Tag Archives: Book Blitz

Book Blitz: ‘Transit Lounge’ by Sunil Mishra

About the Book:

“Transit Lounge” is a contemporary book consisting of short incidents, observations and reflections while travelling to 30 countries across six different continents during the last 15 years.

The book is a personal account of travels to places in Africa, South America, Asia, Europe, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

It was interesting to observe all these different cultures and people from an Indian perspective. The book is a compilation of small incidents and events during such travels; it includes losing an air ticket, dealing with difficult custom officials or getting mugged in a prime location in a foreign country.

 

Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon

Snippets from Sunil’s travel:

 

I remember visiting Croatia some time in 2005. It is a small but very beautiful country in Eastern Europe. It could be a must see place for people who enjoy the nature’s beauty.

Plitvice lake that I visited consists of multiple lakes surrounded by mountain and a good amount of plantation. It covers a large trekking area covering the lakes, mountains and the trees.

The lakes are interspersed with numerous waterfalls that make it a great natural sight. The color of the lakes change based on the sunlight, amount of minerals and vegetation around it. Some of these sights are picture perfect in true sense.

 

 

Invader in one country is a hero in another.This statue of Henry Havelock at Trafalgar Square, London reads :-

To Major General Sir Henry Havelock KCB and his brave companions in arms during the campaign in India 1857. “Soldiers! Your labours, your privations, your sufferings and your valour, will not be forgotten by a grateful country.” H. Havelock

 

 

About the Author:

Sunil is a software professional with over two decades of experience in the field of banking technology. Currently he is working with Infosys and has earlier worked with McKinsey, Accenture and I-flex solutions. As part of work he travelled to more than 30 countries across six continents. This constituted the basis of his current book.

Sunil is an MBA from IIM-Lucknow and holds a B.Tech from IIT(ISM), Dhanbad. He completed his schooling in Bokaro Steel City.

Contact the Author:

Facebook * Twitter * LinkedIn * Instagram

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Book Blitz: ‘Ebba, the First Easter Hare’ by Leen Lefebre

Title: Ebba, the First Easter Hare

Author: Leen Lefebre

Genre: Fantasy/’fairytalish’, 12+ (- 18+), a charming seasonal story for adventurers of all ages

 

About the Book:

King Stern rules over a dark empire of hares. His brother Atta leaves. Before his love Hulde gives birth to their first child, he wants to find a field of his own, bathing in light. Every day Hulde runs to the frontier, where she stands on the lookout for Atta. But then the baby arrives, too soon.

At a rapid pace, Princess Ebba grows into a smart child. Hulde notices that this curious girl resembles Atta more and more – and that is not a gift. When they discover an abandoned bird’s nest in a rabbit cave, Ebba wants to go on a trip just like her father. But, is she as brave as him?

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Purchase Links:

Free on Amazon until 2nd April

Amazon – UK / US

 

Excerpt

A very long time ago, in a dark field not that far away from here, there once lived a hare, who answered to the name “Stern”. Stern was not any ordinary hare; he was the king of all hares.

With an iron fist, King Stern ruled over the empire where it had been dark since time immemorial. Anyone, who did not listen to his orders, had to bear the consequences. Even those with blood ties to the king were not spared. His will was the law and it applied to all.

The Hare King had his own narrow ideas about everything. Even though there was no single subject in his entire empire who stood behind his decisions, they all did as he commanded.

For him, the rules were as clear as the full moon. Yes, within his territory in the dark field, you were protected and had a full belly at all times, yet no; food and lodging did not come for free. You would have to work for it, suffer hard, day and night, the whole winter.

But Stern’s empire was not a prison. One could come and go if he or she wanted. If you chose to leave it, nobody would stop you. Yet, one thing was sure: if you left, it was forever. You couldn’t return.

King Stern’s subjects soon realized that without help from within the field, they wouldn’t have much chance of survival on the distant frontier. And that thought kept them quiet.

One, however, decided to tempt fate. “Atta” was his given name. He was the very youngest of the king’s five brothers, but surely not the most docile hare of the empire.

Together with his love Hulde, he wanted to look for another, for a better, place far away from his brother Stern’s strict authority and dark territory. Before she gave birth to their first child, the fearless Prince wanted to find his own field, bathing in light.

“You apostate!” King Stern shouted.

Atta humbly bowed his head but then swiftly gathered courage. With his nose up in the air, he barked, “Even though I am your little brother, I, like any hare, am entitled to hold my own territory for my wife and child.”

Stern’s soul was on fire.

“You dare to call yourself a brother?” He raged and hit his foot, which was black as soot, against the ground.

The ground under his feet began to shake dangerously. Atta was still standing face to face with his evil brother.

“As a true prince you above all should set an example, damn it!” Stern bellowed. His sharp voice cut to the bone.

Prince Atta felt extremely annoyed and opened his mouth to say something, as he wanted to stand up for himself. The sharp nails of his clenched fist painfully pierced his snow-white fur.

I also have duties toward my family! he thought to himself but kept quiet. A deep and long sigh left his lips, before he decided to wisely press them back together.

He shook his head. Why on earth would I make more trouble?

Courtly calm, the Prince of Hares stared straight ahead. A battle of words was of no use. His brother was the king of this field and he would always have the last word. So it allowed him two choices: He needed to learn to live with it or had to leave.

The longer Atta thought about it, the firmer his decision became. He, his love, and their future child needed to go far, far away from here. Only then could they lead a peaceful life.

The king grumbled something incomprehensible, while his right eye shone right through Atta’s thick winter coat. The wild, swirling blood pulsed strongly in his neck. Nonetheless, he didn’t move even one leg. The calmness rippled slowly through his veins.

I know what I am entitled to, and I, above all hares, won’t return before I have found what I’m looking for, he decided with certainty.

Atta’s eyelid trembled with tension, but his mind had never been as clear as it was at that moment. I am up for the journey!

He turned away from his brother. He would not look back once while he hurried off the king’s field.

About the Author:

Leen Lefebre grew up in West Flanders where she works at the Local Heritage Service. As a kid, she threw herself upon each book that was available. Later, she turned around and settled on the worldwide web. She then emerged as a true explorer of literature, music, and sports. Leen is a dreamer and a doer – and this is how “Ebba, the First Easter Hare” rose up as a charming and lively fairy tale for adventurers of all ages.

Twitter: @Leen_Lefebre

Facebook: www.facebook.com/leen.lefebre

Goodreads page: www.goodreads.com/author/show/10811883.Leen_Lefebre

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Book Blitz and Book Review: ‘The Wolfe Experiment’ by R.W. Adams

Title: The Wolfe Experiment

Genre: Thriller

Published: 23rd March 2017

Author: R.W. Adams

 

Synopsis:

What if, as a child, you could move the world with your mind? Think of the possibilities. But what if you couldn’t control it, and buildings toppled in your sleep? Think of the consequences.

Ethan and Tilly Wolfe are special. It’s a cruel, devastating kind of special that causes death and destruction in equal measure. Nobody is safe. Not even those who love them.

Ethan is the older sibling, his telekinetic gift powerful but controllable. But Tilly is young, emotionally fragile and unable to stop the physical and mental damage she unleashes on other people with barely a thought.

And all it takes is a thought.

Pursued by the military, shunned by the authorities and running for their lives, this is the story of a medical experiment gone hideously wrong, and the lives of the two children trying to put it right.

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon: UK / US / CA / AU

About the Author:

RW Adams had the good fortune to be born in 1978 to a teacher and an editor in a house full of books.

Having graduated in philosophy he realised nobody would pay him to philosophise, so he ended up having to settle for the excitement and glamour of a public sector IT career, which, despite what anybody might tell you, is as exciting as it sounds.

When not working or spending time with his wife and two daughters, he alternates between reading, writing and arguing with people about important things, unimportant things, and everything in-between.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A mystery or thriller. Intriguing right from the start with the way the story leads you and how Ethan and Tilly cope, or in this case don’t cope, with the skills that are growing inside them. Good mix of present day and past events that slowly create the thriller ride you are being taken on.

Ethan’s parents always told him that he needed to protect his sister and above all else keep their secret safe. Ethan and his sister Tilly are special. They have gifts and think that their parents are trying to help find a cure for them but when they die in a car crash it stops there and they don’t know what way to turn. Ethan is older and seems to be able to control his gift but Tilly is so much younger and her emotions take over making it harder to control. Even more when she is asleep and nightmares take hold, which can end up causing accidents without meaning to. After becoming orphans they start to bounce around foster care, homes and back again. They never stay somewhere for long as events and accidents seem to arise around them. Their social worker Sarah seems to easily find a connection with them and they trust her but only to a point, not enough to tell their secret, well not yet anyway. With more incidents occurring closer together they seem to catch the attention of the people their parents were going to work for.

Their parents it seemed were doing experiments on children to help with curing bipolar. The same ones they appeared to be doing on their own children from a young age. This research was what the MoD wanted them to expand on. Seems there were side effects with some of the trials they had children take part in and they thought that these side effects might be able to be used as a weapon. With the telekinetic abilities that the Wolfe children start show, whether they are completely aware of them or not, they pose to be useful to the MoD. They need to be contained and looked into but with being children and in care it needs to be done legally, well to a point.

The main people after them when it becomes clear they have some telekinetic abilities are Dr. Lewis and his superior the Colonel. When the Wolfe children get taken to the facility the tests start and only get more frustrating. Dr. Lewis and his team want to see whether they have abilities, if the parents really did try the meds on them, but they don’t play ball. Seems they needed to push the right buttons to get the reaction they want but the moment its done Ethan knows he needs to get Tilly to safety away from them. They wanted a show of what these children could do and they sure get it when a hole gets blasted through a wall. Escape was the easy bit but surviving is another thing entirely.

Still such young ages living on the streets was never going to be easy. Friends are hard to come by and also dangerous to keep as their safety is always at the front of their minds. With triggers for incidents coming quicker with buildings moving in Tilly’s sleep the trackers close in faster. The Colonel wants the situation to be handled and quickly without a major incident taking place but it seems that the methods Dr. Lewis uses aren’t the best. With these children’s gifts emotions are key and if Tilly gets scared and starts to cry you kind of need to run in the opposite direction as fast as you can. Though with how strong she is even that might not help. Dangers are coming in from many angles and they don’t know which way to turn. The story comes full circle ending in the place it began but it seems they should have been more careful of what they say in front of Ethan. His trigger was always going to be Tilly, he was going to do anything to protect her and once he really tap’s into his gifts he’s the one they need to watch out for.

Kind of leaves the story on a bit of a cliff hanger as you are not 100% clear on what happens with the children. I mean you sort of know what awaits them but with Ethan’s gift on full charge you just don’t know what he would have been capable of. Also a bit of an open end with the epilogue with where the story might go from there and what they really think these children might be capable of. They want them as weapons but when so you have test subjects so young you can’t be sure you can control them. Emotions are key and this thriller puts you through a lot of them.

Good style of writing that hooks you from the start. Suspenseful and thriller ride you are taken on from the very start. The Wolfe children were created but only just coming to realize it. If the can control themselves they can live normal lives but with being seen as weapons they can’t run far without others on their tales. They need to stay one step ahead if they want to get out alive.

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Blitz: ‘Blackstone’ by Richard Falkirk

Title: Blackstone Series

Author: Richard Falkirk

Genre: Mystery & Detective / Historical

 

 About the Series: 

Edmund Blackstone, Bow Street Runner, of doubtful parentage and background, the best if far from the most conformist in the force, secretly applauds the robbers he hunts. He is tall, well-built, with a strongly featured face and, despite his elegant and expensive attire, moves with ease among the thieves and cut-throats in the taverns and soup shops, the cockfighting pits and dirty alleys of London. But if Blackstone has a weakness for professional esteem and flattery, for a woman’s touch and for good wine, he is also one of the best shots in London, an expert in almost all areas of crime, a ruthless man with a reputation for courage and persistence, and – first and last – a Bow Street Runner.

In this, the first of the series, Sir Richard Birnie, the Bow Street magistrate, has appointed Blackstone to guard the heir to the throne, the young Princess Alexandrina Victoria. Among the Runners this is considered an honour but Blackstone feels that it is all a waste of time, even a punishment. Then Blackstone himself is attacked outside his lodgings – and there’s something about his assailant that seems oddly familiar…

 

What people are saying:

“A magnificent novel of suspense and adventure, set in nineteenth century London. At stake – the life of the future Queen Victoria.” The Bookseller

“The story is steeped in the atmosphere of the period, and as Blackstone moves among the thieves, cut throats and pickpockets in the taverns and soup kitchens of London the tension mounts. The author brings the underworld and its unsavoury characters to life – the story might be fiction but it could just as easily have been history.” Cork Examiner

“The Bond of the Bow Street Runners.” Southern Evening Echo

“Hot stuff – this Bond from the 19th century.” Daily Express

 

Series in Order:

Blackstone – Add to Goodreads
Blackstone’s Fancy – Add to Goodreads
Beau Blackstone – Add to Goodreads
Blackstone and the Scourge of Europe – Add to Goodreads
Blackstone Underground – Add to Goodreads
Blackstone on Broadway – Add to Goodreads

 

THISTLE PUBLISHING are reuissing the full series of six Blackstone titles, which were hugely popular when first released in the 1970s. Richard Falkirk was the pseudonym of Derek Lambert, foreign correspondent for the Daily Express, who also wrote many popular thrillers under his own name.

 

 

Purchase Links:

Blackstone – Amazon: UK / US

Blackstone’s Fancy – Amazon: UK / US

Beau Blackstone – Amazon: UK / US

Blackstone and the Sourge of Europe – Amazon: UK / US

Blackstone Underground – Amazon: UK / US

Blackstone on Broadway – Amazon: UK / US

 

About the Author:

Richard Falkirk was the pen name of bestselling novelist Derek Lambert, who was also foreign correspondent for the Daily Express. As Richard Falkirk, he wrote this bestselling series of six historical mysteries about Bow Street Runner Edmund Blackstone set in 1820s London.

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Book Blitz: ‘Snow City’ by G. A. Kathryns

Title: Snow City

Author: G. A. Kathryns

Genre: Literary Fiction

 

About the Book:

Her name is Echo Japonica, and she lives in Snow City. But she was not always Echo, and she did not always live in Snow City. Somewhere else, she was someone else and it was to Snow City that she fled in order to escape a place and a self that had at last become intolerable.

For Snow City is a dream – Echo’s dream – of a better place, an idealized place, a place of both anonymity and fulfillmet. It is, for Echo, a haven of peace, a refuge, a sanctuary.

But Snow City remains, nonetheless, a dream, and dreams, being such fragile things, can so easily shade into nightmare…

Prologue

Sometimes one has to dream very hard to keep oneself sane. And that is what I did, hiding from the world — from the terror and the bombings and the deliberately engineered famines and droughts, from the withering shreds of civility and the surging outbursts of impersonal violence — groping blindly through my shadowy, nightmare-haunted fantasies until I came upon Snow City, my dream, my creation. And it was perfect: all bright and full of color, surrounded by pristine mountains, watered by a clear river, touched with the magic of kind people and the pure air I had always longed to breathe, unsullied by the filth and despair of my physical existence.

And as the days wore on and the horror and atrocity about me increased, I turned again and again to my fantasy world, seeking shelter, seeking respite, living secretly, within my heart, an alternate, fabricated life in my little bastion of sanity and perfection.

Until one morning, I awakened to discover that what had been the real world had turned into a kind of faded delirium, and that I — somehow graced with an impossible rebirth and a new identity — was now living in Snow City.

In it.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Excerpt from chapter 3:

In as much of a mental blank as I can muster, I prepare myself and my guitar for the evening’s performance. All is as it always is, as it always has been throughout my time in Snow City. Inspect. Tune. Warm up. Practice. I note fret wear on the wound strings, but though there are new strings to be had, now is not the time to change them, for new strings will take a day or two to stretch out and hold their pitch, and I cannot be constantly retuning in the middle of a piece.

String replacement will be a task for a day off, then, and yes, Mr. Anthony is probably right: perhaps extra-hard tension will bring arthritis on a year or two early. But the yellow card Savarez allows the Kohno to sing brilliantly, and at any rate I intend to let old age take care of itself. At present, I am thirty-five, and I have other things on my mind. Music. Making a living. Existing in my idealized perfection.

Realizing that my idealized perfection contains blemishes of which I was not previously aware.

Practice. And more practice. My fingers flow into the intricacies of Dowland and Bach, and when, just before my Spartan dinner, I take a minute to check my e-mail, my fingers tap keys in half-conscious chordal patterns and bass lines as I respond to a missive from an uncle — Seymour — who is a minister at a small church in an equally small town in Montana. An uncle I have never met and to whom I cannot possibly be related because I simply did not exist in Snow City earlier than three months ago.

Or did I? Was there, perhaps, another Echo Japonica, one who lived happily and productively in this world — preexistent, not dreamed — before my consciousness somehow usurped her identity? Such thoughts and attendant qualms come to me upon occasion, reinforced, to be sure, by external evidence: income tax records dating back the requisite number of years, a driver’s license renewed fourteen months ago, pay stubs dating back to my (or someone else’s) first days at the Blue Rose along with a framed (first tip!) dollar bill I have no memory of receiving…letters, bills, documents of every sort that testify mutely to a life lived in Snow City for much longer than I can recollect.

Whose life have I stolen?

As I tap away, politely declining yet another invitation to spend a week or two in the guesthouse at Uncle Seymour’s ranch — relax, take it easy, surely city life must wear on one after a while, so come smell the wildflowers and perhaps do a little horseback riding — I look up from the computer and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror on the far wall. Big blue eyes. Blonde braid. I did not look even remotely like this…before. But…but who did? And where is she now?

My performance that night is adequate. I am a professional: I will have it no other way. But though Luigi and Mr. O’Dally obviously notice that I am withdrawn and cool, my thoughts shadowed, they do not press me for reasons. Nor do I lift my eyes from my strings as I play: even during the easiest and most trivial of my pieces, my head is bent over the neck of my instrument far more than necessary…for fear that I will espy that gray-clad figure sitting at a back table.

Only once in the course of the evening do I edge toward personal interaction, for after my second set, my curiosity and worry

about my hypothetical predecessor at last get the better of me, and while allowing myself a cup of tea at the counter during my break, I turn to Luigi, who is wiping up the remains of a latte left by a clumsy customer.

“Luigi…I find I have a curious question that I am impelled to ask you.”

He brightens: a break in the clouds over this gloomy musician’s head? “I’m at your service, Auntie Echo.”

“Did I…” I do not know where to start. “Was I…that is to say… was there anything…” I falter, unable to find the words. How does one ask something so seemingly idiotic?

Luigi considers me. He is young and intelligent and frequently flippant. But there is a place for flippancy, even in Snow City. “Just spit it out, Auntie.”

With difficulty, I swallow the last of my tea. “I have been playing guitar at this coffee shop for years now, have I not?”

“Yes.” The Mediterranean lilt. “Of course you have.”

I press on despite my fears. “Did I by any chance start to act somewhat strange about…about three months ago? Somewhat different than before? Somewhat…one might say…weird?”

Luigi finishes mopping the latte, rinses the cloth abstractedly, and puts it aside. For a good minute, he looks serious, even thoughtful. Then: “It’s a little hard to say, Auntie Echo. You’ve always acted a little weird.”

I sigh. Of just such stuff are quandaries made. But I nonetheless thank him…and spend the last part of my break hiding in the back office.

 

About the Author:

G.A. Kathryns grew up on the West Coast and later on moved to the drier and higher realms of the high plains. She currently makes her home in the Denver metro area where she shares the company of a spouse and two small dogs.

Along with SNOW CITY, she has written a Southern Gothic themed title, THE BORDERS OF LIFE (soon to be reissued in a revised, corrected, and updated version), several pedagogical works devoted to playing the harp, a number of short stories, and a collection of dark fiction.

To learn more, go to www.gakathryns.com/home.html

Facebook: www.facebook.com/gakathrynshome

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