Boot Camp Bride – a review by Malika Gandhi

digital-book-boot-camp-bride-234x300A Book Review

Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb

This action-packed, hilarious, heart-wrenching, frustrating, amusing and amazing story begins with Charlee Montague, an intern at a magazine called What’cha!
Charlee is funny and can be challenging too, especially when she meets Raphael Ffinch, an award winning photographer, a successful novelist and a survivor of a kidnap attempt in Columbia! But the book’s not really about that.

It is actually about two ego-tistic, loveable but arrogant individuals, Charlee and Rafa – who fight their lust and love for one another and are in denial of their true emotions, as they go on a mission together, for the love of journalism and a big news scoop! A fake engagement leads them to much more than they bargained for when Charlee heads off to begin her journalistic investigations at a bride’s boot camp.

Packed with steamy scenes, lust – in a heart stopping way – hilarious but intriguing banter, Boot Camp Bride is a novel you must read!

 

A RIVER SO LONG by Vallie Lynn Watson

A River So Long CoverThis is a story that didn’t grab me. So, why am I bothering to write a review then, I hear you ask? I think, every book needs a review, good or bad. You may agree with my views or you may not, but as a reviewer, it is essential for me to tell you about a book to help you make up your own mind.

A River So Long, is a book I couldn’t really grasp. It is certainly about an estranged relationship. The husband is a no-good, drinker and the wife is a high-flyer, who wants things to improve. But as I read the book, the story seemed to be going back and forth, so much that I wasn’t sure what was happening. The wife likes to travel, and we see her jetting off to many destinations. I can’t say much about the husband.

The book is written in a simple format, which I liked, but the story line was rather bland. I would have liked to see more dialogue. I thought there was too much description and narration, and therefore, I couldn’t get close to the characters or to their story.

I am not saying that this book is bad, because it isn’t. It is just not a book for me.

I reviewed this book on request by Luminis Books and Novel Publicity.

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About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

Welcome to another exciting publishing house spotlight tour from Novel Publicity. Join us as three new titles from Luminis Books–we’re calling them the Luminis Literary Triad—tour the blogosphere in a way that just can’t be ignored. And, hey, we’ve got prizes!

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win either of two $25 Amazon gift cards, an autographed copy of A River So Long by Vallie Lynn Watson, or an autographed copy of its tour mates, Sabrina’s Window by Al Riske, or Antiphony by Chris Katsaropoulos. Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Luminis Literary Triad tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About the book: Vallie Lynn Watson’s debut novel follows thirty-something Veronica as she jolts between five-star hotels in New Orleans, New York, and the North Carolina coast. Veronica’s business keeps her on the move, and further strains her relationships with the already unsuitable men she’s met along the way, not to mention her blink-and-you-miss-him husband. A River So Long, like Veronica’s life, is a fragmented conflation of time, place, and people-she’s a gypsy, and the world she inhabits is, if not blurry, at least kaleidoscopic. This remarkable novel reads like Jean Rhys run over by the twenty-first century-a rushing, threatening, constantly changing scene with a tumultuous, multiplying cast
Get A River So Long through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: Vallie Lynn Watson’s work has appeared widely in magazines such as PANK, Metazen, Moon Milk Review, Frigg, Ghoti, Nano Fiction, and elsewhere. She is an editor at Blip Magazine, formerly Mississippi Review. Watson received her doctorate at the Center for Writers, the University of Southern Mississippi, and teaches creative writing at Southeast Missouri State University.
Connect with Vallie on her website, Facebook, Twitter,or GoodReads..

Luminis Books was launched in January, 2010 by husband and wife team Tracy Richardson and Chris Katsaropoulos with a mission to publish thought-provoking literary fiction for children and adults. We publish what we love: Meaningful Books That Entertain. Our award-winning books engage and inform readers and explore a wide range of topics from love and relationships, teen sexual assault and homelessness to string theory, consciousness, and the Universal Energy Field.
Luminis Books is a proudly independent publisher located in Carmel, IN.

Learn more about A River So Long‘s tour mates HERE.

EMBED CODE can be found at http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YzE3YzI0YTkzYTJkODQ0ODQxZDUwNTUwMTQ3OTkxOjEwMw==/

 

 

SABRINA’S WINDOW by Al Riske

Sabrina's Window CoverI found this to be an unusual story, and with many turns than twists. It left me guessing what the boy was doing, and where he was going. The story starts off with a boy, Joshua, smashing the window of Sabrina’s house. This is the catalyst of the bond Joshua, 17, and Sabrina, 31, share – not of love exactly – but of adoration.

Joshua and Sabrina, both have their share of crushes, romance, and dates along the road. They share confidences with one another too. The question that was on my mind, was, that will they become boyfriend and girlfriend, albeit their age difference? Of course, I am not going to reveal that!

The reader will read about their inner passions, and what they like and dislike. We discover their true feelings of one another, and the plot line gets thicker here, when two new love affairs appear on the horizon, confusing the reader again! Each page is a turner, as the reader is kept wondering…

The setting of the book is based in Taos, New Mexico, where the temperature soars, and where so much happens. The reader is instantly brought into an exotic place, where they will learn something about the country.

The ending of the book is sharp, stopping at a junction with many possibilities of direction. The reader is left guessing here, or left to his or her imagination, as to what will happen next. Perhaps there is another book…?

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About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

Welcome to another exciting publishing house spotlight tour from Novel Publicity. Join us as three new titles from Luminis Books–we’re calling them the Luminis Literary Triad—tour the blogosphere in a way that just can’t be ignored. And, hey, we’ve got prizes!

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win either of two $25 Amazon gift cards, an autographed copy of Sabrina’s Window by Al Riske, or an autographed copy of its tour mates, Antiphony by Chris Katsaropoulos or A River So Longby Vallie Lynn Watson. Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Luminis Literary Triad tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About the book: On a chilly morning in Taos, New Mexico, a 17-year-old paperboy breaks the window of a 31-year-old hair stylist — an accident that marks the beginning of an instant, inexplicable bond between them. In the course of one high-desert summer, Joshua and Sabrina share confidences, intercede in each other’s love lives, go on a date that scandalizes the town, and confront questions of fidelity, desire, and the nature of love.Get Sabrina’s Window through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: Al Riske grew up in the Pacific Northwest and has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and ghostwriter. His short stories have appeared in Beloit Fiction Journal, Pindledyboz, Switchback, and Blue Mesa Review, where his story “Pray for Rain” won the review’s 2008 fiction prize. His second novel, Faint Promise of Rain (Luminis Books) is due out in the spring of 2015. He now lives in California with his wife, Joanne, and their dog, Bodie.
Connect with Al on his website, Facebook, Twitter,or GoodReads.

Luminis Books was launched in January, 2010 by husband and wife team Tracy Richardson and Chris Katsaropoulos with a mission to publish thought-provoking literary fiction for children and adults. We publish what we love: Meaningful Books That Entertain. Our award-winning books engage and inform readers and explore a wide range of topics from love and relationships, teen sexual assault and homelessness to string theory, consciousness, and the Universal Energy Field.
Luminis Books is a proudly independent publisher located in Carmel, IN.

Learn more about Sabrina’s Wndow‘s tour mates HERE.

EMBED CODE can be found at http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YzE3YzI0YTkzYTJkODQ0ODQxZDUwNTUwMTQ3OTkxOjEwMw==/

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luminis

FINDING TAKRI by Palo Stickland

takriI loved reading Finding Takri. It was easy to read, and understand, and easy to fall in love with. The story is about a young girl (Takri). We follow her life – her marriage to an unknown man from another village, her children, and grandchildren’s lives too. We learn of a love she had prior to her marriage, and see his story through his viewpoint at different points in the novel.

Takri’s story is heartbreaking, but we do see happiness. Palo Stickland balances the two areas with grace. As an Indian myself, I loved revisiting the Indian words Palo used subtlety. It was fresh, and not hard to understand.

Let’s talk about the characters: Takri, who is the main character, is lovely, and I liked her instantly, for her pleasant, and caring attitude to life. We feel sorrow, but when she finds happiness, we can’t be happy enough. Her husband, Basant, loves Takri a lot. We see his caring side, but also his jealous side, and his life takes a turn. We meet Karam, Takri’s love. He is a strong, decisive Punjabi, who is  headstrong, yet sensitive. His life is haunted by his love for Takri. All three characters are bound to one another, and all three spend a lot of time apart from each other too.

Palo’s writing is clean, and sincere. Her voice is natural. It is easy to get lost in the prose without any grammatical disturbances. I cannot emphasize how finely her book is written.

I really recommend you read this book. Not only would you enjoy it, but you shall also learn a few things of India’s struggle against the British Raj, in the 1940s. This is one debut I will never forget.

A fantastic piece of writing, worthy of a literary prize!

ALOHA, MOZART By Waimea Williams

Aloha MozartAloha, Mozart is a story which is quite easy to read at first, with simple plot-lines, but as the plot becomes thicker, attention to detail becomes prominent.

Maile Manoa, a natural, beautiful singer, dreams of becoming an opera singer. But music is forbidden whilst living with her grandmother. Eventually, she is carted off to live with her father, siblings and a large extended family.With the support of her family, Maile realizes the beginning of her dream, and joins a local tourist resort, where she entertains guests by doing what she loves: singing. The story carries on, showing Maile going to New York, and then to Salzburg – Europe, to carry on learning the craft of music and song.

Aloha, Mozart is not only about Maile and music, but also has a political side to it, which brings danger and fear to Maile. The story takes on a different turning at this point, and we see Maile in great turmoil. Maile has to leave Salzburg, but can she? She begins to questions herself – has she sold her 3 souls to the “evil” music?

This is a book of a Literary Prize, for its detailed descriptions of the cities and music. It is a wealth of information!

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About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

Welcome to Novel Publicity’s latest publishing house blog tour. Join us as two new titles from Luminis Books–we’re calling them the Luminis Duo–tour the blogosphere in a way that just can’t be ignored. And, hey, we’ve got prizes!

About the book: Would you risk your life–or your soul–for the sake of art?

Born into an impoverished Hawaiian family in the 1960s, Maile Manoa’s quest for a life in music lures her to the high-stakes world of European opera. In Salzburg, Austria she attracts the attentions of powerful men and falls in love–with a troubled young musician, with the city, and the intrigue that surrounds her.

When Werner von Wehlen, the famous conductor at the center of Salzburg’s glamorous music festival, offers her a leading role, she is forced to confront the Nazi heart of the classical music scene and von Wehlen’s treacherous past.

With Soviet tanks threatening to invade the city on the evening of her much-anticipated premiere, Maile must choose between recognition on the world stage or leaving the city with her life–and her conscience–intact.

This debut novel hits all the right notes–following in the spell-casting footsteps of Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto.

Pick up your copy of this Literary/ Historical through Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: Originally from Hawaii, Waimea Williams spent a decade in Austria and Germany as an opera singer and Waimea Williamshas received fiction awards from Glimmer Train, The Lorian Hemingway Competition, and Salamander Review. She has enjoyed the honor of a writing residency at the Ragdale Foundation, and her short story “Vienna Quartet With Dog” received First Prize from the Charlton Review in 2012. She currently lives near Honolulu. Connect with Waimea on her website, Facebook, or GoodReads.

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win either of two $25 Amazon gift cards, an autographed copy of Aloha, Mozart by Waimea Williams, or an autographed copy of its tour mate, Maybe I Will by Laurie Gray. Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog.

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found here. The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Luminis Duo tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

Luminis Books was launched in January, 2010 by husband and wife team Tracy Richardson and Chris Katsaropoulos with a mission to publish thought-provoking literary fiction for children and adults. We publish what we love: Meaningful Books That Entertain. Our award-winning books engage and inform readers and explore a wide range of topics from love and relationships, teen sexual assault and homelessness to string theory, consciousness, and the Universal Energy Field. Luminis Books is a proudly independent publisher located in Carmel, IN. Learn more at www.luminisbooks.com.

Learn more about Aloha, Mozart‘s tour mate HERE.

EMBED CODE can be found at http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YzE3YzI0YTkzYTJkODQ0ODQxZDUwNTUwMTQ3OTkxOjkx/Two books

 

 

THE RISING WIND By Ken Floro III

The Rising WindA dull story this is not. With minimal characters, the reader soon dives into the story without a backward glance. The Rising Wind is based on a ship – The Rising Wind, and a remote island, but this is no ordinary island, far from it!

The island is inhabited by trolls, who eat animals and humans. They are not easy to kill for their bulky body, although they are dumb. This brings me to the Imperial Knights – Marcavius (Marc) and Montefax (Monty), who come on board of the ship to travel the seas on their voyage home. With them, come on board a goblin – their guardian, a monk, a thief – Din, a navigator and the only woman – Adrianna.

What begins as a pleasant voyage, turns dangerous when the ship is set off course by a fault – on first glance. They arrive at the island on the navigator’s persistence and so begins a tirade of entering the cursed island and rescues on numerous occasions. This is always led by the brave Imperial Knights of Steelvaeran.

Among the characters, Adrianna has a small role, perhaps significant but I cannot be sure. Nevertheless, she is a breath of fresh air. She is also, very much in love with a certain knight!

Ken Floro III takes the reader through rough undergrowth, frightening trolls, the haunting undead and other paranormal happenings. The book is simply written and easy to follow. Ken Floro III keeps the reader entertained throughout the novel. I liked how the author did not reflect on the character’s past during the telling of the story, as most novels do. This method of writing proved to be quite successful in bringing the story forward and avoided lagging.

Who are my favourite characters? It has to be the Knights for their fabulous witty personalities and bravery, and my worst is Din and the navigator, which, once you have read this book, you will understand why!

Thank you Ken, for this wonderful read!

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About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of The Rising Wind! Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog.

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win the first gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found here. The other two prizes will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Rising Wind tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About the book: After graduating into the Imperial knighthood, Marcavius and his cousin book passage aboard a merchant ship, the Rising Wind, to visit their family estate before reporting to the legions. They know no ship dares tread the heart of the Mennaidran Sea, yet along their voyage a strange fog suddenly sets the Rising Wind adrift in those haunted waters. Fortunately another passenger offers his skill as a navigator to save the day, yet he insists that the ship first detour to a nearby island to replenish its supplies. There the ship’s unlucky passengers soon learn that the monsters and magic of legend are no mere myths! Friends, strangers, and even bitter enemies must work together in order to survive and escape. Yet some of the greatest dangers they’ll face are destined to come from one another. Get The Rising Wind through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Ken Floro IIIAbout the author: Ken was born and raised in the South side of Saint Louis. After earning a degree in World Literature, followed by a degree in Culinary Arts, Ken soon made the obvious career move and went to work in medicine.

If you’re having any trouble guessing why, then you’ve probably never served time in the literary or culinary fields. A little taste of reality can suddenly turn a healthy paycheck, normal working hours, and long-term job security into sumptuous delicacies. Despite the sudden change in his employment trajectory, Ken never turned away from his dream of writing.

He’d nurtured a lifelong creative ambition, which had gained direction when a funny true story he wrote for a high school English class became so popular with his classmates they traded copies of it in the hall and passed them up and down the bus. Ever since that catalytic moment, Ken has been writing as a hobby and a passion. Thus far, he’s published eight books, along with several other tidbits. Connect with Ken on his website, Facebook, GoodReads, or Twitter.

EMBED CODE can be found at http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/sharecode/YzE3YzI0YTkzYTJkODQ0ODQxZDUwNTUwMTQ3OTkxOjkw/

Rising Wind Tour Badge

JUST BENEATH THE SURFACE by Rhonda Ramsey

underneathA marriage is supposed to be a happy one, full of laughter and spirit. It is supposed to be exciting yet mature, and responsible. This was not the case for Kendall. “Divorcing” a life from a long term partner and children, Kendall opted to separate and marry Spencer. She thought she would be happy…

This is a story told with deep emotion and by two ladies – Kendall, the mother and Diamond, the daughter. We see the inner turmoils of both women when Kendall’s transition from being unmarried to married becomes an obstacle for the whole family. Her son, Jules shows his own emotions by shouting it out whereas Diamond keeps it locked in, and then lets it out in an ugly outburst of men and sex.

Domestic violence is one of the main issues in the book and Rhonda uses her writing skills perfectly to convey the blows, throws and punches. The fear in Kendall is brilliantly portrayed as is her denial that her husband is not a wife beater and that he will not do it again. It had me shouting at the page, for Kendall to stop being stupid and to get out!

We see a teenage love problem from Diamond’s pov who falls victim of verbal bullying at her school. Named as an easy girl, she is called many things and becomes an outcast when her best friend leaves her. She becomes acquainted with an older man – her teaching assistant and falls into the trap of love, need and want but when her boyfriend gets too needy and begins to stalk her, she becomes alarmed but too ashamed to tell her parents.

Diamond’s call of distress is what brings Kendall to her senses but her problems don’t end there.

Rhonda’s writing is fresh and heart-tugging. Her scenes are vivid and the reader will feel every bash, slap, and punch as well as hurt, disbelief and hope. I applaud Rhonda for such a good, heart wrenching read!