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Review of The Master and Margarita

17 April 2014 03:10 (GMT)


In many works of fiction the sense of place – the setting - is just as important as the plot and characters – in fact, sometimes the place itself becomes a character. Mickhail Bulgacov made Patriarch’s Ponds –a small lake in Moscow - internationally famous by using it as the setting for the dramatic opening scene of his surrealistic novel, The Master and the Margarita – in which the Devil (disguised as Professor Woland) and his assistants visit Moscow, hole up in the late Berlioz’s apartment, and terrorize the literary elite favored by the establishment (i.e. Stalin).

Bulgacov completed the book just before his death in 1940 but it was not published in Russia until 1966, when it instantly became an underground classic.

The book is a caustic criticism of Soviet society, yet also a moving love story. While professor Woland (who is not an entirely unlikeable Devil) and his minions perform decapitations, commit arson, and practice black magic, Margarita flies on her broom through Moscow in search of her persecuted lover, the Master. In a country where Atheism is the mandatory ‘religion’ the Master has dared to write a historical novel about Pontius Pilate and Christ.

The petty-minded rejection of his novel drives the Master to burn his manuscript. But Woland later gives the manuscript back, saying, "Didn't you know that manuscripts don't burn?" The irony here is that Bulgakov burned an early copy of The Master and Margarita for much the same reasons.

This classic work of surrealism contains many hidden messages and themes, a common practice among writers who wished to survive the Soviet period. In spite of its complex structure and dreamlike reality, it is easy to read and I found it completely addictive.

Highly recommended.

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Review of The Time Hunters and the Sword of Ages by Carl Ashmore

16 April 2014 09:38 (GMT)

The Time Hunters and the Sword of Ages is the fourth in the series by Carl Ashmore. It's intended for Young Adults but as with many YA books, his readership goes much further.
Our friends Becky, Joe, Uncle Percy and Will are on the hunt for another Eden Relic, the Sword of Ages. Natural their arch enemy Emerson Drake and his henchman Otto Krueger are looking for it too, for the power is confers. As always with Carl Ashmore’s books, there’s plenty of action and excitement but there’s always more under the surface. The children’s characters are so wonderfully real and I can hear their conversations in my head – they ring very true! We learn a great deal more about the past of some of the characters including Joe. There are hidden depths in this story and it’s a nail-biting read.

Fans of The Time Hunters are going to snap this up and they aren’t going to be disappointed. I read it in just a couple of days and it took me from laughter to being a little choked up. You mustn’t miss this!

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Unusual Approaches - Author Events

15 April 2014 11:24 (GMT)

I've been to many author events over the years. Here was something new http://nigelpbird.blogspot.co.uk.... I'd love to hear of any other intersting takes on the format, but must say I do really enjoy the more traditional ways.

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Who was your first, favorite, fictional sleuth?

15 April 2014 05:50 (GMT)

I’ll get started by saying my first favorite was Jules Maigret, Commissaire of the Paris "Brigade Criminelle," created by French mystery writer Georges Simenon’s.  Laid back and fond of going home for lunch, Maigret was deeply perceptive and believed that if he delved into the victim’s life deeply enough he was sure to find the murderer. The novels are gritty and realistic - Simenon said he was obsessed with a search for the "naked man" -- man without his cultural protective coloration.
Here's a link to a sit devoted to Simenon and Maigret: http://www.trussel.com/f_maig.htm

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Review of Thunder Demons by Dipika Mukherjee

14 April 2014 20:47 (GMT)

THUNDER DEMONS by Dipika Mukherjee
Thunder Demons is everything a thriller should be, and more.

It is difficult to weave political, personal and multi-cultural themes into a storyline so that each thread is equally convincing and contributes to forming a satisfying whole. Dipika Mukherjee has done exactly that. Her characters are well drawn and complex, enabling the reader to understand the ‘why’ behind even the most extreme of actions. The political and social issues are not merely a backdrop – they are as alive and real as the passionate people who populate this book.

Along the way to the suspenseful and shocking end of this dark, unique, and powerful thriller, I found myself effortlessly absorbing the complex colonial history as well as the deep cultural divides that define Malaysia today.

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Kindle app on iPad - Reviews not showing?

12 April 2014 00:07 (GMT)

I have just loaded the Kindle app onto my new iPad Mini Retina display. 
I have an e-ink Kindle 3.
When I select a book to Review I move them into a folder I named Reviews and on the Kindle 3 this is just fine.
I put all my other books into other folders.
But on my iPad and Kindle app the review folder is empty. All my other folders are fine on the iPad and it syncs to the latest page read.
So I'm happy its all good except for reviews.
Maybe the iPad Kindle app cannot handle reviews?
Can anyone confirm that

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Free eBook News

If you are looking for Free Kindle eBooks, you will find our complete daily list here. Below are our latest notifications direct from the author about their free promotions.

Chick lit novel "Travels on a Greyhound Bus" FREE 17-21 April

16 April 2014 18:01 (GMT)

Dear all

Just wanted to let you know that my novel "Travels on a Greyhound Bus" will be FREE from Thursday 17 until Monday 21 April inclusive.

This is an easy, fun read about how romantic relationships change over time and how people react when those relationships come under pressure. It has some good independent reviews and has 4.6 stars overall.

“...a thought provoking read that made me think about the changes we go through in life and the way they mould our future.” - Kirsty I Heart Books

“...a quick and engaging read with warm and believable characters..." - Laura’s Book Reviews

“extremely well written and readable;  “a great blend of different themes”;  “well written tale” - Amazon

Happy reading!


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Free for Kindle: The Egyptian Affair by A.M. Khalifa

16 April 2014 15:56 (GMT)

The Egyptian Affair by A.M. Khalifa

The place, Cairo, Egypt. The time, a few years before the Arab Spring. 

When a man discovers his wife is having an affair, self-restraint and reason fly out of the window. Humiliation rests on his shoulders like a burden too heavy to bear. And the onus of doing something about it lies squarely on him. The universe will not let him rest or have his peace until he acts to set the balance straight. Even if he wanted to look the other way and take one for the team, he would still wind up facing his demons with no option but to react. To do something. Anything. Even the unthinkable.

Get swept away in the spell-binding, twisted world of The Egyptian Affair.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BJP4KPQ

For more on the author, visit: http://www.amkhalifa.com 
Twitter: twitter.com/amkwriter 
Facebook: facebook.com/amkwriter

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'Brizecombe Hall' - Free Victorian / Regency Romance on Kindle

15 April 2014 13:57 (GMT)

'Brizecombe Hall,' a short romance that has been described as a potted version of 'Jane Eyre,' is free on Kindle over the Easter weekend and will remain free in the run up to Charlotte Bronte's birthday:
Brizecombe Hall
If you read and enjoy the story, reviews, recommendations & ratings would be appreciated.

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Free eBook - The Man in the Red Underpants - A.Green

11 April 2014 09:18 (GMT)

Short Description: Who is the man in the red underpants? What does he want and why are his pants red and not pink? Did he really get his red underpants from Agent Provacateur and what does he want anyway?

None of these questions are dealt with in this book! Rather this book asks you to think about how you would deal with the man in the red underpants. It will take you on a journey in which you will encounter some startling conclusions. If you believe in unbelievable things without proof, then put this book down now, and if you think that you are a thinker, think again!
The man in the Red Underpants will make sure your life is never the same again.

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Godhunter, A Paranormal Romance FREE on Amazon

09 April 2014 10:05 (GMT)

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Amazon Link: FREE Ebook UK

Warning! This series is addictive.

Praise for The Godhunter Series:
"Smart, sexy, sassy and sweet this story holds adventure and romance, with a well written and witty take on mythology. Read this now!”
"Vervain, her Gods and her men, they breathe in a way that I am unable to describe!"
"They are so good, they should be savored, but instead I binged on them like a kid on Halloween."
You think you've got some bad date stories? My last date ended with me almost being sacrificed to a Hawaiian war god. Then I found out that all the gods are real. Only they aren't really gods, they're Atlanteans. Yep, that Atlantis.
They screwed up their perfect island(and sank it) and then had the nerve to move in on our territory. As if that wasn't bad enough, they told us normal humans that they were gods. And we believed them. Why? Cause they did really cool things. So we sacrificed to them and they took that energy and used it to make themselves even more powerful.
Then a little thing called Science came along and we stopped believing in the supernatural. We stopped sacrificing to the gods. They lost their power source and that pissed them off royally. So they started thinking up new ways to get sacrifice from us. Like starting wars. They manipulate us into killing each other and guess who gets that energy? That's right, they do. They get stronger with each one of us who dies.
You think I'm crazy, right? Yeah, that's pretty much why I don't go shouting it from the rooftops. It's also why I've taken it upon myself to stop them in any way I can. I may not be some kick ass superhero but I happen to be a witch, so at least I've got magic on my side. I promise you, I won't stop fighting until I free us from the manipulations of the gods. Not even for a hot Viking god who wields a big hammer. No matter how good he looks in his leather pants.
My name is Vervain Lavine and I hunt the gods.

Sweet, Sexy, and Sassy, scroll up and grab your free copy today. Become a part of the Godhunter world.

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