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Seldom do I pick up a novel and immediately dive into the imagination of the story. This book is a rare exception to that rule as A Discovery of Witches captivated and transported me into an excellently crafted tale of a powerful witch discovering who she really was.
The numerous references to ancient writing within the story is well researched, obvious by the author's expert use of these texts to reinforce her plot. The romance weaved between witch and vampire intially put this reader on guard for a possible repeat of another well-known vampire story. However, this was not to be the case and Deborah Harkeness is to be commended for creating her characters richly with their own unique personalities, conflicts and conquests.
An enjoyable read that does not present even momentary drag in the flow of the story, A Discovery of Witches is definitely recommended for the avid paranormal romance enthusiast's summer novel list.
This author highly recommends A Discovery of Witches and hopes Deborah Harkness has plans for a sequel.
Review written by Marti Melville
April 20, 2010
Imagine yourself treasure hunting through stacks and piles of paper when suddenly you discover a jewel hidden in the files once belonging to Michael Crighton. Pirate Latitudes is just such a find, discovered after the notorious author had passed on, a manuscript not yet published.
The very idea of reading a manuscript written by one of the masters intrigued me enough to open the cover of this newly published novel. To my surprise, the words were scribed much the way a rough draft manuscript would be written, prior to the many editing efforts accompanying a polished publication. It was exciting reading paragraphs which appeared as mere entries for ideas to be developed at a later time. As I am an author still crawling along the path well-paved by Mr. Crighton, I was inspired to read his fresh, raw imagination spilled out onto each page.
Paragraph by paragraph, the tale of the swaggering Captain Charles Hunter bubbles forth as the reader is swept along his plot to capture the Spanish galleon, El Trinidad and make off with its bounteous booty. Cunning and skill are required to achieve such a feat, which Captain Hunter is advised is impossible. Still, the temptation for such a feat is irresistible as he gathers a rag-tag crew, each member selected for unique and valuable skills he (or she) brings to the undertaking. Prodded by the generous bribery of Port Royal's own governor, Sir James Almont, Captain Hunter sets sail in the Cassandra, his destination the dangerous port Mantanceros. The adventures to follow test the skills of his crew and the bravery of their captain, the outcome not without reward.
Pirate Latitudes is a wonderful read for those who are Michael Crichton fans, as well as for aspiring and established authors alike. The reader will delight in the typical form used by this great author as he follows a similar course as his other works, Jurassic Park, the Andromeda Strain, the television phenomenon ER and others.
I heartily bequeath my recommendation to those seeking the adventure on the high seas with a masterly written novel, Pirate Latitudes.
Trepidation was the term I'd use to describe my attitude when I glanced at this 700 page "how to" book. I had just finished writing another novel and was not prepared to launch into a book of this size. However, the name intrigued me. I needed to know exactly what each of the 1001 ways entailed in order to be successful as an author.
Not long after opening the cover, I found myself drawn into the meat of this author's experiences and realized that this book contained all that was needed to move forward with a successful marketing plan for my novel. Unwittingly, my highlighter was taken up and the pages marked and referenced for my own use. John Kremer has compiled an amazing list of ideas and steps to take for any publisher or author to successfully market their inventory. The book reads more as an in-depth reference list than as a book to read cover-to-cover. Indeed, that is not how the author intended it to be utilized, and wisely so. Various aspects of marketing books are presented for all levels and areas of authorship, publishing, agency, distributorship, etc. The reader will be impressed with his ability to reference any area of immediate interest and find the answer listed within the pages of this book.
My recommendation is for every author, agent and publisher to own a personal copy of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. I plan to continue utilizing the information, advice and suggestions listed within its pages now as I market my current novel and in the future as I work through the next series.
I have already recommended 1001 Ways to Market Your Books to several other authors I have the opportunity to associate with and will recommend it during an upcoming lecture for my local writer's league.
Today is the day to get started on marketing your books. You can do this by following the suggestions in 1001 Ways to Market Your Books.
Review written by Marti Melville
September 6, 2010
Liften from the ancient pages of The Book of Kings, the story of Jeroboam as he dwells in ancient Egypt is brought to life in John Howard Reid's novel, In All His Glory.
With spendid detail, the reader is transported back to the days of the Pharaohs and submerged into the ordeal of life as a Jew in hostile desert lands, an outcast from his own country, struggling to survive amongst Egyptian royalty. John Howard Reid has obviously done his homework as is evidenced by the detailed description of ancient Egyptian culture, biblical tradition and the interaction of both cultures centuries before Christianity's birth as a religious movement.
The story is compelling and moves the reader along at a steady pace, urging one to read to the end. As is typical for John Howard Reid, the story delivers an unexpected twist within the final pages. Pondering the contents of the epilogue allowed me to pleasantly imagine the probability of Reid's story just told. Details are full and vibrant in pieces. For brief moments, the reader rides a roller-coaster of rich information which then dips to deliver scant data before turning to a new subject, leaving one to wonder "what just happened". Opportunity to paint and unseen image of architechture, mannerism or culture are lost as the author seems to rush on to the next event, occasionally leaving the impression that the plot has been replaced by a series of scenes. Just as frustration builds due to unquenched thirst for detail, the description lifts once again carrying the reader on to view a new picture painted of life amongst the pyramids.
The main character, Jeroboam, dances between dialogue spoken from ancient tongue and modern-day figures of speech distracting the reader from the experience intended by the story. Use off occasional vocabulary pulled from the author's probable reference to a thesarus also causes a shift of the story. However, these minor deterrents do not detract enought to cause loss of interest in "what happens next" in the reader's mind.
I recommend In All His Glory to anyone looking for an enjoyable hypothetical historical fiction. The novel is an easy read, provides gentle entertainment and a quick escape. Recommended for all ages Young Adult and older.