26 December, 2018

#Spotlight :: Nightmare in the North by Kelli A. Wilkins

Travel takes a deadly turn in… Nightmare in the North
A new horror novella by Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing a look at the making of my latest horror novella, Nightmare in the North. Some of you may know me as a romance author, but I also write short horror fiction. I originally started out as a horror author, but nowadays I divide my time between the two genres.
Nightmare in the North is a cautionary tale about traveling alone in the winter and trusting strangers. 

Here’s the summary:


Stranded during a violent blizzard, Mark hikes to the only house nearby. George, a well-mannered University professor, welcomes Mark and gives him shelter from the storm.
By morning, Mark suspects that everything isn’t what it seems. George’s adult daughter, Kate, who also lives in the house, shares a disturbing and unsettling tale. When questioned, George insists that Kate has a psychological issue and can’t be trusted to tell the truth.
Mark quickly finds himself caught in a game of cat and mouse. Who should he believe? Is Kate’s desperate plea for help sincere? Should he be suspicious of George? Or are both of them plotting something together?
Isolated from everyone, Mark is forced to wait out the storm—and find a way to escape—if he hopes to make it out alive.


So… how did this novella come about? Believe it or not, I wrote a version of this story for my eighth grade English class. The assignment was to write a short story – and boy, did I! The original version was much shorter and less detailed, but the basic premise was there. I’m not sure what my English teacher thought when she read it, but I got an A.

I grew up in upstate New York where winters can be brutal and last a long time. It can be an isolated place, and sometimes you could be snowed in for days. I decided to use that as the backdrop to the story, throw in some strange characters, and add a little mystery. After I submitted the story for my English class, I pretty much forgot about it.

Then, in January of 2018 I drove to Vermont in a snowstorm. I was in the car for 12 hours, and naturally, my mind started to wander… I wanted to write a new horror story, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write. As I was driving, I thought back to that original story and decided to rewrite it – to tell the story the way it needed to be told.

I changed the opening, moved the setting to Vermont, and filled in all the details and backstory that set the tone. The ending of the new version is slightly different from the original, but it’s not off by all that much. I added an epilogue (of sorts) to the end, and spent about twenty minutes getting the last line just right.

Nightmare in the North is a departure from my “usual” romance novels, but it’s not gory. My horror stories tend to be more psychological/spooky than bloody. I love writing horror, and after writing a few romances, I find it refreshing to embrace my darker side and write something creepy. (I wrote this in between edits of my historical romance novel, Redemption from a Dark Past.)

After reading Nightmare in the North, my husband said that it was well written and it drew you in, but it was “twisted” and “disturbing” - I consider that high praise!

Here’s an excerpt from the opening… partially based on that trip to Vermont!

“You have reached Great Bear Lodge. In three hundred feet, turn right into the parking—”
“Are you kidding me?” Mark jabbed the power button on the navigation system, silencing it. The useless piece of shit had done nothing but get him lost.
For the last half hour he’d been listening to the robotic voice lead him deeper into the wilderness. He’d followed the GPS from one secondary road to another, and now he was lost in the backwoods of Nowhere, Vermont.
At least he thought he was still in Vermont. For all he knew, he could be in Canada. Then again, if he was at the border, at least there would be a sign and he could get directions from a Mountie.
The storm had started about four hours ago. At first it was only a few flakes, then more, and more. Then the wind kicked up, and before he knew it there was at least six inches of snow on the road. He had watched the outside thermometer drop from a balmy eight degrees to four, then two, until finally, it had settled at minus four.
There was nothing on either side of the snow-packed two lane road except more snow and a few scatterings of pine trees. He grumbled and kept driving at a whopping 10 miles an hour. He had no choice but to keep going. There was nowhere to turn around.
He probably should have stopped when he passed that house a few minutes ago. The driveway wasn’t plowed, but there was a light on, and he could have asked for directions. But the house might be empty. It was the middle of February. Didn’t most people up here spend the winter in Florida, or—
BAM! The loud bang snapped him from his thoughts and he yelped as the car started spinning.
Everything happened in slow motion. A cluster of pine trees went past on the left, then the car rotated again and slid sideways on the road, spinning out of control. He spotted a pine tree three feet from the front end and jerked the wheel hard, shooting the car across the street toward a ditch. He hit the gas and cranked the wheel again.
After a few more spins and slides, the car finally stopped. He threw the gearshift into park and slumped over the steering wheel, listening to his heart hammering in his chest. Jesus, that was close. “I hate this state. I hate winter. I swear to God I’m never coming back here,” he whispered.
But what the hell happened? He’d heard a loud bang before he spun out. Did he hit something? He unhooked his seat belt and got out of the car. Icy air blasted him in the face as he pulled on his gloves and checked the driver’s side front tire. Great, just great. It was flat.
No, not flat. He leaned closer. The tire was… shredded. “What the hell?” He walked around to the passenger side and groaned. That tire was shredded too, right down to the rim. “Beautiful. What the frig did I hit?”
He backtracked, kicking the snow in front of him. About fifty feet from the car, his boot hit something, and he heard a metallic clank. He bent down and wiped the snow away. A chain was lying in the road. Had it fallen off someone’s truck?
He picked it up and scowled. This was no ordinary chain. Two-inch metal spikes jutted out from every other link, like fangs. “Shit. No wonder my tires are shot.” He tried to carry the chain out of the road, then stopped as it pulled taut. “Now what?”


Order Nightmare in the North here:


I hope you’ll check it out. If you like horror fiction, don’t miss my other ebooks: Kropsy’s Curse and Dead Til Dawn.
Happy Reading,
Kelli A. Wilkins

About the Author:

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels.
Her trilogy of erotic romance novellas, Midsummer Night’s DelightsMidwinter Night’s Delights, and Ultimate Night’s Delights was released in spring 2017.
Loving a Wild Stranger was published in January 2017. This historical/pioneer romance is set in the wilds of the Michigan Territory and blends tender romance with adventure.
Kelli's third Medallion Press romance, Lies, Love & Redemption was released in September 2016. This spicy historical western is set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877.

Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative guide filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.

Catch Up with Kelli:

25 December, 2018

#GuestPost :: Christmas gifts for Bookworms by Melissa Chan

Christmas is a lovely time for gingerbread houses, songs around the warm fire, and for all around holiday cheer. Gift giving is a yearly tradition, and a well-loved holiday pastime for families and friends alike. It's never too late to find a gift for anyone in your life. Some think gift giving is only for children who open presents with excitement or to a few select people in your inner circle, but the benefits of presents are not only for the receiver but for the giver as well.

Here are a few gift ideas for the bookworms in your life. Remember, they don't just have to be family and friends. Colleagues, roommates, teachers, and local librarians will also appreciate the gesture.

Readers, especially those who like physical editions of hardcover books always need something to help carry around their current read. This Emily Dickinson Tote Bag makes for the perfect gift for fans of her poetry and also for those who like vintage handwriting. This bag comes in three different sizes and is a light purple print on a dark navy background.

This Jane Austen T-Shirt is perfect for those who bookworms who are also writers. This shirt depicts a vintage writing desk just like Jane Austen might have used. There is a candle, quill, and other assorted items on this desk. This shirt is in a lightweight cotton fabric and there are many color choices in a cream print on a dark background.

The next gifts on your list are suggestions for types of gifts you may like to give. I've not seen any of the actual products myself. I hope they offer some interesting ideas for those on your list whom you have still yet to shop for.

This School Book Stack Ornament or any ornament for that matter, makes for the perfect stocking stuffer. It is a cute stack of books hanging from a chain so you can place it directly on your tree. When the tree is gone consider placing it on a book shelf or beneath a window. Since it's not specific to holidays it will make for a great all-year piece.

These Antiquarian Bookplates are a lovely choice for someone who has a large library of books. Bookplates are for placing inside your personal books so you can keep track of them when you lend them out. I love borrowing books from my friends and lending them some of my titles as well. Each bookplate has a literary quote and illustration. If you like, consider buying these bookplates, keep a few for yourself and split the rest up as stocking stuffers, or as part of gift baskets.

Cakes are fantastic snacks for when you are comfy on the couch reading a book. Use this Book Cake Pan to bake cakes and decorate them as someone's favorite novel. You can either give this pan to the baker or keep it for yourself and give them the delicious and decorated cake as the present. This gift is special because it is really out of the ordinary and is sure to bring a smile to the face of any book lover.

Thank you for reading some of my gift suggestions, have a wonderful Christmas and happy holidays!

Melissa Chan

24 December, 2018

#BookReview :: I Yaam A Rajini Fan by Devnath

In the 80s and 90s, the ‘Rajini Style’ had a huge influence on the life of every kid who grew up in Tamil Nadu. Such is the hold of the Matinee Idol, Rajinikanth, over the last four decades across the globe. His fans transcend language and country barriers.

Arun Amutharasan comes from that generation. His life in the small town of Chinnakulam was filled to the brim with Rajini.

The town has Arun's memories painted on every nook and corner of it. 

The memories run through love, friendship, hatred, and betrayal as Arun tells the tales of his family, friends, and the women in his life.

He narrates his transition from a ‘no wires’ world to the wireless world, small town pleasures to a global village scenario… all through his eyes, from being a little boy to the time he grew up into a man.

But there is more than one Rajini influencing his life, travelling with him in every juncture.

‘I Yaam a Rajini Fan’ by Devnath is the story of a small town boy Arun. Like most of us, Arun is a simple boy with simple dreams and aspirations. As we get into his story, we see his journey up, close and personal. With friendship, family, love and betrayals, Arun has his obsession of the movie star Rajinikanth to help him navigate his life.

It is a simple story that has been narrated in a simple manner. It keeps to the one characteristic that is synonymous to the mega star whose face is on the cover of this book. Even those of who have had no direct interaction with the mega star know it for a fact that Rajinikanth is a simple man. Arun’s story would resonate with so many Indians who live and love the movie industry for lighting up our lives. This story could be of any of us… I have never been a Rajinikanth fan even though I have enjoyed few of his Hindi releases. Yet, I could understand Arun through my own love for another star (though I can’t say I love him as much Arun loves his Rajinis) and I could see Rajinikanth in a different avatar through Arun.

Rajinikanth has been no less than an enigma to me. He is such a big star, a status well earned, but I could never understand why people literally worship this man. He is after all, only a man and an actor. But through this book I have learned more about the man than any news article could ever tell me.

In the end, the book is more than just about being a Rajinikanth fan – irrespective of what the title suggests. Yes, the star is a big part of the story, but it is also about the journey of a simple boy who has moved forward through his share of hurdles in life. There is enough drama and humour to keep you reading. It was certainly an entertaining read.

Review Copy received from the Author

23 December, 2018

#CoverReveal :: Guardian Angel by Ruchi Singh

~ Cover Reveal ~
Guardian Angel by Ruchi Singh

The Man
Security expert Nikhil Mahajan is in mortal danger. Gravely injured and unable to see, he is in the midst of hostile strangers in an unknown place. Any hope of survival is fast fading away. 

The Angel
Should an innocent man be left to die just because he had been in the wrong place at the wrong time? Someone has to intervene.

About the Author:
Winner of TOI WriteIndia Season 1, Ruchi Singh is a novelist, and writes in two genres; romance and romantic thriller. A voracious reader, she loves everything—from classics to memoirs to editorials to chick-lit, but her favourite genre is ‘romantic thriller’. Besides writing and reading, her other interests include dabbling with Indian classical dance forms.

21 December, 2018

#BookReview :: Such is HER Life by Reecha Agarwal Goyal

You know her as a mother, daughter, sister, wife, daughter-in-law.

But seldom as a woman . . .

And maybe never as a human.
Get ready . . . it’s time to unlearn and learn.

A collection of musings that will have you reeling in a wave of emotion long after you are done reading, this powerhouse of work will make you smile, cry, go red in anger, nod your head in agreement and grasp the finer nuances of what it means to be her in today’s world.


‘Such is Her Life’ by Reecha Agarwal Goyal is a collection of musings by the author. The book covers snippets of experiences, of realities, of dreams and of needs.

It is the twenty first century and yet it is worse than being in the dark ages for as section of the population in this world. It is not just in our country that women are treated as second class citizen, but it happens around the world. But somewhere down the line, it is worse for the women in our country. From the moment a baby girl is conceived in the womb to moment they breathe their last, their lives are not their own. First hurdle lies whether they survive long enough to be born… a lot of the girls never even get to see the light of the day and breathe their last in the womb for no other reason than the fact that they were girls. IF they are lucky to be born, their lives are dictated by the males in their family and by this patriarchal society. The burden of honor, the burden of caring and the burden of carrying their crushed dreams are placed on them to make sure they do not get to spread their wings… Ever.

Ms.Reecha captures the many moments of trials and tribulations that have become a way of life for most women. A glimpse into an ordinary moment in a woman’s life can tell you a lot not only about her, but also the society that we live in. But hey, the book is not all gloom and doom. There are certain ‘soft’ moments captured in the book as well; for instance the verse about a girl missing her dad or a mother breastfeeding ; that kind of gives the resemblance of balance to the book. But if you feel that it was mostly doom and gloom – don’t blame the author.

However, the catch of the book lies in the fact that the author has actually managed to capture the strength of women in a very sneaky manner. Not everyone experiences everything that is written about in the book, but we all have had various moments of them and by the end of the book it makes you feel strong. If we can survive all these and still be able to recognize ourselves for who we truly are – there is nothing in the world that we cannot do. 

My favourite remains the very first verse of the book. “And a girl to take care of two…” as it resonates with me so much.

Review Copy received from Fingerprint Publishing

18 December, 2018

#ComingSoon :: The Forest of Enchantments by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni


HarperCollins India is proud to announce the publication of
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Releasing January 2019

The Ramayana, one of the world’s greatest epics, is also a tragic love story. In this brilliant retelling, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni places Sita at the centre of the novel: this is Sita’s version.

The Forest of Enchantments is also a very human story of some of the other women in the epic, often misunderstood and relegated to the margins: Kaikeyi, Surpanakha, Mandodari. A powerful comment on duty, betrayal, infidelity and honour, it is also about women’s struggle to retain autonomy in a world that privileges men, as Chitra transforms an ancient story into a gripping, contemporary battle of wills. While the Ramayana resonates even today, she makes it more relevant than ever, in the underlying questions in the novel: How should women be treated by their loved ones? What are their rights in a relationship? When does a woman need to stand up and say, ‘Enough!’

A moving meditation on love in its many forms, The Forest of Enchantments proves once again why Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni remains an unparalleled storyteller.

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning and bestselling author, poet, activist and teacher of writing. Her work has been published widely, in magazines and anthologies, and her books have been translated into twenty-nine languages. Several of her works have been made into films and plays.

Demy Hardcover| Fiction | 372 pp | Rs 599

Praise for the book:

‘Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni turns the Ramayana around by telling it in the voice of Sita … this inversion is a gift—it presents us with a way to know an already well-known story better and to love an already beloved story more.’ 

‘This inspired evocation of the goddess Sita is an epic song of strength and solidarity told with joy and intensity. It brings to life the personalities and predicaments of the Ramayana.’

‘Among the many, many Ramayanas, there are now even—thankfully—some “Sitayanas”, but I know of none with the special magic that Chitra Divakaruni … brings to the telling.’

‘Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s Sita … is an epitome of courage and self-respect, showing a path for all women. While weaving a familiar story, Chitra provides deep and surprising insights.’

‘An incomparable storyteller.’

‘Divakaruni’s stories are irresistible.’

‘Divakaruni’s storytelling talents put her right up there with the best.’

09 December, 2018

#Interview with Sadhna Shanker, #Author of Ascendance

About the Author:

Sadhna Shanker is an Indian author, blogger and civil servant. This is her fifth book, and second fiction work after “Never a Disconnect’ in 2010. She has written for the International Herald Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Hindu, Indian Express, Huffington Post and The Wire. She blogs at http://zindagitalkies.wordpress.com. A PhD in Economics, she is a passionate wordsmith and has an avid interest in books, movies and theatre. She lives in New Delhi and is in the Indian Revenue Service.  

Social links:
Facebook * Twitter * Blog

An Interview with the Author:

How did you come up with the idea of your current story?
Ascendance grew over time within me spurred on by life, being a woman in India and the rapid changes that are happening around us. As sexuality and gender identities have been getting blurred and more fluid, I really wondered what would be the shape of things to come if the reproductive link between men and women is demolished. I do think we are moving towards that in the future. Cloning and incubation of babies outside the female form will dramatically change the way men and women interact. The idea was something I decided to write about.  When I started out I had somewhat nebulous ideas about the potential of technology to transform our existence. As I researched for the book, my own ideas changed. We are moving towards a huge change in human life – I don’t have doubts about it anymore. The future will arrive much faster than we want to accept or can foresee. 

Tell us about your writing process. 
Ascendance took me eight years to bring out in final form. How and where you write depends on your comfort zone. I have learnt one thing in the long years of juggling job, family and writing – there is never a perfect time to write. Or do whatever it is that you want to do. Waiting for a time when all other things will be in place is like an economics model – never a reality. The time is now. You have to find order in the chaos around. I write in my own home on a desktop. I have not got used to a laptop at all. 

What is your favourite scene in the book? Why? 
Ascendance is literary science fiction. It does not have the human race battling alien species or machines. The theatre of the book is the change in life of men and women that is driven by technology. It tries to imagine a world thousands of years in the future, where life is indefinitely extendable and the reproductive link between man and woman has been terminated, and each can clone their off-spring independently. The philosophical underpinnings of the story are layered on top by a whodunit. Interestingly, what I enjoyed the most was writing about Earth in the 23rd and 24th century, and imagining how life as we know it could be transformed with the rapid change in technology in all fields.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks? 
As a writer I feel some character always does reflect some of the author’s beliefs, biases and maybe even prejudices. In Ascendance I feel Maya, the woman’s consciousness from 24th century Earth, who makes her way to the new planet Elone does reflect that. Especially her lust for life and her spirit of enquiry. 

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style? 
Yes I do. Though I must admit when I am writing a book, reading becomes secondary. I pick it up again when I have finished with a book. I love reading fiction, especially whodunits, science fiction, and increasingly non-fiction too. My favourite authors would be Ayn Rand and Agatha Christie. I think the former inspired me to write stories that say something beyond the story, and the latter an eye for detail. These days I am enjoying reading ‘Sapeins’’ by Yaval Harari. 

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer till date?  
The best advice I have got is always from the editor of the book. More often than not, the suggestions enhance the book manifold. A good, sincere editor is your best friend in the rather tedious and often times painful editorial process.

If you were stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry? 
- Blank paper and pen
- My radio
- My swim suit

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
My bucket list mainly is about travel – I want to see the Northern lights and travel to Antarctica. In my dreams I want to go to Mars!

What do you have in store next for your readers?
Lots of ideas are playing in my head. Sometimes I think of a sequel to Ascendance, at others something totally different. I still have to decide.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
When I was young trainee officer, a senior had come to our Academy to address us. He had said that always maintain a hobby, something that engages you apart from work. Overtime I have understood the wisdom of his words. In the hustle, bustle, stresses and strains of everyday life, writing is like an oasis for me. When I get down to write, everything else recedes in the background. So it actually works both as a passion and as a place of my own to retreat to. All of us should have something in our lives that engages and keeps us alive!

About the Book:

The night Seeni died, the fault line reappeared. The existing equilibrium between men and women, the antagonistic species that inhabit Elone began to crumble. 

If a clash happens, how long would it last? What would remain? Who? How many? Were they heading for a time like the last days on Earth?

As each side regroups along the Fence, Maya, a woman’s consciousness from twenty third century Earth, reveals the past intertwined existence of men and women. Would knowledge of their shared past change the course of the future?

Delving into ideas of divergence, immortality and consequent new social constructs, 'Ascendance' is set in a world that represents a possible, and not a dystopian future. 

Book Links:

06 December, 2018

#Interview with Kevin Missal, #Author of The Kalki Trilogy

About the Author:

Kevin Missal is a twenty-two year old graduate of St. Stephen’s College. He has previously released the first book of the Kalki Trilogy, Dharmayoddha Kalki: Avatar of Vishnu, which became a National best-seller and received praise from newspapers such as Millennium Post and Sunday Guardian who have termed it as "2017’s mythological phenomenon". Kevin loves reading, watching films, and building stories in his mind. He lives in New Delhi.

Contact the Author:
Facebook * Twitter

An Interview with the Author:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
Just the envy I had that if other writers can become writers, so can I. Haha. I think storytelling was in me since childhood. I remember playing with action figures and creating a narrative out of them at the age of ten. It was my first stint of being a storyteller. 

What inspires you to write?
Mostly, my readers nowadays. And also that I need to get paid regularly haha. 

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
It was all in Kalki Puran. I just had to make it contemporary. 

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
Absolutely. Around 100 unpublished books. I broke my last laptop which held all these stories, unfortunately. I would have read them otherwise. 

Tell us about your writing process.
I sit down. I plot my book. I begin writing. I eat food. I continue writing. It’s very simple. There’s no trick here. Though, I do listen to a lot of musical themes. 

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
In Kalki Book 2? It’s Arjan’s final showdown with Urvashi. I think that was a defining moment for the character. 

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
Oh hell, no. Though they did inherit my friend’s quirks. 

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
That I can’t write if there is noise happening in the room. It has to be complete silence. 

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
I love reading. I love Brandon Sanderson and he taught me everything about characters, structure and most of all revision. 

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
Write what you know. 
It was by a very popular literary agent in India and I didn’t listen to him and I ended up writing about gods and battles. So yeah, that was the best piece of advice I never executed. 

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Enjoy what you write. If you are not enjoying the process, the reader won’t too. 

What would be the Dream Cast for you book if it was to be turned into a movie?
I really don’t think I am eligible for saying this. I guess when the producer comes on board, he will decide but I would really want Tiger Shroff to play Kalki. 

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
A boat. 
A map to my home. 
And enough food for the boat ride. 

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
Not really. I chill with my friends and watch Netflix. 

About the Book:
Explosive Sequel to National Bestseller 'Dharmayoddha Kalki: Avatar of Vishnu' (Book 1)
After a defeat at the hands of Lord Kali, Kalki Hari must journey towards the Mahendragiri mountains with his companions to finally become the avatar he is destined to be. But the road ahead is not without peril . . .
Not only is he trapped by the cannibalistic armies of the Pisach, he is also embroiled in the civil war of the Vanars. And in midst of all this, he meets a face from the legends.
Meanwhile, Manasa, the sister of the late Vasuki, plots to overthrow Lord Kali by bringing a massive war to his kingdom. But Naagpuri, her homeland, has been infiltrated by their sworn enemy, the Suparns. Not only does she need to protect her kingdom from the Suparns, she must also protect her close ones from the league of conspirators at her own home. Who can she really trust? And will she be able to put an end to Lord Kali’s rule?
As the plot thickens and Lord Kali sees his ambition crushed right before his eyes, he comes to know about his race and its history that threatens to destroy the very fabric of this world’s reality. Kalyug has begun.

Can Kalki become the avatar in time before it finally unfolds? 
Will Manasa fight through the internal politics to bring an invasion against Lord Kali? 
Can the secret that changes everything change Lord Kali as a person too? 

Book Links:

03 December, 2018

#BookReview :: Death on the Nile (Hercule Poirot #17) by Agatha Christie

The tranquility of a cruise along the Nile is shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway has been shot through the head. She was young, stylish and beautiful, a girl who had everything - until she lost her life. Hercule Poirot recalls an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: `I'd like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger.' Yet in this exotic setting' nothing is ever quite what it seems... 

Goodreads * Amazon

I recently re-read this Agatha Christie book for a reading challenge. I had last read it while I was still in college.

Death on the Nile is a typical Agatha Christie Mystery in the sense that her best works are the ones where the cast and characters are kind of stranded or confined in a limited space. ‘And Then There Were None’ and ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ were two of her other such works that has been widely appreciated. In this case, the murder happens on a cruise boat on the river Nile and the victim is Linnet Ridgeway, a girl who had it all – money, style and a handsome new husband. So, why was she shot in the head while on her honeymoon? Well luckily, Hercule Poirot happened to be on the cruise too and who better to look into the matter?

The mystery wasn’t a big deal in this book. I am sure that many mystery aficionados will be able to guess the murderer correctly before the grand reveal. As is usually the case with Hercule Poirot mysteries, the fun and entertainment lies in watching Poirot put his ‘grey cells’ to work. Trying to think like the detective while reading the book is half the fun and the other half lies in tallying up at the end of the book. Each dialogue and interaction is important and it is impossible not to pay attention to it all completely.

With ‘Death on the Nile’, Ms.Christie once again proved her insights into the human nature. There is a wide range of characters on the boat and while at first it seems like only one of them had a direct motive for the murder, but as Hercule Poirot delves into the case, we find that nothing is at it seems. People who are apparent strangers may have a connection to Linnet and Jacqueline isn’t the only suspect. Through Hercule Poirot, her master creation, Ms. Christie peals back layers and layers to reveal different aspects of human nature.

This book has a comparatively slower start as Ms.Christie takes her time in setting up the plot. But a total worth it book that I am sure to re-read again in the future.

30 November, 2018

Quotable Quotes from John Green

Young Adult literature for the most part has been criticized and looked down upon. Teen romances have been dubbed as YA Literature, and for diehard fans of the same it has been a difficult journey. For one thing, YA is a reading age and not a genre! YA include a variety of genres in itself such as drama, comedy, tragedy, dragedy, sci-fi, supernatural etc.

Authors like John Green, therefore, with their works of fiction make a world of difference to everyone's perception of YA Literature.

It was in 2012 with the release of his sixth novel, The Fault in Our Stars, that John Green came into the limelight. He had written novels before - all YA Literature - but none of them spread quite like the wildfire that was TFIOS. That book was made into a movie within the next year.

John Green's first book was Looking for Alaska, (which as irony would have it, is currently in its movie production stage.)

And even though it was Hazel and Gus' story that put John Green on the map, he had been sharing profound quotes with his readers for years. His latest novel, Turtles All The Way Down, have quite a few of them too.

Here's looking at some of the deepest quotes courtesy of one of most popular and well beloved authors of Young Adult Literature:

“We need never be hopeless because we can never be irreparably broken.”Looking for Alaska

"The thing about a spiral is, if you follow it inward, it never actually ends. It just keeps tightening, infinitely." Turtles All The Way Down

My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations. The Fault in Our Stars

It is so hard to leave – until you leave. And it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world. – Paper Towns

“Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.” An Abundance of Katherines

"And the thing is, when you lose someone, you realize you'll eventually lose everyone." – Turtles All The Way Down

“Those awful things are survivable because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be.” Looking for Alaska

“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.” — Paper Towns

“I mean, anyone can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.” Turtles All The Way Down

“You like someone who can't like you back because unrequited love can be survived in a way that once-requited love cannot.” Will Grayson, Will Grayson

And we keep turning to these wise words for comfort, until John Green shuts himself in a room and writes another story for us! Do let me know if your favourite John Green quote made the list or did I miss it out in the comments section below.

28 November, 2018

Want to learn how to write? Sign up for Fiction Writing for Beginners

An online writing course from author Kelli A. Wilkins
Hi everyone!

When people learn that I’m a writer, they often tell me: “I want to write a book, but…” and then they go into longwinded explanations about why they can’t write it. Usually they don’t know where (or how) to start, or they say they don’t have the time. 

Well, I’ve got a solution for all that. 

My online writing course, Fiction Writing for Beginners, is perfect for anyone who is interested in writing and needs practical advice on how to get started, PLUS motivation and encouragement to keep writing. 

Thirteen easy-to-follow classes cover the writing process from start to finish. You’ll learn where writers get ideas, how to create characters, get expert tips on writing your story, and find out how to submit it for publication. Everything you need to know to start writing is wrapped up in this comprehensive and fun course.

Each class is self-contained and self-directed. This way, you can learn about a specific topic at your own pace, and not worry about completing the class by a certain deadline. Short writing exercises at the end of each class highlight the subject matter and get you writing.

Why did I write this course? Because once upon a time I didn’t think I could write anything. I knew I wanted to write, so I enrolled in writing classes at a local community college. Without those classes, I never would have been educated, inspired, and encouraged to pursue my writing dreams.

I created Fiction Writing for Beginners to pass my knowledge along to people who want to write, but don’t know how to start. This course was a fun way to share my writing tips, advice, and first-hand practical experience. Anyone who has ever dreamed about writing fiction (in any genre) whether for publication or just for a hobby, will benefit from this course.

The classes are grouped into four sections, and each section focuses on a writing theme. Here’s the breakdown:

Section 1: Getting Started
Class 1: The 5 Ws of Writing
Class 2: Getting in the Writing Zone & Staying Motivated
Class 3: Where Do Writers Get Their Ideas? (Part 1)
Class 4: Where Do Writers Get Their Ideas? (Part 2)

Section 2: Creating Your Characters
Class 5: Creating Characters
Class 6: Developing Heroes, Villains & Secondary Characters

Section 3: Get Writing!
Class 7: Plotting Your Story
Class 8: Scenes, Sequels & GMC
Class 9: Point-of-view & Dialogue
Class 10: Setting, Details & Research

Section 4: Revising, Submitting & Promoting Your Story
Class 11: Revising Your Story
Class 12: Getting Feedback on Your Story
Class 13: Submitting & Promoting Your Story

Here’s a short excerpt from Class 1:

What do you want to write?
Now that you know why you want to write, what do you want to write? Do you have a specific story in mind or a genre of fiction that interests you? Fiction can take many forms, from historical romance novels to science fiction short stories, and everything in between.
One way to figure out what you want to write is to consider the type of fiction you read. If you love curling up with a cozy mystery novel, you may want to write your own mysteries. Love being scared? Consider horror fiction. Can’t wait to be swept away to the 1700s Scottish Highlands? Historical romance is for you.
Here’s a hint: If you don’t enjoy reading a particular genre, you probably shouldn’t try writing in that genre. After all, you’ll be living with your short story or novel every day, and you won’t be motivated to write it if you’re not excited about it.
Forcing yourself to write something you’re not interested in is not fun and the story will certainly suffer. (That is, if you even finish writing the story.) It’s better to write the type of short stories (or novels) that you like to read. Your love of the genre will shine through in your voice, characters, and plot.
Should you write a novel or a short story? That’s entirely up to you. If you only read short fiction because you find novels “too long” to sit through, then the answer should be obvious. But if you love losing yourself in a 300-page novel filled with interesting characters and plot twists, try writing a novel of your own.
Only you know what type of story you would like to write—and there’s no rule that says you can “only” write short fiction or “only” write novels. In fact, many authors write both. (I do.) And where I write might surprise you…

If you’ve always wanted to write, Fiction Writing for Beginners will get you started. Visit the course page and enroll here: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/

I hope you’ll check it out.

Happy Reading… and Writing!

Kelli A. Wilkins

About the Author:

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories. 
In October 2018, Kelli published Cupid’s Schemes, a collection of sweet mini-romances. 
She also released her first online writing course, Fiction Writing for Beginners, through Teachable. This course is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.
Kelli’s historical romance, Redemption from a Dark Past, was published in 2018. This full-length Gothic novel is set in the kingdom of Hungary in 1723 and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense.
If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her latest novella, Nightmare in the North.
Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor

Visit her website www.KelliWilkins.com and blog http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/  to learn more about all of her writings.