Dame Amethyst Treasures - an anthology of four novellasThe stories in this anthology all share some common threads. Many explore the risks of love and rejection. Personal doubt is a key factor in these stories, which range from the simple and simply charming to the far more deep and complex paranormal.
by Karen Wiesner
Includes the following novellas:
“The Amethyst Angel”
Elena Lopez's father has decided to play matchmaker with his long-time friend and neighbor, Marta Delgado, when Marta's nephew comes to town. Elena has a secret, though: She's always loved Marta's own son Pablo.
“A Home for Christmas”
Craig Stevens is determined to tell Christie of his feelings for her once and for all. But how does a painfully shy man reveal his heart without voicing the words that could lead to rejection? Craig has given himself just a couple days to convince Christie he can be the man of her dreams. Now it's a countdown to a Christmas wedding or bust!
“The Amethyst Star”
They live in a time when humans have become an endangered species...
Greatly outnumbered by the male sex, women have become earth's most valuable prizes in their roles as Procreators. Their eggs are harvested-in an attempt to "grow" a human race comparable to the days before their near extinction-and fertilized by only the strongest males of the species. Pair-bonding is rare. Families no longer exist since children are gestated in labs and then raised in sex-specific institutions. Lady Sher of the Amethyst Star, a Queen and Procreator, is mankind's last hope for survival.
“Creatures of the Night”
Loner and night-owl painter Susanna Heath has just married her exotic-foreigner husband. Nicholai Rostislav disappears all day, coming to her only at night. Now she finds out that he’s a bloodsucking vampire. And you thought your marriage had problems.
These tales open with the heart wrenching "The Amethyst Angel." We meet the Lopez family, a family united in dedication to a cause. We are delighted immediately with the quick dialogue, and infected with hope, rather than touched by despair. Risk here is more than an affair of the heart. Love and compassion drive this tale. We sense - and understand - the love the main characters feel for the sick children they care for. The family's effort is more than a setting here, and involves the reader deeply even before we get an idea of the love story involved.
In "A Home for Christmas," we meet a shy and charming man, as well as the love of his life. His self-doubt makes him less than open about his feelings, but his affection comes through in his kindness and support. In this everyday sort of adventure, the strength that comes through faith is also explored. The story itself is nicely Christmas-y, and music, especially the favorite Christmas carols, is a connecting theme.
"The Amethyst Star" is futuristic in setting and departs from the sweet and rather dear themes of the first two. The opening is dark: humans are not hunters, but hunted. However, hope builds as we grow closer to understanding the mind and motivations of Randolph, the main character. The details of the royal setting, the home of Lady Sher, are a delight to read. The world Wiesner creates is very original, and has great depth and detail.
"Creatures of the Night," delves into the paranormal realm, but is somewhat realistically contemporary in setting. The first person account lends this story a certain immediacy, and allows the reader to closely identify with the main character, Susannah. We also become confused along with the main character, doubting what is real and what is merely her imagination. Delightfully, the heroine - even while discovering her own uniqueness, shares some of the self-doubts of the main characters in the opening three stories. This quirky tale is a fun read.
These stories, heartwarming as they are, would make excellent night-stand material.
Reviewed by Snapdragon