Friday, January 29, 2016

Spotlight :: 'The Last Of The Firedrakes'

★.•**•.★★.•**•.★ The Avalonia Chronicles Book Tour ★.•**•.★ ★.•**•.★


About the Book:

16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad.


Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms—including killing anyone who stands in her way. Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear.


With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever. 


Book Links:

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Spotlight On :: 'Vengeance - A Sting In Every Tale'

Designed by Neil D'Silva 

VengeanceA Sting in Every Tale 
A WRIMO INDIA anthology
Edited by
Sonia Rao 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Book Review:: ‘The Other End of the Corridor’ by Sujata Rajpal

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

Publishers: Mahaveer Publishers
Genre: Drama
Blurb:
When your dreams are tainted with lies and deceit, you have no other choice but to walk to the other end of the corridor

Leela has nothing extraordinary about her except the dream to become famous. Her desires take wings when she gets married to a handsome boy from a respectable family in Delhi. But her dreams are shattered even before they have a chance to take flight. 
She happens to meet two friends from a long forgotten past, which infuses hope and opens new avenues to realize her dormant aspirations.

Leela delves into previously unexplored paths of deception and forbidden passions that only make her stronger. 

In an attempt to rediscover herself, she falls in love with life and with herself but her life takes a sudden turn again…
No matter what, Leela will continue to chase her dreams.

Where does this journey take her?

My Review:
‘The Other End of the Corridor’ raises an issue which is a huge problem in the society; one we keep hearing in hushed tones around us and keep reading through newspapers, TV and movies. The acquiescence to remain in an abusive relationship when a woman is not empowered or, is emotionally attached to their partner, can be witnessed all around.

Leela was branded ‘unlucky’ right from her birth when her astrological chart indicates her to be a ‘manglik’. Worried about her future after various rejections, her parents agree to Vishal’s marriage proposal, without investigating properly about his background and family. They even sacrifice her education at the alter of the marriage. 

As the rosy picture of a grand marriage peels off with time, Leela finds her mother-in-law being a control freak and her husband who would never think twice to raise his hand on her. The social stigma attached to a divorced woman, and the affect of her actions on her parents, makes her silently suffer hostile, abusive and sociopathic criminal behavior of the man.

The novel is a journey of a simple, uneducated girl who rises in life in spite of all the odds stacked against her. Sujata Rajpal has successfully portrayed the reality called life, where the protagonist had no clue and no support from any quarters to stand up against the injustice being done. The language is simple and breezy. The various sub-plots are in line with today’s time, making the novel an interesting read.

While Leela’s characterization is near perfect as a small time girl who had no clue how to handle her situation and goes with the flow of life, I couldn’t understand the motivation of a certain character, who kept popping in and out of her life. Their behavior to each other is confusing and doesn’t gel with the conclusion given to their relationship. Same was the case with Leela’s friend and mother-in-law. Their characters traits seemed a little contrived and changed to suit the end.

That said, I enjoyed the story, which touches a very sensitive subject and provides some direction to society at large. We need to actively ponder, discuss and break these kind of regressive social behavior in today’s society. 

A recommended read.





Saturday, January 2, 2016

Spotlight On 'The Curse Of Brahma' by Jagmohan Bhanver


'For every life and every act consequence of good and evil can be shown and as in time results of many deeds are blended so good and evil in the end become confounded.'     
-- T.S. Eliot




Genre: Mytholoygy
Blurb:
The man who became a Brahmarishi...

The curse that banished him to the hell of hells...

And the revenge that threatens to destroy the three worlds...



When Lord Brahma, the God of Creation, banishes his star pupil from Swarglok in a fit of rage, he does not foresee that his decision will alter the fate of the three worlds. Mortally wounded, and anguished at Brahma's unfair punishment, his pupil struggles to survive in Tamastamah Prabha, the hell of hells. In time, he becomes the Dark Lord, the most feared figure in Pataal Lok, who swears to destroy Brahma.




The power of the Dark Lord soon begins to make its presence felt in the mortal world. Vasudev, the brave prince of Bateshwar, becomes the hunter of Asura assassins; his closest friend, Kansa, almost dies while trying to save his sister from a group of deadly monsters; and the most valiant kings in Mrityulok turn over to the dark side, driven by forces beyond their control.




Only one person threatens the Dark Lord's well-laid plans - Devki, the beautiful princess of Madhuvan, who is destined to give birth to the warrior Krishna.

Will the Dark Lord allow Krishna - the person who has been prophesied to destroy him - to be born?




Book Review:: ‘Lover’s Rock’ by Ravi Bedi


Genre: Romantic Thriller
Publisher: Rupa Publications

Blurb:

He caressed her cheeks. 'Everything's been worked out well'. He looked at his watch and then at Grace. It's time to go, sweetheart.

She stood motionless, gazing at the door. Mani knew he would never walk through that door again. He pulled her closer. 'Remember, one wrong move and we're done'.


Flight Lieutenant Mani Shankar Varadharajan vanishes without a trace on a cold winter's night. Did his aircraft really crash or was it a diabolical plan hatched in collusion with his stunningly beautiful wife, Grace, in a desperate bid to salvage their faltering marriage?


As the years roll along, Grace embarks on an unexpected journey that takes her back to her complicated past. Will she find what she was seeking or will her high-stakes game prove disastrous for her?


Predominantly set in the glamorous Goa of the 1960s, Lovers' Rock is a high-octane story of obsessive love, passion and retribution. An un-putdownable romantic thriller that will leave you chilled to the bone.


My Review:
Set in 1960’s ‘Lover’s Rock’ is tale of obsessive love, greed, vengeance and redemption. The entire tale gives tantalizing glimpses of lifestyle of elite Indians in that era. The book is a brilliant portrayal of post independence lifestyle of a section of Indians still immersed under British influence—the world of lavish parties, free flowing wine, and silk gowns.

Mani Shankar, aka Shanks, is madly in love with gorgeous Grace, and couldn’t believe his luck when she agrees to his marriage proposal. The trouble starts when he is unable to finance her expectations of a lavish lifestyle. His obsession with Grace leads him to unchartered web of lies and deception. The unpredictable twist in the end makes the novel remarkable.

Author has expertly etched Mani’s character as a besotted lover and husband. His journey is something which keeps the readers turning the pages. Grace is a typical beautiful lady who thinks the world owes her everything she wishes; and that leads to myriad complications which slowly spiral out of their control. Mr. Bedi has given complete attention to the supporting characters as well, be it Tanya, Mr. Pestonji or Mark. All the characters complement the story and the protagonists.

The narration is fluent and interesting, bringing alive the picturesque locales, beaches and scenes. The book is fast paced and brilliantly written.

There are two things which I found lacking. Mani’s obsession and fear that his wife would leave him, and later her depression was dealt with too quickly. Their emotions did not stay with me, and the story jumped to the next step too soon. Another thing which confused me a little was the shifting timeline of the events happening in the lives of Mani and Grace—mainly in the middle of the novel. It was a little jarring when I had to go to and fro to maintain the calendar in my head.

I wished somehow Mark should also have been exposed, but then that is the author’s prerogative. Nevertheless it doesn’t take away anything from the story.

All in all a very intense debut and I look forward to the next one from the author. 






Disclaimer: The book was given to me by the author for an honest review.


About The Author

Ravi Bedi, ex-Air Force engineer, musician, painter and now a prolific writer, lives with his wife of forty-nine years in Jodhpur.