Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Review-Knitted Tales by Rubina Ramesh

A Collection of Emotions


What forces an innocent girl to become a sex symbol? Her desires? Or cruel fate? 

Is a lifetime enough—for avenging a betrayal? How do you hide secrets that never stopped haunting you? 

Can vengeance and secrets of your past devastate your present? How can long-buried crimes of yours suddenly raise their head? Can sinning be saving?

Is your spouse your soulmate? What if they never understood your feelings? Can you still live with them?

Lastly, does life give only two options? Live or die? What if there is a third?

In her debut anthology, Rubina Ramesh tries to find answers to these questions that are often from the heart and yet makes the mind ponder over the solution. Or is it the other way round? Either way, Knitted Tales is a bouquet of emotions that is bound to touch both your head and your heart.

My Honest Review :

         I have always admired Rubina as a person. Though I had met her for first time few months back, our online conversations always left me awed of her. Inspite of the time difference (she stays in Arizona), she is always there promoting authors, their books, managing work of The Book Club (fondly known as TBC), sorting out issues of reviewers or helping out. I always wonder when does this lady sleeps???
   As much as I am in awe of her as a person I also loved her style of writing. Having read some of her articles n reviews, which I loved reading I always wondered why she never penned a book???

 So when her first book was released I was curious to read her creation and I am left speechless.

Knitted Tales, is a collection of 12 short stories which author has penned through her various stages of her life, gathering instances from her surroundings and experiences. Each story has a deep meaning and emotions which a reader can feel while reading it. Each story has a hidden message which makes us think and analyze, put ourselves in the protagonist place and think.

Some of the stories and what I felt after reading the stories are:

A Secret in their Closet: spooky yet heart touching story.

Betrayal: An classic story of domestic violence but with unusual ending.

Chiclets: story of any teenage girl in foreign land who faces criticism and racism due to her dark skin tone. The best part is how the girl overcomes this problem in her own sweet way is definitely a lesson adults must learn.

Forgive me, for I have sinned: story of teenage love followed by heartbreak which results in the struggle of a man to become successful.

Lolita: Lalita, an innocent girl in her teens, what forces her to become a sexy siren?

No regrets: an educated Indian woman, who struggles to find her own identity and feet in foreign land, without breaking her marriage and making her husband understand her dilemma.

SuvarnaRekha: heart wrenching love story.

The lil Godmother: this story is a common one which every child faces with the arrival of his/her younger sibling. This story definitely is a lesson all parents must learn to prevent that green eyed monster seeping in between the siblings.

The Missing Staircase, The Other Woman, Daddy hear me out are also heart touching stories which touches you to core especially Daddy hear me out.

Finally, Cliff Notes: left me speechless to core.

In other words, Knitted Tales is a nice mix of human emotions, and morals of life which one must never forget. Nice work Rubina, can’t wait to read more of your works. 

Grab your copy @

Amazon India | Amazon USA
Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Amazon Australia

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 About the author

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. 

Her other published works include:

'Home is where Love is’ a short story in the anthology Writings from the Heart. Ed. by Beth Ann Masarik. 
‘You Stole My Heart’ and ‘Let me Go’. Short stories as a part of the anthology Long and Short of It by Indireads.
'Wake Me Up' as a part of the anthology Marijuana Diaries by Fablery Publishers.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Review-Shadowed Promise by Sunanda Chatterjee

From riots in Bombay to the riches of Beverly hills...
Sunanda Chatterjee


Moyna’s cousin panted at the doorway, heavy with child. “Who did this to you?” her father shouted. And Moyna knew that somehow she would be blamed for this unspeakable shame on the family. Her aunt blamed her for all the tragedies, from the death of Moyna’s own parents to the riots in Bombay. But, as her cousin lay dying of stab wounds, Moyna promised to protect the baby.

In a panic, eighteen-year-old Moyna made a hasty decision that would return to haunt her years later. 

Bullied as a child, Sameer wants to make the world a safer place.  He has spurned a cushy career in his father’s law firm for public service. Sameer is drawn to the mysterious Moyna when they meet in Los Angeles. The attraction seems mutual, but Moyna remains cautious and secretive about her past, insulating herself from love to protect others from her unlucky curse.

At the cusp of political victory, Sameer faces increasing gun violence and death threats leading to an FBI investigation. But his greatest challenge comes when a shadow from Moyna’s past threatens to destroy their future.

What hope do they have with the media hungering for a scandal?

A story of friendship, redemption, and forgiveness, “Shadowed Promise” is a journey from blind faith to triumphant love.

Read an excerpt of #SP here:

Sameer chased after Moyna as she opened the side-door to the stairwell. When the door nearly swung shut, he stuck in his foot and opened it again. She had already reached the landing, so he took the stairs two at a time. “Moyna, I wanted to say congratulations!”
Her face glowed in the cardinal and gold graduation gown. A low pony swung below the cap, the tassels of which hung at her cheek. She looked happy. She smiled at him, for a moment, without holding back. Her smile was dazzling in its brilliance. Why didn’t she smile more?
She said, “Was that all you wanted?”
He grinned. You have no idea what I want! “I was thinking… now that you’ve graduated, maybe we can take this to the next level.”
She stared at him. “Sameer, I have a lot of baggage. There are things about my past… I can never tell you.”
“I don’t care about the past. I want to know if there’s any hope of a future for us.”
She sighed, a sorrowful, regretful sigh that turned his heart cold, as if she had slapped him on his face. She would never let him into her heart. But she said, “You’ll never be satisfied with what I can offer.”
You’ve offered me nothing before! He put his arm around her waist and pulled her close. “As long as you’re giving me all you can offer. Moyna, you have no idea what you make me feel. Just be with me. With time, you’ll trust me enough to let me into that wonderful heart of yours.”
She stared with those hypnotic eyes. Her lip trembled a little. And he had no doubt she felt the same way. He drew her closer, held her face, and pressed his lips to hers, as her cap fell to the floor.
Her lips felt petal soft against his, her arms on his back felt like chains from which he never wanted freedom. His hands roved over her neck and back and came to rest on her hips. The smell of her perfume, her breath, the feel of her skin against his, intoxicated him.
Above and below them, footsteps of students echoed in the stairwell. He hungered for breath, but couldn’t let go. She seemed to melt in his arms as she clung to him, teasing his hair, and raking his back.
When she pulled away, he wondered what year it was.
She was panting.
He watched his reflection dance in her eyes and it felt so right. That’s all he wanted. Her image in his eyes, and his in hers. Nothing else mattered. “I … I think I’m in love with you.”
He felt her stiffen as she took a step back. Did I say something wrong? Her expression was inexplicable. Her lips trembled, her eyes moistened, and it seemed that every fiber of her body wanted to be with him.
And yet he heard her saying, “I can’t do this!” She turned away and darted down the corridor toward her room.
He chased after her and grabbed her wrist. “I don’t understand. Is there someone else?”
She whirled around to face him, eyes wild with panic. “What? Yes. Yes, there’s someone else!”
She tried to wrench her hand free, but he tightened his grip. “Who? Karan? How come I’ve never met him?”
She stopped struggling. “You’ll never understand. Please, Sameer, I can’t be with you. Walk away from me. For your own good. It’s best for both of us.”
“I don’t believe it.” He jabbed his finger at the stairwell. “Just a minute ago you were kissing me. Tell me it meant nothing to you!”
He saw a sparkle of tears in her eyes and his face softened. “Moyna, look into my eyes and tell me you don’t love me.”
She didn’t say anything. He wrapped her into a powerful embrace and kissed her, tasting the tears on her cheeks. He shivered as her hands snaked below his arms and ran up his back, hooking around his shoulders; she clung to him, and their bodies molded into each other.
He felt the warmth of her breath, her skin, and her flesh, and knew he never wanted to be with anyone else. After a moment’s hesitation, she kissed him back, sending his head spinning.
He lifted her off her feet with ease and pinned her against the wall. She wrapped her arms around his neck and nipped at his lips, as his hand found her breast. Control was out of the question. The fire of that raw desire burnt any logic he had left. He wanted her as much as she wanted him.
And then she struggled out of his embrace. A sharp pain pierced through his numbed consciousness when she stamped on his shoe with her three inch heel. He winced and hopped on one foot.
Panting, she glared at him and scrubbed her mouth. Then she pushed against him with both her hands, her eyes brimming with angry tears. “You arrogant, presumptuous, selfish bastard! Just because you’ve never been refused anything in your life, you think you can go about taking what’s not yours.”
Confused, he frowned and took a step toward her as she backed into the wall. “But you’re mine, Moyna!”
She gave a scornful laugh. “Your wealth means nothing to me. Your beauty means nothing to me. You’ll never be like Karan. Karan was brave, noble and selfless. You’re nothing!”
Sameer stepped back, his mind in turmoil. She hates me. Her dalliance with him had been a farce. The last three years had been a lie. He rubbed his forehead, stunned. “Wh…”
She yelled in a shaking voice, “Do you hear me? You mean nothing to me! Leave me alone.”

He clenched his fists, turned on his heel, and walked away, his steps booming in the quiet corridor, as his future with her vanished into oblivion.

My Honest Review :

            What is a Promise? What are the consequences that one faces when one gives a promise to protect his/her near and dear ones? To what extent does one go to fulfill a given promise?

            What effect does a child’s psych have when the child is branded as unlucky or is blamed as the cause of all the untoward incidences just because there is no one else to blame.

            Shadowed Promise by Sunanda Chatterjee efficiently portrays how a woman’s insecurity and jealousy can spoil and mar so many near and dear one’s lives.

            Moyna who is orphaned at a very young age is reared by her Kaka and Kakima in Bombay. But Kakima, for some unknown reason, hates her and keeps taunting her for her existence and blames her for every untoward, natural/unnatural incidence. This leaves a everlasting effect on Moyna’s psych.

            What I loved about Shadowed Promise is the manner in which Sunanda has portrayed each character’s short comings and strength. Be it Moyna’s fear, her battered, injured, innocent yet strong mind, Kakima’s insecurity and hatred towards Moyna and protectiveness towards Avinash, Sameer’s Casanova image yet his strong love for Moyna, his narrow mind attitude towards adoption inspite his upbringing, his non-tolerance towards bullying, Avinash’s scared and protected upbringing by Kakima, etc all are commendable.

            Inclusion of Bomaby riots during Babri Masjid demolition and its effect on the protagonist’s life is also mention worthy.

            Shadowed Promise is a mixture of love, hate, jealousy, insecurity; in other words it’s a potpourri of human emotions. Nice and interesting read, thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Grab your copy @

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About the author

Freelance 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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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Review - Deepti Menon's Shadow in the Mirror

Shadow In The Mirror 
Deepti Menon

Publisher: Readomania 


It all begins with a death. Nita, a pregnant woman falling from her balcony becomes the string that unravels the plot. Her death casts a shadow over many lives; her heartbroken father, her husband and Vinny, a young journalist, drawn in by the whiff of foul play and murder.

What follows are stories within stories, eras and worlds colliding with each other, leaving behind splintered relationships and mesmerizing slices of lives that appear to be drawn together and driven apart by the whimsical threads of destiny.
As events cast their shadows ahead to link the stories of Vinny, Kavita, Roma, Krish and Nita in an unrelenting knot, a journey starts to uncover the truth. What is the secret that links Nita’s death to the other characters? Will Vinny be able to unravel the mystery of Nita’s death?

From intimate diary entries and letters, to bantering over a meal and sharing memories while spring cleaning, this novel de-familiarizes the ordinary, presenting a kaleidoscope of our own pasts, broken edges and pulsating hearts. 

 My Honest Review

           Title of book makes one think, it might be a paranormal/spooky story. But as you get reading, you feel ‘No, it’s not a paranormal thing involving ghosts or supernatural beings. It’s different.’

          Though this is the first time I am reading Deepti Menon’s work, I must say, she is one hell of a story teller.         

But this book has some plus points and some minus points which left me bit disappointed.

Some of the plus points of the plot… the manner in which the story starts with a murder/suicide, weaves through past and present of various characters and then reaches the climax are noteworthy. Each character’s past is unrevealed to show the effect it had on the character which made them what they are today. Loved the fact that the author has portrayed how a childhood incident can mar/affect a person’s psychology. If we choose to move ahead forgetting that incident we can achieve great heights or else we end up spoiling ours and others life too in the process.

Minus points of the plot… too many unwanted characters. Too much of flashbacks and fast forwards took away essence of a good story plot. There is no mention of how does Vinny manage to find Meghna? I felt if some characters were avoided then it would have helped the reader to maintain a track and understand the story better and would have made the read more enjoyable.

But other than that, I loved the unique essence of the story, use of simple and easy language, description of each character, their state of mind and their turmoil in detail, eye catching book cover. 

Grab your copy @

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About the Author

Deepti Menon has always believed in the power of the pen. Having done her post graduation in English Literature and her B.Ed. in English, she had the option of teaching and writing, and did both with great enjoyment. She started writing at the age of ten, long before she acquired a Diploma in Journalism. She also had the advantage of being an Army kid, and later an Army wife, and loved the idea of travelling around India, meeting new people and acquiring new skills. She firmly believes that much of her personality was honed during those travels.

In 2002, her light hearted book, ‘Arms and the Woman’, depicting life as seen through the eyes of an Army wife, was published by Rupa Publishers, Delhi. This was written mainly to reveal the warmth and camaraderie within the great institution. She is now working on her second book that is a work of fiction, and not- to-be divulged yet! 

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Book Review - Anupama Garg's The Tantric Curse

Usually we choose a book to read; by reading its review or if it’s by our favorite author or maybe interesting blurb, there are “n” number of reasons why we choose a particular book. But what if a book chooses you? Never heard or experienced? I am not referring about receiving book as gift…

I have been reading books since I can remember but I started reviewing them since past one and half year or so. But I have never been so startled when I started to read this particular book. When I got mail, asking if I am interested in reviewing The Tantric Curse, I was bit skeptical. Tantra, magic always interested me, but had never read anything about it. I goggled about the book and I got interested.

When I received it, first thing which caught my attention was the book cover. When I started reading it, slowly I realized this THE book which I needed at this moment and I am happy I have read it.

On an amavasya night, eight-year old Rhea mysteriously lands at the doors of Shaktidham, a Tantric house of worship, in a trance. Realizing that she is blessed with unusual faculties, the guru of Shaktidham, Satya, chooses her as a disciple over his own son, Krishnam, to carry on his lineage, a privilege previously bestowed only to males. But the lineage has been cursed for generations, and it is up to Rhea to either break the curse or perish in the attempt.

Will she succeed in her endeavor or will her love for Krishnam become an obstacle in her path? The Tantric Curse, an unusual story set in the world of the Tantra – that aims to dispel most of the myths about the practice – will keep you spellbound till the very last page.

Is The Tantric Curse fact or fiction? The Tantric Curse, one might feel is too true to be a fiction if you believe in magic /tantra and if you don’t, then you might feel otherwise.

Plus points of the book: detailed explanations of Indian festivals, why and how are they celebrated, detailed information and meaning of hymns and mantras, and are explained in context of the story. It is so well blended with the story that you will not feel any part is introduced suddenly or abruptly.

People usually associate tantra with black magic and occult and this very conception is cleared through this book. This book is a must read and in today’s current scenario it’s necessary to explore ourselves, know and conquer our fears, insecurity and move ahead.

This book is not only a good read but also imparts good information about Indian festivals, tantra, black magic, spirituality and holistic approach to life.

The characters, be it Rhea, Krishnam, Satya or Dr. Vishnukant are well-etched. But the only part which I found difficult to understand is the part where Dr. Vishnukant forces himself on Rhea. Rhea being such a powerful person, how can she allow that to happen?

Also some of characters, who had come to Shaktidham or to Rhea for consultations, after recovery, their stories, are left mid-way. I would have loved it if something was written about how their life progressed after their healing.

Other than these two points I loved the book, awesome read, unique topic, well written.  I am indeed happy that I read this book at right juncture of my life. 

You can buy your copy from Amazon

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Book Review - Aarti V Raman's With you I Dance

Book Tour

With You I Dance
Aarti V Raman


Meera Sagar had everything—the perfect job as a principal ballerina (for a prestigious New York ballet company) and a man who loved her as much as she loved him. But tragedy struck on the night before her biggest performance, forcing her to do the one thing she never wanted to do—come back home. To Mumbai.

Now, a year later, Meera is still trying to pick up the pieces, while fending off marriage proposals from her well-meaning but traditional Gujarati family, and figure life out all over again. By starting a ballet school in Mumbai. But she has two problems. One, she doesn’t know anything about running a business. And two, she can’t dance. Not anymore.

Enter . . .
Abeer Goswami. Hotshot junior partner at a South Bombay law firm and a man nursing a broken heart. When he meets Meera again, the woman who left him, he tries his hardest to be her friend, to help her . . . and not let the past get in the way.

And then . . .
There is the sexy Zoya Sehgal. Meera’s only friend in the city and the woman Abeer is currently seeing. They say triangles have pointy edges, for a reason. Will Meera find a new dream in her ballet school? Can Abeer and Meera find their way back to each other again? And, most important, has Meera danced for the last time?

With you I dance is a warm, funny, at times heart-rending, love story of second chances, true love, and finding yourself when your dearest dream has vanished.

My Review:

            Dance is a form of art. Dance is a form of expressing emotions. Dance is medium of expressing love. But what if dance is your first love?

            With you I Dance is a romantic story of Meera and her love for a dance form called Ballet. Abeer is her love interest; he is her motivation, her support but ballet is her first love. Meera had only one dream since she was three; to become a ballerina. She fights with her parents and convinces them to let her go to New York to join the prestigious ballet company there. But on the day her long cherished dream was gonna come true, she freezes on stage before her first big performance and destroys her future prospectus. Heartbroken she comes back home to Mumbai.

            After she comes back, she faces another dilemma which each and every Indian girl faces once she comes to a marriageable age. But she doesn’t want to get married, she wants to start her own ballet school and fulfill her dream. Since she has to prove to her parents that she can run a business of which she has zero idea or experience she seeks help of her childhood friend Zoya. But she comes face to face with Abeer whom she loves and had left on that unfateful night without any answer or explanation.

            Will Meera face her inner demons and rise? Will Abeer take her back in his life?

            With you I Dance is a full on romantic story with a love triangle: Meera, ballet and Abeer. It’s a typical love story. Aarti has done great research on ballet which is shown by detailed description of dance steps, music etc… kudos on that. The manner in which each character is depicted is good. Sarita, as a typical gujju mother, who though has modern dressing but has typical Indian motherly mindset, Father and staunch businessman Amrit Sagar, for whom each minute is equal to money.  Loved Bullet aka Niketu Sagar, sensible, supportive brother, which every sister wishes to have. Zoya, the so-called competitor to Meera, Meera, confused yet ambitious and lastly Abeer, strong understanding boyfriend of Abeer.

            Though the storyline is good, would have loved to read little bit more details of Abeer’s childhood, the time Meera and Abeer spent together in New York, her initial struggle etc. But liked the manner in which Meera’s middle class family has been portrayed, their thinking is connectable with any normal middle class family in real. The dilemma which Meera faces; to follow her dream or to obey her parents wish, is also which every girl having dreams can connect.

            Good work by Aarti. With you I Dance is all about falling in love with oneself, discovering ones true calling and standing tall after having fallen from a considerable height. 

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About the Author

Aarti V Raman is an established novelist in the romantic thriller genre (White Knight, Kingdom Come) with her third book, a contemporary romance titled “With You I Dance” out soon with Fingerprint Publishing.

29 years old, she graduated from Mumbai University in 2007 with a degree in Mass Media focused on Journalism, which provided her the perfect background for conducting sound research on any project. She then went on to study Creative and Professional Writing at Deakin University in Melbourne for post-graduation in 2008. It was there that she learned to hone her craft and lifelong ambition of writing romances that had strong characters and stronger stories that remained etched in the reader's minds.

While waiting for her big break, Aarti pursued commercial writing and gained a vast amount of knowledge (from fishing tackle to soft toys) that she claims have helped her with molding better stories. Her first novel "White Knight" was published by Leadstart in 2012 and gave her the impetus to continue writing. In 2013, her work was excerpted in the Tamil Edition of Mills and Boon novels. And in 2014, her short story "Post-Coital Cigarette" was chosen to be part of the Rupa Romance Anthology "An Atlas of Love" curated by bestselling author Anuja Chauhan.

Her latest novel "Kingdom Come" (Harlequin MIRA) has enjoyed a brief stay at the bestseller lists in Amazon India. Her work is represented by Red Ink Literary Agency, Delhi. And very recently, she was a speaker and panellist at the Goa Arts and Literary Fest 2014, Vth Edition.

She is currently expanding her skill set to include copy editing, content marketing, and creative writing workshop that help her explore the wonderful world of words in various forms.

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Book Blitz-Varsha Dixit's Killer Moves

Killer Moves by Varsha Dixit Blurb Everyone has a secret. Aisha Khatri has many!  Aisha’s life is seemingly ...