Soul Taker on ‘Indie California’

I got wonderful news! I was informed that Soul Taker is available in “Indie California’! Read more about it below – I am so very excited!! Please, help me spread the word! Thank you!

 

See the message I got here below


Aurora Jean Alexander,

Congratulations, you have successfully moved into the library space!

Your book, Soul Taker, is now available in Indie California, a collection of books from local indie authors available exclusively on the BiblioBoard Library mobile and web platform. This collection is available to patrons of participating libraries all across your state/region. That’s right, your book is now available with just one click of a button to thousands of new readers in your state/region!

Your Book

http://library.biblioboard.com/content/229d87e0-0c88-40d4-9374-db20647b52e1

Series Additions

After I had published ‘Soul Taker,’ I was told there were a few questions left open in my book, for example – what would happen to that angel Katie met with Raphael, Sundance?

The second book, ‘Sundance,’ answered those questions, but then I was asked if there was more to be read about the warriors in that book… it can’t be that they… and so on.

I admit I was a bit surprised at first. I know tons of books where we have, as usually, protagonists, antagonists, sub-characters, and tons of ‘small’ characters that don’t have too much of a purpose, except being there for one or two scenes and then disappear. We all know ‘the maid’ or ‘the butler’ or ‘the mailman’ in many movies. The person enters a scene, does or even says something and leaves… but in my case, I got questioned about the future of some of the supporting characters. I first was confused but then finally decided to take it as a compliment. It seems, even my supporting characters are important enough to my readers that they’re interested in what happens to them!

But let’s get back to the additions to a book series.

See, ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series is quite well planned. A book ‘in-between’ is basically impossible. But what I could do is write some ‘extra stories.’  The first word that came to my mind was: Sequel. From what I learned in the meantime, that is not exactly what these additions to an existing series would be.

According to Jim Henry, on his homepage jimhenry.conlang.org, the definition of a sequel would be:

“Sequel” (from Latin “sequela”) originally seems to have meant “what happens next”; later it took on the additional meaning of “a story whose events take place later in the same imagined history as a certain other story” — usually with reference to novels, but also short stories, epic poems, and films.

He did mention different definitions of additional stories as well. According to Jim Henry, Wikipedia defines “interquel” as a story taking place between two previously published ones. Jeffrey Henning has a different definition of “interquel,” basically the same as Jim Henry’s coinage “paraquel” (see below).

paraquel
a story that takes place simultaneously with a certain other story
circumquel
a story that takes place partly before, partly after a certain other story
inquel
a story that takes place during a gap in some other story’s narrative

Now, armed with all that information about the different ‘extra-stories,’ will I be writing anything then? And if yes, why? I’ll tell you:

I was asked about these character’s stories – and I think, if these ‘supporting characters’ are so very important to my readers, I will tell their story too.

However, I decided to ‘collect’ the additional stories in an extra book. To tell you the truth, I’m not that much into finding out whether they are inquels, interquels or ‘whatever’-quels, as long as my readers love the characters and stories, but I promise, they will be extraordinary and they will make my supporting characters the center of their own story’s universe. They might not be novels or novellas, they might be novelettes – but they will introduce you to a wonderful personality which tells you how the character is linked to ‘The Council Of Twelve,’ and I’m convinced you will love them.

Thank you to those who asked me to tell their tale as well. I’m very honored!

 

 

Looking For A Character Name

As the author of ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series, I admit, I’m a bit proud of twelve quite impressive characters, if I may say so. Of course, even though, so far, only two books in the series have been published, there are many more to come. A series of books usually holds many more characters than a mere dozen.

During the progress of the series, things are changing, known characters stay, others leave, some have to go, and new ones are introducing themselves to us. And these characters not only need to look (which this one I’m writing about now, already does)… he also needs a name.

Usually, I don’t have problems finding names. I wrote in an earlier post, ‘Character Names – Worth A Research,’ how I usually pick names for my characters.

This time it’s different, I’m afraid. I picked many names – but only can have one… and I cannot decide. Would you please help me?

My character is a tall, muscular man with bronze-colored skin and long, straight black hair that reaches down to his waist, and dark eyes. He’s got a good, strong heart, is loyal, a little bit stubborn, and holds great dignity. He likes to smile, but he takes his calling seriously.

Name                 Meaning                                                             Origin

Admiel              Land of God, a  variant form of Adam           Hebrew

Asariel              God is my aid                                                    Hebrew

Ethanael           God has given me strength                    English/American

Sariel                 Prince of God                                                    Hebrew

Immanuel        God is with us                                                   Hebrew

Indraneel         Sapphire                                                             Arabic

Jaromiel          Strong, fierce, favor, grace                               Slavic

Jeremiel          God lifts me up                                                  Hebrew

Kadmiel           God is my East                                                  Hebrew

Nahuel              Jaguar                                                                Mapuche

 

I’d really appreciate it if you could let me know what do you think. Which name would match the character I described? What name would you pick if you had that character in your book? Or what name would you like to read in one of the following books in the series?

 

I’m curious about what name you will decide on, and I can barely wait to see the results. Thank you for your help.

 

 

My Favorite 10 Books Of All Times III

Picture courtesy of unsplash.com

Continued…

I once owned many, many books – shelves full of books. But lately, things have changed for me. I moved – and if I had taken everything with me, only my loads and loads of books would probably have filled an entire shipping container. I, therefore, decided on a handful of my favorites, and I donated the rest of them. (that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re lost, after all, I have most of them electronically on my e-reader).
But a few books had to travel with me – books that are antiques – books that would have been lost if I hadn’t taken them… favorite books – MY favorite books, to be precise. Let me tell you what books I’m talking about – and why…

Death on the Nile – Agatha Christie

Blurb

Beloved detective Hercule Poirot embarks on a journey to Egypt in one of Agatha Christies most famous mysteries, Death on the Nile. The tranquility of a cruise along the Nile was shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway had been shot through the head. She was young, stylish, and beautiful. A girl who had everything . . . until she lost her life. Hercule Poirot recalled an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: I’d like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger. Yet in this exotic setting, nothing is ever quite what it seems.

My opinion

I admit I cut a little bit away from the blurb because I thought it doesn’t belong into a book blurb, to mention that it will be turned in a movie, following the ‘Orient-Express’ movie that was so successful, ect. etc. etc. If I think about Hercule Poirot, there is only one actor I always see right in front of my eyes: The great Peter Ustinov! But that isn’t what I wanted to say. To me, Death On The Nile is a wonderful example of many surprising and amazing detective stories Agatha Christie wrote. And still, this single adventure is apart, unique and maybe to me, it’s the tropical places in the story, the obvious killer who isn’t the murderer and the possibilities because, theoretically everybody on the ship could have done it – and had a reason… I’m usually convinced Agatha Christie is such a beloved author that the entire world knows who the murderer actually is – but I’ll be nice and won’t tell it here – just in case…


The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco

Blurb

The year is 1327. Benedictines in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon—all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where “the most interesting things happen at night.”

My opinion

I had difficulties to read the book, even though I heard so much about it and was fascinated by the place and time of the book. It took me about three or four times until I finally got into the story. But then, once really starting, I fell in love with the little vanities of William of Baskerville, and of course, the dark secrets, the political intrigues, and of course, the past of some of the monks. How did they get there? What made them their calling? And I realized, back then, it wasn’t a calling to become a monk and a priest… it often was the family’s decision – or just the necessity to have a roof over the head and something to eat. Also, some of them liked the respect they earned as a man of God. And still, these men were not free of sin – as can be read in that book. The darkness of and secrets in the monastery is intimidating and, at times, unsettling. The author uses clear words and doesn’t spare us with blood and murder. William of Baskerville seems a strong and calm pillar within the sinful world of these monks… and then came the inquisition… The name of the Rose is a phenomenal book written by a great author.


Cheaper By The Dozen And Bells On their Toes – Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. & Ernestine Gilbreth-Carey

Blurb

Cheaper by the Dozen: Made into two classic movies—one starring Clifton Webb and the other starring Steve Martin—and translated into more than fifty languages, Cheaper by the Dozen is an amusing, endearing, and unforgettable memoir of the Gilbreth clan as told by siblings Frank Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth.

Mother and Dad are world-renowned efficiency experts, helping factories fine-tune their assembly lines for maximum output at minimum cost. At home, the Gilbreths themselves have cranked out twelve kids, and Dad is out to prove that efficiency principles can apply to family as well as the workplace—with riotous results.

“A touching family portrait that also happens to be very, very funny.” —Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

Belles on Their Toes: With twelve kids, life at the Gilbreth house has always been a big project. But after their father passes away, there are more challenges than ever. As their resourceful mother works to keep the family business running, the kids tackle the adventures of raising themselves and running a household.

With the irrepressible blend of humor and good cheer characteristic of one of the most beloved families in America, the Gilbreths rise to every occasion and find a way to keep it all together. Belles on Their Toes was also made into a movie with Myrna Loy and Jeanne Crain reprising their roles.

“There is a sincere and heartwarming atmosphere in this second volume that makes it almost better reading, if possible, than the first.” —Library Journal

My opinion

I got this book as a birthday present when I was about twelve years old. I started reading – and was immediately hooked. The book made me laugh, cry, and feel! I was connected to that family, like probably thousands of readers before me. Ernestine Gilbreth Carey and Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. touched millions of hearts by telling their childhood stories touchingly and humorously.

Lilian Moller Gilbreth and Frank Gilbreth sr. Planned an extended family, right after they got married – six boys and six girls. After seventeen years, they finally reached their goal. The two family members describe their life within the family so entertaining and humorous, it’s fun to read the book. I keep reading it about once a year, and it never gets boring.

However, there are a few little things I had to query. I realized that Mary, the second child, after Anne, was only mentioned one single time and never again in the entire book. What happened to her? The first boy, Frank B. (one of the authors), was born as the fifth child, after Anne, Mary, Ernestine, and Martha, but we don’t read anything else about Mary after that information. I had to do intense research to find out more. (Jane Lancaster who wrote a biography about the career woman Lilian Moller-Gilbreth) According to Jane Lancaster, Mary died from diphtheria. I wondered why the authors of the family books never mentioned it. I can only guess that they didn’t want to add too much sadness to this very humorous and cheerful family story. Also, they concealed another fact: apparently, their mother conceived another child but lost it. It appears that the family could not, as described in the book, stay together after the passing of the father, Frank B. Gilbreth sr. According to Jane Lancaster, at least one of the children was sent to the grandparents to California to grow up.

Maybe I shouldn’t be so very fussy about these details… maybe including these facts, the book would not have become what it did. It is a bewitching classic book, full of life, emotions, and laughter, something everyone needs once in a while!

First Fantasy Newsletter Swap 2020

First Fantasy Newsletter Swap 2020

 


Welcome readers to the Writer’s Treasure Chest first Fantasy Newsletter Swap event. In this post, you will find books, sales, and giveaways by ten Fantasy authors. Not only that but you will have chances at getting free stuff if you subscribe to their newsletters. Please, look around and enjoy these wonderful books. Happy shopping and hopefully you will find a book to snuggle up with over the coming months.

Deals are good through:

January 22nd – 26th


Allison D. Reid

Two Books for $0.99!

The Wind Rider Chronicles is an uplifting Christian fantasy series that blends traditional fantasy elements with spiritual themes. Each book is a clean read that can be enjoyed by fantasy lovers of all ages.

Journey to Aviad
Elowyn lifts a strange silvery object from a woodland stream. Is it a medallion? A coin? Looking about curiously, she also finds a helm, a bow, broken arrows…and blood drenched soil. Something terrible has happened in this usually peaceful wood. Her world—the whole world—is about to change forever…

Into the Shadow Wood
Einar has lost everything: his home, his Sovereign, and his purpose. His friend Nevon died trying to fulfill a dangerous oath…one that Einar disagreed with, but now feels honor-bound to take up in his stead. The quest plunges him into the depths of the dark and twisted Shadow Wood where his strength, his beliefs, and his sanity are all tested. Will Nevon’s fate end up being his own?

Purchase Link: https://payhip.com/b/9pfe

Follow Allison @ the Following:

Website: https://allisondreid.com/
Blog: https://allisondreid.com/blog/
Newsletter: http://www.subscribepage.com/AllisonDReid
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JourneytoAviad/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AllisonDReid

FREE eBook with Sign-Up!

Get book 2, Ancient Voices: Into the Depths by signing up for Allison D. Reid’s bi-monthly newsletter.

Subscribe: http://www.subscribepage.com/AllisonDReid


Yvette Bostic

FREE on KU/$3.99

Magic can’t be real, right? Tell that to the werewolf glaring at me with his near-black eyes or the handsome vampire lounging in the corner.

Did I enjoy growing up rejected by everyone I encountered because of my physical abnormalities? Hell no! The only thing I ever wanted was to be accepted by someone. Not everyone, just anyone. A normal job and one solid meal a day would’ve been nice too.

You know that old saying, “Be careful what you wish for?”
Yeah, that one really sucks.

After a vampire kidnapped me, I suddenly became wanted by all the wrong people. Why would those blood sucking fiends want a deformed, malnourished woman who looked more like a little girl? The elemental mage who stole me from the vampires and forced me into a role I wasn’t prepared for, didn’t provide any explanations.

I thought I wanted to know the answers, but discovering the truth forced me into a fight for my life. One I wasn’t sure I could win.

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07V261CSV

Follow Yvette Bostic @ the Following:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The.Watcher.and.the.Sentinel
Twitter: https://twitter.com/YvetteBostic
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yvettebosticauthor/


J.R. Castle

PermaFREE Book!

A Different Kind of Love Story…
Start Your Adventure for FREE at your favorite bookstore:
If the Wizard of Oz swept you away and Narnia enchanted you, then follow the White Road Chronicles for a new kind of adventure.
Join Alyra as she undertakes a dangerous journey that leads her down an incredible white-stoned road with strange traveling companions. Together, they encounter a kingdom where nothing is what it first seems.

Purchase Links: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AIVX3UA or https://www.books2read.com/u/b6Q8yE

Follow J.R. Castle @ the Following:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/J.R.CastleFantasyAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jackie_Castle
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jackie_castle_author/

FREE eBook with Sign-Up!

Get J.R. Castle’s latest book in her new series titled: “Veiled Blossoms” by signing up for her newsletter.

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Paris Hansch

FREE with Sign-Up!

A priestess, a dragon god – and a lie that threatens to destroy them all.

Celia is about to break her vow.

As the head priestess of the most powerful dragon temple in the empire – Celia is a shining example of knowledge, purity, and unquestioning loyalty to the imperial couple, the legendary dragon gods themselves.

Sworn caretakers of their citizens, the priestesses must awaken the power of the spirit arts in others and guide the next generations.

But all is not what it seems. Everything they’ve been taught, everything Celia knows, is wrong.

Following Celia’s disastrous visit to the capital, she is trapped amidst a chaotic scheme that spans over a thousand years beyond her lifetime… and is now faced with the ultimate betrayal.

Her Imperial Highness seeks to destroy Celia and her people – the very same people who serve her empire without question.

As the other dragon temple’s refugees pour in, Celia is forced to decide where her loyalties lie.

Will she make a final stand against a dragon god and protect her family, or will her loyalty to the gods last until her final breath?

Download Today: https://parishansch.com/lm-tls

Follow Paris Hansch @ the Following:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19254935.Paris_Hansch


K.M. Jenkins

99¢ Short Read

Aerigon has had a hard life. He never knew his parents and grew up on the generosity of others. As an orphan Aerigon has no true place to call home. When the Forest of Ferrês calls, he finds himself in a nightmare worse than the abyss. He will face evils and creatures man can only dream up in nightmares. Will there be a light at the end of the darkness or will he be lost to the shadows of Ferrês forever?

You have seen the light and a hint of darkness within the Forest of Ferrês. Now walk with Aerigon as he faces the horrors within. Journey to the dark side where kyres fear to tread. Read and find out if Aerigon can face the world’s darkest demons. Will he make it out alive? You will only find out in the 5th installment within the Tales of Ferrês story series.

Purchase Today: https://books2read.com/u/3LGVo5 or https://payhip.com/b/3wzs

Follow K.M. Jenkins @ the Following:

Website & Blog: https://authorkmjenkins.com
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BookSprout: https://booksprout.co/author/3717/k-m-jenkins
AllAuthors: https://allauthor.com/author/kmjenkins/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/K.M.-Jenkins/e/B07GDSWDK7
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/k-m-jenkins
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/kmjenkins_specfictionauthor

FREE eBook with Sign-Up!

Get Story #2, in the Tales of Ferrês series when you sign-up for K.M. Jenkins’ Newsletter. Become a Dragon Ryder VIP Reader Today!

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M.C. Frank

Mermaid Giveaway!

“Darius.” It came out choking from his chapped lips, and his head jerked as he tried to look up into her face.
“What now?”
“‘S my name. Darius. Thank you.”
Of all the humans drowning around her, she had to be stuck with the one who bothered to mind his manners as he was dying. She bit back a laugh. “Well, good to know. Stay alive, Darius.”
“Death feels so warm,” he whispered, those brown eyes hooded as they looked into hers. “Didn’t know there were mermaids in heaven. Ice mermaids…So beautiful. Jewels for eyes, pearls for hair.”
Behind them, the great ship that had the words “Titanic” painted on its bow was cracking as it tilted into the freezing waters of the ocean.

Lorelei gave a frustrated sigh and tightened her hold on him.

Ice Mermaid is a Salt for Air novella about a mermaid who witnesses the sinking of the Titanic.

Download Today: https://storyoriginapp.com/giveaways/51e4f378-e5e6-11e9-b1d7-47cf1f7f3075

Follow M.C. Frank @ the Following:

Facebook: https://facebook.com/mcfrankauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mcfrank_author
Instagram: https://instagram.com/mcfrank_author

FREE eBook with Sign-Up!

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Mary Duke

Epic Fantasy for $2.99!

Hey, this is Roselyn… Ugh. Why Do I do that? I hate how I always start these entries. I mean seriously; this is my journal. I’m easily two hundred pages in. It’s not like this is something new.
Anyway, I’m stalling. This is actually harder to write than I thought it would be. I haven’t even told my girls yet. I mean, how am I going to tell them I’ve fallen for one of the few people here who could kill me? One of the few people I promised my parents I would avoid at all costs.
How do I tell Evony that all I can think about is the son of the woman responsible for nearly causing her race to become extinct? How do I tell LIra, whose prophecies are taken with high regard by the Realm Keepers, that I’m ignoring her advice and meeting him tonight?
I know it’s wrong. I know I can literally have anyone else in this school, but I can’t get him out of my mind.
Something bigger is at play here.
How I feel isn’t natural; there’s no way.
So tonight, I’m going to meet him. Tonight, I will make Thayer tell me what the hell is going on.
-Until tomorrow … providing that Lira isn’t right and I don’t die the second he has me alone.

Purchase Today: http://mybook.to/FatedAllianceCI

Follow Mary Duke @ the Following:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iammaryduke
Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MarysRealmKeepers/
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Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ImMaryDuke/

FREE Story a Month with Sign-Up!

Subscribe: https://www.subscribepage.com/Newsletter.MaryDuke


Sheena Austin

Fantasy for $1.99!

Michelle always knew the head cheerleader who stole her boyfriend was demonic. She just didn’t realize Janice was an actual demon. And that’s not even the most interesting revelation of Michelle’s eighteenth birthday—also, coincidentally, prom night. She also learns that she is a half-angel warrior. And nothing could make for a more satisfying birthday-prom than sending that demon cheerleader straight back to hell. Then she discovers that her parents didn’t die when she was 16, after all. They’re alive, and they need her help. What else is a half-angel warrior to do? She heads out to kick some demon ass. Lucky for her, she’s also got her best friend Jonathan by her side. But there are still things she doesn’t know—not only about this hidden world she’s discovered, but about Jonathan himself. And those things could kill her if she isn’t careful.

Purchase Today: http://mybook.to/TroubleDemonsCI

Follow Sheena Austin @ the Following:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SheenaAustinAuthor/

FREE eBook with Sign-Up!

Get Sheena Austin’s Fantasy story “Alexandria” when you sign-up for her newsletter.

Subscribe: https://mailchi.mp/7aa310cc1250/sheenaaustin


A.J. Alexander

Smashwords Deal!

After long years in the line of duty as a ‘Soul Taker’, Kate is worn out.

When she gets a new job offer from the ‘Powers Above’, she accepts her new job as a Guardian gratefully without knowing that her teacher is one of the most powerful beings in existence, the Archangel Raphael.

Along with Raphael, she takes on her new task and the connection between them grows.

Raphael helps, protects and supports Kate, but suddenly, she becomes a target for the Demons of Hell.

Raphael realizes that Kate means more to him than he expected, which causes him to fight furiously against danger. If he fails, Kate’s future will contain eternal darkness, evil, and torture.

Purchase Today for $4.12: https://books2read.com/u/m2roOj

But Wait!!! Get 20% off through Smashwords when you subscribe to A.J. Alexander’s Newsletter!

Subscribe: https://us10.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=0818e0b14c2fd98b084419df2&id=fe55729465

Follow A.J. Alexander @ the Following:

Website: http://www.aurorajeanalexander.com/index.html
Blog: https://aurorajalexander.wordpress.com/
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Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/authorajalexander
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aurorajeanalexander
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authorauroraj/


Alice Ivinya

FREE on KU/$2.99!

Is forgiveness too high a cost to save a kingdom?Violet is hidden away by her father, a provincial lord, for having a deformed foot. She is tired of being ignored and longs to help her people, who have been abused and suppressed by the court for generations. Their ancient magic is almost forgotten.When she is caught up in a deadly rebellion, Violet is taken hostage by the king and dragged to the capital. A prisoner deprived of friends and family, she is thrown into a dangerous world of politics and strange magic, where men and beasts are bonded together. Violet realises she must quickly learn the rules of the castle in order to be a voice for her forgotten province. But the bonds that tie people are fragile, and true evil lurks in the shadows of the castle. As war and assassination threaten to break the kingdom apart, Violet realises that to save it, she must learn to forgive her captor. And maybe even allow herself to be loved.

Purchase Today: https://storyoriginapp.com/universalbooklinks/4ece9e5a-b81e-11e9-9ba7-3f8319817f47

Follow Alice Ivinya @ the Following:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sarahsfootsteps

FREE eBook with Sign-Up!

Get Alice Ivinya’s book “Avan’s Gift” when you sign-up for her newsletter.

Subscribe: https://mailchi.mp/0e212a879f8f/alicegent

 

My Favorite 10 Books Of All Times II

Picture courtesy of unsplash.com

Continued…

I once owned many, many books – shelves full of books. But lately, things have changed for me. I moved – and if I had taken everything with me, only my loads and loads of books would probably have filled an entire shipping container. I, therefore, decided on a handful of my favorites and I donated the rest of them. (that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re lost, after all, I have most of them electronically on my e-reader).
But a few books had to travel with me – books that are antiques – books that would have been lost if I hadn’t taken them… favorite books – MY favorite books, to be precise. Let me tell you what books I’m talking about – and why…

Lord of The Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien

Blurb

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron’s fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion.

When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.

The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.

This new edition includes the fiftieth-anniversary fully corrected text setting and, for the first time, an extensive new index.

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973), beloved throughout the world as the creator of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. His chief interest was the linguistic aspects of the early English written tradition, but while he studied classic works of the past, he was creating a set of his own.

My opinion

Like everybody else who adores the J. R. R. Tolkien books, I’m a big fan of this huge fantasy epos. I read the three old books, The Fellowship Of The Ring, The Two Towers and The Return Of The King and loved them. This book includes all three of them. I had never thought these books could be made into a film – and Peter Jackson surprised me to no end. I love the films too.

I admit, I love the Lord Of The Rings more than the Hobbit-books – but that’s only me. I heard other Tolkien-fans loving all of them or preferring the Hobbit books… However, we do have an excellent author with a never-again reached fantasy book series, unique worldwide. No wonder these books belong to my personal favorites of all time.


Phantom – Susan Kay

Blurb

Phantom of the Opera fans no longer need to ponder what was in Erik’s past, as Kay has created one for him in this deeply moving, poignant story. . . This sad, but beautiful, novel will be especially popular with [those] who have enjoyed the current musical . . . ” – School Library Journal “A MUST READ! Haunting and riveting.”– Rave Reviews “Do we really need another spin-off of Gaston Leroux’s horror tale, The Phantom of the Opera? IF IT’S AS GOOD AS SUSAN KAY’S PHANTOM, YOU BET WE DO! – The Times Picayune “A VICTORY! STAYS WITH YOU AFTER THE LAST PAGE IS TURNED . . .” – Palm Beach Post Phantom From birth, Erik is disfigured, at once blessed and cursed. Inborn genius lifts him to the heights of the mind, but a horrible deformity denies him both his mother’s love and any chance at recognition. He escapes imprisonment to live a life on the run; he kills to be free. Finally, at the Paris Opera House, he encounters beautiful, talented Christine and defies the world and himself in a desperate attempt to love and be loved.

My opinion

I’m very tempted to admit what I had thought when I got this book as a present once. I looked at it and thought: ‘Oh Shit – not fanfiction again’… I know now that I thought the worst thing possible – and I was wrong. I had read Gaston Leroux’ Phantom of the Opera and I had seen the musical. I loved them dearly. Did I spend more than a fleeting thought on Erik’s past? Yes, I did. I wondered why he was hiding and what had happened to him that he apparently was as hurt, distrustful and dangerous as he was… But then I forgot to think about him. Until I got Susan Kay’s book. I thought I’d do my friend a favor. After all, she knows I’m an avid reader and I expected her to ask if I read her book. I would have been ashamed to say no. I read the first five pages – and was caught in a story that was more adventurous, unique – and unexpected than I thought it possible. Susan Kay starts with Erik’s birth and childhood. The reader grows up with him, is constantly at Erik’s side and starts to understand his development, his character and his mannerisms… We become the guardians of Erik’s secrets and their fiercest defendants. We know him, we know why he is the way he is – and we still love him… And that is why this is one of my favorite books.


Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

Blurb

Pride and Prejudice is a novel of manners by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of the British Regency. Elizabeth is the second of five daughters of a country gentleman living near the fictional town of Meryton in Hertfordshire, near London.Page 2 of a letter from Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra (11 June 1799) in which she first mentions Pride and Prejudice, using its working title First Impressions. Set in England in the early 19th century, Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s five unmarried daughters after the rich and eligible Mr. Bingley and his status-conscious friend, Mr. Darcy, have moved into their neighborhood. While Bingley takes an immediate liking to the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane, Darcy has difficulty adapting to local society and repeatedly clashes with the second-eldest Bennet daughter, Elizabeth. Though Austen set the story at the turn of the 19th century, it retains a fascination for modern readers, continuing near the top of lists of “most loved books.” It has become one of the most popular novels in English literature, selling over 20 million copies, and receives considerable attention from literary scholars. Modern interest in the book has resulted in a number of dramatic adaptations and an abundance of novels and stories imitating Austen’s memorable characters or themes.

My opinion

Of course, like so many others, I love Pride and Prejudice, written by Jane Austen, who does, indeed, have experience in the mannerism of the times she writes about. Also, she paints with words, sceneries of cheerful liveliness impress her readers and I’m not surprised to hear, I wasn’t the only female reader falling in love with Mr. Bingley – at least a little bit, until finding out what a fine specimen Mr. Darcy actually is – and that he’s far not as arrogant and contempt as Elizabeth thinks… We know Bingley is wonderful – and badly influenced and we know he’ll be fine with Jane. She is a well mannered educated and smart lady, after all – but Mr. Darcy… “sigh”

 

My Favorite 10 Books Of All Times I

Picture courtesy of unsplash.com

I once owned many, many books – shelves full of books. But lately, things have changed for me. I moved – and if I had taken everything with me, only my loads and loads of books would probably have filled an entire shipping container. I, therefore, decided on a handful of my favorites and I donated the rest of them. (that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re lost, after all, I have most of them electronically on my e-reader).

But a few books had to travel with me – books that are antiques – books that would have been lost if I hadn’t taken them… favorite books – MY favorite books, to be precise. Let me tell you what books I’m talking about – and why…


Shogun – James Clavell

Blurb

After Englishman John Blackthorne is lost at sea, he awakens in a place few Europeans know of and even fewer have seen–Nippon. Thrust into the closed society that is seventeenth-century Japan, a land where the line between life and death is razor-thin, Blackthorne must negotiate not only a foreign people, with unknown customs and language, but also his own definitions of morality, truth, and freedom. As internal political strife and a clash of cultures lead to seemingly inevitable conflict, Blackthorne’s loyalty and strength of character are tested by both passion and loss, and he is torn between two worlds that will each be forever changed.

My opinion

Shogun is considered one of the best books ever written and I agree. John Blackthorne is a strong and still sensitive character, adjustable and interesting, fascinating and still steady… each of the characters within this book are thrilling… they all have a dangerous and deadly side – no matter how fragile they seem to be. The book descriptions are detailed, the character development is impressive and the adventures, ‘The Anjin-san’ has to go through are changing him and the ones who meet him. Life and death, joy and sadness, plans, counter-plans, and the deepest secrets are that close together, they are tangled in a web of silk and makeup… It’s easy to read why I love that book so much, isn’t it?


Winnetou – Karl May

Blurb

Complete Winnetou Trilogy – 3-volume edition. The adventures of Old Shatterhand, the young German adventurer, and Winnetou, the young Apache chief. During his first journey into the Wild West, a young greenhorn—Karl May, the adventurer—meets a young Apache, called Winnetou, while performing his job as a railroad surveyor in the Wild West. The first encounter is not at all amicable and during a violent Indian attack, the young German is near-fatally wounded. He is taken to the Apache pueblo to be nursed back to health, destined to die by torture at the stake…

My opinion

I particularly picked the entire Winnetou Trilogy, which means Winnetou I, II and III. I grew up with these books. (Actually, I grew up with the movies, but I’ll get to them later).  The Winnetou adventures were written by German author Karl May. I loved the Winnetou and Old Shatterhand adventures when I was a kid. They were very fantastic and still, these two heroes, weren’t they just made to dream? They probably were. Winnetou, a young Apache chief meets his German friend in the first book. Not that they were friends from the beginning, they fought, before their friendship. Once they are ‘brothers’ they have to go through many adventures.

I only found out many years later that the movies I grew up with, were ‘loosely’ based on the Karl-May-books. I, very carefully, say loosely, because looking back, the books are quite good, even though they are not ‘only’ fiction – they are simply fantasy… the movies are simply craptastic!

I read the books and loved it – later on, I did some research about Karl May’s life and learned that my ‘far-traveled’ author-hero had never seen the United States when he started writing the Winnetou-books. This trilogy, by the way, doesn’t hold the only Winnetou-adventures. He wrote 18 Winnetou and Old Shatterhand adventures. Now: not only did Karl May never see the Wild West but he also had the outrageous impudence to write the books in the first person – as the ‘German Adventurer’ and makes himself ‘Sharlih’ – Winnetous brother and hero of the books. This, and parts of his inglorious life turned my high opinion about this author into a slight contempt… but I admit, my reluctance towards the author did not make me love the book characters less.


The Long Masquerade – Madeleine Brent

Blurb

It is 1897, and a small ship sails the Caribbean, trading between the islands. This is the only home of a man and a girl who are runaways bearing false names, living constantly in fear of arrest for murder.
It was in a very different life that the girl, Casey, formerly known as Emma Delaney, married Oliver Foy and so became mistress of Diabolo Hall, one of the great houses of Jamaica. She found it a house well named, for indeed a devil dwelt there, a devil who meant to break her to his will.
Her beloved servant and retainer, Daniel Choong, put an end to that sinister marriage on the night of a great storm, and throughout the long sea-gypsy wanderings that followed, Casey has learnt the skills on which survival depends.
But this life is also to end in disaster, and Casey is brought penniless to England, there to meet again the man who is her friend’s enemy, the man who gambles, the man who possesses what voodoo believers fear as the ‘evil eye’. How love comes to Casey, and with it new danger and agonising decisions, is told in this latest Madeleine Brent story of mystery, romance and high adventure.

My opinion

I picked this one book of the existing Madeleine Brent books for no particular reason. I love them all. Madeleine Brent, which was long one of the best-guarded secrets in the literary world, is the pseudonym of British author Peter O’Donnell.

His Madeleine Brent books were ‘Historical’ English Romance books, the heroines are young English ladies in unusual life situations who have to go through all kinds of adventures – until at the end a huge surprise turns everything into a Happy End. Oh – and there is quite a nice romance involved as well. The perfect cute books to read… unfortunately they don’t exist as e-books but only as mass paperbacks, paperbacks and hardcovers. But I love them because they’re entertaining, smart, tangled and romantic and cute to read. When I read about the author’s secret I could hardly believe the books were really written by a man.

Madeleine Brent books:

The Capricorn Stone

Tregaron’s Daughter

The Long Masquerade

A Heritage Of Shadows

Kirkby’s Changeling  (Stranger at Wildings)

Stormswift

Moonraker’s Bride

Golden Urchin

Moonraker’s Bride


Deceptions – Judith Michael

Book Blurb

In a glittering world of lazy luxury, Sabrina reigns supreme. Invited to the most elegant parties, pursued by the most desirable men, she yearned for something more. . . . Her twin, Stephanie, is safely married with two adorable children and has everything in life that Sabrina lacks. But Stephanie longs to live like her rich and carefree sister. Changing places was to be their little secret. The game was never meant to get out of control. Neither of them dreamed how easy it would be to get lost in a maze of deceptions. . . .

My opinion

Deceptions is an excellently written book about twin sisters switching their lives for a ‘fleeting moment’ and then get caught in their own game. When I read the book I was very surprised how detailed not only the fun part of the adventure was described, but also the guilt, the inner conflicts and the motivations within the twin sisters. Of course, they didn’t want to hurt anyone. But this is a secret; a secret only the sisters know about… it is a given that others get hurt in the process… The story is perfect the way it is and I love it. By the way: There’s also a movie about this story – with Stephanie Powers as Stephanie and Sabrina. Let me say it this way: Read the book and save yourself the time and nerves it needs to watch that movie. Stephanie Powers is wonderful! – But the rest of the movie is a waste of time.