Reviews

A DREAM OF DRAGONS

A Dream of Dragons

3 1.2 stars out of 5

 Henry Williford is a thirty-something freelance artist living a reclusive life, allowing only his sister Heidi and her family into his heart. He is stunned to discover a beautiful naked woman on the beach during an early morning jog. Confused, afraid, helpless as a newborn, and with no memory of who she is, Anne (as Henry names her) instinctively trusts Henry to assist her. As days pass and Anne rapidly learns things she should have already known, such as walking, talking, eating and taking care of herself, the only clue to her past is the nightly nightmares of golden dragons being attacked and burned. With a dark specter dogging them will Henry and Anne live to unravel the mystery and enjoy a life together?

Mystery, suspense, romance and fantasy combine to bring a sweeping tale of humans, dragons, life, death, and love everlasting. The explanation behind Anne’s nightmares is clever and unique. The characters are engaging, but Anne’s child-like naiveté eventually wears thin and she teeters too closely to the edge of “Mary Sue-ism” to be relatable to the reader. While the plot is captivating, the execution leaves much to be desired. Overly abundant mundane daily details tend to slow the narrative. In addition, there are several timeline inconsistencies and minor editing errors that pull one from the story. Lastly, perfectly explained minutiae also leave the reader mired in skepticism. Even with these imperfections this compelling tale pulls the reader forward searching for the answer to Anne’s dilemma and hoping for their HEA.

Carol Conley In’D Tale Magazine

A DREAM OF DRAGONS- A wonderfully original and imaginative story!

A Dream of Dragons, a novel by Christian authors Laurie and Michael Kehoe, is a wonderfully original and imaginative story that will both captivate and warm your heart.

Henry Williford, a successful artist, is surprised when he discovers helpless Anne, a beautiful young woman, alone and afraid while jogging on a Florida beach.

The Kehoes take us on an exciting journey filled with suspenseful twists and turns, as Henry and Anne struggle to unravel the enigma surrounding her, especially who she is and how she managed to appear on a lone stretch of beach, scared, naked, and as helpless as a newborn babe.

Tortured by horrendous nightmares that plague her every night, the relationship between Henry and Anne blossoms and grows as they search for the truth, which turns out to even more surprising and fantastic than even this reader had imagined!

A DREAM OF DRAGONS is a very intriguing and engaging novel. Be advised, however, that while very much written from a Christian point of view, there is some adult subject matter in places so I’d definitely suggest reading it before you share with young children.

I definitely recommend reading A DREAM OF DRAGONS. Well done Laurie & Michael Kehoe!

Jeff W. Horton

Author of the CYBERSP@CE Series

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A Dream of Dragons

 Henry Williford takes an early morning jog, only to find a naked beauty washed up on the beach. She’s nearly non-responsive—he can’t decide if she’s lost, a mental ward escapee or the victim of amnesia. He does what every red-blooded American guy would do, he takes her home. What follows is a long session of nurturing, communication skills and instruction with this girl he now calls Anne. This girl, in both a physical sense and origin, is out of this world. Think Splash, with Daryl Hanna and Tom Hanks. Anne is beset with horrible nightmares which begins to jog her memory. The realm she dreams of is filled with wonder and terror—mostly terror. Henry sees her through these horrific sessions and soon learns where she came from, but he also begins to fall insufferably in love with her. The finale is a heart-wrenching and courageous fight to the death.

Dream of Dragons is a story that stayed with me. It is both whimsical and light-hearted, yet deeply disturbing with some very dark undertones. I’d recommend this baroque fairly tale to anyone who wants to escape reality and be profoundly touched—in the heart.

Chris H. Stevenson—Planet Janitor; Custodian of the Stars.

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Dream of Dragons by Laurie and Michael Kehoe.

 Aptly titled, this romantic thriller is rich in its descriptive narrative.  Its surreal, horrific dream sequences are exceptional. The mystery of Anne weaves its way into the plot and action from the moment she enters the story. Then her character becomes a dominant force. Several levels of reality are at work here, and the reader will not be disappointed.  An outstanding debut novel.

M.A.R. Unger

Author of the Matti James Mystery Series

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I recently finished reading A DREAM OF DRAGONS and was quite impressed by the character development and finishing climax of the book. The characters are genuine. As a reader, I connected with the conflict and kept turning pages to see how things resolved.

Shawn D. Brink

Author: THE SPACE BETWEEN SERIES

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5.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected

By LM Olson on October 5, 2016

I’m not a fan of fantasy books but this one was worth the read. The story intertwines realism with fantasy, which holds you in suspense and conveys a believable story. You’re rooting for the characters throughout the book and in the end, the message of the story is clear.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it

By MH on November 12, 2016

I met the authors and bought this book. Loved it!

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5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic allegory

By Andrea L. Stoeckel on February 18, 2017

[I volunteered to read and review this book]

Henry has closed himself off from the world. He hasn’t ever really recovered from the loss of his parents and then his fiancée was killed in a car accident. He figured that if no one is close, then no one can get hurt…or hurt him. So he’s been “rescued” by a crew of animals and they care for one another. In some ways he’s given up on friends and interaction with life itself.

Until one morning, jogging near the beach, he finds a young woman, naked and scared on the beach. His heart is moved and he gathers her up and begins to care for her: from the smallest functions to even teaching her to talk, she begins to open doors long closed. Her dreams are more than vivid and scare both of them.

The question becomes who and where was she prior to the rescue? Why was she just there and seemingly unafraid. Henry takes this task on as minutely as he focuses on his scientific illustrations. As they get more comfortable with their arrangement, they genuinely begin to care, to love one another. Henry begins to open up as Anne begins to learn about growing up.

Her dreams seem to effect her, but affect Henry more. He contacts people he hasn’t seen since he shut himself away. No one has any more answers. They say both he and Anne will know somehow. But when, she does, what will happen!

An allegorically fantasy we are quickly drawn into the story as we root for Anne, Henry and even for the population of her dreams as she begins to work them out on paper as she paints them. And then, something goes terribly wrong and the outcome will change all we know about everything. This book defies categorization but will help us in the struggle to understand that which is greater than imaging. Highly recommended.

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5.0 out of 5 stars This book is awesome!

By T. Heckstall on September 4, 2016

This book…wow. This was an amazing, spellbinding tale of faith, spirituality, love, and freedom. It was quite a ride!

I love how the Kehoes used the backdrop of dragon lore and fantastic detail modalities to tell a story of faith. All the facets of it. How life can sometimes damage you, beat you down, and at times, break you. But it doesn’t stop there. It goes on to show how redemption is possible, even when all evidence and all belief is that nothing will change. The Kehoes use this book, with all of its wonderfully developed characters, immaculate storytelling, and gripping writing style, to say something that I believe everyone needs to hear sometimes: Faith is eternal, you can indeed be redeemed, and impossible is nothing.

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5.0 out of 5 stars A Dream of Dragons Delivers!

By Max+Gerry on July 7, 2016

I’ve actually read this book twice already – it was that good! The characters are very believable and 3 dimensional. There is true drama and even some horror in the mix. Even though this is ‘faith based’ fantasy, it is not in any way preachy and would be appealing to those who are Christian or otherwise. Hoping for a sequel.

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5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed A Dream of Dragons

By Amazon Customer on August 26, 2016

Although I’m generally not a fan of faith-based fiction, I really enjoyed A Dream of Dragons. Laurie and Michael Kehoe did a stunning job of spinning a great tale that starts with an innocent, young woman washed up nude on the shore, not knowing who or what she is. I’d say more, but I don’t want to add any spoilers. If you like fun fantasy, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of A Dream of Dragons!

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5.0 out of 5 stars This book was amazing and hard to put down

By Jo Guevarra on February 20, 2017

This book was amazing and hard to put down. The story plot was so intricate, compelling and mysterious and mind boggling to say the least. I was racing to finish the book the entire time so I will know the answers to my questions. Who is Anne? Where is she from? What are those dreams about? How is Henry connected to Anne? What exactly happened to Kenta? How did the “bad” dragon got to the human world? 🙂
I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

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5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book

By Linda Carmen on December 16, 2016

I enjoyed this book. It’s not my normal genre, but I found it intriguing and loved the mystery of who the girl is, and the intertwining of her dreams with another world, from which she came.

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5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Fantasy!

By D.S. on December 24, 2016

I really enjoyed this book! I’m a huge fan of character development and loved these characters. I found the book to be a fun fantasy read.

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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!

By Kathryn Brink on July 21, 2016

A great read. Great character development and action packed. This book keeps your fingers crossed all the way to the very end. – Shawn D. Brink

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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous read

By PJ on August 18, 2016

A gripping fantasy that holds your attention from beginning to end. Faith based, though not pushy at all. Hoping for a sequel!!

ONCE UPON A CURSED TIME

(only reviews related to Lauretta and Michael Kehoe)

5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous dark reads!

By Sairaika on December 7, 2016

 Ugly Scars is a retelling of The Ugly Duckling. The most enticing short story I have ever read! Madness, so dark and so gritty but in the end freedom and release.

Path of Thorns is a retelling of Hansel and Gretel. The first few pages hooked me – like what the hell is happening – I need answers and I need it now! Such a dark and richly written retelling of Hansel and Gretel. Loved this take on the fairytale.

Beauty and the Beast within is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Aww, I feel sorry for the merchant and his daughters. I want to say more but spoilers but anyways… Holy Sh*t! This tale is my favourite retelling in this collection! Loved, loved this dark and gruesome take on a classic tale! So gloriously dark and vicious!

Ink Washed Cat is a retelling of The Boy who Drew Cats. Deception, deals, samuari and death – all of hses make for an enjoyable short read!

Pin is a retelling of Pinocchio. All I can is this: an intriguing read! The dangers of wishing upon a star will cause disastrous consequences…

Let down Thy Hair is a retelling of Rapunzel. An enjoyable short read!

Awakened by a Kiss is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. A lovely and enjoyable read. This short story connects with Let Down Thy Hair but can be read independently.

Skinderella is a retelling of Cinderella. Poor Ella, her stepmother and stepsisters are cruel, evil and twisted beings. Such a gruesome (and disgusting) haunting read!

Prince’s Recreant is a retelling of Princess and the Pea. Oh my! I loved this story! I want more! But that ending…*lips sealed*

Game of Roses is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. A glorious and intriguing read! Evil Manikins, deals and an intelligent princess – so good!

Kiss is a retelling of the Frog Prince. Such a wickedly dark read!

Muerte de los Corazones is a Mexican fairytale. All I can say is this: what an interesting read!

Phantom Whispers is a retelling of the White Snake. Such an intriguing short read! What happens when you don’t heed the King’s warning? Well, disastrous consequences, of course.

Perfect for readers of fairytale retellings.

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5.0 out of 5 stars  Very well done, Dark spin off of Classicly loved Fairytales

By Nicole on October 1, 2016

 Once upon a cursed time is a collection of Classic Fairytales that have been retold in a darker, and as the name suggests, cursed way.

Most of the Fairytales involved, I personally knew and was able to make comparisons between the traditional and these darker remastered spin off ones, but a couple I’ve not heard of before and they were interesting ones to read.

Most were reimaginings, some were pretty much the same tale but with a darker spin involving death or trickery. Others were origin stories telling the events that took place before the fairytale we know and love begins. Some followed on afterwards from where the traditional ones ended.

My favourites were:
Beauty and the Beast Within by Mike Kehoe (Beauty and the Beast)
Awakened by a Kiss by Genevieve Moultrie (Sleeping Beauty)
Hooded Red by R.L. Weeks (Little Rd Riding Hood)
Skinderella by Lauretta. L. Kehoe (Cinderella)
Prince’s Recreant by Steve Evans

I quite enjoyed this collection even though it gives more of glimpse into a world where the classics get twisted and cursed, does not shy away from death, abuse, trials and tribulations that our characters have not faced before, it was a great collection and it should stand out amongst a vast sea of current Fairytale Retelling collections that are currently out at the moment.

If you’d like your classic Fairytales to be retold with a darker twist to them, this is definitely the collection to get stuck into.

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5.0 out of 5 stars The alternate version of Hansel and Gretel was very interesting and did a great job of showing what may have taken place before

By SassyCat on January 17, 2017

I have always been a huge fan of fairy tales, so I jumped at the opportunity to read this dark spin on many beloved stories. The alternate version of Hansel and Gretel was very interesting and did a great job of showing what may have taken place before the story that everyone has known through the years. The alternate tale of Beauty and the Beast had a very unique and shocking ending, which I enjoyed. The retellings of Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty were well done and great to read. Red Riding Hood’s retelling was very dark and sinister, which I liked. I enjoyed all of the twisted stories in this anthology. I plan to look into more writing from several of the authors.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Dark twisted fun

By Yvonne on October 5, 2016

 Like the majority of children, I grew up with fairytales and I still have my collection on my bookshelf. This anthology is fairytales for adults, a remake of some of the favourite tales but with a dark twist.
Whenever I read an anthology I always have my favourites, and this was no exception. For the purpose of this review I will just mention the ones I loved the most.

Ugly Scars by RL Weeks, a retelling of The Ugly Duckling. Milly Swann and Tom and very much in love, but Tom has a dark secret. This story involves the skinning of people and the creation of a creature which reminded me of Frankenstein’s Monster.

Path of Thorns by Terri Nixon, Hansel and Gretel, my favourite tale retold. Ellie and Jack are brother and sister and live in a workhouse, they are sent out to work but after they escape they come across the fairy folk of the forest, where Ellie has a major decision to make.

Beauty and the Beast within by Mike Kehoe. The story follows closely to the main story of Beauty and the Beast, but the major twist the author puts in this story was really unexpected and was a great alternative ending to this favourite tale.

Pin by JL Clayton. A female puppet and black magic what is the worst that could happen. I enjoyed how the author threw in other favourites to the story, Jim Cricket, a rotting helper of the dark fairy and the song that is played in the movie “When you wish upon a star”. JL has said that she will write a novel about Pin and I really hope she does.

Prince’s Recreant by Steve Evans, what an unusual retelling of the Princess and the Pea. Involving gruesome games which resulted in deaths. This story held my interest from start to finish and I loved the twist at the end.

Skinderella by Lauretta L Kehoe. I loved the way that the ugly sisters tried to make themselves beautiful so they could marry the prince, and their mother was one sick individual.

There were a couple of fairytales that I had not heard off but this did not stop me enjoying the book. Each author had their own style of writing and I could not fault any of the stories. RL Weeks did a great job getting these authors together and whilst the majority I knew and have read. I am glad that I have found a few new authors for me to follow.

If you like your fairytales dark and twisted, then get this book. I hope that there will be another Once upon a time in the near future. Brilliant stories.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Great retelling

By Carissa Guzman on March 22, 2017

 I loved this book of the dark retelling of fairytale that we grew up with. Were there grammar errors yes but not so much that the review should be brought down. I have seen grammatical errors in other books that I own and honestly it shows more character to the books. The authors and editors are not perfect These retelling had me craving the next story even more. Reading the Beauty and the beast, and about the witch from Hansell and Gretel, and little red riding hood. All of them minus the last story had me hooked. I couldn’t get into the last story it just didn’t capture my attentuon. I will say one of my favorite story’s is Pin. That one was greatly told about yes pinocchio but a female so the daughter could have a sister. Pin becoming evil like she did and put herself first it’s sometimes nice to see the bad guys win.

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5.0 out of 5 stars The alternate version of Hansel and Gretel was very interesting and did a great job of showing what may have taken place before

 By SassyCat on January 17, 2017

I have always been a huge fan of fairy tales, so I jumped at the opportunity to read this dark spin on many beloved stories. The alternate version of Hansel and Gretel was very interesting and did a great job of showing what may have taken place before the story that everyone has known through the years. The alternate tale of Beauty and the Beast had a very unique and shocking ending, which I enjoyed. The retellings of Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty were well done and great to read. Red Riding Hood’s retelling was very dark and sinister, which I liked. I enjoyed all of the twisted stories in this anthology. I plan to look into more writing from several of the authors.

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