I'm just another Goodreads refugee and this is my back up plan. Please be patient with me while I find my legs on here.
I guess you all know that it's Free Fiction week this week on our Blog Boys in our Books. I find myself feeling quite passionate about it really. The very best books (at least my top 5) have been at one time or still are Free Fiction.
I love that there is no publisher influence, I love that what I get is almost always original, I love that there are no rules and conforming to marketing standards. I love the undiluted passion the writer has that always seems to bleed through the pages.
There is just something more ...intimate about reading something that hasn't been styled to suit the masses. And yet I am the masses, but the masses evolve do we not?
Is it because I am unconsciously forgiving because it's free? Or is it just that good? Whatever it is, I want to explore more of it. I'm excited about discovering these gems that are so much more deserving of my time, more so than most published works.
I rely on my fellow readers who have already been where I am in my reading journey to send me recommendations all the time. So I welcome any and all recs gladly - please gimme, gimme :)
One of you lovely readers (you know who you are) recommended I read Nora Sakavic and I did. The labels attached are so far removed from my norm that I balked at the thought but read it anyway. Well...WOW, just ...WOW.
Nora sakavic and her series The Foxhole Court was my contribution to Free Fiction Week.
I was blown away by her original styling and absolutely adored her dialog. This is great work! And deserves so much recognition: I want to shout it out so LOUD, I want the Coen brothers to make the movies! I want someone in a suit to sit up and say "Holy Shit, this Misfit fiction is awesome, lets sell it!"
Now it's not for everyone and it's not perfect (what is?) and I get that. But check it out anyways, I wouldn't want anyone to miss out.
Starting Monday at Boys In Our Books, we're dedicating an entire week to highlighting some of the BEST free fiction available online.
We'll have daily reviews of fanfics, original works, and series. And we'll have guest posts and interviews with some of the most talented and fascinating authors offering free work.
Check us out each day for reviews or posts by/about:
Ais & Santino
Catherine Julia Jefferson
And if some of these authors and works are new-to-you, let us tell you WHY you should be giving them a try! Reason #1: THE WORK IS FREE! :)
Sheesh ...Only 7% in and I been reading for what feels like hours. Now I'm bored, Sherlock is a proper pratt and I'm not enough of a movie aficionado to appreciate the RLP referencing nor do I enjoy the movie making scene. So clearly, this was not made for me.
What else is on that list....
Stretching the limits of your belief in the name of fiction is all peachy but when a conclusion goes this far I tend to feel a bit patronised; it's like the author said " It's fiction ...just go with it - believe it because I say so" Hmmm?
I'm really annoyed because up until that point I was really enjoying this book. I liked the writing (despite a couple of editing hiccups) and admired the development and depth of realism in Con's recovery/ acceptance of his life After his Fall and waking up with retrograde amnesia.
There are some nice twists and the narrative is emotive even though I experienced this book as if I was on the outside looking in.
I can't say I connected with the characters but I had a really good view of what Con was going through. His grim reality of life on the dole, scrounging for change for chips is another all too real scenario. I know, I've been there! The author deserves big time kudos for this, the realism here is truly commendable so I'm buggered when I'm forced to stretch my belief across a flippin' Canyon when the final axe falls.
Beyond that, it's a healing is a process, learning who you are is another, when lovers are strangers and your disability is seen as opportunity, who do you trust? Plenty of food for thought here ...
The ending also felt like a couple of threads had been left unattended, such a shame because this author is one to watch. I like her, she has something but ....yeah. But.
Yep, totally torn and not even straight down the middle. This review is bound to be confusing because I am confused.
There are pieces of this book that I LOVED (with all my heart), hated (just a bit), admired and scoffed at - and some of those feels fall into more than one area which thus, leaves ME "discombobulated!"
The first problem I encountered is that my ignorance of the comic book superhero world is a handicap. References to Trick (never watched it) Jean Grey (relative of Christian?), Patrick Warburton (the baker?) and sayings like: “things were getting a little NC-17” fly way over the top of my head.
Now considering my Comic book ignorance I found the fandom fascinating and (when I understood the reference) I really loved the clever braiding of superhero metaphors with the characterisation. It's very smart and I appreciated that, admired it even.
Then I really struggled with the choppy dialog which felt as if the MC’s are speaking in code or only voicing a single word of a sentence they hashed up in their minds and forgot to speak. I hated this. It’s like being constantly thrown out of story and having to pick yourself up again. I can only think it must be intentional, because it’s not constant and there are passages in this book that I LOVED - they lit me up inside – so this messy formatting perplexes me.
This book is also packed with some strange (to me) similes like: “He almost shone with contentment, the face of a farmer at an Impressionist picnic.” – eh? I’m not seeing this image, and “She winked and the triple lashes made it look like spiders fucking.” - eh? I can’t say I see this either. Is this artistic flair that I’m bumbling over like a clumsy oversized toddler? Probably.
I did of course LOVE some of the clever play on words like "disasturbate” and “A-dork-able.” Oh, and sayings like “the little gaggle of faggles” Ha! That really is a-dork-able! And this one has to be my laugh-out-loud favourite: “Sodomy powers, activate.”
You know what else I LOVE about this book? Silas Goolsby. Didn’t think I would, thought he’d be the typical one night stand player afraid to commit and blah, blah, blah … But no, Sigh-las surprised me, and I reckon I fell in love with him quite early on and didn’t realise it till I had tears in my eyes at about 75%. It’s for reals – I love Sigh-las …AND his hairy He-man posing pouch.
Now Trip Spector is another story; me and Trip don’t see eye to eye. It’s a matter of subjective opinion here and to put it bluntly. He’s not good enough for my Silas.
And he said this: “what I really love is breaking a big guy open with my joint.” Oh - cringe - Trip!
I can’t recall who summed him up so perfectly (Maybe Kurt, this sounds like Kurt) but here you go: “Raised by aliens. No social skills. Weird job. Coping mechanisms out the wazoo. Bony pale thing with a huge doodad and too many insecurities.”
Uh-huh he's All that! PLUS Trip’s habitual secrecy, his closeted anxiety over being well, closeted is ridiculous because everyone knows he’s gay. And the fact that he just fucks everything up and doesn’t have the balls to put it right ...grrr. Trapped by fear, of what? Flying? This is the real world mother fu dude WAKE UP!
Urgh no, Trip and I are like Catwoman and …err, *hand waving* whatever villain doesn’t like Catwoman.
So it is amazing that with my dislike of Trip that I STILL got to appreciate the intensity of the relationship and the sex! Oh boy, the sex! HOT! LOVED IT! I’m smiling HUGE when I think of dexterous fingers and a particular porch scene. *blush* Uh – hem…moving on.
I discovered a couple of very quotable sayings that made me stop and really think, in fact there are a lot of quotables here:
"Worrying is praying for something you don’t want.”
“We are a race of powerless control freaks. That’s how mythology happens.”
You see? I'm like a yo-yo with my feels I hope you can understand why I am torn but overall - I really liked it... I think.
It’s fresh, unique and it has a voice that is both sensually and comically (pun intended) seductive. I’m recommending it because what the hell does a South African ex-pat know about Comic fandom anyways.
Oh and bravo on creating a new platform to promote Scratch and Horn Gate Mr Suede. Very clever ;)
For an insider view and the inspiration behind this book check out this interview with Damon Suede.
"Worrying is praying for something you don’t want.”
“We are a race of powerless control freaks. That’s how mythology happens.”
Of course it does. Stories of the beautiful neck-biter have been around since the early 1800’s with Dr. John Polidori’s (1819) The Vampyre followed by Bram Stokers Dracula where the vampire was always portrayed as a thing of evil – while the modern era seems to prefer the redemption angle with Stephanie Lauren’s Twilight. We all love an anti-hero (well I do) and who better than the flawless walking dead to convince us of their harmlessness.
The scope for narrative opportunities within the vampire genre is immense. Writers have expanded this field to include fantasy, paranormal, crime, sci-fi, mystery, erotica, romance and more. The vampire trope has been done over and over again… The way I see it, is that nowadays a writer will need to deliver something quite special to stand out among the likes of the notarised and notorious. So it saddens me when I come across a novella that mimics only the most basic elements of the vampire trope without any addition of diversity to capture a new age audience that’s already drowning in Vamps.
To Serve the Count is basic, predictable and I found the moral of the story quite patronising. The writing may be as tidy as you like, with some pretty text but the content is still a formulaic replica of the suave and aristocratic vampire – not demonised but idolised and spliced with the popular new age romantic redemption. The dialog is stage play, the characterisation is ordinary. I found nothing neither exemplary nor offensive in these pages – the author played it safe – too safe for my tastes.
I heard via the grapevine that Amazon, Kobo, and B&N are going to ban erotica and self published authors?
Uhm...does anyone know if this is true? I just signed a petition to stop it from happening. Talk about fucking oppression, I mean, are these people NUTS?!
We need a couple hundred more votes, would you mind?
Girls listen to me carefully, yes just the girls please. You have a choice: you can run away screaming (I wouldn’t blame you – I swear!) OR … you can hold onto your vaginas, man up and take it – cos this here is MAN PORN!
Proper M.A.N – man porn!!
Tummy rolling perverted filth! But it’s good *slaps self * No! No it’s not good dammit – it’s disgraceful and I am appalled and outraged and I’m repulsed and sickened and… ah fuck it! The truth is…. I’m not any of that, not really. Okay, maybe just a bit but I’m not exactly a pearl clutching Pollyanna.
The thing is, we all have our kinks and who am I to judge a nymphomaniac who likes cock so much. I actually feel sorry for him.
“I just love cock. I love asses. I love balls. I love cum. I love men. Can’t get enough. If it’s not hurting anyone, I can’t see the problem.” – Atom.
Atom is a young man who has obviously been abused by his father and is looking for acceptance by giving himself to (rough) strangers: he loves it, thrives on it, the more the merrier, he begs for it! Poor bugger.
Now girls, I got to warn you about Jez: he’s straight, he’s bitter, a total misogynist, and the typical trucker guaranteed to offend, completely outrageous in his arrogance, I wanted to hate him but I ended up laughing instead. He’s way too authentic in his egotistical charms to take too seriously. Plus I’m not easily offended by blokes who speak arsehole-ese, and it’s just too much fun watching Jez agonise over his alien feelings of lust and jealousy for Atom.
If you look past the multiple orgies and copious amounts of man slime, gaping holes and grimy smut talk there is a skinny thread of a story line for me to hide behind – phew because I kind of want to know where the non-relationship is going.
Fellas, you (non-sensitive) guys are going to luurv this one! There’s no fluffy romance or emo psychobabble. Girls, just remember that this is porn made by a man, for other gay MEN! There is no credibility to any of it, it’s purely smut to be enjoyed by: truckers (duh!) and bad ass hairy bikers and filthy highway cops, and dudes who suck anonymous cock through poke holes in toilet doors, and for those blokes who Google search ‘cum dump my area’ and raincoat flashers and cream pie lovers and maybe, ….just maybe (and I can’t believe I’m going to say this) …. It’s for people like me.
*Cringe*Blush*Hides*Dies reaching for BOB and book two*
I haven’t read a BDSM novel for some time and this one has left me questioning why I actually like this genre in the first place. Not because it’s an awful book but there is a sense of awkwardness to it that made me itch with unease. So bare with me while I remind myself why it is that I read BDSM again.
Oh yeah: I love the dominant man, I love the power and control he exudes and the game he plays to win my trust. When I place myself in the bonds of a fictional submissive it’s like letting go of all responsibility without judgement (even in my imagination). That, is the overall feeling that I crave when I read BDSM. The plots are important too – the set up is there to make it function – to give it credibility. I can’t say that I’ve always been able to relate to every Dom or sub in my novels – but that’s subjective. All BDSM novels vary in their intensity and we all establish our own definition of soft and hard limits as we go, that’s part of the fun and the challenge.
Bound By Lies was a hard limit for me, but not for the reasons that you may think. The problem lies with the Dom in ‘control’ here. To me, he was never ‘in’ control. Jenner Parrish was not ready to be a Dom. He made too many crucial mistakes to redeem my trust. He made me nervous and the early dub-con scene made me white-knuckle mad. Every scene after (and there where loads) prickled – like ants scuttling under my skin. So it’s safe to say I had issues with Jenner Parrish – despite his remorse and sacrificing – he never won me over. But then I’m a stubborn bitch, and you might like him.
Initially Brayden Clare’s need for submission was not credible but the author deliberately reveals the motive at her own pace. While there is no explanation for Brayden’s exceedingly uncharacteristic appearance at Jenner’s BDSM club, it does prove to be the catalyst for their D/s relationship. Handy that, after weeks and weeks of UST and secrets.
This is my first book by Lynn Kelling and admittedly her style threw me. Present tense formatting I can deal with – just. But when it’s from a third person perspective and the focus swings between characters? Not so much – it was very off-putting.
But you know what? I have a soft spot for coming-out tropes and this book is no exception. I also have a soft spot for those who have suffered loss and experienced an abusive past and this is where I was able to empathise with Brayden who suffers from debilitating self-esteem issues. The author did a great job in echoing his fears – I felt his panic and spiking paranoia as if it where my own. I also grew tiresome of it – most probably because it inevitably led to another …scene.
It’s no secret that I don’t like the too neat happy-ever-after, and the whole redemption angle where Jenner finds his, was too easy. Overall this book suffered from my ambivalence toward Jenner – the sex, the declarations of love, the heartfelt emotion … it all suffered.
But that’s not to say it won’t work for you. I’m certainly not giving up on this author yet. I see potential and believe that this is one of her lighter efforts so perhaps I’ll seek out her dark side (Deliver Us) where the Dom has ALL the control. I think I shall find my place there. Fingers crossed.
Magnificent … An imaginative masterpiece … Mind-blowing …Appalling … Intoxicating … Thought provoking … Genius! I think you get the picture, but really … those words are trite in comparison to the reality of The Rifter. This series is a trip!
The Rifter hinges on the lives of two pivotal characters: John and Kyle, each man from a separate but parallel world, bound by so much more than the power of fate and world ending prophecy. When John crosses over The Shattered Gates into Kyle’s world his presence upsets the foretelling of things and has the potential to change the destiny of a world. Well okay, there’s a LOT more going on but I’d be spoiling if I were to expand. But I will give you a little clue …
“This is the Rifter,” … “Parfir’s most holy incarnation,” … “The divine destroyer. God’s will given form.”
Enter a world of magic and mystery, where talking bones hold the souls of witches and heretics are burned alive. Navigate your way through non-linear time lines and piece together a 10000 piece puzzle that the author reveals ever so meticulously, skilfully and for me …agonizingly. Hale is a master crafter of a vivid realm made fantastical with its crooked streets, stone pathways, and tall towers. The spicy aromas of exotic strange foods (roast dog –anyone?) the scents of pollen, earth and ozone make my senses reel. I’m dizzy with appreciation. Her accounts are utterly breath-taking, making every image crystal clear in my mind.
Now I have some advice for you before you begin this most EPIC of adventures.
Be patient (ha! Says me) there will be questions, so many questions and confusion but trust in Ginn Hale to deliver your answers and give clarity. She will :)
Defend yourself (somehow) from a bigoted culture that will enrage and sicken your soul with their piety and unforgiving brutal acts of torture and harsh judgements.
Delight in the intrigue and plotting of assassins and rebels whose very uprising balances on a razors edge. Revel in the back-stabbing malicious manipulations and downfall of greedy power-hungry men.
Brace for the horrors of war.
Pay attention to the details, it’s all fast, crazy good and totally addictive with so much to discover between the lines.
Anticipate. Watch your blind spot, you are guaranteed to get side swiped, often. The angst is an intense nail-biting experience that will compel and induce your joy, horror and fascination in spades.
And finally, make space in your heart for our heroes. I almost said guard your heart, but it is impossible. I challenge even the most cynical of readers not to be affected by the fierce courage, power, strength and sensuality of these men. Stand by them as they fail miserably, as they love each other desperately, suffer for each other endlessly, sacrifice freely, fight for morality and freedom, and ultimately …win.
“To cling to what is lost, no matter how real it once seemed or once was, will lead only to madness.”
Cheer them on as they destroy their enemies and break world ending prophecy. It’s brutal, it’s heart-breaking, but it’s also exceptional in its touching sensuality. Together our heroes are sweet, sweet perfection!
“Your flesh is my earth. Your blood is my river. Your breath is my sky. Your body, my world. Your will, my life…”
The Rifter is a thousand pages of staggering emotion that will linger for a lifetime. For me it will be treasured and held close forever. Ginn Hale explores every aspect of human nature, confirming AND defying the old saying of ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’. She demonstrates the strength of compassion and the futility of anger, vengeance and war; it doesn’t matter that it exists in another world we are all alike in our mortality – with or without the power to shape the world.
“Strength and courage are as much a part of human nature as weakness and cowardice. I don’t have much of a use for people who choose to be less than they can be.”
This series can be brutal and gruesome but it is balanced with so much goodness. There will be plenty to feed your soul and your heart; but take what you want from it, it’s yours if you want it – Ms Hale is very generous.
The Rifter is the most beautiful piece of fantastical escapism that I have ever read.
Thank you Ginn Hale.
For me this book is one of those rare gems that remind me of how much I love to read. It makes the slog through the mountains of mediocrity oh so worth it.
I highly recommend it to anyone wanting more than the what's made for the masses.
This is my review:
Esperanza begins with a deliberate unveiling of a post-apocalyptic / post- virus world through Tesla’s eyes as he drifts from one village to the next, never staying long for fear of being discovered for the sinner he is. Alone, always alone. Hiding.
Just allow me to quickly give you a glimpse of Tesla and his world … because this is what they said…
“A long time, anyway, but not so long either, since the Scourge. When the fist of God had come down, that’s what they said…spreading a pestilence to punish his children for a host of depravities: greed, science, abortion, adultery, sodomy—oh yeah, especially sodomy—and other things that God found hateful. Apparently, God hadn’t done a very good job of it, because that list had Tesla on it, and somehow he was still here, along with others like him. But anyway. That’s what they said.”
Eve Ocotillo gives her characters a voice that reaches right into your soul – totally naff thing to say – I know! But it’s true! When I read Violet and the Tom she not only blew me away – she sang to me! I think Esperanza is just as good but in a different way; it’s more of a … thought provoking wholeness that … hums.
I’m SO impressed with her willingness to go the extra mile by creating vision in symbolism; and then giving her stark setting the scope to not only denote the atmosphere, but enhance the raw gritty characterisation of our MC’s – so well done! There is no scaffolding to prop any element of this story; each and every aspect has the strength to hold its own – such is the realism. And may I just insert a big fat … HUMPH!!! … Because there are not many writers who have the ability to beat my sceptic cynicism into submission so completely.
The relationship between Coyo and Tesla is (affecting) antagonistic from the start – fraught with angry sexual tension that (literally) bites! Ha! But there is more than the issue of being able to love freely. Esperanza might offer acceptance, but it comes with a heavy price and Tesla doesn’t really have a choice but to (seem to) submit to the duty of village cum-cow. I’m not sure what the drama was – I mean – I thought the job had its … perky benefits.
There is a lot of sex here (Yes! *fist pump*), but there was nothing ‘insipid’ about it at all; each scene functions because of its luscious power – whether it is a display of dominant control or tender loving – the sex counts – and not just to add points to the hotometer. I’m not saying it’s not hot … IT IS! My God …Eve Ocotillo gives really good tongue – I swear!
Now remember I said that this is more than an M/M romance, and it really is. Esperanza is also a thought provoking study of humanity in its most basic environment. Survivors have reverted to insular views of religion, sexuality, and racism. Social equality is undone! Hate and prejudice reins and it’s a case of fear coupled with ignorance – which fuels paranoia – which leads to extremism and ultimately … evil. It is a most credible and terrifying depiction of our future and it just about gave me nightmares thinking to deeply about it. But again, I can’t help but be blown away by the detail in making this a realistic ideology.
Esperanza is a free unpublished work that is not perfect, but I don’t care. I don’t even care that it DID slip into emo meltdown territory at the end – and yes – I would have liked more (I always do) Esperanza just has EVERYTHING that (for me) makes a great read. It’s poignant (everything … it was just … lovely!
Authors Note: Some non-con (in flashback) and dubcon (depends on how PC you are), semi-explicit violence and references to torture (not much worse than first chapter). Themes of religion, racism, sexism and extreme homophobia. Also drug use, illegal today, but anarchy in story time means legal everything. ^^ I wrote this with an eye towards realism, but honestly, there are some ‘yeah right, in your dreams’ moments. Sue me. I’m an amateur.
I have to protest: SHE’S NOT AN AMATEUR!!!
End NOTE: If you don’t like reading online you can convert this document for your e reader using Flag https://www.flagfic.com/sites
I’m sure I've said this before but, JCP makes me want to clutch this book and do a spiny twirl making a stupid eeeeeeek sound.
I got so excited. So Happpeeeee …and so pissed when real life got in my way!
I loved everything about this one, it was so much fun! Ghostly goop and all.
Jacob Mc Buffstuff is such a friggin dream boat isn’t he? I love that Mr Muscle showed a vulnerable side, it just makes him SO much more appealing.
Victor freaking Bane!!! How can a character be so perfectly IMPERFECT ?!
I more than adore him; I kind of want to BE him but that would make it weird because I also think he’s hot! It must be the new haircut (lol), cos all of a sudden I’m finding him quite smelt-worthy. I want to lick the scowl off his face and bury my nose in his hair and get my short legs all tangled up with his long skinny ones. I swear if JCP ever stops writing about him, I’m going to be devastated!
And Crash! There’s never enough Crash (now that I know he’s not a threat to JaVic .. not really, right?) I’m seriously thinking of taking my Reiki Mastership to the next level and learning to how cross over into the fictional realm, then me and Crash can do some nasty tantric in the astral because phew, that man is yummy. I really hope I get more Crash in Spook Squad *fingers crossed*
I don’t think there was a character that I didn’t like here. Even Dreyfuss (FPMP dude-Vic’s nemesis) proved to intrigue and entertain me – what an interesting chap he’s turned out to be!
The plot was brilliant! JCP is just so SMART!! I loved this one; it’s one of my faves in the series.