15 February, 2019

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost - 5 Things that inspire me! by Radhika Sachdev



*** Special Feature - February 2019 ***

About the Book:
Penned in real time, from the hospital bed while battling for life, on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone’s 4x2 inch keypad, the only device allowed to the patient in her supersanitized recuperating room, this book follows a hybrid format of medico-psycho thriller, interspersed with SMS chats, transcripts of medical records, and other workings of an addled mind overcome by sickness, yet determined to pull through.

It is a first-hand account of a liver transplant recipient’s journey in India, chronicled from the patient’s perspective in vivid detail as a series of dramatic events unfold in her life, completing the cycle from sickness to health, despair to hope.

It also tells the story of a single mom and breadwinner of the family, her strong bonding with her adoptive daughter, and her family and friends’ support. The author hopes that this book will give courage and direction to other patients whose lives are hanging by a thread, patients awaiting a life-saving cadaveric organ donation.

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon


5 Things that inspire me!


  
I would say reading inspires me a lot. My taste in reading is very eclectic. I read everything I can lay my hands on - newspapers (of course), fiction, non-fiction, mysteries, even crime stories - virtually everything. I used to write poetry at one point of time, but soon realized there are no takers for it - Alas!

One genre I could never develop a taste for is - magical realism. I prefer simple, direct prose, very minimalistic and somewhat frugal in style - more emotionally than intellectually challenging, I suppose :) 

Other than reading and writing, I am also very fond of traveling - which is a journey out, just as reading is a journey within.  

People inspire me a lot --- all manner and kind - but especially those who are firmly grounded and those who have the nerve to fight against odds. People with a lot of spine and spunk!

Films and arts also inspire me. I marvel at people who are able to turn around bits and elements to create a piece of immense beauty. Performance arts are fun too, and music very uplifting, but reading and films would always come first on my list. Perhaps I am more visual than aural person.  

Finally, whenever I can manage, I absolutely love spending time with my daughter, dad and my two sisters' families too! 

  

  
  
 




About the Author:



Radhika Sachdev is an independent journalist who has held senior editorial positions with leading news banners – the Times of India, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Financial World, and The Pioneer. Presently, she runs her own advertising outfit, Write Solutions.





Connect with the Author:
Website * Facebook * LinkedIn


Giveaway:
Two lucky Indian Residents can win a paperback copy each of Second Go 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

7th Anniversary of Bookish Indulgences with b00k r3vi3ws

Hello!

I am back with the second Giveaway!

A Signed Copy of The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
A reimagining of the world-famous Indian epic, the Mahabharat—told from the point of view of an amazing woman.

Relevant to today’s war-torn world, The Palace of Illusions takes us back to a time that is half history, half myth, and wholly magical. Narrated by Panchaali, the wife of the legendary Pandavas brothers in the Mahabharat, the novel gives us a new interpretation of this ancient tale.

The novel traces the princess Panchaali's life, beginning with her birth in fire and following her spirited balancing act as a woman with five husbands who have been cheated out of their father’s kingdom. Panchaali is swept into their quest to reclaim their birthright, remaining at their side through years of exile and a terrible civil war involving all the important kings of India. Meanwhile, we never lose sight of her strategic duels with her mother-in-law, her complicated friendship with the enigmatic Krishna, or her secret attraction to the mysterious man who is her husbands' most dangerous enemy. Panchaali is a fiery female redefining for us a world of warriors, gods, and the ever-manipulating hands of fate.


Remember to check out the first giveaway in this series... A signed copy of I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

One Lucky Indian Resident will win this signed copy and a tiny surprise! So, go ahead and enter yourself in the rafflecopter by doing small tasks. There are enough options and you can choose to do one or all. But please do NOT cheat. I will be checking the winning entries and if I find some not so sincere entries, the person will be disqualified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

14 February, 2019

#GuestPost & #Giveaway - My Favourite Author by Summerita Rhayne

About the Author:
Summerita Rhayne writes contemporary and historical romance with lots of emotional conflict. She first got published in 2013 and has won contests with prestigious publishers such as Harlequin and Harper Collins India. She loves to write compelling emotional conflict in her stories.
Twitter * Follow her on Amazon

Thank you, Debdatta, for inviting me to share my thoughts on my favourite author for Valentine's day post.

How can we define romance? In today's world of increasingly busy and demanding lives, romance has achieved newer meanings. There is an ever present cynicism and skepticism related to romance. Sometimes, it feels as though romance is reduced to red and white balloons and the expectation of expensive gifts. But then you find instances of long, enduring relationships despite giant odds stacked against them. In romance fiction too, we see different expectations from the readers. As an author and reader of the genre, I often say, 'Boy meets girl does not make a romance.' This is truer than ever now. Mind exploration and self awareness are evident even in young people. As I direct my writing towards this demanding market, I find myself also looking up to fiction which is less escapist and more exploratory in nature. In this, I find Danielle Steel continues to fulfill the promise.

I like to read layered and relationship oriented stories and this author comes through on both counts. She has been criticised for her narrative style of story telling and for her omniscient pov while in romance fiction, close third person or even first person is all the rage. Also for penning the lives of the rich. But she writes character oriented stories and it is for the characters and their trials that her books are so fascinating. What sets her protagonists on edge and what challenges they confront forms a effective book and compelling reading which keeps you turning the pages. Recently she has grown from a romance to romantic fiction author and that is still amazing. Excuse me while I wax effusive about this lovely author. My big moment was indeed when I read in a review of my first book, Against All Rules: If you like Danielle Steel type of love and romance genre, you must read Against All Rules - ezinearticles.

To be paralleled, even in a slight way with the fourth best selling author of all time, is not a compliment but a blessing. Right now I am reading Steel's Mixed Blessing in which the lives of three different couples are explored. I'm looking forward to picking up her latest Turning Point next.


If you read Danielle Steel, do share your favourite book from her. Or share which is your favourite romance novel. Leave a comment to enter the giveaway of Against The Tide, historical romance set in ancient India which features a concubine falling in love.


Against The Tide

Can a concubine fall in love? 
Lohana knows she cannot even dream of everlasting love. Trained to captivate men for their wealth and proficient in the required arts, a concubine like her is not meant to be a partner for life for anyone and most certainly not for the king. But King Jayatshatru has managed to steal her heart. In the politics of aristocracy, germs of intrigue flourish hidden behind the ornate doors. As love grows stronger, the plotting against her deepens. Will she be able to fight the forces against her? Does she even want to, when dreaming about happiness can lead both the king and her to ultimate ruin? 

Find the book on Amazon


#CoverReveal :: The Heart of You by Aarti V Raman

~ Cover Reveal ~
The Heart of You 
(A Geeks of Caltech Novel)
by Aarti V Raman


Mixed martial arts studio owner Kit Barranos has always been a fighter. He will fight for his family. For his friends. For anyone in need.

What he doesn't know how to do is fight for himself...

... Or the inconvenient and consuming desire he has for single mom Lily Fallahil.

Office manager, Lily has spent the last decade raising her son and proving her independence to her protective and overbearing brother, Drake.

She has no time for romance. Especially with Kit Barranos, who has a body to die for and eyes that rip at her soul.

When Kit reveals his heartbreaking secret to Lily - he has a brother he never knew about, one he considered his closest friend - it brings them closer, creates a bond neither can deny.

And paves the way for a steamy attraction that explodes between them.

But it isn't just Lily that Kit is slowly but surely falling for. It's her adorable son, Bret.

Navigating the holidays, their families and their feelings is no easy task.

Flawed and fiercely loyal, Kit and Lily have fought the odds and survived.

But, survival no longer seems enough.

Can they take a chance on each other, on their hearts... On a love that braves The Heart of You?

The Heart of You is Book Three of The Geeks of Caltech, a unique band of friends bonded by loyalty, brotherhood, and pain. The Geeks of Caltech are to die for and their women all they wish to live for!


COMING SOON!

About the Author:

Aarti V Raman lives in Mumbai, India and has been a commercial editor and business journalist for the better part of a decade.
She is an incurable romantic who has taken up the task of bringing Happily Ever After to life for the characters in her head. She has three traditionally published novels out, all contemporary romances from 2014-2016, with the next one slated for release in 2019.
She currently writes and self-publishes steamy contemporary romance for urban millennials with a global twist. Sometimes, there are guns and car chases too.
Her new contemporary romance series include GEEKS OF CALTECH and ROYALS OF STELLANGARD as well as standalone romances - all of which have become Amazon India and US bestsellers.
She has also appeared as speaker at lit festivals and events around India and also dabbles in poetry, while conducting creative writing workshops.



Contact the Author:
Website * Facebook Page * Twitter * Instagram


This Cover Reveal is powered by b00k r3vi3w Tours


7th Anniversary of Bookish Indulgences with b00k r3vi3ws


It will sound cliched, but I can not believe that it has been 7 years since I started this blog! 😍

When I started this blog, I just wanted an outlet for the love of books that I have. But this blog has given me so much more. Experiences of a lifetime, friends that I can count on and a lot more exposure to books that I could have ever imagined.

And no blog is successful without it's audience. So, here's the first of a few Giveaways that I have planned for this occasion...

A signed copy of I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

protect the diamonds
survive the clubs
dig deep through the spades
feel the hearts


Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He's pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.

That's when the first ace arrives in the mail.

That's when Ed becomes the messenger.

Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary) until only one question remains: Who's behind Ed's mission?


 
One Lucky Indian Resident will win this signed copy! Truth be told, I am having a tough time letting go of this one myself 😏 But yes, I will happily send this along with a tiny surprise! So well, go ahead and enter yourself in the rafflecopter by doing small tasks. There are enough options and you can choose to do one or all. But please do NOT cheat. I will be checking the winning entries and if I find some not so sincere entries, the person will be disqualified.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

12 February, 2019

#BookReview :: Second Go by Radhika Sachdev

Penned in real time, from the hospital bed while battling for life, on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone’s 4x2 inch keypad, the only device allowed to the patient in her super-sanitized recuperating room, this book follows a hybrid format of medico-psycho thriller, interspersed with SMS chats, transcripts of medical records and other workings of an addled mind overcome by sickness, yet determined to pull through.
It is a first-hand account of a liver transplant recipient’s journey in India, chronicled from the patient’s perspective in vivid detail as a series of dramatic events unfold in her life, completing the cycle from sickness to health, despair to hope.
It also tells the story of a single mom and breadwinner of the family, her strong bonding with her adoptive daughter and her family and friends’ support.
The author hopes that this book will give courage and direction to other patients whose lives are hanging by a thread, patients awaiting a life-saving cadaveric organ donation.


This is a non-fiction book that chronicles the experience of the author as a liver transplant recipient in India.

The book starts from the time when the author started looking for possible liver donors and then goes back and forth a bit. The author has documented her journey quite thoroughly and as such anyone who is curious about what it takes to get a transplant surgery in India may find this book to be informative. There are chapters in the end that deal with the required diet for a liver transplant recipient and the cost of the whole process. There’s even a separate chapter outlining the organ transplantation rules and regulations in India and a list of Trusts that provide financial help for the medical costs. I think these annexure of the book is most informative.  

The author has also given the book a personal touch with details about her family and her work. I especially enjoyed reading the chapter about Aarzoo and the connection the mother and daughter duo has built over the years.  The photos included in the book helped me make a connection with the author’s journey and the people involved in her life. The fact that the author continued to work and furthered her professional life through the tumultuous period was really inspiring. It would have been so easy (and some would even say prudent) to have put her professional life on hold to focus on her health. Instead, she is a real life proof of how strong women can be. She delegated where she could, but attended to her responsibilities like a pro. Her ability to multi-task and balance her personal relationship, professional life and her health is something everyone will admire.

However, even for non-fiction, the narrative and the flow of the book felt fragmented. As a result, the book did not have as much of an impact as it could have. 




Review Copy received from Fingerprint Publishing


11 February, 2019

#BookReview :: Fatal Fallout by Sharmishtha Shenoy

When love is an obsession, rejection is fatal...
Beautiful model and aspiring actress Gauri is found dead on the highway from a gunshot wound. The jewelry she had been wearing and other valuables are missing. Is it a case of a robbery gone wrong? Or is it premeditated murder?
Gauri’s friends and family hold her boyfriend Akash responsible for the death. Gauri had recently broken up with him because of his abusive behavior. Did the fallout of the breakup turn fatal for her? Did Akash decide that if he couldn’t have her, nobody else would either?
Moreover, why did the film director Madhav hire detective Vikram Rana to investigate her death? Is it because he loved her, or because he wanted to point the needle of suspicion away from himself?
Adding to the puzzle, is the corrupt police inspector Phani Kuma sabotaging the case for his devious motives?
The media, meanwhile, is sensationalizing the case, and pressure is mounting on ACP Gopi Reddy to resolve the case at the earliest.
Ace detective Vikram Rana swings into action to untangle a complex web of abuse, lies, and murder to get to the truth. 


When a new and upcoming actress is found murdered on a highway, people start to speculate. Was it a highway robbery gone badly or was it a murder. With a recent breakup with an abusive boyfriend, most fingers seem to be pointing at the ex. But there is something fishy about the director and the producer of the movie that Gauri was working on. With the media sniffing about and a corrupt cop on the scene, Vikram Rana has to work his magic fast.

Fatal Fallout is the fourth book in the Vikram Rana Mystery series and my first encounter with Vikram Rana, the detective. The book can be read as a standalone. With a short introduction to Vikram Rana being presented by the author at the very beginning, I felt that I knew a bit about Vikram already when I started reading this story. I liked the character of Vikram. He is in no way a flawless character and it is indeed his flaws that make him more human and affable to the readers. He has his own methods for working out a case which requires both brain and brawn. His previous experience as a police officer has given him much insight into not only the profession but also into the people in the profession. It is also a plus for him now that he runs his own agency.

The cast for the story is quite limited but everyone involved seems to have a motive. Each character had a distinct personality and played important role in progressing the plot. The police investigator handling this case, Phani, felt like total scum at times. But his attitude was more than compensated by ACP Gopi’s character. There’s an angle in the story that gives you a look into the dynamics in the industry and also where the readers can see how quick certain judgment calls are made without any base. The author’s language and the narrative style are simple and fluid. There’s a certain tone of friendliness in the tone of narration that makes you feel comfortable with it. Add to it the twists that the author has put in for the readers, the book turns out to be an engaging read.



Review Copy received from the Author




#BookBlitz :: The Retreat by Mari.Reiza

~ Book Blitz ~
The Retreat by Mari.Reiza
 Coming of Age / Psychological Thriller 

About the Book:


An uncomfortable but fascinating ripening journey.
Ahmed has abandoned her. Nadia is gone the way Isabelle did before, her two fallen warriors. But Marie can still hear His voice clearly.
A deep call for justice takes hold in an impressionable teenage girl from a recently broken family during a religious retreat; what happens next will mark her life for years to come.
the Retreat is a story of men playing God, of hurt that doesn’t find its way out.







Find it on Amazon

About the Setting
The story moves back and forth in time and place. From Brussel's during Marie's early teenage years with her mother and siblings, to Zermatt where she's sent with the nuns on a fated ski trip. Years later in London, Marie is attempting to find a job and build a life with Ahmed who she met on a plane, when she's lured to a Victorian bathhouse and meets troubled Nadia. But the book begins and ends after Marie's London years, back in her natal Bordeaux. There Marie strikes the final blow in her prodigal daughter's return of sorts.

Meet Marie
Marie is cute with a sexy gap like a secret passage between her upper incisors. She was once a diligent student, before her estranged dad left them or was driven away, or they left and he failed to follow the family to Brussels. But soon after her ski trip trouble, she's labelled a rebel by her conservative single mother whose only hobby is work and only God is sacrifice, accused that her kind of righteousness gets them into trouble. Is God where Marie's fight started? She thinks when people have faith in nothing they're less dangerous. Why can't she marry well like her older sister or build a successful career like her brother? She tries shortly with Ahmed in London, until Nadia lures her back into her old destructive ways, eventually prompting Marie's return to her natal town where nothing has changed. There Marie feels blamed for her younger sister Lucie's depression, her marriage to old peasant Raoul and her recently found fervour to breed donkeys. Marie knows Lucie is angry against her and she's angry back. How many things have happened in Marie's short life! Has Marie inherited them in a way? Who has forced them upon her?

Meet Marie's Teacher and School Friends
Hélène is endowed with breasts big enough that she would still be liked even if she was ever forced iron on her smile. Hélène has been there for ages and is confident in and out of school premises, talking to the school’s staff, with colleagues of every race, sex, colour and nationality. She’s even fun. She is every classmate’s dream and every teacher’s pet, and the section’s headteacher is her father, her surname forever capable of favouring her. She's definitely trouble.

Martine emulates Hélène in every way she can, even if she falls desperately short of her goal: other than for her derrière extraordinaire, she seems a good for nothing girl, hardly a genius.

Monsieur Berger, the religion teacher, wears large Italian spectacles he claims to have bought in Rome whilst on a visit to the Pope and uses a few long strands of white hair to pretend he isn’t bold. His skin, especially around his hands and eyes, is wrinkly, pale and freckly, and his fingers tremble during his impassioned oratories, making him look like a Mayan idol whose touch unleashes visions from dubious gods. Monsieur Berger exclusively wears brown corduroys, paired with pale cashmere turtlenecks and shirts which look far too expensive for anyone vowing poverty like he insists he does. And he often delivers the full lesson with his zip undone. The rumour is Monsieur Berger was not always the religious type but has a florid past. Are clumsy Sister Perline and sour Sister Prudence covering for him?

Isabelle’s a very quiet girl, not as sexy-pretty as Hélène, but still deliciously put together down to every centimetre allocated to her face and body, except for her dark, luscious half-eyebrow. Where’s the other half gone?

Meet Ahmed
Ahmed is on his early twenties with captivating eyelashes, working in a bank in London. The day Marie met him she thought he was it; understood
that much of what she had been missing and actually required was in his love. She temporarily felt locked outside of her misery. But it turns out the man was tormented by the curse of ambition, like a prospector in the Wild West, ready to suppress every good bit of himself for no trouble to come his way. Ahmed had been put there to fill a void. Yet after a year they had been together he had not managed to modify a thing in Marie, nor to impress in her body one lasting imprint: nothing of him had endured.

Meet Nadia
The same thin, long neck as Isabelle. The same straight black mane of hair. The same thick, dark eyebrows; both eyebrows. Her hands, one slightly deformed. In the haze of the baths Marie thinks Nadia's stomach looks so tiny, her belly button so pretty. Her voice is gentle almost that of a ghost. 'Do you believe in God?' Nadia has lost a sister to a fire and her brother is angry. When she extends her sponge, Marie's ready to let the young woman invade her like a peacekeeping force.


If the book interests you, you can request for a REVIEW COPY in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:
Mari.Reiza was born in Madrid in 1973. She has worked as an investment research writer and management consultant for twenty years in London. She studied at Oxford University and lives off Portobello Road with her husband and child.

Find Mari at:
Twitter * Instagram