Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Scorched by His Fire by Reet Singh



Scorched by His Fire
by 
Reet Singh 




The Blurb
 Mita Ramphul can't face another family set-up with a 'nice young man'. What she needs is to divert her family's attention so introducing the devastatingly handsome Tanay Devkumar as her new boyfriend is a stroke of brilliance. Until Tanay's scorching hot kisses threaten to shatter her plans for the perfect pretend date. 


He might drive her crazy, yet spending time with Tanay sparks a passion Mita never knew she had. It's only meant to be temporary, but when Tanay looks at her with that smoldering fire in his ebony eyes Mita can't help but surrender to the temptation of her fake boyfriend.


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Review 
Reet Singh has created a beautiful character in Mita. She can be anyone of us. Spicy and Hot. A woman with some faults. Thank God! Mita can be me...or you. 
She lives in the beautiful Mauritius and works as a teacher. Her family wants to see her married off and settled. But she is yet to find love and when she does, the man of her dreams does nothing but blame her for being a home wrecker. Ouch! Not a very good start, is it? But Tanay is sure that Mita is out to wreck his sister's home and he will do anything to prevent that. Laxmi, his sister means a lot to him and he would be damned if he lets this vixen destroy her marriage. 
If this was only the only story line, it might have become a bit boring but Reet Singh brings a beautiful twist to this tale. A slight adventure which will make the readers keep on turning the pages. I know I did :) 
Mita's character is very bubbly and spontaneous while Tanay is the silent-hero kind whose one liners makes a gal jelly-belly. One thing that would have made the story stronger is the Kolkata incident. The character of Mrs. Ramphul of Kolkata could have been a bit deeper, a bit more closer to home - to justify Mita's and Tanay's journey from Mauritius. But what it lacked there is made up in the sizzling romance between the two. Readers, it is HOT and SIZZLING. The love scenes are beautifully written. The thing that most left an impact with me is the fluidity of the story. Its very fluid and there is not stopping once you start this story. Every scene is woven to the next one - without making it look deliberate. 
Meet the Author
Reet has a romantic soul, partly genetic but certainly attributable to the romantic fiction she devours by the kilo. When she's not watching romcoms, or doing creative things with wool and a crochet hook, or playing Scrabble, she can be found in the kitchen putting together her 'world-famous' one-pot meals. Married for three decades, her prototypical tall, handsome, and sensitive hero-husband still makes her heart skip a beat. Writing about love and happy endings feeds her romantic soul; hearing from her readers thrills her. Having a mother that read to her, she paid it forward, telling bedtime stories to her sons and nieces until they grew too old too fast. As a reaction to them growing up before she knew what was happening, she began writing for older children, and has published children's books on Amazon, for Kindle.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Chat With Satyarth Nayak




Name of the Book :The Emperor's Riddles
Author:Satyarth Nayak
Publisher: Amaryllis


Read the Review of The Emperor's Riddle Here. 


1. First of all congratulations on coming up with such a complicated, well scripted story. How was the concept born?

My book is a freak act of nature. One fine evening after re-reading one of Dan Brown’s novels, I had this sudden curiosity to know if we have any similar esoteric mysteries or secrets in our Indian history and culture. It was a random search on the Net during which I stumbled across this beautiful story associated with one of our most iconic Indian Emperors. The man’s vision mesmerized me. The more I read about the Emperor’s fascinating deed thousands of years ago, the more I knew that I had to tell this story. That’s how this journey began. 


2. That's cool Satyarth! What kind of research went behind this novel? The secrets of the Masons is not a subject many Indian authors have dealt with. Though I know you beg to differ. But I am going to point out the similiarities there. Was really hooked by them in your book. What fascinated you to touch this subject? 

When you write a historical thriller, research becomes a vital part of your process. The fact that the legend of the Emperor was full of details made my job a lot easier. But a lot of research went into faithfully recreating the ancient era since the track of the Emperor’s evolution runs parallel to the main track of the murder intrigue. Besides elements of sci-fi, history, forensics and myths, the book also deals with Buddhist philosophy and iconography and that demanded solid research.

3. Yes. True. Your knowledge on Buddhism surprised me. Especially the way it was woven around your story.I am very curious about how you plotted this story. Did you plan each sequence out or was it follow your instinct kind?

I totally planned each move before I started writing. I cannot write instinctively. I need to have my sequence in place before I begin. My book’s a thriller and thrillers are primarily plot driven which is why I need to have a skeletal structure before I start filling in the meat. I always had a bird’s eye view of my story and knew exactly when my next riddle would come or the next twist would appear.  

4. Seems like your strategy worked! The clues of the robots were very well thought of.  Who is your inspiration and why?

Thanks. I have been getting compliments that the riddles are the real stars of my book and my readers have had a lot of fun trying to crack them. The inspiration was the ‘things’ that the riddles point at. It was great researching about those ‘things’ and creating riddles around them. Perhaps I was also paying an tribute to writers like Dan Brown, Agatha Christie and Conan Doyle. 

5. Rapid fire. Be ready Satyarth ...:P

a) Penning a novel or marketing a novel- what is more difficult? 
Both actually but marketing goes up by a single notch. 

b) Next novel coming up in ?
Watch this space! (Not fair !!)

c) If Satyarth was not a novelist then Satyarth would be?
Film Director.(Fingers Crossed. God Willing)

d)Antagonist or Protagonist- who gave you a tough time while creating them? 
 The riddles….they gave me the toughest time…and creating them was the most fun part. (If the toughest part was done so well, the writer need not worry about a thing :))

Thanks a ton Satyarth. For taking the time to chat. Wish you many more successes in the future. :)
  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Vanished Times by Ines C. Rothen


Name of the Book: Vanished Times
Author : Ines C. Rothen
Publisher :Austin Macauley Publishers
Paperback: 242 pages
Buy @ AMAZON.COM 


My Review 

When I took up this book, I was a bit apprehensive. I like reading autobiographies. - the 'Peep Tom'  in me has to be kept satisfied legally :P. But my general inclination is towards King Henry's exploits or Lady Diana's adventures and some hushed rumours. In other words, I want to know if fairy tales really exists. I am yet to find out :)

Vanished Times is one book, I am glad I didn't miss. While from a reader's POV, I can't ask the questions why did she say that or why that couldn't have happened.  I cannot question about a time of which I have only heard of or read about. I envy  the author's rich experiences. World War II :O I wouldn't wish that on anyone. Hard times to be born in. The sirens, the black outs must have been so chilling and terrifying. 

Yet in that midst, there was teasing between the brother and a sister, some fight over sausages and all the silly things only siblings can do.  There awe over a Naphthalene ball is so telling of the people during the author's time. Things we take for granted in today's world was an invention in those days. Even ahem... birth control 'devices' :P. So a lady who has lived in those times and is now telling the beautiful tale with such an elan, has all my respect. 

From the beginning itself, the author grips her readers by taking us to those times when the automobile was a luxury. Ines was such a naughty girl. A little She-Devil !!! I loved her antics - though if someone searches for 'Nachtheuel' behind my wall papers, my love for kids will go for a toss for sometime at least. 

All the relationships are beautifully stressed. You can feel that the writer is still living in those times - at least in her memory. Her memory has come out very vividly, whether regarding the questions about facts of life that arises in a child or about her Tom Cat. :) 

I found the anecdotes of her life from her childhood very endearing. Can't wait to read about her youth in the next part. :)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Ekkos Clan by Sudipto Das



The Ekkos Clan 
by 
Sudipto Das




The Blurb
 "The Ekkos Clan" is the story of Kratu’s search for the killers of his family, his own roots and the mystery behind his grandmother’s stories.


It’s the fascinating account of Kubha and the basketful of folklore she inherited from her ancestors. The eventful lives of Kubha and her family span a hundred years and encompass turbulent phases of Indian history. The family saga unfurls gradually, along with Kubha’s stories, through the three main characters – Kratu Sen, a grad student at Stanford, Kratu’s best friend Tista Dasgupta, and Afsar Fareedi, a linguistic palaeontologist.


Afsar hears about Kubha’s stories from Kratu in a casual conversation, but she figures that these stories are not meant to be mere bed time tales – they contain rich linguistic fossils and layers of histories.


In a bizarre incident Kratu miraculously survives an attempt on his life. His sister and uncle had not been so lucky. Were these murders acts of revenge, or a larger ideological conflict connected to Kubha’s stories which conceal perilous secrets that should be suppressed?


Afsar, Kratu and Tista travel across continents to unravel the mystery of Kubha’s roots and the origin of her stories.


At a different level, the novel subtly delves into the origin of one of the oldest civilizations of the world and the first book written by mankind.

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Review
What a horror it must have been to live during the times of partition of India! I have heard some horror stories of those times from my Dadu (grandfather). To me they were just stories. Fascinating since I was hearing it from the mouth of the experienced. Reading Ekkos Clan by Sudipto Das brought out the horrors again. Chilling! Heartfelt and sadistically fascinating. 

The story has many shades. The modern times depicting the lives of Kratu, Tits and Afsar. then the ones who were caught between the past and present in the form of Bhrigu or Kaushik and above all those who had created these situations - Kubha and Zakar.

There lives are intervined in the pages of history. The modern generation caught in the mysteries of the past and above all the intrinsic clues hidden in etymology. 

First of all, I would like to congratulate the author on his research. The effects of using mnemonic associations on vocabulary is by itself very vast and on top of that understanding and using examples of cognates from Indo-European languages is a feat to achieve. The cognates have been used very effectively in Kratu's journey to solve the mysteries of Kubha's story. 

That being said, the story to me as a reader, took my full attention. This is no light read. Those who have a slight inclination towards ancients texts and their mysteries, this is a book for them. You really have to love history (and to some extent geography :P) to enjoy this one. The best characters etched were of Kubha and Kratu. Both are different from each other yet similar to the extent that can be openly termed as genetics.Like two somnambulists, they walked on the path of destiny without caring where the path led them.

The Author uses words to draw many portraits of nature.

"He would bring us here during the evenings when the sun sank behind the smoke coming out of the tall chimneys of the factories on the Howrah side of the river. Lying on the deck and staring at the rippled reflection of the sun on the waters of the river he would talk about a totally different kind of boat ride. " 

Whether emotions or landscape he is very liberal with words, threading them across main story of Kratu's discovery of his grandma's past. There are scenes where I have felt the lump in my throat, specially when the journey of Brighu begins. When Kubha's fear of her being called a "dharshita, a despised woman" is portrayed, I shed a few tears. It was heart touching. 

The Aryan story line is also well conceive and a very controversial one. Sanskrit and the languages of North India were found to be relatives of the languages of Europe, while the Dravidian languages of south India were found to be another language family.Using this the author forms the building block of his story. Very interesting. One very interesting point that I found here was the way the European solstice were also woven in. Yes, there are lots of similarities between those festivals and ours. We are all bound to nature. 

My only peeve is the author must have been so lost in his writing, that he went on and on on some scenes. Some scenes could have been shorter and thus made the story move faster. For eg. " One group migrated to the east through the land of the Danus rivers, the big bends on Don and Volga near Volgograd, the crescent on Volga at Samara and finally reached Arkaim, travelling along the Samara and Ural rivers. This particular story—The Land of the Danus Rivers and the Ekwos Sea—seems to trace the Aryan Trail from their original homeland till the Samara Bend.’ It sounds wonderful to all the history students out there. I lapped it up but for it being a work of fiction, the writer has to walk on a thin line of too much information and story telling.

Since Sudipto Das has excelled in the art of story telling, I will overlook the 'too much information' part. :)

Would I recommend this book? To those who loved the hidden truths of the chalice in Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, it is a must read for you.





Meet the Author









Sudipto was born in Calcutta to a family which fled Bangladesh during the partition riots of 1947. He grew up listening horrid stories of the partition, something which he has used extensively in his debut novel The Ekkos Clan. He completed his engineering from IIT Kharagpur in 1996. He lives in Bangalore.




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           Wikipedia 



Media Mentions 




"A promising debut in the growing realm of modern Indian fiction" - Jug Suraiya 

"An Indian thriller inspired by Dan Brown & Harrison Ford!... fast-paced thriller, replete with murder and miraculous escapes" - Telegraph 

"If you are a history buff and a thriller aficionado, then [it] might just be the book for you" - The Hindu 

"A tale of the Indian civilization and culture... takes you on a roller coaster ride" - The New Indian Express 

"An interesting read for an afternoon... One feisty woman's partition story" - Bangalore Mirror 

"Should be read for its sheer aspiration and the intelligent handling of historical material" - The Sunday Guardian 

"Is essentially a mystery novel, but is grounded in a substantial base of research and exploration into our past" - newsyaps.com
       









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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Full Circle by Yamini Vijendran


Full Circle 
by 
Yamini Vijendran




The Blurb
 Outwardly, Malini is a contented, sixty-something grandmother with a loving family and everything a person could wish for. But Malini has lived her entire life with a secret confined to the deepest recesses of her heart.


Haunted by the past, she travels to Kumbakonam, her native town, which she had left years ago. There, she comes face-to-face with her long-lost love.


After forty years, will Malini be able to reclaim her own life, when love comes knocking at her door once again?



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Review
Such an innocent tale of love. Who says writing about pure love does not win a reader's heart? Just a pure, simple kind love- in its unadulterated form. We always perceive love with hot sex and hotter kisses. But there are kinds of love which makes your heart beat faster, brings a bemused smile on your face - when you think no one is looking and once which is always buried in your heart -even when you are not part of each others life anymore. That is what Yamini Vijendran has given to us in her short novella - Full Circle.

As with Indiread's novellas, the editing makes it a pleasure to read. So was the case in this one too.

Malini, the young girl falls in love, with a young banker Ranjan, but fate had something else in mind for them. All their dreams come to an end when Malini's sister Nalini brings shame to the family by eloping with her lover... (my only bone of contention was this... why that guy?oh why!! :P ) The price was paid by Malini and when Ranjan fails to keep his promise of returning from his parent's house, Malini is forced to move, with her father, to Chennai from Kumbakonam. She is married off and thankfully lands up with an understanding hubby. (No, not the Ajay Devgan kind in Hum Dil Chuke Hai Sanam - thank god!)

Though she accepts her way of life, her love for Ranjan is always present at the back of her mind. After her hubby's demise, she sets on a journey to find some answers from her past. Why did Ranjan behave like that? Why had he not returned? These questions had always haunted her. But she was in for a surprise. Life had moved on in Kumbakonam and her childhood landmarks had all vanished. This shocks her. She does not want to go to her grave with all the questions. Will she?

Yamini Vijendran's penning is simple and beautiful. The small-small details she has written about Kumbakonam is very intrinsic. Ethnic to the core, few nostalgic moments did creep up in my life too. My MIL is from that place and I have visited the places described in this book.

This story also brings to mind the move Aandhi. No, the story is not same at all. But I could easily visualize Sanjeev Kumar in the role of Rajat and Suchitra Sen as Malini. I could not think of any modern stars doing justice to these roles. It has a subtlety which will be drowned with over dramatization.

A small package with a powerhouse of emotions. -- that is what Full Circle by Yamini Vijendran is.

Would I recommend this book: Definite. But .....

Be prepared for a lump in your throat for Nalini .. (No. That is not a spelling error :))


Meet the Author





Yamini Vijendran (@saimini) is the author of ‘Full Circle’, a romance novella published by Indireads. After being a Software Professional for 7 years, Yamini has been freelancing from home for the past 3 years. She loves to dabble in fiction and romance and drama are her favorite genres. Her short stories have been published in ‘Love Stories That Touched My Heart’, an Anthology published by Penguin India, New Asian Writing and Six Sentences. Yamini also likes to pen poems when inspiration strikes, and her poetry has been published in The Indian Review, Contemporary Literary Review of India and ‘A World Rediscovered’ a poetry Anthology by Cyberwit Publications. Yamini draws material for her stories and poems from the world around her. When she is not converting her experiences to stories or poems, Yamini reads, plays with her toddler, and fools around her laboratory, that is, the kitchen. 




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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Against All Rules by Summerita Rhayne


Against All Rules
By 
Summerita Rhayne




The Blurb
 The efficient PA out of her depth...

Samara knows getting attracted to Tahir is like asking for trouble. Not only is he her boss but he’s got divorced recently and has sworn off any commitment. Short term is not on her list but temptation has never been stronger.


The man who doesn’t have faith in rainbows anymore...


Tahir doesn’t believe in enforcing a code of conduct he cannot follow. But Samara might just make him make an exception! An affair at the office might seem a solution to his troubles but how can he avoid treading uncharted territory…?


Against All Rules


when fire is set, it’s hard to avoid the blaze



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Review
Summerita Rhayne makes her debut with a hot, sizzling take on love, passion and desire. 

This scorching (you-can-see-the-fumes kind) is a story of a small-town-working-in-the-big-city kind of girl Samara.(Pretty name!). She has some hidden desire for her boss- Tahir. 

Tahir has just come out of a divorce and is not interested in a commitment. He is overridden with guilt issues (misplaced) wrt to his first marriage. He is in no way interested in having an affair -especially with his efficient secretary, Samara -

-- Till a kiss changes it all. Tahir feels a strong attraction towards her. She too is not immune to his desires. What starts after that is a cat and a mouse game between desire and control. Both are haunted by their past and both love their independence (thank god she is not the weeping willow kind). But passion is a decisive factor which burns them, till they are forced to give in to their basic instincts. :P Where will their passion lead them to? One is commitment phobia and the other wants to marry for love. Is there any solution for this? 

Summerita Rhayne has done just what she had set to do- create a passionate atmosphere. Everytime you think - 'they will do it' or 'now now now' - comes in Mr. Conflict. There are times I wanted to push them in a room and tell them to finish it off. :D

Grammatically there are no faults with this one.But some phrases are oft repeated and a few words used are redundant. But not to a large scale and can be overlooked. The cover of the book could have been a bit more attractive since beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder (How shallow I sound. :( ) but, don't we all grab a book by its cover first and then read the blurb? (Need to have  a discussion on this one, dear peeps)

If we look beyond these physical details of the book, the romance readers will enjoy this book with a glass of wine in a candle lit room. Keep the AC on......



Meet the Author











Summerita Rhayne loves to write sensual and emotional romance. There's no knowing when some quirky - or sometimes even not so quirky - happening in daily life might trigger her right brain and then she's off craving a new story. She loves writing characters who learn and grow and find their way out of their troubles and emotional hang-ups. Hot, sensual heroes and sassy but sweet heroines mostly fit the bill in her stories. She also believes that a touch of humor never goes amiss in a book.



She divides her time between family, job and writing - and loves winding down with music, movies and the internet!




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