Welcome to the final week of Fiery Hot Reads for Icy Cold Nights! There are still some great posts and giveaways coming up this week. I have some good ones right here, so stay tuned!
Here are the must visit posts for today:
Veronica@Mostly Reviews: Jessica Spotswood: Born Wicked
Christy@Love of Books:Jax Garren: Tales of the Underlight Series
Kimba@ The Caffeinated Reviewer:H. M. Ward: Secret Series
Sel @ Bookcase to Heaven: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass
I am pleased to welcome author Juliet Dark a.k.a. Carol Goodman here to Rainy Day
Ramblings today. She wrote Demon Lover which captured many readers last year with its lovely writing and captivating storyline. Her latest book, The Water Witch, just released. It is the highly anticipated sequel. I invited Carol here today to share some inspiration for her writing, but first let me tell you about Carol (Juliet).
Carol Goodman (her pen name is Juliet Dark) is the author of eight novels including The Lake of Dead Languages and The Seduction of Water, which won the 2003 Hammett Prize, Demon Lover and Water Witch. Her novels have been translated into thirteen languages. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her family. Find Carol/Juliet on her website, Facebook and Goodreads.
Here is Carol:
Fly Fishing in Faerie by Carol Goodman author of The Water Witch
When I began The Water Witch I didn’t know the first thing about fly fishing but I did love the beautiful streams of the Catskills. On drives upstate my husband and I would often stop at Roscoe’s Diner and take a walk along the Beaverkill. I loved the way the stream flashed in the sun, like a sleek water creature leaping and rushing beside us, and the way the air felt more oxygenated along its banks, as if it carried the elixer from another world. And I especially loved the sign posted by the Catskill Fly Fishing Club above Junction Pool:
“One of the most famous pools in angling literature. Formed by the waters of the Beaverkill and the Willowemoc. It is a pool with strange and mystifying currents and eddies. Legend says that the confusing flows cause migrating trout to linger for days trying to decide which stream to enter. This indecisiveness causes delay which, in itself, is the reason many of the largest trout in the Beaverkill are taken from this pool.”
Literature and legend, strange and mystifying! It sounded like the ingredients of a story I would read … or write. I found particularly haunting the image of those trout lingering in the clear waters, confused by the currents. At how many crossroads in my own life had I hung suspended in doubt only to dart forth, blindly hoping I was taking the right path?
That image haunted me for years, through house moves and career moves, some of which worked out and some that didn’t. I thought about using the Junction Pool in a story, but never found the right place for it—until I began The Water Witch.
I knew then that my heroine Cailleach McFay would have some hard decisions ahead of her, made harder by the fear she’d made the very worst decision in sending her incubus lover back to Faerie at the end of The Demon Lover. Perhaps that’s why I begin The Water Witch by sending Callie into the woods to guide a school of immature undines through the treacherous currents of the Undine—the name I give the stream that bubbles up in the Honeysuckle Woods and flows into Faerie. Callie finds a sign almost exactly the same as the one I’d read years ago on the Beaverkill. The immature undines are trapped in the junction pool, mesmerized by the currents. If Callie can’t steer them into Faerie they’ll die, just as those hapless trout are taken from the Beaverkill—and just as we can stagnate if we allow ourselves to be paralyzed by the strange and mystifying currents of our lives.
The truth is, we don’t know what lies ahead of us any more than those bedazzled trout do, but unless we choose a course we’re easy prey. Far better to take the plunge.
Thank so much, Carol. I loved this post and your books. I can't wait for more. For one lucky U.S. entrant I have a chance to win a copy of The Water Witch courtesy of Random House Publishing. Be sure to fill out the rafflecopter to enter. Good Luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here is my review:
Perfect for fans of Deborah Harkness and Elizabeth Kostova,The Water Watch is a breathtakingly sexy and atmospheric new novel of ancient folklore, passionate love, and thrilling magic.
After casting out a dark spirit, Callie McFay, a professor of gothic literature, has at last restored a semblance of calm to her rambling Victorian house. But in the nearby thicket of the Honeysuckle Forest, and in the currents of the rushing Undine River, more trouble is stirring. . . .
The enchanted town of Fairwick’s dazzling mix of mythical creatures has come under siege from the Grove: a sinister group of witches determined to banish the fey back to their ancestral land. With factions turning on one another, all are cruelly forced to take sides. Callie’s grandmother, a prominent Grove member, demands her granddaughter’s compliance, but half-witch/half-fey Callie can hardly betray her friends and colleagues at the college.
To stave off disaster, Callie enlists Duncan Laird, an alluring seductive academic who cultivates her vast magical potential, but to what end? Deeply conflicted, Callie struggles to save her beloved Fairwick, dangerously pushing her extraordinary powers to the limit—risking all, even the needs of her own passionate heart.Paperback, 352 pagesPublished February 12th 2013 by Ballantine Books
Four Stars: An engaging sequel filled with magical paranormal entities!
Callie wades through the stream with her three companions. The ladies of Fairwick are needing her help. The Undine, water nymphs, are hatching and must be returned to Faerie or they will die. Callie is the doorkeeper and she is the one with the power to herd the Undine back home. Unfortunately, Callie still has not mastered her magic, and she makes a horrific blunder. She is snared in the Borderlands and nearly killed, until her incubus lover, Liam, pulls her free. Their reunion is joyous and short lived, for soon a powerful Undine,Lorelei, becomes enraged when Callie tries to deny her passage back to the mortal world. Lorelei unleashes a powerful storm, and again Callie barely escapes only with the help of Liam. Once safely home, Callie learns that her magical mistakes have created some problems in her world. As Callie attempts to rectify her errors, she realizes that she must gain control of her magic, but that seems impossible, especially when her heart is still aching for her lost incubus lover. Her troubles increase ten fold when Callie learns that The Grove, a powerful witch organization led by her Grandmother Adelaide, are coming to Fairwick to close the gate to Faerie forever. The clock is ticking, and Callie is quickly running out of time. Can she master her magic and prevent The Grove from closing the Faerie door?
What I Liked:
- Once again, Ms. Dark manages to plunge the reader back into her creative world populated by witches, faeries, incubus, brownies, undines and more. Every type of paranormal you can imagine, and then some, reside in the quiet confines of Fairwick and behind the Faerie door. I absolutely love the wide array of paranormal entities that spring from the pages. I thought I was well versed in all things paranormal, but Ms. Dark has shown me there are many more paranormal creatures out there that I have yet to meet. I thoroughly appreciate the amount of detail and research that she must have endured to bring forth her vision. If you are a fan of all things paranormal, and you want to stretch beyond the current, tired out, familiar entities, definitely pick up this series!
- I was pleased to find that the plot of this book was a bit more focused as opposed to its predecessor The Demon Lover. This time around, the story sticks to a main theme, and isn't as easily deterred. The majority of the book follows Callie's journey to unlock her magic and maintain an open doorway to Faerie. There are plenty of side plots, but I didn't feel like they drew the attention away from the main story, they all managed to intertwine neatly.
- I am always a fan of the cozy small town setting, and this book has the perfect setting in Fairwick. Not only is Fairwick a close knit community, but it is inhabited by an array of paranormal beings, all interconnected and working together. It is a place where everyone knows each other, and the histories, especially since many of the citizens have been around for a few hundred years or so. The town has a long, rich history. I love the town of Fairwick and can't wait to spend more time there.
- Along with the fantastic setting, there are many wonderful and fascinating characters. There are so many secondary characters that have captured my attention. From the wizard, who is undercover, to the Brownie, and deer sprite and the sucubus. Even the handyman, Bill, is intriguing, not to mention my favorite sidekick, Ralph the mouse. I love that there is such a diverse population in these books.
- I am always appreciative of creative and lovely writing, and Ms. Dark certainly delivers with her vivid descriptions and imaginative world building. If you enjoy books with gorgeous writing, get this one.
And The Not So Much:
- While I do enjoy Callie, the heroine, she is at times increasingly frustrating. She banished her incubus lover, only to find herself constantly second guessing herself and longing for him one moment, and then hating him the next for lying to her. She is very wishy washy and it gets a little irritating after awhile. I appreciate that she makes mistakes, but it seems that she never can get anything right from her love life to her magic. I was expecting a bit more growth with her character this time around, and it didn't progress as quickly as I hoped. Granted, she is a fun and likeable character and I have high hopes for her the next time out.
- I am not a big fan of the romance in this series, since it is focused on a human entering into a taboo relationship with an incubus. It is difficult and it is becoming repetitive as Callie continues to wrestle with the same conflicts over and over. I personally would like to see her take up with Frank or Brock for a change.
- Both books have used a bait and switch type tactic, leading you to believe that someone is the bad guy, when instead it is really someone else. Unfortunately, I was not fooled either time, and I was able to guess what was really going on.
- I am still disappointed that there was not much further detail on Callie's history, I still don't have an idea as to what exactly happened with her parents, and what her parents' abilities were. Furthermore, her grandmother is a character that really needs development. She is underdeveloped and I really wanted to know her story, especially since she appears to wield a great deal of power in The Grove.
- The Grove, a powerful guild of witches, are the villains in this one, but there is so little detail on this organization. I would very much like to know more about The Grove.
- Finally, this one ends with a bit of a cliffhanger. Nothing that is too jarring, but it was still frustrating to get to the end and have so many unresolved questions. I much preferred the ending of the first book, as it had a satisfactory conclusion.
The Water Witch is a worthy sequel to Demon Lover. Once again, Ms. Dark manages to craft an interesting and complex story line, full of magical characters and set in a cozy small town. This is a smart and fun series, not to mention it has lovely detailed writing and creative world building. I am thrilled that I discovered another fantastic paranormal series, and I will certainly be looking forward to the next book.
"I'd taken one look at his sad eyes and forgiven him all the lies he told me, brushed my face against the rough stubble on his cheek, and shed my panties."
"The storm had passed, leaving a freshly scoured blue sky and polished green leaves. The world looked newly made and invested with an otherworldly radiance, the thick swaths of sunshine lying on the fields and woods like a coating of honey..."
"I heard among the human voices, the ululations of owls and the howling of wolves and saw in the light every color of the rainbow-and a few colors that weren't. There was moonlight and sunshine, the tender blush of dawn and the cobalt blue of twilight, and the whirl of stars before they became stars."
"How can you be safe if you love?" She touched my face, brushed my tears away, stroked my hair. "But there are some things better than safe."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.