Monday, March 30, 2020

Second chance summer by Allie Boniface

51602069. sy475 No. of pages  : 215
Publisher : DNF Publishing
Expected release date : April 29, 2020
Book links : Goodreads Amazon
Author links : Goodreads Website

My review 

Second chance Summer is a small town love story of two people in their late 20’s  fighting their battle with demons. For Summer, a drastic car accident ten years ago leaves her scarred. Damien has an underlying responsibility to protect his mother and a much younger step-sister who he loves more than his life from his abusive step-father.  

Summer doesn’t want to be back in her home town , the reason is her bad memories apart from unresolved issues in need of sorting. But she is left with no other alternative. She must return to Whispering Panes ASAP to sell the property her deceased father has left in his will. She becomes Damien’s new landlord after her father’s death. It’s love at first sight for them. However, they shut their feelings as both have a past that is now haunting their present making them hopeless they could ever lead a normal life. Selling her property and returning to her museum curator job is her priority whilst the fate has some other plans for her. She decides to stay out of obligation.

There are secrets that’s gonna shake Summer’s world. Gabe, her ex-boyfriend hid something from her the fateful night that put a stop to their relationship. When the truth is revealed, she will be full of regrets . How will she be able to overcome the guilt? A fatal error on her part has taken the life of a dear one. The people in her town have moved on and blamed somebody else for the tragic incident that took away a precious life and punished the wrong one. If they learnt who is the actual culprit, what will be their reaction? Will Gabe’s sacrifice go in vain?

Meanwhile, Damien’s step father’s vigorous attempts to find out the whereabouts of his wife and daughter’s new location has reached the peak. Summer feels the burden of wronging an innocent for the second time in her life. Can she right it this time before it is too late?

Personally, the story didn’t click with me. A melancholic drama the author has spun is dry with few worthy stuffs. Romance element is unrealistic missing the baseline. Gabe, her ex-boyfriend would be the right partner for her. He likes her even after what happened to them in the accident that caused losses aplenty. 

Summer’s character is not admirable neither inspiring. She jeopardizes innocent lives due to her foolishness. I feel the author could have given us a strong, brave and smart Summer. She is clumsy when she was young and this behavior continues in her adult life.Damien is 2 years younger yet smarter than her, despite this fact, there’s no believable sexual chemistry between these two and their attraction towards each other seems superficial and irrational. My heart simply couldn’t accept them as a pair. 

The narration is not up to the mark, it requires skillful editing. Otherwise this is a good story plot which has the potential to linger in the minds of the readers for the long haul. But to be honest, I don’t welcome the cougar woman story. I recommend the book for the moral messages ‘Making peace with the past is vital if one desires a fulfilling life’. ‘Good will triumph over evil in the end’ ,‘A mistake though cannot be undone it can be forgiven when a person accept their part and repents’.  

Rating 3/5

Disclaimer I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The art of the fantasy genre

Author Wesley Lowe needs no introduction. A writer for many decades, he is a force to be reckoned with by fantasy lovers of all ages. Not long back I reviewed his book  'The Griffin's gauntlet' . Do read my review of his book here if you haven't done so.

After a review opportunity, this day, I am greatly excited about having him on my blog to speak on the topic 'The art of the fantasy genre'. He was very benevolent to engage you readers with his wisdom. Hope you enjoy his article like I do.

Fantasy Genre

Stories of the fantasty have been told from the beginning of human civilization.  These tales explain the origin of the world, the causes of natural disasters, where fire came from, the afterlife, all of which involve the power of magic.  Other fantasy stories tell of the great adventures of courageous adventurers such as Hercules, King Author, and Frodo Baggins.  It is not only the stories themselves that inspire us, but the concepts as well.  Who hasn’t imagined being swept away from this dull, mundane world and into a wondrous, magical land?  Who hasn’t been inspired over the finding of a magical object of great power and doing great things?  These and other fantasy elements have stimulated our imaginations because, in such a genre, anything can happen – anything can be.

Yet, there must be order and structure in a world in which the natural and magical exist side by side.  The natural world, because of natural selection, has created many interdependent forms of physical and natural life such as plants and animals.  There must be a reason magic is present and why there is a balance between that and the natural world so that a story can work to form a sense of logical implementation.  I do this in my first novel by using flashbacks in strategic points in the story so that the reader can form an understanding of how magic works in the world in which the story takes place.
It is also important that while using magic as an element in a story, one must have clearly defined limits for its applications.  One must establish what it is capable of, what it is incapable of, its strengths, and its limitations.  This forms a set of rules to abide by so that the world in which the events takes place isn’t unraveled by utter chaos.

Ironically, setting rules and limitations for imaginative elements like magic can lead the writer to form plotlines and invent characters that are more fantastic and wonderous than in any other genre in literature.

My thoughts

 Isnt the article unerringly astonishing, insightful and enligtening? Fantasy is one genre which I principally restrain from reading for the lack of realism in it and at current, hearing author Wesley Lowe talk about its existence, history , logical presence of magic in the world and why fantasy, I am dazzled. Like knowledge, I now understand imagination is power. No wonder many readers are fantasy lovers and uncovered its value early. Though I am lagging behind, feel glad to be awakened finally. I thank the author from the bottom of my heart for the first-rate lecture.

                 Facts about Wesley Lowe

Wesley Lowe has been a Fantasy and Science Fiction buff since his teens and began writing stories of his own in his early twenties. His first book is a fantasy novel entitled: "The Griffin's Gauntlet.” After numerous rejections from mainstream publishing houses and a short stint in self-publishing, his work was picked up by Helm Publishing, a small independent publisher. He now self publishes through Kindle Direct Publishing. His second, third, fouth, and fifth book are entitled "The Coven Initiates", “The Royal Quests”, “The Wiccan Path”, and “The Oracular Gambit”, which continues the adventures of the characters in “The Griffin’s Gauntlet”.

These books make up the fantasy series entitled: “The Necromancer Wars,” which feature witches as persecuted heroes rather than evil villains. Wesley Lowe is currently at work on his sixth book.

Note : There's a giveaway running for US residents. Have you entered? It ends on April 10th, 2020. My best wishes, readers.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

What price paradise by Katherine Allred

No of pages : 286
Publisher : Ellora's cave
Published on : May 7, 2009
Audience : 18+
Book links : Goodreads Amazon
Author links : Goodreads

My review 

Katherine Allred is one author who surprises big time. And I ain't joking. I found ‘The sweet gum tree’ not so likeable.I mean the book was illogical and a bit over the top. Believe me, I am still trying to figure out how it got many 4 star and 5 star ratings on goodreads. Got a minor heart attack too (exaggerating). The main characters acted plain stupid though I loved Nick Anderson and respected him (worshiping him like he is God.He is, right?Oh, you are not aware?) . Earlier, my only favorite book hero (confessing at last, gasp) was Roanie Sullivan (A place to call home,1997), from late 2010- early March 2020. Nick’s praiseworthy, good nature gets full marks from me(I don’t see any major flaws in Roannie be that as it may) .God, how I wish every man in this world are so sweet, sensitive, sentimental, loyal, faithful, honest , sacrificing, trustworthy, mature, non-violent and affectionate (okay, entirely special) like him. It will save women's lives (secretly I wish only I should get lucky)

Every women’s idea of soul mate is different. For me, Nick is total husband material. 100% decent. I am weeping hard realizing the character is fiction. LOL. Will I ever recover from the heart ache?Definitely not in this lifetime. If there is eternal heaven (it’s true isn’t it?Go away…Don’t crush my hope), he is my desired partner (happily ever after -show me peace, I will show love is my life’s motto). I swear,it is not due to the reason my ex and current favorite hero are motherless boys (there’s nothing to pity according to my POV ). They overcame so much, abused, tortured, led difficult lives. The traumatic circumstance only made them strong, decent and upright.Did I mention their fathers are perverts, child molesters and rapists? Both of them could have gone the wrong road but they made a good choice sticking to their gun. They are men of high principles and they read good books, aren’t their characters irresistible?If you haven’t yet read my thoughts on 'The sweet gum tree', you can do me a favor and read it here (I could hear you saying as if that would help, I know ;))

I picked ‘What price paradise’ by Ms. Allred because the book blurb blew my mind. Those who know me well (sadly, nobody knows me well and will never get anywhere close, duh), knows I am a sucker for romance novels that consists gentlemen as the main protagonist. Even when the book is lame, I expect the story doesn’t contain good girls falling in love with rogues or has bad people falling in love with each other. I can’t stand romance between bad people. It frustrates and angers me. Why would any good writer bother writing around it and deliver wrong message? Also don’t hate me for saying this. No cougar women stories. No multiple sexual partners. No flirting by the main protagonists other than their partners and/or including their partners. No accepting partners who are cheats. I don’t normally encourage erotica but I don’t mind it unless the author does justification and convinces such scenes are not written just for the sake of it. No unnatural sex please.  No intimate friends in opposite gender. All these are bad influence for me. They make me unsafe and insecure. I abhor people who speak vulgar and consider they are unfit to live. Gentlemen don’t talk or act indecent. In other words, those who talk indecent are not gentlemen. No man who makes a woman uncomfortable have the right to be proud. I keep updating myself. The more I age, the more stricter I become.

Have I already given enough delineation of my likes and dislikes? I hope so. To get to the heart of my review, before that if you can please forgive my writing style (I can hear your inner voice saying, you always have to tolerate it *Putting my head down in shame*). Really, do I need to review this book? I thought a lot over and feel my opinion doesn’t count. You can read or don’t have to, it’s your decision. So for others, who want to know my thought, once again forgive me as always for my frivolity. This time, a far too much. I am laughing hard right now because this novel shocked me, shocked me, shocked me that I have to close the book on and off while reading . It spooked me.Never thought, I would actually finish up this novel. OMG!I keep laughing right now. And you caught me. Can’t help because Ms.Allred is one mad writer or I am one mad woman. The latter may be the truth. Big yes.

About the story

Tate has love and hate relationship with his long time girlfriend Dianne (since school days). We learn that they keep arguing and break their bond with each other only to unite again.Dianne is an affluent woman who is too demanding in relationship. He is not very rich but she wants him to be her puppet and act on her every word. She goes to other men after leaving him and yes, she comes straight to him for comfort once she is done with them (exactly her intention was to make him jealous) and generously, he accepts her. Stressing this word, generously. Often this happens. One thing that doesn’t happen is that he never gets jealous and possessive. But this time, it’s really over. Tate has had it enough. It’s nothing got to do with her infidelity.

Abby is a young, shy, poor, uneducated orphan who struggles to meet her ends meet. She works at Delly’s as a waitress. Nobody wants to communicate with her (except men with bad intentions) as she is the daughter of the town whore. They all think she is same as her mother which is false. Tate gets drunk (only one time) after fighting with Dianne, he meets Abby and acts desperate to sleep with her. She has always had a crush on him and was jealous of his girlfriend. She is tired of being alone all her life and sympathizes with him. She sleeps with him and the frightening part, it is painful. Tate learns she is a virgin.

6 weeks later, Tate senses something is wrong with her. When he confronts her, she shouts at him to let her be alone. He forces her to spit out the truth that she is pregnant with his child. Abby counter argues, it could be anybody’s child and he should remember, she is the daughter of the town whore. He tells her it’s not true, he knows he took her virginity that night and he is the only one she has ever slept with. Abby gets surprised. He makes her a deal she cannot refuse. Add to her weight, she has to marry him and be his wife. He convinces he is doing this as the child is his blood and he and Dianne are over. What a gentleman! The story goes in this manner. A marriage of convenience or does it?

Tate has responsibility complex. His father taught him to be honest, hardworking and responsible. When his classmates in college were having fun, had girlfriends, he was confined to his room studying(favorite student of the dean) until the tragedy strikes. His father’s sad demise. He has a little brother to take care of and a ranch business. So he quits further studies and shuts his dream of becoming veterinarian.Abby is nice but I have seen better heroines. In terms of character, I am speaking. She is poverty ridden and lives a hard life.No women should live like her. Okay, I understand. Tate comes to her as a knight in shining armor. She is petite (skinny). On the other hand, he is masculine, tall and bulky. A strange pairing (outlandish). My natural like is for skinny, slim gentlemen that’s what I choose in reality.

Now I am going to talk about my least favorite part which was lingering on my mind even before I started penning my thoughts( you now understand the reason to my funny vibes I guess). Ms.Allred has written descriptive sex………….very,very descriptive. Unimaginably gross or she has written in hope readers will imagine and like what she is writing. Either way I got unlucky.I have read few erotica (they were not about gentlemen so I consoled myself) this was the only one which scared the hell out of me that I closed the book, then opened it after hours later. The misery continued like this(how can the author write about a gentleman in the most indecent ways possible). May be, my opinion is far-fetched. No way. I have read about gentleman’s actions.

I would have quit reading but my inner conscience said, I should accomplish reading the book. Also I didn’t have any other good business to do than this.I am right now in dilemma whether I should be proud of completing another book or blink my eyes and face the fact for reading an erotica that made me uneasy in million directions. Okay, I will stop with a few things I liked. Tate who has never been jealous and possessive realizes he is different with Abby.Follows the truth that he hid. How cruel!

‘What price paradise’ is indisputably an intelligent story. I will minus the erotica. True love is real and no one should compromise on that. Poetic. A happily ever after story from Ms. Allred. Go grab this novel. I will give a thumbs up for the story plot is brilliant. An unusual story of two simple people.

Rating 4/5

Friday, March 20, 2020

Anaaya and I : A journey to motherhood by Manisha Garg

51924440. sy475 No. of pages : 58
Publisher : Self-published
Published on : October 7, 2019
Book links : Goodreads Amazon
Author links : Goodreads Blog Instagram Facebook Twitter

My review 

Parenthood is a marvelous experience with a mixture of sweet challenge and responsibility. There are relatively very less persons in this world who opt out of it. The reason can be multiple. One of them is spiritual calling . Another one may be horror of low points of married life or worrying about ‘what if’ ‘scenarios. Despite what we may hear, there’s absolutely no one whose lives are perfect and there’s not a chance of anyone ever living an error free life. Those who consider themselves immune to failures and are flawless can be labeled as immature, childlike and not yet started living.

Through mistakes we grow and we are given an opportunity to improve one self to become a complete individual where we can be proud of ourselves at the end of our day. That’s why every single person has the ultimate freedom to choose however they want to spend their lives and stick to their plan. After all, life is a daring adventure with abundance of lessons to learn and exams to pass. But how blessed are those who decide to start a family. It is a wonderful path to self-discovery, self-growth and self-fulfillment. None so blessed like a person who settles down with their life partner. Doesn’t matter what was their life like before, their real life begins once they get married. 

To be born a female means a wonderful privilege and deciding to become a mother is a wise choice . The word ‘mother’ is synonym to ‘God- the creator’. Right from the moment a woman gets married with zillion hopes cultivated in her heart, starting to love their better half unconditionally , getting tremendous happiness hearing the news of her first pregnancy, enjoying the magical bliss of a life crawling inside her womb, giving birth to a healthy bundle of joy , seeing the baby grow in every stages of life, this is real heaven. A mother is truly special. The role might seem daunting but a noble one.

In ‘Anaaya and I’ the debut author Manisha Garg has enlightened us the journey to her motherhood. The insights into her trimesters- her joys, fears, insecurities, sacrifices, hopes are honest and realistic. I feel blessed to read her special moment of turning from an ordinary woman to extraordinary. Her words touched me in a way I haven’t for years. Going through health complications in pregnancy like fibroid, welcoming bodily fluctuations with an open mind, coping with mood swings, ample changes in her food pattern for the well-being and concern of her child, trying to adapt to her new role as a mother gives a good picture of what it takes to be a true mother, a symbol of self-sacrifice.

Plus, her visits to the hospital for routine checkup and finally, fixing date for her C-section gave me a lesson. Others may think that a mother’s job as nothing special and feel it is equal to a father’s job. Only persons who are well-learned know the worth of mother which is greater than precious gems found anywhere in this universe. My favorite part of her life story she shared is when she cries to her father like a baby petrified of the pain she will experience in C-section. This is very relatable to all mothers-both old and new.

Expectant and wannabe mothers will find her book, very resourceful and knowledge widening. In the last part where the father-to-be, her husband shares with the readers what it takes to be a new father and what can men expect as a father is simple but well told. My only wish is that the author could have shared all of her experiences (emotions, physical changes, habits,etc) during her pregnancy. Nonetheless, her book is a amazing read for everyone who want to understand what a mother undergoes in her pregnancy. The book cover is pleasing to one's eyes and candid. I recommend this inspiring book, a must read for all men especially for they should know beautiful souls, mothers. She may have any criticizable character but her love and good intentions for her child needn't be doubted. This book makes me feel and say 'What a great blessing to be a female!'.

Rating 4/5

Disclaimer I received the book as a part of review program in Outset

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The guardians of lore by Daniel Errico

29632195. sx318 No. of pages : 81
Publisher :  Pajama Publishing
Published on : March 26, 2016
Book links : Goodreads
Author links : Goodreads

My review

I was looking for a super-fun read which I could devour. Just like that randomly, I zeroed in on ‘The guardians of lore ‘ without deep pondering, this is a children’s fiction . Normally, I am not very nit-picky about books. But sometimes.  Most of the time, I am up for reading almost anything.  A fiction , non-fiction, even the book I hardly understand or struggle to get a grip, all  subjects a layman can understand  All things are okay with me as long as I learn something, my knowledge broadens at least, conclude the world around me critically and  above all, satiate my need for intellectual discovery, stimulate my thinking process, update myself and become self-sufficient . As to why I picked this book, a story on lore and rile still needs exploration from my side. Therefore, it was icing on the cake. Without further ado, let me share my thoughts  on the book.

This is an exceptionally written intriguing piece of work that enthuses and imbues curiosity in young readers to discover the unknown with a spirit of adventure. Ideally, this is a book for children who enjoy folklore, mythical creatures and fairy tales. Others will do love for the novelty that defines the book in its core. Wonderful pace. Superb narrative. Fine setting. Noteworthy characters. Stellar humor. The author’s imaginary skill is just ‘Wow’

Anything that I could say displeasing is that for a woman in my late 20’s, in the initialization of reading the book I found the story to be utterly ridiculous since this is not a book grownups will seem to enjoy or believe. Conversely, children will find the book to be of their taste. Keeping my critical hat away (my age is the factor which makes me an unsuitable candidate for the book), I flipped the pages to engross myself in the story, put it into perspective and get entertained without judging.

Cal, a 12 year old boy is the main protagonist and he gives voice to the story. A frog sitting by the window stares at him during his class. There’s something odd about the frog that makes him stop for a second and take a good look at it. To his amazement, the frog wears spectacle. He concludes this is no ordinary frog. When he shares what he saw with his best friend, Soy, he thinks he is crazy until he sees it with his own eyes not realizing there are more surprises in store.

The frog talks. What follows is a tale of a young hero who is daring and is willing to put his life on the line to save the kidnapped fairies from the iron clutches of evil by figuring out the riddles and come out as a winner . Unlike most books, this story has three epilogues which is in itself something different. I loved the climax. Meaning of friendship, loyalty, faith, courage, the will to win are some of the lessons children will learn if they grasp it.Even though the book started off on a rocky road for me due to the reason, this is a mythical, fantasy fiction that is written for younger audience, towards the final part of the story, it was a smooth sail. A good read for children aged between 6-12. I recommend. 

Rating 3.5/5