In this 1950s period drama, Junius is a New York City fertility demon with a crush. Ever since falling from heaven he’s been alone. Except for the mothers and children he watches over.
James Kelly Rosenburg, a black soldier with snowflakes in his hair, walks right into his life with a big problem. James Kelly, turned vampire during the war, is new to New York and its prohibition against vampire killing in city limits.
Junius offers to teach him to overcome his bloodthirsty instincts and live a proper Manhattan life. Their growing friendship leaves them both conflicted as they explore a city both welcoming and alienated by their kind.
Right from the beginning you could tell this was going to be a slow burn. With how James Kelly struggled to accept his feelings for June, you could tell he needed time to come to terms with himself. June needed to do some growing as well. I really enjoyed the world created in this story. How the paranormal elements blended in with the human elements to make something recognizable but new at the same time. It was fascinating having it set in a historical period and seeing how that affected character’s reactions to different aspects of the story.
June was a sweetheart. He just wanted someone to care for and not be a jerk. His emotions were well written and you could tell he had lots of feelings bottled up. I liked how he was part of the first fallen but reminded people he was made exactly as He (God) intended. There was nothing wrong with his homosexuality in his or His eyes. June constantly ensured those around him were happy and had what they wanted and needed. I felt bad for June a bit since his wants and needs weren’t taken into account as often as they should have been. But his giving nature was a wonderful characteristic and made me like him even more.
James Kelly was someone I struggled to connect with. The way his internal homophobia expressed externally got old quickly. I understood why he said and acted the way he did. But it was overkill in this story. I felt bad for James Kelly and how he struggled to leave Anastasia. I get it was habit to be with someone and not wanting to be alone. But he made excuses for her far longer than I expected him to. His reaction to June at the party was a little over the top. However you could tell James Kelly was on the verge of being ready to face his feelings.
The ending and actual relationship was very rushed. The slow build to them coming together was fabulous. You can feel the tension and see where they’re heading. But when they got there, they didn’t build at all. It went from nothing to a forced happily ever after “we are so in love!” kind of ending. I didn’t feel those emotions or think they were as far along as they claimed to be. You could tell they wanted to be there. With some work they could get there and have that sweet happily ever after. It just needed more time to develop and more coaxing. I would love to see a sequel where we get to see James Kelly and June date and actually work things out between them. Maybe have James Kelly completely get over his own hang ups with being with a man. I would definitely read it if there was!
Three and a half
Molly: What music, if any do you listen to when you write?
Dan: As much as I love music, it’s more of a full-body experience for me. If I’m listening to something I love, I’m probably also singing and dancing to it, which really isn’t conducive to sitting down and getting work done. When I’m writing, I usually have the TV on for background noise.
Molly: Are you a full time writer, or part time writer?
Dan: I’m a part time writer.
Molly: Do you hope to one day be a full time writer?
Dan: Right now I’m working at an elementary school with Special Ed kids and I’m hoping to do that for a while longer. I absolutely love the kids I work with so I don’t think I’ll ever be a full time writer until it’s time to retire. Plus, my husband has set his sights on being a stay-at-home dad, so one of us needs a real paycheck.
Molly: Do you have a word count per day you try to hit?
Dan: No! I’m pretty bad about being consistent. I’ll write a few paragraphs or do some editing every day, but there are also times when I’m getting out thousands of words in one night.
Molly: When you finish writing a book, how long before you begin writing the next one?
Dan: I usually have more than one book going at once. I find that it helps me with writer’s block, because when I’m stuck one project, I can go back to another one and take a little time off. Having a few different plots and sets of characters to play around with helps me keep moving instead of giving up.
Dan is a writer and educator who has lived in or around Wolcott, Connecticut for their entire life. They received their BSED from CCSU in 2013 and is currently writing their Master’s thesis on representation of women in same-sex relationships in contemporary Spanish literature and cinema.