Sunday, 10 December 2017

40 Tips On Creative Writing

Dan's writings have always come into my life at a time when I was badly in need of an inspiration. Be it his first, Pieces Like Pottery or this one.

The book is a guide for every writer as well as those aspiring to write. What sets this book apart is the style of writing. There is a personal touch in every tip given. And, the tips, if followed to the T, would help improve not just the writing but life as well. For the what, how and why, you need to read the book.

Dan's writings have the power to make you think. The language is really simple but the meaning that every sentence conveys has a lot of depth. These 40 tips for creative writing can be taken for the writing process per se as well as for living life in a different manner as well. The tips help rake the reader's brain and mould him/ her to think divergently. Every chapter title is a life principle to live by if I may say so. Kudos to Dan for his amazing style. The writing takes the reader through a journey of introspection and healing. It makes one travel on the road to self-discovery and empowerment. This book is like a key to unlock your inner potential. The writing is not at all preachy. It is neither a book of Dos and Don'ts that are generally the flavour of such genre. The book aims to help out writers of books and lives to rediscover their passion.

Like I said, Dan's books have come into my life at a time when I lost my sense of purpose. His first book was a mirror that took me into my past and helped me heal. This book is a mirror that helped me look into my life and realise there is so much more to it. And not every book has the power to do so. Yes, though I read this book in one session, I had to read it again after a gap of few days. It was because I wanted to see if the second reading gave me a new perspective. True to my thought, it sure it.

To sum up, this amazingly excellent piece of writing is a definite must read for those writers who are facing a writer's block or are starting their journey into the world of writing. This is one of my recent reads that I am going to add to my personal library.

P.S - Thank you Dan for your set of tips that sure are going to stay with me for life. This review is my honest opinion after reading the book.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

A Certain Connection

This is a story for all romantics and believers of love.

The plot revolves around a woman and a man, the magic that sparks between them and what happens thereafter. Sounds like a quintessential love story right? Wrong. There are twists and turns which you will get to know when you read this story.

Zoey's writing has an ability to reach out and appeal to a person's heart. What I felt overshadowed an otherwise beautiful story was an overdose of physical interactions between the protagonists. Some places, the subtle element of romance got brushed aside. Also, I felt, again a personal opinion, that the ending was a bit rushed up. If there could have been a bit more details towards the end, the story's momentum would have continued. The narration was absolutely smooth with limited jerks due to scenes which could have been cut down a bit. I must admit, the imageries conjured up by my brain while I was reading were pretty vivid. And, this story has all the potential to become a movie that can be watched by fans of romance like me.

The characterisation was brilliant. In fact Zoey had paid attention to every single detail. I never felt any character was unwanted. However, I wish I could have read more about the emotional upheavals the protagonists went through more than their physical interactions.

To sum up, the story is really likeable and worth reading, especially if your genre is romance. The book does have lot of mature content so those of you who are not very comfortable with such scenes can easily skip them. It is the regular love story narrated with a difference and that is where Zoey succeeds in establishing 'A Certain Connection' with the readers.

P.S - A beautiful story well crafted, this romance would connect with all those who believe in the magic of love and love stories. This review is my honest opinion after reading the story.

Monday, 27 November 2017

An Excerpt: You Came Like Hope

Prologue

The trouble with me is that I forget all caution, when I need it the most.

I knew I was not supposed to set foot inside his house. I had already done one blunder. The result of that was wrapping its web around me. Suffocating me. It was foolishness to be stepping into yet another mistake.

But there I was.

‘It doesn’t matter. I’ll leave soon. He’s not here anyway,’ I excused myself, taking a deep breath of the pleasant lemon-scented air of the place.

The room was simply furnished. There was an oval centre table topped with a black glass. Pencil scrapes fluttered on half of it and school books and notebooks covered the other half. An almost empty school bag lay huddled on the grey couch next to it. There were matching single-seaters on the other side of the table. A square dining table stood on one side of the room. It had only two chairs.
Besides this sombre furniture, there were three Disney cushions on the grey couch, artificial sunflowers with smiley faces in a vase, a flower-shaped wall clock, and a cute flower and bee shaped perfume dispenser in a corner. These childish whims and fancies served well to add cheer to otherwise too plain a room.

My eyes brushed past all these things, only to be arrested by a photo hanging on a wall. It showed a girl child holding the hand of a tall man. He was dressed in blue jeans and grey t-shirt. The attire suited his height and strong built well. The child was grinning at the camera. Her companion was looking down and smiling at her. It was a smile that could have forced any woman to become rude and stare with desire. I was glad it was just a picture that I was staring at.

The owner of that smile had moved to Delhi four months ago, renting a house very close to my cousin sister Rajni’s house. This was the first time I had come to stay at my cousin’s home since then. My mother had let me come. But she worried that he was too near, the son of a defamed family.

‘You know what his family history is. Stay away from him, no matter what Rajni tells you,’ she had ordered.

‘Too late,’ I murmured, staring at his picture and wondering what mother would say if she found out. But then, there were far worse things that I had hidden. Things that, I knew, would hurt my parents more. Far more.

About the Book:
Peehu:
“I heard them mourn my death. I lay in the next room. Motionless, silent, and staring at the ceiling.”

Adih:
“When it comes to a broken person, some of them are expert at blinding you. Spend an entire evening with such a person, but you may still not know how he is crushing inside.”

Uday:
“Who would say no to him? He is smart, intelligent, super handsome, rich, suave and sophisticated. He’s perfect!”

Pooja:
“Pooja gave no explanation. She asked no forgiveness. She just arrived in his home, resenting him for being her husband.”

Arunav:
“He had smiled as if nothing was wrong.
He had behaved as if he still had his dreams and hopes.
He had pretended as if it didn’t hurt.
But it did.”

Does Destiny hold the key to our happiness?
Is it always the feeble that is the victim?
Love can be the embrace of heaven. But what happens when it unleashes hellfire?

Lose yourself in the intense narrative of You Came Like Hope as it unleashes a rollercoaster of emotions, uncovers some bitter truths, challenges widespread prejudices, and forces you to reconsider your beliefs.

Check out the Free Sample of the novel

Book Trailer:

Book Links:

About the Author:

Jyoti Arora is a novelist and blogger from Ghaziabad. You Came Like Hope is her third novel, coming after Dream’s Sake and Lemon Girl. She is Post Graduate in English Literature and Applied Psychology.
Jyoti has over five years of experience working as a freelance writer. This experience includes abridging over 24 famous English classics like Jane Eyre, Moby Dick etc.
Jyoti Arora is a patient of Thalassemia Major. But she does not let this stop or discourage her. For her determination and achievements, Jyoti has received appreciation from Ms Sheila Dixit, Ms Maneka Gandhi and the Ghaziabad wing of BJP. Her life story has been covered in various local and national TV shows, radio programs, newspapers, magazines and websites like YourStory and Inspire India. She was also one of the ‘100 Women Achievers of India’ that were invited to witness the Republic Day parade of India (2016) as special guests.
Besides reading and writing novels, Jyoti also enjoys blogging and has won several blogging competitions. She loves checking out latest technological innovations, watching movies, and listening to old Bollywood songs. Reach her at jyotiarora.com.

Contact the Author:




Sunday, 26 November 2017

The Bridge Of The Golden Wood: A Parable On How To Earn A Living

This is Karl's second book that I am reading, the first one being Muffy and Valor: A True Story. This story is completely different from the earlier one.

The story revolves around the values of hardwork, industry, initiative and confidence. In fact, this story is a great start to encourage children to learn the art of earning. By the way, if you want to know more about what exactly the story has in store, then read the book.

Karl never ceases to amaze me. The simplicity with which he puts across complex concepts is commendable. He surely has a way with words. His narration has no jerks, is lucid and evokes the right imageries throughout.

There is a protagonist and the story basically revolves around him. No major secondary character, except one, have much role to play. However, to be honest, neither the references nor the appearances of random characters seemed out of place.

To sum up, the story is a must read for every parent and teacher who wants to introduce the concepts of work, helping others and spotting opportunities. This story is perfect for introducing financial literacy to a child as young as three years old. I read it to my children and they are enamoured with the very idea of earning their own pocket money by helping around. It is an amazingly excellent story by a writer who understands children.

P.S - Karl is an amazing storyteller whose stories have a depth and substance. Loved this bridge of the golden woods. My review is my honest opinion after reading this story.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Muffy And Valor:A True Story

Sometimes complex concepts like pain and empathy are best understood by children through stories.

The plot revolves around a dog who suffers an injury so painful that she starts detesting other dogs. Yet, when she sees another dog suffering from similar pain, she empathises and exhibits compassion. For the what why and how you seriously need to read this story.

What is striking about this book is the fact that the story has a deeper meaning. I felt that it was an allegory. Like George Orwell's Animal Farm, this story has different interpretations to offer to different generations and people. It has the power to teach a child about courage, compassion, friendship and overcoming fear. It also can be adapted to the adult world as in how after a setback, there is a phase of distrust followed by acceptance. Karl and Brandon have also subtly hinted that for becoming stronger the effort had to be made by the aggrieved first. Simply put, the power to change lies with each one of us, be it animals or humans.

The writing is very simple and can be understood by children. I read it aloud to my kids and they comprehended perfectly. The narration is absolutely smooth with no jerks. The story also had the power to ignite vivid mental imageries. I hope this story gets adapted into animation or a movie for kids. This story is way too better than many cartoon shows of present times.

The protagonist Muffy is really adorable and cute. Valor's entry is like the turning point in Muffy's life. The fact that these characters exist in real life helped in connecting better. The emotions and attributes they exhibited were so similar to the kinds that we humans projected.

To sum up, this story is an absolute must read for every child and every adult who is a child at heart. The message that the story delivers is really apt and has significance. Life might treat one unkindly, but if the fallen individual makes an effort to acknowledge, cope up and come forward, he or she would find happiness once again. Every dark cloud has a silver lining. This one goes into my collection of personal favourites.

P.S - Karl, your Muffy and Valor got me thinking. Loved the amazingly excellent story. This review is my honest opinion after reading it.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Warlords Of Llantatis

I have never read a book earlier that deals with computer games nor am I a gamer myself. When I chose this book, I had my apprehensions because I was not sure whether I would be able to comprehend the gaming terminologies or not. To my surprise, I ended up reading this book not once but twice on different occassions.

The plot revolves around a virtual world filled with warriors who are personified by people in real life. Yes, the kinds who immerse themselves into creating kingdoms, acquire wealth etc. However, the storyline is not restricted to the virtual world alone and that is where the beauty lies.

What I simply adored about the story was the fact that Dominic subtly made a point about how people were slowly isolating themselves into a shell. I mean, if you look at today's world, the younger generation is happier to tap away on a smartphone or go gaming rather than socialising. Somehow, the virtual world provides a kind of consolation to people, as in, portraying a character that they are not or cannot in real life. And the fact that strong positive inherent human traits definitely help one shine through, no matter what the situation, is the underlying message throughout.

The author does use terms that gamers are familiar with. However, that did not hinder my reading in any way because the story narration was really smooth and the plot was engrossing. Throughout the reading my mind kept conjuring up vivid imageries, and it happened during both my reading sessions. Loved Dominic's style of writing. It is unconventional yet reaches out to the reader. It was simple and still had the power to set me thinking about it after finishing.

Characterisation was perfect, as in picture perfect? Every character was etched out to play the role that he or she was assigned. Not a single character was out of place. They had their perfections, their flaws and were as close to reality as could be. In fact, everyone of us would have come across at least one of Dominic's character in our lifetime.

To sum up, this story is a must read for every avid reader who loves to experiment with genres. I did and am not at all disappointed. In fact, this amazingly excellent book set me thinking as a parent as well. Do I want my children to be Warlords in an imaginary world if Llantatis or Warriors in real life or both? This story is food for thought for sure.

P. S - Dear Dominic its an amazing story. Thank you so much. My review is my honest opinion after reading your story.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

The Black Guard: Evolution

This is the second book in the Black Guard series and it didnot disappoint me one bit. Loved the way the storyline continued from where it left last.

The plot continues to revolve around the least favourite child turned Dragon Black Guard Rivka. And just like this title, the story has evolved. Some critics say it is more of a melange of stories now. Personally, I consider them as episodes in the life of the protagonist.

If I say I love Daem's writings, it will be an understatement. This story has violence but it is not graphic. You won't feel uncomfortable while reading. Such is the power of expression. It is very easy to go bersek in descriptions, however, the author has ensured that descriptions are apt and express what they ought to in every scene. There is a freshness in narration. It definitely is a continuation of book one but at the same time it has its own flavour. The imageries that this story creates goes with the flow of narration. There are no jerks, no breaks. It is like one continuos piece of written music. The language is simple anx this story can appeal to any sensibilities whatsoever.

Rivka is amazing as a Dragon. Hats off to the author for etching a strong woman as the central character. This fiesty lady is one woman every parent would want their daughter to grow up to be. The other characters are supportkng cast and their attributes and role are well etched too.

To sum up, this is definitely a must-read series. Whether you read them in isolation, in sequence or random order, the storylines have the power to keep you hooked on till the end. If you have read even one, you will feel like reading the other immediately. This story in book two is excellently amazing like the first part.

P.S - An amazing evolution of the least favourite chikd. Loved the story. Daems you are an awesome writer. Looking forward to the next one in the series. Thank you Kim from SBPRA for introducing me to an amazing series. This review is my honest opinion after reading.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Book Blitz: Children's Classic Stories: Volume I

About the Book:
This gorgeous treasury of ten classic stories is guaranteed to delight and entertain young children, bringing the magic of traditional stories to the new generation of children. Aimed at 8-12 year olds, each favourite fairy tale or story has been sensitively retold for young readers.
The series 'Children's Classic Stories' contains total 100 stories in 10 volumes. The stories in this collection show the consequences of greed, pride, and vanity, but also tell of the love that grows from a kind heart and a cheerful nature.

Volume 1 includes the following stories:
01. Little Red Riding Hood
02. Cinderella
03. Hansel and Gretel
04. Sleeping Beauty
05. Snow White and Rose Red
06. The Emperor's New Clothes
07. Rumplestiltskin
08. The Wise Little Girl
09. Goldilocks and the Three Bears
10. Rip Van Winkle


About the Author:

Aniesha Brahma knew she wanted to be a writer since she was six years old. She was schooled in Dolna Day School and went on to pursue B.A., M.A., and M.Phil in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur Univeristy. She currently lives in Kolkata, with her family and five pet cats. She is the author of All Signs Lead Back to You, When Our Worlds Collide, The Guitar Girl and The Secret Proposal. She compiled and edited the 10 volumes series, 'Children's Classic Stories' with love and great efforts.

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Spotlight: The Guardian

Title: The Guardian
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Author: Anna del Mar
Publisher: Mermaid Press
Purchase links:



From the Amazon Bestseller author of The Asset and The Stranger, comes The Guardian.

Game Warden Matthias Hawking is a decorated ex-SEAL engaged in a grueling fight against ruthless poachers in Africa. He’s short on resources and long on enemies. There’s a price on his head. The last thing he needs is the unexpected arrival of a beautiful but stubborn journalist threatening to uncover his secrets, an alpha female challenging his alpha male and getting into trouble, a hurricane wearing boots.

Jade Romo is a veteran of several different kinds of war. She’s survived her heroin-addicted mother, the foster care system, and the conflict in Afghanistan. Jade’s tough, confident, cynical, and self-reliant, a woman who doesn’t believe in forevers. But when she defies the poachers and lands at the top of the warlord’s kill list, she’s forced to rely on the skilled, attractive but supremely infuriating game warden who has captivated her body’s undivided attention.

Haunted by his past but driven by his courage, her mysterious guardian will do anything in his power to protect the woman who has captured his heart.

About the Author:

Amazon Bestselling author Anna del Mar writes hot, smart romances that soothe the soul, challenge the mind, and satisfy the heart. Her stories focus on strong heroines struggling to find their place in the world and the brave, sexy, kickass heroes who defy their limits to protect the women they love.
A Georgetown University graduate, Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, and the sea. Writing is her addiction, her drug of choice, and what she wants to do all the time. The extraordinary men and women she met during her years as a Navy wife inspire the fabulous heroes and heroines at the center of her stories.
When she stays put—which doesn’t happen very often—she splits her time between Colorado and Florida, where she lives with her indulgent husband and a very opinionated cat.

Anna loves to hear from her readers. Connect at:


Sunday, 15 October 2017

Spellcaster

This is one of those stories that has an amazing beginning.

The plot takes the reader back to the Victorian era and thereafter shuttles between present age England and the said past. This historical fiction had all the right ingredients to be intriguing. However, I felt a few things prevented the plot from developing. Hence the three stars.

George started the storyline with an interesting narrative. Yet, as the story progressed the story created a bit of a confusion. Maybe it was because the pace of the story was a bit slow. In fact, the writer could have used more elaborations for greater clarity. Also, the language was simple yet more description could have enhanced the impact. There were imageries but where the writing was a bit confusing there the imageries lost their clarity. The story had all the right essentials for getting converted to a blockbuster. Maybe a revision and more elaboration would fo the trick.

The characters or rather the protagonists stood out but sadly they were let down by the story narration. They emoted, they seemed real but there were also places where they seemed too perfect to be real. Again, thid is the first book and if there is a second one, I sm sure these would be taken care of.

To sum up, this could have been an excellently amazing story but lack of clarity in few places made it likeable. What I felt was a bit of a let down was the end. It was not evident whether it was a cliffhanger or was it actually the end. Read the story with an open mind because George is one author who has all the potential to create magical stories.

P.S - The Spellcaster did cast a small spell on me. Yet I am sure the impact will be much better in the subsequent continuations if any. This review is my honest opinion after reading the story.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

An Excerpt: The Age Of Kali - Soul Warrior

Kuru Kshetra Battlefield.
Day 17 of the Great Kuru War, 
seven thousand five hundred years ago.

Death is hot.

That surprises me. I’d imagined death as cold and brutal. Merciless. But in truth, death is hot as blood, and constant like a heartbeat.

Thrum. Thrum. Thrum. My lifeblood ebbs to the rhythm. My head ripped from its torso by Anjalika, the arrow of death that burns even now with the energy of the sun. Struck from behind like some novice. Felled in battle by that lily-livered usurper the Heavens smile upon—Prince Arjun. Brother Arjun.

What have I done?

I harness the thought. Cease all reflection and wrench free of my mortal body. I soar up, up into the gloaming, snapping the ties that tether me to life. Dead, I have no use for ties.

“A matter of perspective, Karna, O son of my godsire.” The unearthly words strum through the air, and I quiver like a plucked bowstring, overcome as much by the voice as its blasphemous claim. 

“Bonds of devotion nourish the soul, brother.”

There is that word again. Brother. Unpleasant laughter wells up in me. Alive, I am abandoned, denied my birthright—Celestial or royal. Death, it seems, changes everything.

A bright, nebulous light brings forth Lord Yama, the God of Death, atop his divine mount. His elephantine thighs ripple beneath a silken dhoti, ochre and crimson of color, as he guides the mammoth water buffalo to a halt. An iron medallion sways against the God’s powerful cerulean torso, its center stone an ethereal blood orange.

Hypnotic. Pulsing with life. I am drawn to the stone.

“Piteous waste,” Lord Yama mutters, surveying the carnage of war far below us.

I trace the trajectory of his gaze and behold the battered remains of my army drenched in the evidence of its mortality. Is it true? Have we died in vain?

Words form inside me and I will them out. “Shall we go, my lord?”

“Ha! Impatient to be judged, are you? Anxious to have your fate revealed?” asks the Judge of the Hell Realm. His red-black eyes burn with intelligence and compassion in a blue-tinged face that is long and lean and hard. “Rest easy, brother-warrior. You are not bound for the Great Courtroom.”
Not bound for Hell? Where then? Fear has eluded me for so long that I take a moment to recognize it. 

A hollow-bellied feeling it is, as annoying as a bone stuck in my throat.

“My lord, I have done bad deeds…terrible deeds in my life. I have waged wars, this horrendous bloodshed, and all because my pride could not—would not abide rejection. I have sinned. I must atone for my actions.”

Lord Yama smiles in a way I do not like. “You have redeemed yourself admirably, Karna. You forfeited your life for the greater good today. The deed far outweighs any misguided ones. Be at peace, brother, and enjoy the fruits of your karma.”

There is but one place to enjoy such fruits—the Higher Worlds.

I’d rather burn in Hell for eternity. I say so. “I won’t live amongst the Celestials.” Coexisting with the very souls who’ve spurned me is unthinkable. Watching her—for she would surely reside in Heaven soon—will be eternal torture.

Yama shakes his head, the horns on his crown slashing to and fro. “I thought you might say that. Relax. Your destiny lies elsewhere.”

“Am I to be reborn then? Am I to begin a new life, and forget the past?” Pain, sharp as a blade, lances through me at the thought. Forget my past? My family? Even her? Was that my punishment? To forget all that made me human?

It must be so. For have I not betrayed them as surely as I’ve betrayed my prince regent?

“Human rebirth is not your destiny, either. You are chosen, brother. Your war skills are needed for a higher purpose.” The God slips off his mount, his garments rustling in agitation. “This unjust war has pushed the Cosmos to the vortex of a cataclysm. Tomorrow, the Kuru War will end. Fearing its outcome, the Celestials rolled the Die of Fate and have unwittingly bestowed on Demon Kali untold powers.” Lord Yama bares his fangs in disgust at the foolish gamble. “Imagine the havoc that asura and his minions will wreak on the weak if left unchecked. The Human Realm must be safeguarded during Kali’s dark reign.”

I can imagine the horror only too well as I have battled with evil all my life. But I am done with wars. 
I am done with defeat. I won’t waste another lifetime fighting.

“With due respect, my lord, I am not the man for this task.”

“You are not a man at all,” Yama thunders, fists shaking. “You are the son of Surya, the Sun God. Accept that you are no ordinary soul.”

I say nothing. I think nothing. I feel something but I squash it down.

Lord Yama’s thick black brows draw together. “Demon Kali will try to pervade every particle of good that exists in the Cosmos, beginning with the corruptible Human Realm. Once he obliterates all of humanity, he’ll set his sights on the Celestials. Kali will not stop until he’s destroyed our way of life. But you can stop him. You are light to his darkness. Do you understand now why you had to betray him? Your beloved humans need you, Karna. I need you. Our father believes in you. Claim your rightful place in the Cosmos.”

Impatiently, Lord Yama removes the iron medallion from his neck and holds it out. The vermillion sunstone glows as if its soul is on fire. Nay! It is my soul that is on fire.

Indescribable energy curls through me. I gasp, though not in pain. I shudder and feel myself grow large, grow hot. Was this rebirth?

I am strong, full-bodied and lethal once more. Then I roar as light bursts forth from my very core and I throb with glorious, blinding power. When I come to myself, my world has changed again. Bubbles of color shimmer all around me: cobalt and saffron, azure and rose. By karma! They are souls. Infinite floating souls.

“Behold the spectrum of life: the worthy, the notorious, the righteous and the sinners.” The God of Death’s soul was a worthy sapphire blue with a tinge of silver. “Your duty, should you choose to accept the office of the Soul Warrior, is to hunt down the red-souled asuras and crush them. Whatever you decide, I wish you a long and successful Celestial existence, Karna,” Yama booms out and vanishes into the purpling sky.

The parley has stunned me. The world of color holds me in thrall. I was dead. Yet, now I am not. A new path lies before me. Unwanted, unwelcome, I insist on principle. I close my eyes. Open them to stare at the medallion cupped in my hand—a golden-hued hand at once familiar and not—and know myself for a fool. I do want this. It’s what I am.

Bastard-born. Rebel. Son. Husband. Father. Warlord. And protector. I fist the talisman, buoyed by its concrete warmth. This is who I am.


I am the Soul Warrior.


★.•**•.★ Soul Warrior Book Blast ★.•**•.★ 
15th to 17th September, 2017

The Age of Kali is a series of mythic fantasy novels by international bestselling novelist Falguni Kothari. The first book of the series, Soul Warrior, introduces readers to a fictional law-governed Cosmos made up of heavenly, demonic and human realms and its protagonist, Lord Karna, the legendary guardian of the Human Realm, who is coerced into training six godlings into demon hunters against a rising demon army. The series arc interlocks into a war of domination between the Light and Dark forces of the Cosmos and the race to control the one soul capable of total cosmic annihilation, demi-god Karna's and Draupadi's secret child.


Get Your Copy from AMAZON




Praise for Soul Warrior:

"A beautiful exploration of fantasy and mythology, Soul Warrior (The Age of Kali) is the latest release from Falguni Kothari and by any stretch of the imagination she’s delivered an awesome story. Rich, enchanting, evocative, she effortlessly blends an ancient Indian epic and South Asian mythology with grace and quiet elegance to create the canvas upon which her miraculous world finds form.... Beautifully written and enviably imaginative, Soul Warrior proves an exemplary example of Fantasy Fiction. Definitely deserving of your attention it is recommended without reservation!"
   —Book Viral 

"I loved the writing which... hit that nice spot between being evocative and descriptive and still keeping the story moving....It has a huge cast of fascinating characters, a deep and rich world and definitely something I’m interested in following."
   —Fangs for Fantasy 

"I loved the way Ms. Falguni has shown an eye for the details scattered throughout the novel.... Will I recommend this book? Oh yes, and be assured you will grab the next one too just to know more about the Soul Warrior."
   —Global Asian Times 

"The plot is intriguing, much in the tradition of a modern thriller.... Precisely sketched and nuanced with quirky detail, the characters enrich the story they inhabit.... The vibrant characters in the multi-hued setting are the stuff superhero animation films are made of. Soul Warrior engrosses and enthralls. A thumping good read, I would say."
   —Of Prose and Poetry blog 



About the Author:


Falguni Kothari is a New York-based South Asian author and an amateur Latin and Ballroom dance silver medalist with a semi-professional background in Indian Classical dance. She’s published in India in contemporary romance with global e-book availability; Bootie and the Beast (Harlequin Mills and Boon) and It’s Your Move, Wordfreak! (Rupa & Co.), and launches a mythic fantasy series with Soul Warrior (The Age of Kali, #1)

I’m embarrassed to admit how many social media accounts I own :

Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads * Pinterest




Monday, 11 September 2017

The Deified

Beginnings are important for any story to give an overview of what is in store for the reader. I personally felt the start was jerky with sudden shifts and that is where I started losing the connection.

This book started off with one setting and suddenly there was an abrupt change. So, though majority of the story did revolve around what is described in the blurb yet the disconnect between introductory chapters made me lose my connect with the story. On the whole, the concept was interesting but the treatment to it could have been better.

There are portions that are brilliantly drafted yet there are other places that have loopholes. Yet, I am sure MJ will make it up for this in her next book. There are imageries and violence does play an active part in it. But due to breaks in narration and a muddled presentation of the central theme, the imageries were a bit jerky too.

There are a plethora of characters but they could have been better shaped. Even Jude is supposedly a character who had shades of antagonist. Yet, none of them truly stood out. Yet again, the concept per se could have got a lift with stronger characterization. They seemed fictional. A bit of real life traits would have been an add on.

To sum up, the story is readable. I completed it because MJ has put her heart and soul in penning it. And trust me, a lot of effort goes into writing a story and not everybody is brave enough to do that. My endeavour is not to let down a budding writer, I only wish to flag issues that I felt as a reader. And differences of opinions are always welcome. This was a story that had the potential and maybe a part two would bring in more clarity.

P.S - The opinions expressed are my honest views after reading The Deified.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Hey Doorman VIII

This is the first book in the Doorman series that I am reading. Hence, my opinion is purely based on this anthology only.

Yes, it is a collection of stories, or should I say real life experiences of a bouncer in a night club. Every job has tales that are worth narrating. Through this anthology John narrates his experiences as a bouncer.

Firstly, writing personal experiences is not easy. Kudos to John for not only attempting it but making it seem so interesting. This is a collection of tales hence John has chosen those experience which have either changed him, impacted his relationships or have a lesson to offer. And I must admit, his usage of humour to keep up the tempo of every storyline is commendable. There were a few swear words, but then, one does encounter such language in a night club. There are vivid imageries that crop up as and when the story narration continues. There is a smooth transition from story to another. There is sexual content and violence but these come along with the job of a bouncer, the flip sides of this job, occupational hazards.

Every job is dignified in its own right and what I loved about the entire collection is the subtle manner in which John has expressed pride in whatever he is doing. Alongside the tough exterior that John exhibits, he also portrays his more humane side. The way he gives importance to all relationships in his life, his dealings at the professional as well as personal level, and events in his life make for an interesting read. He has portrayed himself as he is and that is what actually matters.

To sum up, this collection is a must read for both its humourous content and the sheer fact that John has chosen to pen down his life experiences through the lens of his job. He has made the life of a bouncer seem interesting and has added a lot of dignity to it through his writings.

P.S - This is the eighth part in the series and there are seven others before this. Hey Doorman, John, I hope you continue writing because it is very encouraging to see the way you view your profession and are sharing your experiences. This review is my honest opinion after reading the anthology.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Dead Down East

I needed a story that would take my mind off a grim and dark tale I had just read and reviewed. Thankfully, this story helped me do just that.

Sometimes we come across characters who are totally out of luck and are so lovable that you feel like empathising with them throughout. The protagonist of this story, a private investigator, is just that. The plot revolves around an affable character and his tryst with the solving of a crime case. For the whats you need to read the story.

The writing is amazing. Carl has added loads of humour through one-liners and at the same time, he has retained the flavour of suspense throughout. There were some 'wow' moments and it was worth a five star but for its ending. Notwithstanding that, the manner in which the story has been narrated is quiet gripping. What is more interesting is the fact that throughout the narration there have been no jerks. The imageries are in required quantities. This book also makes for a convenient read since it is fast paced and not too lengthy.

The protagonist is definitely lovable. Along with him, there are a few other characters who support him throughout the story. Besides them, there are many other characters and I have a bit of an issue with them because their presence ended up making me feel that the story is a fiction. They make it difficult to draw real life conclusions.

To sum up, the story is quirky, a quick read and an out and out fun whodunit story. The narration is superb and antics of the protagonist is heart touching. A must read for those who want a crime story that is not run-of-the-mill kind.

P.S - Thank you Carl for a quirky story and for lightening my mood with your writings. This review is my honest opinion after reading the story.

Primogenito

There are some stories that would make me cringe and wish I could stop reading, yet I am not able to. This story is one of them. I loved to hate it and would have given it five stars but then try as I might I cannot because of the negativity it exuded.

The plot is dark and revolves around a family and its traditions. There are rebels within such families as well. But for the who, what and how you need to read the story. Trust me when I say, it is not going to be easy.

Hats off to you Greta for penning a story so dark and unputdownable at the same time. It is not easy to narrate a gripping tale that can make the reader cringe and squirm but continue reading. Amazing use of language. The author has used words to bring out raw emotions without going over the top. Apart from that, there is a tone of formality throughout. It might put off some readers but I felt it was yet another writing technique used. Imageries existed in galore and I wish they didn't because it means at least two sleepless nights for me. The ending is mindblowing and the twist is a master stroke. But then, whether there is going to be a sequel is something I am wondering.

The characters are amazing as well. There are very few characters in this story. You can count them on your fingertips. Yet, I never felt anybody being a useless add on. Each of them controbuted to the story. The emotions that they deficted, the pain, abuse, rape, agony, trauma, everything was expressed by these characters.

To sum up, such stories are generally not my cup of tea because they bring in a lot of negative emotions. However, this story was gripping and kept me hooked to it. I had to finish it though I wanted to quit it at times since I felt awful. Again kudos to the author because it is easy to evoke positive emotions but to stir up negative emotions is a talent not every writer can pull off. The story is superb and tugs your heartstrings in ways you cannot imagine.

P.S - Thank you Greta for bringing in a story of the First Borns or Primogenito to me. This review is my honest opinion after reading the story. I truly hope there is a sequel.

Monday, 4 September 2017

The Code Of Magic

Some books makes you believe in the beauty of magic. This is one such book.

The plot revolves around a pre-teen and his tryst with learning about magic. For details you need to read the book. And let me assure you, the storyline succeeds in subtly addressing the mind of a young boy. It is not easy to live with abusive parents and to remain determined inspite of a broken family is something that this story definitely teaches.

David weaves magic with his choice of words. The language is children friendly, hence this story can be read by any age group. The narration has no breaks or jerks and what actually makes it amazing is the twists and turns it introduces. The way the story takes a reader through an eventful journey, where every moment is thrilling, is something commendable. The storyline conjures up so many imageries in our minds. I felt I was watching a movie in my mind. And yes, I did feel involved as a reader. I felt I was silently present with the protagonist and was a part of everything that was happening around him.

Loved the way David crafted his protagonist. Alex not only took a reader through the storyline but it was he who brought in so many varied emotions in the readers. All the other characters justified their presence in the story as well. Kudos to the author for creating characters who are bound to leave an impact on minds and hearts.

To sum up, this story is amazing and excellently penned. A perfect must read if you are looking for inspiration. There is no age for learning and this story teaches you through a twelve year old that life is all about living, and living it well. This is a story that has a universal appeal and would make every reader feel happy in the end. What makes this story more endearing is the fact that it subtly hints thats that there is magic within us and its code is around us. We need to take time to understand and decipher the same to make our magic work. After reading Alex's story, every reader would start believing that when we seek magic within ourselves through our strengths we create magic around us that is positive and inspirational.

P.S - Thank you Clare for introducing me to the writings of David. He helped me discover the Code of Magic within me. This review is my honest opinion after reading the story.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

The Helper

There are stories that attempt to go the unconventional way. This story is one of them.

The plot revolves around Helpers, people who "Help" those emotionally distraught. Who these Helpers are, how their lives intertwine and what happens, are all questions that will get answered once you read this story.

The author has interwoven flashbacks and that is a high point of this story. It is not easy to incorporate flashbacks since there is a danger of losing out on narration. Yet another writing technique used has been narrating the story through a narrator. Again, if not used properly this technique could also have led to narration issues. Thankfully, the writing is so amazing that both these issues have been addressed. There are imageries and where I felt the author could have done a bit more justice is to descriptions. There were a few places where a bit more of elaboration would have added greater impact to the storyline.

The main protagonists and the other secondary characters have been etched out with all of them comtributing to the story. They emote, are as close to real life as possible and ensure the plot is never forgotten.

To sum up, this book is absolutely superb and worth reading. It gives me a feeling that the next time I read it I would be privy to a whole new perspective. And return to it I will. But yes, this is not a conventional book with a cliched plot. The story kind of grows on you as you read it. Hence, choose this book if you are into serious reading. If you are looking for a "read and forget" kind of story, then this book is not for you. You actually need to read it to believe.

P.S - Thank you MNS for a story that was like The Helper for me. Loved the unique concept and writing. My review is my honest opinion after reading the story.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Stone Cold Angel

The story began on a promising note. However, it became a plot I have been coming across often in Bollywood movies.

The plot is basically a love story where the protagonists clash, fall in and out of love, thereafter patch up. The backdrop is definitely different and that is what I kept seeking throughout the story.

Amy is good at narration and I wish she had added more to her story and decreased the focus on sexual chemistry between her characters. The latter, at times, was at times a bit too stretched. It overshadowed the main storyline. Yes, Amy kept is simple by choosing a commonly known storyline. Yet, her unique writing style added a personal touch to this plot. There were vibrant imageries and the story does have all the right ingredients for being translated into a motion picture.

The protagonists played their parts well and so did the other supporting characters. Hence, Amy has justified the presence of all her characters in the storyline. The best is that she had ensured every character emoted, had strengths and flaws and was close to real life as possible. And the title could actually be used to represent all her female characters.

To sum up, the story is really likeable. I only wish Amy had focused more on the actual storyline and kept the mature content to the bare minimum. Good for at least one time read because Amy's writing do promise subtly that there might be a sequel and that raises the hope of having an amazing book to read in future.

P.S - Thank you Amy for a wonderful story that reminded me of bollywood movies. This review was my honest opinion after reading your story.

Serendipity: Erica Goss


This time the rendezvous was with a poet Erica Goss. She has served as Poet Laureate of Los Gatos, California from 2013-2016. Her latest poetry collection, Night Court, won the 2016 Lyrebird Prize from Glass Lyre Press. She is the author of Wild Place (2012, Finishing Line Press) and Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets (2014, Pushpen Press). Here is a snippet of the chat with her.


RW: Please tell us what description will fit you in real life?
EG: I'm a poet and writer interested in the the intersections between humans and nature. How do we negotiate our space in a way that does not negatively affect the natural world? What is the emotional impact of living in a world where the environment is changing rapidly due to human activities? These are questions I try to address in my writing, as well as the ongoing process of aging, relationships, and family. I also make short films based on my poems, and I'm working on a memoir about my experience growing up as the daughter of a WWII survivor.

RW: Amazing!! How does it feel to be a published author/writer? What are your preferred genres? Please share the high points and low points in your journey. 
EG: Being published is a wonderful feeling. I would write without publication, and did for many years, but the experience of having my work accessible to others is a great privilege. I'm primarily a poet, but I also write essays, articles, and reviews. I started writing short pieces as a child, which my parents told me were poems, so I accepted that I was writing poetry. I was lucky to grow up in a house filled with books, and I read all kinds of things before I was old enough to understand what they meant. I loved words, not just in English, but in German and Spanish and French. Sometimes my work is the result of a single word, like the poem "Encontrada," which means "found" in Spanish.

RW: I agree with you totally. Books inspire the way nothing else can. What does your writing place look like? Please describe in terms of location, personal comfort, stationery etc.
EG: I just moved into a new house and I'm waiting for my furniture to come, but I now have the luxury of "a room of my own," to quote Virginia Woolf. My previous work space was in a tiny alcove between a hall closet and the kitchen. The advantage was that I could lean to the right and open the refrigerator whenever I got hungry, but the disadvantage was that everyone else in the house did the same thing, and of course I was in the noisiest and most-trafficked part of the house. In spite of that I got a lot of work done in that space. But really, I am most happy in a quiet place where no one will ask me why we're out of milk (!) I often go to the public library when I need a change of scenery.

 

RW:  It is so important to be at peace and be surrounded with peace while writing. Which theme or cause is closest to your heart? Why?
EG:    The theme I return to over and over is the intricacies of our emotional life. This subject is the foundation of most of my work, no matter the topic - whether it's family, the environment, politics, or nature. I want to know how and what these things make us feel. If I have a goal in my writing, it's to move my reader emotionally.

RW: Wow!!! Emotions are your flavour for writing, that is a vast subject. What, according to you, are your strengths and weaknesses as a writer? Please share your positive and negative traits.
EG:  Starting with strengths, I believe that I'm always trying to move in new directions with my work. I don't always succeed at first, but I enjoy trying new forms, new places for inspiration, and I always try to find new audiences. I never take days off, because I don't think of writing as a job, but a calling. Of course, I don't write as much on weekends as I do during the week, but I'm always alert to the possibility of an idea. My number one weakness is distraction. My attention is too easily diverted by bright shiny things, and I have to work hard to concentrate.

RW: I agree. It is difficult when you are distracted. Describe your latest book. Where can we buy it?
EG:    My book is a collection of poems titled Night Court. It won the 2016 Glass Lyre Press Award for Poetry, and is available at the publisher's website: Glass Lyre Press .The poems in the book deal with physical and mental health, loss and grief, the happiness and challenges of a long marriage, nature and spirituality.


RW: Who and/or What inspires you the most? Why? Please bring out the reasons for such inspiration.
EG:    First of all, my husband inspires me every day. His dedication to our family and his support have allowed me to be a full-time writer. His work ethic is humbling. He's incredibly intelligent, and there doesn't seem to be anything he can't fix. I also have a slightly weird inspiration place: parking lots. For some reason, the most ordinary parking lot brings out the poetry. I have many poems that started in parking lots. If I'm low on ideas, attending a poetry reading is a good way to get my brain working again. And I read voraciously, everything from the daily newspaper to poetry and prose in different languages.

RW: What all do you do when you are not writing? Please bring out your hobbies and interests.
EG: My major hobby is gardening. That's not to say I'm a very good gardener, but an ideal day for me is when I can write all morning and spend the afternoon digging in the dirt. I also enjoy making short videos, taking photographs, and being outdoors. I keep visual journals, which I decorate with little pictures that I draw or cut out of magazines. All of my hobbies are related to or contribute to my writing.

RW:  Which writing project are you currently working on? Please provide a blurb, if any.
EG: Right now I'm busy promoting my poetry collection, Night Court. Here's a blurb from Susan G. Wooldridge: 'Night Court leaves us hungry for more of the poet's open, probing, leaping intelligence, her "wild associations" and surprises in the unexpected “shivering” sweetness of a love story where “joy scrambles sadness." We hear "the clatter of souls entering bodies" and experience "spring’s lizard stealth" as sadness, longing and reluctance are transformed by breath-stopping beauty. Like a creature in the forest, the poet will “rub my cheek against the night.” And she reminds us a prince waits, perhaps for centuries, until we wake.' -- Susan G. Wooldridge, author of poemcrazy: freeing your life with words

RW: If you could re-write one book written by another author, which would it be and why?
EG:  I would re-write The Taming of the Shrew with the gender roles reversed.

RW: What a choice! William Shakespeare! Thank you so much for this interview. Wishing you all the best for all your writings and I hope your writings continue to touch lives the way they do now.

lt has been a pleasure getting to know Erica Goss, an amazing poet. Do check out her writings and video poems.