Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Elephants' Choice by M L Eaton : A Review

BOOK TITLE: The Elephant’s Choice
FORMAT: Paperback
REVIEW BY: Dhivya Balaji & Shree Janani Sundararajan
          The author sent us both TWO copies because this story has a special back story (see end of Review for that!)
          Reminiscent of ‘The Secret Garden’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett, at times sad and poignant but always enthralling and exhilarating, this is a story that captures the wonders of India as seen through the eyes and imagination of a young English girl.
          Although this story is written with adult readers in mind, it is also suitable for children.
          It is 1954 and Melanie is six years old.
          With her parents, she moves to Bombay, (now Mumbai) India, where her father has been posted to undertake a Civil Engineering project. Lonely, anxious and unsettled, she finds it difficult to find her place in a country so different from England.
          But before long, entranced by the emotive beauty of her surroundings, she unexpectedly wins the trust and affection of a young elephant and her loneliness is banished.
          How accurate in your description can you be if you are describing events that happened when you were six years old?
          How very descriptive can your words be to make even native people of the country you were describing begin to see their country in a new light?
          How clear can your visuals be in defining one of the largest mammals that is not a part of your country?
          If you read this book, you will find out the most accurate, descriptive and clear accounts ever written about life in India in the 1950s. M L Eaton, not native to India, manages to talk about both India and Elephants with such finesse. She talks about the state of India immediately after partition. The narrative is in the form of a memoir. It is written from the eyes of Melanie, a six year old girl.
          Daughter of a British Officer, Melanie makes a move from Karachi to Bombay. She had grown up in England hearing stories about an elephant in England. Once in Bombay, Melanie sees the majestic elephant and immediately takes a liking to it. Along with her able nanny Lakshmi, Melanie visits the local park everyday and befriends Nelly an elephant. How big a role the elephants play in Melanie’s growing up and how well she communicates with their elephants forms the rest of the story.
          The language is trademark Eaton style, brilliant, very descriptive and literally takes you to the scene. The memoir style of writing is poignant and beautiful. The story is enjoyable both to native Indian and non – Indian readers. The characters are simple and deeply etched in memory. The story can be read by children and adults alike, and the cover design is pleasing and brings out the essence of the story.
          Read this story if you enjoy descriptive language and stories which do not touch upon obscure topics like romance, crime and the sensational. It is like a gentle lullaby and leaves you with a sweet after taste. Go for it!
          This story holds a special meaning for both of us from Readers’ Muse because, it was, actually, a small conversation between us and the author that started this. In the author’s own words, a picture sent by Janani, of a majestic temple elephant walking down a busy street was what triggered the author’s memories of elephants and India in the 1950s.
          This book also happens to have our names in the dedication page and we take this opportunity to offer our humble thanks to the author for her magnanimous gesture. Thank You Marion, from both of us!
          Retired from legal practice and semi-retired from holistic therapy - although she still teaches Reiki and other workshops - Marion lives close to the sea in the beautiful East Sussex countryside with a long-suffering husband, a lazy saluki and an urge to write into the small hours.
EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Paperback, Digital
PRICE: Rs. 99 for Kindle Edition

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hamlet's Ghost by Jane Tara : A Review


BOOK TITLE: Hamlet’s Ghost


AUTHOR: Jane Tara

GENRE: Fiction – Paranormal Romance


FORMAT: Digital

SERIES / STANDALONE: Series (Shakespeare Sisters series #3)

REVIEW BY: Shree Janani

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Patrick sent us a copy in exchange for a honest review.  We thank him for the same.


Rhiannon Dee, a gorgeous witch, moves to a country town to reopen a theatre and finds herself torn between the man who owns it, and his father who haunts it.

Kip Daniels has been haunting the Hamlet Majestic for thirty dull years, ever since the stage roof collapsed on him during what was meant to be his piece de resistance: his performance of Hamlet. All he really wants is to get to the end of the play, but that won't happen while the theatre stands abandoned and boarded up. He's resigned himself to an endless limbo ... until Rhiannon Dee moves to town to bring the theatre back to life.

Rhi has fled a failed life in New York. She can't find work as an actress. She's overshadowed by her mother who has a hit TV show about witchcraft. Rhi is sick of being seen as a witch and intends to turn her back on the craft. But she quickly discovers she can't escape her gifts, especially when she needs to use them to help one very sexy but sad ghost cross over. Surrounded by new friends and supportive townsfolk, Rhi breathes new life into the Hamlet Majestic, and helps Kip accept his death.

Hamlet's Ghost is a story about those moments in life that define us, and how to truly move forward we must find peace with the past.


Having read Jane’s previous books I pretty much know what to expect. Her writing is something that I am extremely comfortable with.  Her books will make you think effortlessly and make you feel good about yourself after you finish it.

Rhi, our strong willed protagonist has fled New York to make a living herself on her own. She settles down in a small town of Hamlet and rents the local theatre to turn it into a full fledged theatre only to find it haunted by an adorable ghost.

Like her previous books, our protagonist and other female characters are the strong at heart yet soft and vulnerable. In fact such characters are inspirational when you are down in dumps.

The writing as could be expected from Jane, was beautiful sans the overdo of the drama element that one can expect in a paranormal romance. Her characters as always speaks volumes. Though I felt with this book ,the female characters completely dominated the whole show. I really couldn’t connect much with the male characters. For instance, our adorable ghost who died mid way during his masterpiece act is the crux of the story whom I couldn’t really connect to. This can possibly because the female characters were rather strong and powerful so much so that they shadowed the male characters.

One seemingly positive attribute in Jane’s story lines is the closure that she gives to all her characters. They all get some closure of sorts. Right from the sidekicks who don’t actually influence the story line to the main characters, they “ ALL” get a closure of sorts. I am not a big fan of closures. Some things are better off without a closure.

My weenie- tiny complaint would be that the story was majorly predictable with few minor truly surprising twists.

VERDICT: Light breezy feel good supernatural read! Go ahead give it a go!

RATING: 3 on 5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jane is from Bondi, Sydney. She has traveled extensively and has lived in Tokyo, London, Vienna, New York and various parts of Australia. Her first book Forecast was first published in 2007 by Dorchester, but they went out of business .So FORECAST was re-released in May. And the long-awaited sequel, TROUBLE BREWING has also just been published. She has over twenty children’s picture books published in Asia, and has written travel articles for many publications worldwide. She has transformed her “itchy feet” into ITCHEE FEET, which publishes travel books for kids.


PRICE: Rs.233.55


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pink Champagne by Madhuri Iyer : A Review

BOOK TITLE: Pink Champagne
ISBN: 978-1-927826-05-8
AUTHOR: Madhuri Iyer
GENRE: Fiction - Indirom
FORMAT: Digital
REVIEW BY: Dhivya Balaji
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: I thank Naheed Hassan of Indireads for giving us a chance to review this book!
When rookie banker Tanya Sen heads out to New York City to start her dream job, she bumps into her dream guy instead! But suave and sophisticated Arjun Mehta is already taken – engaged, and soon-to-be-married, to socialite Lily. Her claws dig deep, and she isn’t planning on letting go anytime soon.

Enter Indu Ben, Arjun’s widowed mother, who has a premonition that Tanya, not Lily, is the one who will become her bahu. Arjun is forced, against his will, to help Tanya out. He introduces her to new friends, rental condos and pink champagne.

With the wedding looming up ahead, Arjun finds himself spending way too much time with an attractive young lady who is not his fiancée. Caught between commitment and attraction, will businessman Arjun follow his head or his heart?
          A short Indirom Novella seemed like a good break from the rather heavy books that are currently on my reading list. And with special thanks to Naheed of Indireads, I started reading the first of the many titles that he sent to us for review. Pink Champagne seemed quite the ‘bubbly’ (pun intended) sort of book that could break the serious readers’ block. And break, it did!
          A young girl from India, Tanya, goes to New York from Toronto to work for a bank. On her way to the Big Apple, (she travels in a bus) she gets down and the usual slip, miss and fall occur. She is saved from total embarrassment by the grace of one Greek Adonis, Arjun. She feels red because of her fall and his amusement correspondingly.
          Hoping to forget the one off incident, she moves to her new job. It was then that she realises that she has his phone. On their second meeting (to give back the phone of course) Tanya scolds herself. She seems to be falling for him romantically. It is then that she learns that he is engaged to be married. In what surely looks like a heartbreak romance, she pines for him and he for her. His overbearing fiancée seems a far cry from the silent, soft natured Tanya.
          In the big city as two friends, they meet each other often and finally, they realise the inevitable and they fall in love with each other. Whether Tanya ends up with him or his best friend Karsh, who also happens to be her moral support forms the rest of the story.
          The plot of the story is ‘man meets woman’ romance. And the characters are breezy, fun and casual. The story is short but includes all the essential details. The writing is descriptive and clear with simple, short words. The whole book is a breezy read and there are no poignant or sad moments. Go for this novella if you like a light romance with a happy ending.
WHAT I LIKED: The writing style, the choice of words.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: A little more depth to the story would have been better.
VERDICT: Expect a short breezy romance novella with a happy ending, and you will get your expectations fulfilled.
RATING: 4/5 (It meets your expectations from a simple romance novella)
          Madhuri Iyer is an award-winning advertising copywriter with a 25-year career in the advertising profession in Mumbai, Delhi, Muscat, Dubai, and Toronto. She has worked for agencies like FCB Ulka, Everest Saatchi, McCaan, and Lowe Lintas. Madhuri is a Partner at Indus Eye, a media and advertising consultancy based in Toronto and enjoys her work as a creative consultant.
          She has also holds a certificate in screenplay writing from Toronto. Subsequently, Madhuri chose to extend her writing skills into the publishing space by editing a series of four health and fitness books for the Times of India group and Penguin India.
          Pink Champagne, developed exclusively for Indireads, is her first work of fiction. Another two book print deal is on the cards with an established Indian publishing house

PRICE: Rs. 89 for Kindle edition

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Silent Prayer by Samreen Ahsan : A Review


BOOK TITLE: A Silent Prayer

ISBN: 1491720379

AUTHOR: Samreen Ahsan

GENRE:  Fiction - Romance


FORMAT:  Digital ( Epub)

SERIES / STANDALONE:   Series ( A Prayer Series #1)

REVIEW BY:  Shree Janani

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK:  The Writer sent us the book in exchange for an honest review. We thank her for the same.

SUMARRY: Adam Gibson is a young and powerful Toronto millionaire. Despite his many blessings, he is an atheist, though he has an altruistic soul. He denies there is a God--until he meets a beautiful stranger in a place that does not exist for anyone but him. 

Rania Ahmed strongly believes in God, but has lost hope she will ever find her soul mate. Endowed with hypnotic beauty and cursed by a brutal past, Rania has no idea she has cast a spell on Adam, who has never received more from a woman than physical pleasure. As Adam slowly discovers the true meaning of love from Rania, he begins to face his demons and reconsider his beliefs. He learns to love, forgive and repent. But as Adam grows closer to Rania, a series of strange, unexplained events threatens to drive them apart. To keep her from being destroyed by her past, he must persuade her to trust him with her deepest secrets.

In this spiritual romance, an atheist embarks on a path of enlightenment with a tormented soul who may just have the power to change everything he has ever believed to be true.

“ Never judge a book its cover”  warned my fellow bibliophiles.  They conveniently forgot about the summary part. I normally pick a book based on the summary. This book’s summary particularly didn’t stand out. In fact, the whole millionaire and simpleton story line sorted reminded me of the Fifty Shades of Grey series. In fact I was a little apprehensive and  considered writing back to writer apologizing for not reading her book. Thankfully I did no such blunder, for I would have missed such a beautiful series.

The book was everything I didn’t expect. Our protagonist Rania has big baggage that prevents her from finding love. Enter Adam Gibson who falls heads over heels in love with her but is unable to spell it out for he is afraid that he’ll lose that one best friend in Raina, a relationship that he has never experienced. She is his light at the end of the tunnel.
The relationship between Raina and Adam develops so beautifully that I truly began to envy Raina. In fact, there were many parts in the book where the line between reality and fantasy blurred for me. Of course, men like Adam are almost extinct! Something tells me the character of Adam is the writer’s fantasy of the perfect man. I would be unfair if I don’t mention about Raina. Raina is the quintessentially perfect woman for me. Soft in the core like a flower but hard like a diamond when needed. The whole process of converting an Atheist to a believer is narrated so beautifully that I am sure any Atheist would seriously consider turning into a believer after reading this book.

Initially when I picked up the book, I found the tense of the narration a bit unsettling. I am not exactly a fan of present continuous tense. Alas! As the story line progressed I could find no flaws with the writing or the story line or the characterisation. The  story line totally got me hooked that tenses didn’t matter anymore. This book is the closest to “ THE PERFECT” romance I’ve ever read (I can’t boast to be an avid romance reader). The high point of is the way it ended. It simply left hungry and wanting for more. In fact, I was so desperate I wrote to the writer almost within minutes of finishing this book. I have never been so desperate to read a romance (Only Harry Potter managed to evoke that true sense of despair in me till date).

Overall, this is one beautiful book well written with truly mind-blowing emotions portrayed so realistically. I can finally boast of knowing what it is like to enjoy a true, pure and unadulterated romance.

VERDICT:  Please don’t miss it! MUST READ.
RATING: 4.9 on 5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: History, art and literature are her passions. She  loves digging out information about prophecies, divine miracles and paranormal events that are mentioned in history and holy books, that don’t sound possible in today's modern world.

Since childhood,she has been into reading and writing—and yes, it can’t happen without imagination, which luckily has no boundaries. Dance and music are also pastimes she enjoys, as well as reading romance fiction. she loves to travel and explore historical cities. 

EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Digital, Paperback

PRICE: Rs.118.30 (Kindle)



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Some codes are best left secret.
What if I told you there existed a bible code. Not just any bible code but one capable of turning the Book of Genesis into the most technologically advanced epics ever told; would you believe me. Well thanks to one of the Cold War’s best kept secret, such a code does exist.
The Talon Project is an original bible code discovered by the world’s best and foremost scientist. This unique code turns the Book of Genesis and other ancient creation stories into the most technologically advanced epic ever conceived.
Not everybody is happy with the project going public. Will you believe in the code!


A Secret code that exists since biblical times. a code so ancient but capable of helping produce the most technologically advanced weapons and make the country who has the code a superpower. Detective Michael Cohen receives a different kind of request from an ex FBI agent. When he heeds to that request, he finds himself constantly followed and indirectly threatened at turns. When he learns from the grand old man about the Project Talon, he looks into it with skepticism and disbelief. But he gets a chance to meet the legendary but shadowy character who claims to have solved the code. What this person requests Michael to do forms the rest of the story.

This feels slightly sudden in the ending. There are a lot of loose ends that need to be explained. The story is a short 42 pages and feels like an extended prologue, but an interesting one at that. There is enough build up to create an anticipation as to what the story will be like. The reader is actually left searching for the remaining pages in the book. The writing is good and the story is creating enough anticipation to keep the reader engrossed. But without the explanatory (expected to be so) second part, this is like a tantalizing preview that hides more than it shows. Not as an individual book in itself.

Purchase Children of the Gods

About The Author

Darryl's Website / Facebook / Twitter
Darryl Olsen is a writer who lives in Sydney, he was educated on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales and after leaving school joined the Australian Regular Army. Darryl Olsen now writes part time, and when he is not finishing off his latest novel, you can catch Darryl at the gym lifting heavy weights, but still avoiding all forms of leg work.
Darryl Olsen is the author of the Purgatory series with the first title, Purgatory, Soldiers of Misfortune- now available. Stay tuned for the second novel titled, "Purgatory Origins" He also wrote "Children of the Gods-The Talon Project."


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