Sunday, 30 July 2017

Running Man

Read this after I read Going Back. I couldn't help but compare the two. Sometimes, it happens, especially after you read an amazing story and want to read further.

Running Man is about Giorgia or Gigi. Rather the plot revolves around her. Thats where I wished Jennifer had concentrated more. The main plot got enmeshed with many sub-plots and this became a major flip side for an otherwise amazing story.

Jennifer's writing style is easy to comprehend. It brings in a fresh romantic story to the Lake Garda series. The only downside is that the love story gets over-powered by many other emotions. To simplify, the narration beautifully captures raw emotions of love, apprehensions and guilt. Yet, I felt that this simple but amazing love story needed more attention. Notwithstanding this fact, whenever Jennifer focused on the two lovers, their rendezvous was really sweet.

The main protagonists in this story are real people with real emotions. Inspite of being caught in a web of tangled family relationships they do manage to appeal.

To sum up, this story is really likeable and worth reading. The running man and his girl will definitely make you fall in love with love again. The best part is that the book can be read in isolation. It means, it is part of a series but is not a kind of continuation. So, as a reader it gives the flexibility to choose whichever one appeals first. However, sequential reading gives better insight about characters. In any case, it is a win-win situation for the reader.

P. S - Thank you Jennifer. This story is really likeable. Finally looking forward to reading the first one. This review is my honest opinion after reading the story.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Elsewhere

I have been reading the journals by Meghan. This is the fourth one and has been written in the 21st century.

This time, I could feel the pain, the frustration that Meghan was going through as she wrote this journal. The journal gives a peek into the personal life of the writer. I musr admit, it takes immense courage to bare one's inner feelings to strangers.

Meghan writes straight from her heart. If she is unhappy she expresses it. If she finds chaos within she describes it. Her writing is honest. She uses simple language that is easy to understand. Her narration is easy to identify with. I mean, as you read there are portions that give you a sense of deja vu, like 'been there felt that' kind.

I don't know if the people she talks about exist in real life or not. However, every single person she has talked about are the kinds who exist in reality. That apart, if the Meghan whose journal I have been reading is really the kind I have got to know, then I must admit, she is somebody I would like to meet in person.

To sum up, read this journal not because it is being strongly recommended. Instead, read it because it is amazingly honest and excellently eloquent. Yes, reading this segment did take me elsewhere, into the world of a young girl. A definite must read.

P.S - Meghan loved your writing. This review is my honest opinion after reading. Looking forward to more such candid expressions.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Kings Or Pawns

There are times when conflicts are not between two individuals but amongst an individual and a system. This story is a depiction of similar plight.

The plot revolves around a king and his questions against the working of his council. Does he remain the king or does he become a pawn in the hands of others? Well, you need to read this fantasy story and a beginner of a series to find out.

Sherwood aces with his descriptions. Though the start is slow yet the narration makes a reader believe that he or she is a part of an ongoing motion picture similar to Lord of the Rings or an episode like that of Game of Thrones. The story definitely has the makings of a blockbuster. The writing is smooth but the reason that too many characters were introduced and that created a bit of confusion in my mind. Then again, this book is the beginning of a series. Hence, maybe according to the author such introductions were felt necessary. Maybe it is a deliberate attempt by the author to create a fog of confusion in book one only to be cleared in later series.

Though there are too many characters, the protagonist and antagonist were easily identifiable. This definitely is a high point because unless the writer is adept at handling characterisation, the main characters tend to get lost in a huge crowd. Kudos to the author for acieving this impossible feat.

To sum up, the stiryline is amazing and the book is superb. In a subtle way, the author does succeed in hinting that like the protagonist we too are like kings in some situations but pawns when it comes to others. A must read if fantasy genre interests you.

P.S - Thank you JJ for an amazing story. Had to force myself to reduce a star because I am now looking forward to more clarity and an awesome book two. This review is my honest opinion after reading the story.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

A Bargain In Silver

Vampire - Human romance stories are common. Yet, whenever a fresh perspective is added to it that is when a story appeals. This book is the beginner in a series called Solis Invicti.

The plot is definitely different from the quintessential vampire stories. Yes, it is a love story. It may sound cliched but though it is a romance between vampires and humans the focus is also on post apocalyptic London.

Josie has used simple language. However, I felt the descriptions could have been a bit more better. In the sense that such descriptions evoke imageries and I felt that there were a few places where I felt the imageries weaken. The narration is smooth and I did find a few places that could have been elaborated a bit more. But then, this is the first book in the series so it is possible that few portions may have been left out deliberately in order to be continued in the next book.

The main characters have been well-etched with the right amount of a mysterious aura around them. The Silvers are intriguing. Their interactions reflect varied emotions.

To sum up, the book is worth reading because of its unique treatment to a cliched plot. The cliffhanger is superb and makes you want to read the next in sequence.

P.S- Thank you Josie for a superb story. The review is my honest opinion after I read the book. Bargain in silver has been rated silver now but I am sure it will earn gold in the second book.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The Buried Symbol

The beginning needs to be powerful enough to leave you wanting more. I must admit this story not only made me sit through the night in order to finish, it has left me keenly waiting for the next book.

This volume begins a series of what I feel is going to be an amazing story. The plot is based on the concept of Chosen ones and the Unchosen ones. In a fantasy world Ministry makes use of runes to determine the life path of children. The Unchosen ones are those who are considered to be at the lowest rung socially. Sounds confusing? Actually, its really simple but I am afraid I will end up with spoilers if I get into details. Trust me, you need to read this beginning volume to get hooked on to it like me.

Jeffrey is a master storyteller. It is not easy to introduce the characters, the story per se and at the same time inject the right amount of curiosity and intrigue. And he did just that. There were no confusions, no breaks. In fact the flow of the storyline was so smooth that I had to pinch myself to realise that part one is actually over. The language is simple. It has elements of magic and associated terms that are easy to understand. Is the writing akin to JK Rowling? Is the story similar to Harry Potter? Well, no. Jeffrey's writing style is as unique as JK Rowling and the story is absolutely different. In any case it is unfair to draw parallels where none exist. Reading the story made me wish I get to see it as a 'Big Motion Picture' soon. The imageries created out of the descriptions were as powerful as the storyline.

The characters are really well etched. The protagonists are clearly identifiable and every character in the story has a significant part to play. Though the story is a fantasy, yet the emotions exhibited by the characters are real. They have their flaws and their strengths and thats what makes it a unique story.

To sum up, this story is a must read if you are not hooked to the fantasy genre yet. If the beginning is so good, I am sure the rest is going to be better. An excellently penned amazing story.

P.S - Thank you Jeffrey for an amazing story. The review is my honest opinion after I read the book.  I have joined the hunt for the buried symbol. What about you???

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Words: The Magic Powder - A Folktale From Myanmar


An amazing story by Greystroke (Author) and PG Dinesh (Illustrator) by Pratham Books Storyweaver. Read it here gor yourself or read aloud to your child.

About the story:
Once upon a time, in a little village on the banks of the Irrawaddy river, there lived a young woman called Thuza. She was very happily married to handsome young Theingi. But there was one problem that nagged Thuza – her husband believed he would find a way to turn dirt into gold! Did he succeed? Read this delightful tale from Myanmar to find out.



Thursday, 20 July 2017

Frugal Family Fun

The book is a life saver for all those parents who want to maximise family time with little or no expenditure.

There are numerous activities that can be utilised for different situations. Critics might say that many have been out in the public domain. I can only say that this book does not claim to be the only one of its kind. In fact, many of its suggestions and recommendations are valid and relevant. What really stands out is the way in which suggestions have been given. 

Amanda is neither preachy nor rude when she shares her concerns about families not spending much time together. The language is simple, categorization of activities is well-laid out and content coverage is good. The activities are childfriendly and interesting. There are no jerks and jumps in the writing. The writer has compiled a beautiful collection that can be used to enhance family ties and make the bonds stronger without creating a hole in the pockets.

To sum up, if you are looking for a guide to start or continue strengthening family bonds or invest in quality family time by being frugal this is it. A must keep for inspirations.

P.S - Thank you Amanda for the wonderful ideas. I loved the book. My review is my honest opinion after reading the book.


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Poetry And Ponderings

This collection of poetry is a must read for every individual, irrespective of caste, creed, gender, country or religion. I am not a Christian yet I believe in the truth that God takes care of every child.

The collection comprises of poems which encompass the pain and guilt that abuse or negative incidents can have on a person. When one expresses pain, the person lives those painful moments all over again. And trust me, it is not easy to do so. Hats off to Diamante for being so candid.

Diamante's witing is simple yet powerful. Her expressions have a subtle message in every page. In fact, even the use of illustrations on her page conveys her rise as a phoenix. The imageries are powerful and the words empiwer the reader at every step. The poet has ensured that every piece written by her evokes emotions.

This collection is a tribute to all those silent voices who continue to suffer. There is power in every piece, the power to rise from the ashes like a phoenix, to rediscover oneself. It instils courage, it gives hope and above all, it brings about a sense of peace.

To sum up, this is a must-have and must-read collection for all poetry lovers. These powerful pieces would inspire every individual whether he or she has suffered or otherwise. An amazing and excellent anthology that can be read in one sitting but would leave its imprint for a lifetime.

P.S - Thank you Serena and Poetic Book Tours for introducing me to a wonderful poet in exchange for an honest review. The view is my opinion.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Parents Survival Guide To Online Safety

If I have to recommend one guide book for parents to follow to the 'T', then it would be this.

Jesse has practically covered all aspects that can possibly covered for protecting your child Writing a guide book for parents of technologically advanced children is not easy. If you are ignorant about the rampant threats lurking in the cyber world then you are definitely putting your children at risk. This book is a one stop solution to protecting your child online without compromising on the immense constructive potential that the cyberspace has. There are highlighted red flags, there are suggested measures to counter and the best part is that they are all executable.

The language used is simple. Hence even if a person without basic education in computers picks this up, he or she will be able to understand with ease. No jargins have been used and that is a high point of this guide book. There are specific issues that have been discussed. Cyber bullying and online predators have been paid attention to and measures have been laid out along with structured plans. For any reader of such a non-fiction, he or she needs to be convinced how do-able the concept being proposed is. Kudos to the writer for not only bringing out every aspect in a detailed manner, apt examples have been used for the same as well.

Non-fiction writing requires concerted efforts and dedication on the part of the writer. This guide book is just that, a perfect guide for parents to ensure online safety of their children. Being a mother of two, I loved the clarity of thoughts and the actionable points that have been covered. The topic is pertinent to the modern world because world wide web is here to stay. It will only increase in importance with advancement in digital devices. Hence, the fact that this guide has been able to convey to the readers, without being preachy, that staying safe in the virtual world is as important as it is in the real world. This book is a blessing in disguise since it assures a parent that online safety is possible. The measures outlined are easy to follow too. Here is the link to Parents Online Guide at Kidguard

To sum up, reading this book has changed my entire approach to surviving online safety nightmares I used to have earlier. It is a definite must-read if you are a parent worried about your children in the virtual world like me. It is excellently penned and amazing to follow. Trust me, whenever you find your kids or teens hooked on to the virtual world, this is one book you will keep referring to time and again.

P.S - Thank you Jesse for an excellent guide book. The opinions I expressed are my honest views. I definitely got inspired and have adopted the online safety measures for my children. How about you dear readers?

Monday, 17 July 2017

How Speleology Restored My Sex Drive

This book is a perfect example of how not to judge a book by its title or cover. The title did intrigue me and the blurb left me wanting to know more. And so I began.

I must admit that this book never let me take a break in between. It is not a cliched story and is very different. The story revolves around a father of two nine year old daughters and his family. It is about the adventures they encounter on their vacation. Why somebody would choose exploring caves in search of hidden treasures on a vacation adds to the intrigue. 

Michael has a great sense of humour and he add oodles of it to the story. The dialogues are quirky and situations described can make you cringe. The imageries are definitely vibrant and as you read you will get a feeling that you are one of the chasers running behind a crazy man and his family. On a serious note, there are situations that have been lightly projected or stated in a humourous way. But then, you cannot be always serious in life right? It is evident that a lot of research has gone into the storyline. The descriptions let you explore the caves within the confines of your reading space.

The protagonists and antagonists are well-defined. They have their own whims and fancies and may appear to be a bit exaggerated. Yet, what is humour without a bit of exaggeration. I loved the trials and tribulations of the major characters.

To sum up, if you are in search of a story that can both shock you and surprise you and at the same time leave you feeling happy, this is the go-to book. The storyline is full of humour with a subtle moral that everything in life doesnt turn out to be as planned or as per our expections. Sometimes it is good to look beyond and oversee the superficial scene. An amazing and excellent read. By the way, this book is the third in a series of tetralogy and is capable of being an independent read as well.

P.S - Thank you Michael for an amazing story in exchange of an honest review. The views are mine and am looking forward to reading the rest of the tetralogy.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

The Fourth Monkey

I read this book because of the hype surrounding it. Did I like it? Well, I ended up with mixed feelings.

The plot revolves around the concept of three monkeys plus one. These convey 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil' and the fourth lesser known 'do no evil'. There is a serial killer who not only follows this but executes the same as well. This story is whodunit search for the serial killer by a cop.

Barker is a storyteller. The change in scenes ensures a continuity in the narration. However, I felt something amiss. There were scenes that were described in graphic details. Yet imageries kept popping in a random manner while reading those descriptions. To be honest, I neither felt I was a part of the story nor was I a mute spectator. Hence, in the end I ended up being a reader. This is my personal view. The language is understandable but yes, the book does have mature content. Notwithstanding this, the storyline per se does have the ability to become a blockbuster. There is a cliffhanger in the end and so I am hoping for an improved version of the story in part two.

There are two major characters, an antagonist and a protagonist. However, with many characters being introduced every now and then, the duo didnt have the impact they ought to have had on me. I mean, I didn't end up thinking about a character after finishing the book.

To sum up, by the time I finished reading, the ending did disappoint me a bit. Maybe, if it had been reworded a bit, the effect would have been different. The story in toto is really good and very likeable. The plot is a predictable one 'cop versus serial killer'. What makes a difference in such stories is the treatment meted out and the way narration of storyline flows. Keeping in mind a sequel coming up next, this story is good enough to set the tone and tenor. Read it if you love crime stories.

P.S - Thank you Maxine and Booklover Catlady Publicity for a wonderful story in exchange of an honest review. The opinions expressed are mine alone without influence of any kind.

Limbo

This is the third installment of Meghan's Journals. If I compare this to the previous two, I have to say that this is a more improved version.

This journal is about a young Meghan from the 21st century.  It is more positive than the second installment and more mature than the first book. This segment deals with search for identity and life choices.

Meghan's style of writing has matured and she has opened up her heart without inhibitions. There are no hitches in her expression and the flow of narration is smooth. Language is lucid and this time a lot of aural imageries got added on to the visuals. This installment would make a wonderful audiobook.

It is not easy to pour one's innermost feelings to strangers. Hence, sharing personal account in the form of a journal is a tough decision for a writer. Hats off to Meghan for giving a candid account of pieces of her life.

To sum up, if you are a journal writer or wish to start one, then this is the perfect book to read. This journal has succeeded in touching a chord in my heart and is a must-read. I could empathise with Meghan as she travels inwards in search of her identity. In fact we all do so in our lives. An amazing and excellent account of life.

P.S - The third installment is so amazing, I cant wait to read the fourth. Thank you Meghan for an awesome book. The views expressed are my own. 

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Serendipity: David Meredith

I met an amazing author in the virtual world. He is David Meredith. A writer, an educator and a keen learner. He has authored two books with more in the pipeline. Here is a snippet of my rendezvous during a chance meeting with him.


RW: Hello David, welcome to Reading Writings and thank you for agreeing to do this interview. What description will fit you in real life? We would love to know more about you.
DM:  I am an American writer and educator living in the Nashville Area and just finished my Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership.

RW: Wow! So you can be referred as Dr. David. Congratulations. It sounds amazing. So, how does it feel to be a published author? 
DM: Very busy. To do it right you have to spend HOURS working at the marketing. It's also very fulfilling, especially when someone really likes your work and I suppose that is what keeps me doing it.

RW: What does the writing place of David, the busy author, look like?
DM: I work mostly on my laptop, so my writing space is anytime or anywhere I happen to find a free moment. It could be in my office, at the park, in a coffee shop, or even in my car (parked of course).

RW: Which fictional character created by you is closest to your heart and why?
DM: It's actually a character in a series I have not released yet. Her name is Naomi and she is the daughter of a Japanese feudal baron in a quasi-Japanese fantasy world. I wrote most of her story in Japan, and still look back on that time fondly. I still hope to release the series someday, when I'm completely happy with it.

RW:  In that case I am keeping my fingers crossed hoping to read Naomi's story. Well, what, according to you, are your strengths and weaknesses as an author? 
DM:   I have been told that my greatest strength is in writing dialog that feels natural. My weakness tends to be using too much detail or redundancy and I've been working hard at making my writing more succinct.

RW: That was an absolutely honest answer. And trust me, there are a handful who truly accept their flaws and work upon them. Tell me about your latest book. Where can we buy it?
DM:   "Aaru" is now available on Amazon for Kindle and in Paperback. Grab your copy today and don't forget to support your friendly neighborhood author by liking my FB writing page, sharing the release post, and maybe even writing a review on Amazon or Goodreads!

AARU

RW:  Yes, dear readers every single review matters to an author and trust me, the book is amazing. It has inspired me. And you will find my review here. Now talking of inspiration, who and/or what inspires you the most and why?
DM:    Many things. I often feel inspired by watching really good movies or reading a well done novel, but mostly my inspiration comes from things "real". What I mean by that is real-life events or just really authentic emotion. I want my writing to make people feel something, so getting the emotion right is extremely important to me.

RW: Getting the emotions right is one of the high points of your writing. What all do you do when you are not writing? What are your hobbies, your interests?
DM: Mostly work. I just finished my doctoral program, which had been eating up tons of my time, so now I may actually get to think about what to replace it with.

RW: Your statement makes me remember a famous line from Tom Sawyer when work becomes play then it is no longer work". Which writing project are you currently working on?
DM:   I just finished Aaru, so that has been my focus recently. I am over 100 pages into the sequal however. I'm hoping to release "Aaru: Halls of Hel" sometime in the next year to 18 months.

RW: So I really have something to look forward to in the next year. Tell me, if you could re-write one Fiction/Non-Fiction written by another author, which would it be and why?
DM:  Eragon. I HATE that book. The writing is terrible and got do with a heavy handed rewrite. :)

RW: Thank you so much David for patiently answering my questions. Wishing you all the very best for all your writings. 


Friday, 14 July 2017

Aaru

If I create a list of books that are going to stay with me for life, then Aaru is definitely one of them.

The pain of losing a dear one and the pangs of separation are something which cannot be easily expressed. Ask anybody who has seen death of a loved one, the instant reply would be "wish I could meet him or her for one last time". The trauma, the scar remain for life.

Aaru deals with the concept of uniting people on earth with their loved one through the virtual world. For further details you need to read the story. Trust me as I say, the concept is way too different than what most fantasy world stories are made of. In fact, this story beautifully combines fantasy with reality using technology.

David has an amazing style of writing. His narration tugs at your heart and makes you emote alongside as you read the story. There is pain, conflict, love and most importantly, hope. The language is simple yet it hits you hard in the sense, you will be thinking about this story long after you have completed it. The flow of narration was smooth with no breaks between scenes. The beauty in David's writing is that it stays with you. The imageries are as real as the real world.

Though the story predominantly belongs to Rose. However, I must admit, every character had a distinctive role to play. Even the antagonist was so well-etched that it was easy to relate to him in the real world. The characters were as real to real individuals. They had their emotions, their imperfections and contributed to the storyline.

To sum up, the story is a must read. I read it in one session and will read it again and again. In fact, if you have lost hope, got separated from a loved one, then this story is for you. There is a message of hope. The story is even more interesting because of the unconventional concept it revolves around. The best part is that there is a cliffhanger at the end and I sincerely hope there is a sequel. An amazingly awesome book and a definite must-read.

P.S - David I am so grateful for your awesome story. Thank you for sharing it with me. The opinions expressed are my honest views after reading the story. I really wish we had an Aaru in real life as well.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Book Blitz: Poetry And Ponderings


About the book:

From Award-winning author of Breaking the Silence
,
 Poetry and Ponderings by Diamante Lavendar.

A Journey of Abuse and Healing Through Poetry

A raw collection of religious poetry and prose based on one Christian woman’s experiences of being abused, and how she healed herself with God’s love in order to move past the assaults.
In this rare collection of nonfiction Christian poetry and prose based on real life experiences, Diamante Lavendar, a victim of abuse, shows the reader the raw emotions of pain, hate, and denial that occur before a victim of abuse can find a way to heal from the pains of assault. Knowing herself the very difficult journey of being a victim, Diamante was abused as a child, and turned to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain. Many years later, she started to heal under God’s watchful eyes and was able to find love in her life again. She shares these truly inspiring, religious poems in the hopes that it may help other victims heal their hurts, as she did while writing the poetry collection.

Advance Praise:

Poetry and Ponderings is the most loving and beautiful dedication to Diamante Lavendar's daughter.  Anybody who has gone through a grieving time needs to read this classic expression of love and devotion.  I tip my hat to the author for this marvelous collection of wisdom, insight and truth.  -Mel Novak, Actor, Best known for his role in Bruce Lee's Game Of Death.

Tragedy turned triumph.  Poetry and Ponderings beautifully leads the reader from gut wrenching pain to glorious freedom and healing.  A must read for survivors and those who love them.  -Sarah Boes, Founder of More Precious Than Rubies, reaching victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

Diamante's Poetry and Ponderings are an affirmation, and flow to the close of her book with the summation of her awakening.  She has, in each poem, walked us through to her understanding and acceptance;  we are the creation of God's breath, as souls to live life to the fullest, and with forgiveness...'Writing is her way of leaving her mark:  one poem, one story at a time.' This book achieves this endeavor.  -Sam Eastwood, International Poet


About the Poet:
Diamante Lavendar has been in love with reading since she was a child. Diamante believes that everyone should try to leave their own positive mark on the world, and to make it a better place for all. Writing is her way of leaving her mark—one story at a time. She began writing in college and has published poetry in anthologies over the years. Most of her writing is very personal and stems from her own experiences, and those of her family and friends. She writes to encourage hope and possibility to those who read her stories. To learn more about Diamante Lavendar and her books, please visit her website at: www.diamantelavendar.com.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Raven's Fall

I read this book immediately after reading the first book in the series. Trust me, I was a bit skeptical since I had read the first one with frequent breaks. However, this book turned out to be different and I read it in one sitting straight.

The plot deepens further and complications arise in the life of the protagonists. One is a demon hunter and the other a human. The storyline becomes clearer in this second book.

The narration is much more fluid with no jerks and breaks. Language is lucid. The writing is more continuous and makes up for the flaws in book one. The story creates loads of imageries. For a change I felt I was part of the story as it unfolds with me as a silent spectator.

The characterisation is much more definite and had clarity. They were projected as people with emotions and flaws.

To sum up, version 2 is much better and more refined than version 1. This story has a cliffhanger as well. Hence hoping for a more improved story, I have refrained from giving it five stars. Really worth reading. Lincoln is one author to watch out for.

P.S- The continuity and improved writing has piqued my interest in the series further. Really looking forward to the third installment. Thank you Lincoln. Raven's Fall was better than its peak.

Raven's Peak

This book is the first one in a series. I chose to read it because of its unique title and blurb.

The plot revolves around a quaint little mountain town where demonic influence is controlling the activities of townsfolk. A demon hunter is vested with the task of finding the root cause. The story tries to introduce the key elements, the characters and the essence of what the series might unfold to be.

As far as the narration goes, there were interesting moments and not-so-interesting moments for me. There were a few places where I felt that narration was a bit rushed. Yet again, there were certain other scenes where I had to read it twice to comprehend what exactly happened. In short, not all scenes had the power to evoke imageries in my mind's eye. Writing style is definitely unique. And this being Lincoln's first book, I am sure it would only keep getting better.

There are many characters in this story and except a few of the key players the rest were present to add support to a particular chapter or scene. Though the protagonists and antagonists were well-defined, they were not given distinctive characteristic features. Again, a benefit of doubt can be given to Lincoln in this regard. Raven's Peak is the first book in a series, so probably, the author has designed a separate path for each character that would unfold in the subsequent stories. There is violence and it succeeds in bringing out the flaws of the characters as well. Luckily, nobody has been projected to be a perfectionist.

To sum up, this book is not the typical good versus the evil kind. There is much more to it than what meets the eye in the first place. Being the beginner story, there are a few minor glitches which I am sure would be addressed in the following sequels. The story ends with a cliffhanger and it definitely promises more for its readers. Read it to get acquainted witha new genre.

P.S - Thank you Lincoln. This review is my honest opinion. I am sure the next book would be much better. Will start reading it next.

Cover Reveal: Avishi

~ Cover Reveal ~
Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer
12th July, 2017


Long before the times of Draupadi and Sita
Immortalised in the hymns of the Rig Veda
But largely forgotten to the memory of India
Is the Warrior Queen with an iron leg, Vishpala

Brought up in the pristine forest school of Naimisha, Avishi reaches the republic of Ashtagani in search of her destiny. When Khela, the oppressive King of the neighbouring Vrishabhavati begins to overwhelm and invade Ashtagani, Avishi rises to protect her settlement. But peril pursues her everywhere.
Separated from her love, her settlement broken, with a brutal injury needing amputation of her leg, can Avishi overcome Khela?

About the Author:
Saiswaroopa is an IITian and a former investment analyst turned author. Her keen interest in ancient Indian history, literature and culture made her take to writing. Her debut novel Abhaya, set in the times of Mahabharata was published in 2015. Avishi, her second novel set in Vedic India explores the legend of India’s first mentioned female warrior queen Vishpala.
She holds a certificate in Puranas from Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. She is also trained in Carnatic Classical music and has won a state level gold medal from Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. 


This Cover Reveal is brought to you by Book Review Tours

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Book Blitz: Love, Murder And Mayhem

~ Book Blitz ~
Love, Murder & Mayhem



About the Book
Love science fiction stories that all include elements ofLove, Murder & Mayhem?
 
Then welcome to the latest anthology from Crazy 8 Press! This amazing collection from 15 all-star authors will delight you with superheros and supervillains. AIs, off-worlders, and space cruisers. We’ve also got private eyes, sleep surrogates, time travelers, aliens and monsters—and one DuckBob!
 
With tales ranging from wild and wacky to dark and gritty to heartbreaking and fun, take the deadly leap with authors Meriah Crawford, Paige Daniels, Peter David, Mary Fan, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman Paul Kupperberg, Karissa Laurel, Kelly Meding, Aaron Rosenberg, Hildy Silverman, Lois Spangler, Patrick Thomas, and editor Russ Colchamiro.
 
You’ll never look at Love, Murder & Mayhem the same way again—and that’s just the way we like it.


About the Editor

Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space adventure, Crossline, the hilarious sci-fi backpacking comedy series, Finders Keepers, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, and is editor of the new anthology, Love, Murder & Mayhem, all with Crazy 8 Press.
Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, two children, and crazy dog, Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, and Altered States of the Union, and TV Gods 2. He is now at work on a top-secret project, and a Finders Keepers spin-off.
As a matter of full disclosure, readers should not be surprised if Russ spontaneously teleports in a blast of white light followed by screaming fluorescent color and the feeling of being sucked through a tornado. It’s just how he gets around — windier than the bus, for sure, but much quicker.








Monday, 10 July 2017

Novice

Novice is the second installment of journal written by Meghan. It is her memoir, the trials and tribulations that she goes through during her growing up years. 

The book has all the essence that a personal journal is to have. It is candid, brutally honest and shows the emotions that Meghan must have gone through at that phase of life. Every individual begins a novice in life. Be it relationships, education, job and the like. This volume deals with her tryst with relationships.

Sometimes, penning down one's thoughts and reading them later definitely helps one to emerge stronger and a better person. This is clearly evident from this journal as well. Meghan has bared a part of her soul and it does take lot of courage to do so. In the process, you end up showing your vulnerable side to the world. Kudos to you Meghan for being able to do so. This volume is darker than the first.

Pain and learning go hand in hand. There are lot of peer pressures to cope up with. The demands of social life, parental expectations, family dynamics, in fact so many associated things. This personal account of the author helps bring out the confusions and confessions that an individual goes through when confronted with toxic relationships.

To sum up, the very fact that Meghan has been able to be brutally honest and shared a part of her own life with the readers is commendable. It requires a lot of courage and pluck to do so. If you can relate to the pain that toxic relationships inflict then  do read this.

P.S- Meghan, your journal made me relive my Novice days as well. Loved your candid writings.

Like A Closed Fist

It was the blurb that attracted me to the book in the first place. As I kept reading I finally ended up with mixed emotions.

The plot is about the ups and downs in the life, or rather love life, of a girl called Phoebe. The story is about her pent up emotions as she searches for a man who would understand her. She bottles up her pain, her feelings, her disappointments, like a closed fist.

Nolan has a conversational style of writing. As you keep reading it gives a feeling that you are a silent spectator to an ongoing conversation. There were a few scenes that helped conjure up imageries but that was it. There is mature content, graphic details and bit of swearing.

The story is all about Phoebe. Yet, I felt there could have been more details about her. Like why she behaved the way she did. What was wrong with her Past? A bit more elaboration would have made it better. The other supporting characters could have been given a bit more emphasis. This is my personal opinion.

To sum, the story could have turned out to be the trials and tribulations of a female protagonist in her search for true love. Sadly, the emotions it evoked were random and in spurts. Read it at least once if you like the new adult genre of romance stories.

P.S- Thank you dear writer for your story. I hope there is a sequel to this story. Maybe, with age Phoebe would mature and finally find love. Keeping my fingers crossed in a life that like a closed fist!

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Oki And Harlo: Fairytale Friends

Children's books have this innate ability to wake up the sleepy Peter Pan even within defiant adults. This story, meant for children, made the child in me think and feel.

The plot revolves around the unusual friendship between a goat and a star. I wish I could elaborate the but that would act as a spoiler. I really do not want to give away even a wee bit of this awesome story. Please read it yourself.

Cas has used words that can be easily understood by both adults and children alike. Even the non-readers can comprehend if the story is read aloud to them. The ending I felt was a bit rushed up. Yet at the same time it gave me the feeling that it was a cliffhanger. Maybe there is a sequel. Trust me, if there is a sequel to this story, I would read it too. The narration conjures up imageries. It appeals to every sense. It makes you see, hear, feel, taste and smell alongside every situation encountered by the duo. The ebook is an interactive book. There are spaces for creating your own drawings and illustrations. That is what makes this book unique.

Both Oki and Harlo are adorable. They have distinct characteristics and yet make an amazing pair. Cas has used all characters to evoke varied emotions.

To sum up, this story is about friendship, overcoming obstacles, being selfless, showing kindness, expressing gratitude. It is a must read read aloud book for children to help them learn about values and relationships. An amazingly awesome story you would feel like reading again and again and again.

P.S - Cas I hope there is a sequel. Both Oki and Harlo are two characters you will fall in love with.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Ideas And Inspiration For Science Fiction And Fantasy Writers

When I started reading the book, I went back to the blurb provided to me. I was told that the book is a collection of articles that could trigger ideas.

The collection contains various topics that can be used for Sci Fi books and fantasy stories. Hence, the book attempts to deliver what it claims. But sadly, there is no introduction or a precursor to what to expect and the like. Thus, jumping straight into the content was like diving into unknown waters.

James has made concerted efforts in compiling the articles and kudos to him for doing so. The only thing I felt that could gave improved the writings were a personal touch or giving examples. There were facts, there were folklores. Yet, I felt something was amiss. Maybe, with a sentence or two in first person the reader would have felt like returning back to the article. Also, a bit of change in the writing style would have succeeded in creating better mental imageries. This would have led to topics becoming better and effective inspirational triggers. Otherwise, the language used is simple and can be easily comprehended.

One high point of the collection is that various interesting topics have been touched upon. The book could have been a wonderful source for Sci Fi and Fantasy writers suffering from a writer's block or seeking ideas and inspirations. However, the narration may act as a bit of a deterrent. A bit more tweaking could have converted this non-fiction into a more interesting read.

To sum up, the book is readable at least once for the efforts that the author has invested in compiling the articles. The collection is good enough to be flipped through at least once by writers wanting to write a science fiction or fantasy story.

P.S - Thank you James for sharing your collection of articles with me. I am sure as a writer you appreciate an honest opinion. Looking forward to your next which would definitely be better.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Bravo And Elphie

This is the second book I read by the mother-daughter duo. Trust me when I say, they are an awesome team, capable of weaving magic.

This story revolves around a baby elephant named Elphie. Through this picture book Hagit subtly brings out a child's fear of the unknown or less known facts and how overcoming them is important. The story is about friendship, responsibility, overcoming fear and childhood.

Narrated in third person, Hagit uses simpld language in her story. The bright illustrations act as a still picture. And together with the storyline I really felt I was watching an episode of Elphie the Elephant on my mind's television.

Elphie is a lovable baby elephant. And similarly, all the other characters in this picture book play an important role in the narration. The best part is that the number of characters are minimal. So it is very easy for a listening toddler to comprehend what iis happening in the story.

To sum up, I recommend this picture book to every mother who narrates a story to her child and is quickly running out of good children's books. Yet another must read by Hagit.

P.S - An awesome and loveable story by Hagit with beautiful illustrations by Or. Elphie and Bravo will take even the kid inside every adult back to his or her childhood. I sure did travel back. What about you?

Spotlight: The Magician's Workshop

About the Books:

The Magician’s Workshop, Volume One

Authors: Christopher Hansen, J.R. Fehr
Published by: Wondertale, California
Publication Date: November 8, 2016
ISBN: 1-945353-11-2
ASIN: B01MQGHGBH
Genre: Coming of Age, Fantasy, Magic
Ages: 12 and up.
Length: 85,000 words / 290 pages


Book Links:
Amazon * Goodreads


Synopsis:
Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop.

Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realizes that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.

Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.

Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world.



The Magician’s Workshop, Volume Two

Authors: Christopher Hansen, J.R. Fehr
Print Length: 273 pages
Publisher: Wondertale
Publication Date: November 22, 2016
ASIN: B01N988TW7
Genre: Coming of Age, Fantasy, Magic
Ages: 12 and up.


Book Links:
Amazon * Goodreads


Synopsis:
Return to the world of The Magician’s Workshop: Where Dreams Become Reality.

In Volume Two, the Festival of Stars has finally arrived, and the Color Ceremony is about to commence. As children from all over the islands gather to stand before a puller, one question remains: who will have a Color, and who will be found void?

Rejoin your favorite characters as they step forward and receive a label that will have the power to dramatically alter the course of their lives forever.

About the Authors:

Christopher Hansen

The first glimmering Chris Hansen had that there was far more to reality than he had ever imagined occurred six days after his ninth birthday. “Christopher!” cried a wise, old sage. “Life is full of deep magic. Miraculous things happen all the time and all around us, if you know where to look for them.” Full of expectation and childlike optimism, Chris began searching for this magic, prepared to be surprised and amazed by it. And he was: he found Wonder! Now he’s chosen to write stories about it.




J.R. Fehr

When J.R. Fehr popped out of the womb, he knew there was more to the world than the four boring hospital walls that he was seeing. “Zango!” his newborn mind exclaimed as he saw people appear and disappear through a mysterious portal in the wall. As a child he found life wowtazzling, but as he grew older the cold water of reality hit him, and the magic he once knew vanished. After spending some wet and shivering years lost in a joyless wasteland, he once again began to see magic in the world. He writes because the Wonder of true life is far grander than anything he ever thought possible.


Contact the Authors:
Website * Facebook