31 May, 2013

#BookReview :: When Strangers Meet… by K. Hari Kumar

What happens when an irritating but lovable wise-cracking 'Stranger' called Iyer meets a frustrated and arrogant teenager, Jai, on a fateful day in a congested room at the metro station? Catastrophe!!!
Meanwhile, Pathan never had the pleasure of happiness in his life yet he thanked Allah for every second of it...
Abandoned by fate and friends, surrounded by responsibilities and poverty... This hard-coated man from the city of Delhi knew only thing and that was to keep faith in Allah... Now he is set on a journey to turn around his fate...
The tale from the Iyer's past will change Pathan's present and Jai's future... And trust me...
Sometimes all it takes is a stranger's tale to change the track of your life...
Three Men... One fateful day... and a Story of a Lifetime...

Have you ever wondered if you can influence a complete stranger’s life? Celebrities often have that capacity, but I have often wondered if I, being part of the ‘common people’ category, could ever do that. If you have then this book might just quench your curiosity and if you haven’t then this book might just fuel your curiosity.

‘When Stangers Meet’ is a story of an usual circumstance when three people from very different backgrounds of life find themselves stranded together. Oh well, may the circumstance is not so unusual after all because we often do find ourselves in the company of strangers – be it on a long distance train journey or under a roadside shelter during heavy rain. But what is unusual in this case is that Jai, Iyer and Pathan not only strike up a conversation but they actually share their personal experiences somehow manages to touch the other. You might say that the plot can be predictable, yet the author will catch you off guard with a twist at the end.

The individual characters in the story have their own unique identity and they bring in something new to each other’s lives. The protagonists are all well-developed characters that really bring the story together. I do not think that 3 Iyer’s chance meeting would have had the same impact. The style of storytelling here is simple with a pace that’s just about right.

I think, given a chance, the present generation has the capability to come up with something different to keep you occupied. In recent times I have discovered quite a few youngsters who are breaking away from the crowd and coming up with stories that don’t conform with the most clichéd stories. Hari Kumar is no doubt such an author. Breaking away from the trend of writing campus anguish or love stories, Hari Kumar tells us that yes we have the power to touch the lives of complete strangers. 

Overall, it was an entertaining read that I gobbled up in a matter of hours. It is perfect for a lazy afternoon!

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#BookReview :: Big Girl by Danielle Steel

In this heartfelt and incisive new novel, Danielle Steel celebrates the virtues of unconventional beauty while exploring deeply resonant issues of weight, self-image, sisterhood, and family.

A number of people have recommended me to read Danielle Steel over the years and I have had a chance to read only one of her books, Echoes, so far. I had really enjoyed reading it and so I was glad to get my hands on a second book by the author.

Victoria Dawson has always been treated as the black sheep of her family. She felt like a misfit within her family when it came to her looks. Her academic achievements were never acknowledged while every spoon of ice-cream she ate was frowned upon. When she lands a job of her choice at New York, she gets a chance to start over a new life away from her disapproving parents and her dear sister. But when Grace announces her engagement, things become complicated for Victoria. On one hand she is worried for Grace because she feels that Grace has chosen to be with a man who is just like their father. And on the other hand, the lack of action in her own love life bothers her. And then with an act of betrayal, everything changes.

When I read the summary of the book, I could hardly wait to start on it. I have often wondered why all the female protagonists are the ones with a perfect body and looks. After all, in the real world, women do come in all shapes and sizes. Why doesn’t anyone tell their story. It seemed to me that this book was finally offering the readers something different when it came to its protagonist. And I was right in a way.  Victoria is no model or fashionista, instead she is overweight and struggles with eating problems. But at the same time, she is also very meek and lacks the strength of character. That’s where I had my problem. Just because a girl is a bit over weight (it is not like Victoria has to shop only in plus size stores!) doesn’t mean that she has to lack self-confidence and strength. And, while her parents weren’t certainly no model parents, I felt that she too cared a bit too much.  Grace was in a sad state as well.

The plot had great potential in terms of outlining the problems faced by people with weight issues, eating disorders, emotional abuse and cheating. But somehow the author failed to failed to make a single point even after some 300 odd pages. But at least the author brought up some very important questions for us to ponder about and answer. And however much I criticize Victoria, I also know that there are many girls out there who are going through the same things and reacting in the same way. So, I have to admit that instead of painting a rosy picture, the author has given us some dose of reality through the Novel. And yes, there’s that happy ending that brings home some hope.

Find out More about Danielle Steel

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This Review also appears in the Second Issue of Tamarind Rice

30 May, 2013

#GuestPost :: An Indie Writer’s Dreams by Nancy LaRonda Johnson

Nancy LaRonda Johnson is a passionate writer of Christian and other fiction and poetry. She has written short stories, poetry and personal journals most of her life, and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a Juris Doctorate. Anticipation of the Penitent was a front-runner in the Indie Publishing Contest sponsored by the San Francisco Writer’s Contest 2012.
Nancy’s blog: Writer’s Mark ~ Christian and other fiction, poetry and ideas

As an indie writer, and a deputy probation officer by day, I have learned that this road is much more entailed and takes a stronger belief in what I write than I ever thought. But, it is so much fun, it’s unbelievable and frustrating that I can’t do it fulltime.

At the start of 2012, I was one of those new writers who believed she would have the stamina to wait for an agent to take her on and get her a most amazing publishing contract that after several years, she’d be able to retire from her day job. Reality hit hard. That’s okay, because I’ve endured and am heading in the direction of my dreams with hard work, risk taking, strong faith in God, and the belief in what I’m doing.

Dreams start with writing. Although I don’t write as much as I’d like, it is happening. My second book, Salted With Fire, will be published within a couple of months. Then I will focus on Anticipating Dawn, the sequel to my first book, Anticipation of the Penitent. I am also an avid blogger, something I feared and didn’t want to know anything about before I ventured into it. Now blogging is another great love of mine.

Indie writers are the future of book writing, and I believe I’m heading in the right direction by registering my own publishing company called Writer’s Mark Publications, named after my blog. In the future, I hope to take Writer’s Mark Publications somewhere big for indie authors.

Risks are what every writer must take when she sends her work out into the world and wants it to spread. The most intimidating risk? Marketing. That used to be a taboo concept for me, but is now my complicated, time consuming and, lately, costly passion. Marketing doesn’t have to be so expensive if you have the time and ability to research and do all of it on your own. I still do what I can, but have come to my limitation in regard to reaching out to the media. So, I have recently obtained a publicist, i.e., big financial risk!

And that’s where a strong faith in God comes in. Well, really faith has resided in me, flowed around me, comforted, and guided me from the very beginning. I am thankful that faith pumps itself up even more when the risks get greater, setbacks come, and doubt tries to sink its wood-rotted teeth into my foundation.

My hope as a writer is not only to get my fiction and poetry into the hands of the public, but to spread hope and encouragement to other indie writers who are struggling with the same passions as I have.

Now I leave you with the short synopses of my books below, and my wish for you to follow your dreams, take necessary risks, build your faith, and believe in yourselves as writers.

Anticipation of the Penitent is a Christian speculative novel about a serial killer and his mother. When Alezea is trapped by the Devil, she bears him a son and knows her life will never be her own. She is the mother of Thomas, a man reared by Satan to be a killer of life’s most innocent – little girls. When Alezea finds a way out, she risks her very soul to free Thomas from his father. The fight to save her son will either redeem Alezea or destroy her forever. Rachel knows Thomas’ history, yet she believes her presence can transform him. Rachel’s belief in Thomas might send her further into the Devil’s realm or provide an opening for God’s miracles in both of their lives.

Anticipation of the Penitent is available from

Salted With Fire is another endeavor led by God. Flash fiction is my passion; poetry, my release. I love creating a complete story, with a beginning, middle and end, with twists, humor, drama, compassion and horror, all under 1000 words. This book isn’t just stories and poetry, it is my journey as a writer, from writing only for the mere joy of it regardless of the message, to writing stories that highlight God’s will for people, even if the stories themselves are not religious in nature. It contains fifteen flash fiction pieces and twelve poems, and short Biblical discussions after each story.

Salted With Fire will be available by July 2013.

29 May, 2013

#SpecialFeature :: #AuthorInterview with Ms.Eileen Harris

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

So Far on Special Feature May:

An Interview with Ms. Harris

What or who inspired you to start writing?
No one?  Everyone?  I've always loved to make up and tell stories.  My mother was an avid reader and encouraged me to be the same.  When my son had read nearly everything in our local library, I began writing some things for him.  Eventually I decided to try writing a book and haven't been able to quit since.

How did you come up with ideas for your books?
There is no answer for this question even though it comes up a lot.  Suddenly, and seemingly from nowhere, I realize an idea is trying to make it's way to the printed page.  The idea may come from something I see, hear, or even an idle comment someone makes.

When did you first decide to submit your work?
Like everyone that writes, I probably flirted with the idea from the time I put the first word on paper.  One day it just seemed like the right time.  I never stop feeling lucky that in these uncertain times my books found their way into print.

What is the best and worst advice you ever received?
This changes as I change.  Originally the best advice regarding writing I ever received was to put my butt in a chair and keep putting it there until I finished a book.  Later that changed to, “Learn everything you can about your craft.  The more you know the better you can be.”
The worst advice was probably, “Why bother writing since it's impossible to get published these days.”  I can't write hoping to be published or to make money.  I can only write because I love doing it.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?
When I begin a book I don't outline.  I have an idea, and then the characters do the work while I record their actions.  After several chapters are written, I often keep a brief outline to help me make sure things flow in a logical order.

What essentials do you need for writing?
A chair, a computer, and an idea.

What's your big distraction or vice while writing?
On a good day absolutely nothing can distract me.
If you were a casting director for the film version of Alicia Trent Series, who would play your lead roles?
My first choice would be Kristen Bell, the actress that played Veronica Mars in the TV series.

Besides writing, what else interests you?
I could use a whole page to answer this, but I will try to keep it brief.  Naturally I love to read.  I think most authors do.  I like physical sports such as tennis and racquet ball and enjoy spelunking. My family and the things we do together are important to me.  I could go on about friends, good TV and movies, good music, travel, gardening, etc.  For me, variety truly is the spice of life.

What three thing would you carry to the famous deserted island?
Assuming I couldn't take people and the island has no electricity - Paper, a black pen, and a red pen.

Have you started your next project?
Yes, two actually.  They are both very different from The Alicia Trent Series, as well as different from each other.  Naturally there is mystery, danger, and fun in both of them, but there the similarity ends. 

Stalk The Author
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Buy the Books

Ms.Harris has the most awesome proposal this month! She will be giving away all the 4 books in the Alicia Trent Series to ONE very lucky winner from US. 
I have read 4 of 5  of these books and trust me, they are well worth your time! Now Hurry Up! Enter in the rafflecopter below and remember to come back throught out the month for more posts and entries!
Please note that I will be checking the entries, so enter only genuine links. Other entries will be removed.

27 May, 2013

#BlogTour :: #Spotlight Chosen by Andrea Buginsky

The Chosen
New Edition!

Expanded to include even more action, romance, and adventure!
The Chosen has been revised and expanded to give it a more polished look. You’ll love all of the new additions, including:
  • Two new characters essential to The Chosen
  • A light romance story
  • More action scenes
All of this topped off with a beautiful brand new cover.

Halli is a shy, young dwarf who has no idea of her true calling. When the evil Prince Gastle sets out to detroy the world of Phantasma, Queen Laurali of the Elves comes to tell Halli she's a Holy Paladin with the power to heal, and will join The Chosen, a group of brave warriors being sent to defeat the evil beast and save Phantasma. Will Halli be accepted by her group, and be able to keep them alive through their adventures? Will the evil Prince Gastle be defeated, freeing Phantasma from his destruction? Only time will tell.

“Halli, you have a wonderful calling.  You are a Holy Paladin, with powers that can heal the sick, and even raise the dead in certain cases.  Holy Paladins are very rare, and very coveted.  To protect you, we agreed to come to Drumple to live with the other dwarves, so we could blend in, and appear to be no different than them.  We all planned on telling you of your calling when you were done with school, but as Queen Laurali has said, Prince Gastle’s attacks have made the day we tell you come sooner than we anticipated.”
Halli sat staring at her mother as she heard the tale.  She knew all about The Castle of the Elves, it’s subjects, Priestesses and Holy Paladins from her studies and readings.  She grew up hearing stories about them all.  She absorbed everything she could find and read about them.  It was as though somewhere inside her, she knew she was a part of it all.  But hearing what her mother was telling her was surreal.  She started to shake her head.
“This can’t be,” she whispered.  “You can’t be serious.  How can I possibly be what you say I am?  You know me, Mom.  I’m not strong and powerful.  I’m shy, I’m quiet, I like to be alone and not surrounded by a lot of people.  I have problems facing confrontations, and do everything I can to avoid them.”
Queen Laurali smiled at Halli’s description of herself. 
“Halli, everything you just said are the classic traits of Holy Paladins, from a certain point of view.  They don’t get involved in conflicts themselves, but rather keep those that are involved alive from a distance.  They don’t get directly involved in confrontations and arguments.  They think things through and come up with solutions that will work for everyone.  In essence, they keep the peace within the groups with which they’re involved.  From a distance, this can make them seem quiet and shy, but anyone who knows them knows it is their quiet ways that keep this peace.”
Halli stared at Queen Laurali as she listened to her, and again began to shake her head. 
“I don’t think that’s how I am.  I am shy, I do avoid confrontation.  And even if what you’re saying is true, how can I possibly do anything to help the fight against Prince Gastle?  I’m just a student!”
“Halli, this is your destiny,” Queen Laurali assured her.  “This is what you’re meant to do.  I know it’s a shock to hear all of this, but it’s your birthright.”

Available at Amazon and Smashwords

Andrea Buginsky is a freelance writer and author. “The Chosen” was her first book, and was followed by “My Open Heart,” an autobiography about growing up with heart disease. “Nature’s Unbalance” is the second story in THE CHOSEN series. Andrea plans to write more in the series. She’s already done with the first draft of book 3 and has a concept for book 4. You can find Andrea on her website, Andi’s Realm. Her books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Remember to sign up for Andrea’s newsletter to stay up-to-date on all of her exciting events.

24 May, 2013

#BookReview :: The Deliverance of Evil by Roberto Costantini

On 11 July 1982, Elisa Sordi was beautiful. Commissario Michele Balistreri was fearless. Italy was victorious.

A killer was waiting...

On 9 July 2006, with Sordi's case twenty-four years cold, and Balistreri haunted by guilt and regret, Italian victory returned.

And so did Sordi's killer...

But this time Michele Balistreri would be ready. This time he would fear no evil.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

The book begins in 1982 when the protagonist, Michele Balistreri, was young, fearless and a bit careless. Few days after he meets Elisa Sordi for the first time, on the eve of football world cup finals, she goes missing. Her body turns up after sometime and it is very clear that she had been tortured. Her bruised dead body changes something within Michele. However, he ends up arresting the wrong person for her murder case. But that was all in the past for Michele, still haunting him, till a new case comes into life in 2006. Two more girls have been murdered in way that is just too similar to Elisa Sordi’s Case. Now Michele is more experienced and matured and he vows to find the killer at any cost!

After reading this book, I am ashamed to admit that I hadn’t heard of this author before Book Depository offered me an ARC for Review purpose. Shame really, to have not known about such an amazing author.

It took me sometime to really get into the book because Michele Balistreri is a difficult character to like. His mentality and attitude towards the beginning was practically revolting. He came across as this careless and haughty young man whose attitude toward his work and towards women in general made me want smack him on the head till he had some new perspective. Ironically, it was the death of a woman that started to bring in the change in him. By the time we get reacquainted to Michele in 2006, he has matured a lot making it easier to like him.

The plot is amazing. A murder in 1982 is connected to murders in 2006 – both sets happen around the time when Italy won the football world cup. The similarities are undeniable and Michele conscience has been killing him for arresting the wrong person the first time round. But then there’s more to it than meets the eye in this case. A conspiracy that can rock the people of his nation and also enter the Secret Services to rock the already rocky boat!

The author has a great style of writing and character build up. As a reader I had a great time with the love-hate relationship with Michele. It was like I was in the book – living it. Of course some credit also goes to the translator N.S.Thompson for his exemplary work and input. I in turn suspected each character while I kept turning the pages.

I loved it! If you are a Mystery/Thriller fan, be sure to give it a try…

I got this book free of cost from The Book Depository for Review Purpose. I have not received any incentive for writing this review and the opinion expressed is my own.

23 May, 2013

#BookReview :: Fatal Voyage (Temperance Brennan #4) by Kathy Reichs

When a plane crashes high in the mountains of North Carolina, Dr. Temperence Brennan is first on the scene. As a forensic anthropologist for the state, she serves on the disaster response team. The task that cofronts her is a sad and sickening one. 

A chance discovery concerns Tempe: a severed foor, away from the main crash site. A deserted house is buried so deep in the woods that locals know nothing of its existence. And her investigation throws up more questions than answers.

Before she can make any progress Tempe's profesiional standing is threatened. But she fears that, air tragedy aside, another corpse lies in the woods. Pitting herself against a conspiracy of silence, Tempe vows to bring justice for her mystery victim. 

I picked this book up as soon as I finished reading Deadly Decisions (Temperance Brennan #3).

This time Tempe is on the team that arrives first at the site of an airplane crash. The job at hand this time is really difficult. When Tempe finds a piece of evidence that shouldn’t have been at the scene and a small house that the locals were not aware of, she yet again takes it upon herself to solve the case. Only this time things are complicated as her character and ethics are being questioned. Now, she has only Andrew Ryan to depend on as she rushes to not only solve the case but also to clear her name.

I have to admit that the description of the crash site gave me goose bumps. The author has really described the scene with great detail so as to make it easy for us readers to form a mental image. That, together with the author’s note at the end of the book regarding her experience of working at the 9/11 World Trade Centre site of the terrorist attack, made this book a bit too real to me. No matter the rest of the novel, this is something that had me staring at the pages for quite some time. It is easy to read a piece of fiction. But I cannot, even now, even begin to imagine how people manage to actually face such situations.

Rest of the novel is in true Kathy Reichs style – predictable with too many coincidences. I Am finally growing to like Tempe as a book character more than Tempe of ‘Bones’ the TV series. Also, now that I finally know (I think I am the last one to realise this) how much of her personal life experiences Kathy Reichs puts into her books, I think I appreciate her a bit more.

Learn more about Kathy Reichs

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22 May, 2013

#SpecialFeature :: #Spotlight on Antique Legacy (Alicia Trent #4) by Eileen Harris

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

While the almost castle crumbles around them, Alicia desperately searches for the answers she wants and needs. Every creepy room demands a thorough search. Someone is trying to kill her, and she doesn't even know why, let alone, who. Each room she searches is a challenge and each is either fascinating or horrifying. The huge cat now follows her everywhere, even into closed rooms. If she can discover his secret before one of the murder attempts succeeds, maybe she can find the answers she needs. 

An Excerpt

I stood drinking in the beauty and thinking how different this scene would be on a night with no moonlight when I heard a noise behind me in the trees. I wondered if the deer was coming back for another look, or if some other night creature was hunting for a drink. I'd barely completed the thought when something slammed into my back, knocking me to the ground. I was lying on the muddy riverbank fighting furiously with the human weight on my back, and as we struggled, we slid down toward the water. For a moment the weight was gone, and I rolled over to see my attacker. I was sure it was a man, but couldn't make out a face. He seemed huge as he reached over and grabbed my ankles, giving me a jerk that stopped my downward slide. I was wracking my brain for something from my self-defense classes that would help me.

I realized how dangerous my situation was, and hoping sound carried out here in the quiet, I screamed. I got out four loud shouts before he slammed my face into the mud. I couldn't breathe, and held my breath to keep from inhaling sludge. I knew that in another few seconds I wouldn't be able to stop my body from trying to draw in air, when he grabbed my hair and yanked my head up. He was still behind me, but his voice confirmed it was a man when he said, “Keep quiet or the next time your face stays in the mud. I can kill you right here, dump your body in the water, and it might be years before they find you.”

I didn't recognize the voice because he was using a hoarse whisper to disguise the sound. I only knew of two men in the area, and wondered which cousin was trying to kill me. I wanted to scream again, but couldn't risk it. Pinning my arms, the man lifted me up and drug me back up the bank to the open area at the top. I didn't have much effect against his strength—he was very strong. Sitting on my legs so I couldn't kick him, he tied my hands behind my back. The pain in my shoulders was blinding when he rolled me over and pushed me down on my back. I couldn't kick, I couldn't hit him, and I could barely lift my head off the ground. I lay there covered with mud and held prisoner by a man I now realized was wearing a ski mask. I expected to die. When he reached down and grabbed my blouse, ripping it open, I tried to scream no matter what the consequences, but he immediately stuffed a muddy rag in my mouth. I'd never felt this helpless in my life, and fear threatened to wipe out all other emotions. Removing the remains of the blouse and my bra, he alternately caressed and pinched my breasts. I knew he was leaving bruises. My nausea was so strong I was sure I was going to vomit and choke to death. Since he was straddling me, I could feel his erection pressing against me. Next he reached inside my jeans, groping around. The jeans were wet with mud, and too tight to let him reach where he wanted. He cursed, removed his hand in order to unzip them, but then suddenly he hesitated and cocked his head to listen. I prayed he'd heard someone coming, but I couldn't imagine who would be out here this time of night. Then I heard what he'd heard. Connie was calling my name in the distance.

I thought he would run, but instead he dragged a knife I hadn't known he had down my left arm leaving a trail of blood. In the same awful whisper, he said, “Thought you'd be saved, did you? Think again. Even if she comes this far, it will take her time to get here.

Five Things about the Book

~ Ali receives a fascinating inheritance.
~ She travels to England to meet her father's family she never knew existed.
~ Her eagerness to meet her relatives, when she thought she was completely without family, leads to unexpected danger.  Almost from the time she arrives murder stalks her every move.
~ She makes friends with a large, unusual cat and a menacing handyman.
~ Not all inheritances turn out to be a blessing.

Stalk The Author
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Buy the Books
Ms.Harris has the most awesome proposal this month! She will be giving away all the 4 books in the Alicia Trent Series to ONE very lucky winner from US. 
I have read 4 of 5  of these books and trust me, they are well worth your time! Now Hurry Up! Enter in the rafflecopter below and remember to come back throught out the month for more posts and entries!
Please note that I will be checking the entries, so enter only genuine links. Other entries will be removed.

21 May, 2013

#BookReview :: Deadly Decisions (Temperance Brennan #3) by Kathy Reichs

Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist with one of the longest commutes in fiction--from North Carolina to Montreal. She works in both places, and in this third outing (after Déjà Dead and Death du Jour) she manages to make a riveting (if a bit too coincidental) connection between a skull in Montreal and the partial skeleton of a teenager--dead since 1984--in North Carolina. Linking them is a 9-year-old girl shot on a Montreal street, the victim of a war among members of an outlaw motorcycle gang in eastern Canada. Another piece of the puzzle is provided by Tempe's visiting nephew, who is fascinated by the biker culture and is drawn into the mystery Tempe's trying to solve. 

Temperance Brennan manages to make a connection between a skull in Montreal and the partial skeleton of a teenager in North Carolina. And caught in between is a 9-year-old girl who is shot at on a Montreal street. As Tempe decides gets involved in this case, she discovers that the biker gangs are involved. Her nephew becomes a bit too interested in their lifestyle and also gets involved with a not so upfront reporter. Looking into the deaths of young girls killed twenty years apart, Tempe reveals her most sensitive side in this novel.

While I have very limited experience in reading the Temperance Brennan Series, I feel that so far of all the novels that I have read, this one reveals the softer side of Tempe. Her take on these murders and the zeal to bring the murderers to justice rally made me see Tempe in a new light.

There’s a lot of background provided for the sake of the people who are not so aware of the lifestyle of the bikers (read ‘ME’). I do not really know much about the biker lifestyle let alone biker gangs and as such, this was an interesting read for me. Besides, as is usual for a Kathy Reichs novel, there’s a lot of forensic details involved. This time the focus was mainly on blood splatter, and thanks to Dexter and CSI TV Series, I knew something about them already and was quick to catch up on.

The Temperance Brennan Series in general is very predictable and the element of ‘coincidence’ usually plays a hand at them. This book was no different. But what with Kit, Tempe’s Nephew, being involved, the author managed to maintain a certain level of tension throughout the book. This was another couple of hours of Page turning entertainment.

Learn more about Kathy Reichs

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20 May, 2013

#BookReview :: The Wednesday Daughters (Wednesday #2) by Meg Waite Clayton

It is early evening when Hope Tantry arrives at the small cottage in England’s pastoral Lake District where her mother, Ally, spent the last years of her life. Ally—one of a close-knit group of women who called themselves the Wednesday Sisters—had used the cottage as a writer’s retreat while she worked on her unpublished biography of Beatrix Potter, yet Hope knows little about her mother’s time there. Traveling with Hope are friends Anna Page and Julie, first introduced as little girls in The Wednesday Sisters, now grown women grappling with issues of a different era. They’ve come to help Hope sort through her mother’s personal effects, yet what they find is a tangled family history—one steeped in Lake District lore.

Tucked away in a hidden drawer, Hope finds a stack of Ally’s old notebooks, all written in a mysterious code. As she, Julie, and Anna Page try to decipher Ally’s writings—the reason for their encryption, their possible connection to the Potter manuscript—they are forced to confront their own personal struggles: Hope’s doubts about her marriage, Julie’s grief over losing her twin sister, Anna Page’s fear of commitment in relationships. And as the real reason for Ally’s stay in England comes to light, Hope, Julie, and Anna Page reach a new understanding about the enduring bonds of family, the unwavering strength of love, and the inescapable pull of the past.

Hope Tantry along with her friends, Anna and Julie visits the cottage where her mother spent the last years of her life. Hope’s mother’, Ally, had used this cottage as a retreat to finish her biography on Beatrix Potter. Hope knew very little about the time her mother spent here. 
Hope soon realises that there’s a lot of things that she did not know about her mother – like the friendly neighbour next door and the encoded journal that ally left hidden in a drawer. Hope is overwhelmed by her grief, the unanswered questions and her doubts about her own marriage. She also realises that her friends have their own struggles – Julie is still grieving the loss of her twin sister and Anna’s facing her fear of commitments. As they try to find the answers regarding Ally, they take on a journey of their own that teaches them more about love and family.

Though Hope stands out in the novel, Anna and Julie are equally important parts of it. The characters are each unique in their own ways, yet it feels like as if the story would be incomplete even without any one of them. Well-developed characters are easy to connect to and these characters were no different. Even though I haven’t read Wednesday’s Sisters, the prequel to this one, I never felt completely lost. The intertwined lives of the characters were really interesting to read about.

The plot line is simple yet compelling. Bringing together the lives of the ‘Wednesday Sisters’ and the ‘Wednesday Daughters’, this book deals mostly about how each person’s past can influence their present and future. The book also explores the bonds of friendship and family and their effect on our lives. Even the secrets kept from the ones closest to us and betrayals – basically with the simplest concepts of each and every person’s lives. The author has managed to deliver it all in a beautifully wrapped package that is her very precise style of writing.

Though ‘Wednesday Daughters’ can stand alone, I wish I had read ‘Wednesday Sisters’ before reading this so as to be able to forge a relationship with both the generations from the very beginning.

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17 May, 2013

#GuestPost by #Author J. Cafesin

Writing fiction is intoxicating. Fully engaging. Hot. Sexual. Physical. Mental. Spacial. Virtually touching real if I'm doing it right, then enter the scene, a million miles from solitude...
I HATE marketing. Wish the only selling I had to do of my fiction was this:

Readers: read me because I write taut, edgy, modern fiction with complex, compelling characters that bring story live, and linger long after the reads...

Are you a writer, artist, developer? A passionate creator?

Then I know something about you, as you do me. We're self-absorbed, have to be. The creative process demands it, immersed inside our own heads playing with our imagination and formulating ideas. The execution process is even more demanding. Between the brain and actualization of an idea is the Grand Canyon, and requires many hours, intense focus and diligence to get to even close to producing something good.

Tom Edison knew, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” And while he was a great inventor, by most accounts he was purported to be a rotten husband and a lousy father. Same with Charles Schultz of Peanuts fame. And Billy Joe Armstrong of Greenday.

James Whren, the protagonist in Reverb, is a master musician, a renowned guitarist and song writer. At 28, he's hot, at the top of his career, and wealthy from his talent which absorbs him. Desired by many, including his girlfriend, Julia, James in mostly inside his head, creating, or in studio producing. And while his music touches many, James does not. So passionately involved with himself and the creative process, he is unaware the importance of connecting with people, until his father shatters his life and James is left abandoned in hell with no one real to save him.

Reverb is told in three 'books.' Entropy, the first, chronicles James escape from Langside Priory Hospital in Scotland. His journey takes him to old colleagues, friends, and even his x-lover on his way to securing his freedom, each opening his eyes to the man he had been, and how many he'd left wanting.

Book Two, Recovery, James settles on the Greek island, Corfu, secure with a new identity and living in relative obscurity. Instead of feeling safe, memories of his torture the thirteen month he was locked up torment him, and loneliness consumes him.

After losing her husband in a terrorist bombing in Israel, Elisabeth takes their son, Cameron, to the quiet paradise on Corfu to figure out her next move. Saving herself and her son from the dangerous world beyond, she finds James ill, and starving to death in the house on the hill. With care, she brings him from the edge of the precipice. And with sharing, tolerance, compromise, compassion—the actions of love, in the third and final book in Reverb, they both achieve Balance.

Reverb is a love story, a psychological thriller paced with romantic suspense. It is contemporary literary fiction—modern, fast, edgy read like nothing you've read, guaranteed.

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.