1. Congratulations on your book! A collection of short stories which primarily feature thread and the art of sewing – this is a rather abstract theme. Who or what inspired you to pick such a theme?
When people ask me why I chose sewing as a connecting ‘thread’ for my SEWING CAN BE DANGEROUS and how unusual that is for a theme, I laugh inwardly. Why? Because before I wrote my very first fictional story, coincidentally entitled, “Sewing Can Be Dangerous,” I had been a quilt designer/teacher for over twenty years. I was surrounded by quilts (my husband always claimed we were living in a ‘padded cell’), and my studio had boxes upon boxes of fabrics and wool (I also knitted scarves for Xmas gifts), homemade folk art angels coating the walls, and two sewing machines.
So, after writing that first story, although I realized I wanted to continue writing others to go with it, I also knew that collections often needed some sort of theme; hence the sewing/craft element.
2. You’ve dealt with various demons of society in your book, be it the Nazi themed story of the story dealing with slavery yet featuring sewing as a vital part. What prompted you to pick social issues?
Reading or watching movies/documentaries about heavy social issues has always interested me. Although I’ve been told I have a great sense of humor, love to toss out a good laugh (Just ask my family, friends, and students), and howl at a good comedy, when it comes to research and writing, I enjoy discovering events from the past, and the more potent they are, the better. These often sobering events not only resonate with me, they remind me of the phrase, ‘History tends to repeat itself.’ Therefore, once I knew I wanted to combine different stories involving the fiber arts, I did not want to turn the collection into cozy little lightweight sewing stories. Not this gal!
3. Your protagonists are primarily female. Isn’t that like stereotyping by associating females with the art of sewing?
You know, you’re right! OMG...I guess at the time I wrote these stories, I related more to females in history than males. However, in my novel UNEXPECTED GIFTS, which was written after the stories and involved a young woman reading her ancestors’ diaries in order to help her resolve some of her own life problems, there were several chapters expressed through a male’s point of view. I certainly enjoyed writing those as much as the chapters with the female narratives.
4. Tell us about your writing process.
As for conceiving a book/story idea, it’s a bit like, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” I can come up with an idea at the oddest times––driving (ssh! Don’t tell the traffic cops), watching a movie, reading an historical article, talking to someone, hearing a news blurb––and soon, it begins to fester. Or, I can read about a time period where one little fact sticks out like a sore thumb and catapults me into an entire story.
Then, being basically a planner, I feel the most comfortable coming up with a beginning and end as soon as possible. Once I do that, I actually can feel my body relax. Although that doesn’t always happen, until it does, my mind is on high alert looking for those two scenarios.
As for outlining, I’ll start with a vague outline. Then, as I obtain more details (scene ideas, actual page numbers from the research books I have highlighted, character motivations/development, and plots), I will furiously scribble about these things on bits of paper and stuff those notes in separate envelopes. Read-Scribble-Stuff, I call the process. And then, much like turning many blocks into a quilt, I start mapping out the chapters one by one, and taping down the bits of paper into a notebook to remind myself which way I am going. I take that process chapter by chapter, but never get too far ahead of myself. Do I always stick to my outline? Absolutely not! But the structure helps me think more clearly.
Then I usually write my scenes, one at a time, always in long hand first (like I am doing now), often sitting on the bed with my favorite cat squashed up against me, his head draped over my legs (like he is doing now!) I’ll then go to the computer and type that scene up, making small edits along the way. I print it out and edit. And edit, and well…edit.
5. Any pearls of wisdom for aspiring writers?
Being a fairly new writer myself––I mean, I didn’t even start writing until I was middle-aged––all I can say is I am still learning the writing process versus the promotional process and how balance is the key. Because I write a lot of historical fiction, I’ve also come to terms with my genre not being as popular as murder mysteries, vampires, or erotic romance, but I’ve decided to follow my heart and let the chips fall where they may…Who knows? Maybe I’ll write a modern day thriller in the future, but for now...
Now for some quick fire questions
1) Crochet or Entrelac?
My mom crocheted afgans, finished the embroidery projects I would always abandon, and knitted incredibly beautiful cable-knit Irish sweaters for all of us. Talk about influences! I myself like to crochet and knit, but Carpal Tunnel has limited those activities.
2) Given a chance to learn—Fencing or Tango dancing?
Can’t I do both?
3) Coffee or Rum?
Coffee. It gets me going first thing in the morning. If it were rum, I’d never get off of the couch!
4) One habit of yours that you always wanted to get rid of but haven’t yet.
Raiding the refrigerator whenever I’m frustrated with a scene or an Internet problem!
5) Tell me something the world doesn’t know about you yet.
Hmmmmm. Let’s see...well, having been trained as a classical singer, I decided to try my hand at singing pop/rock music to ‘loosen me up’. The year was 1979, Disco was King, and when I sang in small clubs, it was a true eye-opener. I found out that I didn’t want to hang out with the band members, who reveled in staying up all night jamming as they guzzled whisky. Nor did I enjoy coming home reeking of cigarette smoke. I ultimately learned I was a more private person who loved getting up early in the morning to jog along the beach; someone who was comforted by the little things I did in my home or with friends and family. HOWEVER, the best thing that came out of that experience was I met my husband at one of those clubs and I am still grateful for that…35 years later!!
Thanks Mallery for taking time out to answer my questions!
Check out the review of her book here
GENRE: Fiction Short Story Collection
NUMBER OF PAGES: 276
SERIES / STANDALONE: Standalone
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy as part of NjKinnyâs blog tours. Thanks a lot!
A short story collection centering sewing as the theme yet under the genres of romance, mystery, thriller and political events - this whole concept of simply unimaginable to me. Moreover, the title by it is rather intriguing â how on the earth can sewing be dangerous - Unless of course, the writer decided to refer some other activity metaphorically as sewing. The cover simply amplified my curiosity for it was a patchwork quilt of images. I really had to pick up this book.
Needless to say, the book really didnât disappoint me. All the eleven short stories were equally just brilliant. The writer, S R Mallery, has simply given the art of sewing a totally new dimension. Can you imagine a patchwork quilt serving as a map of codes for liberating Negro slaves? Can you even think of patchwork quilt being used to smuggle forged German passports for Jewish nationals? This writer did just that in her stories. Each and every story dealt with different types of characters ranging from a newlywed woman trying to make her husband happy to differently abled yet talented slave escaping from her masterâs clutches. Each and every story was of a different genre namely â paranormal, historical, political, romance, mystery. This made the book a complete package. Though the writer has used the most common historical scenarios like the Salem witch trial, The Holocaust, American Dark Age of Slavery, she has present all of them in an entirely different perspective. She simply integrated sewing with all the above historical events in a brilliant manner and the result â a never thought of short story!
The writing was crisp and perfect with adequate importance given to the history or the genre in question. The characterization obviously was spot on and very much apt for a short story collection. But the highlight of the book would be the emotions. I experienced all emotions that each character emoted in the story â be is happiness or a sense of determination or agony. This is the handwork of brilliant writing!
MY SAY: A Must read collection of short stories.
PLOT : 9/10
BOREDOM QUOTIENT: 0/10 (the lower the better and book wasnât one bit boring)
OVERALL RATING: 9/10
Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour of Sewing Can Be Dangerous And Other Small Threads by S.R Mallery. This is a collection of 11 short stories. Featuring stories from genres like mystery, history, romance and action, this anthology has been highly rated by readers all over the world and has 4.8 out of 5 rating on Goodreads.
And I am so excited to share this book on my blog today. Also, Sewing Can Be Dangerous And Other Small Threads by S.R Mallery is only 99c/Rs. 63 from a limited time!
~About the Book~
No. of Pages: 276
Publication Date: December 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction, Anthology, Short Stories, Romance, Mystery, Action
The eleven long short stories in "Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads" combine history, mystery, action and/or romance, and range from drug trafficking using Guatemalan hand-woven wallets, to an Antebellum U.S. slave using codes in her quilts as a message system to freedom; from an ex-journalist and her Hopi Indian maid solving a cold case together involving Katchina spirits, to a couple hiding Christian passports in a comforter in Nazi Germany; from a wedding quilt curse dating back to the Salem Witchcraft Trials, to a mystery involving a young seamstress in the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire; from a 1980âs Romeo and Juliet romance between a rising Wall Street financial âstarâ and an eclectic fiber artist, to a Haight-Asbury love affair between a professor and a beautiful macramÃ© artist gone horribly askew, just to name a few.
Grab the kindle/Nook book at just $0.99 or Rs. 63!
Amazon IN: Kindle Book
B&N: Nook Book
~Meet the Author~
Pinterest: (I have some good history boards that are getting a lot of attentionâhistory, vintage clothing, older films)
$25 Amazon Gift Card
Ends on 31st July
GENRE: Fiction - Romance
NUMBER OF PAGES: 259
SERIES / STANDALONE: Saltbox #1
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy as a part of Goddessfish promotions. Thanks guys!
I’m not exactly the sort of a person who ardently follows a reality show, but then this book looked that the type which would provide an insider insight of how those shows are conducted. This intrigued me a lot. After all, it is a common knowledge that reality shows aren’t as real as they are proclaimed to be!
Our protagonist, Monica is the associated producer for the “Finding Mr. Right” – the show to find the love of life for our lonely bachelorette, Ronnie. Paul Dewitt is a scriptwriter for this show but is pulled into participating as a contestant when one of the original contender flees. Sparks fly when Monica meets Paul and they eventually end up being dating. But then, does Ronnie find love just as the show promises? How do Monica and Paul end up together if Paul is contender for the show? Read the story to know that.
The book was a rather entertaining read. I expected espionage and heated drama between contestants as the blurb talked about the reality show. But hey, the story turned out to be even better! There was of course a lot of drama and some espionage which made the book a fast paced and pleasurable read. The book was filled with typical reality show type nasty characters, whirlwind romance and lot of temper tantrums making it a finely balanced read. The characterization was good, but I felt the writer was a bit partial towards Monica’s character while Paul’s character seemed a bit neglected. The writing was just perfect. There were few steamy romance scenes but that didn’t impact the overall feel good factor of the story.
MY SAY: Breezy light read. The perfect travel break read.
PLOT : 8/10
BOREDOM QUOTIENT: 2/10 (Lower the better)
OVERALL RATING: 7/10
AUTHOR LINKS: Goodreads
BOOK LINKS: Goodreads
Meg will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
GENRE: Fiction – YA Sci-Fi
NUMBER OF PAGES: 150
SERIES / STANDALONE: Guy Erma and The son of Empire #3
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy as a part of iRead Book Tours.
Exile is the third part in The Guy Erma and The Son of Empire series. The story is a perfect continuation of its preceding book – Hunter. In this installment Prince Theodor escapes from the crutches of his captor with the help of the domeside orphan and blade champion, Guy Erma. In the process of escaping, he unearths a secret destructive weapon smuggled and embedded into the dome to create mass destruction. For those who have read the first two books, the whole plot centering the secret weapon shouldn’t be difficult to follow as the very weapon is mentioned right in the first chapter of the first book. What follows is a political thriller and battle amongst alpha males, namely Chart Segat, Price Theodor and the Emperor.
In this book, Guy Erma tries to uncover the mystery surrounding his birth. Eventually he does, but what he discovers shakes his very foundation of beliefs. Amidst all this, Guy’s relationship with Prince Theodor dilly dallies between not trusting and being dedicated. Though in the end Prince Theodor and Guy Erma forge a beautiful friendship. It was typical of me to anticipate a “tech” filled ending, but surprisingly for a scientific fiction the book ended on the most humane note possible.
The writing in this book was akin to the previous book – simple and crisp ensuring that the readers aren’t bored. The story was fast paced and laced with adequate surprises ensuring that the readers were hooked. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the description of the Dome’s architecture and its associated tech features. All the three books had illustrations of various central characters and backgrounds, helping the readers visualize the story better. With a wee bit of tweaking of the story, this book series has an immense potential to be made into a movie.
MY SAY: A refreshing sci-fi series! Well conceptualized and executed perfectly!
PLOT : 9/10 (Just for that brilliant ending!)
BOREDOM QUOTIENT: 2/10 (Lower the better)
OVERALL RATING: 8/10
AUTHOR LINKS:Website, Facebook , Twitter, Pinterest
BOOK LINKS: Amazon, Goodreads
“To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting” said Edumund Burke, the Irish philosopher. It’s that time of the year to reflect upon the books that I’ve read so far in the year. It’s International Authors’ Day after all!
2015 began with a bang for me, both personally and professionally. I had set myself few goals when the year began. I’d prefer to call it goals for the term ‘resolution’ is has become synonymous with ‘disobedience’. My first goal was to attend a literary event. I have always wanted to discuss books with strangers. Though I’ve been doing that online, but then, nothing like an actual endless conversation about books! Thanks to my less hectic work life, I was able to attend The Hindu Lit for life, held in the month of January. I got meet a lot of like-minded people. In fact, I ended up having conversations on varied subjects with people from a variety of age group. I also got a wonderful opportunity to meet great literary figures like Elanor Cotton, Damon Galgut, Justice Leela Seth and others. Of course, I also got to meet two people, whom I’m I admire completely, writer Amish Tripathi and journalist Rajdeep Sardesai. To sum up, I managed to achieve Goal one completely!
My second goal was to revive my almost dying creative writing skills. I’ve been majorly writing book reviews (or Control Philosophies for work) for the past two years. Moreover, my friend from school, Dhivya at Readers’ Muse kept pushing me to start writing short stories so that we could publish a collection of short stories together. Thanks to her push (more of a shove maybe), I actually started writing creative pieces. That initial momentum as a result of her shove slowed down as I parted ways with her from Readers’ Muse. Encouragement from other friends of mine, made me pick up pace and resume writing again. As a result, I published my first official short story in my new blog. I’m presently working on another short story and hope to finish it soon. Thus, Goal two is complete!
My third goal was to read books by various writers. Being an obsessive and seasoned reader, I had tendencies to pick up books by established writers like John Grisham, James Patterson, Jeffery Archer and Jeffery Deaver only. Having read quite a bit of self-published books last year I realized that there are indeed many ‘unknown’ writers who churn out great books which sadly go unnoticed. I decided to experiment a bit more this year. So far, I’ve reviewed quite a bit of books by writers from various parts of the world in varied genres. Hence Goal three has progressed successfully so far!
I wouldn’t dream of even setting the above three goals if not for the encouragement, love and never ending support from few people. Thus begins my “thank you” list - First, to my parents, for inculcating reading habit and nurturing my writing habit. Next, to my teachers at school, I’d be lost without them. Third, to a long list of people most of whom I met ‘online’. As much cliché that sounds, they are the folks who supported me and continue to do so immaterial of where I blog. My heartfelt thanks to the following people – Marion Eaton, Sherrie Cronin, Laura Fabiani, Sage Adderly, Tia Sounders, Kolleen Kidd, Stephanie Collins,Rubina Ramesh, Sundari Venkatraman, Nikita Johri, Sumeetha Manikandan, Athil DeMarco, DDS, Naheed Hasan & Sarah (Indireads Publishing) , Megha Paramar (Fingerprint! publishing), Iti Khuranna (Harper Collins), Daniel Janik (Savant Publishing). I wish to thank all other writers and other book promoters who have considered me eligible to review their books and sent me their books.Last but not the least, my heartfelt thanks to DDS for starting this International Authors' Day blog hop.It has given me the perfect chance to thank people who really made me happy by writing great books! I hope to keep reading and writing!
Now for the exciting part of the IAD Blog hop - THE GIVEAWAY! Enter below to win a copy of Laura Fabiani's Daughter of Mine. My sincere thanks to Laura for agreeing to gift her book as a part of International Authors' day. If the below form doesn't load, click here.
Daughter of Mine by Laura Fabiani : The Blurb
Tiziana Manoretti is an only child in her late twenties blessed with loving parents, a promising career, and a best friend who fiercely protects her. When her mother falls seriously ill and the relationship between her parents becomes suddenly strained, a carefully hidden family secret is revealed and Tiziana's seemingly idealistic world is turned upside down. After discovering she was born in a Naples orphanage and subsequently given up for adoption, Tiziana sets out for the small town of Gaeta in an attempt to find her birth parents. Meanwhile, her best friend Christopher is sending her mixed messages, causing her to wonder if there is more to their relationship than just companionship. As she becomes intertwined with a handful of interesting characters who help her uncover her past, Tiziana needs to decide whether her feelings for Christopher are deeper than she realizes. She discovers herself and others all while her family's resilience and love for one another is tested when confronted with a shocking truth. The answers lie in a box found in a closet in Italy, and Tiziana must determine if she wants to embrace the heartache and the pain from her past in order to learn forgiveness and find peace in the future.
GENRE: Fiction - Romance
NUMBER OF PAGES: 94
FORMAT: Digital - PDF
SERIES / STANDALONE: Standalone
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy from Indireads, the publishers in exchange for an honest review. Thank you ladies!
Love’s labor is tale about the quintessential situation a girl in our society faces when she falls in love with a man from other caste or culture. Our protagonist, Piali has run away from the iron hold of two stubborn men, her father and the love of her life. Her father, like every other typical parent refuses to accept Piali’s choice of man, Sathya as he is from a different caste. Sathya does everything he possibly can to prove that he is a perfect match for Piali but in vain. He eventually takes a decision to elope and marry Piali. Piali doesn’t really favor this decision and chooses to wait till her parents come around. She escapes to Mussorie and joins a residential school as a teacher. Eventually Satya finds her. What follows is Piali’s labor for love.
The story is akin to something that one might actually witness in our country. The writer, Andy Paula, has impeccably utilized a fact that our society still continues to frown upon inter-cultural marriages. She deserves to be appreciated for not forcing the protagonist, Piali to make a drastic choice between her father and the man she loves. That would have been a stereotypical Bollywood-ish cliché. In fact, that very part of the story where Piali runs away speaks volume about the characterization. Needless to mention, the characterization was realistic and perfect. The story line over all was good, though I felt the climax could have been tuned out a bit for I felt it was a bit abrupt. The writing was compelling and crisp with all the characters emoting perfectly to the dot.
In short the book was a well narrated, realistic story of choices, heart break and societal stereotypes.
MY SAY: A compelling read in spite an abrupt ending. Perfect read for that bored flight travel.
PLOT : 7/10
BOREDOM QUOTIENT: 3/10 (Lower the better)
OVERALL RATING: 8/10
AUTHOR LINKS: Goodreads, Website
BOOK LINKS: Goodreads, Amazon, Indireads
Contemporary Romance / Romantic Comedy
Date Published: 5/17/2012
They say life gets more interesting after 40. Chloe sure hopes so.
Freshly divorced at 40, Chloe has few illusions left about her ability to make any of her dreams come true. She is never going to be thin, never going to be a famous singer, and obviously never going to be sexy enough to keep a man like her handsome ex-football player husband from cheating. Thank heavens she at least has great friends.
Celebrating her return to Cali with a long weekend at the 5-star Blue Skies Hotel and Spa with them seems like just the thing she needs to jump start her “do over” post-divorce life. How much Chloe ends up liking sexy owner, 45 yr old Jasper Wade, is a surprise though. So is the way Jasper's unrestrained kisses send lust and renewed hope singing through her.
Chloe had laughed so much in the last hour that her face hurt. And several mai tais had put a humorous haze over pretty much everything.
“Emma, those quizzes are all going to say that I can’t get a guy because I have some sense of decorum about not groping a guy’s crotch in public. Do women in their twenties actually follow that advice?” Chloe demanded.
“Yes,” Emma said firmly. “And I think they have a lot of sex.”
“But do they ever find a genuine love-that-lasts kind of relationship?” Taylor asked, trying to sound wise.
Emma scrunched up her face. “Well, two of them found mine and Chloe’s husbands, so I think the answer is yes in some cases. Of course, this is assuming they actually love our ex-husbands and vice versa.”
Chloe snorted. “Well, I say good luck to them for trying. My ex’s new woman better stay skinny for the rest of her life.”
They laughed again and took another sip of their drinks.
“Okay—okay,” Emma said more soberly, “one more question and I’ll quit.” She paused until she knew Chloe and Taylor were paying close attention.
“You and your best friend are having lunch. She tells you there’s a hot guy checking out your breasts,” Emma said seriously. “What do you say in reply? Taylor—you go first.”
Taylor laughed, the drinks having worked their magic on her by loosening her tongue. “Well, I would dip into the sarcasm I hold back just for these special situations. I would say ‘Sure, him and every other guy’ in my best, most confident voice. Then I’d do this.”
Lifting her small breasts in her hands like an offering to the gods, Taylor pursed her lips in a smooch, and leaned over the table to her friends. They laughed so hard and so loudly that all the people in the pool starting leaving.
“Just like the old days,” Taylor said. “We’re clearing the area.”
“Okay Chloe—what would you say?” Emma said, swinging an innocent gaze in her direction.
“If the man is checking out my breasts, it’s because he’s not used to seeing so much untanned flesh in the state of California,” Chloe declared, laughing and holding the edges of her lapels open as wide as she could to peer into her dress. “Look—the girls and I haven’t seen sunlight in five years. It will take me months to tan all this.”
They all looked at Chloe’s large and very white breasts, giggling without denying her statement. It was the truth after all.
“Maybe you can start with one of those self-tanners or a bronzer. You have to work your way up to a real tan again,” Emma said with a laugh.
“Emma—that question didn’t sound like the other quiz questions,” Taylor commented, looking at her not-so-innocent friend who was giggling softly and looking guilty.
“Okay—fine. It wasn’t a real question on the quiz. There’s a good-looking guy in the dining room who has been admiring Chloe’s cleavage since we sat down to have lunch,” Emma said, laughing. “I think she should practice her subtlety theory on him.”
“Well I’m certainly in the mood to practice after three mai tais. Show him to me,” Chloe demanded on a tipsy laugh.
Emma’s eyes grew larger as she giggled and whispered. “Okay I will, but just don’t turn around. He’s headed to our table. Just smile at Taylor and pretend to be fascinating.”
Chloe’s eyes widened as she heard the deep voice at her side.
“Good day, ladies. I’m Jasper Wade, hotel manager. I hope you’re enjoying your stay. If you need anything while you’re here, please let me know,” he said gallantly, his gaze taking in all of them before coming back to Chloe and her breasts.
Chloe, full of mai tai and happy laughter, turned her head and smiled into his very nice face, sighing with ego happiness as she watched Jasper Wade’s gaze straining to stay away from her cleavage. The day was certainly turning out to be a very nice way to celebrate her return to California.
“Well, aren’t you sweet, Mr. Wade? I was just going to look for the ladies room,” she said, laughing. “Can you point me in the right direction?”
“It’s in the hallway just outside the dining area. If you like, I’d be happy to show you,” Jasper said, his heart beating rapidly as she rose slowly to her full height.
Jasper couldn’t remember the last time he had been so excited by a woman he didn’t even know. She was tall, smiling, and quite an alluring woman altogether. It was all he could do not to reach out and put his hands on her to assure himself she was real.
Chloe purposely stayed bent over the table until the last minute, and then straightened slowly, her breasts following her slow moments. “Sorry. I seem to be a bit tipsy. Too many mai tais.”
“Lovely way to enjoy a sunny afternoon by the pool,” Jasper said with a smile, placing a solicitous hand on her arm, or at least he hoped it was coming off that way.
Chloe took two steps and stumbled slightly, forcing Jasper to catch her, which momentarily squashed her ample cleavage against the front of him. “Oops—sorry.”
She watched his eyes darken and had to restrain the giggle fighting to be set loose. Behind her, Chloe could hear Emma and Taylor’s in-drawn breaths at her boldness.
Turning innocently to look at them, she had to fight laughter at their obvious surprise. She didn’t need a damn quiz to tell her how to interest a man. She just needed the good-looking motivation currently with his hands on her. It was the most wickedly confident thought she’d had in years, and it brought an equally wicked smile to her face.
“I’m fine girls, but I guess I need to walk off a little of the buzz. Don’t worry. Mr. Wade seems quite dependable. I’m sure he won’t let me fall,” Chloe said, winking at their wide-eyed expressions.
Chloe turned back slowly, brushing her breast lightly across his sleeve as she put her arm through Jasper Wade’s. He inhaled sharply at the contact, but Chloe pretended not to notice or hear, though of course she had. It was all she could do to bite back a sigh of happiness. “Sorry again. Can’t believe I’m so tipsy. Thank you for helping me, Mr. Wade. You really do have a nice hotel.”
“Really?” Jasper asked, his voice breaking on the word so he cleared it. “Sorry. I mean—thank you.”
About the Author
Donna McDonald is an active dreamer and finds writing to be the best way to use her creativity. Needing to satisfy both sides of her brain, she is a cross-genre author of contemporary, fantasy, and paranormal romances. Her books appear on bestseller lists for humor, romantic comedy, space opera, and more. She craves laughter from her readers and focuses her attention on making that happen as often as possible. She loves to hear from anyone who has read her books.
2 Signed Print copies (US ONLY)
GENRE: Fiction – Sci-Fi
NUMBER OF PAGES: 162
SERIES / STANDALONE: Guy Erma and the son of Empire #2
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy as a part of iRead book tours.
This second book picks off from the first book, wherein Prince Theodor was kidnapped. In this book, the kidnapped prince tries to escape from his captors and his mother resorts to all possible measures to retrieve her son. His mother Regent Sayginn turns to Karl Valvanchi to help find his son. Thus, Karl Valanchi’s story is narrated in depth. The other highlight of this part of the story would be that of Guy Erma’s storyline – the story of the underdog who seems determined in getting into dome elite.
This book is a bit racier when compared to the first book due to a lot of action sequences. The first book focused on the politics of the Empire, giving the readers an idea of the key characters and their impact on the story line. This book on the other hand, focusses more on the actual story progression. There is an elaborate chase and escape sequence revolving around prince Theodor. The first book was an absolute cliff hanger. This book on the other hand surpassed the first book when it came to climax. Sally left me high and dry, prompting me to pick up the next book without a delay. Some un-answered questions from the first book are given a much needed explanation but still, the story feels a bit incomplete. Hopefully the next and the final book will answer my questions and give me a sense of closure.
The writing in this book is a bit more compelling when compared to the previous book. Some parts of the story, especially the part where Regent Sayginn choose to race herself instead of letting the trainer, was thoroughly enjoyable to read. The final chapter where Guy Erma and Prince Theodor enter is a combat takes the cake! This book also provides a diligent insight into the characters and their thought process thus giving a much needed finesse to the characters. Almost all the characters are given equal space and importance so much that the emphasis on the protagonist is reduced. Nevertheless, this book proved to be a page turner.
MY SAY: Perfectly written Sci-Fi read - a complete page turner! Much appreciable when read as a series.
PLOT : 8/10
BOREDOM QUOTIENT: 3/10(Lower the better)
OVERALL RATING: 8/10
AUTHOR LINKS: Website
BOOK LINKS:Amazon, Goodreads
NOTE : YOU CAN READ THE REVIEW OF THE FIRST BOOK - KIDNAP HERE
GENRE: Fiction – Romance
NUMBER OF PAGES: 165
SERIES / STANDALONE: Series of books (3 stories)
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy from The Book Club Tours
Mr.Imperfect series by writer Aditi Chopra is a series of 3 stories about the lives of 3 people who eventually end up being friends. As the title of the series suggests, the male protagonists in each of they story are imperfect in one or the other way, yet they are essentially the sort of men who would make perfect life partner. Aditi has beautifully emphasized and brought out the fact that love is all about accepting people with their imperfections.
The first story, House of Love is about real estate agent Nikki, a real estate agent who has been adhering well to her never date a client rule until she meets Karan in the most funnily weird circumstance. This story is a really simple tale of love and misunderstanding. One of the most common circumstance in any realistic story narrated in a simple and neat manner. Nikki's character face the most common struggle a woman faces - the need for recognition.
The second story has a very Indian touch to it. Sonali, a simple girl from small town girl marries a reluctant NRI from Texas, Ishan. When she finally lands in Texas, she has trouble adjusting given that Ishan isn't really helpful initially. This story again paints a very realistic picture with the most optimistic and happiest ending.
The third story, Love Tango is my personal favorite. Maya is sensuous dance instructor who fills up for an absentee regular dancer in Tahir's restaurant. Sparks fly instantly between them and they end up dating. Tahir's almost non-existent creative inspiration ticks as soon as he meets Maya and he ends up writing a book that he always wanted to. That very book almost endangers their relationship yet they survive that storm.
The story line in general was well thought of with enough pace to keep the readers hooked. All the three stories have that feel good factor that made it a pleasurable and enjoyable read. Though I enjoyed the quintessential happy ending in all the three stories, at the end of third story that feeling became a wee bit too much. The characterization was perfect enough for a romance tale.
MY SAY: A feel good fast paced and interesting romance read.
BOREDOM QUOTIENT: 2/10 (Lower the better)
OVERALL RATING: 7/10
AUTHOR LINKS: Blog, Facebook
BOOK LINKS: Amazon.com |Amazon.in | Amazon.co.uk
GENRE: Fiction – Young Adult Sci-fi
NUMBER OF PAGES: 186
SERIES / STANDALONE: Guy Erma and the son of Empire #1
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy as a part of iRead book tours
My taste for scientific fiction declined thanks a lot of writers who went on a stereotyping spree there by producing a lot of similar books with more or less the same elements. After all fiction is a product of a man’s imagination but stereotyping that is akin to obstructing creativity. This writer, Sally Ann Melia thankfully broke all stereotypes by narrating a tale which is set in an advanced generation long ago but with the same human characteristics as the present world. Never did I regret picking up this book.
In this installment of the series, Sally narrates tales of two boys, one, a prince of the empire, Theodor and other, a reluctant model-aspiring fighter-bastard child, Guy Erma. Both the characters are similar yet have a paramount of difference between them. The narration is set in a faraway planet with astounding technological improvements like flying droids that act as cameras and flying disc which act as transport medium. Theodor ends up being kidnapped by people who don’t believe that the Dome (a part of the planet in which the narration is set) should be closed. His mother,Sayginn, embarks on a mission to find missing Theodor. The elaborate description of the Dome is a treat to read. The description was accompanied by beautiful sketches that re-affirmed by visual image from the description.
The story line as such doesn’t have any logical loopholes but sort of lacks explanation in certain parts. After all, this is the first book in the series and may be the writer has more to explain about in the other books. I found the starting of the book a bit uncomfortable and hazy to read for the story sort of began with a bang and a lot of technical terms. Thankfully, the writer added an appendix which made me comfortable therein after. I felt that the writer could have done way better in the characterization department. A couple of major characters (Sayginn and Guy Erma) were well developed with a lot of finesse while other major characters (Theo, Chart Segat) were a bit shallow. Again, I’m expecting to know more about these characters in subsequent books.
The writing needless to say was crisp and neat, conveying what exactly the writer probably envisaged to convey. One line of thinking that stood out was the underlying politics. The technology may have grown leaps and bounds in that planet, but the humans still remain the same with the same qualities of present. This whole mix of human politics and technological advancement made this book a fast paced and interesting read. I just had to pick up the next book! (Thankfully, I have all the three books! This is turning out to be one nail biting series where the readers can’t possibly wait for the next installment)
MY SAY: A fast paced and interesting scientific fiction that is worth a read!
PLOT : 8/10
BOREDOM QUOTIENT: 2/10 (The lower the better)
OVERALL RATING: 8/10
AUTHOR LINKS: Website
BOOK LINKS: Amazon, Goodreads