BOOK: The Black Earth

AUTHOR: Philip Kazan

GENRE: War, Romance

PUBLISHER: Alison & Busby (19th April,2018)


A book that would make you cry, make you feel emotional and most of all, show you the fate of people in war zone, THE BLACK EARTH by PHILIP KAZAN is written in such a manner that shows the side of war never contemplated before.

The story revolves around war zone and depicts the life of people suffering from its repercussions. The novel is set in Athens. It begins with children getting displaced, they being orphaned and leaving behind everything familiar. The war has taken away everything from them, even their childhood. The world of drug is synonymous to their lives. They use it to get respite from their pain. These children grow up to identify pain, hunger, and homelessness with their plight. The main aspiration left in their life is to earn money in order to satisfy their hungry stomachs and have a roof over their heads. With a bleak future ahead, they try to make the best of their situation and try to find happiness with what they have left. For instance: singing and playing musical instruments. Amidst of all this, a love story is sprouting. Read the book to witness how they try to hold on to their relationships while trying to survive wars, and whether they would succeed or not.

I hated this book since the beginning. Not because it’s a bad book. But because this book made me feel things that I wasn’t ready to feel. The book opens with children dealing with being neglected, in pain, orphaned, and displaced. When adults can’t deal with uncertain future, how can kids? Their desperation, longing and hopelessness comes across the text in such a way that we can’t help but weep for the kids who actually suffer aftermath of wars. There are so many wars currently going on in the world and we can’t even begin to imagine what goes on with the lives of people who manage to survive (physically) them.

The author has done a brilliant job on the book. This book wasn’t easy to read and I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been to write. The author has created characters whom we can sympathize with. Also, the title “Black Earth” seems so appropriate for this book as to describe a world where everything seems so uncertain. This is the kind of book where you need a break after reading it. You are so emotionally spent that you need to take time off the world and spend it with your thoughts.

The Black Earth FINAL BT Poster (3)


PHILIP KAZAN was born in London and grew-up on Dartmoor. He is the author of two previous novels set in fifteenth-century Florence and the Petroc series following a thirteenth-century adventurer. After living in New York and Vermont, Philip is back on the edge of Dartmoor with his wife and three children.





BOOK: Evanthia’s Gift (book 1 in the Gift Saga)

AUTHOR: Effie Kammenou

GENRE: Women Fiction



EVANTHIA’S GIFT is the kind of book that stays with you even after you’re done reading it. It is a book of emotions, everyday changing relationships, caters to needs of every age, and most importantly, shows the way of life through the story of women of three different generations who are different, yet similar in so many ways.

The tale begins with Ana and her life story. It takes a turn when her daughter, Sophia, enters teenage and ends with her granddaughter, Evanthia’s tale, with the promise of a new beginning. The most interesting aspect is that with Ana, her life seems to start after she has a baby and meets her second husband. With Sophia, her tale begins as a teenager in love; and with Evanthia, her tale begins when she is a preschooler. The story doesn’t descend in a chronological manner and that’s the uniqueness of this book. The book depicts trials and tribulations of women in it and how they deal with their challenges in their own ways.
The book explores Greek culture. Their history and how the people coped with changes surrounding them and still managed to get through to the other side.


EVANTHIA’S GIFT is a kind of book that stays with you forever. It’s a kind of book that once it’s finished, you want to hug it (I hope I’m not the only one who does that). It’s the kind of book that touches your soul and fills your heart with contentment & peace that only a book can provide. Maybe I’m biased because I’m a girl, but it’s the kind of women’s fiction that everyone should read once in their lifetime, irrespective of gender, class, creed, and color. It makes you humble, a better human being and grateful for the life that you have been given. Witnessing women acing challenges that life throws at their ways is a testament of their strengths and untainted soul.

I am absolutely in love with the author. She has done a commendable job on the book; her characters are so relatable that you don’t even feel that you are reading someone else’s journey. It feels like you yourself are going through the emotions, the happy and sad moments. A character’s win feels like you have conquered the situation. It’s relatively easy to sympathize with characters, but to empathize with them is an all together different story. And the author has succeeded in doing just that. The characters become part of you and leave behind a part that will always stay with you, in one form or the other.

It’s the first book in THE GIFT SAGA and I’m sure, once the readers read this book, they would look forward to reading other parts, just like I am.



Effie Kammenou is a believer that it is never too late to chase your dreams, follow your heart or change your career. She is proof of that. At one time, long ago, she’d thought that, by her age, she would have had an Oscar in her hand after a successful career as an actor. Instead, she worked in the optical field for 40 years and is the proud mother of two accomplished young women.

Her debut novel, Evanthia’s Gift, is a women’s fiction multigenerational love story and family saga, influenced by her Greek heritage, and the many real life accounts that have been passed down. She continues to pick her father’s brain for stories of his family’s life in Lesvos, Greece, and their journey to America. Her interview with him was published in a nationally circulated magazine.

Evanthia’s Gift: Book One in The Gift Saga was a 2016 award finalist in the Readers Favorite Awards in the Women’s Fiction category. Waiting for Aegina: Book Two in The Gift Saga is Kammenou’s latest release.

 Do check out other stops in the blog tour.
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BOOK: The Last Straw

AUTHOR: Ed Duncan

GENRE: Crime Fiction


THE LAST STRAW by ED DUNCAN is an action packed, crime fiction reflecting upon the insights of the world of mafia. This is the second book in PIGEON-BLOOD RED series. It is a tale of emotions, actions and the quest to save one’s loved ones.

A car-jacking by a teenager sets off a series of unfortunate events which leads to loss of many lives. A girl, who’s life is being threatened because she witnessed the incident. A high end lawyer and his friend are doing everything in their power to protect her, all the while trying to overcome their conjoined pasts and its resonance. Old flames are not easy to destroy, but their consequences, when comes to light, destroy lives of many people. And this just might be a story reflecting that. A cold war between two contract killers might lead to death of an innocent bystander. Witness a twisted tale of high end lawyers, the mafia world, and a world of contractual goons.


The book is fast paced and is easy to catch up from the previous book in the series. The characters have been assigned roles to play in sync with their features. The book conjures up a whirlwind of emotions. Equally mention-able is the detachment of a contract killer. The readers find themselves going through different settings through different characters and empathizing with each one of them at various moments. The cloud of impending doom hangs over the story since the beginning, which gives the readers one of the many reasons to look forward to the story, until an exhilarating climax. Witness the continuation of a strange relationship between a high end lawyer and a contract killer.

The author has done justice to all the characters as well as the story line. The relationship among the characters is the strongest suit in this series. The author has woven the tale to accommodate the highlights of the characters’ relations with each other. He has intertwined their fate in such a way that it has become synonymous with domino effect. One event affects another one and so on. The book is a must read for adrenaline junkies and crime fiction readers who seek the thrill of chase.


Ed is a graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern University Law School. He was a partner at a national law firm in Cleveland, Ohio, for many years. He is the original author of a highly regarded legal treatise entitled Ohio Insurance Coverage, for which he provided annual editions from 2008 through 2012. Ed, originally from Gary, Indiana, lives outside Cleveland.



BOOK: Keeper ( Roy and Castells series)

AUTHOR: Johana Gustawsson, TRANSLATED BY: Maxim Jakubowski

GENRE: Thriller


KEEPER , Roy and Castells series is a psychological thriller which features one of the most infamous serial killer of all time, Jack the Ripper. The book is written by the queen of French noir, Johana Gustawsson, and is translated by Maxim Jakubowski.

Emily Roy, a profiler and Alexis Castell, a true crime writer work together like a well oiled machine. They have worked together previously and are brilliant at what they do. However, this time, they have come across a vicious serial killer who is already in their custody. The main question is whether there’s a copy killer on the loose or does he have an accomplice? His victims are killed in such a gruesome manner that he is being compared to the infamous killer in the late nineteenth century called Jack the Ripper. The book is set in two eras, contemporary world and nineteenth century. This killer has taken upon himself to pass judgment on women who, according to him, have defied the laws of god. Both the officers, amongst others, have to put their might and minds together to catch him before its too late for his latest victim.


The book revolves around the theme of cannibalism which I absolutely love (at the risk of sounding deranged). The scenes are portrayed in such a way that they seem realistic (well, as realistic as the can be without having the readers throw up). Though the book is titled Emily Roy and Alexis Castells series, the author (and the translator) has done justice to all the characters and they all have an equally important part to play. The book depicts two worlds which are poles apart, yet have some haunting similarities. The book has some graphic scenes, so toughen up before reading it.

The author has done a brilliant job on the book. Thumbs up to the translator as well. Maxim Jakubowski has translated the book in such a manner that it manages to retain its essence. Such a topic and description could not have been easy to translate, all the while maintaining its originality and quality. Both of them have done justice to the characters, descriptions, scenes, and imagery, so kudos to both of them.


Johana Pic

Born in 1978 in Marseille and with a degree in political science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the french press and television. She married a Swede and now lives in London. She was the co-author of a bestseller, on se retrouvera, published by Fayard Noir in France, whose television adaptation drew over 7 million viewers in June 2015. her debut, block 46, was an award winning, international bestseller, with Keeper following suit. She is working on the next book in Roy and Castells series.


Also, save the dates for other stops in the blog tour.

keeper blog tour poster



So, I have been watching YouTube for the past three hours and it struck me, if vloggers can make monthly favorites videos, why can’t I? So what if I have a different medium to express it? So, here I am, commencing a monthly favorites books series. I guess it’s a month of new beginnings since I started weekly themes post for my bookstagram account (in case someone doesn’t know, it’s an account dedicated to books).


So, without further adieu, let’s get this show on the road.

My top 3 books in the month of March

1. Beware of me (Dark Obsession #4) by Cynthia Eden


I’m a sucker for romantic suspense and this book delivers just that, and then some more. The novel is a heady mix of steamy romance (not the cheesy kind, but the passionate, wild kind), suspense, deadly secrets and action.


It’s the kind of book that you finish off in a day.

2. Tell me your dreams by Sidney Sheldon


This is the first ever book of Sidney Sheldon that I came across. I still remember, I was in 9th grade and as a teenager, this book blew my mind. It was an instant love affair with Sidney Sheldon which has only grown stronger till this date .


To be honest, (spoiler alert) this book got me started on the topic of Dissociative Personality Disorder/Multiple Personality Disorder, and I have been obsessed since. March was kinda lazy week for me, so I decided to revisit my old love. Needless to say, I was reminded of why I fell in love with Sidney Sheldon in the first place. His unique story line, strong female protagonist, fast paced story line and my favorite topic, made this such a great read.

3. Flirting with Pete by Barbara Delinsky


Another treat for my romantic suspense loving self. This book had two jaw dropping moments that made me scream out loud (by now, my parents have gotten used to of my screaming while reading books). I might have shed a tear or two while reading. Overall, it’s a book that goes straight to my favorites list (not just monthly favorite).



So there you go, my top three March favorite books. Let me know if you have read any of this, and what’s your favorite book that you read recently. Until next month, TOODLES!!! (and yes, that’s how I’m gonna say goodbye)




BOOK: The Ghost

AUTHOR: Mark Conte

GENRE: Thriller


A gruesome, chilling and most of all, a TRUE story of a serial killer that will shake you from the core, THE GHOST by MARK CONTE, is a novel that you read to witness a real world nightmare.

A small, safe community has been plagued by the death of little girls where a serial killer is targeting little girls. He violates them in the most inhumane way and leaves them to dissipate until they are eventually found. He is vicious, and a man without soul. He cunningly gets away every time, hiding behind the persona of an All American Man. The law enforcement bend out backwards to catch him, only to encounter failure at every step of the way. The parents are devastated and feel so powerless when it comes to protecting their little girls. Read the book to find out the truth of how the law enforcement finally caught the perpetrator and took the measures to do so.


The book is a roller coaster ride to varying emotions such as devastation, frustration, helplessness and gut-wrenching pain. The law enforcement has done a commendable job in catching the perpetrator and deserve all the praise that they get. You read this book not for any other reason but to feel the pain of parents who lost the light of their lives, little children who had their entire lives ahead of them, law enforcement who felt helpless and took extreme measures to catch the serial killer; and the mystery of a serial killer who reigned terror upon a small community. It’s a book that you cannot put down once you start with it. The pain, helplessness, and the little girls that had so much to receive from life yet do NOT ALLOW you to put down the book. It’s the kind of book that stays with you your entire life, because it’s not just a book, it’s an emotion.

The author, MARK CONTE, has done a phenomenal job. He hasn’t exaggerated any situation and presented facts, unadulterated. The story deserves an author who could present it in a way that would strike a chord with the audience and Mark Conte has done just that. Not to mention, it takes immense courage on the part of author to pen down such a haunting story, and show such level of maturity as to make the book realistic enough to give an opportunity for readers to connect with it.




BOOK: Madam Tulip

AUTHOR: David Ahern

GENRE: Suspense, Adventure



A struggling actress, the ability to foresee future and decipher it, high class parties and parents who have a love-hate relationship, MADAM TULIP by DAVID AHERN is a perfect fusion of action, suspense, and glamour with a hint of a magical gift.

Derry, a struggling actress is blessed with the gift of foreseeing future to some extent, which has been passed on to her by her ancestors. Coming short for money, she decides to explore her talents and hosts shows as Madam Tulip, a card reader, in high class parties. At one party, she gets a premonition of something sinister and a chain of events set off which lead to the death of a prominent figure. Meanwhile, her friend is framed for a crime she didn’t commit and it looks like Madam Tulip is about to be too. With the help of an ex-marine friend, and undercover cop who happens to be someone she had a fling with, she sets out to uncover a mystery which turns out to be a set up beyond her wildest dreams.


The storyline is quite interesting and keeps the readers engaged till the end. The evolvement of the character of Madam Tulip is worth looking out for. The unraveling of the story and placement of numerous mysteries keeps the story fascinating till the end. The world of high society, drugs, parties, is explored to its optimization and in a realistic way, without exaggeration. A pinch of humor keeps things entertaining.

David Ahern has done an extremely good job. He has given a unique space to each of his characters and left room for growth in future books of the series. His writing exhibits rawness which is the testimony of his novelty.

If you want to witness a world of seers, card readers and psychics; a world of high society, glamour, their lifestyle, their tribulations, infused with laughter and mystery at every nook and corner, this is the book for you.

Look out for more books in the series.


David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate but soon absconded to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.

Madam Tulip wasn’t David Ahern’s first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’d ever had with a computer. He is now writing the fourth Madam Tulip adventure and enjoys pretending this is actual work.

David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.