Author Brenda Sedore knows how to pack a punch.
If you follow writers or literary agents, you will come across this piece of advice – put a lot of action in your first chapter; your first five pages should have enough juice to spur your readers to read until the last page. Brenda’s done that. Twice. Her first two chapters ensure you are right in the middle of action. Fire in a vineyard. An interrogation.
When I was setting up this website, Brenda had helped me out with some technical details. I started following her blog and was happy to read about her upcoming book. It is not often one interacts with an author, following them through the process until their book is born. And when her book arrived, I rushed to buy a copy from Smashwords.
A Snake in Paradise
Let me make it clear. I have never been a fan of snakes. Some of them look beautiful but from a distance, like the ball pythons I shot at a pet expo (see below).
I was apprehensive after reading the title. But since the paradise she referred to was Italy, I was all for it. (It’s like near the top of my list – to visit Italy one day. It is a paradise, is it not?)
I hadn’t read a story revolving around a female character since primary school days (Little Women, Nancy Drew series, etc.). I wasn’t sure I would like it. I didn’t. I loved it!
Aja is a young lady tormented by her partner. She manages to injure him and escape into the loving arms of her overprotective family. Her escape story becomes an overnight sensation and journalists hound her for sound bites. She can deal with all that, but what she cannot handle is the game of revenge between her family and her partner. She leaves them in Vancouver and flies off to Italy, where she starts working at a vineyard to earn a living.
So what, you say? Life on a vineyard isn’t like what they show you in the movies. She has to wake up at unholy hours, avoid getting scratched by grapevines and duck flying pee and poo. No, no. I am not kidding. All that is part of the wine-making process. Wait, there is more – an overpowering mother, a stubborn son, a handsome brother who protects his lovely sister and her daughter. Brenda manages to portray the everyday life and struggles of her main characters using a very simple and fluid tone. That’s the beauty of the book.
You also get a taste of Italy – the streets, the people, the food, the wine, the scenery, the culture. It’s lovely! Somebody, stop me. :)
In the end, Aja has to choose between two handsome and passionate lovers. But first, they must protect her from her ex- who wants to kill her.
That’s Brenda’s book for you. But don’t believe me for what I say. Go, buy a copy from Amazon.com and read it.
~ Fino alla prossima volta ~
Cover shot courtesy Brenda’s Goodreads page.