A Conversation with Jyoti Arora

BLW: Let’s welcome the successful Indian author Jyoti Arora, a post graduate in English Literature and Applied Psychology, with two published novels, over five years of freelance writing experience, developing books for kids and abridging 24 famous English novels like Jane Eyre, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn etc. to Book Lover’s World.

Jyoti Arora: Thank you very much. I’m delighted to be able to express my views on such a platform.

BLW: Firstly, congratulations on the grand success of your second book Lemon Girl. Tell us a little about yourself.

Jyoti Arora:Thanks. It is indeed a great pleasure to see Lemon Girl receiving so much love from readers and critics.

When I was a child, books used to fascinate me more than chocolates, toffees or toys.

As for me, I have always loved books. And I am happy that I am able to pursue this love of books and turn it into a career. When I was a child, books used to fascinate me more than chocolates, toffees or toys. Even when I couldn’t read, I loved looking at the colourful pictures in the books. And I loved the fragrance of newly printed books, even if they were just school books.

I am a patient of Thalassemia Major. Due to complications arising from this, I was not able to go to school after class seventh. After that, I pursued all my studies through correspondence courses. Studying on my own meant loss of all my classmates and most of my friends. At that time, books really did become my best friends and kept me entertained and happy.

And now, books are the ones that are filling my heart with dreams and aspirations and giving me a reason to look forward to the future with hope.

Other than books, I love technology and spend a lot of time trying out new gadgets, apps and websites. I also enjoy listening to old Bollywood songs.

I am currently living in Ghaziabad with my parents and working from home with an IT recruitment agency.

BLW: We know that you are one awesome writer. Tell us about your book Lemon Girl, what it means to you, and how did you conceive the idea of writing a Feminist Fiction? How long did it take to write this book?

Jyoti Arora: Well, I did not write Lemon Girl because I wanted to write a Feminist Fiction. It just rose out of my disgust with what I was seeing and hearing around me. I had the basic idea of the story in my mind since many years. But I probably would have picked up a happier and lighter theme for my second novel. But then, the Nirbhaya incident happened. And as shocking as it was, the responses that it got from some people were even more shocking. After that, the sexual abuse of women and blaming them for all such crimes seemed to have become almost a fashion. I felt very disturbed with all this. And that is why the idea that I might have developed as a romance or general fiction ended up being developed as a feminist fiction and raising a protest against the crimes against women.

It took me about a year to write the book and then several more months to revise, revise, revise it.

BLW: Lemon Girl, a feminist fiction, written based on the grave social issues in India. We would like to know the home work you did to write this book.

Jyoti Arora: I researched about the post-traumatic effects of abuse and how a victim of such abuse might behave. What coping mechanisms she might employ. Having done Master’s in Psychology, I was already familiar with these concepts. That helped me in developing the character of Nirvi.

Some scenes of the book are based in Rishikesh. I did some research about that place too. Although, as my father hails from Hardwar, I’m a little familiar with Rishikesh as well.

BLW: What were your biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process?

Jyoti Arora: Since my Lemon Girl released, it has been reviewed by many different reviewers. And all those reviews have taught me how differently one single work can be viewed by different people. Lemon Girl has received much love and appreciation from all reviewers. But surprisingly, different people are highlighting different aspects, portions and sentences of it as their favourite. Some liked the feminist aspect of the book, some like the romantic, some praised its psychological insights and some appreciated the spiritual journey of Nirvi.

The responses I have got for my two novel have also taught me that characters that are too good are considered unrealistic. People like those characters better who have to battle with and overcome natural human weaknesses.

BLW: What inspired you to write this book?

Jyoti Arora: The bitter realities of the way girls and women are still treated in India and the way people still seek to put the blame on women for everything that goes wrong.

BLW: From Technical Blogging to Feminist Fiction, you write different styles and genres. Would you be sticking to one preferred style and genre in future?

Jyoti Arora: My technology blog is more of a hobby for me. I love using internet, computer and smartphones and different apps. And when I come across something remarkably interesting, I want to talk about it. And that’s why I started my tech. blog. Although I do feel now that it’s distracting me from working on books. It takes up too much of my time. But tech. blogging is very addictive and tempting and I love it.

As for my books, I think I would be sticking to General Fiction more. I would like to try out different genes. I want to write fantasy, romance and even horror. But I think General Fiction with beautiful love stories would remain my preferred genre.

I would try and talk about issues I feel strongly about through my books. But they may not always be feminist in nature. For example, my first novel Dream’s Sake tells a beautiful love story based on the theme of the fears and insecurities of people with disabilities and the prejudices they have to face from the society.

BLW: When do you write the most? Is there a favorite place at your home or office where you write the most? Any props that you feel lucky to keep with you when writing?

Jyoti Arora: I write best at night when all is quite around me. I type directly on my laptop. Sometimes, I keep music playing at low volume as I write. Old Bollywood songs especially.

I depend on my smartphone to jot down notes and ideas as they come to me. Mostly it happens that ideas would start pouring in when I’m half asleep. At such a time, a smartphone comes very handy to jot down quick notes without having to switch on the light. I use an app which syncs all my notes online so I can access them from my computer too.

BLW: What are your inspirations? Do you like writing a feminist fiction or a general fiction story?

Jyoti Arora: It’s my love for books that inspire me to write and try and create books that people can fall in love with. And for these books, the inspiration comes from life itself. All that I see or hear happening around me gets translated into fiction in my books.

As for the genre I like writing, I like writing books that tell beautiful love stories and also give a message. Other than that, I follow the demands of the story. I am not averse or partial to any genre.

BLW: What books have inspired or influenced you as a writer?

Jyoti Arora: I love reading classics. While working as a freelance Content Developer, I abridged about 30 classics. And you can’t read and work upon such great books without getting influenced by them. Even some reviewers of my first novel Dream’s Sake commented that my writing style reflected the influence of classics.

BLW: We would be happy to know about any future projects that you are currently working on?

Jyoti Arora: I am thinking of two ideas. One is a love story, other is more of a social satire. I’m exploring both but am not certain yet which I would choose to develop into my next book.

BLW: What other secret skills do you have?

Jyoti Arora: I used to be good in drawing, painting and handicrafts. When I was in school, I loved making all sorts of handicraft items. I have done a diploma course in Fine Arts too, through correspondence. But it’s been many years since I indulged in any such work. I get no time for that now.

BLW: To be a good writer, one should be a good reader. We know you enjoy reading books? What are the best books you have ever read? Name any five.

I like writing books…
that tell beautiful love stories
and also give a message.

Jyoti Arora: Best books? Well, I have read many great books. But I don’t think I have the right of judging them and trying to decide which of them is better than the others. But I can tell you the ones I love most. I love reading Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre and call them my comfort reads. Every time I feel dull or gloomy, they work well to perk me up. I also greatly admire books like Gone With The Wind, Wuthering Heights, Villette etc.

They are great literature, even if a bit too heavy to be read again and again.

BLW: What advice would you give to all those aspiring authors who consider you as an ideal?


Jyoti Arora: Nurture your creativity, train your writing talent, and follow your dreams no matter what setback you have to face on way to your destination. There’s too much competition even in literary field now. It’s not easy to succeed and become a best-selling author. But if writing is what you want to do, do it. Just try and get better and better at it.

BLW: Message for the book lovers in this world!

Jyoti Arora: Dear readers, your appreciation means a lot to us writers. New writers especially can live and die upon every review they get. So if you liked the work of a writer, please leave a review of it on any retail website of your choice or websites dedicated to books like Goodreads, LibraryThing etc. If possible, send a personal message to the writer. You never know but one kind word of your review can revive the dying dreams of an aspiring writer!

Thank you so much for your time. It’s our pleasure to chat with you…

A Conversation With Rashmi Kumar

BLW: Let’s welcome the renowned and successful author Rashmi Kumar of Hooked, Lined & Single to Book Lover’s World.

Rashmi Kumar: Thank you for the generous words and a wonderful welcome ☺️

BLW: Congratulations on getting published your second book. Tell us a little about yourself.

Rashmi Kumar: Currently a full-time mother to my two-year-old son, I am enjoying every bit of this phase of my life where I see my little boy grow up right under my nose, right under my care. I thank God for motherhood despite its many challenges.

Before moving to Canada three years ago I was a journalist and worked with many established newspapers and magazines in India. My last job was with Deccan Herald as Features Editor. Other than journalism I also dabbled as a part-time Radio Jockey with 102.6 Rainbow FM and worked as a voice over artist for several ad films. And other than partying very hard over the weekends, I devoted my Saturdays as a volunteer with an NGO for the mentally distressed and suicidal.

BLW: We know that you are one awesome writer. Tell us about your book, what it means to you, and how it all started? How long did it take to write this book?

Rashmi Kumar: Thank you again ☺️. Hooked, Lined & Single draws its inspiration from some of my personal experiences and some from what I have observed within our society. When you get at a certain age, the pressure of marriage increases–societally, physically, mentally and may I say, even spiritually at times. For me, the pressure was more internal. It was external to some extent–not because people around me forced me to get married, but because you live in a society where there is not a single dull moment. And your sense of loneliness heightens during festivals, weddings and other occasions. And honestly, I was no aberration to this.

When I set out to find myself a man to marry I came across such funny and sad incidents that they had to be shared!

When I set out to find myself a man to marry I came across such funny and sad incidents that they had to be shared! Of course, many anecdotes of Alafia meeting various prospective grooms have been spiced up but HLS really is a story of many Indian women and especially those who went through the pain staking process of finding Mr Right–which again, is a myth, of course!

It took me close to a year and half to complete HLS.

BLW: Hooked, Lined & Single is significantly based on ‘Women in India’ and society’s perspective regarding marriage. It’s a sensitive issue you took. We would like to know if there is any real life incident that inspired you to write this book?

Rashmi Kumar: Like I already mentioned, this book germinated in my mind right at the moment I set out to “find Mr Right.” That’s the problem with authors, they see a book in everything and everyone–or at least I do :-/

BLW: Is there a style of writing you prefer? Would you be sticking to the same style and genre?

Rashmi Kumar: Well, I am mostly comfortable doing a style that’s not too literary and yet not too colloquial. While I write for the masses, I also write for the classes. I prefer any writing style that’s real, unpretentious and forms an instant connection with its readers.
No, I would like to keep experimenting and trying out new styles.

BLW: When do you write the most? Is there a favorite place at your home or office where you write the most? Any props that you feel lucky to keep with you when writing?

Rashmi Kumar: There’s no fixed time when I write, but when I do get inspired to write, I do it like someone possessed. Unless you’ve that drive, you can’t do justice.

There really isn’t a particular spot that acts like my “creative hiding place,” (thanks to a two-year-old!) but I would certainly like to retreat in a natural surrounding with just the nature and me for my future writings. Like for HLS, I went on a break to Jim Corbett for many months just to finish the book.

There definitely is something interesting I do before I start writing or before I set of to do any work. I make an air cross across my chest and surrender my thoughts, words and actions to God.

BLW: What are your inspirations? Do you like writing a real story or a fiction story?

Rashmi Kumar: People inspire me. In the past my travel experiences had inspired me a lot. That’s why I give much prominence to places and vivid human characters in my books.

I am neither a stickler for fiction nor for non-fiction. Although, I am most comfortable doing fiction, as an author, I feel the need to be open and adaptive to anything that’s real as well as not real.

BLW: What books have inspired or influenced you as a writer?

Rashmi Kumar: I have been deeply influenced by the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Having read almost all his literary works, I wish I can emulate his style of writing, but I know that’s only a dream 🙁 The other book that has me gripped is Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love.

BLW: We would be happy to know about any future projects that you are currently working on?

Rashmi Kumar: Currently, I am crushed between two choices. And both are works of non-fiction but have deeply changed me as a human. First one is a chronicle about my motherhood experiences. I am trying to present this in a short story format with tips to new mothers. My second endeavour is something more spiritual. This would be about my journey from India to Canada and the catharsis I went through along the way.

BLW: What other secret skills do you have?

Rashmi Kumar: I have taken on to cooking big time. In future, I might even do a book on some recipes. I am also a trained Hindustani classical vocalist but I don’t have the desire to ever perform publicly.

BLW: To be a good writer, one should be a good reader. Do you enjoy reading books? What are the best books you have ever read? Name any five.

Rashmi Kumar: Of course, I love to read. Without reading well, you can’t write well! My top five books are: Love in the Time of Cholera and Memories of my Melancholy Whores both by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Life of Pie by Yann Martel, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and of course Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love.

BLW: On a personal note do you like the author Rashmi Kumar from the person Rashmi Kumar?

To be a good writer
…one should be…
a good reader

Rashmi Kumar: I love ’em both 🙂 Both are incomplete without each other. Both draw inspiration from each other and both thrive on that hope and inspiration. But yes, generally, I am not a very disciplined person. You could even call me lazy! But when I start writing, I am different. I am more focused, more disciplined and definitely a better manager of time. Other than that, I am pretty hopeless in these areas!

BLW: What advice would you give to all those aspiring authors who consider you as an ideal?

Rashmi Kumar: Write, write, write. Don’t stop no matter what!

BLW: Message for the book lovers in this world!

Rashmi Kumar: My strongest and the only message from my heart is: If you want something real bad, it’s easy to chase it, pursue it and run after it! That’s where we go wrong. There is a reason why sometimes something doesn’t work out for you just when you want it so bad. That moment it is important we leave things to destiny or God. Because when we try to change the course of our life to get what we b want, it may not be the best thing for us or may not be the best thing for us at that time. For instance, in HLS Alafia so desperately wanted to get married but as life would have it, she kept bumping into all the wrong men, all the time. But, the moment she decided to let go, she found someone (Ethan) who truly cared for her but she still decided to let it go because she finally realised that it’s important she left the decision to life and God. If Ethan was truly meant for her, he would be hers any way. Even if she decided to leave the chemistry between them in a limbo.

Thank you so much for your time. It’s our pleasure to chat with you…

Book Review: My Little Epiphanies by Aisha Chaudhary

This book depicts the essence of hope in despair.

The Blurb: 

‘Aisha’s body may be failing her but she has a continent -sized spirit and it’s impossible not to be touched by her bravery, her grace and her wisdom’ – Danny Boyle, English filmmaker

‘Aisha, your each breath is worth a thousand of ours, your each moment expands into million of ours, your love for, and deep understanding of what life is, open a door for us to peek into our own, in a roomful of mirrors where your each word reflect our lives, thank you for opening our eyes, and for the love.’ – Shekhar Kapoor, Indian Filmmaker

‘This book is written by a 18 year old who has seen and understood life much better than most of us. Aisha gives us a masterclass of life through her book…a very special book by a very special person.’ -Shantanu Moitra, Indian Music Director 

‘Aisha is an angel with a human voice…celebrating every moment of her precious life…she is here to spread love and just love…speaking about every breath she takes with hope, positivity and humor. I see my chirraiyaa in her’ -Swanand Kirkire, Indian Lyricist

‘Aisha…You bundle of talent, wit, honesty, mischief, fun, love, kindness, brightness. You amaze me every single day. It is a privilege to know you. I love our chats, rants, secrets, musings. To quote you…you’re ‘amazeballs’. Love you. -Virginia Holmes, Make up Artist and Designer

Excerpt:

Fairy dust in your eyes
I could see no more
They say the soul never dies
What did yours leave me for
My darling you have kept me alive
You soothed the rocky roads before me
I’m shattered now you’re dead inside
Burnt into thin air, this was our destiny.
Until we meet again, one day our worlds will collide.
Till then you always own a piece of my heart Just
tell Him not further break it apart

***

We are so selfish, because we are never truly in love with another human being. We are just in love with a reflection of our desires, an idealization of a dream, which, in the end, is merely our own.

***

The cure for any sadness is connection with the people we love. Once you’ve lost all the connect, then you know you’re losing the battle

About the Author: 

Aisha Chaudhary was born with S.C.I.D (severe combined immune deficiency) and underwent a bone marrow transplant when she was 6 months old.

2014 was a brutal year for Aisha as her disease progressed and her lungs started giving up on her. The last few months of the year felt like a roller coaster ride, one that seemed to be mostly going down. Spending almost all her time lying in bed, Aisha wrote down her thoughts to get some relief, to get them out of her head.

Aisha’s life was not anything like the average life of an urban teenager, but she had experienced a lifetime of emotions; life and death, fear and anger, love and hate, the depths of utter sorrow and the happiest one can be.

 In My Little Epiphanies she takes a hard look at her own feelings and what it was that gave her a sense of hope and control. This book gave her purpose and meaning, something to hold on to. Sometimes Aisha’s little epiphanies have morphed into doodles that capture what was going on in her mind as her destiny played itself out. Through the book she wanted the world to understand her unusual life and hoped that it would inspire others going through similar hardships to find peace.

My Review:

My Little Epiphanies is a masterpiece scribble by an eighteen year old girl who has a strong will power and a desire to live her life at its fullest no matter what. Normally, when there are things in our lives not going well, we tend to get upset and curse life and fate. But Aisha is an exception. According to her, ”We should be happy about things we can do instead of being sad about things we are not capable of.” She believes living in the moment and she implemented that in her life, can be seen in her book. While she was on the bed fighting every day with her illness, she made wonderful sketches, doodle, poured down her heart and mind through words, introspected herself and figured out what this life is actually all about. She was of my age. While reading I realized how painful her days would have been and yet she remained optimistic towards life. Her wisdom, way beyond her age. It’s amazing to see her beautiful interpretation about hope, fear, anger, love, life and people in it. At many places Aisha’s words pinched me to the core to think over it. This book depicts the essence of hope in despair. I am sure her maturity and deep understanding towards life will amaze you and will help you to stay strong in situations you think you would give up. There is a lot learn from Aisha, the little angel. Sadly, she is no more with us but her words and preaching will remain with us forever. She will remain alive in her readers’ heart.

The book cover is beautiful with Aisha’s photo imprint. Inside the book you will find her colourful doodle and photos. The quality of pages is par excellence and it is a book you will cherish for a lifetime.

Rating:
Blurb: 5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Excerpts: 5/5
Book Cover: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5

Book Details:
Title: My Little Epiphanies
Author: Aisha Chaudhary
Genre: Non- Fiction
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Language: English
Pages: 67
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: 250 Rs.

Buy the book on: Flipkart | Amazon

Follow on: | Goodreads | Author Page

If you are keen to comprehend about ways of life or seeking for positive vibes and inspiration, then you must read this book. Also, if you are a person who easily get demotivated and going through a dark phase of life must read this book. You will feel a new self after you complete reading it, I bet. A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Book, recommended for everyone irrespective of age group.

This book was gifted to me by a close friend. I am glad to read and review it. The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. I have given a five-star rating on Goodreads and FlipKart as I felt nothing less than that would be fair.

Contest Review – Blog-a-Ton 53

If Blog-a-Ton can be read as an anthology of short stories written under a common theme, then why not to write a review for the same?

Since I suggested the topic “Chocolate” I would like to review the participating entries as well. I enjoyed reading the posts, l am enjoying writing this review and I hope that you enjoy reading my take on the participating entries of Blog-a-Ton 53. The first of its kind.

This edition is a perfect chocolaty read! 21 participants (I am one of them), 21 beautiful collections of stories and poems, and it is just un-put-down-able.

My Review:

1. Forgiven by Tanaya Nath – The best post of the edition. Tanaya Nath showed that Father’s love will remain same no matter if they are far or near. Tears rolled down my eyes when I completed reading the story. Absolutely loved it. I would give a five-star rating to the story.

2. Raju’s Chocolate by Cifar – Cifar wrote a beautiful poem. Sharing is a good habit and it gives happiness for the receiver and satisfaction for the giver. I would give a four-star rating to the poem.

3. Dark is the Devil by Vanderloost – Women should be stronger to handle domestic violence, but in some cases, they are failing like Sandya did. Because of his cruel husband, she lost her beautiful life. A touching write-up. I would give a five-star rating to the story.

4. LIFE OF A CHOCOHOLIC by Sulaiman – This was one of my favorites in this edition. Sulaiman is right. Chocolate makes our life heaven. Eat chocolates daily and enjoy each and every day. I would give a five-star rating to the poem.

5. It’s never the last by Yamini – The best and sweetest of all poems. It’s true that chocolate is the best gift and it can uplift the mood any time. I would give a five-star rating to the poem.

6. Pappy by The Solitary Writer – The solitary writer narrated the relationship between a Father and a Son beautifully. I prefer reading stories with Happy Endings. I would give a four-star rating to the story.

7. A Toast to Chocolate by Nandini G – Nandini penned down a nice little poem here. As she said hi-fives to chocolates! I would give a four-star rating to the poem.

8. Chocolate by Nandin D – What a tempting poem it was! Enjoyed reading it. I would give a four-star rating to the poem.

9. My Love – Chocolate (s) by TheWhiteScape – Even my parents said the same… if you eat chocolates then your teeth will be plucked by the doctors. So I like this post a lot. Thank you so much for sharing the goodness of chocolate. I would give a five-star rating to the story.

10. Express of Love by Naught Authentic – Chocolate is the best way to express the love. The author expressed it with awesome lines. I would give a five-star rating to the poem.

11. Bitter by aativas – I can relate to the story. The unsaid past changed the sweet chocolate into bitter one. Expressed wonderfully. I would give a five-star rating to the story.

12. Chocolate Ice Cream by Animesh – What a lovely poem it was, capturing wonderful memories of chocolate ice cream. I would give a five-star rating to the poem.

13. Chocodrella by Gunjan – This is so beautiful I was excited and tempted to know what’s next. And finally a chocolate healed her broken heart and replaced the love. I would give a five-star rating to the story.

14. Bittersweet by Harshal – Romantic and lovely poem. I would give a four-star rating to the poem.

15. Chocolate by Sharp Little Pencil – The poem tempted me to eat chocolate first and then think of diet. So sweet! I would give a four-star rating to the poem.

16. Chocolate and Me by Ayushi – This poem is so touching. “You are not my weakness, that everyone tries to use” “You are a necessary ingredient, for my soul’s diet.” “A girl with a chocolate is not always approachable” Wow! A fantastic story said in verses. Absolutely loved it! I would give a five-star rating to the poem.

17. I get over the moon with Chocolates by Simran Kaur – It was a yummy poem presented so beautifully. Absolutely loved it. I would give a five-star rating to the poem.

18. Living a fantasy by the critics – Suppose a story is said in the form of poetry. ‘Forbidden’ ‘Dreams’ and ‘Chocolate’ combined well in his poem. I really liked it, but long poems are tough to follow. I would give a four-star rating to the poem.

19. Mixed in a chocolate Fantasy by The Cursed Poet – A very different poem. Beautiful, and conveys different emotions. I would give a five-star rating to the poem.

20. Chocolate by Someone is Special – I love this entry by default. What a narration! She wanted to play an interesting game in their life but fate played its game. I want Sarav to write a sequel to the story. I would give a five-star rating to the story.

My Top 5:
1. Someone is Special’s entry Chocolate
2. Simran Kaur’s entry I get over the moon with Chocolates
3. Tanaya Nath’s entry Forgiven
4. Animesh Ganguly’s entry Chocolate Ice Cream and Vanderloos’s entry Dark is the Devil
5. Sulaiman Sait’s entry LIFE OF A CHOCOHOLIC and The White Scape’s entry My Love – Chocolate (s)

Blog-a-Ton on: Website | Facebook | Marshal on Facebook

Blog-a-Ton 53 is fantastic. I wish and expect more from Blog-a-Ton 54. Good luck to all the participants. A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Edition, Highly Recommended for all the Chocolaty Stories and Poems Lovers, No Second Thoughts!

Book Review: Hooked, Lined & Single by Rashmi Kumar

This book is an insight of India’s custom regarding ‘Marriage’ and ‘Women!

The Blurb:

Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask God, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night…’

So you’re a woman, you’re 30-something and living in India? So what’s the big deal about it? Well, if you’re all of the above and still unmarried or married previously and you just don’t seem to find the ”right” man, you suddenly acquire a tragically special status as being cynical, demanding, impractical and chronically single or ambitious.

In Hooked, Lined & Single, Alafia Singh meets a similar fate on her journey to find a husband using somewhat more traditional methods.

Excerpt:

Before leaving the room, Ram did something unexpected. He clicked a quick picture of me and said, ”You do look very pretty in wet hair.” I smiled as the door in front of me closed. Ram was out of the room and I was left wondering how two lovely people can talk so amicably about separation and why is it that they fall short of expressing their concern, if not love, equally amicably?

But then there was no concern and no love. What Ram and I were doing was basic civility and this gesture transcended to the court room, as we hugged each other tightly to exchange goodbyes forever. Why didn’t we ever hug each other with such passion while we were still married? I wonder, but never get the answer.

About the Author:

Rashmi Kumar is a professional journalist who worked for leading newspapers in India before moving to Canada in 2012. Here, she was chosen as the Writer-in-Exile in 2013 to showcase her Indian literary work to the Canadian audience. This is her second book after Stilettos in the Newsroom.

My Review:

Hooked, Lined & Single is a story of Alafia Singh, a 31 year old woman who has been divorced. Her marriage with Ram had no values of love, attachment and concern. It didn’t last long and they happily part away. While Ram gets married to someone else Alafia starts her search for Mr Right. She and her family try every possible way to reach out eligible bachelors through newspapers, marriage portal website and family functions. On one side Alafia is attractive, confident and mentally strong while on the other side she is emotional, sensitive and naive. She easily get to believe in almost every man she meets. They hook for some time, get lined on the bed even but due to one or the other reason they get separated. One after the other emotional trauma Myra, her best friend uplifts despondent Alafia.

This book is an insight of India’s custom regarding marriage and especially when it comes to the marriage of a woman. Alafia’s life become hell after her younger sister, Anushka’s marriage. Her relatives and everyone else start taunting and blaming her alone for the fault in her marriage and because of her grueling she is still single. The search for her Mr. Right leads her to a psychologist. From there she realize a need to find herself and exact reasons for why she wants a man in her life. She do find reasons to her desire but will she be able to find her Mr. Right? Read the book to find out.

The narration style of the author is smooth and convincing. Book has been edited very well. At a few places I find the story losing its grip and repetition of same story line makes read a bit boring. The emotions have been displayed rightly. At many places author has left readers imagination to assume. Apart from that, book cover is awesome!

Rating:
Blurb: 3/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Excerpts: 4/5
Book Cover: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Book Details:
Title: Hooked, Lined & Single
Author: Rashmi Kumar
Genre: Fiction
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Srishti Publishers & Distributors
Language: English
Pages: 188
Year of Publication: 2014
Price: 150 Rs.

Buy: Paperback
Follow on: Facebook | Goodreads | Author Page

Beautifully narrated, Emotions filled, Wonderful Book. Hooked, Lined and Single, is a beautiful display of emotions that kept me hooked till the end. A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Book, Recommended for all the Book Lovers, No Second Thoughts!

This book was given to my by author in exchange for an honest review. I am glad to read and review it. The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. I have given a four-star rating on Goodreads and FlipKart as I felt nothing less than that would be fair.

Book Review: Soulmates: Love Without Ownership by Vinit K Bansal

This book is a perfect read for all the romantic hearts in this world!

The Blurb:

We all know that Love is the most beautiful feeling in this world. But what if it becomes an obsession?
It can be fatal.

This is a story of love, friendship, passion, obsession and sacrifice. A story that seeks to find out the real meaning of love. A story describing the purest form of love.

Neel«»Aditi«»Ranadeep«»Ria«»Neel

Neel is a simple small town middle class boy who comes to a new city for studies. On his very first night in the city, when he saves Ranadeep’s life, he realizes his life is about to change. But he had no idea that it would lead him to a path from where there would be no turning back. Neel and Ranadeep’s friendship cements beyond the conventional measures and they are inseparable and like a family. Neel eventually meets Aditi, his beautiful, simple and dainty new classmate and there is love at first site. Life for Neel, Aditi and Ranadeep is perfect till the day Ranadeep meets Ria and falls obsessively for her. While Ranadeep is frighteningly obsessive about Ria, the suave Ria has her heart set on Neel. Things begin to get complicated and then suddenly something drastic happens.

Neel is put behind bars on charges of Ria’s murder.
Will Neel be able to convince his innocence to Aditi and Ranadeep?
Will Ranadeep ever be able to forgive Neel for snatching away his love?
How far can Aditi go to save the life of her love from the grips of destiny?
Can there be a love without ownership?
Find out what happens when love has to pay its price.

Excerpt:

That was the first time I saw her. And it was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen. For a moment, everything around me blurred. Time seemed to have come to a standstill. There was no music, just her and the roaring silence. Her beautiful, round face was flushed red with energy. Her pink luscious lips seemed to murmur something. She brought her hands to her ears and touched them. Then she raised her eyebrows, crinkled up her nose and made a little pout with her lips. She was gesturing a sorry. It was the cutest expression that I had ever seen. Something fluttered inside my stomach. She crinkled up her nose a little more. That moment, I wished I could just grab her and kiss her. Instead I just smiled. Satisfied that I had forgiven her, she smiled the prettiest smile in the world and there, at that moment, I realized I had lost my heart.

About the Author:

Vinit K. Bansal began his journey as a poet and soon, he graduated as prolific author and editor of national repute.

His first novel ‘I am Heartless’ created a sensation in the Indian writing industry and is widely considered as one of the top ten Indian romantic novels that redefined romance. His anthology series ‘Uff Ye Emotions’ has been the synonym of success in the segment since the past couple of years. Versatility remains the key factor in Vinit’s writing and has helped him create a niche for himself as a writer in both, Hindi and English language in fiction as well as in the non-fiction segment. Other than writing, he is a creative consultant and a motivational speaker as well, often conducting regular sessions on motivation and personality development in different academic institutes of India.

He can be contacted at: author.vinitbansal@gmail.com or follow him at https://www.facebook.com/vini14jan

My Review:

Writers starts a book with the prologue, likewise, I wish to start with a disclaimer: I’m neither a book review expert nor an avid reader. I’m an ordinary person married to a sweetest person in the world, Sarav. His obsession towards reading and writing, pushed me to read the book, and write my thoughts on the same. I want to thank Vinit Sir for providing a grand platform to Sarav in the name of “Uff Ye Emotions 2”. 120 Minutes by Sarav is very close to my heart. Thanks again for making us happy.

Soulmates: Love without ownership, is the story of two friends – Neel and Randeep – blossoms on the first day of the college life, when Neel saves Randeep, almost from the deathbed. They are inseparable, like a family, almost. Then a beautiful love blooms between Neel and Aditi – the synonym of love – is the highlight of the book.

Everything between Randeep, Neel and Aditi is perfect till Ria – rich and tough, brought up in a foreign country – enters their life, falls for Neel, and steals Reandeep’s heart obsessively. A Love Triangle starts and becomes a rectangle. Things gets complicated, egos gets clashed, fate gets twisted and turned and everything else gets changed. In the end, the story makes the eyes moist, and portrays the real meaning of love, friendship, passion, obsession and sacrifice.

The positive points of the book are the narrative style of the author, the well-woven plot, the soulful love, the steamy romance, the unexpected murder, the twists and turns, and there are no negative points. It is a must read book. Vinit Sir deserves a five-star rating!

Rating:
Blurb: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Excerpts: 5/5
Book Cover: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5

Book Details:
Title: Soulmates… Love Without Ownership
Author: Vinit K. Bansal
Genre: Fiction/Romance
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Red Ink Publishers
Language: English
Pages: 248
Year of Publication: 2014
Price: 175 Rs.

Buy: Paperback | eBook
Follow on: Facebook | Goodreads | Author Page

Emotions packed in the form of words to make the eyes moist and understand the real meaning of love, friendship and sacrifice. This book, Soulmates: Love Without Ownership, is a romantic thriller with twist and turns that kept me hooked till the end. A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Book, Highly Recommended for all the Romantic Lovers, No Second Thoughts!

This book was given to my hubby in exchange for an honest review. I am glad to read and review it. The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. I have given a five-star rating on Goodreads and FlipKart as I felt nothing less than that would be fair.

About the Reviewer: Vinayaka Vidhya is a 23-year-old fun-loving girl from India, married to Sarav: a techie, a romantic poet, an amateur photographer, and a sweetheart hubby, living in Germany. She is a food blogger at Vinayaka’s Kitchen. She loves cooking cusines from around the world, reading romantic novels, and decorating home magically. She can be contacted at contact@vinayakaskitchen.com.