Monday, 3 July 2017

Hot Summer Reads!

July already and it's averaging 40 degrees Celsius here in Greece. The heat's not so conducive to writing - or much else for that matter - I do not do air conditioning (for various reasons I won't bore you with here!) So with fans swirling overhead, I've been reading and packing for a long awaited trip home for my niece's wedding. So here's the (wedding) low-down on what I'm currently reading (or planning to)!


The Aviary Gate by Katie Hickman. I'm about a third of the way in and intrigued! A friend of mine, who I always meet on holiday, gave me this last year (it had been passed on to her from a friend of hers). I had a pile of books on the go and didn't start it then. This year I picked it up and I'm really stuck in it.

The story slips smoothly between the present and the past following the research of Elizabeth Stavely, who is running away from a troubled trelationship, and Paul Pinder, who discovers that his lost fiance may just be the newest slave in the sultan's harem. The detail and research that must have gone into the book are phenomenal. Hickman, not only builds strong characters but also gives a vivid description of life in Constantinople of the 1500s. I can't wait to see if Pindar rescues Celia and if Elizabeth get over her relationship Marius. I'm also curious about Elizabeth's very strong sense of intuition.


On a much lighter note, Bite Somebody Else by Sara Dobie Bauer is my new book as it was released in June. It continues the story of vampire friends Imogen and Celia, this time from the perspective of Imogen. (Celia took the lead in volume 1, Bite Somebody - which I also read recently - the Kindle edition is currently on offer on Amazon for 99p!)

I'm about to dive into this one, but the blurb makes it sound just as exciting as Bite Somebody. Imogen is wild and crazy and on the surface seems not to give a damn about anyone, but I somehow feel that she's about to show a deeper side in this novel. Now Celia is pregnant with a human/vampire baby, Imogen has to deal with the ancient vampire history who wishes to follow Celia's progress. Bauer's writing style is quick witted and very funny. She makes reference to other contemporary vampire fiction and has familiar tropes, yet there is something delightfully original that will suck you in.


Living in a provincial town in Greece means that reading material is in short supply unless you have $s to spend. (Which, due to the financial crisis/wedding, I do not!) Fortunately, my local library has a quite a good foreign language section which consists mostly of classics donated by graduates returning from English philology studies in the UK. This gives me the opportunity to catch up on reading books I feel I should have read, but never have. So my borrowed book at the moment is The Thirty-nine Steps by John Buchan. I have only just started reading it and I love that very British voice that classic writers have. I've tried to emulate it in one or two of my stories and it's not easy. This is one of those occasions where I have seen the film, by Alfred Hitchcock, first and now I'm reading the book. Apparently there are other stories with Richard Hannay as the protagonist, so I'll be looking out for those too.

If you do not know the story, here's a quick overview: Richard Hanney returns to London after growing up in South Africa and finds life boring as hell. He is on the verge of returning to S.A. when he's accosted by a dead man and dragged into a story of espionage and murder that takes him to the wilds of Scotland and turns him into a the prime suspect in a murder investigation.


Call of Fire by Beth Cato and is the sequel to Breath of Earth, which I read last summer, but have only just gotten round to reviewing. (Shameful, I know.) I can't wait to catch up with geomancer Ingrid Carmicheal, Cy, Lee and Fenris and see what is going to happen since they were left fleeing San Francisco after the devastating earthquake at the end of the last book. It seems they're going to get tangled with ambassadors and turn to Theodor Roosevelt for help. The galley reviews on Goodreads are really promising another great story! So why is this blue? That's how I feel because it doesn't come out until August 15th!