Book Review & Giveaway: Ghost Owl

Title: Ghost Owl

Author: Nancy Schoellkopf

Pages: 187

Plot: Ghost Owl is a magical story of discovery, as a young woman seeks to understand her potential and confront her own shadow. Mariah Easter wakes up in the middle of the night to discover the world is as bright as noon—but for her eyes only. Urged by her godfather, she embarks on a mission to peer into the dark spaces normally hidden from view, leading her to confront the sinister nature of power, the vulnerability of the ill, and the hidden life of a homeless man: a journey that will bring healing to herself and the man she loves.

This compelling and inspirational tale, the third installment of the Avian Series, invites the reader to ponder the extraordinary treasures hidden in the ordinary events of daily life.

Thoughts: Ghost Owl is a third installment in the Avian series, but it can be read as a standalone book too. I haven’t read the first two parts and I read Ghost Owl directly. It is not absolutely necessary to read the first two parts but I would recommend reading it for better understanding of the magical concepts and the characters’ relationships.

The book starts of with our protagonist, Mariah having a strange recurring dream. She realizes that it is just not a dream but much more. She starts to see things as bright as noon even at night. Mariah consults her God father and decides to explore the possibilities.  She has different adventures night after night and decides to keep a journal about her experiences.

One day Mariah suddenly goes missing. Everyone is worried for her in the meanwhile Rafa, her roommate discovers her journal and carefully reads it just to find out where she could be. He and Mariah’s half brother, Dale visit places mentioned in Mariah’s journal with a hope of finding her.

The book is divided in twenty seven chapters. Most of the chapters are journal entries from Mariah and from Mariah’s perspective which are narrated from the first person POV. The remaining chapters are from the third person POV of the other characters. The flow of the book is easygoing and the edit seems crisp.

I found the dynamics of the relationship that Mariah and Rafa shared to be complex for my understanding. Since I haven’t read the first two books, it took me a while to latch on to the concept of Ghost Owl and its powers. But soon I understood the concept and started to enjoy my read. What I enjoyed were the parts with magical revelations and the idea of alternate dimensions which exposed the diverse possibilities.  It sort of created a metaphor for the readers to think of altering their lifestyles and decisions to lead a life that they actually wish for.

Meet the Author: Nancy Schoellkopf is the author of the Avian Series of novels including Yellow-Billed Magpie and Red-Tailed Hawk, as well as the short story collection Rover and Other Magical Tales. She has been telling stories and writing poems for many lifetimes. It goes without saying that she’s needed a second income, so this time around she happily taught amazing children in special education classes in two urban school districts in Sacramento, California. A full time writer now, she enjoys lavishing attention on her cats, her garden and her intriguing circle of family and friends.

Ratings: 3/5

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

 
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Book Review: Zero Debt: Break the Debt Cycle and Reclaim Your Life

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Title: Zero Debt: Break the Debt Cycle and Reclaim Your Life

Author: Neeraj Deginal

Page: 112 pages

Plot:  “Yes, being debt-free is POSSIBLE. If I could do it, then, anyone can do it!”Neeraj Deginal

Zero Debts – Break the Debt Cycle and Re-Claim Your Life, is about the author’s ten-year long journey from going neck deep into debt to being absolutely debt-free.

In this book you will learn:

How the author got into debt (circumstances)
How being in debt paralyzed cognitive decision making
How even simple day to day life became complicated
The thought process applied by the author to analyse his situation rationally
Systematic steps taken by the author to become and stay debt-free and the dilemmas faced during execution
Further actions taken to simplify life and plan for a better life

This book seeks to inspire the reader to become debt-free, which eventually leads them to total freedom, be it, financial freedom, emotional freedom or freedom from stress.

Thoughts:  Today in the world of EMI, credit cards and the desire to posses various luxuries, the possiblity of an individual staying debt free is slim. The author in his book ‘Zero Debt: Break the Debt Cycle and Reclaim Your Life’ shares his personal experience of getting into a heavy debt cycle over the years and eventually breaking free from it.

The author starts by highlighting the fact that how families and schools fail to teach kids about managing finances since they are provided for and never have to do so until they start earning. Likewise, the author himself started to manage finances once he started his career. He took various loans to afford a lifestyle and got neck deep into debt.

In the latter half of the book he discusses various ways and methods he adopted to overcome the debt crisis. The methods are very practical and can be adopted by most of the individuals who want to break the debt cycle.

A person with a limited knowledge of finance will be able to read and understand this book. This book is written in a simple language which can be understood by any individual who is struggling with finances and is looking for good advice.

Ratings: 4/5

PS: Thanks to the author and The Book Club for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Details:

Book Title: The Painter’s Apprentice: A Novel of 16th-Century Venice

Author: Laura Morelli

Category: Adult Fiction, 482 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: The Scriptorium

Release date: November 15, 2017

Tour dates: Oct 16 to Nov 17, 2017

Content Rating: PG-13 (some adult situations but no sex or explicit violence)

Book Description:

Would you rather sacrifice your livelihood, your lover, or your life? When the Black Death comes knocking on your door, you’d better decide quickly.Venice, 1510. Maria Bartolini wants nothing more than to carry on her father’s legacy as a master gilder. Instead, her father has sent her away from the only home she’s ever known to train as an apprentice to Master Trevisan, a renowned painter.

When the painter’s servants uncover the real reason why Maria has been sent away, they threaten to reveal a secret that could tear down her family and the future of their trade. She is forced to buy the servants’ silence, but as their greed steadily grows, Maria resorts to more desperate measures. She questions whether her heart’s desire is worth risking her family, her trade, and her future, but Maria’s sacrifices may amount to nothing if the plague arrives on her father’s doorstep before she is able to get back home.

From the author of the award-winning The Gondola Maker comes a rich tale of Renaissance Venice, a heroine with a lust for life, and love against all odds.

Pre-Order Campaign:

Laura Morelli’s new book, The Painter’s Apprentice, is out on November 15, and she is offering a set of great bonuses exclusively to her readers. If you like to delve deeper into the “story behind the story,” you’ll want to take advantage of Laura’s pre-order package (ends Oct 31st), which takes readers behind the scenes of The Painter’s Apprentice with videos, pictures, commentary about Renaissance Venice, and other exclusive content. Learn more here and order your copy today!

 

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Meet the Author:

 

LAURA MORELLI holds a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, has taught college students in the U.S. and in Italy, and currently produces art history lessons for TED-Ed. She authored a column for National Geographic Traveler called “The Genuine Article” and has contributed pieces about art and authentic travel to CNN Radio, The Frommers Travel Show, and in USA TODAY, Departures, and other media. Laura is the author of the Authentic Arts guidebook series that includes the popular book Made in Italy. Her fiction brings the stories of art history to life. Her debut novel, The Gondola Maker, won an IPPY for Best Historical Fiction and a Benjamin Franklin Award.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

 
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Book Review: Who Shall I be Today?

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Title: Who Shall I be Today?

Author: Sunita Saldhana

Page:  64 pages

Plot:    Who Shall I Be Today?

A woman can never be “just” a woman. She is a million people in one person.

“Who shall I be today?” is a collection of poems that delves into what makes up a woman. It talks of a mother’s love and fears; a woman’s search for herself; the yearnings of the heart for that someone special. It tells of the hurt and pain that love brings, and the courage to pick up the pieces and start over again.

You will find tears and smiles, pain and pride. You will find fear and courage, nostalgia and anticipation. You will find woman in all her avatars.

“Who shall I be today” by Sunita Saldhana is something written from the heart. It is a celebration of womanhood. It is guaranteed to touch the soul of every woman who reads it.

Thoughts:  “Who Shall I be Today?”  is a collection of 57 poems penned down by Sunita Saldhna. The poems are about the various roles a woman plays in her journey of life. Right from the time when her young love flourished to picking up the broken pieces of her heart, from being a daughter to motherhood, from loosing herself to finding her path.

All the poems come from a space right from the author’s heart. The essence of womanhood is penned down beautifully with each poem being powered with emotions of love, fear, passion, pain, etc. The poems are written in simple language, striking a chord with every woman reader.

My top 3 picks from the collection would be ‘From Cygnet to Swan’, ‘Love Beyond Understanding’ and ‘Don’t Tell Me Not to Love’.

I would recommend this book to every woman out there so they can get be reminded how special is it to be a woman and cherish each aspect of it!

Ratings: 3.5/5

PS: Thanks to the author and The Book Club for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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