Book Review & Giveaway: Appointment with Yesterday by Christopher Stratakis

Book Title: Appointment with Yesterday: A Novel in Four Parts with a Prologue and an Epilogue
Author: Christopher Stratakis
Category: Adult Fiction, 334 pages
Genre: coming-of-age / WWII / immigrant experience
Publisher: IndieReader
Release date: January 2017
Tour dates: July 3 to 14, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There is no bad language or violence, but there are references to sex and sexual situations (including between a pre-teen and teen)

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Description

A poignant and compelling first novel, Appointment with Yesterday tells the story of Yanni, a cheeky and delightful Greek boy growing up in a small town on an island in the eastern Aegean.

Left in the care of his loving grandparents, Yanni endures the deprivation and terror of the German occupation during World War II and finally leaves his beloved homeland and family to rejoin the parents who had left him behind to make a better life for themselves in America.

Filled with heartbreaking and heartwarming stories of love, devotion, disenchantment, and dashed dreams, Appointment with Yesterday is, ultimately, the story of hardships overcome and a determined boy’s journey toward finding his destiny.

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Appointment with Yesterday is about Yanni who grows up on a Greek island with his extended family. His parents went to America and left him on the island until they could make enough money to send for him and to give him a good life there. Although he misses his parents, his grandparents are loving and take good care of him. He finally does make it to America, after enduring German occupation during World War II and the hardships that went with that. But, of course, he learns that coming to America has its own hardships. Living with his parents and sister is like living with strangers, New York is alien to him compared to the Greek island, and he has no friends. He does eventually thrive and proves that hardships can be overcome.

It was difficult for me to get into this story at first. It seemed a little disjointed and when Yanni was daydreaming, it was difficult to get through. I believe the author was trying to show the dreams as well as some of the boy’s memories, but it didn’t flow well. After the beginning, though, his writing flowed well. The descriptions were done well and I was able to visualize the characters and their surroundings.

Appointment with Yesterday is an interesting book filled with the author’s memories as well as historical events and the challenges of immigrants.

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Meet the Author

Christopher Stratakis was born and raised in Greece. After moving to America, he graduated from Drexel University in 1951 and New York University School of Law in 1955. Shortly after joining the law firm of Poles, Tublin & Patestides in 1960, he became a partner, specializing in admiralty and corporate law.

He has written and published several articles, lectured on professional and historical subjects, served as Legal Advisor to several non-profits (pro bono), and was an arbitrator in maritime disputes. He is the author of Mnimes “Memories” (2010), a book of essays, short stories, and poems that he wrote as a teenager. In 2015, he co-edited Chains on Parallel Roads, a book published by Panchiaki “Korais” Society of New York. In recognition of his extensive community involvement, he has been the recipient of several awards from religious, governmental, and educational institutions.

Mr. Stratakis lives with his wife in New York City. He is the proud father of three and grandfather of three. This is his first novel.

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 Enter the Giveaway!

Ends July 22

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Book Review: Maniai Case File 1: The Girl And The Blood Slide by George Saoulidis

maniai book cover folder rc2Title: Maniai Case File 1: The Girl And The Blood Slide

Author: George Saoulidis

Genre: Fiction

Publication Date: April 10, 2015

Pages: 107

 

Summary

What If There’s a Pattern to the Madness?

More and more people are reported being obsessed with unusual tasks and tested positive for rabies. But when an investigator finds a pattern to the madness and tries to tell people, will anyone listen?

Do you want to know what’s next for the inexperienced investigator? Do you wanna meet the crazies?

Available from Amazon.

 

My Review

I received a free ecopy of this book from the author for an honest review.

Maniai starts on Poly’s first day working as an investigator for the Greek equivalent of the CDC in the rabies division. He quickly finds out that he could get paid to do almost nothing but he wants to do his job.

This was a quick read even though it was a little difficult to follow. The author’s writing style is different but I liked it. At the beginning of most chapters there was a report written by Poly and it would have made it easier for me if there was some notation when the report was over and Poly’s narration resumed. Most distracting was the misspelled words and misplaced punctuation.

This was a cute story as far as it went but it just suddenly stopped. With some editing and some type of resolution at the end, it could be a book I’d recommend.

 

About the Author

9851277Writer/Director. I enjoy taking ancient Greek myths and turning them into modern sci-fi spooky versions. I also like to write romantic comedies, and people seem to go “Awww!” over them, so why not? I plan to get a cliché photo resting my chin on my fist soon, but the Internet keeps getting in the way.

Website

Book Review: Jenna’s Journey by Julie Ryan

Jenna's Journey Front Cover SMTitle: Jenna’s Journey

Author: Julie Ryan

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Mystery

Publication Date: September 8, 2015

About the Book

Leaving town, heading to the Greek Isles without telling husband or friends, is heady medicine for a failing marriage. Seduced by Grecian sun and sky, Jenna innocently buys a bewitching urn that tangles her into the web of a criminal world more sinister than she ever imagined. Romance is always afoot in the Greek Isles and Jenna gets a large helping with the seductive Nikos. Family is important in Greece, and Nikos helps Jenna learn all the richness it brings, and pass it on to the next generation.

Twenty-five years later, Allie takes this same journey, and a little time travel, a big “what if” dream, a fated meeting with a taxi driver and a sprinkle of paranormal intrigue intertwine in a story that spans the lives of a mother and daughter. Twisty as the streets in a Greek island village, full of unexpected characters found on a faraway vacation along with frightening threats from nasty villains, Jenna’s Journey will keep you turning pages far into the night.

Working out a lifetime of secrets, imagining what might have been, eluding nasty antiquities thieves, exploring a new love—how would you have managed? Follow Jenna’s adventure and see how she changed her life in one journey!

 

My Review

I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review.

This is a difficult book to review because it has some really good elements, some not so good, and some I still haven’t decided on.

After 5 years, Jenna decides on the spur of the moment that she needs to get away from her husband, Greg, for a while to think after she realizes that he doesn’t want children. She goes to Greece without telling anyone where she is going, and she has quite an adventure, including romance and being followed by criminals.

I enjoyed the author’s writing style for the most part. I did do some skipping of paragraphs at times when Jenna was thinking about her relationship with Greg. She decided over and over that the best thing would be to leave him. Although that’s actually how many of us come to a decision, going over and over it in our heads, it was a bit too much to read over and over. I enjoyed the descriptions of Greece. They were well done but not over done.

There were some questions left unanswered which I would have liked resolved. There were also some inconsistencies that confused me. I liked that Jenna had a choice to make and we get to see the results of both choices. The end, however, had me flabbergasted. I can’t say that I like how it ended, but because of the end I did think about this book for a couple of days trying to figure out exactly what the author was trying to convey.

 

Available on Amazon.

 

About the Author 

Julie Ryan Preferred Author pic 03 600x400 300dpiJulie Ryan’s roots are in a small mining village in South Yorkshire. After a degree in French Language and Literature, wanderlust kicked in and she lived and worked in France, Poland, Thailand and Greece. Her spirit enriched, her imagination fired, Julie started a series of mystery romances, thrillers set in the Greek Isles.

Jenna’s Journey is the first novel in Julie Ryan’s Greek Islands Series, a series she did not set out to create but which took on its own life and grew, rich and fascinating. This is the first of three published so far, and now as a newly released edition in the USA from Booktrope, it promises to delight readers looking for the hidden dark sides of dream vacations in the Greek Isles.

A prolific and well-known book review blogger, Julie does her writing and reviewing from rural Gloucestershire, where she lives with her husband, son and dippy cat with half a tail.

Social Media Links for Julie Ryan

Website/blog for the Greek Isles series:   https://thegreekurn.wordpress.com/

Book review websitehttp://www.allthingsbookie.com/

Blog: http://juliesworldofbooks.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julie.ryan.3114

Twitter: @julieryan18

 

Background for the Book 

Jenna’s Journey is the first novel in the Greek Islands Series series. The story was inspired by the time I lived in Greece during the 1980s. Some thirty years later I was looking out of the window of my home in Gloucestershire on a wintry morning, idly wondering how my life would have been different if I’d stayed in Greece. I hadn’t intended to write a novel. Jenna’s Journey started life as a short story and thanks to a timely encounter with a fellow writer who persuaded me to turn it into a novel, it took on a life of its own and became the start of the Greek Island mystery series.

I’ve always been interested in fate or destiny, whatever you wish to call it, and this book is about all the ‘what ifs’ in life. It’s also about grabbing a chance of happiness with both hands when it’s offered – life really is too short!