Giftast Loves… The Vine Witch

The Vine Witch, by Luanne G. Smith

 

 
 
 
 
 
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I had to keep this secret for SO long, but today is the day. THE VINE WITCH is an Amazon First Read for September!! #debutauthor #fantasy

A post shared by Luanne G. Smith (@luannegsmith) on

 

If I’d not already decided to bring back #GiftastLoves, then I would have to tell you about The Vine Witch. It’s an Amazon First Read for this month, so maybe go download it immediately, then come back here and finish reading my review.

Having escaped from a curse which left her trapped in the body of a toad for 7 long years, Elena Boureanu returns to Château Renard to find that much has changed in her absence. The now failing vineyard has been bought by Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel, a mortal with a distaste for witchcraft and superstition. Elena must fight Jean-Paul’s prejudice, the curious web of hexes which has been cast over the vineyard in her absence, and her unquenchable thirst for revenge, to restore Château Renard to it’s full glory.

"And yet just because a thing can't be seen doesn't mean it isn't real." - The Vine Witch, Luanne G Smith

So let’s start at the beginning.

This book has the weirdest opening I’ve ever read. It’s just – I love it. I think it’s gross, but I love it. It’s a strange, jarring thing, which I’m not going to spoil for you by sharing. But it’s brave, and interesting, and immediately gripping. 

The storytelling is atmospheric and fast-paced, and I absolutely raced through the book because I couldn’t put it down. Elena is a witch, yes, but human and relatable in her overwhelming desire for revenge. I was with her at every stage – first willing her to do the unthinkable, then mellowed by the handsome, kind Jean-Paul and his slow steps towards belief. 

I find witchcraft so interesting. It’s a feminine realm, one crushed and persecuted over centuries. We forget, I think, how much has been lost due to fear and ignorance. Yet we’re currently in a resurgence – I went into a remainder book shop the other day and saw 6+ books on spells, and half of them were for kitchen witches, (the side of witchcraft I imagine is most closely related to vine witchcraft).

The thing about Giftast Loves is that I only put stuff up here that I like.

This way I get to share the things I love, and we all get a little bit more positivity in our lives. I’ve always liked the idea of karma, and so the witchy idea that whatever you put out, you get threefold in return, really chimed with me. It’s encouraged me, since I put the book down, to try and be kinder. Not just because I think I’ll get nastiness back threefold, but because it’s just nicer being kind. 

So rather than a book review per se, I’m more sharing how this book made me feel. It boiled my blood with thoughts of revenge, it cooled and calmed and healed me, and it made me sad. But most of all, it made me want to be kinder, not only to other people but also to myself. 

The Vine Witch is written by Luanne G. Smith and published by 47North.

You can buy it here – it is part of Amazon First Reads for September 2019.

As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Bridal Book Club – March – Emma

““I always deserve the best treatment, because I never put up with any other.”- Emma Woodhouse

Ah yeah, it’s Emma! 

Emma by Jane Austen

Emma has never been one of my favourites, although that’s sort of the point of her, I suppose. She was described by Jane Austen as “a heroine whom no one but myself will much like”, although the more I get to know Emma, the more I like her. 

If you’re not familiar with the story, and haven’t seen any of the adaptations, here’s the blurb:

Emma, by Jane Austen, is a novel about youthful hubris and the perils of misconstrued romance. The story takes place in the fictional village of Highbury and the surrounding estates of Hartfield, Randalls, and Donwell Abbey and involves the relationships among individuals in those locations consisting of “3 or 4 families in a country village”

– Wikipedia

I first heard or Emma when my sister brought home a lovely little hard bound copy in a pale and pastel pink striped slip cover. And it’s stuck with me as the prefect representation of the novel. Because on the surface, Emma is that perfect, candy striped pink. When we first meet her, she’s described as “Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich.

But there are these wonderful themes arching through the book which make you question just how lucky she really is. When you get to know Emma, as she gets to know herself, she becomes more human – less Paltrow, if you will! But enough waffle – let’s get to the book!

Free downloads:

https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/search/?query=jane+austen

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_15?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=jane+austen+kindle+free&sprefix=jane+austen+kin%2Caps%2C153&crid=1O2BC2UXNRG97

Audio:

https://librivox.org/author/155?primary_key=155&search_category=author&search_page=1&search_form=get_results

Also available as a LoyalBooks podcast, if that’s your jam.

Paperback:

Click to view on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Another irritating Wordsworth edition cover. Let’s not get into that again.

What next?

  • Wednesday 27th March 2019 – Facebook Group Book Club Discussion 

Don’t forget to keep and eye on twitter and instagram for Bridal Book Club chat and pics. If you’re watching any of the adaptations, please share your thoughts either in the Facebook Group, or on twitter with #bridalbookclub

And if you’re looking for more, and you liked the Lizzie Bennet diaries, try “Emma Approved“.

There are plenty of adaptations, including (and I’m naming these by who played Knightley!) Mark Strong, Jeremy Northam, Jonny Lee Miller, and a 70s one that I wasn’t keen on. And not to forget Clueless with the ageless Paul Rudd (who, frankly, looks younger now than he did then!)

And here’s a reminder of the book order coming up, if you want to read ahead:)

Giftast Bridal Book Club reading order

Bridal Book Club – February – Pride & Prejudice

It is a truth universally acknowledged…

Why did you not do Pride and Prejudice first in Book Club, Katherine? Loads of people love it and it’s probably the best known of Austen’s work. And Colin Firth, Katherine, did you think about Colin Firth?

Rest assured, I did think about Colin Firth. I can’t remember my reasoning when I decided on book order, but we are here now

Pride And Prejudice - Bridal Book CLub

I love Pride and Prejudice. It’s the first Austen I ever read, the first adaptation I ever saw, (Colin, of course), and I must have re-read it more than any other book. It was my comfort when I was struggling at uni, and it continues to inspire me and give me joy every time I return to it. And each time I do, I find something different to love. As I’ve grown, and my feelings towards love and relationships have evolved, I’ve discovered new things to love in the book. It’s the template for so much modern romantic fiction – with Pride and Prejudice, Austen’s impact on the way we see love in modern society cannot be overestimated.

So enough of me gushing, let’s get to the blurb:

Pride and Prejudice is an 1813 romantic novel by Jane Austen. It charts the emotional development of the protagonist Elizabeth Bennet, who learns the error of making hasty judgments and comes to appreciate the difference between the superficial and the essential. The comedy of the writing lies in the depiction of manners, education, marriage and money during the Regency era in Britain.

 – Wikipedia

In the two minutes I spent searching in obvious places for a blurb, it looks like they don’t bother giving you much info, and assume you know what it’s about. To be honest, I thought the same thing, that the story of P&P was part of global consciousness, until I watched the Colin one with my husband. It was amazing. It was all new to him, and watching him journey through the plot brought me so much joy. In addition, he now realises just how much I quote it in everyday life.

So if you’ve never read it before, and if you are coming to the story fresh, I am so excited for you, and looking forward so much to hearing your thoughts as you make your way through.

Free downloads:

https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/search/?query=jane+austen

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_15?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=jane+austen+kindle+free&sprefix=jane+austen+kin%2Caps%2C153&crid=1O2BC2UXNRG97

Audio:

https://librivox.org/author/155?primary_key=155&search_category=author&search_page=1&search_form=get_results

Also available as a LoyalBooks podcast, if that’s your jam.

Paperback:

Click to view on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Another irritating Wordsworth edition cover. Let’s not get into that again.

What next?

  • Saturday 23rd February 2019 – Facebook Group Book Club Discussion 

Don’t forget to keep and eye on twitter and instagram for Bridal Book Club chat and pics. If you’re watching any of the adaptations, please share your thoughts either in the Facebook Group, or on twitter with #bridalbookclub

And if you like thinking about Colin Firth, this excellent Twitter will be just your thing.

There are plenty of adaptations, spin offs and homages which I’m going to be linking to and talking about here on the blog, and on twitter and instagram, so if you love P&P, there are loads of ways to get more Darcy in your life!

And here’s a reminder of the book order coming up, if you want to read ahead:)

Giftast Bridal Book Club reading order