Hello Everyone. It is great to see you! Recently I have read a few books, including McGee Mathews‘ Slaying Dragons. This book is essential for everyone to read as in addition to the romance, a serious life-threatening issue is covered. The author has provided links for more information in her book.
This book, I had the pleasure of beta reading as well as reviewing. Beware, the subject matter of this book could be disturbing to some as it does deal with a severe issue that has unfortunately affected the lives of many others. The author has created this book as part of an awareness for others in the same situation as the protagonist, Dani Powell. The other part is to show how love conquers all.
This story takes place in 1995. Dani Powell is in a desperate situation that has made her feel all alone. Being an intelligent and creative soul, she craves her life’s purpose. Her creativity is channeled through her music, art, and cooking. Her passion clearly radiates and she is connected to her work. However many of her actions and words are done and said to please her partner, Andrea. The author fully shows how a painful memory that Dani keep covered affects her life. You will understand why as you read.
Andrea Fenwick is Dani’s partner and shows her patient commitment to the relationship. However, she has typical codependency traits including denial of the real truth. Andrea is smart and excels with many things. Her kindness draws in many, including something that is right under her nose. As much as she loves Dani, deep inside she yearns for something more.
Tommie Andrews is the third player and is a coworker of Andrea. She is a dog-lover and respects others. Her heart is waiting for a woman to capture it. Although Tommie plays the field, she knows what she wants and is frustrated because she can’t have it. Her inner fire is waiting to erupt. The question is will she be able to let down her guard and let love in.
Two more points of view are presented that sidetrack the flow in my opinion, but descriptive scenes and outer dialog express the story being told. The three main players offered extra insight and some secrets that were pertinent. These women’s contributions added depth to their characters.
The romance scenes are hot and tender. There is much passion and emotion to get your imagination on overdrive! Get ready for some action!
Good showing of the story throughout; the author nailed the atmosphere and technology of that time perfectly! The story grabbed my attention right away and carried me through. I reread some passages so that I could absorb everything; the theme is heavy at times and may cause tears to shed. You will fully see how Dani’s actions affect everything, including Andrea’s frustrations. You may be touched by the selfless actions of the characters. This story needs to be read by everyone because this issue can be sneaky and fool even the most aware person.
One last note: I love the cardinal on the cover. You will understand what it means in the story. Now go get your copy!
Click on picture above to purchase!
Here is an excerpt:
Across the room, the DJ, dressed as Carmen Sandiego with a red overcoat and wide-brimmed hat, was dancing in her booth. She waved at Tommie. Tommie returned the gesture, scanned the full tables, and decided to head up a level. Wandering up the stairs, she took a seat near the railing, a good vantage point to watch the frolicking revelers. Costumes ranged from fairly discreet to skimpy materials draped over bikinis, the least dressed of the patrons proudly strutting around the room enjoying the attention. Tommie’s eyes settled on a woman wearing a set of chaps and leather tassels as the entire outfit. That was a confident woman. As she watched her move about, Tommie suddenly recognized her. Jessica. The leather-clad woman used to live in her dorm in college. Tommie burned at the memory of their shortlived romance. In particular, Jessica’s complete rejection of her in public to maintain her straight persona. Tommie had once said hello to her in the quad and later Jessica berated her for twenty minutes about violating her privacy. How the tables had turned.
Tommie pivoted her attention to a hot little belly dancer and soon forgot about Jessica. She drained her glass and went back down to the bar for a drink refill.
A man in a Lesbian Avenger T-shirt and black leather shorts stopped her.
She gave him an air-kiss. “One-eight-hundred-we-recruit.”
He giggled. “Oh girl, I’ve been recruited and saluted.”
She looked down. “Nothing at attention?”
He winked. “I won’t confirm or deny.”
Tommie approached the bar. JD was flipping bottles as fast as she could, so it would be a bit before she got her refill. She leaned on the bar, set her glass down, and then stood straight when she felt the hand on her back. Twisting, she saw Jessica.
“Hey, Tommie. Long time, huh?”
Tommie tried to ignore the very nice set of breasts hanging in front of her.
“It’s me, Jessica. Don’t you remember me?”
“I don’t talk to straight girls pretending to be lesbians in a bar.” Tommie watched the woman’s face fall.
“That was a long time ago.”
“Not long enough.” Tommie turned back to face the bar.
JD was holding a pitcher midair over her glass. “Wow. If I hadn’t seen that, I wouldn’t have believed it. Tommie freezing out the hottest set of tits in this entire place.”
“They’re attached to the biggest asshole here as well.”
JD looked over Tommie’s shoulder. “Her ass is splendid, too. Thanks for that. Old friends?”
“No. Her choice.” Tommie laid a ten on the counter.
JD pushed it back toward her. “You know the old saying, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” She tipped her head and moved down to the beer taps.
Just as Tommie stepped back from the bar, a woman in a Starfleet uniform maneuvered next to her. “Would you consider being recruited to the academy?”
“I’m afraid I’ve already flunked out. Maybe another night?”
Tommie moved to a pool table, half watching the game, half watching the costume contest now taking place on the dance floor. There wasn’t anyone particularly of interest to her tonight. After seeing Jessica, she was breathing fast at the memory of her embarrassment.
Notes from the author:
As we approach the month of June and all things PRIDE, it’s easy to forget why such events started in the first place. The opposite of pride is shame. In the days of legal marriage, we celebrate the victories, personal and political, and we will not accept the shame any longer. I plaster myself in rainbows and revel. And I remember the friends I lost to AIDS and to death by suicide.
A love story with the backdrop of suicide and the effects on the survivors isn’t exactly light reading. I published with Stone Soup Community Press because they send profits to several organizations that are important to me. I was pleased to see the number of men that read and reviewed this book as it found its audience. Slaying Dragons is not an easy story, and to my delight, some younger LGBTQ+ people did not understand the characters at all. Finally, our hard work is paying off, at least in some parts of the world.
Not long after the release, our local community lost a young man to death by suicide. I’d known him since cub scouts, and the positive love around him could not negate the social and religious pressure against a gay person. Indeed, the swords we point at ourselves can be the sharpest. His college friends descended on our town, and we could feel their love for him, and their shock, as strongly as our own. Despite the research I have done on this topic, I have no simple answers. Like his friends and family, I still grieve for him.
I received a message from a person who read this book, found her truth in the words, and the strength to face another dawn. As an author, we hope to reach our readers. I never imagined saving a life. I hope others that read Slaying Dragons find an understanding of the struggles. Our community is not alone in needing to discuss mental health. It’s a worldwide crisis.
If you take this journey with me, I promise it has a happy ending.
All the best, McGee
Thank you for visiting today. Like I mentioned above, this is a book for all to read so we can better understand and be able to use resources to help. I thank McGee Mathers for writing and publishing this novel.
If you or anyone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviors, please call:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
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Until Next Time,
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