mardi 31 juillet 2012

July RAK Wrap Up

Hi Everybody!
                     Welcome to my July Random Act of Kindness wrap-up post. This month was a great opportunity, since i didn't go on vacation i could make more RAK, 6 in total, and i met wonderful persons too so it was a good experience, once again.

In July I received:

from Ciska / Her blog

                                    & Kiss of Fury from Mariska

        Thank you so much to both of you

I've sent in July:
( note: i don't take picture of the Rak i create before sending them so it's only if the receiver made one i can use that i will add it here so this post will perhaps be edited later to add some)

A handmade Bird keychain to Ciska
A handmade white tiger bookmark to Faye from A Daydreamers's thoughts
A handmade bird bookmark to Brianne from MemoriesOvertaking Me
A handmade unicorn keychain to The Blonde Zombie - I hope you will get better really soon^^
and to my dear Christine, her blog, i've send a handmade snowflake bookmark and a handmade snowflake keychain, thank you a lot Christine you happiness really made this worth it and illuminated my day.

Thanks again to Books soulmates for the organisation of this event and to all participants.

How was your RAK this month?

lundi 30 juillet 2012

Dead Iron (Age of Steam1) by Devon Monk

Hello to all,

                 Like i wrote in the morning i come back today with a new steampunk book to review. It's one of the book i had on my shelves patiently waiting because if it's a new series it's not a new author for me. I follow Devon Monk for her urban fantasy series and i really love her writing style so it's with a lot of pleasure that i introduce you to Dead Iron Book one of the Age of Steam series

Publisher: ROC
Publication: 2011
ISBN:  045146396X
Genre: steampunk, adventure, romance
Violence: mild

Language: normal
sex: none
Public: 15+
Source: bought

Short description from goodread :

 Welcome to a new America that is built on blood, sweat, and gears...

In steam age America, men, monsters, machines, and magic battle for the same scrap of earth and sky. In this chaos, bounty hunter Cedar Hunt rides, cursed by lycanthropy and carrying the guilt of his brother's death. Then he's offered hope that his brother may yet survive. All he has to do is find the Holder: a powerful device created by mad devisers-and now in the hands of an ancient Strange who was banished to walk this Earth.

 In a land shaped by magic, steam, and iron, where the only things a man can count on are his guns, gears, and grit, Cedar will have to depend on all three if he's going to save his brother and reclaim his soul once and for all...

My opinion:

          Devon Monk after writing really good urban fantasy decided to write a steampunk novel and what a good result. She kept her good writing style that I like so much and constructed a complex world with several kind of powers good or bad fighting each others or making alliances and she put all that in a western background, original and really interesting.

First book of her new series, the story keeps a lot of mysteries that while not capital in this book intrigue the reader making him want to read the following book really soon in hope to learn more about the characters. Cedar is a wonderful principal character, hurt in the past, cursed ( or perhaps in a way blessed) by a native Good, he is trying to live the life he wants and to fight the curse not wanting to be a pawn for anyone god or not. However, in the same time, this intellectual has a good heart that makes him try to help others and for that he needs the advantages of the curse and is doing his mission as the God wanted: fighting the Strange. Perhaps it was an accident then and it was really chosen even if the god could have explained better in that case^^;

The other characters are promising too: Cedar’s brother Will also cursed but with a different result. Why the difference? The Madders Brothers genial inventors from a strange place, a different world and with typical powers, intriguing characters helping Cedar and others but in exchange of favours… that we still know nothing about. Mae the witch, so different from her sisters and so deeply in love, is making me cry a lot but she is also a lot stronger and determined that we could have thought. And young Rose of unknown origin abandoned as a baby and who wants to fight for her dreams so uncommon for a girl: create metal things and piloting. Fiery temper for a young woman.

This story puts the characters on the board and while wanting to help find a boy Cedar makes alliance with the Madders and with Mae who wanted first his help. Will reappears and Rose makes changing life decisions. On the other side a big Villain, after hundred years of scheming he wants to give the Strange free reign to destroy the mortal in exchange for his revenge in another world. One side wants to survive, eclectic group that must to learn to know and trust each others and the other a dark power that won’t stand anyone in his path to destruction.

The romance is here centred on Mae’s love for her husband Jeb, the reader discovers the depth and the power of one’s vows in this world. It’s not all, Cedar starts to be interested again, not yet in love but wanting to feel it again slowly humanity wins. ( Mae or Rose  we will see)

In a whole a wonderful story with adventure and passion, for readers who love steampunk and urban fantasy give it a try, Devon monk is really a great author.

Score:  4,5/5

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and no compensation was received in exchange for this review


This book enter in the Romance and Me Challenge

Book read for the 2012 TBR reading

The Secret Life of Copernicus H. Stringfellow: Surreptitious Superhero by Lorin K. Barber

Hello to all,

                       a new week is starting so it's time for a new book to be introduced to you. To change a bit from the steampunk - which genre you could perhaps have another review really soon- today you get a YA book from a new author for me Lorin K. Barber and his book: " The Secret Life of Copernicus H. Stringfellow : Surreptitious Superhero", a long title but very appropriate. 


Publisher: Sweetwater Books
Publication: 2012
ISBN:  1599559293
Genre: YA
Violence: mild

Language: normal
sex: none
Public: 15+
Source: A copy in exchange for an honest review

Short description from goodread :

 Copernicus H. Stringfellow, a.k.a. Nick, is not your run-of-the-mill genius. His mind is so powerful it can stop a speeding automobile or stem internal bleeding. As Nick goes about quietly doing good, he discovers that his powers are greatly enhanced by the nutrients present in Twinkies. Follow Nick on his amazing adventures in this humorous and exciting action-packed book for all ages.

My opinion:

          Mostly it was an enjoyable story. I don’t know why but at first I was expecting Copernicus to be a way younger, a teenager instead of an adult. He is an original character really intelligent, a true genius but also a young man who has some difficulties to fit in the normal world. He is really kind and wants to make good, to set things right but his language and lack of social skills make things harder for him sometimes. He isn’t arrogant at all, quite humble even, and manages to have hundreds of friends but at times when in a normal conversation his intellect makes him stand out because he doesn’t comprehend the innuendo, the allusions and go straight for the facts. It can be funny for others but not sure it’s the same for him.
He needs some adaptation at the emotional levels to better comprehend other people but every genius are lacking in it or so it seems. A lot of his reactions are still similar to those of a child, the way he gets back to some characters in a no aggressive way but more like a joke, how he does something just he feels like it and it is one of the reasons why he doesn’t see the problems growing at the hospital for example.

The writing style is showing some promises while not at his peak. The space of the story is a bit too unequal for my taste some chapters are only one page, other several. Then for example the plane’s part of the story was really too slow in comparison of the rest. Yes the confusion needed to be shown but after a paragraph or two all the analytical- or lack of it – vision of his situation got a bit boring and a younger reader could loose interest.
The twinkies are important ok but sometimes I would have love more synonyms, descriptions for it.

One thing also that really bothered me was how the author thought and included the abduction part.  The story is about Copernicus yes and all the other characters are less developed but I like to find a closure. While the big story and book have it, the author seems to have forgotten those little girls. We know what happened to the first one or more exactly that she is found we read all details for the fourth one, more essential to the general story I agree, but nothing for the other two. We don’t know if they are alive or not, what happened to them, we don’t know the reason behind those kidnapping and for me there should have been something about it even if the author wanted to target a younger audience there was a way to put it into words no matter what  Lorin Barber decided as their fate.

Now like I said the book in itself has an ending, a closure and one really interesting by the way. The moral of the book to help others, do good is well explained even if Copernicus does use his powers not exactly when and how he should in a lot of occasions preferring to ask forgiveness later.

A good read even for younger readers but in that case it could be better as a school assignment for example so they could speak about it and share they thoughts because some important topics are introduced in the story like domestic abuse, murder, harassment, child abuse etc so it would better if there was a group discussion for example to help smooth things and not just let the younger ones alone after their reading.

Score:  3,5 /5

Source: a copy in exchange for a honest review, no other compensation was received.

If you want this book you can buy it on amazon or on Bookdepository

You can find more informations about the author Lorin Barber on his Blog

samedi 28 juillet 2012

Phoenix Rising (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences 1) by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris

Hello everyone^^,

                           The first sunny week of summer has come to an end with again rain, rain and guess what? more rain. Fortunately for me, my reading shedule gave me such a pleasure that i could forget the weather.
To go on on my discovery of Steampunk and thanks to a contest on A.L. Davroe, i've got the opportunity to read Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris...i 'm so glad for it. Even better, i've found that apart of book2 already available, there are also several short stories *__* i want those pdfs as soon as i can *_* but those are available for free in podcasts on the series' official website. Now it's my first time with podcast but i loved the one i tried ( however english not being my native language i still have difficulties with listening comprehension thus the reasons i want the pdf of those stories too^^)

So, today, i will introduce you to this wonderful series and it's first book Phoenix Rising: (be cautious of the sparks and explosive...)

Happy reading

Publisher: Harper Voyage
Publication: 2011
Genre: steampunk, romance, suspense
Violence: strong
Language: normal
sex: Mild ( lot of allusions) 
Public: 18+
Source: Won on A. L. Davroe ( thank you so so much!)

Short description from goodread :

 Evil is most assuredly afoot—and
Britain’s fate rests in the hands of an alluring renegade . . . and a librarian.

These are dark days indeed in Victoria’s England. Londoners are vanishing, then reappearing, washing up as corpses on the banks of the Thames, drained of blood and bone. Yet the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences—the Crown’s clandestine organization whose bailiwick is the strange and unsettling—will not allow its agents to investigate. Fearless and exceedingly lovely Eliza D. Braun, however, with her bulletproof corset and a disturbing fondness for dynamite, refuses to let the matter rest . . . and she’s prepared to drag her timorous new partner, Wellington Books, along with her into the perilous fray.

For a malevolent brotherhood is operating in the deepening London shadows, intent upon the enslavement of all Britons. And Books and Braun—he with his encyclopedic brain and she with her remarkable devices—must get to the twisted roots of a most nefarious plot . . . or see England fall to the Phoenix!

My opinion:

          A wonderful example of steampunk! I loved all the gadgets and the investigation parts. The Characters are so fun and they still keep a lot of secrets for the readers and for each others so the series is really promising.
The relation Welly has with his father is strange and makes me so curious. We can guess it wasn’t easy for him to distance himself from this strong figure and part of me would be so delighted to read a meeting with Miss Braun  just to see the reaction of Welly ‘s father.. it could be so fun.

Eliza Braun is crazy in love with dynamite , when asked to choose between back up and black powder she choose the powder and the result is a lot of work for clean up team and for the ones responsible for keeping everything secret. Hard to find logic explanation for so many destructions. Because of her petulant behaviour she is partnered with Wellington in the archives, so far from the field she is accustomed for, however some will have great surprises if they thought it was going to keep her calm.  Proud woman from New Zealand, she will shake the British archivist and every ones that cross her path. 
I absolutely loved all the opera part, really you should read it it ‘s action packed, funny, everything ^^

The other characters aren’t lacking either. The ministry of seven is cute, cunning and so resourceful.
Director Sound is secretive and must have a plan to pick those two agents and put them together. As for the plot, with so many villains part of so many secret society it’s a just a bit difficulty to guess who is who but at least we know we will have a lot of actions. Phoenix society, House of usher ( from whose we know nearly nothing yet) and Lord Sussex scheming plot… while this book has a proper ending , we really want more and the series is really promising.

As for the romance part:  I love how it’s developing. Currently it’s more one sided Books is really attracted to Eliza but not acting on it yet and while she loves to tease him she must first find closure on her “affair” or lack of it with Harrison. However even if she is comparing them she is slowing appreciating Wellington more and more so it’s  a great promise for the rest of the series while they are learning about each other.

I wholeheartedly recommend it. It was pure pleasure and if I wasn’t for the orgy part it would have be great for a larger public but as it stands for adult readers only.

Score:  5/5

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and no compensation was received in exchange for this review


This book enter in the Romance and Me Challenge
Book read for the 2012 TBR reading


mercredi 25 juillet 2012

Viridis ( Viridis1) by Calista Taylor

Hello to all,

                   on this sunny wednesday, i will share with you another steampunk romance i've discovered and if you like it, it's free so you can make your own opinion ^^ without waiting here comes Viridis by Calista Taylor

Publisher: Daeron Press
Publication: 2011
ISBN: B005KT028Q
Genre: steampunk romance
Violence: high

Language: normal
sex: high
Public: 18+
Source: free copy on smashwords

Short description from goodread :

 In steampunk Victorian London, Lady Phoebe Hughes develops an herbal elixir, Viridis, unlike any other. London’s elite flock to her club to experience the euphoria and heightened senses the drink brings. Imagine an orgasm brought on by a single kiss. But when Lord Hawthorne is murdered after leaving her club, Phoebe is shocked to find that not only was he working for the Special Services to infiltrate the Cause, a movement fighting for the city's poor, he was also in possession of her secret formulation for Viridis.

Adding to her difficulties is the unexpected return of Mr. Seth Elliott, a brilliant tinkerer who stole her heart and imagination, only to abandon her when she needed him most. Unable to ignore all that is between them, Phoebe finds herself falling for Seth once again, only to have a powerful rival for her affections wrongly accuse Seth of attempted murder. As Phoebe struggles with a way to free her love, revolution, conspiracy and murder threaten to ruin it all.

My opinion:

          The quality of this story is great and the author offers it free to readers, I can say I was surprised and really happy while reading this book.
The story takes place in a kind of alternate world so there are a lot of similarities and we can easily immersed ourselves in the plot and in the same time there are a lot of particularities that make this world even more fascinating.

I loved to see how the investigation was proceeded and I enjoyed not knowing the reasons and culprit immediately (even if I got Gabriel at once^^;;). The relation between the characters is well constructed and their personalities are showing quickly so we can choose our favourite quite easily. I loved Seth but part of me think Gavin would be better for Phoebe because he seems to understand her better ^^. I also really liked William who is honest and so understanding.

If the principal plot has its ending in this book, we can see the secondary plot remaining unsolved and it’s a good opening for the rest of the series.  Now I also would have liked a bit more of explanation about the universe or at least to get the hints more quickly because a lot is left unsaid. We can’t really know which side is right the government or the Cause both are doing right and wrong things and without knowing more we can’t choose a side.

For all this positive aspects, this book isn’t for all public either. The violence is high and the sexual parts of the story are not for an under aged or sensitive person. There is mention of rape and homosexuality, well written yes but better for adult readers who know what they will be reading.

Score:  4/5

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and no compensation was received in exchange for this review


This book enter in the Romance and Me Challenge

samedi 21 juillet 2012

The Seduction of Phaeton Black (Paranormal Investigator1) by Jillian Stone

Hello to all!

                    Today it's the National Day ," la Fête Nationale", for me and all Belgian ones  so i decided to concentrated on my reading so i could enjoy next a good meal with my family without negleting you.

Today, i will share with you my second experience with the Steampunk Romance subgenre. When i learned i had to read this kind of book for the Romance and Me Challenge i was i bit disappointed because at first it was crime romance not Steampunk and i was afraid i didn't have any books of the genre. I even did know at all what kind of genre it was, After a little moment of panick general ( there is only me who could panick for a reading challenge^^;;) i found i had one book perhaps even two and that i could find some free one.
Then, a blog i follow had an international contest for a new book and one of steampunk romance, we had to guess who inspired the male character and the first one who got it right got a signed book as well as two others. I tried and by luck i was the first one! I started jumping around because the book seemed good and i was going to have it for the challenge so perfect. ( to be precise we were only 5 to get the right answer so the author kindly offered each of us a book- being international i got one non signed but still so happy).

So without waiting more i'm really pleased to offer you my review of The Seduction of Phaeton Black by Jillian Stone and if you like it check internet there is a blog tour going on where you could win a copy.

Publisher: Brava paranormal romance
Publication: 2012
ISBN:  0758268963
Genre: Steampunk romance, paranormal romance
Violence: strong

Language: mild
sex: very strong
Public: 18+
Source: won from Jillian Stone at My Bookish Ways

Short description from goodread :

 In the gaslit streets of Victorian London, phantoms rule the night, demons dance till dawn, and one supernatural detective dares to be seduced by the greatest power of all. . .

He's The Man With The Magic Touch

A master of deduction, seduction and other midnight maneuvers, Phaeton Black is Scotland Yard's secret weapon against things that go bump in the night. His prodigious gifts as a paranormal investigator are as legendary as his skills as a lover, his weakness for wicked women as notorious as his affection for absinthe. But when he's asked to hunt down a fanged femme fatale who drains her victims of blood, he walks right into the arms of the most dangerous woman he's ever known. . .

She's The Devilish Miss Jones

Pressing a knife to his throat--and demanding he make love to her--Miss America Jones uses Phaeton as a willing shield against the gang of pirates chasing her. As deadly as she is, with a derringer tucked in her garter, Miss Jones is not the vampiric killer he's been staking out--but she may be just what Phaeton needs to crack the case. As the daughter of a Cajun witch, she possesses uncanny powers. As a fearless fighter, she can handle anything from Egyptian mummies to Jack the Ripper. But when an ancient evil is unleashed on the world, she could be his only salvation. . .or ultimate sacrifice.

My opinion:

          HOT! Is the first word that comes to mind when I think of this novel, really not for young peoples or too sensitive ones.

Now I’m still new to steampunk  subgenre since it’s only my second book and I wasn’t really sure what to expect of it but I like it!. I absolutely loved the paranormal twist and secret investigations and all because that does remind me the role playing game called “Call of Chtullu”. It’s the first time I find a book that transport me in this kind of universe with an atmosphere dark but not horrifying and all the suspense around it. Magical.
It was really a good read  even if I admit the sexy part was just a bit too much for me^^;; It was so well written, even those part they are sexy but not vulgar at all, that I was captivated in the story.

The plot is magnificent with the historical aspect and the mythological inputs and mysteries. The Characters are well constructed and complete with their strengths, secrets and weaknesses.  Phaeton is a detective very different from others and that isolates him. Since his childhood he had to keep his faculties a secret, and thus being those faculties aren’t understood nor mastered well even if he now uses them in his job. He has a really bad reputation one he encourages a lot. He is secluding himself however in the same time he is dreaming of someone who could really understand him, of a mentor.

Miss Jones isn’t the typical woman from the 19th century far from it. Growing on a ship travelling the world she is speaking several languages, has a variety of knowledge and can fight. She isn’t uneducated, not at all but she had a very different childhood than most. Add to that her mixed origins and you get a strong and independent woman with magical abilities and one who knows who she is. She ignores the reasons why her mother put her in her father’s care while she in the same time taught her their magic and all supernatural aspects. This secret could be important in the future but for this first book we are discovering a very strong willed woman who dares to take risks to get what she want and who speak her mind. A good complementary mate for Phaeton.

Others characters are also important and intriguing. Doctor Exeter has a lot to teach to Phaeton and we want to learn more about him. How he got his powers, who taught him, what else he can do. Edvar is a cute gargoyle, shape shifter, one that Phaeton should recognize more because he is also very helpful and a good guardian.  I also loved the old curator ^^  and Ping/Jin from who we knows nearly nothing as of yet.

I spend a wonderful time even if it seems that I’m reading steampunk more slowly that others genre. I’m really curious about book two and a certain egg.
I will glady recommend it to my fellows at the role playing club^^; we could learn from Miss Jones and Phaeton (only for the bluff ‘s part,  no worries). For the Readers of Steampunk romances or the reader of paranormal romance who want to try something different that’s a book to recommend!

Score:  4,5/5

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and no compensation was received in exchange for this review


This book enter in the Romance and Me Challenge

mardi 17 juillet 2012

Night Reigns ( Immortal Guardians 2) by Dianne Duvall

Hello to all,

                     So since i'm really late in my reading due to medical problem, today won't be a steampunk romance like i wanted( i will try to review more of those before the end of the month) but a paranormal romance. So Today is my opinion on he second book of the Immortal Guardians by Dianne Duvall.

Happy reading

Publisher: Zebra paranormal romance
Publication: 2011
ISBN:  1420118625
Genre: paranormal romance
Violence: strong

Language: normal
sex: strong
Public: 18+
Source: won

Short description from goodread :

 Ami isn't much for trusting strangers. She has a hard time trusting anyone. But she's no coward, and she's no pushover in the protection department either. So when she comes across a mysterious warrior taking on eight deranged vampires on his own, she doesn't hesitate to save his bacon. Of course, that was before she realized what one little rescue would get her into . . .

Marcus Grayden has been an immortal protector of humanity for eight hundred years, and at the moment he's not interested in backup. From the moment Ami arrives in his life, he can't deny that she's strong, smart, and extremely skilled at watching his back. But she's also destroying his protective solitude and stirring desires he can't bear to awaken. After all, whatever her secrets — how can she defeat death itself?

My opinion:

         It’s difficult for me to write this review because I loved the first book of the series so much and now the second book let me quite disappointed. It’s still well written and the book isn’t bad but I’m afraid too see how the story will go.

In this book, Dianne Duvall developed the romance around Marcus and Ami and I must admit that she kept their personalities like they were described in the first book that’s perfect. We also learn more about Ami’s past and what happened for her to be captive in the first book. So far so good, but after it starts going wrong for me. Seth is still there of course as the prince of the immortals and we get some information about his origin- there it stopped to make sense for me. Yes we could have guessed something like that from the explanation in the first book “ “Darkness Dawn”, it’s not really my problem.  What I really disapproved was how he changed his opinion. First he is there to protect the immortals and he gives them order to be careful, not get caught etc…. perfectly normal and understandable and next only Ami counts. Even if they should die or be tortured it’s good as long as Ami is safe. I hate that, perhaps I’m partial because I love Sarah but I think she has sacrificed enough and perhaps in a way as much as Ami so the favouritism Seth is demonstrating doesn’t bode well with me.

Yes there is a bigger scheme than the immortals against the vampires and yes there are a secret organisation that is acting against both, that’s quite a classic plot; nothing wrong with that. Yes Ami is also special and needs to be protected now I’m not happy with the ways and the reasons. Seth isn’t honest with the immortals and after protecting them he will use them as simple pions for his bigger battle, and they accept that? Roland isn’t against the idea that Sarah could be sacrificed just on a whim of Seth…no protest…. Too strange for me.

I guess I will see how the story will go for a bit but it has dropped from my list of “ priority: to be bought” at least for a moment.

Score:  3/5

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and no compensation was received in exchange for this review

Ce livre s'intègre dans le challenge de Natasia
This book enter in the Romance and Me Challenge

Book read for the 2012 TBR reading

mardi 10 juillet 2012

Blog Tour: The Destiny of Shaitan - guest post and giveaway


Today I am hosting Laxmi Hariharan in celebration of her new release The Destiny of Shaitan.  Check out the guest post below and make sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post for a chance to win either a $15 Amazon Gift Card or Autographed Paperback of The Destiny of Shaitan.

Partially set in a dystopian Bombay of the future, The Destiny of Shaitan is a coming of age story, painted against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic world.

Yudi, Tiina & Rai embark on a mission to save the universe. Sent to retrieve the Isthmus from the ruthless Shaitan, Tiina seeks more than the end of the tyrant; she seeks herself. Shaitan is determined to stop them at any cost. The three friends must learn to trust each other and overcome their fears as they fight towards the ultimate showdown. The universe is at stake and the combatants determined. Will Shaitan's ultimate destiny be fulfilled?

My secret: How I gave birth to Tiina by Laxmi Hariharan

The unerring precision of being caught in that act by him sends goose pimples up her arms. She plays it out in her mind, examining it from different angles.

These were the first lines I wrote for The Destiny of Shaitan. It was 2004. Wanderlust had led me to Hong Kong, where I lived in a tiny four-hundred-square-feet apartment (I kid you not! If you have seen pictures of the high-rises smothering the Hong Kong skyline, well I share a secret—they are all apartment blocks. I lived on the eighteenth floor of one such tower.) “Eighteen—lucky number,” the landlord had reassured me, as apparently, was the street address—Eight Hollywood Road. The belief in numerology runs deep in the Orient, with local businessmen shelling out millions of dollars for a car license plate which bears the number Eight.

But I digress, for I am here to share my secret with you.

One afternoon I was walking down Hollywood Road, wearing my favourite pair of thin cotton cut-off trousers, and a baby-T-shirt. In that eighty-degrees-heat the less one wore the better, and I had learnt very quickly that even wearing jeans felt claustrophobic in that climate. Cotton was best, to keep the skin ventilated. Rain had started pattering down, and a slight breeze rising from the sea crept up, enveloping me in its cooling embrace before fading away. I raised my eyes in delight and put out my hand to catch the drops of calm in the palm of my hand. “Thank you, one above!” My phone rang just then, startling me out of my dialogue with the greater force of nature.

“Enjoying your walk?” It was the man I had met last night at the salsa bar. Hong Kong—believe it or not—is a salsa hotspot, and most nights I managed to make it to the gym and then onto a salsa class to give myself over to the rhythm of my heart and the pure enjoyment of becoming one with the music. I was a novice and he was obviously a seasoned dancer. I was flattered by his attentions, and for the rest of the evening we twirled, sashayed and swayed together.

Seemed he was in the bus that had just gone by and seen me. “I saw you talking to yourself” he told me that night. I blushed, wondering why it felt like he had caught me in the act of making love to myself. Perhaps because at that very moment I had been one with the universe, in a very private place, wearing my heart on my sleeve and he had seen a vulnerable side to me that I had kept to myself so far?

There are no coincidences. So what was this? All it had been was an emotional exchange, yet the attraction felt wrong, it felt as if coming from a wellspring of hope which I had not known existed within me.

A gaze, lust. A touch, sizzle. A beat of music, caress. A drop in time, like the rain which chattered down while I had looked up and floated away. Why did it feel so wrong, as if I was cheating on my boyfriend of that time? When all I had done was look into his eyes and felt a connection?

About Laxmi Hariharan: I am a writer, technophile & dare I say, a futurist, with a penchant for chai and growing eye-catching flowers. Wanderlust drove me out of my home country India and I travelled across Asia, living in Singapore and Hong Kong before coming home to London. I am inspired by Indian mythology; I draw strength from the stories my grandmother narrated to me as a child. It is in acknowledging my roots that I found my voice. When not writing I love walking in the woods with my soulmate, and indulging my inner geek.

I would love to connect with you on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or my website.

 Rules of the giveaway
  • Terms are as listed in the rafflecopter.
  • It's the author/publicist's responsibility to ensure that the winner gets the prize(s).