Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Hello and Thanks for dropping by :)

Thank you for dropping by! I'm out of the country in February, with little or no internet access.

I will return to regular blogging in mid-March at the latest.

So, instead of you landing on a post that's a few weeks old, I thought I'd list some of my favourite posts for you to check out while I'm away.

For authors/writers:
I have a group of posts aimed at you, which, if you're viewing the desktop version of this site, you will find them under the 'Posts on Writing & Self-Publishing' section to the right of the screen. For those of you viewing the mobile version of this blog, you can check out these posts by clicking the links below:

Character POV
Character Traits
Timeline
Editing 
Word Count
Book Cover Design
Marketing
Book Reviews


For readers:
I write both contemporary romance and urban fantasy and have two series ready for you to check out. Click the links below if you're interested in learning more about my books:

1. Contemporary Romace:
The Soulmates Saga

Book 1: Chasing Pavements (Currently free to download, with book 2 and 3 discounted too!)
Book 2: Make You Feel My Love
Book 3: Someone Like You






Chasing Pavements Book Details

Length: 110,000 words
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Clean Romance / Diverse Romance / Interracial Romance / Romantic Drama / Women’s Fiction

Mood: Inspirational / Feel Good / Coming of Age / Dark
Content: Sexy but No explicit sex scenes / No erotica
Audience: New Adult & College / Adult / Female Readers

Recommended for: Readers that enjoy romance novels with serious issues and characters with depth. This is a story about life, love, friendship, family, music, art, destiny and soul mates.



2. Urban Fantasy/PNR:
The Poison Blood Series

(First two books in the series are free to download from your favourite e-book store! Books 3 and 4 are down to 99c/99p each, too!)

Poison Blood, Book 1: Revelation
Poison Blood, Book 2: Absolution
Poison Blood, Book 3: Prophecy
Poison Blood, Book 4: Apocalypse






PB1 Book Details

Length: 29,000 words
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Vampire Romance / Paranormal Fantasy / Urban Fantasy / Science Fiction & Fantasy

Mood: Dark / Humorous / Coming of age
Content: No violence / No explicit sex scenes / No erotica
Audience: Teen / Young Adult / New Adult / Adult
Recommended for: Readers that love all things vampires, slayers and witches!



If you'd like to know a little more about me, here are links to some posts I've written on my personal experiences:

When Life Imitates Art ~ An Author's Tale
When Life Becomes Stranger Than Fiction ~ An Author's Tale
Chasing Pavements, Arabian Nights Style ~ An Author's Tale
The Story Behind Chasing Pavements

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

#BookReview no.4 on CHASING PAVEMENTS (#SoulmatesSaga Book 1)

If you haven't downloaded the Soulmates Saga yet, or have but have yet to begin reading this series, hopefully this review (I gave Charlotte Lynn from A Novel Review a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review) will convince you to delve in. Let's start with the blurb and cover:

Book: Chasing Pavements (Soulmates Saga, Book 1)
Author: Neha Yazmin
Reviewer: Charlotte Lynn from A Novel Review
Rating: 5 stars
From:
Amazon US|   Amazon UK|   iBooks   |   B&N Nook   |   Kobo |   Smashwords 

Would you recognise true love if you saw it?

Singer and songwriter Jamie York is suffering from writer's block. When he meets Mukti, suddenly his creativity knows no bounds and he feels torn. He has to keep seeing her, but what will she make of his tortured soul?

Little does he know that Mukti has her own secrets and is just as troubled as he is. Her name translates as 'freedom' in her native tongue Bengali, but she is anything but free.

Recent graduate Mukti Khan has started a new job in the City and is determined to work hard and keep others at bay. All that changes after a chance encounter with the mysterious Jamie. He fascinates her like no one ever has and she just has to get to know him better.

But is truly capable of letting him in?

As an unlikely friendship develops between the two, will Jamie and Mukti be able to help each other come to terms with their pasts and move forward together, or do some ghosts haunt us forever?

Set in contemporary London, Chasing Pavements is a unique love story between two unique characters that will stay with you long after you have turned the last page.

~~~ 

(Spoiler-free version of) REVIEW:
"This is a story of two people with many secrets.

Meet Jamie. When the love of his life, Sarah, publically humiliates him, he becomes somewhat of a recluse. Jamie pretty much stops living, doing just enough to get by. He even suffers from writer’s block, unable to write his beautiful lyrics and music. That, is until he meets Mutki.

Mutki has her own secrets. Being a middle child she feels her family, except her younger sister, ignore her. Mutki gets a new job and starts taking her lunches outside by the needle. This is where Jamie and Mutki first meet and start their friendship.

This is not your typical chic lit book. There is no sloppy romance and no mushy words. This is truly a one of a kind book.

I loved how Jamie and Mutki’s secrets were not told at the beginning of the story. Little by little the story was told to me and it was told perfectly.

Jamie started out being the character I was not sure I would ever really like or understand, of course I ended up truly loving him. I mean, how could you understand someone who would not communicate with anyone, even when asked a direct question.

Mutki was a character I felt sympathy for. I felt sorry that her family ignored her and did not offer her the support she needed and deserved. But I also was in awe of her strength.

I cannot believe this is Neha’s first book. It is perfect. This is definitely a must read!"

Also, check out this lovely review from author I.C. Camilleri and check out her books here. Her characters are just as interesting and complex as the ones in the Soulmates Saga. Even though I read The Blake Soul a few years back, I can still remember the story and some scenes are still vivid in my memory! I can't explain how I feel about her liking my book :)

 



Book Details

Length: 110,000 words
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Clean Romance / Diverse Romance / Interracial Romance / Romantic Drama / Women’s Fiction

Mood: Inspirational / Feel Good / Coming of Age / Dark
Content: Sexy but No explicit sex scenes / No erotica
Audience: New Adult & College / Adult / Female Readers

Recommended for: Readers that enjoy romance novels with serious issues and characters with depth. This is a story about life, love, friendship, family, music, art, destiny and soul mates.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

#BookReview no.3 on CHASING PAVEMENTS (#SoulmatesSaga Book 1)

If you haven't downloaded Chasing Pavements yet, or have but have yet to begin reading, hopefully this review by book blogger @RosieReview will convince you to delve in. Let's start with the blurb and cover:

Book: Chasing Pavements (Soulmates Saga, Book 1)
Author: Neha Yazmin
Reviewer: RosieReview
Rating: 5 stars
From:
Amazon US|   Amazon UK|   iBooks   |   B&N Nook   |   Kobo |   Smashwords 

Would you recognise true love if you saw it?

Singer and songwriter Jamie York is suffering from writer's block. When he meets Mukti, suddenly his creativity knows no bounds and he feels torn. He has to keep seeing her, but what will she make of his tortured soul?

Little does he know that Mukti has her own secrets and is just as troubled as he is. Her name translates as 'freedom' in her native tongue Bengali, but she is anything but free.

Recent graduate Mukti Khan has started a new job in the City and is determined to work hard and keep others at bay. All that changes after a chance encounter with the mysterious Jamie. He fascinates her like no one ever has and she just has to get to know him better.

But is truly capable of letting him in?

As an unlikely friendship develops between the two, will Jamie and Mukti be able to help each other come to terms with their pasts and move forward together, or do some ghosts haunt us forever?

Set in contemporary London, Chasing Pavements is a unique love story between two unique characters that will stay with you long after you have turned the last page.

~~~ 

REVIEW:
"Now I wouldn’t put this book in the chick lit genre – I don’t know which it fits in.  Maybe Romance but without the sloppy/mills and boon aspect you expect from a Romance Novel.

Chasing Pavements is like one of a kind.  I can’t believe that this is the author’s first book, the way it’s written is excellent.  I was captured from the beginning of this story about Jamie and Mukti.

In the beginning I hated Jamie, I thought he was a selfish arrogant arse.  So selfish when he was hiding from Mukti – he was allowed to use her memory to get his “hit”.  Where she religiously everyday goes to the spot where they first met hoping to see him again.  But I suppose he got his comeuppance and I grew to love him towards the end.  I loved how Neha dragged out Jamie’s and Mukti’s secrets.

My favourite bit would be the ending – as you probably know by now I like a book that finishes well.  Especially if it’s a book I’ve enjoyed so much, you spend so much time with the characters, getting to know them, almost care for them and if a book doesn’t end well I feel a bit cheated and lost when I get to the end.  But I loved the ending to Chasing Pavements.  I won’t go on too much as I don’t like to have spoilers in my reviews; but everything got tied up nicely in my opinion.

I’m rating this book as a must read!"

Also, check out this lovely review from author I.C. Camilleri and check out her books here. Her characters are just as interesting and complex as the ones in the Soulmates Saga. Even though I read The Blake Soul a few years back, I can still remember the story and some scenes are still vivid in my memory! I can't explain how I feel about her liking my book :)



Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Books I Read in 2016

I really want to talk about the books I read last year and share my enthusiasm for them, because some of them were just so goooood.



This article is going to be a little different from the 'Books I Read in 2015' post that I published in January 2016, because I'm going to try to pick my favourites from the different genres I read.

Unlike in 2015, where crime/thriller dominated my 'read shelf', 2016 was weighted heavily towards YA fantasy, thanks to my discovering that my local library has a YA section bang in the middle of the 'Children's Library' (I thought that whole area was dedicated to the Horrid Henrys and Jacqueline Wilson books!). They have some really good YA books in there and apart from one or two, most of my teen fiction reads in 2016 have been from my local library.


The snapshot above shows the books I read in early 2016 and it includes my FAVOURITE CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE OF 2016!

Where She Went by Gayle Forman. Click on the cover image below for more info on this stunning novel.

 
  
This is the sequel to If I Stay, and is purely from Adam's point of view. I think this was the first romance novel I've read which was solely from the male character's POV, but it was so cleverly executed. It's such a simple story, but it was told wonderfully.

The next category is: SERIES  I WAS MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO READING

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (though I've also seen it referred to as the Juliette Chronicles).

I'd heard so many good things about this dystopian fantasy series and finally got around to starting it in October. I was so ready to love Shatter Me (Book 1) but I ended up giving it 3 stars. I think I was just looking forward to it too much and my expectations were sky high based on all the hype online.

In saying that, the writing is just so beautiful, I don't regret reading it. It's one of those books you should read just to experience the unique style in which its written. I gave book 2 ~ Unravel Me ~ 4 stars, my favourite of this trilogy; click on the cover image below for more info on this series.




SERIES I WAS MOST (PLEASANTLY) SURPRISED BY 

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater.

I downloaded the first book in this sophisticated urban fantasy series ~ The Raven Boys ~ from iBooks in August and really enjoyed it. I wasn't mad about it, but I don't need to be mad about a series opener. I don't mind if the series gets better with each book. And this series definitely did that. I loved these books so much, I can't recommend them highly enough. Click on the gorgeous cover image below to learn more about this 4-book series.




Why was I surprised by this series? Those of you that have read Maggie's earlier work might be thinking that the change in writing style ~ the more grown-up, new adult feel ~ is what surprised me. But no. The Raven Boys was my first book by this author, though I have since read the first two novels in the Shiver trilogy, but I wasn't expecting the series to go in the direction it was. Maggie surprised me constantly and I just couldn't get enough of it.

The plot is clever, not your run of the mill story. The writing is exquisite. Beautiful. The characters are quirky, funny. The passages thrilling, exciting, full of page-turning goodness. And the romance... Now, I read my fair share of YA romance/fantasy romance in 2016, and they all had their sweeping, epic, in-your-face romantic moments. But the romance in this series is more subtle, tackled so much more elegantly than most, and therefore has the same impact as all those books that go on for ages about erratic breathing and skin burning and all the rest.


SERIES I WAS MOST DISAPPOINTED BY 

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.

Okay, I've mentioned earlier how good my local library is, but it's rare to go to the YA/teen section and find an entire 6-book urban fantasy series that you can borrow at once. Usually, other users have already taken out one or two books from the series and you have to ask the lovely librarians to reserve those copies for you when they're returned. So, when you go in there and see books 2-6 of the Mortal Instruments series (i.e. the whole series bar the first book) ready to be grabbed and you know book 1 was made into a film, what do you do? You take out those five books at once and watch the movie adaptation of book 1 before you start reading the series, of course. Well, that's what I did.

I loved City of Ashes (Book 2) ~ the first book I read from this series ~ and gave it 5 stars, and the third book was really good too. What was disappointing, for me, was the second trio of books that were added to this series (it was originally meant to be a trilogy but got extended). I know a lot of readers prefer the last three books in the series, but I just couldn't get into them, and the last book, City of Heavenly Fire, pulled me into a reading slump for a bit as I was really struggling with it.

I have since read City of Bones (Book 1) and enjoyed it, even though I knew from the film (and the remainder of the series) what would happen. Click on the below cover image if you want to find out more about this series (they have new covers now!).

 

This series has a great fan-base and the world its set in is so well-developed and well thought out, no wonder Cassandra has several other series set in this world. I will be reading her other works (more on this later).


MOST ANTICIPATED READ OF 2016

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.

To Kill A Mockingbird was my favourite book growing up, so I was naturally eager to read the sequel. 

I didn't love it as much as the first book, but I liked that it wasn't predictable (not for me, anyway!).




FAVOURITE IN CRIME/THRILLER

The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins.

I really enjoyed this novel, the way it was structured and told. I gave it five stars. However, it was one in the small handful of crime/thriller novels I read in 2016 so I wonder if that has anything to do with how highly I thought of it. I didn't have much else to compare it to.

I'm glad I read the book before watching the film because I don't think it quite worked on the big screen. Not the way Gone Girl had.


FAVOURITE SERIES OF 2016 - COMPLETED

The Raven Cycle as mentioned above. 
 

FAVOURITE SERIES OF 2016 - NOT YET COMPLETED

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.
 


Confession: I'm addicted to BookTube. I have a few favourite BookTubers and they're always talking about the Throne of Glass series and how great it is, and that's why I started this high fantasy series. And I'm addicted to these books too!

Each of the books in this series gets better and better as you read them (I've read four out of the five that are out, with the sixth and final instalment due to release this year), and the series itself gets better as you fly through these books. I am soooo looking forward to reading Empire of Storms (Book 5) ~ I might buy it actually, since my library doesn't have a copy of this book yet, together with the final book when it's out. That's how much I can't wait to get my hands on these books!

Sarah is quite rightly one of the shining stars of the fantasy fiction world. She's a great story-teller, her writing is almost always faultless and her characters are easy to get attached to. Celaena from the Throne of Glass series is probably the best female character I've read in this genre; I love her.
 

FAVOURITE BOOK OF 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas.




This high fantasy novel (Book 2 in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series) won the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016 in the YA Fantasy and Sci-Fi category, and I'm not surprised. It has everything you want in a fantasy novel and didn't disappoint for a single sentence. I remember constantly smiling as I read this and had a huge grin on my face after I finished it, the kind of grin only book lovers wear after reading a great book. Oh, it was  soooo good.


I wasn't expecting it to be so enjoyable, considering the first book in the series only got 3 stars from me, and was a bit slow to begin with. If I'm honest, until the final third of Book 1, I wasn't entirely sure I liked it. But ACOMAF is in a whole other league and I am eagerly waiting for the third book to release this year; I think it's going to be amazing!


2017 TBR

Apart from the aforementioned anticipated reads, below are some others I want to get my hands on this year:

The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare. Starting with Clockwork Angel.

 

My BookTuber pals say this series is better than the Mortal Instruments series so I'm really looking forward to when my library finally has all three available at the same time.

I didn't get around to reading the final book in the Clifton Chronicles by Jeffrey Archer last year, so hope to tackle that soon.

 

Also sitting on my physical bookshelf and waiting to be read are The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (I bought this book solely based on the stunning cover design, but I know the author comes highly recommended) and I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes.