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review 2019-10-15 10:56
The Vine Witch - Luanne G Smith
The Vine Witch - Luanne G. Smith

I picked up The Vine Witch when it was on offer, not knowing anything about the story bar the blurb, and was pleasantly surprised by this story from a first-time author. It's a mixture of historical fiction, being set in France around the turn of the last century, and fantasy, so it seemed like something that would work for me.


We first meet Elena, our protagonist, while she is struggling under a curse - she has literally been a toad for the past seven years but has managed to find a way to break free. She plans to return to the vineyard where she grew up and which she has served as a vine witch, working magic to make the vines grow and good wine be produced. When she reverts to human, Elena finds that all sorts of things have moved on in her absence, including her ex-boyfriend who she suspects of having cursed her. The vineyard she loves is struggling under curses of its own and has been sold to an outsider, who is sceptical of magic to say the least. 


Alongside Elena's attempts to free the vineyard and discover who turned her into a toad, there's a series of cats being murdered for their blood (not graphically described, as far as I can recall, for people who worry about this sort of thing) and when the ex-boyfriend turns up dead, Elena is the main suspect. 


There were a lot of things I enjoyed about The Vine Witch, although I wasn't 100% convinced by the setting - sometimes you can get a sense of how much research has gone into the background details and I just didn't get a good feel of that from this book. This wasn't helped by the odd occasions when a random French word or expression got dropped in, sometimes to conversation, as if to remind us of our location. This was a little jarring considering people would be speaking French all the time anyway, so why pick those particular things? It wasn't enough to bounce me out of the story but I still found it a little annoying.


Anyway, there's a sequel (The Glamourist) coming next summer, so if this book works for you then maybe you'll keep an eye out for it? This story isn't left with a cliffhanger, though, so it works perfectly well as a standalone book. 


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review 2019-10-13 10:52
Thor - Wayne Smith

by Wayne Smith


This is an original take on a werewolf story. It's told partly from the pov of a German Shepherd dog who belongs to a typicaltm American family. The father is a lawyer, the mother appears to be a housewife and there are three children. They all love their dog and he loves them and instinctively protects them, referring to them as "The Pack".


Sometimes he protects too well and gets in trouble with Dad. It's interesting looking at things through his eyes. The author seems to know a lot about dogs and his perspectives come over as fairly realistic. The first few chapters of this would make a nice, wholesome dog story if it weren't for the intimate moments between Mom and Dad getting a bit too graphic for very young readers.


When Thor senses an unknown danger coming and starts to catch the scent of an unidentified wild animal in places and on belongings associated with a relative of The Pack, we see his confusion as he tries to work out where the threat is coming from and how to protect his family.


Some dramatic werewolf action happens in the last quarter that had me breathless. It was very well done! Though a couple of challenges to belief (besides, you know, werewolf) kept it from quite reaching that fourth star.


Still, a worthwhile story and watching the change in consciousness in one transition to werewolf was more than intriguing.


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text 2019-10-10 20:01
Reading progress update: I've read 2%.
The Vine Witch - Luanne G. Smith

Will probably get back to this one sometime this weekend. Slow start and it's not grabbing me. 


Image result for witches gif

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review 2019-10-06 09:27
A great read with twists
Orbs: A Science Fiction Thriller - Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Loved this book.

It went into several directions, keeping me wondering what was about to happen next, up to the end.


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review 2019-10-03 23:51
Book Review: The Heart of a King
The Heart of a King - Jill Eileen Smith

The heart of a king is well written. It seem to be about the life of King Solomon. We see it though the view of the his wives. This is what I got though reading the book. It seem like book that tell the story of the king.

It starts out with him with his father being King of Israel and his son a prince. We see how he becomes King and what he wants. Do his wives get what they want? I believe this is a story about King Solomon and his god. We are brought back to ancient Israel.

We also see him struggle with himself and his god. He seem to questions if he is doing what is right by his god. His he not following God commands or comments?

If you are into reading the bible, but in a simpler way. This book is good for you. This is what it kind gave me as I was reading it. I enjoyed it, do not get me wrong. It seem better then reading the bible it self to get the history or story of King Solomon. Wish is best for me to understand.

I am not into reading the Bible for say but learning about ancient Israel is something different and the lives of King Solomon and his wives. This book did have look up a bit about King Solomon on google. Which is interesting say the least.

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