Sunday, March 26, 2017

Book Blitz: The Princess of a Whorehouse by Mayank Sharma

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Mayank Sharma


Aparajita is a tenacious go-getter. Her name means unconquerable in Sanskrit, and she lives up to its meaning. 

Just like any other ambitious girl, she desires to fulfil her dreams and become an independent individual. Far and wide, the shadow of her melancholy past chases her passage. The fact that her widowed mother is a former sex worker irks the community. Nonetheless, she is not ashamed to reveal her mother's past. 

Will she lose hope, or will she defy an enigma that is centuries-old? Will she ever conquer the hearts of a prestige-obsessed community? 

See the world through Aparajita's prism in a tale stirred by some real life events.

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About the author

Mayank Sharma is a computer engineering graduate with post-graduation in business management. He works with a leading technology multinational in Delhi. He has authored a number of articles and white papers on software technology and processes. For the first time in April 2014, his article was featured in Better Software magazine published in Florida, USA. Writing has become Mayank's greatest passion when he observed how it can trigger the winds of change. He is gradually transforming from a “left-brained” writer to a “right-brained” writer. Besides writing, he is passionate about sketching, painting, and making sculptures since childhood.

India is the fifth-largest economy in the world with the Gross Domestic Product growth at 7.1 percent. Contrary, India ranks 118 out of 157 countries in the happiness index. The fact seized Mayank’s attention towards social problems affecting social support, freedom of choices, and generosity, to name a few. Having travelled across continents and associated with people with diverse beliefs and values, he became more curious about the social riddles curtailing liberties across societies. He penned his debut novel, The Princess of a Whorehouse, when he came across some real life incidents that quivered his soul.

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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Book Blitz: 1857 Dust of Ages by Vandana Shanker

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A Historical Romance genre book: 1857 Dust of Ages by Vandana Shanker. Lets dive into this different genre.

Vandana Shanker


1857. The rebellion erupts in India. Despite its attempts to stay aloof, NAVGARH, a small town near Delhi, is drawn into the conflagration. And at its heart are Princess Meera and Captain Richard Smith, with their strange alliance made for the throne of Navgarh.

2016, Shiv Sahai, a young Indian art historian and Ruth Aiken, a British scholar discover an excerpt from the journal of an anonymous British soldier, searching for his wife in the chaos of 1857 Delhi. As they begin investigating the scandal, they become aware of the vague rumours that are told in the bylanes of Navgarh – about a princess who married a British soldier to save her kingdom.

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Read an excerpt from the book...

Camp, Delhi Cantonment, 16 August, 1857.
Things have changed forever. A day spent in the company of my old friend Knox made it clear. These distances can never be bridged.
The pole of his tent snapped in the storm yesterday; and for the sake of old friendship, I offered Knox my humble abode. But his rancour was jarring. His determination to teach the enemy a lesson, the unshaken belief in the rightness of our mission– such bitterness asks too much of friendship and duty.
Earlier we went over the battlefield. One of our regiments was destroying the village near the bridge to prevent the enemy from getting cover in it. Elephants were pulling down the walls. The villagers stood by as their houses turned into mud while the monsoon clouds gathered on the horizon. Unfortunately, they were the Jats, who, for the most part, are our friends. We decided that the destruction of their homes and fields was necessary. Twenty-three men – their countrymen – were lying together in the ditch at the back of the village; we weren’t sure if they were the rebels. A party of Rifles killed then en masse, just to be sure.
We left the village with our bags swollen like raisins in water. And who can blame our light-fingered gentry? Armies are said to travel on their stomach.
At some distance from our camp, I can see the sun setting over the fort of Delhi. It isn’t much different from the first sunset I witnessed here years ago. How things have changed! We came with a mission – to know this exotic land, to bring the light of knowledge and civilization to its darkness. Now the memory leaves me embarrassed. These massive red walls made me uneasy even then. Today they mock our camp again. Whatever be the outcome of this devil’s wind, it has revealed the banality of our mission.
Knox’s bitterness is an expression of the anger in the camp. When the cannons are quiet, the silence resounds with confusion, with terror, with rage, but most of all with the question ‘Why?’ As we sit around a small fire every night, the question rages in every mind. ‘Why the mutiny? Haven’t we brought the glory of civilization to this land of superstition?’ These thoughts simmer as we deal with hunger, heat and rain.
But soon these questions will be forgotten. The winners will annihilate the other side. Already I see the madness in the eyes as rumours reach us from other places – Cawnpur, Jhansi, Lucknow. Madness will soon be let loose.
I often feel that the answers that elude me today were within my grasp a short while ago. They are somewhere near, yet unreachable, like the time gone by.
I promise to look for them once I have found her again. For she, I feel, holds a part of it.
So every evening, I try to escape this madness by thinking about her, Princess Meera of Navgarh, a rebel soldier and my wife. It is the third year of our marriage. Three years of tenuous links and fragile understanding. It was only a matter of time before an explosion happened. And it happened that eventful week when Navgarh too burnt in the fire raging all across India. The news that the sepoys in Meerut had rebelled spurred both of us. Did I expect Meera to be a dutiful wife when all her beliefs, her convictions pulled her in the opposite direction? Was I surprised on knowing that she was in Delhi, amongst the rebels? Would she be surprised on knowing that I have followed her as an enemy… a British officer? And as I follow her, I stand here once again, after five years, outside the walls of the Red Fort in Delhi.

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About the author

Delhi-born Vandana Shanker is the author of the series 1857 Dust of Ages, a historical fiction set in the year of the great uprising in India. A PhD from IIT Delhi, Vandana is passionate about history, storytelling and art. Apart from writing, she teaches literature and creative writing in Malaysia. She has also taught in Universities in India and Vietnam. She currently lives in Kuala Lumpur with her family and wants to travel the world. 

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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Book Review: Her Secret Husband by Sundari Venkatraman

Good day people !!!
Want to know more Sundari Venkatraman's Her Secret Husband? Join in.
This is her 3rd book in the Marriages Made in India series out of 5.
Know the story Book Blitz: Her Secret Husband by Sundari Venkatraman

I might be repeating myself when writing this review. But thats what happens when you read a good book by your favourite Author.

Lakshman Maheshwari is the 2nd child of the Maheshwari's. He is a self-made man thanks to his modern yet grounded parents. He is lost when he sees Ruma Malhotra for the first time when trying to find his sister's Chanda's groom and visit RS Software. Ruma is working as a receptionist at RS Software much against her parents wish or her need to work at all. Her parents are desperate to get her married in a well-off family of their status in the society. But Ruma hates the guy choosen for her by her parents.
She too is attracted to Lakshman when she first saw him. Though its hard to resist a handsome hunk like Lakshman. When he pursues her, she readily accepts and both fall in love instantly. Lakshman wants to marry her with both parents permission but Ruma makes him understand its impossible with her parents never agreeing. Lakshman doesnt want to go to the next level until they marry though he is lossing his control with Ruma being one fiesty, seductive lady.
How can they legally become a couple? Who will aide them in this secrecy? How can you stop Ruma parents when they are desperate to get their daughter married?

What I liked:
The Chemistry is crackling. Both dont show any qualms in expressing their physical attraction too to each other. Thank god, no drama there ;) Sundari, knows how to get this part perfect without making it vulgar.

I loved the characters. Again I am repeating :| But both Lakshman and Ruma remind you of your younger self who when set their hearts on a goal, will go for it without finding any ifs & buts.

I first thought Ruma to be a naive girl but as the story progressed she proved her mettle to be a Maheshwari or part of the Malhotra clan ;)
Lakshman too proved to be a man in love & on a mission. The small details of how he setup his business, the processes, things he does to contribute to society, his goals,... make him the perfect Chocolate boy ;)

The other characters are adorable too.
Chanda or her Ranveer from The Runaway Bridegroom are perfect.
Also loved the guest appearance of my favourite couple: Sunita and Akshay in The Malhotra Bride. Hats off to Akshay and his background checks, reminded me of his fight against his blackmailers. Glad for Sunita.
But the star performance in this story is by Ruma's grandmothers. Reminded me of both my granny's. Smart lady with years of experience, knack of judging a person. She was a darling and daring granny too :)

The language, flow of story and descriptions are perfect. Never a dull moment ;).

The baking setup and description made me go baking again. Made an Apple Cinnamon cake after ages. Want to go for Fondant cake making classes reading all about it.

What I wanted more:
Cursing myself for my speed of reading the other books on my list. Sundari, is churning out her next book series and I am still at Book 3 of Series 1. Gearing up !

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All the best Sundari. Readers, do read all the books by Sundari. Need help?
Check all of them here:

Book Review: The Smitten Husband by Sundari Venkatraman
Book Review: His Drunken Wife by Sundari Venkatraman
Guest Post: Why are men so dumb? to Sundari Venkatraman
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
Book Review: The Runaway Bridegroom by Sundari Venkatraman
Book Review: Meghna by Sundari Venkatraman
The Malhotra Bride
Double Jeopardy

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