Guest Post by Author – Vera Nazarian, The Cobweb Bride

The Cobweb Bride

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At the Heart of a Fairytale

by Vera Nazarian

I must warn you, Cobweb Bride is a fantasy that’s a little bit different from so many books being written now.

For one thing, it is written in a more traditional “vintage” style. There’s a breath of the nineteenth century nostalgia, and a bit of creepy darkness found in the fairytales of the Brothers Grimm, and reminiscent of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen. There is also a sense of many layers, ornate imagery, and a richness of history that can be found in fantasy that fully partakes of the world storytelling tradition.

For another thing, Cobweb Bride is not fast paced. Instead, as any profound mystery, it starts out slow and immersive, and compels you onward into its trap of enchantment. First, it firmly anchors you with wonder, as it illuminates the universe in a glittering mother-of-pearl palette of ethereal colors, using “paint” that is slightly touched by faerie magic, so that snowflakes sparkle like stars, and stars cascade down like snowflakes, until you forget what it is that’s falling, in this alternate Renaissance world blanketed in deadly Winter. And then, the action speeds up, drawing you deeper into the funnel, closer and closer to the scary-beautiful thing at the heart of the fairytale….

This is also a modern-day fable. And at its center is the ancient myth of Persephone and Hades in the Underworld. But don’t be fooled. You will not encounter the myth in its ordinary easy trappings. Instead, you will have to dig deep and search underneath things, and peek inside dark corners, to find it. Because… you are looking for shadows. And here, in this fairytale, shadows are not what they seem.

This is a story of Death—Death, the gentleman, taking on grim, elegant, human form. Death, the irresistible lover, searching for his lost bride. Death, the capricious stranger with control over all of us mortals. Death’s choice—to stop all dying until his Cobweb Bride is found and brought to him—sets in motion a series of world-altering events, like dominos falling.

This is the story of Love—Love of a young peasant girl, love of a granddaughter for her dying grandmother, love of grieving parents for their undead daughter, love of a fair maiden for a brave knight, love of a son for his broken father, love of a princess for a villain, loves of peasants and aristocrats, emperors and witches. In fact, if you draw closer, you will find that there are so many forms of love exemplified in this story that it too is at the heart of the fairytale….

In the absence of Death,

In the presence of Death,

Only one thing remains,

It is Love.

Finally, this is an epic. An ensemble cast of characters, with intertwining lives and pseudo-history, in the tradition of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, and with just as much “death,” but death that is treated in an entirely different humane manner—because there is no true dying in this fairytale and all the dead remain as active characters throughout—and with sympathetic main characters that serve as permanent anchors throughout the story.

So what then is really at the heart of a fairytale such as Cobweb Bride?

It is you.

Come, take that first step upon glittering virgin snow, and sink inward!

About the Author

VZVera Nazarian is a two-time Nebula Award® Finalist and a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. She immigrated to the USA from the former USSR as a kid, sold her first story at 17, and has been published in numerous anthologies and magazines, honorably mentioned in Year’s Best volumes, and translated into eight languages.

Vera made her novelist debut with the critically acclaimed Dreams of the Compass Rose, followed by Lords of Rainbow. Her novella The Clock King and the Queen of the Hourglass with an introduction by Charles de Lint made the 2005 Locus Recommended Reading List. Her debut collection Salt of the Air with an introduction by Gene Wolfe contains the 2007 Nebula Award-nominated “The Story of Love.”

Other work includes the 2008 Nebula Finalist novella The Duke in His Castle, science fiction collection After the Sundial (2010), The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration (2010), and four Jane Austen parodies, Mansfield Park and Mummies (2009), Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons (2010), Pride and Platypus: Mr. Darcy’s Dreadful Secret (2012), and Pagan Persuasion: All Olympus Descends on Regency (forthcoming), all part of her Supernatural Jane Austen Series.

After many years in Los Angeles, Vera now lives in a small town in Vermont. She uses her Armenian sense of humor and her Russian sense of suffering to bake conflicted pirozhki and make art. In addition to being a writer, philosopher, and award-winning artist, she is also the publisher of Norilana Books.

Vera’s links:
Official website:
http://www.veranazarian.com/

Norilana Books:
http://www.norilana.com/

Cobweb Bride Mailing List:
http://eepurl.com/vodcT

Twitter:
http://twitter.com/Norilana

Facebook (author page):
http://www.facebook.com/VeraNazarian

Facebook (personal)
http://www.facebook.com/Nazarian

Pinterest
http://pinterest.com/veranazarian/

Blogs:
http://www.inspiredus.com/
http://urbangirlvermont.blogspot.com/
http://norilana.livejournal.com/

Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/186145.Vera_Nazarian

LibraryThing:
http://www.librarything.com/author/nazarianvera

Shelfari:
http://www.shelfari.com/authors/a1628414/Vera-Nazarian/

Red Room:
http://www.redroom.com/author/vera-nazarian

SFF Net Newsgroup:
http://webnews.sff.net/read?cmd=xover&group=sff.people.vera-nazarian

Austen Authors:
http://austenauthors.net/

Vera Nazarian’s Amazon Author Central page
http://www.amazon.com/author/nazarian

The Official Book Website:

http://www.norilana.com/cobweb.htm

Kickstarter page:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2027984632/cobweb-bride?ref=live

COBWEB BRIDE
(Cobweb Bride Trilogy, Book One)

cobweb bride

by Vera Nazarian

Release Date: July 15, 2013

Publisher: Norilana Books

Imprint: Leda

Trade Hardcover
(First Edition)
ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-112-6
ISBN-10: 1-60762-112-6
$24.95 US / 18.00 UK

Trade Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-113-3
ISBN-10: 1-60762-113-4
$14.95 US / 12.00 UK

Ebook (multi-format)
ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-114-0
ISBN-10: 1-60762-114-2
$5.99

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Book Review : The Gilded Fan by Christina Courtenay

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REVIEW

I have always enjoyed Christina Courtenay’s books and this one was no exception. An adventure across continents, where different cultures meet, we follow Midori and Nico as they set sail from Japan to England.

Midori was a great character with mixed heritage, a Japanese father and an English mother, she could wield a sword as good as any man, if not better. She was fiercely independent and determined to deal honourably with the situation that forced her to escape from her beloved Japan and seek refuge with her English family in Plymouth.

Nico, captain of the ship that carried Midori to England, was simply delicious. A true leader, strong and well respected, fair and with a gentler side when needed. His meeting with Midori presented itself with all sorts of problems from the start and took him not only to physical places he had no intention of going, but to emotional places which he had long since buried.

Set in the 1600’s, with the English Civil War as a backdrop, there was lots of action and adventure in this book, together with a healthy dose of romance, I really enjoyed spending time with these characters.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

How do you start a new life, leaving behind all you love?

It’s 1641, and when Midori Kumashiro, the orphaned daughter of a warlord, is told she has to leave Japan or die, she has no choice but to flee to England. Midori is trained in the arts of war, but is that enough to help her survive a journey, with a lecherous crew and an attractive captain she doesn’t trust?

Having come to Nagasaki to trade, the last thing Captain Nico Noordholt wants is a female passenger, especially a beautiful one. How can he protect her from his crew when he can’t keep his own eyes off her?

During their journey, Nico and Midori form a tentative bond, but they both have secrets that can change everything. When they arrive in England, a civil war is brewing, and only by standing together can they hope to survive…

AUTHOR LINKS

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www.christinacourtenay.com

Twitter : @PiaCCourtenay

Publishers : ChocLitUK

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Behind the Book and Cover Reveal : ‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black

Today I’m delighted to have on my blog, author of military thrillers, Harvey Black.

Harvey is here to talk about the historical facts behind his novel ‘The Red Effect’ and to reveal the cover. Over to you Harvey …

“Today, West German imperialism is United States’ chief ally in Europe in aggravating world tension. West Germany is increasingly becoming the seat of the war danger, where revenge-seeking passions are running high… The policy pursued by the Federal Republic of Germany is being increasingly determined by the same monopolies that brought Hitler to power.

The Rhineland politicians fancy that once they get the atomic bomb, frontier posts will topple and they will be able to achieve their cherished desire of carving up the map of Europe again and taking revenge for defeat in the second world war.

One of the most ominous factors endangering peace is the bilateral military alliance that is taking shape between the ruling circles of the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany. This factor remains an objective of unflagging attention.” (Leonid Brezhnev, 23rd Party Congress, March 1966)

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The Cold War and Nitroglycerin had one thing in common, both were stable when circumstances allowed. But, when something rocks the boat, or events are overtaken by Incidents that get out of control, the status quo is lost. The consequence is an eruption that is both violent and lethal.

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The Cold War trilogy will trace the Cold War as it simmers, overheats and eventually turns East against West. The outcome? Start with ‘The Red Effect’ out in April, followed by ‘The Black Effect’ and ‘The Blue Effect’.

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1983: The Cold War has been in existence since the end of World War Two. Although tensions have always been fraught between the Western nations and the members of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact, common sense prevailed.

Until, as a consequence of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, the shooting down of a Korean passenger aircraft in 1983, and the relentless build up of Soviet military strength, everything is about to change.

In a panoramic novel, readers travel from centres of power to the front lines – a war is brewing and events are happening at every angle. Is the Cold War about to turn hot? Can NATO forces endure a mass strike by thousands of Soviet tanks? Can the West survive?

Follow the series of gripping events that culminated in ‘The Red Effect’, in the first instalment of Harvey Black’s Cold War trilogy.

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Harvey Black is a qualified parachutist. Harvey served with British Army Intelligence for over ten years. His experience ranged from covert surveillance in Northern Ireland to operating in Communist East Berlin during the cold war, where he feared for his life after being dragged from his car and attacked by Russian KGB soldiers. Since then he has lived a more sedate life in the private sector as a Director for an International Company, but now enjoys the pleasures of writing.

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Thank you Harvey and very best of luck with ‘The Red Effect‘, I shall certainly be reading it 🙂
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An Audience with an Author … Christina Courtenay

I am delighted to have Award Winning ChocLit author, Christina Courtenay with me today. I’ve always loved Christina’s books and her latest The Gilded Fan was no exception. I asked Christina if she could talk about the Far East influence.

TheGILDED_FAN_frontThe Gilded Fan is the sequel to my novel The Scarlet Kimono (although it can be read as a stand-alone), and both these stories were inspired by the Far East in general and Japan in particular.  It’s a fascinating part of the world and whenever I’m lucky enough to go there, I fall in love with it all over again.

I can’t really explain why I like it so much and it wasn’t something that happened overnight.  In fact, the first time I went to Japan I cried for days because I didn’t want to be there!  That may sound crazy, but if you consider that I was a teenager at the time (just turned sixteen) and had left behind my very first serious boyfriend in order to move with my family halfway across the world, it might be more understandable.  As it happened, I soon forgot all about him.  The three years I lived in Tokyo turned out to be the best of my life!

Looking back, I think the Japanese culture slowly seeped into me and I began to appreciate all the great things about it.  Most of all, it’s a beautiful place steeped in history – not the skyscrapers perhaps, but the little traditional buildings squeezed in between them, the parks, the temples and the shops and markets.  Even food is always displayed in an attractive way, tempting you to eat far too much!

So this then is the country in which the heroine of The Gilded Fan, Midori, has grown up.  Imagine her feelings when she has to leave it behind and travel back to Europe (my journey in reverse, you might say).  It’s not something she wants to do, but she has no choice – it’s either leave Japan or die.  I totally empathised with her as I didn’t have much choice either, but I didn’t have to travel alone!  It’s lucky for Midori that she’s a lot more stoical than I was and that she meets a sea captain willing to protect her …

One thing this story doesn’t have is a dog – my characters usually always have one as I love them myself, but for this particular story it wasn’t practicable for various reasons.  We, on the other hand, were crazy enough to bring our dog along when we moved to Japan.  A big rough collie, he looked so much like Lassie that whenever we walked him we were stopped by people thinking he was the canine movie star.  He took it all in his stride (he probably thought he deserved all the adulation) and didn’t mind being called Lassie.  And I never let on either, as my grasp of the Japanese language wasn’t up to it.  So there may be people over there who think they’ve met an icon, who knows? 🙂

Many thanks for having me as your guest, Sue!

Blurb:-

How do you start a new life, leaving behind all you love?

It’s 1641, and when Midori Kumashiro, the orphaned daughter of a warlord, is told she has to leave Japan or die, she has no choice but to flee to England. Midori is trained in the arts of war, but is that enough to help her survive a journey, with a lecherous crew and an attractive captain she doesn’t trust?

Having come to Nagasaki to trade, the last thing Captain Nico Noordholt wants is a female passenger, especially a beautiful one. How can he protect her from his crew when he can’t keep his own eyes off her?

During their journey, Nico and Midori form a tentative bond, but they both have secrets that can change everything. When they arrive in England, a civil war is brewing, and only by standing together can they hope to survive…

Links for Christina Courtenay

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Available in ebook and paperback format AMAZON UK link  and AMAZON.COM link

Website www.christinacourtenay.com

Facebook : christina.courtenay.9

Twitter : @PiaCCourtenay

Choclit Publishers

Barbara’s War by Fenella J Miller

Barbara's WarAs war rages over Europe, Barbara Sinclair is desperate to escape from her unhappy home which is a target of the German Luftwaffe. Caught up by the emotion of the moment she agrees to marry John, her childhood friend, who is leaving to join the RAF, but a meeting with Simon Farley, the son of a local industrialist, and an encounter with Alex Everton, a Spitfire pilot, complicate matters. With rationing, bombing and the constant threat of death all around her, Barbara must unravel the complexities of her home life and the difficulties of her emotional relationships in this gripping coming-of-age wartime drama.

My Thoughts

Barbara’s War is a coming of age story about Barbara Sinclair, who we meet as a teenager and leave as a mature young woman.

Fenella Miller’s style of writing flows well and is easy to settle into. I could visualise the settings well and felt I really got to know and understand Barbara. The supporting characters were well written and added to the story.

Set in wartime Britain, I had expected it to be more war orientated but, in fact, the story is of Barbara’s own personal battle, her own war, to discover herself, not just who she is as a person, but also her background and heritage.

On the whole a gentle story, although it is punctuated by some darker moments that I hadn’t expected but felt added bite to the story.

Links for Fenella J Miller

Website : http://www.fenellajmiller.co.uk/

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/fenella.miller?ref=ts&fref=ts

Twitter : @fenellawriter

Amazon Link for Barbara’s War HERE

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The Choc Lit Selection Box

choc lit selectionA delicious selection of romantic short stories with sumptuous recipes to match, from the Choc Lit authors.

Perfect as a gift or an indulgent treat for yourself!

Authors include: Jane Lovering, Juliet Archer, Margaret James, Henriette Gyland, Christine Stovell, Liz Harris, Christina Courtenay, Sarah Tranter, Amanda James, LInda Mitchelmore, Kate Johnson and Sue Moorcroft.

My Thoughts

I’m imagining opening a selection box of luxury chocolates and all these wonderful authors in miniature size standing on a chocolate waving and calling ‘Pick me! Pick me!’  As I look at the leaflet inside, instead of telling me the flavour of the chocolate, it tells me the flavour of the short story.  They all sound so gorgeous, I just have to keep them all to myself.  And then there’s more; a second layer! A mouth watering recipe to go with each short story.  If short stories were yummy,  then these particular ones would be delicious. 

 

Amazon link for The Choc Lit Love Match Selection HERE

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Marry In Haste by Christina Courtenay

‘I need to marry, and I need to marry at once’ 

When James, Viscount Demarr confides in an acquaintance at a ball one evening, he has no idea that the potential solution to his problems stands so close at hand …
Amelia Ravenscroft is the granddaughter of a earl and is desperate to escape her aunt’s home where she has endured a life of drudgery, whilst fighting off the increasingly bold advances of her lecherous cousin. She boldly proposes a marriage of convenience. 

And Amelia soon proves herself a perfect fit for the role of Lady Demarr. But James has doubts and his blossoming feelings are blighted by suspicions regarding Amelia’s past. 
Will they find, all too painfully, that if you marry in haste you repent at leisure?

My Thoughts

This novella has all the ingredients I enjoy in a book; romance, adventure and tension. For a book of 117 pages there is quite a lot going on, but it all blends in so easily and effortlessly that you just get drawn into it.  There is the main story of James and Amelia but there is also more than one sub-plot running throughout.

I liked Amelia’s determination and the fact that she wasn’t a push-over and James although not perfect, was a great hero.

I always enjoy Christina Courtenay’s writing style and this was no exception – I felt transported into the era and caught up in all the happenings.  A thoroughly good read, one which I would quite happily have read as a full length novel.

Webpage http://christinacourtenay.com/

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/christina.courtenay.9?fref=ts

Twitter : @PiaCCourtenay

Published by Choc Lit Publishing : http://www.choclitpublishing.com/

Marry In Haste is available to purchase as an e-book on Amazon.co.uk  …. HERE