Posts Categorized: sarwat chadda

Book Review- Dark Goddess

08 Mar, 2011 by in sarwat chadda Leave a comment

by Sarwat Chadda
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published January 25th 2011
by Hyperion Book
ISBN 1423127595
series Billi SanGreal #2
3.5 stars

New enemies, new romance, and new horrors,
Billi’s back, and it seems like the Unholy just can’t take a hint.
Still reeling from the death of her best friend, Kay, Billi’s thrust back into action when the Templars are called to investigate werewolf activity. And these werewolves are like nothing Bilil’s seen before.

They call themselves the Polenitsy – Man Killers. The ancient warrior women of Eastern Europe, supposedly wiped out centuries ago. But now they’re out of hiding and on the hunt for a Spring Child — an Oracle powerful enough to blow the volcano at Yellowstone — precipitating a Fimbulwinter that will wipe out humankind for good.

The Templars follow the stolen Spring Child to Russia, and the only people there who can help are the Bogatyrs, a group of knights who may have gone to the dark side. To reclaim the Spring Child and save the world, Billi needs to earn the trust of Ivan Romanov, an arrogant young Bogatyr whose suspicious of people in general, and of Billi in particular.

Dark Goddess is a page-turning, action-packed sequel that spans continents, from England to the Russian underworld and back. This is an adventure of folklore and myth become darkly real. Of the world running out of time. And of Billi SanGreal, the only one who can save it.

First of all I should say I am a huge fan of the first book in this series, Devil’s Kiss. That book inspired me to delve deeply into research about the Knights Templar and legends. So, when I was grocery shopping at a warehouse store last week and saw an ARC of Dark Goddess for sale in a box of truck abandoned books, I had to rescue it and take it home with me. I will admit it took me a while to get into this one. Probably because my heart was still with Kay who is now deceased. Though author Sarwat Chadda has taught “the dead need not linger”, I missed Kay. Billi seems completely emotionally detached in her mourning. And I was a bit taken aback by her treatment toward the child they rescue in the very first scene. Her loyalty to the Templar cause keeps her in my mind, a cold character, so at times I had a hard time relating to her.

I will say once Billi and her crew hit Russia the story picks up the pace. The Knights Templar are trying to find and save Vasilisa, Spring child who has the capability to interact with the earth’s elements. The world is suffering from a near apocalyptic volcanic explosion in Italy and Vasilisa is at the core of worsening or healing the damage. She is exactly what the Mother Russia, Baba Yaga is looking for to facilitate her world domination. The Templars must join forces with the Bogatyrs, their wealthy Russian warrior counterparts to protect the young Spring Child from a pack of werewolves sent to do Baba Yaga’s hunting. The Polinisty, ancient women werewolf warriors with their original Mongrol roots are one of my favorite parts of Dark Goddess. My other treasured scenes are those between Billi and Tsarovich Ivan Romanov. His introduction into the plot as he steps out of a Hummer is noteworthy. As well, the few vignettes where he and Billi are getting to know each other left me wanting more. I felt like yelling “stop action, emote!”

Overall, my feeling with this sequel… I was left hoping for chemistry and the fleshing out of Billi and Ivan’s relationship. I’m rooting for a resolution with Ivan in Billi’s love life. Dark Goddess is written like an action driven screen play, full gore and grit. It would make a great movie. Sarwat Chadda’s setting and detailed descriptions make for a tapestry of visual richness. I will pick up a book three if there is one because I find these books intriguing. Plus, I love Sarwat Chadda as a person. He is one of the first authors I met on twitter who will tweet you back & engage in conversation. If you’re a fan of The Lost Saint by Bree Despain or Dreaming Anastasia and Haunted by Joy Preble this one is for you! It is a great mix of Russian history, mythology and folklore that kept me entertained and engaged. Dark Goddess is rated PG-13 for violence.

Baba Yaga Oil Giveaway

08 Mar, 2011 by in sarwat chadda 21 comments

Our Etsy giveaway today is inspired by the book Dark Goddess by Sarwat Chadda. Billi SanGreal is in for the fight of her life against Mother Russia, Baba Yaga…her special oil was donated by the shop owner at Rita’s Spiritual Goods.

“Rita’s Spiritual Goods is your place for good juju, tools created and inspired by the energy and spirit of real life, what you need when you need it. I channel the magic of the energy in each moment of real life, whether it is happy, sad, frustration, confusion, quiet, meditation, bliss, love, pain, family, friends, foes etc., and let those moments inspire me into creation. Each recipe is unique to its own and each magical working full of love and energy and always made when the moon is right.

I have had many magical things happen in my life and experienced many unexplained events. I believe whole heartedly in the spirit that embodies everything around us and within us. I believe in earth angels, guardian angels and ghosts. I believe in fairies. I believe in signs. I believe in soul mates and kindred spirits. I believe in rituals and praying. I believe in positive energy. Most of all I believe in magic.

Description: Baba Yaga is the old woman of autumn, the archetype of the fearsome witch. Her roots lie in the ancient Slavic goddess of death and birth, whose wheat sheaves in the autumn fields hold the promise of winter survival and spring’s growth. Baba Yaga flies through the air in a mortar, rowing with a pestle, or in a cauldron, sweeping the traces of her path with a broom.

Her realm is the birch forests, birch being the tree of beginnings and endings. Baba Yaga represents the power of old age, the power of the archetype of witch, and most of all, the power of the cycles of life, death and rebirth. Although she is mostly portrayed as a terrifying old crone, Baba Yaga can also play the role of a helper and wise woman. The Earth Mother, like all forces of nature, though often wild and untamed, can also be kind. In her guise as wise hag, she sometimes gives advice and magical gifts to heroes and the pure of heart. The hero or heroine of the story often enters the crone’s domain searching for wisdom, knowledge and truth. She is all-knowing, all seeing and all-revealing to those who would dare to ask. She is said to be a guardian spirit of the fountain of the Waters of Life and of Death. Baba Yaga is the Arch-Crone, the Goddess of Wisdom and Death, the Bone Mother. Wild and untamable, she is a nature spirit bringing wisdom and death of ego, and through death, rebirth.

Baba Yaga rules over the elements. Her faithful servants are the White Horseman, the Red Horseman and the Black Horseman. She is a goddess of wisdom, rebirth, magick, she has much to teach you, protection, especially protection of the home. This is the perfect ritual oil to be used in the fall and spring as it draws upon death as well as rebirth. “

To Enter to win a bottle of Baba Yaga oil simply comment below.

additional entries

+1 for favoriting her etsy shop

+1 for commenting on her blog
+1 for liking her on facebook
+1 for following RitsJuju on Twitter
+1 for visiting her on the web and picking your favorite item
+1 for following @sarwatchadda or @fireicephotos on twitter
+1 for commenting on our Baba Yaga Flickr gallery
+1 for reach retweet or FB post, leave your link
Contest ends April 8, 2011 and is open internationally.

Templar Book Thongs Giveaway

05 Mar, 2010 by in sarwat chadda, tmplar 19 comments

Today’s bookish giveaway is inspired by the book “Devil’s Kiss” by Sarwat Chadda and is brough to you by Bad Candy Studios –the brainchild of three creative friends–Heather, Maureen, and Amanda–who wanted an excuse to get together and make things more often. We specialize in handmade note cards, including invitations and announcements, though we’ve also been known to dabble in everything from prints to jewelry to thumb tacks.

If you like what you see here, you can also check out our other non-snarky stationery at

Gretchen Vandervort of Bad Candy Studios made and donated FIVE templar book thongs for our blog readers!

To Enter To Win: leave your name and email address below
Additional entries
+2 go to Etsy and heart their shop
+3 tweet this contest-leave the link
+5 post it on your blog or facebook- leave the link
+5 add our button to your blog
+3 follow us on twitter @FireIcePhotos
+3 become a fan of Fire and Ice on Facebook

Add your entries up and leave the total in your comment

Contest ends on April 5, 2010 and is open internationally. Please email us of you cannot comment below. Thanks and Good Luck!

Waiting on Wednesday- The Dark Goddess

03 Mar, 2010 by in sarwat chadda 2 comments

I just finished Sarwat’s first book last week, Devil’s Kiss and loved it. Then I found out from him that there is a sequel. And this one include Baba Yaga, the myth I first read about in Anastasia Dreaming by Joy Preble…now I am ecstatic!!! WAITING on this Wednesday, not so patiently…
THE DARK GODDESS will take Billi to Russia to rescue Vasilisa, a young girl Billi’s promised to protect. To save her, Billi must defeat the werewolves that serve the witch Baba Yaga – and the Dark Goddess herself.

Baba Yaga is sickened by the destruction and corruption humanity has spread across the natural world. She recognises mankind has become a plague upon the Earth, and her duty is clear: to cleanse the planet and rid it of the pestilence of Man. Billi is sent to stop her, but does she have the right?

Betrayed and alone, Billi faces a final mighty battle in the abandoned ruins of Chernobyl. Out in 2010.

Visit Sarwat Chadda’s Website and The Dark Goddess behind the scenes as well check out our Baba Yaga photo gallery on Flickr

Book Review- Devils Kiss by Sarwat Chadda

25 Feb, 2010 by in book review, paranormal YA fiction, sarwat chadda 1 comment

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (September 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1423119991
4.5 stars

Summary from Goodreads :As the youngest and only female member of the Knights Templar, Bilquis SanGreal grew up knowing she wasn’t normal. Instead of hanging out at the mall or going on dates, she spends her time training as a soldier in her order’s ancient battle against the Unholy.

Billi’s cloistered life is blasted apart when her childhood friend, Kay, returns from Jerusalem, gorgeous and with a dangerous chip on his shoulder. He’s ready to reclaim his place in Billi’s life, but she’s met someone new: amber-eyed Michael, who seems to understand her like no one else, effortlessly claiming a stake in her heart.

But the Templars are called to duty before Billi can enjoy the pleasant new twist to her life. One of the order’s ancient enemies has resurfaced, searching for a treasure that the Templars have protected for hundreds of years — a cursed mirror powerful enough to kill all of London’s firstborn. To save her city from catastrophe, Billi will have to put her heart aside and make sacrifices greater than any of the Templars could have imagined.

Sarwat Chadda does an amazing job of weaving historical content, religion and myth into this story of Billi Sangreal’s effort to accept her life as a Templar. I found his writing to be rich and highly intelligent. Chadda makes the vampire, ghuls, werewolves, warriors and fallen angels his own. “The Dead should not linger” is what he told me…

Billi is a strong willed protagonist with a mind of her own who become attracted to a mysterious man who comes to her rescue and helps save her life. But also enter in to the equation Kay, her life long friend w ho is an eternal optimist and has powers he yet will realize over the occult. The classic pull between good and evil with a twist of romance and history made this an awesome read. I think you’ll find Devil’s Kiss to be creepy, yet classical at the same time. Chadda announced his second novel, the Dark Goddess “comes out July (UK) but Jan (US) and the versions will be subtly different.” We can’t wait! Follow him on twitter @sarwatchadda and check out his website

Here’s the trailer for Devil’s Kiss: and a photo gallery I made on Flickr with images that reminded me of the book and taught me about the Knights Templar You’ll be sucked in as I was to all of the history in this book!

Win a tatted templar cross in the post below and stay tuned for more Devil’s Kiss inspired giveaways!