Four Stories of Love, Hope and Desire by Mahesh Sowani

41eHVCryo9L.jpgI received the book Four Stories of Love, Hope and Desire by Mahesh Sowani as a review copy from the author and am thankful to him for the book. This book is a collection of four short stories.

The blurb:

This collection of shorts will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. You will see your reflection in each of these four stories for they are deep rooted in human emotions that are inherent in all of us.

My take:

The stories are different and talk about things that are prevalent in the society but we, as ostriches, prefer to hide ourselves from them never acknowledging them. His characters are realistic and so is the conversation between them. the language is simple and the stories are fast paced. The second story seemed a little difficult to comprehend and I loved the fourth story the most.

 

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.

 

Pyjamas are forgiving by Twinkle Khanna

I picked up the book, Pyjamas are forgiving by Twinkle Khanna, as I was a bit intrigued by the name. and to be honest, I did not even read the blurb of the book, so what I got was a surprise, because I thought that this book would be something like Mrs Funnyones, but I am happy to say that it is different.

The blurb:

There sitting on that porch, that light-eyed man, a pitta like me, was my ex-husband and that woman whose inner element I was unaware of, unless bitch is accepted as an undiscovered fourth dosha, was his young wife.

In the serene sanctuary of Kerala’s Shanthamaaya spa where food is rationed, sex forbidden and emotions centred, Anshu meets someone familiar and deeply unsettling – her ex-husband. Bittersweet, funny and wise, Pyjamas Are Forgiving confirms Twinkle Khanna as one of our great storytellers.

The story:

Anshu, a resident of Mumbai, a divorcee, is on her biennial trip to Kerala, for a four week Ayurvedic vacation, to a place to which she was introduced by her aunt, the Shanthamaaya spa. She is suffering from sleep problems. Her mother and sister don’t like her taking this Ayurvedic vacation but cannot stop her.

Here Anshu comes face to face with her ex-husband and his new wife. Initially, she is shocked and contemplates running away, but then she decides to see it through.

My take:

There are many characters and the story revolves around all of them and the Shaanthamaya Spa. But it has been written in first person from the point of view of Anshu.

The author has described in detail, the daily routine of the Ayurvedic spa along with its diet and various treatments. Initially, I was drawn into the spa and was contemplating going to one myself, but the detailed descriptions of the various treatments made me move back.

The language is simple and there are funny moments, and sometimes, the humour is so subtle that I had to make an effort to understand. The story has a multitude of emotions, like love, lust, jealousy, friendship, sibling love.

At the end I was left wanting more.

Why Go Indie?: 6 Reasons for Self-Publishing (TBC Writer’s Toolkit Book 1)by Devika Fernando and The Book Club

41u3V50RasL._SY346_I received Why Go Indie?: 6 Reasons for Self-Publishing (TBC Writer’s Toolkit Book 1) Kindle Edition by Devika Fernando and The Book Club as a review copy from the author.

The Blurb:

Go indie – it’s the path more and more authors choose!

Have you ever thought of going indie? Are you a traditionally published author interested in switching to self-publishing? Or an aspiring author considering various publishing options?

This concise booklet will show you reasons to go indie and give you an overview of the advantages of self-publishing books. It also shines a light on the 6 F’s of self-publishing.
This eBook written by an Amazon-bestselling indie author is part of the TBC Writer’s Toolkit series in which experienced authors offer advice. Check out the other volumes for a step-by-step guide on how to become a successful indie author.

My take:

This booklet is a short read and talks about why an author would want to go indie. She talks about the six advantages of going indie namely, flexibility; fair royalties; faster results; fear no rejection; full control and full responsibility and freedom of expression.

Being a successful indie author for many years, she talks about how she became one. The language is simple and this short read can be finished in one setting and can also be used to refer as and when required. Her experience makes the book a must read, and she has addressed the issues that might crop up. Even if you are not an author because you never know the author hidden within you.

Looking forward to read more books in this series.

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.

Kartikeya and his battle with the Soul Stealer by Usha Narayanan

5b7f74c5ded5a-253x405I received Kartikeya and his battle with the Soul Stealer by Usha Narayanan as a review copy from the author via the publisher. And I would like to them for the same. I was very inquisitive to know about Kartikeya, one God whom we do not know much about.

The blurb:

He was the son of the fierce Durga and three-eyed Shiva. He was born, he lived, and he would die, if need be, for a divine purpose–to kill the Soul Stealer.

Surapadma’s reign of terror flourishes and the fate of all creatures–mortal and immortal–hangs in the balance. Shiva’s son, Kartikeya, must destroy several formidable asuras before he can confront the Soul Stealer and save the dying, gasping universe.

But Kartikeya, whisked away by mysterious forces to live amidst birds and beasts on a bleak mountainside, is ignorant of his destiny, and struggles to learn his identity. Not even the gods–Brahma, Vishnu or Shiva–come to his aid.

He can win the final battle only if he can discern his enemy’s weakness and his own inner strength.

Will Shiva’s son rise to the challenge before it is too late?

The world waits with bated breath. . .

The story:

The story begins with Diti, wife of sage Kashyapa, wanting to take revenge against the Gods who had killed her sons. Thus are born the evil sons of Diti as a result of her tapasyas. And she instills in them the feeling of revenge.

At the same time, a boy with six faces and twelve arms is born, he does not who his parents are but he enjoys the love and affection of many parents and friends, animal, human and celestial.

My take:

The book is the story of Kartikeya, a god we know about only as Shiva’s son and Ganesha’s brother. And all we know about his story from Amar Chitra Katha, in which he and Ganesh have to go around the world thrice. And the other thing I knew about this god was that he rides a peacock.

The author has portrayed Kartikeya as both God and human, thus giving a beautiful touch to the story, the human form being relatable and the celestial being ethereal. She has spoken about both his wives and also his parents.

The characters have been developed in detail. She has described Kartikeya as a child lost in the woods, a child loved by animals, a child who suddenly has many parents who lay a claim on him, a human god who hates wars and a celestial being who has to fight for justice.

The story starts as two different stories but as the book moves on, the stories just come together. And then the book becomes unputdownable, because the way each chapter ended made me curious as to what would happen and I had to start the next chapter. The descriptions are detailed and I could actually picturise many scenes. The feelings of many characters have been described, not just Kartikeya.

The language is simple and the story just flows with its twists and turns. The author has linked many mythological stories in the main story.

I loved the book and would recommend it to lovers and non lovers of mythology alike.

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

Ultimate Guide to Modern Parenting by Pradeep Kapoor and Neelkamal Kapoor

Ultimate-Guide-To-Modern-Parenting.jpgI received Ultimate Guide to Modern Parenting by Pradeep Kapoor and Neelkamal Kapoor as a review copy from the publisher and I would like to thank them for sending me a copy of the book.

The blurb:

How to make the child eat right, get him to do the homework, make him go to bed, wean him off the mobile, teach him discipline, stop him from lying, and much more—the challenges for parents are never-ending. Several tricky situations arise on a daily basis in every household, which, if mishandled, can create a major crisis between parents and children. The seeds of distrust and anguish sown in early childhood may lead to major maladjustment problems in adolescence and adulthood.

Ultimate Guide to Modern Parenting brings to you a handy guide to parenting twenty-first century children and making sure that you nip all their troubles in the bud.

My take:

This is one book that every parent should read, irrespective of how old their children are. It really changed my perspective of parenting, and made me look at parenting in a new light. I have actually started changing my approach to how I reacted to what my children did.

The book has been divided into parts and talks about different types of parents and actually there is a checklist at the end of some chapters. It talks about the importance of social environment in the development of a child in addition to the genes. It also talks that every child is an individual and about how we can deal with our children in different situations. There are case studies which help in better understanding of various situations.

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.

Bohemian Rhapsody: the movie

Sometimes your dreams become a reality. We grew up to ‘I want to break free’ and ‘We will rock you’ and my favourite ‘Radio gaga’. And thanks to Radio One Delhi, I got the opportunity to watch Bohemian rhapsody, a biopic on the legend Freddie Mercury. I’ll tell how this happened.
One Friday morning, as I was on the way to office and was listening to 94.3 on FM, I heard the RJ ask a question as to on whose life is the upcoming movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is based? And I googled (I am being honest about it) and whatsapped the answer. And the next I saw was a message from her telling me that I had won the gift voucher.
As a habit, the only channel I listen to at home, on the way to work, at work and in the car is Radio One. So one afternoon, RJ Aditi announced a contest. She said that she would be playing a Queen song and the participant would have to take off from where she would stop the song. The winner would get a chance to view the secret screening of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and also get Queen merchandise. I whatsapped her saying, ‘l am in but I hope I don’t make a fool of myself’. And the song I was given was ‘I want to break free’ and I won the movie tickets (I am waiting for a call asking for my address to send me the merchandise and I promise to share the pictures, if and when I receive it).
IMG-20181113-WA0050So come November 13, I went to watch the movie with my husband. The movie took me back to the days when we would listen to the radio waiting for our favourite song. And Freddie mercury has been portrayed beautifully by Rami Malek. I was drawn into the film as soon as it began. It just flowed from one scene to another talking about Freddie and his transformation from Farouq to Freddie and to Mercury from Bulsara. And the ups and downs of his and Queen’s journey. They had the lyrics written on the screen making the songs singalong . I laughed, I cried, I sang and I lived the emotions with Freddie and his friends and family.
And the end, the Live Aid concert was replicated as it is. When I was watching the concert on YouTube, I actually had to check is it the original one or has it been taken from the movie.

IMG-20181113-WA0057(The hall was not prepared for the secret screening, as first they asked us to sit in the hall, and as we entered the hall, some part of the film was being screened they actually asked us to vacate the hall and the movie started good 35 minutes after)
But it was really worth it, even the two hour long traffic jam which we had to encounter on the way home.

Book Blitz: When Our Worlds Meet Again by Aniesha Brahma

~ Book Blitz ~

When Our Worlds Meet Again by Aniesha Brahma

16th November 2018




About the Book:





Two years after the events of ‘When Our Worlds Collide’, Zayn and Akriti are now leading extremely different lives. Akriti has come back from her stint at the business school and running her mother’s café. Zayn has run into trouble in his PhD program and has come home for a break. While he thinks that things are just as he’d left them two years ago, that is far from the truth. In a last ditch attempt to make Akriti remember the connection they had once shared, Zayn tries to recreate all their memories. But things are never the same when collided worlds meet again. 











Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon



Read an Excerpt:


Prologue
2015.
Akriti was sitting at the cash counter
of her mother’s little café going over the expenses for the day. Her headphones
were plugged into her ears as she listened to songs on her phone. Her laptop
was propelled open in front of her as she made notes on what else needed to be
done the next day.
In the two years that she had been
gone, the café had not changed at all. Her mother had kept all the renovations
that Akriti and her colleagues had done two years ago. The only difference was
that now there was a bulletin board next to the chalkboard menu that had been
installed just a few weeks ago. On the bulletin board hung a poster that
announced that next week’s Poetry Slam would start at 6PM sharp, and Suzanna
needed to be contacted for early registration.
Akriti finished her work and shut down
her laptop. She looked around the café in grim satisfaction and let out a happy
little sigh. The music from her phone suddenly stopped playing. Glancing down
she saw that her phone had started buzzing, flashing a number she had not seen
on her phone in quite a while.
Debating for a minute, she received the
call.
“Hi, Zayn.”
Airports have seen more sincere kisses
than weddings it is said. As Zayn Banerjee waited to catch his flight back
home, he witnessed one too many couples bidding each other teary eyed goodbyes.
It was watching these strangers that he remembered how it had felt two years
ago when he had left his home behind in pursuit of higher studies. How he had
come to this alien land which had eventually led him to a lot of heartache and
misery!
But there had been something good about
those two years. There had been someone who had seen past all his imperfections
and focused only on the good that was in him. Who had been his friend against
all odds and yet, they had fallen out of touch with each other over the course
of two years. He wondered if she was still using the same number. He wondered
if she still had his number saved.
On an impulse, he pulled out his phone
and dialed her number. She answered it on the third ring.
“Hi, Zayn.”
“Akriti.”
He was pleased as punch that she
remembered him.
“Did you want something?”
“I am just calling to let you know that
I’d be home soon.”
“Oh.”
“Oh? Honestly, I was hoping for a
reaction better than oh.”
“Zayn, it’s really late here. Let’s
talk when you’re in town?”
“I’ll do you one better. I’ll come see
you.”
“Great. Safe flight.”
Then the line went dead. Zayn stared at
the phone, wondering if their friendship was lost over the course of time. This
wasn’t like the Akriti he remembered.
This wasn’t his Akriti at all.
Akriti hung up the phone feeling
utterly drained. Once upon a time this was a source of her happiness but
tonight he was a cause of her stress. The last thing she needed was for Zayn to
come barging into her life once more.
She remembered all the memories that
they had made together two years ago. The time when she’d finally felt okay to
let her guard down and just be herself. It seemed to her like it was a lifetime
ago. But he’d left. Like everyone else in her life and she had found herself
consumed by her loneliness. Going off to business school had only made Akriti
revert back to her old self.
That’s
a lie they tell you,
Akriti thought bitterly to herself, as she put her
headphones back on and started listening to music again, time doesn’t heal a
damn thing. It just burns the memories into your mind.



About the Author:

Aniesha Brahma knew she wanted to be a writer since she was six years old. She was schooled in Dolna Day School and went on to pursue B.A., M.A., and M.Phil in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur Univeristy. She currently lives in Kolkata, with her family and five pet cats. She is the author of All Signs Lead Back to You, When Our Worlds Collide, The Guitar Girl and The Secret Proposal. She compiled and edited the 10 volumes series, ‘Children’s Classic Stories’ with love and great efforts.



Website * Twitter * Instagram * Facebook

 
 
 
 

 

 

Release Day Blitz: The Hidden Children (The Lost Grimoire #1) by Reshma K.Barshikar

~ Release Day Blitz ~
The Hidden Children (The Lost Grimoire #1)
by Reshma K.Barshikar

13th November 2018



About the Book:
‘What price would you pay to be extraordinary? What would you do to speak to a butterfly? 



Shayamukthy cruises through life: shooting hoops, daydreaming and listening to her favourite books. Even moving from the US to India, to a new school, a new culture, hasn’t really rattled her. But something isn’t right anymore and it begins when ‘New Girl’ joins the school.



She pulls Shui into a world of magic and wonderment, a world she has been hidden from all her life. What starts as a quest to look for a lost book, hurtles Shui into a world where people live in trees, talk to the dead and speak to butterflies.



But like all power, magic comes at a steep price, and under all things wondrous lie demons waiting to crawl out. The more Shui learns, the more she doubts everything and everyone around her. 



Will she be able to master her powers, or will they devour her and everyone she loves?




Order Your Copy from AMAZON now!


Read an Excerpt:
 
I think I am
ordinary. I lack purpose. Boohoo you think, typical teenager angst. But if I
died tomorrow, it wouldn’t impact anyone’s life except my parents’. My friends,
on the other hand, they have a life. See them there, yes there, to the right,
next to the banyan tree behind the basketball court. You see a slightly pudgy
boy and a beautiful girl? The boy’s name is Jai. The girl’s name is Nallini.
Both have purpose. Jai wants to write comic books. He wants to be like Neil
Gaiman or something, some famous comic-book guy. Nallini wants to be an
actress, the next Deepika Padukone – that, and to win next year’s gold medal in
Jujitsu.
 
She has absolutely no
problems reconciling the inherent contradictions in both her desires.
 
I want nothing, need
nothing, except something to need. I can’t see past today even to tomorrow; I
have a hard enough time figuring out what I am now. I am not from a broken
home, unless you count the fact that parts of the building I live in are
falling apart. I am not poor, not like Anuki Chabria who got called out of her
exam because her parents couldn’t pay her fees. I do not have acne bursting on
my face, making me look like a human cheese grater. I am just, well, ordinary.
So could you really blame me? Blame me for wanting to be special? Blame me for
wanting to be fierce? To be like Storm from the X-Men, or like Beyoncé? When I
look back now, at everything that has happened in the last few months, I
realise I’m just as much to blame as her. The big question – well, it’s not a
big question at all, really, because it’s all rubbish now, because you can’t go
back. Even I can’t go back. So the absurd question everyone around me
seems to asking is – would I have acted differently, would I rather NOT be the
person I am now?
 
No.
 
 
And neither would
you. What price wouldn’t you pay to be extraordinary, to ride the wind,
to float with unicorns, to be the one chosen…? Because, you see, I’ve gotten
into some serious trouble and want to explain myself. I didn’t mean for things
to happen. I didn’t mean for someone to die. So I ask you – wouldn’t you have
said yes if someone said – ‘Do you want to learn how to speak to a
butterfly?’ 
 
 

About the Author:

Travel writer and novelist Reshma K Barshikar is
an erstwhile Investment Banker who, as she tells it, ‘fell down a rabbit hole
and discovered a world outside a fluorescent cubicle.’ As a travel and features
writer, she contributes to National Geographic Traveller, Harper’s Bazaar,
Grazia, The Sunday Guardian, SilverKris, The Mint Lounge and The Hindu. Fade
Into Red, published by Random House India was her debut novel and featured in
Amazon Top 10 Bestsellers. She also holds well renowned workshops for young
adults at both BDL Museum and Kala Ghoda and is keen to build a strong Young
Adult reading and writing community to fill the desperate lack of young adult fiction
in the Indian Market. Her new Young Adult novel, The Hidden Children, will be
launching at the Vizag Junior Literary Festival. Reshma is from the ISB Class
of 2003. She calls both Mumbai and the Nilgiris home. 

 
 
Contact the Author:

Website I Facebook I Twitter I Goodreads

 

 

 

 

Pretend To Be Mine: A Marriage Contract Romance by P G Van

41BtBK8BqSL._SY346_.jpgI borrowed Pretend To Be Mine: A Marriage Contract Romance by P G Van from the Kindle Unlimited library.

The blurb:

Dheeraj does not believe in marriage, but given the circumstances, he is not left with much choice. He needs to move fast to make sure everyone around him believes he is getting married for real and to the right woman, even if it’s for only two years.

Anjali never expected a complete stranger to propose a marriage contract as if he were offering her a job with a salary and benefits package, especially the first time they meet. What he offers is tempting enough for her to give in, so she can fulfill her dream and keep the promise she made to a loved one.

For their friends and family, Dheeraj and Anjali are a loving couple who fell in love at first sight, but they both have an agenda. Their reasons for the marriage contract were different, but what they never expected is what happens when two people start living under the same roof pretending to be a couple.

Sparks fly and butterflies flutter between stolen kisses, but when they start to find out more about each other’s reason for the fake marriage, will they still honor the contract? Will love make its way into the contract as a clause?

Note: This is a stand-alone romance with a passionate couple who finds their HEA. This book is recommended for mature readers.

The Story:

Anjali Devarakonda lost her parents when she was five and was brought up by her grandmother who died when she had barely started college. Her four friends, Riya, Lekha, Sonia and Neeta, have been her rocks since college days. She works as a nurse specialising in premature babies and she loses her job for being compassionate. Having inherited an apartment in the heart of the city, she has a roof over her head, she has enough inheritance to last her five lifetimes but she has a bigger goal and a promise to keep. So she needs a job as she has promise to keep.

So one day, when the friends are out for a drink, someone buys them a drink and he tells her that he needs to speak to her. He is Dheeraj Prakash Verma and he has a job offer for her, a 2 year contract with a payment that would work for her. He wants her to be his wife for 2 years and the payment amount would be double the loan amount she is expecting to from the bank. He also tells her that she would be his wife only for public appearances. And to top it all, he calls her Geetanjali, a name which was used by her grandmother and even her friends don’t know about.

Dheeraj tells her that reason behind choosing her that she is most qualified for the job and he tells her to keep her promise that the arrangement be something that they both are privy to. He gives her four hours to think and tells her that he knows about her and the loan she wants to take and tells her that he can even stall the loan as he is a real estate agent and he could get a set of fake papers for the property that she plans to use as collateral.

My take:

The story has been written in simple English and just flows. I kept reading on wanting to know what happens next. And the characters, they have been etched well and are realistic, and so is the conversation between them. The relationships between the characters have been described well.

I loved the story immensely.

The Reluctant Bride (Romantic Shorts Book 5) by Sundari Venkatraman

41P6w-PXoeL.jpgThe Reluctant Bride (Romantic Shorts Book 5) by Sundari Venkatraman is another short romance written by the author.

The Blurb:

Krish and Nikita hit it off from the moment they set eyes on each other and soon become the best of friends. Everything seems perfect…

…until Krish offers for Nikita’s hand in marriage via his parents.

Too shocked and angry by the unexpectedness of it, Nikita chucks Krish out of her life and tries to lead her life like before.

Only her parents seem to think that she has to get married ASAP as they keep pushing suitable grooms under her nose.

Thoroughly frustrated and unable to stop them, Nikita comes up with a plan to tie the knot with Krish, hoping to revive their friendship. And to her surprise, Krish immediately agrees to it too.

But it looks like her plan is set to backfire on her.

The story:

Krish, 28, back in India after spending eight years in the US, takes up a job in a reputed it firm as COO. He lives in Mumbai and his parents and elder brother live in Pune. Staying away from prospective mothers and marriage, Krish chats with Nitika like old friends on meeting her for the first time and they become best friends. Over the next few weeks, Krish starts seeing her as a life partner, but for her, he is her friend, guide and philosopher.

Three months later, he sends a marriage proposal to her parents through his. But she refuses, because Krish is a friend and she does not feel right getting attracted to him and she is not ready to sacrifice the friendship because she thinks that later everybody fights.

She meets 23 prospective grooms and realises that Krish has spoilt her for everyone else. After refusing the marriage proposal that he had sent via his parents ten months ago, Nitika walks into his office and asks him to marry her as this would keep her parents off her back. But she has a condition.

My take:

The story has simple and realistic characters. The feelings of the characters have been described in detail. The book is fast paced book and has been written in simple English. And can be finished in one sitting.