Monday, September 18, 2017

Book Review-Olivier Lafont's SnowBound



SNOWBOUND
by
Olivier Lafont



Blurb
Christmas is dying. 

The last Santa Claus had triplets who each inherited a portion of his father’s power, and that split is now tearing apart the soul of Christmas. 

Niccolo Vecchio, the eldest, has fortified the North Pole into a citadel of ice and metal. 

Santini, the middle brother, is in hiding somewhere in the Mediterranean. 

The youngest brother, Niccolo Piccolo, is raising legions to reclaim his inheritance. 

Two of the triplets will have to renounce their claim in the next forty-eight hours, or this Christmas will be the last one ever. 

And it’s up to Adam, underachieving teenager sub-ordinaire, and his brand new jock bully Zach to make that happen…

My Honest Review:

            Since childhood we have heard and associated Christmas with fat, pot-bellied, white bearded Santa, his reindeer, his elves and his laugh ho ho ho. We always picture him as a jovial old man who loves children and can never be mean to anyone. Whenever we mention Christmas we have an inbuilt, typical image of Santa in his red and white robe, reindeer and elves in their green dress.

            But Snowbound by Olivier Lafont is story of Santa’s three sons with a big twist.

            Though it is a fiction with childhood fantasy theme, it has an adult angle (with reference to age and antagonist and not otherwise).

            Olivier Lafont has panache for writing stories with suspense and mystery. His Sweet Revenge was first book I read and I had liked his writing style. Similarly Snowbound too has mystery around Santa’s three sons and captures reader’s attention right from start till the end.

            The story is just too addictive; you really can’t stop till you finish it.

            But there are few drawbacks which I would like to mention. The author has used foreign dialect but no translations of those are given. I would have liked it if the translation was mentioned below, as not all are well versed or have knowledge of French, Italian or Ukraine dialect.

            Also in couple of sentences I found some simple editing errors which could have been avoided.

            But other than that, I absolutely loved reading Snowbound even if it is little difficult to imagine Santa’s children in negative avtar.

            Snowbound is a must read if you like fantasy, fiction and Christmas with Santa. 

Grab your copy @


About the author



Olivier Lafont is a French author, screenplay writer, and actor living in Paris. 

His novel 'Warrior' was published by Penguin Random House, and was shortlisted for the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize. He has just released his new contemporary romance novel 'Sweet Revenge' exclusively on Kindle. 'Purgatory: The Gun of God' is a fantasy novelette published in South Africa. 

Lafont has written a number of feature film scripts before. The first film he wrote opened at the Toronto Film Festival and went on to win seven awards at film festivals worldwide. 

As an actor Lafont has acted in Hollywood and Indian films, in TV serials, and in over 80 television commercials. He acted in '3 Idiots', one of India's all-time blockbuster hits, the critically-acclaimed 'Guzaarish', and the Lifetime film 'Baby Sellers', amongst other films. 

Lafont graduated with two degrees in acting and writing from Colgate University, USA, with academic distinction. 

You can stalk him @ 


                    

MEDIA MENTIONS

Deccan Chronicle
Indian Express
Khaleej Times: Enid Parker

AWARDS
‘Warrior’ shortlisted for Tibor Jones South Asia Prize
‘Hari Om’ feature film winner of seven prizes in international film
festivals 



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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Hospital-Place of healing or Mental torture???


We Indians are God fearing people. We fear God and consider some as God.

In India, people blindly follow spirituality and believe doctors amongst many other things, and when you have a hospital which is associated with a well known temple , then common people go blind, dumb and deaf and these people make use of people’s faith in filling their money banks.

There is a hospital near my place, which is one of its kind, a multi-specialty hospital with a tagline ‘Serving in Devotion’. We regularly visit as we get all doctors and other facilities under same roof, and it's convenient as it's near to my place. But since over a period of time, I had experiences, which really made me think “Are these people really following their tagline or are they really a Non-Profit Organization as their website claims?”

Case 1: My daughter who has epilepsy was advised EEG by her neurologist. On the appointed day (Friday) inspite of giving two dose of sleep inducing medicine (which I doubt whether it was genuine or no as she didn’t sleep even after reaching home), she didn’t sleep so we were given another appointment for Monday. So again on Monday we woke her up at odd hour in morning didn’t allow her to sleep till we reached hospital that is around noon.

While I headed straight to the EEG department, my hubby went to do the payment and get the bill. When I reached the department I was informed that the machine is not working since morning and all appointments have been cancelled, still you wait till 12.15 (we had reached at 11.30am) till the technician comes. When I asked why we were not informed, a rather rude reply came saying it's not our duty ask reception. After couple of minutes hubby comes with the bill and he is told the technician is late wait till 12.15. He is not told about the machine not working. By this time our daughter who has been awake since past 10 hours starts to doze off. So he goes off to the reception to enquire, where again they start replying as if it's not their fault. The explanation they gave was, they usually take only four patients but since ours was carry-over of Friday we were in waiting list and it didn’t show in their system. Somehow my hubby was convinced with an apology and sent for a refund of our amount. 

There again he is told to get it written that refund has to be made. Now my hubby loses his cool, that’s when senior staff intervenes, hears him out and gives the refund without any further fuss. When I come down I am again apologized but the tone didn’t mean it. I lost my cool and asked, if it's not your fault whose is it? Why were the billing department not informed about it? Why did they not inform us when we had gone to pay the amount? Do these people have an iota of feelings or no? The tone in which that receptionist was apologizing was like I should be grateful that we are offered an apology inspite of they being wrong. All we got was a sympathetic look, an apology and a promise that our appointment will be rescheduled and there will be no mistake this time.

           As if this was not enough, when I went to collect the report it stated my daughter as Male. When I asked for correction as I have to submit it for a mediclaim the technician gave me some story saying the report has come from the Doctor so she can't get new printout and so she put some whitener and did the correction. See what a shoddy work she has done. A school going child can do a better work.




Seriously is this a municipality hospital or what???


Case 2: A senior most ophthalmologist told my parents (both mom and dad) to undergo Cataract Surgery ASAP couple of months back when they had gone for their regular checkup. What followed next is everyone’s guess. But since the mediclaim they have don’t recognize this hospital, we went to another one which the mediclaim has listed and when they got their eyes checked there… (Hold your breath)  Dad does have cataract but in initial stage and mom doesn’t have it at all.

Imagine if we had gone ahead with the surgery??? What a waste of money, time and energy it would have been, not to mention stress.

This same ophthalmologist had also suggested squint correction surgery for my daughter who tends to squint when she is tired/drowsy or has any infection. This was nearly 3 years back. Her eyes are perfectly fine. We had taken second opinion from another ophthalmologist who told she doesn’t have any squint.

Case 3: Last year I had sought counseling from Physcologist, who had suggested some physco-analaysis test. The report had husband’s name spelt wrong and also in history there was information which was not mine. When I pointed out, the counselor told “Oh this history belongs to other patient. My assistant made a mistake”. Does that mean you copy paste the reports?

Case 4: Last year my daughter was admitted in the same hospital for high fever and had aspirated while vomiting. The doctor-in-charge (another senior most) who was handling her case and all the RMO’s who were on rounds would insist on insertion of PEG tube just because she had aspirated now and had pneumonia when she was 8 months old. The senior doctor went a step ahead and told me if it's not done then this aspiration and pneumonia will keep repeating and every time we won’t be able to help her.  He even gave me a reference letter for surgeon in the hospital for the same. My daughter who can chew, bite and eat everything, is recommended a PEG tube by doctors who know her since a couple of days since she was admitted or just after seeing her admission file in hospital…

Are those words to be told by any doctor to a mother?

Seriously… are they doctors??? Or are they just people sitting there to trap gullible people part with their hard earned money by scaring them and insisting on unnecessary procedures/surgeries.

Is this how spirituality and charity or serving with devotion works???

This is same hospital, who flaunts their NABH certification “Mark of Excellence”. Is this excellence?

I won’t say all doctors in hospital are money minded. There are some doctors who really think for benefit of the patient and not themselves or hospitals. But like a bad apple spoils the whole basket, similarly few mean, money minded doctors spoil the name of the whole profession.

All I suggest, as I have been telling to all whom I know and in some of my previous blogs,

·        Never blindly follow any medical advice.
·         Always seek a second opinion.
·        If both the opinions differ go for third.

It's better to be safe than sorry. Money can be earned but once health is damaged, it's a long road for recovery.

This is a glass of water taken from an ocean, many more experiences and incidents coming up soon in future.


          Stay safe… Stay healthy… 
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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Book Review-Sahil Mehta's If You Never Try You Will Never Know



IF YOU NEVER TRY, YOU WILL NEVER KNOW
by
Sahil Mehta



Blurb


Robin, who gets inspired by his mother to become a musician, is forced by his father to pursue the education needed to join their family business. This compels him to leave home at the age of eighteen to follow his dreams. In few months of independent living, his over-ambitious dreams turn into an obsession, which gets even more intense when he falls into a drug addiction, and mysteriously unleashes a new side to his life.

During this journey, he meets Aisha. They talk, play and fall in love. Her exquisite beauty defines the melody of his musical journey as they both fall deep in love with each other. But Robin's obsession with his dream and a struggling career become an obstacle in their relationship. Is their love strong enough to overcome complexities?

During these tumultuous times, Robin's flat mate Jordan begins to motivate him to follow his heart. Jordan becomes his philosopher and guru but not for very long-what makes Robin lose trust in him? Discover how he finds a spiritual path after being disheartened during his struggle to achieve success.

Amidst the ups and downs in his career, love and life, find out what destiny holds for Robin. Will he find success in music industry or will he end up joining his father's business? Experience a thrilling story that will inspire you to believe in your love and dreams.


My Honest Review:

            Everyone have their own set of dreams and passion. But few chose to follow them. While couple of them, give up after facing the hurdles, few achieve success after facing the initial struggles which make them think “Whether I did the right thing?”

            “If You Never Try You Will Never Know” is an apt title to the story of Robin Gupta. Robin, who has to live up to his father’s expectations and not disappoint him but also want to pursue his dream of becoming a musician.

            This is not the usual love story with happy ending. The climax is different and unexpected. But the story, well, though provoking.

            This story is inspirational as it urges the readers that come what may in life, one mustn’t give up and if you don’t try to achieve your goals or dreams, you will never know. Give it a chance, you will face initial hurdles as life is not as simple as we might think but don’t give up.

            Being a debut author, Sahil has done a good job, simple yet different love story with unique ending. The author has wonderfully expressed the mayhem Robin faces, his difficulties, his struggle, his helplessness and his hallucinations.

            Mainly, the author wants to convey to his readers, to achieve a positive approach in life and no matter how much difficulties you face one must never give up pursuing one’s dream and passion. 


Grab your copy @

About the author


Sahil Mehta was born and raised in India, and is currently living in the beautiful city of Seattle. Inspired by the power of words, emotions and various life experiences, he naturally gravitated towards writing. If You Never Try, You Will Never Know is his first book, and its story-line is influenced by his childhood dreams. Currently, he is working on a story, based on the characters and places he came across during his stay in the USA. Apart from writing, Sahil enjoys fitness-related activities and listening to music.

                    

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Book Blitz - Ridhi Drolia's The Untold Story





Print Length: 109 pages
Publication Date: June 26, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Genre: Romance 



Love comes in different forms. But in all its forms, it comes with various challenges. Only those who can combat those challenges are true lovers.

The Untold Story is the tale of Vihaan and Riaa. Vihaan falls for Riaa’s charms at first sight and brings to her life crazy adventures and madness. They soon emerge as two hearts with one soul and their intimate fantasies begin to unravel in exotic places.

Their bond experience more downs than ups. These unexpected twists and turns bring Vihaan and Riaa closer and their romantic tale turn into one of lifetime bonding.

The story takes a drastic turn after the lovely couple is blessed with a baby boy. It should be a joyous moment, but instead, haunting memories of Vihaan’s own childhood break out as a fresh wound in his mind.

Read the novel to know what could make a father unhappy in the happiest moment of his life and how he combats his fear. 


It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR





In the author's own words:

"The passion of writing is deep rooted in my blood. 

After completing my Global Business Management certification from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, I joined hands with a few of my friends to start my first venture. 

Post my stint with the venture, I engaged myself in my lovely family life and now I present to you the author in me."


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Sunday, September 3, 2017

Book Review-The Royal Roommate by P G Van


THE ROYAL ROOMMATE
by
P.G.Van



Blurb
My purpose in life is to protect you… 

Sid is Army strong and sinfully sexy. He is tasked to investigate a woman suspected of having connections with a rebel group. The style of investigation was not his choice, and he is asked to move in as the roommate of the person of interest, Amy. 
Amy was thrilled to start her internship in San Francisco and wasn’t expecting a man with rock-solid abs as her roommate. The moment she laid eyes on him, she knew he was bad news. 

The attraction was undeniable and they both wondered how long they could hold on to their resolve. Sid didn’t want to sleep with a suspect even if she was wildly beautiful and sexy. Amy wasn’t interested in a fling. 

Just when Sid is about close his investigation and declare Amy’s innocence, he finds out something about her that changes everything. She becomes the most important person in his life.


My honest review:

          First I would like to ask the author; “Why do all her stories start with a road accident?”

          Jokes apart, The Royal Roommate is a fast-paced, erotica with fully packed romance, suspense and mystery with a royal touch.

          This is third book of P G Van, which I have read and I must say she does have flair of mixing suspense, mystery, erotica and romance, all-in-one and always deliver a hit. This story keeps you glued to your chair and the story from page one till last.

          While reading, I felt that The Royal Roommate is inspired from a hit Hollywood movie on same lines but the movie was a rom-com while this has mystery and suspense and action too.


          The Royal Roommate is a must read if you like fast-paced romantic thriller and also if you have read past works of the author, then this book you mustn’t miss. 

Grab your copy @



About the author

P.G. Van


P.G. Van lives in San Francisco and she published her first novel, Destiny Decides… in October 2015 and cannot stop writing. She loves to spend time with family and is a strong believer of retail therapy (mostly shops for boots and purses!!). She enjoys giving her readers an escape to the world of love and romance.

You can stalk her @

                   

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Book Blitz-LAST MAN SHE'D LOVE by Summerita Rhayne





Print Length: 128 pages
Publication Date: September 24, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Genre: Romantic Comedy 



When best laid plans fall apart...

Lyna is all set to marry a movie mogul, when she finds his pregnant ex at her office, begging her to break the engagement and keep her name out of it. Forced to take her flirtatious boss Guy's help, she sets about to break the engagement. But now she's pulled into deeper involvement with Guy.
One trouble leads to another!

She agrees to visit his palatial country house, posing as his fiancée and is drawn into the family and their antics. Sorting out who's who takes time. A stringent grandfather, an ambitious mother, a frustrated half brother are only the beginning!

Attraction makes things complicated

Propinquity with someone as charming and attractive as Guy doesn't help. But Guy himself is as much of a puzzle as ever. Is he the playboy she thinks him or is there someone else beneath the sardonic pose? Will she ever find out?

Will she break her heart in the process?

It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR






Summerita Rhayne writes contemporary and historical romance with lots of emotional conflict. She first got published in 2013 and has won contests with prestigious publishers such as Harlequin and Harper Collins India. Her pet belief is, if the inspiration is strong enough, the story characters will find a way to make the writer pen them down, even when writing time is in short supply. When cerebrally confronted with the sizzling interaction of two Alpha characters, the only way to get peace is write their book!

At heart, she's a family person and even though she loves her medical teaching profession, she happily becomes a homemaker when not at work. She loves winding down with music, romcoms and cricket (strictly watching only).


You can stalk her @
      
            

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