Thursday, October 5, 2017

Book Spotlight: OTHERNESS: SOULS OF BROWN WOMEN by De.B. Dubois


OTHERNESS: SOULS OF BROWN WOMEN
by
De.B. Dubois



Blurb

Who is the brown woman? How does she live defined almost solely by her skin colour and all the history it carries? How do we carry racism deep within us even when we think we don't? These are questions that require deep thought and reflection, and that's what Otherness encourages us to do. In a world increasingly divided along the lines of colour, despite its apparent modernity, here's a hard look at the realities that lurk within us, both as individuals and as a society.


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About the author


De.B. Dubois is an Indian-born-Swiss visual artist and feminist writer. She grew up in Calcutta until she stepped out to explore the world by herself. Debolina Dubois-Bandyopadhyay, better known as De.B. Dubois is licensed with International Degrees in Communication Arts and Cultural Studies, as she extended her Fine Arts and Design education in Mumbai, Sydney, Basel and Paris. She is titled with a Master of Arts FHNW in Design from Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst, Basel, with special emphasis on Design Culture, Design Research and Sociology. This apart, she enjoys long walks through nature trails, a good glass of absinthe from Val-de-Travers, and creating visual arts.

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Book Spotlight: THE UNTOLD STORY by Ridhi Drolia



THE UNTOLD STORY
by
Ridhi Drolia



Blurb

Love comes in different forms. But in all its forms, it comes with various challenges. Only those who can combat those challenges are true lovers. 

The Untold Story is the tale of Vihaan and Riaa. Vihaan falls for Riaa’s charms at first sight and brings to her life crazy adventures and madness. They soon emerge as two hearts with one soul and their intimate fantasies begin to unravel in exotic places. 

Their bond experience more downs than ups. These unexpected twists and turns bring Vihaan and Riaa closer and their romantic tale turn into one of lifetime bonding. 

The story takes a drastic turn after the lovely couple is blessed with a baby boy. It should be a joyous moment, but instead, haunting memories of Vihaan’s own childhood break out as a fresh wound in his mind. 

Read the novel to know what could make a father unhappy in the happiest moment of his life and how he combats his fear. 

Caution: The story is totally addictive and may arouse your sexual urge.




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About the author


Ridhi Drolia




In the author's own words:

"The passion of writing is deep rooted in my blood. 

After completing my Global Business Management certification from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, I joined hands with a few of my friends to start my first venture. 

Post my stint with the venture, I engaged myself in my lovely family life and now I present to you the author in me."

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Book Review: The Diamond Heist by Sai Daksh


Name of the Book:  The Diamond Heist 
Author: Sai Daksh
Star Rating: 5 stars 
Goodreads: Read the Blurb here 

Before I start I must applaud this achievement of the author. Writing a novel at this age is quite a feat.

Sai Daksh Shetty, at the age of eleven, completed the book The Diamond Heist - A Seven Agent Adventure.

A group of kids is sent on a mission by Col. Kapoor to Mumbai. Their journey starts with a lot of adventure from the flight itself.  Mr. Daksh, an eleven-year-old author has used his imagination to the maximum to bring our a series of adventure for small kids.

It's a short story with loads of action - some with vivid descriptions.

" After saying this, Achintya jumped out of the plane to his death."

But the whole story had a positive note about it and that was really heartening. My favorite part was the robotic camera and it seems that Mr. Daksh has done some serious research on technology. Definitely Cool!

I read this book along with my 9-year-old. I think Ritvik was pretty impressed since it was written by a child. He has been motivated to write a wolf story. But he has also told me not to hold my breath since writing so many words needs a lot of patience. And that is the moment, even I realized that Sai must have had a lot of patience to write this novel full of adventure. I hope he continues to write for he definitely has a fan here.


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Book Review: A Bride, A Murder & A Trail of Blood by Laxmi Natraj


Name of the Book:  A Bride, A Murder & A Trail of Blood
Author: Laxmi Natraj
Star Rating: 2 stars 
Goodreads: Read the Blurb here 

The Story:
Is a murder mystery.  A murder has taken place in Dr. J.R.Misra's flat who lives in an affluent society.  Inspector Shinde is in charge of this murder case. There is a trail of blood, a missing body and definitely a missing murderer. Every clue leads to the professor proclaiming him as the murderer of his beautiful wife, Diya. He is said to be a wife abuser and not liked by the residents of the building.

Whereas the missing bride Diya is loved by everyone. Stories of how she is tortured by the husband are known to every resident and even the shopkeepers whisper such tales of abuses.

This story has some very interesting points. Ms. Natraj has caught the attention of the readers with her trail of blood. When the professor is captured, his explanation and protest are what makes the story very interesting. Where is Diya? This question makes the story a very thrilling read.

Layered in clues:
I loved the way Ms. Natraj has layered the stories, placing clues and doubts in the reader's mind. When the professor denies his marriage to the way Diya's parents react are all portrayed well. Inspector Shinde carried the whole story on his shoulders and his character is very likable. He came across as an honest policeman and a concerned father.

A few issues I had with this book:
While I liked the story and it was a pretty engrossing read, this book needs an editor. I hate to see wonderful stories like this one not reaching its readers due to lack of editing. I will mention a few points I saw in this book but there are more such errors.

1. Punctuations - full stop, commas, quotes etc. missing
2. Some words/phrases need to be replaced .. eg.  tied with a rubber band on the back side; scanning her with his police eyes; all of them under the steel grip;
3. As Shinde and Junior Inspector Mohit were going through the collected evidence, he saw the cell phone of the professor and suddenly he looked a bit stunned. (Stunned is not suited here at all)
4. He got up and briskly walked out. After he left, the manager had a faint suspicion that the word, ‘co-operation’ was said with a sarcastic tone.

If I ignore the editing issue, this is quite an interesting read.
    


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Book Review: THE ROYAL ROOMMATE BY P. G VAN


Name of the Book:  The Royal Roommate
Author: P. G Van
Star Rating: 4 stars 
Goodreads: Read the Blurb here 

The Story:

Is a cute story of Royalty. She was taken away from her family due to unforeseen circumstances. She grew up knowing nothing but an ordinary life full of love. She had a mom, a dad and a brother whom she loved yet the shadows of the past refused to release her from its clutches.

One day finally it caught up with her in the form of an injured man and Sid.  The injured man brought Sid into her life as a roommate. She had not bargained for a man as her roommate in the first place and definitely not a hot, virile male who could send her blood boiling with passion with just a look.  As the mystery unfolds, Amy and Sid come closer to each other but the dangers that lurk in the shadows cannot be ignored.

Pacing:
The pace of the story is good. Every scene merges into the previous one seamlessly and you can follow Amy's journey without missing any turns. It's quite a linear story line with the characters all falling into place.

The love story:
Between Amy and Sid is hot and not much of a conflict between them - which I loved. I am fed up of reading why a girl can't have a boy or vice versa. Here they face the difficulties as a team which I found very beautiful. Amy knows she is already in love with Sid, even without knowing his identity. And when she comes to know she does feel the insecurity and the fear - again well executed by Ms. Van.

The Boldness in the story:
Definitely not for those who are shy of reading about sex. Ms. Van is a bold writer who is not afraid to indulge into the deepest corners of er - sensual acts. Refreshing from some of the romance writers who still make use of roses and lovebirds to speak about sex.  On the other hand, the book is not all about sex and has a beautiful story of a princess who needs to be found and given the reigns of her country.

The Characters
The story has a make-believe land and kingdoms to go with the settings. They are well crafted. But it made it difficult for me to place Amy and Sid into any particular race or culture. To some, this might be a treat for you can let your imagination run wild.

“It’s part Aussie and part British with a bit of American now.” 

And trained to always save the queen. Interesting!

I have read Ms. Van's other books and I know she gives a very vivid description of her characters. So much so that they remain etched in your mind. Here, the scene and the plots are much stronger than the description of the characters. I have not forgotten Nick yet, Ms. Van.

The Plot: 
Where I found the character sketching to be a bit less, the plot is much stronger, precise and a page-turner. The ending is not blown out of proportion and ends without much screaming and bloodshed - ok a few drops are allowed in a romance.

The Rating:
Is purely based on the style of writing which I found to be peppy and fast. Editing is well done and overall a well-written romance.



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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Book Review: Scorpio Superstar by Sundari Venkatraman


Name of the Book:  Scorpio Superstar ( Written In the Stars, Book 1)
Author: Sundari Venkatraman
Star Rating: 5 stars 
Goodreads: Read the Blurb here 

I will start with a special mention for the cover. Absolutely love it. Great work Designer of Sundari Venkatraman.

The Story: 

Ranjini maintains the site for the superstar Chandrakanth, Chandru for short. But she had never met him and when she does,  the stars conspire to make him fall in love with her. While the superstar is head over heels in love with the dusky beauty,  she is unable to stop being in awe of him.

With the consent of her parents, they marry, much to the disappointment of Chandru's periamma (aunt). Throw in an ex here and the two ladies make every possible effort to make Ranjini's life a living hell.

The story flows through the passion between Ranjini and Chandru as they fight against those whom they had once cared for.

Love at first sight
Most of Ms. Venkatraman's stories make the protags fall in love instantly. Though I missed that slight tug in my heart but the passion that grows between Chandru and Ranjini will start a fire in a reader's heart. With every scene, Chandru grew in Ranjini's heart. It was a slow fire which got started due to Chandru attraction for Ranjini and her being awestruck with his stardom persona and then slowly understanding, love and respect are roped in.

The old school of thought vs the new thoughts
While Periamma represents the old school of thoughts where girls are not allowed to work etc, Ranjini becomes an epitome of why a girl should work.  A thought that is very well penned in this book. She didn't need to work, she had everything and yet she felt the need to retain her own identity.

The transition..

It was not easy for Ranjini to accept the life of a superstar's bride. With new makeovers came the jealousy of Chandru's ex. But instead of flying into rages of jealousy herself Ranjini handled them very well.  I think it's the positive attitude in this story which made me finish it off in one sitting.



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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Book Review: Just Me, the Sink & The Pot by Sudesna Ghosh


Name of the Book:  Just Me, the Sink & The Pot
Author: Sudesna Ghosh
Star Rating: 4 stars 
Goodreads: Read the Blurb here 


Every fat child's woe which in the later year turns into a psychological problem. People in their 'positive modes' forget that not everything is a joke. I have heard so many stories of fat kids, fat woman, and fat men. I personally feel it's the fat women who are worst hit.

A shame and an abomination that slowly weakens the will power of a woman. Either they fight back or they hide in their weeping holes where no one can see them. And the worst part is - no one cares. For fatness is not a disease according to many, but a lazy living,  an indulgent lifestyle.

Ms. Ghosh's Pamela is one such character whose life is dominated by her fear of being fat.  Where self-acceptance is more important than waiting for other's approval.  I love the way her guilt, her fear of eating has been portrayed.

What other's will think if one eats? Superbly done.

The continuous bullying, the continuous fear culminated into Pamela fainting one day. My heart went out for the little girl who was afraid to eat, afraid to buy clothes, lest they don't fit. I hate those do gooders who are always ready to advise on how to lose weight. Seriously. Every person's life is different - physically, psychologically. But standing on a pedestrian after losing a few kilos is really not the way to advice fat people. That leads to more depression.

I almost felt sad when the book ended abruptly.

Ms. Ghosh has understood the psyche of a fat kid and the way she has used humor with making the story reach the heart of the readers is very commendable. I am looking forward to reading more books from her.

The only issue I have with this book - is the book cover.


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Monday, September 11, 2017

Book Review: The Casanova's Wife by Sundari Venkatraman


Name of the Book:  The Casanova's Wife 
Author: Sundari Venkatraman
Star Rating: 5 stars 
Goodreads: Read the Blurb here 


The love story between Bharath and Dia is a bold one as the title of the book, which is part of the series, MARRIAGES MADE IN INDIA, suggests.

The first chapter itself starts with a lovemaking scene between Bharath and Dia. For a moment I wondered if this is the ending to a new beginning? Both the characters are on the same page, making love, so what will the story be about? After marriage blues? As usual Ms. Venkatraman has managed to shock me with her portrayal of love. The bold side of love which India is still experimenting upon. You know what surprises me. Our first reaction to such stories. 'It does not happen', 'good girls don't have one night stands'  'a girl who is having sex for the first time has to marry that boy'.

Taboos. Every day we are dealing with taboos and god forbid, if anyone has dared to question this - they come across as non-literary writers. Bull*@$^.

This book is for a mature audience who knows how kids are conceived.  Those who have read Moll Flanders by Daphne Du Maurier will know that the portrayal of boldness in a woman is not something that is new. Dia is a girl of modern times who think career and family, both are important. When she meets Bharath, they both feel the attraction which leads them to spend a night together. The next morning Dia is not a weeping willow but accepts it as one beautiful memory.

Then comes the realization part - Bharath realizes that he has let go of the woman he has fallen in love with. He searches for her but he couldn't find her. Destiny plays a role and a few years later, Dia is brought in front of him as his father's friend's daughter. Will they be able to forget the past and move towards a new beginning is a beautiful tale told by Sundari Venkatraman.

The subject matter though bold has been handled very aesthetically. Dia has not been shown as a shrinking violet and for that I am happy. Bharath though called a heart breaker has many softer layers - especially the one that comes out when he is surrounded by his family members.

The writing is very cinematic and you will see the Sooraj Barjatiya movie being played in front of you as you scroll through your Kindle. A must read for all romance lovers.

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Book Review: 31 Miles by Vinita Bakshi


Name of the Book:  31 Miles 
Author: Vinita Bakshi 
Star Rating: 4 stars 
Goodreads: Read the Blurb here 

After a long time, I'm putting down my thoughts regarding my latest read. Recently, most of the books I read, I have had no inclination to review. No author is a bad writer but not all books can evoke that emotion in you - the one that makes you want to cry, smile or even throw the book in anger.

I dwelled on this book for a long time for writing a review for this one was tough. I am still not sure how I feel about the ending. The ending startled me so much that the beginning of the saga became inconsequent.  Have you seen those movies where the secondary character would take more screen space and leave a mark that is remembered more than those done by the main hero? Akshay Khanna in Dil Chahta Hai is a perfect example of this. In this story, the ending mystified me as to what exactly happened and the whole story suddenly shifted to another dimension.

The prologue should have warned me about the ending, but it failed to do so. Somewhere I got lost in the lives of Mansa, Abhijit and Rajan and lost track of the prologue as I moved ahead along with the protagonists.

Mansa, from a well-to-do family, is a housewife with loads of unfulfilled dreams. Unlike many of her counterparts, she gets a chance to fulfill her dreams when she joins a cooking class. Somewhere along these lines, I drew the picture of Sridevi in English Vinglish. But while Sridevi was more insecure in the beginning, Mansa has a very strong personality of her own. She meets many new people and new thoughts are born in her mind.  And just when you feel that someone is waiting for her amidst that group of students, she finds love outside her marriage. She meets Rajan online.

Rajan is no stranger to her though he remains an absolute stranger to the readers throughout the story. From what I knew of him through his chats was that he was rude, selfish and mysterious. There was also a moment when I questioned the title of the book – 31 Miles. 31 miles that could have changed Mansa’s life drastically. So this title couldn't have been more appropriate. I waited along with her to see if those miles will be crossed. Would she dare to cross?

Being a woman, a married one at that, I don’t blame Mansa at all. It takes a lot of guts to face that inner, unsatisfied part, of one’s life. As a reader, I can’t judge right or wrong but it excited me to see the course of action Mansa would take. What is that point in a marriage that challenges a woman to take a bold step? Her husband Abhijit is a nice guy. An ordinary guy who like so many husbands takes his wife for granted.  She has a beautiful daughter with whom she has a wonderful relationship. So what is it that makes Mansa take that step? Boredom? Adventure? Or just fate?

The writing style of Ms. Bakshi is engaging. Somewhere along the lines, Mansa’s voice becomes the voice of many middle-aged women, trudging through their lives without knowing what they want and living for the pleasure of their family. Mansa was the rebel to the age old custom.

Coming back to the ending of the book, my only concern is that Rajan is a part of the Kaal Chakra. Why is he not a tangible character? Why does he not get a physical form for the readers? What would have happened in those 31 miles for him to become such an intrinsic part of Mansa’s life?

What makes it more shocking was that hint of paranormal at the end. A genre shifting within a series?

Interesting!
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Monday, September 4, 2017

Book Blitz: The Untold Story by Ridhi Drolia






Print Length: 109 pages
Publication Date: June 26, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Genre: Romance 





Love comes in different forms. But in all its forms, it comes with various challenges. Only those who can combat those challenges are true lovers.



The Untold Story is the tale of Vihaan and Riaa. Vihaan falls for Riaa’s charms at first sight and brings to her life crazy adventures and madness. They soon emerge as two hearts with one soul and their intimate fantasies begin to unravel in exotic places.



Their bond experience more downs than ups. These unexpected twists and turns bring Vihaan and Riaa closer and their romantic tale turn into one of lifetime bonding.



The story takes a drastic turn after the lovely couple is blessed with a baby boy. It should be a joyous moment, but instead, haunting memories of Vihaan’s own childhood break out as a fresh wound in his mind.



Read the novel to know what could make a father unhappy in the happiest moment of his life and how he combats his fear. 


It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR






In the author's own words:

"The passion of writing is deep rooted in my blood. 

After completing my Global Business Management certification from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, I joined hands with a few of my friends to start my first venture. 

Post my stint with the venture, I engaged myself in my lovely family life and now I present to you the author in me."


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Monday, August 28, 2017

Book Blitz: SNOWBOUND by Olivier Lafont


Having read all of Olivier Lafont's book, I am waiting to ready this Teenage Fantasy Novel. His way of writing is peppy and to the point. Characters are always well fleshed out and somewhere a reader starts connecting with the characters.




Print Length: 339 pages
Publication Date: May 18, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Genre: Young Adult Adventure/Fantasy 







Christmas is dying.



The last Santa Claus had triplets who each inherited a portion of his father’s power, and that split is now tearing apart the soul of Christmas.



Niccolo Vecchio, the eldest, has fortified the North Pole into a citadel of ice and metal.



Santini, the middle brother, is in hiding somewhere in the Mediterranean.



The youngest brother, Niccolo Piccolo, is raising legions to reclaim his inheritance.



Two of the triplets will have to renounce their claim in the next forty-eight hours, or this Christmas will be the last one ever.



And it’s up to Adam, underachieving teenager sub-ordinaire, and his brand new jock bully Zach to make that happen…


It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR






Olivier Lafont is a French author, screenplay writer, and actor. His novel ‘Warrior’ was published by Penguin Random House, and was shortlisted for the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize. He has just released his new contemporary romance novel 'Sweet Revenge' exclusively on Kindle. 'Purgatory: The Gun of God' is a fantasy novelette published in South Africa. 

Lafont has written a number of feature film scripts before. The first film he wrote opened at the Toronto Film Festival and went on to win seven awards at film festivals worldwide. 

As an actor Lafont has acted in Hollywood and Indian films, in TV serials, and in over 80 television commercials. He acted in ‘3 Idiots’, one of India's all-time blockbuster hits, the critically-acclaimed ‘Guzaarish’, and the Lifetime film ‘Baby Sellers’, amongst other films. 

Lafont graduated with two degrees in acting and writing from Colgate University, USA, with academic distinction.

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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Book Blitz: THE CASANOVA'S WIFE by Sundari Venkatraman




One of the most daring writers of Romance I know of. She can carry a social message and yet make the naughty self of any reader come out. Accused for her simplistic writing, yet she has made her way to the hearts of many readers. So much so that even our indie boss, Amazon, was forced to acknowledge her growing popularity. I feel honored to present her book, The Casanova's Wife on my blog. Review coming up soon. 

check out the schedule of the tour here


THE CASANOVA'S WIFE
(Marriages Made in India Book #4)
by
Sundari Venkatraman




Blurb

Bharat is the elder of the Maheshwari twins. Being a super model, he travels from Jaipur to Mumbai to Delhi, modelling for high-end brands and playing show stopper during fashion shows. Clothes, jewellery, glares, briefs – you name it and Bharat Maheshwari models for it. 

Dia Mathur is a management trainee based in Mumbai. She’s surprised to find herself at an after event party hosted by a major fashion label, thanks to her best friend. That’s where she meets Bharat, completely unaware of his claim to fame. 

Sparks sizzle and they get together instantaneously. But things fall apart when Dia realises that Bharat is quite the Casanova and might not make for a life partner. She disappears from his life...

...to surface again two years later, at no place other than his family’s drawing room in Jaipur. Will the Casanova turn a new leaf? Or will Dia have to play second, third or fourth fiddle to every gorgeous model who comes into his life?

Read Book #4 from MARRIAGES MADE IN INDIA series to find out more about The Casanova’s Wife.

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also available on #KindleUnlimited

*Also available in paperback format in some countries

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About the author



Sundari Venkatraman is an indie author who has 16 titles to her name, all Top 100 Bestsellers on Amazon India, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada and Amazon Australia in both romance as well as Asian Drama categories. Her latest hot romances have all been on #1Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month.

Even as a kid, Sundari absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as she grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. 

Soon, into her teens, Sundari switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine. Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. 

Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! And Sundari Venkatraman has never looked back.

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