A glowing review of The Raven Witch of betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu by author Hilary Whitton Paipeti

(Review by author Hilary Whitton Paipeti)

Just south of Messonghi,and standing slightly separate from the aerial-capped hill of Hlomos,is the ‘pyramid-shaped' mountain of Martaouna,one of the main settings for Effrosyni Moschoudi's new novel,‘The Raven Witch of betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu'.Dubbed a ‘fantasy holiday romance',,it's a step up from Mills and Boon – much more Mary Stewart than Barbara Cartland,with a bit of Gothic horror and Harry Potter-esque magic in the mix.And it's certainly a page-turner – ideal for lazy afternoons on Messonghi beach (where much of it is set),or indeed at any place or time.

The plot gets going so quickly that it is almost impossible to précis it without giving the game away.Suffice to say that the heroine has returned to betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu after twenty years,with a task to undertake – namely to claim back her twin brother,who was kidnapped,aged 12,on her previous visit.In a cave.By a wicked witch.

Sounds unlikely?So was Harry Potter,but that turned out OK,didn't it??Continuous action through nearly 400 pages (how DID she keep it up?) and a number of sub-plots draw you in fast.Reading a pre-publication edition,I was supposed to be proof-reading,but I was so keen to know at every stage what happened next that I forgot!!

Approaching the denouement,I really puzzled over how it would work out;;I'm usually good at guessing endings,but this one floored me.Would it finish with a cop-out?No,Effrosyni came up with the goods,with a brilliant ‘twist' that pulled the plot back from the brink.

What anchors Effrosyni's books in reality is her sense of place.Her betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu books are set in and around Moraitika,the ancestral home of her grandfather,and the place where she has holidayed every year since childhood.While plots may possess touches of the supernatural (as shown at the end of our serialisation of Effrosyni's short story ‘AHoliday with Granny'),,they are set in a real and familiar world,which renders the incredible somehow plausible.You can walk with the heroine to the secret olive groves on the mountain of Martaouna,and accompany her around Messonghi and to a ‘Varkarola' festival at Petriti,where you'll experience a long evening in high summer.Theseconcrete scenes help us accept the surreality of the storyline,just as hobbits,orcs,elves and wizards could justifiably inhabit a world fully recognisable as England.

But the supernatural is not contained only in the book itself.As Effrosyni tells us,‘something spooky happened when [the artist] got to work on the cover!I only told him my book was set on a beach in betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu and,of all places,he showed me this image that actually depicts the bay in Messonghi.' So,if you think you're going to have to suspend belief when reading ‘Raven Witch',just consider: There are more things in Heaven and Earth… Who knows what's really hiding on Martaouna??

The review was published in the October issue of the betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu e-newspaper,,The Agiot.

Author Hilary Whitton Paipeti contributes with articles inThe Agiot,mainly about hikes around betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu,its flora and fauna.Her upcoming book,‘In the Footsteps of Lawrence Durrell and Gerald Durrell in betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu',is a republication of the popular 1990s edition,with new content.Check out Hilary's work atbetway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu Walksand atThe betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu Trail.

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Book review: Truly Madly Greekly by Mandy Baggot


I loved this book for two different reasons.The first one is that it transported me effortlessly and swiftly to the Greek island of betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu,my favorite corner of the world.The second is that Mandy Baggot kept me interested with her lifelike characters that were full of surprises.I loved the suspense in the beginning where you were given only hints of the characters' past.These sparse tidbits of information certainly kept me interested to keep reading as to find out more.There are both funny and dramatic elements in this summer read,which makes it anything but your typical chick-lit novel set on a Greek beach,but  the story-telling was exquisite and I lapped it all up.

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An enjoyable beach read with funny and dramatic elements


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Old photos and memories from betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu

Today,I thought I'd share a couple of photos that my author friendStephanie Woodsent to me recently.One day,Stephanie saw one of my posts about Moraitika,betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu and the name rang a bell.Next,she was going through old photo albums and found evidence that confirmed her suspicions: she'd spent a holiday there back in the 80s but,over the years,had forgotten the name of the Corfiot village she stayed at.When she wrote to let me know,and to send the photos she found,I felt delighted.If I could re-acquaint her with such a blissful part of her past and,what's more,stir in her the desire to return there one day,I felt my work was done.

It's been a year now that I've been shouting it out from the rooftops of Twitter and Facebook that I am mad about Moraitika and Messonghi,the villages I set my romance trilogy in,and called them Vassilaki and Messi respectively in the books.It gives me great pleasure when people write to me to say they've been there in the past and that my posts caused them to start dreaming about them again,spurring them on to return!!

So,to keep the fire inside your hearts kindling,this post is for all of you who,like me,adore these two quaint,heavenly corners of the world.Those among you who've been visiting since the 80s may enjoy remembering how these villages looked back then.You'll need to forgive the low resolution,of course.These are grainy,as they should be,otherwise they wouldn't be so precious,right??

betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu 2

This picture from Stephanie was easy to identify as a picture of Moraitika beach.

betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu 3

Now,this one gave me a hard time.It took me a while to identify the place and finally I realized it's the road heading towards Moraitika as you come from the river bridge.Actually,this spot is very close to the bridge but it's missing the big roundabout that's in the middle of this road today.Back then,there was no roundabout and,depending on when in the 80s this photo was taken,there's a chance the Messonghi river bridge wasn't even built yet!!

betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu 1

Throughout the 80s,there were many restaurants offering live syrtaki dancing every night in Moraitika but only one had its dance floor by petrol pumps!And that was Paizanos petrol station on the main road (a petrol station still operates there today,and it's situated near the bookshop/post office).

betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu 4

This one is the last of Stephanie's snaps and it's my favourite,simply because it's a picture of Martaouna,the pyramid-shaped mountain on the right that I can't get enough of marveling at when  in Moraitika or Messonghi.Visible from both the villages,it houses the village of Spilio.Next to it,the Chlomos mountain is missing the two tall masts that are visible on the top today.

You can see a similar view of these mountains from the 80s in another picture courtesy of another Messonghi lover,my friend,Julie Reeves:

Messonghi beach 1982 by Julie Reeves

This was an utter delight for me when I first laid eyes on it.At the time,there were few touristic businesses in Messonghi and this photo reflects this.I used to stay at my aunt Rini's house (aunt Rini was the sister of my grandfather,Spyros Vassilakis) for a few days at the time back then and would spend the whole day with my cousins Rini and Sofi Tsatsani.The house was just behind the building in the foreground.Seeing this photo caused a myriad of precious childhood memories to flood into my head.

Thank you Julie Reeves and Stephanie Wood for bringing back these memories!!

I hope you've also enjoyed this short trip down memory lane.If you have similar old photos that show how these villages used to be in the 70s or 80s feel free to betway必威体育app官方下载contact me as I'd love to see them.If I have a nice selection,I'd love to post a similar post in future again.

Before I go,to let you know that the terrific site Tripfiction asked me to contribute to their blog and,you know me,I came up with an article about my favorite place in the world – betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu.Read ithereand find out,among other things,what is the best time in the year to visit betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu town and where on the island you'll find freezing cold waters even in the summer!Ok,so I'll spoil the surprise on the second one because I feel compelled to share the below pictures!Just look at these gorgeous views of the bay at Paleokastritsa that Julie Reeves took the other day:

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Have you holidayed in Moraitika,Messonghi,or anywhere else in betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu?Leave a comment and tell us all about it!!


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Do you love Greece?Check outour guideto betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu!For delicious Greek recipes,gohere. Sign upto the betway手机网页for Effrosyni's news and special offers (sparse emails)NEW:To read Effrosyni's books for FREE (yes,free!),sign up to her team of loyal readershere.It's free to join!!
NEW!!Are you an author?Check out my FREE author promo tips & resources!!