Monday, July 29, 2013

Review: Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas, a Dark Erotic Story (Adult Material)

Comfort Food

Author’s Notice:  Comfort Food is a work of literary erotica that explores power dynamics and the psychology of ownership. This work is NOT romance.

Emily Vargas has been taken captive. As part of his conditioning methods, her captor refuses to speak to her, knowing how much she craves human contact. He's far too beautiful to be a monster. Combined with his lack of violence toward her, this has her walking a fine line at the edge of sanity. Told in the first person from Emily's perspective, Comfort Food is a tale of erotic surrender that explores what happens when all expectations of pleasure and pain are turned upside down, as whips become comfort and 
chicken soup becomes punishment.


This is not a story about consensual BDSM. This is a story about “actual” slavery. If reading erotica without safewords makes you uncomfortable, this is not the book for you. This is a work of fiction, and the author does not endorse or condone any behavior done to another human being without their consent.

This book contains BDSM elements, master/slave dynamics, dubious consent, psychological conditioning, and oral and anal play. 

Kitty Thomas writes dark erotic fiction with BDSM elements that explores the psychology of ownership.

This is a work of dark erotic fiction for adults who are opening to exploring issues of power and control.  Not for the faint of heart. I was introduced to Kitty Thomas by her alter ego, Zoe Winters who writes wonderful paranormal romances.

That said. I loved this book. It was incredibly well written. The plot and characters are well and fully developed.  The major characters are complex and believable. The settings are so well described that you feel you are there.  We live inside Emily’s head as she is reinvented into a willing slave. Ms. Thomas’ deliberate use of a shift of point of view is a perfect tool in the development of the main character and theme of the book. 

I could spot no grammatical or mechanical mistakes. This is a novel that raises the bar for the proper recognition of erotic fiction’s legitimacy.

If you are up for an intense well-crafted adult read, this is a must. Comfort Food and other works by Kitty Thomas and Zoe Winters are available through Amazon.

I give it        

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Review of The Time Weaver by Thomas Knight: Parallel Worlds,Wizards, Romance, oh and a Dragon

Author’s summary:  Seth Alkirk is a 30-year-old programmer who doesn't know he can control time. Problem is, others do. When he's kidnapped from his quiet Iowa life and taken to the parallel world of Galadir, Seth thinks he's in a dream from which he can't wake.

His kidnapper, the warrior Malia, needs his help. Her kingdom is in danger from an evil wizard who will stop at nothing to exact revenge on those who exiled him. Seth needs her protection. The same wizard is after Seth's powers, knowing they will grant the advantage he needs to conquer Malia's kingdom. Seth and Malia must work together as they travel hundreds of miles to reach the safety of her castle.

Learning to accept and control his powers is the hardest thing Seth has ever had to do, but the longer he spends in Galadir, the more he grows to love this new world and the female warrior accompanying him. When a much more ancient and dangerous wizard awakens and threatens to destroy Galadir, Seth is the key to defeating him. Now he must save a world he never knew existed with magic he never knew he could wield, if only he could learn to control it in time.

This is the first book in Mr. Knight’s The Time Weaver Chronicles.

The Time Weaver is the story of Seth Alkirk, who finds himself drawn into an epic battle in a parallel world when that world intrudes on his own. Your typical average Joe, Seth discovers things about himself and the father he hardly knew. He finds power (magical and personal), love and a dragon.

This is a well-edited novel with few POV slips and mechanical errors. The plot develops well with no noticeable convenience devices. The secondary characters are complex and potentially interesting in their own right. Mr. Knight does a extraordinary job of world-building, I could see the people and places , smell and taste the food, hear the clang of the armor and swords.
 If I had to say what I would like to see improved on, I would say first and foremost, Seth. Unlike the secondary characters, he does not rise up off the page the way a hero should.  His conflict, confusion and terror at the strangeness and danger this run-of-the-mill guy is thrust into does not come through. His internal journey and battles with his own perceived past and the revelations should be as powerful as the battle scenes.
In addition, many characters disappear from the pages only to return much later with barely a mention in between.  This caught me off guard and I had to remember, in some cases, who they were and why they were important. It is useful to make sure that the reader is reminded of these characters through even brief references until they return for their pivotal scene. Best example of that was the absence of reference to the earth world and the characters there. There is no mention of them for about 25% of the book and then they reappear for the climax.

I give The Time Weaver


The second book in the Time Weaver Chronicles, Legacy, is available and will be the subject of a future review on this blog.

Thomas A. Knight built a career out of software development and took up writing in his spare time. Since then, he has released two books and is in the process of writing a third. His novels are epic fantasies set in Galadir, an alternate world of his own design.

His debut novel, The Time Weaver, is the recipient of an indiePENdents Seal of Good Writing, has reached both the Sci-Fi/Adventure and Epic Fantasy Amazon best-seller lists, and is considered by many to be an exciting and unique story that appeals to readers of all types.
When he's not writing or developing software, Thomas enjoys family time with his wife and two little girls, or playing fantasy role-playing games. He is also an avid supporter of Free and Open Source software, and uses entirely Linux and open source software in the writing and production of his novels.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Review: The Book of Paul by Richard Long---A mind-bending, fast-faced horror novel. Loved by Stephen King

 Author’s synopsis:
In the rubble-strewn wasteland of Alphabet City, a squalid tenement conceals a treasure "beyond all imagining"-- an immaculately preserved, fifth century codex. The sole repository of ancient Hermetic lore, it contains the alchemical rituals for transforming thought into substance, transmuting matter at will...and attaining eternal life.

When Rose, a sex and pain addicted East Village tattoo artist has a torrid encounter with Martin, a battle-hardened loner, they discover they are unwitting pawns on opposing sides of a battle that has shaped the course of human history. At the center of the conflict is Paul, the villainous overlord of an underground feudal society, who guards the book's occult secrets in preparation for the fulfillment of an apocalyptic prophecy. 

 The action is relentless as Rose and Martin fight to escape Paul's clutches and Martin's destiny as the chosen recipient of Paul's sinister legacy.  Science and magic, mythology and technology converge in a monumental battle where the stakes couldn't be higher: control of the ultimate power in the universe--the Maelstrom.

The Book of Paul is the first of seven volumes in a sweeping mythological narrative tracing the mystical connections between Hermes Trismegistus in ancient Egypt, Sophia, the female counterpart of Christ, and the Celtic druids of Clan Kelly.

Note from the Author:  The Book of Paul is not for the faint-hearted. There is graphic sex, sadomasochism and gore. There are also plenty of laughs along the way, often sucker punches that ease the tension only long enough to make the revelations even more thrilling and chilling. The aim of it all? Question everything.Magic and mystery and wonder are everywhere. So are cruelty, sadness and terror. 

I purchased The Book of Paul a while ago and it took its place on my to-be-read pile? Or in an eReader age is that “in the to-be-read file”? Life has a way of draining the life from you, and the last year has been that in spades. So when things finally settled into some semblance of a new routine, I picked up this complex, well-written novel and dove in. I am glad I did not try to start it sooner, the intricate plot and characters, the references to myth, religion and science and the action of the novel required close attention.

The novel weaves Druid, Christian, Gnosticism and a dose of modern science in a pre-apocalyptic story. The plot is revolves around Martin and Rose, modern day seemingly unknowing keepers of ancient “truth” and traditions. It is non-sequential and mystical while at the same time raw and real. It is the first book of what is to be a series and weaves endtimes with horror, love, redemption, reincarnation and sex.

Of course given my own fascination with Celtic/Druid mythology, as incorporated into my own work, I was hooked from the beginning by the warring Clans.

Mr. Long writes flawlessly from a grammar and mechanics standpoint. I was initially put off by the multiple point of view shifts that occurred, sometimes mid-paragraph. I reached out Mr. Long who confirmed my suspicion that it was indeed a deliberate choice to create a sense of the disjointed reality consistent with the book’s themes. My one criticism is that he was not consistent in his inconsistency. There are stretches where the point-of-view was clear, strong and singular while n other places it resumed fragmentation. These global shifts within the novel did not seem to mirror plot arc. There is also an unnamed narrator who pops in an out. All of which, despite my own personal issues with this as a distraction, Mr. Long carries off well.

This is a novel that was very good on a first read and like other such multi-dimensional stories (in more ways than one) should get better with future re-reads, which I recommend and plan on---as soon as I whittle the pile down.

About the author: 
Richard Long is the author of The Book of Paul and the forthcoming young-adult fantasy series The Dream Palace.  He lives in Manhattan with his wonderful wife, two amazing children and wicked black cat,
Merlin. Visit Richard on his websiteTwitterFacebook, or GoodReads.

I give The Book of Paul                 

       and look forward to the next part of the cycle.