Book Review: ‘A Shape On The Air’ by Julia Ibbotson

This brilliant story is an absolutely enthralling blend of historical fiction, fantasy, and science fiction.

Julia Ibbotson A Shape On The Air

 

This brilliant story is an absolutely enthralling blend of historical fiction, fantasy, and science fiction.

 

Drawn into the life of Vivianne Du Lac, history professor, the reader is almost immediately plunged into an intricate web of complications, challenges and unexpected developments that are woven together so that no strand of the story is independent of the others. The narrative is smooth and well-constructed, and Ibbotson’s writing is excellent.

 

The characters are very well crafted, especially given that each fits into more than one story strand. Viv is the most complex and detailed of them all, being the central character, but the others are all given depth through their interactions and responses as the story progresses.

 

More than simply being enjoyable, this is a thought-provoking and involving read in which the reader becomes completely engrossed. Acorn Award I Golden

 

‘A Shape On The Air’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.

 

Get your copy at Amazon.

Book Review: ‘A Little Favor’ by Erik Schubach

An enjoyable short read set in 1930s Germany.

Erik Schubach A Little Favor
When Jillian agrees to do a little favour for a friend, things take a turn for the worst. Thus we see her drawn into a world that she never expected to be part of.

 

This is an enjoyable short story, easily read in less than an hour. Some of the 1930s slang – which would have been quite at home in an old black & white detective noir film – was a little mystifying, but the story was generally quite well told.

 

I liked the personal qualities that made Jillian stand out amongst pre-war stereotypes, and which she drew on in order to complete far greater errands than that initially entrusted to her.

Acorn Award II Silver

As an enjoyable short read, ‘A Little Favor’ has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

 

Readers can buy a copy of the book at Amazon.

Book Review: ‘To Be A Queen’ by Annie Whitehead

Magnificent historical fiction!

Annie Whitehead To Be A Queen
Truly great historical fiction is that which immerses the reader in the events of history without distorting them, yet at the same time transports them into the story so completely that they feel they know the people and places that they meet there. ‘To Be A Queen’ achieves this goal in the magnificent telling of the story of Aethelflæd, which comes from one of my favourite periods of English history, when the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia were in turn holding out against the Vikings and pushing them back, and when Alfred had not yet been named “ the Great” by those who recorded his role in history.

Whitehead’s writing is superb, blending a seamless and powerful narrative with poetic terms like “king-helm” drawn from the Old English style such as that seen in ‘Beowulf’ to give a reflection of how English was spoken then and to communicate ideas visually as well as verbally.

The author has created intimate and vivid portraits of the characters amongst the broad brush strokes of history, bringing to life the events and conflicts of the period in which Alfred, Ethelred and Edward fought to preserve England from the attacks and raids of the Vikings. Ancient kings, royal women, thegns, ealdormen, fractious children and servants alike are given flesh, emotions and qualities that make them leap off the page.

Aethelflæd is portrayed first as child, then as woman, then as the lady to whom all of Mercia pledged allegiance. Her vulnerabilities and flaws are real, giving a very strong sense of reality and familiarity to this woman of incredible strength and conviction. Aethelflæd has long been one of my favourite figures of English history, but I shall always feel from now on as though I know her more intimately and completely than before I read ‘To Be A Queen’.
Acorn Award I Golden
This book is truly worthy of more than a Gold Acorn. Alas, no higher honour exists!

‘To Be A Queen’ is available on Amazon.

Featured Book: ‘The First Christmas’ by JB Richards.

Book Squirrel’s Advent Event featured book for December 23 is ‘The First Christmas’ by JB Richards.

A brand new release, this is a beautiful retelling of the story of the first Christmas that makes perfect Christmas Eve reading. 

A brand new release, this is a beautiful retelling of the story of the first Christmas that makes perfect Christmas Eve reading. JB Richards The First Christmas

Richards has masterfully dramatised the family and society into which Yeshua was born, bringing characters and the vivid settings of first century Judea to life so that the reader feels as though they are right there, looking on.

Told from the perspective of a close family member who does not yet realise who Yeshua would become, this familiar story is intimately and affectionately told in a new and engaging way.

This book is suitable reading for anyone from YA and older, and would make lovely family reading before Christmas.

‘The First Christmas’ is available on Amazon.

Book Review: ‘The First Christmas’ by J.B. Richards

A beautiful retelling of the first Christmas story!

What a beautiful retelling of the first Christmas story!JB Richards The First Christmas

Richards has masterfully dramatised the family and society into which Yeshua was born, bringing characters and the vivid settings of first century Judea to life so that the reader feels as though they are right there, looking on.

Told from the perspective of a close family member who does not yet realise who Yeshua would become, this familiar story is intimately and affectionately told in a new and engaging way.

This book is suitable reading for anyone from YA and older, and would make lovely family reading before Christmas.

Golden Acorns
I have given ‘The First Christmas’ a Golden Acorn. I’ll bet the magi didn’t think of that!

Find ‘The First Christmas’ on Amazon.

Author Spotlight: J.B. Richards

Author Spotlight: J.B. Richards

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Jeannie JB Richards is the author of ‘Miriamne the Magdala’, which is a fabulous read.
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After years of extensive historical research, Jeannie has written ‘Miriamne the Magdala’ as the first of her “Yeshua and Miri” series.

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The ebook of Miri is only $3.99 at Amazon – excellent value for such a well-researched and well-written book.

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A review of ‘Miriamne the Magdala’ is posted on this blog, if you’d like to read it.
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You can also preview the second book by reading the first chapter of the second book, titled ‘Yeshua the Christ: The Silk Road’.
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The second book in the Yeshua and Miri Novel Series is due in coming months. Narrated by the character of Yeshua Himself, it promises to be the most powerful, insightful, and revealing look into the mind and life of the Youth destined to become the Christ yet!
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Yeshua is coming
You can learn more about Jeannie and her amazing book series, and find links to buy ‘Miramne the Magdala’ on her website at  http://www.yeshuaandmirinovelseries.com/
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Jeannie also runs a fabulous project called ‘Indies Helping Indies’ in which she reads and reviews books that may not yet be so well known to the public, yet which deserve some more attention and readership than they currently have.
Indies Helping Indies Banner
You can find out more about this project at The Writer’s Block and read Jeannie’s fabulous book reviews there.

You can follow Jeannie on the following social media links:

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Instagram: author_jb_richards
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Jeannie also has author profiles on
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Finally, you can read a really great interview with Jeannie by Benjamin Thomas on The Writing Train blog.