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November 2017

Book Blitz by The Book Club of PREM PURANA by Usha Narayanan

 

Book Blitz by The Book Club of PREM PURANA by Usha Narayanan
Print Length: 272 pages
Publisher: Penguin Random House India
Publication Date: September 18, 2017
Language: English
Genre: Romance

 

 

No one is untouched by love, not even devas and asuras, kings and nymphs. And when they face life’s unexpected tribulations, their love also undergoes trials. Read how Ganesha took myriad forms to please Riddhi, Siddhi and Buddhi, how Ravana shared an unbreakable bond with his true love, Mandodari and how Nala and Damayanti’s relationship was tested till almost nothing remained.Tormented by passion, wracked by betrayal, torn by the agony of separation, love in its many splendored forms is the origin of these incredibly endearing stories of Prem Purana.

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


Usha Narayanan had a successful career in advertising, media and corporate communications before becoming a full-time author. She has written several books, including ‘The Madras Mangler’, a suspense thriller, and ‘Love,Lies and Layoffs’, a Harlequin romcom. Her latest is ‘The Secret of God’s Son’, the sequel to her bestselling book,’Pradyumna: Son of Krishna’, both published by Penguin.
When she’s not juggling travelling, writing and interviews, Usha reads everything from thrillers to romances, provided her cat isn’t fast asleep on her Kindle.

Click here to check out all the titles by the author…

 
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SIMHA INTERNATIONAL
(The Bansal Legacy #1)
by
Sundari Venkatraman
 
 
Blurb
 
Rohit Bansal, the handsome and suave managing director of Simha International, is the envy of many—from a director of the hotel to an employee. 
 
A thief comes up with a simple modus operandi, believing that nobody’s really going to find out anything about the thefts taking place. But when a guest brings it to his notice, Rohit is determined to save the reputation of Simha International and ropes in a top-notch detective. Will Rohit be able to find who the thief is before time runs out?
 
The lovely and intelligent Tasha Sawant goes to work at Simha International as the duty manager. Her experience in the hotel industry only adds to the hotel’s excellent service. 
 
Tasha is attracted to Rohit and it would seem that he reciprocates her feelings. Well, the lady isn’t looking for a permanent relationship as it looks likes she’s already had an unpleasant experience. But then, what about the guy? Does Rohit want any kind of relationship with Tasha? 
 
*Simha International is the first book in the trilogy called The Bansal Legacy.
 
Read an excerpt:
Tasha caught the movement in her peripheral as Rohit walked into the atrium along with Vignesh. She straightened from the desk in front of her to pay better attention. He was like her very own Prince Charming in modern apparel, minus the white charger.

Rohit walked across the reception as if he owned the place, a devil-may-care expression on his gorgeous features. Tasha felt something akin to a jolt of lightning strike her heart while she felt a buzzing reverberation like thunder, which muted all the other sounds in the hall. She just stared as Rohit moved towards her, her sherry brown eyes wide and her mouth open in a startled moue.

A trifle irritated when a phone buzzed, Tasha sounded breathless as she answered the call. A small frown knitted her smooth forehead and Akhil was startled to see her drumming her fingers in annoyance on her desk.

Tasha turned her head towards the two men who were deep in conversation as she placed the receiver back on its rest. Her heart beat a wild tattoo when she saw them walking in her direction. Her slender form thrummed in anticipation as she stepped out of the bay when Vignesh beckoned to her. Akhil could feel the tremors as she walked past him and a scowl puckered his forehead as he looked up to see what had caused the excitement. On seeing Rohit, he wiped his frown in a hurry and gave the other man a sheepish smile of greeting that didn’t quite reach his eyes.

Akhil hated his boss, passionately. Akhil was from a middle class family and had had to struggle throughout his twenty-four years to reach where he was, a management trainee on his way to becoming a duty officer in another nine months’ time subject to—a look of bitterness marred his good looks—the approval of the board of directors, especially Rohit Bansal. Whenever he looked at his young boss of thirty-three, Akhil felt the fire of jealousy consuming him. Rohit Bansal was so lucky—Akhil was absolutely sure of it—to have everything handed to him on a platter, a child born with a silver spoon, into a hotelier family. Rohit’s single-handed struggle and hard work to set up the 5-star hotel against so many odds didn’t enter Akhil’s mind. His patience and perseverance had no place in the employee’s thoughts. His narrow mind could only perceive Rohit, as he was today, a billionaire who held 22% of the total shares of Simha International.

Adding insult to injury was Tasha’s reaction to him. She had been gently firm in her refusal to date Akhil. The bitch! His lips drooped downward. Big money went a long way to pave one’s path, it seemed.

Tasha went to stand beside the FOM, waiting for him to do the introductions.

“Rohit,” said Vignesh, “Meet Tasha Sawant, the latest addition to the Simha family,” he smiled before he turned towards Tasha, “And Tasha, meet Rohit Bansal, our managing director.” He didn’t notice the shocked look on Tasha’s face as she stared at Rohit.

Sherry brown eyes clashed with obsidian black ones and sparks flew! Her small hand was engulfed in what could be termed only as a huge ‘paw’. Tasha forgot to breathe as she felt herself being sucked into the black depths of his eyes from where she never wanted to escape.

The flash of his smile drew her attention to his sculpted lips—the thin upper one and a luscious lower one—and the incredible set of white teeth was a dentist’s dream. She drew a deep breath before whispering, “Hello.” She couldn’t help but notice the deep cleft in his square chin. Sexy!

Rohit read her lips rather than heard her greeting and met the lovely doe-like eyes with his obsidian gaze. He closed one eyelid in a wink and grinned at her, hoping to ease the situation that was fraught with sensuality.

Unaware of the undercurrents, Vignesh Kumar excused himself to go about his work.

Rohit smiled at Tasha. “Welcome to Simha International, Tasha.” His black eyes studied her boldly, from the top of her head to the tips of her toes peeping from her low-heeled shoes. She was tall and slender and oh so perfect! He had a tough time keeping his right hand from moving to her velvety cheek. The dusky gold of her skin seemed to invite his caress. He wanted to gather her in his arms and kiss her sensational lips into oblivion. He saw her breasts move agitatedly as she took deep breaths to calm herself.

Pink flooded Tasha’s face that appeared gorgeous to the fascinated man. “I don’t bite,” he declared, his expression devilishly mischievous. His black eyes danced and sparkled, lighting up the area.

 

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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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Sundari Venkatraman is a member of the panel of the #PentoPublish #contest on #AmazonIndia #KDP

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Title: Tumhari Sulu

Director: Suresh Triveni

Cast: Vidya Balan, Manav Kaul, Neha Dhupia

Genre: Comedy – Drama

Story:  Happy-go-lucky Sulochana (fondly known as Sulu), a suburban Mumbai housewife, lives with her husband, Ashok, a sales manager in a traditional company that sells uniforms, and their 11-year-old son, Pranav. Sulu keeps herself entertained through the day, which includes listening to her favorite radio station and taking part in every possible contest. Sulu breezes through life with a fun and candid never-say-never attitude. On a day like any other, Sulu ends up winning a pressure cooker through a radio contest that she has taken part in. Little does she know that her trip to the radio station is about to change her life. In an unexpected turn of events, she lands a job of an RJ (radio jockey). She is no ordinary RJ for she is made to anchor a night show, which involves chatting with peculiars, strangers and lonely souls. A husband in constant battle at a mid-level job, a precocious child who is up to something alarmingly strange in school, and a woman who unpredictably stumbles into the world of radio . Seasoned with music, humour and quirk, Tumhari Sulu witnesses the everyday grit of a housewife, a marriage put to test and a world that struggles to see the beauty of a so-called ‘simple, ordinary life’. From the team of Neerja, comes a charming slice-of-life family feature, which will warm the cockles of your heart.

My Take:  I am her fan.

Since her days in music albums I loved watching her. And then Parineeta happened. Vidya Balan portrays a typical middle class woman with ease and brilliance. And that’s the chord which connects her to many like me. I have watched all her movies, blockbusters, flops, average and she had always stood out of the league for me. Because it had always been the plot that attracted me first. So her choice of scripts had been up to my liking. From a girl in her early twenties she has gracefully transformed into a  woman and has still been winning hearts. God bless her.

Sigh! I can go on and on about her but have to write about her new release – Tumhari Sulu. Its about a simple housewife and her dreams. Before I even start about the movie let me take you to the conversation between a husband and a wife.

Husband: What is the point of  job when you already have one at home? Taking care of the family is a big responsibility.

Wife: I have been doing that for so many years . Now this job sounds like a good opening for me. And moreover the kids are old enough to take care of themselves. And moreover I am not resigning from my responsibilities for this job.

Husband: See I don’t want any problem in our life because of this decision of yours. I am already earning well for all of us.

Wife: Its not about money and you know that. Its just that now I have lot of time in hand and I can use it in a better way.

Husband: Do whatever you feel like.  By the way how much are they going to pay ?

Wife: I have not negotiated yet.

Husband: Great! Don’t come crying to me after a month. (He leaves the room with a cunning smile on his face.)

Wife: (Sighs!) first round over.

A few days into her new job and she learns things real fast. The best part her work is appreciated by her employers. But sadly her home front  gets affected and eventually she had give up on her dreams once more.

Well sounds like a typical story of any middle class housewife but Tumhari Sulu is entirely different. Its more like eating a poppadom – crackles when you take a bite and melts into your mouth. Tumhari Sulu is just like that.

It crackles you with laughter when you least expect it and melts your heart too. The scene when Sulu submits her resignation to Maria cannot be expressed in words. The lady actually used her smile and eyes to emote while she delivered the dialogues.

I shall not talk more about the movie. Tumhari Sulu is a home maker’s story – her aspirations, her responsibilities, her guilt  and her biggest support, her family.

Go for it if you want to see a breezy real life story.

PS: The husband wife dialogue does not belong to any movie. Its purely my imagination.

Today on the blog guest post we have the popular author Alka Dimri whose books  speak about the people in real life.

Her debut novel 45 Days in a Cancer Hospital was long listed for the prestigious Crossword Books award 2013. Her poems have been published in many magazines. She holds MBA degree in HR and worked with a leading MNC before turning to a full-time writer.

Born and brought up in Vadodara, a city in Gujarat, her roots hail from “Dev Bhumi” Uttarakhand. Apart from writing, she loves music, reading, traveling, and spending time with her two naughty kids.

Her latest release Beyond Secrets is the talk of the town. Let us get to know the author in her more and her writing journey so far.

You have been writing issue based stories. Your new book talks about broken heart and trust. But layered in a tinge of suspense. What is it all about and your expectation from the readers.

Paromita, first of all, I would like to thank you for featuring me on your blog.

Coming to your question Beyond Secrets is a story that can’t be restricted in one category, it revolves around so many issues that I had difficulty deciding it’s genre. It talks about issues of abandonment, broken trust, betrayal, child trafficking, religious issues and much more.

Sharing a bit about the plot:

Something is bizarre, Noel realizes the moment he steps in Aashiyana orphanage to volunteer as a counsellor. Aashiyana is a calm place and Noel enjoys his stint, but something is off. With each passing day he feels he is inching closer to the mysterious little boy from his childhood dreams.

Nidhi visits Aashiyana as a volunteer, and that’s how she wanted to keep it. Noel suspects something underneath her recluse behaviour and he is right. The more he learns about her, the more he is drawn towards her. And Nidhi? She isn’t allowed to love…as if love needs permission. Noel gets hopeful…

BUT…

An unexpected phone call and Noel must doubt everything he owned. The boy in his dream wasn’t a stranger after all. Suddenly he wants to escape. From truth? From love? From family? Maybe everyone. Nidhi, just healed is left back to fight new scars; alone. Forever? or will he return?

Noel thought unearthing the secrets would bring peace; he was wrong. There was a journey beyond secrets, a journey from denial to acceptance.

Beyond secrets is a novel with layers of suspense and different nuances of relationship. And one question that can’t have just one answer – How long does it take for a scar to heal?
My expectations from the readers?

My readers have left such heart touching reviews that I can’t ask for more. I am happy that people are able to connect with the characters of the story and they have felt the pain of the characters. Few of them had sleepless nights. That is the extent to which they have felt the emotions. What else can I expect? My precious readers are giving me much more than what I expected and I am really thankful to them. Just one request, please don’t give spoilers while writing a review, it takes away the charm of the story. And for the 0.5% reviewers who suggested editing, my manuscript has been edited by one of the top editors of the industry. English is complicated language and same thing can be written in many ways and we need to understand that. But then different people have different views and I respect that. Having said that, I am always open to improvement and thankful to all the reviews coming my way.

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BEYOND SECRETS
by
Alka Dimri Saklani
 
 
 
Blurb
 
Noel is a counsellor, risking his career for volunteering in an orphanage.
 
Nidhi is an engineering student on the surface, but deep down a broken girl in search of some unanswered questions.
 
Appu is a sweet little orphan, unaware of the cruelties of the world.
 
Despite being miles apart their stories interweave in “Aashiyana”, the orphanage. Their little journey together changes their lives in ways they never imagined.
 
One recurring nightmare, one unexpected phone call, one stolen diary, many lies and secrets, and a calling from the past are just the highlights. And when they depart, they are not the same anymore.
 
They didn’t hurt each other, it was a game of destiny. Will they ever be able to rediscover themselves and more importantly, will their paths ever cross again?
 
Beyond Secrets is a novel with layers of suspense and different nuances of relationships. And one question that can’t have just one answer – How long does it take for a scar to heal?
Read an excerpt:
10. A Different World

The classroom was in chaos when I entered. It looked like a mini battlefield of little soldiers bombarding each other with paper balls and paper planes. Before I could get a grip on the situation blackness seemed to engulf the scene before me, revealing another scene, hazy, like a dusty video film taking me to a different world where no colours existed except shades of grey; a classroom with empty first rows, far off, images of children yelling and flying airplanes… A wave of sadness crept in, a feeling of hollowness. Amid this chaos? Wasn’t it strange? Were these the same children who had forced their way into my thoughts when I was in the park? Were these known faces? Before I could become a part of the unreal the clamour faded as a strict commanding voice pierced through the din.

“Pranil!”

“Yes ma’m,” I said.

The scene dissolved and I found Simin staring at me in disbelief. “What happened?” she asked with a puzzled expression.

My head was spinning.

“Nothing, I thought you called me.” I said.

“I called Pranil. But what happened to you? You stood with your eyes shut. You ok?”

Oh, so that was her voice. Then why did I hear another voice, something from a distant, hazy corner of my mind? Or was it solely my imagination? Or a moment when imagination collided with reality?

“Yeah, am absolutely fine.” I said, looking away, not meeting her eyes.

“Pranil, I need to talk to you. Please come to my cabin after your prayers are over.” Simin said.

“Yes, ma’m.” The voice came from the last bench, from a boy with dishevelled hair, dark brown eyes and a dark complexion.

The dizziness made me uneasy and I couldn’t contribute much to the class that day. I walked to Simin’s cabin after the session.

I was not sure how I would collect the information. I wasn’t even sure what information I wanted. As soon as Simin saw me she started discussing a few things she wanted me to do.

“Noel, will you be able to go to… she paused. “You look disturbed. Are you ok?”

“Yeah.”

“You can tell me if anything is bothering you.”

“The boy you wanted to meet in the morning.” Not sure what was stopping me from speaking out his name.

“Pranil?”

“Yes.” I paused. “Pranil.” I tried hard to keep my voice steady.

“What about him?”

“Can you tell me something about him?”

“Like what?” She disconnected her phone that had just started ringing.

“Like…like…how old is he? Since when has he been here? Why did his parents leave him? Anything.”

“Anything. Hmmm.” She thought for a while. “Pranil is about 10 years old, he has been here since the last four years. His father died and his mother, who was a house maid, wanted to re-marry. The man she wanted to marry was not ready to accept responsibility of a son, therefore she left him here. But why are you asking all this?” She again silenced her beeping phone.

“I think I know him. Or someone by that name… or… or…” I didn’t know how to explain something I was still struggling to understand. I didn’t want her to disconnect her phone for the third time for my silly questions so I left the room leaving her gaping at me.

Later in the day I met Pranil. He was painting something when I reached him.

“Hello Pranil, can I sit here?”

He nodded.

“What are you doing?” I asked him.

“I am drawing a house.” He showed me the few scribbled lines in his notebook.

“Wow! This is a very good drawing.”

He smiled shyly.

I expected some connection to my foggy feelings as I talked to him. But no snapshots, no voices, no images followed. As if he was not the Pranil who played in my mind, the Pranil in my mysterious imagination was someone else, someone close to me yet far away, someone known to me yet a stranger. Something in my own self was unknown to me, an enigma and it was a terribly uncomfortable feeling. I just wanted to drag out the stranger from me but every time I tried the stranger gripped me tighter as if slowly becoming an inseparable part of me like my blood and my veins.

 
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Daud : Run – The Ratrace (Hindi Poem)

Paromita Goswami

The years gone back never comes back but the memories and passion never fade away. Why let you passion die when you still have time? Take some time out and think. Was this really you always wanted or your heart sings a different tune?

Go follow your passion for the time is running out.

tamanna-1

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“I discovered a whole new process of balancing creativity with authenticity.” – Saiswaroopa Iyer

Today, I would like to welcome Saiswaroopa Iyer, author of Abhaya, on my blog for a guest post.14706559

Formerly an analyst with a Venture capital firm, Saiswaroopa’s interests include Startups, Economics, Carnatic Music, Philosophy, Politics, History and Literature of India. She won a state level gold medal from TTD in rendering Annamacharya Kritis. She holds an MBA from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur

She currently lives in London and loves to read and write.

Her new release Avishi is topping the bestseller charts on amazon. We want to know her secret.
 

How difficult is the research for your story especially when it is even older than Ramayana and Mahabharata stories?

Researching for stories from Ancient literature and civilizational past come is a unique roller coaster ride for an author. There is a euphoric feeling about ‘discovering’ this new character who is so less talked about. There is also this exhilaration that a writer feels when he/she gets ‘the calling’ from the character to write that unsung story. At the same time, there are challenges. My challenge was about re-imagining the ancient Vedic world, the society and the setting which was far older than Mahabharata and Ramayana.

I have to confess it was not easy; especially after writing Abhaya for which the research was already done by generations of stalwarts and all I had to do was read up and plug the story into the dense narrative of Mahabharata. Avishi on the other hand required me to dwell a lot upon the world and the times besides the actual plot. I remember the phase where I would stop at every line and wonder about the tools they used, the vegetation, the fabric they wore and the dynamics between people. Minor characters and their backgrounds had to be worked out in detail though their appearance wa35613023s only for a scene or two. But in hindsight, I am happy to have spent all that time and effort because at the end of the day, that was what increased my confidence. With each session of tough research/pondering, I became more confident about the story as well as creative assumptions going into the process.

That said, the fact that the story is so ancient also gave my creative wings, a new lease of life. For once, it felt exhilarating to discover that I, as the writer had so much liberty to reimagine the ancient world. The Rig Vedic sources mentioned the story only in about 6 shlokas of two lines each and the commentary by Sayana added to its interpretation. But writing a full length novel required me to deploy my creative abilities to the maximum. I discovered a whole new process of balancing creativity with authenticity. This is my biggest take away from the whole experience.

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23liars-dice Liars_Dice_Hindi_Film_Poster

Movie Name: Liar’s Dice

Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Geetanjali Thapa

Story: Kamala, a young woman from Chitkul village and her girl child Manya, embark on a journey leaving their native land in search for her missing husband.

Genre: Drama

My Take:  Awestruck.

Thats one word I can think for the movie. The movie was released in Oct 2013 and has bagged the awards National Film Award for Best Actress, National Film Award for Best Cinematography. Directed and written by Geetu Mohandas is her debut work. The movie is very slow paced but then I like slow paced plots that opens up eventually just like the cabbage leaves. Lol.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui, I am already in love with him, gave a terrific performance as an army deserter from the Border Guard but the surprise package in the movie was Kamala, enacted by Geetanjali Thapa, this was her first movie I watched, and her 3-year old daughter Manya, Manya Gupta, a bundle of cuteness. And making the family complete is their pet goat kid.

Kamala sets out with the two to look out for her husband who had stopped responding to their calls past couple of months. Nawaz helps them in the journey which turns out to be his soul discovery too. From being a creep he changes into a bread winner and helps  find out the truth for the distressed woman.

A journey that starts from a small village along the snowy rugged mountains of Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh to the dingy hotel room at Chandi Chowk in New Delhi is to watch out for. You can embark on this journey in the toy train in Shimla, or HPDT bus plying from Palam to Chandigarh or the deserted roads of Shimla at night or the crowded lane of Chandni Chowk. Feel the cold waves of the mountains and the heat waves of the plains as you travel along.

Another best part I loved about the movie was the relationship of trust that culminates between the lead pairs even under odd circumstance which is very brilliantly plotted. The movie is purely realistic and unfolds according to the circumstances.

Sad such movies don’t get commercially released but gain a lot of fame in festivals. Wish we had a theater dedicated for off beat movies only.

Watch the movie if you enjoy road journeys.

Liars-Dice

Directed and written by Geetu Mohandas

Gunnah: The Crime (Hindi Poem)

Paromita Goswami

When falling in love is a crime….

gunnah

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