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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?

I have just started reading ‘Kiss Of The Butterfly’ by James Lyon, a book which blends 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. You can read the opening lines of the book here.

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 did you recently finish reading?

My last book, was a literary fiction novel, ‘The Englishman And The Butterfly’, which was 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 do you think you’ll read next?

Next up is ‘An Uncertain Refuge’ by Carolyn Rose, a Kindle Gift, sent by the book’s author as a review copy. This mystery / suspense story has been receiving some excellent reviews and I can’t wait to get started on it..

A child orphaned by violence. A woman sworn to protect and raise him. A killer come to claim him. A few deadly minutes in An Uncertain Refuge.

Kate Dalton lives by the rules of honesty and fair play until she steps between a battered woman and the man intent on killing her. Amanda Blake barely survives; her ex-husband dies by Kate’s hand. The repercussions force Kate from her job at a domestic violence shelter. Fleeing unwanted publicity and yearning to break with her past, she heads to the Oregon coast, burdened by a coerced promise to Amanda—to care for the nine-year-old son of the man she killed and shield him from the truth.

For several weeks Kate holds a tattered web of lies together. Then Way-Ray’s vengeful uncle murders Amanda, an ambush journalist tells the story, and the boy bolts in horror. Aided by a dangerous man she only half-trusts, Kate searches for the boy she’s come to love. But a sadistic killer intent on claiming his kin is watching every move.

What was the last book you reviewed?

My last published review of  ‘Don’t Let Me Go’ by Catherine Ryan Hyde, was a win in an author interview giveaway.
You can read my review here

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.

What book review are you working on now?
I am currently working on my review of ‘The Dragondain’ by Richard Due. This fantasy fiction series, known collectively as ‘The Moon Realm’, is predominantly targeted at the young adult audience, but trust me when I say that it is eminently suitable and can be thoroughly enjoyed by all age groups.
It’s the middle of the night, you need to send your brother to the Moon Realm, and he won’t wake up. So you improvise. . . . When a confused Jasper awakes, he’s convinced he’s dreaming. But by the time he meets Greydor, Jasper understands that this is no dream. In fact, persuading the King of the Rinn to work with the men of Dain to defeat their common enemy is a nightmare. Then there’s the other side of the coin: convincing Tavin and Dubb that saddling a Rinn isn’t certain death. (“It’ll be fun!”) And perhaps even a greater worry: can he make friends with Dubb’s daughter Darce before she punches his lights out?Lily has problems, too. There’s a little mousie scratching in her closet. Or at least, it sounds like a little mousie. Oh, and her second confrontation with Curse, and trying to form her first peerin. (Don’t you have to be from Dain to do that?) And where’s Ebb?Only one thing is certain. Now that Lily and Jasper have entered the Moon Realm, nothing can ever be the same again.Illustrated by Carolyn Arcabascio. Volume Two of the The Moon Realm Series.
Stop by and leave a link to your own reading schedule, I can’t wait to visit and check them all out!
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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10 comments
  • Kiss of the Butterfly sounds fascinating and something I’m adding to my to-read list, even though I’m not usually a fan of tales with vampires (or zombies or werewolves). An Uncertain Refuge also sounds interesting and suspenseful, but too overwhelming. I don’t think I can handle a story like that right now, with domestic abuse and revenge killing.

    • Hi HKatz,

      I have only just started ‘Kiss Of The Butterfly’ and so far it is shaping up well, not at all what I was expecting, as I don’t generally get involved with vampires etc. James has been a great author to work with, always ready to participate in a discussion about the book and clearly passionate about its success.

      ‘An Uncertain Refuge’ is a book that I am really looking forward to reading, as murder / mystery is definitely one of my favourite genres. Again, I couldn’t have asked to work with a more ‘hands-on’ author than Carolyn and I feel sure that I shall be reading more of her books in the future.

      Thanks for stopping by, it is good to hear from you again.

  • Hello! I really like the look of Don’t Let Me Go. Kiss of the Butterfly also looks interesting. I hope you enjoy your books and have a fabulous week!

    • Hi Chrissi,

      You have selected two of the most diverse books from todays post and I have to say that both are brilliant, although in totally different ways.

      ‘Kiss Of The Butterfly’ I have not long started, although I can already tell that I am going to enjoy it, albeit that it is going to be a book that I shall need to concentrate on to keep up with the plot.

      ‘Don’t Let Me Go’ introduced me to a new author, whose books have not received so many reviews here in the UK, although she obviously already has a huge fan base in the US. All of Catherine’s books seem to deal with some pretty serious and important life issues in a considered and level headed fashion, whilst she manages to weave intricate storylines around them, to make them both an enjoyable and emotional read. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your week.

    • Hi Tracy,

      I do seem to have been mentioning this book one way or another, for several weeks now, so perhaps I am participating in too many memes!

      The next time will be to record my final thoughts about the book and I have to say that it is going to be a very difficult review to write. I am not very far into the story, yet I already feel that I may be overlooking some of the more salient points of the plot, although I am enjoying the style of writing and the quality of the finished piece. I am definitely going to have to give the book my full concentration to do it justice.

      As always, I appreciate your visit and comments.

    • Hi Jessica,

      I am really looking forward to reading this one myself, especially as Carolyn has just recently published the sequel ‘Sea Of Regret’.

      Carolyn is a fantastic author to work with and isn’t in the least bit fazed at how long I have had ‘An Uncertain Refuge’ in my review pile, thank goodness!!

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

    • Hi Think,

      Having been across and checked out your site, I am almost certain that you would enjoy ‘Kiss Of The Butterfly’, with all its vampire action. There is, as I am sure you read, a much more serious message which the author hopes that the reader will take away from the experience and James is never one to shy away from a discussion or debate about his passion for the subject.

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

      Enjoy the rest of your week.

Written by Yvonne

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