Sunday, September 1, 2013

Laura Resnick and Maggie Shane

Laura Resnick
DAW, $7.99
ISBN: 9780756407339

Actress Esther Diamond obtains work as Dreidel the Jewish elf in Manhattan’s Fenster Department store. She got the position because several people hired for the annual meet Santa display failed to return to work.

Santa is running very late while a crowd becomes edgy. Dreidel entertains them while Candy Cane the elf looks for him. Finally Esther’s friend Big Satsy arrives screaming in terror with his Santa suit on fire. A little boy Jonathan also starts screaming claiming a Santa with fangs tried to eat him. At the same, the Fenster family fights over control of the retail giant and thieves hijack shipments. When a tree attacks Dreidel, her on and off boyfriend NYPD Detective Connor Lopez claims mechanical failure, but Esther knows otherwise. With Max the three century and a half old sorcerer at her side, they investigate supernatural happenings unaware that a malevolence is deploying a wicked scheme to make for a deadly Christmas.

The latest Esther Diamond satirical urban fantasy (see Vamparazzi, Unsympathetic Magic and Doppelgangster) lampoons the excesses of commercialized Christmas in a fun lighthearted farce. Once again intrepid Esther proves fearless as she chooses fight rather than flight by facing danger on the freight elevator, the tree, a retired gangster and the Fenster family feud. Laura Resnick writes a not so merry Christmas paranormal mayhem. Harriet Klausner

Daughter of the Spellcaster
Maggie Shayne
Mira, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778313809

Magdalena “Lena” Dunkirk the witch has always been aware of what her soul mate looks like. When they finally meet, she and affluent playboy Ryan McNally feels charmed by love. However, their spell ends when a pregnant Lena flees for her home to raise her child as a single mom in a safe haven.

Several months later, Ryan arrives with a strong need to help raise their child. At the same time Bahru the demon has plans for the baby in which history will repeat itself due to a curse. Bonded by their love for each other, Lena and Ryan share dreams of being together in an ancient land, but remain ignorant of Bahru’s scheme.

The latest Portal romantic fantasy (see Mark of the Witch) is a fast-paced thriller starring a strong lead female, a protective male who will have a chance to prove his mettle or die, and a powerful diabolical demon. Readers will feel Maggie Shayne put a spell on them as Daughter of the Spellcaster is nearly impossible to put down. Harriet Klausner

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