Book Review of “All Eyes on Me” by Linsay Lanier


All Eyes on Me (Miranda and Parker Mystery #1)

Genre: Murder Mystery / Suspense / Thriller 

After having read the first part of Miranda’s Rights, I was very much interested in reading the first part of “Miranda and Parker Mysteries”. Knowing how their relationship is progressing now that they are married was very highly anticipated. However, the book could not live up to my expectations.

The story started well with giving a decent introduction to the couple post marriage. Anyone who had jumped from one series to the other without having read the books in between, like me, still would get properly aligned to the book right from the start. The flow is impressive and the way the story connects from “Someone Else’s Daughter” to “All Eyes on Me” is simply  well done. Of course it is still recommended that the book be read in its rightful sequence, as there are many things that could only be understood if the series is properly followed, Nonetheless, there is no loss in skipping the paid copies, as Linsay has got it properly covered.

However, the relationship between Miranda and Parker could have been shown in a better light. It is understandable that the two of them are immensely attracted to one another, but showing that in almost every page was really not required. After having suffered such a huge accident in the previous book, Miranda might be physically weak but the way she is portrayed all through the series was enough reason to not assume that she would be emotionally weak. Being her husband, when Wade tries to protect her at every step, it felt really fake. Too much PDA through writing could have been very much avoided.

Leaving the unwanted romance aside, the mystery in itself was wonderfully written. Again, like “Someone Else’s Daughter“, the killer can be easily guessed right at the chapter which gives a one page POV of the killer. The way that chapter had written gave out enough clues to point the killer out. But still, the story takes the reader through a whole lot of maze which makes the reader question their guess at multiple stops through the book. That, in my opinion, was beautiful writing.

Also I did not like the way O’Toole’s character suddenly turned good. After being literally humiliated by Parker and especially Miranda on various grounds,  his character could have pulled his weight for some more time. The truce felt a bit too soon and forced into the story. Ralston’s character, too, was underdeveloped. She had played such an important role in supporting the PIs and towards the end, she just vanished. Having subtly enforced the feminist theme all through the series, when such a strong female character was underused, it stung. That could have been avoided.

There were also some typo errors through the book, which was really surprising. But they were very few and far between so it will not affect the reading experience. Overall, go for this book for the brilliant mystery, and totally skip the romance part. It is a nice experience.

Star Rating: 4 Stars

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BOOK REVIEW OF “SOMEONE ELSE’S DAUGHTER” BY LINSEY LANIER


Someone Else's Daughter (Miranda's Rights, #1)

Genre: Murder Mystery / Suspense / Thriller 

Before I started the book, I went through some of the reviews in GoodReads. They were mixed ones with some negative current underlying. But having liked the blurb of the book, I thought of going ahead with it anyway. And that happened to be a wonderful choice for me.

There is nothing not to love in this book. Miranda Steele is a very believable character. The things that she has gone through in her past has only motivated her to get stronger and bolder in her attitude towards life. The “Steele” she has in her is only further enforced by her incessant liking for very hot peppers. She gets the break of her life by getting noticed by Wade Parker, who is a PI. The attraction between them is natural and goes well with the story.

The story is wholly focused on Miranda, with Wade getting some POVs in between. The central female character gives the story a better feel. The male character is also written in such a way as to give enough importance to him but not having him overshadow Miranda. This gives a very woman-centric theme to the book, which makes it enthralling.

The actual murder on which the mystery is based is also nicely scripted, although at times I felt the author wants the readers to figure out the killer way before the final reveal. I could guess the killer about 60% into the book and was proved right at the end, albeit in a very surprising way.

Linsay is a wonderful writer. She added enough witty comments in the book to make the reader literally laugh out loud in certain situations, thereby ensuring the story does not turn boring or monotonous. Her style of writing ensures that you cannot keep the book down till you reach the very end. I am looking forward to more wonderful cases with Miranda and Wade. They make a wonderful couple and are in perfect sync to solve mysteries.

Star Rating: 5 Stars

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I for Impulse


Prompt – On a foreign holiday, your character meets an extremely attractive man or woman.  They don’t speak the same language, but they somehow find a way to understand each other, and your character feels a powerful connection that s/he has never felt with anyone before.  Impulsively, your character marries this person after they’ve only known each other a very short time.  Your character’s new husband/wife moves to your character’s country and begins to take language classes there.  The better the spouse is able to communicate, the more your character realizes that s/he isn’t the person your character had believed…

Are John and Anya really too incompatible to live together? Is love really such a fickle friend? When you love someone truly, is it really easy to let go? Or it is difficult to be together?

Read I for Impulse to figure out what happened between John and Anya

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

2015 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,300 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 55 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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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Book Review of “Gone Mother” by Karin C Vah


Blurb

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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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

Book Review of “Hurricane Force (Miss Fortune Mystery #7)” by Jana Deleon


Blurb

From New York Times bestselling author Jana DeLeon, the seventh book in the Miss Fortune series.

A force to be reckoned with…

During missions as a CIA assassin, Fortune Redding saw and overcame most every obstacle, but Sinful, Louisiana, keeps producing new challenges for her. When a hurricane blows through, it brings a shower of counterfeit money raining down on the tiny bayou town.

When the money is linked back to Ahmad, the arms dealer who issued the kill order on Fortune, everyone is worried that her nemesis is far too close for comfort. When Ahmad’s men turn up in Sinful, the situation becomes life-and-death for Fortune, Ida Belle, and Gertie, and Deputy Carter LeBlanc learns Fortune’s true identity.

As Swamp Team 3 rushes to locate the counterfeiter, Fortune hopes to take down Ahmad and free herself from her fake life. But will her relationship with Carter make it now that he knows the truth?

Genre: Cozy Mystery / Thriller
My Review

Jana Deleon has never failed to impress me. But this time she has gone over and beyond impressing and went to outright fabulous. I have never fell in love with any of the other books more than this one. This is by far the best in the Fortune Redding series. This book caps it all in one go and takes the best to give.

Fortune Redding’s shield is almost blown off when it is rumoured that Ahmed might be looking at Sinful with new eyes. This definitely puts up Fortune, Ida bella and Gertie on high alert, but it also involves telling Carter the truth. The way all these are twisted and turned and brought out in this novel is a real amazing reading experience. You feel for Fortune and empathize with her at every step of the book. Every scene is emotionally connecting and every page ties you closer and closer to Fortune. By the end of the book, you will not be able to distinguish your own feeling from that of Fortune.

The book ended on a slightly sad note, but somehow, I do not see that as the end of that chapter. I have all the faith in Fortune, Ida Bella and Gertie to turn this situation around. But more than that, I trust Jana to bring out another miracle in her next book. There are no words how much I am waiting for her next one to come. Cozy Mystery has never become so addictive before.

Star Rating : 5 Stars
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