O N C E-----Ask me anything, not Love

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What would you do if you hurt the woman you loved beyond what is in human nature to forgive? That is the problem that Morkel has to overcome. More

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Published: March 03, 2010
Words: 40,090
Language: English
ISBN: 9781452309224
About Mian Mohsin Zia

Dear Readers,

I kindly request that you share your reviews and star ratings about my books. Your reviews and ratings are very important to me.

Sincere thanks,
Much Love MIAN!

Visit Author's Website: www.mianmohsinzia.com

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Book Trailer of ONCE
Book Trailer of ONCE. A book by Mian Mohsin Zia. For more visit: www.mianmohsinzia.com

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Cindi Burleson on Jan. 26, 2014 : star star star star star
I was asked to review Once (Ask Me Anything, Not Love) by Mian Mohsin Zia.

I enjoy reading many different types of books. This one intrigued me because it was written in a different way than most that I read. I've not read many books written in the first person. I enjoyed the self evaluation and the portrayal of the main character of himself and those around him.

I've met others in my lifetime who are like Morkel. They think they have their life figured out and have not left time for, or don't think they have time for anyone else. Morkel believes he has his life all figured out, but then....

As it often happens, he meets someone and then falls deeply in love with her as she does with him. Will Morkel be able to step out of his preconceived notions about his life? What will happen to Morkel and Maya? You can't help but fall in love with Maya. She is inspirational and she inspired Morkel.

What will be the end? I am not going to spoil it by giving details. Just know that you will feel many emotions as you read., I did enjoy the book and think that you will too. I hope there is a sequel to this story!!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Offbeat Vagabond on Nov. 08, 2012 : star star star star star
Original post here: http://offbeatvagabond.blogspot.com/2012/11/indie-book-review-once-ask-me-anything.html

Once (Ask Me Anything, Not Love) is a story about a successful novelist named 'M---, No Time For Love' aka Morkel. Morkel doesn't ever use a female protagonist. He doesn't see the need to have a woman be the focus of his books or his life. He has never been inspired enough to have a main one is his books. But things change when he visits Ukraine where he meets a woman that has changed his perception on life. But he doesn't realize how much he has changed until it is to late.

I really enjoyed our main character Morkel, well more towards the end of the book to be honest. I won't lie, I wanted to punch the mess out of him in this book. It is not so much he was a bad guy, but just the fact he was acting like the typical guy. He was so selfish and worried about his image, he couldn't see what was in front of him. He observes people for his books, but doesn't much pay attention to their emotions. I loved Maya. I can see how she inspired Morkel so much. She was so sweet and innocent and it kept me on edge to see what would happen between her and Morkel.

This is one of those reads that will stick with me for a very long time. I finished it yesterday and I have been thinking about it all day. Wow, what a storyteller Zia is. The story was paced so well and had moments that just killed me. Morkel meets Maya and is instantly enthralled with her. She wants to learn more English and he lies to her by telling her she is an English teacher. He doesn't want to be seen as the famous novelist. He says people put on a face when he tells them he is a writer. This is the perfect example of how one simple thing can change everything. I found myself shouting at the book at times. This story just pulled at me and didn't let go.

I was bouncing all over the place on what to give this. Like I said, Morkel made some questionable choices. There were things he did that made me quite angry. For instance, the flight scene had me raging. Morkel likes to go out of his way to comfort perfect strangers at a funeral of someone he has never met. But when it came time to comfort Maya, he ran off and left her. Again, I was pissed. And when he actually took flight, it still wasn't the first thing he thought of. He was excited about his book more. But his change in the end was so uplifting. I won't lie, I had tears in my eyes.

I don't want to give away anything, but this book truly blew me away. It was just so powerful and enlightening. The emotions that went through me reading this were so overwhelming and heart wrenching. There were times I had to stop and take a breather a time or two. This isn't your everyday contemporary romance. It belongs in a class of its own. The ending is so emotionally draining and I know not everything can be tied up into a perfect little bow, but dammit, I shall beg for a sequel. I don't think this review did this book justice. You just have to read this for yourself. Truly incredible.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Cynthia Harris on Oct. 22, 2012 : star star star star star
Mian Mohsin Zia contacted me and asked if I would write a review about his book Once: Ask Me Anything, Not Love.

Mian also wrote, “Monday, October 22 will be birthday and I hope my book touch your heart and gets a 5 star review. To get a 5 star review on your birthday is a great gift and I’ll be eagerly awaiting.”

New York Times bestselling author and Edgar Award winner Burl Barer stated, “Mian is an author with a future — hopefully one with a mainstream publishing house.” And I concur.

Happy Birthday Mian! Here is your 5 star review…

*****

When I started reading Once, I could not put it down. I found it to be a powerful religious love story and one that begs to have a sequel. And as the book unfolded, I started seeing it as a movie, perhaps one made for the Lifetime Movie Network.

Morkel, the main character of the book, has no time for love. As a novelist he relies on his observations to create characters for his books. Books that never had a female character, until he meets Maya, a young religious woman who has no one to love her but God.

After spending several days with Maya in Kiev, Ukraine, Morkel knows that something is happening to him, yet he chooses to deny it. How could it possibly be, for a person who so adamantly declared he had no time for love, fall in love? And why, when Morkel tells Maya how he used her as research for his book, does he feel horrible inside?

At this point in the book, my heart breaks for Maya as she watches Morkel deny love and flee back home to publish his long-awaited, by fans, book.

It has been said that the person who is in love, is the last one to know it, and that holds true with Morkel. Once he accepted that he was in love with Maya, he had to do everything in his power to find her again.

Can Morkel find Maya? Will she forgive him?

Follow along on Morkel’s and Maya’s journey through lies, love, laughter, happiness, betrayal, self-obsession, and selfishness.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Cynthia Harris on Oct. 22, 2012 : star star star star star
Mian Mohsin Zia contacted me and asked if I would write a review about his book Once: Ask Me Anything, Not Love.

Mian also wrote, “Monday, October 22 will be birthday and I hope my book touch your heart and gets a 5 star review. To get a 5 star review on your birthday is a great gift and I’ll be eagerly awaiting.”

New York Times bestselling author and Edgar Award winner Burl Barer stated, “Mian is an author with a future — hopefully one with a mainstream publishing house.” And I concur.

Happy Birthday Mian! Here is your 5 star review…

*****

When I started reading Once, I could not put it down. I found it to be a powerful religious love story and one that begs to have a sequel. And as the book unfolded, I started seeing it as a movie, perhaps one made for the Lifetime Movie Network.

Morkel, the main character of the book, has no time for love. As a novelist he relies on his observations to create characters for his books. Books that never had a female character, until he meets Maya, a young religious woman who has no one to love her but God.

After spending several days with Maya in Kiev, Ukraine, Morkel knows that something is happening to him, yet he chooses to deny it. How could it possibly be, for a person who so adamantly declared he had no time for love, fall in love? And why, when Morkel tells Maya how he used her as research for his book, does he feel horrible inside?

At this point in the book, my heart breaks for Maya as she watches Morkel deny love and flee back home to publish his long-awaited, by fans, book.

It has been said that the person who is in love, is the last one to know it, and that holds true with Morkel. Once he accepted that he was in love with Maya, he had to do everything in his power to find her again.

Can Morkel find Maya? Will she forgive him?

Follow along on Morkel’s and Maya’s journey through lies, love, laughter, happiness, betrayal, self-obsession, and selfishness.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Phoenix on Sep. 30, 2012 : star star star star star
Mian e-mailed me about doing a book review. He is from Pakistan and has an amazing resume besides being a novelist. He has written three novels and this one is a romance. I am a very adventurous reader, determined to read many genres and writing styles. Mian intrigued me, so decided to give it a go.

I downloaded the book and started to read. The protagonist is a famous novelist named Morkel who has a weird pen name - M, No Time for Love. He is a very self-absorbed man who meets a beautiful woman in Kiev while on vacation. He is too self-centered to realize he has broken the woman's heart when he leaves.But events occur that change Morkel's life and the author grabbed my heart.

ONCE - Ask Me Anything, Not Love is written a unique style. It is not "literary" or Americanized. I would have to say it is innocent, straightforward, and thought provoking.

The story is very, very touching.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Emily Guido on Sep. 28, 2012 : star star star star star
“Once---Ask Me Anything” a romance novel by Mian Moshin Zia. His character of ‘M’ or Morkel is very self-assured and even arrogant in his attitude that he will never be in need of love. Morkel is a novelist who never had a female protagonist in any of his famous novels. Then he meets Maya, a pure soul, and he decides to research her and write a novel about a female protagonist for the first time. While he researches Maya, he begins to fall in love with her. The end is surprising.

My thoughts are the novel “Once---Ask Me Anything.” This novel is completely different from anything I have ever read or expect to read in this genre. Not to say there is anything wrong with the novel at all. It was edited very well and precise in writing style. It is not an “Americanized” love story at all! I was taken aback. It was sort of like watching an independent film with a different writing style and a very pure, innocent love story. This is a definitely Godly novel, and not a sexual or even passionate novel. If you do not relish religious undertones, you will not appreciate the story.

I did enjoy “Once---Ask Me Anything” because it was different… Totally different! Don’t kid yourself thinking that this is just a romance, it is a sophisticated and complicated story which uses God as the focus.

I was given the novel to do a non-biased review, and I have to give the Author, Mian Moshin Zia a five stars for “Once---Ask Me Anything” is truly unique.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Jorja Davis on Sep. 25, 2012 : star star star star star
Zia, Mian Moshin. O N C E : Ask me anything, not Love.
CreateSpace ISBN-10: 1451500548 ISBN-13: 978-1451500547
Smashwords: ISBN: 9781452309¬¬224 http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/10592
‘M---, No Time for Love’ is an author who writes English novels. He sees no need to include women in his novels, and certainly no need for a female protagonist. With no future projects in mind, he flies to Kiev, Ukraine, for a holiday. Here, where no one knows him, he can be an ordinary person. M attends a funeral, then at a wedding where he knows no one.
A beautiful woman stops him to remind him to tie his shoes. He rushes out to catch her, to find out more about this woman with the lustrous face and emerald eyes. She is amazed at the compassion and virtue she finds in his rare moment of truthfulness. They meet, again by accident, at the Globus market. He is touched by the “God Bless You” that once again precedes her goodbye. “It is her style, the Maya style. She has a charismatic personality, and her aura is impeccable.”
She, raised by Catholic nuns, finds for the ordinary Morkel, the love she has never known, except the love of God. M--- finds her innocence, and the peace and comfort he finds in her presence, captivating. Here, he discovers the female protagonist for which his publisher and his readers have been clamoring. However, he says, “if we could foresee the future, then many of our problems could be resolved; I could have saved myself from the mistake of a lifetime.”
Words are to the literary novelist and poet, what color is to a master painter, or notes to a gifted composer. Zia packs a lifetime of love, loss, melancholy, and forgiveness in 142 pages of masterful prose written in first person. He includes three poems to earmark and reread for themselves. I have only felt the undercurrents of such powerful depths in today’s words of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Khalid Hosseini.
Zia’s second novel portends much for his honor of Allah and his country, Pakistan. I believe that the combination of the power of faith and the uncertainty of a homeland in the currents of change may be the gristmill that produces such true and profound works. This is a book or E-book to place where it can be read over and over and over again, for each time there will be something new to discover and savor, whether you read it in English or Russian.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Melissa Roger on Sep. 18, 2012 : star star star star star
Excellent! I haven’t read such a solid book in recent times. I enjoyed it thoroughly and recommend it to others who like to read about love. Mr. Mian has done a fantastic job by keeping the readers engaged. The story is presented in a unique style with poems and a picture gallery. It is worth every cent.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Lisa Ryan on Aug. 22, 2012 : star star star star star
Mian Mohsin Zia’s fascinating book, Once: Ask Me Anything, Not Love, is a different kind of love story. The reader is transported on an emotional journey as the main character, M, learns about himself, and ultimately discovers his purpose in ways that he could not have anticipated or imagined.



There were several lessons I learned from this very enjoyable tale. 1. Unconditionally supportive friendships need to be valued and appreciated. 2. A person should not hide behind the facade of who he or she is supposed to be, based on who they always have been. 3. We need to be open to experience the full depth of our feelings and to be honest in our emotions. 4. When true love does come into our life, we need to recognize it for what it is and go for it.



Mian did a nice job in character development. I liked his characters, and, more importantly, I cared what happened to them. Although the story did not have the fairytale ending I was cheering for, the conclusion was satisfying and it was certainly worth the read.



-- Lisa Ryan, Chief Appreciation Strategist, Grategy; author of The Upside of Down Times: Discovering the Power of Gratitude and With Excellence; featured gratitude expert in “The Keeper of the Keys” and “The Gratitude Experiment” documentaries.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Lisa Ryan on Aug. 22, 2012 : (no rating)
Mian Mohsin Zia’s fascinating book, Once: Ask Me Anything, Not Love, is a different kind of love story. The reader is transported on an emotional journey as the main character, M, learns about himself, and ultimately discovers his purpose in ways that he could not have anticipated or imagined.

There were several lessons I learned from this very enjoyable tale. 1. Unconditionally supportive friendships need to be valued and appreciated. 2. A person should not hide behind the facade of who he or she is supposed to be, based on who they always have been. 3. We need to be open to experience the full depth of our feelings and to be honest in our emotions. 4. When true love does come into our life, we need to recognize it for what it is and go for it.

Mian did a nice job in character development. I liked his characters, and, more importantly, I cared what happened to them. Although the story did not have the fairytale ending I was cheering for, the conclusion was satisfying and it was certainly worth the read.

-- Lisa Ryan, Chief Appreciation Strategist, Grategy; author of The Upside of Down Times: Discovering the Power of Gratitude and With Excellence; featured gratitude expert in “The Keeper of the Keys” and “The Gratitude Experiment” documentaries.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Tamera Lawrence on Aug. 18, 2012 : star star star star star
Love is a simple word. Yet it directs most of our lives. Without its existence, humanity would be bleak indeed. MorkeI, or better known as M - - No Time for Love is a well-known novelist, whose books are void of women. Now M - -No Time for Love is being requested by his publisher to come up with a love story. At first the idea doesn’t appeal to him, but then he travels to Kiev, where he meets the beautiful Maya and everything changes. Now M – No Time for Love finds the idea of writing a love story appealing, as he discovers the beautiful Maya might just be the right woman to teach him about love.
ONCE ASK ME ANYTHING, NOT LOVE by Author Mian Mohsin Zia is a journey of one man’s struggle to find love. The sites of Kiev and the Ukrainian people come alive in this lively tale. Morkel’s visit to unknown funerals and weddings was interesting and often amusing. Maya was refreshing and likable. An enjoyable read by a talented author.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Lorraine Carey on Aug. 15, 2012 : star star star star star
Once- Ask Me Anything-Not Love is not your traditional love story. It is written as if these two special souls were on a collision course with destiny.
I could not put this one down as you feel every emotion with Maya and Morkel as you have to read on to see if they will finally become united.
There is a very spiritual message here not only for the characters but also for the reader. The words relay how love can truly change a person and what special power it holds. I shed a few tears as Morkel ‘s world is torn apart and you are with him every step of the way as he encounters the pain that he self inflicts upon himself. He will finally learn the true path that he was destined to follow with a surprise ending. This novel will leave you wanting a sequel as this love story must continue.

Mian Moshin Zia writes from the heart. This was very easy to follow and the way the characters are portrayed are very believable. Mian knows how to put his feelings to words and his words of a desperate man in love will cut to the bone. As the story is peppered with poetry you will find yourself returning to read them again and again.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Ellen Hogan on Aug. 14, 2012 : star star star
Why would an author not want to write about love? Well, in this case because he had never experienced the feeling first hand. Morkel decides after writing his last book to go to Kiev and it's there he meets Maya. After meeting her a book takes form in his mind.
This was an interesting read. I really enjoyed the descriptions of Kiev, someplace that I know I will never visit. Seeing through Morkel's eyes the first stirrings of love is unique. Filled with new emotions and some dishonesty, Morkel finally tells Maya the truth as he is leaving. Then comes heartbreak and dealing with everything that went on between them. Enjoyed the minor characters and reading their advice. This book shows that not every love story has to have a traditional happy ending. There are different endings for everyone.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Sheryl Ann Wilson on Aug. 30, 2010 : star star star star star
Review by Sheryl Ann Wilson - Metisangel Aug 30,2010
Many worldwide writers of love exist. However, MIAN's writing style, focusing not only on entertaining the reader, but also teaching a deep lesson is unique.
"The Letter" is the one tool which grabs the reader to not wish to stop reading along with the comedy of this man not realizing that he is growing to love his protagonist. This one thing "love" that he fights in his life is overtaking him and yet he cannot fight it, for it is larger than any of his energies of life.
Then the fascinting theme change to him placing his love for the protagonist, now onto a female adopted child is fascinating and heart endearing. This shows the depth and with of love experienced, all because M opened the door.
M's realization of the importance of love and the fact that one can foolishly loose it, never to be regained, though feeling the effects forever are poiniant and true.
These facts and the many quotes so true of the principles of love cause a deep impression on the reader, with story lessons which shall remain forever deeply in the heart, only to be broght to the surface upon memory are the forever traits of this writing.
O N C E is a story which should be shared with everyone possible for it's deeply weaved within spiritual and life lessons and of course it's enjoyabiity.
O N C E would make a most wonderful film.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Julie Achterhoff on Aug. 22, 2010 : star star star star
This book is aptly titled because the protagonist in it knows nothing of love, which becomes his downfall. He believes he can live a life without a female companion, as well as a female in the books he writes. He is a famous author who unwittingly falls in love. Somehow he doesn't realize he has found true love until it is too late. The woman of his dreams instead becomes the center of a book he writes with her as the protagonist. He gets so caught up in the excitement of this that he ignores the highly personal nature of his find. Of course she has also fallen in love with him, but finds that he is so out of it that he doesn't realize he has the same feelings for her. This is the only problem I had with this story. I didn't quite understand how he didn't know what he was feeling in his heart. I expect it was because it hit him with such surprise, since he'd never felt this feeling of love before. There is a Christian slant to the book, but it is positive and subtle. I think this would be a good read for anyone who likes to realize that we don't know what we've got till it's gone. There is a strong message of this here.

Julie Achterhoff
Author of Quantum Earth and Deadly Lucidity
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: April Thomas on Aug. 06, 2010 : star star
An interesting, Intellectual take on love
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Breanne Braddy on June 23, 2010 : star star star star star
ONCE, was a surprisingly deep read. I was reminded, as a Catholic, how God intends for us to love others. Mian encompasses characters from so many different worlds, different faiths, different emotional backgrounds, that it makes for a brilliant tapestry of human interaction. I agree with the reviewer who noted what a wonderful movie this would make.

The prose at times is a bit tight, the plotting forced in certain situations, but like Burl said (aforementioned reviewer)this was published without the benefit of a professional edit.Overlook that aspect for now. With a good thorough run-through, this book will surpass its already well established fan base.

Read it, soak it in. His career is sure to go upwards from here.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: jessica mckamey on June 23, 2010 : star star star star star
ONCE is a great story full of characters that easily earn a place in your heart. It sneaks up on you with haunting imagery and exquisite details that transport the reader into the middle of the story almost immediately. It has a surprising protagonist and an unexpected ending which keep it fresh and entertaining page after page. It relates to the deepest aspects of the human heart and explores issues which are easy to relate to but rarely explored. I especially enjoyed the poems that grace the pages of ONCE and are all original and beautifully written.I would recommend ONCE for everyone and will be awaiting new releases from Mian Mohsin Zia with anticipation from now on.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Regina Djilavdarova on June 22, 2010 : star star star star star
Once Ask me anything not Love
There are million books in the world which were written about love. But “Once Ask me anything not Love” the book which deeply impressed and inspired me with its energy, and full of emotions, emotional experience.
The most I liked very much in this book , how the author expressed his thoughts and feelings to the readers.
There are of lot of strong expressions and quotes in this book. Such as “True love happens only once and everything else is just compromise”, or “Life comes with little surprise packages”, ”There are two things that cannot be taken away from someone: education and language” and e t c. I do say, that these quotes became very important in my life. They make think about. Moreover we can judge that author is really philosophically thought over the book. I think such useful expressions relate on not only this book, but to our life too, to human feeling, emotions. How wonderful sounds this one “It always seems easier to say hello then to say goodbye” It’s really great. This book filled with strong emotional potential which is come from the author’s heart.
When you read the book the Author makes you think about your own life too. This is a growth process in the mind of a human, for where your thoughts are, there you are. Author shows us it all depends on what you feed yourself with. Is it fast food, without any preparation on your part, or do you select and prepare it yourself, so your very own essence and energy go into it, together with a lot of planning and forethought? The digestion already begins with the planning and preparation, by the love, care, and attention to details to get it just right. So we can see in the book how important to pay attention to details and get it right. Sometimes we are blind to the reality. God gives us a chance only once, and it is very important to treat with it very carefully and use it in a time. So God will bless you. We shouldn’t be blind says to us Author.
If you lose your chance it may cost you too expensive as we understand through the main character in “Once Ask me anything not Love”.
I do recommend to everybody such wonderful interesting book as “Once Ask me anything not Love” , because this book isn’t only interesting and full of feelings, this book will teach you and may be open your eyes to the reality.
Thank you VERY MUCH TO THE AUTHOR MIAN MOHSIN ZIA!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Ruby Sodhi on June 20, 2010 : star star star star
Just the SECOND thing which came from his PEN and it is a Marvel. Rich in every human emotion and presents it dramatically with logical views without breaking the flow.. The whole saga is full of ups and downs which binds the reader to stick into it and find what comes next. The story is spun in such a beautiful way that one feels at times is this His / Her story?..... but still so different and written beautifully . The pace makes the book more enthralling and the rich characters make it more pure and unadulterated. Its just not an art to write the book but a detailed work where the descriptions are given of various people and places throughout the book giving it a real story look that happened with the protagonist and just not a fiction work and MIAN did his job in a Perfect way. Well versed and well phrased work with additional delicacy of poems which just add to its worth. A well written and well phased story with a touching end. A must for book lovers and Lovers. Waiting for your next venture eagerly…..God Bless You.- Ruby Sodhi
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Larry Miller on June 17, 2010 : star star star star
I found the book ONCE to be very compelling and interesting...yet simple, as it relates to every day life experiences as viewed through the eyes of a true believer. But stated in such a way, that reflects the authors thoughts and emotions in the moment...as if writing the spoken word, which is a style I can realate to. Often times people will read my writings...and will ask me if I recorded it first, then had it printed...with the same emotion, and thought process?? Very much the same as this author has. ONCE has meaning to the author, as it reflects his experiences, a journey, through a given period of time that reflects real life decisions and consequences as the author must accept the responsiblities of his actions. The poetry has been done in such a way, that sheds another light on the journey the author is taking that is very well stated. As someone once said, this story is not only about on persons journey..it will stay with you long after your done reading!!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Deena Remiel on June 15, 2010 : star star star
Interesting read. When a novelist becomes self-indulgent, dashing to bits the heart of another, you get ONCE. Most often in life we only get one chance at lasting love, and the protagonist in this novel, having denied himself the opportunity up to this stage of his life, squanders it for fleeting fame when it finally comes along, and pays the price for it the rest of his life.
The poetry is beautifully crafted, and the relationship between father and daughter is endearing.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jamie Martin on June 02, 2010 : star star star star star
I found the book, Once-----Ask Me Anything Not Love, to be very enjoyable and heartbreaking story at the same time to read. It is a story that stays with you long after you have finished reading it. I loved the style and voice of the author telling one man’s story that he had to share with the world. I loved how the man did everything that he could to right a mistake that he had made in his life. The use of poems made the story even more believable and heartfelt for me as a reader. I felt his pain and heartache through the entire story.

It is obvious that Mian has done an amazing amount of research on this book with the references to many places in Ukraine and surrounding cities. The use of poems and art work make the book unique and therefore make others want to read about someone that searches for love throughout their life.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Ellen DuBois on April 26, 2010 : star star star star
Book Review: Mian Mohsin Zia’s “ONCE-Ask me anything, Not Love.”

“The timeless message of seizing the day, delivered with an interesting twist.”

This “unlucky-in-love-love story” is poignant. ONCE speaks to anyone who is afraid to face and live their truth- in the moment. Morkel, the lead character in Zia’s book, is paralyzed by his fear of love, rendering him unable to admit his feelings for Maya, the female love interest in ONCE. Through Zia’s tale of love gone awry, we painstakingly ‘get’ how life presents us with precious, rare opportunities for love and how we choose to act upon these opportunities determines our entire future.

Raw, emotional, detailed and well paced, ONCE is a relatively fast read that packs a powerful message into an interesting, paradoxical tale. Meaningful, surprise twists in ONCE make for a more interesting, thought provoking read.

I enjoyed this story and the bittersweet afterthoughts it left me with.

Ellen M. DuBois-
Author of I Never Held You, a book about miscarriage, grief, healing and recovery, Jackie’s Heart and A-Z Affirmations and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com; Author website, http://ellendubois.com.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Elena Volikova on April 18, 2010 : star star star star star
It's difficult to find purity, brightness and honesty among modern books, books that can teach you to love people, to love life, to love God, to respect others and to care about people whom you love the most.
All that I found in ONCE is real. Many times while reading, I decided to take some rest and then move on with the book but at the end of each chapter I was even more excited to read more. I was not able to keep this book aside till I finished it. I'm extremely thankful to the author for such a masterpiece.
It's good to see the pictures, book trailer and to read in depth details about ONCE, but above all reading ONCE is unforgettable.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Micheal Williams on April 17, 2010 : star star star star star
This is a work by a sheer genius. The characters are scripted perfectly. M---, No Time for Love, Maya, Katrin, Anja, and Fraser all seems to be very realistic.
The 3 poems and picture gallery gives a great feel. The hard work by the author put into the book can be well felt. The purity and simplicity of the book makes it different from other books. I can not recall any book so pure and realistic I have read for a while.
Each book has its own identity and has one or two particular qualities that makes it a special book. For ONCE you can not name one, two or three particular qualities that makes it special. In fact, there are many things that makes this book an excellent read.
Full marks to the author.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Burl Barer on April 13, 2010 : star star star
This second novel by Mian Zia mixes elements of attraction, obsession, selfishness, control and sacrifice in what is "almost" a compelling multi-level riff on the entire love story genre. Our protagonist is an author who will never write a love story. He, of course, writes a love story because he "falls in love" -- or at least thinks he is in love. And that is part of the compelling nature of ONCE -- the love struck narrator knows nothing of love. For all his tears and obsession, it is all about him, and love itself is a mere plot device. He can't write; his fans await him -- he is Majnum seeking Layli in the dust of his own heart. The potentially powerful ending (no spoiler here) is somewhat weakened by the narrator attempting to tell the reader the moral of the story -- something no author would do in real life, or in a "real book"
Zia is an author with a future -- hopefully one with a publishing house that employs grammar checkers and line editors.
His talent is authentic, his future bright. This could be a rear jerker movie...and Zia could evolve into a John Fowles.
Add this book to your library, and follow Zia's career. This is only his second novel, and was prodouced without benifit of editorial guidance. If it goes mainstream, I'm sure there will be a revised edition. This one could be worth a fortune someday!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Mary Stanford on April 10, 2010 : star star star star star
It is an excellent read. It is highly commendable to see how well a Muslim author has written about Christianity. The book goes really well with the plot and keeps you interested till the end. I liked the way MIAN tells the story and decorates it with 3 poems and a very captivating picture gallery.
A very touching love story that crosses boundaries of nationality and religion. It is a book for all. It gives a very positive approach towards religion and love.
ONCE is definitely going to get inclusion into the list of my favorite books. Authors spend a lifetime to write one book that could work with the readers but MIAN has done it in his second attempt. He certainly has a very bright future ahead. I look forward to read your upcoming books.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Paula Phillips on April 10, 2010 : star star star star
Great love stories do not have a perfect ending; their imperfection makes them great and immortal. It is said that life is stranger than fiction, and that holds very true. In real life, we cannot predict what will happen next or how the future will unfold. If we could predict the future, then life would not be real. You will get perfect endings only in fairytales, because they are set in the imagination of the creator. Real life is far different to fairytales. “
This is the story of how M____no time for love , a famous novelist came to writing a love story. M had never had the inspiration behind love stories, he had not yet met a woman worth becoming his inspiration ,his female protagonist until one year he decided to visit Kiev, Ukraine for his yearly vacation.
It is in Kiev , that M which stands for Morkel meets Maya , first at a wedding which Morkel has stumbled upon , then at the shopping mall “Globus” , from that momment on everywhere Morkel turns Maya is there. As time progresses Morkel realises that Maya is everything he would want in a female protagonist and so he starts to write a love story, though this isn’t your everyday average love story. When Its time for Morkel to leave , he tells Maya everything about himself, we read with anticipation on how Maya will react to Morkels truth revealing statement.
As time passes , Morkel realises that Maya was his one true love and love really does exist for him , so he jet-sets to Kiev after the launch party of his new novel ONCE based on his experience with Maya . He tries everything to locate her from searching through old college campuses to even taking an ad out in the local paper, but nothing prevails. This part of the book reminded me of the movie “Take the Line” starring Lance Bass from NSYNC.
Fast-forward five years , Morkel has now made Kiev his hometown and has an adopted daughter Katrin who in ways reminds him alot of Maya , Will Morkel and Maya eventually end up together , were they meant to be ? This novel is summed up perfectly with the epilogue reading “True love only happens once, the rest is a compromise. Her words are simple. “Ask me anything, not Love.” A favourite part of this book was that it includes 3 romantic poems throughout it which adds that extra zing to it , pushing it over the stereotype of your average novel.Another thing that I did enjoy was the different nationalities of the characters , this made the book feel like it could appeal to a wide-world audience rather than one nationality mindset.
A Wonderful Love Story that shows us that love doesn’t always have to be a fairytale and by using this theme , it gives a reality handle to the story as for every happy ending , their is about as twice as many love stories that don’t end in happily ever after.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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