Thursday, May 7, 2020

#687 : Take a Chance on Me (Sehgal Family & Friends Book 1) By Sapna Bhog : Review




Spending time with cousins while pigging on food and being doted by grandparents are experiences unique to Indian kids who grew up before the era of digitization set in leading to nuclear families. That environment of being around people effortlessly inculcates good traits in humans which are hard to be taught other wise. The fabric of many works of fiction set in Indian and written by Indians are based on these experiences. This book turned out to be one such classic example.

In the story, the protagonist, Kabier Sehgal takes over his grandfather's business. He suspects a leak of information as he begins losing deals which would ideally  have materialized. He is weary and suspects Keya Kaira who holds a key position in the company. Typical romantic drama unfolds.

The book is a simple and perfect romance. The characterization is very rich and well thought out. However, the plot as it is doesn't deliver the surprise it is meant since the story turned almost predictable midway. I wish the writer put a wee bit more effort to make it a little more unpredictable. The writing is fluid and makes you stay with the book.

A perfect romance/mystery to curl up to and devour. I would certainly pick up rest of the series.

Do buy this book on Amazon
Share:

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

#686 : The Rape Trial by Bidisha Goshal : Review


A rape these days has become just another headline grabbing incident which is forgotten just like other headlines in a couple of days. As the tittle suggest, this story begins with a rape trial which typically goes in favor of the predator and ends with the victim being punished. The protagonists - The young women who have suffered (or witnessed) from some form of sexual abuse take it up to themselves to deliver vigilante style justice until things take a bad turn as cops begin closing in on them.

With very strong characters and fantastic narration, the book was an almost delight to read technically. The writer portrayed the angst and general feeling of disappointment a woman feels when she reads or hears about yet another case of sexual abuse or rape. The language used is also quite simple and the writing is pretty fluid, crisp - the style I wish I was master at. One particular scene which stayed with me was the actual court room trial - that whole part felt surreal yet so vivid for me. The only peeve point which I had was with the length - the story however engaging it was, could have be slightly crisper which would have resulted in a lesser number of pages. I was quite apprehensive when about reading the book when the book landed as it was just big! A rarity in recent times. 

Some stories consume so much of my mental bandwidth that I really cannot pen down my thoughts immediately after reading it, without launching an in depth analysis of each and every pinch point and resolution. While that might be a good thing to read for people like me, it would probably end up undermining the writer's effort where in a potential (wannabe may be) reader would be prejudiced about the book. This was one such book after a long time since the subject of the book is close to my heart just like it would be for any other woman. 

Do buy the book  on Amazon!

You can reach out to the writer on, 
Twitter - beeghosal
Instagram - bidishaghosal
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/bghosal

Share:

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

#685 : Love Marriage and Other Disasters by Shilpa Suraj : Character Interview





About the Book:



She believes in love, family and…squiggles!

Alisha Rana is not your typical single desi girl. For one, she is on the wrong side of 30.  For another, she is divorced. And last but definitely not least, she is still, gasp, a virgin!

Alisha doesn’t want much. But what she does want is that elusive thing all women search for – A man who gets her…but a man who gets her hot! She calls it “feeling the squiggle.”

Enter Dr. Vivaan Kapoor, cute, hot, squiggle-worthy. The younger brother of her cousin's prospective groom, he’s got the squiggle factor in spades. The only catch? He's never been married and is years younger than Alisha. Basically, completely off-limits.

And then there is Arjun. Widowed, older than her by the right number of years and a genuinely nice guy. He's Vivaan’s cousin and a so-called perfect match for Alisha. The problem is, Alisha’s squiggle-o-meter refuses to budge for him.

What will Alisha choose? A lifetime together with the 'right' man or a chance at happiness with the 'wrong' one?


Book Links:
About Shilpa Suraj:




Shilpa Suraj wears many hats - corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.
An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.


Shilpa on the Web:


A quick chat with Protagonist Alisha here!



When and where were you happiest?
I’m happiest at home, surrounded by my family. It’s my safe space where I am truly able to be myself.

What is the quality you most like in a person?
Honesty. A relationship or life built on lies isn’t worth anything.

What is your greatest fear?
Losing control over my own life or finding myself helpless at the hands of another.

What is your greatest regret?
Not standing up for myself and not walking out on my first marriage sooner.

What is your motto?
Don’t let the prejudices and preconceived notions of others dictate your choices.

Share:

Monday, March 16, 2020

#684 : Love, Marriage, and Other Disasters by Shilpa Suraj - Cover Reveal


~ Cover Reveal ~
Love, Marriage, and Other Disasters
by Shilpa Suraj




About the Book:

She believes in love, family and…squiggles!


Alisha Rana is not your typical single desi girl. For one, she is on the wrong side of 30.  For another, she is divorced. And last but definitely not least, she is still, gasp, a virgin!

Alisha doesn’t want much. But what she does want is that elusive thing all women search for – A man who gets her…but a man who gets her hot! She calls it “feeling the squiggle.”

Enter Dr. Vivaan Kapoor, cute, hot, squiggle-worthy. The younger brother of her cousin's prospective groom, he’s got the squiggle factor in spades. The only catch? He's never been married and is years younger than Alisha. Basically, completely off-limits.

And then there is Arjun. Widowed, older than her by the right number of years and a genuinely nice guy. He's Vivaan’s cousin and a so-called perfect match for Alisha. The problem is, Alisha’s squiggle-o-meter refuses to budge for him.

What will Alisha choose? A lifetime together with the 'right' man or a chance at happiness with the 'wrong' one?

About Shilpa Suraj:


Shilpa Suraj wears many hats - corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.

An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.

Shilpa on the Web:





Share:

Friday, March 13, 2020

#683 : Murder in the Chowdhury Palace by Sharmishtha Shenoy - Cover Reveal



~ Cover Reveal ~
Murder in the Chowdhury Palace
by Sharmishtha Shenoy




About the Book:

What if someone you loved... was murdered? How far would you go to bring a killer to justice?


Orphaned in her childhood, Durga has always longed for wealth, security and, above all, a sense of belonging. She finds it all when she marries Debnarayan Chowdhury, heir to an immense, multi-crore estate. But the Chowdhury family has been under a curse that dates back to the British era. The first-born of each generation dies young, purportedly killed by the spirit of Kadambari, a young woman murdered by the notorious Shankar Dakat, the founder of the Chowdhury family and their Zamindari. When her father-in-law Birendranath dies unexpectedly, Durga and Debnarayan come down to the ancestral home in Kakdihi, a small village near Kolkata. The moment Durga enters her new palatial home, she crosses a threshold of terror. She loses her husband within a month of her marriage and finds herself a widow in a house full of strangers. Are Debnarayan’s and Birendranath’s deaths accidental? Everyone in her new family and the neighborhood appear to be friendly. Most of them have a motive to kill her. A well-meaning neighbor tells her, ‘Run from this place. You have no friends here.’ Is she, the current owner of the estate, now on the murderer’s radar?

Read an Excerpt from Murder in the Chowdhury Palace


The trees were denser beyond the pond on the northern side, and the area was unkempt and full of thorny bushes and nettles.  Debu remarked, ‘Not many people venture into the northern part of the woods from this point because the haunted house is less than a mile from here. So this part of the estate is in a rather wild state.’
‘Yes, I can see that nature has completely taken over this part. But still, let’s go there.’ I said excitedly.
‘Some other day…,’ Debu murmured. His face was slightly pale.
‘Debu! You really seem to believe in these ghosts and all that nonsense…,’ I said rather incredulously.
‘No… no… of course not!’ Debu exclaimed.
‘Then prove it! Let’s go and visit the house.’
‘Look… it won’t be very safe. The walls are crumbling, and I am sure that bats have made their home there.’
‘Please, Debu, let’s go, I have never seen a haunted house,’ I said, cajolingly. I gripped his hand and almost dragged him towards the house.
We came upon the abandoned temple first. The plaster was coming off the walls, and the aerial roots of a huge banyan tree had encroached upon the temple and gone in through the walls causing rainwater to leak into the walls and damage them further. The house was located a further quarter kilometer away.
There was a strange, sinister silence all around. Even the birds did not twitter in this part of the woods. The house with its closed shutters and peeling walls was a one-storey medium-sized building. It was dark and uninviting, steeped in shadow due to the jungle of trees that had flourished around it. Darkness echoed and folded upon itself. I walked resolutely to the main door, only to find it locked. 
‘Where is the key to this door?’
‘I don’t think anybody has it.’
I was in a naughty mood. ‘Then let’s break it open. I really want to see what’s inside.’ 
In spite of Debu’s protests, I picked up a heavy rock and hit the rusty lock with it. The lock broke easily.
We stepped inside a large hall. It was full of cobwebs and broken dilapidated furniture. Suddenly, a bat swept past my face. I let out a startled cry and drew back. I would have fallen to the ground had Debu not caught me.
‘Let’s get out of here. You shouldn’t be so adventurous in your present condition. The baby might get hurt,’ he said in a quavering voice. 
‘Oh come on... please Debu…let’s explore a bit more.’
I went further in and switched on the torch of my mobile to see better. At the center of the hall, were the remains of a havan done a long time back. The bricks used for the havan were blackened, charred and crumbling with spiders spinning their webs over the layers of dust. There was a portrait of Shankar Dakat and another of a woman on a wooden platform near which the havan had been performed.
‘This is, of course, Shankar Dakat’s portrait. And this must be Kadambari…,’ I said. ‘Who painted this?’ The painting of Kadambari mesmerized me. She was little more than a young girl in a green sari, worn without a blouse in the traditional fashion. Her big eyes were strangely life-like and sad and her long, thick, curly hair cascaded down her bare shoulders like a cloud.
‘I don’t know who painted this, nor do I care. Let’s go, Durga. I feel really uncomfortable here.’ Debu said a little impatiently. I started coughing because of the dirt. ‘Durga, you know you are allergic to dust. Come away now. I don’t want our baby to get hurt.’ He clutched my hand in a death grip, and almost dragged me out of the house.
The fear in his voice was contagious. Also, to be honest, the life-like painting had spooked me. We hurried back towards the pond. As we almost ran back and neared our home, there was a shout from the ground-floor east-wing balcony. It was Kanak. She shouted, ‘Who goes there?’



About Sharmishtha Shenoy:

Sharmishtha Shenoy is the author of the Vikram Rana Mystery series. The books under the series are “Vikram Rana Investigates,” “A Season for Dying,” “Behind the Scenes” and “Fatal Fallout”. She has also published a book of short stories, “Quirky Tales.”
Her short stories have been published in efiction magazine and Woman’s era. She loves writing murder mysteries, the kind of books that she likes to read. Her favorite authors are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. She also likes the work of Satyajit Ray – especially the Feluda Series. 
Before starting to write, she had been an IT professional and had worked in TCS, Satyam, Infosys, and Microsoft. 
She is a big foodie and enjoys Biriyani (both Hyderabadi and Awadhi versions) and rasgullas like most Bengalis. She is also a lusty singer of the bathroom singing variety.
Though she is happily married to Mr. Shenoy in real life, in her fantasy world she is wedded to her creation Vikram Rana.  You can get to her blog by typing the word “Sharmishtha Rana” into Google. No, seriously, try it.
She was born in Calcutta. She is an M Tech from the University of Reading, Great Britain and had received a 100% British Government Scholarship to study there. She lives in Hyderabad.

Sharmishtha on the Web:

Share:

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

#682 : A Sweet Deal by Andaleeb Wajid : Review



Opening a tastefully decorated little pastry shop/cafe in an idyllic small village in Italy has been my dream for a while now. I realized that my dream had a real low probability of becoming a reality due to various obvious reasons (obvious if you know me). I decided to make do by reading feel good romances with such a setting to do away with the feel of longing, this book fit the bill perfectly minus the Italy setting though.

Rumana, the protagonist, along with her friend Neharika quit their jobs and invested their savings to open their dream cafe. While they are struggling with the operation due to the fact that aren't experienced enough to run a business, a highly qualified chef opens a similar shop next door. Sparks fly and you know what it all leads to.

The narration, the setting and the characterization, all were perfect. The book was such a perfect feel good romance. However, I was not comfortable with the tense of the book. Thankfully the story was too good which compensate for my struggle with the tense of narration. One colossal mistake I did though was reading this book all the time I was hungry. Made me crave for all the pastries described. Such realistic descriptions of pastries!

The story does have a bit of everything for everyone. A good read!

You can buy the book on Amazon here!
Share: