Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Books around the world: Iceland

Hello, I recently read a book called A Fist or a Heart by Kristin Eiriksdottir, an Icelandic author. This book was different than others I have read and is listed as Magical Realism. We see the story unfold from the eyes of an older woman who makes stage prompts for a living but are also treated to another perspective, that of a teenage writer who has her first play performed in the local theater.

Memories blend with the present, and the effect is interesting. One must be paying attention when reading this, and different people are likely to pull different underlying meanings from the unfolding of events. 

Some things are left unclear, but the this enhances the "magical" mood of the tale. Overall, it's an interesting novel with the benefit of giving insights into Icelandic culture.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Hello! I'm happy to announce that I have a free short story up to read. It's very short and is about angels, vampires, and zombies. Why not check it out and maybe leave a comment? Thank you!
http://www.longandshortreviews.com/category/free-short-stories/

Monday, October 7, 2019

Book review of Crush: A Tale of Two Vineyards

Hello, I was given a free copy of the contemporary romance novel Crush: A Tale of Two Vineyards in return for an honest review.






BLURB:

Will the rare love that comes once in a lifetime win her over? Crush: A Tale of Two Vineyards is a compelling and enchanting novel set among vineyards in Southern France and Central California.

Spending summers at her grandparents’ vineyard, Clos de Harmonie, Olivia found her passion for winemaking and pursued a degree in Viticulture and Enology. Olivia accepts an invitation from a Frenchman to complete her master’s degree project at his family’s fifth generation biodynamic vineyard in France.

She and the French winemaker have an instant attraction. With her project complete, she struggles with the desire to stay in France and the knowledge she is neglecting her grandparents’ vineyard. Called back to California by an unforeseen turn of events, Olivia focuses on getting Clos de Harmonie certified as a biodynamic vineyard. Her dream is to make authentic, natural wine that captures the landscape and its essence in a bottle.

As she wrestles with her long-distance love interest, the challenges of reviving a rundown vineyard, and trouble with the landowner next door, Olivia finds strength in the human spirit and the need to prove herself in a sea of doubters.

An evocative story that awakens the senses, Crush captures the complex layers and enduring bonds of family amidst the dramas and joys of winemaking. The magic and mysteries of biodynamic farming come to life along with a colorful cast of characters in both France and California.


Excerpt:

Professor Clark, my graduate adviser, walked to the podium. The guest speaker followed. With his lean build, he glided across the stage. He stood tall and relaxed in a white linen long-sleeved shirt and blue jeans. While the professor introduced him, he scanned the audience, and his eyes landed on me in the front row. I sat up straight and wished I’d worn something more flattering than jeans and a T-shirt. Mom always told me never leave the house without looking your best. His brown eyes met mine before he took the podium.

So, this was Lucien Laroche. I was to be his ambassador for the weekend. Professor Clark had asked me to take Lucien to consult with two wineries near Santa Barbara. Since I was going to my nana’s vineyard in the valley already, it worked out perfectly.

“Biodynamic agriculture springs from a spiritual worldview called anthroposophy,” Lucien Laroche stated. His French accent had me. “A biodynamic farm is a living system. A self-sustaining ecosystem that is responsible for creating and maintaining its health without any outside or unnatural additions. Each farm has its own unique characteristics.”

I followed his every move. His presence held my attention. My undivided attention.

My Review:

Olivia finished up her master’s degree and intends on managing her grandparents’ vineyard and winery. She meets Luke, a charming man from France and a guest speaker in her class, and they connect right away. They agree that Olivia will do her internship at his family’s vineyard in France. When she goes, their relationship develops into something serious, as the chemistry between them greatly complements the lifestyle they have in common. They understand each other and have the same values, and readers are sure to love them.

The concept of a biodynamic vineyard plays a large role here. The author does a great job bringing readers into this world with exquisite details that please the senses. One gets an authentic feel for just what this type of vineyard requires to thrive. It’s fun to get a close-up view of what it’s like to run a vineyard in general, as well. Coziness exudes from the pages as readers are presented with delightful specifics about the wine-producing world and the land. The sights, sounds, textures, tastes, and scents fill out this beautiful, interesting world. 

The supporting characters add interest and intrigue. They enrich the story and complicate things. Readers will care about what happens to them and how their subplots will affect the main plot. The intertwining nature of the stories within a story are done with expertise. 


As the romance begins, there’s a looming and serious question hanging over their heads. Both Luke and Olivia have family vineyards to think about, an ocean apart. What will happen with that? Then there’s Luke’s family. Not all of them approve of Olivia. 

When Olivia goes back home, she discovers she has inherited her grandparents’ vineyard and is determined to do great things with it. The author provides vivid and convincing information to demonstrate Olivia’s passion for her vineyard. It is her dream, her life’s work. But she loves Luke. This puts serious doubts into a reader’s mind that it could work with Luke, who is equally as dedicated to his own family’s vineyard.


Complications amp up the stakes in this story. So much is at risk. Olivia’s dream of a biodynamic winery is in grave danger of being destroyed. How does she handle these difficulties? Even with the trying people in her life, Olivia acts with graciousness, making her a lovely character. 

Readers are sure to love her and Luke and enjoy this tale about a woman with a dream meeting the challenges along the way with grace. 





AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Joye Emmens is also the author of She’s Gone. She lives in California with her husband.

Website: www.jemmens.com






Giveaway:
Joye Emmens will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Please follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2019/08/review-tour-crush-tale-of-two-vineyards.html   

Welcome to author Anne Holster

Hello, Anne, welcome. Congratulations on your YA Romance book release, Finding Jackson . BLURB: It's 1977 - Star Wars is ...