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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Review of Proof by Seduction by Courtney Milan


Proof by Seduction by Courtney Milan

This book is delicious.

It is the equivalent of a multi course meal at a fine dining establishment. I'm thinking, luscious creamy bowl of soup as an appetizer, filet mignon and baby vegetables for entree, and lemon tart with fresh berries for dessert. Don't forget an incredible bottle of red wine.

It is decadent, satisfying, surprising, lush and beautiful.

I put off reading this book because the blurb did not sound appealing to me. The whole Madame Esmerelda thing threw me for a loop. I simply had no idea how incredible this story was going to be, or I would have been the first one in line waiting for the restaurant to open for dinner.

There is one simple reason why this novel is so wonderful, and it's the characters. Courtney Milan has painstakingly painted the portraits of these characters in lovely, life-affirming detail...to the point that we see every brush stroke, layer upon layer, until the stunning final product. Gareth is my kind of hero....cold, calculating, arrogant, scientific. Jenny is determined, vulnerable, world-wise, and generous with her heart and love. This heroine, who has nothing compared to the opulence of the noble Carharts, opens her heart to Gareth's entire family, and ultimately gives all of them gifts beyond measure. Milan is a gorgeous writer...her prose is smooth and lush, heady and addictive. It is not a fast paced, action packed thriller. It is a love story, filled with stark realizations and emotionally charged love scenes. The end is utterly satisfying, including a totally unexpected gesture by the hero, involving an.....elephant! (Hard to believe this is so romantic, but it is. I laughed out loud at the absurdity and beauty of this moment!)

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is truly seductive.
Grade: A

Read it! Love it! Be Seduced!
Penelope

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mini Review of Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole



How To Mix a Werewolf-tini

Take one super sexy, incredibly protective, hunky Scottish werewolf named Garreth,
Add a gorgeous, tortured, secretive Archer named Lucia,
Throw in a fabulous adventure in the Amazon rain forest,
Don't forget the vampires, demons, Skathi, Shapeshifters, and Evil Gods,
Add a nice hefty heaping portion of totally hot sex,
An intense emotional connection between the hero and heroine,
Great humor, pacing, and secondary characters,
Scary-ass climatic scene,
And totally satisfying ending,
With just a touch of enticement for the next book in the series.

Shake well with plenty of ice. Serve with a twist of lemon.

Enjoy Pleasure of a Dark Prince. It's an "A" read all the way.


Wishing Scottish werewolves lived in my backyard,
Penelope

Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy Monday!


I survived school vacation week! Woo hoo! I actually had a really fun time with my kids. However, I did not get a chance to read very much, and I did not work on my WIP at all. :(

In addition to cranking out my new story, I have an awesome pile of books to dig into this week. First up, I am rereading Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters. It's the first of the Amelia Peabody series, which is absolutely fantastic....a mixture of archaeology, suspense, and romance. My review will be posted on Lydia Storm's blog (Dark and Stormy Romantic Suspense) this Friday.

I am also looking forward to Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole, Proof by Seduction by Courtney Milan, and First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost.

Looking forward to some Kindle-time,
Penelope

Friday, February 19, 2010

Beard of the Day


This is an oldie but goodie! Jeff Bridges from the very sexy 1984 movie Against All Odds. Gotta go download some Phil Collins songs.

Surviving School Vacation Week and Actually Having A Ball With My Kids,
(And it didn't hurt that I mixed a nice mango martini last night),
Penelope

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

God Save Me From Winter Vacation Week!

From the file labelled "Big Bad Ideas"......

Seriously, whoever came up with the idea of a week of school vacation during February was insane. I live in New England, which basically leaves 2 options...

1) Plan a vacation to Florida. Pay out the wazoo for hotel and air fare since it's vacation week. One day before you're set to leave, everyone in the family comes down with a stomach bug. Good times. (Thank God for air discomfort bags).

2) Stay home. Tell kids you'll be out sledding and having a ball in the crisp New England weather. Oops....too bad there's a blizzard going on, 0r rain, ice, and/or sub-zero temperatures. OK, so the kids can stay indoors and fight until the germs that have been percolating so nicely decide to erupt and everyone in the neighborhood gets swine flu.

3) Needless to say, I may or may not be posting anything else this week.

Praying for Spring,
Penelope

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Review of Simply Love by Mary Balogh



Happy Valentine's Day! Since this is one of my favorite romance novels, I thought I would re-post my review from last year. It is an incredibly romantic Beauty and the Beast tale by Mary Balogh, who is pretty much the queen of true romance in this genre....


Simply Love by Mary Balogh (2007)

A friend of mine once commented on the fact that Mary Balogh does not have a sense of humor. True, there is no humor in her historicals, unlike Amanda Quick or Julie Garwood. Balogh's stories are serious, sometimes emotionally wrenching, and perhaps even somber in tone. But I defy anyone to find a writer whose endings are as emotionally satisfying, and whose characters are as romantic as Balogh's. Simply Love is one of the most touching and satisfying stories I have ever read. I cry repeatedly while reading this book. Balogh introduced Anne Jewell and Sydnam Butler (Sydnam, I love you!) in previous books as secondary characters, and thank the good Lord, she resurrected them in this wonderful tale. Both have been badly beaten down by the events of their lives. Their stilted dialogue and awkward courtship blossom into something glorious and life-affirming for both of them. The symmetry of this story, two broken souls who are able to provide each other with the will and strength to embrace life once again, is simply perfect. My only complaint about Simply Love is that I felt bereft when I finished it. I wanted more! It's everything romance should be. Grade: A+

Hoping all of you are enjoying a romantic holiday,
Penelope

Valentine Winners!


Happy Valentine's Day! I hope all of you are planning a decadent celebration with champagne, lobster tails and chocolate mousse for dessert. And if not, at least planning to read a lovely romance novel today.


Here are the lucky winners of the Valentine Contests...

**Cathryn P. has won the gourmet chocolate!
**Jennifer M. has won an Amazon giftcard!
**Keira of LoveRomancePassion has won an Amazon giftcard!
**Sherry has won a book to be determined from the Most Romantic Heroes list!

Congratulations, ladies. Thanks so much for playing this week. By the way, Hugh won the Most Romantic Beard contest. Excellent choice! And big shout out to Scorpio M and Meandi who got all of the answers right on the Most Romantic Hero quiz. They obviously read the same (wonderful) books I do.

I will be re-posting my review of Simply Love by Mary Balogh later today in honor of the holiday. It's my favorite Valentine re-read.

Happy Heart Day,
Penelope

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Final Day for Penelope's Valentine Celebration Contests!


Today is the final day to enter the Valentine Celebration contests....here are links to the various posts:

Valentine Contest. Prizes include gourmet chocolates and Amazon giftcards. Go here!

Vote for the MRB (Most Romantic Beard). Giftcard giveaway. Go here!

Penelope's Most Romantic Hero Quiz. Book giveaway. Go here!

Sunday, Feb 14: Winners announced.

Good luck to everyone. Thanks for stopping by to play,
Penelope

Friday, February 12, 2010

Looking For A Good Valentine Movie?


I was just thinking about some of my favorite romantic movies and a couple of oldies came to mind. If you're looking for a fun film for this holiday weekend, I have a couple of suggestions. Moonstruck is pretty damned close to perfection for a romantic film. It is the equivalent of Lord of Scoundrels for my movie list! If you have never watched this 1987 film (starring Cher, Nicholas Cage, Olympia Dukakis, Danny Aiello and lots of other great actors), check it out for Valentine's Day. It is sweet, spunky, sexy and romantic. (Great film moment: When Ronny sees the gorgeous transformation of Loretta just before they go to the opera...he is literally speechless. It is sooooo great!)

Another great one is Cousins with Isabella Rossellini and Ted Danson (from 1989)....there are some great romantic scenes in this film, and lots of actors you'll recognize (Sean Young, Lloyd Bridges, Willian Petersen, and more!). I know, I'm still living in the 1980's. So sad. Big hair. Still love the music. Can't get over it. Oh well.

Happy Valentine's Day!
Penelope

Mini Review of The Rose of Shanhasson by Joely Sue Burkhart


The Rose of Shanhasson by Joely Sue Burkhart

I am feeling pretty conflicted about this story. There were some things that I loved about it...cool paranormal stuff going on, beautiful and well-written imagery of this fantasy world, and two sexy heroes. There were also some things I didn't love...too much detail about the political conflict, the blood sucking/biting thing was a little off-putting to me and reminiscent of a vampire story (but it's not a vampire story), and I found the heroine's repetitive complaint (I can't fall in love, I must return to my people) irritating and one-note.

Unfortunately, the best thing about this book also turned out to be the worst thing! Burkhart does an amazing job building the sexual tension between the heroine Shannari and the secondary hero, Gregar. The climatic scene at the end of the book when she finally admits her love for both Rhaekhar (the primary hero) and Gregar, is awesome. (I must admit that I really love both of these heroes...they are intense, sexy alpha males all the way). So I was definitely expecting a lusty conclusion to this story, especially after being teased about the threesome "sharing their blankets." Well, I got to the end of the book and my jaw dropped. After the huge build up for this menage, Burkhart leaves us hanging. In the immortal words of Spongebob, "Well, tartar sauce!" The emotional conflict was resolved, but I guess any sexual satisfaction will be taking place in the next book of the trilogy. Needless to say, I am feeling pretty irked about the whole thing. She should have put off the emotional resolution, too. Having one without the other is nothing but a Big Tease. So, I'm not really sure how to grade this...I loved some of it, and I was disappointed with some, especially the "go take a cold shower" ending. Grade: B-

Penelope

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Penelope's Most Romantic Hero Quiz


Welcome to Penelope's First Annual Most Romantic Hero Quiz (which is seriously skewed towards Penelope's favorite heroes....and I'm not apologizing!). This is a low-stress matching quiz, people! Just leave a comment with your answers. For example, 1-A, 2-B, etc. If you only know a couple of answers, that's fine--you're still entered in the contest. I give lots of extra credit for just showing up!

One winner will be chosen randomly from all who enter/leave comments. The prize will be a print book (or e-book if you prefer) of one of the novels mentioned in this quiz. Good luck to everyone!

You can add your own quiz questions in the comments section, too. Bring it on!

***

1) He's good with a knife, has a wicked bad Cockney accent, and falls for a literary country mouse. When this rough and tumble hero sprinkles rose petals on the heroine during their first love-making scene, I swooned with romantic happiness!

2)This one-eyed character is a recluse who refuses to leave his castle, since his disfigurement during the war. But when the heroine's children are kidnapped, he rushes to London and outwits the evil villain. (And proposes to the heroine with a sweet bunch of wilted wildflowers!)

3)What's more hot and sexy than a romantic werewolf? This hero makes his plus-size heroine feel like the most beautiful and desirable woman on earth. The opening scene of this book, when he seduces her in a dressing room and buys her a lovely necklace, is really, really romantic.

4) When this historical romance hero (who worships the heroine from afar) finds out her favorite flower is bleeding heart, he goes door to door asking her neighbors if he can dig up this perennial from their gardens. He then plants a lovely little bleeding heart garden for the heroine as a surprise. She cries with happiness. (Me, too).

5) This hot Cynster falls in love with a 29 year old woman who missed her own come-out season so that she could save her family from financial ruin. He sends her a gorgeous orchid posy and a declaration of his love before the big ball. Sigh.

6) Most unlikely romantic hero...a big, scary, scarred vampire with anger issues. Most touching, sweet scene ev-ah: the tortured hero finally learns to read and write, and scribbles "I love you" for the heroine. Oh. My. God. Get out the hankies!

7) What if a hot hunky Scottish warrior travelled through time to save your father's life, prevent your mother from getting terminally ill, and seduced the holy hell out of you? You'd be stoked, baby! This hero is luscious.

8) Most heart-breaking couple (raped, unwed mother and war-tortured and disfigured artist) turn into the most romantic happy ending of all time. Hero surprises his new wife by visiting her estranged family and helping to heal her battered heart. This dude is the man.

9) Legendary Carpathian who is a master vampire-hunter, turned into doting mate and father. When he unselfishly adopts a horribly abused girl into his family with complete devotion, loyalty and love, he won my heart forever.

10) This powerful Scottish warrior proves his love for the heroine by showing up at her uncle's house (where she has fled her evil brother) with his entire army in tow. When she peeks out the door, all of the soldiers raise their swords in loyalty to her, and the hero tells her "I've come for you, Madelyne." So. Freaking. Great!


A) Zsadist from JR Ward's Lover Awakened
B) Gabriel Cynster from Stephanie Lauren's A Secret Love
C) Derek Craven from Lisa Kleypas' Dreaming of You
D) Gabriel from Christine Feehan's Dark Legend
E) Sydnam Butler from Mary Balogh's Simply Love
F) Sir Alistair Munroe from Elizabeth Hoyt's To Beguile A Beast
G) Duncan from Julie Garwood's Honor's Splendour
H) Circenn Brodie from Karen Marie Moning's The Highlander's Touch
I) Vane Kattalakis from Sherrilyn Kenyon's Night Play
J) Andrew Stanton from Jacquie D'Alessandro's Love and The Single Heiress

So, how'd you do? Did I stump you? I hope some of these awesome guys are your favorite, most romantic heroes, too.

Penelope

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pressing Question of the Day: Who Has The Most Romantic Beard (MRB)?

Okay, it's time for the poll you have all been waiting for with baited breath...(drum roll, please): the Most Romantic Beard Contest! Woo hoo!

Penelope has assembled a nice assortment of scruffy guys for my (oops! I mean your) viewing pleasure. Take your time and carefully peruse the following photos, then let me know who is your favorite bearded valentine. I know, I know....it's hard to choose just one. I will announce the results of the poll and pick one random winner from the comments today. Prize is an Amazon gift card.

Enjoy!



George Clooney: Salt-n-peppa happiness with just a hint of naughty.


Brad Pitt: Pre-Jeremiah monstrosity, this beard is nicely groomed and looks oh, so soft! Weee!


Hugh Jackman: Perfect combination....wild, wet water and Hugh's masculine scruff.


Eric Bana: Yowzah! Sooooo cute!


Matthew McConaughey: Dude, that is one southern-fried sexy bit of business.


Ralph Fiennes: So serious and scruffilicious!


Those are some fine specimens of harry manliness! Please leave a comment with your #1 choice!

Penelope

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mini Review of The Untamed Bride by Stephanie Laurens



After the disastrous final installment of The Bastion Club series (Mastered by Love), I was reluctant to dive into the new Laurens' series, The Black Cobra Quartet. I bought this book at the grocery store on a whim and figured....What the heck, I'll give Stephanie another chance!

Well, lo and behold, Stephanie Laurens got her mojo back! The suspense part of this book is absolutely riveting. I adored the prelude to this book, which takes place in India, 1822. It made me remember one of the reasons I used to love SL so much....she is truly a gifted writer. The beginning of this book, which is purely setting the stage for the suspense portion of the story and has nothing to do with the romance, is superb.

Laurens does not disappoint with the romance part of this book either. There is a terrific chemistry between the hero (Del) and heroine (Deliah) right from their initial meeting. (I can't believe SL's editor let her get away with those names! Are you kidding me?). Deliah is SL's best type of heroine...feisty, determined, strong-willed and sexy. Their first love scene is great--a scorcher! In fact, I found all of the love scenes to be sexy and emotionally fulfilling, something that had been lacking lately in her novels.

Other strong points of this novel: including old favorite characters (the Cynsters, the Bastion Club guys, their wives), lots of action-packed scenes with swords, pistols, assassins and thugs, and incredibly emotionally satisfying love scenes at the end (especially when Del professes his love for her and proposes....sigh! so romantic!!!). My only complaint was that the book seemed a little short, and the climatic scene at the end when Larkin is confronted in the church was sort of a let-down. But who really cares? Stephanie got her mojo back, and I for one am a happy, happy camper. Grade: B+

Penelope

Monday, February 8, 2010

Valentine Celebration Has Commenced!



Happy Valentine's Week! I love Valentine's Day because it basically covers all of my favorite things....love and romance, chocolates, flowers, and going out to a chichi restaurant for a gourmet meal. It's my perfect holiday. After 20 years of marriage, my husband knows the way to my heart...yellow roses, chocolate truffles, a dinner out to my favorite Cambodian restaurant, and a romance novel (or 2)!!!

To start off this week with a bang, Penelope is giving away some beautiful, heart-shaped chocolate truffles from Old Naples Chocolate and am Amazon gift card. (There will be two winners chosen today). Here's how to enter the contest....


1) Go to Penny Watson's author website and sign up for the newsletter...just fill out this form on the contact page.
Don't worry...you will not be inundated with spam. I'll be sending out a newsletter probably about 4x/year, and sending announcements for new releases and contests.

2) Sign up to follow Penelope's Romance Reviews. (see follower list on the right hand side bar of this page).

3) If you are already on my follower list and newsletter list, just send me a message on the contact page letting me know! You'll be entered into the contest.

4) For an extra entry into the contest, you can....(choose one)
--friend me on Facebook
--friend me on Goodreads
--follow me on Twitter
Just let me know in your message on the contact form. I'll add in another entry for you!

That's it! The contest will be open until Sat Feb 13. Winners will be announced on Sunday Feb 14.

Tomorrow I'll be posting my review of The Untamed Bride, Wednesday is the Most Romantic Beard contest (with another giftcard give-away), Thursday is the Most Romantic Hero Quiz (with book give-away), and Friday is another review. All winners will be announced on Sunday.

I would love to hear how all of you are celebrating VD this week (hee hee...I used to work in a flower shop, and my boss would get so pissed off when we wrote VD on the order slips instead of Valentine's Day...seriously, who has time for that??). Let me know!

Love, kisses and cupid's arrows,
Penelope

Friday, February 5, 2010

Beard of the Day


Rwoarrrrrr! Penelope presents...a true classic. Sean Connery's beard. Nicely groomed. Perfect amount of sexy salt-n-peppa. Just imagine him talking with his butterscotchy delicious accent and your Friday is filled with hairy happiness. (And I love that quirking eyebrow thing he's got going on, too!).

Reading updates: Finished The Rose of Shanhasson by Joely Sue Burkhart. There were some great things about this story--lush imagery of the fantasy world, two incredibly sexy heroes, and the author did an amazing job building the sexual tension between the heroine and a secondary hero, Gregar. In fact, she did too good a job, because I was peeved at the end that she just left us hanging with no sexual resolution for Gregar and Shannari. I feel cheated! Wah! I guess I have to buy the next book if I want any satisfaction, which is evidently part of Burkhart's diabolical plan.

I also just finished Stephanie Laurens' The Untamed Bride. After my enormous disappointment with Mastered by Love, I am thrilled to announce...Stephanie Laurens got her mojo back, baby! Yep, this book is a return to the old Stephanie I know and love--emotionally satisfying love scenes, excellent suspense, beautifully written, and....romantic. I'll be posting a review next week.

Happy, happy weekend to all,
Penelope

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Get Ready for Penelope's Valentine Week Celebration!


Here's the schedule for next week's Valentine Celebration!

Monday, Feb 8: Contest begins. Prizes include gourmet chocolates and Amazon giftcards.
Tuesday, Feb 9: Mini Book Review.
Wednesday, Feb 10: Vote for the MRB (Most Romantic Beard). Giftcard giveaway.
Thursday, Feb 11: Penelope's Most Romantic Hero Quiz. Book giveaway.
Friday, Feb 12: Mini Book Review.
Sunday, Feb 14: Post Simply Love review (again...hee hee!)--Most romantic book ev-ah! And announce contest winners!

Hope you'll join me next week for the extra special love.

Penelope

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dark and Stormy Romantic Suspense


Lydia Storm, author of Moonlight on Diamonds (which has the most gorgeous cover I have ever seen--I like gems!) has a new blog, Dark and Stormy Romantic Suspense. She's kicking it off with a Valentine's contest, and giving away a signed copy of her novel. My most recent favorite romantic suspense was Jayne Ann Krentz's Fired Up, which also has a paranormal angle going on. I loved it. All you have to do to enter Lydia's contest is leave a comment with your favorite romantic suspense novel or author. Good luck!

Penelope

Monday, February 1, 2010

Excerpt from Sweet Magik



I finally made it to the 15,000-word mark for my new Work-In-Progress, Sweet Magik! Woo hoo! This is the second of the Klaus Brother's Series. Here is a blurb for the story (just in case you're already thinking ahead to next Christmas....hee hee!), and an excerpt for your reading pleasure. I'm already thinking ahead to a vacation in a tropical location, but since that doesn't appear to be happening any time soon, I guess I'll make due with a roaring fire and a hot toddy until spring shows up. That damned groundhog better not see his shadow tomorrow!!!!

Sweet Magik...

Free-wheeling Oskar Klaus loves snowboarding and no-strings attachments. Or does he? A mind blowing kiss at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve leaves O breathless for uptight librarian Kiana Grant. Little does he know, a mischievous elf in Glasdorf has cast a magik spell on him that will change his destiny forever....

Excerpt.....

Ingo pawed through a stack of old books in the library. He hadn't bothered to turn on a lamp. Thin shards of moonlight filtered through the dusty windows and cast an unearthly glow around the room.

"Where the hell did I put it? It's got to be here somewhere." Finally his eyes spied a teetering pile by the desk, and the thick tome at the bottom looked familiar.

"Ah, got it!" Ingo pushed the tower, scattering manuscripts all over the floor. He knelt down and lifted the gold-edged book, brushing cobwebs off the leather bindings. It had been scores of years since he had the occasion to look at this volume. Even after all of this time, bits of light buzzed off the ragged edges of the spine, reminding him how powerful the Zauberwort Buch really was.

He held the ancient tome in a shaft of light, illuminating the faded pages. What are you gonna do, Ingo Hertz? Verboten. Verboten. The magik of our ancestors is a sacred responsibility. Not to be used in an inappropriate manner. Not to be used for personal gain, vengeance, or evil intent. The voice of Master Eugen echoed in his head. His callused fingers hesitated briefly over the book. Then the image of Lys struggling to free herself from Per's grip popped into his mind. He flipped open the tome and a long sigh was released into the air. Swirls of dust laced with magik funneled upward from the yellowed-pages and disappeared into the darkness.

The Zauberwort Buch jumped from his hands and started to hop across the floor. Ingo could tell the magik was warming up, getting ready for mischief. Eugen taught all of the elves of Glasdorf that the magik must be reigned in; its natural course was to "run toward trouble." He would shout "Dicke Luft!" (trouble's brewing) as streams of unrestrained magik swirled throughout the classroom, teasing the students, attempting to incite them.

Ingo distinguished himself from any early age as a Magik Bändiger, or magik tamer. Only certain elves were capable of this feat. It required the ability to trick the magik, which was extremely difficult. Magik was crafty and cunning and had a mind of its own. Tricking it at its own game entailed complex strategies depending on the energy involved. Ingo always enjoyed devising traps for the runaway magik, and then sitting back to watch the inevitable downfall.

Master Eugen had been disappointed that he had not apprenticed as a Bändiger, but the Hertz family had a long and distinguished history as woodworkers, and Ingo's talent with the wood rivaled his talent with the magik. Ingo felt the familiar thrill of power course through him as he dove for the book, grappling with it as it snapped at his fingers.

"Halt!" he barked at the irksome Buch. Too bad these spells don't work on elves, or I'd give Per a night he would never forget. The elfin magik worked on the human population, but not on other elves. It was a built-in protection for their well-being.

Fumbling in the darkness, he found a candle on his desk and lit it. He carefully pulled apart the dusty pages of the book until he found a section entitled Herz Magik, Heart Magik. He nodded as he perused the ancient spells, searching for one he remembered from long ago. Once he located the enchantment, he knocked about his house collecting various items...scraps of paper, more candles, a photograph, a button, and finally a page ripped from his new calendar in the kitchen.

Ingo placed the Zauberwort Buch in the center of his desk. He opened the book to a spell called Zottig Herz (Ragged Heart). First he scribbled his name and Oskar's onto a piece of paper and placed it on the tome. Then, he took the calendar insert and held it over the flickering flame of the candle, scorching the date January first, just above the image of a crescent moon. He searched the calendar for the full moon. January eleventh. Eleven days of misery. He singed the square marked eleven, blackening the plump full moon.

Ingo rubbed the mother-of-pearl button in his callused fingers and reverently placed it atop the book. Then the photograph, torn from a Klaus Enterprise newsletter. Every spare candle in his home was scattered on the tabletop, looking like a collection of ominous stalagmites. He took a deep breath and swallowed the last of the liquor from his flask. The empty container fell to the ground, clattering on the floor.

Ingo began to recite the words, dictated centuries ago. For one brief moment, his voice wavered as he thought of Lys and her sweet smiling face. She was all goodness and light, and he knew would not approve of this act of vengeance. But then the images of Wiebe's laughing face and Per tugging at Lys' waist swirled inside his brain and his voice gained momentum as the ancient words rolled off his tongue. Again and again he uttered the spell, until he collapsed in a drunken stupor on the floor. As he fell into a foggy slumber, Ingo could hear the Zauberwort Buch rattling on the table, clearly unhappy with his choices.


Happy Reading,
Penelope