Review of From ashes to dreams by Rashmi Trivedi

BLURB:

Sometimes life brings you at a crossroad, where you have no choice but to live every day as if it was your last one. Naina was at such a crossroad! An orphan, she did not have much to look forward to in life, until she fell in love. Love gave her wings and she started to fly, only to come crashing down as the wind beneath her wings turned into a storm. She tries putting an end to her now wretched existence, but fate has some other plans for her. She comes to know that she has limited time to live and decides to start living everyday instead of merely surviving. She lives every moment without worrying about the future she does not have or the past that could not be undone. She falls in love once again, this time with life! Will fate respect her fortitude?

MY REVIEW:

The story involves a lot of characters but to be termed as the main protagonist is Naina. She along with Kusum and Raghav were left in the orphanage by their parents on the same day in an orphanage run by Shanti Amma. Shanti Amma is portrayed as a loving motherly figure who treats every kid in the orphanage as her own, but has a liking inclined towards Naina since she resembles her daughter. Naina, Raghav and Kusum are of the same age and share all teeny tiny private secrets to each other.

The plot revolves around the lives of the three musketeers and their lives post the death of Shanthi Amma who succumbs to cancer.At one point the protagonist is left all alone and how she leads life as days pass unfolds in the rest of the story. The story is a mixture of all emotions such as happiness, struggles,friendship,love,pain.

Coming to the writing style its crisp and clear maintaining the pace of the story. The interesting factor being the book has an end at the start and the beginning when it comes to an end. Loved the way how the author’s language command never made me feel to continue the book at a later point.

The characterization has been done complete justice with each character not being clichéd and being natural in the flow. Naina as the protagonist has shown a lot of potential, she gives hope coming up from the struggles and hardships that come pelting to her. Kusum on the other hand, is someone we can relate to everyone in real life.

The plot is gripping and the story line is intriguing makes you want to finish it at one go. The author has done complete justice to the narration keeping it in a steady pace.

The cover has been designed in such a way that there are two images merged. Makes you want to pick it up immediately.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback
  • Publisher:Blue Rose Publishers; 1st edition (17 August 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ASIN:B07GKRNLY5

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4.5/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 4/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rashmi Trivedi works in a middle management level in a leading public sector company. She was very passionate about reading and was never too busy for a book right form childhood. It was when she moved to Bhopal on a transfer away from family she started venturing into writing. She put in her experiences into writing which paved way for this book. Other than reading she loves travelling and also has a bucket list of places to visit.

Review of what will people think ? By Rashi Dubey

BLURB:

Do you want to fulfill your dreams? If yes, then the next question should be ‘how-to-move-ahead’, but is it really the next question you ask yourself? What about the numerous fears that precede this valid question like ‘What-will-they-think?’, ‘Should I?’, ‘Is it okay?’, ‘What about my image?’, ‘How will it look to other people?’ And at last, you crush your own dreams. That’s the choice most of us make. Isn’t it? This is a tale about one such middle-class family, the Guptas. In spite of being a member of such family, Riya chooses to follow her dreams. During her unconventional journey, her family disowns her. Will she be able to fulfill her dreams? Will the Guptas ever realize how one shouldn’t be afraid to do something just because of the fear of what will people say? Will the family reunite? Along with Riya, find out the answers to your most dreaded fear and experience the freedom to live inside out!

MY REVIEW:

Peer pressure to dump decisions on people or the fear of what people might think pushing you to do certain actions though you aren’t completely determined to do is pretty common in middle class society. Though we do say we live in modern age and we are practical there is still some practices, superstitions or decisions like whatever we wish to name them thumped on to us.

Due to above mentioned realities in this MODERN ERA as we call more often we are pushed into circumstances where we ought to let go of our dreams, passion and join the thousands of others following the same dream.

When you want to follow your passion and your parents thrash your dreams and want you to pursue their dream course, you feel so crippled. This was the state of Riya when she was asked to pursue medicine after grade 12.

Riya is the main protagonist who live with her family of four- mom, dad and brother. Though she wanted to take up arts being her passion her parents were against it.

They never thought that Riya was so serious about it to pursue it as a career rather than just a hobby. She decides to go against them and pursue a degree in arts and also is successful in bagging a job in one of the biggest firms in Delhi. Here again her parents don’t want her to move alone. Reason? Pretty simple. “What will people think?” So she again revolts and moves out. If she ever meets her parents again? Do they forgive her? What happens next? Do check out the book.

I finished reading it at a stretch, such a page turner it was. Right from the page one the author keeps you glued through her writing style. The story is from the perspective of a middle class girl who wants to pursue her passion and pave a career. Her parents on the other hand have a diverse mentality and want her to do what society expects. The portrayal of how Riya overcomes the denial and revolts to continue with her passion is commendable by the author’s narration.

The cover design is simple of a girl with her arms wide open, seeming like she’s free to choose and carry out what she wants.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • File Size:1072 KB
  • Print Length:103 pages
  • Publication Date:October 24, 2017
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language:English
  • ASIN:B076LVJKT8

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 4/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR (in her own words):

I’m a self-taught person and I believe that there’s nothing more exciting than learning and gaining knowledge! I’m a passionate reader and always keep myself busy with reading something. I am a foodie as well. I love eating food anytime, anywhere! I’m a Software Engineer by qualification, but I enjoy writing and have presumed this hobby as my career. I love to write about life, food, travel, relationship, humor, health, home décor, movies, and games. And love to read about anything that can be useful in any form on this earth! I believe, “Aim for the moon. You may not get it but you will surely get a star!” You can reach me at rashi.dubey811@gmail.com

Review of on the open road by Stuti Changle. #myfriendalexa

On the open road

BLURB:

Myra wishes to break free of her cubicle. Kabir wonders what life would be to build on his own. Sandy drops out of college to work on the next big startup idea. Ramy inspires millions of his generation on his travel blog – on the open road.

on the open road – THREE LIVES, FIVE CITIES, ONE STARTUP, revolves around the lives of these restless and dreamy 20-somethings as they battle their inner demons and the societal taboos to live life on their terms. It is an emotional journey of following one’s heart. The journey entails undying friendship, love and loss, happiness and depression, fear and conquest, dreaming and achieving.

Will they be able to embark on the hard yet empowering journey to their true selves? Or succumb to the hardships on their road to freedom?

MY REVIEW:

The story revolves around three people- Myra, Kabir and Sandy. We have the struggle part described for all three of them. Myra is fed up of her 9-5 cubicle life but longs to startup a business with friends. Kabir is a rich gyu who has his family business, but he wants to have a business of his own. Then we have Sandy who is Kabir’s friend, who’s a college dropout and has his own startup creating apps but is not very successful.

We have another Character Ramy(Myra’s friend) to whom people look up to. He is a traveler and a blogger. Kabir and Sandy draw inspiration.

The plot is something that every single person in the corporate rat race can relate to. It has elements of love, friendship, dream, travel and success. The writing is simple and crisp. I completed the book at one go. The book is mentioned as unputdownable on the cover, since its fast-paced. But seriously, it did not let down my expectation and has lived up to it.

Stuti, coming from the corporate background herself has brought out the experiences just as it is in reality.

The one liners and the quotes will inspire anyone with ambitions but has inhibitions to proceed with it. I have listed out some of the one-liners I liked.

I loved the cover and how the title aptly suits the plot. I loved reading the second half especially. The characterization was done brilliantly with no sugar-coating. They were genuine in their portrayal.

Anyone who has a dream of owning a startup should give this book a read. I felt people from other walks of life could find it a little difficult to relate to the experiences noted by Stuti. Though the book is a light read, the amount of experience and self-motivation we gain is a lot. The book makes you self-introspect to think ahead of career and make decisions.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Book name: On the open Road
  • Author: Stuti Changle
  • Paperback:188 pages
  • Publisher:Invincible Publishers & Marketers (2 March 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:9387328465
  • ISBN-13:978-9387328464

The book is available on Amazon https://amzn.to/2zqBsZY

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4.5/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 5/5

Writing and Presentation: 5/5

Overall: 4.5/5

ACCOLADES:

Winner of ‘Notable Mentions’ in Amazon Kindle’s Pen to Publish competition

‘Unputdownable, lively and fast-paced, it promises to inspire the youth to pursue their dreams.’- Ashish Kashyap, founder – Goibibo & redBus

‘The book reflects you and me. A great group of characters who bring life into a great story. It’s a must-read.’- Neha Hinge, Actress & Miss India 2010

Quotes from on the open road:

“Somewhere between the right and the wrong, the past and the future, there lies a now. Don’t let it go. For ‘now’ often leads to a new road!”

“Life proves to be one hell of a ride. All you’ve got to believe is that the things that do not work out lead to the ones that do! As the journey goes on, there’s a lot more to learn.”

” Citylights seem glorious at night, the high rises stand in splendor, in my mind I have a fight,what do I want in life? I wonder! ““Whenever you have a problem, try to enlarge your perspective, look at the sky and the stars.”

“If you feel that the cubicle isn’t for you, build some for others!”

“We belong to a generation full of broken hearts and wandering souls, just blank from the inside, in a constant search for ourselves, looking for something we don’t know yet, in the empty spaces of life. It is not that we can’t do great things, but we’re raised to believe – we can’t!”

“When you work on what you love; it acts like meditation. If each one of us does what we love and pour our heart and soul into it, we would not have to meditate elsewhere at any point in time.”

About the Author (in her own words)

A minimalist at heart, with every passing day, I find myself moving farther from the never-ending quest of owning material possessions and a step closer to owning a vast ocean of experiences. In 2016, at twenty-three, I packed a rucksack and left Mumbai, in search of my true self. I met people with extraordinary stories – the travelers, the entrepreneurs, the artists, the visionaries and the saints, who inspired me to the core and gave a new direction to my life. on the open road draws inspiration from my real-life experiences and I wish to inspire my readers to follow their dreams.

Share your thoughts about the book using the hashtag #OTOR

She interacts with the readers’ community through Instagram Live and Facebook Live. @stutichangle

About the Author

A post-graduate in management from the prestigious B-school IMI, New Delhi and a graduate in Computer Science and Technology.Winner of Notable Mentions in Amazon Kindle’s Pen to Publish Competition.

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Review of Twenty three : Collection of short stories by Bikramjit Sen #myfriendalexa

twenty three: collection of short stories

BLURB:

Everyone has a story to tell or a story that deserves to be told. Since no person is the same, everyone’s life is a unique tale. This uniqueness of different lives is honoured by Twenty Three: Collection of Short Stories that narrates the lives of various people. Twenty Three tells all kinds of stories, ranging from stories of ordinary people to those of paranormal entities. So, step into different dimensions as you flip through the various stories of Twenty Three.

MY REVIEW:

Well the book is a collection of 23 short stories just as the title says. Each portraying a different human emotion. The authors thoughts before each chapter is something that would not be liked by all. Since at places it seems like it takes too much importance drifting away the focus.

While some stories are exception, some led to a drag to the pace that was already set by the previous chapters. The book speaks about death, re-incarnation, psychology, spirituality. This shows the author’s interests on the topics.

Some of the emotions portrayed are those which are neglected by us. The author should be applauded for making each emotion a center of focus in each chapter.

Outer, Heated, the legendary tale of Jatayu are few chapters I personally liked.

The characterization was very well maintained throughout each chapter. The narration was excellent and played a pivotal role making the book a definite page turner.

A commendable job on the cover design which is a portrayal of colors depicting emotions surrounding the human life.

The editing was perfect; amongst the recent books I’ve read.

twenty three: collection of short stories
twenty three: collection of short stories

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Format:Kindle Edition
  • File Size:3080 KB
  • Print Length:178 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:1948321254
  • Publisher:Notion Press; 1 edition (16 December 2017)
  • Sold by:Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited
  • Language:English
  • ASIN:B078BG7R1D

The book is available on amazon https://amzn.to/2zpldfC

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4.5/5

Title: 3.5/5

plot: 4/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bikramjit believes he is an old soul. He was born in the City of Joy (Kolkata, India) on Friday the 13th in the wintry December of 1996.

He’s a student of English at Shri Ramswaroop Memorial University (Uttar Pradesh). He presently resides in the Capital of Nawabs (Lucknow, India) with his mother, Mausumi Sen, and father, Surajit Sen. He is the only son of his parents.

He immensely loves being a writer. Sometimes, we need people like him to motivate us to follow our passions. Since childhood, he always has been inquisitive towards topics regarding philosophy, mythology, religious history, paranormality and finds of ancient times.

He is an introverted person who loves being in Mother Nature’s lap. He is very intelligent and contended, not wild at all. He just loves his freedom and doesn’t let his heart settle in a cage. He is always willing to burn for everything he has ever loved. He’s one of a kind. He’s divine, and he doesn’t have to wait for anyone to tell him so in order to believe that about himself. That’s what makes him so inspiring.

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Book blitz – The walking horses by Linda S Browning

Parlor Game Mysteries, Book 2

Paranormal Cozy Mystery

Date Published: August 2018

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

It all started with a haunted Ouija board in Nashville and the cold case murder of Sophie Mathews. Then, Henry Meyer did not commit suicide in his tobacco barn in Columbia and the case went cold. When Olivia Honeycutt takes on the case of Eloise Venable Freeman, she must accept her paranormal proclivities. Eloise and her infant daughter, Andrea, allegedly died in a horrific fire thirty years ago. Her husband, David, is not satisfied with ashes. David wants answers. Olivia travels to Shelbyville, Tennessee, and the world of the Walking Horses to solve her most challenging mystery to date.

Other Books in the Parlor Game Mysteries Series:


Hanging Tobacco

Parlor Game Mysteries, Book 1

Published: June 2017

Hanging Tobacco is the first book in the Parlor Game Mystery Series. Olivia Honeycutt solved the cold case murder of Sophie Mathews with the help of Sophie’s Ouija board. Now, Olivia and her Nashville detective boyfriend, Presley, tackle the twenty five year old mystery surrounding the death of Henry Meyer. The old man was found hanging from the neck in the rafters of his tobacco barn in Columbia, Tennessee. Was Henry intent on suicide? Or, was it murder? Uncovering the truth behind Henry’s death proves both challenging and life threatening. Not everyone in Columbia wants to know the truth. Olivia takes the Ouija board on the road.

Excerpt

“. . . I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always — take any form — drive me mad! Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!”

EMILY BRONTE, Wuthering Heights

CHAPTER 1

He waits in the shadows as silent and greedy as any panther awaiting its prey. It’s where the game always begins. I approach casually—pretending I don’t know he is there, pretending I don’t know he waits.

          I stand with my back against the refrigerator. At five-feet-something my head doesn’t come anywhere near the top of the appliance. After about one minute, he bops me tentatively on the top of the head with one paw and then retreats. Back he comes with another stealthy bop. I imagine he’s giggling with glee as I turn to sweep Toby from his perch. His giggle is a purr of satisfaction. He’s gotten me again. I’m a successful, professional, thirty-four-year-old woman; yet, I delight in playing this stupid game with a short-haired gray cat that I named Toby—short for Tobacco Cat. How on earth did I allow this to happen? I’ve always made fun of people who went stupid over their pets.

                Toby is approximately six months old and he’s a strange-looking animal—small for a male cat with round chipmunk cheeks. His mother was a small calico barn cat. His father had been a man of the gypsies. The veterinarian is convinced Toby’s blue-gray coloring, heart-shaped head, and large green eyes are distinguishing characteristics for a Korat. What a cat from the regions of Thailand had been doing fraternizing with a Tennessee barn cat was anybody’s guess.

                Five minutes later Presley Warren entered the kitchen with a prowling grace. He’s a big guy. Bull-in-a-china-shop size big. It kinds of ticks me off that he should move so easily and gracefully. I’m a little dinky person and I flail around whatever room I’m in at the time. He leaned into a morning kiss—“Good morning, sunshine!”—smacking his lips afterwards. “Yum, coffee with cream.” Gliding over to the kitchen counter my police detective boyfriend shrugged into the jacket and reached for his to-go cup upended in the dish drainer beside the sink. “Good morning, Toby!” He threw the greeting at the cat. Toby growled into his food dish and I growled into my coffee cup.

            I suffer through mornings as a necessary evil. Something to endure until a more respectable hour rolls around. He leaned over to kiss me goodbye with one hand holding his tie flat and the other grasping the now-filled to-go cup. He had that aftershave wonderful man-smell thing going and I thought fleetingly of grabbing his tie and wrestling him to the kitchen floor. I love the clean weekday man-smell. I’m also fond of the Sunday morning scruffy detective in-need-of-a-shave guy. It’s a toss-up. He grinned down at me as though he could read my mind. “I’ve got to go. Big meeting downtown. What are you doing today?”

                I sighed. “I’m going to make some calls to see what I can scare up.” In a lot of ways I’m jealous of Presley’s job. In a city the size of Nashville there is never a shortage of crime. Presley has job security. I’m a freelance journalist. There is nothing secure about a career in journalism.

     Presley whirled toward the hallway with coffee in one hand and car keys in the other. He called from the front door, “Text me later,” and he was out the door.

     I mumbled to the room. “Elvis has left the building.” Toby didn’t acknowledge the comment. Presley’s jeep rests in the driveway when he stays over. It’s my house so my Mini Cooper gets to live in the one-car garage. Setting my empty coffee mug in the sink I headed upstairs. I’d been awake for at least an hour. It was time for a nap. Presley had awakened me early; banging around in the small shower stall off the master bedroom. He could have showered in the bathroom downstairs, but he prefers to bang around and swear. The shower stall is small, perfect for a single professional hobbit-sized woman. The proudest day of my life had been moving into my fifteen-hundred-square-foot townhome. I fell in love with the soaring cathedral ceilings the moment I saw the place. Peter Pan could fly in here.

                Somehow a goofy-looking cat and a big-footed detective had burrowed their way into my little nirvana when I hadn’t been paying attention. Presley and I don’t live together. He has a small apartment in downtown Nashville. We are casually committed lovers; it’s complicated. We’ve been a couple ever since we laid eyes on one another last June. He is six feet of beat-up handsomeness. I was hooked immediately.

                I snoozed for about a half hour and woke up to Toby sprawled across my ankles in a purring puddle. Leaving the cat on the bed I went to shower and prepare for the day. By the time I re-entered the bedroom, Toby had left to roam the premises. I headed downstairs to the kitchen and my laptop. I was getting antsy for a story. The cold case mystery of Sophie Mathews had sold well throughout Tennessee. If I had included Sophie’s supernatural assistance in the solving of her case via a link with her Ouija board, I probably could have ended up on some national news shows…or even made the front page of the National Inquirer. While I had no problem furthering my career by telling her story, I would never have trivialized it with paranormal shenanigans. Sophie had meant a lot to me.

                A few months after Sophie’s case was put to bed I was invited to look into the cold case of Henry Meyer. When I wrote up Henry’s story and shopped it around, it sold like the funnel cakes at Mule Day weekend in the close town of Columbia—which was where Henry Meyer had not hung himself in his tobacco barn.

                I was bored. I needed to get busy and sell a story. I had a mortgage, a car loan, and a cat to support. I opened my laptop to search for local happenings that I could twist into a story and was immediately intrigued by a recently received email.

To: Miss Olivia Honeycutt

From:  David Owen Freeman

Date: January 19, 2015

     I am in need of your help. I was given this email address by Sheriff Lockheed of Bedford County which he acquired via his professional contacts with the sheriff’s office in Maury County. I was assured this was your business email and not personal. My wife and I have read the journalistic pieces you have written concerning the cold cases of Sophie Mathews of Nashville/Davidson County and Henry Meyer of Columbia/Maury County. My dear wife, Betsy, has encouraged me to write to you in the hope that you will look into the thirty-year-old deaths of my first wife, Eloise Venable Freeman, and infant daughter, Andrea Ilene Freeman. I have long suspected their deaths were the direct result of arson; therefore, they were murdered.


      I sincerely hope you will consider my request. I will personally cover all expenses you incur due to travel and hotel accommodation regardless of the outcome of your investigation. Eloise and Andrea lost their lives in an inferno at the Venable family estate. The official cause of the fire was never determined. However, I have always believed it was arson. There is a cold case at the Shelbyville Police Department filed away as Eloise Venable Freeman and infant daughter. My daughter’s Christian name isn’t even printed on the case file. The remains of my wife were recovered in the rubble. My daughter’s remains were never recovered. I am haunted by the summary in the report of the Fire Marshall. The remains may have been so insignificant that all traces of the infant could have been incinerated in the extreme velocity of the fire. Assuming it was arson (and I do), no motive was ever established. Eloise’s date of death was August 3, 1985.The fire started in the early morning hours of that date.


       Eloise was the daughter of Lawrence Venable. Venable Tennessee Walkers are well known throughout the country for the breed of Tennessee Walking Horses. I can be reached at the phone numbers and email addresses listed below. I will not go into further detail at this time. I sincerely do hope you will consider my request and get in touch.

About the Author

Linda S. Browning is retired from the University of Tennessee, Office of Research and Social Work. She lives with her husband in Middle Tennessee with their thirty-plus year amazon parrot and a young and energetic Bichon/ShihTzu mix. Linda is the author of Leslie & Belinda Mysteries.

Contact Links

Purchase Link

Review of Hungry Gods by Richa Lakhera

BLURB:

Beaten and brutally raped, her body is never found. However, the killers make one mistake. They leave a witness, a witness who has nothing to live for except revenge. And when he crosses the boundaries of time to make the guilty pay, a whole lot of dark characters come to light. There is Valentine, the superstar brand ambassador who sells anything for a price; there is Medici, a pharmaceutical company fraudulently manufacturing banned drugs; there is the perverted and sinister minded Dr Ranga and there is Este, the prostitute whose dark secret will blow up a daughter’s sanity. So, is there another murder waiting to happen? Will Police Inspector Dorab Silva be able to connect the clues to prevent another crime? Will these gods of greed be exposed? And yes, you will be surprised by who you will find there, finally. Deeply unsettling, Hungry Gods takes a hard look at greed for wealth and power.

MY REVIEW:

The first thing that struck me when I was asked if I can review this book was what made the author choose this name. I initially thought that it was something of mythological sorts but when I googled and saw the cover my opinion was completely proved wrong. The cover design conveys a lot. In fact that’s one of the stand out features of this book. I went through the blurb and which made me even more anxious that was eagerly waiting that the book would get delivered to me sooner.

The book is based on the tagline Drugs, Sex Cults, a horrific crime and an unthinkable revenge. The revenge here is by a son who witnesses him mom being abused and killed by a group. Bu the way in which the narration is taken is what which makes the book stand out among similar books of this genre.

It is very difficult to keep track of all characters since there are a lot of them, a LOT I say. The writing style of the author is on par with that of international authors. Its crisp, subtle and brilliant. She has a good command over the language and an extensive vocabulary.

The narration is from first and third person perspective which is confusing a times to relate the consecutive events. A clearer description of the place and time could have made it better.

Writing was very intriguing and intense but applauds to the author, the surprise element was kept up till the end. The nail biting sequences of pre climax and climax was outstanding.

Overall, Hungry Gods was a bold representation of the present sadistic world we live in and can very well be made into a movie.

But I would like to leave a disclaimer that the book is not for light hearted ones.

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4.5/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 5/5

Writing and Presentation: 5/5

Overall: 4.5/5

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Book Name: Hungry Gods
  • Author: Richa Lakhera
  • Genre: Fiction/ thriller
  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Rupa Publications India (20 July 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9353040795
  • ISBN-13: 978-9353040796

The book is available on amazon https://amzn.to/2x1jHy5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hungry Gods is Richa Lakhera’s third novel, she has previously written Item Girl, a crime novel and Garbage Beat, a satire on the Indian entertainment industry. A libertarian addicted to absurdism, she works as Deputy Editor at NDTV. She has a Master’s in Organic Chemistry and Bio-technology and is the recipient of the Indian Council for UN Relations (ICUNR) Award for Excellence in Journalism. Richa divides her time between New Delhi and Mumbai and is currently working on her next crime fiction novel.

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Review of Zidd by Hetansh Desai

BLURB:

Vihaan looked at the skies, took a deep breath and shouted, ‘I want to be on the hoarding outside Raina’s flat!’ Parth did not react right away. After a few minutes, he asked, ‘Sorry? What is that?’ ‘She said she doesn’t want to see my face. So, now I want to ensure she sees my face every day the first thing in the morning.’ Parth took a step towards Vihaan. He shrugged his shoulders, confusedly. ‘I don’t understand.’ ‘There’s a hoarding outside her flat.’ ‘And you want to be on it?’ ‘Yes!’ Turns out, the hoarding outside Raina’s flat was the most expensive in the city! Witness the roller coaster journey of Vihaan, a college dropout and Parth, an illiterate tea vendor, who have an accumulative savings of 3500, set out to earn 20 Lakh in 18 months to buy the coveted hoarding space.

MY REVIEW:

The story does not fall into any specific genre, but has elements of all romance, fiction.

The plot is about two boys from contrast background who have different perspectives.

Vihaan is a rich kid who is kind of arrogant, impatient and is determined not to continue business studies and take over his father’s kite business. HE wants to pursue at SLS .

On the other hand, we have Parth, whose father is a tea seller. Parth wants to set up his own business but does not know how.

The story starts with childhood scenes from Vihaan’s life. A train journey where Vihaan’s father is worried about his business. One idea from Vihaan and he is all successful.

Here at Parth’s end, his father wants him to be a good salesman so that he can sell more cups of tea.

After his father’s death he starts working at an IT company and is very successful selling software.

Their paths cross and they both end up in the same hostel.

Vihaan falls in love with Raina, things speed up here and finally the girl rejects him and conveys she does not wish to see face. This ignites Vihaan’s ego.

So Vihaan and Parth decide to become successful. Vihaan wants to put up his hoarding near Raina’s apartment so she wakes up to it every morning, ironically see his face every day. Parth helps him. Do the love birds reunite, does Vihaan get a hoarding, Is Parth successful in setting up his own Business is what we will have to wait and watch.

The book has a perfect blend of all feelings- love, ambition, most importantly bromance. We also see a couple of business concepts being clearly explained. The book is a pleasant read with lucid writing. The characterization could have been improved especially that of Raina, who seems to be missing for a really long duration and just comes up finally at the end.

The book is a light enjoyable read and I would recommend it as a one-time read. The book uses some unsuitable talks which may not be suitable for a bit younger audience.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Publisher:HALF BAKED BEANS (15 August 2018)
  • ASIN:B07GJLW5LH
  • No of page: 165

MY RATINGS:

Book Title: 3.5/5

Book Cover: 4/5

Plot: 4/5

Characters: 3.5/5

Narration: 3.5/5

Language & Grammar: 3.5/5

Final Rating: 4/5

The book is available on Amazon https://amzn.to/2MSOlo8

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hetansh Desai is the Founder and CEO of Vital20Communication, a marketing consultancy based out of Mumbai. He has pursued his graduation in Liberal Studies and post-graduation in Entrepreneurial Leadership from Babson college, USA. You can find him in Ahmadabad- as his family lives there- or in Mumbai, or on a cheap, midnight SpiceJet flight.

In his free time, he loves playing and watching cricket, reading the Bhagavad Gita over and over again and listening to music. His hobbies include writing and public speaking.

Review of heart quake by Ishita Deshmukh

BLURB:

Bhuj. Circa, 2001. A city wrecked by a massive earthquake. They met after ten long years. Their hearts wrecked by the promise of togetherness that could never be. As love tries to bloom again in the unlikeliest of places, intrigue sets in. Fleeting shadows… Hidden eyes… Mysterious deaths. What will happen when the tremors of love collide? Will he make it to the epicentre of love? Will her heart quake? Only Heart Quake will tell…

MY REVIEW:

The plot is set in the disastrous background of Gujarat earthquake in 2001. Sonal Patel whose a nurse comes to Bhuj to assist her team of doctors to treat people who keep coming in the wake of the quake. It is predominantly a romantic story also highlighting the ghastly reality of a natural disaster that shook the nation in 2001.

Sonal comes to Bhuj to look for her friend, Smita; who lived in the same city . But she comes across Tejas her ex-boyfriend; who was there to pick themost challenging medical cases for his soon to be launched multi-specialty hospital.We also have Dilip, who was Sonal’s friend all these years and was to be her fiancée.There are a couple more relationships going on this plot. Say nurse Pooja from Sonal’s team who falls for Tejas.

Amongst all this, unidentified to any of them, there are uncivilized agents at work in this disastrous times hell-bent on filling their pockets at the cost of scarcely surviving human lives.

Can Sonal find Smita among the rubbles? Will she resolve her troubles with Tejas? Or will she move ahead to the next phase of life with her fiancée.

The portrayal of characters is very well done with notable importance to each and every character. The character of Sonal’s mom, was also portrayed well where she calmly advises her daughter. But in the end its only Sonal who gets the Spotlight.

The narration was lucid and flows fluently. I didn’t have to look up words to understand what they meant, such simple was the use of words by Author. The emotional quotient was managed commendably.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Author: Ishita Deshmukh
  • Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: LiFi Publications Pvt. Ltd. (2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9386191490
  • ISBN-13: 978-9386191496

MY REVIEW:

Book Title: 4/5

Book Cover: 4/5

Plot: 4/5

Characters: 3.5/5

Narration: 3.5/5

Language & Grammar: 3.5/5

Final Rating: 4/5

The book is available on Amazon https://amzn.to/2oakecS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ishita Deshmukh is, in many ways, a mascot for national integration! Born to Bengali and Gujarati parents, she grew up on a steady diet of Tamil culture and French literature in Puducherry. If that wasn’t enough, she is married to a Telugu bidda. She has this uncanny (and unnerving) ability to switch between six different languages in the course of a conversation. She is a multi-tasking marketing professional who currently runs a small home business in Singapore and helps with her family business back home at Puducherry. She is passionate about the arts, loves painting, playing the piano and embroidery, but has always dreamt of becoming a writer. She is a regular fixture at the neighbourhood library and has a special place in her heart for romantic fiction. So, get ready to devour Heart Quake, the first of many delicious fares from her literary cauldron.

Review of The Friend by Teresa Driscoll

BLURB:

On a train with her husband, miles from home and their four-year-old son, Ben, Sophie receives a chilling phone call. Two boys are in hospital after a tragic accident. One of them is Ben.

She thought she could trust Emma, her new friend, to look after her little boy. After all, Emma’s a kindred spirit—someone Sophie was sure she could bare her soul to, despite the village rumors. But Sophie can’t shake the feeling that she’s made an unforgivable mistake and now her whole family is in danger.

Because how well does she know Emma, really? Should she have trusted her at all?

Time is running out. Powerless to help her child, still hours from home, Sophie is about to discover the truth. And her life will never be the same.

MY REVIEW:

This is one of the books where the plot turns out to be gripping and keeping you intrigued. It was one psychological thriller that was full of mystery, suspense and an impressively manipulative character in recent times.

The story goes like two friends Emma and Sophie whose kids are close in age. Sophie moved to Tedbury with her husband and son Ben. She immediately strikes a friendship chord with Emma. Sophie is inconsolable when she receives a call mentioning that the boys had an accident and are in the hospital. Most of the story narration is from Sophie’s point of view, but we have the other character’s view as well. The story unfolds in present time and flashbacks.

The plot occasionally skips to different character perspectives for a chapter or two to advance the story and the threads all pull together in a great crescendo at the end of the book.

The narration was good but at places too dramatic, in fact an overdose.

We’ve all been fooled by people who come into our lives bringing excitement with them, only to turn against us in the end. The word friend now has a new meaning after reading this book. I feel that this book is different from “I am watching you” by this Author. It is the best kind of thriller—one that doesn’t sacrifice portrayal for thrills. There are twists and turns that makes you want to gasp for breath. The book is creepy and intense and the suspense keeps you intrigued till the end.

BOOK DETAILS:

Author: Teresa Driscoll

Publisher: Thomas and Mercer

ISBN: 1542046661

ISBN13: 9781542046664

Genre: Suspense, thriller

MY RATINGS:

Cover- 4.5 stars

Title- 4 stars

Blurb- 4 stars

Plot- 4 stars

Writing and Presentation- 4 stars

Overall- 4.5 out of 5 stars

The book is available on Amazon

Amazon : https://amzn.to/2LxyqG2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

For more than twenty-five years as a journalist – including fifteen years as a BBC TV news presenter – Teresa Driscoll followed stories into the shadows of life. Covering crime for so long, she watched and was deeply moved by all the ripples each case caused, and the haunting impact on the families, friends and witnesses involved. It is those ripples that she explores in her darker fiction. Teresa lives in beautiful Devon with her husband and two sons. She writes women’s fiction as well as thrillers, and her novels have been published in six languages. You can find out more about her books on her website (www.teresadriscoll.com) or by following her on Twitter (@TeresaDriscoll) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/teresadriscollauthor).