A story of friendships: Days of our lives by Aarti V Raman

514VvRIHZULDays of Our Lives by Aarti V Raman is her latest contemporary romance, a story of five friends from Thanjavur.

The blurb:

They are the Tanjavur Thunders

Anu, Avi, Charlie, Meher, and Shashi are childhood friends who promised to be together no matter what. But life, and adulting, got in the way and now all they have together is a text chain group.

Until…

Bubbly, protected Shashi Shivaramakrishnan announces her engagement to a reserved engineer, Arjun Seshadri, and her surprise promotion to Mumbai.

Avi and Meher, the happiest married couple ever, are at a crossroads – Meher Raghuman wants a baby more than Avi Sreedhar. Avi’s conservative Iyer parents finally love their daughter-in-law.

Anu Harinandan is a quiet, demure doctor who dreams of going to the US in a few months with a secret no one knows…

Her love for Charlie Thomas, the broken bad boy, the vagabond of the group who has, more or less, disappeared for the last ten years.

When Shashi convinces Anu to move into a flat in the same complex as Meher, Avi, and Arjun, the Tanjavur Thunders reunite for a rocking three months. And the *galaataa* fun really begins when Charlie also comes down for their reunion.

But the Thunders are kids no longer. And adult relationships come with their own baggage – secrets, lies, heartbreak and more.

Can these five friends survive their reunion without losing themselves, or each other?

The story:

Thanjavur Thunders: Five friends, Avi, Meher, Anu, Shashi and Charlie.

Arvind Sreedhar, Avi, is the son of a generational farmer. And Meherunissa Raghuman belongs to an orthodox Tamil muslim family. Avi and Meher have known each other since a long time and Avi had declared, at the age of eighteen, that he would marry Meher. Married for three years, Avi and Meher are a happy. Avi works for a multinational company and Meher is pursuing her PhD. Avi’s typical Iyer parents do not like Meher much, and even her parents do not like him, but Avi loves Meher more than anything in this world.

 

Anu Harinandan’s parents wanted her to be a doctor and now she is doing her post-graduation in Mumbai and she wants to go to the US for further studies. She loves Charlie Thomas, who is a part of their group but has not made an appearance for the last ten years. She is goal focussed and he is unpredictable.

Shashi Shivaramakrishnan, an only child, is the apple of her parents’ eyes. An MBA from IIM, Trichy, she works in a bank and lives with her parents in Vizag. She is due for promotion and that would mean moving to Mumbai for probation. Her parents are very protective and would not allow her to go to Mumbai alone even though her three best friends, Avi, Meher and Anu live there. So, she gets engaged to US returned engineer, Arjun Seshadri.

Charlie is an unpredictable friend any one could have. He is also Shashi’s cousin. Both Charlie and Avi are Shashi’s older brothers in a way.

Five friends, three couples and many different issues.

My take:

This is a story of friendship, family, love, understanding, marriage and also the stresses that come along with it.

The realistic and relatable characters have been developed beautifully, and as the story moves along, the layers keep adding to them. The friendship has been beautifully described and the conversations between the characters are realistic. The friendship between the girls and even that between the five of them is worth reading.

The language is simple, and I enjoyed how she had interspersed the conversation with commonly used Tamil words, but as I do not follow the language, I had to keep going till the end to know their meaning, so as to enjoy it more. So maybe, if the author can add the meanings of the Tamil words as a footnote on the page where the word is mentioned, it would make it more enjoyable.

I loved the narration and the fast pace of the book, as it moved from one friend to another.

 

A story of the matriarch: The Matriarch: Gayatri and Surya’s Sanctum (The Verma Clan’s Sanctum Series Book 4) by Reshma Ranjan

41cm+EC6qGLThe Matriarch: Gayatri and Surya’s Sanctum (The Verma Clan’s Sanctum Series Book 4) by Reshma Ranjan is the fourth book in the series. I picked this book up from the Kindle Unlimited Library and enjoyed the story of the matriarch of the Verma clan, Gayatri.

The blurb:

Gayatri Rajendran is the spine of the Verma clan–a crazy yet beautiful family that began with her adopting Mia, then followed by Dia and so on. She missed Surya Verma who was the love of her life. Surya was the last reigning king of Malabar Province and even though he was no longer the ruler, he still worked for the betterment of his people. He had stolen Gayatri’s heart but had left her bereaved at a very young age.
The vacuum he left in her life was filled with the love of her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

After Gayatri’s near-fatal brush with death, she met Surya again after decades. But is it only a figment of her imagination? Can Surya still exist even after death? Can Gayatri believe in his presence near her?

Read The Matriarch to find out the story of Gayatri and Surya, the pioneers of the Verma clan.

The story:

The story begins with Gayatri the matriarch floating between life and death and then she meets her late husband, Surya and her daughter. Now she can communicate with both of them and they can communicate with her, but Surya warns her not to disclose this to anyone.

So, once she comes back from the brink of death, Gayatri shocks her family by acting weird. Her adopted children and grandchildren are all there. And then Surya takes the form of a nurse, who incidentally is also Surya, and moves to the Palace with Gayatri to take care of her.

My take:

Having read the first three books of the series, the stories of the third generation Vermas, Sujal, Salim and Piyush, I was surprised to see the fourth book is about the matriarch.

The story moves back and forth between the past and the present and we see a young Gayatri, who had left her home for a job in Bangalore and we also see Gayatri as the matriarch of the Verma Clan. The characters from the previous books make an appearance in this one too and it was nice to see the connection between the books. Yet, this book can be read as a standalone too.

The language is simple and the story has been narrated beautifully. I loved the book and am waiting for more books about the clan.

Book Blitz: SELF-EDITING, EDITING & EDITORS by Inderpreet Uppal


SELF-EDITING, EDITING & EDITORS

by 

Inderpreet Uppal

 
 
BLURB
 
Self-Editing, Editing, and Editors will help writers and authors demystify the nitty-gritty of editing.
The Writer’s Toolkit covers the basic steps needed to ensure that you have a well-edited book.
Editing Simplified!
Easy to follow, step-by-step instructions on :
How to search for an editor, and how to negotiate and finalise the right editor?
Do you need self-editing?
How can self-editing help you?
How to ensure that you have the best editor?
Why does every writer need an editor?
How to negotiate, find the right editor and have the best contract?
How to ensure your work is safe and edited as per your needs?
All your questions and doubts answered.
The Writer’s Toolkit is for Self-Editing, Editing, and Editors for a polished book and a calm author.
Editing explained and why you need it.
 
Grab your copy @
 
 
About the author



 
Inderpreet writes for her love of writing, edits manuscripts and reads endlessly. 
 
A sprinkling of fiction, a dash of books, and a bit of opinion add to the eclectic mix that is Eloquent Articulation, her blog.
 
Books, editing, writing, and blogging keep her busy whenever she gets a breather from mothering her ‘too tricky to handle son’. 
 
An Army brat, she now joins her adorable Army hubby across the country. “
 

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

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Wonder Women: 31 Fantastic Adventures in Science: Women Scientists in India by by Aashima Freidog and Nandita Jayaraj

unnamed7I received the book 31 Fantastic Adventures in Science: Women Scientists in India by by Aashima Freidog and Nandita Jayaraj as a review copy from the publisher and am thankful them for the same.

The blurb:

We don’t see them on TV, in textbooks or in newspapers, and most of us can’t name a single one. But there are thousands of women scientists in India, who perform experiments in laboratories, peer through powerful telescopes and camp out in harsh and extreme conditions.

This unique book presents the stories of thirty-one of these trailblazing women who work in a diverse array of fields, from environmental biotechnology to particle physics, palaeobiology to astrophysics. Through their research, they uncover the mysteries of the universe, find more sustainable ways of living, cure life-threatening diseases and study animals and plants that are long gone.

Find out what drew them to science, read about how they deal with the difficulties and pressures of their work, and learn how they push the boundaries of human knowledge further and further every day.

My take:

A book about 31 Indian women scientists. I had heard about Kiran Majumdar Shaw only. The rest were new. The best part is that the authors have written only two pages about each scientist and those two pages are enough to spark the curiosity about the scientists. I read more about many of them after reading the book. At the beginning, the authors have explained how they searched for these 31 lesser known women.

The language is simple and easily understandable. These stories can be read as standalone stories and can encourage children to become more than doctors and engineers. The illustrations are simple and colourful and very pertinent.

A must read for all parents and children. If we have children who are ready to become programmers at the age of 9, the least we can do is encourage our 9 year olds to dream about being scientists.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A haunting tale: The Heir of Kingsley by Leena Varghese

heir of kingsleyI received the book The Heir of Kingsley by Leena Varghese as a review copy and am thankful to her for the same. This is her first attempt at this genre and I must say that she has really done a good job.

The blurb:

“From the deepest desires often comes the deadliest hate.” – Socrates

Nearly on the verge of retirement, Professor James Kingsley inherits the Kingsley Bluemount Arches, a dilapidated plantation bungalow previously owned by his Anglo-Indian uncle, Albert Kingsley. The vast run-down estate in the ethereally beautiful mountains of Munnar is more than just a legacy of ruins.

As James takes over after the death of the old care-taker, Kunju Maria, who had lived on the premises for decades, he begins to feel the suffocating burden of being the heir of Kingsley estate. Kunju Maria’s pervasive presence haunts every corner of his property.
His uneasiness and confusion are magnified when he starts to see the apparition of a young woman even as he sinks into a strange depressive introspection, concerning his own unresolved issues. He is unaware of the danger in his surroundings until he is nearly killed by a freak accident on the estate. As each day becomes a threat to his life, he gets obsessed with the reason behind the mysterious incidents at Kingsley.

James realises quite soon that his hallucinations are not figments of his disturbed mind, but deadly phantoms that have a deeper connection to his past.

Would he succeed in his quest to find the answers to the dark past of Kingsley Bluemount Arches? Or do the apparitions consume him as he grapples with his own lack of faith?

Does James rise out of his diffidence to become the true heir of Kingsley on his journey of self-discovery?

The story:

James Kingsley, a professor of botany at Hyderabad, arrives at Kingsley bungalow Bluemount Arches, a property in Kerala, that he inherited from his uncle who was a bachelor when he died eight years ago, at the age of eighty three. And now he is here because Kunju Maria, Kochamma, the care-taker of the estate, had died in an accident at the age of ninety six. He had met her then and she was enraged that James had inherited the estate.

A widower, whose daughter is in the US, James plans to move to the estate after retirement and as he is settling down in the estate, he is haunted by a young woman with a baby who keeps calling him by singing to him, crying and even talking to him.

Who is she? And what does she want from him?

My take:

This book is the author’s first attempt at paranormal by the author and I must say that she has done a convincing job.

The story has been written in first person from the point of view of James Kingsley. She has added many layers to the story and they keep coming off as the story proceeds. The characters, though not many, have been developed well and something or the other about them kept coming up as the story proceeded.

The scenes have been described in detail and I could actually visualise the arches and also Kunju Maria. The twists and turns kept me at the edge of my seat.

The story is crisp and to the point and the author gets to the end of the mystery beautifully. But that is not all, she leaves us with a sentence that tells us that there is more to come.

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

 

A romance between two opposites: My love, a liar by Ruchi Singh

my love a liarI picked up Ruchi Singh’s latest book, My Love, a liar from the Kindle Unlimited Library. This book is the story of a girl from Lucknow working in Delhi.

The blurb:

They never had anything in common and tolerated each other for their best friends’ sake. Thrown together due to circumstances beyond their control, Cupid strikes.
Aditi is a modern girl working in Delhi brought up in a sheltered atmosphere with high traditional family values.

Rahul is a free thinker with no regard or patience for archaic social norms.

Will Rahul be able to break the barrier of Aditi’s social conditioning? Will he go to any length to convince her of his philosophy?

Can Aditi hope to make Rahul believe in happily-ever-after? Will she risk losing her independence for a person who cannot give her any emotional security?

The story:

Aditi Mehra, the youngest child of her family, is working in Delhi. She is a simple girl and her family decides everything for her and she wants to keep them happy. Her best friend, Priya, also lives in Delhi and in now married to Abhi.

Rahul Kumar, an orphan, works as a marketing executive and is Abhi’s friend.

The two meet in order to unite Abhi and Priya and sparks fly. They are polar opposites, and Rahul does not leave a stone unturned to pull Aditi’s leg.

And they are both attracted to each other, but one visit to Lucknow, her parents get her engaged to a boy of their choice.

My take:

A simple story of two people who meet each other because of their best friends and end up getting attracted to each other. And add to that family values, friendship and teasing.

The characters develop slowly and by the time the book came to a close, they had already created a place in my heart. The banter between the two lead characters was quite interesting.

Started the book last night and finished the book in one sitting.

The fourth book of the Wellington Estate Series: The Wish To Belong by Sunanda Chatterjee

51xiQ-OBQrLI received an ARC of the book The Wish To Belong by Sunanda Chatterjee from the BookSprout and am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

Dr. Lily Leoni may have grown up in the exclusive Wellington Estates, but she will always remain the butler’s niece, an outsider looking in. Arjun Dheer seemed like a kindred spirit until he broke her heart. Lily has moved on, but something’s amiss in her new relationship.

On all counts, Arjun Dheer is a savvy businessman and entrepreneur. But a career decision threatens everything he yearns for, and the only way out is marrying the wrong girl. But Arjun has never forgotten Lily.

With their attraction undeniable, but their relationship impossible, can Lily and Arjun forge a way through the chaos of secrets and betrayal to a place of trust and belonging?
Book 4 of the Wellington Estates Series, The Wish to Belong, is a stand-alone romantic saga about second chances, acceptance, and finding love despite all odds.

The story:

Lilibeth Leoni, Lily, an only child, and her mother were abandoned by her unemployed, drunk, gambler father twenty three years ago when she was six. And then when she was seven, she lost her mother in a hit and run and was brought up by her Uncle Anthony. She grew up with the Riley’s family where her uncle Anthony was a butler and they lived in a small outhouse at the back of the property that belonged to the Rileys. She was grateful to the Riley’s for all that they had done for her but her allegiance belonged with Danielle, her best friend since elementary school.

Eight years, when Danielle and Lily were in college, they met Arjun Dheer, from India, who was also one of the students and the three became best friends. Arjun was her college friend and heartthrob with whom she had broken off before she joined medical school saying that she would be busy. This was because she felt that Arjun and Danielle belonged together and Danielle’s happiness meant everything to Lily and she felt that she had to encourage Danielle’s friendship to Arjun because their families were similar. and it was Lily’s responsibility to make sure that Danielle made the right choice. And also because Arjun was never around, he disappeared for days at end, didn’t answer her texts and almost never called.

Arjun Dheer belonged to a rich family in India and his family owned wineries in India. Arjun has a younger sister, a loving mother and a much older and aloof father. All his life, Arjun had tried to impress his father, but it was his sister who was Daddy’s favourite.

After college, Danielle moved to India on a project and Arjun had helped Danielle by getting (temporarily) engaged to her when she was in India to protect  her reputation.

Now, twenty nine year old Dr Lilibeth Leoni is a third year resident in the emergency department of a hospital. She knows the importance of conveying her empathy, her concern, her support to the next of kin of her patients. Her boyfriend, William, is the Chief oncology Fellow at the hospital.

Arjun, now 28, needed to show his father that he was capable, responsible and that he belonged to the family. The feeling of helplessness and inadequacy from Lily’s rejection still haunted him and drove him deeper into his work to justify his life. So, he bought a winery in Temecula, Southern California a few years ago and left his secret life for good, one year ago. Once his new ventures took off, he could finally be rid of his other obligations. And then there is his grandfather’s will which states that all the property would be divided between Arjun and his sister only if they marry an Indian.

Arjun and Lily meet after eight years and they have their questions but they also have the attraction going strong. Arjun was the most thoughtful, most considerate, most caring person she had known and Arjun had loved no one but Lily. Both seemed to have something to prove to the world.

But, She saved lives. He took them. They could never be together.

My take:

I loved the story and read the book thrice and enjoyed it even more each time. There are so many stories within the story and each story has so many layers. As with the other books in the series, this book can be read as a standalone, though characters from the previous books do make their appearances.

I loved the characters and how they have been developed. The author had developed the back stories so well that it justifies how each character behaves and reacts to the situations. Lily’s compassion is so visible, and so is Danielle’s friendship. The relationships and conversations between the characters is very realistic. Arjun’s love for Lily could be felt. The emotions have been described in detail and as with all her books, relationships are the main point in the story. She has described relationships in relation to kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken crockery, by mending the cracks with a mix of lacquer and gold or silver dust resulting in a stunning piece of art.

The language is simple and the plot has been developed in detail. Though the story moves back and forth between the past and the present, I never got lost as the author has mentioned the time at the beginning of the chapters.

A beautifully written book, which has all the elements, friendship, family, relationships, romance, love and even loss. The story made me laugh, cry and smile, sometimes all at the same time.

I loved the book and would definitely recommend it.

Waiting eagerly for the next book of the series, which I think would be the story of Avinash Singhania.

DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC of the book from BookSprout in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

A book for everyone:Editing Bootcamp: A Fiction Writer’s Guide to Self-Editing Part 1 (TBC Writer’s Toolkit Book 11) by Dola Basu Singh

editing bootcamp 1I received the book Editing Bootcamp: A Fiction Writer’s Guide to Self-Editing Part 1 (TBC Writer’s Toolkit Book 11) by Dola Basu Singh as a review copy from the author and am thankful to her for the same.

The blurb:

Looking to self-publish on a low budget but can’t compromise on quality?

Want to polish your book before querying an agent?

Are you a newbie fiction editor wanting to learn developmental editing?

Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.

Lots of books teach the craft of writing but not many focus on reworking, polishing, or self-editing. Learning editing skills shouldn’t be restricted to a privileged few. All writers should have access to strategies that can change a crude first draft into a polished work of art.

Editing Bootcamp will demystify the editing process by showing you how to spot and avoid common pitfalls, and correct the mistakes.

Inside you’ll find:

  • Actionable steps for all stages of editing.
  • Seven fiction elements including structure, point of view, characters, dialogue and more.
    •Handy editing checklists.

Take your writing to the next level with this concise how-to guide. Edit yourself into print.

My take:

Though I am not a book author, but when I was reading her book, I felt how we are drawn to a book we are reading if it has a great flow, does not confuse us and keeps us hooked. This is the work of the author, whose name we see on the book cover and also of the unsung hero of the book, the editor, who irons out the creases and what we get is a neat picture.

She has gone into the nitty gritties of editing right from plotting the book to self editing it before sending it off to the editor and publisher. And in today’s time of self-publishing, this is very important. Imagine reading a book that jumps from one place to another. I have read one such book, and unfortunately could not finish it.

This is the first book of a two part series and in this book the author has touched on a few topics like the aim of self-editing, how to spot the elements missing in your writing, common mistakes made, and she says that she aims to demystify the editing process by showing the writers how to spot errors. At the beginning itself the author says that this book is not a how-to writing guide.

In this book, the author has talked about the stages of editing, the types of editing, the process. She talks in detail about the seven major elements of fiction ie structure, point of view, characterisation, plot, setting, dialogue and conflict. At the end of each chapter she has put in a checklist which would be useful to the author.

This book is a must read for every author, whether we write manuscripts, documents, or even reviews. I shall now try to structure my reviews in this manner.

I am looking forward to Book 2 by this author.

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

A book for the strong hearted: The Lion of Kashmir by Siddhartha Gigoo

the lion of KashmirI received the book The Lion of Kashmir by Siddhartha Gigoo as a review copy from the publisher and am thankful to them for the same.

The Blurb:

Commandant Abdul Aziz, Special Forces, Kashmir is a legendary police officer in the valley, albeit not always for good reasons. And then one day he disappears. His daughter, Zooni, a human rights activist has to return home for her missing father. Bizarre events unfold in the ensuing night at a safe house where she’s forced to stay and where she comes face-to-face with the most disturbing truth of her life, and of the lives of her father and half-brother. Through the eyes of the daughter are seen the dilemma and the moral crisis of a legendary police officer torn between his past and present, duty and desertion, loyalty and treachery, and right and wrong. Award-winning author Siddhartha Gigoo’s The Lion of Kashmir is not just a story of a father and daughter’s intrepid struggles in Kashmir, but also the story of present-day Kashmir itself.

My take:

The book gives an account of how a Kashmiri Cop is alienated from the local people because of his profession. This book is the story of Commandant Abdul Aziz of Special Forces, Kashmir and has been divided into three parts: Penumbra’, ‘Umbra’ and ‘The Journal of Abdul Aziz’. The narration is initially from the point of view of Zooni, the daughter of Commandant Aziz, who is a human rights activist in London. The narration is confusing as it keeps moving between the past and the present and between dreams and wakefulness and I found it a bit difficult to distinguish between the two.

This is one book that needs to be read with a lot of concentration so as to get the facts clear.

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

A rom-com: The Confused Bridegroom by Rubina Ramesh

confused bridegroomRubina Ramesh’s latest book, The Confused Bridegroom, is her attempt at a rom-com, and I enjoyed reading the story.

The blurb:

If someone had told Arvind Randhawa that he would one day trudge through the fields of Punjab in his designer shoes, the young NRI from London would have committed that person to an asylum. But here he was–lost amid the crops and cursing his grandfather for emotionally blackmailing him into marrying an old friend’s daughter, a promise the old man had made decades ago.

And just like it happens in Bollywood movies, he meets Nikki in those luscious fields. Nikki is a bubbly girl and manages to crack Arvind’s forehead with a cricket ball on their first meeting. She must have hit him in the right place for Arvind falls in love with her.

But trust his grandfather to make his life miserable by choosing the wrong daughter! While his heart was given to the younger daughter Nikki, it seemed he would have to tie the knot with the elder one.

Caught between familial ties and love, Arvind has only two choices: kill the old friends under the same Peepal tree where they made promises about his life, or run away with Nikki. But can he do either?

Dear Readers, The Confused Bridegroom is my first romantic comedy, and I hope you will smile as much reading it as I did while writing it. 

The story:

Arvind Randhawa, with his background in management from Liverpool university, is at Chandigarh International airport on the way to their ancestral village, Toosa, which they had left three generations ago. All because of his grandfather and father, to meet his grandfather’s friend, Jaspinder Singh, and marry his daughter, because of a promise his grandfather had made. After studying at Harvard, he was supposed to rule the empire his grandparents and parents had built, but he could do it only after marrying a girl he had never seen or loved.

And to make matters worse, the taxi driver who had brought him to the village, drops him at the end of a field saying that he has to walk down the rest of the way. And he meets Nikita, Niki, Sarpanch’s daughter, in a very filmy way, and is smitten by her only to reach her home later and find that he has to marry her elder sister, Ruchika and she is engaged to Kabir, the son of the headmaster in their school who has gone to New York to study.

My take:

I loved the cover and the story. A simple story with funny twists and turns. The book is actually two love stories at the price of one, and I felt that it could have been a bit longer and the other characters could have been given some more space as well. The characters are realistic and their confusions are funny I wanted to know more about Nikki, Kabir and Ruchika. And to top it all is an autocratic grandfather who just does not want to hear anyone out and feels his word is the law. And familial pride. Add all this and some Punjabi tadka and you are in for a funny ride. The language is simple and the story is fast paced.

Overall, an enjoyable read.