Wonder Witch
Torrid Tarot: Queen Of Wands
by Ashlyn Chase, fantasy (2007)
Ellora's Cave, $5.20, ISBN 978-1-4199-1042-5


"I'm sure you know this, but let me remind you in case you've forgotten. We're superwomen, but we're women. We get PMS like every other healthy woman in her prime. I've done what I could by regulating our cycles and limiting them to four times a year with Seasonale, but during that one week every three months, we lock up our weapons and give the key to one of Rhea's men. The world's not ready for the inevitable disaster if we don't."

In the Tarot deck, the Queen of Wands card represents a woman who is intelligence, honorable, blah blah blah, as well as a woman who is jealous and temperamental. Isn't that like saying that the person I've yet to meet would either be a man or a woman? At any rate, the duality of the card gives Ashlyn Chase an idea of writing a story where an intelligent and honorable woman turns into someone with volatile temper. In short, it's that time of that month where a woman is not going to exactly sunshine and love. Wonder Witch is about a bunch of superheroines who are experiencing PMS just when the bad guys strike and their assistance is needed.

By the way, Ashlyn Chase is the only author in the Torrid Tarot imprint so far to give this nice and detailed explanation about the card which she basing writing her story on, which means that she really takes this premise seriously and is not just sticking a Tarot card into any work she has in progress to sell it to this line. I like that.

In this story, the League of Amazing Woman are currently taking a break during their time of the month but their Bosley, someone called Boss Dog, accepts an assignment on their behalf because the money is good. With an upcoming very big romance convention looming, eight models scheduled to appear have vanished and disaster looms - and some poor authors won't get to grope some hunk and they will have wasted their plane fare as a result - unless the eight Amazing Women (who also write spicy hot romance novels in their free time) can find these men in time. But they have to save the day without using their usual arsenal of power weapons and what-not.

"I'm sorry, everyone. We have to. How many innocents could get hurt if we're distracted and off our game, not to mention how any one of us could go ballistic and fire off a weapon come what may. Superwomen with PMS are extremely volatile anyway, but with a weapon, armed and dangerous doesn’t begin to describe it."

Our main heroine is Joell - her codename is Witchy - who is described as a "genuine, psychic tracking, wand-waving, astral-projecting, spell-casting witch" but there are also other women whom you can actually drop by the website http://www.leagueofamazingwriters.com to take a closer look and realize that this book is probably the mother of all author avatar tales ever written because holy cow, Ashlyn Chase has turned herself and her buddies into the main characters in this story. Ms Chase is, of course, Joell. This kind of thing truly takes some nerve, I tell you.

The story is told from the point of view of Crowe, Joell's feline familiar who is named after Russell Crowe. He ends up being her significant other in this story, although don't worry, folks, Ms Chase may love her kinky stuff in her stories but there are some lines that she won't cross here. Crowe likes the watch the ladies.

I love to watch people fucking. If I could watch and lick my balls at the same time, I would.

For some damn reason, I decided to try it. I sat at Witchy's feet, balanced on my left foreleg, lifted my butt high enough to not only reach my balls, but also to see the screen and... I'm afraid I made a spectacle of myself. I only caught a glimpse of the beautiful couple screwing their brains out when I fell over backward and thunked my head on witchy’s foot.

Under any other circumstances, I won't be too thrilled that some author has the nerve to charge me money to enjoy what could easily be the result of some drunken hoo-hah with her buddies one fine day. In fact, I'd probably not be happy that this story is, frankly, nothing more than some flimsy sex romp akin to the script of an adult movie where the actors and actresses dress up in bad costumes and spank each other's bared behind. However, Wonder Witch has some pretty funny one-liners that get me laughing. The comedy isn't always smooth sailing as there are some pretty bad clunkers here as much as there are good punchlines. I wish there are more zingers about romance authors, for example, instead of mere rampant silliness going on and on interminably. Still, I find it very easy to just go along for the ride and have a silly laugh with the author at the crazy antics of a bunch of superheroines who, when it comes to good-looking men, are actually easier than one plus one.

However, I won't recommend that other authors try to follow Ms Chase's example. Spoofs and parodies are something that should only be done by professionals. As for Wonder Witch, I'm not sure whether Ms Chase qualifies as a professional yet. There are some missed opportunities here to poke some fun at romance authors, romantic erotica, and the obsession with cover models since Ms Chase is either too timid in her brand of humor (fearing a lynch mob, perhaps?) or she can't see the opportunity when it's there. Still, I suspect that as long as the reader knows what to expect before he or she reads this book - plenty of silliness and absurdity with not much of anything else - nobody will get hurt at the end of the day.

Rating: 73


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