Thursday, January 28, 2016

Blog Tour - The Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy

★.•**•.★★.•**•.★ The Avalonia Chronicles Book Tour ★.•**•.★ ★.•**•.★

About the Book:
16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad.

Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms—including killing anyone who stands in her way. Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear.

With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever. 

Book Links:

Goodreads I Amazon I Flipkart

World of Avalonia

Read an Excerpt:

Chapter 7
The Midnight Market

Later that night, after I had eaten well and rested, we set out for the midnight market. I followed Kalen along the small path, from Pixie Bush into the very heart of Goldleaf Forest.
It seemed to me that we had been walking for quite a while when I could suddenly hear voices and noises quite clearly in the quiet forest. We came to a large clearing, and the delightful sight left me spellbound. The forest was alive, radiant and subtly lit by pretty, different-colored lanterns hanging from the towering trees. Beautifully decorated stalls and multicolored tents had sprung up all over the place. Some were nestled between the tall trees, and some were haphazardly placed around the edge of the clearing, forming a slightly wonky circle. Fae of all sizes, shapes and colors wandered around, having a marvelous time. There were dryads, naiads, brownies, and little pixies with wings who flitted about the place in groups, laughing and eating at the food stalls.
We came to a stall, which was manned by a small, funny-looking fae with a pointy nose and long ears. Kalen identified him as a gnome. He was selling some strangely colored liquid in glass bottles and was haggling unashamedly about prices with two old ladies, whom I thought were very sweet.
As we walked through the market, Kalen chattered on.
“Although some of the larger towns have shops that sell magical ingredients for potions,” Kalen was saying, “this is the only place you can find some of the really rare items.”
I followed Kalen, who was entering a green tent, where the sign outside read: “Buy a plant for your home and garden.” That sounded quite interesting. Maybe I could buy a plant for Kalen’s mom—she had really helped me, after all—but I remembered I didn’t have any money.
The tent was not what I expected at all. The inside was bewitched to look like a large green house; like the forest, it was much larger inside than it appeared from the outside. The moonlight shone through the glass ceiling, and rows of plants and flowers lined the sides of the tent. We decided to explore.
I walked through the rows of plants, looking at the labels that were written next to them. There were strawberry plants in a small tray, growing wonderful, juicy strawberries, each one of which had a dollop of cream on the top. The sign near it said: “Grow your own strawberries and cream.”
“Try one,” said Kalen. “No one is watching.”
I couldn’t resist; I loved strawberries and cream. I popped the whole strawberry into my mouth. It was delicious and the cream was thick, fresh, and sweet. It was wonderful.
“Lovely, yes?” said Kalen.
“I nodded, since my mouth was full.
“Ms. Herbchild is wonderful at growing things. These strawberry plants with cream are one of her new inventions, but you can only grow them on trays inside the house, or the gnomes lick off all the cream.”
I made a face at the thought of eating a strawberry that had been licked by a gnome.”

About the Author:
For Farah Oomerbhoy, writing is a passion and reading her solace. She is a firm believer in the fantastic and magical, and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest.
When she was pregnant with her first child ten years ago, a story popped into her head she could not ignore. “I was at my grandmother’s house, and as I looked at the image of a beautiful forest with a castle in the distance on a tapestry hanging on the wall, I imagined myself being whisked away into another world,” she said. It was at that moment the world of Avalonia, with its powerful mages and fae and the evil Queen Morgana, was born. Farah Oomerbhoy’s debut novel, The Last of the Firedrakes, was released in the summer of 2015.

Farah lives with her husband and three children in their family home in Mumbai, India. She has a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Mumbai. Her first novel is The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of the Avalonia Chronicles.

Contact Farah:

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Three Signed Paperback Copies of The Last of the Firedrakes

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Blog Tour - Dream Killer by Mike Baldwin

Title: Dream Killer
Author: Mike Baldwin
Genre: Mystery

Book Description

To fulfill her friend’s dream, legendary sports agent Veronica Townsend has constructed a kids’ summer camp where baseball hero John Jensen was raised on a farm in Burlington, Kansas. Camp Dream Catcher, though, is in danger of shutting down after a lifeguard is murdered. With cancellations pouring in, Veronica must solve the mystery in a desperate attempt to keep the camp open.

Veronica adores her loyal assistant, Missy Sykes, the camp’s bookkeeper, a lonely, single woman born and raised in Queens. Missy is committed to assisting her boss in an attempt to keep open a camp that awards “free scholarships” to inner-city kids that normally couldn’t afford the fee.

Ashley Webb, the camp’s co-director, has taken a sabbatical from her job in Omaha to oversee the camp’s day-to-day operations. Since evidence reveals the killer most likely is on the camp’s staff, Ashley is concerned Veronica is in denial the camp needs to shut down until law enforcement officials uncover the person responsible for shooting the handsome lifeguard.

Reggie Gordon, the camp’s other co-director, is a former African American Major League Baseball star, who vows to help Veronica. Because he grew up in the projects in Chicago, Reggie sees the benefits of a camp that caters to inner-city kids.

When additional problems surface, it appears Veronica has no choice but to shut down the camp, in part because she made some risky financial decisions to open ahead of schedule. Veronica, though, is resolute the camp will not shut down so she can honor John Jensen, “the kindest man I’ve ever met.”

Author Bio

A former sportswriter, Mike Baldwin has transitioned to becoming a full-time novelist who specialists in mysteries that feature female lead characters; classic whodunits that appeal to mystery fans of all ages and gender.

His niche is fast-paced stories about dynamic female lead characters involved in plots packed with twists and turns, capped by surprise endings. Sprinkling in humor, Mike injects thought-provoking elements to introduce readers to new experiences while they’re being entertained by a fun story.

Mike’s favorite author is John Grisham because of his unique storytelling skills. He enjoys a well-written mystery whether it’s a page-turning novel or TV shows like Law & Order, Monk, Cold Case and Major Crimes. His favorite current series is “Suits,” simply because of the crisp, engaging dialogue. Mike’s only pet peeve is he believes many quality TV shows and commercials feature outstanding writing that rarely get the attention it deserves.

During his newspaper career, Mike covered Super Bowls and Final Fours, interviewed countless Hall of Fame athletes and coaches and was blessed his career allowed him to see the country. He attended games in 80 of the 90 NFL stadiums, NBA arenas and Major League Baseball stadiums, plus visited more than fifty college campuses.

The highlight of his career was when he wrote daily stories as a beat writer for The Oklahoman, the Oklahoma City newspaper. For seven years, he covered owner Jerry Jones’ team during the Barry Switzer era when the Cowboys were led by future NFL Hall of Famers Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders.

Mike was humbled and honored last year when he was inducted into the Oklahoma Christian University Sports Hall of Fame (class of 2015).

Book Links

Barnes and Noble (Nook):

Apple (iTunes, iBooks):

Author Links


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Monday, January 18, 2016

Book Review: My Dream Man by Aditi Bose

Title: My Dream Man
Author: Aditi Bose
Pages: 203
Price: 200.00 INR
Publisher: Authors' Ink Publications


‘My Dream Man’ by Aditi Bose is a sweet, simple, easy and fast read. My first impression of this book— fun and quirky. I found it very tender and heartwarming. Reading it was like hearing one of my girlfriends talking about herself. Aditi describes everything so vibrantly that you can picture even the minutest detail in your mind! 
The story starts with the protagonist Ajopa Ganguly and her ranting. A struggling writer, she is reeling from the pains of her manuscript having been rejected by all publishers. She knows that making cupcakes and embroidering handkerchiefs is not her true calling. However, she is scared to write anymore and is losing focus. This is when Aniket Verma re-enters her life. He is a professor of economics who is well known in his circle. He's twelve years older to Ajopa. They had been good friends till a misunderstanding happened five years back. What happens when they meet again is what the story is all about. Read to explore the changing relationship between a professor and his student. 
The plot premise of this book isn’t its strong suit, but the story had me laughing and turning the pages. A bong trying to be a writer—it is something I could relate to being on the same boat and all. I don’t want to complain, but a little less straying/ranting would have done the story a little more justice. There aren’t many characters either, at least not fleshed out properly. Even between Ajopa and Aniket—the two protagonists—the narrative is the former heavy. I agree that the book is from her point of view, and yet there should have been more of the other characters too. Coming to the look of the book, I didn’t much like the cover. It is quite misleading in a sense. It hints at being an erotica which the book is not.
That being said, I do want to repeat myself that it is a good and light-hearted read that I enjoyed in spite of everything. Aditi has a flair for writing and her debut novel proves that. A chick lit through and through, I’m sure the book will find many readers.

About the author

A content writer and the author of an e-book for children, Aditi Bose is based in Delhi. She completed her MBA from the International Management Institute and is an alumna of Loreto House and St. Xaviers College. Hailing from a family of judges and lawyers, she is the first to pick up the pen. Stories her parents told her as a child and her passion for maintaining a personal diary and a travel journal inspired her to take up writing. You can join her by following her on Twitter (@aditi_bose) or liking her Facebook page (

Social media links

Twitter- @aditi_bose

Book Links



I'd like to thank author Aditi Bose for letting me review her book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading!

This Review is a part of the Blogger Outreach Program by Read Out Loud in association with b00k r3vi3w Tours

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Book Review: Principally Yours by Bubloo Sen

Title: Principally Yours
Author: Bubloo Sen
Pages: 155
Publisher: Authors Upfront


‘Principally Yours’ is a piece of nonfiction narrated by Bubloo Sen about her experience of teaching and moulding many lives to bring about positive changes in the society around her. Revolution can come from any sphere and in any size. What matters is the intention behind it and the result. This book is one such story of a mini revolution brought about in the lives of the economically challenged Jewish and Muslim students of an underprivileged school in Bombay during the 70s who were living a miserable life in squalor and poverty. It wasn’t an easy task given the odds, but Bubloo Sen, despite her petite frame and genteel ways, had a steely resolve and a charismatic disposition. She took under her wings her students enveloping them in the bonds of love and harmony all the while instilling in them pride and a firm belief that unstinting effort and commitment is all that is needed to re-write one’s script in life.    
Reading it reminded me of another book I had read long ago, ‘To Sir, With Love.’ It was one of the most remarkable and impacting books I read as a student. I found ‘Principally Yours’ equally motivating especially now that I’m a teacher myself.
The issues covered in this book are real to date and poignantly relevant. Mrs. Sen has written an autobiography so sumptuous with its many life teachings – making the book really one of those that is bound to change your outlook towards life. The book’s life lessons are many; the most profound being – respect begets respect. Against all odds Mrs. Sen taught her charges to expect the very best from life so that even in depravity they could hold their head high and walk down the aisle of life with dignity. This book teaches us that even those who seem most undeserving of anything deserve to be given a chance and be treated with respect.
The incidents narrated in the book took place in the 70s and we readily get a glimpse of that era. Through her writing Mrs. Sen really paints the picture of what the school she was teaching at like and about the students. I was immediately grabbed in and brought along for the ride. The writing style is a no-frill affair and hence easy to read and enjoy. The narrative structure is less academic and more like a story. The cover is a beautifully rendered watercolour composition that has its own charm. What you’re holding in your hands is Mrs. Sen’s thirty five years of faith and hope sandwiched within the pages. Hers is an exemplary life from which each of us can pick a leaf and follow suit.
For me it was an excellent read and I would highly recommend it to all.

Book Links

At thirty five, she epitomized the quintessential good wife and good mother. She had it all. A loving husband, three adorable children. Yet, she didn’t quite feel happy. 
It was a bunch of children from an underprivileged background living in one of the toughest areas in Bombay – Nagpada – that helped her find herself and a purpose so deep that it changed not just her life, but those of generations. 
She became the good teacher. 
Years dedicated to the altar of knowledge at SJSHS. Thirty five years of encouraging faith and hope amongst her young students who lived in squalor and poverty. A Hindu Principal teaching economically challenged Jewish and Muslim students. Enveloping them in the bonds of love and harmony. Instilling pride and a firm belief that unstinting effort and commitment is all that is needed to re-write one’s script in life. Not an easy task given the odds, but Bubloo Sen, despite her petite frame and genteel ways, had a steely resolve and a charismatic disposition. In her dictionary every No needed to be met with a resounding Yes.
Today at eighty two she exhibits the same resilience and joie de vivre. Her love for life is contagious. A renowned educationist, foodie, fashionista and now a serial author and actress! Life for her has to be king-size. A woman who greets every morning with surprise, wonder and a childlike innocence. A woman who believes that every day is a gift she needs to share with the world.
A woman of substance. Bubloo Sen.

I'd like to thank author Bubloo Sen for letting me review her book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading!

This Review is a part of the Blogger Outreach Program by Read Out Loud in association with b00k r3vi3w Tours
*The review was first published on

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Blog Tour: Finding Lyla by Cate Beauman

Ethan Cooke Security and their bodyguard team return to action in Finding Lyla – book ten in Cate Beauman’s Bodyguards of L.A. Countyseries.

With over 4700 reviews and a 4.3 rating for the entire series, see why the Bodyguards of L.A. County is a multi-award winning series.

Buy It Now!

New to the series? No problem! Each book in the “Bodyguards” series is a stand-alone title. Although reading the books in order is preferred, it is not necessary.  Each title features brand new primary characters and limited overlapping secondary characters.  Don’t hesitate to jump right in!

Principal Dancer Lyla Markovik-Avery is always on the go. Grueling practices and endless performances rule her busy days—and things are about to get more hectic. Russia is rolling out the red carpet for their beloved star, despite the string of violent terrorist attacks that have rocked the nation.

Bodyguard Collin Michaels’ life is falling apart. His long-time relationship recently ended. He’s trying to start over, but that’s easier said than done. Luckily, Collin has a new assignment on the horizon: keeping a beautiful ballerina safe for the next three weeks.

Collin finds comfort in Lyla’s easy friendship, but that all changes after a night out on the town. Simple feelings become complicated—something Collin can’t afford, especially when tragedy strikes and Collin realizes Lyla’s caught in the middle of a dangerous plot for revenge.

Collin and Lyla are forced to flee. They need to reach the border before it’s too late, but the odds are stacked against them in a country that wants them dead. With time running out, Collin formulates a risky plan that might be their only chance of making it out alive.

The Inspiration Behind Finding Lyla:

Typically I get my story ideas from crime documentaries or some sort of crime television program, but I can’t say that is the case for Finding Lyla. When I was coming up with ideas for this novel, I knew I wanted to tell a story about a hero that had struggled through some rough times and a heroine that had some unresolved issues of her own, but was soft, strong, and gentle all at the same time. During the summer months, I started paying close attention to the ongoing Russia/US conflict and Lyla and Collin assured me they wanted their story to revolve around an adventure that combined all of these elements together.

Read an excerpt from Finding Lyla:

Collin settled beneath the covers on his temporary bed as the dim glow of city lights radiated through the windows. He reached out, grabbing the remote off the coffee table he’d pushed off to the side, and flipped through several channels, stopping on SportsCenter. Scores and updates ticked by on the bottom of the screen, and he moved on, not all that interested in hockey stats.

He stopped again when the live footage from Saint Petersburg, Russia caught his attention. With the volume on mute, he searched for the closed caption button and sat up, reading the news report while the station switched back and forth between the newscaster and images of the police surrounding a trolleybus in the middle of a downtown street. The reporter spoke of a bomb discovered during the busy morning rush hour, mere miles from the plaza where dozens had been killed on New Year’s Eve. Luckily a citizen had been paying attention, and the explosive device had been deactivated, stopping another disaster.

Early reports were suggesting that the same rebel group responsible for the December thirty-first bombing, Chechen Freedom, had attempted to strike again. The news segment switched to snippets of the video released weeks ago, shortly after the slaughter of innocent civilians, where the masked men promised more violence in retaliation for The Federation killing one of their leaders. The man pointed at the camera, vowing to continue with his plans to destroy Russia until the regime relented and gave the Chechens back their country.

Sighing, Collin rubbed at his jaw. Why did he feel like he was walking into a losing situation? Everyday there was something new going on over there. If it wasn’t bomb threats and anti-American rallies, it was anti-Putin demonstrations outside the Kremlin walls, which often ended with tear gas and riot gear. And he and Lyla were only hours away from their late-afternoon flight.

The issues in Saint Petersburg weren’t necessarily one of his concerns. The city was a good nine hours away from their destination. It was the possibility of terrorist attacks in Moscow and Russia’s discord with the United States in general that had him on edge. The fact that Lyla was a dual citizen of two countries at odds had the potential to work for her…or very much against her. Only time would tell which way things were going to go, and they would be along for the ride while they waited to figure it out.

Did you enjoy the excerpt?  You can read the first chapter on my website,, or you can finish the whole book with the links below!

Amazon: Kobo: iBooks: Barnes & Noble: | Paperback

The Unofficial Finding Lyla Soundtrack

Music plays a HUGE part in my writing process. I typically listen to Pandora or YouTube while I create my stories and compile a collection of songs that I feel represent my characters or the situations they face as each novel unfolds. It’s a rare occasion that my creativity demands silence (And that’s a good thing. I’m a mother of two boys. Quiet doesn’t exist in my house.). I thought it would be fun to create a list of songs that ‘spoke’ to me while I wrote theBodyguards of L.A. Countyseries. You can listen to the “soundtrack” for each book on my website

The soundtrack, of sorts, for Finding Lyla:
·         Today by Steve Moakler
·         Beautiful Things by Gungor
·         Teneferie Sea by Ed Sheeran
·         Shut Up and Dance by Walk The Moon
·         Anywhere but Here by Safety Suit
·         Never Gonna Be Alone by Nickelback
·         Nirvana by Sam Smith
·         Don’t Deserve You by Plumb 
·         Unconditionally by Katy Perry
·         You’re in Love by Taylor Swift
·         Fight Song by Rachel Platton

About the author:

International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers' Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers' Favorite Awards.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on Deceiving Bella, the eleventh novel in her popular Bodyguards series.

For information on Cate's new releases, monthly giveaways, and upcoming events, sign up for her newsletter at:!newsletter-sign-up/c9td

You can follow Cate on Twitter @CateBeauman



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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Guest Post - Publishing in India by Suresh Chandrasekaran

About the book

A hilarious pseudo-history of marketing management, which explicitly denies resemblance to any actual history, and which will be horrified if some semblance be found. The story of a man who discovered that the path of life is strewn with treadmills and, if you get on one by mistake, you could keep running all your life to stay in the same place. The story of how a businessman may just be minding his…err…business and the ‘Invisible Hand’ can cause unexpected consequences to arise out of his innocent actions. There is no point blaming the tale for being exaggerated because that is precisely what it seeks to be – an ‘exaggeratio ad absurdum’ of some facets of the world. Anything you learn from the book – be it the basics of marketing management or a satirical view of Society – you do at your own risk.

Book Links

Print Book (FlipKart):                                                                    

Publishing in India

You know how it goes – you have not even cooked the biryani and you are already dreaming and drooling over the taste. So, when I looked up the ‘Submissions’ page of publishers, I had really not even put down one single solitary word. As usual, I was certain that I was going to write a masterpiece but exactly what that masterpiece was going to be about, I still had no clue.
Then, I look at the details on the page and I had the shock of my life. One of the things they wanted me to fill in was my marketing plan. Huh! “That is your job”, were the words that sprung to my lips and, thankfully, there was no-one in front of me to laugh at my idiocy. In my naiveté, I had assumed that only the writing was my part of the job when, apparently, the entire world knew that only the printing and distributing was the publisher’s job, while all the rest was for the author to do.
To be sure, it was not all like that. If you were a celebrity author (meaning an Amitabh Bacchan) OR an author celebrity (a Chetan Bhagat), Publishers did fall all over themselves to market your book. It seemed a bit like the bookseller running with the books to the houses of the readers ONLY when he was sure that the readers would also be running to the bookshop to buy that book. If the reader hears of a book and stays put at home, with no interest in buying it, the bookseller would also sit in his shop waiting for the readers to come and buy that book themselves. Seemed a bit illogical but what do I know? I am no businessman leave alone a Publisher.
But then there is always that issue. You know, like Indian movies get released on every single screen that they can get all at once. If the movie is a big yawn, the viewers come crawling out and make a beeline to the pharmacy for aspirins, and, as a consequence, there is no further viewership, the producers would still have recovered their money. Maybe something similar lies behind this attitude of the Publishers. Maybe they just want to sell as many copies of the celebrity’s book before the reviews start walloping the crap out of the book. If that is the case, it does not seem like a great vote of confidence in their own abilities to vet a book, leave alone the writing skills of the author.
What, then, if their celebrities lose their hold on the audience, if nothing worse? The next rung that they would depend upon would have to climb up there much like the current lot did. Effectively, they would have to be able to market their books well enough to hit the second rung, nay become celebrities in their own right, and, then, when they are capable of marketing their books themselves, the Publishers will fall all over themselves to market their books for them.
The whole process seems somewhat like being called for an interview to become a computer programmer and, then, being asked to play a piano to prove your skills. If a good author proves to be a dud at marketing, he has little chance of getting Publishers to back him with sufficient marketing efforts even if they do publish him. They would send across the book for newspaper reviews, probably hold a book launch or two, give out a few review copies on social media and, then, leave the author to fend for himself.
Enter Self-Publishing. Authors, naturally, feel that if they have to both write as well as market their books, they might as well go the whole hog and be publishers themselves. The problem, though, is that self-publishing has no filters. You could, in theory, not even write coherent sentences and put out a book. With everyone and his uncle self-publishing a book, any book gets drowned out in the flood of verbiage that spews out every day.
A telling commentary on the fact that even most authors, who swear by self-publishing, plonk down their money to buy traditionally published books but are wary of buying self-published ones even by people with whose writing they already are familiar – except their friends. It is not that there are no good self-published books. It is just that there are so many bad ones that it is difficult to know which one is good. Traditional publication has put out some rank bad books too but the hit rate is better there. Also, you do have relatively reliable reviews to go by when you pick one.
Ergo, self-published books have to shriek far louder, and without the ready benefit of traditional media reviews, to be noticed. Marketing! Marketing! Marketing!
We seem to be headed for a situation where only an author+marketer can bring out a noticeable book. The odds being against the same person being a great author as well as a great marketer, what we are looking at is a world of Indian books that are relatively mediocre, with possibly better ones drowned out due to their writers’ inability to market their books.
The only saving grace is the fact that a lot of small publishers are coming out to bridge the gap. A lot of people in the Social media are also voluntarily serving the cause of publicizing good books. The problem, though, is that the self-publishing phenomenon is also spawning a lot of fly-by-night operators, who have determined that there is more money in ‘helping the author to distribute/market’ than in writing itself. It remains to be seen how soon the scavengers get unmasked, leaving behind the genuine ones.
Besides, there is also the hope that traditional publishing will realize soon that, if publishing is a business and a book is a product, it is in their interests to ensure continued production of good books; and it is the businessman, not the artist, who is supposed to do the marketing.
Meanwhile we write…in hope.

About the author

Fiction has been an addiction but the need to make a living took Suresh through Chemical Engineering and a PGDM at IIM-Bangalore and, from thence, to a long 16 year stint in the area of finance with specific expertise in fertilizer subsidies at IFFCO and a further two years as consulting expert in the same area. That, in his words, about sums up the boring part of his life, except for the people he was privileged to meet.
Born on 27 September 1963 in Chennai, Suresh can be a dithering Libran most of the times. A company town upbringing at Neyveli and Engineering at Annamali University, Chidambaram was leavened by management education at IIM-Bangalore and, later, working life at IFFCO, New Delhi. Having decided very early in life to write full-time after securing a financial future – which also incidentally meant that he remained single in order to make it as early as possible - he quit employment at the age of 41 and his consultancy at 43, and returned to Bangalore.
Otherwise, he can be described as a mess of contradictions – a bookworm but avid trekker; alone but never lonely; enjoys solitude but loves company; lazy but a perfectionist, the litany is endless. Trekking, which side-tracked him from the writing for which he quit his job, is a major passion and he does, at least, one trek in the Himalayas every year in addition to numerous local treks.
He reignited his passion for writing with a fairly popular blog The blog has been rated among the Top 5 humour blogs in India, twice in succession - in 2014 and 2015 - by BlogAdda, and has also been listed third among the Top Humour Blogs by Baggout.
He also has a short story published in a collection “Uff Ye Emotions” and has edited and written a novelette in an ebook anthology “Sirens spell danger”. On Facebook, where he is more active, he can be accessed at He does have a twitter handle - @CSuresh16 – but he has no handle on using it regularly.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Book Review: Faith of the Nine by Sachin Dev

Title: Faith of the Nine
Author: Sachin Dev
Pages: 358
Price: 375.00 INR
Publisher: Frog Books


‘Faith of the Nine’ by Sachin Dev is the first installment of the Wheels of Janani Series. It is an epic adventure of a group of characters from Nam in the Janani world. The book follows many different paths that start with a raging battle. In the first few chapters the protagonists are introduced one by one with the progression of the story. We get to know General Fateh, the most celebrated soldier in Nam who starts to question his faith, Ishan – a gifted orphan who struggles to comprehend his destiny and Abhaya – a young monk in search of truths about this world. Their choices and actions will shape the destiny of this scarred world that becomes the playground for vindictive Gods.
The older gods have forsaken Janani and a powerful god, Pruksa is protecting the masses. It'd been prophesied that, when the sun will hide and spring will turn into the violet , one of the 10 banished god will come back to avenge himself & his lover leading to turning the existing world into the ashes. So we have the Butcher-of-the-South comings down from the hills of Kandhar and wiping an entire village named Anokhee on the southern borders of Namaakal thereby triggering the chain of events that unfold gradually.
What I like most about this book is that it is not a retelling of the epics in the name of contemporary fantasy that everyone these days seem to be churning out left and right. ‘Faith of the Nine’ is different from the milieu as such. The author has painstakingly crafted a different universe with several layers meant for the reader’s exploration. The characters are well carved out. Every scene has been described in detail that warrants applause. A map of sorts, charting the location of the places mentioned, would have been a good addition. Not to mention a little more information about this new world, even if at the end of the book, would have been a welcome relief.
Reading the book brought back memories of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series. I found it a good enough read.

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About the book

"The Third Yuga is slowly drawing to a close. Nam – the greatest Empire on Janani – is going to face some fierce winds of change. Seers foresee omens of death and destruction in the return of the Banished One – A God who will claim the ashes of this world as revenge. While out in the streets, rumours abound - of older forgotten powers stirring.

Caught in this maelstrom of a power struggle between Gods are three ordinary lives: General Fateh, the most celebrated soldier in Nam who starts to question his faith, Ishan – a gifted orphan who struggles to comprehend his destiny and Abhaya – a young monk in search of truths about this world. Their choices and actions will shape the destiny of this scarred world that becomes the playground for vindictive Gods.

In a world where Rakshasas arise out of left-over traces of Maaya and twilight forms the portal to countless worlds around us for Daityas and Yakshis to dance through, a God is only as powerful as those who believe. And when Gods rise, faith of men will be tested…And broken." 

About the author

Sachin discovered Tolkien in his teens, alternative rock as a new adult and digital marketing in pretty much his late twenties. These still form a large wedge in his circle of life. Travel, radio and theatre have also figured in that ever-expanding and diminishing circle. On perhaps a more prosaic note, he is an engineer from BITS Pilani and holds an MBA from Indian School of Business. Attribute the love for numbers and pie-charts to this. He is currently based in Bangalore and happily married to Harini. He spends an inordinately large amount of time chasing after his two dogs (who love the free life a bit too much) when he is not busy dreaming up fantasy worlds full of monsters. And beautiful Yakshis, of course. He can usually be found ranting on twitter under the handle @xenosach, or you can always stalk him online at www.

I'd like to thank author Sachin Dev for letting me review his book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading!