Re-read of the Week: Magic Dreams

Kate Daniels. 

You know who she is, right? The star character of the urban fantasy series by Ilona Andrews? (If you do not know this, off you go to Amazon. Start with Magic Bites.) I am delightfully making my way through the series for the umpteenth time.

I love Kate Daniels. 

I love her so much.

I want to be her. 

Am I allowed to say that? Wait. What did you say? You want to be Kate Daniels, too? It just so happens that the county park in my area offers really cheap sword fighting classes. No joke! Like $35 for six weeks! And the class is an hour and half or something really loooong like that. 

Can you say, “bargain?”


If we were besties and you lived nearby, would you be up for it?

You don’t even have to bring your own sword. They have them there.

I picked up the flyer for the class when I went to vote for president…back in October. Remember that? Autumn 2016. Back when the world was teetering toward an unfathomable future? Before we fell into the swirling black hole of unpredictability? It feels so long ago. 

I can’t bring myself to throw away the flyer because it could very well be my first step toward getting my own Slayer even if I don’t take the class this time around. (Slayer is the name of Kate’s sword. Again, if you’re not in the know, hie thee to Amazon forthwith!)

In the series, Kate has a couple of friends and one ward who eventually get their own books or novellas, too. Since I’m making my way through the series WAY too quickly, I decided to divert and pick up one of Kate’s friends. 

Magic Dreams is a novella starring Dali, a magic white tiger, who wears thick glasses, isn’t much of a fighter, and races cars for fun, even though it’s against the orders of her alpha, Jim, the man Dali loves from afar. 

Dali doesn’t have a sword. She has a pen and paper that she uses to write spells and curses on. 

I’m much more like Dali than I am Kate, even though I don’t turn into a magic white tiger or race cars against my alpha’s wishes. 

I have do a pen and paper though, and most of the time I’m not afraid to use them.

In the story, the pair goes on a mission to find the cause of Jim’s strange sickness, a case that takes Dali’s special magic to cure. 

The book is delicious. But short. As novellas are supposed to be.

If you’re exhausted before bedtime but choose to read anyway, I estimate it will take you two to three nights to finish it. If you’re up for putting in a couple of hours of reading, you’ll have it done in one night. 

And the next night you can pick up the next novella in Jim and Dali’s saga, Magic Steals.

(To ensure that you’re fully informed, Magic Dreams originally appeared in the anthology, Hexed. Magic Steals originally appeared in the anthology Night Shift. Both novellas are now available separately.)

Have you read Dali’s stories? Plan to? Do you like the spin-off novels and novellas in Kate’s world? Let me know what you think!

Seeking Temptation

A couple of weeks ago Kid 1 brought home a trophy for her cookies. I have to say, I was puffed up with pride. I have a big box of blue ribbons--now crisp and creased with a great deal of age--from cooking in years of 4-H. Kid 1 would likely squint her eyes ever so slightly in gentle dismay if I mentioned how she's a chip off the old block. 

The cookie recipe came from one of my favorite cookbooks, The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion. Flipping through the book with Kid 1, I realized it's been quite awhile since I've pulled out a cookbook to simply browse and seek temptation. For a very long time, life's been too busy to give much attention to anything cooking-related besides thinking up the quickest meals possible, but skimming through cookbooks used to be a favorite pastime. It's a refreshing hobby to rediscover.

In fact, I used to ponder choosing one cookbook from my collection and working my way through it to make every recipe in it. In the dust of life, I'd forgotten that had been a potential goal. Like most of my favorite cookbooks, I'd already started on that endeavor in the Baker's Companion, adding my comments as I made each recipe and dating it as if it were my chemistry lab notebook. I have a number of favorites in here and a number of pages dog-eared to make in the future…bagels, crepes, breads. And now that I've pulled it out, I'm loath to put it away. I'm afraid I'll forget this rediscovered pleasure all too quickly. Alas, my house is up for sale and I never know when it's going to be shown. It's an absolute violation of the "Make Your House Look Like It Stays Effortlessly Clean" Rule to leave anything laying out. So back on the shelf goes the Companion until temptation raises its luscious form yet again. I'm betting it will be in the guise of crepes.