Scorpio superstar by Sundari Venkatraman (Written in the Stars- Book 1)

b40bf-scorpiosuperstaramazon-bookcoverScorpio superstar is the new book by Sundari Venkatraman. It is the first book of the Written in the Stars series. This book is the story of Chandrakanth, CK, a Kollywood Superstar.

The blurb:

Kollywood superstar Chandrakanth, also known as CK, is a true-blue Scorpio, communicating with his eyes and believing in showing more than telling.
His website and social media consultant Ranjini is a Piscean through and through, fiercely independent, believing in affirmations and declarations.

It is love at first glance for Chandrakanth when he meets Ranjini; so strong are his feelings that he proposes marriage on their second meeting. Ranjini, fascinated by his starry persona, gets swept off her feet. The two get married without much of the world knowing—including CK’s aunt and ex.

The two women set out to settle their scores on Ranjini who suddenly begins to feel a strain in what was a fairy tale wedding.

While passion reigns on the one hand, there’s trouble in paradise on the other. Although CK is by her side, the Scorpio in him expects her to trust him implicitly. But can the Pisces in Ranjini accept him at his word?

Does the tension then get to their relationship? Can love survive without affirmations? Or is declaration the only way to profess one’s love?

The story:

Twenty nine year old matinee idol, Chandrakanth, CK, is a Kollywood superstar. He had completed his graduation before doing his Masters of Fine Arts at New York Film Academy. His aunt, Periamma, lives with him in Chennai as she did not want to live with both hers sons.

Ranjini Sethuraman is an engineer who writes codes. She lives in Kotagiri and is his website and social media consultant since two years. She has set up his website, updates it regularly and promptly and runs his Facebook page.

CK and Ranjini have never met each other and all correspondence the two have is through Vivek, his assistant, best friend since school and like a brother he never had. He and CK are as thick as thieves and Vivek’s loyalty totally lies with the superstar.

So when CK visits his guest house in Kotagiri, they get an opportunity to meet each other. One look at Ranjini and CK decides he wants to marry her. She has always been his fan, from his first film and is attracted to the phenomenon.

He proposes marriage and they get married with her parents’ consent and she moves to his mansion where he lives with his aunt. The aunt is disappointed and finds flaws with Ranjini.

My take:

The cover is beautiful.

As usual, Sundari pulls the reader into the story right from the word go. The characters are realistic and their emotions, human. She has described the domestic scenes of both Ranjini’s and CK house, in a way that they could be easily visualised. Some descriptions (I will not spoil your reading) are fantastic. The author has beautifully put in the traits of the zodiac signs in the story.

The maturity of the characters, the way Ranjini adjusts into the new role, and even CK’s independence and his attitude have been beautifully dealt with.

The best part is, there is a little sprinkle from one of her older books in this one too. I will not tell you, read the book and find out.

 

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The Apartment by Sweta Kondavalasa

apartment.jpgI picked up The Apartment by Sweta Kondavalasa from Kindle unlimited as I liked both the blurb and the cover.

The Blurb (from Amazon):

What happens when a girl with strong career goals meets a careless rich kid?

They fight, they disagree but in the end they fall in love. Amaya Sharma, a girl from a mediocre family in Luckhnow but there is nothing mediocre about her. She had big dreams which came crashing down when her father announced her wedding on her 18th birthday.

Shocked but determined she ran away from home at 18 and landed in Mumbai with an internship in a PR agency. 5 years of hard work, blood and sweat she was now the leading PR agent of Bollywood hot shot.

She was a girl for whom her dreams were the only purpose in life until she moved into Casa Paradiso the most expensive address in Mumbai and met Vivan Malhotra.
Vivan Malhotra, a typical rich kid whose parents had money but no time but he wasn’t a miserable and sulking guy. In fact he made the most of this situation and used this to his benefit. A typical street smart guy who grew up Swiss boarding school and wine and now back to Mumbai to pursue his dream of being a musician. He has his two best friends Aman and Karan who mean the world to him. He is blessed with drop dead good looks and even deadlier voice which reaches the heart and melts the soul.

He lives in Casa Paradiso, a property owned by his dad and one fine day Amaya moves in as his neighbour and soon appointed as his PR agent to launch him.

What follows is a blazing and passionate romance between them.

The story:

Amaya Sharma was 18 when her father said that he would get her married off within two months because there were two younger sisters to marry and a pampered brother’s education to pay for. She had big dreams, wanted to be a fashion designer and was lucky enough to be accepted by a PR firm for an internship. So, taking all her money with her from her bank account and the help of a friend, she fled from Lucknow to Mumbai with the hope of making it big.

After five years of hard work in Mumbai, 23 year old Amaya is the Head PR of Dreams and Desires, has found an apartment on rent in Casa paradise, an upscale housing society in Mumbai, the home for the rich and the famous. Mohit was the only one who protected her in Mumbai where she had come as an eighteen year old and has stuck to her since then and the only person from her family whom she misses is her mother.

Amaya has a new neighbour in the new apartment, Vivan Malhotra, an ultra-rich kid, a trained commercial pilot and an upcoming musician. Having studied in Switzerland ever since he was 10, the only things that mattered to him are his friends Aman and Karan and his music.

He has a new album coming up and his father hires a PR agency for the works. And which agency does he hire, Amaya’s. She hates people who get everything easily in life.

They are attracted to each other, but have no time for personal relationships.

My take:

A simple plot, likable and relatable characters, written in simple English. Loved the end.

All that the book required was better editing, that would have reduced the spelling mistakes, improved the grammar, punctuation as well as made the story crisper.

A good attempt. Looking forward to more books from the author.

Book Blitz: The Scorpio Superstar by Sundari Venkatraman

 

Print Length: 150 pages
Publisher: Flaming Sun (Indie published) 
Publication Date: September 16, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited
Language: English
Available on Kindle Unlimited 
Genre: Romance 

 

 

Kollywood superstar Chandrakanth, also known as CK, is a true-blue Scorpio, communicating with his eyes and believing in showing more than telling.


His website and social media consultant Ranjini is a Piscean through and through, fiercely independent, believing in affirmations and declarations.


It is love at first glance for Chandrakanth when he meets Ranjini; so strong are his feelings that he proposes marriage on their second meeting. Ranjini, fascinated by his starry persona, gets swept off her feet. The two get married without much of the world knowing—including CK’s aunt and ex.


The two women set out to settle their scores on Ranjini who suddenly begins to feel a strain in what was a fairy tale wedding.


While passion reigns on the one hand, there’s trouble in paradise on the other. Although CK is by her side, the Scorpio in him expects her to trust him implicitly. But can the Pisces in Ranjini accept him at his word?


Does the tension then get to their relationship? Can love survive without affirmations? Or is declaration the only way to profess one’s love?

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


Sundari Venkatraman is an indie author who has 22 titles to her name, all Top 100 Bestsellers on Amazon India, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada and Amazon Australia in both romance as well as Asian Drama categories. Her latest hot romances have all been on #1Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month.
 
Even as a kid, Sundari absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as she grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. 
 
Soon, into her teens, Sundari switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine. Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. 
 
Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! And Sundari Venkatraman has never looked back.

Click here to check out all the titles by the author…

Sundari Venkatraman is a member of the panel of the #PentoPublish #contest on #AmazonIndia #KDP
 
 
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Spotlight: Beyond Secrets by Alka Dimri Saklani

 

BEYOND SECRETS
by
Alka Dimri Saklani
 
 
 
Blurb
 
Noel is a counsellor, risking his career for volunteering in an orphanage.
 
Nidhi is an engineering student on the surface, but deep down a broken girl in search of some unanswered questions.
 
Appu is a sweet little orphan, unaware of the cruelties of the world.
 
Despite being miles apart their stories interweave in “Aashiyana”, the orphanage. Their little journey together changes their lives in ways they never imagined.
 
One recurring nightmare, one unexpected phone call, one stolen diary, many lies and secrets, and a calling from the past are just the highlights. And when they depart, they are not the same anymore.
 
They didn’t hurt each other, it was a game of destiny. Will they ever be able to rediscover themselves and more importantly, will their paths ever cross again?
 
Beyond Secrets is a novel with layers of suspense and different nuances of relationships. And one question that can’t have just one answer – How long does it take for a scar to heal?
Read an excerpt:
10. A Different World

The classroom was in chaos when I entered. It looked like a mini battlefield of little soldiers bombarding each other with paper balls and paper planes. Before I could get a grip on the situation blackness seemed to engulf the scene before me, revealing another scene, hazy, like a dusty video film taking me to a different world where no colours existed except shades of grey; a classroom with empty first rows, far off, images of children yelling and flying airplanes… A wave of sadness crept in, a feeling of hollowness. Amid this chaos? Wasn’t it strange? Were these the same children who had forced their way into my thoughts when I was in the park? Were these known faces? Before I could become a part of the unreal the clamour faded as a strict commanding voice pierced through the din.

“Pranil!”

“Yes ma’m,” I said.

The scene dissolved and I found Simin staring at me in disbelief. “What happened?” she asked with a puzzled expression.

My head was spinning.

“Nothing, I thought you called me.” I said.

“I called Pranil. But what happened to you? You stood with your eyes shut. You ok?”

Oh, so that was her voice. Then why did I hear another voice, something from a distant, hazy corner of my mind? Or was it solely my imagination? Or a moment when imagination collided with reality?

“Yeah, am absolutely fine.” I said, looking away, not meeting her eyes.

“Pranil, I need to talk to you. Please come to my cabin after your prayers are over.” Simin said.

“Yes, ma’m.” The voice came from the last bench, from a boy with dishevelled hair, dark brown eyes and a dark complexion.

The dizziness made me uneasy and I couldn’t contribute much to the class that day. I walked to Simin’s cabin after the session.

I was not sure how I would collect the information. I wasn’t even sure what information I wanted. As soon as Simin saw me she started discussing a few things she wanted me to do.

“Noel, will you be able to go to… she paused. “You look disturbed. Are you ok?”

“Yeah.”

“You can tell me if anything is bothering you.”

“The boy you wanted to meet in the morning.” Not sure what was stopping me from speaking out his name.

“Pranil?”

“Yes.” I paused. “Pranil.” I tried hard to keep my voice steady.

“What about him?”

“Can you tell me something about him?”

“Like what?” She disconnected her phone that had just started ringing.

“Like…like…how old is he? Since when has he been here? Why did his parents leave him? Anything.”

“Anything. Hmmm.” She thought for a while. “Pranil is about 10 years old, he has been here since the last four years. His father died and his mother, who was a house maid, wanted to re-marry. The man she wanted to marry was not ready to accept responsibility of a son, therefore she left him here. But why are you asking all this?” She again silenced her beeping phone.

“I think I know him. Or someone by that name… or… or…” I didn’t know how to explain something I was still struggling to understand. I didn’t want her to disconnect her phone for the third time for my silly questions so I left the room leaving her gaping at me.

Later in the day I met Pranil. He was painting something when I reached him.

“Hello Pranil, can I sit here?”

He nodded.

“What are you doing?” I asked him.

“I am drawing a house.” He showed me the few scribbled lines in his notebook.

“Wow! This is a very good drawing.”

He smiled shyly.

I expected some connection to my foggy feelings as I talked to him. But no snapshots, no voices, no images followed. As if he was not the Pranil who played in my mind, the Pranil in my mysterious imagination was someone else, someone close to me yet far away, someone known to me yet a stranger. Something in my own self was unknown to me, an enigma and it was a terribly uncomfortable feeling. I just wanted to drag out the stranger from me but every time I tried the stranger gripped me tighter as if slowly becoming an inseparable part of me like my blood and my veins.

 
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Alka Dimri Saklani is the author of “45 Days in a Cancer Hospital” and “Beyond Secrets”. Her debut novel “45 Days in a Cancer Hospital” was longlisted for the prestigious Crossword Books award 2013. Her poems have been published in many magazines. She holds MBA degree in HR and worked with a leading MNC before turning to a full-time writer. Born and brought up in Vadodara, a city in Gujarat, her roots hail from “Dev Bhumi” Uttarakhand. Apart from writing, she loves music, reading, traveling, and spending time with her two naughty kids.

 

 

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Last Man She’d Love by Summerita Rhayne

a7e3a-summeritacoverI received Last Man She’d Love by Summerita Rhayne as a review copy from the author. I am very thankful to her for the book.

The blurb:

When best laid plans fall apart…

Lyna is all set to marry a movie mogul, when she finds his pregnant ex at her office, begging her to break the engagement and keep her name out of it. Forced to take her flirtatious boss Guy’s help, she sets about to break the engagement. But now she’s pulled into deeper involvement with Guy.

One trouble leads to another!

She agrees to visit his palatial country house, posing as his fiancée and is drawn into the family and their antics. Sorting out who’s who takes time. A stringent grandfather, an ambitious mother, a frustrated half brother are only the beginning!
Attraction makes things complicated…

Propinquity with someone as charming and attractive as Guy doesn’t help. But Guy himself is as much of a puzzle as ever. Is he the playboy she thinks him or is there someone else beneath the sardonic pose? Will she ever find out?
Will she break her heart in the process?

The story:

Lyna, the company Director of Gayatri Productions, is engaged to be married to Brijesh Talwar, a movie mogul.  Her father is half British- half Indian who married her Punjabi mother, divorced her and is now married to the glamorous daughter of an established business family. Brijesh Talwar knows all this and has invested in Lyna. For them it would be a marriage with benefits, more like a business partnership, a win-win situation. She is not attracted to him, he would get his father’s wealth and she would get a leap professionally.

Jashith Gayatri Pratap Singh, Guy, is her boss. Though she had been working with the company for the last five years, Guy had joined the company only three years ago. Guy is progressive, not very creative and liked the administrative side more. With him she never knew where she was.

One day when she is in a meeting with Guy, a girl, Meghna, comes to meet her and tells her that she is pregnant with Brijesh’s child. So she decides that she would break up her engagement with Brijesh, because if he stays engaged to her, he is bound to refuse Meghna but if he is not engaged to her, maybe the baby would get a family.

So she plans it with Guy, who is not the marrying kind, to make Brijesh jealous and break the engagement, but what happens next is that Guy and Lyna find themselves in an engagement of convenience and sucked into the family drama of both their families.

My take:

The story has a simple plot and the flow is good.

The characters have been developed well. Lyna is as cold as they come, strong, independent and sharp tongued. Guy, is a private person but flirtatious. Both of them have a sense of humour that kept me smiling off and on. Even the secondary characters have important roles in the story. The descriptions are nice and detailed.

I loved the story and would recommend it to all romance lovers.

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.

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke

photo_2I received the book Dragon Rider, a fantasy novel by Cornelia Funke as a review copy from the publisher, Scholastic India. Thank you Debosmita for the book.
The blurb:
A dragon. A boy. A journey.
Firedrake, a brave young dragon, and a boy called Ben set out on a magical journey to find the legendary place where silver dragons can live in peace forever. Flying across moonlit lands and seas, they discover extraordinary new friends and a courage they never knew they never had…….

The story:
Firedrake is a dragon with silvery scales. Sorrel is a yellow furred brownie who loves to eat mushrooms. Ben is an Orphan boy with a kind heart.
When the trio set off on a high stakes adventure around the world in search of the mythical place, Rim of Heaven – a safe abode for Dragons, they find themselves in the middle of an ancient legend. With a map bought from a rat, they set out from a city and meet many deadly and fabulous mythical creatures. Just when all hope seems lost, they happen upon the niece of the rat who made their map.
And then there is excitement and suspense.

My take:
Dragon Rider is a fantasy novel, a magical book that left me wanting for more. It is a charming tale that made me feel like a child again imagining and lot of things.
The book is exciting and humorous with short chapters and plenty of cliff-hangers. It is an absolutely amazing story which is unputdownable. The descriptions give the reader a sense of being in the action. It is a thoroughly enjoyable read bursting with fantasy creatures and likeable characters.
I really loved the story and it reminded me of the movie we watched as children, The Never Ending Story.

Publisher: Scholastic

DISCLAIMER: I received the book as a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

Beyond Secrets by Alka Dimri Saklani

414xKKFTQqL._SY346_I received the book Beyond Secrets by Alka Dimri Saklani as a review copy, courtesy The Writer’s Melon and would like to thank the author and The Writer’s Melon for the same. This book is not a regular boy meets girl love story but it is an eye opener, in how people and relationships have a role to play in our lives.

The Blurb:

Noel is a counsellor, risking his career for volunteering in an orphanage.

Nidhi is an engineering student on the surface, but deep down a broken girl in search of some unanswered questions.

Appu is a sweet little orphan, unaware of the cruelties of the world.
Despite being miles apart their stories interweave in “Aashiyana”, the orphanage. Their little journey together changes their lives in ways they never imagined.

One recurring nightmare, one unexpected phone call, one stolen diary, many lies and secrets, and a calling from the past are just the highlights. And when they depart, they are not the same anymore.

They didn’t hurt each other, it was a game of destiny. Will they ever be able to rediscover themselves and more importantly, will their paths ever cross again?

Beyond Secrets is a novel with layers of suspense and different nuances of relationships. And one question that can’t have just one answer – How long does it take for a scar to heal?

The story:

Noel lives with his doting parents and twin brother, Sam, in Hyderabad. Though the brothers look alike, but their personalities and behavior are different. Noel is the rebellious one and Sam, the perfect, obedient and sacrificing son. Noel is trained as a counsellor and wants to take up counselling as his career and Sam helps their father in the textile business. Their father has expectations from Noel, but it is their mother who has no expectations from him and showers her unconditional love on him.

Pattu, his best friend and college classmate belongs to Vadodara and tells him about an orphanage, Aashiyana, where his father is one of the trustees. So, when Noel decides he wants to spend six months at an orphanage in Vadodara, his father is furious and tried everything to stop him from going there. But then Noel asks for six months.

Once Noel reaches the orphanage, he meets Simin, the lady who manages the orphanage, Aashiyana. He is assigned his duties and is busy from 6 to 10. It is here he misses his mother and his home. Then he has these flashes which he cannot put a finger to.

Nidhi, an engineering student, lives in Dehradun with her doting parents. Parents, who are so insecure about her, that they tell her to keep away from strangers. She comes to Vadodra for training and also to volunteer at Aashiyana, and hides the latter part from her parents saying that she is going to stay at Sapna, her friend’s house.

When Nidhi reaches Aashiyana to volunteer, it is love at first sight for Noel. But he realizes that she is a cold person who closes at the drop of a pin. He is not sure how to behave with her. Then with his nature, she warms up to him and then their past rises its ugly head.

My take:

The book has been written in first person from the point of view of the characters. A page just before the beginning of the chapter tells the reader as to whose point of view is being described. The language is simple English and the flow kept me glued till I read the last page of the book.

The characters have been developed well and are realistic and relatable. Even the little kids in the orphanage who have a little role to play in the story have left an impact on me. Even though there are parts in the book which have been written in the time frame from different characters’ point of view, not once did I feel that it was not in continuation. The descriptions of scenes are such that it was very easy to visualize them.

The part I liked most was that the flash back and all the diary entries are italicized making it easier for the reader to relate to them. Sam’s diary and the revelations has been beautifully depicted.

The book has drama, suspense, and twists and turns till the end. What the kids at the orphanage did not have, made me realize that we have a lot to thank god for. Start the book with one thing other than your cup of coffee or tea- A box of tissues, you are sure to need those.

A must read.

DISCLAIMER: ‘I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’