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My Greek Books—September 2023 Reads

by Maria A. Karamitsos   ·  8 months ago   ·  
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My Greek Books time is here! Come along to Ancient Greece, a tiny Greek isle in the Ionian Sea, and Cyprus. Find out what I’ve been reading!

My Greek Books

This month, follow me to Ancient Greece for a myth-retelling, to Cyprus for a novella-in-flash, and to a tiny island in the Ionian Sea for a cozy murder mystery. Let’s go!

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An Unexpected Ally:  A Greek Tale of Love, Revenge, and Redemption by Sophia Kouidou-Giles

She Writes Press (October 3, 2023)

About the author

Sophia Kouidou-Giles was born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece. Her mother was born and bred in the same city, and her father’s family arrived in Thessaloniki after fleeing oppression in Asia Minor. Sophia attend university in the U.S., and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in social work. She settled in the Pacific Northwest, and is now retired after a 30+ year career in child welfare. She has published articles in both Greek and English, regarding service for abused and neglected children. She’s also a poet and previously published a poetry chapbook, called Transitions and Passages. Her essays and poetry have been published in several anthologies.

She is the author of a memoir published in Greek as Return to Thessaloniki (Tyrfi Press), and in English translation as Sophia’s Return: Uncovering My Mother’s Past. The story delves into the secrets that veiled her childhood, but ultimately led her on her career path. The book was a Silver Seal Finalist of the American Writing Awards. Read more about it here.

New novel by Sophia Kouidou-Giles

The story

In this myth retelling, we follow Circe, as the dolphins transport her to Delos to help mend her broken heart after Odysseus’ departure. There, she falls for the amphibian god Glaucus. Unfortunately, he’s only got eyes for Skylla—but she’s not interested. Circe spends time with Glaucus, teaching him about herbs—they can both heal and harm. When Circe meets the Skylla, she learns that Skylla is in love with a mortal. Skylla follows her heart, and in a jealous rage, Glaucus turns her into a six-headed monster with twelve legs. Upon Circe’s return home, she learns of the events. She must decide whether to go to Delos to save her new friend and return her to her father, or let the fates decide. But are her superpowers enough to right this wrong? You’ll have to read it to find out!

My Greek Books review

Lovers of Greek myth and myth retellings should not miss this soaring tale. With An Unexpected Ally, Sophia Kouidou-Giles takes the oft-maligned goddess of sorcery to new heights and dimensions. In this fresh take, love, hate, and jealousy are channeled into a compelling story of sisterhood.

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Kipris by Michelle Christophorou

Ad Hoc Fiction (December 8, 2021)

About the author

Born in Lancaster, UK to a Greek-Cypriot father and Liverpudlian mother, Michelle Christophorou previously worked as an attorney in London. Her stories have garnered numerous awards, including Strands International Flash, Retreat West Flash, and Blinkpot. She’s a two-time runner up for the Funny Pearls UK Short Story Competition. “Wearing You” was published in National Flash Fiction Day’s FlashFlood journal and included on BIFFY 50 Best UK and Irish flash for 2019-20. Kipris is part of a 25-book series of novella-in-flash by multiple authors. She lives in Surrey with her husband and son.

The story

Through a series of vignettes, we see the hopes, struggles, and dreams of Cypriots on their island from 1937-1981. We follow struggles for independence from the Brits, to patriotism, and ultimately, migration and return. And we meet a deity, an ethereal being named Kipris, who keeps watch over her island and its people.

Novella-in-flash by Michelle Christophorou

My Greek Books review

Michelle Christophorou packs so much emotion and depth into these 64 pages. She has a rare gift of economy of words—in so few, she tells so much. Through her stunning prose, you’ll feel all the feels right alongside her characters. These vignettes could easily stand alone, but woven together create a powerful narrative. Drawing on history, myth, and magic, Kipris is an unforgettable story of tragedy, love, political upheaval, family, and the ties that bind. It’s a quick read, and you won’t be able to put it down. In fact, you’ll likely read it again. And then again. I’m looking forward to reading more from this gifted author.

Buy it on Amazon

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Murder at the Mill (A Sophie Sayers Cozy Mystery) by Debbie Young

Boldwood Books (January 28, 2023)

About the author

Born and raised in Sidcup, Kent, UK, Debbie and her family moved to Germany when she was 14. After four years, she returned to the UK to attend university. After completing her degree in English and related literature, she lived in London and West England, where she worked as a journalist and PR consultant. She’s written for Cotswold LifeCountry Garden & Smallholding, Writing MagazineMslexia, and Romance Matters, and the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook Guide to Self-publishing

In 2014, she self-published her first novel, followed by three collections of short stories, nine novels, a novella, and two three novelettes. Two of those novels were shortlisted for the Bookbrunch Selfies Award, given for the best independently published adult fiction in the UK. In 2022, she signed a 13-book contract with the multiple-award-winning Boldwood Books for her novels, a seven-book audio contract with Saga Egmont, and a German rights deal with DP Verlag. She calls her stories “feel-good contemporary fiction, full of English humor, and inspired by life in the Cotswolds.” She lives with her husband and daughter in the Cotswolds.

Book 6 in the Sophie Sayers Cozy Mysteries by Debbie Young

The story

Book 6 in the Sophie Sayers Cozy Mystery Series, previously published with the title, Murder Your Darlings, finds Sophie on a writer’s retreat on a tiny Greek island in the Ionian Sea. Her boyfriend Hector, whom she considers the “real writer” owns a bookshop and encourages Sophie with her writing. He enters her work in a contest, and she wins a spot at the retreat. There, she’s hoping to find the inspiration and the courage to complete a book that’s a collection of stories written by her late aunt, a famous travel writer. And figure out her future.

While traveling, Sophie encounters an arrogant author, the Bestselling Romance Writer Marina Milanese, who leaves a bad impression. Much to her chagrin, Sophie learns that Marina is also attending the retreat. From the moment she arrives, Marina rubs everyone the wrong way. As the retreat kicks off, Marina takes a solo jaunt to an old windmill, the only spot on the island where there’s a cell signal, so she can post selfies for her fans. She goes missing and is presumed dead. Sophie is the first to discover the tragedy and becomes the prime suspect. But a storm hits, and the police are delayed to the island, forcing Sophie to investigate to clear her name—and solve the crime. This proves a daunting task, as her fellow retreat members all have a motive. While searching for the truth about Marina, Sophie uncovers her own.

My Greek Books review

Debbie Young’s Murder at the Mill is a fun and fast read that takes us on a Greek island escape. It stirred my longing to attend a writing retreat in Greece! You’ll root for Sophie, not only for her writing aspirations, but to reveal “whodunit”. It could be any of them, and you’ll enjoy trying to figure out who it is. I won’t spoil the ending, but I sure didn’t expect it. Now I want to know what happens next for Sophie! For a light and enjoyable read—and a little Ionian adventure, add this one to your list.

Buy it on Amazon

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Photo of sunflowers in a basket with a book and a bottle of wine. For My Greek Books September 2023
IMAGE: NATI

My Greek Books—September 2023 Edition

That’s it for this month. No you have three new books to add to your list! Check back next month for more My Greek Books. And remember to always make time for reading.


Read more:

My Greek Books—September 2022 Reads

My Greek Books—August 2021 Reads


Maria A. Karamitsos

Maria A. Karamitsos is a journalist, author, and poet. She's the founder & former publisher/editor of WindyCity Greek magazine and former associate editor & senior writer for The Greek Star newspaper. Maria currently pens a literary column for NEO magazine and also contributes to Greek City Times and TripFiction. Her work has been published in The Magic of Us-A Moms Who Write Poetry Anthology, The Pen Poetry Magazine, Voices of Hellenism Literary Journal, Highland Park Poetry, GreekCircle magazine, The National Herald, GreekReporter, Harlots Sauce Radio, Women.Who.Write, KPHTH magazine, XPAT Athens, and more. Maria has contributed to two books: Greektown Chicago: Its History, Its Recipes and The Chicago Area Ethnic Handbook. She's currently working on her 1st novel.

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