one eyebrow questioningly.

Ryan let go of his arm. "Restraints? Are you serious? She's already pissed. You need to convince her to help us, and treating her like a criminal isn't going to win you any brownie points."

That might be true, but he wanted her under control until she agreed to help. "Just the wrist restraints, then." He ignored Ryan's glare of disapproval. "If I understand the theory, she can't hook into the power of the energy lines without lifting her arms, so we should be safe enough."

Ryan's disbelieving snort told him what his second-in-command thought about that.

"Get her up there. Now." He issued the command in what he hoped was a stern tone, pivoting to stalk out of the room. The damn witch hadn't been on his ship for a full solar cycle and already she was causing trouble.

Buy the book here: http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1115

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Stargazers 1: Wanton

When Tarik’s brother is captured by the Intergalactic Council, the handsome cyborg realizes he’ll need the help of a Stargazer if a rescue mission is to succeed. Problem is, as the leader of the rebellion he can’t just advertise for a Stargazer willing to flaunt the Intergalactic Council.

But when he kidnaps Krystal, he is completely unprepared for the irresistibly sexy young woman with a gentle soul. Now he’s torn between rescuing his brother and his growing attraction to the talented witch.

“Let me see if I have this straight.” Sarcasm dripped from Krystal’s voice. “You launched an unprovoked attack on my parent’s estate, abducted me, left me cooling my heels in a cold cargo bay holding cell for goddess knows how long, had my hands bound behind me with a set of barbaric and extremely uncomfortable restraints, and then had me brought to what is obviously an interrogation chamber.”

She paused to sweep a scornful glance around the room, her gaze lingering on a padded rack with leather straps dangling from the various parts. “And now you’d like me to do a favor for you?” She lifted her chin and fixed him with a glacial stare. “Thanks, but I don’t think so. I’d like to go home now.”

He had to give her credit for poise. Her haughty stance and the way she held her head high, chin tilted just so, gave the impression she was used to giving orders -- and having them obeyed.
He glanced away from her for a moment and gestured at the guards. “Please remove Ms. de Mylar’s restraints and wait outside the door until I summon you. He was gratified to see a faint shadow of alarm cross her face. She knew he wouldn’t give in quite this easy. He gave her a bland smile. “We need to discuss how best to accommodate her request.”

The shorter of the two guards stepped forward to remove the restraints. Tarik had to think for a moment before he could place him. Brent was a new recruit, a refugee from the Intergalactic Council’s recent annexation of the Utan home worlds.

Krystal stepped away from the guard and rubbed her wrists. The restraints hadn’t been that tight, but they’d obviously annoyed her.

A loud click signaled the departure of the guards and Tarik leaned back, stretching his long legs out under the table. “Have a seat.” He nodded toward the empty chair across from him.
“No thank you.”

He shrugged. “Suit yourself. This might take a while.”

The witch raised a brow at him. “I can’t imagine why.”

He didn’t say anything for a moment, letting his gaze wander from the sprinkling of freckles on her nose, down her lithe figure to the foot that she tapped impatiently on the floor. Luckily, the table hid his body’s reaction. He didn’t need her to know she could arouse him with just a glance.

“Fine!” She threw herself into the chair, crossing her arms on her chest and glaring at him. “Discuss away.”

Tarik had to suppress the urge to grin. She certainly had the supercilious attitude down pat. He leaned forward, focusing on her emerald green eyes.

Bad idea. A man could drown in those eyes.

He shifted his attention lower, only to find himself wondering what those lips would taste like.


Anne Kane's Stargazers: Wanton, Reviewed by Belinda McBride

When Tarik’s brother is captured by the Intergalactic Council, the handsome cyborg realizes he’ll need the help of a Stargazer if a rescue mission is to succeed. Problem is, as the leader of the rebellion he can’t just advertise for a Stargazer willing to flaunt the Intergalactic Council.
But when he kidnaps Krystal, he is completely unprepared for the irresistibly sexy young woman with a gentle soul. Now he’s torn between rescuing his brother and his growing attraction to the talented witch.

As we all know, writing a book is a challenge, but in my opinion, the novella is an even greater challenge for a writer. Pulling together a cohesive story within a very limited word count is no easy feat.
Add to that the task of building a world, as well as developing characters and a romance within a completely fictional setting, and you’ll find that a novella is sometimes more difficult to write than a full length novel.
In Stargazers: Wanton, Anne Kane has created a compelling world with a villainous governing council, a grass roots rebellion, and the intriguing people and aliens who inhabit this corner of the universe.
She’s created the Stargazers, a fascinating group of women who draw and manipulate power from the ley lines that connect the heavenly spheres. I am particularly fascinated by this element of the story, having read about the ley lines here on Earth.
In this story, the brother of Tarik has been kidnapped, and the rebel leader must in turn kidnap a Stargazer to help him locate and rescue Cynn. Krystal the Stargazer is certainly angered by the kidnapping, but willing to listen to Tarik’s story, and finally, to help the attractive cyborg. Their back stories are deftly presented, and the supporting characters are fascinating in their own right, yet they never overwhelm the story. Krystal is just the right balance of fiery anger and gentle femininity, and Tarik is clearly an alpha male, who is surprised to find himself falling for the Stargazer.
Wanton is a wonderful balance of action/adventure, and romance. I enjoyed watching the characters as they realized that against all odds, they were falling in love with one another.

There are unlimited possibilities with this series, and I look forward to reading the next installments of Stargazers.

Purchase the book: http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1115

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Interview of Belinda McBride, by Belle Oakley

1. What made you decide to write my story?
I don’t know if you remember Belle, but you were practically sitting in my lap everytime I sat down at the computer! I wrote it because you insisted!

2. Who told you about the different types of weres?
Uhh…Belle…look at the answer above! LOL! Actually, I did an awful lot of research on the history and evolution of the AmWere and your cousins the EurLu.

3. Tell me about your writing quirks. Do you secretly munch on jelly beans while writing love scenes?
Actually, I buy a big bag of M&Ms and reward myself when I finish a love scene. Other writing quirks? I need absolute silence. I prepare emotionally by listening to music that fits my mood. Your song was the title theme to the anime Cowboy Bee Bop, performed by Tank. Go to You Tube and check it out! But be sure to turn it up really loud and fasten your seat belts!

4. What is your favorite movie? And why?
You know, I have so many favorites for various reasons. I adore the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, and it doesn’t hurt that Viggo Mortensen was in it. There’s a little known film called Belizaire the Cajun starring Armand Assante. It had incredible atmosphere and an engaging story. I also love the old school Hong Kong martial arts films by the Venoms team. Those men were incredible performers and I’ve met a few of them.

5. What is your favorite genre to write in?
I stick to speculative fiction, reality doesn’t seem to click with me. I love writing bisexual ménage, m/m, as well as m/f romance.

6. Do you think that mankind really has a future among the stars, or are we doomed to spend forever dreaming about them?
How do you know we aren’t already in the stars? Yes, I do believe we have a future in space. It may be a long time from now, but I’m an optimist.

7. There’s an awful lot of furry creatures in this book. Tell me about your own pets. Did any of them inspire characters in Belle Star?
I have seven Siberian Huskies and a Chihuahua. And yes, if you read the dedication to Belle Starr, you were modeled off of my old alpha bitch Echo, and Armand was drawn from your mate, Logan.

8. Do you plan to do any sequels to Belle Star? Can you give me any spoilers?
Yes, almost every character in Belle Starr has a story, it remains to be seen if I can tell them all! Cali Polis has a story coming, and there will be some surprise characters showing up in that. Thorn has a story, but he isn’t sharing yet. But he’s that way, very quiet. For now, he’s happy right where he is, in Belle and Armand’s bed, helping raise their children. Armand’s daughter Rain will make a guest appearance in a spin-off series set in the same universe.

9. I’m just curious here now. I just love having Armand’s second participate in our mating, so what inspired you to create such a unique mating ritual and make the participation of the second male crucial to its success?
Well, late one night, Echo and Logan got loose from their kennels and met to play in the big dog yard. While they were both too old to make puppies, they loved doing the wild thing, and…well…they did it. So I had to sit outside in the rain and the mud making sure they didn’t hurt each other. As I watched, the other dogs occasionally took little pot shots at them while they were tied, and one male, Hu Fei continually stood guard over them. He’d occasionally mount Logan, (that was a dominance/respect thing) and then go back to chasing off the other dogs. That’s where the idea for the Tri-mating came from. I sat there in the mud and just laughed as the ideas began to form in my mind.

10. Where can we go to find out more about you?

Visit my website at www.belindamcbride.com
That's where you can find links to my blog, social networks and my books.

Excerpt from Belle Starr:

AUTHOR: Belinda McBride
AUTHOR URL: www.belindamcbride.com


Marshal Annabelle “Cowgirl” Oakley is the best law enforcement officer in Interstellar Coalition Enforcement. With her wolf Tucker at her side, Belle is clearly the best man for the job. Unfortunately, the job comes with hazards, and one of those hazards comes in the shape of tall, mysterious Armand.

Armand de le Croix is a werewolf with amnesia. He has no idea how he came to be living in Coalition space, he doesn’t know where his people are, or why his inky black hair is now snowy white. He just knows that the tall, dangerous redhead is all that he wants, and he means to have her.

When they meet, it’s magic. When they part, its mayhem.


Belle was the first freed from the extended tie; she flopped gracelessly off her mate, making a feeble attempt to escape to the bathroom. Armand grabbed her wrist and held her fast. Long minutes later, Thorn slipped free of Armand’s body, both men cursed and moaned as they separated, Thorn splayed out prone on top of his Alpha.
“God, I’m sorry, Armand. I swear, I didn’t see that happening…” He rolled to the side, his long hair spread over his face. “I can’t move. My hair is in my face, and I swear, I can’t move.” Belle giggled again, tugging weakly at Armand’s hand. He released her suddenly, and she slipped off the bed with a thud.
“I’m okay.”
Her muffled voice floated up from somewhere on the floor. He thought maybe she’d landed face down.
Armand rolled his eyes.
“What exactly did she do to you?”
Thorn dragged a heavy hand over his face, clearing a bit of hair from his eyes.
“Just as I was about to come, she uh…”
“She put a finger up your ass.”
“Mmmmhmmm. Sorry, Mon Ami.”
He lay there quietly for a moment. “By God, Armand, I hope you two decide to have lots of children. Dozens would be good.”
“Fuck you, Thorn.”
“Oh, please….”
All three broke into giddy laughter.
“Belle, this was supposed to be a solemn, meaningful moment.”
Armand saw her hand reach up to the bedside table, fishing around till she found the tissue box. The tri-mating was a messy business.
“Well, its still a profound moment. It’s….” Her head come up, followed by her weary body. “It was the sacred covenant between the Alpha and his second-in-command.”
Armand’s big hand came down over her head, pushing her back to the floor, and she started giggling again. “God, Armand, I wish I could have seen your face when he knotted you!”
Thorn pushed himself wearily to his elbow. “I did, it wasn’t pretty. His eyes rolled up into his head.”
“That good, huh?”
Armand grimaced. “I thought I had a bowling ball up my ass.”
She was crawling back onto the bed, this time into welcoming arms.
“You loved it. Admit it, Armand.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever come so fucking hard in my life.” His grin was reluctant.
Thorn scooted up to the pillows, laying back, arms behind his head.
“Obviously, I’d have wished my first tie to be with a woman, but god. Maybe I should take those chocolates back, Belle. Maybe I need to look more seriously for a mate.”
“Well, you need to find someone like me then.”
“God forbid.” She smacked Armand’s ribs at that.
“Someone who’ll do that for fun. Lordie, what a waste to only do that for breeding!” She stretched languorously. “It’s worth not being able to move afterwards.”
She glanced over at Armand; his eyelids were half-mast and dropping. Thorn had an arm resting over his face, he was a goner.
She sighed, groaned a bit as she rose and headed for the shower. Inside, she let the hot water pelt the sweat and the semen from her body; she soaped well and repeated, letting the heat melt her aches away.
She returned quietly to the bed, gently washed both men with warm cloths, smiling as they moaned; their normally active cocks were flaccid and quiet. She tossed the cloths into a sanitizer, grimaced slightly at the soiled sheets and pulled them off the bed, pushing and pulling around the heavily sleeping men. Belle found a clean duvet and tossed it over their bodies, and then climbed into the big bed, opting to sleep in the middle. If there were any blanket wars, she figured she’d be on the winning side if she stayed in the middle.
She tucked her head into Armand’s side, smiling as his arm automatically pulled her closer. The smile stayed long after she fell asleep.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Belle Star by Bellinda McBride - reviewed by Anne Kane

Belle Star, by author Belinda McBride is a thoroughly enjoyable romp through the future. I always love to see a strong capable heroine who knows how to take care of herself. Skinny blonde bimbos just aren’t my style, I find myself hoping the werewolf has them for breakfast. As an intergalactic bounty hunter, Belle Oakley is big and strong, with a wild mane of flaming red hair and a wardrobe full of deadly toys.

As an animal lover, I like the fact that Belle has a wolf for a traveling companion, and treats him as a partner. Tucker is a pivotal character in this amazing tale. McBride has developed a wonderfully plausible world inhabited by werewolves, hermaphrodites, spies, poachers, mysterious strangers and female sentient beings whose pheromones can throw a latent werewolf into her first heat.

Belle has never felt such an insatiable lust. Looking for some release from the sexual tension, she hooks up with a mouthwatering werewolf with the sexiest Cajun accent she’s ever heard. A long, very delicious night of sex brings her multiple orgasms and some much appreciated relief from her heat cycle.

I am impressed with how Belinda manages to juggle all the different threads of this story without leaving my head spinning. She skillfully weaves the back-story in amongst the details of the universe she’s created so that the reader feels comfortable with the various breeds of shifters and Belle’s quirky sense of humor. The sex scenes are hot, with just enough kink to keep them exciting.

All in all, this is one great read for anyone who enjoys shifters, science fiction, adventure and unconventional sexual content. I’m looking forward to many more books in this universe, and Belinda assures me she has some planned.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Animal Instinct by Paige Tyler - Reviewed by Kiki Howell

Having always dreamed of living in Alaska, I was very excited to read Paige Tyler’s second in the Men of Alaska series, Animal Instinct. With her purple firewood flowers, cascading waterfalls and forests with trees so dense they almost blocked out the sun, I got to experience some of the magic and beauty that is Alaska.

And yet, it was her interplay between characters which most fascinated me. She was resourceful in her use of a minor character to delve deeper into the main character’s thoughts and desires. Sukie, the younger girl next door who Heidi was giving art lessons to, parroted the heroine’s consciousness, unashamed to tell it like it is. The angle of making the hero not only the heroine’s rescuer, but also her teacher and her salvation after her life is altered by a werewolf attack added to their struggle to come together. My favorite scene was when Luke had to convince Heidi weres do actually exist. Here while unsatisfied passions lingered, a lesson learned provided one of the turning points and the struggle to believe flirted with the element of danger.

The sex did more than bring the characters together and strengthen their relationship on a more intimate level. It actually helped build a reader’s knowledge of the characters by highlighting Luke’s special abilities as a shifter while adding to Heidi’s knowledge of and her adaptation to her new abilities.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Review of Decima Rising by Jennifer Campbell - Reviewed by Kiki Howell

In Decima Rising, Jennifer Campbell lured me into a world of her own creation with the fluent ease of a seasoned writer. The comprehensive amount of details actualized the realm into more and more of a reality for me from its tolling bells and Ranexxian suns to the Kabora trees and hawthorn birds. It was ultimately refined with an age-old history and a belief in an after-life depicted in a painting through the eyes of a slave, providing her heroine with her inspired goals setting to up the plot.

Yet, within this world, it was Jennifer’s ability to build a character that connected me to this slave on a deep emotional level. As I bonded with Decima, hoping for the fulfillment of her fantasies even though they were impossible dreams, I found myself unable to read fast enough. The slave was personable, identifiable with lusts of her own, compassion for others and insatiable desires. Additionally, she was someone to strive to be like as she struggled to learn life’s lessons, took what pleasures she could, had a willingness to serve well and fought to be the best she could be in the lot she was given in life. But, be prepared, once Jennifer starts you on this impassioned journey, the twists and turns of the plot, as the world she created changes – rules broken, new agendas formed – will leave you breathless.

I have read erotic books about sex slaves before, but never have I been brought to such a level of fervent compassion and caring for a slave as I was for Decima. My heart broke and soared for her intermittently, and I found myself continuing to hope for her future even after I finished the final words of the surprise ending of this carnal read.

Jennifer Campbell's website and blog http://www.jennifercampbell.webs.com

In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.