What happens when you put two vampire novellas in the same book? Twice Bitten is a collection of two charming novellas, both centered around a female vampire. In Escape in Venice we meet Antonia Correlli, a relatively young vampire who still learns to master her special abilities as a succubus. As such, she does not only feed on blood like ordinary vampires, but can also feed on humans’ sexual passions, draining them of their energy and powering her unique abilities.
Antonia is invited by her incubus friend and mentor, Count Emilio, to 18th century Venice in order to help him with a delicate matter, a young lady the count desires, but who does not respond to his incubus magic as she should. Antonia, tasked to find out what makes this woman resistant to the count’s advances, must learn to master her own magic as well as find a way to save his friend’s beloved one from a great danger.
The second novella, My Take Away Vampire, takes us back to modern times and a forlorn town that does not hold much excitement for the teenage kids living there. If it weren’t for Agatha of course, the pretty vampire who roams the night, finding her prey on deserted roads, graveyards and, of course, the local night-open fast food restaurant.
Agatha, kept sane by her cheerful ghost friend Mr. Fipps, struggles to avoid becoming too attached to her source of food, knowing that falling in love with a human is rarely a good idea.
While living in different times and facing different problems, Antonia and Agatha have a lot in common. Neither of them are evil even though they accept that killing is a part of their nature and something that isn’t easily avoided. Antonia and Agatha have been around for over 300 years and each have their own unique ways of dealing with their immortality. From the romantic canal-ways of the Venice of the 18th century, to the modern, industrialised wasteland of a small forgotten town, follow their stories to discover that you can’t always believe everything you thought you knew about
"Antonia shivered. It was getting cold and dark, perhaps this wasn't the best idea. After all, she was still starving. Suddenly, she made a decision. Turning around, she put her hand onto the gondolero's bare arm and dropped her shields."
"Agatha now waited patiently – whiling away her time – but sensing her deepening hunger. ‘Young blood’, she mouthed silently to herself as she felt the twinges of her anxious fangs.
Twice Bitten is available from Amazon US and UK as well as for Kindle. Also available for other ebook formats through Smashwords.
I went to a bookshop today, a proper one. Well, actually I went there yesterday with the little stepdaughter to buy a birthday present for her friend. We ended up not buying it, but while in the shop I spotted another book I wanted to have a closer look at, so I went back today and did so. The book turned out not to be what I was looking for, but as I was already there, I decided to have a stroll. Walking around in a nice bookshop is something I used to do a lot, but nowadays I buy most books online and rarely have a reason to visit an actual bookshop.
In a way this is a shame. Bookshops are nice, especially when you can feel that the staff have done a lot of work to inspire people and help them to find new books to read. This one does. There are several display tables sorted by topics like "staff pick", "in the media" as well as the usual shelves sorted by genre or author. Some of the books on the shelves have small hand-written notes where a staff member has put some inspiring little text about the book and why they like it. In other words, this is a really great bookshop, one I would have been delighted to have around when I was young instead of the grumpy old man who hid the nautical fiction I then used to love in a remote corner.
But despite all this, walking around in this great bookshop, I felt lost. I looked at a couple of books which had a nice cover, read a couple of titles and picked up one or two, but nothing really interested me. And I couldn't really understand why. Well, it would have been nice if there had been a table with "indie author picks" or something, but that wasn't particularly what I missed. Because even among all the trad published books there should normally be something I'd find interesting. After all that's how it always has been.
I finally left the shop with a slight feeling of unease in my stomach. Surely something was wrong with me, I always loved to be in bookshops and libraries. But then, on the walk back home I suddenly understood what the problem is. Since I nowadays mainly find my books on goodreads or amazon, I have become used to browsing books by keywords. I look for "steampunk erotica" or something similarly narrow. And I'm used to be presented with a list of books that more or less fit those keywords, together with reader ratings and reviews. And that's something a bookshop can't do. There are too many different keywords to put them all on shelves or tables, and too many books that fit more than one keyword, so they would have to have the same books on different shelves. And of course, they can't give us reader ratings and reviews.
Online book databases have enabled us to look for books that fit just our interests much more refined, adding reader reviews to make the decision process easier and also including indie authors and books from small publishers that would not be able to distribute their books to all brick and mortar bookshops. This is purely delightful for any book lover. But at the same time it has estranged me from feeling excited and happy whenever I enter a bookshop. And that still makes me feel a little sad.
Oh, and by the way, that particular bookshop did actually have one Steampunk book on prominent display. Even though it was a Young Adult one. But still...
I'll admit it at once. I deliberately bought this book because of the huge amount of bad reviews and one stars on Goodreads. Things like that do intrigue me sometimes, and as this was advertised as a steampunk romance it fitted the genre I am currently reading (and researching) well. Now, having just finished reading it I am sat here with a distinct feeling of sadness that it is over and there isn't even a sequel. Because the book is actually brilliant.
I think the main reason for the bad reviews is that many people did not quite grasp the fact that the author here takes a very light-hearted stance on the steampunk genre. In a way, this book isn't really steampunk at all, it's more some kind of Back-to-the-Future thing but set into a parallel world rather than a different time. The whole idea of putting a modern American man into a pseudo-Victorian society can obviously only be funny and might irritate anyone who perfers a steampunk world which is not interfered with by other ideas.
That aside, some of the things mentioned in other reviews I cannot understand at all. Yes, Quakers are mentioned and yes, the book is full of cliches but not at all so much that it would be irritating. Neither is the mentioning of steampunk itself, which, I agree, would be a definite no-no in any other book in the genre. In any book that does not have anyone from a different world put into it that is. Or the fact that the story is written from his and her perspective alternately. Some people seem to have gotten confused by that and felt unsure of who was talking. A hint: if it's her talking, it says "Ships log" on top...
Another review states that the heroine, Octavia, would not let herself be involved in a sexual relationship with anyone on the ship, let alone this irritating American zapped into her world. That might be true for several reasons, mainly because Jack isn't actually that likeable a character, at least not compared to her. But this is a romance novel after all and while Octavia is a strong and self-reliant woman, she is also passionate and how boring wouldn't she be if she wouldn't let her desires have their way once in a while (or quite often).
Most importantly though, this book is well written, capturing and utterly charming. It's simply a good read and a fun one too. And the sex bits are really nice. While it isn't steampunk erotica (another genre it doesn't quite fit in) in any way, and nothing like other books I have promoted here, the salacious encounters between Jack and Octavia alone are worth reading this book for. Even though they do talk too much during the act.
If you're as intrigued and delighted by erotic stories set in a Steampunk world as I am, you might want to have a look at Steamypunk.net. The site relaunched recently with a new editor and new stories, of which I am proud to say, my own "Lucy's Device" is one. There are, however, many older stories in the archive, which I am still looking forward to reading myself.
Steamypunk.net is also looking for new contributors, so if you're a writer of Erotica and want to try the Steampunk genre, here is a way to find your new audience.
There aren't many books around yet in the emerging genre of Steampunk, and Steampunk erotica in particular. It was with great excitement thus that I found this little book by Storm Ryder.
The book is a collection of five stories. The first, "The Education of Cousette" being the longest, and probably the best. The setting is exotic, the Steampunk elements are all there, even though they get pushed a little into the background as the story goes on, and the characters are charming and well described.
The other stories vary in quality and style. Some, as "Donnia Endangered" contain elements that might not appeal to everyone, not even the average reader of erotica. It is, however one of the ones that show the strongest Steampunk elements. Others, like "Magdelangie in the Horse" show proof of the author's talent when it comes to inventing the right settings and devices to give a Steampunk girl her pleasure.
All stories might come across as slightly male-written, if you get what I mean here, even though the girls get what they want in the end, no doubt about that. They are all set in the same world, a world of airships, steam and brass, and Victorian inspired fashion.
For readers who are interested in Steampunk and/or erotica in a pseudo-Victorian setting, this is definitely worth a read. So why only three stars then? Only because of the varying quality of the stories, at least two of them would be a four, so take it as a 3.5.
This book only available on Smashwords and through its affiliate channels, such as Kobo. It's not available through Amazon, although Smashwords does have a Kindle version. I'm not sure whether this is a deliberate choice of the author's or due to other reasons. In any case, it definitely deserves some more attention. It's in fact, probably one of these books I'd bought in print if it would have existed as such. In any case, it definitely deserves some more attention. It's in fact, probably one of these books I'd bought in print if it would have existed as such.
I finally got round to a first attempt at a story set in a steampunk environment. It's of course a filthy one, so sit back comfortably and enjoy....
“Come on in, my dear”, the professor said, smiling at her. Lucy stepped into the room quietly, closing the door behind her with slightly trembling hands. Feeling the man’s gaze on her, she blushed as she slowly walked towards him.
“I hope, you’re feeling well today,” the professor enquired.
“Good, good. I have a special surprise for you today.” He moved towards the old chest of drawers next to his desk and opened the top drawer. Lucy stood still, craning her head in order to see better. A suppressed gasp escaped her mouth as the professor turned around, showing her the device.
“Do you like it?” he asked.
Lucy nodded. Taking a step closer to him she lifted her hand to touch it. “It feels soft.” Giving it a little squeeze, she added: “and hard.”
The professor laughed. “Actually, what you seem to be most fascinated with isn’t the main functional part of this device at all. Let me show you.” He pointed at the base of what was indeed a beautifully shaped leather phallus. At its base, however, was a bronze cap with what resembled a little cage of thin wires attached to it. It was open on one side, and there the wires ended in soft silky pads. The professor took her hand and placed one of her fingers against the pads. “Feel them,” he said.
Lucy did as she was told. Moving the finger over the pads before slipping the tip of it between them. “They feel soft and cool,” she said. “What are they for?”
The professor smiled. “Sit down and let me show you.” He led Lucy to the leather chair and she sat down carefully.
“Lean back, please.” The professor knelt in front of her and lifted her skirts, tracing his hands along her stockinged legs, gently pushing them apart. “Stay like this.”
Lucy blushed deeper, aware of the cool air touching her unprotected crotch. Despite its coolness she felt moist heat building inside her. This was one of her favourite parts, the anticipation of what he had devised this time, how he would make her feel, what he would do to her. She sighed as he once as he moved closer. He was holding the device, which now had been equipped with four leather straps, connected to its base. Carefully he brushed his fingers over her moistness, parting her lower lips. “Ah,” he breathed. “You’re ready, my dear.”
He put the tip of the device against her and slowly pushed it inside. Lucy gasped as the leather penis filled her. The professor pulled the leather straps around her waist and secured them, then adjusted the little wiry cage so it came to rest around her most sensitive spot.
“Oh!” Lucy looked at him, her eyes wide. The professor smiled. “Almost done.” Lucy heard a clicking and then a low humming. The padded wires started to vibrate slightly around her clitoris. “Hmm,” she moaned.
“Does it feel nice?” The professor smiled at her and she nodded, her face now slightly flushed. The professor offered her his hand. “Come, let’s go for a walk.”
“Oh.” Lucy rose carefully and took a few steps. “Hmm”. She could actually walk. She felt the phallus move a little inside her and the vibrations around her clitoris were slightly distracting, but it wasn’t too bad at all. She could do this. No-one who saw her would notice anything.
They descended the stairs and left the house. The street wasn’t very busy, only a few carriages and a steam omnibus rattling on further down the street. Slowly Lucy and the professor walked along. Lucy wondered where they would go and what the purpose of all this was. Indeed, the device felt nice inside her and on her clit, but she knew the professor. This could not be all. They came to the corner of the street and turned into a wider, busier road. As a carriage rattled past in the opposite direction, Lucy felt a slight increase of the vibrations against her sensitive spot, but as the carriage went away, the sensation did too. She opened her mouth in order to ask the professor about it as another steam omnibus closed in from behind, puffing black smoke and white steam as it went along. She could hear the throbbing noise of the pistons and the squeaking of the wheels coming closer and closer and as the noise increased, so did the vibrations between her legs. As the vehicle went past, she moaned, feeling her legs weaken as wet heat spread through her from between her legs. She gripped the professor’s arm tightly as she tried to walk along. Then the omnibus had passed and everything went back to how it was before.
“Oh god,” she breathed heavily. “It’s the sound isn’t it?”
The professor smiled. “Indeed, my dear. The louder it gets, the more the device will stimulate you.” He smiled at her again and nodded forward. They walked on.
More carriages passed, and each time Lucy staggered, her breathing now shallow and panting. Then the professor held her back. “Wait here for a minute, my dear,” he told her.
Lucy stood still, her cheeks flushed, slowly calming down as they waited. Fortunately no further carriages were passing at the moment. When her breathing was almost steady again, she looked at him questioningly. Smiling again, he pointed at the corner of the street, where just then another steam omnibus screeched and puffed into view. Lucy’s eyes widened and her hand on the professor’s arm began to tremble. As the bus closed in, the professor held out his hand, and the vehicle slowed down, eventually coming to a halt in front of the two people. Lucy moaned softly, biting her lip, her hand gripping hard around his arm.
“We are taking a ride,” he said and propelled her gently towards the omnibus. Lucy yelped, but put a foot on the platform at the back of the vehicle, helped up further by a gentle shove.
“Sit down, my dear,” he said, leading her to one of the wooden benches that lined the sides of the compartment. Lucy sat down carefully, moaning softly as the phallus was pressed deeper inside her. She looked around. There were only a few other people sitting opposite them, but enough to make her face flush deeply. She looked at the professor, a pleading expression on her face. But he only smiled.
Then the omnibus started to move. Steam hissed and pistons screeched, and the whole contraption shook and rattled as it gathered speed. Lucy’s eyes widened and she was panting heavily through a partly open mouth. As the vehicle’s speed increased, so did the soft moans that escaped her mouth. Her other hand flew up to her mouth and she bit down on it as her body started to tremble. Lucy shut her eyes, her fingers digging deep into the professor’s arm, and then her body arched and the sweetest yelp escaped her mouth as she came.
As she opened her eyes, she saw a woman on the bench opposite her looking at her, eyebrow raised in question. Lucy, still panting, put her head on the professor’s shoulder and moaned.
“Good girl,” the professor whispered. “It’s just a little further now.”
Lucy shuffled on her seat as she felt the vibrations against her now even more sensitive spot continue relentlessly. Focusing on her surroundings, she tried to distract her mind from the sensations between her legs. As the omnibus slowed down and came to a halt, she breathed a sigh of relief.
“Come,” the professor said, taking her arm and gently propelling her towards the door. They disembarked from the vehicle which carried on, puffing and screeching, down the road. Lucy looked around her. They were closer to the centre of the town now. Further on, the road opened up into a large square, and it was towards there that the professor now directed her. As they came closer she realised that a large mass of people was gathered in the town square. Many of them carried signs with what must be political slogans, and everybody was discussing loudly. Lucy felt the vibrations increase as they came closer. Looking at the professor, she saw the familiar smile on his face. “Oh no,” she pleaded.
“But yes, my dear. It’s an important cause, we cannot miss it,” he chuckled. They walked on and finally came to the end of the street, the square extending in front of them. There were several hundred people at least and there was shouting and chanting. The professor lead Lucy right into the mass, holding her around the waist to steady her as she staggered on, her legs threatening to give way. She felt the vibrations increase even more than on the omnibus, and her body responded the only way it could. She moaned, gripping the professor’s arm for support, leaning on him as she felt another orgasm building inside her. They were in the middle of the chanting mass now, but she didn’t care, couldn’t stop herself from arching into the professor as she came closer and closer. He pulled her in front of him and held her with her back to him, his arms around her for support. “Let it go, no one will hear,” he said into her ear, then started to kiss the side of her neck. Lucy moaned and started to shake, finally crying out loud as the orgasm raced through her body.
“Good girl. You’re so beautiful when you come,” he whispered into her ear, still holding her tight, supporting her weight as Lucy tensed again, feeling another wave crash through her.
“Oh god,” she cried. “Please switch it off...” She arched into him again, convulsing yet another time.
“Just a little longer, my dear” the professor said. Turning her around, he took her face into his hands and kissed her deeply, then swooped her up into his arms and started to carry her away from the square. He could feel her body convulse and hear her cries against his ear two more times, before they reached a quiet side street. Carefully he put her down onto her feet. Lucy felt the cool bricks of the wall against her back as she caught her breath, her breathing slowly calming down to normal. She put her hand on the professor’s shoulder as he went down on his knees in front of her and put his arms under her skirt. Finally the vibrations stopped.
Yay! This weekend, we're launching Twice Bitten, featuring "Escape in Venice" and "My Take Away Vampire" by Jens Kuhn and Derek Haines for real. There will be a Kindle promotion run of which I know little about but I am sure you Kindle fans will know what I'm talking about (if not there will be more info on Derek's blog soon).
In the meanwhile I have arranged for a giveaway of some paperbacks through the Goodreads giveaway scheme. At this minute more than 60 people have already signed up and the event is open until Sunday, so don't hesitate to put your name down. It's all free and you get a book. Well, you're encouraged to write a review afterwards, but no-one will shoot you if you don't (however, one of our delicious female vampires, Agatha or succubus Antonia might seek you out...)
Jens Kuhn is a writer of steamy fiction with a historic theme. He has published three novels in print and several short stories as ebooks. On this blog you can find out more about his books and read some of his more steamy short stories for free.
Jens lives with his wife, two stepchildren and a cat in an old drafty Victorian house with five fireplaces in the historic town of York, UK. He enjoys paddling his kayak and searching for free wood to keep his old house warm and cosy.