My love for Italian culture stemmed from reading plenty of fiction which was based in that country. This book is the epitome of my Italian fantasy. The story line is quite simple and doesn’t have much to go on so to say, but the narration and characterization is way too good.
Our protagonist Sophia succumbs to the sorrow of losing her parents. Having raised by a mother who loved the Italian culture, Sophia connects with her mother’s Italian muses and heads on a path of self-recovery. She goes to Italy to study art and connects with every important historical moment her mother had told her about when she grew up.
My want to visit that beautiful place filled with such rich history increased leaps and bounds after reading this book. The crux of the story is rather simple – a girl on a road to recovery with memories of her mother which intertwine with Italy’s rich history. The story contains major chunks of interesting history of Italy’s famous persona like actress Sophia Loren, Michelangelo, DaVinci, Garibaldi, Dante Alighieri and Casanova. Then there are the others whom I hadn’t know of – Marcello Mastroianni, Simonetta Vespucci, Eleonora De Medicim Lucrezia Borgia, Lorenzo de Medici, Filippo Brunelleschi and Giuletta Capuleti. The story itself is divided into 8 parts featuring various states of Sophia’s life featuring each of the above mentioned persona who help her out in times of trouble. It is apparent that the writer knows her history well and is familiar with even the most vivid detail of all the sights mentioned in the book. With such lush narration and vivid description, this book is dream come true for me. In fact, Sophia is such an inspiration for me to step up and work towards my dream of learning Italian and visiting the country. In spite of being so beautiful, the writer hasn’t described the real ugly face of the city. However, this can be overlooked. After all, some positivity doesn’t hurt.
The cover and the section covers deserve a special mention. While the cover it was just perfect, the short comment mentioned by another writer it spoiled it for me a bit. The section art work in black and white, with write ups, were brilliant. Given that this is an ebook, the writer had provided links for songs and other tidbits of information. I made a colossal mistake of reading this book on my kindle and couldn’t visit the links. Planning to re-read this book on my tab so that I can go check out all songs and other interesting information she has linked up.
MY SAY: One beautiful book.
About the book
Gabriel Valjan is back with another book featuring Bianca and Dante. Yet another book filled with dangerous drug dealers, corrupt agents, and scheming doctors. Having read the previous books in the series, I felt comfortable enough with the story. Though the book can be read as a standalone, I feel that it would be wise to read the entire series to understand each character well, which would eventually ensure that the reader is hooked to the story.
After the showdown in Naples, Bianca is on a time out with Dante. However, a call from an old friend leads her back to Boston. The team goes with her too. What follows is a Bianca traversing an intricate web woven with designer drugs, a talented hacker who goes by the name Magician, and of course, Bianca’s ex-employer Rendition.
Though this installment of the story is eerily similar to the other books in the series, in terms of character and plot development, there was one marked difference. This book showed the vulnerable side of all the characters in depth. That vulnerability set off the path for a different feel for the story. Bianca at one point seemed all strong and blasting off, but with Dante and Nick around she seems so vulnerable. The writer has established himself as a master story weaver. Just like his previous books, no heart pounding or smoldering hot scenes in this book. This book was like water bubbling away slowly to the boiling point and converting into steam slowly.
MY SAY: A perfect, well woven thriller.
About the book
NUMBER OF PAGES: 388
SERIES / STANDALONE: Roma Series #5
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy from iRead Book tours in exchange for an honest review.
“I Controlled, I manoeuvred
I turned reality into illusion
I morphed good into evil
I made rules for you to follow
I scripted your destiny
I defined you”
The book begins with a chilling poem about manipulation, control and power. The narration paces back and forth between timelines and that of various characters, but all roads points to one character, Aswin Jamwal, the protagonist of the story. An honest and simple IAS officer is forced to quit his job when he is cheated by local politicians of Rajasthan for playing his role sincerely. He joins politics and eventually climbs the ladder too quickly, making a lot of enemies in the process.
The story kicks off at an alarmingly fast pace and is laced with twists in regular intervals to keep the reader engaged. Somewhere midway amidst all the subplots which made sense eventually the pace of the story slackened only to pick up pace again towards the end. On the retrospect, it did look like the writer was in a bit of a dilemma as to how to pave way for the climax. The characterization was good in spite of common flaws. Few characters were sculpted to emote well, while the others were mere eye candy! One part of the story, where Aswin rises to immense power reminded me of our own Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. I’m not sure if the writer intended that, but to me it seems to have been inspired by our PM’s style of administration. Also, the climax part which essentially deals with human psychology eerily reminded me of the movie Anniyan where in one character arises out of the desperation of inaction by fair means. The similarity stops just with the conflict, the resolution to the conflict has been dealt differently when compared to that movie.
MY SAY: Perfect Political Thriller.
About the Book
NUMBER OF PAGES: 224
SERIES / STANDALONE: Standalone
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy as a part of Author’s paradise review program
“We shall overcome, we shall overcome,
We shall overcome someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We shall overcome someday.”
These lines remind me of my moral sciences classes in class 5 when we sung this song with all notes out of sync. Our teacher, who tried her best to make us all sing in tone, gave up at one point eventually. Nevertheless, it was so much fun. One character in the book kept up the self-motivation by singing these very lines. Thus the nostalgia!
Amar, Akbar, Antony – our three monkeys, aka the protagonists, are honest chartered accountants. They had passed their CA exams with much difficulty and eventually had set up their own practice. They struggle to find clients. They finally see the light in the end of the tunnel in the form of auditing for three clients. Slowly, the tunnel falls apart piece by piece and they are caught in a web of money laundering and other illegal activities.
It is apparent that the writer is a chartered accountant as he has perfectly illustrated the process of setting up an off shore account and a company to launder money. The title, the narration and general writing style implies that the humor is a stronghold for this writer. However, characterization and too many sub plots marred the joyous experience of reading a humorous story. There were simply too many characters and at one point I lost track of who was want and why they were there in the book. The sub plot involving secondary characters like Suma and Ruma were given way too much importance and veered off from the central story. At the outset, it seemed like the book really didn’t have a proper plot in place. In fact, there were times when the book reminded me of the famous song Bhaag DK bose form the movie Delhi Belly – Fast moving story sans an actual story! Nonetheless, the intended plot became after the cops got involved into the chase. The detailing could have used some good edits.
MY SAY: The book is worth a read for its humorous dialog and fantastic detailing on as to how to set up an off shore account and launder money.
Reading a work of historical fiction is joyous experience provided the story and the narration is perfect. The term ‘perfect’ though varies from person to person.
Gabrielle (Gabbi) is quintessential modern women in the age where women are branded only fit for child bearing. She aspires to become a painter and strives hard for it. Fate plays the villain in her life when a rich baron chooses her over her sister as his to be wife. She is utterly devastated and devises a scheme to flee to Paris from her hometown, Laval to find her grandmother and live with her. Fate plays villain and she fails to find her grandmother. What follows is the story of young girl’s fight to freedom.
The story was quite outstanding in many aspects. First, the narration was spot on. Old age Paris – the description of sights, the fashion and the culture seemed so realistic through the writer’s eyes. It is evident that the writer has done a fair bit of research. Given that gender of the writer, it does seem easy to assume that she mustn’t have found it difficult to step into the shoes of Gabbi and elaborate her character. In contrary to popular belief, the times have changed. Women are allowed to vote and are way better off today than they were during the 1900s. Agreed we still have a long way to go, but imagining such oppression is quite a difficult task. Needless to say, the writer has executed that task with such perfection. Other primary and supporting characters were also etched out perfectly. The plot has enough twists to keep the reader engaged. Brownie points to the writer for describing Paris and its culture so vividly.
The cover art deserves a special mention. Its simply exquisite.
MY SAY: An Engaging read!
About the book
NUMBER OF PAGES: 254
To know more about the book, head to the spotlight post here!
Brenda Joyce Leahyon Tour October 17-21 with
The Art of Rebellion(YA historical) Release date: June 15, 2016 at Rebelight Publishing ISBN: 978-0994839985 252 pages Website Goodreads
Released June 15, 2016, by Rebelight Publishing, this beautifully written, lush piece drops you into tumultuous and breathtaking late 19th century Paris. Sixteen year old Gabrielle dreams of becoming an artist but her ambitious parents agree to an arranged marriage to an aging Baron. In protest, she runs away from her provincial home of Laval to Paris, the City of Light, intending to live with her grandmother and pursue her passion for art. Her bold plan disintegrates as she arrives in Paris to discover her grandmother has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Alone in the capital, Gabrielle wonders who to trust: her new artist friends or the handsome but irritating stranger she met on the train, who just might be stalking her. Gabrielle’s pride, ambition and impulsive nature thrust her into Paris’ underbelly of betrayal and abuse. Will she find the courage to begin a new life on her own terms?
The Art of Rebellion was on the Calgary Bestselling Fiction list in August 2016
ABOUT THE AUTHORBrenda Joyce Leahy loves historical fiction and thinks she was born a century too late but can’t imagine her life without computers or cell phones. So, perhaps, she arrived in the world at just the right moment to tell this story. She grew up on a farm near Taber, Alberta but now lives with her family near the Rocky Mountains in Calgary, Alberta. After over 20 years practising law, she has returned to her first love of writing fiction. She is a member of several writing organizations, including the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) The Art of Rebellion is also profiled on the Humber School of Writers’ website Brenda is also a member of the Historical Novel Society and leads a YA/MG writers’ critique group in Calgary. Visit Brenda’s website Follow her on Facebook | on Twitter Follow Rebelight Publishing on Twitter Buy the book: Amazon | Indigo | Barnes & Noble
CLICK ON THE BANNER TO READ REVIEWS AND A GUEST-POST
A romantic thriller with the backdrop of human trafficking should really make for an interesting read. Given that I had read Adite’s previous book, I quite knew what to expect as far as the romance part of the book is concerned. As a matter of fact, Adite’s previous books certainly qualify as being the perfect Indian Mills and Boons kind of books. Piqued by the curiosity of such a writer venturing into romance, I picked up the book.
Qiara, our protagonist, works for a Non-Profit organization which works for the welfare of underprivileged girls. The chief patron of her organization is wanted for money laundering. Eventually, their office is raided for abetting the laundering as the patron disappears and one of the girls funded by them disappears too. To save her mentor and the organization Qiara is forced to travel back to Delhi to get to the bottom of this and to find him. What follows is a harrowing tale of illegal adoptions.
The writing was spot on. Given that the writer has proved her mettle as far as romance is concerned, that part of the book was absolutely perfect. The thriller part of the book, for a seasoned thriller reader would be normal and nothing out of the box. Nevertheless, the plot was well paced and kept me engaged in spite of some predictable sequences. The characterization was done perfectly with each character being depicted in a realistic manner. I do have a couple of peeve points. The first being the characterization of negative characters – there is a bunch of them varying from pure evil to mildly bad. Their characters kind of lacked that punch packing motive. The second was the climax in itself, it was perfect and had a lot of potential to be made even more thrilling, but the writer chose to tone it down which took away that slam-bam effect a typical thriller would provide.
The cover certainly could have been better illustrated.
MY SAY: Perfect romantic suspense.
About the Book
NUMBER OF PAGES: 200
SERIES / STANDALONE: Standalone
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy from the publisher – Harlequin.
BOOK LINKS : Amazon
RELEASING ON THE 10TH OF OCTOBER
Knitted Tales: A Collection of Emotions
Every tale has a path to follow to reach its destination.. but it may not exactly be the one we should follow.
WHAT IS THE ANTHOLOGY ALL ABOUT?
What forces an innocent girl to become a sex symbol? Her desires? Or cruel fate?
Is a lifetime enough—for avenging a betrayal? How do you hide secrets that never stopped haunting you?
Can vengeance and secrets of your past devastate your present? How can long-buried crimes of yours suddenly raise their head? Can sinning be saving?
Is your spouse your soulmate? What if they never understood your feelings? Can you still live with them?
Lastly, does life give only two options? Live or die? What if there is a third?
In her debut anthology, Rubina Ramesh tries to find answers to these questions that are often from the heart and yet makes the mind ponder over the solution. Or is it the other way round? Either way, Knitted Tales is a bouquet of emotions that is bound to touch both your head and your heart.
WHAT INSPIRED ME TO WRITE THIS ANTHOLOGY...
Dear Friends and Aspiring Writers,
My journey as a writer started after I joined Wrimo India. It’s a group of aspiring authors where all members are challenged to write, by the NaNoWriMo ML for India region and the Founder/Admin of Wrimo India, Sonia Rao. Along with the other admins, Neel Ina and Dola Basu Singh, she made our lives pretty tough if we did not submit on time.
Our work was critiqued, broken to pieces and then mended again by all the Wrimo members. I laugh now, whenever I reminisce about those days. We writers are so passionate about our work that even a little bit of criticism makes us want to hide our baby. But in this group, we trained ourselves to accept all types of honest criticism. We sculpted our stories and life continued. This happened around 2 years ago.
Then, one fine day I found that I had gathered around 17 stories and forgotten all about them. As I dusted away the layers of neglect, I fell in love with my own stories. I am a narcissist. :) But then, all writers are, aren’t they? I do hope what I have written from my heart, touches you. Here are the stories of a writer who aspires to always write from her heart. With NaNoWriMo just around the corner, here’s raising a toast to inspiration!
Releasing on 10th of October 2016
Edited by Inderpreet Kaur Uppal
Proofread by Nikita Jhanglani
Cover Designed by Sachin Venkatesh
About Rubina Ramesh
Rubina Ramesh is an avid reader, writer, blogger, book reviewer and marketer. She is the founder of The Book Club, an online book publicity group. Her first literary work was published in her school magazine. It gave her immense pride to see her own name at the bottom of the article. She was about 8 years old at that time. She then went to complete her MBA and after her marriage to her childhood friend, her travel saga started. From The Netherlands to the British Isles she lived her life like an adventure. After a short stint in Malaysia, she finally settled down in the desert state of USA, Arizona. Living with her DH and two human kids and one doggie kid, Rubina has finally started living the life she had always dreamed about – that of a writer.
Her other published works include
'Home is where Love is’ a short story in the anthology Writings from the Heart. Ed. by Beth Ann Masarik.
‘You Stole My Heart’ and ‘Let me Go’. Short stories as a part of the anthology ‘Long and Short of It’ by Indireads.
'Wake Me Up' as a part of the anthology ‘Marijuana Diaries’ by Fablery Publishers.
You can stalk her @
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Glitter cover, interesting blurb and a story about a makeup artist – The book has “pick me up” written all over it. Misha, our protagonist, is a Make-up artist and has a penchant for picking up wrong guys. She is a proverbial blabber mouth and is fun to be around. She falls heads over heels for the smoldering hot jewelry business man Akshay. Things suddenly go for a toss when their families meet. Opposites attract, but can opposites live with each other?
This story was one fun and light hearted read, almost along the lines of a coming of age story. The story is realistic and captures the practical problems which arise when two people from different culture decide to get married. What would initially seem like a fairy tale would obviously morph into a nightmare when it comes to choice of habits. The writing was good enough for a book of this genre. The writer either knows a lot about make up or has done her research well as a lot of MAC products were mentioned in the book. For someone who knows nothing about makeup this irked me a bit. I do understand that the character is a makeup artist but then, I couldn’t help but feel a bit lost. The characterization was balanced and each character had the right depth. I felt there were too many secondary characters though.
MY SAY: Light hearted and fun read.
About the Book
NUMBER OF PAGES: 184
SERIES / STANDALONE: Standalone
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy from the writer via the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Grotesque cover, gory summary, what an enticing book I mused on before picking it up for review. Narrated in the form of diary entries, this story is about a mother and her fight to prove the innocence of one of her twin daughters. A mother always believes the best of her progeny. Joanne, the mother, is on a mission to prove the innocence of her twin daughters who have been accused of killing their own father in a gruesome matter. She strongly believes it was an accident but as enough evidence surfaces it is hard to be convinced. Moreover, it is difficult to identify the killer as they are twins.
I found initial few pages unsettling as the narration was a bit un-conventional with alternating view point and diary entries. For a seasoned thriller reader like me, this book was an absolute treat. The characterization was perfect and each character was well fleshed out. With a strong characterization I pretty much had an idea as to who might be the culprit. In spite of that, the story kept me tenterhooks. The writer skillfully tried to veer the readers away from the secret behind the trick. There is no such thing as coincidence when it comes to psychopaths at play. The writer exploited that fact to maximum. It was interesting to read about how psychopaths are built and how they go about destroying their lives and the lives of others piece by piece. The writing as such is perfect. My only qualm would be with the number of characters. At one point it became difficult to keep track.
MY SAY: Not for the faint hearted.
About the Book
NUMBER OF PAGES: 294
SERIES / STANDALONE: Standalone
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy as a part of iRead Book tours. Thank you :)
BOOK LINK : Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Friesen Press
About the Author
Award Winning Author, JW Lawson is already gaining recognition for her writing talents in the US and world-wide. The second of a trilogy of sensational thrillers,Mummy's Little Angel is the winner of the highly acclaimed Worlds Best Story competition and has also received some outstanding reviews from the professional team of judges in the competition. She is currently writing her third thriller, Crossroads which will be available in 2017 and the final book of the current series, Hush Little Baby will be available in 2018.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook