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???
when her first book was released I was curious to read her creation and I am
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:
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
SHADOWED PROMISE From riots in Bombay to the riches of Beverly hills...
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
Inclusion of Bomaby riots during
Babri Masjid demolition and its effect on the protagonist’s life is also
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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
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.