Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty #BookReview

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty #BookReview

After a forced sabbatical of two months from reading,  I finally read ‘Big Little Lies’ by Liane Moriarty.  To say that I loved the book is an understatement.  It was one of the best books I read recently.  Though it is not as classy as say ‘Homegoing‘ or ‘Em and the Big Hoom‘,  it is a book which has got its priorities right.  I have seen the now popular HBO series of the same name and also read some reviews of the book.  Some reviewers have even dismissed this as ‘chicklit’.  I am not sure since when did murder mysteries and domestic abuse become chicklit.

The author has in a light manner touched upon some very serious topics.  Big Little Lies highlights domestic violence,  deceptions,  the fake world of Facebook.  The Indian politicians should watch this series to understand ‘marital rape’ which they are in denial in India as we they claim ‘it is against our culture’.  At the end of the book,  Celeste sums it up nicely when she says. ‘It can happen to anyone’.  The thing that disturbed me more was the ordinariness of it all.  It is all written in a matter of fact way with no flowery language or sensationalism. Continue reading

Book Blitz : The Untold Story by Ridhi Drolia

Book Blitz : The Untold Story by Ridhi Drolia

 

 
THE UNTOLD STORY
by
Ridhi Drolia
 
 
Blurb
 
Love comes in different forms. But in all its forms, it comes with various challenges. Only those who can combat those challenges are true lovers. 
 
The Untold Story is the tale of Vihaan and Riaa. Vihaan falls for Riaa’s charms at first sight and brings to her life crazy adventures and madness. They soon emerge as two hearts with one soul and their intimate fantasies begin to unravel in exotic places. 
 
Their bond experience more downs than ups. These unexpected twists and turns bring Vihaan and Riaa closer and their romantic tale turn into one of lifetime bonding. 
 
The story takes a drastic turn after the lovely couple is blessed with a baby boy. It should be a joyous moment, but instead, haunting memories of Vihaan’s own childhood break out as a fresh wound in his mind. 
 
Read the novel to know what could make a father unhappy in the happiest moment of his life and how he combats his fear. 
 
Caution: The story is totally addictive and may arouse your sexual urge.

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About the author
 
 
Ridhi Drolia

In the author’s own words:
 
“The passion of writing is deep rooted in my blood. 
 
After completing my Global Business Management certification from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, I joined hands with a few of my friends to start my first venture. 
 
Post my stint with the venture, I engaged myself in my lovely family life and now I present to you the author in me.”
 
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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald #BookReview

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald #BookReview

September 24th is the birthday of F. Scott Fitzgerald.  It’s a fact I came to know because of Twitter and I wanted to write about him.  Of course,  I do not know much about him personally.  I have also just read one book written by him.  In fact, I saw the movie first and loved it.  I was not sure if I should read the book.  But,  it is really a short read.  And so I read ‘The Great Gatsby’.  For once,  the movie matched up to the book.  It was so well done.  The movie very well captures the small nuances and the layers of narration in the book.

The Great Gatsby is also a criticism about the American Dream.  It paints the era of the 20s as a garish era, and divides people into those having old money and new money.  It  shows the lives of people like Tom and Daisy Buchanan who live a life of luxury and do not care about others.  On the other hand,  it shows the aspirations of the new moneyed people like The Great Gatsby and everyone in between like Nick and Daisy’s friend Jordan.  It shows the new moneyed people flaunting their riches, leading extravagant lives, and indulging in lavish parties.  It is more famously known as the ‘Jazz age’.

Strangely, when this book was released,  it was not a success.  But over time it has acquired a cult following and has been successful.  It has been made into an Oscar award winning movie.

The Plot

Mr. Gatsby lives alone in a mansion and throws spectacular parties every weekend.  Everyone is invited.  Practically the whole city comes over to have free booze and food.  It is like a circus.  They all claim to be Mr. Gatsby’s friends but surprisingly no one seems to know him,  or oddly even see him.  Gatsby sends out a personal invitation to his neighbour Nick Carraway.  Nick lives in a small, cozy cottage and is not really impressed by Gatsby’s riches.  He listens to speculations about him as to where he could have made his millions from.  When Nick attends one of the parties and actually meets Gatsby,  he comes across as a bit odd.  Because,  Mr. Gatsby is trying too hard to impress Nick.  Much of what he says seem to be lies to Nick, but he surely has the money.  Soon Nick realises that Gatsby is trying to impress him so that Nick gets him to meet his cousin Daisy.  Gatsby and Daisy had an affair in their younger days but practicality made her marry Tom Buchanan instead of Gatsby, the soldier who had no background.  So, Gatsby has risen to be rich now and all he wants is Daisy to be back with him to make his world perfect.

Describing Gatsby’s love for Daisy, her friend Jordan says that ‘The officer looked at Daisy while she was speaking, in a way that every young girl wants to be looked at sometime, and because it seemed romantic to me I have remembered the incident ever since.  His name was Jay Gatsy.’   This is how simply the author describes how Daisy fell in love with Gatsby or vice-versa.  Gatsby looked at Daisy as if she is a princess in another world,  a world which is so much different from his.

So Daisy is fine with having an affair with Gatsby since she knows she doesn’t love her husband Tom and also as Tom is having his own set of ‘other women’.  But,  it is a marriage which is safe, dependable, rich and beautiful.  She has no reason to complain.  She is almost on the verge of leaving her husband considering that Gatsby can now offer her everything.  Gatsby gleefully tells her husband Tom, ‘Your wife doesn’t love you. She’s never loved you.  She loves me.’  This angers Tom but just gets Gatsby more excited.  He loves it and rubs it in by saying, ‘She never loved you,  do you hear? She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me.  It was a terrible mistake,  but in her heart she never loved any one except me!’

But his happiness is short-lived as everything goes wrong since this moment.  The ending is unhappy.  Because by then you are rooting for Gatsby and want to knock some sense into Daisy’s head so that she decides fast whom she loves but all the while you are hoping that Daisy loves Gatsby as much as Gatsby loves her.

My take

If you are an aspiring writer,  The Great Gatsby is an education in writing.  It is beautifully written.  Gatsby’s neighbour and Daisy’s cousin Nick is the narrator here.  This gives insights into the personality and lives of Daisy and Gatsby, both.  The story goes a bit to and fro with pasts woven in with the present.  It shows us why Gatsby behaves in certain ways.  It is really a quick read and can be done in less than two hours.  But the story packs in so much emotion.  At the end of it,  I have fallen hopelessly in love with The Great Gatsby and hate everyone in the book who doesn’t.

If you do not want to read the book,  watch the movie with Leonardo Di Caprio as the lead.  It brings the whole story to life, in exactly the same way imagined by the author.  Even the dialogues are the same.

The Age of Kali by Falguni Kothari

The Age of Kali by Falguni Kothari

★.•**•.★ Soul Warrior Book Blast ★.•**•.★ 
15th to 17th September, 2017
 
 
The Age of Kali is a series of mythic fantasy novels by international bestselling novelist Falguni Kothari. The first book of the series, Soul Warrior, introduces readers to a fictional law-governed Cosmos made up of heavenly, demonic and human realms and its protagonist, Lord Karna, the legendary guardian of the Human Realm, who is coerced into training six godlings into demon hunters against a rising demon army. The series arc interlocks into a war of domination between the Light and Dark forces of the Cosmos and the race to control the one soul capable of total cosmic annihilation, demi-god Karna’s and Draupadi’s secret child.
 
 
Get Your Copy from AMAZON
 
 
 
 
Praise for Soul Warrior:
 

“A beautiful exploration of fantasy and mythology, Soul Warrior (The Age of Kali) is the latest release from Falguni Kothari and by any stretch of the imagination she’s delivered an awesome story. Rich, enchanting, evocative, she effortlessly blends an ancient Indian epic and South Asian mythology with grace and quiet elegance to create the canvas upon which her miraculous world finds form…. Beautifully written and enviably imaginative, Soul Warrior proves an exemplary example of Fantasy Fiction. Definitely deserving of your attention it is recommended without reservation!”
   —Book Viral 


“I loved the writing which… hit that nice spot between being evocative and descriptive and still keeping the story moving….It has a huge cast of fascinating characters, a deep and rich world and definitely something I’m interested in following.”
   —Fangs for Fantasy 


“I loved the way Ms. Falguni has shown an eye for the details scattered throughout the novel…. Will I recommend this book? Oh yes, and be assured you will grab the next one too just to know more about the Soul Warrior.”
  —Global Asian Times 


“The plot is intriguing, much in the tradition of a modern thriller…. Precisely sketched and nuanced with quirky detail, the characters enrich the story they inhabit…. The vibrant characters in the multi-hued setting are the stuff superhero animation films are made of. Soul Warrior engrosses and enthralls. A thumping good read, I would say.”
  —Of Prose and Poetry blog 




Read an Excerpt:

SHUNYA: NOTHING AND EVERYTHING





Kuru Kshetra Battlefield.
        Day 17 of the Great Kuru War, seven thousand five hundred years ago.




Death is hot.


That surprises me. I’d imagined death as cold and brutal. Merciless. But in truth, death is hot as blood, and constant like a heartbeat.


Thrum. Thrum. Thrum. My lifeblood ebbs to the rhythm. My head ripped from its torso by Anjalika, the arrow of death that burns even now with the energy of the sun. Struck from behind like some novice. Felled in battle by that lily-livered usurper the Heavens smile upon—Prince Arjun. Brother Arjun.


What have I done?


I harness the thought. Cease all reflection and wrench free of my mortal body. I soar up, up into the gloaming, snapping the ties that tether me to life. Dead, I have no use for ties.


“A matter of perspective, Karna, O son of my godsire.” The unearthly words strum through the air, and I quiver like a plucked bowstring, overcome as much by the voice as its blasphemous claim. 


“Bonds of devotion nourish the soul, brother.”


There is that word again. Brother. Unpleasant laughter wells up in me. Alive, I am abandoned, denied my birthright—Celestial or royal. Death, it seems, changes everything.


A bright, nebulous light brings forth Lord Yama, the God of Death, atop his divine mount. His elephantine thighs ripple beneath a silken dhoti, ochre and crimson of color, as he guides the mammoth water buffalo to a halt. An iron medallion sways against the God’s powerful cerulean torso, its center stone an ethereal blood orange.


Hypnotic. Pulsing with life. I am drawn to the stone.


“Piteous waste,” Lord Yama mutters, surveying the carnage of war far below us.


I trace the trajectory of his gaze and behold the battered remains of my army drenched in the evidence of its mortality. Is it true? Have we died in vain?


Words form inside me and I will them out. “Shall we go, my lord?”


“Ha! Impatient to be judged, are you? Anxious to have your fate revealed?” asks the Judge of the Hell Realm. His red-black eyes burn with intelligence and compassion in a blue-tinged face that is long and lean and hard. “Rest easy, brother-warrior. You are not bound for the Great Courtroom.”
Not bound for Hell? Where then? Fear has eluded me for so long that I take a moment to recognize it. 


A hollow-bellied feeling it is, as annoying as a bone stuck in my throat.


“My lord, I have done bad deeds…terrible deeds in my life. I have waged wars, this horrendous bloodshed, and all because my pride could not—would not abide rejection. I have sinned. I must atone for my actions.”


Lord Yama smiles in a way I do not like. “You have redeemed yourself admirably, Karna. You forfeited your life for the greater good today. The deed far outweighs any misguided ones. Be at peace, brother, and enjoy the fruits of your karma.”


There is but one place to enjoy such fruits—the Higher Worlds.


I’d rather burn in Hell for eternity. I say so. “I won’t live amongst the Celestials.” Coexisting with the very souls who’ve spurned me is unthinkable. Watching her—for she would surely reside in Heaven soon—will be eternal torture.


Yama shakes his head, the horns on his crown slashing to and fro. “I thought you might say that. Relax. Your destiny lies elsewhere.”


“Am I to be reborn then? Am I to begin a new life, and forget the past?” Pain, sharp as a blade, lances through me at the thought. Forget my past? My family? Even her? Was that my punishment? To forget all that made me human?


It must be so. For have I not betrayed them as surely as I’ve betrayed my prince regent?


“Human rebirth is not your destiny, either. You are chosen, brother. Your war skills are needed for a higher purpose.” The God slips off his mount, his garments rustling in agitation. “This unjust war has pushed the Cosmos to the vortex of a cataclysm. Tomorrow, the Kuru War will end. Fearing its outcome, the Celestials rolled the Die of Fate and have unwittingly bestowed on Demon Kali untold powers.” Lord Yama bares his fangs in disgust at the foolish gamble. “Imagine the havoc that asura and his minions will wreak on the weak if left unchecked. The Human Realm must be safeguarded during Kali’s dark reign.”


I can imagine the horror only too well as I have battled with evil all my life. But I am done with wars. 
I am done with defeat. I won’t waste another lifetime fighting.


“With due respect, my lord, I am not the man for this task.”


“You are not a man at all,” Yama thunders, fists shaking. “You are the son of Surya, the Sun God. Accept that you are no ordinary soul.”


I say nothing. I think nothing. I feel something but I squash it down.


Lord Yama’s thick black brows draw together. “Demon Kali will try to pervade every particle of good that exists in the Cosmos, beginning with the corruptible Human Realm. Once he obliterates all of humanity, he’ll set his sights on the Celestials. Kali will not stop until he’s destroyed our way of life. But you can stop him. You are light to his darkness. Do you understand now why you had to betray him? Your beloved humans need you, Karna. I need you. Our father believes in you. Claim your rightful place in the Cosmos.”


Impatiently, Lord Yama removes the iron medallion from his neck and holds it out. The vermillion sunstone glows as if its soul is on fire. Nay! It is my soul that is on fire.


Indescribable energy curls through me. I gasp, though not in pain. I shudder and feel myself grow large, grow hot. Was this rebirth?


I am strong, full-bodied and lethal once more. Then I roar as light bursts forth from my very core and I throb with glorious, blinding power. When I come to myself, my world has changed again. Bubbles of color shimmer all around me: cobalt and saffron, azure and rose. By karma! They are souls. Infinite floating souls.


“Behold the spectrum of life: the worthy, the notorious, the righteous and the sinners.” The God of Death’s soul was a worthy sapphire blue with a tinge of silver. “Your duty, should you choose to accept the office of the Soul Warrior, is to hunt down the red-souled asuras and crush them. Whatever you decide, I wish you a long and successful Celestial existence, Karna,” Yama booms out and vanishes into the purpling sky.


The parley has stunned me. The world of color holds me in thrall. I was dead. Yet, now I am not. A new path lies before me. Unwanted, unwelcome, I insist on principle. I close my eyes. Open them to stare at the medallion cupped in my hand—a golden-hued hand at once familiar and not—and know myself for a fool. I do want this. It’s what I am.


Bastard-born. Rebel. Son. Husband. Father. Warlord. And protector. I fist the talisman, buoyed by its concrete warmth. This is who I am.


I am the Soul Warrior.

 
 
About the Author:
 
 

Falguni Kothari is a New York-based South Asian author and an amateur Latin and Ballroom dance silver medalist with a semi-professional background in Indian Classical dance. She’s published in India in contemporary romance with global e-book availability; Bootie and the Beast (Harlequin Mills and Boon) and It’s Your Move, Wordfreak! (Rupa & Co.), and launches a mythic fantasy series with Soul Warrior (The Age of Kali, #1)I’m embarrassed to admit how many social media accounts I own :

Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads * Pinterest

 
 

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