Books...



Review:  Korian and Lucy- A Cult of the Cat Short Story (Part I and II ) - Zoe Kalo

Genre: YA Fantasy

NOTE From the Author: "Korian and Lucy: Part I" is NOT a novel. It is a companion short story (about 6,000 words) to 'Daughter of the Sun' (Cult of the Cat Book I). It is meant to be read AFTER Daughter of the Sun, otherwise you won't get the full meaning or references to characters.
"Korian and Lucy: Part II" is NOT a novel. It is a companion short story (about 9,000 words) to Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat Book 1). It is meant to be read AFTER Daughter of the Sun and "Korian and Lucy Part I," otherwise you won't get the full meaning or references to characters.





Something is stirring on the Island of Cats…
It’s early September. Korian and Lucy are newly discovering the indomitable intensity and power of their love. Lucy’s mothergives her a chilling warning her about their family curse and the tragic consequences this could have for Korian’s life.
But Lucy strikes a deal with the goddess Isis to keep Korian safe, a bargain that can’t be broken.
When disaster strikes, Lucy must ask what Isis really wants. Is she a mere pawn in the goddess’ scheming game, or are there other much darker forces at work?
The world wants to pull them apart, but Korian and Lucy are determined to stay together.









It’s January on the Island of Cats and Lucy is secretly pregnant. Her love for Korian is as invincible as ever. Together, they experience the magic of their baby’s movement for the first time.

But the raging Marmara waters and stormy skies match the turbulent state of Lucy’s soul. Isis continues to haunt her dreams. Her aunt’s new ruby ring sends a chill of suspicion up her spine. Scorpions crawl on the edge of her mind… Could Korian be right? Was her aunt involved in his mother’s death?

When Lucy is forced to reveal her pregnancy, she discovers she’s not the only one with news, for her mother and her aunt both have astonishing revelations of their own…

In a world that wants to pull them apart, Korian and Lucy must do everything in their power to stay together.


Korian and Lucy – Cult of the Cat
Zoe Kalo
Part 1 and Part 2


The Cult of the cat series by Zoe Kalo has already won my favour with the first book in the series, Daughter of the Sun. The short stories, Korian and Lucy Part 1 and 2 are, in a short description, appetisers to the Full course meal beginning with the daughter of the Sun, and flavourful appetisers for sure! You begin to love more the characters you already love and hate more the characters you already hate. And no line or phrase or narration goes off balance or tips off the reader on what is to happen. But, in full honesty Zoe Kalo’s plea to first read Daughter of the Sun before attempting the two short stories seems completely unnecessary to me. The short stories didn’t seem to contain anything that needed a reference from the novel except for the main characters of Margaret and Dr Nassri (Bithiah in the short stories; and except for a bit of a spoiler if the reader is too smart towards the end of the first book ;) ). If read after the first book , the short stories are a detailed portrayal of most of the things that we already know from the book , kind of like a flashback clipping of a story already briefed to us. But, if read before the book i’m sure that the short stories would be a great build up into the mythological mystery that the series is all about and that these teeny stories will only further make the reader crave for the next books for the desperate need to really know what happens to the characters who were supposed to be in the first book but are not there! If I had read the short stories first, i’d have been keener on reading the book cover to cover in search of those who were supposed to be there, all the time extremely anxious on what could have happened to them... ( no, don’t expect me to blurt out who... i’m not going to blurt out a spoiler!)
Short as they are, consider these short stories as the missing few first pages from the Cult of the cat series. All that gaps to be filled are being filled in an engaging way. One more short story and I hope to learn all the secrets.







Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery….Zoe has had the good fortune of living on 3 continents, learning 4 languages, and experiencing a multicultural life. Currently, she’s working on a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature, which she balances between writing, taking care of her clowder of cats, and searching for the perfect bottle of pinot noir. She lives and writes in Belgium.Zoe is also the author of Two Graves (Retribution Series #1)Connect with Zoe Kalo on the web: www.ZoeKalo.com / Facebook / Twitter

Link to Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat Book I):
https://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Sun-Cult-Cat-1/dp/1533061769 Link “Korian and Lucy” (Part I):
https://www.amazon.com/Korian-Lucy-Cult-Short-Story-ebook/dp/B01H9FM2M2 Link to “Korian and Lucy” (Part II):
https://www.amazon.com/Korian-Lucy-Cult-Short-Story-ebook/dp/B01M30V1AC The 3rd and final part of “Korian and Lucy”will be coming soon! 




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Name: Raven Song
Series: Inoki's Game (Book 1)
Paperback: 290 pages
Published Date: March 14, 2016
Publisher: Lucid Dreams Publishing
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1944674004
ISBN-13: 978-1944674007



Author Bio:
​I. A. Ashcroft has been writing fiction in many forms for almost twenty years. The author's first book, written at age seven, featured the family cat hunting an evil sorceress alongside dragons and eagles. This preoccupation with the fantastical has not changed in the slightest.

Now, the author dwells in Phoenix, AZ alongside a wonderful tale-spinner and two increasingly deranged cats. Ashcroft writes almost exclusively in the realm of darker fantasy these days, loving to entertain adults with stories of magic, wonder, despair, violence, and hope, bringing a deep love of mythology into every tale penned. The author also loves diverse and intriguing casts of characters.

When not buried in a book, one might find Ashcroft learning languages, charting road trips, and playing tabletop RPGs with clever and fun people.





Book Blurb:
A century ago, the world burned. Even now, though rebuilt and defiant, civilization is still choking on the ashes.
 Jackson, a smuggler, lives in the shadows, once a boy with no memory, no name, and no future. Ravens followed him, long-extinct birds only he could see, and nightmares flew in their wake. Once, Jackson thought himself to be one of the lucky few touched by magic, a candidate for the Order of Mages. He is a man now, and that dream has died. But, the ravens still follow. The nightmares still whisper in his ear.
 Anna’s life was under the sun, her future bright, her scientific work promising. She knew nothing of The Bombings, the poisoned world, or the occult. One day, she went to work, and the next, she awoke in a box over a hundred years in the future, screaming, fighting to breathe, and looking up into the eyes of a smuggler. Anna fears she’s gone crazy, unable to fill the massive hole in her memories, and terrified of the strange abilities she now possesses.
 The Coalition government has turned its watchful eyes towards them. The secret factions of the city move to collect them first. And, old gods stir in the darkness, shifting their pawns on the playing field.
 If Anna and Jackson wish to stay free, they must learn what they are and why they exist.
 Unfortunately, even if they do, it may be too late. Raven Song is the first of a four book adult-oriented dystopian fantasy series, a story of intrigue, love, violence, and the old spirits in the shadows who wait for us to notice them again. Readers of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Charlie Human will enjoy this dark magic-laced tale rooted on the bones of what our world could become.



My Review: 

The mysterious and magical tale of the Chosen begins.... Such beauty blooms in the language and such mystery envelops the plot that the more you read, the more you fall in love with the pages. Beyond my expectations, a splendorous language that precisely, yet imaginatively constructed kept on greeting my keen heart and the plot was one with uncountable twists and turns that I believe I lost track of the refreshing push in the narrative. I was expecting a usual magical tale with the cliché symbols and images and the usual cadence of a magical mystery; the dreams giving out messages and initiation into a cult and fighting a villain or going in search of a family treasure or lineage kind of stuff. But the book threw away the usual spiralling tales of good versus evil and choosing sides and fairy Godparents. There is darkness everywhere and the world is a wasted future. Usually magic tales trace back in time, here this simply shot further into time beyond the 2140’s! The Prologue was fair enough to keep the reader searching for answers, and the little it give prodded me to read on for answers. The entire book does that; pose questions to which we have to read long into the pages to get answers, but, mystery and magic drenched plot has shrouded those answers in a thick fog that the reader never gets impatient so as to skip a paragraph or page, lest we miss some action or a sudden turn of fate! Masks fall and even under the masks, new ones grow at once. What more to do to add to the mystery than hovering Ravens that only Jackson can see and then Anna popping out of a box , floating in the air, glowing...? The Coalition, The Agents, The Barrier, The Raiders, The Order, Nyx, Gap-toothed Tony, The unsettling and persistent dreams, The Tiger-like man, but above all The Mysterious visitor with starry eyes.... The Shadow? Sometimes, reading simply seems the best way to put things in order to see the big picture rather than indulging in mind games piecing together bits from here and there to guess how things might progress; because you can never guess with books like this one. This was a magical mystery thriller in all its terms. Oh! and...Watch out for the Ravens, they are watching...!

🐦🐦🐦🐦🐦


Other Reviews:

‘Aware that this is just the first book in the series and I am hooked and will read on, however as a standalone book it would still make a fantastic read.’ ~ Mark on Goodreads 

‘A good urban fantasy with well-developed characters and a grim and complex setting. I would recommend.’ ~ DannicaZulestin on Goodreads 

‘Ashcroft has a brilliant imagination coupled with an eloquent writing style that draws the reader in, makes us feel a wide array of emotions, andholds us captivated to the very end. I anxiously await the next volume in this series.’ ~ K. McCaslin on Amazon 

‘I usually think endings are the worst part of most books, hard to wrap up into a logical and solid ending, this book did well at it I was satisfied but very much looking forward to the next book.’ ~ taruofatlantis on Amazon 

‘The narration by Mikael Naramore was good. He was able to capture the voices of the characters well, especially the manic Tony. In general the characters were distinguishable and the voicing gave life to each of them. The production quality was good as well.’ ~ Poonam on AudioBook Reviewer. 




PROLOGUE



A boy lay on the broken sidewalk, eyes closed. He was pale and thin, looking not aday over ten years old. His half-clothed body shuddered against the chilly night air.His bony frame scraped against the grime of the street as he curled into himself, tryingto keep back the cold. Overhead, the stars hung bright and lonely.

In the alley, almost invisible against the midnight darkness, a man stood tall overthe boy. His well-pressed suit was as black as the shadows, as his skin, and as the ravenon his shoulder. The way he hovered over the child, he seemed a strange guardian.But his eyes were turned upwards to the sky, away from the boy’s plight, as if it wasno real matter. In those black eyes the stars were mirrored, impossible and brilliant.Those eyes stared back into the past, when the celestial lights were loved and revered,when each constellation had a story.
Once upon a time… this was when the world had sung to him, the dream-walker,the song-weaver, the star-stringer.
Once, before humans had forgotten his name.
Now, the starry sky was almost hidden by the glowing blue haze of the Barrier, ashield cast over what was left of the city: proud New York, ruined, rebuilt, defiant.
The stranger kept staring upwards into oblivion, even as the boy let out anunhappy whimper, chills wracking his weak frame. The raven flew from the stranger’sshoulder then, alighting onto the sidewalk, picking past the weeds and rubble. Itrejoined its fellows who had settled amicably around the child, oblivious to the factthat ravens were all supposed to be dead. One hundred years ago, poison had leechedinto the earth, into the grass, into the grazers, and into the corpses left behind. Theblight spared little, its kind no exception. Regardless, this impossible creatureaffectionately brushed at the boy’s dark hair with its beak.
At the touch, the boy awoke with a start. His wide, uncomprehending eyes took inthe world as he struggled to sit up, his head swinging around wildly; past awnings andhigh rises he had never seen, past scrawled words and graffiti he could not understand.He teetered to his feet, then fell back down again as his knees gave out, sending thebirds around him into flight.
He saw no starry eyes in the darkness, no stranger standing nearby. He was halfnaked,shivering, hungry, and alone, his head aching down to his teeth. The namelessboy shook off the dreams he couldn’t remember and wondered where he was.
If there had been any passersby on that cold autumn night, they would have swornthat this boy hadn’t been there a minute ago, and no stranger or ravens had been thereat all.








Contact the Author:






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Two Graves- Zoe Kalo 




Title: Two Graves(Retribution Series #1)
Author: Zoe Kalo
Genre: Dark Psychological Suspense
Audience: New Adult/Adult
Word count: 18,000 words – 70 pages (short novella)
Launch date: October 1st 2016





Story of revenge never seemed this intriguing. A sense of beauty permeates through the narration and plot like tap on the shoulder prodding us to pause for a while to savour the transforming ecstasy that comes through art and music. Action, even though not shifting locations, takes the reader back and forth into time trying to decipher the motive of the protagonist. The antagonist flashes in and out of scenes and thoughts. At times, it seems a savior has appeared to redeem Angelica, and at times all hopes seem to be lost. The secrecy that tangles through into the narration, lingers even when the novella has ended. Many questions go unanswered and many secrets unravel without inquiry, almost just like that it flickers into sight. Anything said could be a spoiler! it is that tightly packed and nothing fails to amaze. The journey into Dante’s Inferno is almost literal. Fuming flames, an all-seeing pair of eyes and what more is needed than a story of revenge? The chilling inferno and the mystery shrouded plot with infinite possibilities for the reader to interpret and imagine, Two Graves was a thrilling mystery story that combined the beauty of language, mystery of the plot and the redeeming power of music. The “Angel” with the violin has set things on fire! Let the Inferno rage and shed light into the untold mysteries that Angelica alone holds in her heart…





About the Book
A Dante-ish descent through a sinister world of decadent shadows and woeful souls…
Seven years ago, he shattered her life. The town eventually forgot the headlines and the nightmares. But 23-year old music student Angelica hasn’t forgotten.
For the past seven years, she’s contemplated payback with as much intensity and unwavering faith as she puts into her violin playing. Finally, all the pieces are in place. Over the course of one night, disguised for a masquerade ball, Angelicaorchestrates a journey of revenge.
About Author Zoe Kalo
A certified bookworm, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery…
A daughter of adventurous expats, she’s had the good fortune of living on 3 continents, learning 4 languages, and experiencing a multicultural life. Currently, she’s working on a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature, which she balances between writing, taking care of her clowder of cats, and searching for the perfect bottle of pinot noir. She is the author of the YA fantasy series CULT OF THE CAT.
Connect with Zoe Kalo on the web:




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 Review: Daughter of the Sun : A Goddess Reborn




This Review is a part of the Blogger Outreach Program by b00k r3vi3w Tours


Cult of the Cat series blurb

According to ancient Egyptian prophecy, three feline goddesses—Bastet, Sekhmet, and Mafdet—would one day be reborn as triplets during a solar eclipse.

But someone—or something—separated them at birth. Because if ever they were reunited, they would unleash a blistering power that could destroy the world.

In an adventure where the past confronts the present, and blood, betrayal and secrets abound, the triplets face each other for the first time. And discover they’re the only force able to stop the evil god Apophis from enslaving humanity.




Daughter of the Sun, Book 1 - blurb


Sixteen-year-old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew.

But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities.

Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to eighteen-year-old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to confront her true self—and a horrifying destiny.




Book Review

Daughter Of the Sun : Cult Of the Cat Series #1
Zoe Kalo
Pages : 330



Zoe Kalo ‘s  Daughter of the sun was a very engaging read with its gripping and ominous narrative. Mystery entwines every page and surprises are quite surprises pouncing upon the reader out of the blue!  Trinity , an orphan found at the steps of an orphanage a new born,  gives us a whiff of the strange at the very beginning, but strikes as innocently aware of the imminent ,just like the reader. No ironies prep the reader long before the character learns things and shares the innocent  ignorance along with Trinity. The mysterious visitor radiating “malevolence”, Dr Nassri,  introducing herself in spiteful and impatient formidability wins not much favour from the reader as well as from Trinity. What is more astounding is the writer’s talent in making the reader think and act like Trinity and we often find ourselves sharing her fears and suspicions or unintentionally swinging to the pub tunes. The reader feels the stomach churn or is hit by the sudden stench of black magic almost always identifying with the protagonist.
 The flow of the narrative is commendably gripping as I never skipped a paragraph or two, leave alone pages , (like I sometimes or mostly do! ) Every word is well placed and every emotion well phrased; and I when the writer lets the reader feel intelligent enough to figure out certain gaps...it is always flattering (I love that attention).
Usually when a series is in the scheme and the readers are to be held painfully and desperately clinging on for the next part, Zoe Kalo, I felt, was moving more in a stately stride of overwhelming confidence. Rather than hooking her reader in agony with a steep cliff-hanger, I felt the ending was more a self-assured invitation to follow the sequel; but equally powerful! The book as it is has reached a conclusion, but more than what is to happen, I feel my mind already looking for the next part just to get answers to many of the things left unsaid. Like how did Ara get into the bowel of the place that Trinity couldn’t even figure out how to get in , despite her extrasensory perceptions and her divine powers! Or the very mysterious characters of Seth and his Grandfather. And the ending was a bit too unsettling..devouring the heart and all!... unsettling might not be the best word yet but the thought of a mummy roaming about the island adds up to the ending being “unsettling” I guess. But the cunning brilliance is in the part where to follow Trinity’s life and learn more about the illusive characters of Ara, Seth and his Grandfather the reader will have to endure the curiosity until the third book is out or perhaps a fourth if there are more. As the sneak-peek into the second one clearly unfolds the life of the mysterious girl Trinity spots at the harbour; the second Goddess I believe. So to figure out the characters of others and to get more love of the old lady who takes care of Trinity the readers will surely have to wait for the third or fourth book of the series as obviously the third would be about the third Goddess.
In a cumulative assessment, the book not only beautifully sketches out a new plot to reincarnate the triple Goddess into the modern era as normal teenage girls, but also keeps it simple and engaging all the while, throwing in bits of Egyptian history and mesmerizing flashbacks from the life of the Goddess. The subtle way multiple secrets have been held back from the characters and the reader until it smashes hard at the back of the head of all together is commendable as everyone remains clueless; secrets carefully cradled in the mind of the writer with no teasing winks or a flashing cunning smile beguiled in part of the narrative.
I really enjoyed reading it and the only few things i might ask more would be a bit more of mythological details just enough to feel us educated as well, and perhaps a bit more concentration on the aesthetic side of the syntax just enough to cater a bit more density to the narration. I would happily rate this book a 4.1 out of five. 






About the Author: A certified bookworm, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery…A daughter of adventurous expats, she’s had the good fortune of living on 3 continents, learning 4 languages, and experiencing a multicultural life. Currently, she’s working on a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature, which she balances between writing, taking care of herclowder of cats, and searching for the perfect bottle of pinot noir.Connect with Zoe Kalo on the web: www.ZoeKalo.com / Facebook / Twitter



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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.



The Big Idea (Story of the inspiration behind Faith of the Nine)


Visualize a big planet. Like Jupiter. And the rings of Saturn thrown together, revolving slowly. Slow enough for our mind to comprehend that it is actually revolving. And the voice that booms out in the background claiming, “I AM….TIME!” 
That is obviously an anthromorphic personification of time – but that is the scene I had in mind when I thought of the name of my series, Wheels of Janani. A ginormous wheel of time rolling along unstoppably towards the end of a world. Indian mythology has this concept of the Trimurti – or a triumvirate of power. Focused on Three Gods who are entrusted with the cosmic functions of “creation”, “sustenance” and “destruction”. Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. And Vaishnavism claims that this yuga or epoch known as the Kali Yuga will end with the appearance of Kalki, the tenth avatar of Lord Vishnu – the world ending in an apocalypse leading away to the next yuga. 
The world Janani is rolling on towards the end of its third yuga – and the Wheels of Janani or time portends an impending apocalypse that would destroy this world. A child of the Ancient Nine (an avatar – that is the descent of the divine to the material realm) is prophesied to be born into such a world on the brink of its destruction. While the over-arching theme is borrowed from the same concept as the end of Kali Yuga, I put a spin to this situation. 
What if the prophecy is unclear? The avatar’s appearance in the world can either plunge the world into ashes and blood and destruction or save the catastrophe. And what is the cost of ‘saving’ the world? 
At the heart of the conflict of my series is religion. And digging a bit deeper, it’s emotional failings. Emotions for which we have no control over getting the better of reason and causing irrational behaviour leading to disastrous consequences. 
So I set out to write about a thriving flourishing empire set in this world – built on a sequence of lies and deceit ruled by a set of high priests directly in communion with their God. A set of tyrannical paranoid rulers who would exterminate anyone not willing to believe their faith. Or practice Maaya (Magic!) born of the older tenets of faith.
Into this setting I slowly wanted to build the picture of a set of survivors who doggedly stick to older beliefs waiting for the arrival of the “prophesied” child who can save them. And the world. A set of unbelievers who start to question their faith and loyalty – and slowly discover a hidden set of reality.
Cue the bugles of war. 
As we hurtle towards the end of this world, will the child of the Nine save Janani or speedup the prophecies of doom? 



BUY the book at your favorite (r)etailers!



Paperback          Flipkart  ||  LandmarkOntheNet  ||  Infibeam  ||  PustakMandi
eBook                   Newshunt  ||  Google Play! ( Books)




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













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Here's a sneak  peek into Falguni Kothari's Soul Warrior - Book One, Age of Kali






Excerpt:

CHAPTER ZERO

DWANDA-YUDDHA: THE DUEL



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 thunderbolthadn’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 handin 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 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:





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 :







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Book Review

The Curse Of Brahma: Volume 1
Jagmohan Bhanver
Rupa Publications
Pgs: 375
295/-



Jagmonhan Bhanver’s The Curse of Brahma follows the trail of recent productions from India that factiously delves into the featured mythologies and legends and recasting them in an entirely different mould, minting characters that are more closely modeled upon the modern man. The book focuses on the instances leading to the birth of Lord Krishna and unravels on a more logical term, the entire birth story. Since eons past we have been intrigued by the logic of why Kansa in the first place allowed the marriage of Devki and Vasudev and have posed a very sarcastically logical question as to why Kansa allowed them to be in the same prison chamber. Elders have always fumbled upon such innocent questions by young ones and escaped finding an excuse that this is how the myth is. Bhanver have, in a way, found a way to logically put across solutions for such puzzles and have sewed together the different shattered pieces to form a plot that satisfies the intellect and ties a considerable number of loose ends together. The Curse of the Brahma cannot be said to be a re-presentation of the myth or the myth through a different perspective ending up with a different conclusion. But it is also notable that we get a more vivid glimpse on the possible life of Devki and Vasudev about whom our usual Krishna stories plays a palpable indifference to. All that we know about the couple is usually from the moment of their marriage and every narration begins from their marriage ceremony and the sudden turn of fate. The book gives us a very powerful Vasudev, modest and gentle, but highly talented and skilled as a Philosopher-warrior and the beautiful Devki and her dedicated love towards her brother and her lover. It is for the first time ever that i read about their life before the marriage and how Kansa became the sole protector of Devki, how Vasudev defended the land and for the first time i felt a deep devotion and consideration to the couple. For these many years, the only sympathy they earned was of being locked up in a dungeon and the horror of the parents beholding the ruthless murder of all their newly born. The Curse of Brahma opened up a new area to ponder upon and gave me a fresh outlook towards the warrior that Vasudev could have been and the brave woman Devki could have been. Apart from the image of a helpless and sorry couple locked up in the darkness, the pair definitely wins attention and affection through this book; and Kansa, the usually despised character in the mythology, claims a greater love from the reader owing to the manipulations that transformed him into the demon he later became. We wont hate the figure as such, but always from the beginning harbour a reverence and affection to the person that he is. The circumstances of his birth and his manipulation by Jarasandha and the Dark Lord are the only influences that acts upon the beast that he later became.  I have to agree that the book have made me think twice about the asuras that puranas forced us to hate right from the beginning before seeing into what could have actually happened and why the Princes of the land turned into such brutal devils.
 The book is simply adapting a familiar plot to reinvent possibilities and to fill in fine details into the framework and letting loose the mind to feed on the material to come up with creative images and incidents that perfectly fits in like a jigsaw puzzle and still brings about the same, desired, end. It is only right to expect a more filtered and dignified language in the book that deals with a topic that is similar to that of an epic, but the writer had invariably resorted to the modern colloquial tongue which lays the readers at their supine self where just a surface level reading for pleasure is intended. Hence I would not claim a certain depth to the work dealing with the mythology of the land, as it ought to have had, dealing with such reverend a topic. The book is definitely worth a reading if you intend to imagine the mythology with a fine sense of detail and with possibly comprehensible and casual demeanour for the characters. The language also compliments this cause of making it a pleasurable easy read with its simple phraseologies and common terminologies, not resorting to verbal gymnastics or spicing up lines with excess sprinkling of Sanskrit terms that is common to such adaptations. Exchanges in the book portray before us characters similar to people we meet everyday around us, with the usual worries and frustrations and the common jealousies and envies that blankets us all through our life. Lust, love, fear, anger all plagues the characters as such as they plague us and these feelings are articulated or exclaimed with all the common phrases we use around this century. This helps us to see these venerated characters of mythologies like a next door neighbor shouting out in frustration or blushing in love.  The book has appealed to me better than many of its kind for its linking up of unrelated threads to finally attempt to provide an explanation for certain behavior of the mythological characters and trying to expound the logic behind certain incidents. I may not call this literary masterpiece but i’ll definitely call this a carefully crafted work that is entertaining. 


                               The Curse Of Brahma- Trailer


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Dean F Wilson first caught my attention with his Hopebreaker which was a whole new universe for me. Nothing seemed familiar though everything sounded familiar. Everything held close and positive suddenly changed favors to side with Demons.. Thankfully Demons were demons and humans, humans. Though the obviously distopian world was to shun me away from the book like all such kinds of works do to me, i was surprised to find myself hooked to the pages till the end. It was not long before I realized that it was not the plot, but the language that won my interest. As i progressed i simply loved the book, except for a painful cliffhanger. I hate cliffhangers, they are unbearably painful. But thankfully, my painful wait came to an end when the author himself blessed me with a copy of the follow up... LIFEMAKER! What i love most about his terminologies are despite the myriad chances of naming his war machines and his books with a fancy nerve-wracking  names, Dean F Wilson simply, beautifully names his Resistance's war-machines with terms fit to their purpose. The first one was the beautifully designed Hopebreaker and the Next one a more amazing piece of machinery, The Lifemaker which holds up to its purpose of sustaining humanity within  its metal bowel.


The Resistance , who is in an existential war with the demons who are trying to uproot humanity have built Lifemaker, a submarine, as their under water hide out. They protect within it, what is left of the Pure, who are impregnated so as to continue the human race. Ocean is never a haven free of dangers and while Lifemaker sinks into the depth of the ocean to evade the watchful eyes of the Regime, we share the concerns the inmates feel in that cell under the ocean. New creatures spring to life now and then throwing everything its got on the vessel and more... mines and submersibles of the Regime floats overhead to blast humanity out of the face of the Earth. "Lifemaker" meanders through incidents that keep our curiosity piked up and somewhere we feel the mental states of the characters themselves taking a shift and a turn. Jacob, as always fills in the pages with humour and quips.. I really like that guy! and Whistler is becoming more lively.. This definitely warms up things with moves and counter moves and the dangers in the depths with a saboteur on board! The book just keeps on getting more and more interesting! My rating... 4 out of five. Obviously waiting for the next part.





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The modern world thrives in the cyberspace. One’s identity, connections and professional backgrounds have irreversibly shifted into the digital platform where the world comes together. Defined By Others bases this shifting platform of existence to weave away a yarn out of this new lifestyle. Society has just been digitalized!
 Anne Guiles, and her friend Connie is about for a surprise when their menacing friend Amanda had been claimed and taken away by cancer. To relieve herself out of the pain and to make living more interesting, the already nosy Amanda utilizes the digital world, adding and deleting while researching to form a new digital reality for a few chosen friends and neighbors. She has trapped them on the hooks of cyber romance. This secret she hands over to Anne, who makes Connie her partner for crime as well. Both were victims to the homosexuality of their husbands and so the digital “game” as Amanda terms it comes to them as an entertainment. Augmented by the psychic powers that Anne is lately developing, the duo begins to enjoy this game. Each of their “victims”, as they term, lives trapped in the virtual reality that Connie manages and Anne, with her psychic abilities creates for them a real virtuality to go with it.
Each of us is defined by the society and people we belong with. The society moulds us into what we are. The book remembers to make this as the cherished theme where people are defined by what others think and say for and about us.  With Anne being a woman of words defining each moment by a single word, the linguistic potential of the book is much enjoyable. The way the cyber personas affect the real world is unconditionally true as well. This is yet another eye-opener into the entrapping cyber world. The book is a word of caution to people who cannot differentiate between the real and the virtual world.


Simple yet apt vocabulary defines the book. However, what makes it readable is the fact that the characters mature over time. The initial enthusiasm for cyber intervention into the personal lives of others may sound entertaining, yet what pulls others out of the system will also pull us out one day. The theme is a thought-provoking one into the seriousness and serendipity of relations in and out of the cyber world; the mix might almost get us confused. 



Short Author Bio:
M.C.V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan the author of The Bridge of Deaths and Defined by Others. Catalina is originally from Mexico City, Mexico. She has lived in France, Sweden and various parts of the U.S.A.
She has called South Florida her home for the last twenty-five years; she is a writer, a mother a wife and a pretty good cook.
Her first book The Bridge of Deathsis available in two different versions, her book Defined by Others is the first in a series Defining Waysexploring what makes us flawed and human.
Book two Climbing Up The Family Tree; Defined by Pedigreewill be released in November 2015.

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DEFINING WAYS




Defined by Others Character Sketches
                                                          © M.C.V. Egan

The characters in Defined by Others are predominantly women. They are all flawed and for the most part very superficial. Some of their flaws are surprising and others are logical.
I chose women born in the year 1965, I did this to work with a play on Chinese Astrology.  I made them 47 years old as the book takes place in 2012, one of the characteristics of female snakes according to Chinese Astrology is that they are all very beautiful.
I wanted characters that were superficial and very worried about their physique and how others see them; thus being defined by the opinions of others.
The women have a connection as teens from growing up in the same affluent town in the American Northeast. The story is fueled by who they are at 47 and who they were at 17.

ANNEis one of the main characters and the story is told from her point of view, in her voice. She is fluent in many languages and loves words. She likes to define every moment with just one word. Her husband recently left her, and he left her broken and confused. Divorce is hard at any age, but divorce because the man you shared almost two decades with realizes he is gay must be brutal
Anne has a nice side, she is forgiving of her husband, she tries to get into his skin and appreciate that his confusion, she is still however so confused and vulnerable that when life presents her with a way to make other’s suffer as she has, she is pretty quick to grab it.
She has adolescent twins, she is however a very detached parent, as the story evolves she identifies that she continued the family pattern with which she was raised.
In the course of the story she has to make numerous life changing decisions. Anne is in a journey of self-discovery and she has likable and dark traits.

CONNIE is also a main character, she is curiously linked to Anne because her respective husbands have fallen for each other and left them. Connie has been carrying the pain and confusion longer than Anne. She is broken and lonely and in Anne she sees the possibility of a friend, ally or at the very least fellow sufferer.
Like Anne she does not blame the man who left her, and respects that as the father of her children, she needs to wish him nothing but the very best.
She loves to nurture and to cook. She goes completely against her nurturing nature as the story evolves, because she is so hurt, confused and unbalanced.
As much as Connie chooses to also manipulate those she sees as her foes, there is a very tender and likable side to Connie. She loves her children very deeply and is very lost when the main focus of her life changes; she was born to be the quintessential mom.



AMANDAis dead, during the entire story-line she manipulates with her legacy from the very grave. She was ravaged by an illness that magnified her negative traits, and if the other characters are to be believed there was nothing positive about Amanda.
As the story progresses I do give Amanda a background a reason to be so dark, I did so because otherwise the character would be too flat or cartoon like as an image of pure evil.
During her illness she devices away to be cruel and most involved with the women in her past and present. Upon her death (not a spoiler this is the opening of the book) she leaves her “game” to Anne, it is a game of manipulation and deceit through social media.


ALLISONis mean, she identified as Amanda’s mean girl side-kick but she too is a victim of the manipulation game. I have had readers contact me, and it is indeed Allison they seem to dislike the most, I did not feel a need to give her as much depth or an excuse for her nastiness, as she is a secondary character. I just wanted to show that although she is vulnerable, she is also a natural leader.
She is clever and assumes she is far cleverer than she really is. As I wrote Defined by Others I did want Allison to be a sort of live walking continuum to Amanda’s nasty side.

PETERis the onlymalein the story who is very present, the husbands are in the sidelines. Peter is a lawyer, he connects with Anne at the beginning of the book as Amanda’s lawyer.
He is kind and understanding, he falls for Anne and he falls hard, he is also divorced and as such looking for a new way to fit in. He is not privy to Anne and Connie’s machinations, but he does suspect they are up to no good.
I wanted Peter to be a very easy man to love, intelligent, successful, and vulnerable. I had to make him vulnerable by having his ex drop him in a cruel and hurtful way. I made him Amanda’s reluctant lawyer so that he would be aware that Anne had inherited something odd and questionable from Amanda, I did not want to turn him into a detective, he needed some level of awareness to make him believable.
I also had him fall in love with Anne, but fall in love with Connie’s cooking and thus forming a strong bond with both women.

MRS. G. (Anne’s mother) is a character that is as much represented by her dialogue and appearances throughout the story as she is by her “secret room”. Mrs. G. was a liberal adventuresome lady who is also defined by others, and as such she pretends to be as conservative as those who surround her world.
She has a special room, full of New Age Books and other secrets, she is as such very present throughout the story.



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Writing from the historical city of Oxford, Jae yates is surprising and inspiring story of success despite her dyslexia. Being an employee at the Museum of Anthropology and World Archeology, her very surroundings offer her the nourishment a writer need. Her, A Paradox Child series, trilogy, has already won much accolade. An expert storyteller and a loving mother, Jane is bound to be loved. 




‘Garden is very charming with some lovely parallels …’ Sharon Sant – Author of The Sky Song trilogy
Inspired by the classic novel The Secret Garden, Jane Yates introduces us to a steampunk world of bio-domes, robots and mysteries. Eleven-year-old Aberdeen is so used to being by herself that all she has to fill her thoughts are stories of mighty dragons and grand castles. But Aberdeen’s world is soon thrown into disarray however; her parents murdered.
Having no choice, Aberdeen is sent to live with her uncle back on Earth where her fascination into her new surroundings begin to take hold. It isn’t long before Aberdeen befriends three other children – Maisy, Peter and Lenard.
Oh, and there’s Frank too, Peter’s robot dog, who completes this special circle of friendship.
Garden is a journey of self-discovery, of trials and friendship. With adventure boundless, Jane Yates follows up her acclaimed Paradox Childtrilogy with a new tale for young fans of steampunk and science fiction.

Praise for Garden

‘Garden is very charming with some lovely parallels …’  – Sharon Sant – Author of The Sky Song trilogy

‘This is an absolutely lovely story with a really intriguing mystery …’ – Jaimie Admans – Author of Afterlife Academy

‘Garden made me smile from start to finish.’ – Dan Thompson – Author of Here Lies Love

‘Jane Yates has written a wonderful story of self-growth, courage and learning how to love.’ – Book Raiders Blog





Here is an excerpt from Garden:


CHAPTER 1
 Left Alone


Deep in space, Aberdeen sat on a balcony overlooking a grand party her mother hosted. Everyone wore their finest clothes. The music was loud; a type of remixed jazz. Aberdeen searched her mother out among the crowd of guests. Upon spotting her, she gazed at her mother’s attire; a long silk dress, the colour of shock blue. This was matched by elaborate feathers and sparkling jewels that hung in her blue hair. Her mother’s hair swung down her back, which highlighted her large dragon tattoo. Aberdeen eyed the lead in her mother’s hand and followed it to the golden robot dog sat beside her. It was tall and thin, and even from where Aberdeen sat, she could see the cogs moving inside it as if it had a tiny heart beating.
Aberdeen’s mother laughed gaily. She had the full attention of a young officer with braided hair, who was smartly dressed in his green and gold uniform. As he chuckled along, his head dropped back and a cool thin line of rose-smelling cigarette smoke slid from the corner of his mouth.
Aberdeen continued to watch the party from above. As usual, there was no sign of her father; probably in the engine room of the ship, she guessed. She browsed at all the fresh fruit and flowers in the tall bowls and glasses decorating the table. She knew that they had been picked up the last time the ship had docked at one of the satellite stations. She had learnt that the fragrant, exotic flowers had been grown in large artificial garden domes and she longed to see one.
She looked down in awe at the musicians. A large man sat at a glass piano, his fingers elegantly flitting from key to key. Aberdeen could see his fat belly though through the transparent top of the piano; it wobbled tastelessly as he played, a huge contrast to his regal demeanour. Aberdeen also noticed a tall, skinny man, strumming a black shinny double base and three female trumpeters who all wore brown and white stripy suits.
Draped from the metallic ceiling were candle-shaped lights, and in between them dancers gambolled on trapeze ropes. They wore porcelain masks and flamboyantly displayed peacock feathers, midnight blue and jade green, in their hair. They matched the rhythm of the quintet perfectly, Aberdeen thought.
The floor was polished to a high shine and Aberdeen could see the refection of the sociable people in it. In the corner of the room was an old gentleman who caught Aberdeen’s interest. Upon his head was a black top hat and he rested a glass monocle on his eye, which magnified his golden brown iris so even Aberdeen could see. His long twisting moustache made Aberdeen giggle.
There were no children however, and Aberdeen wondered what the workers’ children were up to. She suddenly felt quite alone.
Aberdeen picked up some of the plastic cocktail sticks that had been dropped on the floor; planting them along the edge of the balcony and playfully imagining them growing into amazing flowers. She soon tired of the game and thought about going downstairs to join the party, but knew that her mother would not be pleased; her mother felt that children should be seen but not heard and, where possible, not seen at all. Her mother had not wanted children. Aberdeen knew she hadn’t been planned and her mother, a socialite, did not have time for her, nor did she wish for her daughter to mix with the other children on the ship, as these were the workers’ children. The elite children had been shipped off to boarding school, but Aberdeen had not settled in well there and caused fights with the other children. She was returned to her parents in disgrace.

Aberdeen had wanted to play with the ship workers’ children, but her mother, on one of her brief and rare visits to see her daughter, told her horrid stories about them. “They have revolting lice in their hair,” she had said, and “Do you want them to jump at you and bite you?”
So instead Aberdeen spent all her time in the company of her robot nanny; her Guardian. Her Guardian was programed to do whatevershe wanted, as long as it did not disturb the child’s parents. It was efficient but uncaring, which had led partly to Aberdeen becoming the same way. The Guardian was responsible for her education too and arranged her meals and even dressed her. It was also programmed to tell stories. The wondrous tales and adventures of frightful dragons and grand castles were her favourite and she would spend her time imagining dragons flying around her room acting out her own brave endeavours.

Early the next morning, Aberdeen awoke thinking she had heard screams and cries for help. Frightened, she locked her door and snuggled tightly underneath her covers. The thick duvet muffled the cries from outside, and before long, she had drifted back to sleep.
When she awoke some hours later, having convinced herself that the commotion from the night before had been a terrible nightmare, she opened her door and sat on her bed waiting for her Guardian. Minutes later, it still hadn’t appeared.
Aberdeen browsed her room to pass more time; it was only fair she allowed her Guardian a little extra before she left the room. Her room was plain compared with the lavish party setting of downstairs, although she knew she could have it decorated any way she desired. She chose to not have a lot. What she liked doing the most was playing with her robot snake. Aberdeen was content with her few intimate toys rather than having extravagant playthings she had no need of. She had books, but she preferred to be read to. The furniture was clinical white, undecorated and simplistic in design. Everything served a purpose and there wasn’t even a carpet on the floor, just white lino. There were pictures on the wall, but none that she had chosen, as if put there by someone who had no knowledge of her at all.
She suddenly remembered the soft toys she once had, which consisted mostly of dragons, but they had been stored away when she had been sent off to school. Her mother, still angry at Aberdeen’s quick return, as if she was but a nuisance, had not retrieved them yet. She much preferred her robot snake anyway.
Aberdeen felt herself becoming increasingly frustrated; why wasn’t her Guardian coming to dress her? She wasn’t used to waiting. When the rage become too much, Aberdeen jumped and stamped her feet screaming for the Guardian to come. When it still hadn’t arrived, she sulked down the hallway until she came to the balcony. All the food and glasses were still left set out, but there wasn’t anyone around. Aberdeen descended the staircase and quickly snatched some of the food. On her way back to her room, she grabbed an opened bottle of wine.
As she crossed the polished floor however, she froze and looked at her sad reflection. Her plain looks gave way to a sour jawline, giving the impression that she rarely smiled. In truth, Aberdeen realised that she hardly did. Her shapeless chestnut hair appeared dull. She looked as far away from the fashionable figure of her mother. Her words rung in her mind.
Spoilt, bad tempered little child!

Aberdeen promptly scooted back to her room. Perhaps her Guardian had arrived.

Aberdeen was furious to find it hadn’t. She slid her food underneath her bed and squeezed under herself, thinking mean thoughts. She ate some of the food and sipped the wine, which made her sleepy. Eventually, not realising how long had passed, and getting rather bored, she played with her small robot snake. She built high obstacles out of plastic bricks for it to slither around. She tried to imagine that the snake was a dragon from one of her stories and that the bricks were castles. When she had drained the wine however, Aberdeen soon found herself slipping into a slumber.

But when she awoke, her angry temperament hadn’t left her. Where was her Guardian?
Just then, outside her bedroom door she heard two muffled grown-up voices.
“It’s a shame; she was beautiful, taken in the prime of her life,” the first voice said.
“She was a mother too,” the second voice replied.  “I hear she had a child, a girl, although nobody ever really saw her.”
Aberdeen got out from under her bed and opened the door. She frowned at two officers who were stood in the hallway wearing gas masks.
“Oh, look, Barnabas, there’s a child here, alone in a place like this!” one of them said, pointing and grabbing another mask from his bag which was slung over his shoulder.
“Who is she?” the second offer asked.
“I’m Aberdeen Gale,” Aberdeen introduced herself, pulling herself up as tall as she could and staring at them both.
“Oh, this must be the girl no one ever saw. Poor thing, she must have been forgotten,” the first officer said, holding out the mask for her to put on. Aberdeen glared at the mask; it was a strange shape, light brown in colour with two round windows for eyes. She spotted a dull copper filter hanging from it. The gas mask itself could have been really old if it not for the fact that there was a green triangular light flashing on it.
“I don’t like it!” Aberdeen shouted, folding her arms across her body and scowling at the men.
“Oh, the poor thing, she’s frightened,” Barnabas said, a hint of patronisation in his voice.
“I’m not poor at all,” Aberdeen snapped. “My father is in charge of the ship. I need you to take me to him at once as my robot has not come for me.”
Barnabas knelt down next to Aberdeen. “You poor child,” he said softly. “Everyone is dead. There was a distress signal, which we picked up.” He helped her to put on the gas mask.
Aberdeen could not believe what she was hearing. She tugged at the gas mask, rearranging its strange structure. It felt heavy on her face and it made her want to itch her skin. Barnabas offered her a smile. He looked to his colleague for support, who continued to talk as if Aberdeen was invisible.
“Maybe the girl survived as she leads a solitary existence? Well, that will have to change now.”
Barnabas continued to smile at her.
“You must come with us, my girl,” the other officer instructed, holding his hand out to Aberdeen. “We need to take you off this ship and back to a halfway station for quarantine. Juno is probably the nearest one.”
“Your robot is not coming,” Barnabas told her as if he had sensed her thoughts. “All the worker robot signals were shut down when the distress signal was issued.”
Aberdeen glared at him, “I don’t believe you!”
“It’s true,” Barnabas said. “It’s part of the fail safe protocol. When the distress signal is sent it allows for every eventuality, even robot attack, so it shuts them down.”
Aberdeen stood still, her mind racing, she did not know what to do.
“It was some sort of virus,” Barnabas continued. “We are not sure of all the facts as yet, but from what we can piece together it looks as if one of the crew members released a fast acting, deadly virus as a grudge. We suspect a chemist.”
Aberdeen must have looked blankly at him, as he continued. “We were on our way to arrest him anyway. He had been developing new Class A drugs and had become paranoid.”
Aberdeen took a step backwards unsure to believe them or not. She wasn’t quite sure what ‘Class A’ drugs were, but she definitely didn’t like the sound of them.
The other officer said, “Look, we haven’t got time for this. We need to get you off this ship; it’s going to be decommissioned.”
Aberdeen ran back into her room and scooped up her snake and placed it in her pocket, then followed the two officers along the corridor and away from the only home she had ever known.
Text copyright © Jane Yates 2015






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“What kind of world is this, Jacob thought, where light is dangerous and Hope is an enemy?”

For mankind, since time immemorial, light has been a relief, a safer place and hope a word powerful to instill life and desire for survival. “Hopebreaker”, Dean F Wilson’s new work of fiction opens to us an alien world where everything we held dear to us as a symbol of joy or safety mutates itself into the very emissaries of evil. Darkness is the new safety for humans and destroying Hope, the new method to survival. Somehow the novel superimposes the astral plane to the real world speaking of demon infiltrators who slither into the human world and running a regime. The entire world is under the conquest of these superhuman demons and the demons have found a way to control the birth channels thereby directing demon souls into the wombs of women. Women give birth to hungry demon spirits and one of the last human children, Whistler has joined the Order to fight against these demons.
There is an entire subversion of myths and concepts and the criterion of the dystopian society is achieved through this. Wilson’s language, beautiful and grand is well enough to convey the new idea, powerful in style and strong in concept. The dystopian world he offers the reader is a “trick or a treat” world where everything is unexpected and every corner you turn is a myth-breaker. “Hopebreaker” is a fiction I would definitely like to give a rating of four and half in five keeping well in mind the superior language quality and the amazing narrative style all coupled with the creative expertise he shows.
I’ve deliberately kept aloof from giving out a summery, very careful that I don’t crack the story. Its so finely and beautifully structured and narrated by the writer that any briefing of it by me will rob it off all the quality the writer fills it with.


About the Author:


Dean F. Wilson was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1987. He started writing at age 11, when he began his first (unpublished) novel, entitled The Power Source. He won a TAP Educational Award from Trinity College Dublin for an early draft of The Call of Agon (then called Protos Mythos) in 2001.

He has published a number of poems and short stories over the years, while working on and reworking some of his novels. The Call of Agon is his first published novel.

Dean also works as a journalist, primarily in the field of technology. He has written for TechEye, Thinq, V3, VR-Zone, ITProPortal, TechRadar Pro and The Inquirer.

Contact the Author:


 The Books:

Hopebreaker



In the world of Altadas, there are no more human births. The Regime is replacing the unborn with demons, while the Resistance is trying to destroy a drug called Hope that the demons need to survive.

Between these two warring factions lies Jacob, a man who profits from smuggling contraceptive amulets into the city of Blackout. He cares little about the Great Iron War, but a chance capture, and an even more accidental rescue, embroils him in a plot to starve the Regime from power.

When Hope is an enemy, Jacob finds it harder than he thought to remain indifferent. When the Resistance opts to field its experimental landship, the Hopebreaker, the world may find that one victory does not win a war.



Ladesan the Magus can alter and remove memories, but not all his customers employ him for benevolent reasons.

Under the threat of exile, he is forced to help the would-be Lord of Calnibur make voters forget that they have been coerced into securing him a position of power.

The game is politics, and there are unlimited pawns in play. The board is the streets of Calnibur, and the pieces do not know that they are being moved—only that they are subjects of the Haze

The Memory Of Magus The Haze

Tolgrid's wife lives a secret life that he wants to forget, and so he visits Ladesan the Magus, who is known for his ability to alter and remove memories.

Magic is a risky art, even for those adept at it. Love is an even riskier affair, and some might say it is a magic of its own. To preserve his love, Tolgrid is willing to alter his recollection, to remove the bad memories like a leech removes bad blood.

The question is: can a memory be altered without altering the person, and can a memory be removed without leaving an emptiness inside?




THE LAST LINE.THE LAST WORDS.THE LAST CHANCE.

Ifferon is one of the last in the bloodline of the dead god Telm, who mated with mortal women, and who imprisoned the Beast Agon in the Underworld. Armed with a connection to the estranged gods in the Overworld and a scroll bearing Telm's powerful dying words, he is tasked with ensuring the god's vital legacy: that Agon remain vanquished.

Fear forces Ifferon to abandon his duty, but terror restores his quest when the forces of Agon find his hideaway in an isolated coastal monastery. Weighed down by the worries of the world, but lifted up by the companions he encounters along the way, Ifferon embarks on a journey that encompasses the struggles of many peoples, the siege of many lands, and discoveries that could bring hope to some—or doom to all.





THE DYING BREATH. THE DYING WILL. THE DYING HOPE.

After the catastrophe of the Call of Agon, Ifferon and his companions find themselves in the unenviable situation of witnessing, and partaking in, the death of another god—this time Corrias, the ruler of the Overworld.

With Corrias locked inside the corpse of the boy Theos, he suffers a fate worse than the bonds of the Beast Agon. Yet hope is kindled when the company find a way to restore the boy, and possibly the god, back to life.

The road to rebirth has many pitfalls, and there are some who consider such meddling with the afterlife a grave risk. The prize might be life anew—but the price might also be a second death.






THE FINAL HOUR.THE FINAL FIGHT.THE FINAL WAR.

The first of Agon’s chains has broken, and the others are straining. It is only a matter of time before he is free, before the world is engulfed in chaos and death.

There are few left to stop him. Most of the gods can only sit and watch in horror from their prison in the heavens, but the resurrection of the father god Corrias gives the people of Iraldas a sliver of hope, a fighting chance.

Yet the memory of Corrias' failure to defeat Agon in ages past plays heavily on all minds. Many know that it is only the might of the Warrior-god Telm that can defeat the Beast. That god is dead, but his power lives on in his bloodline, in Ifferon and others like him, and they are tasked with waging a final war against the Beast.






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My book Blossoms in the Mist will be launched the coming friday







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Book Blurb:

Antique dealer Alicia Trent is hired to appraise a huge collection of treasures hoarded by a woman who has recently died in the town where Alicia grew up.



The huge old house poses mystery after mystery from the moment she arrives, but the stakes become deadly when murder is added to the mix. The question then becomes, can she stay alive long enough to unmask the killer?



Book Excerpt:

Without consciously making a decision to do so, I grabbed my robe and headed for the door. If the thief was in the house, it might be my chance to identify him or her. One last glance at the globe showed the black was now mixed with a lot of orange. It looked like a Halloween decoration.



I turned off the light in the room, then quietly unlocked and opened my door. A flashlight would be a big help, but mine was packed in my suitcase. This was the first time I’d needed it. I eased out into the dark hall. A nightlight plugged in at the top of the stairs made a dim glow and I started in that direction. Moving slowly, I listened intently for any unusual noise. Everything seemed quiet and peaceful. I didn’t think anyone had stayed overnight in the house except Naomi and me. The stairs were solid and didn’t make a sound as I crept down. Time moved in slow motion and it seemed to take forever to reach the bottom. Once there, I began making my way to the living room. We always turned off the electronic security on that door at night since there were no potential buyers coming in and out after five. Even though I still hadn’t seen anything suspicious, somehow the atmosphere seemed wrong. Danger seemed to lurk in every dark corner. I was anxious to make sure the items displayed for viewing hadn’t been disturbed. Moving into the room and closing the door seemed to take forever. I couldn’t wait to get the light turned on. At first glance everything looked fine. Walking around the items for a closer look, I still didn’t see any evidence of tampering. Maybe I was overreacting and chasing ghosts. I decided to return to my room, but instead I veered into the study for a quick look. I wasn’t quite ready to admit my fears were just my nerves playing tricks. This time I hadn’t done the smart thing and called for Dan. He had to be tired of my crying wolf and not finding any evidence. I’d need a darn good reason before choosing to disrupt the entire household again.



At first the study also seemed undisturbed, but as my eyes adjusted, my heart skipped a beat. Someone had pushed the button that moved the desk aside. The light on the stairs leading down into the passageway had been turned on. Someone had entered the house, but I couldn’t call Dan from here and didn’t want to lose the chance to discover the identity of the intruder. All of a sudden my policy of not crying wolf didn’t seem so wise. I picked up a large letter opener from the desk and started down the stairs. The cloying feeling of danger increased with each step. The second bookcase on the left hand side of the hall was moved aside, revealing a passage I hadn’t known existed. The walls in this new passage were lined with artwork. Creeping silently along, I noticed that the art consisted of a variety of styles. At a quick glance I saw pen-and-ink, charcoals, watercolors and oils. I wouldn’t know what all was there until I had time to investigate. Right now my attention was focused on finding out who was down here and why. The passage climbed steadily upward. There didn’t seem to be any side doors, at least none that were obvious, until the end of the passage. Here one door opened to the right. By now my sense of direction had become confused and I wasn’t sure what part of the house this passage ran through, but it might be somewhere on the second floor.

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Review:


Antiques are always those remnants of the past, pulled out of its time, well-preserved to adorn the future. It holds the stories of ages, the ghosts of the past and acts as a proof to the past, lost cultures and wisdom. Alicia Trent runs an antique shop and is assigned the duty of pricing up the antique collection of late Mrs. Hall for sale. A mansion, oddly green for its dry desert terrain holds in it a treasure trove of antiques from all around the world. It is only likely that when one gets into sorting a house cramped up with antiques that we stumble upon a few valuables. But what Alicia here stumbles upon is her own life, her future, her past unknowingly and mysteriously tied up with late Mrs. Hall. It is mysterious because her acquaintance with Mrs. Hall was far back in the past and that too only once, for a very short span of time. With hints surfacing that Mrs. Hall’s death was a well planned murder, and the murderer hot on Alicia’s trails, Alicia is left with only a calculated time span to process out the clues left out for her by Mrs. Hall, before her death.

Alicia has just walked into a death trap in a mansion where secret passages and a tinge of Wiccan magic stifles our mind. Almost positively I simply wished that I walk into such a house, every inch packed with antiques and the walls resonant with magic (although I really do not wish it is a death trap for me).  Splendidly laid out and efficiently executed, this book is what I have been waiting for a long time since I read Michael Scott. Eileen Harris, though chooses her heroine as an antique seller, I am extremely happy that she does not over do the book with details of every bit and scrap like Dan Brown; though I would have seriously wished for a bit history going into the antiques. The ending did seem a bit abrupt, but if lengthened a bit more the book would have been overloaded with mystery and magic.

I give this book four and half stars out of five. A worthy book I would say; an amazing read. This book gives you the perfect amount of pulse-raisers and just enough goose bumps to make it spooky. One thing is sure for the time that I have become a fan of Eileen Harris eager to wolf down her other books. Antique Magic, is a sure-to-please-anyone type of book that I would never hesitate to recommend to everyone. You have to read it if you like magic.. that’s as clear as I can ever get on the book.  



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About the Author:


From living off the grid in the Arizona desert, Eileen has moved to the woods of upstate New York. She has authored a standalone adventure novel called Desert Shadow. She is also the author of Alicia Trent Series. The Black Cane : Dowager Diaries Book 1 is her latest release.









Buy Links:



 Stalk The Author Blog I Facebook I Goodreads I Amazon 








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Review:



“Amor Vincit Omnia” (Love conquers all); there could be no perfect example for the saying other than Braxton Cosby’s book, “Protostar”. Essentially a science fiction with the usual space and alien stuff, but the writer knows very well to create something entirely different and new. The hunt for the Star-Child is on and a ship lands on the Earth with the Prince of Fabricius, the bounty hunter from a distant galaxy. For a person from a place that values emotions the least, Prince William is new to the emotions he experiences here on Earth. Each time William feels emotionally brittle towards the Star child, Sidney, he is brought back on track by the menacing interference of his ship’s artificial intelligence, IMPI that is determined to make a grant success of the mission. With more bounty hunters on the trail of the Star child and William seriously affected by the emotion of love, the book takes its readers into new levels of confusions and adventures. Sidney who is still in the shadows regarding the truth of her existence is yet to find out and harness her powers; till then she is just another teenage girl, defenseless and hunted.  .The pen pictures are simply fantastic and narration, as smooth as silk. There is a connection that the reader feels with the characters as we identify many of the emotions as real as ourselves. The writer provides a firm grounding leaving the readers no lose ends for assaults on the plot. There is but one thing that I found quite confusing. The connection between this space saga and the Greek Mythology leaves me not fully convinced.  All the rest makes good sense in the story-point-of-view. The images, beautifully picturized, the dialogues, as lively as it can be and of course the romance sweeping through the pages is simply magical. There is also this allusion that I found on perusing the book; the star children are all supposed to be girls as per presented hints and this gives a particular respect and potential to the feminine considering the rest of the women characters as well. The hidden powers of the star child shows up only at instances of peril and agitation, all the other while they are as silly and feminine like any other girl; which gives a certain hint that every woman has in her a hidden potential.   ‘Protostar, The Star-Crossed Saga Book one’  is the very thrilling, adventurous science fiction I would rate with a “four star” out of five and the cliff hanger is too painful to bear! My curiosity-meter is ticking at point high and am desperately waiting to dig into its second part.

“What is time but another moment lost” – Braxton Cosby.


After reading this book I am pretty sure that I contradict the author on this statement of his. My time was definitely not a lost moment reading his book.


BLOG BLURB  : 

 On the brink of Civil War, the Torrian Alliance continues with its mission to obliterate Star-children across the universe in order to suppress an intergalactic evil. Following the recommendations of his Council, King Gregorio Derry has agreed to send his only son William, on a mission to restore honor to his family. What starts out routine, becomes a lot more complicated as an inopportune crash landing delays the assassination. During this time, William begins to form a 'connection' with Sydney that challenges his inner being. But this conflict is the least of his problems, as a conspiracy back on his home planet Fabricius threatens the lives of those he loves and his father's royal legacy. Along with that, he must unravel a hidden threat here on Earth that seeks to secure a vested interest that threatens both his and Sydney's safety. Will William be able to complete his mission or will he choose love, sacrificing everything he stands for?


Find out More at the Website

ProtoStar is the Readers Favorite Book of the Year Award Winner for the Romance: Fantasy-Sci-Fi category.




AUTHOR : 



Braxton A. Cosby is a dreamer with a passion for inspiring others to love, in spite of circumstance and convenience. Braxton creates stories in his mind that he desires to put on paper and share with the entire world. His calling to pen a young-adult series that is smart, witty, and thought provoking, has challenged readers to answer the question: What would you choose, love or irrevocable duty? Braxton lives in Atlanta, GA, where he co-hosts a local radio show on WAOK which is a mash-up of current events and health and wellness. He also has a blog where he discusses everything from health and entertainment to spirituality and relationships.

Social sites:
Twitter - @BraxtonACosby
FB - https://www.facebook.com/DrBraxtonCosby?ref=hl
website - www.braxtoncosby.com
Book website - www.theredgeminichronicles.com




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