Monday, February 29, 2016

#302 : Turning to Stone (Roma Series Book #4) : Gabriel Valjan

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GENRE: Fiction - Thriller

NUMBER OF PAGES: 398

FORMAT: Digital

SERIES / STANDALONE: Roma Underground #4

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy as a part of Italy Book tours. Thanks guys.

REVIEW:

Yet another good thriller from this writer. Set in Naples, the story is majorly about the famous (or Infamous may be!) Italian mafia – Camorra.

With one of the prime characters going undercover, the readers are treated to the ruthlessness of the Mafia. That part of the story felt so realistic that at one point I felt that the writer must have either been a victim or must have had an Italian or simply must have done his research well. Finally we get to know the “face” behind bianca’s online friend Loki. That part of the story however wasn’t really up to my expectations and was bit of a drag.

The story provided a rather different insight about Italy as such. Reading about how the mafia actually impacts the lives of common people is a bit appalling and sad. Italy has forever been in my buck list of places to visit. Reading about the other side of the country gave me a different perspective.

Just like the previous books, the writer added that extra layer of characterization over the base character sketch that he had developed in the first book. The writer seems to be an expert in “group” characterization. As in each character seem to behave differently as an individual but differently as a group. This added a depth to the story. In short, the book was a fantastic read.

MY SAY: A well written thriller. 

RATING:

PLOT: 4/5

CHARACTERISATION: 4/5

NARRATION: 3/5

BOREDOM QUOTIENT: 1/5

OVERALL RATING: 4/5

AUTHOR LINKS: Website 


BOOK LINKS: Amazon

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Friday, February 26, 2016

#301 : Threading the Needle (Roma Series Book 3) by Gabriel Valjan : Review

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GENRE: Fiction - Thriller

NUMBER OF PAGES: 366

FORMAT: Digital

SERIES / STANDALONE: Roma Series Book #3

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy from the writer as a part of a book by iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. Thanks guys!

REVIEW:
Being the third book in the series, I had grown accustomed to the writer’s style and knew what to expect. Undoubtedly, the story exceeded my expectations again. This book was a bit different from the first two. The writer detailed Italy’s political history and its struggle with Mafia. I’ve always been enchanted by this country’s culture, reading about the politics and the mafia through this story was pretty insightful.

This part of the series follows Bianca’s “adventures” back in Italy. She is back with her “boyfriend” Dante. In this story though, Farrugia is the actual star. The story at one points turns all about him and his history with the Mafia. A college student is murdered during his meet with Bianca who seems to be investigating yet another financial scadal of sorts this time. Loki, her online friend warns her to stay away which obviously doesn’t obey. Things take a nasty turn when another murder happens, one that has a potential to end Farrugia’s career. What follows is a story of  Farrugia’s “Fate”.

With slick writing, this book was an interesting read. Politics and history are potentially snore worthy combination if not present properly. The writer surprised me by presenting both the subjects in an interesting manner. The historical and political part of Italian Mafia blended well with the story, making the story a over all well written read. Given that I’m already acquianted well with the characters, this book was a comfortable read for me. Yet, the writer did manage to surprise me by bringing out different shades in the core characters. For instance, Bianca seemed a bit edgy and has trust issues. It felt a bit comical when Farrugia takes up Yoga to relive his stress.

MY SAY: Yet another perfect thriller by this writer. Not surprising at all!
RATING:
PLOT: 4/5
CHARACTERISATION: 4/5
NARRATION: 4/5
BOREDOM QUOTIENT: 1/5 (Lower the better)
OVERALL RATING:4/5
AUTHOR LINKS: Website 
BOOK LINKS: Amazon

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

#300 : February Fiesta! Author spotlight + Giveaway - Hannah Fielding



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About the writer 




Hannah Fielding is an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: writing full time at her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breath-taking views of the Mediterranean. 

To date, Hannah has published four passionate, evocative novels: Burning Embers, a ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’, set in Kenya; the award-winning Echoes of Love, ‘an epic love story that is beautifully told’, set in Italy; and books 1 and 2 of the Andalusian Nights trilogy, set in sultry Spain, entitled Indiscretion and Masquerade. She is currently working on her fifth book, Legacy, which will publish this spring.


A glimpse of Indiscretion




As they approached the bridge, the chorus of voices became almost deafening, some shrill, others boisterous, punctuated by the shaky rattling of carts, the tintinnabulation of tram bells, the flat, repeated cries of street vendors. And over in the distance, on Seville’s waterfront, the dismal shadow of the Golden Tower, the old prison watchtower of the Guadalquivir, rose like some baleful omen of misfortune, casting its fiery reflection on the shimmering surface of the river in the light of the setting sun.
Alexandra stepped off the pavement and looked up at the tower, drawn by its threatening beauty. Suddenly a horn blared. She turned her head to see a moped speeding towards her. Frozen, she stared horrified at the oncoming bike. The next moment she felt strong arms around her waist, lifting her up and jerking her back to safety.
Salvador caught her as she stumbled against him, her hands gripping his muscled arms to steady herself. Salvador’s embrace tightened, straining her to him. Her heart was hammering with almost suffocating unevenness. Trembling as much by sudden conflicting thoughts as by her stumbling, she lifted her face to say something and found herself looking directly into Salvador’s intense silvery gaze, so close to her own. There was a question in their depths that she didn’t understand – that she didn’t want to understand – but before she could be sure of his meaning, he curved his hand around her cheek, tilted her chin up and his head lowered to find her mouth. Alexandra closed her eyes, welcoming the shudder of electricity that shook her as their lips touched.


Check out my take on thisbook here. 



Also, read my review of her other book - burning embers here 





Watch out for the review of her latest book - Masquerade coming soon!

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#299 : An Autograph for Anjali by Sundari Venkatraman : Cover Reveal










Releasing on March 7, 2016







Cover Reveal:







AN AUTOGRAPH FOR ANJALI







#AAFA : a Romantic Suspense







by 







Sundari Venkatraman







Sneak Peek







     Jayant Mathur is found murdered in his bed, shot at point-blank range with his own revolver. Though she’s extremely disturbed by his death, Jayant’s wife Anjali is way more upset about something else. Who stands to gain by killing the multi-millionaire businessman?




     Parth Bhardwaj is a friend and neighbour of the Mathurs. Parth is an author who goes by a pseudonym. He appears more than a friend to Anjali; while he’s also on good terms with her son Arjun who lives and studies in the UK. What role does he play in Anjali’s life? Jayant’s relatives are curious to know.




     Jayant’s brother-in-law Rana is convinced that Parth and Anjali are the murderers. But Inspector Phadke has his own doubts about this theory. In comes Samrat, the private detective who appears as quiet as a mouse. Will he be able to find the murderer?




     Will Anjali find happiness and peace? 












About the author















An Autograph For Anjali is the sixth book authored by Sundari Venkatraman. This book is a romantic suspense. Other published novels by the author are The Malhotra Bride, Meghna, The Runaway Bridegroom and The Madras Affair – all romances. She has also published a collection of romantic short stories called Matches Made In Heaven. All of Sundari Venkatraman's books have been on Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers in India, USA, UK & Australia, many times over. 







Sundari Venkatraman would love to hear from you @














Other books by the author





























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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

#298 : I don't Wear Sunscreen by Kavipriya Moorthy : Review

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GENRE: Fiction

NUMBER OF PAGES: 101

FORMAT: Digital

SERIES / STANDALONE: Standalone

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: The writer, Kavipriya sent me a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Thank you :)

REVIEW:
The charm of a highly realistic story is simply unmatched. It is further amplified if it is set in your city and highlights your way of live. This story was just that for me. The blurb reminded me of a similar event that happened in my life. I was a bit apprehensive to actually read the book though I had accepted the review request. Revisiting sour memories knowingly isn’t particularly wise. I buckled up and picked the courage to read the book and I don’t really regret it now.

The story is about a simple middle class girl Laksha who aspires to become an architect. At one point, she has it all – good friends, a nice internship and the joy of witnessing her dream come true. All this collapses with just one experience – an experience she didn’t really sign up for. Would she survive it? Does she bounce back and lead a normal life again.

The story, as I mentioned earlier was very realistic. Often Indian writers end up contradicting themselves when the concept of middle class is involved – they portray things contradicting to the whole idea of middle class. This writer did no such thing thankfully. The part were two friends grow apart is just too realistic. This part of the story reminded me of my own. I expected a whole lot of drama laden with heavy emotions. Thankfully again, the writer kept it all balanced and perfect enough for the story.  The characterization was perfect to dot.

All said, the language was a bit too simple. It seemed more like a transcript of daily conversation. I get that this sort of language is the latest fad of sorts, but for me a book should have that sophisticated language, simple yet sophisticated would work.

MY SAY: An impressive story with realistic characters.

RATING:
PLOT: 4/5
CHARACTERISATION: 3/5
NARRATION: 3/5
BOREDOM QUOTIENT: 1/5 (lower the better)
OVERALL RATING: 3/5
AUTHOR LINKS: Goodreads 
BOOK LINKS: Goodreads

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

#297 : Something in the Water, An Ocean Romance by Ben Starling : Review

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GENRE: Fiction

NUMBER OF PAGES: 395

FORMAT: Digital

SERIES / STANDALONE: Something Series #2

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy from the writer, Ben Starling in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

REVIEW:

A journalist on a remote island profiling a powerful businessman – a potentially heady combination for a thriller – this story was nothing short of a perfect thriller.

Our protagonist, Teal, is forced to take up an obscure assignment on a remote island to save her job. Her task – to profile a businessman involved in the fisheries business in the main island. Her ‘assignment’ takes a turn when corporate criminals invade the island plotting to destroy flora and fauna by carrying out ‘activities’ which are disastrous. Along with the help of boxer turned marine biologist and other locals, she ends up investigating them. Her investigation comes with a price; would she be able to pray that price?

The story was simply good, merging two worlds seamlessly into one – the modern world with its devil ways and the ancient world which care even for about the animals. The characterization was pretty good and most of characters emoted perfectly adding layers to the story. The ‘character’ of Solomon the ancient whale deserves a special mention. Giving a human being a character sketch by itself is a complex job, with animals the level of difficulty just increases. The writer has done a stellar job in giving the whale a much convincing character. Though the whale did remind me of Flipper – the dolphin from 90s Cartoon network serial, this character stood out. The writing was well balanced and perfect. The story kept me absolutely hooked. My only complaint would be the ending. I felt the writer was in a great hurry and dilemma to finish off the story.

MY SAY: An interesting read.

RATING:

PLOT: 4/5

CHARACTERISATION: 4/5

NARRATION: 4/5

BOREDOM QUOTIENT : 1/5 (Lower the better)

OVERALL RATING: 4/5




Check more about the book and the writer in the spotlight post here

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#296 : DEFIANT DREAMS - Tales of Everyday Divas : Spotlight





DEFIANT DREAMS



Tales of Everyday Divas







EDITORS



RHITI BOSE





LOPAMUDRA BANERJEE


















PUBLISHED BY: Readomania







The Stories in the Anthology are...







1. Built From The Ashes – Radhika Maira Tabrez – Life brings widowed Nikita at the doorsteps of her estranged in laws where she finds a new meaning to life.











2. It’s Not The End – Kirthi Jayakumar – A fresh start changes the foundation of what might have been the beginning of a bright future. But it’s not the end. 







3. She Chose To Live – Debosmita Nandy – She shines even when she is betrayed by love, uprooted from home and misunderstood by all.







4. Bidisha – Paulami DuttaGupta – Insurgency tore her life apart, will Bidisha be able to forget her past?











5. The Drug Addict – Santosh Bakaya – A 19 year old turns to drugs after her parents death in a Mine blast, this story shows how she turns over a new leaf.







6. Safe Passage – Sanghamitra Bose – She survives extreme betrayal and is determined not to let it happen again.







7. The Bride – Esha Chakraborty – ‘The Bride’ toasts to a new beginning!







8. Dear Rangama… –Sutapa Basu – An 18 year old bereft of family and friends, navigates her and her unborn child’s life defying all malignant forces. 







9. Unfound: Searching For Home – Vasudha Chandna Gulati – Can a child with two sets of parents still feel alone? It is Riddhi’s search for a place to belong.







10. The Journey of Two women – Deepti Menon – Two Divas on divergent paths dare to dream, defy the world and carveout their entwined destinies!











11. A Second Chance – Arpita Banerjee – A girl pays for her innocence once, but becomes strong enough to avenge a betrayal, second time around.







12. Dharmambhal – Bhuvaneswari Shivakumar Shankar – Can one ever recover from the trauma of domestic violence? A namesake finds courage from an inspirational story. 







13. The 40s – Ramaa Sonti – Story of a woman craving for love and attention, one who falters, yet takes the situation in her stride with the virtue of her wit and determination.







14. Amlanation – Anirban Nanda – An acid attack, a play of fate, the emotional trauma of both the attacker and the victim. 







15. Please Leave Your Sex Outside – Aashisha Chakraborty – What made a woman a top automobile entrepreneur of the country?







16. Tara – Geeta Negi – A simple girl from a remote hilly village discovers her womanhood while standing firmly against patriarchy.











17. Anjali Chakraborty – Tanushree Ghosh Dhall – A woman who is neither a mother nor a wife epitomises love, sacrifice and support. 







18. Yamuna Maa’s Hand – Mahesh Sowani – Two patrons, one rich another poor, use their funds to support poor women to be independent. 







19. Once, For a Change – Moinak Dutta – A fashion designer proves her mettle by taking up a challenge. 







20. Pregnant Dreams –Sridevi Datta – A woman’s dreams and desires faces trials in the real world.











21. Second Innings of Ma – Namrata Chauhan – An exceptional bond between a mother in law and a daughter in law, proving women are soft but never weak.







22. Here I Come Benaras – Avanti Sopory – Is marriage the only identity of a woman? A widow in Banaras finds her identity amidst strangers.







23. To Be Or Not To Be – Paromita Mukherjee Ojha – An act of crime, a betrayal rips her life apart, now she must rise up to the test and face the realities of life. 









24. Some Porridge and an Education – Sreesha Divakaran  – Shanta leaves behind her village and her drunken husband to earn a livelihood for herself and provide education for her son.







Grab Your Copy @













Meet The Editors 

Rhiti Bose 








Rhiti Bose is a writer/blogger/reviewer who is also the founder and Chief Editor of the e-zine Incredible Women of India. She has a first class Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Madras. She has done her Teacher’s Training, PGCE from Manchester Metropolitan University, UK and holds a Child Psychology, Psychotherapy and Counselling Post-Graduate Diploma from The School of Natural Health and Science, London, UK. She has 6 years of experience in Education/Training. She has spent two years working with The Refugee Council, Sheffield, UK mentoring and counseling Bangladeshi and Liberian refugee children.







Her works have been published in Femina, feminafastfiction.com, learningandcreativity.com, redomania.com and she is also a part of short story collection, An Atlas of love, published by Rupa. Her poems are a part of poetry collections Kaafiyaana and Umbilical Chords: An Anthology on Parents Remembered.







When not reading, writing or curating stories for IWI, you can find Rhiti watching Bollywood masala movies, baking or playing with her children. She believes in kindness and love and hopes to spread the same through IWI. She currently resides in Bhubaneswar with her husband, daughter and son.

















   



Lopamudra Banerjee 


















Lopamudra Banerjee is a writer and translator, currently based in Dallas, USA. She has a Master’s degree in English with a thesis in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Her unpublished memoir Thwarted Escape has been First Place Category Winner at the Journey Awards 2014 hosted by Chanticleer Reviews. She is an editor of Learning and Creativity, an e-zine for the literary and creative souls.











Her poetry, stories and essays have appeared at many print and online literary journals and anthologies both in India and the US. Her poetry has recently appeared in The Significant Anthology, Umbilical Chords: An Anthology on Parents Remembered and Kaafiyana, published by Readomania. Her English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s novella The Broken Home is being serially published at Café Dissensus. She has received the Critics’ Award at Destiny Poets International Community of Poets, UK and also a Certificate of Merit as part of the Reuel International Prize 2015 for Writing and Literature. Her husband is an IT professional and they have two beautiful daughters, Srobona and Sharanya.




Meet The Team 







Similar Dreams











 Defying Distance 












          




This Tour is Hosted by 















We Promote So That You Can Write 
























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