31 March 2018

Blood and Roses by Jordan Petrarca


Organized Crime Fantasy
Date Published:  June 2017

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Seven organized crime Families, known as the Seven Blessed Families, rule the World of Exodus and its people with the use of their mysterious magical artifacts, called Relics. Relics give powers to the Blessed members of the Families, and they use those powers for corruption and control of everything in Exodus.

Maretto Rose, the patriarch of the Rose Family, celebrates his 50th birthday by attending a performance at the Grand Theater with three of his four sons. The theater is attacked by the heir of the Cicello Family, Zasso Cicello. His mission is to abduct Maretto, but it fails when Maretto's son, Georgiano, fights Zasso to protect his father and family. Georgiano is ultimately slain and Zasso flees and goes into hiding. Now, the Rose Family must find where Zasso is hiding. They want answers. Who gave him the order for the attack, and what do they want with Maretto Rose? And most of all, they want revenge...But who could it be? A leader of a rival Family? Or someone or something else more powerful than they could imagine?

Meanwhile, Maretto's youngest son, Ric, must battle his demons and addictions in order to become a Blessed member of the Family and become the man he was destined to be, before he ends up being another dead junky on the street.

So, sit back and enjoy the ride, because in Exodus, gangsters make the world go round.



Praise for Blood and Roses:

"When I first started reading I thought this was going to be a typical gangster story, and in a lot of ways it was. However, the addition of magical relics, giving the family members magical powers, gives a wonderful twist to the story. The use of modern day technology, including flying cars, adds even more to the unexpected quality of the story. I especially love the scenes where they use magic for a variety of attacks and defences.



The plot, which at first, seemed to be very straight forward, was twisted out of shape by the inclusion of not just one, but several different players. This kept me guessing to the very end of the story about what was happening. Even at the end there are questions left unanswered, leading nicely to the next novel in the series, which I'm dying to read." -Emie Cuevas, OnlineBookClub.com






Excerpt


So far, it had been the perfect birthday for Don Maretto Rose.  Well, maybe not perfect.  His youngest son was not present for the celebration, and it hurt the powerful man very much on the inside.  But it was still as close as it was going to get to being perfect.

But sometimes, when you least expect it, the unexpected happens...And everything goes to hell.



Outside the Grand Theater, two black extended SUVs came flying from around a nearby skyscraper and hovered towards the ground.  They landed on the street directly in front of the red-carpeted entranceway.  As soon as they were grounded, the doors on each SUV flew open, and gangsters came pouring out like water from a spout.  One of the Rose Family guards and two theater security went into immediate action to stop the unwanted guests from entering the theater.  An array of other guards and security lined the stairs and main entrance.

            Now, a lot of the gangsters spilling out of the cars looked pretty much the same, dressed in regular black suits and fedoras, but there were two in particular that were dressed a little nicer and a little weirder.  They both took their good ole time striding towards the main guard as the other gangsters filed behind them.  The one in front was tall and lanky, wearing a royal blue suit with a matching necktie and white dress shirt.  He bore a blue fedora over his silvery black hair that hung down to his cheeks.  His eyes matched his hair, and his face was thin like his body.  He was draped in gold jewelry around his neck and had gemmed rings on almost every finger.  The pride in his walk signified that he was a man of importance.  And he was.  The man was none other than Zasso Cicello, son of Don Xanose Cicello.

            Walking closely behind, was a shorter man dressed in a shiny silver suit and black dress shirt.  His face was round but came to a point at his chin, and he bore a pair of sunglasses that could be mistaken for a couple of round mirrors.  His long and thin hair was shoulder length and was black with a bluish tint.  He, also, had a certain pride to his walk.  And that’s because he was Zasso’s personal protector and assassin, Razo Malvagio.

            As Zasso and Razo approached the main guard, he put up a hand to signal them to stop and said, “I’m sorry gentlemen, but this is a private viewing and you need to show credentials to enter the theater.”

            In the blink of an eye, Razo came whirling around Zasso, holding a pistol-gripped sawed-off shotgun.  It was pointed directly at the guard, and Razo didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger.  There was a loud burst, and then the guard’s hand exploded clean off his arm, along with half of his face.  His limp body collapsed on the red carpet.  A puddle of blood formed underneath the other half of his face.

            “There are my credentials,” Zasso said to the corpse.

            The two theater security guards reached for their firearms, but Zasso was too quick for them.  Like a gunslinger, he drew a small pistol from his waist and fired multiple shots.  Blood burst out of their chests, and they perished before they even touched their guns.  Zasso and Razo continued on, with their entourage following behind.

            The Rose Family guards and theater security wasted no time opening fire at the oncoming murderers.  They fired numerous times whether it was with a handgun or semiautomatic rifle.  But it was to no success.  Upon the masquerade of bullet-fire, Zasso raised a hand and magically constructed a transparent yellow force field that deflected the bullets.  Then, all hell broke loose.

            Zasso’s gangsters came storming around him and returned fire upon the guards and security.  Zasso and Razo went on the offensive as well with their short-arm weapons.  Blood started spilling, and bodies were falling everywhere.  When Zasso reached the bottom of the stairs, he extended his left hand and bolts of electricity spewed from his fingertips in the direction of his targets.  And at the same time, he kept on firing shots out of his pistol with his right hand.  His targets were electrocuted and blown away by bullets at the same time.  Zasso was Blessedwith magical powers by his Family’s Relic, which made him a very dangerous killer.

            While a few of his men were taken down, Zasso and Razo came away from the chaotic scene unscathed.  The Rose Family guards and theater security were all dead.  It was now time for them to enter the premises of the theater and accomplish what they came here to do.




About the Author


Jordan Petrarca lives in Erie, Pennsylvania with his wife and twin girls. "Blood and Roses" was inspired by his love for fantasy and organized crime stories.







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29 March 2018

Piece Keeper by Antwan Floyd Sr


About the Book:
Teresa Prince, a small town girl with a big heart, had dreams of working in law enforcement her goals put on pause in the worse way possible. Will she overcome this tragedy and emerge triumphant with her mind and soul intact? Or will the mental anguish be too much for her to bare? 
James, a twisted soul with ideas of love and grandeur with a woman that doesn’t feel the same for him, at least not yet. That will all change if he has anything to do with it. Also, her old flame has stepped into the picture. Will James be able to win her over and make her the love of his life before the flame is rekindled between her and her ex? Or will he be left in the cold while they live happily-ever-after?
Black Love was always a white collar kind of guy more so than a gangster when an unfortunate incident occurs in a small town in Illinois he rushes to the side of his ex-fiancΓ© to attempt to save the day. It does not take long to figure out that not everyone wants to see justice served. On top of that, his feelings for his past love may not only cause conflicts in the case but also add a rift to his new relationship. Will Black put his past behind him and find out who violated Teresa? 
In this fast-paced tale of pain, misguided passion, and lost love we follow these three souls as they embark on a journey of romance, rape, and retribution. When there’s no one to count on but yourself will you stand and deliver? Or bend and break? Each will face that question in the midst of what they once thought was true. They all find out that when love turns to war, someone has to be the Piece Keeper!


Book Links:
Piece Keeper via Amazon   Piece Keeper via Barnes & Noble   PieceKeeper Paperback


My Review:

Plot:
I was not sure about what to expect from the book, to be frank. From the blurb, I expected it to be part thriller, part romance and very much character oriented. But the book turned out to be quite different from the image that I got from the blurb. There's the central plot where Teresa gets raped and has her ex step into her life looking for revenge on behalf of her. Though the focus is on this central storyline, I liked the way the book covers the many shades of humanity. From violence to corruption, the book touches many evils of modern society.

Characters:
It was perhaps what holds the book together. There are four-five main characters in the book and they are all shades of grey. None of them is all black or all white and it is interesting to see how sometime the supposedly 'good' guys can walk on the other side of the line. I liked the way the characters are developed.

Language & Narrative:
There were a few parts where I had trouble understanding the dialogues. I suppose they were written in some localized slang which I am not aware of. But that was a very small part. Overall the author has done a good job with his narrative, making the plot more dramatized.

Note:
I had trouble with certain scene which was well written but could be a trigger for some people due to its violent nature.

πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“

About the Author: 

Antwan Floyd Sr. is a Publisher, Author, and Reviewer. He publishes Crime Fiction novels under his publishing company Maleah Solange Books. He has released two titles in the Black Love Detective Series: Piece Keeper & Cannibal in the City. He has also written Dope Fiction and Dope Fiction pt. 2 "Greed Between the Lines". Originally from Chicago, IL he currently resides in Indianapolis, IN where he is penning his next novel.


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28 March 2018

Survival by Rachel Watts


YA Speculative Fiction
Date Published: March 2018

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Ignorance is cheap. And then it costs you everything.

Perth author Rachel Watts' latest release delivers a devastating vision of a post-climate change world in which governments have collapsed and corporations rule with an iron fist. In this world two young women from different backgrounds find themselves unexpectedly aligned in their pursuit for the truth.

The world has suffered economic collapse and multiple environmental crises. In a flooded city, Ava Murasaki is searching for her activist sister Sophia. Meanwhile, Valerie Newlin lives in the secure complex of the Scylla Corporation, the world's only remaining multinational. There, she finds evidence of something horrifying in the Corporation medical research data. Set in a searingly real near-future, Survival is a story of what people will face for those they love.

Survival is accompanied by four of Watts' previously published dystopian and post-apocalyptic stories.



About the Author


Rachel Watts is an award-winning journalist and a writer of literary and speculative fiction. She holds a Master's Degree in Media and Communication and teaches creative writing to adults and teenagers. Her short stories and non-fiction have been published by Westerly, Island, Kill Your Darlings, Tincture and more.

Rachel Watts lives in Perth, Western Australia.




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27 March 2018

Piece Keeper by Antwan Floyd Sr.


About the Book:
Teresa Prince, a small town girl with a big heart, had dreams of working in law enforcement her goals put on pause in the worse way possible. Will she overcome this tragedy and emerge triumphant with her mind and soul intact? Or will the mental anguish be too much for her to bare? 
James, a twisted soul with ideas of love and grandeur with a woman that doesn’t feel the same for him, at least not yet. That will all change if he has anything to do with it. Also, her old flame has stepped into the picture. Will James be able to win her over and make her the love of his life before the flame is rekindled between her and her ex? Or will he be left in the cold while they live happily-ever-after?
Black Love was always a white collar kind of guy more so than a gangster when an unfortunate incident occurs in a small town in Illinois he rushes to the side of his ex-fiancΓ© to attempt to save the day. It does not take long to figure out that not everyone wants to see justice served. On top of that, his feelings for his past love may not only cause conflicts in the case but also add a rift to his new relationship. Will Black put his past behind him and find out who violated Teresa? 
In this fast-paced tale of pain, misguided passion, and lost love we follow these three souls as they embark on a journey of romance, rape, and retribution. When there’s no one to count on but yourself will you stand and deliver? Or bend and break? Each will face that question in the midst of what they once thought was true. They all find out that when love turns to war, someone has to be the Piece Keeper!


Book Links:
Piece Keeper via Amazon   Piece Keeper via Barnes & Noble   PieceKeeper Paperback


Interview:

1. When did you decide to become a writer?
I’ve been writing all my life just about, as a kid I write make believe commercial ads, then began writing raps, then poetry, next was screenplays finally I moved on to writing books and I made that transition in 2008 and published my first book in 2009.

2. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I would like to earn a living as a writer and become the first Black author Billionaire.

3. Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Black Love is a District Attorney turned Private Detective he is kind of thrown into this transition in his life through the tragedy of an old flame. He is a man of convictions who begins to question his moral compass when it comes to the law and what he once believed. A special time to write? No, I should be more structured in that way but no I just write when inspiration strikes.

4. Where do the ideas come from?
I wanted a black male character that was street smart/book smart that could hold his own on the streets and in the professional world.

5. What can we expect from you down the line?
I pretty much know who the characters are and what their purpose is in the story before I begin but I still write a loose backstory or outline to flesh out the characters.
Lol. No just had this conversation the other day I still suffer through it, I don’t know read books in your genre, listen to music, watch television shows in the genre that you write in.
I am writing more books in the Black Love Detective series and spin-off titles as well.
Thank you for the interview.


About the Author: 

Antwan Floyd Sr. is a Publisher, Author, and Reviewer. He publishes Crime Fiction novels under his publishing company Maleah Solange Books. He has released two titles in the Black Love Detective Series: Piece Keeper & Cannibal in the City. He has also written Dope Fiction and Dope Fiction pt. 2 "Greed Between the Lines". Originally from Chicago, IL he currently resides in Indianapolis, IN where he is penning his next novel.


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23 March 2018

Curse of a Dragon's Claim by Ciara Lake

About the Book:
 The flame within a dragon warrior's heart awakens Arianna's passion as she begins a journey in which she will discover she's something more than she ever imagined possible.

The realm of the dragons is a world of magic, danger, and mystery. For centuries they've been at war with the vampires, but now the two enemies must work together to save all immortals, and the mortals they co-exist with, from an ancient evil. In order to do so, they need the help of the Forsaken, descendants of immortals who were cast out into the human realm, their memories wiped clean of their true heritage.

Clayne MacDagon is a powerful dragon warrior who is sent on a mission to find one of the Forsaken. Although he's told that this woman is his fated mate, he can't believe it could possibly be true. Arianna Mergliano possesses both dragon and vampire blood, and Clayne has an intense hatred for anything even remotely related to vampires, the evil beings who were responsible for his beloved twin's death.

When Arianna meets Clayne, she's convinced that the man is insane, or maybe he's a warlock or even the devil himself, but whichever it is, she wants nothing to do with him.

Clayne knows he can't fail at his mission. And once he meets Arianna he also knows that what he's been told is true—she is, ironically, his intended mate.

Convincing her to accept him is only the beginning. He has to protect her from those who might want her dead. Together, they must face the shadows and evil that have long plagued the immortal realms and find a way to survive the coming war.

Book Links:

Read an Excerpt:

“Arianna, please come and sit down so I can fix your hair.” Alba waved Arianna over to the chair in front of a long mirror.

“Sorry, I’m excited. Can’t sit down.” Nevertheless, Arianna obeyed Alba’s direction and sat down.

“We must be ready to leave within an hour. It’s quite a drive to the Allegretti summer home. I’m eager to spend time there. It’s beautiful.” Alba flitted around as she brushed then braided Arianna’s long tresses. “I’ve laid your emerald dress out. If you approve, I’ll pack it. I’ve another for you to travel in.” She pointed to the yellow traveling dress.

Arianna looked toward the bed where her garments were laid out in preparation. “Oh, a lovely choice.”

“Yes, it is. I thought it would make a wonderful impression for this afternoon’s luncheon. In the evening, you can wear your scarlet dress. You’ll be breathtaking.”

“Thank you, Alba. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“No thanks is necessary. I’m doing what your mama asked me to do.” Alba smiled. Arianna watched Alba in the mirror as she fussed with her hair, arranging it on top of her head.

“My hair looks wonderful.” Arianna appraised Alba’s handiwork.

“You should think more of things like hairstyles, dresses, and shopping. It’s what wealthy young women are supposed to do. You spend too much time thinking about other people. This event is important. Your papa and Signor Allegretti are depending on it to impress their new associates. Your papa is counting on you to charm them as you always do.” Alba set the carved jewelry box on the dressing table. “Perhaps you should pick some jewels out now so as not to risk taking all with you.”
“Perhaps.” Arianna frowned, her gaze locking on the older woman’s reflection in the mirror. “I feel particularly nervous about this garden party. For some reason I have this uneasiness…no, not really uneasy, I’m not sure what it is, but I’m worried.” Arianna placed her hand over her stomach. It pained her. “I feel something life changing is about to occur.”

“Hush now, Arianna.” Alba patted her arm. “Such talk makes people very nervous, including me. Change can be good.”

“I can’t help it, I feel something momentous will soon happen. I’m not sure if it’s good or bad. I need to be able to speak of things to someone, and the only one I can reveal myself to is you.” Arianna pouted.

“Put these thoughts from your mind and relax. You’re merely nervous about meeting the eligible gentlemen your father invited. I overheard your father say there will be several eligible, well-respected businessmen there. A widower and one who has never been wed are said to be present.”

“Father doesn’t know what an excellent catch is.” Arianna rolled her eyes. “He’s only looking at their wealth.”

“Of course he is, Arianna. It would do you well to understand the way of it. You’d never wed a pauper. You are meant for greater things. Hold still, your hair’s almost done,” Alba instructed.
Arianna handed Alba another pin. The words swirled in her head, a familiar mantra she’d long since gotten tired of.

“There, you’re absolutely exquisite. I want you to look wonderful as soon as you step off the carriage. We’ll refresh you once you’re there. But first impressions, you know.”

“I can’t believe you think wealth’s the only important thing. Not you, Alba. Love’s important. Don’t you think? Isn’t love with physical attraction most important? I know most girls don’t think of this. But I do.”

“I know you think differently in many things, but don’t speak of this to any other. Just remember, love doesn’t pay your bills or buy your lovely silks. Love doesn’t do much, and it may not last.” She motioned for Arianna to stand, then helped her into her dress.

“Papa and Mama loved each other, theirs lasted.”

“Yes, a rarity in itself. If you can tolerate him and he’s wealthy, you’ve the makings of a good husband. Love may come.” Alba stood back, inspected Arianna, and smiled. “You look gorgeous. Let’s get downstairs. The carriage is already parked out front.”

“There will be other females there to charm the gentlemen. They’re much better at being amusing. Sarah’s always so charming and delightful.”

“Yes, but these men are eligible suitors. You’re in need of a husband.”

“I don’t need a husband, at least not yet.”

“Hush, you speak silliness,” Alba scolded as only a beloved servant could do. “You’re a young woman, you need a husband.”

“The other girls need husbands too.”

“Don’t be foolish, you know as well as I, Rafaela’s engaged, Jenna’s being courted by a very appropriate suitor, and Sarah…well, she’s Sarah. You most certainly need a husband. You’re nineteen years old, and getting older every day.”

“You make me sound ancient.” Arianna giggled.

“Someone must take care of you. It won’t be your father forever, he grows older too.”

“Truly, I can take care of myself.”

* * * *

Clayne relaxed against the ornate couch, a drink in his hand. He appraised the home with a quick eye, the luxury of the human’s dwelling spartan compared to the spacious townhouse he’d recently purchased in the heart of Florence. The invitation to the Allegretti home was most advantageous. It allowed him to continue his search without breaking his cover of a rich merchant who recently relocated from Rome to enjoy the art and culture of Florence, the jewel of the Renaissance.
It amused him to interact with these uncomplicated people. Signor Antonio Mergliano had been insistent that Clayne accept the invitation to the garden party, assuring him an entertaining visit. For some reason, Clayne was compelled to accept, he liked the old man.

Clayne shifted. While fortuitous, the invite was a hindrance. He should be searching for a godforsaken female with the mark of the dragon. No doubt the Forsaken bitch was an ugly, cold-hearted, half-breed bloodsucker. His blood boiled at the very notion of a vampire’s offspring.
There’s no fucking way she’ll be my mate. Mother’s prediction is wrong.

Clayne stood up, stretching his legs. Taking a sip of his drink, it cooled his inner heat. He burned with annoyance at having to do the Goddess Amuliana Synvera’s bidding.

His hatred for anything remotely related to vampires ate at him. They were only good for killing, as far as he was concerned. As loyal as he was to his king, this quest made his temper burn. He’d much rather be back in Ejdeha Dragoni having his teeth pulled than searching for this abomination in human form.

Mother’s wrong. How could the fates be so cruel to me?

He sighed into his drink. It had been years since he’d spent so much time among mortals. Only his trips for his king drew him from his seclusion, and the grief still stung at the loss of his beloved sister.
Perhaps he’d find a simple-minded human female to dally with, relieve his frustrations. Dragon females could be so complicated and greedy of his time. Often, human girls pretended to be virtuous, yet he knew better, seeing through their facade immediately. Allegretti’s daughter was one such female, she smelled of many men. Perhaps she’d be willing and eager to sneak off to a secluded place where he could get lost for a bit between her thighs. The thought brought a smile to his face.


About the Author:
Welcome to Ciara Lake's World. Meet Gorgeous Werewolves, Vampires, Dragons, Mermaids, Wizards, Witches, Mythological Gods and Goddesses, Mere Mortals And More! Fiction has always been a passion of mine. Creating worlds and developing characters is a great way for me to relieve the stress and strain of my everyday world. In fantasy (paranormal) and sci-fi stories, the author has the unique ability to invent wonderfully exotic places and people. I do that in my books. These fantastic genres provide a limitless ability to be creative and inventive. My stories provide an escape into a special world filled with unique and otherworldly things. And there is always a happy ending.


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21 March 2018

Seventh Born by Rachel Rossano






Rachel Rossano lives with her husband and three children in the northeastern part of the United States. Homeschooled through high school, she began writing her early teens. She didn’t become serious about pursuing a career as an author until after she had graduated from college and happily married. Then the children came.

Now she spends her days being a wife, mother, teacher, and household manager. Her evenings and free moments are devoted to her other loves, writing and book cover design. Drawing on a lifelong fascination with reading and history, she spends hours creating historical feeling fantasy worlds and populating them with characters who live and breathe on the page. 

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In a world where seventh born sons are valued for their strength and power, she is born a daughter.

Zezilia Ilar is the disappointment. Born after six brothers, she was supposed to be the son to restore her family’s prestige. She intends to remedy her shortcomings by being a dutiful daughter, marrying well and producing children, preferably a set of seven sons. But when someone offers her an alternative, she begins to dream of more.

In a society that worships a goddess, he follows the Almighty.

Hadrian Aleron, as a seventh son of a seventh son, stands to take up the second highest position in government, Sept Son. His main qualification for office is his birth. Despite preparing for this role from childhood, he does not desire what is to come. As a follower of the Almighty, he knows he will be the target of many, and his faith might eventually lead to death.


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Snippet:

I frowned. Master Silas’ touch and the word in my mind had been vastly different than the sending from Master Aleron. “Does it always feel like that?”
He looked over at me and quirked an eyebrow. “Like what?”
“You know, a taste in the mouth and the pressure of something touching inside your head.” I struggled to find the words for the feeling, but those were all that came and they seemed inadequate.
“The taste, yes,” he agreed. “Each sender has a different taste and some have sensations that come with the words.”
“So, every time Master Silas sends a thought to you, your mouth tastes plums.” I looked up at him.
He smiled and nodded. “Yes.”
“What do I taste like?” I asked.
He laughed and stopped. “You are the first person to ask me that.”
“You mean you don’t know what you taste like?”
He smiled at that. “I have been told my taste defies description. I am not saying it to be prideful. There just isn’t a substance that anyone knows of that matches mine.”
I nodded. That I believed. His taste was different than anything I had ever tasted. “When you interrupted my thoughts, did you…” I looked up to find him watching my face with a thoughtful look. “Am I wrong to ask?”
“No,” he replied slowly. “I just…” Then suddenly turning away, he began striding down the path toward the water gardens. I had to trot at a very unladylike pace to keep up with him.



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20 March 2018

My First Breakup by Dhruba D.Roy

About the Book:

“Oh God, why me?”


This is perhaps what we think of when we go through a ‘breakup’.
This story is about Anirudh and Anvi.
Both of them have their own thinking which are not alike.
The story begins with Anirudh meeting with and accident. As he slowly succumbs to the pain, he starts reflecting about his bygone college days where he found his love for music. He loves Anvi dearly who is a long-lost friend of Anirudh.
The story reveals how Anirudh struggles as the hands of reality strikes him down.





Book Links:


My Review:

I picked this book up expecting a quick and light read. The book delivers on those accounts.

Plot:
The plot is pretty simple and straightforward. There are quite a few cliched moments in the book. Though the book doesn't really surprise you, it has a charm about it because of its simplicity. The curve balls that life throws at Anirudh and the connection that he feels with Anvi are the things that keep you turning the pages.

Characters:
The protagonists are developed just right with ample flesh to them to be relatable to the readers. They, like the plot, are simple and more close to being real than to being fictional.

Narrative:
The author has kept his language simplistic and easy to get into. Some of the dialogue delivery in the story felt a bit lose.


I have used the word simple too many times in this review. And that is because the author has kept to the basics of every aspect of story telling. I have to admit though that I feel that the book could do with tighter editing. This is a book that you would likely enjoy just after reading a heavy book.

πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“



About the Author:

Dhruba Das Roy  is a freelance writer, a musician by passion, and a software engineer by profession. He is from Assam, but born in a small town of Meghalaya, where he finished his schooling. He then obtained his degree in engineering from the esteemed college of National Institute of Technology. He discovered his love for music there and was the lead vocalist of his band, “The Rozarts”.

He loves rock and roll and is a great fan of the pioneers of rock and roll-(Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Queen and the list goes on).Unfortunately, as engineering life came to an end, the band had to split. Recently, he moved to Kolkata where he is working in one of leading software service based companies in India.

Not everyone can put their thoughts into words. Dhruba had never tried his hand in writing; but he had an experience, an experience which changed his life for the better. Being a vocalist, his only way of expression was through the creative way. He decided to pen down his thoughts and he discovered that writing came naturally to him. His thought process in the novel relates to the general mass in many ways. He decided to stretch his limits and ended up voicing his thoughts in a different way this time.





16 March 2018

Lucknow by Annie Hall




Women’s Fiction
Date Published: February 2018
Publisher: Threekookaburras

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When Rosie's marriage suddenly ends one night in Sydney, nothing makes sense any more. She doesn't know what to do next. Her sister, Juliette, suggests she come and live where she is — in Lucknow,  a town in Central Victoria, that they knew in their childhood. It doesn't seem to offer much at first. But her life changes in ways she had not thought possible. Lucknow isn't just a romance, it's about life in a small country Australian town.



Praise for Lucknow:

"Heartbreak, comedy, tragedy, farce, romance, secrets, even love. Annie Hall lifts the lid on the way things are in this Australian country town with the beguiling name of Lucknow." — Carmel Bird








Excerpt



While Hamish was being minded by Mrs Pickett for a couple of hours, Juliette and Rosie grabbed their bathers and headed out to the old reservoir. It was the perfect time for a swim, the sun had real warmth, the wind held its breath, there was a clarity of light in the air and the fragrance of eucalyptus and spice. The old reservoir shimmered and sang with bird calls that afternoon. Save for two fishermen sitting on the levee wall mute and still as statues, Juliette and Rosie had the place to themselves. Near the water’s edge they baked on bare rock like lizards, their towels rolled under their heads for pillows. Juliette lay on her back staring at the sky while Rosie lay on her front gazing at the water.

‘I heard about your quiet night at the pub,’ Juliette said. ‘Jade said you were announced on stage as single. Really putting it out there, aren’t you Rosie? Next it will be an ad in the local paper.’

‘I had no idea Eloise would do that,’ Rosie said. ‘It was so embarrassing.’

‘You don’t know the half of it,’ Juliette said. ‘If you heard what they were saying about you.’

‘Like what?’

Juliette looked at her sister, and didn’t want to hurt her feelings. ‘It’s a wonder you weren’t raffled off like a tray of meat.’

There was a pause.

‘Eloise grew up here. People know her, they don’t know you. You’ve just arrived.’

She looked at her sister, always slight, like a teenager in her blue bikini with yellow buttercups. She didn’t look strong enough to have had Hamish or gone through a torrid marriage breakdown. She is tougher than she looks, Juliette thought. If she didn’t physically show signs of suffering she must have felt it somewhere. But where did Rosie feel it? wondered Juliette.

‘I know I’ve just arrived, Juliette,’ Rosie said, yawning. ‘To another age, it seems, as well as another place.’

‘In Lucknow, you must take care,’ Juliette said earnestly. ‘Gossip spreads faster than a virus, it’s more invisible than hepatitis. It just floats around and somewhere decisions are made about you, your reputation is decided. It might not be the truth but it is what will pass as the truth.

‘You will be stuck with it. And, and,’ Juliette said, warming to her point, ‘it will be very hard once your reputation is fixed to change it. It will stick with you no matter what you do. If people find that you vary from your reputation then they will find it curious, but they won’t disbelieve the gossip.’

Rosie thought about what Juliette was saying. ‘If people can’t distinguish the truth from gossip then why is their opinion of any value?’

‘They only know what they hear,’ Juliette said. ‘You need to take care.’

The smooth grey rocks were hot beneath their bodies. Rosie felt sweat beginning to trickle and the water looked invitingly cool.

‘I’m going in,’ she told Juliette. ‘Race you.’

As warm and brown as a bottle of beer in the shallows, the water was chilly and fizzy as champagne at waist height. Rosie dived under and came up tingling with shock at how cold it was. Juliette was already ahead, arms and legs slicing cleanly through the water. Rosie set off like a threshing machine, churning the water white as she overtook Juliette and raced the one kilometre to the other side. She stood in the shallows, her ribs heaving and subsiding as she gasped for air, her body bent, head down near her knees, eyes swimming with red, brain nearly blacking out from a lack of oxygen. Juliette came up behind her, the water draining off her body in silvery rivulets and watched her sister.

‘You always push things,’ she said, casually. ‘You always go too far.’



About the Author



Annie Hall has worked as a journalist in country towns as well as Sydney and Melbourne. She lived for a number of years in the Goldfields area of Victoria.








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