Robert has been writing poetry since the eleventh grade. His writing started as impulsive rambling, but soon became a passion. A few years later he attended SUNY Potsdam where he received a B.A. in Creative Writing.
His main focus is poetry, but at times you can find him dabbling in short fiction. Robert has also created the blog A Life Among The Pages, where he posts his writing as well as book reviews.
When he’s not reading or writing, Robert enjoys spending time with his dog, Deuc. Deuc ran out of the woods in August 2011 and they have been inseparable ever since.
Where to find Robert Zimmermann online
Where to buy in print
by Robert Zimmermann
Words is a short poem that's a taste of an upcoming collection of poetry that I'm working on. The poem started out as a simple observation of the snow in moonlight, and turned into a poem with more to offer.
I'm offering it free to my readers. I've had it on my blog, where it's gotten much response, and wanted to give everyone another way to access it.
Breakfast In Bed
by Robert Zimmermann
Erotic Romance flash fiction story - about 600 words in length.
Julie isn't a morning person, but her husband Nick knows just the right way to wake her up.
by Robert Zimmermann
I Would, is a short poem that touches on the difficulties of being in a long distance relationship. Yet, with the difficulties there are always hopes of a reunion on the horizon.
Winter's Homecoming and Other Poems
by Robert Zimmermann
Winter's Homecoming and Other Poems is an eight poem chapbook by Robert Zimmermann. In this insightful new collection, Zimmermann shares his love and appreciation for the beauty of nature and the changing of seasons, as well as the endless search for happiness.
From Where I Stand
by Robert Zimmermann
From Robert Zimmermann comes From Where I Stand, an emotional debut poetry collection. Zimmermann explores strained parental relationships, loss of life, and the despair associated with grief. Alongside these darker themes, he delves into the small areas of life that often go unnoticed but become the hope we are searching for.
Robert Zimmermann's tag cloud
Robert Zimmermann's favorite authors on Smashwords
Smashwords book reviews by Robert Zimmermann
- The Jinson Twins, Science Detectives, and The Mystery of Echo Lake
on Feb. 14, 2012
I was very surprised by the way I was hooked into this book. This is a children's book, but could easily (as it did with me) grab the attention and enjoyment of an adult. From the beginning the reader is left wondering what the opening scene has to do with most of the rest of the book, being that the opening scene is the outcome of what comes after it in the book with the exception of the final chapters or two. After a few chapters though, I forgot my question about what the opening scene was there for and read it like it didn't exist. With this said, I feel there isn't a need for it to have been there, but it does add a little to this being a story told by a child character. The recollection factor was well used.
I also enjoyed the addition of science into the book. When writing a children's book the amount of "learning" thrown in can either get more kids interesting in reading it or push others away depending on how it was written into the story. I think these elements were written perfectly into the story. Even at my age, while reading this I didn't realize that I was reading about science or learning till I got halfway through those parts. It wasn't terribly hard to follow either, which is always good for children.
I did feel though, that the "Yellow Jackets" were either unnecessary characters or just needed more involvement. This can be said about the strange man with the blue truck. At the end, his place in the story is explained. But in both cases I can't say for sure whether or not the story benefited from their involvement. Also if there was more development and concern shown from the other characters toward the "villains," I think this book could easily have been geared more towards an adult audience looking for a crime/suspense novel.
One last minor point to make. There were, if I remember my count correctly, about four sentences/paragraphs in the book that need some attention. The entire book was written in the first person from Debbie's point of view. In these few areas though, the author has slipped and written in the third person (i.e. "they" instead of "we.") This doesn't take away from my enjoyment of the book though, but I feel it should be mentioned to help out the author for the future. Plus no body, especially me, is perfect grammatically.
I do hope that Zeichner decides to write another Jinson Twins book. I would enjoy to read more of their adventures.
- Going Down
on May 14, 2012
For such a short story, I was surprised that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I enjoy short, short stories because of their length. They don't normally demand a lot of your time or make you think too hard. They just give you something fast to read and normally push aside afterward.
Going Down was a fast read. There wasn't much to think deeply about. This isn't putting it down in anyway because the punch that many short stories lack for me was found in this one. The story set up for being almost anything, then things started falling into place and I was thinking ok what'll happen next.
Then I finished the story and was thought BRILLIANT. I don't think I would have changed anything with the abrupt way this story ended. I realized what was going to happen not long before the ending, but there was still room for the imagination to paint its own picture of the aftermath.
There's not much else I can say in reviewing this story. That's mainly because of how short it is. It's hard to not reveal too much if I were to get into detail. But since it won't take long to read...and it's free, I don't think any reader will be wasting his or her time by reading this story.
- High Bridge
on May 14, 2012
This story wasn't the best thing I've ever read, but it was far from being the worst...so don't run away from it, please.
I thought there were some good parts to it, such as, the relationship between the characters. The relationship between the main character and the bridge was even worth mentioning. Though especially with the later of these two, I think they could have been altered slightly to feel stronger for me.
The main character, for me, wasn't that easy to follow. There was a switch between his five year old point of view and the point of view of however old he is at the time he "writes down the story." This wouldn't be much of a problem though I think it was too jumbled and hard to decipher the differences between the two. I mention this because the mentality and memory capability of a five year old is drastically different than that of an adult. I would have liked to see clearer what was a recalling of the 5-year-old's self and what was a reflection from the present on the past events.
I think overall I was left feeling like I needed something more. Maybe a little more depth to the whole thing. It may have been the right amount of depth for other readers, but I felt it lacked a little bit. There was more to be said; more to be scene. I wouldn't mind reading an expanded version. As I said, this wasn't a bad story; just not fully to my liking.
I still don't see a reason not to check this one out.
on Aug. 27, 2012
I feel for a short story this one had a lot in it. Normally with this length of writing there’s not much that happens, at least in the erotic genre which this is in. I’ve read some erotic stories that are of similar length and normally it’s (boiled down to) “hi, let’s have sex, ok,” then the story ends.
Norrgard was able to establish a very real world character in her main character. The set up for bringing James into her life was worked out well, also. I feel this story doesn’t need the erotic label thrown on it (aside from a few descriptive words at certain points). It could easily pass as a great story without that.
The way the MC dealt with an issue she couldn’t bring herself to handle (won’t be more descriptive to avoid a spoiler) wasn’t to my liking. But because of this it showed how flawed an individual can be. It took a while for her to learn her mistake and that’s life for you. Not everything works out perfectly, especially with romance and strong emotions getting in the way. Take it as a lesson and don’t make the mistake in real life. That’s the moral of that part of the story.
Overall I was very pleased with this story and savored every line. More from this author will be going onto my wishlist now :)
- Most Guys
on Aug. 27, 2012
It was a fun, very short story to read. Seems like the MC is the "ideal" man a woman may look for. I'd like to see a woman's view on this story.
The idea of an honesty date sounds like fun as well. I may have to try that some time soon.
- In The Company of Angels
on Aug. 27, 2012
This was a short touching story. I little predictable for me as a reader, but not bad in the least. Yet another quick pleasure read from Adam Drake.
- Unlikely Allies
on Aug. 31, 2012
*This review is for an ARC copy obtained from the author
The first thing I’d like to mention is that I waited until the morning to write this review. I wanted so badly to write it immediately after finishing the book…but I think the review would have looked like this: “HOLY F*** WHAT THE WHO AWGJADF AKDFGARGKL SHE DID WHA FDKJ KFMG OMG AMAZING…” And so on. Instead, as I do for many reviews that leave me with that reaction, I wait a few hours or overnight to absorb all of it.
I have yet to be disappointed by a book of Tiffany King’s so far. I’ve read both Wishing For Someday Soon and Forever Changed earlier this year. They both blew me away. This book lived up to this author’s previous standards.
What I was initially drawn in by was the characters. In the first few chapters that’s what kept me reading the most. Kimberly, the main character, is very likable. I especially like the artistic side she has. Through this, King was able to capture the beautiful settings in the novel.
There were many characters that I fell in love with. One of them was Amy (of course). When the reader meets her, it’s hard to not like her. She reminds me of a character out of Gilmore Girls. Since I love the fast-talking, eccentric, always a great friend personality of characters like Rory, Lorelai, Lane, and Sooki…Amy was a perfect match for a reader like me. I also really liked Rick. The story could have gone a different way, if King had given him a different personality or reaction to the situation at hand. I was surprised and pleased to get to know the loving man and new father that is Rick.
Since this book is set mainly in a summer camp for kids, it is only natural that there are great younger characters as well. Tiffany King seems to have a natural talent for touching the reader’s heart through these young characters. In her past books this is true, and she’s done it again in Unlikely Allies. These kids have gone through a lot in their lives. They are all children who are in the foster care system and haven’t known stability much. Camp Unlikely Allies was established to try to give children like them an opportunity at enjoying life and growing up.
Alyssa is one of the young characters that really touched me. She’s very closed off from others. She always has a wall up to everyone. The reader gets a little background on her and that’s when I wanted to just give her a huge hug. There’s a certain part of the story in which I was close to tears because of this little girl. That’s something King is also good at. Grabbing the reader in an emotional tractor-beam and playing with their hearts.
Now about the setting. It was a welcome change from earlier King books I’ve read. Most of it takes place in the mountains of Colorado. I’ve always wanted to go there myself, and the picture painted in my mind was beautiful. I think everything that’s great about being in the great outdoors enjoying nature was touched on here. While I don’t live in the Colorado wilderness, I do live in the wilderness for the most part, and I could picture myself easily going through some of the struggles that take place in Unlikely Allies.
What’s the main reason we’re here though? It’s not the characters or the setting is it? Maybe. I know a few readers will have picked this book up for the romance as well. AND the adventure. Both those elements are in this book. They actually go hand in hand. I was left baffled at times with the interaction between Kimberly and Mason. I questioned the relationship between them the entire time. It’s one of the reasons I had to keep reading. I needed to know who was going to strangle the other first, haha.
The struggled that they both go through later on in the book was great as well. I don’t know if King has been stranded and injured in the woods before, but I think she has written a very believable account of what it’d be like. I was left on edge the whole way through wondering what obstacle was going to arise next. Whether it was physical or emotional, everything kept me sympathizing for the characters.
I can’t say any more. There’s just so much greatness in this book. If Tiffany King wasn’t one of my favorite authors out there already, she’d have made it on the list with this one. I’m eager to see how other readers enjoy the book once it’s released.
- Vaempires: Revolution
on Sep. 09, 2012
Wow, just wow! This book started out with a bang and that bang never seemed to stop.
What I especially liked is that Winship cut most of the set up for the story into a few paragraphs. The description you see for this book is a brief intro before Chapter One. This gave me, as a reader, enough to set up what was going on when the first chapter jumped into Daniel's story. I think without cutting the back story down like that, the book would have dragged on a bit, been longer, and may have had a different overall effect on me. This book is about forward momentum, and when that's stopped the enjoyment does too. But it didn't occur.
By the middle of this book I knew what I wanted for Christmas this year. I wanted the powers of these Vampires. Essentially, when I read the battle scenes I pictured Daniel, the main character, as is her were Wolverine from X-men. Most of the abilities are the same, and when you add the ability Vampires have of being in the sun (due to consuming synth-blood instead of real blood) they are even more similar. This is in no way saying Daniel, and these vampires in general, are rip-offs of this ultimate fighting machine Wolverine. But it helps put into perspective just how much action and devastation occurs during the many fights Daniel gets in to. He has to race through the city of Orion a few times in order to achieve his goal of saving the Princess Cassandra.
Aside from all the action that is included within these pages there are some underlying issues that are brought up. This story takes place in a future, much altered world. It's still the Earth, but a human-vampire war has taken place, nuclear winter, continental shifting, and the dominate race has become Vampires. On top of that a new race is present. Vaempires. Having three races walking the Earth, or Tarados as it's now referred to, will bring conflict. Race conflict is a huge theme in the book. At times when different characters' viewpoints were being brought into play, I began to sympathize with all sides. Even the Vaempires who started the current war. It brings to mind that if we don't all treat the races of our current world equally and humanly...something like this (without the super-human powers) could happen in our life time. Just because a group of people are different doesn't mean they are less of a person. In the defense of the Vampires, the Vaempires are said to be inherently less stable minded and were impatient in the government's actions to adapt to the new race's presence.
Off of that topic and on to a very bad a** character. Daniel was my favorite butt-kicker for most of the book until later one. Cassie can really hold her own in a fight. Some of the stuff she does would make more action heroes hang their heads in shame. And it's not only her fighting. Her will-power and ability to keep a clear mind in a difficult situation is enviable.
What else is there to say about this book other than I loved? I think the mix of genres are worth mentioning. This is part sci-fi, post(-post)-apocalyptic, vampire, action-adventure, (minor) romance, urban fantasy. It's a bit mixture of different elements that fit very well together. I think it'd appeal to lowers of many genres as well as many different reading levels. While most of the gory battles and other violence will probably consider this a more adult book, I also think it could be read by a younger reader (with a parent's permission of course). I think the younger readers will really enjoy the action and almost comic book feel to it. Along with that....can we make this thing into a video game? I don't normally feel that way about a book, but I think it'd be great.
One thing I "disliked" about the book, to finish off the review. The cliff-hanger ending. It's a cliff-hanger!!!! I'm a so happy I read this book when I did because it's only about a month until Vaempires: Zombie Rising is released. At least the wait isn't very long and I still have the novella Vaempires: A White Christmas to read until then.
on Sep. 13, 2012
This is yet another great story by Norrgard. I haven’t had good experience with reading erotic stories before. They just don’t do anything for me normally. And more often than not, I don’t find that the authors write very well either. It’s basically describe the encounters as blandly as possible and finish the story.
Norrgard drags the reader into the story itself. The reader isn’t just reading what’s going in the bedroom, he or she is visualizing, feeling, being part of the story itself. This was a new experience in my erotic readings and I quite enjoyed it.
Aside from the sexual elements in this story, there was also more. There was the part that I find is lacking elsewhere in this genre. The main characters have an arrangement where they are friends with benefits. But when feelings may start developing, an end must occur to the relationship. There are few words on the subject, yet there is much being said and more to be speculated that made me give this story such a great rating. It’s what’s NOT said that makes this story so powerful.
I never thought I’d have this to say about something with so much sex in it, but this was a beautifully written story about sexual encounters and what happens when a character has real human emotions.
- Sundered Lineage
on Oct. 20, 2012
This was a quick read from Chris Turner. He has many free short stories that I plan on getting to in due time, and this is my first. I think for my first dive into Turner's work it was a pleasant read. It was full of action, a little twist in the beginning that I didn't expect. It turned the tides of what I thought the story was going to end up being, but not in a bad way.
I'll have to check out more from the Fantastic Realms collection from this author, which this is a story from.
on Oct. 21, 2012
This was a highly imaginative story that takes the reader to many different places and times. The main character Jeff Witherspork, and well...the other characters as well make for a very interesting journey. While it took me a bit to catch on to what was going on, once I did, I hung on tight as the story went full-speed into epic battles and the attempts to save the day.
The only real problem area I felt was its length. I think with how short this story is, it didn't have room to make the transitions I stumbled through flow better. Still a great story and definitely an interesting read for those who want something different.
- Turkey Slap 2012
on Nov. 04, 2012
This collection of short erotic stories is hilarious, sexy, and worth the pain of each turkey slap that takes place. I was laughing along with many of the stories, yet admire the creativity that they presented as well.
For a turkey slapping good time, I suggest reading this collection!
- Dark That Day, After All
on Nov. 09, 2012
This is a story taken from McIntrye’s anthology Black Light of Day. I haven’t read the anthology, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be buying it after reading “Dark That Day, After All.”
I enjoyed the set up of this story. Jarvis the main character tells of a defining moment in his life, a hard life. I gained sympathy for him early on. What I wasn’t expecting was a nice and dark twist in the story. By the time I caught the cue for the twist, it was too late; the story turned on its heels, amazing me.
This is a tale of redemption, confession, revenge, and the strange events that a solar eclipse can bring with it.
on Nov. 09, 2012
This is my first time reading McIntyre's work and I was very pleased with it. I haven't read "The Night Walk Men" which this story is closely related to, but I didn't feel that I needed to do so either.
In this story I was hooked early on by the characters and was kept glued to my e-reader as the story unfolded. Since it was a fairly short read, it was more like a teaser. That normally doesn't sit well with me, but I think it was also a great story by itself and that the tease was just an added bonus.
I'm looking forward to reading this author's upcoming novel "The Devil's Right Hand" that follows in the same world as "Kro" does. I enjoyed his writing a good amount.
on Nov. 10, 2012
Here is yet another of Norrgard’s stories that I’ve enjoyed. Unlike the other two that I’ve read/reviewed so far (James and Jeffrey) this story get down to the core of the erotic experience right away. There’s no build up, no back story, nothing. I would normally shy away from that. I know it’s erotica and sex is the main plot device of the genre, but it doesn’t really make me want to read the stories. There needs to be something else.
With David even though it wasn’t stated clearly what the relationship between the two characters is, as a reader looking for more, I actually found it. I found it in my questions, not in the text. I was left to think about a possible situation in my own head without it being thrown in my face, forcing me to accept it. This was great because even tough the story is from a female’s first person POV, I was able to throw myself into the story. I was able to become the characters and experience it “first-hand.”
Another thing I’ve enjoyed about Norrgard’s work is her intimacy. There isn’t vulgar language for the sake of being able to say (sorry if you can’t handle these words) cock, pussy, cunt, etc just because erotica allows for it easily. Norrgard presents a sexual situation by using language that’s both creative and non-offensive. There’s no feeling that it’s written like it’s been cut from a mold. “Insert word for penis here. Add another out-of-place reference here.”
The story’s short, but it’s to the point. I wasn’t bored at all and I kept flipping the pages for more. I’m definitely a fan of Amber Jerome-Norrgard. David solidified it for me.
- Night Poems
on Nov. 14, 2012
The poems that make up the collection Night Poems from Ben Ditmars were enjoyable to read. I’m a fan of short poems, and they delivered well in that respect. Many were brief glimpses into the inner workings of the brain late at night. I’ve often found that my thoughts get deeper when I’m trying to sleep but can’t seem to. The subjects of the included poems are filled with questioning, longing, self inspection, and more. I feel that every poem is open to interpretation from a diverse readership, and poetry benefits from that. There is no one way to bring about a conclusion to any of them.
Ben Ditmars has created honest, insightful, and moving poems in enough of an abstract way to allow for many types of readers, while keeping them grounded enough to keep moving along on Night Poems‘ poetic journey.
- Miss Me Not
on Nov. 23, 2012
*Read as an ARC copy received from the author
Tiffany King has yet again wowed me with her writing. I've read all of her books since Wishing For Someday Soon was published earlier this year, and I've never been disappointed.
In her newest novel, Miss Me Not, King has stepped outside of her comfort zone to write a story that packs a punch for anyone who reads it. It's edgy. It's hard-hitting. It's going to make any reader stop in their tracks and rethink various aspects of life. It might even make some readers feel more grateful for the life they lead.
What I enjoyed most was seeing the inner workings of Madison's mind. This novel is told in the first person point of view, though Madison's eyes. I don't think it could have worked better if done much differently. Without that window into how Madison saw things, I don't think the reader would be able to sympathize with her character as much. The experience of various events would have been to limited from an outsider's perspective. On the topic of POV, I did think that at certain times, it would have been nice to get to see Dean's view on things. I think knowing his motivations in a less limited way would have furthered my understanding of the story, as a whole. What was his plan from the beginning? How did everything factor in together? I think knowing from his POV earlier one would have worked well. Don't get me wrong though, aside from my wish for some of Dean's point of view, the first person from Madison worked very well.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the pacing of the story is definitely different from King's books like Forever Changed and Unlikely Allies. It wasn't as fast paced when I read it. In a way this worked very well to allow me to soak in what I read. And on the other hand, I enjoy a book that goes, goes, and keeps going. King has a gift when it comes to a smooth and fast paced story-line, all while not hindering the reader from grabbing every detail of a story. Again, another personal opinion here.
The darker subject matter and emotional ride Miss Me Not holds within its pages made me at times put down the book and take a step back. It's not the easier stuff to deal with. There's bullying, broken families/friendships, thoughts of suicide, and other topics I won't bring up in the review. Let this be known: Miss Me Not might not be for every reader. There were times when even I didn't know if I wanted to pick the book back up. This isn't saying that it's a terrible book. It's the opposite of that. It hits close to home in many areas and in relating to some parts of the story it makes too a little uncomfortable. I feel this is the work of genius storytelling.
In closing, I feel that this story, for me, deserves another read through sooner rather than later. Now that I've finished it, I think I'll appreciate it even more than I already do by experiencing it all over again.
- 11:59 p.m., A Collection
on Nov. 28, 2012
Norrgard writes in many different disciplines. Whether it’s erotica, short stories that pack a emotional punch, her non-fiction, or her poetry, readers are bound to leave satisfied. With her newest collection, 11:59 p.m., Norrgard delivers.
This collection is filled with very personal, touching verse. The voice that I’ve enjoyed in the poet’s past works shines through yet again as we get a glimpse into what makes Norrgard tick.
The opening poem, which is titled the same as the collection, is one of my favorites. I’ve often thought about the moment one day turns into another and this poem does just that. Some other poems that stuck out are Naivety, Come Back, and The search for the eyes of home.
I think it’d be a good, short collection to start with for those wanting to get into Norrgard’s poetic works.
on Nov. 29, 2012
I really enjoyed what the author did with this story. It was short, simple, yet kept me questioning the main character's sanity the entire time.
Kurth's main character, Miles, is being followed around by the ghost of his dead younger sister. But he goes through the story debating whether or not she is real or a symptom of the combination of dealing with the stress of a recent breakup and the dead of his mother and sister a year earlier.
I spent most of the time reading trying to figure out the reality of the story along with Miles, but that's not all. There is someone's life at stake. Should Miles listen to the pleading of his sister's joke, get himself some professional help, or blow it all off in hopes that it'll go away? Well I can't tell you what he should do. You need to read the story. But I also can't tell you because, I'm still going over it all in my mind.
I really enjoyed the twist in this story as well. I definitely wasn't expecting the story to go in the direction it did. I'm always a fan of surprises though.
- The Night Walk Men
on Dec. 17, 2012
The Night Walk Men was able to hook me in, in one of the strangest ways a book can. It's a novella written for the most part in the 2nd person point of view. This is a MAJOR turn off for me. I don't like being talked at from what I'm reading. But this style works very well for how McIntyre is setting up the story. When some authors will just have a narrator that said you a lot and doesn't actually include the reader in the story, the narrator of The Night Walk Men interacts with the reader. It may not be a reaction to exactly what the reader is thinking, but when that happens it made me think about things again. It brought attention to make things.
Getting me hooked on a novella in this POV is a feat in itself. The subject matter was another great element. The world build in this novella was interesting to say the least. The mythology of these Night Walk Men puts the world and how it works into a new perspective. It's not just an entertaining read. The literary element of this novella pushes it passed the realm f pure entertainment.
I've read Kro, a short story that is set in the same world as The Night Walk Men, and I've enjoyed that one as well. Where that story grabbed me in more of a "what's this all about" way, this novella answered my questions from Kro while weaving its own intriguing story and then making me want to continue finding out more about the story line to come.
There is a new novel out, that The Night Walk Men and Kro are both connected to, called The Devil's Right Hand. There's no doubt in my mind that I will be reading that one. McIntyre has grabbed me as a fan.
- The Card
on Jan. 14, 2013
Here’s another great short from Brandon R. Luffman. I first read some of his work early last year, and couldn’t wait for more.
The Card delivered with a well-written story, like I had expected. There’s a great, slow reveal as the story moves along as to what exactly is going on. We get to see, along with Jason the main character, the fate that a mysterious tarot card brings with it. Even though there was some obvious foreshadowing that allowed me to take a guess as part of the outcome, it was still enjoyable to read up to and passed to see how it played out.
Luffman has a gift for creating a great, dark story. A story that’s short, sweet, and will stick with you. I’m looking forward to see what he does with his novel, Frostwalker, when it comes out. The short fiction is promising enough.
- The Billionaire Who...Vol 1-3 BDSM erotica Diary of a Fuckdoll
on Jan. 27, 2013
I just got done reading these three parts of the Diary of a F***doll series. It's safe to say that I really enjoying the series so far, and only hope that it continues on for even longer. At this time there are 5 total parts, and 4 & 5 are next on my list to read because I don't think I can stop right here.
There is a depth that is getting increasingly more enjoyable to the characters and the story itself. I find that a good amount of the erotica short stories lack good character development. It's true that this is a series and can work off the parts before it, but even in part one I was able to detect that there was something different to A. Violet End's work.
If you're a reader who wants something sexy to read, something a bit dark, and something with sex, this might be a series to check out. I think I hear parts 4 and 5 calling my name.
- The Billionaire Who Phoned Me, Diary of a Fuckdoll Pt 4
on Feb. 02, 2013
At this point in Diary of a F***doll things are really heating up. Lisa has a plan to get rid of Tristan once and for all. The question is whether or not she can pull it off, and even if she can...will it really keep Tristan out of her life for good?
For those who've read my reviews for parts 1-3, you'll know that I've been gradually getting more and more into this story line. Part 4 continues to pull me in, as well. There's something about watching Lisa's mind work through one issue after another and try to survive that makes me want more.
Not only does she have to deal with the controlling Tristan, but now she's home and has a troubled past that's resurfacing. Just when you think she might be heading toward the light, darkness is reaching out to pull her back.
So far, The Billionaire Who Phoned Me is my favorite of the series. But there's a 5th published and it needs to be read. I have a feeling I'll enjoy that, and the 6th and 7th, and any more after that, once they are released.
- The Billionaire Who Cloned Me, Diary of a Fuckdoll Pt 5
on Feb. 03, 2013
A. Violet End has stepped it up another notch with The Billionaire Who Cloned Me, part 5 of Diary of a Fuckdoll. This is no longer the story of Lisa trying to get away from the controlling billionaire Tristan. This is now an erotic story of a woman’s struggle between what she knows is right and what her body wants to tell her is the what she should enjoy and be passionate about.
Having access to the most advanced pharmaceuticals medications not even on the market, Tristan can control his toy, Lisa, in more ways than anyone can imagine. Just how far with one more go to brainwash a woman to do his sexual bidding?
What I really enjoyed about this one, is the addition of these advanced medicines and another medical advancement I won’t mention. It added a near-future, sci-fi element to the story-line that was very unexpected. I really want to know where the story can go from here. Adding this new seemingly unlimited amount of control over Lisa makes it seem like there’s no way out. At times she doesn’t want a way out. At other times, she wants nothing but to be able to run away. The conflicting emotions, both drug induced and natural, are what keeps me coming back for more.
I don’t know if I can wait until the next installment comes out to see what fate has in story for Lisa. I’m ever intrigued by A. Violet End’s plans for Lisa.
- Chains and Firelight.
on March 16, 2013
I'm still new to the world of erotic poetry, but I'm not new to poetry in general at all. I think for one of my first erotic poems to read, this was a good one.
While being in poetry form, it resembled a prose story in many ways. I think that's what helped it more along well, while being able to hold bad slightly in places. Where a story normally needs more words to convey itself, a poem can be short and evoke the reader's imagination and interpretation in a different way.
Because of the prose poem feel that I found, I feel it could have used a little more punctuation here and there. But that, to be honest, is a poetry pet peeve of mine in general. It helps the flow and aids in readers not stumbling where a pause "should" go.
All-in-all Yates has written a sexy read, and it happens to be in the form of a poem. That's a plus.
- The Strongest Ring (A YA Short Story)
on April 27, 2013
I really enjoyed this short story.
While there was a lack of a full history between how the vampires came to live side by side with humans, without hiding, I feel that I wasn’t left wanting to know too much more due to how into the story I got. I’m interested to see what the author’s take on that situation is though, it’s one of the things I enjoy in a paranormal setting; “How did this world come to be how it is?” sort of thing.
The environmental message/theme in the story was a nice touch. It added to the story by giving it a place to move toward, and at the same time provided the readers with a little hint at “we CAN help out the planet,” without the message sounding at all preachy or overbearing.
On top of this is a nice gentle presented romance. This and all the other elements came together nicely in a few thousand words that made me glad I picked this one up.
- Cristal Blue
on May 07, 2013
If you’re looking for a sexy read with a well-written power struggle, Cristal Blue might be the story for you.
Ayers sets up the character Cristal Blue as the dominant in all her sexual encounters, but things don’t go as planned this particular night, Valentine’s Day. The guy she brings home with her affects her in ways that challenge her normal role in the bedroom. While there’s a power struggle between who’s dominant during the encounter, there’s also the struggle between what Cristal normally wants and what her body is allowing to take place. That made the story that much more enjoyable for me.
There’s not much more to say about this because it’s short and I’d be spoiling the rest for you, but it’s made me check out more of Ayers works, and I’m currently reading (and enjoying) her follow-up to Cristal Blue, Sweet Treats.
- Sweet Treats
on May 08, 2013
Sweet Treats is a short collection of stories by Suzy Ayers that act as a follow-up to her short story Cristal Blue. I enjoyed that story, and was also pleased to read this collection.
As with Cristal Blue, Ayers has written some hot scenes in Sweet Treats. She’s even upped the sexiness by throwing some ménage and other elements into the encounters. What else does the reader get from these stories? The great thing about them is that minor characters from Cristal Blue get their own stories now. It was great to explore who they were and see them in action.
The final story in this collection was a direct continuation of Cristal Blue and possibly my favorite in Sweet Treats. It’s told mostly from the POV of the male lead from Cristal Blue, and was a great way to keep that story line going. No spoilers though, I’ll just say that it was a welcomed continuation and I’m glad I didn’t hesitate to pick up this collection.
- The Billionaire Who Loaned Me (Diary of a Fuckdoll Pt 6)
on May 29, 2013
I’ve read the first five parts of A. Violet End’s Diary of a Fuckdoll series, and I’ve enjoy them all. What I liked especially is that with each installment, the story got more and more in-depth, complex, and (dare I say it) “out there” in some parts.
The Billionaire Who Loaned Me follows along with this growing trend. It’s also longer than parts 1-5. This allowed more room to flesh out various aspect of the story. This room allowed for the story to unfold around the erotic elements, as well. While in the past installments the reader has gotten a sexy glimpse into the out of control relationship between Tristan and Lisa, most of the “sexy” has been taken out of the forefront. It’s still there, so for those looking for a sexy read, don’t worry. Loaned Me is just a great build up to what I’m sure will be an exciting finale, part 7.
There are many questions brought up in this story that will leave the reader guessing and guessing. Some might be answered, others might keep twisting and turning. All in all, it’s made me want to rush out to grab part 7. Sadly, I can’t do this because it’s yet to be written. But I’m sure to be one of the first in line to grab it when it’s released.
The mystery, the sex, the action-packed events of The Billionaire Who Loaned Me, it all comes together for an enjoyable story as the reader rides along with Lisa as she tries to get her life back to “normal.”
- Smacking Back (A YA Short Story)
on June 03, 2013
As can be found in the description, this story’s main theme is bullying. What caught my eye was that it’s a sci-fi story as well. That was a fun combination because it showed that it really doesn’t matter what the time period or society in question is, bullying is always an issue.
Even in the world of Smacking Back, where information can be fed directly into someone’s brain, there are people who feel the need to take advantage of others just so they can get away with not doing their work. This is the classic situation of a bully getting the weaker kid to do his/her homework, but with a futuristic flare.
While the bullying is the theme in the forefront, and I feel that it was well executed without being preachy, I also enjoyed the technology that Rede threw into the story. It doesn’t seem far-fetched to think that being so physically connected to the net is in our near future. It also, like many great sci-fi stories, brings up possible issues that could arise with the advance in technology. There are always consequences to go along with the benefits. This works to aid the creation of the bullying situation, as well as hints at the question of what other issues could this future society have through this technology.
This story brings up an issue that’s been around for thousands of years, but one that seems to be a big focus in our culture today when we look to eradicate it. I think that getting into the mind of the victim in this instance gives good insight into the victim mindset. It also leaves the reader questioning the actions of everyone involved, not just the bullies.
- The Ghost of Nan Clarks Lane (a short story)
on June 13, 2013
The Ghost of Nan Clarks Lane is nice and short.
Boland does a nice job of creating the setting, the main characters, and the storyline in only a few thousand words. While there was more backstory that could have been told, there was just enough extra given without there being any fluff to fill in any gaps.
The twins, Jimmy and Patrick take this innocent trip to catch frogs, but then it turns into a much different outcome to the day. I enjoyed the build-up to the climax of the story and it was a little different than I expected from it. That’s always a sign of a good story.
While I note that the author used the word count effectively, I can also see how a few aspects of the story could have fleshed out just a little more. Being that this is a story related to Boland’s novel A Shirtful of Frogs, I’m sure some of what I would have enjoyed reading more of, would be in the novel.
This is a story young children will likely like to read, as well as adults looking for some light but enjoyable reading.
- Patriots and Profits: The Prelude to For One's Own Cause
on June 22, 2013
I’m still a reader who’s getting into sci-fi slowly. I think that this story was a good story for those inexperience with the sci-fi genre, though it’s also a good story in itself for many readers.
The reader gets a generalized view of this futuristic world, almost on a need to know basis. It leaves some questions about how the world is and works, in my opinion, but then again this is just a prelude short story to a novel. What you get is a good setup for the novel that follows. Ridgely’s character is well established in this brief time, as well as what is set to occur in the storyline’s near future.
As I said, it’s probably better for those not seasoned in sci-fi. I think it might be lacking in a few aspect for some readers. It might not be the most unique story, but I have hopes of enjoying the novel to see where this leads to.
- My Name is Mark Nine
on July 24, 2013
In this short story of only about 2,000 words, the author was able to set up a character, then slam the reader with a great, unexpected reveal to what’s really going on.
It’d be hard to get into much detail about this story without spoiling it for readers, but I liked the way I was able to see the world through the main character’s eyes/mind. It wasn’t only what Mark was experiencing, but also the way his world works. It’s a future setting, so it’s not easy to establish its differences from our present world in such a short story. It was done effectively, in my opinion.
I think there was just enough story, a great twist, and no need for more writing, though normally I’m left wanting at the end of a couple thousand words. Not the case with My Name is Mark Nine.
- At the End of the World
on Aug. 01, 2013
For being around 1000 words long, this was a nice sexy story. The author was able to set up the characters well, while getting right to the point of this story: a sexual encounter in the desert, as if they were the last two people on Earth.
I think the fantasy is an interesting one to think about, personally. There are many things they’d come into a person’s mind if they knew they were one of the last people on Earth. Breton took that and went the sexual route with it. What would it be have no chance of being caught or being the only hope for humanity.
This one wasn’t just a sexy read, but it makes you think about what it’d be like At the End of the World.
- Present Company (Flash Fiction / Short Story)
on Aug. 16, 2013
For a flash fiction story, Present Company was able to draw me in as a reader. It’s difficult to build up the anticipation that was in this story as it moved along. There was also little space to set up characters, but Prioleau was able to give me a picture of at least the Sir Dagg.
Even though it was an enjoyable, short read, I ended up needing a little more by the time I got to the end. That seems to be a common complaint for flash fiction, though it’s not normally much of an issue when I read. Part of the “wanting” I had at the end might be due to the author setting the reader up for the novella The Necromancer’s Apprentice. I do hope this is the case, because I’m intrigued enough at the end of Present Company to see where these characters go.
To summarize, there was some great writing here, but it was a little lacking. It’s still an enjoyable quick read for those with a few minutes to spare.
- Blue is for Boys
on Aug. 17, 2013
When I started reading this story, I wasn’t sure where it was going. Ravi’s character is a man who likes to have fun and often can’t recall his weekends. I thought this might turn into a story with a simple moral of becoming a better person. I was wrong.
As the story progressed I began to see the deeper issues behind what was going on. This turned into a way to express gender issues, issues that (in the world of the book) keep occurring hundreds of years in the future when man has basically conquered the known universe.
What really made this story work for me was that it took on the differences in the male and female sexes. It brought out a topic that, even in today’s world, not everyone talks about. Nothing Earth-shattering was thrown out there, but it still can make the reader think. And because this is a science fiction story, the way the theme was thrown into the mix, was quite enjoyable. I really only had one issue with the way this sex/gender theme played out. I feel that there was a disregard for how sexual orientation plays into…well, you’ll need to read the story for that. I can’t talk more in-depth without spoiling things.
- My Secret Sir
on Aug. 18, 2013
Real rating: 3.5/5, but I round up when no half-stars are available.
I’ve read Jenna Fox’s first released short story, The Escape , but wasn’t aware that her writing also ventures into poetry. It was a pleasant surprise to see Fox publishing an erotic poem.
This poem got a 3.5 out of 5 stars from me, and that’s because there were some things I felt worked well, but also a few things that irked me reading it. Overall, though, I feel it’s a great attempt at an erotic poem (something which I find hard to write) and I’m sure Jenna has more in store for her readers.
For those who know me, I’m not a big fan of poems with end-rhyme being the dominant way to finish off lines. This poem makes use of this rhyming, and a few times, I feel it actually worked for the poem. At other times, it felt forced and disrupted the flow of words. There were a few changes in the rhythm, word choice, etc that got in the way. Despite this, there were a few lines with great imagery and those stuck out to me.
Jenna did a great job of introducing the story behind the poem to the reader. I think I enjoyed reading it as a poem, with limited detail and more use of the reader’s imagination more than if it were a short story where there’s more room for the narrator to tell too much. The “secret” part of the title and the “rule” in the characters’ relationship was greatly aided by the reader being “blind” to many details, as well.
I hope Fox puts out more poetry soon. I have a feeling I’d enjoy it.
- Looking Back
on Aug. 26, 2013
You get what the description of the story says. It's the recollection of a well-lived life of an older woman.
The author wrote it well, and made it believable to even be a non-fiction piece. It was a little on the lacking side, in the sense that this woman's life was just outlined, there wasn't much of an apparent conflict and life went by smoothly. The later years put some strain on the life being lived, and that's when my interest was most grabbed.
It's a good introduction to this author, I think. I'm sure given more words to work with and space to expand a story, I'll enjoy more of this author's work in the future.
- Hollowland (The Hollows #1)
on Aug. 28, 2013
I was pleasantly surprised with this book. Over a year ago, I read Hocking’s Switched, which I enjoyed, but Hollowland was a step beyond on the enjoyment level. Hocking’s Hollowland was simply a great novel for its zombies, characters, and the world built inside it’s pages.
One thing I really liked about this book was that the author didn’t spare the reader from any of the gore or unpleasantness that occurs in a world where zombies and the destruction of civilization as we know it is the “norm.” In the scenes where zombies are attacking the main characters, there’s much description of how much blood, limbs, etc are flying around and breaking, and dying. Hocking makes sure the reader knows just what it’s like to encounter these creatures, like any good zombie book should. Some of the description of how the zombies’ bodies hold up to attacks are slightly repetitive, but it also drives the point across that these once human bodies have changed drastically because of the virus.
Remy, the narrator and main character, is one of the better characters I’ve read this year. She’s strong, determined, and rarely shows a sign of weakness, even if a love interest in introduced. She’s living in a world where survival is top priority and she doesn’t let anything get in her way of that. I found this to be a great part of the book. All of the characters were really well-written, actually. They were all developed over the course of the book and even a few that I didn’t like in the beginning, grew on me. Oh and Ripley, I want that to be a surprise, but she might be my favorite character in the book.
Upon finishing this book, I knew I’d want book 2. It’s not a common occurrence for me, either. It ended nicely and was set up for what I’m sure will be an exciting continuation. I can only hope that there’s more excitement, blood and gore, and danger in my reading future.
- Vaempires: Zombie Rising
on Sep. 09, 2013
Vaempres: Zombie Rising is a great continuation of book 1 of the Evolutionary War series, Vaempires: Revolution. In that book, we follow Daniel the newly appointed acting-leader of the Vampires kingdom after a worldwide revolt by the Vaempires. He’s racing across the city of Orion in search of his friends and Princess Cassandra. Zombie Rising takes on the less seen view-point of Daniel’s best friends Linq and Ray.
For a majority of this novella the reader follow alongside Linq and Ray as they make their way toward their friend’s Daniel and Cassie who were last known to be at the royal palace. Along the way there is a large amount of action while the two teenage vampires battle occasional Vaempires. This was a welcomed element carrying over from Book 1. I loved the action, the fast paced reading, and was pleased to know I could fly through this one and not want to put it down.
Aside from straight up action, this novella has some slower paced moments, as well. I didn’t mind them at all. When following Daniel, the almost non-stop action fit his character’s personality of always moving forward toward the goal. When reading about Linq and Ray, there’s a slightly different feel. There’s more planning involved. There’s also a little less rush to get to the Palace due to slight lack of urgency.
It was also great meeting up with Cassie again briefly. The reader is able to see just how much of a bad a** she is and how quick thinking she is. All of the characters in Winship’s books have been great to get to know, not just Cassie.
With the surprises that occurred at the ending of this novella, even if this sounds obvious from the 5 star rating, I can’t wait for the next installment. All I’ll allow myself to say about it is that I hope Thomas Winship is working on whatever title comes next….right now. I need to keep reading about the Evolutionary War.
- Proof: A Short Tale of the Undead
on Sep. 09, 2013
I was surprised by this short story. I wasn’t totally in love with it, but near the end it pulled itself together for me and I appreciated it even more.
I liked that the story is told as a brief retelling by the narrator about his life hunting “Them” with Connor. While there was a lack detail throughout, due to a brevity explained more near the end, it was just enough to keep me reading along to find out what would happen next.
If you’re looking for a quick read with a little vampire hunting in it, this could be a good story for you. It moves right along and packs the recalling of many years on the road into a few thousand words. I’m interested to see what this author can do with a novel. It’s a good glimpse into Graham’s writing, I’m sure.
- Picture Perfect
on Nov. 19, 2013
Something about this book caught my attention early on. With just the blurb along, I had a feeling that this book would be different than most of what I’ve been seeing lately. I wasn’t mistaken.
Picture Perfect is about a young woman coping with a life-changing event. She gained weight after an accident and the way she lives and views herself in life is altered drastically. While this is also a romance, there’s much more to the novel. Some of the concepts brought up range from being comfortable in your own skin, acknowledging what an actual ideal weight is, and more important than some other things, people can change in a variety of ways.
When I started this book, while I was excited, I had a slight worry that I wouldn’t be able to get into it because of a whiny main character. Cat was not whiny, big plus. I’ve read a few books in the past that have gotten annoying to continue reading due to a main character always whining about an issue like weight, that that type of voice has me putting down the book and moving along. As I said, Cat isn’t like that. She’s troubled, and she doesn’t have great self-esteem, but she’s not a whiner. At the heart of it, Cat is a strong woman who just needs a little push and a reason to find herself in this low point.
Nate’s also a great character. Really, most of the characters encountered in this book were great. Again, I wasn’t disappointed with Nate’s character. I’ve gotten a little jaded with seeing the stereotypical troubled, slightly abusive bad-boy love interest, that the female character melts into a puddle for. Nate’s refreshing. He’s a nice guy. I’m not saying he’s perfect, no character should be perfect, but he’s a little something different than most “book boyfriends” that I’ve run across.
Oh, and did I mention that there are a few sexy scenes? Well, there are. While some readers might be turned off from having “semi-graphic” (by that I really just mean that it’s described with a very mild erotic flavor, not that it’s creepy or over the top) sex scenes, I feel that it was a great tool to show Cat’s development over the course of the novel. I won’t get into specifics, but I’ll just say that through sex, one can explore the body and find comfort in one way or another.
So, yes, I enjoyed this novel. It was what I was expecting and more, to be honest. There’s a second novel coming out soon, which stars Cat’s roommate, Joey, who I didn’t really mention in here, but she’s fun and I’m looking forward to reading her story.
- Memoirs of a Sorcerer
on Nov. 23, 2013
My main issue with it was that it felt like the narrator was writing a list of events that happened in his life. With “memoir” in the title, the reader should expect a recollection of a life, but with that normally comes some detail, depth, and story, especially in a fictional memoir.
Due to the over telling and little showing, there wasn’t much room to get into the story. The narrator (the sorcerer from the title) wasn’t a likeable character, but that’s apparent from the start. Normally with that, an author makes other characters easy to sympathize with, to counter the dislike, but I wasn’t able to find that. The other characters were mere mentions and I didn’t feel bad for their failures against the sorcerer. There was one character that was shown to possibly fill the void, but she was short-lived and easily forgotten.
This review is a little lopsided with its “negatives,” but I do feel that, as mentioned above, there’s a bigger story here that this was just more of an outline for. The concept intrigued me. The title alone drew me in. Seeing that this author has a few novels out, I do think I’ll take a look at them. I’d like to see what her ideas can do when allowed to expand and flourish with the room of a novel length piece.
on Dec. 20, 2013
This will be a quicker review than normal, due to the short length of this story. Run was a little sketchy at the start for me. But it turned into an interesting story as I read on. The writing style the author used leads it to be a little vague for my liking, but being vague isn't always a bad thing. It left room for a few things open to interpretation. I think that vagueness is where the strength of the story is, even if it didn't fully sit well with me. In the various meanings I found behind some elements of this story, I can see it appealing to a variety of readers. Reading Run has gotten me interested in checking out Lowhim's other work.
- Oh Doctor, the Places You Will Go...
on Dec. 25, 2013
This was an ok book. I liked the idea behind it, and with it being (obviously) inspired by the Dr. Seuss book of similar name, I maybe went into it expecting more.
I feel that the rhyming didn't feel very natural at times, and in this type of book, rhyming is key. And it's it's forced, the reader will know. Though, this subject matter (the medical field) makes it a little difficult to rhyme at times, I'm sure. There are many strange words to work with, so I did appreciate the effort put into making various lines work. A few things felt repeated too often as well, like the length of becoming a doctor being compared to other professions. I understood that this is a humorous book. That can across well enough, but the material was used too often for a short book.
Still, in the end, this was a fun quick book to check out. Just the fact that the author also illustrated this book...using his iPad...made it interesting to check out, alone.
- Gabriel: Zero Point
on Jan. 01, 2014
*Please note that I haven’t read the rest of this trilogy, so I went into this novella with a blank slate. The description mentions this could be read before or after reading the other. I’m sure my reaction would be a little different had I read it after the other books.*
Gabriel: Zero Point was a pretty good novella. There isn’t that much to it in terms of building the futuristic world that it’s set in, but it does a great job of setting up Gabriel, the main character. Being that he is the main character of the trilogy that follows this novella, I think getting the story of where he started is probably better than getting the grander world view. The novels have more room for that. Still, this is only, for the most part, a small glimpse into what is to come and I felt like maybe just a little more info would have made it that much more enjoyable for me.
Overall, it’s filled with action, there aren’t any lulls to the story, and it’s gotten me interested in the other books. I think Umstead has much in store for me, once I start the trilogy. I’m looking forward to it.
- The Light Tamer
on Jan. 03, 2014
The Light Tamer has been on my TBR for quite a while. I found the premise to be interesting and I was looking forward to reading a book with, what to my experience is, a unique paranormal premise.
The idea behind the light tamers in this book is great and new. It’s not often a paranormal book isn’t about an exhausted type of “creature.” But I did feel that there was also some strange things to it. The writing in this book wasn’t the best I’ve read before. I think that lead to some of my disappointment.
Dawson has great promise with this book, but there are aspects that could have used some work. To just touch briefly on that, I felt mainly like all of the characters didn’t react realistically to much of the reveals of the book. There was often a moment of questioning, but then it was explained away with a vague “we believe it could be….” explanation and everything’s back to normal again. Also, the conflicts that arise are almost too easily resolved. This is most apparent at the main event of the book.
Some of the dialogue wasn’t to my liking either. Jessie sounds enough like a fifteen year old, but Caleb who’s not much older than her, sounds too mature for his age. The way they deal with issues also makes many characters feel older than they are and the responsibilities given to them so easily by adults makes it seem like they’re older teens.
It wasn’t all iffy though. I wanted to keep reading and to find out more about light tamers and what was all going on. The book is very fast paced, if not a little short even at roughly 60K words, and this helps more things along nicely. I really liked Amber’s character, though she was a little upstaged by Jessie and Caleb’s insta-love relationship (explainable insta-love but still slightly too fast).
I did enjoy this book, even if it wasn’t all that I think it could have been if it were fleshed out more and given time to blossom in various ways. I grabbed a copy of book 2 and plan on reading it soon to continue in this trilogy.
- According to the List
on Jan. 10, 2014
Even though this is listed as a piece of fiction, there may ever well be much of the author in these words. As the title suggests, this narrative follow a list-like pattern. it shines light on the narrator’s aspirations and some random tangents a mind can wander on.
I could relate well wit the narrator, not only because he is a writer, but also because he seemed to dwell on many thoughts I find myself considering often, as well.
This might be a short piece, but D.E.E.L’s style is one to be appreciated, for its beautiful simplicity and poetic feel. It was a great introduction to this author’s work, for me as a reader.
- My Heart's Choir Sings
on Feb. 04, 2014
For me, reading and “getting” poetry doesn’t always come easy. What I rely on most for my enjoyment, the first read through, is the feel I get from it; the emotions do the poems bring with them. Then I’ll go and reread the book is necessary to look deeper into what it has within.
My Heart’s Choir Sings is a book that I’ve read through twice already, and have gotten more out of each with each of read. I know I’ll be revisiting this one again and with the third read, will most likely get an even deeper understanding and enjoyment from the poems.
This collection is said to be a novella in verse. When comparing it to the verse novels I’ve read in recent months, this “story” goes about the form a little different from them. Instead of a straight forward continuous single storyline, this novella has the speaker recollecting various events, memories, qualities of the woman he loves, who is now dead. These poems are strung together by some common themes, while being great pieces all on their own. There’s not a direct linear narrative, but I feel that is a strength to this collection. There’s so much being said on these pages, even with, at times, so little words. The reader can feel the speaker’s every emotion.
As I stated before, I’ll be reading through this book a third time, and probably many times after, plucking out favorite lines, new meanings, and it’ll probably make its way onto my shelf of favorites collections. If this is Flynn’s début book, I can’t wait to see what else she has waiting for her readers.
- The Baby Trap
on Feb. 28, 2014
I didn’t expect too much from the story. This is mainly due to it being listed at about 300 words. There’s not much room to expand a full fleshed out story.
Despite this consideration, I felt this story lacked in many ways. Aside from a need of another proofread, there really wasn’t much story. Casey finds out she’s pregnant, then spends time describing John’s brother Sam and his dislike of babies, instead of thinking about John and letting him be his own person. Casey seems a little obsessed with Sam, but knows almost nothing about her own boyfriend (based on what’s in the story, at least).
The resolution of this story is predictable and abrupt. I think if the author spent less time having Casey assume things based on the brother Sam, there’s be more room to develop a more balanced story with the 300 words. The subject matter gives many opportunities for conflict. I would have liked to see more of that included in the story.
- Missing Pieces
on Feb. 28, 2014
I wasn’t sure about this story at first. there’s a lot left unsaid that made it slightly difficult for me to get into what was happening, as much as I’d have liked, but later on more was revealed to help my overall understanding.
This story takes place in the (possibly near) future, though it was hard to confirm that at first. I felt it crucial to my reading for me to know this to better understand some of what’s said.
Despite that, I think the main theme of the story is fairly upfront and strong. If the writing was only slightly less vague, I think I’d have enjoyed the story that much more.
- A Call from Cthulhu
on March 21, 2014
This was a quick flash fiction story based on one of Lovecraft's most notable works, The Call of Cthulhu. Well, loosely based and with an added humourous, satirically horrific ending that a modern reader can sympathize with.
It's a fun few minute read with a good twist at the end. I definitely will be checking out other stories from the author.
- The Finisher
on March 21, 2014
Here's another flash fiction story from King. I like how the author is able to build up a story and suspense, and end it cleanly,, in the short format. It wasn't a rushed ending at all. It was to the point and didn't waste its limited word count, just like a good flash piece should be.
- Wishing For Someday Soon
on April 09, 2014
This book really blew me away. There were so many pieces of this book that not only drew me in to it, but it almost didn’t let me leave in the end. Tiffany King weaves a beautiful story of hope around one of the ugliest aspects of the human experience.
I’ll start out with the characters in the book. They were extremely lovable (with the exception of two, and definitely ONE). Once Kevin, Katelyn’s kid brother was mentioned, I knew he’d be one of my favorite characters. Katelyn’s character, while not all too likable for some of her values, is also a great character. She’s strong, loves her brother more than anything else in the world, and will do anything to protect him. What’s not to like? Katelyn has survived years of moving around the country and relentless abuse from her mother Lucinda. All the while she does nothing but hold out hope for her eighteenth year and a plan to leave the hell that is her home life behind.
The secondary characters were, while almost being TOO nice, believable and a godsend in times of need. The adults were always helpful, and through their actions from beginning to end they were a sign that life didn’t have to be lived how Katelyn and Kevin had seen it. There are great people in life and they are willing to help others. Even when someone was dealt a bad hand with parents and lifestyle, it’s nothing to settle for. There are ways out, and the adults and even teenagers, helped to show Katelyn an alternative.
One thing that kept getting on my nerves was the way Katelyn continued to endure the verbal and physical abuse dished out by her mother Lucinda. When her mother wasn’t in the mood to argue she was still using her daughter almost in a slave labor fashion because she couldn’t bother to do things for herself. This was appalling to read. But why do I praise this book? Well, it’s because of elements like this one. It’s UGLY, DISGUSTING, and downright UNACCEPTABLE; it’s also real life. This isn’t a unique experience made up for the world of fiction. There are families like this all over the world today. King painted such a graphic portrait for me as the reader that I couldn’t help but wish to jump into the story and save Katelyn and Kevin on various occasions.
Because of this way King’s writing captured me and kept me reading, it seemed like my emotions mirrored that of the character’s. There were sad moments (very sad ones), happy moments, and moments when there was nothing but anger. I’ve never wanted to jump into a book just to kill off a character so badly before. I think many readers will get this reaction when they read as well. Luckily the good emotions were ones of hope and happiness, those can always brighten the overall story.
This book succeeded in locking me almost completely into the story emotionally. This is something that has never been done by any book or author before. The last scene could easily have killed me if it went on any longer. It’s not that it dragged on and on, it didn’t. What happened is that when I read it, my heart was thumping so hard and fast in my chest that I thought it’d just burst, not allowing me to finish reading. I’ve never been this on edge for any book or movie before. That scene was pure literary magic for me.
From beginning to end this book will take a toll on the readers emotions. I don’t know how any reader will not feel at least the slightest emotional connection to this book.
- The Sentient Soldier
on June 12, 2014
Good quick read of just under 750 words. I think this flash fiction piece hints at a world and concepts that can't be explored enough in the short format, and because of this I didn't feel it worked as well as it would have, had the author expanded more. I'd be interested to read a story similar, or set in the same world, from this author because I was intrigued on what was touched upon. Still good for a fast, few minute read.
- The G Particle
on June 12, 2014
Quick, entertaining read. Touches on an interesting view on what "God" could be, and how humans can and do "play God" in certain ways. I enjoy reading flash pieces like this, that get just enough into them all while letting the reader think beyond the few hundred words that were written
on July 02, 2014
I recently read Minkman’s dystopian novella, The Island. When I found that she has poetry I needed to check it out and see how her words can translate to verse.
I was very pleased with this chapbook. Minkman poetry incorporates great imagery into her words. I also found myself finding the emotion of the poems to draw me in.
While there might not be a large grouping of poems in Songlines, I feel that it was well worth the read, and will be a book to go back to later on to experience again. Lovers of poetry will enjoy this, but I also think that shy poetry readers would also find enjoyment within Minkman’s words
- Spiders Know A Thing Or Two
on July 17, 2014
This was a quick read, a flash fiction story of about 600 words. It's written for a younger audience and has an encouraging lesson in it, though I feel that it had much too abrupt of an ending. It started off nicely and felt like it was going somewhere that a couple hundred words couldn't contain. I feel that that's why it ended like it did. The author possibly had a word limit (evident from the description mentioning it was for a competition), and had too ambitious of a story for the word count. I'd be interested to see if there was more to be written as a continuation. But since this story ends where it does, I couldn't fully enjoy it.
- Under the Hill
on Aug. 04, 2014
There's potential in this story for something larger and entertaining. Though, from this single "journal entry" there's only a hint at what the author has in mind for the world she's trying to build. From that hint, I'd like to see what comes from it.
On this story alone there wasn't too much to work with. It's in need of a proofreading to catch a handful of errors and incomplete sentences, though at the same time, if worked into the story better, it could show as a characteristic of the education the narrator doesn't have in this world of the future.
I also felt that this "journal entry" was incomplete. It starts out sounding like there'll be a bit of story to it, then goes on to explain the world Rune lives in and how it came to be, but then it just stops. This might have been aided if there were a few entries in this one story/ebook, but it stands on its own.
As I said, I feel there's much more to work with here and it'll just take time for the author to flesh it out in future works, that I will be interested in reading. On its own, it didn't work too well in my opinion. Still an ok quick read to get yourself interested in the author's plans.
on Aug. 16, 2014
This story had an interesting concept, but it lacked a crucial piece of a story: conflict. There are a few places that conflict could be added, and it felt like it was going to develop at some point, but then by the end, it nothing close to a conflict arose. There was only a very minor internal conflict with the main character and her new stage in life.
What this felt like, due to what I've said above, was the opening scene for another work this author might have in mind. On it's own, it wasn't satisfying and left me a bit annoyed. I enjoyed Jefferson's writing and build up of his main character as well as what we see of the world building, but all that seemed to be of no consequence by the time I was done.
I'll be checking out other work from this author because I liked his style. My only hope is that there's something more to them than I found in this one.
- Stay With Me
on Oct. 19, 2014
Stay With Me is a quick story, starting off a bit slow, but soon drew me in once a few things were revealed. There's a lot to take in even in only a few thousand words. Hawke's writing built up a great sympathy for Logan, the main character, and I couldn't have asked for the story to end any better. It's the type of ending I enjoy seeing from a story of this kind.
- The End of the World
on Oct. 31, 2014
The End of the World is a quick story of just over 1k words. This doesn't allow for much world building, but McGowan was able to develop Chuck, his main character, well and get a feel for the way the world is for Chuck.
There's something going around killing everyone. Chuck calls them Jackals. Not sure exactly where they came from, but they seem vicious and unstoppable. The impending doom Chuck feels made for a great story, even though it telegraphed the ultimate outcome.
As always for me, when there's little of the "bigger picture", I'm left wanting that part of the story. But this didn't take away from my enjoyment. It just adds to my curiosity for more from this author in the same world he introduces in this story.
on Oct. 31, 2014
For such a short story, the author packed in a heavy punch. There's no time wasted to terrify the reader with what this mysterious mask has in store for these teenagers. I'd have liked a little more of a lead-up, if only to understand the mask and how the grandmother obtained it (and why she'd have such a dangerous object), but aside from that I think this was a great read. It's a very strong flash piece.
on Nov. 24, 2014
This story surprised me. I was reading most of it, enjoying it, yet wasn’t sure if it was going to strike me as something special. At first it seemed a simple “Here’s a crew on a ship with a mission. Something’s going to go wrong.” type story. And, yes, that’s what it is, but there was an element added toward the end that made the story a little less self-contained, a little better for me as a reader.
Even though I saw part of the ending coming, I wasn’t able to predict where the author raised the stakes and really grabbed me. It was a fun twist on a colonization theme.
- Better Off Red
on Dec. 26, 2014
Little Red Riding Hood, we all know the tale. There are endless amounts of versions of the story, but the basics are always the same…until now.
In Better Off Red the author takes the classic tale and spices it up a bit for the modern, possibly classics jaded, reader. I’d rather keep it short with my review of the story to allow readers a fresh read of this great story. Having read Laura Bradley Rede’s other short work, it wasn’t disappointed in the least. This may actually be my favorite story so far. Well-written, great development of well-known characters, original alterations. I couldn’t have asked for anything different.
- When You're Gone [A Short GLBT Story]
on Jan. 08, 2015
I actually appreciated the story, though I feel that it could use some work to polish it up and be less distracting and pack more of a punch with the touching story.
Aside from needing to be proofread (some minor errors, but a few bigger ones where completely different words are used than were meant to be), the timeline and logistics are a bit off. The dates don't match up in the later section of the story and it seems that the two main characters are a bit too young to have their own house and money to furnish it in the way that it seemed to be. They were in their mid-teens if I read it correctly.
I wasn't trying to nitpick my way through the story, because as I said, I did enjoy what the author was trying to write. But the issues were a bit too glaring to ignore. I would definitely check out more work from the author, especially if I know some more attention was given to the finished product. There's promise to what I see here.
- A Twisted Fairytale
on March 03, 2015
This story was a fun twist on the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale. It's the first time I've read it from the witches point of view, so that definitely caught my attention. It's a good attempt at a retelling, and changing it up a bit from the more popular version we all know.
Could use some edits, but not many. I'd be willing to check out other work from this author, especially if it was a little longer than this one.
- Vampire Story
on March 07, 2015
I have mixed feelings about this story, but I think in the end, I enjoyed it more than not.
The style is interesting, and I think that's where some of my unease came from. It definitely set a good tone for the type of story this is, but at times it just wasn't working for me. The mythology that was established in so short of s story is to be admired. While brief, it gives a nice glimpse into the world this vampire narrator is part of.
I also think this story was enough for me to check out other work from the author.
on April 04, 2015
I was enjoying the writing. I thought it was heading in an interesting direction, but then it stopped. There's an implied ending, but it doesn't leave room for much story to happen. It's more a basic part of a story. At the end, the author includes a note that there'll be more stories involving the kidnapper named Gary. It seems that these future stories will be a possible continuation from this one. Whether that's a direct continuation or another point in Gary's "career" as a killer, I'm not sure. I'll probably check them out, because as I said, I was enjoying what I was reading. I just didn't feel this was complete, even for a flash fiction story. I think if there were an indication that this was part of a full story (meaning, if it were serial installment) before going it, my reaction to its abrupt ending might have been a bit more positive.
- Jurassic Jane Eyre: The Dinosaur Turned Me Lesbian
on May 24, 2015
Yes, I actually read one of those dinosaur, semi-erotic stories. Finally. I’ve tried a few in the past to see why they were becoming a thing, but I don’t think I finished any. Jurassic Jane Eyre isn’t one I DNF’d. I actually enjoyed what I read.
I think the main reason I enjoyed this story was because it didn’t take itself seriously. The author wrote a pretty good story, while letting the character narrate the ridiculous situation as if she were just as baffled by what she was getting into.
I also thought that it touched on sexuality in a good way, even if it was brief (it was a short story after all. Can’t elaborate too much in a few thousand words.) It was just enough to hint that the stories this was parodying might not be portraying homosexuality (at least most of them deal with non-straight relations) in a more truthful light, despite the fact that it’s also a dino-human relationship.
I’d check out other stories from this author for sure. For a few minute escape, and some good laughs, it was definitely worth checking out. I also thought the addition of the “Science Disclaimer”, which pointed out all the inaccuracies in the story, added even more to the experience.
- A Life For Sale: a short poem
on Oct. 26, 2015
Many know that I'm a big fan of S.M. Boyce's work. She's the author of The Grimoire Saga, and it's become one of my favorite series. But that is prose writing, and A Life for Sale, this is poetry. Not everyone who can write beautiful and engaging prose can switch over to verse with ease, but that's what Boyce seems to have done.
In her first published poem, Boyce doesn't show the shaky hand of a first time poet. This poem surprised me with how well it conjured up images of each item "for sale", along with the memories surrounding them. And the emotions written between the lines shown through expertly, but weren't overbearing.
I'm not always good at putting my reaction to a poem into words, so I won't try to elaborate much more. But between reading this poem and then listening to Boyce's recording (it's a bonus I wasn't expecting) at the end of the book, I know A Life for Sale will be a poem I come back to time and time again. I also hope that we'll see more poetry from Boyce. She's showed me that she's not only a master of prose, but can also stand side-by-side with many of my favorite poets.
- Memoirs of a Gigolo Volume One
on Jan. 11, 2016
When I first say the title of this book I was intrigued. What would a gigolo have to say about his life? And this is an erotica story, so I knew there's be a lot of sexual aspects to it as well. Yet I was pleased that it wasn't all sex.
Memoirs of a Gigolo Volume One is the great kick off to the new series. I feel that it established the story-line in a great way. There's a good amount of background to establish the main character and his financial situation, leading to him decide the next stage in his life.
I'm always pleased when there's a balance between sex and story in erotica. When there isn't I don't feel like it's worth reading. But like in this story, when there's just the right amount to get a reader aroused (what I think is what erotica tries to accomplish) as well as keeping the story going forward, I enjoy it. It's well written throughout and I'm going to continue with the series as soon as I can.
I'm confident in saying Livia Ellis has a hit on her hands.
- Memoirs of a Gigolo Volume Two
on Jan. 11, 2016
As with Volume One of this series and the Halloween special, I enjoyed this installment of Memoirs of a Gigolo.
Livia Ellis has a way of making erotica on the same level as most of the rest of literature in many ways. There is a large amount of erotica out there that’s all scenes of sexual activity and almost no plot, if there is an apparent plot to begin with. This isn’t to say erotica like that shouldn’t be written. It’s more that I like a plot and a good amount of substance to everything I read, no matter the genre. Ellis delivers on all of this.
I’m fascinated to read the story behind how the main character and narrator Oliver became a gigolo. It’s not a story about all of his sexual encounters. This is the story of a man who is desperate enough to partake in prostitution in order to maintain his lifestyle in the upper-class and more.
In this installment, we get to see more of a development of Oliver’s character, as well as get to know Olga more. I also thought that getting a glimpse into the relationship between Oliver and his best friend, Elon, was a great addition. There is a depth to this story that I can’t wait to explore more and more as the series continues.
I’d also like the make a note of the style of dialogue. Since this is written as a memoir, it reads like one, in a way. This is a recollection of past events. The dialogue is written in a one-sided way that has Oliver talking both parts as he remembers them. There isn’t a distinct “he said/I said” style. Well, it’s hard to explain without pulling quotes, but I enjoyed this styling because it’s different from what I’m used to reading. I also like that it enhances the memoir/diary experience that makes this series great.
Volume Three is on my Kindle and I’m going to get to reading it very soon!
- Memoirs of a Gigolo Volume Three
on Jan. 11, 2016
This is volume three of the Memoirs of a Gigolo serial and it's obvious that I've been enjoying it so far...because I've gotten this far. With 4 stories (vol 1-3 and the Halloween special) under my belt I can honestly say, I think I'll be around for the long haul of Memoirs of a Gigolo. Each volume seems to get better and better.
I didn't think a series of erotic shorts could keep me entertained for very long, but Ellis' writing has proven me wrong. The way this story is written continues to solidify my opinion that this is more of a literary erotica than raunchy smut. There's nothing wrong with smut either, but I continue to be drawn in to the unfolding plot, the complexities of the characters, and how the sexual episodes don't feel forced, rushed, or unoriginal.
I also have to point out that I'm very eager to continue on to Volume Four. The way each of these installments ends somehow doesn't bother me. They are somewhat cliffhanger endings, but since this is a serial, that's the only natural way to "wrap it up." Each book is a series of chapters that'll fit right after the last one and I guess that's the mark of a great book (when it's complete). It'll keep readers going and going until the book's finished.
- Memoirs of a Gigolo Volume Four
on Jan. 11, 2016
I’m not sure if Livia Ellis can write a bad installment for Memoirs of a Gigolo. That sounds like I’m too much of a fan, but I’m saying that in an honest unbiased way. Ellis continues to release each volume of Oliver’s memoirs and keeps me wanting more each time.
In this one we get a great glimpse into Oliver’s past and why he is in the financial situation he’s in today. Until now, the reader gets the gist of what happened. In volume four, Oliver opens up about it all. We get to connect with him on a deep emotional level. I feel that, at least for Volume Four, this series is taking (probably a minor) step away from being a moderately erotica based story. The majority of this volume is spent on developing a better understanding of characters like Oliver and Olga, figuring out the relationship between the two of them, between Oliver and his past, between Oliver and his home/family history and what it means to him.
There’s a few interesting twists near the end of this volume that’s really making me want Volume 5 to be released as soon as possible, but I can’t get into that without you all reading these first. All I know is that the start of Volume 5 will be very interesting.
- Memoirs of a Gigolo Happy Halloween Oliver
on Jan. 11, 2016
After reading the first Memoirs of a Gigolo novella, I felt compelled to continue following along with Oliver's life. Lucky for me, this month is October. With October comes Halloween. And with Halloween, this year, comes this great short story from Livia Ellis.
Because this was a side story to the main Memoirs of a Gigolo series, I think the author felt that she could take the liberty of changing the POV. Instead of following along with Oliver narrating, the readers gets to see Oliver from the outside, from another character's POV. Happy Halloween Oliver is a story from Olga's view-point. This really was a good choice I think. The reader gets a small glimpse into her character in book one, but this shows a much different side of her.
Is this Halloween special spooky? Well, no. It's not that kind of Halloween. It's a sexy Halloween. It's everything you'd expect when the main characters are escorts and big spending clients. I think the setting, a party full of alcohol, barely dressed and naked men and women, and over the top extravagance, was great. The descriptions throw you in the story. I was there beside the narrator experiencing the various "acts" that she witnessed and even those she took part it.
I think it was also great to get glimpses of some of the interesting characters, clients and escorts alike. I have a feeling that they'll come into play later in the series and I can't wait.
- His True Nature
on March 03, 2016
I grabbed this story randomly while searching for something to read. I was intrigued from the description and I have to say that I wasn't at all disappointed with what I got.
This was a great, fast paced story of a man finding himself and love after not so pleasant time in his life. I really liked the characters and how they interacted. Even though this was a romance, I wasn't sure how it was going to finish out. But I can't get into my full thoughts on that due to spoilers.
I'm looking forward to getting a copy of the sequel story Their Natural Habitat. I'm not ready to stop reading about this romance.
- The Haunting of Hubbard Lake
on April 20, 2016
A quick, enjoyable short story. Well, if what happens in the story is really enjoyable. It's a bit dark. Well written. I really liked that the author took the story in a different direction when there was one ending in sight. I wouldn't have minded that ending at all. Would have been a poetic, and twisted, ending. But the author changed it up to be how it is now. You'll just have to read it to find that out, though.