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

Mustard Pork Roast and the Week Ahead

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Warm and misty and frustrated here in Maryland this morning.  All week I had  been hearing about the moon.   That it was going to be spectacular!  The closest to Earth it has been for a while and that it would appear freakin’ HUGE in the night sky.  I made my preparations.  Camera ready? Check.  Chair at hand? Check!   Finally dark?  Check!   Moon?  Uh, hello? Moon? That would be no!   As in not even a hint of light in the night sky! Nada, zip, nothing!  Clouds?  Yep, plenty of them.  But no moon.  It didn’t help to turn on the evening news and have the chirpy meteorologist post pictures of a fantastic Moon while dishing out his sympathy to those poor smucks (me) who didn’t get to see it due to  CLOUDS not forecast the evening before!  It will be 29 years before the Moon will be that close again and I will be ancient.  But you can rest assured I will be out in front looking for that damn Moon!

I am not the only one here in a frustrated state.  Out back in our small fish pond sings a lonely Leopard Frog.  He made it through the winter and the perilous visits of our Great Blue Heron only to croak out his status as the lone stud of the tiny pond.  Lately he had been croaking less. I guess he didn’t see much cause to continue.   Than I got out the small blue fountain from the shed, assembled it, and filled it with water, confident that our last  frost is gone for the year.  I didn’t notice it had attracted a visitor until later that afternoon.  Sure enough our lonely frog had taken a journey over to the new addition in the garden and found true love.  Here is the photograph to prove it:

Who knows if this love affair will continue?  It  might be very final if he doesn’t get his ass off that elevated fountain and back to the safety of the pond where he might be lonely but will also stay alive! I will let you know what happens.

 

So tonight is a wonderful pork recipe.  The house smells delicious when it is cooking and this dish is always so easy and great tasting.  It calls for pork tenderloins but works just as well with a pork roast.  The sauce isn’t heavy so it works well in spring and summer too.  Thanks to Laura Calder again!

Mustard Pork:

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pork tenderloins (about 8 ounces) or pork roast about 1 or 2 lbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
About 3/4 cup Dijon mustard (plain or grainy) I use a combination of both
1 shallot, minced
1 cup dry white wine (use a good wine, I like a Sauvignon Blanc)
1 cup  creme fraiche or sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

Rub the oil in a roasting pan. Sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper and rub the pork all over with the mustard. Set it in the pan and pour in 1/2 cup water. Roast until the pork is tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes. (If the water evaporates in the pan, add a little more.)

Remove the pork to a serving dish and keep warm. Fry the shallot in the roasting pan on the stovetop. Deglaze with wine and boil to reduce by half. Stir in the sour cream or creme fraiche and rosemary, and reduce to sauce consistency. Check the seasonings. Slice the pork, pour the sauce on top and serve.  This dish has become a go to recipe here.  You just can’t go wrong with Mustard Pork.

Finally, let’s get to the week ahead shall we?

Monday:                                     Review of Battle of Hearts by Valentina Heart

Tuesday:                                     Review of Fairy Gift by J. K. Pendragon

Wednesday:                               Review of Marathon Cowboys by Sarah Black, our Spotlight author

Thursday:                                   Review of Nature of the Beasty by Amylea Lyn

Friday:                                         Review of The Beast’s Promise by Amylea Lyn

Saturday:                                     Bloggers Surprise as I have decided which book to go with yet.

 

So have a great week.  Check out the latest Vocabulary Gone Bad if you haven’t already! FF and I will see you soon. That’s frustrated frog to all of you.