Cross Connection: The Big Circus adventure by Jugal Hansraj

cross connection.jpgI received the book Cross Connection: The Big Circus adventure by Jugal Hansraj as a review copy from the publisher Rupa Publications and am thankful to them for the book. This book published under Red Turtle Books of the Rupa Banner revolves around the animals in a circus and is the debut work of the author. The illustrations are by Shrirang Sathaye, an animation lover, designer and director for thirty years.

The blurb:

When the animals of the ‘The Great Indian Circus’ found their lives all topsy-turvy, they realized that turning the world around takes a lot more than just circus acts.

Chunky the Funky monkey and Bhole Ram the Brave are among the performing animals of The Great Indian Circus. While Chunky spends most of his time playing pranks on others, Bhole Ram is a shy and gentle elephant who ends up bearing the brunt of Chunky’s mischief.

Things take a turn when their bodies get switched in a freak accident, and they are forced to live each other’s lives. A cosmic cross connection that leads to complete confusion all around!

Trapped in each other’s bodies, Bhole Ram and Chunky learn to put aside their differences in order to make things smooth in the Circus again—both for themselves and for everyone else—learning some important lessons in life along the way.

Cross Connection is a delightful read that will leave you smiling long after the last page has been turned!

The story:

In the outskirts of a charming little hill station called Kamalpur, in the Himalayas in North India, The Great Indian Circus is stationed. Mr Gulshan Circuswala, the owner of the circus, an animal lover, cares for the animals with a lot of love as if they were his own children. And the best part of the circus was that none of the animals were caged but housed in separate enclosures and roamed freely in the circus.

A lot many animals lived in the circus, Uncle Geri, the wise old bluebird, who did not really perform at the circus but had lived there for as long as he could remember and all the animals were his best friends.

Uncle Geri has two favourite animals, Bhole Ram the Brave and Savitri, both elephants. Bhole Ram is a big grey elephant, the star attraction of the circus and part of the famous opening act. He is possibly the most soft-hearted and shy animal in the troupe. Savitri is his female partner, massive, beautiful and equally gentle. He is crazily in love with Savitri but cannot tell her.

Pintu, affectionately called Pintu Da, the Royal Bengal tiger, is a classical singer. Chintamani the Lion, the king of beasts, is a nervous, shrinking violet, scared about anything and everything and even had a stage fright.

And then there is Chunky the Funky monkey is a prankster. And there is a girl monkey, Jenny, who is his best friend. There are the evil panthers, Kaalia and Charlie, who are locked up in the cage for their life threatening crimes.

Chunky and Bhole Ram do not see eye to eye because Bhole Ram does not like the way Chunky plays silly pranks on his friends.

But one day an incident happens and their souls switch, so Chunky is in the body of Bhole Ram and Bhole Ram is in Chunky’s body.

What happens next???

Read on……….

My take:

A simple, well written story with lovable and funny characters, beautiful illustrations and beautiful messages is how I would describe this book in one line, but a one line review would not do justice to this book, so here are the details.

Story is simple written in a simple language, easily understandable. The writing is crisp and there are twists and turns in the plot.

I really liked all the characters in the book, they are funny, lovable and all of them have something to teach. Illustrations inside the book as well as the cover are beautiful and the illustrator, Shrirang Sathaye, has to be applauded for his work.

The descriptions are such that I could visualise a lot of scenes and felt that I was a part of the story. The author has also given messages through various characters. I loved the romance part as well.

The book is unputdownable especially after the switch.

An excellent book for kids and adults alike.

A must must read.

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

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Hit for a Six by Payal Dhar

hit for a sixI received the book Hit for a Six by Payal Dhar as a review copy from the publisher Rupa Publications and am thankful to them for the book. This book is the story of a thirteen year old girl, Laila, who is mad about cricket.

The Blurb:

Laila, a spunky thirteen-year-old whose life revolves around cricket, is badly shaken when the cricketer she idolizes admits to match-fixing. Can her hero’s betrayal and her love for the game coexist? Things get complicated further when she discovers that her school is going to be home to town’s first-ever girls’ cricket club.

Meanwhile, working on a school project on their town’s historical spots, Laila and her friends find themselves asking questions that seem unrelated first, but point to a mystery just begging to be solved. What is going on in Old mister Marshall’s house? Who are the anonymous benefactors who have sponsored the renovation of Laila’s school? And why?

An exciting read about precarious friendships, cricket and a niggling mystery, Hit for a Six is sure to be a big hit!

The story:

Thirteen year old Laila Malik lives in Chandnisarai with her parents, who run a laundry and dry-cleaning shop in the Central Market, and studies in Class eight at the Rosebud Academy. Her older sister, Zainab, studies in a college in Delhi.

She has a den, her secret hideout in Old Mister Marshall’s House, which has been long abandoned and some people believed that the house was haunted. She had found an almost intact room within the ruins, where she had secretly stored sweets and biscuits under the ledge. She would spend time there reading books or play games on her phone. She had kept this den a secret even from her best friend Shalini.

One day, she finds that the lawns of Old Mister Marshall’s house are being mowed, the house being repaired and painted and people working there. She also finds the original name plate, Flycatcher’s mansion, being replaced by SJ House. Her parents had also told her the house had been sold and the new owners would be moving in soon. And her secret hideout is gone.

Her friends are Shalini and Prahati. There are new girls in her class, Jasmine, who is also Shalini’s rooomate in the hostel and twins Davinder and Harminder, nicknamed as Photo and Copy because no one can tell them apart.

Laila is surprised to know that their school would be the town’s first coaching center for girls at their school, coached by a former Indian cricketer. She loves cricket and has been a fan of Sunil Saifi, former Indian captain, her hero since she was seven and the reason why she loves cricket. Ever since he admitted to match fixing and got a life ban, she is skeptical about her love for the game.

One day, when she is minding the shop, the reporter of Chandnisarai Gazette comes and asks her about the new owners of Old Mister Marshall’s house, she is flattered.

Their social studies teacher gives them a project connected with the British period in Chandnisarai about an event or a location or an object and Laila, Shalini and Prahati decide to do their project on Old Mister Marshall’s house.

And the adventure begins as they start asking questions about the house.

My take:

The plot is interesting, what with the well described cricket match and also the mystery of the mansion. The characters are realistic and relatable and I felt like I was one of Laila’s friends and was with her all through her adventure. It reminded me of my childhood days when we would be on the lookout for something fishy because that is all we would read in Secret Seven series. The descriptions are detailed and can be easily visualized. I loved the way the girls went about their project.

The language is simple and easy to follow with simple words. A short book, it can be read by teenagers and even adults.

I actually enjoyed reading the book. It is unputdownable and the suspense keeps popping up off and on.

The author has tied all the loose ends and given the book an ending which got me thinking, will there be a sequel????

Planning to read more books from the author.

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

Buying links:

https://www.amazon.in/Hit-Six-Payal-Dhar/dp/8129149621

Listen to my Heartbeat by Prajna GS

51SUS1aXUrLI picked up the book Listen to my Heartbeat by Prajna GS because I liked the cover and the blurb. It is the debut work of the author and is the story of a girl for whom her mother comes before everything and everyone. This book has been written in first person from Trisha’s point of view.

The Blurb:

Aryan is the youngest son of a billionaire, a perfect blend of stunning looks, a sharp brain and immense wealth. He draws the attention of everyone in his college despite his cold and arrogant temperament.

Trisha is a hard working girl from a far humbler background whose entire world revolves around her mother.

When the two meet, a new story develops. One of an inescapable attraction, one of love acknowledged and denied, one that sets your heart racing…..Listen to My Heartbeat.

The story:

Trisha lives with her mother in Delhi and her mother is her everything. Having lost her father when she was five years old, her mother works hard to make ends meet. She is a hardworking girl and wants to excel in life so that she can give her mother the life she deserves. Aysha is her best friend.

Both Trisha and Aysha are from humble backgrounds and get selected for admission into Bachelor of Architecture course at AFL, an institution for the children of the super-rich and influential families. AFL is one of the top institutions for architecture, arts and business management. The rich brats consider the scholarship students, like Trish and Aysha, Free loaders.

On the first day of college, she saves Aryan Roy, son of Neelesh Roy, one of the top businessmen in India, from an accident and all she gets in return is his rude behaviour.

The girls then meet Rohan, final year BBM student and the student president of AFL, who takes them under their wing.       To make matters worse, Aryan is Rohan’s classmate and best friend and the girls bump into him often. Aryan wants to spite her and tells everyone in the institute that she is his girlfriend. He is stubborn and wants to irritate her.

Then there is Danny, Rohan and Aryan’s best friend.

The story revolves around these five friends and their families.

My take:

A simple story written in first person from Trisha’s point of view. The characters are relatable and realistic and have been developed well.

The language is simple and the book is unputdownable as really wanted to know where the story would go. The relationship between the two best friends, Aysha and Trisha and that between Danny, Aryan and Rohan has been depicted well. The relationship between Aysha and Rohan has been portrayed beautifully.

The descriptions are detailed. The author has even touched upon social issues.

I am waiting for a sequel to the book, the story of Rohan….

An excellent debut.

Cover Reveal: The Vengeance of Indra  (Vikramaditya Veergatha #3) by Shatrujeet Nath

~ Cover Reveal ~
The Vengeance of Indra 
(Vikramaditya Veergatha #3)
by Shatrujeet Nath
VENGEANCE IS A CAGE
FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM
In their greed to possess the deadly Halahala, the devas and the asuras have employed every dirty trick against Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine. But the humans are still standing, bloodied but unbowed.
When the wily Shukracharya discovers the secret to breaking the Council’s strength and unity, he forges an unlikely alliance with his arch-enemy, Indra, to set a deceitful plan in motion.
As cracks emerge between the councilors and their king, ghosts from the past threaten to ruin Vikramaditya and Kalidasa’s friendship, signaling the beginning of an eclipse that will cast a long shadow over all that Vikramaditya holds dear. And into this shadow steps Indra, bearing an old grudge — and a devastating new weapon.
How much longer before the Guardians of the Halahala finally fall apart?
Other Books in the Series:
 
(Click on the Covers for more details)
About the Author:
Shatrujeet Nath is the creator of the runaway national bestseller series Vikramaditya Veergatha, a four-book mytho-fantasy arc which includes The Guardians of the Halahala, The Conspiracy at Meru and The Vengeance of Indra. Described as “a new face to Indian mythology” by DNA, Shatrujeet writes for movies and web shows as well. He is also the author of The Karachi Deception, an Indo-Pak spy thriller.
 
 

 

 

Destined by Rubina Ramesh

512WfBempgL.jpgI received the book Destined by Rubina Ramesh as a review copy from the author. Thank you Rubina, for the book. This book is the story of a daughter and the relationship she shares with her father.

The Blurb:

Esha Mehra could have taken care of her father, only if she had some support from her fiancé. But he had his priorities set and her sick father was nothing but a burden. Esha didn’t have any other choice but to apply for a loan from her office. But she had not banked on the fact that the Head of Geno Technologies needed her for other reasons.

When Rohan Sharma saw Esha for the first time, he felt she was the one. He had no intention of falling in love with her for the pain of the past was still too much to bear. But he did need Esha as a decoy to his plan. But Esha was not a damsel in distress who would bend to his will easily. While he was sure that he would marry her only for six months, he still couldn’t understand why he felt a searing jealousy every time, her ex-fiancé Ayush’s name was mentioned.

While these two souls had other plans in their lives, Destiny conspires to bring them together. But will the stench of Death let them live their lives?

The story:

Twenty five year old Esha Mehra lives with her father, Prateek Mehra, in Bangalore. Having lost her mother to cancer when she was young, her father is the only family she has left. The retired principal of a private college, her father has always been there for her irrespective of how his day had been, he had shouldered all her sadness so that she could have a happy childhood. Having stayed with her mother in hospitals since she was eight, as her father had to go to work, she is an introvert, a quiet and private person.

She has just joined a prestigious IT Company, Geno IT Solutions and is yet to be paid her first salary when her father is diagnosed with the same disease that her taken her mother and her childhood. She has depended on her father for everything in her life and now that he was sick, she did not know where to start. So she starts by calling her relatives, who are not helpful and then calculating their assets and realizes that she would have to sell their house and even for that at least a month is needed. She surfs the net and finds that her company is one of the best companies that did philanthropic work. But would her company sponsor her dad’s treatment.

Next morning, she speaks to the Company Secretary, Mr Chakraborty, and asks him for a loan, who in turn speaks to Rohan Sharma, the owner of Geno It Solutions. Rohan gets a background check done on her and asks her to enter into a six month contract marriage with him. He has his reasons: A clause in his father’s will and his step mother, who also happens to be his ex-girlfriend is blackmailing him and he wants her off his back.

Then there is Ayush, the guy she loves, the one who had been her best friend since childhood, the guy she wants to marry, someone who has been there through her ups and downs and knows all about her. She feels if she talks to him, he would help her financially. But when she does so, she draws a blank and ends up breaking her engagement and 20 years of friendship.

She accepts his proposal, he meets her father, pre-nuptial contracts are drawn and he tells her that though this marriage would be in name only, she has to convince Zaira that she loves him and would not leave him under any circumstance.

He had barely survived his first tryst with love and had sworn to keep away from anything to do with that emotion and she willed herself to not let any emotion invade her mind. But, he could not understand what it was about Esha that stopped him from thinking rationally

My take:

Though, we say that daughters and sons are equal, but I feel many women have to go through. Rubina has touched a very important topic by using the setting of the book.

The characters are strong and very well developed. Esha is a daughter who would make any parent proud. And Rohan, the ideal son-in-law. The secondary characters also have important roles to play in the story.

The relationship between Esha and her father has been beautifully depicted. The dialogues are very realistic.

What I loved most was the simple language and the fast pace of the book. the flow is so good that the reader is pulled into the book.

I loved the book and read it twice in a span of two days.

A must, must read.

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.

 

Spotlight: Destined by Rubina Ramesh

Blog Tour by The Book Club of DESTINED by Rubina Ramesh
 
DESTINED
by
Rubina Ramesh
 
Blog Tour by The Book Club of DESTINED by Rubina Ramesh
Blurb
Esha Mehra could have taken care of her father, only if she had some support from her fiancé. But he had his priorities set and her sick father was nothing but a burden. Esha didn’t have any other choice but to apply for a loan from her office. But she had not banked on the fact that the Head of Geno Technologies needed her for other reasons.
 
When Rohan Sharma saw Esha for the first time, he felt she was the one. He had no intention of falling in love with her for the pain of the past was still too much to bear. 
But he did need Esha as a decoy to his plan. But Esha was not a damsel in distress who would bend to his will easily. While he was sure that he would marry her only for six months, he still couldn’t understand why he felt a searing jealousy every time, her ex-fiancé Ayush’s name was mentioned.
 
While these two souls had other plans in their lives, Destiny conspires to bring them together. But will the stench of Death let them live their lives? 
 
Read an excerpt:

On seeing her, he grinned. “There goes my dream of my bride sitting on the bed with a long veil over her face that I could slowly lift up.”

Esha laughed. “Do it in your real wedding.”

Rohan felt a jolt at her words though his feelings had stopped making any sense at all. He found her pajama-clad wet avatar very sensual. Her hair was wet from the shower and a few droplets fell on her collarbone, like dew drops on a rose petal. Now that he was finally alone with Esha, he wanted to further muss up her hair and kiss those wet pearls away. But never had he imagined that he would be alone in a room with her amidst roses and that her intoxicating perfume would drive him crazy. Theirs wasn’t a marriage in the true sense and yet her lips were calling out to him to feel them with his own.

But he was sure that she wouldn’t appreciate it. He forced himself to lean back on the pillow and give her an easy smile to fight his raging hormones. “So, which side of the bed is yours?”

She looked at him sharply to check if he was laughing at her predicament. She then went to her purse and took out a tape—a big, brown one.

“Naughty, naughty,” he said sitting up, suddenly feeling the air crackling between them with an invisible electric thread that was slowly pulling them towards each other. “What’s your intention darling?”

Esha gave him an evil grin and sashayed towards him, all the while opening the tape. “You didn’t think I would be prepared?” she asked, her voice husky. Any hot-blooded man would find this a big turn-on but Rohan sat up straight, wondering if she was drunk.

“Esha, I think we should go to sleep now.” He gave her a sheepish smile. “It’s getting very late.”

She threw back her head and laughed, “The night is still young, darling.” She opened the tape further and climbed on the bed, inching slowly towards him as she rolled it out. Rohan could feel his heart skipping a few beats. He wanted her no doubt, but he was not expecting this and her strange behavior made him uncomfortable.

“Do you want something to eat?” He sounded lame even to himself. She threw her head back and looked at him, her sherry colored eyes darkening into molten chocolate, and the light breeze from the window caught her silk tresses and made them dance to a tune of their own. She bit her lower lip and leaned in front of him, staring deep into his eyes. “Are you nervous?”

“Why are you behaving like this?” he asked, trying to get out of the bed. He felt an invisible hand clutching his stomach but he kept his tone breezy. “Are we taking this night to mean what it is meant to be? I’m ready if you are.”

If she took another step forward, her breasts would touch him. What the devil was she playing at? He couldn’t even lean back further since the head rest was stopping any further movement. She leaned forward but instead of coming towards him, she went beyond him and stuck the edge of the tape to the middle of the bed post. She then pulled the tape down – further and further and a line was drawn along the middle of the bed.


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About the author

 
Blog Tour by The Book Club of DESTINED by Rubina Ramesh
Rubina Ramesh is an avid reader, writer, blogger, book reviewer and marketer. She is the founder of The Book Club, an online book publicity group. Her first literary work was published in her school magazine. It gave her immense pride to see her own name at the bottom of the article. She was about 8 years old at that time. She then went to complete her MBA and after her marriage to her childhood friend, her travel saga started. From The Netherlands to the British Isles she lived her life like an adventure. After a short stint in Malaysia, she finally settled down in the desert state of USA, Arizona. Living with her DH and two human kids and one doggie kid, Rubina has finally started living the life she had always dreamed about – that of a writer.

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Boy No 32 by Venita Coelho

32 boyBoy no. 32 is an exceptional read written by Venita Coelho, which I received as a review copy from Scholastic India. I must tell you that I has a tough time writing the review because I did not want to give out spoilers.

The blurb:

An explosion brings down the orphanage that is home to Battees. Buried in the debris, he realises that something impossible has happened. Someone has got inside his head. It’s Goongi who cannot speak.

Battees identifies the terrorist who blew up the orphanage and he obviously wants the only eyewitness dead. Goongi becomes Battees’s companion as they plunge into a mad adventure—an encounter with the Eunuch Queen, being captured by the Beggar King and seeing the dirty underbelly of Mumbai city. Does Battees manage to save himself from the terrorist and bring him to justice? Will Goongi ever be able to speak? They must find a way out of this dangerous cat-and-mouse game.

The story:

Battees, an orphan who has been at Bal Ashiana Sanskriti (BAS) since he was a baby, named so because he is orphan no 32 of the home (Battees in hindi, means 32), never had a real name. All he wants is a family and a happy ever after.

He is like a brother to Goongi, a seven year old girl found at Bombay Railway station, and has been named so because she does not speak, stays mum. She is very sweet and brave. She communicates by getting into others heads.

Noorie is an extra smart, sarcastic girl who has been at the home for six months. She is a pickpocketer and has a sharp tongue.

Johnny stammers, has spent 2 years at a school run by priests, is loyal and helpful, bowls well and wants to play for Indian Cricket Team.

Kashmiri Laal wants Battees dead and blows up the orphanage.

Battees is chosen to testify against him in the court.

Read on…..

My take:

The book is very well written in a simple language with beautiful descriptions. The characters are realistic. The book has many Hindi words giving it an Indian feel. There are many funny moments in the book.

The author has used the book to convey many deep messages like the way the eunuchs in India are treated, how the cosmopolitan cities are in comparison to the forests and how parents sell their own children for money.

It even portrays that though we call ourselves a secular nation, the borders of religion, caste and creed still exist.

A must must read for young and adults.

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