Sunday, 6 May 2018

Book: Age of Azmoq - Epic Fantasy Tale

#BookReviews




Title:  Age of Azmoq: The Valantian Imperium
Author: Rajamayyoor Sharma
Publisher: Self
Pages: 500
Price: Rs. 500 
My Rating: 4/5

Blurb:
Azmoq is the rarest and most coveted metal on the planet. It's the ultimate source and symbol of real power, and the Valantian Imperium controls it all. Or so they thought... For the first time in generations, the Valantian Imperium, masters of the Valantian continent glimpse the first tremors of fear. There are rumors abound. Rumors of legends. Legends of both ancient Azmoqian weapons and men of godly powers, long thought to be myths. As these rumors grow, a small group of people, from various walks of life, some commoners, some within the mighty Valantian Imperium itself, by pure coincidence, have set in motion a chain of events. The legends, if true, along with these set of events, might reignite the flames of a revolution. A revolution the Imperium had long suppressed. A revolution that might alter the balance of power in the continent, and eventually the entire world...

Review:
When we think about fantasy, the first thing that comes to mind is vampires/werewolves. There are very few people who can think beyond this, and the author is one of them. 

Age of Azmoq is one of a kind book. It revolves around a world that is completely different to what we live in. It also has very different geography and botany. I found this pretty interesting.

The story revolves around the journey of three companions and how they cope with various situations, and struggle to reach their ultimate goals.

The characterization in the book is good and we can definitely link to various protagonists - yes, to make it even more exciting, there is more than one. Sometimes it did get confusing, but while reading you adjust with the flow.

Overall it is a good read and it is one of a kind that will take you away from the real world.

What I didn't like about the book was - multiple times there is a timeline shift and it got very confusing. Also, the book needs a bit of proofreading and fonts should be enhanced. It is very difficult to read with such small fonts. And lastly, the pace of the book, especially in the beginning, should be improved.

However, all above cons are nothing when compared to the beautiful and epic story author has woven.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

My rating - 4/5

You should give it a try too.

Lots of love

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Want to move abroad? Do it PTE way

#DefinitelyPTE

Every milestone in life is difficult and challenging. And getting a job or college abroad is one of the biggest challenges. Wondering why? It is mainly because of competition. India has a goldmine when it comes to hardworking associates or intelligent candidates, so what makes a person different? Apart from many personal qualities, English is a key factor.
Speaking fluent English and scoring well in entrance tests is the key. People outside need candidates with good English skills, so what should we do?

Given everyone demands for test scores as proof, we should opt for the best one available and also the one that would be accepted without any questions or doubts. 
PTE Pearson is one of the best and safest way to ensure admission abroad. And below is the list of key features of this elite and widely accepted test:
  • The test is pretty good and standard. It is widely accepted globally
  • The registrations are flexible - you can choose the date and time any time any day. All you need to do is ensure that the registration is done 24 hours prior to the exam
  • The centers are available worldwide and in many top cities in India. See full list here.
  • The fee is minimal in comparison to the bright future that the academy offers
  • Results are out within 4-5 working days
  • It is recognized in Canada, Australia, New Zealand UK and USA and is accepted by almost all universities there. See full list here
So, don't wait up. Look up Pearson PTE Academy today and start your exciting journey.

See videos below to learn more about them.


Lots of Love




Thursday, 5 April 2018

Book: Road to Cherry Hills: A Motivating Story

#BookReviews





Title:  Road to Cherry Hills
Author: Sohini Bagchi
Publisher: LiFi Publications
Pages: 176
Price: Rs. 225 
My Rating: 3.5/5

Blurb:
Road to Cherry Hills takes us into the world of Rimjhim, as she walks down the memory lane to her campus days where she meets Ankit, falls head over heels for him and thought her life has changed forever. Of course it did, but in the most unexpected ways, as she soon finds her life taking a completely different turn. Rimjhim, now a single mother and a successful professional, moves on to fight her own battle. She didn't need special power to do so, but a strong willpower to overcome difficult times. That willpower which we all have but we are only one step away to realise it. The story narrates her trials and tribulations, her dilemmas and achievements, her darkest fears and her deepest desires as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery.

Review:
As I started reading through the initial pages of the book, I was mesmerized by the natural beauty of Cherry Hills as it is so beautifully depicted by the author. The initial pages made me wish for a vacation... [sigh!]

The story revolves around Rimjhim's life and how she coped up with every situation. It is a motivational story showcasing how life threw so many issues at Rimjhim and how she stayed motivated and found her footing.  While reading you tend to wonder 'does so many bad things happen to one good person?' - answer obviously is yes and not just in a story but also in real lives.

It is a beautiful story and so well-narrated that you feel and endure everything with Rimjhim and feel depressed at times. Hence it is not for people who only like to read happy-happy stuff :)

Talking about characters, Rimjhim's character is built overtime and while reading you learn all about her. However for all other side characters, a bit of background and additional narration is required. As a reader I could not relate to anyone except for Rimjhim.

What I found lacking in the story is Rimjhim's relation with her daughter. The birth of her daughter was a pivotal point and their relationship should have been explored more.

The climax of the book is just as per expectation. 'What goes around, comes around' is a popular phrase and it was kind of expected to happen. To some people it is 'way too optimistic' but I believe in Karma and it is well depicted here.

Overall I liked the book and my rating for it is 3.5/5

Do give it a try.

Lots of love



Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Meet Sohini Bagchi - An Author cum Journalist cum Blogger

#AuthorInterviews

  • Hi Sohini, please tell us something about yourself.

First of all, thanks for giving me the opportunity to feature in your blog. I am Sohini, a journalist, blogger and author of ‘Road to Cherry Hills’, a contemporary adult fiction.

I was born and brought up in Kolkata. I have always enjoyed writing and reading story books. As a child, I liked making up stories and writing them on my personal diaries. I remember how in my high school, I was so rejoiced to get selected to write for one of the leading newspapers in the city, The Statesman for its school supplement. It was a great learning experience at that tender age that motivated me to become a journalist.

Later, I pursued my masters in media and communication studies from Manipal Institute of Communication in Karnataka. I also received the National Human Rights Promotion Award for my work on Child labour in 2003.

I’ve worked with several media organizations including Hindustan Times, Times of India and IDG Media. Currently I work as Chief Editor with a leading tech media firm in Bangalore. I love to mentor young minds in the field of writing and communication. I’ve traveled to various countries and exotic places. Traveling, I believe is a great way to learn and excel. During my spare time, I love to read, listen to music and practice Karate and Yoga. More than anything, I enjoy spending time with my family, especially with my son Kush.

  • You have recently published ‘Road to Cherry Hills’, please tell us something about it.

‘Road to Cherry Hills’ is a contemporary adult fiction. It revolves around the story of a young woman, Rimjhim, as she walks down the memory lane of her college campus, and recalls how her love life began in the lively educational town and just when everything seemed perfect, life took a shocking U-turn, leaving Rimjhim distraught as she had to fight her own battle. In her journey of life, she runs into different people, meets with new experiences, and explores new places, and in the process starts to bring bigger changes towards communities and the society. The book spans over a decade, includes different characters with shades of black, white and grey - who play a part in Rimjhim’s journey of self-discovery. In other words, it narrates the challenging and inspirational story of Rimjhim and her tryst with life.

  • What inspired you to write your book?

There are so many inspirations when I look around; so many things we learn, or experience from people, books and the world around us - some keep inspiring us and help us to move ahead in life with greater zeal. At some point in time, it becomes important to reflect on those experiences. To me, the best way to do so is through written words. I must have wanted to write books since I was a child and unknowingly followed my dream. My parents always encouraged me to do what I liked to do. My mother is a writer. Her simple yet powerful style of writing also motivates me to keep writing. All these inspired me to write my debut novel.

  • What do you like more – writing your stories or working in your profession?

Unlike many people, I’d been fortunate to turn my passion into profession. I am an editor and my job involves writing on people and their businesses. Even though that’s different from writing a fiction, end of day, you tell stories about people to your readers – their success, challenges and aspirations and so on. While working on my debut novel and in the process of getting the book published, I learnt a lot of things. Writing to me is like breathing. It gives me a voice, a sense to my life and connects me with people and ‘myself’ better.

  • What kind of books do you read? Any favourite authors/books?

I love reading different kinds of book to indulge my curiosity and never really restricted myself to a particular genre. I read both non-fiction and literary fiction. I’m fond of autobiographies, memoirs, science fiction, horror, historical fiction, mythology, technology, and many more. Likewise, books on cinema, as well as economic and social issues equally appeal to me.

Well, it is really difficult to single out a few favourites from the troves of books I’ve read [smiles] – there are actually so many - from Shakespeare to Tagore, from Tolstoy to George Orwell, from Jane Austen to Enid Blyton, from H.G Wells to JK Rowling and from O’Henry to Ruskin Bond [the list is endless] – they all inspire me right from my growing up years. My mother Shampa Bagchi is a published author of several books and I enjoy reading her books too, along with other contemporary writers.

  • What were the key challenges that you face while you write?

There’s so much to write, but so little time. With so many details to attend in our day to day life - both at the workplace and personal life, I sometimes delay writing for a ‘better time’. However, the truth is that the ‘better time’ will just not come unless you make that happen. So, since my college days, I have Friday nights to myself – that’s my dedicated writing window, and I look forward to it every week. Also, for new authors like me, finding a good publisher is certainly a challenge. I also came across some fake ones. As for me, my manuscript was rejected twice till a found a very supportive and detail-oriented publisher who took a lot of interest in the story and my book.

  • Which phase of book you hate most? Writing, Editing, Marketing, or something else?

Writing and editing [and even rewriting] are things I enjoy, as that’s been my domain, while, marketing and promotional activities are gradual processes for which I rely a lot on my publisher LiFi Publications, who has been very kind. There’s nothing that I hated in particular in the journey of writing my book and getting it published. Every phase is like a learning experience and I still have a long way to go.

  • Are there any words of wisdom that you would like to share with new authors?

New authors, especially millennials are smart [and very focused] hence I have nothing much to say, except that I would gladly quote Steve Jobs' famous saying which I too believe: the best way to learn more and achieve more  is to ‘Stay hungry… stay foolish’. I also add to that ‘Stay humble’. By following our heart, our intuition, and dreams, we can attain greater heights.  

  • Any other projects you are working on? Yes, what are they?

I have started working on a collection of short stories and I hope to complete the book by the end of this year. There’s also another novel in the pipeline, which may take some time. I also intend to update my blog more regularly.

  • Lastly, if you have to describe your book in few lines, how will you do it?

Road to Cherry Hills can be described as an inspiring story of a strong willed woman. In my book, the main female protagonist appears as the girl next door, but under circumstances, she turns out as a strong, independent woman who struggles to beat the odds against her and moves ahead in life. She is also sentimental and passionate. While writing the book, I felt connected to Rimjhim and believe many of you can identify with her joys, sorrow, passion and aspiration.

Hope you enjoyed reading about Sohini and her book 'Road to Cherry Hills'. Do grab a copy of her book from Amazon today.

Lots of Love


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