For Authors             For Bloggers Beck Valley Books is an influential book review site and book tour host - Book Reviewer Yellow Pages       A dream to work with, professional, helpful beyond measure plus working with her is one of the best things I've done to promote my eBook - author Lisa Consiglio Ryan       I love working with you - you're kind, encouraging and effective! Thanks for all you do for all of us authors! - author Kaira Rouda       I knew I had met someone who would handle my books like they were her own. Truly a pleasure doing business with you! - author Melissa Foster       Your service and perseverance to assure that the tour ran smoothly enabled its success. I cannot express my appreciation enough - author Joyce Strand       Amazingly organized, efficient and stays on top of the details. Her professionalism is outstanding, communication skills unparalleled and she's even rather adept at hand-holding when it is necessary - author Barbara Boswell Brunner       Thanks so much to you and all of your wonderful reviewers! I've had phenomenal success from this blog tour - author Delia Colvin

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

REVIEWS REVISITED - Chance Meetings: Stories About Cross-Cultural Karmic Collisions and Compassion by Madhu Bazaz Wangu


Book Review
Book Description
NEW RELEASE......
In this eloquent collection of stories twelve different people from different walks of life discover how one chance meeting with a stranger can change a person forever. Madhu B. Wangu draws from her own Indian-American heritage and examines the lives of ordinary people facing challenging circumstances—cruelty, prejudiced minds, twisted family relationships, unhappy marriages—and demonstrates how these situations transcend ethnicity and background as interactions with strangers force each character to look deep within themselves, often acknowledging painful truths and long-held secrets, in order to seize control of their own destinies and forge their own paths to independence and happiness.

Madhu Bazaz Wangu poignantly weaves a universal message that ties the characters in these stories together, one that applies to anyone who has experienced poverty, jealousy, fear, prejudice, disillusionment, and above all, the feeling of being a foreigner, even within one’s own family.

Book available to buy from...

"Beautiful, lush, lyrical stories and rhythmic language transports and transforms--each story is an unforgettable journey." - Kathleen Shoop, IPPY Award-Winning Author of The Last Letter and After the Fog

"A skilled practitioner, Madhu B. Wangu, writes from the marrow of her bones. In her collection, she conjures dream-like motifs of goodness, guidance, and the human condition. Her writing, infused with echoes of Hindu and Buddhist myths, is deeply satisfying and transformative." - Gwyn Cready, RITA Award Winning Author 

"Chance Meetings is an evocative and thought-provoking collection: A delicious blending of cultures, delicately rendered and rich with sensory detail." Meredith Mileti, Author of Aftertaste

Story Summaries: 
Secret Healer: One small town boy’s journey from the innocence of childhood to the injustices of servitude before finding shelter with an old man.

Cadmium and Crimson: Two sculptors, one goal—to make masterpieces in three dimensions. The older dedicates his life to art and his younger contemporary to success. Where do their intentions lead them?

Blackened Mirror: A successful artist discovers his authentic self.

A Chance Meeting: A young man treats a total stranger the way he wants to be treated without expecting anything in return to amazing effect.

Yellow Jacket: The protagonist is unable to resolve the guilt caused by the jealousy toward his younger brother as a result of his sudden death.

The Thug: In an intense, frightful hour, a woman realizes the folly of gossip.

A Precious Gift: After her son’s death, a distraught woman learns from her old mother how to cope with loss.

An American Dialogue A synchronic event changes a prejudiced woman’s beliefs about a man from a religion other than her own.

Darkness Behind Eyes: At the age of seventy-two, the deep driving desire of a woman who has wanted to learn to read since her teen years helps her achieve her goal.

Gauri’s Freedom: An arranged marriage dramatically alters a young woman’s plans for her life until she meets another woman by chance who inspires her to take her life into her own hands through determination and self-sufficiency.

Cycle of Life: A young, idealistic woman learns why and how life goes on despite suffering, anguish and physical pain.

Portable Shrine: A writer discovers she is capable of more than she thought through the life lessons learned by the characters in her novel.

Read an excerpt HERE

Our Book Review
I loved, loved, loved this book of wonderful dark yet uplifting, spiritual and emotional, thought provoking short stories.  I loved the depth of each story, like a challenge, making me think what lesson I had learnt from each, I couldn't wait to read more to find out what the next story would be about.

Part fiction, part memoir, each powerful story wraps itself around Indian culture, traditions and the love of art, with unforgettable characters, this was a truly fascinating and enjoyable read.   My favorites if I have to pick had to be The Blackened Mirror, which really gripped me, next was the powerful, emotive story of love, loss and hope in A Precious Gift with every word seeming to pull at my heartstrings and finally Gauri's Freedom which had me hooked too. One story that really stood out was The Secret Healer, this had my emotions all over the place, such a sad story, which suddenly went off in a completely different, unexpected and painful direction and then ends up filling your heart with joy.

I found myself nodding in agreement, smiling, gasping as I read these short stories.  Such wonderful writing by this author, they were like a cleansing of the soul, triggering your mind to think more about each one, or reminding yourself that love changes everything, seeing the true beauty of life, opening your heart and mind and don't be judgemental in life and how easy it can be to stretch the hand of friendship that can change somebody's life.

I also enjoyed reading, at the beginning of the book, about the author's fascinating life , her passion for art and how she was chastised in life for wasting her time on her love of it, the sadness in her life which helped create the some of the stories and especially about her involvement in Vipassana meditation.  At the end of the book you are also treated to a chapter of the author's novel, An Immigrant Wife, which again really caught my interest.

This was definitely a book I will read again and probably again!


Our Rating

Photobucket

About the author
A Historian of Asian Religions and Indian Art, Madhu B. Wangu taught Hindu and Buddhist art at Wheaton College, Wellesley, University of Rhode Island and University of Pittsburgh. She has published four non-fiction books and numerous essays in scholarly anthologies. “Chance Meetings” is her debut story collection.

Find the author on the following sites...

Hope you enjoyed revisiting my review! x


Our Disclosure Policy

Sharon x

Are you a book reviewer or book blogger? Join our book tours reviewers team - Apply Here x

photo 
Sharon Martin
Blogger & Promoter at Beck Valley Books
          




Monday, August 29, 2016

REVIEWS REVISITED - Order of the Dimensions by Irene Helenowski


Book Review
Order of the Dimensions
by Irene Helenowski

About the Author



Irene Helenowski, the author of “Order of the Dimensions”, is a statistical analyst at an academic medical center in Chicago and recently received her doctorate in biostatistics. She also enjoys going to movies and concerts in her spare time.

Book Description
When Jane Kremowski first began her graduate studies in physics at Madison State University in Wisconsin, little did she know where her work would take her. Now, she is embroiled in a multitude of dimensions all leading to different outcomes. She and her colleagues therefore must act wisely in order to take and keep away the Order of Dimension from falling into the wrong hands for the sake of her loved ones.


Our Book Review
I was really intrigued when I read the book description about being able to travel to different dimensions of live and I was certainly not disappointed.  In fact, after reading the first couple of chapters I was hooked.  The chapters are nice and short, which makes it so easy to read 'just one more' then another and another.  I didn't want to put the book down and looked forward to picking it back up to read more.  A very quick read for a slow reader like myself.

Without giving too much away, the story follows the main characters Jane, a physics student, her other half Randy and Anton Zelov, a former soviet spy.  Imagine one day being married to the love of your life then in a split second being sent to another dimension where all is lost and you are married to your enemy.

A black box called the multiverser had been created at the lab where Jane was placed that allowed people to travel to other dimensions where life was totally different each time you entered.  In order to travel to multiple dimensions you need the masterboard to control it.  The dark side called The Order, led by Anton Zelov, wanted all this to himself so he could have total world domination.  He was also infatuated with Jane and would do anything to get her.  The power struggle begins as Jane and the side for justice The Federation will not allow Anton to get away with this.

You follow the story through various dimensions feeling the shock, sadness and desperation of the characters involved as they cope with loss, entrapment and confusion of what they face in each dimension. The author has done a fantastic job with the complex storyline, it was easy to follow and I only found myself referring back a couple of times.

The story is full of twists and turns and you really feel the characters emotions as you read.  I really enjoyed the book and would absolutely recommend it.

Our Rating
Photobucket


Available to purchase on Lulu for $8.97 or Amazon


Hope you enjoyed revisiting my review! x


Sharon x


Are you a book reviewer or book blogger? Join our book tours reviewers team - Apply Here x


photo 
Sharon Martin
Blogger & Promoter at Beck Valley Books
          


Sunday, August 28, 2016

REVIEWS REVISITED - Inner Pilgrimage Ten Days to a Mindful Me by Raji Lukkoor


Book Review
Inner Pilgrimage Ten Days to a Mindful Me
 by Raji Lukkoor
Meet the Author
Hi I’m Raji Lukkoor, and I’m pleased to make your acquaintance.  A travel enthusiast, I was born and raised in Goa, India, but now call California, USA, my home, where I live with my husband and two sons.  I have loved to write since I was in the seventh grade, and although I went on to study and work in the field of environmental engineering, the art of communication always fascinated me and has consistently brightened my verbal, aural, written, and interpersonal competence. Travel- both physical and vicarious (although online volunteering)-across the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia over the years has given me perspective, motivation, a sense of achievement, the ability to connect to others, and deep regard for the world's cultures.  In summer 2008, when an opportunity for travel presented itself, I couldn't resist.  It was the trip of a lifetime - at a  vipassana meditation course. This compelling experience held up a mirror to the reality of my existence, furthering my spiritual evolution and helping resurrect the authentic me. Thus was born my first publication, “Inner Pilgrimage: Ten Days to a Mindful Me.”

Book Description
A profound human experience, a modern-day response to the primeval human quest for truth and meaning in life. By engaging in the author’s spiritual journey, readers learn about vipassana—a timeless, powerful, non-sectarian, and non-mystical tool for transformation. They see how the practice of mindfulness, nourished through regular meditation, can help anyone to live a life that is fully expressed, affirming, connected, healthy, compassionate, and vibrant. This book will appeal to all spiritual seekers and to anyone with an interest in Buddhism or meditation.

Inner Pilgrimage in the hands of vipassana master His Holiness S. N. Goenka
August 08, 2011
My Review
I have often watched documentaries on retreats with the secret yearning of wanting to attend one of these myself one day.  They show you the difficulties people have to overcome and the unbelievable transformations of peoples lives that can take place, it is simply amazing.

What you don't actually think about is what it is really like to participate on such a retreat for the whole period, spending every minute there, on the personal journey you have to travel to get to your destination.  For anyone thinking of going on a similar retreat this is a great book to read, giving you an insight of what it genuinely feels like to the there, day by day, through the authors writings.

When I first saw this book, for some reason I was immediately pulled towards it and couldn't wait for its arrival.  On opening the book two words struck out to me straight away 'inner war'.  The description was so clear and so close to home that the book grabbed my attention as soon as it had began.

As well as explaining, in fantastic realistic detail, how living through the whole course felt - through the emotions, the ever so true worries the author felt, the pain and yet the enlightenment she felt, it also explains basic Buddha and meditation methods learnt.  These are the parts where you may have to re-read certain pages to fully understand.

For me the main message in the Buddha teaching is that everything in life is impermanent and by not accepting this we create our own problems.  "Why agonize over that which is I, me and mine?  The body and the mind are mere wavelets of vibration and energy.  Egoism is futile because if brings unhappiness, disappointment, frustrations, sorrow, anxieties, and worries.  Happiness is to be sought not in the outside world where society judges you, but within the person, where eternal peace, compassion, equanimity, wisdom, joy and moral integrity flourish."

A fascinating read and I have so much respect for the author, travelling through her own journey.

"A beacon of spiritual light charted a new course for my life during the summer of 2008, when I attended a S. N. Goenka led, ten-day Buddhist meditation (vipassana) retreat. That experience sparked the writing of Inner Pilgrimage: Ten Days to a Mindful Me--a mindfulness triggered spiritual transformation."

My Rating Photobucket.5


Hope you enjoyed revisiting my review! x


Sharon x


Are you a book reviewer or book blogger? Join our book tours reviewers team - Apply Here x


photo 
Sharon Martin
Blogger & Promoter at Beck Valley Books
          


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Welcome to Beck Valley Books
visit our website and search for your books at http://www.beckvalleybooks.co.uk/

Contact Form

Name

Email *

Message *