Don’t Call Me Coach – Tagenar – (18+)

Garth Hood has a PhD in physics, and has applied at labs and universities all over the country for two years.  But the only job he’s found in that time is as gym coach at a high school, and his bench press got him there, not his education.  Angry, but still determined to do his best, Garth throws himself into his new role as weight coach.

But one of his students, a Doberman senior named Evan Silvers, takes Garth by surprise.  Evan is aggressive, alluring, and exactly Garth’s type.  For the sake of his future, Garth resists.  But as time goes by, the school pushes more and more on Garth, and his frustration ramps up. Will Garth be able to resist Evan’s advances, find a way to make a difference, and break out of his cage?

Written by Tagenar and featuring 11 interior illustrations by NuDog.

I picked up this book because of the school theme, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. Being a teacher myself, it was fairly easy to identify with the main character in this book. However, it seems I have better luck than he does. The school Garth enters is every teacher’s worst nightmare. After a while, I was more interested in what else the school would come up with to make life miserable than on the relationship between this “coach” and his student.

The story was frustrating, depressing, and sometimes made me really angry, which is exactly the way Garth feels as he progresses through the book. I can honestly say that I really enjoyed this book, even though I don’t share the author’s (and artist’s) love for big bodies and big…appendages.

The brings me to the things I didn’t like: the illustrations. Most of the illustrations were more of a turn-off than a turn-on for me, as I’m just not into the whole beefcake and hyper thing. It just made things too unrealistic for me. Yes, I know I’m talking about anthropomorphic dogs here, but you get the point, right? Besides, it was quite difficult to read this book in the train. I just had to keep covering up the pictures with my arm. I know I shouldn’t really read something like this on the train, but it’s one of the few times I actively take the time to read, so bite me.

I really hope schools in America aren’t really like the school portrayed in the story. If the book is accurate, however, the states are headed towards a very dark future. Those poor teachers…

Overall, I had a very nice experience with this book and was sad it ended. I was also quite sad that Garth didn’t throw the vice-principal and that damned poodle out of the window, or at least broke the poodle’s desk in two, but you can’t have it all, right?

I’d like to recommend this book to those who get a kick out of school themes and even more so to those who like their men BIG!
– Faolan

Don't Call Me Coach

Don’t Call Me Coach – Tagenar – (18+)

The Mystic Sands – Alflor Aalto

The Mystic Sands by Alflor Aalto

Edwin Fowler is a curious specimen. He devours books on ancient cultures with a ravenous hunger, speaks a dozen ancient languages as fluently as his own…

And yet, this raccoon has managed to turn down every opportunity presented before him to see the remnants of these wondrous civilizations in the flesh. No one knows the root of this reluctance, and he least of all.

But one day, an opportunity comes along which Edwin cannot turn down – if only because he and his brother are wanted for murder.

Also includes a companion guide, discussing Victorian archaeology, Egyptian myth, and how fact and fiction came together to create this novel.

First off, I have to say that I’m a fan of Alflor Aalto’s books and his style of writing. Out of all the books that I’ve read by him, not even one has managed to disappoint me. Aalto’s stories leave you on the edge of your seat and don’t leave you bored for even a moment. There’s always something to discover. The stories are fast-paced, but linger at just the right moments.

I picked up this book mainly because it was a book written by this particular author, but also because I’ve been interested in Egyptian myth and archaeology for quite some time myself. The story definitely doesn’t disappoint when it comes to these themes. It is very cleverly written and Aalto has definitely done a lot of research for this book, which always pleases me as a reader. The way the various events in the book are explained in the afterword only serves to make this quite clear.

I really liked the characters as well. Edwin is quite unsure about everything at first, but turns into quite the adventurous and bold character towards the end of the book. His brother’s undying loyalty only helps him with this. I’d have loved to see more action involving Serina, but as she was mainly a support character, this was just not meant to be.

Dobbs was a character I just wanted to drag by his long ears until he told me the truth about everything. I was surprised the others put up with him for as long as they did, because I’d have demanded answers a lot earlier in the story. I guess it just comes down to personality. The surprising story behind his actions was very endearing and entirely unexpected though. You took me by surprise there, Aalto! Well done!

I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in adventure stories and treasure hunts, especially those interested in Egyptian mythology. I think I can list this book as one of my new favourites.

– Faolan

The Mystic Sands

The Mystic Sands – Alflor Aalto

Sixes Wild: Manifest Destiny – Tempe O’kun (18+)

To survive in the Frontier, one needs quick wits and a quicker draw. Death runs close at paw out here, close enough that the dead whisper in the ears of the living, speaking to them through heirlooms and echoes. In the paws of a bunny gunslinger rest one such inheritance: a pair of silver pistols tied to her fallen father’s spirit. Armed against an unknown destiny, it’ll take all her grit and gumption to survive.

Six Shooter talks tough, fights tougher, and draws faster than the most of men. In fact, most folks are convinced she is one, which is fine by her.

After robbing a lion tycoon with a deadly source of power, though, she gets more than she bargained for. On the run, her only chance at survival is to work with the local sheriff, a handsome fruit bat who knows her secret. Together, they must fight to uncover a mystery her father left behind, or watch their luck—and their lives—run out.

With cover and interior illustrations by ShinigamiGirl.

When I came across this book online, I was quite unsure if I should buy or not. After all, western isn’t really my genre of choice. After coming across it several times while browsing for new literature, I finally picked it up. When a book catches my attention several times, and makes me doubt every time, I end up taking the leap and getting it. It’s just how I work.

Tempe O’kun positively surprised me by writing a western story I actually liked. The characters are funny and well-written. I especially enjoyed the strong main character, Six, who dresses like a man, talks like a man, and acts like a man, to the surprise of those around her. The way that O’kun ties in the occult with western is also a very unexpected element in this book, and one I happily welcomed.

The scenes are well-written and thoroughly thought out. O’kun has definitely done a fair share of research on this particular period of time. The sex scenes are interesting to read and the author has definitely been creative coming up with ways a flying fox and a hare can enjoy each other to the full extend of their bodies.

This book only had a few things in it that I did not like. For one, the scene in which Hayes went on one of the (apparently regular) hunting trips with Mei Xiu, to enjoy his more feral needs, was one that adds nothing to the story, and could’ve been left out in my opinion.

The ending really bothers me as well, as I am generally not a fan of a book with an open ending. It’s like the ending tries to hint to a second book, while there really isn’t that much left of the story to tie a second story to.

Overall, I really liked the book and the story, and I’d definitely recommend it to others. It’s just a shame that the ending left me hanging.

– Faolan

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Sixes Wild: Manifest Destiny – Tempe O’kun (18+)

Tales From the Guild: Music to Your Ears – Furry Writers’ Guild

There are few things in this world that can invoke the range of emotions that music can. It can bring its listeners close together; it can drive its listeners apart. It is a core mechanic in what makes us human, but what about in those that aren’t quite human? Tales from the Guild, Music to Your Ears features a collection of stories from veteran and newcomer authors alike that spans several universes, but show that no intelligent creature is immune to the power of music.

Featuring stories by Furry Writers’ Guild members:

  • M.H. Payne
  • Mary E. Lowd
  • Huskyteer
  • Sean Rivercritic
  • Mark Neeley

And soon-to-be members:

  • Mars
  • Nathanael Gass
  • Jess E. Owen

Cover art by Ifus
Interior illustrations by Aisha Gaillard

Contents:

  • Echoes From the Consort Box – Mark Neeley
  • Deep Down Among the Dagger Dancers – M.H. Payne
  • Sugar Pill – Mars
  • Nocturne – Nathanael Gass
  • Night of a thousand Songs – by Jess E Owen
  • Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out – Huskyteer
  • Shreddy and the Silver Egg – Mary E Lowd
  • Melody of a Street Corner – Sean Rivercritic

This was a book I greatly enjoyed. Being a fan of music, I could really identify with the various stories and statements about it. The stories are well-written and vary in styles and settings, making it a very fun anthology.

Most of the characters in this book are either animals or anthropomorphic animals. The authors go about the different species in a very clever and creative way, making the stories very solid.

My favourite story from this anthology is Melody of a Street Corner by Sean Rivercritic. It’s about a man and a boy who are both homeless and earn their money by playing the violin. When the man eventually dies, the boy is on his own, and finds that, without the protection of his deceased mentor, things are a lot more difficult than before. He eventually meets a mysterious stranger who turns things around.

I highly recommend this anthology to all who love music and anthropomorphic animals in stories.
– Faolan

Tales of the Guild: Music to Your Ears

Tales From the Guild: Music to Your Ears – Furry Writers’ Guild

Bonds of Silver, Bonds of Gold – Kristina Tracer – (18+)

To save his family from starvation, Stannis of Barony Jazinsk makes the ultimate sacrifice: selling himself into slavery. When he’s sold to an envoy from neighboring Barony Deterikh, he’s thrust into the middle of a feud twenty years in the making. Rumors of dark alchemy and hints of betrayal threaten to break the fragile peace between the baronies, and Stannis’ arrival at the court may be the blow that shatters it. With war drums beating on the horizon, can a lowly pleasure-slave persuade his new owner into preserving the peace?

Bonds of Silver Bonds of Gold is set in a time and place where countries are still divided into different baronies and ruled by barons. Slavery is not abolished and the secret magic of alchemy can influence people’s lives greatly. Also, humans as we know them do not exist. Instead, the people we encounter in this story are anthropomorphic animals. We follow Stannis on his journey he started by selling himself into slavery, a journey that is not without problems.

This book is definitely not for the faint-hearted, as the events that take place in it are quite extreme. I had no real expectations aside from the questions that arose from reading the blurb. I personally feel that someone with sexual appetites that point in the direction of BDSM and S&M will greatly enjoy this book. People who are more vanilla will probably be shocked by the events that take place in this story.

The characters in the book are really enjoyable. You’ve got those you want to love, those you want to learn more about, and those you want to punch in the face. If an author manages to make me feel this way, I know it’s a good one.

I’m not quite sure if I’d pick up another book by Tracer in this genre, but others may enjoy it more than I did.
– Faolan

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Bonds of Silver, Bonds of Gold – Kristina Tracer – (18+)