Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Book Review :: ‘Just For You’ by Rahul Saini

Note: I had received this book via 'Wordbite' in exchange of my honest review.

Genre: Romance/ Literary ??
Publisher: Penguin Metro Reads
Blurb:
When you love someone, what's there to prove? Everything! It looks like life is teaching Rohit a lesson. His publishing deals, his relationships, even his job - nothing seems to be working out. To make matters worse, Karan is still trying his best to ruin him as a writer. But when Nisha leaves him, it's the ultimate blow. To win her back Rohit must prove he loves her enough to do things that matter to her: like helping Tara find a publisher. As Rohit takes control of his life, he begins to find things slowly changing for the better for him too. But will Nisha be happy with that? Will she come back to him? Just for You is an adorable, bittersweet story about love and its responsibilities.

The central character – Rohit, an author, rebels against his inner self and struggles to settle with his unbalanced life while Karun, another (very) young author leaves no stone unturned to ruin his reputation as a writer because of his revelry and jealousy towards him. Rohit suffers the ultimate blow when is his girlfriend, Nisha leaves him. In order to gather the ripped shreds of his life, Rohit tries to win Nisha back by doing the things that would matter to her the most, in turn bringing his life back on track (or not)! Meanwhile, Karun keeps trying his best to ruin his career anyway! 

My Review
‘Just For You’ explores the real world of authors and writers sans the glamour. The story strips off the veneer of style and sophistication from the lives of the protagonists, laying bare the common human emotions—envy, greed, fear and other complexes.

One thing that plagues my mind is that I have not been able to slot the novel into a genre. It is definitely not a romance. But the story does force us to think how to find strength in the face of all adversaries.

The main thread revolves around Rohit who has a bestseller to his credit. He is a straight forward, honest guy, struggling to complete another novel, and handling the practicalities of life. Rohit has had an altercation with his publishers, and the characters on the periphery are ready to take advantage of the situation. Karun is ready to usurp his position as a bestseller author by any means possible, and Rohit’s boss is hell bent on ruining the future of his protege. Without revealing the spoilers, I just want to say that I really liked the twist in the end.

There is a lot of action happening around and in Rohit’s life, and in the first half I felt the extent of human emotions have not been fully explored. I didn’t feel the depth of affection between Rohit and Nisha—Rohit’s girlfriend. The author manages to get the reader hooked when Nisha leaves him. Another small scenario I can’t help but mention and which has to be attributed to creative license— is that Rohit’s boss, boss’s girlfriend and Rohit sharing one room with extra bed on an official trip. A bit far-fetched, and I couldn’t stomach the scene.

The tale is narrated in first person through the main character’s point of view. Each chapter spans a scene which are sometimes as small as half a page with a title sentence summarizing the action about to happen. The first half is a bit slow, but as the stage is set for Rohit to take action, the pace picks up reaching a satisfactory end.

The novel is written in present tense; a style which takes some time to get used to, but I see the it getting quite popular these days. The language and narration is seamless and engaging. 

I will definitely read another novel by the Rahul Saini.

About The Author:
Rahul Saini is the bestselling author of five hugely popular books – Those small Lil’ Things, Just like in the Movies, The Orange Hangover and most recently Paperback Dreams and
Just For You, which created a lot of buzz and raised many questions about the current scenario of the publishing industry in India. All his books have featured in various bestselling lists across the nation.
His books have strong comic tones and present the up-beat stories that portray the fun loving, free spirited and the outgoing character of today’s youth. Apart from being light
entertainers, his books carry relevant social messages. His first book has also been translated into Hindi which won the award for the best translation by the Federation of
Indian Printers and Publishers. Trained as an architect from Sushant School of Art and Architecture, Gurgaon, apart from being a novelist, he is a keen photographer and an artist
and has had successful art shows. He is into film making and script writing as well.
Currently he is working as a visiting faculty member for an art and design program at a prestigious university in India. 



Monday, May 16, 2016

Book Blitz :: 'Voyagers Into The Unknown' by Ruchira Khanna



VOYAGERS INTO THE UNKNOWN 

BY 

RUCHIRA KHANNA




Blurb 
In the historic Indian town of Agra, you can find a very unusual tour company, which is owned by a charming young man named Raj. Although Raj's official job is to show off the historical landmarks of Agra, including the legendary Taj-Mahal, his true mission is to heal the souls of his broken "birds," as he affectionately refers to his tour participants. His business operates purely upon word-of-mouth referrals, ensuring that all of his tour members arrive in Agra with their hearts in their hands, ready for the spiritual growth and cleansing that Raj is known to provide. Healing the hearts of the spiritually damaged can be a difficult job, and in this particular tale, Raj finds himself faced with his most challenging tour group yet. First, there is Ira, a stunningly gorgeous but fragile young woman on the brink of suicide. Next, we meet Darci and Lennard, a couple on the verge of divorce. Then there is Carl, an irritable, antisocial workaholic who has burned all of his bridges. Lastly, we meet Asha, an elderly widow who still yearns for the company and comfort of her late husband. When disaster strikes the tour group, everything is thrown into jeopardy, including lives, relationships, and Raj's very reputation as a tour guide. Raj must find a way to lift the spirits of these five special travelers, even in the face of death and despair. Venture into the unknown and discover how Raj Touristry heals the brokenhearted, one soul at a time. 





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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 


A Reiki Master where she passes out information about channeling universal energy and conducts sessions. The author of “Choices”, “The Adventures of Alex and Angelo” but just another soul trying to make a difference in this lifetime.


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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Book Blitz :: 'My Last Love Story' by Falguni Kothari


About the Book:
Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes’s, Me Before You, My Last Love Story is a heartbreakingly romantic tale about the complexities of trauma and whether love can right a wrong.

I, Simeen Desai, am tired of making lemonade with the lemons life has handed me.

Love is meant to heal wounds.
Love was meant to make my world sparkle and spin.
Love has ripped my life apart and shattered my soul. 

I love my husband, and he loves me.
But Nirvaan is dying.
I love my husband. I want to make him happy.
But he is asking for the impossible. 

I don’t want a baby.
I don’t want to make nice with Zayaan.
I don’t want another chance at another love story. 

Book Links:

Conversation with Zayaan Khan from My Last Love
Story.

Introduce yourself to our readers.

Hey! I’m Zayaan Khan—Zai to my friends. I have two younger
sisters and a mother, and we live in London. I’ve come to Carmel-by-the-Sea to be with Nirvaan and also to finish my dissertation in Islamic studies.

You’re a nerd, huh. Then, this question is perfect for you: If you could do something dangerous just once with no risk, what would you do?

Zai: Nirvaan and I have pretty much covered all the risky and dangerous things men can do. As of this moment, I’d try any risky
experimental medical procedure on Nirvaan to rid his head of tumors once and for all.

What’s the biggest lie you told in childhood?

Zai: That I love my brother. That he was redeemable in Allah’s eyes.

Which of your ancestors would you most like to meet?

Zai: My eight-times great grandfather who was a Sufi saint.
I’d love to meet him and discuss philosophy.

Is it more essential to develop beliefs or gain knowledge?

Zai: Gain knowledge, of course. Belief without knowledge is
a waste and an error. Knowledge is reason. Belief can be unreasonable.

Heavy. Let’s end on a fun note, shall we? What’s the most fun party you ever attended?

Zai: My—our—fifteenth birthday party. It was at Dandi Beach
back home in Gujarat. It’s where we—Nirvaan and I—met Simi.

And that’s our five questions done. Thanks for being a sport. And I wish you find that experimental procedure for Nirvaan too.





Advance Praise:

At once heartbreaking, delightful and completely unexpected. A must read! 
~ Sonali Dev, author of The Bollywood Affair

In My Last Love Story, Kothari examines love and loss, desire and desolation, with a deft, wry touch that kept me reading late into the night and moved me to tears. 
~ Julia Tagan, author of Stages of Desire


About the Author:


Falguni Kothari is an internationally bestselling hybrid author and an amateur Latin and Ballroom dance silver medalist with a background in Indian Classical dance. She writes in a variety of genres sewn together by the colorful threads of her South Asian heritage and expat experiences. When not writing or dancing, she fools around on all manner of social media, and loves to connect with her readers. My Last Love Story is her fourth novel.








Giveaway
1 Copy of My Last Love Story by Falguni Kothari
Paperback Copy if the Winner is US or Indian Resident / eBook for other International Winner.




Friday, May 13, 2016

Cover Reveal :: 'The Conspiracy at Meru' by Shatrujeet Nath


First look at The Conspiracy at Meru (Vikramaditya Veergatha # 2)




Guardians of the Halahala 
(Vikramaditya Veergatha # 1) has a new look as well!

The deadly Halahala, the all-devouring poison churned from the depths of the White Lake by the devas and asuras, was swallowed by Shiva to save the universe from extinction.

But was the Halahala truly destroyed?

A small portion still remains – a weapon powerful enough to guarantee victory to whoever possesses it. And both asuras and devas, locked in battle for supremacy, will stop at nothing to claim it.

As the forces of Devaloka and Patala, led by Indra and Shukracharya, plot to possess the Halahala, Shiva turns to mankind to guard it from their murderous clutches. It is now up to Samrat Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine to quell the supernatural hordes – and prevent the universe from tumbling into chaos!

A sweeping tale of honour and courage in the face of infinite danger, greed and deceit, The Guardians of the Halahala is a fantastical journey into a time of myth and legend.




Reviews
for Guardians of the Halahala

The story is interknitted with action, brilliant storytelling, and insightful of
mythological and legendary elements that get under your skin and challenge the
way you perceive history, as only few of the talented authors can. ~ Shreya Ganguly @ The Notepad
Reviews

I am intoxicated, drugged, and floating in a world that has come to conquer my
senses since the last few days. The world of Vikramaditya. The world carved by
author Shatrujeet Nath. ~ Amrit Sinha on Goodreads

The quality of writing is powerful and beautiful, almost surreal. ~ By Manish Mahajan on Amazon

In fact the only disappointing thing about this book was that the second part
isn't ready yet. ~ Srikanth Sarathy on Amazon


About the Author

Door-to-door salesman, copywriter, business journalist & assistant editor at The Economic Times; Shatrujeet Nath was all this before he took to writing fiction full-time. He debuted with The Karachi Deception in 2013, followed by The Guardians of the Halahala and The Conspiracy at Meru, the first two books in the Vikramaditya Veergatha series. At present, he is writing volume three of the series. Shatrujeet lives in Mumbai, but spends much of his time in the fantasy worlds of his stories.






Also by the Author;

(Click On the Cover for More Details)

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Book Review :: ‘An Autograph For Anjali’ by Sundari Venkatraman

Note: This review is part of ‘The Book Club’ blog tours.

Genre: Romance/ Suspense
Blurb:
Jayant Mathur is found murdered in his bed, shot at point-blank range with his own revolver. Though she’s extremely disturbed by his death, Jayant’s wife Anjali is way more upset about something else. Who stands to gain by killing the multi-millionaire businessman?

Parth Bhardwaj is a friend and neighbour of the Mathurs. Parth is an author who goes by a pseudonym. He appears more than a friend to Anjali; while he’s also on good terms with her son Arjun who lives and studies in the UK. What role does he play in Anjali’s life? Jayant’s relatives are curious to know.

Jayant’s brother-in-law Rana is convinced that Parth and Anjali are the murderers. But Inspector Phadke has his own doubts about this theory. In comes Samrat, the private detective who appears as quiet as a mouse. Will he be able to find the murderer?

Will Anjali find happiness and peace?

My Review:
The new offering from the romance author Sundari Venkatraman’s desk goes a little into the ‘suspense’ category with the murder of a character in the opening chapter. Though it creates intrigue and thrill, it is more of a romance; my favorite genre. 

I have read most of Sundari’s books and unlike others this one deals with romance in the second innings of the protagonist’s life. The story forces us to think about patriarchal attitude of our society towards homemakers and encourages to break free of the imaginary chains.

The industrialist Jayant Mathur is murdered in his bed with his own gun. No fingerprints or clues are left behind. Anjali, his wife, doesn’t shed a single tear and sits stoically waiting for their nineteen year old son to arrive. Meanwhile her friend Parth Bharadwaj handles the police, media and relatives. Police and relatives suspect Anjali and Parth. The story goes into flashback from here onwards.

Anjali is searching for her identity after her teenage son goes abroad for higher studies. She completely breaks down when her husband openly flaunts his affairs. During this period she meets Parth and her life begins to come on track. The romance between the two sizzles with the right chemistry. Very few stories explore the love and passion between forty+ protagonists, so AAFA comes as a refreshing tale.

Anjali’s characterization is near perfect as a wife of a rich businessman and one who suffers due to empty nest syndrome. I loved Parth’s don’t-give-a-damn attitude too. He is a true hero who holds Anjali’s hand and brings out the best in her. Arjun is a little unbelievable for a nineteen year old with respect to the maturity he had shown and easy acceptance of her mother’s relationship with Parth. But I accept him as an exception.

The murder suspense is secondary to the romance, and as the story elements are revealed the readers can easily guess the perpetrator of the crime. We also meet another of Sundari’s character from her novel ‘The Runaway Bridegroom’, the investigator Samrat. It is always very reassuring to read about a known character.

All in all ‘An Autograph For Anjali’ is a nice, breezy read and makes you think about fighting for one's rights.










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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

In 2014, Sundari self-published The Malhotra Bride (2nd Edition); Meghna; The Runaway Bridegroom; Flaming Sun Collection 1: Happily Ever Afters From India (Box Set) and Matches Made In Heaven (a collection of romantic short stories).

2015 brought yet another opportunity. Readomania came forward to traditionally publish this book - The Madras Affair - a mature romance set in Madras.

An Autograph for Anjali, a romance with a touch of suspense, is also a self-published novel. Going a step further, the author has published the paperback version through Notion Press.


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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Book Review:: ‘A Thousand Unspoken Words’ by Paulami Duttagupta


Note: This review is part of 'The Book Club' blog tour.

Genre: Romance/ Literary
Publisher: Readomania Publications
Blurb
A hero, a person who displays great courage for the greater good, can also fall. But what happens to a fallen hero? A Thousand Unspoken Words is the unique journey of a hero who falls. 

The champion of the underdogs, the writer who uses the nom de plume Musafir is famous in Kolkata. His incisive criticism of the injustices around him earn him many enemies but he holds his ideals above all else. Scathing attacks at his books and a night of hide and seek from political goons leads Musafir unto a path he never liked, faraway from his ideals. He runs away and chooses the comforts of money over the travails of following one’s ideals. The hero falls. 

But Tilottama, passionate fan’s hopes don’t. When he comes back after many years, emotions, love and lust take charge and an affair brews. Will she bring back her hero? Will he rise again? Or will the thousand untold words, the many stories of the ideal writer be lost forever?

My Review:
Don’t we all love to have a ‘hero’ in our life? 

But isn’t expecting a mere mortal to exhibit exemplary qualities endlessly without any slack a bit too much? The novel beautifully presents this very aspect of humanity - the story of a fallen hero, who is also a human being.

‘A Thousand Unspoken Words’ explores the complex minds of a highly talented writer and his biggest admirer, who also becomes his nemesis. The novel also brings forth the issue which plagues humans the most—inability to accept the realities of life. 

For the protagonist Tilottama ‘Musafir’, the anonymous writer is a hero, who is fighting for the rights of the oppressed and innocent people. On a rainy night in Calcutta she meets a man running for his life and provides much needed sanctuary to him. Later she comes to know that he was the one whom she had put on her heart’s pedestal.

Musafir had to pay dearly for the crusade he had started with the might of his pen. His printing press is destroyed, he had to flee from his hometown and his father dies. Fearing for his life, he was not even allowed to come for his father’s last rites by his mother. The pressures and practicality of life forces him to become something else, and he falls in Tilottama’s eyes.

‘A Thousand Unspoken Words’ is the story of their struggles, love, expectations, and acceptance. The author has expertly dealt with the imperfections or natural human failings of both the protagonists. The characterization is near perfect and the end is beautiful. The story lingers in the mind and forces one to acknowledge that even heroes are humans and we should make peace with their weaknesses.

Highly recommended read.





Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Alphabet D - Vocabulary of Generation Y2K

Okay, so this alphabet turned out to be ‘duh’, couldn’t find many words starting with ‘D


Dat/Dis/Doe 
Why say that, this or though when you could say dat, dis or doe? Yup, that’s right!

D’oh
Exclamation used to comment on a foolish or stupid action, especially one’s own.




Following two are old and well known, but still popular

Drool worthy
Extremely attractive or desirable. 

Dutch
Split the cost



Abbreviations:

DOC - Drug of choice
DBD - Don't Be Dumb
DBEYR - Don't Believe Everything You Read
DD - Due Diligence
DDD - Drop Dead Gorgeous
DENIAL - Don't Even Notice I Am Lying
DF - Dear Friend
DH - Dear Husband
DIKU - Do I Know You?
DILLIGAS - Do I Look Like I Give A Sh**