Book Review: Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay

20170423_094047-1-1.jpgSynopsis: Bolshoi ballerina Nina Revskaya was a member of Stalin’s cultural elite until betrayal triggered her ingenious escape to the West. Decades later she has decided to auction her famed jewelry collection – including the rare set of amber a Boston professor and an auction house associate believe may hold the key to a long-kept secret. The mystery reaches deep: to the cost of making art and trying to live and love under circumstances of enormous repression.

Cover: It is somehow both mysterious and soothing to look at the faded background of a tree against the white background and falling snow. The clothes on the embracing couple look on the old-fashioned side yet the female’s face itself looks more modern, so I’m not entirely sure what era this novel takes place just by looking at it.

Product: There is something about this book that doesn’t physically feel right. I am fairly certain the cover isn’t as thick as usual and the pages lean towards being a bit translucent. This could be due to the publisher using a new supplier or it could be this potential change was necessary in order to bind all 550-some pages (or rather 540 given there are ten leaves missing from my edition).

Format: This novel is divided into three books, each one shorter than the last, and each chapter begins with an auction item blurb (with the exception of what I’m assuming may be another error as there are two in a row for one chapter and none at all for another).

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Teaser Tuesday (RW)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Share the title and author, so others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences (or more).


Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay

Growing up, secrets had been dangerous, and as for the few secrets Nina had once been privy to – well, even now she preferred not to think of them.

Whenever you think there is nothing you can do, you need to think again.


Meeting Kelley Armstrong: Part Five

Just over a month ago my local library was having Kelley Armstrong come in to talk about her new books, do a Q&A session, and sign a lot of books! I took notes (nerd that I am) and have created this six part series in order to share what I learned with you. This is a continuation of the Questions and Answer segment where all of us fangirls pestered Kelley Armstrong about all the things we wanted to know. 

michelleAs had been mentioned, Bitten was being turned into a TV show and KA was asked if she was in it or if she would ever be in it. The answer was an unequivocal “NO!” KA would much rather be at home in her jammies while writing, than be on TV. Maybe be an author in her jammies writing before getting killed, but even that would be terrifying.

She was also asked if she had any say in what her graphic novel characters looked like or the actors for the TV show. KA does have a say in her graphic novels because the artist tries to go on KA’s descriptions though it is a “painful process” because she has trouble describing what she wants them to look like. In the end they are either spot on or extremely close.

For the TV show most of the actors look nothing like the characters. KA doesn’t mind that because she’d rather have good actors that don’t look right rather than lousy actors who appear identical. She said there was an attempt for Elena’s role as the actress cast was a slender blond, stating it was Supergirl from Smallville, Laura Vandervoort.

If you’re familiar with the Otherworld series, you know Cassandra the very grumpy vampire, and someone asked if she would have her own story. KA had always planned to write something, but eventually felt because there are so many other vampire stories that she really didn’t have anything new she could add to the genre. Now there won’t be a novel about Cassandra, but a novella is possible.

She was also asked if she planned to write further about the Russian Pack mentioned on the Otherworld books, and KA would love to… but she wants to go to Russia first. KA went to Vancouver Island to write the Darkness Rising books as it helps set the scenery and give it depth. KA wants to do the same with the Russian Pack storyline, but has to wait until her children are older before she can go.

There was also a question about the Darkest Powers books, when had KA decided that Chloe would end up with Derek rather than Simon? The answer was “I didn’t, Chloe did!” KA had every intention of Chloe dating Simon. “I have my own daughter and Simon is such a nice guy,” she said and stated that he is what a mother would want for her daughter.  “He’s the perfect boyfriend, but Chloe disagreed.” The reason why Chloe ended up with Derek is because he challenges her more, and Simon didn’t push her to be better.

There was another question about the series, a young wannabe author who had an idea for a story along the YA line and inquired if KA ever thought of having a character who found out about his or her powers on their own and struggled to deal with it alone. KA said it was another option for the third trilogy of her YA Otherworld book series  as it wouldn’t be repetitive due to both Chloe and Mia having other friends who all went through their experience together. “It would add a lot of conflict and that makes a more interesting plotline.”