Review: Fire In The Rain by Surendra Mohanty


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A serial killer is on the loose. He surfaces in one metropolis after another, leaving behind a trail of murders. He masquerades as respectable citizens in different cities – a naval officer in Mumbai and Hyderabad, a film director’s brother in Kolkata, restaurateur in Bangalore, racehorse buff in Pune – and targets single working women. ACP Kale is desperate to catch the elusive killer before he strikes again, but he has no clue except that the killer invariably strikes on an ominous day – Friday the thirteenth, and hires luxury cars to date his victims. One of his quarries, the beautiful Richa finally tames him.

Rating:

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Review:

I want to thank the author for providing me with a free copy of the book.

I don’t know how to classify Fire In The Rain. At first, I thought it would be a murder mystery. But as I started reading, I realized there is no mystery surrounding the murders. On the very first page itself, the author introduces us to what triggered the psychopathic tendencies in our villain. He also doesn’t try to hide what goes on through the killer’s mind when he commits the murders or how he commits the murders. So, definitely not a murder mystery.

But, then I thought it would be like a detective novel. But I also couldn’t identify any detective vibe with this book.

I think the correct way to describe this book would be ‘chase’. Yes, the entire book is one big chase of how the protagonist manages to find the killer. One of the things I expect in a book is multi-dimensional characters. I don’t like reading about flat characters whose interactions with each other seem robotic and scripted. Unfortunately, this book suffers from exactly that flaw. I constantly kept wishing the characters had more depth to them. The only character who seemed to possess even a myriad of depth to him was the serial killer. Another thing I didn’t like was the book cover, but almost all indie books suffer from this problem.

Despite these flaws, I found a lot of redeeming qualities in the book. I enjoyed the way the serial killer staked out the victims, particularly in Bangalore. Also, I could tell that the author had put a lot of effort into learning about how some psychiatrists do character profiling on criminals. I enjoyed the bits about the horse races and dog shows.

Yes, this was a pretty short book but a few more pages describing the back stories of the various characters couldn’t have hurt. I think the reason the characters lacked depth was because I knew so little about them. Maybe a bit more history could have helped me relate to them.

Overall, this was a commendable effort for a debut author, but it could have been better.

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Review + Author Interview: Cassie Scot: (Para)Normal Detective by Christine Amsden


https://i1.wp.com/d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1360012911l/15813209.jpgCassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.

Rating:

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Review:

Alright, so here’s a fact about me: I rarely give 5 stars to a book. A book should have to thoroughly impress, entertain and delight me in order for me to give it 5 stars. So, you might wonder what is so great about this book that I rated it so highly. Let me tell you what.

First of all, this book is freaking fantastic. I enjoyed the world building so much that after finishing the book, it took me some to realize it was all fantasy and not real. Second of all, the protagonist Cassie Scot? She kicks butt. She is strong and independent and fierce and not at all, obsessing over the guy every few pages. I loved that about her. Also, she cares a lot about her family and her family plays a huge part in this book, which is not something you see in many paranormal books.

For some reason, before I started this book, I was of the impression that Cassie Scot was a YA book. Well, it’s not. I was initially a bit disappointed because pulling off a fantasy plot in an adult or let’s say, New Adult world is kinda difficult. But Christine Amsden did pull it off. The words flowed smoothly without any glitches and the plot is smooth as well. There are no unnecessary scenes in the middle that distract the reader from the very interesting mystery happening in the story.

Now, romance is a major part of the book, but so is the male lead Evan. He plays an important role in the plot and I loved the ending. I LOVED Evan. He was smoking! And that kiss at the end of the book! I had to surreptitiously check that no one was watching me because I didn’t want anyone to see me drooling all over my e-reader.

One thing I didn’t expect from this book was the gore and the scares. It isn’t “horror movie” gory, but there were some scenes that sort of gave me the chills. I had expected it to be a fun, fluffy read, but it was so much more than that. Another thing I loved about Cassie Scot was the fact that there are hardly any cliches involved. This are no hero-pining heroines. The hero doesn’t pop up every time the heroine is in trouble. The hero doesn’t stalk the heroine, meaning he has a life. It was refreshing to read a book that didn’t follow any of the regular paranormal tropes.

Now, if there is one thing that bothers me about this book, it is the fact that I really, really, REALLY want to get my hands on the sequel to the book which is called Secrets & Lies! Like I would kill to read the next book in the series. If the author is reading this, I just want to congratulate her for being such an awesome story teller and to keep up the amazing work in Book 2.

Ooh, and one more thing. This book has got a fabulous murder mystery going. If that doesn’t want to make you pick up the book, I don’t know what will. 😛 🙂 Also, I think the cover looks super-cute. Don’t you?

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

What was the most difficult part for you when writing CASSIE SCOT?

This rough draft of this book came very easily to me. More easily than any other, I think. But then I had to let parts of it go. That was the tough part. For example, there was a chapter between the current chapters one and two in which Cassie stops by the diner to chat with her friends. The only reason it was there in the first place was that I was exploring the world as I went along, but once it was in place it was tough to let it go, even knowing how boring it would be for readers to wade through an entire chapter of girl talk before getting to the dead body! There were a few other moments like that.

What was the easiest part?

Cassie’s character. She came to me all in a rush one day and I could barely contain her. In fact, I had to write all four books back to back because I couldn’t get her out of my head!

What is your favorite scene or was your favorite to write? Don’t forget to tell us why. J

My favorite scene comes near the end, after Cassie kisses Evan for the first time. There’s a lot going on in this book and in the series, but the romance was my special favorite part and that scene really kicks it off. Plus, Evan is a really good kisser.

The sequel is SECRETS & LIES. Can you tell us a little about what’s to come?

Secrets and Lies picks up where Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective leaves off. Without spoiling the end of the first book for you, I can tell you that Cassie is struggling at the beginning of the Secrets and Lies. She’s trying to live on her own for the first time and not having an easy time of it. Her family is falling apart around her, her two best friends are having issues of their own, and then there’s Evan. Cassie owes Evan a debt in Secrets and Lies, making it difficult for her to refuse him anything she knows he wants. And he wants her.

Is there anything in CASSIE SCOT you hope readers take away after reading, or something you want to point out you don’t want readers to miss?

I hope the book speaks for itself! More than anything else, though, I hope readers love Cassie. Her character arc is the point of the series, so if you’re not into her in the first book, you’re not going to be into the series. If you like her, though… I’ve got a lot in store for her. It’s going to be a bumpy road for her and for the people in her life. But trust me. I’ve not only got a plan, but I’ve got the whole series written. (I’m actually super eager for the whole thing to be out so I don’t have to keep biting my tongue about what’s coming!)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning author Christine Amsden has written stories since she was eight, always with a touch of the strange or unusual. She became a “serious” writer in 2003, after attending a boot camp with Orson Scott Card. She finished Touch of Fate shortly afterward, then penned The Immortality Virus, which won two awards. Expect many more titles by this up-and-coming author.

Author Social Media Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christine-Amsden-Author-Page/127673027288664

Twitter – @ChristineAmsden ; https://twitter.com/ChristineAmsden

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1030664.Christine_Amsden

If you want to visit the rest of the tour stops, here’s the link:

http://atomrbookblogtours.com/2013/07/04/tour-cassie-scot-paranormal-detective-by-christine-amsden/

Review: 10 Ways To Kill A Cupid by Leigh Parker


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Three years after becoming a Cupid, the normally cheeky and cheerful Leigh has to question her work ethics when her next assignment happens to be the woman who killed her.

Meet Natalie McIntyre, actually, no, you wouldn’t want to meet Natalie McIntyre, the foul mouthed, anti social Senior Manager at her father’s cardboard box factory who really isn’t in the mood to spend the next 7 days with a weird blonde haired girl who just will not go away.

Over the course of a week Leigh has her work cut out when she learns that not only is Natalie hell bent on being stubborn, cranky and incredibly hard to pair but the appearance of the blue spark puts everything she’s ever learnt as a Cupid in jeopardy.

Rating:

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Review:

I read glowing reviews of this book on Goodreads and I was really excited about reading this book. I’ve found that when a book is too hyped up by other readers, then the book will most probably let me down. That is what happened with this book. I tried to like this book. Every time I lost interest in the story, I told myself that it will get better and forced myself to read it. Even though I did get to the end of this book, it was a definite struggle.

The book started out fine. There was a likeable lead heroine who is a Cupid of all things. Unique premise, right? There were a lot of unique things about this book. I could tell that the author had put a lot of thought into each scene, but the problem was it didn’t work out too well. Often, I found myself questioning what kind of person would react that way in a particular situation. The interactions between the characters seemed a bit forced and unrealistic to me.

But that doesn’t mean this book is bad. It really isn’t. There are a lot of funny parts in the book. The growth in the relationship between Natalie and Leigh is oh so adorable. Sure, they cuss like sailors at times, but it only adds to the charm of the story.

Overall, I found the book to be moderately good if not amazing. Worth a read.

Book Review: Suite Dubai (Arriving) by Callista Fox


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Against all odds, Rachel, an unemployed college grad, lands a job at a new 5 star hotel in faraway Dubai and finds herself caught between a boss who seems to loathe her and the young, handsome owner of the hotel – Prince Khalid Al Zari. Thousands of miles from home and in a culture she doesn’t understand, she tries to convince her coworkers, and herself, that she deserves her new position, that she can throw a grand opening for a King.

Suite Dubai is both an epic love story and a story about finding out who you are and how you make a place for yourself in the world.

Rating:

Review:

This review will be a short one because, well, this book is a pretty short one. I mean, there are only three chapters. I guess it is more like an intro to a story and that the author would publish more chapters later. So, anyway, this book was surprisingly good. I mean, the writing was very vivid and the storyline is pretty intriguing too. The only complaint I had was that I found the main character, Rachel to be a bit whiny. I mean, she is twenty three years old and she doesn’t have a job. She applies to a lot of places, but gets rejected mostly. She finally gets a job at a posh hotel in Dubai (not by herself, I might add, but by the recommendation of a sheik). And she doesn’t seem grateful at all. She whines that she didn’t make a good first impression on her superiors even though it seemed to me that all was not bad. Then she whines about being in a strange country where everything is strange. Of course, it is going to be strange in Dubai because it is a different freaking culture! Then she whines that the owner of the hotel, who is a Prince incidentally, didn’t smile back at her when she smiled at him. I mean, he must have other important, I don’t know, “princely” things to do, right? But, no, Rachel seems pretty self-involved about the whole thing. BUT. The book was well-written and I found myself wanting to read the subsequent chapters. If you can ignore the whininess of the main character (and I found that it was not that hard a task because the whininess only makes it presence rarely), I can definitely say you will enjoy the book. I hope in the next few chapters, we get to see Rachel evolve as a character and maybe I would love to know more about the other characters too – Samantha, the Prince, Hamid, Kritika etc.

Book Review: That Ghoul Ava and The Queen of Zombies by T. W. Brown


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Ava Birch killed herself and woke up a ghoul with an attitude and a hunger for the dead. With no manual and very little help coming from the supernatural community, Ava offers her services to the regional psychic. Her newest job? Apparently zombies have been spotted in a small town nearby. Ava wades in thinking that this job will be a piece of cake…or at least as tasty. Navigating meddling vampires, bothersome witches, and a peculiar case of memory loss…and now her best friend and human companion has up and walked out. Things go from bad to worse when Ava discovers that there is a force behind these recent zombie sightings that may date back to the time of the Black Plague. Sometimes a ghoul would just rather stay in bed…or at least her sound proof basement where nobody can hear you scream.

Rating:

four-stars(4 stars)

Review:

Now, I’ve never read a ghoul book before. I’ll admit I didn’t even know what a ghoul did (or ate) before this book. So, in many ways, this book was refreshing to read. But that said, it took me some time to get into its whole vibe. There was just something about That Ghoul Ava and the Queen of Zombies that left me wishing that there had been a bit more. Maybe it was the fact that Ava was a bit too smart-alecky for my liking. Don’t get me wrong, I love snarkiness in a girl, but Ava was just… I don’t know, immature maybe? But that doesn’t mean that the book wasn’t enjoyable. I found myself laughing out loud at a lot of parts. The author has a very lively way of writing that grabs your attention instantly. The thing I loved about the book was the description of the creatures, even the way Ava talked about her preferred food. Also, there is a tiny bit of romance in the book, and might I add that it is not the corny type of romance either, so that was good. On the cons side, the characters were a little two-dimensional, but I guess, this is the kind of book where you look for plot rather than characterization. I found the ending to be a bit abrupt, but then again, as Ava would say, not everything has to end in violence, right? All in all, this was a short but enjoyable read, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it is not my type of book. This book didn’t make me want to pick up more books dealing with ghouls. Maybe ghouls and I are just not meant to be. But if you’re into zombies or ghouls, you should definitely give this book a try. It is laugh-out-loud funny without being cheesy.