Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Double Jeopardy by Sundari Venkatraman



Name of the book :         Double Jeopardy

Name of the author:        Sundari Venkatraman

Name of the publisher:   Indiereads    


Format of the book :       ebook [91 pages]

Synopsis ….

Not at all what I expected. I had expected the story to be of two brothers in love with the same girl. But obviously Sundari Venkatraman was expecting that for she gave this story a complete twist. A bold twist.
So how do I brief it without giving much away. Hmmm……

She…..

She is Sanya. A spoilt brat with a childhood crush. She travels from London to Mumbai. She has so hoped for the love of her life, Arth, to pick her up from the airport but instead she got the infuriating twin, Ansh, waiting for her.

From there begins her battle of the heart. On one hand she knew she loved Arth, the one who would always keep her safe in their childhood days, who would protect her from the torments of his other twin.

But today she is caught between the love of her childhood and this passionate stranger that Ansh had become. Would she succumb to his charms or will she be able to find her heart’s desire.

He…..

Now if I write about the ‘HE’ I will be giving away the whole story. That won’t be fun for you will it? Though I am itching to type here, but it is for you to find out … Arth? Ansh? Arth? Ansh?..... J

What I liked...

The story, the setting- everything fit in neatly in a small package. Sanya’s character developed very well from a spoilt brat to a woman who found the purpose in her life. Both Arth and Ansh came out strongly as main characters. The passion in the story was palpable.

What I didn’t like...

The length of the story of course.  I wanted more. I wanted the story to expand in so many directions. So many plots could e taken further. I would definitely like to ask Sundari Venkatraman as to why she made this into  a short story novella. The plot was, though not something we have not seen before, was original and the ending….Guys you should really read to know this. And if you are finding me pushy regarding this book because the ending is something I am dying  shout out….. let me know what you think after reading this book.

Ratings...

I am rating this according to the ratings of a short story….








Reasoning...

Well when ever I want to read more…….


Author Bio....

Sundari Venkatraman.I was born in Kumbakonam and grew up in Chennai.I am living in Mumbai since I got married 29 years ago.

My Family:

My husband KS Venkatraman is a businessman. He is a franchisee of Kotak Securities.

My daughter Vinitha is an MBA who works for Mumbai Smiles, an NGO, as Head of Communications.

My son VigneshKumar is a lead guitarist/vocalist for metal bands Orion & Albatross. He is also a Brand Ambassador for ESP Guitars. He works as Assistant Brand Manager for Furtado & Sons.

How I became a writer:

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

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

Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! I could never string two sentences together. While my spoken English had always been excellent – thanks to my Grandpa – I could not write to save my life. I was bad at writing essays in both school and college. Later, when it was time to teach my kids, I could manage everything from Science to Mathematics and History & Geography. When it came to writing compositions, my kids found me of no help at all.

All this changed suddenly one fine day in the year 2000. I had just quit my job at a school’s office and did not know what to do with my life. I was saturated with reading books. That’s when I got home one evening after my walk and took some sheets of paper and began writing. It was like watching a movie that was running in my head – I am sure over the years that I had been imagining local heroes and heroines – and I just had to put it into words. It was as simple as that and my first novel, The Malhotra Bride, took shape.

Of course, it has taken me all of 13 years to get published. Being a Commerce graduate with no writing background, I ran from one publisher to another – in India as well as abroad – with no one interested in my novels. Yes, in the plural. I have written a number of full-fledged novels that never got to see the light of day.

Finally, it was Rizwan Tufail and Naheed Hassan who were interested in my writing and contacted me about writing a romance novella for Indireads. As they say, the rest is history. 

And Double Jeopardy was born!

Author Interview....

What inspired you to write your first book?

I am a diehard romantic at heart. I used to love reading fairytales as a kid and thoroughly enjoyed the ‘lived happily ever after’ endings. Later on, as a teen, I turned my attention to Mills & Boon romances. I am not quite sure when the interest turned and I began to imagine Indian heroes and heroines. While I have a fertile imagination, I never could string two sentences together.

I was almost 40 when I penned my first novel – The Malhotra Bride. I had quit my job and was at home, playing housewife. I felt quite useless. Suddenly, one evening, inspiration struck. I returned from my walk and sat down to write. By night, I had completed 14 pages of ruled foolscap paper. Thoroughly excited, I finished the first script of the novel (35,000 + words) in 20 days.


Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know about that. You will have to read the novels that I have blogged and tell me. The novels are:

1.         The Malhotra Bride
2.         Meghna
3.         Sangita’s Dilemma
4.         The Wedding Game

  
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I simply loved Amish Tripathi’s The Shiva Trilogy, especially the first two books. Ashwin Sanghi is another favourite. His novel, The Rozabal Line, is simply amazing. I am reading The Krishna Key by the same author, while I have also read Chanakya Chants.

I enjoyed reading some of the books on Indireads. Parul Tyagi, MM George, Jazz Singh, Yamini Vijendran, Roopa Menon, Zeenat Mahal, Neelima Vinod, Sumeetha Manikandan and Sarita Varma are excellent writers. 

What are your current projects?

I am working on Simha International, a romance, of course. This is appearing as a series on my blog Cupid Strike Series. I have also created a story idea that I have submitted to Indireads. I will let you know after it has been approved. 

I also blog voraciously on various subjects such film reviews, book reviews, restaurant reviews, recipes, spirituality and health. My blog is called Flaming Sun and the link: http://sundarivenkatraman.blogspot.in/

I also write short stories under different genre. I have 17 short stories on my blog called Shimmering Sun. The link: http://shimmeringsunshortstories.blogspot.in/

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I can’t say the exact time. I am a voracious reader since I was about three years old. I have always been fascinated with words. I used to feel envious of authors who can write so beautifully. I think this fascination drove me to writing.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I am not at all disciplined. While my mind roves over the scenes and sequences of the novels, I keep postponing putting it down in writing – rather typing it out on my PC. This is a major hurdle. This is also the reason why I started blogging my novels as a series. This way, I have to deliver a fresh chapter each week and I have to stick to a schedule.

Do you ever experience writer's block?

I do experience it, although I would term it laziness, rather than writer’s block.

What books/authors have influenced your writing?

Jeffrey Archer is my favorite author. Then there is JK Rowling with her Harry Potter series. I used to like Ayn Rand and Sidney Sheldon. I have a number of favorites among romance authors such as Nora Roberts, Janet Dailey, Penny Jordan and Carole Mortimer.

Georgette Heyer, Julie Garwood and Judith McNaught are historical romance authors that I adore. I hope to write a historical romance soon.

I feel all these authors have an influence on my writing.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I would not know that much about writing to give advice to other writers. Yes, to new writers I can say this: if you want to write, just keep writing, unfazed about being published or not. Blogging is a fantastic platform to practise on.

As a writer when you blog your stories, don't you feel that you are losing out on publishing your stories. That you would do more justice if you publish them, even as a self published ebook?


I am 'publishing' my books on my blog. Yes, I lose out on the royalty. There are two angles to publishing. One is being read by people across the globe and the other is money. For 13 years, I had neither. Atleast over the past 3-4 years, my work is read by a number of people. Even if I am published by the best brand, what is the guarantee that my books will be sold? Yes, it would be fantastic if I turned out to be a JK Rowling or an Amish Tripathi. So far there is no indication of that.  I just got fed up with waiting and 'published' my own work for free. I have no regrets. This way at least I write regularly and do get feedback occasionally. Then there are those page hits. Total nasha!

Places you can find her:


You can buy the book @ Indireads

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade



Name of the book: Undeniably Yours

Name of the author: Becky Wade

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (May 1, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0764209752


ISBN-13: 978-0764209758

A Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.







From the Back Cover

When Meg Cole's father dies unexpectedly, she's forced to return home to Texas and to Whispering Creek Ranch to take up the reins of his empire. The last thing she has the patience or the sanity to deal with? Her father's Thoroughbred racehorse farm. She gives its manager, Bo Porter, six months to close the place down.

Bo knows he ought to resent the woman who's determined to take from him the only job he ever wanted. But instead of anger, Meg evokes within him a profound desire to protect. The more time he spends with her, the more he longs to overcome every obstacle that separates them and earn her love.


Just when Meg realizes she can no longer deny the depth of her feelings for Bo, their fragile bond is broken by a force from Meg's past. Can their relationship--and their belief that God can work through every circumstance--survive?

Meg....

Meg had a very rich father. With all the money and no time for her, Meg always felt that it was more of a bane rather than a boon. This feeling proved right when she got married to a no good philanderer, Stephen McIntyre. She was abused in this marriage both mentally and physically. Not only that, before leaving her, he had robbed her of two million dollars, a gift from her father.
This had demoralized her and she always wanted to prove to the world that there was nothing wrong with her. This meant impeccably dressed and poised at all times. This is how she appeared to Bo Porter when he first met her.

Bo....

A hard working Texan, with a love for horses. Now Meg was threatening to close down the Ranch. All he needed was six months to make the business profitable. But his involvement with Meg was putting the whole deal in jeopardy much to the chagrin of his brother Jake and his co-workers. Could Bo prove them wrong?

The Story....

Meg is a poor little rich girl who was made the captain of the ship after her father's demise. She did not like it one bit and was advised by her advocates to slowly let go of the operations she did not like. In her radar, the horse farm her father owned was proving to be very expensive and time consuming . It was now managed by Bo Porter.

When he was asked to shut down the farm , he bluntly refused. Much to Megs chagrin, she felt the compulsion to agree to this. Later she felt glad that she had done this. There developed a beautiful friendship between them.

A friendship which gave her security, peace and at times of stress or old wounds revisited- it felt a gift from God. With Bo at her side felt like God's chosen one- till she did not discover that he was looking into her financial statements. Would Bo prove to be another Stephan?

What I liked....

Both Meg and Bo are beautiful characters - not only in their relations but with those touching their lives.

Some of the scenes were humorous ( especially when they both had to look after Amber's baby).

There is a lot to learn from this story. About relationships, giving back to society when you have more than enough and also coming out positively from an abusive relationship.

Being a Christian Romance, there was of course a good measure of biblical reference thrown in- all indicating the strength behind Meg’s coming  out of an abusive relationship, her heart’s desire to help those who have faced with familiar situation and so many such situations. Meg started out as a weak character but with each turning of the pages emerged as a strong woman. Well etched characters!

What I did not like…..

I found this story a tad too long and at times repetitive. But it is not boring. I just felt like skipping at times for the simple reason to know why Bo did what he did. Though all the ingredients are there to make this story very readable, Megs constant conflict  within herself was a bit overboard.


Rating...







Reasoning…

As mentioned above – a bit repetitive. If the conflict within Meg could be shortened a bit, this would have been a more enjoyable read. There are moments I had to put down the book and go to another book thinking I have had enough of this. But strangely I always came back to this book. I am glad I finished it - for the ending was well worth it.

You can get the book @



About the author….

Curtsey: goodreads
During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She's been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that Becky's passion for reading turned into a passion for writing. She published three historical romances with Avon Books, then put her career on hold for several years to care for her three kids, then recently returned to writing sheerly for the love of it. She felt led to move to the genre of contemporary Christian romance and couldn’t be more thrilled with it.

These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.






Friday, August 23, 2013

Touching Evil by Amber Garr



Name of the book: Touching Evil: A Leila Marx Novel

Name of the author: Amber Garr

Age group: adult fiction


Release Date: November 5, 2012

Disclaimer: This review is a part of a Blog Tour by Incandescent Enchantments. I got this book in exchange for my honest review.






Book Summary:

Leila Marx is trying to put her life back together after her fiance is murdered. Her book illustrating career has limited her social contact and nightmares have trapped her in the past. When a police acquaintance enlists her help with a difficult case, Leila is surprisingly thankful to have a purpose. Not only will this help to keep her mind focused, but she will be able to use her talents as a touch clairvoyant that are frequently dismissed by skeptics. Leila and Detective Garrick Pearson delve into the mystery behind a series of missing teenage girls and mummified corpses while fighting their own growing attraction to each other.

Conner Hoffman is an intriguing lawyer and striking half-demon who enters Leila’s life unexpectedly. Although her visions are terrifying, she is fascinated by his charm and his legacy. When it becomes evident that the murders are linked to a paranormal event, Conner introduces Leila to a world unbeknownst to ordinary society. She suddenly finds herself immersed in supernatural politics, sorcery, and danger as she becomes the killer’s next target. Staying alive will mean relying on friends, accepting the unbelievable, and trusting in her heart again.


The Story….

Leila Marx is a social odd out. Not by choice but due to circumstances. After losing her fiancé in a senseless shootout, she had lost all her reasons to be sociable again. Moreover she was gifted. A gift that had been passed on to her by her family. The death of her fiancé had been more painful since she had expected to foresee his death and it had hurt her that with all her talent she could not do so.She is a touch psychic.

A year later, while she is still mourning, she is sought out by the police department to solve some of the crimes. Though it does not pay [for that she works as a book illustrator] but it helps her to sharpen her skill. It is here that she meets Detective Garrick Pearson. Initially they treat each other only professionally but in the course of time they do feel attracted towards each other.

But on the other hand, her best friend, introduces her to Conner. A relatively harmless guy with curly hair. But is he all that he seems to be? Conner introduces her to a world of magic which she had thought only existed in stories and myths.

While she fights along with Garrick to search for mysteriously missing girls, she joins with Conner to find the hidden truth behind those missing girls. Would the two men be able  keep her safe or will the forbidden knowledge of the mysterious world consume her?




What I liked…..

The story line was very gripping. I had to finish this book. Though I am not a paranormal reader as a norm but I wanted to reach the end. The paranormal world along with the crime scene had a gripping effect while the romance developing amongst the characters was cute.[ though baffling at times].

After Conner introduces Leila to the supernatural beings, her bafflement, her terror and her growth as a psychic is very well etched. I loved the way words were used to describe the fight between Leila and The Evil One [Opps!!!  I almost gave the name up]. It was picturesque and grotesque but kept you glued to the book till the very end.

What I didn’t like…

Hmmmm… let me think…..

Why did one of the guys have to go and why did it have to be that One ….. ? [ Oh God! I am dying to let it all out!!!]

I have one unanswered question? Was there a supernatural phenomena behind the fiancé dying? I got the impression that it could have been but I waited till the end and nothing came up. Maybe in the next part?

Ratings....





Reasoning:

As I have already pointed out I had a loose end which needed an answer – the fiance’s death. I just hate not knowing. Sorry that is the busybody living inside me – a very stubborn busybody!!!


Watch the trailer of the book :


You can buy the book at:



Meet the author  Amber Garr....

Amber Garr spends her days conducting scientific experiments and wondering if her next door neighbor is secretly a vampire. Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Florida with her husband and their furry kids. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell. Amber is a multiple Royal Palm Literary Award winner and the author of The Syrenka Series and The Leila Marx Novels. When not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie.

You can also meet her at:


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