Monday, December 28, 2015

Book Blitz:: 'The Fire Trilogy' by Devika Fernando



Check out the contest alert below


BOOK ONE : PLAYING WITH FIRE 

If you’re playing with fire, prepare to get burned – or to fall in love.

Sparks fly when Felicia and Joshua meet. Discovering her inner fire and unleashing unimaginable powers makes her realize that all her life, she has been hiding her true self. When buildings burn and people are in danger, the tempting game of playing with fire becomes serious. Will their love and desperate struggle for control save her life, or will the fire magic turn itself against its mistress?







Friday, December 25, 2015

Book Review:: ‘You are the Best Wife’ by Ajay K Pandey

I got this book from WritersMelon for my honest review.


A true love story.

PUBLISHER: Srishti Publishers
Genre: Memoir/ Autobiography/ Romance

Blurb:
This is a true inspiring story of the author and his struggle with life. He struggled in almost every part of his life, but when his life seemed to be falling in place, his beloved wife left him halfway and her last word, ‘You are the best husband.’ gave him the strength to live with. He decided to pull off all her unaccomplished duties and made it a target to thrive for the rest of his life.

Told with frankness and doses of humor this heartwarming tale of a boy and a girl who never gave up on their love in face of the many blows that life deals them ends on a bittersweet and poignant note as Ajay comes to terms with the biggest lesson life has to offer.

‘You are best wife.’ is Author’s story—a story of how he lost his wife, his nerve-wracking and unimaginably terrifying journey through denial, resentment, and depression to, finally, acceptance and forgiveness.

My Review:
‘Honest and straight from the heart’ is the only phrase that comes to my mind as I start this review.

Reading the blurb, prologue and about the author, it was known that it’s someone’s true story and a debut effort, so I wasn’t looking for a literary piece. Anyone’s real life story, who is not a celebrity doesn’t generate interest immediately, but I was hooked the moment I began reading about college days, ragging, and heady emotions associated with that period. It was as if I have been transported back in time.

Author has converted his simple, everyday story into an engaging read for almost the first two-thirds of the book, and the rest into an emotional, heart-wrenching saga. After one-third of the book, he seized to be an author for me and became more a human being, a fellow student, a colleague, a friend. So I have decided to review the book in two parts; one for the loving son and husband and the other for the mechanics of book as a product.

Bhavna was an exceptional girl with a large heart and this book is like an ode to their love. It takes exceptional amount of courage and determination to pen something like this. As it is difficult to relive the moments with your loved ones who are no more, and thinking about the good times also brings back the ‘have nots’ or ‘have beens’. The protagonist has done a commendable job of pouring his heart out on the plain paper, and I salute him for this. 

I loved the way he has written the book—taking potshots at himself, his thinking, his reactions to the events happening around him. The narration of events, though linear, many a times makes you smile, and also tear-jerking emotional. The end lingers on the mind for a long time; fathoming and questioning the mysteries of destiny and fate.

Coming to the book; it is well executed. Narration in first person is simple and engaging. There were some places where I think the editor should have paid more attention to phrasing of certain thoughts. In India we have a certain way of saying/thinking. We tend to think in Hindi and literally translate it in English, which doesn’t fit into the context correctly. There were a few mistakes like these which don’t gel well. The one star that I have taken away from the rating is for this very element.


All in all a very emotional story and I would recommend it to all.






Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Book Review :: ‘Many Lives of Ruby Iyer’ by Laxmi Hariharan

This review is part of B00KR3VI3WS tours.

Blurb:
When her best friend is kidnapped, Ruby will stop at nothing to rescue him. 

Criminals run the streets of Bombay. Jam-packed with the worst degenerates. The city is a shell of the pride and joy it used to be. 


Ruby knows something must be done, but it isn’t until her best friend is kidnapped by the despotic Dr. Braganza that she knows that she and she alone must save city, save her best friend, save the world from total destruction. 



Armed only with with Vikram, a cop-turned-rogue they are about to embark on a road they may never return from. 

Goodreads I Amazon


My Review:

Even after reading the 0.5 version ‘The Ruby Iyer Diaries’ nothing prepares one for the plot which unfolds in the novel ‘Many Lives of Ruby Iyer’. Dystopian genre is new one and the idea behind Ruby Iyer’s evolution as a savior is unique. I will not say more or it will turn out to be a spoiler.

Ruby is a fiercely independent, traumatized teenager, determined to have her way in life in the fast-paced Bombay city. The story starts with her being in an accident, which she survives miraculously and is an instant celebrity. It was then strange things start happening around—a beggar who is actually a writer, a cop who is hiding some dark secrets keeping an eye over her, a man who is about to commit suicide and a woman…


Age notwithstanding, Ruby has come across as a strong, although violent (a requirement for survival) protagonist, who continues to hold on her own despite the odds stacked against her. Pankaj Mehta is a loyal, intelligent friend and I loved his characterization. Vikram Roy is hot, drool-worthy and perfect in his foil of a bodyguard for Ruby, but we could never fathom his real reasons for shadowing Ruby in this story. Dr. Braganza, though interesting, doesn’t come across as a ferocious villain and falls short in a genre like this.


Two, not very popular ways of narration, first person and present tense are used and written flawlessly with an inimitable style. Writing in present tense is a very tricky business and I must say it has added to Ms Hariharan’s way with words. The author has given a picturesque window to Bombay and it has come across as a sophisticated city with all the rich kids swarming around and five star hotels.


In the initial chapters Ruby’s accident, her trauma, and the missing parts of her life are shown as minuscule flashbacks. Lack of adequate segue between Ruby’s hallucinations/dreams and reality becomes a bit confusing. I had to read a few passages again. Towards the end the story gains momentum and I couldn’t wait to get to the next page. Since it is an intense novel, I would suggest it should be read without breaks, else one will lose the context.


There are a few mistakes which were a tad jarring, for example when Vishal accompanies Ruby in captivity, he walks in front of her, which is never the case with a prisoner and a guard, or when Ruby takes off her shirt and binds it around Vikram’s wound, I thought she was wearing a hoodie too.


All in all, The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer is a great, original effort—a one of a kind story. I would recommend it to all Dystopian genre fans and I look forward to the next one in the series.









The First Life of Vikram Roy (Ruby Iyer #1.5)



His family is being held to ransom by a deadly mastermind.

Vikram never should have left his family, but when Vikram's father bring his half-brother Vishal home, life will never be the same.

Vikram thinks things will be better now that he's gone. He's met the love of his life, his future looks bright and then everything is shattered.
Now, his family's life is hanging in the balance, and only Vikram can do what needs to be done to save them.
From the bestselling dystopian fiction author with over 200 reviews and ratings of her dystopia books across Goodreads, Amazon and other retailers.





About the Author



She almost died. But when dystopia romance author Laxmi Hariharan had a near death experience, she was told to write. Laxmi is the creator of dystopian romance series, RUBY IYER SERIES (The MANY LIVES OF VIKRAM ROY - FINALIST Indie Excellence Awards, the bestselling The RUBY IYER DIARIES , The FIRST LIFE OF VIKRAM ROY, The SECOND LIFE OF RUBY IYER & VIKRAM ROY, PANKY's FIRST LIFE), and the Amazon bestselling, eLit Gold winner, The Destiny of Shaitan (Bombay Chronicles, 1). If you're looking for books like Divergent and Angelfall, you'll love the RUBY IYER SERIES.

Laxmi writes books similar to Hunger Games while listening to electronica & progressive rock, and downing innumerable cups of extra sweet ginger-chai. She is also an avid photographer of street art and believes she was a tree -- a redwood -- in her past life. London is where she creates. Bombay is what fires her imagination.


Receive a free copy of THE RUBY IYER DIARIES when you sign up to her Newsletter





Thursday, December 17, 2015

Spotlight On :: 'More Than Just Desire' by Summerita Rhayne



Preorder @ Amazon.com 


Use the #MTJD and #Bollywooddivastory to spread the word


More Than Just Desire 
by Summerita Rhayne

Blurb 

The Bollywood diva who regrets nothing...
Piya walked out of an explosive situation three years ago. Now she's back in Bollywood and wants to regain the crown that she left behind when she ran away from Arfaaz. It seems everyone who used to idolize her has forgotten her. In the competitive world of starry glamour, the only way she can restart her career is trash the past and make some waves.

The man who wants her atonement..
Arfaaz is determined to get his revenge on Piya for making a farce of their marriage and then leaving him to face the mudslinging. He forces her to keep up the appearances and stay with him so she can play the loving wife and repent on her sins. But he finds Piya isn't so easy to handle. She drives him crazy with her antics. On the top of that the attraction between them sizzles and threatens to make him forget reason.

Conflict clashes with desire..
No matter how intense the passion between them gets, their ways are bound to diverge. Piya knows she cannot let this man find a way into her heart. There is too much to risk and she cannot afford to forget the real reason she has come back. Success is the only mantra she knows and really, all Arfaaz wants is revenge…

Pre-Order Now 

EXCERPT 

‘You’ll divorce me?’ The sense of anticlimax she felt annoyed her. Why wouldn’t he, for God’s sake? She’d been far from an ideal partner. No man wanted a three year estranged wife surely? Or why would he allow her to remain away for so long?

For no logical reason, the knowledge had a sharp edge, stabbing her insides deeply.

Arfaaz’s gaze was fixed on the flush deepening on her cheeks. The colour of anger...or joy at getting her freedom?

It had been a mistake to pick her up in his arms, to give in to the urge to subdue that stubborn defiance. Three years since he’d touched her, yet her bones felt as delicate under his hands as the night he’d gripped her shoulders in anger. Evoking the same remorse one might feel for handling a bird badly.

She had worn a metal colored dress that night. He could still feel the slithery fabric beneath his fingers. Another of her risqué dresses, with deceptively demure full sleeves while the shocker was the back. Which was missing. He had never objected to what she wore, though primitive instincts protested. She had a media image to maintain. He hadn’t wanted to act the possessive husband.

A mistake, he thought again. Even the brief brush of her body against his had lit a spark that reminded him of how possessive he’d wanted to be.

She had taken enough advantage of him. The grim thought rose from a host of emotions. He’d suffered, he’d been fooled, he’d been dumped. Was he going to take it all and let her go as easy as pie?

‘If you want a divorce, you’ll have to do a small favour for me first,’ he told her.

‘Favour?’

‘Something which is important to me. Then you’ll be free to go.’

‘I will?’

He shrugged, letting her make what she could out of it.

‘Anyway, we can’t stand here and talk it out. Come inside. We’ll discuss it over dinner.’

‘Yes, divorce must be one of the prime discussable topics for dinnertime conversation,’ she said waspishly.

‘For everything spectacular Piya the topnotch actress has done, this must be the downslide indeed. To tamely sit across her husband and rationally chat over the break-up of her marriage,’ he jibed harshly.

​ ‘However, I think it’s time for you to take a step down from the pedestal.’



Meet Summerita Rhayne 



Summerita Rhayne loves to write sensual and emotional romance. There's no knowing when some quirky - or sometimes even not so quirky - happening in daily life might trigger her right brain and then she's off craving a new story. She loves writing characters who learn and grow and find their way out of their troubles and emotional hang-ups. Hot, sensual heroes and sassy but sweet heroines mostly fit the bill in her stories. She also believes that a touch of humor never goes amiss in a book.

She divides her time between family, job and writing - and loves winding down with music, movies and the internet!

Stalk Her

                    
         

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Book Blitz :: 'Roomies & Foodies'



Check out the Contest: Try the recipe in the excerpt and click pictures (with or without you). Share it on social media tagging us and win a free copy of the book!


Roomies / Foodies 
by 
Lakshmi Ashwin and Meghana Chaudhary Joshi
Publisher 


Blurb 
The year is 2001. Two young Indian girls arrive in the U.S. for the first time, to attend graduate school and be room-mates. One’s a non-cook. The other’s kitchen skills are strictly basic. As luck would have it, both are consummate foodies. And it’s not just advanced Molecular Biology they’ll come to tackle—the daily challenge is to feed their stomachs…and souls…on a thinner-than-spaghetti budget! Part memoir, part cook-book, Roomies/Foodies compiles the experiments and culinary adventures of Lux and Meg as they stick to their resolve of eating only non-boring food! Written in a slick, hip, conversational style, this well-organized handbook bubbles with anecdotes, tips, tricks, cheater’s methods and over 60 lip-smacking recipes. Spanning an easy-to moderate spectrum of skills, Meg and Lux’s “Eureka moments” in their own kitchen will help spare YOU some painful trial and error in yours!


EXCERPT FROM THE FIRST CHAPTER 

One day, exhausted, I fell asleep on the couch in the graduate student lounge at Roswell Park, waiting for Lux. Since we were on the same research campus, we commuted and ran errands together. In those early days, we were joined at the hip.
 It was a lot to deal with, this new life, with its sudden and crushing study load, having to walk or take public transport everywhere (I missed my Kinetic Safari) and we were glad of each other’s company. We started taking advantage of the subway and other modes of public transport to explore our town, checking out affordable food joints. One such journey introduced us to crépes. I tried making them at home and discovered a really simple breakfast item in the process.


Serves 4

Ingredients:

Rice flour or refined flour (maida)                   1½ cups
Milk                                                                        1 cup
Egg                                                                          1
Slab of chocolate                                                     1
Butter
Sugar                                                                      3 tsp

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes for each crepe
               
Mix the flour with milk and sugar and beat in the egg.
Melt butter on a tava* or a flat non-stick pan on medium heat.
Pour the flour mixture evenly in a thin layer across the bottom of the pan, coating it completely.
Grate the bar of chocolate over the open side of the crepe, in a sufficient quantity to cover the top, while the other side is still cooking.
Gently lift up a side of the crepe to see if it is done. It should appear slightly browned and lift easily without tearing.
Fold the crepe in half over itself. The chocolate should melt and hold the 2 edges together. Remove and serve with a melting dot of butter on top.

Tip: For an interesting Cheese-n-Chocolate variation, sprinkle some grated cheese or small globs of cheese after you have sprinkled the grated chocolate. If you have no time for the grated chocolate step, make just the plain crepe and spread Nutella or jam, or cheese spread for an even quicker meal 

MEET MEGHANA CHAUDHARY JOSHI, LAKSHMI ASHWIN


Meghana Chaudhary Joshi (Meg) has worked in clinical research in the US, run her own socio-environmental venture and is currently Practice Manager with Mirai Health. She is a fitness freak who loves to travel and explore varied cuisines as much as the outdoors. Meg lives in Pune with her husband, daughter, and Golden Retriever. 

Lakshmi Ramachandran, a.k.a Lux, graduated from SUNY Buffalo with a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology in 2006. She is presently a science writer at the National University of Singapore. Besides Science, she is passionate about food and loves to cook. She lives in Singapore with her husband and two children. 

MEET MEG AND LUX :)


Contact them @
Twitter: @RoomiesFoodies
Email: [email protected]

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bloodygoodbook
Twitter: @BloodyGoodBook
Website: www.bloodygoodbook.com



Contest 

Try the recipe in the excerpt and click pictures (with or without you). Share it on social media tagging us and win a free copy of the book!

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Friday, December 4, 2015

Book Review :: ‘The Ruby Iyer Diaries’ by Laxmi Hariharan

This review is part of B00KR3VI3WS tours.


This novelette is a companion book to The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer. A peek into the soul of an angry, young girl, who will come of age in a city on the verge of total annihilation. Ruby kept a diary from the age of ten till she ran away from home at sixteen. It is from here that I picked out a few diary entries for åThe Ruby Iyer Diaries. This short series of vignettes from Ruby's life, tells you more a little more about the origins of Ruby Iyer.






My Review
I have read quite a number of Young Adults novel, but all of them by foreign authors set in other countries. Authors in India are dabbling with this genre, but there are none which standout. The Ruby Iyer series, a 'first' from an Indian author that too set in India, has made me really excited. 


'The Ruby Iyer’s Diaries', the first in the series or 0.5 version, gives us a peek into the early life of the protagonistRuby. Human beings are a product of our genes as well as the environment we have been nurtured in. The various incidents in Ruby Iyer’s childhood—some trivial, a few life-changing—give tantalizing details about that environment and upbringing of Ruby.



Laxmi Hariharan has captured the day to day struggle of a tomboy-ish teenage girl to perfection; her disagreement with her peers and tussle with her mother who is partial to the brother because he would carry name of the family. Everyone wants Ruby to conform to conservative mold of an Indian girl/ woman, which is a burden on her free-spirit personality. The author has expertly brought put the teenage rebellious nature and her dilemmas.



I normally don’t talk about cover—I feel its more of a personal choice —yes they need to be attractive, but this one really captured my attention. The color combination is sophisticated and tantalizes me to open and read. The eye-catching common theme runs in all the covers of the series.



Ms Hariharan narration is fluent and smooth. I could picture the scenes and sense Ruby’s discontent, insecurities and confusion. All in all a very neat and interesting start.




I would be posting reviews for the next in series, so stay tuned for more on Ruby Iyer.