TABLE OF CONTENTS
Heart Stopper by RJ Samuel
Falling Colours by RJ Samuel
Flowers from Iraq; The Storyteller and The Healer by Sunny Alexander
Various Short Erotica by Harper Bliss
The Ripper’s Daughter by anders & phair
Come and Go by Lee Harlem Robinson
Promises, Promises by L-J. Baker
Commencement (The Ash Series) by Marguerite Mullaney (phair)
DARK THINGS II: Cat Crimes short stories by various authors
Miss Lucy Parker and Other Short Stories by Q. Kelly
Beloved Pilgrim by Nan Hawthorne
The Old Woman and Other Lesbian Stories by Q. Kelly
The Growing by S. Beck, T. Novan & Okasha
When Women Were Warriors by Catherine M. Wilson
At The Commencement Thanks to all fanfiction writers and readers!
2012 *** Heart Stopper by RJ Samuel
A well paced mystery and a love story, set in the gorgeous landscapes and current economic realities of Ireland (Connemara). The Medical field of research/industry and clinical operations on heart-stimulating devices (aka pacemakers), very skilfully and just as clearly described, serves as background-and foundations-for this most original and captivating adventure, where the reader’s heart is put to severe test, following the heroines (Priya the scientist, Reyna the executive and her mother Catherine, the healer) on their path to discovering the actual cause of their respective boss, brother, and son, Daniel’s death, and the true reasons for which it occurred. This won’t be done without a few heart-stopping twists and more-or-less innocent casualties.
… even had to check my own heartbeat at the end, as the denouement unfold! 😮
I’m getting to love Ireland more and more with each of this author’s books.
2012 *** Falling Colours by RJ Samuel
Have you ever dreamed you had the skill to transform dreams and wishes into reality by the sheer power of your hyper-sensitive imagination an the magic talent in your hands? … I’m not talking about that kind of dream, you little minx! 😉
Falling Colours is the story of such a talented woman.
Living in a small cottage in the splendid nature of Connemara, Kiran has given up a successful career as an engineer to practise her Art. Her own splendid nature, made of generosity and compassion, leads her to break one of the long-established rules of this ancient art and risk losing the cherished gift inherited from her father, the soon to be Leader of the Council of Vision painters, back there in India where they originate from. She shouldn’t have painted this despaired, grief-stricken man’s deceased wife just because he wanted to know why she died in such unexpected circumstances.
Hopefully, she’ll be able to meet the short deadline her father gave her to fix the mess she involuntarily created, and doing so will make her own dreams a reality.
Who knew such an idyllic scenery as western Ireland could hold this most unusual, captivating and entertaining mystery?
Oh, and I must not forget to mention the sweet romance tone and the irresistible touches of humour artfully painted on this beautiful work.
2012 *** Flowers from Iraq; The Storyteller and The Healer by Sunny Alexander
Let’s discover the journey of Dr. Kathleen Moore, MD, from a painful and solitary youth in Boston to an established and well respected Californian family medicine practice, surrounded by friends and love. Yes, it’s a HEA ending kind of story. 🙂 The story begins when Kathleen comes to Los Angeles to study at UCLA, thanks to a four year scholarship earned by her excellent high school grades in Boston. We follow her through her college days, during which she meets several persons who’ll become some of the most important ones in her life as friends, counselor and eventually surrogate family. After college, she engages in the Army’s Health Professions Scholarship Program to become a Doctor, both in Emergency and Family medicine. After many years studying and practicing for the Army, and one last three-year-long shock-trauma residency, she’s deployed to Iraq in a Combat Support Hospital. Seriously injured in the last days of this one-year-long assignment, she starts a long and arduous path to recovery, from both ancient, deeply buried and more recent emotional and physical traumas and the subsequent PTSD that she keeps hidden. Not without making another precious friend during her post-surgical physical therapy, Major Kathleen Moore is eventually honorably discharged, and Kathleen starts a new life in Canfield, CA, where she founds a family medicine physician position. That’s where she meets Claire, and once a totally closeted and lonely young woman she progressively opens up and allows a relationship to slowly develop, not without reticence concerning her getting out of the closet. But, who could resist this beautiful, lively, talented young woman, and a matchmaker-friend-Cupid’s repeated interventions?
Sunny Alexander has magnificently depicted a flower, indeed, which from a tightly closed bud back in Iraq (and since childhood) tentatively, partially opens out then closes back to finally bloom in a full out blossom, and has all along explored the full palette of human emotions, and demonstrated the inestimable value of friendship and love.
Various Short Erotica by Harper Bliss
2012 *** The Honeymoon
An adventurous couple’s fantasy come true, and then some
True to the classics of the genre and to the author’s style and choice of exotic settings, this unusual honeymoon, celebrating a seven years long relationship, will certainly rejoice those who don’t mind–or dream of–inviting a guest to their table and add some spicy icing on the cake.
At some point, I even had the feeling they were more than the three of them. ^^
2012 *** Wetter
And this is yet another hot short.
As usual with this Author, the form is as flowing and pleasant as the substance… 😉
2012 *** Hired Help
What else to expect from hired help in Paris?
This is some steaming hot little piece of Erotica, observing for the most part the three Classical Unities of Time, Place and …. Action, although the author didn’t bother with the rule of bienseance. 😉 But she told me this piece wasn’t meant for the stage anyway. 🙂
And after I recommended this most enjoyable read on some site, a fellow reader pointed out that ‘steaming’ was an understatement. Yes, indeed, it was. 😀
2012 *** The Ripper’s Daughter by anders & phair
Awesome and gruesomely fascinating
Having read anders-and-phair’s previous collaborative works and some of their individual ones, I knew what to expect from this awesome (in every meaning of this word) pair. This is a remarkably well done and fascinating (the morbid and gruesome fascination) voyage into the darkest, cruelest recesses of the human mind and soul with all the graphic details, along with a most enlightening inside description of epileptic seizures and their aftermath.
They even managed to come up with a HEA ending, though not the usual, romantic HEA.
Well, heck, this is not a romance after all, even if love is definitely involved, as always one way or another in phair’s and anders’ works.
And as always, opportunity is given to the enthusiastic reader to express their regret that the proofreading was not up to par with the otherwise excellent and compelling writing. That’s why I’ll give the fifth star: they finally managed to upset me! 😉
An advice to the undecided: if you can endure what’s accessible in the sample, then go for it, it won’t get much worse…
2012 *** Come and Go by Lee Harlem Robinson
Exotic Romance and Setting
Hong Kong lifestyle, Gay and Lesbian company, friendship and relationships (and drama, of course), well paced and spicy slice of life, with engagingly developed characters, and a happily ending (if long-undecided) romance that asks for a sequel, particularly to keep enjoying the humorous interactions and banter -all the dialogues actually.
Having never been there, I found the Hong Kong life description appealing enough to make me want to visit and spend a little time. Not sure I could actually live there, though: the pace is fast and the nightlife kinda ‘wild’, ought to be young and healthy to keep up. 😉
The accompanying piece, “Dirty Pleasure” is, indeed, a pure pleasure to read, too. 🙂
2012 *** Promises, Promises: A Romp with Plenty of Dykes, a Unicorn, an Ogre, an Oracle, a Quest, a Princess, and True Love with a Happily Ever After by L-J. Baker
Beautifully Kept Promises
I thought I would enjoy a story featuring a perfectible and at times clueless young Witch, a couple of Princesses(one of them, the wildly-imaginative and silver-tongued one, in disguise), a remarkable easily-overlooked girl, a particularly militant Amazon, an amazingly vain military Bloke, a vegetarian Ogre, a trio of equine companions(including a Unicorn), and a healthy dose of various Fantasy characters, props and circumstances.
But dear, how far was I from imagining how much I’d love it! 😀
I had to read it a couple chapters at a time, so that I could take much needed breaks to catch my breath after laughing so much.
It’s not only a romantic quest of the Fantasy genre, its’ a hilarious parody of it’s most spread out clichés, along with many irresistible allusions-and more direct references- to some of our society’s existential realities and shortcomings.
If you like a well-written and particularly humorous tale, with lots of lovable characters, a very cute romantic thread, and a happy end, you ought to read this book. 🙂
2012 *** Commencement (The Ash Series) by Marguerite Mullaney. (aka phair)
What a wonderful gift! Thank you. 🙂
Following a weird chain of events, I’ve been offered a draft copy by the Author herself and really could not keep from telling everybody how much I enjoyed this book.
I’ve already read more than a few of Marguerite Mullaney’s works and I remember there has often, if not always been, mixed with all kinds of ‘difficult situations’ (understatement, if there’s one), an undercurrent of love and hope, and a great life force in every story I did read. Commencement does not make exception. I loved it. 🙂
I’d say it is indeed a great story of survival against bad odds, and how from cruelly abused and unloved a young girl is strong enough(and maybe lucky enough) to succeed in her studies, as well as become a cherished member of an improbable family, with the not always welcomed help of the ‘system’ and some well-meaning friends.
Kind of an ode to destiny, positive destiny, in this particular case.
I’m sure this book will make some people think, and some young ones hope. 🙂
NB: It seems that the draft was published as it was offered to me, with a certain number of mistakes, typos, etc. Too bad.
2012 *** DARK THINGS II: Cat Crimes short stories from various authors, collection compiled by Patty G. Henderson
Ah, Cats! Whether you love them or not, reading this book will make you consider them from a ‘slightly’ devilish point of view that may make you feel good, weird, worried and then some!
For example, you’ll love some of the “gifts” they bring back home for their human’s gratification, you’ll be annoyed (at best) at how they always manage to get their ‘evil’ way, you’ll cheer for them when they use their ‘diabolic powers’ to destroy some malefic creatures, you’ll laugh (though forced at times) at their facetious and mayhem-creating behavior, and you’ll be reminded that whatever cute Furball they might appear to you, they are, and will always be formidable predators.
But enough of human digression, this book is more about how they perceive, control and play with their servants/preys than how we feel about our Masters/unsuspected predators.
Approving “Meow” from Sylvestre, the Master of the Castle. 🙂
If you end up hating them, which is most unlikely, after reading this collection of deliciously wicked and human-condition-edifying tales, you can find consolation in the way your well spent money will contribute to maintain a couple of cat sanctuaries who ‘take care’ of some of those homeless and wayward felines. Think of all the not always wealthy/well-nourished looking and bag-carrying elderly visitors, and the ‘delivery’ vans that come and go… and then, there’s the vet, with this huge doctor’s bag full of syringes, surgical clamps and scalpels…. 😮
Reptilian-like, full-out fanged “FFFHSSSSSS” and menacingly glowing look from Sylvestre…
That’s my cue to stop human-evil joking. 😉 See you (well, hopefully)! 😀
2011 *** Miss Lucy Parker and Other Short Stories by Q. Kelly
Still in the vast realm of the Author’s usual creative and quirky imagination, this well written compilation – most of the stories, actually – is probably not to be read by very sensible souls or persons who might be disturbed by any of the words/concepts listed in the tags list. By the way, some tags are missing, like suicide, infanticide, child abduction, that could be effective warnings. In any way, this collection of remarkably original short stories can’t let you indifferent. I first gave 3 stars (which IMO is not a bad review) due to the lack of notice. After re-reading it, I’m reconsidering this evaluation up to 4 stars, if only to be true to myself, and my own appreciation of this book, which is after all the main reason for this review to exist, the other reason being to advise sensible readers of potential ill effects.
2011 *** Beloved Pilgrim by Nan Hawthorne
As a young one, I’ve dreamed about being a Knight in shining armor… Had I read this book at that time (I know, I couldn’t because of the well deserved adult-content rating), I might have changed my mind…or not. This Crusade, as painfully difficult, bloody and wasteful as it was, when vividly recounted by this much talented Author takes the form of an epic quest whose characters show the rich palette of human feelings and behaviors (from physical(&sexual) violence to utter tenderness and love, from treachery and cowardice to self-sacrifice and heroism, from hate/jealousy and resentment to strong, unfailing friendship and devotion). The battles are so well depicted that the reader can easily imagine being in the middle of them. As an amateur of funny tales, I even found several occasions to let out a chuckle along the way 🙂 And, I love a happy ending, and was not disappointed. Hoping for a sequel.
2011 *** The Old Woman and Other Lesbian Stories by Q. Kelly
A really entertaining and well written compilation. With the always out of the ordinary (understatement, if there is one) characters and situations I’m getting used to expect from this imaginative author.
2011 *** The Growing by Susanne Beck, T. Novan & Okasha
One of my favorite Uber (XWP) fiction. After assembling all the parts in a single file to convert it in an e-reader compatible format (for somebody’s birthday present), I thought I’d like to reread it… good guess, Lilaine 🙂 !
The first time I read it (in 2007 if I remember well), it was partially translated in French and, several months later I decided to read the last 10 or 15 chapters in English. But I hadn’t yet improved my English enough to appreciate it as I should have.
It really is a very good sci-fi, uber XWP fiction, where the end of the known world (and the extermination of most human population) caused by ill-oriented Technology, hopefully will give birth-or re-birth, after an epic series of battles and sacrifices, to the ideal world of the Native American way of life, in total harmony with Mother Nature. The two main characters (uber X and uber G) are, of course, meeting, fighting together, falling in love, saving the world (what is left of it) and growing into the future leaders of the new civilization.
2011 *** When Women Were Warriors by Catherine M. Wilson
Wonderfully Well Written and Woven trilogy
A captivating (I couldn’t stop reading from Book I until end of book III) tale of an initiation journey to adulthood, where a young, goodhearted, strong-minded while somewhat innocent woman, through a warrior apprenticeship (slightly unlike others), human relationships (from hateful to loving), her own heart discovery and a sometimes very arduous and hurtful path, gradually matures and becomes a faithful and well loved friend, an absolute partner, a charismatic leader, and a great Warrior- a Peace Warrior.
In my idea of an epic tale, this one compares easily with another story in another time, in another place in Universe, with laser swords fights, strangers you can definitely call aliens and a wise and powerful ancient Master… (I mean the original trilogy of 30 and some years ago)
2006, December ***
A little more than one year in my permanent and unlimited DSL connection to the Internet, I discovered the fabulous world of Fanfictions (it took some time, but I had other Internet interests and occupations at that time…)
The first fictions I read were on this site, original French fictions or translated from English to French by some really nice Ladies, and after having read all the stories on the site(and other French speaking sites), I decided I could shake my lazy neurons and follow the advice given by Fausta88 and Styx : “Most of the fanfics are in English. It could be a good occasion to refresh your English, there are so many nice stories to read, for free!”.
So I went directly to the Royal Academy of Bards, on Susan X. Meagher’s Author’s page, on the first book of IFMHISF series, and I never stopped reading in English since then, from one Author to another, and back, following the readers advice. I realize now (after reading various quality levels works) how lucky I was to start my English relearning journey with some of the best Authors out there, thanks to all the reviews and comments I could find here and there, and obviously to the talent of the Authors.
Until recently (August 2011), I didn’t feel comfortable nor good enough to send feedback to those wonderful Authors, and I’m starting to understand that I have been a very bad and selfish reader…. Well, better late than never, I’m starting to drop some little feedback mail and comments of my own here and there. It will take some time to reach all of them, though… Hope I’ll live long enough…! 🙂