‘Apollo’s Raven’ by Linnea Tanner

I am deeply honored to share the review of Apollo’s Raven that was posted by Australian Author, Anne Frandi-Coory, on her website and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/myhomelibrary/

anne frandi-coory

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I have just finished reading Apollo’s Raven, and I absolutely loved it, every single, beautifully placed word! I didn’t want the book to end, so I am hanging out for Book Two. When I first began reading Apollo’s Raven, I had no idea of what to expect, not knowing very much about ancient Britannia, or the power of Druid magic.  Reading this wonderful book, was akin to embarking on an epic journey of love, betrayal, mysticism, and Druid’s dark magic, all of which surrounds Catrin, the Celtic warrior princess who was determined to fight for her family’s Cantiaci kingdom, no matter what.

As Catrin is struggling to interpret her mystifying connection with a particular raven, which seems to be following her everywhere, she meets the captivating Roman, Marcellus, son of a high ranking Roman official who has landed in Britannia with a cohort of reconnaissance soldiers ahead of…

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Apollo’s Raven Book Review Historical Novel Society

Cover Image Apollo's Raven

Apollo’s Raven Book Review Historical Novel Society

I am pleased to share the book review of Apollo’s Raven (Historical Fiction / Fantasy) that was posted by the Historical Novel Society (HNS) in their recent Newsletter HNR Issue 81 (August 2017) and in Goodreads. The Historical Novel Society is a literary society devoted to promoting the enjoyment of historical fiction of which I am a member and reviewer.

Apollo’s Raven

By

AD 24. Catrin, a Celtic princess, and Marcellus, a Roman, were ordered to gather information about each other’s families. They were never supposed to fall in love. Marcellus is the great-grandson of Mark Antony, and he fears his budding affection for a foreign princess will lead to his own early death as befell his infamous ancestor. Catrin is a warrior princess with the powers of ancient druidesses running through her veins. There is a dark prophecy hanging over her family, and Roman support of her brother, banished for beheading two children and physically attacking Catrin, casts the curse into their midst. As Catrin begins to harbor feelings for her family’s enemy, will she be able to overcome the dark magic which threatens to destroy her homeland? Or will Catrin’s and Marcellus’ forbidden love incite a war for which her brother, the Blood Wolf, will lead the charge?

Apollo’s Raven is a historical fantasy with strong elements of romance, political intrigue, and magic. Many surprising twists enrich the historically-drawn plot. Points of view shift between different characters effectively, heightening the tension from one moment to the next. I love the scenes contrasting the cultures of Celtic Britannia and Rome, during which Tanner’s research really shines. My only complaint is that some of the dialogue is marked by modern words and expressions. Overall, though, this is an intriguing story with multifaceted characters, including confident and intelligent women protagonists, along with high-stakes situations that will keep you turning the pages. Recommended.

REVIEWED BY J. Lynn Else

Special Offer Apollo’s Raven e-book

The Apollo’s Raven e-book is being offered as a special deal of 99 cents at various online sites for a limited time until Aug. 6th.  For further information, visit Bargain and Free highlighted on Uvi Poznansky’s website or click on one of the following sites: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo.

As always, I would greatly appreciate your honest review of Apollo’s Review on the site where you purchase the book. Reviews are one of the best ways readers can help support an author.

Readers in Hitchin UK

Below are photos of special friends and supporters from Hitchin who helped me celebrate the launch of Apollo’s Raven when I visited the United Kingdom in July 2017.

Clara Holding Apollo’s Raven

 

Celtic Irish Friend, Liz, with Apollo’s Raven

Pete with Apollo’s Raven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pete Reading a Twist in Apollo’s Raven

Courtney and Linnea Celebrating Launch Apollo’s Raven

 

Thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes,
Linnea Tanner

Book Review: The Tattered Box

Book Review: The Tattered Box 

Below is my Goodreads book review: The Tattered Box by Paul Schumacher, a Colorado author.

The Tattered BoxThe Tattered Box by Paul Schumacher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Tattered Box by Paul Schumacher is a memorable coming of age story of John, a young man coming to grips that his own father left him when he was a young boy. However, his elderly grandfather Bill leaves him a tattered box full of items evoking memories of his past. After John is hit by a baseball and knocked unconscious, he mysteriously time travels to 1941 when he again meets his grandfather as a young man the same age as him. It is as if the past, present, and future join into one time. All of the items in the tattered box are still left intact at the beginning of John’s journey in the past. As he adjusts to the pre-WWII culture, he becomes friends with his grandfather whom he fondly calls Bill and shares the moments that the items in the tattered box represent. By learning more about his grandfather, John learns about himself and the importance that memories have for the future.

This is a beautifully written story that is multi-layered with rich symbolism. One of the more poignant scenes is when John and Bill observe an eagle protecting their helpless eaglets in the nest. John comments, “Their father would teach them everything he knew, then suddenly push them out of the nest, forcing them to flap their wings in one death-defying leap.” This is a pivotal scene that will tie into the heartfelt ending, leaving a visual memory that will forever be embedded in a reader’s mind. I highly recommend this book for the rich message it offers that moments of the past, present, and future co-exist between generations.

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Awakening by D N Frost Book Review Fantasy

AwakeningAwakening by D.N. Frost
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book 1: Awakening by D.N. Frost is an unique, world-building fantasy structured around a prophecy in four movements. The book is mythical, almost dream-like, as the tales of various characters from different fantastical realms unfold and they meet to fulfill their destinies.

In the first movement, the fantastical tale introduces Larin, a young women with mystical powers of foresight and healing. She is sold as a sex slave to an evil elf, but is later saved by Jorn who later plays a pivotal role in the prophecy. From a desert region, another character, Tirrok, begins an odyssey and meets Kingard, a strong mage who drove all evil from the land in past times. And finally, the young Darek, a shape-shifter, joins Kingard to embark secretly to A’lara. It is here the empress has darkmages in her employ that slaughter shifters. The tales of the various characters weave together in the next three movements as the prophecy is fulfilled. The most ominous prediction is that one of them will rise as a daemon and betray them. Only the life forces of A’lara gives hope of overcoming the evil that has encased the city.

The world-building and surreal descriptions of magical feats are original and unique. For example, the healing powers of Laren are vividly described as follows: “Faster and faster, the light rushed until Laren felt her body eroding with the flow of it.” Maps are sprinkled throughout the book to give a visual image of the various regions. At first, I thought the prophecy of Vyedik Ndeloh Dynde is taken from previous legends, but I realized after doing research that the prophet was conjured in the author’s imagination. The story is told from multiple points of views which at time makes the story confusing, particularly in the beginning. However, Jorn and Larin are engaging characters when the story is told from their point of view. The climatic ending is fast-paced and takes unexpected turns. I recommend the book to fantasy readers who love world-building and vivid imagery of how magic works. D.N. Frost Awakening

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Book review – Apollo’s Raven by Linnea Tanner

It is a pleasure to reblog the Book review of Apollo’s Raven posted by Luciana Cavallaro–an Australian historian and exciting author whom I follow. Be sure to check out her website and blog.

Eternal Atlantis

Have you ever wondered what life would be like in Ancient Britannia in the 1st Century CE? Or how the British Celts felt about the invasion of the Romans and the political unrest that ensued?

Apollo’s Raven is insightful and informative historical novel from new American writer Linnea Tanner. It paints a picture of Ancient Britannia and the ruling structure of the Celtic tribes, an antithesis of what made the Roman Empire powerful and dominant dictators.

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Interview Anne Frandi-Coory

Anne Frandi-Coory, Author of Whatever Happened to Ishtar?

Introduction to Anne Frandi-Coory

It was my pleasure to interview Anne Frandi-Coory. She is the Australian author of the moving memoir: WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ISHTAR?

The memoir is about Anne’s quest for coming to terms with her traumatic childhood when she lived in a Catholic orphanage and later in her father’s family household. This is also a fascinating journey of Anne’s Italian and Lebanese heritages which provide insight into generations of defeated mothers.

I was first intrigued with the title because Ishtar is a goddess revered for many qualities in ancient civilizations. This book touched my heart as it addressed universal issues that impact women today.

Read my review of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ISHTAR (5 of 5 stars) on APOLLO’S RAVEN:  http://www.linneatanner.com/blog/3614-2/

Book Cover: Whatever Happened to Ishtar_Cover_Anne Frandi-Coory_Ishtar


Interview with Anne Frandi-Coory

What was the defining moment that inspired you to write your memoir?

Anne:

There was no defining moment as such; more a series of events over a long period of time. The continued feedback from my extended Lebanese family that I was ‘backward’ – a label I overheard often throughout my childhood had always left me feeling devastated and depressed. I desperately wanted people to know that I was intelligent, that childhood emotional and psychological trauma didn’t equate to ‘backward’. I tried many times, as a young mother, to communicate with my Lebanese family, but I could barely utter a word, while they continually talked down to me.

On another level, I found it difficult to talk about my childhood, and as a result my children didn’t know anything about my life, or that of my parents. I wanted them to be proud of me. I felt I didn’t have a past, a family history, and I wanted them to have one.

What was the inspiration for the title of your unique book title, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ISHTAR?

Anne:

I was brought up as a strict Catholic as were most of my Lebanese and Italian relatives and ancestors. I discovered during my research that the women in my family tree suffered terribly at the hands of their men and the Church…too many children, too much abuse and the constant praying that in reality achieved nothing. My extensive reading about ancient goddesses like Ishtar informed me that women were once worshipped for their fertility, but weren’t solely defined by it. Ishtar occupied the highest position in the Babylonian pantheon; she was the favourite goddess of the Babylonians. She was the goddess of fertility, justice, healing and war. However, once the three patriarchal religions of Islam, Judaism and Christianity rampaged across humanity that changed forever. Christian women were then expected to emulate Immaculate Mary, mother of God, an impossible task. In the Catholic system, females had two vocational choices; become a mother (married of course) or a nun! Disastrously, my mother became both.

Statue of Ishtar

Statue of Ishtar

Was there any aspect of your Catholic upbringing that still deeply impacts you today?

Anne:

Yes. Fear and hypocrisy. I was so terrorised by stories of the devil and the tortures of hell all through my childhood while incarcerated in Catholic institutions, that most nights I experienced the most horrific nightmares that left me with a racing heart that seemed to shake my whole body. I sometimes imagined I could see the devil watching me in a corner of the room, so my reaction was to hide under my blankets praying that God would save me. The adrenaline rush prevented me from sleeping. I am still afraid of the dark, and although I no longer believe in the devil or hell, I suffer severe panic attacks if my fragile feelings of security and well-being are undermined in any way. Deep down, I have this feeling that at any time, everything I have will be taken from me, including my family.

The belief that anyone who was a good practicing Catholic was automatically a virtual saint, came crashing down around me when I discovered, as a teenager, that they were human like everyone else and just as capable of committing ‘sins’! I remember being utterly devastated but from that moment, slowly over time, my belief in God fizzled out and died. I am now an atheist.

What would you consider some of your most enlightening moments in your research that helped you come to terms with your childhood?

Anne:

I was explaining to a psychologist that I believed I had paid for my mother’s sins. He was silent for a few moments, and then said: “That’s a very interesting choice of words”. We talked about why I believed my mother had sinned. After a couple more sessions, he said to me “Do you think it possible that your Catholic upbringing may have done more harm than the abuse you suffered at the hands of your family?”

All through my research, I kept thinking about the psychologist’s words, and as a result, I wrote a very different book.

I had come to realise that my mother wasn’t a sinner, and that the story of my childhood was merely a tiny inset in a very large picture. That’s why, although I began writing my memoir, I ended up writing an extensive family history spanning generations and countries. That in general, life favoured males over females. With the change in perspective also came acceptance of my traumatic childhood.

Was there a woman in your ancestral history who most sparked your interest and why?

Anne:

Probably Italia Frandi, my great aunt. She died long before I was born, but I was given a recorded interview with her daughter, in which she talks about Italia’s life and achievements. Italia suffered many tragedies in her life but she never let that prevent her from becoming an astute business woman who wasn’t afraid to stand up to the Catholic Church or a legal system that favoured men.

Based on your experience, what advice would you give young women today?

Anne:

Three pieces of advice:

Feel the fear, and do it anyway. I know that’s a well-worn cliché, but I know it’s the best way to combat fear. I would still be hiding behind locked doors if I hadn’t ignored my fears and taken the plunge into unknown waters. It made me more courageous each time I achieved a goal.

If people make you feel uncomfortable or unhappy, move on. Listen to what your senses are telling you. Life is too short and there is so much you can achieve in your lifetime if you travel without negativity weighing you down. I believe this philosophy has kept me physically safe and mentally healthy. 

Always strive to be financially independent…It will empower you to be in control of your life.

Do you plan to write any further books based on the research you’ve done on your Lebanese and Italian heritages?

No, but I have written a series of poems, short stories in themselves, about aspects of my childhood, cultural and family history. I have painted an image for each poem, or attached a photograph. I have also written a few ancestral short stories. I am planning to publish these in a book sometime within the next year, once I complete the series.

Biography Anne Frandi-Coory

Anne Frandi-Coory was abandoned by her Italian mother when she was ten months old and placed in the care of the Catholic Sisters of mercy in Dunedin, by her Lebanese father. All through her childhood, Anne’s Lebanese extended family, and her strict Catholic upbringing, influenced her to believe that her life of abuse and gross neglect was  because she was “paying for my mother’s sins”. Anne married very young and had four children. After they had left home, Anne decided to research her family history  to try and understand the reasons why there were so many defeated mothers in her family tree. Over a period of fifteen years, she traveled across the globe, sourcedoriginal documents and interviewed many  family members, both Lebanese and Italian. Most of the  women were devout Catholics, forced to marry brutal and uneducated men and subsequently gave birth to too many children. Seemingly, the women’s sole reason for living was to breed, pray to God for help, attend Mass regularly, and hope that the after- life would reward them for their ‘goodness’. Catholic girls had one other choice for a vocation and that was to become a nun. This had not always been females’ lot in life. Ishtar, the pagan goddess of fertility, love and war, empowered females to emulate her prowess for thousands of years. But patriarchal Christianity usurped Ishtar with its Virgin Mary, and females were stigmatised as whore or venerated as virgin/mother.

Anne Frandi-Coory now lives in Melbourne, Australia with her partner. She works from her home studio as a painter, poet and short story writer. She intends to publish a book of her works.


Further Information:

Order WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ISHTAR?:

Author Website Autographed Memoir: http://frandi.wordpress.com/buy-a-signed-copy-of-whatever-happened-to-ishtar-directly-from-the-author/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Whatever-Happened-Ishtar-Anne-Frandi-Coory/dp/1921642955

Customer Reviews: 

https://frandi.wordpress.com/category/latest-book-reviews-for-whatever-happened-to-ishtar/

Follow Anne Frandi-Coory:

Website:  https://frandi.wordpress.com/

Twitter:         https://twitter.com/afcoory

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Frandini/

Book Review: Whatever Happened to Ishtar?

Whatever Happened to Ishtar?Whatever Happened to Ishtar? Anne Frandi-Coory
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I follow Anne Frandi-Coory and signed up to receive notifications from her website frandi.wordpress.com to learn more about her Lebanese and Italian heritage. My curiosity aroused, I ordered  a signed copy of her memoir directly from her site and was deeply moved by it. Below is my book review.

GOODREADS BOOK REVIEW

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ISHTAR? (Australian author Anne Frandi-Coory) is a beautifully written and haunting memoir of a woman who finds herself by exploring her family’s heritage that contributed to her growing up without the love and nurture of a mother she most desperately wanted. What first attracted me to this book was the title, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ISHTAR? The Ancient Sumerian Mother Goddess Ishtar celebrates love, fertility, and sexuality. This title haunted me as I read the memoir because Anne’s mother, like many woman of her generation and previous generations, was harshly judged for her sexuality and had limited options to treat her mental illness and to fulfill her potential. The first part of the memoir is Anne’s account of her childhood while the second part provides a historical account of her Lebanese (father’s side) and Italian heritage (mother’s side).

Anne was institutionalized at the Mercy Orphanage of the Poor at South Dunedin in her early childhood. At the time, her father could not adequately care for Anne after he divorced her mother for infidelity. At the age of eight, Anne was removed from the orphanage and introduced to the real world under the care of her father’s family. However, they shamed Anne and associated her with her mentally ill mother they considered a whore. This part of the memoir is gut-wrenching and haunting because Anne had to overcome loneliness and self-doubt to find her full potential after marrying, having four children, and finding her life partner after a divorce.

However, what is most fascinating is the rich heritage and ancestral genealogy of both her father and mother to understand what nineteenth century immigrants to Australia faced. With no access to birth control, women faced multiple pregnancies or secretly resorted to self-induced abortions with crude knitting needles. The historical accounts that Anne researched help explain why her father and her mother were compelled to make their choices. I recommend this memoir because the story will stay in your memory as it covers universal issues of female sexuality, women’s roles and options, mental illness, and society’s harsh judgment that has defeated mothers for generations.

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