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—

TBBANNER.png

TBKINDLE.jpg

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 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-

TGATGBANNER

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!

BlackHawk900x404RWNEW1A copy copy

Book Review – Behind the Mask by V P Smith

Behind_the_maskBehind the Mask: The Awakening by V P Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I originally posted my review on goodreads, but then I felt that there were other readers out there, who do not frequent goodreads so much, who should know about it. So I decided to share my views with you here. [I received this book in exchange for an honest review through ‘Booksgosocial’s‘ review program for authors]

It’s been quite some time since I have come across a book that I was glad to have picked up. ‘Behind the Mask’ is an edgy, engaging book that you would not want to put down, even for a minute. Though the narrative has some high and low points, but the story will definitely grip you, shock and terrify you and give you sleepless nights.

As the name suggests, the book is about figurative masks and the people behind them. Everyone is wearing a mask. Who can you trust? The person you’ve just met or the one you’ve known your entire life. Are they as good as we think them to be or are they hiding something – so heinous that one cannot even imagine?

Smith will keep you hooked throughout the book, making you sit up and take a closer look at the people around you. You’re might be reading the book, but you’ll start recalling things you’ve seen or heard and you’ll begin to wonder if there was anything there.

Behind the Mask may be a work of fiction, but is not as removed from reality as we might hope for. We cannot ignore the grim reality of our society that Smith highlights here. I am sure law enforcement officials and survivors out there, will agree with the depiction of the sick depraved souls who inflict atrocities on children for their own pleasure. Hidden in plain sight they go on with their games and we are not able to tell them apart.

The question remains – How do you recognize that face that’s hiding in plain sight. How will you unmask it? Are our children truly safe? Who are these criminals – familiars or strangers? Are you strong enough to go forth and fight out the evil that lurks underneath?

Despite the strong storyline, you might question why I just gave it 3 stars. As much as I liked the fast-paced narration Smith uses to superbly control what is revealed and what remains hidden in the story, yet I personally could not agree with some of the train of events as the story progressed. At a certain point I also felt that there was clearly an imbalance of power, where one person was at a disadvantage while too many people were getting away with things, too easily. I did however, love the cover of the book – on closer look you can’t be sure if it’s a guy or a girl.

While I do strongly recommend the book, I also want you to be aware that you will not find all the answers here and it may leave you wanting at the end. I don’t mind this as long as Smith carries forward the questions that arise here to the next book and we get see some gripping conclusions.

I look forward to the second book and hope that it will be as engrossing as this one.

I would highly recommend this one to all lovers of crime and thrillers. It will not let you down.

Book Review – Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

Into the Darkest CornerInto the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s a very long book and if it wasn’t for the way it is written and for personal curiosity to get to the end of the story, I would probably have given up long back. Thankfully I did not and honestly I would pat my back for the same.

The story unfolds very slowly. The initial chapters are about Cathy or Catherine Bailey’s daily routine. This portion may get a bit tedious and you may be tempted to let it go. Don’t! Just keep reading.

The author effortlessly weaves in and out of Cathy’s present and past life. You get to know about what her life had been and what it is. The stark contrast unravels you and makes you sit up and take notice. You will begin to read a bit more carefully or like me go back a few pages. You’ll attempt to understand her. What went wrong? What happened? Why is she afraid? What is she so afraid of?

I liked the way Haynes so sensitively handles the subject of OCD and the person in question. She makes you empathize with the protagonist and the difficulties she faces to even go through the normal routines of everyday life.

At the same time, the trials and tribulations of a woman victimized by someone close to her, is downright scary. Cathy is left alone in the world – psychologically and physically. There is no one to stand by her. More importantly, no one believes her and that is what hurts most. The worst thing is that there is no way to be sure of what’s real and what is imagined fear. That terrified me the most. The end chapters are nerve-wrecking.

I liked the book and I would recommend it to those who would like to move away from regular romances and drama and read something more intriguing.

View all my reviews