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Showing posts from 2015

Hawaiian Healing

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As the saying goes, from the frying pan into the fire, Libby's first book was all about from one heartbreak to another. But this book brings about a definite end to the earlier heartbreak.

The first installment of Kayla's story definitely  made me wait for the second book. And yes, I was not at all disappointed. The plot revolves around Kayla and Jay. Best part, it has been kept simple with no unwanted twists and turns. I love happy endings and this book did end on a positive note with a promise of yet another finale.

This sequel is like a true blue Bollywood Romance Movie. I could mentally hear background scores based on the mood of the scene, for example, I could hear drum beats when there were tiffs and violin strings when the mood was sad. Libby' descriptions have the power to evoke loads of imageries. I truly felt I was there while Kayla was snorkelling, exploring the yet to be seen places of the Big Island. Hawaii has been so aptly described that it is as if the rea…

Empty Fists

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Empty fists have nothing within them, some say. But for me, they are generally filled with hope. Read an anthology of stories by Mangalam Shiva.

The theme for each story was based on important issues. Each plot is relevant in today's social scenario. Dowry, neglect, abuse, you name it and it was there. A segment was narrated through the eyes of a dog, which is a novel concept. Characters chosen were Indians and could be easily associated with.

Yet, there was something amiss. The author attempts to highlight social issues- great, but narration was a big let down. It got repetitive in some places. The tone of narration was monotonous with the tendency to get misconstrued as advisory rather than story. The choice of words lent an impersonal  touch to it. Also, Chapter numbering or changes in scenes within a story were confusing at times. The concept were good but characters were not very strong to be able to leave a lasting imprint on the readers' mind.

I read once, and took a r…

Wayward Soul

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I loved the first book Desert Son and really had very  high expectations as I started reading Wayward Soul. And yes, I was not at all disappointed.

Sometimes, the sequel tends to get monotonous as the writer's style is already known. However, Glenn has succeeded in shattering this myth. This book is not only better, but it successfully takes the earlier story forward. The best part is, even if one reads this book first and book one later, the impact is same.

Martin is back, and that too, with vengeance. For the whys, where, what and hows, you need to read the book because I am not going to be a spoilsport. The narration takes on from where it was left in the previous book.

Reading this book's story was like developing mixed emotions, that of horror, fear, disgust, love, all together. If this book turns into a movie, it will scare the daylights out  of people even during daytime. The imageries are so vibrant that they popped up automatically in my mind. No flowerly language, n…

Desert Son

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What started off as a near death experience story, kept me hooked till the very end. Desert Son is one book which was eerie, captivating and full of suspense.

The plot is not very unusual- reincarnations and love triangles. However, the treatment definitely is, and it is the manner in which the storyline has been weaved that convinces its novel concept. Glenn has a way with words. There are breaks in the story with sudden twists and chapter endings. Yet, these add on to the appeal quotient.

The narration is flawless. The descriptions immediately trigger visualizations and imageries. Reading it was like watching a movie inside my head. The story unfolds in a language which can be easily understood by any reader not very familiar with  the language.

As far as the characters  are concerned, well, Carter and Brenda perfectly compliment each other. The story, in fact, unfolds through both of them. The way they find themselves, search for signs and answers together, is like the icing on a …

Brian Boru: Freedom Within The Heart

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History has always intrigued me and yes, it has never been my stronghold. However,  Mark  Mahon's story about Brian Boru changed my perception regarding this genre.

First things first, I finished the book in one sitting. And I attribute it to the plot. What a story! The plot may appear to be cliched for some, but for me, it opened up a whole new world from an era gone by. It had everything in it to make it an enthralling read. Betrayals, siege, love, patriotism, wars, anger, you name it, it was there. History retold in all its splendour with its grandeur quotient intact!!!

It was Brian Boru's story all the way. It hurts to be treated as second citizen in one's own land and Brian's emotions were no different. His rise from a fearless village kid to a warrior fighter definitely speaks volumes about the feelings a true patriot has. His portrayal depicted the characteristics that a true real-life hero has. As his perfect antagonist, Ivar the Limerick, was one man anybody …

Recrimination: Author Mangalam Shiva

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After the doctor left the room, Dinesh opened his eyes and slowly talked to his parents.

“Mummy, Daddy, It is terribly painful. My whole body is paining. I do not know how long I have to bear this torture. I know I have only a few hours to live. I am not blaming you both. But I have to tell this to you. Where were you both in the years when I was growing up? What have you achieved by amassing crores of cash, jewels, landed properties, and curios etc.? You did not devote any time for me when I was growing. I was longing for your company, for your affection, for playing with you. But I was left alone by you to take care of myself. I never demanded anything from you. I never asked for any costly gadgets or dresses etc. I never threw any tantrums on anything. I just wanted to study well and get a seat in medical field. Even that is worthless ambition now. After I leave, what are you going to do with all this wealth you have amassed legally and illegally? Daddy, I know many things about h…

Corruption of Power: An Excerpt

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With the careful gait of the elderly, the shabbily dressed old woman wove a slow path through the gravestones of the Botkinskoe cemetery.  Emerging from the scant shelter of its trees, she reached the steps of the Russian Orthodox Church and stopped for a while in a patch of shade. It was a sweltering day, well over 40C. Only the misguided devout would be in church today. She rummaged in her shopping trolley and, taking out a bottle of water and a tin cup, poured a splattering. As she sipped, her hunter's eyes surveyed the graveyard.

Taking out a black cotton veil, she draped it neatly over her head. Then holding onto the stone banister, she dragged herself and her trolley up the steps, past a pair of tall icons and into the church. A sprinkling of elderly pensioners, deep in their private prayers, teetered around the nave, where wafts of incense permeated the air. Shuffling across the stone floor, she stood before the iconostasis and extracted a rosary from her pocket. Running t…

Michael's Mystery

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Michael's Mystery is a story that transports the readers into a realm of fantasy. But yes, with me not being a die-hard adult fantasy fiction reader, it took me two readings to get a grasp of what was going on.

The concept of a Dragon and a Sprite getting together is really nice. But yes, the descriptions were a bit complicated in the beginning for me to understand. Once I got a hang of it, the plot had a smooth flow throughout.

The book has lot of adult content and hence is out of reach of teens and pre-teens. Lindze is great at conjuring vivid imagieries.If the detailed descriptions of erotica could have been avoided, the appeal and reach of the book would have increased.

Michael and Andesine, the two protagonists have a strong presence throughout the story. In fact, all characters, big or small, have a substantial role to play with relevance to the plot.

To sum up, the book is likeable and deserves one reading.

P.S- Lindze, if the adult content could be done away with, this bo…

Michael's Mystery: Spotlight

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It was time for the Lords of the High Council to step in when the Grandmaster of Kryane is accused of murdering his own people. They had little choice but to prevent the collapse of the whole magicians order, so they sent Michael to investigate the allegations.

The people of the desert planet were an enigma, but none more than Andesine, the healer assigned to assist Michael. Why did she report the Grandmaster? Was she involved, or was there something more sinister going on?
The more people they interrogated the more they suspected that nothing was as it seemed. Not the murders, nor the Grandmasters' motive as everyone thought.

Unable to resist the growing attraction between them, Michael and Andesine learn that they had to trust each other with their own secrets, and risking any future they might have.

Time and again the High Lords had to step in to prevent chaos on Kryane, but time was running out for Michael and Andesine. They had to get a new Grandmaster in place before the Kr…

An End To The Thrill

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Read the book in one sitting. Its all of 52 pages in total and has nine short stories. Hence, perfect for a quick read.

The best part is that all the stories had a different theme with no interlinks. The plots were truly well thought of. It had everything that a sci-fi anthology could have- time travel, outer space, virus, you name it and they were there.

Varun has a quirky sense of humour. His endings are sudden so as to keep up the suspense. However, a few stories had a predictable ending. Wish there were more stories!!! Notwithstanding that, the stories are worth reading. Besides, the language is simple to understand. The narrative has a good flow, except in few stories where it gave away the ending in the middle. The use of personalization in the narrative is appreciable.

Each story has distinct characters. Some have a dark side, some mean, some intelligent. In short, each character has his or her own style. Great job on that Varun. Your characters were a real treat. I hope I don…

Shanti And The Magic Mandala

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There are times when you read a book and it involves you from the very start. Shanti and the Magic Mandala was a similar experience for me.

The book deals with the poignant story of Shanti and her friends. Yes, it may sound childish, but every reading helps develop a different perspective. And I am glad to say I read it twice. In fact, once for myself and second time for my kids. The story is about the quest for the Magic Mandala by six kids. The how and why can be better appreciated when you read it. Hence, even a summary will not do the requred justice to the essence of the book.

This book is a winner. It has already won many awards and accolades. Rightly so, because, the narrative is gripping, continues with no sudden breaks, with each chapter being connected well. The language is simple yet powerful and has the ability to ensure continued attention. Besides, it can be read by the old and the young alike, hence has mass appeal.

What should I say about the characters!!! Its a great…

Shanti And The Magic Mandala: An Excerpt

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Shanti was the first to smell the smoke. She paused in her frantic packing. “Do you smell something burning?”

“Yes, I do,” Lelê said, worried.

It was getting noticeably hotter in the room. “Look, there’s smoke coming in under the door!” Antônio cried. Black smoke was slowly seeping beneath the door and into the room. Lelê ran to the window.

“The door won’t open,” Shanti said, struggling with the lock.

“Neither will the window.” Lelê was close to tears.

“Let me try, Shanti.” Antônio grasped the doorknob, applying his strength to it. Even as he fought with the lock, the smoke and the heat were rising.”

“They did it. We're stuck in here,” Helena said, coughing.

Antônio hammered on the wall. “Nasir! Itai! Tadao! Help us!”

“They want to kill us,” Lelê cried, shaking with fear.

Looking intently at Helena, her voice ringing with determination, Shanti declared, “But we’re not going to let them succeed!”

“Get away from the door,” Antônio said, kicking at it.

Hearing Antônio's call for help, Nasir…

Serendipity: Mangalam Shiva

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We read a book titled Empty Fists. Here is our rendezvous with the author Mr Mangalam Shiva...


GR: What description will fit you in real life? 
MS:   I, Shivkumar have risen in my life from a humble beginning. After
graduation from Bombay University, I started my career as a Quality Control Inspector. With dedication and hard work I entered Marketing field as a Sales Executive and over the years rose to the level of Vice President (Sales) with M/S. Cello Thermoware Ltd, Mumbai and retired.

As an Idealist, I expect and wish for Peace, Tolerance, Honesty, Hard work, Intelligence, and Happiness to prevail among all human beings.

After working as a Marketing professional in Mumbai, India for forty years, author Mangalam Shiva finally took up the pen. A keen observer of life, the author has been following the myriad incidences of social injustices, inequalities, corruption and abuse of power that India has been beset with and its impact on the common man. Unable to initiate direct action in …

Serendipity: FT Camargo

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Authors have the power to inspire and motivate. It is with pleasure that we bring to you our rendezvous with an award-winning author of Shanti and The Magic Mandal, FT Camargo.


GR:  You are an architect, travel writer and awards winner.What description will fit you in real life? 
FTC:  I’m an Italian Brazilian living in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I’m an architect and also I have studied Arts and Media. I’m a vegetarian because of my love for all animals and I have been involved in causes for their protection and freedom. I really love to travel to different places with different cultures and I love out doors sports. I have also published a travel book – Rio Maravilha that means Wonderful Rio in English. For many years I have practicing yoga and meditation and study the kabbalah. I think my exploration of spiritual teachings motivated a commitment to self-development which in turn created a new path and goal in my life. I’m positive that Shanti and the Magic Mandala was born from this inner jour…

Serendipity: Madhu Vajpayee

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But we met a Doctor whose writing made us want to read more of her work. Meet Madhu Vajpayee, author of Seeking Redemption, who writes stories and not just prescriptions!!!

GR: What description will fit you in real life?
MV: Dr. Madhu Vajpayee- the writer was born somewhere in those hospital corridors where she has spent the last two decades of her life. Witnessing life at such close quarters pushed her to capture its enigma in her words and slowly it became her passion. After writing several scientific papers and chapters in books, this book is her second journey in literary world, the first being SEEKING REDEMPTION.

Having done her graduation, MBBS from King Georges Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow she went ahead to pursue her post-graduation, MD from AIIMS, New Delhi. She was a consultant at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi and was associated with management of patients living with HIV/AIDS. She is now settled in Melbo…

Spotlight: Seeking Redemption

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Book Blurb:

Story of a girl Meera, who is unwittingly drawn into a conflict from where she finds it difficult to emerge unscathed. It's her journey from being a simple, medical graduate bfelonging to a middle class family to the uncharted territories of corruption and caste based politics. Her path is crossed by the two men, both compelling yet completely contrasting characters, who are forever going to change her life. If it is Aman who can challenge her ideals and defy her resolves, and makes her the person she finally becomes, it is Abhay's sublime love which enables her to go through the vicissitudes of life. It's also the story of her loss as well as triumph against her own demons to find her true self.
Buy a Copy from Amazon

About the Author: Dr.Madhu Vajpayee- the writer was born somewhere in those hospital corridors where she has spent the last two decades of her life. Witnessing life at such close quarters pushed her to capture its enigma in her words and slowly it …