Review of lost and found in Banaras

BLURB:

Banaras celebrates death, but what does it do to the living dead? When three-year-old Brinda is widowed after being married for a few hours, her family refuses to take her back in. Deemed ‘munhoos’, she finds her way to Nirmala Ashram in Banaras where she leads a life of child widow under the watchful eye of Vasanti Bua and her friend, Debi. She and Debi are just another shade of white in the city’s numerous ‘white shadows’ until Sia and Uday return to Banaras. As visitors to the ancient city, they assumed that the unfinished stories of their past were long behind them. Little did they know that Banaras was waiting with its unspent debt and the dishonest voices would find their way back to them in Brinda and Debi. Will Banaras, standing at the crossroads between the ancient and the modern, help them expiate? Will they find what they once lost—love, longing or perhaps nirvana?

MY REVIEW:

A sober read that brings up the lives of innocent widows in Banaras is the story in this book. The book starts off with young Brinda and her brothers playing. Brinda is young, I mean very just that she is 3 years old. The house in the village is gearing up for a major celebration. No you’re wrong if you assume it would be the carnival or temple fest, it’s Brinda’s marriage. Yes, you heard me right, the three year old girl is being married off to an eleven year old boy, Biswaas.

The celebrations take place in a grand manner. Brinda is married to Biswaas who is from another village. So soon after the marriage and feast she is being sent off. Biswaas seemed disinterested right from when the marriage talks were on. Brinda cries her lungs out when she is being sent, but that is how it is in the villages. Upon her arrival she is welcomed by the siblings and her mother in law. Few moments later there is a strong downpour after which there are floods. The entire family except her father in law is lost and she keeps sobbing. When taken back to her village, things are not in their favor and she is marked as a sign of bad omen. Her brother Jhulan takes up an oath to come see her soon.So the father in law who is suffering a deadly ailment is forced to send her to Nirmala ashram run by Vasanti Bua , a home for the widows.

She being the youngest takes time to settle but is close with Debi upon whom there are numerous eye of the landlord for flesh trade. Vasanti Bua, safeguards her from the evil eyes and runs the ashram. Sia who returns to Banaras wants to bring this out to the world and give these young women a better place to live. Uday, a journalist photographer, stumbles upon SIa who then enlightens him the current situation. What happens next? Does Brinda meet her brother, what happened to Biswaas, Does Sia reunite with her love? Who takes over the ashram after Vasanti Bua is the rest of the story.

The author takes the plot in a slow pace and the sufferings of the widows and condition of the ashram is something we worry off. The vocabulary used is simple and easy to understand. It is a slow read and took me a couple of days to finish. I would not say this is a gripping read, but has a different style on its own.

The cover design could have been better. The characterization is done well with few characters playing their part. Nothing is over exaggerated. The narrations with respect to Sia’s life flashback could have been briefed instead of a longer write up.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback:232 pages
  • Publisher:Readomania (17 August 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:9385854666
  • ISBN-13:978-9385854668

MY RATINGS:

Title: 4/5

Writing and presentation: 3.5/5

Plot:4/5

Cover: 3.5/5

Overall: 3.75/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mona Verma is an alumni of prestigious Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi and an award winning author of 6 works of fiction, A Bridge to Nowhere, God is a River, the White Shadow, the Clown of Whitefields and other stories, the Other and Lost and Found in Banaras. She had edited various science journals, self -help books, biographies and is a regular feature writer for online newspapers. She is on board of various Universities as an advisory expert and is much sought as visiting faculty for Creative writing, Haiku and Limericks. She is now a member of FICCI and member of Writers’ meet called for by Governor of Uttarakhand, at Rajbhawan Dehradun. A Paul Harris fellow, she actively volunteers with Interplast, Germany and Rotary International foundation for the treatment of surgical accidents and burns victims. Recently, she has been honored with the executive membership in the Management Committee of Anushruti, a social initiative of IIT, Roorkee for the exemplary work done for the special children at Anushruti. She is also serving as a member of the Academic Review Committee with Anushruti, IIT Roorkee. Presently, she co-owns and runs her firm Disha, an education consultancy and thought leading initiative, which deals with corporate, organizational and faculty/student trainings in schools and Universities. Apart from the above, she has a keen interest in classical music, charcoal sketching, oil painting, photography and travel.

Review of Pyjamas are forgiving #instacuppa #superbloggerchallenge

BLURB:

There sitting on that porch, that light-eyed man, a pitta like me, was my ex-husband and that woman whose inner element I was unaware of, unless bitch is accepted as an undiscovered fourth dosha, was his young wife. In the serene sanctuary of Kerala’s Shanthamaaya spa where food is rationed, sex forbidden and emotions centred, Anshu meets someone familiar and deeply unsettling – her ex-husband. Bittersweet, funny and wise, Pyjamas Are Forgiving confirms Twinkle Khanna as one of our great storytellers.

MY REVIEW:

When Twinkle Khanna made announcements for releasing her third book, it piqued quite a lot of eagerness and interests in her fans and minds of other readers. Since the second book did not do seemingly well, the timing that the release came in, it set the minds of the readers who were expecting a comeback.

The plot begins with the protagonist, Anshu ; a 40 year old divorcee who seeks rejuvenation and is a regular at the Shanthamaaya sthalam, Kerala. No it is not a spa when I meant she sought rejuvenation, it is an Ayurveda Ashram by Dr. Menon where people come in seek of freedom from the doshas that plague them.

Anshu seeks peace from her fast paced life in Mumbai and comes to Kerala seeking peace and tranquility. She signs up for the 28-day rejuvenation program, which holds her a lot of surprises. Among those who signed up, Anshu’s ex-husband Jay and his new wife Shalini are also included. Anshu is in for a roller-coaster ride of innumerable emotions at having to come to terms with her ex’s presence in such close vicinity.

Shalini can be described as everything in opposite to what Anshu is. She is young, flexible, beautiful and thin. It no longer is surprising that Jay fell for her when Anshu was still starting to get used to marriage and its many bizarreness. Anshu’s heart still skips a beat seeing Jay; even though they have been separated for over a decade. After all its her first love so she cannot get over so soon.

All the characters we are introduced in the book are realistic and serve a purpose of their presence.

The writing style as always is filled with wit and humor and it cannot go wrong if I say it is generously present throughout the book. But even then it did not make a strong impact.

The book is a short read but loses the engaging or the intriguing factor somewhere in the middle as it becomes monotonous. At some instances Anshu’s encounters with Jay and the instances handled seemed to lack luster and was becoming repetitive.

The cover of the book is designed so well; in fact, it was one of the factors that pushed me to read the book. But we also know that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback:256 pages
  • Publisher:Juggernaut (7 September 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:9386228971
  • ISBN-13:978-9386228970

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 3.5/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Twinkle Khanna is one of India’s top-selling writers and the author of two national bestsellers, Mrs Funnybones (winner of a Crossword Book Award 2016) and The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad. She is one of Times of India’s most read columnists and has won numerous awards, including India Today Woman Writer of the Year, Outlook Award for Most Inspiring Woman of the Year and Vogue Opinion Maker of the Year. She is the founder of Mrs Funnybones Movies and in 2018 produced the highly acclaimed film Pad Man. Khanna lives in Mumbai with her family.

This article is written as a part of SuperBloggerChallenge conducted by Healthwealthbridge.com , Allaboutthewoman.com and powered by Instacuppa and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge is not responsible for any infringement caused.”

Forgive and forget #writebravely#celebratewritetribe

To err is human, to forgive is divine.

We have all heard this phrase quite often making rounds. But what does it intend to convey really. We all know it is human nature to commit mistakes. I’m just talking about the minor one’s here. All human cannot be 100% right all the time. They might say I never make a mistake, I always think and act. But that cannot be possible all the time because we do know that one more saying ‘Great homer sometimes nods’ means an accomplished writer such as Homer could also make mistakes. There is nothing wrong when you realize and confess that you made a mistake.

Forgiveness is often compared to being divine. This is put forth in Tamil (my mother tongue) in another way which is more or less similar. Someone who makes mistakes is human and that someone who forgives the mistake done is above human. Such high is the quality of forgiveness given a place in the world we live in. Forgiveness shall not be given for namesake and later being subjected to repeated recap episodes of the error committed. When someone confesses their mistake that it is an unknown error, we could empathize their situation or understand what made them commit the mistake and forgive. But this is only for errors that could be forgiven and not any major blunder or something that is done of major negligence.

For instance, a doctor cannot perform an error while operating a patient. The full concentration should be only on the surgery, leave out whatever personal problem they might be going through, the doctors should be diligent in the duty conferred on them. They cannot seek forgiveness since the mistake is purely medical negligence. Since forgiveness is compared to divinity not all errors could be forgiven, there is clear cut boundary us humans should draw as to what could be forgiven and what cannot be.

Being selfish and keeping ego in mind we shouldn’t make decisions and let the person who seeks forgiveness suffer. After all we are humans, so the quality of love in soul would creep out from the hiding place that is deep down inside us. It was better said by Zora Neale Hurston,

“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.”


I’m Writing Bravely for the Write Tribe Festival of Words – March 2019’

Keeping yourself energised throughout the day #superbloggerchallenge #instacuppa

Living a routine life, that too in a metro we are always in hurry burry. We are always running behind and want to get things done the way we want, that we fail to take care of health. Especially people working in the corporate world, it’s always like we are in the whirlpool.

Waking up after multiple snoozes, cook something, get ready to work, travel, work, meetings, late lunches, lots of caffeine breaks, get back home, spending very little time with family members since you are already worn out, eat, sleep and again the cycle goes on.

But a few changes here and there can make you feel energised throughout the day.

  • Get up in the first alarm

Stop snoozing the alarm first thing in the morning. Make sure you get a goodnight sleep of about 7 hours. So when the first alarm rings, get up from bed to turn it off.

  • Get yourself some natural light and fresh air

You can do this by standing in the sunlight either in balcony or terrace. Make sure you open up curtains or blinds in your room as well.

  • Get yourself some fluids

Once you wake up, either drink

  • two glasses of warm water
  • lemon water
  • water boiled with fenugreek
  • jeera/cumin water

These are sure to flush out the toxins and ease the colon to clear out the waste.

  • Be light on the caffeine

Take a small quantity of coffee or tea.

  • Eat small, healthy meals

Make sure you plan the days meal a night before so that you can save time of chopping and cutting them. Make sure you get right amounts of fibers, proteins, vitamins. Be light on the carbs.

  • Healthy breakfast

Make sure you take healthy breakfast and don’t dump whatever you find for the first meal of the day. Eat like a King is just a comparison and doesn’t mean you have to eat more quantities.

  • Take a walk

If the workplace is near take a walk alternately or don rely on the cab always. Get the metro or the bus occasionally.

  • Drink plenty of water to keep up the fluid levels

Again 8 glasses of water is just a measure, you can drink up to 2 liters. Keep in mind not to overdo. IF you would want to incorporate some flavor, you can try adding green tea or even have fruit infusion waters to keep you drinking throughout the day.

My go to solution for this is always INSTACUPPA

You can try their Infusion bottle

https://instacuppastore.com/products/instacuppa-fruit-infuser-water-bottle-1-litre-with-full-length-tritan-infusion-unit

or their green tea detox bottle if you want to add green tea infusion to your fluids.

https://instacuppastore.com/products/instacuppa-green-tea-detox-bottle-glass-with-steel-infuser

Amazon link to buy

  • Do mild stretches in between work

There are certain stretches that you can do even while sitting on the chair that can keep you energised and renew energy.

  • Take a power nap

There is nothing wrong if you take a power nap of about 10-15 mins. It has proven to bring in a lot of productivity. Since your mind is fresh, it sure is to bring in a lot of new and innovative ideas to solve problems.

  • Limit your caffeine intake post 12 PM

Caffeine sure is to have effect up to 8-10 hours so it is better if you do not indulge in caffeine drinks in afternoon.

  • Green tea any day to boost up

Green tea is known to provide instant stimulation and energise the body immediately. Hence you can make yourself a cup of green tea with honey anytime of the day and anywhere.

Now that is easy with the INSTACUPPA TRAVEL MUG

https://instacuppastore.com/products/instacuppa-vacuum-insulated-coffee-tea-travel-mug-470-ml-sipper-lid-with-filter-silicon-grip-black

Amazon link for buying

And if you want to get to know the benefits of having green tea, you know where to check.

  • Keep yourself light on the dinner plate

Again do not overeat. Keep it light. If possible, drink some water or even a glass of milk before going to bed.

  • Get some reading

Reading books is a best way to relax. Instead of sitting down with gadgets, you can sit down with a book. You can look out for options in my blog or read though the latest review in my blog. Or an even better idea would be to sit down with your kid and read along with them.if you want to what to read you can check here.

  • Getting a good night’s sleep

Set yourself an alarm after about 7 hours. Yes, keep that in mind, you need 7 hours of good sleep to make yourself feel fresh the next day. Relax your eyes before you go to sleep and no gadgets at least an hour before sleep.

  • Essential oils in the bedroom

If you are used to essential oils, then you can either use some oils in bedroom for a calming effect. Simple way would be to squeeze 2-3 drops on to a handkerchief and tie it around the best post.

These are my go to ways to keep myself energised and I hope this would be of some help to you too.

This article as a part of SuperBloggerChallenge2019 conducted byHealthwealthbridge.com, Allaboutthewoman.com and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2019 is not responsible for any kind of infringement caused


Featured post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Review of In love with Simran #superbloggerchallenge #instacuppa

BLURB:

Sanjana’s best friend in college is murdered. She was in love with a business tycoon named Nik Sethi, and Sanjana is certain that he killed her. In an effort to find proof, she decides to get close to him. Good looking and rich, Nik falls in love with Sanjana instantly, but a month later, when he accidentally discovers her real agenda, he throws her out of his life. Determined to nail him, Sanjana’s desperation exceeds all limits when she realizes that she too, like her friend, has fallen in love with a killer. After she escapes an attack one night, Sanjana quits college and goes into hiding. Now her only ambition is to punish the killer and her only weapon is her body. In a last, desperate attempt, she uses herself as bait and pursues her best plan. There are only two options: she becomes a victim or she becomes a victor. Through the story of Sanjana and Nik, In Love with Simran explores the boundaries of the basic instincts of the young: love, sex, trust and survival.

MY REVIEW:

The book starts with a classroom scene wherein the professor asks a question. Simran, a simple down to earth girl comes up with an answer that leaves everyone stunned. She replies that the distance between the moon and back is a kiss. The professor silences the class and proceeds to teaching.

Sanjana is Simran’s bestie. During a break at the canteen, she asks her what made her give the reply to the Professor which is when Simran confesses that she’s fallen in love. Sanjana quickly understands it’s Nik Sethi whom Simran is in love with, which doesn’t seem approving. But since her friend is happy she also joins her happiness. Not knowingthata the happiness is short lived, Sanjana receives call at night stating Simran is at the hospital.

Dropping everything at that instant Sanjana reaches the hospital only to know Simran is at the mortuary. She is surrounded by her family members. Sanjana is astounded and doesn’t know what to say, when she is taken aside by a police officer who introduces himself as inspector Khan, in charge of Simran’s case. He tells her that Simran was pregnant. Sanjana is shattered and immediately collapses on the floor. She then recuperates after two days and leaves the hospital. She is very sure that it was Nik Sethi who was responsible for the murder. She decides to make him feel guilty and confess the murder. She also helps inspector Khan providing vital information and only at a later point comes to know that he is working for Nik.

She decides to intern at a magazine in order to interview Nik and is successful at securing a job and an opportunity to interview Nik even after being refused of an opportunity by his assistants. She decides to encounter him directly sat the gym and ask for time to interview and succeeds. When she reaches his office and he behaves as if nothing happened and wasn’t guilty at all. Instead, he takes a liking for her. She is warned by his PA Ruby to stay out of the way or else she would end up like Simran. This terrorizes her but makes her more firm to believe that Nik is behind the murder. She is being followed by strange people. So she decides to take cover at her mom’s place in Dharamshala for few days prepare herself physically to take on Nik.

Due course of time, after her arrival from Dharamshala, she hires a detective to help her out in this case. The detective helps Sanjana but also saves her from few instances from life threats. While all this is happening Ruby the assistant and Pathan, Nik’s assistant is also being murdered and that too with the same weapon Simran was murdered.

The story takes a series of turns as to who would have committed the crime, there is also an angle accusing Nik’s mom; Rajbala. Sanjana falls for Nik and they both get married. What happens in the end?

Does she find the murderer? Is Nik guilty? Why did he kill three people? Is the rest of the story?

The author has taken the plot in a nail biting sequence as to who would have committed the crime of Nik’s close counterparts. Initially, we also have few alibis which make us suspect who would it be.

What started off as a quest to find the murderer by Sanjana continues in a way that she falls in love with the same guy who killed her friend. This point initially was difficult to accept but at a later point, we do come to know that Nik also has a story to tell. We have only been listening to one half of it.

Sanjana initially was full of rage and wanted to get hold of Nik and make him pay for his crime. The efforts she takes to make him confess and how swifts she wanted to take up a job just to meet him and make him speak are all accolades to her quick thinking.

Nik is smart and quick thinking, He says he deeply loves Simran and is sad that she had to depart soon. But one thing that makes me puzzled is why would he fall for Sanjana, within a short gap of Simran’s demise.

The narration is simple and intriguing to read.

The cover design is perfect and kudos for that.

What looks to be a romantic tale takes a twist.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback:224 pages
  • Publisher: Srishti Publishers & Distributors; First edition (10 January 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10:9387022536
  • ISBN-13:978-9387022539

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 4.5/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

One of the leading fiction writers in India, Kulpreet Yadav retired voluntarily from the armed forces to pursue a career in writing in 2014. Now also a motivational speaker, he regularly speaks at schools, colleges, and global corporate brands. Kulpreet’s latest spy novel, Murder in Paharganj, was published in 2017. Winner of “Best Fiction Writer, 2018″, at the Gurgaon Literature Festival, Kulpreet lives in Delhi.

“Note: This article is written as a part of SuperBloggerChallenge2019 conducted by Healthwealthbridge.com,Allaboutthewoman.com and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2019 is not responsible for any kind of infringement caused.”

Book blitz – Fountain dead

FountainDeadBT

Book Cover.jpgFountain Dead

Genre: Mature YA/ Horror/ Paranormal

Expected Publication Date: November 20th, 2018

Publisher: Unnerving Press

Mark is uprooted from his home and high school in the Twin Cities and forced to move with his family into a Victorian in Nowhere-ville. Busy with the relocation and fitting in, Mark’s parents don’t see what’s unfolding around them—the way rooms and left behind objects seem alive with a haunted past.
Of course, Mark keeps his ghostly encounters to himself, all the while sinking deeper into the house’s dark, alluring, and ultimately terrifying history. As romantic entanglements intensify, the paranormal activity escalates. Past and present come together. Everything is connected—from the bricks in the walls to the hearts beating in their chests, all the secrets of Fountain Dead are finally unearthed.

Add to Goodreads

Available on Amazon

house gfx

Excerpt

Emma sensed the shockwaves of the earthquake before it struck. The air fizzled with rage.

If Sasha hadn’t run off to get married while Emma was away, the maidservant might’ve proven a heroic buffer to what was to come. Emma missed working alongside her assistant. Now even more than ever.

Emma’s underarms dampened, despite the chill seeping in through the windows. Her trembling hands fiddled with the tray of bandages, ointments, and miscellaneous implements as she mimicked organizing them. When would she get Jonathan alone to update him on her trip? She wondered if having already spoken to him would’ve done any good at the moment.

The door thwacked open.

Riley stormed into the room and menaced beside her.

She straightened her spine to avoid cowering.

His gravelly voice indicated a control of his anger. “Remember what I told you?”

As he neared, Emma’s knees locked, her eyes closed. Where was Jonathan? The entire house had fallen eerily still. God, where was Hugh? Was he ever returning home?

“You’re coming with me.”

His directive left no room for resistance.

“This is as good a time as any to tell you your precious brother’s dead. So you can get it out of your head that he’ll come rescue you. He ain’t ever coming back. And, Pa, well—”

Emma still hadn’t turned to acknowledge him. Even if she did, he’d merely be a haze of color through her tears. The need to know what happened to Hugh attacked her like a swarm of bees. A desperate sadness was the brutal sting. Could the news be accurate? Or was it the cruelest invention meant to debilitate her? She shamefully wished Riley had been the one to die. Tempted to rectify that, she lamented her pistol lay back in her bedroom.

When she didn’t move, he seized her by the arm.

Noticing her attention on the dark object in his other hand, Riley raised it to her face and twirled it between his fingers.

It was Jonathan’s pipe. Had he not taken it with him that next morning? Did Riley discover it in her room? Is that what this was about?

When her brother jerked Emma away, the tray of medical supplies crashed to the floor. Her feet stumbled along through the dining room, into the kitchen, and then down the stairs into the basement. The Mason jars of blood, fluids, and organs stared at her from the shelves, in commiseration, or condemnation. She couldn’t fathom either.

The metal door to the safe gaped wide like a broken jaw.

Her arms and fingers numbed.

Riley shoved her sidelong through the open maw, into the remnant of daylight within.

Praying he’d have a last minute change of heart, Emma faced him, her eyes pleading.

“You better not be carrying that red-devil’s spawn—or I’ll do you like I did that squaw. Don’t think I won’t.”

What was he talking about? One of his war atrocities? Could she be pregnant—the thought hadn’t occurred to her.

“Please,” she begged as the door banged shut, the light snuffing out.

“Think about what you’ve done, you whore.”

He spun the combination lock. The clatter and clicks equaled the lit fuse on a stick of dynamite.

Emma battered the door. “Let me out.”

Riley’s stifled yelling thundered on the other side.

“Please.” Her cheek smashed against the frigid iron.

The tramping of his boots overwhelmed her sobs.

About the Author

theresa-braun

Hmmm. What’s this? Looks like Ms. Braun left her computer on and her Goodreads bio open.

This should be fun.

What can we say about Theresa? I mean other than the fact that she’s weirdly obsessed with smiley faces :-). Like, seriously obsessed >:-*. It’s kinda scary :-O.

I think she thinks she’s from Renaissance England or Venice or something. I never could figure out which one it was. (She’s really bad at doing accents.)

She likes romance novels and crime TV, which are pretty much the same thing when you think about it. Ha! Am I right?

She has a hell of a singing voice. Seriously. It’s, like, seventh circle of hell bad.

She likes editing. A lot. Just wait till she get’s a load a this.

Cats. Shoes. Chips and salsa. In that order.

Yeah, that last part didn’t make sense to me either.

Theresa Braun | Twitter | Facebook

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours

Review of on the open road by Stuti Changle. #myfriendalexa

On the open road

BLURB:

Myra wishes to break free of her cubicle. Kabir wonders what life would be to build on his own. Sandy drops out of college to work on the next big startup idea. Ramy inspires millions of his generation on his travel blog – on the open road.

on the open road – THREE LIVES, FIVE CITIES, ONE STARTUP, revolves around the lives of these restless and dreamy 20-somethings as they battle their inner demons and the societal taboos to live life on their terms. It is an emotional journey of following one’s heart. The journey entails undying friendship, love and loss, happiness and depression, fear and conquest, dreaming and achieving.

Will they be able to embark on the hard yet empowering journey to their true selves? Or succumb to the hardships on their road to freedom?

MY REVIEW:

The story revolves around three people- Myra, Kabir and Sandy. We have the struggle part described for all three of them. Myra is fed up of her 9-5 cubicle life but longs to startup a business with friends. Kabir is a rich gyu who has his family business, but he wants to have a business of his own. Then we have Sandy who is Kabir’s friend, who’s a college dropout and has his own startup creating apps but is not very successful.

We have another Character Ramy(Myra’s friend) to whom people look up to. He is a traveler and a blogger. Kabir and Sandy draw inspiration.

The plot is something that every single person in the corporate rat race can relate to. It has elements of love, friendship, dream, travel and success. The writing is simple and crisp. I completed the book at one go. The book is mentioned as unputdownable on the cover, since its fast-paced. But seriously, it did not let down my expectation and has lived up to it.

Stuti, coming from the corporate background herself has brought out the experiences just as it is in reality.

The one liners and the quotes will inspire anyone with ambitions but has inhibitions to proceed with it. I have listed out some of the one-liners I liked.

I loved the cover and how the title aptly suits the plot. I loved reading the second half especially. The characterization was done brilliantly with no sugar-coating. They were genuine in their portrayal.

Anyone who has a dream of owning a startup should give this book a read. I felt people from other walks of life could find it a little difficult to relate to the experiences noted by Stuti. Though the book is a light read, the amount of experience and self-motivation we gain is a lot. The book makes you self-introspect to think ahead of career and make decisions.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Book name: On the open Road
  • Author: Stuti Changle
  • Paperback:188 pages
  • Publisher:Invincible Publishers & Marketers (2 March 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:9387328465
  • ISBN-13:978-9387328464

The book is available on Amazon https://amzn.to/2zqBsZY

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4.5/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 5/5

Writing and Presentation: 5/5

Overall: 4.5/5

ACCOLADES:

Winner of ‘Notable Mentions’ in Amazon Kindle’s Pen to Publish competition

‘Unputdownable, lively and fast-paced, it promises to inspire the youth to pursue their dreams.’- Ashish Kashyap, founder – Goibibo & redBus

‘The book reflects you and me. A great group of characters who bring life into a great story. It’s a must-read.’- Neha Hinge, Actress & Miss India 2010

Quotes from on the open road:

“Somewhere between the right and the wrong, the past and the future, there lies a now. Don’t let it go. For ‘now’ often leads to a new road!”

“Life proves to be one hell of a ride. All you’ve got to believe is that the things that do not work out lead to the ones that do! As the journey goes on, there’s a lot more to learn.”

” Citylights seem glorious at night, the high rises stand in splendor, in my mind I have a fight,what do I want in life? I wonder! ““Whenever you have a problem, try to enlarge your perspective, look at the sky and the stars.”

“If you feel that the cubicle isn’t for you, build some for others!”

“We belong to a generation full of broken hearts and wandering souls, just blank from the inside, in a constant search for ourselves, looking for something we don’t know yet, in the empty spaces of life. It is not that we can’t do great things, but we’re raised to believe – we can’t!”

“When you work on what you love; it acts like meditation. If each one of us does what we love and pour our heart and soul into it, we would not have to meditate elsewhere at any point in time.”

About the Author (in her own words)

A minimalist at heart, with every passing day, I find myself moving farther from the never-ending quest of owning material possessions and a step closer to owning a vast ocean of experiences. In 2016, at twenty-three, I packed a rucksack and left Mumbai, in search of my true self. I met people with extraordinary stories – the travelers, the entrepreneurs, the artists, the visionaries and the saints, who inspired me to the core and gave a new direction to my life. on the open road draws inspiration from my real-life experiences and I wish to inspire my readers to follow their dreams.

Share your thoughts about the book using the hashtag #OTOR

She interacts with the readers’ community through Instagram Live and Facebook Live. @stutichangle

About the Author

A post-graduate in management from the prestigious B-school IMI, New Delhi and a graduate in Computer Science and Technology.Winner of Notable Mentions in Amazon Kindle’s Pen to Publish Competition.

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Book blitz – The walking horses by Linda S Browning

Parlor Game Mysteries, Book 2

Paranormal Cozy Mystery

Date Published: August 2018

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It all started with a haunted Ouija board in Nashville and the cold case murder of Sophie Mathews. Then, Henry Meyer did not commit suicide in his tobacco barn in Columbia and the case went cold. When Olivia Honeycutt takes on the case of Eloise Venable Freeman, she must accept her paranormal proclivities. Eloise and her infant daughter, Andrea, allegedly died in a horrific fire thirty years ago. Her husband, David, is not satisfied with ashes. David wants answers. Olivia travels to Shelbyville, Tennessee, and the world of the Walking Horses to solve her most challenging mystery to date.

Other Books in the Parlor Game Mysteries Series:


Hanging Tobacco

Parlor Game Mysteries, Book 1

Published: June 2017

Hanging Tobacco is the first book in the Parlor Game Mystery Series. Olivia Honeycutt solved the cold case murder of Sophie Mathews with the help of Sophie’s Ouija board. Now, Olivia and her Nashville detective boyfriend, Presley, tackle the twenty five year old mystery surrounding the death of Henry Meyer. The old man was found hanging from the neck in the rafters of his tobacco barn in Columbia, Tennessee. Was Henry intent on suicide? Or, was it murder? Uncovering the truth behind Henry’s death proves both challenging and life threatening. Not everyone in Columbia wants to know the truth. Olivia takes the Ouija board on the road.

Excerpt

“. . . I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always — take any form — drive me mad! Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!”

EMILY BRONTE, Wuthering Heights

CHAPTER 1

He waits in the shadows as silent and greedy as any panther awaiting its prey. It’s where the game always begins. I approach casually—pretending I don’t know he is there, pretending I don’t know he waits.

          I stand with my back against the refrigerator. At five-feet-something my head doesn’t come anywhere near the top of the appliance. After about one minute, he bops me tentatively on the top of the head with one paw and then retreats. Back he comes with another stealthy bop. I imagine he’s giggling with glee as I turn to sweep Toby from his perch. His giggle is a purr of satisfaction. He’s gotten me again. I’m a successful, professional, thirty-four-year-old woman; yet, I delight in playing this stupid game with a short-haired gray cat that I named Toby—short for Tobacco Cat. How on earth did I allow this to happen? I’ve always made fun of people who went stupid over their pets.

                Toby is approximately six months old and he’s a strange-looking animal—small for a male cat with round chipmunk cheeks. His mother was a small calico barn cat. His father had been a man of the gypsies. The veterinarian is convinced Toby’s blue-gray coloring, heart-shaped head, and large green eyes are distinguishing characteristics for a Korat. What a cat from the regions of Thailand had been doing fraternizing with a Tennessee barn cat was anybody’s guess.

                Five minutes later Presley Warren entered the kitchen with a prowling grace. He’s a big guy. Bull-in-a-china-shop size big. It kinds of ticks me off that he should move so easily and gracefully. I’m a little dinky person and I flail around whatever room I’m in at the time. He leaned into a morning kiss—“Good morning, sunshine!”—smacking his lips afterwards. “Yum, coffee with cream.” Gliding over to the kitchen counter my police detective boyfriend shrugged into the jacket and reached for his to-go cup upended in the dish drainer beside the sink. “Good morning, Toby!” He threw the greeting at the cat. Toby growled into his food dish and I growled into my coffee cup.

            I suffer through mornings as a necessary evil. Something to endure until a more respectable hour rolls around. He leaned over to kiss me goodbye with one hand holding his tie flat and the other grasping the now-filled to-go cup. He had that aftershave wonderful man-smell thing going and I thought fleetingly of grabbing his tie and wrestling him to the kitchen floor. I love the clean weekday man-smell. I’m also fond of the Sunday morning scruffy detective in-need-of-a-shave guy. It’s a toss-up. He grinned down at me as though he could read my mind. “I’ve got to go. Big meeting downtown. What are you doing today?”

                I sighed. “I’m going to make some calls to see what I can scare up.” In a lot of ways I’m jealous of Presley’s job. In a city the size of Nashville there is never a shortage of crime. Presley has job security. I’m a freelance journalist. There is nothing secure about a career in journalism.

     Presley whirled toward the hallway with coffee in one hand and car keys in the other. He called from the front door, “Text me later,” and he was out the door.

     I mumbled to the room. “Elvis has left the building.” Toby didn’t acknowledge the comment. Presley’s jeep rests in the driveway when he stays over. It’s my house so my Mini Cooper gets to live in the one-car garage. Setting my empty coffee mug in the sink I headed upstairs. I’d been awake for at least an hour. It was time for a nap. Presley had awakened me early; banging around in the small shower stall off the master bedroom. He could have showered in the bathroom downstairs, but he prefers to bang around and swear. The shower stall is small, perfect for a single professional hobbit-sized woman. The proudest day of my life had been moving into my fifteen-hundred-square-foot townhome. I fell in love with the soaring cathedral ceilings the moment I saw the place. Peter Pan could fly in here.

                Somehow a goofy-looking cat and a big-footed detective had burrowed their way into my little nirvana when I hadn’t been paying attention. Presley and I don’t live together. He has a small apartment in downtown Nashville. We are casually committed lovers; it’s complicated. We’ve been a couple ever since we laid eyes on one another last June. He is six feet of beat-up handsomeness. I was hooked immediately.

                I snoozed for about a half hour and woke up to Toby sprawled across my ankles in a purring puddle. Leaving the cat on the bed I went to shower and prepare for the day. By the time I re-entered the bedroom, Toby had left to roam the premises. I headed downstairs to the kitchen and my laptop. I was getting antsy for a story. The cold case mystery of Sophie Mathews had sold well throughout Tennessee. If I had included Sophie’s supernatural assistance in the solving of her case via a link with her Ouija board, I probably could have ended up on some national news shows…or even made the front page of the National Inquirer. While I had no problem furthering my career by telling her story, I would never have trivialized it with paranormal shenanigans. Sophie had meant a lot to me.

                A few months after Sophie’s case was put to bed I was invited to look into the cold case of Henry Meyer. When I wrote up Henry’s story and shopped it around, it sold like the funnel cakes at Mule Day weekend in the close town of Columbia—which was where Henry Meyer had not hung himself in his tobacco barn.

                I was bored. I needed to get busy and sell a story. I had a mortgage, a car loan, and a cat to support. I opened my laptop to search for local happenings that I could twist into a story and was immediately intrigued by a recently received email.

To: Miss Olivia Honeycutt

From:  David Owen Freeman

Date: January 19, 2015

     I am in need of your help. I was given this email address by Sheriff Lockheed of Bedford County which he acquired via his professional contacts with the sheriff’s office in Maury County. I was assured this was your business email and not personal. My wife and I have read the journalistic pieces you have written concerning the cold cases of Sophie Mathews of Nashville/Davidson County and Henry Meyer of Columbia/Maury County. My dear wife, Betsy, has encouraged me to write to you in the hope that you will look into the thirty-year-old deaths of my first wife, Eloise Venable Freeman, and infant daughter, Andrea Ilene Freeman. I have long suspected their deaths were the direct result of arson; therefore, they were murdered.


      I sincerely hope you will consider my request. I will personally cover all expenses you incur due to travel and hotel accommodation regardless of the outcome of your investigation. Eloise and Andrea lost their lives in an inferno at the Venable family estate. The official cause of the fire was never determined. However, I have always believed it was arson. There is a cold case at the Shelbyville Police Department filed away as Eloise Venable Freeman and infant daughter. My daughter’s Christian name isn’t even printed on the case file. The remains of my wife were recovered in the rubble. My daughter’s remains were never recovered. I am haunted by the summary in the report of the Fire Marshall. The remains may have been so insignificant that all traces of the infant could have been incinerated in the extreme velocity of the fire. Assuming it was arson (and I do), no motive was ever established. Eloise’s date of death was August 3, 1985.The fire started in the early morning hours of that date.


       Eloise was the daughter of Lawrence Venable. Venable Tennessee Walkers are well known throughout the country for the breed of Tennessee Walking Horses. I can be reached at the phone numbers and email addresses listed below. I will not go into further detail at this time. I sincerely do hope you will consider my request and get in touch.

About the Author

Linda S. Browning is retired from the University of Tennessee, Office of Research and Social Work. She lives with her husband in Middle Tennessee with their thirty-plus year amazon parrot and a young and energetic Bichon/ShihTzu mix. Linda is the author of Leslie & Belinda Mysteries.

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Never ending list of pregnancy myths #myfriendalexa

Pregnancy myths
Pregnancy myths

Pregnancy is deemed the best phase of being a woman. Being born a woman attains full glory when she becomes a mother.

But it’s also the timeline where you get to hear a lot of myths. Not only in our Country, it happens all over the world. So let me list them down for you and you can comment if you came across something more. So let’s get those myths busted.

It starts with the date you conceive. Add the month of conception to your age, the total is even it’s a girl else you’re in for a boy.

Then comes morning sickness, if you have it throughout your first trimester then it’s a girl else if you don’t experience it you have a boy.

Pregnancy glow People have different versions here.

Indian:

“You’re glowing you definitely will have a girl” is what you hear and if it’s the other way , you look tired and dull they say you are having a boy , since the male child draws out all the energy.

Rest of the world:

If you’re dull it means you have a girl, since she takes up all your glow. And if you are glowing and look fabulous you will have a boy.

Carrying high or low, wide or outward:

Pregnancy myth
Pregnancy myth

If you are carrying low and belly is outward, you are probably carrying a boy.

If you are carrying high and belly is wide you are carrying a girl.

Popular pregnancy myths
Popular pregnancy myths

Food habits:

If you crave sweets and dairy rich stuff, you are probably carrying a girl.

If you crave salty and spicy food, you are probably carrying a boy.

Doesn’t it depend on what the woman usually wants to eat?

Pregnancy myths
Pregnancy myths

Fetal heart rate:

If it is over 140 per second you are carrying a girl and if it’s below, you are carrying a boy.

Swelling of nose:

They say if you have a swollen nose it’s probably a girl.

But the actual fact our noses swollen up due to increased estrogen levels.

Wedding ring myth:

Tie a strand of the father’s hair to your wedding ring and swing it over your belly, you are probably carrying a girl if it goes in circles; if it swings back and forth then it’s a boy.

Doesn’t it depend on wind direction?

Stepping over ropes:

It’s considered that stepping on a rope results in umbilical cord coiling around the fetus neck.

In modern days, now it extends to electric chords as well.

Usage of hands:

Ancient days people say If the pregnant woman is seated on floor and when she tries to get up, if she uses her left hand first it would be a boy; if its right you would be carrying a girl.

I don’t think that would change once a woman becomes pregnant. Even when she was ten she would have been using the same hand to get up.

Whatever the above points seem to convey what all mothers want is to have a healthy, cheerful baby. Gender discrimination should not be taking a priority here. No mother will want to abandon a child just because she was expecting the other gender. In the end, he/she is another tiny living human being created by her and who is now dependent on her.

Keep having positive thoughts, surround yourself with loads of happiness, positive vibes and most importantly people with positive vibes. Keep yourself well hydrated and well-fed. And that is all that takes to see your little dude/duddette.

Let’s hear those myths coming and keep nodding heads; get the myths busted. I will always love my baby no matter he/she. A baby is a baby.

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Motherhood Mantra that keeps me going #myfriendalexa

“I am a good Mother; I do my best as a Mother.

Each day I am getting better, life can’t get any better.”

Mom and daughter

This is my mantra these days. I keep saying this to myself. No, I am not under any pressure or depressed.

Repeating this gives me a boost; a sense of accomplishment and gives me a push to go that extra mile and do whatever it takes to keep my daughter happy.

A great start for the day is a lovable hug when she’s up. Though I am up early, (okay let’s say just a couple of minutes or rarely hours), before her, that wait for her hug is so special.

When there are so many things running in your mind and your running here and there, that monosyllable “MAA” from her makes me forget everything.

Mom and daughter

Though I get angry with things lying around, after she’s left at my mom’s place in the morning I do enjoy replaying stuff in my mind- the tiny blocks or alphabet chunks lying around, the vessels and Tupperware boxes misplaced, that cute teddy inside my coffee filter. All these make me forget that this is part of a household chore that I am doing.

Those teeny tiny hands mixing an empty bowl with spoon and feeding you, pulling your hair is all instances that need to linger around in mind always.

Even if you try concentrating hard at work, a corner of your mind just keeps thinking that she is okay. Those blank phone calls or the beep beep sounds from the keypad when you call her is all a bliss.

When you reach home and you know she is there waiting for you, and watch her eyes glow in excitement on seeing you makes you the happiest person in the word.

Listening to her stories of what she did throughout the day (okay technically not stories) I mean even if it is gibberish, it’s good to hear.

Cuddling her, getting her dressed to bed, making her sleep and falling asleep with her is indeed the best way to end my day. And so the next day starts, yes with the same mantra.

I am a good Mother; I do my best as a Mother.

Each day I am getting better, life can’t get any better.”

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