Saturday, November 15, 2014

Book Review: Life Is What You Make It,by Preeti Shenoy


About the author:
Preeti Shenoy is an author and artist. She believes life is the biggest teacher. She is an avid blogger, whose poetry has also been published. This book is her second published work.
My thoughts on the book:
So we have the protagonist, Ankita. She’s a 20 something girl who seems to have issues from the past that haunts her present. In the prologue, we start with her sitting on a chair outside the doctor’s office, mulling over how they’ve come a long way to get her treated. Now that start is perfect. It’s that conflict that pushes the story toward an ending, and makes the reader wonder why she’s at a doctor’s office in the first place. But then, in the next paragraph, it appears as if the protagonist is still traveling to the doctor’s office. And we’re taken through a drive. Major confusion here and that doesn’t do the story good.
The story begins as a flashback. We’re shown letters that Ankita sends to Vaibhav and Vaibhav’s reply. As the story moves, we come to know that Ankita’s parents are very old-school (for the lack of a better term) and don’t approve of her being with other guys, even if in a group, or allow her friends who are boys to call her at home. So they begin to sneak around, doing what they can to stay in touch. Guess love is like that.
The story moves to Ankita’s life at college. This part of the story goes well. It’s kind of like settling in, finding new friends, etc. She gets elected into the school’s office bearers group. The campaign part is fun too. The story goes smoothly till the second guy comes into the picture. Abhi, the guy who she meets at an inter-collegiate event, begins to woo her. Now, good for her part that she tries to tell Abhi about Vaibhav and stuff, but if she is really in love, then it feels really strange that she’d start feeling for Abhi so suddenly. Especially with her talking to Vaibhav and pretending all is well all along. Fast forward and Abhi proposes that Ankita stay in the same city and college so their relationship continues, but Ankita refuses because her parents would not understand, and more so because she’s got into the best college in another city. She even refuses to guarantee that she’ll stay in touch with him because she felt it silly. (If she could stay in touch with, and sneak calls with Vaibhav earlier, this casual brush off for someone who was right near to her and who she “loved” felt very out of character.) The events that follow leave a big mark on her, and she leaves the city on a sad note.
From this point, and her new college life for her Masters degree, the turnaround in her character is quite stunning. She becomes very, maybe even too competitive, and starts seeking perfection. She has affections for one of her new classmates, and kisses him. When her academics seem to be going well, her parents find her “love letters” and turn on her. In front of her, they burn the letters. From here, her mind cracks and she begins to lose it. The problems arise and she leaves going to college. Her parents take her to psychiatrists to try and solve her problem, even trying to force her to return to college. She’s taken to NMHI where she finds someone who’s willing to listen to her, understand her problems and help her get past them. And we move to the ending which culminates it all.
What I liked in the story is the simple language and narration. It’s a quick read if you have some time on your hands. It’s inspiring to the extent that it tells you problems are temporary and you can get past them if you believe. Yes, the story does have elements of a love story, but it isn’t completely one.
What I didn’t like in the story is that you are left much confused. The prologue is conflicting, and the characters very shallow. It’s difficult to think that when your daughter is excelling in the field she’s chosen, any parent would react in that cut-throat way to finding a love letter that HAS a date and is known that it’s long back and target their daughter’s mind health, no matter how strict they are. You don’t get to know why Ankita begins to lose her mind suddenly, if it’s one thing or a combination of different things. The title is only justified with an epilogue that happens fifteen years later. You start to think the plot somewhat quarter or half way into it, so knowing what might happen leaves you disappointed, and also makes our feeling of sadness or sympathy with the protagonist less.
Overall, I think this is a one-time read. I can’t for the life of me figure out why the book is as popular as it is. I don’t think it is a bad book, but it’s confusing why it is titled so. It’s a really nice message, I agree, but the story doesn’t bring it out like it needs to.

Rated 5/10
Rated 5/10
Book details:
Title: Life Is What You Make It
Author: Preeti Shenoy
ISBN: 9789380349305
Genre: Romance
Publishers: Srishti Publishers
Price: Rs. 100

Books T-V

~ Titles beginning with T ~

~ Titles beginning with U ~

~ Titles beginning with V ~

Books W-Z

~ Titles beginning with W ~
 a online friend, a skillfull poet, well done bookreview, leo

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Interview with Christopher Cloud Author of the Young Adult Fantasy Novel Adelita’s Secret

Adelita's Secret Book Tour

Today, we're shining the book spotlight on a young adult fantasy novel, Adelita’s Secret thanks to Rebecca's Writing Services. Christopher Cloud is an award winning novelist with his collection of young adult novels.  

About Adelita’s Secret 
Lost in a superficial world of materialism and social status—and ashamed of her Latino heritage—seventeen-year-old Adelita NoĆ© is loved by two men, two men separated by a hundred years and vastly different stations in life. One man owns little more than the shirt on his back. The other, a poet at heart, is heir to a vast fortune. Their love for Adelita serves as the backdrop for the Latino girl’s quest to better understand herself and her Mexican roots.

Read Chapter 1 – 4 on Amazon

Title: Adelita’s Secret
Author: Christopher Cloud
Genre: young adult fantasy romance
Title is available at Amazon kindle or paperback
Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble

Q: Christopher, Do you have any advice for new writers/authors?
There’s an old adage in the writing business that insists writers should write what they know. Twenty-years ago that was true, but not today. The availability of the Internet affords writers the luxury of writing in-depth on any subject. Your story may require a great deal of research, but if you’re willing to invest the time, the Internet allows a writer to qualify himself/herself as an expert on any subject. The Internet has eliminated those long, exhausting trips to the library, and outshines even the Ancient Library of Alexandria.

Q: What are your writing tips for others?
Don’t be afraid, at first, to write poorly. All writers, from Stephen King to Mark Twain, have written stories they’re not particularly proud of.  These stories are usually shoved to the back burner awaiting a serious rewrite. Most never see the light of day. I look back over stories I wrote in college and cringe, they are so poorly written. But that’s how writers improve. There can be no success without a few failures. We cannot all be a Truman Capote, who is said never to have received a rejection letter. 

Q: Tell us a little about your next book or writing project.         
At the moment, I’m between novels. I have established a few criteria for all of my novels, and my next is no exception. The story must be either middle-grade or young adult and have some social relevance. I've boiled my story ideas down to three candidates.

About Christopher Cloud
Author Christopher Cloud 
Award winning author Christopher Cloud began writing fiction full time after a long career in journalism and public relations. He writes middle-grade and young adult novels..Cloud graduated from the University of Missouri in 1967 with a degree in journalism. He has worked as a reporter, editor, and columnist at newspapers in Texas, California, and Missouri. He was employed by a Fortune 100 company as a public relations executive, and later operated his own public relations agency. Cloud attended high school in Japan, and lives in Joplin, Missouri. His website Is:

Visit Christopher Cloud’s website

Visit Cloud’s blog

More books by Christopher Cloud

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Left Behind: A Movie from New York Times Best Selling Book Series (Vic Sarin, Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkens)

 from a book to a film photography (movie ;))

An airborne Boeing 747 is headed to London when, without any warning, passengers mysteriously disappear from their seats. Terror and chaos slowly spread not only through the plane but also worldwide as unusual events continue to unfold. For those who have been left behind, the apocalypse has just begun.
A repackage of the New York Times best-selling novel Left Behind.

directed by Vic Sarin
Produced by Joe Goodman
Paul Lalonde
Peter Lalonde
Ralph Winter
Written by Reverend Tim LaHaye
Jerry B. Jenkins
Alan B. McElroy
Paul Lalonde
Joe Goodman
Starring Kirk Cameron
Brad Johnson
Gordon Currie
Janaya Stephens
Clarence Gilyard, Jr.
Chelsea Noble
Colin Fox
Music by James Covell
Cinematography George Tirl
Edited by Michael Pacek
Namesake Entertainment
Distributed by Cloud Ten Pictures
Release dates
  • October 31, 2000 (video)
  • February 2, 2001 (theatrical)
Running time 96 minutes
Country Canada
United States
Language English
Budget $4 million
Box office $4,224,065

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Life in the First Draft with The Magic of Friendship

About the Book 

The Magic of Friendship Book Tour
BABBAR is a fierce and mean tiger who cannot tolerate anyone, but he is lonely and sad. HASMUKH is a funny donkey but gets scared of everyone. When the Magic of friendship touches them see how it transforms not only their characters but also transforms the whole environment around them.
The Magic of friendship is a hilarious, action packed entertaining story. There are scary moments, celebration and comical moments. While the core focus of the story is about friendship it has elements of Father son bonding and family values as well. 

Book gives plenty of opportunity for parents to entertain kids with their own version of animal noises. And bright and interactive illustrations is sure to leave a mark on eyes.

This is a story about change -- a transformation that comes with the magic of friendship. Personality may not change, but nature can surely change. This story will show the value of friendship and how that can change a person, particularly, one who is lonely and never really had the gift of laughter. 

Book Excerpt 

A flock of migrating geese stumble upon Tadoba, the land of the fierce tiger Babbar who does not tolerate anyone in his area. Will Babbar show any mercy? Can he change? Will the geese make it to safety? 

Title is available at Amazon
Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble
Title of Book: The Magic of Friendship
ISBN:  9-7-80-99031781-4
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Publisher: Kommuru Books
Publication Date: September 2014
# of Pages: 40

Guest Post 

Life in the First Draft - In one word writing ‘The Magic of Friendship’ was cool! Right from get go this story I knew it deep inside is going to be a hit. One afternoon my son went to sleep and I haven’t written a story for him for a long time. He has been asking for a new story for a while by then. So during afternoon I sat back and all I had in my mind was a tiger and a donkey as characters. I focused on these two animals and was thinking they are so much opposite but what can they possibly teach other. What can happen when you bring them in front of each other? Well in real life you obviously know what would happen J but when you think of such opposite figures and what can they do for a meaningful story it is amazing read. 

When writing the story I did not have ‘magic’ in mind in fact there is no magician in the book. Magic is true to this book not only on how it came together in the form that it is and also its about how two characters change each other’s lives without actually changing themselves. When you think of it, it’s a learning lesson not just for kids but for everyone. You need not change you can be exactly opposite of the other and yet see a transformation. 

Core of the story never really changed after that afternoon when I first wrote ‘The Magic of Friendship’. But before it took shape of a book, I added quite a few characters which play supporting role in this book. Initially the book was just focused on Babbar the tiger and Hasmukh the donkey and story was in first person tone. But then I introduced the geese as assisting characters and changed tone of the story to be one of third person. And these assisting characters actually did more than just filling gaps in story they actually move story in a different pace, they are curtain opener and also close the story and they actually bring family values and a multi-generational relationship on focus. 

I totally loved writing this book and I guarantee that anyone reading ‘The Magic of friendship’, old or young, men or women, boy or girl, will love it and will be entertained throughout. 

About Sujata & Subhash Kommuru

Subhash and Sujata hail from India. They migrated to the United States along with their memories of childhood and youth. Now that they are parents, just like every immigrant they crave to introduce their child to the culture and values of their upbringing. Yet it is challenging to teach something while you are in the midst of adjusting to a different culture yourself. Subhash and Sujata both work in different disciplines and have different styles and backgrounds, but it is the upbringing of their son that brings them on the same page. That exact place where they meet is captured and reflected in their stories, where Subhash can express in words, and Sujata can illustrate them beautifully. Where he puts it in black and white, she adds color to it. You get the idea! These stories are their attempt to share a glimpse of their childhood days with their son. He is their inspiration to write short stories that have meaning to them and provide teaching in some shape or form.

Our Goal
Our goal is to introduce kids to Indian culture one story at a time and along the way have some fun. While stories are primarily written in Hindi they are tastefully being narrated in English as well, while maintaining the essence and moral.

Our Promise
Our promise is to always write sensible story with some moral to them.

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