Tales from the Treasure Trove Volume I

Tales From the Treasure Trove, Volume I, A Jewels of the Quill Anthology. “Jaded” {reincarnation romance} by Barbara Raffin (Dame Jade), “Sex with the Man in the Moon” {romantic suspense} by Christine DeSmet (Dame Moonstone), “The Ruby Kiss” {contemporary vampire romance} by Jaye Roycraft (Dame Ruby), “The Amethyst Angel” {traditional romance} by Karen Wiesner (Dame Amethyst), “Peridot Moon” {futuristic romance} by Julie Skerven (Dame Peridot), “Emerald” {contemporary fiction} by Debbie Fritter (Dame Emerald), “Diamond Magee” {contemporary romance} by Sherry Derr-Wille (Dame Diamond), “The Topaz Locket” {paranormal romance} by Carrie S. Masek (Dame Topaz), “The Best Kind of Opals” {western romance} by Alice Blue (Dame Opal), “Bloodstone Cure” {paranormal romance} by Cassie Walder (Dame Bloodstone), “Garnet’s Light” {romantic suspense} by Liz Hunter (Dame Garnet), “The Turquoise Mask” {paranormal romance} by Jane Toombs (Dame Turquoise).

I have to admit this review has been a challenge for me to write.  Most anthologies that I read have some kind of reoccurring theme that keeps the author’s story type similar, such as all ‘It happened at Midnight’ or ‘One Dance’ but this collection’s theme is gemstones, which gave the authors free reign to write whatever the wanted, and they did. I personally have a love/hate relationship with short story collections.  I love them because I get a chance to read new authors without the time investment of a full novel, nothing is worse than getting to the middle of a book and realizing that you dislike it. However,  I hate anthologies because when you find a great story with great characters, your time with them is over way too soon. Also, sometimes I don’t like the stories.

This book has something for everyone, and I mean everyone. The collection includes a western, paranormal futuristic, reincarnation, contemporary traditional, and others.  Obviously I can’t write a review of all the stories because it would make this posting huge so I have just mentioned a few.

The first story, Jaded, is set in contemporary times with ghost that appears to the heroine. This was a story that I would have liked to see longer, the minor characters staying at the boarding house were entertaining and I would have liked to see more of them.  It was a good story but felt a little rushed, it could have been longer and better developed.

The Best Kinds of Opal is a western with three brothers who travel from back East to the West in pursuit of opals for their parent’s jewelry shop.  Upon arriving to the western city they engage in a fist fight with some locals, who they then become buddies with.  (There is no understanding men.) The buddies convince them to go fishing with them and the buddies bring along their sisters and cousins, who all happen to have the word ‘Opal’ in their name.  The brothers start to suspect they have been set up by their parents but by this time they don’t really care because they have started to like the girls. The buddies were funny and I giggled several times while reading the story.

The Amethyst Angel, is a bit of a heart-jerker.  The heroine is a doctor who works at a hospital that specializes in children who have terminal diseases.  You get to know one of the small boys who is a patient there and see they way he impacts the doctor’s life for the better before he loses his battle with cancer.

It was a good read with a good glimpse of a bunch of different authors. It was interesting to read how each of the authors was able to incorporate a gemstone in each of the stories.  I have to admit I giggled when I read the name of the girls as being Opal as I was expecting an Opal mine with the story being set in the wild west.  Just be aware that most of the stories rate as a 5 is graphic detail. This review is also posted on Classic Romance Revival.

ISBN:1-59374-373-4

Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press

Released: March 2005

Page Length:366

Type: eBook

Rating: 5

[amazon-product]1593743726[/amazon-product]

Guest Post: The Golden Urchin by Madeline Brent

photo_9181_20091029The Golden Urchin by Madeline Brent is by far the best book I’ve ever read! I have worn out my paperback copy and am currently working on wearing out my hardback copy. I read this book at least 3 or 4 times a year. It is my “comfort book”, as Jessica described in a previous post. The hardest thing about reading this book, is finding a copy!
This story is based around 15 year old Meg. She was raised by the Aborigines as a “freak” because of her white skin and red hair. She leaves her tribe and comes across Luke, who is close to death from lack of water. He takes her to his house, and she is taught English and how to be “proper” by Luke’s wife, Rosemary. After a series of events, she finds out there is someone after her, trying to kill her for her fortune that her real parent’s had left her. During this time, she comes to find that she is in love with Luke and she thinks that he hates her.
There are some interesting characters that you come across with Meg. I really enjoy Meg’s character, she is strong, naive, and says how things are and you know where she stands on things. There is a little violence in this book, but not until the end. There is some swearing, but is very mild.
Jocee is a stay at home mom with three very active children under the age of five.  I shared a bedroom with her for the first seventeen years of her life, luckily we both survived that and now are good friends.  As proof of how much I love her, I gave her my only copy of this book (which was hardbound) because hers is being held together with a rubber-band, destroyed from her frequent readings.
Rating: 1
[amazon-product]0449213897[/amazon-product]

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Elantris
Elantris

Elantris, by Brandon Sanderson, is a stand alone fantasy novel. I have to admit, I am glad to be able to read just one book, don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of great epic fantasy literature (can we say David Eddings?!) but sometimes it is nice to be able to finish the story in one novel.  Elantris is the first of Brandon Sanderson novels that I have read and I really enjoyed it.  The world Sanderson created is believable in that he has carefully thoughtout rules that everyone has to follow, especially regarding magic and the laws of physics.

Sanderson also plays with concepts that I haven’t seen authors do recently.  Elantris is a city where individuals who were “gifted” with a special power went to live and then something went wrong and these gifted people, who were treated like gods by the general population, were suddenly almost walking corpses. Sanderson’s take on how the general poplulation reacts in such a situation is right on, in my opinion.  How the fallen react to this change in status, how they are now treated, and how do they deal with how they are treated makes this book a fabulous read.

I enjoy Sanderson’s style of following several main characters to get the full story of what is going on in the city.  His ability to make his protagonist sympathetic is wonderful and makes me, as a reader, much more understanding of how events unfolded based on this characters’ motivations and thoughts.

I highly recommend this novel, and his other books, to any fantasy reader.  Of course, his popularity has grown significantly with the announcement of Sanderson being chosen to finish the Robert Jordan Wheel of Time series but, obviously, Robert Jordan’s widow would not have chosen Sanderson if his writings were up to Jordan’s standard.