Review of Was it love

BLURB:

Leila Rajput is a young girl, struggling with life and relationships, dealing with the trauma of a past life-event. Unaware of her true potential, she has almost given up on life, till she meets this dynamic, near-perfect Vikrant Rao via internet. He identifies her potential and offers her a strange arrangement to be her mentor. He teaches her the basics of life, makes her realize her dreams and helps her in achieving them step by step. Under his guidance, she evolves into a confident and independent woman. They eventually fall in love and Vikrant relocates to her city, where he meets her friend Maya. While he solves Maya’s life conflicts and helps her elope with Shahan, he charges a fee none could ever imagine. Is Vikrant a villain or a victim of greed? Did he truly love Leila or was she just a puppet to reach his next victim? Was it Love? is a story of Leila’s journey through emotions, trials, betrayal and the devil called love.

MY REVIEW:

The book starts with childhood friends Leyla and Maya, on their way to attend an annual party of corporate Inc, which is where Leyla’s boyfriend Vikrant Rao works. Leyla and Maya are now 20, completing MBA and joining the same investment banking company. Maya fumes as she is not okay with Leyla’s rash driving. They end up reaching the party on time. They are received by Vikrant and Shahan(Maya’s boyfriend). Vikrant introduces his beautiful girlfriend to all his colleagues.

Leyla meets Vikrant over the internet( he stays in US), a few years back when she was in college. They started commenting on a blog platform and which in turn bloomed into daily ritual of talking to each other over voice chat. Leyla is insecure and is being mentored by Vikrant to be a better human being and refining her thought process. The mental relationship with Vikrant costs Leyla her relationship with family friend, Avi. He dumps her and she is broken. Vikrant molds and motivates her at this point where she fails in love with him.

They come to a point where they cannot be with each other. Vikrant relocates to Delhi. Leyla makes him meet her friend Maya and offer her some piece of advice since she is in a personal turmoil.

She is in love with Shahan and there would be a religion problem if they come to seek parental consent for marriage. Shahan plans to move to US to pursue executive MBA. Vikrant advises gun to leave and makes a plan for Maya to pursue fashion design in the US so that she and Shahan can elope and live happily together.

Shahan and Maya were delighted on hearing the plan however Leyla is skeptical about it. She somehow notices a change in behavior of Vikrant. Shahan leaves to the US and Maya frequently visits Vikrant to discuss their plans. This goes on for a while until things are uninformed to Leyla and Vikrant starts to ignore her.

Leyla becomes disturbed which is noticed by her boss, Aman. He in turn decides to help her out. Leyla confesses the whole story. Aman, discovers a gruesome truth about Vikrant which leaves her shocking. Aman helps her with the situation and also confesses his love to her.

What happens to Maya? Does she reunite with Shahan? What is the truth about Vikrant? Why does he avoid Leyla and what are his intentions? What happens to Leyla, does she reunite with Vikrant ot she accepts Aman is the rest of the story.

The book is a short read. Initial chapters consist of the chat exchanges between Vikrant and Leyla, which was kind of monotonous. They have poetic exchanges which tends to slows down the pace of the story.

The character of Vikrant is very hard to predict. At one moment he seems to be too pleasing when he talks to Leyla, at a later point he looks to be behaving with a reason to accomplish something else. Leyla on the other hand is gentle, insecure and vulnerable.

The narration is good, except for the dialogues part which could have been minimized. The ending could have been better. I would not term this as a suspense read, since I found that element missing. It was overall a light and a quick read.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback:192 pages
  • Publisher:Srishti Publishers & Distributors; First edition (10 August 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:9789387022300
  • ISBN-13:978-9387022300
  • ASIN:9387022307

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4.4/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 3.75/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Neha Sultania belongs to a culturally rich Punjabi family that originally hails from undivided India, now Pakistan. After her post-graduation in Business Administration, she took up banking as her career choice. A creative bent of mind has made her inclination strongly towards storytelling and poetry. Interest in mysteries and mystical nature of the universe has also made her wander into the deep occult sciences, making her a student of Vedic astrology.

Review of From ashes to dreams by Rashmi Trivedi

BLURB:

Sometimes life brings you at a crossroad, where you have no choice but to live every day as if it was your last one. Naina was at such a crossroad! An orphan, she did not have much to look forward to in life, until she fell in love. Love gave her wings and she started to fly, only to come crashing down as the wind beneath her wings turned into a storm. She tries putting an end to her now wretched existence, but fate has some other plans for her. She comes to know that she has limited time to live and decides to start living everyday instead of merely surviving. She lives every moment without worrying about the future she does not have or the past that could not be undone. She falls in love once again, this time with life! Will fate respect her fortitude?

MY REVIEW:

The story involves a lot of characters but to be termed as the main protagonist is Naina. She along with Kusum and Raghav were left in the orphanage by their parents on the same day in an orphanage run by Shanti Amma. Shanti Amma is portrayed as a loving motherly figure who treats every kid in the orphanage as her own, but has a liking inclined towards Naina since she resembles her daughter. Naina, Raghav and Kusum are of the same age and share all teeny tiny private secrets to each other.

The plot revolves around the lives of the three musketeers and their lives post the death of Shanthi Amma who succumbs to cancer.At one point the protagonist is left all alone and how she leads life as days pass unfolds in the rest of the story. The story is a mixture of all emotions such as happiness, struggles,friendship,love,pain.

Coming to the writing style its crisp and clear maintaining the pace of the story. The interesting factor being the book has an end at the start and the beginning when it comes to an end. Loved the way how the author’s language command never made me feel to continue the book at a later point.

The characterization has been done complete justice with each character not being clichéd and being natural in the flow. Naina as the protagonist has shown a lot of potential, she gives hope coming up from the struggles and hardships that come pelting to her. Kusum on the other hand, is someone we can relate to everyone in real life.

The plot is gripping and the story line is intriguing makes you want to finish it at one go. The author has done complete justice to the narration keeping it in a steady pace.

The cover has been designed in such a way that there are two images merged. Makes you want to pick it up immediately.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback
  • Publisher:Blue Rose Publishers; 1st edition (17 August 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ASIN:B07GKRNLY5

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4.5/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 4/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rashmi Trivedi works in a middle management level in a leading public sector company. She was very passionate about reading and was never too busy for a book right form childhood. It was when she moved to Bhopal on a transfer away from family she started venturing into writing. She put in her experiences into writing which paved way for this book. Other than reading she loves travelling and also has a bucket list of places to visit.

Book blitz – Gap toothed girl by Ray Harvey

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Contemporary Fiction
Date Published: August 2018
Publisher: Pearl Button Press
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“Tournament night in a sweltering Las Vegas stadium, and the girl with the gap-toothed smile stood bleeding in her ballet slippers.”
Thus begins Gap-Toothed Girl, the story of Dusty May, a Lakota orphan with an iron will, who runs away from the horrific circumstances of her foster home and her foster father — a man of beast-like brilliance and power — to pursue her dream of lightness and ballet, even as her foster father unleashes an army to bring her down.
Part literary fiction, part thriller, part dance story, Gap-Toothed Girl is at its core a tale of human joy and freedom of will — a “relentlessly paced novel” combining “the surreal imagery of Nabokov with the psychological complexity of Dostoevsky” (Fort Collins Forum) to investigate the depths of the human psyche and the indomitable will to succeed, ultimately plumbing the very nature of human happiness and the human soul.

Excerpt
Chapter 1
Tournament night in a sweltering Las Vegas stadium, and the girl with the gap-toothed smile stood bleeding in her ballet slippers. The sodium lights of the arena lay upcast on the low-hanging sky above. An electrical charge hummed through the air: a crackling undercurrent that came neither from the lights nor from the distant heat lightning, but from the galvanized excitement of the crowd.
Before her, some twenty feet away and elevated four feet off the ground, there stretched a long green balance beam, atop which, at the southernmost end, stood eight empty whiskey bottles. The bottles were perfectly upright and in single file. A small springboard crouched in front.
High above her floated a long banner which said, in shimmering red letters:
A CONTEST OF MOTION
She closed her eyes and inhaled. The air was dry. She stood alone upon the stage. She was dusky-limbed, Lakota. She held her breath a moment and then she released it.
When she opened her eyes, her gaze settled on the objects before her: the springboard, the balance beam, the whiskey bottles. The heat hung heavy. A rill of sweat slid between her breasts. She didn’t see the tiny camera-flash explosions igniting everywhere around her from within the darkness of the stadium. She forgot that there were thousands of eyes fixed upon her. She forgot also the pain in her toes and was unaware of the bleed-through and the blood leaking like ink across the entire top part of her slipper.
Offstage in the shadows, a lanky youth in a baseball cap gave a thumbs-up, but it wasn’t directed toward her.
A man with a microphone emerged on stage. He was thin and well-dressed and darkly complexioned.
A hush came over the crowd. The man held the microphone to his mouth. His voice came booming through the speakers with great clarity.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” he said, “ladies and gentleman. May I have your attention, please. Thank you. We are finally at the end of the night, and — my Lord — what a night it’s been. What a competition.”
The crowd erupted.
“We have seen — excuse me, please — we have seen tonight some of the very best dancers in the world, and I’m sure you know this is not an exaggeration. We have only one more to go. Did we save the best for last? Need I remind you that there’s fifty thousand dollars at stake here?”
He paused.
“Now,” he said, “now, then. Do you see this young woman up on the stage with me? I’m told she’s about to do something that only one other person in human history is known to have done, and that was Ms. Bianca Passarge, of Hamburg, Germany, in 1958 — except Ms. Passarge, I am told, was not mounting a balance beam when she did her routine. Can this little girl — all 115 pounds of her — I say, can she do it? Can she steal the money from these big city boys and girls, the Bronx break dancers and West Coast B-Boys and all the others who have astounded us here tonight with their strength and agility and their grace of motion? Folks, we are about to find out.”
The crowd erupted again. The MC turned and looked at the girl on stage behind him.
He winked.
He lowered the microphone and said in an unamplified voice that sounded peculiar to her:
“Are you ready?”
He smiled kindly.
She nodded.
He gave her the A-OK sign with his fingers and nodded back. Then her lips broke open in return, disclosing, very slightly, her endearing gap-toothed smile.
He brought the microphone back to his mouth and turned again to the audience.
“Here we go!” he said.
The crowd went dead-silent in anticipation.
“Okay, okay!” she thought. All ten of her fingers wiggled unconsciously and in unison.
Abruptly, then, the lights above her darkened while simultaneously the lights behind her brightened, and then the music began: fast-paced and throbbing and happy.
She bolted forward.
She sprinted toward the balance beam and with astonishing speed executed a back handspring onto the springboard, vaulting into a full fluid backflip on one foot upon the beam — which in the very same motion turned into another back handspring, and then another, all to within inches of the bottles at the far end of the beam. This entire process took no more than five seconds. Here she paused for a fraction and then performed a half turn. From there she leapt lightly onto the first upright whiskey bottle, which wobbled only slightly under her weight. She placed her other toe catlike upon the next whiskey bottle, and then she raised herself en point to great heights….
About the Author

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Ray A. Harvey, novelist, essayist, published poet, athlete, and editor, son of Firman Charles Harvey (RIP) and his wife Cecilia, youngest of thirteen half brothers and half sisters, was born and raised in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. He’s worked as a short-order cook, copyeditor, construction laborer, crab fisherman, janitor, pedi-cab driver, bartender, and more. He’s also written and ghostwritten a number of published books, poems, and essays, but no matter where he’s gone or what he’s done to earn a living, literature and learning have always existed at the core of his life.
Contact Links
Purchase Link
RABT Book Tours & PR

Book trailer reveal (Sept. 17th ) Dead steam by Bryce Raffle

I am so happy to share this really cool book with you and reveal its amazing trailer! If you like the cover, wait to you see this! There is also a chance to win a digital copy of Dead Steam, so make sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom!

Dead Steam: A Chilling Collection of Dreadpunk Tales of the Dark and Supernatural
Expected Publication Date: October 1st, 2018
Genre: Anthology/ Dreadpunk/ Dark Steampunk/ Horror
Reader beware: to open this tome is to invite dread into your heart. Every page you turn will bring you closer to something wicked. And when the dead begin to rise from the steaming pits of hell, only then will you discover that it is already too late. Your life is forfeit.

Featuring an introduction by Leanna Renee Hieber, author of the Eterna Files and Strangely Beautiful saga, DeadSteam plays host to the scintillating writing of David Lee Summers (Owl Dance, The Brazen Shark), Jen Ponce (The Bazaar, Demon’s Cradle), Wendy Nikel (The Continuum), Karen J Carlisle (The Adventures of Viola Stewart), Jonah Buck (Carrion Safari), and more…

With seventeen chilling tales of Dreadpunk, Gaslamp, and Dark Steampunk, DeadSteam will leave you tearing at the pages, desperate for more. For within these pages, the dead rise from their graves to haunt the London Underground, witches whisper their incantations to the wind, a sisterhood of bitten necks hunts fog-drenched alleyways lit only by gaslight, and only one thing is certain: that dread will follow you until you turn that final page.

And that sinking feeling in the pit of your chest? That fear that something is following you, watching you, hunting you? It is not for nothing. Look over your shoulder, dear reader. Watch behind you. Listen to the whispers in the darkness.

But know this…it is all inevitable.
Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40751298-deadsteam

Purchase Links:

Amazon Hardcover: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0995276765

Amazon Paperback & Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GFV5X49

Barnes & Noble Paperback & Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deadsteam-bryce-raffle/1128997727

Barnes & Noble Hardcover: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deadsteam-bryce-raffle/1129305698

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/deadsteam

Booktopia: https://www.booktopia.com.au/deadsteam-bryce-raffle/prod9780995276741.html

*Link will go live Sept. 17th
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaK6P5_z35I&feature=youtu.be

Excerpt
Burke Street Station

The city was frost and fog. Icy crystals formed on the windows of the train station. Breath drifted up in a hazy clouds like puffs of
smoke as Theodore tried to warm his hands, blowing hot breath onto his stiff, cold fingers and rubbing his hands together vigorously. When that failed, he thrust them back into his coat pockets, cursing under his breath. His threadbare coat offered little warmth. Drafts of wind found their way through the broken stitching and the tears in his sleeves like rats scrambling through the cracks in the station walls. A discarded page of newsprint, caught in the rushing wind, tumbled and turned in the air and landed, crumpled and torn, at Theodore’s feet.

He stooped over, picked it up, and glanced at the engraving of a wanted man. Even without a skill for reading, he knew what name was printed beneath the picture of masked man on the page. Anthony Tidkins.

Wanted, he read. That was one word Theodore recognized. Crimes was another, and then, finally…murder.

Rubbish. The newspapers always tried to make villains out of the radical thinkers of the world. The Resurrectionists, who named their organization after the sack-em-up men who provided the anatomists with subjects for their scientific endeavors, were scientists. They had provided the world with aether, revolutionizing air travel. They had brought Prince Charles back from the brink of death. They had devised the engines for the London Underground. Anthony Tidkins himself promised to cure death. Yet the newspaper men still called for his blood. Theodore balled up the page and shoved it in his pocket.

He pulled out his trick coin as he approached the gate. The station master was asleep at his booth, a little dribble of spit running down his chin. Typical. Thoedore stuck his coin in the machine, waited for the gate to open, and then, with a light tug on the fishing line threaded through a little hole in the tip of the coin, it popped back out. Easy. He was in before anybody noticed what he had done. He pocketed the coin and started down the hallway.

Tap-tap, clack, tap-tap, clack, his shoes beat a rhythm on the stone steps. The sole of his left shoe was beginning to wear, and the heel of his shoe tapped against the heel of his foot as he walked. He puffed on his hands again, and peeked over his shoulder. No one was after him. He had done this trick a thousand times before. So why did he feel like there was someone watching him?

Clack, tap-tap, clack. Again, he glanced over his shoulder. The odd double-rhythm of his broken shoe was suddenly unnerving in the deserted station. Where were all the other passengers? Nice folks avoided this place like the plague, especially after midnight. The oil lamps that lit Burke Street Station were so routinely out of oil that he could hardly find his own feet in front of him, but still, Theodore expected to see other passengers. But where were the other vagrants? They should be sleeping in the dark corners of the hallway under blankets made of rags. And the boys from the blacking factory should be heading home from their long shifts, fingers stained black with powders and oil. But there was no one. Only the rats skittering through rat tunnels to keep him company.

Tap-tap, clack, tap-tap, clack.

Another set of footsteps began to follow his own, beating out a different rhythm. A steady tap, tap, tap, tap. He paused to listen, and nothing but silence greeted him. He glanced over his shoulder. Nobody there.

He continued onward, and again, a second set of footsteps started up behind him. He paused to listen. This time, they didn’t stop.

Tap, tap, tap, tap.

Whoever it was, they were getting closer. Closer and closer, louder and louder, tapping out a steady rhythm as they approached down the long, dark hallway. He could almost make out the solitary figure in the gloomy, hazy light, but then the fog grew thicker, and whatever he thought he’d seen was gone. The footsteps kept on getting louder, though, and closer. He turned and ran down the hallway.

A long flight of steps delved deeper into the darkness of Burke Street Station, down, down toward the platform. The train was already rumbling, announcing its approach. It vibrated through Theodore’s toes to the tip of his spine, rattling his bones.

He grabbed the railing all but flew down the staircase. The rumble of the train grew louder and clearer.

“Shit,” Theodore cursed. Taking the steps two at a time, he hurtled down the steps and didn’t stop when he reached the bottom.
Nails on a blackboard. The tines of silverware scraping against a ceramic plate. The screaming madmen at Newgate Asylum. The anguished cry of a mother weeping over her stillborn babe. Theodore had heard these sounds all, but not one compared to the shrill screech of an automatic train rolling into Burke Street. Iron wheels grinding against iron tracks. Hot metal sending up sparks, belching out steam as black as sin. The carriages rattling and clanging against one another. The hiss of hot coal burning in the engines. The shriek of brakes as the train ground to a halt. If it went on long enough, it would surely drive a man mad. Theodore covered his ears with his hands, pressing them against his head to muffle out the deafening noise, and waited for the thundering train to come to a halt.
When it did, he realized it must have drowned out the sound of the steadily approaching footsteps he’d heard in the hallway, because he could hear them again, and they were closer. So close he half expected to feel someone’s hot breath on his neck. He whirled around, but there was no one there. Silence greeted him like an old friend. His heart hammered against his chest.
“There’s no one there,” he muttered to himself. But he didn’t sound convinced.
A smell lingered in the air, as if something foul had passed through. The smell was familiar enough, the breath of a man with rotting teeth. It was a foul, cloying stench. He spun around again, and this time found himself face to face with the man to whom those dreaded footsteps belonged.
Only he wasn’t a man. Not really.

About the Author

Bryce Raffle writes steampunk, horror, and fantasy. He was the lead writer for Ironclad Games’ multiplayer online game Sins of A Dark Age and is the founder of Grimmer & Grimmer Books. His short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, including Hideous Progeny: Classic Horror Goes Punk, Denizens of Steam and Den of Antiquity. His short story, The Complications of Avery Vane, was awarded Best Steampunk Short in the Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll in 2016. He lives in beautiful Vancouver, Canada, where he works in the film industry.

Author Links:
Twitter @bryceraffle
Facebook: facebook.com/bryceraffle
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bryceraffle/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14585685.Bryce_Raffle
Website: http://www.bryceraffle.com

Giveaway Details:

Bryce is giving away a digital copy of Dead Steam to one lucky winner. The giveaway will run from Sept. 17th to Sept. 20th so make sure you enter!
Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f45/?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Trailer Reveal Organized By

R&R Book Tours
http://www.rrbooktours.com