29 May, 2019

#SpecialFeature :: #Interview with Vignesh Ravichandran, #Author of Scepters of Empyrea



*** Special Feature - May 2019 ***

Quick Recap:

About the Book:
Empyrea, an island in the Andromeda galaxy belonging to planet Vathura is serene. Everywhere your eyes turn, you will feast on the lovely birds singing their heart out in the lush green vegetation. Osiris Mysterio ruled the regions of Empyrea with his brother Tyrant Seth and with their children Pitheceus Babi, Kraity Wadjet, and Horus Mysterio.

5000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians were the only humans to receive the invitation to enter Empyrea. They gladly on-boarded into a Pegasus chariot and took their journey to Empyrea. Their journey is indescribable. Empyrea by itself was like a fairy-tale garden, an ocean of flowers and exotic trees.

As the Egyptians went further inside Empyrea, they saw its netherworld. They had mixed feelings when they saw the triangle shaped tombs and the bizarre headhunting people. Empyrea also had the blood-curdling creatures like the deadly dinosaurs, gigantic snakes, furious apes, ruthless rhino’s, massive mastodons and many other creepy creatures. This showed the power of the Empyrean Army and that no other army could survive their wrath.

The Emperor Osiris and the kings ruled Empyrea with powerful Scepters. With those powers, they were not only considered as kings but also worshipped as Lords. The Lords with the help of their scepter had the crucial power to transform themselves into giant creatures.

Egyptians while departing from Empyrea was gifted with a shortcut portal to earth and also with some people and creatures of Empyrea to build the Empramids in Egypt. Overwhelmed with happiness they took the shortcut door and returned to Egypt.

However, the happiness was short-lived in Empyrea. The Empire of Empyrea was betrayed for ruling earth avariciously. Somehow the Emperor of Empyrea locked the shortcut portal and asked the Egyptians to safeguard it. The Egyptians, on the other hand, failed to safeguard the portal. And some gangsters accidentally opened the shortcut door in 2017 A.D, entered Empyrea, and inadvertently got access to the Lord scepters.

So, now the Earthians were left with no choice but to battle against the merciless predators and headhunting people in their heroic journey. Their ultimate fate lied in an empire beyond imagination. They would take their stand against the powerful lords, who brutally led their people to war against planet Earth.

Did the gangsters protect the earth from danger, or left the other world to accomplish their tyrant rule on Earth? Explore the world of Empyrea to unravel the truth behind this mystery.

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Interview with the Author:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
I first realized it when I was pursuing my under-graduation about 8 years ago. I tried writing a few during my childhood, but this is my first professional one.

What inspires you to write?
My imagination is my biggest inspiration, and that drives me to write and share it to the world

What kind of research goes into your book?
As my book is a fantasy, the research was more into Egyptian mythology and ice age creatures.

What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on a fantasy novel once again. This would be like the story of Cinderella.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story? 
I experienced the small part of my story in my nightmare 8 years ago. Later, I developed it with some real life facts.

Please share three interesting facts about the characters in your book.
There are more than 25 characters in the book, below are the highlights about the characters:
a. The key characters of my book are the powerful Egyptian gods.
b. The key characters can transform into giant creatures
c. Most of the characters were structured by referring my friends

Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so what helps you to get over it?
As a debut author, I faced so many blocks, and I didn't had any professional person to guide me on this. I read related books and watched related movies to understand how the author/director portrayed their imagination. It helped me a lot.

Do you know the ending of your books before you finish writing them?
Yes. I love to give a cliff hanger to my other books.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
I received a couple of advice, and each one is best in their own way.  Most of them said that i need read lot of books and improve my English skills.


About the Author:



Vignesh Ravichandran is the author of the book Scepters Of Empyrea: A Journey to the Andromeda Galaxy. He  did his Masters in Business Administration from a leading Business School and  presently working as a Human Resource professional in a leading software organization in Chennai. He wrote this debut novel with the story line which he experienced in his nightmare 7 years ago.




Contact the Author:

Giveaway:

- One Paperback Copy of Scepters of Empyrea for Indian Resident
- One Kindle Copy of Scepters of Empyrea for International Resident

27 May, 2019

#BlogTour :: Below The Fold by R.G. Belsky

Below The Fold by R.G. Belsky

Below The Fold

by R.G. Belsky

on Tour May 1-31, 2019

Synopsis:

Below The Fold by R.G. Belsky
Every human life is supposed to be important. Everyone should matter. But that’s not the case in the cutthroat TV news-rating world where Clare Carlson works. Sex, money, and power sell. Only murder victims of the right social strata are considered worth covering. Not the murder of a “nobody.”

So, when the battered body of a homeless woman named Dora Gayle is found on the streets of New York City, her murder barely gets a mention in the media. But Clare―a TV news director who still has a reporter’s instincts―decides to dig deeper into the seemingly meaningless death. She uncovers mysterious links between Gayle and a number of wealthy and influential figures. There is a prominent female defense attorney; a scandal-ridden ex-congressman; a decorated NYPD detective; and―most shocking of all―a wealthy media mogul who owns the TV station where Clare works. Soon there are more murders, more victims, more questions. As the bodies pile up, Clare realizes that her job, her career, and maybe even her life are at stake as she chases after her biggest story ever.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: May 2019
Number of Pages: 357
ISBN: 978-1-60809-324-3
Series: Clare Carlson #2
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

OPENING CREDITS
THE RULES ACCORDING TO CLARE

Every human life is supposed to be important, everyone should matter. That’s what we all tell ourselves, and it’s a helluva noble concept. But it’s not true. Not in the real world. And certainly not in the world of TV news where I work.
Especially when it comes to murder.
Murder is a numbers game for me. It operates on what is sometimes cynically known in the media as the Blonde White Female Syndrome. My goal is to find a murder with a sexy young woman victim to put on the air. Sex sells. Sex, money, and power. That translates into big ratings numbers, which translates into more advertising dollars. These are the only murder stories really worth doing.
The amazing thing to me is not that there is so much news coverage of these types of stories. It’s that there are people who actually question whether they should be big news stories. These critics dredge up the age-old argument about why some murders get so much more play in the media than all the other murders that happen every day.
I don’t understand these people.
Because the cold, hard truth—and everyone knows this, whether they want to admit it or not—is that not everybody is equal when it comes to murder.
Not in life.
And certainly not in death.
It reminds me of the ongoing debate that happens every time Sirhan Sirhan—the man who killed Robert F. Kennedy—comes up for a parole hearing. There are those who point out that he’s already served fifty years in jail. They argue that many other killers have served far less time before being paroled. Sirhan Sirhan should be treated equally, they say, because the life of Robert F. Kennedy is no more or less important than the life of any other crime victim. Me, I think Sirhan Sirhan should be kept caged up in a four-foot by six-foot cell as long as he lives—which hopefully will be to a hundred so he can suffer every minute of it. For God’s sakes, people, he killed Robert—freakin’—Kennedy!
And so, to those who think that we in the media make too big a deal out of some of these high-profile murder stories, I say that’s completely and utterly ridiculous. I reject that argument completely. I won’t even discuss it.
* *
Now let me tell you something else.
Everything I just said there is a lie.
The truth is there really is no magic formula for murder in the TV news business. No simple way to know from the beginning if a murder story is worth covering or not. No easy answer to the question of how much a human life is worth—or what the impact will be of that person’s death by a violent murder.
When I started out working at a newspaper years ago, I sat next to a veteran police reporter on the overnight shift. There was an old-fashioned wire machine that would print out police slips of murders that happened during the night. Most of them involved down-market victims in bad neighborhoods whose deaths clearly would never make the paper.
But he would dutifully call the police on each one and ask questions like: “Tell me about the body of that kid you found in the Harlem pool room—was he a MENSA candidate or what?” Or, “The woman you found dead in the alley behind the housing project—any chance she might be Julia Roberts or a member of the British Royal Family?”
I asked him once why he even bothered to make the calls since none of these murders seemed ever worth writing about in the paper.
“Hey, you never know,” he said.
It was good advice back then, and it still is today. I try to teach it to all my reporters in the TV newsroom that I run now. Check every murder out. Never assume anything about a murder story. Follow the facts and the evidence on every murder—on every crime story—because you can never be certain where that trail might take you.
Okay, I don’t always follow my own advice in the fast-paced, ratings-obsessed world of TV news where I make my living.
And usually it does turn out to be just a waste of time.
But every once in a while, well . . .
Hey, you never know.
***
Excerpt from Below The Fold by R.G. Belsky. Copyright © 2019 by R.G. Belsky. Reproduced with permission from R.G. Belsky. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

R.G. Belsky
R.G. Belsky is an author of crime fiction and a journalist in New York City. His newest mystery , YESTERDAY'S NEWS, was published in May 2018 by Oceanview. It is the first in a series featuring Clare Carlson, the news director for a New York City TV station. A second Clare Carlson book, BELOW THE FOLD, will be out in May 2019. Belsky's last book, BLONDE ICE, was published by Atria in October 2016. It is the third in a series of books from Atria about Gil Malloy, a hard-driving newspaper reporter with a penchant for breaking big stories on the front page of the New York Daily News. The first book in the Gil Malloy series – THE KENNEDY CONNECTION – was published in 2014 and SHOOTING FOR THE STARS came out in 2015. Belsky himself is a former managing editor at the Daily News and writes about the media from an extensive background in newspapers, magazines and TV/digital news. At the Daily News, he also held the titles of metropolitan editor and deputy national editor. Before that, he was metropolitan editor of the New York Post and news editor at Star magazine. Belsky was most recently the managing editor for news at NBCNews.com. His previous suspense novels include PLAYING DEAD and LOVERBOY. BLONDE ICE was nominated as a finalist for the David Award at Deadly Ink and also for the Silver Falchion at Killer Nashville in 2017. He was the Claymore Award winner at Killer Nashville 2016 and also a Silver Falchion Finalist in both the mystery and thriller categories.

Catch Up With Our R.G. Belsky On:
rgbelsky.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, & Facebook!




Tour Participants:

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for R.G. Belsky. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on May 01, 2019 and runs through June 02, 2019. Void where prohibited.
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22 May, 2019

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost - My Amazing people!! by Vignesh Ravichandran



*** Special Feature - May 2019 ***

About the Book:
Empyrea, an island in the Andromeda galaxy belonging to planet Vathura is serene. Everywhere your eyes turn, you will feast on the lovely birds singing their heart out in the lush green vegetation. Osiris Mysterio ruled the regions of Empyrea with his brother Tyrant Seth and with their children Pitheceus Babi, Kraity Wadjet, and Horus Mysterio.

5000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians were the only humans to receive the invitation to enter Empyrea. They gladly on-boarded into a Pegasus chariot and took their journey to Empyrea. Their journey is indescribable. Empyrea by itself was like a fairy-tale garden, an ocean of flowers and exotic trees.

As the Egyptians went further inside Empyrea, they saw its netherworld. They had mixed feelings when they saw the triangle shaped tombs and the bizarre headhunting people. Empyrea also had the blood-curdling creatures like the deadly dinosaurs, gigantic snakes, furious apes, ruthless rhino’s, massive mastodons and many other creepy creatures. This showed the power of the Empyrean Army and that no other army could survive their wrath.

The Emperor Osiris and the kings ruled Empyrea with powerful Scepters. With those powers, they were not only considered as kings but also worshipped as Lords. The Lords with the help of their scepter had the crucial power to transform themselves into giant creatures.

Egyptians while departing from Empyrea was gifted with a shortcut portal to earth and also with some people and creatures of Empyrea to build the Empramids in Egypt. Overwhelmed with happiness they took the shortcut door and returned to Egypt.

However, the happiness was short-lived in Empyrea. The Empire of Empyrea was betrayed for ruling earth avariciously. Somehow the Emperor of Empyrea locked the shortcut portal and asked the Egyptians to safeguard it. The Egyptians, on the other hand, failed to safeguard the portal. And some gangsters accidentally opened the shortcut door in 2017 A.D, entered Empyrea, and inadvertently got access to the Lord scepters.

So, now the Earthians were left with no choice but to battle against the merciless predators and headhunting people in their heroic journey. Their ultimate fate lied in an empire beyond imagination. They would take their stand against the powerful lords, who brutally led their people to war against planet Earth.

Did the gangsters protect the earth from danger, or left the other world to accomplish their tyrant rule on Earth? Explore the world of Empyrea to unravel the truth behind this mystery.

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

My Amazing people!!

I always believe in people who do magic in the life of their friends and family by supporting them. They are the most awesome and amazing people in the world. Without them, there won't be any authors, scientists, media professionals, entrepreneurs, engineers, doctors, etc

I have some special and amazing people in my life who support me in this wonderful writing journey. Their support can't be measured or can't be compared with one another. For their endless support, I have turned them as one of the characters in my story.

Before 9years, my under graduation friends- Manav, Vinay, Karthik, Vicky, and Dili were my first supporters of this Empyrean Journey. When no one believed in me, they stood strong and gave their full support to write my novel. They helped a lot to create the book characters. I fixed each friend as my book character and started my writing. As each one is different and unique in their way, It was more valuable for me to develop the character's mannerisms and emotions at that time of story plotting. Out of these five, Manav, a close friend of mine, became one among the heroes of my story.
My post-graduation was the place where I met most of my book characters.  Leonce, a very good friend of mine used to be a funny person to hang out with, I included him in my story as a comedian. Mosses, a very supporting friend, turned as one of the major supporting characters of the story. Ajeeth, a brave and bold friend, turned one among the key characters of the story. Nazeer sir, an amazing trainer, turned as a local don to my story. Rayman, a lazy friend, turned as an Interpol officer.

Sylvia mam, who is an amazing trainer and the editor of my rubbish writing, turned a 6year old child in my story and started doing naughty things. She will be the lead character of my next book, which will be released by next year. 

These are the people who supported me a lot and continues it in turning my novel into a bestseller. I didn't have words to describe their support; I can say a huge thanks to them all day.


About the Author:



Vignesh Ravichandran is the author of the book Scepters Of Empyrea: A Journey to the Andromeda Galaxy. He  did his Masters in Business Administration from a leading Business School and  presently working as a Human Resource professional in a leading software organization in Chennai. He wrote this debut novel with the story line which he experienced in his nightmare 7 years ago.




Contact the Author:

Giveaway:

- One Paperback Copy of Scepters of Empyrea for Indian Resident
- One Kindle Copy of Scepters of Empyrea for International Resident

18 May, 2019

#BookReview :: Liars' Paradox (A Jack and Jill Thriller #1) by Taylor Stevens

They live in the shadows, Jack and Jill, feuding twins who can never stop running. From earliest memory they’ve been taught to hide, to hunt, to survive. Their prowess is outdone only by Clare, who has always been mentor first and mother second. She trained them in the art of espionage, tested their skills in weaponry, surveillance, and sabotage, and sharpened their minds with nerve-wracking psychological games. As they grew older they came to question her motives, her methods—and her sanity . . . 

Now twenty-six years old, the twins are trying to lead normal lives. But when Clare’s off-the-grid safehouse explodes and she goes missing, they’re forced to believe the unthinkable: Their mother’s paranoid delusions have been real all along. To find her, they’ll need to set aside their differences; to survive, they’ll have to draw on every skill she’s trained them to use. A twisted trail leads from the CIA, to the KGB, to an underground network of global assassins where hunters become the hunted. Everyone, it seems, wants them dead—and, for one of the twins, it’s a threat that’s frighteningly familiar and dangerously close to home . . . 



Jack and Jill are twins who were raised by a very paranoid mother, Clare. Clare had made it her priority to train her children in the art of survival. As a result both Jack and Jill are masters of combat, weaponry and in the art of espionage. But they were often pitted against each other and in addition were the mind games that Clare played with them. As a result, though Jack and Jill can work together, they lack the bonding that we usually see in twins. Now, they are all grown up and are trying to lead ‘normal’ lives separately… Yet when Clare’s safe house explodes and she is nowhere to be found, Jack and Jill will have to set their differences aside and work together; especially because it seems that wherever they turn to, someone wants them dead.

Jack and Jill are interesting protagonists. I have always wondered about nature vs nurture and here the ‘nurture’ provided by Clare was unconventional to say the least. The twins are as different from each other as they possibly could be yet their banter and squabbling throughout the book was entertaining for most parts. I kind of had a love hate relationship with the character of Clare because of the way she handled Jack and Jill. Once the plot unravels, the readers get to see where her paranoia was coming from, but I still wished that she had handled it differently. The kind of dysfunctional familial relationship portrayed through the book was bit disconcerting. 

The book is not very plot driven as the plot outline is very simple. It is the characters and the action, even though it was sometimes a bit too exaggerated, that keeps the pages flying. Add in a bit of humour and you have a thriller that keeps you excited. However, a personal quirk of mine disrupted my reading experience of this book. While I do not mind a couple of slangs here and there to get the point through, I really had trouble with the overuse of it in the book. It kind of takes away the effect of using an f-word when it is used so copiously.

If you are looking for an action packed thriller, give this book a try.



Review Copy received through Netgalley



15 May, 2019

#SpecialFeature :: Read an #Excerpt from Scepters of Empyrea



*** Special Feature - May 2019 ***

About the Book:
Empyrea, an island in the Andromeda galaxy belonging to planet Vathura is serene. Everywhere your eyes turn, you will feast on the lovely birds singing their heart out in the lush green vegetation. Osiris Mysterio ruled the regions of Empyrea with his brother Tyrant Seth and with their children Pitheceus Babi, Kraity Wadjet, and Horus Mysterio.

5000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians were the only humans to receive the invitation to enter Empyrea. They gladly on-boarded into a Pegasus chariot and took their journey to Empyrea. Their journey is indescribable. Empyrea by itself was like a fairy-tale garden, an ocean of flowers and exotic trees.

As the Egyptians went further inside Empyrea, they saw its netherworld. They had mixed feelings when they saw the triangle shaped tombs and the bizarre headhunting people. Empyrea also had the blood-curdling creatures like the deadly dinosaurs, gigantic snakes, furious apes, ruthless rhino’s, massive mastodons and many other creepy creatures. This showed the power of the Empyrean Army and that no other army could survive their wrath.

The Emperor Osiris and the kings ruled Empyrea with powerful Scepters. With those powers, they were not only considered as kings but also worshipped as Lords. The Lords with the help of their scepter had the crucial power to transform themselves into giant creatures.

Egyptians while departing from Empyrea was gifted with a shortcut portal to earth and also with some people and creatures of Empyrea to build the Empramids in Egypt. Overwhelmed with happiness they took the shortcut door and returned to Egypt.

However, the happiness was short-lived in Empyrea. The Empire of Empyrea was betrayed for ruling earth avariciously. Somehow the Emperor of Empyrea locked the shortcut portal and asked the Egyptians to safeguard it. The Egyptians, on the other hand, failed to safeguard the portal. And some gangsters accidentally opened the shortcut door in 2017 A.D, entered Empyrea, and inadvertently got access to the Lord scepters.

So, now the Earthians were left with no choice but to battle against the merciless predators and headhunting people in their heroic journey. Their ultimate fate lied in an empire beyond imagination. They would take their stand against the powerful lords, who brutally led their people to war against planet Earth.

Did the gangsters protect the earth from danger, or left the other world to accomplish their tyrant rule on Earth? Explore the world of Empyrea to unravel the truth behind this mystery.

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Read an Excerpt:

The streets are lit red and green, the trees are decorated with bells and stars. The city is echoing with songs and frolic. Stars are hanging on the porch of every building and glistening with lights. Shops are crowded with people busy buying gifts. An aromatic smell of baked cake pervaded the air. It’s undoubtedly the Week of Christmas. 

It’s a beautiful night to enjoy with friends and family. Everyone happily enjoys their Christmas week with their loved ones. Every kid is delighted shopping with their parents. But the 5year old girl in flat 13b is shivering in fear. She is hiding under the piano in the storeroom to protect herself from the bizarre man who is searching for her upstairs.

The man looked like a giant, 6.2 feet tall and his eyes were a raging red desperate to find the girl. He was muscular with a slight tan and a scary mustache. He was wearing a long dirty coat covered with bloodstains. The blood on his coat seemed fresh. He was calling out the girl’s name… Sylvia.. Sylvia.. Where are you? You can’t escape from me. I am going to get you, Sylvia. It’s not very difficult you know… Come on out now Sylvia…

At this very minute, the girl was shivering in fear more because of the growling sounds coming from the graveyard next door. Sylvia was overwhelmed with foreboding. At one end, a bizarre man was searching for her and on the other, these eerie sounds were coming from the graveyard. And on top of that, she was getting uncomfortable in the storeroom which was infested by rats. The rats were scampering everywhere in the storeroom, each rat was pudgy, and the room looked disgusting.
Sylvia could hear the sound of boots echoing which grew louder and louder every passing second. She knows he is coming to the storeroom for her. She inhaled a deep breath afraid to breathe when the man opened the storeroom door, but he instantly shut it because of the stench and went back towards the living room. She chuckled but suddenly heard the fast playing sound of the piano and that’s where she was hiding under. She flinched and jumped out from the bottom. When she looked at the piano, there was no one there; she felt her heart hammering because she was the only person inside the storeroom. Her own sweat glistened in the streak of light streaming through the window. 
Suddenly a wave crashed against her window, she spun around in fright!! Her eyes were locked onto a silhouette of a strange bird sitting on a nearby tree in the full moon night, without any warning it rotated its head and flew towards her with its dark brown unblinking large eyes, she fell and crawled back in fear, the bird twisted before the window and went eastwards, that's a mature owl. When she got up slowly, she caught sight of her reflection in the old cobwebbed mirror. A growing sense of uneasiness swept across her and when she looked intently her face filled with horror.

She was trying to assess the situation reasonably and for the piano playing assumed it would have to be the rat which could have jumped on the piano and ran on it. 

The man heard the sound of the piano too and ran back two steps at a time towards the storeroom. 

The girl knew the man would return, but she didn’t know where to hide. 

Check out the book to know how the little one escaped from the bizarre man.


About the Author:



Vignesh Ravichandran is the author of the book Scepters Of Empyrea: A Journey to the Andromeda Galaxy. He  did his Masters in Business Administration from a leading Business School and  presently working as a Human Resource professional in a leading software organization in Chennai. He wrote this debut novel with the story line which he experienced in his nightmare 7 years ago.




Contact the Author:

Giveaway:

- One Paperback Copy of Scepters of Empyrea for Indian Resident
- One Kindle Copy of Scepters of Empyrea for International Resident

13 May, 2019

#BookReview :: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.


I have been recommended Holly Black by so many people that I couldn’t but help pick this series up. I wish someone had warned me.

The book opens with a brutal murder scene where Madoc murders a woman and her husband in front of a child. We then find out that Vivi, Jude and Taryn’s mother used to be married to Madoc and had fled after faking her own death when she was pregnant with Vivi. Madoc brought his heir back to the Fae world and also took the responsibility of raising his ex-wife’s human children as his own. Jude, our protagonist, is one of the human children and Taryn is her twin. Under Madoc’s protection and tutelage, Jude is becoming an expert at navigating the Fae world and aspires to become a knight of the fae court. A coup to overthrow the fae king is underway and Jude must find a way to survive even if it means cutting a deal with Cardan, the cruel prince who hates humankind.

First, I would like to concentrate on the aspects of the book that I did like. First and foremost is the world that the author has built for this series. While fae and humans surviving side by side is not a novel concept, the author has built up this world with detailed information on the political situation in the fae world. The number of creatures among the fae kind was also interesting to read about. But what was very interesting was the fact that in this fae world, there are a few humans living alongside in some capacity or the other. For instance, Jude’s mother was a human and the man she eloped with was also a human smith who lived and worked in the fae world. In addition to the world set up, I also enjoyed the author’s story telling style which has a smooth flow and is easy to get into. There are certain characters that I found quite interesting. Jude, for instance, is a human girl trying to survive in the fae world. She knows that she needs to have protection and be on her guard at all times. The way she trains with Madoc both in combat and strategizing is encouraging to see. The book also deals with dysfunctional familial ties. Madoc, the killer of their parents, takes in and raises Jude and Taryn as his own. Madoc’s second wife is also in the picture with their son. 

Now, for the Cruel Prince Cardan… Can we just take a pause and admit it that we are in the 21st Century first? The author has used the ‘I love you that is why I am mean to you’ trope to tie Cardan and Jude together. It was such a disappointment! I am all for ‘this is just fiction’ but the fact is that our reality is what it is. Can we not encourage this toxic behavior by romanticizing it? The author has shown some abuse in Cardan’s life which goes on to kind of help the readers understand why Cardan is the way he is. And I can understand that the abuse he has faced could make anyone a mean man and his jealousy of Jude’s relationship with Madoc is also acceptable. But his “Most of all, I hate you because I think of you. Often. It's disgusting, and I can't stop.” – And that is why I have been so mean and abusive to you is not something I can happily accept. Can we move on from boys will be boys stance already please?

To round up, aside from Cardan’s character, this book has a lot of entertainment in form of drama, politics and action to offer to its readers.




11 May, 2019

#Spotlight :: A Deceptive Match by Kelli A. Wilkins

Summer Romance Rewind… A Deceptive Match
By Kelli A. Wilkins


Hi everyone,

Believe it or not, summer is just around the corner, so today I’m sharing a look at my sizzling summer romance, A Deceptive Match.

A Deceptive Match is a contemporary romance novel set in the world of professional wrestling. Wrestling has always been a part of my life, so it was only natural that one day I’d write a book with wrestling as the backdrop. But this book is different from all of my other books because the entire story came to me in a rather unusual way—in a dream.

One morning I woke up and said “Uh-oh!” and grabbed the pen and paper next to the bed. (I keep it there in case of inspiration.) I knew that if I didn’t immediately start writing down everything in my head, it would be lost forever. So I sat there, furiously scribbling the outline. At this point, it was just the bare bones of the plot and the characters, but I knew I was onto something.

Over the course of the day, more bits and pieces came through. Now I had a subplot, secondary characters, and knew more about what was happening in this wrestling romance that suddenly appeared out of nowhere. I was fortunate enough to actually “see” the book in my head like a movie—some scenes were missing, but I had a clear picture to work from.

People who have read the book and know about my love of wrestling always ask me the same questions: Which wrestlers are the characters based on? How do you know all this stuff? How much of it is real?

It’s easier to answer the second question first. Many years ago, I was fortunate enough to be on friendly terms with a bunch of wrestlers. My husband and I would go to matches and hang out with the guys after the shows. (No, I wasn’t a ring rat.) I picked up a lot of terms and got a real feel for what they did and how they experienced life on the road.

At the time, the thought of being a writer never even crossed my mind, so I had no idea that one day I’d use what I learned in a book. When I got the idea for A Deceptive Match, I was able to incorporate much of what I knew into the plot through Danni’s point of view.

The male characters in the book (Vinnie, Ev, Thorn, and Nick) aren’t based on any one wrestler or any real person. I specifically made sure that Vinnie and the others aren’t linked to real wrestlers, because it would take away from the story. Like characters in any book, I invented whatever quirks, flaws, and backstory I needed to help move the plot along.

And how much of it is real? Well, anyone who knows anything about wrestling can tell you that it’s technically termed “sports entertainment” for a reason. But that doesn’t discredit all the training, hard work, and other sacrifices the wrestlers go through every day. A Deceptive Match touches on the subject of what’s “real” and what goes on behind the scenes that most fans are unaware of. 

Here’s the book summary and a mini-steamy excerpt:

Falling for the wrestler she had been assigned to interview wasn’t part of Danni’s plan, until Vinnie Valentine pinned her heart in a flash. 

Disgruntled with her job as the office assistant for a national sports magazine, Danni Stone impersonates a reporter to prove herself to her boss. Her assignment? Spend thirty days on the road with Vinnie Valentine, a sexy professional wrestler.

Life isn’t going well for the Heavyweight Champ. Vinnie is struggling with a manipulative boss, prepping for the most important match of his career, and feuding with his arch-enemy, Thorn. The last thing he needs is a nosy reporter following him around—even if she is hot.

Thrown together in close quarters, Danni can’t help falling for Vinnie, and she unwittingly becomes a key player in his title match. Their mutual attraction grows, and late one night, they give in to the lustful feelings they’ve been fighting.

As their relationship deepens, Danni considers telling Vinnie her secret. But before she can confess the truth, Vinnie discovers she isn’t the reporter she claims to be. Her lie threatens to ruin everything between them. Will their relationship be destroyed by her deception or will their love win out?


Excerpt:

Danni hurried down the hall to the locker room. She hadn’t meant to be late picking up Vin tonight, but the moron lot attendant wouldn’t let her back into the parking area. She pushed open the locker room door and rushed inside. “Vin, I’m sorry I—”

Her tote bag slipped through her fingers and dropped to the floor. Vin stood less than three feet away, soaking wet. A white towel barely covered his waist.

“Oh, my God!” Her entire body flushed as a tingling sensation built deep in her belly. Vin was practically naked and dripping wet from the shower.

“I…um…you’re…I…oh God,” she muttered and whirled around. Why wasn’t he saying anything?

Vin’s warm hand settled on her shoulder. He gently turned her to face him. Beads of water dripped down his chest, and she longed to lick them away. “Um…you…you’re wet.” She glanced at the towel and prayed it would fall off his waist.

“And you’re not?”

She squealed as Vin drew her to his chest. His mouth covered hers, and she lost all sense of reason.

A wet heat built between her legs as Vin’s tongue entered her mouth. She clutched him tight and dug her fingers into the solid flesh of his back and ribs. He smelled like soap and water and yet there was a hint of something manly, musky about him.

Vin moaned and cupped her buttocks through her sundress, melding her body against his. A high-pitched mewing sound escaped her throat as a long-denied lust flared within her. Was this really happening? She’d had this fantasy for so many nights, would she wake up and discover it was only another erotic dream?

Order A Deceptive Match here:
Amazon * All Other platforms


I enjoyed creating the characters in this wrestling universe, and as I was writing, I fell in love with Everett, Vinnie’s best friend. I knew I had to tell Ev’s story and give him his own book, so I wrote A Secret Match. That book is all about Everett, but Danni and Vinnie play supporting roles in the storyline. Although the books are connected, they each stand alone as individual reads. 

I hope romance fans and wrestling fans alike will check out A Deceptive Match and A Secret Match. They’re a good blend of action, drama, romance, humor, and spicy love scenes. 

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, 5 non-fiction books, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories. 
Her historical romance, Dangerous Indenture, was released in March 2019. This full-length novel is set in Pennsylvania Colony and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense.

She published the second half of her flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes, in early 2019. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence. 

Kelli released her latest Teachable mini-course, Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas in February 2019. She authored Fiction Writing for Beginners through Teachable in 2018. These courses are perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.
If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her novella, Nightmare in the North.
Not just an author, Kelli is also an amateur photographer. Visit her pages on Shutterstock and iStock to view her photos.
Kelli posts on her Facebook Author Page and Twitter
Visit her NEW Website and Blog to learn more about all of her writings.


10 May, 2019

#BookReview :: The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) by S.A. Chakraborty

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass?a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for . . . 


Nahri lives her life by conning people on the streets of Cairo. Sure, she has heard about all the myths and legends about magic and Djinns, but she is pretty sure there is nothing beyond the skill sets and sleight of hands to it. But when she accidentally summons a Djinn warrior to her side and her world opens up to include Daevabad, she is not sure about anything anymore.

Nahri is quite a resourceful and street smart character and makes for an interesting protagonist. She is strong and stubborn yet at times she is almost like a child throwing a tantrum. It was confusing to see a con artist herself being so naïve at times. But end of the day, she is certainly a survivor. Dara is a warrior from the fables who can also be a jerk. Ali is the problem child who can also be responsible. Do you see a theme in the character building here? The author has tried to develop complex characters by giving them conflicting characteristics which seemed to work well for most parts; except that it really took me long to warm up to them.

I loved the world building and the plotline. The author’s language is rich and has depth in narration. As a result it was a pleasure to read about the 18th century Cairo and a whole new world of Daevabad.  The author paints a beautiful picture of the settings that felt almost tangible. The plot involves two storylines that merge at a point and thanks to the vast world building done by the author there is never a dull moment. The variety of creatures and characters in the book makes it very interesting and the touch of mythology helps seal the deal.

My only wish was that the romance in the book was either skipped or developed more fully. Where it stands now, it felt a bit hurried and forced. Other than that, the book was a complete package. 

Anybody who enjoys fantasy should give this book a try with a bit of patience.



09 May, 2019

#BlogTour :: Swann's Down by Charles Salzberg

Swann's Down by Charles Salzberg Banner

Swann's Down

by Charles Salzberg

on Tour May 1 - June 30, 2019

Synopsis:

Swann's Down by Charles Salzberg
When Henry Swann is asked by his quirky partner, Goldblatt, to find a missing psychic who's swindled his ex-wife out of a small fortune, he just can't say no. Although he doesn't actually expect to get paid, he figures it might give him a chance to finally learn more about his partner's mysterious past. His search takes him into the controversial, arcane world of psychics, fortune tellers, and charlatans, while raising questions in his own mind about whether or not there is an after-life.

While working his partner's case, he's approached by a former employer, attorney Paul Rudder, to track down a missing witness who might be able to provide an alibi for his client, Nicky Diamond, a notorious mob hitman who's scheduled to go on trial for murder he claims he didn't commit in a week. Swann's search for the missing witness, who happens to be the defendant's girlfriend, takes him from Brooklyn to a small beach town across the Bay from Mobile, Ala. But what does she really know and will she even come back with him to testify for her boyfriend?

Praise for Swann's Down:

"Psychics, double-crosses, missing persons--Charles Salzberg's latest Henry Swann book has it all. Swann's Down is a gritty, no-frills PI novel that brings to mind greats like Reed Farrel Coleman's Moe Prager and Michael Harvey's Michael Kelly. Whether this is your first Swann adventure or the latest, you won't want to miss the brass-knuckle punch that is Swann's Down. Trust me."
~ Alex Segura, author of Blackout and Dangerous Ends



"From Manhattan to Coney Island to the steamy shores of Alabama, Charles Salzberg delivers a top-flight mystery with his latest Henry Swann outing. Highly recommended."
~ Tom Straw, New York Times bestselling author as Richard Castle



Swann's Down gives readers two intriguing mysteries for the price of one, as skip tracer Henry Swann pursues a woman who might alibi a murderer and a psychic who swindled the ex-wife of Swann's partner. Shamus Award-nominated Salzberg does a superb job cutting between the two investigations. I kept turning pages to stay with both chases as the suspense increased to the very end. Whatever is going on, Swann is at the center of this story. His wry wit, quotes from authors and philosophers, genius for questioning suspects, and dark past make him a character readers will follow anywhere as he seeks his quarry. This is another thrilling addition to this excellent series.
~ Rich Zahradnik, Lights Out Summer, winner of the 2018 Shamus Award for Best Paperback Private Eye Novel



Henry Swann dives in where others fear to tread in Swann's Down: Fast. Funny. And Smart. This time out, Swann crosses paths with a psycho hitman, a phony psychic and Swann's mysterious partner, a disbarred lawyer. Who could ask for more? I hope we'll see a lot more of Swann in the future and that this isn't Swann's swan song.
~ Paul D. Marks, Shamus Award-winning Author of White Heat and Broken Windows.


Book Details:

Genre: Detective/Noir/Mystery
Published by: Down & Out Books
Publication Date: May 14, 2019
Number of Pages: 300
ISBN: 978-1-64396011-1
Series:Henry Swann
Purchase Links: Amazon | BN.com | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

1
The Age of Aquarius

"We're partners, right?"
Nothing good can come from that question when it comes from the mouth of Goldblatt.
"I mean, all for one and one for all, am I right?" he quickly added in an attempt, I was sure, to seal the deal.
"I think you're confusing us with the three musketeers. May I point out there are only two of us, and I'm afraid that's not the only fallacy in your declaration. But you might as well finish what you've started."
We were having our weekly Friday lunchtime sit-down to discuss what Goldblatt likes to refer to as "business." I have another name for it: waste of time.
Our venue changes from week to week but the concept is always pretty much the same: a cheap diner-slash-coffee shop somewhere on the island of Manhattan. Today's eatery of choice (Goldblatt's choice, my destiny) is the Utopia Diner, on Amsterdam, near 72nd Street. And as for the business we'd just finished discussing, well, to be honest, there never is very much actual business to discuss and today was no exception.
At this particular moment in time, we were going through a bit of a dry spell, which always makes me a little nervous because no matter how much I banish it from my mind, the rent is due the first of every month and at least three times a day I seem to develop a hunger that must be quenched. Still, a good fifteen, twenty years away from Social Security, and with precious little dough in the bank--okay, let's be honest, no dough in the bank--and no 401-K to fall back on, I need to keep working. And, as much as I don't like to admit it, lately it's been my "partner," as he likes to refer to himself, as opposed to my preferred albatross, who's brought in the bulk of our clients.
We'd already finished eating--though technically, Goldblatt never actually finishes eating which means a meal can easily turn into an all-day affair, if I don't apply the brakes--and we were just waiting for the check to arrive. This is a crucial point of any meal with Goldblatt because it is the opening gambit in what has become our weekly routine of watching the check sit there in no-man's land somewhere between us until I inevitably give in, pick it up, and pay. Otherwise, I risk one of two things: either we'd be there all afternoon or, worst case scenario, Goldblatt will decide he's still hungry and threaten to order something else. Neither one of these options is the least bit appealing.
"I'll get right to the point," he said.
Just then, out of the corner of my eye I spotted the waiter, like a white knight, approaching with our check in hand. If I acted quick enough I might be able to get out of there before I can be sucked into something I don't want to have anything to do with.
"That would be nice," I said, reaching for my wallet. "What is your point?"
"I need to hire you."
I was stopped in my tracks before I got my wallet halfway out of my back pocket.
"Really? To do what?"
"I want you to find someone for me. Well, to be more precise it's not really for me. It's for my ex-wife."
Wait a minute! Goldblatt married? Goldblatt with a wife? Goldblatt a husband? This was a new one on me, something I'd never even considered.
"You…you've been married?" I stammered.
Truth is, I never pictured Goldblatt being in any relationship other than with, yes, as irritating as it might be, me. I mean the guy isn't exactly anyone's idea of Don Juan, although I suppose in theory there are women who might find him if not attractive in the conventional way at least interesting in a specimen-under-glass way. Or maybe as a project. Women love a project. They love a challenge. They love the idea that they have the opportunity to remake a man in their image. Maybe that was it. But whatever it was, my world was shaken to the core. And what would shake it even more would be to find that he was actually a father, too. But one shock per meal is more than enough, so there was no chance I was going to pursue that line of questioning.
"Unfortunately, the answer is yes. More than once, in fact."
"Holy Cow," I blurted out, channeling the Scooter. "You're kidding me?"
At this point the same bald, squat waiter who seems to serve us in every diner we patronize, reached our table and dropped the check right in front of me.
"This is not something a man usually kids about."
"How many times?"
He held up three fingers.
"Three times! You've been married three times?"
"Yeah."
I gulped.
"Are you married now?"
He shook his head. "Nah. I'm kinda between wives. Giving it a rest, if you know what I mean.
But chances are I'll be back in the saddle again soon enough."

"Okay, so let me get this straight. You've been married three times and now you're single but you would consider getting married again?"
"Man is not meant to be alone, Swannie. You might consider the possibility that your life would be enriched if you found your soulmate."
You're fortunate if you find one soul mate in life and I'd already had mine. She was yanked from my life as a result of a freak accident, a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn't know if Goldblatt knew the circumstances of her bizarre accidental death, but I wouldn't have been surprised because he seems to know a lot of things he has no business knowing.
"Some men are meant to be alone, Goldblatt. I'm one of them and after three failed marriages maybe you should consider the possibility you are, too."
He smiled and puffed out his chest. "What can I say, Swann? I'm a friggin' babe magnet."
I would have laughed, should have laughed, but I was still processing the scary fact that he'd been married three times. That meant there were three women in the world who not only were willing to marry him but did marry him. I wanted to know more. Much more. Everything, in fact. But this was not the time and certainly not the place to delve into Goldblatt's mysterious, sordid past. Nevertheless, I promised myself I would revisit this topic in the not too distant future.
Still in shock, I avoided our weekly "who's paying for this meal" tango, grabbed the check and reached for my wallet...again.
"So, wanna know the story?" he asked.
"Which story would that be?"
"The story of why I want to hire you?"
"Desperately."
***
Excerpt from Swann's Down by Charles Salzberg. Copyright 2019 by Charles Salzberg. Reproduced with permission from Charles Salzberg. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

Charles Salzberg
Charles Salzberg is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in New York magazine, Esquire, GQ, Redbook, The New York Times Book Review and other periodicals. He has written over 20 non-fiction books, including From Set Shot to Slam Dunk, an oral history of the NBA, and Soupy Sez: My Zany Life and Times. He is author of the Shamus Award nominated Swann's Last Song, Swann Dives In, Swann's Lake of Despair, nominated for two Silver Falchions, Swann's Way Out, Devil in the Hole, named one of the best crime novels of the year by Suspense Magazine. He was a Visiting Professor of Magazine at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and he teaches writing the New York Writers Workshop where he is a Founding Member. He is a member of the MWA-NY Board.

Catch Up With Charles Salzberg On:
Charlessalzberg.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!




Tour Participants:

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Charles Salzberg. There will be 6 giveaway winners. There will be 1 Grand Prize winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. There will be five (5) 2nd Prize winners of one (1) Print Edition of Swann's Down (U.S. Mailing Addresses only). The giveaway begins on May 1, 2019 and runs through July 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.
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08 May, 2019

#SpeciaFeature :: #GuestPost - How it started by Vignesh Ravichandran



*** Special Feature - May 2019 ***

About the Book:
Empyrea, an island in the Andromeda galaxy belonging to planet Vathura is serene. Everywhere your eyes turn, you will feast on the lovely birds singing their heart out in the lush green vegetation. Osiris Mysterio ruled the regions of Empyrea with his brother Tyrant Seth and with their children Pitheceus Babi, Kraity Wadjet, and Horus Mysterio.

5000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians were the only humans to receive the invitation to enter Empyrea. They gladly on-boarded into a Pegasus chariot and took their journey to Empyrea. Their journey is indescribable. Empyrea by itself was like a fairy-tale garden, an ocean of flowers and exotic trees.

As the Egyptians went further inside Empyrea, they saw its netherworld. They had mixed feelings when they saw the triangle shaped tombs and the bizarre headhunting people. Empyrea also had the blood-curdling creatures like the deadly dinosaurs, gigantic snakes, furious apes, ruthless rhino’s, massive mastodons and many other creepy creatures. This showed the power of the Empyrean Army and that no other army could survive their wrath.

The Emperor Osiris and the kings ruled Empyrea with powerful Scepters. With those powers, they were not only considered as kings but also worshipped as Lords. The Lords with the help of their scepter had the crucial power to transform themselves into giant creatures.

Egyptians while departing from Empyrea was gifted with a shortcut portal to earth and also with some people and creatures of Empyrea to build the Empramids in Egypt. Overwhelmed with happiness they took the shortcut door and returned to Egypt.

However, the happiness was short-lived in Empyrea. The Empire of Empyrea was betrayed for ruling earth avariciously. Somehow the Emperor of Empyrea locked the shortcut portal and asked the Egyptians to safeguard it. The Egyptians, on the other hand, failed to safeguard the portal. And some gangsters accidentally opened the shortcut door in 2017 A.D, entered Empyrea, and inadvertently got access to the Lord scepters.

So, now the Earthians were left with no choice but to battle against the merciless predators and headhunting people in their heroic journey. Their ultimate fate lied in an empire beyond imagination. They would take their stand against the powerful lords, who brutally led their people to war against planet Earth.

Did the gangsters protect the earth from danger, or left the other world to accomplish their tyrant rule on Earth? Explore the world of Empyrea to unravel the truth behind this mystery.

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Favorite Author:



My favorite author is Shakespeare. I grew up reading his wonderful stories in my academic books and every time when  I read his stories it feels like they are happening next to me. He pulls us into his stories. Hamlet is my favorite story by the Author.

Favorite Fictional Character:

My all time favorite fictional character is Dobby. Dobby was someone who gave Harry a lot of trouble, but he also became one of young Potter's closest friends and allies. He did everything he could to do what was right and was loyal to those who proved themselves as trustworthy to him, whether that was Harry Potter, Hermione, or his old friend, Dumbledore. My favorite dialogue of dobby is, “Dobby will have to punish himself most grievously”.

How it started: 
It all began 7 years ago, when I was pursuing my under graduation in RKM Vivekananda College. A group of us planned to launch a weekly campus magazine featuring comics, short stories, poetry, cultural events etc. And, this is the time when I experienced the small plot about my debut novel Empyrea in my nightmare. I managed to develop my nightmare and shared about the idea of releasing it as a weekly comic in our campus magazine to my friends. Unfortunately, we did not get enough support from our college and dropped the idea of campus magazine. But my friends kept pushing me to write it as a novel and my English professor was gracious enough to guide me in this horrible writing journey of mine. It took nearly a year for me to complete the first few chapters and then Empyrea rightly sparkled its magic and I began to love creating new fictional characters and loved my imagination rather than my writing. My imagination pushed me to take more real time reference on the fictional characters and places and helped me to rewrite the old chapters with better creativity. I changed my story plot more than 10 times to deliver the best in me. At last, I am a published author after 7 years. 


About the Author:



Vignesh Ravichandran is the author of the book Scepters Of Empyrea: A Journey to the Andromeda Galaxy. He  did his Masters in Business Administration from a leading Business School and  presently working as a Human Resource professional in a leading software organization in Chennai. He wrote this debut novel with the story line which he experienced in his nightmare 7 years ago.




Contact the Author:

Giveaway:

- One Paperback Copy of Scepters of Empyrea for Indian Resident
- One Kindle Copy of Scepters of Empyrea for International Resident