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Tales from the
Barbara Raffin, Christine DeSmet,
Carrie S. Masek,
& Jane Toombs
Tales from the Treasure Trove: Anthology Volume 1
The Dames of Jewels of the Quill know how to create romance. Tales from the Treasure Trove: Jewels of the Quill Anthology Volume 1 is an eclectic collection of twelve romance stories that has something for everyone.
Barbara Raffin opens the anthology beautifully with Jaded, a love story that brings together Hannah and Jake. They might have let love pass by were it not for the help of two ill-fated lovers. Ms. Raffin’s ability to inject believable emotion into her characters will immediately lure readers into this moving tale.
Ms. DeSmet takes over the quill next and delivers Sex with the Man in the Moon. This story has suspense, emotion, and a tender hero that will have readers guessing until the end. Who he is makes even the man in the moon pale in comparison. Liz Hunter adds her own element of suspense with Garnet’s Light. In this tale, Miriam Hubbard is still reeling from an emotional loss when fate steps in and introduces her to Noah. This mystery man stirs emotions Miriam thought she had buried. However, when an unknown thief appears to covet the garnet she found, will Noah be her hero? Miriam’s loss is poignantly felt and as the danger intensifies readers will be caught.
Away from the suspense, readers will find fun and more than they expect on the Halloween scavenger hunt found in The Ruby Kiss. Jaye Roycraft will have readers wanting to conduct their own search once they meet this DJ and intern. Ray’s acceptance of himself and Alena’s obvious reluctance to be on his team sets the stage for an interesting night. The understanding that develops between Alena and Ray is dynamic and fresh, but the Ruby Kiss they find on the scavenger hunt is WOW!
Ms. Weisner takes a step back from the fun and heat of Ms. Roycraft’s telling to deliver a touching story of life, love, and friendship. The Amethyst Angel portrays the consuming commitment Elena Lopez has made to the terminally ill children in her care. It will take a special friend to show this caring woman what she is missing in life. The characters in this story will evoke a reaction in even the most cynical heart.
Another contemporary tale that is sure to please is Debbie Fritter’s Emerald. Ms. Fritter drops readers into the middle of a musical competition where each contestant has something to prove. The true test is knowing how far each will go in the quest to win it all. Readers will both abhor and delight in the varied cast of characters. The final lessons learned hold true to life and will make readers smile.
Not to be outdone, Alice Blue delivers a western romance that finds not one, but three couples falling in love. In The Best Kind of Opals, the Bayer brothers are sent West to find opals for the family store. However, the only Opals they find are of the two-legged variety. Ms. Blue’s brief visit to the West is filled with fun loving characters that don’t like being played for fools. The antics of these three couples, family, and friends will entertain readers as they wait to see what treasure these men take home.
Step back to the present and meet Diamond Magee and Mel Larson. These two have all but given up on love at their age, but a “pity” date soon turns into something more. In Diamond Magee, Sherry Derr-Wille offers readers a tender portrayal of love at any age. This is a solid story of the fears and change everyone confronts on the road to friendship and love.
As there is always room for more great stories, Julie Skerven, Cassie Walder, Carrie S. Masek, and Jane Toombs add their own Jewels of the Quill to make an even dozen.
Peridot Moon will transport readers to another time and place as Tabitha King finds herself in the most unlikely situation, trapped with her ex-lover Laurent Foxe. Ms. Skerven enhances their story with extra sensory abilities and a wealth of action. Readers will be wondering if these two well-matched individuals can find out what went wrong the first time as they struggle to survive.
The Topaz Locket by Carrie S. Masek connects two strangers with the help of a stolen locket. When Will buys the topaz locket, he knows he will keep it for himself. What he didn’t know is that the image of the woman inside would call to him until he has no choice but to find her. The dream scenes are well done and are an original way to show character growth. Add to this the search for Grace and readers will be as entranced as Will.
Cassie Walder rounds out the anthology with an exceptional story of love and acceptance. The Bloodstone Cure brings unknown worlds and two fated souls together. Jason knows he is dying, his only salvation a cure that lies on another planet. But even the cure won’t be enough to save this powerful dragon if another does not step forward to help him. Melissa is drawn to Jason from the start, but when he reveals his true form and the salvation he seeks she feels a connection like none she has know. Can this inexperienced dragon save him? The emotional connection these two feel is evident from the beginning. I enjoyed Ms. Walder’s use of imagery, shape-shifting and unique caste system within the plot. This is a standout tale wherever it is read.
Jane Toombs offers readers an edgier, paranormal romance that is beautifully written. The Turquoise Mask captures the essence of a Navajo belief and delivers a tale of greed and love. When Jamie Lowell buries her father, she knows there are things left undone. However, her journey to put to rest her father’s past is filled with intrigue and an unlikely alliance. Ms. Toombs introduces us to two strong, dedicated individuals that are thrown together by circumstance. The respect they demonstrate pairs nicely with the emotions that simmer beneath the surface. This is a more than fitting ending for a wonderful anthology.
These talented authors have managed to compile a collection of contemporary, paranormal, suspense, western, and futuristic tales that all have one thing in common, romance. Whether down the road, on an unknown planet, or in the past; these stories come to life with characters that have a love to find. The use of jewels as an additional element to differentiate each story and yet provide a consistent theme for the complete anthology was exceptional. It was an added lure to an already outstanding read to see how each author would incorporate her “jewel”. Tales from the Treasure Trove: Jewels of the Quill Anthology Volume 1 is not to be missed and has this reviewer anticipating the next offering from the dames from Jewels of the Quill.
Reviewed by: Amanda