Monday, 29 February 2016

Waves In The Sky

Sometimes, in order to understand a particular culture, you need to wear the shoes of the author in case he or she happens to be a part of it. I happened to read the ARC of this book, thanks to Rakhi. I must admit, the plot is marvellous.

The story is about friendship. The plot revolves around six friends, their separation and finally, reunion. I must add that interconnections between characters add on to the plot.

The narration conjures up lovely visual imageries. Rakhi has attempted to address various social issues - adoption, child abuse, family outcasts, divorce due to mistrust. Yes, fitting in all issues in a single story may seem a bit extravagant, but since this is first in a series, I guess, proper introduction of characters vis-a-vis their background is vital for future stories.

The characters address emotions - love, empathy, kindness, friendship, anger, hatred, mistrust. All these elements have played an integral part to the story. Each canary has a distinctive character. Though I have no particular favourites, I must mention that writing a book with lots of characters is time consuming, great work Rakhi.

There were a few weak links in the ARC (nothing to do with grammar etc.). There were a few questions which came to my mind as I kept reading- What exactly was the thing which made Canaries drift apart? Why didnt Charu's parents try to get closer to their daughter? Why didnt Malini tell her husband about Varun? Why did Varun keep quiet and spend seven years in jail? A bit more elaboration was felt needed on these aspects to make the book unputdownable. Also, for a global audience, an English translation of the statements in Malayalam or references could be helpful. Since I had read the ARC only, hence, my rating and review is based solely on it.

To sum up, Rakhi has a good story to tell, one that can be read in a single sitting. The twist she has introduced is really very interesting. The book is definitely worth a read.

P.S - Rakhi, I am sure, your next will be worth the wait. Looking forward!

Saturday, 27 February 2016

The Boston Ranter

I have to admit, when I started reading this book, the profanities and expletives had me almost stopping midway. I had an urge to write back to Laydon stating my inability in reading and reviewing. But I didn't. The sole reason was a book by an Indian author where words from a regional dialect were generously used. Every culture, every place has its own unique language and dialect. I realized this when I started reading the Boston Ranter's rantings yet again. 

The story is a fictional memoir. Hence, the vignettes are sketches from a life set in Massachusetts. As I kept reading, I realized each segment to be a reflection from the protagonist's life. 

The language used, is definitely not everybody's cup of tea. But the narrative is humourous. Laydon's vignettes give a view of his zanny life. And yes, due credit is to be given to him for sticking to the local flavour of the region to which he belongs.

To sum up, the book is for those who can look beyond the shocking language and discover a whole new culture.

P.S - The vignettes are worth reading at least once because the author has projected a new world as it is.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Hawaiian Homecoming

First, there is a heartbreak, thereafter starts the process of Healing, and what is needed next is a homecoming. Libby's Hawaiian saga comes to an end with this book (why do I feel there is more up her sleeve!!!).

The story starts exactly from where it stopped last. The beauty of reading all three books is the continuity which has not wavered even once. This book is also mainly about Kayla and Jay. Wish I could divulge more, but then, I would be giving away the beauty of this story. However, let me assure those who start with this book, that this book also has the qualities to be read in isolation.

Those who have read the previous two books in the series will agree that Libby has a way with words. She ensures that her language and descriptions succeed in evoking imageries in the mind.

This book is all about how love will find a way.Yes, it has adult content but inspite of that, the simplicity and feelings emoted by Kayla and Jay will touch your heart. The confusions, insecurities, apprehensions that young lovers feel have been beautifully expressed.

To sum up, it is a beautiful end to a lovely series, especially for all romantics at heart. 

P.S - Libby, when are you publishing your next series?

IA: Initiate

The book initiates the readers into a new world, the world of a thirteen year old boy. And believe me, the world is nothing like the one in which we presently live.

The story concept is unique. The theme revolves around a place called Exclave. The plot shifts between the past and present, but sadly, the link between the two is actually understood only much later. Notwithstanding that, the story per se has a life of its own.

John writes in a manner that appears disjointed yet self-explanatory. Yes, the setting is new, the characters are not very simple, still, his narrative style is contagious, as in, you would not like to put the book down.

The characters are identifiable because they behave like the ones who can be found everywhere. The teens are well, as any teenager should be. This book aptly brings out concepts of friendship, family, innocence, power and the like. The best part is, inspite of it being disjointed at few places, the storyline through the portrayed characters, will make a reader ponder. 

To sum up, this book has mass appeak and would encourage you to read more and look forward to the next book in series.

P.S - I received a free copy from BookLover CatLady in exchange for an honest opinion. Thank you Maxine.

The Rest Of My Life

There is something in a love story, which seems next to impossible, but keeps you wanting to know more. This is one book which I will remember for the rest of my life.

The story is about a damsel in distress and her so-called knight in shining armour. Both have a not-so-glorious past and are confused about the future. Do I sound confused? Well, some love stories are complicated and this book falls under this category. However, let me assure you there is a happy ending.

Sheryl has a flair for imageries. Her descriptions are vivid and language is simple. The book has a generous dose of adult content but majority of it are in minimal dosage with relevance to the story. A few elaborations could have been avoided, but then, that is my perception. A writer, however, knows best.

Protagonists are real. Insecurities, pain, heartbreak, joy, are all part and parcel of love stories. The way Sheryl has shaped up her characters is truly praiseworthy. She has ensured that this story has all the elements needed for a romance saga. The plot and characters can easily be replicated on the big screen, else, it deserves a mini tv series to its credit as well.

To sum up, this book is worth reading as it has all the elements of a love story. It is a story for all romantics who adore a happy ending.

P.S - I received a free copy in exchange of an honest opinion from Legitlit Books. Thank you Jennifer.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Cat In The Flock

Cat in the Flock (Dreamslippers Book 1)

I read this book after I finished reading the second one, and I must say, I was not at all disappointed. 

The plot has a life of its own. In fact, both the books in Lisa's Dreamslipper series can be read in isolation. Hence, any reader who reads them separately will have no difficulty in understanding the plots. Like the second book, the story revolves around a theme which has relevance in every age and at every stage. There are hidden skeletons in almost every closet and nothing should be taken at face value.

The writing style is amazing; you cannot stop once you start reading. Lisa ensures that her descriptions are vivid but never over the top or out of place. The language is very simple. Yes, dreamslipping is a concept that many may have doubts about its very existence, however, as a student of psychology myself, I definitely think  it is possible to slip into other people's dreams. 

Cat is a lovable character, and this book truly brings out the hows and whys with  regards to her inclusion into her flock. She and her Granny are like the birds with same feathers who flock together!!! All the other characters help adding on to the suspense.

To sum up, this book has the drama, emotion, romance, suspense, thrill, mystery, tragedy and the like to hold your attention from start to finish. A definite must read.

P.S - I received a free copy in exchange of an honest opinion fromm  Legit Lit Book Tours. Thank you Jennifer. 

Monday, 22 February 2016

Secrets Of Smart Parents In Raising Smarter Kids

Being a parent and desire to be a hands on working mother, I could not stop myself from reading this book from start to finish. I am definitely impressed with the author for the research she must have done while writing this book.

Kavitha has stuck to the concept of smart parenting for raising smarter kids. And she has done justice to it throughout. Today's generation is miles ahead with respect to tech know how. Give them a gadget and they will revert back with its features within an hour or so. Her tips and tricks in handling tech savvy kids are really appreciable.

The author's writing is not an advisory that is entirely boring, but instead, it is a guide for betterment. The statements have clarity and concepts are backed with logical reasons. The sentences are simple to understand and no description is out of place. 

I only wish, the author had included personal anecdotes and a few additions to the layout for greater visual appeal. These would have made a stronger impact on any parent or would-be parent. Also, in few places I noticed a tinge of monotony set it for a dhort while. But, for a first time author, she has definitely done a good job.

To sum up, any parent who is truly interested in raising his and/or her child the right way, should read this book at least once.

P.S - I have picked up a few tips for becoming a smart parent for smarter kids. I hope you do so too!!!

Monday, 8 February 2016

Bette Davis Eyes

Bette Davis Eyes was a lovely song I had heard, hence, the title did pique my interest. The story is short and makes for a very quick read.

Mothers always say, never trust strangers. Same is the backdrop for the plot of the story. For the answers to who, what, where, why, when and how, you need to get your own copy! Trust me, the story is worth a read.

Mickie plays with words to create an aura of horror throughout the story. And yes, hats off to her for penning a short short story. Believe me, writing short stories is not always easy. However, if only there had been a bit more elaborations at some places, the impact would have been much better. Mickie is an artist, and this is evident from her descriptions of characters and places.

The characters have a significant role to play. Yet, it is Nelly and her antagonist who steal the show. I found the transition from one scene to another at a few places to be too fast and a little disjointed. But since I believe that every author has a story to tell and that spirit is to be respected, I probably might have missed out some subtle hints as the story progressed.

To sum up, the story is fast paced and can be read in a single sitting.

P.S - If you love horror stories, this story is short in length and can be finished in a single sitting.

The Conscience

When I started reading this book, it was 11 pm and by the time I had finished, it was 3 am the next day. Yes, the book is lengthy but definitely unputdownable. 

The story is all about people and their conscience. Some people listen to their inner voice and some don't. Yet, it is conscience which succeeds in bringing out the best in a person. Also, it is the inner voice which helps a person choose and make a choice. However, the resultant consequences may be actions that can be good, bad or bit of both. If I say that Karma and conscience are linked, I won't be wrong.

The narration is beautiful. In fact, it keeps you really engrossed. Its like becoming a part of the story without realizing. There are places where Martin leaves a clue and this makes the story even more engaging. Simply put, the story has a soul of its own which definitely reaches out to a reader's heart. The story brings out human emotions in a very realistic manner. There is pain, desperation, love, sloth, complexes, empathy, integrity, you name it and they are there.

All the characters are as real as real people can be. They emote, express and experience. As is said, the good always triumph, good things happen with the good-hearted people, that is, those with a conscience.

To sum up, I can read this story again and again and never get tired. It is a mind blowing story. A must read for all those who believe in the existence of conscience. I listened to my conscience and read this awesome book. I hope you do it too.

P.S - Martin's story is as immortal as his soul. Your story will touch zillion hearts Martin. Rest in peace.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

The Sabbath

When I started reading this book, I had a feeling that there was an uncanny resemblance to a story called Afterlife. What sets this book apart is the treatment given to the storyline.

Sabbath, as the dictionary states, refers to the something being stopped. The plot of this book deals with a similar concept. And I must say that the entire story revolves around the concept chosen. The storyline is well crafted and forces you to think of consequences that might happen if the fictional element turns into reality.

The narration is gripping, yet, I personally noticed my attention wavering a bit, hence a star less. However, I must compliment the authors for narrating a story with not only a powerful mesage, but also in hinting at a sequel. 

The best part about this book are the characters. They are not picture perfect, have their flaws, and still are endearing. Yes, they succeed in bringing out different facets of relationships, the importance of families and the need to stay united and stick together whether during crisis or otherwise.

To sum up, the book definitely makes an interesting read. The concept has been addressed really well.

P.S - I received this book in exchange for an honest opinion. Thank you Say La V Publishers.

Sapphire Hunting

Sapphire Hunting is all about the beauty of energy and its appreciation in different worlds. Yes, the story is set in different worlds. It definitely has a unique plot but sadly, it took me sone time and few chapters to understand the actual storyline. Maybe, physics has been my handicap, hence the delay.

The author has a wonderful ability to describe things. Even routine stuff have been elaborated in various ways. However, too much of descriptive words have overshadowed the storyline. Still, I am sure, the next attempt by the author would take care of this.

All the characters have a distinct role to play in the book. They are well written. On a lighter note, the description has definitely helped in better understanding of the individual plot! There is humour, there is friendship. The characters emote and sometimes are poker faced. They do succeed in value additions to the book.

To sum up, the author has attempted to create a unique story. Yet, somewhere down the line, the author's strength has resulted in inhibiting the projection of the plot. The ending is beautiful , as it promises a sequel. The next book will definitely take care of the flaws in this one.

P.S - Looking forward to another book where the storyline will be the hero and your descriptions will become supporting actor. All the best.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The Busy Woman's Guide To Writing And Finishing Your Novel

When I started reading this book, I did not know whether I should simply smile or squirm in my seat. This book was a gentle reminder to the author in me to get going.

Jokes apart, this book is a perfect help and the 'Go To' guide for new writers as well as experienced ones. The manner in which it is written is to get across a point without beating around the bush. There are no complicated statements whatsoever. Each chapter ends up offering something new to the reader. Yes, there might me a few tips and tricks suggested that you may already know. However, these act as gentle reminders that there is a lot of work to be done with no scope for excuses.

Anita uses simple language to make her thoughts clear. She offers practical tips for people to adopt and implement in their lives. It is true, every woman has a story to share and every woman is busy, be it as a homemaker or as a working woman. Yet, there is always the need for a gentle push towards penning down personal thoughts. This book does just that.

To sum up, there is a writer in every 'Busy Woman', but there is a need for someone to show you the way out and write your story. This book is the perfect friend, philosopher, guide you need in order to become an author.

P.S - Thanks Anita. Your book has definitely inspired me to stop procrastinating and getting ahead eith my next book!!!

Monday, 1 February 2016

Medieval to Modern – Writing Fairy Tales In The Modern World: Sharon Ashwood

Cinderella in the restaurant kitchen? Big Bad Wolf in black leather? Many, many romance readers adore fairy tales and there’s nothing more delicious than a reworking of a favorite old story into a modern setting. These books are just as much fun to write as they are to read, but doing a good job takes some thought and a light hand.

To pull off a modernized story, it’s more than just a wardrobe change and adding smart phones. As with any other book, an author needs to create a fresh, emotional adventure that will make the reader feel as if they’ve never heard that fairy tale before. That means bringing a unique perspective to the story as well as all the tools of a writer’s craft. A romantic tale, wherever it’s set, is a story about two lovers and they must have all the desire, courage and humanity the writer can give them. As a writer, we need to make our version sparkle. This will lift what we do from a retelling to a reinvention.

There are also many choices to make. Any story that’s been around long enough will exist in many versions and it pays to look for the more unusual fare. When I began the Camelot Reborn series I was well aware that most readers knew about King Arthur and his knights and expected to see certain things—Excalibur, magic, Merlin, chivalry, and the trappings of a medieval court. But should I aim for historical accuracy? A story with lots of magic and dragons? The old Celtic versions of the tales? How about the French ones? It’s up to the author to choose among the source material and find what best supports their story idea. In my case, I did some mixing and matching to build a world in which Camelot could in fact exist both in a fairy tale world as well as the present day.

And whatever characters appear in the book—Sleeping Beauty or the Huntsman or Sir Gawain—they need to be individual, fascinating people and not just ciphers. Most importantly, they should surprise us, at least a little. After all, we know how the fairy tale goes already, so the writer should shake things up enough that we doubt whether the story will remain on script.

This makes particular sense in a time travel tale. My knights, after all, encounter modern women. Is a twenty-first century female going to behave like a medieval maid?  In some ways yes and in others—definitely not!  That’s going to leave our heroes scrambling—and that’s where the fun begins!

Author Bio

Sharon Ashwood is a novelist, desk jockey and enthusiast for the weird and spooky. She has an English literature degree but works as a finance geek. Interests include growing her to-be-read pile and playing with the toy graveyard on her desk. As a vegetarian, she freely admits the whole vampire/ werewolf lifestyle would never work out, so she writes her adventures instead.

Sharon is the winner of the RITA® Award for Paranormal Romance. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and is owned by the Demon Lord of Kitty Badness.

Author Links

Book Buy Links
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An Excerpt: Enchanted Warrior (Camelot Reborn)

Huge hands grabbed her from behind, pulling her backward until she collided with a rock-hard chest. Tamsin inhaled, about to scream, but a palm clamped over her mouth. A moment later, the man’s free arm grasped her middle. Tamsin lunged forward, but his grip was an iron bar. Her next move was to kick back, aiming for the man’s knee. She missed, catching only his shin with the soft sole of her boot. He grunted and pulled her against him so tightly she could barely breathe.

“Don’t,” he said, the word clipped and cold.

Tamsin froze, going utterly still. Whoever this was, his psychic shields were so powerful he’d been completely hidden from her scan. After fretting about evil creatures stalking witches, she was too scared to reach for her magic. Every instinct warned her this stranger would not tolerate further defiance. This was a professional. A predator. A true threat. She knew it on a level so primitive it was coded into her DNA.

Her obedience seemed to work, because the hand clamped over her mouth slowly moved away. He tasted of salt, sweat and man. He hadn’t used weapons to overpower her, just brute strength. That show of confidence made him seem all the more deadly.

“You will not cry out.” His words had traces of a brogue—Scottish, perhaps. His deep, masculine voice vibrated through the line where their bodies touched and sank into her bones.

“Please,” she said, her voice barely above a whisper. “What do you want?”

“Turn around.”

The arm locked about her loosened, allowing her to move but not to escape. Tamsin shrank away as far as she could, the heat of his body a sharp contrast to the cool November air.

“Turn,” he repeated. “I want to see your face when I question you.”

Tamsin obeyed, sliding within the circle of his arm. It put their faces barely twelve inches apart, and that was only because he was so tall. Her first instinct was to avoid eye contact, to rebel at least in that small way, but curiosity won. She snatched a glance from under her lashes.

She froze all over again as he nailed her in place with a brilliant blue gaze. He was younger than she’d expected—maybe in his late twenties—and handsome enough that she forgot to breathe. His face had strong bones, the features bold and almost sensual. Heat rose to her cheeks as her insides curled into a protective ball. He was far too magnetic, far too there for comfort.

He studied her face a moment longer, his gaze filled with bold assessment. It finally broke when the corners of his mouth quirked. “You are the historian who is supposed to explain this place to visitors, Tamsin Greene?”

For a longer excerpt, click here:

Book Blurb

An ancient evil rises. An ancient warrior awakens.

In an age clouded by legend, Gawain was one of King Arthur’s greatest knights. When he awakens centuries after the fall of Camelot, he faces his most daunting quest yet-the search for his missing companions. His hope is that Tamsin Greene, the alluring historian at Medievaland Theme Park, can help him. Then he senses the magic within her… Gawain will now have to trust a witch-and his own heart-to rouse the knights of the Round Table and save humanity from a faery onslaught.

Author Bio

Sharon Ashwood is a novelist, desk jockey and enthusiast for the weird and spooky. She has an English literature degree but works as a finance geek. Interests include growing her to-be-read pile and playing with the toy graveyard on her desk. As a vegetarian, she freely admits the whole vampire/ werewolf lifestyle would never work out, so she writes her adventures instead.

Sharon is the winner of the RITA® Award for Paranormal Romance. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and is owned by the Demon Lord of Kitty Badness.

Author Links

Buy Links
Barnes & Nobl
The Book Depository