Love Fantasy? Check Out the New Release Tour for The Midspring Rebellion by Doreen Heron (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: The Midspring Rebellion

Author: Doreen Heron

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: July 22, 2019

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 25100

Genre: Fantasy, LGBT, fairies, royalty, magic, mythical creatures

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Synopsis

Things are amiss in the fairy court, made worse one spring morning when King Oberon’s wife decides to leave him. His decision to gather his thoughts in the human realm lead him into the path, and arms, of workaholic human Nick Chandler. But when Oberon’s throne is threatened, will he be able to retain his kingship and his newfound love?

Excerpt

The Midspring Rebellion
Doreen Heron © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
As it always did, the Wheel of the Year continued to turn.

Midsummer turned to Midfall.

Midfall to Midwinter.

Midwinter to Midspring.

The seasons changed. The years changed. But life in the Fairy Court remained the same.

And this left Titania dissatisfied.

“It is time for a change,” she announced one evening over dinner. Oberon had known something was wrong the moment she dismissed the waiting staff. It had been over three hundred years since they had eaten alone, and even that was because Titania had wanted to discuss the idea of adopting another Changeling. Not that the idea had gone anywhere, of course. Oberon had learned his lesson about taking human children long before that, and he had not been keen to repeat the experiment. It was natural, then, that he held his breath when Titania spoke, and he waited for whatever she was about to decide. “We have become stale.”

Oberon found it impossible to disagree. Being married for a millennium was certainly an accomplishment by anyone’s count—especially when fairy marriages were annulled and then voluntarily renewed on an annual basis. But one thousand years of an arranged marriage was going above and beyond in his royal duties, of this, he was sure.

“What do you propose?” he asked, not entirely sure he wanted an answer. A separation from Titania might allow them both to pursue other interests, but there was no denying that a split in the Royal Court could rip the whole of his already unstable kingdom in half.

“A separation.”

He nodded. He’d known where this was going, and he couldn’t say he was particularly unhappy about it. But he had questions.

“Why now? We’ve been living this same way these last three hundred years. Why propose this now?”

“It is the best possible time. The kingdom is at risk of civil war…”

“…Which is exactly why we should be united.”

“Or is it why this is the ideal time for a split? We would not want to needlessly disrupt harmony in the kingdom. Ergo, if we split while there are already fractures…”

“…we guarantee a split in the kingdom.”

“We hurry along a split we already know is coming.”

Oberon closed his eyes and shook his head. Titania had always been ruthlessly logical. It was one of the reasons his father had chosen her as a perfect mate, and—more importantly—a future queen.

“But…”

“I have met someone else.”

Well, that was the clincher, wasn’t it?

“I have fallen in love.”

“Love?” Oberon frowned at his queen, unsure of exactly what he was hearing. “What of love? We are a king and a queen. Love need play no part in anything.”

“Oberon, even the mortals have abandoned that way of thinking now. It is time for us to catch up.”

Oberon grunted. It pained him to hear Titania speak of love. She’d not as much as breathed the word in five hundred years, not since his trick to cause her to fall for the human Bottom.

“This love. It is not the human, is it?” he asked. “The actor.” His voice dripped with venom as he spoke, though he himself wasn’t sure if he was jealous that she had fallen with such ease or angry that his own magic had been the cause.

“Oberon, humans lead short lives. Bottom died many, many years ago.”

“Then who?”

This time, it was Titania’s turn to shake her head, causing blossoms of pink and orange to fall from her hair and hit the ground.

“Not important,” she said. She stood and pushed her chair back under the oak table, before walking delicately over and taking her husband’s left hand. “I release you.” She smiled. She turned a hand over and undid the leather strap that was tied at his palm. “I release you.” She unwound the leather from his hand, uncrossing the straps that worked up his forearm. “I release you.” She pulled the leather from his bicep, taut with the tension and stress running through his body. She leaned over and kissed his forehead. “Good luck to you, Oberon.”

He stood at the window of his tower, having vanished the glass to get a better look at what was going on. He watched as Titania loaded her trunks onto the glass chariot. He watched as a male fairy, face obscured by some of Titania’s trickery to stop him from being identified, helped to pile the heavier pieces of furniture. He watched as the two of them climbed into the chariot, and as the dragonflies took flight, pulling it into the woods and out of sight.

He thought he should shout. He thought he should swear. He thought he should cry. But he found himself empty. For a thousand years, he had known he could be temperamental or selfish or immature and Titania would always be by his side. Because she had had to. They had vows. But she had met someone better than him, and she was gone.

“I don’t know what to do.”

Ultimately, he chose to do what many do when they find themselves bereft, and he began to prepare himself for bed. He removed his emerald-green robes and ran a damp washcloth across his torso. His muscles contracted at the cold, tightening and becoming more defined than they usually were when hidden beneath his loose robes. Usually, he enjoyed the feeling of his tightening body, but even that was little comfort in the light of being left alone. He unwrapped the leather strap that ran across his waist—a symbol of his perpetual commitment to his kingdom—and draped it across the wooden dressing table. He dipped the washcloth in the water again before removing his loincloth and washing the rest of his body. It was only right to be clean before entering the kingdom of the DreamWeaver, and he was not about to abandon formality and politesse just because he would be alone in his bed tonight. Naked, but dry after patting the water away with a towel, he knelt by his bed.

“I give thanks to the earth, which bore me and gave me life. I give thanks to the great unknown, who guides me and shapes my fate. I give thanks to my ancestors, from whom I descend and for whom I live a life which is not mine, but which belongs to my subjects. These are my thanks.”

He stood and climbed into bed, pulling his mouse pelt blankets over him, and curled up into a ball. Scrunching his eyes together, he willed himself to sleep. It didn’t come easily, as visions of Titania and her paramour danced through his head, but eventually he found himself drifting off.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Doreen Heron is a writer who is finally living her dream in Cornwall, England. She is lucky to live in the county she loves, and to be using her writing to entertain her readers.

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Review: The Blight by Missouri Dalton

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

The Blight coverNoah Abbott is the only one who knows he isn’t crazy.  He knows what he saw all those years ago when he was a younger was real just as he knows the fantastical beings, the trolls and the goblins he sees walking around him unnoticed are too.  The trouble is no one else sees them.  Just Noah.  And that fact got him a trip and long stay in a psychiatric ward when he was 16 and Noah’s not going there again.  Now Noah keeps his head down and his eyes to the ground, he works in a box factory doing menial work for menial wages, and he says nothing to anyone.

Then things slowly start to change.  One of his coworkers, Christian, follow citizen on the outskirts of society, takes an interest in him, one that goes far past friendship into that of potential lover, new ground for a virgin like Noah.  And a young woman, Hannah Regent, approaches him and asks for help.  Turns out she sees the trolls and goblins too and needs Noah to help fight them off and keep her safe.

And with Hannah’s appearance, Noah’s reality is shattered.  Turns out he’s an elf on the run. Hannah too.  And that monster he saw all those years ago?  Well, that monstrous troll is back and hunting them both.  With  a Goblin King,to aid them, Noah and Hannah flee to another  universe, one that is their home.  There awaits a mighty quest for Noah, and the fate of all the elves hangs in the balance. But Noah isn’t sure he is up to the challenge.

Wow, what a story.  It has been several days since I finished this book and I am still trying to decide how I feel about it.  Missouri Dalton brings a number of intriguing and thought provoking elements to this story of a “Magpie” child. Noah has been hidden in the human world to protect him (and Hannah) until he can be found and returned to his rightful place as one of the remaining elven royalty.  But that world, Noah’s  “human world”, is that of most people’s nightmares.  He sees things.  Awful things that do harm to others and they are coming for him.  A basic bump in the dark  nightmare that explodes into reality for Noah only no one believes him.  Dalton plays further into our fears by having Noah confined to a less than desirable  psychiatric ward for years, abandoned by family and friends.    This element of the story is so artfully conceived and accomplished that it kept me up thinking for hours on end.

The Noah that is let out of the ward after learning to “play the game” is a person that anyone might meet on the streets today.  Head down, eyes averted, trying to stay as inconspicuous as possible.  His posture is exactly that of a person recently released from a mental institution.  That has also been his persona at work, a box factory that is one of the few places willing to hire excons and the mentally unstable.  Again Dalton has found the perfect setting for Noah and his post “crazy ward” life.  Her descriptions of Noah’s job and coworkers is grounded in the reality of such workplaces and it plays out that way in the story too.

Noah is such an interesting character because he is such a dichotomy himself.  A fake human, a false past, a newly reclaimed elf who just happens to be young by elven standards, a elf teen going through pubescence, it all throws Noah through the proverbial emotional and mental loop until he is not sure who he really is.  Is he a hero?  A virgin turned slut by his own Elvish pheromones?  It is a tumultuous journey that Dalton takes both Noah, now Neiren and the reader on.  Trust me when I say its not a real enjoyable journey, nor are some of the situations and events that happen along the way.

One issue I had with The Blight is that the multiple romances were all too new and shallow to become as meaningful as they needed to be.  Noah/Neiren is a highly charged hormonal elf, new to sex and possibly love.  And he behaves just like you think such a character would.  He is promiscuous, conflicted about love and relationships as well as what is truly acceptable behavior now that he is an elf once more.  So much of human morality has been ingrained in his mind and emotions but that has nothing to do with his current and true reality and quite naturally Noah/Neiren is having problems adjusting.   I thought the author did a great job in making Noah’s dilemma real but those readers who have issues with multiple sexual partners (m/m, potential m/m/m, m/f, m/?) as well as what might be seen as “cheating” will feel uncomfortable with these elements.

And the same can be said about the deaths that occur within the story as well.  They happen fast and the events that follow leave little room for grieving.  I think most readers will be shocked and hurt by these deaths.  We won’t see them coming and neither do the characters making their impact on all of us genuine and  pain filled.

There is something here to upset everyone.  Main character deaths, deaths of beloved characters,  characters behaving badly, polyamorous relationships (no one on one relationships here), and finally maybe a happy for now ending.  Missouri Dalton gives the reader instance after instance of moments and events that will have the reader wanting to put this book down and walk away.

And that would be a mistake.

Because as put out as all of above items will make you, there is also so much substance and wonder to be found here as well. The magic of the Goblin Kingdom, and the Goblin King himself.  The grotto of lost elves, shaking mountains and black dragons, its all here too. I can’t call this story heartwarming because its not.  But it has so much to recommend it, the lovely descriptions of magical place hidden away from our mundane human society, and all the beings trying to survive a calamitous time of war and race death.  The scope of this story and the descriptions make it worth your while to pick it up and decide for yourself.

For me, it was worth the journey.  Here is a taste of how it all starts:

“Noah Abbott, this court has found you incompetent and your parents have decided it is to your benefit to give over guardianship to the state of California. It is the decision of this court that you are to be remanded into the custody of the St. George Psychiatric Hospital until your twenty-first birthday, upon which time you will be re-examined for mental fitness.”

She banged her gavel down. “Court is adjourned.”

I felt the shock of it run over me; it was like being hit by a truck. As I’d been hit by a truck, I was able to make this comparison with some accuracy.

“I’m not crazy, I know what I saw! I am not crazy!”

“Bailiff, please remove Mr. Abbott.”

The men took my arms to take me away; I jerked in their grips, and my tired body protested.

“I know what I saw! I know what I saw!”

The bailiff and his friend dragged me out of the courtroom.

“I know what I saw!” I screamed, my voice hoarse. “I know what I saw!”

That cover illustration by BS Clay is magical.  I love it and think it is one of the best of the year.

Book Details:

ebook, 192 pages / 53000 words
Published September 11th 2013 by Torquere Press
ISBN 1610405714 (ISBN13: 9781610405713)
edition language English

And I Saw A Sea of Squirrels….and the Week Ahead in Reviews!

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And Then I Saw A Sea of Squirrels……grey squirrel drawing

Its fall and my patio and lawns are full of nature’s bounty, aka nuts.  Lots and lots of nuts and therefore lots and lots of squirrels (and deer but that’s for another story from this park naturalist).   This year is a high cycle year so all the oaks, hickories, and beech trees in my backyard were groaning under the weight of the nuts they bore.  And have now loosed them upon every surface available, turning every spare inch into a prickly hulled,DSCN4046 brown blanket or a mosaic of shiny hard bits and pieces of acorns to go along with the prickly hulls of the beech nut.  Of course the green golf balls of the black walnut are dropping too, sounding like hail during the worst of storms.

And my dogs hate this.

I don’t blame them.  Those prickly little bits and pieces hurt the pads of their paws, jagged hulls of shells courtesy of sharp squirrel teeth are just the right size to work themselves between the pads and wedging themselves firmly to great pain and discomfort.  No amount of sweeping is stopping the tide.  It’s relentless, a constant cacophony of sound followed by a carpet of discarded husks.DSCN4053

I think most people don’t realize that nuts are cyclical.  That each year the harvest is that much greater than the year before with the various animal populations that depend upon them for food expanding along with them.   And then the year that follows the one with the biggest yield is all but barren.  No nuts, or at least very little.  People start reporting seeing skinny or starving animals.  And they reason that such a thing helps to keep populations down.  And certainly that is true for the present day.  But not always.

Did you know people once saw seas of squirrels as they migrated through?

Yes, Eastern gray squirrels used to migrate, following the cycles of the oaks, and hickories and other nut bearing trees.  Back when the midwestern and eastern forests were one contiguous mass of forest.  Back before we started to carve out our settlements, and farms and cities. Back when there were only small farmsteads and villages that dotted the forests, tiny punctuation marks of humanity.

Then the animals lived much different lives than they do today.

One of my college professors,  Dr. Vagn Flyger wrote a report for the University of Maryland on a squirrel migration as recent as 1968.  Oh, how he loved squirrels and imparted that love to his students!  And this recent migration, from Vermont to Georgia, fascinated him.  You can read it here.  But even more fascinating are the earlier account of waves of squirrels so massive that it took days before the end of the hoard could be seen.  Or as Robert Kennicott in his article “The Quadrupeds of Illinois” in The Annual Report of the Commissioner of gray squirrelPatents for 1846 stated  “it took a month for the mess of squirrels to pass through the area.”*

Just imagine what that must have looked like! Tens of thousands, perhaps millions of squirrels following the wild harvest through the vast forest of the midwest and east, flowing like a grey furred river, leaping and bounding over every surface as they passed their way through the immediate area.   Here is another quote (from that  *same article ):

*In 1811, Charles Joseph Labrobe wrote in The Rambler in North America of a vast squirrel migration that autumn in Ohio: “A countless multitude of squirrels, obeying some great and universal impulse, which none can know but the Spirit that gave them being, left their reckless and gambolling life, and their ancient places of retreat in the north, and were seen pressing forward by tens of thousands in a deep and sober phalanx to the South …”

No longer.

We still have them migrate occasionally.  The last reported one was likely 1998 in Arkansas but nothing like the vast migrations of the past.  And how can they with no massive forest or massive stands of trees, following the bounty of nuts and seeds as the cycles demanded?  Like the beaver before them, we have changed their natural history and lost something special in return.

Now the Eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) is regarded as a cute backyard dweller or bird seed eating pest.  They get into attics or gnaw on wires.  We are amused by them, infuriated by them, and in some cases regarding bird feeders outsmarted by them.  They throw nuts at my dogs and tease them unmercifully and I laugh, of course.  They are a constant in my yard and a source of food for my owls and hawks.  They are as familiar to me as my wrens and woodpeckers…and my life would be poorer without them.

But once they moved across the land in rivers of energy and gray fur, millions of them covering the landscape and making people stop in their tracks, marveling to see such a sight.  Just once I wish I could have been there, standing beside those folks so I too could have said “and then I saw a sea of squirrels…”.

The Migration of the Grey Squirrels

by William Howitt

When in my youth I traveled
Throughout each north country,
Many a strange thing did I hear,
And many a strange thing to see.

But nothing was there pleased me more
Than when, in autumn brown,
I came, in the depths of the pathless woods,
To the grey squirrels’ town.

There were hundreds that in the hollow boles
Of the old, old trees did dwell,
And laid up store, hard by their door,
Of the sweet mast as it fell.

But soon the hungry wild swine came,
And with thievish snouts dug up
Their buried treasure, and left them not
So much as an acorn cup.

Then did they chatter in angry mood,
And one and all decree,
Into the forests of rich stone-pine
Over hill and dale to flee.

Over hill and dale, over hill and dale,
For many a league they went,
Like a troop of undaunted travelers
Governed by one consent.

But the hawk and the eagle, and peering owl,
Did dreadfully pursue;
When lo! to cut off their pilgrimage,
A broad stream lay in view.

But then did each wondrous creature show
His cunning and bravery;
With a piece of the pine-bark in his mouth,
Unto the stream came he;

And boldly his little bark he launched,
Without the least delay;
His busy tail was his upright sail,
And he merrily steered away.

Never was there a lovelier sight
Than that grey squirrels’ fleet;
And with anxious eyes I watched to see
What fortune it would meet.

Soon had they reached the rough mild-stream,
And ever and anon
I grieved to behold some bark wrecked,
And its little steersman gone.

But the main fleet stoutly held across;
I saw them leap to shore;
They entered the woods with a cry of joy,
For their perilous march was o’er.

Now for the Week Ahead in Reviews (and  Autumn Sedum in my garden):DSCN4051

Monday, Sept. 30:         Sonata by A.F. Henley

Tuesday, Oct. 1:              September Summary of Reviews

Wed., October 2:            Goblins by Melanie Tushmore

Thurs., October 3:         Dominant Predator by S.A. McAuley

Friday, October 4:         The Isle of Wishes by Sue Brown

Sat., October 5:               Knightmare (City Knight #2) by T.A. Webb

The Sexy Fae of Lost Girl (SyFy Channel)

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From a discussion with JJ a while ago, a week devoted to Book Series was born so the latest review in the Cambridge Fellows series will be posted the week of July 16th instead. So look for a whole week of my favorite series, I can’t wait.  So in the meantime, here is my blog on a new favorite TV series, Lost Girl, while I finish up writing two new reviews on book you all will love.  Trust me on this!  New author for both books too.  Let the anticipation build.

 

Lost Girl:

There I was casually flipping through the channels, a little bored and trying to find anything to keep me from doing the laundry, and then I found them. Be still my heart! Hello new addition to an old addiction.  The fav fae of Lost Girl.  The central main characters are Bo the bisexual succubus in search of her past, Kenzi a gypsy and Bo’s best friend, Dyson,werewolf, a member of the Fae and Bo’s lover, then there is Lauren,  human doctor ,pet of the Light Fae (also Bo’s lover), Hale, a male siren, and Trick, Blood King and Fae barkeep.

Lost Girl is the story of Bo, a succubus raised by human parents and unaware of her true identity.   A succubus feeds on the sexual energy or chi of humans, usually to the detriment of the human as Bo discovers when she hits puberty.  On a date with her boyfriend, Bo’s first sexual encounter ends traumatically as she drinks her boyfriend to his death.

Understandably freaked out, Bo lights out on her own, on the run from city to city, obtaining new identites even as she leaves dead bodies behind her.  This pattern is broken one night when she saves a young gypsy thief from a guy who slipped her a date rape drug.  Bo drinks the predator to his death and carries the drugged girl to the abandoned building Bo is hiding in to recover.  As Bo packs her things, ready to flee the city, the little thief, Kenzi comes to.  It seems that Kenzi recorded Bo’s feast on her smart phone before passing out and thinks Bo her hero.  And before Bo knows what hit her she has a new BFF whether she wants one or not.

Let’s say right up front that Bo is spectacularly hot.  She wears black leather like a second skin, has dark eyes that can turn hard like obsidian when angry, and packs a punch forceful enough to cold cock any thug or dark fae. I love her.  And Kenzi?  Adorable, funky, gypsy goth girl whose backstory is still waiting to come out.  I heart her too.  Any how back to the story.

The body Bo left behind comes to the attention of the local police who just happen to be two members of the light fae.  Dyson, a werewolf and police detective and Hale, a male siren,Dyson’s friend as well as cop partner.  They track Bo down and force her to visit The Ash, leader of the light Fae and The Morrigan, leader of the Dark Fae.  During this confrontation, Bo learns she is a succubus and a member of the Fae, an ancient group of beings at war with each other.  One thousand years ago, a truce was called and there has been a shaky peace between the light and dark Fae.  One part of that peace calls for all fae to align themselves with one side or the other.  You can be a Dark Fae or Light, but not “free”.  So Bo has been called before both sides to prove through battle that she is worthy (years of thinking she is human has left her clueless as to the ways and rules of being a Fae).  If she is not killed in combat, then she must choose to be either a Dark or Light  Fae.

As Bo fights her way through different opponents , Kenzi is desperately trying to find Bo after being left behind.  Humans are thought of as pets or meals by the fae, definitely not something to be bothered with.  Bo wins the last fight, with Kenzi’s assistance, and let’s the Fae know that she choses the Human side.  Meanwhile, there is a side thread with Dyson and Trick, owner and barkeep of The Dal Riata, the only Fae pub in town and neutral ground for all Fae.  They know more of Bo’s history than they are letting on, a mystery that unravels over the remainder of the season.

And that’s just the first episode!  After you get past a very hot Bo, and adorably sexy Kenzi, you meet Dyson who makes me want to squeal like a fangirl.  Irish, inked, and primal, he makes the wolves of True Blood seem civilized (and I like them).  The love scenes between Bo and Dyson are so hot the screen sizzles and walls shake. They get very physical.  No dainty love here.  And then there is Lauren, the Doctor who works in a laboratory for the Light Fae.  She is “owned” by the Ash right down to her pet tag. We don’t have her full backstory yet.  She is also hot for Bo.  And when they hit the sheets, the sex is sensual, believable, and steamy.  OK, look at Bo.  Who wouldn’t go to bed with her?

Hale grows on you as the  Dyson’s colleague and another Fae undercover agent in the police force. He is a male siren, able to render humans and even other Fae unconscious or stunned with his whistle. Over time, Kenzi and Hale become good friends. Hale’s family is Fae royalty and they find his job disdainful. Last, there is Fitzpatrick aka Trick, owner and bartender of The Dal Riata.  He is much more than he seems.  He is a Blood Sage with the ability to alter fate. As we learn more about Bo’s heritage, Trick’s history comes forward as well as the two of them entwined through their pasts.

Lost Girl presents us with rich stories peopled with mythical beings, complex characters, and beautiful sets filmed as through a glass darkly. A Canadian series, it is shown on the SyFy Channel here in the US.  Filming on the 3rd season starts this Spring which makes this fangirl extremely happy.

I have loved reading about Faeries, the Fae, the Tuatha del Danaan since childhood, stories from my grandfather and my introduction to The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang.  Being of Irish and Scottish descent, my fascination with the Fae grew stronger with each year.  Whether it is tales of Peter Pan or Oberon and Titania, I cannot get enough of the wee folk, the fairies, the Fae.  Lost Girl is a great way to feed my need for all things sidhe.

You can find all episodes of the first season here at Showcase .ca.  There is also a list of songs used for each episode.  So join me in my Lost Girl journey.  Tell others.  We can all drool together.  Come on.  Really.  You will thank me!

Review of The Fairy Gift by J.K. Pendragon

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Rating: 4.25 stars

Every third generation on the eve of their 18th birthday, the child receives a gift from the Fairies. What that gift may be no one knows.  It was said of Marcus’ family that his family’s fortunes arose with his great grandfather’s gift.  But times have gotten hard and now the family depends upon Marcus and the gift he is to receive now that he is turning 18.  But Marcus is different, he loves his village of Rell, his family and wants to get closer to the woodman’s boy Adam.  Marcus is attracted to men not women and a fact he hides from all around him.  He certainly doesn’t want a Fairy gift that will change his life and all he knows.  On his birthday, Marcus hides in his room, hoping no one will find him.  Alas the fairy Draeden appears, and despite Marcus’ protests, gives him the gift of seduction.  What is a virgin to do with that?

I had a quibble with this story right off the bat.  Such a lovely fairy tale should start as all fairy tales do.  Once upon a time in the village of Rell, there lived a boy named Marcus.  For The Fairy Gift is truly a fairy tale for adults, following the same strictures and guidelines all such stories do.  Draeden is the fairy godmother (a title such a wry and fey creature would love) who pops in and out of Marcus’ life, bringing both meaning and frustration to a boy trying to find his way through the kingdom and into the path of happily ever after. The King’s Wizard comes to collect Marcus and take him to the capital as an apprentice, but things go awry as Marcus is kidnapped and sold as a sex slave.  What? This didn’t happen in your fairy tales? Well, no matter, Marcus has a gift, the smarts to use it plus Draeden to look after him and give him a shove in the right direction.  Let’s just say wonderful antics ensue along the goal to happiness, all choreographed with a lovely light touch by the author.

J.K. Pendragon has populated this story with all the wonderful characters we have come to expect.  There is an evil sorcerer, a good queen, good townsfolk, and of course, true love waiting in the wings or in this case a house of prostitution run by a Madam named Titania.  Same difference.  All the characters are wonderfully nuanced, adding to the storybook feel while never losing sight that this is a slightly updated and slightly bent version of the same.  And there is even a kind of princess masquerading as a high priced prostitute with a surprise up her skirt. And there are obstacles, and a truth that Marcus must discover on his own. But as this is a fairytale, it will come as no surprise that there is a happily ever after. And that is how I will end this review of a story I really enjoyed.  And they lived happily ever after.  Sigh.

Cover.  Design by Le Burden Design.  Simple yet elegant.  I would have liked to have seen a more traditional storybook cover but still this is nice.

Available at Less Than Three Press, LLC