Friday, 29 April 2016

#BookReview ; Rukhsat The Departure by Sujit Banerjee


Where a story stops, another one begins. The thing with them is, they never walk alone. They always walk with a group of friends. Each reaches its own climax. Then with a final gasp of mortality and despair, fade away. No, they never die, they multiply. To the extent that the original gets lost and new ones are born. Over and over again. Yes, they get lost. No, they never die. They live on, permanently etched in the book of time. And from there, we borrow them and bring them alive. Again. And again. Here are twenty six of them, some standing alone and some chatting up with their long lost friends. When they depart, they leave a lingering fragrance of nostalgia and curiosity. What happened then?

Twenty-six alphabets, twenty-six names, and twenty-six short stories. Each exploring one unique emotion, taking you into the dark recess of the mind. Some frothy and most of them dark. Most standing alone and some facing a mirror, where the same story comes alive in two different ways, through two different protagonist . Meet myriad characters - from the single-minded prostitute to the man on the railways station bereft of any memory; a woman desperate for a biological child to a dead man's trial. Meet a jealous lover with a twisted brain and a gay man's memory of a one-night encounter. Meet twenty-six such characters arrested and sentenced for life inside the pages of a book. Each one leaving an indelible mark on your soul.


Rukhsat The Departure is the debut fiction work of Sujit Banerjee. The Lucknow born Bengali author finished his post-graduation in Psychology but ended up being a tour operator instead of a Psychologist. His work took him all over the globe & introduced him to the worlds of Mayans & Aztecs. As he got interested in Shamanic ways, in healing & joined Pranic Healing courses to become a certified healer. Presently he is in Delhi & continues to work in tourism as well as heals people & reads Tarot cards.

The book is a collection of 26 innovative stories denoting 26 alphabets of English language. Each title of the stories is a name which starts with a different alphabet accordingly. Each story is a narration with respect to the character who has been named in the title, each story captures the life or a crucial part of life of the character.

 As I picked up this book I was a little worried about it, since my previous reads of short stories haven’t been impressive at all but as I read the first story itself I was assure that this book will surely touch my soul. As I finished the book I was blown away! The cover is simple & sober. The author has used quite simple language yet effective & has kept the stories brief *as short stories should be* which kept me glued to the book. I believe its one of the best Leadstart Publication product yet.

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Meet the Cast 
Abhimanyu – In the Beginning

I felt the poison of anger raging around me, inside me, pulsating like an entity; anger at the one who betrayed and the one who took advantage of this betrayal. The anger of not being able to stop both. Then the flash of knife and the flowing blood, shimmering in the flames of the torches inside the chamber. Screams followed by hushed voices; bodies being dragged down a flight of stairs. The sound of digging and burying. Later, ruins all around as empires fell and one intrigue chased another through time while swords sliced and arrows whiz past, seeking hearts. Who was I and what was all this about? Why were most of the images that flitted through my head always dark and tinged with red? Rarely, very rarely were they warm and loving. So rarely were they, ever like the sun shining on a cold and shivering memory.

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Born to Bengali parents in Lucknow, I grew up in Patna where I finished my post-graduation in Psychology and ended up becoming a tour operator instead of a Psychologist! Which was 
good since a Bengali born in UP and reared in Bihar does not make a great Psychologist! Am I now glad to be in tourism? It has taken me all over the world including places you would have never heard of. Eh? How about Tlacotalpan? It’s in Mexico.

Destiny had other plans as well so I became a reluctant healer. A crazy Shaman in Mexico set the ball rolling and it has rolled all the way to Delhi. Today I both heal as well as read Tarot cards. My wife thinks I am mad. My friends think I am weird. I guess I am both. 

My first story was published in a magazine when I was seventeen. The Editor made such a hash of it that I stopped sending out my stories but I continued writing. Then I broke my heart and started writing poems; first in Hindi and then in English. All personal collection. They still remain personal. I do shudder when I read some of them! Then the short stories came back and written over two years - now is a collection.

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Saturday, 23 April 2016

#ReleaseBlitz ; Finding Juliet by Toffee


Release Day: APRIL 23, 2016



BlurbAn incredibly nice guy turns into an irresistible flirt and learns the fine art of seducing women. A hilarious and heartwarming novel with some surprising nuggets of wisdom.


Links to the book will be available after the release of the Juggernaut app! 


Toffee is just another Indian youngster who became an Engineer first and then discovered his true calling. He was a typical Sharma ji ka Ladka, until Engineering happened and changed his life completely. After surviving college, he joined a reputed MNC as a Software Analyst, but a dramatic turn of events made him an author. Toffee is passionate about writing, so much so that he writes code by the day and books by the night and does everything else in life in between. A huge Rajkumar Hirani fan, he loves writing stuff that is both entertaining and insightful. And through his books, he wants to narrate stories that touch people's hearts and change a part of their life, forever.

Toffee’s first book titled ‘An Idiot, Placements and IntervYOU’ was published by the Times Group Books and it went on sell around 5000 copies. ‘Finding Juliet’ is his second book and Juggernaut Books is publishing it exclusively on their mobile app.


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Monday, 18 April 2016

#BookBlitz ; With You I Dance by Aarti V. Raman

Book Blitz

With You I Dance
Aarti V Raman


Meera Sagar had everything—the perfect job as a principal ballerina (for a prestigious New York ballet company) and a man who loved her as much as she loved him. But tragedy struck on the night
before her biggest performance, forcing her to do the one thing she never wanted to do—come back home. To Mumbai.

Now, a year later, Meera is still trying to pick up the pieces, while fending off marriage proposals from her well-meaning but traditional Gujarati family, and figure life out all over again. By starting a ballet school in Mumbai. But she has two problems. One, she doesn’t know anything about running a business. And two, she can’t dance. Not anymore.

Enter . . .
Abeer Goswami. Hotshot junior partner at a South Bombay law firm and a man nursing a broken heart. When he meets Meera again, the woman who left him, he tries his hardest to be her friend, to help her . . . and not let the past get in the way.

And then . . .
There is the sexy Zoya Sehgal. Meera’s only friend in the city and the woman Abeer is currently seeing. They say triangles have pointy edges, for a reason. Will Meera find a new dream in her ballet school? Can Abeer and Meera find their way back to each other again? And, most important, has Meera danced for the last time?

With you I dance is a warm, funny, at times heart-rending, love story of second chances, true love, and finding yourself when your dearest dream has vanished.

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About the Author

Aarti V Raman is an established novelist in the romantic thriller genre (White Knight, Kingdom Come) with her third book, a contemporary romance titled “With You I Dance” out soon with Fingerprint Publishing.

29 years old, she graduated from Mumbai University in 2007 with a degree in Mass Media focused on Journalism, which provided her the perfect background for conducting sound research on any project. She then went on to study Creative and Professional Writing at Deakin University in Melbourne for post-graduation in 2008. It was there that she learned to hone her craft and lifelong ambition of writing romances that had strong characters and stronger stories that remained etched in the reader's minds.

While waiting for her big break, Aarti pursued commercial writing and gained a vast amount of knowledge (from fishing tackle to soft toys) that she claims have helped her with molding better stories. Her first novel "White Knight" was published by Leadstart in 2012 and gave her the impetus to continue writing. In 2013, her work was excerpted in the Tamil Edition of Mills and Boon novels. And in 2014, her short story "Post-Coital Cigarette" was chosen to be part of the Rupa Romance Anthology "An Atlas of Love" curated by bestselling author Anuja Chauhan.

Her latest novel "Kingdom Come" (Harlequin MIRA) has enjoyed a brief stay at the bestseller lists in Amazon India. Her work is represented by Red Ink Literary Agency, Delhi. And very recently, she was a speaker and panellist at the Goa Arts and Literary Fest 2014, Vth Edition.

She is currently expanding her skill set to include copy editing, content marketing, and creative writing workshop that help her explore the wonderful world of words in various forms.

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Thursday, 14 April 2016

#BookReview ; Surpanakha by Hariharan Iyer

Educated, young, no-nonsense bearing, able administrator-these are the equalities that won Sesha the loyalties of the people after three years of rule as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. An allegation that he was the mastermind behind the murder of 73 Kannadigas threatens to bring him down but he is miraculously saved at the 11th hour.
Even before he can relish his victory, Sesha is slapped with the charge of sexually offending a young nurse. This time around, the case is strong and his supporters are uncertain. Worse, his teenage daughter calls him 'vile' and walks out of the house. While Mythili, his wife promises her full support, her secretive activities-undertaken with the help of a retired cop-is cause of concern for Sesha.
Will Zarina, the human-rights activist, succeed in bringing him down? What about the insinuations of a celebrity lawyer that he is casteist and anti-minorities? When the young nurse is found dead, the case becomes even more complex. Who is innocent? Who is guilty? And who is the mastermind?

Surpanakha is the debut work of finance professional Hariharan Iyer who started writing couple of years back. The author blogged on media & current affairs for a year & came up with the idea of writing this book. He tried to portray his definite views on politics, NGOs & media ethics through the story.

The story starts with a prologue where an ongoing case against the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Seshadri is taking place. The charge is that he supervised the killing of 73 Kannadigas but just before the verdict he got saved miraculously but then even before he could relish his victory he was slapped with another accusation of molesting a house nurse who took care of his wife Mythili when she was advised bed rest for three months. What worsened the situation was Sesha’s daughter calling him ‘vile’ & even showing mistrust in her father on national television. Will Zarina a well acclaimed social activist will be able to nail the CM? Is there any kind of link between the false allegation on the CM for killing 73 Kannadigas & the sexual molestation charge? Is there a nexus to destabilize the government? All these questions can be answered only if you read the book.

Hariharan Iyer wrote this story with a mindset he has for politics, NGOs & media which is clearly visible through his story. The plot has been divided into chapters with specific names of characters from the story which made me think that each chapter will be the point of views of that specific character, while the book started on this premise but got deflected. The cover is uninspiring but the language used is easy. The story had some loopholes & spelling mistakes but still it was a smooth read. Readers interested in political thrillers can give it a try.

Buy Links:

Links for downloading e-books: Amazon India  | Amazon US  | Amazon UK 
Links for ordering paperbacks: Amazon India  | Flipkart

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Facebook  | Twitter  | Blog 

Saturday, 9 April 2016

#Spotlight ; The Reengineers by Indu Muralidharan

The Reengineers
A HarperCollins Publication (Harper Element)


Chinmay Narayan is plotting to kill himself. He is a misfit at school, his parents are about to divorce and the love of his life doesn’t know he exists. It seems pointless to go on with such a dysfunctional life. But before he gets anywhere with that plan, Chinmay and his friends, Anu and Sabi, stumble into the eerie world of Conchpore through a portal in Uncle RK’s library.

They find themselves in The Seeker’s School, where you can buy spiritual courses that will bring you enlightenment. While the seekers seem unaware that there is anything amiss, Chinmay and his friends stumble upon a strange and sinister plot that the teachers and students are caught up in. The three youngsters suddenly find themselves in danger, and their only hope is the charismatic Siddharth, an old student of the school who has come to visit. Chinmay discovers that Siddharth is seeking catharsis from his dark past by writing a book—a book with Chinmay as the protagonist. He realizes that his own story is a mirror image of Siddharth’s, which leads to a moment of reckoning for him: can he become the author of his own life?

Set in Madras in the early nineties, The Reengineers dispels the boundaries between fiction and reality to tell a tale that is as much a coming-of-age story as it is an inspiring narrative of self-empowerment and spiritual growth. 

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I am a writer from Chennai, India. To me, reading and writing are means by which I try to comprehend the meaning of life and reality. My first novel The Reengineers (HarperCollins, 2015) is a metafictional exploration of the meaning of the self, examined through the relationship between an author and the character of his novel. I am working on two other novels at the moment, both centred around the healing power of fiction and its significance in 'real' life.

I live in London, balancing a full time day job with writing and studying a part-time Master's Course in Creative Writing at The University of Oxford.

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Friday, 8 April 2016

#BookReview ; Love Forever @ Rajpath by Kalpana Mishra

True love can blossom anywhere, in a government set-up too, and can be as permanent as the job itself.
Shalini, a government employee, strongly feels that there is no point in getting married and joining the brigade of abused wives. Till she is swept off her feet by Kartik, a dynamic colleague from Bihar.
Just when her faith in the system of love and marriage is rekindled and at its peak, Kartik goes missing. Her search for him reveals some dark secrets about Zabaria Shaadi still existing in Bihar, where eligible boys are abducted or forced for marriage.
A love story at its core, Love Forever @ Rajpath highlights the predicaments of a girl on the verge of losing her most precious relationship. It also reflects the inner turmoil of a young boy sandwiched between age-old traditions and his own liberated opinions.
Will Shalini be able to save her relationship? Will Kartik acknowledge her efforts or will he abandon her for the sake of his family?

Love Forever @ Rajpath is the debut novel of Kalpana Mishra. The author is a Deputy Director in the Government of India, she is also a visiting faculty is a number of educational institutes spreading awareness about issues like gender sensitisation at work place as well as other gender issues, communication skills, etc. She is also a contributor reviewer & blogger on various blogging sites & has varied interests like acting, writing, sports, etc.

The plot of Love Forever @ Rajpath starts with a prologue which sets the mood of the story & then we are taken to the starting point where we get introduced to the protagonists of the story, Kartik Vats a tall, fair complexioned 26 year old introvert guy from Bihar who had joined the post of Assistant, a Group B post in a ministry of Government of India & Shalini Pahilajani an extrovert Delhite girl in the same post. As they first met on their training it seemed that it was a start of a cute friendship which might also have a future towards a loving relationship. While our female protagonist have been sceptical towards marriage but slowly she starts to fell in love with Kartik but what is love story without any difficulties to overcome?

This book is a mixture of friendship, love & relationship which often gets affected because of orthodox traditions. The cover is cute not exceptional though. I liked the flow in which it is written but unfortunately the language seems to be a little amateurish, also the story seemed to be a little predictable. One thing which I liked about the book is it mentioned the social ills which still prevail in our society. A one time read for sure. 

Friday, 1 April 2016

#BookReview ; The Prince of Patliputra by Shreyas Bhave

272 BC, Bharathvarsha, Land of the Aryas....
Samrat Bindusar, son of Chandragupta and the second Samrat Chakravartin of all the Aryas rules over the massive subcontinent from his holy seat in Patliputra. Almost five decades ago, his father had laid the foundations of this vast Samrajya guided by the famed Guru Arya Chanakya. But now, the wealth and glory of the past has subsided...
As the Samrat’s health continues to decline due to an unknown illness, problems are arising all over his realm. There is infighting and rebellion. No clear successor to him is present. Ninety nine of his sons stand in line waiting for his throne...
Bharathvarsha needs a Chandragupta once again. And it needs a Chanakya too. Can the young Prince Asoka, who is the least favorite son of the Samrat, fill in the boots of his grandfather? Can Radhagupta, a mere Councilor of the Court be what Chanakya was to all the Aryas? 
Begin a new adventure with the first book of the Asoka trilogy as you read to find the answer to one great question-

'That who shall be the next Samrat of this holy land of the Aryas?'

The Prince of Patliputra is the first part of Asoka trilogy written by Shreyas Bhave & published by Leadstart Publishers. The author is 21 year old lad pursuing B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from VNIT Nagpur, his hobbies include song writing, composing music, painting with watercolours & sketching with pencils. His love for history made him to write his version of the historical tale of one of the greatest ruler in the history of India.

Historical fictions are becoming the new hot topic in our industry but I believe it to be a difficult genre to write because an author can’t completely distort the history for the sake of fiction hence knowledge regarding historical events is absolutely necessary. The Prince of Patliputra showcases the great times of Mauryan Empire & the life of Samrat Asoka.

The plot develops slowly as the chapters go by & Samrat Asoka’s life gets revealed in front of us. The intricate details of politics, love & betrayal portrayed in the story is commendable especially since it is author’s debutant work. It is a lengthy read closing to 400 pages which means that the plot needed to be extremely interesting but unfortunately some parts of the book made my mind wander off. While the author is writing the second part of the trilogy I hope it’s a bit compact. But still I can feel that the author does have tremendous control over the use of words, the language used in the book is simple which sure should attract the mass. An interesting read for sure!