Saturday, November 28, 2015

Masq Tours #SwordBlast: The Sword of Demelza & The Gift of Sunderland by J. E. Rogers

They must storm Fortress Demelza, and bring an end to the reign of the King...
Publication Date: April 2014
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Series: Australian Fantasy Adventures

In the forests of Sunderland, a King has gained control of a powerful sword. He wields this sword with evil intent and anger. All of the creatures in the land fear him, and many have been imprisoned for speaking out against him.

It will take a rag-tag band of creatures, some natural enemies, to come together. They must storm Fortress Demelza, and bring an end to the reign of the King.

Publication Date: February 2015
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Series: Australian Fantasy Adventures

A rift has been created in the Ayers’ lineage. Roland Ayers, Guardian of the Forest, knows that he must obey the voices of past Guardians and declare the next in line. When the announcement is made, two estranged brothers will be torn further apart, causing the Forest to rise from its long sleep.

Follow Fergal, Waylond, and the rest of our heroes as they trek across Sunderland to the depths of Mt. Olga where evil dwells. It’s there they will discover the importance of family and friendship!

Jeanne E. Rogers is the author of The Sword of Demelza, and The Gift of Sunderland.  Both are multi-award winning self-published middle grade fantasies, which introduce readers to endangered animals of Australia via a fast-paced epic tale of adventure. 

Always a lover of reading and writing, Jeanne decided to combine her love of writing, her concern for the environment and her dedication to promoting the need to protect wildlife, into a new career. Thus, the Australian Fantasy Adventures were born. 

A graduate of Western Connecticut State University, Jeanne can be found on all social media channels. She is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, Association of Independent Authors, APSS, IBPA, Alli, and SCBWI.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

b00k r3vi3w Tour: Seeking Redemption by Madhu Vajpayee

We would like to welcome Dr. Madhu Vajpayee to our tell-all couch as we tossed her a question from our hat. The floor is yours, Dr. Vajpayee.

What was the motivation/inspiration/idea behind this particular novel?
To put it honestly, this particular novel was born at one of the lowest moments of my life. Any crisis in life is also an opportunity to know an indestructible part of you hitherto unknown to you. Incidentally a professional crisis in my life that almost changed the course of my life including my relocation to a foreign land, forced me pen down the things that was until now remain buried in life’s ongoing drama. For me, this was one such opportunities. 
Instead of losing myself in confusion and dilemma, I tried to channelize my energy into something that I always loved but never got enough time to pursue. And the book Seeking Redemption happened. As a doctor working in a medical institute, for a long time I was witness to the difficulties faced by the youth in education and jobs because of the caste based reservation. I also observed how corruption is slowly destroying the medical system of the community. 
I felt like highlighting these issues, albeit in a fiction form. However, I had to have it weaved around a love story with characters from the different caste and backgrounds. Firstly, because I enjoy writing about love and all the overflowing emotions associated with it. Secondly, because my idea was to give the message that although the narrative is against the caste based reservation but not against any caste for humanity is bigger than anything else. 
And the heroine of my book, Dr. Meera was born in those very corridors of hospital where I spent best parts of my life. Although the story of her journey, specific events of her life, problems faced by her was not exactly mine but her principles, belief and faith are mine. I saw myself in her dilemmas, in her pain, in her loss, in her triumph against her own demons

Book Blurb:

Story of a girl Meera, who is unwittingly drawn into a conflict from where she finds it difficult to emerge unscathed. It's her journey from being a simple, medical graduate belonging to a middle class family to the uncharted territories of corruption and caste based politics. Her path is crossed by the two men, both compelling yet completely contrasting characters, who are forever going to change her life. If it is Aman who can challenge her ideals and defy her resolves, and makes her the person she finally becomes, it is Abhay's sublime love which enables her to go through the vicissitudes of life. It's also the story of her loss as well as triumph against her own demons to find her true self.

Buy a Copy from Amazon

About the Author:
Dr.Madhu Vajpayee- the writer was born somewhere in those hospital corridors where she has spent the last two decades of her life. Witnessing life at such close quarters pushed her to capture its enigma in her words and slowly it became her passion. After writing several scientific papers and chapters in books, this book is her first step in literary world.

Having done her graduation, MBBS from King Georges Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow she went ahead to pursue her post-graduation, MD from AIIMS, New Delhi. She was a consultant at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi having been associated with management of patients living with HIV/AIDS. She is now settled in Melbourne, Australia with her family, where she is devoting most of her time to writing, the passion that she couldn’t pursue earlier because of the demands of medical profession and commitment it requires.

When not creating stories, Madhu enjoys reading and travelling.

Reviews for the Book:

It was a perfect book and can motivate one. ~ Nidhi Author on Goodreads

Wonder full book.Clearly highlights the current problems faced in India as a result of reservation! ~ Nikhil Dave on Goodreads

It is one of the amazing fiction I have read in the near past. Highly recommended. Cocktail of Corruption, politics and love. ~ Akshay_Tripathi on Amazon

What Madhu does well with this story is to highlight many factors that need change. She brings out facets like reservation. She talks about the more rigid mindset of an Indian family ~ Vinay Leo @ Booworm's Musings

Contact the Author:

Check out the Tour Stops:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Masq Tours #BestBlast: Best in Show by Maria Grazia

Add a Matchmaker to the Stars, a temperamental Italian chef and the usual menagerie of people and pets...
Publication Date: October 22, 2015
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Mina's Adventures #6

Mina Calvi, Italian transplant to Southern California, thinks her love life might finally come together, just as her professional life has. Her Furry Friends Foundation, a no-kill shelter for rescued cats and dogs, is a success, and Mina hopes she may find a loving forever home for her-self, in the arms of Diego Moran, her elusive, frustratingly mysterious, on again-off again, lover.

When a seemingly innocent night out with friends lands Mina in a hospital bed and Diego undercover, and not the covers Mina wants him to be under, Mina has to draw on all her new-found maturity, and all her supportive friends for strength.

Meanwhile, a Best in Show cat takes up residence at the Ritzy Cats B&B, Mina’s other venture, setting Mina on the trail of a suspicious character who might not have the cat's best interests at heart.

Add a Matchmaker to the Stars, a temperamental Italian chef and the usual menagerie of people and pets, stir it all up and you have an entertaining, hard to put down romantic tale of suspense.

National Bestselling author Maria Grazia Swan was born in Italy, but this rolling stone has definitely gathered no moss. She lived in Belgium, France, Germany, in beautiful Orange County, California where she raised her family, and is currently at home in Phoenix, Arizona--but stay tuned for weekly updates of Where in the World is Maria Grazia Swan?

Maria loves travel, opera, good books, hiking, and intelligent movies (if she can find one, that is). When asked about her idea of a perfect evening, she favors stimulating conversation, Northern Italian food and perfectly chilled Prosecco--but then, who doesn't?

Website  |  Facebook  | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

Monday, November 16, 2015

Masq Tours #ExileReveal: Exile @Author_NikkiMC

Betrayed by ally and by love, stranded by uncontrollable magic, Yiloch struggles...

Publication Date: December 11, 2015
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Series: Forbidden Things, Book Two

Yiloch, the newly crowned Emperor of Lyra, stands accused of arranging the assassination of the Caithin royal family. Torn between love for Yiloch and her close ties with the royal family, Indigo wants nothing more than to prove the accusation false, but the evidence puts the blood of the family on his hands.

Trying to protect the Lyran prince from the swift descent of Caithin justice, Indigo exposes the workings of an enemy who is willing to kill to protect his secrets. In desperation, she unleashes magic that sends Yiloch deep into the desert of Kudan before fleeing for her life. She must find him again to save his life as well as her own.

Betrayed by ally and by love, stranded by uncontrollable magic, Yiloch struggles to make his way back to the Lyran capital before Caithin can declare war, but standing between him and his empire is a lethal new enemy, wielding magic unlike anything his people have faced before.

First book in the Forbidden Things series...

Nikki lives in the magnificent Pacific Northwest with her husband, two horses, two cats, and one slightly crazy dog. She feeds her imagination by sitting on the ocean in her kayak gazing out across the never-ending water or hanging from a rope in a cave, embraced by darkness and the sound of dripping water. She finds peace through practicing iaido or shooting her longbow.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads | Pinterest | Google+

Tour & Giveaway: Treasure

  Treasure 2015 revert front only 
Treasure by S. Smith It’s 2077. There’s no apocalypse, but some things are different. Things like the weather, the internet, and food. In twelve-year-old Clare’s world, blueberry is just a flavor and apples are found only in fairy tales. One day Clare meets Ana, who teaches her about seeds and real food, despite suspicions that such actions are illegal. When the authorities discover the children’s forbidden tomato plant and arrest their mother, Clare and her brother flee. Clare has heard of a place called "The Garden State," and with their bikes, a little money, and backpacks, the children begin a lonely cross-country journey that tests them both physically and spiritually. Will they succeed in their quest to find a place of food freedom? And can they, only children, help change the world?

Download your FREE copy of Treasure

Excerpt Clare walked faster, clutching the tiny packet to her chest. The sound of the footsteps behind kept pace. She darted down an alley she knew well—turning right, then left, then right again. Standing still, her back against the wall, she listened. The footsteps had not followed her; she had lost them. Twenty minutes later and safe in the apartment, she met with her co-conspirators: Dante, her seven-year-old brother, and Lily, her best friend.

“I have something to show you, but you have to promise not to tell.”

“We promise.”

Holding out her closed fist, she whispered, “What I have here will change the world.”

Dante’s eyes widened. “It’s so small.”

“It may be small now,” she told him, “but what I have in my hand will get bigger. It will grow and make more.”

“What is it?” Lily asked. “Is it magic?” asked Dante. She opened her hand.

  add to goodreads 

Praise for Seed Savers 

“I haven't been this in love with an individual young adult book since Lois Lowry's The Giver... 221 pages of exciting young adult goodness! I devoured it, and it was delicious." -Anakalian Whims Book Blog 

“Here's a great piece of "juvenile" literature that doesn't lose sight of one key fact: kids can think.”- Lit Prof, Amazon Reviewer 

“I highly recommend this book for tweens and teens who enjoy reading the dystopian genre and who are looking for a non-violent and thought-provoking story.” - Renee at Mother Daughter Book Reviews


S Smith

Author S. Smith S. Smith grew up on a farm with a tremendously large garden. She maintains that if you can’t taste the soil on a carrot, it’s not fresh enough. As an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher, Ms. Smith has enjoyed teaching students from around the world. Smith is a member ALLi (The Alliance of Independent Authors) and saves seeds for her local seed bank. She gardens and writes at her home in the beautiful and green Pacific Northwest where she lives with her husband, two children, and two cats.

$25 Blog Tour giveaway   
Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/4/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Blast & Giveaway: A.L. Sowards' World War II Espionage trilogy

A.L. Sowards' World War II Espionage Trilogy Veteran's Day eBook Sale
Espionage (Book 1): France, 1944: Nobody expects Peter Eddy to survive his first commando mission—to retrieve a code book stolen by the Nazis—so when he does come back alive, his success is rewarded with an even more daunting assignment. Partnered with French Resistance leader Jacques Olivier, Peter must identify which of three Allied contacts in Calais is a double agent and use the traitor to help implement a strategic Allied diversion that might win the war. Peter secretly crosses the English Channel to confront the suspects one at a time. But what appears to be a clean assignment soon turns disastrous, and even the aid of Jacques and his sister Genevieve can’t prevent a Gestapo triumph. As the Allied invasion approaches, treachery in the least likely places leads to fresh graves in the bloodied European soil—and only the power of loyalty and love can transform tragic endings into new beginnings.

sworn enemy
Sworn Enemy (Book 2): After narrowly escaping her Nazi captors, French Resistance worker Genevieve Olivier has fled to Allied territory with the help of American Lieutenant Peter Eddy. Their connection is undeniable, forged in the crucible of danger. But despite their blossoming feelings for each other, they must both finish the work they began . . . In the safety of England, Genevieve hopes to find purpose as a nurse—all the while unaware that the Gestapo still seeks the woman who slipped through their grasp. When she is called upon to resume a life of danger as a French spy, will her desire to prove herself be her downfall? Recruited by an elite special-ops team intent on thwarting the Nazis, Peter finds himself engaged in a personal battle as well—there is a traitor among his comrades. Deep in the Carpathian Mountains, Peter combats an unknown foe. The stakes are high as he fights to save the lives of his teammates. They are miles apart, yet as Genevieve and Peter fight for their own survival, they find a common well of strength in their faith—and their determination to be reunited.

deadly alliance
Deadly Alliance (Book 3): When Peter Eddy and his commando team inadvertently upset the Soviets during their most recent mission, they never imagined the diplomatic nightmares that would ensue. They have one chance to redeem themselves: tasked with destroying a bridge in Nazi-occupied Bosnia, Peter and his war-weary team reluctantly agree to drop behind enemy lines. The assignment should be a simple one—were it not for the fact that they are being deployed on a suicide mission. Genevieve Olivier is devastated by the news of Peter’s disappearance. After all they’ve endured in this war, the determined OSS worker is unwilling to simply let go of the man she hopes to spend her life with. Desperate for information, her work as a courier soon escalates into a counterintelligence duel with a Fascist assassin—and Genevieve is his newest target . . .

Praise for Espionage, Sworn Enemy, and Deadly Alliance: This historical fiction WWII series is amazing! Seriously tense action, intrigue, death-defying danger, strong characters, and even a hint of romance. Sowards really does her research and makes readers feel as if they are right in the middle of the action in different settings throughout war-torn Europe. These aren't your normal WWII books; they are much better. ~Charissa Stastny, author of the Bending Willow Trilogy

"A.L. Sowards is a master at telling sides of stories from history that aren't overdone or commonly shared. These books took me on an unexpected journey and they each brought up issues that I hadn't really thought about before. I loved learning information about this time period, while being thoroughly entertained by the events happening to some beloved characters. ~Katie, blogger at Katie’s Clean Book Collection

" A.L. Sowards has been a favorite author of mine for years. I was enraptured by the first book in her World War II series, Espionage, and fell more in love with the characters with each book. Her knowledge of World War II is unreal and the way she weaves the historical aspects in is so gripping I could hardly set these books down. I would highly recommend this series, especially if you're a fan of historical fiction. ~Cami Checketts, Author of Shadows in the Curtain

"Intrigue, horror, and romance all wrapped up in this brilliant WWII trilogy. A.L Sowards did an amazing job at bringing the time period to life for me. I highly recommend all three books in the Espionage series. ~Bookworm Lisa, blogger
  add to goodreads

AL SowardsAuthor A.L. Sowards A.L. Sowards has always been fascinated by the 1940s, but she's grateful she didn't live back then. She doesn't think she could have written a novel on a typewriter, and no one would be able to read her handwriting if she wrote her books out longhand. She does, however, think they had the right idea when they rationed nylon and women went barelegged. Sowards grew up in Moses Lake, Washington. She graduated from BYU and ended up staying in Utah, where she enjoys spending time with her husband and children or with her laptop. She does not own a typewriter. She does own several pairs of nylons. Her books are known for heart-pounding action, memorable characters, careful historical research, clean romance, and family-friendly language. Several of her novels have been Whitney Award finalists in the historical fiction category.

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/2/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 9, 2015

b00k r3vi3ws Blast: When Our Worlds Collide by Aniesha Brahma

About the Book:
Akriti has led a pretty much sheltered life. 
Zayn has been shuttled from city to city when he was growing up. 
She is comfortable watching her life from the sidelines. 
He wants to feel rooted to a place he can call ‘home’. 
They meet each other quite by chance. 
And both seize the chance to be someone they both need in their lives: 
For Zayn, it’s a 'Partner-In-Crime'. 
For Akriti, someone who just knows how to be there for her… 
When their worlds collide, 
It is not what either of them expected it to be. 
Zayn has a steady girlfriend. And Akriti has a crush on him. 
What happens when these two become friends? 
The biggest adventure of their lives? Or the road to heartbreak? 
What happens when two completely different people collide? 
Do they become friends? Or, is their friendship doomed from the start? 
'When Our Worlds Collide' is the story of two twenty-three-year olds, Who are finally growing up and finding their feet in the world. 
A tale of friendship and love, crushes and betrayals, messes and second chances, Marriage and divorce… and the elusive happily ever after! 

Book Links:
Goodreads I Amazon

Meet (Most of) the Characters of When Our Worlds Collide 

- Akriti – The 23-year-old protagonist who runs her mother’s little café. She lives a lonely existence because she is too afraid of letting people get close to her, for she fears they would leave her and cause unbearable pain.

- Zayn – He is Akriti’s ex-classmate, Nimmi’s boyfriend, who comes into her life pretty much by accident. He forces Akriti to come out of her shell, and is pretty much one of her only friends.

- Ayoub – He is a 21-year-old, who helps Akriti run the café. He likes her but knows that he shouldn’t act on those feelings…yet.

- Akriti’s Mother – In order to save Akriti from a very bitter truth, her mother alienates her from her life.

- Akriti’s Father – He had left his family for another woman when Akriti was 13 years old.

- Gia – Ayoub’s cousin, who happens to come into Akriti’s café a lot.

- Esha – Gia’s best friend. She also harbors a crazy crush on Ayoub.

- Ryan – Gia and Esha’s friend and classmate.

- Nancy – Akriti’s father’s fiancée.

- Riley – Nancy’s son from her previous marriage.

About the Author:
Aniesha Brahma knew she wanted to be a writer since she was six years old. She was schooled in Dolna Day School and went on to pursue B.A., M.A., and M.Phil in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur Univeristy. She currently lives in Kolkata, with her family and five pet cats. The Secret Proposal was her debut novel, followed by The Guitar Girl. She was a contributing author with her story The Difference, in the anthology: Voices, Old & New. When Our Worlds Collide is her third work of fiction, and first novella.

Stalk Links:

Friday, November 6, 2015

b00k r3vi3w Blast: The Faith of the Nine by Sachin Dev

~ Book Blast ~

About the Book:
The Third Yuga is slowly drawing to a close. Nam – the greatest Empire on Janani – is going to face some fierce winds of change. Seers foresee omens of death and destruction in the return of the Banished One – A God who will claim the ashes of this world as revenge. While out in the streets, rumours abound - of older forgotten powers stirring.

Caught in this maelstrom of a power struggle between Gods are three ordinary lives: General Fateh, the most celebrated soldier in Nam who starts to question his faith, Ishan – a gifted orphan who struggles to comprehend his destiny and Abhaya – a young monk in search of truths about this world. Their choices and actions will shape the destiny of this scarred world that becomes the playground for vindictive Gods.

In a world where Rakshasas arise out of left-over traces of Maaya and twilight forms the portal to countless worlds around us for Daityas and Yakshis to dance through, a God is only as powerful as those who believe.And when Gods rise, faith of men will be tested…And broken.

Buy Links:
eBook: Newshunt * Google Play

Read an Excerpt

Somewhere deep within the palace, wind chimes were ringing like crazy, deep and sonorous, like temple bells gone rogue. Bajah rushed through the dimly lit long corridors of the palace, her heart hammering inside her. If she didn’t reach her lady in time, she was doomed, and so was the child.
The child! Was it really going to be as foretold in the Apocrypha? Then again, the Book of Truths just pointed out the various branches of the future; the one branch on which they would walk wasn’t disclosed. Could she choose? Could anyone choose? She was confused and afraid. All she knew was that she had to get to Lady Anuskaya, and alone and terrified within the Confinement, she would go crazy and not be able to manage the childbirth. The thought brought chills to her mind. If the Inner Council were to know that one of the Blessed acolytes was pregnant, then they would both be executed; the acolyte and the unborn child. Nobody broke this cardinal rule. Bajah still didn’t know who the father was, but that was the last thing on her mind. She had to save her mistress, and the thought gnawed away at her soul like a flesh-worm. Would she be able to manage on her own?
The bells tolling in the distance urged her on. Her light feet pattered soundlessly, flying past the carpeted walkway. Suddenly, her balance shifted. Something snagged against her cloak, tightening up against her throat as she slipped forwards. She croaked, her helpless arms flailing and soundless screams stifled as the cloak tightened. Someone had tripped her and was trying to strangle her! The pressure suddenly let up and she slipped.
The carpeted floor slammed into the side of her face and her cloak ripped as she rolled away. A dark figure stepped out of the crevasse in the wall, the lamp in hand obscuring the face in the gloomy shadows. A falsetto voice greeted her.
“Little birdie, flitting freely, flying fast, you won’t last … so sit awhile and rest your pile.”
The lamp swung in her face, as the person squatted down and peered at her. In the dark, a pair of wolfish white teeth shone through, leering at her. She knew the voice. Cheema Okuri—a guard inside the Shikshadhaam, the House of Learning, where acolytes lived. A kill dog for his masters at the Inner Council.
“Do you like the poem? I made it … as a paean for you. Maybe I will coach the cook to sing it for your funeral, huh?” He grinned, swinging the lamp. The shadows played hide and seek on his face. “Pruksa’s blessings, little birdie, you really oughta slow down. Don’t you know, the corridors within Shikshadhaam are treacherous places? Nasty places where you slip and break your neck ... you follow, li’l birdie?”
“What do you want, Cheema?” Bajah sat up, mustering as much dignity as she could.
“What I want … ah! No time for social chit chats, I see?” He squatted down, bringing his face closer to her’s. “You seemed to be in a tearing hurry, and that set my warning bells a-tingling, Bajah Sudhanshu. You know that feeling, don’t you? When this multi-legged creature walks up and down your spine, your heart beats faster and you’re left feeling a little dry in the mouth. It’s called suspicion. And when I see birdies trying to take flight without letting me know, then somethin’ don’t add up right. Must I remind you that within the confines of the Dhaam, anything that flies, flies with just one wing, the other being busy protecting itself, lest it get shot down? Ye with me so far, li’l birdie?”
Bajah nodded, dull fear thudding through her like bellows in a forge. Did he know about the lady? Did the council suspect? Displaying an outwardly calm that she didn’t feel at all, Bajah stood up, “Cheema, you are not threatening me now, are you?”
Cheema laughed, “I always maintained that birdies oughta be caged. Nooo, li’l birdie, I am not threatening you. Charged with keeping the acolytes safe within the Dhaam, this hurried flight of yours ruffled quite a few feathers on the upper levels. I’m just a messenger, birdie. Just like you. So, now … d’ye want to tell me where ye’re flying with such haste?”
Bajah turned her back onto Cheema, making sure he didn’t see the flint of fear that sparked in her eyes. “Lady Anuskaya’s been taken sick. She wanted me to bring her the Book of Solace and fetch the Castle Vaidyas to care for her.”
“The Book? An acolyte demanded for the Book?” Cheema’s tone had an edge to it that Bajah hated, the tone twisting in her gut like a stuck knife. ‘Does this lowly guard know that the acolytes aren’t allowed to read the Book, not without one of the priests around?’ Cheema’s sharp question brought her back to the rain-lashed parapet of the castle.
“So what are you doing here? The Haveli is to the North. The gardens ought to be the easiest route to the Haveli to get the Book?”
“I have to collect the Lady’s medicines,” Bajah lied, her face taut. Cheema nodded, holding the lights over the handrails, peering out into the cold night, “Some kind of a freak windstorm whipping in from the Odhaan. You ought to keep indoors and not take this route. I will accompany you to the living quarters. Oh wait, where’s the Book?”
Bajah bit her lips, blanched white with fear. This wasn’t going good. As with the windstorm and the rain Gods, this was fast going downhill. Mists of raindrops sprayed onto her face as the winds shifted. The sky cleaved, as purplish lightning crashed and rolled across the clouds. The smell of acrid burnt ozone hung heavy on the parapet as Bajah’s heart raced. A sudden gust of wind swept across and doused the lantern lights, blanketing the corridor in complete darkness. Cheema cursed over the sounds of wind ripping through the dark hallway, the curtains near the far oaken doors billowing and flapping hard. He knelt down to light the fuse inside the lantern.
It was now or never.

About the Author:
Sachin discovered Tolkien in his teens, alternative rock as a new adult and digital marketing in pretty much his late twenties. These still form a large wedge in his circle of life. Travel, radio and theatre have also figured in that ever-expanding and diminishing circle.

On perhaps a more prosaic note, he is an engineer from BITS Pilani and holds an MBA from Indian School of Business. Attribute the love for numbers and pie-charts to this. He is currently based in Bangalore and happily married to Harini. He spends an inordinately large amount of time chasing after his two dogs (who love the free life a bit too much) when he is not busy dreaming up fantasy worlds full of monsters. And beautiful Yakshis, of course.

He can usually be found ranting on twitter under the handle @xenosach, devouring books and talking about them on his blog. You can always stalk him online at his official website

Thursday, November 5, 2015

b00k r3vi3w Blitz: Soul Warrior by Falguni Kothari

About the Book:
Twisted myths. Discretion advised. 

Fight fate, or succumb to destiny?

In the dark Age of Kali, the Soul Warrior alone stands guard over the Human Realm, protecting its denizens from evil-willed asuras or demons. When a trick of fate appoints him guru to a motley crew of godlings, he agrees to train them as demon hunters against his better judgment. Suddenly, Lord Karna is not only battling the usual asuras with sinister agendas, but also rebellious students and a fault-ridden past.

Spanning the cosmic realms of mythic India, here is a tale of a band of supernatural warriors who come together over a singular purpose: the salvation of Karna’s secret child.

Book Links:
Kobo * iBooks * Amazon US * Amazon UK * Amazon Canada

Read an Excerpt:


The Himalayan Mountains.
Five thousand years ago.

Absolute darkness shrouded the Human Realm, and had for three days and three nights. Some believed the occurrence was prophetic, like the prolonged amavasya or new moon night that had heralded the Great Kuru War two thousand years ago. The war had given birth to the dark Age of Kali, the age of asura. In contrast, hope was ripe that this event would trigger the Age of Light. But the Bard wasn’t here to succumb to superstition. 

The first day without the sun’s light had spread confusion and chaos across the realm. The second day had brought desperation in the breasts of humans and fear in the belly of Celestials. The third day—today—was a feast for the asuras. Death lay everywhere. 

The human world burned without its sun. How soon before the Heavens went up in flames?
The Bard’s troubled eyes reread the last line. Then he deliberately scratched it off, lifting his long, pointed talon from the parchment made of dry palm leaf. With a sigh, he rested his aching hand on his trembling thigh. He would spare a moment to ease his body, and his mind from the strain of observation and due recordkeeping. If he didn’t, he’d forget his duty as Witness of the Cosmos, and begin to question fate. 

Despite the fire that crackled close to his right knee, and the feathered form of his upper body, he was cold. An icy wind had settled around the Pinnacle of Pinnacles, where he sat cross-legged on a seat made of rock and snow. He’d chosen this perch because it gave him an impartial view of the events happening in the world. He was the Bard, entrusted with keeping the Canons of the Age of Kali, just as the Soul Warrior was entrusted with keeping the Human Realm safe from asuras. Would they both fail in their duty today?

The Bard shook off the heavy despair the darkness had brought into the world. He mustn’t judge. He shouldn’t question. He would sharpen the talon on his forefinger, dip it into the vessel of ink kept warm by the fire, and write this tale. That was all he could do. Be the witness to history.

So he raised his feathered hand and began to write again while his eyes, sparked with power, knowledge and magic, saw clearly events unfolding from great distances. A thousand kilometers to his right, Indra, the God of War and Thunder, fought the Dragon. Indra did not fare well. But that didn’t concern the Bard as much as the clash between the Soul Warrior and the Stone Demon. Over and over, his eagle eyes were drawn to the duel taking place in the heart of the world, not only because it was a magnificent battle to behold, for it was, but because its outcome would decide mankind’s destiny.

The Soul Warrior was more than a great warrior. Karna was a great soul. Fair, honorable, brave and resilient, he was the perfect protector of the Human Realm. Of course, there were other reasons he’d been chosen to fill the office of Soul Warrior—there always were when Gods and demons were involved. But Karna’s existence was a testament to righteous action and if anyone could bring back the day, it would be him. 

But how did one vanquish stone, the Bard wondered?

Avarice and cruelty, two nefarious desires, had made Vrtra and Vala attack the Human Realm. Three days ago the Dragon had swallowed the Seven Rivers in the north, and the Stone Demon had imprisoned the Sun God, his daughter, and all the cattle of the region in his cave.

The Bard paused his writing as a thin vein of lightning winked across the skies, but without the accompanying roar. Indra’s strength waned. His thunderbolt hadn’t left Vrtra screaming in pain this time. The Bard spared a moment’s attention on the duel, just enough to note that the Maruts, the Celestial Storm-gods, waited in the clouds to rescue their god-king in case of a calamity. Indra would survive even in defeat. Of that, the Bard was sure.

But Karna had no one at his back. His might and god-powers had depleted without the sun’s healing warmth and light. His divine astras, weapons, had not slowed the Stone Demon down, at all. Only the conviction that he could not fail his godsire, his sister, and the innocents under his protection drove him now. His birth family had once abandoned him to his fate, but he would not abandon them to theirs—such was the greatness of Karna.

The Bard crossed out the last observation. No questions. No judgment. No praise, either. The canons would be free of all emotion. He wasn’t here to embellish history or glorify the history-makers, as some bards were wont to do. 

It wasn’t embellishment to write that the foothills of Cedi were drenched in the Soul Warrior’s blood. Or observe the gushing wounds on his body, despite his armor, that would make the hardiest of warriors bellow in agony, but not him. It wasn’t embellishment to write that the Heavens were empty for the Celestials had come to Earth to watch the battle, firelight cupped in their palms to light the warrior’s way. 

The Naga, the Serpent People, also looked on, hissing from the mouth of the portal that led to their underground realm beneath the hills. The Serpent King will not choose a side. Vrtra and Vala were half Naga, after all. All across the Human Realm, demons roamed free, taking advantage of the darkness and preying on human flesh and human souls. It was a terrible moment in history. The asuras had the upper hand in the eponymous age of Demon Kali.

Vala did not have arms and half a leg, but still he came at Karna. He had an ace up his sleeve. There were plenty of creatures about, an entire mountain close at hand. He began to chant the spell of soul transference. It was the darkest of all magic, the possession of another’s soul. Soon, he would be whole again and stronger than before.

Battered and bleeding, the Soul Warrior veered away from the Stone Demon. He leapt over boulders and charred vegetation. The onlookers called him a coward. Had he forfeit the duel? Has he forsaken mankind? 

Karna dove for Manav-astra, the spear of mankind, he’d thrown aside yesterday after his bow, Vijaya, had shattered under repeated use. In one smooth motion, he rolled, picked up the astra, coming up in the spear-thrower’s stretch. His tattered lower garment billowed about him as a gust of wind shot through the air. His muscled torso glistened with blood and sweat, tightened as he pulled the arm holding the spear back. 

He meant to throw Manav-astra at Vala. A futile attempt, to be sure? As long as Vala was made of stone, broken or not, his body was impregnable. Karna should have waited for Vala to transfer his soul to an onlooker. Then Karna should have vanquished the possessed creature. 

Taunting laughter reverberated through the foothills of Cedi. Vala had reached the same conclusion. 

The Celestials looked at each other in angry silence, unable to interfere. A dwanda-yuddha duel was fought between two opponents of equal size and strength alone. The humans hadn’t stopped screaming in three days, the din simply background noise now. 

The Bard scribbled the observations onto the parchment in no particular order. He wished he was a painter, for surely this was a picture worth a thousand words.

The demon hobbled toward the warrior, who stood still as stone with his arm drawn taught behind him. Then finally, with a roaring chant the Soul Warrior shifted his weight from his back leg to his front and let fly Manav-astra at the Stone Demon with all his remaining might. 

Karna didn’t wait to see the ramifications of his action. And there were plenty to come. He ran into the mountain cave to free Vala’s hostages. Within moments the rock face rent in half, and bright streams of light speared through the terrible darkness. A new day had dawned on the Human Realm after three days of perpetual night.

The sun’s power was too bright, too full of hope. Yet, the Bard looked on pensively, wondering if the Soul Warrior knew this wasn’t a victory. It was merely a reprieve.

About the Author:

Falguni Kothari is a New York-based South Asian author and an amateur Latin and Ballroom dance silver medalist with a semi-professional background in Indian Classical dance. She’s published in India in contemporary romance with global e-book availability; Bootie and the Beast (Harlequin Mills and Boon) and It’s Your Move, Wordfreak! (Rupa & Co.), and launches a mythic fantasy series with Soul Warrior (The Age of Kali, #1)

I’m embarrassed to admit how many social media accounts I own :

Website * BlogTwitter * Facebook * Goodreads * Pinterest

Monday, November 2, 2015

Tasty Book Tours @TastyBookTours and @Stacey_Kennedy: Mine (Club Sin #7) by Stacey Kennedy

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Club Sin #7
Stacey Kennedy
Releasing Oct 27th, 2015

Dmitri and Presley—the scorching-hot couple who started it all in Claimed—return to save Club Sin in the exhilarating new short novel from USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy.

Dmitri Pratt is living out his dream. Not only does he own the ultimate playground for the BDSM lifestyle, he’s found a special connection with his deliciously sexy sub, Presley Flynn, the woman who complements him in ways that go far beyond the bedroom. But when an anonymous blackmailer threatens to expose the elite, high-profile members of Club Sin in a notorious tabloid, Dmitri’s perfect world spirals out of control.

Before she met Dmitri, Presley never imagined she would find a Master who could deliver on all her hottest fantasies. Dmitri’s love and his sensual artistry surprise her every day, until he suddenly turns distant and cold. For the first time, Presley wonders where Dmitri’s heart truly lies: with her, or with Club Sin. As the life they’ve built together begins to crumble, Presley can only trust that Dmitri has what it takes—to defend what’s his, and win back the woman he cannot live without.

Mine is intended for mature audiences.

My Thoughts

This is the first Club Sin book I've read by Stacey Kennedy. I enjoyed this story and finished it in one day. I did feel that it might have helped if I had read the books in order but I was able to read Mine without too much difficulty.

Dmitri and Presley are the couple in this one. Their relationship was/is an interesting one. Though there is love and a fulfilling of needs, there are still many insecurities that get in the way. This becomes even more evident when the lifestyle they lead and their friends' lives are endangered.

The few sex scenes in the book definitely brought the heat but it was the romance and the relationship between the two characters that made this book a good read.


 “Club Sin is no longer safe.”
Six words Dmitri Pratt had never imagined saying rushed from his mouth, and having said them out loud made them real. Sitting behind the cherrywood desk in his home office, Dmitri faced the men he’d appointed to oversee his exclusive BDSM dungeon, Club Sin.
Nestled by the bay window in the corner of the room, Club Sin Masters Kyler Morgan and Aidan McKnight sat on the black leather couch, frowns creasing their brows. Next to them on the wingback chairs, the other Club Sin Masters, Miles Sanchez and Porter Marshall, stared straight ahead in evident confusion.
Gutted by the realization of what lay before him, Dmitri shifted his focus to the Club Sin submissive standing near the doorway, awaiting his direction. “Please explain our situation, Sarah.”
Sarah’s head was bowed. Her long black hair curtained her face, yet it couldn’t shield the quick intake of breath passing through her cherry-red lips. “I’m not sure if you all know this, but I work for Gotcha!
Porter, a private investigator—who was physically suited for his job, being tall and solidly built—asked, “The tabloid?”
Yep, that one.” Sarah’s head lifted, and she gazed at the men through her thick lashes, revealing shy brown eyes. “Earlier tonight my boss delivered an envelope of pictures to my house.”
Dmitri tightened his fists on his desk, preparing himself.
Sarah continued, “The pictures show some of the Club Sin members. Their names are on the photos.”
The police officer, Kyler, shot to his feet. His light brown hair was disheveled from his sudden movement, and his fists were clenched at his sides. “Someone has been talking pictures of us . . . here?”
Sarah shifted on her feet, giving a quick nod. “I’ve asked my boss for a few days to investigate the pictures. I thought that might buy you some time.”
That was smart of you, Sarah,” said Aidan, a defense attorney and the most serious of the men.
Dmitri noted Sarah’s small smile at the compliment before she added, “You have to act fast to find the leak. I’ve got a week to investigate before she prints the story.”
Dmitri considered suing the tabloid. They could intervene before the story broke. The photographer could be resentful, though, and simply post the photos on the Internet. Frustrated by the thought, he scanned the faces of his close friends, knowing the decision also belonged to them. “Thank you for relaying what you’ve learned, Sarah. I’d ask that you excuse yourself now.” She turned to exit the room. Before she left, Dmitri added, “Please keep this information to yourself until I can talk to the members.”
I understand.” She shut the door behind her.
Silence remained in her absence.
Sarah had told him about the pictures a half hour ago, and Dmitri had yet to accept it. Conflicted by his personal feelings and his responsibility to Club Sin members, he examined the twelve pictures on his desk. The faces staring back were of himself and his submissive, Presley, plus the Club Sin Masters and their submissives, along with the lone bachelor, Miles.
The only Master not pictured was Sawyer Quinn, which told Dmitri that the pictures had been taken sometime in the last year. Sawyer had left behind Club Sin and the BDSM lifestyle before marrying Chloe Nash five months ago. A frown pulled on Dmitri’s mouth as he also noted images of a well-known heart surgeon who was a Dominant and a couple of submissives who had high-powered jobs.
While the pictures didn’t show anyone inside the dungeon, all of them showed women in a vulnerable moment, with wind catching coats or skirts and revealing a garter belt or lacy panties beneath. Dmitri didn’t doubt that someone had spent a lot of time staking out his house, waiting for the perfect moment to capture the damning pictures.
Aidan rose from his place on the couch and approached Dmitri’s desk. Brows drawn together over his gray eyes, he picked up a picture of himself and his wife. In bold writing it was captioned Aidan and Cora McKnight. “What the fuck is this?” he growled.
Believe me, I wish I knew.” Dmitri gripped the arms of his chair, staying put as the other Masters positioned themselves around Aidan to see the pictures. Waves of anger ignited in the room, making the air thick.
Porter’s hazel eyes blazed when he saw the photo of his wife, Kenzie. “Does Sarah have any suspicions of who’s behind this?”
Dmitri shook his head. “Her boss is keeping the person’s identity a secret.”
Miles grabbed one of the photos. “Is Sarah in any of these pictures?”
No.” Dmitri understood the implication. “But she brought the information forward. I doubt she’s involved.” He drew in a long breath, settling his rage, not wanting to accuse anyone who didn’t deserve it. “In fact, I can’t imagine anyone in Club Sin doing this to the members.”
Nods followed.
Porter cursed at the photo in his hand and then dropped it on the desk. “What about enemies? Anyone piss off someone lately?”
Of course the private investigator went straight to the motive of vengeance, Dmitri thought. As Dmitri watched each Master shake his head, even he couldn’t come up with a suspect. “The casino brings some heated conversations with my competitors”—that went hand in hand with being the president of one of Vegas’s top casinos—“but that said, I don’t imagine anyone would feel threatened enough by me to do this.”
Aidan brushed a hand across the stubble on his jaw and nodded in agreement. “I can make enemies in my line of work. But nothing that warrants this defamation.”

Kyler crumpled the picture of himself and his wife, Ella, before tossing it in the garbage can. “We all piss off someone in some way every day.” His lips thinned. “Christ, this could ruin us all.”


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Stacey Kennedy is the USA Today bestselling author of the Club Sin series. She writes deeply emotional romances about powerful men and the wild women who tame them. When she’s not plugging away at a new story, she’s either hiking, canoeing, relaxing around a campfire, or obsessing over Penny Dreadful, Game of Thrones, and Outlander. Stacey lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband (who puts any of the heroes in her books to shame), their two young children, and her other babies: a mini labradoodle named Jax and a chocolate labrador named Murphy.

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