Friday, 30 December 2016

Book: 31 Miles - Story that showcases conflicts of 'What We Want' and 'What We Should Do'


Read Review Policy Here

Title: 31 Miles: Can We Ever Win Against Ourselves?
Author: Vinita Bakshi
Publisher: Rupa Publishers
Pages: 234
Price: Rs. 233
My Rating: 4.5/5

Mansa has the perfect family life—a husband, two daughters and a big house. But she feels that something is missing. Her frustration with being just a homemaker intensifies. After shifting to a major city, she decides to take the reins of her life in her own hands, she decides to step out and seek a career.While enjoying the new-found freedom and confidence, she completely immerses herself in her work and her new life. Till one fateful day when she finds herself embroiled in a passionate affair—with an online lover. And then everything falls apart!
31 Miles is the story of a woman who finds her own worth after marriage and works towards self-emancipation. Will she give it all up for the elusive mirage created by the stranger? What turn will her life take next?

Some books are meant to touch your heart and some books force you to relate to your life (past or present) and 31 miles is one of them.

Set around the life of Mansa, it is a simple yet interesting tale of a woman who decides to do something with her life and not just be a homemaker. As she takes first steps towards her career, she finds herself entangled in an online affair. It sounds stupid I know but many people commit this mistake of trusting someone blindly.
The story simply displays whom to trust and to whom not. In a way it is also a lesson for everyone (especially teenagers).

The characters are very well written and are bound together well.

The dialogues are also nicely written and some romantic themes come out beautifully. Read to know what I am talking about.

Overall it is a nice read and my rating to the book is 4.5/5

You can grab your copy here.

The review copy of this book was shared with me by Kalamos Literary Services

Love and Cheers

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Meet Kamini Kusum: Author who touches feminist issues...

  • Hi Kamini, please tell us something about yourself. 

Ans- I am a management professional by day and a writer by night. Story telling has always been my passion and I intend to do it lifelong

  • You are a writer, professional and a mother of 2, how do you manage?

Its actually difficult but if you crave for something and become restless if you don’t get that, then you design all the ways to achieve it. Passion is always the driving force.

  • Your book revolves around women and their issues. Any specific source of motivation?

All the five characters in my book are inspired by some real life incidences. Story “Madam Bureaucrat” is more or less the life of one my close friend, though a writer’s imagination too has gone along with it. Strong women characters were always there in my mind which had to be brought out to the world.
  • Which part of publishing process is most difficult for you? Writing/Editing/Publishing/Marketing? And Why?

For me, now it is marketing. A new product from a new brand definitely faces difficulty to some extent but that’s fine. I believe in my work and hope it would find its place.
  • What kind of books do you read? Any favourite authors/books?

I read both English and Hindi Novels- anything that touches the emotions. Among Indian writers, I prefer reading Shobha de, Jhumpa Lahiri, Mridula Garg(Hindi), Nirmal Verma(Hindi) and among foreign writers, Danielle Steel, Nicolas Sparks, John Grasim.
Daniale Steel is my favourite and I wish, someday just like her, I could churn out 3-4 novels a year.
  • Traditional vs. Self-Publishing? Which one is better as per you? Why?

My first book “Secrets, sins and struggles” is self published through Zorba Books .I self published because I didn’t want  to wait for ages to bring this work of mine out to the world. Moreover there was greater control in my hands throughout the publishing process. Zorba has been really good. But in future I would look forward to work with good literary agents and established traditional publishers.
  • What were the key challenges that you face while you write? 

 Nothing specific. Stories have always been there in my mind for years and I don’t hunt for words. I don’t add ornamental or fluffy words. I write whatever naturally comes out as a part of storytelling. Yeah, sometimes when I look for twists , I do pause for some days.
  • Are there any words of wisdom that you would like to share with other authors?

I am still a fresher in this industry with my first book just out .I am myself still learning. But one thing I must say, let’s not follow or try to mimic a success. Let’s be ourselves and pen down what we are good in. Success finds its own path and no need to follow the beaten route.
  • Any other projects you are working on? Yes, what are they?

I am midway my next book. That’s an emotional and inspiring novel centered around a male protagonist. Should be out hopefully by the last quarter of 2017.
  • Lastly, if you have to describe your book in few lines, how will you do it?

“Never say die” is the attitude of those five women who fought all the odds in their lives to live their dreams.

I wish Kamini all the very best in her present and future endeavors.

Get to know Kamini here.

Please do leave your comments and if the book intrigued you, do grab a copy from following link:

Love and Cheers

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Book: A Girl in Love with a Beggar - A Philosophical Romance


Read Review Policy Here

Title: A Girl in Love with a Beggar
Author: Anuj
Publisher: Kalamos Literary Services
Pages: 160
Price: Rs. 175
My Rating: 3.5/5

She wants to know on what bases life is measured; is it on the bases of sacrifice you made to make people happy around you or on the bases of fights you fought to get the things that made you happy. And the question is what the limit to this sacrifice or to this fight is? He wants to relinquish this world. He wants to die. He has reached the place where dreams end and desires die. Where questions become unworthy of answers. Where life becomes dear and death becomes new life. They shared life. They shared fate. They become each other's moksha. They fall in love to complete each other. They fall in love to play their part in this eternal game.

If you are into masala romance then this is not the book for you. 'A girl in love with a beggar' is one book that takes romance to next level and engulfs it with philosophy.

This is the second book by Anuj and it is very safe to say that he is very passionate about philosophy and likes to treat his readers with not just romance/common story but instead he likes to educate his readers. Additionally, he motivates them to think about life and beyond materialism.

As the title suggests, the book revolves around a girl named Shona who finds herself mesmerized by a beggar - Kabir. It is story about how they meet, get together and how their relationship takes turns and reaches a complete new level.

The characterization in the book is decent and you can feel linked to each character. The story flow is decent too.

What I didn't like was certain grammar/spell mistakes. When reading with such engrossment, sudden editing issues prove irritating. Also, at some places the philosophy was a little to much for me at some places. I had to read it in three-go's as I was like 'enough for one sitting' LOL.

Overall, it is a pretty good read and teaches one many things. 

You can grab your copy here.

PS: The review copy of this book was shared with me by Kalamos Literary Services

Love and Cheers

Friday, 16 December 2016

Book: Kashmir 90 - Story of Love, Tragedy and Mesmerizing Kashmir

#BookReviews #Kashmir90

Read Review Policy Here

Title: Kashmir 90
Author: Vineet Singh
Publisher: Leadstart Publishers
Pages: 216
Price: Rs. 225
My Rating: 3.5/5

The story Kashmir 90 starts in 2011 and travels back in time accidentally over an animated conversation between two friends, Vineet and Shiv. The heart-wrenching and the most unfortunate events of 1989-1990 in Kashmir caused the ripples which gave rise to this roller coaster tale that destiny wrote for Shiv. Shiv Pandit, a proud Kashmiri young boy of the valley and a darling of his local community, who has the world on his feet after getting admission in College of Srinagar, starts his journey of becoming a man from a boy along numerous other youngsters from all across the country. During the hostel life meets new roommates and develops a great bond with them through few hilarious and funny events. He also develops a soft corner toward a girl name Maya from Kerala. The college life was like a dream for him. In the background, the extremist fringe was spreading the lethal hate in the air Kashmir. The hate bomb when exploded and shook the soul of Kashmir, the causality was the Kashmiri Pandit community. The college was also closed down and the students who had gone for a winter break could never return to college! Shiv loses his roots, his college, his cradle and his love. He finds himself at junction of unknown crossroads of life. This new path of destiny takes him to different parts of the country to rediscover faith in humanity, friendship and love. In turn, it brings along new relationships, disappointments, fun, thrill and adventures. But the changing politics of the country, Ram Janmabhoomi movement and Bombay riots create surge in his life and cause a chain reaction that brings him to a point where once again he finds himself in a situation where he could lose it all! Will he again accept the fate and drift along or fight for his treasure of life?

Kashmir 90 revolves around a carefree boy, Shiv, who sees his life turn upside down when various incidents take place in his life. The story is written around majestic Kashmir and you could not help feel the desire to actually visit the place.
The story is in multiple timelines in which he grows into a man from a boy. He falls in love, is separated from his beloved, falls in love again and finally gets his happily ever after.

Talking about the characters, they are well written and explained. They are well woven into the story and are narrated well.

What I liked about the book is the way story evolves. Various tragedies are woven together and you can actually feel what tough time it must be for everyone... People lose their sanity in such crisis but coming back to life is commendable. The love affairs are also well written.

What I didn't like is the climax and how Shiv's life changes in the end. It feels like he loses essence of everything. Plus, the ending is bit abrupt. The whole book is a smooth ride except for the end.

Overall it is decent read and you can grab a copy here.

My rating: 3.5/5.

Hope you enjoy it too.

Love and Cheers

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Mega Giveaway


Hello everyone, Kalamos Literary Services is proud to announce its first ever Mega Giveaway. giveaway We invite all book lovers out there to participate in this giveaway and make this event a success. Rules:
1. The participant must be a resident of India.
2. The participant must have an Amazon account.
3. The participant can enter in maximum of 3 books giveaway, not more than that.
4. The participant will have to comment in the comment box of Colors of Life blog. In the comment please mention name and author of the book, and note that includes your views and expectations from the book.
5. Multiple entries are not allowed.
6. The winners will be selected by the authors themselves.

Below are the books you can win-

Friday, 9 December 2016

Book: Secrets, Sins & Struggles - Stories of Women, Betrayal and Manipulation


Indian Bloggers
Read Review Policy Here

Title: Secrets, Sins & Struggles
Author: Kamini Kusum
Publisher: Zorba Books
Pages: 211
Price: Rs. 199
My Rating: 3/5

"This collection of tales about the lives and loves of five women traces their long, eventful journeys. 
Meet Pooja, a teenager forced into the flesh trade but determined to escape and get justice. 
Shrawani who dreams of becoming a bureaucrat despite all the trials life throws her way. 
Avni who is torn between her childhood friend and her brand-new boyfriend. 
Harsha who is trapped in a loveless arranged marriage while still being haunted by thoughts of her forsaken lover. 
Geshna who falls head over heels for a high school sweetheart only to find her own life shrinking to accommodate his. 

These stories are about the odds stacked against these women in their paths to love and success, and their hope that the next turn that they make will be the one that leads them to the happiness they are longing for. "

Now this is the first collection of novellas that I have read and it took me just a couple of hours to finish them. The benefit of reading a collection - you don't get bored and before you know it, next story begins.
More or less equally divided, this books contains 5 stories and each revolves around a certain issue faced by women. However honestly, although issues faced are different but it primarily centers around one theme - "How women are stupid enough to trust so easily and how (most) men take advantage of it". I am thankful to God as I cannot relate to any single story mentioned in the book but reading through I felt really bad for all the girls out there who actually have faced or are facing such problems.

Talking about and rating each story:
  1. Brothel to Assembly: Story of Pooja. It is a heart-touching story of flesh trade. If I were the author I wouldn't have kept this first but I know why she did it. It is the best one out of five. It is really sad and pitiful. As I read it, I felt the pain that Pooja felt and how miserable she was.  I really liked the ending but I would have liked it better if vengeance was served... it was missing. My rating to this story - 4/5
  2. Love, Corporate and Custody:  Story of Geshna. It is a story of love and loss. It clearly states that when a girl devotes herself truly to a guy, she will do anything for him. Same happens with Geshna. It is well written story which narrates her devotion, admiration and true love for her boyfriend. And how he reciprocates in not so expected manner. My rating to this story - 3.5/5
  3. Madam Bureaucrat: Story of Shrawani. Oh I disliked this story... I wish author could have added a better one because this, well this was weird and I really wonder if girls are so-so-so stupid ever (I guess some are. Sigh!). It is one where an ambitious girl is manipulated and is stupid enough to not see the pattern (despite her intelligent friend repeatedly reminding her). My rating to this story - 1.5/5
  4. Sin: Story of Harsha. This story proves that all girls are not angels and all men are not mean. Opposite is also true. In here Harsha finds the best husband any girl can ask for (she actually gets even better) yet she engages herself in extra-marital affair. Well, we all know what is the tragic climax of such affairs! While reading you just wonder how can a woman be so mean and dumb? And all girls would wish to have a husband like hers. What he did in this story is just commendable and more or less impossible... read the story to know more. My rating to this story - 3/5
  5. That Rave Party Night: Story of Avni. Another average story in the book but still better than the third. Avni, a naive girl from a small town falls for a hunk and potentially becomes a prey to sexual predators in a Rave party. What I liked about this story is how she takes revenge. My rating to this story is 2.5/5
Overall it is a decent book and given it is the debut book of the author, I would say she has done a commendable job.
Characters in each story are well written and connected. There are no grammatical errors in the book, which for a change was pleasant.  And except for 4th, each story followed a smooth pattern, in 4th it actually ended slight abruptly. 

My rating to the book overall is 3/5...

You can grab the copy here.

Love and Cheers

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Book - My Blind Father: A book that redefines child psychology


Read Review Policy Here

Title: My Blind Father
Author: Anuj
Publisher: Kalamos Publishers
Pages: 139
Price: Rs. 125
My Rating: 3.5/5

A story teaching the nation... This story will take you into the depths of child psychology to understand the child, to help the child, to provide them an environment where then can grow to their best potentials. From the beginning of civilization, we are growing by ignoring child. Because it is very easy to ignore a child, you can tell them to shut up. You can force them to sit silently, so we forget how to understand a child. Your world is perfectly well without understanding a child. But now you can see the results. Ignoring a child, disrespecting the freedom of a child is producing criminals in the society. Now we need to understand a child to make our society crimeless. This book is to help everyone to understand the child. To make our civilization more civilized.

My blind father is a story of a father-son relationship and how it evolves overtime. Firstly, child psychology is not my cup of tea as it bothers me but this book was completely different. It redefines child psychology and takes it a new level.

The story is about a child Om, who first steps into school when he is nine years old. Given he is not bound to Indian educational system, he is way ahead in terms of understanding life and maturity level. What I liked was how he sees world from a complete different lens and how some genuine people really appreciate this lens.

As I started reading this book, I was completely hooked. There are very few books of which you want to read every single word and in the beginning it was one of them. Certain narrations are brilliant and at places it could be a good guide for parents. For example on morning walks, author has brilliantly written why children hate to wake up early. 
Small kids used to ask their parents to go on morning walks with them, but then parents didn’t allow them. Their reason is obvious; safety, but after a few years, when they started enjoying sleeping in and their laziness, then the parents dragged them out, physically and mentally, to go out for a morning walk. The child, then gets angry and his anger is reasonable; he was forced to do something. That innocent child was simply enjoying his sleep, and now you forced him to do something. You dragged him out of something which he has been enjoying for years. Of course, he will be against it, whatever it is. Doesn’t matter how beautiful, how refreshing and how healthy it is.

The writing style is also good, author has done good job in making the book interactive. You feel like he is actually reading it aloud to you.

What I didn't like about the book is the small mistakes here and there. Unfortunately our computers don't tell us when we misspell some words like 'keens' instead of 'knees'. LOL!

At places I also felt like that certain narrations were not required, but hey, it was author's choice and he must have thought it through. Also, certain narrations were not closed right in the flow, which I felt weird.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the book but second half I felt dragged. Maybe it was because I was reading continuously and it got overwhelming. It got 'too much' but still I finished it and mostly liked it to the end. 

My rating to this book is 3.5/5.

You can grab your copy here.

Love & Cheers

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Book: Ashvamedha - Ultimate Climax That Will Surprise You And Will Shock You...

#Ashvamedha  #BookReview

Indian Bloggers
Read Review Policy Here

Title: Ashvamedha: The Game of Power
Author: Aparna Singh
Publisher: Shrishti Publishers
Pages: 227
Price: Rs. 137
My Rating: 4.5/5

"You have to dethrone a powerful man to become the most powerful. I was itching to defeat the single most powerful person, but there wasn't any. I was left with only one choice — to create one."

Little does Ashwin Jamwal know that the last twenty-five years of his life have been controlled by a master manipulator, who wanted to make him the most powerful man on earth, though for a reason! Ashwin steps up to take oath as the youngest Prime Minister of India and is unknowingly thrown into a vortex of power and authority as the entire world is threatened by a faceless enemy — Hades.

The world starts to look up to Ashwin as the savior, but he was just a pawn, reared only to be sacrificed in the end.

A story of greed, lies, deceptions, manipulations and corruption, Ashvamedha is a thriller revolving around the infamous game of power in a maddening bid to seek absolute control.

I am not a fan of politics but ever since our new PM took office my perspective has changed. And I am glad it did else I would have missed on reading this book.

Written with precision and vivid details, Ashvamedha is a promising book with very good story line. From start to end I was hooked to it and really liked every aspect that was narrated.

The plots and twist are beautifully written and one can never guess who this 'Hades' is... The suspense will keep you on your toes and you wont be able to put down the book despite the late hours.

In terms of writing it is rather matured and well connected. The characters are decently described and linked. I didn't see any random characters appearing (which can be a turn off) and even if they did, they were introduced.

The dialogues at places are rather good. To quote one here:
"We know what is right or wrong. What we should do and what not. We have an angel on one shoulder and devil sitting on the other. Sadly, the devil is louder. But when we go to bed at night and all voices fade, we hear our heartbeat"

The only issue with the book is some minor grammatical/spelling mistakes which, going with the flow, seemed weird. Also there is over-use of complicated words. I am sure this could have been avoided but apart from these it is a pretty fine read.

My rating for the book is 4.5/5 and I would recommend this to everyone who likes to read drama, thrill with political background.

You can grab your copy here.

The review copy of this book was shared with me by Author Paradise

Love and Cheers