The Story of Hanuman by Mala Dayal and illustrated by Taposhi Ghosal

5138UkNc5kL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI received the book The Story of Hanuman by Mala Dayal and illustrated by Taposhi Ghosal as a review copy and am thankful to Rupa Publications and Rizwan Khan for the same.

The Blurb (from the Publisher):

Everyone’s favourite Monkey God is back, in a delightful avatar! Beautiful illustrations, exciting games and activities and a fun and engaging narration add to the appeal of this retelling of Hanuman’s life. Join Hanuman on a rollicking journey from his childhood days when he tried to eat the Sun, to his helping Ram and Lakshman rescue Sita from Ravana’s clutches.

My take:

This book is ideal for kids and adults alike. I loved this book because the story took me back to my childhood days. The cover is an instant pick me up and the illustrations are beautiful. As I opened the book and went through the story, I felt I was transported into the mythological world of Hanuman and Ram. There are puzzles, mazes and riddles in the book. The language is simple and easy to understand. Even my kids also read the book and loved it.

Undoubtedly, the best gift we can give to a child.

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.

More Than Just Desire by Summerita Rhayne

d892b-book2bcoverI received More Than Just Desire by Summerita Rhayne as a review copy from the author. I was introduced to her work long back when she wrote her ‘first’ romance Against all rules. I must say she gives more to her readers with each passing book.

The blurb:

The Bollywood diva who ran away 

Piya walked out of an explosive situation three years ago. She married Arfaaz for security but left him facing chaos she created. Now she’s back in Bollywood and searching for the crown she gave up when she ran away. In the competitive world of starry glamour, the only way she can begin her career anew is to trash the past and get a divorce.

The man who wants her atonement 

Arfaaz is determined to get his revenge on Piya for making a farce of their marriage and leaving him to face the mudslinging. He forces her to keep up the appearances and stay with him so she can play the loving wife and repent on her sins. But Piya drives him crazy with her antics. On the top of that, the attraction between them sizzles and threatens to make him forget reason.

A passionate conflict 

Piya knows she has lessons to learn but she cannot let this man enter her heart. There is too much to risk and she cannot afford to forget the real reason she has come back. Success is her mantra and her worship. She can be faithful to only her goal…

The story:

Bollywood star Piya fled to Boston three years ago, at the peak of her career, because she did not want to be tied down. Then, she had a marriage of convenience to Arfaaz, a director. The marriage had been an attempt to save herself from lonliness and frovide food for speculation about her. They had never communicated during their initial years of marriage, just talked. She left him for another man and did not even look back. And Arfaaz wants revenge.

Now, she is back with the purpose of looking for working and taking a divorce from Arfaaz. Arfaaz comes to know of her arrival and disguises as the driver of the car and reaches the airport. He takes her home.

She tells him she wants a divorce and he agrees on his own terms.

My take:

The story is beautiful and so are the characters. The author has developed the characters in a way that it was very easy for me to feel for them and to understand why they were doing what they were doing. She has effortlessly introduced their upbringing in the story. The palpable chemistry between the estranged couple has been described in a way that I felt moulded into story frame. She has described the feelings of both the characters and the story from their points of view.

The language is simple and the flow is good. The book was unputdownable from the word go. I really want to know what happens after this book. Will there be a sequel to this one.

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

Release Day Blitz: All of Me by Jonali Karmakar

*~* Release Day Blitz *~*
Title: All of Me
Author: Jonali Karmakar
Length: 69 pages
Publication Date: May 29, 2016
ASIN: B01G0P8JGK

Book Blurb:

All of Me is a collection of thirteen little stories that have been gleaned from real life as well as imagination. Exploring a range of genres, these throb with everything primal to human nature: fear, angst, joy, love, and longing. Some stories are designed to elicit smiles, chuckles, and maybe even a belly laugh or two whereas some are meant as a reality check. Universal in nature, each story provides a glimpse of what women empowerment or a lack thereof can mean in a person’s life.

From a small hamlet in India to the roads of Australia; from a mother’s betrayal to a daughter’s confession; from an extra marital affair to a same sex relationship learn for yourself the what, how and whys.



Originally written for anthologies and ezines, these stories have been revisited and updated for this new collection.  




Excerpts from stories in All of Me:


1



Instead there were so many questions that started to raise their bantam heads. Why did she drive the winding lanes into the past to warm herself? What was it that she was hoping to find? Had she really blamed Palash for naught? Over the years had she made him less a person who had lived and breathed and more the dream of one? It was not impossible what he had accused her of. 

Ira looked at the man before her and matched him to her memories of him. They seemed two very different beings! Waves of humiliation washed over her until she was rigid with misery. The purpose of this trip was lost on her.

For a while she let his words run through her head like cool water on a headache and dared to examine her sentiments in the privacy of her thoughts. She let the long buried memories surface and in the one moment saw everything and wanted not to, wanted to make it go away, to unknow. In finding closure she had unearthed a truth that she wasn’t willing to face ever. 

2
She liked her job. It was good. Brought in quick money. Left her enough hours for cramming her boring science papers. What else can one expect? There were quite a few perks too. Posh parties where cocktails, five star food and good contacts flowed uninterruptedly not necessarily in the same order. Whatever. It was fun.
Okay it wasn’t a job to be proud of she agreed. But she wasn’t ashamed of what she did. Still it was a put-outer when people shriveled their nose after learning about her profession. As if she reeked! So she didn’t advertise her work much. Clients came in on their own. She had a reputation. Word of mouth was her advertisement. 
Namita was one of the best. A little pricey but satisfaction guaranteed. Naturally her clientele list included only a handful. She liked to stick to her regulars. Knowing each other intimately created a comfort zone which she thought was essential. Mutual enjoyment was her mantra. She diligently noted their likes and specially their dislikes. Their preferences for toys. The usual. 
It was a little tricky with the fly-by-night customers. It usually meant a day call. She preferred evenings. If the money was good she accepted. But she didn’t compromise with her three-days-a-night policy. In such situations Namita ditched one of her regulars by calling in sick. A little ditching was healthy especially since her work was so damn physically tiring. She only accepted them after seeing their medical certificates. It irked some but she never budged. She didn’t want to pickup something nasty from them. If they wanted her it was on her terms.



About the Author:

Jonali Karmakar is a fiction writer with a Masters in English. Writing is not just her passion but her way of dealing with life. She loves being able to escape into the worlds she creates. Everything that she writes becomes a part of her and she wants her readers to know the woman behind those words. In addition to being an educator, she works as a content editor for a local news portal. She has been providing editing, proofreading and translation services for the past few years.

Jonali’s work has been published in several journals, anthologies and poetry collections both national and international. An avid reader, she loves flipping pages of anything and everything on the table and reviewing the same on her blog Eclectic Moods. She feels that reading and writing are the flip sides of the same coin. Writing is her way of communicating with the world. When she’s not writing or teaching she loves to experiment with her paintings.

She has quite a few accolades to her name.

Contact the Author:
This Feature is a part of the Blogger Outreach Program by b00k r3vi3w Tours




Spotlight: More Than Just Desire by Summerita Rhayne

 

A Passionate Romance 

by 

Summerita Rhayne 

More Than Just Desire

Blurb 

 
The Bollywood diva who ran away


Piya walked out of an explosive situation three years ago. She married Arfaaz for security but left him facing chaos she created. Now she’s back in Bollywood and searching for the crown she gave up when she ran away. In the competitive world of starry glamour, the only way she can begin her career anew is to trash the past and get a divorce.

The man who wants her atonement
Arfaaz is determined to get his revenge on Piya for making a farce of their marriage and leaving him to face the mudslinging. He forces her to keep up the appearances and stay with him so she can play the loving wife and repent on her sins. But Piya drives him crazy with her antics. On the top of that, the attraction between them sizzles and threatens to make him forget reason.
A passionate conflict
 
Piya knows she has lessons to learn but she cannot let this man enter her heart. There is too much to risk and she cannot afford to forget the real reason she has come back. Success is her mantra and her worship. She can be faithful to only her goal…
Prologue


The limo slid through wrought iron gates and came to a stop in front of the entrance of the huge house designed like an ultra modern Italian villa.


‘I’m not getting out here. I’ve booked a room and I want to go to my hotel.’ She averted her gaze and stared straight ahead as Arfaaz held the door open. 


For answer, he paused. An inhalation expanded his chest, drawing her unwilling gaze. He’d discarded the ridiculous narrow jacket and the white dress shirt drew taut against his pectorals, sending something threatening and alien coiling through her. 


The next moment he’d swooped down and picked her up, taking advantage of her inattention. 


His hands went under her as he gathered her in his arms as easily as he would a bird in his hand. She had to duck her head to escape the side of the car and then he was slamming the door shut with a foot kick. 


‘How dare you!’ She flailed at him furiously, pent-up frustration escaping. ‘Let me go. Now!’


He was warm, too much so. She found her throat clogging for some unknown reason. 


Before she could react anymore, he let her slide down, but she was struggling and squirming so much, she lost her balance and fell, smack against his body. 


He stepped back as though she burned him and mortification swept over her skin at the implied rejection.  


‘You can’t force me to do what you want!’ she bit out, breathless from effort. 


‘I’ll get what I need to know out of you anyway I can.’


‘What do you want to know? Why am I here? Okay, I’ll tell you. It’s to lay down this ghost between us. This meaningless tie…’ She made a gesture to denote contempt and tipped up her chin at him. ‘I want a divorce, Arfaaz. And I want it as quickly as possible.’


‘Very well.’ The soft agreement dropped in the silence with thunderous force, like a rock thudding down from the mountain. ‘Don’t doubt it, Piya. You’ll get it.’

 

Grab your Copy @
or grab this book free at #KindleUnlimited 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

 Summerita Rhayne writes contemporary and historical romance with lots of emotional conflict. She first got published in 2013 and has won contests with prestigious publishers such as Harlequin and Harper Collins India. She firmly believes if the inspiration is strong enough, the story characters will find a way to make the writer pen them down, even when writing time is in short supply. When cerebrally confronted with the sizzling interaction of two Alpha characters, the only way to get peace is write their book!At heart, she’s a family person and even though she loves her medical teaching profession, she happily becomes a homemaker when not at work. She loves winding down with music, romcoms, cricket (strictly watching only) and social networking.

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The Secret Mantra by Chaitra KR

9789352013616-500x500.jpgI received the book The Secret Mantra by Chaitra KR as a review copy from Leadstart publications. It is the first fantasy fiction book that I have read which has a dash of mythology too.

The Blurb:

“For the love of reading, writing and sheer appreciation for the craft of creative expression, a mother and her teenage son collaborated to unleash the Secret Mantra. Chaitra and her teenage son Sunjay are avid readers and enjoy embarking upon fun-filled imaginative journeys of the mind inside the core of fantasy books and stories. They found a purpose to collaborate together with ideas of Indian mythology, interwoven with an imaginative story enjoying the experience together in creating the Secret Mantra. There is an age-old adage saying that: There comes a point in time when the avid book reader would become a writer and create a world of fantasy, build characters and test their endurance in a fulfilled mental escape into a supernatural adventure of the legends.

We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

The story:

Anthara was brought up by her grandmother, Ajji, in a remote place on the Himalayas. Ajji teaches her Sanskrit mantras, an ancient of self-defense early in her childhood among other things. Anthara does not meet many people while growing up. Later she meets Virat and they get married with Ajji’s blessings.

One night, Virat gets up from sleep, looking for Anthara, his wife, who has gone missing, and suspects she is sleepwalking again. They have to leave the next morning on an errand.  Next morning, they leave the house before dawn breaks loading the van with all the necessities required for the journey.

Unnoticed by them, somebody is observing them and tracking their moves. What happens next?

Read the adventures of Anthara which are filled with illusions, traps and riddles as she meets many people and goes to many places all in the space of one day.

My take:

The story is nice and has been written in a simple language. I got a little confused at first when the story moved from the present into flashback but few more pages down, I knew I would not be able to put the book down because the author had pulled me into Anthara’s adventurous journey.  The scenes have been described very well, I could actually see Uhar narrating the story to Anthara.

Loved the story. I am planning to give it to my twelve year old to read (with a few omissions) because I feel that she would enjoy it too.

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

Buying Link:   https://www.amazon.in/Secret-Mantra-Chaitra-KR-ebook/dp/

 

 

Cover Reveal: All of me by Jonali Karmakar

*** Cover Reveal ***
Title: All of Me
Author: Jonali Karmakar
Length: 69 pages
Publication Date: May 29, 2016
ASIN: B01G0P8JGK

Book Blurb:

All of Me is a collection of thirteen little stories that have been gleaned from real life as well as imagination. Exploring a range of genres, these throb with everything primal to human nature: fear, angst, joy, love, and longing. Some stories are designed to elicit smiles, chuckles, and maybe even a belly laugh or two whereas some are meant as a reality check. Universal in nature, each story provides a glimpse of what women empowerment or a lack thereof can mean in a person’s life.

From a small hamlet in India to the roads of Australia; from a mother’s betrayal to a daughter’s confession; from an extra marital affair to a same sex relationship learn for yourself the what, how and whys.



Originally written for anthologies and ezines, these stories have been revisited and updated for this new collection.  



About the Author:

Jonali Karmakar is a fiction writer with a Masters in English. Writing is not just her passion but her way of dealing with life. She loves being able to escape into the worlds she creates. Everything that she writes becomes a part of her and she wants her readers to know the woman behind those words. In addition to being an educator, she works as a content editor for a local news portal. She has been providing editing, proofreading and translation services for the past few years.

Jonali’s work has been published in several journals, anthologies and poetry collections both national and international. An avid reader, she loves flipping pages of anything and everything on the table and reviewing the same on her blog Eclectic Moods. She feels that reading and writing are the flip sides of the same coin. Writing is her way of communicating with the world. When she’s not writing or teaching she loves to experiment with her paintings.

She has quite a few accolades to her name.

Contact the Author:
This Feature is a part of the Blogger Outreach Program by b00k r3vi3w Tours

Spotlight: FALSE CEILINGS by AMIT SHARMA

 

FALSE CEILINGS 
by
AMIT SHARMA
 
 
 
Blurb
Born in the lush mountains of Dalhousie in 1930, Shakuntala is a pampered child of a wealthy builder. On her wedding night she is gifted a secret to use wisely when the time comes. 
 
From the green valleys of Dalhousie to a village in Punjab reeling under the communal violence of 1947; from the Delhi of 1950s with its intoxicating smell of freedom to the Delhi of 1970s soaked in the hippie culture; from the Delhi of 1984 smelling of burnt tyres to the Delhi of 90s raising its Frankenstein of urbanization, the cancerous secret breathes with her, infects her. It is accidentally passed down, hidden under insecurities and jealousies, locked in its meaninglessness and leaving a trail of ruin. 
 
When her great- grandson accidentally discovers the secret in 2065, he is perplexed by the malice that flowed in his family’s blood. Was it just the secret or his family would have destroyed itself even in its absence? Why was their love never greater than their unsaid expectations from each other? 
Grab your copy @
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 
 
Amit Sharma

 

Amit Sharma’s first fiction book titled False Ceilings has been published by Lifi Publications. The book launch happened on 12 Jan 2016 in the World Book Fair in Delhi. 
 
Amit has been working in a Software Firm since the last ten years. He lives with his family in NCR. His wife is a teacher and they are blessed with a daughter who is in her terrible twos. 
 

 

Amit always keeps a book and a portable reading light in his bag (much to the amusement of his fellow travelers). His other hobbies include watching world cinema, travelling, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging, making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her unnecessary and prolonged shopping.
 
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Author Interview: Amit Sharma

author pic one (1).jpgAmit Sharma is the author of fiction novel titled False Ceilings by Lifi Publications. The book launch happened on 12 Jan 2016 in the World Book Fair in Delhi. The novel is a Family Saga spanning 130 years (from 1930 to 2065) and takes us through the lives of six protagonists who are bound by a secret and live in Delhi and Dalhousie.

Amit Sharma has been working in a Software Firm since the last ten years. He lives with his family in NCR. His wife is a teacher and they are blessed with a daughter with an amazing battery life.

Amit is a voracious reader and devours books. His other hobbies include watching world cinema, travelling, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging (he used to blog earlier at Mashed Musings), making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her unnecessary and prolonged shopping.

Thank you Amit for taking time out for this interview.

 

From a reader to a writer, how did this transformation happen, please tell us about it?

Well, I am still a reader and always will be. Writing was an addition. I was introduced to blogging by a friend in 2007 and that is how it started. Over the years, I developed the confidence to write as people started appreciating my blog. Then readers started questioning about my imaginary book. I laughed it off initially. I had a story in mind but no confidence. Then finally one day, I decided to give it a try. And that is how False Ceilings was born.

How difficult was it to write a book in which the story is spread over 135 years?Cover

The only thing that I was scared of before I started writing was the amount of research it will entail. I was very sure that I won’t write a single sentence until I was satisfied with my research.

The story begins in 1930, in the pre-independence era and touches many historical events. I amalgamated the story with our history and made a few events as the turning point in the life of the characters. The timespan of 1950s-1970s was something my parents helped me with. I had long discussions with them to get the lifestyle of that era right. The story takes place in Delhi and Dalhousie. I had to display changes both the places went through over the decades. It was a research filled with challenges and surprises. There is so much we don’t know; so much we ought to know.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block?

Not yet. I almost stopped blogging when I started writing the book mainly because I could not juggle both with my day job. But I haven’t suffered from writer’s block yet. I have multiple story ideas churning in my head right now.

What kinds of books do you read? Who is your favourite author and what is your favorite genre? Has any author influenced your writing?

I read books that make me stop and think. That is one reason I do not have a favorite author or genre. I don’t think a single writer has influenced me but you do absorb a lot subconsciously. Here is a list of a few of my favorite books –

  • Everything is illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • Roots by Alex Hailey
  • The Brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  • The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides
  • Kafka on the shore by Haruki Murakami
  • Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier
  • Night Film by Marisha Pessl

 

Which book are you currently reading?

Currently I am reading “The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera”.

What is the next project that you are working on? When is the next book scheduled for release?

My next book is almost done. It has gone through a round of Alpha reading. I will be sending it out for Beta Reading in June and then start pitching it.

It’s a very modern story and spans eleven years. It’s about the journey of Sapna, a girl who belongs to a lower middle-class family living in Delhi; how she transforms from a naïve, simple-minded, college-going girl to the most influential, richest and powerful woman in the world. She has a gift that turns her into a Goddess; someone the world fears and prays to. Her power changes the course of the future but is she able to cope up with the sacrifices it demands? Or does the power consume her in the end?

It’s quite different from my first book and I am hoping the readers will enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Any word of wisdom for aspiring authors?

Research, polish and market well. I am learning the ropes too but these three aspects of writing as very important. Don’t rush into writing. Research for your book well, spend time chalking out your characters. Have a complete outline before your start writing. Once you are done with your initial draft, keep polishing it till you are satisfied with it. Give it to your friends who are avid readers and ask for opinions. Keep aside money for marketing. You have no idea how difficult is that going to be.

Thank you once again for sharing your thoughts with your readers.

Social Media links of Amit Sharma for readers to find/follow/like:

websitehttp://amit-sharma.co.in

facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AmitSharmaAuthor/

twitterhttp://twitter.com/Author_Amit

bloghttp://amit-sharma.co.in/blog

google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+amitsharma79

Email : amit.sharma123@gmail.com

 

Finding Juliet by Toffee

61e1e-finding2bjuliet-2bcoverI received the book Finding Juliet by Toffee as a review copy from the author courtesy ‘The Readdicts Book Blog”. Thank you Janhvi and Srika.

The blurb:

An incredibly nice guy turns into an irresistible flirt and learns the fine art of seducing women. A hilarious and heart-warming novel with some surprising nuggets of wisdom.

The story:

This is Arjun’s story. Two months ago, he moved from Hyderabad to Bangalore. Other than Anjali, Krish is the only good friend he has in the new city. One day, after noticing that Arjun is upset, Krish takes him to a pub and Arjun tells him his entire love story and the book moves into flashback.

He talks about his childhood in Hyderabad, about Anjali, who has been his friend since the first day at school. He talks about getting into an engineering college, about making friends with Amit and Rohan, about falling for Shraddha, the first girl he loved, about his love for cricket. He then goes on to talk about getting rejected by Neha in college. All through Anjali egged him on, motivated him. He then talks about landing up a job in Hyderabad, and meeting Saakshi, Amit’s friend, who comes to Hyderabad from Vizag with whom he decides to part ways due to their disparities.

Krish gets him a makeover and helps Arjun come out of the depression and find his mate.

How does he do it? Read on to find out.

My take:

What a unique way to launch a book, chapter by chapter.  That too on android. You can read the book on the go. Only chink in the armour being, you need your device to be on line when you are reading the book.

A simple story, elaborately written. The story drags on about Arjun’s various escapades. The language and the plot are simple. Proper editing could have done wonders to the book.

 

 

 

Irresistibly Yours by Jazz Singh

Irresistably Yours-Final (1)

I received Irresistibly Yours by Jazz Singh as a review copy from the author and would like to thank her for the same.

The Blurb (from Goodreads):

Aryan’s engagement to a gorgeous model wasn’t his choice. Neither was falling in love with a random stranger. The only choice he can make is to give up Dia, his chance love story. But he can’t get her out of his head. Or his heart.

And he can’t let his fiancée down or his family.

The story:

Dia, a caterer is on the way back to Delhi after attending her friend’s wedding in Mumbai when she meets Aryan Kapoor, a garment exporter, on the flight. They get talking and he asks her to do the catering for a party in his house. She is attracted to him from the beginning and so is he. She invites him to taste the menu and learns from him that he is hosting the party for his friends to celebrate his engagement. She is upset and knows she should not get involved with him but the attraction is there.

He wants to be faithful to his fiancée, Tina. He knows he should not lead her on but….

She tries to avoid him but still they happen to meet- by accident, by chance.

Will they be successful in avoiding each other?

My take:

A beautiful, beautiful love story written from the perspective of both the lead characters. The language is simple and the story is fast paced. The characters have been developed well and the interpersonal relationships in the story have been beautifully described. Be it the relationship between Dia and her sister, or Dia and her friends. And also the relationship between Aryan and his friends and him and his brother. The emotions have been described in detail. I felt for Dia, I felt for Aryan and I felt for Tina. Tina was portrayed very differently.

Loved the book immensely and recommend it as a must read for everyone.