Many, many years ago, when I was a kid of about eight or nine, my folks had this old guy over for dinner. They laughed and joked like adults do and, as soon as possible, I escaped to play outside. We had eaten early and it was still light when he came out by himself and asked me what I was doing. At that point, I was just sitting on the concrete steps feeling bored and told him so.
He walked a few paces out on the sidewalk, turned around and started humming “Me and My Shadow” softly to himself. Then, he started to dance. It was a slow, simple little shuffling kinda dance and I just stared, mesmerized.
Suddenly, he stopped and looked at me. “You know what that is called?”
I shook my head.
“It’s called a soft shoe and this is one of the basic steps.” He proceeded to do a little sliding step. “Come on. Don’t just sit there. Get up here, stand alongside me and do what I’m doing.”
I did and a few minutes later, we were shuffling off to Buffalo in the best vaudeville style. I asked him to show me more, but he said he had to go home. He would give me two little pieces of advice, however.
“Always start out with a dance and always leave them wanting a little more.”
A few days later, we moved back north for the summer and when we returned, that fall, he had passed on.
After reading Tara Newlands’ Dream King, I was reminded of the old man’s advice.
The story opens with a carefully choreographed magical battle where the bad guy appears to win. Our lovely heroine Amanda, is torn from her lover by the wonderfully evil Jonathan.
Despite his best efforts, Octavian loses Amanda and vows to find her, no matter how long it may take. As someone who is effectively immortal, this may be a while.
What happens if part of the curse separating them is the loss of all of Amanda’s memories? And what’s worse, Jonathan can’t seem to hold on to the feisty lass he kidnapped.
The Dream King is the first of a new series and I’ll admit I consumed it in less than two days. It’s a lovely amusement park tunnel-of-love ride, filled with passion and magic that did exactly what the old man had advised… “Always leave them wanting more.” Well done, Tara!
Author: Tara Newlands
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing