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Showing posts from July, 2017

Running Man

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Read this after I read Going Back. I couldn't help but compare the two. Sometimes, it happens, especially after you read an amazing story and want to read further.

Running Man is about Giorgia or Gigi. Rather the plot revolves around her. Thats where I wished Jennifer had concentrated more. The main plot got enmeshed with many sub-plots and this became a major flip side for an otherwise amazing story.

Jennifer's writing style is easy to comprehend. It brings in a fresh romantic story to the Lake Garda series. The only downside is that the love story gets over-powered by many other emotions. To simplify, the narration beautifully captures raw emotions of love, apprehensions and guilt. Yet, I felt that this simple but amazing love story needed more attention. Notwithstanding this fact, whenever Jennifer focused on the two lovers, their rendezvous was really sweet.

The main protagonists in this story are real people with real emotions. Inspite of being caught in a web of tangled…

Elsewhere

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I have been reading the journals by Meghan. This is the fourth one and has been written in the 21st century.

This time, I could feel the pain, the frustration that Meghan was going through as she wrote this journal. The journal gives a peek into the personal life of the writer. I musr admit, it takes immense courage to bare one's inner feelings to strangers.

Meghan writes straight from her heart. If she is unhappy she expresses it. If she finds chaos within she describes it. Her writing is honest. She uses simple language that is easy to understand. Her narration is easy to identify with. I mean, as you read there are portions that give you a sense of deja vu, like 'been there felt that' kind.

I don't know if the people she talks about exist in real life or not. However, every single person she has talked about are the kinds who exist in reality. That apart, if the Meghan whose journal I have been reading is really the kind I have got to know, then I must admit, she i…

Kings Or Pawns

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There are times when conflicts are not between two individuals but amongst an individual and a system. This story is a depiction of similar plight.

The plot revolves around a king and his questions against the working of his council. Does he remain the king or does he become a pawn in the hands of others? Well, you need to read this fantasy story and a beginner of a series to find out.

Sherwood aces with his descriptions. Though the start is slow yet the narration makes a reader believe that he or she is a part of an ongoing motion picture similar to Lord of the Rings or an episode like that of Game of Thrones. The story definitely has the makings of a blockbuster. The writing is smooth but the reason that too many characters were introduced and that created a bit of confusion in my mind. Then again, this book is the beginning of a series. Hence, maybe according to the author such introductions were felt necessary. Maybe it is a deliberate attempt by the author to create a fog of con…

A Bargain In Silver

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Vampire - Human romance stories are common. Yet, whenever a fresh perspective is added to it that is when a story appeals. This book is the beginner in a series called Solis Invicti.

The plot is definitely different from the quintessential vampire stories. Yes, it is a love story. It may sound cliched but though it is a romance between vampires and humans the focus is also on post apocalyptic London.

Josie has used simple language. However, I felt the descriptions could have been a bit more better. In the sense that such descriptions evoke imageries and I felt that there were a few places where I felt the imageries weaken. The narration is smooth and I did find a few places that could have been elaborated a bit more. But then, this is the first book in the series so it is possible that few portions may have been left out deliberately in order to be continued in the next book.

The main characters have been well-etched with the right amount of a mysterious aura around them. The Silvers…

The Buried Symbol

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The beginning needs to be powerful enough to leave you wanting more. I must admit this story not only made me sit through the night in order to finish, it has left me keenly waiting for the next book.

This volume begins a series of what I feel is going to be an amazing story. The plot is based on the concept of Chosen ones and the Unchosen ones. In a fantasy world Ministry makes use of runes to determine the life path of children. The Unchosen ones are those who are considered to be at the lowest rung socially. Sounds confusing? Actually, its really simple but I am afraid I will end up with spoilers if I get into details. Trust me, you need to read this beginning volume to get hooked on to it like me.

Jeffrey is a master storyteller. It is not easy to introduce the characters, the story per se and at the same time inject the right amount of curiosity and intrigue. And he did just that. There were no confusions, no breaks. In fact the flow of the storyline was so smooth that I had to …

Words: The Magic Powder - A Folktale From Myanmar

An amazing story by Greystroke (Author) and PG Dinesh (Illustrator) by Pratham Books Storyweaver. Read it here gor yourself or read aloud to your child.

About the story: Once upon a time, in a little village on the banks of the Irrawaddy river, there lived a young woman called Thuza. She was very happily married to handsome young Theingi. But there was one problem that nagged Thuza – her husband believed he would find a way to turn dirt into gold! Did he succeed? Read this delightful tale from Myanmar to find out.


Frugal Family Fun

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The book is a life saver for all those parents who want to maximise family time with little or no expenditure.
There are numerous activities that can be utilised for different situations. Critics might say that many have been out in the public domain. I can only say that this book does not claim to be the only one of its kind. In fact, many of its suggestions and recommendations are valid and relevant. What really stands out is the way in which suggestions have been given. 
Amanda is neither preachy nor rude when she shares her concerns about families not spending much time together. The language is simple, categorization of activities is well-laid out and content coverage is good. The activities are childfriendly and interesting. There are no jerks and jumps in the writing. The writer has compiled a beautiful collection that can be used to enhance family ties and make the bonds stronger without creating a hole in the pockets.
To sum up, if you are looking for a guide to start or con…

Poetry And Ponderings

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This collection of poetry is a must read for every individual, irrespective of caste, creed, gender, country or religion. I am not a Christian yet I believe in the truth that God takes care of every child.

The collection comprises of poems which encompass the pain and guilt that abuse or negative incidents can have on a person. When one expresses pain, the person lives those painful moments all over again. And trust me, it is not easy to do so. Hats off to Diamante for being so candid.

Diamante's witing is simple yet powerful. Her expressions have a subtle message in every page. In fact, even the use of illustrations on her page conveys her rise as a phoenix. The imageries are powerful and the words empiwer the reader at every step. The poet has ensured that every piece written by her evokes emotions.

This collection is a tribute to all those silent voices who continue to suffer. There is power in every piece, the power to rise from the ashes like a phoenix, to rediscover oneself…

Parents Survival Guide To Online Safety

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If I have to recommend one guide book for parents to follow to the 'T', then it would be this.

Jesse has practically covered all aspects that can possibly covered for protecting your child Writing a guide book for parents of technologically advanced children is not easy. If you are ignorant about the rampant threats lurking in the cyber world then you are definitely putting your children at risk. This book is a one stop solution to protecting your child online without compromising on the immense constructive potential that the cyberspace has. There are highlighted red flags, there are suggested measures to counter and the best part is that they are all executable.

The language used is simple. Hence even if a person without basic education in computers picks this up, he or she will be able to understand with ease. No jargins have been used and that is a high point of this guide book. There are specific issues that have been discussed. Cyber bullying and online predators have b…

How Speleology Restored My Sex Drive

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This book is a perfect example of how not to judge a book by its title or cover. The title did intrigue me and the blurb left me wanting to know more. And so I began.
I must admit that this book never let me take a break in between. It is not a cliched story and is very different. The story revolves around a father of two nine year old daughters and his family. It is about the adventures they encounter on their vacation. Why somebody would choose exploring caves in search of hidden treasures on a vacation adds to the intrigue. 
Michael has a great sense of humour and he add oodles of it to the story. The dialogues are quirky and situations described can make you cringe. The imageries are definitely vibrant and as you read you will get a feeling that you are one of the chasers running behind a crazy man and his family. On a serious note, there are situations that have been lightly projected or stated in a humourous way. But then, you cannot be always serious in life right? It is evident …

The Fourth Monkey

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I read this book because of the hype surrounding it. Did I like it? Well, I ended up with mixed feelings.

The plot revolves around the concept of three monkeys plus one. These convey 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil' and the fourth lesser known 'do no evil'. There is a serial killer who not only follows this but executes the same as well. This story is whodunit search for the serial killer by a cop.

Barker is a storyteller. The change in scenes ensures a continuity in the narration. However, I felt something amiss. There were scenes that were described in graphic details. Yet imageries kept popping in a random manner while reading those descriptions. To be honest, I neither felt I was a part of the story nor was I a mute spectator. Hence, in the end I ended up being a reader. This is my personal view. The language is understandable but yes, the book does have mature content. Notwithstanding this, the storyline per se does have the ability to become a blockbus…

Limbo

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This is the third installment of Meghan's Journals. If I compare this to the previous two, I have to say that this is a more improved version.

This journal is about a young Meghan from the 21st century.  It is more positive than the second installment and more mature than the first book. This segment deals with search for identity and life choices.

Meghan's style of writing has matured and she has opened up her heart without inhibitions. There are no hitches in her expression and the flow of narration is smooth. Language is lucid and this time a lot of aural imageries got added on to the visuals. This installment would make a wonderful audiobook.

It is not easy to pour one's innermost feelings to strangers. Hence, sharing personal account in the form of a journal is a tough decision for a writer. Hats off to Meghan for giving a candid account of pieces of her life.

To sum up, if you are a journal writer or wish to start one, then this is the perfect book to read. This jou…

Serendipity: David Meredith

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I met an amazing author in the virtual world. He is David Meredith. A writer, an educator and a keen learner. He has authored two books with more in the pipeline. Here is a snippet of my rendezvous during a chance meeting with him.


RW: Hello David, welcome to Reading Writings and thank you for agreeing to do this interview. What description will fit you in real life? We would love to know more about you. DM:I am an American writer and educator living in the Nashville Area and just finished my Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership.
RW: Wow! So you can be referred as Dr. David. Congratulations. It sounds amazing. So, how does it feel to be a published author?  DM: Very busy. To do it right you have to spend HOURS working at the marketing. It's also very fulfilling, especially when someone really likes your work and I suppose that is what keeps me doing it.
RW: What does the writing place of David, the busy author, look like? DM: I work mostly on my laptop, so my writing space is anyt…

Aaru

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If I create a list of books that are going to stay with me for life, then Aaru is definitely one of them.

The pain of losing a dear one and the pangs of separation are something which cannot be easily expressed. Ask anybody who has seen death of a loved one, the instant reply would be "wish I could meet him or her for one last time". The trauma, the scar remain for life.

Aaru deals with the concept of uniting people on earth with their loved one through the virtual world. For further details you need to read the story. Trust me as I say, the concept is way too different than what most fantasy world stories are made of. In fact, this story beautifully combines fantasy with reality using technology.

David has an amazing style of writing. His narration tugs at your heart and makes you emote alongside as you read the story. There is pain, conflict, love and most importantly, hope. The language is simple yet it hits you hard in the sense, you will be thinking about this story lo…

Book Blitz: Poetry And Ponderings

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About the book:

From Award-winning author of Breaking the Silence,
Poetry and Ponderings by Diamante Lavendar.

A Journey of Abuse and Healing Through Poetry

A raw collection of religious poetry and prose based on one Christian woman’s experiences of being abused, and how she healed herself with God’s love in order to move past the assaults. In this rare collection of nonfiction Christian poetry and prose based on real life experiences, Diamante Lavendar, a victim of abuse, shows the reader the raw emotions of pain, hate, and denial that occur before a victim of abuse can find a way to heal from the pains of assault. Knowing herself the very difficult journey of being a victim, Diamante was abused as a child, and turned to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain. Many years later, she started to heal under God’s watchful eyes and was able to find love in her life again. She shares these truly inspiring, religious poems in the hopes that it may help other victims heal their hurts, as she did whi…

Raven's Fall

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I read this book immediately after reading the first book in the series. Trust me, I was a bit skeptical since I had read the first one with frequent breaks. However, this book turned out to be different and I read it in one sitting straight.

The plot deepens further and complications arise in the life of the protagonists. One is a demon hunter and the other a human. The storyline becomes clearer in this second book.

The narration is much more fluid with no jerks and breaks. Language is lucid. The writing is more continuous and makes up for the flaws in book one. The story creates loads of imageries. For a change I felt I was part of the story as it unfolds with me as a silent spectator.

The characterisation is much more definite and had clarity. They were projected as people with emotions and flaws.

To sum up, version 2 is much better and more refined than version 1. This story has a cliffhanger as well. Hence hoping for a more improved story, I have refrained from giving it five st…

Raven's Peak

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This book is the first one in a series. I chose to read it because of its unique title and blurb.

The plot revolves around a quaint little mountain town where demonic influence is controlling the activities of townsfolk. A demon hunter is vested with the task of finding the root cause. The story tries to introduce the key elements, the characters and the essence of what the series might unfold to be.

As far as the narration goes, there were interesting moments and not-so-interesting moments for me. There were a few places where I felt that narration was a bit rushed. Yet again, there were certain other scenes where I had to read it twice to comprehend what exactly happened. In short, not all scenes had the power to evoke imageries in my mind's eye. Writing style is definitely unique. And this being Lincoln's first book, I am sure it would only keep getting better.

There are many characters in this story and except a few of the key players the rest were present to add support …

Cover Reveal: Avishi

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~ Cover Reveal ~ Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer 12th July, 2017

Long before the times of Draupadi and Sita Immortalised in the hymns of the Rig Veda But largely forgotten to the memory of India Is the Warrior Queen with an iron leg, Vishpala
Brought up in the pristine forest school of Naimisha, Avishi reaches the republic of Ashtagani in search of her destiny. When Khela, the oppressive King of the neighbouring Vrishabhavati begins to overwhelm and invade Ashtagani, Avishi rises to protect her settlement. But peril pursues her everywhere. Separated from her love, her settlement broken, with a brutal injury needing amputation of her leg, can Avishi overcome Khela?
About the Author: Saiswaroopa is an IITian and a former investment analyst turned author. Her keen interest in ancient Indian history, literature and culture made her take to writing. Her debut novel Abhaya, set in the times of Mahabharata was published in 2015. Avishi, her second novel set in Vedic India explores the legend of India’s …

Book Blitz: Love, Murder And Mayhem

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~ Book Blitz ~ Love, Murder & Mayhem


About the Book Love science fiction stories that all include elements ofLove, Murder & Mayhem?

Then welcome to the latest anthology from Crazy 8 Press! This amazing collection from 15 all-star authors will delight you with superheros and supervillains. AIs, off-worlders, and space cruisers. We’ve also got private eyes, sleep surrogates, time travelers, aliens and monsters—and one DuckBob!

With tales ranging from wild and wacky to dark and gritty to heartbreaking and fun, take the deadly leap with authors Meriah Crawford, Paige Daniels, Peter David, Mary Fan, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman Paul Kupperberg, Karissa Laurel, Kelly Meding, Aaron Rosenberg, Hildy Silverman, Lois Spangler, Patrick Thomas, and editor Russ Colchamiro.

You’ll never look atLove, Murder & Mayhemthe same way again—and that’s just the way we like it.
Goodreads * Amazon
About the Editor
Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space adventure, Cr…

Novice

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Novice is the second installment of journal written by Meghan. It is her memoir, the trials and tribulations that she goes through during her growing up years. 
The book has all the essence that a personal journal is to have. It is candid, brutally honest and shows the emotions that Meghan must have gone through at that phase of life. Every individual begins a novice in life. Be it relationships, education, job and the like. This volume deals with her tryst with relationships.
Sometimes, penning down one's thoughts and reading them later definitely helps one to emerge stronger and a better person. This is clearly evident from this journal as well. Meghan has bared a part of her soul and it does take lot of courage to do so. In the process, you end up showing your vulnerable side to the world. Kudos to you Meghan for being able to do so. This volume is darker than the first.
Pain and learning go hand in hand. There are lot of peer pressures to cope up with. The demands of social l…

Like A Closed Fist

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It was the blurb that attracted me to the book in the first place. As I kept reading I finally ended up with mixed emotions.

The plot is about the ups and downs in the life, or rather love life, of a girl called Phoebe. The story is about her pent up emotions as she searches for a man who would understand her. She bottles up her pain, her feelings, her disappointments, like a closed fist.

Nolan has a conversational style of writing. As you keep reading it gives a feeling that you are a silent spectator to an ongoing conversation. There were a few scenes that helped conjure up imageries but that was it. There is mature content, graphic details and bit of swearing.

The story is all about Phoebe. Yet, I felt there could have been more details about her. Like why she behaved the way she did. What was wrong with her Past? A bit more elaboration would have made it better. The other supporting characters could have been given a bit more emphasis. This is my personal opinion.

To sum, the sto…

Oki And Harlo: Fairytale Friends

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Children's books have this innate ability to wake up the sleepy Peter Pan even within defiant adults. This story, meant for children, made the child in me think and feel.

The plot revolves around the unusual friendship between a goat and a star. I wish I could elaborate the but that would act as a spoiler. I really do not want to give away even a wee bit of this awesome story. Please read it yourself.

Cas has used words that can be easily understood by both adults and children alike. Even the non-readers can comprehend if the story is read aloud to them. The ending I felt was a bit rushed up. Yet at the same time it gave me the feeling that it was a cliffhanger. Maybe there is a sequel. Trust me, if there is a sequel to this story, I would read it too. The narration conjures up imageries. It appeals to every sense. It makes you see, hear, feel, taste and smell alongside every situation encountered by the duo. The ebook is an interactive book. There are spaces for creating your ow…

Ideas And Inspiration For Science Fiction And Fantasy Writers

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When I started reading the book, I went back to the blurb provided to me. I was told that the book is a collection of articles that could trigger ideas.

The collection contains various topics that can be used for Sci Fi books and fantasy stories. Hence, the book attempts to deliver what it claims. But sadly, there is no introduction or a precursor to what to expect and the like. Thus, jumping straight into the content was like diving into unknown waters.

James has made concerted efforts in compiling the articles and kudos to him for doing so. The only thing I felt that could gave improved the writings were a personal touch or giving examples. There were facts, there were folklores. Yet, I felt something was amiss. Maybe, with a sentence or two in first person the reader would have felt like returning back to the article. Also, a bit of change in the writing style would have succeeded in creating better mental imageries. This would have led to topics becoming better and effective insp…

Bravo And Elphie

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This is the second book I read by the mother-daughter duo. Trust me when I say, they are an awesome team, capable of weaving magic.

This story revolves around a baby elephant named Elphie. Through this picture book Hagit subtly brings out a child's fear of the unknown or less known facts and how overcoming them is important. The story is about friendship, responsibility, overcoming fear and childhood.

Narrated in third person, Hagit uses simpld language in her story. The bright illustrations act as a still picture. And together with the storyline I really felt I was watching an episode of Elphie the Elephant on my mind's television.

Elphie is a lovable baby elephant. And similarly, all the other characters in this picture book play an important role in the narration. The best part is that the number of characters are minimal. So it is very easy for a listening toddler to comprehend what iis happening in the story.

To sum up, I recommend this picture book to every mother who n…

Spotlight: The Magician's Workshop

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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 …