Chaotic Alleys #ShortStories by Mahesh Nair

Please welcome my author buddy Mahesh Nair who has recently released his debut book – ‘Chaotic Alleys: Collected Works.’ I was enthralled by this book as Mahesh’s short stories unfold like opening a treasure chest; you have to delve deeper to find the gems hidden in the corners – such is his style of writing.

Chaotic Alleys: Collected Works is a fiction compilation of micro, flash, and short stories published, shortlisted, longlisted, and anthologized in journals and magazines.

“I appreciate expression that provokes my senses, causes my gut to rise or settle. If the words remain with me as images, it’s a winner. Mahesh’s writing has done this,” says Bela Johnson — Editor, Writer, & Former Host of Alternative Currents on WERU-FM

Purchase link

My Review:

True to its name, ‘Chaotic Alleys’ escorts you into turbulent lanes of life that diverge into unimaginable proportions. Some of them open into positive vistas but much depends on your own perspective and interpretation. Fresh and poignant, Mahesh Nair’s flash fiction says volumes in just a few words, each one loaded! His stories are close to reality yet unpredictable. They compel you to ponder, as the depth of his words is mysterious.

This book is divided into three parts: flash fiction, short stories and micro-fiction. You could finish it within an hour or keep returning to fathom some profound and chilling truths. Read how callous compassion is, what a sham some wishes are, what a mockery people make of their existence. These stories would shake you to search the exact meaning of life; the elusive realities would unfold with an alarming authenticity. 

‘The Budding 90s’ is layered in the mystery of words; it doesn’t speak about the relationship shared by Amit and Samir but lets you discern what his “walking partner” means to Amit. The symbols of ‘heat’ and ‘rivulets of rainwater’ may seem paradoxical but they add a brilliant dimension to the story. ‘Water’ that trickles from the window and ceiling complete the societal and religious constraints that threaten to weaken their souls.

A subtle comment on the plight of couriers, ‘Alert, Alert’ unravels the truth about parsimonious people. Do they even know what is gratitude? Could they ever understand what compels the couriers to keep going despite the callous attitude of those who sit in the comfort of their offices and get served with the food of their choice? The flashbacks of Samaira’s life add a touch of poignancy to her struggle.

‘A Distance Away’ stunned me, as it is completely unpredictable. Written in an unusual style, it sounds like a normal cruise date, as Randy seems to love Jane. Like a meandering stream, their thoughts don’t give any inkling where they are going to lead each other. This one is my favorite! No guessing would lead you to the truth that unfolds. 

While I sympathize with Samaira, ‘Breathlessly Yours’ left me spellbound. I smiled at the optimism of Jon; would his dreams of wooing a woman, two decades younger than him come true? You’ll have to read to find out.

Nair’s characters exude dynamism but something hides behind their persona that raises the story above the mundane. Whether it is Randy or Jon – two entirely different men, they are well defined and memorable; they may seem realistic yet they are not! The hallmark of Nair’s stories is variety and tone, so different from the traditional ones. Highly recommended.

Meet the Author:

Mahesh Nair studied creative fiction at New York University. He won Strands International Flash Fiction Award, was shortlisted for Bath Flash Fiction Award and Micro Madness NFFD New Zealand, long listed twice for Reflex Fiction prize, and highly commended twice at London Independent Story Prize. His work has appeared in Barren Magazine, Literary Orphans, The Bookends Review, Smokebox, Paragraph Planet, 101 Words, AdHoc Fiction, BlinkInk Print, and Crack the Spine, and is featured in three anthologies. He was a contributing author for a CNF anthology, Lady by the River.

Connecting links:

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Balroop Singh.

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#NewRelease: Slivers: Chiseled #Poetry

on the wings of words
glistening with halcyon hope
my new book is here!

When I stumbled upon haiku – a Japanese form of poetry, I scoffed it away, thinking it to be too short and easy to write. My hubris got a setback when I was challenged to write it! My earlier efforts show how I struggled with the syllables that could convey a meaningful message. Slowly I discovered this art form, which I revere now. I’ve taken some liberties with the rules though.

The poetry in this collection is not traditional haiku and tanka but inspired from them. This collection focuses on micro-poetry, inspired from haiku, senryu, tanka and acrostic poems. Brevity and discipline is the hallmark of these poems.

I would like to express my gratitude to Colleen M Chesebro for reading an ARC and extending her invaluable guidance about these forms of poetry.

Purchase link


US
UK DE FR ES IT NL JP BR CA MX AU IN

Paperback link

Promotional price for one week: $ 0.99

Excerpts:

sun spreads divine gold
creates fusion of colors
illumines life

~

serrated peaks kiss
a demure dawn is smiling
scattering some cheer

~

dusk trots complacently
knocks supremacy of the sun
smiles of stars follow

~

full moon still lingers
trees delight in divine light
blissful spectacle

© Balroop Singh

I am extremely thankful to all my author buddies and blogger friends who always spread a word about new releases. Please feel free to re-blog this post and share at your favorite networks. I look forward to your support.

Balroop Singh.

Hiding Cracked Glass @jamescudney4 @Shalini_G26 and #BookReview

Amazon US

Please welcome my author buddy and blogger friend, who is launching a sequel to his book – Watching Glass Shatter. I am delighted to share the news. I’ve already read it! Thanks to Jay for sending me an advance copy.

About the Book:

An ominous blackmail letter appears at an inopportune moment. The recipient’s name is accidentally blurred out upon arrival. Which member of the Glass family is the ruthless missive meant for?

In the powerful sequel to Watching Glass Shatter, Olivia is the first to read the nasty threat and assumes it’s meant for her. When the mysterious letter falls into the wrong hands and is read aloud, it throws the entire Glass family into an inescapable trajectory of self-question. Across the span of eight hours, Olivia and her sons contemplate whether to confess their hidden secrets or find a way to bury them forever. Some failed to learn an important lesson last time. Will they determine how to save themselves before it’s too late?

Each chapter’s focus alternates between the various family members and introduces several new and familiar faces with a vested interest in the outcome. As each hour ticks by, the remaining siblings and their mother gradually reveal what’s happened to them in the preceding months, and when the blackmailer makes an appearance at Olivia’s birthday party, the truth brilliantly comes to light.

Although everyone seemed to embrace the healing process at the end of Watching Glass Shatter, there were hidden cracks in the Glass family that couldn’t be mended. Their lives are about to shatter into pieces once again, but this time, the stakes are even higher. Someone wants to teach them a permanent lesson and refuses to stop until success is achieved. 

 Purchase Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Goodreads

Meet the Author:

Background

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career in technology and business that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I refocused some of my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing and publishing.

Author

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Next Chapter Pub: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/james-j-cudney

My Review:

Hiding Cracked Glass by James J. Cudney is a brilliant sequel to Watching Glass Shatter – the saga of Glass family, each member a complex human being yet realistic and benevolent. All of them are flawed, with secrets that they carry within their hearts but guilt gnaws at them the moment they try to introspect. None of them find life a swinging delight.

Olivia, the grieving widow of Benjamin William Glass buries the secret of her husband in her heart and chooses escapism. She goes to Italy on an extended vacation that had been planned with Ben but his sudden death had convoluted her life. When she returns, another turbulence strikes Glass estate in the form of a letter that becomes the center of discussion. Who has sent this threatening letter and for whom? True to his style, Cudney has created a plot within the plot to keep you guessing by pulling in each member of the family who thinks that the letter is for him or her.

A character driven story, it flows at a steady pace till it hits the boulder of past events, which have been narrated together. They bring the story to standstill and fail to blend in the present. The element of curiosity drowns in the details that each character shares from his POV. None of the characters could evoke my sympathy except Emma, the young sensitive girl who rides the roller coaster of emotions. Matt is still struggling to overcome the roadblocks that had haunted him. Olivia is intuitive enough to dislike the new housekeeper, the moment she sets her eyes on her. Cold, indifferent and haughty Olivia mellows down in this book and takes some sane decisions. 

I marvel at the way such a large cast of well-defined characters has been handled to create a gripping story. Thanks to James for providing an ARC to me even before the official release of the book. An enjoyable read.

– Balroop Singh.

Give-away:

Enter for chances to win Hiding Cracked Glass and Watching Glass Shatter!

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e5ee1a9220/?

Thank you. Please share this post at your favorite networks and support Jay, an awesome author.

Just Her Poetry #NewRelease

Just Her Poetry

I am delighted to welcome my blogger friend D.L.Finn to celebrate the release of her first poetry book, “Just Her Poetry Seasons of a Soul.”  You would be touched by realism in her poetry, which is inspired from Nature and seasons.

Finn Facts:

  1. I watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette shows, even when I announce I’m not going to. I hope for love to win, even in the strangest of circumstances.
  2. My favorite flower is a rose. Its beauty mesmerizes me, while its scent relaxes me. I always keep a bottle of rosewater with me.

Blurb:

Take a journey with D.L. Finn as she blends her love of nature with her deepest emotions. Sit with her on the forest floor observing its tranquil beauty, or stroll along the ocean’s shore admiring the vastness of its horizon. Here in these peaceful moments you’ll be able to experience her thoughts and feelings in the light—and in the darkness. This is a thought-provoking collection of poetry that invites the reader into all the seasons of a soul.

Excerpt FROM THE BOOK WORLD:

EVILDWELS MOVE ON

(based on This Second Chance and The Button)

Evildwels cannot exist where there is love.

But if there is doubt, fear, and hate they thrive.

They do their best to extinguish any love,

While feeding on the absence of it.

They only win with their own conquests.

Their hunger fed as they discard their victim.

Time is irrelevant to them…

As they search for the rage they need.

It seems to be in abundance for them.

They can pick their cream of the crop

…And then wipe it out.

The battle can be bleak and boundless

…Between good and evil.

But ultimately, it is evil that loses,

When good repairs the broken soul

…It is the stronger of the two.

It may lose the battle but always wins the war,

Then the good in love becomes the happy ending.

Evildwels move on…searching and waiting

For the cruel satisfaction of temporary hosts

In a moment where love is wiped away

Until love re-emerges…and the evildwel moves on.

Amazon Purchase Link

author_pic_smaller_sizeMeet the author:

D.L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, and adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventures with an open invitation for her readers to join her.

D.L. Finn Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

D.L. Finn blog

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‘Timeless Echoes’ is Here!

Book cover

Timeless Echoes is just a click away now. Click on the link to download it and hear the echoes that would reverberate around you, reminding you of lost opportunities, repressed desires, cherished moments and hope that shimmers through clouds.

Here are all the links:

US UK DE FR ES IT NL JP BR CA MX AU IN

When Echoes Vibrate

Lilies in the garden spoke to me
Birds sang merrily
Clouds of gloom disintegrated
When I let these echoes vibrate

Mute watchers warbled
Fluttering fervently around me
Stirring hopeful messages
Of joy and bliss

When smoke of your love
Tried to asphyxiate me
When dreams got besieged
I flew on the wings of words

Fears receded when
Sun spread its gold
Creating a fusion of colors
Silently illuminating life.© Balroop Singh

The Editor’s Review:

Half of what we say are lies although they might be considered true, but truth with one’s self is an accepted bundle of lies except for those rare moments of self-realization. These lines right at the start of Timeless Echoes, ‘Each moment is precious, we try to cage it within our heart, where it perches in perfect rampart, embalmed by memories,’ reveal how this book is a healer, promising to lay bare the ills of the soul as it soothes, cleanses, and nurtures; instilling in us a will to learn and live without fear, and a will to not hurt others: ‘Why can’t our hearts feel the hurt we hurl at others?’

Balroop’s new book is a steadfast repudiation of those ills that we painfully hide under the covers of our flesh to present the polished exterior as truth. This magnetic collection of poems highlights our precious human lives with all their varied emotions and imposing relations: the lives often blinded by the strictures of the self-made duplicity, an excessively common phenomenon. ‘Listen to your heart, my friend. It knows you well,’ she writes.

I treasure these ‘forgetting fragile facets of love, facade of fading memories, echoes of dwindling love, is all I have now, yet love echoes refuse to subside’ believing that love echoes are soul-launched signals, ready to hug our pretenses to forge a divine assimilation because the struggle has always been with the self that we excommunicate to build up a wall, which obscures the travails plaguing the core. And finding a path to the core is the cure since there’s no villainy in the soul.

As Balroop proclaims ‘love is such a strange emotion, it gives less, it claims more…the facade of love is so delusive,’ I concur how our infirmities require urgent banishment, more pressing now than ever. And once I’ve made peace with the self, ‘the dark corridors are like meadows, they glow with my presence.’ Yes, without an iota of my own falsehoods plaguing me.
  Mahesh Nair

Thank you for your support.

Please share this post at your favorite social networks.
Balroop Singh.