REVIEW: LIFESONG

LIFESONG

Lifesong by Julia Blake

Lifesong is a mixture of fantasy and science fiction, carrying with it an ecological message and a gentle love story.

It’s a beautiful story about a young woman who has an amazing ability to seek out the lifesong of others. This leads her to a wonderfully happy time in her life but it isn’t long before she finds that, after crossing the universe, she is trapped on our world. But what kind of a world is it that has no lifesong, and that seems determined on its own destruction?

Julia Blake’s thought-provoking and heart-warming story is perfect as a novella. The story is concise and fast flowing. It has a lyrical quality to it and is beautifully written.

I highly recommended Lifesong.

It’s a story you will want to read more than once.

Review: Castle of Dreams by Elise McCune.

 

castle-of-dreams

“An enthralling novel of love, betrayals, loss and family secrets”

A ruined castle deep in the rainforest holds a secret that unites three generations of women: two sisters who find themselves in love with the same man as the Second World War rages and, decades later, a young woman determined to uncover the secrets in her grandmother’s hidden past.

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To start with Castle of Dreams has the most beautiful cover. I know many readers, my self included, who have bought books for cover-love. In this case, the story doesn’t disappoint.

Set in the Northern Queensland rainforest, it is an enchanting and compelling read.

It took me on a journey through the lives of three generations of women, revealing secrets and bitter betrayals, and ultimately the love that is the glue that held them together.

I think it’s special for me because, over the years, I’ve often been to the castle on which Elise McCune has based her story.

I highly recommend this book and eagerly anticipate Elise McCune’s next novel.

 

Review: The Wedding Shroud by Elisabeth Storrs

the-wedding-shroud

Elisabeth Storrs resurrects the lost world of the Etruscans in her well-researched and captivating novel, The Wedding Shroud.

I love Historical Fiction and, while many stories have been written about Ancient Rome, I was delighted to read a book about the earlier Etruscan culture, which is revealed through the eyes of the novel’s heroine, a young Roman woman named Caecilia.

I definitely recommend this book.
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In 406 BC, to seal a tenuous truce, the young Roman Caecilia is wedded to Vel Mastarna, an Etruscan nobleman from Veii. Leaving her militaristic homeland, Caecilia is determined to remain true to Roman virtues while living among the sinful Etruscans. But, despite her best intentions, she is seduced by a culture that offers women education, independence, sexual freedom, and an empowering religion.

Enchanted by Veii but terrified of losing ties to Rome, Caecilia performs rites to delay becoming a mother, thereby postponing true entanglement. Yet as she develops an unexpected love for Mastarna, she’s torn between her birthplace and the city in which she now lives. As war looms, Caecilia discovers Fate is not so easy to control, and she must choose where her allegiance lies.

The Wedding Shroud is the first book in the series A Tale of Ancient Rome. Subsequent books in the series include The Golden Dice and Call to Juno.

ISLE OF WINDS by James Fahy

Isle of Winds 2

Isle of Winds by English author James Fahy

(Book One of The Changeling Series.)

The girl raced through the forest, tumbling through deep drifts of autumn leaves. Moonlight washed down from the starry sky, illuminating her darting figure.

In appearance she was eleven years old. A hunted creature. To judge from her odd clothing of ragged pants, a dirty t-shirt, and a large overcoat patched together from various animal skins, she seemed a homeless orphan. A helpless, young waif.

This, she was not.

From these opening lines, I was hooked.

James Fahy creates a very believable but mysterious world and I enjoyed my journey into Netherworlde with Karya, Robin and the endearing Woad. Each character is so well-formed and I adored them all, from Henry to Mr Strife.

I loved that in this ancient land of Netherworlde, James Fahy has given a nod to archetypal symbolism, such as the Oracle, and a literary nod to Midsummer Night’s Dream with King Oberon and Queen Tatiana.

The story is so well-written, with a tight page-turning plot. I would recommend this book to everyone. At times, I had to stop and remember that the characters are young. It made no difference. This read is for all ages.

A 5 Star read!

BOOK REVIEW: Stella’s Awakening BY RK Ryde

Stella's Awakening

I have just finished Stella’s Awakening . It is a well-written erotic love story. I enjoyed it. I’m not a fan of erotic romances but I am a fan of RKRyde’s writing and story. Stella and Conrad are both compelling characters. Both beautiful people. Stella has led a sheltered existence and RKRyde has explored a topic here that I’ve never encountered in a novel before. It was interesting and I felt for Stella and the turmoil she felt as she discovered more and more how much she loved Conrad and how this love was forbidden to her. He is a worldly man from a wealthy family, and has a playboy image. As we all know, images can be misleading. Stella knows there is something in his past but Conrad is not only an experienced lover but is loving, gentle, caring and kind. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the next Stella novel. If it had been merely one erotic experience after another, it wouldn’t have kept my interest but this is a good story.

BOOK REVIEW: THE BEAST’S GARDEN by Kaye Forsyth

The Beast's Garden

BLURB:

It’s August 1939 in Germany, and Ava’s world is in turmoil. To save her father, she must marry a young Nazi officer, Leo von Lowenstein, who works for Hilter’s spy chief in Berlin. However, she hates and fears the brutal Nazi regime, and finds herself compelled to stand against it.

Ava joins an underground resistance movement that seeks to help victims survive the horror of the German war machine. But she must live a double life, hiding her true feelings from her husband, even as she falls in love with him.

Gradually she comes to realise that Leo is part of a dangerous conspiracy to assassinate Hitler. As Berlin is bombed into ruins, the Gestapo ruthlessly hunt down all resistance, and Ava finds herself living hand-to-mouth in the rubble of the shell-shocked city. Both her life and Leo’s hang in the balance.

WHAT I THINK OF THE STORY:

The Beast’s Garden by Kate Forsyth is filled with danger, intrigue and romance and set in Germany during World War II. This story is in Berlin in the heart of the Nazi stronghold. Ava is a singer and her beautiful voice brings her to the attention of top SS officers. Her best friends are Jews and she has to watch helplessly as their lives are torn asunder. To save her father, Ava marries a young Nazi officer. To save her friends and many others, she joins an underground resistance movement. We often hear of the French resistance but not so much about the German resistance which helped victims of the horrors happening around them. There were also several conspiracies to assassinate Hitler by the resistance movements and by German officers, Valkyrie perhaps being the one more people know. Ava learns that her husband is one of these officers. The story is a retelling of the Grimm Brothers’ Beauty and the Beast. It is well researched and beautifully written. I absolutely loved it.

BOOK REVIEW: THE SECRET YEARS by Barbara Hannay

The Secret Years  THE BLURB

When Lucy Hunter stumbles upon her grandfather Harry’s World War II memorabilia, she finds a faded photograph of a stunning young woman known simply as ‘George’ and a series of heartfelt letters. They are clues about the secret years, a period of Lucy’s family history that has been kept a mystery . . . until now.

How did a cattleman from north Queensland find forbidden love with the Honourable Georgina Lenton of London and persuade her to move to his isolated outback property? And why are the effects of this encounter still reverberating in the lives of Lucy and her mother, Rose, now?

As the passions of the past trickle down the years, three generations of one family pull together. Each must learn in their own way how true love can conquer the greatest challenges of all.

From the wild beauty of the Australian bush to England’s rugged south coast, this is a deeply moving story of heartbreak, heroism and homecoming by a beloved, multi-award-winning author.

WHAT I THINK OF THIS BOOK

I loved this story. Set in the present day and World War II, it travels from the Queensland Outback, to Townsville on the Queensland coast and to Cornwall in England. Barbara Hannay weaves an intriguing tale that kept me page-turning through the entire novel. The characters were all endearing and believable, good, strong characters. I whole-heartedly recommend this book.