Interview with Veronika Gasparyan

Yesterday I reviewed Veronika’s awesome book ” Mother at Seven”.

She was kind enough to answer some of my questions about the book.

Here they are:
Interview Questions

1 You had to beg and work for money, and you even had to get food from the trash. But, you still thought of your family first. One wonders where did you get this sense of responsibility, when neither one of your parents displayed it?

I think that we all have a survival instincts within us and under different circumstances they come right out. In my case I would say that because my baby brother was so little and helpless that I naturally felt responsible to protect him and to take care of him.  Especially, since I HAD to do so from age 7. It was pretty much a learned behavior that evolved from the basic survival needs I was born with.  

2 Writing this book must have been an emotional rollercoaster. How did you manage to bring those overwhelming emotions in your writing after all this time? 

It was very hard to do. It was difficult to stay focused at first because it had been almost 20 years since I buried as much of it as I could deep inside. Some chapters were harder than others and some, like the last one, I had to take couple of weeks off completely, before writing the first sentence in. I cried to myself many times but just continued to think of the main reason I am writing my story, and that made me pick myself back up and continue. 

3 Will you write more about your life, as there are still many questions unanswered?

Most likely I will have a sequel to this book within the next 2 years but meanwhile I have many stories to write about. There are few true stories that are in works about people I knew once. The book I am working on now is called Forgive me, Nadia and It hopefully be out by December 31st, 2016.

4 Did your parents read this book?

I don’t think they read it yet. My parents, especially my mother doesn’t speak any English so I doubt that she read any of it yet.  I am sure she will have someone translate it to her or will ask others who read it about the details in it.

5 Were you able to reunite with your brother?

Yes, eventually we were reunited. Under quite unusual and unexpected circumstances but we did. I will be telling about it in the sequel of this book.

6 Your grandfather was an important influence in your life. He taught you about visualization. Was he a believer of law of attraction?

Yes, he was definitely Mr. Positivity. He saw good in every situation, no matter how bad, or negative it seemed to be to others around him. He was the first one who explain to me how the universe works and how powerful our mind and believe system is. If not for him putting me in the right path, I am not sure I would have made it out alive.

7 What are you doing with your life right now in terms of your career?

I have an on line business and work out of my own office. I write almost daily and sometimes up to 10 hours. On those days I concentrate on writing and on writing only. I also am in process of finalizing my non-profit organization called H2OforUSkids.org. It is US based and only for the good of American people. My main goal to service others and to show people, especially teenagers and young adults that with the hope and believe everything is possible. And things could be much worst. Therefore no matter how bad the situation they are in, I want them to know that they don’t have to be stuck in it. 

8 Do you plan to return to your homeland soon?

You know it’s really strange but I think that America has become my homeland by now. I did go back to Sochi, Russia twice in the past 17 years but other than few good memories, most of my emotions towards it are all full of painful memories. So, let’s just say I have no cravings to go back there.

9 Your rough treatment started after your brother was born. Knowing this, did your brother ever blamed himself for your poor treatment at the hands of your parents?

Joy, this is a very interesting questions. I am not sure that he is aware of everything I went through to keep him safe. He was mostly sheltered from it by me so I don’t think he blames himself for anything. Maybe after he reads the book, it would change but I don’t think that he would feel that way so many years later.

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An Indecent Proposal: A Review

Author: Katee Robert

Series:   The O’Malleys

Publisher:  Forever, Hachette

Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher.
Expected Publication: 30th August, 2016

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Cover: Love the color palette and overall concept.

Review:

Cillian O’Malley is grieving the death of his younger brother. He blames himself and the guilt has brought his life to a standstill.

The only distraction in his life is the fiesty bartender, Olivia, who is not willing to give him a minute of her life.

Olivia Rashidi’s first priority is her daughter’s safety. She barely managed to escape her own life. So, when Cilian O’ Malley tries to enter her life, she turns him away because he is trouble.

However, they can’t ignore the attraction for long.

Their pasts, however, catches up to them, and Cillian will do whatever it takes to protect Olivia and her daughter from her powerful family.

Will he be successful in protecting her? Will his family accept Olivia? And, will Olivia, finally be able to trust a man with her life?

My Opinion:

When I was given the opportunity to review to this book, I wasn’t that much excited, to be honest, given the impression the last book of the series left on me.

However, it turned out to be a really interesting read.

The characters are really well developed and both Cillian and Olivia’s personalities are interesting,

The plot is good and the story keeps you entertained.

My Rating:

 7 out of 10

Recommended for: 

Romance fans. Especially if you like fiesty heroines and a knight in shining armor hero.

I received this free ARC from the author to provide an honest review.

Mother At Seven: A Review

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Author:  Veronika Gasparyan

Genre:  Autobiography

Publisher: Stillwater River Publications

Publication Date: 20th July 2016

The book is a true story of a young girl who was subjected to cruelty and had to take care of her baby brother at the age of seven.

Cover:

It is an adorable cover and somehow makes the story that much real.

Review:

A seven year old acts like an adult. She pampers and cares for her baby brother, all the while suffering from her mother’s hatred towards her.
Whan Veronika’s baby brother came into this world, her peaceful existence was suddenly disturbed. Her parents attitude towards her took a horribly dramatic turn. So much so, that the reader may find themselves asking if they are actually the birth parents of Vera.
Having a son has made Vera invisible and disposable. But she happily takes care of the baby, no matter how much it interferes with her studies and play time.
Infact, she almost feels motherly to him. She puts him before her.
Her parents, though, are seemingly never happy. Soon she is subjected to abuse in an attempt to discipline her.
Her uncle is assigned the job of teaching Vera manners and he is more than happy to oblige. He hit her cruelly for very small things, using belts and even a blade.
Vera went through a depression that is unimaginable at such a tender age. She hated her existence so much that Vera wished to die and attempted suicide.
But she survived, only to continue her miserly life.

Her thinking became like that of an adult. When their parents left for vacations without leaving her any money, Vera knew she had to ration the food supplies for her brother and grandmother.

In order to bring water and bread, Vera sold fruit, worked at people’s houses and even begged for money. Even then she had to forge for her food in the garbage at night. But she still kept her pride intact.

Vera went through health troubles, faced emotional abuse and suffered neglect.
Her ray of sunshine was her grandfather, who instilled in her a hope for the future, who was everything that her parents could never be.

Was Vera able to get out of her miserable situation?
Did she manage to survive and make something of her life?
Read this book to find out.

My Opinion

This is such a heartbreaking read. Veronika went through so much abuse, you can’t help but feel sad for her. The world needs to know what some children have to go through. And this book throws light on this topic.

A mother’s love is a child’s right. Veronika was deprived of this right. The cruelty she faced at the hands of her parents knew no bounds.
Currently Veronika is trying to promote justice and protection for young kids, so that no one goes through what she had to. It is a much needed service and more people should become aware of this.
Waiting for the next book.

Rating:

9 out of 10

Recommended For:

Autobiography fans. Those who don’t mind reading an emotional book.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Veronika Gasparyan, author of “Mother at Seven,” was born in the beautiful city of Sochi, Russia in 1981. She is a proud descendant of many generations of Armenian ancestors from both sides of her family. Today she lives in her own home, in Smithfield, Rhode Island with her two sons.
From a very young age, Veronika enjoyed playing piano which resulted in her attending a music school for ten years, and eventually, the prestigious Sochi College of Arts and Music. Other than the music, Veronika has always displayed a profound love of reading, and at a very young age, read dozens of books from her grandfather’s vast, personal library.
Veronika possesses an innate passion to help others in any way that she can, which has displayed itself in many situations throughout her early years and adult life. She considers herself to be a true survivor of what many would call a traumatic and brutal childhood, but has still found a way to not lose her kindness, patience or hope for better days.
Veronika is a strong believer in laws of attraction and positive thinking and is working on other books that she hopes will provide emotional support to those who are in need — those who have given-up or have already lost their hope for better days and a joyful life.
Veronika believes her lifelong mission is to help one person at a time while making the world a better place for us all.

Visit Veronika at

Facebook
Website
Twitter

Buy Book:

Barnes And Noble

 

Amazon

 

Competing With The Star: A Review

Author: Krysten Lyndsay Hager

Genre: Young Adult, Romance

Series: Star Series, Book #2

Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Publication Date: March 22, 2016

Source: ARC from the publisher

Cover:

Good cover.

Review:

Hadley has recently moved to a new town. She is determined to be more social this year and has already made new friends, including a former T.V star Simone.

Nick, a sensitive and sweet guy has asked her out. Hadley is happy: finally she is being noticed.

Little does she know that having more than one friend and being in a relationship is not that easy as she had thought.

Simone and other popular girls in school are bent on competing for Nick’s attentions. At every chance they get, the girls intentionally or unintentionally try to sabotage Hadley’s time with Nick.

Even though both of them share same interests and are happy together, Simone tries to confuse Hadley by suggesting that Nick is just passing his time and will eventually get bored of her.

Matters aren’t helped when Hadley discovers that Nick had a crush on Simone before asking Hadley out.

So, when she discovers that Simone and Nick might have cheated on her, Hadley’s heart broken.

She feels that she can not compete with a beautiful T.V star. Her self esteem is crushed and she continuously finds

comparing herself with Simone.

Nick tries to convince her that he hasn’t cheated on her and Simone is to blame for causing trouble in their relationship.

Heartbroken, Hadley finds it hard to believe him.

Is Nick telling the truth? Is Simone trying to attract Nick to herself? Will Hadley discover the truth? Will Nick and Hadley be able to get past their differences?

 

 

My Opinion:

It is a fun and light read. In the beginning, the story drags a bit. There is a lot of repetition.

Hadley’s celebrity obsession is somewhat accurately depicted.

Her relationship with Nick is sweet. The couple is close to reality: they aren’t overly romantic, they aren’t model looking and they have their ups and downs.

However they are shown as an almost perfect for each other at first. Later, though, their shortcomings are brought to light.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Recommended For:    It’s not a hard-to-put-down book exactly, but its suitable for a light reading. Especially, teens  might enjoy it more.

I received this ARC for free, in exchange for providing an honest review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intertwined

Author: Jenn Marie
Publisher: Smashwords Edition
Genre:YA, Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: 3-July-2016
Source: ARC provided free by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Intertwined - cover

 

Cover:

Though the color scheme is not unique, the concept is pretty original.

The intertwined black and white serpents not actually depict an actual scene in the book, but they also symbolize some other concepts of the story: the black and white aptly mirroring the past and the present, the opposite personalities of Josephine and Elizabeth.

The intertwined is an apt title: Elizabeth and Adam’s lives are intertwined. Their pasts are intertwined with their futures.

Review:

Elizabeth is visiting her cousin April, for the summers.Her cousin is an adventurous soul who takes on new adventures, unlike Elizabeth who would rather stay out of trouble.
However soon an attempt to protect April backfires and Elizabeth finds herself trapped in a haunted mansion with Adam Hunt, a handsome yet reclusive local, who has agendas of his own.
They must work together to get out of the mansion . Jack Callahan is the reason Elizabeth is trapped in the house. Jack wants her to collect certain items from the house and bring them back to him.
Soon though, things began to get real serious when Elizabeth gets a beating from a ghost and wakes up next day to find that she is bruised.
Adam, feeling guilty, takes it upon himself to protect her.
During there time in the mansion, Elizabeth and Adam could touch haunted objects which no one else can.
When Elizabeth accidentally touches one of these objects, she sort of travels back in time to 1905 and is able to see through Josephine’s eyes.
Josephine is the girl who haunts the mansion .
Adam and Elizabeth, determined to solve the mystery, touch the objects one by one, each revealing a little more about the past.
However, what they discover is life changing.
Josephine and Braden, the star struck lovers from the past, along with the Callahans are the subjects of a curse. And unwillingly Elizabeth and Adam have become entangled in this mess. They are forced to relive every paranormal happening that occurred in 1905 in the mansion for almost three weeks.

The past and present are sometimes blurred, their identities get mixed up and to top it off, they can not deny the attraction they feel for each other, yet they are unsure whether its their own feelings or the ghosts of the past replaying their romance.

Now they must work together and do everything they can to not only save Josephine and Braden, but also themselves.

My Opinion

Loved, loved, loved this book.
Its intense, action packed, a bit scary, thrilling, has beautifully expressed emotions and an awesome plot.
Sometimes you get the feel of an R.L Stine book. But this book is geared towards more mature audiences.
The chemistry between Adam and Elizabeth is breath taking but it still maintains its roots in reality.

I’ll be honest, I am partial towards stories where at least one character is an artist, especially a sketch artist, as Adam is. But, even without that, this story is a must read.
I m rarely this angry to find that a book has a sequel, in fact this is the first time. Not because I don’t want to know what happens, but because I was so invested in the story that i wasn’t ready at all for the unexpected ending and the cliffhanger.

My Rating:

9 out of 10

Recommended For:

YA fans, paranormal romance readers.

Warning: There is some usage of strong language and the book is aimed towards mature Young adults.

Goodreads Summary:

Quiet seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Parker is looking forward to another mellow summer with her goofy relatives: sun tanning at the beach and staying out of trouble. Which is why the thought of her younger cousin participating in what is, clearly, a setup disguised as an initiation, worries her to the point of intervention.One that backfires … big time …Mistaken for her cousin, Elizabeth finds herself transported to an abandoned plantation, a place deeply haunted with unresolved mystery and where horror reigns every summer between July 20 and August 13.It is there, locked in the pitch dark, where she finds herself paired with the strange and mysterious Adam Hunt—an unexpected trespasser with his own agenda. Together, they find a list of instructions—follow the clues to various possessions in the house, store them in the backpack provided, and find the key that will grant escape.Having snuck in to document the haunting, Adam offers to help her find the key so long as she helps him record paranormal activity along the way. But as they make their way through the house, they soon discover unexplained anomalies …For the first time in the plantation’s recorded history, the haunting deviates from its known cycle of events, thrusting Elizabeth and Adam in a series of perilous circumstances that ensue long after the night is over.As the last day of the haunting draws nearer, and as forces beyond their control ignite their growing attraction, Elizabeth and Adam must work together to uncover the plantations mysterious past before its too late.Or die trying.
Warning: Occasional coarse language. Intended for Mature Young Adult audience.


Buy Links:

Amazon│Barnes & Noble│iTunes│Kobo│Amazon UK

About the Author:

Jenn Marie currently lives in sunny California with her wonderful husband and their runt kitty, Chloe. When she’s not writing Young Adult Fiction, she can be found reading, plotting or spending time with her crazy, lovable family. Current obsessions include the movie, Frozen, the New Girl series, Arcade Fire’s latest album, and avocados. Seriously, she can’t get enough of it! Writing, for her, is a passion that refuses to be under prioritized. No matter what’s going on in her life, whether good or bad, writing is always there to lift her spirits.

Author Links:

Website│Goodreads│Twitter│Facebook | Instagram

GIVEAWAY:
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Blog Tour Organized by:

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I received this free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Dirty Laundry: A Review

Author: Ivan Von Baublitz
Publisher: DLM Publishing
Release Date: 15th of August, 2016
Source: RC from the author

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Cover:

Nice color theme plus the overall feel of the artwork is fitting  and mysterious.

Review:

This book is a tale of a survivor. A survivor of the streets, who against all odds, never let his spirit be crushed.

Just imagine: a child, locked in a room with his baby brother. With clothes as his bed and nothing to eat, all the
while battling the heat. The only escape is through the window. Will he dare try escaping?

The author is a recruiter at a university. He, using satire, lays out his day, how he hates his six figure job, and how he is fed up.
He was born in Chicago to a mentally ill mother and a backwards father, who were incapable of raising kids.
His abusive, addict mother used to beat him and his brother.
Eventually they were given up for adoption, when their parents could no longer accept responsibility for them.
Some truly horrible foster parents came in Ivan’s life.
His baby brother always managed to get on the good side of people, not so for Ivan. He suffered again and again, but something defiant was building up in him and he never let anyone break his spirit. Even when he was hit with a wooden paddle all through the night. In fact, he used his wits and managed to escape his situation.
Children’s town was another chapter in his life. There, he learned to develop his strength and got a taste for rock music. His personality developed and he became self sufficient and confident. It was here that Ivan first met Nixon.
Throughout Ivan’s IQ and intelligence were developing and were superior than his peers.
But, even the strict punishments of Children Town couldn’t tame Ivan.
His journey led him to juvenile correction center, living with his uncle, discovering the dark sides of humanity. Still his journey wasn’t done.
After being caught in a stolen car with a woman abuser, Ivan barely escaped the prison. He took refuge on the streets.
Homelessness taught him to survive.
It was not all dark, when he found Ms Pat, a motherly woman, who encouraged him to contact his father.
Ivan began living with his grandfather for a while , in exchange for doing his uncle’s school assignments. He was again tossed out after being accused.
This time Ivan had enough. He went to look for his mother.
From there the events took an even more dramatic turn in his life.
A dark career path, an angel, struggles and a sense of responsibility, he experienced it all.
Was he able to get out of his troubles? Did he manage  to turn his life around?
What started after an escape through the apartment window at a young age, was a journey of struggle, heartbreak, loneliness and becoming a victim of the cruelty of humans and the system.

My Opinion:
First of all, the narration style is really easy to digest. The style is more of a fiction book than that of a non fiction, and it actually makes for a pretty enjoyable read.

President Nixon is used as an avatar of Ivan’s conscience, it seems, or maybe its to personify the little voice in the head.
Nixon is sarcastic but points out the things that author is not acknowledging, both good and bad.
The author’s observations are impartial. He doesn’t sugarcoat his words. It’s an honest read.

The use of President Nixon as a character is ingenious.
But what stands out the most is Ivan’s wisdom and his perception from a very young age. The way he picked up on behavioral cues is really remarkable. No matter what, he can’t keep himself out of trouble, though.
Still, he takes everything in stride and owns his mistakes.
The book is funny too. His sense of humor is revealed throughout the book.
A truly moving and enjoyable read.

There were grammatical mistakes though. Even though the author later reveals that he is not good at beginners English, and that the mistakes in the book are a reflection of that: an attempt at being as real as possible, if you will. Still, It gets distracting and annoying sometimes.
But these grammatical mistakes are very few and eventually you might be able to overlook them.

Recommended for: AutoBiography fans, but it is not a typical biography. It totally pulls your attention and is like a novel.
Note: Some strong language is used and some violent scenes are also included in the book.

My Rating: 8 out of 10

 

About the Author:

Ivan currently reside in Northwest Indiana. He’s a graduate of Columbia College Chicago and DePaul University with a Masters Degree in Education. He’s a proud father and grandfather who enjoys speaking to groups regarding the hidden potential that we all hold.

Dirty Laundry is his first book and he’s currently working on his next.

Contact The Author at:

http://www.dirtylaundrymemoir.com/contact
https://www.facebook.com/dirtylaundrymemoir/

Courage

Courage (the Dreughan Book 1) by Lena North

Date of Publication: August 8, 2016

Blurb

Vilda lives in a muddy little corner of the world, in the time of the war that never ends. The war between the Waterfolk and the Dreughan. She is different where conformity is important, break rules in a world where punishments are given freely, and she pays for it. If it weren’t for her best friend Troy, she would have no one.

Then Vilda saves the life of a dragon and shortly after that, things are spiraling out of control. The Waterfolk attack, searching for an unclaimed girl, and Vilda has to escape through the night together with Troy and the only other girl the Waterfolk could be looking for – their former best friend, Susannah.

Soon, they find themselves in Dragoncourt, the stronghold of the Dreughan, where a prophecy predicts that the war will finally come to an end when the beautiful Dreughan prince has claimed another royal from the end of the world.

It seems as if Vilda is the girl in the prophecy, and she might be, but she also has a strong link to a young man with black hair and eyes as blue as the summer skies – the prince’s cousin, Drake…

Available From


About Lena North

The proper way to put it here would probably be to describe how I love to play with our two big dogs, adore my fantastic daughters and how much I love to read.

Another way would be to use my imagination and then I would be a super powerful warrior woman, think Xena the warrior princess (though with less tacky clothes). Or when I think of it, maybe I’m actually more of a Hercule Poirot (sans the suit and moustache). Or maybe I’m like Aragorn, strong and cool and then I might get to meet Gandalf! Or I could be Bella’s pretty cousin and snap Jacob up in a second (yeah, I’m so not team Edward), or wait, maybe I could be like one of them heroines in historical novels who swoon all the time. I’ve always wanted to swoon…

Well, I guess you get how my mind is working (or not working, some say). Anyways, I like to write. Stories, adventures, romantic and happy stuff mixed up with sorrow and hardship, and bit of laughter here and there because the way I see it – life is way too short to go around feeling grumpy.

Find Lena North Online

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Rhodi’s Light

Author: Megan Linski
Publisher: Gryfyn Publishing
Series: The Rhodi Saga
Publication Date: September 4th, 2016
Source: ARC from the publisher

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Cover: The cover is OK. Color play is attractive. Artwork is good too.

Review:
Dylan and her twin Devin are left homeless when their parents die in a car accident. Dylan blames herself for distracting them, and suffers from mental problems due to her grief. They are adopted as students by a group called the Rhodi, who claim to be the protector of their people.
Dylan and her brother train to become one of the Rhodi’s.
Meanwhile, she is struggling with her grief and trying to use and master her craft, an ability that every rhodi has.
The crafts include turning into an animal, flying, running at high speed and manipulating emotions, and more.
Rachel, the leader of the Hunters Guild is bent on destroying the Rhodi’s.
Will Dylan and Devin along with their masters, be able to thwart her advances or will Dylan have to lose her new family?

My Opinion:

This is an amazing story.
All the elements of a YA that make this genre a fantastic read are incorporated in the story. However , there is more.
The protagonist is dealing with mental health problems. Throwing light on these matters through fiction, Rhodi’s Saga deviates a bit from the norm, not in a bad way though.
However, there are a few cons. At the beginning, the writing is amateurish: too much detailing, repetition of a few points, and the fact that everyone is able to estimate the exact age of the  kids without even asking.
Dylan’s character sometimes went overboard with expressing her emotions.
But overall this book makes for an entertaining read.

My Rating: 8 out of 10

Recommended for: YA fans, alternative universe and fantasy fans.

I received this ARC from the publisher to provide an honest review.