Thursday, July 28, 2016

Takhayyal writing prompt no. 41: Dark & Deadly

Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen, Artists, Poets, Writers, Authors, Dreamers, Friends and Family; Welcome EVERYONE to Nadaness In Motion's bi-weekly picture-prompt writing challenge Takhayyal.

For this week's prompt, I came across this dark and deadly lady here. What happens here? What is she doing? What are the words that flow into your mind when you see this image?

Artist unknown. Legend of the Cryptids. Found via Pinterest. 

Arabic for Imagine, Takhayyal is a challenge for writers of all ages and genres; a place to spark creativity and explore new genres.
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!


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Corpse with the Garnet Face – Book Review

A continuation of the Cait Morgan Mysteries, The Corpse with the Garnet Face by Cathy Ace is a different kind of mystery. The first chapter opens with two bombshells for psychologist Cait and her new – and newly-retired cop – husband Bud Anderson, who learns from his mother, Ebba, that he had an uncle and that that uncle was now dead.

Cathy Ace expertly weaves in comic relief also from the first few pages to relieve the tension she built on the first page of the novel.

The uncle, Jonas, leaves a letter for Bud and gives him a task to uncover a long-dead mystery that took place early in Jonas' life. In his letter, Jonas tells Bud: "I cannot tell you who I am. No man can do that of himself. He is only the person he is because of how people know him, and what he has done. It is time for what I have done to be understood."

When we first meet Ebba, she describes her brother, saying "Jonas was a bad boy," whereas when we begin to meet Jonas' friends in the Netherlands, some say "He was a good man." The contrast puts the reader in the middle, awaiting to find out which of them is right about the estranged uncle.

Cait and Bud travel to Amsterdam to fulfil Jonas' will and uncover a mystery if there is one. There, they learn about who Jonas was through his friends.

"His facial muscles gave away almost nothing; the throbbing vein in his neck told a different tale."

Soon enough they begin to feel that the accounts given to them of Jonas are contradictory and that some of the friends seem to be hiding something.

One of the fun things about the Cait Morgan Series, is how Cait observes people, pointing out tiny hints about their facial expressions or tones. "The only problem was that, although he was saying all the right words, his tone wasn't utterly convincing."

The Corpse with the Garnet Face tackles art, lots of it, since Jonas and his friends were artists and painters. However, there were some parts that I felt were too detailed in the art world that a normal reader – like me – would feel lost. These parts, I felt, would be more appreciated by someone who majors in art.

I liked the chapter where Bud and Cait create a timeline of the events they've learned. I felt it was a bit like a nicely-written history book.

"First of all, I know we've established that everyone has lied to us, and they've also tried to muddy the waters."

I did, however, feel that the conclusion to The Corpse with the Garnet Face was rather confusing, even as Cait laid out all their findings, I still felt lost.

Still, I liked how Cait and Bud were able to uncover not only the mystery they were sent to Holland for, but several others pertaining to Jonas' group.

The Corpse with the Garnet Face is certainly a different cozy mystery read. A mystery that produces more mysteries and keeps the reader's mind working.

"All I wanted to do was fulfill my uncle's wishes, and be able to go back to Mom with some knowledge she could cherish about the guy. Instead, there's all of this…I don't know, this atmosphere of things not being what they appear to be. I don't like it."

Overall rating: 4 stars

Note: I received a free copy of The Corpse with the Garnet Face from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Check out my book review of The Corpse with the Diamond Hand here.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Press Release: Author Mark Benjamin releases Urban Fantasy A Change of Heart

Mark Benjamin joins the foray in Stephen King, Anne Rice and George R.R. Martin's territory in his exhilarating and captive urban fantasy novel, A CHANGE OF HEART, Book One of The Royal Blood Chronicles, where each choice made sets in motion a turn of devastating events—from love-triangles and fratricide, lust and betrayal, broken dreams and the thirst for power.

International writer and local banker, Mark Benjamin, released his debut novel, A CHANGE OF HEART, as an ebook on May 29, 2016. Following its successful launch (available in most digital retailers) the print book (paperback) shall go on discounted sale from Amazon beginning today, Sunday, 24th July, at a discounted price for one week, up until Sunday 31st July, 2016.

A CHANGE OF HEART, an adult urban fantasy, is the first novel planned in The Royal Blood Chronicles series. The novel, based in the fictional city of Penance, follows the characters consisting of humans, vampires and vampire-hunters, in as much the same vein as George R.R. Martin uses in his bestselling series A Song of Ice and Fire or as most people know it, A Game of Thrones (an award-winning television show), through various point-of-views of the book's characters.

"A Change of Heart brings back the traditional viewpoint of the vampires I grew up with such as Anne Rice's Lestat and Louis," says author Mark Benjamin. "I wanted to read a vampire book that was both graphic about a vampire's dark and violent nature; a vampire hunter's hatred of his / her nemesis; as well as the political machinations within both camps. I couldn't find such a book until I put pen to paper around seven years ago."

A CHANGE OF HEART is Mark Benjamin's first published novel with a growing loyal fan base. To learn more about him, his book, his upcoming projects, as well as his author journey, pay him a visit at

ISBN: 9781311551900 (ebook)
ISBN-13: 978-1534997004 (paperback)
ISBN-10: 1534997008 (paperback)

ASIN: B01ETQ40KQ (ebook)
Price: $5.99 (ebook) and $19.99 (paperback)
476 pages (ebook) and 696 (paperback)

Also, check out Nadaness In Motion's exclusive author interview with Mark Benjamin here and learn more about the books.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Waterfall - Flash Fiction

Meera opened her eyes only to be nearly blinded by the sun, while a faint drizzle touched her face at irregular intervals. Unaware of where she was, she could clearly hear the rush of the water nearby.

She shielded her eyes with her hand and attempted to get up. She couldn't remember her last dream, conversation or last anything. She couldn't even remember going to bed the previous night but was sure that was what she had done because it was what she'd been regularly doing for the past 20 years.

She stood up and arched her back. She would have heard the muscles crackling if it hadn't been for the sound of the gushing water.

Water? Where am I? She thought, as panic began to build up in her heart and body, while her brain quickly attempted to remember where she had been the night before and rationalise that she may still be in a dream.

Meera looked around but all she could see were rows upon rows of falling water. She couldn't see the top, but saw that she was stranded on a protruding rock near the middle of one of the waterfalls. To her right and left was more falling water. Below, she dared not look.

The rocky ground beneath her formed puddles here and there. Move slowly. Extra slowly. Do not panic. And above all do NOT look down! She told herself as she moved at a snail's pace with her back against the rocky mountain.

How did I get here? Her brain circled around that question, but another voice inside her – she wasn't sure if she were arguing with her brain or if her brain was arguing with itself and she was a victim to this vicious conversation – told her to forget that thought and focus on getting to higher or less slippery ground.

Slowly. Slowly. She continued. S-L-O-W-L-Y! Meera reprimanded herself when her foot slipped slightly on a particularly wet spot.

No multitasking today. Just one task, one step at a time, she continued to instruct her mind and body.

After what seemed like several hours – but was only several long minutes – she found herself standing between two waterfalls with a dry spot in between. The mountain was climbable in this part.

I hope first time would be the charm, she thought, giving herself a weak smile and weaker encouragement. She looked up, enjoying the sun drying her sweat, while cool water spraying from the falls cooled her warm body. The part of the mountain where she stood had an extended cliff allowing her to take a few steps forward.

As she looked up, her jaw dropped. The waterfalls were nothing like the multiples of Niagara Falls as she had thought they were.

Out of the endless mountain top protruded massive heads of what Meera thought looked like the Titans of Greek mythology she'd read about.

"WHOA!" She exclaimed aloud, her mouth remaining slightly agape.

From the mouths of these enormous heads came the waterfalls. The ridge seemed endless, with the rocky visages extending from the mountain frame itself.

After the surprise subsided slightly, Meera began to climb the mountain to reach higher ground or find any signs of life. I hope there aren't any fierce animals – unless I'm in a dream – still I don't want to be eaten, her brain raced with thoughts.

When she reached another protrusion that she can stand on, Meera attempted to look below, only to realise that the bottom was nowhere in sight and was replaced with thick layers of clouds. There were splashes of green below the clouds, but nothing to indicate where the water fell to and where land began.

"Where am I?" She wondered aloud.

"NEAR!" Rang an eerie male voice.

Meera shivered despite the heat and the exertion. She thought the voice had come from the heart of the mountain behind her.

"H-h-hello!" Her stammering barely audible.

"SOON!" The voice spoke again, ringing from somewhere behind the rock and nearly plunging Meera in the unseen abyss below.

This story was inspired by Takhayyal writing prompt no. 38.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Welcome to the #BigBookGiveaway

Today, I'm taking part in the #BigBookGiveaway organised by Girl Who Reads. I'm sharing two books with their synopses, author links and what some reviewers have said about the books on Goodreads.

You will also find a link to the giveaway for two prize book boxes along with other books and authors participating in the giveaway.

Song of the Fairy Queen by Valerie Douglas

It's said of Fairy that if you're in dire need and you call their name they'll come. With his castle under siege and his young son in his arms, High King Oryan couldn't be in more dire need. With only his High Marshal, Morgan, and a handful of Morgan's men at his back, he has only one direction left to run...up. And only one ally to whom he can turn.
Kyriay, the Queen of the Fairy.

Find the author on Goodreads, Website, and Twitter 

What reviewers said about this book on Goodreads:

"I am so in love with this story! I'm so sad that I borrowed it instead of owning it because it was sooooo good!" - Jessica

"I love this book, the characters, the imagery. I can hear the wings of the fairies flapping as they dive and protect in each battle scene. I know Valerie personally and I am honored to be connected to such a wonderful story teller and creator of worlds.
This is a quality experiential journey you deserve to take yourself on!" - Heather L. Tapia

Cross Currents by D. B. Sieders

No one believes Ilsa is worthy of ruling the Rhine River Kingdom, including Ilsa.
Sure, she wields plenty of mermaid magic and has a winning personality, but responsibility? Not her thing.
So instead of embracing her role as river royalty, Ilsa opts to extend her holiday in the New World. Frolicking with mortals is her M.O.—until she answers a distress call from an endangered species in the waters near Chattanooga. After her close encounter with a motorboat threatens to expose the world of elemental guardians, Ilsa partners with biologist and unlikely ally, Paul Pulaski, to cover her tail.
Worlds collide and sparks ignite between Princess Ilsa and her diamond-in-the-rough mortal, Paul. But can they survive monster hunters, a rival scientist with a grudge, and a dark force that could destroy mortal and elemental alike?

Find the author on Facebook, Twitter and their website

What reviewers said about this book on Goodreads:

"D.B. Sieders is a unique storyteller. “Crosscurrents” is a mix of science fiction and fantasy that is woven together perfectly." – InD'tale Magazine

"What a great story. The characters are compelling and fun. I am looking forward to reading the third novel I. the series." - R.a. Mccormick


Enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter below: 

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Participating books:

The Night Watchman Express by Alison DeLuca (it's free on Amazon -

Song of the Fairy Queen by Valerie Douglas

The Master's Plan, A Novel by Stephany Tullis (

Graveyard Shift by Angela Roquet (It's at B&N and Amazon

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Carver by Jacob Devlin - Excerpts & giveaway

The Carver by Jacob Devlin
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: 19 July, 2016
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult


THE GIRL IN THE RED HOOD has been looking for her mother for six months, searching from the depths of New York’s subways to the heights of its skyscrapers . . .

THE PRINCE looks like he’s from another time entirely, or maybe he’s just too good at his job at Ye Old Renaissance Faire . . .

THE ACTRESS is lighting up Hollywood Boulevard with her spellbinding and strikingly convincing portrayal of a famous fairy. Her name may be big, but her secrets barely fit in one world . . .

Fifteen-year-old Crescenzo never would have believed his father’s carvings were anything more than “stupid toys.” All he knows is a boring life in an ordinary Virginia suburb, from which his mother and his best friend have been missing for years. When his father disappears next, all Crescenzo has left is his goofy neighbor, Pietro, who believes he’s really Peter Pan and that Crescenzo is the son of Pinocchio. What’s more: Pietro insists that they can find their loved ones by looking to the strange collection of wooden figurines Crescenzo’s father left behind.

With Pietro’s help, Crescenzo sets off on an adventure to unite the real life counterparts to his figurines. It’s enough of a shock that they’re actually real, but the night he meets the Girl in the Red Hood, dark truths burst from the past. Suddenly, Crescenzo is tangled in a nightmare where magic mirrors and evil queens rule, and where everyone he loves is running out of time.

Excerpts from The Carver

“Welcome to Sirenetta’s Diner, gentlemen. You boys ever dined here before?”

Liam cut right to the chase. “Are you Mr. Bellamy?”

The man’s face fell into a tight frown, but Crescenzo assumed by the figurine that the frown was just his natural expression. “I am he. The Lord of the Diner.”

“Violet sent us,” Crescenzo said.

“Mm. You mean Heather, yes?”

“Sure?” Crescenzo was still trying to figure out the rule on what he should be calling the Old World people. He supposed Pietro would forever be Pietro to him and he understood why he needed the new name, but he didn’t feel that somebody like Violet, who wasn’t a part of any story Crescenzo had heard before, needed an alias.

Mr. Bellamy plopped two brunch menus in front of Liam and Crescenzo and poured them each a cup of coffee, to Crescenzo’s dismay. Then the old man leaned over the counter and furrowed his eyebrows. In a tense whisper, he said, “Your presence brings ruin to my happy New World life! Where you go, trouble will surely follow. Now, what can I serve you this morning?”

Also check out a reading of Chapter 1 from The Carver on Youtube:

Add the book on Goodreads here

Open internationally and as part of the tour, there is a giveaway organised by the publisher, Blaze Publishing.

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Purchase via Amazon and B&N. 

About the Author:
When Jacob Devlin was four years old, he would lounge around in Batman pajamas and make semi-autobiographical picture books about an adventurous python named Jake the Snake. Eventually, he traded his favorite blue crayon for a black pen, and he never put it down. When not reading or writing, Jacob loves practicing his Italian, watching stand-up comedy, going deaf at rock concerts, and geeking out at comic book conventions. He does most of these things in southern Arizona.

Connect with Jacob:

Monday, July 18, 2016

Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy - Excerpts & Giveaway

Last of the Firedrakes
Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy

A fantastic adventure story that will transport you to a dazzling world of myth and magic.

16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad.

Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms—including killing anyone who stands in her way. Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear.

With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever.

Excerpt from Chapter 11: Lessons in Magic

Today you will start lessons with me and learn to access your mage powers,” said Uncle Gabriel. “There are a few training exercises I want to start with, which will help you to access and channel your magic. I want you to have an open mind, and follow my instructions very carefully.”
I listened intently, breathlessly awaiting the secret I was so anxious to discover—how magic worked.
“You are still young and so far your powers have been diminished by the amulet, but if you have tapped into your fae magic already by mind bonding with the pegasus, that means that your powers are already manifesting,” Uncle Gabriel said.
He lit a candle and put it in front of me on the table.
“Now, our first lesson is going to be on concentration,” said Uncle Gabriel. “I want you to focus on this candle. Remove all other thoughts from your mind.”
I stared at the candle, my thoughts drifting in and out. Uncle Gabriel had said he was going to teach me to do magic. This was not magic; this was torture. My thoughts flickered back and forth like the flame on the tip of the candle. Finally I looked up.
“This is silly. Nothing is happening,” I said, getting frustrated.
“You are not concentrating,” Uncle Gabriel said, glancing up briefly up from his work. “Block out all other thoughts. If they come, push them away and keep focusing on the candle. Nothing else is of importance; your whole mind and concentration is on that candle.”
I tried again, but my thoughts wouldn’t leave me alone. Every time I looked up, Uncle Gabriel made me try again. He even changed the object of my concentration, from the candle to a smoothly polished stone, to a vase and back. I tried again and again, and every time it was the same, my thoughts came and went, flitting about in my mind, and my concentration was broken.
“Same time tomorrow, Aurora, and please practice. I expect you to concentrate on an object for measurably longer. Holding your concentration is one of the key aspects to working with your magic. You have to learn to channel your powers properly. If you can’t control your mind and will, then when you release your powers, they will be all over the place, and we don’t want that,” he said seriously.

Some more excerpts:

Praise for the Book

“The world building is beautiful…That really made the book more complex for me…it is the journey of discovery for Aurora and the reader that makes this an interesting story.” Janelle Fila for Readers’ Favorite

firedrakes“…the narrative components echo the classics; the Academy of Magic at Evolon could be Hogwarts, while the Shadow Guards are reminiscent of Tolkien’s Ring Wraiths or Rowling’s Dementors…a beautifully drawn fantasy world.”  Kirkus Reviews

“THE LAST OF THE FIREDRAKES is a magic-filled romp that carries you back to the fantasy stories of childhood…Lovers of classic fantasy will likewise gobble down Oomerbhoy’s scrumptious story.”  Dr Vic James, author of the SLAVEDAYS trilogy

amazon get itThe Last of the Firedrakes has all the elements of popular fantasy – an orphaned princess, Magical powers, an alternate sphere with seven kingdoms, a young girl with a destiny to fulfil. They are all elements of the Narnia Chronicles, The Faraway tree, The Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings and a bit of Enid Blyton fun.” – Mitali Parekh for Mid-Day newspaper

Author Farah Oomerbhoy

Farah Oomerbhoy is a young adult writer with a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Mumbai. Farah loves the fantastical and magical and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest. Her debut novel, The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of The Avalonia Chronicles started on Wattpad where it received a Watty Award in 2015 and over 1.5 million reads. Since publication, The Last of the Firedrakes has gone on to win a silver medal in IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards, become a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards and become an international bestseller. Farah lives with her family in Mumbai, India where she can be found checking for magical portals in every closet.

Blast Giveaway

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 7/29/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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