Book Review: A Way Back Into Love (Love, #1) by Veronica Thatcher

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Title: A Way Back into Love

Author: Veronica Thatcher

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Notion Press

 Blurb:

Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes, uncertain. People, irrational. But love…well, that makes everything complicated. And when you are caught in a tangled web of secrets, lies, and complex affairs, someone is bound to get burned.

 Emily Stevens is a spunky, spirited college girl whose life gets turned upside-down when she realizes she’s in love with her best friend of fifteen years, Derek Thorpe. As Emily prepares to confess her feelings to Derek, something happens one night which changes her life forever. Five years later, Emily finds herself in Boston, alone and heartbroken. Will she ever be able to forget the past? And what will she find when she returns home…to the man she left behind?

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32998245-a-way-back-into-love

 Buy links: Paperback – http://www.amazon.in/Way-Back-Into-Love/dp/1946641170/

                                                https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946641170/

                             eBooks – https://www.amazon.in/dp/B06WRR5FN3

                                                https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WRR5FN3/

Author Bio:

Veronica Thatcher is an exciting new contemporary romance author. Ever since she was very young, she’s dreamed of becoming a doctor when she grew up. While still forging ahead with that, majoring in pre-med in college, she unwittingly stumbled upon a new dream—becoming a published author. Some may call her an introvert or a wallflower, but she has always found she could express herself better in written, rather than spoken, words. However, never in her wildest dreams had she envisioned she would pursue writing as a prospective career, not just a hobby. Her love for writing goes hand-in-hand with her love for a good romance novel—whether it be a feel-good, sweet romance or a dark, suspenseful one. When she’s not studying, reading, or writing, she is usually found blasting her favourite songs, sometimes singing and dancing along to them.  She dabbles in a number of activities, including painting, karate, singing and dancing. She is a huge chocoholic – probably the biggest – and she is an ice-cream junkie too. She considers herself technologically handicapped forever and has no shame in admitting that. She also deems chocolates her boyfriend, Patrick Dempsey the love of her life, and Friends her life!

 Her first book, A Way Back Into Love, is slated for release in February 2017, and she hopes readers will enjoy it as much as she enjoyed writing it. You can reach Veronica through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad and Gmail.

 Author Links:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/merderlover1

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/merder32

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16087807.Veronica_Thatcher

  Excerpt:

 Emily stepped back from him and shook her head. “Oh, you know damn well what I mean. You know what, Derek? I’m done having this conversation with you. I’m so done with this conversation and I’m so done with you,” Emily spat out angrily before brushing past him.

 “Emily, wait,” Derek said, catching her by her arm. “Where are you going?”

 Emily spun around and gave him a bitter look before looking down at his hand gripping her arm. “Leave my arm,” she said in a low yet threatening voice, “And why do you care where I’m going? It’s none of your business.”

 Derek didn’t leave her arm in spite of her warning and said, “Em, you’ve had too many drinks. You can’t drive in this condition. I’ll drop you home.”

 Emily jerked her arm free from his grasp and replied in a bitter voice, “Thank you, but no. I’m perfectly capable of getting myself home on my own. I don’t need you to drop me home. Do you get it, Derek Thorpe? I DON’T NEED YOU!” Emily yelled the last words, causing a few people to look their way.

My Thoughts:

A Way Back Into Love is a story of finding yourself and standing up for what you want. Step forward and ask, talk, otherwise you can lose it forever. This is what the protagonist, Emily, realizes, after she gets her heart broken. However, the plot runs on the basis of a series of events, which result due to what seem to be minor misunderstandings, until they finally get together and blow up at once.

The characters are likeable, though sometimes I felt like putting my hands Emily and giving her a shake! She could get rather annoying with her thoughts flying all around the place. But, the strength that she has to walk away, to try to live a life in a different place, change her and shape her into a better person. Also, the support from family and friends counts a lot and we can see how this affects the characters!

I enjoyed the concept of self-discovery, and this story is something that most people can relate to. The author’s style of writing is simple and though the concept is a tiny bit cliched, it is a rather enjoyable read.

Blog Tour: The Magician’s Workshop by Christopher Hansen and J.R. Fehr

This post is part of the Blog Tour for the series being conducted by b00k r3vi3w tours

There will be Guest Posts by the authors, interviews and reviews of the books posted on various participating bloggers on their respective blogs.

About the Books:

 

The Magician’s Workshop, Volume One

Authors: Christopher Hansen, J.R. Fehr
Published by: Wondertale, California
Publication Date: November 8, 2016
ISBN: 1-945353-11-2
ASIN: B01MQGHGBH
Genre: Coming of Age, Fantasy, Magic
Ages: 12 and up.
Length: 85,000 words / 290 pages

Book Links:
Amazon * Goodreads

 
Synopsis:
Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop.

Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realizes that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.

Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.

Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world.

 

The Magician’s Workshop, Volume Two

Authors: Christopher Hansen, J.R. Fehr
Print Length: 273 pages
Publisher: Wondertale
Publication Date: November 22, 2016
ASIN: B01N988TW7
Genre: Coming of Age, Fantasy, Magic
Ages: 12 and up.

Book Links:
Amazon * Goodreads

 

 

Synopsis:
Return to the world of The Magician’s Workshop: Where Dreams Become Reality.

In Volume Two, the Festival of Stars has finally arrived, and the Color Ceremony is about to commence. As children from all over the islands gather to stand before a puller, one question remains: who will have a Color, and who will be found void?

Rejoin your favorite characters as they step forward and receive a label that will have the power to dramatically alter the course of their lives forever.

 

About the Authors:

 

Christopher Hansen

The first glimmering Chris Hansen had that there was far more to reality than he had ever imagined occurred six days after his ninth birthday. “Christopher!” cried a wise, old sage. “Life is full of deep magic. Miraculous things happen all the time and all around us, if you know where to look for them.” Full of expectation and childlike optimism, Chris began searching for this magic, prepared to be surprised and amazed by it. And he was: he found Wonder! Now he’s chosen to write stories about it.

 

J.R. Fehr
When J.R. Fehr popped out of the womb, he knew there was more to the world than the four boring hospital walls that he was seeing. “Zango!” his newborn mind exclaimed as he saw people appear and disappear through a mysterious portal in the wall. As a child he found life wowtazzling, but as he grew older the cold water of reality hit him, and the magic he once knew vanished. After spending some wet and shivering years lost in a joyless wasteland, he once again began to see magic in the world. He writes because the Wonder of true life is far grander than anything he ever thought possible.

 

Contact the Authors:
Website * Facebook

Book Review: Daughter of the Sun by Zoe Kalo

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Title: Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat series, Book 1)

Author: Zoe Kalo

Genre: YA mythological fantasy

Word count: 93,000 words

Release date: May 1, 2016

Cult of the Cat series blurb

According to ancient Egyptian prophecy, three feline goddesses—Bastet, Sekhmet, and Mafdet—would one day be reborn as triplets during a solar eclipse.

But someone—or something—separated them at birth. Because if ever they were reunited, they would unleash a blistering power that could destroy the world.

In an adventure where the past confronts the present, and blood, betrayal and secrets abound, the triplets face each other for the first time. And discover they’re the only force able to stop the evil god Apophis from enslaving humanity.

 

Daughter of the Sun, Book 1 – blurb

Sixteen-year-old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew.

But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities.

Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to eighteen-year-old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to confront her true self—and a horrifying destiny.

Amazon Purchase Link: http://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Sun-Cult-Cat-Book-ebook/dp/B01DRDUQW8

About the Author

A certified bookworm, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery…

A daughter of adventurous expats, she’s had the good fortune of living on 3 continents, learning 4 languages, and experiencing a multicultural life. Currently, she’s working on a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature, which she balances between writing, taking care of her clowder of cats, and searching for the perfect bottle of pinot noir.

Connect with Zoe Kalo on the web: www.ZoeKalo.com / Facebook / Twitter

My Thoughts:

This book takes me back to my teenage years when I loved reading fantasy books. The story follows Trinity, an orphan, who one days discovers that she has family that is alive, her grandmother. The reader is then drawn into the world of ancient Egypt, sorcerers, cults and ancient beliefs. The author makes use of the Egyptian gods and weaves a wonderful story involving a prophecy, magic and an ancient cult. Trinity, is forced to confront her destiny, form ties with her cousin and deal with an aunt who doesn’t like her. Thrown into a world quite unlike the one she knew while growing up in a convent, the story is about growing up, facing your fears, family and some ties that never die.

The story is well written and though at times it feels as though some characters are unnecessary, they seem to add something to the story by the end of it. The story is fast paced and sometimes it feels as though some events happen in a rush. It feels as though the author wants to tell us the story rather quickly without really giving us time to absorb what is happening. However, this does not take away form the essence of the story which is interesting. There is not enough emphasis on Trinity’s powers and how she learns of them or how to use them, nor is there much about the Eclipse which plays a major role in the story. Thankfully though, the story does flow smoothly and is a joyful read. The author has done a wonderful job with the explanation into the past and the ancient Egyptian world and traditions. The descriptions of the island where the story is set is vivid and helps the imagination run free making it easy to form an image in the readers mind. The presence of cats and their importance is brought out subtly but is made quite obvious.

Overall, for all the lovers of magic and fantasy fiction, this is a readers delight and is definitely worth a read.

This Review is a part of the Blogger Outreach Program by b00k r3vi3w Tours

Interview : Bootie and the Beast by Falguni Kothari

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Book Blurb:

Fairytales don’t end with True Love’s Kiss, they begin with one…

Diya Mathur (aka Beauty), celebrated supermodel and Party Princess of India, is adored by everyone. She works hard, plays hard, and has the biggest shoe fetish on the planet. But after she purchases one baby bootie, Diya’s reputation is in ruins. There’s only one place to escape the rumours – Texas, under the protection of her lifelong friend, and secret love, Krish Menon (aka the Beast).

Financial whizz-kid, CFO and entrepreneur, Krish is a brooding workaholic with a charisma that still brings Beauty Mathur to her knees. He has no idea, of course! They’ve shared a bond since childhood – a special friendship that thrives on sparring, teasing and goading – but with Diya back in his life and under his roof, Krish’s latent desire for her explodes. And when he finally admits to the secret that has never allowed him to commit to any woman – especially Diya – everything changes. Krish might finally realise how much he wants his Beauty. But he won’t get her until Diya has tamed her Beast.

 

 Book links for Bootie and the Beast:

Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bootie-Beast-Indian-Author-Collection-ebook/dp/B00KM0ZQ4S/ref=pd_rhf_eebr_p_t_1_RZEY

Amazon India:

http://www.amazon.in/Bootie-Beast-Falguni-Kothari/dp/9351065065/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398098298&sr=1-2

Mills and Boon:

http://www.millsandboon.co.uk/bootie-and-the-beast

Harlequin India:

http://www.hqnindia.com/series/indianauthor

Flipkart:

http://www.flipkart.com/bootie-and-the-beast/p/itmdv3drqmxjgqsk?pid=9789351065067&otracker=from-search&srno=t_1&query=bootie+and+the+beast&ref=9e18052b-a541-42a8-b58e-3eff2b9a7ade

 

Interview:

1)      What/who inspired you to start writing?

My mother. It so happened that she insisted I do something worthwhile with my time, once my kids had grown to the age where they didn’t need me constantly and I was beginning to flounder with nothing to do. I looked into taking some online classes and being as fond of reading and literature as I am, the classes that appealed to me had to do with writing—a class called “Romance Writing Secrets” to be exact. I took the six week course, then another one on grammar, and voila! I was writing seriously enough to put down approximately 80,000 words on page in a year.

2)      Tell us a little about yourself.

Well, I’m crazy about Scrabble, Sid Meier’s Civilization and the Age of Empires. I am prone to nasty bouts of car and plane sickness but not seasickness. I hate massages that hurt. I love old buildings and historical artifacts. I love dogs. I am afraid of snakes and ghosts—I get freaked out by horror movies and only watch them with the sound turned off. Oh, and I loathe cooking.

3)      What is your favourite genre?

Anything and everything romance.

4)      Which is your favourite book?

As I have several that I am equally fond of, I will go with naming my favourite by its written age: the Mahabharata by Vyasa, although, I’m not sure if the epic can be called a book.

5)      Who is your favourite author?

Again, I have great respect and liking for several and will go with my latest favourite. John Green, author of The Fault In Our Stars.

6)      What are your hobbies?

Reading, dancing, Scrabble on or offline, playing computer games, namely, Civilization and Age of Empires.

7)      Perfect holiday destination?

Ancient and historical places and anywhere you see endless horizons and mountain views.

8)      Describe a perfect day.

Days when I type out 3000 or more productive words, at the end of which hubby and kids treat me to a dinner at my favourite restaurant. Total, scrumptious bliss.

9)      Which is the best part of writing a story?

The beginning, the middle and the end; I love every aspect of writing my story right now. I know it may change at some point, but so far, I’m in writer heaven.

10)   How much inspiration do you draw on from real life experiences? With respect to plot, characters etc.

A good bit of my plot/scene/character ideas come from real experiences or by observing people and situations, though most of it is pure research or common sense. For example, the “Puppy Shame” scenes from Bootie and the Beast were inspired by a friend whose husband actually teases her about…well, Puppy Shame moments.

Connect with the author:

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Website: www.falgunikothari.com

Twitter: @F2tweet https://twitter.com/F2tweet

FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/falgunikothari.author

Blog: http://falgunikothari.blogspot.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/falgunikothari

Google+ : https://plus.google.com/+FalguniKothari

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/falgunikothari/

Book Review: Divison Zero by Matthew S. Cox

DivisionZeroTourBanner4
perf6.000x9.000.inddDivision Zero by Matthew S. Cox
(Division Zero #1)
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: March 7th 2014
Genres: cyberpunk, New Adult, Paranormal
Synopsis:

Most cops get to deal with living criminals, but Agent Kirsten Wren is not most cops.

A gifted psionic with a troubled past, Kirsten possesses a rare combination of abilities that give her a powerful weapon against spirits. In 2418, rampant violence and corporate warfare have left no shortage of angry wraiths in West City. Most exist as little more than fleeting shadows and eerie whispers in the darkness.

Kirsten is shunned by a society that does not understand psionics, feared by those who know what she can do, and alone in a city of millions. Every so often, when a wraith gathers enough strength to become a threat to the living, these same people rely on her to stop it.

Unexplained killings by human-like androids known as dolls leave the Division One police baffled, causing them to punt the case to Division Zero. Kirsten, along with her partner Dorian, wind up in the crosshairs of corporate assassins as they attempt to find out who – or what – is behind the random murders before more people die.

She tries to hold on to the belief that no one is beyond redemption as she pursues a killer desperate to claim at least one more innocent soul – that might just be hers.

Goodreads: 
Purchase:
–Kobo:  http://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/books/division-zero/-ExQmy4GtkO_jhT912r3YA?MixID=-ExQmy4GtkO_jhT912r3YA&PageNumber=1
MattAuthorAUTHOR BIO

Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.

Hobbies and Interests:
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

He is also fond of cats.

Awards: Prophet of the Badlands (excerpt) – Honorable Mention – Writers of the Future

Author Links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Thoughts:

Wow!!! That is the first thought that went through my mind. I love this book. The story is wonderful and so well-written it is easy to fall in love with. The story follows Kirsten as she tries to solve a case where dolls seem to be going crazy and randomly killing people. Kirsten is a psionic and has the ability to see ghosts and interact with them. She can also converse telepathically and read people’s minds. We are also given a glimpse into Kirsten’s childhood and the reasons behind who she is today.

Kirsten’s abilities have her shunned by people in general as they react to her with fear. There are very few people who like her and stay with her and thus leads to her feeling of loneliness. We are also given a glimpse into a world where technology has evolved to such an extent that society is completely dependent on it for everything. This is just one example of how the world could be so many years down the line. This paranormal fiction will have you believe in the existence of ghosts and Kirsten’s struggle to accept religion, the existence of god and the difference between good and evil in a person will get you thinking.

There is some amount of philosophy that the author has subtly discussed through the book without coming across as preachy. The author has beautifully crafted this story with the right amount of suspense and twists that will have the reader surprised. A gripping plot and a wonderful writing style lend more credit to the author’s work and make this story worth the read.

Book Review: Whole Latte Love by Rachelle Ayala

Investment banking intern Carina Chen doesn’t need any distractions – especially the sexy, guitar-playing barista she rooms with for the summer.

Free spirit Dylan Jewell appreciates the delightful universe of women who vie for his attention. His goal in life is to do good, make happy coffee, and help the homeless.

When Carina moves in, she insists on rules of conduct to quell her instant attraction to Dylan. But when her boss asks her to turn Dylan into a businessman, she can’t think of a reason not to take advantage of his hospitality.

Their chemistry is white hot, but Dylan refuses to play Carina’s game, unable to understand how he can fall in love with a woman who puts profits in front of people. When Carina realizes Dylan isn’t budging, she risks all to gain a single night with him. Will her gambit backfire or will Dylan discover Carina’s true heart before she runs away with his?

Set in Berkeley, California, Whole Latte Love is an opposites-attract romance mixing bluesy rock music, hot, steamy love scenes, and financial shenanigans.

Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | ES | IT | IN | JP | AU | BR | MX | CA 
Smashwords I Nook I Kobo I Apple Scribd

 

My Thoughts:

This story is a simple love story that will keep the reader occupied. The story follows Carina as she is about to start her summer as an intern in the field of banking and she needs a place to stay. Her friend decides to take matters into her hand and enter Dylan who works as a barista and is a musician. Little does Carina know his true background but she knows it’s dangerous to take up his offer of a place to stay. The decisions Carina makes and the relationship she shares with Dylan from one of a roommate to girlfriend form the crux of this love story. A story that will definitely tug at the heart strings of all the romantics out there.

The author introduces some twists in the story which help keep it interesting and keeps it non-predictable. The author manages to keep the story simple and I feel she conveys a good message that if you really love someone, it is easy and worth changing or adjusting for them. This is something I came away with after reading the book. I enjoyed the book immensely and hope all the romantics out there pick up this for a wonderful light read.

Rachelle Ayala is the author of dramatic fiction crossing genres and boundaries featuring strong but flawed characters. She writes emotionally challenging stories and is not afraid of controversial topics. However, she is an optimist and laces her stories with romance and hope.

Rachelle is an active member of online critique group, Critique Circle, an active member of the California Writer’s Club, Fremont Chapter, and a volunteer for the World Literary Cafe. She is a very happy woman and lives in California with her husband. She has three children and has taught violin and made mountain dulcimers.

Subscribe to mailing list for upcoming books and giveaways. http://eepurl.com/lR5kv

 


– One Paperback Copy of Whole Latte Love through the Rafflecopter below
– One $10 Amazon Gift Card through the Rafflecopter below
– One $10 Amazon Gift Card to the ‘Best Review’ on the Tour

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Book Review: The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti

Almond Tree Book CoverThe Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti
“An epic drama of the proportions of The Kite Runner… Grabs you from the first page… A gripping and compassionate work of fiction”
—Huffington Post

The unforgettable story of a young Palestinian boy whose mathematical gifts allow him to escape the difficulties of life as an Arab Israeli, The Almond Tree is a beautifully crafted debut novel written by a Jewish American woman from the perspective of a Palestinian Muslim male. It is about the power of love, the price of hatred, and the possibility of redemption.

Even as a young boy Ahmed Hamid struggles with knowing that he can do nothing to save his friends and family. Coming of age under Israeli martial law, his entire village operates in fear of losing their homes, jobs, and belongings. But more importantly, they fear losing each other.

On Ahmed’s twelfth birthday, that fear becomes reality.

With his father imprisoned, his family’s home and possessions confiscated, and his beloved brother Abbas succumbing to hatred in the face of conflict, Ahmed must find a way to care for his family and find a better future for himself. Gifted with a mind that can solve mathematical equations, he uses his intellect to take an inspiring journey that will lead him from his war-torn homeland to a life in America he could never have imagined for himself.

A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of half a century of conflict, The Almond Tree is a powerful novel that allows us to walk in one extraordinary Palestinian’s shoes and see the world through his eyes.

“Corasanti’s accomplished debut novel offers a humanistic look into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…Sensitive, moving…” —Kirkus Reviews

Amazon

 

Praise for The Almond Tree

“The story is spell-binding with universal appeal…”
The Daily Star
” …a strong addition to coming of age fiction collections, highly recommended.”
The MidwestBook Review

“…one of the most riveting books I have read…
Corasanti takes a realistic premise and builds an interesting and highly believable story that only gets better as the pages fly by. While “The Almond Tree” is a fictional tale, much of it is based on the truth of what is today’s world, and as such there is also an important message located within. I highly recommend this book.”
Charline Ratcliff / Rebecca’s Reads

Almond Tree Author

 

 

Author Michelle Cohen Corasanti

Michelle Cohen Corasanti received a BA from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and an MA from Harvard University, both in Middle Eastern Studies. A Jewish American, she lived in Israel for seven years and was married to a Palestinian Muslim for several years afterwards. Nearly a decade in the making, The Almond Tree grew out of the many stories Michelle heard and witnessed while living with Palestinians and Israeli friends and family she knew and loved in Israel and at Harvard. She currently lives in New York with her family.

Website * Facebook * Goodreads * Twitter

 

 

Excerpt

Mama always said Amal was mischievous. It was a joke we shared as a family – that my sister, just a few years old and shaky on her pudgy legs, had more energy for life than me and my younger brother Abbas combined. So when I went to check on her and she wasn’t in her crib, I felt a fear in my heart that gripped me and would not let go.

It was summer and the whole house breathed slowly from the heat. I stood alone in her room, hoping the quiet would tell me where she’d stumbled off to. A white curtain caught a breeze. The window was open – wide open. I rushed to the ledge, praying that when I looked over she wouldn’t be there, she wouldn’t be hurt. I was afraid to look, but I did anyway because not knowing was worse. Please God, please God, please God…

There was nothing below but Mama’s garden: colourful flowers moving in that same wind.

Downstairs, the air was filled with delicious smells, the big table laden with yummy foods. Baba and I loved sweets, so Mama was making a whole lot of them for our holiday party tonight.

‘Where’s Amal?’ I stuck a date cookie in each of my pockets when her back was turned. One for me and the other for Abbas.

‘Napping.’ Mama poured the syrup onto the baklava.

‘No, Mama, she’s not in her crib.’

‘Then where is she?’ Mama put the hot pan in the sink and cooled it with water that turned to steam.

 

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 6/15/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. 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 Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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My thoughts:

This is one of the most thought provoking books which will touch you to the depths of your soul much like the Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseni. A story that puts forth the reality and way of life at the time of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and demonstrates the harsh reality through the eyes of the protagonist. We follow his life as he faces the death of family members, his father’s imprisonment, his need to study, excel and make a better life, the death of his wife and one true love and finally how he learns to love again.

The story has been handled sensitively and though it is a work of fiction, it manages to convey a lot of truth about the people and places at that time. It is a gripping story and is so well written that there is not one moment when the reader will feel like putting the book down. The story gets better and better as it progresses and though we are shown many horrifying things, we are compelled to turn to the next page to discover what happens.

The author has crafted her characters beautifully and we can see the variety of personalities. Right from the protagonist Ahmed Hamid, to his father who always encourages him to follow his dreams, his mother who doesn’t understand his need to study and make a better life for all of them, his brother Abbas who was close to him while growing up starts to think that he has betrayed them and become friends with the enemy whereas in reality all he does is mingle with people who are intellectually sound and who can rise beyond who they are and where they are from to form bonds of friendship for life.

This is a story that everyone should read. It is an experience that no-one should miss.

Book Review: Starcursed by Nandini Bajpai

Book Blurb:

starcursed

In the ancient city of Ujjayani, the planets align to decide the fate of two starcursed lovers. Born under the curse of Mars, brilliant and beautiful Leelavati, daughter of the famed astronomer Bhaskarya Acharya of Ujjayani, knows she can never wed. But when her childhood playmate, the handsome and rich Rahul Nagarseth, returns from sea, their attraction is rekindled under stormy monsoon skies. As Leela, forced by fate to relinquish Rahul, tries to find solace in teaching at her fathers observatory, a fleeting alignment of the stars is discovered that can help overcome her curse. But Rahul is called away on a war to defend his kingdom. Can he return in time or will she lose him forever to the will of the planets? Set in turbulent twelfth century India, against the backdrop of the savage wars waged by Muhammad of Ghor and his band of Turkis, Starcursed is a sweeping tale of science, romance and adventure that will transport its readers to another world.

 

Book Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18684549-starcursed

Amazon: http://www.amazon.in/Starcursed-Nandini-Bajpai-ebook/dp/B00GLLKWAU/

Flipkart: http://www.flipkart.com/starcursed/p/itmdvcpmrhdhnry7?pid=9788129129314

About the Author:

profile2

Nandini Bajpai grew up in New Delhi, India, one of four sisters and many cousins, in a family that liked to read. Although she dabbled in corporate finance, business analysis, and fostering shelter animals, her first love is writing. Her novel Red Turban White Horse: My Sister’s Hurricane Wedding was published in 2013 by Scholastic India.  She lives in the Boston area with her husband, kids, their dog Yogi and cat Rakhan.

Author Links:

Blog: http://nandinibajpai.blogspot.in/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nandini.bajpai.5

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nandinibajpai

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nandinibajpai/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7142846.Nandini_Bajpai

My Thoughts:

This is a simple story of two people who realise their love for each other and are willing to look beyond caste, society and their astrological charts to be together. The protagonist, Leelavati is a wonderful person and in a time when people scorn at women seeking to learn, she is encouraged by her father. She has one of the sharpest minds when it comes to the field of mathematics and astrology second only to her father. She manages to win the respect of many people through her knowledge.

Rahul, her playmate from childhood returns after some time away and that is when they realise their love for each other. Leelavati is born under the influence of Mars and according to her astrological chart, due to which she cannot wed as it is feared that whoever she may wed will die within a year of marriage. As the story unravels, the reader will respect Leelavati and her father. All the characters in the story gel beautifully making this book worth a read.

The story is different set in a time in history when mathematics and astrology were the main focus with a war waging in the backdrop. The twist in the story prevents it from becoming a predictable love story. A wonderful, well written story that brings out the power of love and faith.

Book Review: Only with you by Cecilia Gray

OnlyWithYou
Only With You by Cecilia Gray
(The Jane Austen Academy Series #5)
Publication date: May 2014
Genres: Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Dive into the fabulous, fun lives of six Academy girls as their friendships are tested, torn and ultimately triumph…

Emma has it all – looks, money, and luck. It’s not like she keeps it all to herself – she’s totally committed to helping those less fortunate. AKA, everyone. She invites her heartbroken friend to help with a weekend charity event with an eye to matchmake, but when that friend turns her eye toward the guy Emma wants for herself, how will she choose between friendship and her own feelings?

* * *

The last thing that the girls at the elite Jane Austen Academy need is hot guys to flirt with. But over the summer the school has been sold, and like it or not, the guys are coming. And it’s about to turn the Academy—and the lives of its students—totally upside down…

The Jane Austen Academy series are modern retellings of Jane Austen classics set at a beachside California boarding school.

AUTHOR BIO:

Cecilia Gray lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she reads, writes and breaks for food. She also pens her biographies in the third person. Like this. As if to trick you into thinking someone else wrote it because she is important. Alas, this is not the case.

She’s rather enamored of being contacted by readers and hopes you’ll oblige.

 
MY THOUGHTS:
This is a modern day version or retelling of the famous Jane Austen story Emma. Emma, a rich girl who studies at the Jane Austen Academy thinks it is her duty to help everyone around her. She has the looks and the brains but is not selfish or self centered. She is well aware of her looks and status in spite of which she goes out of her way to help anyone she thinks is in need of her help.
This story is about Emma trying to set up one of her girl best friends with another guy she knows. She thinks she is doing this with her friend’s best interest at heart. When the guy she considers her best friend turns against her because he thinks she is meddling she has to rethink her strategies. Ploughing on nevertheless, Emma justifies her actions to herself. When her friend turns her sights on the guy Emma realises she likes she now has a choice to make, love or friendship. Even here Emma is ready to sacrifice love for friendship as long as she can make others happy.
This story is sweet and well written with an interesting take on the classic novel Emma. The author has done a great job with this retelling, flawlessly converting the classic to a modern day setting. I appreciate the fact that the author managed to retain the essence of the main character and wove a story around her.
This is worth a read for all those who enjoyed the classic by Jane Austen and for all those searching for a sweet romance.

Book Review: Bound by M. J. Stevens

Bound
Bound by M.J. Stevens
(The Guardians #1)
Publication date: January 21st 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Synopsis:

‘No good deed ever goes unpunished, Mellea…’Mellea Wendorn hasn’t exactly had a normal life. Misfortune seems to follow her, and her family, wherever she goes.
However, when Mellea stops to assist a mysterious young man suddenly her prior hardships seem trivial.

His name is Leo. He is a Successor, a child of the Guardians of Selestia.

He is royalty.
He is handsome.
And he wants Mellea completely to himself.

Unable to escape the Guardian’s laws, Mellea must learn the ways of the royals. She is convinced her life can’t get much worse. But when a timeworn Guardian enemy arises from the shadows, Mellea must make a choice that will change her destiny forever.

Purchase: 
AUTHOR BIO:
MelanieAuthor
M.J. Stevens is a true storyteller.For a long time, words were never her best friend. However she has always had a creative spirit and writing became the lead way that she could share her ideas with the world. Today, it is her number one passion in life.

“I wish I could say that I was one of those kids that read insane amounts of books and that’s why I was inspired to write, like a lot of authors. But I actually found the joy on people’s faces [when they talk about stories they love] more inspiring and wanted to create something of my own that will give young readers that same excited expression.”

M.J.

Author Links:
My Thoughts:
This is a different story and I was hooked from the first page. The story is about Mellea and Leo. Leo decides to make Mellea his wife from the moment he sets eyes on her when she helps him out after he is attacked. Mellea has heard about the Guardians just like everyone else and from her father who dislikes them. When she is suddenly forced to become Leo’s betrothed, her world turns upside down. This story is about how she tries to rebel against her fate and situation and how she comes to terms with it and Leo. She learns so many things about the Guardians and the more she comes to know, the more her opinion changes.
The story is well written with a mix of adventure, magic and a whole lot of other things. It will keep the reader entertained throughout and the pages turning. The characters are well developed and well thought out with a story line that seems to have no holes in it. Every question that may arise in the reader’s mind gets answered and all things are justified. This is one YA fantasy sci-fi story that I would strongly recommend for all. I love the book and cannot wait to read more!