31 January, 2014

#BookReview :: The Other Side by Faraaz Kazi & Vivek Banerjee

'The Other Side' is a collection of thirteen tales of the paranormal; a world that our eyes refuse to see, our ears deny hearing and our senses ignore the feel of. This is a book for someone who is brave enough to take up this invitation to journey through uncharted waters along with the authors, who were inspired by some bizarre experiences to pen down this work where the lines of reality have been blurred by the footsteps of imagination.

Each story takes you on a tour de force of unadulterated horror and draws upon the deepest fear in the human mind- the fear of the UNKNOWN! 




In general, I do not read much horror stories because I have realised that a book has to be written exceptionally well to give the chills or goosebumps and if it doesn’t then it fails the idea of ‘horror’. Besides, once you have read Stephen King, it is difficult to like other horror stories. I picked up this book basically out of curiosity because Faraaz Kazi’s debut novel was a romance and I wanted to know if a young author like him can successfully write stories in such different genre. Can the same author make a reader go ‘Aww!!’ while reading his romance novel to ‘Oh Shit!’ while reading his horror stories…? Well, I am glad that my curiosity made me pick this book up because the answer is ‘YES’.

This book also presents unique perspectives in its ‘Prelude’ where the authors battle it out about their personal experiences and thoughts and end up deciding to write down their experiences leading to the creation of this anthology. I was in love with this book even before starting with the first story and had made a hasty decision that the ‘Prelude’ was going to be the best part of this book. And don’t you love it when the authors prove you wrong by coming up with something that you are going to enjoy even more?

There are ‘13’ stories in this book. [Wait a minute… was that intentional – writing ‘13’ stories? I bet it was!] Each story is different from the other and most of them don’t even take the conventional road to horror. As the rhythm builds up with each story, I stopped ‘expecting’ things to happen and instead let the flow of the stories take me ‘wherever’. My favourites turned out to be ‘The Muse Comes Calling’ and ‘The Lady in the Pub’, but then ‘Dreamgirl’ and ‘Red Bangles’ comes close behind. I did not agree with a couple of endings that left me feeling ‘What?!!’ But then again, I guess that was the authors’ intention – to leave you craving for more. 

I would have rated this book a solid 5 out of 5 stars had it not been for the ‘sexual content’ of this book. Granted that in some cases the stories called for it, I just feel that they could be handed out in a more subtle way rather than in the ‘out in your face’ manner. But then, that’s just me and my notion that such content should be graphic only in the erotic genre.

Overall, this was a spine tingling experience! Go read it for yourself!






30 January, 2014

#BookBlast :: An Arrangement of Love by Kenya Wright

How kinky are you?
Authors Kenya Wright and Megan D. Martin seem to get kinkier by the minute, especially with their new erotic romance releases An Arrangement of Love and Drowning in Rapture. 
Check out the books below and scroll to the bottom for a VERY kinky giveaway!
An Arrangement of Love
By Kenya Wright
Genre: Adult Erotic Romance
He kissed me. And not just any kiss. He kissed me like he owned me, as if he bought me last night and my orgasm was the payment. His tongue didn't explore my mouth instead it taunted me, gliding in and out between my lips in a rhythm that reminded me of hot sex. He shifted his hand to the back of my head and trapped me to him. My bag and its contents dropped to the floor. . . What would you do for six figures? Billionaire Chase Stone offers Jasmine a six-figure job that requires a full-time commitment in his office as well as his bed. If only she knew that before she agreed, then life would’ve been easier. It’s not that he’s unattractive. Jasmine just didn't graduate from Harvard with honors so she could be some rich guy's over paid mistress. What’s even more repulsing is that he lives with three women and wants her to be the fourth. Not going to happen! But Chase won't give up, and Jasmine won't give in. Someone's going to have to change because the more they meet, the more something thick, hot, and electric bridges between them, until neither can breathe or think.
****
Drowning in Rapture By Megan D. Martin Genre: New Adult Erotic Romance Buy on Amazon I didn’t plan to become a stripper who performs live sex shows. But that’s what happened. It’s what I do, and I’m good at it. I was going to go on and do something with my life. I was going to be something more than just a piece of ass. But that’s not how it worked it out. Men don’t control me. Not anymore. Not until my best friend left and he came into my life. I don’t want lose myself and drown in another man. But I’m afraid it’s already too late. **This book is intended for mature audiences only, due to graphic depictions of sex and bad language.
Annnnnd now for the giveaway!
No one should go through life without some super kinky toys for the bedroom. Two winners will be picked. 
Winner #1 will receive...
A flirty feather Anal Plug and a pair of double locking hand cuffs! 
Winner #2 will get…
A pink bejeweled vibrator and a pink vibrating jelly cock ring.
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ReleaseBlitz :: Never Let You Go by Michele G Miller



Title: Never Let You Go, Prophecy of Tyalbrook series, book two
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Author: Michele G Miller
Publisher: Enchanted Ink Press (Self Published)
Release Date: Janury 30, 2014
Available on: Amazon and Barnes & Noble


Blurb: 

Two souls desperate to discover the truth about the past and determined to save their future…

SKYE
The usual warmth I felt deep in my soul when Xander was near me was beginning to dull. Yet I still remembered the warning: “Be careful, my Princess…you will lose all you love before you can win what you want.”

XANDER
I could feel it; she hadn’t been here. Two days of hell, riding as fast as we could and only taking small breaks, and yet she had outrun us. How?

A PRINCESS set on regaining her Kingdom and protecting those she loves…
A GUARDIAN who will stop at nothing to find the woman who stole his heart…
An EVIL FORCE who will destroy everything they know in order to have power over all…

The journey continues in Never Let You Go, book two in The Prophecy of Tyalbrook Series.

Add to Goodreads

 Excerpt:


Nickoli’s arms were laden with weapons when he came back into view. He stepped in, uninvited, and opened his arms; allowing each deadly piece to drop to the ground with an ear-splitting clang. I jumped back as the items ricocheted across the floor, and a club rolled to a stop by my feet.
Nickoli bent over and picked up a sword. He approached me, a menacing look on his face, and a flash of terror tore through me. The temptation to scream was strong, however I knew it wouldn’t do me any good. If his intention was to kill me, the deed would be long done before my cries for help would be answered. If they were ever answered. I kept my focus on the sharp tip of the sword as he advanced on me.
“If you choose not to trust me, you will have to protect yourself.”
He raised the sword, gripped the hilt in his fist, and hurled it into the floor at my feet. The tip embedded into the wood with a thud. I yelped in surprise and jumped back. With an angry glare, he turned to storm out of the room; leaving the pile of weapons scattered about the floor.
“I don’t know how to fight with a sword,” I called out, my voice void of the angry bluster it carried earlier.
He didn’t stop, but instead replied over his shoulder as his long strides carried him out the door. “Then Princess, you best learn how.”


The slam of his door signaled the end to our conversation.



Never Let You Fall, book one
Only $0.99 available on 
Amazon (E-book & paperback)


About the Author:



Michele is the author of the Coming of Age Fantasy Series The Prophecy of Tyalbrook - Never Let You Fall, book one (May 2013) and Never Let You Go, book two (Jan 2014) as well as the New Adult Romantic Suspense, Last Call (Oct 2013). She is currently working on the third book in The Prophecy of Tyalbrook Series, a Last Call novel and a YA Realistic Fiction that has her super excited!

Having grown up in both the cold, quiet town of Topsham, Maine and the steamy, southern
hospitality of Mobile, Alabama, Michele is something of a enigma.  She is an avid Yankees fan, loves New England, being outdoors and misses snow.  However she thinks southern boys are hotter, Alabama football is the only REAL football out there and sweet tea is the best thing this side of heaven and her children’s laughter! 

Her family, an amazing husband and three awesome kids, have planted their roots in the middle of Michele’s two childhood homes in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Email: authormichelegmiller@gmail.com
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6975382.Michele_G_Miller


#BookBlast :: Amish Wedding Series by Becca Fisher

amish wedding The Complete Amish Wedding Series This boxed set features all six books in the Amish Wedding series including: 
Amish Wedding Rebecca Lapp has her life back together after a tough break up. She's found a new man and is finally happy once again. But when her ex comes back into town wanting her back, Rebecca will be forced to make a decision that will change her life forever. 
An Amish Widower's Heart Two years after Henry King loses his wife in a freak accident, he's still trying to cobble his life back together. But he knows that if he doesn't stop lingering on the past, he'll have no future. But can he love again? And just how far is the journey back to happiness? 
The Amish Late Bloomer Almost all of Elizabeth Stoltz's friends are married with kids. Elizabeth meanwhile finds herself back on the dating scene again after a crushing heartbreak. And she quickly finds out that being single at twenty-one year old leaves few options for finding the perfect guy. But Elizabeth is determined to find the love of her life. Will Elizabeth be able to find the love she's been looking her whole life for, is it already too little too late for her? 
Beachy Amish Romance After a rough break up, Benjamin Stoltz moves from Lancaster to the Florida Amish community of Pinecraft looking for a fresh start. But Benjamin soon realizes that finding romance in Florida has some unique problems of its own. 
This Side Of Heaven Mary Stoltz has a clear idea in her head of what she wants her dream man to be like. But her romantic reality has fallen far short of her dreams. Not to mention she is at the tail end of her rumspringa with seemingly not a single good suitor in sight. But when Mary finally meets a handsome and interesting man, will her love life finally live up to the dreams in her head? 
Amish Homecoming David Lapp has his rumspringa in the city cut short when he finds out that his mother has been in an accident. But when he returns to Lancaster to take care of her, secrets from the past come to light that will change the direction of his life forever.


Praise for The Complete Amish Wedding Series
"I had trouble putting the book down. I enjoy the stories about the trials in their lives and the way they rise above them with a little assistance from Gott. Nice clean romances are a great to get away and relax. Thank you for the Great read." ~Teresa Thornock (Goodreads)

Excerpt 
"You're the most beautiful woman I've ever seen," Samuel remarked. That was a bold statement from an Amish man. But Samuel's feelings were undeniable. Samuel knew that modesty was the Amish way. He'd been brought up on the plain life. Simple service to God. And while Samuel's feelings about himself were humble in nature, his feelings for Ruth were anything but. Ruth meanwhile was no fan of attention. She was naturally shy. Samuel had managed to coax her out of her shell though. Still, Ruth was hardly comfortable in the spotlight. It was a mystery to everyone else why Ruth was such a wallflower. She had so much going for her, she just didn't seem to realize it. "Now Samuel, there's no need to exaggerate," Ruth replied, modestly. "Who says I'm exaggerating?" Samuel continued. "I've waited my whole life to meet a woman like you. And now that I have, it would be a shame not to appreciate you." "Are you trying to make me blush?" Ruth wondered. "No. I'm just trying to make you feel as good as you make me feel," Samuel said. "I'd be careful with your expectations. If you let them get too high, you're bound to be let down," Ruth replied. "It's too late. My expectations are already through the roof," Samuel admitted. "But don't worry, I can't imagine getting let down by you." "It must be interesting looking at life through your eyes," Ruth remarked. "What can I say? Love brings a rose colored tint to everything," Samuel replied. "Don't you agree?" "Just because I'm not as vocal, doesn't mean I love you any less," Ruth said. "How much do you love me?" Samuel wondered. "So much that it scares me sometimes," Ruth admitted. Samuel was confused. "What's there to be scared about?" "Are you kidding? You know the road it's taken us to get here. So after all the bumps, to finally be with you, to finally turn my heart over, to let my feelings be exposed is both exciting and terrifying," Ruth explained. It was true. Ruth and Samuel had found the most roundabout way of getting together. They had been friends for the longest time. Part of a tight knit group of friends that had grown up together in Lancaster. So Ruth and Samuel didn't want to do anything to jeopardize their friendship. They'd seen two of their close friends date in the past. But when their relationship went south, the friendship was ruined as well. Ruth and Samuel didn't want the same thing to happen to them. So Ruth and Samuel dated other people. They did not have much luck finding love though. There were a lot of first dates, but very few second dates. After a while, Ruth and Samuel started to lose hope that they'd ever meet their match. That's when after a lot of hemming and hawing about risking their friendship, Ruth and Samuel finally gave in to the feelings they had for each other. Ruth and Samuel's first date was the best either one had ever experienced. They were a great match. With so much in common. And they made a wonderful couple. It was hard to believe they'd been so afraid to get together. In the end, their friendship only added to the relationship they were building. And ever since then, Ruth and Samuel had been nearly inseparable. Now almost a year in, Ruth and Samuel couldn't imagine being with anyone else. They made each other happier than they ever thought possible. But that didn't mean Ruth was without her worries. Samuel was always there with optimism abound though. "That's how I know we're meant for us each other. Because we know what else is out there. And none of it compares to being with you." Ruth smiled. "You're the sweetest man I've ever met." 

Excerpt 2 
"I don't ever want this moment to end," Hannah King said. "Neither do I," Henry King replied. It was a brisk fall day. The kind that made you want to snuggle close to someone you loved. For Hannah and Henry, that was easy. They lived for each other. They were a match made in heaven. And when they were together, it felt like paradise. Hannah and Henry had been married almost two years. And yet the honeymoon phase was far from over. They still had that glow about each other. An undeniable chemistry. The couple had heard that marriage was work. That everything wouldn't go as smoothly as they expected. They didn't find that to be true though. For Hannah and Henry, the married life was amazingly simple--even for an Amish couple. After work, they always tried to watch the sunset together. It was a tradition, carrying over from their first date. And Lord willing, they caught a glimpse of the sun dancing across the sky as much as they could. "Do you think it's always going to be like this?" Hannah asked. "Gott is the only one that knows for sure. But I sure hope so," Henry remarked. "You know, I've been thinking a lot about the future," Hannah said. "Only good things I hope," Henry replied. "Are you kidding? I have you. What could go wrong?" Hannah asked. "That's my line," Henry joked. "I figured you wouldn't mind me borrowing it," Hannah replied. "You can borrow it anytime you want if you're going to use it on me," Henry said. "Why don't we go back to talking about our future?" Hannah joked. "It's funny. My parents always brought me up to stay in the present. To just appreciate what was in front of me," Henry explained. "Well, I certainly like what's in front of me," Hannah interrupted. "Thanks to you though, I've found myself starting to look to the future," Henry admitted. "Look at you, living dangerously," Hannah joked. "I wish I could be more like you. Looking at the world with nothing but hope in my eyes. But I was raised to keep my feet on the ground. To not let my head drift into the clouds. So optimism is all new to me," Henry said. "Don't worry. I'm with you every step of the way," Hannah replied. "I can't think of a better guide," Henry remarked. "But now that I'm changing your mind about the world, how does the future look now?" Hannah asked. "As bright as can be," Henry said. There were certain memories that Henry could never forget. That became burned into his brain. For Henry, that conversation with his wife was one of them. And although the conversation happened over a year ago, it was still as fresh in Henry's mind as ever. It was the last good memory he had of his wife. The next day she died of a freak brain aneurysm. It was all such a shock. Completely out of the blue. There were no warning signs. No symptoms. In the middle of a conversation a blood vessel in her brain just blew and she collapsed to the ground. There was no way to prepare for the a tragedy like that, especially when it was such a freak occurence. Henry turned to Gott for an explanation, but received none. And he'd been trying to cobble his life back together ever since. It was all such a complete tragedy. The best thing in Henry's life was taken from him in an instant, without warning and without reason. Not to mention that Hannah was only twenty-three years old. She had so much to look forward to. So much in her future. There should have been children on the way. Glorious days spent in the park. Vacations at the beach. And holidays with relatives. It would be a simple life. But it would also be a joyful one. It just wasn't meant to be though. Even a year after her death, Henry woke up in disbelief that Hannah was gone. And despite having the whole bed available to him, Henry only slept on his side. He never dared to inch his body to Hannah's side. It was just a force of habit. He knew that it defied logic. That Hannah wouldn't be returning to claim her side of the bed. Still, it was the little routines that gave Henry comfort.


Becca
Author Becca Fisher 


I'm Becca Fisher and I write sweet Amish romances featuring simple people with complex love lives. I'm devout in my faith, relish time with my family, and seek to bring joy to as many lives as possible. I would love to have you as a reader. God bless.

     





Book Blast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/28/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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29 January, 2014

#SpecialFeature :: An #Interview with #Author Teodora Kostova

Now Presenting:
*** SPECIAL FEATURE - January'14 ***

A Quick Recap of this Month's Posts
1st January :: Introducing Teodora Kostova
8th January :: Teodora Kostova's Playlists for Heartbeat Series
15th January :: Character Chat with Max & Stella from In a Heartbeat
22nd January :: Book Review of In a Heartbeat (Heartbeat #1)

Chat With Teodora Kostova

Your bio says that you have been a journalist, an editor, a personal assistant and an interior designer. So tell us about your journey till you finally threw caution to the wind and decided to write fulltime.
Yes, I’ve changed my job a few times *laughs* I have ADHD, thankfully not the severe kind, but I do get bored really easily. And when I do, I get restless, anxious and unhappy. If I don’t do anything about it, there’s a strong chance it might turn into a full blown depression, so I’ve learnt through experience that once the situation becomes unbearable, I need to have a change of scenery, move on of sorts. And besides, it’s fun trying new things. Anyway, that aside, I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. Not anything worth publishing or even sharing with friends, but writing nevertheless. When I got the idea for ‘Humanless’ – the first book I self-published, I was not working at the time because I was looking after my new born baby. After I released it, I decided that the whole process of writing, polishing and publishing a book might be very difficult, but it was worth it. I enjoyed it more than any job I’ve ever had. And that was when, for the first time in my life, I decided I was going to stick to writing as a job and pursue it as a career.

When and how did you first decide that it was time to take that chance to publish your work?
When I published ‘Humanless’ in 2010, self-publishing was just taking off. There was a lot of useful information and advice out there, so I decided to take a chance and try it. I’ve always been a control freak and the idea that some publishing company will have so much power over my work had stopped me from even querying them. So, for me, that was the perfect way to publish my book. 

How do you think that your experience as a journalist and editor helped with your writing career?
As a journalist it was drilled into me what ‘news’ is. When you hear a story, exactly what part of it is ‘the news’. That helps a lot when I write – I always look for ‘the news’ in every new scene. What am I trying to show here? What’s new compared to the last scene? How has the dynamic changed? As for being an editor – I’m not much into details, I’m more a bigger picture kind of girl. But the experience of being an editor and analysing every detail, every sentence, every word has helped me a lot when I first edit my work. Regardless, I do hire a professional editor because you can never have too many people going over your manuscript.

Do you have some unpublished work, written before ‘Hearbeat’ & ‘Humanless’ Series that is closer to your heart?     
I do have many projects that I started and never finished. It’s hard work sticking to a project even when the initial excitement wears off, especially for me. I’m thinking of revisiting some of those projects in the future to see if anything can be salvaged.

From conceiving an idea to marketing the book – it’s a long process. Which part of it did you enjoy the most?     
I enjoy all of it, because they all come in phases and by the time I’m bored with writing, for example, editing is due. By the time I’m sick of staring at the text and obsessing over every single word, it’s cover reveal and beta reading time; by the time this is over’ it’s release day and marketing, blog tours and interacting with readers. And then I have to do it all over again *laughs* That’s one of the reasons why I love this job so much – it’s never dull and it’s a constantly changing process.

When you write, do you get into the character and decide the course of events or do you shape them as the plot requires them to be?     
I do plot, but the plot I have in mind rarely sticks. Once I start writing, the characters come alive and write their own story. I know it must sound crazy, but it’s true. If I try to divert them and make them do something they don’t want to, the book starts going downhill. They rebel against it and it results in a huge writer’s block for me. Take Beppe and Gia from Then, Now, Forever for example – those two drove me insane. They were so hard to write. I wanted them to fight, because that was where the story was going, but they decided to kiss instead. I wanted them to kiss and make up, they had a huge fight instead. So in the end I just gave up and let them do whatever they wanted. I feel this is a much less stressful approach to writing and even though it kills the control freak in me, I don’t obsess over the initial plot anymore and let my characters roam free.

Have any of your characters inherited some of your personal quirks?
Of course. I put some part of me in every character I write, it’s inevitable. 

‘Hearbeat’ & ‘Humanless’ Series seem different from each other… Was the writing / storytelling experience for the two different for you?
Absolutely. One major difference is the sexual content. ‘Humanless’ is YA paranormal series and the writing reflected that. There are no sex scenes, even though it’s a romance. ‘Heartbeat’ is NA contemporary series and is much sexier, with a few sex scenes scattered throughout the books, but they are still subdued, not overly graphic.

All writers are readers first! So who are your favourite authors and what are some of your all-time favourite books?   
Oh, my! Where do I start! I read a lot of different genres. I love YA, contemporary and paranormal, and some of my favourite YA authors are Cassandra Clare, Maggie Stiefvater and Samantha Young. I also love adult paranormal like The Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward and the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlene Harris. I have a love/hate relationship with John Green because his books are brilliant, but they are pure torture for my overly sensitive soul. I adore m/m romance novels and some of my all time favourite books and series are in that genre, like the Cut and Run series by Abigail Roux, In the Company of Shadows series by Santino Hassel and Ais, and everything Amy Lane and Josh Lanyon have ever written.

Do you think your favourite authors have influenced your style of writing?
I think everything I’ve ever read has influenced my writing and my style will keep changing as I read more books and experience new authors’ styles. But at the same time, there will always be something that’s undeniably me. That cannot be influenced.

Ever suffered from writer’s block? What is the best way around it – especially if you are on a deadline?  
Yes, I mentioned that it usually comes from wanting to control my characters. I have also been blocked when I knew I had to write something, but I didn’t want to. If I had a book scheduled to release next, but I didn’t have any desire or inspiration to write it. Or example, I was due to write Lisa and Gino’s book, the third in the ‘Heartbeat’ series. I just couldn’t do it. Every time I sat down to start writing, nothing came out. That lasted months, and the added pressure of people enquiring about the book’s release date on a daily basis resulted in the biggest writer’s block of my life. I honestly thought about giving writing up for good. But then, I went to this musical in London’s West End and a story hit me like a hurricane! I had all these characters and scenes and dialogues in my head and I couldn’t wait to get home and write all that down before it disappeared. I felt guilty that I wanted to write this story so badly when ‘Heartbeat’ #3 was supposed to be next. But in the end I decided that my sanity and the fact that I was actually excited about writing again was much more important. And since I’m in full control of my books and no publisher is breathing down my neck requiring a certain manuscript, I’m now writing a stand alone novel about performers in a London theatre.

There is always ‘someone’ who doesn’t like your book. How do you handle it?
Of course there is, that’s why there are so many different kinds of books out there and everyone can find something they love. I don’t obsess over bad reviews – I read them to see if there’s anything constructive in them that I can pay attention to and learn from. 

Some rapid fire questions:
Your favourite movie: Troy
Your favourite genre of Music: alternative rock
Your favourite Cuisine:  Italian
Your first celebrity Crush: Jared Leto in ‘So called my life’
Top thing on your Bucket List: For 2014 it’s ‘Do NaNoWriMo’

Quick Choices: 
Tommy & Tuppence or Poirot or Ms.Marple: Poirot. 
Paranormal or Dystopian or Fantasy: Paranormal
Jeremy Brett or Robert Downey Jr or Benedict Cumberbatch: BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH. Sorry, didn’t mean to scream *blushes*
Godfather or Ocean’s 11 or Die Hard: Ocean’s 11
Jack Sparrow or Willy Wonka or Edward Scissorhands: Jack Sparrow

What would you like to say to the people who haven’t read your book yet but are contemplating on whether to pick it up or not?  
I hope you’ll fall in love with Italy after reading the ‘Heartbeat’ series. I adore everything about this country and it has inspired me so much.



About the Author
Hi, my name is Teodora and I live in London with my husband Ted and my son Jason. I've been writing ever since I can remember, but it became my full time job in 2010 when I decided that everything else I've tried bores me to death and I have to do what I've always wanted to do, but never had to guts to fully embrace. I've been a journalist, an editor, a personal assistant and an interior designer among another things, but as soon as the novelty of the new, exciting job wears off, I always go back to writing. Being twitchy, impatient, loud and hasty are not qualities that help a writer, because I have to sit alone, preferably still, and write for most of the day, but I absolutely love it. It's the only time that I'm truly at peace and the only thing I can do for more than ten minutes at a time - my son has a bigger attention span than me.
When I'm procrastinating, I like to go to the gym, cook Italian meals (and eat them), read, listen to rock music, watch indie movies and True Blood re-runs. Or, in the worst case scenario, get beaten at every Wii game by a six year old.

Don't be shy and get in touch - I love connecting with my readers. 
Blog I Twitter I Facebook I E-mail

Giveaway
Participants have a chace to win  set of both ebooks plus a signed swag pack



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25 January, 2014

#BookReview :: Boats on Land by Janice Pariat

Boats on Land (Random House, India) is a collection of short stories that offer a new way of looking at the world, and, in particular, India’s little-known northeast. Set in and around Shillong, Cherrapunjee and pockets of Assam, these tales are shaped against a larger historical canvas of the early days of the British Raj, the World Wars, conversions to Christianity, and the missionaries.

Spanning a sweep of centuries, from the mid-1800s to the present day, the stories work as a historical, sociological documentation of a place and its people, interweaving the quotidien and the mythic, the mundane and the extraordinary.

This is a world in which the everyday is infused with folklore and a deep belief in the supernatural. Here, a girl dreams of being a firebird. An artist watches souls turn into trees. A man shape-shifts into a tiger. Another is bewitched by water fairies. Political struggles and social unrest interweave with fireside tales and age-old superstitions.



Janice Pariat has indeed brought together a collection of short stories that are so different yet so beautiful when read together. 

I have read this book quite some time back yet I intentionally held on to myself from writing a review of this book because the amount of emotions that I went through while reading this book was simply unexpected and I wanted to capture each of them. But even after re-reading a couple of stories, I feel oddly unequipped to review this book. 

There are fifteen stories in all, starting with ‘A Waterfall of Horses’ and ending with ‘An Aerial View’. While one story tells us about the various struggles between the British and the locals, there’s another that talks about the local superstition. A third story tells as about the various divisions in people, another story tells us about the school life affected by the local political scene. Every time I think about this book I am still surprised by the varied subjects touch by this author - from various myths and legends, to the local beliefs and superstitions of the people at that time, Janice has painted a superb and complete picture of the North East India during the early days of British Raj by including the political, social and cultural scenario of the time.

Telling short stories is a form of art that very few people can master and I for one have only enjoyed O’Henry, Jefferey Archer and Anita Desai so far. Even Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies had me in its grip. And now it is Janice Pariat. Though each of these authors are VERY different from each other in almost every aspect, and I am not comparing Janice with these greats… But Janice has clearly made her own space in Short Story world and over the time we may even see her name with the other greats.

Read this book!







24 January, 2014

#GuestPost :: Mother By Sankalp Kohli

Born and brought up in Kanpur, Sankalp is a MBA Graduate from NMIMS, Mumbai. An entrepreneurial soul with an imprint of a perfectionist, he is a workaholic who believes in turning every single moment of life into something constructive and fruitful. 
He is a person who holds his parents above all, especially his mother. All his dreams and aspirations are driven by his wish to make his parents feel proud.
His first attempt with pen, in form of ‘Because…Every Raindrop is a HOPE’, released this year, has been gaining immense success and has already hit ‘the National Bestseller’ tag. ‘When I Found You’ is his second book.

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Mother

Ever wondered, about those 9 months, inside her warm motherly womb; when she went through that agonising pain, while you took a gentle humanly form.
Ever wondered, about those marks left all over her body; Caused when she got cut, to bring in a young ‘Noddy’.
Ever wondered, amidst all the delivery pain, how desperately she wanted to hold you; and once in her arms, you automatically stopped crying and people around had no clue.
Ever wondered, how she smiled at you and was left in awe; when you did your first mischief and left marks on her face with you claw.
Ever wondered, how her face used to turn blue; each time, you suffered with flu.
Ever wondered, about the loving affection, when she ran behind you with a glassful of milk; and you admired her beauty, coming out so well, in that saree of silk.
Ever wondered, how happy and excited she was; When for the first time you went to school, the best day of her life t’was.
Ever wondered, the difficulty she faced in taking time out for you from her daily schedule; to play with you, to talk to you and sometimes teach you the theory behind those stupid molecules.
Ever wondered, how with time, she became your best friend; giving you some tips and hearing stories about you and your girlfriends.
But then, one day, for higher studies you had to go away from your home; away from her, to a strange place, where she could reach you only via mobile phone.
Inside a washroom, she silently cried her heart out; but never did she tell, parting away from you, is what she cried about.
She knew that her darkest fear, separation from you, has finally come true; but with a heavy heart and a humble smile, she went to the airport to drop you.
While you adapted to the ways of the cruel world; She prayed for your happiness and felt content seeing her child bud.
Gradually, loaded with work, you started ignoring her calls; knowingfully well that you won’t call back she waited, inside those four dying walls.
And while you crushed her memories deep below those piling work files; she always thanked God, believing that a part of her has come worthwhile. 
Though she may never bring to your notice, how much she misses you and your presence; it is for you to answer, what would be life like in her absence.
Just think, what if you lose her one fine day; what if, just like you, leaving you alone, she walks away.
I am sure, a dreadful fear will set in; Now imagine, this is what, everyday she is living in.
Work will always remain undone, Responsibilities will always be there and Opportunities will always knock your door, because no matter what, life will always be Life.
Do take out time for Her, talk to Her, visit Her whenever possible and give her a reason to smile; For the reason for your existence is her, Your Mother.

Caught in the turmoil of an Underrated Love and an Overrated Infatuation, Raj, a young boy with larger than life dreams, from a small town of Kanpur, is at the cross road of life, where every road ahead leads to nothing but a Dead-end.
Through the grueling course of circumstances, he is subjected to the bitter tests of life, where he fails to justify his one decision of parting ways with Mahek.
But, when Mahek flashes out of his life, leaving him all alone, the guilt of not been forgiven by her, ruins his soul; and that frustration leads him into seclusion, devoid of even his best buddies Rohan and Rahul.
Failed love, broken friendship, a hurt ego and lost soul Raj is doomed to darkness. With no ray of hope ahead, just when Raj is about to give up on life, he come across a note, written to him by his favorite professor, "Never give up Raj Because Every Raindrop is a Hope" which brings Raj face to face with his own self.
Why Love that makes Life beautiful, turns into Satan? Why friendship one fine day loses all its meaning? Why on the crowded roads of Mumbai city, Raj finds himself walking all alone? Will Raj challenge Life and fight back with the sword of Hope or will he take the easy way out by succumbing to the arduous tests of time.

My Review of this Book : Because Every Raindrop... Is a Hope



They first met when they were just twelve, and then they kept meeting again and again, each time wanting to confess their feelings for each other – but it never came to such a pass for Tiya and Aarav.
Falling apart and bowing down to the miseries of a broken family and a daunting past, at 24, they decided to move on. But life pulled out one trick after another to bring them back to each other and give one last chance to do what they couldn't do in the past twelve years. A choice had to be made and there was no going back.
Could they learn from the echoing footsteps of their parents and speak their heart out or the fear of saying the unsaid killed it once again for them?
Did their time to fall in love come, or like always, they met, greeted and departed to part forever?



23 January, 2014

#BookReview :: Then I Met My Sister by Christine Hurley Deriso

Shannon has been the backdrop of my life since the moment I was born.

Summer Stetson lives inside a shrine to her dead sister. Eclipsed by Shannon's greatness, Summer feels like she's a constant disappointment to her controlling, Type A momzilla and her all-too-quiet dad. Her best friend Gibson believes Summer's C average has more to do with rebelliousness than smarts, but she knows she can never measure up;academically or otherwise.
On her birthday, Summer receives a secret gift from her aunt; Shannon's diary. Suddenly, the one-dimensional vision of her sister becomes all too solid. Is this love-struck, mom-bashing badass the same Shannon everyone raves about? Determined to understand her troubled sister, Summer dives headfirst down a dark rabbit hole and unearths painful family secrets. Each revelation brings Summer closer to the mysterious and liberating truth about her family,and herself.


Summer was born after her elder sister Shannon died in the beginning of her senior year. As a result, she has always lived in the shadows of an elder sister who means nothing to her other than a framed photo or a name on a plaque. She has never really tried to live up to her smart, popular, beautiful sister, one she had never met and one she is constantly compared to. Then things changes for her when on her sixteenth birthday her aunt gifts her Shannon’s journal. It is while reading the words penned down by Shannon that Summer, for the first time, feels like she is getting to know the real person behind that name and photo. Things change for her as she realizes that very few people actually knew the true Shannon.

What I liked the most about this book was its plot. Getting into the mind of a 16 year old girl isn’t probably the most brilliant idea. To top that, to get into the mind of a 16 year old girl who is just ‘getting to know’ her elder sister for the first time isn’t really the best place to be. But at the same time it is oddly touching and intriguing. I wondered if Shannon would be worth all the hype and how would summer react to finally having an insight to her mind. I loved reading Shannon’s journal along with Summer. Then there was the family dynamics that felt pretty odd at the beginning but soon made me realize that they were not perfect in any way, yet would Summer be able to bring a balance in the end is what I wanted to know. The other thing that I particularly enjoyed was the ‘love’ factor in the story…. It wasn’t the ‘I barely know you-but I can’t keep my hands off you- so it is not lust but love sort of love story.’ Gibson is a sweet guy and their friendship slowly grows into love – the kind that makes us girls go ‘awww’.

Overall, this book made for an interesting read. It is a fast read and can be squeezed in an afternoon. This story could probably make a great chic-flick too.



Review Copy from:





#BlogHop SignUps :: Spread Some Indie Love on 14th February'14


Let's show our love for Indie authors this Valentine's Day!

I am taking the initiative to arrange this blog hop in order to promote Indie Authors, because I absolutely love them. If you have read and enjoyed even one indie (Self-Published) book, I urge you to join in...

The Rules of the Blog Hop:
- Bloggers please register HERE.
- Feature an Indie Author or an Indie Book. The Book or Author featured can belong to any genre - Only requirement is that the Author & Book featured should be self-Published. You can select your content according to your preference.
- All posts should be live on 14th February by 9:00am EST.
- Visit, Follow and Comment on other Blogs Participating in this Hop!

Please Note : There will be only one common Giveaway. I will send you the Linky & Rafflecopter Codes in a week advance.

Indie Authors - If you would like to sponsor a ebook/swag pack Giveaway - Please enter the Details HERE.

So far we have about 40 Bloggers who have signed up for the Hop and about 15 authors offering to sponsor the event! Sign Up Now and Help spread the word, Please!

22 January, 2014

#SpecialFeature :: #BookReview of In a Heartbeat (Heartbeat #1) by Teodora Kostova

Now Presenting:
*** SPECIAL FEATURE - January'14 ***


Stella
“I’ve been in and out of hospitals for the past ten months. I’ve had half my liver removed and even though this time the doctors are very optimistic that they’ve removed all of the tumours, they can’t be sure. In another three months they want me here again for a check up. Right now I feel better than I’ve ever felt. I know the damn thing is gone, at least for the moment. Despite that, I can’t make any plans for the future, not yet. I need to go somewhere where nobody knows me, where I can relax and maybe even forget about all this. Where I can meet people who don’t think of me as the girl who lost her father and her brother in a car accident, and who has cancer. I want to have fun, even if it’s for a couple of months.” 
When Stella decides to visit her estranged cousin Lisa in Genoa, she has no idea Italy will give her a new reason to live.

Max
“Her gaze locked on a scene so beautiful, the picturesque beach paled in comparison. A lifeguard emerged from the water, his orange trunks stuck to his legs and water dripping all over him. He shook his head to get rid of some of the water in his hair and Stella felt as if everything started developing in slow motion – tiny drops of water slid from his neck down his broad chest and muscular arms, along a weaving tattoo on his right shoulder, and continued downwards towards his chest and washboard stomach, finally getting lost in the waistband of his trunks. A part of another tattoo peeked over his trunks on his left hip, the other part hidden under them. It was a total Baywatch moment.”
Their love is epic. But there are too many things keeping them apart.

“How could you keep this from me, Lisa? If you had told me the first day I met him, I would have avoided him like the plague. Nothing would have happened between us.”
“I kept your secrets, too, Stella.”
Are Max and Stella strong enough to fight not only for their love, but for their lives?



If life is like a card game, Stella has been consistently dealt with a bad hand! She lost her brother and her father together in a car accident. Soon after her best friend moves away and then came the cancer. Been in an out of treatment centers for quite some time, Stella wants a break after her latest surgery and decides to go meet Lisa, her best friend and cousin, in Italy – where no one knows about her past and no one would look at her with pity. Max on the other hand has had his fair share of lemons in life too and he deals with it in his own way. He is a Casanova with a baggage and even though Lisa warns Stella that he is a flirt, the connection between these two is undeniable. But will Stella and Max be able to overcome their own fears and stubbornness to find their way to each other?

The best thing about this book is its cast and characters and Stella is the shining star amongst them. I loved her character for being strong and resilient. It would have been very easy for her to break down and loose her way, but she struggled and fought on for a good life. Max is a yummy lifeguard – need I say more? Oh well, he also has other qualities that helps him warm up to the readers. He is respectful, caring with a ‘soft’ heart too. Then there’s Lisa, Gia and Beppe – they are more than just side characters in Stella and Max’s love story. They are instrumental to their story and each brings in a different flavor to the lives of our protagonists. The author’s style of narration is also rather favourable. I liked how she told us Stella’s back story in a single chapter – without dragging it. She tells a story as if she is narrating it to her friends and as such I felt drawn into the story pretty quick.

As for the plot, it is simple and almost predictable. There are a few inconsistencies, especially with regards to Stella’s health that bugged me towards the beginning. But as the story progressed, I found myself not caring about those little individual things and being caught up in the larger picture. The characters, the chemistry, the secrets, the struggles and the friendships – I loved this book as a whole and enjoyed the emotional rollercoaster ride.




About the Author
Hi, my name is Teodora and I live in London with my husband Ted and my son Jason. I've been writing ever since I can remember, but it became my full time job in 2010 when I decided that everything else I've tried bores me to death and I have to do what I've always wanted to do, but never had to guts to fully embrace. I've been a journalist, an editor, a personal assistant and an interior designer among another things, but as soon as the novelty of the new, exciting job wears off, I always go back to writing. Being twitchy, impatient, loud and hasty are not qualities that help a writer, because I have to sit alone, preferably still, and write for most of the day, but I absolutely love it. It's the only time that I'm truly at peace and the only thing I can do for more than ten minutes at a time - my son has a bigger attention span than me.
When I'm procrastinating, I like to go to the gym, cook Italian meals (and eat them), read, listen to rock music, watch indie movies and True Blood re-runs. Or, in the worst case scenario, get beaten at every Wii game by a six year old.

Don't be shy and get in touch - I love connecting with my readers. 
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Giveaway
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