With Lakebridge: Autumn, the third volume of her Lakebridge Cycle, Natasha Troop delivers another character-driven thriller that is as entertaining inWith Lakebridge: Autumn, the third volume of her Lakebridge Cycle, Natasha Troop delivers another character-driven thriller that is as entertaining in its telling as it in its story. Natasha has comfortable mastery of the English language that she's not embarrassed to let flow onto the page. Her books have an almost 'classic' sort of feel to them, and it's largely due to the fact that she gives her readers credit, and doesn't try to placate them with a mass market sort of approach.
Once again, we come into the story from outside the town, hitching a ride with another family road trip destined to lose its way at the "entirely useless and very creepy" world famous Lakebridge. It's a daring way to start a tale, taking us so deeply inside the thoughts and emotions of a family who won't live beyond the bridge, but that's the kind of dedication you'll find in Natasha's work. Everybody and everyone, no matter how fleeting their time upon the page, is fully established.
Readers who are unfamiliar with the first two books may find themselves playing catch-up at first, and may miss some of the significance behind events, but it won't take long to become as fully invested in the tale as a readers who've crossed the Lakebridge before. Of course, just as you're beginning to figure things out . . . just as you find yourself enjoying the comfortably quirky small-town tale . . . Natasha diverts us back into the strange, dark mythology behind it all, shocking us with the horror disguised beneath its surface. The confrontation between Francis and Gil is more akin to something you'd find in an epic fantasy than a horror novel, but that's part of what makes this series so unique - like the Lakebridge itself, it's bigger on the inside that it appears, and it crossed worlds.
Personally, as much as I enjoyed Spring and Summer, I feel Autumn is the strongest entry in the series so far. It achieves that perfect balance between the character-driven first volume and the mythology-driven second volume, meshing the two into a book that should, if there is any justice, turn Lakebridge into something of a cult phenomenon. If you're looking for something more than mindless disposable horror, and like the idea of a book you'll linger over late into the night, and then think about all the next day, then step into Natasha Troop's world and find out what lies beyond the Lakebridge....more
Offering a unique approach to the magical gender transformation story, Andrea Bakston sees her transformation through to the very end, and puts a greaOffering a unique approach to the magical gender transformation story, Andrea Bakston sees her transformation through to the very end, and puts a great deal of thought into the 'extras' that most authors shrug off.
First of all, let's look at the physical transformation. Sam is an overbearing ladies man with no appreciation for the finer, smarter, more subtle things in life. When he makes the mistake of getting too aggressive with a young witch, she curses him right there on the barroom floor. The scene where he stands in the bathroom and watches himself change is exceptionally well done, with some nice touches like the pigtails and geeky t-shirt.
Yes, He's a Geek Girl Now! and there's no turning back.
Where Bakston really shines, though, is in the 'extras' that I mentioned. This isn't your typical bimbo transformation, and I loved that aspect. When Sam awakes the next day, it's to find his wardrobe stocked with feminine, geeky attire that actually means something to him. Despite having never watched, read, or played anything geeky in his life, they awaken a feel of nostalgia and send him looking for his roommates DVD box sets. That attention to detail in following through the transformation is just fantastic.
It's a short tale, but a fun one with a little bit of self-exploration and bathtub fantasies (but no explicit sex), and some great dialogue, especially once Sam's femininity begins to take hold.
In Ladyboys, Ladygirls And Those In-Between, the latest in a continuing series of tales inspired by true events, Chris Burrows changes things up withIn Ladyboys, Ladygirls And Those In-Between, the latest in a continuing series of tales inspired by true events, Chris Burrows changes things up with a collection that focuses exclusively on the lesbian side of transgender exploration. As is always the case with Chris’ work, there is a wonderful mixture of sentiment and sensuality here, a natural merging of the innocent and the erotic – as you might expect when dealing with the love of one woman for another. Having Chris and Porn frame each story, with a little commentary at the end, lends the stories a note of casual authenticity. As erotic and adventurous as they are, each story sounds like something a best friend might regale you with over a few drinks – entirely believable, with an acceptable bit of embellishment (or, at least, poetic license).
The first story is a fun one, with a sexually frustrated young woman finding the man of her dreams in bar, losing him, and then finding him again . . . in the body of a beautiful woman. There’s some brief discussion of the differences between gender and sexuality, before Kelly discovers that Louise is just as good a lover as Lou. The second is the kind of tale more commonly found in online fantasy forums, with a woman returning home from a business trip to find her husband dressed as a very convincing woman. Again, there’s some discussion about gender versus sexuality, and about his support group, before she seizes the opportunity to enjoy having her very own “chick with a dick.”
After a few stories from the wife or girlfriend’s viewpoint, Porn brings us around to another fantasy-fetish type tale of a traveler, trapped by a snowstorm, who ‘allows’ himself to be ‘forcibly’ feminized, before discovering the joys of lesbian love. The next story continues with the transgender viewpoint, but is largely a story about relationships, with Christie enjoying her role in providing comfort to a jilted lesbian friend. The final story takes us all the way across the gender divide, with a pre-operative transsexual preparing for surgery, only to fall for the post-operative transsexual who helps prepare her for life as a woman using the strap-on dildo that rides where her own cock once sat.
Erotic, but intelligent at the same time, Chris and Porn are always good for stories that hit home, and which speak to the woman deep inside all of us – no matter how we define or express our gender....more
This was an all right bit of fun - a little rushed and a little light on details, with the best parts summarized towards the end, but still enjoyable.This was an all right bit of fun - a little rushed and a little light on details, with the best parts summarized towards the end, but still enjoyable. Oh, sure, hubby is a little too willing to open up and clean his wife's black lovers the first time he's so ordered, but his willingness to be exploited as a sissy slut later on explains a lot. I quite appreciated the fact that it was all about sexual satisfaction as well, without any sort of humiliation or degradation.
I think what makes it all worthwhile is the happy ending, where hubby acknowledges that even if their marriage got off to a shaky start, it worked out well for both of them....more
It's one thing to serialize a story and publish it in chapters, but quite another to write half a scene and decide that's enough for now. There's someIt's one thing to serialize a story and publish it in chapters, but quite another to write half a scene and decide that's enough for now. There's some potential here, but the story just stops.
As for what story there is, the scenario seems completely forced and unrealistic. A cross-dressing politician I can buy, but not one who is so timid and docile. There's not even an element of blackmail or coercion here - just a bland sort of acceptance....more
Well now, if this wasn't a pleasant surprise! An Adventure in Crossdressing: First Kiss is a lovely little tale of openly gay sex and purely erotic crWell now, if this wasn't a pleasant surprise! An Adventure in Crossdressing: First Kiss is a lovely little tale of openly gay sex and purely erotic crossdressing - no guilt, no shame, and no deeper implications.
"Crossdressing was purely an erotic fetish for Jared, almost like role-playing. He didn't really care about looking exactly like a natural born woman; instead, he simply wanted to experience the added sexual thrill of being a girl."
Jared likes to get all dolled up, search the dating websites for a one-night stand, and indulge himself sexually. There's no attempt to pass himself off as a woman, and no 'gotcha' surprise revelation to his dates. He's just a man who is sexually aroused by the costume and the role he plays. I though Alex Wolffe did a fantastic job of conveying Jared's love for fetishism (although, selfishly, I would have liked to share the experience of dressing and putting on makeup), and wrapped the sex scenes in some nice detail as well.
As for the 'first kiss' of the title, it's actually sensuous and surprising, and it's that significant moment of tenderness that really puts the story over the top.
Over half a century later, a young boy stared into a mirror and saw himself cross-dressed for the first time.
I am Catie Maye. I am a transvestite.
AndOver half a century later, a young boy stared into a mirror and saw himself cross-dressed for the first time.
I am Catie Maye. I am a transvestite.
And so begins Catie Maye’s tale, a true story and cultural exploration of what it means to be a transvestite. It’s a story that explores the parallel lives of the cross-dresser, hiding the truth from others, lying to protect that oh-so-necessary form of self-expression, and battling the depression that takes root from the need for deceit.
As part of looking to understand himself, Catie dives deep into the studies and statistics surrounding cross-dressing. He confronts the assumption that cross-dressing is rooted in some sort of adolescent abuse, and destroys the accompanying assumption that all cross-dressers are gay. He reveals the surprising truth of just how many cross-dressers are married, how many of them are open with their spouses, and how few of them consider it a sexual fetish.
The entire book is largely an autobiographical tale, but one that’s intertwined with the studies and theories (many of them painfully dated, as Catie points out) that attempt to put that life’s story into context. Some of those statistics are fascinating – such as when the men first cross-dressed (4-6 years old), with who’s clothes (mom’s), and with what items (panties) – while others are surprising in their contradictions – with only 42% claimed to have ever felt guilty, but 77% having purged.
Risks and secrecy are a recurring theme of Catie’s story, to nobody’s surprise, but it’s sobering to realize how strong the need to express ourselves is, regardless of those risks. For some it’s the feeling of the clothes themselves, for others it’s a sexual sensation, and for others still it’s a way of dealing with stress. As Catie says, “I don’t dress to attract men (or women). I don’t do it for any reason other than to relax. Cross-dressing gets me out of myself. I don’t want to be cured because there is nothing wrong with me. I won’t ever stop.”
Where the story gets really interesting is when Catie talks about taking his cross-dressing public, and about learning to pass as a woman. It’s a funny story, with a young man in a wench’s outfit and wig, first trapped in a shed, then finding himself accidentally locked out of the house, but it’s all too easy to sympathise with the gut-wrenching terror of the experience . . . and the guilty compulsion to purge rather than deal with that fear again.
Rounding out Catie’s story is that of his wife, her discovery of his secret, and how they’ve come to terms with that aspect of his life. “To me,” she says, “it’s not the ‘dressing’ that’s the problem; it’s the secrecy.” Having survived (and strived) through that first difficult conversation, I can say her take on the situation isn’t unique, and should serve as something of a prompt for more men to come out and be honest with their partners.
Catie concludes his story with a chapter on ‘What Does it All Mean’ that attempts to summarize the salient facts and figures of the story. Rather than trying to define the cross-dresser, Catie’s goal is to dispel “the myths, social untruths, and pieces of pure gossip” and help promote a societal understanding of “whom and what we are.”
So, if you have ever wondered, questioned, debated, and doubted, believe that Men Can Wear Dresses Too.
A quick tale that's light on both plot and detail, Heather the Femdom Tranny was still a sexy read with a final twist that I probably should have seenA quick tale that's light on both plot and detail, Heather the Femdom Tranny was still a sexy read with a final twist that I probably should have seen coming, but which was a pleasant surprise. A bored, sex-starved trophy-husband has been having the same erotic dream every night, involving a woman with a mysterious blur between her legs and a fetish for putting her finger up his ass, but his wife doesn't want to hear about it.
The dutiful husband, he heads off to reluctantly manage one of the strip clubs his wife inherited from her father. No sooner does he step inside the door and a strange woman comes in looking for a job. No matter how much he protests, she drops to her knees, sucks him off, and lets him cum between her breasts . . . only to force him to lick them clean. When she insists he reciprocate, he doesn't expect to find a long, hard penis between her legs, but he manage to does it justice. When his wife suddenly arrives on the scene, things get really interesting.
It could have been longer, and I would have loved more detail surrounding the sex, but I loved the domination element of it. A fun story that's worth a few spots in the panties.
Completely unbelievable and firmly in the realm of fantasy, Million Dollar Femboy is still every young crossdresser's dream. You're 18, just out of hiCompletely unbelievable and firmly in the realm of fantasy, Million Dollar Femboy is still every young crossdresser's dream. You're 18, just out of high school, and shopping at the mall when some well-dress stranger comes up and asks your name. Before you know it, he's offering you $2000 to be his for the afternoon, with the promise of a cool $1 million if you agree to stick with him long-term. The only catch? You have to let him "dress you up like the prettiest, sexiest little girl that you are" and then let him fuck you.
And so it begins for Allen/Jessica, indulged in an extravagant shopping spree where money is no object. With a $200 bribe for the salesgirl to look the other way, he's led into the change room and instructed to dress up in shiny, latex stockings, a pink thong, black miniskirt, pink too-small belly shirt, and tall black high heels. It is then that Marcus takes him orally and anally in public, with a dressing room door doing nothing to contain the noises of their adventure.
This was hot, with some good dialogue, better fashion sense, and even better sex. It ends with the promise of a lot more, of course, but like Jessica, this is one femboy who's more than happy to see where things lead.
Mix a little crossdressing fetishism with extremes of female impersonation, employ some female masking as a necessity of deception, and sprinkle it alMix a little crossdressing fetishism with extremes of female impersonation, employ some female masking as a necessity of deception, and sprinkle it all with just a touch of an Oedipus complex, and what you get is the rather stunning, sometimes shocking, Practice to Deceive by Ghostly Writer.
Billy starts out like so many crossdressers, immersing himself in femininity as an act of comfort when his mother's away, and indulging himself in her clothes out of sheer convenience. What begins as an opportunistic indulgence, however, soon turns into a full-on obsession not just to become a woman, and not even just to become his mother, but to become a specific representation of his mother's past. It's not long before Billy is ordering breast forms and professional bum padding, but he still sees a boy in a dress when he looks in the mirror, when he wants to see his mother. That leads him to custom order a mask online, created from an array of his mother's old photos, that fits his face to literally remake him in her image.
Where the Oedipus complex comes in is with the sort of dual personality that develops. Billy is fully aware of himself, his urges, and his arousal from inside his mother's image, but he inhabits the Linda in the mirror as a completely different person. He engages in conversations where he is responsible for both sides, and even flirts with and comes onto himself. It's very weird, almost disturbingly surreal, but it's all part of immersing himself in the role and practicing to deceive not just himself, but the world outside his front door.
Yes, it's an odd way to establish a protagonist, and an unusual way to begin a story, but it's Ghostly Writer's commitment to the idea that makes it work. There's an attention to detail here that is lovingly crafted, allowing the reader to feel it all, from the sensual pleasure of a pair of stockings sliding up your leg, to the exotic pleasures of an evening gown billowing around your hips, to the sheer thrill of walking through a mall in heels and having nobody question your appearance. Ironically, it's not so much when Billy takes Linda public that the story really begins to develop, but when he invites the world to accompany Linda back home.
With such an elaborate, detailed set-up, I really wasn't sure where the story was ultimately going. There were a few points at which I thought I knew what the end-game would be, but each time a new twist entered the tale to surprise and delight. I was looking for a lot out of this, and came away from the first few chapters with some significant expectations, and I am delighted to say that Practice to Deceive not only delivered, but did so in ways that honestly amazed me. This is a story to which any crossdresser can relate, and which any masking aficionado will appreciate.
Ever since Richard Bachman (Stephen King's early alter-ego) pioneered the idea in The Running Man, twisted and innovative game show scenarios have becEver since Richard Bachman (Stephen King's early alter-ego) pioneered the idea in The Running Man, twisted and innovative game show scenarios have become something of a staple of science fiction. Young Adult fiction has certainly taken the idea and run with it, as seen in The Hunger Games, but lately even erotica has gotten into the game, as we've seen with The Games by Nancy Rose. Ideal Lovers - The TG Game Show by DK Masters is the latest entry in that competitive sub-genre, and it's a lot of fun.
Set in the 22nd century, mankind has not only taken to the stars, but we've colonized other planets. One of those planets, Terra Prime, is something of an idyllic paradise - clean, unspoiled, and beautiful. It's also the only place in the universe where aura gems can be found - ridiculously expensive, closely guarded crystals with the ability to focus thoughts and enact magical transformations. Since most people could never dream of affording an aura gem, much less using it for selfish purposes, the game show Ideal Lovers was invented. Suddenly, contestants have the ability to be completely selfish and use the magic of the aura gems to transform their opponent into the perfect lover - physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
Having just watched a wife successfully turn her husband into the perfect lesbian lover, Sam arrives on Terra Prime to play the game against Rick, his best friend. The rules of the game are a kind of magical rock-paper-scissors, with contestants able to cast a transformation, reflect a transformation, or drain their opponent's aura on each turn. It's a concept that could get tiresome pretty quickly, but Masters plays it exceptionally well, creating a story that's as dramatic and exciting as it is fast-paced. A few bad choices put Sam in a tight spot early on, but he battles back to make a game of it. As he and Rick find themselves becoming more feminine, more aroused, more submissive, it gets harder and harder to think straight (pun intended) and play the game.
If I were to have one complaint about the story, it's the underlying assumption in the game that the 'ideal' lover is a wholly feminine, submissive, sexually voracious, pregnant homemaker. There's a lot of potential here, so I think it'd be interesting to see additions episodes of Ideal Lovers with different 'idea' lovers, such as one where a contestant's goal is to transform his opponent into a sort of dual-gendered dominatrix, while resisting his own transformation into an aggressive, muscle-bound freak of nature. Regardless, this was a fun story that delivered beautifully on the potential of the game.
This was such a wonderful story - my only complaint is that it took so long for somebody to write it. Seriously, I really wish there had been a storyThis was such a wonderful story - my only complaint is that it took so long for somebody to write it. Seriously, I really wish there had been a story like Cevin's Deadly Sin available back in my high school days. It may not have changed anybody else's opinions, but to have found somebody I could so closely identify, even if it's in fiction, would have made such an incredible difference in my life, I can hardly imagine it.
Sally Bosco is to be commended for sharing such an open, honest, powerful tale, and for doing so with such understanding and tact. This is the story of an adolescent cross-dresser. Cevin is a typical high school student, a young man who just happens to find comfort and happiness in wearing women's clothing. A pair of red panties neutralize any bad energy at school, making his life bearable, and slipping into a blouse, skirt, and heels after school allows him to relax and cast off the stresses of the day. There's no confusion regarding gender identity, no lingering doubts about sexuality, no angst over how nature made him, and no questions about fetishism.
This is also a story of being an outsider, something we can all relate to, no matter how we dress, who we love, or whether we're new to town. Sally does a wonderful job of relating the fears and frustrations of Cevin, Amy, and Tessa, making us care deeply for them, without coming across as preachy or overbearing. The struggle to fit in is handled very well, and even if the bullying element comes on a bit too strong, with a final twist I anticipated all along, it does a wonderful job of laying bare just how dangerous being different can be. I honestly feared for Cevin, cried along with him at the biggest set-backs, and wondered whether he would make it through the story whole, healthy, and intact.
There's also a nice little fantasy element to the story that tickled me to no end. In his dreams, Cevin is a Cross-Dressing Superhero in thigh-high boots, fishnets, and a black leather skirt, with a big CD splashed across his camisole. He stalks the night, watching out for those who are different, and delivering justice to their bullies. It's a nice addition to the story, fun and fanciful, but something that also helps illustrate how hopeless he sometimes feels. Given the bullies at school, his mother's ultra-religious attempts to cure him, and the struggles of fitting in, these dreams also provide an important balance to the tale.
I won't spoil the ending, other than to say it's a happy one that reveals a new meaning behind Cevin's Deadly Sin.
Definitely a touching story, and one filled with a lot of emotion, but I had trouble connecting to the spiritual aspect, and found the search for biblDefinitely a touching story, and one filled with a lot of emotion, but I had trouble connecting to the spiritual aspect, and found the search for biblical justifications a little bit tiresome and unnecessary. I get that it's important to Rizi, and I'm sure many people will celebrate his continued faith in the face of the most heinous of acts, but I couldn't relate....more
Last summer we saw something new hit the shelves in terms of dystopian fiction, a novel about the rise of a Christian theocratic state, and the persecLast summer we saw something new hit the shelves in terms of dystopian fiction, a novel about the rise of a Christian theocratic state, and the persecution of alternate faiths and sexualities. While Christian Nation was an interesting read, however, it was also very dry, very black-and-white in its heroes and villains, and surprisingly misogynistic in its persecution of gay men over all others (including militant terrorists).
With The Last Circle, Gretchen Blickensderfer approaches a similar decline in the American dream, but does so with greater balance and personality. Hers is a very human drama. There are no clear black-and-white distinctions here, no perfect heroes or villains, and no hatred of one 'abomination' above all others. In fact, while faith and politics play a significant role in the transition to a Christian theocratic state, it's individual relationships that drive the central conflicts.
The story itself is structured somewhat oddly, with a contemporary first-person interview framing a more traditional third-person narrative, but it works - especially once the true identity of Gwen is revealed. It's this framing that really brings the story home, providing a sympathetic viewpoint for the reader. As I said, the other characters are not perfect, and even the persecuted heroes have traits that make you want to just reach through the page and shake some sense into them, so Gwen is important as a sort of emotional anchor. Every time we begin to find ourselves frustrated with Laura and her coven, Gwen's story reminds of just how high the stakes are, and precisely why we have to rise about petty personal conflicts.
As for Laura, she's an interesting choice for a protagonist. An emotionally distant young woman with some serious relationship issues, she takes solace and comfort in her role as coven leader. That responsibility begins to wear on her, however, once the persecution starts, and her inability to reconcile her friendships with her sense of a larger purpose causes significant tensions. It is her stubborn insistence on illegally publishing an article critical of President Palmer's reforms that puts them all at risk, and her perseverance in holding an equally illegal pagan ritual (as a protest) that puts them on the run.
Personally opposing her is a woman by the name of Shelby, once a simple, if dangerously obsessive, church group leader with relationship issues of her own. Although she has no ambitions to rise above her station in life, a series of circumstances (including several broken relationships) put her side-by-side with President Palmer as his Director of the Bureau of Religious Protection. She is a dangerous woman, full of ideas and passions, but short on reason. As her obsession grows, fed by the evangelical propaganda of her husband, Shelby makes the final confrontation with Laura and her coven a personal one, despite the fact that the world is watching, and the stakes are far higher than she's possible of comprehending.
Not surprising for a story that's primarily about relationships, this is also a story that turns on a number of betrayals - spiritual, emotional, and physical. Many of them are subtle, with larger implications revealed later on, but a few of them are quite staggering. To say much more would be to spoil their power, but it all comes back to the idea that nobody is perfect, and that what should be black-and-white is really just shades of grey. It makes for an uncomfortable read at times, but reading about such a fundamental betrayal of the American dream should be uncomfortable.
While I thought the story could use a little more description - I sometimes found it hard to visualize who people were or what was happening - that's really my only complaint. I thought it was imaginative and well thought out, with the rise of the Christian theocratic state entirely reasonably and (sadly) almost logical. There's a lovely appreciation for history here as well, with several significant events recreated or echoed in the struggle of Laura and her coven. I'm still not sure how I feel about the climax - I appreciate it, but don't necessarily like it - but, overall, The Last Circle is absolutely worth reading for anybody with an interest in the struggle for equality and acceptance.
Not an altogether bad read, just nothing special. The financial domination angle was a bit lazy, and the ending was rather rushed. Never mind the "sheNot an altogether bad read, just nothing special. The financial domination angle was a bit lazy, and the ending was rather rushed. Never mind the "she did other things to me that I really don't want to talk about right now" nonsense - it's those wild, kinky, embarrassing acts that we want to read about....more