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

 

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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 “The Mystery Of Hollow Inn (Samantha Wolf Mysteries #1)” by Tara Ellis


Blurb:

Twelve-year-old Samantha Wolf, and her best friend Ally, are excited to spend part of their summer break in the mountains of Montana. But unknown to them, Hollow Inn is bathed in mystery and legend. After arriving, they soon discover that things are not going well for Sam’s Aunt and Uncle, who own the Inn. There’s vandalism, ghostly sightings, and rumors of lost treasures. Determined to help, Sam and Ally embark on a challenging journey to discover the truth.

Genre: Cozy Mystery / Detective / Thriller / YA
My Review:

It has been ages since I have read the stories of Enid Blyton. Secret Seven and Famous Five were some of my favorite stories while growing up. Now Tara Ellis has recreated that magic with her book “The Mystery of Hollow Inn” with Samantha Wolf and her best friend Ally.

The story setting is just perfect with its little dark but mysterious setting and two very curious girls who want to help their uncle and aunt with their Inn. The language is simple and wonderful. It appears dark but not at all. Enid Blyton feel comes alive so wonderfully that I almost felt nostalgic after finishing the story. The mystery is juicy enough to keep you engrossed but yet soft enough for Young Adults to enjoy them as well. There was nothing I could find fault in with the entire story. It is absolutely lovable and Samantha Wolf is an awesome character – strong and clear minded.

Looking forward to the next book in the series.

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Book Review of “Hey Dad! Meet My Mom…” by Sandeep Sharma, Leepi Agrawal


Blurb:

From childhood, the world in which we live, teaches us to bury our ‘bad’ past somewhere deep inside us, so deep, that even we can’t dig it back and after that just move on.

What happens when a 10-year-old child, who claims to be your future son, comes to you to help you find a perfect match for his mother? What happens when eventually you start to doubt on his intentions? What happens when a girl starts to turn your dreams into nightmares? What happens when your ‘Future son’ starts to haunt you? What happens when your FUTURE starts to bleed in your PRESENT through your PAST?

‘Hey Dad! Meet My Mom!!!’ is nothing less than a roller coaster ride of comedy, fear, love and don’t forget to expect the unexpected!

My Review:

Puneet is a branch manager, single, living with mom, and therefore, the focal point for marriage discussions. Soon he meets Myra and falls in love. But whenever he gets close to her, a dream of another lady haunts him. Who is this lady? And who is this 10 year old kid who claims to be his son but who no one else can see?

“Hey Dad! Meet My Mom!!!” is a romantic paranormal story. I am saying Paranormal, not because any actual ghosts are involved, but because there are certain aspects, certain parts of the book which feels paranormal in nature. Things which I could not categorize into something known to me. The concept of memory repression to the point of deletion and soul traveling can only be part of extreme science fiction or paranormal.

But these things make the story what it is. When I started it, I thought it to be a typical romance novel. But soon into the story, I realized that the genre is completely different from what I had come to expect. Yes, it is still a romance novel, but the context is completely different. The relationships, the circumstances are completely different.

It took me some time to understand what was happening, because it was totally unexpected. The title of the novel and the blurb gives you an idea of time travel. But the story is nothing like it. Only the last statement of the blurb gives the true picture – “Expect the unexpected”. The story is completely unexpected.

“Hey Dad! Meet My Mom!!! is a book everyone should try, regardless of the reader being Indian or not. Ignore the Indian parts of it if you can’t understand but the crux will definitely be something you have never come across before. Truly surprise guaranteed.

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Book Review of “Jess and the Ghost of Black Rock Castle” by Nina Levison (Goodreads Author), Sarah Levison (Illustrations)


Blurb:
‘Jess and the Ghost of Black Rock Castle’ is the first story in ‘The Jess Series’ for children aged 7 years and older. Jess and her best friend Ruby are going on a school trip to ‘Black Rock Castle’ with Joe, the twins Lucy and Tom, and the rest of Class Three from ‘Oakhill Primary School’. Jess is sure that the castle is haunted by a ghost, but their teacher Mrs Green says that there are only ghosts in stories. Class Three visit the Castle dungeons and the Great Hall. Children go missing, Joe causes trouble and Lucy thinks that she has seen the ghost. There are lots of spooky experiences and Jess and Ruby are frightened and challenged by the ghost in the Ghost Tower. Do they escape and does the ghost really exist?

My Review:
The Ghost of the Black Rock Castle is the first in the series of Jess Series. Jess is an adventurous 8 year old and the book is also aimed for the kids of around the same age or above.

The Class Three students are on a field trip to Black Rock Castle which is said to be haunted. Jess and her friend Ruby are convinced there are ghosts in the castle in spite of what their teacher, Mrs. Green says. Ruby has also got something to scare the ghost away. But students are not allowed to bring gifts to school. So do they come across any ghost in their trip?

Jess is shown as a typical 8 year old and the story is perfect for kids. There is just enough adventure, mischief, friendship and innocence. A definite delightful read with and for children.

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