Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button
Linkedin button
Delicious button
Digg button
Flickr button
Stumbleupon button

Book Review and Giveaway: The Magic of Friendship by Subhash Kommuru

*** Please Scroll Down For Giveaway ***


 
Title: The Magic of Friendship
Author: Subhash Kommuru
Paperback: 42 pages
Publisher: Kommuru Books (August 25th 2014)
Genre: Childrens Books
Read: eBook
Stars: *****/5
Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US

 
 

Summary: (Goodreads)

A flock of migrating geese stumble upon Tadoba, the land of the fierce tiger Babbar who does not tolerate anyone in his area. Will Babbar show any mercy? Can he change? Will the geese make it to safety?

This is a story about change — a transformation that comes with the magic of friendship. Personality may not change, but nature can surely change. This story will shows the value of friendship and how that can change a person, particularly one who is lonely and never really had the gift of laughter.

 

My Review:

Note: Thanks Subhash Kommuru for offering me your book to read and review 🙂

Cover: Simple and colourful.

Paper and font: Large and easy.

Readability, language: Simple language.

Why did I choose this book: I have read, enjoyed and reviewed another Children’s book by Subhash Kommuru – Chatur and hence was interested in ‘The Magic of Friendship’.

I don’t usually review Children’s Books and I’m most probably not the best judge of them since I don’t have children of my own. However, though it’s been years since I’ve been a child, children’s books still transport me to my childhood. It is from this forever child that the review comes. 🙂

The Magic of Friendship is the story of two friends who find each other and in doing so find happiness. The tale shows how the most unlikely of people can become the best of friends, how friendship is not limited by type, gender, caste or creed.

The title ‘The Magic of Friendship’ is an appropriate title for the story. The cover is colourful and the imagery goes with the title.

The plot is a simple one about the bridge of friendship and yet it has a lot of depth and learnings to take away. There are multiple morals to the story but the message is put across gently and subtly, so as to get the child to think and reflect.

The tale unfolds in Tadoba, a forest in India which has some tiger presence but beyond being a name to a place, the setting does not add to the story in any way. That leaves the story as something that can happen universally and not only in the ‘Magic Forest’ or maybe children today don’t believe in Magic Forests anymore.

Kommuru has chosen his main characters well. The friendship of a tiger and donkey is so unreal that you want to believe in it. It also makes for an excellent example of opposites can attract and be friends. The author has sketched out and introduced the characters well so they feel familiar and real.

The story is narrated well with simple language and a constant pace. The story also has a lot of sounds build in to make it a good bedtime story. The illustrations of Arul Anugragh Ross, add to the story and give it a vibrance that I think will interest children.

If you have kids aged 10 and below, I would recommend ‘The Magic of Friendship’, especially if your read them bedtime stories.

About the Author:

Though originally from India, Subhash currently resides in the US with this wife, Sujata and their two sons. Website – Kommuru Books.

Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US

 

Q & A with Subhash Kommuru


Q. Where did your inspiration for The Magic of Friendship come from?

Subhash: Freya Ji, Thank you for giving me the opportunity to connect with your avid readers and subscribers. Also thanks for giving “The Magic of Friendship” a chance and reviewing this story. The Magic of Friendship is a very special story while the title says it all, the story actually hits on quite a few other aspects of kids life like sharing, caring for others, relationship and most importantly it hits on topic of bullying. While bullying is a complex subject to address “The Magic of friendship” successfully covers one angle of that very complex aspect. In fact outlets like Pacific Book Review and Midwest Book Review spoke very highly of this two topic of Friendship and Bully were smoothly handled in this book.

When you read the story in whole you will find simplicity, fun and entertainment but as the story resonates in kids mind they start to demonstrate different levels of understanding and engage with the story.

I am a father first so I write all the stories for my son and then package it up to cater to all the kids. So all my stories are inspired by him.

Q. Why did you chose to pair the tiger with a donkey? Why not another animal?

Subhash: We read or see movies where certain animals go unnatural and do something different. For instance a snail faster than a racing car, a turtle riding a bicycle. I myself don’t understand why do stories have to limit themselves and make a character do something it’s not designed to do. When you look in the wild, there are different animals that exhibit different strengths. The Magic of friendship incorporates a tiger and a donkey and use them for their strengths rather than create a mouse which roars and rules over the forest or a shark that is scared of everything. Don’t get me wrong thought, I am all for imagination and fascination.

And by using donkey and tiger to their strengths and bringing them together there is an unusual pair that is created. In fact the Hindi edition of “The Magic of friendship” is under the title “Anokhi Dosti”.

Q. Does your choice of animals and names have a reason or story behind it?

Subhash: This is an interesting take to the question just before this, opens up a writers mind to present a different angle, so thank you for putting it so eloquently. In addition to using animals to their strengths, Tigers cause needs attention very badly. There are quite a few initiatives to work on their numbers. The lead character in my story “Babbar” is portayed as lonely and angry, I think those are two emotions that go hand in hand with their current state as well.

A donkey as an animal, in our culture is taken for granted, so in my story “Hasmukh”, the Donkey builds on that casual nature and then makes that character strong and exhibits its strengths which goes from being laughed at, to entertaining.

While those are two main characters in the story, every name in the story has real meaning to them like the younger of the geese is named “Chotu”, which in Hindi means the young one. So while you enjoy the story itself the characters with their names will bring sense of satisfaction.

Q. Why did you chose the forest of Tadoba for your setting?

Subhash: Tadoba is one of the most dense forest and is a real tiger reserve. In fact it’s part of India’s “Project tiger” which works towards conservation of tiger and its mission is to protect tigers from extinction. I grew up in Chandrapur which is home to Tadoba forest.

Q. You have written more than one book, where do your stories come from?

Subhash: One of the things that I as a father always dreaded was reading some meaningless stories to my son over and over again. That mostly happens when you read books which are just for kids and also those books sell them short. The Magic of friendship is catered with grown-ups in mind and also to challenge kids engagement and imagination. Only a parent can create such stories. You see we always talk about taking time out from our busy lives for kids. Most of us successfully do that, our attention and focus is always family. I feel that with changing times and hectic schedules we make extra effort to achieve this very goal and I don’t beleive that anyone dreads this, because at the end of the day family brings happiness. If you constantly do that then there is a story in you that can be told to kids. Trust me the best story for a kid is the one that you tell them. Does not matter Panchatantra, Jakata tales, British literature or also any of our titles, they just need your involvement.

Our books will certainly give you lots of room where you can fill gaps and encourage participation. Like letting out a tiger’s roar, making donkey sounds, act out funny scenes. And if that’s not enough these books like will also encourage you to talk to kids about festivals, celebrations and family values while reading our stories.

If parents take it upon themselves and not just trust TV/Movies, then we can deliver clean and meaningful content and drive out some of the shameful contents from the market, where they influence our kids with slangs and foul words to make them look cool and catchy.

While you engage with your kids, nephews, nieces, grand kids, students or anyone please do read books to them and I wish that you decide to present “The Magic of friendship”. Remember while they need to be smart in Math, Science, History and everything out there, but the most important thing for them is to be happy and that can be done with stories.

 

Giveaway:

 
This giveaway is open to all. To participate please follow instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below. There are three options and each option will get you one entry into the draw. The Twitter and Facebook options can be done everyday to increase chances of winning. 🙂

The winner will receive a Kindle copy of the book from Subhash Kommuru. (Only a Kindle copy can be provided, you can use the Amazon Kindle Cloud reader if you do not have a Kindle.)

Note: If you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber the book is available to read in the program.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All The Best for…

 

September 29, 2015   4 Comments

The 500th Milestone Giveaway

*** Scroll down for Giveaway***

This is my 500th blog post, so the WordPress dashboard tells me.

Milestones are made a big deal of, they are looked forward to, they are celebrated, they make you swell with pride, filled with the joy of achievement. But milestones are just stones that get all their meaning from little squiggles on them. It is these squiggles that are the true milestones. And one can squiggle anything.

I have travelled many kilometres and many roads across this country and as a traveller I know well the joys and the sorrows of milestones. Some have found me wringing my hands and others doing a tizzy tango. Each milestone is special, is remembered, no matter it’s size and largesse.

I started blogging in 2004. (Don’t believe me, check out my first ever blog post – Mulangiri 22-23 May 2004.) Last May made that 10 years of blogging, I had big plans, I wanted a celebration, you know the works. But life had plans too and… you know the rest.

Then, Tuesday night the number 499 popped out at me from the WordPress dashboard. And I was like, ‘wow’. That may be a small number to most seasoned bloggers but it was big to me. I had actually written 499 pieces of text!, so what if that took me 10 years. 😀

So, (my favourite filler), I’d like to celebrate and share the happiness and sense of achievement I feel right now. I figured a very special giveaway is due. So ;), here’s the deal – 5 winners win something I have made. It will be fun for me to make each winner something special (plus I haven’t been doing craft in a while, and this will be a perfect push).

Giveaway

To participate in this giveaway, all you have to do is choose one item from the below list of 5 and tell me in comments. Next Friday I will pick 5 random winners using Random.org. 🙂

Winners will have to be a little patient though as I will have to make each individual prize.
The Giveaway is open to all, however if you live outside India, it will take me longer to figure out how to get your prize to you.

Large Snowflake (colours will be personalised)

 

Snowflake (colours will be personalised)

 

Candy Stick

 

Japanese Filigree Fan

 

Santa, The Santa Claus

 

Snowy, The Snowman

 

Striped Earrings (colours will be personalised)

 

Flower Earrings (colours will be personalised)

 

Chequered Earrings (personalised colours)

 

Bonus Giveaway

One of the 5 random winners will also win a personalised bottle. {Sorry, don’t have pics of the finished bottle, but imagine this being prettier with faery lights. 😉 }

***Please note, except for the bottle, all the others are between 2 and 5 inches in width and height.

I’m excited to see what you will chose. Each of these pieces was a labour of love {cliched I know 😀 } and I’m looking making them again. It’ll be such fun.

All the best. Don’t forget to tell me what you want in comments. 🙂

Winners Update:

 
Congrats Manidipa, Harishri, Sindhoor, Sindhu, Ashwini on winning in the giveaway. Congrats Sindhoor on winning the bonus prize. 🙂

September 24, 2015   22 Comments

Book Review: Love Muffin and Chai Latte by Anya Wylde

Love Muffin and Chai Latte by Anya Wylde

 

Title: Love Muffin and Chai Latte
Author: Anya Wylde
Paperback: 199 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (July 24th 2015)
Genre: Fiction
Read: Paperback
Stars: *****/5
Buy On: Amazon

 

Summary: (Goodreads)

Tabby believes she has found the one in Chris. Chris appears to think the same for he pops the question, and soon Tabby finds herself engaged.

Tabby thinks her biggest problem is picking out the wedding dress and refining the dinner menu. Chris begs to differ. He thinks her biggest problem is convincing his wealthy grandfather that she is perfect for the family or he risks losing a big fat inheritance.

Convincing his grandfather turns out to be more complicated than she anticipates. For one, he wants her to seek the blessings of his spiritual adviser. The trouble is . . . his adviser lives in India.

So, for the sake of love, Tabby journeys into the heart of India and battles monkeys, crooks, Delhi belly and the advisor himself in order to win over Chris’s family.

But while she is trying to make sense of an exotic new world, she begins to wonders why her heart beats madly for a man who is not her fiancé but his very handsome cousin….
 

My Review:

Note: Thanks Anya Wylde for offering me your book to read and review 🙂

Cover: Quirky & Eye-catchy!

Paper and font: Well formatted.

Readability, language: Easy on the eye and mind.

Why did I choose this book: I love Wylde’s style of writing and find myself constantly waiting for her next book. 🙂

Tabitha Lee Timmons lands up in India in a rather convoluted fashion, then proceeds into more convolutions typical of a large Indian family and if all that isn’t enough, she finally falls in love with a man, who is many things along with being an Indian Celebrity but is not her fiancé.

The title caught my eye and left me wondering what the book would be all about. The blurb made it all sound ‘definitely worth a read’ but still left the mystery of the title unsolved (you need to finish the book to get the pieces to drop). The cover is different yet similar to Wylde’s previous covers, contemporary, easy and enticing on the eye, simple and colourful.

The story of the foreigner girl coming to India, discovering herself, falling in love with India and a boy must have been told if not countless times, at least a couple of times before, but never this way. Wylde’s sense of humour and writing style make all the difference.

Set in North India, Wylde has done her research well and the set and character are true to life. Being Indian, I was amazed at Wylde’s understanding of India, it’s culture, people, land, customs and more. There is even a Chappalwale Baba in the story! Kudos Ms. Wylde on getting India bang on.

The characters in Love Muffin and Chai Latte are endearing and almost believable. I say almost because I know they are unreal yet some part of me hopes they became real. Tabby is a heart warming mixture of American, British and Indian quirks. Dev is truly the tall dark and handsome hero I have always dreamed of. Maya the quintessential Indian best friend. And Daarji’s family reminded me of my own family, only we don’t have the millions. ;D

I’ve read all on Anya Wylde’s books and know her writing style well, yet Love Muffin and Chai Latte took me by surprise. Her signature sense of humour is still right there just dialled up to our world today. The pace is good and Wylde does not leave any loose ends dangling. She kept me constantly wanted to read more, all the way to the end as she unveiled twists and little surprises along the way.

If you are wondering what to read, think no more and just pick up Love Muffin and Chai Latte. I promise it will not disappoint, that is as long as you have a sense of humour. 🙂

About the Author:

Anya Wylde lives in Ireland along with her husband and a fat French poodle (now on a diet). She can cook a mean curry, and her idea of exercise is occasionally stretching her toes. She holds a degree in English literature and adores reading and writing. She blogs at anyawylde.blogspot.in.

Buy On: Amazon
 

Q & A with Anya Wylde


Until now you have written Historical Romances. What inspired you to write a contemporary romance?

Anya: I never liked the idea of being boxed into a particular genre. The moment you start putting reins on your imagination, you stop being creative. I write what I feel like and I really wanted to write a contemporary romance novel. It was a risk but I think it helped me grow as an author. I learned a lot.

Love Muffin and Chai Latte surprised me first with Indian characters and then the setting in India. Why did you choose an Indian angle for the book?

Anya: I chose to set the book in India because I wanted Tabby to grow emotionally and spiritually. And India teaches you a lot in a very short time. I don’t know anyone who has been to India and not been affected by the experience in some way. They either can’t handle it or fall in love so madly with the country that they are changed forever.

Your understanding of India and being Indian is so true. How did you go about gleaning this knowledge?

Anya: A part of my life has been spent in India. Although, I admit I never truly felt at home in the country and could see it from an outsider’s perspective. I suppose that’s the reason I wrote the book from Tabby’s point of view rather than Maya’s.

Who was your inspiration behind the characters of Dev, Maya and Daarji?

Anya: I think all of us know a Daaji in our lives. Someone who is desperately fighting his pride in his old age.
As for Dev … I fell in love with my husband because he is the kindest man I know. Dev is kind, so I guess my husband was my inspiration.
Maya was a difficult character to write. She has so many facets that at times I didn’t know who she was or what she was going to do next. I sort of made her up as I went along.

Did you travel through North India to understand the setting of your book? What is your most memorable memory from your time in India?

Anya: I have lived in Delhi and I visited Amritsar briefly some years ago. Other than that I don’t really know Punjab. A few people very kindly helped me with the details.
As for the most memorable moment … I adore Mumbai with its smelly beaches, crazy traffic, gorgeous food and the humblest and the most wonderful people. Every moment that I have spent in Mumbai has been memorable. The city sneaks into your heart like no other place in the world.

 

September 8, 2015   5 Comments

Book Review & Giveaway: There’s Something About You by Yashodhara Lal

*** Please Scroll Down For Giveaway ***


Title: There’s Something About You
Author: Yashodhara Lal
Paperback: 268 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins(July 15th 2015)
Genre: Fiction
Read: Paperback
Stars: ***/5
Buy On: Amazon | FlipKart

 

Summary: (Goodreads)

This is not your typical boy-meets-girl story. Okay, they do meet, but there are some complications.

Trish is twenty-eight. She’s unemployed, overweight, single and snarky. She knows all that. And if one more person – just one more person – tries to fix her, she might explode. Sahil is thirty-five. He has superpowers. Well, kind of. He seems to think so, anyway. He’s also hot (okay, in a geeky kind of way, but still). And he plays the guitar, helps the underprivileged and talks about his feelings. Aren’t guys like that supposed to exist only in fantasies?

When Trish and Sahil meet, magic happens. Real magic, you know, like fireworks, electricity, that sort of thing. But here’s the problem. Trish doesn’t want anyone in her life. She has enough to deal with – dependent parents, flaky neighbours, bitchy editors, the works. And yet, Sahil is determined to be in her life.

My Review:

Note: Thanks Indiblogger and Yashodhara Lal for offering me your book to read and review 🙂

Cover: Bright and Eye-catchy!

Paper and font: Ebony & Ivory…

Readability, language: Easy on the eye and mind.

Why did I choose this book: Since I’ve read Lal’s first book and had enjoyed it, when TSAY came up on IndiBlogger for review, I grabbed for it. 🙂

Trish is an ordinary, regular, sarcastic, overweight girl who is trying to find herself while trying to make ends meet. She had been living alone for a few years before her parents turned up and she is now unable to readjust to living with them. She is all messed up or so, she thinks. Enter Sahil into this melee, he’s the rich boy who is lost and trying to run away from the family business, the one who wants to do his own thing. The rest of the book is about how it all untangles and unravels.

TSAY’s cover is bright, cheery, colourful and inviting. There is a clear connect between the story and cover. The title is one that would work for any romance but in this case, it is only way past mid-point that I made the connect of the title with the story. The blurb is captivating and does a good job of setting expectations.

TSAY is just another romance but with a little twist that makes it a refreshing read. Lal toes a good line when it comes to balancing romance and all others parts of Trish, the protagonist’s life. Her creation of various sub-plots to cover the various facets of Trish’s life makes the book much more than an out and out romance and more fun to read.

The story is set in present-age Mumbai and Lal’s research and knowledge of the city shows. Most of the story unfolds around the sea, Bandstand in particular. Lal’s description of the smell, sight and sounds of living by the sea feel real and believable. Especially the parts about living near Shah Rukh Khan. 😀

The book revolves around Trish or Trishna as her father calls her. Trish is an everyday girl with her problems of parents, lousy bosses, excess weight, and all that, that I as an everyday girl can empathise with. Sahil her love interest grows on you as the various sides to him are revealed. He turns out to be this lovable kind geek and you can’t help but love. And then there’s Trish’s parents, her neighbours, her co-workers and bosses; they all are well sketched and add masala to the story.

TSAY is structured well and the pace is good too. Starting out with describing who Trish is, Lal goes through the story introducing characters based on need and furthering the story, holding a good pace. The subplots add to the story and don’t derail it, there are also no loose ends except one, which maybe is best left to guessing. The build up to climax is great and the end well drawn out too. My only complain is the family secret which I felt was a bit too much and was an easy route out to explain all Trish’s troubles.

I enjoyed Lal’s style of writing or rather Trish’s style of writing. It was fun to read and I found myself laughing a lot of times at Trish’s sense of humour and sarcasm. Here’s an example –

Notice the numbering on the left? I loved that the page numbers were on the sides of the page in the center so it was easier to keep tabs of the page I was on.

The language of the book is mostly simple with a few rare words I didn’t know. Both the writing style and the language is easy on the mind and makes the book an easy read.

I would have given 4 stars except I felt there was too much drama at the end, and some of it unneeded.

Overall I enjoyed the book and would definitely recommend it. It’s a good one to choose when you want a light read and you’ll especially enjoy it if you’ve known the struggle of finding the woman in you. Recommended for all ages and genders. 😉

About the Author:


Yashodhara Lal graduated from IIM-Bangalore in 2002 and has over 12 years of experience in Marketing. She lives in Gurgaon with her husband Vijay, and their three small children they call Peanut, Pickle and Papad. She blogs at www.yashodharalal.com.

Buy On: Amazon | FlipKart

 

Giveaway:

 
This giveaway is open only to residents in India. To participate please follow instructions in the Raflecopter widget below.
The winner will receive a Paperback copy of the book by book post. This giveaway is not sponsored by the author.

May the odds be ever in your favour! 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations to Manidipa on winning this giveaway! 🙂

September 1, 2015   10 Comments

When the Clocks Stopped by Marion Eaton: Mystical Mystery Bundle Giveaway

Discover a touch of the mystical and an innovative take on mystery from an international trio of authors. Australian Virginia King, American Amber Foxx and British Marion Eaton – all B.R.A.G. Medallion winners – have teamed up for a giveaway and over a week of discounts from April 21 – 30.

The Mystical Mystery Bundle is up for grabs at discounted prices from the 21st to 30th of April. But from the 21st to 26th of April you have a chance to win it for free. Scroll down for more details on how to participate in the giveaway.

Before I tell you more about When the Clocks Stopped, Marion Eaton and the giveaway, here’s a question I asked Marion about her book.

What inspired you to to have a time-slip in ‘When the Clocks Stopped’? Why did you choose Hazel Dawkin’s profession as a lawyer?

I’d like to answer the second question first … as a novice writer, I was advised to ‘write about what I know’. So I have to come clean and admit that ‘When the Clocks Stopped’ is based on an unforgettable, rosy time in my life — when I first set up in practice as a solicitor. My personal experiences were very different from Hazel’s, of course, but I liked the idea of an unusual protagonist for a legal thriller — a young pregnant lawyer who knows next to nothing about crime or litigation but solves a mystery with common sense combined with practical legal knowledge.

My own conversations with Annie inspired the time-slip, but then I have always been aware that history is not dead. It walks beside us through the streets of cities and across country fields. I have noticed that in many old buildings where dramatic things have happened, an impression is stamped on the atmosphere or is impregnated in the walls. Annie became as real to me as Hazel, although she lives in a different century. Their lives became so entangled that it seemed inevitable that they must meet. And I am convinced that it is possible for present day occurrences to affect events that have happened in the past as much as they shape the future. Besides, it was such fun to write!

 

Summary: When the Clocks Stopped

When lawyer Hazel Dawkins decides to write some wills while she waits for the birth of her first child, she unwittingly triggers dramatic consequences. Mysteriously, she encounters Annie, a woman whose tempestuous life took place more than two centuries earlier when Romney Marsh was a violent place, dominated by smugglers. Soon that past collides with the present, and Hazel finds herself pitted against an evil that has stalked the marsh for centuries. As her destiny intertwines with Annie’s in the shifting time-scape, Hazel confronts a terrifying challenge that parallels history – and could even change it. If she survives.

 

About the Author: Marion Eaton


 
Retired from legal practice, Marion Eaton lives near the sea in the beautiful Sussex countryside with a long-suffering husband, a lazy Saluki, a wild garden and an urge to write into the small hours –all of which she attempts to keep in some sort of order.

 

 

 

Giveaway: Win a Paperback of Each Book

Enter the drawing below to win a paperback copy of the first book in each author’s series.

You can also buy ‘When the Clocks Stopped’ (only US $1.99 during sale from 21st to 30th) – Amazon.in | Amazon.com

In the Rafflecopter widget below choose which series you would like to learn more about. This will enter you in the drawing. To get an additional entry, click on the option to tweet the give-away. The giveaway will run from April 21 (midnight US Eastern time) to April 26 (midnight US Eastern time). The winner will be announced on April 27, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Just in case the Rafflecopter widget isn’t showing, click here.

All the Best!!! 🙂

April 23, 2015   No Comments

The Calling by Amber Foxx: Mystical Mystery Bundle Giveaway

Discover a touch of the mystical and an innovative take on mystery from an international trio of authors. Australian Virginia King, American Amber Foxx and British Marion Eaton – all B.R.A.G. Medallion winners – have teamed up for a giveaway and over a week of discounts from April 21 – 30.

The Mystical Mystery Bundle is up for grabs at discounted prices from the 21st to 30th of April. But from the 21st to 26th of April you have a chance to win it for free. Scroll down for more details on how to participate in the giveaway.

Before I tell you more about The Calling, Amber Foxx and the giveaway, here’s a question I asked Amber about her book.

Mae Martin-Ridley in your book The Calling has the gift of ‘the sight’. What do you think of this psychic power, is it a gift or a curse?

For Mae, it’s both. The first few things she does with the gift seem undeniably helpful—finding a lost person, a lost pet—but she runs into problems because she can know things about others that they’d rather keep from her. Some of the things she accidentally discovers disappoint her deeply. Some of her experiences frighten her. It’s a challenge to learn how her ability to see the past or a distant event in the present in an ethical and compassionate manner. She has to learn to balance and control this gift, and has no one to teach her.

People who don’t have psychic abilities often imagine it must be wonderful. I have a different ability than Mae does—I dream the future, and sometimes get sudden intuitions about the future. Once I dreamed that the academic department at the college where I taught was going to be closed. When it happened, I was ready. But dreaming about an aunt’s terminal illness was troubling. I didn’t want to be right, and didn’t tell anyone in the family. It would have been less burdensome not to know in advance. When I shared foreknowledge with someone I thought it could help—a warning of an impending stroke—he laughed it off. Months later, it happened. These experiences helped me create my psychic character with empathy for her conflicts, but I made her gift unlike mine on purpose. Mae isn’t based on me, and it seemed better for the mystery plots if she couldn’t see the future.

 

Summary: The Calling

Obeying her mother’s warning, Mae Martin-Ridley has spent years hiding her gift of “the sight.” When concern for a missing hunter compels her to use it again, her peaceful life in a small Southern town begins to fall apart. New friends push her to explore her unusual talents, but as she does, she discovers the shadow side of her visions – access to secrets she could regret uncovering.

Gift or curse? When an extraordinary ability intrudes on an ordinary life, nothing can be the same again.

 

About the Author: Amber Foxx

Amber Foxx is the author of the Mae Martin psychic mystery series, and an avid reader of mysteries, thrillers, nonfiction, literary fiction, and paranormal fiction that doesn’t have vampires in it. She has worked professionally in theater and dance, fitness, and academia. Amber’s training and academic studies in various fields of complementary and alternative medicine, as well as her personal experience and travels, bring authenticity to her work. In her free time she enjoys music, dancing, art, running and yoga. She divides her time between the Southeast and the Southwest, living in Truth or Consequences during her New Mexico months.

 

Giveaway: Win a Paperback of Each Book

Enter the drawing below to win a paperback copy of the first book in each author’s series.

You can also buy ‘The Calling’ (only US $1.99 during sale from 21st to 30th) – Amazon.in | Amazon.com

In the Rafflecopter widget below choose which series you would like to learn more about. This will enter you in the drawing. To get an additional entry, click on the option to tweet the give-away. The giveaway will run from April 21 (midnight US Eastern time) to April 26 (midnight US Eastern time). The winner will be announced on April 27, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Just in case the Rafflecopter widget isn’t showing, click here.

All the Best!!! 🙂

April 22, 2015   No Comments

The First Lie by Virginia King: Mystical Mystery Bundle Giveaway

Discover a touch of the mystical and an innovative take on mystery from an international trio of authors. Australian Virginia King, American Amber Foxx and British Marion Eaton – all B.R.A.G. Medallion winners – have teamed up for a giveaway and over a week of discounts from April 21 – 30.

The Mystical Mystery Bundle is up for grabs at discounted prices from the 21st to 30th of April. But from the 21st to 26th of April you have a chance to win it for free. Scroll down for more details on how to participate in the giveaway.

Before I tell you more about The First Lie, Virginia King and the giveaway, here’s a question I asked Virginia about her book.

Your character Selkie Moon was named after a Celtic fairy tale. Why did you choose this folklore? How has it added to the supernatural element of the book?

The selkie myth has haunted me for many years. When I worked for a children’s publisher, I helped put together a collection of myths from around the world and I got hooked by their symbolism. The selkies are the seal people who peel off their skins to dance in the moonlight on human legs. In the myth, a fisherman falls in love with one of the selkies as he watches her dancing and steals her skin so she must marry him. She’s never quite herself and when she finds where he’s hidden her skin seven years later, she returns to the sea without looking back. The First Lie is not a retelling of the selkie myth but I’ve played with it to add supernatural layers to the mystery of a modern woman. Selkie Moon has run away to Hawaii and landed in the middle of a series of bizarre happenings that are tangled up with both Celtic and Hawaiian mythology. Selkie has been living a lie without knowing it – The First Lie. And just like the selkie whose pelt was stolen, her very life depends on finding what she’s lost – by returning to the place where it all began, without looking back.

 

Summary: The First Lie

Selkie Moon is a woman on the run. In a mad dash for freedom she’s escaped her life in Sydney to start over again in Hawaii. But her refuge begins to unravel and she’s running from something else entirely. A voice in a dream says that someone is trying to kill her. Not that she’s psychic, no way. But the messages and threats escalate until she’s locked in a game of cat and mouse with a mysterious stalker. Entangled in Celtic and Hawaiian mythologies, the events become so bizarre and terrifying that her instinct is to keep running. But is she running from her past? Or her future?

 

About the Author: Virginia King

Virginia King has lived most of her life in Sydney, Australia, but has travelled to many places. She’s been a teacher, an unemployed ex-teacher, a producer of audio-books, a writer of over 50 children’s books, a writing workshop presenter and an award-winning publisher. The First Lie is her debut novel for adults, the first mystery in the Selkie Moon series. These days Virginia lives with her husband in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney overlooking a valley full of birds. Most mornings she does some yoga, watches the French news (even understands some of it), then sits down and writes till late in the afternoon. Bliss.

 

Giveaway: Win a Paperback of Each Book

Enter the drawing below to win a paperback copy of the first book in each author’s series.

You can also buy ‘The First Lie’ (only US $1.99 during sale from 21st to 30th) – Amazon.in | Amazon.com

In the Rafflecopter widget below choose which series you would like to learn more about. This will enter you in the drawing. To get an additional entry, click on the option to tweet the give-away. The giveaway will run from April 21 (midnight US Eastern time) to April 26 (midnight US Eastern time). The winner will be announced on April 27, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Just in case the Rafflecopter widget isn’t showing, click here.

All the Best!!! 🙂

April 21, 2015   No Comments