Tuesday, 3 December 2019

#BookReview : In The Realm Of Demons by Imran Kureshi



A roller-coaster fantasy horror story with Jinns, demons and nagins Mehran is a handsome young Rajput aristocrat – without a grand title, estate or any wealth. He lives with his widowed mother in a decaying mansion in Pakistan, Remembering his beautiful cousin boyer and his childhood in the glittering estate of his Nawab uncle in India. But hidden behind the grandeur of the old palace is a dreadful curse that strikes every heir to the nawabs line. Tragedy hits when, on a red moon night, a demon arrives and koyel falls victim to the terrifying curse.
Little does Mehran know that the curse will soon visit him and he will find himself in a world of demons, monsters and nagins.


In The Realm of Demons is a fantasy horror written by debut author Imran Kureshi & published by Juggernaut books. The author lives in Pakistan. He is a former employee of the Pakistan State Oil Company Limited and has been a freelance editor of books and PhD theses for over sixteen years. His collection of short stories set in rural Punjab, titled Billa Nayee and Other Tales, has been published by Oxford University Press.

The story revolves around Mehran who lives at the royal house of Hashtpur with his mother & some other family members. As the legend (curse) goes, the heir of Hashtpur is destined to die when the moon turns red. Everyone embraces themselves as the day comes but to their surprise instead of Mehran, Koyel his cousin gets taken away as per the curse. This makes our protagonist determined to go on a journey to unravel this curse & this journey is what makes Mehran meet his inner devils. Get this book right now to go on a roller coaster read!
Fantasy horror is quite a new genre for me and this book surely is a good introduction to this genre. All the characters develops quite well as the plot progresses with different twists and turns which won’t let you keep this book down. Unfortunately despite different unique plot points, it fell flat for me in certain chapters. The cover fits perfectly with the story, the language is easy too but I believe the title could’ve been a little bit better. Pick this up to get lost into a world of mystery & horror.  


Monday, 4 November 2019

#Spotlight : #JustRomance by Jyoti Arora


#JUSTROMANCE
by
Jyoti Arora



Blurb


7 heart-warming love stories to make you smile

You raised a song in my heart
That I never knew before.
Now kiss me, Love,
For I yearn to know
What a dream must taste like.

Luxury adds glamour to romances, danger adds thrill. But it is real emotions that turn love magical. And when love casts its magic, even ordinary people can have extraordinary love stories.

It is seven such delicious and relatable Indian romances that this book brings to you.

With realistic characters that will live in your heart. With romance spanning across mountains, forests, glowing beaches, or coming alive in roadside dhabas and buzzing city streets. With myriad gripping emotions of friendship and love, these feel-good love stories are sure to touch your heart with delight.

If you are in love with love,

then these beautiful romances are a must-read for you!

Seven couples, seven clean contemporary romances, one delicious book.

#JustRomance

Because nothing matters more than love.
     
Read an excerpt



Grab your copy @

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About the author




Jyoti Arora is an Indian novelist and blogger. Besides her books, her writing achievements include several wins in blogging competitions, over five years of freelance writing experience, developing books for kids and abridging 30 English novels like Jane Eyre, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, etc. 

Jyoti’s first novel ‘Dream’s Sake’ was published by V&S Publishers in 2011. It tells a beautiful love story revolving around the troubles of physically challenged people. Her second novel ‘Lemon Girl’ is based on the theme of gender crime against women and victim-blaming. It is featured in Ezvid’s wiki list of 9 Well-Written Novels That Put Women Front & Center. It also received appreciation from Ms. Maneka Gandhi. Her third novel ‘You Came Like Hope’ talks about the opposite side of the issue discussed in Lemon Girl. That is, it talks about the fake cases filed by women. This too is a case of gender crime and victim-blaming. But in this case, it is the man who suffers. The book received much appreciation for its unique theme and heart-warming love story. All three books are intense and based on serious social issues. For her fourth book, Jyoti decided to write something lighter and happier. That’s what has resulted in #JustRomance, a collection of happy love stories. 

Books have always been Jyoti’s best friends. In fact, books so fascinated her from early childhood that she learnt to read by herself even before she started going to school. And she considers herself fortunate that she is able to pursue her dream of being a novelist and work at what she loves best.

However, if books are her first love, the thrilling and steadily advancing world of technology also fascinates her. As a result, one of her blogs is a technological blog called TechnoTreats. One of her posts in this blog even won her the title of Samsung Mobiler in 2011. After that, she has won several other blogging competitions too.

She is a patient of Thalassemia which forced her to drop out of school too soon. But she did not let that defeat her. She studied on her own and completed her schooling through correspondence courses. Then she went on to Jyoti study BA English (Honours) from Delhi University and then achieved postgraduation degrees in English Literature and Applied Psychology from Annamalai University.

For her determination and achievements, she has received appreciation from several eminent dignitaries and her life story has been covered in various TV shows, radio programs, newspapers, magazines, and websites. In the year 2016, she was one of the 100 special women achievers of India that were invited as special guests to attend the Republic Day parade in Delhi. 


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Monday, 28 October 2019

#BookReview : Fierce Femmes & Notorious Liars by Kai Cheng Thom



Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir by Kai Cheng Thom is the highly sensational, ultra-exciting, sort-of true coming-of-age story of a young Asian trans girl, pathological liar, and kung-fu expert who runs away from her parents’ abusive home in a rainy city called Gloom. Striking off on her own, she finds her true family in a group of larger-than-life trans femmes who live in a mysterious pleasure district known only as the Street of Miracles. Under the wings of this fierce and fabulous flock, Dearly blossoms into the woman she has always dreamed of being, with a little help from the unscrupulous Doctor Crocodile. When one of their number is brutally murdered, the protagonist joins her sisters in forming a vigilante gang to fight back against the transphobes, violent johns, and cops that stalk the Street of Miracles. But when things go terribly wrong, she must find the truth within herself in order to stop the violence and discover what it really means to grow up and find your family.

Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars is a fictionalized memoir written by Kai Cheng Thom & published by Zubaan Books. The debut author is also a performance artist, social worker, fierce trans femme and notorious liar who loves lipstick and superhero cartoons. She is also a mental health community worker and co-founder of the collective Monster Academy: Mental Health Skills for Montreal Youth.

This book revolves around our fierce Asian trans-woman protagonist trying to find her way in the world & while doing so discover some ‘mystical & magical creatures’. As she leaves her house where she faces constant abuse to start her new life, she comes across several friends & people who became her family. While being with her new family she eventually finds her true self and evolves to attain her actual identity. But as another fellow femme friend gets murder in a hate crime, our protagonist along with her friends decide to fight the hate by themselves & form their own little vigilante group named the ‘Lipstick Lacerators’. But as it happens, things go wrong & our protagonist need to now introspect how should they mend their ways while also protect themselves. Get this book here to get the whole experience,
This is my first fictionalized memoir to start with & honestly I wasn’t that sure about it, but the first paragraph of the book itself made it sure that I am in for a treat. The author made sure that the fictional parts didn’t ruin her experiences and they came out beautifully. Kai Cheng Thom’s story is that of sisterhood, loss and so much more. Her relationship with her sister is endearing and fills you up with joy as you read it. I can go on and on how much I loved reading this book but I will surely give away a lot of spoilers in doing so & hence can just urge you to please pick it up.


Tuesday, 8 October 2019

#BookReview : A Desolation Called Peace edited by Ather Zia & Javaid Iqbal Bhat



The accession of Kashmir to the Indian Union in 1947 had raised objections both in Kashmir and India, echoes of which continue to be heard even today. At the time, Sheikh Abdullah was the uncrowned king of Kashmir; today, his grave is under security lest it be vandalized. What accounts for this change in attitude? A Desolation Called Peace provides important insights to understand the political aspirations of the people of Kashmir and the change in their perceptions since Independence. Written and edited by Kashmiri authors, this collection of ethnographic essays explores the desire for 'azadi' as a historical and indigenous demand. While the accounts traverse the period from before 1947 to the momentous time of 1989 when militancy began, the essays illustrate how postcolonial politics has impinged on Kashmiri lives and aspirations, thus paving the way for the intractable dispute of today. This anthology of deeply felt essays will enable an understanding of Kashmir beyond the hackneyed tropes that portray the issue reductively as a proxy war, terrorism or a simple law and order situation.



A Desolation Called Peace is an anthology edited by Ather Zia & Javaid Iqbal Bhat and published by Harper Collins India. Ather Zia is a poet & political anthropologist who teaches at University of Northern Colorado, Greeley. Ather is the author of Resisting Disappearances: Military Occupation and Women's Activism in Kashmir. Javaid Iqbal Bhat is an assistant professor in the Department of English, University of Kashmir. He is the author of Scars of Summer and two other books on Kashmir.

 The book consists of 12 different chapters which cover the stories of Kashmir from 1947 to 1989. It tries to make readers understand the wishes & aspirations of Kashmiris. Each essay tells a different perspective pertaining to the lives and experiences of Kashmiris existing since a long time. It deals with the permeating feeling of ‘azadi’ within masses, why it exists & its significance. They also give us a brief idea how militancy permeated through and the post independence politics created a tug of war situation leading to the dispute we see today. Each essay extracts a different shade of pain, loss & suffering. Get the book here to educate yourself about the story of Kashmir,
Kashmir is going through turmoil and the best thing we can do right now is keep talking it and I believe this book serves the best way to keep the conversation going on. A Desolation Called Peace is an excellent collection of twelve essays giving us an overview of the Kashmir Conundrum. It traces down the history of the existence of discontentment within the masses and what lead to the manifestation of militancy and violence. The language used is extremely simple, the cover & the title is apt too. One of the best books out there to read about Kashmir.


Friday, 27 September 2019

#Spotlight : The Magician by Sonia Rao




THE MAGICIAN 
(The Tarot Trilogy Book 1)
by 
Sonia Rao



Blurb


Fashion designer Sasha Kapoor always felt she'd missed out on love as she had an arranged marriage. And when her husband turns up at their 15th-anniversary party with a strange woman, she knows that her marriage is dying. With constant surprises and disasters to contend with, will Sasha ever get a chance at true love?

Shantha is much sought after for her tarot card readings on love, but can’t seem to help her own love life with a string of broken relationships behind her. Now, sparks are flying between her and a sexy bartender but will this relationship fizzle out too?

Young professionals Nilima and her husband are so besotted with each other, they give the word ‘soulmate’ a complex. Theirs is a match made in heaven…till tragedy strikes.

The Magician is a heart-warming story of these three dynamic women as they discover the meaning of true love through loss and longing.


Thoughts from the Author, Sonia Rao

Who is a Magician? If it is a Tarot Card, then it the Major Arcana card in the deck and symbolizes life-changing issues.

 But if it is a person, then it is Sasha, the main protagonist of my novel, The Magician. In this urban, contemporary romance, fashion designer Sasha, who caught within a loveless marriage, now seeks true love. It is also Shantha and Nilima who face their own challenges in love and try to rise above them.

 It is also every woman. This is because, as Shantha says to Sasha in the book, “Imagination is your strength. You have the power to visualize and then manifest what you want. You are the Magician.” Each one of us is The Magician because we hold within ourselves the power to create the life of our dreams.

But how did this cover happen? There is a lovely story behind it. While researching the many tarot decks online, I saw this card on the Attic Shoppe website and I knew at once that this was my “Sasha.”

Go back and have a look at the cover again. Doesn’t it just grip you too? Part practical, part whimsical, part traditional, part digital, this card, like the book, is a labour of love.

The designer, Bethalynne Bajema, created this card for her Black Ibis Tarot card deck.  The love she put in is very evident in the vibe one gets from it. Every time I see it, I am inspired to bring a touch of magic to the everyday routines of mundane life.

Carrying on the serendipity, Bethalynne immediately and graciously agreed to my request to make this card my book cover. Such generosity is hard to come by and I believe it is the Universe’s way of saying “you’re right on track.”  


(Bethalynne can be contacted here: Instagram)

Read an excerpt

 
Grab your copy @

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About the author





"Sonia Rao is a writer, editor, and award-winning blogger. Her fiction has appeared in many prestigious anthologies such as Voices Old & New and Jest Like That (edited by renowned editor-writer Shinie Anthony).

 As NaNoWriMo’s Municipal Liaison for all-India and founder of the Wrimo India group on Facebook, Sonia has motivated thousands of people in India to write a novel every November since 2011. She has also curated and edited the first Wrimo India Anthology, Vengeance—A Sting In Every Tale.

Sonia likes to believe she is ‘high-minded’ but strangely, her fave hobby is thinking up torture devices for those autorickshawallahs who consider the roads to be their personal spittoon. Who knew?"



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Tuesday, 17 September 2019

#BookReview : Blood Island by Deep Halder




Blood Island is a non-fiction written by Deep Halder & published by Harper Collins India. The author has been a journalist for seventeen years, writing on issues of development at the intersection of religion, caste and politics. Currently, he is the executive editor at India Today Group Digital.

The book revolves around the lesser known event of the Marichjhapi Massacre and how it affected as well as changed the lives of so many people. In the present day when we hear about the Rohingya refugees & the NRC being done in Assam to keep out “illegal immigrants”, Marichjhapi remains a bloody spot on the history of India. The partition of Bengal has been complex & so has been the creation of Bangladesh, while upper caste Bengali Hindus had already migrated to India the Namasudra Bengalis migrated after things got violent for them in Bangladesh. This collection of oral history takes us to their journey on how they were treated by different parties & governments and poses a pertinent question to us. When will we start treating human beings as they should be? Get this book here to know more,
History is a weird thing because in most cases how you perceive history depends upon the narrative you’ve come across hence it is possible to not know many aspects of it. This book gives us a collection of oral histories of one such event which is comparatively lesser known & discussed. The Marichjhapi Massacre is a perfect example of how political parties when in power speak a different language than when in power. The author has successfully captured the very essence of this event & portrayed it as it is. Each chapter makes you revisit the horror people went through & understand the sense of betrayal they must’ve felt. Surely a must read.


#Spotlight ; More Unfairy Tales by T. F Carthick



MORE UNFAIRY TALES
(Carthick's Unfairy Tales Book 2)
by
T.F. Carthick



Blurb


A knight rescues a damsel in distress. They marry, the whole kingdom rejoices, and everyone lives happily ever after. The end.

Or at least that's what Official sources say. But what tales do insiders tell? What secrets lie buried deep inside Davey Jones' Locker?

What, dear reader, about The Unfairy tales?

The stories the Knight-in-Shining-Armour and the Damsel-in-Distress have never wanted you to know. Tales which Fairyland had kept locked up in secret and thrown away the key. Until our rogue bard went back in time and ferreted out skeletons hidden within secret cupboards of desolate mansions.

Our fearless crusader of truth and justice brings to you the second volume of revelations from fairyland.

You will find five more unfairy tales hidden within the pages of this tiny tome, the sequel to Carthick's Unfairy Tales. Stories of elves out to decipher the ways of men and dwarves seeking to reclaim their own histories. Of spurned witches and lost wolves. These stories are going to change everything you have ever believed about fairyland and give you a peek underneath the gossamer threads of glamour and magic peddled by the Fae.
     
Read an excerpt


Grab your copy @

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About the author




T F Carthick is a Bangalore-based writer and blogger who has been blogging since 2008. He is an avid reader of Children’s Fiction, Science-fiction and Fantasy. Enid Blyton, J K Rowling, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Neil Gaiman and Douglas Adams are some of his favorite authors. His paranormal thriller ‘Bellary’ was one of the three stories in the book Sirens Spell Danger, published in 2013. Six of his stories have featured in multi-author anthologies and literary magazines. He has written over 50 short stories, many of which can be read for free on www.karthikl.com.

He is an Engineer and MBA from India’s premier institutes IIT, Madras and IIM, Ahmedabad and currently works as an Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Consultant at one of the world’s leading Consulting Firms.



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