Title: Flour, Eggs, Sugar and Magic
Author: Daniel De Lorne
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2019
Genre(s): Fantasy, Magic, Seasonal, Christmas, Contemporary
Page Count: 39 Pages
Reviewed by: ColinJ
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 2 stars out of 5
Wannabe witch Will Brand’s attempts at making magic cookies for the kids at a local shelter go awry when his ex-boyfriend messages and turns Will’s good energy to anger.
Will has no idea there’s anything wrong with the cookies until his hunky roommate, Lucas, scarfs three of them, cursing himself with bad luck, unfettered hate, and ill health.
In a race against time, Will must find a way to break the spell before accidents, ex-lovers, and a sudden illness make this Christmas Lucas’s last.
Written in the third person, this story launches right in from the perspective of the central character and a mishap that shapes the tale. The reader plays catch-up gleaning details of the characters involved and their relationships. The story is an interesting mix of light festive magic and heavier more angst-driven relationship building. These do not fit comfortably together in this story and one is constantly being driven (and interrupted) by the other. Magic is used to aggravate and bring to the surface issues between the characters and, in so far as such things are cathartic, there is both resolution and misalignment.
The story mentions this as being Christmas-time, but realistically it could be at any point of the year. The setting is winter and this affects the direction of the plot, but there is nothing that is festive here. The purpose of the plot is the support of homeless teens particularly at Christmas, but they are not its focus. Similarly, cookies may be the trigger, but they are far from central.
The interactions between the characters are centred on past mistakes and a failure to take ownership and resolve situations. Magic is used as a way of making things better but ends up making things worse. This highlights the moral of the story, which is that you can’t magic away your problems. There is quite a lot of emotional tension in the story but it is never realised in anything stronger than a kiss.
As this is quite a short story, the pace is quite fast; as such, a number of the scenes would have benefitted from a little more development. Characters come and go who clearly are quite important to the backstory and this makes the story a little disjointed. Nevertheless, there is a clear direction to the story and a goal that becomes increasingly important.
Resolution and closure come with a ‘love conquers all’ broad-brush approach. This ties up loose ends and draws the story back to the initial goal of the central character.