Books

Book Tour: The Last Dragon Rider

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I’m venturing into the unknown in more than one aspect. Firstly, I’ve never taken part in a Blog Tour before. And secondly, this type of book (genre-wise, or rather sub-genre-wise) is totally new to me.

ButtonHosted by Shanannigans of Reads & Reels under her R&R Book Tours, I thought I’d sign up for something a little different. So, here goes…

My two cents’ worth: As I said, I’ve never read a book where the characters are elves and dragon riders. In fact, other than The Hobbit, I’ve never read a dragon book before. So, to be very honest, I needed to “get into” this new world that has been crafted. Had to really focus on the descriptions in order to visualize the characters. But, I enjoyed that. Something new. Once I’d managed to sort out who was who and form the elven world in my mind, I quite enjoyed this novella. A quick read perfect for me with limited time on my hands at the moment.

The numbers: I’d give this a rating of 3 out of 5 points (or 6 out of 10 😉 ) but that’s probably purely because this world that has been created is totally new to me.

The Genre: Fantasy/ Adventure/ Romance

Novella Release Date: August 9, 2017

TheLastDragonRider CoverThe bit on the back of the book: Trained as an elite warrior from childhood, the elven crown prince Flintathriël fights to bring a stop to a war that began before he was born. With the aid of his betrothed Sairalindë, a skilled mage and dragon rider in her own right, they must find the Book of Souls – an ancient and mysterious tome rumored to have belonged to the god Hath’Raal.

When the missing book turns up in the hands of Mnuvae, the bastard child of the dead king, Flintathriël finds himself fighting to not only save his people from this new threat but also trying to keep Sairalindë safe when Mnuvae takes over the dragons in her attempt to win back the kingdom she believes is rightfully hers.

The love Flintathriël and Sairalindë share shines pure and true, but when the smoke of the battle clears, will their hearts survive the aftermath of war or will their love become a casualty that cannot be revived?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35090656-the-last-dragon-rider?ac=1&from_search=true

Author PicThe lady behind it: Errin Krystal is a fantasy romance writer who has been writing since she was a small child. Her head has always been full of stories. She began work on her first novel when she was sixteen.

She lives with her family in regional Victoria, Australia, and works as a chef. In her quieter moments, she loves to indulge her passion for storytelling, basking in the joy that comes from creating vibrant characters, fantastical worlds and all manner of magical creatures. Dragons and elves, mages and warriors, troubled princes and beautiful princesses, romance, magic, and adventure can all be found in her writing.

St. Patrick’s Day Book Tag

I happened to come across this from Reads & Reels who’s tagged anyone who feels like doing it. I’m likewise not tagging anyone – so, feel free to tag yourselves 🙂 I hope they’re not meant to be Irish authors or books. Oh well…here goes.

St. Patrick’s Day- Your Favourite Green Book

The only green book I have is The Lord of the Rings. Not my favourite book (sorry…no offense) but it will have to do. I’m not saying I didn’t like it though. I was doing lots of travelling at the time so never got around to fully appreciate this book as it pretty much became an airport and airplane book  – doesn’t work for me.

Corned Beef & Cabbage- A Book That Made You Hungry

So…hope it classifies as a book but Asterix in Switzerland really made me crave a Cheese Fondue. In fact, right now, that sounds pretty good too. Hmmmmm…..

Four Leaf Clover- A Book or Item that was a Rare, Good Luck Find

Jasmine Nights by S.P. Somtow. I came across this book while in Thailand and didn’t think to buy it there. Back home, I looked and looked and looked and couldn’t find it. Until, I happened to walk into a random second-hand bookshop and there it was…calling me. Never seen another copy but I have mine. Wonderful, unique story.

Irish Whiskey- A Book So Bad, You Need a Drink to Get Over It

Only one drink???  A Girl Walks into a Bar by Helena S. Paige. Well….I shouldn’t even admit to reading this one. I think the reason I bought it was because it was meant to be an “adults” version of those books we had as kids where you made a decision at the end of a chapter and based on that decision, went to one of two other chapters creating your own chain of events. So please, pretty please, don’t judge me for my awful book selection here.

Irish Dancing- A book So Good, it Made You Want to Dance in Excitement

Oooh, easy peasy. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. The readers out there with whom I’ve exchanged book comments probably would have expected this one. It is absolutely amazing and wonderful and superb and lovely and fantastic….oooh, did I say amazing? Need I go on? Oh, I could dance 😉

Ireland- A Book that Made You Want to Travel to Another Country

Namma: A Tibetan Love Story by Kate Karko. Beautiful and interesting story of Kate, an English woman who met Tibetan Tsedup. It is an interesting account of her life as his wife, living in Tibet with his family. Having read this book, I was amazed by the way of life and culture of these nomadic people. Would love to see their world.

The Pub- A Meeting Place in a Book You Would Love to Go to

This is difficult. Hmmmm…does the dragon ship of Jarl Sigurd and his band of  Norsemen count? It seems the ship is where all the camaraderie happens, problems are discussed and adventures started. This from the Raven series by Giles Kristian.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

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Der Tastenficker…what a great read

Before we go on: Don’t be put off by the title…

I don’t normally care for books by or about celebrities but Der Tastenficker* is an exception. Probably because it doesn’t feel like an “autobiography” as such. It is quite refreshing hearing about life and experiences in the former DDR yet not going on and on about the negatives and politics. And for a change, not about a terrible childhood and how hard and depressing life was – that’s what most biographies and autobiographies seem to be about. I enjoyed that fact that minimal names were mentioned and that it wasn’t about the famous band he is in. In fact, I never felt like I was reading about Flake of Rammstein but about Flake (real name Christian Lorenz), a normal everyday person and his experiences. Overall, interesting and light to read. And lots of fun (pianos aren’t practical to take to and from rehearsal and camping trips can become quite a challenge). The “random” photos add something different. I devoured this book in a matter of days. And felt so positive when I’d finished. (I also had a totally different view of this man who always comes across as the underdog when on stage)

*I’d only noticed after I’d received this book that it is actually a numbered, autographed first edition. Not that it is important but, I guess subconsciously, it added a little special touch.

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Something different: The Whip

The Whip by Karen Kondazian has patiently been waiting its turn on my bookshelf for ages now (yes, a paper book…I’m old-fashioned that way).

It tells the story of Charlotte “Charley” Parkhurst (b. 1812, d. 1879) who grew up in an orphanage where circumstances gave her the opportunity to learn about horses until she was old enough to leave. Falling in love with a former slave and having a baby together, she vows revenge when they are brutally taken from her. However, she realises that only as a man will she have the means and freedom to accomplish this. So she becomes Charley and ultimately one of the best Wells Fargo stagecoach drivers (whip).

While it is classified as fiction, there really was a Charley/Charlotte Darkey Parkhurst aka One Eyed Charley (towards the end of her life). Only on her death was it discovered that “he” was really a woman. It was thought that she may have been the first woman to vote in the United States, although, as a man (there are some arguments against this as I believe some States allowed women the vote already).

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and polished it off in a matter of days. It has been criticised as being poorly written but I found myself so caught up in the story that I didn’t really notice. Yes, it may be very easy to read and have short chapters (between about 2 to 6 pages max) but that worked for me. I’ve had a lot on the go lately so was actually grateful for a book like this. One where I didn’t have to concentrate too hard yet still holding my attention.

An easy but interesting read that had me cringing while she was in the orphanage, almost in tears when her family was murdered and plain fascinated by her life.

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Schwingfest – Verliebt in einen Bauern

 “Schweizer Bestseller” (Swiss Bestseller) is stuck on ever cover of Schwingfest and gazed lovingly at me from every book shop! I just couldn’t get away from it. So, with my belief that a book finds me (and not the other way round), I decided to give it a go. I needed a holiday read after all. Besides, I just couldn’t resist that cute cover.

The story is about Bea, a freelance journalist and freelance-whatever-comes-her-way, who meets Sämi, a farmer, while writing an article to accompany his photo in a calendar. They have totally different lifestyles…naturally, otherwise there wouldn’t be a story. Attracted to Sämi, Bea takes an interest in Schwingen and farming and thus it all unfolds. Some developments I didn’t see coming which is what made me enjoy this book. Initially I thought it would be just another routine light romance.

I must admit, that I get very nervous of the newer German and Swiss books. I find they bring in too much English and tend to use expressions in the wrong context. Anyway, that’s the way languages evolve I guess. This one wasn’t too bad, although kept going on about “that’s what friends are for” and such. It didn’t really fit in.

That aside, once I’d gotten used to the “clipped” writing style and come to terms with the fact that this was a very, veeery, light read, I quite enjoyed it. Reading so many books, many with similar settings, it was really refreshing to be transported to the Central Swiss region with which I’m familiar. I thoroughly enjoyed the use of Schwingen (Swiss wrestling) as a central theme. It made for something a bit different.

At the end of it all, it is still a girl-meets-boy story but very sweet and a fun quick read. Perfect for the holidays and as a bridging book between ‘heavier’ books.

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My two whispers’ worth…

The Horse Whisperer. A book that wasn’t on my “Want to Read” list. And, for those books on my list I generally start reading them in my own time…that being, when the book calls to me, appeals to me, tells me it is the right time. Little children who give their mothers books for Christmas don’t really understand this so I was asked and asked and asked when will I start “Horse Whisperers”. I managed to explain that I needed to finish the book I was busy with first but I just couldn’t (and didn’t want to) explain about having to be “in the mood” for a book so The Horse Whisperer it was next.

I wasn’t sure what to expect but as it is with this thing of expectations, I wasn’t expecting what the book actually was. Something very beautiful. Something heartfelt.

Being a parent, the tragic opening was hard and emotional to read. And it was the first indication that I had totally misjudged the book. Not sure if the beginning was actually slow, or, if it was the lack of time on my behalf, but it took me a while to get through those first few chapters. Then, all of a sudden, I was hooked. Despite a fast-paced reading, reading, reading to see what was going to happen, I savoured every single page. Apologies if I’m cliché here but it is such a beautiful story of family, friendship and forgiveness…oh, and love. Love in all its different forms. Love with all its workings from platonic to mother-daughter to new-found lovers. I thoroughly enjoyed the subtle nuances as friendships developed and characters were healed. Nicholas Evans evokes such vivid images of the landscape, the ranch and the story in general. What a beautiful read that I will definitely revisit, probably slower this time (knowing the end), taking it all in without the self-imposed pressure of needing to know what happens.

Beyond the Cover of Jane Eyre

Having just completed a short bit on The Crow for this same Blogathon, I’m quite happy I signed up for two book/movie combos as I need something a little lighter to push out the dark, dreary disposition I’m finding myself in. Here goes:

Jane Eyre converted me. The movie, that is. Sorry to all the purists out there but that’s the truth. I read lots, I mean really lots but had never ventured into the world of the Brontës, Austen and such. In my mind I judged (cringe). I judged that they were extremely difficult reading and for some bizarre reason, that they were this heavy, old English. Oh my! Shake me hard! And again for being such an absolute moron.

The 2011 movie was released with Michael Fassbender in it (oh, and Judy Dench but sorry to say, she’s not really what drew me despite being wonderful) so, becoming totally shallow (I mean, who at my age watches movies because of the actors???) off I went to watch it. I’m not usually like this but my excuse, which I’ll stick to, is that it was meant to be. Whatever. Well…what can I say? That I thoroughly enjoyed it? Not for Michael Fassbender at all, but for the story. In fact, I’m not quite sure he was Rochester for me. Actually, having read the book, the movie’s actors don’t reflect how I saw them while reading but they seem to work in the movie. That aside, the critical thing here is that it got me straight online to order a real, paper copy of the book. The moment it was delivered I devoured it. Ah, what a great read. No, more than great. Fantastic. Brilliant. You get my drift. That’s the beauty of books – when they’re good, there is so much more material to savour and enjoy word for word as slow or fast as you want, to “see” in your mind as your own personal movie. Often I struggle with books once I’ve seen the movie in that the actor/s sneak their way into my mind while I’m reading. This wasn’t the case here and I easily had my own characters visualised.

My verdict? The film is great. I honestly enjoyed it as its own medium as books made to movies, in my opinion, can’t be compared. But that book….oh, don’t get me started. It shares privileged status, together with Lonesome Dove (Larry McMurtry), as my favourite book(s?) of all time. And nothing so far has managed to get even within the vicinity of these two books. I doubt anything ever will.

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