08 December, 2017

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost - When your own book asks you a question by Jyoti Arora



*** Special Feature - December 2017 ***

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 Links:

When your own book asks you a question

My second novel Lemon Girl is a feminist fiction about crimes against women and victim blaming. When it was published, some anti-feminist Twitter trolls asked me, ‘What about fake cases? What about the cases where a woman ruins the life and family of an innocent man?’

It was a question I could not put out of my mind. And my third novel You Came Like Hope is the result of that. Although a romance, it raises some very serious issues and challenges wide-spread prejudices. While I was writing You Came Like Hope, this novel itself threw a very baffling question at me. A question that I’m still trying to answer.

In You Came Like Hope, Pooja (the vamp) chooses Adih over her husband and Peehu (the heroine) chooses Adih over her fiancé Uday. So, basically, both do the same thing. Both break the heart of a man who loved them. Adih is enraged at Pooja because the loser is his own dear brother. But when Peehu does the same thing, he is delighted as a winner. When Peehu makes her choice, Uday uses the exact same words of rage that Adih had used when Pooja had made her choice.

Incident 1:
‘So? Are you ready to be mine?’ Pooja asked the younger brother, rubbing her hand on his thigh.
‘Go to hell!’ he let out through his clenched teeth. He said nothing more. But his unsaid words of rage rang in his silence.

Incident 2:
I turned to him. ‘Uday,’ I began, but couldn’t continue.
He must have seen my desires floating in the moisture of my eyes. He must have seen his defeat.
His hands fisted up by his side. His eyes burnt with rage as they looked at me without blinking. ‘Go to hell!’ he let out through his clenched teeth. He said nothing more. But his unsaid words of rage rang in his silence.

In short, the heroine does what the vamp does, and the hero says what his rival says. Yet, we approve of the hero and heroine and shake our head at Pooja and Uday. Why?

If these characters do and say the same things, why do we favour some and reject the others as wrong? Do we care more for the ‘good’ characters because we have glimpsed into their heart and so understand them better? Or is it because the reason of the action matters more than the action? After all, even killing is a murder for one and a patriotic duty for other.

My novel You Came Like Hope is now in market. But I’m still baffled by the way this parallel developed between the good and the bad characters. I’m still trying to figure it out. I know that if I try, I can easily show where the bad characters were right, and the good characters were wrong, without changing their life history. All I need is to tell the story from their perspective.

That brings me to the final question. Is right and wrong or good and bad just a matter of perspective?

What do you think?


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:
Giveaway:
2 Paperback Copies of You Came Like Hope for Indian Residents Only
2 eBooks of You Came Like Hope for International Winners

a Rafflecopter giveaway

05 December, 2017

#CoverReveal :: Battered Mind by Sylvia Stein


Hello,

My name is Sylvia Stein and I am an Indie Author. I have exciting news. This week I am doing the cover reveal of my book which I hope will be released in late 2018. I have been working with this book for awhile.  It is a story I have been doing extensive research one and because of the topic I am covering I want to be sure I do it justice.  It is a work of fiction and for today I will be revealing the book cover which was designed by the very talented and amazing Michael Dangremond  and his title of his art work the cost of love.   When I saw this portrait I immediately saw what I was looking for for my main character of Sadie Martin Carlyle. The title of this my first thriller is Battered Mind and I hope you all enjoy the cover reveal. I absolutely was blown away by it.I hope you are too!  Thank you for your help in the cover reveal. I do appreciate it so much.      

Thank you so much,
Sylvia Stein 


Synopsis:  

Sadie Martin Carlyle is on trial for the murder of her husband Dante Caryle. She claims she killed him in self defense and that he was a monster. She was a battered woman and if she had not defended herself he would of killed both their young daughter and her.  In short, She feared for their lives.

 However, there is more to this case than meets the eye. Sadie Martin is not your typical woman. Her family consists of her Criminal lawyer father Jackson Martin from Atlanta and her mother Barbara Reece Martin is one of the main leaders of the Southern Belles of Atlanta.

From the very start, there are secrets that are hidden that no one will see coming. Sadie’s story will take the reader through a very emotional journey throughout. Once the case begins, everything you think you know about what happened between Sadie and Dante Carlyle will have you asking many questions and is everything being said the truth?  



Sylvia Stein is a published author with several anthologies with her Writer’s group 750 on linked in. Stein obtained a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University this past July 2015. She is a mother of three beautiful children Paul 10, Michael 9 and Consuelo 6. She resides in the city of Fuquay Varina with her amazing husband Jeremy. Stein has also published two solo books one was her first novella Closure which she worked on while attending SNHU and published in July of 2014 and the other her first YA Chasing Clarity was published this past October 2015 and it was created during National Novel Month (Nano) in 2013. Her latest book is entitled, The Diary of a Broken Father which came out in February 2017. Her new thriller which she has been working on since 2014 will be out in late 2018 and is titled, Battered Mind.  


02 December, 2017

Nominations for Crossword Book Awards


Sadhguru, Ambi Parameswaran, Devdutt Pattanaik and Ruchir Sharma raise the bar at the Raymond Crossword Award 2017.

The Raymond Crossword Book Award, India’s first and most prestigious Book Award, recognises and rewards the best of Indian writing & Indian authors. 

Over the years, the awards have been equated to the Pulitzer and Booker, and are a definitive,veritable platform for Indian Authors. Awards are given in the following categories.

Jury Category
Best fiction, non-fiction, children’s books and translations

Popular category
Best fiction, non-fiction, Business & Management, Health & Fiction, children’s Writing

The shortlist for the popular category goes up for voting, and has just been released.

Sadhguru has been nominated in the non-fiction category for Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide To Joy. His book will compete with Devlok With Devdutt Pattanaik in the same category.

Nawabs, Nudes, Noodles: India Through 50 Years of Advertising by Ambi Parmeshwaran and The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World by Ruchir Sharma will compete in the  Business & Management category.

Indian authors with great following such as Ashwin Sanghi, Ravinder Singh, Durjoy Dutta, Sudha Murthy, Radhakrishnan Pillai, Chetan Bhagat also feature prominently in the shortlist.

This year, Virat Kohli’s  biography, ‘Driven’ written by Vijay Lokapally is among the contenders. In the biography category, it will compete with Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored co-authored with Meena Iyer, An Unsuitable Boy by Karan Johar , Challenging Destiny, Chhatrapati Shivaji’s biography by Medha Bhaskaran and Rekha-The Untold Story, Rekha’s biography by Yasser Usman .

In 2016, for the first time, the award also introduced the Lifetime Achievement Award, which was conferred upon Ruskin Bond by the legend Gulzar.

These 10 categories make for a very engaging evening at the Award, which is usually ‘houseful’, considering that it is the only venerated award in the literary space in India.

The awardees, sometimes discovered by the Award itself, have invariably risen to stature in the world of literature; making the Crossword Book Award a definitive barometer for excellence in Indian writing in English.

Maulik Desai, head of Crossword Bookstores says, “When Crossword was founded 25 years ago, the thought was very simple – to cultivate and spread the joy of reading! Back to 2017, it is not just reading but a lot of inspired writing that has us celebrating. The Raymond Crossword Book Award is a dense testament to that. For the 15th year running, we are celebrating Indian literature and its upswing. The way the literary engine is motoring most would agree when I say that it is just the dawn of an era!”

Here's the list of Nominations:

01 December, 2017

#SpecialFeature :: Introducing Jyoti Arora, #Author of You Came Like Hope

Under "Special Feature" every month I feature a Special Author. 
During this month I put up 5 posts about the Author/Book, including Interview / Review / Excerpt / Guest Post / Author Bio / Fun Facts or whatever else we can come up with. Also on the first day of the month we will  launch the Giveaway contest along with the first post and will announce the winner on the last day of the month.
So be sure to check out my blog every 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th of every month for something new :)

*** Special Feature - December 2017 ***

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:
Website * Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Goodreads

Fun Facts:

1. I got the idea of You Came Like Hope from Twitter trolls. My second novel Lemon Girl is a Feminist Fiction protesting against the crimes against women and victim blaming. One of my tweets about it came under attack by some anti-feminist Twitter trolls one day. Although it was a very frustrating day, it did make me realize that there was a different kind of abuse and victim-blaming going on too. That’s when I decided to write a book about the issue of fake-cases filed by women against their boyfriends / husbands. A book on such a theme could have been made very intense and grim with long court hearings etc. But I did not want to write a grim book. So, I decided to weave the theme in a romance. That’s what led to You Came Like Hope.

2. I changed the character of the hero after fifth draft of the book. The new Adih is angry. The old Adih was scared. Due to his past, he was terrified of being wrongly accused and put into prison. But after fifth draft, I felt that even though such a man was real, he was not very good for a book intended to be a romance. So, I turned his fear in to an anger rising from his pain. 

3. The tiny flash chapters that narrate the past of Adih are a later edition too. Originally, I had narrated the past through usual flashback. But Peehu’s past is revealed through a flashback too. I didn’t want there to be too much of flashback in the book. So, I used the flash chapters instead. Each of these special chapters is smaller than 400 words. These are spaced at regular interval through the book till the Past and Present collide. They are the only chapters that bear a title and are not included in the chapter numbering. I felt they would highlight the main theme and will also be the unique element of the book. The last of these flash chapters is titled The Bleak House. This is a reference to ‘Bleak House,’ a novel by Charles Dickens.

4. I consulted online horoscope websites to make sure the date of Uday and Peehu’s wedding was close to the end of the winter wedding season in India. Because of the many alterations that I’ve made in You Came Like Hope from the first draft to the final one, I had to adjust the timeline of the book again and again. I had a lot of trouble calculating days and months as the past versions of the story kept on muddling my head. 


5. Till several drafts, the character of Rajni was that of an aunt. She was supposed to be the elder sister of Pehu and Pakhi’s mother. I later made her the heroine’s cousin because I felt a younger character would work better in a romance.

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 Links:
Book Trailer:



Giveaway:
2 Paperback Copies of You Came Like Hope for Indian Residents Only
2 eBooks of You Came Like Hope for International Winners

a Rafflecopter giveaway

30 November, 2017

#BookReview :: The Sweetheart Mystery (Brash & Brazen #4) by Cheryl Ann Smith


The Sweetheart Mystery
Brash & Brazen #4
by Cheryl Ann Smith
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Harper Jane Evans is so over pro cheerleading but she’s not quite ready for prison. Good thing she’s got a badass ex-boyfriend ready to go to bat for her . . .
Sure, Harper made a few unsavory threats against her team’s manager—she’d had a few drinks and she despised the skimpy uniform he expected her to wear. That didn’t mean she wanted him dead. But when the sleazy dude is found murdered in his tighty whiteys, Harper is the number one suspect—and former FBI agent Noah Slade is the one man who can help. Too bad she once told Noah she never wanted to see him again . . .
Noah may have done a number on Harper’s heart all those years ago, but he’s determined to do right by her now. Yet the fiery beauty isn’t the only demon from his past, which makes hunting down a murderer by her side . . . complicated—never mind the powerful attraction still pulsing between them. Good thing he’s willing to do just about anything to keep from losing Harper again. And an old love just might bring her a new career—assuming she can stay out of jail . . .



Harper Evans is gutsy and stubborn She doesn’t really know when to let things go and her big mouth has gotten her into plenty of trouble in her lifetime. However, this time her troubles are a bit more serious as she is now the main suspect in the murder of her sleezy boss. Noah Slade has a past with Harper and now the only person who can help her clear her name. The question is whether they can put their past aside long enough to work together? Especially since the chemistry between them is undeniable…

I loved Harper. She is one sassy girl with quite a few admirable qualities that make you like her; that is till she opens her mouth! She has this habit of shooting off her mouth without thinking which has often landed her in awkward and embarrassing situations. I admired her determination. Noah on the other hand took some time to settle in. I liked the fact that he ‘realised’ his mistake with Harper and when he gets a chance to make up for it, he goes out of his way to help her. I wished for more back story on him though. The chemistry between Harper and Noah did not really work for me as even though I was repeatedly ‘told’ about it, I never really felt it. The plot was simple and straight forward. No surprises for me in the book. But I did like the way the author handled the narrative. The language was lucid and the plot had a steady pace. Quite a few chuckles sprinkled through the story. But what is it with the goat though?


I am a bit curious about certain side characters in the book and as such I may pick up the other books in the series.



Harper dug through her closet and pulled out a little red dress that she’d been saving for a special occasion. A charity event with Noah was the perfect place to dust it off. Small crystals edged the hem and bodice, giving the dress sparkle and she needed sparkle. After his comment in the car, she wanted to knock Noah’s feet out from under him.
            Since his confession, she’d been feeling warm and fuzzy. Despite locking down her heart with a chain Noah couldn’t break, she just couldn’t completely shake him off.
            Yes, she agreed to sex, no frills, all fun, sex. But she couldn’t quite fully give him her trust.
            What if they dated, got married, and had kids? Then something crappy happened. Would Noah run for refuge with another woman? He had before. Could she take that risk?
            Equal parts of her were worried, and ready, to take the next step. She so wanted to test his lovemaking skills.
            With the tide turning away from her as his best suspect, Mignon was unlikely to interrupt her and Noah again. By the end of the evening, she hoped to be knee deep in the sheets with a warm and naked Noah.
            After showering and flat ironing her hair for a different look, she put on makeup and a barely-there red bra and matching tiny panties. Next, she slipped into the dress and loved the feel of the satin against her bare skin.
            Shoes with sparkles on the straps completed the picture. She’d just found her dress clutch when Noah arrived. She’d left the door unlocked. “You ready?” he called out.
            Taking a deep breath with her hand on her chest, she walked into the living room on high heels.
Noah went still. “Wow.”
            Dressed in a tux with a white shirt and bowtie, he was heart-stoppingly handsome. Not only had he shaved, but he’d had his hair trimmed. “Yeah, wow back.”
            She joined him. He took her hand and kissed the inside of her wrist, sending tingles up her arm. Up close, he smelled spicy and male. If not for the chance to speak to Betty Anne, and having spent too much time on her hair, she would’ve chucked their plans and taken him right to the bedroom.
            Noah offered her his arm. “Is it appropriate to be very aroused right now?”
            Laughing, she linked her arm through his. “I hear you.” She steered him to the door before she lost her resolve to behave. Going with an attempted baseball analogy, she said, “You’re pitching pheromones that I’m catching.”


National bestselling author Cheryl Ann Smith became hooked on romance at age fourteen when she stayed up all night to read The Flame and The Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Her own writing journey happened much later, when one afternoon she ran out of books and decided to write her own. Previously, she has published five sexy Regency novels and one novella with Berkley in her School for Brides series.



Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!




29 November, 2017

#SpecialFeature :: An #Interview with Ishan Majumdar, #Author of The Celeritas Files


*** Special Feature - November 2017 ***


Quick Recap:

About the Book
Experience the story of Shaina Desai, who finds herself in the middle of a sinister plot to steal her prized invention, which happens to be the principal subject of valuation for a multi-million dollar cross-border investment in what could be termed as one of the most brutal attempts at intellectual property theft in the history of corporate India.

Will she be forced to give up her dream to save her son’s life? Or will she lose him to the ruthless kidnappers?

A tale of professional pride and the heart-breaking choices forced upon the individual, of love and betrayal, and the dark games ruthlessly played in the corporate world, under the veneer of professional ethics…

Goodreads * Amazon * Flipkart



Book Trailer:



An Interview:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
I have been a closet writer since many years but never really felt inspired enough to come out with my work. I guess when I started living in New Delhi, a city where I hardly have any friends and where I have enough spare time after work, I finally decided to go ahead with this.

What kind of research goes into your book?
For THE CELERITAS FILES, a large part of the research was with respect to the MaxCharge technology and its specifics. Also, I worked on understanding the patenting laws and the red-tape involved in India with respect to intellectual property registrations.

What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on my second novel which is also a crime thriller with a corporate backdrop. My genre will remain more or less consistent as the corporate world is clearly my area of expertise.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story? 
Working in an office cubicle for 10 hours a day and being fond of crime thriller films, novels and TV shows, somehow made my mind mix up the two and come up with a number of crazy plots circling around crime taking place in a corporate environment. It took some effort to actually sit down and make a concrete design of a plot that wasn’t just random ideas. THE CELERITAS FILES was the first plot idea that came to me which I believed, had good potential if it was converted into a proper novel and published.

Please share three interesting facts about the characters in your book.
Okay, here we go:
Fact 1: Amaan and his deceased wife Rehana are my two favorite characters who might continue in future books.
Fact 2: One of the Inspectors, Ajit Tyagi is given the surname “Tyagi” because one of my very good friends, Priyanka, also from the Tyagi community, often told me stories about a large percentage of people from her community becoming brave army officers and policemen.
Fact 3: The blurb of THE CELERITAS FILES comes across as that of a novel with a central character that is female (Shaina). However, when the plot was designed, it was supposed to be Amaan’s story. As the writer, the reason Shaina was eventually made the main character was purely for the impact of the climax.

If you could pick any famous author to review your book who would you pick and why?
I would pick Joseph Finder. He is easily the closest peer in terms of genre (i.e. crime fiction with a corporate backdrop). 

Have you read any books that have inspired you to improve or change yourself in any way?  
I read for benchmarking not for pleasure. The works of Lee Child and Michael Connelly really help me improve in all aspects of crime fiction writing.

Name three things that you believe are important to character development?
Clear description of the physical appearance, a good backstory (assuming the character is relevant enough) and some prominent characteristic traits which clearly distinguish the character from others.

Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so what helps you to get over it?
Luckily I haven’t experienced it as yet. Obviously there are times when I feel my pace slacken. Pushing myself really hard to get up and reach the coffee shop where I sit and write is the critical part there. Once I reach, I know I will be able to write.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?
I guess it would be writing the chapters which involve confrontational scenes/ scenes with revelations which are the most fun part. The scene plays like a movie inside my head and I can’t get up until I have finished writing it.

Do you know the ending of your books before you finish writing them?
Yes, I do. I think it is the most common practice among crime thriller writers to write the end first and then build the plot backwards.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
Focus on your creativity and your writing more than anything else. The reviews and the social media stuff will flow.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Write for the love of it, not for fame or money. Write to influence the world with your words and your stories. Nothing else matters.

Anything else that you would like to share with your readers?
I plan to come out with a new release of the same genre i.e. crime fiction with a corporate backdrop/ corporate espionage etc. every year. Hopefully, I might even increase my publishing speed and churn out a new release every 9-10 months. Please follow me on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/theceleritasfiles/ and twitter - @ishanmajumdar1 for updates.

About the Author
Ishan is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a Master’s degree in Management from HEC Paris (Grande Ecole). Born and brought up in the suburbs of Mumbai, Ishan went on to complete his graduation from Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics and moved to Europe for further studies. He has a rich corporate exposure, having worked in investment banking and strategy roles in multinational companies such as BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Danone.
Ishan is fluent in six languages including French and Spanish, as a large part of his working life was spent in France and Spain. He currently works with a venture capital fund based in New Delhi, India.







Giveaway:
1 Paperback Copy of The Celeritas Files for an Indian Resident
3 eBooks of The Celeritas Files for International Winners

a Rafflecopter giveaway

28 November, 2017

#BookReview :: The Secret, Book & Scone Society (Miracle Springs, North Carolina #1) by Ellery Adams





The story is set in Miracle Springs, North Carolina which is a place to heal. With natural hot springs, luxurious spa, soul stirring scones and a miracle bibliotherapy, this town attracts people from around the country. People come, relax and heal themselves before heading back to their lives. Nora owns a bookshop in the town where she ‘prescribes’ books to her clients based on their experiences and needs. When an out-of-town businessman fails to keep his appointment with Nora and then turns up dead, Nora smells something fishy. She enlists the help of her friends to look into the matter.

Nora and her friends are a lovely group of people who help people while each of them try to overcome their past. Being a bookworm, I loved the fact that the protagonist was a bookshop owner which lead to the inclusion of quite a few literary references in the book. It took me a while to actually warm up to Nora, but eventually she did live up to my expectations. I think the way the author has built up her character is quite commendable and her back story helped me sympathize with her. Nora’s friends each have their own back stories (which I am hoping will be explored more in the coming installments) and unique sets of personalities. But what they all have in common is their helping nature. I loved the relationship dynamics portrayed between them. The plot of the book turned out to be more interesting than my initial expectations. For a mystery buff, there were very few surprises for me in the book, but the author has certainly tried to put in quite a few twists and turns.

A good first impression of the first book in the series and I would certainly love to continue reading them as and when they release.




Still scanning the park square, Nora wondered where the trolley passengers had gone. The lodge’s green trolley was parked in its usual place, but no lodge guests strolled the sidewalks or meandered from the row of quaint shops on Bath Street to the Pink Lady Grill or the Gingerbread House.
            Just then, a flash of red caught Nora’s eye and she groaned inwardly as a tall, shapely woman passed in front of the bookshop window. The woman yanked the door open, ignoring the riotous clanging of the sleigh bells, and settled into the closest chair like a queen awaiting the adulation of her subjects. Her pouty lips curved into a cat-with-the-cream grin. “Consider your next bibliotherapy session canceled.”
            “Hello to you too, Estella.” Nora picked up the stray paperbacks a customer had left on the table next to Estella’s chair. “I assume you’re referring to the man I met on the park bench. Why isn’t he coming? Did you scare him off?”
            “Me?” Estella pretended to be affronted, but Nora wasn’t falling for the act. “I didn’t even get a chance to meet him. I was up at the lodge wasting my time on a man I thought had some potential, but he’s already making payments to an ex-wife and needs to send three kids to college. There’d be nothing left for me.” She waved a manicured hand in dismissal.
            Nora was itching to reshelve the books and check on the coffee. Though she didn’t dislike Estella, she was rarely at ease in her company.
            Recalling the strange sensation she’d experienced as the second train whistle blew, Nora felt an inexplicable prickle of dread. She jerked a thumb toward the window. “Where is everyone?”
            Estella’s grin returned. “At the train station. They’ve been drawn there like flies to sugar. The sheriff rolled in a few seconds ago, and since he and I have never gotten along, I made myself scarce.”
            Nora, who made it a point not to look people directly in the eye, forgot her rule and gave Estella an impatient stare. “What happened? Just spit it out.”
            Crossing her arms in disappointment, Estella murmured something about no one being any fun, but eventually complied with Nora’s request. “When your man on the bench placed an order for one of Hester’s comfort scones, he asked her to box it because he was heading over here to see you. He left the bakery, box in hand, but he never made it to Miracle Books.” Estella leaned back in the chair and smoothed the skirt of her white sundress. “I’m sure he’d rather be sitting in this comfy chair than where he is now.”
            Nora knew she wasn’t going to like the answer to her question, but it had to be asked. “Which is?”
            “On the tracks,” Estella declared breathlessly. “Someone pushed him in front of the three o’clock train.”




#CoverReveal :: Midnight Rain by Kathleen Maree


Midnight Rain
Lakeshore University #2
by Kathleen Maree
Genre: New Adult Romance
Releases February 8th, 2018 

'It's as easy as following your heart,' they say. 'Just listen to it, and let it guide you.'



It's so simple isn't it?

Even if half belongs to one best friend, and the other half literally beats for the other... 

It doesn't matter how much time passes or how angry I am at the world, because I know without a doubt that I needed both of them. 

More than I needed to breathe.





Don’t miss Book 1 of the Lakeshore University Series!
In This Breeze
Lakeshore University #1



From the earliest age I was a born storyteller.

Ask my parents and they will tell you I had a gift for making a simple event seem like an elaborate one. Purposely? No. Innocently? Yes. It was my imaginary world that initially led me to believe I wanted to be an actor. All of that role playing and living in fantasy... it was an obvious direction for me. However, becoming quite uncomfortable with the limelight quickly saw that dream diminish.

Over the years I turned my world of fantasy into stories, and eventually began writing them down. Before I knew it, 'Cut' had been completed.

When I am not busy writing my next story, I am a working mum, housewife and sometimes hockey wag :) In other words, probably some kind of circus act who specialises in juggling ;)

I hope you enjoy my blog, where I will be posting thoughts, other books I am currently reading and even sneak peeks of my novels. I encourage any feedback, comments or direct messages via my contact page should anyone wish to get in touch.

I am so thrilled to be sharing my journey and hope you enjoy my stories as much as I enjoy writing them.

Dream often. Believe always.