Book Review: Rising from the Ashes by Rubina Ramesh

 

RISING FROM THE ASHES: 
A Short Story: Prequel to Knitted Tales 2 
by 
Rubina Ramesh
My Review: 

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The author in her introduction has clearly mentioned that it is the grey areas of mythology that interest her and this is one tale that has been obscured in confusion through the ages.  She does not claim to unravel its mystery, rather she gives her take on it.

Her description of King Sambara is beautifully penned, leaving you with a slightly sick feeling in the pit of your stomach at how loathsome he is. She has also managed to catch the essence of Sage Narada when she says, “being a friend of Narada is equivalent to being an enemy of Narada” and his tremendous capacity to cause confusion.

It is indeed a short story and keeps you wanting more.

 
BLURB
 
She was one of the most beautiful woman Asura Sambara had laid his eyes on. 
 
Possessing a beauty of this magnitude became his passion. Sambara kidnapped her and whisked her off to his palace. 
 
Mayavati knows she has no option but to bow down to his wishes. But what about the young man who always haunts her dreams? She had no clue why she was in this palace but after speaking to the mischief making Sage Narada, it all started making sense to her. 
 
Who was Mayavati and what was she doing in Asura’s palace? 
 
Was Sambara her destiny? 
Disclaimer: This short story is a mythological fiction and should be treated as such. The author does not claim it to be a retelling of the Puranas. This piece is a product of her unbridled imagination. 
 
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About the author
 
Blog Tour by The Book Club of DESTINED by Rubina Ramesh
Rubina Ramesh is an avid reader, writer, blogger, book reviewer and marketer. She is the founder of The Book Club, an online book publicity group. Her first literary work was published in her school magazine. It gave her immense pride to see her own name at the bottom of the article. She was about 8 years old at that time. She then went to complete her MBA and after her marriage to her childhood friend, her travel saga started. From The Netherlands to the British Isles she lived her life like an adventure. After a short stint in Malaysia, she finally settled down in the desert state of USA, Arizona. Living with her DH and two human kids and one doggie kid, Rubina has finally started living the life she had always dreamed about – that of a writer.

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Book Review: Prem Purana by Usha Narayanan

Blog Tour by The Book Club of PREM PURANA by Usha Narayanan
 
My Review: 

Blog Tour by The Book Club of PREM PURANA by Usha Narayanan

Honestly, I found it difficult to write a review for this book, because it was at the same time both interesting and irritating.

I found it interesting because of all the titbits of fascinating information about the gods and their lives and their scheming that are little known. The author has obviously done a lot of research and there were times where I, a diehard fan of Indian mythology, went, “Oh! Is it? That is something I didn’t know!”

It was irritating because it brings home the fact that nothing has changed through the ages.  The gods are as fallible as men. They go about granting boons to anyone who strokes their ego with devotion, without any thought of what chaos and destruction the boon is going to bring about.

Then and now, it seems, physical beauty is more important in the choice of a mate. You have Ganesha with all his qualities, wisdom and powers wooing Riddhi, yet she prefers him as Sumukha . She cannot or does not want to accept him in his half human, half elephant form.

Siddhi, in a past life immolates herself because the one she falls in love with does not return her love and she feels slighted. Does a woman only have a reason to live if someone loves her back?

I feel so terribly sorry for Mandodari. She has been created exclusively to cater to Ravan’s lust and to deflect his thoughts from Parvati. Her entire life is given up to pleasing him and enduring all his philandering in the hope that one day he will belong only to her. We all know how that ended.

The author however does have a great narrative style and her language is impeccable. As you read, the scenes unfold before you and I swear I could almost hear Ganesha sulk when things did not go his way.

So though I prefer her “Pradyumna: Son of Krishna” and “The Secret of God’s son” to Prem Purana, I am rather glad I decided to read this one.

 
 
BLURB
 
Stories of love and extraordinary devotion 
 
No one is untouched by love, not even devas and asuras, kings and nymphs. And when they face life’s unexpected tribulations, their love also undergoes trials. Read how Ganesha took myriad forms to please Riddhi, Siddhi and Buddhi, how Ravana shared an unbreakable bond with his true love, Mandodari and how Nala and Damayanti’s relationship was tested till almost nothing remained. 
 
Tormented by passion, wracked by betrayal, torn by the agony of separation, love in its many splendored forms is the origin of these incredibly endearing stories of Prem Purana. 
 

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About the Author


Usha Narayanan had a successful career in advertising, radio and corporate communications before becoming a full-time author. Her bestselling novels span multiple genres: ‘The Madras Mangler’, a suspense thriller; ‘Love, Lies and Layoffs’ (Harlequin) and ’Doctor Stalker Spy’ (Juggernaut), lighthearted romances; ‘Pradyumna: Son of Krishna’, ‘The Secret of God’s Son’ and her latest ‘Prem Purana’ (all from Penguin) that have been praised as ‘Indian mythology at its fiercest and finest.’ Two new books are in the offing. When she is not travelling, writing or editing, Usha reads everything from thrillers and romances to the puranas.
 

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Praise for Usha’s books:
 
‘Like the best of our mythological tales, Pradyumna: Son of Krishna too is a multilayered one…There is valour, there is cowardice, there is glory, there is shame, there is sex, lies and deception.’
 
The Secret of God’s Son is a compelling read on mythological tales.’ – The Sentinel
 
Prem Purana is so good! I am impressed at how Usha can write about Ganesha with so much personality while at the same time showing him as a cosmic divine being. ’ Dr Laura Gibbs, Professor, Indian Epics, University of Oklahoma 
 
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Book Review: Carthick’s Unfairy Tales by T.F. Carthick

Blog Tour by The Book Club of CARTHICK'S UNFAIRY TALES by T.F. Carthick

 

 
My  Review: 

 

Blog Tour by The Book Club of CARTHICK'S UNFAIRY TALES by T.F. Carthick

I would rate this book a four and a half stars.  It has been a long time since I have read a book that was both entertaining and thought provoking at the same time.

The book takes a look at the fairy tales from a refreshingly new perspective.  By the time I got to the third story, I started trying to guess what spin the author would put on the next story. He has really put in a lot of thought into writing the book and I think every parent should read this book themselves, before reading out fairy tales to their kids. It might make you rethink what you are really teaching your kids through the age old tales.

Blurb

A damsel in distress. An evil dragon. A concerned father seeking a savior to rescue his daughter. A hero galloping off to the rescue – a knight in shining armor. Now THAT is stuff of fairy tales.

But what if the father’s real concern is for the dragon’s hoard; What if the damsel’s reason of distress is the marriage proposal by her pompous and vicious savior; and what if the story is told by the horse who bears not only the overweight knight but also his heavy, shining armor all the way to the dragon’s lair and back, facing certain death in the process?

What if there was more – much more – to all your favourite fairy tales than met the eye?

This book chronicles not one but seven such unfairy tales – tales told by undead horsemen and living cities. Tales of mistreated hobgoblins and misunderstood magicians. Tales of disagreeable frogs and distressed rats and bears baring their souls. Once you read these stories, you will never be able to look at a fairy tale the same way ever again.
About the author

 

 

T F Carthick is a Bangalore-based writer and blogger who has been blogging since 2008. He is an avid reader of Children’s Fiction, Science-fiction and Fantasy. Enid Blyton, J K Rowling, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Neil Gaiman and Douglas Adams are some of his favorite authors. His paranormal thriller ‘Bellary’ was one of the three stories in the book Sirens Spell Danger, published in 2013. Six of his stories have featured in multi-author anthologies and literary magazines. He has written over 50 short stories, many of which can be read for free on www.karthikl.com.

He is an Engineer and MBA from India’s premier institutes IIT, Madras and IIM, Ahmedabad and currently works as an Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Consultant at one of the world’s leading Consulting Firms.

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Book review: Sins of the Father by Sunanda J. Chatterjee.

 
Sins of The Father
by

Sunanda Chatterjee 

I became a fan of Sunanda Chatterjee when I read her book “Fighting for Tara”, which is a super awesome book. So it was but natural for me to wonder how “Sins of the Father” would compare.  And though “Fighting for Tara” will always remain one of my favourite books, this one did not disappoint.

None of her books are just romance. And this one with its suspense and psychological tinge makes for a very interesting read.

Society can be very unforgiving and often children are made to pay for the sins of their parents. But isn’t it also true that the children themselves feel the need to pay for their parents crimes?  What happens when as a young child you are exposed to the fact that your father is not the hero you think he is? How do you react when his actions have caused you tremendous pain? A lot of times the children feel that in some way it is their fault as well. They carry the burden of what their parents did for a long time indeed.

Sunanda brings this out beautifully in the way the characters interact with each other in the book. I firmly believe that no book is based on just one person. Every good story is a blend of all the characters, the main ones and the supporting ones. Sunanda has managed to weave in all her characters into the fabric of her story and that is what makes it such a delight to read.

“Sins of the Father” is the first book in the Wellington Estates series. I am really impatient to read the next in the series, “Old money”

 

Blurb
Police Officer Harrison McNamara grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth. The former Wellington Estates heir has dedicated his life to taking criminals off the streets. But when he goes undercover to expose a blackmailing scheme, he meets a freelance model who may hold a key to his past.
 
For psychologist Laura Carson, freelancing as a model is the perfect bridge until she can set up her practice. But her modeling agency isn’t what she expected. Encountering the enigmatic undercover cop might be everything she’s ever wanted—and everything she must avoid.
 
As Laura and Harrison grow closer, their past threatens to destroy them. Trapped in an unending cycle of guilt and blame, can they find a way to bury the sins of the past for a future of redemption and love? 
 
Book 1 of the Wellington Estates Series, Sins of the Father is a stand-alone romantic saga.


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About the author

 
Sunanda J. Chatterjee writes romantic sagas and family dramas, with empowered heroines and noble heroes, and all manner of family relationships. She loves extraordinary love stories and heartwarming tales of duty and passion. Her themes include the immigrant experience, women’s issues, and medicine.
Her books have consistently been the Top 100 bestsellers on Amazon USA and Amazon India in Asian Literature, Indian Writing, and Asian Drama categories. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies, short-story.net and induswomanwriting.com.
She grew up in Bhilai, India and now lives in Arcadia, California with her husband and two wonderful children. When she is not by the microscope or creating imaginary worlds, she reads, sings, goes on long walks, and binge-watches old TV dramas.

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Book review: It Happens by Karan Sharma

Blog Tour by The Book Club of IT HAPPENS by Karan Sharma

 

 “It happens” is Karan Sharma’s debut as an author and as with any new author, I approached the book with some trepidation. What would his writing be like? Would his characters be interesting? Would it be something I would be loath to put down or would it be easily forgotten?

IT HAPPENS_Cover1_Rev_12.indd

 The plot seemed interesting. A 25 year old guy and a 37 year old woman in love with each other. And that too in India. Curiosity got the better of me and I started reading.

The first chapter felt like rookie writing, hesitant. It was as if he was writing what he thought the readers would expect and thus his own voice faltered.

But the writing got stronger as the book progressed. You could feel the confidence of the writer growing as he warmed to his theme. Karan has handled the subject really well, going into all the anguish and exhilaration such a match can evoke.

Not only were the main characters developed well, the supporting cast was also good. I found myself nodding in agreement at times and sometimes wanting to whack someone on the head.

If he continues to improve on his writing, I am sure his next book too will be worth reading.

Blurb
During our childhood days, we tend to have these crushes on people older than us that fade as we grow up. We never act upon them but they remain as memories that we always cherish.
But what happens when two adults with such an age difference fall in love?
It Happens is a story about how Gautam, a twenty-five-year-old upcoming professional and Roshni, an unmarried thirty-seven-year-old senior management member working in the same multinational bank, face this very question. Can two people with such a vast age difference be compatible?
The story is a romantic comedy that explores this situation in a light-hearted way as they fall in love, get laughed at by their friends and then develop cold feet, thinking about the repercussions their age difference could have on their marriage. Since this happens in India, where marriage is a major social issue, the plot holds further intrigue.
They say love is blind and makes one think with the heart, rather than the mind. Will two smart professionals make a mistake by doing so? Or will they listen to their logical senses at the last moment to avert what may be the biggest blunder of their lives?
It Happens…
 
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About the author

 

 

After more than twenty years of working in a highly successful family business and owning a popular brand in the interiors industry, Karan decided it was time to get into self publishing—an idea that came to mind when he saw his son having so much fun reading books. It rekindled a latent passion for writing that he had developed after his college days, leading to his first book. It Happens, along with other books that will come out in due course, will be a testament to his storytelling and creative skills.
Karan has a beautiful family with two young boys, Aakash and Aayansh, and Aarti as his lovely life companion. He is a commerce graduate and a battle-hardened businessman. His other passions include both playing and watching cricket and football, as well as being an avid traveller.
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Book Review : Destined by Rubina Ramesh

Blog Tour by The Book Club of DESTINED by Rubina Ramesh

 

 

My Review:

Blog Tour by The Book Club of DESTINED by Rubina RameshThis is Rubina Ramesh’s third book, the second novel, and I must say each one of her books is different. Though she has tried to keep the book light, the underlying idea of the book is one that is really pertinent. Why does society expect a woman to forget her responsibility to her parents once she is married? She isn’t even given a choice, though I believe the question of choice shouldn’t arise at all. It should be a given, that just as a man continues to look after his parents throughout their lives, a woman should also look after her parents in the same way. Her being married or not should not change this. This is something that is non negotiable.

Rubina brings this out really well through the dialogues and the interplay of characters in the story. I loved the way Esha replies when told that her fiancé cannot manage to look after three families, namely themselves, his parents and her parents. She says, “You never asked me if I gave you the permission to look after your parents.”

Besides being a socially responsible book, it also has the right amount of intrigue, the right amount of romance and when you finish reading it, you get that feeling of satisfaction that only a well written book can give you.

 

Blurb
Esha Mehra could have taken care of her father, only if she had some support from her fiancé. But he had his priorities set and her sick father was nothing but a burden. Esha didn’t have any other choice but to apply for a loan from her office. But she had not banked on the fact that the Head of Geno Technologies needed her for other reasons.
 
When Rohan Sharma saw Esha for the first time, he felt she was the one. He had no intention of falling in love with her for the pain of the past was still too much to bear. 
But he did need Esha as a decoy to his plan. But Esha was not a damsel in distress who would bend to his will easily. While he was sure that he would marry her only for six months, he still couldn’t understand why he felt a searing jealousy every time, her ex-fiancé Ayush’s name was mentioned.
 
While these two souls had other plans in their lives, Destiny conspires to bring them together. But will the stench of Death let them live their lives? 
 

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About the author

 

Blog Tour by The Book Club of DESTINED by Rubina Ramesh

 

Rubina Ramesh is an avid reader, writer, blogger, book reviewer and marketer. She is the founder of The Book Club, an online book publicity group. Her first literary work was published in her school magazine. It gave her immense pride to see her own name at the bottom of the article. She was about 8 years old at that time. She then went to complete her MBA and after her marriage to her childhood friend, her travel saga started. From The Netherlands to the British Isles she lived her life like an adventure. After a short stint in Malaysia, she finally settled down in the desert state of USA, Arizona. Living with her DH and two human kids and one doggie kid, Rubina has finally started living the life she had always dreamed about – that of a writer.

 

 

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Book Review: Simha International (The Bansal Legacy #1) by Sundari Venkatraman

 

I have been reading Sundari Venkatraman’s books from the time she had just two books published. And as I read, I marvelled at her growth as a writer. Reading her books feels like meeting an old friend again. They give me a warm comfortable feeling. And Simha International is no exception.

SimhaInternational-AMAZON-CoverHow does she make all her characters so real and so different from the ones in her other books? Her heroine Tasha is strong and feminine. She not only takes decisions which are not easy but takes the responsibility for her own actions. The family dynamics are spot on and the interplay of relationships sets the back drop for the story.

Of course it goes without saying that it is unabashedly romantic and that her love scenes get you warm in all the right places.

One thing that I hate while reading is to find grammatical mistakes, and believe me there are so many published books out there that are full of them. And that is another reason it is a pleasure to read Sundari’s books. Apart from an odd mistake which you would find with great difficulty, the language does not take away from the story.

 

 
Blurb
 
Rohit Bansal, the handsome and suave managing director of Simha International, is the envy of many—from a director of the hotel to an employee. 
 
A thief comes up with a simple modus operandi, believing that nobody’s really going to find out anything about the thefts taking place. But when a guest brings it to his notice, Rohit is determined to save the reputation of Simha International and ropes in a top-notch detective. Will Rohit be able to find who the thief is before time runs out?
 
The lovely and intelligent Tasha Sawant goes to work at Simha International as the duty manager. Her experience in the hotel industry only adds to the hotel’s excellent service. 
 
Tasha is attracted to Rohit and it would seem that he reciprocates her feelings. Well, the lady isn’t looking for a permanent relationship as it looks likes she’s already had an unpleasant experience. But then, what about the guy? Does Rohit want any kind of relationship with Tasha? 
 
*Simha International is the first book in the trilogy called The Bansal Legacy

 
About the author
 
 
 
Sundari Venkatraman is an indie author who has 16 titles to her name, all Top 100 Bestsellers on Amazon India, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada and Amazon Australia in both romance as well as Asian Drama categories. Her latest hot romances have all been on #1Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month.
 
Even as a kid, Sundari absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as she grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. 
 
Soon, into her teens, Sundari switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine. Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. 
 
Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! And Sundari Venkatraman has never looked back.
 

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Sundari Venkatraman is a member of the panel of the #PentoPublish #contest on #AmazonIndia #KDP
 
 
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