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R J Samuel was born in Nigeria, to Indian parents from Kerala. She grew up in different parts of Nigeria with a brief stint in boarding school in the Nilgiri Hills in India and occasional summers in Kerala, London, and New York. In 1984, she moved to Ireland to complete her medical studies and vividly remembers the shock of arriving at Galway Train Station on an icy October night. Despite that traumatic first meeting, she fell in love with Galway and has remained there since, apart from a 3-year episode in the southwest of France. She is an Irish citizen and now considers herself almost Irish as well as almost Indian. Her first novel, 'Heart Stopper,' was published in February 2012 and her second novel, 'Falling Colours - The Misadventures of a Vision Painter,' in June 2012. Her third novel, Casting Shadows - The Further Misadventures of a Vision Painter, was published in January 2013. Her novels are set in the West of Ireland, in Galway and Connemara, and also in Kerala, India.
She has been writing creatively for 6 years, excluding her period in France where she wrote nothing creative, probably because she was running a restaurant\bar despite having a background in Medicine (she is a qualified medical doctor) and IT (she has a Masters in IT) and absolutely no background in restaurants, apart from eating in them.
Her story 'Helmets' was shortlisted for the 2011 Over the Edge 'New Writer of the Year Competition' and she was the only entrant to have both her fiction and her poetry long-listed for the Doire Press '1st Annual International Fiction and Poetry Chapbook Competition' in January 2012. Her fiction entry, 'The Vision Painter,' went on to be shortlisted for this competition and was the basis for her second novel, 'Falling Colours - The Misadventures of a Vision Painter.'
on June 29, 2012 :
If you enjoy magical realism; great romance; an exhilarating plot and sweetly humorous, finely wrought prose, then I highly recommend this book for you.
We follow Kiran, a gifted Indian-Irish ‘vision painter’ who has the power to make people’s most heart-felt desires come true through her paintings. Though she’s already struggling to make ends meet at her small Connemara studio, things get a lot more difficult when a distraught customer begs her to paint a vision that breaks the biggest rule. The ensuing mess threatens to ruin Kiran’s gift, and worse, to destroy her chances with the woman Kiran has just met, who Kiran is falling for so deeply that her whole existence is being coloured by her.
‘Falling Colours’ is formed from powerful ideas and R.J. Samuel draws on these marvelously to create transfixing characters and a truly unputdownable plot. Her fluid, detailed writing draws the reader right up close to the action in a world peopled by characters who are instantly tangible in all their thoughts, faults and humanity.
While the book is thrilling in its pace and plot turns, it is also a truly unique study of love and its effects. This was a rich novel that I was sad to finish as I so enjoyed being with the characters and in their world.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on June 28, 2012 :
Falling Colours by R.J. Samuel
Falling Colours is R.J. Samuel’s second book. It is a story of a Vision Painter, who shares her gift with others to fulfill their dreams by painting their requests. A vision someone has for their own happiness may not necessarily be the best idea, however. There are repercussions to be dealt with when the vision involves other people. And what if the vision painter has a dream that is contrary to the vision someone asks her to paint?
Kiran left her professional life behind to concentrate on her painting gift, inherited from her Indian father. There are strict guidelines that are to be followed to the letter. She waits tables in Delilah’s restaurant to pay the bills, and the hours allow her to focus on her painting.
Kiran finds Ron distraught outside the restaurant. Ron’s request for his vision requires Kiran to bend the rules. She knows that she should not bend the rules, but his request is motivated by anguish rather than greed. Enter a beautiful daughter and missing money and the situation gets really complicated, but not without humor and an opportunity to make amends.
There are many twists and turns in Falling Colours by R. J. Samuel. The characters are well illustrated, and her writing style complements an unusual situation. The setting is in Galway, Ireland and includes Ireland’s colourful scenery. I give this book five stars not just because I like it, but because I find the premise to be unique. Samuel’s writing suits the unique perspective and makes the book really fun to read. It is fun, funny, serious, mysterious and touching with inner connections that are not all apparent. Even though this book was just released yesterday, I anxiously await another from R. J. Samuel
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on June 27, 2012 :
... And a Rising Artist
Have you ever dreamed you had the skill to transform dreams and wishes into reality by the sheer power of your hyper-sensitive imagination an the magic talent in your hands? … I'm not talking about that kind of dream, you little minx! ;)
Falling Colours is the story of such a talented woman.
Living in a small cottage in the splendid nature of Connemara, Kiran has given up a successful career as an engineer to practise her Art. Her own splendid nature, made of generosity and compassion, leads her to break one of the long-established rules of this ancient art and risk losing the cherished gift inherited from her father, the soon to be Leader of the Council of Vision painters, back there in India where they originate from. She shouldn't have painted this despaired, grief-stricken man's deceased wife just because he wanted to know why she died in such unexpected circumstances.
Hopefully, she'll be able to meet the short deadline her father gave her to fix the mess she involuntary created, and doing so will make her own dreams a reality.
Who knew such an idyllic scenery as western Ireland could hold this most unusual, captivating and entertaining mystery?
Oh, and I must not forget to mention the sweet romance tone and the irresistible touches of humour artfully painted on this beautiful work.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on June 21, 2012 :
Kiran is a vision painter, the only one in the whole of Ireland. She works part time as a waitress in a restaurant in Connemara to supplement her income. When Kiran is asked by a client to do an unusual vision painting, she is very apprehensive. It goes against everything she believes to be ethical. Unfortunately Kiran makes a serious error of judgment, which results in chaos and Kiran’s life being changed forever.
Added in to the mystery and intrigue is a woman. A woman Kiran finds irresistible, a woman Kiran feels she will never be able to have. But the path of true love rarely runs smoothly, or according to the best laid plans, is there a chance Kiran is wrong in her assumptions?
This is R. J Samuel’s second book. It is very well written and the dialogue flows. The story is most unusual and unlike like any I’ve ever read before. This is more than just a run of the mill mystery, intrigue, romance book. It has a touch of supernatural elements and is humorous in parts too. It’s fast paced and a page turner from the first page through to the last. The story kept me on a knife edge throughout, it is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and had the effect on me of being on a rollercoaster. Totally delightful, mesmerizing and impressive.
The main characters are well developed and have a strong supporting cast of minor characters who all interact well together, (even the not so nice to know characters) to progress the story forward. The scenic descriptions are wonderful, and it’s easy to visualize the different places.
R.J has the gift for making the reader feel as though they are an actual part of the story, it is easy to get totally immersed in this book. The thrill and suspense with a romantic feel to the story, ensured that I had to stay up most of the night to find out how the story ended. In fact, I have read this book twice now. Once was not enough. I had to re-read it without the pressure of not knowing how the book ended. The second time was to savor the richness of the story and the wonderful way with words R.J has.
R.J Samuel is an up and coming exciting new voice in lesbian fiction. An author to watch out for and to add to my list of favorite authors. I am greatly looking forward to reading more from R.J soon.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)