Friday, October 20, 2017

Happy Birthday to Me! + Surprise


Every year, I tell myself I'll post something special on my birthday. A new poem, short story, or something on that line. This year, I've decided to recoup a few things I've learnt and share some personal experiences.

The post will not be as egotistical as the title but it's about me, a writer, translator, book worm, and above all, a human and my experiences.



Since August, I've been doing monthly "writing progress reports" to keep track of my writing – and sometimes lack of it – as well as learn about my writing abilities and habits. For months, I've failed to meet my writing targets BUT I've learnt a lot of things on the way.

My progress for October is abysmal, but there are 11 days left in the month and I can make amends to myself.

Over the past year, I've LIKED tonnes of posts on Twitter, kind of like bookmarking them for later but haven't read much about them. Some are book-related, writing-related, digital marketing-related. There are lots.

I want to get to them because most of them in some way or other carry personal self-development for me. So, I guess this will be a 2018 New Year's Resolution. :D



I've had plans to launch a small private project but have neglected that for sometime L

I hope to get serious about it in the remaining two months of the year, which means I should have a nice announcement by January, or at least something to look forward to after work.

Last but not least, my birthday is Friday, 20 October, 2017. My friends made me a surprise party on Thursday, 19 October. Earlier that day, I had no desire to go to work. My energy was drained; I desperately wanted more sleep or just curl in bed, in the darkness, alone. But I put on my "Super Power" t-shirt and went to work. I had been planning to wear sweatpants (coz why not?) but thankfully, I opted out of those. I'm a middle manager and really don't want to look like an extra-crappy-dressed manager.

The surprise – I'm sure made me blush more than a tomato – made my day, and several days after that. They bought me a beautiful gift, flowers, and cake. And even though, many people in the company had recently left for better endeavours, I had a full-house of friends.





I'm not going to post a story today, although I think the above has told you a few things about me.

But I am going to post something else.

I had been thinking about launching a new editing service. My designer has done several stunning banners for the new service, which I had been planning on postponing till December. Instead, I'm launching it today, on my 29th birthday.

Without further ado, check out Nadaness In Motion's Editing Services.







Thursday, October 19, 2017

Takhayyal writing prompt 73: Witchy Season

A new Halloween writing prompt is here!

Welcome to the season of magic and all things dark or magical, depending on whose side you’re on!

Welcome HALLOWEEN! And welcome Ladies and Gentlemen, Ghosts, Vampires, Werewolves, Fae, Zombies, Artists, Poets, Writers, Authors, Dreamers, Friends, and Family; WELCOME EVERYONE to Nadaness In Motion's picture-prompt writing challenge Takhayyal!







Arabic for Imagine, Takhayyal is a means to get inspired and spark our writing once more.

Your post can be in English or Arabic, prose, poetry, short story, flash fiction; you name it and write it.


General rules:
·        No nudity, violence, and/or abuse.
·        Leave the link to your post in comments below OR post your piece as REPLY to this post
·        Your piece MUST be inspired in some way or other by the above picture
·        Multiple entries allowed
·        It is not required but it is a nice and encouraging gesture to comment on others' pieces.
·        Feel free to add your Twitter handle (@....) so I can tag you in my tweets!



Let's IMAGINE!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"Personal Experiences in Writing" - Guest Post by R. S. Broadhead

Book: Chosen
(The Urban Legends Series)
Author: R.S. Broadhead
Publication date: 24 October 2017
Genres: New Adult, Supernatural, Thriller

Synopsis:
Black eyes. No emotion. No sympathy. Only emptiness.

Piper McAdams’s life was normal. Career? Check. Boyfriend? Check. Friends? Check. One unsettling run in with a homeless man turns everything from normal to terrifying. She begins seeing…things.

Things she can’t seem to explain or make any sense.

As if things aren’t already getting out of hand, Piper receives news that the only family member she has is dead. She thinks maybe a trip across the country to her hometown will get her away from all the strange events happening.

After a late night accident, Piper isn’t in her hometown burying her loved one. She’s in a town called Hell. All she wants to do is leave, but the people seem to be holding her there for some reason.

A reason she feels threatens her life. Around every corner things become darker and scarier.

Can she escape what is coming for her?

GUEST POST BY R.S. BROADHEAD ON CHOSEN



~Personal Experiences Related to Writing~
So I’m not sure if any other writers experience this when they dive into creating a story, but it seems like my books follow me until I’ve completed them. Weird, right?

It first happened when I wrote Defiance. This book is about a Reaper, so of course my go-to song when writing was (Don’t Fear) The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult. I’m not kidding you when I say this song followed me everywhere. When I got in the car and turned the radio on, it was playing. When I watched a movie, it’s playing on the movie. When I did a Supernatural quiz based off my zodiac sign, it said that was my song.

Once I finished the book, boom! I didn’t hear it any more.


Chosen was no different. In the story, crows play a big role. I live in the middle of a field. Never before writing this story had I seen crows out there. Guess what? They’re out there every morning now. I’ve even seen them gathered in the parking lot at my job in the middle of town. Guess my books like to follow me until the job is done! 




Add Chosen by R. S. Broadhead on Goodreads.


As part of the blog tour with Xpresso Book Tours, there is a giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card (open internationally).


a Rafflecopter giveaway






About the Author:
R. S. Broadhead lives in Jackson, Alabama with her husband of ten years, their two little girls, and a pug named Wednesday Love the Duchess, or Winnie for short. She has a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in business administration. She loves to snowboard, travel (Australia is her favorite place so far), and dance (not professionally, just whenever she feels like it). When she was sixteen-years-old, her and her friends would take pictures and make up funny stories about them. Fourteen years later, UNVEILED was born. UNVEILED, her first novel, is the first book in a four-book series.

Connect with R. S. Broadhead via Twitter, Facebook and her Website. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Cookies, Corpses, and the Deadly Haunt by Rachael Stapleton – Book Review





Book: Cookies, Corpses and the Deadly Haunt
1st in Series (Haunted House Flippers Inc.)
Author: Rachael Stapleton
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Self Published
Print Length: 164 pages
ASIN: B074TY4ZXD




House flippers Jack & Juniper agree to lend and help prep their latest purchase—The Doctors House—an old Victorian mansion to act as the eerie setting for the town’s Halloween bash, they’re expecting to find missing floor boards, and pesky bats, not the ghostly specter of the murdered Doctors Wife.

But when the head of the council is found stuffed in a trunk in the attic, it appears history is repeating.

As June and the team, carry on with party preparations, they unravel a century of family secrets, whispers of lunacy—and the number one suspect goes on the run. But the victim’s family insists that the ball must go on, even with a killer on the loose. With Halloween fast approaching, June sees the woman in white and wonders if keeping the killer out was ever really a possibility. Now she’s desperate to unmask the killer before the Annual Halloween Bash turns into even more of a deadly haunt…


BOOK REVIEW BY NADANESS IN MOTION


Cookies, Corpses, and the Deadly Haunt by Rachael Stapleton is a possibly paranormal, cozy mystery with a dash of humour and romance and tonnes of mouth-watering desserts!

The story is about Juniper and fellow house-flipper, former fiancé and current crush Jack, who buy homes, refurbish them and resell them for a profit. The two go to Jack's hometown, where they acquire a property known as The Doctor's House, famed to have been built by a doctor, who later killed his wife and himself in the house. The townspeople also want to host a Halloween ball at the house. However, after acquiring the property, Juniper discovers the body of the mayor's daughter, Kaitlin.

While working at the house, Juniper often hears music coming from an unknown source and glimpses the lady in white, whom some townspeople claim is Veronica, the Doctor's wife.

Although the dead body appears at around chapter seven, the setting of the stage is not boring but rather interesting and fun, giving the reader a good feel of the setting and the characters.

"It was a dark-haired woman in a light lace dress creeping up the mansion's front steps. A gush of wind sent fallen leaves dancing down the steps around her. She was pale as a ghost."

In addition to the mystery, Juniper continues to suffer from jealousy as her business partner, Jack is getting married soon to none other than "Sally Big Boobs".

Apart from Juniper, there is Pike, who co-jointly owns the bakery with Lulu who owns the neighbouring clothes store. Together, they named the business "Cookies and Corsets". The café's wicked assortment of desserts had me drooling as I read.

Because it's a small town, there are a lot of relatives in the story, which boggled me sometimes, especially with the non-recurrent characters. I felt like I needed a family tree.

There were a lot of characters I liked in Cookies, Corpses, and the Deadly Haunt, such as Pike, Officer Cody, Juniper, and Lulu.

The romance in the novel was fun to read and clean. It also added a bit of awkwardness and humour for the characters.

However, a problem I had with the book was that, and I can only assume this, the book was at some point written in first person then changed to third person (or vice versa). The book is mostly narrated in the third person; however, there were some instances when J. suddenly switched to first then back to third. It was just weird and interrupted the narrative. Especially since it occurred frequently, once even switching between first and third in the same sentence. This cut my review by one whole star.

(Reviewer update: I was just informed that the copy I had received for the blog tour was an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC) and that the final and updated version of Cookies, Corpses, and the Deadly Haunt is devoid of the above problem, raising my overall rating to 4 stars).

I like how Stapleton kept me wondering about the paranormal aspect of the story throughout.

Cookies, Corpses, and the Deadly Haunt is a great and light read for Halloween.


Overall rating: 4 stars


Note: I received a free ARC of Cookies, Corpses, and the Deadly Haunt by Rachael Stapleton in exchange for an honest review as part of a blog tour.




About the Author
Rachael Stapleton lives in a Second Empire Victorian home with her husband and two children in Ontario, Canada and enjoys writing in the comforts of aged wood and arched dormers.

Connect with Rachael via Webpage BlogFacebook@RaquelleJaxson, Amazon, and Goodreads

Purchase via Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Keep up with the rest of the tour via reviews, spotlights, interviews, and guest posts.


October 10 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW & Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 11 – Socrates' Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT & Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW
October 12 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW & Valerie's Musings – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
October 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, INTERVIEW
October 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
October 15 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW
October 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
October 17 – Reading Authors – REVIEW
October 18 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
October 19 – Sapphyria's Books – REVIEW
October 20 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
October 21 - The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
October 22 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW
October 23 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST & Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Rusticles by Rebecca Gransden – Book Review


Book: Rusticles
(Short story collection)
Author: Rebecca Gransden
No. of pages: 80
Publication date: 8 July 2017

Blurb:

In Hilligoss, a tired man searches for a son, a flamingo enthrals the night, and fireworks light up the lost. In these stories and more, Rusticles offers a meandering tour through backroads bathed in half light, where shadows play along the verges and whispers of the past assault daydreams of the present. Walk the worn pathways of Hilligoss.

Book Review by Nadaness In Motion

Bordering on weird and strange fiction, Rusticles by Rebecca Gransden is a collection of 11 short stories. I have a few mixed feelings about this collection, whose author has requested an honest review.

I loved Gransden's writing style, imagery, and intermittent relatable philosophical ideas in the midst of the stories.

However, there were many stories where I didn't get the ending. I was fine until the last line then I was staring at my kindle wondering where I got lost. I'm ok with stories having an open ending, but having a no-ending or one that I don't understand, irritates me.

And that's happened several times while reading.

Although we don't the girl's name in "The Neon Black", the story is interesting and gives a sense of brotherly and sisterly love.

"Dried Peas on a Wall" is a long and uneventful short story with lots of description, especially at the beginning. There were some nice images though.

"You have to walk up the light concrete driveway and see the doorway, past the grasping thick grass and spindly black twigged thorny plants that reach up to your head, and further if you are a kid."

I liked the beginning of "The Serpentine" but was rather disappointed at the end. "The Serpentine" is a rock, which towards the end I had forgotten about. I felt the story needed a story.

"Dilapidated Flamingo" is the best story in the entire collection. A five-star one. The narrator is bit talkative but funny and the story is suspenseful and interesting.

It is about a boy who discovers a flamingo in his backyard and attempts to befriend it but when he goes to search for it, he can't find it.
"I'd have to do flamingo research. Find out what makes a flamingo tick."

"The Boy at the Table" has a lot of description and an eerie setting and feel to it. It was interesting up until the end, which I didn't get.

"Blue and Black" is another interesting story, perhaps with a bit of science-fiction or scientific phenomenon. Kept me on edge for most of it.

"Dreams of his Skin" is one of the best stories in the Rusticles collection. A sad one but very well-written and a joy to read. It is a passion-filled, highly recommended story.

"I adore this man looking straight at his flaws, would dissolve myself, annihilate everything I am for him, but who wants to look at love in that form, especially when it cannot be returned?"

"Miles" was a tough read, primarily because the story is one LOOOOONG sentence! Yes, you read that right. One sentence. I skimmed it at first to be sure my eyes weren't skipping full-stops.

On a second read, however, I felt it read like a rap song. It had a strong flow to it. And I liked it, although it nearly got my brain fried.

Gransden is lauded for this experimental story.

"Downstairs" is the last story in the collection. "Miles" and "Downstairs" are the only two stories in the collection that need to be read after each other, that relate to each other basically.

The characters talk about "Miles" from the previous story. "Downstairs" moves pretty well until the end, which, too, I didn't get.

There are other pieces in the collection that I did not mention here.

I'm not sure if that ending thing is my problem alone or if other readers have had a similar issue. I'm not keen on endings I don't understand, and that bothered me while reading.

Still, I must note in all fairness that Rebecca Gransden's writing style is interesting. It's different, the way she, as an author, looks at things, talks about situations, and so on.

Overall rating: 2.5-3 stars

I've previously featured Rebecca Gransden on Nadaness In Motion with an excerpt from her debut novel Anemogram.


Note: I received a free copy of Rusticles from its author Rebecca Gransden in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:
Rebecca Gransden is an author from the south coast of the United Kingdom. After many years writing short stories for her own amusement she finally got around to writing her first full length novel, anemogram. Her writing focuses on fringe voices, and the natural world has a great influence over her output. Having lived by the sea all her life, she is drawn to the edges of things. She actively supports indie and self-published authors and is encouraged by the energy of this scene. Currently sitting on several projects, she hopes to have more writing available soon.

Connect with Rebecca Gransden via her blogGoodreadsTwitterFacebook and Amazon.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Excerpt from Ruin of the Gods by Erin Hayes + Giveaway


Ruin of the Gods
by Erin Hayes
(The Elysium Legacies, #3)
Publication date: 8 October 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Mythology

Synopsis:
Hell hath no Fury.
Because she’s taking a vacation.

Officer Tessa Forney is a brilliant cop with a fiery temper and a predilection for toeing the line of the law. She’s good at her job too, much to the chagrin of her by-the-book partner Raph. She just always seems to be at the right place at the right time.

What Raph doesn’t know is that Tessa is actually Tisiphone, one of the Furies of ancient Greek mythology. After breaking up with her boyfriend of five-thousand-years because he cheated on her—bastard—Tisiphone is determined to take her anger out on the bad guys during her extended mortal vacation.

But when too many gods and goddesses suddenly decide to take time off, the balance of nature is thrown into disarray. And the consequences are far bigger than Tisiphone could have ever anticipated.

These gods aren’t going on vacation—they’re being kidnapped. And she will have to find them before it’s too late.

Excerpt from Ruin of the Gods by Erin Hayes

“Where do I even start?” Argus murmurs softly.
“From the top, perhaps?” I offer with mock sympathy. “Like where Dionysus may be. If you know anything about Gelos’s disappearance. And who the hell is invested enough in all of that to put a glamour on Dionysus’s house to make everything seem peachy keen.”
Even though I’m getting Argus to speak, he still shifts his gaze around, as if anyone else would be caring. Finally, he says, “It started long before that.”
“Tell me.” He hesitates and my patience snaps. “Look, you obviously want me to help you, otherwise you wouldn’t have shown up this morning. So… tell me, or you’re really going to make me mad.”
Argus blanches. “It’s Typhon,” he blurts.
All at once, the blood in my veins freezes, and an involuntary shiver runs down my spine. My teeth threaten to chatter. There are very few names that can frighten me. And that’s one.
Typhon.

Add the book on Goodreads. 



GIVEAWAY

As part of the blitz, there is a Kindle Fire up for grabs, open to US and Canada residents only though.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Special Release Sale. Get Ruin of the Gods by Erin Hayes for $0.99 during the Blitz (ends 12 October) instead of $2.99. Purchase via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, or Kobo.

About the Author:
Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books.
She works as an advertising copywriter by day, and she's an award-winning New York Times Bestselling Author by night. She has lived in New Zealand, Hawaii, Texas, Alabama, and now San Francisco with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.

Connect with the Erin Hayes on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, her Newsletter (includes a free book!), Website, and/or join her Street Team

Friday, October 6, 2017

Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes & Smiles by Patricia Furstenberg – Book Review

Book: Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles
Author: Patricia Furstenberg
Independently Published with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
Publication date: 31 October 2017
Target audience: 2 and up
Genre: Children's, Animals, Humour

Synopsis

A puppy's first year is filled with findings, wiggles and laughter.
 
Puppies squirm in all the odd places, sniff all the strange objects, lick everything they can and find something to splash into even when we don't want them to!

This book of poems explores the first year of a puppy's life, going through an adventure after the other, one month at a time.

Puppy's first days, puppy's first weeks in a new home, puppy's encounters with snow and the school bag, puppy's duty to protect... What happens when puppy is full of good intentions, yet his actions go wrong?

Read the rhymes and laugh with your little one.


Book Review by Nadaness In Motion

Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles by Patricia Furstenberg is a fun, exciting, adorable, and a must-read children's book.

Chapters are divided into months, in the form of puppy paws at the beginning, each a phase in the puppy's life until it turns one.

Contents Page from Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes & Smiles by Patricia Furstenberg 

With lots of colours, lots of love, humour, and puppies, children will want to read this book over and over and over.

Having lived with dogs her whole life, it's no wonder Patricia Furstenberg would choose a puppy to be centrepiece in this book.

I loved how the puppy referred to its human owner/friend as a "human pup".

"My human pup was there
And we spent the day together"

Loved the chapter where the puppy learns that it will get a name but has no idea what a name is. It was funny and innocent like children themselves.

Grown up or not, Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles is a must-read for children that will teach them love and tenderness towards animals.

Overall rating: 5 stars


Note: I received an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC) of this book from its author in exchange for an honest review.

Note 2: Above images are courtesy from the author, Patricia Furstenberg.


Note 2: The hard copy version has more colours and font-play than the e-version.




About the Author:
Patricia Furstenberg came to writing through reading. She is known to carry a book or pen and paper everywhere she goes.
Patricia enjoys writing for children because she can take abstract, grown-up concepts and package them in attractive, humorous, child-friendly words and pictures, while adding sensitivity and lots of love. What fuels her is a need to write and… coffee, “None. Plus? Five cups.”

After completing her Medical Degree in Romania, she moved to South Africa where she now lives with her husband, children, and their dogs.

Connect with author Patricia Furstenberg via her Author WebsiteAmazon UKAmazon USHuffington Post SAGoodreadsTwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.