Melanie Abrams
Julius Addlesee
Shelley Aikens
A. Aimee
Jeanne Ainslie
Fredrica Alleyn
Rebecca Ambrose
Diane Anderson-Minshall
Laura Antoniou
Janine Ashbless
Lisette Ashton
Gavin Atlas
Danielle Austen
J. P. Beausejour
P.K. Belden
Tina Bell
Jove Belle
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
Ronica Black
Candace Blevins
Primula Bond
Lionel Bramble
A. J. Bray
Samantha Brook
Matt Brooks
Zetta Brown
James Buchanan
Louisa Burton
Angela Campion
Angela Caperton
Annabeth Carew
Julia Chambers
Dale Chase
M. Christian
Greta Christina
Valentina Cilescu
Rae Clark
NJ Cole
Christina Crooks
Julius Culdrose
Portia da Costa
Alan Daniels
Angraecus Daniels
Dena De Paulo
Vincent Diamond
Susan DiPlacido
Noelle Douglas-Brown
Hypnotic Dreams
Amanda Earl
Hank Edwards
Jeremy Edwards
Stephen Elliott
Madelynne Ellis
Justine Elyot
Aurelia T. Evans
Lucy Felthouse
Jesse Fox
I. G. Frederick
Simone Freier
Louis Friend
Polly Frost
William Gaius
Bob Genz
Shanna Germain
J. J. Giles
Lesley Gowan
K D Grace
K. D. Grace
Sacchi Green
Ernest Greene
Tamzin Hall
R. E. Hargrave
P. S. Haven
Trebor Healey
Vicki Hendricks
Scott Alexander Hess
Richard Higgins
Julie Hilden
E. M. Hillwood
Amber Hipple
William Holden
Senta Holland
David Holly
Michelle Houston
Debra Hyde
M. E. Hydra
Vina Jackson
Anneke Jacob
Maxim Jakubowski
Kay Jaybee
Ronan Jefferson
Amanda Jilling
SM Johnson
Raven Kaldera
J. P. Kansas
Kevin Killian
D. L. King
Catt Kingsgrave
Kate Kinsey
Geoffrey Knight
Varian Krylov
Vivienne LaFay
Teresa Lamai
Lisa Lane
Randall Lang
James Lear
Amber Lee
Nikko Lee
Tanith Lee
Annabeth Leong
James W. Lewis
Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Ashley Lister
Fiona Locke
Clare London
Scottie Lowe
Simon Lowrie
Catherine Lundoff
Michael T. Luongo
Jay Lygon
Helen E. H. Madden
Nancy Madore
Jodi Malpas
Jeff Mann
Alma Marceau
Sommer Marsden
Gwen Masters
Sean Meriwether
Bridget Midway
I. J. Miller
Madeline Moore
Lucy V. Morgan
Julia Morizawa
David C. Morrow
Walter Mosley
Peggy Munson
Zoe Myonas
Alicia Night Orchid
Craig Odanovich
Cassandra Park
Michael Perkins
Christopher Pierce
Lance Porter
Jack L. Pyke
Devyn Quinn
Cameron Quitain
R. V. Raiment
Shakir Rashaan
Jean Roberta
Paige Roberts
Sam Rosenthal
D. V. Sadero
C Sanchez-Garcia
Lisabet Sarai
R Paul Sardanas
R. Paul Sardanas
Elizabeth Schechter
Erica Scott
Kemble Scott
Mele Shaw
Simon Sheppard
Tom Simple
Talia Skye
Susan St. Aubin
Charlotte Stein
C. Stetson
Chancery Stone
Donna George Storey
Darcy Sweet
Rebecca Symmons
Mitzi Szereto
Cecilia Tan
Lily Temperley
Vinnie Tesla
Claire Thompson
Alexis Trevelyan
Alison Tyler
Gloria Vanderbilt
Vanessa Vaughn
Elissa Wald
Saskia Walker
Kimberly Warner-Cohen
Brian Whitney
Carrie Williams
Peter Wolkoff
T. Martin Woody
Beth Wylde
Daddy X
Lux Zakari
Fiona Zedde
A Succubus for Christmas And Other Tales of Devilish DelightsA Succubus for Christmas And Other Tales of Devilish Delights
By: M. E. Hydra
ISBN: 1450560873
February 2010

Reviewed By: 'Nathan Burgoine

If you think you’ve seen every kind of succubus out there, I’d posit you’ve probably not had a gander at M.E. Hydra’s “A Succubus for Christmas.”  To say that there’s variety in the temptress demons that delight in draining men dry in these tales would be quite the understatement.  Within the group of stories, we move from the more typical seductress succubi – bat-winged, but big-breasted – to some of the more original creations I’ve come across for demons in fiction. 

There are plant succubus creatures, and ones that seem to walk only in dreams; there is even a bubble-bath succubus – as in, formed from frothy bubbles – that is one of the more creative stories in the collection.  The stories range in setting and form, but not as much in conclusion.  Steven Ennis, in the title story that opens the anthology, is gifted a Succubus through a mystical object, and is hooked by the coquettish demon right from the start.  Tempted by such a mistress of sex – with a prehensile tail, no less – you feel for him as he can’t quite work up the nerve to spare his friend’s soul, which is feeding the demonic lust.  That things don’t work out for Steven, either, isn’t surprising, and it sets the tone for the rest of the tales.  The men – most of whom aren’t the nicest guys, or are just a little stupid, or looking for something on the side – share the same fate as Ennis by the end of nearly all the tales: quite literally sucked dry, but with one heck of a smile on their face.

It’s in this that I have my only real caveat to offer – if you’re not open to the idea of erotica ending darkly, this collection won’t be for you.  I didn’t have trouble connecting with the eroticism of the characters – and I’ll admit that knowing what was likely to happen to some of the jerkier fellows had its allure – but once or twice I was surprised by these endings in a non-titillating way.  In one tale, the story ends with someone having their skull crushed by a pipe, which jarred me a bit and made me take a break from the collection. 

“A Succubus For Christmas” is a dark erotica collection, and M.E. Hydra absolutely hits both marks there – the dark is in full force, and the erotica is as well.  The anatomy of the various succubi are paranormal without breaking verisimilitude – if you accept that this is a demonic seductress, you’re not going to stumble on the things her body can do – and I was quite taken with M.E. Hydra’s use of vocabulary as each story progresses.  It’s a subtle touch, but it’s noticeable that as the demon becomes more overtly evil, the metaphors are dropped for cruder language.  It evokes the change well.  The women – or demons – are described with a fleshy eroticism not lacking in detail.  The men are painted with much broader strokes.  The deaths are there, but if you know what you’re getting into and have a predilection for the dark seductress vibe, it’s worth a visit.  I didn’t gobble the stories – it becomes borderline relentless in one sitting – but that’s the joy of the anthology format. 

Still, it might take me a while to use bubble bath again.