Once Upon Another World

Rated 4.57/5 based on 8 reviews
Once upon a time in a very ordinary place, there was an ordinary man with an ordinary life. At least that is what Mr. Sinclair wanted to believe to be true, until a little bit of the extraordinary touches his life and it will shatter his view of reality. When the destiny he knew nothing about catches up with him, nothing will ever be the same again. The question is, will he be able to survive it. More
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Words: 131,890
Language: English
ISBN: 9781465728944
About Shiva Winters

I know, I am supposed to come on here and give everyone some deep insight into who I am and the nature of my existence, but for all that I have been writing for better than half my life and have been publishing the results of those efforts for several years, I have not in the past nor will I likely in the future do such a thing. To be perfectly honest, I am simply and without question just not that interesting, personally or professionally, perhaps that is an assessment that is overly humble or unfair, but it's a truth that is nevertheless fundamental. In a day and in the age when seemingly everyone is all too eager to document their every personal detail and display their every passing thought, I personally can find no compelling reason to do the same. Call it a quirk, call it a choice, or call it my own personal form of crazy, but there is me living through the dull-drums of existence and there are my books which at their core are the stories I've told myself over the years, and one category is considerably more interesting to me than the other.

When I first started writing, all those years ago, I didn't begin by putting words to a page for profit, or because I had delusions that one day I'd be celebrated for my efforts. I did it because it seemed like it might be a good way to pass the time, and in that moment, though I hardly understood it at that time, I found something when I wasn't looking for it. Since then, as time has passed, and I have honed my abilities, the underlying element of that moment of self-discovery hasn't truly changed, Entertainment. I don't write books because I can, I certainly don't write them for the sake of profit, though there is a glimmer of hope that one day there might be more of that. I write books because it's fun for me, it is my own strange kind of hobby and my own odd form of self-entertainment. And even if were to reach a point on some future day where the scales tip and I feel that this whole attempt to publish the results of my efforts is no longer viable, I will undoubtedly keep writing, if only for my own sake. I first published my books after a long and troubled decision making process, which ultimately weighed out marginally in the favor of the idea, that perhaps because I liked my books a great deal, that perhaps there were people in the world who would find an equal amount of joy in them. While at times there has been good reasons to doubt that belief there have been moments when that belief has proven true.

I am not like most writers, that is a truth best acknowledged right up front, I don't write my books thinking to imitate another author with their pulse pounding action, high drama, or unending tension. I write the stories I find interesting, create the worlds I think are cool, to follow the characters I like, through the events that unfold in front of both them and myself as we work our way towards whatever may come. I don't plot out my novels, I don't outline the story, I don't pre-program the dialogue, and often enough even I am surprised by the end of the current chapter as things change on a whim. My books are an organic process that grow and shift, free from over-sight and restrictions and ultimately often lead to place not even I can predict. Whether those who read my books like what comes of my strange hobby is more often than not is my very last concern, and while I might feel compelled to apologize for that being the case, it doesn't or won't change the facts in the end. Each book and each series I write are a result of the page's progress through the succession of each line and paragraph, loyal only to the facts on the page and require only the input of myself as a conduit in allowing those words to progress through their natural courses. So the end results of those efforts often enough take a path not even I expected, but I for one won't and will never change that fact.

My books are often strange and unexpected, I feel it is only right to acknowledge this, and there have been some in the past who have taken exception with that fact, angry that I did not meet their expectations. But I did not write my books for them, I wrote them for myself, selfish though that is, and I certainly did not publish my stories for them. Ultimately I publish my books for the small percentage of people who might read them and like them, and for the occasional bits of far flung joy I get from having people tell me how and why they enjoyed something I wrote. If you are one of those readers who starts a book with expectations and the belief that it is the writer's job to meet those expectations, please look elsewhere. But if you are one of those readers who reads simply for the joy of it, without expectations of what you might find, than I hope you will like what I have written.

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Reviews

Review by: ade on Dec. 31, 2012 : (no rating)
brilliant story so I have just bought the rest of the series

I would love to offer my services as a proof reader. I have been doing it for years for my wife who is a university lecturer & I have proof read her doctoral thesis & further articles but am no writer myself.
(review of free book)

Review by: kasper laursen on Nov. 14, 2012 :
To be honest I really hate writing reviews since I never know what to write so this is probably the first review i've ever written outside of school. However this series was so good that i felt it necessary to write a review. First of a warning, the books in this series all have some typos as well as grammatical errors and misuse of words which may annoy some people so if you can't stand typos this book isn't for you. however if you can ignore the typos this is a fantastic series, I absolutely love the main character in fact I would even go so far as to say that he is one of my all time favourite fictional characters. the story has both exciting moments where you just can't stop reading as well as absolutely hilarious moments and some rather sad ones too. As such even though the book could use an editor that is absolutely no reason for any one, other than those obsessed with grammar, not to read this book as the story more than makes up for it. I found the first book for free on amazon and immediately had to search for the other three since amazon just didn't treat the author right. In fact the only reason i got an account on smashwords was to buy the rest of the books in the salak'patan series they are just that good. okay i feel like i'm rambling without really saying anyting but i've no idea how to describe the book without spoilers so i'll just stop here except to say one more time that i love this series even if normally the typos would drag it down to four stars the story is so good that i will still give it 5 stars.
(review of free book)

Review by: Frank Galan on July 25, 2012 :
Excellent and well thought out storyline and characters. Some typos, but a great read regardless. I couldn't put it down and read it straight through in 2 days. Destined to be a classic.
(review of free book)

Review by: J.L. Dobias on July 06, 2012 :
Shiva Winters Once Upon Another World

The title and the cover almost had me thinking 'fairy tale'.
Once I dove in feet first it was more like Zelazny's Amber series and Farmers Tier series rolled together and given a special Shiva Winters touch. Raven Sinclar is a powerful character well matched by his counterpart LeShana, who is not only lovely but also as powerful and kick-ass as Raven.

Suffice it to say, I loved this book, and there is only one reason I give it 4 stars instead of five. There are so many errors in spelling, grammar, and questionable usage of some words and missing words- sometimes extra words that just don't belong there. I can live with some of this in dialogue- no one speaks perfectly all the time. But it leaks heavily into the narrative portion and that gets me to believing that maybe those characters don't really speak that way either. This book is offered free, but as a representative of self publishing it could have used a bit of polish. (Another couple of pairs of eyes.)A number of people I know might toss this book down after the first 50 pages and that's their loss.

One thing I disagree with other people about is that an editor could have pared it down some. I'm not a fan of muting the authors voice. An edit will help the spelling grammar and other but the author's work should stand unless the author decides some portions might not be necessary or should be reworked. I did not see anything that just jumped out at me and said I don't belong here.

As it stands Once Upon Another World is a well packed novel with a fairly tight plot that has plenty of twists to keep the reader guessing. It also demonstrates some skill in world making that Shiva should be proud of. She has a writing style that I was comfortable with, though I'll need to read more of her work to see if the style changes as she becomes more polished.

If this book ever goes to paper print copy I would suggest a strong look at some editing and a signed copy for me.
Bravo! For an awesome first novel.

J.L. Dobias Author of Cripple-Mode: Hot Electric
(review of free book)

Review by: Melody Hewson on June 20, 2012 :
I forget how I stumbled across this book, but I couldn't put it down once I started reading it. Full of twists and turns, and I love a good twist.

Yes, it has it's fair share of typos, but she took the time to write up a long explanation about that and they did not, for me, in any way detract from the quality of the storyline. I can't wait to start on book two!
(review of free book)

Review by: thiotes on May 31, 2012 :
This free book is a very nice read indeed, and i agree with the posters before.
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That being said, the following parts of this series get worse and worse. I bought them all at once after reading this one, and regret it. The second is till okay i guess, though it feels more like a collection of short stories.

The further you go, the more the author seems to keep events that would have been interesting from the reader. Also the main character seems to have no flaws after a while, which makes things boring. If there ever IS an event he has a hard time with, its not explicitly told, but just mentioned.
There are also too many new people introduced by name, too many name changes, too many all-good-doers for friends and family, and FAR too many people constantly telling how great the main character is. Most of the third book i wanted to scream: Stop the adulation and start the damn adventure!
(review of free book)

Review by: jstoc on May 29, 2012 :
I really enjoyed the story. Lots of twist annd turns and surprised. Lots of gramatical errors, but it does not take away from the book. Look forward to the next book.
(review of free book)

Review by: Tony on March 13, 2012 :
Once Upon Another World is a very fun and fast-paced read, but I think it could better be described as the beginning to one helluva crazy series (based on the first two novels).

This book seems to have a bit of everything in it at times. I was surprised at how well the amalgamation held together, actually. There are some very cool twists in this novel. At times it feels like the story takes a 90 degree turn every time you think you know what's happening. I like that. It kept the story fresh and interesting.

The novel isn't perfect and I don't think it is nearly as polished as the second in the series (it is free, though), but I did find it very enjoyable to read and highly entertaining. The structure of the novel is pretty unique, as well. I didn't like it the first time I read it, but after reading book 2 and then coming back to book 1 I feel a lot better about it. In essence it kind of feels like there are short stories tacked on after the climax.

If you are one of those people that gets pulled out of the story every time you encounter a grammar mistake, this book probably isn't for you, but if you are able to read past them you will find a lot to like.
(review of free book)

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