Friday, October 23, 2015

Spotlight on 'Metro Diaries' by Namrata

Metro Diaries 

The Blurb
Love is one of the most amazing feelings on this earth, one that makes you the most powerful person or the most helpless person in a split second. These stories capture those feelings of despair, longing, love, lust, desire, want, dejection and admiration to create deja vu. Hold onto your hearts as you flip through these pages and take a walk down the memory lane, as "metro diaries" will revive your innermost feelings and imbibe in you the magic of love. Touching, amusing and deeply moving, metro diaries - love classics are tales that will hold you from start till end.
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Meet the Author

Namrata is a prolific blogger known by the name Privy Trifles in the blogosphere who romances life through her writings and aspires to make love the universal language. She dons various hats between that of a contributing author to 8 anthologies a reviewer for leading publishing houses an editor to various books and a columnist. Apart from that she is also the editor for an online magazine called Writer's Ezine. Having mastered the nuances of finance till recently she also held the title of an investment banker closely to let it go to embrace her love for writing fully.

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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Cover Reveal 'A DOG EAT DOG-FOOD WORLD' By Suresh Chandrasekaran

Cover Reveal:




A hilarious pseudo-history of marketing management, which explicitly denies resemblance to any actual history, and which will be horrified if some semblance be found. The story of a man who discovered that the path of life is strewn with treadmills and, if you get on one by mistake, you could keep running all your life to stay in the same place. The story of how a businessman may just be minding his…err…business and the ‘Invisible Hand’ can cause unexpected consequences to arise out of his innocent actions. There is no point blaming the tale for being exaggerated because that is precisely what it seeks to be – an ‘exaggeratio ad absurdum’ of some facets of the world. Anything you learn from the book – be it the basics of marketing management or a satirical view of Society – you do at your own risk.

The tale only dogs the doings of:

Spike Fortune who only sought to feed dogs and, later, sought more dogs to feed.

Jerry Fortune who, being fortuneless, gets dragged helter-skelter behind his uncle Spike in the latter’s careening pursuit of commercial success and gets sandwiched between Spike and..

Tyke who was Spike’s resident genius on enticing dogs with their wares. He also has to help Spike in his rivalry with..

Tom Rich, who is unwillingly dragged into upstaging Spike and tries to do it by teasing the palates of cats, helped by the bumbling efforts of..

Jasper Rich who would rather be partying than chasing cats with cat-foods.

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Meet The Characters

Spike Fortune, who, being unable to justify his existence by making money, is obsessed with justifying his existence by spending all his inherited wealth. Lead into the paths of commerce, he discovers that, while it may seem attractive to set out to lose money, the natural consequence of having people consider him a loser was indigestible. Having set out to feed dogs, Spike becomes obsessed with feeding more dogs and, later, having more dogs to feed.

Jerry Fortune, who discovers that there are perils to having your livelihood depend on a benevolent uncle. Tied to his uncle’s coat-tails by a need for sustenance, he is dragged helter-skelter behind Spike in the latter’s careening progress in pursuit of commercial success. Having first been a mere interpreter between his uncle, Spike, and the resident marketing guru, Tyke, he later finds that being in the middle can get very uncomfortable, indeed.
Tom Rich, who had never realized that the easy contempt he had for his schoolboy acquaintance could prove so dangerous. Spike’s meteoric rise in the world of Commerce puts him in a position of either having to prove himself better or have all that contempt come back with usurious interest. He drags his nephew, Jasper, along in pursuit of teasing the palates of cats.


All that Spike and Tom had wanted was to be a winner in their respective businesses and, more importantly, in their own private game of one-upmanship. They had no idea that their humble quest would redraw the contours of Society and set in place principles that both businessmen and Society would live by.

Meet the Author

Fiction has been an addiction but the need to make a living took Suresh through Chemical Engineering and a PGDM at IIM-Bangalore and, from thence, to a long 16 year stint in the area of finance with specific expertise in fertilizer subsidies and a further two years as consulting expert in the same area. That, in his words, about sums up the boring part of his life, except for the people he was privileged to meet.

Otherwise, he can be described as a mess of contradictions – a bookworm but avid trekker; alone but never lonely; enjoys solitude but loves company; lazy but a perfectionist, the litany is endless. Trekking, which side-tracked him from the writing for which he quit his job, is a major passion and he does, at least, one trek in the Himalayas every year in addition to numerous local treks.

He reignited his passion for writing with a fairly popular blog The blog has been rated among the Top 5 humour blogs in India, twice in succession - in 2014 and 2015 - by BlogAdda, and has also been listed third among the Top Humour Blogs by Baggout.
He also has a short story published in a collection “Uff Ye Emotions” and has edited and written a novelette in an ebook anthology “Sirens spell danger”

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Book Review::'Made in India' by Biddu

This review is part of B00kR3vi3ws review.

Genre: Autobiography
Publisher: Read Out Loud

As a child, Biddu dreamt of going west and making it big as a composer. At the age of sixteen, he formed a band and started playing in a cafe in Bangalore, his home town, At eighteen, he was part of a popular act at Trinca's, a nightclub in Calcutta devoted to food, wine and music, At nineteen, he had college students in Bombay dancing to his music. 

In his early twenties, he left the country and ended up hitchhiking across the Middle East before arriving in London with only the clothes on his back and his trusty guitar. What followed were years of hardship and struggle but also great music and gathering fame. From the nine million selling "Kung Fu Fighting" to the iconic youth anthem of "Made in India" and the numerous hits in between. Biddu's music made him a household name in India and elsewhere. 

In this first public account of all that came his way: the people, the events, the music tours and companies Biddu writes with a gripping sense of humor about his remarkable journey with its fairy tale ending. Charming, witty, and entirely likable, Biddu is a man you are going to enjoy getting to know.

My Review:
I am not a big fan of autobiographies and avoid them unless I am really intrigued or impressed by the celebrity/person. But when B00kR3vi3ws, presented this chance of reviewing the book about someone, whose songs I love to listen time and again, I couldn’t resist the chance.

‘Made In India’, though an autobiography, reads like a work of fiction. In most of the memoirs or such kind of works the main events, influencing the life of the author, are described randomly. In this saga, 
I enjoyed the chronological order of events presented. Author knew what he wanted even when he was just a child and his entire life is driven by his one and only love and that is ‘music’. It was a revelation to read that passion and tenacity, along with talent, really pays in the long run.

Author in the preface mentioned something about ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘my’, but nowhere I could find the ego of a great artist influencing the narration of events. In fact the author’s humility and simplicity is felt throughout his life’s journey.

‘I am a citizen of the world, but inside, truly deep inside, I am still made in India.’

The above line adequately sums up the artist we know as Biddu. There are not many people who have been able to scale the heights which he has achieved. He had left India, armed with a guitar and three pounds in his pocket. What guts! It was really an adventure to read the journey from Bangalore to Basra to Beirut to Paris and finally London.

The language is very engaging, no where the pace lags, it was like reading a thriller. Nothing is out of context and everything adds to the adventure of a lifetime. 

I salute a great artist and music composer, whose famous Hindi songs are, ‘Aap Jaisa Koi’ and of course the title song with Alisha Chinai ‘Made In India’ which also made Milind Soman, the model, a household name. And I am also very happy to state that I am one of the million buyers, who bought ‘Disco Deewane’ album in Nazia Hassan’s voice.

And insightful engaging read, I highly recommend this autobiography to all and everyone.

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About the Author
Biddu was born in India, where he started his career playing in a pop band whose influences lay in the classic repertoire of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Following his early success, he decided to hear West and move into the international music arena. He struck gold, signing the unknown Carl Douglas and producing "Kung Fu Fighting?" which went on to become a hit all over the world. He also wrote and produced hits for Tina Charles and soul legend Jimmy James. 

Around this time, Biddu became involved in Indian music: he composed the cult "Aap Jaise Koi" for the film Qurbani which set a new landmark for sales in India He followed this up with a pop album, Disco Deewane, with Nazia Hassan, which became the largest selling pop album in Asian history, and was the first Indian album to hit the charts in fourteen countries. In 1995, Biddu wrote and produced the three-million-selling album Made in India with the singer Alisha Chinai. To date, Biddu has sold over thirty-eight million records worldwide.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Book Review:: ‘The Second Coming’ by Shubha Menon

This review is part 'The Book Club' blog tour.

Genre: Romance
Publisher: Harper Collins

A wedding planner who believes in fairytale weddings, Mini yearns for romance in her own marriage. The magic of the initial years has vanished, leaving behind a hunger that she assuages with chocolate. Mini would love to change her situation, but she is over the hill, overweight and under confident. The chances of having a hot affair with a happening man are dim, if not non-existent.

An erstwhile royal scion decides to wed a Bollywood starlet and Mini is sent to Mumbai to plan the celebrations. The manager of the Mumbai office is young Rustom, the answer to Mini’s secret dreams. Goaded by impending menopause, Mini decides it’s now or never. She simply has to take a second stab at romance.

Rustom is a ladies man. He is also married, and a skirt chaser. Mini decides to shape up and get into the kind of skirts Rustom would want to chase.

Working together closely, Rustom and Mini fall into each others’ arms. Meanwhile, her husband gets wind of the affair and tries to reclaim her. Now Mini must choose between heady romance and steady matrimony.

But soon, Mini discovers that her romantic idol has feet of clay. In a dramatic end, the trusty husband stages a timely rescue. And Mini learns that a rock solid husband is worth many a dream lover.

My Review:

Story of an over-the-hill woman thinking of re-igniting romance, and add to it a dash of humor and you have the unique recipe for a mind-blowing tale. And it was high time someone tackled the romance missing in lives of married, urban woman who have lost that spark or zing required to make a relationship majestic. Shubha Menon has done a superb job with the subject and with her subtle wit and humor injected at the right moments in the novel.

Mrinaliniji aka, Mini is a wedding planner who realizes that she needs to experience that last episode of heady romance which she, has dreamt throughout her life, and plans for her clients as a wedding planner. In the process she meets Rustom and to an extent realizes her dream, but as the new relationship progresses she also appreciates the affection, memories, and commonalities she shares with her husband.

Shubha Menon takes us through a, sometime hilarious and sometimes poignant, roller-coaster life of a plump, fortish woman, who could be your next door neighbor or a good friend. At times it seems that life is passing by and one has not done what one has always longed for. Well, the subject is a little dicey and invokes a lot of moral questions, but the author has done a commendable job of handling the relationship without making it the least bit vulgar.

Characters are so relatable. Mini, even at that age, is fresh, adorable and innocent. At times she is unsure about what she wants, whether it is that one-time affair or real love, on the other hand she is so in command about her work. Rustom’s initially comes across as scheming Casanova, but later he also shows some pardonable human failings and is believable. Shyam, of course, is the perfect husband for Mini, though at times I felt like bashing him up when he called her a ‘bag of cellulite’ and didn’t pursue her enough in Mumbai.

Apart from a couple of small oopsies in the beginning; Mini driving away someone else's car and going out all the way in her nightie and mud-pack, which I know can be attributed to creative license. 

Shubha menon spins a naughty and quirky read, I highly recommend this book.

4.5 /5 Stars

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About the Author

This is her first book. She is currently working as a Senior Creative Director with Ogilvy Delhi. A practising Buddhist, she dreams of living in the hills where she can read, write and grow climbing roses. She lives in Delhi with her husband, daughter and two Dachshunds. 

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Book Review::‘Brutal’ by Uday Satpathy

Published On: August 5th 2015
Publishers: Bloody Good Book and Westland Books

"You are in real, real danger." - A school teacher gets a creepy warning in his mailbox. Seven days later, he murders eleven of his students. Two months later, he is gunned down in broad daylight by an obscure militant outfit. Justice served. The nation pacified. Case closed.

But not for two crime reporters. Seeking redemption through this case are Prakash and Seema, ace journalists but broken individuals. As they follow the story, they are led to the ominous wilds of Bandhavgarh where an eerily similar massacre had occurred eight years ago. Little do they know that they have stirred up a hornet's nest.

One by one their leads start turning up in body bags and they are chased by assassins at every corner. Soon they realize that they are pitted against evil powers pervading the business and political DNA of the country, with an unbelievably sinister agenda. People who are about to let Prakash and Seema know how brutal they can be.

My Review:
I love thrillers and when I came to know about the concept of first crowd curated novel I couldn’t pass the chance of reading it. ‘Brutal’ lives upto its name the moment one begins reading the novel, including the prologue which fully justifies its presence. I was completely invested in the story from the first page. Though this review is coming a bit late, I had finished the novel in one sitting.

A school teacher, Nitin Tomar, opens fire on a class of students, killing many, and is captured. While going to the court, he is gunned down by a sharpshooter in front of the hysterical crowd and media. Why is Nitin gunned down when he was already on death or life sentence? The questions reverberate in the minds of the readers as well as the main protagonists.

Prakash and Seema are journalists attached with different news agencies and are good friends. Unknown to each other, they begin investigating Nitin’s case pursuing different leads, risking their lives, unearthing the horrible facts behind the various murders and reach at the same point where they are ambushed once again by people driven to hide a blood curdling secret.

The plot becomes all the more complex as layers of suspense, a deadly assassin and external agencies right from RAW, IB, Mossad and independent Security Firm come into play. But the author has done an excellent job of weaving and integrating the sub-plots in the main plot, leaving the reader turning the pages. 

The characters are real life and believable. Both Prakash and Seema are ambitious as well as, hardened professionals battling their own problems in life. Mr Satpathy has done immense justice with the supporting characters as well.

The narration is simple yet riveting and engaging and I am sure lots of research would have gone into coming up with such an incredible, complex storyline. The author painted just the right kind of pictures, be it of the warehouse, train station, village, hotels or the place where the grisly experiments were going on. Each scene was painted vividly in my mind.

My only grouse is that there were too many back stories explained, which slowed the pace and took me away from complete immersion. Mere mention of the sub-characters’ motivation would have been good enough to set the context.

All in all, a very promising debut. I recommend this book to all thriller lovers and look forward to the next one from Mr. Satpathy’s pen. Definitely an author to watch out for!

About the Author:
Uday Satpathy is an Information Technology Expert in the world of Healthcare and Life Sciences. He has a degree in electrical engineering and an MBA from one of the top B-schools in the country. Brutal, his first novel, was born out of a love for thrillers with intricate plots. He is a movie connoisseur, a cricket fanatic, a quizzing enthusiast and a travel freak. He has a special place in his heart for cooking as well.