#TornadoGiveaway: Menaka’s Choice by Kavita Kane


Menaka’s Choice by Kavita Kane

Read some reviews:

1. Avanthika
2. Vikas Datta
3. Anu


The Story:


We make love and leave. That is our motto. Live by it, Menaka or you shall suffer untold, unnecessary grief.


Born during the churning of the ocean, Menaka is the most beautiful of all the apsaras in the world, with quick intelligence and innate talent. However, she craves for the one thing she can never have – family. Elsewhere, after severe austerities, a man, now blessed with the name Vishwamitra, challenges the gods and dares to create another heaven. Fearing his growing powers, Indra, the king of gods, decides to put a stop to his ambitions by making Menaka seduce him.


What will happen when Menaka and Vishwamitra meet each other? Will Menaka finally find what she really wished for? Or will she again be forced to surrender to her destiny? Find out in this fascinating portrait of one of the most enduring mythological figures.






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About The Author 


A senior journalist with a career of over two decades, which includes working for Magna publication and DNA, she quit her job as Assistant Editor of Times of India to devote herself as a full time author. A self-styled aficionado of cinema and theatre and sufficiently armed with a post-graduate degree in English Literature and Mass Communication from the University of Pune, the only skill she knows, she candidly confesses, is writing. 


Karna’s Wife her debut novel, (2013)was a bestseller. Her second novel – Sita’s Sister (2014) also deals with another enigmatic personality – Urmila, probably the most overlooked character in the Ramayan. Menaka’s Choice(2015) ,another best-seller, is about the famous apsara and her infamous liaison with Vishwamitra the man she was sent to destroy. Lanka’s Princess (2016) is her fourth book based on Ravan’s sister, Surpanakha, the Princess of Lanka who was also its destroyer…


Born in Mumbai, a childhood spent largely in Patna and Delhi , Kavita currently lives in Pune with her mariner husband Prakash and two daughters Kimaya and Amiya with Chic the black cocker spaniel and Cotton the white, curious cat. 

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Book Review: Fighting For Tara by Sunanda Chatterjee

book-coverIt has been a long time since a book actually made me so impatient to know what was going to happen, that I skipped pages and went ahead and then came back to read the pages I had missed. But I could not leave Hansa alone with her baby Tara, while the author took us off on a tangent from Rajasthan to San Francisco. With nail biting anxiety I followed the journey of the 13 year old child bride and mother as she struggled to keep her baby safe.

I have a new favourite author to add to my list! Sunanda Chaterjee has managed to bring out both the woman and the child in Hansa so beautifully. At thirteen she is a mother and her instinct to protect her baby gives her a maturity far beyond her years. Yet, it comes about so naturally as part of the story that when Hansa finally gets to act like the teenager she is, your heart just goes “aww my baby!”

A beautifully written story, it combines the traditional with the modern. On one hand it showcases the plight of the women in traditional cultures and on the other hand it throws light on the absurd demands that modern religions make on us as well.  At the end of the day, it all depends on what one wants to follow and believe in and where you draw the line. Hansa refused to let tradition dictate whether her baby girl lived or not and years later, Anne would have to decide if she would allow her religion to choose if her baby lived or died.

After reading Fighting for Tara, I heaved a deep sigh of satisfaction! Finally a book that made me feel replete!

 

Blurb

How far will a mother go to save her child?

“I have no use for a baby girl. Get rid of her tonight!” He towered over her as she cringed in fear.

But Hansa, a thirteen-year-old child-bride in rural India, refuses to remain a victim of the oppressive society where a female child is an unwanted burden. Instead of drowning her baby, Hansa escapes from her village with three-month-old Tara.

Hansa soon discovers that life as a teenage mother is fraught with danger. But a single lie opens the door to a promising opportunity far from home.

Just seven years later, Hansa finds herself fighting for Tara’s life once more, this time in an American court, with a woman she calls ‘Mother.’

Will the lie upon which Hansa built her life, defeat its own purpose? How can she succeed when no one believes the truth? 

A story of two mothers, two daughters and a fight to save a child, Fighting for Tara explores the depth of love and motherhood.

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About the author

author-picFreelance author, blogger, and ex-Indian Air Force physician Sunanda Joshi Chatterjee completed her graduate studies in Los Angeles, where she is a practicing pathologist. While medicine is her profession, writing is her passion. When she’s not at the microscope making diagnoses, she loves to write fiction. Her life experiences have taught her that no matter how different people are, their desires, fears, and challenges remain the same.

Her themes include romantic sagas, family dramas, immigrant experience, women’s issues, medicine, and spirituality. She loves extraordinary love stories and heartwarming tales of duty and passion. Her short stories have appeared in short-story.net and induswomanwriting.com.

She grew up in Bhilai, India, and lives in Arcadia, California with her husband and two wonderful children. In her free time, she paints, reads, sings, goes on long walks, and binge-watches TV crime dramas.

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Disclaimer: I received this book  from The Book Club in return for an honest and unbiased review.

 

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His Drunken Wife by Sundari Venkatraman

When my favourite author comes up with a new book and that too with one with a title like this, I can’t wait to grab hold of it.
This is book #2 in her “Marriages Made in India” series.

Marriages Made in India
Book #2
HIS DRUNKEN WIFE
 
by
Sundari Venkatraman
 
Blurb
 
The badass Shikha is startled when the nerdy Abhimanyu proposes marriage. She loves… herself, and Abhimanyu doesn’t figure on her list anywhere. For Abhimanyu, however, it was love at first sight when Shikha walked into RS Software, where the two of them work.

When Abhimanyu shows her that he just might be rich enough for her, a pleasantly surprised Shikha accepts his marriage proposal and moves into his swanky apartment.

But it looks like the love is all from only Abhi’s side as Shikha continues to drink herself crazy. Yeah, even at their wedding party.

And then Abhi sets out on a honeymoon to Thailand with His Drunken Wife…

*MARRIAGES MADE IN INDIA is a five-novella series that revolves around the characters you have met in The Runaway Bridegroom.


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About the author
 

Sundari Venkatraman

His Drunken Wife

is the ninth book authored by Sundari Venkatraman. This is a hot romance and is Book #2 of the 5-novella series titled Marriages Made in India; Book #1 being The Smitten Husband. Other published novels by the author are The Malhotra Bride, Meghna, The Runaway Bridegroom, The Madras Affair and An Autograph for Anjali—all romances. She also has a collection of romantic short stories called Matches Made in Heaven; and a collection of human interest stories called Tales of Sunshine. All of Sundari Venkatraman’s books are on Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers in India, USA, UK, Canada & Australia under both #romance & #drama categories.


Other books by the author


 


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Book Review: “Dancing with Demons” by Nidhie Sharma

When a Writer-Director who is an adventure sports enthusiast comes out with her first novel, which is soon to be made into a Bollywood movie, expectations are high. And Nidhie Sharma’s debut novel, “Dancing with Demons” definitely lives up to those expectations. dancingwithdemons

“Dancing with Demons” is written in a language that is raw. Nidhie Sharma has not couched her words in politeness or niceties. And somehow this adds to the story and makes it more real, though there were a few instances, where the English could have been better.

The details which go into describing the moves and rules of the boxing matches show the amount of research that has gone into the story. As I was reading the book, I sort of slipped away into another world, the world of boxing: the emotions and hopes and frustrations of the people in that world.

The title is “Dancing with Demons” and the demons are real. In both Karan’s life and Sonia’s. The pain, the anger, the angst, the frustration that the characters experience in dealing with them are portrayed really well.

I love the way she has built up the characters. Not just Karan and Sonia but the supporting cast as well. Sonia comes across as a strong headed woman. She does not take anything lying down. She fights, she drinks, she is real! So is Karan. You can see his vulnerability under his anger. Jerry as the coach feels for the young Karan and is so upset when Karan blows his career because of his anger that he walks away even though he loves Karan as his own. Madan is a lovable crook. You get irritated with him but you understand where he comes from.

What I didn’t like was that while Karan’s anger is explained, I would have liked a little more background story on Sonia. Also the story could have done with a little bit of settling down. The ending felt a little bit rushed and abrupt.

All in all a good book, a quick exciting read. It is definitely worth picking up a copy for yourself.

 Synopsis:

Karan Pratap Singh is on the brink of winning the Amateur Boxing Championship, when in a moment, he loses it all. His fall from glory seems fuelled by ruthless arrogance and an out-of-control anger management problem. That, however is just symptomatic of a deeper issue. Buried under layers of his fractured subconscious lies a childhood secret he cannot come to terms with.

Sonia Kapoor is a beautiful, volatile young woman with a secret that torments her at night but a secret that she feels no guilt for.

When fate throws Karan and Sonia together in Mumbai, their personal demons and pasts collide and stir up trouble in their fragile and uncertain present. But, is redemption possible without forgiveness?

Dancing with Demons is a fast-paced action drama of love, loss and resurrection.

Disclaimer: I received this book in PDF form from The Book Club in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Book Review: Colours of Life by Inderjit Kaur

Book Review of Kaleidoscope: Colours of Life by Inderjit Kaur

Kaleidoscope : Colours of Life is such an apt title for this book because the author, Inderjt Kaur, has used the colours of the rainbow as metaphors for the various qualities needed to live a fulfilling life e.g Spiritual Violet, Compassionate Orange, Confident Blue. book cover kaleidoscope

The book is a mix of the author’s own experiences, her thoughts and the stories of people she has encountered in her life. The book basically talks about suffering and the author tries to give her readers advice on how not to let it get them down.

When I heard about the book and read the foreword, I expected to read a lot of motivating stories but the stories cover only the first seven chapters of the book. The second part of the book covers thirty-eight chapters which deal with advice that is pretty doable. E.g expand your vision, appointment with your future etc.

I liked the way she has sprinkled her book with quotes from other motivational writers. They wind up the chapters rather well.

As you read, nuggets of wisdom spring out at you like, “ When you give up, you indirectly refuse to learn.” or “a world of you, by you, for you!”

But despite all this it was a difficult book to read as there were places where the sentences were too long and rambling to make sense. The book really needs to be edited better.

The Author:

inderjitInderjit Kaur is an author, motivator with a powerful voice of spreading positive words through her writings. A highly influential blogger and inspirational guide who with her tag line ‘Keep smiling, keep shining’, has brewed up with the original concept of living through her books of A living series.

Disclaimer: I received this book in PDF form from The Book Club in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Book Review:”The Face At The Window” by Kiran Manral

“The Face At The Window” by Kiran Manral.

Synopsis:

download ftwThe story takes us back in time, to the life of Mrs. McNally, who is at the fag end of her life. Her life has held many secrets and she is wondering whether she should document her life story for her daughter and granddaughter to know the truth after her death. However, she is visited not only by the ghosts of her past but also a very real ghost who brings a twist in the story of her life, one that she never expected.

What I liked:

The story is gripping and pretty scary. It keeps you wondering till the end. Mrs. Mcnally’s character is absolutely real life and you can actually visualise her as an old Anglo-Indian teacher.

Ms. Manral has a way with words and uses them well. One of my favourite parts of the book is the  way she describes love, “Was she grown enough to know of the love that tore you apart and patched you together so that  you were never quite yourself again, to know that hearts got broken and mended and broken again, to feel the gaps between successive loves rattle with the hollowness that comes from pieces of the heart being scooped out.”

What I didn’t like:  

Too many people die. Some of the deaths could have been avoided.  Also her ending is a bit abrupt like her other books . You are left with wanting to know more. There are a lot of unanswered questions.

All in all:

A good book. It will keep you gripped till the end and may even scare the faint hearted. Please do not read this book if you are alone at home at night. Ms. Manral has come a long way from her first book, “The Reluctant Detective”  There is a marked improvement both in her style of writing and the strength of her characters.

You can read about my interview with Kiran Manral on my blog here.

You can buy the book on Amazon.in through my affiliate link here .

Sex Outside Marriage – My Choice? Really?

Among all the brouhaha surrounding the “My Choice” Vogue Empower video with Deepika Padukone, one thing that struck me was how many people did not like the words, “to have sex before marriage, to have sex outside marriage.” A lot of people reacted as if the very moral fibre of society would collapse if women had the choice of having sex outside or before marriage.

That led me to wonder that if a woman wanted to have sex outside marriage,what were the options open to her?  When I asked this question to my friends and acquaintances, a lot of them were aghast at the very idea. And I am not talking only about  people in their 50s like me or older, but younger people in their mid-twenties and early thirties too.

Why does this particular phrase anger people so much, both men and women? Is it because we don’t  like to think of a woman as a sexual being, someone who needs sexual release as any man would? Is it because we believe, even as women, that sexual satisfaction is only the right of a man and that we must “tolerate” it?

What happens if a man does not get sex within a marriage? A lot of times, he looks outside and is not judged too harshly for it. Since time immemorial it has been accepted that when a woman was with child or had just delivered and couldn’t satisfy her husband’s sexual needs, it was  okay for him to seek sex with someone else.

So, if a man wants to have sex outside marriage,  he can visit a prostitute. Can a woman do the same? Are there brothels with male sex workers where women can visit?

My search on the web, not surprisingly, showed that while there is a lot written about women sex workers, there isn’t much about male sex workers. Also, most male sex workers seem to be gay or cater to men rather than women. Why is the male sex drive given so much importance while women are not even supposed to want sex?

Every society recognises the need for women sex workers, but a male prostitute is often derided or even envied. If a man wants sex, “he is a man after all”. If a woman wants sex, “OMG she wants to have sex!”

Leave alone having sex outside marriage, how many women are comfortable initiating sex with their husbands without fear of being ridiculed? We have been conditioned to think that sex is a burden we have to bear and tolerate.

At a get-together with a few married women friends, the topic turned to sex and most of the women confessed to never touching their husband’s body unless asked specifically to do so and then too it was “because he wanted it and would have got upset if I didn’t do it.” This in a marriage of at least 10 years. Women are still not comfortable enough to ask for and have mutually satisfying sex. Being able to give in to truly wild, abandoned sex whether in a marriage or outside is the privilege of a very small percentage of women. For most it is something that can’t even bear thinking about.

And that is why, though we talk of women empowerment and all, we are still reluctant to grant a woman the choice to have sex when she wants, how she wants and with whom she wants.

P.S. I wonder how much flak I am going to get, both publicly and privately, for writing about this at  all!

More thoughts on this : https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1560094557607165&id=100008199071931