The Guest by Suneetha Balakrishnan

518T1H4IKBLThe Guest by Suneetha Balakrishnan is a short read of 47 pages. And this story shows that a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law can be friends. I picked up the book from Kindle Unlimited because I found the blurb interesting.

The Blurb:

The dynamics of Indian family life is not quite what we watch on TV.

Are all moms-in-law tyrants? Are all husbands romantic but with no time to express his feelings to his wife or chauvinistic and wayward and involved with other women even when he is married, or just mama’s boys? Do moms-in-law and daughters-in-law bond at all?

Here’s Sameer, who is a ‘catch’, an eligible bachelor one hears of as ‘nice’ boy in matrimonial parlance. To a girl and her family that only means that he is qualified, comfortably off, well-employed, young and has no bad habits. And when Sameer was proposed for serene Kavitha, she thought he was too nice. But is a girl allowed to say No because the groom proposed is unexciting? Then she met his mother…

The Guest is a day in the life of Mama, Sameer and Kavitha. A story of ordinary, everyday people, that drop the garb of fiction and offer you a slice of life, which is more than a storm in a tea cup.

The story:

Kavita, Sameer and Saraswati live in a typical Indian middle class household. Saraswati was widowed young losing her husband to an accident and brought up her ten year old son, Sameer, single handedly.

Sameer and Kavita’s marriage is arranged at the behest of his uncle and Kavitha only agrees to the marriage after meeting Saraswati. The two women develop a bond and Kavita is more of a daughter than a daughter-in-law to the older lady.

Sameer is happy go lucky person, who prefers his world sunny, often ignoring problems until someone solved it for him or the problem just went away. He is an easy going person, does not take any initiative and is detached from his family. If things worked his way, he was OK but if things did not go according to his preferences, the whole world would be at fault.  Even before he got married to Kavita, his cousin Arjun would help Saraswati in the household chores. Kavita is a quiet, complacent little woman and she has no complaints. Even after his marriage to Kavita, Sameer does not take any responsibility and the ladies want Sameer to take charge.

One day, Sameer and Kavita have an argument and ………..

My take:

The duration of the story is just one day but the way the story has been written gives the reader an idea of who the characters are and their inter-personal relationships. Though the story is simple with realistic characters, and only 47 pages long, the essence of the story runs deep. The story has been beautifully narrated and I loved the twist at the end.


Book Blitz: Forsaken horse wind by Ciara Lake

About the Book:

A troll, a mortal, and a love hot enough to melt ice.

Trapped in a vicious life, Breanna Devion survives only by the strength of her heart. Determined to have more than what her abusive stepfather has planned for her, she’s willing to risk everything to be free.

Axel Venrick is a troll who has spent centuries alone, isolated in his castle in Iceland. At the insistence of others, Axel crafts the ultimate tool to find his soul mate. He creates a beautiful ring which is bespelled, blessed by a god, and sent forth to locate Axel’s other half.

The ring finds Breanna just in time to prevent her stepfather’s disastrous plan from taking place. But angry gods, vengeful parents, and an evil lurking in the immortal world all conspire to destroy the love of the jaded troll and his innocent mortal. Can their love free them or will the evil spreading from the bowels of the earth destroy them first?

Book Links:
Read an Excerpt:
“It’s going to be ugly if they get here. I may have to kill some of them. I’d prefer not to, at least this day. But they may leave me no choice.” He shrugged. “So, let’s go to avoid this problem. I didn’t come here to make war on these humans. I came to fetch my mate.” He stepped closer to the porch. “Trust me, Breanna. Let your heart guide you. If you listen to it, you will know what to do.”
“My mother’s in her room sleeping. I need help with her. She’s ill, and she can be difficult.”
“Let me inside, I’ll talk to her.”
“Okay.” She stood aside. “I’m your mate?”
“Yes, you’re my mate.” In a few quick steps, he stood inside the house. He had to duck as he entered, and once inside he hunched not to hit the ceiling. “Gather what you would like to take with us. Get the coat I gave you.”
Breanna picked up the coat to put it on. She took him to her mother.
“Mother, this is Axel. We need to leave with him. Hugh’s upset with us. He’s coming back to… hurt us. We have to go.” Breanna tapped her mother’s arm. “Mother, please wake up.”
Fiona rolled over to look at Breanna. Her eyes were crazed. “What is it, child?” Her voice sounded weak. “I was dreaming of Hema taking me to his realm.”
“We need to leave. This is Axel.” Breanna pointed at him. “Umm, he’s a friend of mine. We need to go with him, now.”
“No.” Her mother sat up in the bed, shaking her head. Her hair looked wild all over her head. “I must wait for Hema to return. If I’m gone he may not find me.”
“Mother, we have to go. Hugh’s not happy, and he’s bringing others to start trouble.”
“You leave, I’m staying here. I’m not worried about Hugh.” She lay back down, rolling to the other side. “I cannot leave. Hema may come to get me.”
Axel patted Breanna on her shoulder. “They’re almost here. Stand back with me. Lay the coat down then give me your hand. We’ll watch to make sure your mother’s safe.”
He reached for her hand, and Breanna allowed him to hold it.
“No one can see us now. It takes less power if you hold my hand to make you invisible with me. We’ll wait and watch. They cannot hear us either.”
Breanna followed Axel out into the front room of the house. They stood to the right of the fireplace out of the way. The front door burst open, and Breanna jumped.
“It’s okay. They don’t see or hear us. You’ll be safe.” He gently squeezed her hand. “Relax.”
Hugh, along with two other men, entered the house. The door banged against the wall, and they pushed the chairs to the floor as they stomped inside. Others were outside the house calling loudly for her.
“Where’s the bastard? The damn girl’s in league with him.
About the Author:
Welcome to Ciara Lake’s World. Meet Gorgeous Werewolves, Vampires, Dragons, Mermaids, Wizards, Witches, Mythological Gods and Goddesses, Mere Mortals And More! Fiction has always been a passion of mine. Creating worlds and developing characters is a great way for me to relieve the stress and strain of my everyday world. In fantasy (paranormal) and sci-fi stories, the author has the unique ability to invent wonderfully exotic places and people. I do that in my books. These fantastic genres provide a limitless ability to be creative and inventive. My stories provide an escape into a special world filled with unique and otherworldly things. And there is always a happy ending.
Contact the Author:

Tied in knots by Sundari Venkatraman

51LfzqrgKCL._SY300_Tied in knots by Sundari Venkatraman is the second book in the The Thakore Royals.

The Blurb:

When Princess Chitrangada Vasudeva of Jodhana runs away from her bodyguards in the European city of Zurich, the last thing she expects is to be incarcerated with a stranger in his hotel suite for three days and nights.

Prince Rajvardhan Thakore of Udaipur is on his way to take part in the ice polo event at St. Moritz and plans to take a much-needed break in Zurich. He’s thrown for a toss when he stops his car to help a damsel in distress. A few minutes into the encounter, he finds out that “Princess” is anything but a helpless female.

Sparks fly, and how!

Until that morning when Princess simply ups and leaves Rajvardhan without a contact number or a forwarding address. He doesn’t even know her real name.

And then they meet again under the most unusual of circumstances back in Rajasthan, during Chitrangada’s engagement to Raja Harischandra Gajanan of Indore. Even stranger is the fact that her fiancé is more her father’s contemporary than hers.

Will the Thakore prince’s endeavor to make the Vasudeva princess his own succeed under the circumstances?

The story:

Twenty five year old Princess Chitrangada Vasudeva of Jodhana was brought up by her father, Raja Bikram Vasudeva, her mother having died when she was a baby, she is close to him. Her father wants her to marry twice married, forty eight year old Raja Harischandra Gajanan of Indore, who had fallen for her at a party at a common friend’s place in Gwalior. The engagement was to take place in two months.

An expert at restoring heritage buildings, Chitra takes up contracts with companies and she is in Zurich for some official work. And her father has appointed four bodyguards to keep her safe, but she does not know from what, as she has no threat on her life. So one day, on the way back to the hotel, she gets off the car she is travelling in and runs away. But what she forgets to bring with her is her cell phone and her passport. And as she does not have a passport with her, she is stranded as no hotel will give her any accommodation and the snow is falling.

Twenty eight year old Prince Rajvardhan Thakore, second son of the Thakore family of Udaipur, educated at Harvard has been playing polo for the past seven years. He is on the way to his hotel in Zurich, from where he would go to take part in the ice polo event at St. Moritz, when he sees a lady in red flailing her arms for a lift. And he plays the perfect Knight in shining armour and gives her a lift.

But this is the just the beginning. She tells him to her get an accommodation for her in the hotel where he is putting up and introduces herself as Princess, and he as, Raj. But there is no room available, so they have to share his suite, and she even creates trouble for him, but then, they come to an understanding, she gets the sitting room and he takes the bedroom. And then the blizzard, making the roads and railroads impassable, ensures that they are stuck with each other.

Three days later, when the roads are motorable, she packs up all the clothes he bought for her and leaves his suite without even a good bye, a contact number or a forwarding address as she does not want to be rejected by him. He gets up to find her gone and realizes that doesn’t even know her real name. And after winning the ice polo event, Raj decides that he would find Princess come hell or high water.

My take:

I loved the story and the realistic characters. The connect with the previous book in the series has been made beautifully. I felt that this book just continues from where the previous one left off. The characters from the previous book of the series also have roles to play and Samrat, the detective in many of her books, is also mentioned in passing. And the best part is that this book can be read as a standalone too.

The conversation between the characters just flows. The story is fast paced and I finished the book in one sitting. The descriptions are detailed and the twist at the end made my day.

Waiting for the third book in the series, which I feel would be story of the Thakore daughter, Dayanita. Doesn’t that name ring a bell???

The Proposal: A Short story set in India by M V Kasi

51eV+jlU7zLThe Proposal: A Short story set in India by M V Kasi is one book that leaves the reader with a smile. I borrowed this book from Kindle Unlimited.

The Blurb:

Nandini Mahasena has to marry within two weeks. If she didn’t marry the man her parents had chosen for her, they would lose everything.

Nandini wasn’t willing to sacrifice her life for the sake of paying her father’s gambling debts. And the groom, while handsome and very successful, was not the kind her parents would ever pick under ideal circumstances. In fact, he would be the most unsuitable groom since he didn’t have a long line of royal ancestors like Nandini’s family. But something about the groom’s proposal touched Nandini’s heart.

Will Nandini agree to marry the man her parents had picked? Find out in—The Proposal.

The story:

Nandini Mahasena had left home five years ago and lives on her own. She owns a company that is running successfully. Her sister, Meenakshi, elder to her by 4 years, a skilled budding artist, was forcefully married off to a royal blood her father chose is now a widow with a four year old daughter, Anjali.

Nandini is called back home as her parents want her to marry some random stranger because the ‘stranger’ has offered to bail their father from filing bankruptcy in exchange for Nandini’s hand in marriage. So, for the sake of her sister, she agrees to ‘see’ the ‘man’.

Rajeev Raheja, the ‘man’ in question, belongs to a business family that owns a group of jewellery stores across India, and has returned to India to take care of his family business after pursuing his higher education abroad.

Nandini meets Rajeev and sparks fly, she insults him and also her father in front of him, but Rajeev does not flinch.

My take:

The cover is beautiful and the story is simple and different. The characters are realistic and so is the conversation between them. The author has brought in the twist in the story is such a way that the reader I taken by surprise. I would really love to read this story in detail and also Meenakshi’s story.

Book Blitz: Fate’s Design by Subhashish Dey

About the Book:

When a kidnapper redeems his lost conscience and finds himself unable to murder the girl he has kidnapped, what does he do? Fate is cruel to him, and good intentions are never enough. 

At the same time, a woman dissatisfied with her existence flees from her home, not knowing what lies ahead of her. But all things come at a price, and she has a hard path ahead through storms and fire.   

Watch how fate has entwined these lives together, into a song through struggles of conscience and identity, through the deepest lows and greatest highs, and through the flame of madness and the stings of survival.     

Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon

Feedback for the Book:

5 Stars “An extremely well
written thriller by an amazing fourteen-year-old. Written at an age when most
teenagers find their boats floundering in the sea of words, Subhashish had not
only managed to keep a grip on the plot, taking the reader along the journey of
his well-drawn out characters, he had also shown a rare maturity in his choice
of words. His insights are at times startling, coming from someone of his age.”
~ Supratim
Kar on Amazon
5 Stars – “An impressive
first novel. The author is still in his teens, but the narrative voice is one
of maturity and experience. The story unfolds like a Russian romance novel, in
a modern setting. The plot is complex and suspenseful and keeps one turning the
pages until the climax.” ~ T.N.Badri on
thoroughly interesting read, Fate’s Design, plays out as a struggle to live,
survive and not merely exist. There are flaws, which in any case, are there in
every piece of writing, but, the author’s abilities to weave a story, which
does not make you, cringe or question its validity, make it an interesting work
worth going over more than once.” ~
About the Author:
Subhashish is a 14-year-old student of Chinmaya Vidyalaya Anna Nagar. He has been regularly contributing short stories to his school magazine. An avid reader, Subhashish believes that books open the doors to some wonderful insights in life. A brilliant student, Subhashish loves to explore different places and spends time trying to understand the culture of the people there.


Subhashish lives in Chennai along with his parents and grandmother. This is his first attempt at writing a novel. Subhashish is passionate about music and loves singing and playing his piano. Incidentally, music forms the backbone of the story of his novel.


Spotlight: RISING FROM THE ASHES:  A Short Story: Prequel to Knitted Tales 2  by Rubina Ramesh


A Short Story: Prequel to Knitted Tales 2 
Rubina Ramesh


She was one of the most beautiful woman Asura Sambara had laid his eyes on. 
Possessing a beauty of this magnitude became his passion. Sambara kidnapped her and whisked her off to his palace. 
Mayavati knows she has no option but to bow down to his wishes. But what about the young man who always haunts her dreams? She had no clue why she was in this palace but after speaking to the mischief making Sage Narada, it all started making sense to her. 
Who was Mayavati and what was she doing in Asura’s palace? 
Was Sambara her destiny? 
Disclaimer: This short story is a mythological fiction and should be treated as such. The author does not claim it to be a retelling of the Puranas. This piece is a product of her unbridled imagination. 
Grab your copy @
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.

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

You can stalk her @
This Tour is Hosted by 
We Promote So That You Can Write 


Shadows at dusk by Neelmani Bhatia

413bidHkH-L._SX322_BO1_204_203_200_ (1).jpgI received the book, Shadows at dusk by Neelmani Bhatia as a review copy from the author and I would like to than ma’am for the book. Set in a small village in Rajasthan, a town in Haryana and mostly in Delhi, this book is an eye opener.

The blurb:

“Something sinister is afoot in Rajasthan. An organized sex syndicate uses cattle hormone to ‘develop’ kidnapped young girls into women and forcing them into flesh trade.”
Such headlines would make any reader shudder. So would Shadows At Dusk, as this novel exposes and bemoans horrendous acts being perpetrated on girls and women. The story unfolds the life of a middle-aged woman, masseur by profession, who relives her anguished trajectory rendering an insightful narrative that showcases not only the pain of an archetypal Indian woman, but also throws spotlight on the plight of well-heeled urban women through her close interaction with them. It becomes poignantly ironic when she deciphers such uncomfortable similarities in the lives of these women despite their privileged social and economic backgrounds.

Neelmani Bhatia has penned this book for every woman who has suffered since Eve walked the planet earth, for her ability to break the conventional shackles, and hail the woman power – the power to make sacrifices, the power to abrogate her own identity, the power to make men feel powerful so that they could achieve greater heights. That is, the power of silent suffering.

Though a work of fiction, it could serve as referral for sociological study! There is no pretension of subverting the cultural myths. All those who want to unravel the mystic India, see the real India and rather delve into the heart and hearth of the Indian women, who have to grapple with elephantine problems ranging from infanticide, honour killing to caste and class discrimination, would be drawn to its absorbing pages.
My take:

The story revolves around a lady right from her birth in a small village, Rampur, near Alwar in Rajasthan in a poor Sikh family, her father was a sevadar in a Gurudwara. Her family of six which included two brothers and a sister other than her parents, managed to survive through the largesse of the managing committee and devotees. She and her sister have had no formal education while her brothers get educated.

This lady is Leela, from whose point of view, the story has been written in person. We travel with Leela to Rohtak, in Haryana, with her aunt, and then we also visit her house when she gets married to a widower. Thus we see the plight of women from Leela’s point of view as we move in the story.

The author has used simple language and detailed all that women go through in certain parts of our country. She has also brought to light various facets of Indian culture.

This book really made me introspect and think about women who have had to undergo such issues.

About the book:

Neelmani Bhatia had her education in highly prestigious educational institutes in Delhi. She is hardcore lover of animals. A cancer survivor, she intends giving the entire sales proceeds of this book to charitable organisations.

Buying Links:

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.