When I was first asked to read and review a fantasy novella about humans and dwarves I was a little hesitant, namely because I wasn’t sure I would like it. Imagine my surprise when I read Davi – Tales of Suruale and found that I liked it (kind of…sort of liked it). Yes this is a fantasy novella and yes it includes humans, dwarves (or dwarfs), elves (mentioned only), gargoyles and nocturnes (one presumes this refers to vampires because we don’t really meet any), but it isn’t in your face with these aspects. The dwarves aren’t magical or mystical creatures, they are simply presented as being dwarves – similar to humans but different.
The main character is Davi, a human blacksmith that specializes in weaponry. He has lived all of his live as an outsider on the outskirts of a human village. He is forced to accept an impossible task – re-open trade with the dwarves – by the elders of his village. Needless to say the villager leaders are astounded when he returns successful in his quest. Trade is reopened but not they way they wanted or expected. Throughout this tale Davi learns of acceptance and inclusion when he is accepted by the dwarves. He is even adopted by a dwarf blacksmith and befriended by numerous others. Later Davi is sent on what appears to be an impossible task by the dwarf king, and again he is successful.
In many ways this is appears to be a book about racism, prejudice and bigotry. It is also about learning to accept who and what we are no matter what and being comfortable with where we are. This isn’t a great book or a bad book. What is it? It’s a quick and decent read for those interested in the fantasy genre – light on the fantasy.
DISCLOSURE: I received this book free from one of the authors. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
To Love a Witch is a new “Novel Nibble” or a novella by Debora Geary. I’ve read some of her other writings and enjoyed them and this was no different. Although I feel that the witch, vampire, were-animal characters are being done to death, this provided a nice little twist. Jake is a male earth witch and basically a witch social worker out to find young witches in trouble and provide assistance. He receives an alert and heads to a local juvie detention center and meets Romy. He initially thinks that she is a juvenile witch in trouble but quickly learns that she is an adult. Romy may have trouble controlling her fire abilities, but definitely doesn’t need social worker assistance at her age. Romy and Jake introduce us to some great characters (you’ll love Carla and Jolie), and have some interesting interpersonal encounters. A great and quick romantic read.
I was recently asked to read and review Make Mine A Heel by Suenammi Richards. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this romance especially since it appeared to center around professional wrestling. I admit, I’m not much of a sports fan (OK I’m not a sports fan at all) and that I know absolutely nothing about professional wrestling but I began reading with an admitted bias. My bias was similar to that of the main character, Banner (Bay) Hemweigh, a sports writer. She felt, as did I, that professional wrestling was not a sport and did not deserve her time and attention when she is asked to write about this “sport.” She does, however, agree to spend a week interviewing a professional wrestler. She agrees because if she does conclude that it isn’t worthy of her time she’ll get exclusive NFL coverage at her station.
Enter Keith Daniels, a professional wrestler known as Dominique “Dangerous” Dutton or 3D in the wrestling world. He is the current champ and a man that others instinctively seem to trust and respect despite his bad-boy or “heel” stage persona. What Bay and I discover (yes I know this is fiction), is that there is a great deal of athleticism involved in professional wrestling along with the high drama and hijinks. These men are well-conditioned athletes and put their bodies through more than most people can understand for the sake of entertaining their fans.
Bay is more than a sports writer and wants more from her life even though she doesn’t feel that she deserves it. She is also coming to grips with her Latina heritage and getting to know her estranged Latin relatives. Keith is also much more than his stage persona and a professional wrestler. In many ways he is somewhat of a renaissance man in that he studies history (shy just a few credits from a Bachelor’s degree), is educated in arts and music, and appreciative of different cultures and traditions. He is also shy and reserved as himself and doesn’t feel that he deserves a loving relationship. He and Bay have a tumultous relationship even though they both know that they are right for one another.
This isn’t a garden variety romance novel featuring sports or wrestling. Ms. Richards has provided the reader with plenty of colorful characters that are dealing with sad, if not tragic, circumstances (racism, child abandonment, ethnic prejudice, drug abuse, etc.). Will Bay and Keith get together? Will Bay accurately portray professional wrestling in her writing assignment? Although there were instances when I didn’t quite grasp the intent behind the exchanges between Bay and Keith, it is quite easy to feel their developing respect and love for who the other person is on the inside. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I hope you’ll enjoy it as well if you’re into the romance genre.
Disclosure: I received this book free from the author. I was not required, paid or in anyway obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Casey is a woman on the run. She’s not running from the law or from an abusive relationship, but from her past. We learn that Casey’s husband and son were killed in a car accident. She subsequently learns that their car had known mechanical problems and the manufacturer wants Casey to remain silent. Not really a problem since she doesn’t want to discuss her husband and son with anyone, except possibly her travelling companion, Death or the Grim Reaper.
Casey hitches rides, first from motorcyclists and then from a trucker, and she ends up in Clymer, Ohio – hometown to HomeMaker, an appliance manufacturer. Clymer is truly small-town USA and is suffering from the recent death, supposedly a suicide, of one of its own. The town is also dealing with the idea that almost all of the people in town will soon be unemployed when HomeMaker closes its doors and relocates to Mexico.
Casey is soon embroiled in the personal woes of this small town and tries to help out. She helps her new friend Eric, with this soup kitchen and then with the town’s production of Twelfth Night. She tries to be there for Eric as he deals with the death of his friend Ellen, but this is a town on the edge. The play’s director assumes she is there to watch over him and ensure he repays his gambling debts. The town’s sheriff assumes she must be there for some other nefarious reasons.
Casey and Eric try to determine the true nature of Ellen’s death — murder or suicide. This question becomes even more worrisome when they learn that Ellen had predicted that the town wouldn’t be suffering from the plant closing and that everything would work out. Of course there are lots of little twists and turns throughout the story. There are also numerous discoveries made by Casey and Eric, some personal and others relating to their investigation into the circumstances surrounding Ellen’s death. Regrettably Death doesn’t have much to say in assisting in this investigation, but you often wonder if he is the reason Casey decides to stay in this small town.
Ms. Clemens has written a great mystery with truly interesting characters. I was introduced to Ms. Clemens the author when I was asked to read and review an ARC of Flowers for Her Grave earlier this month. I was so captivated by the characters in the third book of the Grim Reaper mystery series that I promptly went online and purchased the first in the series, Embrace the Grim Reaper. I can’t wait for the second book, The Grim Reaper’s Dance, to be made available in ebook format so that I can read that as well.