31 August, 2016

#BookReview :: The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?




I waited for quite a while before picking this book up. It made quite an impression when it was released. I would see it everywhere and so the hype around the book made me wait. Now that I have read it, I am wondering why the hell I waited so long to pick this book up!

The Wrath & the Dawn is inspired by A Thousand and One Nights which is a classic! Khalid is the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan who takes a new bride everyday only to have her killed the next morning. He is seen as a monster that has no regard for the lives of the young women of his kingdom. But then beautiful and lovely Shiva falls as his victim and Shahrzad swears vengeance. As she volunteers to be his next wife, she gets her plan in place to get close enough to Khalid to kill him. Each night as Khalid visits her, she enchants him with her stories while spending her days trying to discover his secrets and weaknesses. But as Shahrzad and Khalid get to really know each other, they cannot help but fall for each other. With a curse in place and can Shahrzad help Khalid to break it or will they both perish?

I loved Shahrzad’s voice! From the beginning she is honest to herself. Towards the beginning I felt her loss, sadness and anger for the loss of her best friend. Then as she starts to fall for Khalid, I feel her guilt. Her curiosity about what made Khalid kill so many girls when she knows him as a completely different person also touches the readers. End of the day, Shahrzad is a character who is easy to understand and love. On the other hand I wished I could read more from Khalid’s point of view as he is first intrigued about Shahrzad and then falls for her. I also wished I could read Khalid’s memories and thoughts on his childhood. Deep down he is a good and honorable guy whose hands are tied by a curse. Then there is the character of Despina. I really loved her. She is fun to read about. The plot moves slowly towards the beginning as we are introduced to quite a few characters and we are given some context in order to understand what makes each character tick. But about halfway through the story really picks up pace and there was a lot of things happening which is when you realize how important the back information is. 

My only complaint with the book is that the parts where Shahrzad is telling the Arabian Nights stories are pretty drag. The way Shahrzad narrates the stories is not something that would really grip her listeners, not especially a cursed prince who intends to kill her. It could be done with much more intensity.

If you like fantasy, do give this book a try as I really feel that Shahrzad has a refreshingly honest voice.




30 August, 2016

#BookReview :: The Sin Eater’s Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #1) by Melinda Salisbury

A startling, seductive, deliciously dark debut that will shatter your definition of YA fantasy. Sixteen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she's engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn't a member of the court. She's the executioner.As the goddess-embodied, Twylla kills with a single touch. So each week, she's taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love her. Who could care for a girl with murder in her veins? Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her.But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose playful smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he's able to look past Twylla's executioner robes and see the girl, not the goddess. Yet a treasonous romance is the least of Twylla's problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies-a plan that requires an unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

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I have to admit that this is one of those books that I picked up purely based on the cover. The Sleeping Prince (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #2) was also out by the time I discovered this series and the two covers just mesmerized me.

Twylla is the Sin Eater’s Daughter who thought that she knew what her future held for her – take over Sin Eating after her mother. But instead she was swept off to the castle and found herself to be engaged to the Prince as she was chosen by the Gods. As the goddess-embodied, her touch could kill anyone other than the royal family. So she served as the official executioner for the kingdom until she meets her newest guard, Leif - the guard who is not scared of her; the boy who makes her feel and want things; the boy who says things that could get both of them killed. She is suddenly not so sure about the things in her life.

This book is just awesome. I loved the plot which felt different, unique and had more than one aspect to it. The world setting has been done well as the readers will get the feeling that they know the places and the traditions of this world. I liked the concept of the Gods and how Lomere was created which basically the history of the world that the book is set in. The concept of ‘the sleeping prince’ is introduced in the book as a fairy tale which is very similar to the mix of Pied-piper of Hamlin and The Sleeping Beauty. 

The characters are really well done. Twylla comes off as a naive girl at first but she grows quite a bit, especially towards the end of the book. I liked her for the most parts. Then there’s the prince who makes a late appearance in Twylla’s life but we soon find out more about his strength of character. Leif on the other hand had me feeling torn. He felt nice towards the beginning. But I really do not ‘get’ him towards the end of the book. And the Queen… she is just so evil that you feel the vibe off her even when she is trying to play nice.

There’s a lot happening in the book and it ends with a feeling of doom coming. I definitely want to read the rest of the series because I WANT TO KNOW what happens next.




29 August, 2016

#SpecialFeature :: #Interview with Neha Nayak, #Author of Breaking Free


*** Special Feature - August 2016 ***



About the Book:
Noya is a young woman who is full of life and is not scared to take her own decisions. She believes in leading a happy life and strongly believes that a happy life comes with bold decisions. Following her ideals, she takes the biggest decision of her life yet - calling off her wedding on the wedding day itself!

This decision turns her life upside down as the people close to her are busy refuting her at every step. Fed up of this negativity, she decides to reboot herself and travel alone. And this marked the beginning of a journey that will once again change the course of her life. On this journey, she meets Ranbir; a meeting which is not intentional but destined. In the beginning, Ranbir comes off as a stalker. However, with time she starts to realize the goodness inside him and slowly but surely, gets attached to him. Standing at the crossroads again, she takes another bold decision to marry Ranbir. Will this finally bring happiness in her life? Noya doesn’t know much about the past of Ranbir as they've just recently met. Will this come back to haunt her later on? Is this another trap? A gripping tale of love, respect and hope, the novel answers all these questions.



An Interview with the Author:


What inspired you to start writing?
It is the love of reading and learning. Also, travelling, meeting new people and interacting with them inspires me to weave stories. Imagination plays the catalyst to imagine and create interesting stories.

How long did you take to write the book “Breaking Free”?
It took me around 2 months to complete the story. 

How did you came up with the idea of writing romantic fiction genre book? 
My book is related to LOVE. Love for friend, love for boyfriend, love for girlfriend, love for parents, love for life, love for happiness. Do read it. Its a different story and I’m highly thankful to Srishti Publisher who bestowed trust on me and published my very first book.

How much time do you dedicate for writing on a daily basis?
Honestly, I don’t have any such disciplined schedule. Whenever I feel I have a story which stays on my mind for long and impacts me, I decide that it is my story which I should start weaving. And whenever there are ideas and scenes twirling in my mind, I need to jot it down.

What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
Just start writing. Write for yourself when you write. Write all that which is in your head and what you feel. If you write a story which impacts you, definitely it will impact others. I was amazed at the number of people coming to me and sharing that they too aspired to write stories. So guys, don’t hold yourself back and start creating stories. Life is more wonderful with books, ideas and stories around.

Tell something about yourself
Favourite stress buster - Travelling, Chocolates
Love places - Beaches and mountains
Can spend hours - Reading, Writing, Dreaming
Best subjects in school - English, History, Geography, Chemistry
Can’t do without - God, Family, Friends, iPhone, iPad & Internet
Always in your bag - Book, Gadgets, Perfume, Lip balm
Message you want to give others - Adopt a pet! There are so many animals deserving love and home.

About the Author:
Neha Nayak is currently working as a Senior Quality Assurance Manager in a Tata group company.

Breaking Free is her first novel which got published with Srishti Publishers, a leading publishing house based in New Delhi. The book is among the best sellers.

‘No-one is perfect and such realistic  protagonists can be found in her stories


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Giveaway:
5 Paperback Copies of Breaking Free to Indian Residents Only

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26 August, 2016

#BookReview :: The Veritas Deception by Lynne Constantine

About the Book:
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. ~ Proverbs 14:21

Days after U.S. Senator Malcolm Phillips changes his vote on a bill he sponsored, he is murdered and his death disguised as an accident. He contacted one man before he died: investigative journalist, Jack Logan. He left Jack a single clue to help him uncover the truth and keep Phillip’s widow, Taylor, safe. But safe from whom?

Jack and Taylor’s desperate hunt leads them to a vast network of corrupt authority controlling everything from social media and television programming to law enforcement and US legislation. The key to unraveling a complex web of lies is a set of ancient relics, dating back to the time of Christ. But what do these relics have to do with a senator’s death?

Allies turn to foes when Jack and Taylor discover that those closest to them are part of the conspiracy, and that they too have been manipulated. How long has a puppet master been pulling their strings—and will Jack and Taylor trust the right people long enough to win what becomes a colossal battle for souls?

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Sailor Dance Publishing
Publication Date: August 2016
Number of Pages: 382
ISBN: 0997694211 (ISBN13: 9780997694215)
Purchase Links:

My Review

Jack Logan was contacted by US Senator Malcolm Phillips who incidentally dies soon after in what seems like an accident. Now Jack has a single clue to follow up on and find out what exactly is going on. At the same time it is very clear that Malcolm’s widow needs his protection from what seems like nameless and faceless entities. Their hunt leads them to a set of relics but they have no idea why or how it is connected to the murder of the Senator. All they know is that the relics are somehow involved and that they are being chased by a huge network of corrupt people who will do anything to get things their way. Not sure who they can trust – Jack and Taylor have to think quickly and act faster in order to outrun these people. Will they succeed?

Both Jack and Taylor are very much likeable characters. I enjoyed watching them develop through the pages. The author has done an excellent job with bringing them to life. I have to admit though, the pace seemed to lag a bit here and there, but never enough to actually make me want to put it down. The plot is that of age old good vs evil and though it may feel clichéd, the parallel story lines keep you immersed in it. The antagonist does have this larger than life feel and at a point it feels like everyone is against Jack and Taylor. It helps keep a reader’s interest as we genuinely want to find out who is on which side and how far the antagonists will go.

Overall, this book makes for an interesting thriller whose pages are filled with action and intrigue. I would gladly recommend this to thriller enthusiasts.

Review Copy received from Partners in Crime Book Tours

About the Author:


Lynne is a twitter addicted fiction writer always working on her next book. She is the coauthor of Learn More About CIRCLE DANCE on Amazon, a family saga spanning three generations, that received an endorsement from Olympia Dukakis. She is also a social media consultant and speaker, working with authors to build their brand platforms. Lynne teaches at various workshops and has spoken at the Thrillerfest conference in New York. She is a monthly contributor to SUSPENSE MAGAZINE, and a contributing editor to THE BIG THRILL magazine.


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Giveaway
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Lynne Constantine. There will be 4 US winners. There will be FOUR (4) different prizes for this tour. Each winner will receive only one prize. The prizes are as noted on the rafflecopter. This is subject to change without notification. The giveaway begins on August 1st and runs through August 30th, 2016.

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Click here to view the 'The Veritas Deception by Lynne Constantine' Tour Participants

25 August, 2016

#BookReview :: Unleashing Desire (Brides of Prophecy #4) by Brooklyn Ann


Title: Unleashing Desire (Brides of Prophecy, Book 4)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: August 16th


A setup so perfect… it might just be fate.
Radu Nicolae has spent centuries in a guilt-induced hibernation beneath the ruins of his family castle. The only time he awakens is to feast on the occasional vampire hunter. When Lillian Holmes invades his lair, trying to kill him for a crime he did not commit, he decides it is time to rejoin the world. As he feeds on the inept, but delectable hunter and sees her memories, he realizes that he is being used as a weapon to murder her. Radu does not like being used.
Agent Lillian Holmes, of the Abnormal Investigation Unit, is sent on a mission to kill the vampire who murdered her father. But when she tries to stake Radu, he awakens. When his fangs sink into her throat, she thinks she’s a goner. To her surprise, she wakes up a prisoner. Furthermore, Radu did not kill her father. The AIU killed Joe Holmes and sent Lillian to Radu to die.
Together, they strike a bargain: Lillian will help Radu travel to the United States to reunite with his long lost twin brother. In return, he will help her take down the men who killed her father. As their relationship deepens on their journey, so does the danger. Not only must they keep government agents from finding out that Lillian is alive, but she also has a secret that will rock the foundations of the vampire world.

iBooks / Amazon / Nook / Kobo

MY REVIEW

Radu Nicolae is a vampire who spends time in his lair in hibernation mode. He wakes up when AIU agent Lillian Holmes tries to kill him. As Radu feasts on Lillian’s memories, he realizes that there is more to Lillian than being just a vampire hunter. Not only has he not killed Lillian’s father, but someone is trying to get Lillian killed. As the secrets are revealed, Radu and Lillian come to an agreement that helps them both – Lillian would help reunite Radu with his brother and in exchange Radu would help Lillian take down the people involved in her father’s murder. But their deal is making certain people very uncomfortable… Will they manage to take down the people intent on getting rid of both of them? 

The author has done an excellent job of setting up two very different characters and bringing them together. Their background is quite interesting and gives depth to the characters as well. The attraction between the characters was palpable even though it was kind of love at first sight sort of thing. What I liked the most was that Radu being an ‘alpha male’ of sorts, handled Lillian’s fiery independence quite well. His protective nature was very much clear and Lillian’s need for his support was also understandable. But instead of a ‘Bella-Edward’ freaky controlling relationship – Radu and Lillian had a more balanced relationship going on. However, the pace of the story lags quite a bit. It maybe because the author has tried to put in a lot of information with regards to the series so that the book can be read as a stand-alone. In any case, it made it very easy for me to just put down the book and pick it up at a later time. It just didn’t hook me in. The author’s writing style is dainty and the narrative, especially while building up a character, is smooth.

Overall, the book made for an entertaining read though pretty forgettable once put down. I would suggest paranormal lovers to give this series a try – reading it in order may prove to be more interesting.



Review Copy received from Secret Realm Book Reviews & Services




Formerly an auto-mechanic, Brooklyn Ann thrives on writing romance featuring unconventional heroines and heroes who adore them. Author of historical paranormal romance in her critically acclaimed “Scandals with Bite” series, urban fantasy in the cult favorite, “Brides of Prophecy” novels, and the New Adult winner of the 2016 Reader’s Choice Award, “Hearts of Metal Series,” she provides love for the broken and strange.
She lives in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho with her son, her cat, and a 1980 Datsun 210.
She can be found online at http://brooklynann.blogspot.com as well as on Twitter and Facebook.
For exclusive updates, sneak peeks, and giveaways, sign up for Brooklyn Ann’s Newsletter at http://brooklynann.blogspot.com/p/sign-up-for-my-newsletter.html






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24 August, 2016

#BookReview :: Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben



If your husband was murdered, 
And you were a witness, 
How do you explain, seeing him on your nanny cam?
You thought you trusted him.
Now you can't even trust yourself.

Dark secrets and a terrifying hunt for the truth lie at the heart of this gripping new thriller.


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Despite his popularity, I have had very few chances to read Harlan Coben’s books. Couple of friends keeps referring his book to me saying that being a Mystery/Thriller fan, I should not miss them. So when I got the chance to get my hands on a review copy, I could not let it pass. This is only the second book I picked up by this author.

Maya is a war veteran who has come home. She used to be a pilot and was actually sent home after a blunder in her last mission. Once back home, Maya cannot help but think of the two deaths in her family. First was that of her sister, who got killed in an apparent home invasion some time back. The second was that of her husband which also happened to be accidental – a case of being at the wrong place at a wrong time. She has a feeling that these deaths were somehow connected… but is there something to it? Or is it just something her idle mind was cooking up? Her PTSD, the sleepless night and caring for her two year old could be taking a toll on her health and mind. Or could she be right?

The plot was certainly multi layered and the author has peppered the book with quite a few twists and turns. And Maya is a very ‘human’ character with her strengths and flaws. It is easy to understand where she is coming from for most parts of the book. This is a fast paced plot with adequate action and a narrative style that is certainly engrossing. As a result, the pages just flew by. I have a problem though – since most of the characters felt close to real life, the climax felt a bit implausible. Usually for plots like these, we have protagonists that feel larger than life as well. But for a regular citizen to uncover and handle such a conspiracy on her own was a bit too much to digest. Granted, Maya had her friends at her back… still. In any case, the book was certainly entertaining with the plot building up.


Review Copy Received from Penguin Random House



23 August, 2016

#BookReview :: Journey Under the Midnight Sun by Keigo Higashino, Alexander O. Smith (Translator)


When a man is found murdered in an abandoned building in Osaka in 1973, unflappable detective Sasagaki is assigned to the case. He begins to piece together the connection of two young people who are inextricably linked to the crime; the dark, taciturn son of the victim and the unexpectedly captivating daughter of the main suspect. Over the next twenty years we follow their lives as Sasagaki pursues the case - which remains unsolved - to the point of obsession. 

Stark, intriguing and stylish, Journey Under the Midnight Sun is an epic mystery by the bestselling Japanese author.






I received this book as a review copy from Hachette India quite some time back. And though I quite enjoy Keigo Higashino’s works, I dawdled for as long as I could before picking it up to read it because my prior experience with this author’s works meant that I knew I would have to pay really close attention to every little aspect in the book.

A dead body is discovered at an abandoned building and Detective Sasagaki is assigned the case. The body is identified to be that of a pawnbroker. As the detective investigates the case, he is introduced to two characters - Ryo, the son of the pawnbroker and Yukiho, the daughter of the lady who seemed to have been in a relationship with the pawnbroker. The case remains unsolved through the detective’s career, but it becomes sort of an obsession for the detective. As a result, he continues to keep tabs on Ryo and Yukiho and the book follows the incidents of almost two decades. Does Sasagaki ever get the satisfaction of solving this case? Or are the perpetrators just a bit too clever for him?

As expected, the book doesn’t conform to the general mystery format. Most of the seasoned mystery readers will be certain about the ‘who’ in the plot. But just like ‘The Devotion of Suspect X’ the book is all about the other aspects of the case – the why, where, and how’s of the case. It is a rollercoaster journey and the genius of it just left me amazed. Detective Sasagaki’s dedication towards this case is admirable as is the intelligence of the perpetrators. The plot is multi layered and there is so much going on that it keeps the readers engrossed. The twists and turns keep the readers on their toes. The best part of the book is perhaps its climax when the twisted plot finally unravels to disclose every little secret. The author doesn’t leave anything unanswered.

This is a huge book but I managed to read it within two days lest I forget some important little detail. It is certainly a page turner.


Review Copy from Hachette India



22 August, 2016

#SpecialFeature :: Meet the Protagonists from Breaking Free by Neha Nayak


*** Special Feature - August 2016 ***



About the Book:
Noya is a young woman who is full of life and is not scared to take her own decisions. She believes in leading a happy life and strongly believes that a happy life comes with bold decisions. Following her ideals, she takes the biggest decision of her life yet - calling off her wedding on the wedding day itself!

This decision turns her life upside down as the people close to her are busy refuting her at every step. Fed up of this negativity, she decides to reboot herself and travel alone. And this marked the beginning of a journey that will once again change the course of her life. On this journey, she meets Ranbir; a meeting which is not intentional but destined. In the beginning, Ranbir comes off as a stalker. However, with time she starts to realize the goodness inside him and slowly but surely, gets attached to him. Standing at the crossroads again, she takes another bold decision to marry Ranbir. Will this finally bring happiness in her life? Noya doesn’t know much about the past of Ranbir as they've just recently met. Will this come back to haunt her later on? Is this another trap? A gripping tale of love, respect and hope, the novel answers all these questions.



Meet the Protagonists


Noya Agnihotri


I got the idea of crafting Noya Agnihotri by observing real people, reading various stories happening in the world, listening to experiences and imagining some traits. What happens with Noya can happen with anyone, but her strength lies in the way she tackles her life. Many people suffer from depression due to various unwanted incidents in life but the one who instead of pulling back rather moves forward, turns out to be the real winner. Noya is my girl who from a confused and vulnerable girl transforms herself into a strong woman. Breaking Free is her story as she travels different phases in her life. At an earlier point in life, she meets Prakrit who she later realises has other intentions. Then later, she meets Ranbir whom she hates initially and suspects to be a stalker. But later they develop a bond of friendship. Read the story to know more.

Prakrit Raj

Almost all romantic stories I have read was based on perfect love. I wanted to write something different. Real life and love has ups and downs, incompatibilities, misunderstandings in relationships. So with this, Prakrit Raj was born in my story. In the plot, Prakrit and Noya develop a love relationship during their college days but later breakup on their wedding day. That is when Noya decides to travel alone Breaking Free. Read the story to know more.

Ranbir Mallya

Ranbir Mallya is a protagonist whom I want to meet in real life. Initially Noya and Ranbir are at tenterhooks but later, the bond between them grows into a cherished friendship. They have fights, confusions, misunderstanding but they prove that true relationships stand the test of time, distance and all obstacles. Ranbir supports Noya in overcoming her insecurities in life and Noya in turn understands, though little late, that Ranbir is the one she needed in life as a friend. Ranbir also proposes to Noya when he develops feelings for her but she has other plans. The trek to the mountain makes Noya more decisive. Read the story to know more.


About the Author:
Neha Nayak is currently working as a Senior Quality Assurance Manager in a Tata group company.

Breaking Free is her first novel which got published with Srishti Publishers, a leading publishing house based in New Delhi. The book is among the best sellers.

‘No-one is perfect and such realistic  protagonists can be found in her stories


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Giveaway:
5 Paperback Copies of Breaking Free to Indian Residents Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

20 August, 2016

#BookReview :: The Conspiracy at Meru (Vikramaditya Veergatha #2) by Shatrujeet Nath

VICTORY IS TEMPORARY. THE BATTLE IS ETERNAL.

Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine have fought valiantly to repel the rampaging hordes from Devaloka and Patala – but Avanti has been brought to its knees. Ujjayini lies battered its citizens are scared and morale is badly shaken. Meanwhile, the barbaric Hunas and Sakas are gathering on the horizon and cracks are emerging between the allied kingdoms of Sindhuvarta.

The only silver lining is that the deadly Halahala is safe. For now.

Bent on vengeance, Indra is already scheming to destroy Vikramaditya, while Shukracharya has a plan that can spell the doom for the Guardians of the Halahala. How long can the human army hold out against the ferocity and cunning of the devas and asuras? And will Vikramaditya’s love for his queen come in the way of his promise to Shiva? 

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The Conspiracy of Meru has been one of the most anticipated sequels in 2016 for me. After waiting for well over a year for it and stalking the author and publishers over Facebook and Twitter {Bless them for not filing an FIR for stalking} I finally had the book in my hands. And like it is with all anticipated sequels, my heart dropped a bit when I finally started reading it – what if it doesn’t live up to my expectations?

In The Guardians of The Halahala we saw Lord Shiva hand over the dagger with the Halahala to Vikramaditya and his council of Nine for safekeeping. With Devas and Asuras conspiring against a ‘mere’ human, the wielder of the Hellfires had hell of a job on his hands. The Conspiracy at Meru continues from where the first book left off. Things are pretty much same – Devas and Asuras are still trying their best to outwit the other clan and at the same time defeat the human king. The kingdoms of Magadha and Heheya present another set of complication for our heroes. Amongst it all is hope – hope that Vikramaditya and his councilors will prevail; hope that love will prevail. Will they be successful or will the double attacks finally prove to be too much?

The plot continues to thicken. While the central story of the dagger with the Halhala continues to take the center stage in this book, a lot of side plots and parallel stories have cropped up. There is this whole separate plot that handles Shoorasena, Kapila and the kingdom of Magadha. Is it just a parallel storyline or will it turn out to be the turning point of the plot? Will Shoorasena’s dreams hinder Vikramaditya?  Also, a few of the characters get a good chance to shine in this story. Kshapanaka continues to make an impression on the readers while Shanku (I feel) is finally finding her wings. These two girls have stolen my heart from the beginning. But without giving any spoilers – you have to watch out for Vikramaditya (ofcourse), Kalidasa and Udayasanga. These three men redefine duty, loyalty and heartbreaks!

I have to admit, the author delivers on all of my expectations with regards to character and plot development. There is ample strategizing and action. The narration in this book continued to enthrall me. The author keeps setting higher bars with his books and each of his books are immensely entertaining. So the question is – Does it deliver on the promises that the first book made? Yes it does. Do I recommend this book? Hell Yes! So what are you waiting for? Go pick up Vikramaditya Veergatha for a dose of magic and mayhem.




18 August, 2016

#BookReview :: How to Find Love in a Book Shop by Veronica Henry

Everyone has a story . . . but will they get the happy ending they deserve?

Emilia has just returned to her idyllic Cotswold hometown to rescue the family business. Nightingale Books is a dream come true for book-lovers, but the best stories aren't just within the pages of the books she sells - Emilia's customers have their own tales to tell.

There's the lady of the manor who is hiding a secret close to her heart; the single dad looking for books to share with his son but who isn't quite what he seems; and the desperately shy chef trying to find the courage to talk to her crush . . .

And as for Emilia's story, can she keep the promise she made to her father and save Nightingale Books? 


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I am a total sucker for books. So when I discovered a book about a bookshop, I just had to read it.

‘Nightingale Books’ is more than just an independent bookshop in the town of Cotswold.  Julius Nightingale opened the store as a single dad to Emilia. It had been more than just an income source then and it meant a lot to Emilia who has inherited it after her father’s death. Filled with her childhood memories and stories, Emilia tries to overcome her financial struggles to keep the shop running. But the store also means a lot to the locals – their stories are somehow entangled with Julius, his recommendations and Nightingale Books. Will Emilia be able to keep her promise to her father and save the bookshop?

I have always felt that independent bookshops have a different kind of charm. They are usually less organized but with friendly owners/employees, it becomes a sort of an adventure to find new reads. ‘Nightingale Books’ sounds just like my kind of a bookstore where the owner is thoroughly involved and often interact with customers at a personal level. I wish Julius wasn’t a fictional character and that I could meet him in person. It was like this fictional character’s death touched me personally! He managed to turn his business into a way to make reading interesting; a way to meet people and to get to know them. Through the bookstore we meet a wide cast of characters that are all very quirky and have their own stories to tell. It was entertaining to get to know them and their stories individually all the while learning more about Emilia and her story. The bookshop really brings these people together and with how they try to help Emilia, it is evident that Julius had really managed to touch all their lives.

The writing style is delicate and the language used is simple. Together they help you settle into the book easily. And while you get to know each character, the pages keep turning on their own accord. You reach the end before you realize and it leaves you with a happy and satisfied smile on your face. A note of warning though – once you have familiarized yourself with Nightingale books, you will never see your local bookshop in the same light again. 


Review Copy received via Netgalley


16 August, 2016

#Spotlight :: Unleashing Desire (Brides of Prophecy, Book 4) by Brooklyn Ann


Title: Unleashing Desire (Brides of Prophecy, Book 4)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: August 16th


A setup so perfect… it might just be fate.
Radu Nicolae has spent centuries in a guilt-induced hibernation beneath the ruins of his family castle. The only time he awakens is to feast on the occasional vampire hunter. When Lillian Holmes invades his lair, trying to kill him for a crime he did not commit, he decides it is time to rejoin the world. As he feeds on the inept, but delectable hunter and sees her memories, he realizes that he is being used as a weapon to murder her. Radu does not like being used.
Agent Lillian Holmes, of the Abnormal Investigation Unit, is sent on a mission to kill the vampire who murdered her father. But when she tries to stake Radu, he awakens. When his fangs sink into her throat, she thinks she’s a goner. To her surprise, she wakes up a prisoner. Furthermore, Radu did not kill her father. The AIU killed Joe Holmes and sent Lillian to Radu to die.
Together, they strike a bargain: Lillian will help Radu travel to the United States to reunite with his long lost twin brother. In return, he will help her take down the men who killed her father. As their relationship deepens on their journey, so does the danger. Not only must they keep government agents from finding out that Lillian is alive, but she also has a secret that will rock the foundations of the vampire world.


Formerly an auto-mechanic, Brooklyn Ann thrives on writing romance featuring unconventional heroines and heroes who adore them. Author of historical paranormal romance in her critically acclaimed “Scandals with Bite” series, urban fantasy in the cult favorite, “Brides of Prophecy” novels, and the New Adult winner of the 2016 Reader’s Choice Award, “Hearts of Metal Series,” she provides love for the broken and strange.
She lives in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho with her son, her cat, and a 1980 Datsun 210.
She can be found online at http://brooklynann.blogspot.com as well as on Twitter and Facebook.
For exclusive updates, sneak peeks, and giveaways, sign up for Brooklyn Ann’s Newsletter at http://brooklynann.blogspot.com/p/sign-up-for-my-newsletter.html








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15 August, 2016

#SpecialFeature :: Read an #Excerpt from Breaking Free by Neha Nayak


*** Special Feature - August 2016 ***



About the Book:
Noya is a young woman who is full of life and is not scared to take her own decisions. She believes in leading a happy life and strongly believes that a happy life comes with bold decisions. Following her ideals, she takes the biggest decision of her life yet - calling off her wedding on the wedding day itself!

This decision turns her life upside down as the people close to her are busy refuting her at every step. Fed up of this negativity, she decides to reboot herself and travel alone. And this marked the beginning of a journey that will once again change the course of her life. On this journey, she meets Ranbir; a meeting which is not intentional but destined. In the beginning, Ranbir comes off as a stalker. However, with time she starts to realize the goodness inside him and slowly but surely, gets attached to him. Standing at the crossroads again, she takes another bold decision to marry Ranbir. Will this finally bring happiness in her life? Noya doesn’t know much about the past of Ranbir as they've just recently met. Will this come back to haunt her later on? Is this another trap? A gripping tale of love, respect and hope, the novel answers all these questions.



Prologue

An year-and-a-half ago, I was like any contemporary young woman - having dreams to make it big, possessing the ardour to learn and developing myself to achieve those goals. My confidence was much talked about. In the beauty and fitness regime too, I wasn't behind. It took repeated turns for the gym instructor to come with a flushed face and say that I have worked enough. I was just like any girl in her twenties would be – looking at the mirror multiple times in a day, dabbing make-up to look prettier, posting all those selected photos on the social websites, and pursuing my hobbies. I have a wonderful family and circle of friends who stood by me, no matter what. I had a life which one ought to have.

But soon, my world came scattering down. That was because of one wrong decision, followed by another right decision. It was just a call, but a crucial one which shattered me to the core.


About the Author:
Neha Nayak is currently working as a Senior Quality Assurance Manager in a Tata group company.

Breaking Free is her first novel which got published with Srishti Publishers, a leading publishing house based in New Delhi. The book is among the best sellers.

‘No-one is perfect and such realistic  protagonists can be found in her stories


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Giveaway:
5 Paperback Copies of Breaking Free to Indian Residents Only

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12 August, 2016

#Interview with Lynn Steward, #Author of What Might Have Been

About the Author:

Lynn Steward, a veteran of the New York fashion industry and a buyer on the team that started the women’s department at Brooks Brothers, created the Dana McGarry series, set at a transformational time in the 1970s world of fashion and in the lives of multigenerational women. What Might Have Been is the second volume in the series. A Very Good Life, Steward’s debut novel, was published in March 2014. 

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Interview with the Author:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
About five years ago. I always enjoyed business-related writing and thought a non-fiction self-help book, with life-lessons I learned along the way, would be a fun project.  But, as often happens when you put yourself out there, I discovered another path and took it: I started developing a TV pilot about New York in the seventies because. 

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
As they say “Write what you know” and I know New York. I’m a native of Long Island, and between attending school and working, I spent twenty-two years in Manhattan. I was so overwhelmed with ideas, the TV series expanded to five seasons! Appropriately placed in the New York City of 1975, which was International Women’s Year, the plots in the series intermingle fashion legends, business icons, real events, and untold stories, providing a behind-the-scenes look at inspirational women in the worlds of art, fashion, and business. It is a time and world that I knew very well.
I realized at some point, however,  that the main character, Dana McGarry,  needed more drama and the plots had to be developed, and I felt the best way to do that was to further develop the story in a novel.  A Very Good Life, inspired by the pilot and first season, was published in 2014. . What Might Have Been, is based on season two. 

Tell us about your writing process.
The Dana McGarry Series takes place in the 1970s world of the New York fashion industry, and required tons of research to supplement my personal experience. I easily spent a year and a half researching – a many hours every day, and more than thirty hours some weekends.  I studied historic events, iconic women, not only individuals, but how they related to each other, and interiors of famous locations, such as the B. Altman department store,  Café des Artistes, Kenneth Salon, etc.  I drew inspiration from archived newspaper articles in The New York Times and The New Yorker.  Most important, I organized  notes and articles by date,  and made spread sheets of events. Quickly reaching for the right file is crucial when an idea is sparked at the keyboard. 

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
When Dana finds a shrewd way to retake the selling floor space she needs for her British boutique. I can feel her sense of accomplishment and see her character arc as she grows more confident, and cunning. Her determination is relentless. 

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
Most definitely, Dana: an underestimated over-achiever.

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
Perhaps it’s a throw-back from my school days, but I like uniforms. Not surprisingly,  I always wear black leggings and a white long sleeve stretch-cotton T-shirt when I’m writing. 

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
I’m constantly reading, although not always novels. Being an Anglophile, I especially like British authors, and one of my favorites is Ian McEwan. 

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Write what you love and know, and just keep writing. Don’t worry about style and grammar, that’s why we have editors. 

What would be the Dream Cast for you book if it was to be turned into a movie?
Dana: Felicity Jones ~ Mark: a serious Ben Stiller ~ Brett: an obnoxious John Krasinski ~ Dana’s mother: Blythe Danner ~ Mark’s daughter: Kiernan Shipka
       
What do you have in store next for your readers?
I am tirelessly working on a pilot script for the Dana McGarry Series. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
If you read the series, and can see the characters and stories alive on the screen, please tell the world in your Amazon review!!


About the Book
Title:  What Might Have Been
Genre:  Literary fiction/women’s fiction
Author: Lynn Steward

Buy it from Amazon

As a fashion buyer at one of New York’s most glamorous department stores, Dana McGarry is a tastemaker, her keen instinct for fashion trends and innovative ideas coupled with a razor sharp business sense. But like the elegant and conservative store that employs her, Dana is caught between two eras—between being liked and standing her ground, between playing by the rules and being a maverick. Dana is sensitive and beautiful, but what you see is not what you get. Behind the cool and attractive facade, Dana is both driven by her need to control yet impeded by her expectation of perfectionism. As she competes to replace women at the top of their game, she is challenged by jealous colleagues. And when a wealthy love interest wants to open doors and support her ambition, she embraces Coco Chanel’s mantra of “never wanting to weigh more heavily on a man than a bird.” As the women’s movement paves the way, Dana finds a path to the career she wants at the expense of happiness that was not meant to be. 

Steward captures the nuances of 70s life in New York City and provides the perfect backdrop for an independent woman determined to make her mark. What Might Have Been is a story that transcends any period.

Giveaway:

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