Festivals and Review of Lisa Hendrix's Immortal Champion

A Round of Words in 80 Days. Do I even remember my goals? Er, not quite. Something about editing every day. Well, I haven't done much since the weekend. I'm reading a couple of research books, including a long-ish Bernard Lewis essay, and thinking about printing presses under the Ottoman Empire. Does that count?

Sorry, just a tad distracted. Hmm, Google's underlining tad as a spelling mistake. I shouldn't be surprised - Google underlines movie, also, for some reason. (Haven't the folks at Google ever watched All My Children? Remember Tad and Ted? I can't believe I'm admitting to ever having watched this. It was exam time in high school. I was procrastinating.)

Anyhow, why am I distracted? Well, it's Game 7 of Habs vs Bruins. I'm sure I've mentioned hockey before on this blog. It's on all the time, I just don't talk about it much.

Okay, seriously. I do have some real, writing related, things to say. First off, my review of Kerri Nelson's Double Take is up!

Also, I won a copy of Lisa Hendrix's Immortal Champion - thanks to Nas Dean - third in the series of Norsemen doomed to immortality by a curse that only true love can break.

"Part of a Viking crew of warriors cursed by an evil sorceress, Gunnar the Red must toil through eternity as half-man, half-beast, living out his days as a great bull, while his nights are spent in human form. And though he keeps mostly to the wilds, his heart yearns for the simple comforts of man—and the chance to redeem a tragic past...

Seeking refuge from a bitter winter in the welcoming hall of Richmond Castle, Gunnar rescues two maidens when a blaze erupts—and his destiny is forever altered. For one of the young women is Lady Eleanor de Neville, who is immediately entranced by her rescuer. Her kiss of gratitude—the brief touch of her lips against his cheek—awakens a longing in her soul. And even when she is betrothed to another, Eleanor never forgets her courageous knight.

When Gunnar rides back into Eleanor's life, she is consumed by undeniable passion. And though his body surrenders to her every touch, Gunnar's heart remains imprisoned by the curse—and only the magic of the truest love can save him..."
A fun idea for a series made all the better by Hendrix's well-paced, tender writing. Each book focuses on how one of the men succeeds in destroying the curse over his head, but tidbits are shared about the other men in the band - now I'm looking forward not only to the next book, but the last one in the series, which I'm guessing will be about the seer in the band of men.

Backstory is deftly woven throughout the book, and I was doubly interested, since I happened to fall on the one book in the series that takes place in the time of my own novel (15th Century). If I had to make one criticism, it's that the events at the ending felt a bit rushed; I'd have enjoyed even more chapters about the plot to get the best of Eleanor's father, and the epilogue.

Of course, who doesn't want the sweet parts of a romance to continue?

One last bit of news: if you're in New York City, lucky you, because you get to take part in the
PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, from now until 1 May 2011, including authors such as Harold Bloom, Elif Safak, Irvine Welsh and Edmund White.

Of course, if you're in Montreal, we've got the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival! I'm hoping to take part in a Kate Pullinger workshop this weekend.

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