Sunday, 17 September 2017

The Colours of Passion by Sourabh Mukherjee


The Colours of Passion: Unravelling Dark Secrets behind the LimelightThe Colours of Passion: Unravelling Dark Secrets behind the Limelight by Sourabh Mukherjee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A good murder mystery is a page turner. There are many writers who excel in this genre. Yet it is very difficult to keep the identity of real culprit hidden till end. Many red herrings are to be planted and it is a cat and mouse game between author and the reader.

In the very first scene Tollywood’s (Bangla film industry) heartthrob Hiya Sen is brutally murdered. The identity of killers is no secret and they are apprehended. She recently married Manav Chauhan a business tycoon. The case is not as simple as it appears, so it is given to ACP Agni Mitra and inspector Arya. The marriage of Hiya and Manav took place after he broke up with a spoilt brat of a rich dad. There are many unanswered questions. Can Agni find out the truth?

This is the second book of Sourabh Mukherjee which I read. First one was “In the shadows of death”. I liked both. The qualities of good murder mystery as told in first para are available in this book. The investigator is intelligent, observant and persistent. Agni doesn’t come under pressure and gets to the bottom of this murky tale.

I give the book 4/ 5 stars.


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The Mahabharata Code by Karthik K.B. Rao


The Mahabharata CodeThe Mahabharata Code by Karthik K.B. Rao
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“...the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again.

That is their mystery and their magic.”
― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

I am tempted to open the review with these words. Mahabharata is a great book. It inspired countless authors to retell it in myriad ways. Everyone has their own interpretation. Yet we are not tired of reading it. The reason is told above.

The story is set in a far off planet. Narayan Rao, a scientist from NASA goes to a far off planet. There he meets a mystery man Vyasa. They try to recreate the great epic there. As expected Pandavas and Kauravas hate each other and come face to face in a war. Krishna is also there to guide.

The story is well written and a lot of research is done by Karthik. The Chapter of “Not required Indian” deals with the theme of caste. Srishti has some theory about it being based on deeds and not birth. They discuss it at great length in the context of Ramayan and Mahabharat. In these epics the lower castes were stopped from learning and that shows that it is based on birth.

Chapter 20 “The revelation” gives insight about the God Program. I cannot tell much as it will be spoiler.

The book is not a simple retelling of Mahabharata. The scale is large and the myths are explained in a scientific way. The dogmas of caste, superstations and blind faith are questioned. It made me think and reflect. The book is humorous and intelligent.

I give the book 4/ 5 stars.




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The Hidden Spark: Ignite The Passion For Your Amazing Life by Vikas Trivedi, SMITA AGARWAL


The Hidden Spark: Ignite The Passion For Your Amazing LifeThe Hidden Spark: Ignite The Passion For Your Amazing Life by Vikas Trivedi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

All of us want success. The world is running after success. But very few maybe 5% of world population is successful in true sense of the word. All other are just running in a rat race. It seems they are plain lucky. Or is there some formula to success?

This book tells us some time tested methods to achieve success and happiness. The book gives techniques for success and happiness. There are many approaches to this and each chapter gives a different one. These are interconnected and part of a whole. The noteworthy ones are given below:

1. The law of attraction: What we think, positive or negative, we attract.
2. The law of you: There is no problem in the world where answers are not known to your inner soul.
3. The law of echo: This is the power of spoken word.
4. Karma: Karma is a force. It has repercussions good and bad both.
5. Switch words: These are words to trigger subconscious mind.
6. Imagination therapy: It means imagining the thing you want in your life in your own beautiful world, so that you can inhabit in another world.
The book basically teaches positive thinking. It has been proven by psychologist that this thing work sometimes. Habits play an important part in our success as told in the chapter “Remove your mental Blockages”. Everyone knows of Pavlov’s dog and conditioning. Habits good and bad can make or break us. The experiment of pouring cold water on monkeys shows that negative thinking is equally powerful and can lead to inertia and ultimately doom. Visualisation plays an important role in the overall scheme of things.

There are many stories of people who benefited from these techniques and given throughout the book. If they can be successful so can anybody else.

Although the concept is nothing new and taught by countless persons from Norman Vincent Peale, Shiv Khera, Deepak Chopra, Rhonda Bryne, Paulo Coelho among many others. The author tries to give so many things in a single book. There are some printing issues and many a times there is no space between the words.

I give the book 3.5/ 5 stars.

P.S.: A word of caution. Positive thinking is good but it has limitations which is proven beyond doubt. So the techniques given in the book should be used with eyes open.



https://www.amazon.in/Hidden-Spark-Ig...

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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Mona Lisa's Secret by Phil Philips


Mona Lisa's SecretMona Lisa's Secret by Phil Philips
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Mons Lisa by Michael Angelo is the most famous painting of the world. What if the painting in the Louvre, Paris is fake.

Joey great grandfather stole the original Mona Lisa. His girlfriend Marie knows Pierre the curator of Louvre. She advises him to return the original to Paris. They fix the return with him on one condition that they return it with after a press conference. It will clear Joey’s family name. But they are double crossed by Pierre once they reach there.


It is claimed that fans of Dan Brown's, da Vinci code will love Phil Philips Mona Lisa's Secret. The story is good initially. But it is stretched too much. The plot is wafer thin. Nothing much happens and the motivations of key characters are childish. So is the tactics employed by Joey and Pierre. Pierre sidekicks though ex-military are all morons. The twist which came (in shape of a hidden code in the paining) was a case of too little too late.

I give the book 3/ 5 stars.


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Sunday, 10 September 2017

Finding The Angel by Rubina Ramesh


Finding The AngelFinding The Angel by Rubina Ramesh


The love story of a prince charming and a pretty girl next door is intriguing. As this is a modern day romance prince charming comes in a private jet and not on horse. Though he rides a horse.

Faberge the angel is a rare diamond. It is property of Aryan Ranuat the prince. Shefali works for an auction house and is called by Gitanjali Devi to catalogue the artefacts in the fort. Gitanjali Devi is friend of Kalpana who brought up Shefali. Shefali comes to fort is enamoured by Aryan’s charms. They come close briefly and then the unthinkable happens. Angel is stolen and by chance Shefali leaves fort the same time. She does not inform anyone. Aryan is furious and thinks that she did it. He goes to Bombay after her and confronts her. She denies everything of course but finds Aryan irresistable. They share a uneasy romance and what happens next? Will they recover Angel and unite or go apart?

Now a days there is a trend of showing broken, psychologically damaged characters. The best part about this book is that characters are normal human beings. Although Aryan has some trust issues due to the trapping of his father by a beautiful seductress, he is still normal. He is just cautious and rightly so. He is rich and successful and the world is full of gold diggers. He is bold, courageous, arrogant, haughty, considerate and romantic deep down. He is hesitant to commit despite his obvious love (lust is part of that) for Shefali.

Shefali is an orphan raised by Kalpana. She is dedicated to his job and highly cautious. She feels indebted to Kalpana and when the scandal threatens the firm she panics. She goes along bullying of Aryan for two pronged reasons: her love and prestige of Kalpana. She is very good at her job and that is why the bad guys feels threatened when she enters the fort.

The supporting cast is good. Gitanjali Devi is typical queen. She is magnanimous, pragmatic and caring. Her daughter and son in law are playing their part.

The romance is first rate. Rubina brought out the romantic feelings of Shefali beautifully. I am not a girl but am pretty sure that is how a young girl in love feels. Though Aryan emotions are not dealt in detail. The mystery of missing Angel and fake artefacts is not hard to decipher. But then it is a romance and not mystery.

I give the book 5/ 5 stars.

P.S. Writing a book is a tedious job and labour of love. Views in the review are personal and with full respect to the hard work put in by the author. Please like/ comment/ mark helpful the review if you feel so.

Where to buy:


https://www.amazon.in/Finding-Angel-R...

Blurb:
All She wanted was love...
Shefali is a die-hard romantic. Having lost her parents at a very tender age, she is in search of a place which she can call home. Her passion for Art lands her a job as an art curator to the famous artifacts of the Ranaut Dynasty. When she meets the scion, Aryan Ranaut, she feels that her dream might come true until…

All He wanted was to trust…
Living the life of a modern day Prince is no easy task for the young and dashing Aryan Ranaut. Having lost his father to a rapacious woman, Aryan has severe trust issues. But upon meeting Shefali, he feels he could let down his guard. Until…

All They need is to find The Angel…
Just as Aryan realizes his love for Shefali, one of the most precious artifacts, The Angel, goes missing from the Ranaut collection. All fingers point towards Shefali—more so because she leaves the palace without telling anyone on the very night of the theft.

Finding the Angel is a story where duty clashes with love and lack of trust overrides passion. Under these circumstances, can The Angel bring the star-crossed lovers together?

About Author

Rubina Ramesh is an avid reader, writer, blogger, book reviewer and marketer. She is the founder of The Book Club, an online book publicity group. Her first literary work was published in her school magazine. It gave her immense pride to see her own name at the bottom of the article. She was about 8 years old at that time. She then went to complete her MBA and after her marriage to her childhood friend, her travel saga started. From The Netherlands to the British Isles she lived her life like an adventure. After a short stint in Malaysia, she finally settled down in the desert state of USA, Arizona. Living with her DH and two human kids and one doggie kid, Rubina has finally started living the life she had always dreamed about – that of a writer.


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Saturday, 9 September 2017

Brahmahatya by Rajiv Mittal

Bramahatya is composed of two words meaning killing a priest (Brahman+ Hatya). Hinduism has four main Varnas (loosely translated castes) and Brahmins i.e. priests are at top of it. The act of killing a Brahman is considered utmost vile and punishment is condemnation to hell till eternity.

Ravi is an obedient son working in Dubai and his father is in India. He tries to put him in GMR, an old age home but due to one Dr Chari his father dies. Dr Chari is a Brahman and Ravi vows revenge. He enters the old age home in disguise of his father and helped by Bhawna. Bhawna is an employee of GMR and has a very sick daughter. She is alone as his husband left her due to sickness of the daughter. Will he be able to take revenge?

The book is meant for upper caste readers. Almost all main characters are depressed. So naturally the story is depressing. It is slow, boring and has no pace. Nothing happens till the end. Even the romance angle between the two is not developed.

There are many sholkas (Sanskrit verses) used. First these are written in roman and then translated into English. These slow the pace.

The plight of old is brought out well. Many old persons are living alone in India and their wards live abroad. This is a real problem and author did well to bring out this problem.

I give this book 2.5/ 5 stars.


P.S. Writing a book is a tedious job and labour of love. Views in the review are personal and with full respect to the hard work put in by the author. Please like/ comment/ mark helpful the review if you feel so. 

Thursday, 7 September 2017

The Blue House in Bishop by Sunanda J. Chatterjee


The Blue House in BishopThe Blue House in Bishop by Sunanda J. Chatterjee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book is a double bonanza. It has romance and suspense (say in 70: 30 ratio). There is the genre called cozy mystery. This book can be called cozy romantic mystery.

There are four main characters. Alisha is an Indian lady cop who has a broken heart. Sunil is a doctor who is also having his secrets. Duke is ex-military who, is retired hurt. And Jenny is a mysterious lady who claims to be wife of Sunil’s friend Todd. Alisha was in love with his senior who ditched her for a politician’s daughter. She resigns from the force. To top it she lost his brother to a drug overdose and she hates drug dealers from bottom of her heart. Duke is distraught due to a failed mission and adultery of his wife. Sunil’s mother has cancer and forces him to marry before she dies. So she arranges marriage of Sunil and Alisha. Both don’t want to marry, but it gives them a good escape. She comes with him to Bishop, a prosaic town. Duke is living with Sunil and then Jenny also joins. Who is she? What she has to hide?

The book moves at a slow but steady pace. Sunil and Alisha shares a platonic camaraderie. Instant sparks fly between Alisha and Duke. Though romance is subdued and never blossoms fully. When Jenny enters the scene element of suspense and mystery is added.

Each character has his own pains and insecurities. Alisha feels she is responsible for everyone else pain. She holds herself back and never able to commit fully to love as she is not able to trust men. Duke is damaged physically and emotionally. Duke feels the pain of betrayal by his wife and pain of not being able to save an innocent life. Sunil is not comfortable with Alisha as he loves someone else. He is desperate to make friends and approval of others. That is why he keeps sheltering people in his home. He is lonely and sad. Jenny is sacred to death.

There are few blemishes too. The pace is steady but slow. Nothing much happens till very late in the book. Also the motivation of each character is not fully clear. I explained the insecurities above but that doesn’t justify the slow pacing. Two parallel tracks of romance and thrill don’t gel properly. Almost all action takes place in the blue house. The romance portion is better scripted and the thrill part is weaker. FBI involvement, drug dealers and politician nexus seems forced and underdeveloped.

Keeping in view the pros and cons I give the book 3.5/ 5 stars.

P.S. Writing a book is a tedious job and labour of love. Views in the review are personal and with full respect to the hard work put in by the author. Please like/ comment/ mark helpful the review if you feel so.

Where to buy:


https://www.amazon.in/Sunanda-J.Chatt...

Blurb:

Alisha has left the Indian Police Force with a broken heart, her wish to bring criminals to justice, unfulfilled. When she agrees to be a friend's 'pretend' fiancée and travels to Bishop, California, she has no idea the decision will transform her life.

Haunted by his failed mission and failed marriage, Duke Wilcox has left the Special Forces, and an accident leaves him recovering in his friend's house in Bishop.

Alisha falls hopelessly in love with Duke, whose troubled past prevents him from opening his heart, especially in the presence of their mutual friend.

But when a mysterious woman appears with a baby, Alisha's cop instinct kicks in. Is this woman who she claims to be? Why is the FBI after her? And how is she involved with a Colombian Drug lord?


A story of loyalty, camaraderie, and love, The Blue House in Bishop is a romantic suspense that brings four strangers together in a quest for self-discovery and justice.
About Author

Freelance author, blogger, and ex-Indian Air Force physician Sunanda Joshi Chatterjee completed her graduate studies in Los Angeles, where she is a practicing pathologist. While medicine is her profession, writing is her passion. When she’s not at the microscope making diagnoses, she loves to write fiction. Her life experiences have taught her that no matter how different people are, their desires, fears, and challenges remain the same.




Her themes include romantic sagas, family dramas, immigrant experience, women’s issues, medicine, and spirituality. She loves extraordinary love stories and heartwarming tales of duty and passion. Her short stories have appeared in short-story.net and induswomanwriting.com.




She grew up in Bhilai, India, and lives in Arcadia, California with her husband and two wonderful children. In her free time, she paints, reads, sings, goes on long walks, and binge-watches TV crime dramas.




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Friday, 25 August 2017

Roller Coaster in Tehran by Y. I. LATZ


Roller Coaster in TehranRoller Coaster in Tehran by Y. I. LATZ
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When we hear spy what pops up in our mind. James Bond. Right? Or now a days Jason Bourne. Both are very hi-fi. They are cold, calculating, suave, unemotional almost robotic and ruthless. But how are real spies?

This book gives a peek into the life of a real espionage agent. Amalia Tavori has to become a Mossad agent per force due to a useless husband. She is originally a roller-coaster engineer. She is sent to Tehran, Capital of Iran to spy in the garb of an engineer. General Khudadad is a feared monster in army. She starts working for a powerful business tycoon. He has 4 beautiful daughters and a very sick son, who needs a complex heart surgery. The surgery can only be done in three western countries which have sanctions against Iran. Last option is Israel which is out of bounds. Amalia herself is a mother of 3 and feels the pain.

Iran and Israel are like India and Pakistan. Arch enemies. So the tensions are high. I read another novel by the same author ‘I am not a traitor’. This one is way better than that simply because of this very fact. Amalia is not Bond or Bourne. She is a spy who has heart. She has emotions like us. She is not fearless and cool composed like Bond. She is terrified to death while entering Iran. Rightfully so. She is not a robot. She feels for the little Ali despite being Iran her enemy country. She lose his son and is not allowed to visit Israel. Her pain is real. It also shows the ruthless world of espionage which takes a physical, meatal and emotional toll on the operatives. This is not about exotic locales and shooting from the hip. The real job is mundane, boring, slow, tedious and dangerous. I liked the book showing the real face of this covert world.

There are some inconsistencies too. She has it too easy all the time. Everything falls into place for her without her enterprise all the times. The tycoon is a big shot in the protection of Iranian secret service. Still they can not make out what she is doing. Especially after Chrisitina dies in her place and she comes to close. Then there is the track of her son’s killer which is totally outlandish. Everyone is flying across international borders with impunity.

So keeping in view the pros and cons I give the book 3.5/ 5 stars.

P.S. Writing a book is a tedious job and labour of love. Views in the review are personal and with full respect to the hard work put in by the author. Please like/ comment/ mark helpful the review if you feel so.

Where to buy:

https://www.amazon.com/Roller-Coaster...

Blurb:

Imagine being sent to spy on your country’s worst enemy!
Dr. Amalia Tavori is a mother of three and an expert rollercoaster engineer with a short fuse and an insatiable appetite for adventure. She is forced to join the Israeli Mossad to save her husband from economic collapse. Amalia is sent under false identity to Tehran, the capital of Israel’s worst enemy, to help the Iranians build a grandiose amusement park.
Every day could be Amalia’s last!
Roller Coaster in Tehran reveals an intimate picture of the exceedingly dangerous daily life of an Israeli spy in Tehran. Amalia knows no boundaries and has no shame. She fools both her enemies and her operators from the Mossad, working out of her own deep inner convictions.
Can Amalia complete her mission without losing her life?
When a grave disaster befalls her family in Israel, it becomes even more difficult for her to perform her secret mission. This book redefines the concepts of loyalty, betrayal, enemies, and compassion. The image of an ordinary woman emerges – one who yearns for true love but who has been forced to become larger than life itself. She is prepared to sacrifice herself for her country, but not to sacrifice her life for an existence without love.
About Author
Y. I. LATZ is a playwright, journalist-researcher, and former editor, whose specialty is writing about matters of intelligence and economics. Roller Coaster in Tehran is his second book. His first, A Woman as a Fire, was a best-seller in Israel. LATZ wrote a play based on this book that was purchased by the Cameri Theater of Tel Aviv, the largest theater in Israel.



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The Light Between the Shadows by Tsukiko Spark


The Light Between the ShadowsThe Light Between the Shadows by Tsukiko Spark
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

What to do with a vile person? Can he be treated (yes treated) of his malady? Being an asshole is a personality trait or mental sickness? If former is the case nothing can be done apparently but in second case it is treatable. This is the idiotic premise of this book as far as I understood.

Ben is a bid shot executive who is successful and a Casanova. He is megalomaniac. He is fond of screwing beautiful young girls. The girls who work for him also have to please him in kind. He doesn’t stick to one for long as he gets bored. So he keeps changing his assistants after some time (of course after using them physically). His friends and girl friend, Tina are also not safe from his barbs. Enters his new sexy assistant Shira and the same pattern seems to be repeated. Meanwhile a young waiter stands up to him and he demolishes him and his pride. Suddenly he found himself bound in a strange place. He is told by none other than Shira that he needs treatment. Then a kind of joke type treatment begins.

The book is pretty boring and repetitive. The whole section of his treatment is skippable. This is so outlandish and absurd that I stopped bothering about the same. It may be a metaphor of life (Shira is life and Ben is any one person on earth). Maybe. But the book is so shallow that I discounted that possibility. He is shown to be treated. Then all the convicts maybe treated. To top it all there is Stockholm syndrome also. This is an idiotic book which I totally failed to like.

I give the book 2.5/ 5 stars.

P.S. Writing a book is a tedious job and labour of love. Views in the review are personal and with full respect to the hard work put in by the author. Please like/ comment/ mark helpful the review if you feel so.

Where to buy:

https://www.amazon.com/Light-Between-...

Blurb:

Ben Brattler lives the good life at the top of the world! Ben Brattler, 29, is a handsome athlete who regularly practices Aikido (Japanese martial art). He lives the good life: lavish parties, fancy restaurants, and a dream job in his father's advertising company. The world is his oyster; nobody can resist him. Beautiful women fall at his feet, and he switches them and his personal assistants constantly.

But somebody close to him has had enough of his wild behavior...Just when Ben is scrambling to finish a work project so he can leave for a lengthy vacation, someone close to him decides to make a profound change in his behavior using a dubious, non-conventional therapeutic process. Ben wakes up in a strange place with his mind foggy, hands bound behind his back, legs cuffed, eyes blind-folded, and wearing only his Aikido pants.

Who could have done this to him? Ben goes crazy trying to figure out how he could have ended up this way. Who did this? His good friend, Fred, who wants him to learn to start making better choices? His father finally trying to discipline him? His mythical ex-girlfriend, Tina, who wants to rekindle their relationship? Somebody more sinister with ulterior motives?


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Saturday, 19 August 2017

Another's Child by Einat Danon


Another's ChildAnother's Child by Einat Danon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Life is uncertain. Anything can happen anytime and we don’t know which moment will be our last. Insurance is for money. But can it secure the future of our children.

Yael and Arik Katz are have made a pact with their friends which they never imagined will be implemented. But their friend die in an accident and they get their daughter Noa. Noa is raised in Canada and they live in Israel. They bring her to to them but she is not happy there. She tries to escape but is unsuccessful. Then Debbie the lawyer tells them that the accident might be a suicide and the insurance company may deny the compensation. What happens next?

The story is poignant. The pain of Noa who is recently orphaned is vexing. Teal and Arik don’t know how to deal with it. This book makes you to question every set norm of society : family, friends, relations etc. the writing is clear and make you feel the pain of characters. It is a good one time read though a slow sometimes. I give the book 3/ 5 stars.

P.S. Writing a book is a tedious job and labour of love. Views in the review are personal and with full respect to the hard work put in by the author. Please like/ comment/ mark helpful the review if you feel so.

Where to buy:

https://www.amazon.com/Anothers-Child...

Blurb:

Imagine inheriting a child that you don’t even know!
One morning, Yael and Arik Katz are startled by a surprise inheritance: Noa, the ten-year-old daughter of Canadian friends with whom they had made a long-forgotten will-exchange agreement, is delivered to their doorstep with no warning. Why did her parents decide that she should grow up with acquaintances rather than family? How do you raise a girl you do not even know?
Secrets and lies are revealed and everything starts to get complicated
Noa does not find her place in Israel. Yael takes her back to Toronto to look for a more suitable adoptive home. The search reveals answers to questions that have not even been asked about parenthood, marital relations, love, one’s home, and the fragility of life.
Can life ever be the same again?
As Yael delves into Noa’s past to better understand her, she discovers some unflattering things about her own partner and that the connection between her family and Noa is deeper than it had seemed. These shocking revelations leave Yael with a serious dilemma about her own family relationships.

About Author

Einat Danon holds an MBA degree and a BA in marketing and communication from York University in Toronto. She works in marketing and advertising, managing clients at large advertising agencies and handling leading clients in the market.
Einat and her family have lived in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada, for 13 years, on and off, where she worked as a marketing communications manager, responsible for regions of Canada and North America, for an international company. She currently lives in Israel with her husband and two children.
Another’s Child is her first novel.


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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Our Start-Up by Dov Reichman


Our Start-UpOur Start-Up by Dov Reichman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As per Wikipedia a startup is

“A startup company (startup or start-up) is an entrepreneurial venture which is typically a newly emerged, fast-growing business that aims to meet a marketplace need by developing a viable business model around innovative product, service, process or a platform. A startup is usually a company such as a small business, a partnership or an organization designed to effectively develop and validate a scalable business model.”

Israel is known for enterprise. This is the story of Nir, a teenager who wants to be an entrepreneur. He has a idea to save the environment and make some money at the same time. Nano technology plays a role in it. His mother is under a lot of pressure as her job is under threat due to globalization. His father and Maayan, sister is helpful. Nir is curious and inquisitive. He is aware that his business has to compete at a global level. He along with his friends try to iron out agreements, ideas, findings etc. they woo investors from Japan and USA. Read the book to find out what is the fate of his startup.

This book has a lot of serious information in very simple and lucid language. The basis is the industrial recycling to save the environment and agriculture with lees water. The idea is good as well as the execution. Startup is a multi faceted thing. It involves technology, innovation, legalities, partnerships, financing and enterprise. This book covers all the bases and can be useful for the younger audience as a starting point. I give this book 3.5 / 5 star.

P.S. Writing a book is a tedious job and labour of love. Views in the review are personal and with full respect to the hard work put in by the author. Please like/ comment/ mark helpful the review if you feel so.

Where to buy:

https://www.amazon.com/Our-Start-Up-D...

Blurb:

Nir has a great idea. But will it work? Middle school student, Nir Carmelli, dreams of conquering the world with his idea for an innovative new product. Although aware of the difficulties, Nir decides to advance the idea, even if it does not become a product or profitable business. Group members of the start-up are required to show daring, original thought, and creativity. They meet industrialists from Japan, investors from America, as well as scientists and professionals from a range of fields working in the field of high tech.

Not only off the ground... but soaring! His classmate, Anna, gets involved in the project, creating a friendship between the two and even first love. Together, the young inventors learn many practical lessons about what it takes to develop a successful start-up. Their story, written in a contemporary style, is full of humour as it navigates the ups and downs between success and failure and introduces the reader to the challenging world of business.

From the Author

The main motive for writing the plot of the story was to bring children, adolescents, and their parents closer to world of start-ups: understanding the uncertainty that accompanies the entrepreneurs and becoming familiar with the terms that children hear concerning the technological and business challenges faced by start-up companies.
The plot of the book also combines values of entrepreneurship and contribution to the community.



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The Three Psychos by Yash Pawaskar


The Three PsychosThe Three Psychos by Yash Pawaskar
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“The pendulum of the mind oscillates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.”
― C.G. Jung

How apt these words are for the book. The mind is a dangerous master and good servant. It will make one do all the non sense and dangerous things. It can be tamed though with practice and will. Easier said than done but, at the same time difficult but not impossible. Out of three, 2 of the stories prove this and one shows how mind is a beast.

The book is a psychological thriller and has three stories. Let’s see one by one:

1. DE22912: The story is as unusual as the name itself. Alex is a millionaire who is trapped in a box. He remembers scenes from his past and each incident has some relation with a mysterious number DE22912. What does it mean? Will Alex ever come out of the box?

2. Patient number 9: An amnesic person is brought to the mental hospital. He has no recollection of his past. Not even his name. So he is called patient no 9 (9 is his cell no). He sees a mysterious blue creature which may be an alien, named Shahenshah. This creature is a Bollywood fan and tells no 9 that only he can save earth from impending doom from an alien attack. Is this the product of his demented mind or reality?

3. Six bullets: Aakash is a sixteen year old offspring of a policeman. He hates bullies. What can a sick mind do which thinks it is righteous? This shows the ugly side of mental illness and sense of grandiosity.

The stories are surrealistic. These may be true or just figment of imagination of a mentally disturbed person/s. you can never be sure. But one thing is certain that if the mind is sick distinction between real and fiction blurs. These two fuse and the person becomes very dangerous as he can do anything.

At the same time the three stories are independent and have no connection whatsoever. The connection in the epilogue is tenuous. Also the stories falls in the grey area so after a point of time they start becoming repetitive and enervating.

All in all a good collection of psychological stories. I give this book 3.5 / 5 stars.


Where to buy:

http://www.amazon.in/Three-Psychos-Ya...

Blurb:

Three Thrilling Stories, One Gripping Novel. In the first tale, a naked man is trapped inside a white box. His only company: 'DE22912'. How long can he survive? The second story, 'Patient Number 9', is about a hospitalized patient who must save Earth from an alien attack by blue pig-like creatures. The countdown has just begun. In the third narrative, an angry sixteen-year-old gets hold of a loaded revolver and is determined to make use of all 'Six Bullets'. And no, it's not a toy. The three psychos are part of a connected universe, set in a novel with innovative storytelling, witty narration and an entertaining mix of thrill, humour and drama.

About the author:

Yash Pawaskar is a multi-faceted personality. He is an author, poet, reader, traveller, photography enthusiast, cricket fanatic, movie buff, music lover, and continues to discover himself and the world around. Yash holds an MBA degree and works in the Content industry. He stepped into the literary world with his much-loved debut novel ‘When We Clicked – A Twisted Love Story?’ and his short stories are a part of several anthologies. The Three Psychos is his second book. He is known for his innovative storytelling. Yash has a knack of presenting stories in an engaging manner. His writing is free-flowing, descriptive when needed, and catchy throughout. Yash has grown up on stories, be it reel or real, and focuses on creating characters that connect instantly with the audience. His stories often follow a non-linear pattern, something that makes the reading process extremely immersive. Yash’s first book ‘When We Clicked’ was a breath of fresh air in the cluttered rom-com genre. While it had a few elements of a thriller, his second novel, ‘The Three Psychos’ is a mind-boggling, roller-coaster ride and an out-and- out, gruelling psychological thriller.


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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Kansa (Book 1 - The Killer Trilogy) by Prassant Kevin


Kansa (Book 1 - The Killer Trilogy) The Professor Black SeriesKansa (Book 1 - The Killer Trilogy) The Professor Black Series by Prassant Kevin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Today is Janamstmi. Birthday of Shri Krishna, who killed Kansa (his maternal uncle). Today is 15th August too, our independence day. Is it just a coincidence? ☺.

Shri Krishna is 8th incarnation of Bhagwan Vishnu. Krishna was born in prison to devout parents – Devki and Vasudeva. At the time of his birth, his life was in danger because the tyrant Kansa was seeking to kill him. It had been foretold that Kansa would be killed by Devki’s eighth child. Someone told Kansa that anyone of Devki children could kill him. So he killed all the children of Devki immediately after birth. He is personification of pure evil. Since Sri Krishna was the eighth child, he was smuggled out of prison to be raised by his foster parents Nanda and Yashoda in Gokula. That is the intent behind the name of book. A psychopathic killer named Kansa, is on the loose, who kills woman and their newborn babies. So this is apt the review is written today.

This is a mystery thriller about a psychopath who is evil incarnated. So I will not say much about the plot, as it will spoil the fun.

In the middle of night an accident takes place. A disheveled girl Mehar is hit by a car and brought to hospital. Saargi, ACP realises that Mehar might be a victim of Kansa, a psychopath. She also realise that she alone can’t handle the case and requires help of a Genius. Professor Black teaches in Mumbai and has his own ghosts. He is a troubled past which led him to alcohol and whores. He takes up case only because of Saargi. They starts investigations and find layers upon layers of intrigue. There is too much blood spilled and Black gets involved in the case personally.

Characterisation of Black and Saargi is interesting. Their back stories are given. In fact the basis of next book may lie in the past of Virat aka Black. Black has his own rules and does not always play by the law books though he teaches criminology. He is his own Police, Judge, Jury and Executioner. He is sharp, intelligent, ruthless, strong and merciless for criminals. He has his own set of rules and believes in gut instinct. He says to Saargi:

“Always remember one thing- in the business of crime and justice, a lot depends on gut instinct. You have to make choices in the matter of seconds and you have to make right ones. Do you know why? Because people’s lives depend on them. You can save someone’s life, you can stop someone from being a criminal, so that when you go home at the end of the day, the only blood that should be on your hands is of those who don’t deserve to live.”

He is compared to Jack Reacher on cover. But I feel that is injustice to Prassant. Black is original although some characteristics might be same. But then he shares some with Sherlock, Criminal Minds (the TV series), Bond and others. Still he is a interesting character and quiet original.

Saargi is a perfect foil for him. She is equally passionate about justice and putting criminals behind bars. But she does not believe in taking law into her own hands. She is attracted to Black and let him do what he wants but does not become part of that herself.

Other notable characters from book are Arjun and Mira. But you have to read the book to know more about them.

The pace of book is breathtaking. There is not a dull moment. The action starts from page 1 and is relentless till end. The story moves to all of North India -Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Ramnagar etc. I kept guessing the identity of Kansa throughout. Prassant left clues throughout but it is not easy to pick them up.

Though there are some inconsistencies also but it will spill the beans if I list those here. So you read and decide yourself.

I give the book 4/ 5 stars.


Where to buy:

http://www.amazon.in/Kansa-Book-Kille...


Blurb:

OVER A SPAN OF TEN YEARS, HE KILLED FORTY PREGNANT WOMEN AND THEN VANISHED WITHOUT A TRACE. AFTER FIVE YEARS OF SILENCE, HE IS BACK AGAIN, SEEKING HIS NEXT VICTIM. ONLY ONE MAN CAN STOP HIM - PROFESSOR BLACK. Maher was found unconscious in the middle of the highway and later, in the hospital, she revealed that she had escaped from a killer's house. All the details and patterns matched the serial killer 'Kansa,' who had disappeared five years ago after murdering forty pregnant women. ACP Saargi Desai was assigned to the case. She appealed to her department to bring back Professor Black to help her catch the killer. The Professor, who had a haunting past that had kept him away from the world of crime and investigation for several years, was not willing to take on this case. But the ACP managed to convince him to get on board just for this one last time. Soon after agreeing to help, the Professor realized that for the first time in his life, he had met his match. As he dug deeper into the case, everything got dirtier, the stakes went higher, and nothing was what it seemed.


About the author:

One of three children, Kevin was born and raised in a close-knit family in New Delhi. He was always more inclined towards sports and literature. Kevin left his schooling after the twelfth standard to study story-writing and after two break years, returned to complete his education from the CBSE Board.

After school, Kevin pursued his childhood dream and studied Major in Film Direction. He went on to direct a Hindi feature film, several short films and music videos.
In the winter of 2013, he finally decided to turn one of his oldest written film screenplays into a fully-fledged English novel. That is how, ‘Let Me Go: The Last Love Story of the Universe’, his first English novel came to life. He currently resides in New Delhi and is working on his second book.



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Saturday, 12 August 2017

I am Not A Traitor by Y. I. LATZ


I am Not A TraitorI am Not A Traitor by Y. I. LATZ
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am a sucker for spy books. These appeal to us because of thrills and edge of the seat adventure factor. This is also one of them and involves Mosaad, one of the most feared agencies.

Henry Stein finds himself in the prison in opening chapter. He is there on espionage charge for CIA. His sexy Korean girlfriend is allegedly a CIA operative. He works in Navy as a Chef so it is easy to roam inside the most secret meetings. His wife has an affair with a fruit seller. His daughter is missing, maybe kidnapped. Is he a traitor?

The book is pretty straight and sedate. The story couldn’t keep me engrossed. Motivation of main characters is not understood by me. What is Singer doing with a loser like Stein? Marina and Jimmy came out as idiots. Shin is manipulative or is she? And the track about his daughter and wife is totally tangential.

My main peeve is that there are 3 allies: USA, Great Britain and Israel. They maybe spying on each other. But will they go to war? Maybe in a very unlike scenario, but I can envisage none. Iran or Palestine will be a better choice.

Is he a traitor? I don’t know. But I was bored to death that I know for sure.

I give this book 2.5 / 5 stars.


Where to buy:

https://www.amazon.com/Am-Not-Traitor...

Blurb:

Henry Stein is a former Israeli Navy cook with a huge secret…

Dive into the story of an exciting espionage case that takes place in the most covert unit of the Israeli Defense Forces. Henry Stein, the 50-year-old veteran chef of the Israeli Navy’s submarine fleet is laid off from his job after thirty years. Due to his big secret, he cannot reveal this fact to anyone, not even to his wife.

A secret that is intertwined with a serious of international calamities
How does his secret relate to the murder of his grandmother in London thirty-five years ago, to the arrest of his backpacker daughter in Colombia, to his love affair with a sexy Korean-American who almost gets him killed, and to his longstanding personal relationship with the British MI6?

A compulsive page-turner full of courage, terror, and passion
Step by step, the secret life of the “innocent cook” is exposed. As he fights a war of survival opposite the CIA, MI6 and the Israeli Mossad, he is revealed as a courageous man who follows his heart, until the arrival of the inevitable moment when he must decide once and for all where his loyalty lies—with his country or with his homeland.

From the Author
I've always been interested in people who are living a lie. I do not mean petty criminals, who deny every crime they have ever committed even if they were caught in the act by security cameras, but rather "ordinary" people, like you and me, who decide to choose lies as a way of life.
From spies and intelligence personnel to "white collar" criminals, who, one fine day, drop out of their routine life and embark on a "new career," known only to them. This sort of double life is a central axis of this book as well as of my other novels.



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Sunday, 6 August 2017

Being a Project Manager: Planning the Project by Hamutal Weisz, Daniel Zitter


Being a Project Manager: Planning the ProjectBeing a Project Manager: Planning the Project by Hamutal Weisz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Can project management be taught? Well yes and no. It is less of a science and more of an art which is to be learnt by the experience and can’t be taught. So what purpose can this book, like countless management book, serve?

This is book 2 of a 4 part series. Part 2 is about planning of project. This try to teach us many tools which can help us to manage and plan project in a more efficient way. The approach of keeping end in sight and identifying most important objectives, necessary and peripherals can help us to plan it better in the beginning. Then there is question of involvement of client and stakeholders. How much is required and how it be helpful rather then being an impediment. The concept of WBS (Work Breakdown structure) is about dividing the content into smaller, manageable and measureable work units.

Language of book is easy and it does not fall into trap of rhetoric and hi-fi technical terms. As I already said this cannot teach management but can work as a tool to manage and plan in a better way.

I give this book 3.5 / 5 stars.


Where to buy:

https://www.amazon.com/Being-Project-...

Blurb:

Being a Project Manager is a different kind of book about project management that focuses on essentials and practice. It clearly draws the path one must walk as a project manager.
The book is suitable for managing any project of any size, subject and content since it refers to the foundations of project management—planning, control and communication—rather than a specific methodology or expertise. Moreover, the book offers appropriate methods and tools for proper project management that are easy to implement.
Practicing project management using the methods described in this book will initiate a process of continuous improvement in project management skills, starting from the first project! So if you are a project manager, start here and now!

The bread on the cover represents the project’s end product, which is the combination of all its ingredients: flour is the basis; yeast is the means for leavening the dough and turning it into bread and water is the glue that bonds all the ingredients. The same applies in a project: planning is its basis; control provides the means needed to achieve the project’s objectives and communication bonds all the project’s stakeholders and expresses the project’s management tone and pace.
Bread without flour is not bread, just as a project without planning is not a project. Yeast-free bread is a flat cracker, just as a project without control is an effort going everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Bread without water is nothing but shapeless powder, just as a project without communication is simply a collection of individuals who aspire to reach a common goal but have nothing that links between them. Therefore, planning, control and communication are the indispensable ingredients needed to create the final product in the project effort.


All projects, both large and small, require a set of clearly defined objectives and targets, as well as a plan for their achievement. Determining the project’s objectives and laying out a course for achieving them are handled in two distinct stages. First, the objectives are set out in general in the preliminary planning stages of the project. Then, each objective is laid out in further detail in the secondary planning stage, which focuses on the practical and specific details of the project.

In this book you will all about project planning. In the first part of this chapter, we will learn how to generate a ’Project Compass‘ which will help answer questions central to the project’s planning and approval process, such as: “Why should this project be undertaken?”, “Who is the target audience?”, “What does this project entail?”, and “How should we execute the project?” Answers to these questions are needed to ensure that we do not make decisions at this stage of the project that will be regretted later. In the second section of this chapter, we will expand the Project Compass into a detailed project plan—one that we can then use to manage and control the project in practice.



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PSYCON by Varun T.


PSYCONPSYCON by Varun T.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is supposed to be a political thriller. It has characters from PM of the country to CM of UP, CBI top cops, corrupt IT officers, businessmen, middlemen and scrupulous tax manipulating CAs. It starts with a lot of promise. Does it stay true till the end? Let’s see.

PSYCON is the name of the firm which is an acronym made up of the names of two of the founders (Prateek Subramaniam and Yashwardhan Sharma Consulting firm). A new regime under the leadership of Narendra Bhai Doshi is in place at centre. In UP the state is headed by MS Yadav of Samuhwadi Party (SP). These two chaps are CA who works as pimps of IT officer Meena. Modus operandi of them is ingenious. They calculate probable black money income of corrupt businessmen by going undercover. Then they calculate probable tax liability. Meena sends IT notice for double the amount and then sends these two to settle on his behalf. They ask half the money to wipe the slate clean and thus everyone is happy. But this is a dangerous game as they ruffle the feathers of many corrupt and powerful persons in the state. One of them is Sunderlal of BJP. All hell breaks loose when Acchelal Yadav, a backward person & coal baron goes missing and PM sees it as an opportunity to score political points with Backward community. Enter Kaamte an IPS officer working for CBI who is handpicked by Doshi to find him out. This sets a high octane thriller.

The book starts with a lot of promise. The stories in the beginning are interesting and ingenious. They extract crores from corrupt businessmen. These stories are more like description of disparate events and written in a rushed fashion and reads more like non-fiction. After these stories the chase begins for Acchelal. The story becomes protracted and convoluted. And by the end this becomes a very clichéd revenge story. It is Bollywood style thriller which asks for suspension of belief. In true Bollywood style it has a dead father which is to be avenged, a sister who has cancer, burning alive the corrupts and justifying it. In fact in the end PM declares in a press conference what happened, so very filmy.

This is not what is expected from the book. The weakest point of story is that it reads like propaganda of BJP and denigrates others.

Still 3/ 5 stars for the ingenious con game at the beginning. Second half is avoidable.

Where to buy:

http://www.amazon.in/Psycon-Varun-T/d...

Blurb:

A new regime is manning the reins of governance in India, having arrived on the scene with an anti-corruption agenda. With the IT Department chasing down tax evaders to curb the menace of black money, party funds begin to dry up, a year before Uttar Pradesh goes to polls.

Enter Prateek Subramaniam and Yashwardhan Sharma, through their brainchild, PSYCON.

Set in the heart of UP, the duo works to assist the ruling party’s agenda of conquering the Hindi heartland. Their mission: amassing the funds the task would need. Between harassing businessmen to shell out money and making money in the process, they make quite a bit in the initial windfall. And yet, a can of worms is opened when the CBI enters the picture.

Do the two con their way out of the CBI’s grasp? Will truth prevail in the land of Satyamev Jayate?

Or will they find reality too bizarre to handle?

The royalties earned by the author from this book will go to PM’s National Relief Fund.

About the author:

Hailing from the small town of Satna with humble beginnings, Varun has come a long way by establishing a prominent name for himself in the FMCG space. Varun's professional stints are replete with awards of recognition but his heart has always been in the literary space since his association with Guts & Glory, a book published by SIBM Pune in association with Rupa Publication. Now, he longs to write about the complex interplay of societal norms and self-interest, redefining the demarcations between good and evil, in a world driven by propaganda, where truth is never absolute and public perception is the king. A die-hard fan of the honourable Prime Minister of India and a keen observer of the evolving political environment in the country, he has dared to challenge the existing notions of the society with his endeavor: PSYCON. The book does not merely scratch the surface of societal evils like black money and corruption but also rips apart the draconian system, under which such evils prospered and became the accepted norm.
The royalty earned by the author from this book will be donated to the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund.


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15/1 Story Avenue by Avishek Gupta


15/1 Story Avenue15/1 Story Avenue by Avishek Gupta
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“People who say it is a long story, mean it's a stupid short one that they are too embarrassed and couldn't be bothered to tell”
― Cecelia Ahern, Love, Rosie

Avishek has covered varied topics through his stories in the book. Love, technology, hacking, Physics, Sound, nostalgia, marriage, friendship, journalism, divorce and many more. Short stories are very different from novels as they tell about short period and two or three characters. It is a challenge to tell short stories as you have extremely less space to set the context and say the story.

First let us see in brief what the stories are all about:

1. Our Unique Love Story- A simple Engineering college romance.

2. Drift-or some of these young couples, divorce is just an extension of break-up – a legal stamp to part away happily.

3. Mandroid- A psychological thriller about suppressed anger of a timid man.

4. The Burning torch of truth - It is a political thriller with investigative journalism thrown in.

5. Vinashak- Thrilling account of hacking World.

6. Weeds- Addiction of weed and love.

7. A honeymoon to remember- A comical honeymoon.

8. A Ganges full of Love- Love blossoms on Ganges in a newly married couple

9. The Lost Umbrella- Emotional attachment to an object.

10. Total Eclipse- Scene of a riot in Calcutta

11. The Perfect Photograph- Right to privacy of homeless

12. That Stupid Bug Called Love- Something like fault in our stars. .

13. Many Silences in My Soul- Sound of silence through the voice of a Physics professor.

14. Let’s go India gate- A couple’s trip to India Gate, India’s very own war memorial.

15. Vishwakarma Fervor- Vishwakarma Pooja is a big event in eastern part of India.


This book has many emotions as I told earlier. This book is a mixed bag, As the author tried to cover many varied emotions and topics (varied from love to cyber hacking), the result is also mixed. Some stories are excellent, some average and some downright poor.

The first story is like any other college romance. Nothing unique about it. It happens all the time on campus and will keep happening. Still the story is sweet. Though I feel the girl wasted 3 precious years ;).

I liked Mandroid very much as this is very plausible and can be related to, by every meek, introvert person. The bug which went into his eyes may be a metaphor of the suppressed anger.

Drift again is very topical and I agree with Avishek 100%. Now a day’s young couple mistake infatuation with love and marry. But if love is sleep then marriage is an alarm clock. They wake up to the harsh reality of married life and the world comes tumbling down. Which leads to ugly separation. That some people might think of cashing in on this also, is a scary thought.

Some stories were so rushed that they made no sense or were ended abruptly. I would like to put Vinashak, The Burning torch of truth, That Stupid Bug Called Love (clichéd done to death concept), weeds etc here. Vinashak is the lamest story. How can a Hindi professor who is kidnapped write an antivirus software in few hours? This is totally implausible and factually wrong.

Some stories are very lazy and I think Avishek wrote them just to fill the quorum and most of them are at end of the collection like Vishwakamra Pooja (it’s like an essay by a school kid).

The story I liked the most is “The Perfect Photograph”. This is a heart touching story and wrote with all the sensitivity for poor, homeless and all humanity.

Overall it is a very good first attempt. Highly recommended. I give it 3.5/ 5 stars.

Where to buy:

https://www.amazon.in/dp/B06XWV1QBQ/r...

Blurb:

15/1 Story Avenue - an address where you'll come across 15 soul touching stories by one author. Be it a heartwarming campus romance, a spine chilling thriller, or a wonderful travelogue, you will find all under the same roof. The stories in this collection touch upon everyday lives. They speak of scenarios and characters you can strongly identify with. And yet, these tales rip your attention from the word go. Come, open the door and enter the house of stories. Wonderful surprises await you inside!

About the author:

Avishek Gupta works in a senior position in a leading software organization. Avishek has had multiple short stories, poems, articles and blogs published in various magazines, corporate newsletters, and websites.

Other than writing, Avishek's hobbies include reading, music, movies and quizzing. He works and lives in Kolkata.

Hi book 15/1 Story Avenue has received positive reviews from readers on Amazon and Goodreads. He is currently working on his debut novel.

You can reach him at:
Email: words82@gmail.com


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Friday, 4 August 2017

Reminiscences Of A Seeker: Dark Face Of The White World (True Story) by Kapil Kumar Bhaskar


Reminiscences Of A Seeker: Dark Face Of The White World (True Story)Reminiscences Of A Seeker: Dark Face Of The White World by Kapil Kumar Bhaskar
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The blurb proclaims this is a true story of the author. It may be true but I read it as fiction.

Amazon review link is https://www.amazon.in/review/R992UVMR...

Story begins with Kapil, the protagonist being visited by a true guru. Then the story moves to flash back. We come to know that Kapil has many siddhis taught by his gurus Trilokenath and afterwards Asuranath. Somehow they turn his enemies and then he has to deal with them. The first part finished at a cliff hanger and there are many unanswered questions.

Many things are told in the book which might interest some readers. Such as:

1. People who have past life relationships are born as twins, mother and child, brothers and sisters, best friends or members of the same soul family.

2. “How can the door of salvation, from where you proceed to the higher realms of consciousness after discarding the limitations of your physical body, be impure?"

3. Yakshinis are invoked as sister, mother, daughter, wife or friend, depending on what one desires to achieve. However, most of the time in these types of sadhana, it is more of a sexual relationship between the practitioner and the Yakshini as the sadhana increases the former’s sexual desires.

4. It spoke about the most auspicious places to begin the practices of an Aghor…. There seemed to be four ways to do the practices- either go to a dense forest which should be full of wild animals, or to a cremation ground, or find a dead body and do all the practices sitting over the body and the last, most gross one was to go to a forest along with a woman, make her sit in front of you naked and do the practices; the disciple also had to be naked…

5. After spending so many years on this path, I had realized that nothing comes free of cost. The name and position one enjoys, all come at a price.

6. I realized that he had trapped me into doing a Yoni puja. There are Tantrics and Aghoris who pray to Goddess in the form of Partner, but I was not one of them. In this kind of ritual, if the girl desires the sadhak would have to sleep with the girl.

7. “Who is not mad? If you look from my viewpoint you will perceive everyone as mad. If you fit in the society’s set of beliefs and live the way others live you are considered normal, but if you don’t fit you are labeled ‘crazy’.

There maybe two views about the book. One of a believer and other one of a rational person. I fall into second category. The stories about tantriks, aghoris like Sex with yoginis, using spirits for evil purposes, doing sadhna with corpses in graveyards/ shamshan ghats, drinking alcohol during sadhna, desecrating corpses of infants etc. may or may not be true. It sure makes an interesting read and the author keeps your interest going. Kapil also brought to fore the true evil face of these aghoris and babas. They are megalomaniacs who cannot listen no and expect everyone to treat them like God. The siddhis (if there is any such thing) are not for wellbeing of humanity but just a tool to get power and money.

The book becomes repetitive at times. A tight editing could have helped. Also sequencing of events is confusing and some things don’t add up. Author need not remind us after introducing every name and place every time, that its name is changed. One disclaimer like this at the beginning would have sufficed:

“This is a true story but names of the characters and places have been changed to maintain anonymity/ to protect their identity”.

I give it 3/ 5 stars.

P.S. On a lighter note: Govt should make a paltan of all these aghoris and post them to border. They will play on the minds of terrorists, enemy soldiers, and their leadership. We will win the war without any bloodshed. ;)

Where to buy:

http://www.amazon.in/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i...

Blurb:

Kapil takes you on his unforgettable true journey of the supernatural world of mystics and higher beings, unbelievable miracles and the parallel world of darkness and light, in his spiritual pursuit of seeking the ONE - who would show him the Ultimate Divine. A series of events catapults Kapil into the fascinating world of Dark Arts and suck him into the quagmire of drama, suspense, greed and betrayal. And just when the trials and tribulations seem to engulf Kapil completely, there emerged from the deepest darkness, a Brilliant Light of his True Master. The existence of the paranormal world is as much real and any ordinary person can get caught in that world unless one is careful. We belong to such a period of time wherein innocent seekers are lured into the trap of so-called "Masters" who fool them easily by playing onto their deepest fears and weakness. The book hopes to save people from making that false step and even if one does commit that mistake, the book offers hope that it is not the end of the world; one can always get to the Light, A thrilling true account of an ordinary man plunged into extraordinary circumstances of the Dark World.

About the author:

Kapil Kumar Bhaskar has been on his spiritual journey for more than two decades. Blessed by Adi Gurus, Spiritual Guides and Masters (who visited him out of their body form), Kapil has a deep understanding of the human psyche and has divine clarity on both esoteric and non-esoteric issues. Having received divine guidance, his knowledge and understanding of spiritual matters goes beyond books and comes from anubhuti... experience.
In his own words, the experiences he underwent in this sojourn shaped him to become what he is today. His knowledge does not come from books but from experiences.

As he often says, “You have not got birth here, neither you will get death... The only thing you will get here is Experience...”

After a successful stint as a businessman, Kapil Kumar Bhaskar gradually shifted his area of work to become a full-time spiritual consultant to those lost and confused on their personal path of inner excellence. A multi-faceted personality, Kapil is a spiritual mentor, a prolific writer, a counsellor par excellence. He has penned uplifting articles which have been printed in magazines and journals within and outside the country.

Highly articulate, he debunks myths and conditioned beliefs and theories propounded by self-proclaimed guardians of orthodoxy, to help people connect with their true self. He has guided and helped countless people. His radical interpretations of spiritual and religious dogmas existing amongst the masses have transformed the lives of all those who have chosen to associate themselves with him.
His lifelong experiences have now been shaped in book form which gives in-depth information and knowledge of the dark side of the white world.
A Mentor with a difference, Kapil continues his spiritual quest which he says will last till this life... and maybe beyond.

You may get in touch with him through:

E-mail: kkb0999@gmail.com

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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Knitted Tales: A Collection of Emotions by Rubina Ramesh


Knitted Tales: A Collection of EmotionsKnitted Tales: A Collection of Emotions by Rubina Ramesh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.” ― Lorrie Moore


Short stories are very different from novels as they tell about short period and two or three characters. It is a challenge to tell short stories as you have extremely less space to set the context and say the story.


Rubina has done the job extremely well. First let us see in brief what the stories are all about:


1. Betrayal - Story of a sadistic brutal husband with a twist.

2. Chicklet - Story of racial bullying of immigrants, Hypocrisy of Indians and compassion.

3. Forgive me.......- Story of a successful Bollywood director, his lost love and consequences.

4. Lolita- Story of a Bollywood Diva. How she became from a simpleton to a heartthrob of millions?

5. No regrets - Hilarious and original story of a Bengali Tamil couple who moves to USA. Very witty. ;)

6. Suvarna Rekha- A tragic love story like Laila Majnu, Romeo Juliet.

7. The Little Godmother- It is story about sibling love.

8. The Missing Staircase- About nostalgia and Nirvana.

9. The other woman- The trials and tribulations of a kept/ second wife.

10. Daddy hear me out- Oh Maths! Tormentor of some students. How one girl dealt with the beast successfully?

11. Cliff notes- Story of human depravity seen through eyes of a cliff.


Rubina is an ace story teller. She has brevity and keeps the stories to the point. She sets the environment and establishes the context early on in the story; mainly initial two or three paragraphs. I got the idea early on what each story is all about. The characters are well fleshed out and you can see the qualities of each clearly.


You see Rekha (of Suvrana Rekha) and immediately understand that she is an upright girl. She is ready to sacrifice everything for her love. She sacrifice the company of her family for Suvarna and her life for her family and clan.


Lolita as the name implies is someone who is luscious (as you remember Vladimir Nobokov’s Lolita). She likes all the accolades which come her way but deep down she carries the hurt, anger and hatred for his treacherous father.


Rubina is capable of drawing a sketch with words. For example this passage from Lolita:


She was someone’s dream and someone’s lust. She was someone’s passion and someone’s curse. Yet no one knew her nor did anyone dare to come near her. She was everyone’s unattainable dream. Her heart soared when trembling hands held an umbrella over her, lest the angry sun peeled away the layers of her beauty. Her heart sang when the spot boy nakedly admired her heaving breasts, innocent of the fact that he was being captured in her mother-of-pearl adorned hand mirror. She was wanted; she was needed, to fulfill all these silent desires of men.


Rubina has good grasp of human psyche and emotions. Each story has a testimony of it. “Betrayal” brings out the hate, in a man, which is so powerful that it continues even after death. Or “The little godmother” is about affection of a sister towards her younger brother. “Chicklet” shows hypocrisy, prejudice & racism world over in general and amongst Indians in particular. It also shows how compassion and empathy can overcome these negative emotions.


Though some of the stories are dark and depressive in the beginning, almost all ended on a positive note. These stories are about the power of positivity and positive emotions like compassion, empathy, indomitability and indestructibility of spirit, sacrifice, courage and above all Love.


I want to make special mention of the most funny, witty and original story “No Regrets”. It is about how a clever wife conveys the feeling of being trapped, frustrated and claustrophobia in an alien country to her husband without throwing a tantrum or fight. She makes him to see her point of view and brings him around ingeniously.


The effort Rubina put into the stories shows. She is a gifted storyteller. Highly recommended. 5/5 stars.

Where to buy:

https://www.amazon.in/Knitted-Tales-c...

Blurb:

What forces an innocent girl to become a sex symbol? Her desires? Or cruel fate?
Is a lifetime enough—for avenging a betrayal? How do you hide secrets that never stopped haunting you?
Can vengeance and secrets of your past devastate your present? How can long-buried crimes of yours suddenly raise their head? Can sinning be saving?
Is your spouse your soulmate? What if they never understood your feelings? Can you still live with them?
Lastly, does life give only two options? Live or die? What if there is a third?
In her anthology, Knitted Tales: A collection of emotions, Rubina Ramesh tries to find answers to these questions that are often from the heart and yet make the mind ponder over the solution. Or is it the other way round? Either way, Knitted Tales is a bouquet of emotions that is bound to touch both your head and your heart.

About the author:

Rubina Ramesh is an avid reader, writer, blogger, book reviewer and marketer. She is the founder of The Book Club, an online book publicity group. Her first literary work was published in her school magazine. It gave her immense pride to see her own name at the bottom of the article. She was about 8 years old at that time. She then went to complete her MBA and after her marriage to her childhood friend, her travel saga started. From The Netherlands to the British Isles she lived her life like an adventure. After a short stint in Malaysia, she finally settled down in the desert state of USA, Arizona. Living with her DH and two human kids and one doggie kid, Rubina has finally started living the life she had always dreamed about – that of a writer.


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Sunday, 23 July 2017

The Casanova's Wife (Marriages Made in India #4) by Sundari Venkatraman

The Casanova's Wife (Marriages Made in India, #4)The Casanova's Wife by Sundari Venkatraman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Prince charming meets plain Jane (or she thinks so). They fall in love and afterwards do they live happily ever after? Read this to know the answer.


Bharat is a handsome highly sought after model. He meets Dia in an after event party and they end up in bed. This is a love at first sight. He has no contact information of Dia and desperately misses her. She has his number, but she is too insecure by all his glamour, to contact him. She tells her dilemma to her sister, Pia thus:


“Actually Pia, Bharat has the reputation of being a Casanova. Even he admitted to it when I met him first. Though he insists that he’s changed since he met me and is in love with me, I’m still not sure about him. What if he’s confusing lust for love?”

Sundari’s writing is brisk. The story moves at a fast pace . The story starts and end with hot steamy scenes and there is reference to erotic desires/ acts throughout the book.


The tale is pretty straightforward. The characters are developed and the love story develops slowly from lust to love.Bharat has three brothers Ram, Laxman and his cousin Shatru. They are also family men . Sex scenes and references are are throughout the book and it keeps the interest going. Sundari describes the coitus in detail but the writing doesn't become crass. The scenes are done with finesse and I felt my blood boil many a times. I am reminded of Fifty Shades of Grey initially but this is not in BDSM category. The sex is just an extension of their love and Bharat is not a Psycho. They miss each other and grow apart due to insecurities of Dia. Finally they meet after 2 years and all is well in true love story Bollywood style.


This is book for lovers for light steamy romance. All in all a good time pass.

I give the book 4/ 5 stars.





Where to buy:

https://www.amazon.in/dp/B01MFBHWJX?t...


Blurb:


Bharat is the elder of the Maheshwari twins. Being a super model, he travels from Jaipur to Mumbai to Delhi, modelling for high-end brands and playing show stopper during fashion shows. Clothes, jewellery, glares, briefs – you name it and Bharat Maheshwari models for it.

Dia Mathur is a management trainee based in Mumbai. She’s surprised to find herself at an after event party hosted by a major fashion label, thanks to her best friend. That’s where she meets Bharat, completely unaware of his claim to fame.

Sparks sizzle and they get together instantaneously. But things fall apart when Dia realises that Bharat is quite the Casanova and might not make for a life partner. She disappears from his life...

...to surface again two years later, at no place other than his family’s drawing room in Jaipur. Will the Casanova turn a new leaf? Or will Dia have to play second, third or fourth fiddle to every gorgeous model who comes into his life?

Read Book #4 from MARRIAGES MADE IN INDIA series to find out more about “The Casanova’s Wife”.


About the author:


Sundari Venkatraman is an indie author who has 19 titles to her name, all Top 100 Bestsellers on Amazon India, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada and Amazon Australia in both romance as well as Asian Drama categories. Her latest hot romances have all been on #1Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month.

Even as a kid, Sundari absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as she grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end.

Soon, into her teens, Sundari switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine. Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years.

Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! And Sundari Venkatraman has never looked back.

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Saturday, 22 July 2017

Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat #1) by Zoe Kalo


Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat #1)Daughter of the Sun by Zoe Kalo
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There is an orphan at an orphanage. Trinity is rebellious, headstrong and different from other girls. She is rescued from there and taken to a mysterious island. Dark forces are at work there and she is the only one who can save the day. I hope you get the drift by now. Sense of Deja-vu.

Trinity is at a catholic orphanage where mother superior is very strict. Her only friend is Brianna. Then one fine day a mysterious Dr Nassri comes to orphanage as a representative of her Grandmother, Margarete. She takes her to an island somewhere in Egypt where cats outnumber people. Unfortunately Trinity granny dies before telling her anything and leaves her with many unanswered questions.

The book is slow, boring and predictable. The surprise twists are no surprise and it takes forever to build the story. It is ok to write a trilogy but that doesn’t mean that first book should be a boring drag. Trinity is no Harry.

One passage from the book:

“We can’t always do what we want or feel like, can we? That’s hedonism. Didn’t you learn anything from the nuns all these years? I told you to wait until tomorrow. Why is that simple request so hard to follow?”

The book is predictable, clichéd and there is nothing new. I give this book it 2.5/ 5 stars.

Where to buy:

https://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Sun-C...

Blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew. But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities. Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to eighteen-year-old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to confront her true self—and a horrifying destiny.

About the author:

A certified bookworm and ailurophile, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery…. A daughter of adventurous expats, she’s had the good fortune of living on 3 continents, learning 4 languages, and experiencing a multicultural life. Currently, she’s working on a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature, which she balances between writing, taking care of her clowder of cats, and searching for the perfect bottle of pinot noir. She lives and writes in Belgium.


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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

ABCs of Horror by Anmol Rawat


ABCs of HorrorABCs of Horror by Anmol Rawat
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Why does horror click? It definitely does not make us feel good. It has a totally opposite effect on us. It makes us feel terrible, depressed and we run for cover. There is a sense of impending doom and feel bad atmosphere. Still horror movies and literature works. Stephen King is a good example in books. Countless horror movies are made. In India Ramsays and Bhatts has made a name for themselves in this and have a niche and loyal audience. Even low budget even C grade horror films become super hit and make good money. I think the reason is as below.

Horror is one of the emotion in humans. As per Natya Shastra of Bharat Muni there are eight RASA. A rasa is a synthetic phenomenon and the goal of any creative performance art, oratory, painting or literature. The King of Rasa is of course ROMANCE. Horror is combination of Disgust (Vibhatsa) and Horrifying (Bhayanka). So through books and movies we can experience these emotions in the safety of our home or at multiplex.

This is not my favourite genre but movies like The Ring, Veerana, Jaani DUshman, Raaz, Ek thi Dayan, Conjuring etc held my attention and I liked them.

Anmol Rawat has made a good attempt in horror Genre. As you have guessed correctly from the title these stories starts from alphabets A to Z like Voodoo, X-Mas, Sinister, Let me in, Zapped in, Atheist etc.

The book starts with Atheist. Two friends are drinking in a cemetery and discuss about existence of GOD and in turn SATAN.

Voodoo talks of voodoo dolls and how it works. Some friends have made name in field of recording paranormal on camera and they are trying to decipher voodoo phenomenon. As explained it is different from what we see in movies.

Witch is story of a girl who is suspected to be a witch by two of his school mates.

Too much cannot be revealed about the stories as it will spoil the fun. The stories are breezy reads and book can be finished in one sitting. Stories are set in foreign locations and country is not clear in most of them. Some are set in America and Africa. The stories are ok and a one-time read.

Most of them are predictable and clichéd and there is nothing new. Still the book is good and a one time read for lovers of thrill and suspense. I give this book it 3/5 stars.

Where to buy:

https://www.amazon.in/ABCs-Horror-Ter...

Blurb:

You have been warned: This book is cursed.

ABCs of Horror is a collection of ghastly tales that binds different forms of terrors together in a riveting narrative, which feels as real as the entity sitting right behind you when you are home alone, getting freaked out by even a gust of air.

There is a dreadful treasure here for every reader: haunted houses, rise of the Devil, paranormal sightings, Voodoo, and much more. The author has put together promising stories for every alphabet that are guaranteed to scare you out of your wits and question the presence of the supernatural.

Pick up the book as the night crawls by for feeling those chills creeping up your skin and your heart beating out of your chest.

About the author:

Anmol Rawat is a writer, which, considering where you are reading this, makes perfect sense. He is well known in the blogosphere for writing romance fictions, but he is always curious to explore different genres. ‘It’s challenging and challenges are nerve wracking, but fun,” he says. His debut solo book ‘ABCs of Horror’ is a collection of 26 terrifying standalone tales. His novella ‘The Awakening’, a sci-fi fiction, which was collaborated with other bloggers was elected as the best in a national competition and is published in the book ‘Game of Blogs’. He has edited and co-authored ‘A Little Chorus of Love’, an anthology of romance fictions and has co-authored Blank Space, an anthology of inspiring stories. He thinks Game of Thrones and Supernatural are the two best series ever made for television and devours on Nicholas Sparks, Dan Brown, Stephen King and John Green. He would kill for a good cup of Cappuccino, as should all right thinking people.


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