Thursday, July 27, 2017

Book Review: The Matsya Curse by Shweta Taneja

Title: The Matsya Curse
Author: Shweta Taneja
Publisher: HarperCollins


The Matsya Curse is the second novel in Shweta Taneja’s ‘Anantya Tantrist Mystery’ series. Anantya, the sassy detective, is back with her personal brand of swagger and ruthlessness. As is her norm, she solves supernatural crimes at night, sleeps during the day, and roams through a world filled with tantric concepts and beings from Indian mythology and folklore. While hurling colourful expletives and having casual sex — with not just humans — Anantya fights like a hurricane and she’s a force to reckon with.
The book opens with Anantya waking up in her bed in her forlorn haveli with a vinaat, a supernatural being. How she got there unfolds in breakneck flashbacks told in the cadences and vocabulary of the tantrist herself. Within the next few pages we find her in a five-star hotel where she is summoned to oversee a case. Unfortunately, the case in question is way beyond her expertise. She finds herself helpless and before her very eyes a nishada melts to death. On the same night an ancient demonologist is murdered.
Anantya follows a non-existent trail on to the streets of Delhi and Banaras with her friends Inspector Madhu and Shukra. Armed with septifocals, yugma locket, blade and a plethora of mantras, she takes it upon herself to rescue the Nishadas who have been downgraded to the category of pashus (read unintelligent pets) by the Tantrik Association. She also has to bring Neel, her ex boyfriend, to his senses who is back from the dead and wants to kill her.
Shweta has crafted a world of some damaged yet lively characters whose idiosyncrasies lead them to collide and ricochet as the story progresses. Savage tantriks, corrupt officials, a medley of assorted supernatural beings, a few hapless civilians and some spineless gods mix it up in New Delhi. However, her supernatural world has started to uncannily resemble the world of the famous Men In Black series with sups being given human identities and permission to live in the city. This wasn’t there in the first installment and hence Shweta’s supernatural Delhi had come across as a fresh idea. I think, it would have added to the novelty of this series if she had kept it the way it was initially and I would have admired her ingenuity even more. Other than this, I liked the way the story progressed.
Substantial, three-dimensional characterization is Shweta’s strongest suit. Be it the protagonists  or the minor characters, everyone is crafted with utmost care so much so that even after the stories end, the characters live on with the readers for a long time. One such character is Shukra who happens to be my favourite. He reminds me of Hank Mccoy (Beast) from the X-men series and Bruce Banner (Hulk). There’s an unspoken sexual tension between him and Anantya which draws out potently the vulnerable side of Shukra. They perfectly contrast each other and through their characters, and those of the others, Shweta questions societal notions of gender constructs, class, and class.

By turns grim and giddy, this is a good read and I’m as usual looking forward to reading the next novel from the author’s kitty. 

Buy Link

About the Author

Shweta Taneja is a bestselling author based in Bangalore. She’s been a Charles Wallace India Writing Fellow, a roadie for an amateur band, a volunteer for a tree festival and a cashier at a play. Her ambition is to writes stories that challenge preconceived notions and prejudices. To attain it, she regularly drinks Makaibari tea, hogs on popular occult books and shows and asks all sorts of unseemly questions to ghosts, half-dead plants and recently, drongos. 

The Matsya Curse is the second of the Anantya Tantrist mysteries. The first one, Cult of Chaos (2014), has found a cult following owing to its name. Her other novels include How to Steal a Ghost @Manipal (2016) and The Ghost Hunters of Kurseong (2013). She has also written two graphic novels: The Skull Rosary (2013) which was shortlisted for Best Writer Award at Comic Con India and Krishna: Defender of Dharma (2012) which is part of CBSE’s must-read list for a reason she can’t fathom.

I'd like to thank the author for letting me review the book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading! 

* I received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
** Picture courtesy: 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Book Review: A Bride, A Murder & A Trail Of Blood by Laxmi Natraj

Title: A Bride, A Murder & A Trail Of BloodAuhtor: Laxmi NatrajPublisher: StoryMirror Infotech Pvt Ltd


A newly married young woman comes to live in a posh neighbourhood. That her marriage is on the rocks is evident to all from the telltale bruises and injuries on her body. She is a victim of domestic violence. And one fine day she goes missing under mysterious circumstances. An excess amount of blood and visible sign of violence in the house is a clear indicator of a brutal attack or even a murder. The obvious suspect, her husband, is missing as well. An investigation is carried out and evidences pile up against the husband who is a well known professor.
What looks like a murder investigation with a strong motive, several witnesses, and a culprit in denial is but the tip of an iceberg in a case that keeps the police department on its toes. When the investigating officer, Shinde, comes across the truth during his probe, he is both shocked and assuaged at the same time. But is that all that is there to fish out? Or is there a truth that actually evades his investigative eyes after all? Has justice been served finally? These questions are what set the story apart and interesting.
In her latest novel, ‘A Bride, A Murder & A Trail of Blood,’ Laxmi Natraj has woven an intelligent story which is more than a crime thriller and focuses on the corruption and plagiarism involved in the field of higher education. Revenge gets a new flavour and so does justice.
Although the language and plot sometimes border on cliché, the story itself keeps one fascinated. The breakneck pacing of the narration eventually resolves into a poignant ending. But the editing is certainly not up to the mark. A lot of the fat could have been cut out to give the novel a crisper feel.   

Happily, the many loyal fans of crime thrillers probably won’t mind the snags in the novel; they’ll just delight in the feels.

Buy Link

About the Author

Laxmi Natraj is an educator with a 35 years of teaching experience. She has authored a series of Children's science fiction and adventure books. She has also written two thriller adult fiction books and is working on her third. She also writes short stories in Women's Era and Champak and Gokulam. Recently, she has also taken up blogging and is active on social media.

I'd like to thank the author for letting me review the book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading! 

* I received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
** Picture courtesy: 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Author Interview: J.G. Dow

About the Author

J.G. Dow was born in Huddersfield and went to University in Manchester to study Social Science. The author enjoys music and walking and also likes reading a wide variety of books and watching football and snooker on TV and also writes poetry on occasion.


When did you realise you wanted to be a writer/storyteller?
I realised when I tried poetry and liked it and then had a go at writing a novel and it went pretty well and I fancied doing another one. That’s how it came about really.

What motivates you to write and where does the inspiration come from?
I suppose I write because it’s fun and also it’s good to keep you busy. Sometimes it’s harder to get on with it than other times though.

What is your writing process?
I try to write in the afternoon before I get too tired. In the evening, one can find it hard to concentrate sometimes.

Are you traditional or self published?
I am self published at the moment but wouldn’t mind getting picked up by a big publisher one day!

What field or genre would you say your book is in?
I’d say my book is in the genre of chick lit and I wrote it as I fancied seeing if I could write a good one.

What do you do if inspiration strikes in an inconvenient place?
It’s best to have a pad of paper or note function on your phone in these situations, otherwise it can be annoying as you’ll forget the idea.

Do you think there is value in a review?
There is value in it as good reviews can help sales and can convince people to give you a go if they don’t know your work.

What is your biggest fear about having a book published?
The fear is that it doesn’t sell well or that people really don’t like it I suppose, so you have to hope most do like it!

What is the intended audience for your book?
The intended audience I suppose is women of all ages. But I think that young women may connect to it more than older ones perhaps.

What makes a good story and why?
What makes a good story is plenty of incidents and good characters and a good strong plot.

Do you read your reviews? Any advice on how to deal with the bad ones?
Yes I read them. Try and forget the bad ones and enjoy the good ones and realise everyone has a different view.

Were the characters/events based on real life or made up?
It was all made up but the place setting is real and all the areas in the book are real as well and can be visited.

What are the most important elements of good writing?
Writing good dialogue and creating decent, real characters and plot.

Do you see writing as a career or something else?
I see it as a career if I can get enough readers - have to see!

What are the advantages/disadvantages of self-traditional publishing?
Self is tricky as you have to market on your own and get reviews on your own and things like that. So, it can be hard.

What makes the book stand out from the crowd?
Hopefully the humour and good characters.

What is your least favourite part of the writing process?
Editing can be annoying as it’s all about attention to detail and checking.

Is there anything else you want to share with your readers?
Just hope people like the book and enjoy it really and are interested in reading more from me!

About the Book

Jane's life on the face of it isn't really too bad...she has great friends like party girl Natasha who's always up for a laugh and her close pal Polly, always there for her and of course her loving parents, but things could still be better...

Most people she knows are either married or have kids and she has been single a while now and wonders if a good man is ever to be encountered again. The single life is far from a quiet one for Jane however, as she is constantly getting dragged to night clubs and bars by Natasha and the crew as well as enduring a particularly boozy weekend away at the seaside!

Jane loves a lot about her life, disregarding rude plumbers in her flat and dealing with annoying superiors and a smug sister, but as a certain someone takes her eye, is everything about to change and get a whole lot more serious or is the single life determined to keep her captive a while longer yet...

Buy Link

Thank you, for this amazing interview! I wish you success for all your future works. Keep writing!


Monday, July 17, 2017

Release Blitz: Becoming His by Ellie Masters


Becoming His - The Collective-Season one
Episode Eight
by Ellie Masters
Deliciously Dark and Daring…
County Coroner, Sally Levenson, hasn’t dated since the death of her husband five years ago. Intelligent but shy, she’s hidden herself from the world. Her days are a never-ending cycle of eat, work, sleep, and repeat, and she’s suffocating in the monotony of her life. That is, until she met Derek Lemark, a man whose money makes money, and who controls every aspect of his life.
Derek finds Sally captivating, intelligent, but shy. He opens doors to new possibilities and forbidden desires, but what he offers comes with a price. He’s given Sally a choice. Green opens doors to hidden desires, while Red ends everything.
Red or Green?
Continue Derek and Sally's journey into the world of BDSM and powerplay! Where delicious and dark becomes sinful and sensuous.

Season 1:
We’ve set the stage, created the characters, and fashioned a world full of twists and turns. Now it’s your turn to sit back and immerse yourself in this incredible series. Each episode weaves the characters and storylines of ten standalone novels together to give you an epic crossover series. We’ve left you breadcrumbs, tidbits of information intertwined throughout our stories. Can you find them? Can you collect the clues we’ve left and become part of The Collective and solve the case?
No one is safe as a killer goes on a killing spree. Will The Collective stop him in time? Will you? Featured authors in order of appearance- Riley Edwards, Erin Trejo, Ellie Masters, Elias Raven, Chris Genovese, and Carver Pike

What are readers saying?
"The chemistry between Sally and Derek is electrifying!!" ~ Goodreads Reviewer
"This book is great. It kept me captivated from the beginning to the end, leaving me breathless. The story was a complete emotional rollercoaster with all the feels. Oh, and there was some hot sex scenes that will have your heart beating faster too. Believe me, this is one book you do not want to miss. Read it and find out what happens. " ~ Goodreads Reviewer


Author Bio
ELLIE MASTERS is a multi-genre author, writing the stories she loves to read. These are dark erotic tales. Or maybe sweet contemporary stories. How about a romantic thriller to whet your appetite? Ellie writes it all. Want to read passionate poems and sensual secrets? She does that too. Dip into the eclectic mind of Ellie Masters, spend time exploring the sensual realm where she breathes life into her characters and brings them from her mind to the page and into the heart of her readers every day.
When not writing, Ellie can be found outside, where her passion for all things outdoor reigns supreme: ATV-ing, scuba diving, hiking, and breathing fresh air are top on her list. Ellie’s favorite way to spend an evening is curled up on a couch, laptop in place, watching a fire, drinking a good wine, and bringing forth all the characters from her Mind-to-the-Page and eventually into the hearts of her readers.

☆¸.•*¨*★☆Welcome to The Collective ☆¸.•*¨*★☆
Riley Edwards, Erin Trejo, Ellie Masters, Elias Raven, Chris Genovese, Carver Pike
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“This crossover series is a huge win for all the authors involved. Don’t miss any of the releases. Each book will pull you in, leave you wanting more while you teeter on the edge of your seat with suspense.” AmazonReviewer
*Release Schedule and Series order
Pre orders available now

Riley Edwards – Unbroken (part one)
Erin Trejo – Iron Claw MC  –
Ellie Masters – Learning to Breathe
Elias Raven – Shadow & Flame  –
Chris Genovese – Quills and Daggers
Riley Edwards –  Unbroken (part two)
Erin Trejo –Iron Claw MC (part two)
Ellie Masters –Becoming His
Elias Raven -TBA- 7.25.17 – Pre order coming soon
Carver Pike – TBA – 8.1.17 – Pre order coming soon

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Author Spotlight: Toni Kenyon

Spotlight on
Author Toni Kenyon

BillBoss.jpgCan a fake engagement lead a skeptical billionaire to honest love?
Hannah Scott’s bucking the southern small town mindset. She’s not going to settle down and marry a man who spends his days working in the local milk factory and then have a couple of children. She’s come to the big city to stake her claim on freedom and independence.
Robert Redfern is the equivalent of Auckland royalty. He’s been groomed to be the CEO of the family empire all of his life. But when he discovers that part of the requirement to maintain his position is that he take a wife, Robert’s not too happy.
When the curvy and attractive, Hannah Scott crosses his path, Robert seizes the opportunity to strike a bargain with the attractive redhead that will bring them both what they want.
But, what neither of them anticipates is their magnetic attraction to one another. Can the boss and his executive assistant keep their dealings purely professional?

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Amazon US:          Proposal 1                   Proposal 2                       Proposal 3


The Private Love, Rockstar Romance series from Toni Kenyon.
Follow Julian MacAvoy and his beloved Mags as they navigate their way from the heights of European stadium tours to the lows of obscurity in the Far North of New Zealand.
An erotic and candid look at life on the road.


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Amazon US:

                 Private Love                The Fan               Public Love                Perfect Love       Hiding In Public

Find all of Toni’s books:
Amazon #  iBooks # Kobo # Nook

Video Trailers:

tonipp.jpgToni Kenyon lives in Auckland (New Zealand) with her husband (and their dog and cat) the goldfish is just squatting! She writes romance by day, sings in a band by night and in her spare (yeah, right) time she wrangles difficult heroes into line, so they can star in her next novel. Toni also loves the garden and has a special place in her heart for her fruit trees and her veggie patch. A keen amateur photographer, Toni posts “Mood of the Suburbs” shots across most of her social media profiles. She loves to hear from like-minded people, so pop on over and say 'Hi' any time.

Visit her website and sign up for her newsletter so you can     stay informed about her new releases.
Toni can also be found at:


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