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Hello!! Welcome to my world :) I am a B.E. student and a self declared Bibliophile. Reading has taken its toll on me and now its time I pen something myself ;) Apart from my love for books, I also love sketching, painting, singing and cooking (Well only for the occasional experiments that i make ;)) Of course, now writing top the above list! This blog is a platform for me to share my thoughts. If you like any of my posts, do stop by and leave a comment :)

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Friday, 27 February 2015

Title: The Runaway Bridegroom 
Author: Sundari Venkatraman
Publisher: Flaming Sun
Type: eBook
ASIN: B00N7IN69E
Number of Pages: 192
Price: 111 [INR]
Genre: Romance

The Blurb:

Chanda Maheshwari’s family is shaken when her thirteen-year-old bridegroom Veerendra runs away immediately after the wedding. The eight-year-old child doesn’t even understand the impact on her life. Unable to face their neighbours and friends, the Maheshwaris move from their village to Jaipur and begin a new life in the city. 

Fourteen years later, Chanda is studying in a Delhi College. She takes up a temporary job at RS Software Pvt. Ltd. and falls head-over-heels for the boss of the operation. But what about Ranveer Singh? Is he interested in her? 

Ranveer’s secretary Shikha is desperate to make him fall for her. All she wants is life-long security with a rich man. But it’s nerd Abhimanyu who keeps getting in the way. Abhi is Ranveer’s second-in-command and Shikha isn’t keen on him as she’s eyeing the main chance. 

When Ranveer appears to show interest in Chanda, she’s faced with a new problem. Astrologer Vidyasagar insists that she would get back with her husband Veerendra. Does anyone want to know what she wants? 

Chanda feels torn between the man she has fallen for and the family values that have been instilled in her. Will she ever find happiness?

My Review:

Characters:

       Meet Chanda Maheshwari, a student in a Delhi College, an intern in RS Softwares Pvt. Ltd. She is the apple of her parents' and brothers' eyes. She is the youngest one and the most pampered one in her family. She has a secret past which stops her from dating until she meets Ranveer, who makes her heart skip a beat!

       Meet Ranveer, the successful businessman whose world revolves around his work. Women try to catch his eyes but all he can see is work and more work! Oh, also there is something mysterious about him. He lives alone and nobody knows anyrhing about his past or his family.

      Meet Shikha and Abhimanyu. Shikha is Ranveer's new secretary who is hell bent on making him fall in love with her. She has always wanted to marry a rich man and Ranveer seems to fit the bill perfectly. Abhimanyu is Ranveer's second in command and trusted friend. Unfortunately, Abhimanyu loves Shikha who thinks he is nerd and boring!

      All the characters are portrayed well. Each character is described in a way that makes you feel you know about them a lot! They are also believable and this adds more charm to the story.


Plot:

       Chanda has a secret past, a secret which she hasn't shared with anyone. She was a victim of child marriage. At the age of 8, she was married to Veerendra, who ran away abandoning her on the eve of marriage. Though they moved out from their village to leave behind this painful memory, Chanda hasn't recovered yet. She still believes, in some corner of her heart, that she belongs to Veerendra. This had stopped her from dating till she sets her eyes on Ranver, the successful businessman and her new boss.

       Ranveer seems to have developed a new crush on one of the interns in his company and he does everything to fight off the attraction, only to fall more deeply for her charms. In the end, he stops fighting this attraction and gives in to the attraction. But what neither Chanda nor Ranveer expected was their past haunting them. Both have a secret which they are not willing to share yet! Will that secret destroy their relationship? Will the astrologer's Prediction about Veerendra returning in Chanda's life becomes true? Will Chanda be able to face the truth?

       The story is about love and child marriage. The author has managed to addresss a social issue in a very beautiful way. Chanda and Veer's story is beautiful to read. You can't help but wish they two overcome their differences. Shikha's part is sometimes amusing and sometimes annoying! Sometimes I felt so sorry for her. The office romance, the jealous assistant, caring family, loving in-laws, an astrologer who can make life altering predictions, child marriage, a flighty husband and amidst all these, two souls in love. All these make perfect ingredients for a Sundari's 'The Runaway Bridegroom!'


Things Which Worked: 

       The story is about a major issue faced in our country today - Child Marriage! The different story line was a welcome break. Even though it is a romance story, the way the author has managed to merge it with a social issue is commendable. The pace is moderate. The language is fluent and the story line keeps you engaged till the end. Though you will get a pretty much idea about how the story ends after the initial chapters, still you can't stop reading because you will be intrigued as to how it happens. And the author has done a very good job here, in keeping the interest alive throughout.


Things which didn't work:

       There wasn't anything much that went wrong in this book. The story line was predictable but that was overcome by the effective narration. So, no complaints there. I just spotted two or three typos in the whole book, which is to say something!


The Verdict: 

       With gripping narration and engaging story line, Sundari Venkatraman has managed to write one more best seller novel, which is sure to leave you with a smile on your face by the end of the book. If you like romance books, then just go for it. It makes a good read and it wont bore you!

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars!

Until the next review,
Keep Reading :)

Love,
Swathi :)

Friday, 20 February 2015

       I have never done cover reveal on my blog. But since I love Sundari Venkatraman's books a lot, I readily agreed to it when she asked and here goes the first cover reveal on my blog :)



Cover Reveal:

SANGITA'S DILEMMA

by 

Sundari Venkatraman

Sneak Peek

Sangita Sinclair is applauded at a special function where she receives an award for successfully heading an NGO called Penn Urimai. She’s married to Gautam and has three children. A reporter wants to interview Sangita about her passion for setting up an NGO for downtrodden women and making it a huge success. Her questions take Sangita down memory lane....


She had been a widow with a small son when she met Gautam Sinclair. Being from a conservative family, Sangita had had the devil’s own time recognising her love for Gautam for what it is. Only her troubles don’t end there....



About the author


Sundari Venkatraman has four novels and a short story collection to her name. Sangita’s Dilemma is her sixth book. Her books are self-published under the banner Flaming Sun and are often found on Amazon’s Top 100 Bestsellers’ Contemporary Romances list. 

A great fan of Mills & Boon romances over the past four decades, Sundari has always believed in ‘Happily Ever Afters’ and all her books promise joyous endings. 

Sangita’s Dilemma tells the story of Sangita, a young widow from a conservative family in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Her parents wouldn’t hear of widow remarriage and all hell breaks loose when a half-American falls in love with her and proposes marriage. Sundari deals with different issues in society in her books without preaching anyone. The characters speak for themselves. 

The author says, “I wrote this book with a lot of love and passion; I hope you enjoy reading it.” 


Sundari Venkatraman would love to hear from you @

Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | LinkedIn | Website | Google+ | Pinterest


Other books by the author

Double Jeopardy
The Malhotra Bride
Meghna
The Runaway Bridegroom
Flaming Sun Collection 1: Happily Ever Afters From India (Box Set)
Matches Made In Heaven

Are you ready?????????

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Book launch by:





Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Love,
Swathi :)

Thursday, 19 February 2015

That's My Story - Book Review


TitleTMS - That's My Story
AuthorVinay Mashalkar
PublisherFrog Books
ISBN978-93-84226-44-2
Number of Pages173
Price145 [INR]
GenreRomance


Blurb on the Cover:

Falling in love is a beautiful feeling. There is an enigma in that feeling, which can take a person to a different world. So many things have been said and written about love, but it still has its mystic charm that attracts people to read some more love stories.

TMS is one such simple, but beautiful love story of an IT guy named Vikram, working in Bangalore. It talks about his job, his friendship, his booze parties, his frivolous lifestyle, and above all, his love and the emotions that a person goes through when he falls in love.

It's a beautiful journey of friendship, love, breakup, destruction, recovery and miracles.

Read and walk the path of this beautiful journey with Vikram, Meghna, and Aditi...

My Review:

That's My Story is the story of Vikram, an IT guy working in Bangalore. Once he gets a job and completes the probation period, life is pretty normal for Vikram with his life revolving around office, work, projects, friends and weekend booze parties. That is the pattern until a beautiful girl enters his life. Vikram first saw Meghna on a rainy day when he was standing in his balcony. He notices a girl struggling hard to kick start her scooty. Something about her attracts him and he is sure there is some mystical connection between them. The girl, oblivious to his thoughts, leaves once her scooty starts and Vikram is left wishing to see her again. He keeps searching for the girl whenever he sees a red Scooty, hoping to see her again. But his efforts didn't pay off. As they say, everything has a time and call it destiny, Vikram too gets to see her again when he was least expecting it! And this time, he is not ready to let go, even though he was seeing her after almost a year. He is desperate to make an impression as he feels she is 'The One' for him. What follows is the story of their love, the time they spent together, their break up and the story that follows after the break up.

There are many elements that build up this story - there is this gang of friends who are ready to do whatever it takes to help their friend, there are nosy cousins who are setting up marriage proposals, there are office issues, there are understanding parents, there are parents who oppose their daughter's love as the guy is from another caste and then there is our couple, who are madly in love with each other. There are stolen moments which make you smile and there are some moments where you feel so helpless.

The language and the story line are simple, just as the blurb says. There aren't much twists and turns and the story progresses at a slow pace. I didn't like the pace though. It was too slow for my taste and more than half of the book is just about the budding love of Vikram and Meghna. While that wasn't bad, there wasn't anything to expect and the story was feeling too monotonous and there were also few typos which spoilt the fun of reading. The story picks pace only during the second half and that is when things look promising. Just when I thought the book is going well, there is again a turn of events towards the end. I didn't like the ending much. I didn't like how Vikram changed just in an instant when he saw Meghna again. At the very least, he must have taken some time to consider Aditi's feelings. But I guess, love doesn't work that way. I just wish the ending wasn't that abrupt.

All in all, the book was a simple read. The characters felt real and so did the story. I would like to recommend this book to readers who are looking for some light reading, mainly youngsters.

My Rating3/5 Stars!

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Love,


Swathi :)

Sunday, 15 February 2015

TitleWrong for the Right Reasons 
AuthorRitu Lalit
PublisherRitu Lalit
ASINB00NQC8THK
Number of Pages236
Price185 [INR] (e-Book)


The Blurb:

Shyamoli Verma’s timing is wrong. In her late twenties, she finds that her marriage is irrevocably broken. She comes back to her parents with her pre-teen son and an infant daughter, only to find that she is unwelcome. 

Independent and brash, she decides to bring up her children and also get a divorce without any support from friends and family. 

Written with wry self deprecating humour, this is the story of a divorced woman's quest for love and security.

My Review:

There are some kind of books, which are so magical that they weave fantasies in the mind of the readers and leave them wanting for more. Then there are some books, which gives you a reality check and bring you back to the present and rightly so, because fantasies are not the place to dwell for long. The book 'Wrong for the Right Reasons' is of the latter kind.

The book narrates the story of Shyamoli Verma, a divorced woman who is trying to find her footing in this world with two kids from her broken marriage. Life is not fair with a mother, who worries more about 'respect' than about her daughter's condition, friends who deceive and husband who is enjoying his days with his childhood sweetheart and hardly worried about Shyamoli's leaving. Thrown into a difficult situation, both children grow up beyond their ages while Shyamoli tries to do her best to keep them happy. The story goes on about how she handles all the difficulties life throws at her way and emerges as a successful person.

The story also deals with the troubles Shyamoli faces as she tries to bring up her kids single handedly. There are monetary problems, what with a husband who stops sending money for kids' school fees and mother, who refuses to stand by her daughter, hoping she would go back to her husband. But above all, there is hope. Hope that hard work might succeed and happy days may find their way back into life again.

Some parts of the story were predictable but again, it had to be. The story couldn't have been told in any other way to make it better. I loved how Shyamoli took revenge against Roop and Uma for their betrayal. But Varun's betrayal was the one that shocked me the most! I felt the last part where Ketaki runs off and the drama that unfolds was stretched a little but all is well that ends well. In this book, there are plots but there is also love. There are mistakes but there is also forgiveness. Sometimes wrong decisions have to be taken, but for right reasons.


The narration is gripping and the story engaging. More than engaging, the story is realistic. We all find situations like this in real life. The characters feel real, like someone we know from our own life and thus making the story more interesting. There are all kind of people in this novel - a best friend who stabs her friend in the back for money, people who try to take advantage of the weak, people who worry about society more than happiness of the dear ones. The stark reality of today's world is written without diluting anything or sugar coating the truth.

All in all, it was a good read. A welcome break from the regular love stories.

Story Told in Pictures:




My Rating4/5 Stars


Buy @

Meet the Author:

Ritu Lalit is a corporate slave turned fiction writer. A voracious reader, she is a gold medalist post graduate in English Literature who spent most of her childhood in remote areas in the northeastern parts of India, lying on grassy hillsides daydreaming and reading books.

She loves spinning tales, but no longer has her captive audience as her children grew up and flew away from the coop. Her three dogs don’t pay much attention. She began writing in the vain hope that the characters she creates will listen to her, even do her bidding.

She has five books out in the market, A Bowlful of Butterflies, HILAWI, Chakra, Chronicles of the Witch Way and Wrong, for the Right Reasons. Her fifth novel, His Father’s Mistress is coming soon.

You can stalk her @
                       




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Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Love,
Swathi :)

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Title: Matches made in Heaven 
Author: Sundari Venkatraman
Publisher: Flaming Sun
ASIN: B00R7HDVIW
Number of Pages: 148
Price: 61 [INR]
Genre: Romance
Type: e-book


The Blurb:

A collection of 13 romantic short stories based in India; a culture rich country steeped in tradition. Inspiration struck me from newspaper articles, TV shows and hearing people talk. The short stories are based on that fact that arranged marriages thrive right alongside love matches in India.

My Review:

Short stories are always fun to read. Though I love full length novels, there is something about short stories that makes me happy. Maybe it is because they are so easy to read. One can read them while taking breaks or travelling from home till office/college. Short stories are best suited to read during breaks.

This book 'Matches Made in Heaven' is a collection of 13 such short stories. All the stories are romance based and with a happy ending. What more can one ask for? The stories are so brilliantly weaved that they will bring a smile on the reader's face and leave them asking for more! Each story has something new to tell, some new world to take you to. Sundari Venkatraman has managed to weave magic through her words and paint a colorful picture for readers. 

There is a story where the groom plans his own kidnapping to marry the girl of his choice. Will it work out? Read 'Groomnapped' to find out.

'Beauty is but Skin Deep' is the story of Simran, who has faced hardships all her life because of her dark skin. Will the girl who never succeeded in pleasing her father, be able to find someone who will accept her and love her for the person she is?

There is an instant attraction between Ritu and Harsh when the first meet and neither of them can overlook the sparks flying between them. But what will happen when Ritu's parents plan an arrange marriage for her? 'An Arranged Match' or the love of her life? whom will she choose?

'Red Rose Dating Agency' is one which helps people find dates based on their likings. It helps people find their love. Ritika is content running the agency. But when a shabby looking guy appears and demands for a date, will she be able to find him one? Will she be able to handle the roller coaster ride this stranger happens to thrust her into?

Not all people who look happy are really happy. The successful actress Jahnavi has her own demons from the past which she has kept carefully hidden from the world. Will she be able to forget the past and give love another chance? Will Rehan be able to break the wall she had built around herself? Read 'Chahti hoon Tumhe' to find out more about Jahnavi and her love life.

Soumya believes in 'Soul Mates' but her dad believes in marrying the guy of same caste! What will happen to her love? Will she be able to marry her love? And when life brings her at cross roads, what will her choice be? The story deals with delicate matter of love and acceptance.

'Madeinheaven.com' is the matrimonial site managed by Jeetu, which provides a platform for people to find the love of their life. Will Jeetu, who helps millions, be able to find his love through this site? Will he be able to win over the girl he likes?

Do you believe in life after death? I didn't! But after reading 'Rahat Mili', it is difficult not to! Read the story of two lovers, separated by death, coming together in this life to be with each other.

Prisha meets Arjun through her friend's match making scheme 'Reema's Matchmakers'. Both Prisha and Arjun are married and single parents and both have decided not to marry again. This similarity brings them together. But what they didn't expect is the attraction they feel towards each other. Will they give their love a chance or pretend to be friends whole life, not understanding the other's feelings and worried about losing their friendship?

Krish, the eligible Bachelor loves Nikita and Nikita considers Krish as her friends and turns down his proposal. But to escape her parents' attempt at finding suitable groom for her, she agrees to marry Krish but there are conditions applied. She wants them to be friends. Will Krish be able to fight his attraction and make good on the deal or will he be able to convince Nikita, 'The Reluctant Bride' that she loves him too?

Swayamvars always appeared to me like something that happened in a different world, the world of royal people. Sundari Venkatraman manages to bring it out from that world to the present as she writes about 'Shweta ka Swayamvar', a story that has all ingredients like TRPs, confusion, attraction and an Alpha Male!

Love is not always what it seems to be. Sometimes people fake it for monetary benefits they get. Aisha had been privy to many such frauds in her life, who claimed to love her but were after her father's money. But Shyam claims to be different. Is he? Will the 'Pappa's Girl' be able to find her true love in him?

The last one is a Mythological romance story. It is about Velan, who has returned tired from the battle, finds Valli and falls for her instantly. The romance that follows is a treat to the readers.

Each of these stories is written in such a way that you cannot help but keep on turning pages and wish for more. The emotions are handled brilliantly. Sundari's writing is, as always, eloquent and her narration is engaging. The stories being set in India, a place with rich traditions and culture, is another plus point. A light and happy read. If you love romance love stories and you want to read something short, then go pick this one.

My Rating3.5/5 Stars!



Buy @



Meet the Author:

Sundari Venkatraman has authored four novels and a short story anthology till now, Matches Made In Heaven (anthology) being the latest. The Malhotra Bride; Meghna; The Runaway Bridegroom; Flaming Sun Collection 1: Happily Ever Afters From India (Box Set) and Matches Made In Heaven have all been self-published on Amazon under the banner of Flaming Sun. The three novels are regularly seen on Amazon’s Top 100 Bestsellers’ Contemporary Romances list. The Box Set and Anthology are bound to catch up soon. 

A great fan of Mills & Boon romances over the past four decades, Sundari has always believed in ‘Happily Ever Afters’ and all her books promise happy endings. 

Matches Made In Heaven is a compilation of thirteen short stories – all romantic – based on many situations anyone can come upon in their day-to-day lives. The stories revolve around the different ways a couple can get to meet and tie the knot in a culture rich country like India. Those reading the stories will definitely be able to connect realising that one of the situations has definitely been a part of their lives. 


You can stalk her @
                          

        


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Until the next review,
Keep Reading :)

Love,
Swathi :)

Monday, 2 February 2015

Title: Ramayana: The Game of Life 

          - Shattered Dreams 
Author: Shubha Vilas
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
ISBN: 978-81-8495-531-6
Number of Pages: 387
Price: 350 [INR]
Genre: Mythology


Blurb on the Cover:

Shattered Dreams is the sequel to the National bestseller, Rise of the Sun Prince, in the new spiritual and motivational series Ramayana - The Game of Life. Twelve joyful years have passed in Ayodhya since the wedding of Rama and Sita at the end of Book 1.

Now, in Shattered Dreams, Shubha Vilas narrates the riverting drama of Rama's exile. Through tales of Rama's unwavering and enigmatic persona, the book teaches us how to handle reversals positively; through Bharata's actions, it teaches us to handle temptation; and through Sita'a courage, to explore beyond our comfort zone. This complicated family drama provides deep insights on how human relationships work and how they fail.

With Valmiki's Ramayana as its guiding light, Shattered Dreams deftly entwines poetic beauty from the Kamba Ramayana and Ramacharitamanas, as well as folk philosophy from the Loka Pramana tales, to demonstrate how the ancient epic holds immediate relevance to modern life. Experience the ancient saga of the Ramayana like never before!

My Review:

After reading the first book, Ramayana: The Game of Life - Rise of Sun Prince, I was waiting eagerly for the next book in the series to be released and no sooner did I get my hands on this book, I started devouring it right away. And I must say, the book lived up to my expectations.

In this second book, the main focus is laid on the events revolving around Rama's coronation; the turn of events that leads to Dasaratha's decision, Manthara's scheming, Kaikeyi's wishes and the agony that follows Rama's exile. There is also a brief introduction about Ravana, whose role is important in the coming book.

Continuing the tradition set in the first book, the author has given emphasis on each character, giving enough spotlight to each of them, to describe in detail their side of the story. Major part of the first half describes Dasaratha's turmoil and the second half describes Bharata's agony upon discovering the truth of what transpired in his absence. The emotions of the citizens, their love and devotion towards Rama and their devastation when he leaves for exile are all expressed well with giving importance to minute details.

There are many things to learn from the book. Sita's love for Rama which sees no material comforts, Lakshmana's absolute conviction with which he serves Rama, Bharata's humility and the determination with which Rama stands by his principles of truth. Urmila's sacrifice which, though spoken less of, commands respect in the hearts of readers. The description of hell, through Ravana's visit there, manages to send a chill down your spine.

And of course, foot notes! I had these little pieces of information which offered details and knowledge through out the first book. It has been continued in the second book too. The author has so much wisdom to offer to the readers and these foot notes are like tit bits of this wisdom. I absolutely loved them. I found many favorite lines in these. Few of them are:

  • The present on the canvas of life is the result of a mu;titude of past strokes. Rather than brooding over those erroneous past strokes that can no longer be undone, learn from them and apply those strokes of wisdom today to paint a beautiful future.
  • How long can one go with smiling faces and crying hearts? Either till the smile of the face goes to the heart or the cry of the heart reaches the face.
  • Gossip is like a cacophony of crows, where every crow seems to be saying the most important thing, but has neither the time nor the inclination to hear an equally important message from any of the other crows.
  • Confidence is a key to all locks, but overconfidence is the lock to all doors. Confidence leads to inspiration, but overconfidence leads to perspiration.
The language is eloquent and the narration crisp. I loved the flow of the story. There were a few typos this time but they were few and far stretched to spoil the bliss of reading. There are a few books which can be read multiple times and every time you read it, you get to learn something new. For me, this is one such book. I said in the review of the first book that a series can be considered effective when the readers are enthusiastic and look forward to reading the next book. Well, I am definitely looking forward for the third book in the series.

I recommend this book to all mythology readers. Go for it. It is definitely one of the best Ramayana books I have read. And I have a piece of advice - Don't rush reading this book. Go slowly and you will discover various facets of the story and every facet has something to offer to you.


My Rating: 4/5 Stars.

Until the next review,
Keep Reading :)

Love,


Swathi :)

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