End Of The Year Is Looming!! Planning for 2014!!

Sooo….December 31st is nearing, and I’m feeling less hopeful that I’ll reach my goal of 47 books in 2013.  Surprisingly, I’m ok with that.  Even if I stopped reading today, I’m 34 books closer to my bucket list goal of 500 books before I die.  Too this past year has seen me discover some amazing new authors, Joe O’Neill, Noble Smith, Ryan Schneider, and many others who’s book are now on my favourites list.   I’ve read about vampires, witches, mythical places, and have been caught up in spiritual pieces like “The Champion”.  Its been a good year in books.

So now I’m looking ahead to 2014.  I see many challenges out there on sites like GoodReads.com and I think, I’m up for one next year.  The one that has really caught my attention is the books by country, however a Google search enlightened me to the fact that on this planet there are currently 257 countries.  Somehow I’m thinking I can’t read 257 books next year.  Thats, a book every 34 hours.  lol.  But, maybe its the journey not the goal that’s important.  So, we’ll see.

What’s everyone else planning for 2014?

Savoured nearly every word of “The Witch’s Salvation” by Francesca Pelaccia

Witch Salvation

The Witch’s Salvation

 

By

 

Francesca Pelaccia

copyright 2013 – Self Published Work

 

The Book!

Every eighteen year old girl wants the perfect present on their birthday! Annie (Anasztasia) is no different and she wants the Fendi purse, knowing she cannot live without it. What she doesn’t want however, is to visit Romania and meet the Strigoaic. The Strigoaic, a 550 year old witch who cursed Anasztasia’s family (who happen to be immortal) and tossed them out of their beloved Wallachia five centuries ago. So why go meet a 550 year old witch? Well she may be the only hope of fixing the circumstances of Anasztasia’s birth. She’s mortal!! Her grandfather however plans to get her, her immortality, even if he has to deal with the witch to get it!

So off to Romania, where during the ball Annie is kidnapped by Matthias! Matthias, who’s family also happen to be immortal has made his own deal with the witch. Bring Annie to her, and she’ll let Matthias friend Austin back out of the mirror she’s trapped him in. Confused yet? Well, turns out that Matthias and Annie share a secret…he’s mortal too in a family of immortals. His family trapped in Wallachia, hers banned from setting foot there.

English: The castle of Vlad Tepes (Dracula), T...

English: The castle of Vlad Tepes (Dracula), Târgovişte, Romania. Română: Curtea domneasca din Targoviste (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Strigoaic has a plan, she wants to be free as badly as the Seneslau’s (Annie’s family) and the Barbat’s (Matthias clan) want out of the curse. So she offers them a deal. Go back in time and get the golden cup and bring it to her, and she will make them immortal. Or…they can get married and stay married which will break the curse.
The families take over and decide that getting married beats time travel. They begin to plan a wedding for these two not so star crossed lovers. But fate has a way of turning up, and the two find themselves in 1457 on one of the bloodiest days in Romanian history. Vlad III Tepes (yes you guessed it, the inspiration for Dracula) is set to massacre the nobles in the land, including Annie and Matthias great grandparents. Oh, did I mention he also has the golden cup, and they have 24 hours to make it back to their own time.

 
They set out on a race against the clock, and find that even 500 years ago in wild Wallachia, that there are friends to be had, and allies to help them on their quest. Will they save their families and gain their immortality, or suffer at the hands of Vlad III along with their long dead ancestors.

The Review!

Well, I vowed this year, no more books about Vlad Tepes or Dracula or anything related to the subject!  But this one crept in under the guise of being about witches, and I’m thrilled it did.  This one rolls Romeo & Juliet meets Dracula in with a good dose of Jules Verne time travelling.  Ok maybe not, but the story was definitely a fresh approach to this topic. The mix of historical fact, myth, and pure fiction to weave a story that captures you early, and keeps the interest through to the end.

Pelaccia’s use of the events of Easter 1457 in Wallachia, when Tepes massacred the local nobles who assisted in the death of his family (a bloody chapter in history, and ghoulish details are outlined in the book), serve as the historical reference point for this novel and gives an incredible backdrop for the tale. The families of Seneslau and Barbat are fictional but fit into this historical event, and once you let your mind slide over the time travel piece, it becomes a believable tale. The descriptions of the area are spot on, and the use of Targoviste and other actual locales lends to the readers ability to enjoy the tale as if its happening right before your eyes. The words “you are drawn into the story” is well suited to this piece.

 
Matthias, the renegade nature loving prince, and Anasztasia the urban modern princess make a perfect pair as the mortals in this story. Trapped and freed by the circumstances of their respective births, they have spent their lives put down by the immortals around them. Now they find themselves the hope for both families and the ultimate salvation for their respective clans. The young love blossoming between them will tweak the hearts of the romance lovers.  Guys don’t panic…An adequate amount of blood and gore will keep you reading!

The Rating!

Well lets see…Witches – that’s always a sell point for me! Vlad Tepes (aka Dracula) – Yup! got me there too! and time travel – SOLD! Definitely one to enjoy!

Grab it already!

 

The Author!

Francesca

Francesca Pelaccia

She’s Canadian!! Francesca grew up in Toronto Ontario and went to University of Toronto where she studied English literature. She has taught, been involved with corporate editing and publishing and also taught English as a second language.

She lives just outside Toronto with her family. And this reviewer danced a happy chair dance upon reading in her her bio…that there is a trilogy in the works. Keep eyes peeled for The Witch’s Monastery!

More can be found at: http://francescapelaccia.com/

 

 

 

Take 18 1/2 Minutes and check out the Review of Ronald C. Meyer’s new Novel!

18half

 

 

18 1/2 Minutes 

by  Ronald C. Meyer

available as an eBook on Amazon and Chapter’s Indigo 2013

 

 

The Book!

Gideon James, has been through hell.  A tour of duty in Afghanistan; from videographer, shooting documentary footage, to gunning down the innocent when things went bad.  Things like that change a person.  Things like his sister coming home from a tour of duty with a head full of shrapnel! Things like his parents committing suicide!  Things that changed Gideon and as he’s on the slippery slope out of the world, he is approached by Amy Rutledge, to speak on her talk show.

Amy’s cable documentary program, The Truth Now! has a small following, until she interviews Gideon, and embarks on a discovery to find out what is on the famous 18 1/2 minutes of oval office tape that turned up erased during Nixon’s days in the white house.  It’s  a journey that has perked up some ears in the Nation’s capital and when Amy hires Gideon to help her uncover the truth, and its this truth that could get them all killed, the perked ears go on the offensive.

As they seek out the elusive Jeff White, who is the only person who may truly know what is on the tape, the pieces of the puzzle seem to be falling together.  Amy and Gideon begin to feel confident that the mystery may finally be revealed, and those involved brought to justice.  Or will they?  Or is the greatest game play of all in the air?  Can Gideon help his sister, and can he finally have some peace over the death of his parents and the horrors he witnessed in the middle east?

The Review!

Meyer caught my attention early in this one.  The opening pages outlining the famous tape being erased and the implied murder of the man who did the dirty work, caught the mystery/thriller lover in me.  To tackle this famous bit of history and to build a believable tale surrounding it, was no small feat, but Meyer pulls it through with all the things you’d look for in a political thriller.  You get the evil White house aide who knows just a little too much, the general who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty and the full cast of reporters, political, Mafia and scientific persona’s that drive the story to a stunning conclusion.

One of my favourite aspects of this novel is the use of a secret organization known as the Club of Athens as the ultimate evil doers in all this.   Tying the famous 18 1/2 minute tape to the Club of Athens (a church of Scientology-esque group) only adds to the mystery and intrigue.  Meyer, makes identifying The Athens Club, real world counterpart easy, with comments such as “L Ron Hubbard is Ayn Rand in drag, and a reference later in the novel to the original members being sci-fi fanatics who used a science fiction story to build a religion.  The references draw you in, and for me, kept me reading to see where the story would lead, and how or when the truth of this group would be revealed.

If I had to make a criticism, its that near the end of the novel, one part of the story was wrapped up by introducing a plot element which had not been mentioned at all through the novel.  It felt very much like it was “added” to explain the particular character’s behaviour and it did just that, however with no lead up to it, it felt like an add-on with no connection to the rest of the book.  Also some characters receive no wrap up at all in the final pages, and that was disappointing, for this reader.  However that said, the Epilogue paints a chilling picture that will leave you questioning many things about the world we live in, and the information we are fed as a society.  Loved the closing pages.

The Review!

Excellent read, Meyer left me wanting to get on the net and look up every conspiracy theory out there…and I likely will.  Awesome effort, and have it ear-marked for a second read to pick up the finer points I likely missed first time through.   This one clips along at an amazing rate, so definitely one to pull onto your eReader of choice next weekend and enjoy!

The Cover!

For once I’m on the fence!  It’s a cover, it didn’t wow me or turn me off.

The Author!

Ronald C.  Meyer, owner of Centre Communications, is a producer of movies and documentary DVDs, with sales exceeding one million units. He is also the co-author of two bestselling books on Aikido – Aikido in America and Center: The Power of Aikido.  When not writing novels he is also a famous fossil collector

Ron Meyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cuckoo’s calling – JK Rowling’s new book feels good, very Agatha Christie like!

Cuckoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cuckoo’s Calling

By

Robert Galbraith (or JK Rowling – for those of you not living under a rock in Siberia)

 

Published by Little Brown & Company 2013

 

The Book!

Cormoran Strike is dealing with a lot.  He’s lost his leg in Afghanistan, his relationship with long time girlfriend Charlotte is at an end,  he’s knee deep (well one knee deep) in debt, and he’s forgotten to cancel the temporary secretary he booked.  Enter stage left Robin, a young savy temp who while on the surface is looking for a “real job”, is thrilled to be working in the world of a private detective, and plans to make the most her time in Strike’s office.

Like any good detective novel, this is where the “case” arrives at the door!  Meet John Bristow, an on edge, high strung lawyer who is determined to have Strike investigate the death of his sister.  A sister who is none other than supermodel Lula Landry.  Landry who recently swan dived off her balcony to do a face plant into the street.  Contrary to what police believe, Bristow insists this is no depressed suicide and wants Strike to uncover the truth for him.

Strike and Robin take a trip into Lula’s world, a world of big money, super models, actors, and designers, and of course the underbelly of it all as well.  Each clue leads Strike to another piece of the puzzle, and Robin hopes to see the last piece in place, before that “real job” catches up to her.  Is what the police say true, Landry committed suicide and her brother is trying to make sense out of his grief, or is it the word of downstairs neighbour Tansy who has a much different story to tell?  This one unfolds beautifully.  Sit back and enjoy.

The Review!

So Agatha Christie were she living might have competition!  I was so not expecting this book to impress me, and I was even slack about reading it at first.  I couldn’t wrap my brain around JK Rowling doing a detective novel, and certainly not one that would leave me at the end comparing it to one of my favorite Agatha Christie novels…nooooo I’m not telling which one, but read it and you’ll see.  The story takes a lot of turns, and I thought at times…where is she going now?? But she got there, and reading the last few chapters I kept saying…brilliant, just brilliant!

Strike is the perfect main character, he’s got his flaws, and his weaknesses, and that’s really his charm.  He’s that down on his luck, hero that you want to cheer for because you know he’s got the mind of a Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot in there figuring it all out.  I thoroughly enjoyed the chemistry between Strike and Robin, and no I won’t be cheesy by saying she’s Robin to his Batman, but she is.  And bless you JK, you left the door open for a sequel…and you should, I’d definitely read another!

The Rating!

Woot!! She’s done it! She’s convinced me that she can do it without the glasses and wand!  I thought the whole pen name thing might have been a little hokey, but when you are JK Rowling I’m betting there’s a big challenge in getting honest feedback from publishers…Are you seriously going to turn down a JK Rowling book?  So I think it had its purpose.  I enjoyed it, and hope you do as well.  Definitely one to add to the shelf!

The Cover!

I got the flash cam cover, and as I write this review, it made me think again of Princess Di and the Paparazzi.  Wickedly good choice.

The Author!

(For those of you living under a rock in Siberia)

Robert Galbraith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Galbraith – (This is what little I could find out online about him)

After several years with the Royal Military Police, Robert Galbraith was attached to the SIB (Special Investigative Branch), the plain-clothes branch of the RMP. He left the military in 2003 and has been working since then in the civilian security industry. The idea for Cormoran Strike grew directly out of his own experiences and those of his military friends who returned to the civilian world.

quoted from the following blog

http://misfortuneofknowing.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/j-k-rowling-as-robert-galbraith-is-it-consumer-fraud/