Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Spotlight of Trouble Has A New Name by Adite Banerjie


Trouble Has A New Name 
by Adite Banerjie






The Blurb




“Will you pretend to be my fiancé for the next few days?” 

Recently-single model Rayna Dutt does not feel like flying to her friend’s big fat Indian wedding. But she does - and when a mix up with room allocations forces her to share a luxury villa on Emerald Isle with the gorgeous owner of the hotel - Neel Arora - and best man at the wedding, things begin to look up.

Until Rayna’s ex turns up with a new girl on his arm! 

Hitting the panic button, Rayna searches for a solution. Surely Neel wouldn’t mind being her fake fiancé…? In an instant the attraction they share is fever pitch, but when scandal comes calling, Rayna soon finds herself in more trouble than she can handle!
    

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Meet the Author




The Author's Thoughts


Adite Banerjie has been writing professionally ever since she graduated from college. After an exciting and fulfilling career as a business journalist, she turned to freelance writing, crunched numbers and wrote reports about consumer behavior and social development issues. Somewhere along the way she got on to the screenwriting bandwagon and wrote scripts for documentaries and spec screenplays for feature films. She was hired by a filmmaker to write a feature script based on a true story. When she penned her first romantic short story she won the 2012 Harlequin Passions Aspiring Authors Contest. Two of her books, The Indian Tycoon's Marriage Deal and Trouble Has a New Name have been published by Harlequin India. And she is currently under contract to write two more for the same publisher. She lives in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, with her writer husband. She loves to connect with readers and writers.


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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Meghna By Sundari Venkatraman



MEGHNA by Sundari Venkatraman





The Blurb
     The young and dashing Rahul Sinha lives in England with his parents, Shyam and Rajni. He is an only son of the rich banker. Rahul is totally attached to his father but does not care for his mother. Read the book to find out why…. 
     Rahul is exulted with his efforts at work paying off and plans a holiday with his best friend Sanjay Srivastav who lives in Mumbai with his wife Reema, kids Sanya and Rehaan and most importantly, his sister, Meghna. Rahul recalls meeting Meghna just before they parted six years ago. 
     Meghna works for a website and also teaches modern dance as she loves it. She’s thrown for a toss when Rahul comes visiting. She had thought he had forgotten them. 


But how could Rahul do that? Sanjay’s his best friend and Rahul had always treated their home as his own. Sanjay’s mother had been more of a mother to Rahul than his own. Rahul had stayed away after moving to England or so Meghna believes. 

     Thus begins the story between Rahul and Meghna, the teasing, the flirting, the anger, the tears…will they find love? 

A FRIENDLY WARNING: This book has been written only for the purpose of Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment! If you are looking to learn something or improve your lives after reading this work, then this book is not for you. I am not trying to get into competition with the Author Biggies of this world. I wrote this simply for the fun and joy of it. One thing I can promise the reader though: Well proof-read, perfect language that I feel is very important for every book that's written in any tongue. 

Yours truly, 
Sundari Venkatraman

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Review
This kind of Romance only Sundari Venkatraman can pull off. And what a dare! Her first promotion of the book took place with the words - Babes read this at your own risk. Now, who can resist that? If you are expecting to learn a lesson in life, or your intellectuality needs to be confirmed or even if you are a bra burning feminist, then please don't pick up this book. It is NOT meant for you.

But if you have a cuppa, a a few drizzles. Romance is in the air - then this airy, romantic story is for you. The story is simple and cute. Meghna is a  girl next door. Maybe she will conquer the world when she grows up, but right now she is a moter-bike rider who is in love with her brother's friend. He is not aware of it of course. Thank god, for that. (pssst .. law? or did the Sisters of my convent just say that to scare me :O)

I am not summarizing the story. The blurb is concise and precise enough. But what I do want to get into- is the aesthetics of the story. Even if I read this story,after keeping my brain aside, it unfolds in front of me, many layers of relationship. Rahul and his parents, his dad with his mom and above all Meghna with own family. One thing about Sundari's characters I have noticed are - gray shades are more inclined towards white rather than being totally black. I asked Sundari about it. Here is a snippet of that : (without her permission, of course :P)

Rubina: "Sundari, your characters are always happy ? Why ?"
Sundari: "I see people like that."
Rubina: "But people are not like that. We cannot be good always...? 
Sundari: "Why? Why can't we? And does a villain always mean someone who steals, rapes and murders?"
Rubina: "Err.. ummmm :O"
Sundari: If someone hurts your feelings, is he not a villain too?
Rubina: "Errr.. ummmmm ..uff.. ummm."
Sundari: "My book is about simple people in all walks of life."
Rubina: "So it's fine if a sixteen year old being kissed by an adult?" (I was again gaining footage) 
Sundari: "Oh? That is a problem?"
Rubina : "Yes of course. In India 16 year old don't go about kissing." *biting my nails wondering - do they?
Sundari: "Have you ever suddenly gone to your building's terrace where the kids meet in the evening?" *Grumble Grumble.. how can I? I am too busy reading books at that time.
Sundari: "Ask around. And it is not 'old fashioned India' only. 16 means high school is over. Of course they know kissing!":O
Rubina quickly picks up the phone and  shouts at her daughter to return home ASAP!
Rubina: "But what about that prologue.. I found it a bit forceful. Very filmy? Full hijack-shyjack!"
Sundari: "Ya sure! Hijack happens only in Chuck Norris movies? That's why you recite the Gayatri Mantra every time you plan a trip!"
Point noted.
Rubina: "But Sundari? That was a bit Dramatic na?"
Sundari: "Why? Can't a hijack happen and when it happens can't a couple realize.. *beep beep
Rubina : What about the mother and father? Why haven't you explored their characters?
Sundari: (typed sweetly) "because I am not writing Ramayana or Mahabharata. It is a short love story following the path of two lovers."
Rubina: "But the brother and sister of Meghna? Why did you not go deeper into their relationships?"
Sundari: "Yes yes... Next time promise, I will go to their neighbor's house also and tell their story. You will review na?"
Gulp.. 
Sundari: "Ok Rubina, cut the crap! Did you like the story or not?"
Gulp Gulp
Rubina: (whispers) "I hate you .."
Sundari: shocked !
Rubina: "Then what, you write such simple stories.Putting lives into the characters, taken from people you know in real life. Simplicity is your poison, Sundari. Some will love it and some won't. But those who do will come back for more and more and more and...."
Sundari: "So this book will sell or not?
Rubina: "It has been on the bestseller list.."
Sundari: I rest my case :D

A disclaimer: This is an imagined conversation. Meant only for entertaining purpose. Writing a review for such a simple story which has touched the hearts of many is tough. The editing is flawless and one cannot imagine Sundari not writing this book.

When I say tough,I don't mean the story line or the way of writing. I don't mean the story is layered and just when you feel that you have read it all - Sundari in her own filmi way throws a punch! (Remember in The Malhotra Bride, the gunshot scene?)
Here too there is hijack scene. This is Sundari's style. Who am I to ask her to change it? Some might not like it and some might but to tell an author to change her style simply because I don't agree with it,does not mean she is not a good writer. She is a dynamic writer. But her poison is her believe. If she believes in the scene, come hail or storm, she will keep it. Now with so much passion, how can a story go wrong ?

I wont't be rating this book. When I gave Double Jeopardy a 5 star, I did not know Sundari Venkatraman then when I gave her The Malhotra Bride 5 stars,I knew well by then. 
Now I am being accused of being biased. Yes, I am. I love her writing style. I love the simple, pure romantic books. Sue me!



Meet the Author




The Author's Thoughts


Even as a kid, she absolutely loved the 'lived happily ever after' syndrome as Sundari 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, she 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! She could never string two sentences together. While her spoken English had always been excellent - thanks to her Grandpa - she could not write to save her life. She was bad at writing essays in both school and college. Later, when it was time to teach her kids, she could manage everything from Science to Mathematics and History & Geography.

When it came to writing compositions, her kids found her of no help at all. All this changed suddenly one fine day in the year 2000. She had just quit her job at a school's office and did not know what to do with her life. She was saturated with simply reading books. That's when she got home one evening after her walk and took some sheets of paper and began writing. It was like watching a movie that was running in her head - all those years of visualising Indian heroes and heroines needed an outlet and had to be put into words. That's how her first novel, The Malhotra Bride, took shape.

While she felt discouraged when publishing did not happen, it was her husband who kept encouraging her not to give up. There was no looking back after that. While publishing took a long time happening, Sundari continued to write novels and then short stories. Her luck turned when Indireads approached her to write for them and Double Jeopardy was born.

Now it’s all about self-publishing her books on Amazon. She have published The Malhotra Bride (2nd Edition) and Meghna so far while planning to publish her fourth book - The Runaway Bridegroom -  in September 2014. 


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Friday, August 15, 2014

What If It's Love by Alix Nichols


What If It's Love? by Alix Nichols

 What If It's Love? by Alix Nichols

Series: Bistro La Boheme
Publication Date: June 2014
No. of Pages: 244 Pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

~Synopsis~


Can a Paris bistro heal a broken heart?

Charm, wit and poignancy abound in this gripping contemporary romance.
Introverted heiress Lena moves to Paris to nurse old wounds reopened by her neglectful boyfriend. Enter Rob, a charismatic and handsome Frenchman who waits tables at La Bohème -- a café on Lena’s street -- and has big dreams.
He makes her laugh and forget her insecurities. She stirs something infinitely tender in his soul. Before they know it, they’ve fallen for each other, even though both had good reasons to fight the budding love.
But their passionate romance is cut short when she discovers his dirty secret...


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~Excerpt~


"Can we be friends again?" he asked.
"So you think we were friends?"
He nodded.
She arched her brows. "And you think you can be friends with me and Amanda at the same time?"
"Why not?"
"Can be a health hazard, what with all the sparks that fly."
He grinned. "Never mind Amanda's taunts. She's like that with everyone."
"Nefarious?"
"Spiky. But she's a sweetheart, once you've grown on her."
"I wonder how I could ever accomplish that." Lena smiled, a speck of sadness still lingering in her eyes.
He stared, mesmerized. He could never get enough of that smile.
A cloud hiding the moon must have shifted, because suddenly silver light poured over the terrace turning it into an enchanted place.
Lena gasped. "What happened to your hand?"
He followed her gaze and saw that the knuckles of his right hand were smeared with blood. Shit. He could bet there'd been none after he punched the wall.
He covered the abrasions with his other hand. "It's nothing."
She grabbed his wrist and yanked his hand closer to her face. "Have you disinfected them?"
Rob didn't register her question. He looked at her delicate fingers holding up his hand. Then at her face. She was squinting at his hand, trying to assess the seriousness of his cuts. Her gesture was devoid of any erotic subtext. And yet the contact of her skin scorched him, just like when he held her hand at L'Espace. It stirred an impulse inside him that was both feverishly raw and infinitely gentle. It made his heart bump against his ribcage as if demanding to get out.
He gazed at her hands holding his. The urge to run his fingertips over her skin, from her nails down to her wrist and then inside her palm was too overwhelming to resist. . .
"So have you?" she asked.
Rob blinked and looked up. "Have I what?"
"Disinfected."
"It's just a graze."
"I have a disinfectant in my suitcase," she said. "I can fetch it--"
And release my hand? "Stay," he blurted out. Shit. "I mean, I also brought some, so you don't need to bother. I'll disinfect as soon as I get back to my room. I promise."
"OK," she said softly and let go of him.

Review

Lena is a rich Russian Heiress, an introvert, lonely and in need of a friend.  She moves to Paris to mend a broken heart, in the pretext of finishing her thesis. Even though she is a Russian by birth, she had spent several years in Switzerland. Now she is in Paris hiding her wounds from the world. 

But Life has other plans for her. Her father’s arch rival hires a Rob to spy on her. Rob is a bit reluctant about it, but the cash was handy. Since, it would not be harming anyone, he decided to take up the assignment. 

Even though they had started on a wrong footing, he soon became her friend. They both found they had a lot of common ground to cover. Both of them working on their thesis proved to be a bonding factor between them. But Lena was totally unaware of Rob’s true intention. What would happen when she found out.. Makes a very interesting read.

What I liked

First of all the most attractive thing about this book is its cover. Very cute and tempting. One of those kind, which will make you pick up the book. 

Secondly, the poems in the beginning of each chapter pertaining to the forthcoming emotions of the chapter. 

Drop the ring, if empty of meaning
To begin, every time, from the end.
And to end before the beginning.

That was one of the best lines that resonated with me. So, could not help but quote it.  The protag is a poetry lover and she relates her life with the verses written by her favorite poetess, Marina Tsvetaeva.

The author has beautifully grown the characters of her protags over a period of time. The whole novel is very quiet. Like Lena herself. No sudden moves and curve, but like a still water flowing and taking the reader through the streets of Paris. A road you would want to travel to learn about the love story of Rob and Lena. 

Rating 

Reasoning

While the story is gripping there are many vacuums in the story. Many of them will leave a reader of wanting to know more about the character. Why did Gerhard let Lena go so easily? Why was Lena’s father a loner? He was divorced long enough. But here I must mention the relationship between the father and daughter if not perfect is very touching.

I am in a bit of dilemma about the author’s writing style. Her language is direct and to the point. No mushy business and padding of emotions. She tells as she tells. But her description of the places supersedes the emotional journey of the characters. While I was sitting at a bistro named La Boheme, I wished to learn more about what exactly Rob was thinking. Did his heart beat faster too when he saw Lena. I am told it did. I wanted to feel that emotion. 
If you are expecting a spy thriller in this novel, it isn’t but romance it is.

What I did feel was the bustle of Paris life. The quirks of Parisians.  as described by the Author are all true. Cute, but true ( I am saying it in a good way and not insulting, like I am sure even the Author meant.) 

Will look forward to reading Alix Nichol’s next one. 



~Buying Links~
Amazon.com: Paperback | Kindle Ebook
Amazon.in: Kindle Ebook




~Meet the Author: Alix Nichols~

Alix Nichols is an avid reader of chick lit, romance and fantasy,
caffeine addict and a badge-wearing Mr. Darcy / Colin Firth fan.

She lives and works in Paris, France. When not writing, she reads
romance (what else?) and spends time with her family.





Social media links:

 Alix on Pinterest Alix's Website Alix's FB Page Alix on Goodreads
  



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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Spotlight: Choices by Ruchira Khanna


Choices by Ruchira Khanna




The Blurb
Leonardo is a young man who is standing on a crossroad of life, facing choices. One road leads to a high stress career that brings in big bucks; the other is a chance to make a real difference in lives of others. He has a few questions, questions that all of us have faced when facing choices that can change our lives. Does fate make a man, or do his desires? Do ambitions and desires actually lead a person to true happiness and fulfillment, or does providence and life changing events actually show a person the true path to follow? 

‘Choices’ raises these questions, and attempts to answer them. It is a slice-of-life, a book written from the heart.(


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Meet the Author


Choices: A Novel talks about how we all come to crossroads in our respective lives, and then the impact it makes by a choice we make.
A biochemist by profession made a mere choice of enrolling myself into a technical writing course. Now, little did I know that this small decision would take me on a path to creative writing and eventually publishing a novel.

This novel, Choices helps answer many questions about man's ambitions and desires and how is it a road towards happiness and contentment that could eventually become your destiny. This is a "slice-of-life" genre thus, impacting all humans who have made a choice sometime or the other in this lifetime!


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