Reviews

Cover Reveal of Coke by Barun Chanda

“Can you help me, please?”
Pradipta wheeled around.
Standing behind was an unusually attractive lady. She wore a dark blue, chiffon saree which set off her fair complexion even more. Other than a thin gold chain with a tear-drop pearl pendant on her neck, she wore no jewelery. Her lips were pale pink, with no lipstick. Only the dark make-up on her eyes made her look even more unfathomable.
 “You’re talking to me?”
Thus begins Coke, with this chance encounter at Kathmandu airport. But the plot thickens when the lady requests him to include her suitcase as part of his checked in baggage and then does a vanishing act, once the aircraft lands in Calcutta. What follows is a riveting page-turner, replete with unexpected twists as you encounter gangs warring over narcotics, policemen, functionaries, and a sinister master-mind who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. The furiously paced narrative takes you from the sleepy airport of Kathmandu to the packed streets of Calcutta, a mysterious mansion on the outskirts of town and an unforgettable chase-sequence through New Market.
From the author of the acclaimed Bengali novels ‘Kidnap’, ‘Shaaper Jhaanpi’ and ‘Robibar’ comes a high-octane thriller that’s seriously addictive and keeps you hooked till the end.

About the Author:

In so far as the pursuit of any true vocation is a life in itself, Barun Chanda – advertising guru, actor and writer, may be said to have had three. Born in Dhaka, he did his Masters in English at Jadavpur University. Following a brief stint as a lecturer in English, he embarked upon a career in the creative department of advertising that spanned more than 30 years, won him numerous awards and culminated in his tenure as Creative Director at Clarion McCann.

Acting occupies the second of his three worlds. In 1971, he scorched the big screen as a high-flying executive, playing the protagonist in Satyajit Ray’s ‘Seemabaddha’, and winning a special President of India Award for his performance. After a hiatus that lasted over two decades, he returned to the screen during the 90’s, and has since then acted in numerous TV series and more than 35 movies. Tackling Bollywood and Tollywood roles with equal aplomb, he has distinguished himself in films such as Lootera, Roy, Chotushkone, Aborto, MIshor Rohoshyo, Nayanchampa-r Dinraatri , Bela Sheshe and Jogajog. Chorabaali, where where once again he plays the protagonist, is his latest venture.
Barun’s third passion is writing. A regular film reviewer and contributor of articles to major dailies, in the last eight years he has published four highly acclaimed and successful novels in Bengali. His work has played a major role in establishing the adult thriller genre in Bengali literature.
Coke is his first novel in English.

Reviews

Cover Reveal for Shanti & the Magic Mandala 

Shanti and the Magic Mandala is an adventure in which fantasy and reality are mingled. The book tells the story of six teenagers, from different religious and cultural origins and different parts of the world, who are mystically recruited to form two groups – one in the Northern Hemisphere, and one in the Southern. They eventually gather in Peru, and through a single alliance, begin a frantic chase for the sacred object that can stop the black magician’s final plan.

Awards & Recognition for the Book

– Winner of 2014 London Book Festival in the category “Young Adult”.
– 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards: Bronze Medal at “Young Adult Fiction – Spirituality” category
– 2014 New England Book Festival in Boston:  Honorable Mention in the category “Young Adult”.
– Winner of 2015 Paris Book Festival in the category “Young Adult”.
– Winner of 2015 International Book Awards in the category “Fiction / Young Adult”.
– Winner of 2015 New York Book Festival in the category “Young Adult”.
– 2015 Los Angeles Book Festival – Runner-up in the category “Young Adult”.
– 2015 San Francisco Book Festival – Runner-up in the category “Young Adult”.
– 2015 DIY Book Festival in Los Angeles: Honorable Mention in the category “Young Adult”.

About the Author

F. T. Camargo is an Italian Brazilian living in Sao Paulo, Brazil. An award winning architect and author, he also studied Arts and Media and has a post degree in Economics and MBA in e-commerce. He is a vegetarian because of his love for all animals and has been deeply involved in causes for their protection and freedom. He is a world traveler adventurer, outdoor sports lover, speaks 4 languages and has published a travel book “Rio, Maravilha!”
For many years he has been practicing yoga and meditation and studying the Kabbalah. His exploration of spiritual teachings motivated a commitment to self-development which in turn created a new path and goal in life. Shanti and the Magic Mandala was born from his inner journey.

Contact the Author

Books · Reviews

OPENING THE VEIL by C. L. Clark

OTVAmazon.com – Opening The Veil – New Sight Series – Book 1

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, C. L. Clark, for an honest review.

Genre: Adult/Fiction/Fantasy/Paranormal

Plot: One eventful night changes everything Cassie thought she knew. When young women are found savagely murdered and their bodies dumped around her beloved town, she discovers that the killer is her new neighbor, but she has to find proof before the police will listen. Add to that her new ability to see ghosts, plus being forced to deal with evil entities she never knew existed, and not only does she question her sanity, but her life may hang in the balance. This is the first book in the New Sight Series – a paranormal series about a young woman whose eyes are opened to the hidden world around her and her compulsion to help the dead seek answers and justice.

Opinion: I sure hope you guys have been enjoying the last few book reviews I have done, and have enjoyed the fact that most of them have been a book in a series…because HERE IS ANOTHER ONE!! 😀 Oh! Can you feel the joy radiating off of my typed words?!? Another series (which fits in great for an October/Halloween read mind you), another tough female lead character, ghosts, talking cats, an evil murderer…*sigh* is there anything better?

Cassie, short for Cassiopeia, is having an interesting few days. She learns that her cat, Allie, can speak to her though her mind, that her coworker Todd, an insurance investigator, may be doing something highly illegal, and that her new gorgeous neighbor, Scott, may be something other than human and murdering women in her town. After the murder of a girl named Courtney comes to light, which just so happens to be the waitress that Scott was flirting with on his date with Cassie, Cassie feels the need to hunt down the murderer and put an end to the now climbing deaths. As Cassie looks for clues to who might be the cause of these women turning up dead, she also starts to develop certain supernatural abilities such as seeing spirits.

“I didn’t consider myself that easy to set aside, but I was trying to not let any of these thoughts show; no easy feat for me, by the way, seeing as how I am a consummate eye-roller with tendencies toward mild vindication and bouts of sarcasm.”

-Cassiopeia

I think we can all agree that Cassie is a feisty woman, and of course I absolutely LOVE her sarcasm. Again, I have come across another story with a strong and spunky female character who commands your attention. You know what is even better about this character though? She doesn’t have a romance on the side while she is investigating these murders…can somebody say refreshing? Refreshing. All she has is her trusty sidekick cat, Allie, who has been placed on earth by “The Creator” to protect Cassie. Very Sailor Moon-esque. I enjoyed how the author made sure to keep the feline traits with Allie, even though she can speak to Cassie in her head which makes her feel a bit more human. The way the author tied a bit of fictional background about cats into the story was very interesting. The author explained that each “Cat” is given a human to watch over and protect, but of course not all humans like cats (as I am one of them) so that is why there are so many stray cats all over…because they have nowhere to go. It is all very sad (sarcasm). But nonetheless, it was rather interesting to think about because I have always felt that cats are rather strange and seem like they are always up to something.

Did I mention that the author does a fantastic job with description and creative writing? She has a TREMENDOUS knack for comparisons and making the reader actually feel the words, which I found fantastic. I love a lot of details and obnoxious amounts of descriptions in a story, so this was exactly the type of writing that I enjoy. But not only do you get wonderful visuals into exactly what the characters are feeling, but we also get some much enjoyed sarcasm and wit along with it:

“If I were made of metal, the sudden sound of my eyelids crashing together and the rest of my face scrunching up would have echoed like a massive wreck in the parking lot. Not unlike my ego at that very moment.”

– Cassiopeia

I think the author could have done a better job at explaining certain aspects of the story. There were many times when a turn in the story was presented, but it was never fully executed and explained later on. For example, our main character starts to suddenly be able to see spirits around her town. This was explained a little, but not nearly enough for me to feel like I completely understood. It seems that most things were cut a little bit short, without the reader getting the full background on what happens. I think the author should have spent a bit more time on giving more details to the evil that resided in Scott, the cat Allie, the reasons why the murders were happening, and our sketchy investigator Tom. Instead, I think the author focused a little too much on the center of the story, and not enough on explaining the outcomes and the motives.

Overall, I am interested in seeing how the next book in the series turns out. I want to see where the new abilities that Cassie now possess takes her, as well as how the writing and storyline progresses. Though the center of this book got a little slowed down at times, I think it was overall a fun read. Cassie is definitely a character I enjoy reading about and going on a journey with, so I am very excited to start book two in the New Sight Series called A Brighter Light.

4 Stars612B40E9C1CD2F68AD9B9A8097CED4FF