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Monday, 26 December 2011

Death Bed

Leigh Russell's new book, 'Death Bed', is now available for download on Kindle and I'm very pleased to have Leigh as my Boxing Day guest over on Fiction Is Stranger Than Fact! Leigh has written about beating writer's block for all those writers out there who need to get back into it after the Christmas lull!

You can find my reviews of Leigh's previous books on Bookersatz. They are Cut Short, Road Closed and Dead End.

I haven't read Death Bed yet, but I can't wait and if it's anything like the others we're all in for a huge treat!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

The Thread

By Victoria Hislop

Dripping with delicious description, this novel takes us on a long journey in space and time. We follow Katerina as she is forced to flee from her home in Asia Minor and finds herself in Greece. Her path soon crosses that of the young Dimitri and so the seeds of a story that will run across generations are sown.

I loved the way that ‘The Thread’ worked on so many levels. As well as being a vivid picture of a tumultuous period of history in a beautifully described and very real geographical setting, it is also a tale of a young girl growing up and falling in love. In fact I was so caught up in the story of Katerina that I was genuinely taken by surprise by some of the historical events that in retrospect I knew were coming.

One of the links between Katerina and Dimitri is formed through the clothing trade. Dimitri’s father is a rich and powerful merchant who deals in the most beautiful and expensive cloths to be had in Thessaloniki. Katerina is a skilled seamstress and finds herself working for one of the top garment making workshops.

The descriptions of the sumptuous cloths, Katerina’s talent for embroidery and the beautiful clothes she is engaged to work on make the story very visual and fill it with delightful images. But there is of course a darker side with the book covering, as it does, the years of the war and the persecution of the Jewish population

I found the plot gripping and Victoria Hislop very cleverly makes it hard for the reader to see how there can ever be resolution to some of the strands. She also throws in an unexpected link between Katerina and Dimitri at the end which goes back to an event at the beginning which I’d almost forgotten about.

This is a beautiful read and the picture of Greece it presents is particularly poignant and interesting in the light of current circumstances there. That aspect of it will really make you think!

Reviewed by Helen M Hunt

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Kiss Of Frost

By Jennifer Estep

Mythos Academy Series - Book 2

I received this book as an e-ARC a few months ago and read it immediately. I cannot wait to buy my paperback version for the cover to put in my library. I began re-reading it this week to refresh my memory of the details since I have read quite a few books since then, but, strangely enough for the first time I have vivid recall of the events and people. I am totally enamored of this series. It is exciting, fun, and well-written.

Of course it is the continuation of Jennifer Estep's Mythos Academy series in the mountains of North Carolina, just a bit away from where all the action takes place in the Elemental Assassin series. Gwen is still hard at work training and working on some relationship issues and has a good candidate for a possible love interest. There was actually a couple of curve balls thrown in there because the end of Touch of Frost had me thinking of a possible candidate and shockingly I was so very wrong. Another great thing about this series is the unexpected friendship between Gwen and one of the "mean girls", Daphne. I am actually enjoying their verbal sparring and watching Daphne grow as a person. There are more surprises on the mean girls’ front this time around too!

I won't give a synopsis because the book blurb does that well enough. But, I can say that reading these books always leaves me wanting more right away. I am truly excited to see at least two more books already in the works. This author is definitely one that I am glad gets to write full-time. I think I need to back track and read the Karma series too. Back to Kiss of Frost, that does not disappoint on the good fight scenes and intrigue either. This installment also has a big mystery in it along with Gwen learning more about her friends, family and the staff at the school and of course Vic the coolest sword ever is my favorite. I'm a huge academy school urban fantasy fan so this setting also adds to one of the reasons I love this book.

The majority of the scenes take place in another environment while the students are on a school trip, but the vivid descriptions of the mountain scenery helps paint a great picture in my mind. I am not a fan of sports in the snow because I hate the snow, but, I do enjoy watching those who like to ski and snowboard flying down the hills. I know this is ironic since I live in the Midwest. Snow and watching others ski and snowboard is quite breathtaking.

Now, on to the wait for Dark Frost, though I did donate to breast cancer research by purchasing Entangled which contains Halloween Frost!

Reviewed by Lady Techie