Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Futa's Passions Erupts by Reed James (#futa #lesbian #erotica #genderswap)

If you have been following along with The Futanari Chronicles, then you already know we are at the tipping point. What started as a sexy bit of transformation and mind control, and expanded to include some fun alien invasion themes, is ready to explode into all-out genocidal war. Lines have been drawn, alliances formed, and friendships tested. It is about to get real!

Of course, if you are new to the series, then I strongly suggest you stop reading now and get caught up, starting with Futa's Passionate Awakening. Trust me, you will not regret it!

If the defining theme to Futa's Passionate Plans (the last book in the series) was one of conflict, we see that escalate to one of trust in Futa's Passions Erupts. It is not just a matter of who Helen, Ally, and the rest can trust, but who we, as readers, can trust. We see those alliances being formed, with double-crosses and treacheries being planted, and we cannot be sure how or even if they will play out. There is a level of tension here that is unlike anything we have experienced in the series, and it injects a legitimate sense of dread and fear into the eroticism. An awkward mix of emotions, but Reed James pulls it off.

The Helen versus Ally aspect, of course, is heartbreaking. Here we have the world's two original futas, lonely souls who found one another through a common erotic bond, being torn apart by conflicting loyalties. It is the alien, Ariz'ana, who drives such a deep wedge between them, and that exposes a lot of interesting ideas. It is through that unorthodox triangle that we get to explore what it means to be human, and what it means to love - and when you add Isabel into the mix, forcing her to ally herself with Felicity, the President's spy, things really get complicated. We see multiple conflicts between loyalty and duty, and we experience what happens when the needs of the many are put before those of the few . . . or the one.

For an erotic story of futanari transformation, Reed packs a lot of thought and emotion into things, forcing us to think as much as feel - which, when you get right down to it, is really where everything begins. Surprisingly, though, he does not give us a lot of time to think - there is talk of a bomb, a potential assassination, that I honestly expected to play out as a cliffhanger climax, but it becomes the turning point of the novel, with consequences that literally change everything in the second half. The story gets violent, pitting futa against futa, and I am afraid to say there will be both tears and horror as true loves and loyalties are confessed (I cried so hard over Isabel and Dr. Maura!), so prepare yourself.

The story may not go where you want it to go, but it is where it needs to go, and I love that Reed never shies away from the consequences of what has been set in motion. There is still happiness to be found in the story, moments of love and forgiveness that make the final chapters soar, but there is almost one final betrayal . . . an act that threatens to not only change the world, but to put an end to humanity as we know it. For a series that keeps upping the stakes, Futa's Passions Erupts has the biggest cliffhanger yet.

Reed James is a thirty year-old guy living in Tacoma, WA. "I love to write, I find it freeing to immerse myself in a world and tell its stories and then share them with others." He's been writing naughty stories since high school, furiously polishing his craft, and finally feels ready to share his fantasies with the world.

Genderella Prom by Courtney Captisa (#feminization #transformation)

Okay, the first thing I need to tell you about Genderella Prom is that I absolutely loved the character of Sasha, and cannot wait to see more of her in the future. I was afraid I would not be able to say much about that aspect, but Courtney Captisa has published this as Sasha Series Book 1, so I am not spilling any beans - magic or otherwise!

Sasha is so very much not your traditional fairy godmother. In fact, she prefers the term 'lifestyle consultant,' someone the universe calls upon when a boy needs to experience life as a girl, for whatever reason. She is sassy and fun, but there are shadows to her character that make us wonder what her true intentions are, especially when things go wrong.

As for her role in the story, Courtney has a lot of fun updating the Cinderella story, mixing magic heels (silver champagne diamante three-inch heels) with magic sneakers (pink Chucks), updating the traditional midnight transformation deadline to a more contemporary 3 am, having some fun with the impracticality of a full ball gown, and dealing with the interference of social media on traditional magic. She does not just update the story, she explores the complications and consequences of such complicated magical transformations in contemporary society, adding a whole new aspect to the story.

Of course, this is Logan/Brittani's story, and they are a fantastic character. Even though the magic ensures a perfect transformation, Brittani remembers being Logan, and feels very much like a boy trapped in a girl's dress. His personality remains the same, and he struggles with things like small talk, selfie poses, body language, and physical intimacy. While he comes to terms with the situation, and does have fun with the night, he remains very much on edge, and cannot wait to go back to being Logan. As is only right for a prom story, they are surrounded by a strong circle of friends who keep the story moving, pushing and pulling Brittani in the right direction. And when things go wrong, they have an even bigger role to play, with Courtney absolutely nailing what true 'friendship' means.

Genderella Prom takes a legendary concept, updates it for a 21st-century audience, and imbues the story with heart and humor. Things do get rather farcical at the end, when things really go wrong, but even then, Courtney holds the story together, layering on new twists and new reveals that make for a really exciting finale. Fun stuff!

[In the interest of full disclosure, while I had the great pleasure of providing editorial assistance on the manuscript, the actual writing and story creation is solely the work of the author]

Courtney Captisa has had a strong interest in transformation since childhood. In her early teens, she discovered several webpages such as Fictionmania. She enjoys writing clean stories.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Spice & Vanilla by Katherine Wyvern (#crossdressing #genderqueer #erotica #romance #bdsm)

You only have to read the first two chapters of Spice & Vanilla to know that this is not your typical erotic romance. Within the space of just a few short pages, Katherine Wyvern introduces us to four characters (in three bodies), moving effortlessly from a melancholy meeting with a late-night busker, to the scene of a damaged woman who can barely drag herself out of bed, to an oddly romantic encounter of spanking and domination, set to a classical piano concerto.

I loved the fluidity of this, my second literary dance with Katherine, and the way she so deliberately establishes such contrasts - which, ironically, serve to blur the lines between characters. Scars are an important part of the story, both physical and emotional, serving as reminders of pain best forgotten, or as punishment so sweetly craved. It is gender, however, that she so deftly explores, interweaving themes of identity, expression, sexuality, and acceptance.

Although we, as readers, know that Raphael and Lucie are one and the same, it is not until the halfway mark that she chooses to reveal herself to Di, leading to an altogether different exploration of scars and pain. Having had his female side rejected by the woman he loves, and discarded as a sissy fetish by the man he loves, Raphael purges all evidence of Lucie from his life and slides into a deep depression. It hurt reading those scenes, with Hugh's dismissal hitting me the hardest. Casual readers may not understand the gender dynamics enough to really appreciate it, and others may bristle at how even those who love us can so wholly misunderstand, but Katherine manages to speak volumes about how we see, accept, and appreciate gender, without overwhelming it with any sort of narrative commentary.

I will say no more about the story itself, except to assure you that this is an erotic romance, and our hearts are intended to soar, not break, by the end. That tipping point of pain and rejection is crucial to moving the story forward, and actually serves to lead to an ever great, more significant exploration of gender and love. The characters here are absolutely wonderful, the use of music is delightful, and the slow reveal of secrets, memories, and pasts helps to give it all depth and resonance. As the title suggests, this is equal parts Spice & Vanilla, and those dual elements only work so well because Katherine understands, appreciates, and embraces them both.

Katherine is a gipsy soul who lived in Italy, Norway, Germany, France and Spain but mostly in some private universe of her own. She still lives a nomad's life between Dordogne and Catalonia, with a tipi as a home and her boots and a horse as only means of transport. She's worked as a printer, a welder and a gardener, and been writing since she can remember, mostly poetry, fantasy and erotica, sometimes mixed together in weird ways. Nowadays, when not busy with walking, horse-whispering or dream-weaving, she is usually painting, embroidering or working her backbone off in the pastures. 


Monday, May 21, 2018

Both Ends of the Whip by Brenda Murphy (#lesbian #bdsm #romance)

OMG. So. Much. Love.

Both Ends of the Whip is lesbian, polyamorous, power-exchange romance with real characters, legitimate relationship drama, underlying secrets and mysteries, and some exquisite BDSM-themed sex. As much as the cover blurb enticed me, and sounded like it has the potential for an interesting read, I did not expect Brenda Murphy to so thoroughly feed my love along with my lust. This is exquisite.

What I loved most about this were the complexities. Being able to love more than one woman unconditionally. Craving both submission and domination. Wanting to be loved, cherish, owned, and controlled, all at the same time. Needing that bedroom power-exchange, yet also needing some degree of independence and self-control outside the bedroom. The intersection of jealousy and intimacy, being able to watch your lover surrender sexually, yet getting upset over unseen kisses. Craving total, absolute, powerless surrender, even as the use of safewords is respected as a gift for the dominant. Murphy brings fantasy and reality together here, exploring a relationship that makes it work.

Octavia and Bridget are a wonderful couple, even if - perhaps because - they tried my patience so often. There is a lot of emotional baggage there, both in their shared past at Rowan house and in their secret pasts before that. It is not a perfect love, but one that rings true. Their negotiations regarding their situation with Vivian are outstanding, giving us real insight into how you balance physical and emotional needs, and how you cater to a relationship where one woman is a caring, protective submissive, and the other a conflicted, loving switch. Vivian was an enigma for much of the story, but I am so glad Murphy explored her as she did, making her internal doubts and uncertainties such a driving force. She is a natural dominant, still hurting for the loss of her one great love, and as much as she comes to care for these two young women, she struggles with the blurred lines between caring employer and loving dominatrix.

The only place I felt the story stumbled a bit was in reconciling its non-erotic conflicts. A lot is resolved very quickly following the fiery climax, but most of it is done off the page, and only summarized in passing. I was particularly perturbed that the neighbor's rude, arrogant, abusive son (the only significant male character in the book) gets off so easily, and without directly addressing his racial slur against Vivian. This is one of those rare cases where a novel could benefit from a little padding at the end.

Those concerns are minor, however, and did nothing to take away from my love for this. Both Ends of the Whip is a true delight, the perfect story for those of us who crave the collar as much as a cuddle. Just a wonderful read.

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys. When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot. She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

#TGCaption - From Hard Sell to Given Away (#crossdressing #wedding #romance #magic)

TG Captions are one of my favorite forms of storytelling. There is no narrative fluff, no extraneous details, just the hook, the twist, and the climax.

I may have a fetish for wedding gowns. And romance. And the power of magic. Can you tell?

Saturday, May 19, 2018

#TGCaption - Living the Dream (#transformation #addiction #whore)

TG Captions are one of my favorite forms of storytelling. There is no narrative fluff, no extraneous details, just the hook, the twist, and the climax.

Wow, this went dark on me, and then even darker, with a surprise twist at the end. I tried not to explain too much, letting the dialogue carry the caption, but there's a whole story in my head that I may have to write sometime.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Book Challenge: 10 Books in 10 Days

The wonderfully talented and amazing Reed James tagged me in the Book Challenge on Facebook last week, where the objective is to share 10 books, over 10 days, that have impacted your life. 
For those of you who have yet to friend me on Facebook, I thought I would share my picks here.
What about you? What would your 10 books be? I would love to know.

Imajica: Quite possibly the finest novel ever written - beautiful prose, magnificent story, and such memorable characters. One of the few books I take the time to re-read once a year.

Kushiel's Dart: One of the most stunning works of epic fantasy I have ever read, as well as one of the most erotic works of submissive bisexuality I have ever enjoyed.

The Bone Doll's Twin: The first mainstream epic fantasy novel I ever read that tackled gender themes in a way that spoke to my heart, and also a wonderful tale of a boy who grows up to be a heroine.

I'm Looking Through You: This was an early stealth read for me, and something of a litmus tests for friends who knew of my fascination with ghosts, but maybe not gender.

The Bachman Books: I probably could have done 10 King books alone, but the novelty of this still fascinates me, especially since King allowed Rage to fall out of print (a mistake, in my opinion).

Wizard's First Rule: With the concepts of a Confessor and the Mord-Sith, significant female domination entered my mainstream fantasy for the first time.

The Secret Self: This was my most coveted secret read, top-shelf erotic romance from the local Coles Books that I reread over and over and over again.

Raise the Titanic!: Not to date myself (LOL), but I read this a year or two before Ballard's discovery (long before Cameron's film), and it kindled my love of history and underwater exploration.

Rhapsody: I fell in love with Rhapsody from the start, a strong-willed fantasy heroine, who is completely unaware of her magical beauty, and the adventure is top-notch. 

Goddess (Memoir of a Transsexual): This was the first book I ever reviewed here, so if any book could be said to have changed my life, this is it.

Freebie Fetish Friday - Putting the TG in TGIF!

Well, if it's Friday, then it must be time to bend our way into the weekend with Freebie Fetish Friday.

Every Friday I search through the weekend's free titles on Amazon, looking for those that might be of interest to similarly bent readers, fans, and lovers. Even if you don't have a Kindle, you can still download the titles through one of Amazon's free reading applications, or covert it with Calibre to load onto a Kobo, iPad, or anything else.

Please do be sure to check the price before downloading anything, as most freebies are limited time offers, and some are specific to certain regions.