Mark Your 2018 Calendar for the release of FISH-BOY by Vanita Oelschlager – AN INUIT FOLK TALE Beautifully Illustrated 

Title: FISH-BOY    
Subtitle: AN INUIT FOLK TALE    

Author: VANITA OELSCHLAGER

Illustrator: MIKE BLANC 

Genre: CHILDREN’S FICTION, MULTICULTURAL BOOKS, INUIT STORIES

Length: 25 PAGES     

Publisher: VANITA BOOKS
http://www.vanitabooks.com

Type of Book: EBOOK

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: MAY 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-938164-20-0 (Hardcover)

ISBN: 978-1- 938164-21-7 (Paperback)

Price: (HARDCOVER) $15.95 USD

Rating: 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟
DESCRIPTION:  

The Arctic region of North America is a land of long days, icy cold, hardy people and peculiar creatures.  The Inuit people there have made traditional use of remarkable folk tales to find truth and explain the mysteries of an astonishing world.

In Fish-Boy, An Inuit Folk Tale, Vanita Oelschlager retells a tale passed down by a wise old Inuit. 

Fish-Boy is an origin story involving an odd young boy who has a big heart. On a journey with his new father, he must confront misfortune and the malice of cold hearted villagers.  But he has a way… and a lesson for all in the virtues of kindness and hospitality.

MY REVIEW:   

I have always been fascinated by folk-tales and those told by Aboriginal or Inuit storytellers are some of the very best.

 There were two main reasons that traditional Inuit stories were told. Firstly, stories were used to explain the world around them, and secondly, they were used to teach traditional values to the next generation.

The cover of this book is so beautifully illustrated that I was immediately drawn to it. I believe that children will be drawn to it as well. In fact, the illustration of the boy with the puffin on his head brings to mind Disney illustrations. Mike Blanc is obviously a very talented individual.

FISH-BOY is the story of “… why there are so many sea-parrots on the stony islands of the far North.” 

It is the story of a lame Inuit fisherman who one day saw a fish that was unlike anything he had seen before. “It appeared] to have a head like a man and feet behind its tail.” To the fisherman’s surprise, the fish spoke to him saying, “Do not spear me. I am not a fish. I am Fish-Boy … I have no parents, and I am very lonely. I want you to be my father.”

The fisherman was lame, but he had found a way to survive. He wasn’t sure what use an armless Fish-Boy would be, but out of kindness, he took him in and Fish-Boy became his son.

This act of kindness changed both their lives for the better and the pair had amazing adventures.

You will need to read this book to discover exactly what adventures they had, what trials and tribulations they faced and to discover how their story finally reveals the reason that there are so many sea-parrots on the stony islands today. I promise that this is a story worth reading.

I love that this book not only tells the story of Fish-Boy, but also includes details of traditional Inuit life. Also included at the back of the book are definitions of some of the story’s less commonly known words.

In addition to being a fantastic story, another wonderful thing about not only this book, but all books published by Vanita Books is that they donate ALL net profits to “charities where people help people help themselves.” Ten percent of the net profits for FISH-BOY will be donated to The Oak Clinic for Multiple Sclerosis, the other ninety percent will go to other charities. 

I rate this book as 4.5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

* Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free ARC (Advance Review Copy) of this book.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


VANITA OELSCHLAGER is a wife, mother, grandmother, philanthropist, former teacher, current caregiver, author and poet.

She is a graduate of the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio, where she currently serves as Trustee. Vanita is also Writer in Residence for the Literacy Program at the University of Akron.

She and her husband Jim received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in 2006. Vanita also won the Congressional Angels Adoption Award for the State of Ohio in 2007 and was named National Volunteer of the Year by the MS Society in 2008. 

 
To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE      

GOODREADS     

TWITTER        

FACEBOOK               

AMAZON               

CHAPTERS        


ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR: 


MIKE BLANC is an author and an award-winning illustrator of children’s literature.

His artwork has illuminated countless publications for both corporate and public interests, worldwide. Mike contributes creative direction and illustration.

He lives with his wife, Gail, in sunny Doylestown, Ohio. They enjoy their four children, and five grandchildren.

To learn more about this amazing illustrator, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE       

GOODREADS     

TWITTER         

LINKEDIN        

AMAZON         

CHAPTERS      

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HILLBILLY ELEGY by J.D.Vance is a brilliantly written memoir that is unputdownable  – Check it out… 

Title: HILLBILLY ELEGY  

Subtitle: A MEMOIR OF A FAMILY AND CULTURE IN CRISIS   

Author: J.D. VANCE     

Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHY, SOCIAL COMMENTARY  

Length: 257 PAGES

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Publisher: HARPER COLLINS   

Release Date: JUNE 28, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-230054-6

Price: $27.99 USD / $34.99 CDN

Rating: 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS🌟🌟🌟🌟

There are a plethora of books being written and published that focus on minorities and the struggles they have had to endure both in the past as well as today. But, there is one minority group that seems to have been completely neglected – that group consists of poor white people.

The word “Hillbilly” in this book refers to poor, white people whose ancestral roots come from the Appalachian Mountain region.

This book is in no way a treatise of what every “Hillbilly” family is like. It is a memoir of one man’s family, how he grew up, and how he was able to break the cycle of addiction and poverty that stalked his family tree. He professes to have “escaped” the fate of many of his friends through education.

J.D. Vance also writes about how most of the people in his community lost jobs when manufacturing moved out of the area. This is why it is sometimes referred to as the Rust Belt. 

The author, at times, portrays “hillbillies” as a lot of lazy, law-breaking lowlifes who think the world owes them a living. This may be true of some of these families, but I have a hard time believing that it applies to the majority.

I have to admit that I was fascinated by details of the author’s tales of his childhood and by the various members of his extended family. These people, especially his crazy (and violent)  uncles almost seem too clichéd to be real. His mother is portrayed as an addict who cared little for her children and much of J.D.’s emotional pain seems to trace directly back to her and to her actions.

There are so many shocking and seemingly crazy anecdotes included in this book that at times they seem too insane to be true.

Despite the abuses and the flagrant disrespect for the law, two admirable traits shone through all of J.D. Vance’s stories, and those qualities are; the theme of family loyalty and the sense of community. His family may have been poor, but if they were able to help out a community member in trouble, they would.

The one character who is central to the story is J.D.’s grandmother – or MAMAW (pronounced maam-awe) as she is known. Readers will find themselves drawn to her and despite her rough and tough demeanour, her love for J.D. shines through and becomes a beacon for him to follow when making life choices, even though her own life choices included killing a man.

This is a picture of Mamaw in her younger days.

I enjoyed reading this memoir and I am glad that the author escaped the poverty of his youth and embraced upward mobility. He has since become a successful lawyer (and now a successful author.)

If you want a glimpse into a world that most “outsiders’ never see, then this is the book for you. *** I must warn potential readers that this book does include stories that are NOT suitable for children under the age of sixteen. ***

I rate HILLBILLY ELEGY as 4.5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟 

 

 

//www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?419678-4

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

J.D. Vance grew up in the Rust Belt city of Middletown, Ohio, and the Appalachian town of Jackson, Kentucky.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school and served in Iraq.

A graduate of the Ohio State University and Yale Law School, he has contributed to the National Review and is a principal at a leading Silicon Valley investment firm.

Vance lives in San Francisco with his wife and two dogs.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

GOODREADS     

TWITTER AUTHOR ACCOUNT      

TWITTER BOOK ACCOUNT     

FACEBOOK    

AMAZON   

CHAPTERS        

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE     

J.D. and his beloved Mamaw

The author with his dogs

4.5 Stars for ORPHANS: ORIGINS by Mike Evans – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW


Title: ORPHANS – ORIGINS

Author: MIKE EVANS

Series: ORIGINS: Book One

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged 

Narrator: Jack Wallen Jr.

Length: 11 Hours

Genre: Contemporary Science Fiction, Zombie Fiction 

Release Date: August 3, 2015

Publisher: Mike Evans

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
~ I received a free copy of this audiobook through Audiobook Blast in exchange for an honest review. 

I have read A LOT of zombie fiction and it takes quite a bit to impress me – ORPHANS: ORIGINS did just that. 

When the audiobook first started I was worried that there would be nothing new in this audiobook and that I would be bored listening to it. My concerns were quickly put to rest as the story began to unfold.

Frank Fox is a man who gave up his prestigious position as an army research doctor to raise his four-year-old son after his wife dies of cancer. Sounds noble right? 

Well, twelve years later, his son, Shawn doesn’t think so. All Shawn remembers from that time is that his father was not there for Shawn or for his mother. Shawn is angry and feels that his father abandoned them. Shawn was only 4 years old and was left to care for his dying mother alone. You can’t blame Shawn for feeling that way. Imagine a tiny four year old left alone to watch his mother (the Center of his life) wither and ultimately die. 

Obviously from what I just wrote, you realize that this book has much more depth than just your typical zombie story. 

I do not want to give too much of the story away, but I do want say that this book contains one of the most plausible explanations as to the circumstances of how the zombie virus originates that I have ever read. I think future readers will agree.

Not only is there lots of action and some very scary scenes, but it also contains very believable human drama. 

The characters are well written and it is easy to visualize the people in the book.

I rate this book as 4.5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and I highly recommend ORPHANS: ORIGINS Book One to all lovers of zombie fiction.

It is well written and the narrator does a terrific job and keeps listeners on the edge of their seats. 

The half star loss came from me being overly nit picky. There were a couple of pronunciation issues but nothing that was so glaring that it detracts from the story as a whole.

I will be looking forward to listening to the next audiobook in this series. I am very interested to know what happens next with Shawn and his friends. 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


MIKE EVANS lives in Iowa with his wife and children. He writes for character depth because he wishes for you to love the character, regardless if they are the villain or the hero. He likes to write from a unique perspective, doing things with books that no one has done before. He keeps his characters realistic, there are no superhero like events that will happen. There are no perfect characters in his books, everyone has their flaws much like that of life.

Visit the author’s website  

Facebook 

Twitter

ABOUT THE NARRATOR: 


The path to becoming a professional writer was certainly the one less traveled for Jack. 

Originally, Jack’s artistic bent led him to a career as an actor. Working on Broadway and with regional and Shakespeare theatres across the country, Jack is proud to have held his own as an actor for over twenty years.

Before the economy had a chance to completely destroy the theatre arts, Jack decided to take his final curtain call during a production with the heralded Stage One Theatre for Young Audiences. It was, however, during that long career that Jack discovered he had a knack for the written word. His first, full-length novel was written between 2000 and 2003. That book, A Blade Away, eventually became his first published work. It didn’t take Jack long to fall in love with the creative process of writing and he followed that first book up with the cult-favorite, Shero.

It wasn’t until Jack woke up one summer morning with a simple question on his mind, that he would finally dive into the craft of horror fiction tooth and nail. That question, “What would it be like to transform into a zombie?”, led Jack to pen the first novel in the I Zombie series — I Zombie I. From there, Jack dove into the deeper waters of horror and has never looked back.

You can follow the mis-adventures of Jack in a number of ways. 

Website 

Facebook 

Twitter 

Zombie Radio 

Newspaper Boys Always Deliver – Blog Tour – Guest Post – Review & Giveaway

Newspaper Boys Cover Pic

Book Description for Newspaper Boys Always Deliver: A Personal Journey into Pop and Technological change in the last Fifty Years.

In Newspaper Boys Always Deliver, Gulesserian takes us on a captivating adventure by combining personal essays and historical insights for an enlightening look at how we got here, and the earlier inventions that paved the way for current cutting-edge technologies. While exploring pop-culture trends, unexpected impacts, and memorable moments in time, this collection of thought-provoking and humorous reflections paints a fascinating picture of the changes half a century can bring—and its implications for what could be just around the corner.

In just fifty years, Western culture has gone from culture to techno-culture—from the swinging sixties to rap, encyclopedia to Wikipedia, slide rule to artificial intelligence.

Newspaper Boys Always Deliver, shares a personal journey of how we got here, in a Book that delivers an eclectic plethora of knowledge, controversy and humorous entertainment in a newspaper format.

Buy the book here:   Amazon   Barnes and Noble

 

Author’s Bio:

Joseph Gulesserian

Joseph Gulesserian came of age during the seventies, and was exposed to many changing technologies with a career that has ranged from metallurgic to manufacturing, from business equipment to information technology, and brand creation.

After earning his MBA, he taught Corporate Finance, Marketing and Statistics as an adjunct professor at Toronto colleges, and in 2000 established a Toronto-based company that designs and produces health and beauty brands for both domestic and international markets.

​Currently, Gulesserian lives in Toronto with his wife.

Connect with the author:   Website   Facebook   Instagram

Giveaway:​

Prizes: ​

Win 1 of 6 print copies of Newspaper Boys Always Deliver (USA & Canada)

1 of 8 kindle copies (Canada)

1 of 5 $20 Amazon gift cards (International)

Click link below to enter the giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

BLOG TOUR STOPS

March 7 –   Amie’s Book Reviews – review / guest post / giveaway

March 8 –   Book Reviews Nature Photos and Everything in Between – review

March 9 –   A Mama’s Corner of the World – review / giveaway

March 10 – Sahar’s Blog – review

March 11 – The Cheshire Cat’s Looking Glass – book spotlight / giveaway

March 11 – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – review

March 14 – Brian’s Book Blog – review

March 15 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – review

March 16 – #redhead.with.book – review / giveaway

March 17 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – guest post

March 17 – Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway

March 18 – She Treads Softly – review

March 21 – Readers’ Muse – review / guest post

March 22 – Take It Personel-ly – review / guest post / giveaway

March 23 – Room With Books – review / author interview / giveaway

March 24 – Bound 4 Escape – review / giveaway

March 25 – 3 Partners in Shopping – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

GUEST POST

What changed the world more: YouTube or Television? by Joseph Gulesserian

Social media, smartphones, and our digital society are not the first attacks on our attention spans, since television did this with regular broadcasting, starting in the late 1940’s in America.

Television broadcasting, much like radio, further connected the concept of nationhood, as we first saw ourselves as a Nation. Television was the messiah for the visual side of the human mind, and advertising soon followed in a three-network American universe. Today, many of the pre-rolls that we often skip on YouTube, have their content rooted in television advertising of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

It was this type of captive audience—before the billions of websites and social media channel fragmentation—that advertising agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi operated in. It is this world that is depicted in the Mad Men TV Series, with dreamy jazz sounds of the early sixties, permeating the background.

Television allowed people to watch visual motion in the homes, and it could be argued with some authority, that this changed the parameters of our psyches more than YouTube. Even the 1950’s, television had a democratic feel to it, since one had a choice of a grand three channels.

Television allowed moving visual history to be documented and first introduced soap operas, before people felt they had a morbid obligation to display the minutiae of their lives.

Television was where a world saw the horror of a slain President; the assassination of Martin Luther King and then Bobby Kennedy, as the dreams of idealism faded. It was where Walter Cronkite reported the carnage of Vietnam; it was where we saw the Eagle land on the moon; it was where a helicopter took a president away into the annals of history, as a nation reflected on the tragedy; it was where we were first told about the death of Elvis Presley. It was through this lens that the world first saw the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, only to realize that the world was a more stable place with two contenders, as opposed to one. And finally, television was what brought the horror of 9/11, which can be argued that it was the last great epic event that this medium had a motion picture monopoly on!

YouTube is, quite possibly, the most ultimate disrupter since radio and television. YouTube has made many of us participative broadcasters, whereas, we can upload our own material both professionally and personally. YouTube views have become a better barometer, or metric, of viewership that AC Nielson ever was for television. TV commercials are uploaded to YouTube for after burn and reinforcement value.

But there is so much more: YouTube changes the painful but addictive nature of nostalgia, since it really plays on our innate sense of wanting visuals, to remember how time and our icons have passed.

It is on YouTube where one can virtually obtain an online education, learn Shakespeare, calculus, product reviews, “How To” videos, music videos, rants, raves, dance steps, sports replays, documentaries, movies and so much more.

So what changed the world more: Television or YouTube? This all depends on which world you were born into!

REVIEW

Even though this book is targeted at the Baby Boomer generation and I am a Generation X’er, I enjoyed it. I rate this book as 4.5 out of 5 stars. Baby Boomers will LOVE this book as they can relate to all the events the author talks about. I’m afraid that a few times the references went over my head.

4.5 Stars for JACK OF ALL TRADES 1-5: Food Poisoning by HEEDAL KIM – BOOK REVIEW

  
Title: JACK OF ALL TRADES: 1-5: FOOD POISONING 

Series: CARTOON ISLAND 

Created By: HEEDAL KIM

Written By: TERRY NORMAN 

Illustrator: JAMES LEWIS 

Type of Book: eBook

Genre: Humor, Comics

Release Date: October 2015

Publisher: LIKE/Sunshine Publishing 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*** This book is currently being offered for free on Amazon. 

Each page in this book is a comic strip made up of four panels. Several of these comics actually made me laugh out loud. If you download a copy of this book check out the comic titled “THE INTERN” as well as the one called “SEXUAL HARASSMENT”. 

I have two sons, ages 20 & 17 so I can definitely relate to the comic called “GOOD OLD DAYS”. Have older kids? You’ll love this one. 

Anyone who has to work with other people or in an office will relate to quite a few of these panels. They find Humor in situations that have happened to just about everyone.

The illustrations are perfect and each one is bright and uncluttered. I give the illustrations 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

Overall I enjoyed this book. It was an extremely quick read and the price was definitely right. I rate JACK OF ALL TRADES: FOOD POISONING as 4.5 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

SOUL WARRIOR by Falguni Kothari BLOG TOUR POST & BOOK REVIEW

★.•**•.★★.•**•.★ The Age of Kali Book Tour ★.•**•.★ ★.•**•.★
 
About the Book



Twisted myths. Discretion advised. 

Fight fate, or succumb to destiny?

In the dark Age of Kali, the Soul Warrior alone stands guard over the Human Realm, protecting its denizens from evil-willed asuras or demons. When a trick of fate appoints him guru to a motley crew of godlings, he agrees to train them as demon hunters against his better judgment. Suddenly, Lord Karna is not only battling the usual asuras with sinister agendas, but also rebellious students and a fault-ridden past.

Spanning the cosmic realms of mythic India, here is a tale of a band of supernatural warriors who come together over a singular purpose: the salvation of Karna’s secret child.

 

Book Links
My Review

RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars ****
I enjoyed this unique tale that mixes Indian mythology with our Western culture. Although this book does include Hindu gods, it is not a historical fantasy tale; the story has a modern setting. There are multiple plot twists that serve to keep the reader engaged throughout the entire book. Falguni Kothari has done an exceptional job at both world-building and at creating compelling characters. This is the first book in a new series and I m looking forward to diving into the next book as soon as possible.
 

I RATE THIS BOOK AS 4 out of 5 Stars 
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND ADDING THIS BOOK TO YOUR ‘TO READ’ LIST
* I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Read an Excerpt

 

CHAPTER ZERO
DWANDA-YUDDHA: THE DUEL



The Himalayan Mountains.

Five thousand years ago.

Absolute darkness shrouded the Human Realm, and had for three days and three nights. Some believed the occurrence was prophetic, like the prolonged amavasya or new moon night that had heralded the Great Kuru War two thousand years ago. The war had given birth to the dark Age of Kali, the age of asura. In contrast, hope was ripe that this event would trigger the Age of Light. But the Bard wasn’t here to succumb to superstition. 

The first day without the sun’s light had spread confusion and chaos across the realm. The second day had brought desperation in the breasts of humans and fear in the belly of Celestials. The third day—today—was a feast for the asuras. Death lay everywhere. 

The human world burned without its sun. How soon before the Heavens went up in flames?

The Bard’s troubled eyes reread the last line. Then he deliberately scratched it off, lifting his long, pointed talon from the parchment made of dry palm leaf. With a sigh, he rested his aching hand on his trembling thigh. He would spare a moment to ease his body, and his mind from the strain of observation and due recordkeeping. If he didn’t, he’d forget his duty as Witness of the Cosmos, and begin to question fate. 

Despite the fire that crackled close to his right knee, and the feathered form of his upper body, he was cold. An icy wind had settled around the Pinnacle of Pinnacles, where he sat cross-legged on a seat made of rock and snow. He’d chosen this perch because it gave him an impartial view of the events happening in the world. He was the Bard, entrusted with keeping the Canons of the Age of Kali, just as the Soul Warrior was entrusted with keeping the Human Realm safe from asuras. Would they both fail in their duty today?

The Bard shook off the heavy despair the darkness had brought into the world. He mustn’t judge. He shouldn’t question. He would sharpen the talon on his forefinger, dip it into the vessel of ink kept warm by the fire, and write this tale. That was all he could do. Be the witness to history.

So he raised his feathered hand and began to write again while his eyes, sparked with power, knowledge and magic, saw clearly events unfolding from great distances. A thousand kilometers to his right, Indra, the God of War and Thunder, fought the Dragon. Indra did not fare well. But that didn’t concern the Bard as much as the clash between the Soul Warrior and the Stone Demon. Over and over, his eagle eyes were drawn to the duel taking place in the heart of the world, not only because it was a magnificent battle to behold, for it was, but because its outcome would decide mankind’s destiny.

The Soul Warrior was more than a great warrior. Karna was a great soul. Fair, honorable, brave and resilient, he was the perfect protector of the Human Realm. Of course, there were other reasons he’d been chosen to fill the office of Soul Warrior—there always were when Gods and demons were involved. But Karna’s existence was a testament to righteous action and if anyone could bring back the day, it would be him. 

But how did one vanquish stone, the Bard wondered?

Avarice and cruelty, two nefarious desires, had made Vrtra and Vala attack the Human Realm. Three days ago the Dragon had swallowed the Seven Rivers in the north, and the Stone Demon had imprisoned the Sun God, his daughter, and all the cattle of the region in his cave.

The Bard paused his writing as a thin vein of lightning winked across the skies, but without the accompanying roar. Indra’s strength waned. His thunderbolt hadn’t left Vrtra screaming in pain this time. The Bard spared a moment’s attention on the duel, just enough to note that the Maruts, the Celestial Storm-gods, waited in the clouds to rescue their god-king in case of a calamity. Indra would survive even in defeat. Of that, the Bard was sure.

But Karna had no one at his back. His might and god-powers had depleted without the sun’s healing warmth and light. His divine astras, weapons, had not slowed the Stone Demon down, at all. Only the conviction that he could not fail his godsire, his sister, and the innocents under his protection drove him now. His birth family had once abandoned him to his fate, but he would not abandon them to theirs—such was the greatness of Karna.

The Bard crossed out the last observation. No questions. No judgment. No praise, either. The canons would be free of all emotion. He wasn’t here to embellish history or glorify the history-makers, as some bards were wont to do. 

It wasn’t embellishment to write that the foothills of Cedi were drenched in the Soul Warrior’s blood. Or observe the gushing wounds on his body, despite his armor, that would make the hardiest of warriors bellow in agony, but not him. It wasn’t embellishment to write that the Heavens were empty for the Celestials had come to Earth to watch the battle, firelight cupped in their palms to light the warrior’s way. 

The Naga, the Serpent People, also looked on, hissing from the mouth of the portal that led to their underground realm beneath the hills. The Serpent King will not choose a side. Vrtra and Vala were half Naga, after all. All across the Human Realm, demons roamed free, taking advantage of the darkness and preying on human flesh and human souls. It was a terrible moment in history. The asuras had the upper hand in the eponymous age of Demon Kali.

Vala did not have arms and half a leg, but still he came at Karna. He had an ace up his sleeve. There were plenty of creatures about, an entire mountain close at hand. He began to chant the spell of soul transference. It was the darkest of all magic, the possession of another’s soul. Soon, he would be whole again and stronger than before.

Battered and bleeding, the Soul Warrior veered away from the Stone Demon. He leapt over boulders and charred vegetation. The onlookers called him a coward. Had he forfeit the duel? Has he forsaken mankind? 

Karna dove for Manav-astra, the spear of mankind, he’d thrown aside yesterday after his bow, Vijaya, had shattered under repeated use. In one smooth motion, he rolled, picked up the astra, coming up in the spear-thrower’s stretch. His tattered lower garment billowed about him as a gust of wind shot through the air. His muscled torso glistened with blood and sweat, tightened as he pulled the arm holding the spear back. 

He meant to throw Manav-astra at Vala. A futile attempt, to be sure? As long as Vala was made of stone, broken or not, his body was impregnable. Karna should have waited for Vala to transfer his soul to an onlooker. Then Karna should have vanquished the possessed creature. 

Taunting laughter reverberated through the foothills of Cedi. Vala had reached the same conclusion. The Celestials looked at each other in angry silence, unable to interfere. A dwanda-yuddha duel was fought between two opponents of equal size and strength alone. The humans hadn’t stopped screaming in three days, the din simply background noise now. 

The Bard scribbled the observations onto the parchment in no particular order. He wished he was a painter, for surely this was a picture worth a thousand words.

The demon hobbled toward the warrior, who stood still as stone with his arm drawn taught behind him. Then finally, with a roaring chant the Soul Warrior shifted his weight from his back leg to his front and let fly Manav-astra at the Stone Demon with all his remaining might. 

Karna didn’t wait to see the ramifications of his action. And there were plenty to come. He ran into the mountain cave to free Vala’s hostages. Within moments the rock face rent in half, and bright streams of light speared through the terrible darkness. A new day had dawned on the Human Realm after three days of perpetual night.

The sun’s power was too bright, too full of hope. Yet, the Bard looked on pensively, wondering if the Soul Warrior knew this wasn’t a victory. It was merely a reprieve.

 

About the Author

Falguni Kothari is a New York-based South Asian author and an amateur Latin and Ballroom dance silver medalist with a semi-professional background in Indian Classical dance. She’s published in India in contemporary romance with global e-book availability; Bootie and the Beast (Harlequin Mills and Boon) and It’s Your Move, Wordfreak! (Rupa & Co.), and launches a mythic fantasy series with Soul Warrior (The Age of Kali, #1)

I’m embarrassed to admit how many social media accounts I own :

Website * BlogTwitter * Facebook * Goodreads * Pinterest 




Giveaway

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4.5 Stars for REBEL RADIO by Boyd Craven III – Audiobook Review

  
Title: REBEL RADIO: A Post-Apocalyptic Story 

Author: Boyd Craven III 

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged 

Narrator: Kevin Pierce

Length: 4 hours and 38 minutes 
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

Release Date: October 7, 2015

Publisher: Self-Published by Boyd Craven III

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

This audiobook is a stand-alone story. It does take place in the world of Boyd Craven III’s “The World Burns” saga, but it is the unnecessary to have any knowledge of those books to understand or enjoy “Rebel Radio”.

An EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) has destroyed all electronic devices and the world has been sent back to a time before electricity. This is a fairly common storyline in the post-apocalyptic genre. There is some of the typical hunt for supplies and shelter going on in this audiobook, however there is much less of this than one would expect. This is a story first and foremost about people. Yes, the setting is post-apocalyptic, but that is really just the backdrop to the actual tale. 

This book is written from two different points of view. Each chapter is either told from Don’s perspective or from Z’s perspective. Don is male and around 33 years of age and Z is a 23 year old female. 

The narrator does an incredible job as the voice of Don; the depressed, alcoholic, but I found it both strange and disconcerting that the same voice also narrated the chapters that were written from Z’s perspective. I would have preferred to hear two different narrators (one male & one female) so that it would always be clear whose perspective that chapter was being told from. 

Boyd Craven III has created amazingly realistic and completely believable characters. It is those characters that drive the story. 

Ben is a severely depressed, suicidal alcoholic and was this way even before the EMP. He decides each morning whether or not he is going to kill himself that day. 

Z is a gamer girl who has spent most of her recent years living life through her computer screen. She now realizes that no matter how amazing she was at playing (and winning) post-apocalyptic video games, that those skills are completely useless in her new reality. 

When the two misfits cross paths they each need to decide how to proceed with their own survival, and whether or not to team up and help each other, especially considering that their individual trust and faith in humanity is in short supply. 

I was drawn in to the audiobook and listened to it in a single session. It’s length of only 4 hours and 38 minutes made this easy to do. 

I do not want to reveal any spoilers, but I will say that I recommend this audiobook very highly. 

If not for the male/female issue, I would have rated this audiobook as 5 out of 5 stars. But, I have decided to deduct half a star because of that; resulting in a 4.5 out of 5 Star rating. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

~ I received a free copy of this audiobook through AudioBookBlast.com in exchange for an honest review

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

  
Boyd Craven III is the author of “The World Burns” Saga as well as “The Scorched Earth” books. 

He describes himself on his website as a “regular guy”. He owns and works on his own farm and is part of a co-op that sells vegetables at a farmer’s market. 

To learn more visit his website at http://www.boydcraven.com 

Find him on Facebook at https://m.facebook.com/boydcraven3 

View his author page on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6951271.Boyd_Craven_III 

Follow him on Twitter https://mobile.twitter.com/boydc3 

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

  
Kevin Pierce is an audiobook narrator and producer who lives in Fort Myers, Florida. To learn more about him or to view the massive list of audiobooks that he has narrated at http://www.kevinpiercepresents.com 

THE LADY OF DEVICES by Shelley Adina – BOOK REVIEW

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LADY OF DEVICES
A Steampunk Adventure Novel
Magnificent Devices Series – Book One

Author: Shelley Adina

Type of Book: eBook

Genre: Science Fiction, Steampunk

Release Date: 2011

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

* I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The cover of this book is a stunning treat for the eyes. It was this cover which caught my eye and made me want to know what the book was about. I must give kudos to Kalen O’Donnell for the cover design. The cover art is by Phat Puppy Art and the images are from Shutterstock. All images and artwork are used under license.

The year is 1889. The setting is London, England. Victoria is Queen of England and Charles Darwin’s son is the Prime Minister. Their world is powered by steam.

Seventeen year old Claire Trevelyan, the daughter of Viscount St. Ives attends St. Cecelia’s Academy for Young Ladies.

The book begins with Claire causing a minor explosion during her “Chemistry of the Home” class. Her professor punishes her by assigning her the task of writing out a phrase one hundred times. The phrase she is to write is: “I will obey instruction and curb my unladylike curiosity.”

Readers learn quite a bit about Claire just based on this single incident. The professor had told Claire not to add peppermint to an infusion of dandelion and burdock, but had neglected to tell her why. When he asks her why she mixed the chemicals after specifically being told not to, she replies with complete and utter honesty: “To see what would happen, sir.”

Claire is curious and inquisitive, but neither of those traits are deemed as desirable in a young woman. Claire is expected to want nothing more than to marry a rich man and to be the perfect wife, but Claire wants to attend University to study engineering.

A tragic turn of events changes Lady Claire’s life forever.

This book is full of amazing and surprising twists and turns. I loved the characters she included and the world she has created is vivid and believable.

I am very much looking forward to reading the entire Magnificent Devices series.

I rate this book as 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Magnificent Devices Steampunk Adventure Series consists of eight books. In order they are:

1. Lady of Devices
2. Her Own Devices
3. Magnificent Devices
4. Brilliant Devices
5. A Lady of Resources
6. A Lady of Spirit
7. A Lady of Integrity
8. A Gentleman of Means

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Shelley Adina is an author, a copyeditor, and a teaching writer in the MFA in Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill University. She also writes Amish fiction under the name of Adina Senft. Her “Magnificent Devices” books have been on the Amazon bestseller list.

To learn more about this author visit http://www.shelleyadina.com