Monday, March 31, 2014

Blogging from A-Z April Challenge 2014

Alternative Health Therapies
Google Images
I saw a number of facebook friends putting up posts regarding the A-Z Challenge 2014 to be held during the month of April. Not a very disciplined writer-blogger, I was rather hesitant to join the fray. I got to know from my friend Rubina Ramesh that the posts need not be too long with 300 words being the maximum. This made me decide that I should try this one or at least die trying. So here I am with a theme reveal, all set to take up the A-Z challenge.

I plan to write on a subject close to my heart - alternate healing therapies and using herbs, grains and other things in the course of daily cooking to enhance health. Now I am getting really excited and don't want to take up too much of your time in reading this blog.

I do look forward to posting a healthy piece of information beginning with letter 'A' tomorrow. I hope you enjoy this ride along with me Guys! Thanks for all your support.

A-Z Challenge 2014
'A' for Asafoetida
'B' for Bananas
'C' for Chin Mudra
'D' for Dance Therapy
'E' for Elephant Yam
'F' for Fenugreek Seeds

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Shilpa Garg
I got to know Shilpa Garg when she contacted me through Write Tribe to review my book Double Jeopardy. Thank you Shilpa! 

About Shilpa Garg in her own words:

"Shilpa Garg is a blogger from the Pink City of India who is passionate about the written words, sweets and beautiful conversations that happen over a mug of tea. She loves writing micro fiction, book reviews and general observations of life, things and circumstances on her blog,  A rose is a rose is a rose! Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Google+."

Shilpa's review of DOUBLE JEOPARDY

Double Jeopardy is a 55 page eBook which I finished reading in an hour! It is a hot and spicy, is coming of age story of a young girl, Sanya!  The book is about Sanya’s journey to woo her childhood love along with finding her true calling and listening to her heart despite the disapproval from the head. It is a story packed with love, romance and passion.

CLICK HERE to read the complete review on her blog.....

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Inderpreet Kaur Uppal
I got to know Inderpreet Kaur Uppal via Write Tribe when she offered to review my book DOUBLE JEOPARDY. Inderpreet says that the book is "Sensual, Serious and Swift!"

About Inderpreet in her own words:

"Inderpreet Kaur Uppal is a freelance Writer, Blogger and Lecturer. She has a Masters Degree in Human Resources Management and loves to read, travel, discuss and write. Writing comes to her naturally as a gift from her parents whose love of the English language and correct expression has become a way of life for her. You can read some of her writings of"  

Inderpreet Kaur Uppal's take on the book 
Sensual, Serious & Swift

The premise of the book is evident from the title 'Double Jeopardy' as well as the cover; that it still manages to surprise the reader is what is special about the book. The story traces the unrest in the mind and life of Sanya, a rich, pampered girl. 

The story is handled in a mature fashion which appeals to readers past their 20’s even though it is about a young girl. The hallmark of a good romance is that it attracts all with its ‘love story’.  All age groups can identify with the dilemma the main protagonists face.

Double Jeopardy  has plenty of love; with Sanya’s story you get to read about the love of Arth and Ansh too. The parents to have their share of love! The best part about the book is the generous amount of love sprinkled within the pages. It rubs off on the reader too.

CLICK HERE to read the complete review on her blog.....


Friday, March 28, 2014


Dr. Gauri Kekre
Dr. Gauri Kekre, a blogger attached to Write Tribe reviewed my book DOUBLE JEOPARDY. The reason in her own words being, "I am an incurable romantic at heart. I love love LURRRRRV everything that has to do with romance, the candle-lit dinners, the wooing, the gifts… the works. Which is why I jumped when I was getting the chance to review Sundari Venkatraman’s Double Jeopardy." Am I glad!

About Dr. Gauri Kekre in her own words:

"My name is Dr. Gauri Kekre, a dental surgeon by education and a baker and blogger by passion and profession. Mother to two lovely girls, whose births triggered a host of unknown passions that were hidden deep within me. I write for two of my blogs, Mind Brew ( and Parent Avenue ( For me, always learning something new to make life better for my daughters, is paramount. In knowing that I know nothing, I found myself."


I finished reading the book in just a couple of hours and given that I have two kids which in itself is self-explanatory to most, it can be construed that this book is an engaging read. The language flows effortlessly, as you delve into the lives of Sanya, Ansh and Arth. Their confusion becomes yours. You can’t wait to find out what happens in the end.

CLICK HERE to read the complete review on Gauri Kekre's blog.....


Thursday, March 27, 2014


Vishal Bheeroo
It was a lucky day when Corinne Rodrigues of Write Tribe agreed to write about my book DOUBLE JEOPARDY on her website, inviting bloggers to review it. Vishal Bheeroo downloaded the book from Indireads and gave me his honest review on his blog Scripting the story of Life

About Vishal Bheeroo (in his own words):

"The author has worked as a journalist for three years in an Indian newspaper based in Mauritius and is a freelance writer, an avid blogger where he writes about anything Indian. He can be found on www.vishalbheeroo.wordpress and his life revolves around books, bloggo-scope and writing. He swears by Hindi cinema, Amitabh Bachchan and the city he calls his own, Mumbai. He is working on a rom-com novel based in Mumbai and loves poetry and travelling."


Rom-com is the flavor of the season and many authors are flocking the market with their uninhibited take on sex, sensuality and new age romance. What distinguishes Sundari Venkatraman take on this new age romance is that the novel is not restricted to candy floss or mushy stuffs neither it is all bout’ sex. In one sentence: Sassy twin love story with a twist that will hold your breath. The book  efficiently explores the complexity of human relationships, yearning for a partner and the sensitive portrayal of what goes inside the mind of a young woman, what she craves for-lust, love, sex- and what her heart wants. Love is an oxymoron, somebody truly said. Yeah! I am not apologetic that I enjoy reading well etched tales of sensuality, sexuality and eroticism. The author has beautifully described the sex scenes in a dignified, crisp and passionate way.The book will touch your heart and make you re-think on the traditional concept of love if you have a sensitive heart.

CLICK HERE to read the complete review on Vishal's blog.....

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

eBook Review: LYNNA’S ROGUE by Kitty Margo

I bought this book on Amazon as I love historical romances. It turned out to be a worthy buy.

Lynna is the 17-year-old daughter of the rich French plantation owner Nathan Rhodes. Afraid that she might be kidnapped, he sends away his only child along with Captain Joshua Jordan to America, to live with her aunt.

Joshua is threatened with his life and a bag of gold to keep Lynna safe during the voyage, from the hands of kidnappers. But is she safe from Joshua?

The story spans five years with many people coming into Joshua’s and Lynna’s lives before they finally get together.

Lynna is as innocent as she is gorgeous when she leaves home, but not for long. She undergoes a lot of struggle, unwanted attention, almost raped twice and gets married once, before she gets together with the man she loves.

Joshua loses the love of his life to find her after three years. But he is stymied by the vile Suzanne who insists on wedding him, saying that she’s pregnant with his child. Joshua is too smart. Despite marrying her, he proves her to be the whore she is and gets their marriage annulled. He’s still not able to get together with Lynna as he is unable to find her. And when he does, she’s married to Michael. Will their woes never end?


The story is well written with strong characters. The author has described beautiful locations very well. The chemistry between Joshua and Lynna sizzles. I loved reading the story that’s set in the 1850s and talks about the lives of slaves working in the cotton plantations. The sugar plantations of Jamaica have been described beautifully and a joy to read.

I loved the tropical paradise where Lynna finally lands up along with Rob. It was gorgeous while the reader is anxious to know what’s going to happen next. I enjoyed reading the book.

My only peeve was how one person could land in so much trouble. Lynna is hounded by problems from start to end. It was a tad difficult to swallow.

CLICK HERE to get your copy for free on Amazon. Grab it while the offer lasts!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Blog Tour: DANIEL’S DIARY by Rajeshwari Chauhan

Daniel's Diary by Rajeshwari Chauhan

The Blurb
When Mrinalini, an art restoration expert, ventures into the ruins of Rang-Mahal and the Palace of Sumangarh, an accidental discovery of a skeleton and a manuscript detailing the exploits of Daniel, a Portuguese artist, opens a window to the forgotten era of grace and grandeur. The blossoming of love between a Moghul Emperor and a Rajput princess, is seen through the eyes of a foreign traveller, who himself falls in love with Jodhabai.

The plot revolves around Daniel’s quest for beauty and passion, the ecstasy and agony of love. He marries the famous courtesan Mahamaya only to lose her. It also draws a modern day parallel in the life of Mrinalini, a woman who seeks refuge in artistic pursuits and architectural ruins when relationships in life confuse her. 

Will she and Surajsinh be able to decode the clues left behind by Daniel? Will the curse of centuries-old unfulfilled love break into a happy ending for Mrinalini?

Buy @
My Review of DANIEL'S DIARY by Rajeshwari Chauhan


The story begins with Mrinalini’s arrival at Sumangarh. The Palace of Sumangarh is being converted into a heritage hotel and she’s come over to restore the age-old paintings, a job she loves. Driver Surajsinh receives her at the station and he is a guy with an attitude much to her irritation.

Arvindsinh aka Arrow and his obnoxious girlfriend Suzan are the ones who have hired her company for the restoration work. Mrinalini settles down in a small cottage within five minutes of her palace and gets involved in her work soon. She gets to meet Dadasaheb aka Laxmansinh and his grandson Bubbles. 

Dadasaheb gifts Mrinalini with a painting that sets off a string of events. From here on the story goes back and forth in history and present day intertwining the events in Daniel’s life as Akbar’s protégée and the painting restoration conducted by Mrinalini.

Ten-year-old Bubbles and she get along like a house on fire and it’s Surajsinh who accompanies them on a visit to Rang Mahal. Rang Mahal is a crumbling structure and is in danger of falling apart. 

It is here they discover a skeleton that probably belonged to Daniel, a Portuguese travelling during the times of Emperor Akbar’s reign. They also find a diary that has been written by him in Portuguese. Surprisingly, Surajsinh appears to know Persian and translate the diary to Mrinalini and Bubbles who are both fascinated.


The novel is off to a slow start. Some of the characters have been introduced well with interesting scenes and dialogue. But the others have been introduced in the way of narration. The author could have made the novel a lot more interesting by letting her characters speak for themselves rather than her talking about them.

While Daniel’s Diary is a mine of fantastic information about Akbar’s court and the people in the emperor’s life, it reads more like a history lesson than a work of fiction. A lot of research has obviously gone into this work and the author should definitely be applauded for the same. I only wish the presentation had been way more interesting. 

Despite all that, I would still recommend the book as it gives one a fascinating look into history.

I have kept the best for the last. The sequence between Daniel and court dancer Mahamaya along with many characters of her household - Chhimiya, Fufi, Paro and the rest were really brought to life by Rajeshwari Chauhan’s pen. 

I also liked the way the author connects the various objects and paintings that influenced or affected Daniel’s life to many things that are found in Dadasaheb’s palace.

All in all, it’s worth a read and I will go with 3 stars for Daniel’s Diary by Rajeshwari Chauhan. 

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in return for a honest review. 

Meet the author

The Author's Thoughts

A freelance writer, artist, and teacher, Rajeshwari Chauhan has contributed as a script and content writer for many creative and promotional literature, short movies, and plays. 
A passionate artist, she loves to create realistic paintings on canvas as well as doing wall paintings. For her, painting and creative writing are complementary to each other.
Being from the Royal family of Chhota-Udepur, she has always had a fascination for history and conservation of heritage.
Stalk him @


Thursday, March 20, 2014


The Malhotra Bride by Sundari Venkatraman

The Blurb

Sunita Rishi’s just turned twenty, having completed her graduation. She wants to fly free as a bird, explore career options and travel the world. Does she have a choice when Mamma & Pappa insist on arranging her marriage? Born in a rich business family steeped in tradition, Sunita has a tough job on her hands. Can she stop the tide? 

Tall, dark and handsome, Akshay Malhotra is the catch of the decade. The only son of Billionaire Raj Malhotra, he’s in a strange fix. His father’s keen that Akshay meets Sunita with marriage in mind. He’s too close to his parents to say ‘no’ for the preliminary meeting. And then he comes face-to-face with Sunita…. 

Will Sunita be falling from the frying pan into the fire when she agrees to become The Malhotra Bride?

Buy @

The Malhotra Bride by Sundari Venkatraman (Romance-Drama)

Meet the author

The Author's Thoughts

Even as a kid, she absolutely loved the 'lived happily ever after' syndrome as Sundari grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. Soon, into her teens, she switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine.

Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. Then came the writing - a true bolt out of the blue! She could never string two sentences together. While her spoken English had always been excellent - thanks to her Grandpa - she could not write to save her life. She was bad at writing essays in both school and college. Later, when it was time to teach her kids, she could manage everything from Science to Mathematics and History & Geography.

When it came to writing compositions, her kids found her of no help at all. All this changed suddenly one fine day in the year 2000. She had just quit her job at a school's office and did not know what to do with her life. She was saturated with simply reading books. That's when she got home one evening after her walk and took some sheets of paper and began writing. It was like watching a movie that was running in her head - all those years of visualising Indian heroes and heroines needed an outlet and had to be put into words. That's how her first novel, The Malhotra Bride, took shape.

While she felt discouraged when publishing did not happen, it was her husband who kept encouraging her not to give up. There was no looking back after that. While publishing took a long time happening, Sundari continued to write novels and then short stories. Her luck turned when Indireads approached her to write for them and Double Jeopardy was born.

Then came the self-publishing on Amazon. The 2nd edition of THE MALHOTRA BRIDE has been successfully published on Amazon and is available as an ebook since February 2014. The book has been very well received by the reading public.

You can stalk her @


Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Sridevi Datta
I got introduced to Sridevi Datta via THE BOOK CLUB. Thank you Sridevi for agreeing to do a review of The Malhotra Bride.

About Sridevi Datta in her own words:

"I strongly believe every word written or uttered serves a larger purpose in life. I am here to find that purpose and find myself nearing that goal every time I write.  Would love to connect with you all at many many levels."

Thank you Sridevi Datta for your honest feedback. 


Marriages in most Indian homes are not made in Heaven. Rather they are manipulated, calculated and weighed in all aspects by both sides before the parents of  the bride and the groom decide to take the plunge. If after everything, the bride and the groom are fortunate enough to fall for each other, an amalgamation of the most fruitful kind is formed.

TMB starts on this very premise. The parents of the bride and the groom without consulting their children fix their alliance. But the bride is Sunita - vivacious and pretty with her own aspirations of etching a career and the groom is Akshay - a tall dapper of a man who does not exactly want to get tied down to matrimony and wife at this stage. Yet when they meet for the first time, sparks fly, they are drawn to each other and begin falling in love.

CLICK HERE to read the complete review....

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Don's Wife by Vinod Pande

The Blurb

Lethality of beauty and inner radiance brutally felled, after several dastardly attempts on her life in different cities of the world, Kamini, the firebrand leader of the emerging new party, the icon of the youth, the idol of the world of glitter and glamour, the revered social reformer, the enigmatic wife of the dreaded underworld Don Harsh Jadhav, assassinated by unidentified gunmen at the unlikeliest of places, right at the front door in the porch of her own house. With mere two mortal shots, death had snatched her from life and what a life! She could launch a million ships, both with her beauty and her exceptional brilliance. A fulsome life but a born rebel. Defiantly left all this to marry a man she loved, a man, she was to learn rather late in the day, was the son of one of the most feared mobsters in the country. A woman who went beyond, beyond the societal mores in her passionate relationships. Then, then the world did not remain the same. A saga began. A saga of revenge and hope, of aspirations and betrayals, of human tragedies and triumphs. A story of tall men and even taller women where heroes are not only heroes and villains are not only villains. Story of Kamini, more powerful in death than even in life

Buy @


Meet the Author
Vinod Pande is a producer, writer, editor and award winning director whose body of work includes films such as Ek Baar Phir (1979), Yeh Nazdikeeyan (1982) and Sins (2005) among many others. He has also made popular TV shows such as Airhostess (1985-86) and Reporter (1992-97). He worked as programming head for Sahara TV (1997-2000). "The Don's Wife" marks his debut as a published author. 

Stalk him @


Monday, March 17, 2014


Neelesh Gajanan Inamdar
It was a lucky day when The Book Club offered to launch the 2nd edition of my book THE MALHOTRA BRIDE (Kindle version available only on Amazon). I had sent a copy of the book to Neelesh Gajanan Inamdar for his honest review. I can only say that I am deeply touched by what he has to say about my book on his blog FromtheHeart-Neel.

About Neelesh Gajanan Inamdar in his own words:

"I am a qualified Chemical Engineer; worked as a director and executive producer for a few flop films and hit TV serials before shifting base to the United Arab Emirates. Was an avid reader since age 8 and have read a lot from Dickens to Kiran Desai, from Mills & Boon/Harlequin to The Old Man and the Sea/The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi). Like to read anything from books to blogs to technical manuals to whatever paper the bhel-puri is packed in. B I G fan of William Somerset Maugham & Ernest Hemingway.  Fav books: The God of Small Things, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, Anna Karenina, A Farewell To Arms, We The Living."


Psychologist Zick Rubin proposed that romantic love is made up of three elements: attachment, caring and intimacy. Attachment is the need to receive care, approval and physical contact with the other person. Caring involves valuing the other person's needs and happiness as much as your own. Intimacy refers to the sharing of thoughts, desires and feelings with the other person.

I wonder if Sundari Venkatraman was inspired by this theory when she wrote her first novel The Malhotra Bride. Because Sunita, the protagonist, goes through exactly the same stages before she finally comes to terms with her own heart and accepts that she is truly in love with Akshay Malhotra.

CLICK HERE to read the complete review of The Malhotra Bride by Neelesh Gajanan Inamdar on his blog...

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Maria Perry Mohan
Maria Perry Mohan has reviewed my book DOUBLE JEOPARDY and has given it nothing less than 4 stars. She is a member of The Book Club. Thank you Maria for the lovely review. I am so glad you liked my book.

About Maria:

"Irish born Maria has lived in north India since she married eighteen years ago. She is the mother of four schoolgoing children and has had several short stories and articles published in both Irish and Indian magazines. She's a contributor to the recently published 'Foreign Flavours', an anthology of short stories and features by expat writers. She enjoys reading all genres of fiction, especially romance and thrillers.  She also enjoys and reviews non-fiction.

You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and she also blogs.   Her reviews appear on her blog Gaelikaa's Diary and also at Romance Book Haven, Amazon, Goodreads, Romancing the Book and"

DOUBLE JEOPARDY by Sundari Venkatraman

Sanya has been the childhood companion of the handsome twin brothers, Arth and Ansh. Arth was her childhood hero and she nurtured a dream in her heart that she’d get together with him one day. Ansh, on the other hand, was the bane of her life, who teased her, taunted her and made her life miserable with his pranks. It’s been a few years, and Sanya has met the brothers again. Now she’s ready to make Arth her own. But something strange is afoot. Ansh is the one now lavishing attention on the now ravishingly pretty Sanya. Always hovering about, waiting on her every word.  Her beloved Arth, however, doesn’t know she exists. Apart from the usual pleasantries, of course.

CLICK HERE to read the complete review of Double Jeopardy by Maria Perry Mohan....

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Film Review: QUEEN

Total Paisa Vasool!

Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Lisa Haydon, Rajkummar Rao
Director: Vikas Bahl

Venkat’s friend recommended the film to him and he had seen it twice already before accompanying me to Cinemax Sion to watch it for the third time. It did make me wonder what the film was about. I had seen a couple of promos and I like Kangana’s acting; reasons enough to watch the film.


The film begins with the Mehendi ceremony a couple of days before Rani’s aka Queen’s (Kangana Ranaut) wedding to Vijay (Rajkummar Rao). She’s completely excited and dances along with her family, looking forward to her married life.

Later in the evening, Vijay asks her to meet him at Café Coffee Day and tells her that he does not want to marry her. She is shocked, hurt and in tears. But he refuses to listen to her pleas. She is unable to believe that he plans to ditch her as it is he who has wooed her over the years. Rani is from a middle class family where a woman leads a protected and conditional life. Vijay had to chase her over many months before she responds. Now he wants to call the wedding off as he feels she cannot adjust to his fast pace of life.

Rani decides to go on her honeymoon to Paris and Amsterdam by herself as she had used up all her savings to buy the tickets for her dream destinations.

The rest of the story is how Rani gets back her confidence and moves on in life. Until the point when Vijay wants her back in his life. Will she marry him now?


Kangana Ranaut has been consistently working on her acting skills and getting better and better in her roles. There may be some of her films that have not succeeded but I am sure it was not because of her. She was just amazing in her role as Queen. I cried and laughed along with her and so wanted to get up and dance when she did. She exuded that much energy in her role. Fantastic!

While Rajkumar Rao’s character was irritating (it was meant to be), he has done an excellent job of it.

Lisa Haydon as Vijayalaxmi who befriends Kangana in Paris has a chunky role and she has done complete justice to it.

Every other character, Queen’s parents, brother, grandmother, her roommates, the Italian restaurateur she meets in Amsterdam, was perfect for his/her role and each one was very good.

After so many years – maybe a couple of decades – I felt that I did not want a movie to end when it did. It was that good. The film ran for about 2 ½ hours and was flawless with a superb script, excellent direction, awesome role play and ideal music.

VERDICT: What are you waiting for? Get to the nearest theatre and see the film. Total paisa vasool!



Friday, March 14, 2014


Sugandha Agrawal
It was a lucky day when I got introduced to Corinne Rodrigues of Write Tribe fame. Corinne has got together a group of bloggers to review my book DOUBLE JEOPARDY.

Sugandha Agrawal is the first one from this group to review my book. She couldn't resist completing my book between 10 pm & 1.30 am despite having travelled 600 km that very day.

About Sugandha in her own words:

"I am a reader, an amateur writer, a dreamer, a competitor, a blogger.

I am extremely talkative and love to express my views or questions on things I know or I don't. This blog here a bit of dreams, stories, imaginations and wonders. This blog helps me to express myself more clearly than I can think in a rapid conversation.  Most of my posts are conversations, waiting for your response.

I began blogging in April, 2013 and have been loving it since then. Most of my post tell you a bit more about me. Till then, I leave you with my favorite lines.

I am wrong and I am right,
I Crawl and I fly.
I love and I hate,
I live my life learning.
I am what I am...
A human with making"

Thank you Sugandha Agrawal for a 3-star review. I am so glad you liked my book. 

Before I begin the review, I’d like to give a highlight of my day on which I downloaded this book from Indireads, i.e. yesterday.

My day yesterday began at 5 am and consisted of 600 km travel through the day. It was supposed to end at 10 owing to a headache. At about 9.45, just checking mail before I slept, I decided to download the book from Indireads and prepare myself to read it the next day.

One the download was completed, my phone automatically opened the file for me to preview.

What began as preview of the book at 10 pm, ended at 1.30 am in completion of the book.

CLICK HERE to read the complete review of Double Jeopardy by Sugandha Agrawal...

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Dola Basu Singh
I met Dola Basu Singh through The Book Club. I was quite thrilled when Dola agreed to review my book The Malhotra Bride as I have read a number of her reviews and found them very interesting. Thank you Dola! I am so glad you liked my book too.

About Dola Basu Singh in her own words:

"My name is Dola and I live in a small and picturesque village in Punjab, India. I am a high school teacher by profession and a writer by passion. I am also pursuing my Masters degree in Computer Applications. Being a lover of books, that’s what I am surrounded by most of the day. Except when I find myself in between the toy-battlefield of my seven year old, or when I am gulping down details of Bey Blades and Transformers, that is."

CLICK HERE to check out Dola's blog....

Book Review – The Malhotra Bride By Sundari Venkatraman

The Malhotra Bride is Author Sundari Venkatraman’s second novel, the first being Double Jeopardy. With this novel the author has forayed into the self-publishing world and I wish her lots of luck and hope she’ll sell lots of copies.

Sunita is a beautiful and lively girl who wants to chase her dreams of becoming an interior designer so when her parents ‘fix’ her marriage with the most eligible bachelor in town – Akshay Malhotra of the Malhotra Garments, she hatches a plan to get rid of the prospective groom. Even though Akshay is quite smitten by Sunita and is ready to allow her the freedom she desires, she doesn’t relent and sends Akshay packing. But when she comes to know that her very strict parents are planning to hold a ‘swayamvar’ for her, she hesitatingly signs a ‘contract’ with Akshay to be his bride. Whether she becomes the Malhotra Bride or not is for you to read and find out my dear readers.

CLICK HERE to read the complete review....

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Rubina Ramesh
Rubina Ramesh has been a strong support in my self-publishing venture. I think the reason is that she just loves my books ;) I am super-thrilled that she has given THE MALHOTRA BRIDE no less than 5 stars.

On a serious note, Rubina is a voracious reader and serious reviewer of books spanning many genres. CLICK HERE to check out the various sections in her blog.

Rubina Ramesh's review of The Malhotra Bride

Sundari Venkatraman has taken a leap into the self publishing world with her second novel, The Malhotra Bride. When this book, landed on my Kindle, the first thing that struck me is the cover of the book. Illustrated by Mr. Prashant Kamble, this scene depicts an Indian marriage ritual being performed. A scene of Dilwale Dulhaniya le Jayenge flashes in my inward eye. Got my bag of popcorn and clicked on the book in my Kindle and was soon  introduced to Sunita and Akshay.


She is Sunita, a young girl from a rich business class family. Though very much loved by her family, she has one problem. She's bound by family traditions which are nothing short of male domination. [Itching to give a long lecture here, but don't want to divert from the topic :)] Sunita wants to work, but due to parental pressures, she is forced to agree to an arranged marriage. She does not take this kindly.


He is Akshay Malhotra - the scion of the Malhotra family. The rich guy who is NOT a brat! He has a loving relationship with his parents, hard-working and OMG! without any vices. God! Make more like him, please. When he hears about his parent's arranging a marriage for him, he is a bit hesitant but when his dad insists he agrees to 'see'the girl. [This is another debatable topic.]

CLICK HERE to read the complete review on Rubina's blog....

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


The story idea is good; the treatment nothing short of terrible

Cast: Kirron Kher, Anupam Kher, Ali Zafar, Yami Gautam, Sara Khan
Director: E.Nivas


Aman (Ali Zafar) is a Pakistani Muslim and Aisha (Yami Gautam) is an Indian Hindu. Both are based in London and in love. He’s is a famous musician and his band is quite popular while Aisha has a job in the corporate world. He goes to meet her family at her invitation. All hell breaks loose, literally. You have to see the movie to find out more. (My advice is that you wait for it to come on TV if you care about your cash).


The film has a good storyline and spans about five hours of the characters’ lives. It could have been handled beautifully. Yeah, it could have been!

But no, it has to be a mess. It was, believe me. It was Kirron Kher who kept me in my seat despite wanting to run away. I have seen Ali Zafar in Tere Bin Laden, London New York Paris, Chashme Baddoor  and Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. He has been a good actor consistently. But I can’t say the same for the roles that he chooses. While TBL & MBKD were excellent, the other two films were awful.

Total Siyappa also belongs to the second category. I don’t know whom to blame – the scriptwriter or director or maybe the producer who invested money to torture the audience. Extremely bad!

Yami Gautam looks lovely and acts well too. She was good in Vicky Donor but even better in this. But her role was zilch.

Kirron Kher was excellent as Yami’s mother. Sara Khan as Yami’s bratty married sister was not too bad. Anupam Kher has a minuscule role that’s not worth talking about.

Aisha’s brother’s hatred for Pakistanis, the way he and his neighbours gang together and trouble their neighbours; how the Indians and Pakistanis get together finally to bash the English policeman – the idea is good; the treatment nothing short of terrible.

The music was good – composed and sung by Ali Zafar. That and the short span of the film, 108 minutes, were probably the two saving graces of the film.

VERDICT: Watch at your own risk

RATING: **Shaky


Monday, March 10, 2014


Jaibala Rao
I am so thrilled with the 4.5-star rating Jaibala Rao has given THE MALHOTRA BRIDE. Thank you for the super review Jaibala!

About Jaibala Rao in her own words:

"Although new to professional writing and reviewing, Jaibala has lived in a world of books ever since she could read. Outside that Utopia of books, she is academically a Microbiologist and professionally has been an Event Manger and Content Writer. Just like her colourful professional background her interest in books is also spread across various genres. “There is something good in every book”, is a belief she carries while reading."

The Road To Being The Malhotra’s Bride

The Malhotra Bride is the second book I have read by the Author Sundari Venkatraman and is her first foray into self publishing. This is again a total Bollywood romance full of a few twists. Well, I did read the book in one go, so yes I was addicted to the story, waiting for the plot to unfold. Sundari has a way of tying her romances with some thrill and drama and the book ends up being an interesting and start – to – finish read.

CLICK HERE to read the complete review on her blog My School of Thought....

Friday, March 7, 2014


Love's Labor by Andy Paula

The Blurb

Piali Roy has run away from home and the two stubborn men who love her. One is her beloved Baba; a rigid traditionalist, he refuses to accept anyone from outside her caste and community. And then there is Sathya, the unsuitable outsider. He loves her truly, madly, deeply and has even called off his marriage for her sake. Neither man will budge, and the small town of Jampot, where everyone knows everything, is not big enough for the two of them.

Away from their unreasonable demands, Piali strives to find peace in the mountains. But within six months, her lover tracks her down. Once again, she betrays the one by trusting the other.

Will her labor in the name of love be in vain, or will love transcend all differences?

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My Review

Piali is a teacher who works with 12th standard students in Mussourie. She lives by herself at the accommodation close to her school. She is in charge of the centenary celebration that’s being organised at the school. In the middle of a busy day, she gets a call from Sathya, the love of her life. He has discovered her whereabouts.

From this point, the story takes you in flashback. If Sathya is the love of her life, then why are they not together? You have to read the story to find out.

I somehow feel that Piali’s character is very similar to author Andy Paula’s. It’s just an instinct. Both are teachers who love teaching English. Piali has a powerful leadership quality that also somehow tells me is a lot like the author. The President of the country visiting the school again appears to be based on Andy’s connection with Ex-President Abdul Kalam.

Apart from that, I liked the way Piali Roy has been etched. Her struggle with her parents, her father’s stubborn attitude and her mother’s silent support of her father – everything has been framed well.

I loved Sathya’s character. He is the perfect character for a romance and really came across as a hero. Lucky Piali!

One thing disappointed me, though. The end was abrupt and I was startled to see that that was it, the story was over. Quite unexpected!

All in all, a very well written, lovely story that is worth a read. Congratulations Andy Paula -  looking forward to reading more of your work!

I will go with a 4-star rating for Andy Paula's Love's Labor

The cover is perfect for the book and has been done by Naila Ahmed. Kudos Naila!

Meet the Creator of Love’s Labor

This is the first in my ‘Meet the Creator’ (read ‘author interview’) series. Do be kind and post your positive views.

Andy Paula is the author of Love’s Labor, a romance novella published by Indireads. It’s her debut novel and obviously a labor of love. I enjoyed reading Andy Paula’s Love’s Labor and I am happy that I got this opportunity to meet the creator of this beautiful romance. 

Sundari Venkatraman: Give a description of your novel ‘twitter’ style, in 140 characters. 

Andy Paula: #PialiRoy #SathyaNair Impossible mission-love! Domineering fathers, doting mothers. Can lovers beat odds? No Love without Labor 

SV: Can you describe your journey from Anindita Sarkar to Andy Paula?

AP: Anindita was christened Andy by her schoolmates and assured that she would win the Pulitzer some day. Andy laughed at the idea knowing full well that good compositions in the grammar paper did not translate to a literary award. She grew up, mastered in English and picked up the red pen. As an educator, she lived out her childhood dream of teaching English. Working in various public schools of India brought her the experience, the adulation and the spondylitis.  It was when the last happened -with the heaps of notebook and exam paper corrections- that a corporate training opportunity arose. Relieved at dropping the red pen and picking the mouse, the corporate trainer went on to train the IT sector in Voice and Accent, Culture and Behavioural modules. Six years into that and UK beckoned. 

Quitting my corporate career - without batting an eyelid! – it was when I was savouring the English sounds, sight and smell that the blogging bug bit me. As my dormant muse raised its pretty head, and surprised me by keeping it raised, Indireads happened. Love’s Labor, a story untold, was waiting to be told and by now I remembered the Pulitzer ‘prediction’. So revisions, edits, give-up stages later, I finally went with the flow (read, editor) and the book saw the light of the day. Some labor, that!

SV: They say that debut novels generally verge on a lot of incidents from the author’s life. How much of Love’s Labor follows yours? 

AP: A lot. The plot, the characters, the settings, the conversations – all are real. What is not is the end. And the names. 

SV: I see that you are a corporate trainer. Do you see yourself becoming a full-time writer?  

AP: Had Love’s Labor sent me laughing to the bank, I could’ve answered this with more certainty, Sundari! Since I’m still reeling under the impact of the lack of zeroes on the paycheck, I am unable to say.  

SV: Love’s Labor was born out of the impact of a real incident in the life of someone you know. What about your next book?

AP: Love’s Labor is one real life incident; my next is many people, many lives. 

SV: Love’s Labor is a romance. Do you plan to continue writing in the same genre or…?

AP: Everyone loves a love story. So romance has a huge market that Indirom, the flagship of Indireads, decided to tap. 
For now, I don’t have a roadmap but my stories will always be about human relationships, I think. That is what fascinates me the most.  

That was a lovely conversation with Andy Paula, the creator of Love’s Labor. It was fun talking to you about your journey as a writer Andy. I hope you get a number of ‘zeroes’ in your upcoming paycheck. Looking forward to reading your next book. 

     The Book Club Presents Andy Paula's Love's Labour 

Meet the Author

Andy Paula is a corporate trainer by profession and a writer by vocation. After the innumerable essays, poems, articles, editorials, congratulations & condolence letters she wrote for herself and others refused to satiate her writer's Self, she finally put herself seriously to the task and wrote Love's Labor,a romance novella that is now on Goodreads. 
To know more about the versatile author click here.

You can stalk her @