Friday, August 28, 2015

#211 : Hello, Agnieszka! by E.Journey : Review + GIVEAWAY!

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GENRE: Fiction - Romance

NUMBER OF PAGES: 275

FORMAT: Paperback

SERIES / STANDALONE: Between Two Worlds #2

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy as a part of iRead Book Tours. Thanks a lot guys.

REVIEW:

Having read the first book in the series, I was a bit skeptic and hesitant to read this book, as I found the first to be a bit jumpy for my taste. Elise’s story progressed way too fast for my taste. This book was one big surprise. Agnieszka’s story was so heart wrenchingly beautiful and narrated with so much depth that Elise’s story paled out in comparison. I don’t regret one bit reading this book!

In the second book the writer, Evy narrates the story of Elise’s mother – Agnieszka – a woman with enough courage to break through the societal stereotypes of the 70s. Lost dreams of being a pianist, heart break beyond control and parents who were too rigid – She handled it all and eventually lived through it. The choices that Agnes makes defines her life and leads to where she is now – a doting mother of three children who has managed to raise all of them with values and strength to handle even the toughest situation the life presents with.

Comparison between books in a series is inevitable. I really had a hard time believing that this very writer had written the previous book in the series. Agnes’s characterization had so much depth and her choices were well justified, while Elise’s (Agne’s daughter) character lacked that in the first book. But thankfully for me, the writer exactly gave that much needed depth for Elise’s character in the end of this book by comparing her mom with her. The writing was brilliant and perfect with all emotions being portrayed to dot. Being from a different era and a different geographical location, this story proved to be an interesting read as it was set in the 70s when USA apparently wasn’t as liberal as it is today. These stereotypes remind me of the very society that I live in today. Though I couldn’t exactly visualize the story I was able to associate with it.

MY SAY:  A soulfully beautifully read. Worth reading totally!

RATING:

PLOT: 8/10

CHARACTERISATION: 8/10

NARRATION:8/10

BOREDOM QUOTIENT: 1/10 (Lower the better)

OVERALL RATING: 8/10

AUTHOR LINKS: Website Twitter Facebook

BOOK LINKS:Amazon










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#210 : If I had a diary, what would a reader find? by SR Mallery : Guest Post

When I was a child, I had both a diary and a journal.  The diary was created at nine years old; it contained childish thoughts, feelings, and daily ramblings all about my friends, teachers, and a particular boy I had a major crush on at the time!

Three years later, I wrote in something akin to a journal, based on my family's summer vacation in England, Italy, and France.  Straightforward and relatively unemotional, it was filled with actual places we visited and what we did there. But I found out it served another function: years later when I reread my journal's entries out loud to my family, we all agreed that it was such a fun evening reentering all those interesting travel sites––a true memento.

These days, if I were to write a diary it would probably be a combination of the two earlier formats.  However, now being an author, there would also most probably be a lot more physical descriptions, details of my inner thoughts, observations, and ruminations. Furthermore, because of my professional calligraphy experience, there might even be some swirling letterforms surrounded by scribbled non sequiturs. My observations might be anything from watching my cat stretch out on his back, his legs and paws suspended up in the air as he sleeps to some inner thoughts of happiness, frustration, annoyance, or contentment.

Hey, I just realized something! If I added this new, extensive memoir into my life, when would I actually have time to write books, edit, read, promote, and be with my family and friends

To know more about this writer and her book, head out to this link 

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

#209 : Unexpected Gifts by SR Mallery : A spotlight + GIVEAWAY!









 Blog Tour Schedule + Giveaway: UNEXPECTED GIFTS by SR Mallery







Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour of Unexpected Gifts by S.R Mallery.  



"Unexpected Gifts" is the story of a confused college student who gains clarity in life when she begins to read the journals and diaries of her ancestors from America's past.



Checkout my post and enter the cool giveaway! :)







Follow the Tour to read Interviews, Excerpts, Reviews and Guest Posts. Checkout the schedule of the Tour: Click Here







~About the Book~











Title and Author: Unexpected Gifts by S.R Mallery
No. of Pages: 317
Publication Date: 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction


Blurb:

Can we learn from our ancestral past? Do our relatives’ behaviors help mold our own? 


In "Unexpected Gifts" that is precisely what happens to Sonia, a confused college student, heading for addictions and forever choosing the wrong man. Searching for answers, she begins to read her family’s diaries and journals from America’s past: the Vietnam War, Woodstock, and Timothy Leary era; Tupperware parties, McCarthyism, and Black Power; the Great Depression, dance marathons, and Eleanor Roosevelt; the immigrant experience and the Suffragists. Back and forth the book journeys, linking yesteryear with modern life until finally, by understanding her ancestors' hardships and faults, she gains enough clarity to make some right choices.



 Add to Goodreads: Unexpected Gifts by S.R Mallery











~HERE'S WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT UNEXPECTED GIFTS BY S. R. MALLERY~



“The author has a remarkable gift. The amazing ability not only to bring rich, historical events to life, but also the ability to perfectly blend different generations…”



“It simply is one of the best books I've ever read. I wish I could give it six stars!”



“I have never read a book that wasn’t a textbook that was able to successfully cover so many time frames in such little space, with the accuracy you really would expect from reading the journals of those who had actually lived in those times.”



“Colorful writing, recreation of periods that prove adept challenges for any films about the influences of the past being made, and all of this is written with such style that it often times is dazzling...”



“SR Mallery has created an important and impressive monument of a novel.”



“If only my history teacher would have taught history like Mallery has, enriching it with living, feeling people that the reader can equate to, I would have been a better student.”



“Long after the completion of the book, I missed the characters and the impact their stories made on me. This one really touched me deeply.”



“Beautifully and sensitively written, anyone who loves a good story interwoven with actual historical events will enjoy this very special novel.”



“A master storyteller has been at work, and this marvelous piece of writing is the result.”



“I'm in awe of how the author could write about the events so realistically, putting the reader firmly into different time periods in America's history.”



“… she blends the past and the present with a seamless texture that only a “true” storyteller can manage.”



“This is a book you can keep on your shelf to read over and over…”







~Buying Links~







Grab the book for just 99c or Rs 61 on Amazon and Kobo!


















~Meet the Author~









S.R. Mallery has worn various hats in her life. First, a classical/pop singer/composer, she moved on to the professional world of production art and calligraphy.
Next came a long career as an award winning quilt artist/teacher and an ESL/Reading instructor. Her short stories have been published in descant 2008, Snowy Egret, Transcendent Visions, The Storyteller, and Down In the Dirt.






Website/Blog:  www.srmallery.com



Twitter:  @SarahMallery1







Goodreads:





Pinterest:  (I have some good history boards that are getting a lot of attention—history, vintage clothing, older films)








~Giveaway~



Prize: 10 Ebooks of Unexpected Gifts by SR Mallery
Ends 13th September
Open Worldwide.


Open only to those who can legally enter and receive the prize. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded.No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Nikita (Njkinny) from Njkinny Tours & Promotions and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.












~Organized by~









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#208 : Inside A String by Tom McLear: Book Blitz












Poetry / Short Stories / Essays



Date Published: June 2014





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Inside a String is a collection of Poems, Essays, and Lyrics of one man's take on the human element of America from the Beat movement of the 50's to the Counter Culture of the 60's thru the 'X' and 'I' generations, “Delivered in Spoken Word, Prose and Transcendental and Spiritual Abstract.”







MacLear, along with his singing partner, Heather Waters won Best Country Song 2014 by the Hollywood Music In Media Awards for last summer’s U.S. Country Radio Favorite: ‘SOMEDAY.’










EXCERPT





Mediterranean Calls



Yellow_ teasing_



broken_ alabaster_



Basted blue in a closed pewter pot



Cut the hands of the blade



pour slow the anger



And mind the pages when they’re hot



Slow_ are the mindless minutes after the



‘sorrow’s flight’



…The light’s fine in here, so’s the beer



Yesterday is just a melted muse of lectures_



leering at the multitudes_



_draped ‘long side an overcoat



she wore in another time























About the Author








Award winning songwriter, producer, entertainer and poet Tom MacLear has captured a span of life from the east to the west in his new book, Inside a String. Those familiar with Hemingway, Kerouac, Ferlinghetti, Dylan and Ginsberg will enjoy the “Beat” flavor of the poetry in this book as well as some of the more simple, straightforward attacks on our hearts and our senses. These poems speak to the reader and take us on that wonderful journey from the depths of city life in NYC to the beautiful coastlines of California and everywhere in between, wherever our minds choose to travel as we take a magical ride with poet, Tom MacLear.








Contact Links





























Purchase Links

























GIVEAWAY





$5 Amazon Gift Card


















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#207 : The Madras Affair by Sundari Venkatraman : Review

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GENRE: Fiction – Romance

NUMBER OF PAGES: 288

FORMAT: Digital

SERIES / STANDALONE: Standalone

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy from the writer in exchange of an honest review. Thanks a lot Sundari!

REVIEW:

There are hardly few fiction books that have a story line set in my city – Chennai/Madras. Most of such books seem to have stereotyped the culture in one way or the other.  To me, the city in which the story plays an integral part in setting the tone of the story. The culture of the city when reflected properly makes the story realistic. Thus I was intrigued by what Sundari had to tell about my city. She didn’t disappointment me one bit. The Madras Affair turned out to be a pleasurable and a positive read.

Gautam falls head over heels in love with Sangita when he first meets her in the hospital. Sangita has her own baggage which she has to get rid of to accept Gautam into her life. Shackled by parents who believe in typical orthodox and out dated customs, Sangita finds it extremely difficult to move on from her tormenting past.

The writer Sundari, got all tiny details about my city and its culture totally right and I’m eternally grateful to her for not stereotyping Madras as a city which still lives in the past. She has beautifully shown the progressive mind set of the people on sensitive issues like marital rape and widow re-marriage. While one set of characters don’t even acknowledge marital rape as buse, the other set – mainly the protagonist Gautam, is so progressive and supportive of Sangita’s predicament. The way that the writer, Sundari has woven such high octane topics into a romantic story is simply brilliant. The romance between Gautam and Sangita is frustratingly slow, but that has its own charm and I felt it was very apt for this book. Needless to say, the writing was perfect and the characterization was bang on making the book a very pleasurable read. I drooled over Gautam and had to keep reminding myself that he is after all a fictional character. One more thing that the writer seems to have nailed are the emotions. Every character, be is the protagonists or the secondary characters, emoted so perfectly that I could actually emote with them. 

The cover deserves a special mention. Beautiful job with that!

MY SAY: A highly realistic read, sprinkled with sizzling chemistry and charming old world romance.

RATING:

PLOT : 8/10

NARRATION: 9/10

CHARACTERISATION: 8/10

BOREDOM QUOTIENT: 1/10 (Lower the better)

OVERALL RATING: 9/10

AUTHOR LINKS: 
Twitter: @sundarivenkat
Facebook: Sundari Venkatraman
FB page: AuthorSundariVenkatraman
FB page: Flaming Sun
LinkedIn: Sundari Venkatraman
Google: +SundariVenkatraman
Amazon Author Page: Sundari Venkatraman
GoodReads: Sundari Venkatraman

BOOK LINKS:
Amazon.com - 
http://www.amazon.com/dp/819299757X
Amazon.in - 
http://www.amazon.in/dp/819299757X



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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

#206 : Lola's Money by Rosanna Rae : Review

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GENRE: Fiction - Romantic

NUMBER OF PAGES: 264

FORMAT: Paperback

SERIES / STANDALONE: Standalone

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy as a part of iRead Book Tours. Thanks guys!

REVIEW:

Money and love is never a good combination in reality. But in the world of fiction they are the perfect fodder to weave out a thrilling tale. The writer Rosanna, delivered a decently fast paced book using that combination.

Lola French, a financial adviser by profession wins huge money in lottery. She ends up dumping her boyfriend and moving out to her mother’s place exactly on the day that the lottery was announced. Lola’s colleagues find out about her recent winnings and eventually begin to resent her new status. Things turn worse, when Lola turns down romantic advances from Tom, her colleague when asked her out right on the day that the news of Lola’s winning spreads. Lola ends up quitting her job and going on a cruise with her mom, thanks to her recent financial status. However the supposed to be pleasing cruise wreaks havoc in her life and she is forced to get back to Tom. He recent past though, threatens her relationship with him. Read the book to know more. *no spoilers*

The writer beautifully proved how too much money too suddenly can wreck your life. Money tends to amplify negative human traits such as ego and greed. The writer, Rosanna, made Lola the perfect example of this. But at the end of the day, money can’t really buy love. It can only buy momentary happiness which disappears when the money disappears – again, the writer has done a brilliant job of illustrating this. The writing is simple sans the typical clinches used when money is the subject. I felt Lola’s character was developed with care as the story line progressed. Of course, every character had its own flaw. One part of the story that I absolutely loved was when Lola’s mom landed on Lola’s ex-boy friend’s door demanding he returns all her daughter’s belonging. That incident speaks volumes about typical mom behavior. In spite of the story being not really fast paced I enjoyed reading it!

MY SAY: Interesting read brilliantly illustrates why too much money is never good.

RATING:

PLOT : 7/10

NARRATION: 8/10

CHARACTERISATION: 7/10

BOREDOM QUOTIENT: 3/10 (Lower the better)

OVERALL RATING: 7/10

AUTHOR LINKS: Website  ~   Facebook  ~  Twitter

BOOK LINKS:  Amazon


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