Yours To Love Yours To Take: Salim And Anita’s Sanctum (Verma Clan’s Sanctum Series) by Reshma Ranjan

ytlytt.jpgI borrowed Reshma Ranjan’s book Yours To Love Yours To Take: Salim And Anita’s Sanctum (Verma Clan’s Sanctum Series) from Kindle Unlimited. It the author’s fourth book and is the story of Anita and Salim. This is the first book of the Verma Clan’s Sanctum Series.

The blurb:

As if losing her parents and her voice in a childhood accident wasn’t cruel enough, Anita Batra now has to come to terms with her twin’s death and help her sister’s partner get a new lease of life.

Adopted by the Verma Clan after his parents died in an accident, Dr. Salim Verma finally finds love and a chance to be happy only to lose it in an accident he himself survives.
When fate strikes a final blow and brings two strangers together, Salim can’t help but punish Anita and make her tread through the hell he himself was in, while all Anita wants is to help her sister’s partner start afresh, no matter what the cost.
Will Salim ever be able to ignore Anita’s resemblance to his dead girlfriend and fall in love with her instead? Will Anita be able to reveal the real Salim hiding behind the monster? Will they be able to embrace their tumultuous attraction for each other despite their terrible start?

Yours To Love Yours To Take is a heartwarming saga of love and sacrifice that will reinstate your belief that love conquers all.

The story:

Anita Batra lives in Shimla and has a clerical job in a school. Having lost her parents in an accident when she was twelve, the only family she had in the world was her twin sister, Ananya, their guardian, Surendra and his housekeeper, Aayi. The accident had left her scarred for life and she has not been able to speak since then. Surendra had adopted the girls and helped them have a good education as well. Surendra and Anit had managed a great friendship with each other, she was a good listener and he had learnt the sign language to understand her. Ananya was the life of the house and Anita, the calmness.

One day, Anita is shocked to receive the news that Ananya had been killed in an accident on the way to Shimla. Surendra and Aayi give her solace. Anita is surprised to know that Ananya was travelling with Dr Salim Verma, someone she had no clue of though the sisters shared everything, to Shimla to meet her.

Dr Salim Verma, a renowned neuro surgeon in Bangalore was adopted by Dia Verma when he lost his parents in a train accident. Salim did not believe in relationships but Ananya was different. Losing her and finding her identical twin alive, he decides to torture Anita by marrying her and making her feel guilty that she was alive while her twin was not.

Anita is selfless and agrees to marry him, much to Surendra and Milind’s, Salim’s cousin, shock. She feels that this the least she could do for Ananya and Salim as she feels maybe this would help him recover from Ananya’s death and once she accomplishes that, she would come back to Shimla.

My take:

The story has been written in simple English and moves back and forth between the past and the present. The story is set in Bangalore and Shimla. The author has woven the characters so well that I hated Salim and wanted that either Milind or Surendra stakes his claim on Anita. Anita’s character is strong and well crafted. She can make herself understood even while using sign language and does not lose heart even in the worst of circumstances. She even takes Salim’s insults in her stride. I wish we were so patient. I loved Surendra’s and Milind’s characters.   The relationships between the characters have been beautifully portrayed.

The book has many ingredients: friendship, love, platonic relationship, sibling love, family values, drama, tragedy and revenge.

This the first book of the Verma Clan and the reader is introduced to a few members in this book and I am sure that more members would follow in the subsequent books. I am waiting for the next book in the series.

Advertisements

Gurgaon Diaries: Life, Work and Play in Dronas Village by Debeshi Gooptu

Gurgaon-Diaries_27NovI received the book Gurgaon Diaries: Life, Work and Play in Dronas Village by Debeshi Gooptu as a review copy from the publisher Rupa Publications and I would like to thank the publisher for the same.

The book has been divided into three parts: Life, Work and Play and comprises of 61 stories, 2-4 pages long (only 2 stories are 5 pages long). In her stories the author talks about many things that we also have experienced but have never given it a thought.

The blurb:

These are stories of a two-decade-long journey. The journey from Gurgaon to Gurugram. Or was it the other way around?

Modern-day Gurgaon was Guru Dronacharya’s village, a gift from the Pandavas and Kauravas for training them in military arts. While the legends of the mythical village are woven around the warrior mystic, the Millennium City, as it stands today, owes its rapid growth to globalization, outsourcing and the BPO boom.

From swanky malls and skyscrapers to pot-hole-ridden roads where gleaming Mercs vie for space with rickety rickshaws; from voluptuous North Indian aunties and brawny local men to rotund Bengali mashimas; from designer stores and Starbucks coffee to roadside vans peddling chole bhature; Drona’s village is riddled with contradictions, both hilarious and poignant, irreverent and bittersweet. Gurgaon Diaries is a humorous peek at the workings of this modern-day village and how the Millennium City is a paradox in itself.

My take:

The book is the author’s account of her experiences of Gurgaon over the last twenty years when she moved there nineteen years ago from Kolkata. She says that the Millennium City or India’s Singapore owes its rapid growth to globalization and the BPO boom. She mentions that these are her stories of the two-decade long journey, the journey from Gurgaon to Gurugram.

The author talks about the lack of awareness of the concept of personal space among the people, religious food beliefs, the special relationship between a Bengali woman and her fishmonger (I agree with this one), about safety of children in the Village, the Bengalis living there and also about the modest swim wear being used for different reasons by different people. She has mentioned about the monkey menace in the city, how she would be prepared for earthquakes, about the revered cow, the brawny men, her dilemma of to-dye-or-not-to-dye, her neighbours, changing room etiquettes, parents in restaurant oblivious to their kids’ actions.

There are incidents of pigeon menace, elevators malfunctioning, impersonal sweet shops, what freedom means to different people, how a simple word pronounced wrong changes the meaning altogether, people’s obsession for fancy shmancy things and selfi obsessed people.

She talks about Japanese influence in Gurgaon, women drivers, canines being the prized possessions in the city, her relationship with wasps, Christmas in Kolkata versus that in Gurgaon, how the use of a synonym changes the meaning of a sentence all together, and how it is always a good idea to talk to your children.

There are incidents about importance of career in the lives of some people, Gurgaon’s obsession with the phoren and fanciful (it exists is Delhi too), about working from home not being a profession for some, about the not well existent (or non-existent) infrastructure in the city, modern workwear code in the city, system of public transport, and start-up founders everywhere. She has also talked about now people can spend on cars but not on parking them, ‘doing coffee’, the latest fad, fitness, deciphering Indian accents, Halloween in Gurgaon, a birthday party with a difference and many, many more.

The language is simple and easy to follow. The stories are about real life incidents and are relatable and engaging. Though the stories are short but it took me a little longer to finish this book because I was savouring the stories and also relating to them. The words like Gartar, Christmas on Park Street, Flury’s, made me nostalgic.

The Bengali dialect has been written in English in the way that it would be pronounced by a Bengali. There is satire, humour and the best part of the book is that she has not refrained from making fun of her own people. She has referred to some previous instances in her stories establishing a connection between the stories.

This book is a must, must read for people living in the metropolitan cities and even those who are not living in it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Writersmelon-Debashi-GooptuDebeshi Gooptu is a business journalist turned digital content strategist and entrepreneur. With more than twenty years of experience in print and television (Business Standard, Business Today, Plus Channel) and higher education (British Council, Canadian High Commission, Intel Asia Electronics), she runs an online research consultancy for overseas education organization and works as a digital content strategy head for Digiqom, a digital media agency. Debeshi is also the India editor for Innovation Enterprise, a Singapore-headquartered publication tracking trends in technology and innovation in Asia-Pacific. She frequently blogs for The Huffington Post and runs ‘The Gurgaon Diaries’, a successful blog. In 2015, she self-published an e-book (with the same name) comprising few of her stories from the blog on Amazon Kindle Select. The book has done extremely well with readers across the worls requesting for more writing in this genre. She lives in Gurgaon, Haryana.

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.

 

 

Sins of the Father: Sunanda Chatterjee (Wellington Estates Series Book 1)

36308358Sins of the Father by Sunanda J Chatterjee is the story of a psychologist and an undercover cop that I received as a review copy from the author. Thank you Sunanda and the Book Clun for the same.  This is the first book of the Wellington Estates Series, but can be read as a standalone as well.

The Blurb:

Police Officer Harrison McNamara grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth. The former Wellington Estates heir has dedicated his life to taking criminals off the streets. But when he goes undercover to expose a blackmailing scheme, he meets a freelance model who may hold a key to his past.

For psychologist Laura Carson, freelancing as a model is the perfect bridge until she can set up her practice. But her modeling agency isn’t what she expected. Encountering the enigmatic undercover cop might be everything she’s ever wanted—and everything she must avoid.

As Laura and Harrison grow closer, their past threatens to destroy them. Trapped in an unending cycle of guilt and blame, can they find a way to bury the sins of the past for a future of redemption and love?

Book 1 of the Wellington Estates Series, Sins of the Father is a stand-alone romantic saga.

The story:

Twenty seven year old Laura Carson is a clinical psychologist, an undergraduate teacher at Ackerman and also models for a photography class as a fun project. Her mother is an oncologist and her father has not been with them since she was seven. Though her mother can pay for her education till she starts her own practice, she wants to earn her own money. Elena, her friend since school and her roommate now, has recommended a modelling agency to Laura for professional modelling and she considers it as an extra source of income to pay her rent. Juhi Raina is her best friend since school days and also her room-mate. Her boyfriend George broke up with her a year ago and she is determined not to confide in anyone.

Juhi and Laura are sould sisters. Her lacunae are Juhi’s forte and Juhi’s shortcomings, her strength. Each is strong in the face of the other’s weakness. They are close friends and always come through for each other and they thrived on each other and needed each other in equal measure.

On her first day of professional modelling, she collides with Police officer Harrison McNamara, an undercover cop on a mission. He tells her that he is looking for someone. They is mutual attraction between them. Twenty nine year old Harrison has been a cop for five years and cannot get involved with the subjects of his research. She is everything he likes, intelligent, funny, expressive and utterly feminine. He also has an emotional baggage.

My take:

A story with a beautiful plot, well developed characters, written in a simple language which keeps the reader glued to the story. There is romance and a lot of suspense. The author has described the feelings of both the protagonists. Even the secondary characters have a role to play in the story. The story has a family drama, romance and suspense. Though the story has a suspense element in it, the romance also moves in parallel. The story is fast paced and unputdownable. The bond between Juhi and Laura has been described beautifully.

Everytime I felt that the story was about to wrap up, a surprise or a twist would come up.

The language is beautiful, some lines that I really liked were, “You clear your whole calendar”; “Everyone is allowed five bad deeds”; “like an orchid, trust….”

A must read for all romance, suspense and even family drama fans.

The next book in the Wellington Estate Series, Old Money, is the story of Juhi Raina. When Sunanda asked me if I was interested in the next book of the series, I said yes, read that and then this.

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.

This book is available on KINDLE UNLIMITED.

 

Book Blast: The Immortality Trigger by Douglas Misquita – a Luc Fortesque adventure thriller

~ The Immortality Trigger by Douglas Misquita ~
a Luc Fortesque adventure thriller
 
 
1945 
Allied paratroopers raid a secret Nazi research facility. The operation is reported as a success. But, the lone survivor, Benjamin Ezra, knows otherwise. 
 
2014 
A drug lord, El Fantasma threatens to plunge Colombia into an era of bloody drug wars. DEA Country Attaché, Zachary Mason is in charge of a covert operation to remove El Fantasma, with the help of a vigilante, El Angel, and a retired undercover agent, Raymond Garrett. 


In Naples, INTERPOL agent, Sabina Wytchoff, is investigating the death of her parents, when the Wytchoff family’s association with an ancient cabal comes under investigation. 
 
After the events of The Apocalypse Trigger, Luc Fortesque, is scouring the world for the man who tested experimental drugs on him. 


Wei Ling works for a shadow Transhumanist faction within China’s State Council, developing drugs that will enhance human longevity. 
 
Their paths will converge… violently… and conclude the mission that began in 1945.
 
The Immortality
Trigger is also available at all leading eBook retailers


Reviews for The Immortality Trigger:
 
“…with a
storyteller of Misquita’s caliber, you just may need Dramamine before the first
chapter is done.”
Bestthrillers.com
“For fans of the
fast-paced and modern tale with global reach that dabbles in history, this is a
perfect storm.”
Lydia Peever

 

 

“The Immortality Trigger cemented in my mind why
Douglas Misquita is my favourite Indian thriller author.”
Newton Lewis
 
 
Other books in the series:
         
 
 
 
Douglas Misquita is an action-adventure thriller writer from Mumbai, India. He hammered out his first novel on the keyboard of a laptop with half-a-working-screen, and has been churning out literary entertainment to the tune of a book-a-year. His books have been praised for their pace, locales, intertwined plots, research and visuals – it’s almost like watching a movie… only, this one unfolds across the pages of a book! 
 
 
Giveaway:

One Paperback Copy of The Immortality Trigger by Douglas Misquita

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Leo’s Desire (Written in the Stars Book 2) by Sundari Venkatraman

36592094.jpgLeo’s Desire (Written in the Stars Book 2) by Sundari Venkatraman is the second book on star signs and is the story of a Leo man and an Aries woman.

The blurb:

Twenty-four going on twenty-five, Nishaan Ahuja refuses to take life seriously. Intelligent and highly educated, he’s slotted to become the VP of his father’s multi-billion-rupee construction business. Only, the Leo man insists on living on his own terms. He takes the identity of Shaan and goes to work as a farm manager.

Chaahat finds a quick-fix cure to her plumpness as she’s desperate to become a fashion model despite her parents’ objections. The Aries woman is stubborn, determined and fiercely competitive. There’s a hitch though. Her body refuses to cooperate as she continues to abuse it and is soon on the verge of breakdown.

The Lion is a know-it-all and has to impart advice. Will the Lamb realise that it’s all for her best?

Sparks fly in their love-hate relationship as Chaahat struggles to achieve her dreams with a lot of unsolicited help from Nishaan. Will the lovers be able to get together on their own terms despite the distance separating them and their interfering mammas?

The story:

25 year old Nishaan Ahuja, the scion of Ahuja Constructions, a multimillion business, is back in India after a degree in architecture and an MBA from Harvard. He is an only child and his father wants him to join the business as the Vice President, but he wants to work his way up. So on his twenty fifth birthday, his father gives him one last chance either to join as the VP or leave home and he chooses the latter. His father tells him that he should not use the family name.

Nishaan goes to Chirag Bhatia’s advertising agency and tells him about leaving home and also tells him that he wants to do a job, that he would love, far away from Delhi. Chirag, his best friend since they were toddlers, understands his problem and finds him a job as a manager on Wadhwa farms near Mumbai owned by Dev Wadhwa (of one of the author’s previous books, Finding Anya). Nishaan becomes Shaan and even erases his profiles on social media. He decides that the maximum amount of time he would spend on the farm would be two years and then would ultimately join his father’s company. So he keeps himself updated on his father’s projects too.

After working for fourteen months at the farm, Shaan and Dev become close and one day he sees a skinny girl smoking on the farm (something that is absolutely taboo). He stops her and she turns out to be Chaahat Wadhwa, Dev’s younger sister. Chaahat, 23, an MBA, has escaped her parents’ house in Mumbai to Dev’s home because they to have an opinion on everything she did and had even pushed her to do an MBA. She wants to be a fashion model and has a weight problem. She is headstrong, does not talk properly to anyone, does not eat properly and smokes. Shaan takes her to a health farm and she refuses to undergo treatment. And then she faints due to under nutrition and dehydration.

Dev is supportive, takes up the matter with her and send her to the health farm for treatment. She tells her brother not to tell Shaan about her going to the health farm as she wants to tell him herself. When Dev comes back after dropping Chaahat, Shaan tells him that he has to go back to Delhi to his ailing father and tells Dev to give Chaahat his Delhi number only if she asks for it.

So the two of them are unaware of each other’s whereabouts, angry with each other for not staying in touch….

My take:

A simple love story with twists and turns and lots of romance. The characters are realistic and well developed. Chaahat is headstrong and Shaan knows how to handle her. Dev is the ideal brother and the parents, they are a different ball game all together. The conversations between the characters are relatable. And the fights and argunebts between Shaan and Chaahat….

I could imagine many of the scenes, the descriptions are so well done. The language is simple and the book is fast paced. I finished it one night flat.

All in all the book is pretty entertaining.

You can read the book for free on the Kindle Unlimited.

 

Interview with the author Sunanda Chatterjee

 

12ce4-sunanda

Sunanda J. Chatterjee grew up in Bhilai, India and now lives in Arcadia, California with her husband and two wonderful children. When she is not by the microscope or creating imaginary worlds, she reads, sings, goes on long walks, and binge-watches old TV dramas.

She writes romantic sagas and family dramas, with empowered heroines and noble heroes, and all manner of family relationships. She loves extraordinary love stories and heartwarming tales of duty and passion. Her themes include the immigrant experience, women’s issues, and medicine.

Her books have consistently been the Top 100 bestsellers on Amazon USA and Amazon India in Asian Literature, Indian Writing, and Asian Drama categories. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies, short-story.net and induswomanwriting.com.

Thank you so much Sunanda, for agreeing to this interview.

 You are a doctor, how did you transform into a writer? In all your books, cancer comes up, is it the pathologist in you that brings it up?

I have been writing stories from a young age. In fact, I recently discovered a story I had begun to write in my diary as a fifth-grader and had a great laugh about it with my daughter. Growing up in a small steel town, everyone in my neighbourhood was an engineer or a doctor and the social and family pressure to conform was immense. So I became a doctor, joined the Indian Air Force for five years, then did my PhD (6 years in cancer research) and my Pathology residency (four years with a focus on cancer diagnosis). I was always busy with academics and work, and only when I started working as a pathologist did I decide it was time to take the plunge, so to speak. My first novel took me ten years from start to publication, with many hurdles along the way. Since then I’ve published 3-4 books a year and hope to keep going despite my full-time job.

Given my background as a doctor, a veteran and a pathologist, my stories often feature someone with that background. It’s simply a situation of writing what you know. It takes me the least amount of research and the most satisfaction. So many of my stories has a veteran, a doctor or a patient with cancer, even if it is a cameo.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block?

To be honest, I have such little time to write that I’ve never had the time to develop writer’s block. All day at work, in my free time, while I am driving or walking, I am thinking about my stories, scenes, dialogues, such that the moment I sit at my computer, I can start typing. So I have not been afflicted with it, but with time, when I’ve caught up with all my current stories, I’m sure to experience writer’s block at some point.

When you read books, what is your favourite genre?

My favourite genres to read are women’s fiction and thrillers. Romance is not my favourite genre to read, but I do read a lot so I know the ropes. I think switching up genres as well as indie and traditionally published books keep me interested at all times. When I’m not in a mood to read my usual genres, I read short stories or non-fiction. I recently read a book called ‘Economics for Dummies’ and enjoyed it a lot. Sometimes I pick up a book my daughter’s High School English class is studying. I also read a lot about writing itself. My nightstand is full of books about creative writing, grammar and style. When I’m tired of it all, I re-read Harry Potters. Yes, I’m a Potter fan through and through.

One last question, which authors do you like more, Indie or International?

I read both indie and traditionally published books, both Indian and International, mostly British and American authors. I enjoy the writing styles of various authors in various genres. I switch them up for variety but I read them all.

Social Media links of Sunanda Chatterjee for people to find/follow/like
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sunandajoshich1

Blog: http://www.sunandachatterjee.com/blog
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10228387.Sunanda_J_Chatterjee

Website: http://www.sunandachatterjee.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/SunandaChatterjee_Author-515705275228760/

Books by the author:

A Perfect New York Christmas by Sudesna Ghosh

book-7-cover-option.jpg A Perfect New York Christmas by Sudesna Ghosh is her latest book, fifty pages long.

The blurb:

Aditi left New York ten years ago. Her best friend has been asking her to visit her there and Aditi finally says yes. She’s excited about spending time with her friend. And then she finds out that her ex – love of her life – who she left behind ten years ago, is in New York too. Aditi finds herself face to face with her past and feels things she hasn’t felt in years. She wants snow, love and the perfect New York Christmas. Will she get what she wants?

The story:

Thirty two year old Aditi Mukherjee lives with her parents and her cat, Rustom, in Kolkata. Being an only child, she moved back to India from New York to be with her parents, leaving behind her college boyfriend, Ravi, and her best friend, Sheena. Even though Ravi was ready to move back to India with her, she did not want him to leave his family and a promising career in law and forced him out of her life not even letting him to come and see her off at the airport.

Now, ten years later, Aditi is a freelancer. She has stayed in touch with Sheena through the internet and Shila and Soumi are her best friends in India. She has dated a few men but could not forget Ravi.

She misses New York, the Times Square, the huge tree at the Rockfeller Centre that stole her heart, the cafes, and the Central Park.

Christmas is her favourite time of the year, so when Sheena asks her to come to New York to spend Christmas, she is excited and hoped for a White Christmas. Sheena goes all out and contacts Ravi on Facebook and tells Aditi that after a decade of zero communication, Ravi wants to see her again.

Read on…….

My take:

Written in first person from Aditi’s point of view, this book is a go to book this winter. It warms you up. There is friendship. There is love. There are second chances. There is Christmas. All of it thrown together makes a wonderful recipe. The characters are relatable, conversations are realistic and the story flows flawlessly.

There is something for cat lovers too.

So read on, I promise you will love this short read.