Congratulations to Caroline Gill! With her review of A Fractured Land by Melissa A. Volker Caroline wins the Karavan Press Review Competition and a book voucher worth R1000 for a bookshop of her choice. Thank you to all participants for reading, engaging with Melissa’s novels, A Fractured Land and Shadow Flicker, and submitting your entries for the competition. To show our appreciation, we would like to send you all a copy of Melissa’s next novel, provisionally titled Switchfoot, when it becomes available next year. In the meantime, we wish Caroline happy book buying and reading!
Drawn[ing you] in from the start, Shadow Flicker weaves an entrancing cocoon around the reader, educating them on the hotbed issue of wind farms, and illustrating how communities and individuals respond to life changes, and how it [all] impacts on both sides of the issue. The joining of fiction and environmental issues, with a twinge of romance and mystery, is certainly a genre that is becoming a worthwhile read, and this book is no exception.
It is such a pleasure to read a work that smacks of home, with local dialect and slang sparsely interspersed in an encapsulating story set on our sunny, yet windy South African coastline. The author’s familiarity with the area allows for such a thoroughly descriptive rendition of it, that we are left feeling as if we had just consumed an article from a local travel mag. This story had me sitting with my phone’s map app open, looking up the places and wanting to bucket list them!
The characters are supremely believable, they are our everyday heroes, just going through the motions of life, and trying to make sense of the burdens they carry individually. The plot twist in bringing the two main characters together and the ensuing drama reads like the ebb and flow of the tide.
I find myself wanting to go back into their world, and [to] see how they are doing; always wondering what would be next in their lives as they move forward.
Truly an enjoyable and engrossing read, neither heavy nor too light, and certainly one that I have enjoyed and learnt from!
Review also posted on Goodreads.
An Eco-Romance to keep you on the edge of your seat.
I didn’t plan to read Shadow Flicker in one sitting. I thought I’d read a chapter before I went to bed. At midnight, I turned the last page and breathed out!
Melissa A. Volker took me on an unexpected roller coaster ride. Her protagonist, the vulnerable Kate Petersen, has a secret and she means to keep it. On a renewable energy assignment in an Eastern Cape surfing village, Kate’s resolve is challenged and she has to dig deep in order to hold everything together. She takes a risk and does not tell her boss that he is sending her into the very spot where the tragedy which has shaped her life actually happened.
Kate arrives in St Francis Bay, ready to tackle the inevitable opposition to her company’s planned wind farm. The widowed Matthew Sykes, local vet and surfer, proves to be a distraction, and she tries to ignore him at first…
Local residents begin their protest peacefully. But soon this develops into something more sinister, as other agendas surface. Kate is forced to face her worst fears and her secret is about to be exposed to the one person she’s come to care about. Her unexpected strength lifts this novel into a heroine’s journey.
As the drama develops, it becomes clear that other people have secrets too. The stakes are high for Kate. Both her job and her new relationship are under threat. What she doesn’t realise is that her life is in danger too…
Volker is a trail blazer in the Eco-Romance genre. Her gentle voice is unexpectedly powerful. Thorough research, well rounded characters, and a nail biting plot nudge the readers to sit up and take note.
I, for one, will be on the lookout for her next offering.
Gail Gilbride is the author of Under the African Sun.
Review also posted on Goodreads.
A Fractured Land rapidly encapsulates the reader in the vast expanse of the starkly beautiful Karoo setting. We become happily familiar with the well-rounded characters and their whimsical ways in a one-horse town, while they are like many of us, struggling for a chance at love and life.
It proceeds at a pace akin to the land it is set in, yet leaves your heart searing with emotion and turbulence of the drama as it unfolds. It also skillfully travels between the lands and cultures of the main characters, showing deep connections and knowledge of two completely opposite lifestyles, enhancing the storyline by the differences as they are shared.
There is a delightful smattering of life’s necessary daily activities, emotional and environmental issues and a well-dished up round of suspense woven throughout the novel, tightly connected with some lovely hooks and twists to keep you wondering if anything will ever work out.
Melissa A. Volker has a gift of carefully exposing the emotions felt by her characters, which inevitably mirrors those felt by her readers — we just don’t have the same finesse at expressing them as she does!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, was immediately transported into the story and enthralled with its development, and devastated when it had to come to an end!
I will be one of the first in line for her next offering as it comes off the press!
Review first posted on Goodreads.
I love a good romance but this book is so much more, filled with suspense and a gripping story, to say the least. Melissa’s scenic description is so wonderfully written, you can almost smell the dust and feel the blazing Karoo sun on your skin.
The two main characters are Carter from Texas, a former musician, trying to start over in the family oil business; and Lexi going back to her Karoo routes to rebuild her life, after a heart-breaking divorce which left her bankrupt. Their paths cross, at what seems, the worst possible time but as their story unfolds, Melissa keeps you hooked through their journey. Another character that kept me on the edge of my seat was Paul, the best friend/infatuated admirer of Lexi. Don’t want to give too much away, but his story/journey was brilliant too.
This is a must read, 5-star novel and I can’t wait for Melissa’s next one. (So, please hurry…no pressure.)
One more thing, LOVED the music references, Jack Johnson and Pearl Jam, two personal favourites.
Thank you for an awesome read, Melissa A. Volker.
Review first posted on Natasha Alexander’s blog.
Review or comment on Shadow Flicker or A Fractured Land on an online platform of your choice (your blog or website, etc.), send the link to your post to firstname.lastname@example.org, and stand a chance to WIN a book voucher worth R1000* for a South African bookshop of your choice.
Reviews/comments have to be at least 150 words long to qualify.
We encourage reviews/comments that reflect your true opinions and feelings about the novels. (But we strongly discourage unkindness!)
Where applicable, use #KaravanPressReviewCompetition.
Use ‘Karavan Press Review Competition’ for the subject line of your email containing the link to your review/comment post.**
We will publish all eligible entries on karavanpress.com.
The winner will be drawn at random from all eligible entries.
Competition ends on 15 October 2019.
The winner will be announced on 16 October 2019.
*The book voucher is sponsored by Karavan Press.
**Your email address will not be used for any other purposes than to communicate with you should you win the competition.