April 23, 2012

Some Interesting Book Tours And Giveaways I Came Across

Wistful Nebulae: Gala Hop: G ala H op is the AtoZ way of announcing the launch party for the first book in my new space opera series, The Backworlds . Book#1 of  the series...

Epic Ninja Giveaway To celebrate 1500 followers, Alex is holding a giveaway – a copy of CassaStar and CassaFire! to donate to your public/high school library.

Badass Bookie: (Storm is COMING Blog Tour) + Giveaway ( Int'l): A Storm is coming! Over the next week, forecasts are predicting a massive Storm front progressing steadily across the Southern blogosphe...

Blog Tour: Whisper of Memory - Guest Post + Giveaway : chances to win a Kindle
April 20, 2012

RandomMusings For The Day #47 and Some Verses Thrown In

How is it that despite child proofing your home to the best of your abilities, they find a way to injure themselves??

Decadent thoughts blight
the once beautiful

Life's rewards for 
 the faithful's watch.

Floating on dark, gloomy
 waters of humanity

A constant struggle 
against the inevitable sinking.

Pressures, now stilled
rechanneled to naively targets

This bloated carnival
awaits the recycling order.

* The poem's inspired by a fantastic picture found Here in Dreamstime.
April 14, 2012

Waiting for Some Inter Dimensional Romance - A Book Review

The Waiting Booth - Brinda Berry
Publishers Etopia Press  
Genre - Speculative Fiction - Fantasy/Paranormal/  Young Adult - Romance
Ebook - 186 pages, Price $ 5.99
Available at Amazon Kindle Store


Mia has one goal for her senior year at Whispering Woods High--find her missing older brother. But when her science project reveals a portal into another dimension, she learns that travelers are moving in and out of her woods in the most alarming way and government agents Regulus and Arizona are policing their immigration. Mia’s drawn to the mysterious, aloof Regulus, but it’s no time for a crush. She needs to find out what they know about her brother, while the agents fight to save the world from viral contamination. But when Regulus reveals that he knows Mia’s secrets, she begins to wonder if there’s more going on than she thought...and if she was wrong to trust him...

This is a debut novel by the author Brinda Berry in the young adult – fantasy category. The protoganist Mia has a neurological condition, synaesthesia where the mixing of the senses enables her to see colors within sounds, smells, and words. 
The story begin in a calm, everyday manner with high schooler Mia’s interaction with a busy but protective father, musings over her missing elder brother Pete and her science project in the woods adjoining their rather secluded home. Austin and Em are Mia's best friends, though Austin would like to trade the friend tag for something more, something Mia can’t see him as.
It is the chance photographing of seemingly shady characters Regulus and Arizona that hurtles her into a far secretive, deceptive and at times dangerous world beyond the ordinary. She is literally pushed into the other dimension in her part of the woods with Regulus and Arizona turning out to be “enforcers” with an inter-dimensional monitoring agency IIA.
Their apparent knowledge of her brother and their story makes them trustworthy but a series of incidents and interactions with her project mentor threatens to change everything to a point where she doesn't know whom to trust.
The primary characters, Mia and Regulus are strong and vulnerable in their own way. Their romance is slow given their initial and subsequent meetings and picks up in a subtle manner as the story unfolds .
The secondary ones like Arizona and Austin whom we may see more of in the later books,  shine through with humour and risk taking loyalty respectively.
The concept of portals which I expected to reveal an alien world but unveils a totally different one was a great move by the author. The act of betrayal at the end is again unexpected though the way the scenes are incorporated left me with an unsettled feeling as a reader. Maybe, the next book will expand on it and make it clearer.
There are sweet romantic moments towards the end which fall in the sweet category of romance rating - Sweet -> Hot -> Spicy.
I give this a 4.2 rating. 
Overall I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to lovers of YA fantasy that is not based on magic.

I received a copy for review through the group Knights of the Round Table on Goodreads. 

Personal Disclaimer: Though this book was a free copy received for the purpose of review, the post in entirety is my basic impression after reading the book. It is not based on intervention by the author, publishing house or the book forum.
April 08, 2012

Time To Change - Tap the 'Humane' In Us?

She sat there sweating profusely, her temper matching the heat outside. Would this too turn out to be a failed attempt? The pressure from the officials had been mounting. New mouths to feed arrived at a steady pace every month, eating into her share of the allocated funds. Being the head of the orphanage was not a lucrative business any more. She was tired of pandering to the egos of higher ups and soliciting new clients for her husband's floundering real estate business at the same time. The dingy room saw less and less of her as days passed by.

 Rama Shankar* pushed his way through the wooden saloon doors, he didn't bother to knock. 
 If she hadn't been preoccupied, would have noticed the smug look that permeated his features these days. "The Pandeys called, Madamji."
"Again? Bringing her...Munni back?" Desperation reducing her voice to a hoarse croak.
"Who tells this poor man anything?" His voice always reminded her of grease scrapped from a steel plate.
 Must want to wash their hands off her. These religious, middle class ones are all the same, just empty talk. "What did you tell them?"
 "The usual, busy with inspection work." He seemed pleased with his lies. His eyes had a hazy quality to them. Had he been...? "How many times have I told you to stay off bhang during working hours?
"Do you want to lose this job too?"
With watering eyes, he quickly prostrated before her, "Have mercy on me, family man, my kids will starve to death." adding, "These kids are like my children, they need me."

He managed to convince her every time; she needed him to cover up her absence. She was about to give him another last warning when the noise outside distracted her. There was a flurry of running feet followed by steadier ones. Snippets of conversation in loud and soft voices could be heard. The rushing feet stopped at her door. Utter silence. The door swung wildly as burly policemen swooped into her space. 
 Two scared looking attendants along with a dozen children of different ages waited just outside the threshold. The Pandeys and a few other parents stood next to an important looking official. The collector and here? 
Munni? Why does she have a glum face?  Looking at the cowering ten year old who stood between her adoptive parents, a familiar sense of something amiss hit her. Something had happened, she was the one scared now. Putting on a brave face, hiding the tremor in her tone and turning to Baldev Singh, the inspector she recognised, "What is the meaning of this, Baldevji?"

Baldev turned to the collector who gave him an impatient nod.  He looked at her sadly. She was a decent woman and yet it had to be done. "Arrest warrants for you and this man here." pointing to the peon who was staring at Munni with a dazed look. 
"Arrest Warrant?" she repeated, bewildered.
"For the rape of Munni and four other minor girls adopted from the orphanage. There are also charges by some of the attendants," looking towards the door, "of being molested." 
"There must some mistake, surely, I would be aware of such happenings." 

"If you had been around and had bothered to notice the obvious signs." Pandeyji spoke for the first time. "We found blood stains on our daughter's clothes. She would't eat properly, woke up screaming every night, woudn't even let my brother hug her.
"One of my neighbours who is a child specialist felt that she had undergone recent trauma. A physical examination by an expert left us with no doubt. My daughter found the courage to tell us everything that happened to her here. So did the other girls." affectionately patting his daughter on her head. "Can we go home, daddy?" Munni asked softly.
"Come on, Baldev, take them into custody. We have to move the remaining children to a safer place, we haven't all day." The collector shook hands with the team and the parents before walking towards the other children.

* This is a work of fiction though it's based on ground reality. Names used are purely coincidental and bear no resemblance to those living or dead.

Children are our future, more so girls - the nurturers of such future...If protectors turn monsters, where do they go? Please love, protect and cherish them.

This post is written for the contest Stayfree-Time To Change on IndiBlogger

April 04, 2012

Declining, The Better Way? Disinclination - Worrying Factor? - IWSG

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day for participating blog owners who may be professional or amateur writers. (All you need is the passion and output, published or not). Started by Alex Cavanaugh the author of the sci-fi space opera CassaStar and sequel CassaFire, it is a means for writers to talk about their fears big and small. It is also an opportunity to connect to other writers who may have conquered these or are sailing in the same insecure boat as you.

No cartoons this time, humour may or may not make an appearance. I started writing again 1 1/2 years ago. Happy to post my best pieces (you can beg to differ, no sweat) on my blog, being new to the chances in the publishing world, especially online. I realised albeit 5 months back, in Nov 11 that the tiny (OK, huge, colossal...I get the point) lack of knowledge meant that 75% of my work is now unfit for online publication, even if less than a dozen souls have read each of the works. 
Then I wrote some more,  submitted, followed by the rejections. Most were standard - we can't use it now, doesn't fit  in our style and so on kinds. The first one in Dec 11 made me cry for an hour...but the thick skin developed over time. 
Until two things happened, back to back.
 A poetry of mine got brutally dissected by three editors of an Ezine with comments like too general, can't understand the point, unreadable style.

Silent prayers for
success that eludes.
Journey back and forth
on an ever changing road.
Doing whatever it takes
to make time stop still,
if only for a few moments
to gather baggage and quilt.
Trudge across the finishing line,
the one, that loves playing vile tricks,
further down the road, it forever, spins.
Proclaim myself victorious,
to find, obstacles strewn across, 
newer, stronger, unexpected
Blasphemous messages to ancestors gone,
The mocking Gods roll over in mirth,
pointing at this "puny human" in distress.

Then a unfamiliar blogger writer added insult to injury by not just calling out to my punctuation (that's fine, I look out for genuine critique anyway) but dissed my self respect by sending me, without the courtesy of prior intimation, a 'not asked for' ebook on punctuation along with a left-handed compliment.
 I may be a struggling writer even a bad one but I can buy my own books, thank you!
Free books, good ones, I love them, who doesn't? - but that's what giveaways, contests, review forums, author approved/publisher or site sponsored  'free book' promotions are for.

Strangely, both have made me question my writing skills. As of now, I write because it's literally my lifeline in a lonely world, but publication is no longer my goal. 
 Which brings us to the title, is it better to get standard rejections? Is disinclination a death knell for my passion?

On the bright side, I am still going to create a free Smashwords chapbook of some my poetry pieces in June as a birthday gift to myself.
Much brighter, I am slowly getting out of the anaemic phase with my haemoglobin count going up. Hopefully, the clean bill of health, the magical 11.5 will come in a couple of months. Till then, my parents will have to bear the tired, irritable, forgetful Rek.
 Till then, my sensitive stomach will have to put with the iron and folate pills...sigh.
The brightest, next month's  IWSG will see a positive post, even a humourous one if I can pull it.

For the ones who still visit , a self created joke - do pamper the sick even if it isn't funny...
Why would vampires avoid the 'synthesised blood' banks?
 They prefer the organic variety to plastic.

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