BOOK REVIEW: YOU NEVER KNOW

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TITLE: You Never Know – Sometimes Love Can Drag You Through Hell…
AUTHOR: Akash Verma
PUBLISHER: Penguin Metro Reads
GENRE: Romance
ISBN: 978-0-143-44109-0
 
 

THE BOOK
 
 

 
 
BLURB
 

There will be times when you feel you have the best relationship, ever . . .
There will be times when it will be the worst that has happened to you
There will be times when you know you are getting into something
horrible, something that will not stop till it destroys you,

And yet . . .

You are pulled so inextricably, unstoppably . . .

She was my true love, I knew that. So despite being married and having children, I still went ahead with our affair. I hid it from my wife and colleagues. I told lies so I could be with her-it was that amazing! But I couldn’t hide from the dark truth she was keeping. It pulled me into a vortex of danger so deep that I lost all I had. It happened to me and if you think it won’t happen to you-think again.
 
 

MY TAKE
 

Plot/ Story-line : Interesting yet nothing new. It is the story of many who inspite of a blissful married life somewhere down the years fall for the charms of another. Their confusion, their mental turmoil and the consequences of their misdemeanor are put across well in the book. Is it newfound love or is it an attraction wrongly interpreted as love that has the protagonist Dhruv in its clutches? Well for Dhruv it may have been love but for me it certainly turned out to be just a mere attraction one that would have waned off with time, if only he were more strong-willed. As for Anuradha again was it love or just a way of satisfying her hurt ego? Was she trying to heal the wounds inflicted by her ex-lover or was she trying to take out her revenge on the male species unwittingly?

The story according to me is open to various interpretations regarding Dhruv’s feelings for Anuradha and vice versa. This is what makes it interesting. Apart from that I’d say the conclusion was pretty clear from the start. By that I mean the turn their relationship will take and the upheavals it will create in their life. However, I must admit that there is an element of suspense and surprise in the story which I’d rather not reveal since it will be an injustice to the author and his readers/ prospective clients. To know what I mean, do read the book.
 

Buy it @ amazon.in
 
 

Characterization: The characters especially that of Dhruv and Anuradha are well developed. You can easily relate to most of their actions, reactions and inner turmoil. However I would have loved to get to know Dhruv’s wife Shalini a little more. I feel she has not been given enough space and importance.
 
 
Language: Easy and free flowing. Devoid of jargon, the book is a smooth read.
 
 
Pace: Steady and perfect. There are neither lull moments nor racy ones.
 
 
Style: I liked it. It suits the plot.
 
 

VERDICT

 

A simple and easy read, one that you can pick up on a lazy afternoon. I’ll give the book a 3 on a scale of 5.
 
 


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

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Agony Of A Free Bird

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What is life if I were to follow rules that others make
Born a free bird, live a free bird, die a free bird is my birth right I say
Traffic rules are not for me, I like the wind caressing my hair as I do ride
Seat belts restrict me; they are a nuisance I cannot bear.

 
 
Hair flying wild in the wind he rode the Pulsar at top gear
Raced his Audi on bumpy roads, the seat belt lying limp by his side
Hot blood rushed through his being, life a joyous ride for him
Wild as the wind he raced along life’s path at speeds no one dared

 
 
Then one day his kid the Pulsar, skid off the bumpy road
Threw him off as would a raging bull on hot rocks rough and sharp
Skull shattered, legs broken, eyes closed in a pool of blood he lay
Helpless, moaning, writhing in pain, waiting for solace…….

 
 

Image Source
Pixabay
 
 
I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Challenge
and this one is on today’s prompt i.e. ‘Disobedience

 
 


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A Cold Winter Night

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“Knock! Knock!”

Suddenly woken up from deep slumber, I looked at the mobile screen with bleary eyes.

2.00 AM

I shook my head trying to keep my eyes open and slowly trudged towards the door, fumbled for the light switch. It took me a good one minute to locate it.

“Knock! Knock!”

The lights came on. Hand on the door knob,I made to turn it when…….

Suddenly I was wide awake. Hey! What am I doing? It’s just 2 am and I am all alone in the house. Who can it be at this unearthly hour?

Fear overtook me. I looked through the peep hole but not finding even a soul in sight I waited.

“Knock! Knock!…”

This time the knocking was louder and more persistent.

“Who’s there?” I asked trying my best to keep away that tremble from my tone.

No answer. Instead the uninvited just knocked once again. Beads of perspiration gathered around my brows and slowly started to trickle down the temples. I was at a loss. Who do I call up at this hour?

“Knock! Knock!”

I could take it no more. That gnawing fear of the unknown was slowly getting on my nerves. I had to know who it was and why. I slowly tip-toed to the easy chair lying in a corner of the room, pulled out the wooden rod that held the cloth from slipping out and walked back to the door.

“Knock! Knock!”

Letting out a silent prayer I slowly turned the knob and waited with bated breath for the uninvited guest to enter. My hands were perspiring profusely. Yet, I maintained a steady grip on the rod.

“Tick! Tick!”

Seconds passed by slowly. Nothing happened.

Just as I was about to relax, there was a flurry of activity at the door and in a flash the attack took place. I yelled and the rod slipped down to the floor with a heavy thud. I jumped on to the nearest chair shivering, hand to mouth.

The visitor looked at me with surprised eyes and before I could react turned and scurried out into the darkness.

Slowly, still shivering from the fright, I got down from the chair and cursing the rodent slammed the door shut. Leaning on it I tried to steady my racing heart.

Minutes later peals of laughter reverberated through the room. Tears flowed from my eyes as I held my stomach tight.


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I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Challenge

Image Source :Pixabay

Book Blast : Children’s Classic Stories Volume I – Retold by Aniesha Brahma

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About the Book:

 
 
This gorgeous treasury of ten classic stories is guaranteed to delight and entertain young children, bringing the magic of traditional stories to the new generation of children. Aimed at 8-12 year olds, each favourite fairy tale or story has been sensitively retold for young readers.

The series ‘Children’s Classic Stories’ contains total 100 stories in 10 volumes. The stories in this collection show the consequences of greed, pride, and vanity, but also tell of the love that grows from a kind heart and a cheerful nature.

Volume 1 includes the following stories:

01. Little Red Riding Hood
02. Cinderella
03. Hansel and Gretel
04. Sleeping Beauty
05. Snow White and Rose Red
06. The Emperor’s New Clothes
07. Rumplestiltskin
08. The Wise Little Girl
09. Goldilocks and the Three Bears
10. Rip Van Winkle


 
 
About the Author:

Aniesha Brahma knew she wanted to be a writer since she was six years old. She was schooled in Dolna Day School and went on to pursue B.A., M.A., and M.Phil in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur Univeristy. She currently lives in Kolkata, with her family and five pet cats. She is the author of All Signs Lead Back to You, When Our Worlds Collide, The Guitar Girl and The Secret Proposal. She compiled and edited the 10 volumes series, ‘Children’s Classic Stories’ with love and great efforts.

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Book Review: Destined by Rubina Ramesh

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TITLE: Destined
AUTHOR: Rubina Ramesh
GENRE: Fiction (Romance)
ASIN: B075ZS2MZH
FORMAT: eBook
 
 
 

THE BOOK
 

 
BURB
 
 

Esha Mehra could have taken care of her father, only if she had some support from her fiancé. But he had his priorities set and her sick father was nothing but a burden. Esha didn’t have any other choice but to apply for a loan from her office. But she had not banked on the fact that the Head of Geno Technologies needed her for other reasons.

When Rohan Sharma saw Esha for the first time, he felt she was the one. He had no intention of falling in love with her for the pain of the past was still too much to bear. But he did need Esha as a decoy to his plan. But Esha was not a damsel in distress who would bend to his will easily. While he was sure that he would marry her only for six months, he still couldn’t understand why he felt a searing jealousy every time, her ex-fiancé Ayush’s name was mentioned.

While these two souls had other plans in their lives, Destiny conspires to bring them together. But will the stench of Death let them live their lives?

 
MY TAKE
 

Why did I pick this one up?
 

Hesitant at first not because I don’t have faith in the author’s writing skill but because I prefer thrillers and mythological fiction to romance, I picked this up for two reasons:

1) Curiosity. The blurb interested me. I wanted to know what fate had in store for Esha and her boss Rohan Sharma.

2) Faith in the Author’s writing. I knew she could pull off a romance well have read another romance from her desk titled Finding The Angel
 

So, how did I find the book?
 
Enthralling!

Esha the female protagonist, comes across as a strong- willed, level head one who is not ready to buckle under pressure. She can be sweet and rude.Not ready to be cowed down either by her fiancé, his mother and boss Rohan Sharma, she knows her priorities and responsibilities. Faced with a serious situation she needs to take some hard decisions. But can she, without compromising her dignity? For that you need to read the book.

Packed with stings and barbs, selfish motives and selfless love, ‘Destined’ also has some sizzling romance scenes that are sure to go down well with lovers of romance fiction and the romantic at heart.

The characters are etched out well and you can’t but help relate to their mood and mood- swings. Even the secondary characters are strong enough to make an impact on the reader. They play a pivotal role in moving the story forward. You may hate some of them but then you can’t help agree that without them the story would lose its charm.

Language is Rubina’s forte. She knows how to play with words to bring live the scenes. ‘Destined’ too is blessed by this ability of hers. The imagery is vivid and lingers long after the story ends.

Pace is perfect. Smooth and free flowing, it is neither too fast nor too slow. So there is no scope for letting out a yawn in between the pages, nor feel that things have been rushed through. One can relax and enjoy the story.

 
Any suggestions from my side?
 

Ah! Yes. Would love those minor typographical errors at a few places here and there, corrected.
 

VERDICT
 

A must read, one that is destined to leave you smiling. I’m glad I picked it up. I’ll give it a 4 on a scale of 5.


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Buy the book @ amazon.in
 
 
OTHER BOOKS FROM THE AUTHOR’s DESK

A Battle Fought With A Smile

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High hopes and aspirations
Winged with talent abundant
Saw him soar high in the tinsel town
They call Mollywood

A young guy was he
With a promise to make it big
Maybe one day reign at # 1
With a fan base the envy of everyone

Then one day
Fate gave him a blow
Fatal and stunning
Shaking everyone to the core

The fighter in him received it with a smile
Said I’ll survive, I’ll survive
Moved ahead with a beautiful smile
Looked ahead with stars in the eye

He won the round
Was an inspiration to all
Showed that half the battle is won
If one fights with a smile and a will of steel

Two years went by
Life looked happy and bright
The enemy within felt jealous, decided to strike
This time with a force great and precise

Shocked yet composed
He took up arms
Fought valiantly day in, day out
With a smile on the face and a positive brain

The messages he wrote from the hospital bed
Lent hope to the sick, wiped tears of the sad
The smile he sported even when drained
Energized the medics, made them smile

Then one day the world woke up to hear
The passing away of the brave young lion heart
One who even in the face of the illness gnawing on him
Smiled and smiled, imparted courage to all
 
 

PS: The prompt ‘Terminal’ brought back images of Jishnu Raghavan, a very talented young actor of Mollywood who even while battling throat and lung cancer continued to smile. His thoughts and messages were a great source of inspiration to many a patient suffering the deadly disease. He passed away on March 25, 2016 at the prime age of 35.

Do visit Jishnu Raghavan’s FB Page to get an insight into his thoughts even when battling the disease.


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I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Challenge

Write Tribe

Down Memory Lane

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“Thud!”

The sound of a mango falling to the ground woke me up from my reverie. My leg willed me to run but my body exhausted from the chores of the day refused to budge.

“Thud!”

There falls another one I thought to myself. This time I could not hold myself back. I ran to the rear courtyard and searched for the two. There they lay side-by-side partially hidden by a fallen coconut frond. I picked them up and without a thought rubbed them on my saree and dug my teeth deep into them. Sweet juice oozed out transporting me to those days when I was just a kid…..

Lazy summer afternoons at grandma’s……

A big house filled with aunts, uncles and cousins, summer vacations were fun. Lunch over, the ladies would spend the time in the front veranda reading the day’s newspaper or a magazine, talking to each other or just lying down while the kids would spend time on the ‘kolaya’( narrow veranda running throughout three sides of the house excluding the front) yarning stories, playing hopscotch, skipping, etc., etc., All would go well till…….

“Thud!”

Little feet would grow wings. Scrambling, falling, getting up and running eyes would scan the undergrowth below the big mango tree till……

“Hooray!”

All would jump to grab the fallen fruit. In the scuffle that ensued, the smart one would grab the mango and bite deep into it…… The trophy (juicy mango) would be his/ hers. Once someone had dug their teeth into the mango none else would dare grab it. The winner would then dust the mango against his/ her dress and gorge on it. No question of washing with water. But then in those days I believe, the immune system was too strong to crack just by the consumption of a few grains of dust.

The rest would wait a few more minutes looking up at the mango tree with pleading eyes or return to the ‘kolaya’ to resume what they had left mid-way.

“Thud!”

Returning to the present, I once again began my search for the fallen mango.


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Image Source: Pixabay

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Challenge

Write Tribe

Spotlight: The Guardian by Anna Del Mar

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Title: The Guardian
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Author: Anna del Mar
Website: http://www.annadelmar.com
Publisher: Mermaid Press
Purchase links:

Amazon / Kobo / Nook

About The Guardian:

From the Amazon Bestseller author of The Asset and The Stranger, comes The Guardian.

Game Warden Matthias Hawking is a decorated ex-SEAL engaged in a grueling fight against ruthless poachers in Africa. He’s short on resources and long on enemies. There’s a price on his head. The last thing he needs is the unexpected arrival of a beautiful but stubborn journalist threatening to uncover his secrets, an alpha female challenging his alpha male and getting into trouble, a hurricane wearing boots.

Jade Romo is a veteran of several different kinds of war. She’s survived her heroin-addicted mother, the foster care system, and the conflict in Afghanistan. Jade’s tough, confident, cynical, and self-reliant, a woman who doesn’t believe in forevers. But when she defies the poachers and lands at the top of the warlord’s kill list, she’s forced to rely on the skilled, attractive but supremely infuriating game warden who has captivated her body’s undivided attention.

Haunted by his past but driven by his courage, her mysterious guardian will do anything in his power to protect the woman who has captured his heart.

About the Author:

Amazon Bestselling author Anna del Mar writes hot, smart romances that soothe the soul, challenge the mind, and satisfy the heart. Her stories focus on strong heroines struggling to find their place in the world and the brave, sexy, kickass heroes who defy their limits to protect the women they love.

A Georgetown University graduate, Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, and the sea. Writing is her addiction, her drug of choice, and what she wants to do all the time. The extraordinary men and women she met during her years as a Navy wife inspire the fabulous heroes and heroines at the center of her stories.

When she stays put—which doesn’t happen very often—she splits her time between Colorado and Florida, where she lives with her indulgent husband and a very opinionated cat.

Anna loves to hear from her readers. Connect at:

Annadelmar.com
Anna on Facebook
Anna on Twitter
Anna@annadelmar.com
Subscribe to Anna’s newsletter

Life as I see it

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Life is a journey
A journey long and mysterious
We make some plans, we follow certain patterns
Only to find them go awry in just a few seconds.
 
 
Life is a journey
A journey of surprises and sudden decisions
We make some plans, we follow certain patterns
Only to find ourselves change them on the spur of a moment.
 
 
Life is journey
A journey of ups and downs
It is a journey that calls for changes
Life is unpredictable.
 
 
So,
Follow a routine, a pattern
But be ready to make changes and adjustments
Enjoy, learn and be rewarded.
 
 
Life is to be loved and lived
Not to be killed by monotony and grief.


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I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Challenge

Write Tribe

Book Blast : Lean into Relationships

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About the Book:

Doubt has pivoted many a relationship across the centuries. Whether it is Othello suspicious of Desdemona or through the rise of paranoia as a trope in twentieth century writings. While paranoia naturally suggests the vulnerability of individual mind to social rhetoric, it is also the space for deep interrogation of the individual that renders him/her to paranoia. This novel presents that
doubt has the potential to be a space of liberation.
 
Madeeha works in Jordan to rehabilitate Syrian refugees. Zehen, a political analyst from India, meets her in the US during their social impact program. He is intrigued and charmed by her, and falls deeply in love. But the world political climate, with its accompanying cultural narratives about terror and pain, infects Zehen’s mind. Zehen begins to suspect Madeeha as a possible mujahid. Will he
find his truth?
 
Fear doesn’t devastate; it stirs the inner pot. It is a tender love story that triumphs heartbreaks and sets the foundation of deep lasting future relationships – a delightful emancipation from social intrigues and cultural constraints.


Read an Excerpt:

Zehen was experiencing sweet joy in his heart. Memories bustled in the head.
 
When did he first see her? Zehen searched his head madly. Orientation session? Corridor to the classroom? However, he tried, he couldn’t pinpoint the moment. A whirr of images, of moments, yet-to-be collaged. And a heart that already had a narrative, waiting to be inset.
 
We imagine that all romantic stories will have a sigh-worthy romantic beginning. But beginnings are when the heart awakens, when the soul remembers. A presence stills and emerges from the shadows of time.
 
His first memory was when she introduced herself in the class. They had gathered at Presidium University for a one-year course on Social Impact Leadership. Outside, the white fringe tree was laden with its grape-like fruits. The pine, oak and spruce waited for winter to tell the world how unchangeable they were. And the
old Redwood stood proud like the institution itself. Inside, in the warm
classroom, students from various cultures across the world had gathered.
Icebreaker session was on and the usual round of introductions.
 
Introduction is a ritual. A cumbersome ritual. How does one reduce the tapestry of one’s entire existence, the colors, and the many weaves into a single palatable thread?

 
The Book is Free on Amazon on 29th & 30th September. Grab it here: Amazon
Anecdote
 
I published my first book in 2015 and my second book in early 2016. I was single at the time and using dating apps to meet other single people. I met a girl in mid-2016 who took fancy to my dating profile, especially that I am an author. After a couple of meetings, She demanded that I write about her. I jokingly told her that I am a Phoenix writer, i.e., I fall in love, get dumped, and write about my failed relationship. She broke-up with me, and still invariably pings
whether I am including ‘her and our relationship’ in my upcoming book(s).
———————-
 
The genesis of this book came about while I was on a cross-country train ride in the US. I met Mark who had been a successful marketing professional with considerable international marketing experience. He had travelled to all of Asia and understood the regional peculiarities.
 
He was later diagnosed with lung cancer. By the time, it was detected, it was stage 3. He was put under radiation and intensive chemotherapy. He went in for three other opinions. All of them agreed that the cancer was aggressive and spreading fast. He searched for the latest treatments and sought to enter clinical trials. The process lasted for two years.
 
In the meantime, the cancer advanced. The doctors said the cancer was incurable and he didn’t have long to live. It took him weeks of denial to come around to the truth – he didn’t have long to live.
 
He returned home from a long walk one evening and asked himself a crucial question: “If I am going to die, then I might as well die straight away. What is point of waiting for death to show up?”
 
That evening he ate well, watched a movie with his girlfriend, poured himself a rare scotch and sat at his study. It was time. He wrote out his letter – love and wishes to his family, loved ones and friends, his last wishes about funeral,information on his will, and a general note thanking all. He placed it in an envelope. He planned to kill himself early morning. He finished his scotch, brushed and went to bed.
 
In the middle of night, he woke up to a noise. The light was on in the study and he could hear sniffles. He walked cautiously up and there in the study, his girlfriend was holding his suicide letter and crying. He watched her as her body crumpled and sink into chair. Her face contorted in agony. In her face, he saw what was the consequence of his action. The penny dropped.
 
I paled and listened in horror. Mark continued, “I realized that our life is never ours. We are nothing but a bundle of emotions for the people who love us and the people we love. The meaning of life is to optimize for the happiness of such people. There’s nothing more to living.
 
That day on, I have been living for maximizing the happiness of my loved ones”
 
That’s how I stumbled on lean in to relationships; it has become my life philosophy.
About
the Author
 

 
I was born into poverty. At the time of my birth, my parents shared a one -room hut with six other family members in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Delhi.
 
It was a hot day in the month of March 1995. I was in standard 4th and had an examination the following day. As was regular in that locality, we didn’t have electricity that day. I couldn’t study or sleep properly. One of the watershed moments happened when I came back from school the next day. We had an inverter installed at home. I knew we couldn’t afford an inverter. But my dad was always convinced that the way out of poverty for our family is through education. 
 
Despite an interest in creative writing, I chose to study a subject that society values more – Finance.  Later, I got into one of the top colleges for finance in the country. My first salary out of college (in 2007, when I was 20 years old) was higher than that of my dad’s salary at the time.
 
When I was 24 years old, I had everything that makes one happy – loving parents, great partner, close-knit group of friends, and career path that exceeded every goal. Yet, I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t sad either; but it never felt like my life. I had carefully and meticulously built that life though. Contextually, it was
the safe thing to do.
 
Following year though, I had to deal with the loss of my 7 year old relationship and of my 5 year old job. My identity was crushed. My biggest lesson was that you can fail at what you don’t want, and what you consider safe; you might as well take a chance at what you truly want.
 
Next year, I got my ‘ideal’ job but walked away from it. Failure had taught me to be more ambitious and audacious. I had reached a point in my life where I wanted my work to have more meaning; and to stand for something more important than myself.
 
I started a political consulting company to maneuver social ascendance of marginalized communities by equalizing access to political capital.  I primarily did topical research for MPs for their debates in the parliament and on TV shows.  Partial project list includes:
1.  
Providing 108 rape survivors with medical,
legal, financial, and social support over six months through one of my client’s
NGO
2.  
Getting amendments passed in the communal
violence bill that tackle systemic bias towards Muslims
3.  
Helping three social entrepreneurs raise a
combined total of INR 43 lakhs from their MP for community initiatives
 
Along with running my own company, I focused on my passion for writing and traveling as well.  I solo travelled to all seven wonders of the world, and did two-cross country trips by train in India and in the US.  I have also written and
published three fiction novels.


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