(review request submitted by Erin Lale, contributing author/editor, for an honest critique)
(Story One) Do you love poetry? Do you love science?
If you said yes to both, you must check out Streamliners by Gordon Yaswen because, as you can probably surmise, Yaswen combines both.
(Story Two) The Anarchy Zone by Erin Lale: Since I love comic books, talk of mutants made me think of that world. I didn’t like people targeting them, but that’s a shared endeavor in stories with mutants – whether they have four arms or some other oddity.
(Story Three) 1400 Hours by Ian Miller discusses Schrödinger’s cat – a hypothetical cat that can and can not exist at the same time depending on one more thing, opening a box to find out the answer.
In 1400 hours, a man suffers this conundrum. He exists in one universe but is hidden in another. Linked together but also separated by an impenetrable wall.
Two universes divided by mere 1400 hours—a small amount of time to one person- an eternity to another.
Oh yeah, this is a scientific mind-bender, and I loved it!
(Story Four) An Etonean Dilemma by Humberto Sachs: While there were some science fiction aspects to An Eternal Dilemma, this story felt more politically driven than anything else. While I can feel and appreciate how passionate the author is about the tension between two particular countries (names withheld on purpose), I wish he would’ve focused more on science and less on the political drama we face every day on the nightly news.
(Story Five) Host by Giampietro Stocco mixed sci-fi with some horror-style imagery to create a brilliant short story. Plus, it spoke of events that could possibly happen in the future.
Comets could hit and destroy most of Earth.
New diseases could erupt because of it.
New weather and weather patterns would emerge.
Humans would go to any length to survive.
Science fiction meets plausible reality — oh yeah, Giampietro Stocco, I like your style!
Heart Rating System: 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) Score: ❤❤❤
***A short novel. This is a novella of approximately 20,000 words.***
From present day modernity to medieval France.
When a thunderstorm transports software expert Rose Waldman to thirteenth century France, she meets hunky stonemason Julien, who is secretly creating a gargoyle in defiance of his master mason. Can independent gadget loving Rose trust her life and heart to Julien, and can she really never go home again?
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
Time travel stories are fascinating because an author can take you to virtually any date and place in history. Rose managed to teleport to 13th century Scotland where a very muscular man found her buck-naked in a field.
Even though Julien admired her body, he was respectful toward her, probably because he was betrothed to another.
When Rose was lucid, she made advances at him several times despite his commitment to another. I wasn’t a fan of this, but it all worked out in the end. True love conquered marriage by obligation.
I found it comical and realistic how she failed so epically to fit into the new time period. I was mildly shocked she didn’t brainstorm or have meltdowns on how to get back home. I’m not sure if I’d been as resilient as Rose. I’d probably scream or hyperventilate before I succumbed to the realization this was my life now.
After all the drama, this novella ended as I predicted. It was a sweet ending to a not so sweet start.
Heart Rating System: 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) Score: ❤❤❤
A romantic, erotic tale of a vivid portrayal of the quest for the inner truth, empowerment and sexual liberation of Selene, a woman searching for primeval abandon and reckless adventure.
Intelligent, a university graduate and a successful careerist, Selene became emotionally scarred by unhappy relationships. Riled and taunted through the years by her former college roommate Janice, Selene gave in to the long-term desire to ‘get one back’ at Janice by having a passionate holiday encounter. Immediately drawn to the sea and enthralled by its brutal yet sensual waves, Selene seduces a young boy on a deserted beach. Once she comes to meet the mature and powerful Hudson, Selene finally begins to claim her sensual destiny.
Through a slow process, accentuated by Selene’s shyness, introspection and circumspection, she embarks on a long and elaborate interplay of leading on and rejection. The volcanic passion builds until there is a blazing row. A possible drowning, the final ritual undressing at long last, leads to the ultimate flowering of the woman Selene was meant to be.
Included in Self’s Blossom are: Blossom Reburgeoning Selene, a little older but still well-preserved, decides to retrace the steps of her holiday. Up-to-date in spirit, she procures a companion through the Internet, and in the key scenes, she opts for alternatives to the choices she made on her first expedition. She feels enriched by her experience, and her sense of satisfaction removed her inhibitions from expressing her bisexuality.
Spatial Dimensions Selene becomes so fascinated by the Moon Goddess that bears her name, that she imagines and wills herself into becoming a goddess, to go on an etherial quest, embracing space and time travel, with concomitant ecstatic fulfilment.
As the sky turned a deep purple, seared by the moon’s beaming clarity, Selene’s room expanded. The walls pulled back, the ceiling rose, and the floor lowered to make a gigantic suite, richly carpeted and curtained in the deep, late twilight. There were lots of tables and cupboards but plenty of room to manoeuvre. With a flourish of the deep-green curtains, her young, slim, tanned lover tiptoed in through the balcony window, wearing khaki shorts and a white singlet. Selene unbuckled the shorts and pulled them down, stripping him down to black bathing trunks so that he, in style, could help her off with her rustling, glistening, shimmering ball gown. With gentle, knowing hands, he undid her back zip and then turned to face her. He unclasped the waist to part the airy dress until gravity drew it down to caress the carpet as a parabola, a floral parachute. Two-way unrobing, active and passive interlocked by two pairs of deft hands, while in the background, in reverie, water lapped, linking dream and wakefulness. Dreams can be worked out and realized, she thought. If things are well prepared and drawn out, the most could be made of them. The way could be paved for every touch. Grateful for her full wardrobe, Selene could hold herself in reserve until the time was ripe. She knew how to take her time with what she did and what she showed, control it all completely. Full-dress, half-dress, undress―all the garments she had she could use to draw, to thrust, and to parry. Let nobody approach her who was not adequate, nor let anyone fail to respond to her or cool his response in a way she did not care for.
All these thoughts invigorated Selene, and a full-length mirror called her to practice her postures. The negligee fell aside. On went her dark-blue, lacy underwear, a pale-blue slip, and over it, her evening dress. She moved around gently, making the dress rustle, then swirled on her left foot. The skirts rose high; her shapely limbs feasted her eyes at three angles. After the rise and fall, she undid it with ease, stepped over it to avoid crushing and picked it up and returned it to its hanger. The underwear was laid neat and flat on the bedside chair. Irons and airing cupboards could singe and scald if turned up too high, but within their limits, they formed a prelude and a backdrop to the finest caresses.
As the neon-looking sunray lamp played with her skin, thoughts of him wafted again into Selene’s mind. Whoever it was, she sensed that she had seen him already without fully registering him. At this very moment, he must be surveying himself in an identical mirror―slender, muscular and lovely, proud and supple in his new trunks, making ready for the hotel pool or for the private beach, to meet for their first tense introduction in undress. A telepathic answer must be given to that gesture. Selene snapped off the light―not wishing then and there to see herself fully nude in the mirror. She dived into the drawer, reaching for her mauve, one-piece bathing costume. This she pulled on, feeling an exhilarating double sense of revelation and concealment. On went the light again. Now she would be the adjudication panel of her own beauty contest. The costume smoothed the curves and magnetized what it covered. Her exercising had paid off. Her beauty was near completion in her own eyes. Tomorrow, maybe, the real process would begin. She changed back into her negligee, accepting its allure and functional comfort. Tomorrow she would appraise the selection. There were, perhaps, different standards of men fitted for affairs of briefer or longer duration―a sliding scale of transitory compatibility.
Self’s Blossom, by David Russell, is one of those romantic, erotic tales of discovery that’s filled with detailed imagery, well-defined characters, and scenes that are loaded with emotion. Selene is portrayed well as a vibrant main character, and I fell in love with her from the start. The organized mix of realism combined with escapism had me respecting her throughout the entire book, which is extremely important in any erotic romance. This is a very well-written book, with a distinct literary flair, where careful attention is paid to intelligent (and again, very well-written) dialogue that is constantly moving the story forward. The settings are described so well, in fact, I thought I was on holiday myself. The characters are crafted with such detail I felt as if I knew them. And when I was finished reading, I knew they would remain with me for a long time.
Mimi Barbour, Amazon Reviewer, 4⭐
In ‘Self’s Blossom’ our heroine, Selene, is on a journey both literally and figuratively. She’s very introspective and by David Russell’s eloquent prose style of writing, we get to feel everything she feels as she makes this journey of self-discovery. The words take one’s complete attention, no skimming allowed or you miss the essence of what the author is trying to say. The two heroes, both the young lad and Hunter the older fellow are well portrayed. But this book is really about Selene and her search. It is erotica – but not in any way the average type of sexy book you’re used to. This is poetry!
Born in the UK, 1940. David has been writing erotica since the mid-1980s. Published extensively in magazines and anthologies (including anthologies from Forward Press in Peterborough UK.
Book Publications ‘Prickling Counterpoints’ (Selected Poetry & Prose), Deadline Books 1998, ‘Romantic Undress’ (Erotic Poetry & Prose) JazzClaw Publications 2000. Current romantica/erotica publications are ‘Self’s Blossom’ (novella), and ‘Explorations’ (short story), published by Devine Destinies; ‘Therapy Rapture’ (poetry, prose and artwork) published by Rose Dog Books. Forthcoming are two short stories, ‘My Dream of Madonna/An Ecstatic Rendezvous’, to be published by XoXo Publishing.
Also recorded singer-songwriter: vinyl album, ‘Bricolage’ recorded by Billy
Childish for Hangman Records 1992; CD albums ‘Bacteria
Shrapnel’ and ‘The Burglars of
When Eddie gets a flat in the middle of nowhere, the last thing on his mind is death. Then as darkness falls and the storm worsens, he’s forced to seek shelter alongside his significant other, Banksy. Big mistake.
Bed and Breakfast, the sign said, but there are no eggs and bacon on the menu here. Instead, their host serves up four tales of terror with a little murder on the side. And as the other residents of the mansion gradually reveal themselves, Eddie and Banksy begin to wonder if they’ll ever check out alive.
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
Dead and Breakfastis a collection of 5 short stories, but they are not disjointed. I won’t say how Gary’s connects them, but I will say it’s twisted…morbid…and creepy AF!
No matter if you are reading Cords, The Brace, The Weight of Nostalgia, or The Greyfriars, you’ll discover something in each of these tales that’ll cause you to make the eww, grossed-out face. Case in point, in The Greyfriars, there were BIG, FAT MAGGOTS. I found them equally or more disturbing than the phantoms/ghosts/spirits. Yeah, I hate insects that much.
Don’t get me started on all the various other haunting creatures…
Without a doubt, Gary’s mind is as twisted as Stephen King’s. One day, I hope to see Gary’s workings brought to life on the big screen. Of course, I’ll be watching the movie through parted fingers.
Heart Rating System: 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) Score:❤❤❤❤
Gary Buller is an author from Manchester England where he lives with his long suffering partner Lisa, and his daughter Holly. He is a huge fan of all things macabre having grown up reading King and Koontz and loves a tale with a twist.
If you haven’t watched The Umbrella Academy yet, you have no idea the greatness you are missing. Netflix has done an excellent job adapting the comic series, written by Gerard Way and ilustrated by Gabriel Ba.
If you haven’t read the comic volumes yet, no worries, you’ll still love the series. The casting director couldn’t have done a better job selecting the actors portraying seven, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, and Grace. Pogo isn’t a real talking chimp but he looks/feels real to me!
After watching season 1 & 2, everyone has their favorite SEVEN character. Mine is a toss-up between two.
Robert Sheehan does a phenomenal job bringing Klaus Hargreeves (Number Four) to life. He makes me want to laugh, cry, and wring his neck all in the span of a minute.
Aidan Gallagher (Number Five) is the youngest actor in the super group, but he has the acting chops of someone that’s been the business for decades. He’s impressive on-screen and off. Besides being an actor, he’s a singer and climate activist. (Click HERE to read more about him)
I don’t believe Netflix has renewed a season 3 yet. I hope they will. With the season 2 shocking finale, we fans demand more! Netflix, please make it so!
If you’d haven’t read the Dark Horsecomics yet, I encourage you to give them a shot. Links are below!