Hex in High Heels

By Linda Wisdom

If you think all witches are ugly and green, you’d be wrong. Blair is sexy, powerful, and playful.

But what I love about Hex in High Heels is how Blair and her 12 witche friends are loyal to each other. Their friendships have lasted since the day they refused to tell on the other in 1313. Wow, that’s what I call BFF!

Hex in High Heels by Linda WisdomThe romance between Blair and Jake (a werewolf/dog) is strong not only because of their mutual physical attractions. Both are people with character, both trust and protect each other.

And the “magikal” creatures who live with Blair and her roommate are each interesting in its own ways. With everyone under one roof, it’s just a big family consist of eccentric members.

With the small town setting as the background, I’m very likely to become one of the tourists they welcome to their winter festival!

Linda has a way to make the imagined place and people real. Reading this book has inspired me as I write my first fantasy/romance short.

The Prince and the Nanny

Before I opened this book, I thought all romance novel were created shallow. How ignorant of me.

The Prince and the Nanny by Cara ColterIn “The Prince and the Nanny (by Cara Colter,) Prue, the nanny, was working her way out of an unhealthy habit of filling the hole in her heart with things and men’s attentions while coping with the sudden need to earn a living after her father’s death.

She decided not to date for a year and used her Fatal Flaws List to stay on track. She was so serious about improving herself, she turned Prince Ryan’s job offer twice, just to be sure she wouldn’t have a chance to fall in love before the one year ends.

Prince Ryan though used to get what he wanted but was not an arrogant royal brat. He wanted someone who can bring happiness back to his motherless children. After Prue came to work in the castle, he discovered he also would be at his happiest when he is only a loving father to his children and a common man to Prue.

As the story grows, Prue matured and found her own truth. Prince Ryan granted himself the freedom to be himself and a prince at the same time. Both found love at exactly the right time, after they had found themselves.

Wow, I will never look at a romance novel the same way again. (Thanks to Deb, soon to be a full fledge romance writer, for the recommendation!)

The Great Shift (with Hathors)

The Great ShiftHathors are interdimensional, intergalactic beings that use sacred geometry and sound to assist us in gaining enlightenment. (Messages channeled by Tom Kenyon)

They said that in the future humans will develop clairsentient ability and empathic response, so it will be difficult to lie or they can tell when being lied to. Wouldn’t it be great to only have honest politicians serving the country?!

Once people became empathic, we will know how to distinguish our authentic emotional response and external turmoil. No more letting energy vampires drain us dry!

They suggest that we take time to connect to Earth by focusing our attention to our heart with the emotion of appreciating and gratitude. It will bring us to a higher frequency.

The Hathors advise us to recognize we are the co-creators of what happens around us. If you don’t believe it, just observe the difference between people who smiles all the time and the people who complains constantly. Who do you think will have more love around them?

Whether you believe the enlighten beings in The Great Shift are real or not, I think we can still benefit from these words. Humans have done many amazing things, it shouldn’t be a surprise to us that we have to power to design our destiny.

The Great Shift (with Mary Magdalen)

The Great ShiftNo one can be sure how the future will turn out but be certain that we, each one of us, hold the power to build a beautiful world. That is the central message of this book, collections of readings between three channelers and enlightened beings. For this post, I will focus on Mary Magdalen’s messages (channeled through Tom Kenyon.)

She mentioned that the Holy Grail is only a very humble clay cup and it’s unfortunate the people believe it had magical property.

…, a Human tendency – to believe that a power resides somewhere outside and that such a power can be possessed.

Also, to bring a new kind of world to live, it requires the rise of the divine feminine. A balanced relationship between both genders which allows women to nurture and releases men from shouldering the delusion of being solely responsible for the world.

I have already heard of this energy working. Marielle Higler, a holistic financial counselor, remarked the positive changes in her married clients after the men shared financial information with their wives.

And to women she said:

The return of the goddess is through each woman’s heart and mind. Through the act of speaking your truth, the world will change.

Lord of the Far Island

This is by far the best of Victoria Holt’s I have read.

Lord of the Far Island by Victoria HoltIt’s hard to put it down because whoever showed interest in Ellen can also be the person who wanted to kill her. And you can’t really be sure who the bad guy is until almost the end of the book.

Since she wrote it in two separate parts, you are tricked into thinking one has little to do with the other, just like Ellen did.

On pattern I noticed is that the heroines in her books usually picks the seemingly bad dude. Still each bad dude was different enough, you won’t feel like she was just recycling characters.

Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt

Mistress of MellynThis is the second Victoria Holt I have read. As I expected, Mistress of Mellyn is similar to The Shivering Sands. However, I still couldn’t put it down because you don’t know who the bad guy is until the last part.

In both books, the heroines are in the role of teachers; the men of the house have questionable characters; the heroines hate the master at first, think Pride and Prejudice); they fall in love and lived happily ever after.

What kept it interesting is that in each story the heroines face different challenges. Also, her use of non-human characters-the archaeological dig site in The Shivering Sands, the horse riding/houses in Mistress of Mellyn, not only moves the stories along, you learn something interesting on the way.

The Shivering Sands by Victoria Holt

In the last few weeks, I realized I needed to read more fictions to help me become more expressive. Many times, I was stopped by my limited abilities to write in the ways that would justify the feelings I was trying to portray.

The Shivering SandSince my instructor encourages me to write more romance, I decided on reading books by Victoria Holt. I remember reading them in my native language when I was in junior high.

The Shivering Sands is not only a romance, it is also a mystery. I was pleasantly surprised that I could read her books (first published in 1969) without difficulty.

This story keeps you turning the page. When she wrote about the sceneries, it was always just long enough to keep you from skipping to the next paragraph. And the romance is always tangled up with the mystery so it’s not just a frivolous part of the whole story.

Although in a few places I found similar conversations being repeated too many times. Perhaps I noticed it because we are living in a fast pace world and I didn’t want to read what I was already told.

It is amazing that Victoria Holt, Eleanor Hibbert in real life, wrote the story so long ago, I still couldn’t help becoming someone who might have lived in that time and place.

The Enchantment Emporium

The Enchantment EmporiumI discover this book and Tanya Huff via the recommendation in Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine.

Maybe it was because English is my second language and that I am also new to the fantasy genre, the first chapter of The Enchantment Emporium was hard to read, too many people, too many things happening. However, I got the feel of the craziness of a large family getting together, especially when I also came from a similar family.

Then the story moves on without missing a beat. Her style seems choppy and unlike other books I have read. It took me a while to read at my normal speed. But once I got used to it, I had to force myself not to pick up the book until I was done working.

What I like the most of this book is that although there are dragons, wizard, leprechaun, and supernatural forces, everything else is something we have encountered in our own lives.

Finding MagicAfter I finished The Enchantment Emporium, I became curious about her other writings. Among her short stories in Finding Magic, my favorite story is “I knew a guy once.” Her talents and skills allow her to tell stories in many different tones and methods, great examples for a new writer like me.