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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

W..W..W.. Wednesdays

Image for weekly meme W... W... W...This weekly meme, hosted by MizB, over at ‘Should Be Reading’, is a snapshot of where I am at in my reading schedule.

To play along, just answer the following three questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

.

As I probably won’t be able to contribute every week, I have taken the liberty of adding in a couple more W…’s, which came to mind.

   …

What are you currently reading?

My current read, is a literary fiction novel, ‘The Englishman And The Butterfly’, which is a review request and a copy of which was sent as a Kindle download, by its author, Ryan Asmussen.

Oxford fellow and John Milton expert, Professor Henry Fell, suffers from panic attacks and a gnawing fear that what he doubtfully refers to as his existence is much more out of his control than he realizes.

Newly arrived in Boston on an academic fellowship, Fell meets a variety of people who, in one way or another, expose him to true love, true death, and true poetry: the lovely and sharp-tongued Julia Collins, a Ph.D. candidate struggling to survive in a male-dominated world, fellow Brit Professor Geoffrey Hearne, one of the University’s most popular and colorful lecturers, and the rather less-than-popular, equally British, Professor Christopher Moberley, whose vast bulk contains the darkest of secrets.

A coming of middle-age story, a metaphysical parable, a glimpse into literature from the inside-out, ‘The Englishman and the Butterfly’, is a tragicomic look at the differences between imagining a life, performing one, and becoming enlightened to the possibility that there is more to life than meets a reader’s eye.

What did you recently finish reading?

I have just finished reading a sizzling contemporary romance titled ‘Until There Was You’, a book which was a competition win and a copy of which was sent to me as a Kindle download by its author, Jessica Scott.

A by-the-book captain with a West Point background, Captain Evan Loehr refuses to mix business with pleasure—except for an unguarded instance years ago when he succumbed to the deep sensuality of redheaded beauty Claire Montoya. From that moment on, though, Evan has been at odds with her, through two deployments to Iraq and back again. But when he is asked to train a team prepping for combat alongside Claire, battle-worn Evan is in for the fight of his life.

Strong, gutsy, and loyal, Captain Claire Montoya has worked hard to earn the rank on her chest. In Evan, Claire sees a rigid officer who puts the rules before everything else—including his people. When the mission forces them together, Claire soon discovers that there is more to Evan than meets the eye. He’s more than the rank on his chest; he’s a man with dark secrets and deep longings. For all their differences, Evan and Claire share two crucial passions: their country and each other.

 …

What do you think you’ll read next?

Next up is another author review request and a book which is going to take me right out of my comfort zone, dealing as it does with vampires. Not a subject which I would usually care to read about, although ‘Kiss Of The Butterfly’ by James Lyon  cleverly uses the genre to blend fact and fiction together, in an attempt to evoke discusssion about disurbing and important political, moral and social issues, raised during the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.

Meticulously researched, “Kiss of the Butterfly” weaves together intricate threads from the 15th, 18th and 20th centuries to create a rich phantasmagorical tapestry of allegory and reality. It is about divided loyalties, friendship and betrayal, virtue and innocence lost, obsession and devotion, desire and denial, the thirst for life and hunger for death, rebirth and salvation. “Kiss” blends history and the terrors of the Balkans as it explores dark corners of the soul, from medieval Bosnia to enlightenment-era Vienna, from the bright beaches of modern-day Southern California to the exotically dark cityscapes of Budapest and Belgrade, and horrors of Bosnia.

“Kiss of the Butterfly” is based on true historical events. In the year of his death, 1476, the Prince of Wallachia — Vlad III (Dracula) — committed atrocities under the cloak of medieval Bosnia’s forested mountains, culminating in a bloody massacre in the mining town of Srebrenica. A little over 500 years later, in July 1995, history repeated itself when troops commanded by General Ratko Mladic entered Srebrenica and slaughtered nearly 8,000 people, making it the worst massacre Europe had seen since the Second World War. For most people, the two events seemed unconnected…

Vampires have formed an integral part of Balkan folklore for over a thousand years. “Kiss” represents a radical departure from popular vampire legend, based as it is on genuine Balkan folklore from as far back as the 14th century. “Kiss of the Butterfly” offers up the vampires that existed long before Dracula and places them within a modern spectrum.

…. so James combines Dan Brown, Indiana Jones, Bram Stoker, and Umberto Eco, with the vampires serving both as the villains and as a metaphor for the broader issues. The fact that vampires come from Balkan folklore (not Romanian), means he was able to abuse his academic training for a good cause!

What was the last book you reviewed?

My latest published review, was  ‘Blue Monday’ a Christian fiction book and a review request by its author, M.Thomas Long. Read my review here.

If I had the winning lottery ticket …. It’s a fun scenario to imagine…unless you are Matt McAllister.

Blue Monday is the story of Matt McAllister. Matt is the pastor of the fifth largest church in his state. After over 20 years in the ministry he is approaching burn out. Every week begins with blue Monday. The clergy’s equivalent of the morning after.

Matt was a vocal, public opponent to the lottery when it came to South Carolina. When he accidentally purchases another person’s lottery ticket, he is surprised at the reaction of himself, his family, and those around him. The situations quickly become funny, introspective and sad simultaneously when the ticket wins $186 million.
Matt learns some important lessons about human nature, both his and the people around him…then he learns that the woman who picked the numbers on his winning ticket has attempted suicide.
When offered part of the winnings, Matt has an opportunity to leave blue Monday behind…but can he?
What book review are you working on now?
I am currently polishing up the final draft ready for my review of ‘Don’t Let Me Go’ by Catherine Ryan Hyde, a win in an author interview giveaway. The interview was conducted by Nikki, over at ‘Notes Of Life’, where she met author Catherine Ryan Hyde and posted a great review about the book ‘Don’t Let Me Go’.

BILLY

Grown-man Billy Shine hasn’t been out of his apartment for years. People scare him, and the outside world scares him even more. Day in, day out, he lives a perfectly orchestrated silent life within his four walls. Until now. . .

THE PLAN

Grace bursts into Billy’s life with a loud voice and a brave plan to get her mum clean. And it won’t be easy, because they will have to confiscate the one thing her mum holds most dear . . . they will have to kidnap Grace.

I am looking forward to checking out what you are all up to in your reading schedule.
Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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14 comments
  • The Englishman and the Butterfly sound really interesting. I hope you’re enjoying it. I see you’re reading a book that takes you outside of your comfort zone soon. I’ve done that recently too. Luckily for me, I enjoyed it! I hope you enjoy yours! Have a great week!

    • Hi Chrissi,

      ‘The Englishman And The Butterfly’ is shaping up to be a good story, even though I have only read a few pages so far. It is the kind of book that I need to read when I have plenty of peace and quiet, as it is full of some excellent, powerful characterisations and fantastic use of language and deserves my full concentration, so that I don’t miss out on any of the nuances in the dialogue.

      I am so pleased that it isn’t just me that gets a little ‘stressy’ when I have to read something out of my usual genres and comfort zone. Like yourself, I have so far been pleasantly surprised by the ‘fantasy’ books I have reviewed and I am now setting myself up for the challenge of ‘Kiss Of The Butterfly’, which I am really looking forward to reading.

      Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate your visits and comments and I hope that you are having a good week.

    • Hi Tracy,

      All these butterflies in the titles and comments, are beginning to confuse me!

      ‘Kiss Of The Butterfly’ is a carefully blended mix of historical fact and fiction, woven together to highlight the terrible massacre at Srebrenica, The Balkans, in 1995.

      Even the book title gives a false impression of the horrific events, with something so benign as a butterfly. In this particular case however, the term butterfly, actually relates to the vampires of Balkan folklore, so maybe not quite so nice after all!

      James is a very engaging character, only too willing to become involved in a discussion about a subject which he has an obvious passion for. The book itself has received some excellent reviews on many of the main sites and I am certain that it is going to be a very challenging read.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it.

    • Hi Gwynneth,

      Thanks for deciding to stop by Fiction Books today. I love ‘meeting’ new people and your visits and comments will always be welcome and appreciated.

      I must admit, that when I was contacted by the two authors, one after the other, and both had books with butterflies in the title, I couldn’t believe the coincidence.

      Butterflies have such different meanings and connotations, in each of the books though and the storylines are poles apart, so the titles are just about the only common denominator between the two.

      ‘The Englishman And The Butterfly’ is shaping up well after the first few pages, so I am pleased about that.

      I hope that your week is going well so far, I shall be stopping by your site to say ‘hi’, shortly.

    • Hi Julie,

      Thanks for deciding to stop by Fiction Books today. I love ‘meeting’ new people and your visits and comments will always be welcome and appreciated.

      This is only the third time that I have taken part in WWW and I have already discovered some great new people and blogs in that short time.

      It is certainly a good meme for catching up with what everyone is reading and also helps to keep me focused about where I am at with my enormous review list.

      ‘Kiss Of The Butterfly’ is going to be quite a challenge for me, both in its focus on vampires and the wider and much more emotional issues connected with the conflict and massacres in the Balkans. This is going to be a book where I am going to need to concentrate whilst reading, so that I don’t miss out on any of the important details.

      I hope that your week is going well, I shall be stopping by to take a look at your own blog shortly.

  • I’m a fan of Catherine Ryan Hyde and I look forward to your review of her novel. Until There Was You sounds right up my alley. I do enjoy good romance.
    I’m also looking forward to your post on Kiss of the Butterfly after you read it, it sounds like an interesting book. Happy Wednesday!

    • Hi Naida,

      Until I read the interview and review of ‘Don’t Let Me Go’, with Nikki, over at ‘Notes Of Life’, I hadn’t come across Catherine Ryan Hyde before. She is obviously a hugely popular author though and after reading this book, I can see why. She certainly isn’t frightened to deal with the difficult issues of life, in a sensitive, yet informative way and I am now a huge fan and can’t wait to get my hands on more of her books.

      ‘Until There Was You’ by Jessica Scott, was certainly worlds apart from Catherine’s book. This was raw, sizzling, sexy passion and the story of two people learning to trust and open up to each other. To me though, there were some more serious issues raised about the armed forces, which were only exasperated by the romance story … I’ll save that for the review!!

      ‘Kiss Of The Butterfly’ is definitely one I am looking forward to, although I suspect that it isn’t going to be a book to be rushed or read quickly … I’ll keep you updated on progress!

      Hope that you are having a good week.

    • Hi Pooks,

      I am definitely all ‘butterflied out’ this week and no mistake!

      ‘The Englishman And The Butterfly’ is progressing well and is an engrossing read. The descriptions of the characters, their feelings, their emotions and their surroundings, is superb in every detail and takes you right there, to the heart of the action.

      Thanks for stopping by, I love ‘meeting new people, so your visits will always be welcome and your comments always appreciated.

  • I see a butterfly theme there!

    ‘The Englishman And The Butterfly’ sounds quite interesting and I look forward to reading your thoughts on the book.

    As I’m sure you already know, I’m also looking forward to reading your review of Don’t Let Me Go 🙂

    I hope you’re well.

    • Hi Nikki,

      I am doing good thanks, apart from the beginnings of a cold coming on! … how about yourself?

      My thoughts about ‘Don’t Let Me Go’ are almost fully compiled, it was such a good book, that finding the right words to do it justice, is quite a challenge, that I have been giving quite a lot of consideration to.

      ‘The Englishman And The Butterfly’, is in something of a class of its own, when it comes to the quality of the language and prose and I am really becoming engrossed in it.

      Good to hear from you and, as always, I appreciate your comments.

Written by Yvonne

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