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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Gladiators, Forbidden Love, & Pompeii... Curses & Smoke by Vicky Alvear Shecter




My Review:  
Curses and Smoke is a book I would have loved to read in junior high or high school, but that didn't stop me from devouring it even as an adult. The story of Tag and Lucia's romance really heats up (sorry, couldn't resist!) even as the signs of Vesuvius' imminent eruption make themselves plain. The action never stops and by the end I was tearing through pages, desperate to find out what would happen to the characters. Vicky Alvear Shecter paints with vivid detail life in the weeks before Vesuvius' eruption, from the countryside surrounding Pompeii to the sometimes painful details of living in ancient Rome.

This is an excellent YA read for anyone intrigued by Pompeii's tragic story. (And honestly, who isn't fascinated by Pompeii?)


Synopsis:
When your world blows apart, what will you hold onto?

TAG is a medical slave, doomed to spend his life healing his master's injured gladiators. But his warrior's heart yearns to fight in the gladiator ring himself and earn enough money to win his freedom.

LUCIA is the daughter of Tag's owner, doomed by her father's greed to marry a much older Roman man. But she loves studying the natural world around her home in Pompeii, and lately she's been noticing some odd occurrences in the landscape: small lakes disappearing; a sulfurous smell in the air. 


When the two childhood friends reconnect, each with their own longings, they fall passionately in love. But as they plot their escape from the city, a patrician fighter reveals his own plans for them -- to Lucia's father, who imprisons Tag as punishment. Then an earthquake shakes Pompeii, in the first sign of the chaos to come. Will they be able to find each other again before the volcano destroys their whole world?


About the Author:  
Vicky Alvear Shecter wishes she had a time machine to go back to the glory days of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Until she can find one, she writes about the famous and fabulous lives of the ancients and their gods instead. She is also a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory University.

6 comments:

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

I agree with everything you said! GREAT read! :) e

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

Thank you, Stephanie!

Mark Noce said...

Sounds like the best of both worlds, a great historical drama mixed in with a very personalized narrative. Cool:)

ce8d632a-647c-11e3-94d3-000bcdcb2996 said...

Balance your spiritual energy and get in harmony with your soul by practicing these Radha-Krishna meditations.


Sri Gita Govinda
-A book written in the 12th century, this is a description of the intimate loving affairs of Radha and Krishna
http://www.mediafire.com/view/keqr4lqp7wr1rru/Sri_Gita_Govinda.pdf

Govinda Lilamrta
-An 400 year old book which poetically describes the eternal daily pastimes of Radha and Krishna
http://www.mediafire.com/view/uhcuigauc6uqiei/Govinda_Lilamrita.pdf

Ananda Vrindavan Campu
-This is probably the most poetic and intimate portrayal of Sri Krsna’s life in Vrndavana that has ever been written.
http://www.mediafire.com/view/k9j3ldwbt17be3b/Ananda_Vmdavana_Campu.pdf

Prayers of Service to Radha and Krishna (Sankalpa Kalpadruma)
http://www.mediafire.com/view/lvkqsro3sbzm249/Visvanath_Cakravarti_Thakur_Sankalpa_Kalpadruma.pdf

Prema Samputa The Treasure Chest of Love
http://www.mediafire.com/view/mpbncdyt97nw0x7/Prema_Samputa_The_Treasure_Chest_of_Love.pdf


And the following four are taken from Visvanath Cakravarti's Camatkara Candrika, a 300 year old scripture that talks about the love meeting of Radha and Krishna:

The Meeting in the Box
http://www.mediafire.com/view/c81a7cp43n5v6aj/The_Meeting_in_the_Box.pdf

The Meeting of Sri Krishna Disguised as a Female Doctor
http://www.mediafire.com/view/hgomrnem7829pda/The_Meeting_of_Sri_Krsna_Disguised_as_a_Female_Doctor.pdf

The Meeting of Sri Krishna Disguised as a Female Singer
http://www.mediafire.com/view/gyuboduhn8dvdml/The_Meeting_of_Sri_Krsna_Disguised_as_a_Female_Singer.pdf

The Meeting of Sri Krishna Disguised as Abhimanyu
http://www.mediafire.com/view/911h9qoxn4ca027/The_Meeting_of_Sri_Krsna_Disguised_As_Abhimanyu.pdf


And lastly, we have a very amazing scripture which describes the 24 hour daily loving affairs of Radha and Krishna in Vrindavan, called Bhavanasara Sangraha. This book is now available on Amazon for Kindle, for only $3.49

http://www.amazon.com/Bhavanasara-Sangraha-Mahanidhi-Swami-ebook/dp/B00CW9H4DI/ref=la_B00J2M5LAQ_1_15?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402209195&sr=1-15

Here is a 41 page sample of Bhavanasara Sangraha:
http://www.mediafire.com/view/t4gsse2d4sw0f8p/Sample_of_Bhavanasara_Sangraha.pdf

The above book can also be read on your PC using Amazon Kindle for PC, download here for free:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_pc_mkt_lnd?docId=1000426311

Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with ISKCON in any way whatsoever. ISKCON, or "The Hare Krishna Movement" as it's popularily known, is a radical and extremist distortion of the original Radha and Krishna dharma from ancient India. The author of the above book Bhavanasara Sangraha is no longer affiliated with ISKCON either, having cut all ties to ISKCON a few years ago.

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Sveta said...

One of my favorite books. Rated it five stars on my blog :D I especially loved the twist :D

http://sveta-randomblog.blogspot.com/2014/06/g342-book-review-of-curses-and-smoke-by.html