The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr

ella black.jpgI received the book The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr as a review copy from the publisher and would like to thank them for the same.

The blurb:

Ella Black seems to live the life most other seventeen-year-olds would kill for . . .

Until one day, telling her nothing, her parents whisk her off to Rio de Janeiro.

Determined to find out why, Ella takes her chance and searches through their things.
And realises her life has been a lie.

Her mother and father aren’t hers at all. Unable to comprehend the truth, Ella runs away, to the one place they’ll never think to look – the favelas.

But there she learns a terrible secret – the truth about her real parents and their past.

And the truth about a mother, desperate for a daughter taken from her seventeen years ago . . .

The story:    

17 year old Ella Black lives a privileged life, surrounded by family and friends, but she has a secret. She has a dark side, an alter ego, called Bella. While Ella is an artistic and fun loving person, Bella is just the opposite. She derives happiness from death and destruction. As the days pass, Bella starts taking control of Ella’s life more frequently, drawing away the positive Ella. Then one day, out of the blue, Ella’s parents decide to whisk her away to Rio. Ella, albeit a bit confused, is very happy and excited as Rio is number one on her bucket list. But she is in for a rude awakening as she finds out that the trip to Rio wasn’t a planned get away but an actual run away. Then Ella discovers something, something so terrible that she is scared to even face herself. As Ella’s past catches up with her future and Bella seems determined to take control of her being, Ella tries hard to keep calm and survive.

My take:

This book was a mixed ride of emotions. The story was confusing, dreary and a bit predictable. It also had some very disturbing scenes. The protagonist wasn’t very likable. She was whiny and definitely unpleasant. But what kept me hooked throughout the book was the author’s writing. She writes in a manner that keeps the reader engaged. I really enjoyed the author’s prose.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

 

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I Owed You One by Madhu Vajpayee

7b9b5-book2bpicI received the book I Owed You One by Madhu Vajpayee as a review copy from The Author’s Channel and I would like to thank them for the same.

The blurb:

To what extent will you go for a promise you made years ago?

Dev Khanna has it all before a mysterious letter shakes the very foundation he has built his built his life on. With his beliefs challenged, he decided to close the chapter once and for all. I Owed You One is the story of promises and commitments, of triumphs and defeat, and of holding on and letting go.

The story:

Dev Khanna, the only child of his parents- a builder and an interior designer, is born and brought up in Delhi. His mother loves him and his builder father has no time for them and his mother tries to make up to him for his father’s absence in his life. He is afraid of his father and never crosses him.

Dev decides that he does not want to join the family business and goes to an engineering college to study Chemical engineering and gets selected in an Australian firm in the campus interview. He does not want to leave his mother alone so decides to stay back in India. But then his mother succumbs to cancer and Dev moves to Australia only coming to India when his father dies and donating his inheritance to a charitable organization.

He is happy living with his wife, Radhika and three month son Neel in Melbourne, Australia. He receives a registered letter from India in this age of electronic communication which unsettles his peaceful existence.

My take:

The story has been written in first person from Dev’s point of view. The characters have been developed well and are realistic and relatable. Though there are many characters, the author has given space to all of them. The language is simple and the story is fast paced keeping the reader gripped as to what would happen next.

The scenes have been described in detail making it easy for the reader to visualize them. The story moves from Delhi to Moradabad to Melbourne and not once did I lose track of the turn of events in the story.

The story has all the elements, parental love, friendship, romance, loss and the author has even added a sociopolitical angle to the story. The story is a gripping read with multiple twists and turns.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from Author’s Channel in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

 

Book Blitz: The Unity Game by Leonora Meriel

About the Book:

WHAT IF THE EARTH YOU KNEW WAS JUST THE BEGINNING?



A New York banker is descending into madness. 



A being from an advanced civilization is racing to stay alive. 



A dead man must unlock the secrets of an unknown dimension to save his loved ones. 



From the visions of Socrates in ancient Athens, to the birth of free will aboard a spaceship headed to Earth, The Unity Game tells a story of hope and redemption in a universe more ingenious and surprising than you ever thought possible. 



Metaphysical thriller and interstellar mystery, this is a ‘complex, ambitious and thought-provoking novel’ from an exciting and original new voice in fiction.



Book Links:

 
Meet the Characters:
 
The Setting: EarthNew York City. The 1990s. One of the world’s leading investment banks.



The Setting: Space



A distant planet. A dry surface orbited by three red moons and circling a distant sun. An advanced civilization living in underground chambers.



The Setting: Death



An open door. A library. A room of knowledge. A garden of dazzling color. The answers to every question that has ever been asked on Earth.





Meet David



A brilliant scientist and wildly ambitious, David abandoned an academic path to follow the glow of Wall Street money. From a small town in Canada, he is now determined to make the riches he has given up his scientific talents for. He is always on edge, he must prove he is better than the other bankers, he has to win the best deals. However, he is easy pickings for the multi-million dollar bosses who see how they can use a greedy, naïve young man for their own purposes. David falls further into risk, mistakes and desperation, clutching at anything around him as his dreams and world falls apart.





Meet Noe-bouk



Dry dust. Three red moons. A member of one of the most advanced civilizations in the universe, taught to believe that all the answers come naturally from the incontrovertible logic of the greatest good. Now, facing death, Noe-bouk decides to find out if there is something more than what he has been taught. Accepting a place on a space ship, the further he gets from the moons of Home Planet the more he understands that he knows nothing at all…





Meet Alisdair



A respected lawyer. An adoring grandfather. Alisdair collapses outside his law offices in London and finds himself standing beside his unmoving corpse. He feels wonderful! He spots some wide open doors and bounds through them to discover a library, a garden, and his dead wife. All his life he has burned with the questions of the universe: what is the purpose of existence? What is good and evil? How far does the infinite stretch? With an afterworld guide and his wife at his side, his only limits now are to come up with new questions as all of his horizons expand beyond imagination…



Meet Elspeth



Beautiful, young, angry. Apart from her beloved grandfather Alisdair, Elspeth has been let down by everyone in her life. She’s rejected her parents and their easy choices, she sees no meaning in the structures of society. She has always felt lost, and now the death of her grandfather is forcing her to make choices. With some money he has left her, she decides to follow a feeling and go on an adventure.



Meet Socrates



Legendary philosopher, pion of bravery and morality, a figure so strong his ideas and presence pervade the centuries and the dimensions of time and space. Who else would Alisdair call upon in the afterworld to help his granddaughter Elspeth, than the man he has revered his entire life, and whose teachings guided him? Yes, Elspeth can be helped, but she must be brought together with another soul – one who has truly lost their path.

 

Reviews for The Unity Game
 
 “A complex, ambitious and thought-provoking novel.” ~ Kirkus Reviews



“Elegantly written, expertly crafted and a moving message. I found this book very hard to put down. Moving and poignant.” ~ Lilly, Amazon US reviewer“An engrossing, unique, and totally bizarre tale! I could not stop reading it once I started. Such a beautiful take on the afterlife, and its connection to those still living. A unity game, indeed!”~ Brenna, Goodreads reviewer

 
About the Author:
Leonora Meriel grew up in London and studied literature at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and Queen’s University in Canada. She worked at the United Nations in New York, and then for a multinational law firm.
In 2003 she moved from New York to Kyiv, where she founded and managed Ukraine’s largest Internet company. She studied at Kyiv Mohyla Business School and earned an MBA, which included a study trip around China and Taiwan, and climbing to the top of Hoverla, Ukraine’s highest peak and part of the Carpathian Mountains. She also served as President of the International Women’s Club of Kyiv, a major local charity.
During her years in Ukraine, she learned to speak Ukrainian and Russian, witnessed two revolutions and got to know an extraordinary country at a key period of its development.
In 2008, she decided to return to her dream of being a writer, and to dedicate her career to literature. In 2011, she completed The Woman Behind the Waterfall, set in a village in western Ukraine. While her first novel was with a London agent, Leonora completed her second novel The Unity Game, set in New York City and on a distant planet.
Leonora currently lives in Barcelona and London and has two children. She is working on her third novel.
Contact the Author:

 

The Ammuchi Puchi  By Sharanya Manivannan illustrated by Nerina Canzi

I received the book unnamed.jpg as a review copy from the publisher and I would like to thank them for the same.

The Blurb:

When Anjali and I were really little, we were sort of afraid of our grandmother, Ammuchi . . .’

Aditya and Anjali love listening to their grandmother’s stories, particularly the scary one about the ghost in the tree. But the night their grandmother passes away, all her stories seem to lose their meaning.

Then something happens that is more mysterious and magical than any story.  Could their grandmother still be with them after all? Stunningly illustrated and told in gorgeous poetic prose, this is a poignant and moving story about bereavement and healing.

My take:

Losing someone close is something we cannot forget. All we can do is get involved in our work and try to come to terms with it. And children are the most affected when someone they are close to dies. I have seen my son suffer when he lost his grandfather.

The author has used the context of the book as well the beautiful illustrations to address grief. In this story, written in first person from Aditya’s point of view, the author has tried to make children understand and come to terms with the loss of a beloved family member.

A very well written book in simple English with excellent illustrations is one book that every child should read and also every adult.

 

About the Author

Sharanya Manivannan is an award-winning writer based in India. Her fiction, poetry and essays have been widely published internationally, and she was specially commissioned to write and perform a poem at the 2015 Commonwealth Day Observance in London in front of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The Ammuchi Puchi is Sharanya’s first picture book. Her recent books for adults include The High Priestess Never Marries, which won a Laadli Media & Advertising Award For Gender Sensitivity in the category of Best Book, and The Altar of the Only World. You can find out more about Sharanya on her website: www.sharanyamanivannan.in

About the Illustrator

Nerina Canzi is an award-winning Argentinian illustrator with a degree from National School of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires. Nerina has illustrated for publishing houses around the world and lived and worked in Italy, Spain and Argentina. In 2015, she won the prestigious Premio Nacional y Latinoamericano de Literatura Infantil y Juvenil award (The National and Latin American Prize for Children’s and Young People’s Literature) and was selected for the VI Salón de Ilustración IMAGENPALABRA (The Sixth Illustration Exhibition by IMAGENPALABRA) in Colombia. You can find out more about Nerina on her website: www.nerinacanzi.com.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

The Soldier Prince: Stellangård Royal – Alexander (Royals of Stellangård Saga Book 1) by Aarti V Raman

51rDk_I24tLI received The Soldier Prince: Stellangård Royal – Alexander (Royals of Stellangård Saga Book 1) by Aarti V Raman as an ARC from the author. Thank you Aarti for the book. this book is the story of Sasha Ray and Prince Kristoph Alexander Hjalmar Heinrickson from the Royal House of Stellangård.

The blurb:

This is Royal life. Not a fairytale.

Sasha  When I think of princes, I know exactly who I am looking for. A sophisticated, handsome man who will ride with me into the sunset.

Surly, generous, blond alphas nicknamed “Iceman” need not apply.

I thought I was saving his life when I went to warn him about the bad guys gunning for him. But then I saw him in action. And he doesn’t need my help at all.  The Iceman is an ex-military warrior.

When the world rights itself after my night of danger, I am flying on a private jet to a tiny nation in the Swiss Alps with the Iceman. Turns out, the warrior is the Prince of Stellangård in disguise.

And he just might be everything I am looking for.

Except, this is real life. Not a fairytale. And The Ice Prince could never belong with a struggling student-waitress from New York City.

Right?  Alexander  I thought I could outrun my past, my guilt, and duty to my homeland by joining the military. And it worked like a charm for a decade.

But civilian life is much more exciting and dangerous.

And Sasha Ray is the most dangerous of them all.

She is meant to be protected within the walls of the castle I call home. But she destroys my defenses with her compassionate heart and sharp wit.

I am known as the Iceman for a reason. I don’t melt. I don’t give in to temptation, even when every touch makes me want her past sanity.

This is Royal life. Not a fairy tale. And I know the price she’d have to pay for being mine. Don’t I?

When fire and ice collide, all bets are off. And with an unknown enemy closing in, can Sasha and Alexander decide if happily ever after is worth everything – especially their hearts? Meet the Royals of Stellangård – Alexander, Helena, and Michael – burdened by their heritage, freed by love.

The story:

Twenty seven year old Sasha Ray, in the middle of her second semester in masters of teaching at New York University, works as a head waitress at Kalinda’s Deli in New York to supplement her tuition costs. She is a secret novelist, minoring in creative writing, as an elective as her parents are against her being a writer but she wants to be a teacher cum novelist. A second generation Indo American, Sasha is the only child of Deepak Ray and Aditi Ray.

Alexander Heinrickson completed his college education at Oxford and was in first semester of MBA at Harvard Business School, ten years ago, when he lost his mother to a suicide attack at a peace keeping mission in Afghanistan.  He joined War Against Terror against his father’s wishes and did not come home when the love of his life pleaded with him. He volunteered as a special liaison with the Marines and then with a private security company. He left the security company eight months ago but never went back home. He moved around, never stuck to one city and paid cash wherever he went.

During his stay at New York, he would frequent the deli where Sasha worked, would come to the Deli at the same time everyday, sit at the same booth and order the same food. This was something that Sasha noticed. So one day, when a customer tells Sasha that Longstrides (the customer’s nickname for Alexander) is in danger, she rushes to save him and her life changes. And she gets sucked into a vortex of complexities.

Longstrides is Prince Kristoph Alexander Hjalman Heinrickson from the Royal House of Stellangard, known as Xander to his family, Iceman to his fellow security agency colleagues.

My take:

The book has been beautifully divided into five parts giving the reader an insight of what would happen in that particular section of the book.

The characters are well developed and I loved the conversations between them. Xander is so tough, I loved him and I also loved Sasha and the way she took on the attackers. The descriptions are detailed and I could imagine myself sitting with the characters and enjoying the royal luxury and also the view from Sasha’s bedroom in the palace. The relationship between Xander and his brother and also his sister in law has been portrayed beautifully.

The language is simple and the story is fast paced, I could not put the book down till I finished it.

Loved the story and am looking forward to the other two stories of the series.

DISCLAIMER: I received the book as an advanced reviewer’s copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

Book Blitz: Castles in the Air by Sangeet Sharma

About the Book:

Publisher: Rumour Book India

Edition: First edition (2017)

ISBN: 978-1945563850

Genre: Fiction

Format: Paperback

Pages: 234

Price: 299/-

Laughter is said to be the best elixir and the book is a satire on architecture written by one who knows the bricks and concrete of the profession by heart.

The author, an architect himself, delves into the journey of a professional practice. The book is witty with acerbic humor.

Word by word, sentence by sentence, page by page, every scene unfolds like a screenplay, leaving the reader amazed with the brutalities of life in architecture, and life itself.
Book Links:
Reviews for the Book:


 

 

 

 

About the Author:
Sangeet Sharma is a practicing architect in Chandigarh. He is a partner in SD Sharma & Associates, a well-known firm of the region founded by his father Ar. SD Sharma, an eminent Architect. Widely acknowledged and awarded Ar. Sangeet Sharma commands an undisputed international reputation in profession. Carrying forward the legacy and vocabulary established by his father he is fascinated by geometrical forms.
By looking at every drawn line as built spaces he follows a certain rationale to his reflective practice. His buildings are based on sustainable applications.
He is a multifaceted personality. He is a poet, Architectural critic, writer, artist and author. He has authored Architecture, Life and Me, published by Rupa and Co., a memoir that takes an all-round view of the profession.
Contact the Author:

Book Blitz: Bollywood Fiance for a day by Ruchi Vasudeva

 

Print Length: 172 pages
Publisher: Indie published 
Publication Date: May 6, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Available on Kindle Unlimited
Genre: Romance 
Studious Dr. Vishakha never dreamed that winning a date with Bollywood heartthrob Zaheer Saxena would land her in an unusual deal to benefit both of them. Zaheer wants to ward off unwanted attention from his leading lady and agrees to help her save her face. It’s just like a business arrangement for Vishakha – except that she hadn’t factored in the unwanted, yet extremely potent attraction this movie star would hold for her. But she has to keep in mind that make believe is his talent – before she begins to wish this were a dream that would come true…
It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR


Ruchi Vasudeva is a doctor by profession, a teacher by vocation and an author by destiny. After debuting by publishing with Harlequin, she now writes emotional and amusing stories for Amazon.

 

You can stalk her @
        

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