Tag Archives: The Pagan and the Pen Book Reviews

New Reviews Are Up!

The Pagan and the Pen Book Reviews is now posting on the 5th and 20th of each month. Reviews posted for May 5, 2010 are:

Reviewer Top Pick: Her Master’s Gift by Dena Celeste

Bogonoun’s Wonderful Songbird by John B. Rosenman

Firefly by Madison Night

Do As I Say by Penn Halligan

Letting Go by Michele Zurlo

Yule Fire by Lena Austin

 

Message forwarded from Rie McGaha.

 

Note: The Book Reviews have their own web site now. All links will open a new window to there.

 

AND A BIG BIG BIG THANKS TO THE REVIEWERS!!!!!

Book Review: The Fallen Fae by Connie Wood

Title: The Fallen Fae
Author:  Connie Wood
Author Site

Buy Link

Publisher:  Freya’s Bower
Genre: Erotic Fantasy/Angels and Demons
Length: 55 pp 
Other:  M/F
Pagan & Pagan Elements: yes/yes
Card Rating:  4 Tarots
Reviewed by: Kim Clune
About The Book:

To read more about this book and the review, CLICK HERE. The Pagan and the Pen Book Review section got to be so big, we had to create them their own site!

Book Reviews: The Enchanted Flute by Nichelle Gregory

 

Title: The Enchanted Flute
Author: Nichelle Gregory
Author Site
Buy Link
Publisher:
  Noble Romance Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Erotica
Length – 21  pages
Other: M/F
Pagan & Pagan Elements: I don’t know/yes
Rating:  — 3 Tarots
Reviewed by: Monica S.
About The Book:

 

To read the review on this book, please CLICK HERE. Our review section of Pagan and Pen got to be so big, we had to give them their own blog!

Book Review: Christma Sin: A Juliette Christmas Epistle by Ed Williams

Title: Christma Sin: A Juliette Christmas Epistle
Author:  Ed Williams 
Author Site
Buy Link
Publisher:  Champagne Books
Genre: Mainstream Fiction/Humor
Length – 150
Other: light M/F [Multiple Partners] no graphic sex
Pagan & Pagan Elements: n/n
Card Rating: 2.5
Reviewed by: Jes L’Heureux

To read the review on this book, please Click Here. Our review section of Pagan and Pen got to be so big, we had to give them their own blog!

Book Review: Samhain’s Embrace by Jesse Fox

th_Samhain-CA15

Title: Samhain’s Embrace

Author: Jesse Fox

Author Site

Buy Link

Publisher: Dark Roast Press

Genre: Erotic Fiction, Gay

Length – # OF PAGES: 69

Other: * M/M * Voyeurism

Pagan Author & Pagan Elements: Yes/Yes

Card Rating: – 5

movingstar

The Reviewers choice & Top pick

PP Top Pick 2

Reviewed by: Jes L’Heureux

About The Book: What is loss to the human heart?

A spirit of nature, misunderstood and forgotten by modern man, when drawn out on the one night he roams the darkness freely, seeks to understand the meaning of loss and ease a young man’s pain.

Bran Conleth is a man broken by the ultimate loss – death. Desperate to summon his deceased lover he chooses the one night when the veil between the land of the living and the land of the dead is at its thinnest. Instead of his lover, he calls forth the embodiment of the night – Samhain.

Together they share one incredible journey that will teach Samhain about human loss and Bran that there is life after death.

The Review:

Dealing with the grief of his lost lover Bran takes to doing an ancient ritual, which will bring back Dmitri. The story unfolds with the unveiling of the past for Bran and his loss, as well as going though the ritual as it takes place. Alongside we get the impressions and thoughts of the almost forgotten deity of Samhain, and his place in the cycle. Jesse Fox creates this beautiful tapestry that weaves the past and present with magic and tradition. The story is like a dance going though the stages of grief that we experience when we lose a loved one. Bran learns to live with the joy, instead of holding close the pain of the one event that pulled them apart.

“This … is just one chapter. Now you must turn the page and see what awaits you in the next chapter” p.34,

The above quote perfectly expresses how this story unfolds.

I found the flow of the story was natural, and didn’t feel as though I were being thrashed by scene changes, or “oh yeah” moments. The descriptions of each character, the scenery, and atmosphere were rendered so vividly I could feel and see what was occurring. I felt that dealing with, and acceptance of the loss, was an important theme to this book. To have it pulled together with the idea and celebration of Samhain, the end of summer, the end of the cycle was a wonderful way to mesh the story. As we have all felt loss in our lives, the reminder that they live on and that we can find solace in another’s embrace, or in our faiths, is a great relief.

Big on the recommend scale, especially for those who are looking for something with a bit more pagan in its pages.

Pagan Elements:

There are definitely some Pagan elements; the first half of the story is about the preparation and the ritual itself. This entire story is about the nature deity Samhain and each of the embodiments of the different pagan celebrations.

Cover (Rated 1-10):

8 – I found the cover to be interesting in that I had to take a double take to make out what the image is, as I read the story I found the cover to be very suiting to the book as well.

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Disclaimer: Due to FTC regulations, any book reviewed on this site was sent for free by the author to The Pagan & the Pen. We are not paid to give reviews by Author or Publisher. Once review has been made, said books are deleted.

Book Review: Tales of the Dark World Book 3: Fire Season by Lex Valentine

FireSeason-150 Title: Tales of the Dark World Book 3: Fire Season
Author: Lex Valentine

Author Site

Buy Link

Publisher: Pink Petal Books

Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance

Length – # OF PAGES: 105

Other: M/F * M/F/M * M/M Multiple Partners

Card Rating: 3 out of 5 tarots

Review by: Kim Clune

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About The Book:

Holden Antaeus is the smart and charming chief counsel for the family business, Antaeus International. He is also a black dragon living in human form and a true ladies’ man destined to mate for life with a green dragon. While dragon pairings are predetermined by natural forces, the fruition of Holden’s match requires intervention. Failure to mate would result in a life of unbearable solitude and, according to the powers that be, failure is a strong possibility.

Sean Antaeus, Holden’s older brother and head of the company, is aware that his younger brother may judge his match based on human cultural stereotypes rather than dragon ideology. To intervene, Sean orchestrates a corporate retreat, dashing Holden’s plans with his “girlfriend du jour” under the guise of business to pair Holden with an intelligent, driven and attractive bisexual, Garret Renquist.

Garret is Antaeus International’s latest acquisition, a hot-shot financial expert strategically hired as a company asset and, more importantly, as Holden’s known dragon mate. Unwittingly accepting the position for professional reasons, Garret immediately senses the chemistry between himself and his match during their first meeting. Holden, on the other hand, has his world turned upside down when he realizes that, while his sense of self is deeply rooted in heterosexuality, his predetermined mate is male.

During the first day of the retreat, Holden’s resistance remains firmly embedded in disbelief. Garret, frustrated and disheartened over his mate’s initial rejection, has a one night stand with another man to soothe his soul. When Holden accidentally walks in on Garret and his date, his anger and unexpected sexual stirrings plague him long after he storms out of the room. By morning, Holden decides to give Garret a chance. While the majority of his reasons are based in fear of lifelong desolation, they are also peppered with a strong sense of natural connection and curiosity.

Throughout their short retreat, the two men intellectually explore their physical desires, the mating bond of dragons, the purity of love over gender and the intensity of intimately feeling the other’s heart and mind as part of their own. Laced with receding trepidation, their sexual experiences become exploratory and intense, as do their intimate conversations, but whether love will successfully follow suit is a concern for them both.

Complications with an Australian corporate takeover separate Holden and Garret temporarily after an explosive run-in with Holden’s homophobic ex-girlfriend. Will the demands of life and/or social criticism break their new and fragile bond, or will these men find their way to love as lifetime mates? You have to find that out for yourself. I offer no spoiler here.

The Review:

Author Lex Valentine has all the makings of a beautiful, gay-for-you love story in Tales of the Dark World Book 3: Fire Season. Set against the corporate backdrop of an Anteaus International business retreat, the powerful passion and exploration of eroticism between Holden Antaeus and Garret Renquist is playful, steamy and endearing. Inserting her characters within dragon lore and pitting them against the exclusivity of human social construct is an interesting and thoughtful way for Valentine to challenge gendered stereotypes.

What Valentine illustrates best is the full spectrum of feelings Holden grapples with after learning, as a heterosexual human, that his natural dragon mate is male. As these green and black dragons tread carefully in new waters, sometimes literally, Holden’s journey with Garret is riddled with restless confusion and respectful recognition for the natural order that pairs them. The push and pull between these conflicting emotions eventually creates sexual tension so hot that the reader is grabbed and drawn in by the scruff of the neck.

While playful interactions lead to intensely erotic scenes, this relationship cannot be based on lust alone. Intimate friendship, love and equality are integral in the success of a natural dragon match. The book highlights the ultimate bravery required for each lover to become open and vulnerable, allowing the other to sense the emotions that lie beyond the physical connection. This deeply intimate link can only be sustained if Holden is able to see his lover as a complete person, not simply a male.

What is most unfortunate about Fire Season is Valentine’s awkward writing style and the ways in which it detracts from the story. Amateur mistakes are prevalent within the first 5 chapters as though only half the book has been proofread. Grammatically finessing basic comma usage, inserting missing words and removal of redundant sentences would do this piece a great deal of good. Equally beneficial would be a variance of vocabulary as the word sardonic is used 8 times in a 100 page span and variations on the terms “Machiavellian, manipulation, machinations and top honors” are used repetitively within the first chapter or two. This work is far too short for repetition.

While ill chosen vocabulary and grammatical mistakes are consistent, the flow is significantly inconsistent. Breaking the first rule of creative writing to “show, don’t tell,” our narrator does a great deal of telling at the start. Additionally, more thought should be given to who the narrator is. When he or she abuses words such as “completely, just, even” or “sorta” to speak of a corporate world filled with highly functioning professional people, the narrator becomes a dubious source of authority.

Only by the end of Chapter 5 does Valentine’s strength in developing well executed dialogue and descriptive action dominate the page. A sense of relief washed over this reader when I no longer had to plow through textual unpleasantries and the characters finally came to life.

I find it disappointing for the writing world in general that other reviewers have avoided the topic of form altogether and highly commend Valentine strictly on her substance. This review reads like a writing workshop critique rather than an evaluation of content, speaking volumes about the inconsistencies present in the self-publishing world. While opening the door to topics deemed unpopular by the traditional publishing industry, the system also lacks oversight and invites unprofessional contamination.

Effective writing requires a strong, seamless command over both content and form. Together, these are what make writing an art. Fire Season needs some significant work before it can be considered as such.

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Disclaimer: Due to FTC regulations, any book reviewed on this site was sent for free by the author to The Pagan & the Pen. We are not paid to give reviews by Author or Publisher. Once review has been made, said books are deleted.

Book Review": Chastity Flame by C. Margery Kempe

KempeChastityFlame Title:  Chastity Flame
Author:  C. Margery Kempe

Author Site

Buy Link

Publisher:  Ravenous Romance
Genre:  Thriller, Erotica
Length – 206 Pages
Other:  M/F, F/F
Pagan & Pagan Elements: YES/NO
Card Rating:  — 3/5 cards
Reviewed by: Monica

About The Book:

Chastity Flame loves her job as a secret government operative. She
foils criminal masterminds, travels the world, and finds new lovers in every city. Then she meets art historian Damien Michelet in front of one of her favorite paintings and discovers there’s more to life than just lust (although there’s plenty of that, too).
But Chastity doesn’t have time to think about what this sexy distraction means while she’s trying to uncover a vast computer virus scheme that will destabilize European currency and amusing herself with various lovers across the continent.
It’s hard work saving the world-it can be lonely, too. Before Chastity can make a decision about what to do about Damien, she takes part in a daring rescue of a geek genius, only to discover that the fellow operative lending assistance is none other than Damien! On the plus side, now she won’t have to explain her job-but what to do about that rule about no romance between agents? Will she risk the security of her country for some really wild sex-and the possibility of love?

The Review:
Chastity Flame by  C. Margary Kempe was a pretty quick read. One thing that was ever present was the fact that Chastity is a slut, and has sex as much as she eats and sleeps. Not a bad thing, just an observance. Chastity is a strong female character and is totally confused by the feelings she develops when her lover starts to become more. The feelings Chastity develops arrive pretty quickly and without explanation in my opinion, but Damien and Chastity have a ton of heat. Damien is the perfect partner for Chastity, he is strong enough to keep her on her toes but not so strong as to over power her sense of freedom.
Speaking of heat, this book is practically radiating steam. There are lots of different things to chose from, Ms. Kempe doesn’t write the same scene over and over, and even throws in some F/F love.
The villain in this story is practically seething evil, right down to the evil, maniacal laugh. He’s got everything you could want in a villain: betrayal, treason, kidnapping, etc. He has it all. If you like lots of steamy variety and a thrill ride that keeps you on your toes, this book is most definitely for you.

Pagan Elements:  NONE, however the author is Pagan. 

Cover (Rated 1-10): 7 Cover isn’t too bad and fits with the story.
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Disclaimer: Due to FTC regulations, any book reviewed on this site was sent for free by the author to The Pagan & the Pen. We are not paid to give reviews by Author or Publisher. Once review has been made, said books are deleted.