Gospel 133 ~Sink Or Swim Will~

As the saying goes, sweat, blood, and tears, along with plenty of other stuff I rather not talk about because I’m much too weak. The only good news is, it allowed me to work on my book with no distractions. “Sink Or Swim Will,” too bad I don’t drink.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Gospel 133 ~Sink Or Swim Will~

Forgive Me Echo,
I AM a Billionaire right now, which means I could probably afford the top-shelf booze. If anything, I would kill for an alcohol problem. Okay, I know that’s pretty offensive with the people I know. Still, at this juncture, as Emperor Palpatine put it, “I’m too weak.” In other news, I got back to working on my book. How do THEY say the end justifies the means? Only I wouldn’t count 2000 words as a victory, but it’s way more than what I give on an average day, to say I did.

From sweating about my book to someone else’s. K Webster to be specific. Yes, I know it’s been about a week now, but that book is still messing with me. The most I’ve done on Goodreads is report a spammer. Yet here I am, worried about reading some second book. Yes, this is Lady Sophia’s thing, but after K Webster, I got into A.J. Markam again for peace. So why did I almost cry at the ending of the fourth novel? I believe I brought up Ian and Alaria. Spoiler Alert as the music crescendos, “And she’s dead, she’s dead.” Discombobulated… I don’t know if that should be a hated word or most liked one? How about procrastination because? Besides everything else, I have been drowning in emails trying not to talk about anything. Oh yeah, just like yesterday, right?

I could blame all the dog slobber trying to get my Dæmon to take his meds. I don’t know what to tell you, Inspector Echo, but he’s got it into his head that he hates it now. I cry over books, but never him. He’s my son, I love him like pancakes, how about syrup? Interesting that it may become a rare commodity with the way things are going on in this country. It’s like a flood of crap, and that’s why I’m losing my mind to the fiction of everything else. Have we talked about COVID-19 lately? Should I head to a dentist soon? The masks won’t last forever, Inspector Echo. Now since my eyes are decent, how do I expect to ever find the Maggie to my Glenn. Yeah, I should stop that train of thought right there and say Happy Veteran’s Day? Does that sound right, Echo?

I was in Navy boot camp once, but couldn’t swim ever; Sink Or Swim Will.

I Will Have No Fear

Gospel 126 ~Will Votes, A Shame?~

If you only saw what I put in my novel last night… the things I can’t talk about and yet a hole in the head is acceptable. I need anything to take my mind off the election, but K Webster sure Hell ain’t it. Fantastic writer, BTW. Will Votes, A Shame?

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Gospel 126 ~Will Votes, A Shame?~

Forgive Me Echo,
I AM a Billionaire right now but at least not the one I read about this evening. I don’t even remember if I voted for K Webster’s latest novel in my book club. Speaking of voting, yes, as a BLACK man living in the United States of America, I did vote yesterday.

It’s a good thing I don’t have my “business” up and running. Even if I did Inspector Echo, I couldn’t tell you about it right now. As the song goes, “Why do the things I hate come so naturally?” What scares me is the fact that such Hate is not mine alone. Um, people suck. I voted for Biden and Harris, a democratic senator, a near-perfect Democratic ticket. The thing is Inspector Echo is that people are so full of Hate. They would watch the country burn and doom us. They won’t say something like BLACK LIVES MATTER, maddening. There’s a rule that I have Rule #4 Hate Will Keep You Alive. Of course, Rule #5 states Love Is Worth Dying For. I watched a YouTube reaction or instead listened, and the question was asked in World Beyond. What’s the strongest force in the world. The reactor blurted out, Hate.

I happen to agree with her, but Inspector Echo, I don’t feel so good. Now I know you’re not Lady Sophia, but that book today has me all discombobulated. Hell, I got a month to “pray” that the book club doesn’t pick the sequel to read, but I’m inevitably screwed. Well, I could vote, but I’m sitting here with a pit in my stomach over a novel, well, two books. If anything, shouldn’t I be worried about my country and that Trump could win? My senator lost; the senate itself lies in Republican hands still. How liberty dies, they say? At the moment, though, what’s freaking me out, besides my lack of writing, are these other novelists. K Webster, Colleen Hoover, W. Anton, and the list goes on. When did I lose my taste for this genre? I mean, I read Skye Warren, Lily White, Tillie Cole. I’ve read “guides.”

W. Anton wasn’t the only one? I tell you I rushed today’s reading because I couldn’t stand what they did to one protagonist; it was just… I’m sorry and ashamed of reading such, not enjoying it. Of voting, winning, or losing… Will Votes, A Shame?

I Will Have No Fear

Ven Will These Women Learn

How does one win at life, I heard in a song that life is game for everyone and love is the prize and I never much agreed with that but while I am here looking for what I would consider a victory I might as well read some. “Ven Will These Women Learn”

If a man did this or if a man did that, honestly men do so much and worse, but despite it all when men and women come together it is not their job to fix each other, that responsibility is solely theirs and theirs alone, and so it is with Ven and Diana. Ven by Ker Dukey and K. Webster is the sequel to Vlad and covers the Vetrov bloodline, and I should tell you now there will be spoilers so if you haven’t read the first book… what, you honestly haven’t read about Vlad?

For the record, Vlad is still my favorite character with Diana coming in a close second for one reason in particular honestly, but again, there is, what’s that word; that’s right Responsibility. Her father is responsible for her if not then Veniamin, and then how about she do something, and she did because Vlad didn’t get the whole story. Now this story should be centered more around Veniamin, but it reminds me somewhat of How I Met Your Mother, like how the mom was nowhere in the world but he is in this story, but it centers more around Diana. Last warning spoilers ahead, Diana’s betrayal, Diana betrothed, and Diana can be a real um, a not nice person, in fact, she is a real badass in this story, but the problem is other than violence she is not learning from past misdeeds that aren’t entirely her fault I know.

Ven’s story is not much different from Vlad’s, a wealthy man with an evil daddy destined to rule an empire with the woman he wants so close and yet so far away but of course it does not stay that way for long. Diana brings a new set of problems and while she learns to accept the circumstances of the first problem the overall moral is lost yet again which is, please don’t lie, in a world full of lies, with these people you are supposed to be better than, why continue the mistakes of the past. Of course, the best part is this book starts right where Vlad left off, and honestly, that is what got me to read this one because I wanted to know what was next as I am somewhat of an aficionado of fantasy death games, am I drooling like Homer Simpson, yes I am.

The first half of the book and then some is pretty awesome, but it doesn’t add much to the table other than seeing events through another family’s eyes and wanting to catch a glimpse of Vlad and Irina and their happy ending; or is it. Then they rev up the blood quotient for this one, and I mean by the gallons, and that alone had me so close, and I do mean Diana in the arena close to death wanting me to say wow perfection.

Ven and Diana, what can I say that Vlad and Irina didn’t cover other than a whole new set of circumstances as to why they can or can’t be together, another overbearing father this, a few lies that, and then Diana is always herself. There is also a whole new list of characters to learn about; I think I said in my last review that the biographical information for all of the families is tremendously helpful as I refer to it quite a bit reading.

With Veniamin, he’s somewhat of a more, significantly inebriated version of Vlad, that deep sense of love and killer’s instinct is the same and seeing as how he’s in love with Irina’s sister but while Vlad’s led more by pure rage and passion, add a drug habit, and you have our guy Ven. Now Diana was painted somewhat as a villainess in the last installment, but when you get the bigger picture you understand truthfully that is until well; she doesn’t learn. I find myself lost between hating her for her many lies. Or falling in love because of The V Games. Together as a couple, I keep saying it but Vlad and Irina win hands down but Ven and Diana, that fire they have together is like something out of Sin City and how they come to express it; if only Irina were such.

There is more of Vika where again another villainous woman is painted to be somewhat of a victim, and while I can respect Diana to a certain degree, Vika does everything for her own sake while Diana was seeking to protect others. I can’t forget the Madmen of Moscow, while I can’t keep up with the membership of my erotica reading group if other men are into this genre I’m sure many would want to relate or even be either Rodion or Zahkar. Vas to me seems a bit unfinished like he’s there, he has some pivotal scenes, but somehow it’s as if he’s set apart still, which sort of explains the idea for the next book or maybe the authoresses wanted to stick to the V theme some logically.

Other supporting characters I don’t think are as well done as Vlad, it could be because there was more action in this follow-up and let me be clear while I will give both titles four stars I believe I like Ven as a novel more than Vlad. With Vlad, you have the sex and a bit of violence but with Ven or I should probably say Diana, I suppose that’s a personal preference as I heard in a movie once, power becomes yours through sex and VIOLENCE, true enough friends.

Four-Stars I was there, if I only stopped reading those last few pages I would have given Ven five stars without a doubt, but we never freeze do we, but you have your shot right here, and now this book is incredible. I am also about to share some of my favorite scenes though most of my excitement again stems from being a witness to The V Games just saying.

The ending I guess is that aha moment, but first I was confused, and then there was not a twinge of anything because Vas’s character and his lady love, are not honestly built up again, it was a bit blah. I want to know the ending, but while I was hopeful for Vlad and ecstatic for Ven, I’m more or less okay we’re going to get a ton of backstory in the next book or what, not that I like Vas and Vika but he agrees with that himself. I wish that we got more on Kira Baskin though her scenes were hot but most importantly of all I dream that The V Games were longer and brought into more detail, though it was incredible.

How many times have I said The V Games, Diana fighting for her life and the goings on of the battlefield, I thought it would be more only one person gets out alive sort of deal but the fact that people were going in for the fun of it all. As far as fun, a ton of sex that I can’t pick only one scene, the Madmen, Ven and Diana, the prisoner either Kira and Diana would be enough to rev up anybody and leave you wanting even more. Diana and Vika’s vengeance; after the brutality of everything that happened to them it was well served and perhaps the grandest victory besides The V Games of course of the first two novels that I’ve read.

Those last pages *sigh* do not get your hopes up though I’m sure that other people loved it, compared to the rest of the novel it fizzled out but stopping at Diana’s victory, vengeance, or validation might have been perfectly acceptable. If she learned her lesson before being thrust into Hell itself though it was the greatest thing ever *sigh* they say men never learn so I must ask this, Ven Will These Women Learn?

I’m Happy; I’m Feeling Vlad

Money isn’t the key to happiness only it might help, or so I’m assuming and add in bad boys and pretty daughters and the promise of war, and you got quite a story on your hands, so how do I feel about this one? “I’m Happy; I’m Feeling Vlad”

Maybe that would worry me if I was talking about Vlad the Impaler although when it comes to Vlad by Ker Dukey and K. Webster, well I would choose sex over violence any day but honestly, why can’t we have them both. Vlad (The V Games #1) has that and even more; enough that I have to wonder how anybody finds out so much about the Russian mob and I’m sure I asked this in a review before but what is it about women and criminals. I mean bad boys for sure but a man has to try and kill you once or twice to get on the radar, Buffy The Vampire Slayer that much.

Speaking of Buffy we have the big sister and little sister dynamic and no spoilers yet, but you know what’s going to happen from the moment you start reading, all that’s left is the how and why but if you understand the genre? As for anything else you need to know, the authors are kind enough to start with a who’s who of characters, some cannon fodder but I found myself bookmarking that page as one character after another emerged. Also, Vlad’s love story isn’t the only love story, but what’s love got to do with most of it anyway, but again there’s plenty of sex and criminal activity, but most of it is glossed over to a certain degree.

Much like The V Games themselves, and for me that’s a high selling point to read the next one only because they make the games sound so exciting but all the characters lives are games amongst themselves. For everybody being inside their heads, I found myself after a day of reading thinking about how such and such a role would have to be taken care of to make a happy ending. Almost every individual had to let some things slide, except for one as you need a sequel though why she didn’t get top billing. Well, I guess you have to stick with V so if you liked V For Vendetta and a bunch of knives but other than being brought to you by the letter V that’s the only similarity between them, being honest.

So yes I was happy with the story overall, and I get that the authors are setting up a series, but maybe some things should have been left to the imagination mainly the V Games until they were ready to be revealed. Allow me to follow suit with a few of our characters and don’t worry there will still be plenty to go around trust me on that, and soon they will grow on you pretty quickly when the mind games begin, there’s a lot.

For the moment we begin with the typical bad boy that’s super-rich Vlad Vasiliev “Vile. Vicious. Villainous.” as if that doesn’t scream we’re the bad guys which makes us the best guys in the scenario. As in most of these tales besides the money and divine qualities that make women go all knocky in the knees, I relate to him; it never works if the guy isn’t wealthy or isn’t a prisoner somehow, e.g., Stay by Emily Goodwin, just saying.

We then have the two sisters Diana and Irina “Shadow” Volkov the beautiful older sister and the shadow who is a bit of a nerd that, of course, is head over heels in love with the main protagonist without a doubt. Can’t say I ever had a problem with my half-brother but having a younger sister myself she could get away with murder which is another idea explored in this book and even more in the sequel if I had to guess. Not giving it away as the synopsis tells you that Vlad prefers the younger to the older now all you have to figure out is how they make that happen other than all the sex; that’s a joke.

There is a wide array of other characters from Vlad’s family living up to the villainous stature though we don’t get much of Vika and the book does an excellent job of making you feel that good riddance when it comes to her. The father of the Volkov sisters uses his daughters like pawns as though this is the middle ages and his daughters can only help, and then there is Vas which brings up that sons are preferable to daughters. There are other families and various servants or alliances to be had, and maybe this explains why I don’t watch Game Of Thrones or a ton of soap operas.

You do feel a part of this world though as you are given more information than most of the characters and is another way to entice you to want to take part in this world; buying the next book. So I’ll give this round to the authors as I’m all in yet if something were to happen to Irina or Vlad but again to me it’s all about the V Games and while I’d prefer to see it from a male perspective, what’s Diana’s plan.

I plan to give this story four stars; am I honestly such a hard sell or maybe I have become jaded when I see the same tropes, and that’s not these authors’ fault at all but the book isn’t perfect but what is? Maybe you should stop right here if you don’t want any spoilers, four stars overall but there are some five-star moments here that can get you hot and bothered in impressive ways, well at least I was.

Mostly it Vlad and Irina as it should be, whenever they got together it was in a word explosive and the love that they feel for one another though I have yet to meet any woman like Irina which is only another reason I love her. There are scenes when they are collecting women or training women I wish that were flushed out more but having that sort of control over the such and such business. Dare I say there should be more sex, while we are somewhat in a bind with Vlad and Irina with the plethora of characters I suppose the authors are waiting for more books, but knowing about Diana or Darya how about Danill’s side business.

If I haven’t stressed this enough my biggest gripe is The V Games; it’s a fight to the death, there are women involved how does it all get done, reminds me of The Dollhouse by Stacia Stone, a promising premise but glossed over. I don’t think I’m quite as forgiving as the characters in this book, one of Irina’s weaker qualities. How she’s all about saving her sister and Vlad as evil, then she’s out of her dress and is like “whatever” training the women and excepting Vlad’s word like it’s the gospel. The depth of the families was good but in a way a bit tedious as to how many characters played little to no role and could be explained in a sentence or two without the line-up though I’m a stickler for knowing every person with my work.

Looking forward to the next one in the series how Diana plans on making her comeback which might be something to see, as I can’t think of any stories like that off the top of my head. For now, I’ll dream about being in the V Games until I have reasons to beware such a plan indeed because Vlad and Irina aren’t playing right, so I’m Happy, I’m Feeling Vlad.