30 April, 2013

#BookReview :: Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai by Rishi Vohra

"Autistic. Schizophrenic. Psychotic…" 
"They" use these words to describe Babloo - the doctors, his family, his teachers everyone... except Vandana. She treats him the way he wants the world to see him. 
Mumbai... the city that defines his ultimate desires. Will it allow him the love and normalcy he so craves? 
Vandana... yearns for a soul mate to rescue her from the confines of the Railway Colony they all live in. Is she looking in the right place? 
Rail Man... a fearless, real-life hero who succeeds in doing all that Babloo secretly wishes to do... is Babloo his inspiration or... is it the other way around? 
A random twist of fate on Mumbai’s endless, serpent-like, jangling local train tracks ties all these characters together in a complex weave of love, heartbreak, and courage. 
Babloo draws the reader into his fascinating, heart-rending journey through the twisted, choked lanes of Mumbai, into an open space where he can finally exhale, be born again.

This is essentially Babloo’s story. He is that autistic boy next door. You know, the one everyone whispers about? Well, Babloo has Vandana in his life, the girl who has always been nice and friendly to him and the girl who is in love with. But there are complications in the story that even Babloo isn’t aware of. On one hand there’s Sikander’s interest in Vandana, is like a shark circling around food and on the other hand is Vandana’s engagement to Babloo’s younger brother, Raghu. But then again, Babloo has always been a loner who has most of his conversations in his head and spends most of his time on the railway track and thinking about Vandana. Then there is the case of the ‘Rail Man’, who is the source of gossip to most people as he stops a lot of crimes from happening in and around the Bandra railway tracks.

Read the story to follow Vandana’s unhappy engagement, Sikander’s plan to get Vandana, the Rail-man’s heroic escapades and most of all to find out more about Babloo’s life.

The first thing that caught my attention about this book is its protagonist, a person who is not in the ‘cool’ club or drives sports cars or have the latest branded clothes and certainly doesn’t have any of the hip lingos in his vocabulary. He is the boy that the neighborhood kids went to school with but were never really friends with. He is the kid that makes some of you curious. He makes some of you feel pity him and his parents, but he is the one kid you do not want to make acquaintance of. Odd, right? But that’s what I admired the most about this novel because it was a step away from the very clichéd character and a difficult one to write about. The other characters can make a stand of their own but failed to make a mark on me beside Babloo.

The plot is simple and straightforward. Most of you will be able to predict how the story will unfold and how it would end, but that didn’t really stop me from turning the pages. Besides his characterization, Rishi Vohra has also managed to catch my attention with his style of writing. I have always maintained that it is more difficult to create something beautiful by using simple language. That is what the author has done here – created something extraordinary using ordinary language and a steady pace.

It is nothing unworldly exceptional, but it is special. I had a good couple of hours reading this light read and I hope so will you in case you decide to pick this up.

Find out more about Rishi Vohra

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29 April, 2013

#SpecialFeature :: #Interview with Author Rebecca Emin

Now Presenting:
*** SPECIAL FEATURE - April'13 ***

So far on Special Feature April

Rebecca Emin lives in Oxfordshire, England. Her debut novel, ‘New Beginnings,’ was published by Grimoire Books in January 2012. In May 2012, Rebecca self-published her second novel, ‘When Dreams Come True’, which is also for older children.

Rebecca enjoys writing flash fiction and short stories and has had several flash fiction stories included in fundraising anthologies. ‘A Knowing Look and Other Stories’ is a collection of Rebecca’s short stories which was published in November 2011. 

Rebecca is also an author for Ether Books who publish short stories and essays to mobile devices via the Ether app.

Today I am ecstatic to have Rebecca Emin, my Special Feature Author for April on my blog for an interview. Welcome Ms.Emin, hope you are comfortable? 
Thank you for featuring me here on your wonderful blog!

Pleasure's been mine. Would you like to tell the readers a bit about yourself?
I live near Oxford in England with my three children (10, 8 and 5) and as well as obviously looking after them, I write, and on the back of that also now help other authors to format their books. I also do some marketing for local companies and my one wish in life is that I could have a cloning machine so I could have double the time available!

How did you get into writing?
I have always loved writing, from as long as I can remember I have started writing novels and then given up (repeatedly) and as for the angst poetry; pages and pages of it. But I started writing seriously in 2009 when I was rapidly approaching 40 and decided that I wanted to get a book finished before that age.

What was your first piece? Yes, that scribbled thing in a notebook that’s somewhere in one of the boxes of memories?
The first thing I actually have on paper was a poem I wrote at the age of 11. It was pretty terrible!

Somehow I doubt that! Anything else in there that didn’t make it to the publishers’ desk?
I’ve been incredibly lucky actually as everything I’ve written since 2009 so far has been published, either by publishers, Ether Books who publish short stories via their app, or self-published.

Tell us a bit about your books…
New Beginnings was my first novel and I wrote it during NaNoWriMo 2009, which means I wrote over 50,000 words in a month. It was a real challenge as my children were very young then, only one of them in school, so I was finding writing time at 3 in the morning and all sorts of stolen moments. New Beginnings was also my ‘therapy book’ as I was bullied myself at school and the main character is in the book. Writing it all out really helped, and the fact that a lot of people have got in touch to say they can relate to the story makes me very glad I wrote it out.
When Dreams Come True was another NaNoWriMo attempt and although I didn’t make it to 50,000 words that year, and this book is considerably shorter than that, the story came into my head and I had to write it out. It’s quite a simple story but I am pleased with it.
A Knowing Look and Other Stories was my first self-publishing project. I only really put it together as an experiment to see if I could self-publish professionally and effectively, so I selected my favourite short stories from 2 years of writing and published them as a collection. The feedback has really surprised me and given me a lot more confidence in my writing.

I love your characters. They are so the ‘next door girl’ type. You know the ones that we personally know but hardly ever make an appearance in books, tv or movies? What made you keep them so true to life?
I grew up reading Enid Blyton and then Virginia Andrews, where the characters were “real” and there was a noticeable lack of fantasy in the books I enjoyed as a child and teen. It makes sense, I guess, that I would write in a similar way.

Are there recurring themes from your life when you revisit in fiction?
I do have very vivid dreams, and that was one of the things that inspired me to write When Dreams Come True.

What one quirk or characteristic of yours did you give your character? Who was it?
I was a tomboy when I was a child. I passed that on to Char lie in When Dreams Come True.

Self-publishing. Is it a flash in the pan or here to stay?
I think it’s a growing phenomena and will become more common-place as time goes on. I certainly hope so as part of my current business involves helping other self-publishing authors!

Okay, now for some fun questions:
If your book was to be made into a movie and you had free reign to choose the cast – who would you cast? That is a very good question and as both of my novels are for younger readers I would ask my daughter and some of her friends to pick the cast – as sadly the actors I know most about would be far too old to play the roles I have written. But of course, if it was New Beginnings, John Barrowman would have to play himself!

What was your most embarrassing moment in high school?
I had a lot of embarrassing moments in the first year of school, purely because I was bullied. As much as I hated it at the time, I wouldn’t change a thing because without that experience, I don’t think I could have written New Beginnings.

Quick Choices:
Pizza or Pasta? Pasta
Mocha or iced tea? Mocha
Hercule Poirot or Ms. Marple?  Poirot
Drama or Romance? Bit of both!
Action or Suspense? Action 

Is there a message you would like to send out to your readers?
Thank you, as ever, for reading! And also for the support and feedback over the past few years, I don’t think readers know how much it means to an author to get a message saying how a piece has touched them. Things like that are very special.

What's next? How do you see your writing career progressing?
The next novel I am working on has been brewing for a few months now and I will be starting to write it as soon as I find some time. It’s a novel for adults and will be very different to my previous writing. As well as that I am continuing to grow my business supporting other authors with their self-publishing projects.

Buy Her Books

Stalk The Author

This month we will have 5 lucky winners! Isn't that awesome news? Well, Ms.Emin has offered to giveaway 5 copies of her books to 5 winners. The Winners can choose between Paperback Copy of 'New Beginnings' or Digital Copy of either 'A Knowing Look' or 'When Dreams Come True'!
So what are you waiting for? Enter in the rafflecopter below for your chance at winning!

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26 April, 2013

#BookReview :: Grave Secrets (Temperance Brennan #5) by Kathy Reichs

In the searing heat of Guatemala, Dr Temperance Brennan must harden herself against the horrors she excavates.

And then four young girls go missing from Guatemala City.

When a skeleton is found at the back of a rundown hotel, only someone with Tempe's expertise can deduce the identity and cause of death.

But as she searches for answers, her path is blocked at every turn. It is clear that some people will stop at nothing to keep Guatemala's secrets buried. 

Couple of years back while flicking through the TV Channels, I stopped at one particular spot thinking that the channel had started airing the TV show ‘Angel’ again since on the screen was David Boreanaz. Pretty soon I was hooked and when the commercial break came up, I discovered that the show called Bones. Over the years I have followed the series on TV, but have somehow missed out on reading the original series so far. This was my first date with the original and bookish Temperance Brennan.

Temperance Brennan lands in Guatemala to try and excavate dead bodies dating back to the country’s civil war. While a surprise attack leaves Temperance in shock, girls start disappearing all around and a body is found in a Hotel’s septic tank… Temperance Brennan is knee deep into an investigation that might be bit too much even for her. From the missing daughter of an ambassador to the local to what may be a serial killer on the loose to the DA’s secret, will Temperance Brennan be able to solve the case on time?

I have to admit that after having watched the series for quite some time, it was difficult for me to pick up this book with a clean slate and no expectation. Once I started with the book, I kept imagining Emily Deschanel’s face as Temperance and kept expecting Seeley to jump in any and every moment. Frankly, I think watching the series before the book, and having such amazing cast play the roles, it was quite easy for me to like the bookish Temperence too.

The plot was amazing! The elaborate and complicated web of mystery really pulled me in from the beginning. The parallel storylines along with their own sets of characters kept me enchanted throughout. At times, I did feel like smacking Temperance because of the certain rigidity in her character, but I suppose that’s the best part about this series – that we love our protagonist even though she has some serious flaws and issues. It is one thing watching it on TV but another thing on the whole to read all the scientific explanations involved in this series. The author has done a brilliant job in delivering it all in a scientific language that laymen like me too can easily grasp onto. Also, the description of Guatemala and the horrors of war has been well done.

Overall it was a fast paced page turner that I certainly enjoyed reading. It is also a part of a series that I plan to continue with.

Find out More about Kathy Reichs 

Buy this Book

25 April, 2013

#BookReview :: Wool by Hugh Howey

In a ruined and toxic landscape, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside. His fateful decision unleashes a drastic series of events. An unlikely candidate is appointed to replace him: Juliette, a mechanic with no training in law, whose special knack is fixing machines. Now Juliette is about to be entrusted with fixing her silo, and she will soon learn just how badly her world is broken. The silo is about to confront what its history has only hinted about and its inhabitants have never dared to whisper. Uprising! 

When I first heard about this book, I was under the impression that it’s a series of five novels. Its only when I looked up the summary of Wool #2 on Goodreads that I realized my mistake. Wool had originally been released on Amazon as novellas and in five installments and the book that I had was the Wool Omnibus that covered what the first five eBook installments. 

The setting is that of dystopian. Global warming and its effects have destroyed the earth. What life remains, lives as a community in a giant silo. They live under strict rules and regulations and any deviation leads to “cleaning”. Cleaning is a ritual that each exile performs in order to clean the camera lenses once they are sent out into the open – to their deaths. The story starts with Sheriff Holston getting ready for his turn to go out to the opens. On his death, the Mayor and Assistant Sheriff pick a new Sheriff, Jules, who isn’t the most popular choice. From there on the story takes unexpected twists and turns, mainly following Jules and her story.

The characters first… I mostly liked Jules. She is a hardworking and practical girl. She’s got beauty, brains and brawn. There’s hardly a secondary character, but Lucas filled in the protagonist’s friend cum love interest well enough. The antagonist actually didn’t inspire much fear in me – but that’s because I like antagonist who likes to get his own hands dirty, while the one in this book was quite happy to sit back and let others lead into the battle. Though we didn’t get to see a lot of Holston, I had an image of him in my mind from the way Jules, Mayor and the assistant Sheriff remembered him. I have a feeling that not seeing him in action is our loss.

The plot is a mix of Sci-fi and dystopian. I liked the general set-up of the premise of this novel. There were quite a few loopholes in the plot though that keeps me from rating this book a five star (and also the climax…) But the truth is that I noticed the ‘misses’ only after I put down the book at the end. The author had been successful in sucking me so deep into the story that I never second guessed the printed words. I kept turning the pages to cheer on Jules and for the action.

Find out more about Hugh Howey

24 April, 2013

#BookReview :: Ghostman by Roger Hobbs

This Review also appears in the First Issue of Tamarind Rice.

I make things disappear. It's what I do. This time I'm tidying up the loose ends after a casino heist gone bad. The loose ends being a million cash.

But I only have 48 hours, and there's a guy out there who wants my head in a bag.

He'll have to find me first.

They don't call me the Ghostman for nothing...

The first thing about the book that caught my eye was the quote on the cover. 'Fast, hard and knowing: this is an amazing debut full of intrigue, tradecraft and suspense. Read it immediately!' Lee Child. I am an ardent Lee Child fan and so I had no second thoughts about getting started on this book and I had high expectations from it.

The story begins with a detailed description of a heist gone bad. Then we meet our protagonist – an armed robber by profession. He is a Ghostman whose job is to clean up after a crime. As he says, "My name isn't really Jack. My name isn't John, George, Robert, Michael or Steven, either. It isn't any of the names that appear on my driver’s licenses and it isn't on my passports or credit cards. My real name isn't anywhere, except maybe on a college diploma and a couple of school records in my safety-deposit box.”  For this story however, let’s call him Jack Delton as that’s the alias that gets him this job. He is contacted by an old ‘colleague’ whom he owes for a job gone bad several years ago. That’s when we find out that Marcus was the orchestrator of the heist that the story began with. Now his guy and the money is missing while he owes a drug dealer a hell lot of money and Jack has only 48 hours to clean up this mess.

The first thing that hit me about the book was its protagonist. It is not very often that we get to see a protagonist who is so clearly on the other side of the law. He is an armed robber and not some Robin Hood and that’s what got to me first. We are so used to reading detectives, police, spy and even normal people as the protagonists of a thriller that this is an amazing change. It almost reminded me about Hannibal Lector. Jack is such a chameleon that even at the end of the story we know only so much about him.  The plot is amazing… there’s the matter of the missing money, Jack’s connection to Marcus, an elusive enemy who wants Jack dead and the matter of the time limit of 48 hours. These are all the makings of a great thriller. Being fast paced, there’s a lot of action packed into those 300-350 pages. It is a complete page turner that will have you on the edge of your seat for most part of the story. There are twists and turns that were unexpected for me since I had no idea what to expect from this unique protagonist.

The author’s greatest strength is also his weakness. He has an eye for great detail and everything is described in such a manner that there isn’t a part of the story that you will feel unfamiliar with. But at the same time I felt that some detailed descriptions were a tad bit overdone. For instance, while I like to know about the gun and its caliber in details, I really had no interest in the toaster model that Jack owned. Those places made me a bit impatient as I just wanted to get to the action instead of reading a paragraph on a toaster. I have looked up the author and it seems that he is young and fresh out of college and this is his debut novel. Considering that fact, I feel that this is an exceptional debut and hopefully he will only grow over the years.

Find out more about Roger Hobbs & his Book

23 April, 2013

#BookReview :: Murder on a Ghost Ship by Diane Rapp

When the president of Constellation Cruise Lines, Emily Schultz, buys an old cruise ship at a bargain price, she doesn’t discover there’s a ghost aboard until it’s too late to cancel the deal. Desperate for help, Emily calls Kayla Sanders and Natalia Baliskov back to work. They embark on a frantic search to discover the identity of the ghost and her murderer. The “Lady” tries to communicate by flooding Kayla with crazy visions of the ship from her final voyage. Kayla realizes the ghost is afraid her murderer will kill another passenger sailing on their next cruise. The entire ship is filled with suspects and potential victims, since everyone on the Sea Mist is a repeat passenger. 
The investigation ramps up when Kayla’s fiancé, Steven Young joins her onboard the ship. Suspended from Interpol after his partner got killed, Steven feels guilty and incompetent. While tracking down clever smugglers selling black market antiquities throughout the Mediterranean, Steven’s partner got too close. Steven doesn’t know there’s a leak inside Interpol! After the smugglers murdered his partner, they traced Steven to Colorado and wrecked Kayla’s cottage. Now they know he’s onboard the Sea Mist and want to kill him. Kayla must interpret her visions from the Lady in time to prevent another murder, and Steven needs to unmask the ruthless leader of the smuggling ring to get his job back. Their future depends on mutual success.

The president of Constellation Cruise Lines, Emily Schultz, discovers that the ship that she has recently acquired has a resident ghost with violent temper tantrums. She asks Kayla to help her before her most recent acquisition becomes a source for loss. Assisted by Natalia Baliskov and Stephen Young, Kayla starts by trying to find out who the ghost once was. Soon it becomes clear that the woman was a previous passenger of the Sea Mist, who had met an untimely death on board. She was pushed to her death and now she is trying to prevent another murder on the ship. But it is a difficult job as the current passengers on board is all second time passengers of Sea Mist. There’s also another parallel story going on with Steven being on board as he is suspended from Interpol after his partner is murdered. The people who murdered Steven’s partner are now tracking him and intent to kill him too.

It was only after I had started reading this book that I realized that this was the second part of a series. But after a couple of chapters, I was relieved as though the main characters seem to be connected through the first book; this book can be treated as a standalone. For a first time reader of this series, it wasn’t really difficult for me to get to know the characters. They slowly built up for me as the story progressed and I found it easy to feel connected to them through the printed words. I have to say that I loved Steven and Kayla. They have their own fair share of troubles, yet they emerge as strong and loveable characters.

The storyline has mystery with a touch of paranormal and action that keeps it interesting. It has a kind of slow build up and though at the beginning I was getting impatient, the pace soon picked up and looking back that build up was necessary. With secrets kept and unveiled and each passenger under suspicion at least once, it was a thrilling ride to take on board of the Sea Mist. The author has also managed to paint vivid pictures of people and situations through her pen and so it was pretty easy to get into the story.

For me this was an amazing discovery and cannot wait to look up the other works of this author.

Buy this Book

 This review also appears at the Indie House Books Website. You can check it out here : Murder on a Ghost Ship by Diane Rapp 

22 April, 2013

#SpecialFeature :: #BookReview of When Dreams Come True by Rebecca Emin

Now Presenting:
*** SPECIAL FEATURE - April'13 ***

So far on Special Feature April

Charlie is happiest when biking with Max and Toby, or watching films with Allie. But when Charlie reaches year nine, everything begins to change. As her friends develop new interests, Charlie's dreams become more frequent and vivid, and a family crisis tears her away from her friends. How will Charlie react when old family secrets are revealed? Will her life change completely as some of her dreams start to come true? 

Charlotte aka Charlie is a complete tomboy. It may have been because she had been best friends with Toby and Max since her childhood. She loves riding her bike with them. Then she meets Allie and realizes that boys mean something else to her newest friend. Life for this thirteen year old, is simple and exactly what it should be for a teenager. Complications rise only when her aunt falls sick and she starts having extremely vivid dreams.

The plot is simple and uncomplicated – well mostly so. It effectively revolves around its protagonist Charlie and her three friends. The teenagers are captured at their truest forms and their life oddly real. The essence of pure friendships formed and adolescent romance has been captured through printed words in a way that actually manages to paint a beautiful picture in the reader’s minds. As a result the characters themselves seemed very true to life. I loved Charlie and her innocence. Her interactions with her friends and parents and her way of dealing with things that she doesn’t quite understand completely kept me mesmerized throughout the book.

This is my third time experiencing Ms. Emin’s work and I have absolutely enjoyed her consistency in producing simple story line with simple characters and presenting them in a heart touching manner. The purity of the characters is clearly a common thread between New Beginnings and When Dreams Come true and certainly the USP of Ms.Emin’s work.

It took me about an hour to read this book and I consider it an hour well spent. A light read that reminded me that innocence can still be preserved.

Buy Her Books

Stalk The Author

This month we will have 5 lucky winners! Isn't that awesome news? Well, Ms.Emin has offered to giveaway 5 copies of her books to 5 winners. The Winners can choose between Paperback Copy of 'New Beginnings' or Digital Copy of either 'A Knowing Look' or 'When Dreams Come True'!
So what are you waiting for? Enter in the rafflecopter below for your chance at winning!

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17 April, 2013

#BookReview :: Reverb by J. Cafesin

James Micheal Whren is brilliant, beautiful, rich, and taken—with his genius for creating music. He's desired by many, yet commits to no one but his muse. Just twenty-eight, and at the pinnacle of his career, on the eve of his brother's funeral his father shatters his life, and James is left abandoned in hell with no one real to save him. 

His odyssey to freedom takes him beyond the looking glass, to the reflection of friends and lovers. Humbled and alone, James escapes to the Greek island of Corfu. But instead of finding solace there, loneliness almost consumes him. 

Until Elisabeth, and her son, Cameron. 

Reverb is a love story, a psychological thriller paced with romantic suspense. In the spirit of The Magus (John Fowles, 1966), and way beyond Fifty Shades of Gray (E.L. James, 2011), the story chronicles intricately woven characters that linger long after the read, and fraught with frailties that possess us all. It is a tale of redemption—the evolution of a modern man from solipsist to integrated awareness, and the journey that inadvertently awakens his capacity to love. 

James, the leading man of the story, is an artist with a tortured soul and past that weighs heavily on him. He escapes through his music and is almost isolated from the rest of the world until Elisabeth and her son walks into his life. Elisabeth has past of her own with her previous marriage and the loss of her first husband. The book covers the journey of these to souls to finding each other.

I am keeping the story outline short because I do not want to give away much of the plot. It is twisted in some ways and that’s the main attraction of the novel. The situations and the course of action of some of the characters is what give the storyline the quality that it has. Frankly, the book has some seriously disturbing situations and the way the author has delicately handled them must be acknowledged. The dialogues and conversations are a plus point. It is a smooth and well-paced novel, with simplicity in language. Ms.Cafesin’s real talent lies in her character depiction as the way she has portrayed each character in the book made me feel strongly, whether love-hate-irritation, for each of them. There isn’t one character that I could feel indifferent about.

James is a character like no other. It is sufficient to say that James has seen and suffered so much in his life, some of it truly horrifying, that as a reader Elisabeth and her son were as much a hope as for James himself. I assure you that you will feel deeply for him. As for Elisabeth, I appreciated her patience with James but at the same time I often wondered how she could be so blind to his sufferings since women usually have a sixth sense about these things, especially when it involves a loved one. And my god, I hated Edward so much. I kept wondering what kind of a father has the line of thinking like him. He is such a misguided dumb-fool.

Overall, this is a well-written and entertaining read for matured readers.

Buy the Book from Amazon

16 April, 2013

#CharacterInterview :: The Senses Tracker Balen Hero of “Jump” by Cindy Paterson

Centuries of loyalty :: His code of honor was respected without question, until he consumed the blood of an enemy in exchange for a mortal woman to be set free from certain slavery.
He can’t forget her :: Despite knowing, he will be imprisoned and put to death if caught, Balen, a fierce Senses Tracker, returns to Toronto to find the mortal woman, Danielle, he left behind two years ago. Haunted with memories of the torture they endured in the hands of a Senses enemy, Balen’s determination to see her again, drives him to risk everything. But when he does, a new enemy comes into play, one he can’t defeat. 
To conquer the wrath of fear :: Determined to find some sort of peace after her abduction, Danielle finds solace in painting a man from her nocturnal unconsciousness. When he comes knocking on her door, her world is shattered and Danielle must face her worst fears in order to survive what is coming after them. It won’t stop. It can’t. For the ancient spell has no compassion. 
A journey of tenacious desire that refuses to fade even though that is what will destroy them. Because—in order for Danielle to live, first she must die.

The Senses Tracker Balen
Hero of “Jump”
Book ONE in the senses series

I’m so excited to be sitting down with Balen, a Senses Tracker from Cindy Paterson’s novel JUMP. 
Thank you Balen for joining us today. I know Cindy has asked that we keep it short as there are some issues that need attending to. 
Balen flashes a smile. “My pleasure, DDS. And the issues can wait. Xamien is currently keeping Cindy…” he pauses, “occupied.” 
I blink. Wow. Not touching that one. “Umm, okay so…” I rub my pen against my thigh and avoid looking at him because all I can think about is him and his tattoos, and him undressing, and… stop. Ask the questions. “I was pretty shocked reading what happened to you and Danielle. I can’t imagine what you went through while watching her being tortured by that vamp and you were helpless to do anything.”
Balen raises his brows. “Right through the heart with your first question. Impressive.” 
“We have limited time and—”
“No need, DDS.” 
I watch as he leans back in his chair and crosses his ankles. He has a pensive look on his face that makes it even worse for where my imagination is going.
“I didn’t know Danielle at the time. And yes, the images, her screams, they still haunt me.” His gaze meets mine. “But I was never helpless, DDS. I had the power to stop what happened.”
“And you did. You sacrificed everything to save her. You broke Senses laws and drank a vamp’s blood. You were hunted by your own kind for years. All for a woman you didn’t even know.”
He gives a single, curt nod. “It was never a sacrifice. Not with her. Never for her.”
“So, what was it like getting to know Danielle?”
Slowly his eyes become hooded and I’m taken back by his allure. I wonder if he knows how captivating he is. All he has to do is sit there and I’m completely taken. 
“I was unable to see Danielle for two years after our imprisonment with the vamp. That time was the most enraging and frustrating days of my life. I was drawn to Danielle even in our tragic circumstance. She has this magnetic quality about her.” He pauses again. “Stubborn. And she fought him…”
“The vamp, you mean.” I can see this is hard to talk about even years later. Balen’s brows are lowered over his eyes and he is running his finger up and down his coffee mug. Interesting. The memory is still really raw and rightly so.
Balen nods and says nothing.
“I’m sorry. For you both. Well, I wanted to ask about Danielle transitioning into a Senses. That was a scene I’ll never forget. I mean she had to die. You watched. Care to explain how that feels?”
“No. I will not. You read the book, it is very clear what we went through. And if you ever mention it to Danielle, I will have words with you.”
Holy shit. Even though he remained in that relaxed position, I notice his hand tightens around the mug. His jaw is clenched and his eyes are piercing. Double shit. I should have asked Cindy to interview Jedrik. At least Jedrik was a flirt and charming. Balen has the sexy appeal that can eat me alive. “Let’s move on then.”
“Good idea.”
I swallow. “When you first saw Danielle again, pick five words that went through your mind.”
“There was so much going through me the moment I saw her again. Anguish. Torture. Guilt. Desire. Need. If you’d have seen her back then, there was this undeniable fear in her eyes. She’d lost that fight.” He takes a deep breath. “Danielle had been stubborn and resilient when we first met in those cages, but afterwards…when I came back…it had eaten away at her. Danielle was the only woman I thought about for two years. So when I saw her again, it ripped me apart, but I knew at that moment that I would do anything for her.”
Wow, just wow. I knew I loved this man. He gives me a penetrating stare and I can’t get over how green his eyes are. Way better in person than just reading it. 
“Perhaps we can move on, DDS. To less invasive questions.”
“Yes, of course. I wanted to ask you about Cindy. What’s she like?”
“You would be better to ask Xamien that question.” He winks.
“But Xamien refused an interview. He says not until FALL is released in May. You must be able to share something.”
He grins. “She has Twix bars in her freezer for those late night writing. And…Well Alpha men are her thing. Just take a look at Xamien.”
“I don’t know Xamien. He wasn’t in JUMP.”
“You’ll meet him next month in FALL. A Taldeburu like Waleron.”
“Speaking of Waleron. He is one hard ass. Aren’t you ever afraid of him? He can put you in Rest and have you live your worst nightmares over and over again. Oh and what is with your Scars? I mean, wow. Tattoos coming to life. So cool. Not sure if I like Waleron’s, though. That snake tattoo is scary as hell.”
“Afraid?” he chuckles. “Waleron is one of the most powerful Senses in the world, but he lives and breathes his oaths. He protects us with everything he is. We wouldn’t be Senses if we feared our own kind. Understand DDS, the Senses are warriors. Not much can frighten us.”
“Unless it involves your woman.”
“There is that. Yes, we’re no doubt Alphas by nature.”
“What about Waleron and Delara?”
Balen glares. “That subject is not open for discussion.”
“I get it. I mean Waleron and Delara’s intensity is…well, damn its explosive. I had no idea what was going on between them.”
Balen’s cell rings and he reaches into his back jean pocket. “Yes?” … “Indeed.” … “I will tell her.” He ends the call and slips the phone into his pocket and stands.
My heart leaps as I look over his tall lean frame. If I could have one man, it would be him. 
“That was Cindy. She’d like me to wish you the best and thank you for having me.”
“It’s been a pleasure.” 
Balen smiles. “My love, the pleasure has been mine.”
I swear his words just sent my entire body into flames. I can’t take my eyes off him as he walks away.  

What Reviewers are saying!
“The characters are well-developed and the dialog was smooth.”
- Melissa Limoges on Amazon

“Anyone who enjoys fantasy, romance or vampire books will love it. ”

- DottieP on Amazon
"It's emotive. It picks at your scabs and if you have latent issues they'll start to bleed while you read this."
- Poppet on Goodreads
"I highly recommend this book if you love strong warriors, meddling, supernatural entities, a sprinkling of humor and an exciting plot. Well done Ms Paterson."
- Michelle (MsRomanticReads) on Goodreads
"Awesome read. I was captivated through out the entire book. "
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