Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Book Blitz: WATER BOARDING by Bragadeesh Prasanna

If you enjoy reading romances set in India






Print Length: 292 pages
Publication Date: October 8, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B075W9WBVR



As a torture technique, Waterboarding involves the torturer to pour water over the face of the captive, over a damp towel to give a sensation of drowning. While the mind knows that he is not actually drowning, the captive's body sends contrasting signals to the brain making it a very painful experience.

Ved, who just got out of a life-changing accident finds out that he has blank spaces in his memory. He is unsure about his past and uncertain about his future but goes through with the present with the help of his friend Sara. Sara slowly builds Ved's past, filling him with people and instances he had forgotten.

As Ved struggles with the financial strain caused by his accident and subsequent medical bills and figuring out whom to trust, Ved is forced to live in the moment, which is dark, terrifying and maddening as his past catches up with him. Will he finally know who he was and how his past actions affect his present?


It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR





Bragadeesh Prasanna is a Chennai based writer, who blogs, writes short stories and sometimes lets his stories stretch itself to become a full fledged novel.  His romance novel, 300 days, which released in 2016, received generally positive reviews.  He had also contributed to different short story anthologies like After the Floods (Published by sixth sense publication), From Chennai, with Love (Curated by Chennai Bloggers Club)

When he is not writing or dreaming about writing, he runs a marketing agency in Chennai, which specializes in digital marketing. He loves his scotch and coffee, chicken biriyani, Rose milk and Chennai. You can just type in his full name in Google search bar to reach his blog. No, seriously, try it. 

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Friday, October 6, 2017

Book Review: DESTINED by Rubina Ramesh


Destined is the third book published by indie author and friend Rubina Ramesh. I can see the growth curve, Rubina. You have come a long way since the first draft of Finding the Angel.

What I really like about the author’s words is the rawness in them. She has her own unique style and that’s how it should be.

A quote from Destined:

Of all the hell bound virgins, he really thought she would not keep her side of the bargain? She scowled at him, her eyes blazing in anger. "I never - I repeat, I never go back on my promises."

That’s so typically Rubina Ramesh. Succinct words, hard hitting, original similes and bold characters that touch—no, dig into your heart. You might love them, you might hate them. But you can’t remain indifferent.

Esha is strong, bold, hardworking and adores her father. But she’s human enough to feel bogged down by the crises surrounding her life. Does that mean she’s ready to give up? No, never. What if her fiancé refuses to agree with how she wants to live her life? He has no choice but to get out of her life. I love this woman who has got her priorities right. And she’s not too perfect. Esha can be rude, defiant and has a temper too. Then there is that strong sense of self-respect that makes her exactly what she is. A powerful character, I must say. Kudos to the author!

I loved these words:

'She has a heart of gold and a mouth of a truck driver,' he would often joke. Well, the truck driver part Esha had often witnessed but the gold seemed to be safely hidden somewhere deep, very deep, inside her body. 

This made me cry:

"I only know that he is my Dad and I love him very much. He has taught me my first word - Ma. He has taught me to walk and to ride my first bicycle. And today he needs me. What has law got to do with that?"

Words are a powerful tool for an author and Rubina Ramesh has those in plenty, I must say.

Rohan is a hot hero to swoon over. He’s a successful businessman whose company takes care of its employees and is also into philanthropy. I like these small touches that could be received well by the society since fiction does wield a powerful influence over readers. Rohan has a sense of humour and the best part is that he is truly empathetic towards Esha. I think that’s very important in a romance.

The side characters were superbly etched out. I hated Ayush, his mother and Zaira, exactly as I was meant to. I loved Esha’s father and Chakraborty, Rohan’s secretary.

Can’t you just visualise this scene? Read on:

Without thinking too much about it, she made her way towards the HR department where the company secretary Mr. Chakraborty's office was situated. He was a healthy man with a bald head. Everyone called him 'Mr. Flutesnoot' from Archie's world of characters. He looked like a forgetful professor but that was just a belying exterior. He was wearing a bright yellow flowery shirt with lapels that were in vogue during the Raj Kapoor era, his brown trousers held together with black suspenders. His bald head was shining, reflecting the lights high up on the ceiling. Only a few threads of hair could be seen in the middle of his head.

And oh yes, there’s a sizzling love scene that all romance readers would appreciate. You cracked it, Rubina Ramesh. Congrats!

Loved the cover by Floryie BL and I must say the title is perfect for the story. 

And here’s one for the road, a quote from the book. You can see what I mean by hard hitting words that churn you up. No, I don’t really think this is a spoiler:

"So?" she glared at him. "I shouldn't feel hungry? I knew what you call my 'responsibilities' at a very young age, Rohan. The time you were flying kites. So freaking don't lecture me about responsibilities. I took my mom for chemo when I was eleven years old. I watched her wither in pain night after night, while doing my homework and getting ready for school. And do you know what happened when my mom died?"

"What?" Rohan whispered. He felt it in his bones that here lay all her pain.

"I felt relieved, Rohan. I fucking felt relieved."

Silence. Rohan just stood there stumped. Not moving at all.

VERDICT: This is one awesome romance and it would be a loss to miss it.



  
  

  
  


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Blog Tour: OTHERNESS: SOULS OF BROWN WOMEN by De.B.Dubois

If you enjoy reading romances set in India


OTHERNESS: SOULS OF BROWN WOMEN
by
De.B. Dubois



Blurb

Who is the brown woman? How does she live defined almost solely by her skin colour and all the history it carries? How do we carry racism deep within us even when we think we don't? These are questions that require deep thought and reflection, and that's what Otherness encourages us to do. In a world increasingly divided along the lines of colour, despite its apparent modernity, here's a hard look at the realities that lurk within us, both as individuals and as a society.


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About the author


De.B. Dubois is an Indian-born-Swiss visual artist and feminist writer. She grew up in Calcutta until she stepped out to explore the world by herself. Debolina Dubois-Bandyopadhyay, better known as De.B. Dubois is licensed with International Degrees in Communication Arts and Cultural Studies, as she extended her Fine Arts and Design education in Mumbai, Sydney, Basel and Paris. She is titled with a Master of Arts FHNW in Design from Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst, Basel, with special emphasis on Design Culture, Design Research and Sociology. This apart, she enjoys long walks through nature trails, a good glass of absinthe from Val-de-Travers, and creating visual arts.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Book Review: A BITTERSWEET REPRIEVE by Leena Varghese


BLURB:

A man who comes home from battle to find that his wife has deserted him...

A woman who thinks her husband pretended to be dead and never cared enough to return home…

Maj. Tejveer Singh is an ex-serviceman from the Indian Army, decorated for his exemplary courage. After resigning from service with near-fatal wounds, he returns home to the life-altering news that his wife, Megha, has disappeared. A devastated Tej comes to the painful conclusion that she has deserted him for good.

Megha has a different story to tell. The news about Tej’s ‘death’ at the hands of the enemy breaks down her emotional equilibrium. She escapes to London, far away from everything that would remind her of Tej.

Three years later, Megha, now a gourmet writer, returns to India. Life grinds to a halt again, when she comes face-to-face with Tej at a party in Mussourie.

Fired by rage and betrayal they confront each other even as unresolved issues, an unequal power equation, buried suspicions and angst from their troubled marriage hover like phantoms once more.

Both want to know the truth about the other. Pride and mistrust prevents both of them from revealing it first!

Cut off from the world for a week, they become engrossed in a utopia where neither of them talks about the past or the future. However, time is ticking by…and the potent secret between them is waiting to explode.

Will they be able to resolve the deadlock without tearing away from each other?

MY TAKE ON IT:

I downloaded a copy of this book from Amazon when it was available for free. This review has been long due and for this I apologise to the author.

I have read A Silver Dawn by Leena Varghese and found the book unputdownable.

I started reading A Bittersweet Reprieve and had to finish it in one sitting as the story of Tej and Megha pulled me in. Leena has turned indie with this book and she can feel absolutely proud of it.

Tej is a hero to die for, his character with its flaws making him a perfect protagonist. The reader can see Megha’s growth as a character between the present and the flashbacks from the past. The love scenes are hot and steamy and peppered throughout the story, a joy for all romance readers.

I so enjoyed the scenes from Mussoorie, the author’s words painting vivid pictures of the snow and the apple trees, making me want to visit the place.

What totally impressed me was the author’s language. It’s excellent and a joy to read in its flawlessness that is truly commendable.

The ending was what made the story delicious with all the little bits tied off to perfection. An out-and-out romance.

A couple of things could have worked better for me: one is the cover and another is that the story lags slightly in the middle. But I am going with 5 stars despite that since otherwise I might have had to give the book 7 stars out of5. Oh yeah, it’s that good.

VERDICT: A must read for romance lovers and those who love to read Indian fiction in English




Monday, September 25, 2017

Blog Tour: THE UNTOLD STORY by Ridhi Drolia

If you enjoy reading romances set in India



THE UNTOLD STORY
by
Ridhi Drolia



Blurb

Love comes in different forms. But in all its forms, it comes with various challenges. Only those who can combat those challenges are true lovers. 

The Untold Story is the tale of Vihaan and Riaa. Vihaan falls for Riaa’s charms at first sight and brings to her life crazy adventures and madness. They soon emerge as two hearts with one soul and their intimate fantasies begin to unravel in exotic places. 

Their bond experience more downs than ups. These unexpected twists and turns bring Vihaan and Riaa closer and their romantic tale turn into one of lifetime bonding. 

The story takes a drastic turn after the lovely couple is blessed with a baby boy. It should be a joyous moment, but instead, haunting memories of Vihaan’s own childhood break out as a fresh wound in his mind. 

Read the novel to know what could make a father unhappy in the happiest moment of his life and how he combats his fear. 

Caution: The story is totally addictive and may arouse your sexual urge.


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About the author


Ridhi Drolia


In the author's own words:

"The passion of writing is deep rooted in my blood. 

After completing my Global Business Management certification from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, I joined hands with a few of my friends to start my first venture. 

Post my stint with the venture, I engaged myself in my lovely family life and now I present to you the author in me."

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Sharing: WISH YOU ALL A HAPPY NAVRATRI!

Today is the first day of Navratri, a nine-day festival celebrated across India. I wish each one of you a Very Happy Navratri.

On this day, I bring you a brief excerpt from my novel, MEGHNA, that portrays the scene of the Dandiya Raas, a part and parcel of the celebrations during these nine nights. 

Do read it to check out how much fun Rahul and Meghna are having during their outing...



THE EXCERPT

The scene was a classic fusion of the Orient and the Occident. The clothes - Rahul couldn’t remember ever seeing such variety and colour at one venue.
   Guys were dressed in smart casuals, semi-formals as well as Indian formals. Colourful waistcoats vied with the short embroidered kedias. Many sported colourful caps or turbans.
   As for the women’s attire, the choice was mind blowing. Jeans with embroidered hems teamed with short colourful tops, ghaghra choli, salwar kameez, sari—you name it and someone was wearing it.
   They all blended into a kaleidoscope of art and colour and the overall effect was a pleasing eyeful.
   Then there was the music. Indian folk music, music adapted from Bollywood and of course disco music. The crowd went crazy as the band started playing. They separated into groups and formed circles, each holding a pair of sticks or dandiyas.
   They began dancing, holding a wooden dandiya in each hand, clicking the sticks against each other or those held by their partners. The clacking of the dandiyas formed a rhythm and the dancers moved ecstatically in time to the music.
   Sanjay and Reema along with the kids joined a circle in the centre of the ground. This had many children of similar age as Sasha and Rehaan.
   Rahul and Meghna got together with a group of strangers and swirled to the music, clacking their dandiyas away, swinging to the rhythm. They both were excellent dancers, as they naturally enjoyed dancing. They were too absorbed in each other to be aware of the rest of the crowd. They were completely unaware of Prashant watching them avidly, raw hunger in his eyes as he devoured Meghna’s graceful movements. His expression changed to one of hatred every time his eyes fell on Rahul.
   The next hour flew away on wings as Meghna twisted and turned, moving forwards and backwards in the circle, her eyes on Rahul’s animated face. His face was alight with the joy he felt swaying his body to the high-pitched folk music. Then it suddenly changed to a disco number and the crowd swayed at a frantic pace. The two of them gave themselves up to the pace set by the band, now fast, now slow.
   A short break was announced when the crowd rushed towards the stalls set up for food and drinks. Rahul and Meghna stood back to let the others move ahead. Rahul put his hand around Meghna’s waist and gently wiped her perspiring face with a snow-white handkerchief that he removed from his kurta pocket.
   Meghna gave a sigh of contentment as he smiled at her. “So tell me; how do you feel now?” he asked, an eyebrow raised in query.
   “Just great,” she replied in a whisper. He bent down his head close to her mouth to catch the soft words. Meghna placed her left hand on the nape of his neck to hold him in place and further cooed in his ear, “that gold ring of yours looks sexy.” She smiled into his startled gaze.
   He gave her a broad grin saying, “Well thanks, kind lady, you’ve made my day.” He pressed his lips to her hot cheek for just a second before raising his head to look at her face with dancing golden brown eyes.

   Meghna felt her heart overflow with the love she felt for him. She did realise to some extent the struggle he had had to undergo to come to terms with his attraction for her. She knew about his insecure childhood and could well understand his fear of commitment. But he had reached a decision, it seemed. He appeared more peaceful than ever. Her eyes shone with excitement as the band struck again.



Blog Tour: IF YOU NEVER TRY, YOU WILL NEVER KNOW by Sahil Mehta

If you enjoy reading romances set in India



IF YOU NEVER TRY, YOU WILL NEVER KNOW
by
Sahil Mehta



Blurb


Robin, who gets inspired by his mother to become a musician, is forced by his father to pursue the education needed to join their family business. This compels him to leave home at the age of eighteen to follow his dreams. In few months of independent living, his over-ambitious dreams turn into an obsession, which gets even more intense when he falls into a drug addiction, and mysteriously unleashes a new side to his life.

During this journey, he meets Aisha. They talk, play and fall in love. Her exquisite beauty defines the melody of his musical journey as they both fall deep in love with each other. But Robin's obsession with his dream and a struggling career become an obstacle in their relationship. Is their love strong enough to overcome complexities?

During these tumultuous times, Robin's flat mate Jordan begins to motivate him to follow his heart. Jordan becomes his philosopher and guru but not for very long-what makes Robin lose trust in him? Discover how he finds a spiritual path after being disheartened during his struggle to achieve success.

Amidst the ups and downs in his career, love and life, find out what destiny holds for Robin. Will he find success in music industry or will he end up joining his father's business? Experience a thrilling story that will inspire you to believe in your love and dreams.

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About the author


Sahil Mehta was born and raised in India, and is currently living in the beautiful city of Seattle. Inspired by the power of words, emotions and various life experiences, he naturally gravitated towards writing. If You Never Try, You Will Never Know is his first book, and its story-line is influenced by his childhood dreams. Currently, he is working on a story, based on the characters and places he came across during his stay in the USA. Apart from writing, Sahil enjoys fitness-related activities and listening to music.

                    

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Blog Tour: SNOWBOUND by Olivier Lafont



SNOWBOUND
by
Olivier Lafont



Blurb
Christmas is dying. 

The last Santa Claus had triplets who each inherited a portion of his father’s power, and that split is now tearing apart the soul of Christmas. 

Niccolo Vecchio, the eldest, has fortified the North Pole into a citadel of ice and metal. 

Santini, the middle brother, is in hiding somewhere in the Mediterranean. 

The youngest brother, Niccolo Piccolo, is raising legions to reclaim his inheritance. 

Two of the triplets will have to renounce their claim in the next forty-eight hours, or this Christmas will be the last one ever. 

And it’s up to Adam, underachieving teenager sub-ordinaire, and his brand new jock bully Zach to make that happen…

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About the author



Olivier Lafont is a French author, screenplay writer, and actor living in Paris. 

His novel 'Warrior' was published by Penguin Random House, and was shortlisted for the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize. He has just released his new contemporary romance novel 'Sweet Revenge' exclusively on Kindle. 'Purgatory: The Gun of God' is a fantasy novelette published in South Africa. 

Lafont has written a number of feature film scripts before. The first film he wrote opened at the Toronto Film Festival and went on to win seven awards at film festivals worldwide. 

As an actor Lafont has acted in Hollywood and Indian films, in TV serials, and in over 80 television commercials. He acted in '3 Idiots', one of India's all-time blockbuster hits, the critically-acclaimed 'Guzaarish', and the Lifetime film 'Baby Sellers', amongst other films. 

Lafont graduated with two degrees in acting and writing from Colgate University, USA, with academic distinction. 

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MEDIA MENTIONS

Deccan Chronicle
Indian Express
Khaleej Times: Enid Parker

AWARDS
‘Warrior’ shortlisted for Tibor Jones South Asia Prize
‘Hari Om’ feature film winner of seven prizes in international film
festivals 



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