Nadaness In Motion is the book blog owned by Nada Adel Sobhi and it is where honest book reviews meet author interviews, guest posts, and personal writing ranging from poetry to short stories alongside the Takhayyal/Imagine writing prompt challenge. ---
“You cannot kill a breeze, a wind, a fragrance; you cannot kill a dream or an ambition.” - Michel Onfray
Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen, Artists, Poets, Writers, Authors, Dreamers, Friends
and Family; Welcome EVERYONE to Nadaness In Motion's MONTHLY picture-prompt
writing challenge Takhayyal aka Imagine. Can you believe it's prompt no. 101?!
November happens to be in Autumn and it's quite different
depending on where you are in the world. If you're in Egypt, like me, it's
still hot during the day but nice and breezy at night, if you're in Australia,
you're heading into summer, if you're in the US some people are already getting
snow! And if you're in some parts of Europe, you may be enjoying a cold breeze
with some beautiful autumn colors in nature ;)
When I saw my friend author Nadja Losbohm post this image, I told
her this needs to be a writing prompt. No photo editing was done. The picture
was taken in Tierpark Berlin (The Berlin zoo in former East Berlin)
without further ado, here's the writing prompt.
Image taken by Nadja Losbohm at the Tierpark Berlin (Photocredit: Nadja Losbohm)
And since November coincides with National Novel Writing Month
aka NaNoWriMo, feel free to use the image to inspire your characters or add
setting to your novel.
Any form of writing is writing, so whether you write poetry,
short stories, flashfiction, thoughts, one-liners, this writing prompt series
known as Takhayyal/Imagine is where you want to be.
could [Mark] tell his father the house was like the witch in Hansel and Gretel
tempting the family with baked goodies before pushing them into the oven?"
Fountain Dead by Theresa Braun is a paranormal
horror that runs on two levels and point of view characters over a hundred years
Though the book in narrated in third
person, the point of view character is Mark, who in the present day or in 1988,
is forced to leave his home because his parents have gotten jobs in a small
city in the middle of nowhere. There they live in a grand Victorian mansion,
where things aren't as they seem.
And as soon as Mark sets foot in, he
begins to see things that shouldn't be there. For the reader, other events are
happening in the "Victorian" but in the 1800's. A family is moving to
the Victorian to settle there and on the way, tragedy strikes, leaving behind
Emily, the only daughter in a household of brutes, well minus one decent
As the novel progresses, the two timelines
slowly begin to collide, which naturally doesn't bode well for Mark.
to Mark, the Victorian planned his summer boot camp the minute he stepped onto
In terms of characterisation, I felt
there were a lot of characters. In the modern world, there is Mark, his sister,
their parents, and their dog. In the past, there is Emily, her two or three
brothers, father, and two recurrent guests. At times, I kept losing track of
who was doing what. In addition, in the present day, Mark begins to see or
rather sense spirits. I tried to connect the dots between which spirit was which
person in the 1800's but often failed.
In the first few pages, I felt that
there was some kind of distancing and shifts in the narration like "the
father asked his daughter" and "wrapping his arms around his wife,
Dad…" and the like. That could just be me.
With two timelines in motion in Fountain
Dead, we see each of the main characters struggling personally; Mark with
feelings for Jack and leaving on a bad note, and in the late 1800s Emma is
struggling with the death of her mother, and her brother Riley secretly blaming
her for it.
a drowsy blink, his sister was suddenly sitting up. The pipe Mom had found
perched in Tausha's hand. Tobacco embers smoldered. Her eyes flamed red with
malevolence, worse than any portrayed in a scary movie. "It's in the
blood," she whispered.
swallowed his heart and lost his balance.
the next blink of his eyes, his sister slumbered just as before."
The book isn't divided into chapters
but time periods. You can stop at the beginning of each shift in the timeline.
My biggest problem with Fountain
Dead, and which is why it took so long to write this review, was with the
ending. I felt confused. And now that several months have passed since I've
read the book, I don't feel like I can review it well. My notes aren't helpful
although I was able to connect some dots as I checked my notes.
I liked the setting in Fountain
Dead, the Victorian mansion is the perfect place for horror and the house
literally goes bump in the night. There are also several layers of horror here,
the sections with Emily show the horrors of the civil war and her family of
brutes. On Mark's end, there are several levels and instances of creepy. I really
Fountain Dead would make an interesting Halloween read and it will keep your mind working.
rating: 3 to 3.5 stars
received a free copy of Fountain Dead from its author Theresa Braun in exchange for an honest
Love, Pride, Virtue, Fate by Bharat Krishnan is a collection of 25 short
stories on Hindu mythology, covering topics like karma, dharma, kama, and more. The book also includes several artworks that
give some visual to the tales.
Growing up, Krishnan fell in love with Hindu mythology,
but when he went to research, he discovered that there were not texts on the
rich Hindu mythology, at least none that were "targeted towards kids my age then."Hence, Love,
Pride, Virtue, Fate became a project that was born on 8
In the intro, Krishnan explains the reason he wrote Love,
Pride, Virtue, Fate, saying: "I wrote
this book because I wanted my loved ones to hear about Rama and Krishna and
Saraswati as they also learned of Thor and Hercules, of Horus and Ra, of Noah
After every tale, Krishnan highlights why he added
that particular story. In some pieces, Krishnan makes comparisons with other
mythology, Greek, Egyptian, along with Christian references.
An important point to remember about Love, Pride,
Virtue, Fate is that "In Hindu
mythology, time and again, we find that good and evil are meaningless words. It
is the actions that go behind those words that matter." I struggled
with this a bit as I read, feeling that good should conquer evil but as you
read, you will notice that some characters can be good or evil, depending on
the story and situation.
The book opens with "The
Egg Came First,"the story
of how the Hindu gods were created. As you move along the book, you'll notice
more bits on creation. The Brahman, the supreme being of infinity, had 10
children, including Vishnu, the Preserver, who appears in many of the stories
in various forms. From the Brahman's thighs, demons were created and later we
see a witch as well.
Love, Pride, Virtue, Fate on my Kindle.
In Hindu mythology, and as Krishnan puts it, "balance is key…and what seems right in one instance may
not be so in other cases."
I loved the story of "The
Elephant God" as I have often been curious about Ganesha. I liked
how several of the story titles had literary references, like "The Lady of the Lake,"which is reminiscent of King Arthur's Camelot and
"The Lion King."
The story titled "Ganesha's
Hubris"is a five-star
piece. I felt like it was a kind of fable and therefore highly recommend it.
"A princess once prayed to the sun that
she would have a boy, but she did not consider the truism that sometimes not
getting what you want is a marvelous stroke of luck…"This is how one story opens. It's a powerful tale
that had me wondering who's side I was on and why I couldn't sympathize with
the mother in this story, Kundi.
The longest story carries the name of the collection "Love, Pride, Virtue, Fate"and is a remarkable piece. however, it's considerably
bloody and violent compared to the rest of the stories.
I liked "Fish
Justice"which is reminiscent
of Noah's Ark and introduces the concept of Dharma in the Hindu way of life. "Dharma serves as the basis for law, the notion that
people have a duty towards one another to fill societal roles that transcend
self-interest," Krishnan explains. I wish this would be
something cultures can recognize because it would make life more peaceful.
In the story "The
Lion King"one particular
speech reminded me of Macbeth and the punned words of the three witches.
I would have liked an explanation of the
"boons" that people in the stories ask the gods for because there
were several instances where people requested them and the gods gave them
readily. It seems to be a concept in Hindu mythology.
One of the things I liked about Love, Pride,
Virtue, Fate was the use of Indian and Hindu words. They are often followed
by the English meaning between brackets, but it gave an exciting feel to the
Remember, it's better to read the stories in Love, Pride, Virtue, Fate
in the order in which they were included in the book. You might be able to
change the order after the first 5 or 6 stories, but as a reader, I recommend
you maintain the order.
Unlike previous short story collections, I don't feel
like I can rate each of these separately. That said, I found Love, Pride,
Virtue, Fate by Bharat Krishnan to be an interesting introduction to and telling of Hindu
mythology. Some stories were more exciting than others, some ideas were a bit
confusing. But overall, I enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.
in welcoming one of my favorite cozy mystery authors… KIRSTEN WEISS!
I've read several books
for Kirsten and more are still on my to-be-read list. Today, I'm featuring
Kirsten in an exclusive interview about her cozy mystery series At Wits' End,
plus we talk about more of Kirsten's writing, her books, her poetry, who does
she picture playing her characters if the series where to be shown on TV, NaNoWriMo,
and lots more.
First here's the blurb
for Close Encounters of the Curd Kind, book 3 in the Wits' End Series. It's
followed by the interview and a giveaway.
Close Encounters of the Curd Kind: A Doyle Cozy Mystery
(A Wits' End Cozy Mystery)
3rd in Series
Publisher: Misterio Press
Publication Date: 5 September 2019
Print Length: 250 Pages
Digital ASIN: B07VVF9VDW
The truth is out there…
Way out there.
Susan Witsend, owner of the best little UFO-themed B&B
in the Sierras, is absolutely, positively, not going to get involved in another
murder case. Not with her small-town sheriff threatening jail time if she
interferes in one more investigation.
So when her neighbor is murdered, Susan exerts all her
willpower to stay out of the sheriff’s business. But her neighbor’s daughter,
Clare, needs Susan’s help. Clare’s been experiencing lost time, a sure sign of
alien abduction. Helping Clare is only neighborly… and totally not interfering.
Worse, Clare’s not the only one with UFO issues. Weird
lights in the sky, vanishing cows, and little green men are bringing the
mountain town of Doyle to the edge of a panic. Can Susan unearth the truth
before her town spirals into chaos?
If you like laugh-out-loud mysteries with complicated heroines (and breakfast
recipes), you’ll love Close Encounters of the Curd Kind, book 3 in the Wits’
End series of cozy mystery novels. Read this twisty cozy caper today!
Exclusive Interview with Nadaness In Motion
Wits' End Books
Q: Can you tell us a bit about the Wits' End Cozy
Kirsten Weiss: Wits’ End is an imaginary UFO-themed B&B set in
the Sierra foothills. It features B&B owner Susan Witsend, a heroine with a
complicated past and some anxiety issues. She deals with the latter by being
hyper-organized – she doesn’t try to control others, but she’s determined to
control her own life as much as she can. But when it comes to dealing with
authority figures like an irate sheriff, where she has no control, she falls into
to a bit of self-delusion and decides she’s an integral part to solving local
murders. The sheriff disagrees, but Susan just can’t see it. Fortunately for
Susan, her organizational skills make her a fairly decent detective.
Q: What first inspired this series?
Kirsten Weiss: I wanted a “straight” cozy mystery series set in the
same fictional California town as my witch cozy mystery series, The Witches of
Doyle. In my witch series, there are a lot of unexplained disappearances – at
least, unexplained to the townsfolk. So to cope, the townsfolk make up their
own explanation: aliens.
Q: The blurb mentions the book being 'a laugh out
loud' novel. How do you know if the funny scenes you've included are, well,
funny? (OR Humor is relative, do you include situations that made you laugh in
real life in the books. How do you include humor in?
Kirsten Weiss: That’s a really good question. I find myself laughing
when I edit the book, and I have editors and beta readers who give me feedback
on what’s funny and what’s not. So… I think it’s a funny product, but
you’re right. Everything is relative!
Q: Writing help experts always say that the main
character has to have a flaw, what is Susan's biggest flaw (if possible apart
from trying to solve mysteries)?
Kirsten Weiss: Anxiety. What she calls “the shadow” is almost always
there, waiting to dig in. She’s constantly battling to keep it at bay, and she
usually succeeds with the above-mentioned coping mechanisms.
Q: If this book series were turned into a movie or TV
series, who do you picture as playing the roles of Susan, her security
consultant, and the Sheriff?
Kirsten Weiss: I could see Jennifer Anniston as Susan, Ryan
McPartlin as Arsen, and Valerie Cruz as the sheriff (the latter isn’t blond
with the sheriff’s Shirley Temple curls, but I still think she’d be great in
Part 2: Other Books and Series
Q: Have you fully completed any book series? Or since
they have standalones so all series can have new books?
Kirsten Weiss: I feel like my Riga Hayworth paranormal mystery series
is complete, but I find myself still turning out short stories and the
occasional novella. I guess I’ll never say never to adding another book to a
Q: What books are you currently working on?
Kirsten Weiss: I’m working on book 2 in my Tea and Tarot cozy mystery
series right now. Though Tarot is a running theme, it’s more of a “straight”
Q: You write cozy mysteries (including paranormal) and
steampunk novels, which have been the most fun to write (or research and
Kirsten Weiss:They’re all fun, but steampunk was the most
challenging to research. In order to make my steampunk world as “real” as
possible, I wanted to include as much correct historical detail as I could.
That meant getting the language right, the clothing, the geography, politics…
It’s a lot of research!
Reading and Writing
Q: What are you currently reading?
Kirsten Weiss: I
just finished a book on Norse religions as prep work for writing another book.
And because what we know about Norse religions is pretty interesting!
Q: NaNoWriMo is a month away, do you still take part
in it to get your books ready? If yes, (or if you have been), what tips can you
offer to newbies starting out with NaNo?
Kirsten Weiss: No. I’ve done NaNoWriMo, but right now I’m on a
different schedule, which includes editing another book, so I can’t devote an
entire month to just writing.
Q: I know you wrote a poetry collection or supplement
book, Tales of the Rose Rabbit, do you still write poetry? Are you planning to
publish another collection? Or was this an exception? (Coming from a fan of
Tales of the Rose Rabbit)
Kirsten Weiss: Thank you! I do still write poetry, though I don’t
have any plans right now to publish. Right now, it’s more of a spontaneous
thing, and I feel like to publish I need a theme that would give some cohesion
to the collection.
Q: If you could tell your readers one thing right now,
what would it be?
Kirsten Weiss: Please feel free to contact me and let me know what
you’d like me to write more of! You can contact me via my website at kirstenweiss.com.
has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching
Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. The latter gives her heartburn,
but she drinks it anyway.
Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes genre-blending cozy
mystery, supernatural and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and
imagination to create vivid worlds of fun and enchantment.
If you like funny cozy mysteries, check out her Pie Town,
Paranormal Museum and Wits’ End books. If you’re looking for some magic with
your mystery, give the Witches of Doyle, Riga Hayworth, and Rocky Bridges books
a try. And if you like steampunk, the Sensibility Grey series might be for you.
Kirsten sends out original short stories of mystery and
magic to her mailing list. If you’d like to get them delivered straight to your
inbox, make sure to sign up for her newsletter at kirstenweiss.com