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Vikram Rana Investigates: Tales of Murder and Deception in Hyderabad

A book of 160 pages with 2 murder mystery stories – Vikram Rana Investigates. It was amusing at first because the title was engrossing and the cover was interesting, so I started reading the story with some anticipation. My review below:
The opening scene starts with the family chart and introduction of characters as chapters, am not really a fan of “telling” but “showing” – so with respect to the craft of writing, I am a bit disappointed.
The character of Vikram Rana is compelling, but other than that I didn’t sympathize with any other and the pace was slow to medium as well. The punch of a murder mystery went missing.
While I loved the worldbuilding and setting of the novella where each scene felt rooted and properly etched with the place in mind, and the dialogues were natural as well, but at some instances I felt it is detailed more than required, Could have been a bit more crispier.
 I feel delighted that the author took enough care with respect to the language, grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, etc.. It is on par except at a few places. More than the story, I think the responsibility of the author to present a good story with the right elements in place impressed me as a reader.
A well-knit story with nothing cheesy to distract, the author did justice and is not carried away with any commercializing factors.
I did like the stories as a reader, since it is a murder mystery, am not giving any spoilers away. It would have been a great read though, because the pace and craft didn’t satisfy the mystery lover in me.
Overall a short novella with 2 mystery stories to read in one go! pick if you like the old-school type mystery with good language.
Rating – 3/5

Secretly yours – Book Review

I’ve not read any of Vikram Khanna’s previous books and hence, I thought I’d read one. The book is published by Penguin Books Limited and thats the only reason I picked this book. The title was not attractive, I didn’t like the cover as well but one thing that caught my attention was the blurb. I read this book with some basic expectations, but, surprisingly, the book didn’t satisfy the reader in me.
The plot was just another love story of a teenager built with a USP that the guy is capable of mind-reading. What I thought with the blurb and what the book offered was entirely different. There were obvious loopholes in the novel throughout, right from the murder parts to the age of the characters, there were mismatches from page one. The characters and the motivation behind each were not fleshed properly, a bit clumsy here. Could have been better though! 30295759
A penguin published book with editing flaws, mistakes, language, sentence structure errors etc.. So, it was disappointing!
Though cliched, a few parts were smile worthy and dialogues were good enough. Some parts were philosophical though. Not a great read, wouldn’t have picked if not for Penguin.
The sensitive topics should have been handled even better. Overall, I felt that a good plot was clumsified with cliched details.

Scarlet Nights by Mayur Patel – Book Review

First Impression: The title, cover, and the blurb is an instant attraction indeed. Pick-worthy novel with a winning plot. I love psychological thrillers and was so excited to read this book.
The story revolves around Malvika, just another Mumbai based businesswoman who is happy with her life. And, then Margrita happens! Read the novel to know more, because, I seldom spill spoilers.
Scarlet nights is a well-knitted novel, the alignment of scenes-chapters and the twin thread running along is commendable. A nail-biting experience precisely!  Author Mayur has done a great job with respect to the story which demands some brave attempts.
Wow Factors: 
  • Plot
  • Language, and diction
  • Editor has done a good job indeed
  • Fast-paced and well-knit chapters
Rating: 4/5
P.S I received a complimentary e-copy in exchange for a honest review.
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6 Degrees – Game of Blogs: Book Review

I adore bloggers turned writers; I follow many a bloggers and adore a few. When I first heard about Blogadda and their #CelebrateBlogging campaign, I was thrilled. To know that Blogadda throws a few characters to them asking to knit a story as a team, judges being dignitaries like Ravi Subramanian Sir and Ashwin Sanghi, and to add more spice a few participants are bloggers whom I follow religiously quickened my interest to read this book. And, when Blogadda posted a call for reviews; I grabbed the opportunity. Click here to read about the birth of the concept.

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I don’t want to compare the 3 stories, so am reviewing each one by one.
  1. The Awakening – A sci-fi fiction in a matter of 150 pages. The opening scene was normal, nothing different from usual fiction but the end of the chapter is a good twist which makes you want to read more. At the end of each chapter there is a plot twist knit, and it was interesting. Good characters and detailed motivation behind each. Overall a good story! I follow Preethi Venugopala and she is one of the team members, so my expectations wrt The quality of writing, language, and diction are on par and commendable
Frown factors: The novel “Shows” than “Tell” – very descriptive. The pacing was not levelled; the chapters are slow from the beginning and at the end it picks speed, could have been done better types. The hype that the end of each chapter created didn’t justify the end of the novel.
  1. Entangled Lives – An exotic murder mystery. Very well-done! One of the best reads this year as I love mystery thrillers. The investigation part was handled properly without amiss. Interesting plot twists, one after the other. A real page-turner indeed. Loved the experience of reading this work. Kudos to the team! Am a fan of Srilakshmi’s lovebytes and I follow Sneha, good job! A fast paced novella with fleshy character traits and motivation. One cannot skim through this story; it has a lot of details in every line.
Frown factors: The world-building was a bit confusing in the middle.
  1. Missing – A journey within – The blurb talks about a child gone missing, I was afraid if that would fall under the lines of many thrillers I’ve read so far, surprisingly, it is not. A beautiful tale around LGBT and a man getting raped. The emotions are handled well, a very nice story around the plot with good conflicts knit throughout. Kudos to the team for working on this theme.
Frown factors: The guy’s interest towards another guy, and discovering his sexual orientation was not dealt properly.
Rating: 4/5
I received this book from blogadda for a video and blog review.

The Secret of God’s Son by Usha Narayanan

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BOOK BLITZ


THE SECRET OF GOD’S SON

by

Usha Narayanan



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Blurb


‘The seas will devour the glorious city of Dwaraka. People will forget your name and your Gita!


May the world perish!

May the world perish!’


<span style=”font-family: georgia, times new roman, serif;”>With this cruel curse on Krishna, Queen Gandhari plunges mankind into the unspeakable evil of the Kali Yuga.</span><br />

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<span style=”font-family: georgia, times new roman, serif;”>It is up to Pradyumna to try and reverse the dire prediction. To journey into terrifying realms, confront Yama and Shiva, and to vanquish the Kali demon. And to do so, he must shed all that holds a mortal back-his arrogance, his fears, his baser instincts . . . He must lead his people out of the swirling vortex of greed, disease and misery.</span><br />

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<span style=”font-family: georgia, times new roman, serif;”>And there is one powerful weapon still — the secret surrounding his origin. Will he uncover it in time to fight off the cataclysm? In the answer lies the destiny of all humanity!</span></div>


Grab your copy @



About the author


USHA NARAYANAN


Usha Narayanan had a successful career in advertising, radio and corporate communications before becoming a full-time writer. She is the author of The Madras Mangler, a suspense thriller, and Love, Lies and Layoffs, a light-hearted office romance. The Secret of God’s Son is the sequel to her bestselling book, Pradyumna: Son of Krishna, which was published in July 2015. 


When she’s not juggling travel, writing and interviews, Usha reads everything from thrillers to romances, provided her cat isn’t fast asleep on her Kindle. She would love to hear from her readers here: author@ushanarayanan.com 


You can stalk her @


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Website | Facebook | Twitter 


Media mentions


Praise for Pradyumna: Son of Krishna


Usha Narayanan has taken a quantum leap . . . to the outright spine-tingling narrative from the leaves of a time before. This book is Indian writing coming of ageFemina


Like the best of our mythological tales, this too, is a multilayered one . . .There is valour, there is cowardice, there is glory, there is shame, there is sex, lies and deceptionThe Hindu


This engrossing tale takes readers on a mythological sagaTimes of India


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We Promote So That You Can Write 

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Hell to Pay (What Doesn’t Kill You, #7)

First Impression: Interesting title, simple cover design and a blurb that took me three reads to get the glitch. I kick started reading to quench my diction thirst, and yes, it paid off.
Overall Impression: A romantic mystery is indeed one of the hardest, because there are times where I read a few of those sorts where I skipped romance parts and read only the mystery. I always felt that romance in a mystery is speed breakers, but Pamela proved me wrong aligning the scenes on par with excellence.
What did I love about this book?
  • Expect the unexpected type of a story that intrigued me instantly
  • As I said, the diction peppered
  • Strong plot, pace so right and characters so believable
  • Humor trials did work out really well
There are no frown factors as such; I just loved the novel’s pace. It worked out so wonderfully, though initially it is tough to get the glitch, Pamela has done a great job with this novel so that it makes sense even as a standalone. Any who reads this book would want to read the previous set of the series, just like me.
Am just holding enough from spilling the beans about the mystery, it is indeed a must read and I would give 4/5 ratings for this nail-biting novel.

Wrong Means Right Ends : Book Review

First Impression: The cover of the novel conveys a confused pair in a trouble, and that matches the blurb. The blurb prompts a question, asking us to read to know what they lead does to get rid of a confusing complication that mushroomed.
Overall Impression: There are different characters, each of a kind which is properly fleshed out in this novel.  This novel makes room for romance and the author has used the space pretty well. A tinge of humor is peppered throughout to lighten the novel, and I would say it did work.
What did I like?
  • This book has fewer errors when compared to the previous release of the author.
  • I was worried about the regional language used in the previous book, and in this book, it has reduced to an extent. Makes the book a better read!
  • Lucid language used throughout – makes it a good read!
Frown Factors:
  • Predictable enough, that makes the reader skim than read
  • Reality takes a miss at some points and drama creeps in
Overall a decent read!
Rating: 3/5

A dog eat dog-food world

A title so catchy and cover so intriguing that says upfront it is not just another book. A novella of 95 odd pages that would take not more than an hour to read, that talks a lot about the marketing management. Suresh – an author famous for his humor peppered blog, well, what can you expect from him? A hilarious take on the marketing management!

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My take on the book:
The prologue is super interesting – it surmises the concept “Out-of-the-box” literally! It makes you think. That ting moment!
Now that the prologue makes you read and just scroll, scroll, and scroll (because I got the eBook from the book club) – tadaa! I finished the book in one go!
For a person like me who struggled and sailed 5 years in IT, where a part of my job description pushed me into pre-sales, marketing, et al. This novella just made me feel so good about quitting that job! Thank you Suresh! *bowing*
Best part of the book is the vocabulary and diction – Mind boggling! Every chapter just transcends to about the business and the characters are just bang on, the way their situations are woven is hilarious. It just fits any business for that matter, it makes one say “Oh! Yeah
Author Suresh has a very unique style, and it suits the satire really well. It is not just pseudo history and marketing management, but there are quotes on life as such which makes you introspect and save it for life.
What I loved in this book?
  • Choice of genre
  • The subject dealt
  • Diction
Rating: 4/5

A Sip of Love and a Sip of Coffee – Book Review

Author Ganga Bharani’s third novel as per records, but this is her first when it comes to Young Adult fiction/Romance.
The novel’s cover looks enticing and the title is so catchy! It is grab worthy, and any who would cross this book in a book store would definitely pick a copy.
As her friend first, I was skeptical about the genre jump and also, asked her to use a pen name instead. I am not a romance or young adult reader, and so, initially I was not so sure if this was a good try for long.

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My take on the book:
First and foremost, Ganga Bharani has tried “Interactive Narration” in this young adult novella, a type of narration that is seldom tried in India so I was first impressed with her idea of using it.
The opening scene starts with the school bell, uniforms, black board, and “No enrolled:” and “No Present:” which drew a smile, as it takes the reader back to the school days. It feels so fresh and underpins the nostalgic thoughts.
The novel has three strong characters, “Avanthika, Gowtham and the author” – their goals in the story were very clear, pure, and emotions were so appropriate. The relationship between the characters looks so appropriate and detailed pretty well! Usually, it is pretty difficult to pen a novel with characters age so young or old when compared to the author’s age, Ganga has done a fair job indeed to think over and ponder about the school days!
Unlike her first two novels, the twists and turns are lesser and there are no heart pounding scenes in the novel given the genre but if her aim was to make her readers smile – I would probably say, she did achieve it.
The pace was pretty good – A crisp one indeed, it just took about two hours to complete. It was sweet and perfumed with innocence, having read many mystery and thrillers in the recent past; this was a very different and refreshing take now, re-reading it yet again. The editor(s) need a special mention as well, a fair job!
The dialogues are the best part of this novel; it makes one grin, chuckle, laugh, and what not. Pretty flowery and naive, this novel has the rawness that is actually required, which makes it a delightful read.
I couldn’t spot any negative factors as such, for a person who reads romance seldom, even to complete this book in a go is a big deal. Overall, I loved the refreshing change! I am still a fan of her thriller novellas than romance (Sounds like my manufacturing defect)
I would rate A sip of coffee and a sip of love fairly a 3.5/5
If you love romance, young adult, and a new take of the narrative – grab a copy!

எழுத்தாளர் என்ற பெருமையுடன் மாய்வேன்!

பெருமையுடன் பச்சை குத்தி கொள்ள பெரிதாக ஒன்றும் சாதிக்க வில்லை,

பல அவமானங்களை தாண்டி, DSC_8005

பல இழிவுகளை சுமந்து,

தேவையற்ற பிரச்சனைகள் கடந்து,

முன்னேறி,

சிந்தித்து, செயல்பட்டு,

பல கரங்களை பிடித்து,

சிலர்க்கு உதவி செய்து அதில் திருப்தி அடைந்து,

எண்ணற்ற ஏளன பார்வைகளை பொறுத்து கொண்டு,

வெட்டிய அனைத்து குழிகளிலும் விழுந்து, எழுந்து,

அதிர்ஷ்டம் என்று ஒரே சொல்லில் என் அனைத்து வெற்றிகளையும் புதைப்பவர்களை மன்னித்து,

ஒவ்வொரு நாளும் ஏதேனும் நல்ல குறிப்பு தோன்றாதா , நல்ல படைப்பு ஏதேனும் படைப்போமே என்று பார்த்து கொண்டிருக்கும் நான் எழுத்தாளர் என்ற பெருமையுடன் மாய்வேன்!

உன் சீண்டல்களும் கேலி பேச்சுகளும் தாங்குகின்ற சக்தியை கொடுத்ததும் என் பேனா தானே?

தூற்றுவதில் சந்தோஷம் அடையும் நீ, ஒரு முறை பாராட்டி பார் – அதன் சந்தோஷம் பன்மடங்கு பெரிது என்று புரியும்!

 

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