Spotlight & Review: In My Mind by Shaida Mehrban

“In My Mind” is the story of a young man who is infatuated by a student named Gabriella who reminds him of delicate butterflies. It follows Steve from childhood to adulthood and the mental demons that play havoc in his mind. He is unable to talk to anyone about it as he doesn’t realise the mental depth he is in, till that dreadful night when Gabriella dies whilst held by him against her will, and he is then sent away.

This story covers mental health, depression and hitting rock bottom in Steve’s mind and looks at how this sensitive subject is still a taboo as we do not know enough about mental health and its consequences on our and others’ lives.

 

About the Author

 Shaida Mehrban is the author of numerous novels with very important social messages including “Tears Behind the Veil”, “Tears of Silence”, “Blossom and I”, “Remembering the Night Train”, “Mother’s Veil” and “Eyes of Osama”.

 

Excerpt 

“He sits on his buttocks with his nose dribbling slowly like the tap that has worn out its washer, but all the while, he keeps his eyes firmly on hers. Fixated. For a moment, he stands still and yet his head is chasing butterflies. Nothing new there! His humming tune sounds like, “Sweet Gabriella the most delicate butterfly of all, now here with me forever, just the way it should be, the way it should have been a long lifetime ago, my sweet, my sweet.” He interrupts his own broken strings to slide his arm straight across his moist face. He carries on, telling her that it has taken him five years to get her to come to stay in his kingdom even though she has visited his public house upstairs many times.”

 

 

“In My Mind” by Shaida Mehrban is available in paperback with coloured illustrations and as an e-book from Amazon UK. It is also available from Amazon US.

 

 

 

Review 

In the cellar

The time that Steve and Gabriella spend in the cellar is my favorite part of this book. I think it’s because the reader doesn’t really know if she’s still alive or not. She speaks at first but later, is she just unconscious or is she dead? I removed “lifeless” on page 1 because she’s still moving and aware at that time.

I was impressed with the number of adjectives used. I would be careful about using the same ones over and over. In fact, for legibility’s sake, using adjectives and adverbs in the same sentence is something to avoid. Ex: Quickly he jumps up, his eyes showing a bit of rage, he quickly moves up the creaky steps… There were times, however, that Steve repeated himself which is expected since he has a mental illness. I left some of those repetitions alone.

Something that really confused me was the use of the first person once or twice in the cellar, once in the police car, and once at the police station (pg. 70). At first, I waited for another character to show up or maybe Steve was seeing all of this in the past in therapy. Since that didn’t happen, I changed those instances to third person.

When Steve was talking, I put quotation marks. Even though most of the time in the cellar he was talking, there were still times that there was narration so the quotation marks made it flow better.

 

In the POLICE STATION

When Steve is talking, he rambles. Often the rambling doesn’t make sense which I know can happen in real life. There is a fine line here because you want the book to be realistic but it also needs to be legible. I changed the rambling so that it made sense and removed a little of it.

There was also a lot of repetition by Steve but some of it was just too much. Ex: page 68, “I’m pathetic and yes I am pathetic, that is what she yells all the time, you are a pathetic excuse of a man just like your father…” I changed that to “I’m pathetic and that is what she yells all the time: ‘you are a pathetic excuse of a man just like your father.’

The narration also had some repetition. Ex: page 80, “Maybe today Steve will move a little closer to his destiny. Destiny is not in Steve’s hands today as his mind is in turmoil today.” Changed to “Maybe today Steve will move a little closer to his destiny but it is not in his hands as his mind is in turmoil.”

When Steve is in jail, he starts to think about a lot of things. On page 73, the narration jumped from third person to first person. I attempted to change it all to third person but that didn’t work, it needed to be in first person. So, I put a heading, “Steve’s Thoughts,” at the beginning of the first person narration by Steve.

 

OTHER

I like the concept of In My Mind as well as how it was presented, starting out in the cellar and learning Steve’s story as you read. The kind of happy ending is good too although I would have left out the last paragraph.

 

Press/Media Contact Details:

 Darin Jewell (literary agent for Shaida Mehrban)
Managing Director
The Inspira Group Literary Agency
Tel. 0208 292 5163
E-mail: darin@theinspirgroup.com

 

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Book Review: Deluge by Daniel Diehl

3-10-2014 7-51-05 PM

3-10-2014 7-54-00 PMBOOK TITLE: Deluge

AUTHOR: Daniel Diehl

 RELEASE DATE: Dec 20, 2013

 BOOK GENRE: Historical Fiction/ Family Saga/ Inspirational

DESCRIPTION:

The story of Noah and the Great Flood is unquestionably one of the most beloved and uplifting tales from the Old Testament. Its story of spiritual awakening, family oriented values, good versus evil and the redemption of mankind has warmed the hearts of people of faith for thousands of years. While Deluge is a novelized adaptation of the scriptural story of the Great Flood, it adheres closely to the Biblical text and should find a ready market among all Christian denominations as well as the Jewish community.

‘Deluge’ deals not only with the story of the Great Flood itself, but also with the relationship between Noah’s family, who are presented here as fully-rounded human beings who find themselves caught in the unprecedented nightmare of a world-destroying flood brought on by a God whose existence they had never suspected. In counterpoint to the story’s main theme is the evolving relationship between the members of Noah’s extended family and their collective relations with a world so hostile and dangerous that God has decided to destroy human life.
Deluge is designed as a ‘family’ book and should be accessible and acceptable to all readers over the age of 14 or 15 years and will make ideal family reading for all peoples with a faith in God’s grace.
Considering that virtually every major culture has told the story of a great, all engulfing flood which took place at some time in the distant past, Deluge will be embraced by both conservative and liberal Christians, as well as Jews and will find a ready market among all faiths and denominations as well as those interested in ancient history in general.

REVIEW:

I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review.

In Deluge, Noah is presented in a way that I hadn’t pictured him and it opened my eyes to the struggles that he most likely did go through when God came to him. 

I am normally not one to enjoy reading long, detailed descriptions but this book is an exception. The details of wine-making interested me because my son is a winemaker. And the building of the ark was fascinating. I always knew a lot went into it but reading the detail made me stop and think what a huge undertaking it actually was.

The author did a lot of research for this book and it’s obvious. At the end of the book he explained the research he did and included copies of the documents he used for his research. I found this part information as interesting as the book itself. He also explained some of the liberties he took to make a better story and to make it an easier read. 

Daniel Diehl is also good at describing human interaction. There were a couple times I caught myself with my mouth hanging open.

I definitely recommend Deluge, especially if you like historical and/or Christian fiction.

Purchase on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

3-10-2014 7-54-25 PMDaniel Diehl is an author and investigative historian with more than thirty years experience in his field.  He has authored three novels and co-authored 20 historical based, non-fiction books (see below), written more than 170 hours of documentary television and contributed to numerous periodicals.  Mr. Diehl’s lifetime book sales exceed 200,000 English language units and his work has been translated into nine foreign languages.  He has served as historical consultant on such films as The Color Purple (Amblin Entertainment, 1986), and Darrow (PBS Television Theatre, 1991) and Baskin’s Run (Finnegan’s Wake Productions, 1994).   

Dan Diehl’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/daniel.diehl.31

Deluge Website: http://deluge1.webs.com/

Twitter: @DanielDiehlBook

Book Review: Alchemy by Sheena Boekweg, Melanie Crouse and Sabrina West

1-21-2014 9-42-59 PMTitle: Alchemy (Prophecy Breakers) 

Authors: Sheena Boekweg, Melanie Crouse and Sabrina West 

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance 

Description:

We didn’t know how much we had to lose until we were infected with magic. Sam was in love, Juliette was the main caretaker for her siblings, and Ana and her dad planned the best parties in New York. But we lost it all when we were shipped to Chebeague, an exclusive school for newly infected mages.

 Everyone knows about the mages, those who survive the infection and end up with magical abilities. We’ve seen the power of magic, the high-paying jobs, and the world fame. But we never saw the cost. We didn’t know we’d be forced to give up everything: sanity, family, even the right to talk on the phone.

 We didn’t know mage was just another word for prisoner.

Review:

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

This world of magic is different than any other I’ve read about before and I found it interesting. Someone is infected with magic, gets crazy for a while, and then ends up with powers. Once someone is infected, they aren’t allowed to lead a “normal” life.

I like how Alchemy is in journal form and the reader can follow what each character is thinking by reading those journals. The main characters are unique, they each bring a different point of view, and I liked all three of them.

This story is well written and full of magic, suspense and humor. It is a good book not only for young adults but adults as well. I’m looking forward to reading the next book!

Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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