Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Knightmare and The Apple Orchard

Does the title sound like some sort of story Stephen King could conjure up? Well, in this case it’s actually two intriguing stories by two authors I’m adding to my ‘be sure to follow’ list.

First up is THE KNIGHTMARE by Deborah Valentine, an author from the UK. She will be joining us here Tuesday (July 9th) to answer some questions about this fascinating story and her writing. 

Next will be THE APPLE ORCHARD by Susan Wiggs, an author with several mesmerizing series. She’s beginning a new series set in the beautiful setting of Sonoma County wine country.

THE KNIGHTMARE by Deborah Valentine

Knightmare_signatureTales featuring knights and mysteries are always intriguing and draw me in. Author Deborah Valentine weaves a fascinating story blending knights, time travel, and reincarnation in such a manner it seems plausible. 

The story begins in France in 1209 when a Knight Templar is attacked by an assassin. A couple watch from a distant hill. Just as it seems certain the Knight will die, the woman takes up a sword.

From there the story transitions to present day where Scottish Formula 1 driver Conor Westfield is injured in a racing accident. As he’s recovering from his near fatal injuries, terrifying nightmares from his childhood return.

To add to Conor’s confusion, he’s informed that a mysterious woman he had a brief affair with has died and named him as her heir. Reluctantly Conor goes to Amsterdam to sort out the situation. Once there, he discovers an illuminated book that holds the key to all his questions.

The author has created an enchanting tale of past and present blending rich details and history along the way. Valentine’s eye for detail places the reader among the people of London, Amsterdam and medieval France. She weaves a journey of time travel that is magical and realistic.

The writing is done in a steady pace and the story flows smoothly. The characters are well-developed and likable. The story holds your attention and has you believing in the unbelievable. 

THE KNIGHTMARE is a bewitching read that is hard to resist from the opening page. Valentine transports readers to another time and place and back again capturing their imagination along the way. 

Author Deborah Valentine’s website is
The Knightmare by Deborah Valentine, Amazon Digital Services, @2013, ASIN: B00BI1CWOC, Digital, 546 KB, 335 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure - A digital copy of this book was sent to me by the author in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

Tess Delaney is good at finding and documenting lost treasurers for The Apple Orchardpeople. She enjoys finding the history behind objects probably because she has very little history of her own.

Narrator Christina Traister does an excellent job giving distinct voices to each of the characters. She vocalizes the emotions of the characters making the listener feel their pain and joys.

Tess’ world is turned upside down when Dominic Rossi appears at her office. He informs her she has a grandfather she never knew about and he’s in a coma. If he dies, she’s set to inherit half of Bella Vista, his 100-acre estate in the Sonoma town of Archangel. The other half goes to a half sister, Isabel Johansen, she never knew exited either.

Following an anxiety attack that lands her in the hospital, Tess agrees to visit her grandfather’s apple orchard with Dominic. Meeting Isabel and her grandfather begins to change her life. Then the sisters learned their grandfather is about to lose the orchard and everything that goes with.

When they begin to search for a way to save the orchard, they learn things about their family and themselves that they never knew. In addition, feelings between Tess and Dominic begin to develop and Tess contemplates a life she never imagined having.

Author Susan Wiggs has crafted a delightful tale of hope and family. She explores the emotions of finding family and a history one never knew existed. In addition, she does a wonderful job touching on the effects those living through the Nazi invasion of Denmark endured.

The characters are well-developed, realistic and very likeable. THE APPLE ORCHARD moves at a steady pace. The listener/reader is drawn in and doesn’t want to leave Archangel when the story ends. Thankfully listeners/readers will be able to return as this is the first installment in a mesmerizing new series by Wiggs.

The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs, A Bella Vista Novel, Performed by Christina Traister, Brilliance Audio, @2013, ISBN: 978-1455836888, Unabridged, 10 Discs, Listening Time: 12 Hours 7 Minutes

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Do you read or listen to various genres at the same time or do you like reading only one genre at a time?

1 comment:

  1. Mason - Those are such different kinds of stories, but both sound interesting. When an author can make you believe that the impossible could really happen, that's talent. And The Apple Orchard sounds like a fascinating family study. Thanks for sharing these.


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