Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Book Review of Shifting In The Realms

About the book

The Realms refers to a parallel dimension hidden between Minneapolis and St. Paul where creatures, humans think of as only mythical, roam free.

Cody is a shape shifter with some monumental problems that all started when he died. He’s escaped to The Realms from the midlands between Heaven and Hell only to find his best friend is potential food for the resident vampires, his girlfriend only loves him in his wolf form and her mother…well that’s a whole other story. 

It isn’t easy being Cody, but like a good wolf he’ll do what he can to protect his pack even if it kills him. Wait…he’s already dead.

My Review

A real quick read and a light hearted story!

The story finished even before I knew it was complete. I was expecting to read more in the book and then I discovered the fact that, it was a set novella written by different authors put together in the form of “The Twin City Series.”

Vampires and werewolves are the predominant species in the realm. Cody a wolf-shifter feels he is more powerful in his wolf form than his human form. And it feels great when you are stuck with being a werewolf at the age of 16 forever.

We are introduced to a new kind of supernatural entity of fire demon, who is even more powerful than the vampires and they are the kind that vampires fear.

A romantic scene in the story with a sun setting in the horizon, will make your heart flutter, had you been lucky enough to be in the same place at the same time.

The plot is great but I wish I could have read more.

Read more about the book at Online Book Club

About the author

Theresa Snyder is a multi-genre writer with an internationally read blog. She grew up on a diet of B&W Scifi films like Forbidden Planet and The Day the Earth Stood Still. She is a voracious reader and her character driven writing is influenced by the early works of Anne McCaffrey, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein and L. Ron Hubbard. She loves to travel, but makes her home in Oregon where her elder father and she share a home and the maintenance of the resident cat, wild birds, squirrels, garden,and occasional Dragon house guest.

Blog: http://www.theresasnyderauthor.com/

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Book Review of Trojan: The Enemy Within

About the book

A high-profile US based assassination was just thebeginning...

Victor Walker's main responsibility as Sr. Manager of White House DefenseArmament Systems, was to ensure America's flagship arsenal remain up andoperational, but just days after an assassination on US soil, all flagshiparmament systems crash - a complete meltdown. Star Wars, Air Force One,Doomsday Briefcase and Guidance Systems are all rendered useless.

Bombings ensue in major cities and Victor's framed for the disaster by anunknown entity.  Forced into exile withhis family facing danger, he races to find the country behind the attack. Somethingdoesn't pass the smell test. Indicators point inward to a rodent - to a Trojan withingovernment with ties to the crisis - to someone he once thought he could trustwho doesn't want the issue resolved.

My Review

A captivating storyline that had me under a spell till the very end! Right from the word go it had the essence of the crime and thriller genre. The pace of the story is great and will keep you in the hunt of what new twist hides in the next page. And it made me feel as if I am watching a Hollywood movie with bomb blast and all the mayhem that has been caused. It will give a birds’ eye view with detailed description of what a emergency situation will look like and what counter measures you can take to diminish the mayhem.

The author has done an incredible job in letting the protagonist of the story Victor take full reigns and he hasn’t let him down. His technical skills and the pledge to fight for his county in adverse situations make him the real hero.

Victor task at hand as the Sr Manager of White House Armament Systems is to ensure that he is in full control to handle any circumstances that may compromise with the security of the nation both foreign and domestic.

He finds himself at odd situation when he faces real life scenario of a complete melt down as the servers get offline and caused the armament systems and all defence mechanism offline. Now he has a code in hand which can save the nation from all the mayhem but he again faces obstacles in his path of ensuring the safety of the nation. While he is kidnapped and is asked to lay down the code which can pin point the people behind the mayhem, his superiors start doubting him as the prime suspect who can be behind the ordeal.

Will he be able to gain the confidence of his peers and identify the people behind this unfortunate incident?

Find out more on what really happens and how Victor faces the dangers that linger around him.

Read more about the book at Online Book Club.

Buy the book from Amazon
About the Author

Before publishing my debut novel, I served over 27 years as an information technology professional working initially for the US Navy, and then the Department of the Navy and various fortune companies. I'm a UCLA Writing Program alumnus, who writes mystery thrillers and children stories. After years of crafting and fine-tuning my story telling ability, 2016 is the year of the launch of my debut novel titled Trojan, which is based on a "what if" scenario I envisioned years ago while attending the Naval & Marine Corps Computer Science School at Quantico. My vow to my readers is to capture your imagination and keep you engaged, from the beginning of each story to its riveting conclusion.

Author Interview of Raven Song

Book Blurb:

A century ago, the world burned. Even now, though rebuilt and defiant, civilization is still choking on the ashes.

Jackson, a smuggler, lives in the shadows, once a boy with no memory, no name, and no future. Ravens followed him, long-extinct birds only he could see, and nightmares flew in their wake. Once, Jackson thought himself to be one of the lucky few touched by magic, a candidate for the Order of Mages. He is a man now, and that dream has died. But, the ravens still follow. The nightmares still whisper in his ear.

Anna’s life was under the sun, her future bright, her scientific work promising. She knew nothing of The Bombings, the poisoned world, or the occult. One day, she went to work, and the next, she awoke in a box over a hundred years in the future, screaming, fighting to breathe, and looking up into the eyes of a smuggler. Anna fears she’s gone crazy, unable to fill the massive hole in her memories, and terrified of the strange abilities she now possesses.

The Coalition government has turned its watchful eyes towards them. The secret factions of the city move to collect them first. And, old gods stir in the darkness, shifting their pawns on the playing field.

If Anna and Jackson wish to stay free, they must learn what they are and why they exist.

Unfortunately, even if they do, it may be too late.

Raven Song is the first of a four book adult-oriented dystopian fantasy series, a story of intrigue, love, violence, and the old spirits in the shadows who wait for us to notice them again. Readers of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Charlie Human will enjoy this dark magic-laced tale rooted on the bones of what our world could become.


A boy lay on the broken sidewalk, eyes closed. He was pale and thin, looking not a day over ten years old. His half-clothed body shuddered against the chilly night air. His bony frame scraped against the grime of the street as he curled into himself, trying to keep back the cold. Overhead, the stars hung bright and lonely.

In the alley, almost invisible against the midnight darkness, a man stood tall over the boy. His well-pressed suit was as black as the shadows, as his skin, and as the raven on his shoulder. The way he hovered over the child, he seemed a strange guardian. But his eyes were turned upwards to the sky, away from the boy’s plight, as if it was no real matter. In those black eyes the stars were mirrored, impossible and brilliant. Those eyes stared back into the past, when the celestial lights were loved and revered, when each constellation had a story.

Once upon a time… this was when the world had sung to him, the dream-walker, the song-weaver, the star-stringer.

Once, before humans had forgotten his name.

Now, the starry sky was almost hidden by the glowing blue haze of the Barrier, a shield cast over what was left of the city: proud New York, ruined, rebuilt, defiant.

The stranger kept staring upwards into oblivion, even as the boy let out an unhappy whimper, chills wracking his weak frame. The raven flew from the stranger’s shoulder then, alighting onto the sidewalk, picking past the weeds and rubble. It rejoined its fellows who had settled amicably around the child, oblivious to the fact that ravens were all supposed to be dead. One hundred years ago, poison had leeched into the earth, into the grass, into the grazers, and into the corpses left behind. The blight spared little, its kind no exception. Regardless, this impossible creature affectionately brushed at the boy’s dark hair with its beak.

At the touch, the boy awoke with a start. His wide, uncomprehending eyes took in the world as he struggled to sit up, his head swinging around wildly; past awnings and high rises he had never seen, past scrawled words and graffiti he could not understand. He teetered to his feet, then fell back down again as his knees gave out, sending the birds around him into flight.

He saw no starry eyes in the darkness, no stranger standing nearby. He was halfnaked, shivering, hungry, and alone, his head aching down to his teeth. The nameless boy shook off the dreams he couldn’t remember and wondered where he was.

If there had been any passersby on that cold autumn night, they would have sworn that this boy hadn’t been there a minute ago, and no stranger or ravens had been there at all.

Author Interview

1. What inspired you to write the book?

Originally, the framework of these characters and some of their drives were laid out in a tabletop role playing game I play with friends and family. And, every night, after the game ended, I’d lie in bed, staring at the ceiling, going over them all in my mind. These creations wouldn’t let me sleep. They wouldn’t let me work without intruding on my day. To cope with the imagination itch, I started writing again, something I hadn’t done for years. I think it was about a month in that I realized an incredible story was here that wanted to be shared with the world. A year and eight months later, plus a lot of hard work and uncertainty, and the first instalment was done.

2. When did you realise that you want to write a book?

Probably when I was in fourth grade. My teacher took me out of writing class and plopped me down in front of a computer, letting me write whatever I wanted. She said perhaps I could write a book. She said she believed I was good enough to do it. That effort never saw an audience—it was about my pet cat fighting dragons and evil sorceresses!—but I think the experience changed me, and when the characters of Raven Song took nest in my head, I couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather do but write and give them a home. Thanks for believing in me, Mrs. MacDonald. I wrote a book after all.

3. Who helped you in writing the book and please say about their contributions?

I can’t talk about putting this book together without talking about Steven, my “imagination buddy for life”, as we call it, the man whose brain was critical in incubating so many of these characters that I took and evolved to fit in a novel. He’s an oracular storyteller and ran the tabletop role playing game that gave rise to the basic ideas of Raven Song, me and another player creating the characters, several of which made it to the book in some form. Steven, however, first conceived Anna, her steadfastness, her persistent hope and bravery in the face of things she couldn’t explain. And no spoilers, but he also first developed two of the series’ primary villains, who I always found both insidious and strikingly unique. As I chopped it all up and rearranged it all into a new imagining, if I had an idea, I bounced it off Steven, and we built the fundamentals together. In the end, he was very surprised at the direction the book took and the new developments I introduced, but it was high praise indeed to find he still thought me true to the core of these people we’d grown to love.

4. How is your book going to inspire the readers?

I want the readers to find themselves in these characters. I want them to feel their hopes and fears on a primal level, to experience finding light in the darkness and the resolve to continue on when all else seems against them. I want people to see the humanity in all they encounter, even in the most lost and sinister of us. Most of all, I want people to look at the world in a different way when the series ends… perhaps I may be overly ambitious for a little fantasy series, especially as a debut author! But I will try.

5. If you are given the chance to change one thing in your book what would it be?

Hmmm. I wish I’d done more to make the diversity of the cast more apparent from square one; you really are just getting the tip of the iceberg, and I think many readers won’t quite realize its extent just yet. One thing about Raven Song is that, like New York City itself, it’s filled with people from all walks of life, many different mental wirings and heritages and inclinations. And, though the beginnings have been set to present these backgrounds, there’s so much more there. It does drive the characters, and does drive the history of why New York is as it is in 2147. I hope readers will forgive me for waiting until the second or third books to dig into it.

6. How do you find time to write and which part of the day is best for writing for you?

This is a hard one… I think I gave up on finding time a long while ago. I work a full-time job, one that sometimes bleeds into overtime. I take care of an apartment, cats, errands, etc. Life, like water, will expand to fill whatever container you give it; in this case, it will expand to take up all of your time, full stop. I have to aggressively beat back my commitments with a stick and carve out defiant little writing blocks if I hope to get anything done at all—the incentive being that if I don’t, I’ll just be disappointed and restless. Sometimes making time means being awake in the wee hours of the morning because my best ideas seem to happen before work. Ahh, that sleepy adrenaline that comes at 4 AM because your brain has finished processing That One Scene That’s Giving You Crap. Sometimes, though, other tasks and chores don’t get done because I need to write. Sometimes I drift out of contact with people for weeks while I’m on a really good writing kick. But one must honour the writing itch if you have it, and steal time where you must.

7. Which books have inspired you the most, in the journey of writing this book?

I could talk forever about books I’ve found inspiring and influential to me as a writer, but during the actual writing of the book itself, I actually found myself most driven by a book called The Bonerunners by Karen Turkal. It’s a fantasy, a little more YA-driven than what I do, but it’s dark and strange, which is akin to my style indeed. Karen and I have very dissimilar approaches in some ways, but I had the pleasure of being one of the writers to see her manuscript in a very raw form and offer feedback. Seeing her take that and polish, polish, polish, seeing someone else slowly getting their work to that place she wanted it to be—it helped me carry on sometimes when I didn’t get what was missing in my work that would make it compare to the authors I loved. The final form you see many books in, the things that inspire you… they had so many hours of perfecting poured into them, heart and soul, and being reminded of that can be all one needs when you’re discouraged with where a draft is in the here and now. Karen’s work pushed me to finish mine, and that’s about as inspiring as one can get.

8. What is the best advice, you would give for writers who are trying to write a book?

Like I mentioned when discussing “how do you find time?”: MAKE TIME. Do it. Beat life back with a stick where you can. Show up even when you don’t feel like it. When I don’t feel inspired, I feel like everything I write is laborious and hard-won, and on top of that, isn’t good at all. But after I come back to it after a little while, that’s not only 1000 or so words I didn’t have before, but with a little TLC, there’s actually some hidden gems in it. I suspect there’s no such thing as finishing a book you’ve only penned when you feel inspired, unless you feel like you have a few decades on your hands to do it all. 90% of Raven Song wasn’t written when I was feeling the muse at first. And your book will probably be the same! But if you show up every day and try regardless, I believe you will get it done. I believe in you.

9. What is the source of your positivity and ‘tips for life’?

Positivity is different for everyone, but what works for me is making sure I keep no-pressure hobbies that I can use to scratch the creative itch in lieu of writing if I need to. Writing is fun and awesome, but when you commit to a book, and then a next one, and then deadlines… it can be really hard to move from “just for fun” to “work”. No-pressure hobbies have no deadlines, no commitments, nothing to make you anxious. I do tabletop gaming, creating more characters and worlds and experimenting with them. I also play video games. When I hit a rough patch in writing, it helps me recharge in a relaxed setting, because goodness knows, if I only had my day job to fill that void, I’d never be recharged again. Also, I’ve had to learn not to be so hard on myself, which… is not easy. It’s a fine line, but if you can: hold your work to a high standard, but don’t let that turn into negativity against yourself as a creator.

10.  What can we expect from you in the future?

So much! I’ve got the sequel to Raven Song in the late stages of the drafting cycle. I’ve got the third book in the early stages, and a fourth in outlining. I also have a standalone novel in the planning stages, a sort of wry heaven/hell comedy. And short stories! Free short stories are going to be sent out to those that sign up for my mailing list at ia-ashcroft.com. Check it out!


‘Aware that this is just the first book in the series and I am hooked and will read on, however as a standalone book it would still make a fantastic read.’ ~ Mark on Goodreads

‘A good urban fantasy with well-developed characters and a grim and complex setting. I would recommend.’ ~ Dannica Zulestin on Goodreads

‘Ashcroft has a brilliant imagination coupled with an eloquent writing style that draws the reader in, makes us feel a wide array of emotions, and holds us captivated to the very end. I anxiously await the next volume in this series.’ ~ K. McCaslin on Amazon

‘I usually think endings are the worst part of most books, hard to wrap up into a logical and solid ending, this book did well at it I was satisfied but very much looking forward to the next book.’ ~ taruofatlantis on Amazon

‘The narration by Mikael Naramore was good. He was able to capture the voices of the characters well, especially the manic Tony. In general the characters were distinguishable and the voicing gave life to each of them. The production quality was good as well.’ ~ Poonam on AudioBook Reviewer.

Author Bio:
I. A. Ashcroft has been writing fiction in many forms for almost twenty years. The author's first book, written at age seven, featured the family cat hunting an evil sorceress alongside dragons and eagles. This preoccupation with the fantastical has not changed in the slightest.

Now, the author dwells in Phoenix, AZ alongside a wonderful tale-spinner and two increasingly deranged cats. Ashcroft writes almost exclusively in the realm of darker fantasy these days, loving to entertain adults with stories of magic, wonder, despair, violence, and hope, bringing a deep love of mythology into every tale penned. The author also loves diverse and intriguing casts of characters.

When not buried in a book, one might find Ashcroft learning languages, charting road trips, and playing tabletop RPGs with clever and fun people.

Contact the Author:

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Book Review of The Blessing of Movement

Book Blurb:

Sandra. Fearless, headstrong, and dominant, her personality sets the stage for a family dynamic that will affect all members for the rest of their lives, the youngest sister most of all. The complex relationship between these two sisters spans over forty years of events and results in a final act of redemption, restoration, and forgiveness. The story demonstrates how one can flourish despite circumstances and motivates the reader to live their best life every day. It is a story of family, growth, and the overwhelmingly powerful impact of unconditional love.

Read more about the book at Online Book Club

My thoughts

Life can be daunting at times and these tough times will change the way you look at life. It can shatter you into pieces and at the same time can help you in learning the lessons of life.

The author has detailed various aspects of life in an enchanting way that only a few can do justice to. And the way she has portrayed the circumstances at hand is heart wrenching and inspiring at the same time. There are moments in the story that will make you feel bad and sick. You will be left with the thought,
“Why God do you make it so difficult?”

The story begins with the author's sister Sandra smile, on a wheel chair, which is worth a thousand dollars. The story describes the lifestyle of the author's family and mostly revolves around the protagonist of the Sandra and how her behavior impacts people around her. The life of Sandra is the inspiration behind the book.

Deborah and her family were black and lived in a period of racial discrimination but were mostly able to live a happy life. The author describes how her elder sisters were jealous of her when she was born and had the feeling that the love of parents may diminish with the addition of new member of the family.

As you flip through the pages you will face the hard reality of the protagonist who is paralyzed in her mid twenties after she was shot by a bullet. Though she survived the bullet but the saddening truth was that she had to be bed ridden throughout her life. The author describes every part of their lives in detail and how things have happened in the due course of life.

There were circumstances in the story where I could feel that I can no longer read the tough times, the author was facing. Sandra was quadriplegic, which means she had no control on both hands and legs.

Had this not been enough she was facing charges for burglary and for stealing a credit card she did before her paralysis and was taken to the court being tied to a cruiser. It must have been heart wrenching for a mother to see her child in such a situation. In the latter part of her life she was diagnosed with cancer and had to go through complete mastectomy.

This made me cry and I dared a tear to trickle down my eyes. I couldn't have stopped it though!

Even though going through so much in her life the author says Sandra had never asked God, “Why me?” Had I been in her situation I would have broken down and as opposed to her will power would have asked God “Why me.”

Again what made me sad even more when at a particular situation the had described that Sandra had gifts for her but was eagerly waiting for someone to open it for her.

But her will power to survive and to face the hard realities of life makes her a hero, one with an undying spirit.

It is an ultimate book on self realization shown through ones life story.