I recently finished three great novels, all indie books. Dale Furse’s Curse of Wexkia is suitable for any age, but seems written especially for a younger set, maybe eleven and up. It’s imaginative, literally out-of-this-world in its scope, and somehow takes me back to my own childhood fantasies, where almost anything was possible. Loretta Proctor’s literary novel, The Long Shadow, is a heartrending, brutally realistic account of World War I in Greece, told through the eyes of two lovers and later, their son, who goes in search of his father and his identity. Black Tiger is completely different: a paranormal romance set in the jungles of India, bringing a flavor of Kipling though it’s written to modern tastes, and brings to life a unique love affair. I’ve watched this genre explode in popularity in recent years. Humans are something more: an animal, or a blending of human and animal, or with the soul of a beast. It intrigues me. I think we’re drawn to stories like this because most of us experience at one time or another inexplicable actions in animals that suggest they are more than they seem, more than history has portrayed them, more than they are given credit for, and in many cases, show they possess what is believed to be the best of humanity.
All three books highly recommended.
Loretta has two other books available: Middle Watch and The Crimson Bed. Dying Phoenix, her fourth, is forthcoming.
Greta also has several other books in the sci-fi fantasy genre: The Iron Admiral, Morgan’s Choice, and Supertech, to name a few.
Dale is finishing work on Secret of Wexkia.
Curse of Wexkia, by Dale Furse
A delightful middle grade, young adult, and adult story:
This book was an amazing fantasy ride, full of unique characters and vivid scenes. Nell is facing college and has secretly applied to one. But there's a reason her father doesn't support this idea, and it isn't any reason you've ever heard of before. For seventeen years, Nell has lived a rather lonely--but fairly normal--life. Then one day an alligator speaks to her, and from that moment on, BIG changes come barreling, sweeping her away from any hint of normalcy, and taking her good friend Sam with her. This story surprised and delighted me at every turn. I don't want to give any spoilers, but The Curse of Wexkia has a lot going on. It's a little bit sci-fi, a little bit fantasy, a little bit teenage angst, a little bit rebellion, and a little bit sweet budding romance. While the story ends very satisfyingly, there is definitely room for a sequel.
The Long Shadow, by Loretta Proctor
The memories linger…
The Long Shadow is destined to become a literary classic.
Characters who grab you and won't let go. Scenes ripped from history. Drama, and the violence of war. Interludes of beauty and joy in the midst of chaos and terror.
The two male characters are so lifelike and compelling, I fell in love with both of them. Andrew and Costas, very different, yet in many ways identical, both bringing to life a magical fantasy of female daydreams.
The Long Shadow not only contains fascinating, unforgettable, mesmerizing characters, it has history: lots of it. It brought forth the horrors of World War I Greece, and also managed to capture those precious moments of fulfillment that occur even in the grimmest circumstances. The end, which I never could have predicted, was perfect and satisfying. It reminded me of Hemingway's work in many ways. This author is becoming one of my all time favorites.
Black Tiger, by Greta van der Rol
He haunts the jungle, and her dreams...
Black Tiger is one of those special paranormal romances that transcends the ordinary. Set in India, around the vividly well-characterized protagonists, Ash and Sally, the reader is swiftly drawn into the heat, majesty, and charisma of this ancient, evocative land and its beliefs, sometimes magical, other times violent and cruel.
Ash is a mesmerizing romantic hero. He's standoffish, but not necessarily because he wants to be: he has certain special obligations he dares not share with anyone.
He's drawn immediately to Sally Carter, a doctor he's recruited to care for the villagers he's in charge of. He resists the attraction: for as long as he's lived, he's known he can only get together with a certain kind of woman.
The Legend of the Black Tiger pulls them both irrevocably into its mystery, its grace, its terror, and Sally discovers more about herself than she ever could have imagined.
The proceeds from this book go toward tiger preservation.