18 September, 2017

#Interview with Theodore Ficklestein, #Author of A Day In The Life

About the Author:
Theodore Ficklestein is an author, blogger and poet who has written three poetry books and runs multiple blogs. His first novel A Day In The Life is due out in 2017 and his poetry has appeared in Nuthouse and Avalon Literary Review. 

Contact the Author:
Website I Twitter I Facebook I Google Plus I Instagram 


An Interview:

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
I remember sitting alone in the college lobby thinking to myself, “This. This is a story.” I admit, I didn’t know what I meant by that, but I soon contemplated that the nothingness of college could be a story about self-discovery. A few times later during the semester as I walked around campus from class to class that same thought popped in my head again. “This. This is a story. A kid walking around college not knowing where he wants to go in life.” I was also attending a comedy class at the time so it felt natural to include that part to the story. A funny story about that is, I wrote the first few chapters of the book on my way home on the train from a comedy class. When I wrote them I didn’t’ really have a concrete outline for the book but I definitely knew it would be about a college kid going to classes and then to comedy clubs later that night. I stopped going to the class to focus on the book.

Tell us about your writing process.
I first write down any major parts or notes for the story that I have. So for my book it would be something like, “Kid walks around college. Add comedy to it. Remember that lobby feel.”It all begins with a very basic idea that needs to be developed. If I had thought of certain scenes already I would make a note on them. So for the scene with Nick and Carter talking it would be something like “Carter asks Nick about writing career.  Empty parking lot.” The first notes are just to get the initial book out of my head and onto paper. Then I separate the scenes, however many I have, into a plot. This is where it gets tricky because I am not at a full book yet, so I either work on the parts I wrote already, add more scenes to the outline, or work on characters to help the story. I continue with this until I reach a certain amount I am happy with and the story is at a point I feel I can no longer go anywhere with it.

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
I enjoy the scene where Nick and Carter are talking in the school parking lot about Nick’s career. There is a hopelessness in that scene that is not in the others. It was like the characters were there, but not really talking to one another. They both had a lot on their minds, but did not want to talk to each other. The dark empty parking lot for me really makes the scene. They are barely talking and no one is around. The tone from that scene really separates it from others, in my opinion. That was one of the first scenes I told someone about. I said to them. “I think I have something here.”

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
Definitely the sarcasm. I try to make all my characters have some wit to them. The main character, Nick, got the most of this trait. Also I realized when I was editing the book, that the main character had an anger in him that I had when I was attending school. I do not feel this way anymore, but I think it helped the story because the frustration from the narrator is real since I felt it when writing the story. 

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
I don’t like writing with other people around. I don’t understand how there are some who can go to a coffee shop with the music blasting and still write. I can’t. I also like to write out the first draft by hand, then I type it up. My first draft is never typed up. I have this weird thing I do with the characters if I do not know their name. Instead of giving them an actual name I name them P1 (meaning Person 1) and P2 (meaning Person 2). I do the same if I don’t know the main character’s name when writing about him or her by labeling them MC, for main character. Some of my drafts are only dialogue for these people P1 and P2. If you read only that, you’d be very confused.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
There’s a lot. The most recent one is by a friend of mine who advised me of the following, “Don’t have a backup plan. There is no backup plan. Writing is the only plan.” Sometimes I see people who only put half of what they have into something, to not be ready to work hard for it, I try not to be one of those people. 

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
I try to read as much as I can. I actually saw somewhere that someone like Warren Buffet, or Bill Gates advised people to read five hours a day. I can’t do that. I like the classic authors like Poe and Hemingway. I’m impressed that a guy like Poe can still be so popular without having a signature novel. That speaks for the great writer he was. I also find it funny that Hemingway won the Pulitzer for a novel when he is known for his short stories. I try to read what I think will help me, whether it is a classic, a history book, or a how to book.

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
A gun; in case of anything. A map; to the treasure on the island (I am going to assume that there is some sort of treasure on the island) and keys to my boat so I can get off the island.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
I am currently working on my next novel. It is contemporary literary fiction and I am about done with the outline. I’ll start to pitch it to publishers in the fall. I don’t want to give too much of it away but I will say that if you like cookies and humor, you’ll like. I would suggest for all readers interested in staying up to date with my writing to follow me on social media or my website. 

About the Book:
A Day In The Life is Theodore Ficklestein’s debut novel about Nickolas Cripp, a college student finding his way in the world. Although Nick won’t admit it, he is the main focus to a young adult book that follows him from his home to college to the city, where he wants to attend an open mic.
Along his path, he encounters a teacher who asks about the apocalypse, a drunk on the train and two friends who feel writing isn’t Nick’s strong point, among others. Nick soon finds out that the funniest things in life aren’t that funny at all, and the greatest comedians never go up on stage.
As he goes through his day, one oddball character at a time, Nick starts to question if the comedy club he dreams of being in, is really for him. Should he be who he wants to be? Or who the world thinks he should be? Neither of which, he is entirely sure about.
A personal journey of self-discovery through the eyes of a youth yearning for meaning in a meaningless world; Nick learns that in life, the joke is on you. 


17 September, 2017

#BookBlast :: Soul Warrior (Age of Kali #1) by Falguni Kothari

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


About the Book:

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 


Read an Excerpt:


SHUNYA: NOTHING AND EVERYTHING


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.



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




a Rafflecopter giveaway

16 September, 2017

#Interview with Radhika Nathan, #Author of A Time To Burnish

About the Author:
Radhika Nathan is a juggler, a meanderer and a rolling stone. She believes in the miracle of words and the rain. Her favourite pastimes include reading, listening to podcasts and gazing at monsoon clouds. Her taste in books is eclectic ranging from anthropology to old fashioned murder mysteries, and if pushed she would name Jane Austen as her favourite author for her believable, eternal characters. Travel is something she enjoys and has been to more than a dozen countries- for the love of meeting new people and discovering new cultures. 
Radhika writes for her fascination of human beings, intrigued by their archetypal & atypical behaviour and the differences & similarities in all of us. Writing is a means that forces her to think and re-examine a point of view or a preconceived notion. ‘I grow as a person as I write’, she says and quotes ‘A well written sentence [a rare occurrence] is like soul chocolate.’
Radhika, believes in a spiritual approach to life that welcomes science. She believes in liberty, equality, personal responsibility and fair play.


An Interview:

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
Oh absolutely! Many stories in various states of completion remain in almost forgotten folders in my computer.  Some written in now faded notebooks and diaries, sit inside a box up on a shelf.  From time to time, I think of salvaging them, but new ideas are more seductive. 

Tell us about your writing process.
I am not very disciplined about my writing. But I have realized I do follow a process of sorts mentally when I work on a story. I rarely begin without a semblance of a plot in my head. Then I do a lot of research; that’s the part I enjoy the most so sometimes I don’t proceed to the next stage at all. If something clicks, then I start working on my first draft. The first and the final drafts are the hardest for me. I work in short bursts and can never predict if and when I would finish the book. I am trying to school myself better with each finished work. 

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
It’s hard to tell since I am my own worst critic and can come up with flaws in every scene. I did have the most fun writing this one scene in ‘A Time To Burnish’ that I could call it my most favorite scene. Josh, the protagonist, having just discovered a critical unwelcome piece of information about the Chola bronze he is trying to track, is deeply disturbed. He goes to a bar and starts drinking, and his mood progresses from contemplation to belligerence to alcohol induced sadness. The scene is one of a group of scenes in the book that is used to bring about the different perspectives on art.  It was challenging to write the scene from Josh’s perspective but at the same time also show the reader he was quite drunk by the end of it. Most readers though seem to have liked a pivotal scene near the end of the book.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
Until I read the question, I wasn’t conscious of it. I drum my fingers on the table a lot, like when I am in deep thought or when I am impatient about something. Turns out I have my characters doing that too. I just noticed Josh and Tom drum their fingers in irritation!
Ashton, the protagonist of ‘The Mute Anklet,’ whistles from time to time. I could never whistle, and so it’s a quirk that I wish I had that my character inherited. It felt cool to have him whistle under his breath when he was concentrating on something else. 

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
I have a compulsive need to check if my characters are behaving ‘in-character.’ And if they aren’t then there has to be a rationale behind it. In my head, I need to make up an elaborate back story for them. I only use half of what I ultimately come up with, but unless I feel sure of the character I find myself uncomfortable to proceed writing. I am not sure if it is an interesting quirk, it sure is a pain.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
From the movie ‘Midnight in Paris’, Ernest Hemingway’s character says, ‘Don’t be so self-effacing, it’s not manly. If you are a writer declare yourself to be the best.’

What would be the Dream Cast for you book if it was to be turned into a movie?
As far as I am concerned only Matt Bomer can bring justice to Tom. 

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
A solar charger, tablet loaded with books and music and pictures, and a swiss army knife [I’d check if it comes with a magnifier or a fire-starter.]  The tablet would be a great way for me to record my, what would no doubt be profound thoughts, as I wander about pondering over the meaning of life. 

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
I wish I could say that I go for a run in Lal Bagh. But in reality, my idea of unwinding is sitting on my couch in front of the TV watching some vague documentary, gorging on chocolates. I read almost every day, but I don’t think of it as something that I do when I have free time. I make time to read.

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
1. Visit all the continents [Okay Antartica maybe a stretch, but with global warming who knows.]
2. Plant my feet on all critical latitudes and longitudes [Yes, I do know they are not real lines.]
3. Finish a marathon.


About the Book:
"Not too long before we can get as many of them 3-D printed."

That pretty much sums up Josh Winslow's feelings about classic artifacts. As a man of science and technology, he couldn't care less about old bronze idols. Unfortunately, his brother Tom has just made one such idol his problem.

Vidya Thyagarajan, a young banker from Chennai, didn't expect to chase the origins of old idols either. But her friend Tom has just entangled her in one such chase.

Along with Vidya, Josh reluctantly embarks on a journey to India to track the origins of a Chola bronze idol. Through the urban maze of Chennai, dusty roads of small towns in deep Chola territory, they discover clues that confounds them every step of the way.

During a short span of a week, the quest quickly becomes personal as the shadow of the past challenges their outlook toward life and love.

15 September, 2017

#FaveFiveFriday :: Books you wish had Sequels



#FaveFiveFriday is an initiative by Buzz Magazine




5. Fault in Our Stars by John Green


4. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier 

3. Another Day by David Levithan

2. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

1. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost - A book of two locations; Zakynthos or Cornwall? by Chrissie Parker




*** Special Feature - September 2017 ***


About the Author:

Chrissie lives in Devon, UK, with her husband. She has published five books including Integrate and Temperance (books one and two of The Moon Series), Among the Olive Groves, Nabataea and The Secrets, a collection of Poems and Short Stories. Other work includes articles for the Bristolian, The Huffington Post, The Zakynthos Informer, Epilepsy Awareness Squad and Epilepsy Literary Heritage Foundation.
Chrissie’s poem Maisie was performed at the 100 poems by 100 women event at the Bath International Literary Festival in 2013. In 2016 Among the Olive Groves won an historical fiction award in the Summer Indie Book Awards.
Chrissie is passionate about Ancient History, Archaeology and Travel, and has completed two Egyptology courses and an Archaeological Techniques course with Exeter University.



Contact the Author:

A book of two locations; Zakynthos or Cornwall?

I grew up in Bristol, in the west of the UK, it was where I spent my childhood and first started work. Many of our family holidays were spent going up and down the motorway to Cornwall, where we visited and stayed in lots of seaside towns. I remember those times fondly, and have been left with some incredible memories. Cornwall is beautiful, and filled with large sweeping beaches, turquoise waters and thriving attractions. There are so many exciting places for visitors to explore, such as the Eden Project, Jamaica Inn or the fantastic Minack thetare, and it’s a place that is close to my heart.



Travelling became a big part of my life once I had left school and started working, I backpacked through Europe to Germany, I’ve spent time in the USA and Canada, and visited the Middle East and Egypt. One of my favourite trips was in 2005 to a small Greek Island called Zakynthos, a part of the string of Ionian Islands to the west of the Greek mainland, for a friends wedding and to visit family.
Zakynthos was my first visit to Greece, and it exposed me to a country that I instantly fell in love with and still love very much. 
Like Cornwall, Zakynthos also has beautiful sweeping beaches, and is definitely blessed with turquoise sea, sometimes so bright that it looks unnatural. There are also lots of things to see and do so visitors are never bored, such as the famous shipwreck, a Venetian castle and a multitude of churches and monasteries.


When I wrote Among the Olive Groves I knew the book would be set in Zakynthos, as the inspiration for the story came to me during my visit there, but when I finally worked out that the story would be set across two time periods I needed to find another location that complemented Zakynthos. After a lot of thought I just knew that place had to be Cornwall, and I chose Newquay on the north Cornwall coast as the final setting.



Many readers ask me where I love the most, Zakynthos or Cornwall? 
It’s such a hard question to answer, a bit like asking someone if they love strawberry or chocolate ice-cream, both are just as nice, but equally different. 
The same applies to Zakynthos and Cornwall. They are two very special places that are thousands of miles apart and culturally very different, but that both hold their own appeal. 



Zakynthos is full of Greek charm and hospitality, it’s hot and sunny, the scenery is absolutely stunning and there’s so much to see and do. Cornwall is stunning, truly picturesque, the weather can be typically British at times, with rain in the summer and chillier nights, but it’s a welcoming place and full of history that will keep you more than occupied. 
So I find myself back at the original question;
Zakynthos or Cornwall?

Well in all honesty, for me it has to be both. I could never choose one over the other, despite their differences, as I have fond memories of both, and love so much about them. And it’s okay that I can’t choose between them because having the option of two amazing places to visit, is definitely better than just one!




About the Book:
It is 1938, and a young Elena Petrakis lives on the small Greek Island of Zakynthos. Life for Elena is quite, traditional and typically Greek. One day she meets a local young man, Angelos Sarkis and they strike up a friendship. Soon their friendship turns to love, but when Elena falls pregnant Angelos's father is furious and he bans Angelos from seeing Elena again, and forces Angelos to marry another woman. 
World War Two breaks out and Zakynthos is unable to escape invasion. Islanders are pitted against each other under the watchful eye of the Italian D'Aqui division. Elena hates the war and everything it stands for. She joins the resistance to fight for what she believes in, her freedom, and her daughters right to live in a peaceful world, but Elena finds herself drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. In the end Elena realises that the only way through the madness of war is to makes the greatest of sacrifices. 
Decade’s later, in 1991, a young Cornish woman Kate Fisher is celebrating her 21st birthday. Her happiness is short-lived however when she finds out that she is adopted. The news shakes her and her world falls apart. She argues with her best friend Fletch, and they stop talking, which makes things worse for her. Kate tries her best to carry on, but finds it impossible. 
Ten years later Kate has moved from her home in Cornwall to Bristol, having tried her best to re-start her life, but she is stuck in a rut and unable to move on, her adoption and loss of her friendship with Fletch still haunting her. In the end Kate flees to Zakynthos, in Greece where she is finally forced to face the harsh reality of her past. What she discovers completely changes her life. 

Buy Links:

Giveaway:
Signed Paperback Copy +  a Greek Eye necklace to an UK Winner.
E-copy (all versions available) of the book for an international winner.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

13 September, 2017

#BookReview :: Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka

WHO ARE YOU WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING?

When a beloved high schooler named Lucinda Hayes is found murdered, no one in her sleepy Colorado suburb is untouched—not the boy who loved her too much; not the girl who wanted her perfect life; not the officer assigned to investigate her murder. In the aftermath of the tragedy, these three indelible characters—Cameron, Jade, and Russ—must each confront their darkest secrets in an effort to find solace, the truth, or both. In crystalline prose, Danya Kukafka offers a brilliant exploration of identity and of the razor-sharp line between love and obsession, between watching and seeing, between truth and memory.

Compulsively readable and powerfully moving, Girl in Snow offers an unforgettable reading experience and introduces a singular new talent in Danya Kukafka.

Goodreads I Amazon


Girl in the Snow is a murder mystery about a girl called Lucinda Hayes. She is found murdered and left out in the snow. The story is told from the point of views of three major characters. First is Cameron, the boy who loved Lucinda from afar. He is known to have stalked her and as such some people have their suspicions about him. Then there is the fact that Cameron cannot remember where he was when Lucinda was murdered. Then there is Jade, a girl with a difficult life only made more difficult by her rebellious nature. She hated Lucinda – a girl who seemed to be loved by one and all. With her troubled home life, Jade always felt that Lucinda had the perfect life and she wanted it for herself. Then there is Russ, the officer in charge of the investigation. With a sketchy past and a promise to keep, Russ has a lot of things he must resolve in order to be able to work on this case properly. 

Who would murder the most loved girl in the school? Also, why would someone do it? And just how involved are Cameron and Jade with the case?

The author has done an exemplary job of developing the characters in the book. Each personality is very distinct and I loved the character of Russ the most. There was nothing extraordinary about him yet he stands out in a way that makes the very forgettable character unforgettable. Jade too was developed well – as a girl with a troubled life, it was easy to sympathize with her at many levels. Her confusions and convictions make her what she is. Her quirkiness is in some ways quite endearing. Cameron is probably the only character I couldn’t really connect to though by no fault of the character development. He has stalker tendencies and it makes sense to his character, but I just thought it was creepy.

The plot is well paced. The story takes off immediately and as the various aspects of it are slowly revealed, it becomes clear to the reader how the smallest and mundane details are important to the crux of it. The language and narrative worked well for the book. The author’s attention to details, especially for the setting, makes it easier for the readers to transport into the world.


Review Copy received via NetGalley


12 September, 2017

#BookReview :: Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) by Sarah J. Maas

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent's mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.


Goodreads I Amazon



I wasn’t expecting much from this book. Chaol Westfall is not one of my favourite characters, but I was expecting to see Yrene Towers again from the moment I realized that Chaol is heading towards Torre Cesme.

After the incident at the Glass Castle, Chaol was badly hurt. His agenda for Torre Cesme was not only to see if the legendary healers of Torre Cesme could heal him but also meet the Royal family there as the hand to the King. From the moment Chaol and Nesryn meet the Royal family, they knew that they had their hands full when it came to convincing the Southern Empire to join in the war. But there is something evil lurking there… whether it was awakened by Chaol and Nesryn’s arrival or something else entirely remains to be discovered. 

I expected quite a bit of politics in this book as it seemed to me that the Southern Continent, which is yet to be touched by Erawan, is so far away from the heart of all the action that they would need some convincing so as to what was really happening out in the world. Arghun, the eldest Prince, also known as the Prince of Spies already has some information on the happenings in Adarlan and Terrasen. And as news trickles in, the group – including Chaol, struggle to keep up to what is true and what is not. 

The book introduces quite a few new characters – Arghun, Sartaq, Hasar and Kashin among them. I took a liking towards Kashin at first who seemed more welcoming of the party from Adarlan than the others. But it was Sartaq who slowly built up a place of his own. I quite like the character of Hasar – who can be manipulative at times. But being one of the heirs, she has to be strong and manipulative if she wants to live in the long run. Nesryn got her fair share in the spotlight too. But it was Yrene who won my heart in this book. She is such a strong girl. It may not have been very apparent in The Assassin and the Healer, but she has some strength and light in her that makes her very likeable. And her experience with Celaena Sardothien only made her stronger.

I didn’t really feel the romance in this book. There are two sets of romantic relationships that played out in this book and both felt very sudden and forced. Also, the pace of the book felt really slow. There were things that felt too repetitive (especially reference to Yrene having tended to an injury similar to Chaol’s) and could have been done without.

However, that HUGE plot twist just about made up for the missed mark on romance and pace. Those of you have read it – can you believe it about Maeve? I always thought that there was some motive behind Maeve’s actions that we did not know, but I could not have imagined this in my wildest imaginations. Those of you from the ToG fandom who are wondering whether to pick this book up or not – please do. That one plot twist is totally worth it. It changes everything we know!

I am going to have a very hard time waiting for #ToG7!




11 September, 2017

#BookReview :: White Noise by Shruti Upadhaya



“There is another city right under our city and it comes up only when you and I are together. Only you and I know about it and only you and I get to experience it. It keeps itself hidden from the rest of the world. And that is where I live.” He said 
“And what happens when you’re not with me?” She asked. 
“I evaporate.” He smiled. 




Goodreads I Amazon






This is a very unique book. I am going to try and not give away spoilers while trying to tell you about the book.

First off, the book is narrated from three points of view – Me, Her and Him. Yes, let’s keep it that cryptic. The core of the plot deals with a girl meeting a man and falling in love with him while doing the simplest of things together. Now, you must be wondering what is new in that – such stories have been told over and over again. But you are wrong… The book is so much more than that baseline of the story. There’s a lot happening in the plot and it has an air of mystery around it.

The book’s USP is its narrative simply because of the way the author has handled it. From the very beginning the book takes a hold on the reader and as the pages fly by, it feels more and more intriguing and entertaining and the climax just sneaks up on you. It is quite a short book and so can be read in one sitting. Infact, I recommend that anybody picking up this book should make sure they have enough time to finish it in one sitting as it is simply unputdownable.

I cannot believe that this is the debut novel of the author. The way the book has been handled and delivered show maturity. Shruti Upadhaya has instantly become an author I will watch out for.


Review Copy received from Bee Books

09 September, 2017

#BookReview :: Here Falls The Shadow by Bhaskar Chattopadhyay

Think of your sins. Prepare to die.

On the edge of the forests of Deoghar, in the sleepy little town of Nimdeora, novelist Sangram Talukdar’s peaceful life is unexpectedly shattered when he receives an anonymous death threat.

At first, he dismisses it as a cruel joke. But when two of the family’s beloved dogs, guardians of the estate, are found killed with a clean, swift arrow to each of their throats, Talukdar calls in the astute detective Janardan Maity to investigate.

To uncover the dark secrets of this quiet town, Maity must dig deep into the past – into the Talukdar family’s bloody history, and a dreaded curse that has haunted the family for generations. But he must act quickly, because someone, or something, is lurking in the shadows of the forest, watching, waiting to claim their prey… 

Goodreads I Amazon


Sangram Talukdar is a novelist who has moved into his family’s estate at Nimdeora, near Deoghar with hopes of leading a peaceful life. But what he assumes is a practical joke leads to something much deadlier. A death threat note followed by the murder of the two watch dogs of the estate prompts Sangram to hire a detective. Detective Janardan arrives at Nimdeora accompanied by another author by the name of Prakash. As they delve into the threat to Sangram, they discover that there may be more to the fabled curse on the family. Will Janardan and Prakash be able to suss out the perpetrator before it is too late?

I enjoyed this book thoroughly. Set in a quaint little town, this mystery required exercising the ‘grey cells’ quite a bit. Janardan is an interesting character to follow even with his similarities to Feluda. He is a calculative person whose investigative methods keep the readers engaged. Prakash on the other hand seemed like an extra; an afterthought. He did not have much to contribute to the core plot. I guess the author wanted to provide Janardan an assistant of sorts; like Topshe or Watson or Hastings. Only the character was not developed well enough to make an impact on the readers. The plot plays out brilliantly as secrets are slowly revealed. Well-paced with just enough information being revealed at regular intervals made the book engaging. The author’s attention to details while setting up the plot really made a difference to the story telling.

Overall, this book is an interesting and fetching read for a mysterious afternoon.


Review Copy received from Hachette India


08 September, 2017

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost - Women in the Resistance, and other war history by Chrissie Parker




*** Special Feature - September 2017 ***


About the Author:

Chrissie lives in Devon, UK, with her husband. She has published five books including Integrate and Temperance (books one and two of The Moon Series), Among the Olive Groves, Nabataea and The Secrets, a collection of Poems and Short Stories. Other work includes articles for the Bristolian, The Huffington Post, The Zakynthos Informer, Epilepsy Awareness Squad and Epilepsy Literary Heritage Foundation.
Chrissie’s poem Maisie was performed at the 100 poems by 100 women event at the Bath International Literary Festival in 2013. In 2016 Among the Olive Groves won an historical fiction award in the Summer Indie Book Awards.
Chrissie is passionate about Ancient History, Archaeology and Travel, and has completed two Egyptology courses and an Archaeological Techniques course with Exeter University.



Contact the Author:

Women in the Resistance, and other war history.

Among the Olive Groves is very much a work of fiction. The characters and story are completely made up, but if you look hard enough in the World War Two sections you will find a lot of facts that have been carefully woven into the story to give it as much authenticity as possible.  Elena Petrakis, the lead character never actually existed, she is simply a fictitious person thought up for the sake of a story, but if you read any history books relating to Greece during World War Two, there are many accounts about women who joined and fought for the Resistance. There are so many stories of their incredible bravery and sacrifice, and somehow they are more harrowing to read than accounts of male Resistance fighters. Because of this, I felt it was important that Elena became the Resistance fighter in Among the Olive Groves instead of Angelos. Elena, as a woman and a mother, had so much more to fight for, and so much more to lose in the end.  


Many other parts of the book are also based in fact, including the rescue of the islands Jewish population. Out of respect, I changed the names of the characters, but the depiction of what took place is as accurate as I could make it from the information of the time. The brave story of the Mayor and Bishop (Loukas Karrer and Bishop Chrysostomos as they were known in real life) was something that I felt needed to be told, as many people have no idea that it actually happened. 
To potentially sacrifice themselves to the Germans in order to save the lives of 275 islanders is beyond heroic, and that bravery should never be forgotten.


Researching the book was difficult. None of the Museums in Greece have any information about Zakynthos during the war, and sadly much of the information that had been gathered and kept about the islands history in the local library etc. was destroyed, when a massive earthquake struck Zakynthos in 1953, reducing much of the main town and other areas on the island, to rubble.
In the end my Zakynthos World war Two research came from one book of information, and a number personal accounts from those who had lived through the war, along with a few small articles on the internet. Despite the struggles I had researching, I did find the right information, and what I discovered was incredibly interesting, and tried to weave as much of it as I reasonably could, into the story. A few Zakynthians kindly read the book for me before it was published and confirmed that not only was the information correct, but that it also portrayed the island very much as it used to be.  


Many people ask why I chose to write Among the Olive Groves and the answer is simple. To me, it’s more than just a book. It’s a way of showing readers what a beautiful place Zakynthos is, and why it should be visited, as well as enabling the islands history, and heroic deeds to stay alive in the minds of readers, and those who visit the island. 
War torn Zakynthos was part of something much bigger and its residents had no choice but to fall to the Italians and Germans, but the Greek population still fought for themselves and for what they believed in. There were so many brave people like Elena Petrakis that lived through World War Two, and fought bravely. A great number of them were women, something that many people just don’t realise. Even now I think we could all learn a lot from those incredibly brave women, and my character Elena Petrakis.





About the Book:
It is 1938, and a young Elena Petrakis lives on the small Greek Island of Zakynthos. Life for Elena is quite, traditional and typically Greek. One day she meets a local young man, Angelos Sarkis and they strike up a friendship. Soon their friendship turns to love, but when Elena falls pregnant Angelos's father is furious and he bans Angelos from seeing Elena again, and forces Angelos to marry another woman. 
World War Two breaks out and Zakynthos is unable to escape invasion. Islanders are pitted against each other under the watchful eye of the Italian D'Aqui division. Elena hates the war and everything it stands for. She joins the resistance to fight for what she believes in, her freedom, and her daughters right to live in a peaceful world, but Elena finds herself drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. In the end Elena realises that the only way through the madness of war is to makes the greatest of sacrifices. 
Decade’s later, in 1991, a young Cornish woman Kate Fisher is celebrating her 21st birthday. Her happiness is short-lived however when she finds out that she is adopted. The news shakes her and her world falls apart. She argues with her best friend Fletch, and they stop talking, which makes things worse for her. Kate tries her best to carry on, but finds it impossible. 
Ten years later Kate has moved from her home in Cornwall to Bristol, having tried her best to re-start her life, but she is stuck in a rut and unable to move on, her adoption and loss of her friendship with Fletch still haunting her. In the end Kate flees to Zakynthos, in Greece where she is finally forced to face the harsh reality of her past. What she discovers completely changes her life. 

Buy Links:

Giveaway:
Signed Paperback Copy +  a Greek Eye necklace to an UK Winner.
E-copy (all versions available) of the book for an international winner.
a Rafflecopter giveaway