It was certainly my good fortune to bump into exceptional author Mariam Kobras recently on twitter. Not only is Mariam incredibly talented but she’s also a delightful human being. After chatting with her on several occasions, it is easy for me to understand why this resident of Germany has transformed several twitter relationships into real-life friendships and discovered a publishing house for her work — BuddhaPuss LLC (also the publisher of Sweet William, A Novella).
Mariam emailed a review copy of her novel The Distant Shore, Winner of the IPPY Bronze Medal for Romance the other day — and from the moment I began reading, I was hooked!
This star-crossed love story has all of the ingredients of heart-touching romance, interspersed with mystery and intrigue. Centered around wildly successful middle-aged rock star Jon Stone, who in spite of his stardom, has spent the better part of his career pining for his true love Naomi Carlsson, The Distant Shore takes readers on an enchanting transcontinental journey, instigated by the receipt of a handwritten letter Jon receives quite unexpectedly from a teenaged son he’d never known.
At first, it appears that the protagonists’ unlikely reunion after nearly two decades of painful separation will proceed smoothly once the heroine recovers from the shock of seeing her lover enter her remote hotel in an obscure yet picturesque Norwegian town. But the author has plenty of surprises in store for her characters and readers alike as she peels away layers of secrecy and suspense involving the characters’ individual pasts — personal histories that threaten to harm their future happiness.
Mariam’s descriptive, rhythmic writing style makes it difficult to stop reading. She has a way of depicting things like human emotion, natural settings, character personality traits and physical looks, the L.A. music scene, the closeness of family and friends, and the soul of a creator (musicians, lyricists, etc) in a such a relatable way as to compel the reader to want to learn more. Rife with plenty of romance and intimate scenes, the author manages to bring a uniqueness to each encounter, which only serves to make her main characters even more vulnerable and sympathetic. You cannot help but cheer for them to overcome every obstacle that’s thrown in their path. And there are many.
At the same time, you get the feeling that there’s more to these characters than meets the eye. Are they presenting themselves authentically? Is their allegiance to one another — not simply as lovers — but as manager-to-client, friend-to-friend, parent-to-child, etc. — steadfast? These are the questions that keep readers turning the pages, along with the exquisite descriptions of exotic faraway lands, bustling cities and serene shorelines.
Best of all, since this is the first book in a trilogy, the unresolved ending is a promise of more romance and intrigue to come. I can hardly wait to read Under The Same Sun!
Get your copy of The Distant Shore here. And if you’re on twitter, be sure to join us for the #Writestream Twitter Chat this Thursday at 11 a.m. Eastern when our guest will be the author herself, Mariam Kobras.
Category: Book Reviews