Delve into the depths of mysterious happenings and rebirth in the book When Shadows Turn Dark!

I was provided with a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

When Shadows Turn Dark

by Vidya Anand

Published by Notion Press, March 2016

When Shadows Turn Dark

About the Book:

Anirudh is clouded with the mysteries of a past life, which he relives through his nightmares. Though his logical mind denies it, he sets out to unravel the secrets about the girl in his dreams, Chitrangada, and her brutal death.

His friends, Madhav and Trisha, support him through his inner battle.

In another part of the world, Sanjana and Abhimanyu are happy in their lives, quite unaware that they are also destined to become a part of this cryptic game.

Will Anirudh be able to save himself from slipping completely into the past?

When Shadows Turn Dark is a tale about friendship, love, betrayal and revenge that interweaves the lives of these people.

A tale about the mystical world of rebirth, and much more!

My Thoughts:

I did not enjoy this book much and I had to concentrate hard to get through it. The main plot seems to have come right out of a Bollywood script, with so many similarities that it is not so easy to distinguish which is original and which is not.

Anirudh, the protagonist, has had dreams about the death of a girl named Chitra, his entire life and he doesn’t know why. He doesn’t even know who she is. Sanjana, the descendant of princess Chitrangada, who lived almost 100 years ago, suddenly experiences changes in moods and we have no idea why. Set in a time when everyone has secrets and won’t talk openly, the concept of rebirth is frowned upon. The story draws upon the past to define the present and the decisions of the various characters take the story forward.

The characters are not very interesting or well developed. The reader is not given much to go on and it is quite difficult to relate to the characters. The women are created under the usual stereotypes of gossip, giggles and being bothered about guys more than their work or career. The men are shallow and there is no depth in the character personalities.

The story runs in two parallels, present day, and a story-line from almost 100 years ago, about which the protagonist has been having dreams his entire life. It doesn’t seem as though a lot of research has gone into the career choice of the characters and it’s ironic how they all end up in the same palace that the past refers to. Even though his friend Madhav has been shown as supportive, the characters never really express themselves and the reader doesn’t know what they are really thinking or how they fit into this story.

There is a lot of repetition of points and this acts as a deterrent while reading, making it difficult to concentrate. Also, while bringing together the past and present, and introducing the concept of rebirth, there is no clarity in the plot. When all the characters meet (this is extremely brief), there is no explanation or connection to what they have experienced. It’s just a short connection and then all of a sudden they all go their own ways. This makes the story uninteresting as it ends up flowing without coherence of thought. The story could have been brought out better with a little more explanation and stronger background information.

On the whole, however, the story is simply written and if you’re looking for a quick read that doesn’t need much thought, this is worth a shot.

Inkitt – app launch for Android

I was asked by the Inkitt team to promote the app on it’s release date (which is today!) and spread the word. Read further to know all about it!

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THE INKITT APP BRINGS THOUSANDS OF NOVELS BY INDIE AUTHORS TO ANDROID

Inkitt empowers readers and publishers to discover world’s next best sellers

BERLIN, JANUARY 7, 2017: Inkitt, the world’s first readers and data-driven book publishing house is introducing an Android app for phones and tablets, globally available from today.

Inkitt’s iOS app became available back in November and was well received by users: The app was not only featured on the US App Store but also on numerous other App Stores around the world, as well as on the front page of Product Hunt, ranking in the top 10 in Tech.

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Inkitt for iOS featured as a top Books app in the US App Store

Following the warm welcome by the iOS community, and in order to meet the demand of their own fast growing user base, Inkitt is now bringing their digital library with thousands of novels by emerging authors to Android devices.

“It was a great reward to see Inkitt featured as a top app in numerous App Stores around the world and receive such great feedback from users” says Inkitt’s Founder and CEO, Ali Albazaz. “Readers were really excited about the iOS app but kept asking when we’re launching on Android too. We heard them, worked really hard and today we’re bringing Inkitt to Android devices. All readers will now be able to discover tomorrow’s bestsellers on the go and read great novels by upcoming authors wherever they are.”

Inkitt for Android – 4 key features:

  • Access to thousands of novels from all fiction genres: fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, thriller, horror, romance, drama, action, adventure, YA and more
  • Personalized reading suggestions: hand-picked novels based on a reader’s favorite fiction genres

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  • Customizable look to match user preferences (e.g. font size, color combinations)

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  • Online/Offline: readers can save novels to their offline library to access them anytime

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Beyond being a platform connecting aspiring authors with book lovers, Inkitt’s mission is to become the world’s fairest publishing house: Its in-house developed algorithm analyzes reading behavior to determine the potential of a novel to become the next bestseller. Using this unique data-driven approach, Inkitt wants to ensure that great works by new and talented writers never again stay in the dark.

Since July, Inkitt has published 7 novels: Catalyst Moon: Incursion by Lauren L. Garcia (Fantasy), Just Juliet by Charlotte Reagan (YA Romance), I Was A Bitch by Emily Ruben (YA Romance Mystery), Esper Files by Egan Brass (SciFi) and Caged by Onaiza Khan (Psychological Thriller),  King’s Lament by Lilia Blanc (Fantasy Romance) and Three Fat Singletons by J.M. Bartholomew (Humor Romance), six of which became bestsellers on Amazon.

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Inkitt for Android will be available to download on Google Play from the 7th of January 2017

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About Inkitt

On the surface, Inkitt (www.inkitt.com) is a platform where aspiring writers can share their novels and inquisitive readers can unearth fresh content. But under the hood, we are democratizing publishing: The Inkitt algorithm analyzes reading behavior to predict future bestsellers. In other words: if readers love it, Inkitt publishes it.

MEDIA CONTACT

marvin@inkitt.com

Book Review: A Game of Greed and Deception by John Mathews

About the Book:

A Game of Greed and Deception

She is young and beautiful, and recently married to a very wealthy middle-aged man who considers her to be the ultimate woman for him and holds her out as a model for his beloved 10-year-old daughter. They travel to a mountain hideaway to celebrate their first year together as a family when things begin to unravel. Her husband goes missing after a treacherous car accident, and the wife and daughter seem trapped and isolated, and stalked from both inside and outside the cabin.

What ensues is the story of a woman driven by her soulless greed and self entitlement, and a man who is wronged and apparently out to get revenge. This deadly game of cat and mouse will keep you on the edge of your seat. The macabre scenes include deadly traps and medieval torture devices, hidden doors, secret rooms, and an underground labyrinth of torture chambers. Add in the legend of a hoard of pure gold bars, and it becomes clear that someone has a much bigger plan in mind and will let nothing get in their way. But who? This is the story of a plot so devious that it is set up to fool the State police investigation. But can it fool you? Keep guessing until the final scene as to what is really going on and let your intuition guide you.

My Thoughts:

An unexpected story with lots of twists and turns, this book will have the reader craving for more. Tammy marries an older man, mainly for his money. As the story unfolds, she plans a romantic getaway to a remote, isolated place with her husband and his 10 year old daughter. Little does she know that there are unexpected troubles in store. When Stephen ends up in a car crash, Tammy expects that she will now get the money that she was eyeing. However, a snow storm, a crazy cabin in the snow covered mountain and someone stalking her adds suspense to the plot.

The authors has written the story well with narration mostly from Tammy’s POV. There is a lot of inner dialogue that she has with herself and through this we come to know of her past. I am not sure whether this helps justify her behavior but it sure does give the reader perspective. A fast paced thriller, this will have you on the edge of your seat. Every character we are introduced to, including the daughter, has a hidden agenda of their own. This adds to the mix and thus ensue a series of events that take the reader on a roller-coaster ride of murder, mystery and mayhem. We come to realize that the author has a bigger plan and everyone is just a pawn in his game with everyone being a master of greed and deception.

What will happen at the end? Read on to find out! A wonderful gift for fans of mystery and thrillers! Pick this book up and enjoy!

Conversations Among Ruins by Matthew Peters

About the Book:

Conversations Among Ruins

CONVERSATIONS AMONG RUINS is a portrait of a descent into madness, and the potential of finding salvation there.

While in detox, Daniel Stavros, a young, dual diagnosed* professor meets and falls in love with the cryptic Mimi Dexter. But Mimi has secrets and, strangely, a tattoo identical to a pendant Daniel’s mother gave him right before she died.

Drawn together by broken pasts, they pursue a twisted, tempestuous romance. When it ends, a deteriorating Stavros seeks refuge at a mountain cabin where a series of surreal experiences brings him face to face with something he’s avoided all his life: himself.

Though miles away, Mimi’s actions run oddly parallel to Daniel’s. Will either be redeemed, or will both careen toward self-destruction?

*The term dual diagnosed refers to someone suffering from a mood disorder (e.g., depression) and chemical dependency.

My thoughts:

A raw, deep, emotional book, this will give the reader an insight into a troubled soul and the mind of a person dual diagnosed. The author seeks to bring out the troubles of a young professor who wants to avoid confronting his inner demons. When he meets Mimi while in rehab, he falls in love and we are drawn into a world of love, secrets and some amount of mystic is thrown in. Mimi has her own share of secrets and they are forced to decide how to proceed with their lives.

Written beautifully, the author pulls us into Daniel’s world of confusion and inebriation. Between the two, we are as confused as Daniel and ultimately imagination and reality seem to merge and the line between them disappears. As with the author’s style of writing, all the plot lines in this book are important and come together very well by the end of the story.

We are shown the importance of life along with the necessity and ways of dealing with alcoholism and mental illness. The descriptions are vivid and conversations are thought provoking and the question of whether our characters attain salvation will encourage the reader to finish the book. There is a message to this book and I am sure many can relate to some of the topics raised in this story. For the style of writing and the concept, I strongly recommend this book which I enjoyed immensely.

The Fish Tales Series is on Sale!

Author Suanne Laqueur would like you all to know that from May 11th through May 18th, all books in the Fish Tales series will be priced at 0.99! I personally vouch for this series and believe that they are worth reading as well as collecting! My reviews of the books are already available on the blog and can be referred to for more information. My review is also available on Goodreads and Amazon.com if you guys are looking for a small push to cement your decision in buying the books!

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The following are the buy links for the books:

Amazon US Links:

The Man I Lovehttp://www.amazon.com/The-Man-Love-Suanne-Laqueur-ebook/dp/B00L2H6CSO/

Give Me Your Answer Truehttp://www.amazon.com/Give-Me-Your-Answer-True-ebook/dp/B00V0ZF7MK/

Here to Stayhttp://www.amazon.com/Here-Stay-Fish-Tales-Book-ebook/dp/B01AKBIZB4/

Amazon UK Links:

The Man I Love: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00L2H6CSO/

Give Me Your Answer True: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Give-Your-Answer-True-Tales-ebook/dp/B00V0ZF7MK/

Here to Stay: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01AKBIZB4

Book Review: Under the Pong Pong Tree by Hal Levey

I was provided with a free copy of the book by Publishing Push in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book:

Under the Pong Pong Tree

“Nothing can prepare the Chinese residents of Singapore for the tyranny that is ahead when the Japanese invade Singapore during World War II.

They get a sense of their new reality when Col. Kosaka stands in the shade of a Pong Pong tree—a tree that bears poisonous fruit—and orders the beheading of Mr. Tan, owner of a rubber plantation.

Li Lian Goh, a beautiful, sixteen-year-old girl, survives the carnage that follows, but her family is torn apart—like so many others that come under the iron fist of the Japanese.

She’s consigned to a military brothel where she is impregnated by a cruel Japanese officer. Desperate to survive and protect her unborn daughter, she manages to escape and gives birth in a Malay village to a baby girl she names Maimunah.

Capt. Mike Cagle, an American fighter pilot in Vietnam, meets Maimunah in her home village many years later, and he’s dazzled by her beauty. But their blossoming romance seems doomed when a missile locks onto Cagle’s F-4.

Love and the brutality of war are woven together in a beautiful, heart-wrenching tapestry in Under the Pong Pong Tree.”

My thoughts:

The story brings out the truth behind what people faced during the WWII when the Japanese invaded Singapore. It is  both horrifying and brutally honest. The author does not hesitate describe the events in great detail with no sugar coating to make it seem less horrific.

The story told from the perspective of a female protagonist is strong and highlights her life and what she has faced. the story is phased out in two parts; the first from Li Lian’s childhood until she takes over the rubber plantations and the second is when her daughter Maimunah comes back into her life along with the introduction of Mike Cagle, an american who only seems to add to the charm of the various characters present.

There are a lot of characters involved in the story, but the beauty lies in the way they all come together at the end. Each one has a specific role to play and they each bring with them a part of the story. The strength of the story lies in the plot and the style of narration.

The author intersperses the deeper relationships of friendship and family along with the more superficial ones. He brings out the feelings of misery, hatred as well as love amidst the backdrop of the war. The underlying message is that of trust and loyalty as well as to stick to one’s beliefs.

Li Lian may have been through a lot in the story as well as done a lot, however we are shown that she was human. She was not always right and even she accepted it. She meets a lot of people in her journey, many who help her and many who don’t and she forms bonds that remain for life. This is the beauty of the narration and character sketches. The characters are very well developed and have various shades to them some even coming across as vibrant. A peep into our history in a fresh way is a good way to describe this book.

If I continue typing I may just give away the entire story as it is still fresh in my mind. To prevent that, I will stop with my raving and say that I strongly recommend this book to all bookworms out there. This is a refreshing read and a breath taking, heart  stopping account of life faced during the WWII, and a look at a smaller war that most would not comment on.

Buy links to the book on Amazon:

Book Review: The Nidhi Kapoor Story

About the Book:

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Nidhi Kapoor is a very successful, second-generation film star. She is the daughter of the great Nishant Kapoor, who came out of nowhere to become the first real superstar in the 80s.

The day before she is to start shooting for her much anticipated film, she comes home to discover her beloved pets killed mercilessly. Apart from the mangled dead bodies, the unknown assailant has left behind a letter threatening Nidhi, Nishant and their family.

ACP Prakash Mohile of the Mumbai Police is summoned to investigate the case. He asks Rujuta Singh, a photojournalist working on a photo-essay on Mumbai Police, to come along.

In the absence of any clues, Prakash and Rujuta are forced to dig into the past of Bollywood’s first family. Unknowingly, they stumble upon a violent tale of lies, betrayal, treachery, infidelity and even murder at Kapoors.

Little did they know that the murder of pets was going to be the first in a long sequence of attacks on Nidhi. The unknown assailant is adamant on taking away from Nidhi everything she holds dear – her family, her parental home, her career, her reputation and her life.

My Thoughts:

This book falls into the category of a psychological thriller. It highlights the various events in the life of an actor who was the star of Bollywood. Nishant Kapoor starts off as a poor boy looking to make it big and ends up as the star of Bollywood. The author goes into detail about the trials he faces and how his life changes. The story is set at a time when Nidhi, Nishant’s second daughter is at the peak of her acting career. The police are called in when her pets are found dead in the house and then follow what looks like sabotage.

As the investigation is on, we are introduced to two major characters apart from the people in the Kapoor’s family; ACP Prakash Mohile, an uptight person who takes his work seriously and has a wonderful track record, and a journalist, Rujuta, who tags along while working on her assignment on the police department. These two characters have been sketched really well by the author and are quite strong. The journalist is inspiring in many ways and shows that being a woman is no hindrance to what you want to do in life. Her aunt, who makes a small appearance in the story plays a pivotal role towards the end.

The Kapoor household consists of Nidhi, her older sister and their mother’s brother as well as Nishant who is brought back into the picture later on. The authors spins a sinister web of murder, betrayal, love and slowly reveals a plot that will keep the reader enthralled. As the investigation continues, the deeper they dig into the past, the more the truth about Nishant’s personality and his family comes to light. The climax of the story is brilliantly written with a good ending.

However, though the author manages to tie up most of the loose ends and neatly close the plot, there are a few things that remain unanswered. These however do not deviate from the fact that this is a well written story and will be enjoyed by those who love a good mystery or psych thriller.

I would like to thank the author for giving me this opportunity to read and review his book!