Friday, September 5, 2014

The Bridge of Deaths


Hey guys, so a while ago, I contacted M.C.V. Egan via a blogging forum, and received an E-Arc for the new revised edition of her book, The Bridge of Deaths. Then, I signed up for this book tour, to review, spotlight, and interview the author. I'd like to apologize to the publisher and author, because I haven't been able to finish the book yet. School and ho
mework and tests and quizzes and studying haven't given me too much time to read the book. I did however get around 1/3 into the book, and I'll tell you my thoughts on the writing style and the characters and theme/premise. I will finish this book very soon, and post a full review of it.
SPOTLIGHT
About The Bridge of Deaths
"M.C.V. Egan twists truth and fiction until you question your perceptions...it is a story of real love, triumph and search for self." - Beckah Boyd @ The Truthful Tarot
5 out of 5 stars:  "An unusual yet much recommended read." - Midwest Book Review 
On August 15th, 1939, an English passenger plane from British Airways Ltd. crashed in Danish waters between the towns of Nykøbing Falster and Vordingborg. There were five casualties reported and one survivor. Just two weeks before, Hitler invaded Poland.
With the world at the brink of war, the manner in which this incident was investigated left much open to doubt. The jurisdiction battle between the two towns and the newly formed Danish secret police created an atmosphere of intrigue and distrust.
The Bridge of Deaths is a love story and a mystery. Fictional characters travel through the world of past life regressions and information acquired from psychics as well as archives and historical sources to solve "one of those mysteries that never get solved." Based on true events and real people, The Bridge of Deaths is the culmination of 18 years of sifting through conventional and unconventional sources in Denmark, England, Mexico and the United States. The story finds a way to help the reader feel that s/he is also sifting through data and forming their own conclusions.
Cross The Bridge of Deaths into 1939, and dive into cold Danish waters to uncover the secrets of the G-AESY.
Get the revised 75th anniversary of The Bridge of Deaths on Amazon in ebook and paperback.

INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
What kind of book were you going for when you wrote this? Was it primarily meant to be about history, or did you want it to be about the main characters' story?

My original idea was writing the story of my two grandfathers (my grandmother’s two husbands) the one who incited my curiosity and lived a long life impacting my childhood directly and the one who died twenty years before I was born leaving more questions than answers. The archives full of discrepancies and questions as well as Anthony Crossley’s involvement in so many aspects of the world in the 1930s steered me into a completely different direction and I wanted the readers to feel how messy history is and how much of it depends on where you look, of course many readers are very aware of it but many are not. The characters are there as a tool to guide the reader through that and to make the story flow. That being said there is a real Bill and Catalina has the obsessed lonely aspects of my life; she is however fictional as my life is far from lonely.

What drives the characters to investigate is their new found knowledge regarding their past lives. Are you a believer of past lives? PS- Just a side note, irrelevant to the question-. I really liked the line about having done something bad in a past life to deserve what's happening now (I've paraphrased it)- there's reincarnation involved in Hindu mythology, and I'm Hindu, and I've actually heard my mom say that, so that was just some relevance for me.

Thank you, I am most curious about the Hindu philosophies and I am honored that you liked that. I do believe and I will tell you why. Like so many westerners the religion I was raised in Catholicism is very adverse to any belief in re-incarnation. Even though in retrospect some of the childhood stories I grew up with; classics like Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid; the real one whose goal is to have an eternal human soul, have shades of the belief in the travels of the human soul. At the time I did not see it as such but I do think that some things can subconsciously make us open to this. As a teen ager I saw a movie with Anthony Hopkins The Two Lives of Audrey Rose. I was travelling in Madrid, Spain for the very first time and my brothers and I just needed something to do on a rainy afternoon. In other words the movie chose us, in that very trip I had strange moments of “recognition” feelings of déjà vu I had never experienced before.I was not particularly interested in Spain before that and it was a trip my parents did not give me a choice about (today I am ever so grateful and full of wonderful memories). My journey exploring past lives was a slow process, full of doubt and fear of betraying the God I was taught to believe in, but at the age of 31, I had my own first past life regression and I had an actual physical experience. My Spanish which had been neutral and made it imperceptible for people to guess where I was from (think American English and British or Australian), after the regression became a stark complete MEXICAN Spanish which to this day I cannot shake off! I also think that a fair God might just give us all a variety of lives, some easy some tough and then decide what we deserve, coming from Mexico it just does not make sense to me how a just God would give so much to some and so little to others; what if we get it all and then we prove ourselves? A bit like the real Little Mermaid.

What made you want to write a story about the WWII time period?

The period chose me! My grandfather was born in 1898; imagine having a grandfather born in the 19th century? His life was turned upside down by the First World War and the beginnings of the second one dictated his death, the period was not a choice!

Essentially, who do you want A Bridge of Deaths to appeal to- what was the target audience you
thought of while writing it?

I have been so amazed with the response from such a huge variety of readers. Lawyers seem to like all the documentation, but I have had readers with limited educational backgrounds who have explained that the book made them so curious, that they now like to watch WW II documentaries and feel great to relate to them. It feels like such an honor to have excited that type of curiosity in any one person. If I have my wish my target would be anyone who can add more light to the facts!

Who is your favorite character in TBoD? Why?

MAGGIE and she is my favorite because she is the only main character who was born and formed entirely in my mind. I also love that she strives for world peace and believes in it. I like that she believes that KNOWLEDGE is the key to an awareness that might help us prevent future wars. I am a ‘wanna be pacifist’ I am not as brave as Maggie or as full of conviction, but I learned a lot from her. I also love her wild friends in my new epilogue.

I would like to thank you very much for this well thought out and fun questions to answer.

Thank YOU for answering my questions. I'd never thought I would be interacting with authors, and arcs had been a foreign concept to me. Something I knew existed, but not something I'd ever be acquainted with. This was actually the first arc I received, and I am so grateful to have had the chance to speak to you.

REVIEW
When I started reading this book, it reminded me of Titanic and The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. The history flashback brought together with a love story concept was there, and very well executed. I'm not really believer in reincarnation myself, because there's no solid evidence for me to believe, but I think it was the right direction for the story to take to bring in the concept of mystery and incorrect facts in history. The whole idea kind of scares me, but it was very well executed. 
Let me tell you how I found out about this book. The author messaged me a welcome message on a blogging forum, as I mentioned, and I decided to check out her site. I saw the trailers for the book, and I was intrigued. It may be because the music in the background was really badass and mysterious. But nevertheless, I'm so glad I picked it up. Like I said, I haven't finished yet, but I definitely will. This book immediately caught my attention, and I'm not even that big on history. When I first opened the book, I was kind of intimidated by the history aspect, bet even though there is a lot of evidence and facts and stuff, there's still a story. I'm enjoying the story so far, and by what I've read, I'd give it around 4/5 stars so far. I'll have to finish it and rereview the whole thing. 
Well, that's about it for this book tour post. I really haven't been reading too much to review, because school and stuff, but I'll get my act together soon enough and make some time to read books and review them. Thanks for reading my post, and I'll talk to you next time. 
-Swathi

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Soul Searching by Jamie-Jo Brenner Book Tour: Review

Description

Brent Harper is the perfect guy. He's Max's hero--the boy she's had a crush on since the school year began. But when Brent goes missing, Max must face the truth that she really doesn't know him at all. In order to find him, she will first need to learn everything she can about him.

After Brent wakes up without any memories, his only choice is to trust the first person he sees. Alison, the girl who finds him, promises to help him remember. But what if he doesn't want to remember? When his memories start to return, Brent is confronted with the hardest decision of his life.

How do you choose between who you thought you were and who you want to be?




My Thoughts:

When I picked this up, I'd thought I was going to be getting a contemporary book about amnesia and starting over- typical right? But really, that wasn't what this book was about. That was a part of it, but it was mainly about the main character finding acceptance for his past. Magic also ties into the story, however it was very minimal. It wasn't like Harry Potter magic; it was more like magic in faith? If that makes sense. Magic that only works if you believe in it. 
This is a self published book, and I did encounter some typos, which I had somewhat expected, but nothing too bad. One problem I had with the writing style was that it was written in a tell not show way, and that doesn't always make for the best story flow. The story was also told from lots of POVs, and at times that was a tad bit confusing sometimes, because the characters didn't really sound different from each other. 
The characters were my favorite part of the book, and I thought that Brent, the main character was very well developed. Most of the side characters were also well developed, but there was more to be desired for some of them. 
The romantic plotline was very abrupt, in that it was going in one direction, and for a short time it was in limbo as to which direction to go in, and then it suddenly just switched, and all the characters involved were okay with it. And there wasn't really any history between the characters that became the two love interests. 
Overall, I enjoyed the plot. It was like a contemporary with some magic and supernatural thrown in, in the best possible way. There were some bible quotes and references thrown in here and there, and those seemed unnecessary to me, but overall it wasn't cliched, and the plot was suspenseful in a way that you wanted to keep reading. I'm not going to say that my eyes were glued to the pages, but by no standards was it all that bad. 
I give this book a solid 3 stars. I liked it, I didn't hate it, but there are some areas for improvement. 

About the Author


I'm a 2nd Dan Black Belt in Tang Soo Do. I have been on mission trips, one to Haiti and the other to a Native American Reservation/Camp in Oklahoma. I loved both experiences.

I am in the Army Reserves. And I volunteer at Camp Sunshine each August. I also work in Security for Farmer's Insurance. And I was a victim's advocate for the YWCA.

My passion is writing and I love to read. I wrote a books, A Place for Me, and most recently, Soul Searching.

When I was 19, I made an independent film (wrote, directed and starred in it) called, Weight of the World. I wrote A Place for Me when I was 20. Published it at 21. When I was 22, my cousins and I made a indie movie out of it. Now at 32, I wrote another book. Soul Searching.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of The Virtual Book Tour Cafe' and a
copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been
received by The Virtual Book Tour Cafe', no payment was received by me in exchange for
this review nor was there an obligation to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here
are entirely of my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's
publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with
the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of
Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Hi guys, I didn't put an intro at the top as per usual, so I'm going to toss everything I have to say in my outro. This is my first book tour, and that is really exciting for me. I have another coming up in a few days, so I'm just finishing reading and gathering my thoughts for that. This was fun. I'm really enjoying actually being a part of the blogger community, and it was really cool to get my arc-copy in the mail, and whatnot. I'll talk to you next time.
-Swathi