​Book Review: Need You Dead by Peter James

Title: Need You Dead

Author: Peter James

Publisher: MacMillan

Series: Detective Superintendent Roy Grace (#13)

Genre: Crime Thriller, Murder Mystery

Pages: 410

Format: Paperback

Review also posted on: Goodreads

Book Synopsis: 

Lorna Belling, desperate to escape the marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, life seldom follows the plans you’ve made. A chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything for her.

When the body of a woman is found in a bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first it looks an open and shut case with a clear prime suspect. Then other scenarios begin to present themselves, each of them tantalisingly plausible, until, in a sudden turn of events, and to his utter disbelief, the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined.

This Book is about: 

The unintentional murder of the beautiful Lorna Belling and how DS Roy Grace and his team slowly rule out whether her death was by Suicide or by murder. They eventually start finding possible suspects, her abusive husband, a displeased buyer and a famous person. And they also found out a little later a possible lover. And things start to escalate pretty quickly each time they find a new suspect, a pursuit that ended terribly, another murder materialized, and a reveal that will leave you in shock (well it left me in shock) 

My Review:

Note: The Advance Reader Copy (ARC) was sent to me by Mr. Peter and Dani in exchange for an honest review.

The book cover doesn’t give away much of the plot, it just shows the suspect and I always love how Mr. Peter’s book covers have this mysterious and somewhat ominous vibe to it.

The book though, It was Bloody Brilliant! DS Roy Grace is back with another thrilling case that’ll keep you on the edge of you seat. I was so excited when I found out that Mr. Peter was already writing Need you Dead since last year and when he said that he’ll send me an ARC, I just couldn’t contain my happiness and this was also one of my most anticipated release this year. I’ve been reviewing contemporary romance and fantasy books lately and I was in dire need of a Murder Mystery book and Mr. Peter did not disappoint me. The story basically revolves on Lorna Belling’s death. In the beginning of the book you already find out how Lorna was murdered, but we don’t know much about the murder besides the fake identity he gave to Lorna. There are many other things happening in the book like Roy finding someone he didn’t see for a decade, and going through their past cases specifically the one with Jodie Bentley (Love You Dead), but even though they had many things going on in the book it wasn’t cluttered at all, it was written very smoothly and the transition for one scene to another was really good. And following DS Roy Grace’s Team in trying to solve the case is always one heck of a ride. There was also this particular scene that immensely impressed me. It literally gave me chills while reading each detail of that certain event (if you’ve read the book. I’m referring to SD’s scene) it was just so well written and I’ve never read and books that gave me chills before, but this one just gave me one and I’m still not over it.

Dialogues: I can’t really give my opinion on the typos since the ARC was still an uncorrected copy. But even if it was still an uncorrected copy It was a very well written book that I really enjoyed.

Characters: every character in the book has their own charms and I still do have my favorite one which is DS Roy Grace. We finally see his soft side since he’s with someone he hasn’t seen for a decade and you’ll follow how they slowly open up to each other, also I like this other character but I can’t really tell you anything about him for it’ll spoil the story. So if you find yourself gasping in the end chapters, yep! That’s the other character I liked and felt bad for liking that character haha.

Plot: Was brilliant! I gasped way too much after finding out who Lorna’s lover was. The book totally mislead me into thinking it was the other character who committed the crime and I just loved the surprising turn of events.

Detailing: was very good, precise and chilling at times.

Overall another amazing read for 2017. A gripping, shocking and spine tingling thriller. That murder mystery fans would probably enjoy and it makes me look forward to the 14th Detective Superintendent Roy Grace Novel.

As to the Question that’s been written on the cover of the book which is “ What makes a Killer?” I’d probably say: Circumstances.

Buy it on Amazon:


Rating : 5/5 

Book Review: The Radius of Us by Marie Marquardt


Title: The Radius of Us

Author: Marie Marquardt

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Series: Standalone

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 289

Format: Hardcover

Review also posted on: Goodreads

Book Synopsis: 

What happens when you fall in love with someone everyone seems determined to fear?

Ninety seconds can change a life ― not just daily routine, but who you are as a person. Gretchen Asher knows this, because that’s how long a stranger held her body to the ground. When a car sped toward them and Gretchen’s attacker told her to run, she recognized a surprising terror in his eyes. And now she doesn’t even recognize herself.

Ninety seconds can change a life ― not just the place you live, but the person others think you are. Phoenix Flores Flores knows this, because months after setting off toward the U.S. / Mexico border in search of safety for his brother, he finally walked out of detention. But Phoenix didn’t just trade a perilous barrio in El Salvador for a leafy suburb in Atlanta. He became that person ― the one his new neighbors crossed the street to avoid.

Ninety seconds can change a life ― so how will the ninety seconds of Gretchen and Phoenix’s first encounter change theirs?

Told in alternating first person points of view, The Radius of Us is a story of love, sacrifice, and the journey from victim to survivor. It offers an intimate glimpse into the causes and devastating impact of Latino gang violence, both in the U.S. and in Central America, and explores the risks that victims take when they try to start over. Most importantly, Marie Marquardt’s The Radius of Us shows how people struggling to overcome trauma can find healing in love.

This Book is about:

A girl and a boy, both faced traumatic experiences in their lives and finds comfort with each other’s company. Poor Gretchen was assaulted by a gang member leaving her aching in pain on the sidewalk. Which is what traumatized her up to this day.  And one day while she was at the “Place without a soul”, she sees a boy who apparently looks like the gang member that assaulted her, and she fled the park and had a panic attack afterwards. The boy she saw though was Phoenix and he thought that he did something wrong to make her flee like that where in fact he was just walking Amanda’s fancy dog. Phoenix is currently living with a lesbian couple that takes care of him like he’s their own child. He has a brother named Ari who’s currently locked up in a facility, since both of them crossed the Mexican border. You’ll follow Gretchen’s slow recovery from the traumatic event she experienced with the help of Phoenix. And you’ll also find out what happened to Phoenix and Ari at Mexico that made them risk their lives just to cross the border… and find out that even in a 20 mile radius you’d still find a person to love.

My Review:

Note: This book was sent to me by the Author herself in exchange for an honest review.

I found out about The Radius of Us via Booktube on Christine Riccio a.k.a. Polandbananasbooks and I was curious as to why it’s called the “Radius” of us and also the synopsis is quite engaging for me. 

The book cover is really cute and you get a cute love story vibe from it and it just looks perfect for me.

The Radius of Us has a good plot, has a different approach in telling the story (specifically the last few chapters), and it also has some delightfully good illustrations. The story was really good, but I guess having exams and projects hindered me from enjoying the book. While reading the book I kept on asking why Gretchen is so jumpy and have these panic attacks. And why Phoenix is under the care of strangers… and why is it called the freaking “Radius” of us? But after reading it and finding out why it’s called that way was quite satisfying and urged me to find out what happens after Gretchen find’s out Phoenix’s past. I quite liked how vulnerable the two characters were at the begging and slowly start trusting each other and become a little more outgoing.

Dialogues: were good, since one of the main character is from Mexico you’ll find some Spanish words every now and then, some are explained some aren’t. I really like how Phoenix reacts with Spanish lingo. I didn’t find any typos and the dialogues weren’t confusing at all.

Characters:  I really like Phoenix’s character, he doesn’t abuse the kindness of his guardians. He’s loving and caring. I like how he slowly opens up to the possibility that he and Gretchen could be together despite his current situation. I also liked Gretchen’s development in the book, from being a total wreck after the traumatic assault she experienced into a girl that’s brave enough to follow he heart. I really like most of the characters they’re just so warm, welcoming and treats outsiders like family.

Plot: I quite like it, from having a traumatic experience, illegally crossing boarders and finally finding love when you least expect it… it just sucks you in.

Flow of the Story: was still good, the transition from one character to the other wasn’t confusing and everything was just right.

Detailing: was Excellent! Since the book has some illustrations it just adds to the book’s charms and the illustration’s details and even the description of the things they see, eat and touch was really good.

Overall a really good book, it’ll make you smile when you read it and interesting illustrations which is quite relevant to the plot of the story. This book though isn’t the favorite book of 2017 type but more of a book that I’ll pick up when I’m in a reading slump or if I want to refresh my memory of its sweet story.

Rating: 

Book Review: Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

Title: Everything Everything

Author: Nicola Yoon

Series: Standalone

Genre: Romance, YA, Contemporary

Pages: 310

Format: Hardcover

Review Also Posted On: Goodreads

Book Synopsis: 

The instant #1 New York Times bestseller–soon to be a major motion picture! In theaters May 19, it stars Amandla Stenberg as Maddy and Nick Robinson as Olly.

Risk everything . . . for love.

What if you couldn’t touch anything in the outside world? Never breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun warm your face . . . or kiss the boy next door? In Everything, Everything, Maddy is a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly is the boy who moves in next door . . . and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken. 

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. 
  
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. 
  
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster. 

Everything, Everything will make you laugh, cry, and feel everything in between. It’s an innovative,  inspiring, and heartbreakingly romantic debut novel that unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, illustrations, and more.

This Book is about:

A girl named Madeline who is allergic to almost everything so she can’t go outside, everything that goes inside her house needs decontaminating. So she has all the time to read books. And all the interactions she’s ever had are only between her nurse and her mum. Each day of Madeline’s life is just the same as the other. And everything changed when their new neighbors arrived. And she saw a boy, a boy that has this crazy thing for stunts and the first time she saw him she gasped at the stunt he performed. And since she can’t go out to introduce herself she just well… spied on the family, made schedules on what each of the family member are doing in specific hours of the day, she has a schedule on what her neighbors do except for the boy. Until one night through the suicide attempt of the cake the boy’s mother made… the boy gave Madeline his email and then they IM each other every night. Will Madeline risk her life to meet this boy? Will she break the rules or break her heart in this process? Is the life she’s living the truth or is it just an Illusion? This book literally has Everything!

My Review:

I still found out about this book via twitter and I really didn’t know that this was literally one of the Best Selling Novel out there and It was on the top of my TBR list since then. And I tried saying Hi to the Author and she said Hi back (EEEEEEEEEEPPPP!!!!!!!!) anyway.

The book cover looks lovely. I just love it! It’s simple yet eye catching and pretty and I just love it so much.

I loved the book. Like I literally read it in seven hours no breaks whatsoever. And if you don’t know how I read, I’m relatively a slow reader like one book a week reader. But I just couldn’t put Everything Everything down. The book starts off with a girl that has SCID a rare sickness that makes a person allergic to almost everything. I like how Madeline escapes her bubble like house with books. but how she and Olly met via the suicide of a Budnt Cake was funny AF and the IMing of both the characters just made my heart flutter. They’re just the cutest couple ever! With Madeline she has her firsts in Everything and Olly will be the one that will make her experience Everything. But their first contact ever was sorta breath taking for me. This book just emits this heart warming vibe in it that I loved so much. And also the revelations in the ending chapters literally blew my mind. Like  I can’t even!  I wasn’t expecting it at all and I was really shocked by it. That was really an unexpected turn of events. And I loved every minute I spent reading this book.

Dialogues: Amazing, Lovely and most of the lines here made my heart flutter.

Characters: the characters in this book are Amazing. Madeline was scared to go out since she’s allergic to almost everything. But when Olly arrived she literally gambled her life just to meet Olly and her character development was the best that there is. Also the other characters were still great I also adored Olly’s character but there were certain characters in the book that shook my world and I’m still not over it.

Plot: was super good. It was tragic at first then it turned into a sweet and cute love story until the revelation that changes everything ab out the book. This book is complete and utterly Brilliant.

Flow of the Story: It was really smooth and it wasn’t cluttered at all, it was easy to read no hard to understand words and I just love it.

Detailing: was practically perfect.

Overall an amazing read and even though I’m quite disappointed with myself that I read this book in ebook form and not in the physical form. I’m still happy that I read this and it was everything that I expected it to be. You’ll feel emotional and feel EVERYTHING while reading this book and I’m super excited that this is going to be a movie very very soon. It’ll be starred by Amalda Stenberg and Nick Robinson
Rating:

Book Review: Silver and the White Lions: Children of the stars by Jenny Vassallo


Title: Silver and the White Lions: Children of the stars

Author: Jenny Vassallo

Publisher: Pegasus Publishers

Series: Standalone

Genre: fantasy, magical realism, 

Pages: 207

Format: Paperback

Review also posted on: Goodreads

Book Synopsis: 

Silver is a beautiful, large Maine Coon cat who remembers that in a previous life he was a white lion cub. 

He lives with several other cats who encouraged him to tell them the story of his past life.

He begins with his memories from his childhood as a cub, when his dad, King, told him how all the lions arrived at King Rock.

King had been born with a mission in life, which was to travel to a place where he would find a very special white lioness with blue eyes. She was destined to become his mate and together they would fulfill an ancient African prophecy.

This book is about:

A three legged Maine Coon cat named Silver, who apparently remembers being a special white lion cub in his past life and how he tells the story to Angel’s pride (well cat pride). A story where strangely everybody in Angel’s pride seems to be a character in Silver’s out of this world story. His story where every cat acts as one to help in fulfilling an African prophecy to help King find his mate, Mama. And starting their own pride which was already written on the stars years before they were even born. And as to what Silver said. You’ll find out soon enough why cats always seem to be lazy and always goes to sleep most of the days.

My Review:

Note: This book was sent to me by the Author’s publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The book cover really looks great. I get a Narnia feel to it and after reading it you’ll find out that the story revolves on the Lions and the prophecy written in the stars.

So the book, well it was interesting at first, I got quite excited on the adventures that the characters would embark in…. But. It kept on getting less interesting on the middle chapters, I basically had a reading slump and had to reread the whole half of the book to remember what happened in the first chapters and after finishing it. I was quite satisfied… since I already passed the reading slump phase. The book wasn’t an overwhelming OMG! This book is amazing! Type of book it’s more on a so-so level. I liked the idea of telling the readers why cats sleep most of the time and also how the cats helped each other in fulfilling the African prophecy… other that those two I found the story quite unfulfilling, maybe I was expecting something more exciting to happen on this particular book but I raised my expectation a little too much.

✅Dialogues: were fine, I found some typos with the grammar and even on the name of a character.

Characters: first X ever woot! This book has too many characters, since Silver’s story goes from present to the past you’ll encounter an overwhelming number of characters and it just felt quite cluttered and this is one of the reasons that hindered me from enjoying the story. The overall character count is 45 characters and even if some of the characters didn’t talk too much it was still quite confusing since the transition from one character to the other wasn’t very good. 

✅Plot: the Plot is good but it didn’t feel quite fulfilling. The main goal was to help King find his mate Mama and to have cubs and have those little lights go inside each one of the cubs to fulfill this African prophecy. Their journey was dull there wasn’t any adversary that could possibly stop them besides those hunters nothing much happened that tickled my fancy.

✅Flow of the story: is acceptable.

✅Detailing: quite okay, this book has good detailing on the surrounding and characters, etc.

Overall a book that would’ve been a super interesting story but missed it’s chance to expand and have good twist and turns in it. 

Rating 

Book Review: Unexpressed Feelings by Khadija Rupa

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Title: Unexpressed Feelings

Author: Khadija Rupa

Genre: Poetry

Pages: 185

Format: Paperback

Review also posted on: Goodreads

Book Synopsis from Goodreads:

Unexpressed Feelings is a book which begins with the unbearable melancholy that creeps under one’s skin, into the bones, when an unexpected heartbreak takes place. Priceless lessons, that only mistakes and sorrow can teach, leap out from the middle part of the book with the forethought to heal an inner wound that is still raw, still painful. This book of yearning, heartache and realizations gradually comes to a beautiful end in part three by unveiling how love is supposed to look like when it truly enters one’s life. By expressing some of the sweet feelings of falling in love and being consumed by it in this last section, with the right person this time, the aim of the book is one: to give hope to souls that propels them to the continuous search for Love. True Love. Throughout this book, loss, lessons and love have been portrayed in a brief, whimsical, poetic manner with meanings that are intensely deep.

My Review:

Note:  This book was sent to me by Khadija Rupa and her team in exchange for an honest review.

I found out about this book when I was scrolling through Facebook and I was instantly drawn to it since the sneak peeks of the poems were really good.

The book cover is really eye catching and it really goes well with the title. For me though the cover seems to show how or what Unexpressed feelings look like inside a person. But that’s just me haha.

I still haven’t got the chance to review any poetry books up until now. So this is quite new to me but I will give my honest thoughts and opinions about this book.

The book has tons of strong points. It has a mixture of heart break, moving on and trying to find love. Unexpressed Feelings is divided into three parts: “Crying is allowed here”, “School of lost souls”, and “Darling it’s me: Love.” I personally like part one: “Crying is allowed here” since it has more poems in it than the other two parts, the poems in part one are much more relatable to me and my life and it’s quite refreshing to read some of it. The book also has short stories along with the poems, the book covers almost everything about relationships and what you’ll encounter while you’re in one.

Here are some poems that I liked in this book:

“It’s Over

He cried that day.

All day,

All night.

She cried, too.

Sadly,

All her life.”

 

“Life

This Earth is a funny planet.

Life in it is nothing –

But a game.

We all are players.

Some play with toys.

Some—

With hearts.”

 

“Lack of Love

Some people understand,

Who you are,

Reaching to the bottom of your heart,

From a distance so far.

And surprisingly,

Some take a lifetime

To understand who you are not,

Despite being someone so close.”

 

The only issue I had with the book was that some of the poems were random. It would start up with engaging and relatable lines but would be really random at times in the end of the poem. I felt the same way with the short stories, even though the stories were told in somewhat a poetic way which I like by the way, it was the same with the other poems with having good lines at the begging and having random and unfulfilling lines in the end. But rest assured that you will enjoy this poetry book as much as I did.

Also, I do love poems that rhyme, since it’s much more fun to read than the ones that don’t, Unexpressed Feelings have tons of those poems. But there still are poems that rhyme in the end but is still quite unsatisfying.

Overall this was a really good poetry book, I would highly recommend that you get this book. To give you some reasons though…. This book has many relatable and lovely poems and short stories, this book was sold out in bookstores in Malaysia, and just look at the cover if ever you have a bookstagram here’s one of the books that you can take pictures with. It’s basically pretty inside and out.

 

Rating: 

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kenchi-reads

Author Interview: Lin Anderson (Author of The Special Dead)

​Hello everyone,

Today I’m having an author interview with Ms. Lin Anderson a Scottish author who wrote the Rhone McLeod series. 

Q: Hello Ms. Lin, thank you again for Accepting this interview request, would you mind telling us a little something about yourself?

A: I’m a full time writer of novels, screenplays and more recently a rock musical. I have two series. One featuring Dr Rhona MacLeod, a forensic scientist which has eleven novels. The other features a

PI Patrick de Courvoisier and is set in Cannes France. Two novels so far. I am co –founder of Bloody Scotland, Scotland’s international crime writing festival, and a former Chisr of the Society of Authors in Scotland.

Q: what genres do you feel comfortable writing Ms. Lin? What draws you into those specific genres?

A: I like mystery/ thriller genres and that’s what I write mostly. Although I have written other drama pieces, short stories, film scripts that have not been crime.

Q: Can you tell the viewers a little bit about your Book? Which is The Special Dead.

A: As a student at Glasgow University I studied Maths, Computing and some Astronomy. My Professor of Astronomy Archie Roy became the authority on the paranormal in Scotland.

He spoke of a library he discovered when a young lecturer. The library contained writing from medieval times to the present day on the science we don’t yet understand…that of witchcraft and the paranormal.

This Ferguson collection is world famous and now housed in a new building. That’s what drew me to the world of The Special Dead. That and a story by a film director Jim Gillespie(Of ‘I know you did last summer’ fame).

He was originally to be the director on a film I had written. We and the producer were looking at various Edinburgh locations including underground Edinburgh. At dinner afterwards he revealed as a young man after making his first short film, he and a friend went out on the town in Glasgow and met two girls who professed to be witches which he found exciting. I immediately thought beware what you wish for.

Q: Just a curious question though. For a first time reader of a Rhona McLeod novel. Why does McNab seem to take the spotlight instead of McLeod?

A: There is a little gang of characters round Rhona in the novels. Depending on the subject matter, one of them steps forward alongside Rhona. McNab and Rhona are polar opposites making good conflict and drama.

Q: Please give us an Insight to your Main characters. What does these characters do that makes them special?

A: I think you’d have to ask the readers why they like the characters so much.

Q: What happened to McLeod and McNab? The event that keeps on popping up in the conversations of the characters. For the first time readers of this series can you please enlighten us on those events?

A: Something happens at the end of the previous book, Paths of the Dead, which means they are in direct conflict, but neither can tell the truth of that to to anyone. You’ll have to read the book!

Here’s the picture of the book cover of The Special Dead 

Q: The cover is simple but I really like it, can you tell us how it came about? And what’s the significance of the building to the story.

A: It features the old gothic building of Glasgow University, which looks a little like Hogwarts. That’s where the mystery takes them… to that Ferguson collection I spoke about earlier.

Q: Who designs your book covers?

A: An artist at Pan Macmillan. They usually ask me to suggest a classic image that would work for the book, then they put their special touch to it.

Q: Do you think that the cover plays an important role in the buying process?

A: Yes. And the covers in the series published by Pan Mac are particularly striking.

Q: while writing your book, specifically The Special Dead did you encounter a “writer’s block”? If so, which part of the book?

A: No. I approach the book like a reader. I have no idea what will happen next. That keeps my interest and excitement alive. There’s a scary moment when I wonder if it will all come together, but if you trust your characters, they will take over and resolve the issue.

Q: What are you working on at the moment? Can you tell us what’s it about?

A: The new book Follow the Dead is out in August at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. It opens on top of Cairngorm in a blizzard. My home village of Carrbridge is in the Spey Valley. The Cairngorm Mountain Rescue helped a lot with my research. The book is also a joint investigation with Norway so I visited Stavanger Police. Think ‘The Bridge’ without a bridge!

Q:Do you read much? if so who are your favorite authors?

A: I don’t read much while writing. I read lots of different things.  Don’t have a favourite.

Q:For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks, Paperback or Hard back books?

A: I like an actual book the best but I do read ebooks as well, in particular when travelling. I often have both a paperback and an ebook copy of the same book.

Q:What books are you reading at the moment?

A: Just finished Latest one by Colm Toibin. Currently reading A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee, a rising star in the crime writing world.

I like reading the books of people I appear with at festivals. That’s always a pleasure and often a lovely surprise.

Q: How are you publishing this book? And why? (Indie, Traditional or both)

A: The Special Dead came out  first in Hardback together with ebook. The paperback arrives six months later. That’s the case for all the Pan Mac books.

However I have the ebook rights to the first three in the Rhona series, Driftnet, Torch and Deadly Code, so I am a hybrid author.

Q: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

A: Self publishing has the advantage that you control it. You also can promote and decide the price. Amazon pays every month so it’s a steady income.

Q: When did you become a writer?

A: After I taught for over twenty years. I began in literary short stories, wrote for TV and film, then began the Rhona series. Driftnet came out in 2003.

Q: Do you write everyday? 5 days a week or you just write when you feel like it?

A: I write something every day. Sometimes just emails. I wrote a short story last week, commissioned for a collection for Historic Scotland. I haven’t yet started the next Rhona but I am thinking about it a lot.

Q: while writing a book do you aim a set amount of words or pages per day?

A: No.

Q: Where do your Ideas come from?

A: See some of that above.

Q: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

A: Books have got longer… and more complex and deep.

Q: What are your ambitions in your writing career?

A: Write what I like. I recently collaborated on a rock musical with composer John Sinclair who played keyboards with Ozzy Osbourne for 17 years. It’s called Voice of a Generation and takes place in NYC in 1975 as the veterans of Vietnam return home.

That took four years from start to completion and I have a film shortly going into production in Edinburgh called Sometime Did Me Seek. That’s a paranormal crime story.

Q:Was there a particular Book/ Author that inspired you to write?

A: R.L. Stevenson Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde and Kidnapped, PD James (any of them) and Willie McIlvanney with Laidlaw.

 

 

Q: What is the hardest thing about writing?

A: The words!

 

Q: Why do you think other well written books Just Don’t Sell?

A: Often because of publicity. Hype sells books. If a publisher is willing to put big money behind a book it will sell almost regardless.

 

Q:What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

A: Never give up.

 

Here are the links to Ms. Lin’s social media accounts and website.

Website: http://www.lin-anderson.com

Blog:  http://lin-anderson.blogspot.co.uk

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

Twitter: @Lin_Anderson

Pinterest: none

Amazon Author Page:  http://viewAuthor.at/LinAnderson

Smashword: none

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/124051.Lin_Anderson

 

Author Interview with Mayank Dharma (Author of The Princess of a Whorehouse)

Hello everyone,

So today I have an author interview with Mr. Mayank Sharma the author of The Princess of a Whorehouse. A novella.

Q: Hello Mr. Mayank, thank you again for Accepting this interview request, would you mind telling us a little something about yourself?


A: Hello, gentleman! I am a creative soul and a techie, who is veiled in a professional world of Boolean logic that inhumanly confines the God’s intricate creation to true or false. Writing is my greatest passion as it allows me to unveil my creativity. I was born and brought up in New Delhi, India. Besides writing, I am passionate about sketching portraits, painting, and making sculptures since childhood.

 

Q: What genres do you feel comfortable writing Mr. Mayank? What draws you into those specific genres?


A: My debut novella, The Princess of a Whorehouse is a poignant tale of a young girl’s life journey through one of the most ruthless realms of society in which several naïve women and their blameless children are deprived of liberty and freedom to make life choices. The story is based on a coming-of-age genre that makes me feel comfortable. However, I needed to come out of my comfort zone to narrate the story from women’s perspective.

 

Q: Why did you want to tackle certain societal issues such as Sex Slavery in this book?

A: “Irrational social inequalities make economic growth an undeveloped agenda and literacy an unfinished mission.”

One’s heart sinks on hearing the heinous incidents of crimes against women. The wrongdoing of blaming women when they become victims of grim circumstances exists primarily due to gender inequality. Across various developing countries, the millions of naïve women and girls, like the protagonists in my story are agonized when they become victims of forced prostitution, especially in a nation where adultery is illegal. A million-year-old social stigma further glooms their future. That’s why I chose to pen down my views on the issue.

 

Q: Can you tell the viewers a little bit about your Book? Which is the Princess of a whorehouse.


A: Three-year-old naïve Aparajita is unaware of a murky spell ahead when her widowed mother, Ramya struggles to find a livelihood in a small town in Jharkhand. Ramya takes a dubious decision to relocate to a strange land, a thousand miles away, looking for greener pastures of life. Ramya’s whole world comes crashing down around her when she reaches the megacity of Delhi, and finds that a hypocrite kinfolk traded her dignity and Aparajita’s destiny for a trifling sum of money.

“The human spirit and self-esteem are compromised when you lay down your arms to the pressures of society in a rat race.”

Trapped in the merciless milieu of one of the largest red-light districts in India, Aparajita faces the repercussions of something she has least control of. A restrained society snubs Aparajita for her social class, under the influence of a centuries-old enigma that still persists in the fifth-largest economy of the world. The fiasco rips her hope and crushes her childhood dream to study as she grows up in the street of ill repute.

“Our fears would disappear when we accept the truth and confront our challenges with integrity.”

Will Aparajita shrug-off her melancholy past in order to break the stereotype? Will she ever pave her way as a bona fide citizen in a prestige-obsessed community?

 

Q: The story was too fast don’t you think? It ended too fast, did you intended to make it that short?


A: A long narration without any dynamic events is likely to create boredom. The occurrence of actions with vibrant turning points play an important role in gluing the attention of a reader. As this theme was very sensitive, my goal was to tell the story at a fast pace in order to keep readers at the edge of their seats. My ability to consistently maintain curiosity as the story unfolds took precedence over its length.

 

Q: Can you please tell us what made you want to write The Princess of a Whorehouse?


A: Ironically, there are a handful of cases in real life when the children of sex workers are able to get access to quality education and pursue a dignified career across various South Asian countries. In one such case, I came across a heart-breaking experience of the daughter of a former sex worker. When she was young, her mother was trafficked to Mumbai’s red light district. In a Facebook post, she shared her journey of becoming a theatre artist in Mumbai. She candidly talked about discrimination and hardships she faced throughout her journey. In rapidly developing nations, modernization merely remains a hype unless fundamental rights and human values are fortified largely at grass-roots level. I wrote this novella with the intent to portray a tenacious and an independent girl like my fictional character, Aparajita, who personifies a meritocratic society undoubtedly.

 

Q: Please give us an Insight to your Main characters. What does these characters do that makes them special?


A: As I mentioned before, writing a debut novel with female protagonists was a mammoth challenge for an amateur male writer like me. However, my willingness to empathize struggles of women in the lurch enabled me to create strong identities of my characters. The story is about out of the ordinary choices of an ordinary girl and her widowed mother, who battle against all the odds. Aparajita, the protagonist, who can be compared to a princess in an abstract sense due to the sanctity of her inner strengths and perseverance. She is as tenacious as a princess in achieving her ambitions by challenging the status quo of society despite being raised in a milieu that is looked upon as a swamp. On the other hand, Ramya is an uneducated mother, who accepts her fate when she is left with no choice. However, she emerges as a strong mother as she wants a good future for her daughter. With Raj’s support, she leaves no stone unturned to escape the swamp in order to give a better life to her daughter.

 

Q: I was quite impressed with Raj’s character. What was your inspiration behind his character?

A: “One avatar is not enough for a writer, who lives many avatars when his characters come alive in readers’ minds.”

By the way, I am also impressed with his character, just like you! I am often impressed by social workers, who go beyond the call of their duty by helping those who are deprived of civil liberties. I consider social workers as the heroes in real life. Not all men who visit a whorehouse have the same motive of visiting that place. Raj is one of those responsible social workers, who respects women’s dignity, beyond corporeal aspects. He is a responsible citizen, who teaches underprivileged children as he believes that education is the best weapon to battle against the inequality. He is an ideal father, who supports the fact that daughters should grow up as independent individuals by chasing their ambitions.

  

Q: I kinda like books that tackle societal issues. Do all of your books tackle a certain societal issue like this one?


A: Well, this is my debut novel.

 

Here’s the picture of the book cover of The Princess of a Whorehouse 

 

Q: The cover is intriguing, can you tell us how it came about?


A: It is a blazing and thought provoking cover that illustrates the gist of the story. A girl confidently gazes at a bright exit from the narrow lanes of a flea market, where various commodities are on sale. From the dark covert of a timeworn fort, two faces of women in anguish stare inquisitively at the girl as she escapes to the brightness.

Q: Who designs your book covers?


A: Keeping in mind my concept, the graphics designer of Notion Press designed this cover. She flawlessly depicted my imagination in Photoshop. I am thankful to her for her diligent effort.

 

Q: Do you think that the cover plays an important role in the buying process?


A: The cover is the first thing that a potential reader notices. I believe that the cover should be able to depict the storyline and theme in order to set right expectation during the buying process.

 

Q: While writing your book, specifically The Princess of the Whorehouse did you encounter a “writer’s block”? If so, which part of the book?


A: Encountering a writer’s block is inevitable for a writer, especially when the plot is based on a rural, traditional, or bizarre setting. A writer’s ability to create a perfect blend of local tinges as viewed from a universal perspective in the narration is a major challenge. A story teller in a true sense will always write his story by unleashing imagination with countless innovative ideas. At times, some people say that this story is based on a boring plot. Storytelling is an art of skillfully transforming an imagination into a story with innovative ideas to overcome a writer’s block.

 

Writing a debut novel with female protagonists was a mammoth challenge for an aspiring writer like me. There were several occasions when I could not visualize feelings of a woman. I wore hats of similar individuals, who resembled closely to my characters. Subsequently, I empathized with their circumstances besides capturing their distinct characteristics, expressions of ages, dialects, and so on. When Aparajita went to Columbia International School, I struggled to imagine the conflict that a girl like her was likely to encounter in that kind of a situation. I had Ugly Betty in my mind, in a serious sense though, when I described Aparajita’s appearance and reactions of people around her.   

 

Q: What are you working on at the moment? Can you tell us what’s it about?


A: Here is an excerpt from my upcoming novel – “I thought the depths of ocean and the outer reaches of space were only two uncharted territories until I discovered the furthest depths of my soul.”

 

Stay tuned…

 

Q: How are you publishing this book? And why? (Indie, Traditional or both)


A: When I began writing on this subject, I was aware that such a book is unlikely to be commercially successful in terms of sales volume. As an aspiring author, it was a tough decision to step into the world of creative writing with a sensitive theme like this one. I chose to self-publish my book as soon as I decided to take the bull by the horns wholeheartedly.

 

Q: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?


A: Well, there are pros and cons of both. Self-publishing gives you an opportunity to maintain your originality without worrying too much about what a publisher wants. That being said, marketing remains a challenge as traditional publishers have a deep-rooted presence in the marketplace. In my opinion, reaching out to literary agents is the best option.

 

Q: When did you become a writer?


A: As a software professional, I have authored a number of articles on technology and processes for various journals, tech forums, and conferences. My journey as a writer expedited in 2014, when one of my articles was featured in a leading software journal published in Florida, USA. I always felt that something was missing in the excursion until I discovered the immense passion to write on matters that often make my heart sink. In due course, writing became my greatest passion when I observed how it can trigger the winds of change.

 

Q: Do you write everyday? 5 days a week or you just write when you feel like it?


A: After a hectic weekly calendar, I desperately look forward to a rejuvenating weekend, when I can spend time in my writing corner.

 

Q: while writing a book do you aim a set amount of words or pages per day?


A: I mostly wrote this book in long-haul flights during my international business trips to the US and Europe. Usually, I go with the flow while writing without any specific target.

 

Q: Where do your Ideas come from?


A: I believe in writing with a sound purpose in mind. Rises and falls of fortune in life can sometimes provide the best inspiration to write. That being said, a writer may not always narrate a story out of personal experiences. Sometimes, noticeable incidents around us can be the best source of ideas.

 

Q: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?


A: In my phrase book, creativity has no boundaries. Therefore, it is identical to infinity. Creativity no longer remains original when tied by rules and style guides. As a creative writer, empathy is an important behavior that enables me to realize agonies and emotions of my characters. While writing, I am sad when my characters are in grieve. I am glad when my characters are in good times. I succeed when the same emotions are mirrored through my words. It is my pleasure when readers finish reading my story without having stumbled upon the dilemma of putting the book down, whether they liked the story or not.

 

Q: What is the hardest thing about writing?


A: Choosing a balanced writing style remains a major challenge. One size doesn’t fit all. That’s why, I believe in tailoring my style guide based on situations and scenes so that they come alive in readers’ minds as the story unfolds.

 

Q: Why do you think other well written books Just Don’t Sell?


A: For an aspiring author, reaching out to target audience is like searching a needle in a haystack. Advertisements and promotions play a vital role in enhancing a book’s visibility amongst target audience. Marketing a major challenge for Indie authors since it is not their forte. There are some bloggers and book promoters that are doing a good job of promoting books written by aspiring authors. That being said, one cannot rule out the supremacy of traditional publishers in marketplace.

 

Q:What advice would you give to aspiring authors?


A: Success gives a moment to cherish, whilst non-success gives a reason to gauge. Success often follows perseverant efforts taken after non-success. Keep writing from your heart!

Here are the links of Mr. Mayank:

 

Website: http://authormayanksharma.com

Mayank Sharma

authormayanksharma.com

Mayank Sharma is a ‘left-brained’ professional with over twenty years of global experience in leading multinational companies. His interest in writing intensified …


Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/mayanks.author


Twitter: @mayanks5572


Amazon Author Page: http://a.co/64kqpDD

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32849517-the-princess-of-a-whorehouse

 

Book Review: The Princess of a Whorehouse by Mayank Sharma

 

Title: Princess of a Whorehouse

Author: Mayank Sharma

Publisher: NotionPress

Series: Standalone

Genre:  Fiction

Pages: 98

Format: Paperback

Review is also posted on: Goodreads

Book Synopsis:

Aparajita is a tenacious go-getter. Her name means unconquerable in Sanskrit, and she lives up to its meaning.

Just like any other ambitious girl, she desires to fulfil her dreams and become an independent individual. Far and wide, the shadow of her melancholy past chases her passage. The fact that her widowed mother is a former sex worker irks the community. Nonetheless, she is not ashamed to reveal her mother’s past.

Will she lose hope, or will she defy an enigma that is centuries-old? Will she ever conquer the hearts of a prestige-obsessed community?

See the world through Aparajita’s prism in a tale stirred by some real life events.

This book is about:

A girl names Aparajita who encountered a series of unfortunate events in her life. She lost her father in an accident and her mother was a school dropout and was so gullible that she absent mindedly signed a deed which she had no idea what was written on it. And desperate times calls for desperate measures, her mother became a sex slave to earn money which was not that much since they were somewhat a prisoner in that whorehouse. But her luck changed when her mum met Raj and you’ll follow Aparajita’s struggle in finding herself and in trying to fit in the society where her mother’s past wasn’t well accepted and a society where her kind isn’t welcome at all.

My Review:

Note: this book was sent to me by the Author himself and in exchange I’ll be giving my honest review.

I’m quite certain that it was on twitter where Mr. Mayank asked me to review his book before we discussed other matters concerning my review via email.

The book Title doesn’t look that engaging. I myself isn’t easily offended by these types of books but if you would consider the people who aren’t comfortable with abuse and stuff this would be unappealing to them and they won’t really try to look at it even though the title is just a phase of the character’s life.

The book was super short. The story is fast paced. And because of this it was quite hard for me to like develop any feeling whatsoever towards the book since it didn’t give that much exposure to certain parts of the main character’s story. Also the title was somehow misleading since it emits one of these two thoughts:

*Oh! So she’s a high ranked whore of some sort

*is she like the one who manages the whorehouse?

And none of those were inclined to the story. And the story’s main points were the women being sex slaves and how society perceives women who were held captive against their will and how their past will continuously haunt them for the rest of their life. And not only them but their offspring but the main point here I guess was that even the most damaged souls and the most abused people just needs hope that one day they’ll get up from the tragedies they faced.

✅Dialogues: quite okay. Except for the occasional typos I encountered.

✅Characters: the characters here were really good though even though they just had a small time to like expand or show more of themselves since the book was too short.  Raj was the nicest character I’ve read in this book. A person that’s willing to look past the flaws of the person he loves and accepting and taking responsibility for the child his lover has.

✅Plot: I’m not completely sold to the idea of the plot here since the title was really misleading.

✅Flow of the story: it wasn’t that smooth though. The transition from Aparajita being in primary school to college was too fast it didn’t really have the enough time to tackle more of the societal issues that was shown in this book.

✅Detailing: was okay.

It was an okay read. Not really that overwhelming but the message in the story is really good. Kinda mainstream but really good.

 

Rating:

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Book Review: The Special Dead by Lin Anderson

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Title: The Special Dead

Author: Lin Anderson

Series: Rhona McLeod Mystery

Genre: Crime Thriller, Murder Mystery

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Review is also posted on: Goodreads

Synopsis:

When Mark is invited back to Leila’s flat and ordered to strip, he expects the experience of his life. Waking later to find Leila gone, he opens the wrong door and finds he’s entered a nightmare; behind the swaying Barbie dolls that hang from the ceiling is the body of the girl he just had sex with. Rhona Macleod’s investigation reveals the red silk cord used to hang Leila to be a cingulum, a Wiccan artifact used in sex magick. Sketches of sexual partners hidden in the dolls provide a link to nine men, but who are they? As the investigation continues, it looks likely that other witches will be targeted too. Also investigating is newly demoted DS Michael McNab, eager to stay sober and redeem himself with Rhona, but the case threatens his resolve. Soon McNab realizes Freya may hold the key to identifying the men linked to the dolls, but the Nine will do anything to keep their identities a secret.

This book is about:

The gruesome murder of Leila Hardy. Who was found in her flat lifeless, but the peculiar thing about her death is that she was surrounded by dolls that were hanging from the ceiling… and she was hanged as well. Dr. McLeod is on the case along with McNab to find out who murdered Leila Hardy and what was the significance of the dolls on the crime scene? and after their investigation they found out that Leila had an unusual hobby… practicing witch craft with her friend Shannon. Obviously it wasn’t really the real thing much more like a thing they do and they believe in. while the case is still being solved, Shannon was dead in her flat as well but it can’t be ruled out as suicide since she was sitting on a stool and was obviously drowned to death… another weird way to kill someone (the making her sit on a stool part.) the thing that comes to mind to these investigators are, to kill a witch you need to Hang her, Drown her or Burn her. Two of those happened already and as they were slowly finding out who the murderer was another body was found but it wasn’t a person deemed to be a witch but was also hard to identify since his face was disfigured. And now they have to hustle to find out who the killer is before he or she finds another victim.

My Review:

Note: this book was sent to me as a review copy by the Author herself in exchange for an honest review.

I found out about The Special Dead via Twitter… that’s not a surprise haha. And since I love Murder Mysteries I was instantly intrigued when I read the synopsis of this book.

When I saw the book cover though I was really drawn to it and the physical copy looks super good the cover is super clear and so lovely to look at. And I can really say that this would be a book that would grab my attention if I see it in a bookstore.

The synopsis was quite straight forward it was clear and not vague at all. Since there are some books that give synopsis that you’ll get nothing out of it whatsoever and the synopsis on this book gives a good flow on what will go on the book and what you’ll look forward to.

The book was satisfying in a Moderate way, not that amazingly breathtaking and not that dull or boring. The story is still the same as any mainstream murder mystery. With finding the victim and trying to find the murderer up until the last chapter of the book. The beginning of the book was quite interesting for me since Leila (the victim) did some sort of weird ritual while having sex with a guy… which you’ll soon understand why she did that… she’s a witch. (not in a literal sense more like a hobby type of witch) but when I reached the middle part of the book I sorta lost my interest, not sure why though but it took me forever to get pass the middle chapters. The book though had some romantic aspects in it but it didn’t seem to work for the book’s plot and it didn’t work for me. The detective’s investigation on the case interests me but the reoccurring romantic or cheesy parts lost my interest. Which is weird cause I’m usually not picky on what happens on these types of books but for some reason it just didn’t feel right on this book. And I’m still quite confused though this is the first Rhona McLeod book that I’ve read but it seems like McNab was the main character and not McLeod. And book got me quite worked up actually. So I’m guessing that the characters in this book had a case on the last book (book before this one) and if you’re like me (reading this series for the first time) you won’t understand what was so serious about that case and why it keeps popping up in their conversations. It would’ve been much better if it was part of a series but you can still read it and feel like it was a standalone novel. Anyways I did enjoy the book besides the frustrating things that happened in the book it was still fun in a way and it was like watching Criminal Minds in book form.

✅Dialogues: The dialogues here were okay for me, but I’m not quite sure for readers who are starting to get into reading novels. Some words and terminologies on this book are quite deep and highfalutin. If you don’t have a dictionary you won’t get the conversation they’re having and this goes on until the end of the book. It would’ve gone smoothly if the author used much more reader friendly words.

✅Characters: I like McNab’s character. He drinks coffee… a lot. Much like me if I feel like in a caffeine mood. I like how persistent his character is in solving the case. And how charming he is at some point. But my issue with the characters is that McNab seems to overshadow McLeod’s character and that really annoys me characters specially the main ones should have a balance in those aspects. So maybe I would’ve like McLeod’s character if McNab didn’t like steal the spotlight in the Rhona McLeod novel.

✅Plot: the plot was great. A girl is found dead in her flat, detectives do their best to find the murderer, the body count of murdered people rises, and the killer may or may not have escaped the authorities *wink*

✅Flow of the story: Good. The transition from one character’s POV to another was smooth and besides the issue on romantic parts, everything was peachy.

✅Detailing: was exquisite, everything that was being spoke of like meals and such had specific descriptions so you can imagine it with ease.

The ending though was really… really… reeeeaaaallllyyy. Dissatisfying for me it was a cliffhanger and stuff. I just didn’t like it. But maybe you will. Remember we’re entitled to our own opinions and it really depends on the reader if you would like or not.

Quite good story. Something to pick up on a Murder Mystery reading mood.

Rating:

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Book Review: Tortured Minds by Grant Leishman, Collin Griffiths and Rachel McGrath

Title: Tortured Minds

Authors: Grant Leishman, Collin Griffiths, Rachel McGrath

Series: Stand Alone

Genre: Supernatural, Psychological, Thriller

Pages: 289

Format: Paperback

Review Also Posted on: Goodreads

Book Synopsis: *insert here*

This book is about:

Three friends who are Adrenaline Junkies and decided that Parcour is the next thing on their list. And tragedy strikes when Daniel falls to his death on top of a building. And now Daniel is stuck in some sort of spirit limbo where he’s still in the human realm rather than spiritual one. You’ll follow Daniel in… Let’s say his Quest to find out if his Death was an accident or was it planned by one of his super close friends. You’ll be on the edge, getting curiouser and curiouser….. as to who was the master mind in Daniel’s unfortunate death. And you’ll eventually find out who has the Tortured Minds.

My Review:

*Note: This book was sent to me by Mr. Grant in exchange for an honest review*

So again almost all the books that I reviewed. I literally found out about them on twitter and I got a little curious since Mr. Grant lives in the Philippines and I’ve never reached out or found an author that resided in the Philippines, well maybe there are tons but I just haven’t discovered them yet. So the thing that I was curious about, since Mr. Grant wrote paranormal books. I’m curious if he used the mythical creatures in the Philippines’ folklore and stuff.

The book cover looks quite intimidating in a way. But any psychological thriller reader would probably pick it up and see what it’s about.

Actually when I read the synopsis I was quite intrigued since there were three authors that collaborated in writing this book. And each author had his/her character to write about and they wrote the book in a way that if the first author came up with this plot twist the other author has to go with the flow and add some spice in it in their own way.

So the books was great. Well I liked how the story progresses it was smooth even though three authors wrote it. The book was interesting at the begging but the story kinda lost me in the middle parts. I mean the transition from each point of view was really smooth but the story not so much. And this book also regained my interest in the last few chapters not the ending though. But the unexpected twist and turns contributed to the book’s charms. At first the paranormal stuff was really grabbing my attention but it was lost when the paranormal being gave too much contact to the other characters like as if he was still alive. And I’m a super fan of paranormal stuff and those things well this is a work of fiction after all. But the things that happened isn’t well possible unless possession was involved which is not.

Dialogues: Good, there were some grammar mistakes but not that overwhelming.

Characters: So I really like the characters in this book. Like first they are somewhat innocent in a way but flashbacks show how pretentious they are or how manipulating they are.

Plot: was nice, a ghost that tries to find out who killed him. But  the way he made too much contact lost me.

Flow of the Story: the transition from one point of view to the other was smooth but the story line seems to be off in some point since there are three authors writing the book. It’s understandable.

Detailing:  was good.

Overall a very good psychological thriller book. It has great twist and turns with the minor setbacks of parts getting way off the plot and the ending was not that shocking it was really random to be honest.

Rating: