Love Connection by Meghana Sarathy

51qatcfevulIf you picked up Love Connection and only read the first chapter or two, you would be forgiven for thinking that this book is erotica. I promise it does get better. Love Connection follows the story of Brandon and Jennifer, friends who have known each other since college and are cheating on their respective partners with each other. Despite the cheesy nicknames and numerous sex scenes, the story itself is actually more than just erotic fiction. It explores the characters quite well, and outlines their confusions and motivations and has a fairly well constructed plot line.

However, I did wonder about the setting, although Sarathy states in the book that the characters are buzzing around San Francisco, yet… I just couldn’t imagine it. There was no mention of the hills, the morning fog, the bay, the Golden Gate bridge or even trams/street cars. Even if when visiting a restaurant had the characters mentioned the melting pot of cuisine along Chestnut Street, this may have helped me get there, but they didn’t, and I didn’t. Instead I got a distinctly Asian city feel throughout the story with traffic congestion and a flatness to the scenery. This is something that I feel Sarathy could work on.

What I really struggled with though was the editing. I really believe that Sarathy could have benefited from a UK or US English editor. A lot of the writing I felt was a bit more difficult to read due to the language used not quite gelling with what I expected for example one of the characters states:

It obviously mean that you can’t discuss about this even with Jordan. He works in the same business and I can’t risk my ideas to be stolen by him”

I feel this could have read a lot better had it been written as follows “Obviously, You can’t talk about this with anyone, not even Jordan, as I can’t risk my ideas being stolen by him”, although I did find it better towards the end as I got used to reading it for the story and trying to ignore the editing.

Overall I think this was a courageous attempt at a first book and Sarathy should be commended for that. She plans to release another nine books in the series so clearly she is a very creative person with a story to tell.

Rating: 3/5

Love Connection is available from Amazon

Bookworm conducting the review: Rachel

 

Dead Last by Rachel J. Clay

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A book for young adults, it is refreshing to read a plot outside the usual – “end of the world via alien invasion or from a zombie apocalypse”. Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without romance and Dead Last is sprinkled with just enough romance to keep it interesting.  The story is about ambition and how far some would go just to get what they want. It also tells of the longing for family. These are things young people face but seldom talk about.

Clay’s story is about Carla who lost her sister Sasha. Daughters of an Olympic Champion, the girls are expected to compete in running and swimming. The story opens to the fact that Sasha went missing, left for a run and never came back. Left with her dad (there is no mention of what happened to their mother) and dogs, Carla continues the legacy and the memory of her mother and sister by competing. She then receives a note telling her not to compete – ad then it escalates from a single warning to the blackmail of having her dog killed if she competes. A mystery and thriller, Carla’s dog Pavlov was killed in a brutal way and Carla spent 3 months in the hospital after being poisoned when she competed in a swimming carnival even after being warned.

The ensemble of characters includes Carla Pointer, her best friend Marly, her dad Matthew, and her love interests Hamish and Caleb. A common scenario in teen stories, Carla finds herself courted by the two boys. Then there is Yamini Li, her sister’s main competitor and after Sasha’s disappearance, Carla is competing against her too.

Clay found the perfect way to walk her readers through Carla’s struggle of emotions and what actually happened to Sasha. The first part may lack the intrigue and mystery but the story picks up into a crescendo of thrill and suspense. The thrill of finding out who the real culprit is, is something readers should look forward to. Thus, giving a nice story for young adults who love this kind of genre.

The author uses great combination of narration techniques from backstory and plot twists. The ending is short, and sweet just enough to give readers what really happened to Sasha and how the family – Carla and her dad, Mathew ,are moving forward.

To sum it up, Dead Last is a nice thriller for young adults. It is not too overbearing or too violent while giving the high of reading a thriller novel.

Rating: 3/5

Genre: Thriller/Mystery

Where to find it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks or Smashwords

(Bookworm conducting the review: Valerie)

Interview with Eric McLaughlin about his debut novel ‘Collision’

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Eric McLaughlin – Author of Collision

Staff from TheBookWormReview.com were lucky enough to hear from up & coming talent Eric McLaughlin about his debut novel Collision and how he feels about being an indie author.

 

What is Collision about?

Collision is an urban fantasy. It follows the story of Ethan David and his struggle to remain true to himself while dealing with other aspects of life. Ethan wants nothing more than to propose to the love of his life and graduate with something resembling a GPA, but his deranged father and a fiery collision throw him headlong into a battle for the fate of the world and his very soul. 

Collision is an Urban Fantasy story with a twist!
Collision is an Urban Fantasy story with a twist!

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I am currently working on the sequel to Collision as well as a more literary work about a college grad who finds himself while working with children diagnosed with autism. I worked with autistic kids for about ten years and it is something I care deeply about.

Do you see writing as a career?

I would love to but sometimes the night is dark and full of terrors. It seems like a long way away right now.

What is your favourite 90’s jam?

3 AM by Matchbox Twenty. It was my favorite song before my mother got sick and when I found out Rob Thomas wrote it when his own mother became ill, it was a pretty powerful experience for me.

What books have influenced your life the most?

So many books have influenced my life. I think it would be easier to name the authors than the books. Of course Tolkein, Jordan and Rowling. Then there was Sanderson, Butcher, Rothfuss and Jamison. Lehane has been a big part of my reading. More recently I have been reading more classics like Hemingway, Faulkner, and Updike. Foster Wallace has been taking up most of my time lately. His work is unlike anything I have ever read.

What do your friends and family think of your writing?

My family seems to like my writing but they have to. I try to keep my friends as far away from it as possible.

What’s more important: characters or plot?

I think character is far more important. You can have your character save the President from a fire-breathing dragon using only herring but if we don’t care about him/her we don’t care about the story. For example John Updike can make you care about couples cheating on each other for 300 pages because his characters are deeply interesting.

If you could meet any character from any novel, who would it be and why?

If I could meet any character from any novel it would have to be Gandalf. I mean c’mon, smoke rings and fireworks, ’nuff said.

Collision is available free from Scribd, Kobo and iTunes

Two Paths by Ulf Wolf

2d4fbf47619e89a505d74bb5e1cb52d153273759-thumbAn amazing story that somewhat reveals the truth about the differences between culture, religion and civilization. We all differ but the real question is; “Can we all get along peacefully and accept change for the betterment?”

Two Paths focuses on two jungle tribes, The Mera and the Lasi. Both are enemy tribes and believed that they are created by Ea-pe. The members from both tribes were taught the fables from their elders pertaining to their enemy tribe. The teachings were then passed from generation to generation within the tribes. One philosophy that no one is allowed to “walk the path” until it is time for you to do so. Children from both tribes always wonder as to why old people “walk the path” and never return?

Myine, and Arun are from different tribes. As expected, both received the same lessons from their respective tribes about their culture. Myine grew up to be very curious about things and never stops asking questions. On the other hand, Arun grew up being more adventurous, restless and is like a warrior. Both do have something similar; they want to know something about the path.

Arun being an adventurous type, accidentally finds the path while exploring the jungle. While Myine from the other tribe still has a lot of questions unanswered about the path, she follows a dead infant carried by a helper out of the village via “the path”; this then leads to a series of thrilling and ever changing events.

Personally, while reading; I could imagine the setting where you can see an isolated jungle, that fresh air, crystal spring water and the color green everywhere. I could also visualize those huts that you see on television showcasing tribes with their weapons and hunting skills.

I salute Wolf for being so detailed within the story. He was able to introduce the characters in a way that you don’t have to wonder who was who. I would love to see a different ending between the tribes and the main characters though. I feel like something is missing.

Overall, Two Paths is a wonderful story that you can read and relate to, especially if we talk about culture and civilization. Even with our differences, I still believe that we can live together peacefully. I hope that this message from the author can reach to all book enthusiasts.

Would I recommend reading it? Definitely.

Genre:  Fairy Tale/Paranormal

Rating: 4/5

Free directly from Smashwords here.

(BookWorm conducting the review: Joseph Remulta)

Andrew Mowere talks about his latest novel The Final Death!

Yesterday Rachel from thebookwormreview.com caught up with author Andrew Mowere to talk about his latest novel The Final Death which is on Pre-Order from Amazon and due for release on 23/12/2016! He also has a special offer on Smashwords… keep reading for more information. 
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Hi Andrew, Thanks for taking the time to talk with me about your latest novel The Final Death!
What is your recent novel about?
The Final Death is the sequel to my novel The Final Life. It talks about a necromancer and warrior duo that aims to save the world. Azrael Windslayer, necromancer, abhors the idea of death and thus dreams of destroying the very force driving it: The scythed pale man who took Azrael’s life and made him Unchained, an undead god. In the meantime, he has sent his student in the ways of the world, Glint Stryger, to guild Quicksilver with a mission: change the guild system from the inside, and ensure a better quality of life for Ability users and Normals alike.
Where is it available?
The Final Death is available for preorder on Amazon and Smashwords. If you choose Smashwords and have an account, then it can be accessed free with the promotion code: PW59X right up until Christmas.

What inspires your writing?
Lots and lots of fantasy mixed with, hopefully, realistic characters. In many of my books I deal with themes which I think reflect the real world. To that end, I try to manifest real people in a magical world. After that, I sit back and write down what they do.
What do you do when you aren’t writing?
Reading and martial arts take up a chunk of my time. Then there is my business oriented work and a wonderful almost-wife.
Have you ever had writers block, and if so what did you do about it?
Not yet. With only a few books out, I am too inexperienced for such concerns. Hopefully they will never knock on my door!
Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
Thank you.
Thanks for your time Andrew and I hope everything goes well, and I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future!