IndieWritersReview’s Book Reviews


Hello guys, I just wanted to share my thoughts on some fantastic books I have recently read. So check them out below!

book review

BOOK REVIEWS

Blood and magnolias

If your recipe for Southern Gothic reads: capture the southern feel, keep the gothic suggestive, stir in plenty of spice, boil with tension, and leave out the vampires, Blood and Magnolias may be the perfect dish to satisfy your reading hunger. Indulge yourself in hefty portions of steamy passion, ruthless action, and unthinkable betrayal.

Blood and Magnolias garners life from the eerie landscapes of Louisiana where shifting winds and moss heavy in the trees evoke the sense of a presence beyond what can be seen. The constant ebb and flow of the tides that raise and lower the estuaries are reflected in the motion of the story.Blood and Magnolias sets the reader adrift on a dark seductive river twisting with mystery, surging with suspense, and made dangerous by things hidden beneath the surface.

Adrean Bodree never expected to find herself back in Louisiana—the land of backwaters, bayous and a life she left in ashes. Trapped in an untenable relationship, she is too much alone and restless. She needs distraction, purpose, companionship, change. Standing on the edge of a divorce, that her husband has no intention of granting, Adrean is befriended by two very seductive and charming ‘playmates’ filled with ulterior motives.

The wealthy and manipulative Barbara and Justin Melville are quick to lead Adrean into their life of excesses and pleasures—a life filled with tempting rewards, yet rife with peril. Cold-blooded deception draws Adrean into their velvet trap and holds her in exquisite tension. The Melville conspiracy is so well fashioned that Adrean is oblivious to the integral part she plays until the very last moment of its climax. The plot to exploit her stays well hidden and is headed toward fruition, until the shadows of Adrean’s past bring forward memory and trigger a discovery that unearths the truth.

morgan summerfield

About The Author

Morgan Summerfield was born in rural Vermont, USA, to a farming family of small means. She has lived in many states up and down the Eastern seaboard–and a few in the Midwest, including Minnesota. Burrr! This may be why it is so hard to pin down her accent.

When we first met, I found Morgan very strange. I could not fathom her writing process because it seemed so random and chaotic. Yet, after I came to know her better, it made total sense. She is a woman possessed by her passions. While she has written many dry technical documents and articles, she is infatuated with fiction and happiest when immersed in it.

Following a diverse path, Morgan has worked in many fields and functions including teacher, designer, dog trainer, technical writer, and bartender. She knows which end of the hammer to use, can lay tile, pour and finish concrete, frame walls, and hang drywall. She hosted a cable television program, has managed a number of different businesses, and has written for radio.

Contact: Morgan Summerfield website

Review

OKay, this review is a toughie to write… I actually completed the reading a couple of days ago, but I allowed my thoughts to simmer and stew to see how I can formulate a clear account of my thoughts on this book. I was actually discussing the book yesterday, and I continuously said, well…HOW do I say this, HOW do I say that? Trust me, being at a lost of words is not typically my MO:O)… but now, I am straying far from what I should be saying.

The difficulty does not lie in the fact whether I enjoyed this book or not. I did. Immensely. It is how to express to you the depth and give clear succinct reasons why. So I will dive straight into this, Blood and Magnolias was not just a good read, but a grand experience. I have been an avid reader all my life. Prolific reader before even considering becoming a writer. I enjoyed books and stories, and well just like anyone else to varying degrees. Some were  light, fun reading…it had my attention, I was able to escape the real world for a while, and I enjoyed the story.

Then there are stories that I became lost in, the world became so real, because the author had taken the time to study the arena he/she was  attempting to recreate, and with words began to “paint that world”  as an artist would.

So in this instances, the world, the inhabitants and what is happening to them becomes so vivid, that’s all the reader sees, hears and thinks of while reading that story. There is no mind wandering over the grocery list, or what’s next o the to-do list. Most of the time, with reads such as these, all else is pushed to the side. Now this does NOT discount the other stories, making them “less” in any way, no, it just so happens, how THIS particular story appealed or  reached that particular reader.

I said all of that to say, this was how Blood and Magnolia reached out to me. It was an EXPERIENCE. I was drawn into the world of Adrean, Courtland, Barbara and Justin. I became part of their group, their lies, destructions, loves, passion, confusion, joy, pain, sorrow, and then finally release, overcoming obstacles and coming into oneself.

I felt as if I lived the adventure.

The story is basically about a woman named Adrean, who is in a marriage controlled by her husband. Controlled to the point, she had no existence, in or out of the home. Adrean, is from a rare bloodline, and also a Cajun from the bayous of Louisiana, her husband was of the Creole set. So therefore she was looked down upon by his family, and if not for her training, and husband’s connections (which he constantly reminded her of) she would have been looked down upon by society. The husband leaves and has to go out-of-town on business(but of course, he is an unfaithful wretch) and the family next door, the wife invites Adrean to a get together at her home. The Melvilles are looked up to in the local society, but Adrean is hesitate because she normally only attends these functions with her husband. But a slight rebellion and a deep encrusted (that was fast rising to surface) dissatisfaction caused Adrean to accept. Thus began a very strange, intense friendship between the next estate (neighbor) Barbara, Adrean and Justin, Barbara’s brother-in-law, the younger brother of Courtland. Also, Paul Stoddard, the relationship Adrean abandoned when marrying her husband, still loves her and wants to help her, he is there also making things even more complex.

Soon Adrean is beginning to go daily to various functions as part of the strange trio, and from there the story takes an even stranger twist as sexual boundaries are pushed, a manipulative game with Adrean in the middle begins, lies are told, and something most precious to Adrean is sought. Soon all is unearth and basically it becomes a life and death situation.

This was a novel where each character seemed to have an old hurt, a cast of broken people, that once finding one another, love strengthen them and in the end what was once broken and resulting in destructive behavior, turns into nobility and wholeness.

There was almost a lyrical quality, a poetic sound to the storytelling as if speaking of a dream. This was a Southern Gothic tale with all the lust, passion, and violence that can be found in this genre. But  a new modern twist, was the message of believing and having strength in oneself. Redemption through love, and also the fostering of a non judgmental attitude in regards to sexuality and relationship and family.

The story’s pace was smooth, and there was no lagging or periods where the reader may become bored.

It was a wonderful experience.

I recommend this book for 18 years and older due to Violence and Adult content.

NEXT (Children’s Read)

Eye of Polyphemus

eye of pol

An innocent-looking pebble on a Cornish beach sparks a series of nightmarish events for ten-year-old Josh Farrell and his family. On returning home to the Midlands with his find, he soon begins to realise that the strange, ever-changing object is the cause of the unsettling and positively scary phenomena happening at Number Seventeen Marsh Road. The mythical Eye of Polyphemus is also being pursued by a rich and desperate megalomaniac on the other side of the world and as events spiral further and further out of Josh’s control, the Eye forces him and his brother Ben to take on a life-threatening mission to try and release its power back to where it belongs.

jo furminger

About Me

I was born in a small terraced house in the district of Foleshill, Coventry, in days when the milkman and the chimney sweep had horse-drawn carts to pull their stuff along.

Doubtless it was the easy contact with those lovely horses that made such a huge and lasting impression on me, because as far as I know, nobody else in our distant ancestry has been as dotty about horses as me. I’m happy to say, though, that I believe I could be responsible for passing the gene to my daughter and, through her, to her youngest daughter in turn.

It was the chimney sweep’s horse who, many years later, prompted me to write a children’s story ‘The Haunting of Seaton’s Mill‘, as yet unpublished but one still for the ‘to-do’ list. This is in company with a couple of adult horrors, ‘The Beast‘ and ‘Bite‘, lurking darkly in two huge box files in my bookcase.

My forthcoming children’s book ‘The Eye of Polyphemus‘, published by Penpress, released in early February 2013,

Contact: Jo Furminger Website

Review

Eye of Polyphemus was a fun-filled adventure, that kept me on the edge of my seat. I was drawn into the twists and turns of this tale. The plot was fast paced, and the writing was clear and entertaining to children and those who enjoy YA fiction.  A fun read that children and even adults will enjoy!

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