Showing posts with label trust trilogy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label trust trilogy. Show all posts

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Book Review: From the Baroness's Diary by Cristiane Serruya


Synopsis: At the tender age of 18, Lady Chloé de La Fleur was married off to 40 year-old Baron Beardley, a wealthy English peer, and taken away from the whirlwind of Paris and London societies to live in a forsaken manor way out of Warwickshire. 
Young, beautiful, and voluptuous, the Baroness finds that in Beardley Manor innocent flirtations can become erotic sex escapades. 
And soon Lady Chloe’s diary pages are filled with her adventures!


This intriguingly written short story has all the hallmark’s of the author’s longer tales, but it is no less punchy or lacking depth.

The diary / journal format works beautifully, as we learn first hand the thoughts that are running through the rather beautiful head of one Lady Chloe.

She is a dutiful wife but being married to a Baron has its plusses and minuses – she likes her high standard of living, but she would probably like to have more time with her husband.

While he is off doing whatever he is doing, Chloe opens up each chapter in this book with a Mon Cher Journal, and we know we are going to have fun reading the lines as she empties her thoughts onto the pages.

She is like any woman who wants to be sexually fulfilled. Sometimes her attention turns towards the gardener. He could be a bumbling, balding, 75 year old. But this is Lady Chloe’s world, so the man in question has to be some kind of musclebound type, so he is.

"This intriguingly written short story has all the hallmark’s of the author’s longer tales, but it is no less punchy or lacking depth."

The sex scenes are, as the subtitle suggest, rather erotic, and in the hands of a lesser author, would come across clumsy and forced.

It is a well written, fun, erotic tale, showcasing a character that is not without her flaws but does have her heart in the right place.

Strongly recommended.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Book Review #22: TRUST Pandora's Box (TRUST, #3) by Cristiane Serruya


"How can I defeat a nightmare?"

How indeed. Cristiane Serruya's TRUST story is one of the best trilogies I have had the pleasure of reading. A hot romance downplays what this really is: An edge of the seat thriller that leaves you gasping, and I do mean literally.

From 'A New Beginning', through 'Betrayed', to finally reach and open 'Pandora's Box', it has been an interesting, intriguing, thrilling, and always enthralling ride.

If Book One showed us a rather uncertain, but still very strong Sophia, Book Three reveals Sophia to be in even more charge of what she wants. She is an appealing heroine that you will root for. Why? When she is beautiful, rich, and has men seemingly fall at her feet, you wonder why?

Because the story, although it features heavily on Sophia, it is not all about her, and through the other characters - Ethan, Alistair, many in fact that it is a supporting cast that you enjoy, along with Sophia's story.

This is good characterisation. When Sophia is not in the story, you think it might lag. It does not, and it's all the more enjoyable when she returns.

The descriptive tone of this book, just like the other two in the series, is wonderful. I especially enjoyed the references to Scotland, because although I have been all over the world, and indeed, over the border as far as Glasgow, that was for business....I've never truly visited the country. Cristiane makes you feel like you are there.

The date and time stamps reinforce the urgency of the story. These books are long, complex, multi-layered. It will take several re-reads to grasp the quality of this work.

So when I have done that, I will come back and edit this review.

You can see in every line that the author has put her all into giving us an enthralling conclusion to the TRUST tale. She delivers. And because she does, any reference to it would be a major spoiler.

So buy the books, and enjoy them. TRUST me when I say that Pandora's Box is wonderful!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Book Review #16: TRUST Betrayed (Trust Trilogy, Book Two) by Cristiane Serruya


TRUST: A New Beginning was a revelation to me in the sense that I didn't usually read these kind of stories. However, Cristiane Serruya is an excellent author, and you could tell that A New Beginning was something special.It starts with quite a bang and amazingly, keeps it up through out. That's not easy for a long book like TRUST.

As with any 'middle story' the trick is, could it be better than the first and yet end in a way that would set things up for a tantalising finale (I have bought TRUST: Pandora's Box but am yet to review it) and I need to explain why I haven't gotten around to reading the final book yet.

TRUST Betrayed is a complex, luxuriously layered woven tale that is brilliantly written, but for me, I needed to re-read certain scenes just to make sure I had absorbed what had happened and take it all in. In that sense, it is the harder read than A New Beginning but is totally worth investing your time on this story.

It's a lovely way Cristiane has with words - the date and time stamps add increased authenticity to the tale and whilst the main characters Sophia and Alistair remain as compelling as ever, it's the truly 'unique' heather who stuck in my mind long after I had finished the story. I won't say whether Heather is good, bad or indifferent, but she adds her unique spin to the story.

The story probably works best with all three read together, and so I'm looking forward to Pandora's Box. To date, there's only one trilogy of books that received five stars from me - Lord of the Rings. Now I know that's not an official trilogy, but the idea of rating them is the same...I rated Lotr 5 stars as a whole. Let's just say that Cristiane Serruya is a modern, intelligent writer who deserves the plaudits for her stories. Both TRUST books are excellent and I can heartily recommend them.

In the sense of balance, is there any thing to fault? Perhaps yes, perhaps no, depending on your view. For me, Betrayed had so much going on, it deserved more than one read to really absorb it, but it is, as I say, worth your time. A light read this is not...prepare to give it the time and space it deserves, and I am sure that you too will enjoy this utterly thrilling story.

As for book three, Pandora's Box is an awesome, intriguing title. Some books are worth waiting for, an just like Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, I waited some months before finally reading it..even for the master of horror, following up The Shining would be impossible, surely?

Trust Betrayed is a lot like that....give some space between Book One and Book Three and I am sure you will love the ride!
                                        Buy on Amazon                   

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Guest Interview with Author Cristiane Serruya

Hello everyone. Today's guest is the very wonderful Cristiane Serruya, author of the TRUST trilogy. I will hold my hand up and say that I have only read the first book, but the truth is, it's the best adult thriller I have read in a long time. You can read my review here

GoodReads Profile here
Amazon page here

Over to Cristiane then!


Image of Cristiane Serruya

Hello, John. Thanks for hosting me at your amazing blog. I’m so happy to be here with you today.

Why did you start writing?

I have always written. Small poems, short stories, kids’ stories. But this whole new career started in a very silly way. In April 2009, I was bed-ridden, sick - and bored. I had a such bad headache that I could even read or open the curtains. So… I decided to tell myself a story. The seed was planted. But it took me more than a year to gather the courage to put some ideas on paper. And daily life kept intruding in the way. I’m a full time  lawyer - or, yet I’m a mother of three, ooops - *grin* - two teenage girls and wife to a six foot six, very large but sweet husband.

I was very unsatisfied with the Brazilian justice system and that was affecting my own work as a lawyer.
In the beginning of 2011, a friend said I should try writing to distress. And that it would make many more people aware of the still brutal violence that was practiced against women and children (one of the main issues that I worked with, and the subject of my Law School thesis).

After practicing Law for twenty-two years, I suddenly decided to give writing a go. The next day, I started the trilogy. Then I discovered that I could speak of things that enchanted me and inequities that aggravated me in a much more creative and lighter way than my previous work.

In 4 months the whole archetype of story was ready. I slit the books in three and then published the first in November 2012, the second in April 2013 and the last one, TRUST: Pandora’s Box comes out on March 2014.

The TRUST trilogy has just been finished last year: Trust#1, A New Beginning was first published in November 2012, and a brand new edition was released in February 2014; Betrayed was published in April 2013 and the last installment, Pandora’s Box is being edited and proofread. It is coming out in March 2014.
The trilogy focuses on the lives of three characters that, on the outside, seem to have it all. They are wealthy, good-looking, intelligent and successful in their own fields. But they all have deep scars from terrible events that happened in their lives, sometimes ending with the death of a loved one. When they meet, in late 2009 and early 2010, their encounters will change their deepest certainties and alter their outlooks on life, as only love can.

I also published in June 2013, The Modern Man: A philosophical divagation about the evil banality of daily acts, an essay I wrote for Ethics in Law School. Surprisingly, it has received two awards, one of them a Gold Medal, from a contest I didn’t enter, but was chosen by the jury plus honors in Law School.

Where do you get your ideas from?

Real life is what inspires me to write. Look around you, listen to your family’s stories, your neighbors’ daily lives, read the newspapers. There are so many stories waiting to be told and not enough time to write about them.

What is your all time favourite book, and why?

Oh, dear! That’s such an unfair question… Do I really have to answer it? LOL! I’m such an avid reader. Reading is the oldest pleasure of mine, so is very difficult for me to choose my favorite books.
I think my favorite kind of reading depends on my moment. I love novels, romance, historical, paranormal, erotic stories, Old Greeks, all the classics...

It’s kind of hard to choose my favorite book, but if I had to choose five:
- 1984, by George Orwell;
- Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka;
- The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, by José Saramago;
- Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë;
- The Book of Disquiet, by Fernando Pessoa.
Phew. There. Hmm… Can I continue?

Have you read books where the plot was great but the character development was poor, and vice versa? Was it enough for you to finish the book (s)?

I have a great problem in not finishing a book. It seems that it is my fault.
So, yes, I’ve read many, specially recent contemporary romances, indie published, that could have been great but needed a good editor to point the need of an extra scene or the absurd of a …
But, since I have started to write I’ve learn that I have become more exigent and I’ve learned to close a book if it’s not good at all.

What is the most disappointing book you have read?

I wouldn’t call it disappointing, but rather angering, money pilfering and a bad propaganda for men’s and women’s behavior and sex freedom. Now, can you guess? Yes, of course: 50 Shades of Grey. And I bought the whole trilogy for my kindle… Argh. Deleted, of course.

Tell us about the difficulties you had in order to get published.

All you can imagine. I’m Brazilian, English is not my mother language, although I feel quite comfortable with it. I think in centimeters, not in inches. All the measures on the indie websites are in inches.
Then I had to choose many things I had never thought of… fonts, formatting, editor, cover, God! Madness.
The first editor I had was terrible and let pass many typos and she did many mistakes as she corrected what was right, because she was not a romance reader, American or even an editor. She was an English teacher, daughter to a Britain that lives in Rio for many years now. Then I tried CreateSpace editor. And God! What a mess. After, it came conversion… Really? I’m no good with computer. And what about promotion? I don’t know how to sell myself, maybe because it’s kind of strange to be praising my own work.

What is your favourite book of the ones you have written?

Oh, John! This is not fair. You don’t ask a mother which child she loves most! All, of course. Each one has a more endearing way to my heart…

What was the first book you ever read?

I was read. My grandmother Hilda was a teacher and she loved to read to me. The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein is the one I kept asking her to read to me. It’s one of the books that still are in my bedside table… err… bookshelf table, I mean.

E-Readers are very popular now. What was the first book you read on your e-reader?

I started reading on the kindle on my first iPhone, a long time ago, so I don’t remember anymore.

Which authors inspire you to read?

You won’t believe my answer, but ALL of them.
I’m kind of obsessed with books, so I have a Kindle and the Kindle app on my iPad, iPhone and iMac besides lots of physical books. I read in traffic, in the doctor’s waiting room, everywhere, everyday, at least an hour or so. I hope I have learned something from all authors that I have read. Even from the bad ones because I can always learn from others’ mistakes.

Which authors inspire you to write?

Actually, I was inspired by none. I need no inspiration but real life.
But I wish I could have a philosophical chat with Mr. Kafka and maybe have the honor to write a book with him.

Have you read a book that really surprised you, in that it looked okay, but turned out to be much better?

Yes, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. I’m used to read YA authors, and the reviews were great but the book touched me in such a beautiful way that I can only say: It is a must read.

What is your favourite book series and why?

There could be no other answer, John. Sorry… The TRUST Trilogy! I have been living with Ethan, Sophia, Alistair and Gabriela for years, chatting with them, having my life disrupted by them and loving them as if they are my real siblings. It is so organic, that many times I spent the night crying over my computer, without even seeing what I was typing, because one of them was hurting; or laughing alone in the middle of a shower because of I thought of something funny for them to say.
I’m sure my husband was jealous of Ethan and then of Alistair. And now comes Tavish Uilleam. And my poorest daughters have a love-hate relationship with Sophia and Gabriela.

Who is your favourite heroine?

Sophia Leibowitz, of course. She has personality and she doesn’t bend to difficulties in life, but she can be sweet and she loves to share and help. I can only say I admire Sophia very much.

Who is your favourite hero?

Right now it is Tavish Uilleam MacCraig. Ah… Why? You have to read the whole Trust Trilogy and then my next novel…

Do you think there are many original stories out there, or is everyone re-hashing The Hunger Games and Twilight to death?

Oh, yes, sure. There are such amazing authors around.
And although I loved The Hunger Games and think it’s very well written, it is a re-hashing of 1984. I knew it at the moment I read it. Maybe because 1984 is one of my favorite books…

What is the best debut novel you have read?

Hmm… Really? I don’t know. Not The Hunger Games, because I think it’s too much like 1984, not Twilight, and - please oh please - not that wretched 50SoG… Maybe we should go to John Grisham… ah, yes! There, you have it: A Time to Kill.

What kind of research do you do for your books?

Oh, you don’t want to know my degree of exigency with myself… I’m exacting and if I don’t know what I’m talking about I go deep into research. I don’t google things. Yes, I do online research, but my main sources are people. People around me, or professionals, or those who have experienced a certain feeling I have not experienced yet and wanted to write about; and of course: books, newspapers and magazines; maps, guides, and… oh, just everything I can put my hands on and can check them out.

How long does it take you to do a first draft?

Well, it took me four months for the “first” draft of the archetype, but the story was already formed in my mind. And then I slit the draft and focused just on the first installment. After TRUST: A New Beginning was published, the TRUST Trilogy started to change… the first draft of TRUST: Betrayed took me longer, 6 months and the first draft of TRUST: Pandora’s Box almost an year.

The story had changed completely. It was formed, I had a planning, separated by chapters, but as I laughed and cried and typed, the story took the leashes from my hands and transformed itself. The characters grew and got proud of themselves. As they learned their ways through their lives, I got to know them better and I couldn’t force them to follow what I wanted them to do before. Seems I am crazy? Maybe. It was really as if they had lives of their own. So, scenes were discarded and new were created. And the time frame I had proposed to myself burst at the seams, specially when real life intruded in it… A broken foot, an editor with a personal crisis, and so many things I was not prepared for that it made me realize this is what the TRUST Trilogy was about: real life.

So, from now on there will be only an obligation to write a good book and deliver it to the readers knowing I did a good job and I can be proud of it. Next time, for sure, I won’t publish a single chapter before the story is all done.

What is the best thing about writing for you?

Everything but… hmm… to know how my stories and my characters touched others people’s lives is the best part.

And the worst thing?

This is the easiest answer: Promoting myself or my books. I have always been shy, and I don’t know how to promote myself. At all.

Do you have a minimum number of books to read each year? 

No. But at least, I read a hundred.

How do you find time to read?

The same way I find time to eat… For me, it’s impossible to live without reading.

What's your favourite book cover?

One that hasn’t been published yet. LOL No, I’m not joking. It’s a cover that I though I would use for the Trust Trilogy but it didn’t fit my purposes. It’ll be the cover of my new romance. Can’t wait to see it online.

Do you have any special editions of books, for example, a very old, one of a kind book that may be now out of print?

Oh, yes. But that would be the first Brazilian civil code, of 1906. It was left by my great-grand-father, who was a lawyer too. It is commented by one of the greatest Brazilian jurists. I have never really used it but in a work for Law School but it’s there on my shelf, beautifully leather bounded.

E-Readers or Printed Books. What's your preference?

E-readers, but I still read on paperback and the hardcover has a unique feeling to it.

Now a difficult question! What is your favourite inspirational quote?

That’s not difficult at all. It’s by Pastor Martin Niemöller. I like it so much that even Sophia quotes it on Trust: Pandora’s Box.
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—
And there was no one left to speak for me.”

Other things now. 

Favourite film? Titanic.
Favourite food? Aw… Spicy, sweet, salad. Any food, but the thing with me is: little bites!
Favourite author? I don’t have.
The one book you would have on your own desert island? The TRUST Trilogy.
Favourite location? Angra dos Reis, in Rio de Janeiro. There are 365 paradisal islands to choose from.
Dream holiday destination? Hmm… Maldives Islands. I was supposed to go there for my twentieth anniversary but I had to postpone the trip.
Favourite actor? Hmm… that’s hard but… Al Pacino.
Favourite actress? That’s even harder… Meryl Streep.
Favourite drink? Red wine, no doubt.
What's the best thing about being you? Oh… Being me? I have the most wonderful husband and children.
And the worst thing? That’s supposed to be a secret, John… but I’m too friendly and goodhearted for my own sake.
What makes you happiest? My family, sharing love and friendship.

Thank you Cristiane!

Thank you, John, for the opportunity to share my work and thoughts and for helping me promote my book. Hearing from readers is very important to me. It always helps me to do a better job. So, I want to invite everybody to leave a message here or on my website I’m glad and available to comment or answer any questions.