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5.0/5
Star Star Star Star Star
Dame Topaz Treasures
A Collection of Spirits, Ghosts and Magic
by Carrie S. Masek
Fiction - Anthology
296 Pages
Reviewed on 03/27/2013

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This author will review your book in exchange for a review of theirs This author donates books to schools, libraries and other nonprofits
Author Biography
Carrie S. Masek has been telling stories since she was three and discovered she got into less trouble when she provided creative explanations for the chaos that swirled around her. She now lives in a comfortably messy house on Chicago's North Shore. Contributing to the chaos are her husband, four grown children and their assorted significant others (when they visit), and a ditzy dog. When not writing, Carrie (along with her husband) runs a coffee business, Coffee Fresh, Inc., which you can visit here: www.coffeebytheroast.com. Carrie has won awards for both short and novel-length fiction.


Book Review
Readers\' Favorite Book Contest Award Winner
Reviewed by for Readers' Favorite

"Dame Topaz Treasures, volume II: Spirits, Ghosts and Magic" is an anthology with something for everyone. The first tale features Will Connor, a dealer in jewelry and antiques, who begins to have dreams of a young woman with arresting blue eyes. These dreams intensify when he acquires a gold and topaz locket from his friend, Shorty, a second-hand dealer. The locket contains the picture of the woman of his dreams, and he becomes determined to find her. The second tale is set on Halloween and is magical and filled with fun as a young teen and his six-year old sister have an evening to remember. Topaz and the Lucky Seven is an engrossing fantasy epic with wizards, princesses and a strong and adventurous female hero.

This is the first time I've read anything by Carrie S. Masek, but I know it won't be the last. I was wrapped up in Will Connor's narrative from the start of the story and really enjoyed the dream sequences. Likewise, the Halloween tale was vivid and magical. The real star of the book, for me, however, was Topaz and the Lucky Seven. It is easily one of the best fantasy tales I've read in a long time and is a refreshing entry into that field. Zaida is a fabulous hero -- she is strong and resourceful, and her relationship with Cook, the closest thing to a father she has ever had, is a joy to experience. This tale is sword and sorcery fiction that kept me enthralled to the very last page. I enjoyed every tale in this book and will be recommending it to my friends.

 

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Maria Beltran
"Dame Topaz Treasures, Volume II: Spirits, Ghosts and Magic" consists of five novellas by Carrie S. Masek. These are 'The Topaz Locket', 'Special Delivery', 'Trick or Treat', 'Topaz and the Lucky Seven' and 'Cybergeist'. In 'The Topaz Locket', an antique dealer, haunted by the picture of a beautiful woman in a locket, finds his true love. 'Cybergeist', on the other hand, is the story of a disturbed teenager who commits an act of violence prompted by a computer. 'Special Delivery' is the story of a woman who goes with St. Nicholas on a Christmas Eve and 'Trick or Treat' is about two kids having the most exciting Halloween experience in their lives. And in 'Topaz and the Lucky Seven', love proves to be more potent than luck.

As an original member of Jewels of the Quill, Carrie S. Masek belongs to a group of award winning writers. Except for 'Cybergeist', the other novellas in this compilation were already published in award winning anthologies. Her writing style is straightforward and the flow of words is spontaneous. This is perhaps what gives these novellas a special appeal for young readers. There is no doubt that Masek has a fertile imagination and she covers the contemporary, romance and fantasy genre in this collection. This gives us an insight into her range and versatility as a writer. Above all, these novellas are as exciting as well as easy to read. All these factors make her a promising author and it will be interesting to see what she comes up with in her next book.

 

Alexander Rigby
If you enjoy reading short stories that are mysterious and also have an emotional story that contains morals and messages, then "Dame Topaz Treasures, Vol. II: Spirits, Ghosts and Magic" by Carrie S. Masek is the kind of book for you. This anthology contains four short stories and one novella, all of which contain magical elements. The shorter stories contain a variety of tales: 'The Topaz Locket' is about two star-crossed lovers who just happen to be wavering in and out of conscious states. 'Trick or Treat' is a Halloween story about a brother and sister who encounter a spell and have to save the day. 'Special Delivery' focuses on a woman who feels alone in the world, but finds true happiness by helping out a wondrous man during Christmas. And finally, 'Cybergeist' is a bit of a terrifying tale about what happens to a teenager when he dies, and how he has to redeem himself for his previous bullying ways. The novella 'Topaz and the Lucky Seven' tells the story of Princess Alma who is searching to find her husband with the support of her best friend, Zaida, who also finds love during the process.

I appreciate the fact that all the stories in this collection contain similar themes, whether it be horror, paranormal romance, or fantasy, and so the stories are all connected in a suitable way. My favorite story was the first one, 'The Topaz Locket'. I loved the way Masek describes the unusual relationship between Will and Grace, and I was caught completely by surprise when I found out the truth about what had put her in the hospital. These stories flowed on the page as the twists and turns enticed me to find out what was going to happen next. Reading these stories reminded me of watching an episode of the 'Twilight Zone', for they all had fully developed characters with a problem to overcome, and in the end things were set right, even if it was in an unexpected manner. Masek has great talent for writing tales in the short form, and she does it gracefully in this volume.
       
 
 
 
 
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