Welcome To My Blog

Book reviews ... Author interviews ... and anything else I think might be of interest to writers and readers.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Disraeli Avenue ...

by Caroline Smailes … a review ...

Disraeli Avenue is like a box of butterflies. Each of the thirty two chapters has it’s own distinctive pattern. Some will make you laugh, and some will make you cry. Some will make you go back and read them again; and like butterflies, some will prove elusive.

In this novella, Caroline Smailes has created thirty two snapshots of moments in time which weave in and out of the plot of In Search Of Adam. You will recognise the characters, and they’ll make you think about ISoA in a new way.

Caroline has also used the novella to demonstrate the sheer joy and excitement of writing. Each self-contained chapter reveals its secret in a different way, making a unique impression on the mind.

The final chapter takes you right into the heart of ISoA. It throws light into some of the darker corners, but still leaves some questions unanswered. And chapters 19 and 30 will make you ache for Jude even more.

Like In Search of Adam, Disraeli Avenue is a ‘must read’, but more than that, it has been written in order to help all the ‘Judes’ out there. Disraeli Avenue is available as a free download from Caroline’s website, and Caroline has done all this to benefit the charity One In Four which helps people who have suffered abuse.

Please click the links below for more information:

Caroline's Website

Caroline's Blog

And please help if you can.
PS - lovely Sarah has given me an award. I'd like to pass it on to Sally, Lane, Leigh and Caroline.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Garden Spells ...

… by Sarah Addison Allen … a review

In Garden Spells, Sarah Addison Allen has created a cast full of people you will care about, and the magic in the story will enchant you so much that you won’t be able to put it down. The writing is full of vividly drawn imagery, realistically captured emotion; and intrigue which will keep you gripped to the last page.

You’ll need to know what happens to sisters Claire and Sydney, and you’ll have to find out how Sydney’s daughter, Bay, tries to make everything right in her world. All three of them are Waverleys , and Waverleys are different. This is where the magic comes in – literally – and takes the book to a higher level.

As Sarah says on her website, Garden Spells ‘was supposed to be a simple story about two sisters reconnecting after many years. But then the apple tree started throwing apples and the story took on a life of its own...’

The special powers of the Waverley sisters make this book more than just a romantic family story. With magic as part of the mix, you just don’t know what will happen next. And Claire’s recipes, which will cure everything from curiosity to a broken heart, keep the book grounded in a sphere which feels familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.

As Claire cooks, you’ll taste the marigolds in your mouth and the lilac jelly exploding on your tongue. You’ll smell the lavender and the mint as you move through her house with her, and you’ll hear the thump of apples landing on the grass in her garden.

Every character in the book is important, from Aunt Evanelle who just knows that she has to give people certain things but doesn’t know why, to Fred who can’t understand why his boyfriend has left him, and Tyler who wants Claire so much it makes him give off purple sparks. Even the characters we don’t get to meet – like Claire and Sydney’s mother – seem real.

And of course, in the centre of it all, is that unruly tree that throws apples at people … and only learns to behave and stop when Bay starts throwing them back.

After all this, the breathtaking conclusion to the book will leave you feeling drained and longing for a sequel.

The paperback edition is released by Hodder in May. I’ll post a reminder nearer the time.

PS - is it just me, or has blogger gone totally insane?