Archives for posts with tag: Alaska

Hi all:

I was going through my recent reviews and realised that  I had accumulated even more than I remembered, so I decided that perhaps I could share more than one at a time. Why these two novels together? Well, they are very different, so I thought they might appeal to very different readers, but I found both very compelling. I hope you find them as interesting as I did.

Eros. The Aegean Chronicles by Yelle Hughes

Eros. The Aegean Chronicles by Yelle Hughes

First, Eros. The Aegean Chronicles 2 by Yelle Hughes.

I know the writer from a writer’s group (ASMSG) and she’s always generously sharing everybody else’s content. She also designs her own covers and is always supportive of other’s efforts. She’s fascinated by Greek mythology and I read the first book in her series, Triton (you can check that review, here) at a particularly challenging time in my life and it made it more bearable. One of my favourite characters from that book was Erok (Eros but he’d changed his name. You’ll have to read the book to know more), and I’d been intrigued as to what had happened to the character since. So… I could not resist.

First, the description of the book:

Sindi Carrington is on a mission: Find a prop to pose with her young clients. She discovers a black and white tiger in the thrift shop that is absolutely perfect. So perfect, Sindi practically steals him out of the bin. Obsessed with her new find, she takes him home for herself instead of using him as a model in her studio.

Centuries ago, Erok Karlakos, the former God of Love, runs away from his baby cherub image to become a warrior of Greece. A tragic relationship and his mother’s incessant whining was the catalyst for his revolt. Caught and captured in an undignified way, disqualifies the immortal from taking on the title, “damsel in distress”. After he meets the quirky photographer, he has no complaints. Yet, there’s something familiar about this mortal, though he can’t quite put his finger on it. Erok needs to escape and finally meet Sindi face to face.

After one failed marriage, will he be able to trust Sindi won’t try to stab him if he reveals his true identity? Will she freak when she finds out he is a god? Alternatively, will he to pay the price of losing another true love? Does Sindi have what it takes to keep her man…warts and all? On the other hand, will she fall into the same pattern of mistrust? The Fates will test her. She hopes she passes this time.


A head’s up; this is an adult book with some erotic content for grown folks.

Just because we’re older, doesn’t mean we don’t like to have fun.

Now, my review:

Eros. The Aegean Chronicles 2 by Yelle Hughes. Greek Gods Close and Personal and Romance in a Grand Scale

I read Triton, the first book in Yelle Hughes’s Aegean Chronicles some time ago and I enjoyed it enormously. I read it at a point in my life when I was going through hard times (illness in the family) and I found it very therapeutic as it took my mind off things. And the second book is worthy of the series. The mixture of fantasy, Greek mythology, fun characters, conspiracy, adventures, and fabulous locations ticks all the necessary boxes to ensure all around entertainment. There is erotica too. Erotica is not a genre I read often or I favour, so I wouldn’t dare to comment on how well this book compares to others in that aspect, although I must admit there is a scene in Eros’s house (although he prefers to be called Erok) that I found intensely beautiful. I’ll only tell you that wings are involved.

In the first novel in the series we met three Greek gods who come into contact with three women in Columbus, Ari, Sindy and Gail. What follows when the Gods set eyes on the women (and in some cases spend time with them, unwillingly or not) is only the beginning of the stories told in the series, as Greek gods are notably similar to human, and we have stories of resentment, revenge, envy, and conspiracies ahoy. In this novel we discover what had happened to Erok when he went missing, and how he reencounters his true love. Ms. Hughes gives us not only a hot romance (one of the most romantic stories I’ve read in recent times) but also chuckles, excitement, fights and tales of friendship and eternal bonds. There are many unexplained things and stories left to tell at the end of this novel that will keep us coming back for more, but on its own it is a memorable and satisfying read.

The Damnable Legacy by G. Elizabeth Kretchmer

The Damnable Legacy by G. Elizabeth Kretchmer

Second, The Damnable Legacy by G. Elizabeth Kretchmer

I had not heard of the author before, but was contacted by somebody working for Booktrope (it’s an interesting concept and I admit to being intrigued by it to the point of submitting a book I’d written long ago. So far I haven’t heard anything, and to be honest I’d be surprised if I did, but…) who’d read some of my reviews and thought I might like this book (it’s not surprising I have a long list of books to read). When I read what it was about I couldn’t resist. And having heard from the author since, I have another one of her books (quite different), in my list to read. I’ll keep you posted. But first, a description, so you’ll see why I was intrigued.

Lynn Van Swol still regrets the decision she made thirty years ago to place her daughter for adoption so she could climb the highest mountains of the world. Frankie Rizzoni is the troubled biological granddaughter Lynn has never known. And Beth Mahoney is a minister’s wife with terminal cancer and the only one who knows the relationship between the two. She designs a plan upon her deathbed to bring Lynn and Frankie together, but now, narrating from the afterlife, she must helplessly watch as her legacy threatens to unravel. The Damnable Legacy is a story about both love and survival, exploring the importance of attachment, place, and faith, and asking how far we should go to achieve our goals -and at what cost.

Here, my review.

The Damnable Legacy by G. Elizabeth Kretchmer. Climbing to the top and discovering a few home truths.

I was offered a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Although I don’t have a bucket list as such, on my list of things to do and places to visit, Alaska is pretty high up. As much as I love a good adventure and great plots, I’m always game for books that dig deep into characters’ psyches and are full of people being tested and revealing their strengths and weaknesses. A novel that promised complex characters and an expedition climbing Mount Delani ticked all the boxes for me. And I’m happy to say it delivered. And how!

The narrator of The Damnable Legacy is Beth. In some ways the novel is a standard (if there is such a thing) first-person narration. Only Beth happens to be dead, and what she narrates is, rather than her life, that of the people she has left behind and she cares about, or those who have somehow become embroiled in her plans for her husband, Ryan, and Frankie, the granddaughter of a friend also deceased. Beth made her husband promise he’d climb Delani and organised his trip as part of her ploy to ensure his wellbeing and that of Frankie.

Beth is not a ghost as we usually understand them. She does not appear to the living, to her upmost frustration at times, as she’d like to intervene, to be able to question or warn, but she can’t. This is not a novel in the vein of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones, either. Beth doesn’t even know where she is now, but she thinks she might be in hell, condemned to be the spectator of things she set in motion, but that don’t always go according to her plans and that she has no control over. She is an enhanced spectator, and through her we see what happens to different characters, and she can tell us what they feel, but not, what they really think or what they plan to do next. Her reactions might guide or mirror ours, although sometimes they don’t, because she has a personal investment in the matter, and what she sees makes her reflect on her actions and her beliefs about herself.

Although thanks to Beth we have access to some privileged information, we have to interpret people’s actions based on the clues we are given, and on observations that are not neutral or always enlightened. We might disagree with her at times, but we are drawn into the action and the lives of these characters, and we get reminded that things aren’t always as they seem to be, that appearances might be deceptive, and that we must learn to question not only other people’s motives but also our own.

All the characters are complex, many of them are dealing with loss of one kind or another, and some are more likeable than others (Ryan, Marisa, some of the people Frankie meets on her way), some grow and change over time (Brad, Jack and Frankie), and some are difficult to fully understand or empathise with, but engaging and fascinating in spite (or because) of that, like Lyn.

I’m not a professional climber, but the organising of the climb to Delani, the dynamics between the members of the expedition, the omens, the difficulties they face, and the descriptions of the process and the landscape, rang true and are vividly and beautifully written. Frankie’s search for Ryan, that parallels that expedition, is interspersed in the narration and she also encounters many difficulties although of a different nature. There is closure to the adventure part of both stories, but what the future holds for some of the main characters is left open to the reader’s imagination. For me, at least, the novel ends in a hopeful note.

A novel that made me think, feel and marvel. I recommend it to readers who enjoy stories with a heart, in beautiful settings, with an interesting adventure background, and complex and challenging characters.

I look forward to reading more novels by the author.

As you see, two very different offerings today. Thanks to Yelle and G. Elizabeth for their books, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know, like, share, comment, and CLICK!

Hola a todos:

Denali. Mt. McKinley

Denali. Mt. McKinley de Wikipedia

Como ya sabeis, mis post son un poco sui géneris. Ya sé que el título de hoy es un poco raro, pero dejadme que os lo explique.
Este año (a principios de Mayo, para ser más precisos) celebro uno de los cumpleaños gordos. Bueno, cumplo los 50. No es un gran secreto. Hace tiempo que llevo diciendo que quiero hacer algo un poco especial. No una fiesta (no me molestan las fiestas pero prefiero reunirme con unos cuantos amigos o charlar con gente en una atmósfera relajada y no me apetece organizar nada complicado ahora mismo), pero me apetecía un viaje interesante. No sé porqué hace tiempo que tengo ganas de ir a Alaska. Siempre me ha resultado un lugar atractivo. Supongo que será por las películas, los libros de aventuras, por cómo suena, la variedad de climas, lo enorme que es, las muchas actividades, su belleza… Por si queréis leer algo más sobre ello os dejo un enlace en Wikipedia. Éste en inglés

También comparto varias de las imágenes de Wikipedia en este post y también comparto un par de otros enlaces que me parecieron interesantes al final.

Debido a circunstancias personales de las que los que leéis mi blog hace tiempo ya estaréis al corriente, no creo que pueda hacer el viaje este año (no tenía planeado ir de viaje el día de mi cumpleaños sino cuando en las mejores fechas, ya que con Alaska, como con muchos otros sitios, planear la época perfecta para el viaje es muy importante). Si habéis visitado Alaska o tenéis sitios web o consejos específicos de la mejor manera de planear un viaje, os lo agradeceré mucho, ya que sigo con la intención de hacer el viaje, aunque puede que tenga que esperar al año que viene….

Augustine Volcano

Volcán Augustine

La pregunta en el título de este post se refiere a ¿qué es vuestra Alaska? en el sentido de, ¿qué es esa cosa que lleváis tiempo  pensando hacer pero que no habéis podido o algo que siempre estáis dejando para una mejor ocasión? Para mí durante varios años fue saltar de un avión en paracaídas, aunque lo hice hace unos años (¡Y me encantó! No, no en tándem con otro, sino sola, aunque por supuesto tuve que completar un curso, etc, etc…). Alaska no es el único sitio en mi lista de lugares que quiero visitar. Como mi lista de libros para leer, es muy larga pero…

Did you realise it was quite this big?

¿Sabíais que era tan grande?

Así que decidme, ¿cuál es vuestra Alaska? 

Como os había prometido, os dejo un par de enlaces más sobre Alaska que tienen muy buena pinta (y es una buena manera para tenerlos a mano cuando planee mi viaje en más detalle):

The Official State of Alaska Vacation and Travel Information

The Alaska Organisation (Expert Travel Advice from Alaskans)

Forget-Me-Not the State flower

No-me-olvides la flor oficial del estado

Porque yo soy así, y por razones evidentes, este  post me hizo pensar en una cantante que en realidad se llama Olvido (y qué nombre más bello), pero a la que siempre hemos conocido como Alaska. Así que os dejo un par de sus canciones de los ochenta. Y a las chicas/mujeres que no la hayan visto, echadle un vistazo a la portada del disco que aparece en el segundo video, y sabréis porque me gusta no solo escucharlo.

Alaska y Dinarama: ¿Cómo pudiste hacerme esto eso a mí? 

From the same album: Deseo Carnal: Un hombre de verdad 

Gracias a todos por leer, ver, y acordaos de pasarme consejos e información sobre viajes, y comentad, compartid, dadle al me gusta y haced CLIC is os apetece! 

Carreras de trineos (por lo visto este año tuvieron que irse más la Norte porque hacía demasiado calor)

Carreras de trineos (por lo visto este año tuvieron que irse más la Norte porque hacía demasiado calor)

Hi all:

Denali. Mt. McKinley

Denali. Mt. McKinley from Wikipedia

As you know my posts are a bit…whatever. I know the title of today’s it’s a bit weird, but let me explain.
This year (early May, to be precise) it’s a big birthday for me. OK, OK, I’m going to be 50. No big secret. I’ve been saying for a while that I wanted to do something a bit special. Not a party (I don’t mind parties but in general I prefer to meet with a few friends or even have chats with people in a relaxed atmosphere and not keen on organising anything big at this moment), but I fancied a biggish trip. I don’t know why I got fixated on Alaska. It’s always been an attractive place for me. I imagine movies, adventure books, and the ring of it, the variety of climates, the sheer scale of the place, the many activities, and the outstanding beauty…

Here if you want to read more about it in Wikipedia:

I’m sharing some pictures on Wikipedia in this post and I’ll share some other links that  I found interesting too.

Due to personal circumstances some of you who read my blog regularly will be aware of, I don’t think I’ll manage to make the trip this year (I wasn’t necessarily planning to do it on the date of my birthday but at a more convenient time, as with Alaska I think planning the right time for the trip is all important). If any of you have visited or has any specific tips or sites they use to plan their trips, I’d be very grateful, as I intend to do the trip, even if it might be next year….

Augustine Volcano

Augustine Volcano

The question at the top of the blog refer to what’s your Alaska? in the sense of, what’s that think that you’ve been thinking about doing for a while, the top of your bucket list, or simply something that you’ve always saved for some better time to do? For quite a while I wanted to jump off a plane in a parachute, although I did that quite a few years back (and I loved it! No, not in tandem, by myself, although of course you have to do a course, etc, etc…). Alaska is not the only place in my list of places where I want to go. Like my list of TBR books, that’s quite long but…

Did you realise it was quite this big?

Did you realise it was quite this big?

So go on, tell me, what’s your Alaska? 

As promised, I leave you a couple more links about Alaska that look very good (and it’s a way of having them handy for when I get down to planning the trip in more detail):

The Official State of Alaska Vacation and Travel Information (This one has beautiful pictures. Don’t miss them)

The Alaska Organisation (Expert Travel Advice from Alaskans)

Forget-Me-Not the State flower

Forget-Me-Not the State flower

Because this is me, and for somewhat evident but bizarre reasons, the post made me think of a singer whose real name is Olvido (Forgetfulness) but has always been known as…yes, you’ve guessed, Alaska. So here a couple of her songs from quite a few years back, that I love. Very eighties. Ah, ladies, if yo check the second one for the cover of the record (that now I have in CD, of course), you’ll see another reason why I love this album:

Alaska y Dinarama: ¿Cómo pudiste hacerme esto eso a mí? (How could you do that to me?)

From the same album: Deseo Carnal: Un hombre de verdad (A Real Man)

Thanks to all for reading, watching, and remember to pass any tips on travels that you might have, and comment, share, like and CLICK if you fancy! 

I've read this year they had to move further North because it was too warm.

I’ve read this year they had to move further North because it was too warm.

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