The Untold Story by Ridhi Drolia

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I received the book, The Untold Story by Ridhi Drolia as a review copy from the author. I would like to thank the author and The Book Club for the book. This book is the story of Vihaan.

The 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.

The story:

The book begins with Riaa, Vihaan’s wife delivering a baby boy and Eva, a news reporter covering it as Vihaan being sad. When Eva is bragging about it at a birthday party, Tanya, Vihaan’s best friend for the past eighteen years, sets the picture right and the story of Vihaan and Riaa begins.

Vihaan, the only child of his parents, was a perfect blend of smartness, intelligence and a humble nature. When in college, where Tanya met him, he merited the academic scoreboard and also excelled in extra-curricular activities. He was noble and believed in charity too. Vihaan being Vihaan decided to help Tanya in her studies because she was weak in them. And soon Vihaan and Tanya became desk mates, travel mates and best friends and shared everything with each other.

It was during one of the charitable events where Vihaan met Riaa Agarwal, the daughter of a wealthy lady. For both of them, it is love at first sight. And then he gets selected for admission to London Business School. As he is about to complete his course, he gets bad news from home and has to come back but is conveinced to complete his course before joining the family business.

But all is not well in the business. The business is sinking and all his efforts to resurrect it are failing.

My take:

The story is simple and has been written mostly in third arson from Tanya’s perspective. What I liked a lot was when Tanya is narrating the story and Vihaan calls to tell her about the baby and she tells him that she was narrating his and Riaa’s story, Vihaan also starts thinking about the incident she describes and the story moves for a little part from Vihaan’s perspective.

The story flows smoothly and is fast paced ending in an unpredictable twist. Some scenes have been depicted very well. The locations have been beautifully described, I loved the Northern Lights description.

The author has conveyed a very strong message using the backdrop of the book. I would recommend this book to all parents.

The cover could have been made better.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of the book from the author in return for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED.

 

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Book Blast: Lean in to Relationships by Rishabh Jhol

About the Book:

Doubt has pivoted many a relationship across the centuries. Whether it is Othello suspicious of Desdemona or through the rise of paranoia as a trope in twentieth century writings. While paranoia naturally suggests the vulnerability of
individual mind to social rhetoric, it is also the space for deep interrogation of the individual that renders him/her to paranoia. This novel presents that doubt has the potential to be a space of liberation.
Madeeha works in Jordan to rehabilitate Syrian refugees. Zehen, a political analyst from India, meets her in the US during their social impact program. He is intrigued and charmed by her, and falls deeply in love. But the world political climate, with its accompanying cultural narratives about terror and pain, infects Zehen’s mind. Zehen begins to suspect Madeeha as a possible mujahid. Will he find his truth?
Fear doesn’t devastate; it stirs the inner pot. It is a tender love story that triumphs heartbreaks and sets the foundation of deep lasting future relationships – a delightful emancipation from social intrigues and cultural constraints.

 

 
Read an Excerpt:
 
Zehen was experiencing sweet joy in his heart. Memories bustled in the head.
When did he first see her? Zehen searched his head madly. Orientation session?
Corridor to the classroom? However, he tried, he couldn’t pinpoint the moment.
A whirr of images, of moments, yet-to-be collaged. And a heart that already had
a narrative, waiting to be inset.
We imagine that all romantic stories will have a sigh-worthy romantic beginning.
But beginnings are when the heart awakens, when the soul remembers. A presence
stills and emerges from the shadows of time.
His first memory was when she introduced herself in the class. They had gathered at
Presidium University for a one-year course on Social Impact Leadership. Outside,
the white fringe tree was laden with its grape-like fruits. The pine, oak and
spruce waited for winter to tell the world how unchangeable they were. And the
old Redwood stood proud like the institution itself. Inside, in the warm
classroom, students from various cultures across the world had gathered.
Icebreaker session was on and the usual round of introductions.
Introduction is a ritual. A cumbersome ritual. How does one reduce the tapestry of one’s
entire existence, the colors, and the many weaves into a single palatable
thread?


The Book is Free on Amazon on 29th & 30th September. Grab it here: Amazon
Anecdote
I published my first book in 2015 and my second book in early 2016. I was single
at the time and using dating apps to meet other single people. I met a girl in
mid-2016 who took fancy to my dating profile, especially that I am an author.
After a couple of meetings, She demanded that I write about her. I jokingly
told her that I am a Phoenix writer, i.e., I fall in love, get dumped, and
write about my failed relationship. She broke-up with me, and still invariably pings
whether I am including ‘her and our relationship’ in my upcoming book(s).
———————-
The genesis of this book came about while I was on a cross-country train ride in
the US. I met Mark who had been a successful marketing professional with considerable
international marketing experience. He had travelled to all of Asia and
understood the regional peculiarities.
He was later diagnosed with lung cancer. By the time, it was detected, it was
stage 3. He was put under radiation and intensive chemotherapy. He went in for
three other opinions. All of them agreed that the cancer was aggressive and
spreading fast. He searched for the latest treatments and sought to enter
clinical trials. The process lasted for two years.
In the meantime, the cancer advanced. The doctors said the cancer was incurable
and he didn’t have long to live. It took him weeks of denial to come around to
the truth – he didn’t have long to live.
He returned home from a long walk one evening and asked himself a crucial
question: “If I am going to die, then I might as well die straight away. What
is point of waiting for death to show up?”
That evening he ate well, watched a movie with his girlfriend, poured himself a rare
scotch and sat at his study. It was time. He wrote out his letter – love and
wishes to his family, loved ones and friends, his last wishes about funeral,
information on his will, and a general note thanking all. He placed it in an
envelope. He planned to kill himself early morning. He finished his scotch,
brushed and went to bed.
In the middle of night, he woke up to a noise. The light was on in the study and
he could hear sniffles. He walked cautiously up and there in the study, his
girlfriend was holding his suicide letter and crying. He watched her as her
body crumpled and sink into chair. Her face contorted in agony. In her face, he
saw what was the consequence of his action. The penny dropped.
I paled and listened in horror. Mark continued, “I realized that our life is
never ours. We are nothing but a bundle of emotions for the people who love us
and the people we love. The meaning of life is to optimize for the happiness of
such people. There’s nothing more to living.
That day on, I have been living for maximizing the happiness of my loved ones”
That’s how I stumbled on lean in to relationships; it has become my life philosophy.
About
the Author
 

 

I was born into poverty. At the time of my birth, my parents shared a one -room
hut with six other family members in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Delhi.
It was a hot day in the month of March 1995. I was in standard 4th and had an
examination the following day. As was regular in that locality, we didn’t have
electricity that day. I couldn’t study or sleep properly. One of the watershed
moments happened when I came back from school the next day. We had an inverter
installed at home. I knew we couldn’t afford an inverter. But my dad was always convinced that the way out of poverty for our family is through education. 
Despite an interest in creative writing, I chose to study a subject that society values
more – Finance.  Later, I got into one of the top colleges for finance in the country. My first salary out of college (in 2007, when I was 20 years old) was higher than that of my dad’s salary at the time.
When I was 24 years old, I had everything that makes one happy – loving parents,
great partner, close-knit group of friends, and career path that exceeded every
goal. Yet, I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t sad either; but it never felt like my life.
I had carefully and meticulously built that life though. Contextually, it was
the safe thing to do.
Following year though, I had to deal with the loss of my 7 year old relationship and of
my 5 year old job. My identity was crushed. My biggest lesson was that you can
fail at what you don’t want, and what you consider safe; you might as well take
a chance at what you truly want.
Next year, I got my ‘ideal’ job but walked away from it. Failure had taught me to be
more ambitious and audacious. I had reached a point in my life where I wanted
my work to have more meaning; and to stand for something more important than
myself.
I started a political consulting company to maneuver social ascendance of
marginalized communities by equalizing access to political capital.  I primarily did topical research for MPs for their debates in the parliament and on TV shows.  Partial project list includes:
1.  Providing 108 rape survivors with medical,
legal, financial, and social support over six months through one of my client’s
NGO
2.  Getting amendments passed in the communal
violence bill that tackle systemic bias towards Muslims
3.  Helping three social entrepreneurs raise a
combined total of INR 43 lakhs from their MP for community initiatives
Along with running my own company, I focused on my passion for writing and traveling
as well.  I solo travelled to all seven wonders of the world, and did two-cross country trips by train in India and in the US.  I have also written and published three fiction novels.
 
 

 

The Story Of My Second Marriage by Mahesh Sowani

519wJmeTgNL._SY445_QL70_.jpgI received the book ‘The Story Of My Second Marriage’ by Mahesh Sowani as a review copy from the author, courtesy The Book Club and am thankful to the author and TBC for the same. This book is the story of Manju Nath, Manju, a Naib Tahsildar in revenue department at Sangli. Written in first person from Manju’s point of view, this book is set in Maharashtra and talks about Manju’s second marriage.

The blurb:

Marriage, does it really make a person happy? Or is it all about adjustments? Intense, haunting and evocative, The Story of My Second Marriage is a delightful rumination on marriage, adjustments and human nature.

My take:

The cover is beautiful. The story revolves around Manju and his second wife, Yamini, who also has a history of a broken marriage. The book has been written in simple English and the characters are realistic. Manju’s character has been developed in detail. He is a normal human being comparing Yamini to his first wife Chitralekha and also to the girl he loved once, Kanchan; being overtly suspicious of Yamini qnd fighting with her. His relationship with his cousin has been described beautifully.

The book needs to be edited for facts like Yamini’s education; Yamini’s name mentioned as Yogini in the latter part of the book; the language; and the length of the book, I felt it was a bit too long, with detailed descriptions which actually, I felt could be avoided.

The topic is a new one especially a book on second marriage written from a man’s point of view.

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.

 

Buying links:

For paperback in India http://bit.ly/2nOcVGT
Kindle India http://amzn.to/2opGYaR
Kindle Amazon US http://amzn.to/2nwmsl0
Paperback Amazon US http://amzn.to/2ntiVTA

 

 

Snowbound by Oliver Lafont

d7a59-snowboundI received Snowbound by Oliver Lafont as a review copy from the author and am thankful to the author and The Book Club for the same. This book is the story of a fourteen year old who risks his life to save Christmas.

The Blurb:

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…

The story:

Fourteen year old Adam Maravich, a mediocre student of East Syracuse Minoa High School lives with his parents, older brother Chris, a varsity basketball player and a sister, Sandy.  At the beginning of Christmas holidays, he goes to Syracuse’s Destiny Mall and his father goes to JC Penny and asks Adam to meet him at the food court in an hour’s time and Adam spends some time at Gamestop checking out video games when he realises that Zach Murray, football team second stringer, is following him. He wants to escape from Zach, who calls him Dorkus and ends up hiding behind a Photomatronic.

When he sees that Zach is chasing him and he leaps into the ‘out of order’ Photomatronic and there is a flash of light and both Adam and Zach find that they are standing on the edge of a living volcano and the volcano erupts and they are running for their life and they pass out. Once Adam regains his senses, he meets a one foot tall boy, who turns out to be an elf, huge men in military uniform who look like stags, call him Dorkus and try to extricate some information from him but the elf tells him to speak to no one but the Old Man. Adam asks them the whereabouts of Zach and they tell him that he is in their custody and would be fine if he, Adam, cooperates. They say they are Santa’s Reindeer and take them from Andes to Greenland to an iceberg castle and meet the Old Man.

The Old Man is a short stout man in his fifties who tells them that he is Niccolo Vecchio meaning Old Nicholas. He tells them that his father was the Santa Claus and that the tradition says that the eldest son will become Santa Claus but they are triplets, so since then it’s been war and he has to get rid of his two brothers to become Santa Claus. He tells Adam that he is the Dorkus, the Quaestorelf and Zach, his servant. Adam has to find them and kill them and if Adam reuses to do so, he says that they could leave on foot with no food, no map and no compass. He gives them the photos of his brother and also tells them their whereabouts: Santini around the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily, Cyprus or Morocco and Other Brother, who could be anywhere. He gives Adam a cell phone and says that there are only three numbers he can call, reception, Dasher and the Old Man. Adam says he wants weapons and so Old man says that they should meet La Signora.

They realise that they are being spied upon, so Doris, the Elf, takes them to La Signora, who is neutral and can be trusted. On the way to meet La Signora, they reach Ukraine; meet a girl, Tatyana, who takes them to La Signora, her aunt. They get their specialised weapons.

Then Tatyana, Adam, Zach and Doris move in a magical pink jeep and the adventure begins. The story moves to Venice, they meet Venesia, soul of Venice and the master of the Masque. They meet Rudolph, the Red Nose; Santini; go to the Nile and meet the Other Brother.

My take:

Santa story with a twist written in simple English spiced with different languages and words like fever dream, qatiqtuqnuviyaananuq, a White Bear Cloud.

All the Christmas ingredients are there: Santa Claus, not one but three; elves; reindeers, both good and bad; children.  This story has witches and magic also.

The story moves fast from one place to another and one character to another. There are a lot of characters and each Santa has a loyal reindeer. The story is long but once I got the hang of it, I just could not put it down.

The book can be read by teenagers and young adults too.

When love finds you by Yashodhara Lal

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When Love Finds You is the latest book by Yashodhara Leal. It is the story of Natasha Patnaik, a thirty something girl. The story is set in the corporate world.

The blurb:

Natasha is a badass boss. Just how badass? She can make a grown man cry, whip a team into shape, meet her targets – and she won’t take any bullshit, period. Of course, getting the job done is never enough for a woman in a man’s world. When it’s time for her promotion, she’s passed over for Rishabh – a smarmy rake who apparently has ‘people skills’. He knows just how to push her buttons and it’s driving her up the wall. Then there’s the very desirable Nikhil, whose quiet self-assurance and distracting dimple only seem to complicate things at the office. With a crotchety old neighbour, an unrelenting friend and a tumultuous family history in the mix, Natasha is suddenly beginning to find that everything she’s ignored in the pursuit of success is coming back to haunt her.

But don’t worry. She’s bringing her A-game. She always does.

The story:

Natasha Patnaik, 35, Vice President at BizTech heads the sales department. She is a workaholic and a fitness freak. She is considered Hitler by her juniors because all she talks about is numbers, outputs and figures. She is negative, not considerate, and her nature is such that no one wants to get close to her. She is single, has no reason to cling to anyone, and does not want to allow herself another so called relationship as she believes that marriage would not work for her. She is not close to her mother and does not have a friend. She has even been growing apart from her school friend, Priya. Mrs Chopra is her cantankerous  neighbor.

Her boss pretty supportive, but suddenly one day, he introduces another new person, Rishabh Sethi, who would be her new boss, because she lacks people’s skills. She is upset, not only because of Rishabh’s nature and attitude but also because he megalomaniac.

There is also another new person in the office, Nikhil Katre, Vice President, Innovations, who is also a single father, who has a seven year old daughter, Tisha. He has a terrific sense of humour and Natasha a sense of warm admiration for his strength, spirit, positivity, empathy and curiosity. They become friends.

My take:

The book is in three parts, and talks about the change in Natasha’s nature and how she is the way she is. Her character has been developed in detail. The story has been written in simple English and the flow is good. The names of the chapters are interesting and the book is fast paced. Some parts of the book are funny. I loved Mrs Chopra’s antics and how Natasha dealt with them. The author has also discussed about the issues women face at a work place, how difficult it is for them to get accepted.

It is good for a one time read.

 

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.”

 

 

 

   Stalk her @

 

 

 

 

               

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Let’s Have Coffee by Parul A. Mittal

ArtworksI received Let’s Have Coffee by Parul A. Mittal as a review copy from the publisher Rupa Publications and would like to thank them for the same. This book is the story of Meha, a wedding planner based in Gurgaon.

The Blurb:

Working as an assistant wedding planner at an ex-boyfriend’s wedding, Meha encounters the delectably handsome wedding photographer, Samir. Conceited and a flirt, Samir reveals that the bride happens to be his ex. Meeting coincidentally at their ex’s wedding, Meha and Samir feel an inexplicable connect. But when Meha finds out that Samir is using their relationship only as experiential material for his novel, she leads him to believe that he means nothing to her. Their chapter closes.
Will she find the forever-wala love in a world where relationships can be as brief as the messages we send each other and where we are spoilt for choices just like the screensaver on our phone?
An interesting take on relationships in our times, Let’s Have Coffee is funny and witty, warm and wonderfully realistic love story.

The story:

22 year old Meha Sagar, a graduate in English literature wants to do something different than being a journalist. Having always loved weddings and watching the wedding procession pass through from the balcony of her house since she was a little girl, she interns with Dream Wedding Planners Inc. and the first wedding she is planning turns out to be the beach wedding of Deepak, her so called ex-boyfriend, at Goa. At 18, she had fallen in love with Deepak, a handsome, rich graduate out of a romantic novel, the elder brother of her best friend, Anusha’s, boyfriend.

Her elder sister Tanu, eight years older to her is a smart, brainy, IITian who is married and her advisor on most of the things. Her father is a religious person who feels that if you want to go near water, you should go to Haridwar and not Goa.

At Deepak’s wedding, she meets Samir Singhal, an amateur photographer whose passion is capturing beauty on camera. He is at the wedding to take pictures as the bride is his ex-girlfriend and his pictures bring out the real woman in her.

He calls her Senorita, they become friends and share an amicable relationship at the wedding. She sees notes made on his phone and feels that he is using her for a book and leaves him a note telling him not to contact her, changes her phone number so that he cannot contact her.

Five years later, Meha owns a start-up ‘Tying a Knot’ which is nine months old and also is a proposal designer. She stays in Gurgaon, shares a flat with Mansi Luthra, Production Manager at her previous company and her BFF. Counting her money every morning has become a part of her daily routine and she is in need of work to make ends meet.

Neeta Jain, NetGen, is the food expert, menu designer and digital marketing in charge at her start up. NetGen tells her that they can also go the digital way like KISS, KnotsInShotS, another startup. When they look it up, she realizes that Samir is one of the founders.

She gets a project, meets Samir, the project gets goofed up and she needs money to get out of the mess. Samir and she decide to enter a reality show as a live in couple and need to fake the romance so that she can win the show. Their arrangement is excessively knotty. Even today her heart flutters at the sight of Samir Singhal’s name, which she has saved as Samsung Do Not XCall. Five years ago, he was stupid enough to think she was the one.

My take:

At the outset, the cover is beautiful. The story is simple with a lot of twists and turns. The language is simple and the book is fast paced. The names of the chapters are interesting. The characters are realistic and relatable. There are a lot of funny dialogues, some very cute moments in the book and a virtual boyfriend to keep us entertained. Meha’s mind jokey (MJ) has a song relevant to the situation and the lyrics have been written in such a way that I was humming the song as I was reading the book.

I loved the part where Meha, her father and her sister are solving the Sunday crossword and racing to finish it. The book has been written mostly in first person from Meha’s point of view. At some places it is in third person. The author has described the feelings of both the characters.

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Overall, I loved the book.

 

So let’s have Coffee, the real one………

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.