31 August 2020

Book Review Ready For The World by Charmeljun Gallardo






About The Book Series


Ready For The World - Driver’s Education:

All Brandon Delacruz is asking out of his young life is popularity, riches, and the girl of his dreams. But what he does have are good grades, a ten-speed bicycle, and his two lifelong friends, Josh and Ally, at his side. And together, they’ll navigate their way through the rigors of high school life.

But unlike high school, real life doesn’t come with study guides. Brandon realizes that the girl he’s always dreamed about has been there all along. And as he untangles his feelings for Ally, something tragic happens to her family that changes everything. Now, Brandon will spend the rest of the year balancing his romantic feelings for Ally and his life-long friendship with her while also dealing with tough teachers, classes, and toughest of all, meeting the Filipino parental standards.

Brandon will learn that the world moves pretty fast, whether he’s ready or not.

Ready For The World – Superstar:

Brandon Delacruz is destined to write the next great novel. At least, that’s what he hopes what’s in those stacks of notebooks around him. And why shouldn’t he be full of confidence? He’s doing great in school and after a long hard road, he finally has the girl of his dreams, his best friend, Ally. 

But before the year can even start, Brandon’s life is turned upside down. Nothing is what he thought and things don’t happen the way he hoped. And as he sifts through his feelings and tries to make sense of everything, he meets Rachel, a confident and self-assured girl that doesn’t suffer fools lightly.

Ally has been the love of Brandon’s life, but things between them have become complicated without explanation. While he and Rachel are seemingly a perfect fit. Which girl will he choose? And more importantly, which girl will choose him?


Purchase Links

Ready For The World: Driver’s Education 

Amazon India | Amazon USA


Ready For The World: Superstar


Amazon India | AmazonUSA


Book Review


About The Book: 


Ready For The World: Book Series is a coming of age fiction by Charmeljun Gallardo. The story revolves around Bandon and his friends Josh and Ally. The book talks about how the typical teenage lives in the 1980s and his struggles, challenges, first love, heartbreak, realizing about relationship true nature.


In the author's own words “All that Brandon Delacruz wants is a chance. A chance to drive, a chance to be one of the cool kids, and a chance at a girlfriend before he starts the 10th grade. He'll spend the rest of the year finding the delicate balance between a budding love, old friendships, meeting the Asian Parental standards, and having fun...as long as he keeps his grades up.”


I have read both the books and going to review them at once.


My Thoughts:


Before I start with my review, I have to say I am a sucker for teenage stories. I just love them. Nothing like the friends that you make in your school life, those stupid talks with friends seems like the most mature thing in the world, and most importantly first love. Nothing can beat those butterflies in your stomach, realizing that someone is special for the first time and the inevitable heartbreak. The first heartbreak feels like actually, something is bleeding inside you and the world has come to an end. This book talks about all theses and much more in the most convincing way possible.


The author is a Philippine descent who is born and brought up in the USA and the story is set up in 1986 when Brandon 15 years old. However, I am from another part of the world, a Bengali who spends her teenage in early 2000, yet I can totally relate to the story. At moments it seems like it is my story, like someone from different parts of the world, whom I have never met is talking about me. It gives a sense of familiarity and comforts me in my feeling “my teenage was awful”. I ride the same boat which Brandon and many other teenagers did and I am glad about that.


As for the characters are concerned:


Brandon: He is all of us in our teenage. He is funny, stupid, smart, thinks he knows everything and struggling with his feelings.


Josh: He is my favorite character; he deserves a whole book to himself. We all have a friend like him, who seems the clown on the outside and the smartest and maturest inside. He will show you a mirror in the most casual way possible.


Ally: She probably has the most challenging life among all. Live through a lot of curveballs at her yet she managers her way through. She is the most mature of all, yet vulnerable and at times lost.


Overall, I love both books and recommend everyone to read it.


Mr. Charmeljun Gallardo is a master of expressing the most complicated feeling in the simplest words possible. Personally, I am glad I read this book.


πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“




About the Author

Charmeljun Gallardo is a former Radiologist and author. His first book is Ready for the World young adult book series. He graduated from San Francisco State University with a Creative Writing degree in 1996. He is a writer, photography enthusiast, sports fan, movie geek, stroke survivor, and an adventurous foodie. He lives in San Diego, California with his wife and son. 

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30 August 2020

Descendants and Heirs by D.S Johnson




Action Adventure Fantasy
Date Published: April 2020
Publisher: Rosecrest Publishing

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As the descendants and heirs unite and fortify one another with their special skills, they find themselves in the heart of the center realm, Ebassia. The recently deceased King has left the enormous duty of ruling such a vast realm to his daughter, Oladesni, who has only the head Necromancer of the Velsharoon as her mentor. With an unrelenting desire to be released from her own prison, Isot leader of the Velsharoon uses the coronation of the new queen as her opportunity to execute the Binding of the Crypt spell through the Pact of the Everlasting. Shaz and his company of elemental mages and miniature warriors must find a way to stop the Necromancer from committing an unthinkable act of mass murder. The company is thwarted by one thing after another and must race against time to stop her. 


About the Author

DS Johnson is an artist, illustrator, entrepreneur, and author of the Realms of Edenocht series for Young Adults. With over a decade of writing Young Adult novels and graphic design and an avid online role-playing gamer, DS Johnson has years of experience in the art of fantasy make believe and a love for the genre of role playing games and has endeavored to bring to life in action adventure novel form the love of the game. With quotes like ‘WOW, now that was pleasantly unexpected!’ With the natural sense of leveling up your character and developing your skills, DS Johnson has successfully combined the art of fantasy and role playing in a remarkable series for young and old readers. Even if you’re not a role-playing gamer, you will find the books Realms of Edenocht utilizes the traditional, but exciting story telling techniques with skill and flare all readers will love. DS Johnson works from home and enjoys family life and the creative process.

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Book Review The Backyard Tales by Aniesha Brahma




About The Book



The Backyard Tales is the story of the bond shared between 17-year-old Mia Basu Roy and her beloved cat, Pippo. She seems to understand him far too well for a human. And he seems to have another life that Mia begins to suspect. She follows her cat to their backyard and down a very dangerous road which leads her to witches, talking animals, and a story that’s much bigger than what she initially suspected. 

Read this story to discover all of Mia and Pippo’s secrets, be enchanted by magic, and get the answer to a question that has haunted us for ages: does a cat truly love their owner? 


Book Purchase Link



Book Review


About The Book:

The book revolves around Mia Basu Roy and her pet cat Pippo Basu Roy. Mia is a regular teenager who loves her friends, family, and mostly her cat Pippo. Mia leads a simple life, until one day Pippo run away from home, Mia goes after him. 

In author Aniesha Brahma’s own words, she described the book “Mia Basu Roy has always been extremely fond of cats. When a stray kitten wanders into their house, she makes her parents grant her permission to keep him and names him Pippo.

Unknown to the family, Pippo, possesses the ability to talk. The insults from the street cats are getting harder to bear. And someone has been summoning him every night. But he’s a house cat, who has never left the house to even visit the premises. When he finally gathers the courage to run away from home, he greatly upsets Mia. She refuses to accept the fact he’s gone and goes after him, which leads her into the magical world of The Backyard Tales, where all the animals are all serving a higher power – The Witch.”

My Thoughts: 

It’s been ages I have read any kids' book. Personally, I love reading books for Children and Young Adults and especially if they have any Fantasy element. My favorite writer in this genre is Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay.

This is the first book I am reading which is written by Aniesha Brahma and was not sure what to expect. However, as I continue reading and the story progresses, I got hooked to the book.

The book has a thriller element which is very interesting and as a reader, all I wanted to do is know what happens next.

Protagonist Mia Basu is very well written, and many of us can relate to her passionate behavior, especially at that age.

Pippo has a very distinctive character and the main part of the story, not just a supporting pet.

Overall, I really enjoyed the story. The story will appeal not just to Children and Young Adults, but to readers of all ages.

I am also telling the story to my daughter who loves cats.


πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“

Author Bio


Young Adult and Children’s novelist, Aniesha Brahma, studied Comparative Literature. She started her career has as a social media manager in a publishing house. Currently works as a senior content writer in a digital media agency. When she is not working, she is dreaming up stories, conducting sessions for her popular YouTube Series, Chai & Chill, or planning how to get even more books and bookish content to readers via BUZZ Magazine. You can read more of her work at Aniesha’s Musings and drop a line at aniesha.brahma@gmail.com

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29 August 2020

Magic Once Removed by James Kirst



Paranormal Suspense
Published: June 2020
Publisher: World Castle Publishing

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Down on his luck former police detective turned private investigator Peter Cunningham thought the beautiful Abigail Mitchell was just another crazy client. Now he’s entangled in an ancient conspiracy that dates back to the Salem Witch Trials, a far cry from the simple assault case the woman wanted him to solve.
His budding romance with the witch Abigail will have to be put aside as he travels the Pacific Northwest with estranged friend and former partner Kelly Martinez to discover who these people are and their goals.
A coin, a five-year-old case, the Malleus Maleficarum, televangelist and motivational speaker Tony O’Stein, Pope Innocent VIII, and a secret society all tie back to a tragedy from Peter’s childhood and he will need to figure out what it all means and a solution.
Though many witches live amongst us, they are also part of a secret society but their clandestine organization seems to have been discovered which has led to a new wave of persecution. Internal tensions were already high and the attacks have only exasperated the issues. Peter must expose the members of the conspiracy and thwart their nefarious plans before an even bigger tragedy strikes.
 

About the Author

James Kirst lives in the Evergreen State in a humble little abode within the forested city of Dupont. There, he earned his Master’s Degree at the University of Washington. Commuting up north to Tacoma, he has worked as a senior programmer and software development lead for almost ten years.
With a borderline obsessive interest in the paranormal, James has conducted an intensive study on the subject. To that end, he has visited some of the most haunted places in the United States including Salem, the LaLaurie Mansion of New Orleans, and his personal favorite, the Shanghai Tunnels of Portland, Oregon.
As an avid fan of mystery both in fiction and in real life, he has done extensive research into police procedurals, the machinations of detective work, and life as a private investigator.
A big sports fan, James is sure to either be watching or participating in one when not writing about or educating himself in one of the aforementioned subjects. In fact, he has won multiple championships in bowling and slow-pitch softball and has made several appearances as a softball All-Star where he was given the privilege of playing in Cheney Stadium. He is still seeking that elusive kickball title, however.

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28 August 2020

Unsports Manlike Conduct by Shanna Swenson



Gods of the Gridiron, Book 1
Sports Romance, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 28, 2020

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They don't call him Ares for no reason!
Travis Redmond, the ram of a running back for the Atlanta Gladiators, may be a lot of things—hot-headed, arrogant, rash—but a cheater isn't one of them. Until cheating is the only option he has to save his brother, Tucker, from the clutches of a dangerous criminal mastermind.
When his impulsive actions get him an UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT penalty and he ends up suspended and back in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas, the last person he expected to see again was Skyla Larson, his former classmate from Brevidge High.
Skyla isn't the shy girl he remembers from Biology. She's changed after a decade and man, is she scorching hot now… and with the sass to go along with it too! Sly little Sky’s got a few secrets of her own, including a particular person she's investigating as Atlanta’s assistant district attorney.
Their reunion and bar-side banter are short-lived though as these two suddenly find themselves running for their lives...and falling in love on top of that!
Love has poor timing, especially when they have everything to lose including their hearts… The “god of war” may have found something worth fighting for—the mighty Aphrodite of his.
 
 

Excerpt
PROLOGUE

Travis Redmond sat at the bar, beer in hand, feeling like the biggest loser in the NFL. He’d gotten formally suspended this time after he’d pulled his helmet off and gone nose to nose with a player on the field, during a game, in front of eighty-thousand plus fans.
Yeah, he’d been wrong. Yeah, he’d been angry. Yeah, he’d been throwing the game...intentionally. And Pollux Reed had called him out for it. But dammit, he had no idea what Travis was going through and why he’d done what he had. He was tired of the talk behind his back and when Reed had mumbled that bullshit under his breath, Trav had seen red and went at him before he could even think.
He’d only been playing for the Gladiators for a month now and he was being scrutinized, his motives questioned—like they’d been before he’d gotten traded from the Stallions. But no one understood what was happening, what a shit-show his little brother had gotten the two of them into. There were some dark and shady men at the center of this whole scandal, and if Travis didn’t play his cards right, Tucker’s life was at stake. He had to do what they said, had to subtly throw the games, had to keep the facade going. The alternative was unthinkable.
For now, Travis was simply biding his time and looked back over to Hank, the bartender of Gunslingers, the current bar he was in, here in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas. He’d needed a break from all the heat he was in, back in Atlanta, using the excuse to come out and visit his family and catch up with his former teammates. 
Tonight, Trav was meeting up with a friend he used to play with on the Stallions—his former QB, Judd Gilbert. He’d be heading back to Georgia in a couple days’ time.
Travis checked his phone again, all too aware of the eyes that kept coming back to him. He was as inconspicuous as a famous football player and record-breaking running back could be in his backwards ball cap and shades, despite that it was so dark in the place that he could barely see. The tight Nike t-shirt and jeans probably didn’t help. Judd hadn’t texted him back, although Travis had been at the bar for about twenty minutes now, waiting.
“Is it true? Were you throwing that game like they said?” Hank asked, leaning over the half-empty bar top, polishing a beer stein.
“What the fuck do you think?” Trav grumbled and looked around. “You know me. You know I ain’t like that!” It hurt that people had no more faith in him than they did...even if it were true.
“I know, but it sure don’t seem that way. You shouldn’t have fumbled that ball, Trav.”
“What do you do for a living?” When Hank paused, Trav buried the hatchet. “You pour fucking liquor into glasses. Why don’t you do that and stop telling me how to do my job? When you bust your ass on that field every Sunday, then we can talk. Until then, shut the hell up.” Travis looked away, his heart hurting at the acid dripping from his lips. He had to make this seem legit though or Tucker was a dead man. They’d warned him and warned him and warned him. And Tucker was in their grasp now. They could put a bullet through his head in the blink of an eye if Travis acted suspiciously. They’d already sent him a pinky toe in the mail. He assumed it was his brother’s but couldn’t verify it for a fact. They could be bluffing, but he knew them too well; they hadn’t bluffed prior to now.
Travis pulled his shades off and looked around, narrowing his eyes at the onlookers, almost growling like a cornered dog. Yeah, it’s me fuckers, Travis fuckin’ Redmond! In the flesh, he wanted to shout but took another sip of beer instead, back home and up to no good, he thought to himself.
Just then his phone beeped and he checked it, seeing a text from Judd.
Judd: Hey, man. Sorry, I’m gonna have to bail tonight. Jerica is running a fever and Gemma thinks we should take her to urgent care. FML. I really hate this. I’ll call you tomorrow. Maybe we can do lunch before you head out on Thursday?
Well, shit! Trav was on his own tonight...in a bar he didn’t even wanna be in. His night just kept getting better and better.
Travis texted back with: No worries, man. Hope she’s alright. Talk tomorrow.
He replaced his phone in his back pocket and looked at the opening door, seeing that it was raining out now as an impeccably dressed redhead with a giant umbrella stomped in, huffing.
Trav’s eyes narrowed as he tried to place her. That face, mouth, and skin tone… He could swear he’d seen them before. When she looked up, her blue eyes grazed him robotically before zeroing in on the bartender.
“Excuse me, do you have a phone I could use?” she asked and got a scoff from Hank.
“Payphone’s in the back, lady.”
She sighed heavily and closed the dripping umbrella, swiping her black heels on the giant rug at the entrance of the door. She was clad in a striped, heather-gray pant suit with a cream silk top. She rifled through the big leather bag on her shoulder before tucking her unruly, long curly hair behind her ears. He heard her grumble, “Fuck,” as she pulled out a wallet and runaway coins began to bounce onto the floor with little pings here and there.
Travis understood; his day was just as shitty.
He decided then to move off his seat and assist her. He stepped forward and bent down to retrieve the three quarters, five nickels, and four dimes that had fallen out of her wallet. As her sapphire blue eyes fell to his, the woman’s jaw literally dropped as she recognized him.
He was used to this. Being a professional athlete got a man all kinds of attention; some wanted and others not so much. He wasn’t sure of the attention here but hoped she didn’t draw too much his way. The heat of the chaos he’d already generated himself was creating steam around him and he wanted to hug a wall at this point.
The shock on her face quickly turned to scorn. Great! She not only recognizes me, she hates me. No scoring for me tonight.
“Here, you dropped this,” his voice plunged in annoyance as he thrust the fist full of change forward.
“Keep it! No one asked for your two cents anyway.”
Ouch! Feisty. Well, she was a redhead after all.
“It’s actually $1.40 to be exact,” he smarted.
“Hmm, you could probably use it more than I could right now, Mr. Redmond.”
He rolled his eyes. Maybe she was a jaded fan or the wife of an opposing player. Either way, he wasn’t taking her money, to hell with her.
He slammed it on the bar top because his temper was the shortest thing on him. “You’ll need it for the fucking payphone,” he grated out even as she turned her back to him and walked in the direction of the phone and bathrooms. “Ungrateful bitch,” he mumbled under his breath.
Travis sat back down at the bar and continued to nipple his beer, looking up at the television that hung on the back wall. It was set to SportsCenter, so he kept his eyes locked on it, listening to the play by play of past Sunday’s games. The sportscasters began arguing predictions of the coming games, evaluating the players and their stats, and then started to debate Travis’s future with the Gladiators. Again, anger seized him. What the hell did they know? His head coach, Greg Cavanaugh, and the owner of his team, Jerry Taylor, hadn’t talked about cutting him. He was only suspended for two weeks, and it’d been for taunting, not throwing the games.
Travis sighed and leaned back on the bar stool. His guilt might be enough to kill him; the team didn’t deserve to be done the way they were, nor his teammates. Travis wished things could be different, but there was nothing he could do. He couldn’t go to the cops, he couldn’t discuss it—with anyone—and he couldn’t allow them to fire him. He had to keep this up. Had to continue to keep his brother alive.
“Can I have a water please?” Joy! The stuck-up lady was back.
“Does this look like a Waffle House?” Hank snorted.
“C’mon, I’ll pay for a soda. I—”
“Give her a damn water, Hank, and quit bein’ a dick,” Travis scolded with yet another scowl, getting one in answer. Hank huffed but did as he was told. “You’re grumpy tonight and it’s showing.”
“Yeah, and with no damn help from you. You’re supposed to be the town hero, Travis. You’re really disappointin’ us lately.”
Yeah, that makes two of us, buddy, he thought but spoke instead to the mysterious redhead who’d sat down two stools from him. “You sure you don’t need somethin’ stronger?”
“I don’t drink.”
“Figures,” he mumbled and sipped his beer again.
“Yeah, well maybe if you didn’t drink so much, you could keep your damn hands on the football.” The redhead smirked, and Travis frowned over at her. Who did she think she was, talking to him like that? What Hell had she come from to torture him like everyone else was tonight?
“Like you’d even fuckin’ know,” he retorted back. She probably didn’t even watch football, he bet. She just went along with what the man who’d put that big rock on her finger told her to do.
Travis rolled his eyes and looked back at the TV, getting nothing else out of her for a minute. As soon as this beer was done, he was saying, “Fuck off” to all of ‘em and getting the hell out of Dodge while the gettin’ was good.
The redhead rifled through her giant bag once more and sighed at the cell phone in her hands, drawing Travis’s attention again.
“Fuck,” she mumbled under her breath and threw it back into her purse.
Trav’s brows went up in question, but she looked away quickly, as if his stare was abhorrent. She’d be pretty if she would stop being such a cunt. There was something about her though that, again, made him feel as if he knew who she was.
“You from around here?” he finally asked, curiosity getting the best of him, and moved lithely onto the stool beside her. He was curious by nature; he couldn’t help himself.
“Yes, unfortunately I am,” she responded, running a hand through her mane of red hair.
“Unfortunately?” he sassed. “What? You too good to come from ol’ San Antonio?”
“No,” she smarted back and rounded on him. “But I certainly wasn’t hoping to run into you again.”
Again? When the hell had he run into her in the first place? He hadn’t slept with her, had he? If he had, he was certain he would’ve remembered a set of tits and a pair of legs like hers.
He grinned. “I don’t reckon I know you, darlin’.”
“Oh, yes, you do,” she retorted hotly and took a sip of her water. “You just don’t recognize me. I mean, it’s been almost ten years since we graduated.”
Holy shit! He’d gone to high school with her? Who was she?
He looked her over and tried to rack his brain. High cheekbones, great tits, curvy hips, porcelain skin... Nope, he was drawing a blank. But then again, he’d been hit one too many times in the head since high school.
“Got a name, Fireball?”
“Yes, Travis Redmond, I do. Too bad you don’t remember it.” She huffed, and he couldn’t help but laugh at this woman’s audacity. He was certain he would’ve remembered a sexy, feisty redhead; this lady was unforgettable.
“You’re gonna make me work for it... Ok, fine. Maybe it’ll be fun.” His grin was like the cat that ate the canary for a moment before he spied her engagement ring again. Damn! She was engaged, he’d forgotten. Too bad too, because he could’ve had loads of fun with this sassy, little ginger. Each one he’d ever taken to bed had truly been straight fire and tonight, he needed that kind of fire to forget all his problems.
“Oh, I—” she stammered as she went to remove the ring from her finger. “I—I’m not—”
“Sure. And I’m not one of the NFL’s leading running backs.”
“No. Actually. He—he, uh—”
“Sure, he did.” Travis went to turn, annoyed by the woman’s sudden separation from her fiancΓ© on his account.
“He was fucking his secretary. I just found out yesterday. It’s one of the reasons I’m here. Along with work. I needed to get away.” She blushed, her face as red as her hair. Tears hit her blue eyes. “The affair is big news now. The media got wind of it this morning,” she mumbled, looking down. 
“Bummer.” He understood how the media took a story and ran with it. “So, your fiancΓ© a politician or somethin’?”
“He’s the mayor of Atlanta.”
“No shit!” She lived in Atlanta too? “Wait, ain’t he a bit old for you?” The mayor was, indeed, an old dude.
She shrugged. “I guess it doesn’t matter much anymore, does it?” She smirked sarcastically, and Travis’s eyes fell over her face.
She had a light dusting of freckles, which her foundation covered, rosy cheeks, an aquiline nose, and no-nonsense blue eyes. And in that moment, she looked as run-down as he did. He took pity on her and felt bad for calling her a bitch behind her back.
“Hank, get us two shots. Make ‘em lemon drops.”
“No,” the pretty woman protested, shaking her head. “I can’t. Really.
“Oh, c’mon. Have a drink with your old classmate. We’re celebrating a reunion. Just a round or two. It won’t hurt ya. Besides, there ain’t enough liquor in those things to even get you good and buzzed.”
She cocked her head, trying to get him to understand, but he persisted.
“Just one. Maybe two. I swear, I’ll get you home in one piece.”
“Oh, I know exactly what you’ll try to do, if you’re anything like what you were back in high school. But my car needs a tow and the wrecker’s gonna be a while, so I’ll have one, maybe two with you. But I am not going home with you, Travis.”
“Deal!” Travis grinned and motioned for Hank to get the shots. “But I gotta ask? Have we slept together before?”
She shook her head dramatically. “I’d never sleep with you. Not in a million years.”
“Right, but you’ll sleep with the damn, old-ass, bald guy you were engaged to,” Travis snorted. The woman didn’t confirm nor deny the accusation but she sure as hell was gonna marry the asshole, so there was that.
“So, you gonna tell me your damn name so I can get reacquainted with you or continue to keep me guessing?”
She laughed, like genuinely laughed, and Travis was taken by how beautiful she was as her face lit up.
Wow! How had he forgotten a woman who looked like that?
“Skyla.”
“Skyla?” Travis was combing through every neuron to try and remember this lady, but he couldn’t place her to save his life.
“I wore glasses, had braces, was overweight,” she elaborated. “Skyla Larson from Bio.” 
“You’re fuckin’ kidding me!”
Travis was literally dumbfounded as he recalled the chubby, strawberry blonde he’d had Biology with. The girl he remembered was shy, practically mute, and tripped over her own two feet constantly.
“No way! You are not.”
“Am too.” Skyla’s brow rose.
Travis’s eyes roved over her. She’d honed that fleshy pubescent body into a slender masterpiece, taken those ugly-ass glasses and braces off, and now she was fine AF, and he told her so. “Damn! You’re smokin’ fuckin’ hot now, Skyla. What’d you discover? P90X.”
She rolled her eyes but gave him a smile. “Thanks, Travis. That means a lot coming from you. But not only did I discover P90X and clean-eating, I also grew the fuck up… unlike some of my classmates.”
Travis laughed. Damn, this was entertaining and got his mind off the fear that his life had become since his brother had come to him six months ago, pleading for five million dollars and protection. “You grew up alright.” Travis’s eyes focused on her big breasts, and he remembered that she did have those in high school—Braces, buck teeth, and big tits. It was starting to come back to him now. “You were never sarcastic though, and I can’t say I like that about you.”
“Good thing I don’t give a shit what you like.”
“Burn, baby.” He smirked. “Is the rest of you as scalding hot as that tongue of yours?” He gave her a crooked grin.
“Wouldn’t you like to find out?” she asked and thanked Hank for the shots he placed before them.
“Yes! I would indeed,” Travis answered and raised his shot after Sky grabbed hers. “Here’s to reconnections.”

 About the Author

Shanna Swenson is an award-winning finalist in the Fiction: Romance category of the 2020 International Book Awards for her books Abundance and Return to Abundance. She's known for writing endearing adult romance novels that showcase the healing power of true love in the face of tragedy.
She's a dreamer turned author who does cardiac ultrasounds by day and creates fictional worlds every spare chance she can. Shanna started writing at the age of fourteen and has always loved dynamic characters. She's fascinated by the unknown, is a Cancer with a capital "C", and has an eclectic taste in music, movies, and books.
When she's not writing or reading, she's working out, taking photographs, or hanging out with her own "knight in shining armor."
You can find her on BookBub, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Goodreads.
 
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Guest Post - 5 Things an author needs to keep in mind while writing a book for children by Aniesha Brahma





About The Book


The Backyard Tales is the story of the bond shared between 17-year-old Mia Basu Roy and her beloved cat, Pippo. She seems to understand him far too well for a human. And he seems to have another life that Mia begins to suspect. She follows her cat to their backyard and down a very dangerous road which leads her to witches, talking animals, and a story that’s much bigger than what she initially suspected. 

Read this story to discover all of Mia and Pippo’s secrets, be enchanted by magic, and get the answer to a question that has haunted us for ages: does a cat truly love their owner? 


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Guest Post of Author


5 Things an author needs to keep in mind while writing a book for children

“All grown-ups were once children…but only few of them remember it.”
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince 

The biggest mistake authors make when they are writing for children, is forgetting the fact they too were once children. It is important to think about to the time when you were a child and try to remember what was the kind of content you liked consuming. Personally, I try to write the kind of stories I wish I had around when I was growing up. I got lucky that experienced the magic of Harry Potter. I grew up with the boy wizard. But I cannot help but wonder if I’d have enjoyed the later books had they released around the time I was still a precocious teenager? Probably not. 

I have developed children’s comics before this. My first brush with writing for children came about two years ago, when I sat down and wrote An Awfully BIG Adventure. I remember struggling to ensure that story would sit well with my younger readers too. As authors, we have a responsibility to our readers. When I began working on The Backyard Tales back in, I believe 2015-2016, I would make conscious efforts of ensuring this story is absolutely for the children. Here are five things I tried my best to stick to while writing this novel. 

Kids are smart 

I remembered my childhood and how much I hated being talked down to. Kids are smart. We shouldn’t speak to them condescendingly. You’d be surprised at the response kids would have if you spoke to them as equals. I wrote The Backyard Tales in a way that kids understood the story was absolutely for them.

Language should be conversational 

Which brings me to the second point. Remember Enid Blyton and how easy it was go on adventures with the Famous Five and then sneak off for midnight feasts with the girls from Malory Towers? The language used for these books were conversational and easy. When writing for kids that really need to be a yardstick against which we can measure our writing.

Stories need to be intriguing 

The stories by themselves need to be compelling. Preteens and teenagers would not like to read stories that do not offer something new to them. Also, they love stories that have representation. Readers like to think of themselves as the hero in the novels. So it must be a story that kids would love to be a part of. 

It should appeal to the adults too 

At the end of the day, it is the parents or the grownups who make decisions towards which books the kids get to read and which they do not. Your story should be one that the adults are interested by too. Believe me, if they want to know how the story ends, they will buy the book and the subsequent sequels and tell the world it’s for the kids. 

Covers shouldn’t be bait 

While book covers are the first pitch of your story, and despite being told since time immemorial not to judge a book by its cover – book covers in present-day do matter. However, while they should be intriguing they should not be misleading. Ensure the covers are not baited but something that pique’s the interest of your potential reader.

I hope these five tips help future authors when they decide to lend their voices to the stories for children. Honestly, it’s not that hard. But it isn’t that easy either. Nothing worth anything in this world is.


Author Bio


Young Adult and Children’s novelist, Aniesha Brahma, studied Comparative Literature. She started her career has as a social media manager in a publishing house. Currently works as a senior content writer in a digital media agency. When she is not working, she is dreaming up stories, conducting sessions for her popular YouTube Series, Chai & Chill, or planning how to get even more books and bookish content to readers via BUZZ Magazine. You can read more of her work at Aniesha’s Musings and drop a line at aniesha.brahma@gmail.com

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