I've taken down the ornaments, removed the lights, and taken out the most wonderful tree we ever had. The season's over, and it's sad. But Mum's still here and sons still promise to visit and life is good. It's just hard not to mourn the passing of that beautiful, beautifully decorated, beautifully scented piece of wood that has dominated our living room. Suddenly space... and maybe time to read.
With my apologies for late posting of these book reviews, promised last year, posted in this...
And with the sincere hope you'll find a cup of coffee as well as a good book to your taste.
First is a Christmas story - late I know, but with a message for all seasons. A Christmas Gift from the Past, by S.A. Molteni is a sweet short seasonal story, told in a convincing conversational style with complex sentences, drifting memories, and a beautiful message for all seasons. Enjoy with a lively easy-drinking 2-star coffee.
Hearts at Play, by Melissa Foster is a sweet romantic novel, fairly short, a fairly quick read, with a nice sense of delayed gratification as the risk-taker and risk-averse meet and fall in love. Bedroom scenes are fully detailed, sensual and fun; and the inevitable misunderstandings of romance are never too tense or disturbing. Enjoy with a balanced full-flavored 3-star coffee.
Whatever Happened to Mourning Free, by Yael Politis is a much longer tale, blending romance with history and social commentary, and bringing a trilogy of novels to a truly satisfying close. Whatever happened stands alone, but it's a haunting depiction of how the trials and victories of the past can still be mirrored in the present, and battles won are battles still being fought. Set in the 1800s and 1960s Detroit, it views racial issues through a pleasing blend of innocence and guilt, and invites the reader to ponder the present day too, while presenting a wonderful historical novel, wrapped in a modern romance. Enjoy some rich, elegant and complex 4-star coffee with this elegant complex tale.
Leaving romance behind, No Mercy, a Sgt Major Crane murder mystery, by Wendy Cartwell, is actually a short collection of short stories, where romance and more have gone seriously wrong. Blending horror with police procedure, the first story stars the sergeant major of a longer series of novels, introducing him with complex detail and backstory. Enjoy these dark tales with some bold dark intense 5-star coffee.
Staying with short stories and moving deeper into horror, Southern Haunts, Devils in the Darkness, edited by Alexander Brown and Louise Myers, illustrated by Robert K., is a long, strong collection of truly scary tales, with shocks, horror, humor, dark mystery, classic don't-go-theres, evocative swamps, and prose as smooth and slithery as the demons. Enjoy some classic bold, dark, intense 5-star coffee with these, but don't read them alone on a dark and stormy night.
And moving on into realms of dark and epic fantasy, Crown of Vengeance (Fires in Eden book 1) by Stephen Zimmer blends Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant with Game of Thrones, Dungeons and Dragons, and touches of Lord of the Rings as a motley group of modern day Americans find themselves in a fantasy Saxon (Saxan) world, with swords, monsters, and maybe sorcery. It's part one of a series, and it's a long, thoroughly epic tale filled with complex descriptions interrupted by frantic violence. Enjoy with some more bold dark intense five-star coffe.
That's not all I've read, but it's all I've reviewed up to now. More coming soon, I hope... more books and more typing to fill that empty space where a bright-lit tree once stood.