Mystery and fantasy writing

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New Review of Butterfly Waltz

Nice review of Butterfly Waltz from Kirkus Reviews

BUTTERFLY WALTZ Jane Tesh Silver Leaf Books (216 pp.) $17.95 paperback, $9.99 e-book, $13.08 audiobook ISBN: 978-1-60975-124-1; June 15, 2017

BOOK REVIEW
A magical being fleeing her past encounters a young pianist in this novel.
Kalida is one of the Cavern-born, beings whose magical abilities and fighting prowess have made them multi-realm conquerors. Music seems harsh and unnatural to the cold, cruel Cavern-born, but after hearing a prisoner’s song, Kalida finds herself unable to bear her home’s darkness and violence. She escapes to the woods in the realm of Andrea, where she watches the Snowden children, Christine and Charlie, grow up in a nearby manor. Penniless pianist Desmond “Des” Fairweather visits the manor one day at the urging of his friend Jake Banner, a tabloid reporter chasing a scoop that the now-adult Christine can talk to her garden flowers. Des has a tragic past—a spell gone wrong killed his parents—and is reluctant to acknowledge or practice magic. But Jake is convinced Des attracts magical beings and promises an audition with a local symphony in exchange for the musician’s help. Taking a moment to practice on Christine’s piano, Des glimpses an enigmatic woman who seems entranced by his music. The woman, of course, is Kalida. As Jake searches for a story and helps Christine tackle her problems—Charlie is missing and a cousin is scheming to acquire the manor—Des and Kalida pursue a deeper connection. But Kalida’s Cavern-born family has come to take her back to its realm, endangering the whole group. Tesh (The Monsters of Spiders’ Rest, 2017, etc.) writes movingly of Kalida’s gradual metamorphosis after hearing the prisoner’s song (“a crack in our world”), making a compelling case for the transformative power of music. Des and Jake’s interactions are snappily written, with their combative banter and Jake’s antics lending a screwball comedy appeal to balance Kalida’s heavier story. When Des and Kalida do properly meet, a mysterious connection becomes romantic a bit too quickly to not feel forced. The weight put on their sudden true love causes the novel’s later portions to feel a bit rushed. Despite these structural problems, the book delivers a fun read.
A frothy and stirring tale that blends music, magic, and romance.
Kirkus Reviews

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Guest Today on Escape With Dollycas

if you’ve ever wondered how writers get published, check out my story today on Escape With Dollycas. You can also enter a giveaway for a copy of Baby, Take a Bow. Scroll down the page to find Special Guest Jane Tesh.
http://www.escapewithdollycas.com/

Baby, Take a Bow

A Small Holiday

New Video for Evil Turns

Evil Turns, the fifth Madeline Maclin Mystery, has been getting some good reviews!
“Mac’s fifth adventure is just as quirky as its predecessors with the bonus of a stronger, more complex mystery.” Kirkus
“Clever surprises and an appealing sleuth keep this series fresh.” Booklist
“Tesh spins a pleasurable tale about a quirky couple and a small town filled with memorable characters. Series fans and newcomers alike will have fun.” Publishers Weekly

Here is the book trailer for Evil Turns:

Coming This September!

I’m happy to announce that after many years my fantasy novel Butterfly Waltz is being published by Silver Leaf Books. Reluctantly dragged along to the countryside by his tabloid reporter friend Jake Banner to investigate rumors of talking flowers, Desmond Fairweather, a struggling young musician meets Kalida, a mysterious young woman who says she is magic. Des will have to put aside his fears of all things magical to rescue Kalida from her people, evil beings who want her to return to their world and a life of conquest and darkness.

Those of you who have read my Madeline Maclin mystery novels will recognize Des as the older brother of Madeline’s husband, Jerry Fairweather.

My beautiful cover is by Francois Thisdale, who also created the covers for the Grace Street Series.

Butterfly_C1_2

Winkie

Sunday Winkie

Winkie, the one-eyed Chihuahua, came into my life in 2005. I had retired and had time for a little dog, and Winkie was indeed little. She fit into my hand and would later grow to be three pounds and about the size of my sneaker. She had beautiful markings, brown with white around her neck and throat, white feet, tan legs and markings on her face. The woman who gave her to me had named her Mindy, but from the beginning, I knew this little dog was not a sweet timid Mindy. She needed a name with pizzazz. Since she had only one eye, my mother suggested Winkie because she looked like she was winking at me. “Winkie” also had literary roots, from Wizard of Oz to Harry Potter. As an English major, I appreciated this.
Winkie became the most expensive free dog ever. I used to tell people I spent thousands of dollars so a little animal could sit on my lap. The vet said if there was a market for Chihuahua ear wax, I’d be a millionaire. She developed a skin condition that required special (read: expensive) shampoos, oils, and shots. Her back legs had to be operated on because her knee caps were so small, the ligaments kept slipping off. The fancy name for this is patella luxation. Her one good eye developed something called an ossified iris and later, a cataract. She occasionally had separation anxiety. She developed a heart murmur and needed three medications, plus a liquid I got to squirt in her mouth twice a day. All this was in addition to teeth cleanings, nail trims, and normal Chihuahua maintenance, which she hated and would resist with three pounds of fury. The nurses at the vet’s have the scars to prove it.
I thought it would be fun to dress Winkie in cute clothes. Winkie thought otherwise. Whenever I put something on her, she became Houdini Hound and could get out of the outfit in record speed, usually prancing around as if to say, I’m naked and I like it that way. She managed to stay in her Dracula costume long enough to win “Smallest Dog” in a Halloween contest. The prize was a bone bigger than she was.
She was too tiny to sleep on my bed, so she had her own crate in the spare bedroom. She was too tiny to walk, so I found an old stroller at a yard sale and often took her around the neighborhood. She was paper trained and never had an accident unless she was angry at me for some reason, once for bringing in another dog. I thought, oh, she’ll have a playmate, someone to keep her company when I’m not here. Wrong. She hated the other dog, and I had to take it back. Winkie had no idea how small she was. Once she tried to chase a truck. An eighteen-wheeler.
If I wanted her to take a pill or to reward her in some way, all I needed was a piece of cheese. She loved cheese and would spin around in happiness. She also loved green peas, broccoli, apple, peanuts, and anything else I was eating. I’d look up, and her tongue would be sticking out as if she were starving. Please give me some pizza.
Winkie’s favorite place was on the sofa where she would burrow under her blanket. If I had to leave, she would roll over as if to say, Look how adorable I am. Let me stay on the sofa. At night, she knew when I turned off the TV and the light that it was bedtime, and she’d get ready for her evening cheese and trot into her room, and hop in her crate. If I was too slow with the cheese, she’d come get me, her expression indignant, as if to say, I’m waiting.
Well, you know where this story’s going, don’t you?
Gradually, Winkie’s heart condition worsened until she couldn’t breathe without staying in an oxygen box at the vet’s. I’d bring her home a few days, but I couldn’t bear to watch her little sides heaving as she struggled to get enough air. This went on for a few weeks until I had to make the decision that all pet owners dread.
Winkie was nine years old.
I’d had lots of dogs growing up. We raised collies, and my father and grandfather had beagles to hunt rabbits. There was always at least one little dog in the house. But Winkie was all mine. Even though she was only three pounds, she was a huge part of my life. I’m glad I took hundreds of pictures and made little videos. You do that with your first child.
Sometimes I wonder how our pets can love us so much. Sure, we feed them and take care of them, but you can’t deny when they look up at you with such adoration, there has to be something else there. I know Winkie loved me. And the last thing she felt was me patting her. The last thing she heard was, “Good girl.”