Sunday, July 23, 2017

Spotlight-Sundari Venkatraman's The Casanova's Wife


(Marriages Made in India Book #4)
by
Sundari Venkatraman



Blurb

Bharat is the elder of the Maheshwari twins. Being a super model, he travels from Jaipur to Mumbai to Delhi, modelling for high-end brands and playing show stopper during fashion shows. Clothes, jewellery, glares, briefs – you name it and Bharat Maheshwari models for it. 

Dia Mathur is a management trainee based in Mumbai. She’s surprised to find herself at an after event party hosted by a major fashion label, thanks to her best friend. That’s where she meets Bharat, completely unaware of his claim to fame. 

Sparks sizzle and they get together instantaneously. But things fall apart when Dia realises that Bharat is quite the Casanova and might not make for a life partner. She disappears from his life...

...to surface again two years later, at no place other than his family’s drawing room in Jaipur. Will the Casanova turn a new leaf? Or will Dia have to play second, third or fourth fiddle to every gorgeous model who comes into his life?

Read Book #4 from MARRIAGES MADE IN INDIA series to find out more about The Casanova’s Wife.

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also available on #KindleUnlimited

*Also available in paperback format in some countries

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About the author



Sundari Venkatraman is an indie author who has 16 titles to her name, all Top 100 Bestsellers on Amazon India, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada and Amazon Australia in both romance as well as Asian Drama categories. Her latest hot romances have all been on #1Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month.

Even as a kid, Sundari absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as she grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. 

Soon, into her teens, Sundari switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine. Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. 

Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! And Sundari Venkatraman has never looked back.

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Book Review-Just Me, The Sink & The Pot



JUST ME, THE SINK & THE POT
by
Sudesna Ghosh



Blurb

Meet Pamela, an overweight girl who's looking back at her school days. From longing for a Valentine to dealing with a sibling who hates her, Pamela has a lot to deal with. She even has a special bunch of friends at home who she can turn to - but they aren't the kind of friends you'd expect. Life sucks when you're fat. Can Pamela ever be happy?

Read an excerpt of the book here...

One day a classmate asked me, “Where is your lunch?” I told her that I had already had it and went back to my fake laughter and smiles. The others chatted and laughed while they ate from their tiffin boxes. Some brought samosas or ice cream from outside the gate. My hunger pangs got worse as I saw all the food and smelt the delicious odours around me.

The ice cream cart was run by a sweet old man who knew me since I’d started school. He would ask me some days, “Child, you don’t want your favourite orange stick?” I would say no thank you and smile before running away from him and his cart. One day he seemed to be desperate to make me have an ice cream. “Child! Come here and have an ice cream. You don’t have to pay me,” he called out. I smiled, turned around and went to hide in an empty classroom. Two minutes later, I shrieked; the old man had found me. He was carrying a dripping ice cream for me. I started laughing. Then I started running away from him. The old man started running after me!


My classmates were shocked. The sports teacher was happy to see me run for the first time – I had never run before because fat moves when you run. Everybody would laugh. The lunch break ended with me accepting the mostly melted orange stick from the kind ice cream man. We were too tired to talk about the whole event. But it did make me a bit popular that year, with the school Yearbook including the story and a picture of me running away from a 6 feet tall man holding an ice cream.



            My Honest Review:


In India, people have a peculiar mindset when it comes to girl’s physique. She should be fair, neither dark nor wheatish, she should have average height neither tall nor short. She should have a normal slim figure if not size zero and if by mistake you are plump then all the hell breaks loose.

            We all have a stereotype image especially for girls and if they don’t fit into that mould then the girl never hears the end of it.
           
Just me, The Sink and The Pot is the story of a cute girl who is half Bengali and half American and also plump. And instead of accepting her and providing necessary support and making her feel at ease, her mother and sister make it a point to mention her weight, ridicule it and make her feel worse. Only relief for her is her American father, who supports her and tries to make her feel better and also her extended family (her stuffed toys).

The book is a first person narrative by the protagonist Pamela, who faces ridicule at home, at school, everywhere just because she is plump. So instead of real world she tries to find solace by ranting and venting her anger and frustrations, sharing her feelings, her dreams and crushes with her extended family and by writing short stories.

Just me, The Sink and The Pot is collection of Pamela’s day-to-day instances, her experiences which she faces from since she can remember till adolescence.

We often tend to judge people by their physical appearance. But we seldom look at what that person really is. And when such a person is constantly exposed to such ridicule on one’s appearance, the child or for any instance, anyone loses one’s self confidence and becomes an introvert or retracts into his/her shell.

This is perfectly expressed in Just me, The Sink and The Pot by author Sudesna Ghosh. I applaud Sudesna for dealing with such delicate issue in such an innovative yet simple manner.

By use of simple day-to-day happenings of a normal school/college going girl, makes the reader connect and if you had experienced or have seen anyone close going through such difficult stage at any certain point of life, you instantly relate to Pamela and her emotions.

Just me, The Sink and The Pot is an easy and light read but with some thought provoking and emotional stories in an easy and simple language.



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About the author



Sudesna (Sue) Ghosh is a writer based in Kolkata. She was born in the United States and moved to India when she was 9. After completing high school there, she went back to the US for her higher education at the University of Rochester. She has also penned What Would I Tell Her @ 13 and News Now, along with several short stories. When Sudesna isn’t writing, she tries to do her bit for animal welfare.
       

                          


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Sunday, July 2, 2017

Book Review-The Wrong Turn in the Time of Netaji



THE WRONG TURN:
Love and Betrayal in the Time of Netaji
by
Sanjay Chopra & Namita Roy Ghose



Blurb

1944, Kohima — a small, sleepy town in northeast India. Subhash Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army (INA) along with the Japanese, are on the brink of bringing the Empire to its knees and forcing the British out of India. But, inexplicably, the tables turn. The INA’s advance is thwarted and the victory march to Delhi is halted. Seventy years later, the British admit that the Battle of Kohima was the greatest battle they had ever fought. Even more so than the battles of Waterloo and Dunkirk. Was it then that old Indian curse — betrayal? Someone from within Netaji’s own ranks? Were there forces other than the British, waiting in the shadows closer to home, who stood to gain even more from the INA’s defeat? Or was it just love that irrevocably altered the course of India’s destiny? The Wrong Turn: Love and Betrayal in the Time of Netaji, is a sweeping tale of passion set against the freedom struggle. Debraj, the rakish playboy and scion of a distinguished Calcutta family, and Nishonko, the fiery revolutionary sworn to the cause of the INA, must not only fight their common enemy, but also for the love of Aditi, the rebel with the healing touch. A haunting tale of love, friendship and betrayal of an entire nation, The Wrong Turn veers inexorably towards a poignant redemption.



My Honest Review:

            Jealousy is that green-eyed monster which makes one do unthinkable, unmentionable work, which makes not only that person but also people related also to suffer.
           
Human nature is very strange. It believes what the eyes see and what the ears hear, without verifying the facts. And that’s why it's easy to manipulate people who are hurt, insecure and jealous.
           
The Wrong Turn is love triangle story and how the fear of losing one’s beloved and jealousy made INA lose a winning battle.

The Wrong Turn takes you to an era where India was under the British rule and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with his Indian National Army (INA) and help from Japanese was trying to free India.
           
Like many historical love stories we have read or heard wherein love/hate either starts a war or a battle is won. The Wrong Turn is story of three main protagonists Debu (Debraj Mookerjii), Jhilik (Aditi Sen) and Nishonko and how fate brings them together in unexpected circumstances and how their relationship had an adverse effect on the Kohima war.
           
The plot is well developed but complex, can’t take it as a light read as it's intense but gripping too. All the characters, especially the protagonist and immediate characters are well developed. The book is a good cocktail of all human emotions in one. I especially liked the end of the story which is so different from the usual love triangle stories we usually get to read. Also the detailing of the war events is also worth a mention.


So if you like history and if you want to do some serious and intense read than The Wrong Turn is the one. 
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About the authors


The Wrong Turn is a story that traverses the cities of Calcutta, Singapore, Rangoon and Kohima caught up in the blaze of the Second World War. It is about the clash of four desperate forces as they come together in Kohima to vie for the brightest jewel in the crown -- India. Victory will come to those who possess not just the coldest steel but even colder hearts.”

SANJAY CHOPRA is an airline pilot and author of two collections of short stories.  Said and Done and Tailspin stories . He believes that his  office forty thousand feet in the sky and his travels provide him with a view that fuels his vivid storytelling that cuts a wide arc through time and space.

His stories have won the Invisible Ink, the Millennium writers and Southport awards in the UK and USA. In the words of his readers, ‘He is a storyteller like those of the old days, yet his stories are as modern as tomorrow.

He lives in Mumbai with his wife Tisca Chopra, an actress and he is currently working on a film script and a web series. 


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This was a story waiting to be told. So much about Netaji was smoke and mirrors, partial views foisted on us by the British and other vested interests. Here was a man who was a personal hero, who was part of the lore of my childhood. And here was a chance to set the narrative straight - through the lens of a very human yet universal story of love.

During a school project on ‘The most memorable day of my life’, NAMITA ROY GHOSE wrote about a Russian girl on the day WW2 ended. She got her first rejection slip from the teacher for making things up. Ever since, Namita has established her storytelling skills through her scriptwriting, screenplays poetry, fiction, legendary advertising campaigns, and as a renowned advertising film director. A Creative Director with HTA, she left after 13 years to start her own film company, White Light, one of India’s top ad film outfits. A social activist, she is the founder of Vanashakti, an NGO that works to protect the environment. Namita has done pro bono work on issues like domestic violence, child welfare, sexual harassment and forest preservation. She is an avid traveller, a photographer, foodie and teacher.

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   Praise for the book


Vidya Balan "I like historical fiction. This one is just gripping, racing along like a thriller. I am sure people will love it and I wish Namita and Sanjay all the best for the book".

Shekhar Gupta: “Gripping reading. This is one writer duo with story-telling imagination and uncluttered turn of phrase”.

Jug Suraiya: “A sweeping saga of war, love and betrayal, set at a climactic point of India’s fight for freedom”.

Lord Meghnad Desai: “An absorbing and indeed thrilling story of one of the most crucial events in India’s history”.

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