Tag Archives: Religion

#Bookreview AS WINGS UNFURL by Arthur M. Doweyko (@aweyken) A book for readers who enjoy science-fiction that asks big questions, with religious undertones, and lots of action

As Wings Unfurl by Arthur M. Doweyko

Title:   As Wings Unfurl
Author:   Arthur M. Doweyko
ISBN13:  978-1940215778
ASIN:  B01HY589FG
Published: 19th  July  2016
Pages:  234
Genre:  Science-Fiction & Fantasy (I’ve found it classed under Alien Invasion and Military, Space Marine)

Description:

“… captures the reader’s attention with kick-butt action in a video game storytelling format.” ~ Publishers Weekly

“Apple Bogdanski, a disabled Vietnam veteran, worked in a secondhand books store. When a private detective takes incriminating photos of shape-shifting aliens in the act of transformation and sends the negatives to the owner of the bookstore hidden in a book among a shipment of books, Apple is caught between two groups of aliens-one of which studies mankind’s development and the other who wants to terminate mankind and claim the Earth for their own purposes. Apple has a helper, Angela, who appears just in time to save his life and make him appear to be a hero. Angela has a beef with the bad guys and she and Apple unite with a few good guys to take on the bad guys.

As Wings Unfurl is an entertaining science fiction novel based on the premise that an alien race planted the seed of the human race of Earth millennia ago and now watches quietly as we evolve. Apple is a fairly well developed protagonist who just wants to be left alone to deal with the hand life has dealt him on his terms. Angela is a member of the alien oversight group dedicated to observation. Strangely attracted to Apple, she must deal with a conflict between her duties, her sense of right and wrong, and her feelings. Dane, as the bad alien, has a single side; the discrediting and destruction of the human race for her own purposes. Yowl and Shilog are Tibetans who are caught up in the war between factions and who provide a notable twist to the ending. Both are far out of the world that they know, but both adapt amazingly fast to the developed world.

This book is entertaining reading for readers who love science fiction “what if” scenarios and readers who love action adventures in any form.” ~ Midwest Book Review

Applegate Bogdanski returns from Vietnam with a missing leg, a Purple Heart, and an addiction to morphine. He stumbles through each day, looking forward to nothing and hoping it will arrive soon. When he attempts to thwart a crime, he is knocked unconscious and wakes up to discover that people are once again calling him a hero, though he feels undeserving of the praise.

Apple returns to work and meets Angela, a mysterious woman who claims to be his guardian. Immediately, he feels a connection to her, which morphs into an attraction. But he soon discovers that Angela is much more than she seems.

Apple and Angela are swept up in a conspiracy that stretches through time and space. Together, they must fight to save everything they hold dear from an alien race bent on destroying humanity. 

Body of review:

I thank the author who contacted me thanks to Lit World Interviews for offering me an ARC copy of his novel that I freely chose to review.

I am not a big reader of science-fiction (perhaps because I don’t seem to have much patience these days for lengthy descriptions and world building and I’m more interested in books that focus on complex characters) so I was doubtful when the author suggested I review it, but the angel plot and the peculiarities of the story won me over. There are many things I enjoyed in this book but I’m not sure that it was the book for me.

As I’ve included the description and it is quite detailed (I was worried about how I could write about the book without revealing any spoilers but, many of the things I was worried about are already included in the description) I won’t go into the ins and outs of the story. The novel starts as a thriller, set in 1975. A private detective has taken a compromising photo and that puts him in harm’s way. Apple, the main character, seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, although later events make us question this and wonder if perhaps what happens was preordained. One of the interesting points in the novel, for me, was that the main character was a Vietnam War veteran, amputee (he lost a leg) and now addicted to Morphine. He also experiences symptoms of PTSD. Although his vivid dreams and flashbacks slowly offer us some background information, and the whole adventure gives him a new perspective on life and a love interest, I found it difficult to fully connect with the character. It was perhaps due to the fast action and the changes in setting and point of view that make it difficult to fully settle one’s attention on the main protagonists. One of the premises of the story is that Angela, the mysterious character who is his ersatz guardian angel, has known him all his life. She is oddly familiar to him, and she decides to give up her privileges and her life mission because of him, but as Angela’s interest in him precedes the story, there is no true development of a relationship and readers don’t necessarily understand why they are attracted to each other from the start.

The story, written in the third person, is told mostly from Apple’s point of view but there are also two other characters, from Tibet, Shilog, a farmer, and Yowl, what most of us would think of as a Yeti, but that we later learn is a member of a native Earth species. In my opinion, these two characters are more fully realised, as we don’t have any previous knowledge or any expectations of who they are, and they work well as a new pair of eyes (two pairs of eyes) for the readers, as they start their adventure truly clueless as to what is going on, and the situation is as baffling to them as it is to us. They are also warm and genuinely amusing and they offer much welcome comic relief. They are less bogged down by conventions and less worried about their own selves.

I enjoyed also the background story and the underlying reasoning behind the presence of the “angels” (aliens) in the world. It does allow for interesting debates as to what makes us human and what our role on Earth is. How this all fits in with traditional religions and beliefs is well thought out and it works as a plot element. It definitely had me thinking.

I said before that one of the problems I had with some fantasy and science-fiction is my lack of patience with world building and detailed descriptions. In this case, though, other than some descriptions about the Tibetan forest and mountains, I missed having a greater sense of location. The characters moved a lot from one place to the next and, even if you were paying attention, sometimes it was difficult to follow where exactly the action was taking place (especially because some of the episodes depended heavily on secret passages, doors, locked rooms…) and I had to go back a few times to check, in case I had missed some change of location inadvertently. (This might not be a problem for people who are used to reading more frantically paced action stories.) I guess there are two possible reading modes I’d recommend for this story; either pay very close attention or go with the flow and enjoy the ride.

I really enjoyed the baddie. Dane is awesome. I don’t mind the bad characters that are victims of their circumstances or really conflicted about what they do, but every so often I like a convinced baddie, who takes no prisoners and goes all the way. She is not without justification either, and later we learn something that puts a different spin on her behaviour (I didn’t find it necessary but it does fit in with the overall story arc). The irony of her character and how she uses human institutions and religions to subvert the given order is one of my favourite plot points and she is another source of humour, although darker in this case.

All in all, this is a book for readers who enjoy science-fiction that asks big questions, with religious undertones, lots of action and not too worried about the psychological makeup of the main characters. Ah, and if you love stories about Bigfoot or the Yeti, you’ll love this one.

What the book is about: On the surface, aliens, angels, and a battle of good and evil. At heart it deals with metaphysical issues (like the best science-fiction does) and questions of identity, and where humanity comes from.

 Book Highlights: The whole premise of the story, and the two Tibetan characters, Shilog and Yowl, that are a true joy. And Dane, the baddie.

 Challenges of the book: There are many quick changes of location and different points of view that might disorient readers. The story is set in the 1970s but there are a couple of anachronisms. There are some beautiful passages about Tibet and Shilog observes everything he sees with new eyes, but there is a paucity of description otherwise, even when discussing major plot points (the devices used to travel or the locations of their scape).

 What do you get from it: A challenge to preconceived notions and an interesting story with plenty of action. I also really liked the baddie, Dane. There’s more to her than meets the eye.

 What I would have changed if anything: Perhaps I would have tried to build up more the main characters, as for me, Apple comes across as quite disjointed and as if readers should know the type (perhaps so, but who is he?). We slowly learn a few things about him but the frantic pace of the action does not give readers much chance to delve on that. It is easier to empathise with Yowl and Shilog, perhaps because we feel as lost as they are. A stronger sense of place and time might also help.

 Who Would I recommend this book to?: People who enjoy plot over character, and who like science-fiction that makes you think. Also lovers of action and Yetis.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 3/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 3.5/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5 

Buy it at:  
Format & Pricing:
Paperback $12.99
Kindle: $6.09

Thanks so much for reading and don’t forget to like, share, comment and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

 

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Angel Messages: A Wing & a Prayer,” BY AUTHOR @YOUARETHEEXPERT

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  • Title:  Angel Messages: A Wing and a Prayer
  • Author: Annette Rochelle Aben
  • File Size: 1168 KB
  • Print Length: 39 Pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1523901888
  • Publication Date: March 9, 2016
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B01CT5KT4A
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Religion & Spirituality, New Age & Spirituality, Angels & Spirit Guides

In the Author’s Words:

“Angels are real! Some say Angels have saved their lives, comforted them in their darkest moments and even appeared before them in physical form. I am one of those who believes in Angels. My personal testimony is here in Angel Messages, along with prayers that I have used to thank, summon and to send Angels to others when asked. The beautiful photographs of Angels inside, are designed to evoke deep personal connections.

Allow yourself to be inspired by a wing and a prayer by the love of the Angels. Share this book with others. Keep a copy close to you, so you will always have an Angel at the ready. Let it refresh your body, mind and spirit Believe that Angels and Spirit guides are always there for you whenever you call, and so they shall. Love and Angelic blessings, I am Annette Rochelle Aben, a.k.a. Sister Angel.

Annette Rochelle Aben, a.k.a. Sister Angel has spent her life in the company of Angels. Recognizing their presence has been a blessing in her life. Being able to sense an Angel has provided the comfort and support when needed the most. Many people seek her counsel and aid to help them connect with Angels, speak to Angels or merely ask her to send Angels wherever they feel the Angels are needed. For years now, Annette has channeled messages from the Angels which she shares daily on her blog.

You are invited to follow her and receive the messages along with the thousands of others who do the same. There is contact information there when you need to reach out for her help. http://www.annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com.”

My Recommendation:

Do you feel like you need someone to accompany you on this journey in life? If so, you have found it with Annette Rochelle Aben, a.k.a. Sister Angel. Annette has spent her life in the company of Angels. She can recognize their presence and has written about how the Angels have been a blessing in her life.

She shares this collection of prayers and Angel musings with the hope that it will provide comfort and support anytime one feels down and needs a boost. This is the kind of book you will read over and over again, and I have. The photos are her own, and the addition of her poetic words is soothing to the soul.

In fact, the author suggests the following, “This book is a terrific way to share some Angel love with someone who needs a lift, a hug, a smile or that person who loves Angels. It is filled with pictures, prayers, and poems that bring the Angel Messages to you.” What a lovely thought, particularly in this Christmas Season.

One of my favorite Angel Messages in the book was this anagram:

Always

Near

Giving

Eternal

Love

me-time

This tiny book filled with so much inspiration has found its way into my “Me-Time,” collection. Annette’s message touched my heart and gave me faith that I am never alone. ❤

My Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

5gold-star3

annette-rochelle-aben

Author & Poet: Annette Rochelle Aben

About Annette Rochelle Aben:

Because Annette has always been aware of the presence of Angels, she thought everyone else was as well. The creation of this book honors not only her lifelong friends, guides, and guardians, but it introduces their love with the world.  Consider Annette Rochelle Aben a messenger, sharing that which comes directly to her from Angels.

Every picture in this book is an Angel here in my home.  Daily, I am able to have them around me and feel their loving energy.  Since I could not possibly have everyone into my home to meet these Angels, I put their pictures into Angel Messages.

Since the book came out, I tell them, “See, everyone loves your book!” Believe me, when I tell you, they ARE excited to share their energy with you and more than happy about this book finally being written.

My suggestion is that you gift a copy to a friend, a family member or even a place where people visit such as a Doctor’s waiting room.  You never know who may pick it up and receive a hug from an Angel when they need it the most.

Thank you so much for acknowledging the Angels. They merely wait to be invited to be by your side.

You can find Annette on Twitter @YouAreTheExpert, Facebook at Annette Rochelle Aben, and on her blog, Annette Rochelle Aben.

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of colleenchesebro.com

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The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions

Greg Marcus’s immensely informative book, The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions, is written with a purpose—to help people learn how to feel in their heart what the mind understands.

In it the author points out, “When we practice Mussar we are adjusting and correcting our soul.” Undeniably, that is what this book will do for you! It is nothing short of a workout for the soul.

Learning how to achieve better balance within your soul is not an easy task. It can take time to develop and patient endurance to perfect. In the book Dr. Marcus guides you gently and teaches you thoroughly on how to do just that. The wide array of subjects discussed, humility, patience, gratitude, silence, to name a few, are addressed in a concise manner to not bog down the flow of the book, yet are thought-provoking enough to give contemplative pause.

I enthusiastically recommend this book. It was a blessing to have received this book to read and review. It is a book for everyone, regardless of religious affiliation. It is a great resource for anyone interested in learning how to approach life with greater balance and more insight. It is a wealth of concentrated nuggets of wisdom.

4.5 star book review by Jason E. Royle

Spiritual Practice review by Jason E. Royle

#Author. Should you think about translating your book? 2. Lost in Translation. Adventures when translating your book for China

Hi all:

You might remember that last week I wrote a post asking the above question and listed a few reasons why authors might consider translating their books. (In case you missed it, here it is. As I translate from English to Spanish and vice versa I had prepared a talk about the subject and it occurred to me that I could sample some points of it here). I found the discussion that followed the post interesting, and Teagan Geneviene (I recommend her blog if you love great stories and recipes, check it here) reminded me of a story I had told her about some of my experiences when using Fiberead to get my book translated for the Chinese market.  And I thought you might find it interesting. I surely did.

It brought to mind how I had started originally the presentation about translations…

Here it is:

What does the word ‘translation’ bring to your mind?

In my case, it always makes me think of a scene in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation. Bill Murray plays an actor filming a spirits’ advert in Japan (I think it was brandy) and the director is giving him instructions. As he doesn’t understand Japanese, there is an interpreter. The director talks for several minutes, gesticulating, quite intensely. He eventually stops talking and the interpreter just tells him that he wants him to say the lines looking at the camera. ‘Is that all he said?’ Yes, we’re never quite sure. (By the way, you can watch the scene that goes on, here:

Of course, that’s interpreting (rendering live and orally a conversation, conference, speech…) whilst translation implies a written piece of work, but there are connections.

It also makes me think of the risks of mistranslating texts. In the case of the Bible mistranslating a Hebrew word and instead of rendering it as ‘beam of light’ it ended up becoming ‘horn’ and we have poor Moses depicted with horns (and not only in Michelangelo’s famous sculpture, that judging by the small size of the horns, makes me think that he wasn’t that convinced about the translation). Oh yes, if you’ve used Google Translate (that seems to be improving, to be fair) you know all about that.

And now, I wanted to tell you a bit about my experiences with Fiberead, that is a website that offers you to get your books translated for the Chinese market. If they are interested, you give them the rights to the translation for a number of years, and you spilt the earning with them and with the translating. Yes, team…

What happens is that a team leader or manager decides that your book is worth translating, and then they set about getting a team of translators to translate the book. I’m not sure how the division of work is made, but I know you get notifications when evidently translators provide a sample translation and the team leader decides if it’s good enough. Once they think they have a big enough team, they start the process. The beauty of it is that they contact you with questions if they have them. In general in my case it’s been mostly the team managers but sometimes also other members of the team.

I realised when they started to ask me about my YA novella Twin Evils?, asking me if Lucifer and Satan were the same, and asking for the meaning of references to angels playing harps or being dressed in white, that of course, although the novella is not religious, such content would not be understood in a mostly non-Christian country. And although I tried to send them links to images of angels playing the harp, I am also aware that some links to websites might not work there. We might assume that certain things are common knowledge, but the world is huge and people’ s beliefs and lifestyles very different to ours.

Some of the other questions showed extreme literalness. It might be to do with the language, but when I tried to explain that I prefered to allow the readers to make up their minds as to why characters might say or do certain things (whatever I thought the reason was) they wanted a full explanation. I suspect ambiguity is not a well-received quality.

I had some interesting and curious exchanges too, like a policeman who told me he was translating one of my thrillers (so far, although not published yet as they’re still in production, they are working on both of my Escaping Psychiatry stories and have also translated Family, Lust and Cameras, so they seem intrigued by my thrillers) and really enjoying it, and I had the manager for the translation of one of my books asking me for help understanding a couple of pages she was trying to translate for a different project.

Ah, and to give them their due, they caught a mistake that neither I, nor quite a few readers and editors of both my Spanish and my English book had seen, so, kudos to them.

Here I leave you the cover of the other one of my books available so far (and that although it hasn’t been out very long, it seems to be doing much better than Twin Evils? and for sure much better in the Chinese version than in Spanish and English).

Family, Lust and Cameras by Olga Núñez Miret version for the Chinese market
Family, Lust and Cameras by Olga Núñez Miret version for the Chinese market

Thanks very much for reading, and if you’ve found it interesting, please, like, share, comment, and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

 

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “CATCHING FEATHERS IN THE WIND,” BY AUTHOR @CHANNELLINGLOVE

Catching Feathers in the Wind

  • Title:  Catching Feathers in the Wind
  • Author: Diane Hall
  • File Size: 1090 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: Diane Hall; 3 edition
  • Publication Date: September 2, 2015
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN:  B0145AT30S
  • ISBN-10: 0955973384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955973383
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Religion, Spirituality, Humor

Do you believe in Angels?  

Jayna is an Archangel who decides to incarnate back to Earth into a human form when her life in heaven leaves her yearning for something she just can’t put her finger on. Her existence on the celestial plane is filled with infinite love and harmonious co-creation as she teaches souls to fly to heaven. In this heavenly existence, Jayna murmurs inspirations into the ears of the world’s greatest artists, while dead musicians and renowned artists help her on her way to her last and final life event.

Jayna really seems to grapple with her decision to ascend to the highest level of cosmic consciousness.  Eventually, after a series of challenging lifetimes she realizes she is ready to attain the final rung in the wheel of life. Just as nothing in human life is ever perfect, and during her last final lifetime, Jayna meets Stephen, whom she falls madly in love with. Prepare to be swept off your feet!

As Jayna’s human life spins crazily out of control on a predestined course, a series of events propels her to question her true existence as Stephen’s love continues to pull her towards the earthly realm. Through it all, Jayna shares with us her multi-dimensional life filled with love, life after death, reincarnation, and rebirth. Her tale is a love story that will have you not only believing in angels but believing in the reality of everlasting love.

Recommendation:

Catching Feathers in the Wind is one of those rarely written phenomena that will touch you and shake you to your very core. For me, it was a spiritual and emotional read that I could not put down. During the day when I was not reading, I found myself thinking about the philosophical elements in the story. The descriptions of heaven and angels filled my dreams. By the dawn of each new day, I awakened refreshed and renewed. Coincidence? I really don’t think so.

I also found the writing of the author, Diane Hall to be poetic and mesmerizing. At times, the prose took my breath away in explanations of divine and human existence that seemed so logical and concise I had to ask myself how it could be any other way.

This is a unique love story, one of which I have never read the likes of before. More than that, it is the story of true love and the many forms it imbues. Each of the characters experiences great sadness and despair but champions their way to find their true destiny. I connected with each of the characters in such a way, I just knew that I had met them before.

By the end of the book, I felt like I had read the cosmic secrets of the universe. I felt like I had been given a special gift all tied up with a bow the color of sparkling stars. Ironically, I found this book on Facebook, part of a “free” campaign to introduce readers to the book. Wow! Was that ever my lucky day!

A visit to Diane Hall’s blog gives you a glimpse into the story with this excerpt: “Unseen Hands.” She also shares:

“An earlier edition of this book was very briefly known as Earth Angel, but has now undergone a huge revision and has been returned to its original title, of ‘Catching Feathers in the Wind.’ ~ A phrase used by one of the main characters, to describe the process of inspiration.”

Silver is such an angel

If you are interested in spirituality and enjoy romance novels you will adore Catching Feathers in the Wind. This is the kind of book that I will read over and over again knowing I will be touched by some different element each time I read it. I know one thing, your ideas about everlasting love will be forever changed!

Diane Hall

Author, Diane Hall

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

5gold-star3
About Diane Hall:

Diane Hall is an author and channel who writes novels, non-fiction, magazine features, comedy scripts, and songs about love, spirituality and the joyful challenges of communication between dimensions.

She is inspired by her guides and the angelic realm to create books that touch the heart with memories of Heaven. She is also a drama postgraduate with a passion for Shakespeare and Rumi, and a desire to bring a sense of fun to the genre of spiritual fiction. She is a singer/songwriter, a meditation and intuitive development teacher, and a recovering chocoholic.

As a freelance writer, she has contributed to a number of new thought publications and websites, including Soul & Spirit and Kindred Spirit magazines.

“My dream is to create a life-changing body of work  –  literary, musical and lyrical  –  that reaches many hearts and minds and brings peace, awakenings, love, learning, joy and ultimately, a Heaven on Earth.”

~*~

Make certain to connect with Diane Hall through Twitter @Channellinglove and Facebook at Diane Hall.

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

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Book Review. The Serpent Papers by Jessica Cornwell @JessACornwell

The Serpent Papers cover 

www.jessicacornwell.com

 

I’m publishing this review slightly ahead of the actual official publication of this novel, (due on the 29th of January) so although I include the link to the pre-order page, I have not included some of the other data as that will not be available until after publication (and I imagine it could change). I suspect it will be quite easy to find, though.

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

What the book is about: The search for a palimpsest (a piece of writing, usually ancient, done on top of another writing, a bit like some paintings that have been found to be painted on top of older images) that contains a secret, the people who’ve fought to preserve it and the price they’ve paid.

 Book Highlights: The historical background, the beauty of the descriptions of both Mallorca and Barcelona, the snippets of folk stories and insight into the world of theatre and performances. And the language.

 Challenges of the book: It is a book complex in structure, with different historical periods, different styles of writing and documents, and it keeps you on your toes. It can be dense at times.

 What do you get from it: It made me think, it made me wonder about my own city (Barcelona) and it got me thinking about structure and stylistics.

 What I would have changed if anything: I might have added some timelines and cast of characters in the different eras to aid readers navigate through the ins and outs and of its complex world. (See my above note about the fragments in Catalan in the book).

 Who Would I recommend this book to?: To readers of historical intrigue, lovers of alchemy, puzzles, who don’t mind a bit of a challenge. It also has a complex central female investigator who can “communicate” in interesting ways with books. Not suited if you’re just looking for an easy read or a break.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 4/5
Readability: 3.5/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
 

Buy it at:  In pre-order at Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  (480 pages) No link available
Kindle:$10.78  

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

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

 

 

Echoes of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delight by @JoRobinson176

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Donna thought there was something wrong with her. That she was suffering from a mental illness that has caused her husband to despise her, distance himself from her, and cheat on her. She blames herself for the desolate, miserable thing that is her marriage and her life. Then she comes across a book that will change everything for her, and reading it, she discovers that there’s nothing wrong with her mind at all, but that there is something very wrong with her husband instead. Marco, she realises, is a malignJo Rpbinson Echoes of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delightant narcissist. A text book case. He has a real and documented mental disorder, and that he’s been controlling, manipulating, and abusing her for decades. The sudden full knowledge of all that he’s purposely done to her enrages her. Not sure how to leave after thirty years of what she finally knows has been intentional mental and emotional abuse from him, and believing that she has nowhere to turn, being so physically isolated, she bides her time.

Then she meets and befriends a group of unusual people who share her passion for gardening, and so begins her journey to escape. She joins her new friends in their project to assist elderly people in old age homes care for their small gardens, as well as secretly supplying those suffering from painful and terminal illnesses with medicinal herb and plant remedies, including illegal plants such as cannabis. As weeks go by, she delves into her memories, relearns what it is to be respected, liked, and loved again, and slowly she formulates a plan to safely leave her dangerous husband. But unbeknownst to Donna, Marco is in serious trouble, and has desperate plans of his own, and absolutely no regard for her safety.

** This is a work of fiction, but malignant narcissists really do exist, and it is a recognised mental illness. Unfortunately, many people never realise that they are involved with a narcissist, because their actions are so demonically bad as to be unimaginable and unbelievable, and so they spend their lives in misery, depression, fear, and isolation. If only by the accidental reading of a fictional story, I hope that this book will help even one person, unknowingly suffering narcissistic abuse, to realise that they don’t have to, and that it’s never too late to start over, be happy, be fulfilled, to love and care for yourself, and be truly loved and respected by others.

Jo Robinson very recently returned to her homeland, South Africa, after having lived in rural Zimbabwe for eighteen years. Her obsessive affection for the African continent, most humans, and all creatures feathered and furred are what inspire her writing. She is the author of African Me & Satellite TV, the science-fiction/fantasy series Shadow People, and a couple of short stories, which will be free to download from Amazon from 26 to 30 December, Fly Birdie and The Visitation.

To win eBook copies of Shadow People and African Me & Satellite TV, send Jo a message from THIS page.

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