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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Book Review: Dark Wine by Beth Tashery Shannon

Dark Wine
by Beth Tashery Shannon

192 pages
Published February 27th 2015
by BearCat Press
Catherine has left her career and friends to accompany her artist husband to Egypt, but his work engrosses him, leaving her rootless and lonely in the mystifying city of Cairo. A chance encounter with a stranger plunges her into a dangerous affair. Passion wars with terror when the man who loves her intensely and tenderly claims his love will kill her.

If you are tired of the urban "heroic" personas of the vampire and want to get back to the "dark" side, this might be the book for you. Set in Cairo, Egypt, Ms Shannon gives a great tour of the sites and culture of the country. From the descriptions of the Nile River to the towering pyramids she incorporates visual pictures to rival a travel brochure!

Catherine and Terry, a married couple, travel from the United States to Egypt for Terry to construct a "mural" within the city of Cairo depicting it's culture and progress. Catherine gave up her budding career to follow him and live for the time it takes to paint his vision on the landscape of the city. At first excited for the chance to explore the landscape and history of this complicated country, she soon becomes disillusioned with her solitude because of Terry's busy schedule. With an "open" marriage, Catherine is free to explore a bit of personal attraction to a man that shows interest in her.

Enter Geoffrey Harrow, Suffering from a "fever" many centuries ago, he survived his "death" and became a blood lusting "non-dead". The cause of his vampirism is a new one for me. Showing many of the characteristics of the "classic" vampires and a few new ones, he is a frightening and interesting character.

There are many passionate (and graphic) love scenes but also a frightening convoluted relationship that develops between Catherine and Geoffrey. As he pulls her in, he also tries to push her away in hopes of saving her from the same fate as his other love interests...death.

This book is a dark tale and I found myself wanting to put the book down but wouldn't because I was hoping for some redemption for this parasitic vampire. Not a light read or my favorite storylines (I am more of a "hunky" supernatural with feel good "they all lived happily ever after" reader) but I am sure it would appeal to readers that don't always want the main characters to fit a cookie cutter mold.

Just a piece of advice for the general population...attraction to a smooth stranger might be deadly!

I give this book 3 1/2 "obsessed" sheep

Jeanie G

About the Author:
Beth Tashery Shannon worked with the Egypt Exploration Society’s excavations at el-Amarna and contributed to Amarna Reports IV and meetings of the American Research Center in Egypt. Her experimental short fiction has appeared in Pushcart Prize III and IX, Chicago Review, and TriQuarterly Review. Her story inPleasures: Women Write Erotica (Doubleday) was a basis for an ABC TV movie. Coincidentally, in 2009, Twilight actor Edi Gathegi performed her prose poem “Bons” with WordTheatre. Her novel Tanglevine was published in 2012 by BearCat Press, as was The Sun and Stars, a murder mystery set in the court of Henry VIII, under the pseudonym Elizabeth Adair. Shannon’s literary criticism includes an essay on Salome in Approaches to Teaching the Works of Oscar Wilde (MLA Press). She has taught university creative writing at the University of Oregon and Transylvania University and edited fiction for a publishing house. Besides writing fiction, she freelances as a graphics artist, editor and consultant on Egyptian antiquities. She is a volunteer tour guide for Old Friends, a retirement facility for Thoroughbreds.

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