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Review: Season Of The Witch By Natasha Mostert

seasonofthewitchOnce upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.”
―Edgar Allan Poe

[I am] the pen merely of [God] Whose Spirit, quickly writing these things through me, I wish and I hope to be. – John Dee, Monas Hieroglyphica (‘The Hieroglyphic Monad’)

 Who will live in this place between door and window? A mummer with a heavy heart and blind eyes turning, turning.

 I must meditate upon my name. – Season of the Witch, by Natasha Mostert

 

Doors. Doors upon Doors upon Doors. Doors into memory. Doors into dream. Doors into magic and mystery and heartbreak. Doors into eroticism – Doors into death.

I first found Ms. Mostert when I was offered The Midnight Side by the publisher back in February. As I said in that review, The Midnight Side is . . . a brooding, atmospheric tale of suspense and psychological thrill, full of the kinds of fear and gloomy atmosphere sure to lure in even the most jaded of readers. Mostert speaks to deep waters of the mind, dark corners of the soul, the ruin brought on by wounded and damaged souls.

 With my reading of Season of the Witch, winner of the 2009 Book To Talk About: World Book Day Award, I was again pulled into the deep waters of the mind, the dark corners of the soul. And once more, I was enthralled by Ms. Mostert’s grasp of language, her ability to paint a picture with words upon the page.

The book actually starts rather oddly for what I had expected from Mostert, as we meet Gabriel Blackstone, an accomplished cyber thief, as he practices his craft. Gabriel knows what he is – nothing more, or less, than a thief – but a masterful one; a savant of ones and zeroes, algorithms and cyphers, pulling cyber magic from the very air. But that is not all Gabriel is. Gabriel is a Remote Viewer. And now, his former girlfriend needs his help. For though she too is a RV, she has nowhere near the strength or skill of her once-beloved. For her new beloved, her dying husband, wishes to know the fate of his son, who has disappeared without a trace.

Though reluctant to return to this skill he has left behind, a happenstance pulls him back into this world of dreams and visions, of minds touching across space and time and realities one upon the other like the petals of a rose. And here, Mostert shows her amazing skill in crafting worlds of wonder and terror, of loss and mystery.

And as he slowly spiraled downwards, he wondered with a strange sense of detachment if he might not still be on a journey, still searching for the path that does not wander . . .

Many have spoken of the theme of the story, the happenings and characters. What I wish to address is her stunning vision of the occult, of witchcraft and psychology, seduction and passion, mysticism and the mind, all richly crafted into a world both heartrending and sublime.

A white horse neighed madly and tossed its blood-soaked mane.

None of Mostert’s characters are purely evil, none are purely good. Instead, she revels in creating characters of depth, both moral and immoral, sinner and chaste. Through talismanic images and mysterious sigils, fantastic signs and the infinite patterns of code, she drives Gabriel through the palaces of memory and the mind, wrapping the story into an atmospheric, poetic whole.

Natasha Mostert has permanent residence on my “Keepers” shelf, a place few Authors gain within my own Palace of the Mind.

I received my copy of Season of the Witch from the publisher. All thoughts are my own. Don’t fail to add all of Ms. Mostert’s books to your “Must Read” shelf if you love atmospheric, poetic writing.

Purchase Links:

Buy-Now-Button_Amazongoodreads_iconAmazon Canada
Purchase Books A Million
Buy at alibris
Buy at Powell'sAbeBooks
amazonUK

 

 

About the Author:

natmosWhen one of my publishers asked me to submit a 200 word biography for their authors’ website, I thought about dropping the usual bio platitudes and submitting the following:

“Natasha Mostert is a spectacularly brilliant, raven-haired psychic who saw her first ghost at the age of four. She likes to take midnight rides on horseback and practices levitation twice a day.”

However, upon reflection I didn’t think my editor would be too amused by this flight of fancy. So here it is, the official (and much less exciting) Natasha Mostert biography:

Natasha Mostert is a South African novelist and screenwriter, who specializes in contemporary psychological thrillers with mystical and paranormal themes. She grew up in Pretoria and Johannesburg but currently lives in London with her husband, Frederick. She still keeps an apartment in the university town of Stellenbosch in the Cape province.

Contact Natasha:

Follow Us on FacebookFollow Us on GoodreadsFollow Us on E-mail

Keeper of Light and Dust Season of the WitchWindwalker The Other Side of Silence The Midnight Side

 

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Bring on the CHOCOLATE!!! Treasures, Demons, and Other Black Magic Cover Reveal!

 

Treasures, Demons, and Other Black Magic!

TREASURES_cover treasures_coverreveal_stockchocolate_comingsoon

OH, yummy! Now I am going to have to go make rich, gooey DARK Chocolate cupcakes, then find my athame and have a party! Yippee, skippee, Rah Rah YUM!!!!

 

Biography

Meghan Ciana Doidge is an award-winning writer based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She has a penchant for bloody love stories, superheroes, and the supernatural. She also has a thing for chocolate, potatoes, and sock yarn.

Novels – After The Virus, Spirit Binder, Time Walker, Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic – Dowser #1, Trinkets, Treasures, and Other Bloody Magic – Dowser #2, Treasures, Demons, and Other Black Magic – Dowser #3

Novellas/Shorts – Love Lies Bleeding and The Graveyard Kiss

WARNING: author has been known to manipulate characters with chocolate, sex, and fantastical plotting. Readers beware http://author.to/meghancianadoidge

 Linkscupcake

Blog, www.madebymeghan.ca

Twitter, @mcdoidge

Facebook, Meghan Ciana Doidge

NEW RELEASE MAILING LIST

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Author Page

meg

Mark Your Calendar! Thursday Is Cupcake Day!

dowserbanner
Check out the first two. Like chocolate, you won’t be able to resist the third!

I can hardly wait! going to go back and give the first two a quick read so that I am prepared for the next!!

And don’t forget Meghan’s other wonderful books! These are new covers for the Dowser series, but her other works have great covers as well, and you can even see the old-style cover for Cupcakes below.

doidge
Click for Meghan’s Goodreads page!

A Challenge for Reviewers of E.L. James

Reason sits firm and holds the reins, and she will not let the feelings burst away and hurry her to wild chasms. The passions may rage furiously, like true heathens, as they are; and the desires may imagine all sorts of vain things: but judgment shall still have the last word in every argument, and the casting vote in every decision.
– Charlotte Bronte

gertrude
Nobel Laureate Gertrude Stein.
(© Hulton-Deutsch Collection / Corbis)
All Rights Reserved

We are not people with no discriminating taste when it comes to literature.” – Pamelia A. in a 5-Star Review for “50 Shades of Grey”

jury
Click for
A Jury Of Her Peers

Like some other reviewers, what I find terribly depressing is that this is a runaway bestseller and the movie rights are expected to sell for up to $5 million. There are so many highly talented writers in the genre… and erotica is so much more erotic when the author has a command of the language and can make you care about the characters. For examples, check out the “Beauty” trilogy written by Anne Rice under the pen name A.N. Roquelaure, or any stories by Donna George Storey or Rachel Kramer Bussel. – D.S. From LA in a 1-Star Review for “50 Shades of Grey”

I challenge reviewers of “50 Shades of Grey” to read and review a minimum of THREE books from writers who are listed in
A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx” by Elaine Showalter. This is an exceptional overview of true women’s literature. Stories of and by women with strength, intelligence, knowledge, and heart. Women who offer truly discriminating taste in literature. Only three, as there are three installments in James.

If you don’t wish to purchase her book, you may find a simple list of Women Nobel Laureates in Literature at: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/nob…

Once you have read and reviewed three of these books, I encourage you to go back and read “50 Shades” again. Then, post another review of E.L. James in light of your three chosen Nobel Laureate books.

Reviews should be posted here in this group. They may, of course, be posted to other sites, including Amazon.

Reviews to be submitted by APRIL 1, 2014. That is a book a month, certainly achievable if you are interested in this challenge.

A poll will be posted in order to choose your favorite “hate it” and “still love it” reviews. Prizes will be awarded!

And for those who really only read erotica, you can choose books by the authors suggested by D.S. From LA if you have read this post here on my website!
Are YOU sure enough of your literary assessment of James’ work to meet my challenge?

Review: Spirit Binder – Meghan Ciana Doidge

spiritbinder
You really need to click the cover and buy this book.
BTW, is this an awesome cover, or what?!

Before I start this review, I should say that I owe Meghan an apology. She asked me to review her book over a month ago, and I just got so involved in my own life, it slipped out of my fingers. But here it is, and I can definitely say, I was denying myself a great pleasure by waiting so long!

I started my love of fantasy back in grade school, when I picked up a copy of Beowolf and was totally enthralled. I then was given a copy of Lord of the Rings and my reading fate was set thereafter.

Recently, I have found myself moving away from my love of fantastic literature and into more modern veins, and hadn’t even really realized it. Reading Meghan’s Spirit Binder brings me back to those times, and back to the feelings that they inured within me. The sense of scope, of breadth, of tales of magic and hopefulness that open out the soul and exercise the mind.

This isn’t Beowolf, nor is it Tolkein. It is a sweeter, gentler story all its own, filled with a magic that one can identify with and comprehended. There is a strong layer of a past dystopia, now forgotten and yet living all around – The Before. Now, magic and trolls and maybe even a dragon or two roam the lands. And much like Tolkein, and yes, the author of Beowulf, whomever that may be, lost in the annuls of time, this story encompasses as much the magic of the human soul as it does magic itself. Theo is a woman who is, supposedly, a prophesied fountain of power and magic, whose very being is to change the world. As a youngster she is spirited away, to an unknown location by person or persons unknown. Now, ten-years later, she has returned, bloody, battered and dying, to the world she used to know, with her memory gone. What happens after this is a story in the vein of the great old stories, and yet with a modern twist overall that makes the story eminently readable, understandable and immensely enjoyable.

Highly recommended.

_______________________________

As stated previously, this book was provided to me by the author for a realistic review. That has no impact on my opinion. I just simply loved the book.

Review: Wink by Eric Trant – Five Star Review

wink
Click to order the book. Really. click it. You won’t regret it. You need to read this book!

Sometimes we hear a voice. Deep at times, at times trembling on the very edge of hearing, a vibration, a whisper. A voice that reaches into your soul and changes what was there before. Rarely do you find these voices, but when they do, they are to be cherished.

Eric Trant has that voice. He speaks of the darkness in the human soul. The pain, the agony of savagery and brutality, of hopelessness and agony too deep to bear. Of the absolute depths of what can pass for a human soul. I could taste Trant’s characters on the back of my tongue, copper and brass and old, diseased blood. Smell the decay of souls rotted beyond redemption.

Yet on top of that, he layers a sheen of hope, a blue-shimmering breath of possibility, scented and yet not seen. Two children, separated by the width of a yard, and by a chasm of darkness without end. One child broken, trapped within her house, neat and tidy and real. The other living inside a nightmare with no end: It was a place where the unburied dead mired themselves between life and death. It was a place of half-living, half-dead, spiritless creatures, and except for Marty, what lived there did not walk and dwell like other living things, but crawled and crept and slithered and hid from the light.

So much of this book is lived within the ‘real world’. A world of poverty, drug addiction, hoarding, hatred and child abuse. A world of no hope, no joy, no possibilities. And then, things begin to change . . .

Thrilling, painful, heart-rending and yet hopeful. All of these things and more. I highly recommend this book, no matter if you like thrillers and paranormal, or are up for some heavy-duty literary fiction. The book walked right inside me and turned on a light in a dark place.

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