Archives for posts with tag: witches

Hi all:

As you know, on Friday I usually bring you new books and/or guest authors. It’s always with great pleasure that I can bring you new books by authors who have already visited my blog (as that proves that writing is alive and well). Today, Marie Lavender, who is not only a great writer but also an staunch supporter of other writers, has a cover reveal for her new book ‘A Little Magick’ and I’m very happy to be able to bring it to you.

A Little Magick teaser

First, a little bit about Marie:

Author Marie Lavender

Author Marie Lavender

Bestselling author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 20 other books. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 50 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. She is a multi-genre author. Since 2010, Marie has published twenty-one books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series and The Blood at First Sight Series. Feel free to visit her website at http://marielavender.com/ for further information about her books and her life. Marie is also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

A list of her books and pen names are as follows:

Marie Lavender: Upon Your ReturnMagick & MoonlightUpon Your HonorSecond Nature; “Lovers Like Us” (from the book anthology, Poets & Writers in Action); A Little Magick

Erica Sutherhome: Hard to GetMemoriesA Hint of ScandalWithout YouStrange HeatTerror in the NightHaunted;PursuitPerfect GameA Touch of DawnRansomLeather and Lace

Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life

Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other RamblingsRamblings, Musings and Other ThingsSoulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things

Author Links
http://marielavender.com/
http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/
http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/
http://marielavender.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58
https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender
https://twitter.com/marielavender1
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarieLavender/posts
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender
http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender
http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender
http://manicreaders.com/marielavender/
http://amazon.com/author/marielavender
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

Here, the cover:

A Little Magick by Marie Lavender

A Little Magick by Marie Lavender

Little Rosie goes to stay with her uncle. There she meets some new friends…and some enemies. She doesn’t know that her emotions will trigger something unusual. So far from home, suddenly Rosie has become a full witch like her mother. For a time, it is great fun to use her powers the way she wants, but can Rosie figure out how to use these newfound powers for good or will she be lost to the dark side forever?
Second teaser image

Here, the pre-order links:

Amazon:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00YJSGE40

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/547154

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-little-magick-marie-lavender/1122044476

Kobo:  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/a-little-magick-magick-series-book-2

Little girl excerpt

Ah, and the Goodreads link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25652268-a-little-magick

And don’t forget to check the video: 

Thanks so much to Marie for bringing us the cover reveal for her new book, thanks to all of you for reading and you know what to do, like, share, comment and CLICK!

 

Hi all:

As  you know I read and review books and share the reviews in a variety of places. I recently read the first novel in the new series by Charlaine Harris, a well loved author, and thought I’d bring you my impressions.

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris

The #1 New York Times bestselling author who created Sookie Stackhouse and her world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, “is back with a vengeance” (Tangled Web) with this first book in an all-new trilogy—and inviting readers to an even darker place on the map… 

Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).

INCLUDES AN EXCERPT FROM THE NEXT NOVEL IN THE SERIES, THE DAY SHIFT

http://www.amazon.com/Midnight-Crossroad-Texas-Charlaine-Harris-ebook/dp/B00I089VSQ/

Here is my review:

I have read a few novels by Charlaine Harris before. Some from the Sookie Stackhouse collection but also a couple more, and I was intrigued by this novel that announces the beginning of another series.

Midnight is a semi-ghost town where Manfred, a young man who has psychic powers and works as an internet and phone psychic (although most of his advice has nothing to do with his real abilities) arrives at the beginning of his novel. His arrival serves as an introduction for the readers as well and the first chapter is mostly descriptive of the town and its inhabitants. Apart from being a quiet place, it appears that by tacit agreement, people in Midnight follow a policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell”. Some characters seem to have their secrets closer to the surface than others, but my impression is that as the series develops we’ll learn many mysterious things from most (if not all) the characters.

A murder is discovered (during the first, and probably the last, annual picnic of Midnight) and the investigation and complications that ensue result in an unravelling of many of the secrets that had been so well kept until then.

I found the cast of characters promising (the reverend with his Pet Cemetery, Fiji and her, oh so very special cat, Bobo, Olivia and Lemuel…), the setting interesting enough, and the central story itself intriguing and I did not guess the outcome. The style is deceptively easy, and the omniscient third person narrator that takes on different characters’ point of view in turn, helps us empathise and get to know some of them better (although, of course, not all of them). There are paranormal elements, a vampire and his human girlfriend who make a deadly couple (but good friends of their friends), magic, bizarre pawn shops, white supremacist groups, lies, Halloween parties, wholesome meals, justice of sorts, and a moral/ethical question that will make you think and ponder your position.

Midnight Crossroad  is an engaging and easy read that has good rhythm and comes to a satisfying conclusion although leaves enough answered questions to keep you coming back. I’m not sure I’d move there, but for sure I’ll keep on reading.

When preparing this post I realised the second book on the series is available on pre-order and due to be published in May, so I leave you some information and the link here too:

Day Shift by Charlaine Harris

Day Shift by Charlaine Harris

Day Shift (Midnight Texas) 

Welcome to Midnight, Texas.

It’s a quiet little town, perched at the junction between Davy Road and Witch Light Road, and it’s easy to miss. With its boarded-up windows, single traffic light and sleepy air, there’s nothing special about Midnight . . . which is exactly how the residents like it.

So when the news comes that a new owner plans to renovate the run-down, abandoned old hotel in town, it’s not met with pleasure. Who would want to come to Midnight, with its handful of shops, the Home Cookin diner, and quiet residents – and why?

But there are bigger problems in the air. When Manfred Bernado, the newest resident in town, is swept up in a deadly investigation suddenly the hotel and its residents are the least of the towns concern. The police, lawyers and journalists are all headed to Midnight, and it’s the worst possible moment . . .

http://www.amazon.com/Shift-Midnight-Texas-Charlaine-Harris-ebook/dp/B00QFMNSWE/

Thanks very much for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment, and of course, feel free to CLICK!

Hi all:

As you know apart from writing and translating (when I have time!) I read books and review in a variety of places. And every so often I bring them here for your information. Today I have a varied selection. See if you find something of interest:

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly. Non-stop action and dragons in China.

Thanks to Net Galley I got a pre-release copy of this novel. It’s still in pre-order, so you can read about it before it comes out.

The Great Zoo of China is a good romp, a fabulous ride and a fast-paced adventure/thriller book. You have to be prepared to suspend disbelief and to not mind if situations are stretched a bit far, but if you are happy to do that…you’ll have a fun read.

The book reminded me of Jurassic Park and reading the interview with the author at the end (that I recommend to readers and writers alike) I was not surprised to discover it was one of his favourite books.  The main differences are the setting and the creatures. If Jurassic Park could be seen as a criticism of capitalism’s lack of scruples, one has to wonder, what would be crueller and hungrier, capitalism run amok or communism desperate to become the biggest power by hijacking the world’s attention? While you might have your own opinion on how likely a scenario this is, the possible reasons provided as background don’t interfere greatly with the enjoyment of the story, unless you take them too seriously.

The Great Zoo of China (hardback cover)

The Great Zoo of China (hardback cover)

The similarities with Jurassic Park go from the pseudo-scientific details (although this book’s premise is more fanciful if you like myths and dragons you’ll enjoy the thought), to the size of the creatures, little children, and families, the action-packed episodes and our wondering who (if anybody) will make it out live.

I liked the female hero although we get but a few glimpses of her previous life and there is little psychological depth, but she has guts aplenty. It’s easy to root for her.

To begin with, the book made me think of a huge action movie, later of an adventure computer game where the main character is always looking for a new weapon to fight the big menace (here really enormous). It also reminded me of horror movies with the scary monster who refuses to die and always keeps coming at you. And of the old movies by instalments where you would go from one nail-biting cliff-hanger to the next without time to catch your breath.

The book is a quick and easy read and a page turner. It made me very aware that there are only so many ways one can say big, huge, enormous…

If you’ve read many books in this genre I don’t think it will break new ground or be utterly surprising but it achieves its aims successfully and it is big. If you want escapism, a read that will make you jump and keep you entertained, this novel more than fits the bill.

This is the pre-order link:

http://www.amazon.com/Great-Zoo-China-Matthew-Reilly-ebook/dp/B00MENIERC/

The Serpent Papers by Jessica Cornwell

The Serpent Papers by Jessica Cornwell

The Serpent Papers by Jessica Cornwell. Alchemy, codices and witches in Barcelona

I requested a free copy of this novel from Net Galley when I read the description and saw this was a book about a quest for knowledge, the search for an old manuscript, and the action took place in part in Barcelona. Being from Barcelona and having loved books and reading all my life, it was difficult to resist.

The Serpent Papers is the story of the search for an old illuminated manuscript (a palimpsest to be precise) that has been hidden for years to prevent its destruction. The links of this manuscript with alchemy, an enigmatic figure (Rex Illuminatus confused  at times with the historical figure of Ramon Llull), immortality, witches, and women’s murders make for a complex story. At the heart of the novel there’s a scholar/detective/expert, Anna Verco, who might or might not have some paranormal powers (that might instead be due to organic reasons). Like in many of these books, the search for meaning also becomes an inquiry into the main character and what she stands for.

Cornwell (granddaughter of John le Carré) builds up a complex structure to tell her story. Letters from different periods, accounts of previous attempts at investigating Rex Illuminatus by other experts, interviews of people who knew the victims, dreams and hallucinations…All of them sound and read real, showing a breadth of knowledge and characterization rich and convincing. The language can go from the poetic and lyrical to the mundane and down-to-earth, changing registers with ease.

I loved the little snippets of folk story and legends of the city of Barcelona, the descriptions of the landscape of the island of Mallorca, and the challenges the story poses. It is not an easy read and it can be demanding, both of one’s attention and also of knowledge and deductive capacities. I wondered if a cast of characters for the different eras with some brief descriptions might not make the reading experience easier.

Men using their power and violence to silence women, women being cast as witches as a way of shutting them up, and centuries of attempts at keeping secrets under wraps are not new ideas (at times it made me think of Lars von Trier’s Antichrist although the novel is more complex) but that does not detract from a solid novel that I kept imagining in a big screen near us. I can see actresses fighting over the main character and Barcelona and Mallorca looking very handsome indeed in the adaptation.

I understand this is the first in an ‘alchemical thriller’ trilogy. The appeal and the pull on the imagination of the subject would keep readers coming back for more. Readers who like books about intrigues in a historical setting and with conspiracy theory backgrounds will enjoy it, although I suspect it might be slightly more demanding than previous titles that have become very popular.

In a separate note, I wasn’t sure about the Catalan sentences. There were a number of typos and I couldn’t work out if it was phonetically recorded rather than intended as orthographically correct. More consistency in that aspect would have made the book more seamless for me (that would not be a problem for people not familiar with Catalan).

Just in case you want to check what others have said, here is the Guardian:

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/21/the-serpent-papers-jessica-cornwell-review

Here the link to the actual book:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Serpent-Papers-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00MELZJM2

 

Alex Haley's Roots. An Author's Odyssey by Adam Henig

Alex Haley’s Roots. An Author’s Odyssey by Adam Henig

Alex Haley’s Roots: An Author’s Odyssey by Adam Henig. Shining some light on the Roots controversy.

This is an informative account of the period of time in Alex Haley’s life following the publication of roots and the TV series but it is not a complete conventional biography. Although it does not delve deep into the author’s motives (it is not a deep psychological portrait), it does a great job of reviewing existing sources and even on occasions adding new material from interviews. I was aware of some of the controversy surrounding ‘Roots’ but not of the evidence and details that unfolded. This is a must for people interested in Roots and Haley, and considering its length, it offers a good summary of the sources. I’d love to see and read more of the extensive sources the author explored to produce this work, as there seems to exist much untapped potential.

A well-written and compelling account of a fascinating work (however we might choose to define it) that changed people’s perception of African-American history and stories.

As an author, I also enjoyed the collection of blogs chartering the journey of Adam Henig to, first research, and finally self-publish the book. I hope more books will follow.

http://www.amazon.com/Alex-Haleys-Roots-Authors-Odyssey-ebook/dp/B00HRN891A/

Thanks to all the authors for their books and special thanks to all of you for reading. Please, like, comment, share, CLICK and above all, keep reading!

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