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Anastasia Abboud
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224 followers
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Cynthia Owens has published the seventh book of her Claddagh series, Wishes of the Heart, a beautiful, heartfelt romance.

www.anastasiaabboud.weebly.com/crossing-cultures 

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Fantastic photos from a wonderful author!

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Truly Excellent Article

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Crossing Cultures Interviews Sherrie Hansen, Author of "Wildflowers of Scotland" Series

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Summer Culinary Garden

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This blog has so many interesting posts!

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A great, professionally-written, informative gardening blog and I just love it when a certain post magically answers the questions in my head.

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A fascinating read --
Some reviews on the HNS web site 

Periodically the Historical Novel Society (HNS) uploads a bunch of reviews to its web site at http://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/. The most recent batch was of interest to me for two reasons. First, a review of Scenes from a Life has appeared (http://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/scenes-from-a-life/), which says some nice things:

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...It took me a while to warm to Makty-Rasut but he grew on me. The author is extremely knowledgeable of his subject and the minute detail brings the story vividly to life, to the point where you can almost feel the sand and the heat.
With a good mix of well-written characters, the tale pleasantly meanders like the River Nile, which is central to the story, and makes for a most enjoyable, informative read.
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Secondly a review that I wrote has now gone live so I am now free to distribute elsewhere. Find the whole at http://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/city-of-dreams-3/: here it is.

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City of Dreams follows Anna, a Russian who moves to Paris on the verge of the 1865 Franco-Prussian war. Early in the story she falls from riches to rags, in a way reminiscent of Fantine from Les Miserables, though Anna’s starting point is higher and her decline not so disastrous. After a brief period in comparative poverty, Anna finds a comfortable career as mistress to a selection of wealthy men. The war ushers in a troubled period for the city and occupants.

The recounting of the history was more compelling than the personal drama. Harriet comments that the Franco-Prussian war is somewhat overlooked, I certainly knew little about it, and the only familiar event was the eating of zoo animals during the siege. The description of the progress of the war was illuminating.

The author invites us to draw parallels between Anna and émigré brides of today, with all the potential for social dislocation and dismissal. She also enables us to share an outsider’s view of France. However, I found it difficult to engage with Anna, and the city at large was the more vivid character.

Readers looking for nineteenth-century stories away from the obvious Napoleonic or British Empire settings might enjoy City of Dreams. It is, however, hard to classify. Although touching on battles, it is not a war book. There are sexual elements, but it is not a romance. It is, I think, best read as a reflection of Paris herself.

Technically the book was well turned out; proofreading was thorough. A few chapters ended with a couple of lines slipping onto a new page; a final edit would easily correct these.
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