Blog Tour: Interview with Sweta Srivastava Vikram

Hello all! I hope you’re having a lovely day. Today please welcome Sweta Srivastava Vikram to the blog as she speaks about her poetry collection, Wet Silence. 

Was there an initial inspiration behind Wet Silence?

I would say there were several inspirations accumulated over the years that inspired “Wet Silence:” Hindu widows whom I knew personally and interacted with; Hindu widows whose stories were shared with me by their friends and family; and, the fear that only one/limited story was being shared about Hindu widows.

What did you find most challenging about compiling this collection?

“Wet Silence” covers widowhood in a groundbreaking way where it traverses through the path of womanhood, desires, and sexuality. As a woman of Indian origin, who doesn’t write erotic or sensual prose and poetry, I felt self-conscious quite often.

Have you been influenced by any particular writer/poet’s style?

Pabulo Neruda’s lyricism stops my heart every single time.

Why did you decide to focus on the treatment of widows in India?

It wasn’t a deliberate choice. I write the stories that need to be told (from my humble point of view) and often times the stories pick me. Yes, the ill treatment of many Hindu widows and their place in society has bothered me for as long as I can remember. And, though a lot has been written about Hindu widows in India, I haven’t seen much about the path I have chosen for this book.

If you could meet any fictional character, who would you pick? 

Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. I have been loyal to my literary crush, Mr. Darcy, forever 🙂

What is the last book/collection you read?

I am reading two books on healthy living off late: “Clean” and “Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing.” But the book I last read and the one that kept me awake at nights and inspired me to make more changes in and with my life was Cheryl Strayed’s Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Author Bio:
Sweta Srivastava Vikram (www.swetavikram.com), featured by Asian Fusion as “One of the most influential Asians of our time,” is an award-winning writer, three times Pushcart Prize nominee, Amazon bestselling author of 10 books, novelist, poet, essayist, and columnist. Sweta is also a certified yoga teacher who shares the love and power of yoga with trauma survivors. A graduate of Columbia University, when Sweta is not doing yoga, cooking, traveling, writing books, or posts for magazines, teaching creative writing, or giving talks on gender equality, she works as a digital and content marketing consultant.
Sweta lives in New York City with her husband and can be found on Twitter [@swetavikram] and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Words.By.Sweta)

blog tour

Blog Tour: Wet Silence: Poems about Hindu Widows

Wet Silence: Poems about Hindu Widows

author : sweta srivastava vikram

pages : [paperback] 52

summary :

Wet Silence bears moving accounts of Hindu widows in India. The book raises concern about the treatment of widowed women by society; lends their stories a voice; shares their unheard tales about marriage; reveals the heavy hand of patriarchy; and, addresses the lack of companionship and sensuality in their lives. This collection of poems covers a myriad of social evils such as misogyny, infidelity, gender inequality, and celibacy amongst other things. The poems in the collection are bold, unapologetic, and visceral. The collection will haunt you.

review :

I love reading poetry. I used to think it was a chore but after a few classes and really learning how to read and appreciate the form, I’ve been on the lookout for interesting collections to read. This one caught my eye and I’m so glad that I joined the blog tour for Wet Silence because it’s unlike anything else I’ve ever read.

The sheer difference from one poem to the next, although the theme of widowhood ties together each piece, is startling. So many women can live through the same experience to the effect of endless different emotions–happiness, terror, sadness, relief. Everything that I, coming from the perspective of a white American, might associate with the loss of a husband and more. These ladies are exceptionally powerful, whether she’s lost the love of her life or gained freedom from a failed arranged marriage.

The length and breadth of the poems change, though the theme remains steadfast throughout. I loved how there was a little index in the back giving details about words and phrases that are common in India that readers might not know. It makes it that much easier for the average person to engage with the poetry, at least at some level.

Because of this, as well as the accessibility of the messages ingrained in the writing, I really hope people pick up this collection. It could be a great starting point, either to delve deeper into the world of poetry or to learn more about Indian culture.

4/5 stars

blog tour

Review + Giveaway: The Watchers by Deirdra Eden

*check at the bottom of this post for the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card and copies of the book!*

The Watchers Book 1: Knight of Light


 In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella (pronounced yurr-ee-ella) flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. Pursued by nightmarish creatures, she struggles to accept the truth about her humanity.

Filled with fairies, dwarves, pixies, dragons, demons, and monsters, Knight of Light is an enthralling tale that will capture the imaginations of readers young and old.

The Watchers Series has been described as Braveheart meets Supernatural.

The mythology for the series is based on many theological texts from dozens of sects with correlating themes. Ancient writings include The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Traditional Apocrypha, The Pearl of Great Price, and The Kabbalah.

“The Watchers” are supernatural beings in human form whose duty it is to protect and guard mankind from the armies of darkness.
Unfortunately, as the Book of Enoch mentions, some of these Watchers go bad. Although the mythology is based on these texts, Deirdra Eden’s The Watcher’s Series is written in a traditional fairytale style with a young girl’s discovery of incredible, but dangerous powers within herself, a cast of humorous side-kicks, a quest for greater self-discovery and purpose, and villains of epic proportions



About the Author


“My goal in writing is to saturate my books with intrigue, mystery, romance, and plot twists that will keep my readers in suspense. I want to see fingerprints on the front and back covers where readers have gripped the novel with white knuckles!

Aside from writing, I enjoy jousting in arenas, planning invasions, horseback riding through open meadows, swimming in the ocean, hiking up mountains, camping in cool shady woods, climbing trees barefoot, and going on adventures.”

-Deirdra Eden

Find Deirdra Eden and The Watchers Series online on AmazonDeirdra’s websiteFacebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad, and Pinterest.

Review :

If you’ve been around my blog for any amount of time you may have realized I’m a sucker for anything that reminds me of a fairy tale. Of course I adore fantasy as well. A book like this that combines prose that seems to speak of legends with a fantastical setting. I absolutely loved trying to see what might have influenced the different components of this book, knowing that a lot of it is based in known mythology. That combined with the writing style could have made the book for me; luckily, there were also fantastic characters!

I was hooked on Auriella’s story from the start. Her tragic beginnings made me feel for her and I was rooting for her against the odds. I really think that she’s relatable (in that strange way that a girl in the fictional past can be like a girl in the present) and I think that plenty of other readers will find themselves in her story, too.

If you’re into historical books and wanting to bridge the gap into fantasy I think that this would be the book for you. If you’re a fantasy fan, this’ll be right up your alley. And if you enjoy a good story, you’ll just be captivated by The Watchers. If you do read the book, let me know what you think!

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY! You can win a $100 Amazon gift card as well as well as a copy of Knight of Light!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

blog tour

Here Lies Love by Dan Thompson


Here Lies Love

author : dan thompson

pages : [paperback] 292

memorable quote “What is love worth in this broken world? Nothing!” he spat. “Absolutely nothing. Love won’t feed you. Love won’t rescue you from starvation.”

favorite character : abbey

summary :

Would death be less painful than life?

When she is sold by her father, Abbey discovers that nightmares can occur when you’re awake. Trapped inside a wooden cage, Abbey is forced to listen to the horrors and atrocities above; time ticking down until it is her turn. But Abbey isn’t prepared to become a victim; she will escape.

Although, what Abbey isn’t prepared for, is how harsh and unfair the world can be. With the sun turning its back on humanity long ago, life gives no opportunity. The only thing Abbey can do is learn to survive. To exist. And that means stealing any opportunity that comes her way. Haunted by the unpleasant memories bestowed upon her only nurtures Abbey’s paranoia, until she realises that to truly live in the world, she must confront the person who was responsible for her misfortune – her father.

Here Lies Love is a New Adult tale of actuality, of facing up to the fact that love comes in many guises. Can Abbey find the one glimmer of hope or will she be overcome with the darkness of revenge?

Here Lies Love is coming June 28th 2014.

review :

I thought that the idea of this novel was so interesting and that’s why I first wanted to pick it up. I wanted to read about Abbey’s journey and learn more about her world as well as how it had come to be like this. Obviously in our world if the sun was simply gone, we’d all be dead. I wanted to know how things were in that world.

While the book was interesting, it was a little lacking in execution. Some of it was worded oddly and it sounded like the text could have used another polish before being published. Of course, I realize that perhaps the writing style simply wasn’t for me. I think it’s one of those books that I enjoyed but think that others might like a lot more than I did!

The characters in this were interesting and Abbey was the real reason that I liked Here Lies Love. She’s a strong character but isn’t without her moments of weakness. She’s simply human and can’t do everything on her own. I liked that she sometimes needed others to help her but most importantly, she was also capable of saving herself.

I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a quick, gritty read.

3/5 stars


The Girl from the Well: Book Trailer Reveal!

Hello readers! Today is the release date for The Girl from the Well, a great YA horror novel that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat-and will keep you up at night, too. I read it, loved it, and know you should check out the giveaway I’m currently holding so you have the chance to win a copy of this book for yourself.

To tide you over until you have this book in hand, check out this awesome book trailer! I just love how much time and effort is being put into awesome trailers these days and this is no exception.

Go to Goodreads and add The Girl from the Well to your to-read shelf!

5 stars · blog tour · Fantasy

Blog Tour! Stalking Shadows by Tahlia Newland

Stalking Shadows

Book 2 in the Diamond Peak Series
Book 1: Lethal Inheritance

author : tahlia newland

pages : [ebook] 380

favorite characters : twitchet &

summary :

Trainee Warrior Ariel Malony hopes that the great library at Sheldra holds the key to rescuing her mother, but in order to get there, she must negotiate a forest of evil spirits, escape a mind-numbing city of sparkling towers, travel through the treacherous gullies and ancient villages of Minion Hills, and avoid an attack by a demon lord intent on killing her.

At the same time, a battle rages between her heart and her mind. A relationship with her travelling companion, the enigmatic Nick, is just too tempting, but can they be together without Ariel losing her focus and falling to the demons? Her life is at stake, but also her heart. She risks encasing it in stone and denying herself the very sustenance she needs.

Will they make it to the safe haven of Sheldra, or will Ariel die at the hands of the yellow-eyed demon?

review :

Wow! I have to say that although I really, really enjoyed reading Lethal Inheritance, book one in this series, I think I enjoyed the sequel even more. That isn’t something that really happens for me that often and it only makes me wonder what more could come in the rest of the series.

I really loved seeing where the journey picks up after book one’s ending. There are several twists immediately in the start that I didn’t see coming and had me hooked into the story. One thing that slightly bothered me was the relationship problems between Ariel and Nick because I feel like every second book in a series involving romance has this sort of step in the relationship. Because it isn’t the main focus of the story of course I was able to overlook that in favor of the gripping prose and near constant action. There’s hardly time to sit back and catch your breath during Stalking Shadows.

Maybe because of her brief personal separation from Nick, Ariel is able to develop more fully as a character. I just loved seeing how much she’s grown from book one and knowing that she still has more to face that she’ll undoubtedly be ready for. Her imperfections are what make her most amazing and interesting. She can’t do everything. She needs plenty of training and reminders of what to do and she makes mistakes. And it’s wonderful! One thing that I loved about her and Nick was that they could both recognize the faults in each other and they tried to work through that instead of ignoring the problems.

Even though this is focused in a fantastical setting and there are several creatures to keep track of, I never felt lost or like I didn’t have an idea of what was happening. Everything was written so clearly I felt like I could picture it all in my head.

Overall, I really loved this book that gave me more reasons to stick with the rest of the series! If you love a good adventure, interesting characters, and an action-packed plot, you should pick this up too!

5/5 stars

5 stars · Fantasy · fiction

Princess Interrupted by Michael A. Rothman


Princess Interrupted

author : michael a. rothman

pages : [ebook] 375

favorite character : arabelle

summary :

** A prequel novel to the Prophecies series **

Arabelle’s life of leisure is shattered when she’s attacked by a poisonous creature that hasn’t walked the land in over five centuries.

As she struggles to live with the effects of the poison, Arabelle learns that it isn’t the only cause of her sleepless nights. With her gift of prophecy, her sleep is plagued with visions of assassins and monstrous foes that threaten her people and the ones she loves. Yet during the day, her visions hint of a blue-eyed boy that makes her hope for the future.

The fate of her people weighs heavily on her shoulders, and Arabelle knows she must keep a dark secret that only she can bear.

review :

I haven’t read the other books in this series so I came into the book fresh and not really knowing what to expect from it. I kind of loved going into it that way because with most series a prequel is released after the main action or I simply end up reading it afterward so I’m already familiar with the characters in the world. Here, everything was fresh for me and it was very easy for me to immerse myself in this world alongside Arabelle.

This isn’t the typical princess story, which was awesome. Arabelle had a lot to accomplish for herself and I liked being able to see the change within her. This wasn’t exactly a light and fun read but was really something that stuck with me more than I expected it to and now I’m really tempted to start one book one of the series as soon as possible to see where things could go from here.

I’d recommend this book to fans of good writing, immersing settings, and great characters. If you like fantasy, too, you’re sure to find a read you’ll enjoy if you pick up this book.

5/5 stars

***One randomly drawn commenter will win a $50 gift card!! The farther you follow the tour and the more you comment, the better your chances of winning!!!***

blog tour

Blog Tour! Family Magic by Patti Larsen


Today I’m excited to host an interview with Patti Larsen, author of Family Magic! And look at that cover! Isn’t it gorgeous? I just love that color and all of the different elements to it.

About Family Magic : Sixteen-year-old Sydlynn Hayle is the daughter of a powerful witch and a demon lord of the seventh plane. The trouble is, she just wants to be ordinary. Syd struggles to survive the minefield of her new high school while being torn between her attraction to football hero Brad Peters and the darkly mysterious Quaid Moromond. When her coven comes under attack, Syd is forced to face the fact only her power can save her family’s magic.

Without further ado, let’s get to the questions!

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I had never read any young adult before, raised on hard-core sci-fi and fantasy thanks to my father. But when a friend handed me a Nancy Drew mystery, I read it in two hours. Literally closed the book, looked up from it and told my parents I was going to write a book of my own.

What inspires you to write and why? My husband always tries to shush me when I say this out loud, but I ignore him. I don’t care if it sounds nuts. I hear voices. Loud and clear, badgering me almost constantly to tell their stories. Teenagers, mostly. Bossy bunch. But I wouldn’t give them up for anything.

Who or what influenced your writing once you began? I played a lot of Dungeons and Dragons in my youth, starting at about age nine. So living/breathing/dreaming in the worlds my father and others built around our characters was a huge influence. I also found a great deal of inspiration from reading about history, taking classics courses, studying ancient Greece and Egypt.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? None of it. I love what I do so much. From finding the core idea to developing an outline, writing and editing and all the things in between. Just. Awesome.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? I’m presently writing book eighteen of the Hayle Coven Novels, Enforcer. Syd begins her journey in Family Magic as a sixteen-year-old who just wants out of the family coven. To live her life like an ordinary teenager. By the end of the series, she’s a force to be reckoned with, a powerful being with the universe in the palm of her hand who still screws up, has a fun sense of humor and feels so much for others it’s constantly getting her in trouble.

What books have most influenced your life? I grew up on hard-core fantasy and science fiction, so my biggest influences come from those genres. The Belgariad by David Eddings, the Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffery. Anything by Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley, JRR Tolkien, Isaac Asimov. The list is long and all of the authors on it left a mark on my spirit.

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? Trust the Universe, Mike Dooley. I have it tatooed on my right foot. Because it is the only thing you need to know. Trust. Then leap.

What is your favorite food? I have to pick one? Chocolatepizzaburgerbutterchickenfries.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? I was a nerdy, geekgirl with a terrible self esteem. I lived in my head, with my characters from such a young age, it was more real to write and engage with the people of my imaginings than those in the real world.

With two extrovert sisters and a very charismatic mother, it was hard to be the quiet, melancholy one. Though I am very grateful for my geekiness now. And, as they say, trial and pain make better writing. I’m just glad the dark stuff is behind me, if not the nerdadge.

What is your favorite color? Blue. All shades. There’s just something amazing about it, like it’s soul color.

About Patti Larsen: You’re not looking for my polished bio, huh? You sure you want more? The real dirty, down deep, nitty gritty? Fair enough. Here goes: I’m a card-carrying nerd. It’s taken years to admit it. I’m also a hermit in a writing basement who prefers solitude to people (cats always welcome). I’m a writing fiend who hears the voices of teenagers and blushes at the S-E-X parts. I don’t sleep very well. Ever. My mind is too busy. I am a feline loving married woman who could easily end up a crazy cat lady if my husband would let me. I am a paradigm shifter, a believer in self and my own personal power. I see everything in black and white until the gray is explained to me. I am a fiercely loyal friend, a confidant and a Tarot card reader and intuitive. I am a proud roller derby girl, a total dweeb and can’t dance to save my soul. I am terrified of heights and challenge that fear every chance I get. Oh, and I’m the Creator. The Queen of my own Destiny. I love that.

You can follow the rest of the tour here!

4 stars · blog tour

Blog Tour! Review: The Book of Paul by Richard Long


The Book of Paul

author : richard long

pages : [paperback] 488

favorite characters :

summary :

“Everything you’ve ever believed about yourself…about the description of reality you’ve clung to so stubbornly all your life…all of it…every bit of it…is an illusion.”

In the rubble-strewn wasteland of Alphabet City, a squalid tenement conceals a treasure “beyond all imagining”– an immaculately preserved, fifth century codex. The sole repository of ancient Hermetic lore, it contains the alchemical rituals for transforming thought into substance, transmuting matter at will…and attaining eternal life.

When Rose, a sex and pain addicted East Village tattoo artist has a torrid encounter with Martin, a battle-hardened loner, they discover they are unwitting pawns on opposing sides of a battle that has shaped the course of human history. At the center of the conflict is Paul, the villainous overlord of an underground feudal society, who guards the book’s occult secrets in preparation for the fulfillment of an apocalyptic prophecy.

The action is relentless as Rose and Martin fight to escape Paul’s clutches and Martin’s destiny as the chosen recipient of Paul’s sinister legacy. Science and magic, mythology and technology converge in a monumental battle where the stakes couldn’t be higher: control of the ultimate power in the universe–the Maelstrom.

A best-selling novel, The Book of Paul is the first of seven volumes in a sweeping mythological narrative tracing the mystical connections between Hermes Trismegistus in ancient Egypt, Sophia, the female counterpart of Christ, and the Celtic druids of Clan Kelly.

review :

This book is definitely for adult readers with all of the themes and scenes contained in it.

The Book of Paul features a cast of complex characters forced into this plotline that keeps the reader captivated. It’s impossible to pull away as the complicated plot thickens, bringing in new ideas that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I especially loved how this book forced me to pay attention to it, to notice all of the details that would add up to the conclusion.

This isn’t the kind of book that I’d normally read but I liked the sound of it from the synopsis and it definitely didn’t disappoint. While I definitely wouldn’t recommend this book for people with weaker stomachs because of some of the scenes and things talked about, that kind of extreme felt necessary to the plot and weren’t overdone to the point where they would overrun everything else.

This is suppose to be the first book in the series, though this book does have its own conclusion.

4/5 stars