J for Jealousy


Prompt: Your character is in the middle of a messy divorce.  His/her divorce lawyer has advised him/her not to move out of the house because doing so could negatively affect his/her divorce settlement.  His/her spouse likewise refuses to move out, so the two are still living together.  When your character starts a new romantic relationship, this complicated arrangement becomes even more complicated…

So how does Jack and Helen sort it out? Or do they sort it out? Find out more and check out the story at J for Jealousy

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H for House Guest


Prompt – This year, your character resolves to save money.  So, he is intrigued when he sees an online ad offering a free bedroom in a shared apartment.  The apartment’s owner explains that s/he is lonely and just wants company.  It sounds quite strange, but it could save your character a fortune in rent…

John found a new place to live. But the place feels a bit weird to him. Will he be able to figure out what is wrong with the place? Or will he be totally oblivious to it?

Read H for House Guest and find out

This is my first attempt at a different genre of writing. It was with the help of a friend at Teja Main Hoon…Mark Idhar Hai! that I could write this one.

Do share if you like it and comment if you have any suggestions to the story. I am new at writing short stories and would really appreciate your comments on my improvement

 

G for Gift


Prompt – This year, your character resolves to get organized.  While she is sorting through papers in her house, she discovers an expensive insurance policy that her husband has taken out on her life.  Why has he done that?  And why didn’t he tell her about it?  And why does he have a second cell phone hidden in the back of his desk drawer?

When your spouse hides something from you, it is a major cause of panic. But when the hidden thing is as huge as an insurance in your name, then it is grounds for downright fear for your life. What is it that Rebecca’s husband is hiding from her? What will she find out when she confronts John about it?

Read on at G for Gift to find out what happened next

Do share the blog if you like it and comment if you have any suggestions for changes or improvements. I am a budding writer and have just started writing short stories. I need all the help and support from you to improve

F for Fate


Prompt – Every evening, when she goes to the parking garage of her office building, your character finds a new love note tucked under the windshield wipers of her car.  These love notes are very beautiful and fill your character with powerful emotions.  But they are all addressed to “Caroline”.  Your character’s name is Melissa…

Everyone likes when someone appreciates them. That is human quality and we cannot hide from it. But what if someone appreciates you but names someone else? You know your qualities are being appreciated but why is someone else’s name being taken to address you? Are those appreciations really for you? Or is it a case of mistaken identity? What would you do? What did Melissa do?

Read on at F for Fate to figure out what happened next.

Do share the blog if you like it and comment if you have any suggestions for changes or improvements. I am a budding writer and have just started writing short stories. I need all the help and support from you to improve

E for Enthrall


Prompt – This year, your character resolves to publish her novel. She sends it to an agent, who almost immediately finds a potential publisher. The problem? The novel’s protagonist is recognizably based your character’s best friend, and the novel is based on the friend’s secret love affair. When the book comes out, everyone in their small town will know the friend’s secret. Is there a way for your character to publish the novel without ruining their friendship and her friend’s life?

Rebecca and Melissa are best of friends since childhood. Melissa has a secret which only Rebecca knows. But her temptation to make her protagonist in her book like Melissa overcame the bond of friendship and the secret keeping of her friend. How will Rebecca resolve this crisis? Will they break their friendship of so many years?

Read on at E for Enthrall

Do share and comment your thoughts in my blog. I am a budding writer and have just started writing short stories. I require your help in improving my abilities

D for Drive


Prompt: This year, your character resolves to get his driver’s license.  A week after he does, he is driving on a lonely road when a pedestrian suddenly walks in front of the car.  Your character hits the person, then panics and drives off.  Now, he’s tormented by guilt.  Has he killed someone?  He can’t find any information about the accident in the newspapers.  He needs to discover the truth and, if possible, make amends.  But he doesn’t want to be arrested…

Read about the fateful Drive and what happens next at D for Drive

Author Interview with Daniela Norris


When you read a book, it is almost like having an intimate conversation with the author. Directly or indirectly, knowingly or unknowingly, you come to know about the author more and more with each new book. Earlier, the only way an author could communicate to their readers were through books. Now, we have more and more opportunity to know more about our favorite authors via various channels – one of them being Author Interviews.

The first time I had communicated with Daniela was when I got the book Collecting Feathers: Tales from the Other Side  for review. The journey from then with her was an amazing adventure. The first book was so beautiful that I was determined to try one more book of hers, and that is how I came across Recognitions . Both of these books are amazing literature by  Daniela and truly capture her essence as a writer. I became a huge fan of hers. So imagine my surprise when I realized that we have some more things in common like the way we like our books. I have enjoyed knowing more about my favorite author. I hope you do too. So let us start with our discussion with Ms. Daniela Norris.

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Source: Goodreads Author Profile
About Yourself (Personal)
  • Tell us something about yourself and your background?

I am a former diplomat, turned political writer, and with age and wisdom – inspirational author and speaker. I think Current Affairs and Spirituality can go together very well, they are not contradictory and interest in both can help find balance in life.

  • What were you like at school?

I always liked to observe people – teachers as well as other pupils – because I always knew I was going to become a writer one day. I am a writer who finds inspiration in people, their challenges and their achievements, and from a very young age I kept notes to use in the future for my fictional characters. Most of them are (often loosely) based on real people from my past

  • Do you prefer e-book or hard copy?

Initially I resisted reading ebooks but now I’ve become a convert. I still prefer the feel and the smell of a real paper book, preferably a hardback, but you can’t beat the practicality of reading ebooks when travelling. I no longer have to pay overweight charges like I used to five and ten years ago, because wherever I went, I always bought books.

  • Which is your favorite movie? Why?

I love watching movies and it is very hard to pick, but if I had to choose one it would be Legends of the Fall. It is based on a novella by Jim Harrison and is about three brothers and their father living in the wilderness and plains of Montana in the early 20th century and how their lives are affected by history and love. I suppose it is my favourite movie because something about it stuck in my mind and I find it unforgettable. If you’d like to know which movie I’ve watched most times – that would definitely be The Princess Bride.

  • What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would probably say: “Never give up on something you really want in life. If you want it for the right reasons and willing to work hard enough, you will find a way to get to it”. That, and “Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line”.

  • Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

I’d love to meet the authors of all the books I’ve mentioned above, just to be able to say personally: “you’re amazing, you’ve touched my life with your writing, as well as the lives of millions of others.”

  • What is your favourite motivational phrase?

Probably “what comes around goes around” – I believe it is true, even if it takes more than one lifetime to happen. 

About being an Author
  • What made you start writing?

I started writing as soon as I could hold a pen properly, and never stopped. What made me start publishing my work was the realisation that I want to make a living out of writing, that it is really what I want to do in life as a profession, and not just as a hobby.

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

My best writing time is from four to six in the morning, although since I had my third boy I find it difficult to wake up that early. Generally speaking, I write when and where I can: in the car, under a tree, between kids’ activities. I’ll take whatever writing time I can get.

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

What’s ‘writer’s block’? I believe this is a privilege that I don’t have – whenever I have some free time, I write.

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

These days a cover is important, but only if you choose books in a bookstore. I think that many books that are promoted and reviewed on the internet are often read despite their cover – because of word of mouth. But there are covers that would turn me off picking up a book – anything with zombies, blood or explicit pictures.

  • How much research do you do for a book?

That depends on the kind of book – for my non-fiction books I write about what I know, although of course there is some research involved. For my novels – as there are many periods and lifetimes involved – I tend to do quite a bit of research.

  • Who / What inspires you to write?

It is always people who inspire me – people who I meet, or people who I met in the past. I find people fascinating – and some people I meet stay with me for the rest of my life because of something they did (or didn’t do). I often forget places and names, but I never forget faces, and acts of kindness.

  • What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

Reviews are important for the ranking and sales of a book, but they are technical details – what really matters to me is what is left with the reader once they’ve finished a book. If something sticks – it means the book was important to them at that time in their life. And this means more to me than a good review on the internet.

  • What do you do to get book reviews?

I ask nicely.

  • Do you think reading habit has decreased in the current generations? If so, What is the solution for that?

From my experience – it hasn’t. It is just the content that has changed – there are shorter novels perhaps, and more ‘to the point’ and ‘how to’ books that are sold than in the past. More readers expect immediate satisfaction, and that’s something that needs to be taken into account – but that depends on who you think, as a writer – that your readers are.

  • Do you have any advice for upcoming writers?

Try doing something else first – and then if you can’t help it, become a writer. In any case, any experience you have in life will later feed into your writing if you don’t give up!

About your book
  • How did “Collecting Feathers” and “Recognitions” come across to you?

These two books came after my two books of non-fiction, when I realised that many readers might feel more comfortable with themes of past lives and the role of people we meet in our current lives – as fiction. It doesn’t mean that these themes are not real – because I am confident that they are. It just means they might be ‘out of the comfort zone’ of some readers when presented as fact, but would be within their comfort zone when presented as fiction. 

  • How was the journey from “Collecting Feathers” as a collection of Short Stories to “Recognitions” as a full novel?

Collecting Feathers is a collection of previously published short stories – most of them were published in magazines and anthologies over the past ten years. I didn’t realize until much later that there was a thread going through these stories – a thread of ‘contact with the Other Side’. Some of the stories were written ten years ago, and some only two years ago – but they all seem to fit in together well. Recognitions is the first of a trilogy, and I’ve been working on it for a few years now. It is part of a longer tale that spins many centuries, and will be followed by Premonitions and Transmissions, which I am currently working on. The transition from short stories to a trilogy of novels felt very natural to me, although I still enjoy reading and writing short stories. 

  • Are there any sequel to “Recognitions”?

See above 🙂

  • Do such things as Past Life Regressions exist?

Absolutely. I didn’t really believe that they were real when I trained as a Past Life Regression therapist, but I was curious and said to myself that I am just doing research for my next book. But today – after everything I’ve seen and experienced, I am confident that they are real – at least to the person going through them. Whether these are ‘real past lives’ or not is irrelevant, because following PLRs many people gain valuable insights about their lives and find ways to deal with emotional and physical issues, which to me – is the main benefit.

  • How has your experience as a Hypnotherapist helped you with “Recognitions”

Recognitions is based on some Past Life Regressions I’ve experienced myself, although I did take literary license to change many details!

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

The wonderful designer at John Hunt, Nick Welch, designed both covers and I am grateful to him for his wonderful work and designs. I think his covers convey the feel of the books very well.

  • How does the cover pic of “Recognitions” relate to the story?

If I revealed this I’d be risking a spoiler… but I can just say that the theme of fencing runs through the book, and in fact – through the whole trilogy. Readers will have to read the book and find out for themselves as it is the last chapter of Recognitions that gives the answer.

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

Thank you so much for giving me this wonderful opportunity to discuss my writing and my new novel, it is much appreciated!

Check out the books of Daniela Norris below

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Book Review of “Recognitions” by Daniela Norris

Recognitions can be bought at the following links

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

Collecting Feathers can be bought at the following links

 

Book Review of “Recognitions” by Daniela Norris


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Blurb

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


Blurb:

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


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Blurb

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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