Book Review of “Recognitions” by Daniela Norris



Amelia Rothman, a foreign-rights editor from New York, has a turbulent personal life. She juggles a divorce and two teenage kids, and decides to seek hypnotherapy to help her deal with insomnia and anxieties. But when during the session an unexpected event emerges, she tries to understand how it is relevant to her current life and why it suddenly triggers a series of synchronicities that take her on an unexpected personal journey to the depth of her subconscious. At once a spiritual and psychological novel, Recognitions explores the concepts of past lives, recognition of people and their roles in our present lives and life lessons. Recognitions is the first of a trilogy.

Genre: Fiction / Spiritual / Past Life Regression

My Review

The first book of Daniela Norris which I had read was “Collecting Feathers: Tales from The Other Side“. The book totally took me in a storm and changed my view of “The Other Side”. “Recognitions” is the first Novel by the author.

“Recognitions” is a book written in first person narration by Amelia Rothman. But the story soon bifurcates into two other main characters Adele Durant and an African Shaman, as the characters emerging from Amelia’s hypnotherapy. The story swings between the three characters, initially with no relevance. But gradually, as the story unfolds, each of the character shows their relevance and brings out the complete picture.

The concept of the story is more of self enlightenment and self actualization. It plays around the concept of “Things that are meant to be”. The writing style is simple and elegant. Daniela ensures that the reader is at pace with her narration and has no difficulty imagining the situations playing in the book. The descriptions of people and places are given in enough detail to create a picture but not that it feels dragged.

The characters vary their complexity depending upon the situations they are placed in. The characters, although are from different eras, blend well with each other through out the story and bring out the best in the theme.

By the end of the book, a feel of being enveloped by hope takes over.”Recognitions” is a book I shall definitely recommend everyone to read. It has a smooth flow and simple positivity to it. The upcoming parts in the Trilogy definitely have something to catch up to, as this one surely has set a benchmark.

Star Rating: 5 Stars

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Book Review of “Collecting Feathers: Tales from the Other Side” by Daniela Norris


In Collecting Feathers, Daniela I. Norris blends pitch-perfect storytelling and a keen spiritual awareness to bring us a beautiful and haunting set of tales from the beyond. A feast for the heart, mind and soul, each story is layered with unfolding intrigue, and each one will stay with you long after the pages have been turned.

Genre: Short Stories

My Review:

Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world, a door opens to let in more light – Vera Nazarian

This quote says a lot about Collecting Feathers. The way some stories make you see things in a whole new perspective, really makes you wonder what the author was thinking at the time of writing the story and whether you got the right intended gist of the story or not. Collecting Feathers is a collection of the short stories which bring so many things into perspective. Each story brought out a different emotion in me, which I captured while reading. Here, I think it is better to share those thoughts, which pretty much make for the review of the book

  • “A Reason to Go on – initially I could not understand where the story was going. But soon, it cleared slightly. The ending was immaculate. Everything came together so beautifully. Fate is really something. One moment you do not have anything in the world and the very next moment, you decide to move on because you are suddenly given a reason. A wonderful reason to go on. Ingenious short story”
  • “The Day of the Dead – A slightly difficult story to understand the deeper meaning of, but the love for the first child by a mother and subsequent understanding of relationships by her daughter was heart wrenching. The practicality of the story, although it was dated to a very old era, was brilliant. Liked how Maria still went even after Iolanda’s time.”
  • “Repent: Although the story started and pulled up nicely, the ending felt a bit abrupt. Initially, I could not figure out what the ending was. “But Daniela gave a whole new perspective to it. The story ends with your idea. You are free to choose the ending.
  • “Train: A spooky story of a man at a railway station with two ghosts. It was spooky but not scary. Since I don’t usually read ghost stories, this was pretty good.”
  • “Recognition: A super creepy but important story. Nothing would match the creepiness of seeing the ghost of your dead child and that too visible to your current child. Gosh.. Goosebumps”
  • “Cafe: The most touching and sad story in the entire lot. The longing to be with grandparents after they have passed away is something … I cannot even imagine”
  • “Clockworks: A sci fi story with a brilliant concept. However, wonder if it is actually true!!!!”
  • “Gemmi Pass: A beautiful story of hospitality of spirits. It was such a touching story and a wonderful lesson for us.”
  • “Right Place: A curious tale. Wonder who the guy was and how he was familiar to Sarah, But it might be hinting that he was her guardian angel.”
  • “The year spring turned to winter – a slightly confusing story. However, again, the ending is open to interpretation. Such stories really broaden your thoughts about the story and makes you think in depth about it.
  • “Collecting feathers – a beautiful story of a white witch I assume with wonderful powers associated with feathers.”

That is about the story. Now, coming to language and flow of the story. There are some reviews in some sites which say that the stories have abrupt endings. Yes, that is true, but I feel it is more left to the perception of the reader. That makes the story more interactive and forces the reader to use their imagination. It might not work for all, but it definitely worked for me.

The cover of the book is very captivating. The bunch of feathers surrounding the Title gives a slightly ethereal but intriguing look to it, which makes the book even more tempting to read. The different types of characters introduced in different stories bring the book to a different league of complexity. It is complex enough to make you want to know more but simple enough to understand where the story is going. Daniela is a wonderful narrator, enough to engage the audience throughout the book without even a single slack anywhere in the book.

There are very few books which have touched my heart the way this one has.I would really recommend it to everyone. It has something for everyone.

Star Rating: 5 Stars

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Book Review of “Pan (The Untold Stories of Neverland Book 1) ” by K R Thompson



Neverland has always been their sanctuary—until now.

Magic is dying in Neverland–and so are the pixies. Only one is brave enough to search the human world for someone to believe. Tink finds a desolate boy flying in the night, peering in windows, searching for the life he once knew. But can she convince him to abandon his quest and save Neverland?

Discover the untold story of the boy destined to become Peter Pan.

Genre: Short Story / Children’s / Fairy Tale

My Review

Growing up, we all have dearly loved Peter Pan through books, movies and cartoons. Peter Pan has been embedded in our minds as a small boy who never grows up. But who is this Peter Pan? How is it that he never grows up? What was his background before he became a Guardian of the Neverlands?

Kim Thompson has touched upon this topic with her new novel “Pan”. The story takes us through the incidents which created our beloved boy Peter Pan. Although there are no illustrations, the story is very simple and easy. There are many chapters, each with a short story with some continuation from the previous chapter, but still can be read as a short story in itself.

The target audience for the story is, of course, small kids. All the stories are really sweet with no particular moral as such but with immense innocence and childishness which are typically associated with young kids.

Apart from the story, the cover page of the book also is very appealing. The picture on the cover truly captures the emotions of a lost little boy who misses home. The cover conveys what can be expected inside and therefore deems perfect for the story. Full marks to the author for selecting this cover.

Star Rating: 5 Stars

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Book Review of “Gone Mother” by Karin C Vah


Gone Mother is a crime written in the compelling spirit of Gillian Flynn’s novel “Gone Girl”, but in shorter novella form. Alice’s mother Lucille goes missing on a rainy, foggy night. At first, Alice is annoyed but not particularly concerned. Her depressed, eating-disordered mother often rushes off in a huff after fighting with her husband, Alice’s stepfather Richard. However, this time, Richard has called the police, something he has never done before. When Lucille is found strangled and dumped in the same river where, years before, the body of a young child, Nicky Peterson, was found, Alice goes in search of her mother’s killer. She now puts more credence in Lucille’s story that she had seen a neighbour, Mr Wilson, carrying the body of the little girl toward the river. Where indeed had Mother gone, before she died, and why? The answer is not what Alice expects…

Genre: Thriller / Mystery / Short Story / Crime
My Review

When you see the title, the first thing that comes to your mind is “Gone Girl”. You expect the book to be on similar lines. However, except for being a thriller, there is very little similarity of “Gone Mother”to “Gone Girl”. This is a short thriller story whose main characters are Alice and her mother Lucille.

Lucille was never a normal mother since the time Alice’s neighbor kid went missing. However, now Lucille is missing and Alice’s step dad is worried. At first, Alice thought her mother might just have gone in a fit of anger, like she is known for doing. But when she turns up dead, the stakes go up high.

The story is written nicely and captivates the readers to the mood completely. The language is easy but at the same time powerful so the short story is enough to give you the punch a full fledged thriller novel provides. The suspense comes slightly dramatic but totally unexpected. The way the mystery was crafted and finished was beautiful.

Star Rating : 5 Stars
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C for Cab Ride

Prompt: Your character gets on a taxi and tells the driver to take him/her to the airport. But the driver has his/her own ideas about where they are headed…

Now we all know how dangerous a situation like this can go? So what will happen to Rebecca who got caught in such a ride?

Read C for Cab Ride, my new short story following each letter of alphabet. Please share your thoughts on the story. It helps me improve my writing.

Author Interview with Thea Dawson

Romance novels are always fun to read. But when romance meets wit and humor, the entertainment becomes complete and the novel becomes a total package of fun. That is what happened when I first came across Thea Dawson’s Wanderlust. I absolutely fell in love with the story and her writing. So when her next Novel Asking Angelina came up, there was nothing stopping me from grabbing it for a read.

Since I loved her writing so much, and also since she is currently launching her second book, I thought why not take this up as an opportunity to know more about my favorite author? What else could be a better way than asking for an Author Interview? So today, we have Thea Dawson on my blog, answering some questions for me so that we can know her a bit more, thus giving us more reasons to love her more. Read on and find out for yourself

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  • Tell us something about yourself and your background? Is being an author your full time job? If not what is your day job?

Well, to begin with, Thea Dawson is a pen name. My real name is Sarah Barbour. I’ve written a couple of non-fiction books and I thought it would be a good idea to keep my fiction identity separate. I’m not sure if that was really necessary—but it is kind of fun having an alter ego. Like Thea, I’ve traveled a lot. I lived briefly in the UK and in Italy and I lived in Japan for almost four years. And like Thea, I did get engaged in Southeast Asia. Unlike Thea, who I imagine being a little younger than me and still a newlywed, I have three children, all daughters, and I live in the Pacific Northwest.

In “real life,” I’m an editor and a book coach. I’d love to make a full-time living as a writer, but honestly I love editing and I love helping people at all stages of the book creation process, so no complaints. It’s pretty much books, books, books no matter what.

  • What were you like at school? What do you like to read? Which is your favorite book? Who is your favorite author?

I’m going to tell you something kind of embarrassing: when I was in college, I majored in English and I was a TOTAL snob about romance novels. I thought I was much too intellectual for them. My best friend was a big romance reader, and when she tried to get me to read one, I told her I liked classics—like Jane Austen. I didn’t realize at the time that Jane Austen is one of the all-time most influential romance novelists ever. Hah!

But I learned. Now I love reading romances, especially ones with a good sense of humor and relatable characters. Besides Jane Austen (who I still like a lot), I really enjoy books by Tracy Brogan and Samantha Tonge, who both write books that manage to be funny, romantic and a bit poignant.

  • Do you prefer ebook or hard copy?

Most of the time I prefer ebooks. I love being able to read in bed in the dark after my husband has gone to sleep. But I often buy hardcopy books as gifts.

  • Which is your favorite movie? Why?

I love Bringing Up Baby—I’ve seen it a dozen times and it still makes me laugh. And it stars Cary Grant, who was probably the sexiest man ever (except my husband).

  • What advice would you give to your younger self? What is your favourite motivational phrase?

“Start before you’re ready.” I’ve spent a lot of my life waiting for “permission” to do things. I kept thinking that if I got one more degree or got the right job or had enough money, then I’d be able to travel or start a business or do whatever it was I wanted to do. Eventually I realized that the key to life is action. Even if you don’t have the “right” background or aren’t sure exactly what you’re doing, just start moving toward your goals.

  • What made you start writing?

As an editor, I’ve worked with a lot of romance writers. After reading a lot of their books, I thought it would be fun to try writing one of my own.

  • How do you handle Writer’s Block, if any?

Confession: Asking Angelina was about 90% finished 4 months ago, and for ages I just could not bring myself to work on it. This may be different for every writer, but for me it’s really important to have a very detailed outline before I start writing. Otherwise, I get very excited, write a bunch of great scenes, and then get stuck for ages trying to connect them all in a way that makes sense.

  • What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

You know, I got my first one-star review for Wanderlust on Goodreads a couple of months ago and it didn’t bother me nearly as much as I would have thought. I was lucky that by that time I’d gotten enough good reviews to know that there are plenty of people out there who really enjoyed it. Of course I love good reviews—who doesn’t?—but bad reviews are part of the bargain you make as a writer and you just learn to live with them.

  • Do you have any advice for upcoming writers?

Like I said—start before you’re ready. Seriously, don’t overthink it, don’t make excuses, just start writing and start publishing. There’s nothing stopping you except you.

  • How did “Asking Angelina” come across to you?

Someone I knew on Facebook mentioned that she’d once been in charge of writing the sex-and-relationships column for a women’s magazine even though she herself had never actually had sex. I thought it would be a great basis for a romantic comedy. (Moral of the story: don’t take women’s magazines too seriously.)

  • Are there any fun facts about the characters in “Asking Angelina” which are not included in the book?

Don’t tell anyone, but Natalya is based on a Russian friend of mine. She loves to boss people around, but she’s always right and in the end you’re grateful to her. And you know, I just love Roméo. I think he may have to show up in another book.

  • How has been the promotional journey with “Asking Angelina” so far?

I didn’t do as much to promote Angelina as I did with Wanderlust, mainly because it had been sitting on my laptop for so long and I just wanted to get it published already! As of now, it’s only been out two days, but people are buying it, so that’s exciting!

  • How did you come up with the cover page? Is it your own design or someone else designed it for you?How important do you think Cover Page is for a book?

Very important! I did the first cover for Wanderlust myself and it barely sold any copies when it first launched, even with some pretty heavy promoting. Once I changed the cover, it started to sell a lot better.

Christa Holland of Paper and Sage Designs did the new cover for Wanderlust as well as the one for Asking Angelina. Christa is wonderful to work with, and I love that the two covers have a similar feel while still each having very much their own personality.

  • Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

Just that I really appreciate the chance to answer these fun questions! Thank you so much for your interest in me and my books.

Upcoming Release of Thea Dawson
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Thea Dawson has come up with her 2nd book “Asking Angelina” on 1st November 2015. Do check it out at Goodreads

It is also available for purchase at Amazon

B for Beyond

Beautiful Scenery flying by, she was lost in her thoughts. All of her life was flashing by along with the scenery in front of eyes. She was enjoying both the shows.

“What is such a lovely lady doing sitting alone here?” The voice startled her out of her reverie and she looked at the handsome man sitting across her. For some reason, she blushed. But she being a lady, tried her best to not show it on her face and reverted with annoyance. “It is. Of becoming of a gentleman to flirt so shamelessly with a lady”.

Read more of the story at B for Beyond to know who the gentleman is and why is he flirting with the lady?

Author Interview with Dan Buri

Author Interview is a great way to know your favorite authors. I have been reading a whole lot of author interviews for a long time and since then, I had wanted to host one myself too. But a lot of set backs happened and that dream never materialized till I met Author Dan Buri. Our initial interaction was fun and after finishing his wonderful book “Pieces like Pottery”, I was sure he would be the perfect person to start my Author Interview with. Asking him all these questions and getting all those answers from him was an interesting and inspiring journey for me. I hope you all enjoy reading the Interview as much as I had fun taking it.

And here goes…

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About Yourself (Personal)

  • Tell us something about yourself and your background?

I grew up in the Midwest in the States with four brothers and one sister. I moved out to the beautiful Pacific Northwest a little over ten years ago. I am a patent attorney with an engineering background, which is what I spend my days doing when I am not writing. I have a beautiful wife and amazing two-year-old daughter who cracks me up daily.

  • What were you like at school?

 While I did fine in school, many teachers found me to be disruptive. I had a hard time sitting still and found myself in trouble quite often.

  • What do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?

I feel like this is the question that readers and writers always ask in a judgmental way. It’s as if your readers are going to judge me by the authors I enjoy. “Oh no, I don’t agree with that at all. John Grisham? This guy clearly isn’t serious about his writing.” (I’m smiling if that’s not showing through your computer screen.)

I am constantly inspired by writers. I have a lot of authors that I love. A few, in no particular order: Gertrude Warner, Shell Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, C.S. Lewis, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Charles Dickens, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Grisham, Malcolm Gladwell, John Buri, Cormac McCarthy, Bill Bryson and Mark Twain. I could probably list another hundred who’s writing I enjoy with wonderment.

  • Which is your favorite movie? Why?

Robin Hood (the Disney version). It’s perfect.

  • What advice would you give to your younger self?

Do what you do to the best of your ability. Be authentic and vulnerable. Don’t try to be what anyone else wants you to be.

About being an Author

  • What made you start writing?

I can remember writing as far back as middle school. It’s something I have always enjoyed doing. One of the first poems I ever wrote was about my older brother and his basketball playing abilities. I still remember the opening lines and I wrote them as a kid nearly 30-years ago:

I’m Joe the King of Basketball,

I’m the king of the basketball court.

All my shots are always on target,

None of them are ever short.

I didn’t say it was any good! I don’t remember any more than that. To be honest, I’m not sure how I even remember those lines.

The point is, writing has been something I have always enjoyed doing myself and admired in other people. Story telling is a beautiful gift. I love learning to hone the craft. My non-fiction work has been published in print and online at a number of places over the years. My wife and I actually had a fairly well regarded blog called Buris On the Couch a few years back. We would pick a narrow subject each week and then write He Says/She Says takes on that subject as husband and wife. We really enjoyed doing it, but it became difficult to keep up and we had to shut it down once we had our daughter. (Although I think you can still find it archived online. I’m not sure.) This is my first venture into the world of fiction, though. I have written fiction since I was a teenager, but this is my first published work.

  • What is the best time you find to write? (day or night) Why?

Once upon a time I thought I needed to write in a particular time and place. I would typically write at night and need to be in the perfect mood to do so. With a very demanding job, a wife, and two-year-old daughter, however, I quickly found that I was not finding much time to write at all. I had to begin writing anytime I could find a free 30 minutes. I was lucky I did too.

I think young writers always wait for the moment of inspiration to strike. These moments are amazing, but they are a great luxury. The truth, in my opinion, is that writing is as much about editing and revising than it is about the writing itself. I have so many pages of Pieces Like Pottery on the cutting room floor, so to speak. Maybe editing is a beautiful and inspiring process for some people, but for most writers I know, it is painstaking. There’s nothing inspirational about it for me. Having very little time to write each day helped me to begin taking my writing to the next level and to learn to hone it as a craft, rather than writing simply being an inspirational hobby.

That being said, I still love to write at night over a glass of wine or a whiskey.

  • How important do you think Cover Page is for a book?

 Despite the old adage, everyone judges a book by its cover. It is very, very important.

  • Who / What inspires you to write?

Great question. Stories constantly bubble up inside of me. As writers, I think the challenge is taking the stories from our head and our heart and putting them on the page. A lot of people have stories, but not everyone can communicate them effectively and clearly. It’s the great challenge of the writer.

I find inspiration in my everyday life. I think good writers have a unique gift of empathy. They work hard to understand another person’s pains, hopes, dreams and fears. I really try to understand each person that I encounter in my life. These experiences tend to inspire me and seep into my writing.

  • Do you think reading habits have decreased in the current generations? If so, what is the solution for that?

I don’t think reading has decreased, but it has changed. New research is coming out—one study from Stanford—that shows that the synapses in our brain fire differently when we read in electronic formats as opposed to physical paper copies. Studies are showing that the social-media generated type of article is training our brains to read quickly and to have a short attention span. This is a good skill to have, but not for all types of writing. Novels and research articles, for example, need to be digested in long form. The solution, I think, is to read in a variety of media (i.e. paper, computer, mobile device). This will train your brain to adjust depending on the type of work you are reading. Our brain is a muscle and just like other muscles in the body, it needs to be exercised.

About your book

  • What is your inspiration to write “Pieces like Pottery”?

Pieces Like Pottery is literary fiction. It’s a collection of short stories that explores the sorrows of life, but the courage and kindness it takes to find redemption. Each story touches on very real and very human emotions and experiences.

I am moved and inspired by people’s real life stories of overcoming tragedy. Every person has trials in life. Life always presents obstacles and disappointments. I wanted to examine how individuals overcome these obstacles in a variety of characters. I toyed with the idea of each of these stories being its own novel, and I still may expand a couple of them into full length novels, but I settled in on a collection of linked short stories because it presented the opportunity to have a range of characters and to display that despite how different each character’s life experience is, we are all connected as human beings. We all suffer and laugh just the same. My hope is that readers recognize that and are inspired or moved to compassion through the book.

  • What was in your mind when you came up with the title?

 Sorrow. Shattered dreams being put back together. Beautiful art being pieced together. Puzzle pieces jig-sawed together. Redemption.

  • How did you come up with the cover page? Is it your own design or someone else designed it for you?

The cover is a photograph by the brilliant photographer, David Mattox ( His work has been featured in galleries throughout the Northeast and has been featured in the New Yorker. I am very lucky that he was gracious enough to allow me to use one of his photographs.

  • Do you have any advice for upcoming writers?

 Over the years I have been lucky enough to be offered abundant feedback and to hear excellent commentary from a few creative people that I admire greatly. There are three comments/ideas that have stuck with me throughout all my writing endeavors. (Each of these is summarized in my own words.)

  1. When asked about the fears and doubts that she had with her writing, Elizabeth Gilbert (best selling author of Eat, Pray, Love) said she finally had an epiphany that her “writing muse” was telling her that this isn’t her story. If she doesn’t tell it, she said, then the muse would move on to someone else who will. Ms. Gilbert discussed how freeing this was for her. She was no longer declaring to the reader: “Listen to me. I have something to say.” It was almost as if she had no other choice but to write. This opened her up to write every day without fear of the result.
  2. Ira Glass is an American public radio personality and the host and producer of the radio and television show This American Life. He has a great quote for young creatives. In short, he encourages that your work is not going to be good when you’re first starting out. We may have an excitement for our craft and a killer taste for what’s good, but our execution is poor. The only way to improve your work, the only way to close the gap so that your work is as good as your ambitions, is to do a lot of work. Write. Every day. Every week put yourself on a deadline to write something new. It’s going to take awhile, but that’s normal. Good writing doesn’t come the first time you sit down.
  3. Louis C.K. is one of the most thoughtful and innovative comics alive right now. I heard him once speak about his HBO show, Lucky Louie, which was cancelled after one season in 2006. He was asked if he was disappointed with that and if he looked back at it as a failure. His answer was unequivocally: “No.” For him it was just another experience that taught him how to hone his craft, which was invaluable.

So those would be my three pieces of (long-winded) advice. One, don’t worry about whether you have anything important to say. If you are inspired, say it. Two, write constantly. You won’t become a good writer unless you’re writing all the time. Three, take every writing experience and use it to hone your craft. Something is not a failure simply because the public doesn’t receive it the way you would like.

Author Bio

Dan Buri’s first collection of short fiction, Pieces Like Pottery, is an exploration of heartbreak and redemption that announces the arrival of a new American author. His writing is uniquely heartfelt and explores the depths of the human struggle and the human search for meaning in life.

Mr. Buri’s non-fiction works have been distributed online and in print, including publications in Pundit Press, Tree, Summit Avenue Review, American Discovery, and TC Huddle. The defunct and very well regarded Buris On The Couch, was a He-Says/She-Says blog musing on the ups and downs of marriage with his wife.

Mr. Buri is an active attorney in the Pacific Northwest and has been recognized by Intellectual Asset Magazine as one of the World’s Top 300 Intellectual Property Strategists every year since 2010. He lives in Oregon with his wife and two-year-old daughter.

Pieces Like Pottery Links

Check out my Review at Book Review of Pieces like Pottery

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