I won this in a raffle last night. Very pleased. There were other more expensive prizes to choose from but I didn't hesitate because I love orchids - they remind me of Thailand.
Have just finished reading Kate Furnivall's Under a Blood Red Sky. It so happened I met Kate at the Romantic Novelists Assoc Winter Party the other day, and that's why I picked up her book in Saino's. I might not have done otherwise because, at first glance, it didn't look my cup of tea. The cover shows a bare-looking sleepy girl wrapped in luxurious red and gold silk with a Moscow impression in the background. In fact, the book is mostly set in a Urals village in 1933 (everyone spies on everyone else) or in an appalling Soviet labour camp in Siberia, and the characters wear as many layers of clothes/rags as they can get hold of. It's a well-researched historical novel, with convincing descriptions of life in those extraordinarily tough times in Russia. The young, beautiful Sofia, following a suitably difficult and adventurous, if sometimes confusing quest, is as resilient, brave and competent as any male epic hero. So yes, a good long holiday read. It kept me quiet for several nights and I'm a pretty fast reader.