Monday, February 24, 2014

Blog Tour: NILIMA MOHITE reviews THE MALHOTRA BRIDE

Nilima Mohite
Nilima Mohite has taken the time out from her busy schedule with a full time job and a baby son to read and review my book THE MALHOTRA BRIDE.

Thank you very much Nilima for the positive review. I am so glad you liked the 2nd edition of my book.

Nilima's feedback:

Yes, another book review and that too for the book written by my author friend Sundari Venkatraman, The Malhotra Bride.

I had mentioned in the review of Double Jeopardy, that I will review the 2nd edition of The Malhotra Bride. So here it is:

Story:
Sunita, is the beautiful, drop dead gorgeous daughter of the Rishi garment business family. She is just 20, innocent, completed her graduation & looking to enjoy life which is a not an option she gets in the orthodox traditional business family. Her parents are hell bent on getting her married. Her father treats it as another business deal.

Her suitor is Akshay Malhotra, a handsome hunk, perfect modern day businessman, eligible bachelor, only son of billionaire of Malhotra Garmets. He has girls swarming around him, he likes to party, has never heard a No from any woman, doesnt go beyond one night stands. He loves his carefree life and wants to have a wedded life like his parents, love marriage at that.

CLICK HERE to read the complete review....

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Blog Tour: NILIMA MOHITE reviews DOUBLE JEOPARDY

Nilima Mohite
I have known Nilima since 2007 when I joined Web18. We became close only since 2009 and I have to mention that she's a great friend of mine.

About Nilima in her own words:

"If you cant see the bright side, polish the dull side ;) 
Good day PPL ! :D

Carpe Diem ! Seize the day :)
My Motto: Live Life Queensize !!! Whatever I do in life I give it my 100% & then hope for the best else I dont do it. Enjoy each moment, coz THE PRESENT IS THE GIFT U GIFT URSELF!

A software engineer, blogger, trekker, music/dance/books lover, photography (current new hobby & part time job ;) ), knowledge seeker, adventurer, meditation, healer also preacher (pravachan dena), marathon runner, a New-Mom now ...."

Nilima's reviewed my book DOUBLE JEOPARDY on her blog Just Any Random Topic:

Valentine Week has started. Got to know this year, there are days lined up before 14th Feb such as Love day, I love you Day, Propose Day,....

So what better way to get in the mood than to read the  Romance Novel Double Jeopardy  by The Indian Mills & Boon queen, proclaimed by me, my friend Sundari Venkatraman !

I have read multiple short stories by her, follow her blog posts ardently, chat almost daily with her, have read her novel The Malhotra Bride too. Reading all these and talking to her, I have given her the title of The Indian Mills & Boon queen ;)

CLICK HERE to read the complete review....

Thank you Nilima Mohite for the lovely feedback.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Art Exhibition: ANCIENT BEAUTY OF STONES: WATERCOLOURS by BHASKAR SAGAR

One of the two pics that I got right
I was keen to visit Artist Prakash Ghadge’s exhibition at Nehru Centre Art Gallery. But I got the dates mixed up and landed at Artist Bhaskar Sagar’s exhibition titled Ancient Beauty of Stones.

Hampi (pic courtesy: http://bhaskarsagar.in/)
The artist has captured ancient sculptures at Hampi, Ellora and a few other places in his paintings using water colours.

I like traditional art over modern art as I understand the former while I can’t relate to the latter. I was quite happy to see that Bhaskar Sagar’s paintings were very pleasing to the eye and I had a good time browsing through his art works. There was no one else as it was the last day of his show.

Artist Bhaskar Sagar posing in front of his paintings at Nehru Centre Art Gallery
A quote from Artist Bhaskar Sagar (courtesy his website):

Personally, I have been honestly attempting to depict our ancient culture through the Art of Painting. It is believed that Indian culture is one of the oldest in the world. If its heritage fails, I am afraid, we will be lose it forever. Therefore, we must preserve, for our future generations, these treasures and avoid further damage to our culture. Again, we must exhibit to the world our great cultural heritage.

Pic courtesy: http://bhaskarsagar.in/
Only one picture that I clicked turned out good while the rest of them reflected the overhead lights. Some of the other pictures I took from the artist’s website.

Pic courtesy: http://bhaskarsagar.in/


Monday, February 17, 2014

Blog Tour: TUKI'S GRAND SALON CHASE by Parul Sharma


Tuki's Grand Salon Chase by Parul Sharma



The Blurb

For most hairstylists, the move from the dingy Lovely Beauty Parlour to the upmarket Nancy’s Factory would be reward enough. Gifted, young Tuki though has her sights set on a bigger prize – her own salon! Her well-laid plans start going awry as soon as the striking tattooist Faraaz joins Nancy’s Factory. Tuki needs to handle Faraaz’s advances, figure out the mystery behind the disappearance of the elderly, eccentric, brilliant writer Bijoy Dutta and rescue the multilayered Sweety Bhabhi from destitution.

Finding herself at the heart of one storm too many, Tuki decides to run away from the leafy lanes of Bandra to the old-world Portugese villas of Goa. In the comforting embrace of the village Aldona, she finds herself struggling with her rather untimely attraction to her enigmatic neighbour, the charming Arvind and sharing house with Bijoy, haunted as he is by the ghosts of his past.

Armed with nothing but a pair of scissors and the jigsaw pieces of her broken dream, Tuki has to navigate through Mumbai, Goa and London to find out if the universe is conspiring to make her or break her.

Tuki’s Grand Salon Chase is her heartwarming tale of finding love and hope in the unlikeliest of places.

Buy @


             

tuki


Meet the Author


Parul Sharma grew up in the small towns of Uttar Pradesh. This was fortunate because it ensured that she ran into some rather quirky characters pretty early on in life. Once done with schooling, she made the rather dubious choice of studying Economics, a sentiment with which Economics agreed, no doubt. This made way for a degree from Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad where many inspiring cups of tea were consumed, among other things. 

She has worked with the corporate sector for several years in companies such as Genesis Burson-Marsteller (New Delhi), Arvind Brands Ltd (Bangalore) and Indian Market Research Bureau (Mumbai) in marketing communications and qualitative market research, but she also writes novels. 

The bestselling Bringing Up Vasu: That First Year was her first book and described the travails of Mira, a young, first-time mother. Her second novel was By The Watercooler – the story of Mini and Tanya, young women who find that the corporate ladder is actually a greasy pole. All her books have been published by Westland. She has also contributed stories to the Chicken Soup For The Soul series and to Femina.

Parul lives in Mumbai with her husband, two children and sometimes, if she’s lucky, Kittu, the street cat. 

Parul is passionate about animals and their welfare and would like to open an animal shelter in the future. 

Stalk her @

               




Friday, February 14, 2014

Sharing: THE MALHOTRA BRIDE 2nd Edition


Happy Valentine’s Day to all my readers!

I have some great news to share on this day. I have self-published my novel THE MALHOTRA BRIDE (romance) on Amazon. This particular work has come a very long way. To begin with, it remained in my PC for many years (since the year 2000) with no publisher willing to accept it. In 2009 came Raider Publishing International based in the USA. After paying through my nose and receiving a few printed copies, I got to know that this is a Print-on-demand establishment. I received zilch in return.


Completely frustrated, I published the novel as a series on my blog – Cupid Strike Series. Despite that, I approached Indireads (publishers of my novel DOUBLE JEOPARDY) for publishing it. When they showed no interest, I just gave up.

Introducing Sunita Rishi, the heroine
By now Rubina Ramesh had become my friend via facebook. She was shocked when she saw that I had put up my novels – four by now – on my blog. She had read a few chapters and told me that I needed to have them self-published, if there are no takers.

I explored the medium and found that Amazon is a Gem, no less. Self-publishing on their platform is too easy for words. I got a professional artist to do a cover for me. I have had a lot of proof-reading and editing experience recently, thanks to Indireads and a couple of other projects. This gave birth to the latest version of THE MALHOTRA BRIDE.

Introducing Akshay Malhotra, the hero
I have completely revamped the novel and brought it up-to-date. Even those people who have read the first version – yeah, there are a number of people who have done that – will find it quite different from the original.

My Logo
And that’s how the 2nd edition of THE MALHOTRA BRIDE came to be published on Amazon under the banner FLAMING SUN.

You can buy THE MALHOTRA BRIDE on any of the below-mentioned websites depending on which country you live in. The book is a kindle version. If you don't have a Kindle Reader on your phone, laptop, PC or tab, you can download it for FREE on Amazon.



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Film Review: HASEE TOH PHASEE


The film's worth a see despite being a bit of a drag at times

Cast: Parineeti Chopra, Sidharth Malhotra, Adah Sharma
Director: Vinil Mathew

Parineeti Chopra was amazing in the film Ladies vs Ricky Bahl. While I love her acting, I didn’t care for two of her films - Ishaqzaade & Shuddh Desi Romance. I went to watch this one with fingers crossed. Read on to find out more.

THE STORY

The story begins with glimpses of Nikhil and Meeta (Parineeti Chopra) as kids. They are naughtier and more intelligent than the other kids in their families and neighbourhood.

Growing up, Nikhil (Sidharth Malhotra) practises Event Management and has been going steady with model-actress Karishma (Adah Sharma) for seven years. He believes in commitment despite her breaking off their relationship every week. Just when they are about to get married, Karishma’s sister Meeta (Parineeti Chopra) decides to return from wherever she’d been since the past seven years. Karishma is a control freak and gives Nikhil no choice in putting up with her whims. Why would he do that? Because he is a commitment freak. What happens when he’s thrown into Meeta’s company time and again? Watch the film to find out.

MY PERCEPTION

Sidharth Malhotra looks handsome and can act too. He has a good role and has performed well. Kudos! Adah Sharma is not bad although she needs to polish her skills.

Parineeti Chopra was excellent. I got blown away by her natural acting. She’s just awesome whatever she does – having fun, flirting with Nikhil, emoting with her father, getting beaten by her uncle and more. I am not talking about the ‘more’ so as to not reveal the story. Congratulations Parineeti for yet another classy role executed perfectly.

That said, the film could have been a lot tighter. It tends to stray in different directions and the director has not made enough effort to keep it in focus. A tighter script is definitely the answer.

VERDICT: It’s worth a see.

RATING: ***Smart

* Silly
** Shaky
*** Smart
**** Snazzy
***** Super

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Film Review: ONE BY TWO

Whoever created this poster has done a bad job. She knocks on his loo door as there is no toilet paper in her bathroom. Check out the picture

I am sure Abhay Deol must have been stone drunk while signing the contract for this film as producer and leading actor. Then he went and added insult to injury by hanging his acting boots at home before stepping out for the shoot. 

Cast: Abhay Deol, Preeti Desai, Lilette Dubey, Rati Agnihotri
Director: Devika Bhagat

We went to the film because Abhay Deol is the hero. Moreover, he is also one of the producers of the film. We were confident that it would be good despite the not-too-good reviews. While we spent only Rs. 120 per ticket, even that was an utter waste on this film.

THE STORY

I promise to tell you when I fathom it out.

MY PERCEPTION

I am amazed that people had the guts to invest good money to create this trash, under the Viacom18 banner, no less. If this venture was taken up by Abhay Deol to introduce his girlfriend Preeti Desai into Bollywood, I feel sorry that she has such a stupid boyfriend.

The title is confusing - something about sharing manchow soup, one by two. I can’t make out how it fits in the story.

I have seen a few films of Abhay Deol. As an actor, his work ranges from not-too-bad to excellent. What the hell happened to the man? He was simply awful. His role was bad, his acting terrible and what’s with the farting? Is it in fashion? Believe me dude, it was obscene.

Preeti Desai was not too bad. Her dancing is very good. She will probably do well with a better director. Lilette Dubey is a born actor and she’s good, despite the raw material she had to make do with.

Rati Agnihotri was introduced as an actor in Bharatiraja’s Puthiya Vaarpugal, a Tamil movie. She was just awesome in it. She looked beautiful and acted so well. What the hell happened to her in this film? The director has ill-used her - what else can I say?

I need to mention the toilet sequence. Preeti Desai enters a men’s washroom. The scene has been set just for one reason – she gives some advice to Abhay Deol next door and he to her. I can understand if she was just plain blind, suffering from dementia or is a serial killer. Why would she go into a men’s loo otherwise?

The rest of the cast - I think most of them paid for their roles. That’s how they got finance for making this film. They were all that bad. Devika Bhagat should continue to assist other directors for a few more years and not be let loose on the innocent public until she gains more experience.

VERDICT: Tees Maar Khan was the trashiest film that I have ever seen. Well, this was little better.

RATING: * (Negative Star - Stupid)

* Silly
** Shaky
*** Smart
**** Snazzy
***** Super


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Book Review: GRAYS HILL by BARBARA T. CERNY



Grays Hill By Barbara T. Cerny


The Blurb

After her father committed suicide, rather than face his mounting gambling debts, Oksana Wallingford knows she will have to work in order to keep food on the table and her younger brother, the new baron, in school. When her best friend finds her a position as the nanny of his brother's children, it is the opportunity Oksana needs. But what she didn't contend with was Rafe, the recently widowed Duke of Essex and her new employer.

Oksana and Rafe's personalities are like oil and water. However, what begins as mutual hate slowly begins to change into something more. But what future can they have when Rafe has sworn off marriage for good?

As the mismatched pair struggles to come to terms with one another, a disaster that throws everything into question strikes them both.

Buy @
Kobo |

My Review

I had been keen to read this book when I read Rubina’s review on her blog. The blurb was quite interesting. Before I went and bought the book, I received a copy to review for this blog tour. Am I lucky I landed with this wonderful book by Barbara T. Cerny!

The Book

The story begins with Geoff aka Lord Tarkington, a sunny character and the younger brother of Rafe, the Duke of Essex. Geoff sees that his friend Lady Oksana Jane and her family are in deep trouble when the king’s men take away all their possessions and their home to pay off the loans of her dead father. He immediately jumps to their rescue. 

Geoff sees to it that her mother is settled before offering Oksana the post of governess to his nephews at Grays Hill, the duke’s country mansion. While the dour duke is not too keen on the arrangement, he is convinced of the advantages.

Soon, Oksana takes over Rafe’s household and runs it smoothly, too much so for his liking. The servants adore her and are ready to do her bidding at the flick of her fingers. Was she aspiring to become the duchess? 

Sparks fly when Oksana and Rafe come together – every time. Soon, the anger turns to passion. But will the duke ever escape his dead wife’s shadow to marry again? 

My take on it

I like a story that starts with dialogue on Page 1. I could see that it was going to move fast with that kind of a beginning. The conversation set the background as the author introduces the characters. 

Oksana is a strong woman who is loving, hardworking, truthful and determined. She is a bundle of energy who takes to living in Grays Hill as a duck takes to water. Her friendship with Geoff, her guileless nature and her playacting skills have been woven so beautifully into the story. What really touched my heart is the way she tames Lucifer, a wild horse that refuses to be handled by anyone. Oksana’s huge build should have been off-putting. But somehow, it makes her all the more endearing. 

Rafe is angry with what life has dealt him. He loses his parents at a very young age - left to deal with the Duchy, his two younger sisters and a kid brother - a lot of responsibility for a man of 20. He does not have a choice but to grow up fast. His marriage has left him totally bitter and he has forgotten to smile, let alone laugh. The transformation of the duke under Oksana’s influence has been dealt with so wonderfully that it is a joy to read. One could see the resemblance between Lucifer and Rafe. 

Then there is Geoff. He is fun, a truly loyal friend and an adoring uncle. I just loved his character and his relationship with Rafe and Oksana. He is totally unpretentious. 

I have a request of Barbara T. Cerny – please, can you create a sequel for this book with Geoff as the hero?

I loved reading this period romance and will go with 5 stars. Looking forward to reading more by this author! 


                
Grays Hill


Meet the Author


Barbara T. Cerny grew up in Grand Junction, Colorado. She served twenty-two years in the US Army Reserves, retiring a Lieutenant Colonel in 2007. She is an information technology specialist and supervisor. Barb writes historical romances good for late teen and adults. She puts a lot of history and adventure into her work. Words are her passion, they do matter.

Stalk her @