Saturday, December 31, 2016

Book Review: Switch E Roo by Kiran Manral

Let's visualize a scene: A woman wakes up after a long nap, and sees herself in the mirror. Her reflection in the mirror makes her shudder! Why? Because it's not her reflection. She finds a stranger there. Her face remains the same but her body...her body is someone else's.

How would she feel? How would she react? How could this happen? And, how could she get her body back? Would she get it back ever!?

Switch E Roo by Kiran Manral (Juggernaut Books) is all about that. It has a strange plot that tells the story of Mrs. Dimple Bhalla who suddenly finds that someone has stolen her body - just body - and replaced with another.

I love reading paranormal stories (not necessarily horror) as they are different from normal, usually gripping and makes me think.

Switch E Roo is a short story so very quick to read - with a totally unexpected end. Since the plot is different and intriguing, it piques your curiosity instantly and makes an engrossing read.

Ms. Kiran Manral is an experienced novelist, so writing is naturally neat. She has expressed Mrs. Bhalla's panic, restlessness and carefulness (to hide this strange change) well.

If you like short stories, if you like intriguing, unique tales, read this one. You won't be disappointed. And, it costs you just Rs. 10. You can read it on this cool Juggernaut App (on your phone).

Monday, December 26, 2016

Book Review: The Rise of Hastinapur by Sharath Komarraju

The best thing about a good mythological fiction is that you know the basic story, still it engages you. Lesser known facts play vital role in making such stories more interesting. It's like you know the destination, but it's the journey - execution - that makes it more exciting.

In The Rise of Hastinapur, the author, Sharath Komarraju, has used his imagination very creatively to introduce several lesser known stories. It's about three significant women characters of Mahabharata - Amba, Pritha aka Kunti and Gandhari - three women who are important pillars of this epic mythological fiction, Mahabharata.

Amba lives for revenge but circumstances and different men disappoint her. Pritha is determined to save his brother Vasudev, and his wife Devaki who are imprisoned in Mathura. Gandhari has to make a tough decision - to save her kingdom but it's her burning revenge that provokes her to make this decision.

And, then there is Bheeshma who is the common string between these three women, and seems to make difficult, sometimes unintentional unfair decisions.

'If happiness indeed lies in the things that you have, what happens when so much is taken away from you that you have nothing?' 

First section is about Amba. And, it's my favourite. It's intriguing, bold and skillfully sketched section. Amba's only hope is her unborn son, but she gives birth to a daughter. And, her disappointment, anger and anguish, her feelings of revenge is so brilliantly expressed. The fight between Bheeshma and Parshuram was exciting.

Pritha's story is about her endeavour and determination to save her brother and about her unexpected encounter with Surya (Sun), father of her first son, Karna. I really liked her meeting with Surya, and the realization is beautifully done. But, there's another angle in this section - Devaki's angle that I didn't enjoy much.

"Everything he did, every strategy he implemented for us, he did with the aim of bettering Hastinapur's chances of winning. He was fighting for them, Shakuni, from our side."

Gandhari's section was the one I was most interested in. But, the first half of this story was not that exciting I expected it to be, however the second half is very good.

The book ends on an interesting note - the Ganga's conversation with Kuber where she talks about the future of Hastinapur (silently and sadly, the future of Bheeshma). Bheeshma is one of my favourite characters. I think he (and Karna) is the most selfless characters of Mahabharata, however in this book he has some grey shades. 

Overall, The Rise of Hastinapur was an unusual, bold and interesting read. If you like reading mythology, you should read this book. You won't be disappointed. 

This book was in my reading list (I haven't read the first part in this series). I truly thank the author for giving me a review copy!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

7 Reasons You May Not Succeed As a Writer

You love writing. You dream to be a published writer. You dream of seeing your name in reputed newspapers and magazines. Or to become a best-selling author, expecting a handsome cash flow in your account. You work hard but get only rejections. You get depressed and start thinking that you can’t make it. A question keeps creeping in your mind – why? What went wrong?

Here are some reasons or reminders! 

Read the full article on Writer's Melon.

You may find it helpful if you are a new writer (Like me)! It's based on my personal experiences. I am still learning.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Silhouettes of the dusk

I know it's not that good, but find it okay as I painted after a long time (and was actually expecting a disaster!).

Dimness of the dusk
Silhouettes of gloom, golden rays
Sneak in silently

Sharing with Paint Party Friday
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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Book Review: The Four Patriots by Sumit Agarwal

I received The Four Patriots by Sumit Agarwal (Rupa Publications) from Writer's Melon for review. I knew it would be a different read...different in a good way.

This book is for those who think 'Iss Desh Ka Kuchh Nahin Ho Sakta!' and for those who think 'There is hope and India can rise if good people join the Indian politics.' So, basically, it's for every Indian. This book pictures the developed, modern India that any Indian would enjoy to envision.

The book is about four patriots, vehement youngsters, Raghav, Aditya, Varun and Salman, who tend to think differently. Hailing from different backgrounds, they have similar vision and dream - dream to see India Rise powerfully! They decide to walk together to fulfill this dream, but the journey is full of hurdles.

The book portrays that journey of growth and hurdles nicely. It follows a very thoughtful objective - "We don't need more systems, we need the right people in the existing system." (from the book).

The story opens in 2006 and ends (or maybe begins actually) in 2022 as it talks about the beautiful future of India. However, I felt the end was a little unconvincing.

"Be evil to some if you have to, for the greater good.' This is the philosophy of Raghav, my favourite character. Talking about the characters - the author has sketched the characters really well. They seem energetic and believable except Salman's character. This character seemed underdeveloped.

The incidents are well-thought and smartly placed. I liked the cover, and I can (almost) recognize the characters. But, one thing bothered me. Why didn't author use a female patriot as a main protagonist? It would have been really interesting! There are women - interesting women but they are secondary characters.

There is a lovely touch of romance too. In fact, the love life of the four patriots sows the seeds of revolution and determination. I really liked these little love stories as they make the read light, relieve tension, and the author brings out these tales at the right time.

Overall, it's a well-researched book, full of optimism and ideas. Very thoughtful and innovative, I would say. Every Indian should read this book.

You can buy this book HERE

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Dangling desires...

Dangling desires,
Seek assurance; here comes
The flushed streak of hope!

Crimson hue of bliss,
A piece of peace, faraway...
yearnings unfulfilled.

Sharing with Haiku My Heart
              Poets United


P.S.: If you like my writing, if you like mature yet delightful love stories, if you like relatable characters and convincing situations, you will like my book, We Will Meet Again. 

You can buy my book my book from Amazon India  Amazon UK. It's free for Kindle Unlimited users! 

If you like paperbacks, you can get it here @ a fab discount: 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Spotlight: Menaka's Choice by Kavita Kane

The Story:

We make love and leave. That is our motto. Live by it, Menaka or you shall suffer untold, unnecessary grief.

Born during the churning of the ocean, Menaka is the most beautiful of all the apsaras in the world, with quick intelligence and innate talent. However, she craves for the one thing she can never have – family. Elsewhere, after severe austerities, a man, now blessed with the name Vishwamitra, challenges the gods and dares to create another heaven. Fearing his growing powers, Indra, the king of gods, decides to put a stop to his ambitions by making Menaka seduce him.

What will happen when Menaka and Vishwamitra meet each other? Will Menaka finally find what she really wished for? Or will she again be forced to surrender to her destiny? Find out in this fascinating portrait of one of the most enduring mythological figures.

Read Some Reviews:

3. Anu

What interests me?

The Genre (my newly developed interest in mythology), the character.

About the author

A senior journalist with a career of over two decades, which includes working for Magna publication and DNA, she quit her job as Assistant Editor of Times of India to devote herself as a full time author. A self-styled aficionado of cinema and theatre and sufficiently armed with a post-graduate degree in English Literature and Mass Communication from the University of Pune, the only skill she knows, she candidly confesses, is writing. 

Karna’s Wife her debut novel, (2013)was a bestseller. Her second novel – Sita’s Sister (2014) also deals with another enigmatic personality – Urmila, probably the most overlooked character in the Ramayan. Menaka’s Choice(2015) ,another best-seller, is about the famous apsara and her infamous liaison with Vishwamitra the man she was sent to destroy. Lanka’s Princess (2016) is her fourth book based on Ravan’s sister, Surpanakha, the Princess of Lanka who was also its destroyer…

Born in Mumbai, a childhood spent largely in Patna and Delhi , Kavita currently lives in Pune with her mariner husband Prakash and two daughters Kimaya and Amiya with Chic the black cocker spaniel and Cotton the white, curious cat. 

Stalk her on Facebook & Twitter

Add this book on Goodreads.

Tornado Giveaway is being conducted by The Book Club
Check out many interesting books HERE

Monday, November 28, 2016

Spotlight: No Safe Zone by Adite Banerjie

The Story

Qiara Rana will do anything to save her mentor and their non-government organization from ruin. Even if it means visiting the city she had vowed never to return to. But within a few hours of landing in New Delhi, she is being chased by a gunman and is a potential suspect in the murder of a high-profile businessman. 

The only person she can turn to for help is KabirShorey, the man who stood her up ten years ago. Past and present collide in a deadly plot of crime and greed that moves from the cosmopolitan streets of Delhi to the bazaars and villages of Rajasthan. 

Read Some Reviews:

What interests me?

The genre, blurb, characters & their names, and the author!

Adite Banerjie discovered the wonderful world of books at an early age which sparked her interest in writing. After a fulfilling and exciting career as a business journalist she turned her attention to fiction. 

Her latest book is a romantic-thriller, No Safe Zone, published by Harper Collins India. She has penned two books for Mills & Boon (The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Dealand Trouble Has a New Name) and written several screenplays. 

When she is not grappling with her current work-in-progress, she enjoys spending time with her husband and watching back-to-back movies. 

Add the book on Goodreads

You can buy the book from Amazon India  Amazon uk

Tornado Giveaway 3 is being conducted by The Book Club
Check out many interesting HERE

Monday, November 21, 2016

Those who care...

                                                                        Image Link

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind” – Bernard M. Baruch.

That's true! Those who matter don't mind. They don't mind because they care. They don't judge, they understand. They help you flourish yet they love you the way you are. Those who care, care for your dreams. They give you space to take your flight and inhale freedom, and sometimes try to be your wings. Those who care don't expect you to change, but they can be a sliver of light that may lead you to the right path. With whom you can be yourself, speak without measuring your words. Because they know the real you, and they won't mind.

Those who care are very special and they deserve your time, attention and care.

                       Poetry Pantry
                       Haiku My Heart

If you like delightful stories based on relationships, if you like relatable characters & convincing situations, and if you like my writing, you will like my book, We Will Meet Again...

You can buy the paperback @ a fab discount from Pustak Mandi 
 Buy from Amazon India  Amazon uk (It's free for Kindle Unlimited users)

Friday, November 18, 2016

Spotlight: Knitted Tales - A Collection of Emotions by Rubina Ramesh

The Story:

What forces an innocent girl to become a sex symbol? Her desires? Or cruel fate? 

Is a lifetime enough—for avenging a betrayal? How do you hide secrets that never stopped haunting you? 

Can vengeance and secrets of your past devastate your present? How can long-buried crimes of yours suddenly raise their head? Can sinning be saving?

Is your spouse your soulmate? What if they never understood your feelings? Can you still live with them?

Lastly, does life give only two options? Live or die? What if there is a third?

In her anthology, Knitted Tales: A collection of emotions, Rubina Ramesh tries to find answers to these questions that are often from the heart and yet make the mind ponder over the solution. Or is it the other way round? Either way, Knitted Tales is a bouquet of emotions that is bound to touch both your head and your heart.

Read Some Reviews:

What interests me?

The Genre & intriguing cover.

About The Author

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.

Add the book on Goodreads

Buy the book from Amazon India  Amazon uk

The Tornado Giveaway 3 is being conducted by The Book Club. 

Check out many interesting books HERE. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Spotlight: An Autograph for Anjali by Sundari Venkatraman

The Story:

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?

Read some reviews:

What interests me?

The intriguing plot and a character being an author.

About the Author

Sundari Venkatraman is an indie author who has 11 books to her name, all Top 100 Bestsellers on Amazon India, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada and Amazon Australia in both romance as well as Asian Drama categories. Her latest hot romances have all been on #1Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month each.

An Autograph For Anjali is the sixth book authored by Sundari Venkatraman. #AAFA is a mature, hot romance with a shade of suspense.

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Buy the book from Amazon India  Amazon uk

Tornado Giveaway 3 is being conducted by The Book Club

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Spotlight: Voyagers Into the Unknown by Ruchira Khanna

Read Some Reviews:

Book 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. "

Jaya Padmanabhan Editor, India Currents, says about this book:

Voyagers into the Unknown" is a vibrant story of transformation through an unlikely source: a local tour guide of historical Agra, India where the Taj Majal still sways those who behold it. Seeped in cultural philosophy, this novel is an uplifting read from Ruchira Khanna." - Charli Mills, Writer & Lead Buckaroo of Carrot Ranch Communications Voyagers into the Unknown is a delightful tale that interrogates the emotional connection between strangers and between races. With a cast of vivid characters, Ruchira Khanna draws the reader into a captivating emotional drama. Agra, the city, stands as both an alluring character and a magnificent setting that directs the diverse experiences, which are woven deftly into the fabric of the plot. The book is a wonderful compilation of encounters, both unexpected and unfamiliar. 

What interests me?

It involves travel and talks about 'healing'

About the author

Ruchira Khanna is 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.

Add this book on Goodreads

This tornado giveaway is being conducted by The Book Club

Thursday, November 10, 2016

4 Productive Things To Do When You Don't Feel Like Writing

"Don't Feel Like Writing" not "Writer's Block"!

Yes. I don't believe in Writer's Block. I think it's pure laziness. It's a phase when we don't want to write, and it's okay. We are never short of ideas. We just don't want to think about them intently in that phase. Writing should come naturally with a sense of joy and fulfillment. When you can be the best version of you, uber creative! You can never deliver your best when your writing is forced.

However, you can still be productive (writing-wise) when not writing. Here are four things you should do when you don't feel like writing. These things may create certain circumstances that will prompt you to write.

Read Voraciously!

Reading is sheer pleasure and a learning experience. Yes. Don't read just for entertainment. Read to learn. Focus on your preferred genre but don't hesitate to try different genres. I have tried this, and it has surprised me pleasantly. I had never thought I would enjoy mythology or psychological thrillers, but now they are two of my favourite genres!

Don't push yourself to finish every book you pick even though you don't like it. I leave the book unfinished if it doesn't hook me in first 40-50 pages. and I don't feel guilty about it.

Think About Writing.

When we are not writing, we are thinking about writing. You know this, don't you? You can't help this random whirling in your mind. Just work on it. Try to make this whirling a little more productive.

Collect your thoughts and ideas. You can organize later. Jot down your ideas/beautiful lines that flash in your mind. No. Never trust your memory. Ideas often strike at odd hours and are ephemeral. Jot down immediately.

If you are a freelance writer, shape up your ideas and pitch them to different publications. Don't think about rejection. You won't get selected until you pitch. You will start writing zealously once you get an assignment!


Watch Movies.

As a writer, you can learn a lot from movies. Watch good movies. Watch. The expressions. The way a character reacts. The way the characters deliver their dialogues. The settings. For me, Star Movies Select is a beautiful discovery. It shows different movies. Book adaptations. Unreleased. It says, '365 days, 365 stories'. You don't have to watch this particular channel. Choose what works best for you.


I don't travel much but I know it boosts your creativity and imagination. It refreshes your thinking process and enthusiasm. So, if possible, travel.

So, I have shared my views. Now it's your turn. Add/remove. But share your views. Do you write daily? What do you do when not writing? How do you try to improve your creativity?

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Spotlight: The Prince's Special Bride by Devika Fernando

Read some reviews:

The Story:

Marie doesn’t believe in fairytales and needs no handsome prince to rescue her from misery – but everything changes when she falls in love with Crown Prince Christian of Taragonia.

When his sister invites Marie to the palace, their lives collide and leave them both fighting their forbidden attraction.

Prince Christian has no place in his life for love or for a woman who doesn’t fit into the royal scheme of things. But vivacious Marie steals his heart and puts all he has lived for at stake. When the media gets wind of their affair, he has to make a difficult decision. 

Will the unlikely couple have a chance at a happy ending?

What interests me?

The genre - Romance - one of my favourite!

About The Author

Almost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Her trademark are sweet, yet deeply emotional romance stories where the characters actually fall in love instead of merely falling in lust. She draws inspiration from everyone and everything in life. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a self-employed German web content writer, as a translator, and as a faithful servant to all the cats, dogs, fish and birds in her home. What she loves most about being an author is the chance to create new worlds and send her protagonists on a journey full of ups and downs that will leave them changed. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing.

Add this book on Goodreads
Buy this book  @ Amazon India Amazon UK

This tornado giveaway is being conducted by The Book Club

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Spotlight: The Face At The Window by Kiran Manral

Book Blurb:

What if at the end of one’s life, one realises that one has lived out a lie?

Mrs. McNally, a retired school teacher, living alone in a cottage at the foothills of the Himalayas, has secrets that if revealed could shatter the two people she cares about the most, her daughter Millie and her grand daughter Nina.

Torn by her desire to reveal the truth that could change Millie’s life, and the need to let things continue as they are, Mrs. McNally grapples not just with ghosts from her past, but also a strange, vicious presence in her house that seems to want something from her. Will she ever find the peace that eludes her, will she be rid of this entity haunting her house and, more importantly, will she find closure? A gently nuanced, layered story that deals with the lack of identity and an eternal finding of self, The Face at the Window holds a mirror to the fears we are all afraid to voice, the fear of ageing, the fear of not belonging, and above all, the fear of having no one to love you at the end of your life.

What interests me?

It's a spooky tale. And, the cover is intriguing, apt for this genre!


About Kiran Manral

I went from full time journalist to full time mommy to blogger to author. My blogs, and, are both in Labnol's list of India's top blogs, but are sadly languishing neglected now. I was a blogger columnist with Tehelka Blogs on gender issues. I was also, professionally, India Cultural Lead and Trendspotter with CEB Iconoculture US and am currently Senior consultant with Vector Insights LLP.  Because I spend more time than is healthy on twitter, I got listed a non celebrity 'social media star' on twitter by the Times of India and IBN Live named me as among the 30 interesting Indian women to follow on twitter and among the top 10 Indian moms to follow on twitter for 2013. Sheroes also listed me as among the top 20 women influencers on twitter in 2014. ( 

I am on the Planning Board of the Kumaon Literary Festival, Chair of the Women Unlimited Series of the Taj Colloquium, Mentor with and Qween and on the Advisory Board of Literature Studio. My debut novel, The Reluctant Detective, was published by Westland in 2011. My second novel, Once Upon A Crush,published by Leadstart, was released in May 2014. My third book, All Aboard, was published by Penguin in 2015, as was Karmic Kids, my first non fiction book, published by Hay House in 2015 as well. My fourth fiction work, The Face At the Window, was published by Amaryllis in March 2016.  Most importantly, I have recently declared my body a 100% Nutella free zone. 

This book tour is conducted by The Book Club. Check out all the Books for #TornadoGiveaway 3 HERE

Friday, November 4, 2016

Book Review: A Pound of Flesh by Mukul Deva

Image result for pound of flesh mukul deva

Finished "Pound of Flesh" by Mukul Deva (Westland Books). It's my first book by the author and my new experiment with the genre that's crime fiction.

Pamela Stewart, a young american lawyer vanishes from the airport without any trace, while her friends, Jasmine and Rekha, are frantically looking for her. Retired Inspector General of Police Ravinder Singh Gill knows that he has only hours to track down and recover the missing girl, Pamela, his daughter Jasmine’s college-mate and friend. As he digs deeper he realizes that Pamela is not the only girl who is missing.

The book is a chase against kidnapping, human trafficking and organ harvesting racket. This dark and dangerous world belongs to Harpal Singh and skillfully executed by SK who hates Ravinder for killing his father. The battle becomes intensely personal for SK aka The Hammer, when he realizes that Pamela is the friend of Ravinder’s daughter. Also, can Mandeep, a surgeon, Ravinder Gill's future son-in-law and Harpal's son, be involved in this murky web of crime?

The story line is strong (a little filmy). Mukul Deva is a well known experienced author so writing is obviously neat but it's not very tricky as I had expected for a crime fiction. From the very first chapter we know who is Pamela and who kidnapped her and why. The book is written in multiple Point of View, so it didn't create intrigue that was required for this genre. Also, I thought the pace was a little slow, however, it picks up as the story goes deeper, and the chase gets exciting and tense.

There are so many characters as a crime fiction demands perhaps. Characters are well defined. SK is one spontaneous character, moves of SHO Chetan creates intrigue. The anxiety of characters (For their different reasons) is expressed well.

There is a light touch of romance (Jasmine and Mandeep) and family drama too as sub-plots. As I said the pace is slow; seems like a long read as some unnecessary descriptions fill the pages which was not required for this genre.

Overall, for me, it was an average read. You may like it if you enjoy reading crime fiction.

I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Book, a Lovely Haven

The bookworm in me
Creeps inside books
Oh, so much solace!
The ocean of words, lovely stories
She drowns; evolves at the same time
Listening to the characters
Walking with them, silently
A sense of togetherness
A sense of solitude too
Lost in a secret that unravels slowly
She finds excitement
Book, a lovely haven
Filled with love, joy, confusion and grief
Zephyr of emotions cause
So much chaos in her mind
Who cares about the mayhem outside?
Cocooned in the warmth of fragrant pages
For a book lover,
No other safe zone.

Written for Adite Banerjie's latest book, No Safe Zone contest (promoted by The Book Club). You can get the book HERE or HERE 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Book Review: A Forgotten Affair by Kanchana Banerjee

Finished reading 'A Forgotten Affair' by Kanchana Banerjee (Harper Collins India). I received this lovely book from Writer's Melon for an honest review.

A Forgotten Affair is an intriguing story of Sagarika who met a terrible accident, and wakes up after prolonged coma only to realize that her mind is blank with no memory of her past. Now her life depends on Rishab, a wealthy man, who claims to be her husband.

It seems that Rishab is trying to hide something as he clearly avoids discussing Sagarika's past as if he doesn't want her to regain her memory and past. Why?

A new city, new house, new phone, a stranger as her husband; Sagarika's life is like a slate that has been wiped off. What remains with her are some flashes, an unknown yet familiar face of a man, a whiff of male perfume that drive her crazy. As she struggles to find her real identity, life unveils some shocking realities.

Seems intriguing? Yes, it is! Go, read the book to know more. You won't be disappointed.

Ms. Kanchana is an experienced writer, and it reflects in her writing even though it's her first book. Writing is neat. Narration is crisp.

The book has been told in third person omniscient (Not multiple) point of view - something I don't enjoy much as it affects the unpredictability of the story. The book has an intriguing start but after some time everything becomes so easy while it was supposed to be complex. However, it doesn't affect your reading experience; it still remains engaging.

The author has sketched the character skillfully especially Rishab.

Rishab never screamed. He could spew venom in a cold, firm and barely audible voice.

But, sometimes, I felt that characters, except Rishab, accept unfairness very easily. They don't try enough. The characters, including Sagarika, don't fight. However, I loved the way Sagarika's character transforms eventually.

I liked the end - very satisfying. And, for a change, epilogue in this book is significant. But, I missed an important element here - a gap that remains unanswered.

Overall, for me it was an interesting and engrossing read. If you like reading modern romance (this book is not that typical girl meets boy romance) and women fiction, you will like this book for sure. Go for it!


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Book Review: The Secret Diary of Kasturba by Neelima Dalmia Adhar

Finished reading "The Secret Dairy of Kasturba" by Neelima Dalmia Adhar (Westland Books).

About the author:

Neelima Dalmia Adhar divides her time between writing and pursuing her interest in Poetry, Hindu Philosophy and the Paranormal. Her first book, a one-of-its-kind biography on her father titled Father Dearest, the life and Times of RK Dalmia, is a widely acclaimed bestseller that made it to several international lists and earned her critical acclaim. Her second book, Merchants of Death, a highly controversial work of fiction also rode the bestseller charts for a sustained period of time.

The book says some intriguing things:

"I don't know what evil resides in me" he wrote to a friend, "I have a streak of cruelty in me that compels people to attempt the impossible in order to please me."

He is the Mahatma, a man the world venerates as a prophet of peace, but for Kasturba, the child bride who married the boy next door, Mohandas was a sexually driven, self righteous, and over bearing husband.

The Secret Dairy of Kasturba is a brave attempt by the author. This book voices Kartuba's feeling. How she managed with a dominating husband who was loving but couldn't trust her. Supportive but unreasonable at times.

The book starts when Kasturba is on her death bed, and it beautifully moves towards her birth, carefree childhood, early marriage full of romance, and then her tough married life and motherhood. The language is crisp and beautiful (two words, Sweet and Beloved, were repetitive and a little irritating, but considering the setting and the time, I thought it was okay). I loved the way Kasturba expresses her anger and frustration wordlessly. Just screaming inwardly. We all do that, sometimes.

"Why was he embarking on a journey of penance and celibacy oblivious of the people he would inadvertently victimize, wound and mutilate on the way. Who has given you the authority to enforce a ruling on me that affects me with such a cruel, brutal force, without my consent? Who?

While the book is skillfully crafted, I can't say it's flawless. There are certain things that bothered me. First, the POV. The book is written in diary form thus in the first person, but it is omniscient, seemed more or less Mahatma Gandhi's biography. I understand that people tell us about certain incidents (thus we know about those incidents even when we are not present there), but it was odd to read some intimate moments of her son's life from Kasturba's point of view which I doubt he would have told her.

Then, the author has mentioned 'a lone, naked bulb suspended from a frayed wire from the ceiling lights up the dingy room'

I don't think in the year 1885, in India, in a town like Rajkot, in a brothel, we can expect/imagine a wired bulb (electricity, precisely). So, this line acted as a brake. But, as I have said before, this book is boldly and beautifully crafted, so such thoughts didn't affect my reading but it did stir a thought.

The book is enlightening and shocking at times. Kasturba's anxiety and longing for her sons are nicely expressed. For me, reading this book was a learning experience. In my opinion, The Secret Diary of Kasturba is a must read for any book lover.

I thank Westland Books for sending me the review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Writing Romance? Four Things To Avoid.

Romance novels. They bring a smile on my face. Yes, it’s my favourite genre, but even though I am an avid reader, I can’t read any random romance. Even your favourite genre cannot guarantee entertainment, sometimes.

A reader’s perspective is closely related to a writer’s writing. They go hand in hand. As I was writing my first novel, We Will Meet Again – a love story, I tried to think as a reader, and tried my best to avoid things that I may not like as a reader. I think it worked!

If you are a first-time writer, and writing romance, there are chances that editors and even readers don’t take your work seriously. It’s not to discourage you, but to make you familiar with the fact. I have seen readers dismissing this genre right away. Maybe, they are prejudice against few things (in romance) that don’t go well with their tastes.

What could possibly go wrong? 

Read the full article HERE

If you like reading mature love stories, you will like my book, We Will Meet Again. It's not about insta-love. It's about growing in a relationship. It's not mushy. It's about strong and relatable characters.

You can get my book here @ a super discount! Or get it from Amazon. Or enter giveaway on Goodreads. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

A Gift, So Precious!

A gift, so precious
I lost, hues of life faded
Frozen black and white

Vast emptiness ahead,
Endless path, going nowhere
Where shall I find it?

Sharing with: Haiku My Heart

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Book Review: Graffiti by Joanie Pariera

I received this e-book from Writer's Melon for an honest review.

Graffiti by Joanie Pariera deals about complex relationships and emotions.

Rene sees some weird dreams and thinks her dreams have some meaning (now this was the biggest hook for me). Unexpected break-up with Agni has left her shattered. 

She meets Vipin who is depressed after his wife's death and blames himself for the accident. Then there is Mark who is inexplicably obsessed about Rene and spies on her. Then there is Upi and Hari and Kunal and Subbu and....

This is the biggest problem in this book. There are so many characters and the story seems scattered. For me, it was difficult to keep the track. The author introduces a new character in every chapter. The POV is confusing. Vipin's part is written in first person. Other characters in third person. I didn't get this idea.

I liked the cover! The 'dream' thing disappointed me as it doesn't make the story intriguing as I had expected. Characters and situations are not relatable, and they don't carry the story forward and sometimes seem unnecessary. However, I liked some friendly moments and conversations between Rene and Vipin. The author has expressed the agony of Vipin well.

Some nice reviews call this book hilarious. I didn't find it funny. I don't why it is called 'Sexocomedy'?

Overall, for me, it was not an enjoyable read even though the plot is interesting. I think, it could have been crisp and intriguing if handled and edited well.