Friday, January 20, 2017

Blog Tour: Book Teaser + Giveaway- Journey to the Rift by Cathi Shaw

Journey to the Rift
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: November 3rd 2016
Ink Smith Publishing

Summary for Goodreads:

A dangerous quest into a forbidden land wasn’t exactly what BrijitCarnesîr was planning after her graduation from the Academy. For years she has looked forward starting her life as a member of the Coimirceoirí and she is thrilled to discover that she has been chosen as the Academy Apprentice of her year. But despite the fact that she has been longing to go to Séreméla and work with the Elders, it soon becomes apparent that her fate isn’t as rosy as it appears to be. First, she is paired up with a grumpy male apprentice from Stone Mountain, WeylonForborrow. Second, it doesn’t take her long to discover that the Elders are not taking her to Séreméla, as tradition dictates. Instead, Weylon and her are sent to The Rift, a dead land tainted with evil. Even before they join the Elder royalty at Tèarmann, an ancient fortress on the cusp of the Rift, Brijit discovers that the Elders are hiding too many things. She is given the task of helping the Princess in birthing the long awaited Queen of the Elders but nothing is as it seems. There is talk of an old and forgotten Prophecy, Weylon is attacked by a creature from the Rift and her grandmother is killed, after revealing a secret that rocks everything Brijit knows about her past. Soon Brijit questions everything she had been led to believe and, worse, she realizes that the future of Séreméla and all of Five Corners is in jeopardy, unless she can find a way to save it!   

Buy Links:

Book Teaser:

Brijit Carnesîr is the Chosen female Coimirceoirí of her year. It is something she has been dreaming about for the last six years. But her dreams didn’t include Elder secrets, dying forests and an oozing evil that threatens the very existence of Five Corners. The answers lie in an untranslatable Prophecy that the Elders control. And Brijit, along with her Coimirceoirí partner, Weylon, are left searching for answers from the very people whom they are supposed to be protecting. 

About the Author:

Cathi Shaw lives in Summerland, BC with her husband and three children. She is often found wandering around her home, muttering in a seemingly incoherent manner, particularly when her characters have embarked on new adventure. In addition to writing fiction, she is the co-author of the textbook Writing Today and the true story, Surviving Logan.

Author Links:


Blog Tour Organized by:

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Review- Secrets, Sins & Struggles by Kamini Kusum

Secrets, Sins & Struggles on Goodreads


A collection of five tales,Secrets,Sins & Struggles is about the lives and loves of five women, tracing their long, eventful journeys that are anything but linear. 

Meet Pooja, a teenager forced into the flesh trade but determined to escape and get justice. Shrawani who dreams of becoming a bureaucrat despite all the trials life throws her way. Avni who is torn between her childhood friend and her brand-new boyfriend. Harsha who is trapped in a loveless arranged marriage while still being haunted by thoughts of her forsaken lover. Geshna who falls head over heels for a high school sweetheart only to find her own life shrinking to accommodate his. 

These stories are about the odds stacked against women in their path to love and success.They are also about hope that the next turn will lead to the happiness and success they all long for.

Release date: November 10th 2016
Published by: Zorba Books 
Page numbers: 224 


Author Kamini Kusum's Secrets, Sins & Struggles is a compilation of five contemporary short stories about women who face many hardships and even then manage to get up from it and live their life. Because every story is very different, here are reviews of each of them:

Brothel to Assembly- This was the best story of the entire collection. I only wish it featured at the very end instead of at the very beginning because while the other stories were super good, this one increased my expectations which weren't necessarily met. The story of a simple, intelligent and strong girl, Brothel to Assembly tells the very hard-hitting and sad but truly amazing and inspiring story of Pooja, who, as the title suggests, gets to the assembly from a brothel only because of her determination and courage. This story is honestly amazing.

Love, Corporate and Custody- This was a rather typically romantic story of Geshna who is madly in love with Nihal and will do whatever it takes- and that includes putting aside and shattering her own dreams and goals- to be with him and make him happy. I found this story to be interesting, yes, but when I got to the end of it, it seemed very mediocre in terms of the plot itself. For the life of me, I couldn't understand why Geshna needed a man like Nihal when she had the amazing and unending support of her doting and wonderful parents. Nonetheless, Love, Corporate and Custody was a nice, subtle and refreshing read after the first story which was a heavy read.

Madam Bureaucrat- Now I found Madam Bureaucrat to be very similar to Love, Corporate and Custody and that was slightly disappointing. Both are stories of girls who keep aside and even give up their dreams to please the man they think they love. I did, however, love reading about the glimpse this story gave me into the world of bureaucracy and the hardships people undergo to become an IAS officer; that part was informative and enjoyable to read about. Shrawani's character was admirable, yes, but for someone as smart as her, I was hoping she'd do more than just give into something so easily.

Sin- Coming to Sin, the fourth and second last story of the collection, it was a very filmy story which was nice all right, but for a contemporary women-centric collection, I didn't get why it focused so much on the very conventional role of a woman which really put me off. Besides, I couldn't manage to stand- let alone like- the main protagonist Harsha, whose character was really hard to accept. The highlight of this story was Snehil who was such a wonderful person with a heart of gold and clearly gave Harsha the treatment she didn't deserve. Quite an eye-opener to the reality of today probably, I couldn't stand Harsha which made this a very disappointing and okay read for me.

That Rave Party Night- This story was very informative and well-written and the plot was really good too. Again, I did have some problems with the characters, but I could definitely oversee it because this was just well made, which means the book ended on a good note. Avni was the main character in this story and what she went through was horrible but I admired how she stood up to herself and made sure justice was served. This was a good story.

All in all, Secrets, Sins & Struggles was a mix because it did start and end with two realistic, raw and extremely strong and inspiring stories. The stories in the middle were just about okay. I would definitely recommend this book because it has some really good stories and when you combine that with author Kamini Kusum's simple and smooth writing, it makes for a great collection to read over a nice, long weekend or for feminist research and to understand the condition and situation of women in India. 

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by author Kamini Kusum in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.

Buy the book: AMAZON (IN) / FLIPKART

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Excerpt Reveal + Giveaway- Love Story by Lauren Layne

Over the course of one wild road trip, 
feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love.

a Love Unexpectedly novel
Lauren Layne
Releasing February 14th, 2017

Over the course of one wild road trip, feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love in this charming rom-com—a standalone novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Good Girl.

When Lucy Hawkins receives a job offer in San Francisco, she can’t wait to spread her wings and leave her small Virginia hometown behind. Her close-knit family supports her as best they can, by handing over the keys to a station wagon that’s seen better days. The catch? The cross-country trip comes with a traveling companion: her older brother’s best friend, aka the guy who took Lucy’s virginity hours before breaking her heart.

After spending the past four years and every last dime caring for his sick father, Reece Sullivan will do just about anything to break free of the painful memories—even if it means a two-week road trip with the one girl who’s ever made it past his carefully guarded exterior. But after long days of bickering in the car turn into steamy nights in secluded motel rooms, Reece learns that, when it comes to Lucy, their story is far from over. And this time, they just might have a shot at a happy ending.

Although listed as a title in the Love Unexpectedly Series, all books in the series stand alone.

“Spock, we’re giving you Horny!” my mom blurts out, apparently fed up with my denseness.

Her utterance is too much for my siblings to handle and they both burst out laughing, retreating into the kitchen to rejoin the party where there’s wine.

Oh what I wouldn’t give for wine right now.

“I, um . . . you’re giving me the car?” I ask.

“Because yours broke down,” my dad explains, walking forward to thump Horny’s dented hood.

“And this one’s . . . not broken down?” I ask skeptically.

Look, it’s not that I’m not grateful. My parents are trying to give me a car, I appreciate the sweetness of the gesture, it’s just . . .

Here’s the thing about Horny: he barely got us three kids through high school. I mean, Horny is the car that sputtered and shook making it the 3.2 miles to Jefferson High, no matter who was behind the wheel.

I’m even going to come all the way clean here and say that early on in my freshmen year, I was embarrassed showing up in Horny. Then I realized I was lucky to have a car at all, and well . . . I dunno, I guess Horny became a part of us Hawkins kids’ charm, because the station wagon was practically an institution from Craig’s high school reign all the way through Brandi’s.

But poor Horny quit working years ago. Much to Brandi’s chagrin, he gave up the ghost a mere two months before her high school graduation, and she spent the last bit of her senior year being picked up by my parents.

“He’s going to take you to California,” Dad says, giving the car another thump.

“Really?” I step forward and run a tentative finger along the familiar panel. He’s had a bath, so at least that’s something. “Because last I knew, he wouldn’t even make it out of the garage.”

“Yeah, well, we neglected him for a while, but he’s right as rain now,” Dad says, puffing out his chest as though Horny’s a fourth child.

“Like, as in he actually starts?”

“Purrs like a kitten,” my mom says with an emphatic nod, even though I know she doesn’t even like cats. “We didn’t believe it, but we took him to church on Sunday and there were no issues.”

I literally bite my tongue to keep from pointing out that this is hardly a feat. Sacred Presbyterian is 0.8 miles away from the house.

“You took Horny into a shop?” I ask, starting to warm to the idea of having a car again. I’m a little touched, actually. Money is tight for my parents. Dad’s a PE teacher, and Mom gives a mean winery tour, but the gig’s never paid much.

“Not exactly, it was more of a bartering situation,” Mom says.

“Yeah?” I say, going around to the driver’s seat, already giddy with the prospect of telling Oscar I’ll be able to come see him in Miami after all, even if I won’t exactly be riding in style.

“Reece agreed to fix him up.”

I’m lowering myself into the car as my dad says this, but I reverse so quickly I hit my head. My skull doesn’t even register the pain, because I’m too busy registering the hurt in my heart at the familiar name. “I’m sorry, what?”

“Reece,” my mom says, giving me a bemused look. “He’s always been handy with cars.”

“He fixed up the car in exchange for what?”

And then I feel—I actually feel—the air change around me as the side door to the garage opens, and a new presence sucks all the air out of the space.

I don’t turn around. I don’t move. But I feel his eyes on me. Over me.

“Reece is headed out to California too,” my oblivious mother chatters on. “It worked out perfectly actually. Now you two can ride together, and your dad and I don’t have to worry about you alone in the middle of nowhere with a twenty-something-year-old car.

They think the car is going to be the problem here? It’s not the car that’s toxic to me. It’s him.

Reece Sullivan. My brother’s best friend. My parents’ “other son.”

Slowly I force myself to turn, and even though I’m prepped, the force of that ice-blue gaze still does something dangerous to me.

He winks, quick and cocky, and I suck in a breath, and I have to wonder . . .

I wonder if my parents would feel differently about their little plan if they knew that their makeshift mechanic is the same guy that popped my cherry six years earlier under their very roof.

And then broke my heart twenty-four hours later.

Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart--cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.

In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Review- Off the Rails by Jill Sorenson


A dedicated American agent risks everything for a forbidden beauty in this sensual, turbo-charged follow-up to Caught in the Act.

Four years ago, when Ian Foster was working as a border patrol agent, he rescued an eighteen-year-old Mexican girl who’d been left for dead. He never forgot the gorgeous, resilient Maria Santos. Now Ian is an undercover ICE agent on the trail of a ruthless criminal with an intriguing connection: Maria. She holds the only clue to the man’s whereabouts. And Ian is tasked with crossing the border to find her.

Maria has always carried a torch for Ian, the handsome American who saved her life. When he shows up in her hometown, the attraction between them ignites. His intense gaze sets her blood on fire. But Maria is in serious danger. She owes a favor to a drug lord, and soon she’s caught in the crosshairs of a treacherous takedown operation. Once more, Ian’s her sole hope of survival—and his sizzling touch rekindles a passion that goes beyond borders

Release date: December 13th, 2016
Published by: Loveswept
Page numbers: 262


The only reason I first got curious about Off the Rails was because of the cover. The gorgeous cover lead me to reading the summary which sounded interesting enough. Jill Sorenson is not an author I've read before but I'm always up for discovering new authors so I thought I'd give it a try. I'm just going to come out and say this, I was disappointed with Off the Rails. It was a very average read and I struggled a bit to actually finish it.

Okay so let's start with our hero, Ian. Ian is a border patrol agent and a few years ago he had rescued a young girl. They shared a connection and he hasn't been able to forget her even after years. But they both know that anything solid between them is impossible. Now I usually do really like second chance romances but this one lacked something. Ian was a nice guy. He wanted to secure his job and career while trying not to get distracted.

Our heroine is Maria. Maria was a sweet girl. She was determined to make the best out of her circumstances. She wanted to take care of he family and she was willing to do anything for it. Her attraction towards Ian was easy to see and her feelings for him were genuine. 

Off the Rails is more of a romantic suspense book, so while there was romance it definitely took a back seat at times. I didn't mind that. The whole book follows a third person point of view. Ian is trying to rescue and find the daughter of a drug lord while Maria is trying to save her brother. What I did get bored with was during the sub plot. It didn't matter to me and I wanted to get back to Ian and Maria's point of view. There was definitely some action and loads of danger thrown in parts. 

I didn't find Jill Sorenson's writing as engaging. It didn't keep me hooked to the book till the end. I wasn't as invested in Maria and Ian's story as I wanted to be. Some parts I liked and some parts I just wanted to get over with. Overall Off the Rails was a very average read for me and I'm not sure if I will be picking up anything else by this author anytime soon.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by the author/publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Release Day Blitz- Egomaniac by Vi Keekland


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00072]

The night I met Drew Jagger, he’d just broken into my new Park Avenue office. I dialed 9-1-1 before proceeding to attack him with my fancy new Krav Maga skills. He quickly restrained me, then chuckled, finding my attempted assault amusing.

Of course, my intruder had to be arrogant. Only, turned out, he wasn’t an intruder at all.

Drew was the rightful occupant of my new office. He’d been on vacation while his posh space was renovated. Which was how a scammer got away with leasing me office space that wasn’t really available for rent. I was swindled out of ten grand.

The next day, after hours at the police station, Drew took pity on me and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. In exchange for answering his phones while his secretary was out, he’d let me stay until I found a new place. I probably should have acted grateful and kept my mouth shut when I overheard the advice he was spewing to his clients. But I couldn’t help giving him a piece of my mind. I never expected my body to react every time we argued. Especially when that was all we seemed to be able to do.

The two of us were complete opposites. Drew was a bitter, angry, gorgeous-as-all-hell, destroyer of relationships. And my job was to help people save their marriages. The only thing the two of us had in common was the space we were sharing. And an attraction that was getting harder to deny by the day.

Available for Pre-order on iBooks, B&N, Google Play, and Kobo now!





 Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author. With more than a million books sold, her titles have appeared in over fifty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twelve languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.   

Friday, January 13, 2017

Feature & Follow Friday #72

Feature and Follow is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.

This week's prompt is: ( I actually opted for last week's prompt)

What is your most anticipated book of 2017?

I am dying for this book! Be here already, please! 

Don't forget to link me to your post and I'll definitely follow you back! 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Review- These Circuses That Sweep Through the Landscapes by Tejaswini Apte-Rahm

These Circuses That Sweep Through the Landscapes on Goodreads


A fanatical collector of beetles finds out too late where his passion has led him. A woman out on a shopping spree in a glitzy mall finds she can’t go home again. A servant girl experiences a cruel loss of innocence when she eats something that wasn’t meant for her. In the sweltering heat of Bombay, a schoolgirl finds the ground slipping beneath her feet except when she’s watching Star Trek. Four friends meet for drinks one evening, only to find that their friendship is not what it seems. And, in the extraordinary title story, a student who has worshipped his teacher for decades comes to a terrible realization about him. Meanwhile, his old mentor is planning a cunning legacy of his own.

Release date: December 10th 2016
Published by: Aleph Book Company
Page numbers: 168


If there's one thing that's absolutely flawless and meticulous about These Circuses That Sweep Through the Landscapes, it's the writing. Author Tejaswini Apte-Rahm's writing is so crisp, precise and completely amazing, that it made the book unputdownable. The writing reminded me so much of Meghna Pant, who is one of my favourite Indian writers, so that's commendable.

These Circuses That Sweep Through the Landscapes has a total of ten short stories, that are each different from the other and take up an interesting subject. So in one book itself, we go from Star Trek to the mall to Dean Martin to homosexuality to teacher-student and servent-master relationships and what not. As a collection, this was very interesting and versatile because there is something for every taste and there's to bound to be a story that will stay with the reader long after putting the book down.

Short stories can be tricky because they leave you wanting more and can end up being incomprehensible because not everything can be explained in a few pages. For me, this collection was an exact 50-50 split between stories I liked and those I didn't really get. Of the ten, five stories really stood out for me as they were relatable and very well made. They were: The Mall, The Girl Who Loved Dean Martin, The House on the Hill, Sandalwood and Mili; these were wonderful, but of them all, Sandalwood is the one that I liked the most.

Overall, These Circuses That Sweep Through the Landscapes is definitely worth a try because of the- and I repeat myself for the 100th time here- beautiful writing and the very detailed and precise story-telling. I would definitely recommend this book because there's something for everyone. Give it a go over the weekend or something because you're bound to have a good time exploring this one.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by Aleph Book Company in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.

Buy the book: AMAZON (IN)