The Album by Sian Ceinwen

41MhhfBXUrLI received The Album by Sian Ceinwen as a review copy from StoryOrigin and I am thankful to them for the same. This story is set in Chicago and is about Ariana, a private person.

The blurb:

The perfect man. His screaming fans. Can someone who hates the spotlight find love with a rock star?

Ariana isn’t a fan of celebrities, but she is a fan of Cruise Control. The night she attends a charity event with her aunt and meets rock star, Gabriel Knight, sets in motion a rollercoaster ride that is out of her control.

Hiding her struggling self-esteem behind a wall of privacy, Ariana risks it all and joins the group on their first tour as the lead singer’s new sweetheart.

But when she’s suddenly thrust into the wild world of a rock star, the sour taste of the limelight could be their undoing.

Will life in the fast lane ruin Ariana’s chance at true love?

The Album is the first book in the electric Cruise Control romance series. If you like sudden, steamy relationships, taking big risks, and the lives of the rich and famous, then you’ll adore Sian Ceinwen’s debut novel.

The story:

Ariana Chamberlain, 22, finished her business degree and was working as a receptionist for an accounting firm. She loved creative writing and wanted to write a book. One day, accompanying her aunt to a charity event, she saw Cruise Control, a local band that she was a fan of, perform and was introduced by her aunt introduces to Gabriel Knight, the lead singer of the band. One thing led to another and she agreed to accompany the band on a cross country tour much to the shock of her parents and family, because it was out of her character to do so.

Gabriel understood her fear of the celebrity lifestyle and he and the other band members gave her the time and space to maintain her anonymity and get used to the celebrity status.

The band members took her in and made her a part of the group but she was uncomfortable with it all and unable to take it all, she rushed back to Chicago, and did not even reply to their calls and messages.

Now, two years later, she works as a real estate agent and spends her free time with Netflix. As the best worker, she wins and award and comes face to face with Gabriel, the one person she loves, has never stopped thinking of.

My take:

The story is simple and written well. The characters are realistic but I wanted to know more about Gabriel. Ariana’s back story reveals a bit about her. The secondary characters have a part to play and I feel, all the other members of the band deserve a story of their own. The language is simple and the story, though long, is unputdownable. As the story progressed, I felt it was too good to be true and was expecting something to happen. The end was a bit abrupt, but HEA worked for me,

The chapters have been uniquely named and the encore was what I was waiting for (you have to read the book to know what I am talking about).

Though, this is the debut work of the author, I feel, as the series progresses, we would see more of the band and also more of these characters. The names of the songs played by the band also are interesting.

This story revolves around love, friendship, understanding, and mostly, a boy band. Do pick this up if you love boy bands, HEAs or even descriptive romances.

I am waiting for the next book in the series.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free e-book from STORYORIGIN in exchange of an honest review. i have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

Editing Bootcamp: A Fiction Writer’s Guide to Self-Editing Part 1 (TBC Writer’s Toolkit Book 11) by Dola Basu Singh

ToolKitDolaI received the book Editing Bootcamp: A Fiction Writer’s Guide to Self-Editing Part 1 (TBC Writer’s Toolkit Book 11) by Dola Basu Singh as a review copy from the author and am thankful to her for the same.

The blurb:

Looking to self-publish on a low budget but can’t compromise on quality?

Want to polish your book before querying an agent?

Are you a newbie fiction editor wanting to learn developmental editing?

Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.

Lots of books teach the craft of writing but not many focus on reworking, polishing, or self-editing. Learning editing skills shouldn’t be restricted to a privileged few. All writers should have access to strategies that can change a crude first draft into a polished work of art.

Editing Bootcamp will demystify the editing process by showing you how to spot and avoid common pitfalls, and correct the mistakes.

Inside you’ll find:

  • Actionable steps for all stages of editing.
  • Seven fiction elements including structure, point of view, characters, dialogue and more.
    •Handy editing checklists.

Take your writing to the next level with this concise how-to guide. Edit yourself into print.

My take:

Though I am not a book author, but when I was reading her book, I felt how we are drawn to a book we are reading if it has a great flow, does not confuse us and keeps us hooked. This is the work of the author, whose name we see on the book cover and also of the unsung hero of the book, the editor, who irons out the creases and what we get is a neat picture.

She has gone into the nitty gritties of editing right from plotting the book to self editing it before sending it off to the editor and publisher. And in today’s time of self-publishing, this is very important. Imagine reading a book that jumps from one place to another. I have read one such book, and unfortunately could not finish it.

This is the first book of a two part series and in this book the author has touched on a few topics like the aim of self-editing, how to spot the elements missing in your writing, common mistakes made, and she says that she aims to demystify the editing process by showing the writers how to spot errors. At the beginning itself the author says that this book is not a how-to writing guide.

In this book, the author has talked about the stages of editing, the types of editing, the process. She talks in detail about the seven major elements of fiction ie structure, point of view, characterisation, plot, setting, dialogue and conflict. At the end of each chapter she has put in a checklist which would be useful to the author.

This book is a must read for every author, whether we write manuscripts, documents, or even reviews. I shall now try to structure my reviews in this manner.

I am looking forward to Book 2 by this author.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

 

Baking for Keeps by Jessica Gilmore (Bachelor Bake-Off#4) (Big Sky Hathaways#1)

51OOUWbqJKL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_Baking for Keeps by Jessica Gilmore is the fourth book in the Bachelor Bake-Off Series  and the first book in the BigSky Hathaway series set in Marietta, Montana. This is Lacey Hathaway and Zac Malone’s story.

The blurb:

Lacey Hathaway has it all — a job she loves as a local radio DJ, a home with her adored, eccentric aunt and, best of all, a community after a childhood traveling with her musical parents. So what if her life is a little too safe? Marietta is everything to Lacey. Not only is she helping to organize the Bachelor Bake-Off and filming a documentary about the process, she’s also volunteered her brother as a Bachelor. But, when her brother backs out, Lacey has to find a last-minute replacement. And who better than her aunt’s lodger, gorgeous – if taciturn – Zac Malone?

Zac’s not exactly community-minded. In fact, he makes it clear that the sooner he’s out of Marietta the better. But when Lacey persuades him of the powerful impact the Bake-Off funds will have on local children, he decides to give it a go. On one condition. If he has to learn to bake, so does disaster-in-the-kitchen Lacey. Desserts aren’t the only thing heating up, and as the attraction flares and Zac makes plans to leave, Lacey’s beginning to realize that maybe there is a world beyond Marietta’s borders after all… if she’s brave enough to take that step.

The story:

Zac Malone comes to Marietta, Montana on business and asks his assistant to book him into an anonymous hotel, but she books him into a B&B that is run by two ladies who run their baking business out of the house. Zac likes to keep to himself and does not interact with the family and plans to leave the town as soon as the work is over. He does not like small towns as they remind him of his early life and likes living in big cities as they give him the anonymity he desires.

Lacey Hathaway owns the local radio station. She lives with her great aunts in Marietta, after spending her childhood travelling with her musician family. Her aunts run a B & B and a baking business. She is helping with the Bachelor Bake-Off and the Hathaway family is contributing by sponsoring a bachelor, Lacey’s brother, for the challenge. And then her brother backs out of his participation in the Bake-off and Lacey suggests that Zac participate in the challenge.

Zac cannot bake and the aunts offer to help him. He agrees for the sake of the people of the town. But he has one condition that Lacey also learns to bake with him and they would participate in a mini bake-off. As they spend time together, they start understanding each other and are attracted to one another. But Lacey does not want to leave Marietta and Zac does not want to live in a small town.

My take:

This is the fourth novel in this series and I liked the way the series is progressing. Though the characters are different but the theme of the story is Bachelor’s BakeOff where eight bachelors from Marietta are participating in order to collect money for Harry’s House, an activity place for the children. Zac is one of the eight bachelors.

The characters are well developed. The back stories of the characters have been portrayed and that helped me understand the characters better. Both of them are completely opposites in their personalities. One is an introvert and one, an extrovert. One has a large family and one has no family. I also enjoyed the conversations between them and also the arguments. I loved the easy banter between them and the baking competition. The secondary characters, the Marietta community and the other contestants make it all the more interesting.

The narrative and the flow kept me glued to the story. The story is funny, romantic, happy and interesting. The story moves back and forth between the characters.

Though all the books in the series have been written by different authors, all the books are set in Marietta maintaining the continuity in the series. And the best part is that all the books can be read as a standalone.

This is the first book by the author that I have read and am looking forward to reading more of her books.

Sprinkled with Love by Jennifer Faye (Bachelor Bakeoff #3)

swlI picked up Sprinkled with Love by Jennifer Faye, the third book in the Bachelor Bake-Off series and the first book in the Tangled Charms series. It is another story set in Marietta, Montana.

The blurb:

What does one do with a matchmaking cat named Romeo?

Spirited and beautiful, Jillian Parker is one of Marietta’s newest business owners. Still, her mother worries about Jillian’s bare ring finger. So in order to give her mother something else to fuss over, Jillian adopts a cat named Romeo. He turns out to be anything but a docile lap cat.

One snowy night, Romeo makes a break for it. With Jillian right on his heels, they have a near miss with a passing pickup driven by Avery Wainwright, one of Jillian’s closest friends. A rodeo accident has the sexy cowboy returning home to recuperate, and he’s not happy about it.

So when Avery finds himself lassoed into the Bachelor Bake-Off, he turns to the one person who has always helped him out—Jillian. But will teaching him to take chances outside of the show ring have them both discovering that their feelings for each other run much deeper than they ever imagined?

The story:

Twenty seven year old Jillian Parker is single and moves into the recently remodelled apartment situated behind her mother’s house and her mother is trying to set her up with eligible bachelors. Her focus is her business, she sells her handmade jewellery online and sells off her house to open her own shop, Tangled Charms, with her best friend, Suzanna. On the night before the opening of her shop, when she is keeping her mother’s cat, Romeo, company, Romeo runs away and while searching for him, she meets Avery Wainwright, a rodeo bareback rider, who is back in Marietta following an injury.

Avery loved his family with all of his heart and the siblings have been his priority and now that he is no longer their guardian, he participates in every rodeo possible to replenish his savings and also because he wants to own a ranch outside of town with plenty of elbow space.

Avery and Jillian have known each other for a long time. She used to babysit his twin siblings and Avery had employed Jillian Parker as a housekeeper for his twin teenaged siblings after the tragic death of his parents in an accident. Jillian has always had a crush on Avery but he never noticed her, plus she was in his employ and he could not jeopardize their relationship if things would have gone wrong. Now, Beth has gone to college and Jordan has joined military and Jillian no longer works for him.

Beth and the Monroe family, enrolls him into a Bachelor Bake-Off, a baking completion involving eight eligible bachelors, which is being organized to collect finds for a place for children and teenagers, Harry’s House in the memory of Harry Monroe.  Beth feels that he can bake as the cupcakes he made every year for their birthday were amazing. But the fact is that he next to nothing about baking, so, Beth suggests that he take help from Jillian.

So she agrees to help him, but what about the attraction between them…

My take:

I like stories with happy endings and if it is second chances, all the more better. The characters are well developed and flawed too. Then there are the cats, Romeo and Marshmallow, who also have a role to play in the story. The back stories of the characters have been developed beautifully and that helped me understand the characters better. I loved the meddling by Beth.

The story is simple, well written and flowed nicely. The scenes have been described in detail. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more Bachelor Bake-Off books written by different authors revolving around a baking competition for a noble cause.

Though this is the third book in the series, still it can be read as a stand alone.

 

A Barren Heart: What comes after Happily Ever After by Shilpa Suraj

ABarrenHeartWhen I came to know that Shilpa Suraj was coming out with her new book, I just could not wait to get the book in my hands. And I am so grateful to Shilpa and Debdatta for providing me with an ARC of the book, A barren heart: What comes after Happily Ever After.

The blurb:

When having it all isn’t enough…

Aman and Rhea seem to have the perfect marriage. They are madly in love – with each other, with their own careers and the home and life they are building in a quiet Mumbai suburb.

Rhea is a successful interior designer with a thriving business while Aman is a commercial pilot who is at peace with his life, on the ground and in the skies! What could possibly be lacking in their picture-perfect marriage?

A baby.

Like most women, thirty plus Rhea Chakraborty, wants to hold her own flesh and blood in her arms. And Aman too wants the same.

Or does he?

After another unexplained miscarriage that takes a severe emotional, physical, and psychological toll on them, Aman isn’t sure if having a baby will complete them or destroy them.

Suddenly, Rhea and Aman find the fabric of their stable marriage fraying beneath the strain of their failed conceptions. Where once they were a team with a common goal, they now find themselves on opposite sides with shifting goalposts.

A Barren Heart is set in so-called modern India and is the story of the struggle of an affluent, educated couple who are still fighting the shackles of societal indoctrination and expectations and losing each other in the process.

The story:

Rhea Chakraborty belongs to a stereotypical loud family comprising of three siblings, two brothers and a sister, and parents who adored each one of them. They were a chaotic, crazy bunch; loved one another to bits and meddled like mad in each other’s lives by always checking up on the rest of the brood.

Aman Gill’s childhood had passed in confusion, drama and hurt. An only child with a mother who loved Mumbai’s nightlife more than her family and a father who drank himself to death because of it had left Aman with no one but himself to rely on. He lost his father just before his tenth board exams and he became the man of the house, growing up way before his time. He and his mother had nobody else but one another, but they did not seem to know what to do with each other.

Aman met Rhea on his first day in junior college and before he quit the college to jin pilot training, she proposed to him and assured him  that she had her business plan all sorted out and she would support him till he got a job. That was two years ago.

Rhea is an interior designer, runs her own small but successful firm with a tie up with  three leading architects in Mumbai. Capt. Aman Gill, a commercial pilot with a private airline is the love of her life, her rock, the stable foundation to her forever tumultuous world.

Married for two years, they have been trying to have a baby but another unexplained miscarriage takes a severe emotional, physical, and psychological toll on them. Aman is in two minds and Rhea is devastated. But will their marriage survive this disaster??

My take:

Almost all the love stories that we read have a happy ending. Some have an epilogue for the reader to have an idea as to what happens next, but there are few stories that talk about the problems a happy marriage might face. This is one of them.

The author has actually dealt with a very common problem many couples face, the smile that goes missing when one line in a test goes missing.

The characters are realistic and relatable, as are their problems. They have been created and developed beautifully with their flaws, insecurities and strengths. I could feel for Rhea as well as Aman and the problems they were going through and how they both had their own way of dealing with it. I loved their neighbour and friend, Ishita and her understanding nature. I loved the Chakraborty family’s closeness and the understanding between Rhea and her brothers and parents.

The story is simple and the story moves at a fast pace. And the way it has been written, I never felt that I was reading a story, I actually felt that I was a part of their lives and that they were sharing their experiences with me. The book is unputdownable and I really loved the book and am looking to read many more books from the author.

DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

 

Release Day Blitz ~  A Barren Heart by Shilpa Suraj

~ Release Day Blitz ~ 

A Barren Heart by Shilpa Suraj

 

RELEASING TODAY!
Get Your Copy NOW!

When having it all isn’t enough…

Aman and Rhea seem to have the perfect marriage. They are madly in love – with each other, with their own careers and the home and life they are building in a quiet Mumbai suburb.
Rhea is a successful interior designer with a thriving business while Aman is a commercial pilot who is at peace with his life, on the ground and in the skies! What could possibly be lacking in their picture-perfect marriage?
A baby.
Like most women, thirty plus Rhea Chakraborty, wants to hold her own flesh and blood in her arms. And Aman too wants the same.
Or does he?
After another unexplained miscarriage that takes a severe emotional, physical, and psychological toll on them, Aman isn’t sure if having a baby will complete them or destroy them.
Suddenly, Rhea and Aman find the fabric of their stable marriage fraying beneath the strain of their failed conceptions. Where once they were a team with a common goal, they now find themselves on opposite sides with shifting goalposts.
A Barren Heart is set in so-called modern India and is the story of the struggle of an affluent, educated couple who are still fighting the shackles of societal indoctrination and expectations and losing each other in the process.

RELEASING TODAY!
Get Your Copy NOW!

 

About Shilpa Suraj:
Shilpa Suraj wears many hats – corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.
An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.
Shilpa on the Web:

 

 

Love.exe: A Sweet Romantic Comedy Making You Fall in Love by Manju Nambiar

LoveExeI received Love.exe: A Sweet Romantic Comedy Making You Fall in Love by Manju Nambiar as a review copy from the BookClub and am thankful to Rubina and . A simple romance, it really leaves a smile on the face of the reader. And just thinking of the story long after I finished it, still makes me smile.

The blurb:

If you are looking for a feel-good heart warming love story with a happy ending, this is your right pick!

Nitya Balakrishnan, a young girl from Kerala had it all planned out. She was going to live a life of her dreams in the United States of America. And she thought she had nailed it, when she was accepted into one of the best universities of the world. But cosmos had other plans and conspired to drop love.exe into her.

He came with a bang and stole her away in a breath. Love was not quite there in her agenda, but her heart wouldn’t hear of it. The human heart has its own little brain with its strange logic that remains elusive to our reasoning. For once, she just let it be, only to realize that there is no undo button.

This coming of age, beautiful tale of love, relationships and dreams would prick your soul, bring a smile to you, and tear up your eyes. A must read!

The story:

Nitya Balakrishnan, 21, is in the final year of Computer Engineering at NIT, Calicut, when she gets admission to the Stanford University class of 2006. She is a topper in her school and college and has big dreams. But, her mother is not very happy and tries to tell her to join the job that she has got at Microsoft in Hyderabad. She resorts to emotional blackmail and her mother relents when her uncle intervenes. Now, her family wants her to meet a boy who lives across the road from her University and marry him, if she likes him.

Enter Ganapaty, the boy his family has chosen for her, the boy who lives right across the road from her university in the US. The only child of his parents, Ganapaty, is in India for some official work and also to take care of his terminally ill father.

Nitya likes him, though she had not liked his mother, and agrees to marry him. But a day after the engagement, Ganapaty goes back to the US. Then his mother suggests that after the wedding, Nitya should shift with them to Chennai and take care of his father with her and go to the US later. And Ganapaty does not counter her.

Nitya, with the support of her family, calls of the wedding, and continues with her Stanford plans. She works hard, makes new friends and lands herself a job in the US.

And her office has a new senior employee, Ganapaty……

My take:

The story is simple and has been written in a language that is easy to understand. Nitya is the typical girl next door, belongs to a simple, conservative family and respects her parents. The relationship between Nitya and her parents has been described beautifully. Ganapaty’s character left me wanting for more. His relationship with his family and also other members of his family seemed a little incomplete, but maybe that’s how it is meant to be, like men, secretive (no offence meant).

The conversations between the characters were my highpoint of the story. Be it between Nitya and her mother, Andy and Nitya or for that matter Ganapaty and Nitya. When Ganapaty meets Nitya and asks on a scale of 1 to 10, her thoughts about the things was the best. Nitya’s heart to heart conversation with her father made me cry.

The story has a lot of things, family relationships, humour, arranged marriage, romance, friendship, happiness, sadness, surprise and the best part is the twist in the tale.

I just could not keep the book down, I loved the pace and the descriptions. The author has described love like the setup of a computer programme, something that was very unique to the book.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review and I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.