Book Review—The Cilantro In Apple Pie by Kimberley N. Knights

The Cilantro In Apple Pie by Kimberley Nadine Knights

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this book as part of the author program by BooksGoSocial.com in exchange for an honest review.

I loved the book. I think it is one of the most insanely sensible books, I’ve read this year. It was so funny and yet so touching, And I would definitely have to say that my first YA without any romance… zilch… nada… absolutely none at all—making it all the more an interesting read.

With an overdose of courtship, sex, romance and PDA in most of the books that I’ve come across recently, I found ‘The Cilantro in Apple Pie’ a very refreshing and endearing story—a welcome change from the milieu out there.

For a debut novel, Knight has truly delivered a much better work than some of the more popular authors out there. A fine story in itself but the writing style is impressive. It flows smoothly, encouraging you to read it in one go. The characters are well–developed. I liked the way the protagonists Rubie and Gil have been drawn. Their friendship is truly precious and completely relatable. You will enjoy their skirmishes and taunts and also savor the relationship they share.

A book definitely worth the time spent on it.

View all my reviews

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The Bluff by Anand J. | Author Guest Post

 

Good Day Everyone!

Today, I have with me debut author – Anand J. He shares with us about his experience writing his book “The Bluff’. Here’s a bit about the book before I hand over the platform to Anand—

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TITLE: The Bluff

RELEASE DATE: February 15, 2016

AUTHOR: Anand J.

CATEGORIES: Historical Science Fiction/Thriller

PAGE COUNT: 369

ISBN: 978-1523623013

IMPRINT: Black Hawk

SYNOPSIS: Amrith, a twenty-five-year-old boy, wakes up to discover 800 Kg of gold hidden inside his body. He finds out who placed them. But he doesn’t know why. He starts exploring. He finds the reason for Mughal’s downfall. He comes across the legend of two Rajput warriors that his history books stayed silent about. It is when he realizes that he is now being followed by a sect of bloodthirsty extremists who have been looking out for the treasure for 12 generations. It’s up to him now to save his life and safeguard the wealth from falling into the wrong hands.

Join Amrith in his thrilling journey that blends science, history, greed, and fate into a game of Bluff.

Author Guest Post

Experiencing the author within

They say writing a novel is tiresome. You need to struggle for hours, days, months and years to discover a storyline out of thin air; a storyline that gradually pulls you into its world of twists, people and emotions; a storyline that makes your writing an addiction; a storyline that abducts you away from your physical world only to deliver you back there when your mom shouts at you for letting the cup of tea before you turn cold. You need to smile – smile despite screaming SCOUNDRELS deep under your larynx – when your client calls you at a time when your thoughts start to flow smoothly like a coherent chain of lies. Team outings, late night trips, family weddings, friends’ treats, favorite TV shows, Dhoni’s six, Federer’s win, nights and nights of sleep… Your book’s pages will never let the readers know how many sacrificed joys they hide within. And then there are the powercuts. Mosquitoes. Sweat. Existential crisis.To add to the list there’s a proud bunch of friends tweeting ‘My friend has written a novel’ when you have just deleted your 26th rejection mail from a publisher. They say writing a novel is tiresome. And they’re fucking right.

But, it is tiresome is the weakest excuse one can say to give up something. She has a boyfriend comes at a close second. Every plot, to an author, implants a fear — a fear that threatens the author with its vagueness and excites the author with its possibilities. There are a few plots that, in addition, make an author hallucinate. The central plot of my novel, The bluff, was one among that very few. My novel had an escape door before the novel was irreversibly transformed into a serpentine sequence of words. An exit from my present reality into the world I had created. It was as if I was transported to the farthest end of my fictional world right at the start and as I completed the chapters, I was gradually pushed backward towards the exit door with the path I had traced getting filled with words. Like the earth slowly retreating backward to fill the dark sky with the bright, milky moon on a lunar eclipse.

The novel is now complete and here I am back to the present world, now denied access into that very world I had created. That world doesn’t require me anymore. Once created, the creator has to move away and let his/her creation thrive. Author, artist, God… the law is equal for everyone. I don’t require that world anymore. What’s the point in visiting a world that cannot be altered further when there are new worlds to create?

Here’s the thing about writing, according to me. Words, almost always, mean nothing to an author. The thrill of writing a novel is in the escape you make to that new world. You don’t have your sorrows there. You dump it on your creation. Your character cries on your behalf. You motivate your character to come out of its sadness. When you return to your present you will realize that it was actually your character that made you move out of your sorrows. The world you visualize in your novel completes your present by offering a wishful extrapolation. When you are happy, there will always be people there to laugh at your jokes. When you are angry, someone kills someone in that world. It is this hallucination that an author needs. It is to experience this world, people, mind and heart an author invents that he/she writes a novel. Not for language. Not for earning, boasting or dating. Especially dating.

A book ends inside an author’s mind. What you read as words is an author’s permission to visit the world he/she created. The visuals authors see in their mind inspire them to replicate the experience to others. Words become a medium of communication between an author’s mind and the reader’s. Authors care a damn about those words. It’s those visuals that they care. Clear visuals in the author’s mind choose the right words. Right words replicate the right visuals and the right visuals create the right world. An author is just a tool to convert those visuals into a transcript. Nothing more.Nothing less.

The creation of my world is complete. My visuals have spoken. I, now, with utmost humbleness, invite you all to visit the world I created. THE BLUFF, my debut novel is now out on sale after two and half years of toil. Come; experience the thrilling world of Amrith and Aurangzeb as I saw them in my mind.

——————–

About Anand

AJ1.jpgANAND.J, 26, is the co-founder of a creativity consulting company named Spark n’ Beyond. He did his under graduation in industrial biotechnology, for reasons best known to the universe and its perplexing design. He is currently an IMBA student at IE Business School, Spain. A TEDx speaker. Writing has always been his mother’s lap, resorting to it in times of boredom, anger, frustration and happiness. With the dream of seeing himself as a successful writer, he has been writing and chiseling this story of Bluff for the past three years. Yeah, he started way back when global economy looked perfectly fine. He is seeing himself as a writer now and waiting patiently for the word to spread to let the world see him as one.

You can write to him at anandjapesh@gmail.com or reach out to him at his Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook accounts as well as FB Book page

Don’t forget ‘The Bluff’ is available at all leading e-stores: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Nobles | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play | CreateSpace | Paperback

The Brotherhood of the Scroll by David L. Lantz | Author Interview

Hi Everyone!

Hope the universe is treating you well.

I confess I am way overdue my timeline. There’s just been so many things on my plate that I just couldn’t get back to blogging. I hope that in the coming days, things will get better (fingers crosssed).

Today, I have got for you an interview with David Lantz on the “behind the scenes” writing of “The Brotherhood of the Scroll”. Before we proceed, here’s a bit about the book—

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TITLE: The Brotherhood of the Scroll

RELEASE DATE: April 5, 2016

AUTHOR: David L. Lantz

PAGE COUNT: 326

ISBN: 978-0692646281

IMPRINT: Black Hawk

SYNOPSIS: The Brotherhood of the Scroll is a fast-paced story of international intrigue and war set during the turbulent sixth century BC. The story begins in 605 BC, when Jeremiah delivered a prophesy that Jerusalem would be carried into Babylonian captivity for 70 years. In that same year, Babylon defeated Egypt at the Battle of Carchemish, Nebuchadnezzar became King of Babylon, and within a year, carried the first of three groups of Jews into exile. Jeremiah, seeing his beloved Israel caught between these two superpowers, forms an inner circle of faithful zealots, including two future prophets of Israel, a teenager named Daniel and his friend, Ezekiel. Weaving the testimony of the Bible into the historical drama of this period, The Brotherhood of the Scroll will captivate the attention of those who enjoy an international spy thriller, as well as anyone interested in how spiritual and political issues intertwine.

 


The Interview

Q: So David, what caused you to write a novel set in 600 B.C. based on the Book of Jeremiah?

David: One day in 1997, I was driving to work listening to my favorite Christian radio program, Insight for Living.  Pastor Chuck Swindoll was doing a survey of the Old Testament.  He got to the book of Jeremiah and talked about how the prophet would have been in his mid 40s, and the prophets Daniel and Ezekiel in their teens, at the time Babylon began to threaten the destruction of Jerusalem around 600 B.C.  Many scholars believe that while the Jews were in Exile in Babylon, they preserved and developed many of the scriptures we refer to the Old Testament.  It dawned on me: Maybe these three prophets worked together to make that happen.

Q: The story reads like an international geopolitical battle that, except for the technology, might be the sort of thing one could read about in modern times.  What was your thinking process on this?

David: At the time I wrote the novel, I was reading lots of Tom Clancy novels.  I liked how he would have stories that wove different plot threads together as characters in different parts of the world conspired to worked in seeming isolation from one another.  I pictured the superpowers of Egypt and Babylon competing with each other, building alliances and sending spies to infiltrate each other’s governments. I thought about the need for some sort of international project that would give one side both an economic and military advantage – and give the other side a reason to stop it.  Therefore, having some sort of international project to be the point of contention between the two empires made sense.

Knowing that the modern Suez Canal has allowed merchants to go directly from the Mediterranean Sea to navigate past the Arabian peninsula on to India and China, I decided that having ancient Egypt build a similar canal would be the “triggering event” I needed.  To my delight and surprise, I discovered that Pharaoh Necho actually worked to build such a canal, and that Babylon attacked Egypt at the location where it was being built in 601 B.C.!

Q: What can you tell us about some of the characters (without giving away too much!)

David: I knew I couldn’t make the novel revolve around just the prophets Jeremiah and Daniel.  And so, I imagined two warriors who would become adversaries, fighting over the love of the same woman and who, at the end of the novel, would meet in single combat.  Because Egypt employed Egyptian mercenaries in this time period, I chose to make the Egyptian champion a Greek by the name of Troas.  His nemesis would be the Babylonian Captain of the Guard.  Both the books of Daniel and Jeremiah portray this individual as knowing both these prophets, and so I created the character Naaman to fill this role.

Q: David, last question. How is the novel written – can you share any insights on how you developed the story line?

David: I chose to make the novel a series of four different stories that merged at the end of the novel.  As I wrote the novel, I used a writing technique called “point of view,” where I chose to make everything happen in a given scene be seen through the eyes of one character.  In some cases, the same scene would be retold through the eyes of a different character.  In this way, the reader gets to see what the characters are thinking, and it allows me to tell the reader things that are “secrets” to the other characters.  As I wrote the draft outline, I color coded each scene so I could keep track of whose point of view the story was being told from.

What emerges is a fast paced international spy novel set in bible times, as warring kingdoms vie for world domination without realizing that the final outcome has been foretold by the Word of God!

____

About the author

David Lantz was the State Director of the Indiana Christian Coalition from 1992 to 1995, and has served as a political consultant to several political campaigns for statewide office. From 1989 to 1993, he wrote and published a statewide public policy newsletter, Indiana Issues. Since that time, he has worked in the telecommunications industry.

In addition to The Brotherhood of the Scroll, he has self-published three other books; “Indiana Issues: 1990 and Beyond,”, “Bill Clinton: You’re No John F. Kennedy”, and “Buying Technology: Understanding What You Need and Why You Need It. A telecommunications sales executive, he sold various PBX, network services and web hosting services from 1994 to 2005. He has also appeared as a speaker in a number of forums, both to promote his books and to speak on various public policy issues.

Lantz is an Adjunct Professor of Business Management for the University of Phoenix and the Indiana Institute of Technology. He is the author of Think Like Jesus, Lead Like Moses: Leadership Lessons from the Wilderness Crucible, and his second novel, The Sword of the Scroll.

An adult Sunday school teacher at his church for the last twenty years, he has had several articles published in Christian magazines such as The Lookout and Sunday Digest. While with the Christian Coalition, he gave numerous speeches on the subject of Christian involvement in politics.

Lantz holds a B.A. degree in History and Political Science from Butler University (1979). He holds a Masters Degree in Public Affairs from Indiana University (1981). He is married to his wife of 33 years, Sally, and has three children.

You can write to him at dlantz@wisejargon.com or reach out to him at his Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn accounts

Don’t forget to buy your copy of his book at : Amazon US | Amazon UK | CreateSpace | Paperback

Goodbye Bombay by Gry Finsnes | Author Guest Post

Greetings Everyone!

Today, I have with me Gry Finsnes, the author of Goodbye Bombay. She talks about the years she spent in India and how her experiences inspired her to pen down this book. Before I hand over the baton to Gry, here’s a little about the book –

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TITLE: Goodbye Bombay

RELEASE DATE: February 25, 2016

AUTHOR: Gry Finsnes

PAGE COUNT: 403

ISBN: 978-1523719822

IMPRINT: Sly Fox

CATEGORIES: Contemporary Historical Romance

SYNOPSIS: Bombay in 1980,  India’s business centre, was a swirl of parties mixing all religions and nationalities. The Norwegian lawyer Christine is married but falls in love with the good-looking Parsee Zarin. They meet in a houseboat in Srinagar and declare their love in the Mogul gardens, but this is just the beginning of a dramatic series of events leading them to the beaches of Goa and the tea gardens of Darjeeling. Twenty years later Christine tells her story to a friend in England when a stranger turns up.

 

 Author Guest Post

I lived in India myself for four years, from 1979 until 1983, in Bombay which is now called Mumbai. I had two children when I came and three when I went back to Europe with my husband, feeling both relieved and sad to leave the country. It had made such an impression me that it was impossible to go through a day without speaking about it, how different it was and how I had tried to cope with the difficulties of settling in a country so far from everything I knew. Even now I keep telling stories about my life there, just like the main character Christine. In the end, it was a natural thing to try to write a novel where I could include many of my own experiences. However, seeing that my own life there was with a normal and perhaps boring family, I invented a spicier story. I have never met anyone like Zarin, unfortunately, and Christine is not modeled on myself. But I did know a person whose life turned out much like the character Ruth! She ran away with her bearer up to the Himalayan hills, but after that, I heard nothing about her. She may still be there for all I know.

The clubs I mention, Breach Candy and the Willingdon Golf club, were just like I have described them. So was the tumultuous city of Bombay, with the crazy traffic, the Cages, dhobi ghats (the place where clothes were washed by the dhobi wallahs) and the posh hotels of Taj Mahal and Oberoi. The climate was humid and warm in winter, hotter in spring and too hot and wet during the monsoon period. I remember the sights of Ambassador Cars standing in water up the roof and children splashing in the pools that had formed in the streets, squealing with happiness. It was in every way a city of incredible contrasts, but most of all I remember the warm and friendly people.

There were not many foreigners living in India at this time as the country was a closed economy and it was hard to get a work permit. At one point we were just 13 Scandinavians living in Bombay, and the number included the children. This is my contribution to a better understanding of India; an insight into how life was for the expatriates of Bombay in 1980.

I went back recently and found that the city is more crowded with disastrous traffic problems and massive air pollution. But life has moved on, most people have a mobile phone and the cars are a lot better now. The houses of Mumbai are taller and the city has spread out. The Indian people are better educated than before, the middle class is growing. Call centres take care of much of the business from the western world. But in general, Indians are still the same as before.

About Gry GFNEW.JPG

Gry Finsnes is Norwegian but has spent most of her life in other countries. For the time being, she lives in Nice, France. She has a Masters in English Literature in her education and has taught English and French in High School. She has previously published three books, two thrillers in Swedish and a novel in English, (Vanished in Berlin, February 2015).

You can reach out to here at gryjemsby@gmail.com

Author Links Website  | Twitter  | FB Author Page |  FB Book Page 

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | CreateSpace | Paperback

 

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The Girl and The Gangster by Cheryl Upchurch | Author Guest Post

Hey Everyone,

I am thrilled to have Cheryl UpChurch, author of The Girl and The Gangster with me today, as part of her book tour! She shares with us, what inspired her to create the character – Sara, the protagonist of the story. But before we go on, a little about the book first-

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TGATGKINDLE.jpgTITLE: The Girl and the Gangster

RELEASE DATE: February 20, 2016

AUTHOR: Cheryl Unchurch

PAGE COUNT: 609

ISBN: 978-1523656059

IMPRINT: Black Hawk

CATEGORIES: Mystery/Suspense/Romance

SYNOPSIS: Sara and her twin brother, Jack, run a fledgling investigative service in St. Louis, Mo. They are hired by a rich man who inadvertently leads them to the Cunnelli crime family and the boss, Anthony, who is smitten by Sara’s inclination to flirt with danger which includes being shot at, slashed, whacked with a baseball bat and almost jailed for moving a dead body. Sara must wrestle with her conscience when faced with danger while Anthony Cunnelli, a self-professed criminal, comes repeatedly to her aid, unheeded but heartily welcomed. Her sometimes boyfriend Agent Dan Brady, chafes at Sara’s relationship with Cunnelli and worries that her morals are being compromised by a slick talking grifter. Sara leans first to the gangster that saves her, comforts her and desperately tries to change his life to keep her.

Author Guest Post

How did I come up with this crazy idea of an investigative, inquisitive and determined young lady like Sara Kelly? She is like me, positive in a negative world, tolerant towards divergent ways of life, (In The Girl and The Gangster Sara’s Uncle Ernie is gay) and ambivalent about the effectiveness of justice in America. As a twenty-three-year-old woman I thought she should have dual love interests that hate each other but work together to save my heroine from her own folly. I read voraciously and pick up snippets of this and that and weave it into a broader narrative. I find if I have an idea and leave in alone, let it percolate in my mind; allow it to show its unique colors I can form it into a cohesive story. I wanted a rich arrogant man and his wife

I read voraciously and pick up snippets of this and that and weave it into a broader narrative. I find if I have an idea and leave in alone, let it percolate in my mind; allow it to show its unique colors I can form it into a cohesive story. I wanted a rich arrogant man and his wife deny they drove home one night in a terrible storm and plowed into a young man running across the street. I wanted the couple to deny it after they were being blackmailed, after they were threatened by the mob, after the wife wrestled Sara on the floor of a Denny Restaurant until Sara Kelly got the truth out of them. I’m not saying they were guilty, but Sara got the truth and carpet burns in the process.

The reader has to identify with the main character or they will get bored and close the book. Sara Kelly, my protagonist, is flawed, makes lousy decisions sometimes, trusts people too quickly, throws pity parties on a regular basis and tries heartily not to love the wrong man. The reader is fallible and so is the person trying to solve the crime. Not every crime fighter has to take her clothes off during a chase but my girl does when she lands in a pile of spoiled mayonnaise. I try to put humor in all of my story lines to give the reader a break, to make him smile or even laugh at the lunacy of the situation. Not every crime fighter has to ride in glass strewn bed of a pickup truck while the driver hopped up on Vodka cackles like a witch and throws her the bird through the back window. Sometimes I toss and turn in bed thinking how I can develop a story that pulls in the reader so thoroughly that he or she is angry when the last page is turned. Does my girl Sara walk into a park chasing a suspect in an insurance scam? No, she steals a horse from a cop that undresses her with his eyes while making lewd remarks and then has the gall to ask her to watch his horse while he takes a leak. What is a girl to do? Of course, I do not advocate stealing horses so Sara suffers legally when her galloping steed hoofs it over the suspect, leaving him lying in the grass.

I think I might have a devious mind to think of all these weird ways to catch a criminal.

About Cheryl

Cheryl Upchurch currCUently lives in Missouri and is a widow with two grown children, Mindi Rowland and John D. Unchurch.

She has a BS in Secondary Education, History and English as dual majors and earned her MA in Counseling. She has worked as a middle school guidance counselor for seventeen years in the Parkway School District in St. Louis County and has been writing all her life. Her first book The Metamorphosis of a Middle School Dweeb was published in 2010 based on the suicide of a child due to bullying.

You can reach out to Cheryl at cupchurchjan@yahoo.com

Book Links:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo |  Google Play | iBooks | Createspace | Paperback

Get Your Copy Today!

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