Posted in Book Review

Book Review Begin Again by Atharva Mahesh Deshpande

Begin Again by Atharva Mahesh Deshpande

“I can’t bring you moon and stars but you deserve a second poem today far more than I deserve you.”

A collection of poems and thoughts from the author’s life presented in verse form with words that say more than what they mean. It is the kind of book where you have to read between the lines and experience rather than just flip pages. 

I absolutely loved it. I started this book only yesterday and completed it in one sitting. The words are very captivating and so are the emotions. 

When the book started with a young boy’s story of a crush on a girl, I didn’t think it would end up being this intense. It is like a whole journey we are taking with the author through the beautiful words he has bled on paper. I understand the story is a compilation of what the author has written while experiencing the emotions and so it feels very real. 

The way the poems and verses evolve throughout the book, the depth of thoughts, the comprehension of everything and discovery of oneself is so genuine. The emotions are very raw and I loved the authenticity and honesty in writing.

Usually I refrain from commenting on story lines or characters when the book is based on real life, but here I am forced to mention that with flaws and all, I really admired all the characters. The ending, just perfect closure for me as a reader. 

This book has not been returned to the bookshelf yet as I am planning to re-read it soon. It is the kind of book that shows you a different shade with every new read.

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Golden Book of Business Presentation: Quick and Easy Tips to Make Powerful Presentations by Prajeet Budhale

The Golden Book of Business Presentation: Quick and Easy Tips to Make Powerful Presentations by Prajeet Budhale

“HOW you present gives status to WHAT you present.”
Presentation is a very important part of academic as well as professional front. I wouldn’t be presumptuous if I assumed every person, at some point, would have presented something to a group of people. Have you ever wondered if there is a right way to do it?

This book is an exhaustive write up about how to better one’s presentation skills. I am aware that theories cannot be very useful when it comes to such a practical skill. But, that is what is unique about this book. It is not merely theoretical. It has very detailed questions in workbook format where you can assess yourself and prepare accordingly. I really appreciate it. It is very useful. I personally did try and deliberate with myself the points in relation to a topic I was helping my cousin to make a presentation on. 

The right structure to work for presentation expresses good clarity. Presenting an idea to someone is not just about someone’s knowledge on a topic, not just technical, but also psychological. Mindset of the presenter as well as the audience has to be understood and mastered. Author has very brilliantly understood this and penned down many factors on this ground. 

This book is very informative not only because of the valid points discussed, but also for very well drafted worksheets. This is a kind of book that you have to have by your side always and re-visit until you can master the skill.

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Aarzoo-Arshan: Can One Hate Love? by Mukul Kumar

Aarzoo-Arshan: Can One Hate Love? by Mukul Kumar

Arshan a self proclaimed philanderer, finds himself in a conundrum when his heart begins to feel something akin to ‘love’ for the sweet, ambitious small town girl Arzoo. Unaccustomed to feeling anything that isn’t carnal desire, Arshan tries every trick in his book to get rid of the feeling, even going to an extent of inventing a potion that could potentially make one not feel love. How successfully can one run away from love?

What I liked in the story is effortless narration. The language was easy and carried out the book with wonderful smoothness. Every character had absolute clarity about who they are. They were sensible about themselves and more than often about the situation. Especially Shourya.

Arshan wasn’t likeable. It definitely was a burden to read his narcissistic views for almost three fourth of the book. I understand why it’s important to make everything about him, because unless we know the real Arshan, we cannot connect to the main theme of the book. However, it was such a pain to read his tactless views on women. I wish Arzoo had a better character arc, though.

The idea of ‘ego’ and ‘love’ is very ambiguously blurred in the story. By the end of the book, I didn’t really get a proper closure (neither did Arshan’s character, I guess). I am not sure if this ambiguity was intended. Blurb says it’s a ‘psycho romantic thriller’. Elements of romance and thriller lacks, but author has done a fair job in bringing out psychological angle of the characters.

I appreciate certain ideas the author was trying to bring forth in the story about love. To an extent, it worked as well. However, better clarity in expressing through story might have made this book a more compelling read.

One a side note, I loved the cover of the book.

Posted in Author Interviews

Author Interview: Asanti East

1) Tell us something about yourself.

Well I’m a mommy to 4 beautiful kids and a wife. I actually have a full time job though I can’t wait until the day I can quit and just write for a living. Some of my things to do are play board games and bake

2) When/How did your writing journey start?

I first started writing in high school as part of my English class. I wrote a book of poems that my teacher loved and helped me get published. I’ve written on and off since then. It wasn’t until my husband pushed me to get my book Royal Choices published. He told me he loved the story and other people would to…I guess he was right LOL

3) What inspired the idea for your book?

So Royal Choices is based on me and my husband. No he’s not a prince but he’s my Prince Charming who came in and saved me.

4) Whose character was hard to sketch Nate or Nicole?

Nicole was much harder to create because her/my story is so complex. It’s so deep and there’s so many layers. It was a challenge to balance the sweet with hurt and pain that she had to overcome. To keep her needing Nate in her life but also strong and independent.

5) What part of the book was the most fun to write?

Call me crazy but the action scenes where the most fun to write. I got into this zone of being in the midst of the action. Almost like I could feel everything going on around me. The steamy scenes were a close second 😊

6) What part of the book was the most difficult to write?

For me the transition scenes are the most difficult. But they serve such a huge purpose, they set and scene for the reader and move your story along.

7) Readers’ response to your book has been very warm. How do you feel about it? Is there a special review/comment you would like to share with us?

First off I’m still so amazed that people are loving my book!! I just want to say thank you a million times over! To be honest since this is my first book all the reviews mean so much to me! But one that sits in my mind is here:

Selena michaels

5.0 out of 5 stars OH MY GAWD!(Said in Janice from Friend’s Voice)

Reviewed in the United States on November 7, 2020

If you don’t get the reference of the headline I left, you are too young to read this book. Anyway! I loved everything about this read and that is truly rare. It kept my attention, as a speed reader, I gobble a ton of books just like most people gobble turkey during Thanksgiving. There was tons of steam and the spark between Nate and Nicole were instant. I too want to run my fingers through Nathan’s hair and get a spanking. What else is there to really say? It was intriguing with enough mystery that I didn’t know what was going to happen next, but not too much that I got distracted from the love arc. This book is not normally something that I would pick up and I would be a liar if I didn’t say that I read it for the hunk on the front. Either way, I’m glad I picked it up. I am ordering it for my shelves because it deserves to be re read and I will recommend it to anyone looking to read a romance novel.

8) If your book can be made into a movie, who will you cast?

Oh my goodness I’ve never actually thought about this. Hmmm you have my mind racing now. I promise I’ll get back to you on this one 😊

9) Do you have a writing process?

Sort of. All my books start with a simple idea. Like what would happen if a girl met a guy after he rescued her from a car accident? Then my mind goes wild with all the possibilities. After I narrow it down to one plot line that I like then I do an actual loose outline. Once I start and craft my characters I let them take over. I let them lead the story and get themselves into and out of situations. It’s so much fun!

10) What books have most influenced your life? Which is the one book you will suggest everyone read?

There are a few to be honest. Anything by Geneva Lee is a definite go to for me. Marianne Knightly’s Royals of Valleria series is a MUST read.

11) Are you working on a new book? Any details about it that you can share?

Yes! I actually have another book that is going to be published in February 2021 called Her King. It features a hard working young woman and a dominant and sexy King. Can he help her stop and just fall in love? ALSO I am starting a series about some mountain men daddy doms, so get ready to meet your daddy 😉

12) What is your advice to aspiring authors on writing and publishing?

My biggest piece of advice is to write from your heart and never stop. Don’t let anyone deter or discourage you from your dreams. I did that and I regret it everyday. Now I’m happier than I’ve ever been before because I’m doing something I LOVE!

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Posted in Author Interviews

Author Interview: Nikolina Kosanovic

At what point did you decide to write a book on your journey?

I decided to start writing this book in July of 2019, and I would say the biggest inspiration for me was to write a book about depression and mental health that stopped shaming those with mental illness for having it, and affirm that it’s not the fault of those who suffer. Another big thing I wanted to do was provide an argument for friends and family members of those who suffer expressing that “curing” mental illness was not an easy, or even feasible, outcome.

Do you have a writing process?

I was very flexible with myself in the writing process. I wrote the majority of this book in sporadic bursts of inspiration based on a rough idea of specific topics about mental health that I jotted down on a working table of contents early on into the process. As I started writing some of those stories and topics, I found myself getting inspired with more and more stories that eventually turned into chapters. The rest is history.

At any point did you feel vulnerable for sharing your experience with the world?

I felt extremely vulnerable releasing the majority of this book because it is based on my personal experiences, and because it is an admission of my personal mental health diagnosis for the world. The hardest section for me to share was the “Reflect” section because that section is the most raw and revealing of any of them, with the specific topics of forgiveness and imposter syndrome being the hardest for me.

Do you think society contributes to or aggravates mental illness in any way?

I think people are scared of what they can’t understand, and when they see someone they care about in pain, they want to help. But by trying to fix people and tell them they need to “cure” their mental illness, they do a lot more damage to the overall societal view of mental illness.

What is the best way people can respond to when they hear about someone close suffering from any form of mental illness?

The best thing to do is to care, offer your support, and actually actively listen to the person who is suffering.

What was your source of strength during your course of ‘acceptance’ about your mental health?

I found I was my own sense of strength in accepting my mental health status. I just got so tired of fighting against it that I had to dig deep to overcome the fear or accept that it wasn’t going to be an easy fix to get it to “go away”.

Do you think ‘cure’ to mental illness is a myth?

I do, because mental illness is strange and misunderstood. I think of it like any virus or physical ailment we can have. If you get sick, your body fights it off. You take the medications you need to manage it, and your friends and family can help you. But you still had it, it’s an experience that now makes up a part of your existence, and often there are lasting effects.

Is it wise for everyone suffering to seek professional help or does it depend on any other factors/indicators?

I think there is no harm in seeking professional help if you have the means to do so. But, with that being said, it’s often hard for many people to be able to afford professional help, or even know where to begin with finding the right professional to support them. But a professional can identify issues you may be having, and give you the awareness and tools to work on fixing them in your life. So I actively support anyone and everyone who wants it.

What books have most influenced your life? Which is the one book you will suggest everyone read?

Ah! I always get anxious giving book recommendations because I feel like book preferences are so personal and they all have a purpose. For me, the most influential book I have read in the past year and a half is the one I read right before writing my book, and that is Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. I was in a place where I needed some tough love, and it was the story and catalyst that helped me create some amazing results in my own life.

Are you working on a new book? Any details about it that you can share?

No new books that I’m working on yet, but I do have two ideas for my next book. One is a fiction book, and the other is another collection of personal stories. But that’s all I can share!

What is your advice to anyone facing any type of mental issue?

Don’t invalidate your own feelings, and know you’re worth a lot more than your mind makes you feel.

Book link

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Posted in Author Interviews

Author Interview: Duriya Kasubhai

1) Tell us something about yourself.

It has always been my intention to write stories with a distinctive flavour to it. I was inspired to write about women empowerment, to portray women as strong and capable, able to handle situations with expertise and confidence. I believe in a woman maintaining her stance. My Books speak more about me than I do.

2) When/How did your writing journey start?

My writing journey started way way back, and what motivated me to write were my many life’s experiences as that’s how I could express myself.

This book says it all; how a woman fights all odds and emerges the Victor in trying circumstances; never once permitting her self esteem to be tampered with. 

To brief it up my Journey of writing any of my books has been quite satisfying. 

3) How did you get the idea for the story? Did it start with an image, a voice, a concept, a dilemma or something else?

It started with a concept that occurred to me while I was in my teens and considering the circumstances I faced then, I realised that submissiveness and Placidity could never be the answer to any problem. And since Women have always been sidelined so I decided to write a book about the Empowerment of Women.

4) Every character has a personality of their own. Which one was most difficult to develop?

Character analysis comes easy to me with the flow of the story. So, I’d say, it wasn’t difficult to shape these characters into living breathing entities giving them a life of their own. 

5) Lord Brodwell had a very blasé aura throughout the book, while Mabel was more on the humble side, was this contrast intentional?

No, it wasn’t. It may have slipped your notice that both had strong personalities in their own individual capacity. 

6) If a film were made of your book, who would you cast in the leading roles?

Daniel Gillies for Lord Brodwell and Mila Kunis for Mabel  

7) Do you have a writing process?

Using Pen and paper to write my stories comes with less effort. I’m then in perfect control of my writing skills.

8) What books have most influenced your life? Which is the one book you will suggest everyone read?

Ayn Rand The Fountain Head. Her philosophy and convictions somewhere down the line match mind which is I can connect to her better.

9) Are you working on a new book? Any details about it that you can share?

The book I’m presently working on is a completed format, but a lot many changes have to be made to enhance the impact of the story. However, the treatment of the book is not too far fetched. You can relate to it and enjoy the experience at the same time.

10) What is your advice to aspiring authors on writing and publishing?

When your writing your thoughts make certain you jot down the story idea, characters and the situations before seriously working on it. And regarding Publishing I guess Self Publishing is the way forward till a better deal is brought up that they can accept.

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Posted in Book Review

Book Review: COULD THIS BE LOVE 2 by Adepoju Olaoluwa Itunu

COULD THIS BE LOVE 2 by Adepoju Olaoluwa Itunu

Second and final book in the series brings a warm closure for every character in the book. Alex and Precious are together but love is still a far cry in their relationship. Robert knows what his heart wants, but in predicament on how to get it. On the other hand, Claire is forced to confront what she actually wants.

I really enjoyed the individual stories and character development of everyone in the story. Story of all three couples were engaging, had their own ups and downs and a very fitting end. The way every couple in this book was given a storyline and intriguing background was very commendable. I personally liked Claire and Stella’s story more. I felt it was very well explored in terms of individual turmoils and proper building of relationship in comparison with stories of other two couples. Alex and Precious had such a cute friendship – love dynamics going on for them. I would have definitely liked to read something more about them before the fast paced ending. Also, Robert and Liza’s story didn’t have much space to grow unlike other two couples.

Much like the previous book, this one also could have used good editing and proof reading. Story execution could have been more gripping. Special mention for covers of both the books that looks very crisp and classy.

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: COULD THIS BE LOVE (THE BEGINNING Book 1) by Olaoluwa Itunu Adepoju

COULD THIS BE LOVE (THE BEGINNING Book 1) by Olaoluwa Itunu Adepoju

Alex has loved Precious all his life. Teasing or indifference did nothing to diminish his adoration for her. Life takes both of them in different directions until it brings them together one day. Could the love he has tie them together in a forever bond?

First part of a duology is up with a very promising start. Alex is such a kind soul and earns empathy right away. He is sweet, genuine and a kind of hero we hardly get in romance books. Precious has various shades. While her character in present time is appreciable, there seem to be shades of her past that have some good layers. Hoping to see it explored more in the next book. Their love has such an endearing start in this book. It is a slow burn and I am kinda looking forward to seeing how it progresses. 

Apart from Alex and Precious, there are other supporting characters and sub plots that are really intriguing. It’s very rare to get invested in supporting characters in a book and this one is a happy exception. Every character seems to be in some kind of crossroad in life. This makes the urge to read the next book all the more high. That is a wonderful way to plot the first book of the series. 

Keeping the story telling aside, this book has immense area for improvements in terms of writing, execution and characterization. It can definitely use good editing, proofreading and formatting helps. The story and characters have very good potential. With more polished technique, this definitely could be an amazing experience. 

This book leaves a lot of plot and expectations open for the next one which I am hoping to read soon.

Posted in Author Interviews

Author Interview: Dr. Sujata Chatterjee

Tell us something about yourself.

I am Dr Sujata Chatterjee, a doctor by profession and an author by passion. I am an Anaesthesiologist and I practise in Kolkata. I am also a Critical Care Specialist. I have authored 3 books, THE FLIGHTS OF FANTASY, a collection of short stories, LOOKING THROUGH THE PRISM, a collection of motivational poems and WAVES OF FORTUNE, an anthology of emotional poems. I have also edited a book THE TRAVELLER’S DIARY, a collection of stories, articles and poems through experiences of the various writers. In addition I have participated in various anthologies and my books are available in amazon. My books have been showcased on shelves of Kolkata International Book Fair, Delhi World Book Fair, New Town Book Fair, Chennai Book Fair, Kochi International Book Fair, Agra Book Fair, and Allahabad Book Fair. I have been awarded by many organizations for my contribution to Literature and Medicine. Some of them are Shonghoto Samaanana Award by Hello Kolkata, The National Book Honour Awards, The top 100 Inspiring Author of India Award, by The Indian Awaz, The top 50 Influencial Authors of India Award by the Spirit Mania, The Swami Vivekananda Excellence Award by the Seva Youth Guild, The Literoma Achiever Award, The Literoma Laureate Award and many more. I have passed Journalism from Delhi School Of Journalismand was a regular contributor to the esteemed magazine, THE WOMAN’S ERA.

When/How did your writing journey start?

I started writing poems from the age of 8 years. Then I started writing for the school and college magazines. My write-ups found their way to the notice boards of the school and colleges. I was awarded many certificates for my contribution to Literature in my childhood.

How important is accessibility of meaning? Should one have to work hard to “solve” the poem?

I believe that a poem with apparently accessible meaning or with hidden meanings, both are equally important. Important aspect is that a poem should be lucid and deep in meaning. The depth of the content of the poem determines a well written poem.

Readers’ response to your books has been very warm. How do you feel about it? Is there a special review/comment you would like to share with us?

I am very much overwhelmed by the response of the readers. Thanks to them that they appreciated my poems, short stories and articles.

I remember a young girl of 14 years who read my book LOOKING THROUGH THE PRISM and said that she wanted to meet me because she wanted to be like me. Another reader, who herself is a writer, said that she had tears in her eyes when she read my poem MY MOTHER in the book WAVES OF FORTUNE. Incidentally, she has written the PREFACE for my book THE WAVES OF FORTUNE.

Is writing poetry a spontaneous thing or do you have process?

Writing poems is a spontaneous expression for me. When I sit to write, I close my ears and eyes to all the noise going on outside and concentrate on finishing the task.Writing poems for me is like a dedicated job.

Do you have plans to explore fiction or other genre in future?

Yes I plan to write about Cancer patients in future.

What books have most influenced your life? Which is the one book you will suggest everyone read?

In my teens I loved reading Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew, Alfred Hitchcock, Hardy Boys. Then I started reading Sydney Sheldon, Perry Mason, Agatha Christie, Dan Browne, Mary Higgins Clark, Danielle Steele, Erich Sehgal. I lived reading poems by Wordsworth, Keats, Lord Tennyson, Robert Frost, Robert Louis Stevenson. My poems have greatly been influenced by Wordsworth and Robert Frost.

I would recommend everyone read the book, DOCTORS by Erich Sehgal.

Are you working on a new book? Any details about it that you can share?

I am presently working on a book. It is in the preliminary stages.

What is your advice to aspiring authors on writing and publishing?

Please read a lot of books. You will have a good vocabulary and will eventually be a great writer. And please write on.

Works of Sujata Chatterjee : link

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Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Mellifluous by Priyanshi Shrivastava

Mellifluous by Priyanshi Shrivastava

This book is a collection of poems that were penned by the author over the period of age 9 to 22. Ranging from topics as trivial as tensions of exam to as profound as questions of existence, this book is a complete package that reminds us of our own journey of growing up.
This book is divided into four parts.

First part consists of poems written as a child (9-11). This is one of the times where our greatest enemy was our exams. The innocence of the age is spilled in every word and it’s completely adorable.

The next part was written as a teenager (11-16). This section consists of poems that reflect the first understanding of a person about something that exists beyond us, like nature and our responsibility towards it.

The third section was written as a young adult (16-17). Poems are relatively about understanding what life is, but not just quiet being there. Topics vary from oblivion to friends and memories.

The final section written as an adult is the real dead. This section consists of poems that beautifully capture the reveal of reality that everyone faces once they wear the ‘adult’ shoes. These lines express adulating the best way.

“𝒯𝒽𝑒 𝓇𝒶𝒾𝓃 𝓃𝑜 𝓁𝑜𝓃𝑔𝑒𝓇 𝓆𝓊𝑒𝓃𝒸𝒽𝑒𝓈
𝒩𝑜 𝓂𝑜𝓇𝑒 𝓅𝒶𝓅𝑒𝓇 𝒷𝑜𝒶𝓉𝓈
𝐼𝓉𝓈 𝒿𝓊𝓈𝓉 𝓈𝑜𝓂𝑒𝓉𝒽𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝒹𝓇𝑒𝓃𝒸𝒽𝑒𝓈
𝒴𝑜𝓊 𝑜𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓇𝑜𝒶𝒹𝓈 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝒶𝓇𝑒 𝓃𝑜𝓌 𝓂𝑜𝒶𝓉𝓈”

Imagine perception changing on something like rain that world loves to romanticise. Isn’t that beautiful way of putting reality of adulting in words?
Apart from the beautiful poems, the growth of a person’s perception of the world and oneself reflected in the poems make this book extra special.