Tag Archives: philosophical

Review of “The Shop Before Life” – Neil Hughes

After two happy centuries in the prelife, Faythe is battling the most dangerous human emotion. She’s bored.

But when she accepts a once-in-a-prelifetime opportunity to become Apprentice at the magical Shop Before Life, her days become dreadfully interesting.

Now she helps customers with the most important choice they’ll ever make: who to become in the afterprelife–or “life”, for short. Will they be born on Earth with MATHEMATICAL GIFTS? Or perhaps they’d prefer DELIGHTED BY CATS?

But Faythe has questions of her own. Like–what exactly is in these jars of human traits? And who is the mysterious Supplier who creates them?

Unfortunately, these questions could awaken an ancient conflict and even destroy the Shop itself. They should maybe mention that sort of thing during orientation.

Management are going to be furious, but their divine punishment must wait. Right now, Faythe needs to discover the secrets of the Shop in order to save it.

If she fails, nobody will become themselves ever again . . .

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Life is a fickle b!tch. People are born. People live. People die.

People speculate what comes after death. Some people believe there’s a heaven and hell. While others stand firm in the knowledge, nothing is awaiting us in the afterlife. With all the discussion on the after, people rarely speak of the before. This is where The Shop Before Life became very interesting to me.

Whether you have faith in a higher being or not, this story will get you thinking. I can’t disclose the bombshell Faythe discovered when she met Management; however, I will briefly talk about the shop and the jars of traits.

 

Every possible trait was available to those who entered the shop.

1.) Grab a basket and browse the numerous aisles.

2.) See something you like, add it to your basket.

3.) Once you fill your basket and can’t carry anymore, head to checkout.

4.) Now, you are all set to journey to Earth and be born.

 

Sounds simple, right?! Ah, the simplest ideas and jobs often prove most challenging.

Have you ever been to the store and the shelves haven’t been restocked yet?

Something you want is out of stock?

Maybe your favorite store closed down?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then how upset did you become?

The people of prelife reacted in the same manner you’d expect a living, breathing person to behave. Yup, they went off the rails.

Life on Earth was affected because of the events happening in and around the shop.  I won’t say how though. (No Spoilers)

 

I encourage everyone to read this story. It’s highly entertaining, thought-provoking, and the perfect book for many age groups.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score:❤❤❤❤

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As well as The Shop Before Life, Neil Hughes is the author of Walking on Custard & the Meaning of Life, a hilarious and useful guide to life with anxiety. Along with writing more books, he spends his time on humorous talks about mental health, standup comedy, physics, computer programming, and everything from music, video games, languages and pub quizzes. He struggles to answer the question “so, what do you do?” and is worried that the honest answer is probably “procrastinate.” He would like it if you said hello at enhughesiasm.com

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Review of “Vices/Virtues” – Beatrice DeSoprontu

A sexy, erotic novel with heart, Vices/Virtues is a testament to the beauty of life, love and family.

Cristela was bred to be the perfect liar. By day, Cristela is a good-girl poster child. By night, Mistress Clara masters the hidden erotic realm of an S&M dungeon. With her knack for duplicity things should work smoothly except for one complication – friendship. The quirky array of fellow dominatrices at the dungeon are nothing like the stereotypes she expected. Divided between her affection for the girls at the dungeon and her desire to keep her fetish activities secret, Cristela fears her two worlds are colliding. Can Cristela break her history of deceit? In a world of vices and virtues, salvation isn’t something you find, it’s a path you make.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

In Vices/Virtues, Beatrice De Soprontu didn’t just write elaborate BDSM or S &M scenes. Each chapter did feature at least one client and their kink, but Beatrice also dived into the lives of each dominatrix. We stepped into their pasts and learned who or what brought them to the dungeon.

Some backstories were more interesting than others. I didn’t particularly care for Clara’s past, but I did find her present storyline appealing. No matter which dominatrix Beatrice featured, the result was the same, each lady had a troubled past and needed this outlet/job for personal reasons.

 

Let’s get kinky…

There were some clients I won’t soon forget. Funny, gross, sad, sweet, and just plain weird… Beatrice sure did enlighten this reader on a few kinks I had no clue existed.

 

Check out three of the many clients featured in Vices/Virtues.

 

Gluttony: I know there’s a kink for everything, BUT Mr. Chen’s took the cake. (This line will be funny once you read the chapter.) I laughed so hard my stomach hurt.

Temperance: Who is the right mind wants someone to step on their penis intentionally?! I mean, come on. I accidentally tap my husband’s and he’s down for the count for a minute or two. Yeah, Randall’s kink was rather weird.

Wrath: Mr. Norman + colon cleanse = I just threw up in my mouth.

 

I wish I could share all the various clients and their requests. Clara did see a variety of men, and not all were creepy or weird. You’ll discover some were sweet and a little sad.

One thing that did surprise me was the lack of female clients. Women are sexual beings who also need an outlet for their desires. Unfortunately, this wasn’t reflected in Vices/Virtues. It was pointed out on page 225 that Clara “hadn’t seen or even heard of a female client.” This declaration bothered me. I wondered why no women have walked into the dungeon. Seemed odd. Unrealistic.

 

There were a few HAPPY surprises I’d like to share as well.

1.) The ladies sitting around discussing religion was unexpected.

2.) Their pay scale was broken down, and I was shocked at how little they brought home. It didn’t seem like nearly enough for some jobs.

3.) There was definitely no Hallmark ending, but this was no Hallmark story either.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤1/2

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Beatrice De Soprontu began writing at the age of four, when she scribbled on the walls with a crayon. Now an adult, she mostly scribbles on her home computer surrounded by her noisy children and their less noisy father. Born and raised in New York City, (which includes: Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, maybe even Staten Island – a.k.a. the real New York and not the tourist trap that is Manhattan), she enthusiastically travels the world on a budget whenever she gets the chance.

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