Saturday, May 20, 2017

Book Review: Key to my Soul by Probal Mazumdar

Greetings People !

A new book and its review: Key to my Soul by Probal Mazumdar. Its not just a simple love story, but a medley of love, revenge, friendship, parenthood, separation, betrayal, purpose-less life, heartbreak, .... A superb feat for a debut Author. Good job Probal Mazumdar !

Know about the book: Book Blitz: Key to my Soul by Probal Mazumdar

Key to my Soul by Probal Mazumdar

Siddharth is a laid back school boy who stays with his father in Jamshedpur. In his life enters, Hazel a Bengali-Christian girl who brings bright, sunny days in Siddharth's life. They grow from best friends to teenagers with death-do-us-apart lovers. Then sudden circumstances force Hazel to disappear from the city as well as Siddharth's life with rumours pointing at Siddharth for tainting a young girl. Siddharth moves on to college and vows never to vist his town ever in life again. Until a phone call from an anonymous caller informs him that Hazel is fighting for life in Jamshedpur and he has to meet her before its too late. There are letters Hazel had sent him, some which he didnt read in deep and some which didnt reach him.

Who is the caller? How does he know about Siddharth & Hazel? What will he tell Hazel, if she lives that is? Why didnt he try to find her earlier? What does Hazel mean in her last letter-Key To My Soul?

What I liked:
The smooth, steady pace of the story. Good, simple language
The descriptions of each scene, person, situation. May it be the rustling of leaves, to the Hazel's eyes, the paintings made by Siddharth, to the brutality of the muggers, sculptures made by Joydeep or the piano music played by Hazel's mom,
The layers of emotions like the paints on Siddharth's canvas. Lot many emotions going on in the story which connect with the reader and pull them along.
The well-etched characters and places.
The relation of the Title, Cover and story is perfect.
The small snippets of poetry are endearing and deep. Shows Probal's forte and the awards he won.
The connection of past with the use of letters and flashbacks and the present was seamless.

What I wanted more:
Sometimes I wanted the story to race ahead. But after the book ends it all feels right.
I wanted to shake & scold Siddharth for letting everything in life just pass by without making efforts to salvage it. Again in the talk with Hazel at her house, was happy to note he summarised it being the reason for his life being such a mess.

Grab your copy @

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Book Blitz: Ponni's Beloved by Sumeetha Manikandan

Good day People !
This book is an English Translation of book by famous author Kalki Krishnamurthy done by our Summetha Manikandan. Do check it out.

The Schedule of the Tour can be seen here 

Ponni's Beloved 
Volume 1. New Floods 
Sumeetha Manikandan


Kalki Krishnamurthy’s Ponniyin Selvan is a masterpiece that has enthralled generations of Tamil readers. Many authors have written phenomenal books in Tamil literature after Kalki Krishnamurthy, but Ponniyin Selvan remains the most popular, widely-read novel. It has just the right mixture of all things that makes an epic – political intrigue, conspiracy, betrayal, huge dollops of romance, infidelity, seduction, passion, alluring women, unrequited love, sacrifice and pure love.

Grab your copy @

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“I have brought important information for all of you. That’s why I asked the noble Sambuverayar to invite us all here. Maharaja Sundara Chola’s health has been steadily deteriorating. I secretly asked our royal physician, and he says that there is absolutely no chance of his health improving. His days are numbered. And it is up to us, to think about the future of the royal throne.”

“What do the astrologers say?” asked one of the noble men.

“Why ask the astrologers? Haven’t you seen the comet that has been appearing in the sky, for the past few weeks? They say whenever a comet appears, there will be death in the royal family,” said another.

“I have asked the astrologers as well, and they say that the king might live for some more time. Anyway, we will have to decide who should ascend the throne next,” said Pazhuvetarayar.

“What is the use of discussing that now? Aditya Karikalan was made the Crown Prince two years ago,” said one of the noblemen.

“True. But before he took that decision, did Sundara Chola consult any of us? We all have stood by the Chola Kingdom with loyalty and have sacrificed our sons and grandsons in the battlefield. Even now warriors from each of our clans have gone to Elangai to fight for the Chola Kingdom. Don’t you think we deserve the right to be consulted about who should be the next heir to the throne? Even King Dasaratha asked his council of ministers, before deciding to crown Rama. But our Sundara Chola didn’t think it necessary to consult anyone…”

About the author

"Sumeetha Manikandan is a top bestselling romance author whose novellas ‘Perfect Groom’ and ‘These Lines of Mehendi’ (which was published as a paperback novel called ‘Love Again’) have been on the top of Amazon India charts ever since its publication. A bookaholic, thinker, feminist and a daydreamer, she reads across genres and is a crazy fan of history, romance and science fiction novels.

An avid reader of historical novels, she has been translating Kalki Krishnamurthy’s classic Tamil novel Ponniyin Selvan for the past ten years and hopes to translate more of his novels to English.

Sumeetha is married to filmmaker K.S. Manikandan and lives with her nine-year-old daughter in Chennai."

You can stalk her @        


Climbing The Charts

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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Book Review: Rose Garden International by Sundari Venkatraman

Good day People !
It certainly is a good day or 2 days since I started reading Sundari Venkatraman's latest novel Rose Garden International from The Bansal Legacy.

I am feeling absolutely refreshed and happy after reading such a good novel, perfect writing, good research, superb plot with lot of elements to it and strong characters.
Dont be suprised if you find more than just a love story in this one ;) :D

Buy the book at:

Jamie Scott, an Australian interior designer is feeling restless these days. He has some free time and decides to visit Ooty a hill station in South of India where his grandparents had stayed for a couple of years before India's Independence. Jamie used to love hearing the stories from his grandmother about the hill station, the house his grandfather had built and called it The Rose Garden, the horses,... and as a gift his grandmother had left him her diaries with entries from those years in Ooty. So Jamie feels like this is a 'Call of the Soul' and books himself into a hotel coincidentally called Rose Garden International.
Rhea Bansal, is a strong woman and hotelier to the 5 star hotel Rose Garden International in Ooty which has gained a good reputation and popularity in just 4years of opening it. Rhea is at the helm of running it hands on. Everything runs smoothly under her control. There is no challenge left for her to take up. She has had a few sour relationships which make her averse to letting anyone into her life or taking control of her or her life.
The Australian guest seems familiar to her but she cant place him. The instant pull she feels from him is unmistakable. Jamie too feels the sizzle with the slightest of touch with this beautiful strong woman he wants to know more about.
Will Rhea let him into her guarded life and let him know more of her as well herself ? Will Jamie find his grandparents house and feel at home in Ooty?
Are Rhea and Jamie up for a challenge of sizzling in an undeniable chemistry around them?
Dont be surprised if you find more than just a love story in this one ;) :D

What I Liked:
Ohhh I want to go to Ooty, like right now !
Sundari has beautifully weaved the sights, the pleasant chill of Ooty, history of the British era, the nostalgia factor with the diary entries, strong characters, mystery, action, deep study of running a hotel, etc in 1novel. Hats off to you Sundari !

I loved all the characters in this book. Rhea is a strong, self-made, self-respecting, ambitious woman. I loved the various skills she possesses from hotel management to horse riding to swimming and not to forget black belt in Taekwando. Sundari, has built her very well never showing her as a beautiful woman with a family business of running Hotels or too snooty about all that she has achieved.
Jamie is a hunk I tell you. Apart from that, like Rhea he is multi talented, gentleman to the core, one who will pursue his interest but not force it on you, down to earth, funny, perfect lover, etc. There is a surprise about him at the end. Made my jaw drop when I read about it. Now Now dont race your imaginary horses... Buy the book & read it ;)
The brothers of Rhea are super & cute. Loved her staff. Loved the fleshed out characters of the corrupt cop & politician, the good cop,.... The FIL of the politician needs to be awarded for his decision at the end. Patting Sundari for it! Only you can think of such punishment, Sundari ;)

The diary entries and present scenario are beautifully interlaced. It brought goosebumps for me when Jamie finds the house his grandparents built.
The soft light shimmered in the sunlight, like a protective bubble enclosing Rose Garden International. The sentence in Barbara’s diary came to Jamie’s mind: “I see a glow surrounding our home whenever I look at it in the morning sunlight.”
The hotel, its structure, layout, functioning, etc is so detailed you can visualise it perfectly. But I cant believe when Sundari says its all imaginary :( I was ready to book a cottage as soon as I get a chance.

The twist in the middle of what I thought would be a sizzling love story caught me off-guard. Loved the suspense and the just climax.

Its a full fledged novel with lot of facets to it and not a novella. Full on entertainer which cant be put down. :)

What I wanted more:
Can you think of anything after reading the above? No? Right then.
I am rushing over to get the 1st book in The Bansal Legacy: Simha International before Sundari publishes the 3rd book. Have to run !!!

More books and reviews of Sundari's we have on this blog:
Book Review: An Autograph for Anjali by Sundari Venkatraman
Book Review: The Madras Affair by Sundari Venkatraman
Book Blitz: Tales of Sunshine by Sundari Venkatraman
Cover Reveal: Matches made in Heaven by Sundari Venkatraman
Book Review: The Runaway Bridegroom by Sundari Venkatraman
Book Review: Meghna by Sundari Venkatraman
Book Review: The Malhotra Bride by Sundari Venkatraman
Book Review: Double Jeopardy by Sundari Venkatraman
Book Review: The Smitten Husband by Sundari Venkatraman
Book Review: His Drunken Wife by Sundari Venkatraman
Book Review: Her Secret Husband by Sundari Venkatraman

Buy them all at:


Hope you are tempted enough to go buy these books. You will thank me for making your weekend eventful ;)
Bye. Take care.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Book Blitz: Who Shall I be Today? by Sunita Saldhana

Greetings People!
Another Poet friend Sunita Saldhana released her book of poems last year. The poems are woman centric and are aptly binded together under the theme: Who Shall I be today?
I have been reading the poems at intervals and they are fluid, clear with simple words and thought provoking.
Do buy the book and read each of the poems.

Here is a glimpse of the book:


Who Shall I Be Today?

A woman can never be “just” a woman. She is a million people in one person. 

“Who shall I be today?” is a collection of poems that delves into what makes up a woman. It talks of a mother’s love and fears; a woman’s search for herself; the yearnings of the heart for that someone special. It tells of the hurt and pain that love brings, and the courage to pick up the pieces and start over again.

You will find tears and smiles, pain and pride. You will find fear and courage, nostalgia and anticipation. You will find woman in all her avatars.

“Who shall I be today” by Sunita Saldhana is something written from the heart. It is a celebration of womanhood. It is guaranteed to touch the soul of every woman who reads it.

Grab your copy @

About the author

"I am a writer and a trainer. I have been writing for more than 35 years now. Besides writing for my own blog,, and  

At "The Know & Grow Learning Centre", I conduct creative writing workshops and courses as well as work with kids and adults on their life skills.

I enjoy working with special kids and empowering them with skills to overcome their hurdles and to reach their full potential.

Right now I am a retired mom, with both my kids flown from the nest and I am working on publishing a book of my poems."

You can stalk her @     


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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Book Blitz: The Indus Challenge by R Durgadoss

Greetings People !
Welcome to the Book Tour conducted by The Book Club of Rupa Publication's The Indus Challenge by R Durgadoss.

A new Historical Fiction for you which stars heroes like Alexander, Chandragupta Maurya, Chanakya,... Dig in to know more.

R. Durgadoss


Bharat is in chaos. While the kingdoms fight each other, Alexander’s forces gather for the assault, their leader lured by tales of supernatural weapons and the elixir of immortality. Only one man can save the subcontinent from domination by the Greeks: the young Chandragupta Maurya, trained under the aegis of the ‘dark brahmin’, Chanakya.

When an ancient seal is found, sharing the secrets of the brahmastra, the redoubtable weapon of the Mahabharat, it is up to Rudra, young commander of the Mauryan Nava Yuva Sena and lifelong friend and confidante of Chandragupta, to decode it. Along with his fellow commandos, and with the able guidance of his guru, Rudra embarks on a quest that takes him from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the seas of Rameshwaram, hunting the clues that will lead him to the brahmastra. On the way, he meets the Chiranjivis, ancient beings tasked with divine duties, and learns the secrets behind his own birth and his mysterious powers.

But Rudra must be careful, for not all enemies were dispersed with the death of the mighty Alexander. Treachery lurks in the home, and when Rudra is framed for the attempted murder of his sovereign, he must pull every trick at his disposal to reveal the enemy, and save his kingdom from plunging, once more, into bloodshed and chaos.

A historical, mythological adventure story, The Indus Challenge is sure to appeal to readers interested in the storied past of India and the legends woven into its soil.

Read an excerpt of The Indus Challenge here:

330 bc
The Macedonians and Greeks came with Alexander the Great to the Hindu Kush range. They were mesmerized by the land of the gods, snow-covered, forested mountains higher than Olympus. The sun rising and setting among the glistening peaks painted a breathtaking picture. They were entranced by the stories of the magical kingdoms of the air; of the heavens; of Vishnu and Shiva; of cities in the sky inhabited by sky demons. They were fascinated by the story of Surya, the sun god, who galloped across the sky each day in his golden chariot, pulled by the five horses, while down below in the dark bowels of the earth were giant serpents, red-eyed, flesh-eating demons and other creatures of the underworld.
It was at this time that the people of Bharat were looking inwards, while the Macedonians aggressively explored outwards and wanted to conquer the world. The kingdoms of Bharat were threatened by the aggressive Macedonians. No king or kingdom was free from the aggressor’s attack. Fragmented kingdoms, disunity and distrust among the rulers made these kingdoms an easy target for the Macedonians.
During this period, several events are shrouded in mystery—what brought Alexander to India? How did he die at such a young age? What were the origins of Chandragupta Maurya? How did a young lad of humble origins take on a mighty king? How did a poor Brahmin pundit help a poor young man rise to power from nowhere? What extraordinary powers did Chandragupta possess that made him so successful? Who were his key generals? Who won wars for him? The questions are endless.
There are several seemingly unconnected dots, as the history of this time is shrouded in deep mystery. Rudra effortlessly unlocks the ancient secrets and aligns the unconnected dots. Mystery unravelled; secrets decoded…
In the second avatar (Janam Two) as Rudra during the tumultuous times of Alexander and Chanakya, he offers stunning clues and revelations. His decrypting skills leave a trail that answers several mysteries in our rich history.
At last, Rudra, heading the Nine Unknown Men Army (NUM), has arrived to decode the secrets to save humanity from cataclysm and extinction.
Parthiva year, 306 bc, Kartika (November) month, Friday evening.
The Massaga fort in the Hindu Kush had surrendered to Rudra, the commander-in-chief of the Mauryan army. He was taking stock of the situation. At this hour, a cry hit his ears. ‘Meri raksha karo! (Please save me from the barbarians!’) A woman’s shrieking voice reverberated against the mountains.
‘Why does this lady cry so?’ asked Rudra, looking curiously at his companion. He turned in the direction from where the voice was coming. To his surprise, he saw two cages in which two persons stood, chained. There was a young woman around twenty-two years old, and in the other cage was a bright young lad.
Rudra looked at the cage closely. The woman was gorgeous, seductive, shapely. Her hair was kohl-black, and cascaded over her shoulders. She had thin eyebrows, velvety eyelashes, sea-nymph ears, a sharp nose, shiny white teeth, almond-shaped eyes and glossy skin.
She was wasp-waisted, and her pouting, luscious lips conveyed her displeasure. Her hips and bust were almost of equal size. Her perfect shape reminded him of many icons of beauty he had seen. Her fleshy rounded back attracted his attention.
Rudra realized that he was going overboard ogling at the young women. But in spite of her beautiful features, she seemed to be a fading flower, possibly due to her weakness and exhaustion.
He turned his head towards the surrendered commander of the opposing army, Dharma Sena.
‘Dharma Sena, who are these caged persons?’ asked Rudra.
‘Forget these idiots, Commander. Let me take you round the fort.’ Dharma Sena said, ‘This is Massaga, the great fort city of the Asvakas, the tribe of horsemen. To the south and west are gigantic rocks which defy climbing. To the east is the swift-flowing mountain torrent, the Masakavati river. This famous fort is situated on a hill 6,000 feet high and has a circumference of twelve miles. At the top of the fort, there is arable land requiring a thousand men to cultivate it. This land is capable of feeding more than 30,000 men indefinitely. There are also perennial springs and reservoirs. Every hill here is a natural fort, Commander. Every man here is a horse soldier, Commander. A mighty rampart of stone, brick and timber surrounds the fort, which also has a moat on three sides and the river on the fourth.
‘Commander, “Masika” means “serpent’s hole”, a name indicating the supposed impregnability of the fort and the valour of its defender.’
‘I realize how impregnable your fort is, Dharma Sena. I had to use my best skills to tame you and your fort. By the way, I am impressed by the seven gates leading to the citadel. Can you give me an overview of your fort, Dharma Sena?’
‘You have sharp eyes, Commander. You noticed our seven gates? I am impressed. Let me show you around.’

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About the author

A consistent Top Rank holder and a Gold Medallist throughout his academics, Mr. Durgadoss has had a career spanning 30 years comprising of depth from industry and width from management consultancy as highlights. He has held various senior management positions in top notch companies. Having travelled extensively on consulting assignments, he has interacted with prominent International Bodies like the UNIDO, Investment Bankers and companies held by Professors of Harvard Business School. He has a rare exposure to multiple cultures namely, MNCs, Home grown large groups, family concerns and public sector undertakings during his career. He is blessed with 360 degree analytical skills, which in turn emanates from his all round experience as a Functional head, General manager, Entrepreneur and a Board director. He is an advisor on the board of Directors of several companies benefiting the organizations with his remarkable cross functional skills and his up to date knowledge. Currently he is the Group Director – Finance and Strategy, House of S.T.Bhatia, United Arab Emirates (UAE). In addition he is the chief mentor, coach and Co – Promoter of Icon Management Services (IMS), UAE. Unceasing ‘Value Addition’ and not just ‘Validation’ is the mantra of success for IMS, a multi – disciplinary management consultancy organisation. He has multi-sectoral / cultural/ territorial/ functional exposure with proven track record of success. He is a PhD on Corporate Governance which involves CSR dimensions. He has delivered several lectures in various forums on Character, Competence and Consciousness (3Cs) towards the society and also has several articles to his credit.

Track travelled...

Raising the altitude from a functional entrant to a functional champion, extending his width as a management consultant of a Big 4 firm, he took up the profit centre head position, with a challenging revival assignment in the mid nineties.

Then he moved up to the entrepreneurial mode by taking up the role of a Managing Director of a new venture. Due to several macro economic factors, the venture went into deep trouble. He faced the worst disaster of his life on this venture, losing money, peace and friends, who invested along with him. From the brink of bankruptcy, he fought back to reach the basin of wisdom & wealth in the current assignment as the Director of a large group based in Dubai. The turbulence he went through during this phase tested his character & confidence. Now, along with Dr. Yerram Raju, his co-author, he has penned down this book on Character driven Competence, which elucidates practical ways of ‘Winning without Sinning’. He always says ‘Momentum leaders don’t wait for the waves; instead they build their waves and ride on them’.

After having fought the greatest wars in the deep chambers of his soul, he came triumphant, obtained his PHD in Corporate Governance and now presents the book with the worldly wisdom, gained by him during his career. 

‘Experience is the greatest from of Education’ says Dr. Durgadoss.

You can stalk him @       


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We Promote So That You Can Write 

Bye. Take care.