Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Team Blog-O-Holics-Week 2-14th post-#GameofBlogs by BlogAdda


A TIME TO DIE

Read the 13th post by Parichita Singh  Here


The bitch was trying to hide her face and go with her candy boy. His hands clenched by his side, anger heightening the blue viens on the back of his palm. The man took a deep breath, to keep himself calm. He felt so lucky, at that point of time, for the bitch didn’t know that he knew all about her.
He quickly flagged down another taxi  and before the driver could react, he rasped, “Peecha karo!” His voice did not encourage any argument. The driver knew when to keep quiet and they snaked their way across the heavy Mumbai traffic, keeping their target in front of them.
The man seethed, impatient as his mind raced ahead of time. The bitch enjoyed making out in the backseat of the car. Was she having fun? And Cyrus? That chit of a boy? All smiles and cuteness to attract bored ladies while having a heart of a dastard.  Involuntarily, a whimper escaped his mouth, startling the driver. His fingers slowly traced the leather of the back seat, his mind conjuring the smooth skin of Tara. Will it pain? He let out a short laughter, his heart again dancing in anticipation.
Suddenly the cab stopped. Looking up, he saw Tara being helped out of the cab by Cyrus. The gentleness in Cyrus’s eyes made him want to retch there and then. But he was a patient man. He would wait it out. His time was coming soon.
He tossed a few hundred rupees note at the driver and followed the couple ahead. The driver shouted something about it being too much. Who cared? He would get plenty after this assignment was over.
Why was Tara going into the attarman’s building? What were they doing here? Slowly like a ray slicing through a thick cloud early at dawn enlights the earth similarly the truth dawned to him. The bitch was on his trial! His heart skipped a beat and he pulled up the hood further and skirted behind a tela, kept at the side of the road, laden with plastic pots and knick-knacks.
Tara rested her head on Cyrus’s shoulder, her strength seed to have left her. That bastard was slowly caressing  her  back. His well manicured, long fingers were sensuously tracing her small back.. His eyes saw red. His nerves started pounding on his temple. Breathing heavily, he tried to control that anger. This was too public a place. He had to wait. She had, after all escaped the last time. This time there will be no mistake.
Still holding Tara by her shoulder they seemed to make their way towards the tall building in front of them. And then a deafening noise shook the very earth he was standing on ….


The Story is continued by Dola Singh Basu

“Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.”

We are team


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Here Comes The Cyber Bogeyman

From our childhood, we have been hearing about The Bogeymen. Mamma asked  to keep away from unknown strangers, not take chocolates from a passerby. She made me promise not to even say hello to a stranger. I kept my promise, but always wondered why. How was I supposed to make new friends if I could not talk to strangers? There was no net during those days, no Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn where the number of likes improves our social standing. Media is no more an illusionary world. It is now our personal domain, where we make friends or develop such relationships that become so dear to us that we slowly merge our reality with our virtual world. 

And then comes the Bogeyman.....

You get up one day and come to know that you have become the apple of the eye of few strange men. The knowledge leaves you naked, vulnerable and invaded. Where did I go wrong? Why did it happen to me? You shut down your FB and maybe vanish from the social media permanently. Sad - When our Zukie Babes had created this social platform, I am sure he had not considered the minds of the perverts. 

But the perverts are there. They are stealing your identity and making profiles in your name. Vidya Balan in Dirty Picture or Sunny Leonie in well.. ahem... will look like a saint with the metamorphosis that takes place of you in that profile. Shocked? Don't be. Be angry. Furious and report it. 

And then get a sweet love letter from the comrades of Zukie Babes...




Well the pic I had reported did wear some undergarments. So they must not have constituted as 'naked pictures.' 

Now Why I am bothered?

It has hit close to home. Yes, I am like you all too. Unless it affects my friends and family, I generally follow the keep calm and love thy neighbor philosophy. This time the identities of my friends were stolen. They are lovely ladies with families. Kids, Husband, Parents and In-Laws.  I can put up the list here to show you how the pictures are. But you won't be able to take it. They are ugly and humiliating. Not to the ladies. But to Mankind. This is the moment I forget my social standing and education and want to shout - Rakhi Sawant style.. ' Tere Ghar mein ma bahein nahi hai kya ..?" [don't you have mom and sis at home?] 

Zukie Babes.. WAKE UP! STOP THE DOWNLOADS OF THE PICTURES FROM OUR PROFILES.

SUMANA KHAN takes it a notch up with all the details how to protect yourself in this virtual world. Check out her post HERE

NIKITA KAMATH tells us how to protect ourselves from Idiots of the first order who come to steal your profile pic.  Click Here to learn visually.

Hats off to REKHA VIKESH for throwing a tight slap on the perpetrator's face. SLAP. Read on...

Monday, September 22, 2014

Team Blog-O-Holics-Week 2-10th post-#GameofBlogs by BlogAdda

A TIME TO DIE

Read 9th post by Sumi Thomas Here


"Has Mishra returned from the client meeting?" Tara's eyes were glued to the big screen in front of her. In her entire career, she had never been the center character of a story. First, the story of her kidnapping was leaked into the media and now her stalker was stalked by the entire media. 
"No Mam," Cryrus hated the worry lines etched on Tara's forehead. How would it feel to smoothen them away? Phew, he needed a shrink. Feeling attracted to a married woman was a capital punishment is some countries, wasn't it? Unaware of his thoughts, Tara looked enquiringly at him. "Care to share your thoughts?"
"So..rry?" blustered Cyrus, a heat wave spreading up his neck. 
"Do you have any idea where Mishra is?" The whole kidnapping fiasco was taking a toll on her. She would be damn if she had to repeat her every question twice. 
"No...he never called back nor he has reported back to the office."
"That's strange." Tara bit her lower lips thoughtfully. Rajeev Mishra had been always punctual while working on a case. An informer had tipped them regarding the whereabouts of a hooded man. Tara wanted to go to the police immediately, but Mishra had stopped her. 
Rajeev Mishra was  like a magnet for informants.He always knew whom to contact and where to look for information. It always bewildered Tara but she had never questioned, thinking that he was a local guy who seem to know anyone and everyone.This was the first time, he had not reported back on time.
Cyrus watched as a myriad of emotions played across her face. “I’ve an idea!”, he exclaimed. “Why don’t we explore the area where you were imprisoned when the kidnapper had locked you up?"
"Shekhar will kill me."
"Not if he didn't know about it." Cyrus persisted. "Look at this bill I got this from your house. It has the same address of the area where you were kept after being kidnapped."
Tara was stunned. This ithar was becoming more of a mystery than a clue. She made up her mind quickly. "As soon as I get my discharge papers, we are going there." Inwardly, she shuddered. Going back to her nightmare was not something she wanted to experience again . But every time she thought of the incident, that smell would invade her mind, playing havoc with her senses. There was a connection. Had to be. She hated the fact that she could not discuss it with Shekhar. He would never believe her, for in his world of character analysis, this did not make sense.  
“Ok. Let’s do it." She got out of the bed and went to the washroom, closing the door gently behind her.  Cyrus closed his eye for  a moment. Yes. The game had begun!

******
The lone figure, obscured in the shadows, watched as Tara and Cyrus hurried to the parking lot. The bitch was at it again. Playing the Miss. Goody-Two-Shoes.  If only he knew, all the things he had planned for her. He could taste the saltiness of her skin . If only he did not have to go out that day to catch up in the office, to avoid suspicion. By now he would have extracted his revenge. Oh, she knew, the bitch knew, why he was after her. He had made sure of that fact. But she was cunning. She would not let the world know what she had done. A bitch -who covered her tracks. A mouse scampered past him, frightened by the rasping laughter that broke the silence of the basement car park. He threw down the butt of his cigarette and not bothering to make sure that it was really put off, he walked languidly to the white Matiz parked in the shade. Time to make sure the bitch payed. 

“Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.”

The Story is continued by Akash Khot

We are Team 


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Spotlight of Helpline by Uday Mane


Helpline


by Uday Mane





The Blurb
 Samir is suicidal. Rachael works for a suicide helpline. Fate connects them through a phone call. And so begins Samir’s story of love, longing, errors, regret and a girl who changed his life. As his story reaches its conclusion, Rachael will know the true reason behind his suicidal tendencies. But this suicide helpline is not any ordinary service. There is more to the mysterious and yet so convincing voice of Rachael. As this new mystery begins to unfold, Samir is going to discover three things: 


What is The Helpline? 

Who is Rachael? 

What is Samir’s own identity? 


Every year, several teenagers in India attempt suicide because of failing relationships, dwindling careers, parental pressure or the competitive world. This story is about one such teenager, his early problems and the hurdles to cope with them. This story is about finding hope in the struggle. This story is about fighting for what you believe in and discovering your true identity. This is not a story about falling in love. This is a story of rising from a failed love story.

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Meet the Author


Uday Mane was born in Pune and raised in Mumbai. He works as a marketing professional during the day and a storyteller during the night. He is an avid reader, and loves to collect classic books. 


The Helpline is his debut novel that was launched in March 2014 at the hands of Padma Shri Paresh Rawal.





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Friday, September 19, 2014

Rapid Fall by Adiana Ray


Rapid Fall


by Adiana Ray





The Blurb
  Sonia and JD’s tempestuous attraction is as stormy as the rapids at Rishikesh. Not even a dip in icy waters can douse the sparks that fly when they are around each other.


JD’s recent divorce, however, has left him commitment phobic and bitter, and he doesn’t seem to want more than a physical relationship. At heart, Sonia is conservative; can she bring herself to accept a modern ‘live-in’ relationship, or will she push him away with her demands for a commitment?

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Watch It 




Review
The Story:
JD is a workaholic, divorcee living his life centered around his work. His only regret is that his ex-wife Sakshi does not let him meet his daughter, Rohini. But he has accepted his way of life - till a fiery shrew did not lash out at him.

Enters Sonia, a small town girl making her living in the 'big bad city of Mumbai.'  A virgin at the age of 30, she feels her life is perfect till she does not meet the arrogant tour guide in Rishikesh.

JD was substituting for his friend, who was lying in the hospital with a broken leg. Passion flares the moment he sees her at the airport to the extent of him feeling jealous as Sonia's co-worker pays her more attention than required. They get into many spats - both trying their best to cover their feelings for each other.

After leaving Rishikesh, both  meet in Mumbai again, this time not designed by Fate but JD himself. But all said and done, JD does not want a permanent relationship, but just a fling. Where as Sonia, at of age of 30, has fallen head over heels in love with JD.

Rating
Reasoning
Sonia comes as a very strong character. Her life in Mumbai is very relatable for any Indian, working girl in Mumbai. I loved the way Adiana has touched small details like how Sonia thinks she has to reach home on time before the nightfall, without making her sound like a damsel in distress. 

On the other hand, I could not understand, why Sonia was a weeping willow in front of JD. OMG, I am getting old and forgetting the turmoils of first love!) But then at Sonia's age, I did expect more maturity. Well, love sees no reason. But I do applaud her stand against JD's boorishness. 

JD is one heck of a character. If I had to analyze JD's character he would come out more of a taker than a giver. So he falls a bit short in the level of  my admiration in front Sonia. Women power and all, We women are sticking together. :D

The passion between them is a burning livewire and executed very well. The language of the book and the editing is superb and a pleasure to read.  Though the title 'Rapid Fall' suggests a more outdoor kind of name but keeping in mind that they met at the Rapids, the title is apt enough. 

Any peeves? Hmmm. Maybe one.. the attraction that had flared between Sonia and JD was too sudden. His jealousy and her tears would have been more subtle has they occurred a bit later in their relationship. But in a novella, I suppose it can be overlooked. A damn good action packed read for any romance lover.




Meet the Author





The Author's Thoughts


'Sixteen and counting' are the number of cities that I have lived in so far. I like to think of myself as a 'Metronaut'. The myriad city cultures, the food, the hustle and bustle, the people are all elements of life that I thrive on and if you can have an 'Astronaut' why not a 'Metronaut' after all there are so many more of us out there?

I believe in the Zen tenet that every situation has a 1000 truths. It helps me write and it definitely helps when I am dealing with my two children. I like reading, I like cooking, I like travelling and I love sitting like a mindless zombie in front of the TV and if anybody says anything to that....Aha! a 1000 truths come in very handy.

I also write under a pen name M.X Steele. Why? My daughter thought Adiana Ray was too boring a name.

I do hope you enjoy reading all my work because I believe passionately that though we writers love pontificating and are totally in love with whatever we write; at the end of it all it is the readers that matter and above all what we write has to be 'entertaining'.




You can stalk her @
               
                          





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Monday, September 15, 2014

The Other Side by Faraaz Kazi and Vivek Banerjee


Name of the Book :The Other Side
Author: Faraaz Kazi, Vivek Banerjee
Publisher: DigiImprint Solutions
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,063 Paid in Kindle Store 
No. of Pages:209 pgs.

Disclaimer: I got this book from the Publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

Blurb 


"A slow rasping sound made me turn. I jumped back, the cell phone leaving my hands and smashing against the concrete floor. Someone was seated on the chair, rocking back and forth. Through the fallen light, I could see those hands placed on the arms of the chair, two gruesome wrinkled limbs with ugly boils plastered over the black skin. The red bangles on its wrists shone in my eyes, momentarily blinding me. That thing and I call it a thing because I could sense it wasn't human as no human could have such a hideous form, as vile an existence as the one seated opposite to my horrified self."

From a honeymoon in the hill that goes horribly wrong to an obsessed lover who wants his first love in life and in death; From a mentally deranged man who collects body parts of various women to stitch together his dream girl to a skeptic who enters a mansion of horrors to win a bet and much more, this book is filled with scenarios that are guaranteed to give you goosebumps and sleepless nights.

'The Other Side' is a collection of thirteen tales of the paranormal; a world that our eyes refuse to see, our ears deny hearing and our senses ignore the feel of. This is a book for someone who is brave enough to take up this invitation to journey through uncharted waters along with the authors, who were inspired by some bizarre experiences to pen down this work where the lines of reality have been blurred by the footsteps of imagination.

Each story takes you on a tour de force of unadulterated horror and draws upon the deepest fear in the human mind- the fear of the UNKNOWN!


Buy@

Review
The Horror Genre has always fascinated me. The sense of timing, the sense of invoking the fear factor in the reader's inward eye -all should be timed perfectly. One can say it is the other side of Comedy. So did Faraaz and Vivek achieve this? To some extend yes. As with all anthologies - some are hits and some are misses. But one thing I can guarantee you - there is no lack of  factor FEAR  in any of the stories.

The stories have been woven from old wives tales to the modern scenario. Beautifully done. In Bangla, there is a collection of stories - Takurma'r Jhuli.. (Bag of stories of Gandma) and these stories literally took me to my childhood when I would hear my Dadu narrating these kinds of stories having shaakchinni et al. (daayen or banshee can be called the cousins of this breed :D)

Some stories like the Fateful Night and Lady in the Pub were predictable, but worth reading. Anyone who has seen the Zee horror show can predict the outcome. Well, that could also mean you all won't admit having seen that "mind gobbling" show and thus cannot predict the end. **(whispering," psst.. I have seen every damn episode so could predict the end. Thank you Mr. Ramsay!)

Stories like Long Weekend touched my heart. More than fear, it was the feeling of sadness that engulfed me. Very well executed.

Few stories like The Man Who Knew No Fear, Mark of the Beast, Mystery Lake and Mother's Love were very ambiguous. No. I think the right word would be 'arty' at the cost of looking like a bimbo, it took me some time to understand them. They had many hidden layers and for a short, horror story, it deviates the readers from the fear factor.

Strangers in the Night puts my dream of cross country hitchhiking to the can. Don't say I didn't warn you, but again the ending was one with a twist and even with my Phd. from Ramsay University I could not predict it. Betcha you can't too.

The Muse comes Calling is superb! A must read for all writers.. You all will start writing HEA ..:D

Red Bangle is another story which touched my heart. From a woman's point of view, this story is a must for all ladies. Thank you Faraaz and Vivek for writing this and showing your respect for women. Now all we have to do now is to turn it into a reality every time a Vinay strikes!

Unfulfilled Desire is a well written and a page turner. The twist specially was unexpected. I found one thing about all the stories in this anthology. The way the words flowed, interweaving each story with each other. All are different, yet the voice in all the stories stand out as one. Considering the fact, that two writers have come together to write this - it is really commendable.


Rating

Reasoning

As I have said some stories really touched the heart and a few flew over my head. In order to create the surreal ambiance and to keep the fear factor for part II of the story, it left the readers feeling a bit dissatisfied. Maybe as a reader, I want all the loose ends tied.  But I suppose we get the same feeling when we watch an Evil Death or Nightmare On Elm Street. A good read for horror lovers ! Don't miss it out.



Currently Reading 






Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Cephrael’s Hand by Melissa McPhail

Cephrael’s Hand by Melissa McPhail 



Blurb

"All things are composed of patterns..." And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross:
In Alorin... three hundred years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three centuries past earned him a traitor's brand. It is the Adept Vestal Raine D'Lacourte's mission to learn what Bjorn knows in the hope of salvaging his race. But first he'll have to find him.
In the kingdom of Dannym... the young Prince Ean val Lorian faces a tenuous future as the last living heir to the coveted Eagle Throne. When his blood-brother is slain during a failed assassination, Ean embarks on a desperate hunt for the man responsible. Yet his advisors have their own agendas, and his quest for vengeance leads him ever deeper into a sinuous plot masterminded by a mysterious and powerful man, the one they call First Lord.
In the Nadori desert...tormented by the missing pieces of his life, a soldier named Trell heads off to uncover the truth of his shadowed past. But when disaster places him in the debt of Wildlings sworn to the First Lord, Trell begins to suspect a deadlier, darker secret motivating them. Honor-bound to serve the First Lord in return for his life, Trell continues on his appointed path, yet each day unveils new and stranger secrets that eventually call into question everything he knows.

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My Review
This Book is like a roller-coaster ride. Character shifts, scene shifts and above all the plot surges forward in an amazing momentum Definatlely not a dull ride but yes... Keep some aspirins by your side table. :) How do I write a synopsis with multiple characters without giving up the story. The story is basically in 3 parts.

1) The first part deals with the declining race of realm of Alorin. Raine D'Lacourte is given the responsibility to save the nation from doom. He can but only with the help of Bjorn Van Gelderan. But there is only one problem. Bjorn is a traitor....

2) In the Kingdome of Dannym, Prince Ean suffered the loss of his blood brother in an attack. Where the shadows are more powerful than man and where no one knows who your real enemy is, into that land Ean forges to take revenge for the death of his loved ones. 

3)The third character is Trell, without any past. He cannot understand why the priest of the temple wants to save him from attacks. What is his destiny? Why is he important? He only knows one thing.. his life is never safe till the First Lord is after him...

Melissa has interwoven the characters to create Cephrael's Hand. A job well done indeed. 

Rating
Reasoning
The story is very detailed and intrinsic. For a 600 + page it is quite interesting. I read it in one day. So now you understand the aspirin bit :P. There are some problems I faced as a reader. Too many secondary characters and they are detailed. As a reader, I would love to stick to the main characters. Second problems were the names- both of places and characters. But looking at the genre, this is to be expected. But yes, they are a mouthful. There were times I wanted to keep it aside since I wanted to know what happens to Ean or Trell but a well lined up chars stopped me from reaching them. But the execution of the story cannot be questioned - it is well woven to keep you at an edge. 
About the author:

Melissa McPhail is a classically trained pianist, violinist and composer, a Vinyasa yoga instructor, and an avid Fantasy reader. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, their twin daughters and two very large cats.
Connect with Melissa on her