Book Review – Agony by Kshitij

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Blurb: “A cold lonely life, paralyzed by sickening nightmares; that’s what Kewy, a young Irish teacher, started to experience. And then the abrupt knockings at her door established that the time has come. Things buried in her past, found a way to communicate with her- the dreams, which always receive her at a god forsaken place dwelled with evil and surrounded by death, fear and hopelessness. 
The past was agonizing but the part of her still believes she could erase it. In her quest, Kewy was joined by two concurring beings; both of which found a reason to live, in her struggle. Together the three walked through that dark, disturbed and desolated land. 
And what waited for them in those deadwoods was more than just a plain and ordinary fear…” 

Find it on Amazon

 

Review:

Though it says Horror, Agony is really an occult/supernatural experience. It does have ghost elements in it but as a die hard horror fan, the fear-factor in this novel is more psychological than anything else. There are scenes of cult practices as well as some where people drink blood and stuff, but I didn’t feel it to be too gory. The horror is the right mix between psychology and gore.

 

The main character, Kewy, felt shallow to me in the beginning. She is plagued by nightmares and can’t sleep and must embark on a journey to the place where it started. She convinces one of her students and a potential boyfriend to go on that journey with her, even though she knows how dangerous it can be. Then, she refuses to tell them how it all started till the time they reach the point of no return in an isolated resort in the county. However, it was heartening to see her growing better as a person throughout the story since that is what a story is about, how a character changes due to circumstances. Kewy’s college friends were also a bit of a let down. They all go on a professional escapade but once they reach their destination, nobody is interested in doing the actual work anymore. Kewy’s other friends, Eineen and Kasper were well thought-of and sketched. Especially Eineen came across as a real strong person.

 

The plot is great but the telling of the story is a bit lacking and so the reader has to plod through unnecessary information to reach the actual story. Everything, and I mean everything, has been described to the minutest detail, leaving absolutely nothing to the reader’s imagination, as if the author doesn’t trust the reader to ‘get it’. The language needs professional editing. I wish authors like Kshitij who self publish their novels would first hire the services of a professional editor, especially if it’s a debut since the first impression you make on a reader would carry forward in their minds.

 

I did enjoy reading Agony once I went past the language barrier and I think the plot has the right bit of depth and intrigue. I especially liked the climax and the ending where good wins over evil. I would rate this story 3 out of 5 stars.

 

My Black Wishlist

Since I teach at a high school I am up early mornings and now that the summer vacation is over, I’m back to the grinding routine. Even though I get up early everyday (yes, even Sundays!) you couldn’t call me a morning person. So what is it that helps me shake off my precious (sleep) in the wee hours of morning? Coffee, of course! And what if the delicious coffee came in a hilarious package? That would be a certain wake-me-up, is it not? Here’s Coffee with Grumpy Cat (pun intended!)

Grumpy-Cat-Mornings-black-Coffee-Mug

I fell in love with this mug as soon as I saw it. Think this will make a wonderful addition to my ever-growing collection of coffee mugs, especially since it’s Black and has Grumpy cat, two of my favourite things in this world!

Once I’ve made my coffee I head towards the study for an early morning stint with my writing. Yes, #amwriting. Nothing like sipping aromatic coffee while writing down my first thoughts of the morning. I’m a pen-and-paper person and need the feel of solid metal scratching against white rough handmade paper to get my writing juices flowing instead of clacking keys on the notebook. Though I do that too, especially during NaNoWriMo when the word count pressure is too much to allow me to write on my journal and then type it up. But there’s nothing more soothing than to see the black ink making delicious curls on the paper. So the next three things on my wishlist are these:

Black_Handmade_Journal

pierre-cardin-real-magic-real-magic-400x400-imad762jgqdxu7bt

Stand-still-Square-Pen-Stand-Black-Pottery-LKA061131-31

The journal is a bunch of unruled handmade paper stiched together in a black leather binding. Perfect for writing as well as for the times when I get the urge to doodle. The set of pens is my favourite brand, Pierre Cardin, and have black ink, my preferred color for writing. One is a Roller Ball where as the other one is a Ball Pen. The pen holder is also handmade black pottery with clever leather stitches, perfect for keeping my black beauties safe.

Now to my daily dose of reading. The next thing on my wishlist is the All New Kindle Fire 8.9″ HD Tablet. Isn’t it a beauty?

KJ-slate-01-lg-noVid._V382221546_

Though I do LOVE my current Kindle PaperWhite and have enjoyed it immensely ever since I got it last December, I miss the colors of the book covers. The new Kindle Fire will make sure I can enjoy the colorful book covers as if I was holding the real book in my hands at the same time keeping me in touch with the Internet. The browser in my Kindle PW is an experimental one and doesn’t let me do a lot of things! This one will keep me well-read as well as connected! Not a deal to let go is it?

What are some of the things in your wishlist, black or not?

This post is a part of #WhatTheBlack activity at BlogAdda.com

 

Book Review – Butterfly Season by Natasha Ahmed

ButterflySeason

Blurb: On her first holiday in six years, Rumi is expecting to relax and unwind. But when she is set up by her long-time friend, she doesn’t shy away from the possibilities. Ahad, a charming, independent, self-made man, captures her imagination, drawing her away from her disapproving sister, Juveria.

Faced with sizzling chemistry and a meeting of the minds, Ahad and Rumi find themselves deep in a relationship that moves forward with growing intensity. But as her desire for the self-assured Ahad grows, Rumi struggles with a decision that will impact the rest of her life.

Confronted by her scandalized sister, a forbidding uncle and a society that frowns on pre-marital intimacy, Rumi has to decide whether to shed her middle-class sensibilities, turning her back on her family, or return to her secluded existence as an unmarried woman in Pakistan.

We follow Rumi from rainy London to a sweltering Karachi, as she tries to take control of her own destiny.

 

Buy Links :  Amazon  /  Indireads

 

Review: Do Pakistani women think (and maybe act) like Indian women when it comes to love or are they different? What do the contemporary Pakistani women feel about pre-marital intimacy? These were just some of the questions that came to my mind when I read the blurb of Butterfly Season. Of course I wanted to know whether our sisters from across the border were really so different from us as sometimes we are led to believe. I’m glad I picked up the book because now I feel that Pakistan and India are not so different after all, at least not where we women are concerned.

Rumi and Ahad, the main characters, are easy to fall in love with. Their romance is fun and frothy & they share a great sexual chemistry. I was relieved that Ahmed didn’t fall in the trap of keeping sex-scenes in the book just to get high sales (as is the case nowadays) since so many books I read that try to talk about a woman’s choices/perspective do. Mahira comes across as a great friend, a friend everyone needs in his/her life, a strong pillar of support. Juveria, though easy to dislike, reminds me of so many women that try to guide all their actions and words according to norms set up by the society in order to please it, but turn up making their lives miserable. Ahmed has been able to create a great mix of characters, all taken from our contemporary society. The men folk needed a bit more work IMHO but the female characters all came out strong.

I liked the little glimpses the author has shown of contemporary Pakistan what with Urdu words strewn in, references to the pop culture, the Junoon-Vital signs debate etc. The author has used beautiful language in Butterfly season for example – “…Love and marriage are not synonymous. Every Pakistani girl knows that already.” There are many such ‘quotable quotes’ strewn across the book. I do wish Ahmed had delved a little deeper into Karachi, which was such an intrinsic part of Rumi. I wished to experience the city through its many colors, smells and sights but I felt something missing. I did identify with the heat though coming from Punjab myself.

Butterfly season is a quick read, hardly a hundred pages long and has some great thought provoking moments. I congratulate the author on talking about such a taboo topic like pre-marital sex and not come up as preachy or condescending. I thoroughly enjoyed Ahmed’s debut novella and would recommend it to Romance lovers all over the world. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars 🙂

 

 

 

Book Review – Scarlet Revenge by Ann McGinnis

 

Scarlet Revenge by Ann McGinnis



The Blurb
 
The FBI doesn’t know what to do with Analyst Caycee Scarlet. She’s brash, brilliant & brutally relentless when tracking a serial killer. But she also has a temper, problems with authority figures and recognizing the chain of command. Things go sideways for Caycee when she uncovers a lead that saves the Omega Killer’s latest victim. Rather than working the system and making nice with her pompous boss, sparks fly and she gets into an altercation with the lead Special Agent on the case, resulting in a transfer to another assignment. Caycee finds herself transferred to an FBI interrogation facility where she assesses the most dangerous of criminals in custody. She struggles to get over the loss of her dream job, but her new boss, handsome Special Agent Gil Graham, may soften the blow. Sparks, of a different variety, fly between the Special Agent and his new Analyst, as they work together to crack the most difficult cases. Just when Caycee’s wounds are healing from her expulsion on the Omega Killer team, she is dragged back into the thick of it. Caycee and her new team are front and center, focused on an interview of a bombing suspect, when Omega comes looking for revenge. His attack wounds her team, leaving Caycee with only one option for help-the devastatingly handsome bombing suspect. It will take all of Caycee’s wits, and a kiss for luck, to stop Omega and save her co-workers.
 
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Review

Scarlet Revenge is the first story in a series of FBI Analyst Caycee Scarlet. I am normally skeptical about picking up the first novel of a series till the time the other books aren’t out but I’m glad I picked this up. This story has a sense of closure, it doesn’t leave too many questions unanswered while keeping the reader interested to read the second book as well. So many authors aren’t able to pull off sequels correctly and I congratulate Ann on doing a fantastic job at this.
Caycee as well as her boss-cum-love interest, Gil, are both likable and relatable characters since both of them possess positive as well as negative shades just like normal human beings. I loved Caycee’s spunk and found it charming that Gil supported her, sometimes even taking a backseat. How many heroes do that, really? The Omega Killer Jeffery, The baseball Bomber Hicks & Ex-Boss Wilkes are the other important characters in this novella. The author has done an excellent job with sketching the characters of Hicks as well as Wilkes whereas I wanted something more from the author regarding The Omega Killer since he was the Main antagonist in this story. I believe he needed a li’l more attention. His methods, his background or why he became what he did was never really discussed. In a serial killer thriller, I would expect these things as a reader. Hicks character, on the other hand, was strong and compelling and I’m glad that there will be more of him in the sequel Scarlet’s Envy. I’m certainly looking forward to it. At the end of the story, Caycee sees someone that looks like Hicks get away from the premises and doesn’t do anything. This is the only point which felt jarring to me since I had made an opinion about Caycee being an upright FBI officer. It made me question her dedication to her profession. Not sure if this concern will be handled in the sequel but I certainly hope so.
I recommend Scarlet Revenge to all Romantic Thriller lovers. I would rate it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

 

Meet the Author
 
Ann McGinnis writes about characters that let their egos and sense of justice rule their lives, while they protect the public from serial killers and unthinkable crimes. Of course, Ann’s characters always find a way to blow off steam — romantically!
As a writer, Ann comes from the world of action/thrillers and screenwriting. She has two scripts currently in development. A third script, about a spunky FBI analyst, is the basis of “Scarlet Revenge” and the main character Caycee Scarlet. It is the first book in a series, with Book 2 “Scarlet Envy” coming out in September 2014. 


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Featured Author – Sundari Venkatraman on Tornado Giveaway

 

7th July, 2014

 

Sundari Venkatraman is the 7th Author in the Tornado Giveaway.She has decided to give 10 copies of her book to 10 lucky winners. To enter the Giveaway, see the bottom of this post. To see all the books that are part of the Tornado Giveaway – Click Here

 

 

 

 

WHAT IS THIS STORY ALL ABOUT ?

 

 

Click Here

 

Sunita Rishi’s just turned twenty, having completed her graduation. She wants to fly free as a bird, explore career options and travel the world. Does she have a choice when Mamma & Pappa insist on arranging her marriage? Born in a rich business family steeped in tradition, Sunita has a tough job on her hands. Can she stop the tide?

 

Tall, dark and handsome, Akshay Malhotra is the catch of the decade. The only son of Billionaire Raj Malhotra, he’s in a strange fix. His father’s keen that Akshay meets Sunita with marriage in mind. He’s too close to his parents to say ‘no’ for the preliminary meeting. And then he comes face-to-face with Sunita….

 

Will Sunita be falling from the frying pan into the fire when she agrees to become The Malhotra Bride?

 

 

 

GET TO KNOW HER 

 

Even as a kid, she absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as Sundari grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. Soon, into her teens, she switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine. 

 

Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! She could never string two sentences together. While her spoken English had always been excellent – thanks to her Grandpa – she could not write to save her life. She was bad at writing essays in both school and college. Later, when it was time to teach her kids, she could manage everything from Science to Mathematics and History & Geography. 

 

When it came to writing compositions, her kids found her of no help at all. All this changed suddenly one fine day in the year 2000. She had just quit her job at a school’s office and did not know what to do with her life. She was saturated with simply reading books. That’s when she got home one evening after her walk and took some sheets of paper and began writing. It was like watching a movie that was running in her head – all those years of visualising Indian heroes and heroines needed an outlet and had to be put into words. That’s how her first novel, The Malhotra Bride, took shape. 

 

With the advent of self-publishing, Sundari is the proud author of three books as on today. 

To know more about her :  Blog | Facebook | Goodreads| Twitter

 

Check out my review of this Romance here

 

 

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Book Review – Reach For Your Light by Ces Creatively

Paranormal Romance
   

My Review :

 

Paranormal Romance is one of my favourite genres to read in and that’s the reason I picked up this book. I was disappointed. Clearly, this book is a romance disguising as a Paranormal. In fact, the paranormal factor just appears every 5-6 chapters that also for a paragraph or two in the form of some golden light or a blurry shape. Not much to keep me interested.

More than the paranormal factor though, the biggest disappointment was the grammar and punctuation. I had to mentally correct all the your/you’re, should of/should have as well as put in periods and commas because the sentences read as a teenager’s text messages as I read the book. This definitely hampered my flow while reading and I had problems finishing the book. Since this book was provided by the author in exchange of an honest review, I was obligated to finish reading it. Otherwise I might not have been able to.

The book has a cliffhanger at the end which is always considered good for a series however in this case IMHO not a correct place to end the story because there are just too many questions left unanswered and there is a definite lack of any sense of closure. Normally in a series there is a main plot point and a few sub-plots. Those sub plots are resolved however the main plot is left as a cliffhanger, so that the reader buys the next book. However in this story even the sub-plots are left hanging in the middle.

Another problem I had with this book are the main characters Emma and Jeremy. I had trouble liking both of them. There are other characters in this book though that were perfectly likable and intriguing however, sadly, they were not the protagonists like Denni etc. Emma, while in London, falls for Nic who likes it rough. So much so that she almost begs him to have her. Heartbroken, when she moves from London and meets Jeremy, suddenly she forgets everything about her supposedly broken heart and falls for him. Under Emma’s circumstances (considering the reason for her heartbreak) this sounds impossible. Again, she is hopelessly in love with Jeremy but whenever she feels the presence of her angel (or even sees his car) she feels attracted towards him! Same with Jeremy. He supposedly loves Emma but can never take out a few seconds from his busy schedule to even reply to her texts or return a call. He loves Emma but can’t keep his hands off Mel, his ex. Even though the author has given him a very good reason to pursue Mel, I don’t think it’s enough to kiss her, especially when he was the one to bring up fidelity (and was hurt for so many years due to the lack of it). It’s one thing to create a flawed character but these were unlikable! Finally, the Emma’s angel just mysteriously appears at the end of the book and carries her away when so far he had been pictured as just some light, or a fleeting reflection or at max, his car.

I wish the author will take care of these issues in the next edition of the book.

 

Blurb:

Emma Williams is searching for a new direction. Leaving behind a dead end career and harrowing relationship in London, she makes a fresh start in Bournemouth bonding immediately with flat mate Denzil and enjoying coastal life. 

 

Falling in love with delicious Jeremy White she soon discovers that her new life is not as uncomplicated as she’d hoped. It may look like she has the perfect beach apartment and gorgeous man of her dreams but when visions of a mysterious stranger become reality and manipulating exes are out to cause trouble in paradise, Em just wants to find the truth in a world of deceit. 

 

The Light Direction will take you on a fast-paced roller coaster of hot sex, mind games and supernatural visions that will leave you hungry for more.

 

**Contains explicit adult content. Not suitable for under 18 yrs.**

Meet the Author:

 

Ces Creatively
Ces Creatively is an inspiring mum of three from Poole who loves to spend time at Poole Harbour, Sandbanks Dorset. Juggling being a mum with running graphic design business www.biz-brand-buzz.co.uk, popular website with a book blog www.supportivebusinessmums.co.uk and hand made gifts business www.prettyinspiring.co.uk she miraculously also finds time to write www.the-light-direction.co.uk novel series which she has dedicated to her son in heaven. A tireless champion of small businesses and other authors, Ces has won several awards for supportive innovation and dedicates time every week to promoting others online. In a unique twist, her debut paranormal romance novel The Light Direction – Reach For Your Light features real small businesses and talented creatives.

Featured Author on Tornado Giveaway – Devika Fernando

6th July, 2014

 

Devika Fernando is the 6th Author in the Tornado Giveaway.She has decided to give 10 copies of her book to 10 lucky winners. To enter the Giveaway, see the bottom of this post. To see all the books that are part of the Tornado Giveaway – Click Here

 

 

 

 

WHAT IS THIS STORY ALL ABOUT ?

 

Click here

 

 

Cathy has had enough. Having run away from her abusive husband, she tries to pick up the broken pieces of her life in a remote village, focusing on her dream to start her own cake business. Finding true love is the last thing on her mind. When she comes face to face with a man who looks exactly like the one she is struggling to forget, life throws the biggest challenge yet at her: Should she give in to his charm and care or is history going to repeat itself?

 

 

 

 

 

 

GET TO KNOW HER 

 

Almost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a German web content writer and as a translator. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing.

 

 

To know more about her: Blog | Facebook | Goodreads

 

 

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Featured Author on Tornado Giveaway – Reet Singh

5th July, 2014

 

Reet Singh is the 5th Author in the Tornado Giveaway.She has decided to give 10 copies of her book to 10 lucky winners. To enter the Giveaway, see the bottom of this post. To see all the books that are part of the Tornado Giveaway – Click Here

 

 

WHAT IS THIS STORY ALL ABOUT ?

 

Click here

Convenient boyfriend, inconvenient attraction!

 

Mita Ramphul can’t face another family set-up with a ‘nice young man’. What she needs is to divert her family’s attention so introducing the devastatingly handsome Tanay Devkumar as her new boyfriend is a stroke of brilliance. Until Tanay’s scorching hot kisses threaten to shatter her plans for the perfect pretend date. 

 

He might drive her crazy, yet spending time with Tanay sparks a passion Mita never knew she had. It’s only meant to be temporary, but when Tanay looks at her with that smoldering fire in his ebony eyes Mita can’t help but surrender to the temptation of her fake boyfriend.

 

 

 

 

GET TO KNOW HER 

 

 

Reet has a romantic soul, partly genetic, but certainly attributable to the romantic fiction she devours by the kilo. When she’s not watching romcoms, or doing creative things with wool and a crochet hook, or playing Scrabble, she can be found in the kitchen putting together her ‘world-famous’ one-pot meals.

 

Married for three decades, her prototypical tall, handsome, and sensitive hero-husband still makes her heart skip a beat. Writing about love and happy endings feeds her romantic soul; hearing from her readers thrills her.

 

Having a mother that read to her, she paid it forward, telling bedtime stories to her sons and nieces until they grew too old too fast. As a reaction to them growing up before she knew what was happening, she began writing for older children, and has published children’s books on Amazon, for Kindle.

 

To know more about her:  Blog | Facebook | Goodreads

 

 

 

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Featured Author in Tornado Giveaway – Savannah Young for Wilde Riders

4th July, 2014

 

Savannah Young is our 4th Author in the Tornado GiveawayShe has decided to give 5 copies of her book to 5 lucky winners. To enter the Giveaway, see the bottom of this post. To see all the books that are part of the Tornado Giveaway – Click Here

 

 

WHAT IS THIS STORY ALL ABOUT ?

 

Click here

 

FOUR WILDE BROTHERSONE WILDE COUNTRY BAND

 

WILDE RIDERS is the first novel in a spicy new contemporary romance series about four sexy brothers, their small-town bar and their local country band. WILDE RIDERS can be read as a STAND ALONE NOVEL or as part of the SERIES.

Cooper Wilde spent his entire adolescence counting the days until he could escape rural northwest New Jersey. Now at 26, he can’t believe he’s coming back. But his late father’s bar, Haymakers, is in financial trouble and his older brother, Jake, has asked for Cooper’s help.

Riley Smith, 25, is fresh out of her Ivy League MBA program and wants to make an impression on her employer, H & C Bank. Her first solo assignment is a fraud investigation on a business loan they made to Haymakers.

Even though Old Town is less than 90 minutes from New York City, Riley feels like she’s stepped into another world in this remote, one-bar town. Riley can’t wait to do her business and get back to the city as quickly as her sports car will take heruntil she meets Cooper Wilde. He’s not like the other guys in this rural town and Riley feels inexplicably attracted to him.

 

 

 

GET TO KNOW HER 

 

 

Romance novelist Savannah Young grew up in rural northwest New Jersey in a place very similar to the fictional Old Town, which is featured in her books. When she’s not at her computer creating spicy stories, Savannah is traveling to exotic locales or spending time with her husband and their bloodhounds.

 

To know more about her: Blog | Facebook | Goodreads

 

 

 

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Featured Author – Sumeetha Manikandan with A Perfect Groom

3rd July 2014

 

Sumeetha Manikandan is our Third Giveaway Author.She has decided to give 10 copies of her book to 10 lucky winners. To enter the Giveaway, see the bottom of this post. To see all the books that are part of the Tornado Giveaway – Click Here

 

 

WHAT IS THIS STORY ALL ABOUT ?

 

Click Here

 

Very little has gone right in Nithya’s young life. So, when a proposal from a young, handsome NRI comes along, her mother jumps at the opportunity and packs her daughter off to the US with her perfect groom.

 

Nithya seems to have settled in with Ashok, ostensibly happy, if as yet childless, in her new life. When an old flame comes back into her life, however, the cracks in her perfect marriage begin to show…

 

 

 

 

 

 

GET TO KNOW HER 

 

 

Sumeetha Manikandan, a freelance content writer is an English literature graduate with a journalism and mass communication diploma. She lives in Chennai with her husband and daughter.

 

After a decade long career in dotcom industry, she started working as a content writer from home. She wrote her debut novel, ‘The Perfect Groom’ as a script for a serial, which she converted into a novella for Indireads.

 

To know more about her: Blog | Facebook | Goodreads

 

 

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