Thursday, July 31, 2014

I'm Not The Man I Used To Be by Kenna Henderson

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of reviewing Kenna / A Transgender Life for Frock Magazine. In it, Kenna wrote of mental agitation, professional help, fear, and depression. What I remember most is being struck by the simplicity of her coming out letter, which never demanded acceptance, but which made it clear there is no room left for argument as she could not go on pretending or performing.

In her follow-up, I'm Not The Man I Used To Be, Kenna Henderson takes a very different approach. This one is less about gender and transition and more about the life experiences that make us who we are. She does, naturally, touch on her own transgender issues throughout the book, but more to illustrate the significance of those experiences.

It's a short read, but a fascinating one, written by a woman with a unique outlook on life. I guess you could call it a book of reflection, a collection of tales that turn a new eye on some of the pivotal events of her life. As Kenna says at one point, "Everything you do and experience helps to mold the person you become."

If you've already read Kenna / A Transgender Life and are curious about the man she used to be, then this is an interesting read. If you're coming across Kenna's story for the first time, however, I do suggest you catch up with that title before checking out I'm Not The Man I Used To Be.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Gamer Girl by Lyka Bloom

When it comes to erotic gender transformations, Lyka Bloom is fast becoming a favourite author of mine. Her Institute series is about as good as it gets, while her standalone tales are absolutely fantastic as well.

As for those standalone tales, Gamer Girl may just be her best yet. It all begins with a lazy, bitter, lonely video game tester. Already certain that NuLife, the game he's been sent to test, is below his standards, and still hurting from the recent breakup with his girlfriend (who cheated on him with another woman) Michael decides to exact a little virtual revenge. He creates his avatar in her image and wanders the virtual, open world, real time simulation as a gothic beauty.

Things really begin to get interesting when NuWay, the video game manufacturer, delivers a pair of purple-and-white leggings that match his avatar's. Created using NuFeel technology, they are supposed to replicate sensations from the game. Michael feels a bit odd wearing women's leggings, but soon finds the virtual sensations are quite addictive - almost as addictive as the chemicals they're secretly designed to inject into his bloodstream.

Before long, Michael is spending his every waking moment in the game, working in a virtual club called Golddigger's, and using his hard-earned credits to buy new clothes. His body is slowly changing to match that of his avatar, and the pleasures of one world are beginning to bleed over into the other. When the game gives him one last chance to change his options, he decides to spite his ex-girlfriend with a 'simple' IQ and 'insatiable' libido, not realizing that he's just signed his own fate.

The transformation here is gradual, with a great deal of focus on the emotional and psychological elements. Bloom does an incredible job of recreating an authentic Gamer Girl experience, making us appreciate just what kind of dedication the game demands of Michael. There's a lovely twist at the end, one that I know readers will love, but I've already spoiled too much!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Punishment Part 2 by Troy King

Please Note: The following review is suitable for adults only.

As I said in my review of the first installment, it's so wonderfully refreshing to read a story of truly forced feminization - one where there are no secret desires, no repressed feelings of femininity, and no unspoken taboos to be revealed. As much as I love those stories (and so deeply identify with the submissive boys who take such delight in being forcibly feminized), Troy King puts a whole new spin on the genre with a man being lovingly punished with panties, butt-plugs, high heels, and more.

Part 2 picks up our story just hours after the close of The Punishment, with our lucky slave waking up from an awkward night's sleep, only to have Mistress Minerva confirm that his punishment is not yet complete. She expects coffee and breakfast in bed, followed by a little oral pleasure, before she heads out to run some errands. If hubby thinks he'll be able to enjoy some sort of rest and relaxation, however, she has news for him. While she's out, he will assume his favourite position - with a small role reversal. As a man who loves seeing a woman on her knees with a cock in her mouth, he will be bound and plugged, on his knees, collared to the wall, where he will learn to deepthroat the dildo mounted there.

Like the first chapter, the emphasis here is on Mistress Minerva's pleasure and her hubby's punishment. There's a lot of bondage and submission involved, a fantastic scene of public humiliation, and (rest assured) an ultimate release to be won. What's more, there's a lot of really smart, really interesting talk about what it means to be involved in such a lifestyle, with Mistress Minerva making it clear that as much as she loves seeing her forcibly feminized husband deepthroating a dildo and prancing across town in heels, she has no intention of ever sharing him, and doesn't seem him as any less of a man. What's more, he fully expects to reverse the roles next weekend.

The two chapters (Part 1 & Part 2) together make for a fun, sexy tale that's realistic as well. It's a story of dominance and submission within the bounds of a loving marriage, and of forced feminization without the suggestion of bisexuality. Truly wonderful.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Ray's Discovery by Dawn Carrington

Dawn Carrington's books are always so much fun, but Ray's Discovery is one that I really, really, really wish has been longer. She has such a fantastic concept here, with a mysterious, private island-based organization, bent on global domination through DNA rebuilding. The science is somewhat glossed over, and has a definite sci-fi edge to it, but I loved the idea of using DNA to rebuild a perfect, obedient, sexually subservient culture . . . and, of course, to rebuild the most reluctant of men into perfect, obedient, sexually subservient women.

The story is laid out very nicely, beginning with Ray already on the run, and then flashing back to how he got the job with Tiersias Global, when he first began to suspect something wasn't right, and how his secret investigations into the company were discovered. It lends the tale some real drama as we fear for Ray's future, if not his life.

Like I said, I really wish it had been longer, as there is so much potential here, but it is advertised as the first of the Tiersias Global series, so we can only hope there's more story to come.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Freebie Fiction Friday - Putting the TG in TGIF!

Well, if it's Friday, then that must been it's time for Freebie Fiction Friday . . . time to put the 'TG' in TGIF!

Every Friday I take the initiative to search through thew newly free titles on Amazon, and to identify those that might be of interest to trans* readers, fans, and lovers. Even if you don't have a Kindle, you can still download the titles through one of Amazon's free reading applications, and covert it (if need be) with Calibre. I can tell you I do most of my reading on my iPad, using Kindle for iPad, and it works beautifully.

Please do be sure to check the price before downloading anything, though, as most freebies are limited time offers, and some are specific to certain regions.

A small collection of titles this week, but some exciting titles from some favorite authors.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Transgender Lives: Complex Stories, Complex Voices by Kirstin Cronn-Mills

Although shorter than many readers might expect (the entire volume clocks in at shy of 90 pages), Transgender Lives: Complex Stories, Complex Voices is actually a perfectly sized collection of trans* narratives.

Kirstin Cronn-Mills has put together a lovely little collection here, one that intersperses personal narratives with educational pieces on trans* issues, labels, trends, health, and more. In reading this, I was immediately struck by how open it is in terms of community/spectrum, and how wide of a definition of trans* it embraces. It's refreshing to read a work where cross-dressers, drag queens, and genderqueer individuals are celebrated alongside those who identify as intersex or transsexual.

We open with the narrative of Hayden (a female-to-male transsexual), her sister, her mother, and her fiancée. It's a story of both story of personal pain and family acceptance, capped off by the love of a woman who sees Hayden not as a trans* man, but simply as a man. Katie, who identifies as transgender, talks about overcoming the chemical imbalance of too much testosterone, and offers some very positive thoughts about embracing her trans* identity, along with the new experiences it opened to her. In Dean's narrative, he talks about trusting your instincts and having the courage to be yourself. He shares the painful story of having temporarily escaped or retreated into drugs, and of a transition delayed by the expense of university treatment programs. Ultimately, however, his is a story of triumph, capped off by his legal victory as the first transsexual in Oregon to win a discrimination case.

The next narrative is that of Dave, a drag performer who has come to accept and embrace aspects of "woman" into his every day. Brooke, meanwhile, sees herself as an intersex role model, able to embrace both worlds. Although her body has developed more towards male since puberty, she still identifies as female. As for Julia, she identifies as genderqueer, and has considered medical transition options (surgery and hormones), but enjoys the freedom to fully express her gender. The last narrative, that of Natasha & Nancy, it's a fascinating one. Natasha is transgender, at very beginning of her transition, while Nancy identifies as genderqueer. A couple since 2010, they are planning for their marriage.

As for the educational pieces interspersed between the narratives, my favorite had to be the chapter on Trans* History Narratives, covering the entire range from Greek mythology, to Native American cultures, to gender fluidity in Asia and India. The final chapters on gender timelines and who's who are fascinating, if a bit brief, but a nice sampling of the community.

Overall, Transgender Lives: Complex Stories, Complex Voices is very well put together. It's nicely laid out, looks extremely professional, and has (as I mentioned) a wonderful balance in its content. While it does lend itself to a quick read, it's also something I suspect readers will find themselves returning to over and over again.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Freebie Fiction Friday - Putting the TG in TGIF!

Well, if it's Friday, then that must been it's time for Freebie Fiction Friday . . . time to put the 'TG' in TGIF!

Every Friday I take the initiative to search through thew newly free titles on Amazon, and to identify those that might be of interest to trans* readers, fans, and lovers. Even if you don't have a Kindle, you can still download the titles through one of Amazon's free reading applications, and covert it (if need be) with Calibre. I can tell you I do most of my reading on my iPad, using Kindle for iPad, and it works beautifully.

Please do be sure to check the price before downloading anything, though, as most freebies are limited time offers, and some are specific to certain regions.

A small collection of titles this week, but some exciting titles from some favorite authors.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Transgender Lives by Kirstin Cronn-mills

Well, I think we can say we're officially back on track with our "Waiting On" Wednesday spotlight posts, and it's nice to have new titles worth looking forward to! For those of you unfamiliar with the meme, WOW is for upcoming releases that everyone's excited about (created by Jill at Breaking The Spine)


What we're excited about this week is Transgender Lives: Complex Stories, Complex Voices by Kirstin Cronn-mills, coming Aug 1st:

"I didn't hear the word transgender until I was eighteen, when a person I was dating came out as trans. My boyfriend came out as my girlfriend, and I thought, 'What . . . is that?' She said, 'I just don't think I'm a man.' And I said, 'Guess what? Neither do I.' And then the skies parted, and I understood who I was."—Katie Burgess, nonprofit director and community activist/organizer

Meet Katie, Hayden, Dean, Brooke, David, Julia, and Natasha. Each is transgender, and in this book, they share their personal stories. Through their narratives, you'll get to know and love each person for their humor, intelligence, perseverance, and passion. You'll learn how they each came to better understand, accept, and express their gender identities, and you'll follow them through the sorrows and successes of their personal journeys.

Transgender Lives helps you understand what it means to be trans* in America while learning more about transgender history, the broad spectrum of transgender identities, and the transition process. You'll explore the challenges transgender Americans face, including discrimination, prejudice, bullying and violence, unequal access to medical care, and limited legal protections. For transgender readers, these stories offer support and encouragement. Transgender Lives is a space for trans* voices to be heard and to express the complexities of gender while focusing on what it means to be human.


How about you? What are you waiting for?