Sunday, December 29, 2019

Nadaness In Motion's Top Books of 2019


The end of 2019 is almost here, which means it's time for another post on the top books I've read.
In 2019, I had planned to read around 12 to 15 books but ended up reading over 30 of various lengths. I started the year fearingself-help and non-fiction books but now I'm addicted to reading more and learning more.
I have several non-fiction books on my to-read list and many novels as well.
Check out the list, let me know if you've read any of these books or if you plan to read them.



Nadaness In Motion's Top Books of 2019

Clarissa's Warning by Isobel Blackthorn is a brilliant novel set on the Spanish Canary Island of Fuerteventura! Simply WOW!
The book begins with a strong opening both in terms of story and tone. The idea of the warning is delivered in the first chapter, keeping the reader on edge throughout the book. There were many beautiful descriptions and quotes in Clarissa's Warning.

"Despite the wind, there were pockets of stillness and the ruin exuded a timeless quality. Embedded in its dilapidated stated remained faint echoes of its history, overlaid with sorrow, as though the very stones and ancient timbers mourned their former selves, when they were united as one, strong and proud and true."

"There was a severed leg on my porch."
That's how cozy mystery novel Leg Up by Annabelle Hunter opens. From the first lines, the reader notices that Larklyn "Lark" Davis is one of the most sarcastic characters ever. And a hilarious one too.

Leg Up, the first book in the Lark Davis Mystery Series, is narrated from Lark's first person perspective, giving the reader a ton of humor and sarcasm, along with her inner thoughts. Can't wait to read more in this series.

One of the many things I enjoyed about Leg Up was the pace, which was quite fast, along with the characters. 


The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan is an interesting and fun book about the basics of personal finance. Fagan learnt the hard way what it means to have a credit card, why you can just spend, spend, spend, and why you should have a credit score.

"Did I have any other plans for retirement besides "die before my bad money choice catch up to me?" Of course not."

"Giving a shit about money doesn't seem fun, but ultimately it's the most liberating thing you can do with your otherwise chaotic young adult life."


Lost in a Quatrain by South African author and poet Adiela Akoo is apoetry collection I'm glad to have across in 2019. I could easily enjoy and relate to many of the poems in the collection. Akoo even writes about a woman's period in "Hormonal" which is something, experienced by billions, few ever talk about.
I related to "Empty Chairs" and was moved by "Cape Town 1990" and "New Apartheid." There were many deep pieces like "Not Enough," "Broken Winged Bird," "Are YOU Ready?" "As the Rain Pitter-Pattered," "Wrapped Up," and I must mention the hilarious story-conversation-power "What's Up?"

The first book in a new paranormal cozy mystery series, Designs on Murder by Gayle Leeson is about Amanda who, on a hunch, starts a fashion business in Shops on Main, a building housing several other small businesses.
"Gee, that was awkward," she said. "I was sure you knew."
"Knew?"
"That I'm a ghost."

There, Amanda discovers her ability to see the place's resident ghost, Maxine "Max" Englebright. I loved the characters. Max is smart and hilarious; she constantly lightens the mood and puts Amanda in embarrassing situations. I would definitely love to read more of this series.
Designs on Murder has also helped me with a few points I'd like to edit and fix in personal work-in-progress paranormal cozy mystery.

While I gave this book a 4-star rating, I feel it deserves a mention in my top books of 2019. Why? Because of the effort undertaken by author Bharat Krishnan in trying to bring Indian and Hindu mythology to readers. We've all heard of Shiva and Rishnu but what are their stories? What are the Hindu gods likes? What are their stories?
Love, Pride, Virtue, Fate tackles all of that and more. Krishnan even includes comments and why he has included each story in book.
Love, Pride, Virtue, Fate is a middle-grade and children's book of short stories, although there is one that's a bit bloody. Highly recommended read though.



One of the books I read for National Poetry Month 2019 was Sophie Schiller's On a Moonlit Night in the Antilles, a collection inspired by the poet's visit to the Caribbean.

Comprising 30 mostly-rhyming poems, On a Moonlit Night in the Antilles is a must-read picturesque selection of poems, that paint pictures or tell the history of some of the Caribbean's historical figures.
Each poem is followed by a colourful illustration by Skaidra Zayas. I hope Schiller visits more places and writes about them.

"this is not/ a fairy tale/ there is no/ princess/ there is no/ damsel/ there is no queen/ there is no/ tower/ there are no/dragons/ there is simply/ a girl/ faced with the/difficult task/of learning to/ believe in/ herself."
This is how Amanda Lovelace begins her collection of untitled poems The Princess Saves Herself in this One, which is an interesting and emotional read. Though the writing style takes a while to get used to – if you write or read poetry regularly.
The Princess Saves Herself in this One is divided into 4 parts or stages: The Princess, The Damsel, The Queen, and You, and involves a lot of experimentation, with some poems being in bullet-points.

Bellamy by Darcy Coates
Bellamy is a creepy short story by author Darcy Coates. The story opens with Leanne who has returned to the orphanage where she and her brother were placed nearly 30 years prior. We later learn that her brother disappeared from the orphanage and was never found.


"Thirty years should have been long enough to forget the home. Thirty years should have been long enough for the dreams to stop."
Bellamy scared me and I loved it! There were lots of twists that kept me on edge and that had me read the book/story in one sitting. I can probably read this novella over and over.

Write Your Book in a Flash by Dan Janal
In Write Your Book in a Flash, Dan Janal takes the reader through all the stages of writing a book.
While Write Your Book in a Flash primarily deals with writing non-fiction books. Some of the advice can be applicable to fiction; like starting where you feel comfortable and how to edit your book.
I'm currently working the full book review for Dan Janal's Write Your Book in a Flash. Will publish it in January 2020. But it's a 5-star read!





Did you enjoy this post? If you did, please let me know in the comments below.

And check out the Previous editions of this post:


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Nadaness In Motion's Most Viewed Posts of 2019


In this post, I'm highlighting the most-viewed posts on the Nadaness In Motion blog in 2019.

I'll be doing another post on the all-time most viewed posts later in January or February 2020. But for now, I'm focusing on 2019.

I started the year with a plan to read fewer books and focus on my writing; that did not happen but I'm glad to say I read many good books, featured some amazing authors and plan to continue hosting and featuring authors on Nadaness In Motion for many years to come.





So, what has garnered readers' attention in 2019?

Let's have a look. (These views are up until 20 December 2019)


In this post, I feature author S.C. Perkins and her cozy mystery novel Murder, Once Removed, the captivating first mystery in the Ancestry Detective series, in which Texas genealogist Lucy Lancaster uses her skills to solve murders in both the past and present.



Broken Bone China, an interview with Laura Childs (1,077 views)

In this post, I interview author Laura Childs, who has written many cozy mystery books and series. In this particular post, we talk about her 20th (yes twentieth!) book in the Tea Shop Mystery Series as well as her writing process and lots more.
  



In this post, I go into detail about my review process for novels and novellas. I focus on characters and setting, and of course a good book cover never hurts but often attracts a reader.





Earlier this year, in March to be exact, I was set to embark on a new job and journey that required reading self-help and non-fiction books. And I was worried. Worried because there are many things that don't stick in my head and to be honest I fear that I would forget things when I close the book (and that still happens). Hence, this post. It's a different kind of post.


Since then, I've overcome the fear but I also forget things I've read and would sometimes have to go back a few pages to remind myself what a book was talking about and where I was while reading it.

One of the most beautiful poetry collections I've read this year was Lost in a Quatrain by South African author and poet Adiela Akoo. There were many poems that I could relate to and others pertaining to moments in South Afrian history.

Lost in a Quatrain includes several deep pieces such as "Not Enough," "Broken Winged Bird," "Are YOU Ready?" "As the Rain Pitter-Pattered," "Wrapped Up," just to name few. There are many and I enjoyed them all.

"Hormonal" is a powerful womanly poem about – you probably guessed it – women's monthly period. I appreciated that Akoo wrote about this and included it in her collection.



This was my first cozy mystery read for Gayle Trent (or Gayle Leeson since she goes by both names)
I enjoyed reading Designs on Murder and learnt a few things from it for my work-in-progress paranormal cozy mystery. I even have a few new ideas I might incorporate in my own work.
"Gee, that was awkward," she said. "I was sure you knew."

"Knew?"

"That I'm a ghost."

Amanda decides to go on a hunch and start her fashion business in Shops on Main, a building housing several other small businesses. There she discovers her ability to see the place's resident ghost, Maxine "Max" Englebright.


Clarissa's Warning by Isobel Blackthorn is a brilliant novel set on the Spanish Canary Island of Fuerteventura! Simply WOW!

The book begins with a strong opening both in terms of story and tone. The idea of the warning is delivered in the first chapter, keeping the reader on edge throughout the book.

Clarissa's Warning is narrated in the first person perspective of Claire Bennet, who often talks about herself in the third person in a humorous way. A British bank teller, who has won a lottery making her a millionaire, Claire's now bent on buying and renovating a ruin on the island of Fuerteventura, which is the second largest of the Canary Islands that comes with an ominous and possibly paranormal warning.

Cleopatra's Spring by Nada Adel Sobhi (personal poem) (349 views)

A personal poem I wrote while travelling to the Siwa Oasis in Egypt in December 2018. Journey into the heart of an oasis in this poem.


Cleopatra's Spring, image via Trip Advisor
As always, leaving comments on my blog posts (whether personal or book reviews) supports and encourages me as a writer and blogger and I can easily share those comments on social media and with authors. So don't hesitate to leave a comment even if it's just one word. :) 

If you've enjoyed this post, let me know so I can do more of it in the future.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Bellamy by Darcy Coates – Book Review



There was something wrong with Bellamy. [Leanne] had been running from it for most of her life. It had brought her home, though.  Perhaps it had always intended to. Perhaps no one ever truly escaped the building."

Bellamy is a creepy short story by author Darcy Coates. I think I downloaded this book when the author offered it for free for a limited time for newsletter subscribers. And I'm glad I downloaded it.

The story opens with Leanne who has returned to the orphanage where she and her brother were placed nearly 30 years prior. We later learn that her brother disappeared from the orphanage and was never found.

"The exterior was flat and grim, more like a warehouse than a home." – This is the first description the reader gets of Bellamy.

Bellamy is narrated in the third person but it's clear that the main view point is Leanne's, who has been struggling to forget about this so-called home. The reader quickly notices that Leanne wants no connection with the home, whereas the 'home' wants Leanne. It's as if she escaped when she shouldn't have.

"Thirty years should have been long enough to forget the home. Thirty years should have been long enough for the dreams to stop."

As the story progresses, Leanne goes back inside the run-down orphanage. However, there was a purpose to Leanne's visit; "she wasn't there just to call up old memories."

Both through memory and flashback, we're told that children were disappearing in Bellamy. I liked how Darcy Coates interweaved Leanne's memories into the story, giving the reader the perfect background about events that happened 30 years prior to the story being told.

When Leanne enters the once-upon-a-time home, she also enters the places she wasn't allowed to explore as a child and there Bellamy's secret or rather secrets are slowly revealed.

Bellamy scared me and I loved it! There were lots of twists that kept me on edge and that had me read the book/story in one sitting. I can probably read this novella over and over.

Overall rating for Bellamy: 5 stars


Note: I originally meant to publish this book review October, aka my month of Halloween but the month flew by and obviously I didn't publish the review.

Update: Bellamy by Darcy Coates has made it to Nadaness In Motion's Top Books of 2019.


Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace – Book Review



The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace is a different kind of poetry collection. I had seen the cover a few times on Goodreads and was excited to find my cousin had downloaded the book via our shared Kindle account.

So I picked up Lovelace's book and wow!

The Princess Saves Herself in this One is an interesting read. It took me a while to get used to the book. I don't mind free verse; many of my poems are in free verse but Lovelace usually makes a comment in a few lines and then writes the final note in an independent poetic prose conclusion.

(Like here: Image below)




The poems are both emotional and harsh as Lovelace speaks about emotional and physical abuse. Topics, that as I read, inspired me to write a poem I called "Sometimes Hope Isn't Beautiful." (Haven't decided where I'd publish this yet)

Also, all the poems in The Princess Saves Herself in this One have no titles, so I can't really say which poems I liked more than the rest. While the idea of having no titles makes it hard to recommend certain pieces, I liked how Lovelace went about that. I'm sure it was liberating not to think of titles for 80+ poems! :D

I liked the opening or rather warning about the book, that "this is not/ a fairy tale/ there is no/ princess/ there is no/ damsel/ there is no queen/ there is no/ tower/ there are no/dragons/ there is simply/ a girl/ faced with the/difficult task/of learning to/ believe in/ herself."

There is a lot of experimentation in The Princess Saves Herself in this One, with some poems being in bullet-points format, others being like a dictionary format but all in poetic free verse. There is also a kind of shape poetry or poems that are just formatted differently. (Like this one below)



The book is divided into 4 parts or stages: The Princess, The Damsel, The Queen, and You. Each of these marks a stage in Lovelace's life and what I assume is inherent, a woman's life. As you read, you will feel that the speaker is progressing and growing with each stage. 

As is the case with poetry collections and anthologies, it's near impossible to love or even like all the poems in the book. The Princess Saves Herself in this One is no exception, especially since there are A LOT of poems in there. That said, I enjoyed it and I highly recommend it.

Overall, I think Amanda Lovelace's The Princess Saves Herself in this One is an experience of itself. I'd like to read the following parts in her three-book poetry series.

Overall rating: 4 stars

Add The Princess Saves Herself in this One via Goodreads.

Update: The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace has made it to Nadaness In Motion's Top Books of 2019.



Sunday, December 8, 2019

Kasper Beaumont unveils new dark fantasy series



Hi everyone!

I'm excited to feature Aussie author Kasper Beaumont, whom I've featured here on the blog many years back with the start of her middle grade adventure series The Hunters of Reloria: Elven Jewel.

In this new book (or series), Beaumont is going for new territory. Not middle grade this time but definitely still in the fantasy genre…
Meet CAPTIVE OF DARKNESS!

Title: Captive of the Darkness
(Book 1 in the Hidden Angel series)
Author: Kasper Beaumont

Blurb for Captive of the Darkness:
Can an angel be hiding here on Earth?

A veil of secrecy is lifted on Riley’s 18th birthday. She thought she knew the world, but now discovers she is a demon hunter. It doesn’t seem real, but then she meets Him, a charismatic young dancer with special powers.

He is a prisoner of a powerful demon.

What secrets does this stranger hide? Will Riley risk her own family to save Him?

More about the book in Kasper's words:
On Riley’s 18th birthday, she is told she’s a demon hunter, like the rest of her family.  She shrugs the news off in disbelief but that very night she unwittingly enters the lair of a powerful demon and her whole world is turned upside down.

She meets a stripper nicknamed Cupid, who states he is prisoner of the demon.  He is a graceful ballet dancer forced into slavery but yearning to escape his dangerous master.  When she sees a glowing aura around this young man, she realizes he isn’t just any ordinary lad, but something very special.  She knows she must try to save him.

Captive of the Darkness by Kasper Beaumont is up for pre-order via Amazon. The book will be published on 14 December 2019.

Excerpt from Captive of Darkness:

Small sandy feet pounded the warm pavement along the beach.  His heartbeat thrummed in his ears, faster than he ever thought possible.  The whispering kept getting closer, no matter how far or fast he ran.  He swiped a cap from outside a shower cubicle.  It was rather large for his head, a perfect disguise.  This covered most of his blond hair and shaded his eyes.  He hoped to outwit whoever was chasing him.  Turning a corner, he dove into a shaded alleyway and bent over to catch his breath.  An aching side-stitch now caught his attention, winding him.  His hands trembled as they rested on shaking and weakened knees.  Turning his cap backwards, he held his breath and peeked a look around the corner.  There was no sign of pursuit.  He let his breath out and wiped the sweat cascading down his cheeks that had soaked his swim shirt.  Fear drove him on.  It was instinct, not a rational decision on his behalf.  Then all the hairs on his body stood up on end.  A cold shiver ran down his spine.  A shadow passed over him.  A whisper, quiet and close.  Warm breath could be felt on his neck.  He turned around slow.  His eyes widened as his hands grasped for the wall at his back.  There was nowhere left to run.  "Oh please no...”




About the Author:
Kasper J. Beaumont was born and raised in Australia and lives a quiet life with the family in a seaside town. Combining a love of fantasy and a penchant for travel in the Hunters of Reloria trilogy, she started to write on the urging of friends and family and enjoys watching readers become immersed in the magical world of Reloria. Kasper is a pen name for a rather shy author who is happy to remain unnamed.

Kasper Beaumont's Books:
The Hidden Angel series is an urban paranormal fantasy involving Angels and Demons in the seemingly ordinary city of Brisbane. Riley discovers she's a demon hunter on her 18th birthday and enters a dangerous new world.'

Book 1: Captive of the Darkness: Publication date: 14 December 2019.

The Hunters of Reloria trilogy is about the magical world of Reloria where halflings and fairies share a lifelong bond. Dwarves, elves, knights and dragons inhabit this country, but their world is about to be invaded by scaly lizardmen and giant Cyclops.

Prequel: Fandri's Adventures, published 2016.
Book 1: Elven Jewel, published 2012.
Book 2: Hunters' Quest, published 2013
Book 3: Dragon's Revenge, published 2014.

Read Nadaness In Motion's book review of Elven Jewel, book 1 in The Hunters of Reloria series.

Connect with Kasper Beaumont via her Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.