Book Review: Kartikeya by Anuja Chandramouli


TITLE: Kartikeya- The Destroyer’s Son
AUTHOR: Anuja Chandramouli
PUBLISHER: Rupa Publications
GENRE: Indian Mythological Fiction
ISBN: 978-81-291-4911-4

Unravel the puzzle that is the mysterious and misunderstood son of Mahadeva.

Kartikeya was born from the flames of a desperate need, an ardent desire and an utmost devastation. In him was distilled the terrible powers of Mahadeva, at its fiercest and most deadly. Although he fought many wars and slew many tyrants, his gifts to humanity have always been those of mercy, compassion and love. What makes this possible?

For Kartikeya, there have always been more questions than answers. Did he really walk away from his family over a piece of fruit? What about the women in his life—was he the ravisher he is at times accused of being, or the protector of women? Was he the violent warrior who revelled in bloodlust, or a gentle family man? What was his relationship with his more popular sibling, Ganesha?

Anuja Chandramouli weaves together myth, imagination and folklore while looking to answer these questions and recreates for modern readers the story of one of the most enigmatic gods—Kartikeya.
While the blurb gives an insight into the book what remains to be shared is what I felt about Author Anuja Chandramouli’s interpretation of the stories, the myths surrounding the lesser spoken brother of Ganesha i.e. Kartikeya and her style of writing. Well so here I go….

‘Kartikeya: The Destroyer’s Son’ provides a refreshing insight into the lesser known of the two sons of Lord Shiva. While the process of the birth of Kartikeya generated considerable heat scalding many, the expectation was that the subject of excitement himself ( Kartikeya) would in later years display a fiery nature. But is Kartikeya so?…..That’s for you to discover 🙂

The story though multi- layered, takes us on a journey that is far from bumpy. The various stories and sub- stories as well as the main characters and supporting ones are seamlessly interwoven together to give the reader an insight into the various facets of the six- headed God, his prowess, love-life and much more. However what actually stands out is the depiction of both, the Gods who it is believed, ‘lord’ over the three realms and are considered the embodiment of all that is good, as well as the Asuras who are generally seen as the epitome of all that is evil. Anuja Chandramouli has broken that myth. While arrogance, jealousy, treachery and ingratitude are the hallmark of Anuja’s Indra, his arch-rival the Asura King Soorapadma comes across one with a soft heart when it is a matter of his subjects and siblings. He is also an embodiment of humility and fair- play in comparison to Indra . While Soorapadma is ready to heed to sane advice unless unnecessarily provoked, Indra is anything but that. The satisfaction of his ego and greed are all that matter to him even if it means putting his own kith and kin at risk. If one does have any myth about the invincibility of the Gods, Anuja’s story shatters it. While the fierce and fiery destroyer turns out to be a child at heart in front of his son and a passionate lover in front of his wife, Parvati his consort turns out to be every bit a jealous spouse and an over- possessive mother. So the book is not only a journey into the mystic world of the Devas and the Asuras, but is also a journey that sees a gamut of emotions generally associated with the lesser known mortals i.e. we human beings, on display.

Yes, there are some parts that had me wondering for example the story related with the birth of Ganesha and his beheading. It is the first time I’ve come across this version. But then Indian Mythology is all about myths innumerable some known, some unknown, some popular and some that are lesser known. The true researcher perseveres and picks up the hidden ones.

The cast is huge, the characters are well- developed, and the language is lyrical and hence appealing. One can easily visualize the setting and the happenings and relate to a majority of events. But if there is one thing that left me disappointed, it was the climax. I felt it was a bit hasty and abrupt. A little bit on Kartikeya’s sojourn in the South would have helped smooth out the rough edges and straighten the crease, thereby making it a finely – finished and polished piece of writing.
A refreshing read for the mythology buff. Pick it up not just for the story but also for an insight into Anuja Chandramouli’s lyrical style of writing.


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Here’s a sneak- peak into Anuja Chandramouli’s other titles

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Book Review: Boo! When My Sister Died


TITLE: Boo! When My Sister Died
AUTHORS: Richa Jha and Gautam Benegal
PUBLISHER: Pickle Yolk Books
GENRE: Children’s Literature (Fiction)
ISBN: 978-9352678136


The title says it all.

‘Boo! When My Sister Died’ is a touching story revolving around Noorie the protagonist who’s sister Zoya dies leaving her lonely and lost. No amount of consoling and cajoling can help her come to terms with the absence of the one who was her world, that is until something happens. To know what happened, do read the book.

Evocative, the book unravels the tender feelings of a child for her sibling, her sense of loss, her irritation at being given at what she perceives as false hopes by her mother when she says Zoya is around, her exasperation on coming face to face with Zoya’s friend Dhara and her sense of despair on realizing that death may knock at will on their door, and take away another of her beloved.

The pictures in water colour and wash style with somber digital crosshatch, convey the emotions attached to the dark and bright side of life brilliantly. There are times when they convey a sense of sadness and grief and there are times when they reveal the warmth and bonding between the siblings. The pictures in fact speak for themselves. They communicate the uncertainty of life as well as the message of hope and acceptance of the inevitable, in an exceptionally clever style.


A simple story with a strong message conveyed with ease and brilliance. A must read for children of 6+ years.


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Book Review: Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar


TITLE: Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar
AUTHOR: Kochery C Shibu
PUBLISHER: Niyogi Books
ISBN: 9789385285004



A Hydel project in the remote Himalayas- three people brought together by fate.

Nanda an engineer from Kerala at the dam construction site, hiding from his past, from the law, torn between the love for his dear ones, and the kalari code of revenge. Khusru, a youth displaced from his native village in Kashmir, a gambit in the terror plot that threatens to blow up the dam, working as a labourer at the site. Rekha, a kathak dancer at heart, a doctor by profession, arrives at the campsite as the consort of Khusru. A village that accepts the dictates of modernity with a heavy heart, its population steeped in superstitions and religious beliefs.

All throng the campsite like moths to a flame, some escape untouched, successful; some miss a step and perish. Each has a story to tell and a dream to realize. Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar is about the aspirations of these people, with their cares and worries woven to the site life. The fury of nature and hardships of project life have no mercy for the weak and no time for the dead.Like an eternal spectator the Dhauladhar watches as men risk their lives and limb in the quest to fulfill their dreams.


A book of dreams and aspirations some fulfilled, some gone awry, ‘Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar’ weaves facts into fiction with ease. The author’s background, his experience with hydro- electric projects and his vast experience with handling people of different backgrounds and different temperaments is evident in the pages of the book. Riddled with motley of characters of various shades and various hues, ‘Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar’ has little nuggets of time- tested wisdom also tucked in.

Apart from dreams and aspirations, the sense of despair interspersed with a sense of hope, the rustic ways of the men at work, the spirit of bonding in the labour camps, the playful banter and serious discussions are all articulated with ease thus making them easily relatable.

There is intrigue and there is a clash of emotions, there is a web of deceit and some pure passion. Life in its myriad shades and Nature at her best and worst are brought forth with ease in totality. The characters a sizeable cast, are well developed and come across as ordinary souls who can be easily spotted in one’s neighbourhood or on urban roads as well as the countryside.

The pace, though slow at first picks up after the initial few chapters. The language is easy and communicative.

On the flip side

1) Heavily loaded with technical details that can at times bog the reader down. This in turn has resulted in the book being quite a lengthy one at 283 pages. A few pages less and just the right amount of technical input will I’m sure, make the book more enjoyable.

2) A lot of phrases in the local dialect without corresponding footnotes, act as speed- breakers thus taking away the thrill of an uninterrupted read for those not conversant with the terms/ phrases.


A book with a lot of information, an array of cast and emotions, ‘Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar’ is definitely different.


I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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Book Review: 8 Hours by Upendra Namburi


TITLE: 8 Hours
AUTHOR: Upendra Namburi
PUBLISHER: Westland Books
GENRE: Fiction (Thriller)
ISBN: 978-9386850041



Aratrika Reddy, the charismatic CEO of ARYA Holdings Ltd., has just 8 Hours to save her company from certain bankruptcy.

The multi-billion dollar hotels to steel conglomerate, founded by her mercurial father, liquor baron Madhusudhan Reddy, has many suitors, all of them plotting a hostile takeover. Aratrika’s estranged husband, Siddhartha is one of them. His inside knowledge is the real ace up his sleeve. The Rathores, the Reddys’ arch-rivals are looking to buy ARYA too and thereby settle old scores.

Aratrika has to weave her way through a litany of lawyers, politicians, bankers, bureaucrats, investors, power brokers and her dreaded family. Behind the scenes, Jagannath Rao, her wily uncle, is playing a dangerous double game of manipulation. Her father Madhusudan is furiously pulling the strings from behind the scenes. To add to the confusion, overseeing the whole sale process is her old flame, Peter.

Over the course of a single night, 8 Hours to be precise, Aratrika must fight the demons at the gates of her company and those within. It’s a fight to the bitter end.

A fight that Aratrika does not want to lose…


The clock ticks by, heart beats increase, emotions run high, brains are put to test and then finally the time comes when …….. Read the book to know. 🙂

‘8 Hours’ is a test of relationships, management skills and the will to achieve the ‘impossible.’ It is in fact a sneak- peek into the corporate business world, a world where money, management, muscle power and intelligence rule the roost, a world where the one caught napping eventually pays a price be it in terms of health or wealth or both. Here friends and foes are but temporary and blood turns out to be thinner than water. The shrewd survive while the dumb wit collapse and leave.

Racy and engaging, ‘8 Hours’ is weaved on a strong frame (read plot) which does not cave in easily to the reader’s sleuthing abilities. It takes the reader along till the end, peeling off the layers of suspense slowly one- by-one by way of surprising twists and turns.

Replete with a maze of emotions like love, hate, deceit, disgust, despair, determination, fear and surprise, the book is interesting and intriguing.

The characters are well fleshed out with their virtues and vices unraveled via subtle moves. Strong headed and determined, the protagonist Aratrika is seen to be fighting her inner demons several times within those eight hours, only to emerge stronger after each bout. Her passion, her determination and her gut feeling spur her on to cross each hurdle with the fire of a war horse and the moves of a Chess Master.

While I could easily relate to the Aratrika’s stress, Rajvardhan’s cunning moves, Siddharth’s greed and Jagannath’s manipulating ways, it was Madhusudhan’s hatred for his daughter that left me befuddled.

Language is lucid and the pace is racy. Yes, I must admit that the in the initial stages the pace appeared slow, but then once it picked up speed there was no looking back.

I missed –

1) A better understanding of Aratrika’s mother. A bit more on her and her peculiar relationship with the Reddy brothers would have helped.

2) The trigger for Madhusudhan’s anger and the motive behind the crime he committed.


A veritable treat for the suspense thriller buff, ‘8 Hours’ scores a four on a scale of five.


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Book Review: Carthick’s Unfairy Tales


TITLE: Carthick’s Unfairy Tales
AUTHOR: T.F.Carthick
FORMAT: Kindle Edition
ASIN: B0782P93G6



An evil dragon. A damsel in distress. A concerned father seeking a savior. A hero galloping off to the rescue – a knight in shining armor. Now THAT is stuff of fairy tales.

But what if the father’s real concern is for the dragon’s hoard; What if the damsel’s reason of distress is the marriage proposal by her pompous savior; and what if the story is told by the horse who bears not only the overweight knight but also his heavy, shining armor all the way to the dragon’s lair and back, facing certain death in the process?

What if there was more – much more – to all your favourite fairy tales than meets the eye?

This book chronicles not one but seven such unfairy tales – tales told by undead horsemen and living cities. Tales of mistreated hobgoblins and misunderstood magicians. Tales of disagreeable frogs and distressed mice. And bears baring their souls.


A different take, a new perspective, a fresh insight into tales of yore is what ‘Çarthick’s Unfairy Tales’is all about. Just seven in number these tales are sure to tickle one’s appetite and stir that something within that one calls food for thought.

The book unravels various facets of life and lays bare human nature with the help of the most unlikely characters of the fairy tales we’ve regaled in as children. Emotions such as disgust, deceit, irritation, ingratitude, hunger, cynicism, pride, etc., are unveiled in an unconventional way and that too by the ‘aggrieved parties’ of the famous tales of yore.

Language is simple and well suited for a book of this sort. Why? Because this one is for all and by all I mean children and old alike. It caters to all age groups.

A piece of flawless writing, this one is sure to make the world look at all those grandma stories with new eyes, an open mind and……… set the mind in top gear looking out for new interpretations, new perspectives.


A truly enjoyable read, this one is too…short. Wished the author had included more such stories. Looking forward to a sequel of the same I’ll give this one a 4 on a scale of 5.


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Book Review: Fear is the Key


TITLE: Fear is the Key
AUTHOR: Juggi Bhasin
PUBLISHER: Penguin Books
GENRE: Fiction ( Thriller, Suspense)
ISBN: 9780143440000



‘A bitter winter wind blowing outside spoke to me. There was no one else. And then it struck me. She might have truly disappeared! Sometimes, you get a sense of these things . . .’
It’s been one hell of a tough week at Yummimages, a digital infotainment site, with controversies seeping into the politicking within the office. To calm things down, Rahul, the founder, plans a party at his home. His goal is to set things right between his fiancée-to-be, Simone, and his business partner and close friend, Suhel. With the party in full swing it’s time for Rahul to have ‘the talk’, but suddenly Simone is nowhere to be found.
As all investigations come to naught, Rahul takes matters into his own hands and soon has a few suspects lined up. It’s just a matter of time before he knows the truth. But reality can be so twisted, so bizarre, so utterly unbelievable . . .
This book, by the creator of Agent Rana, will continue to give you chills long after you have read it.


Cleverly crafted, the book a suspense thriller takes the reader on a journey that’s sure to give one the goose bumps not because it is a murder mystery but because it has something that goes beyond the ordinary act of murder such as a slash with the knife or a bullet in the head. It is confusing and confounding. In fact it is a head- scratcher.

A few hairpin bends (twists and turns) up, one comes to a climax that’s sure to make you clap your forehead for……….it is……… I’ll leave it to you to read and analyse.

The language is simple, crisp and lucid making the read smooth- sailing. The pace is perfect and the style of narration is one best suited for a plot of this kind.

The characters are well- articulated and come across as normal human beings prone to virtues and vices. Be it the crafty Rahul with the face of a kitten and the mind of a crafty fox, the over-bearing ready to pounce lion akin Suhel, the proud as a peacock Simone or the greedy wolf of an Inspector Kripal, each one merges into the story with finesse and help take it forward without a hitch, without a bump.

In short, ‘Fear is the Key’ is sure to take the reader through a maze of alleys, alleys of glamour, glitz, deception, defeat and more…… It is a psychological thriller of sorts.


I received a copy from Writersmelonin exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’

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Cover Reveal – Corridors of Time by Vinay Krishnan


Corridors of Time tracks the story of a sensitive young man who grows from carefree childhood to eventful manhood – one who stumbles before learning to stride through those dark and dense passages.
Set in Bangalore – a city of paradoxes. of gardens and garbage heaps. of technology and traffic snarls. of friendly people and failing infrastructure. when bungalows had gardens and pavements were meant for pedestrians. this is a narrative of the human spirit.
Rohan, an idealistic young sports lover experiences rejection, dark dejection and isolation and hurtles down the path to self destruction.
Shyla, attractive and successful is everything his heart yearns for and his body desires, except, she is married!
Chandrika, simple and devoted fails to understand the man she loves.
The shuklas long for justice denied by the system.
And khalid fears nothing and no one …anymore.

About the Author:

Vinay Krishnan describes himself as a ‘complete Bangalorean’. A student of Clarence High School, he graduated in Humanities from St Joseph’s College. Earning a diploma in Business Administration, he began his career at Usha International Ltd and rose to a position of Senior Sales manager. Vinay has now set up a construction firm of his own. He also writes and devotes his time to an NGO assisting people with disability. The city of his dreams, Bangalore, where he stays with his wife and daughter, continues to inspire and exasperate him. He can be reached at –

Praises for the Book:

The book is simple in style and content, for often it is this simplicity that bewilders and rouses
~ Shri S . Rajendra Babu, Former Chief Justice of India

The book has excellent literary craftsmanship, passion humour and adventure. Highly recommended.
~ Mr. Namboodiri, former Asst. Editor, Deccan Herald

This charming book about old Bangalore is written in a racy easy-to-read style.
~ Deccan Herald, Bangalore.

This Cover Reveal is brought to you by Author’s Channel in association with b00k r3vi3ws

Spotlight: Sins of the Father by Sunanda J Chatterjee


Sins of The Father
Sunanda Chatterjee 

Police Officer Harrison McNamara grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth. The former Wellington Estates heir has dedicated his life to taking criminals off the streets. But when he goes undercover to expose a blackmailing scheme, he meets a freelance model who may hold a key to his past.

For psychologist Laura Carson, freelancing as a model is the perfect bridge until she can set up her practice. But her modeling agency isn’t what she expected. Encountering the enigmatic undercover cop might be everything she’s ever wanted—and everything she must avoid.

As Laura and Harrison grow closer, their past threatens to destroy them. Trapped in an unending cycle of guilt and blame, can they find a way to bury the sins of the past for a future of redemption and love? 

Book 1 of the Wellington Estates Series, Sins of the Father is a stand-alone romantic saga.

Read an excerpt:
AT THE END of class, Laura Carson assigned the reading for her Child Psychology seminar, snatched her embroidered tote bag from the desk drawer, and waited for her students to leave the classroom. Some students hurried out, others sauntered in twos and threes, laughing over some inside joke and planning their lunch. Once everyone had left, Laura turned off the lights and hurried down the hallway. Her wristwatch read 12:05. If she grabbed a quick sandwich, she’d be on time for the photoshoot. Laura pushed open the exit door of the building as blinding light from the late California summer assaulted her eyes. She shoved her hand into her tote bag for her sunglasses and stepped into the sunny, brick-lined walkway. Students thronged the campus at lunchtime like a wolf-pack on a hunt. Just as she let the door close behind her, someone crashed into her. She winced in the bright sunlight and said, “Watch where you’re going, dude!” Clutching her shoulder, she stared in dismay at the contents of her bag now scattered on the ground. Great! Now she’d be late. She cursed under her breath. She looked up to glare at the clumsy clod who had bumped into her. But she stood transfixed, mesmerized by the hazel eyes of a man built like Hercules. Hazel with green speckles. In his button-down shirt tucked into pleated khakis, he didn’t look like he belonged on a college campus. This Adonis should be in Hollywood. He apologized and bent down to pick up her things. Their hands brushed, and a shiver ran down her spine as he glanced at her paper: Effects of Family Reputation on the Child’s Personality. She picked up her lipstick, mints, hand lotion, sunglasses, receipts for grocery and lunches, and the usual bric-a-brac she stuffed into her tote. Her wallet lay open, a business card peeking out. The man grabbed it and frowned as he stared at the card. “Hey!” She tried to snatch it from him, but he moved his hand away with the swiftness of a fox and held it just outside her reach. “Give me that.” Still kneeling on the walkway, he hesitated, and asked, “Do you work for them?” She looked at the business card for The Angels, the modeling agency where Laura was to have a photoshoot in twenty minutes. She’d modeled for a photography class as a fun project, and Professor Warren told her she had the face of an angel. He knew people at this agency, and if she was interested in making extra money, she should give them a call. “Do you?” asked the handsome hulk, staring at the appointment time she’d scrawled on the card. He didn’t exude curiosity. The way his eyebrows knitted together, it emanated disapproving hostility. Laura was annoyed at his intrusiveness. There was nothing wrong with trying to make a bit of extra cash. Her oncologist mother could well afford to pay for her education, but Laura knew the value of money. She’d worked on campus on minimum wage with non-existent tips all through college and graduate school. She had completed her supervised hours as a therapist, and her mentor had told her she was ready to start her own practice. All she had to do was find an office space. But she enjoyed teaching undergrads in the interim, trying to psychoanalyze them when they asked questions. And the longer she delayed her jump into the life of a therapist, the more her desperation for extra cash, especially now that her roommates were ready to abandon her to move onto bigger things. Besides, her soon-to-be-ex-roommate Elena worked for The Angels and had recommended the agency. The man was waiting for her answer. She held his gaze and said, “It’s none of your business.” Laura didn’t understand the emotion in his eyes. Concern? Worry? He said, “Um…” She looked at the enchanting frown lines on his forehead. “Yes?” The urge to run her hands through his hair mortified and surprised her, as if a magnetic pull drew her to him like a moth drawn to a flame. She grabbed the last credit card lying on the ground. He used her pen to write his phone number on the back of The Angels’ card and handed it back to her, their hands touching once again, as an electric current ran up her arm, jolting her with an unfamiliar sensation. She quirked an eyebrow, still kneeling. The bricks on the walkway dug painfully into her exposed knee, and she tucked her skirt under it. “Presumptuous, aren’t we?” He put the card from The Angels inside her wallet and returned it to her. She took it from him and stuffed the credit card she’d picked up. When she looked up at him, he extended his hand, a smile playing on his lips as if he was enjoying himself, and she was surprised at his sudden change from concern to mirth. Then he spoke in a resonant baritone. “Can I have my credit card back? Or are you planning to rob me blind?” Laura flushed and stared at her wallet in dismay. She had indeed picked up his credit card. Poisonous words from her childhood stormed through her mind, piercing her heart: You’re a thief like your father. Hands shaking, she returned the card and said, “I’m not a thief!” The face of her ex-boyfriend, George, flashed in front of her eyes. But this time she actually had picked up someone else’s credit card, albeit by mistake. George’s angry yells still rang in her ears. “You’re just like your father!” Although it had happened a year ago, the raw hurt was still fresh in her heart, like a slash from a six inch blade. Why had she been foolish enough to reveal her family secret? George had told her about his arrest for driving under the influence, and she’d told him about her father. After George broke up with her, she was determined never to confide in anyone, and had started a string of meaningless dates. “Hey!” said the man in front of her, bringing her back to the present. She looked at him, anger and confusion blinding her momentarily. “I was kidding,” he said with a grin as he pocketed his card. Then he stood up, towering over her. “Can you tell me the way to Freshman English?” The brilliance of the grin dazzled her as she threw her things back into her tote bag. Warmth flooded through her as the irritation washed away like dust from her unwashed windshield after a shower, her need to make a good impression on him, intense. Her head reeled as she straightened up. “New on campus? You look a bit old for Freshman English.” He stuffed his hands in his pockets. “Looks can be deceptive. And some of us have to work.” She wondered what he meant. Had he worked before starting college? Or was working while in college? Intrigued, she smiled and led him a few feet away to the campus map displayed on an angled stone plaque upon which stood an abandoned coffee-cup. She tossed the cup into an overfilled trashcan beside it. “English Department holds all the freshman classes in Mudd Building.” She pointed to the star. “We’re here. You take Ackerman Way down to Bolden Plaza and turn right. You’ll see Mudd Building on the left. Ask someone once you get there.” “Thanks,” he said, and flashed her a smile that enlivened his face once more. She wanted to hand him the business card of The Angels for he could well be a model himself. In a moment, he would walk away and she’d never see him again. For some reason, the thought brought an ache to her heart. On a whim, she said, “I’m Laura Carson, by the way.” She hoped he’d take the hint and introduce himself; she had squandered the opportunity to see his name on the credit card. “Harrison McNamara.” He walked away from her as she watched his receding back, his muscular, lithe frame disappearing into the crowd of students down the walkway in the dappled shade of the jacaranda trees. He was gone, but he had left her his name, like the pleasant aftertaste of chocolate that lingers long after the ice cream is finished. Behind him, the outlines of the San Gabriel Mountains of Southern California rose tall and wide, their tops covered in clouds, promising delightful mystery, inviting her to ascend into the uncertainty. Stop behaving like a teenager, Laura. You’re a therapist! Still, a smile stole on her lips. Harrison McNamara was like no one she’d dated before. George had been much older than her, and she was drawn to his success. She cooked and cleaned for him and ran errands like a housemaid, staying over at his place more often than not. Her best friend and roommate, Juhi Raina, had told her she was being foolish over someone who didn’t value her as a person, as a professional. And she was right, for George had turned out to be a judgmental prick. The lingering scent of Harrison McNamara’s aftershave knotted her stomach, reminding her of her empty life. Of late, her dates were guys she picked up from a dating site, just for an evening of fun. They’d have drinks together, and depending on whether they were gentlemen, she’d bring them back home and go on a second date. But most of her relationships ended on her doorstep at the end of her first date, with or without a goodnight kiss like the period at the end of an uninspiring sentence. But Harrison was someone she wanted to get to know better. She touched her lips, letting her feverish mind imagine his mouth on hers, and a rush of adrenaline drowned her in foolish anticipation. Her reverie was broken by a flyer that flew right into her face. It was about Kara. A few days ago, the suicide of the co-ed had shrouded the campus in confusion and sorrow. Laura had been dismayed at the news. She remembered Kara from her Intro to Psychology class as a studious, pretty girl who kept to herself. But the resilient arrogance of youth sprung back from tragedy with unnerving rapidity; after just two days of mourning, the college moved on with classes, shows, and parties, and Laura had found herself getting ready for new hope and prospects. She pulled out her phone and called Juhi, who was busy with the opening of her boutique. Juhi had worked at an upscale boutique for a few years until she started designing dresses and evening gowns in the condo. She had recently found the guts to open her own shop. Laura was both proud and envious of her courage and wished some of it had rubbed off on her. Juhi said, “Just two weeks left, Laura. You’ll come to the opening, right?” Laura remembered a weekend back in middle school when she’d promised to visit Juhi, but forgot to call and cancel when Elena showed up at her door for a school project. The next day at school, Juhi threw haughty glances her way until lunchtime, and when Laura asked her what happened, Juhi said, “Laura, you are my only real friend. But I get it. You have many friends and have every right to see them. I’m trying to deal with it. Just, do me a favor. If you make plans with me, stick to them. Because when I make plans with you, I clear my whole calendar.” Laughing at the memory, Laura cupped her hand over the phone and said, “I’ve cleared my whole calendar.” “Good!” Laura grinned, as the comfort of years of friendship enveloped her in its warmth. She may not have a boyfriend, but she had a best friend. “I might even bring a date. Juhi, I think I met the one.” Juhi laughed. “Again? Where? Who is he?” “I bumped into him.” “Bumped into a guy and have an instant crush. Can it be more cliché? And where did this happen?” Laura laughed. “On Ackerman. He was on his way to class.” “You’re a Clinical Psychologist, Laura. Since when are you interested in college kids?” Laura sighed. “Since Harrison McNamara started Freshman English.”

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About the author

Sunanda J. Chatterjee writes romantic sagas and family dramas, with empowered heroines and noble heroes, and all manner of family relationships. She loves extraordinary love stories and heartwarming tales of duty and passion. Her themes include the immigrant experience, women’s issues, and medicine.
Her books have consistently been the Top 100 bestsellers on Amazon USA and Amazon India in Asian Literature, Indian Writing, and Asian Drama categories. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies, and 
She grew up in Bhilai, India and now lives in Arcadia, California with her husband and two wonderful children. When she is not by the microscope or creating imaginary worlds, she reads, sings, goes on long walks, and binge-watches old TV dramas.

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Book Review: A Home for Urvashi



TITLE: A Home for Urvashi
AUTHOR: Sanchali Bhattacharya
PUBLISHER: Harper Collins
ISBN: 978-9352773541
GENRE: Fiction (Fantasy)

Death separates Dulari from her beloved twin sister, Ujjwala. Forlorn, her spirit remains on Earth as a powerless but constant companion to Ujjwala. Like the apsara Urvashi, she has the power to travel between worlds but no family, no one to love. Dulari has a dream: she hopes to be reborn as Ujjwala’s daughter and find a home for herself. Twenty-nine years have gone by, but her dream remains unfulfilled. There is hope, though, for Ujjwala has a son and now longs for a daughter.

Then arrives a man from Ujjwala’s past. His presence upsets her life and sets into motion a series of events that threaten to destroy her completely. Only Dulari can save her sister, but to do that, she must relinquish her dream.

Sensitively written and evocative, A Home for Urvashi depicts the bond of sisterhood that goes beyond life and death.
Plot/ Storyline: Unique and fresh, the novel takes us on the wings of fantasy to a whole new world, the world of spirits, Satatma and Duratma. Narrated by Dulari the one who wilts even before she can bloom, the story takes us on a journey of the life of a spirit who expresses all those emotions that the living soul express. She laughs, she loves, she cries, she cares, she rebels, and she regrets. At times she feels a tinge of jealousy coursing through her invisible form. While she worries for her living twin and yearns to be with her, she cannot help but peep into her life. What she encounters there worries her no end. But then what can she a spirit, do? Does she sit back and see her twin suffer or does she find a way out to help her? ………..No spoilers here. So the only way out is to read ‘A Home for Urvashi.’ And when you read it you are sure to come across a number of hairpin bends (twists and turns) that make the journey not only interesting and thrilling, but tickle your senses and make you empathize with the unfortunate.

The book brings out sibling love at its best and also addresses certain social issues in subtle yet powerful strokes.

Characterization: The characters be they the protagonists or the supporting souls, are well articulated, thus making it easy for the reader to relate to them, their views, their actions and reactions. In fact one can easily don their shoes and live the story without feeling ill at ease/ appearing odd. Each one of them contributes to taking the story forward without a hitch, without a hurdle.

Language: Simple, crisp and lucid making the read easy, enjoyable and smooth. One can actually visualize the various places mentioned in the book.
A heart-warming read, ‘A Home for Urvashi’ is in fact a virtual tour of the world of spirits and that of the earthlings peppered with the elements of emotions, expectations, suspense and surprise in the right measure. So the book gets a 4 on a scale of 5 from me.

I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’

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Children’s Book Review: Dance of the Wild



TITLE: Dance of the Wild
AUTHOR: Richa Jha
ILLUSTRATOR: Ruchi Mhasane
PUBLISHER: Pickle Yolk Books
ISBN: 978-9352792276
Done in subtle shades, the cover gives us an idea of what to expect within it.

The story of little Shilu a wild yet lovable little girl, and her desire to be free of that one thing that distinguishes her from the animals and birds she sees around her; clothes, ‘Dance of the Wild’ has nothing to do with wild animals. Instead it deals with the wild nature in each living soul, a nature which we human beings try to suppress as we grow in age, yet can’t help but smile when the little ones display the same. Down to earth and riveting, the book has enough in terms of content and illustrations to hold the attention of even a little toddler. Reading the book to my little grandson of less than two years was like taking him on a journey he himself lives each day. The little guy loves to shed off that extra burden and feel the elements of Nature caress his body with love. He could easily relate to the story because he himself experiences the joy of walking nude. Apart from that all the characters in the book are very much a part of his life. He has a ‘pirate’ constantly beckoning him to run out and play and with it. He is mesmerized with the birds that fritter from tree to tree in our courtyard, without a care. He has a grandma in me who ‘pesters’ him when he sheds off his clothes and runs about without a care and also has a mother with whom he can share a secret. It was a pleasure reading the book to him and listen to him yarn a story of his own, based on the illustrations given within the pages.

Though the Amazon site mentions the reading level as 6+ years, my very own experience is that even parents of toddlers can pick it up and enjoy the smile it brings to the little one’s face. The book definitely has the ability to nudge the creative side of the little ones to relate and yarn stories of their own around the illustrations that are simple yet relatable. The book will also interest and inspire the targeted group i.e. 6+ year ones, to enjoy the world of books and take to the habit of reading and writing.
Narrated in down to earth fashion, the story is enjoyable, relatable and thought -evoking. The sketches in subtle colours and simple strokes are easy on the eyes yet alluring.



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Author and picture book snuggler- creator Richa Jha is an Indian author, blogger, publisher and picture book enthusiast. She is an independent creator of picture books in English under her PICKLE YOLK BOOKS imprint.

To get to know her, do visit her profile at Goodreads

You can also connect with her via fb / twitter

Do take a look at her website