Monday, June 27, 2016

Half the year has flown by fast

It is astounding to think that half the year has already gone by so quickly. There has been a lot of growth and change on the website packed in that little space. I hope you have appreciated all the new book goodies. Please leave me feedback for how to improve. I'm really working to make a go of this website.

Highland Raven by Melanie Karsak

I am patiently, yet excitedly, waiting for the third novel in the Lily Stargazer series to publish. While I wait, I thought it would be nice to check out some of the other works by Melaine Karsak. She has a horror series about zombies and a Shakespearean romance series available. I'm not one for zombies in this over-crazed phase of fad, so I picked the fiction based from the play Macbeth. (Who doesn't love some Scottish tales right now? Is one fad really better than another? Maybe I'll try out those zombie books next after all.)

This is not the original title or cover art of the novel. It has been through some rebranding in its year or so since publication. I felt those marketing pains as I had some hurdles in the first couple of chapters. I persevered, though, and am thankful for the growth in the latter half of the book. 

The idea of seeing from Lady Macbeth's viewpoint after hundreds of years living in the shadow of Shakespeare's most frightening woman was interesting speculation. There are plenty of nods to Shakespeare for the discerning reader as well as a good bit of historical research, but these novels are always more a fun game of what-if. This is one of the better done character sketches in historical fiction, but maybe not in terms of Lady Macbeth.

The other characters that make an appearance are gems and make this story complete. They really help to flesh out the concept of Lady Macbeth being a living, breathing piece of history in a way the play just didn't capture. I especially loved Sid. Oh, Sid, you belong in Wonderland. Another area of interest is the realm of the three witches, and I hope will be present in the next books with some more detail.

This novel certainly has a graphic nature and would not be recommended for teens.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Happy 200th Post!!

In honor of my 200th post, I have a fantastic day for you! 

1. The blog has undergone a complete overhaul and turned into a fully fledged website. All the interesting extras I have been adding on over the years are now allotted their own space. Please leave all feedback on how this site can be of use to your bookworm endeavors.

2. On the Author Interview tab, we have an interview with Anna Kashina about her latest release, Assassin Queen. We talk about the "Majat Code" series and how she put the whole trilogy together. We also get an insight into what she does to step away from the writing table.

3. Shelley Adina has provided an autographed copy of her introductory novel, Lady of Devices, in the "Magnificent Devices" series. If you are new to this site, you will need to know that this is my all-time favorite steampunk series. This is a giveaway not to be missed out. Head over to the Book Giveaway tab to enter for chances to win.

4. A new review from another amazing author, Charlie Holmberg. Just scroll down to read my thoughts on Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet

I know I had been away from the blog for awhile with no hints or allusions as to what was happening. The first half of the year was a chaotic hodge podge of life events and reading. An evaluation of all of it put the dedication into revamping this into a full scale website. Now we are back for a killer second half of the year.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

She has done it again!

Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie Holmberg

Charlie Holmberg has done it again. She has written an amazing book. Like all the novels to come before this one, we get a story of immense depth. There is a reason for everything even if it isn't obvious at first glance. I had inklings throughout the novel that I knew the ending, but I was never really sure and kept turning the pages. The characters are realistically dynamic. You want to know what happens to them.

I was slightly hesitant at the start because the description and cover left me unclear on the direction. (This seems to be a hurdle I really need to overcome with Holmberg's books as they are proving to be quite unmerited.) The opening was all sweet and endearing, and then, you are smacked in the face with the bitter. It is not what I was expecting at all and had my attention held fast. There are some lovely easter eggs during the middle for fans of fairy tales. With the current fad for rewriting the classics of literature (much to my twitching eyebrows distaste), I am happy to see an author nod to the tales of yore without trying to overtake them. And then comes the ending you are expecting yet still surprised that it all happened. That is a good book.

Holmberg writes some of the most thought-provoking fiction I have ever read. When I close that final page, I end up reflecting on everything I have just read for some time. The stories give me entertainment and value. I love them. Plain and simple, they are amazing. They are not perfectly written and certainly have their faults that some people may not be able to get over. I say: read them again--with an eye to learn a lesson, not merely to escape into a good story.

Pre-order your copy today over at Charlie Holmberg's website. There is a giveaway over at Goodreads for a copy until June 28th.