Dark and sad, Paige Dearth brings out a part of life that many don’t see, in her book When Smiles Fade!

About the Book:

When Smiles Fade

Emma’s father’s coldblooded beatings and the ultimate abuse to which he subjects her, lays the foundation of the person she becomes. As she matures into a resourceful teenager, she is unwilling and unable to stifle her desire for revenge. Reaching her breaking point she can no longer control the impulse to fight back and finally takes matters into her own hands.

Having learned the art of hatred from her father and the mastery of manipulation from her mother, young Emma now sets out to make a better life for herself, leaving the memory of the abused child she had once been behind her. Hardened by the heartless brutality she encounters and the dangerous situations she must overcome in the course of her journey, she faces every challenge that comes her way in her quest for a normal life for herself and for those she loves.

Finally a person emerges from within that guides her toward a better life until she learns of a secret that sets her on the path of ultimate redemption.

 My Thoughts:

What would you do if your only option to survive is to do anything? Would you resort to killing the people who hurt you to protect the ones you love? What does it mean to be hated and hurt? How do you live in a family devoid of the basic emotion that connects them, love and trust? How does your upbringing shape who you ultimately become?

These are the kind of questions that this book raises and answers in some ways. There cannot be a right answer, it’s more of a perspective which the author brings out in a gentle manner. This is required when dealing with topics of abuse and hurt. Paige Dearth introduces us to Emma and her younger sister, who are subject to severe abuse from their father, with a mother who turns the other way through all this. To be frank, it is expected that the children will be traumatized, and that is putting it mildly. These experiences can change a person and the author portrays the same through the protagonist, Emma. She is strong-willed and resourceful while at the same time has a pleasing personality. It becomes difficult to dislike her or condemn her actions when she is after all doing her best to survive.

The people the sisters encounter along the way leave profound impacts on their lives. Some help them and end up becoming life long friends while the others end up somewhere in a ditch, and that’s putting it mildly. Everyone craves normalcy and a mundane life at times and the sisters are no different. However, tragedy seems to strike  so many times, it’s a wonder that they still find reasons to smile. In the end, Emma has the last laugh, but it was worth it all.

The author’s writing is bold and to the point and she doesn’t hold back on her descriptions. There is no stone left unturned in the journey of the sisters and Emma finally learns that you move on – “When smiles fade”! The title is apt and the reader understands this eventually. The story has a lot of smaller plot lines, with each encounter giving us a different glimpse into the characters who support this story and take it forward. The characters are well developed and clearly defined, giving the reader a clear idea of their personalities and at the same time helping us understand how they fit in.

The final question of “Will she find redemption and be happy?” is answered and I really enjoyed the way the story ended. It proved that Emma is a survivor and this is an inspiring thought. There is a lot to learn and understand in this book and I strongly recommend the same to all.

In conversation with Roland Colton, author of Forever Gentleman

Forever Gentleman by Roland Colton

ISBN: 978-1681142296

Publisher: Anaphora Literary Press

Release Date: July 11, 2016

$29.99

http://www.amazon.com

http://www.rolandcolton.com

http://www.anaphoraliterary.com

In Conversation with Roland Colton

  1. At the beginning of Forever Gentleman, struggling architect and pianist, Nathan Sinclair, encounters the glamourous and beautiful heiress, Jocelyn Charlesworth. What draws Nathan to Jocelyn, and how does she respond to him when they first meet?

Although he has no expectation of an introduction, Nathan is intrigued enough to see if Ms. Charlesworth’s beauty is as extraordinary as the Sunday Times portrays it. Despite his protestations, the mistress of the estate insists on introducing Nathan to Jocelyn.  Once he observes her beauty firsthand, an intoxication of senses sweeps over him—never before has he seen a woman of such unimaginable beauty. Jocelyn’s reaction to Nathan is one of boredom, having endured countless stares from past star-struck suitors. She toys with him, looking for any opportunity to end the interview. Once she believes him to be a common servant, she rebukes him publicly, appalled that a servant would have the audacity to seek her acquaintance.

  1. Nathan also meets the simple and plain social worker, Regina Lancaster. What’s special about Regina, and why does Nathan feel such a deep connection to her?

Though her outward appearance is ordinary, Nathan initially feels a strong attraction to Regina’s eyes and senses a kindred spirit.  Her dark brown eyes convey a journey through unspeakable tragedy, resulting in a deep appreciation for life and depth of character. Nathan is also attracted to Regina’s modesty, simplicity and inner beauty, qualities he admired in his mother. Once he learns of Regina’s selfless service to London orphans, he wonders if any man could possibly be worthy of her.

  1. Music plays an important role in the story and in Nathan’s life. How do the musical elements in the novel tie together the themes in Forever Gentleman?

Nathan’s life has been steeped in music since his operatic mother gave birth to him. His pianistic bravado opens the door of London Society, and he becomes comfortable in a world far different than his humble abode. The music in Forever Gentleman accompanies the story as a soundtrack does a movie, enhancing both drama and mood. Women are attracted to Nathan’s musical genius, fostering love and romance in the story.

  1. The Victorian Era was a time of contradictory wealth and poverty, along with great change, in England. What drew you to write a story set in this time period in history?

I’ve always been intrigued by a world where great beauty and brilliance could exist in the midst of poverty and misery.  While writing the story, I imagined what it would have been like to have lived in both worlds, as does Nathan in the story.  Also interesting is the sanitation miracle that occurred in the 1860’s, pulling London literally out of the squalor and stench of rotting pipes and sewer overflow into a world free of cholera and other dread diseases. And I wanted the timing of my story to coincide with the advent of the modern piano and creation of some of my favorite compositions.

5. How would you describe your writing process? And can you tell us about some of the research you did when you were writing Forever Gentleman?

My writing recipe involves equal amounts of struggle and ease. Sometimes the words flow in abundance; other times, I labor over every word in a sentence. I try not to let my writing get in the way of the story, and my goal was to have the reader lose himself or herself in Victorian London.  Many hundreds of hours were spent in research in my attempt to evoke the sights, sounds and smells of that bygone time. I strove for authenticity in events and venues, including authentic references to concerts, plays, performers and other events depicted in the book. I wanted to capture the times as they were, which is no small task when we live in a world far removed from that melancholy era.

  1. Are you working on another novel? If so, what can you tell us about it?

Yes, I’m writing a new novel that highlights another passion of mine—my love for the sport of baseball. The book begins in 1911, highlighting the exploits of the wonder of the baseball world, Ty Cobb. Using newspaper reports from the time, the reader experiences some of the most incredible sports feats ever accomplished, usually thanks to the genius and skill of Mr. Cobb. After the opening chapters, a hit-and-run accident victim is discovered in modern times (with a face damaged beyond recognition), who purports to be Ty Cobb, mysteriously transported into the future. As the plot continues, this mystery man eventually shows exceptional baseball talent and ultimately plays a brand of baseball unlike anything in modern times, turning the sports world on its head. Is it possible that this baseball ace is truly Ty Cobb, or is it some imposter who has taken upon his attributes?  Only time will tell.

A glimpse into SWEEK, a mobile platform whose motto is that stories never end!

Nowadays, people are moving more towards ebooks instead of investing in a physical copy of books. This is proving to be quite useful in many ways, making it easier to carry books around. With Sweek, reading books on mobile devices is made easier and more user friendly. An interesting concept, read on to know more about the app and how it came to be.

About Sweek:

Sweek is a mobile platform which allows anyone to read, write and share stories. All over the world. In an instant. For free.

It allows the user to read from a number of options, write or publish their own work and reach a large reader base, as well as share their favourite stories with friends via the various social media platforms.

Sweek’s mission statement:

‘Sweek stimulates community based writing and reading on a global scale by enabling everybody to easily publish, read and share stories with the world at no cost. By providing mobile and online reading, Sweek contributes to a more sustainable future.’

History of Sweek:

Sweek was incubated by Mybestseller, the European market leader in self-publishing. The founders of Mybestseller saw an opportunity in the rising trend of mobile publishing. Key were changing reading habits, serialization of content and short stories. After some research and deliberation, the Sweek concept was born!

In September 2015, Sweek was formally established. Since then the team grew considerably  and now consists of 14 members.

Now, since June 2016, Sweek has been available to the public on both Android and iOS platforms!

Publishing perspectives:

By introducing Sweek, Mybestseller offers publishers a comprehensive proposition and innovative tools for self-publishing and mobile publishing that can be easily integrated in their strategy in the fast changing publishing world. The focus is on creating synergies between traditional, mobile and self-publishing.

Benefits for publishers

Next to directly increasing sales via the marketing tool, publishers can benefit in other ways from using Sweek. Big data is very important to publishers, as it gives insight in reading behavior and trends, and in the reader demographics of their writers. Publishers can also use Sweek to scout upcoming writers with a large online follower base, who have already proven themselves: the new rockstars of writing will arise from mobile publishing.

Sweek self-publishing

Next to the Sweek mobile publishing platform, users are offered the opportunity to publish their paperbacks or e­-books via Sweek self­-publishing. For free. The state-of-the-art publishing platform enables any author to easily publish, promote and sell books. All relevant sales channels and a variety of additional services are available to the user. The best thing is, there are no costs upfront and authors receive a royalty per sold copy. Even though stories are available for free on Sweek, the team is convinced that fans would love to have an e-book or a printed copy.

Connect with Sweek:

If you want to read more about the Sweek story and the team, just check out the Sweek blog.

Further you can connect on social media at:

facebook

twitter

instagram

pinterest

Prepare yourself for a lightning-fast, fun, thrill-ride in Snatched by Alison Golden

About the Book:

Snatched (Diana Hunter #2)

What would you do if you discovered a dead body? Would you investigate? Try to solve the case before the police arrive?
Would you prattle on about theories regarding the murder, realizing you know almost too much about it? Would you put the handsome detective off balance so that he then accuses you of being the murderer? All before 9AM? No… surely no one would do that?

Clearly, you haven’t met Diana Hunter.

When embarking on an early morning run, Diana notices a man sitting on the ground reading a book. When she returns, she finds he hasn’t moved a muscle since she left her house. She checks him over and discovers that he is stone cold. Once the emergency services arrive, all equipped with a very good-looking, but pompous detective, Peter Hopkinson, she has to continually prove to the detective why she is not the killer while trying to solve the murder herself.

Will Diana find the murderer before the detective does, or will they both discover that something a lot more sinister is going on at Royal Bay Beach?

My Thoughts:

This story is fast-paced and a very quick read filled with interesting characters. The plot is convincing, starting with the main protagonist Diana, setting out for her morning run. On the way, she notices a person sitting under a tree near her building who has been sitting in the same position since she started her run. It is said that curiosity killed the cat, and though this is not literally the case, Diana finds herself in the position of explaining herself to the lead detective on the case. Add in the fact that he is not at all what she pictured detectives to be like and her wild imagination and we have an interesting chemistry between the two.

The author doesn’t dwell much into the background of the characters, only briefly providing information to fill in plot holes, making it a little difficult to understand them. Also, the whole story seems to happen very smoothly with no roadblock or any disturbances. This is not very realistic, but will still hold the readers attention. However, this doesn’t take away much and still ensures that the story is worth the read. The events unfold very quickly and Diana’s sharp mind prove to be an asset. It is nice to read about a female protagonist who is strong willed, inquisitive and extremely witty, piecing together facts to help solve the mystery.

Grab a copy of this short suspense filled mystery that most mystery lovers will enjoy!

Laugh out Loud with The Professional Freelancer by Rory Scherer

About the Book:

The Professional Freelancer

After being laid off at my latest company that fell victim to insider fraud, and the job market at its lowest point in years, I decided to follow the advice of my self-made millionaire friend and become ‘The Professional Freelancer’. Spiraling out of control, I found myself involved in several extremely dangerous situations that strangely all seem to be connected involving the mafia, a Korean street gang, a white-collar crime, and masterminding the annual euchre championships at a senior citizens retirement home.

My Thoughts:

This is a hilarious book which most people will relate to since at some point in every person’s life, we have all felt the same as the protagonist. The story is narrated from the point of view of the protagonist, an unnamed man. The events that unfold are sometimes so unlikely, but only add to the drama and hilarity of the situations. This story is very short, making it a fast read, but it s definitely worth the time spent. With a different kind of theme and most of the story set realistically, the reader will be able to relate to some of the situations and laugh at the rest. It shows us what happens when someone ends up taking a mixed genre of jobs, each extremely different from the other, as well as when you are faced with a situation you never expected to encounter in the first place. Add to this temporary memory loss and it’s a laugh riot all the way!

Grab a free copy of SKYBLIND from March 11th-15th on Amazon

SKYBLIND by J.R. Fehr will be available for free on Amazon for kindle, from March 11th-15th 2017.

Grab a copy of the book here during that period.

Read on to know more about the book. Look out for my review of SKYBLIND in the upcoming weeks.

About the Book:

In a world with only two seasons – Day and Night – light is all that separates the living from the cursed. For when Night falls, the Locura plague the land…

Corwin Medisto is turning 16 and becoming a man, but that’s the furthest thing from his mind. He and his twin sister Taylee have discovered an ancient relic fueled by dark magic that has a mysterious link to their long dead mother. Worse yet, they’ve accidentally activated it.

Desperate to learn the truth of its origins and to break free of its curse, the twins leave home with childhood friend Tray’o and embark on a quest that leads them to come face to face with Syyris Sagrado, the god of Day, and discover a forbidden power greater than the forces of Day … and Night.

About the Author:

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.

Cover Reveal: Chameleon by Zoe Kalo

~ Cover Reveal ~
Chameleon by Zoe Kalo
Genre: YA/Gothic/Ghost/Multicultural
Word Count: 55,000
Release Date: February 2017

Premise:
Kicked out of school, 17-year old Paloma finds herself in an isolated convent in the tropical forests of 1970s Puerto Rico, where she must overcome her psychosis in order to help a spirit and unveil a killer.

Blurb:

An isolated convent, a supernatural presence, a dark secret…

17-year-old Paloma only wanted to hold a séance to contact her dead father. She never thought she would be kicked out of school and end up in an isolated convent. Now, all she wants is to be left alone. But slowly, she develops a bond with a group of girls: kind-hearted Maria, insolent Silvy, pathological liar Adelita, and their charismatic leader Rubia. When, yet again, Paloma holds a séance in the hope of contacting her father, she awakens an entity that has been dormant for years. And then, the body count begins. Someone doesn’t want the secret out…

Are the ghost and Paloma’s suspicions real—or only part of her growing paranoia and delusions?

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:

The Longest Ride

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I am back with more on books by Nicholas Sparks, but this time I am not giving a book review!! The Longest Ride is Nicholas Sparks latest novel which is going to release on the 17th of September 2013!! Being an ardent fan of his books and writing I simple cannot wait to grab a copy of his book and immerse myself in the world of his characters. His books have been my source of experiencing such love as can never be imagined in real life and his characters are not perfectionists or unreal people but someone who seems just like a normal person!!

Reading the summary or synopsis of the story on his official website (link will be at the end of this post for those fans out there like me) I felt a compelling urge to get the book already. It is so difficult to wait. So next I am including the synopsis of the book taken from the official site:

Summary:

Ira Levinson is in trouble.  At ninety-one years old, in poor health and alone in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash.   Suffering multiple injuries, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes and comes into focus beside him:  his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago.  Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families.  Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.

A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change.  Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school.  Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward — even life and death – loom large in everyday life.  As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans —  a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.

Ira and Ruth.  Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

From the above summary we can see that this book is another one of his signature love stories with a lot of meaning and messages conveyed as well as some values in life. I will definitely post a review of the book when i read it. But until then, this teaser of the book should suffice!!

The official website of Nicholas Sparks is : http://www.nicholassparks.com

Do visit the site, and fans like me can register to receive to email updates!!

– Dark Warrior

Blasphemy

index

Blasphemy is the third book Tehmina Durrani penned (but was her literary debut) in 1991 after she wrote her autobiography titled My Feudal Lord and a biography of Abdul Sattar Edhi, Pakistan’s renowned and highly decorated social worker, titled A Mirror to the Blind.

The book is said to be based on a true story with some names altered. Whether it is a true story or not, it will shake you right down to your little toe. I am not going to talk about the story or what happens in this book. I am only going to tell you how this book has impacted me.

The book is an eye-opener and though the events described in the book are horrifying, it is not possible to stop reading once you start. The book also subtly highlights the strength of a woman and how much she is willing to sacrifice for the sake of her children, to the extent of assisting in and going down the wrong path. I was stunned when I finished reading the book, in fact I cannot find proper words to describe how I felt or even feel right now. I would say that I feel numb if that can even be counted as a feeling! Frankly no person is bad. I would look at every person through shades of grey. However, doing something and justifying it in the name of religion is something that is not right. We should be aware of this and try to avoid it both for our sake and the sake of others. But I will say that this book is a must read for people mainly because of the issues (though controversial) discussed and every human should be made aware of the way women are treated in some places.

Synopsis:

Set in South Pakistan, this controversial novel is a searing study of evil. It is the tragic and shocking story of the beautiful Heer, brutalized and corrupted by Pir Sain, the so-called man of God whom she is married to at the age of fifteen. But the nightmare she is locked into is not hers alone; it affects the entire clan that owes allegiance to the pir. Sucked into the fetid hell of her lord’s making, Heer loses her dignity, her freedom, even her humanity, till a terrible resolution gives her back to herself.

I do hope everyone reads this book. I am sorry for not going into detail about the story though I have included the summary/synopsis given at the back of the book. I would rather everyone reads it and see for themselves!

A WALK TO REMEMBER by Nicholas Sparks

600full-a-walk-to-remember-cover

This was among the first of the author’s books I read. The moment I read this I fell in love with the author’s style of writing and his way of storytelling. This is a love story that touches you to the depths of your soul. It is heartwarming and heart wrenching, happy and sad all wrapped up in on.

The story revolves around the lives of two youngsters, a girl, Jamie, who has a rare form of leukemia which no one knows about, and a boy, Landon, who is the popular guy at school. Jamie is loving, caring, and a true believer in god while Landon is troubled, rebellious and resents his father for leaving him and his mother. Due to certain circumstances, Landon is forced to be a part of the school Christmas play as punishment for his bad behavior. He spends time with Jamie while working on the play and develops feelings for her in spite of her warning him against it. He stands up for her against his friends and soon his priorities in life undergo a huge change. Once he discovers the existence of her bucket list, he sets out to help her fulfill it. When she finally confesses the truth about her illness, after her father reproaches her for hiding it, Landon though hurt and unhappy that she had not told him before, remains with her and makes her happy. When Jamie’s health takes a turn for the worse, Landon makes up his mind to fulfill her number one on her bucket list, to marry someone she loves in the same church where her parents got married. She gives him her mother’s bible which she used to carry everywhere with her and in it are marked all her favourite passages. Jamie’s father, the pastor walks his daughter down the aisle and presides over the beautiful ceremony. A while after this Jamie dies, having changed Landon life forever. Landon describes that as the perfect summer of his life. As a result of his relationship with Jamie, and through her encouragement before she passes away, he finally goes on to fulfill his dreams and gets an acceptance to medical school. Jamie changed his life forever and showed him how he could be a better person.

The story is written beautifully, the feelings expressed so well that they touched me and left a huge impression on me. I was able to relate with the characters and experience every feeling of theirs. I strongly recommend this book as it is a beautiful story about love, friendship, forgiveness and trust.

– Dark Warrior