Thursday, 14 July 2016

Celebrating International Author's Day, 2016!

Sometimes, I think what my life would have been if my mother had not introduced me to books when I was a child. I remember how I was upset after a fight with my friends and complained to my mom that no one is talking to me at school. That was the moment when my mom introduced me to the enchanting world of books, saying that they would always be with me in every place and situation.

So true! Books, the most loyal, available and wise companion that a human being can ever get. I cannot even think of spending a day without reading a book.

When I am travelling, you can always find me with a book in my hand. I love travel books that add fuel to my wanderlust spirit and makes me dream of all the beautiful places in the world.

When I am going through a rough time and totally unable to figure out things in my life, books provide me the perfect escape to a fictitious world. I often read thrillers and romantic mysteries when I need an escape.

When I seek solace and motivation, it is again a few special books that can do the magic for me. During those times, I find comfort in those books that I have already read earlier and loved. Books of Paulo Coelho and Robin Sharma always provide me that comfort and inspiration.

Books are such beautiful things that you can also find a friend in the author or the protagonist whom you haven't met in your life. They can perfectly heal your wounds if you only allow them to. I remember that last year in July, I was lost and broken. That was the time I started reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It is the true story of author Elizabeth Gilbert, who was lost, broken and dejected at the age of 30. So she embarked on a journey of self-discovery. She started her trip with Italy where she learned the Italian language, then traveled to an ashram in India to find God and finally landed in Bali, Indonesia to find the true meaning of her life.

I read the book for two months and when I finished it, I felt healed and rejuvenated. I found a friend in Elizabeth Gilbert as I could relate so much to her emotions. I also gained a lot of wisdom from the book.

Books let you understand love, pain, heartbreaks, friendships, bonding, faith and spirituality in a deeper way. They assure you that you are not alone in this. They make you understand people and life better. Every time I read poems of Rabindranath Tagore, Rumi, Pablo Neruda and Gulzar, I gather some new meaning to the dimensions of life.

There are many people who haven't discovered the pleasure of reading and therefore, they don't read. I feel really lucky to have discovered this pleasure at a very early age.

Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.

Happy International Author's Day to all the wonderful authors out there! You make our lives beautiful and make me feel blessed to be an author in this lifetime.

For the International Author's Day Giveaway, I am giving away 3 e-copies of my Poetry Book "The Heart Listens to No One". 

You need to participate in the simple Rafflecopter giveaway. The names of the winners will be announced on 19th July here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here's an excerpt from one of the poems in the book.

This wonderful event is hosted by Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Book Review: The Devil and the Deadly Peace

Book: The Devil and the Deadly Peace (Tales of Khaga #1)
Author: Sindhura Chamala
Publisher: Kiwi Books
Genre: Fiction| Fantasy/Thriller
Price: 249 INR
Pages: 195


The two great nations of Khaga are on the verge of a bloody war. The survival of Jalika, a neutral kingdom in trade with both, is in jeopardy.

After calling the Devil to his kingdom, the king of Jalika has passed away in the dead of the night. His death, a mere week before the Peace Events when officials from the two nations were to come together to sign a treaty that will exempt Jalika from the war, has set many wheels in motion.

As Jalika prepares for the Peace Events under the new leadership of the prince and his wife, all forces converge under the Devil's watchful eyes. Will the seventh day rise on Jalika bearing peace or death?

My Rating:

Plot: 4/5
Narration: 3.5/5
Writing Style: 3.5/5
Character Sketch: 4/5

My Review:

The Devil and the Deadly Peace is a captivating thriller set in a fictional land called Khaga. The events of the place take place in the kingdom called Jalika. Just a week before the Peace Treaty would be signed by the two nations of Khaga, the king of Jalika passed away, unnaturally. The Devil understands that someone has conspired against the entire kingdom of Jalika and that the king has been murdered.

The story revolves around finding the murderer of the king and uncovering the conspiracy taking place in the kingdom of Jalika for years. The Devil joins hands with the Brotherhood and embarks on a journey to uncover the secrets lying buried in the corners of the palace.

As we read the book, several questions will be on our mind:

Who is the Devil? Why did the king call her? What is her relationship with the king?

Who can kill the king?

Who wants to destroy Jalika? 

Is it someone from the royal family or any outsider who has hatched the entire plan?

Just to know the answers to all the questions, readers would keep turning pages of the book. And the climax won't disappoint at all. 

The plot of the book is cleverly drawn and it has elements of suspense that will keep the reader on his toes. The narration could have been crisp and more interesting. The pace of the book is initially slow, but after you have managed to read half of the book, the pace increases, making you want to rush towards the climax to uncover the conspiracy along with the Devil.

The book is very well edited and I couldn't find a single editing error. The writing style is good, especially when you consider that it is the debut book of the author.

There are many characters in the book, but some characters will definitely stay with the readers. The Devil's character is perfectly sketched. Her curiosity and intelligence amuses you and at the same time, you would keep thinking who she actually is. The characters of the Prince and the Prince's wife is also well sketched. Another character that will stay with the readers is Little Brother.

One major drawback of the book is that it doesn't have a map of the fictional place, Khaga. Therefore, the readers would have a problem locating the places of Khaga in their minds. 

I would like to rate the book 3.75/5 due to the plot and the interesting character of the Devil.

Recommended to people who love reading thrillers set in a fictional place.

Indian Bloggers

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Book Review: Wreath and Other Stories

Book: Wreath and Other Stories
Author: Sangeeta Mahapatra
Publisher: Notion Press
Genre: Fiction| Horror/Suspense
Price: 250 INR
Pages: 215

Blurb: What is it that we fear? An evil presence around us, watching and waiting for a small slip, or the realisation that the malevolence is within us and has already made its move? 

Wreath and Other Stories will take you into a world that is slightly off its hinges- a bizarre, eerie realm. In short, a world much like our own, if only we would notice it. 

A dangerous obsession of an artist, a broken childhood promise, a birthday gift gone horribly wrong, a soldier trapped in a nightmare, a warning from beyond the grave, a writer's new lease of life in a "suicide central", a patient's struggle with insanity, a terrible crime in an idyllic artists' town, a man's record of his last moments, a bride haunted by her past... 

With grey characters, a creeping sense of dread, and a twist at the end, it will ensure that you go to bed satisfied, having had your fill of a world of wickedness and terror... until that world engulfs you in your dreams. 

This book will enthral lovers of horror and suspense.

My Rating:

Plot: 5/5
Narration: 5/5
Writing Style: 5/5

My review:

Let me first make an honest confession. I loved reading this book. The stories bewitched me, thrilled me and took me to a different world.

Now coming back to the review, "Wreath and Other Stories" is a collection of 10 short stories based on the theme of horror and suspense. The cover of the book definitely attracted me and so I applied for reviewing it on Writers Melon, but I was not expecting to have a great reading experience. I had read quite a few anthologies (based on horror and suspense) in the recent past and didn't enjoy them. 

The first story of this book "Red Moon" is about a broken childhood promise. After I completed reading it, I got totally hooked to the book. The best thing about the stories of this book is that you cannot guess the ending accurately. The author manages to surprise the readers 10 times in the book.

You are introduced to a character or a beautiful place in the starting of each story. You are then pulled into the world created by the author and then at the end of the story, you are surprised and shocked by the revelation.

Each story is very different from the other one. The author has experimented so much with the plots. She has woven a story based on a remarkable case of past life regression that enchants you totally. You also get to read a story about an artist's obsession on an advanced actroid. The writing is powerful and witty. The author has used different types of writing style in the book.

For example, in the story "Tick tock", she has used first person narration because it was necessary for the readers to understand a person's struggle with insanity. In the story "Deja vu", she has used third person narration so that the readers can empathize with all the characters in the story. 

I enjoyed reading all the stories, but my favorites from this collection are "Deja vu", "Red Moon" and "Malevolent". I couldn't find any such drawback in the book. So I would like to rate it 5 out of 5 especially for the author's storytelling skills and at the same time congratulate Sangeeta Mahapatra for writing this book. 

If you love reading tales of horror and suspense, then this is the perfect book for you. Get ready to be enthralled and bewitched by the ten tales.

'I received a free copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.' 

Indian Bloggers