Monday, July 16, 2018

Book Spotlight: A MORSEL OF DIFFERENT SHADES by S.K. Sanyal




A MORSEL OF DIFFERENT SHADES
by
S.K. Sanyal



Blurb

Sumitra Ghosal came all the way from Bankura in West Bengal to join the education service in the recently formed Bundeli State. During the period from 1956 to 1990, spanning more than three decades, she got shunted around small towns and semi-rural areas. The book is woven around her experiences on women teachers lives. She found for some teachers, cruel circumstances charting out the unknown trajectory, while for the others, the evil streak already present manifested itself rather blatantly during their teaching careers.

Ranging from the weird to the quirky, scheming to whimsical, there were all kinds of women for Sumitra to experience and continuously learn from. Bearing a religious bent of mind, Sumitra, a spinster by choice, didn’t fail to take cognizance of the bizarre instances of marital co-existences in the couples she met throught the story.



Read an excerpt

Sumitra Ghosal had stepped into the thirties. Young and hopeful, bubbling over with the excitement of yet another transfer, she arrived at Domod, a district town. The three successive postings at Putlinagar, Bajera and Sagar in the sprawling Uttar Madhya Desh (UMD) had done little to exhaust her. UMD had its capital at Lakshminagar. As distinct from other States, it had predominantly Government schools, private schools not many in number. This State was created according to the prevailing trend of creating smaller states out of larger ones. Rashtriya Daridrya Mochan Party (RDMP) was in power, their manifesto focusing on widespread measures for promoting education for women in remote corners. Sumitra, though, found the efforts not coming entirely from the depths of a sincerely dedicated state. It seemed to be RDMP’s propagandist move to gain more votes.

Sumitra found travelling in ramshackle buses and waiting at railway platforms for the few trains available at odd hours, quite an ordeal. Hers was the fate to move around insignificant remote corners in the heartland of India, where commuting was not easy; semi-rural people formed the stock of commuters. Sumitra, however, didn’t rue her fate; she enjoyed, for she was an optimist drawn by the hidden charm of the unknown places. And what a taste of independence in not marrying – she wasn’t anybody’s property. Her decisions were squarely her own. She had her own conduct or the way to what people say, religiosity; none could teach her the way to realise God. If, as a woman, she worshipped the deity of Hanumanji, let people laugh at her fasting or bratas on Tuesdays and Saturdays. That she got the strength of character by observing the rituals of her making was what mattered. That she wrote with her fingers, without making any impression, the names of Gods and Goddesses on her pillow before sleeping was her unique way to ward off any trouble.

She had a personality built up over long years of getting over the inferiority complex she had developed in her formative years. Neglected and over-ruled, she wasn’t permitted to go for higher education, as her parents wanted their nubile daughter to be tied in a nuptial knot. But Sumitra went on rejecting proposals one after the other until her parents got tired. She was finally allowed to go for higher education. She had a late start, but this belated take-off made her even more determined to be independent, even to take a curious, brave and adventurous decision to take up lectureship in the newly created state of UMD when her native place was in Santhal Parganas in the east.

The fourth and the youngest daughter of a businessman, she had had occasions to go to shikar and witness ruthless killings of sambars, tigers and other small animals or birds. In those times, there was no ban on shikaris engaged in indiscriminate decimating of wild animals. One day, she was seated in the jeep with her legs on the warm and still throbbing body of a fallen sambar. Touched, she took a vow not to have meat ever again. Thus, she was the only vegetarian amongst her non-vegetarian sisters. Alas, she had no brother, and that is why she equated the male visitors of her generation to her parental house as brothers and bestowed them with sisterly affection.

***
It was the month of April when nature attired herself in a new garb with little smooth green leaves sprouting on some trees, while the others had not yet shed completely their brownish yellow leaves. A mixture of dusty yellow fallen lifeless leaves under the massive trees and the seasonal flowers past their full bloom presented a spectacle of life and death. One had to step over the crispy fragile remains of what once was a prized greenery to get near the rows of pansies, zinnias, lilies and other flowers to see the minute tapestry of the multicoloured spectacle amidst the crackling dead leaves. The winter’s ruthlessness had made way for the pleasant breeze, dusty at times, that replaced the cold winds of February. It was a pleasant, beautiful, sombre and placid morning in a strange land when Sumitra joined the school at Domod as a lecturer. It could have been the month of July with blackish-grey clouds suppressing the bright onset of the dawn or the torrential rains drenching her on her first day of school; it could have been the month of December with its biting cold necessitating the full stock of woollen clothes. Nevertheless, out of all the random eccentricities of the transferring authority, she was slated to join the school during the best period of the year, and it sure augured well. A placid look came over her face when she saw the red cap over a green body, the gulmohar, topping the fresh green leaves of the massive tree at the end of the road leading to the school. The April bliss.

She got the first shock when she found the distance cut short abruptly. The school happened to be in full view, even as she was jostling through the crowd, manoeuvring the sharp cuts and turns of the street; an expectation of an ideal location of the school belied. Why this proximity? A school in a bazaar? How nauseating and depressing?

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About the author




A member of the Indian Statistical Service, S.K. Sanyal retired as Director, Central Statistical Organisation, Delhi, after having served as a statistician at Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, and as a Professor of Statistics at All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata.

After retirement,he served from time to time as a consultant with the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, Delhi. As a UNDP consultant, he had short-term assignments at UN Statistical Office at New York, Malawi University, Malawi, and Central Statistics Office, Sierra Leone. Prior to those, as a sampling expert, he delivered lectures on Sampling at Fiji and Nepal on behalf of Statistical Institute for Asia and Pacific, Tokyo, and ESCAP, Bangkok. At NIPFP, he was deputed for poverty studies at Sikkim on behalf of the Asian Development Bank.

Besides numerous technical papers and articles, he has also published a novel, ‘Shifting Silhouettes’, and a real-life story, ‘Memories Unlimited’. He resides in New Delhi.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Review of Lolita: Reviewed by Sundari Venkatraman



Sundari Venkatraman Reviews

This is the first of the “Bad Girl series” by the author. Dying of curiosity, I bought the book the moment it was released on Amazon.

After reading the book, I realized that this was one character that I would have loved to create as an author myself.

Lolita aka Lalita hails from my hometown of Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu and that was another plus in her favor. The young woman has dreams of becoming the star of Bollywood and goes along with a stranger all the way from Kumbakonam to Mumbai, completely unaware of what awaits her there.

What I liked about Lolita was that she was honest enough to take responsibility for her actions.

The story begins with a bang when an accident occurs during the first meeting between Lolita and Advait.

The relationship between the two of them sparks almost immediately but takes time to build. The story is as real as it could be with both the protagonists sporting varied shades of grey in their characters.

I especially liked the rapport between Advait’s little girl and the diva of the silver screen.
I must say the author has come a very long way since she began with her first book, which was itself 5-star material.

VERDICT: Lolita does win the readers’ hearts

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Book Review: Captive by M. V Kasi

The CaptiveThe Captive by M.V. Kasi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I was not prepared for this book at all. When Nina gets kidnapped I kept on turning the pages as to what's going to happen next. Ms. Kasi kept me hooked to the pages with her sheer brilliant writing. The plot is intriguing no doubt but the way Ms. Kasi has done her character sketches is a marvel. A play with words. Ms.Kasi is proving to be very good with romance and suspense. I loved the mind game Ms. Kasi played - with her readers as well as with her characters. Every time I tried to figure out where this plot was leading to, the twist came with a bang. Kudos on such a wonderful writing. Looking forward for the next one.



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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Book Review: Groomnapped by Sundari Venkatraman

Groomnapped (The Groom Series, #1)


My rating: 5 of 5 stars


An unusual story of a groom who is kidnapped to be married. I liked the premise of the story a lot. As is the signature style of Ms. Venkatraman, its hot and short and the flow of the story is really good. Loved it. It also covers the evils of dowry system in our society and told in a lighted way.



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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Review of Rising from The Ashes. Review by Dola Basu Singh

Intriguing short read

Loved this unique take on the age-old Purana story. The writer has created a fictional character to justify the grey areas, which I found innovative. The writing is fluid, making this story an engaging, quick read.

Review by Dola Basu Singh


Our books are often discussed. But we authors don't seem to have any right to discuss the reviews. Reviews that mean a life to us for it not only connects us with our readers but also with our own stories. As seen from other's viewpoint. And viewpoint might vary. That's perfectly fine. Each review makes me understand my stories better and helps me grow as a writer. 

Rising from the Ashes was initially written as a prequel to my Knitted Tales 2 but after the influx of short stories, I have decided to make this into a short novella. My stories are fictional but with bits of truth in it. One thing I have noticed. Every mythological story has those grey areas where we don't have any reasoning. My stories start there. From that point where logic does not come in. A series of mythological fiction coming your way. All from my imagination.. or are they?

The first in the series is FALLING IN LOVE WITH CUPID.  Coming Soon.

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Friday, June 22, 2018

Book Review: Unexpected Love : A Short & Steamy Romance by P.G. Van

Unexpected Love : A Short & Steamy RomanceUnexpected Love : A Short and Steamy Romance by P.G. Van

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I loved the twist in this novel. Ms. Van has kept her audience glued to this short reads. Hot romance, sizzling scenes and a good plot. Couldn't have asked for anything more.



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Friday, June 15, 2018

Book Blitz: Killer Moves by Varsha Dixit



Killer Moves
by
Varsha Dixit



Blurb
Everyone has a secret. Aisha Khatri has many! 


Aisha’s life is seemingly mundane on the surface-she writes for television and takes care of her niece Kiara and her retired father. But when Kiara’s life is threatened during a modeling assignment for the famous Kabir Rana, once a suspect for his wife’s murder, the only way Aisha can save Kiara is by accepting the unique ability she has aggressively resisted all her life. 


But Aisha is not the only one with secrets. There are others who have secrets and will kill to keep them. Aisha is determined to protect Kiara even if it means placing herself in the crosshairs of a depraved killer who butchers beautiful girls and leaves them as grotesque displays. 


Is Kiara a target of a serial killer or is the killer closer to home-and Aisha’s heart? 


Who is Kabir Rana? An elusive and moody fashion photographer burdened with a dark past or a murderer who got away? 


How will Aisha save Kiara from a killer who is several steps ahead of an entire city’s police force? When the dead come calling, will Aisha answer? 


From the bustling streets of Goa to the beautiful palaces of Sirsa, Killer Moves is a fast-paced, gripping, romantic suspense tale with strong thriller and supernatural elements. 

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About the author


Varsha Dixit, the best selling author of six successful contemporary romance books. Her debut book, Right Fit Wrong Shoe was a national bestseller for the year 2010. Varsha was a part of the Indian Television Industry and worked as an assistant director and online editor. She considers herself a dreamer who thinks deep but writes light. Even though creativity is gender free,Varsha feels blessed and enriched to be a woman.Currently, with her family, Varsha resides in CA, USA.

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Friday, June 1, 2018

#BookReview: Vampire Witch by Eileen Sheeshan

Vampire Witch  (Vampire Witch, #1)Vampire Witch by Eileen Sheehan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This was a very interesting read. I loved the way the emotions of a young girl evolved in this book. Casey starts as an ordinary girl and soon is introduced into the world of vampires, mutant vampires, witches. Geo is one interesting character I could fall in love with. The conflicting emotions between the characters came out very well. Casey caught in the crossroad of whom to fall in love is beautifully depicted. This book is one definite read for all vampires book lovers. Will look forward to other reads by the author.



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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Book Review: Wicked Forest by E.J Bennett

Wicked Forest (Hidden World Book 1)Wicked Forest by E.J. Bennett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Crystal was quite an interesting character. Loved the way her character grew and her discovery of herself as she walked on the path of love. It becomes a pageturner as I was hooked to the book to know what was happening in the Wicked Forest and if the Carmichaels were as bad as they were supposed to be. Levi and Drake are to die for and even I got confused as to whom I should cheer for. Loved the cover. Ending .. no comments since I am now waiting for the next one.



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Friday, May 18, 2018

Book Review: The Storyman: Sometimes Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction by Bhavya Nandakumar

The Storyman: Sometimes Truth Is Stranger Than FictionThe Storyman: Sometimes Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction by Bhavya Nandakumar

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This is one short story that makes you yearn for more. Very well written. Short and left me wanting more. A tinge of mystery, supernatural elements makes this book a page-turner. I have only one thing to say to the Author. Please write more. If the trailer was so good, I wonder how the movie will be.



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Book Blitz: IF YOU ONLY KNEW ME by Divyata Rajaram


IF YOU ONLY KNEW ME
by
Divyata Rajaram



BLURB

If You Only Knew Me is a story of friendship, passion and intrigue set in Dubai, arguably one of the world’s most exciting cities to live in.

Rupali, Anjali, Dipika, Sakina and Monica are five NRI women whose lives are glitzy and exciting as they flirt with high society within the charmed social circles frequented by the Dubai expat community. Beautiful homes, designer clothes, shoes, fast cars and a lifestyle that is envied by all, there is very little these women have not attained. Together they have also woven the closest of friendships and must rely on each other to stay on top.

Appearances are deceptive, though, and often the people you think you know the best, harbor secrets too dangerous to be shared. When tragedy befalls, the investigation that follows opens an ugly box of secrets that will test their friendship and find them struggling to make sense of the madness and deception surrounding them.

Who can they really trust anymore? How far must they go in their fight for survival?

How long will their friendship last once the masks have dropped and none can pretend any longer?




Read an excerpt from the book...

Dipika’s head was swimming as she sat in Tim Horton’s, Mall of the Emirates, waiting for Rupali to join her. The only reason she had even fixed up to meet her was that she knew her mother had called up Anjali who would have informed Rupali.

“Ha … I’ve crossed over to the dark side, Ma. Too late to return home again,” she thought. The black coffee she sipped did nothing to clear the confusion in her head.

Dipika pushed her limp, dank hair out of her eyes, struggling to make sense of the menu in front of her.

That bastard was stringing her along, she knew it. All his false promises meant nothing, she thought wearily while gazing at the menu.

She looked up to find Rupali rushing over to the table.

“Dips, darling, so good to see you,” said Rupali, trying to sound upbeat and cheerful. She almost recoiled as she hugged Dipika.

The stench of body odor and some other strange pungent aroma permeated the air around her.

Dipika looked awful; her usual dark circles worse than ever, hair dank and limp, and lips cracked and blistered. She never used makeup, but this was truly the worst Rupali had ever seen her look in a long while.

“Are you okay, babe?” she asked in a soft whisper. The answer seemed apparent - she was not.

Dipika made a superhuman effort to sound and act normal.

“I haven’t been too well, Rupa. That’s what I had called mom about. Hope she didn’t worry you girls. I’m sure it’s nothing serious. I just haven’t been sleeping much lately and it’s telling on my health.”

Rupali was sure that Dipika was depressed about her father’s upcoming death anniversary.

“Listen, baby … you are going through a tough emotional phase right now. It will get better, I promise. Meanwhile, we are all there for you, okay?” She hoped she sounded more confident than she felt.

Dipika nodded listlessly. Poor Rupali, such a good friend, always looking out for her. Dipika felt a million miles away from her right now.

They finished their coffee and made their way over to a few shops. Rupali could tell Dipika was having trouble walking and put it down to her mystery illness. Psychosomatic symptoms, probably, given her bouts of depression. All she could hope for was that whatever it was, it would clear up and her friend would get back to normal.

Dior, Valentino, Lanvin; there was truly no dearth of high-end brands in the latest styles in the Dubai malls. The girls finally agreed on a stunning Chanel dress, stark and beautiful, in black and white. When Rupali tried it on with the blue turquoise earrings the shop assistant provided, she loved what she saw in the mirror. The hunt for matching shoes took them to the Shoe District where even Dipika was seemingly revived by the stunning collection of Christian Louboutin. Rupa convinced her to pick up a pair of strappy stilettos in hot pink with a gold trim.

Rupali hesitated for a few seconds before charging her card. Sometimes she felt guilty about spending Rohit’s money. However, he had always told her that appearance meant everything - sleek, sophisticated and expensive clothes were his natural choice and, now, hers as well.

Finally, exhausted with their shopping, the girls headed to the parking lot where Rupali’s driver was waiting for them. She asked him to first drop Dipika off at her apartment on Sheikh Zayed Road before heading to her own home.

On her way home, she quickly called up Anjali.

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About the author


Divyata Rajaram has been living and working in Dubai for the past fifteen years. An experienced financial service professional, she is also an accomplished singer of Hindustani classical as well as western music. If You Only Knew Me is her first novel based on NRI women living in the UAE, and offers a glimpse into their lives and the challenges they face in a foreign land.

An avid reader of crime fiction, Divyata lives with her husband, their daughter and a beautiful dog in Dubai.      


                          


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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Book Spotlight: You Can't Fight A Royal Attraction by Ruchi Vasudeva

Blurb:

Being devoted to his friends, Zaheer and Vishakha, the couple who helped him find his place in Mumbai, Rihaan is determined to keep Vishakha from worrying about her wild – and now divorced – sister. The logical option is to sweep the troublemaker off her feet to a supposedly romantic weekend getaway. But Saira is gorgeous and infuriating in equal measures. What's more, she won't stay slotted under the 'bad girl' label he had for her. Can he handle the real Saira?

Saira knows her reputation has preceded her. She shouldn't care, but Rihaan intrigues her no end. Already, she finds it hard to fight his appeal and maintain a cool distance from the reclusive yet arrestingly attractive scriptwriter. And then she discovers Rihaan has a secret. When the mystery about him unravels, will it tear them apart? At any cost, she cannot risk 

Book buy link: 

Release date: July 18th, 2018

About the Author: 
Ruchi Vasudeva is a doctor by profession, a teacher by vocation and an author by destiny. The writing bug long resided in her till the Passions contest held by Harlequin for Indian authors gave her a golden opportunity to have her dream realized. She debuted in August '13 with her book 'Bollywood Fiancé For A Day'. She writes romantic fiction with conflicted characters. She loves to write about spirited heroines getting hurtled out of their daily life as soon as they cross paths with their rather challenging heroes. 

Juggling job, writing and family life isn’t something she would recommend to anyone who wants peace and calm but at the end of the day, she finds it very fulfilling. When not bent over the laptop, she might be found with her nose in books or munching nachos at the movies with her husband and two kids or glued to the telecast of Team India in action. Sometimes she drags herself for long walks and surprisingly discovers they are rather good for brewing story ideas. 'Romance,' she holds, 'can feel over-hyped in this day and age but is all too tangible and needed in life on daily basis.'

Author Links:
Twitter: @Ruchi_Vasudeva 
Contact her at:


Extract from the book:
What was it about that cool hauteur that made her want to play with fire?
          ‘Of course, you’re no danger to me in a…’ deliberately she let her gaze run over him. ‘…sexual way, are you?’ He didn’t miss it nor did he miss the insolence she projected. She could see his mouth tighten in controlled annoyance. For a wild minute, she wished he’d let loose and the unreasoning thought made her heartbeat pick up.
          ‘Are you trying to challenge me?’ Her heart jumped up at the deep voice laced with mockery. Coward, she derided. Surely she wasn’t frightened of him?
          ‘No challenge for you surely? You can hardly stand the sight of me.’ She reminded him.
           ‘Am I supposed to jump on you in fervent denial of that statement, swearing that I can’t keep my hands off you?’ A dark eyebrow rose. ‘Sorry, but your little game won’t wash, Sehgal.’ Irritatingly he addressed her by her surname again. 
           ‘Oh how astute you are, Khehra!’ She widened her eyes. ‘You catch on so fast, guess I’ll have to watch myself more around you.’ She formed a pout, aware of his gaze moving to it, feeling an unreasonable thrill as it did. She must be mad. Or starved of fun. But somehow she couldn’t try to get a reaction out of that stone monument.
           His eyes narrowed, ‘Whatever you’re trying, I’m not looking for trouble, and I’d advise you not to go poke for it either.’
           ‘So disappointing!’ She shook her head sorrowfully, ‘Here I was getting thrilled to bits we’re going to have this weekend. Just us. Lonesome, twosome.’ 

***********

If you enjoyed the excerpt, do check out the book. It's available at a special pre-order discount price right now.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Book Review: KURMA: The Second Avatar by Sundari Venkatraman

KURMA: The Second AvatarKURMA: The Second Avatar by Sundari Venkatraman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is one the best books to tell your kids stories about the incarnations of Vishnu. This deals with the Kurma and the Mohini avatar. Very interesting. My kiddo loved it.



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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Book Review: Beauty is but Skin Deep by Sundari Venkatraman

Beauty is but Skin Deep (Romantic Shorts Book 2)Beauty is but Skin Deep by Sundari Venkatraman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is one of the cutest stories I have read in the recent times. A story which has a beautiful meaning about how we are affected by our skin color. Especially in India where beauty really runs skin deep.



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Saturday, May 5, 2018

Book Review: Carthick's Unfairy Tales by T F Carthick

Carthick's Unfairy Tales


My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I have savored every word in this book. Such a unique concept. Kudos to the author for thinking of this in the first place. The first story itself made me sit up and pay attention to the series. How many of us, and when I say us - I mean fairy tale lovers, have thought of the Cinderella story from the POV of a mouse? At least I haven't. I think our Ms. Ella became one of us by just being the human she was in this story. I, for one, am no longer jealous of her :)

Another story that left an impact on me was the pied piper story. Such a beautiful tale which ends in tragedy. I had never understood why this tale was ever a part of our kid's collection. I have always found this story to be morbid and more for the adults rather than the kids. And Karthik has today substantiated my theory with his take on this one.

The cutest one would be my all time favorite - Goldilocks. How I have hated her golden curls all my life. For a child whose curls were more inclined towards Golliwog, Goldilocks was a bane in my life. I am just glad that the Little Bear thought the same. Always loved the little bear :D

Never thought I would feel sorry for Rumplestiltskin, for he came out as a hero rather than the villain in this take of Karthik's fairy tale. I think women will like this reformed jake in his tragic avatar a lot.

All in all, loved all the stories. Some made me think and while other made me wonder what if - I think the author had captured the true essence of a fairy tale. As with the mythologies today, why can't we bend the fairy tales too to keep up with the need of the hour? Kudos to the author for imagining out of the box. Looking forward to reading more from this author.



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Book Review: No Escape from Love by Reet Singh

The Title of the Story: No Escape From Love 
Author: Reet Singh
Cover: Goes well with the story. 
Editing:  Ok
The language of the author: Simple and easy to understand.  
Star Rating: 4 stars. 

A story of two broken souls. Mohini and Aalok.  Two broken souls are woven together to make them complete again. This book has a few laughs. A very easy read, one would love the chemistry between Mohini and Aalok. Small instances have been added by the author to make this a very cute romance. For eg., I loved the way Aalok got the teddy bear for Mohini. It was such a sweet touch which we women just love. I liked the earthy feel of this story. Reet has brought the happiness of Punjab to her readers via her story.

The best part of the story are the backstories of both the characters. It balanced the sweetness in the romance.

There are a few secondary characters in this story whom you will just love. Tina and Ritvik (Ritvik of course for personal reasons I will always love a character named so .. hahahah) But they added a humor quotient to the story.

If you love a hot and cute romance, this book is definitely for you.



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Book Review: CHERISHED BY RESHMA RANJAN

The Title of the Story: Cherished 
Author: Reshma Ranjan
Cover: Goes well with the story. 
Editing:  Great.
The language of the author: Simple and easy to understand.  
Star Rating: 4 stars. 

This book is a continuation of the author's previous book A Promise.  It picks up where the previous book had left off and many of the characters from A Promise revisits in this one. Sunanda is the in the same position that Sunaina was in the last story. But she is perkier and is a fighter. I liked the way the author has decided to bring closure to the villain in this book. My peeve in the previous book was that the villains didn't get their dues which the author has taken care of in this book.

I would have loved the book to be longer. The story has a very humane touch and your heart will reach out to both Sunaina and Sunanda. There is only one thing I would have liked to have been different in this book. The setting. When compared to the previous book, there are not many changes in this book. But then its understandable since the villain had to come to a full circle, which it did.



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Monday, April 16, 2018

Book Review: Radius 200 by Veena Nagpal

The Title of the Story: Radius 200
Author: Veena Nagpal
Cover: Goes well with the story. Love the strip of blue which is the very core of the story.
Editing:  Could have been better
The language of the author: Simple and easy to understand.  
Star Rating: 4 stars. 

The author has based her story purely on imagination.  As I peeled away the layers of the story, many questions arose in my mind. The things we take for granted, the relationships that we often neglect, what if one day they all are gone? What if, for one day, you are stuck inside your body with your mind broken into small fragments?

This book is not an easy read. It started with a triangle love story between Arjun, Om, and Kyra. But as the scenes become more political, you will see the subtle differences in the relationships. Especially between Arjun and Kyra. As Kyra searches for Om, secrets, and lies are exposed.

The relationship between the characters was a bit murky. While I liked the relationship between Om and Kyra but that between Arjun and Kyra was not dealt with properly. When Arjun is married with two kids, the way he makes love to her didn't gel well with me. I am not a prude. I understand these things happen but what surprised me was the utter lack of emotions involved in this scene. If two people are attracted enough towards each other, there has to be some quickening of the heartbeat. Some residue of an old love story or even just plain old lust. But in this case, there was nothing. There was no remorse in Arjun's part and that really became a huge flaw in his character. Every action has a reaction. In this case, his family became mere words on paper.

But on the other hand, when I see the characters of Jiji and her twins, I found the characters very well written. Either you will hate them or love them but the hunchbacks, the distorted faces will leave a mark on you. That is some powerful characterization here which I wish would have also extended to the three protagonists.

There were few scenes that were so graphic that I had to skip them to stop the bile rising inside me. The pain, the anger and the waiting of the residents of the Radius 200 area, is so heart wrenching, that you feel like telling the Indian government that even in a fiction, you failed me. (Sorry for this political thought but with the rape cases going on, the woman inside me is damn angry)  Forgotten, bewildered as to why their world had changed, they are only praying to get back their water. And in order to please the gods, they are ready to do any kind of sacrifice. Some of the descriptions would have spared me a queasy stomach.

The plot of the story is the winner here. Very unique. You are bound to put down the book in a few places and think - what if it was true and pray that such a day, that the author had envisaged,  never arrives.

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Book Spotlight: CARTHICK'S UNFAIRY TALES by T.F. Carthick



Blog Tour by The Book Club of CARTHICK'S UNFAIRY TALES by T.F. Carthick


CARTHICK'S UNFAIRY TALES
by
T.F. Carthick

Blog Tour by The Book Club of CARTHICK'S UNFAIRY TALES by T.F. Carthick


Blurb



A damsel in distress. An evil dragon. A concerned father seeking a savior to rescue his daughter. A hero galloping off to the rescue – a knight in shining armor. Now THAT is stuff of fairy tales.

But what if the father’s real concern is for the dragon’s hoard; What if the damsel’s reason of distress is the marriage proposal by her pompous and vicious savior; and what if the story is told by the horse who bears not only the overweight knight but also his heavy, shining armor all the way to the dragon’s lair and back, facing certain death in the process?


What if there was more – much more – to all your favourite fairy tales than met the eye?


This book chronicles not one but seven such unfairy tales – tales told by undead horsemen and living cities. Tales of mistreated hobgoblins and misunderstood magicians. Tales of disagreeable frogs and distressed rats and bears baring their souls. Once you read these stories, you will never be able to look at a fairy tale the same way ever again.

     
Read an excerpt




This was wrong at many levels. The mayor’s despair and eagerness to solve the problem was understandable. But from what I have seen, no human problems come with quick fixes. Haste seldom helps. One requires patience to get to the depth of a problem and attack it at its root. A holistic solution does take a lot of time and effort but the benefits are long-lasting. Quick fixes, on the other hand, end up aggravating the situation. Take this situation of the rats itself, for instance. While the mayor may not have realized it, the fact was that the people of the town had brought this upon themselves. A few years earlier, people had complained of snakes. There were just a few of these reptiles, but still the people had complained incessantly. So, snake-catchers had been summoned to exterminate the snakes. Then, a few months’ later, stray dogs had become the object of the people’s ire.

“They keep barking all night. They just don’t let us sleep,” they had complained.

And they began to make a big fuss of how dogs were a public menace and exaggerated stories of dogs attacking humans started spreading, till finally the town council had to yield. Dog-catchers were commissioned and the dogs were done away with. With the elimination of their natural predators, wasn’t it natural that rats should multiply? But people just don’t realize these kinds of things. That is how people have been all the time. They wanted quick-fix solutions to all their problems then, and they want quick-fix solutions to all their problems now. They never learn.

Also, I suppose the mayor probably thought he would never be called upon to follow through upon his promise. So, he promised a grand reward just to appear to be doing something. That is another folly of humans, especially the leaders. They care more about perception than actually getting things done. And often initiatives undertaken to manage perceptions end up doing more harm than good.

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About the author







T F Carthick is a Bangalore-based writer and blogger who has been blogging since 2008. He is an avid reader of Children’s Fiction, Science-fiction and Fantasy. Enid Blyton, J K Rowling, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Neil Gaiman and Douglas Adams are some of his favorite authors. His paranormal thriller ‘Bellary’ was one of the three stories in the book Sirens Spell Danger, published in 2013. Six of his stories have featured in multi-author anthologies and literary magazines. He has written over 50 short stories, many of which can be read for free on www.karthikl.com.

He is an Engineer and MBA from India’s premier institutes IIT, Madras and IIM, Ahmedabad and currently works as an Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Consultant at one of the world’s leading Consulting Firms.






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