Book Review: The Obsidian Chamber by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

30169765Author: Douglas Preston Lincoln Child
Release Date: 18th October 2016
Series: Pendergast Series (Book #16)
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Edition: E-book
Pages: 560
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

A TRAGIC DISAPPEARANCE
After a harrowing, otherworldly confrontation on the shores of Exmouth, Massachussetts, Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast is missing, presumed dead.
A SHOCKING RETURN
Sick with grief, Pendergast’s ward, Constance, retreats to her chambers beneath the family mansion at 891 Riverside Drive–only to be taken captive by a shadowy figure from the past.
AN INTERNATIONAL MANHUNT
Proctor, Pendergast’s longtime bodyguard, springs to action, chasing Constance’s kidnapper through cities, across oceans, and into wastelands unknown.
BUT IN A WORLD OF BLACK AND WHITE, NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
And by the time Proctor discovers the truth, a terrifying engine has stirred-and it may already be too late.

Review

The Obsidian Chamber by Preston and Child is the 16th book in the Pendergast series.

Before I begin the review, I’d like to mention that this is the first book in this series that I’ve read and although that is almost never a good idea, I wasn’t able to resist accepting this title when it was offered to me.

I absolutely loved reading this book. It was equal parts clever, suspenseful, full of unforeseeable twists and chilling and extremely interesting characters. I enjoyed the premise of the plot and I loved the fact that things were told in such a way that as a new reader to the series, I was able to get an idea about what might have happened in the earlier parts. I even got a decent idea as to how the chemistry between the characters worked up until this part. So I was really happy to get all the important background information that the authors cleverly infused without affecting the present narration.

This book had really strong characters and even though I did not fall in love with the main guy, AXL Pendergast (mainly because he wasn’t the main character in this particular story) I was really drawn towards the other main characters in this book. I’m pretty sure that Diogenes might have been the crazy serial killer in the parts before this one, but in this part, I loved him as he was a completely changed man standing right on the turning point in his life. And it makes me wonder that now that I actually like the villain of the story, how could I possibly read the previous parts. Anyway, back to the character dissection, I did not much like the character of Constance. She was too “ancient” for me to feel connected to her. I did love Proctor, he is this smart, intelligent and stud guy who’d do anything to protect his people. So yeah, this is one of those books that’ll make you fall in love with more than half of the characters.

The storyline was strong and so were the characters and the writing, so there was actually nothing that  I, as a reader, couldn’t have liked. The book started with one hell of a fast paced beginning with Proctor running around the world changing plane after plane chasing the kidnapper and I was hooked right from the start. But then a really mind-bending twist followed and I was like, “What the hell?” and then things started to get really interesting, to say the least.

The ending was a bit slow, but that could be overlooked considering that it is an ongoing series, so a mild closure for all the characters is needed. Though I would have loved to read more about proctor towards the end, considering that the book started with him. Also, a few scenes between Constance and Diogenes felt like a slog, especially when they both started talking about the ancient aristocratic stuff, but maybe that’s just me.

Other than these minor issues, I loved the book, so much that I’m planning to read this entire series from beginning in the coming days. If you like reading nice suspenseful stories rich with strong characters and storylines then this book (or rather series) is for you.


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Travelogue Review: Kerala Hugged by Ankur Mutreja

33136501Author: Ankur Mutreja 
Release Date: 2016
Series: 
Genre: Travelogue, travel, Indian Literature
Edition: E-book
Pages: 59
Publisher: Random House India

Rating: ★★

Blurb:

In a borderless world, all would be travelers indeed. India is a small borderless world in itself, and Kerala lies at the southernmost tip. I live almost near the lovely Kashmir, but does that make Kerala any less lovely!
“Writing books is the closest men ever came to having children.” –Norman Mailer
This book is indeed my baby born out of the love of nature.
Kerala is beautiful not only because of “God” but also because of the people who have made Kerala their home. I went there as a parasite in the disguise of a tourist and sucked all I could in a short span of 23 days. But did anybody ever complain? No, never. I think they believe the joy multiplies by sharing, and hereby I emulate them.
It started reluctantly in the midst of court appearances in Delhi courts in a busy September. Don’t know how and when I boarded the Kerala Express, which left me in Kochi to enliven my life forever. Kochi is the place to discover yourself, your life, and the world beautiful around you. How? Discover inside the book.
I, having been discovered, headed to Alleppey. Not to relax in the luxury of backwaters but to learn how they keep it so beautiful. Of course, I had to merge into them to discover their world. Snake boat races epitomize the best of their lives, so very different from that of ours own. You can learn it only if you become part of it. I did try my luck. Did I succeed? Discover inside the book.
Can you fall in love at 40? Yes for sure if you are in Munnar. The one I fell in love with was very special. Who was she? Was she a sexy Keralan? a pretty French? a bold German? a speedy American? a frank Britisher? a thinking Russian? a cute Chinese? a shy Pakistani? or, all of them merged into one? What happened to our love story? Do we meet even now? Or were there heart breaks? Discover inside the book.
Who says it is necessary to work to live? Definitely not if you are in Varkala! You can relax, think, observe, do no work, yet live a life. And it’s so very simple! The nature itself helps you in it. How exactly? Well…discover inside the book.

Review

Kerala Hugged by Ankur Mutreja is a travelogue on Kerala, India.

I enjoyed reading this travelogue as it refreshed some beautiful memories from the time when I visited some of the places mentioned in this book. I liked how the author expresses his love for nature and the places and felt a connection and a bond with those places myself.

For a travelogue, this book is decent, though I do think that this book needs heavy editing (and this is the reason why I gave it a star less than I originally planned to.) There were a few lines that felt incomplete and a few were plain incomprehensible.

Also, I felt that you’ll enjoy this book only if you have already visited all the places mentioned in this travelogue, but if you haven’t been to those places then you might not find this book that insightful as the descriptions are not detailed and the exposition is quite literally missing.

Other than these issues, this book is a decent travelogue that you can enjoy reading and finish within half an hour.


Goodreads

Book Review: Yama’s Lieutenant by Anuja Chandramouli

30279445Author: Anuja Chandramouli
Release Date: 8th June 2016
Series: 
Genre: Fiction-Fantasy, Indian Mythology, Indian Literature
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 376
Publisher: Random House India

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

The inhabitants of the thousand hells of Yama have broken free from their prison and vowed to wreak havoc on the heavens, the earth and hell. With the fiendish Hatakas and Narakamayas teamed up with Naganara, a terrifying necromancer hungry for power, the universe is headed for war and destruction unless one human has something to do with it.
Agni Prakash, a debonair young man whose world has been turned upside down by the death of his twin sister, Varu, has been enlisted to stop these forces and be Yama s very own lieutenant. As the mythical world clashes with his own, Agni discovers a manuscript left behind by his sister. Hauntingly, it draws parallels to the treacherous path upon which he has been thrust. Equipped with an acerbic wit and winning charm, Agni undertakes a battle, where the odds seem tipped wildly against him, and finds unlikely companions along the way.
Will he be able to uncover the secret behind his sister’s writings? And more importantly, will he be able to avert the destruction that seems imminent?

Review

Yama’s Lieutenant by Anuja Chandramouli is an engaging and a well-written book with a unique concept.

The concept fo Yama’s personal lieutenant was quite good and overall I enjoyed the storyline. The flow of the story progression was good too. I did find the plot quite interesting, especially because it wasn’t entirely mythological, at least not directly, and liked the way the author gave it a very unique twist involving mortals in it. I enjoyed the story from the starting till the end. In spite of the ending being quite predictable, I enjoyed it and liked reading this book.

Though there was a bit of scene-hopping problem that left me re-reading some of the lines, and I hate to say this, but it happened quite often.

The writing was good, as always, but I did feel that a much simpler writing would make the reading process more enjoyable. After all, not everyone likes to read the classic-y lyrical language.

Apart from these minor issues, the book was good and it proved to be a nice change for me from the books that I normally read. I’d recommend this book to all readers, especially Indians, who’ve heard different versions of stories based on Yamaraj.


Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Courtesan’s Avenger by Kate M. Colby

31570429Author: Kate M. Colby
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Series:  Desertera (Part #2)
Genre: Dystopian, Steampunk
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 312
Publisher: Boxthorn Press

Preceded byThe Cogsmith’s Daughter

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

A courtesan on a mission. A brothel ravished by greed. A murder to avenge.
Dellwyn Rutt loves her life as a courtesan. For years, she has enjoyed the simple pleasures and lavish gifts of her trade. Now she wants more: the title of madam.
But Madam Huxley, the brothel’s current proprietor, refuses to name a successor—a problem that is amplified by the legalization of adultery. As the new law sends lusty clients flocking to the brothel, Madam Huxley’s greed grows unchecked at the workers’ expense. Only one outsider seems to care: a self-proclaimed prophet who won’t rest until the unholy institution is abolished.
After weeks of abuse, Dellwyn desperately seeks a way to subdue Madam Huxley’s tyranny. But when another courtesan is murdered, Dellwyn must set her struggles aside and solve the crime. The only problem? All evidence points to Dellwyn’s friends… and to her.
Driven by twisting turns, peppered with witty dialog, and shadowed by unrequited love, The Courtesan’s Avenger is a cozy mystery in a steampunk fantasy world.

REVIEW

The Courtesan’s Avenger is the second book in the Desertera series. As with any sequel, I had huge expectations from this one, especially because I loved the first book in this series, The Cogsmith’s Daughter, and I’m happy to say that this book turned out to be as good as I was hoping for.

I loved reading about Delwyn. She was already established as a strong character in the previous book and when I started reading this book I felt like I already knew her. So getting into the story and losing myself in it was really easy. And once I started reading I did not rest easy till I finished the entire book.

I liked the ending and can’t wait to read the next book in this amazing series. One of the best parts for me still remains the absolutely amazing world-building in this book. It is a really strong Dystopian setting and you can feel just how bad things are and the people’s desperation makes you feel grateful for all the life-giving water we have.

The writing was flawless, simple and easy to relate and it made reading this book an even more enjoyable experience.

I just had one issue with the book and that was more a matter of personal choice than anything else, I loved Aya so much that I had just a wee bit of problem seeing Delwyn as the lead in this book. I mean, it’s actually a compliment for the author on creating such a strong character as Aya that now I just want more of her and Will. I loved reading about her in this part, but honestly, I wanted the entire book to be about her and the King. Delwyn was no doubt an absolutely fantastic character, but for me, Aya will always be the main character and I do hope that the author will make her the main character int he next book or maybe even dedicate a series on her alone (I, for one, would definitely love that!)

As I said, there was nothing wrong with the story, it was just that I’m so hung up on Aya that I couldn’t bring myself to rate this book as high as the previous one, hence I’m settling for 4 +1/2 stars.

I’d recommend this book to all the readers of Dystopian and Steampunk stories and also to those who want to start with a fresh series worth their time.


Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Running: The Best Cure For The Worst Relationship by Richard Cohen

41csfc879al-_sx331_bo1204203200_Author: Richard Cohen
Release Date: – (ARC)
Series: 
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Relationships
Edition: E-book
Pages: 356
Publisher:  Createspace

Rating: ★★★

Blurb:

Estranged twins Brian and Amy are sixty years old when chance throws them together at a party. A blow-up on Amy’s part sets them on a course that leads to the reconciliation of their love, friendship, and emotional attachment. Years of no communication, petty differences and pent up anger, wiped away their comfort,friendship and love. A tragedy for twins who were inseparable as children. In the midst of a wedding reception Amy makes a public spectacle of herself and becomes enraged at her brother and throws down the gauntlet that she can run a marathon, as her brother had done eighteen times before. Facing humiliation, Amy sets out to train and run a marathon while losing over eighty pounds. Through the pains, pride, honesty and self-reflection of running, Amy gains contentment and happiness that she always yearned for, which money and materials never could fulfill. With a much improved sense of self and a feeling of pride and confidence, Amy opens herself up to regain what she had lost with her brother– love and friendship.

Review

Running: The Best Cure For The Worst Relationship by Richard Cohen is a light-hearted contemporary read centered around running.

I liked the basic concept of the story and the story build-up was decent. I did like the main characters but was not able to feel a strong connection with them. They were likable enough for me to read this book till the end to see how things end for them and for me that was a relief.

The story is about a twin brother and sister duo, Brian and Amy, who are kind of estranged and cross path after a while in an unsuspecting wedding where they end up in a bet in which Amy, who is fat and unfit, decides to run a marathon. As I said earlier, the concept was really interesting and the story turned out to be really good by the end, but there were a few issues with it that made me rate this book lower than I would have loved to rate it otherwise.

First of all, there was endless head-hopping. The story was written in the third-person omniscient narration and the POV shifts were understandable, but what I didn’t like was the abrupt shifts in POVs. There were some POVs of secondary characters too but only for a couple of paragraphs in between the POVs of the main characters. And that was really off-putting, to say the least.

Secondly, the story progression felt a bit slack due to continuous and abrupt change in timelines. In one paragraph you’re in present, the next one you’re reading about 20 years younger Brian. These timeline shifts were not technically right so it was also a bit of a downer.

Other than these two issues, though, there was nothing major that affected the book in a negative way. The story is good and I’m sure that if you can see past, or completely ignore, the technicalities of fiction writing (which, for the life of me, I can’t) then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this story.

Book Review: Eden’s Apple by Pamela Blake

29325959Author: Pamela Blake
Release Date: 18th February 2016
Series: 
Genre: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Edition: E-book
Pages: 286
Publisher:  Xlibris

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

Prewar Bradford, England, 1937. A sinful act is perpetrated by a father against his daughter that will alter the lives of three future generations. Rose’s troubled past haunts her forever. Lucy seduces a man of the cloth and has to bear its devastating consequences. Samuel escapes real life and journeys through his own hell to try and find what he has lost. Children are deprived of a normal upbringing. Secrets, when revealed, have a destructive power. These are ordinary people whose lives go full circle in their voyage of self-discovery and who undergo a transformation resulting from an extraordinary existence. Each of them has to overcome his or her tragedy before the realization that great success, or the reaching of one’s own goals, does not give the pleasure, happiness, or satisfaction expected. Ultimately, it is only in the real values of love, understanding, self-sacrifice, and forgiveness that the outcome has to be found.

Review

Eden’s Apple is a moving story about two women that’ll rip your heart apart. It is a story of a mother and daughter who go through their own hells and experience the cruel brutality of the world in times where there was little to no hope for single women.

I started reading this book expecting to read about family drama, but I was taken aback by the sheer realism and the cold brutality that defines this book.

Author Pamela Blake’s narration is extremely powerful and strong. I was so lost in the story that I wasn’t able to think about anything else. The author’s strong narration crippled my senses and made me see the emotions of fear, love, and loss with such acute realism that I was moved deeply.

There were a few issues with the dialogues and conversations, but in front of such powerful writing, everything can be overlooked. The story itself had so much life that it pained me to imagine it to be a piece of fiction.

I liked this book a lot, yet I feel a sense of foreboding thinking about it now. I have so many emotions welling inside of me even after long finishing this story that I have to literally force away some of the things I read in this book. I’ve read only a few books   based on the theme of child abuse, but I never imagined any story to have such a lasting impact on me the way this book had.

I’d recommend this book to everyone because of it an exceptional story written brilliantly.


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Book Review: Losing Lauren by Alretha Thomas

32575253Author: Alretha Thomas
Release Date: 7th September 2016
Series: Detective Rachel Storme (Book #2)
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Detective-Fiction, Thriller, Suspense.
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 358
Publisher: Diverse Arts Collective

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Alexandra Winifred has played a supporting role in her cousin’s life since they were children. When Lauren Water’s parents are killed in a plane crash, Alexandra becomes her protector, and together they navigate their way through childhood and college. They’re both overachievers, but it’s Lauren who steals the spotlight when she’s discovered by a notable agent and goes on to become an award-winning actress, leaving Alexandra in her shadow as her fledgling publicist. Now Hollywood royalty, Lauren starts to cut those people out of her life who were responsible for her success. Alexandra fears she will be next on the chopping block. But her trepidation about her failing relationship with her cousin becomes her least concern when she’s identified as a prime suspect in Lauren’s subsequent disappearance. Detective Rachel Storme, who has a full plate taking care of a parent with Alzheimer’s and supervising a meth-addicted aunt, is eager to get her hands on a challenging case, but nothing could prepare her for the dark secrets and lies that she uncovers while she does everything in her power to find out what happened to Lauren.

Review

Losing Lauren by Alretha Thomas is an exceptionally brilliant book. So much so that I enjoyed it even more than the first book in this series (which, by the way, I absolutely loved!)

This book is intense, gripping, complex and officially un-put-down-able!

I was hooked right from the beginning to the very end. The plot was amazing and had a depth that I found very satisfying considering that it is a crime novel. The level of intrigue, suspense and thrilling action was perfectly balanced. I enjoyed all the twists and turns that kept me guessing and I am not at all ashamed to say that at some point or the other I doubted each and every single character.

The ending completely baffled me! The whole woman thing literally caught me off guard and I ended up mentally kicking myself for doubting all the wrong people.

One thing I noticed in this book (and the last book too) was that author Alretha Thomas has a unique way of creating characters that have so many layers of complexity that you end up doubting the main POV character more than twice and start wondering “is she the murderer? Is she even aware that she killed another person.” And that is why I enjoy reading her books so much!

The characters, as usual, were well-crafted and relatable. I loved Detective Rachel Storme already, but this part made me love her even more and I guess she is actually in line for becoming one of my favorite fiction detectives of all time.
All the other characters were also very well-developed and I was able to connect to them all. I loved reading about the rich backgrounds of each and every character, more so because they belonged to the Hollywood and their lives were shown beautifully and in a very realistic way.

As usual, this book was written brilliantly with the use of simple language and in relatable POVs which made this book a complete package for me.
I’d recommend this book to all the crime-mystery and detective fiction lovers. This is one series you can’t afford to miss.


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Book Review: Quest Of The Sparrows by Ravi ‘Nirmal’ Sharma and Kartik Sharma

12637202Author: Kartik Sharma and Ravi Nirmal Sharma
Release Date: 2011
Series: 
Genre: Cultural – India, Indian Literature
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 261
Publisher: Rupa & Co.

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

Inspired by the life of a sparrow that leads a carefree life, Partibhan, a young and reluctant guru takes off on an amazing journey in evolution. He believes that human beings can become powerful creators, and achieve much more but the desire to secure the future makes them mere survivors. Between birth and death, evolution is the only constant, which humans can achieve by giving up self-limiting practices.
Partibhan sets out to test spiritual principles at a practical level, with the exceptional 600 kilometer journey on foot without money and belongings. He wishes to demonstrate that man’s fixation on materialism and the need to accumulate is overrated: Survival isn’t the goal of life. A much bigger role, a higher calling awaits us.
Can Partibhan and his followers overcome hardships on the way to find the answers they seek? Are they able to prove that spirituality isn’t an impractical concept as many have come to believe but is inseparable from evolution? What insights do they come across? What does their journey prove and what is its power packed message for you? Do they discover peace and joy? How is it different from happiness?
Discover all this and much more in this path breaking, evolutionary new writing that explores the higher meaning of life and demonstrates practically how one can achieve peace and joy while leading a meaningful and creative life.

Review

The Quest Of The Sparrows is a really well-written book by authors Ravi and Kartik.
The profound symbolism, as well as the intense nature of the book, made this a very remarkable read for me.

I enjoyed the way the authors tried to deliver the strong messages of the harsh realities of life through subtle, yet powerful, unique parallels. I also liked the writing style and the voice of the authors and found it to be quite a pleasant experience to read this book.

In spite of this book being centered around spirituality, I never felt that the authors were trying to impose or force their views into the minds of the readers and, hence, I commend them for successfully and deftly getting their point across without hurting anyone’s feelings.

It was a quick read and the smooth flow of the writing and the enjoyable story made reading this book a breezy ride. I’d recommend this book to everyone because it is one of those books that offers a little of something for everyone.


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Poetry Review: Phoenixes Groomed As Genesis Doves by Jasmine Farrell

phoenix_coverAuthor: Jasmine Farrell
Release Date: 7th May 2016
Series: 
Genre: Poetry
Edition: E-book
Pages: 138
Publisher: Nezra’s Expression

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

Phoenixes Groomed as Genesis Doves is a collection of poetry that draws the reader into the world of personal identity, inner growth and the complexity of human relationships. Ordinary and common images, especially ones found in nature, are used to craft poems that appeal to the uncommon, the suppressed and the others. Filled with incredible grace and accessible wisdom, the poems explore a wide range of complex emotional themes. With unexpected metaphors and sparkling similes, the pieces vary in rhythm and theme making each one like a foil-wrapped candy: something to savor, enjoying each new bright color on the tongue.

Review

I rarely read Poetry books, but when I came across this book, the title literally pulled me towards it and I decided to give it a shot. And to my utter surprise, I really liked this book.

The poems were well thought-out and had a lyrical and beautiful flow to them that made reading this book no less than an experience. I enjoyed the constant theme of pain projected in all the poems in this collection and, surprisingly, found most of the them relatable.

Phoenixes Groomed As Genesis Doves feels less like a book and more like a journey of self-discovery through literature which the author understakes. It is a beautiful book, written well and the feeling expressed in it came through perfectly making this book a gem in poetry-literature.

In spite of liking this book so much I’m giving it a star less because frankly, I’m not a poet or poetry reader and feel that I wouldn’t know how this book stands as compared to other poetry books, so I feel comfortable giving it a high ranking of 4 instead of 5 stars.
That said, I’d like to tell everyone that this book has some deeply meaningful poems and if you like reading poetry or about pain in general, then I’m sure you’d like it as much as I did.


Goodreads

Book Review: The Beauty Of The Fall by Rich Marcello

Author:  R32711997ich Marcello
Release Date: 25th October 2016
Series: 
Genre: Corporate-Fiction, Sci-Fi
Edition: E-book
Pages: 358
Publisher: Langdon Street Press

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

A TECHNOLOGY EXECUTIVE CHARTS A HIGH-RISK,
UNCONVENTIONAL PATH WHILE GRIEVING THE LOSS OF HIS SON.
Dan Underlight, a divorced, workaholic technology executive, suffers lingering grief over the death of his ten-year-old son, Zack. When Dan’s longtime friend and boss, Olivia Whitmore, fires Dan from RadioRadio, the company that he helped create, he crashes and isolates himself.
Willow, a poet and domestic violence survivor, helps Dan regain his footing. With her support, Dan ventures on a pilgrimage of sorts, visiting Fortune 500 companies to flesh out a software start-up idea. When Dan returns home with a fully formed vision, he recruits the help of three former RadioRadio colleagues and starts Conversationworks, a company he believes will be at the vanguard of social change.
Guided by Dan’s generative leadership, Conversationworks enjoys some early successes, but its existence is soon threatened on multiple fronts. Will Dan survive the ensuing corporate battles and realize the potential of his company? Or will he be defeated by his enemies and consumed by his grief?

Review

The Beauty Of The Fall is a unique story that’ll grip you right from the start till the very end. It is a story full of heartache, sadness, dreams and possibilities – everything that makes this book a complete package.

I liked the basic concept on which The Beauty Of The Fall is based upon. To have a software that brings truth to selected conversations is not only unique but also very intriguing. Especially in times like these, the application of measures mentioned in this book will surely make for a nice topic of discussion.

The characterization was good and I was able to connect with the main character, Dan Underlight. The secondary characters were also well developed, but I was glad that the author let the main lead, Dan, steal the show.

I liked the writing style of the author; it was simple and made this book a pleasant and an easy read. I liked the easy flow of the narration and  fast-paced story progression. All these factors, combined together, made this amazing story all the more enjoyable.

As I mentioned earlier, I really liked the basic concept of the book and wish that we had a company like Conversation Works in real life too because I’m sure it would have definitely helped on a global scale. Anyway, it was mainly the concept of online fact checking that really gripped me.

I’d recommend this book to all the readers who like reading corporate fiction and also those who like light Sci-Fi stories.


Goodreads

Author Interview: Jasmine Farrell

Welcome to TRB’s Author Interview Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome author Jasmine Farrell.
I’m presently reading her latest poetry collection Phoenixes Groomed as Genesis Doves and I must say that it is a beautiful book!

About the author:

jasmine_farrell_jpgJasmine is a freelance writer and blogger. From Brooklyn, NY, she has a Bachelor’s in Communications and she loves red velvet cake. Writing in her Grandmother’s memo pads is included into her repertoire of writings. Creative writing is her niche. She loves reading, randomly dancing and creating off-key ballads.


Hello, Jasmine, thank you for being here today.

Can you please tell my readers about your ambitions for your writing career?

My ambitions are to be internationally known as a poet with five novels under my belt and to have my words entice people to search the inner most parts of themselves.

Which writers inspire you?

Zora Neale Hurston, Nikki Giovanni and Claudia Rankine.

Tell us about your book?

Phoenixes Groomed as Genesis Doves is a book of poetry that inspires readers to challenge the status quo as they step out on new journeys and move forward from the comfort of tradition. It was inspired by major life transitions in the last two years, which had me questioning “truths” which shuttered my true self from the world. After a tumultuous and an enlightening journey, I learned to look at the world with new eyes. By sharing my experiences, I chose to open my heart and inspire those on similar paths. Faced with the unknown of a new world my poetry has never felt more alive and honest.How long did it take you to write it?

How long did it take you to write it?

Well, being that the poems were created sporadically from 2014-2016, I guess I can say two years.

Are you working on any other project(s) right now? If yes, what are they

Yes, I am working on a fantasy novel. However, I will not disclose the details of the story as of yet. It is titled, Malum Street.

Why have you chosen this genre?

Poetry is my niche. I didn’t necessarily sit down and decide what genre I would venture into. It just happened that way. I guess because it was initially a form of writing that helped me to express my feelings the best.When did you decide to become a writer?

When did you decide to become a writer?

I decided to become a writer during my third year in high school. I couldn’t see myself (still can’t) do anything else.

Why do you write?

I write to encourage, release, express, challenge and enlighten others. The best way for someone to understand my heart is to read my poetry.

Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas come from the situations I deal with or the crazy circumstances that I have observed. My ideas come from my mind and the late stories my grandmother told me.

How do you prefer to write? On computer/laptop, typewriter, dictation or longhand with a pen?

I prefer longhand with a pen or pencil. I even write my articles for Ayo Magazine by hand initially and then type it up.

What are your 5 favorite books and 5 favorite authors?

My favorite books are:

  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Sula by Toni Morrison
  • The Skin I’m In by Sharon Flake
  • Native Son by Richard Wright
  • Citizen by Claudia Rankine

My favorite authors are Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Nikkie Giovanni, Elisa Romeo and Eric Jerome Dickey.

How do you deal with Writer’s Block?

I don’t know how to deal with writer’s block. I always free write. However, during the moments where nothing comes to mind, I allow the silence to just be.

What advice would you give to new aspiring authors?

Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken and someone needs your weird ass in his/her life!

Thank you, Jasmine!


About the book:

phoenix_coverPhoenixes Groomed as Genesis Doves is a collection of poetry that draws the reader into the world of personal identity, inner growth and the complexity of human relationships. Ordinary and common images, especially ones found in nature, are used to craft poems that appeal to the uncommon, the suppressed and the others. Filled with incredible grace and accessible wisdom, the poems explore a wide range of complex emotional themes. With unexpected metaphors and sparkling similes, the pieces vary in rhythm and theme making each one like a foil-wrapped candy: something to savor, enjoying each new bright color on the tongue.


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Book Review: Indiana Belle (American Journey #3) by John A. Heldt

29922773Author:  John A. Heldt
Release Date: 14th April 2016
Series: American Journey
Genre: Historical Fiction, Time Travel, Romance
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 295
Publisher: Self-Published

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Providence, Rhode Island, 2017. When doctoral student Cameron Coelho, 28, opens a package from Indiana, he finds more than private papers that will help him with his dissertation. He finds a photograph of a beautiful society editor murdered in 1925 and clues to a century-old mystery. Within days, he meets Geoffrey Bell, the “time-travel professor,” and begins an unlikely journey through the Roaring Twenties. Filled with history, romance, and intrigue, INDIANA BELLE follows a lonely soul on the adventure of a lifetime as he searches for love and answers in the age of Prohibition, flappers, and jazz.

Review

To say this book surprised me would be an understatement. I mean, wow. I didn’t look at the Goodreads tags for this book so I was extremely intrigued when the word time-travel popped up. After that, I was hooked. I could not put it down until I reached the very last page.

It starts with Cameron, a dissertation student, researching the state of Indiana who comes across a picture of a woman and tt is pretty much love at first sight for him. He is then presented with the opportunity to travel back in time and actually meet this woman, and at the same time add some adventure to his otherwise lonely life.

Although time-travel is a major aspect of this tale, it’s more about adventure, romance, and a little mystery. It’s about a man and woman who are nearly a century apart but have the same dreams and aspirations and, decide to take a few risks because life’s too short to keep second guessing everything.

I adored Cameron. He was charming, intelligent, witty and an absolute gentleman. I could relate to his lonely existence and his thirst for some excitement in his life. I was rooting for him right from the start. Candice was a delight and extremely likable. All characters, including the supporting ones and the bad guys, were very well developed and well written.

The writing was amazing, with an almost poetic atmosphere. The author did a great job in bringing the Roaring Twenties alive; from the quaint little town to the illicit clubs, from the church to the Ku Klux Klan, this book had it all. And the author managed to weave everything together beautifully.

The book began with the right pace, setting up the plot and characters quite early on and I held onto them until the very end.

I had predicted the ending but I was pleasantly surprised by the twist. It had the right amount of action without being overly dramatic. In short, I loved it.

I loved the romance. It was light and sweet, and a pivotal part of the story. Cameron had already decided that he had fallen in love with the woman in the photograph but to actually see it happen when he was with Candice was even more amazing. Their scenes were incredibly sweet and their relationship progressed naturally.

It’s no surprise that the cover art features the very picture that sets the plot rolling. It’s lovely and fits the book perfectly.


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Book Review: Sherlock Holmes And The Nine-Dragon Sigil by Tim Symonds

32666837Author: Tim Symonds
Release Date: 21st November 2016
Series: Sherlock Holmes
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Suspense.
Edition: Ebook (PDF)
Pages: 
Publisher: MX Publishing

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

It’s the year 1906. Rumours abound that a deadly plot is hatching – not in the fog-ridden back-alleys of London’s Limehouse district or the sinister Devon moors of the Hound of the Baskervilles but in faraway Peking. Holmes’s task – discover whether such a plot exists and if so, foil it. But are the assassins targeting the young and progressive Ch’ing Emperor or his imperious aunt, the fearsome Empress Dowager Cixi? The murder of either could spark a civil war. The fate of China and the interests of Britain’s vast Empire in the Orient could be at stake. Holmes and Watson take up the mission with their customary confidence – until they find they are no longer in the familiar landscapes of Edwardian England. Instead, they tumble into the Alice In Wonderland world of the Forbidden City.

Review

Sherlock Holmes & The Nine-Dragon Sigil is an exceptionally well-written book.
Writing about the two MOST loved characters of all time – Sherlock Holmes and Watson – is in itself a humongous task, and pulling it off successfully is not only nearly impossible but also unreal.
But Author Tim Symonds successfully took these two legendary characters and completely owned them in his epic new release Sherlock Holmes And The Nine-Dragon Sigil.

I haven’t read the previous parts in this series, but I am certainly looking forward to reading them as soon as I can get my hands on them because I really enjoyed and loved reading this book.

Author Tim Symonds’ writing is exceptional. It flows in tune with the settings and the era the story is set in and reminds the reader of the beautifully poetic and enchanting rhythm that the classic authors had.
I was completely spellbound by the captivating storytelling and the flow of the sentences in old English.
The plot is ingenious and the pacing is moderate, but it picks up wherever the need arises, keeping it thoroughly engaging for the reader.

I absolutely enjoyed the narration, no doubt, but I enjoyed the plot even more. Staying true to the most famous traits of the most amazing and observant detectives on the planet, the author created a fabulous plot, which kept me guessing at each and every turn.
And needless to say, the end completely baffled me and left me sitting there, holding the Kindle in my hands, smiling at the author’s cleverness. It was a true jaw-dropping ending! And it was mostly because the author handled foreshadowing really well.

The characters were done complete justice and I really enjoyed how the author’s classy sense of humor came out through the characters.
And a bonus for me was that being an Asian myself, I enjoyed the author’s fascinating details and descriptions of China to no end.

I loved this book and would recommend it to all the Sherlock Holmes fans, mystery lovers and anyone with a craving for a well-written piece of English literature.


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Novella Review: The Unfortunate and Odd Life of Bennett Monroe by S.M. Baker

32451619
Book Cover

Author: S.M. Baker
Release Date: 15th November, 2016
Series: The Wayfarers Chronicles
Genre: Science-Fiction – TIme Travel,
Edition: Ebook (EPUB)
Pages: 
Publisher: Self

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Time, such a fickle and immovable thing. Everyone is bound to it will and pull; unless you happen to be Bennett Monroe, time traveler by consequence, not by choice.
For as long as he cares to remember Bennett Monroe has been able to travel through it time. Forced to work for a madman he reluctantly calls his master Bennett and his companion Cynthia twist and change events throughout time in order to realize their masters goal, of which Bennett remains uncertain.
The past has a way of haunting you, Bennett’s however has a tendency towards trying to kill him.
Join Bennett and Cynthia as they stumble and rip their way through time; acquiring the knowledge of who Bennett is, and what they both will become.

Review

The Unfortunate & Odd Life Of Bennett Monroe is a really enjoyable novella.

It is a story of a not-so-common young man who lives a life full of adventures, filled with odd situations and circumstances. Bennett Monroe has the ability to travel through time and works on assignments given to him by the master that are responsible for keeping the timeline from ripping itself and the whole world apart.

For these strange, and sometimes dangerous, assignments he occasionally works with Cynthia, another time-traveller and a friend of sorts. But now that Monroe has failed in an assignment, he is left with no other option but to take drastic actions with the help of his only friend and confidante.

I liked the unique plot and storyline and enjoyed reading about Bennett and Cynthia’s adventurous lives. This is a time-travel story, but the author has done a great job in adding a new twist to it and making it all the more interesting. So I’m pretty sure that no matter how many time-traveling stories you’ve already read, this one will not fail to fascinate you.

The simplicity of the author’s writing style made this book a very quick and a reasonably pleasant read. I was drawn into the story right from the beginning and was not able to put it aside until the time I finished reading the last sentence.

This book has a very simplistic plot, but the characterization was really well done. I obviously liked the main character, Bennett Monroe, but I also liked Cynthia’s character a lot. And to top it all off, Bennett’s backstory was really well done and made this book all the more interesting and emotionally engaging.

I absolutely loved reading this book! It is a light-hearted Science-Fiction read and I’d highly recommend it to everyone who wants to read a decent time-travel novella.


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Cover Reveal: Deceived by Heena Rathore P.

Presenting to you all the Cover of my debut novel, Deceived – 

deceived-final

Designed by Bhavi Mehta

PUBLISHING: FEBRUARY 2017 

BLURB:

How well do you know your loved ones?

A girl who’s trying to cope with the murders of her mother and five-year-old brother.

A journalist who is chasing the ghost of a potential serial killer.

A thirteen-year-old girl who slaughters her parents.

And a revenge-driven psychopath who is about to destroy everyone’s life.

A psychological thriller that weaves its way through the sadistic past of a traumatized child to the snare of dark mysteries of a beloved father.

Add Deceived your Goodreads to-read shelf 

ABOUT HEENA RATHORE P.:

author-picHeena Rathore P. is a 25-year-old full-time novelist, part-time Social Media Strategist, Novel Critique, Book Reviewer and a YouTube Podcaster.

She draws her inspiration from the works of legendary Stephen King and Sidney Sheldon.

She is an introvert, a thinker, a neat freak, a voracious reader and a GSD-lover. In her free time, she loves watching apocalyptic, thriller and slasher movies and series.

She lives in Pune with her beloved husband in a house full of books, music, and love.

She loves creating fictional worlds, but more than that she loves living in them.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK

Book Review: The Trap by Melanie Raabe

30189617Author: Melanie Raabe
Release Date: 5th July, 2016
Series:  
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, German Literature
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 288
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Rating: ★★

Blurb:

In this twisted debut thriller, a reclusive author sets the perfect trap for her sister’s murderer–but is he really the killer?
For 11 years, the bestselling author Linda Conrads has mystified fans by never setting foot outside her home. Haunted by the unsolved murder of her younger sister–who she discovered in a pool of blood–and the face of the man she saw fleeing the scene, Linda’s hermit existence helps her cope with debilitating anxiety. But the sanctity of her oasis is shattered when she sees her sister’s murderer on television. Hobbled by years of isolation, Linda resolves to use the plot of her next novel to lay an irresistible trap for the man. As the plan is set in motion and the past comes rushing back, Linda’s memories–and her very sanity–are called into question. Is this man a heartless killer or merely a helpless victim?

REVIEW

I really tried hard to like this book, but it’s not for me.

My main problem with the book was that there was so much description. The exposition literally killed the plot. And the story itself felt very unbelievable and the characters were flat to say the least.

I liked the starting of the book and the build up, but around 20% I started to feel distracted and bored, and by that time I finished the quarter mark, I was already not interested in knowing what happened next. And that was why I read the rest skimming over most of the chapters.

There are so many rave reviews for this book, but I seriously don’t understand what all the hype is really about?


Goodreads, NetGalley and Amazon

Book Review: Deadraiser – Part 1: Horror In Jordan’s Bank by Stephanie C. Lyons-Keeley & Wayne J. Keeley

31927052Author: Stephanie C. Lyons-Keeley and Wayne J. Keeley
Series: Deadraiser Series
Genre: Horror, Paranormal, Occult
Edition: Ebook (PDF)
Pages: 
Publisher: 

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Necromancy is an ancient black magic used for the purposes of communing with the dead. It is believed that practitioners of the dark art may harness the ultimate power of life and death and raise the departed for their own nefarious, malevolent purposes. It also is alleged that a true necromancer may realize the ultimate gift of mortality.
DEADRAISER is the tale of a present-day practitioner who achieves what others have been unable to do for centuries — to raise the dead. The problem is that he must sacrifice innocent victims in order to maintain his power.
Enter Fanchon (Frankie) Manning, daughter of the late movie star Erika Manning. She is the ideal sacrificial lamb for the Necromancer’s perverse desires. The only thing that stands between the Necromancer and the girl is Christopher McGuire, a lost soul who long ago has ceased believing in anything. In order to save the child, he must somehow rediscover his faith and summon the courage to take on the darkest, most sinister being imaginable.

REVIEW

Deadraiser by Stephanie C. Lyons-Keeley & Wayne J. Keeley is one smasher of a book!
Staying true to its genre, this book kept me up at nights and gave me the chills.

The plot is really great and I enjoyed reading each and every single chapter. There was a mix of newspaper articles, journal entries, pages from the unpublished manuscripts, etc, and all these things took the plot and the setting of this book to an entirely different level.

The basic concept of the book is so unique that I was really intrigued and scared by it before even starting it. I’ve never read anything that was directly based upon Necromancy, and the fact that this book was entirely based on it really thrilled me. And after reaching the third chapter, I was sure that I was in for one hell of a reading experience.

I like the pacing, and the tension built-up was brilliant too. I also liked the flow of the authors’ writing, especially considering that it is a co-authored book. Right from the brilliant opening to the cliff-hanger of an ending , for me, this book scored a perfect 10 on all the fronts.

The characterization is not extraordinarily great, but considering the genre, it was pretty good. At least it was good enough for me to want to read this story without putting it down even for a second.

I’d recommend this book to all the Horror readers and also to those readers who want to read a nice scary read for Halloween. This is one horror book you wouldn’t want to miss!


Goodreads | Amazon

Book Review: The Conveyance by Brian W. Matthews

29985686Author: Brian W. Matthews
Release Date: June 17, 2016
Series: 
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 260
Publisher: JournalStone

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Beneath the calm waters and pastoral fields of Emersville, a deadly secret lurks. But when psychologist Dr. Brad Jordan stumbles upon the odd happenings in the town, he sets off a series of tragedies that threatens to expose a danger long kept hidden from the world. Relentlessly following a trail of madness, suicide, and murder, he soon finds himself confronted with a massive conspiracy, and a sinister device known as the Conveyance.

REVIEW

The Conveyance by Brian W. Mathews is a splendid Supernatural Thriller novel.

The author has cleverly used his background as a psychiatrist to use in the novel as the protagonist’s profession. The struggles and the conflicts of the main lead were so realistic that i was able to connect with him right away and the bond only deepened as the story progressed further.

I was literally pulled into the book right from the very beginning, where the main lead is shown talking to one of his patients (a kid,) and I wasn’t able to put down the book right till the very end when everything goes to hell.

The pacing and the timing were brilliant and so was the fast paced plot. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and some of the parts really creeped me out! This book is a brilliant example of how a good super natural story can be written without having any of the stereotypes in it (yes, I talking to the Vamp and Werewolf lovers.) The author took the concept of creepy dolls to another level. It really blew my mind off!

I found the author’s writing really easy to follow and it made reading this book a really pleasant experience. It was fresh, clever and had a distinctness that I really liked.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who has a liking and an appetite for a creepy supernatural book that actually crosses its path with Sci-Fi genre. So, all in all, if you like Stephen King books and the likes then you really have to read this book!

My copy of The Conveyance:

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-2-35-11-pm
The Conveyance by Brian W. Matthews

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Book Review: Guardian Of Paradise by W.E. Lawrence

26769446Author: W.E. Lawrence
Release Date: September 20, 2015
Series: 
Genre: Historical Fiction, Action-Adventure, Romance
Edition: ebook (Kindle)
Pages: 297
Publisher: 

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

In 1888, Kira Wall, surviving daughter of missionaries swept away in a tsunami, lives a primitive, but enjoyable life with natives on an isolated island in the South Pacific. But her serene world is turned upside down when an Australian merchant ship, commanded by the sinister Captain Darcy Coleman, arrives with an overabundance of modern and lavish goods. Kira suspects ill intent. Chief Ariki refuses to listen to Kira’s warning, forcing her to uncover the real plan of the captain on her own. Unfortunately, she has a distraction. A six-foot tall, blond, and handsome distraction. Trevor Marshall, doctor and botanist, hopes to find exotic plants on the island to research new cures and medicines. He is dedicated to science, but when meeting the strong-willed, beautiful Kira Wall, he’d prefer to spend time researching her—all night.
The captain thwarts Kira’s attempts to call him out at every step, turning the village chief against her. With only Trevor and her best friend Malana by her side, she stalks the captain and his officers through the dense, predator infested jungle, toward the island’s inactive volcano. Frustrated by her failure to reveal the captain’s true intentions, Kira begins to think maybe she’s wrong about everything. Then an explosion and earthquake bigger than anyone on the island has ever seen renews her resolve. Was the blast natural or man-made? She is determined to prove it was the captain’s doing. Kira races against time and the island people’s naivety to stop the captain from destroying her home and killing everyone she loves.

REVIEW

Guardian Of Paradise by W.E. Lawrence is a action-packed historical read.

I really enjoyed reading this book especially because of the beautiful setting of this story. The fitting descriptions made the island’s beauty come to life and I was left craving for more.

I’m not a Historical Fiction fan, but there are a few authors who really write this genre well, and W.E. Lawrence is definitely one of them. I liked the romance bit too. It was the main theme, but thankfully the author did not overburden the story with mindless romance.

The adventurous undertones and the well-written plot were really engaging. The writing was really simple and easy to follow, making this book a really breezy read. I was hooked right from the beginning to the very end. And the characterization was also good. I didn’t feel a very strong connection with the leads, but considering that it’s not one of my favorite genres, I cared enough about the characters to want to know what happens next – and it was good enough for me.

Despite a few minor flaws (lacking justification of some of the actions of the islanders and a few odd loose ends) I liked reading this book and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to read a moderate-paced and light-hearted Historical novel.

 


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Novella Review: Valkyrie On Planet Fury by Lynne Murray

28758000Author: Lynne Murray
Release Date: January 16, 2016
Series: Gravitas Series
Genre: Fantasy
Edition: e-book (kindle)
Pages: 194
Publisher: Createspace

Preceded ByNovella Review: Gravitas- Valkyrie In The Forbidden Zone

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

A forbidden love. An impossible mission. A planet where death lurks at every turn. Sybil of Planet Valkyrie can’t go home until she confronts the rulers of Planet Fury, where assassination is a popular pastime. The Furies demand that Sybil tap the powers of her familiar demons to find an answer that may not exist-or die trying.

Review

Valkyrie On Planet Fury by Lynne Murray is a speactacular novella. It is the 2nd book in the Gravitas series and I enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed reading the fist book in this series.

This series is based on such a unique concept about females running the planet of Valkyrie and having a lot of husbands in order to balance their Gravitas- their all-time dominant pheromones. Needless to say, it was a quick read and I enjoyed reading it through and through.

Sybill is a brilliantly written and an exceptionally well-executed character, and I always find myself chuckling whenever she makes snide remarks that show her intelligence like a glittering star. Other characters well also relatable and I ended up caring for most fo them.

I’ve always like author Murray’s writing style and this time was no exception. Like the first book the writing had a great flow and I literally breezed through the entire story. The pacing was brilliant as well.

I’d recommend this book and the one before it to anyone looking for a unique and light-hearted quick read.


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Book Review: Mercer Street by John A. Heldt

27258807Author: John A. Heldt
Release Date: October 21, 2015
Series: American Journey
Genre: Science-Fiction>Time Travel, Historical Fiction
Edition: Ebook (Kindle)
Pages: 431
Publisher: Self-Published

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Weeks after her husband dies in the midst of an affair in 2016, Chicago writer Susan Peterson, 48, seeks solace on a California vacation with her mother Elizabeth and daughter Amanda. The novelist, however, finds more than she bargained for when she meets a professor who possesses the secret of time travel. Within days, the women travel to 1938 and Princeton, New Jersey. Elizabeth begins a friendship with her refugee parents and infant self, while Susan and Amanda fall for a widowed admiral and a German researcher with troubling ties. Filled with poignancy, heartbreak, and intrigue, MERCER STREET gives new meaning to courage, sacrifice, and commitment as it follows three strong-willed souls on the adventure of a lifetime.

Review

Mercer Street by John A. Heldt is the second book in the American Journey Series. As a fan of Mr. Heldt’s books I had a lot of expectations for this book, and as expected, this book lived up to each and every single one of them.

I always find Mr. Heldt’s novels very meticulous, gripping and heart-warming. There’s a unique quality about his writing that makes you feel eerily happy and content while reading his books that you simply can’t put them down. His story-telling is so beautiful that his writing puts tons of ‘big-time’ authors to shame in comparison.

This story is about three females of varied ages –  a daughter, a mother and a grandmother. I loved the assortment of memorable characters and their deliciously distinct backgrounds in this book. They were so compelling that I found myself thinking about them for days, especially about the way things ended.

The vivid imagery, the complex emotional battles each character fights, the moving story and the gut-wrenching situations the characters go through make this book an unforgetful read.

There are some books that are not simply read, but experienced, and this one is one of those. When you read each and every chapter, you feel like you’re not just reading them but savoring them and feel like doing it slowly so as to enjoy the experience for a long time.

I highly recommend this book to everyone, no matter what genre you read.


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Book Review: Hidden In Plain Sight by Sharon D. Moore

31794229Author: Sharon D. Moore
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Series: Under The Shadow Of Almighty
Genre: Church fiction
Edition: e-book (Kindle)
Pages: 
Publisher: NewSeason Books

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

Two Pastors.
Two Penalties.
One Shot at Redemption.
When Philly-born playboy, Jason White, discovers a devastating family secret about the identity of his biological father, he launches on an angry quest to find and confront the man. A lengthy investigation into his father, a prominent pastor of a large church in North Carolina, spurs a quick, covert, out-of-town visit to the pastor’s church on Easter Sunday. Will Jason follow through on his desire to destroy the man he believes left him alone and in poverty?
In Raleigh, North Carolina, the greedy and lecherous Bishop Quincy Stewart’s less than discreet history of deceit and all around messiness is threatened with complete exposure when he loses control over his manufactured persona. A chance encounter and life-changing lunch unlocks the chains holding Stewart’s wife, Lucy, hostage and sets the stage for a much needed shift in her life. In a desperate act to break his wife’s spirit and force her into compliance, Bishop Stewart does the unthinkable. Will Bishop Stewart go down for his horrific actions? Will Lucy ever be set free from the pain he has caused her?
The Camelot-like existence of popular and honorable Bishop James Collins becomes shrouded in an indefinable dark cloud when his wife, Victoria, invites an unstable element into their lives. Will Bishop Collins overcome being blindsided by the ugly truths he’s forced to face or will his life and ministry be forever changed?

Review

I’m not a Christian, so the fact that I enjoyed reading Hidden In Plain Sight Sharon Moore says a lot.

I loved reading this right from the beginning till the very end. I especially enjoyed reading about Pastors and Bishops as it was a really unique experience for me. I’m generally a reader of thrillers, mysteries and dark fiction, but reading this beautiful book was a great change in pace and I enjoyed it for the very same reason.

The writing was really good and had a really easy flow that made this book a surprisingly quick read. The plot had a unique simplicity and a depth that made reading this even more enjoyable. I was drawn into this book right from the beginning and was left craving for more at the end. It ended perfectly and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end this amazing story.

The characterisation is good too. All the characters were believable I found myself caring for most of them. This book made me feel a range of emotions that I wasn’t expecting – happy at times and sad at the others, and t was mostly due to the brilliant characterisation.

The plot was excellent and the execution (per say) was brilliant. Author Sharon Moore has done a great job, especially considering that this is her first novel. I am definitely going to read more books by her.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series (and I really hope that the I get to read it soon!)

I’d recommend to everyone who wants to read a nice cozy book.


Goodreads | Amazon

Book Review: Southernmost by Sarah Sadler

31080280Author: Sarah Sadler
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Series: 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Edition: e-book (Kindle)
Pages: 350
Publisher: Blue French Press

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

Former Alabama beauty queen Kayla Carter is given an ultimatum by her wealthy ex-boyfriend Jackson Winslow – either move to his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina with their seven-year-old daughter or support herself on a waitress’s salary. She relocates only to discover Jackson’s life is suddenly in shambles, and he has become a broke, undependable and depressed alcoholic.
Kayla hesitantly establishes herself in Charleston’s bustling culinary scene and becomes involved in a delicious fling with a free-spirited and visceral photographer. While she navigates the turbulent waters of Jackson’s new emotional state and fights feelings for him that she’s suppressed for years, Kayla’s personal success is overshadowed by an unexpected complication.
With a secret from the past threatening the chance of restoring her family, Kayla forces herself to break Jackson’s heart – and her own – once and for all, or risk everything by facing the shameful truth that has kept them apart.

REVIEW

Before I begin this review, let me just say I rarely read books with this much content. I found the descriptions and mentions of sex disgusting and admittedly skimmed or skipped the scenes. The rating is not at all based on that, though – it’s my honest opinion of the book’s quality, not the content.

In many ways, this was a fantastic novel that fully deserved five stars, and at times I really enjoyed it. I liked the main character and most of the supporting characters a lot … Avery was especially sweet! She was a very real, very adorable little girl!

The plot was very interesting, and I definitely didn’t get either of the big twists at the end! There wasn’t a ton of foreshadowing, but still, when it happened, it made so much sense and fit in so well that, though it blew my mind and I was reeling with the wonderfulness of it all, I felt like totally should have gotten it. How do people think up these amazing, beautiful plots?

I was disappointed with the love triangle. {*Spoilers*} I guess there just is no way to satisfy everyone with those, and although I was rooting for Jackson all the way, I found Kayla’s fling with J.B. (what? That’s my nickname for him …) just plain silly. I don’t know how you feel about it, but she was acting pretty committed (and so was he) for it to just end like that. {*End of Spoilers*}

Also, I felt that the story wrapped up a little too quickly – and perhaps a little too conveniently. A couple things – such as the stories of Kayla’s best friend and her mother – didn’t really get wrapped up at all. Perhaps these things will be resolved in a sequel, though.

I must say, I loved everything southern in this book! I want to go live there. Of course, I’d always be a Yankee. 😉

Overall, this was a great book with just a few problems that most people probably wouldn’t mind. Go pick up a copy of Southernmost now if you love a beautiful setting, interesting characters, a fast and interesting plotline with phenomenal twists, and mouth-watering descriptions of food.


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Book Review: Nightlife by Matthew Quinn Martin

17672505Author: Matthew Quinn Martin
Release Date: October 21, 2013
Series: Nightlife
Genre: Horror, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Edition: e-book (Kindle)
Pages: 384
Publisher: Pocket Star

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

For centuries an ancient evil has slept beneath the streets of New Harbor. This Halloween, it wakes up.
An action-packed debut horror novel from talented new writer Matthew Quinn Martin, Nightlife pits a feisty bartender and a mysterious loner against bloodthirsty terrors as alluring as they are deadly.

Nightclub bartender and serial heartbreaker Beth Becker might be a cynic. But when her best friend goes missing Halloween night, Beth knows it’s up to her to find out what happened.

Her quest will take her on an odyssey through the crumbling city of New Harbor, Connecticut. Along the way she meets a homeless prophet warning of something he calls the “Night Angel”-a bloodthirsty creature that feeds on the forgotten. And she will form an unlikely bond with a hunted stranger who knows all too well what stalks the streets at night.

REVIEW

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Nightlife by Mathew Quinn Martin. This book is a real page-turner from start to end. It was literally un-put-down-able!

The best part about this book and also the most impressive one was that this book showed Vampires in completely different light. I guess this is the first time someone has successfully pulled off portraying Vampires as really scary creatures. The concept behind the whole vampire mythology was explored beautifully and I was captivated by the author’s imagination. For the first time in my life, the Vampires actually creeped me out! I’m glad that finally, someone wrote a book that didn’t show vampires as the lovey-dovey pets people want to fall in love with.

Author Mathew Quinn Martin showed them for what they are really are – blood sucking nightmares.

Apart from this, the writing was great too, and the pacing was superb. The alternating POVs kept me on on my toes the entire time and I enjoyed the POV shifts mostly because the transition was really smooth.

The characterisation is also brilliant. I loved all the characters, especially that of Jack and Beth. I even liked Beth’s jackass boyfriend. The reason why I liked Ryan is because all his faults and stupidity made him come out as a really believable character. I was able to connect to all the characters.

The book began with an intriguing prologue which threw me right into the story’s heart and was a complete winner for me. I was so engrossed in it that I wasn’t able to put down this book once I started it.

The ending was good and quite practical. I loved it and thought that it was perfect and in tune with the story.

I’m really looking forward to reading more by the author. I’d recommend this book to all the paranormal and horror lovers and especially to all the Vampires fanatics.


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Novella Review: Call Me Bean by James Mossor

51g2gbem0xlAuthor: J.D. Mossor
Release Date: September 15, 2016
Series: –
Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction
Edition: e-book (doc)
Pages: 36
Publisher: Imposter Publishing

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Sabrina aka “Bean” may seem like an average teen, but she has an over average sense of doing what’s right and sticking up for herself and those around her. She always speaks her mind and stands up for what she believes in — no matter who she comes up against. Bean squares off against mean teachers, bullies, and cheating soccer coaches while learning that the best thing to be is true to yourself no matter what. Her adventures take her from the halls of middle school to the the fields of soccer camp with never a dull moment in between. Sit back, relax, and read up. Wherever Bean goes, adventure follows.

REVIEW

I really enjoyed reading Call Me Bean by James Mossor. This book is a really quick and a thoroughly fun read. I literally breezed through it in less than an hour – it was that good!

The character of Sabrina is created beautifully, and being a girl I was able to relate to her on so many levels. The author created the main character, Sabrina aka Bean, like a typical teen girl who needs to show everyone how strong she is all the while being a soft-hearted and a teeny bit scared from the inside. The portrayal is so beautiful that I still can’t get her out of my head.

This book is written in diary entry format and tells us about the weekly happenings in Sabrina’s adventurous life. All the stories are thoroughly entertaining, yet at the same time, they spread a beautiful message of believing in who you are, being true to yourself and standing up for the right things.

The author’s writing is really good and, as a result, the story flowed beautifully. The humorous style added another layer to this book making it even more interesting and enjoyable.

This book will be a perfect fit for pre-teens and teens alike. I’d recommend it to all the parents as well because I’m sure Sabrina will successfully win over everyone.


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Book Review: Forever And A Night by Lana Campbell

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Author:  Lana Campbell
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Series: 
Genre: Paranormal Romance > Vampires
Edition: e-book (kindle)
Pages: 398
Publisher: Tate Publishing & Enterprise

Rating: ★★★

Blurb:

Nathan Davenport is being stalked by Isabella Ravini, the feral vampire who stole his human life over a hundred and sixty years ago. She made him her fledging, a slave for her dark, evil purposes-hunting humans. After a few years she released him, and Nathan reluctantly learned to accept the cursed life she’d foisted upon him. Over time he amassed a great fortune, which today has made him famous worldwide. Isabella decides she wants to be a part of this world of fame and fortune Nathan created for himself. She’s determined to marry him, and love has nothing to do with it. His money is her primary target, and the fame and prestige attached to being the wife of one of the richest men in the world wouldn’t be so bad either. In an effort to evade her until he can figure out how to stop her, he hides at a safe house he owns in New Orleans. One Saturday evening in NOLA, he decides to have dinner in the city. He chooses a quiet little Italian bistro, never imagining this night will change his life forever. The human woman who delivers his order isn’t a server, but the restaurant’s sous chef, a beautiful ethnic woman possessing the most delicious blood scent he’s ever encountered. The moment Mia Peebles arrives at his table with his plate, tasting her becomes an obsession. Mia wants nothing to do with him because of Nathan’s reputation as a playboy. So Nathan enchants her, feeds from her, but his lusts for her blood and body play havoc with his thinking. Nathan finds a way to bring her into his life as his personal chef and quickly falls in love with her. The trouble is Mia has no idea he’s a vampire because during the enchanting episodes, Nathan blocked her memories of those sensual encounters. How will Nathan tell her the truth without losing her and keep Isabella from finding him? Or worst yet, will Isabella discover how much Mia has come to mean to him?

REVIEW

Forever And A Night by Lana Campbell is a decent paranormal romance.

I enjoyed reading it because of the writing. Author’s writing was really good; it flowed smoothly and made this book a surprisingly quick read given the total number of pages.

I did like the story too, but at more than a dozen places I found a lot of resemblance to the plots of other Vampire novels. I do enjoy good paranormal romance books, but while reading this book I couldn’t stop myself from comparing to the other books in the genre.

The romantic relationship between Nathan and Mia was believable and engaging. It was dangerously bordering on the borderline of clichéd but somehow managed to not fall off the wall.

What I did find interesting was the fact that the leading lady was the mother of grown up children, a fact that is hard to find in most of the paranormal romance books. That was the biggest redeeming factor for this book, at least for me.

The beginning and ending were good and the story was medium-paced which made it a pleasant read. In spite of the problem I had, I still liked the characterization and the story settings. I liked the concept and enjoyed knowing more about the characters as the story progressed.

This book might not be the best one in the genre, but it didn’t fall short either.

If you’re into vampires and love reading romance novels then this is a book for you, but if you don’t then you might or might not like it.


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Book Review: Basically Frightened by Vasily Pugh

31684725Author: Vasily Pugh
Release Date: September 9, 2016
Series: –
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian
Edition: e-book (kindle)
Pages: 219
Publisher: Midland Monkey

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Oh no, not another post-apocalyptic chronicle I hear you cry. But wait, where are the lumbering zombies, floppy mutants and crazy survivalists called Huck? No, this is not the glamorous Hollywood vision with exciting weapons and deceptively good teeth (though mine are adequate), this is the husk of a world left behind after one of those pesky pandemics (rather insensitively called ‘The Shakes’ on Social Media). Join my odyssey through looted pound shops and empty supermarkets as I encounter numerous people who range from 1 to 10 on the psychotic survivor scale. Expect intrigue, betrayal, warm fuzzy feelings and references to Pot Noodles.

Review

 Basically Frightened by Vasily Pugh is a brilliant book! I haven’t read a post-apocalyptic book this good since a long time.

What really impressed me the author’s voice and writing style. It was equal part funny and intense and I absolutely enjoyed reading it. The exceptional sense of humour and the ingenious sarcasm of the main character literally left me craving for more.

Unlike other apocalyptic books, this book is not about the Zombies. It actually focuses on how people panic and behave in an unlawful and an uncivilised world. This book creates a dreadful, yet an honest picture of how humanity crumbles under pressure and how people react differently to worst case scenarios.

I was so engrossed in this book that I had to finish it as soon as I could. I had to know how the hell this adventure of sorts ends. The intelligent commentary and the hilarious observations of the main character, Buck, were so frigging hilarious that I cracked up more than a million times while reading this amazing book.

The plot line is simple yet intelligent and shows the thorough research author did while writing this book. I’ve always been an apocalypse enthusiast, but if apocalypse will actually be anything like the one in this book then the world is better off without it.

I’d recommend this book to all the apocalyptic fiction readers and  enthusiasts. This book will literally blow your mind off.


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Book Review: Nowhere To Hide by Tracey Lynn Tobin

31673356-2Author: Tracey Lynn Tobin
Release Date: October 2, 2014
Series: 
Genre: Apocalyptic Fiction, Horror>Zombies
Edition: e-book (mobi)
Pages: 236
Publisher: Createspace

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

The only thing that Nancy King has worried about since her grandmother passed away is figuring out what to do with the rest of her life. That decision is forcibly made for her the day one of the residents of her apartment building dies…and immediately rises to tear open the flesh of anyone within reach of her cold, dead fingers. Now Nancy has found herself in a deadly game of survival against an army of zombies. She may have the will to keep running for a little while…but how long can she push forward when there is simply nowhere to hide?

Review

Nowhere To Hide is a really engaging read. I enjoyed it from the first page right down till the very last page!
It is about a girl who finds herself in the midst of an unforeseen apocalypse and what makes this book different from others is the twist which leaves her with a little baby. Amidst all the chaos, Nancy tries her best to take care of the baby while trying to survive each and every day.

The best part about the book was the pacing of the story. Not even for a single second, I felt that the plot was going weak or uneventful. I enjoyed the exposition as well as the meticulous imagery. The writing was really good and the story flowed beautifully.

There were places though where the situations could have been more intense but I’m happy about the way things were.
I was able to feel a strong connection with the leading lady, Nancy. She had a strong personality and I was able to relate to her on so many different levels. I was able to feel her frustration behind each and every relentless decision she made and felt a wave of happiness and relief whenever situations got better.
The supporting/secondary characters were also very relatable. I loved Greg’s character a lot and was able to feel a connection with him too.

The ending was absolutely gut-wrenching. I felt so sad that I couldn’t stop thinking about it for hours after I finished reading it.

It is a spectacular apocalyptic tale with an interesting twist and I’d recommend it to all the apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction readers.


Goodreads

Book Review: The Irish Jewel by Julie Ann James

22299789Author: Julie Ann James
Release Date: May 6, 2016
Series: 
Genre: Suspense | Mystery
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 186
Publisher: Peppertree Press

Rating: ★★★

Blurb:

James takes her engaging characters to the gritty streets of Dublin, Ireland, where they become unsuspecting pawns in a twisted, tainted psychotic game of pure adulterated revenge from an unexpected and wicked mastermind. It is said to be true, that all families, have long-hidden secrets buried deep within their souls and locked away from all who might just go digging. Irish Jewel uncovers such a dark secret, so horrific that it could forever change lives when divulged. As the shocking truth surfaces, revealed for all to see, move across this chilling game board to determine where the grimy bread crumbs will end up…The suspense could kill you…

REVIEW

I liked reading The Irish Jewel by Julie Ann James. It began with a great opening scene and I was drawn into the book from the start. The pacing  was good and the story had a great flow to it and as a result, it was an exceptionally fast read.

I enjoyed the author’s writing and the flow was good too, but I felt like something was missing from the story. At more than one place I began questioning the main plot itself. And that is really off-putting, to say the least.

The characterization lacked a touch of perfection. All the characters felt one-dimensional and I was not able to feel a connection with either of the leads. Though they were interesting enough to make me want to know what happened to each one of them, but that was it.

The ending was not bad, but I would have preferred a clearer ending (about how the sane brother got out of the police custody or the mental institution or wherever it was he was taken after his arrest.) It was neither surprising nor unsatisfactory. It just felt flat, more or less like the plot itself.

Having said what I had to, this book might be preferred by readers who likes reading light mysteries, but as someone who reads thrillers and suspense novels round the clock (and as someone who also writes them,) it simply wasn’t for me.


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