"A room without books is like a body without a soul." - Cicero

Monday, February 15, 2010

What Legends Are Made Of by Heather Beck

What Legends Are Made Of by Heather Beck is a paranormal anthology with four Goosebumps-like stories with a romantic twist.

The first story, Sir Tristan’s Estate, is by far my favorite of the four. It’s about a young photographer named Skye Huntington who is on an assignment for the magazine she works for. She arrives at Sir Tristan’s Estate in the middle of a small local scandal. The estate, which belonged to the state of Virginia after Sir Tristan’s death has fallen into the rightful owner’s hands. Sir Tristan was thought to have left no heir, but a small boy on tour of the estate, found the birth certificate of a daughter. Shortly after that, the heir appeared and took over the estate. The new owner closes the tours of the estate, but allows Skye to continue with her assignment, since she was hired before his/her arrival.

Skye is allowed to tour the estate. She meets up with the local historian and sparks instantly fly. Romance is in the air.

Unfortunately, that’s all I can reveal, because I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone interested in reading. But I will say this story has love, ghosts on meds, and a twist of an ending. Sir Tristan’s Estate is definitely a five star kind of story!

The second story, Blue Water, is less “scary” and more romantic. Two individuals of different social classes find a lot in common and a lot to admire in one another. Surrounding this story is shark attacks, mermaids, and the origin of the mermaids. A love-conquers-all type of story. Sweet.

Four stars for Blue Water.

Freaky Frank is the third story in this anthology. I found this story pleasing and amusing. It’s about a girl named Brittany Addams and her summer job at the carnival. Now, you know whenever there’s a carnival involved that the story is going to be interesting.

On her first day of training, Brittany meets Frank. It’s love at first sight. Frank, who is much older than Brittany, runs his own freak show. Stanford’s Freaky Shrieks Freak Show is Franks own business with real extraordinary creatures. Educated fish, unicorns with wings, and the main attraction, Frank himself.

Again, this one was more romantic than scary, but a lovely story. Frank reveals his freak show and himself to Brittany and offers her something that would change her life forever. Brittany must decide whether or not the love she feels for Frank is strong enough to conquer her fears and his “freaky” tendencies. (Ha ha)

Four stars for Freaky Frank.

The last story in Heather Beck’s anthology is One Stop Horror Shop. Newlyweds Karyn and Max Shields’ dream has always been to own their own magic shop. The dream seems to be coming true, as Max meets a man named Quentin who wants to sell his magic shop.

Karyn is hesitant at first, but after a little coercing she agrees. Soon, the Shield’s are the owners of their own magic shop. Things, however, seem to get strange from the moment they sign the papers. First, Quentin is struck with a weird illness. He seems to be in perfect health, yet is in a zombie-like state. Then, upon cleaning out a closet in the magic shop, Max and Karyn find a very real looking skeleton which Karyn names Boney and sets up on their display window.

A few days after the Shields’ grand opening, they being to suspect that Quentin might have forged his bookkeeping, since the only customers they had were a brother and sister that wanted to start their own magic show business.

Over on that end, brother and sister Mitchell and Jodie use the tricks they bought from the magic shop. Everything goes wrong. From wrong to worse, actually, as their burrowed rabbit ends up furless, the handcuffs don’t open, the squirting flower squirts out blood, and Mitchell disappears into thin air. Really disappears.

The Shields have inadvertently bought a cursed magic shop. The origin of the curse involves murder, and that’s all I can say about that. One Stop Horror Shop, also a four star story.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this anthology. I liked all the stories, although I must admit that after reading the first one, I was a little disappointed to read the rest. I kept waiting for another twist ending like the first, and I didn’t really get that. It’s kind of as if the story lost a bit of momentum. Maybe if they would have left Sir Tristan’s Estate for last I wouldn’t be left feeling this way.

Still, What Legends Are Made Of is a really good book. And I will be sure to add Heather Beck to my list of authors.

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