1001 DARK NIGHTS
The First Night
Lexi Blake and M.J. Rose
The First Night
Trapped in the body of the legendary Scheherazade, a young woman named Camille, finds herself in a land of harems, wizards, and ruthless rulers. A student of time travel, a descendant of a witch, and a curious and sensitive soul, Camille is trapped by the king’s order. Night after night she’s forced to tell stories of her travels across the planes in order to keep herself alive. Tales of the erotic, the romantic, the magical, and the sensual, she entertains the king in the hopes that he will spare her life. Desperate to get back to her own time, she turns to the one man who might be able to save her.
Khalid is a member of an ancient order of mages, his power granted to him by a Djinn. The most feared man in the kingdom, he is still forced to do the king’s bidding and the king wants to know if Scheherazade is a witch. Khalid sees through the mask Camille wears and knows she’s the one woman promised to him by fate. He’ll do anything to have her, anything to love her. But to save her means losing her forever…
Say the name Scheherazade and strains of the immortal music come floating through my mind. As a young girl my mother had a two album LP of Scheherazade by the Berlin Orchestra that I played till it was so scared and worn that it would play no longer. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I truly read some of the stories of Scheherazade and fell even more in love with the wonderful story of this young lady. In my innocence I did not understand the brilliance of her stories and the true story of what she was accomplishing. But her stories were captivating to my young mind and I fell into her web and was drawn into the land of endless time.
I am so excited about the project of the recreation and retelling of the story of Scheherazade. It is such an immense undertaking and such an opportunity to share between authors with a common theme. It will be a joy to read and see where a twenty-first century woman’s spin on an old story takes us. Who better to start the game than the formable Lexi Blake and M. J. Rose.
Having read several of M. J. Rose’s previous works, I knew that I would be in for a treat and a sensuous trip back in time. From the start, two new elements were introduced that guaranteed captivation of the audience and a new spin – time travel and a bloodline to La Lune a “witch” and enchantress dating back in time who played a central role in M. J.’s book The Witch of Painted Sorrows.
Limited to novella length, The First Night, still took major steps towards back story and character development of the major characters in the story. By the end of the book, I had fallen under the spell of the central characters and was finding myself fascinated with the king, who we only met from a distance. This first story stayed focused on Scheherazade (Camille in another time and place) and Khalid the king’s mage.
Hints of themes were scattered and introduced throughout the work much like dangling participles, but these were dangling hopes of stories to come. These hints guaranteed to captivate the literary soul who longs for closure. Despite these wonderful hidden gems and glimmers, Lexi and M. J. still shared a complete story between the pages of this short work in a masterful way that still managed to leave this reader sated, but with a hunger for the potential of what might come with the next book. Have they indeed given us a taste of what Scheherazade did with the king each night?
Lexi Blake and M.J. Rose worked well together. Their writing was so seamless, that this reader could not sense when one or the other writer was at work. The ebb and flow of the storyline kept the reader eager to turn the next page, ready to see where the plot would be taking them, hoping that the next page would not herald the dreaded words – THE END. Needless to say, they have set the bar for the rest of the series. I look forward to reading the continuing series.
I would give this novella a solid FIVE STAR rating. The book was a free offering and no review was required or requested in exchange.
1001 Dark Nights – The First Night can be found at http://www.1001darknights.com/ , along with additional volumes that have been published. Links for purchase of these volumes can be found at this site.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
M J ROSE –
M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… Books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.
In 1998, her first novel Lip Service was the first e-book and the first self-published novel chosen by the Literary Guild/Doubleday Book Club as well as the first e-book to go on to be published by a mainstream New York publishing house.
Rose has been profiled in Time magazine, Forbes, The New York Times, Business 2.0, Working Woman, Newsweek, and New York Magazine.
She has appeared on The Today Show, Fox News, The Jim Lehrer News Hour, and features on her have appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and abroad, including USA Today, Stern, L’Official, Poets and Writers, and Publishers Weekly.
Rose graduated from Syracuse University and spent the ’80s in advertising. She was the Creative Director of Rosenfeld Sirowitz and Lawson and she has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance that she found success. She likes to find humor in the strangest places. Lexi believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome or foursome may seem.