Book Review: The Conspiracy at Meru (Vikramaditya Veergatha #2) by Shatrujeet Nath

A huge thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of the book!

About the Book:

The Conspiracy at Meru (Vikramaditya Veergatha, #2)

VICTORY IS TEMPORARY. THE BATTLE IS ETERNAL.

Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine have fought valiantly to repel the rampaging hordes from Devaloka and Patala – but Avanti has been brought to its knees. Ujjayini lies battered its citizens are scared and morale is badly shaken. Meanwhile, the barbaric Hunas and Sakas are gathering on the horizon and cracks are emerging between the allied kingdoms of Sindhuvarta.

The only silver lining is that the deadly Halahala is safe. For now.

Bent on vengeance, Indra is already scheming to destroy Vikramaditya, while Shukracharya has a plan that can spell the doom for the Guardians of the Halahala. How long can the human army hold out against the ferocity and cunning of the devas and asuras? And will Vikramaditya’s love for his queen come in the way of his promise to Shiva?

 

My Thoughts:

“The road begins where we start walking and ends where we stop. The road is not at our feet, it is in our minds. As long as we care to walk, we shall find roads to walk upon. If not old ones, then new. When neither of us is willing to halt, what have we to fear?” – said by King Vikramaditya to his Queen Vishakha.

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“In battle, is it not the strongest or the bravest or those with the greater numbers who win,” said Vararuchi. “Victory belongs to the side that best understands the price of defeat.”

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“The thirst for vengeance is invariably bereft of perspective and morals.” – Shukracharya

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These are some quotes from the book that have stayed with me long after I have finished reading it.

The Conspiracy at Meru, book 2 in the Vikramaditya Veergatha series, picks up where book 1 left off. Having placed the Halahala in a safe place, King Vikramadiya and his council are still facing various threats to the nation, both expected and unexpected. When we find that the might of the Asuras and devas and everyone else in between are poised to attack in some way or other, it’s a matter of who will strike first! To counter all this, they come up with numerous plans and strategies, all the while trying to anticipate what can go wrong. Trust me, a lot can go wrong!

The author does a fabulous job with each of the characters, both important and seemingly unimportant. I have come to realize that every person has a role to play and as a reader, we should be careful not to disregard anyone in this series! Such is the way of the author that he masterfully creates plots and sub-plots that are wholly unexpected!

The story in itself is simple when we strip it down, coming down to the clear idea that the Halahala must be protected. But the cost to do so and the sense of duty are something to be considered. This takes a huge toll on everyone and the surprises and twists do not stop coming! New alliances are forged and old are broken in this story that seems to be foretelling of things to come (in the further books).

Shatrujeet Nath is a master story teller and his books are gripping, pulling the reader in from page one. Without going into details of the plot (this is already hinted at in the book blurb), I would like to point out that there is a lot looming over the horizon and this is just Book 2, there are two more books to go to find out what happens!

Mount TBR Challenge 2021: Books read and reviewed

The Original Challenge post is on the blog. I have decided to maintain this separate post as a running post for the year to document the books read from my TBR and link their reviews.

My Goal: Pike’s Peak – Read 12 books from your TBR pile/s

January 2021:

  1. My Name Is Anton by Catherine Ryan Hyde
  2. Shelly’s Stocking Goes Missing by Anitha Rathod
  3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Book Review: Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo

About the Book:

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1)

Nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017, this fantasy epic from the No. 1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Grisha trilogy is gripping, sweeping and memorable – p erfect for fans of George R. R. Martin, Laini Taylor and Kristin Cashore.

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams – but he can’t pull it off alone.

A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist.

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction – if they don’t kill each other first.

An epic new exploration of the Grisha universe from the writer of SHADOW AND BONE, SIEGE AND STORM and RUIN AND RISING, totally consuming for both old fans and new.

My Thoughts:

This book is my first 5* read of 2021.

Wow! Just Wow! That was and is my reaction after finishing this book! I must say that in spite of all the hype around it, the book lives up to everything! I am glad that I read it and I cannot wait to read the next book!

Six of Crows follows six outcasts as they set out on a journey to pull of an impossible heist. However, impossible is a loose term, I am not sure that there isn’t anything this group cannot do when they set their mind to it! We are introduced one by one to the various characters and given an overview of who they are along with the progress in the story. I enjoyed this way of handling a story!

The characters we meet have been through a lot or have a lot of secrets, but with each revelation, we come to understand them much better. I also enjoyed the fact that the entire plan for the heist was not fully revealed to us and the reader discovers the plan along with the other people on the team. Considering that they are all in their late teens, none of the characters behave in that way, but sometimes we are reminded of their age and it makes them more real to the reader! Nina is delightful and turned out to the opposite of what I assumed. I also loved Inej and Kaz. Each one different but finally everyone comes together by some common thread.

The setting at Ketterdam reminded me of Amsterdam, but is very well described. So is the journey and the place of the heist. I quite enjoyed reading about their journey and how these six people learn to accept each other and maybe trust one another. With the threat of the jurda parem and it’s affect on the Grisha, there is indeed a lot happening and a good precedent is set for Book 2.

This is a very unconventional review from me considering that I have focused more on how I feel and on raving about the book. But, I cannot help it!

The author has done a brilliant job and the story is gripping until the very end! There are so many twists and turns that it is impossible to stop reading once you start! This book is a must read!

Books to Read (TBR list) – January 2021

Hello All,

I am not normally in the habit of planning ahead with the books I read. I tend to read purely based on my mood and of course based on Blog Tour deadlines (if I have signed up or committed to an author).

However, this year, I decided to make some changes to the way I read, review and blog! Having signed up for so many different kinds of reading challenges, I am trying to be better organized (if I can manage it :P).

In this post, I have made a tentative list of books that I plan to read in January.

Here goes…. Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts, feedback or recommendations!

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  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1)

 

Genre: Fantasy Fiction

Having heard and read so much about this book, I bought it and downloaded it on my kindle in the hopes of joining everyone on this journey!

I am happy to say that it has finally been pulled out of the back of my long list of books on my kindle reader and is in progress! I hope to finish it soon!

 

 

  • Bricktown Boys by Pete Fanning

Bricktown Boys

 

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction

Release date: 12th Jan 2021

I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was intrigued by the concept and also enjoy reading MGLit!

 

 

  • The Conspiracy at Meru (Vikramaditya Veeragatha #2) by Shatrujeet Nath

The Conspiracy at Meru (Vikramaditya Veergatha, #2)

 

Genre: Mythology, Fiction

This is the second book in the series and the plot is starting to thicken! I am looking forward to reading the book!

 

 

 

  • Meet me in Bombay by Jenny Ashcroft

 

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release date: 19th Jan 2021

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and am planning to read it before it’s release date this month!

The book sounded quite interesting and with references to Bombay, the story intrigued me more. I am from India and I would love to see how the author has portrayed the place in her story.

 

  • The Newlyweds by Arianne Richmonde

 

Genre: Mystery and Thriller

Release date: 19th Jan 2021

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and am planning to read it before it’s release date this month!

Having read so many fantasy fiction and historical fiction novels recently, I felt it was time to go back to some good old fashioned mysteries! Et voila, this book was available and it is on the verge of release! There is no better time to read it!

 

  • The Wraith’s Memory by Whitney R. Rines

The Wraith's Memory (Between Gods and Mortals Book II)

 

Genre: Fantasy fiction

I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

 

  • The Sigil by Shakail Kanish

The Sigil: A Novel - Part I

 

Genre: LGBTQ+ Dark Urban Fantasy

Release date: 4th March 2021

I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I was intrigued by the concept of the book and am looking forward to reading it!

 

 

  • Pawns Gambit by Rob J. Hayes

Pawn's Gambit (A Mortal Techniques novel)

 

Genre: Fantasy Fiction

Release date: 26th Jan 2021

I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

WWW WEDNESDAY – 06/01/2021

This is a fun weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

All you need to do is answer the following three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Also, do follow the host and other bloggers who participate!

It is wonderful to know what everyone is reading and recommendations are always welcome!

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What are you currently reading?

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1)

 

This book has been on my TBR for quite some time now (probably more than a year).

This book is among those that is talked about a lot and now with the recent update about a TV series, I am taking my step into the Grishaverse!

 

 

 

What did you recently finish reading?

An American in Paris Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy: Based on a Hallmark Channel original movie

I recently finished reading An American In Paris by Siobhan Curham, a historical fiction novel set during WWII in Paris and Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy by Nancy Naigle which is a pleasant romance!

What do you think you’ll read next?

My TBR list is so big that I do not know where to start!

I am currently sorting through old books, new and upcoming releases and books for blog tours! Plus, I think my current read may take me a little more time to finish it!

Book Review – Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy (Christmas In Evergreen #3) by Nancy Naigle

About the Book:

Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy: Based on a Hallmark Channel original movie

An unexpected encounter… An extraordinary discovery… Welcome back to the town of Evergreen.

Katie, an author struggling to write her second novel, heads to Evergreen, Vermont for a holiday retreat—only to get an assignment to write an article about the town. On the train, she meets Ben, a former big-city reporter who’s now a librarian in Evergreen.

Katie’s initially skeptical about Evergreen’s love of Christmas; the place seems too good to be true. Meanwhile, Ben’s wary of Katie’s intentions. He’s protective of his small town, and he knows all too well how cynical the media can be. Then a hunt for a fifty-year-old time capsule leads to a remarkable discovery. As Katie and Ben get caught up in the community’s past and present, they both begin to envision new possibilities for the future.

This feel-good Christmas romance includes a free Hallmark original recipe for Cranberry Crostini.

My Thoughts:

A simple and straightforward story, Christmas in Evergreen will ensure that the reader has a wonderful time and will fall in love! The story is set in the picturesque town of Evergreen with it’s inhabitants more like family than neighbours. The story follows Katie as she comes to the town on holiday while trying to work up the inspiration to write her second novel. As we follow her exploration of Evergreen, we meet so many people and also learn their stories. Each shop has a history and a whole lot of charm.

I enjoyed reading about the long lost time capsule which added some intrigue to the while story and while the focus was on Katie, we did learn more about the people and their lives. This did not divert from the plot and I enjoyed getting to know everyone!

As Katie discovers more and starts to fall in love, the author ensures that we also learn about traditions and working together. This is quick and joyous read, perfect for the holidays!

Book Blitz: FREAK by Leslie Georgeson

Book Blurb:

Jealousy. Betrayal. Family secrets.

Appearances are everything in my family. We are the Strongs. Fame is our birthright. Music flows through our veins in a continuous harmony. Flaws are unacceptable.

When my parents got a good look at the freak they’d created, I was hidden away, my existence wiped out.

Until they discovered my secret.

Now I had something they wanted.

Taking it from me didn’t faze them. They believed they were entitled.

I was just a boy, unable to fight back.

So I did the only thing I could.

I vanished.

That was nine years ago.

Now they are back, and they want something from me again.

They send the sexy and oh-so-tempting Mia Bennett to persuade me, and I’m helpless to resist her.

Mia seems innocent in my family feud, but is she really?

I can’t be sure.

All I know is she makes me feel alive again. She gives me the courage to just be me. She’s the new inspiration behind my music, my heart’s own melody.

But something dark and twisted lurks close to home, and leaves me questioning who is friend and who is foe.

Now I am forced to make a decision that could well break me.

How far am I willing to go for the woman I love?

Freak book links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08NGNQ84W

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/freak-something-real-1/id1540613481

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940164730635

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/freak-something-real-1

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1054242

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50977985-freak

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/freak-romantic-suspense-something-real-book-1-by-leslie-georgeson

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Read an Excerpt:

I eyed the nearest “no trespassing” sign mounted on the fence about ten feet away. With all the surveillance cameras, he had to know I was out here. I was probably lucky the guy hadn’t had me arrested yet.

Another hour passed.

The sun was disappearing over the horizon now, darkness settling in. It didn’t look like I was going to be successful today.

With a heavy sigh, I gathered up my bag and rose to my feet, deciding to call it a day.

My skin prickled as something moved on the other side the fence.

I spun around, my heart smacking into my ribs.

The heavily-treed yard now deep in shadows, it took a moment for my eyes to take in what had appeared before me. Even then, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was looking at in the low light. He stood as still as the tree trunks surrounding him.

My hand flew to my throat, my eyes widening.

Gasping, I stumbled back, tripping over my own feet and falling into the underbrush, my bag landing beside me.

I tilted my head back, unable to tear my gaze away.

Ohmigod. Ohmigod. Oh. My. God.

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Author bio:

Leslie Georgeson writes a blend of romance and suspense, sometimes tossing in a dash of sci-fi or paranormal to make things more interesting. From genetically-altered super soldiers (The Dregs) to deceptive, daredevil rescuers (The Pact), her stories are laced with danger, action, and plenty of steam. Music and the mafia combine in her newly released romantic suspense series, Something Real. Book one, FREAK, is now available at all retailers. Look for the next book, SNITCH, in the spring of 2021.

Leslie is an avid reader, a nature and animal lover, a plant enthusiast, and enjoys spending time with her amazing family. She lives with her husband of 25+ years and her teenage daughter on a quiet country acreage in Idaho.

Author links:

Webpage: https://lesliegeorgeson.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorlesliegeorgeson/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lesliegeorgeson

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7827259.Leslie_Georgeson

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Leslie-Georgeson/e/B00I2T6QFO/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/leslie-georgeson

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Book Blitz organized by:

Book Review: An American in Paris by Siobhan Curham

A very Happy Publication Day to author Siobhan Curham for the release of An American In Paris today, 04.01.2021

About the Book:

An American in Paris

Walking through Montmartre that morning was like the eerie calm right before a storm. The roads were deserted. We carried on, arm in arm, and then finally, we saw them. Columns and columns of soldiers, spreading through the streets like a toxic grey vapour. ‘You must write about this,’ he whispered to me. ‘You must write about the day freedom left Paris.’

1937: Florence has dreamed her whole life of coming to Paris. She arrives on a sweltering summer day and, lost on the steep streets of Montmartre, asks for directions from Otto, a young artist with paint-spattered clothes and the most beautiful smile she has ever seen.

Otto becomes her guide to Paris, taking her to visit paintings in the Louvre and bookshops by the Seine. And when Otto returns home to finish his studies, they vow to reunite on the same spot they met, one year to the day.

Still dreaming of their parting kiss, Florence starts writing for an American newspaper and throws herself into becoming truly Parisian. All too soon, heady days of parties and champagne are replaced by rumours of war. When Otto finally returns to her, it is as an exile, fleeing Nazi persecution.

Soon, not even Paris is safe. Florence’s articles now document life under occupation and hide coded messages from the Resistance. But with the man she loves in terrible danger, her words feel hollow and powerless. If Florence risks everything by accepting a dangerous mission, can she rescue their dreams from that sunny day before the war?

A sweeping wartime story that will capture your heart and never let it go. Fans of The Alice NetworkThe Lost Girls of Paris and My Name is Eva will be absolutely gripped from the very first page.

My Thoughts:

Note: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

An American in Paris is a sweeping tale of love and loss, the impacts of WWII on people and the resilience of some to take a stand. The book is written from two perspectives, following dual timelines, on set in the time from 1937 – 1945 and the other in the present day which in the book is the year 2018.

In the present day part we are introduced to Sage who is on an emotional spiral and messes up her public persona while trying to deal with the grief of her mother’s passing. As she tries to deal with the aftermath of her scandalous viral videos, she receives an email that may just change her life and give her the answers that her mother may have once searched for.

As the story progresses, the reader is also introduced to Florence, an American dancer who comes to Paris in 1937. The author treats us to two different stories, one of Florence who finds love and laughter, a purpose in life until the war begins and starts to affect France, and that of Sage who embarks on a journey of discovery.

Though Sage is featured in the book, I feel that her character and that of Sam were just to provide perspective and a connection to the past. The main focus is on Florence and her story. It is one of strength, bravery and the will to fight back as well as of enduing love and faith. It is both heart warming and heart-breaking to read, but will draw the reader in completely until the very end. The author does a wonderful job in painting a picture of war torn France, the impact it had on the people and how they were treated. A lot of research has definitely gone into the historical facts as many of them could be verified as well.

The plot flows well starting from the beginning and going on until the end of the war and the aftermath. The characters are relatable and their experiences harrowing to say the least. Since I have visited Paris many times, it was wonderful for me to read about Florence’s emotions while discovering Montmartre and Musée du Louvre as well as my personal favourite, the bookstore Shakespeare and Company.

Be prepared for an emotional roller-coaster and a story that will cause the reader to pause and think. This book is well worth the read and I highly recommend it!

Book Promotion Directory by Deena Rae (2021 edition)

BOOK PROMOTION DIRECTORY INFORMATION

Book Description:

The Book Promotion Directory lists blogs and book promotion providers to help Indie Authors promote and market their books. Information included: 

  • Genre focus
  • Web address
  • Contact information 
  • Post types
  • Pricing range for on-blog promotion
  • Reviews offered
  • Turnaround time for reviews
  • And more….

Book Promotion companies show contact information, what genres they are equipped to promote, services offered and pricing range.

With more than 180 blogs and almost 40 book promotion companies, complete with live links to facilitate easy contact, this is a must-have for authors looking to promote their new releases and backlist titles. 

Bonus material of almost 200 other book promotion avenues as a starting point to help authors start building their own promotion blueprint.

Availability and Links:

The eBook is widely available at Amazon, iTunes, B&N, Kobo, etc.

Print Book is available on Amazon:  https://amzn.to/2MaFazF 

 

About the Author:

Deena Rae was born and raised in Texas — home of bluebonnets, boots, beef and big hair — into a family that was in the printing and publishing industries. Her father was a computer programmer for major newspapers when the equipment took up whole rooms and her mother has been a publisher for almost 30 years — trying, unsuccessfully, to bring her into the family business.

She was happily living her life, but then through a series of events (unfortunate and fortunate), she officially joined The Book Connection — her mother’s publishing and packaging company — as the Digital Director, to create the e-publishing division in 2011. Her computer skills, willingness to help authors, love of literature, no-nonsense attitude and quick wit has helped shepherd many authors through the maze of digital publishing.

Quickly deciding she wanted to offer her services to more authors than just the ones her mother represented, she branched out on her own, opening E-BookBuilders January of 2012. The rest is history.

Contact the Author:

 

Note: redpillows is listed in the Book Promotion Directory.

Book Review: Shelly’s Stocking Goes Missing by Anitha Rathod

About the Book:

43194991. sx318

 

Publication date: Dec 4, 2018

Word count: 545

Age Group: 2-5

Shelly painstakingly makes a stocking from an old bag. The stocking then flies to the town and cannot find its way back. Read the book to know if Shelly’s Stocking returns and if Shelly gets her presents this Christmas.

 

 

Connect with the Author:

My Thoughts:
Shelly’s Stocking Goes Missing is a very simple and pleasant story of how Shelly makes a stocking for Christmas hoping to receive her present in it. The story is very simple and narrated in poetry form. The author show the reader that Shelly is resourceful and creative as she figures out how to convert a shopping bag into a stocking and decorate it. The pictures are well done and will ensure that children are drawn in to the story. It is quite an enjoyable read for little kids!