February 28, 2012

Cassafire Book Release party

 Catch Fire! Blog Party



Rek here...do click on the play button to hear my, less than a minute speech.
 (And Alex, since you asked...that childish voice is definitely mine!) :P

Cassafire, the second book in the space opera trilogy by Ninja Captain and a very supportive fellow blogger Alex Cavanaugh releases today.

There is a blog tour, which runs from February 27 through March 9 – and anyone who comments on his blog posts during that time can win a special package from his publisher: a copy of both CassaFire and CassaStar, a large tote bag, and a mug.

And remember, don't make too much noise or get too friendly in the first meeting, our hero Byron loves his privacy...and he likes intelligence in a person, so go easy on the make up and high heels, they won't get you past the chip on his shoulder. 
How do I know? Elementary Telepathy!!  My Dear Watson.  ;) 


Alex , the author on the other hand, works in web design and graphics and is friendly. He has also worked with an adult literacy programme for a number of years...how cool is that??
He loves to review movies and music on his blog and spent countless hours visiting other blogs. 
 He co-hosts a number of blogfests, the latest being the A-Z challenge in April and created the IWSG - the insecure writer's support group where writers and authors crib and lend a hand every month.
A self confessed Sci-Fi fan who is said to play a mean guitar and "looking around before whispering in your ear'" has a hopeless crush on Kate Beckinsale (yes, the Underworld babe).


 I started following his blog after last year's A-Z...my stalking of his blog posts process reminds me of Edward and Bella with roles reversed. But I don't blink and bite my lips incessantly nor does Guruji 'Sparkle' or do skycraper jumps (correct me if I am wrong).The misfit lurking on a successful author and blogger's cyberspace. It took me almost the end of last year to start commenting, and his responses helped me connect with the other heavyweights around and really enjoy the process of blogging. So I owe you and many others a vote of thanks for the dose of confidence.


Moving on to the matter at hand, a written and virtual tour of his current book-----


CassaFire by Alex J Cavanaugh.JPGA blurb of the book :

CassaFire
by Alex J. Cavanaugh

CassaStar was just the beginning…



The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren’s civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan’s technology and strange mental abilities. 

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves; the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

Science fiction - space opera/adventure
 $15.95,  paperback, 240 pages
EBook $4.99, available in all formats

Available at
Barnes and Noble - Cassafire
Amazon                -  Cassafire
Amazon Kindle     -  Cassafire


 A trailer of what you can expect from the book :

February 27, 2012

Evil Genius Blogfest

The Eagle's Aerial Perspective aka Golden Eagle turns two years old today!


 A flash fiction blogfest to celebrate the occasion...check the others there and vote for me if you like.
On the other hand forget it...my entry gets lost among the writer crowds.


Create a story, in any format whether that's flash fiction or poetry, where the aforementioned character does something qualifying them as an evil genius. You can also choose an already-existing person, perhaps from one of your favorite books or movies--just tell us why you think they're the best.

He paced across the floor, impatiently awaiting the messenger’s return.
‘The fool of an imp must have left the mansion four hours ago, can’t these useless fools do one thing right?’
He dismissed his personal aide with a flick of the hand, causing the poor creature to crash onto the cold stone floor outside the room.
The crystal revealed nothing as yet.
‘The ancients had set strong wards…but not for long.’
The curse was almost ready. The final words of the mantra left, to be uttered on the blue moon night, two days hence.
Hidden by him in the old walls 150 years ago, it slumbered waiting the unleashing of its dark potency.
“Only the mad bat knows where…”
He chuckled loudly, scaring the Bagoons in the cages.
She had played her part well, all these years, and would soon be rewarded for her loyalty.
They would be ‘The Lord of the lands and his consort.’ with all the high born crushed under his heels.
The Council had exiled him over his dark aides as they called them. In reality, he knew that they were scared and envious of his newly acquired powers. The spineless cowards had been unwilling to break the ancient oath and grab at everlasting glory, proclaiming truth and light as the greatest gifts.
‘He would show them the meaning of greatness, true power.’
 A scrap at the open roof grabbed his attention, the vulture glided down, encircling the clustered room.
Casting a quick, non verbal spell; transformed the scavenger into the hideous shape of his slave.
Trembling hands handed him the silk scroll wrapped up in protective Kusha grass.
‘Remove the grass blanket!’ he thundered, pulling away his hand as though it had been singed.
If things went well, the hated Charis’, Shaks’ and Warriers’, in particular, would be graced by an ancient visitor on the next moonless night. The Green Dew would bring with it, this time, the Elder Borns’ decimation. 

Evil Genius


WC 327

* The villain from my Fantasy WIP- Restless, who won't appear before 20000 words at least.
* The story is basically set in India, loosely based on Indian Vedic magic and Arabic Magic.




February 25, 2012

A Review Of A Survivor's Struggle To Live

Cat And The Dreamer - Annalisa Crawford
Vagabondage Press
Genre - Contemporary/ New Adult/ Realistic/ Women Fiction
Novelette - 22000 words, Price $ 2.99
Available at Amazon Kindle Store
Barnes and Noble Nookbooks
Google Books/eBooks
Omnilit



A surivor
















Today, I am reviewing 'Cat and The Dreamer', a novelette (though Wiki says its word count makes it a novella), a give away on a guest blog post. Technicalities aside, a contemporary + realistic women fiction as this blurb goes:


As a teenager, Julia survived a suicide pact, while her best friend, Rachel, died. Julia’s only escape from her guilt, and her mother’s over-protection, is her imagination. When Adam arrives in the office, Julia’s world takes a startling turn as she realises reality can be much more fun than fantasy.
Finally she has someone who can help her make the most of her life.
But can she allow herself to be truly happy?


The book is basically a first person narration by, the then 15 and now 29 year old survivor Julia, on life as it is now. 
It's a poignant, raw and very hard hitting portrayal of a woman trapped in a teenager's mind, who struggles her way through the art of living.
 The ghosts of the past, over protective parents and bullying co workers make it thrice as difficult to taste freedom of a normal life.
Adding to this deadly potion are her own fears and her penchant of seeking refuge in the dream world, she often inhabits. They resurface when her knight in shining armour Adam, literally rides his way through her office and personal life.
Will his protection and love be enough for Julia to start anew? Read it to find out...


I loved the wordplay, realistic conversations and the process of Julia's slow awakening to reality and freedom.
The book deals with the effects of bullying on young minds, covertly which works for it.
The supporting cast of Adam was most likeable, Cat made a good antagonist and the parents could move you to pity or anger depending on your perception...in my case they invoked both pity and a little resentment.


My only grouse is the length of the work which leaves you wanting to know more of Julia and  specially Adam.
An excellent choice for reading on a weekend that gets a 4.5 out of 5 rating from me...and of course, having a hardy heart goes without saying.




February 21, 2012

Nostalgia Attacks The Campus - A Book Review




Down The Road - Edited By Ahmed Faiyaz And Rohini Kejriwal
 Grey Oak Publications
 Genre - Contemporary Fiction - Short Story Anthology (28 stories by 16 authors)
 Paperback, Pages 216, Price  INR 195 
 (Currently for sale only in the Indian Sub-continent)



This collection takes a trip down memory lane into the campus experiences both high school and college.  Not  just about 'a carefree life and fun times' as many parents believe but also a journey through the pains and trials of soon to be grown ups.
As the blurb says:
An exciting and eclectic collection of short stories that bring out all those memories - unforgettable, warm, thrilling and at times embarrassing - of life and the times in school and college campuses.

The stories are broadly dived into four sections. The first category “Attendance Is Compulsary” deals with antics both within and outside the high school classroom. Most of these deal with teenage crushes and romances, some in a breezy manner with a quirky ending that made me do a high five like ‘Down The Road’ by Ahmed Faiyaz. A couple like ‘Rishi And Me’ by Ira Trivedi and ‘Sororicide’ By Paritosh Uttam twisted and pulled at the heart strings.

 The second grouping “Festivals, Elections And Placements” as the title suggests deal with other aspects of campus life. Some like the tale ending of ‘ Loves Me, Loves Me Not’ by Vibha Batra that made me laugh, ‘Between Friends’ By Paritosh Uttam which had me cringing. ‘The Cafe With No Name’ by Sneh Thakur, the endearing story that reminded me of the Irani cafes with their bun maska and chai that once dotted the Mumbai landscape. And the ‘Setting’ by Ahmed Faiyaz the brilliant, twisted ending of which, had me commiserating.

Further down the pages, “Lights Out” deal with the end of the golden days and career beginnings. Here ‘The Worm That Turned’ by Malathi Jaykumar was a inspiring read albeit the embarrassing beginning. Short and hard hitting ‘Bellow Yellow’ by Chinmayi Bali raised uncomfortable questions. 

The final section “Looking Back”  literally has, now well established  protagonists turning back to individuals from the school, who made a difference in their lives.Of these, the thought provoking 'Strangers In Strange Places'by Abhijit Bhaduri struck a chord. I enjoyed the very different read ‘Accidental Start’ By Kunal Dhabalia as well as the cheeky 'Remember Me' by Ahmed Faiyaz.
I found interesting, the well researched,  finale essays ‘Fiction On Campus’ by Sonia Safri and ‘Bollywood On Campus’ by Aseem Rastogi.

I loved the quirky, twisted endings which leaves room for possibilities an imaginative brain can explore.
I also loved the use of realistic settings and reactions which give many of the stories that personal touch.
Each of the author has a distinct writing style and some managed different writing voices effortlessly.

A major grouse I have with a few of the stories was the abrupt ending. A couple of them felt, with due respect, written by those who love to hoard their words rather than let them out. In some cases, I am sort of  unhappy with the stories, for the simple reason 'I didn't want them to end'. 

 Since this not the first publication for many of the authors, they have seemingly honed their craft to capture the moments with candid humour, subtle sarcasm, often exploring painful emotions with raw honesty. The conversationalist styles of most of the works coupled with  fast paced story lines makes for a quick, entertaining read. It earns in my capacity as a reviewer a 4.5 out of 5 rating.

I would recommend this collection for any one looking for  good stories well told, who want a fictional rendition of their own personal experiences. Not a heavy duty anthology though some of them would fall into that category.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.comParticipate now to get free books!


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


Other Books
A bloggette friend Annalisa Crawford has released  Cat & the Dreamer in the Genre: Contemporary Women / New Adult . Available from Amazon, B&N, and other places.
Here for links.  Do check it out.
Since I won her E book Novella at a blog guest post...my review will be up this Friday or Saturday.

Resistance Book Release


 Today is officially the book release day for the latest book by Author Laura Josephsen and the blog tour goes on for a week starting Feb 21 To Feb 28 with eight bloggettes hosting the event.


Laura Josephsen lives with her family in Tennessee. She likes music, reading, socks, rainy days, chocolate, coffee, and sci-fi and fantasy tales.

Visit her blog at: 

Everything you didn't want to know about writing  to extend your support.


More about the book in question


Rising Cover.jpg


Blurb:
All Alphonse wants is a quiet summer at home before his final months at university. What he gets is a half-dead stranger on his doorstep and the task of delivering a package to the leader of his home country. Not long after he boards a train toward the capital, he's attacked by knights, elite soldiers of the neighboring king.

Alphonse is temporarily rescued by Mairwyn, a mechanic with a haunted past and a deep hatred of knights. Together, they attempt to carry out Alphonse's urgent errand, only to learn that if they fail, countless people will die.

And even if they succeed, they may not be able to prevent the war that lurks on the horizon.


Check out the Goodreads page! Rising Book 1: Resistance

Read the beginning!  Rising Excerpt

 Book  Links:


 Paperback

Rising-Book-1-Resistance At Amazon

E Book


Rising on Amazon: Rising-Book-1-Resistance 

Rising on Barnes and Noble: Rising-Book-1-Resistance

Rising on Smashwords: Rising-Book-1-Resistance


Has also written  Confessions from the Realm of the Underworld (Also Known as High School)

Laura has co-authored  the Restoration series with the  first book in the series, Awakenings  being republished, and  the second book, The Guardian Race to be released shortly.
February 20, 2012

Painting At Night

Shadows crept across the wall. Lights from the opposite building through the thin curtains and the night lamp added to the effects…so quiet, she could hear her palpitating  heart.  Taking a deep breath, she picked up the thin brush, mixed the three  colours and carefully painted the petals.
‘Bitchy Prostitute’* the voice echoed, stronger than it had all week. She barely managed to pull away the shaking brush. The leaf was now shaded orange.
‘Damn!  Get a grip.’ 'It kinda looked nice’,  she noted…autumn leaves on the blouse would stand out indeed. She glanced at the clock on the wall, 12.45 a.m…half an hour more before  sweet talking  the mistress of dreams.
Lost in the swirling colours , she barely heard him till he stepped close. Laughed at her efforts,”Well, Picasso, get back to bed.”
“ A few minutes” the pleading voice.
“You know who’s up at this time?”
“Not that word, I will definitely leave this time.”
“Really? Poor Mrs Virgin, pity your face didn’t find any takers in college. We both know, your parents will send you right back.” walking away.
Ignoring the rolling tears, blurred eyes sought the brush… clutching it tightly, in its strength everything faded.

* the closest translation of the cuss word in English

WC 200 with the word 'orange' , the end words 'everything faded' and in my usual genre of  Realistic+ Contemporary Women fiction.

( Scene from my WIP on domestic violence  Scarred ....modified)



     At Rach Writes,  First Campaigner Challenge, woot!!! The Challenge is:

Write a flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “Shadows crept across the wall”. These five words will be included in the word count. 
If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), do one or more of these:
  • end the story with the words: "everything faded." (also included in the word count)
  • include the word "orange" in the story
  • write in the same genre you normally write
  • make your story 200 words exactly!

Check other entries there. 
February 13, 2012

My Humble Origins - Blogfest

 Origins Blogfest

Co-hosted by DL HammonsCreepy Query Girl KatieMillsAlex J. Cavanaugh and Matthew MacNish,  


To share when, how and why my writing began




A nervous hi, takes a seat...
"My origins...from India, so I guess ..." jumps up in alarm as Robyn Engel  from Life By Chocolate, present here on persistent pleading butts in.
"Rek, Rek...%&#$@" does a face-palm, accuses me " You hoodwinked us all this time!! Took you to be a smart, witty woman who knows her ifs and buts..."
I , as usual, burst into tears melting her kind heart. She pats my head (in a petting way) " Come now, here, have a chocolate."
Pouting "Hello, trying to lose weight here."
She mutters" More like losing steam and our audience."
"Alex! Tbone!" she hollers, literally yanking them off their chairs...giving them a 'don't mess with me' look
"Be my guest!" and thunders her way out.
I whimper, still licking a dark bit, "Robyn, Wait!"
Tbone clears his throat, "Look Lady, We don't have all day...220 odd others waiting, so cut the crap!"
In a stronger, cocoa dipped voice, "Written essays and poems in school and college and such...read books too. Summer vacations meant my cousins would hide away their books lest I spent less time with them."
Alex looks at Tbone, a telepathic exchange, 'Next time, our Blogfest is by invitation only!' and emphatic nods.
"My 8th grade(13yrs) English teacher liked my story, especially about a ranch horse...it reminded her of Black beauty...she loved my first line for another one, the one which went,"Under the star lit sky, with only the full moon for company, here I lie in a corner, a street dog."
Looks around for applause, none...stammers on, "But never aspired to be a writer, a published one at that."
Alex ""Finally!"  Tbone "No grovelling for sympathy!"
"Ok." "Written on and off for two decades now, till I joined Twitter in 2009 after my ... hmm...still a very bad word  here 'D'. Met two cool bloggers (now friends) T.S Hendrik and  Aditya, followed their blogs for a year before taking the plunge."
'"Joined some creative blog groups for poets and flash fiction writers, their encouragement helped as did that of my first few followers...then gave into my ambitious, pestering brother's advice and took up writing full time in 2010."
"Moving out of Mumbai meant I could only hold a part-time accountant's job since I never managed to crack my C.A (C.P.A equivalent) final exams. I lick my wounds with the hard fact that in the 90s only 3% of 15,000 students got that elusive title every year, maybe because of fewer job openings then... sigh...but on the flip side, I have a lot of time to read, write, research, submit and get rejected, photograph, fabric paint, mess around with different software applications and blog now."
Alex softly "Lets get back to writing."
"Did I mention I got a commerce degree just because Arts is not a cool career option for the great Indian Middle Class! To cut the long story short...finally found the courage to get around doing what I love and what I think is one of the few things I am good at. So, if my books get printed or not, sell or not....I am and will be an Artist/Writer!!"

 Alternate version

There was a little girl who was a bit different, impulsive, hot tempered, rebellious dreaming false worlds when she should have been studying some more. The daydreams grew larger, more verbose and sometimes silly. As the space between the grey cells shrunk, she took to writing on pieces of paper... some saved, some frittered away carelessly...she never showed them to anyone lest she be mocked at by the uncaring. Then it happened, the stuff that her fears were made of. Unlike other kindred spirits, the more she read others, the less pieces of her own got written till a day when the dreams knew better and took flight to the nether regions of her mind, a self  imposed exile.

Time flew, walked, crawled, the dreams peeked out now and then and verses took shape that were protected fiercely for years and yet the best ones cast one day into the fire of battered self esteem (especially the ones dedicated to her fiancé-husband who broke her spirit)....and then after years of grey bleakness, the tumultuous life led her back to the road she had long ago abandoned, the only one left she could travel through, to save her sanity. The journey was risky, shaky, encouraged by loved ones who had secretly read her amateur works...she trots along enjoying the passing scenery.


* My heartfelt apologies to Robyn, Alex And Tbone.... One of my beta readers (aka cousin sister Nimmi) feels that my writing: poems, flash and short stories had one thing in common - sadness. At her request I am trying my hand at humour and other streams.

*Sorry to have put you to sleep...wakey, wakey....time to blogfest surf....

Before I leave....some cool Blogfests to be a part of if you haven't joined yet. ...

WRITERS' PLATFORM-BUILDING CAMPAIGN By Rach Writes

 a way to link writers, aspiring authors, beginner bloggers, industry people, and published authors together with the aim of helping to build our online platforms. 

The challenge starts on Feb16 and flash fiction work posted on three days and winners chosen. A chance to get some good books or a critique as some of the prizes.
Last year they created a E book with over 180 entries , the proceeds going to a charity.
Joining Link Open Till Feb 15.

CHALLENGE YOUR BLOGGING SKILLS - every day for 26 DAYS all of April

 Post on  any topic but based on the alphabetic order. Last year over 1300 bloggers participated...a great way to met more people
 Sundays are the Sabbath days here.
 Links open till March 31. They even have a video contest related to the challenge, open for entries till Mar 11

 Evil Genius Blogfest By Golden Eagle to celebrate two years of blogging.
Create a story, in any format whether that's flash fiction or poetry, where the aforementioned character does something qualifying them as an evil genius. You can also choose an already-existing person, perhaps from one of your favorite books or movies--just tell us why you think they're the best.
Word limit for entries: 400.  There will be prizes too.
On February 27. Link closes By Feb 26


February 10, 2012

Tumble For Ya Blogfest

Image Courtesy Amazon.Com


 Well, no prizes for guessing my 80's crush....

He holds the privilege (hee hee) of being one of the rare actor-celebrity I have crushed on, it helped that my guilt (as in creative snob) was soothed by the fact that he could act as well given the right script and director.
Can we leave his religious, political, sexual leanings aside??

Where was I? Yes, I have a tendency to admire people for their creativity, skills or brains not looks. Judging from the other famous personalities admired in the late 80's, Tommy 'Cute boy next door' look however won hands down...its a different story that I saw the movie on a VCR three years after my brother bought the Top Gun audio tape in 1989 and saw his earlier movies at a much later date. It was the  combination of the songs and the face that captured this then 15 yr old's imagination for a long time, I still make time for his movies even the dull MI Sequels.
 Heard they are going to release a 3D version of TG in 2012...wonder if I should watch it or let old memories remain in a beautiful place like this post?


There, my secret is out, I do believe in our alien origins, after all the singe cell organisms could have traveled to Earth on a meteor as some scientists speculate....
 Please don't brand me crazy...I'm not even sure how to spell Scientology without Google's help. :D
By the way, Who's yours?

Today I'm participating in the Tumble 4 Ya Blogfest hosted by Nicki Elson,  M. Pax from Wistful Nebulaeand Suze from Analog Breakfast.


February 02, 2012

Curve Ball


Sometimes life throws you a curve ball before you can throw one back.

Everything arranged to perfection, the invites were out.
The surprise party, a celebration of our fifth anniversary.

Today he dropped a bomb, he is seeing someone and wants a divorce.

The report lay unopened on the dressing table, I was finally pregnant.

Submitted to Love in Creativity Project (flash Fiction)


P.S This post for BlueBell Books and the post for the I'll Tumble 4 Ya Blogfest  on feb 10 are the only exceptions to my break from blogging till around Feb 15 or 21.
February 01, 2012

The Muse Ran Off With The Stories - 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 upcoming 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.

There was a little girl who was a bit different, impulsive, hot tempered, rebellious dreaming false worlds when she should have been studying some more. The daydreams grew larger, more verbose and sometimes silly. As the space between the grey cells shrunk, she took to writing on pieces of paper... some saved, some frittered away carelessly...she never showed them to anyone lest she be mocked at by the uncaring. Then it happened, the stuff that her fears were made of. Unlike other kindred spirits, the more she read others, the less pieces of her own got written till a day when the dreams knew better and took flight to the nether regions of her mind, a self  imposed exile.

Time flew, walked, crawled, the dreams peeked out now and then and verses took shape that were protected fiercely for years and yet the best ones cast one day into the fire of battered self esteem (especially the ones dedicated to her fiancé-husband who broke her spirit)....and then after years of grey bleakiness, the tumultuous life led her back to the road she had long ago abandoned, the only one left she could travel through, to save her sanity.

 The journey was risky, shaky, encouraged by loved ones who had secretly read her amateur works. And just when the adventure was getting to be fun, lady luck decided to play games again.

And lo behold,
 The Twin, The  Muse Ran Away....
leaving behind a sci fi that is just about a quarter complete, a fantasy barely written, a poetry collection due for e publishing in March with quite a few missing pages, short stories to be drafted and rewritten from scratch.
She filled a complaint with the "Missing Muses Retrieval" writers club in December but yet to hear from them.
Anyone who sees 'Reka Sang' slouching around in the upper decks of cyber space, do cajole her to come back please...as said she is moody and cantankerous, gets offended easily. Will this be enough praise to melt her heart??


Penned bold thoughts /
Heart never speaks of /
Love this muse //
 3-5-3

 This is how the Muse looked when they last met....maybe the lady should check Facebook, for sure she is whiling away time with those mindless games or the news rooms where she is flirting with the big boys.


 The strain of these online searches and researching in her absence simply translates into
 "The Girl/woman is taking a blogging break for two to three weeks" beginning tomorrow.

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