30 June, 2018

#BookReview :: The Diamond Crown by V.S.Rao


Lakhs of devotees have gathered at the ashram to celebrate Swamiji’s shashtipoorti, his completing sixty years of age. Arrangements are in place for the many followers from all over the world who come to seek blessings, as also for those crooks who come with hopes of stealing the diamond crown – a gift of love from a wealthy devotee.

Balaram, Kumkum and their allies have waited for this day with bated breath. The crown would change their lives and give them a chance to start afresh. 
Will everyone stick to the plan? Does greed for more let them succeed? 

When despite strict vigil the diamond crown is stolen, and all clues lead to a dead end, the police officials call out to the man they trust the most – detective Tempo. With a sharp insight and a knack for noticing the unusual in the most mundane of things and people, he is the man who takes it upon himself to find the crown.

Will Tempo catch up with the thieves or are the culprits always a step ahead?



The story begins with a meeting called on by Balaram where he and his lackeys plan a heist that would set them up for life. Then it turns out that their plan was to steal a diamond crown that was to be presented to ‘Swamiji’ on his sixtieth birthday and they are successful at it. It is then up to detective Tempo to figure out how it was done and to catch the culprits…

Do not worry! I did not give away anything from the plot that wasn’t told to the readers straight out. The author has narrated the story in a way to make it more a thriller with the chase of the culprit rather than making it a crime thriller. Almost everything is narrated to the readers in a proper timeline and as such the element of whodunit is absent. The author did try to put in a surprise towards the end, but it was one that would be pretty evident anyway. It was the first point of disappointment for me in the book. I like it when thriller offers up a couple of twists. If we look deeper, the resolution of the case was way too simple as well. There were hardly any conflicts.

Detective Tempo did not impress me at all. It was like he ‘just knew’ what happened and we did not see much of his actual deduction skills. There were several points in the book where I felt two things… First, the book must have been written quite a few years back; otherwise the heist amount would have been bigger. Balaram claims that this heist would set the whole team up for life but two crore is barely anything in modern times to set up one person for lives, let alone a bunch of them. Second, the book might have been originally written in a different language or the author has used very literal translations from his mother tongue to tell this story. The language felt odd and dry at times.

I did like the character of Balaram to a certain extent. The idea of stealing from a fraud character certainly appeals to me. The other good thing about the book is that it is a short one… at 125 odd pages; it doesn’t take more than a couple of hours to finish it.

As you can all feel it, this book really did not work for me at all and I am pretty sure that I am not going to pick it up for a second time.



 Review Copy received from Srishti Publishers


29 June, 2018

#SpecialFeature :: #Interview with Richa Mukherjee, #Author of I Didn't Expect to be Expecting



*** Special Feature - June 2018 ***

Quick Recap:

About the Book:

Tara is living a blessed life in the maximum city with her husband Abhimanyu, the love of her life. At the pinnacle of her career, she is the apple of her parents’ eyes and hasn’t spotted a wrinkle yet – so far, the 30s are looking great!
Nothing fazes Tara – not a foul-mouthed best friend or a food-burning arch-nemesis in the form of her maid – not even a landlady who chats with ghosts.
And then, Tara discovers that she’s pregnant, and suddenly, all that well-honed composure crumbles. It doesn’t help that she’s got an equally jittery (if supportive) husband by her side. Now, Tara must face her anxieties about parenthood as she navigates friendships, marriage and career, all the while dealing with the fact that her body and mind are steadily feeling like they belong to someone else.
An irreverent, honest and funny journey down the road – potholes and all – to (accidental) parenthood!



Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

An Interview:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
When you have three elder sisters, and there is a food chain in play, you tend to find innovative ways of saving yourself from blame and finger pointing by being imaginative with excuses. I can’t say there was one point when it suddenly dawned on me but I figured out pretty early that I certainly had it in me to spin yarns and tell stories, believable or otherwise! Then when I started writing poetry, I figured, a love for words was here to stay.

What inspires you to write?
So much! It could be an old, sad looking taxi driver, two lovebirds holding hands and laughing away, the outline of a face in the clouds. Anything that touches my heart makes me want to start jotting down my feelings. I always have a shabby tattered diary tucked away in my bag (which my husband is dying to to donate to the raddiwala) especially when I travel, because that's when inspiration unexpectedly rains down like the unrelenting Mumbai monsoons.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story? 
The idea for the book came to me organically when I was busy dancing to my own baby’s never ending demands. I was losing my mind, severely sleep deprived and suddenly over a cup of strong coffee, I decided that I would have to chronicle my experiences. They were precious, laughable and I just had to share my own (often censor worthy) thoughts about the circus that had unfolded around me while I was pregnant.

Please share three interesting facts about the characters in your book.
-  Tara Roy, the protagonist, has recurring nightmares about a child chasing her down streets, wanting to bite her!
-  Mrs Dham, Tara’s landlady is known to speak with ghosts.
-  Sania, Tara’s best friend has the foulest mouth this side of the Equator.

If you could pick any famous author to review your book who would you pick and why?
Erma Bombeck if she were alive. In the land of the living, Manu Joseph. And then I would quake in my shoes, pop antacids, sweat profusely while waiting.

Have you read any books that have inspired you to improve or change yourself in any way?      
How to Stop Worrying and Start living. Dale Carnegie had no idea that he was writing a book for me. My chattering mind is usually working in overdrive and producing fictional scenarios that cause worry. This book is my bible.

Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so what helps you to get over it?
The biggest writers block in my life has manifested in a 4 year old little active girl, namely my daughter. She physically blocks me from writing on several occasions by hanging off my leg but since this book would have never been written had she not come into my life, I deal with this charming little block by distracting her and resuming my writing.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?
Other than the writing of-course, the editing stage. When you know someone has bought into the mad idea that made you write the book, that an excellent and qualified editor is nurturing your baby and making the grammar sound a little less horrific and that you are one step closer to smelling the fresh crisp pages of your own book! 

Do you know the ending of your books before you finish writing them?
I still have a long way to go to have any definitive opinions on this but basis what I have written so far, I might have a basic idea, but the exact ending evolves along the way. I allow the story and the characters to breathe as I write.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Stop planning and predicting whether your writing will be good enough or who will read it. Even JK Rowling had no answers to that.  Just write. Everyday, in whatever format you write, on the pot, early in the morning, late at night, during water breaks. Its all practice.


About the Author:


Richa’s life has always been marked with abundance. She grew up with three elder sisters, lived in eight cities across India, and went from being a B Com graduate who wanted to pursue dance (and eradicate poverty), to a journalist, and then landed up in an advertising agency. The only constant was that she had a blast through all of it. Now, she wants to spend the rest of her life observing people, spinning yarns and writing books. Every pocket she owns is stuffed with scraps of paper scribbled with ideas and stories. This is Richa's debut novel.




Contact the Author:
Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Giveaway:
Paperback Copies of I Didn't Expect to be Expecting & Harper Collins Badges

a Rafflecopter giveaway

26 June, 2018

#Interview with S.B.White, #Author of The Nebula Chronicles

About the Author:
Writing in the fantasy and science fiction genre, SB White continues to entertain readers with her latest novel. Her previous published work includes “The Special Ones” and “The Twins of Fairland” Part I and Part II. She devotes her time to writing poems, short stories and novels with the help of her grandchildren and much of her work is available to read for free on her website. White’s mission is to encourage youth to always read, write, and be creative.

An Interview with the Author:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
I’ve always loved to read and the desire to ‘pen’ a story started when my children were in school and I had some free time.  I did submit a manuscript and received positive comments on the effort.  This encouraged me to continue.

What inspires you to write?
It’s fun to think of a plot and characters and then to have them come to life.  I published The Twins of Fairland for my granddaughter and continued from there.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
I wanted a platform to jump to different stories and characters.  The Nebula Chronicles is that platform.

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
Yes.  I actually have some that I wrote when in college.

Tell us about your writing process.
I start with an idea and then work on the characters and plot.  Many times the story ends up different than where I thought it was going.

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
When Arris learns about her history and has trouble believing it.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
Yes.  I think the character Kent would be one.

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
If stuck or need to work on plot or characters – I swing.  If I could get frequent swinger miles, I may be able to travel to India.

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
I love to read and cradle a book in my hands.  The e-readers just aren’t the same.  I grew up reading Agatha Christie and Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.  I read mysteries and enjoy the Alex Cross series by James Patterson.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
Don’t give up and keep writing.  This has been told to me by other published authors.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Follow your dream and keep writing.  Don’t place your expectations on how your book does in sales. 

What would be the Dream Cast for you book if it was to be turned into a movie?
My granddaughter already had dibs on Arris.   Vega would resemble a young Dwayne Johnson.

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
Water – food – safety.  Depending on the island and location.  I would be practical in what I would need to survive.

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
I enjoy a good movie or dinner out.   Relaxing in the swimming pool, and of course my much loved swing.

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City – that would be something I would like to see.   I have many fond memories watching the parade with my mother.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
- I love to travel and experience different places.
- I share my home with a basset named Ely and a cat called Itty Bitty Kitty.  They are the best of friends and both had been abandoned when they came home.
- I love to meet other readers and discuss books.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
I am working on volume II of The Nebula Chronicles. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
Thank you for taking the time to read my books.

About the Book:


The Web Spinner When Mary Jane finds out that she is not Mary Jane, but Arris, and not from planet Earth, her world is turned upside down. To escape from being killed, Arris goes to the Nebula Academy, where she trains to become a protector. At the academy she meets the other protector trainees. When the academy is found by those who are hunting her, it is shut down, and once again, Arris has to flee for her life. Follow the adventures of Alpha team protectors Phoenix, Vega, and Arris and Beta team protectors Ursa, Minor, and Sirus. Meet Kent the web spinner, Spider the soldier, and Catella, the architect of the Nebula Association. The excitement and adventures have just begun. 






Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon


25 June, 2018

#BookBlitz :: Dangerous Passions (The Forsaken #7) by Elise Whyles

About the Book:
Can bitter enemies find love?

Haunted by visions, Calypso sets out to find the man who stalks her dreams. Calypso, an ageless fae, is convinced this man will enslave and torment her just like the one who held her long ago. Determined to track him down and kill him, she's prepared for anything, except for what she finds. The mortal male she encounters stirs embers she thought long dead, making her yearn for his touch.

Lucien has always believed himself to be a mortal slave. The truth, however, is more than he's ever imagined. Born to a fae mother and a warlock father, he is a falock, a being of mixed blood hated by both races. And he's destined for greatness…if he can survive the Roman gladiators' games long enough to grow into his immortality.

When the slim beauty rescues him from the depths of his prison, Lucien comes face to face with the truth of who and what he is. Determined to protect the woman who rescued him, he'll risk everything, including his chance at immortality.

Can a weary, distrustful fae and the falock she's claimed overcome the obstacles in their path?

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Read an Excerpt:

He leaned forward, her soft whisper echoing in his heart. It seemed she was a slave just as he had been. Heat swirled around him, stirring the embers of want, of need as he traced over her face with the backs of his fingers. Delicately made, she appeared so fragile, yet he knew her strength and her skill. His fingers burned where they touched her skin as he trailed them down her neck to curl around in a loose hold. “I shall protect you.”

The vow fell between them like a stone. He caught the flare of something in her eyes. Fear? Nay, something deeper, something richer.

Leaning forward, he stared into her eyes, her face turned up, lips parted. He could feel the warmth of her breath on his skin, the softness of her hands on his chest as he pulled her into his body. Lucien brushed his lips over Calypso’s, the barest of touches. Soft, moist, her lips yielded beneath his. Again and again, he pressed gentle kisses along her mouth, her nose, her cheeks. The soft whimpers escaping her added fuel to the fire in his blood. Her hands slid around his shoulders, her nails digging in as his fingers tangled in her hair. Tilting her head back, Lucien offered a hint of a smile before he captured her lips in a deep kiss. He licked along the seam, tasting the sweet traces of the fruit she’d eaten. He nipped at her bottom lip, drawing a startled gasp. With a low groan his tongue darted inside, tasting her. Lucien devoured her, claiming her lips repeatedly. Desire licked at him, pushing him closer and closer to the brink.

“We mustn’t.” Calypso’s whisper crept over him even as he felt her move against him. The faint note of fear in her voice like a bucket of water. He pulled back, resting his forehead against hers.

“Aye, we must keep moving. Come, my lady. We’ve a long journey ahead.” He wrapped his fingers around her hand and shot her a quick smile before stepping back. Lucien turned her slightly and fastened her bodice in place. “I will keep you safe.”

“But who will protect me from you?” Her words, spoken so low he knew he wasn’t supposed to hear them, added to the confusion within his mind. What kind of female was the one who even now held his hand as they moved through the growing darkness?

About the Author:
Born in Northern British Columbia, Elise is a small-town girl. She writes in a variety of genres including paranormal, contemporary suspense, m/m in various lengths. Currently, she lives in British Columbia with her husband and son, one dog, one cat, and a gecko. Elise enjoys reading as much as she does writing, with some of her favorite books being read until they fall apart. 
She is currently working on the next book in the Forsaken Series, Burning Rain. As well she has a new contemporary she’s working on. For more information on Elise, or to check out her books you can find her on Facebook, twitter, and her website.



Contact the Author:

22 June, 2018

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost - Incoming Baby, Outgoing Marriage by Richa Mukherjee



*** Special Feature - June 2018 ***


About the Book:

Tara is living a blessed life in the maximum city with her husband Abhimanyu, the love of her life. At the pinnacle of her career, she is the apple of her parents’ eyes and hasn’t spotted a wrinkle yet – so far, the 30s are looking great!
Nothing fazes Tara – not a foul-mouthed best friend or a food-burning arch-nemesis in the form of her maid – not even a landlady who chats with ghosts.
And then, Tara discovers that she’s pregnant, and suddenly, all that well-honed composure crumbles. It doesn’t help that she’s got an equally jittery (if supportive) husband by her side. Now, Tara must face her anxieties about parenthood as she navigates friendships, marriage and career, all the while dealing with the fact that her body and mind are steadily feeling like they belong to someone else.
An irreverent, honest and funny journey down the road – potholes and all – to (accidental) parenthood!



Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Incoming Baby, Outgoing Marriage

When my husband and I decided to take our first vacation without our daughter, about a year old then, we were quickly labeled and transferred into the ‘bad parents’ club. Amidst the righteous cacophony of “Your child will be scarred for life” and “What if she keeps crying for you” to the simplest go to “How can you even think about doing something so selfish?” the predominant theme was that once children come into the picture or even before they arrive really, two loving individuals must be reduced to robot like baby needs redressal forums, without thoughts and feelings of their own!

It has always puzzled me why humans are such suckers for punishment. Imagine this, knowing that a tiny little food and poop machine is about to arrive and take over your entire lives, wouldn’t you try and have that much more fun, let your hair down all the time? I’ve seen parents calm down to some extent after a child has arrived, in some way, surrendering to fate, but its the pregnancy phase when all hell breaks lose. The neurosis is entirely geared around keeping the oven and the bun (a.k.a mother and baby) safe from the world and even the poor father. I remember being told not to go for movies, or long drives , or stay up late, or travel, essentially everything my husband and I loved to do. My pet hate was being told “Getting CLOSE is not a good idea right now? Wait till the baby is born.” Really? The said baby would be nowhere in the picture had we not gotten extremely CLOSE to begin with.

Tara Sharma, the protagonist, is a woman from the tribe of moderation. Not only does she think a baby shouldn’t change her relationship with Abhimanyu, in fact she does everything she can to ensure that doesn’t happen. Poor fathers-to-be have had it being vilified as hormone wary, diaper phobic dolts. I think they are infinitely more stable than that. And whether you’re in your eight month or handling your eight diaper of the day, there's always time for a kiss and a hug!


About the Author:


Richa’s life has always been marked with abundance. She grew up with three elder sisters, lived in eight cities across India, and went from being a B Com graduate who wanted to pursue dance (and eradicate poverty), to a journalist, and then landed up in an advertising agency. The only constant was that she had a blast through all of it. Now, she wants to spend the rest of her life observing people, spinning yarns and writing books. Every pocket she owns is stuffed with scraps of paper scribbled with ideas and stories. This is Richa's debut novel.




Contact the Author:
Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Giveaway:
Paperback Copies of I Didn't Expect to be Expecting & Harper Collins Badges

a Rafflecopter giveaway

20 June, 2018

#BookBlitz :: Enchanted Waves (The Forsaken #6) by Ciara Lake

About the Book:
Tabitha Lock's mundane life changes when her future walks out of the sea into her arms.

Attorney Tabitha Lock has put her career before everything, including her love life. Exhausted from too many late nights, early mornings, and endless days spent in court, Tabitha is at the end of her rope. Add to that the sensual dreams and voices that haunt her sleep, and she's driven to the edge of her sanity.

Jax Aquila, Mer prince and son of Poseidon, is ordered to locate a mortal female in the twenty-first century. Although this woman is unaware of it, she has vampire heritage, but her immortality was forsaken to her due to the sins of her ancestor. Old hatred and prejudice toward vampires push Jax toward pursing his own agenda and avoiding his assigned task.

When Jax meets Tabitha, he has no idea this enticing woman is the one he was sent to find. The magic of their attraction drives him to pursue the beautiful woman. When he discovers the truth, can he accept Tabitha for what she is? And can Tabitha accept herself? As they struggle with the issues at hand, an ancient evil stirs, waiting in the darkness to reclaim their lost position among the immortals. When the evil ones make their move and Tabitha's life hangs in the balance can Jax find her in time, or will she be lost to him forever?

Book Links:

Read an Excerpt:

Calypso's breasts heaved with each breath she took beneath the supple black leather. Stretching out beyond the full-length windows, lightning ripped through the night sky as Calypso opened the french doors and stepped out onto the patio. The subtle glide of leather-overheated flesh sent shards of heat through her.

A fine shiver raced over her body and she gasped. Somewhere out there he waited…the culmination of all her lust. From behind her the sound of Angrail and his mate's passion could be heard and it fired her own. Long denied, her lust stirred, slithering through her body like some beast she longed to kill.

She closed her eyes, the image playing across her mind… Sweat slicked skin heaved with each swing of a massive blade. Thin, black lines danced across his chest, swirling down into the curve of a hip, the bulge of his shaft behind his pants teasing her. Muscles bunched and flexed with each step, each blow. Powerful, deadly, his essence called to her, seduced her with its warmth and need.

Calypso stepped to the edge of the balcony and peered over the ornate banister. Beneath her the roaring of the falls drifted upward in a silvery cloud of noise and mist.

She glanced over her shoulder, her fists clenching with emotion. Centuries of service, of loyalty, had been rewarded with freedom, yet she didn't yearn for such a gift. Nay, she yearned for what was beyond her. Angrail was content, he was loved, and out of her grasp. Accepting it hadn't come easy, long nights of bitter envy and tears had come before she'd realized it was necessary.

Come to me. As soft as the wind playing with her braid, the whisper slipped through the chinks in her armor and shot straight to her heart.

With a soft sigh, Calypso hopped onto the banister and inhaled a breath. Arms outstretched, she stepped into mid-air, years of training and skill set in her muscles. Fresh, sweet wind flowed along her body, wrapping her in a warm shawl of familiarity. Without a sound, she landed on the rocks below, her knees folding beneath her as her body coiled in to brace itself.

About the Author:

Welcome to Ciara Lake's World. Meet Gorgeous Werewolves, Vampires, Dragons, Mermaids, Wizards, Witches, Mythological Gods and Goddesses, Mere Mortals And More! Fiction has always been a passion of mine. Creating worlds and developing characters is a great way for me to relieve the stress and strain of my everyday world. In fantasy (paranormal) and sci-fi stories, the author has the unique ability to invent wonderfully exotic places and people. I do that in my books. These fantastic genres provide a limitless ability to be creative and inventive. My stories provide an escape into a special world filled with unique and otherworldly things. And there is always a happy ending.


Contact the Author:


15 June, 2018

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost - Humour is the best Weapon by Richa Mukherjee



*** Special Feature - June 2018 ***


About the Book:

Tara is living a blessed life in the maximum city with her husband Abhimanyu, the love of her life. At the pinnacle of her career, she is the apple of her parents’ eyes and hasn’t spotted a wrinkle yet – so far, the 30s are looking great!
Nothing fazes Tara – not a foul-mouthed best friend or a food-burning arch-nemesis in the form of her maid – not even a landlady who chats with ghosts.
And then, Tara discovers that she’s pregnant, and suddenly, all that well-honed composure crumbles. It doesn’t help that she’s got an equally jittery (if supportive) husband by her side. Now, Tara must face her anxieties about parenthood as she navigates friendships, marriage and career, all the while dealing with the fact that her body and mind are steadily feeling like they belong to someone else.
An irreverent, honest and funny journey down the road – potholes and all – to (accidental) parenthood!



Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Humour is the best weapon

The entire time I was pregnant, I kept checking and inspecting my tummy to really ensure that I had a baby in there and not just an enormous amount of gas. After being steadily fed the entire news feed around what to expect when you’re expecting, I was mentally prepared to start throwing up nonstop like the Merlion in Singapore, eat chutneys and imli like they were going out of fashion and make my husband do the midnight runs to the nearest chocolate dessert shop. Oddly, I was the most well behaved pregnant woman ever! I complain to him now that I should have made more of a nuisance of myself having being told by society and Bollywood that I had a long leash to exploit. 

All advice, instructions and rituals, I’m sure start with the right intentions. Then along the way they are twisted and convoluted and often end up becoming baseless diktats that drive people nuts. And the excitement that popping a baby brings with it from all sections of society is truly remarkable. From making the mother-to-be eat for about a large Baraat ( if you don’t look like a Pehelwan, then you’re not eating enough) to treating them like little delicate China tea sets, to the no-nos of pregnant women can’t work before or after delivering (The child will be scarred for life without the mother around. Ma ka dharm hai bachche  ko sambhalna)!! Each one is more precious than the next.

The book takes on each one of these and other questionable mindsets in a humorous and unconventional way. I wanted to reach out to women and tell them that if they led normal lives while being pregnant, even went a head and had fun during their pregnancy, the earth would still rotate on its axis and that their child would still be born without any major personality issues. Humour is the best weapon with which fear can be neutralised, and this book is here to tell them to relax, bring out the earplugs and enjoy the ride!

About the Author:


Richa’s life has always been marked with abundance. She grew up with three elder sisters, lived in eight cities across India, and went from being a B Com graduate who wanted to pursue dance (and eradicate poverty), to a journalist, and then landed up in an advertising agency. The only constant was that she had a blast through all of it. Now, she wants to spend the rest of her life observing people, spinning yarns and writing books. Every pocket she owns is stuffed with scraps of paper scribbled with ideas and stories. This is Richa's debut novel.




Contact the Author:
Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Giveaway:
Paperback Copies of I Didn't Expect to be Expecting & Harper Collins Badges

a Rafflecopter giveaway

12 June, 2018

#BookBlitz :: India Whose Country is it Anyway? by A.P.S.Kumar


About the Book:
India's rich diversity, both in its physical and natural aspects, is widely known. India has had a great past with achievements in literature, the arts, medicine and mathematics.

Indians were sea-faring and they spread their influence through their philosophy, religion and military conquest too. But Like a cosmic phenomenon, decline is every civilization is inevitable. Indian civilization too declined.

When a civilization rises, people are driven by idealism; when people are possessed of greed, it declines and falls.

Indians today are possessed of excessive, abominable, putrefying greed.

The author tells it all in an honest, engaging manner. He holds a mirror unto ourselves.


Book Link:

About the Author:
I hail from a middle class family. Son of a soldier, I did my studies in Bengaluru obtaining a Bachelor’s degree (from St. Joseph’s College) in Science and then in Law from a different college. 

Though not very serious about studies, I took to books with keen interest in social sciences history in particular, literature and natural sciences (in general) and current affairs. I am drawn wittingly towards that abstract thinking – that is, philosophy.

Worked in a Government-owned Insurance Company - United India Insurance Co Ltd - as a Salesman (designated as Development Officer) and retired voluntarily a decade ago.
I spend time reading and writing, travelling both within the country and outside. I ardently believe in community work; I concentrate on education of children, obviously from poor background.  

Nationalism – i.e. love of fellow citizens - is my creed. I am passionate about friendships, am devoid of all other -isms.

Contact the author via eMail




11 June, 2018

#BookReview :: Dead to Them by Smita Bhattacharya

Dead to Them by Smita Bhattacharya

Moira Madhwa is the typical young, beautiful and successful urban woman until the day she goes missing. Her friends start looking for her, but quickly realize nothing is as it seems. Moira had kept devastating secrets—secrets that could wreck their lives if revealed. As days roll by, one by one, skeletons tumble out of closets, and each of Moira’s friends’ looks guilty. But did one among them hate her enough to do the worst?

A nail-biting, psychological suspense thriller, Dead to Them weaves a web of deception, lies, and paranoia in the city of Mumbai, where every face hides a dark story and uncovering it can lead to disastrous consequences.


Goodreads I Amazon



Mystery, suspense and thrillers have always been my favourites.  And so even though I am fighting a huge back log, I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to read this one. 

The book ‘Dead to Them’ is narrated to the readers through multiple points of view. When Moira goes missing, we are given the pieces of her life through her friends. It is left up to the readers to take those pieces and complete the picture before the reveal at the climax. What do you do when you are provided with snippets of a whole story? How do you connect and make sense of them all? And who do you trust when each person in the story have their own motives to do away with Moira? 

What I liked the most about the book was its narrative and presentation. There were parts were Moira’s voice shone through and there were parts where I could hear the voices of the other characters trying to tell their side of the story. It took me a while to get settled with the flow of the story, but once I got used to it, it was a smooth flow from thereon. It took me a couple of chapters only to get the rhythm of the story.

Characters are where the book is a bit of a hit and miss. We kind of expect the protagonist to shine through in a book. In this case, Moira did not really make an impression on me till the second half of the book. On the other hand, while the supporting characters each had their own quirks, it was difficult at times to discern whose voice it was. Frankly, if each character wasn’t named with the dialogues, I would have trouble understanding the difference. They are all (almost all) painted in the same colours.

Besides the fact that I wished for a bit more fleshing of the characters, this book was quite entertaining. And that ending… The ending of the book is quite an interesting one. So yes, Suspense and Psychological suspense lovers, do give this book a try. 


Review Copy received from the Author


09 June, 2018

#BookBlitz :: Mauri (Abhaya Series #2) by Saiswaroopa Iyer

~ New Release ~
Mauri by Saiswaroopa Iyer


About the Book:
She wanted to kill the man who others called a God.
Love is but an obstacle in her path

With her father’s death shattering her world, Mauri is torn away from everything she had once loved. Anger replacing every emotion within her, she seeks only one thing. To kill her father’s killer. Even if the man is none less than Krishna Vaasudeva, the man who people worshipped as a God! Someone stands in the way, reining in her bitterness when she is the least prepared for it. The Rakshasa Prince Ghatotkacha! But by the time love sprouts within her, Mauri has gone too far in her thirst for vengeance. 

Can Mauri save herself and Ghatotkacha before the consequences of her own actions can destroy both their worlds?





Book Link:

Read an Excerpt:

“Good aim! But that sorry-looking insult to all weapons is not going to take you very far.”
Mauri jumped out of her skin. The man who had found her out was a complete stranger. A closer look at him told her he was a Rakshasa. Her first instinct was to make a run towards the exit. It would be only a matter of time before this Rakshasa would go and tell Ghatotkacha. Then it struck her that she had never seen this man in Ghatotkacha’s team! Who was he?
“Your secret is safe with me, little one!” He beamed. The broken canine on his upper jaw could not be missed. He took her arm but she shook him off. “Alright! Remember girl, I am your well-wisher.”
“I don’t even know who you are!” Mauri backed away.
“Someone who can protect you from…,” he smirked and pointed to the gap between the two ornate pillars close to where she was hiding, “them”
Mauri peered through the gap. She could count up to six guards furiously searching for the culprit who had dared strike Krishna Vaasudeva. The foolhardy nature of her attempt struck her now. How had she even dreamt of escaping the heavily guarded palace after doing what she’d done?
“Come with me.” He held her arm. “If you want to escape without being seen, that is.” His voice assumed a lower note. “And if you want to get another chance at your target.”
Unsure and still guided by her frustration, Mauri followed him towards a secluded section of the vast palace garden. When she left the place a good couple of hours later, her mind reeled at the task before her. It was too much, what the Rakshasa had asked of her. But she could not have afforded to be caught by the palace guards. Possibly she could have lied about her aim going wrong when she was trying to get some fruit. The news would still have travelled to Dhatri, though, and who knew how she would react? On the other hand, the prospects that this Rakshasa promised, though at great risk, seemed more welcome. Mauri continued to walk in a daze, aimless and unmindful of the maze of paths. A shrill cry calling out to her brought her back to this world.
“Mauri! Where on earth did you disappear?!” Nandini ran up to her, and not very far behind was Dhatri!
For the first time, Mauri found herself tongue-tied, at a loss for explanations. “I…I came with Ghatotkacha. I lost my way.”
“Any guard would have guided you out of this place.” Dhatri’s voice had traces of annoyance. “And why did you not even inform us before leaving?” She sighed as Mauri slipped back into silence again. “I found us a caravan headed eastward. Let us quickly take leave of our hosts and start this afternoon.”
Mauri followed her without a word. She needed to be in Dhatri’s good books. “Mahadevi…after going back to Kamarupa, can I live with you?”
She saw Dhatri halt in her steps and look visibly delighted. She heard Nandini squeal with joy. Neither had a clue of what was going on in her mind.
When they left Indraprastha later in the day, Mauri looked back at the glorious looking arch receding into the distance. She had not taken leave of Ghatotkacha. It would have been nice to see him just one more time!

About the Author:


Formerly an analyst with a Venture capital firm, Saiswaroopa currently writes Puranic fiction, with a focus on lesser known heroines of Ancient India. Mauri is her third work of fiction after Abhaya and Avishi. Her interests include Carnatic Music, Philosophy, History and Literature of India. She won a state level gold medal from TTD in rendering Annamacharya Kritis. She holds an MBA from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur.




Contact the Author:


08 June, 2018

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost - Characters and Themes from I Didn't Expect to be Expecting



*** Special Feature - June 2018 ***


About the Book:

Tara is living a blessed life in the maximum city with her husband Abhimanyu, the love of her life. At the pinnacle of her career, she is the apple of her parents’ eyes and hasn’t spotted a wrinkle yet – so far, the 30s are looking great!
Nothing fazes Tara – not a foul-mouthed best friend or a food-burning arch-nemesis in the form of her maid – not even a landlady who chats with ghosts.
And then, Tara discovers that she’s pregnant, and suddenly, all that well-honed composure crumbles. It doesn’t help that she’s got an equally jittery (if supportive) husband by her side. Now, Tara must face her anxieties about parenthood as she navigates friendships, marriage and career, all the while dealing with the fact that her body and mind are steadily feeling like they belong to someone else.
An irreverent, honest and funny journey down the road – potholes and all – to (accidental) parenthood!



Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Characters and Themes:

‘I think it is time for you to have kids. What if dada’s potli stops working?!’ You’d be right in assuming that this advice is coming from a well-meaning sister or friend. But you’re wrong in this case. These not very eloquent, pearls of reproductive wisdom are thrown at Tara Sharma, the protagonist of the book, by her loud mouthed and militant maid. If this had happened a few decades ago, my frail grandmother would have positively chased the maid out of the house with a broom for her audacity.  But times-are-a-changing! (cue tune)

And this theme is something that you will find throughout the book. A motley mix of personalities and ‘characters’ in every sense of the word, representing what the modern Indian family and society have become.  The environment has changed, the equations have changed, tolerance levels have changed, throw an unexpected baby in this midst and you have the perfect setting for a comedy or errors and a laugh riot. Setting the stage is Tara Sharma, a sweet, strong, confident young woman (no traces of an abla nari here) who can make the husband, parents, in-laws, colleagues, friends do the Macarena at the snap of her fingers. She challenges even her mother in law and bows to no-one but her annoying and verbose maid, again, something, like I said earlier, was not thought to be possible a few years ago. From running just the house, this mafia of jhadu wielding women now run our lives. 

Mothers do not need to get along, bosses are not revered but ridiculed, friends have become like family, pregnant women don’t behave like hormonal, helpless sacks but are out there popping antacids and ruling boardrooms in maternity pants. Every character in the book is a reflection of their new and improved roles in the world. Their unpredictable natures and chaotic situations make for a relatable, contemporary and chuckle-filled read.

About the Author:


Richa’s life has always been marked with abundance. She grew up with three elder sisters, lived in eight cities across India, and went from being a B Com graduate who wanted to pursue dance (and eradicate poverty), to a journalist, and then landed up in an advertising agency. The only constant was that she had a blast through all of it. Now, she wants to spend the rest of her life observing people, spinning yarns and writing books. Every pocket she owns is stuffed with scraps of paper scribbled with ideas and stories. This is Richa's debut novel.




Contact the Author:
Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Giveaway:
Paperback Copies of I Didn't Expect to be Expecting & Harper Collins Badges

a Rafflecopter giveaway

04 June, 2018

#BookReview :: Crimson Ash by Haley Sulich

You may live as a soldier or face death. Choose wisely.

Solanine Lucille wants her little sister back. Eight years ago, the government kidnapped her sister Ember, stole her memories, and transformed her into a soldier. But Solanine refuses to give up. Now that she and her fiancé have located the leader of a rebel group, she believes she can finally bring Ember home. But then the soldiers raid the rebels, killing her fiancé and leaving Solanine alone with her demons and all the weapons needed for revenge.

After raiding a rebel camp, sixteen-year-old Ember doesn’t understand why killing some boy bothers her. She’s a soldier—she has killed hundreds of people without remorse. But after she fails a mission, the rebels hold her hostage and restore her memories. Ember recognizes her sister among the rebels and realizes the boy she killed was Solanine’s fiancé.

Ember knows she can’t hide the truth forever, but Solanine has secrets too.

As their worlds clash, the two sisters must decide if their relationship is worth fighting for. And one wrong move could destroy everything—and everyone—in their path.


I read this book quite some time back after my request for a review copy got approved on NetGalley. The blurb and the cover, both intrigued me enough for me to request a copy in the first place. But I had mixed feelings about the book once I finished reading it.

Crimson Ash is the story of two sisters set in a dystopian world. Solanine and Ember are sisters whose lives were changed completely the night their government kidnapped Ember. Erasing the memories of people to turn them into effective soldiers is just one of the tactics that the government uses to keep the general mass under control. But Solanine is not ready to give up. She is determined to rescue her sister and for that she ventures on to find the rebel camps along with her fiancé. But not everything goes according to her plan and the loss of her love hits her hard. With secrets between them, when the sisters finally find their way to each other… will everything they have done and faced be worth it to keep them together?

What I loved about the book was the theme of choices and their repercussions throughout. It is something that always makes me stop and think… what choice would I make? Would I be able to live with the results of that choice? Whether it is Solanine or Ember, their choices have impacted each other and others around them and the crux of the plot came down to the question whether they could live with it. This in turn helped the plot to touch upon the theme of self-destruction, something we could all learn from. The thing that I love about dystopian novels is the fact that when well developed, the dystopian world can actually help us realize a lot of things about our realities; One reason why I loved Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and one reason why I loved this book.

On the other hand, the first half of the book was really slow. Given the fact that I still have questions about the world setting, not enough world building was done in the first half to make concessions for the slow start. The pace picks up after about 60% of the story is done and as such it was difficult to really get into the story at the beginning. I also felt that the dialogues (especially the ones that were meant to be hard hitting) were just bland.

Would I recommend this book to someone? I probably would, but with ample warnings about the pace and trigger content.


Review Copy received via NetGalley


01 June, 2018

#SpecialFeature :: Introducing Richa Mukherjee, #Author of I Didn't Expect to be Expecting

Under "Special Feature" every month I feature a Special Author. 
During this month I put up 5 posts about the Author/Book, including Interview / Review / Excerpt / Guest Post / Author Bio / Fun Facts or whatever else we can come up with. Also on the first day of the month we will  launch the Giveaway contest along with the first post and will announce the winner on the last day of the month.
So be sure to check out my blog every 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th of every month for something new :)


*** Special Feature - June 2018 ***


About the Author:
Richa S Mukherjee is an Advertising and Brand consultant based out of Mumbai. These days she can be found working feverishly and with much excitement on the release of her first novel – I Didn’t Expect To Be Expecting! while her tiny daughter, also the reluctant research subject for the book walks around creating havoc.

While growing up, writing was always a hobby for her. Her earliest words were scribbled into poems of longing for her father who used to travel often. Surrounded by an ocean of civil servants including her father and every possible uncle and long distance relative alive, she went rogue and experimented with a wide range of interests and professions.  From being a B.Com graduate who wanted to pursue dance (and eradicate poverty), to a journalist, to an MBA that accidentally landed her in an advertising agency for about a decade, she had a grand time through it all. Another factor that helped the writing was all the moving. With a transfer to a new city every few years, words were a constant friend (along with a large dollop of three elder sisters of-course). While she was looked at suspiciously for the number of schools attended, all this exposure helped her observe and understand people from various walks of life and backgrounds a bit better. The writing took a backseat for the sake of other youthful indulgences but the reading continued. On her maternity break and in the middle of odious smelling diaper changes, she remembered just how much she missed putting her thoughts to paper. It’s unclear whether it was the creative juices which tend to be uncorked on becoming a mother, or the fact that she was on a break from work and finally had some time on her hands, but the result was a book full of poems, starting her blog, writing short stories and finishing this book which lay languishing for a long time. A fortuitous meeting with famous Romance author Ravinder Singh on winning the TOI Write India contest (Top 10 entries) on his prompt, led to the dust finally flying off the buried book and turning into a book deal with Black Ink Books and Harper Collins. Writing, thus far, has been a long and hard journey of self-discovery but there’s almost nothing else that can put a big goofy grin on her face quite like spinning yarns and she hopes to forever be in pursuit.

Contact the Author:
Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Fun Facts about the Author:

1. She is possibly the only person to have sky dived with long open hair and also have choked the instructor with it on the way down.

2. She suffers from Misophonia- A condition where noise sensitivity (especially caused through loud chewing) drives one up the wall ( She is not very pleasant dinner table company when this happens)

3. She can hold a plank position for 6 minutes. (Sometimes these have to be performed while her daughter has mounted her back. Basically she is female Rocky Balboa)

4. Every signature of hers is slightly different.  (She hopes the bankers never find out)

5. She belongs to a tribe, not a family. There’s about 65 members. (Dinner invitations to the ‘entire family’ lead to severe palpitations)

About the Book:

Tara is living a blessed life in the maximum city with her husband Abhimanyu, the love of her life. At the pinnacle of her career, she is the apple of her parents’ eyes and hasn’t spotted a wrinkle yet – so far, the 30s are looking great!
Nothing fazes Tara – not a foul-mouthed best friend or a food-burning arch-nemesis in the form of her maid – not even a landlady who chats with ghosts.
And then, Tara discovers that she’s pregnant, and suddenly, all that well-honed composure crumbles. It doesn’t help that she’s got an equally jittery (if supportive) husband by her side. Now, Tara must face her anxieties about parenthood as she navigates friendships, marriage and career, all the while dealing with the fact that her body and mind are steadily feeling like they belong to someone else.
An irreverent, honest and funny journey down the road – potholes and all – to (accidental) parenthood!



Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Giveaway:
Paperback Copies of I Didn't Expect to be Expecting & Harper Collins Badges

a Rafflecopter giveaway