Wednesday, 28 February 2018

#BookReview ~ Love In Modena (A Desert Love Novella) by Angelina Kalahari #Romance #NewRelease @angelinakalhari


Love In Modena (A Desert Love Novella)
By Angelina Kalahari


Love In Modena is the follow-up novella to the contemporary romance, Under A Namibian Sky.

Naomi has found her prince, her Luca, her soul mate. In Modena, she also found her place in the world with him. But she can't let go of Namibia so easily, not now she's become the new owner of Desert Lodge. She feels her duty keenly to the people there who had given their loyalty to her family over many years.

Luca, the heir apparent to the Armati supercar dynasty, perfectly understands Naomi's dilemma. Their decision to split their time between the two countries and their responsibilities seems like the perfect solution. Theirs would be a lifestyle others can only dream of.

But neither expected that their relationship would be tested to the limits by an unforeseen foe in their midst.

Can the newlyweds survive the assault? Will it stretch their young relationship to its limits? Could it make them stronger, or break them apart?


My Thoughts

Naomi and Luca have found marital bliss in Modena. Each day their love grows. They are stronger together than apart. Nothing could ever come between them... Nothing.

Under A Namibian Sky is a beautiful romance set in Africa, but when I heard the author was going to write a follow-up novella, I clapped my hands with glee. I was so looking forward to reading more about Naomi and Luca. I am glad to say that the wait was worth it. Love In Modena (A Desert Love Novella) by Angelina Kalahari, is a compelling romance and one I thoroughly enjoyed.

Often I am left with a feeling of 'what happened after' in romance books, and it was really refreshing to read a follow-up story. Things are not easy for Naomi or Luca, and the story was very compelling as well as heart-warming and romantic. Ms Kalahari's elegant use of language gave this story an almost poetic feel. I truly loved every minute of it.

I adored both Naomi and Luca in Under A Namibian Sky, and my affection for these two characters did not waver in the follow-up story. A lot happens in this book. Some new characters are introduced, and not all of them have good intentions. This drives the plot forward and left me turning those pages long after I should have called it a night!

The world that Ms Kalahari has created is both real in the telling and easy to visualise. The characters leapt off the page, and it is one of those books that I am going to come back to again and again.

Fabulous storytelling. Fabulous romance. Fabulous book.



Angelina Kalahari
Angelina Kalahari entered this life among the red dunes of Namibia’s deserts. Her first sounds merged with the power of the massive yellow moon that lit up the vast African spaces. There, where the heavens presented the splendour that the Milky Way flung across its canvas.

A nomadic childhood enchanted her, as Africa presented the raw beauty of her many faces, while Angelina’s family traversed the desert in search of crops for their herds of Karakul sheep. This fertile ambience, filled with strange legends, amazing animals, and wonderful people, afforded Angelina a unique opportunity to live in a world of wonder and to develop a deep sense of self.

Her mother loved listening to Mario Lanza and other tenors of the day. A record player and records accompanied the family on their travels, and back to their farm. The gift of this divine music found resonance within Angelina's body and called to her soul’s desire to share her voice with the world. She left her magical universe to study with other voice and performance obsessives, which resulted in degrees in drama, singing, and opera.

Angelina continued her nomadic existence as an adult, enthralling audiences with her singing, acting, and directing. These activities allowed her to visit a world far beyond her beloved Africa. She shared her talents on such diverse platforms as opening the busking scheme on London Underground, to a recital at the Royal Opera House, and everything in between.

This led to an invitation to Buckingham Palace, no less, where Angelina met Queen Elizabeth as a reward, and in recognition of her contribution to the music, culture, and economy of the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, her fascination and obsession with the human vocal instrument grew, together with her knowledge of it. She found herself to be a teacher and sharer of the magic of the voice and performance, and she became co-founder of the North London Performance Academy.

Storytelling, which formed such a big part of her childhood, became an inherent element in her performances and continued to live in her heart. She never stopped writing down her stories. When, due to illness, it became clear that she would no longer be able to share her voice in the way she had before, writing became the obvious and perfect outlet for her creative expression.

Although she has finished many novels, plays, children’s stories, and had several articles published, The Healing Touch is her first published novel, the first in the Love Beyond Reason series. George And The Gargoyle Who Lived In The Garden, is her first middle-grade novel, again the first in a series. Her latest contemporary romance, Under A Namibian Sky, is the first in the Desert Love series.

Angelina has found a new colourful and vibrant universe in London. She now lives near a massive park, which satisfies another obsession, her awe and wonder of trees. The intoxicating world of London's artistic scene has introduced Angelina to many inspirational people who have become a close and integral part of her tribe.

The only magnificent creatures that share her home today, apart from all the characters wanting to live in the world through her books, are her husband, her little fur cat daughter, a rapidly diminishing population of house spiders, and a smallish herd of dust bunnies.

You can connect with me directly at angelina@angelinakalahari.com.







Tuesday, 20 February 2018

#BookReview ~ Red Winter by Julia Underwood #HistoricalFiction #Russia #mustread @BeingJules

Red Winter

By Julie Underwood


Wealthy, privileged Sophie Cooke, the eldest daughter of a successful English businessman in St Petersburg, has her life torn apart by historic changes in Russia. 

In the early 1900s, enjoying a luxurious existence and a social life of parties and balls, Sophie becomes engaged to the love of her life; a young doctor, Anatoly Andropov. The outbreak of the Great War means that their marriage is earlier than planned and Tolya goes to serve in a field hospital on the eastern front.

Sophie, bored and lonely at home, leaves to join him as a nurse. Later she gives birth to a baby boy and, when expecting her second child, conditions compel her to return to her home city, now named Petrograd.

Petrograd becomes the epicentre of the greatest upheaval in Russian history where the Tsar is overthrown and socialist revolutionaries take over the government. During the months and years that follow, the socialist revolution and a bitter Civil War play out amidst uncertainty, lethal danger and brutal violence. Sophie’s family flee to England, to safety, but even that escape is marked with tragedy.

Sophie remains in Petrograd with her children to wait Tolya’s return. Conditions in the city deteriorate, threatening her little family with starvation and disease. Sophie endures endless struggles at home and at work in a state hospital with the fate of her husband always on her mind. Where is he? Is he even alive? Serious illness and the fragile health of her children drive her to join her family in England where she hears the worst news possible which forces her to return alone to Russia to embark on a dangerous quest.

This sweeping novel of love and loss will transport the reader from tsarist Russia in 1913, through the Great War, the Russian Revolution and Civil War to 1922, finally portraying the life of Russian émigrés in England.


My thoughts...

When Sophie married the dashing young doctor, Anatoly Andropov, she had no idea where her life would lead her. In the years that follow, Sophie would witness the horrors of World War I and the terror of the 1917 revolution. Being half-English, Sophie has the chance to leave Russia with her family, but how can she when she knows not what has happened to her husband?

From the splendour of Tsarist Russia to the abject poverty of life under the Bolsheviks, Red Winter by Julia Underwood is a sweeping saga of one young woman as she fights for her country, her family, and the man she loves. The brutality of this time is beautifully portrayed in one of the best historical fiction books I have ever read depicting this era. This book is right up there with Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago, and Danielle Steel's, Zoya. Red Winter is a breathtaking story that had me gripped from the opening chapter — so gripped in fact that I simply could not put the book down and read it in one sitting.

Sophie was a beautifully portrayed protagonist, and while the world is falling down around her, she faces this changing world with courage and integrity. She is the glue that holds her family together, and her bravery is inspiring, as is her self-sacrifice. Sophie meets each disaster head on, and although at times she is discouraged she somehow finds the strength to carry on.

The depth of research, Julie Underwood has dedicated to portraying the period as accurately as she can has to be commended. I found no historical inaccuracies, and the story came across as very real in the telling.

An enjoyable story, filled with tragedy and hardship but with a satisfying ending.

I Highly Recommend.


Links for Purchase


Julia Underwood
I have been writing for many years. At boarding school I took liberties with published work, adapting it into plays for my classmates to perform. Frequently in trouble for ignoring the 'no talking after lights' rule, I related an ongoing saga of terror and mayhem to my friends.

My father was an Intelligence Officer in the British Army and, after World War 2 we lived in Germany and Austria. I have also lived and worked in Jamaica and France.

Before starting a family I worked as a Medical Research Scientist (I have a BSc in Physiology) for the NHS and the Athritis and Rheumatism Council. Running a pub and a restaurant were more stressful and difficult. Later, for many years I was an interior designer, also making soft furnishings.

I write fiction: short stories, children's stories, plays and now, a novel (published for Kindle by Endeavour Press). I have had short stories and articles published in magazines and have won and been short-listed in competitions with my short stories.

My obsessions are wrting, films, cats, cooking and doll's house furnishings (when I'm not writing I obsessively embroider 1"/12" scale replica carpets and knit dolls' house clothes on needles as thin as a wire).
I am now writng a series of murder mystery novellas for Kindle. The first 'A Murder of no Account' reached no:38 in the Amazon Free Kindle books chart and was 1,300th on the paid list for a nanosecond! I am now working on the second Eve Duncam mystery.



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