Category Archives: Books

Book Review: The Prisoner of Yakutsk

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THE PRISONER OF YAKUTSK
The Subhash Chandra Bose Mystery
Final Chapter
By
Shreyas Bhave

 
Paperback: 292 pages
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9352011422
ISBN-13: 978-9352011421
 
 

 
 

History and fiction join hands to serve a palatable dish called ‘Prisoner of Yakutsk’.

Set in two different timelines set apart by around seven decades, and with seemingly unconnected people out on a hunt to unravel some mysteries, ‘Prisoner of Yakutsk’ has at its core the disappearance of a prominent figure from history, a man whom the Nation called Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. One of the most controversial disappearances, of all times, this one has made it to the headlines time and again without a satisfactory explanation. However in The Prisoner of Yakutsk, Author Shreyas Bhave attempts to find closure to the mystery, with the help of facts interspersed with fiction.

Intriguing plot combined with a riveting narrative ‘Prisoner of Yakutsk’ will make you sit up in your seat and not let you put it down till you read the last word. Well knitted and showcased, this one has all the elements of a good thriller, enough to keep you on the edge. The twists and the turns are nail- biting, and the climax will leave you stunned. The only thing I felt could have been better was the characterization part. While the characters of Jay and Tanya the protagonists, are perfectly etched, the ones of the sub characters like Mr. and Mrs. Singh, Harman and Dinesh felt wanting. However Akhtar’s (one among the five who set off on a special undercover operation) characterization is done perfectly. One can actually live it out while reading the book. Would have loved to get a better insight into the characters of the other four.
 
 

READ THE BLURB HERE @ GOODREADS
 
 

VERDICT

A gripping historical fiction that has the ability to take its reader along, and leave them fully satisfied ‘The Prisoner of Yakutsk’ will show you how history can be made interesting if only we put our heart into it and allow our creative juices to doodle in it. Looking forward to more such interesting reads from the author.


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Buy the book @ Amazon

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Book Review: Her Prince Charming by Sundari Venkatraman

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Format: Paperback
Publisher: Flaming Sun (7 March 2019)
ISBN-10: 9353464846
ISBN-13: 978-9353464844


 
 

FIRST THINGS FIRST 🙂 – THE COVER

Done in black and fading white, the cover gives us a glimpse of the timeline when the story of an Indian Cinderella is set. Beautiful and captivating, it takes us back to the era of black and white movies which are till date loved for their lyrical melodies and graceful heroines.

MY TAKE

Where do I begin, and where do I end? That’s the dilemma I’m facing at the moment. Hats off to you Queen of Romance Sundari Venkatraman, you’ve once again proved that a light romance can not only turn out to be a page turner, very much like a racy thriller, but also linger on in the reader’s mind till long, long after the last word is read. 🙂 ‘Her Prince Charming’ deals with a story that has conflicting emotions like love, passion, hate and anger in a manner that’s bound to captivate the romantic at heart.

Simple yet executed with skill and aplomb, Her Prince Charming scores a perfect five on all counts. While the plot is interesting, characterization another important aspect that tests an author’s prowess, turns out to be flawless. The good, the bad and the so-so aspects of each character figuring in the story are presented adeptly leaving no room for complaint. One can easily relate to each one of them, their thought process, and predict what to expect next. Yes, in a thriller this aspect could prove the undoing of a story, but here in a romance this lends a ray of hope to the reader who looks forward to a happy ending.

VERDICT

A simple, yet thrilling read, this one will leave you relaxed on a tiring summer noon when temperatures tend to peak. It’s also a read I’d recommend to anyone feeling low on account of an illness. It will buoy up your flagging spirits just like it did mine. 🙂


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Buy the book @ amazon

Book Review: Twice Upon A Time by Payal Kapadia

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Reading level: 9+ years
Formats: Paperback / Kindle Edition
Publisher: Puffin
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0143333321
ISBN-13: 978-0143333326
ASIN: B07MF18MFT

Bestselling school adventure series Horrid High, author Payal Kapadia is once again seen doing what she best at i.e. churning out a bestseller. In ‘Twice Upon A Time’ the 2013 Crossword Book Award winning author for Children’s Writing brings together two children opposite in nature, outlook and social standing to take the readers on a hilarious yet eye opening ride, a ride packed with witty moments and lots of action too. Myths are busted; faces revealed and the so-called upper class snobs stands exposed. Lessons are also learnt.

Princess Keya of Pompuspur ( ‘Pom-puhs-poor’) true to the qualities of a real princess , is lady-like that’s till the bug called ‘tween’ strikes her, and then all hell breaks loose. The entire Surya Mahal shivers, King Ferrlip becomes jittery till the final blow knocks him off. Princess Keya fed up with the pretensions expected of her, decides to quit. But is it that easy? ……Enter Nyla a tomboy, a willing replacement for Keya. But the T&C attached to the task is not that easy. Princess Keya sets out to train and tame Nyla. That’s when all the action begins. The girls discover their inner strengths and learn to overcome their weaknesses. Actions and dramas aplenty follow, and finally after exercising the reader’s cheek bones the final moment descends, a moment of suspense. What happens?……Well, I’ll leave it to you the reader to discover the climax. 🙂

A thorough entertainer, ‘Twice Upon A Time’ scores a perfect five on the characterization front. The characters each one of them be it the insignificant ones like royal window-boy an Lady La-Di-Dah of the Society of Snobs or the central ones like Princess Keya and Nyla are so well- etched out that you can’t help but visualize them, and this is what exactly works for the story. Along with adding life to the scenes they invite the reader to get fully involved in the story.

Dotted with some truly wonderful illustrations by Sandhya Prabhat, ‘Twice Upon A Time’ is a reflection on that phase called childhood, a phase replete with innocence, tantrums and mischief.

VERDICT

An engaging one, there’s no doubt that ‘Twice Upon A Time’ is sure to regale young readers. However it is to be noted that the book has the potential to tickle the child in an adult too. It reminds one that the child in an adult can never die; at the most it’s there somewhere deep in sleep like the dragon in the story, waiting to be drawn out. Tickle it, draw it out from the deep slumber it’s in, and see the magical effect it has on your attitude, your demeanor.


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Buy the book @ Amazon (Paperback) II Amazon (Kindle Edition)

Disclaimer

A copy of the book was provided via Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are my own and have not been influenced by either the author or the publishing house in any manner

Book Blitz ~ Scepters of Empyrea by Vignesh Ravichandran

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Scepters of Empyrea

Empyrea, an island in the Andromeda galaxy belonging to planet Vathura is serene. Everywhere your eyes turn, you will feast on the lovely birds singing their heart out in the lush green vegetation. Osiris Mysterio ruled the regions of Empyrea with his brother Tyrant Seth and with their children Pitheceus Babi, Kraity Wadjet, and Horus Mysterio.

5000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians were the only humans to receive the invitation to enter Empyrea. They gladly on-boarded into a Pegasus chariot and took their journey to Empyrea. Their journey is indescribable. Empyrea by itself was like a fairy-tale garden, an ocean of flowers and exotic trees.

As the Egyptians went further inside Empyrea, they saw its netherworld. They had mixed feelings when they saw the triangle shaped tombs and the bizarre headhunting people. Empyrea also had the blood-curdling creatures like the deadly dinosaurs, gigantic snakes, furious apes, ruthless rhino’s, massive mastodons and many other creepy creatures. This showed the power of the Empyrean Army and that no other army could survive their wrath.

The Emperor Osiris and the kings ruled Empyrea with powerful Scepters. With those powers, they were not only considered as kings but also worshipped as Lords. The Lords with the help of their scepter had the crucial power to transform themselves into giant creatures.

Egyptians while departing from Empyrea was gifted with a shortcut portal to earth and also with some people and creatures of Empyrea to build the Empramids in Egypt. Overwhelmed with happiness they took the shortcut door and returned to Egypt.

However, the happiness was short-lived in Empyrea. The Empire of Empyrea was betrayed for ruling earth avariciously. Somehow the Emperor of Empyrea locked the shortcut portal and asked the Egyptians to safeguard it. The Egyptians, on the other hand, failed to safeguard the portal. And some gangsters accidentally opened the shortcut door in 2017 A.D, entered Empyrea, and inadvertently got access to the Lord scepters.

So, now the Earthians were left with no choice but to battle against the merciless predators and headhunting people in their heroic journey. Their ultimate fate lied in an empire beyond imagination. They would take their stand against the powerful lords, who brutally led their people to war against planet Earth.

Did the gangsters protect the earth from danger, or left the other world to accomplish their tyrant rule on Earth? Explore the world of Empyrea to unravel the truth behind this mystery.

Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon

Meet Ekmali:

Character reveal- EkmaliEkmali with harder effects climbed the edge and ran all over the terrace for finding kalishka, but she couldn’t see any foot prints of it.

At last, she saw a blood filled mammoth tusk with a shell ornament on it. She picks it and closes her eyes, and a lovely visual comes into her mind, a naughty little girl playing alongside in the seashore and picking the shells from the sand, sudden water showers on her, but it’s not the rain, it came from the trunk of a kid mammoth with lush brown colored hair. The girl ran towards the kid mammoth and tying the shell ornament.

Ekmali opened her eyes, and the tears automatically poured out of her eyes, she noticed kalishka’s bones rolling down on the floor with its blood. She wiped the tears from her face, took the shell ornament and wore it like a bracelet and lifted the tusks of the mammoth, tied at her two hands from her elbow.

The sharp tusks are scratching down in the ground and leaving fire sparks in her fierce footsteps. She was ready to take on the foe army with the extra long tusks of her kid, she lunged like a saber and nailed the sharp tusks into the bodies of Dinomens and quetzals in a humongous force.

About the Author:

Vignesh Ravichandran

Vignesh Ravichandran is the author of the book Scepters Of Empyrea: A Journey to the Andromeda Galaxy. He did his Masters in Business Administration from a leading Business School and presently working as a Human Resource professional in a leading software organization in Chennai. He wrote this debut novel with the story line which he experienced in his nightmare 7 years ago.

Contact the Author:

Website * Facebook * Instagram * Goodreads

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Book Review: We Women Wonder by Inderpreet Uppal

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Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 3165 KB
Print Length: 98 pages
ASIN: B07NGPJYST


 
 

A whirlwind tour of the emotions swamping every woman, ‘We Women Wonder’ addresses the dreams, desires, struggles and triumphs of a gender often neglected, taken for granted and wronged in 26 short, yet engaging articles. Written as part of the April A-Z challenge a few years back by the author, the articles see her laying out her outlook on the life of women, their strengths, their weaknesses as well as their lack of will at times, in an engaging style. Prompting and prodding, she asks some pertinent questions of her readers with the aim of making them aware of not only the Durga within them, but also the Kaikeyi hidden deep in a recess from which she steps out when felt challenged or inferior.

The subject of each chapter is complimented by a quote from a well- known figure, by way of summing up the topic dealt within. Anecdotes/ incidents from the author’s own life and experiences tend to lighten the mood at times. But what actually makes the read interesting is the way it connects with reality. Lucky are those that don’t have to experience many of the odd situations/ feelings expressed within the pages of the book, and I must admit I am one of them. Right from childhood till this day I’ve been surrounded by people who have only supported me, helped me discover myself and cheered me for each success that came my way. Yet, I can relate to the anguish shared by the author in respect of the plight/ the lack of confidence in majority women, because I’ve seen it happening around me in my neighborhood and at times at the work front, and I’ve always felt that somehow we the women are to be blamed. Our meekness is taken for weakness, and therefore we are prone to be trampled upon. However bare your fangs or growl like a tigress and see how opposition to your genuine, well-intended opinions/ proposals melt away. We blame men and the patriarchal nature of our society for the many ills confronting women, yet when opportunity knocks our door, when these very men are ready to support us, we often shy away. Ironic! Isn’t it?

A well- articulated read, ‘We Women Wonder’ will see you smile, gnash your teeth and at times also see you drift off into another world, a world of memories of days gone by. It will make you ponder on lost opportunities, prompt you to take care of yourself, as well as believe in the strength of your children and the man of the house especially when it comes to taking care of the home and hearth in your absence. It will make you realize that you’ve unnecessarily been fretting and fuming over trivial things, wringing your hands for the wrong reasons, and having an inflated ego at times which can cause more harm than good. In short, the book exposes the enigma called WOMAN. 🙂


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Buy the book @ Amazon.in I Amazon.com

 
 

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Spotlight: We women wonder by Inderpreet Kaur Uppal

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WE WOMEN WONDER: Dreams, Desires, Struggles & Triumphs
by 
Inderpreet Uppal


BLURB

“When a woman becomes her own best friend, life is easier.” 
– Diane Von Furstenberg. 
Thoughts, quotes and determination can make a woman stronger, a survivor but she is a winner regardless. 
This book is the story of every woman, you might find your reflection too. 
A journey into what keeps us women ticking. 
What annoys the hell out of us? 
What are we women really about? 
How does the world see us? 
Is the world changing for us or are we just dreaming? 
What is our success and what it means to a woman? 
We Women Wonder, I often do, don’t you?

Grab your copy @


About the author



” Inderpreet writes for her love of writing, edits manuscripts and reads endlessly. 

A sprinkling of fiction, a dash of books, and a bit of opinion add to the eclectic mix that is Eloquent Articulation, her blog.

Books, editing, writing, and blogging keep her busy whenever she gets a breather from mothering her ‘too tricky to handle son’. 

An Army brat, she now joins her adorable Army hubby across the country. “


Click here to check out all the titles by the author…

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Book Review: Room 11 by Mari Reiza

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Formats available: Kindle/ Paperback Edition
File Size: 304 KB
Print Length: 174 pages
Publisher: mari.reiza (9 March 2017)
ASIN: B06XJ3X7JZ
ISBN-10: 099563176X
ISBN-13: 978-0995631762

 
 

A read fraught with ambiguity, Room 11 reflects an unconventional style of writing that may not be every reader’s cup of tea. Now when I say that, I mean that while some may take an instant liking to the style of writing, there may be many others who may find it quite tedious. For me what worked was the plot, and what did not work was the style. It was monotonous thereby compelling me to put the book down several times.

Coming to the story-line. I must admit that it is a promising one. Here author Mari Reiza explores the different faces of love. Narrated by two women a nurse from Ghana and a woman deep in coma, Room 11 sees a lot of activity both on the mental and physical front. Here emotions take the forefront while logic often takes a backseat. Not ready to take his wife as good as dead, a man sits by her side day –in, day-out, singing and attending to every little detail of her well-being right from taking care of her hair to her nails. Impressed by his devotion, the Ghanaian nurse allotted to Room 11 slowly relives her past and finds herself drawn to the man. Her obsession with him reaches a point where she searches for signs of love in every little action of his, be it a smile or a caring pat on the shoulder. While the seasons change outside and hope is slowly giving way to other emotions, the woman deep in coma struggles in another world, a world where frustration encases her. Here three different worlds collide with each other in one way or the other sending the affected reeling through a storm of emotions laden with hope, anger, delusion, obsession, guilt, sacrifice, resignation and eventually forgiveness. Finally when the storm settles down, each re-emerges stronger from their separate tragedies.
 
 

VERDICT

A book with a promising plot, that could do with a re- look in terms of style to keep the reader hooked.


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Buy the book @ Amazon (Kindle edition) // Amazon (Paperback Edition)

Received a copy of the Kindle edition of the book courtesy b00kr3vi3ws

Book Review: The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma

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Author: Robin Sharma
Publisher: Jaico Books
Genre: Self- Help

For the early riser Robin Sharma’s latest offering ‘The 5 AM Club’ may seem to be what one would call ‘old wine in new bottle.’ But then we have to remember that not all human beings are the same, nor do they follow a similar routine. So, let’s assume that this book is for those who find it difficult to follow the age-old adage ‘Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.’ To them this book is indeed a treasure house of some wonderful techniques.

Spun in crisp and lucid language ‘The 5 AM Club’ articulates the benefits that accrue on rising early in a relatable manner. It aims at making one aware of that one extra hour that can make a career, sets the mood for an invigorating day, helps the mind plan and relax, as well as sees the individual sail on the crest of good health. Set in motion by the Spellbinder who incidentally happens to be our protagonist Mr Riley’s Guru, the lessons, the techniques and the benefits accruing of the same, are worth reading and putting into practice. While the Spellbinder sets the ball in motion, it is actually his shishya Mr. Riley who takes it forward by imparting the lessons he learnt on his way to success, to his protégés an artist in search of fame, and an entrepreneur on the brink of losing out the business she has built over the years to unscrupulous investors. The first seven chapters see the stage being set for the final showdown that takes place from Chapter Eight onward. The upside of the background buildup is that it holds the one who loves fiction and a good story, spell-bound. It is engaging and tickles the curiosity. However the very same setting can prove a big hindrance to the one who is uninterested in fiction and has picked up the book with a purely educative interest. Why so?…… 75 pages and that too with around 32 lines each is enough to test the patience of one who wishes to save every precious minute. The number of pages dedicated to the background setting can be unsettling for them.

Dotted with infographics to help the reader better understand the techniques, the book has some wonderful insights into the life of a few legendary figures and their path to success. Replete with quotable quotes and game- changing formulas, there are a few twists too that are sure to entertain the one looking for a good story along-with life changing lessons.

Well, like Robin says, ´”Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end,” so too is this book. However do note that while the beginning tends the test one’s patience, the middle offers mid blowing techniques that are not hard to put into practice. The end of course is gorgeous because you’ve not only accomplished a near herculean task of covering seventeen chapters spread over 314 pages, which I’m sure is mind- boggling considering that this is a book that belongs to the Self- Help Genre, but also because the takeaway is great . Personally speaking though I loved the build-up and the twists and turns, I feel that lesser pages packed with just the right kind of information would have worked wonders for this book.

In a nutshell

The book is all about discipline and the path to elevating one’s life. That one extra hour in the morning is not only the key to success, but also your pill to good health. So, ‘Own your morning, elevate your life.’


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Buy the book @ amazon.in

Review Copy : Courtesy Jaico Publishing House

Spotlight: From Another Land by Tanushree Ghosh

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From An-Other Land
by 
Tanushree Ghosh


BLURB

Never has been the conversation on immigration more pertinent than now, post 2016 US elections. From cancellation of refugee protection and zero tolerance to undercurrent crackdown on H visas, the resurgence of nationalism is hitting the globalized population head-on. 

But what is immigration today? A question of life or death – fleeing of persecution? A compulsion? Or a mere pursuance of privilege? 
And what is the US today? A land of opportunities? Or a quagmire impossible to comprehend, inherently racist and selfish?

From An-Other Land dives deep into immigration today for the Indian diaspora and its many facets with characters who seek to define themselves in an intercultural setting that is less and less sure of itself. A reality check and a guide for anyone who wants to understand the modern-day US.

Grab your copy @


About the author


Tanushree Ghosh works in the technology sector in the USA and is also a social activist and a writer. She has a Doctorate in Chemistry from Cornell University and has worked at the Brookhaven National Laboratories and is an alumnus of IIT Kanpur and Presidency College Calcutta.

Her blog posts, op-eds, poems, and stories are efforts to provoke thoughts, especially towards issues concerning women, social justice, and immigration – which is the topic of her first solo-author work From An-Other Land published by Readomania publishing. 

As a contributor to the Huffington Post US, she has published several posts on topics that affect the under-represented and the lesser privileged, whether that’s a population, a nation, or an individual. Her first article for the Huffington Post went viral and was picked up by the Yahoo news. She has since written on the Syria war and its children, open borders, the unfair coverage in the Western media of the Brazil Olympics, societal differences in outlook on issues like gun control in the US, and off-course – women. She has written on postpartum depression, acid attack and its state globally, #MeToo and a myriad of related topics and was interviewed for Reddit and the Indian Express. She is a regular contributor to several popular publications (incl. The Tribune (Sunday Diaspora segment), Thrive Global, The Logical Indian, Youth Ki Awaaz, Café Dissensus, and The Women’s Web). Her literary resume also includes poems and stories featured in national and international magazines, including Words Pauses and Noises, UK; TUCK, Glimmer Train honorable mention, and inclusion in seven anthologies (through winning national and international contests), including Defiant Dreams (Oprah 2016 reading list placeholder) and The Best Asian Short Stories 2017 (published out of Singapore by Kitaab). She has served in coordinator and chapter head roles of ASHA and AID India and has affiliations with several women’s organizations and non-profits. She is also the founder and director of Her Rights (www.herrights.website), a 501(3) c non-profit committed to furthering the cause of gender equality and supporting victims of gender violence.


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Book Review: The Heist Artist by Vish Dhamija

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• Format: Paperback/ Kindle
• Publisher: HarperCollins India; 1 edition (5 February 2019)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 9353026024
• ISBN-13: 978-9353026028


 
 

A life fraught with risks yet rewarding, is what Vagh Pratap Singh aka The Captain, is leading. A conman to the world, the protagonist of ‘The Heist Artist’ is a man of multiple talents endowed with both intelligence and acumen required to outwit his opponents. A master disguiser, he takes his job seriously and thus plans meticulously before executing the work he is commissioned for. Now in the fortieth year of his life, he looks forward to taking retirement but not before making sufficient money to enable him sail through rest of his life smoothly. That’s when he strikes the jackpot….or is it just another dream, a dream that may never see the light of day?…..’The Heist Artist’ has the answers.

Slow at first, the book picks up pace somewhere near the middle and then races on at breakneck speed only to stop to deliver a climax that will leave the reader whistling with amazement. One of the highlights of a good thriller is the ability of the author to dish out a phenomenal climax, one that his/ her readers don’t see coming. On this point Vish Dhamija scores a perfect five.

The plot is interesting and intriguing and has plenty of cat and mouse game going on that helps to keep the reader on the edge. The twists, the turns and the hurdles in between don’t allow you to keep it down. Characters are well articulated and play their role to perfection in taking the story forward.

A tinge of romance, plenty of action and adequate measure of suspense is how I’ll sum up Vish Dhamija’s ‘The Heist Artist’.

While the plot was excellent, characterization good and pace okay, the area of editing calls for a relook. I’m sure that a fresh round of editing will take care of the minor glitches that come to light at places like an irregular pace and repetition of sentences and paragraphs here and there which in fact could be the result of faulty proofreading at the printing stage.
 
 
Interested? Take a look at the blurb HERE
 
 

VERDICT

Overall an easy read, one that you can take up on a lazy afternoon to reinvigorate you this one scores a three on a scale of five.


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Buy the book @ amazon.in
 
 

Disclaimer

Received a copy of the book from Writersmelon as part of their Book Review Programme, in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed here are therefore, my own and have not been influenced by either the author or the publishing house in any manner.