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

 

Interview with Roxanne Amour about her latest book Wedding Ring Blues

Recently Rachel Caught up with author Roxanne Amour, to talk a little bit about her latest book, being a Christian Romance writer and a few other things too…

Can you tell me a little about your latest book?

51lw0yeopflIt’s a wedding day emergency. The idea came from a friend who had a brief career as a wedding planner. The crazy antics she experienced not only planning the wedding but actually becoming a participant when the maid of honor failed to show up. It’s a sweet happy ever after love story with a little old fashion jealous rivalry thrown in to spice things up. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MG1Q9RN/

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

Half-and-half, I have so many ideas it’s easy to come up with characters. Sometimes a friend will share a great story or personal experience that I borrow and embellished just a bit.

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I tend to write in themes. Each book is a stand-alone story with different characters but all revolving around the same theme.

How do you select the names of your characters?

The names have to sound good together. I just go down the alphabet making up names until I find a first and last name that sounds just right together.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

That my work is too short, my readers like my stories and wish they were longer. I prefer to write short stories that way I always have new work to publish.

What do your friends and family think of your writing?

My family is very supportive in fact my husband is my editor. He’s a schoolteacher, and he just loves to correct my work. Some of my friends are quite surprised since I’m rather quiet. They’re amazed that I have so much to say in written form.

Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely. It’s my passion there is nothing else I’d rather do than write good stories people want to read.

Do you write every single day?

In my head yes, unfortunately, life gets in the way, and my words aren’t written down every day.

What’s more important: characters or plot?

For me, the story is the most important. If it’s not a great story even the strongest characters can’t breathe life into it and make it worth reading.

Finally for a bit of fun…You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?

Well, that’s quite a gift! I’d love for her to be a family pet but with three dogs and four cats we’re kind of full up. Instead, I would invite the zoo to ask her to hang out with the other elephants on in extended sleepover.

Thanks for your time today Roxanne, it’s always great to catch up with indie authors and get more of an insight into their work!

Thank you very much for the interview. I offer a free audio book to my subscribers that way they can check out my work. http://freeromancebooks.org/download-full-length-audiobook/

Rachel will be reviewing Roxanne’s book Wedding Ring Blues soon. Keep an eye out!

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)

The Never Dawn by R. E. Palmer

515qnp0pmolWhat happens when you find out everything you have been taught is a lie?

The Never Dawn is Part One of a Sci Fi Trilogy by R. E. Palmer. Noah and his people live miles below the earths surface in a place called “The Ark”, told that the outside is no longer safe by a god-like figure who they refer to as “Mother”. For the past 100 years they have worked day and night at her command, preparing for The New Dawn and the promise of once again being able to live on the earth’s surface. The turning point in the story comes when Noah is given a dairy written by Moses, a historical figure from the colonies past. Upon reading the diary, Noah discovers that not everything he has been led to believe is true, and he goes in search of answers.

There is a strong religious reference throughout the book. Most of the characters were named after characters in the bible, and most appear to blindly believe everything they have been told by “Mother”. The religious references which Palmer has utilised have been done exceptionally well, even down to lesser known details. For example although the story of Noah’s Ark in the bible does not specifically mention the name of Noah’s wife, it has been long believed in Jewish tradition that her name was Nammah… Palmer in turn has given our protagonist a love interest by the name of Naomi. Rebekah’s connection to Issac in Palmer’s work is also something which can be reflected from the bible.

I have to note however that despite the very obvious references to the bible, this story is not necessarily a biblical one. In fact it is more about losing faith, than finding it. As the book progresses, we see Noah and Rebekah lose faith in the system and their beliefs, and this is what triggers their adventures in the search for the truth.

Additionally (and maybe I’m reading too much into it here), I found there was an interesting co-plot about corruption through religion, and how that can filter down through the ranks of a society such as the one in The Ark, especially when no one questions authority figures.

Palmer’s story is well written and engaging. He has employed good narration and sets the scene exceptionally well. I’m not normally a fan of Science Fiction stories, yet I enjoyed it and hope to have the opportunity to read the next installment. I think this speaks to the quality of the writing and characters that Palmer has created.

Genre; Sci Fi

Rating: 4.5/5

The Never Dawn and its sequel Cloud Cuckoo are available exclusively on Amazon.

Book Worm conducting the review: Rachel

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