Release Day Blitz: The Hidden Children (The Lost Grimoire #1) by Reshma K.Barshikar

~ Release Day Blitz ~
The Hidden Children (The Lost Grimoire #1)
by Reshma K.Barshikar

13th November 2018

About the Book:
‘What price would you pay to be extraordinary? What would you do to speak to a butterfly? 

Shayamukthy cruises through life: shooting hoops, daydreaming and listening to her favourite books. Even moving from the US to India, to a new school, a new culture, hasn’t really rattled her. But something isn’t right anymore and it begins when ‘New Girl’ joins the school.

She pulls Shui into a world of magic and wonderment, a world she has been hidden from all her life. What starts as a quest to look for a lost book, hurtles Shui into a world where people live in trees, talk to the dead and speak to butterflies.

But like all power, magic comes at a steep price, and under all things wondrous lie demons waiting to crawl out. The more Shui learns, the more she doubts everything and everyone around her. 

Will she be able to master her powers, or will they devour her and everyone she loves?

Order Your Copy from AMAZON now!

Read an Excerpt:
I think I am
ordinary. I lack purpose. Boohoo you think, typical teenager angst. But if I
died tomorrow, it wouldn’t impact anyone’s life except my parents’. My friends,
on the other hand, they have a life. See them there, yes there, to the right,
next to the banyan tree behind the basketball court. You see a slightly pudgy
boy and a beautiful girl? The boy’s name is Jai. The girl’s name is Nallini.
Both have purpose. Jai wants to write comic books. He wants to be like Neil
Gaiman or something, some famous comic-book guy. Nallini wants to be an
actress, the next Deepika Padukone – that, and to win next year’s gold medal in
She has absolutely no
problems reconciling the inherent contradictions in both her desires.
I want nothing, need
nothing, except something to need. I can’t see past today even to tomorrow; I
have a hard enough time figuring out what I am now. I am not from a broken
home, unless you count the fact that parts of the building I live in are
falling apart. I am not poor, not like Anuki Chabria who got called out of her
exam because her parents couldn’t pay her fees. I do not have acne bursting on
my face, making me look like a human cheese grater. I am just, well, ordinary.
So could you really blame me? Blame me for wanting to be special? Blame me for
wanting to be fierce? To be like Storm from the X-Men, or like Beyoncé? When I
look back now, at everything that has happened in the last few months, I
realise I’m just as much to blame as her. The big question – well, it’s not a
big question at all, really, because it’s all rubbish now, because you can’t go
back. Even I can’t go back. So the absurd question everyone around me
seems to asking is – would I have acted differently, would I rather NOT be the
person I am now?
And neither would
you. What price wouldn’t you pay to be extraordinary, to ride the wind,
to float with unicorns, to be the one chosen…? Because, you see, I’ve gotten
into some serious trouble and want to explain myself. I didn’t mean for things
to happen. I didn’t mean for someone to die. So I ask you – wouldn’t you have
said yes if someone said – ‘Do you want to learn how to speak to a

About the Author:

Travel writer and novelist Reshma K Barshikar is
an erstwhile Investment Banker who, as she tells it, ‘fell down a rabbit hole
and discovered a world outside a fluorescent cubicle.’ As a travel and features
writer, she contributes to National Geographic Traveller, Harper’s Bazaar,
Grazia, The Sunday Guardian, SilverKris, The Mint Lounge and The Hindu. Fade
Into Red, published by Random House India was her debut novel and featured in
Amazon Top 10 Bestsellers. She also holds well renowned workshops for young
adults at both BDL Museum and Kala Ghoda and is keen to build a strong Young
Adult reading and writing community to fill the desperate lack of young adult fiction
in the Indian Market. Her new Young Adult novel, The Hidden Children, will be
launching at the Vizag Junior Literary Festival. Reshma is from the ISB Class
of 2003. She calls both Mumbai and the Nilgiris home. 

Contact the Author:

Website I Facebook I Twitter I Goodreads






Pretend To Be Mine: A Marriage Contract Romance by P G Van

41BtBK8BqSL._SY346_.jpgI borrowed Pretend To Be Mine: A Marriage Contract Romance by P G Van from the Kindle Unlimited library.

The blurb:

Dheeraj does not believe in marriage, but given the circumstances, he is not left with much choice. He needs to move fast to make sure everyone around him believes he is getting married for real and to the right woman, even if it’s for only two years.

Anjali never expected a complete stranger to propose a marriage contract as if he were offering her a job with a salary and benefits package, especially the first time they meet. What he offers is tempting enough for her to give in, so she can fulfill her dream and keep the promise she made to a loved one.

For their friends and family, Dheeraj and Anjali are a loving couple who fell in love at first sight, but they both have an agenda. Their reasons for the marriage contract were different, but what they never expected is what happens when two people start living under the same roof pretending to be a couple.

Sparks fly and butterflies flutter between stolen kisses, but when they start to find out more about each other’s reason for the fake marriage, will they still honor the contract? Will love make its way into the contract as a clause?

Note: This is a stand-alone romance with a passionate couple who finds their HEA. This book is recommended for mature readers.

The Story:

Anjali Devarakonda lost her parents when she was five and was brought up by her grandmother who died when she had barely started college. Her four friends, Riya, Lekha, Sonia and Neeta, have been her rocks since college days. She works as a nurse specialising in premature babies and she loses her job for being compassionate. Having inherited an apartment in the heart of the city, she has a roof over her head, she has enough inheritance to last her five lifetimes but she has a bigger goal and a promise to keep. So she needs a job as she has promise to keep.

So one day, when the friends are out for a drink, someone buys them a drink and he tells her that he needs to speak to her. He is Dheeraj Prakash Verma and he has a job offer for her, a 2 year contract with a payment that would work for her. He wants her to be his wife for 2 years and the payment amount would be double the loan amount she is expecting to from the bank. He also tells her that she would be his wife only for public appearances. And to top it all, he calls her Geetanjali, a name which was used by her grandmother and even her friends don’t know about.

Dheeraj tells her that reason behind choosing her that she is most qualified for the job and he tells her to keep her promise that the arrangement be something that they both are privy to. He gives her four hours to think and tells her that he knows about her and the loan she wants to take and tells her that he can even stall the loan as he is a real estate agent and he could get a set of fake papers for the property that she plans to use as collateral.

My take:

The story has been written in simple English and just flows. I kept reading on wanting to know what happens next. And the characters, they have been etched well and are realistic, and so is the conversation between them. The relationships between the characters have been described well.

I loved the story immensely.

The Reluctant Bride (Romantic Shorts Book 5) by Sundari Venkatraman

41P6w-PXoeL.jpgThe Reluctant Bride (Romantic Shorts Book 5) by Sundari Venkatraman is another short romance written by the author.

The Blurb:

Krish and Nikita hit it off from the moment they set eyes on each other and soon become the best of friends. Everything seems perfect…

…until Krish offers for Nikita’s hand in marriage via his parents.

Too shocked and angry by the unexpectedness of it, Nikita chucks Krish out of her life and tries to lead her life like before.

Only her parents seem to think that she has to get married ASAP as they keep pushing suitable grooms under her nose.

Thoroughly frustrated and unable to stop them, Nikita comes up with a plan to tie the knot with Krish, hoping to revive their friendship. And to her surprise, Krish immediately agrees to it too.

But it looks like her plan is set to backfire on her.

The story:

Krish, 28, back in India after spending eight years in the US, takes up a job in a reputed it firm as COO. He lives in Mumbai and his parents and elder brother live in Pune. Staying away from prospective mothers and marriage, Krish chats with Nitika like old friends on meeting her for the first time and they become best friends. Over the next few weeks, Krish starts seeing her as a life partner, but for her, he is her friend, guide and philosopher.

Three months later, he sends a marriage proposal to her parents through his. But she refuses, because Krish is a friend and she does not feel right getting attracted to him and she is not ready to sacrifice the friendship because she thinks that later everybody fights.

She meets 23 prospective grooms and realises that Krish has spoilt her for everyone else. After refusing the marriage proposal that he had sent via his parents ten months ago, Nitika walks into his office and asks him to marry her as this would keep her parents off her back. But she has a condition.

My take:

The story has simple and realistic characters. The feelings of the characters have been described in detail. The book is fast paced book and has been written in simple English. And can be finished in one sitting.


Take one fake fiancé by Reet Singh

51-AdgOahVL._SY346_.jpgTake one fake fiancé by Reet  Singh is the story of Mita and Tanay and set in Mauritius, Delhi and Kolkata.

The blurb:      

Mita Ramphul is single and fancy-free – and she wants to stay that way for the foreseeable future. Living and working on the idyllic island of Mauritius is the stuff dreams are made of – until she bumps into a man who threatens to destroy it all.

Tanay Devkumar is cynical and shuttered – events in his past have cast a long and deep shadow. Convinced that Mita Ramphul represents a threat to his sister’s happiness, he seeks her out, determined to block her nefarious plans.

They meet in circumstances that can only be described as hostile – suspicions abound and resentments flare on both sides, even as attraction simmers beneath the surface. A series of disastrous events follow and they are compelled to pretend that they are in love and wish to marry.

It is meant to be a temporary engagement – but will Mita be able to resist her fake fiancé or will his scorching kisses make her yearn for something more permanent?

Take One Fake Fiancé is a refurbished, revamped, remodelled, updated version of “Scorched by His Fire” which was published by Harlequin/Mills and Boon in 2014.

The story:

Mita Ramphul, 26, works as a school teacher in Mauritius and lives with her mother Radhika, having lost her father when she was a kid. She is the favourite child of  Uncle Raja, who is always on the lookout for a possible match for her and keeps turning up with proposals from ‘nice’ young men. But she is not ready to say yes. Sammy, her mother, her Nana and Nani are her favourite people in the world.

She has known Samrat Kalachand, Sammy, all her life. Neighbours while growing up, he is practically the brother she never had. He is her childhood buddy, her confidante, her best friend and the slayer of all her dragons. He works in a bank and is married to Laxmi and Mita is uncomfortable around her best friend’s wife. Laxmi thinks that Mita is having an affair with Sammy.

Tanay Devkumar, Laxmi’s brother is a detective. He runs the detective agency, D & S Detectives. He believes the worst of Mita and it out to protect his sister from her. He suspects that she is spoiling Sammy’s marriage so he blackmails her to date him and also not contact Sammy and she agrees using him to tell her uncle to get off her case.

My take:

The characters of the book have been very well developed and realistic. The language is simple and the story flows smoothly. The author has described the places like Grand Bassin in Mauritius, and Connaught Place in Delhi and Kolkata very well. I could actually picturise them.

A nice book, overall. Recommended highly. I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.


Awaken the Durga Within by Usha Narayanan

51SY1K3AbvL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_I received the book Awaken the Durga Within by Usha Narayanan as a review copy from the author via the publisher and would like to thank them both for the same. This book is a must read, an actual go to book for all women.

The blurb:

Awaken the Durga Within is a handy, easy-to-follow guide to help every woman assert themselves at home and work and reclaim their life. As a woman in a patriarchal country like India, they are often held back by family or society; and even education or employment does little to help improve their status.

Bringing in the lesser-known and exciting stories about goddesses from the Hindu mythology, Awaken the Durga Within puts forward practical solutions that can be implemented immediately, without compromising on values and principles. These stories will help invoke the ‘Shakti’ within every woman so as to transform their minds and transcend their limits. Identify the fears holding you back and discover a pithy, three-step process to help you take control of your life and garner respect. Make choices that are right for you and experience the rewards. Discover the true spirit of feminism wherein women are given the same rights, power, and opportunities as men.

My take:

As women all us have felt oppressed at one time or another, and this is a must read for everyone. This book is an encouraging book which made me realize that to get work done or to make people fall in line, you need not be submissive or aggressive but you need to be assertive.The author has talked about what we women face in our daily life as working women, as home makers, as young girls. She has talked about the three Cs that we should make a part of our lives: Choose, Create and Change. In most of the chapters, she presents a scenario, followed by the three Cs and then a mythological story followed by lessons learned.

The language is simple and easy to follow, and the book needs to be read with an open mind and also at a slow pace for the things to register. Loved every part of the book and enjoyed the mythological stories, I felt I was reading the Amar Chitra Katha stories in a different light.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.


Once Upon an IAS Exam by K. Vijayakarthikeyan

51VeFhkf6oL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgOnce Upon an IAS Exam by K. Vijayakarthikeyan is the story of Vishy, an IAS aspirant, and his preparation journey for the exam.

The blurb:

Vishy’s worst nightmare—failing the UPSC’s Civil Services exam—has come true. He is plagued by insecurity, fear and doubts. The mother of all competitive examinations has rejected him and he needs a reason to live. So, what does he do? He tells his best friend Rithika, ‘I love you… Will you marry me?’

In Once Upon an IAS Exam, twenty-five-year-old Vishy tries to overcome the uncertainty and confusion about his future and figure out ways of convincing Rithika to marry him. Things turn even more interesting, funny and emotional as Vishy reattempts to conquer ‘Mount IAS’. As he tries to take his academic and love life towards safety, he seeks refuge in the world of IAS coaching centres.

Set in the bustling Civil Services exam coaching hub of Anna Nagar in Chennai, this book is a hilarious account of the actuality, stress and struggle faced by millions of candidates who prepare year after year for one of India’s toughest exams. Join Vishy as he sets out to prove his mettle to the world—and himself. Will Rithika accept the love of her best friend? Will Vishy overcome his sense of failure? Will there be a happily ever after?

The story:

Vishy, a mechanical engineer, lives with his parents in Chennai. He has one ambition: to become an IAS Officer, and for that he has to clear the Civil Services Exams. And he does not do so in the first attempt. He is upset and tells his best friend, Rithika, that he loves her and wants to marry her. And she tells him that they stay away from each other for a month and decide. And Vishy agrees with her.

He also decided to enroll in a coaching centre for IAS preparation. And he goes in search of one. And he is all the more confused because all of them have a lot to tell about themselves, so Vishy takes the help of his seniors and finalizes one. Here, he meets Ashok and they become friends.

My take:

This book has been written in a simple, easily understandable language and talks about the Civil Services exams from the point of view of a person who has gone through the steps. The characters are well etched and realistic. I wished he had talked more about Babu because I felt his story would have been complete had he met his old roommates.

The author has in a humourous way, satire the rat race that happens in the form of coaching centres that are mushrooming all across the country and making a quick buck at the cost of the honest aspirants. This book talks about the support everyone requires from friends, family and also the patience and presence of mind that is required when preparing and appearing for an exam.

The book has been written in an engaging way that keeps the reader hooked to it. The book has humour, satire as well has relationships.

Loved the book and would recommend it to everyone just for what it teaches.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

Book Blitz: Freefall by Jana Williams

About the Book:

The deep-space transport ship, the Vera Rubin, is light years from Earth when botanist Elle Silver begins to question the use of their space-travel drug, HCH.  Elle notices a growing number of her friends and  fellow colonists awaken from their 90-day sleep cycles exhibiting a variety of negative side-effects and she begins to believe the drug is the culprit.  Some of the effects are minor, dry eyes and lack of appetite. Other symptoms are a bigger concern on a tiny ship packed with colonists.  With each sleep cycle completed, more and more colonists awaken both confused and barely concealing a simmering rage – rage that could be a catastrophe on a ship as crowded as the Vera Rubin.  Elle needs proof, but she also needs a plan. If the drug that allows them to travel deep-space is at fault, what then?  Elle and her friends Ashok, Achebe and Jin-Hai are pressed to their limits to find a solution to their problem before the ship erupts into chaos… with light years left to travel.

Find FREEFALL on Amazon.Com & Amazon.In

Guest Post:

As a guest writer for a post on books – I thought that rather than talk about my novel, FREEFALL per se…. readers like yourself might be interested in how the book came to be written. I think when we discover a book that really engages us, we begin to believe that writers are some mythical beings with a special ‘secret’ ingredient that allows them to write.

This could not be further from reality in my case and in many other writers’ lives too. The only ‘secret’ ingredient I might possess is a dogged determination to get my story onto the page. I learned determination and persistence from my mother. My mother also seeded in all her daughters an absolute love of reading and storytelling. Although, I continue to be the only writer in our immediate family, my sisters actively read books and even lead book club discussion groups too.

Growing up in a household of females (my father deserted us) was pivotal to my central attitude about life. I believe that there is very little that a determined girl or woman cannot accomplish. As a child, there was no one to tell me ‘girls can’t do that’ OR if my sisters did say it – I immediately set out to prove them wrong. This attitude is woven into the story of FREEFALL throughout the book.

The other tenant of the book is the importance of curiosity. I spent a fair bit of time alone as a child, poking into things, exercising my curiosity about how things worked, why they worked and even sometimes dismantling things to find out if I could make them work again. My single mother had very little extra money to fix toys that were broken or even buy new ones. So all of us girls became adept at putting dolls back together, or gluing tea sets that got broken or putting wheels back on wagons to get them working again.

In the book Elle reminds herself that curiosity is a good thing, it can lead to new ideas and discoveries of importance that might have gone unnoticed by others who never asked the question ‘Why?’ Asking yourself why and then setting out to find the answer can lead to amazing things. As you will see, Freefall reflects core values that I hold that women are smart, capable and caring – and can do almost anything if they try.

My own sense of adventure stems from my curiosity about life here, on this planet – which led to speculation about life – out there in another corner of the universe. Another core belief of mine is that you don’t have to have a degree from a university to write and write well. What you do need is the desire to tell an engaging story. The best place to learn how to do that is from inside a book where you can read, read, and read.

Once you’ve read a fair number of books, start mentally sorting them out into the ones you liked and the ones that were just okay – but not spellbinding. And finally, what about the books you didn’t like? Stack them up, and then start thinking about the ones you liked – What did they have in common? Do the same mental exercise with the books you didn’t like – What did they have in common? You will learn as much about writing from what you didn’t like – as from what you did. Once you know what you like in a book, you’re ready to start writing your own story.

It’s important to write something you would enjoy reading yourself, because if you’re writing a novel you’ll be spending days and weeks and months in the world you’re creating. So it better be a place that you look forward to visiting – you owe it to yourself to make it so. I truly loved every minute of writing Freefall. The editing portion was a challenge for me – because it is a bit like cleaning the house; necessary and important but certainly not thrilling to do.

Freefall came into being because I love good Science Fiction and Fantasy – and I hoped to write a story worthy of some that I have read. Also Freefall came into being because I was persistent enough to sit down every morning before going to work (and sometimes after work too) to continue writing Elle’s adventures with her friends. I would spend hours thinking about what would happen next, so that I would have a focus for the next days writing. And then, when I was done with the first draft, I willingly put in more time to fix the things that needed fixing to make the story more clear and uncluttered.

And of course you must be wondering, ‘Have I started the sequel?” Of course I have! I can’t wait to see what happens next in the Amalie Noether Chronicles. I hope you will join me in reading FREEFALL. Be assured – Elle’s adventures will continue in space in the next volume of the series

About the Author:

Jana Williams is certain that fiction can change people’s lives – especially women and girls.  Her own life is testimony to that fact.  One of five daughters, she was raised by a single-mom who placed a high value on reading and storytelling.

The ability to read, coupled with a child’s innate curiosity about the world, and access to books to satisfy that curiosity can offer significant opportunity to a child. Like most writers Jana has bounced from job to job, absorbing stories, cultures and customs as she worked.  She has been a high-speed motion picture photographer, a VFX coordinator, worked in the film industry, and the publishing trade as a book seller – a publisher’s rep and now an author.

But her first love is reading…. and with each book of the Freefall trilogy sold Jana will donate funds to Literacy agencies around the world whose work is to bring the joy of reading to others.

Enjoy a good adventure story and help others learn to read at the same time !

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