Monday, 30 May 2016

Absence of You by Sarah Elle Emm: a Promotional Tour!

Absence of You
by Sarah Elle Emm
Released on 17th May, 2016

About the Book:

Absence of You, a collection of poems, takes you through stages of love, from the first moments of falling, to heartache, to healing and growing. With Sarah Elle Emm’s simple, yet powerful, words and rhythm, venture through the ups and downs on this heartfelt journey.

Book Links:




About the Author:

Sarah Elle Emm is the author of ABSENCE OF YOU, LAST VACATION, the HARMONY RUN SERIES, and MARRYING MISSY. She has lived in Germany, England, Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and traveled extensively beyond. Her writing cave is currently located in the Outer Banks. When she’s not leading kitchen dance parties with her daughters, she writes poetry and fiction.

Stalk the Author:


This Feature is a part of the Blogger Outreach Program by b00k r3vi3w Tours and Vanya's Notebook

Sunday, 29 May 2016

All of Me by Jonali Karmakar: a promotional Tour!

*~* Release Day Blitz *~*

Title: All of Me
Author:JonaliKarmakar
Length: 69 pages
Publication Date: May 29, 2016
ASIN: B01G0P8JGK


Book Blurb:
All of Me is a collection of thirteen little stories that have been gleaned from real life as well as imagination. Exploring a range of genres, these throb with everything primal to human nature: fear, angst, joy, love, and longing. Some stories are designed to elicit smiles, chuckles, and maybe even a belly laugh or two whereas some are meant as a reality check. Universal in nature, each story provides a glimpse of what women empowerment or a lack thereof can mean in a person’s life.
From a small hamlet in India to the roads of Australia; from a mother’s betrayal to a daughter’s confession; from an extra marital affair to a same sex relationship learn for yourself the what, how and whys.

Originally written for anthologies and ezines, these stories have been revisited and updated for this new collection.  



Excerpts from stories in All of Me:


1

Instead there were so many questions that started to raise their bantam heads. Why did she drive the winding lanes into the past to warm herself? What was it that she was hoping to find? Had she really blamed Palash for naught? Over the years had she made him less a person who had lived and breathed and more the dream of one? It was not impossible what he had accused her of. 
Ira looked at the man before her and matched him to her memories of him. They seemed two very different beings! Waves of humiliation washed over her until she was rigid with misery. The purpose of this trip was lost on her.

For a while she let his words run through her head like cool water on a headache and dared to examine her sentiments in the privacy of her thoughts. She let the long buried memories surface and in the one moment saw everything and wanted not to, wanted to make it go away, to unknow. In finding closure she had unearthed a truth that she wasn’t willing to face ever. 


2

She liked her job. It was good. Brought in quick money.Left her enough hours for cramming her boring science papers. What else can one expect? There were quite a few perks too. Posh parties where cocktails, five star food and good contacts flowed uninterruptedly not necessarily in the same order. Whatever. It was fun.
Okay it wasn’t a job to be proud of she agreed. But she wasn’t ashamed of what she did. Still it was a put-outer when people shriveled their nose after learning about her profession. As if she reeked! So she didn’t advertise her work much. Clients came in on their own. She had a reputation. Word of mouth was her advertisement. 
Namita was one of the best. A little pricey but satisfaction guaranteed. Naturally her clientele list included only a handful. She liked to stick to her regulars. Knowing each other intimately created a comfort zone which she thought was essential. Mutual enjoyment was her mantra. She diligently noted their likes and specially their dislikes. Their preferences for toys. The usual. 
It was a little tricky with the fly-by-night customers. It usually meant a day call. She preferred evenings. If the money was good she accepted. But she didn’t compromise with her three-days-a-night policy. In such situations Namita ditched one of her regulars by calling in sick. A little ditching was healthy especially since her work was so damn physically tiring. She only accepted them after seeing their medical certificates. It irked some but she never budged. She didn’t want to pickup something nasty from them. If they wanted her it was on her terms.


About the Author:
JonaliKarmakar is a fiction writer with a Masters in English. Writing is not just her passion but her way of dealing with life. She loves being able to escape into the worlds she creates. Everything that she writes becomes a part of her and she wants her readers to know the woman behind those words. In addition to being an educator, she works as a content editor for a local news portal. She has been providing editing, proofreading and translation services for the past few years.

Jonali’s work has been published in several journals, anthologies and poetry collections both national and international. An avid reader, she loves flipping pages of anything and everything on the table and reviewing the same on her blog Eclectic Moods. She feels that reading and writing are the flip sides of the same coin. Writing is her way of communicating with the world. When she’s not writing or teaching she loves to experiment with her paintings.

She has quite a few accolades to her name.

Contact the Author:
This Feature is a part of the Blogger Outreach Program by b00k r3vi3w Tours and Vanya's Notebook


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

All of Me by Jonali Karmakar: The Cover Release!

*** Cover Reveal ***

Title: All of Me
Author:JonaliKarmakar
Length: 69 pages
Publication Date: May 29, 2016
ASIN: B01G0P8JGK


Book Blurb:
All of Me is a collection of thirteen little stories that have been gleaned from real life as well as imagination. Exploring a range of genres, these throb with everything primal to human nature: fear, angst, joy, love, and longing. Some stories are designed to elicit smiles, chuckles, and maybe even a belly laugh or two whereas some are meant as a reality check. Universal in nature, each story provides a glimpse of what women empowerment or a lack thereof can mean in a person’s life.
From a small hamlet in India to the roads of Australia; from a mother’s betrayal to a daughter’s confession; from an extra marital affair to a same sex relationship learn for yourself the what, how and whys.

Originally written for anthologies and ezines, these stories have been revisited and updated for this new collection.  

About the Author:
JonaliKarmakar is a fiction writer with a Masters in English. Writing is not just her passion but her way of dealing with life. She loves being able to escape into the worlds she creates. Everything that she writes becomes a part of her and she wants her readers to know the woman behind those words. In addition to being an educator, she works as a content editor for a local news portal. She has been providing editing, proofreading and translation services for the past few years.

Jonali’s work has been published in several journals, anthologies and poetry collections both national and international. An avid reader, she loves flipping pages of anything and everything on the table and reviewing the same on her blog Eclectic Moods. She feels that reading and writing are the flip sides of the same coin. Writing is her way of communicating with the world. When she’s not writing or teaching she loves to experiment with her paintings.

She has quite a few accolades to her name.

Contact the Author:
This Feature is a part of the Blogger Outreach Program by b00k r3vi3w Tours

My Last Love Story by Falguni Kothari: a review


About the Book:
Perfect for fans of JojoMoyes’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:

My Review:

This book! That is the first thing that is in my mind while I am writing the review for this. It is amazing how a person can wonderfully depict emotions. While I was reading the book, I did not know what to expect from the book. It was an exceptionally well written book which is a wonderful maze of human emotions. The struggles, the emotions, the love, the hate, the friendship, the bonding- everything is so well depicted in the book.

As a reader, or rather a first time reader of this author, I was very surprised to get such a wonderful book in my hands. Truth be told, I have been hearing a lot about this authoress. So, I had to give her a try. Boy! I was satisfied. If I talk about the characters- Simeen, Nirvaan and Zayaan- they have been a treat to watch. The way their characters mature throughout the book, there has been no point where I felt that I am reading a book. I always felt that I am a part of their story. Leading their lives or being a spectator of their lives. The edge that the characters have to the way they have a bond has been a must read journey throughout the journey.

If we speak about the story, then this was one very simple story served to the highest rank. You would be amazed to the fullest to see how seamlessly the characters have been blended to bring the perfect story to the audience. The cover is something that had touched me a lot and so did the blurb of the book. Coming to the cons of the story, there weren't many and the least that were there were just minor grammatical errors. Another con with the book is,when you see a wonderful book, you would always want to read more of it. For me, this book is 4.25 out of 5.

Read an Excerpt:


Dear Readers, thank you for coming along on the My Last Love Story Blog Tour. Here’s an excerpt to enjoy.

ONE

“Love is a dish best served naked.”
As a child, those oft-quoted words of my father would have me rolling my eyes and pretending to gag at what I’d imagined was my parents’ precursor to a certain physical act. 
At thirty, I’d long ago realized that getting naked wasn’t a euphemism for sex. 
Neither was love.
It wasn’t my father wording the meme just now but my husband. Nirvaan considered himself a great wit, a New Age philosopher. On the best of days, he was, much like Daddy had been. On the worst days, he was my tormentor. 
“What do you think, Dr. Archer? Interesting enough tagline for a vlog? What about ‘Baby in a Petri Dish’?” Nirvaan persisted in eliciting a response from the doctor and/or me for his ad hoc comedy, which we’d been ignoring for several minutes now.
I wanted to glare at him, beg him to shut up, or demand that he wait in the doctor’s office like he should’ve done, like a normal husband would have. Khodai knows why he’d insisted on holding my hand through this preliminary checkup. Nothing of import would happen today—if it did at all. But I couldn’t perform any such communication, not with my eyes and mouth squeezed shut while I suffered through a series of uncomfortable twinges along my nether regions. 
I lay flat on my back on a spongy clinic bed sheeted with paper already wrinkled and half torn. Legs drawn up and spread apart, my heels dug punishingly into cold iron stirrups to allow my gynecologist’s clever fingers to reach inside my womb and check if everything was A-OK in there. We’d already funneled through the Pap test and stomach and chest checks. Like them, this test, too, was going swell in light of Dr. Archer’s approving happy hums. 
“Excellent, Mrs. Desai. All parts are where they should be,” he joked only as a doctor could.
I shuddered out the breath I’d been holding, as the feeling of being stretched left my body. Nirvaan squeezed my hand and planted a smacking kiss on my forehead. I opened my eyes and focused on his beaming upside-down ones. His eyelids barely grew lashes anymore—I’d counted twenty-seven in total just last week—the effect of years of chemotherapy. For a second, my gaze blurred, my heart wavered, and I almost cried. 
What are we doing, Nirvaan? What in Khodai’s name were we starting?
Nirvaan stroked my hair, his pitch-black pupils steady and knowing and oh-so stubborn. Then, his face rose to the stark white ceiling, and all I saw was the green-and-blue mesh of his gingham shirt—the overlapping threads, the crisscross weaves, a pattern without end. 
Life is what you make it, child. It was another one of my father’s truisms.
Swallowing the questions twirling on my tongue, I refocused my mind on why we were here. I’d promised Nirvaan we’d try for a baby if he agreed to another round of cancer-blasting treatments. I’d bartered for a few more months of my husband’s life. He’d bartered for immortality through our child.
Dr. Archer rolled away from between my legs to the computer station. He snapped off and disposed of the latex gloves. Then, he began typing notes in near-soundless staccato clicks. Though the examination was finished, I knew better than to sit up until he gave me leave. I’d been here before, done this before—two years ago when Nirvaan had been in remission and the idea of having a baby had wormed its way into his head. We’d tried the most basic procedures then, whatever our medical coverage had allowed. We hadn’t been desperate yet to use our own money, which we shouldn’t be touching even now. We needed every penny we had for emergencies and alternative treatments, but try budging my husband once he’d made up his mind.
“I’m a businessman, Simi. I only pour money into a sure thing,” he rebuked when I argued.
I brought my legs together, manufacturing what poise and modesty I could, and pulled the sea-green hospital gown bunched beneath my bottom across my half-naked body. I refused to look at my husband as I wriggled about, positive his expression would be pregnant with irony, if not fully smirking. And kudos to him for not jumping in to help me like I would have. 
The tables had turned on us today. For the past five years, it’d been Nirvaan thrashing about on hospital beds, trying in vain to find relief and comfort, modesty or release. Nirvaan had been poked, prodded, sliced, and bled as he battled aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I’d been the stoic spectator, the supportive wife, the incompetent nurse, the ineffectual lover. 
And now? What role would I play now?
As always, thinking about our life left me feeling even more naked than I was in the open-fronted robe. I turned my face to the wall, my eyes stinging, as fear and frustration bubbled to the surface. Flesh-toned posters of laughing babies, pregnant mothers, and love-struck fathers hung from the bluish walls. Side by side were the more educative ones of human anatomy, vivisected and whole. The test-tube-like exam room of Monterey Bay Fertility Clinic was decorated in true California beach colors—sea-foam walls, sandy floors, pearl-pink curtains, and furniture—bringing the outdoors in. If the decor was meant to be homey, it wasn’t having such an effect on me. This room, like this town and even this country, was not my natural habitat, and I felt out of my element in it. 
I’d lived in California for seven years now, ever since my marriage, and I still didn’t think of it as home, not like Nirvaan did. Home for me was India. And no matter the dark memories it held, home would always be Surat.
“All done.” Dr. Archer pushed the computer trolley away and stood up. “You can get dressed, Mrs. Desai. Take your time. Use whatever supplies you need. We’ll wait for you in my office,” he said, smiling. 
Finally, I can cover myself, I thought. Gooseflesh had erupted across my skin due to the near frigid clinic temperatures doctors tortured their patients with—like a patient didn’t have enough to suffer already. Medical facilities maintained cool indoor temperatures to deter inveterate germs from contaminating the premises and so its vast flotilla of equipment didn’t fry. I knew that. But knowing it still didn’t inspire any warm feelings in me for the “throng of professional sadists with a god complex.” I quoted my husband there. 
Nirvaan captured my attention with a pat on my head. “See you soon, baby,” he said, following the doctor out of the room. 
I scooted off the bed as soon as the door shut behind them. My hair tumbled down my face and shoulders at my jerky movements. I smoothed it back with shaking hands. Long, wavy, and a deep chestnut shade, my hair was my crowning glory, my one and only feature that was lush and arresting. Nirvaan loved my hair. I wasn’t to cut it or even braid it in his presence, and so it often got hopelessly knotted. 
I shrugged off the clinic gown, balled it up, and placed it on the bed. I wiped myself again and again with antiseptic wipes, baby wipes, and paper towels until the tissues came away stain-free. I didn’t feel light-headed. I didn’t allow myself to freak. I concentrated on the flow of my breaths and the pounding of my heart until they both slowed to normal. 
It was okay. I was not walking out with a gift-wrapped baby in tow. Not today. No reason to freak out.
I reached for my clothes and slipped on my underwear. They were beige with tiny white hearts on them—Victoria’s Secret lingerie Nirvaan had leered and whistled at this morning. 
Such a silly man. Typical Nirvaan, I corrected, twisting my lips. 
Even after dressing in red-wash jeans and a full-sleeved sweater, I shivered. My womb still felt invaded and odd. As I stepped into my red patent leather pumps, an unused Petri dish sitting on the workstation countertop caught my eye. 
The trigger for Nirvaan’s impromptu comedy, perhaps? 
Despite major misgivings about the Hitleresque direction my life had taken, humor got the better of me, and I grinned. 
Silly, silly Nirvaan. Baby in a Petri dish, indeed.


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

Sunday, 22 May 2016

"Definition of success for me is the satisfaction of telling a wonderful story" : Kota Neelima

                                      “Politics is about every single citizen of this country” 

This mantra is what made Kota Neelima what she is today. A writer of 4 political thriller books and 1 spiritual book, she had started her journey as a political editor for The Sunday Guardian and has been so for 20 years since then. Currently with her latest release “The honest Season” ruling the bestselling charts and her 3rd book, Shoes of the dead in the run in to become a motion picture, she is also a painter by profession. In this busy schedule, Vanya’s Notebook was very lucky to have her in for a chat. Here is what transpired when Vanya’s Notebook interacted with the wonder woman herself...

Vanya’s Notebook- To start this off, I would like to first thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking out time for the interview. One of the very first things that I, as a journalist, would like to ask you is why did you take up writing on politics (in your career as a journalist and an author) when you have so many other options to write on. And that too on such controversial and yet unspoken topics such as the rural poor, democratic reforms etc?

Kota Neelima— It is a pleasure to interact with you for your blog. Politics is not just about politicians, it is about every single citizen of this country. I write about how the powerful get away with injustice, with illegalities and with neglecting the poor. As a citizen of India, I want to know who cheats this nation of its opportunities for greatness.

Vanya’s Notebook- What, according to you is a better way to reach the masses that are basically your target audience? Through the books that you write or through the newspaper articles?

KN— If journalism is the spirit of a nation, books are its soul. As a journalist and an author, I write about how the so-called solutions to issues like poverty and unequal development have failed to work. My target audience consists of those who are impatient and unwilling to obey the accepted norms. Whether I write for newspapers or in books, I reach my audience because I share their restlessness with the status quo.

Vanya’s Notebook- 5 books from 2007-2016 out of which 4 have been political thrillers while only 1 has been a spiritual book. Clearly, political thriller, a term which is coined by you is the genre you prefer writing in. Winning accolades for both the genres, can you tell us which part has been tougher- Writing a political thriller or a spiritual one? And why?

KN— I do not believe in things that come easy. My three earlier books, Riverstones (2007), Death of a Moneylender (2009) and Shoes of the Dead (2013) were about rural poor and farmer suicides, which took 10 years of research in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. This was also the beginning of my search for spiritual answers to human suffering and destiny, which led to my book on the philosophy of places of worship, Tirupati, A guide to life (2012).

Vanya’s Notebook- Riverstones, Death of a money lender, Shoes of the dead and The Honest season. For every author their books are their babies where every baby is very close to the heart. Even then, a parent is sure to have a favourite child. Which child has been the closest to your heart?

KN— Every one of my book is a piece of my heart, my soul. I do not write unless I can lose some part of me irretrievably in my books. I am the sum of all the parts, all my books.

Vanya’s Notebook- Shoes of the dead. A book which has been published in the year 2013 is getting into the news again and probably even overpowering the limelight which should be provided to your latest book, “The honest season”, because of the fact that the former is soon to be a motion picture. How did this “making into a motion picture” idea happen and what effect would that have on the sales of your latest book?

KN— I am very happy that Shoes of the Dead (2013) will be made into a movie soon and that the issue of the politics behind farmer suicides will reach a wider audience. The Honest Season (2016), my latest book, has been on airport charts for several months. The Honest Season is about corruption behind the closed doors of parliament, an issue of concern for every thinking Indian, and that could be a reason why it has become a bestseller.

Vanya’s Notebook- You are an all rounder. You love writing, you love painting, and you love to cook. All these things are ways to express yourself and what you are thinking in your own way. Which of these is the thing that you go for when you are upset? What I mean to ask is what gets you instantly charged up? And if it is something else which is not in the options, then please tell us.

KN— I write to represent the emotions of strangers, of people I have never met or may never meet. Every pain, every happiness, is a gift that belongs to someone else. I pass on the thoughts to their rightful owners, the readers, when I write.

Vanya’s Notebook- Let we be frank here. We live in a world where there are a lot of things happening to the women these days. The male chauvinism is still in existence. You have been a woman in power. By that I mean, it is not easy to be a woman journalist and a female author who speaks her heart out and who is giving the brutal truth the world is not ready to know, that too when it is something based on politics. How did you manage to gain this position, have this aura? Were there a lot of fights, back biting, pulling back in the years when you were a struggler? What are your views on the current position of women in India?

KN— A woman’s life is about battling the odds. It does not matter whether the woman works in an office or is staying at home. From the moment a girl is born in our country, she survives against odds created by family, society, religion and the law. Every woman in India is a survivor. Like any warrior, the battles a woman fights will define her.

Vanya’s Notebook- In today’s time there are a lot of people who love to express but are scared of doing so. Because they fear the society. They resort to writing their thoughts down but when they want to get it published, they do not get the exposure that is needed. Weighed down by the current trends in the market of chick-lits and other fiction, do you think the voices of the young are getting lost in the crowd? What suggestion would you want to give to those young writers who are not getting enough exposure?

KN—Definition of success for me is the satisfaction of telling a wonderful story. My advice to young writers: Don’t let number waylay you. Instead, count the number of times you smiled while writing your story and the numbers of times you cried.

Vanya’s Notebook- If given a chance to be the chief justice for a day and if whatever you say will be for the whole country to listen and to follow what changes would you like to bring?
KN— I would reward anyone who cared for the poorest and the most neglected people of this nation. I would ensure the honest, ordinary people of the country have their dreams fulfilled, and are proud to be Indian.

Vanya’s Notebook- Finally, I would request you to say a few words for your readers and for Vanya’s Notebook. It was wonderful interacting with you and I wish you all the best for the projects that are to come.

KN— Vanya’s Notebook recreates a wonderful world from the imagination of writers across the country for the readers to explore. I wish Vanya’s Notebook reaches new horizons of thought and creativity. Thank you.

 It is  very rare that we get the opportunity to talk to and to learn something from such a motivating person. If we get the opportunity, the knowledge that we acquire, lasts for a lifetime. So, here's to a wonderful and enlightening life ahead!

You can get to know more about Kota Neelima from here- http://www.kotaneelima.com/profile.html



Friday, 20 May 2016

Song of a flying sparrow by Rajeev Pundir: a review

Whenever you have read and liked the work of an author, you always tend to form expectations from the next work that they write and that is exactly what happened when I came across the second book of Rajeev Pundir. Having read and liked his first book Even God Doesn’t Know, his second book titled “Song of a flying sparrow” had a lot of expectations riding on its shoulders. I am glad to say this that the cover of the book and the blurb of it, did not disappoint. As far as if the book as a whole stood up to the expectations or not is concerned, we will come to that later. But first, here is the blurb of the book for you.

According to the blurb- Chiya is born and brought up in a wealthy business-class family. When her mom Rini, a highly ambitious woman, tries to fix her marriage with a millionaire divorcee, quite senior to her in age, she refuses categorically. As a result an ugly argument ensues between them. Chiya’s life turns upside down when Rini reveals an unpleasant secret pertaining to her life during the heat of the conflict. Then she embarks on a mission- The sole aim of her life. What was that secret and the mission thereupon? To find, explore the novel “Song of a flying sparrow” – a tale of emotions, love, betrayal, ambitions, greed, cynicism and twisted relations.

I will start with what I felt about the cover of the book. The cover, for me, compliments the title to the core and also to the story of the book. The first attraction to the book happens because of the cover and that is a feat not all cover designers can achieve. For me, the cover should speak volumes about the book and that is what this cover does successfully. Now, coming to the characters. The book, very much like his first book has very precise characters and it seemed that the author knew exactly what the characters wanted to do and had to do at what stage. The precision of the characters is what the plus point of the book becomes.

But this time somehow, the characters did not attract me like the other time. Even though they were very precise, some characters had much potential which was not explored while some characters were unnecessary additions. Some were added but were not justified while the main characters could have done much well than what they did. The story comes next. Well, to think of it, the story was a very interesting tale. Though it seemed to be Chiya’s story, after a point of time, I felt that the story is of her mother, Rini. A pleasurable read, story wise.

If you speak of the ending then I would say that the ending was nice. Again, the turns and twists along with the exploration of the relationships could have been better. The narration was better in the first book of the author and has somehow gone down this time. The story was the only flicker of hope and the fact that the story, even after all this was not a boring one helped and will keep on helping every reader to read the book. If maybe the style was a bit altered and the characters a bit more explored, the book would’ve hit the mark.


Speaking of the cons of the book, apart from the ones that I have already mentioned if there was one thing that was constant stoppages throughout the book then it has to be the spelling errors that the book had. The book is a smooth read nonetheless and that is what makes me look forward to the next one from the author. Apart from that, since this is the second book I am reading of the author and I would like to read more, I hope that the author up’s his writing style. For me, this book is 3.25 out of 5.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Panorama by Shilpi Chaklanobis: a review

Unlike most people who I know, I do not hesitate reading the works of a debut author because for me, the debut authors are very promising. They always come up with something fresh and new, making me wait for their books and also the debut authors have something new to tell. So when I came across Panorama – A collection of Short stories by debut author Shilpi Chaklanobis, I did not hesitate before picking it up. The cover of the book is so inviting that I would not be lying if I say that I fell for the book at first glance. Then, I turned towards the back and read the blurb. Like most anthologies, this blurb also gives a take on the stories that it has. Have a look at it, before I go for reviewing each story one by one.

According to the back cover- A turbulent relationship between a mother and a daughter takes a sudden turn when the daughter stumbles across a past that she never knew. The golden period of a professor’s life is tainted by questions about his purpose until one night gives him all the answers he needs. Desperate times test us all but when hunger drives a girl to do the unthinkable, her life changes forever. Woven around the lives of the people around us- the shy girl on the metro, your domestic help, your neighbours and perhaps even you- this collection of short stories will take you on a bittersweet journey that explores the spectrum that is part of any human relationship and all the complexity and chaos that secretly dwell within the homes and hearts of India. Often laced with an element of introspection, the stories are sure to change the way you see the world around you...

The Wok is the first story in the book and is basically a story which could be anyone’s. It can be of the maid who works at our place or of the beggar of the street. What works for the story is the fact that it is written so beautifully that it touches the heart at first read.

Peanut is the second story of the book. How dear is out pets to us? That is exactly what the essence of the story peanut depicts. I had a pet once and the story reminded me of her. By the end of the story, I had a lump in my throat. A treat for every pet (dog) lover.

The third story of the book is a story called The thirst. With two beautiful stories as the opening stories of the book, this story took me by surprise. I won’t say I did not like it. It is a very good story and it touches too, showing the reality of life but I felt that it could have been told in a much better way than it has been told.

Selective Secularism is the fourth story of the book. Now, this is a story which needs to be told. Selectivity and secularity at its best, or worst? This is the story of most people in every second house. One major must read story. But then again, some more details could have meant to harm.

The fifth story of the book is called bribe. The thing which is usually unsaid but it also goes without saying that it exists. Who does a child love more- the father or the mother? You should really read this story to know and to open your eyes.

There are very few stories which stay with me but I am sure the sixth story of the book, forever, will. Perfect for a TV show episodic, this is a beautiful tale. Keeping a few errors (grammatical) aside, by the end of the story, I had tears.

The seventh story of the book is The wait. I have noticed a pattern in the writing style of the authoress. She charms her readers and then suddenly with a story the reader feels like taking a step back. This story had the essence but lacked the narration that was needed.

The eighth story of the book, The second tsunami made me think. The story might just be a true story. It would surely touch your hearts and give you mixed emotions. What would you have done in such a situation? Read the story and let me know.

The ninth story of the book is titled The example. The authoress gas a talent in showing her story writing capabilities in the writing industry. Evert story of hers seem to be a brief of a novel’s storyline. A much liked story of mine, the essence is well maintained.

The meeting is the tenth story of the book. I’ll confess, I have a best friend and we are known as twins too and I am also sure of the fact that 25 years from now, this is exactly what would happen to us. Me being Payal and she being Ria. I have a piece of advice- listen to the story. Please.

The mirage is the eleventh story of the book. For a fleeting moment after reading the story, I did not know how to write about it. The story has something in it which is very precious. Misunderstanding in a relationship. It does not hurt knowing both sides of the coin, does it?

The twelfth story of the book is destiny. First, I am a believer. To whosoever reads the story there are 2 things- one, you are a believer and two, you are not a believer. For me, it was the former. A tactfully formed story and a controversial concept, I felt that the authoress could’ve written it in a better way so that even those who fall in the latter category would believe it.

The thirteenth story of the book is titled The untimely death. The title might seem to be mentioning about a person’s death but the story was much more than that. How can one incident change so many lives? Read on to find out.

Before it’s too late is the fourteenth story of the book. ‘Live before you die’. A very meaningful line that says a lot. Who follows it? It is hard to decipher. Who do we loose in this rat race? And who do we gain? It is for you to decide but before it is too late.

The final story of the book, The sealed wish, is the perfect story the book could end with. A treat to the readers and a lump in the throat story, you would have to read the story to know what the story does to you.


Once I had finished reading the book and was analyzing the book I felt that everything worked for me in the book. The stories were nice, the concepts nice. I loved the cover of the book and even the blurb. The few things that I did not like are the few grammatical errors of the book and also the pattern of the authoress which gives you a break while reading. All in all a book which you can finish at one go and you would be satisfied, I would want to read a novel from the authoress soon. This book is 4 out of 5 for me.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

My Last Love Story by Falguni Kothari: a promotional tour!


About the Book:
Perfect for fans of JojoMoyes’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! 
~ SonaliDev, 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.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Conspiracy At Meru by Shatrujeet Nath: The Cover Release!


First look at The Conspiracy at Meru (VikramadityaVeergatha # 2)



Guardians of the Halahala (VikramadityaVeergatha # 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 SamratVikramaditya 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 VikramadityaVeergatha 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)

This Cover Reveal is powered by b00k r3vi3w Tours and Vanya's Notebook


Saturday, 7 May 2016

Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the cat book 1) by Zoe Kalo: a review

It has been really long that I have read a pdf file as a full fledged book but when I caught hold of The Daughter of the Sun, book 1 of the cult of the cat series by Zoe Kalo, I could not stop myself. I just had to read it and yes, I need to mention here that I was not disappointed at all. The cover and the blurb both had me at their first glance and since these days I am in the mood of a bit of fantasy fiction, this was the best book I could read. Here is what the blurb told me-

According to the blurb- Sixteen-year-old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew.  But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities. Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to eighteen-year-old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to confront her true self—and a horrifying destiny. 

CULT OF THE CAT - Series Blurb 

According to ancient Egyptian prophecy, three feline goddesses—Bastet, Sekhmet, and Mafdet—would one day be reborn as triplets during a solar eclipse.  But someone—or something—separated them at birth. Because if ever they were reunited, they would unleash a blistering power that could destroy the world.  In an adventure where the past confronts the present, and blood, betrayal and secrets abound, the triplets face each other for the first time. And discover they’re the only force able to stop the evil god Apophis from enslaving humanity. 

See? Now I guess you know what my first reaction was when I read the blurb for the first time. I will be very true here and say that once I finished reading it (which is a while back) I couldn’t wait to do two things 1) write what I felt of the book and 2) read the next book of the series. First, I would like to mention my feelings about the cover of the book. Exceptionally bright and depicting exactly what the book is all about; the cover catches more attention especially because of the title of the book. I am a book buff and have been reading books a lot so for me, when I see a book with an attractive title; I am automatically drawn towards it.

Now, speaking of the characters. Since it is basically a fantasy fiction based novel, the characters had to be many. And not only many, the characters had to be well defined yet very well layered. I would like to give a thumb up to the author for making the characters so likeable. Even though it essentially features around Trinity, there are many other characters which you would love or probably hate. In the very beginning, the author has taken a lot to make a base for the characters, which I felt later in the book that was much needed. Once I speak of the characters, I would also mention the fact that not once in the book I felt that I am reading a character because I felt that many of the views expressed by the character was mine, the fears were mine and that is something not every author is capable of doing.

Having said that, the story is carried forward beautifully as I keep on turning the pages of the book (err...clicking the screen of kindle!). Not once in the book would you be bored with whatever the book is trying to tell you and the eagerness of what happens next grips you to the core. After reading the book you would surely feel like asking yourself one question! What if your family too had a secret? Falling in love with Egypt all over again, all the cat lovers reading this should also get hold of the book. And I guarantee the fact that you are in for a wonderful read.


Coming to the cons of the book, I would say that this book is a tad too confident book. By that I mean, the book did not have a jaw dropping ending but it had a very clean end. This clean end would urge you to read the next book of the series but it would satisfy your urge as a standalone book too. For me, the books which are in a series should have jaw dropping ends which would level up my excitement for the second one. Next, there were few minor errors in the book which could be neglected by large. The beginning was a bit slow and for people who are not used to reading fantasy fiction would find it a bit dragging but that’s alright. Isn’t it? Keeping all the pros and cons in mind, looking forward to the next book, I would like to rate it 3.75 out of 5.