Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Approximate word count: 15-20,000 words
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store
“Sometime ski instructor, horse groom and musician,” Roz Marshall lives in Scotland. This is the first episode in the White Cairns Ski School serial. There are two others available as well as three short stories which appear to be in the same setting, possibly with some of the same characters.
For more, visit Marshall’s website.
“When her ski instructor husband is delayed from returning to Scotland, it falls to Jude Winters - creative graphic artist, mother and home-maker - to get the season started for ailing White Cairns Ski School. It's a challenge that's way out of her comfort zone. How can she turn things around and keep the wolf from their door until he gets back?”
Dickens did it. Stephen King has done it. So I understand that the serial, an episodic series with the full story released a small chunk at a time has a long history and is making a comeback, at least in part because the economics of the ebook market make it more viable than with paper books.
I’m not a fan of the serial for a few reasons. One is a tendency for cliffhanging endings. (Thankfully, that’s not the case with Winter Arrives.) Another complaint I have is that although each episode tends to have a story arc of its own, whatever conflict is brought to a conclusion in a particular episode usually pales in comparison to other story threads that are left unresolved, leaving me wanting more and, if I’m reading the episodes as they’re released, leaves me frustrated.
However, not all readers are the same. I’m sure some enjoy the anticipation of the release of the next installment. For those readers (or someone like me, after the full series is out), Winter Arrives is a promising start.
The main character, Jude, is someone I like and want to see things work out for her. The setting, a ski school in a winter resort town, is unique with many qualities that make for interesting characters and situations. In this episode Jude is thrown into a tough situation, having to hire employees and get the ski school ready to open for the season. Her husband has always done this, but he’s working out of the country and can’t get back in time. This episode takes Jude through this experience, up to when the first flakes of snow start falling. Thus far, it’s a good story with how Jude manages to get the school ready to open as the big conflict while setting up additional conflicts - what’s really going on with her husband anyway?
Uses UK spelling conventions.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four Stars