Book Review: Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

About the Book:

Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.

Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties.

A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

My Thoughts:

Having completed Book 1, I had to read Book 2 to know what happens in this duology! Leigh Bardugo brings to us an epic conclusion in this fast paced novel! Crooked Kingdom sees Kaz and his crew double-crossed and forced to go underground with almost no allies. Almost all their faces are on wanted posters and it looks like everyone is teaming up. Lured by the promise of jurda parem, everyone is coming to Ketterdam in search of the secret.

The story follows Kaz as he once again forms a master mind plan and sets out to execute it with the help of this crew of outcasts and some more people they pick up along the way. Friendships are tested, relationships are strained, new bonds are forged among everyone in this story. With revenge and justice  being strong motives as well as a sense of righteousness to get what is owed, the plot lines are brilliant and very well formulated!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading more about the characters who somehow make themselves beloved to the reader and who carve a space in their heart and mind! The book is gripping and kept me reading late into the night with an interest to find out what happens next. The author brings a few unexpected twists into the mix and leads us to an almost happy ending (can be interpreted in any way and may differ based on each person’s perspective). She also plays to the strengths of each character while also ensuring that they come into their own and discover what they can really do, thus finding their place in the world.

This duology is definitely worth reading and describes one of the best heists and revenge plots that I have come across with wonderfully crafted characters who are ruthless and still honorable in their own way. A must read series!

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.

                                         ——————–x——————–x———————

“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.”

                                         ——————–x——————–x———————

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

                                         ——————–x——————–x———————

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!

Book Review: Across the Lake (Lake to Coast Book 2) by Nancy LiPetri

I was provided with a copy of the book by the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the Book:

Across the Lake (Lake to Coast Book 2)

In this sequel to The Wooded Path, the character you least expect to return is back, experiencing lake life a whole new way. She’s pushing boundaries. Not worried about fitting in. And she can’t believe what she discovers. The second book in the Lake To Coast Series, it reveals more secrets in the close-knit community on Lake Norman and also takes readers through Spanish moss and salt spray to the famed Outer Banks of North Carolina. Will Kat find what she’s looking for, on Ocracoke Island?

My Thoughts:

Across the Lake introduces the reader to Kat, an interesting person, seemingly in the middle of a mid-life crisis as she comes to stay at a cottage off Lake Norman. Trying to make sense of her life and thoughts, her relationships and feelings, Kat seeks to spend some time away from her husband and daughters while she gathers her thoughts.

It took me some time to really get into the story, but once I caught on, the journey was interesting. My favourite friendship of all was the one between Kat and her twenty year old neighbour Hailey. Hailey’s out look towards life brought in a different perspective and she also learnt a lot from Kat. This give and take friendship is something I enjoyed reading about.

It is refreshing to read about a character who is in her forties and is dealing with issues that people can relate to. As Kat tries to figure out her life, she meets a lot of interesting people and has some interesting experiences. The friendships formed and the bonds developed help to guide her and change her. The author beautifully describes the locations and eclectic mix of people who play a part in this journey of self-discovery and self-love. It is okay to change as change is inevitable, but it is necessary to accept and adapt accordingly. I think this is something that stood out to me while reading this story!

Overall this is an enjoyable and stress-free read!

Cover Reveal – Amends: A Psychic Mystery Series by Carissa Andrews

Amends: A Psychic Mystery Series
Carissa Andrews
(A Diana Hawthorne Supernatural Mystery, #2)
Publication date: February 26th 2021
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Urban Fantasy

For as psychic as she is, shit goes sideways far too often around Diana Hawthorne.

Diana now has everything she ever wanted–her memories, and the soul mate she didn’t realize she was missing. There’s just one problem… the old gods expect her to make amends for her absence. And her work starts now.

But time lost at the oracle isn’t the only thing she has to atone for. Her friend Demetri was stripped of his powers–and it was all her fault. If she could just set things right, she’d feel a whole lot better about moving forward. Unfortunately, Demetri wants nothing to do with her and knows exactly how to keep her out of his head.

To make matters worse, in the age of social media, Diana’s abilities have gone viral. People from all over the world are clambering to get on her books. One case, in particular, hits her radar and despite herself, she can’t shake it. A 14-year-old boy is wrapped up with a deadly governmental agency and he’s scared to death. And he should be–they want to weaponize his power.

Torn between what was and what is, Diana struggles to fully embrace who she’s becoming. Will she be able to help Demitri and make things right? Or will her new role mean leaving the past behind?

Add to Goodreads / Pre-order

 

Author Bio:

“An author emerges from the depths of Minnesotan waters. Sci-fi/Fantasy is my pen of choice.”

Carissa Andrews is a Minnesota-based genre-bending author who writes a combination of science fiction, fantasy, and dystopia. When not writing her own books, she’s busy reading them.

Carissa’s internationally bestselling trilogy, The Pendomus Chronicles, is now in digital, print, and audiobook formats. She has hit the scene as an up and coming speculative fiction author who uses a mix of scifi and fantasy, twisted in modern mythology and alternative history. Check out The Final Five, Oracle, Awakening, and Love is a Merciless God!

Carissa has big plans for 2020. Check out her upcoming series, The Windhaven Witches.

For more information on their release, visit Carissa Andrews’ author website: http://www.carissaandrews.com and sign up for her newsletter notifications.

She lives in central Minnesota with her husband and brood of five kids. Not to mention, her insane husky puppies, Aztec and Pharaoh.

Carissa is also a freelance graphic designer, writer and content creator, social media manager, and marketing professional. She writes consistently on topics of science, technology, art, writing, photography, graphic design, health, self-improvement, and more. Her articles can be found published across the interwebs. Carissa is also a Top-Rated Freelancer on Upwork, and can be contacted for freelancing opportunities: http://bit.ly/UpworkCarissaAndrews

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

 

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Book Review: Sol Invictus (The Eye of Ra #2) by Ben Gartner

I was provided with an eARC by the author in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book:

Sol Invictus (The Eye of Ra, #2)

Siblings John and Sarah barely made it home last time, but in their next time traveling adventure the challenge really heats up. Surrounded by clashing cultures on the ancient Roman frontier, they must fulfill their quest to unite the emperor with his enemy, an Alemanni barbarian, or risk being stuck in time forever.

An action-packed fantasy full of sword fights, chariot chases, fearsome wild animals, and high mountain survival. For graduates of the Magic Tree House looking for a thrilling middle grade page-turner, read Sol Invictus, book two of The Eye of Ra series!

My Thoughts:

Oh my my my, this book takes the reader into the heart of ancient Rome! The second book in The Eye of Ra series, follows the siblings, Sarah and John, as they get pulled into a new adventure this time starting at the Museum! This time though, they go into it knowingly, having been told that the fate of the world rests on them. They are told that they are on a quest to unite the emperor with one of his enemies.

The story is action-packed with a lot of fights, chases and hiking! Once again we have a reference to the Sun God, but as perceived in the eyes of the Romans. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I think that it was even better than the first book. The story is a delight and once again the reader is treated to some historical facts mixed in with some sections where the author has taken creative liberty! There is another delightful recipe at the end, something that John, ‘the Little Chef’ learns during his adventure. The author makes certain references to Book 1 which helps remind the reader of some happenings or experiences from it. However, this book can also be read as a stand alone!

One part of the story that stood out to me was the bond between the siblings. Sarah is struggling for some amount of independence and does not want to have her younger brother trailing her all the time. However, when thrown into adverse situations or faced with a reality where she is separated from him, she starts to appreciate John more. This is wonderful to read about as the siblings rediscover their bond and learn to trust one another again while making new friends in ancient Rome and fighting off the enemy.

This series so far is filled with adventure, mystery and a lot of learning! The author leaves quite a bit to the imagination and through the books encourages us all to indulge in the impossible and enjoy ourselves! And finally, there is a hint that there is more where these books came from, more adventures for Sarah, John and all of us readers, children and adults alike!

Book Review: Vampire Royals (Books 1-3) by Leigh Walker

About the Books:

Book 1: The Pageant

The Pageant (Vampire Royals #1)

Who’s the fairest of them all?
Young women from every settlement in the land are being handpicked to enter The Pageant, a beauty contest reminiscent of Miss Universe from the old days. Gwyneth West’s social-climbing mother wants her to compete, by Gwyn isn’t so sure…
The Pageant is government-sponsored. If you’re lucky enough to be chosen, participation is mandatory. Aggressive competition is allowed, even encouraged.

And then there’s the prize…
The winner of The Pageant gets a marriage proposal from Dallas Black, otherwise known as The Dark Prince. Dallas is the son of King Black, who won the last world war and now governs the new settlements. The Royal Family is mysterious. Rumor has it they don’t sleep. Rumor has it they eschew the sun.
Rumor has it they’re immortal.
When Gwyn is thrust into The Pageant, she fights to survive the competitive nature of the other contestants.
But even if wins…can she survive a vampire fiancé?

 

Book 2: The Gala

The Gala (Vampire Royals #2)

 

FOUR WEEKS. TWENTY CONTESTANTS. ONE PRINCE.

The Pageant is almost over, and Gwyneth West knows she can win—except the prince is a vampire, and some of the other contestants are turning out to be quite beastly.

What do you do when the person you love…might want to eat you alive?

Struggling to hold onto her position in the palace, Gwyn knows her vampire prince could slip through her fingers in an instant. And when human rebels threaten to storm the vampire royals once more, Gwyn finds herself caught between two worlds: her people, and the vampire she loves.

Leigh Walker writes action packed futuristic sci-fi, sweet romantic vampire novels, and stories that capture your heart and then make it race.

 

Book 3: The Finale

The Finale (Vampire Royals #3)

A ROYAL WEDDING IS COMING…BUT WHICH CONTESTANT WILL BE THE BRIDE?

Gwyneth West’s a finalist in The Pageant, the dating competition that’s gripping the settlements. Down to the final week, the dashing Prince Dallas Black will choose one young woman as his fiancé.
One small issue: Gwyneth’s a human and the prince is a vampire. What’s worse? Gwyneth’s family are sworn rebels, out to take back the settlements and overthrow the crown. What’s worse than that? Gwyn’s own rebel brother is a prisoner in the castle dungeons, but the king and queen don’t know his true identity.
Gwyneth and Dallas want to show the settlements that vampires and humans can live together in peace. But as their differences threaten to tear them apart, Gwyneth discovers her love puts the prince at risk.
How do you choose between love and duty?

 

My Thoughts:

This series is very similar to ‘The Selection’ series. However, there are some differences including the fact that the Prince and his family are Vampires. The author starts this off as rumors which are later shown as the truth. The concept of vampires and humans living side by side and co-existing is a strong idea that both the Prince and Gwyn, the heroine of the story, share. The story is indeed fun to read, following the very cliched concept of a competition to find the best suitor for the Prince. However, the idea behind this is to find a way to unite all the settlements and to bring peace while trying to keep the rebel groups at bay.

The synopsis of the story promises aggressive competition, but nothing about the story is aggressive. The story centers on the chemistry between the Prince and Gwyn, giving us only minor glimpses of the interactions with the other contestants. To keep in line with the contest, there are some sections of the story devoted to etiquette training and history of the kingdom and the settlements. However, there is not a lot of character development for the other girls in the story and this takes away from the main theme of the contest.

The story then continues into the two other books, focusing on the Prince’s interaction with the girls, bringing it down to the top four contestants and his relationship with his parents. Each girl is unique in her own way and it is wonderful to read about their rivalries but also about how they come together in the end. We are also provided some insight into Gwyn’s background and her family and her relationship with the King and Queen. The love and understanding that develops between her and the prince is beautiful to read about.

Overall, this series is fun and enjoyable especially for those who love the idea of vampires and human’s together, though there is not a lot of focus on the supernatural aspect of the characters. The books are short and easy to read. They can each be read in one sitting and are a good stress free read!

Book Review – Dinosaur Adventure: A Field Trip to Remember by Kelly Santana-Banks

About the Book:

An Unforgettable Museum Expedition

Do you know which dinosaur had the most teeth? It was not the T-Rex, although the T-Rex’s teeth measured 12 inches. Which dinosaur had a tiny brain? Find out now.

Dinosaur Adventure: A Field Trip to Remember is the second book in the series Let’s Learn while Playing.

In this fun story, Miss Gina’s class is getting ready to explore dinosaurs: what they were called, how big they were, what they liked to eat. The pupils can’t hide their excitement and don’t want to waste a minute, eager to see those big creatures, especially him: the T-Rex.

They set on a quest in the dinosaur museum and had many questions for Miss Gina. While navigating the exhibition, the gang got lost but quickly found their way and had an exciting adventure.

Fans of Lily Lexington, Sally Hauss, and P. D. Eastman will not be disappointed. Children aged 3–7 will learn through play concepts of science, language arts, and math. Get yours now.

My Thoughts:

This is a simple, adventure filled story for children with a focus on Dinosaurs. The story is well-written and interspersed with pictures to provide a visual effect. Children who cannot read, can still enjoy the story as they observe the pictures and learn new words. For older children, the book focuses on teaching them new vocabulary as well as some facts interspersed into the story. I enjoyed how this short story flowed and took us on a field-trip to the Dinosaur museum. This book is definitely worth using as a teaching aid for children!

Book Blitz: In Debt To Her Millionaire Foe (Millionaire Foe Quartet # 2) by Aarti V Raman

She Hates Him But She’s In Debt To Her Millionaire Foe

Releasing on 25th October
About the Book:

When the songbird owes the business tycoon…

Former gangster, Devansh Thackeray has finally managed to carve the life he’s always aspired to.
Building a chain of seven-star hotels all over the world, a reputation for being an honest businessman…and all the women he could ask for.
Ansh’s life is perfect. Or so he thinks.
Because he is about to hit by a lightning bolt from the past that’ll make him question everything he’s worked so hard for.
And her name is Kahini Palekar.
Kahini’s life is a nightmare.
She works three jobs to pay off the loan sharks circling her.
But, Kahini doesn’t mind because she also gets to do the only thing she’s always wanted to do.
Sing.
Even if it is at a shady nightclub in the backstreets of Goa, the beach paradise of India.
Kahini’s day of reckoning arrives when Ansh arrives back in her life, right when she’s almost assaulted by the manager of the nightclub.
Ansh offers both salvation from her debt and a chance to sing at the most exclusive wedding of the decade.
But there’s just one catch.
Kahini hates Ansh’s living guts and blames him for the destruction of her life.
Even though he was the boy she once recklessly gave her heart to.
Can Ansh get to the bottom of the problems plaguing Kahini or will this songbird fly away again after repaying her debt to him?
Meet the Millionaire Foes – rising from ruin through ruthless ambition, these self-made tycoons have everything. Except, the heart of the one woman who means everything.

The Millionaire Foe Quartet series contains four steamy romances set around the world, each of which can be read as a standalone.

Read an Excerpt from In Debt To Her Millionaire Foe (Millionaire Foe Quartet # 2)

Ansh entered the bar when the lights had dimmed, already in a foul mood from the altercation he’d had outside Grungy’s.
The term “bar” was a loose translation for what the seedy confines really were. It was set in a shady part of Calangute Beach, where the locals lived. It was not the area the posh, firang tourists frequented. The air here smelled of brine and fish and cheap liquor.
The smell of the ocean was everywhere.
It was, after all, Goa the beach paradise of India.
And to everyone who came here, it promised nothing but a good time.
The patrons of Grungy’s, the small-time bar that operated till four in the morning during season, had that look about them. They were local men, embittered and looking for cheap thrills. And some willing victim to provide that for them.
Ansh knew the type. They resented the tourists for showing up and flinging their foreign currency around and expecting their silly demands of room temperature water and late-night cruises to be catered to.
And they really resented needing the silly tourists and their foreign currency too.
A classic catch-22.
But, tonight, these patrons, and that was a loose term too for what the customers of Grungy’s were, were not looking for foreign currency or cheap thrills.
They were all gathered on the rickety tables that the bar owner had graciously provided and murmuring amongst themselves while the poorly-named stage was being set up.
She was the main act tonight.
Ansh frowned and sank deeper into his chair while the bar-back set him up with a glass of the local feni – a local toddy made from fermented coconut water and rum. He frowned deeper when he saw the lipstick mark around the edge of the shot glass and gingerly cleaned the lip with his monogrammed handkerchief.
Places like these reminded Devansh Thackeray of his squalid past.
He couldn’t stand them anymore.
Then, the spotlight hit the stage. The band struck a chord and a woman in black walked up to the mike.
Ansh sat up straighter.
Was she going to start stripping or something? He hadn’t heard the best things about these places on the wharf and this one didn’t have a stellar reputation either.
And, what the hell was she doing here anyway?
He’d sent her plenty of funds seven years ago, deposited in the account her brother had set up for both of them when he had turned eighteen.
Kahini had enough money to keep her in style, because he’d instructed the company’s bankers to always replenish the funds in that account should the need ever arise. The need had never risen, to the best of his knowledge. Even though he knew the money would never bring back her dead brother.
So, was she doing this for kicks?
Some poor little rich kid slumming it thing that all the society madams were doing these days?
He honestly had no idea. And that ate at his insides, like the strength of the feni he’d gingerly taken a sip out of.
Ansh had come here to find out what the hell she’d been up to the last seven years. Since the last time he’d seen her and she’d flung bitter, accusing words at him.

About the Author:

Hi, I’m Aarti V Raman aka Writer Gal. I have been a former journalist, editor, and even a sometime-teacher before I plunged into my dream job. That of being a full-time writer.
In fact, my three favorite words are ‘happily ever after.’
This comes in handy as I primarily write bestselling contemporary romantic women’s fiction, which is all about living happily, after going through some hard times.
My more notable works include the Geeks of Caltech and Royals of Stellangård series, Something Old, Something New, More Than You Want, and The Perfect Fake among others. My chicklit family drama, The Worst Daughter Ever, has been picked up for screen adaptation.
I always love to hang with you, my dear reader friend. I’ve created Writer Gal’s Reader Pals on Facebook for this reason and I hope to see you there.
If not, I’m there on all social media as @aartivraman but I’m most active on Instagram.
Aarti on the Web:
Newsletter * Facebook * Instagram * Twitter * Facebook Group

In Conversation with E.B. Roshan

I have the pleasure of introducing E.B. Roshan on the blog. Her latest book Last Chance was released on the 4th of July.

Read on to know more about her and her book.

1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

Hello, I’m E.B. Roshan and I’m delighted to be able to share a little bit about me and my books with you all today. In addition to being an author, I’m wife to an exceptional man and mother to two sons. After spending several years living in the Middle East and Asia, our family has settled in Missouri. I’m a Goodreads Author, so please do check out my profile there and leave me a note, or ask me a question: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20265632.E_B_Roshan As a new author, I’d love to connect with more readers. I want to to hear from the people who loved my stories, and the ones who didn’t, since obviously I can’t learn and improve without feedback.

2. What prompted you to start writing?

I’ve been writing nearly all my life. When I was very young, I would write letters that were really just wobbly scribbles to my great-grandmother telling her about what I was doing. Writing runs in my family, I think. Nearly everyone seems to enjoy doing it on some level. However, it wasn’t until relatively recently I decided to take the plunge and write a series for publication. Two books in, three to go…

3. Tell us about your latest book?

          My latest book, Final Chance, is suspense with some romantic elements. It’s about a young woman’s search for her estranged and missing husband, and the trouble she gets into because she’s convinced she’s the only one who can           save him. I like to give as many people as possible the opportunity to read my books, so Final Chance is available on Kobo, Barnes&Noble, and Apple Books as well as Amazon.

4. How much research went into the writing of this book?

To be honest, I haven’t done any research for my current series. The settings and characters are based on imagination and personal experience rather than research. Though I’ve spent time in some of this world’s most troubled places, for the Shards of Sevia series, I’ve chosen to create my own setting, inspired, but not based on, any place I’ve actually lived. This is partly because I loved the challenge of creating a whole world from scratch, but mainly because some of the major themes in this story, like war and racial hatred, are very sensitive topics. I did not wish to entangle my fiction with real-world conflicts or political issues. I would like any reader, regardless of background, to be able to enjoy these stories.

5. How easy/difficult was it to write this book and create the characters for it?

My latest book, Final Chance, was actually not as easy or enjoyable to write as some of the others, because it’s the story of a difficult person going through an incredibly difficult situation. I really wanted to write the story, and I felt it had to be told the way I chose to tell it, but when I sat down with my computer and a cup of tea I didn’t say, “Ahhh, now I get to write!” The protagonist of Final Chance is a young girl named Preen.  Everyone (including her) believes her husband, Rama, is dead, but when Preen realizes he isn’t she goes against her family’s wishes, leaves her young daughter behind, and returns back to the city where he’d been living to find him. An early reader of the story summed up Preen very well: “She’s not mean-spirited, but she’s too self-focused in a way, even though she’s doing it for someone else. She also lets her common sense be blinded innumerable times in pursuit of her goal. She could be a really strong character, if she could just get over herself…”

6. How much does your day to day life inspire your characters?

Certainly I’ve gained inspiration for plots and characters from my daily life, but since I am writing fiction I take care not to use details in a way that would be offensive, making someone I know who reads the story wonder, “Yikes, is she writing about me?”

7. What do you do when you aren’t writing?

Actually, the majority of my life comes under the heading of “Not Writing,” though I really enjoy the times I have a quiet hour or two to capture the next scene in a story. As a housewife and mother, I’m usually busy with cooking, cleaning, and taking care of my boys. We have a small house and sometimes things get a little wild, but I can always settle them down by reading a good story.

8. How much time do you spend on your writing on average per day?

That really depends—some days I have time to write a lot, other days hardly at all. Since I’m not trying to make a living off my books, that takes away a great deal of pressure, I think. Writing stories is a relaxing, creative activity.

9. What do you like best about writing a story?

I love the satisfaction that comes from creating anything new, and I really love it when other people read my stories and for a short time find themselves living in the world I created.

10. What kind of impact do your stories have on you?

Writing keeps my brain fresh and active in a way that washing muddy shoes or picking grains of rice out of the rug just doesn’t. You other moms/authors out there know what I’m talking about, I’m sure.

11. Finally, what message do you want to share with us readers?

          Thanks for reading! Writing wouldn’t be much fun for me if I didn’t know there were people out there who really enjoy my stories. And thank you, Namrata, for giving me the opportunity to share this interview.

Book Review: Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

About the Book:

Legendary (Caraval, #2)

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…the games have only just begun.

My Thoughts:

Legendary is the second book in the series and follows the story just after Caraval has finished. In fact, it is wonderful that this story takes up from the next day! The story follows Donatella, the younger sister as she moves forward from one Caraval game to the next. In the first, she was just a prop while her older sister Scarlett had to play to find her. Moving on from this, the two sisters are free and can try to start their lives again, but Tella has a debt to pay. As the magic and adventure unravel, the reader is once again drawn into the depths of a story where nothing is at it seems or maybe, for once, everything is as real as it seems.

Is it just a game or is it reality? These questions plague not only the characters in the book, but also the reader. The journey to discover Caraval Master Legend’s true name is also a journey of bravery, and love. Tella has many choices to make, even though her path seems clear and in the end, she has to make the ultimate sacrifice for the ones that she loves.

Though Legendary is very well-written and a wonderful sequel, it is not as thrilling as the first book. It is a little slower with more focus on the characters and their identities. We meet a lot of new characters as well and are introduced to the sisters’ past, their family and learn many  truths about many of the people! As Scarlett struggles to find her footing between the one she loves and the one she was arranged to be married to, Tella navigates the game of Caraval again trying to find the answers she seeks. The characters are compelling, you’ll love some, you’ll hate some and there are those that fall in between.

The story is definitely worth the read and the hype and is a fitting sequel to the first, clearing up many things and giving the reader much more in the form of love and friendship. The cliffhanger at the end leaves us wanting for more and will definitely force the reader to pick up the third and final book in the series, Finale!