Book Review – Murder in the Palace and Other Stories

Author – Priya U Bajpai is a short story author and poet, with several of her past work

having been published in mainstream newspapers. A literature scholar, Priya loves writing fast-paced and layered tales across genres.

Book Review of Short Stories

Book – Priya’s book is a collection of short stories which range from murder mysteries, sci-fi, historical fiction, horror to paranormal.

The book starts with a murder mystery ‘Murder in the Palace’ where Detective Anna Roy is called upon to solve the case of the mysterious death of Susanne Smith, a royal heiress. There are various characters like her husband, ex-husband, lover, friend and best friend in the story, and each one of them seem to have a motive to kill Susanne. The mystery is multi-layered. The characters develop with the story and the clues keep you guessing till the end.

Banon’s Conundrum is a sci-fi that talks about the Sun dying and a new star Banon replacing it. I liked the story for two reasons – firstly, the Earth has rejuvenated its natural resources and has reclaimed its old beauty and charm, and secondly for the strong-willed female protagonist Kwakan.

In Blueprint, you actually admire the perfection-seeking Dr. Tanya Jacob and her obsessive love for Fibonacci sequence that makes her stop at nothing. However, a reader is left wondering who is the bigger protagonist here? The scientist or Fibonacci.

Geisha as the title suggests is a story of a geisha, who stands by her principles and gets her heart broken because of it.

Much has been written about one of the darkest periods in the human civilisation, the holocaust, however it is poignant and shameful to read every new one. Priya’s Horrific Holocaust talks about how a girl is not only not able to keep her promise to a Jew friend in the times of Nazi occupation but is also not capable enough to save her from death in the concentration camp. A simple story that makes you feel as helpless as the girl in the story and horrified at the inevitable end of the Jew girl.

I am II is again a sci-fi that raises the worrying question that was first put forward by the movie – I, Robot starring Will Smith where humanoid robots powered by artificial intelligence come together to take over the world. However, Priya’s II is not AI, but a step further. It is Infinite Intelligence which is more intimidating because of the dispassionate manner in which the machine thinks.

The Mysterious Globe and Neil’s Shoe, two of my favourites are not at all what you expect. Quite a twist they have and scary too!

Killer keeps you hooked till the end. Just when you thought you had solved the murder mystery, you find out it wasn’t what it seemed to be.

What I like – Priya’s versatility is commendable. Every story is different and interesting that it makes the reader sit up and think. Priya has good writing style and her characters are well developed. Dr. Tanya Jacob’s sinister character in Blueprint actually sent the shivers up my spine while I sympathised with Neha in Neil’s Shoe. Detective Anna Roy is a tough lady and doesn’t scare easy. I would like it if Priya can develop more stories around her.

What could have been better – Some of Priya’s stories especially The Dazzled, a story of a masseur and a mysterious lady on the metro, are short and less detailed which leaves the reader wanting for more.

This book gets a definite thumbs up from me. There is a bit of everything for every kind of reader, and the best part is it is entertaining to the core.

Download Priya’s book from here.

How My Ebook ‘Tara’ Has Changed My Life?

Fiction story, ebook, blogchatterebook
I feel on top of the world after publishing my ebook Tara and want to stay there. 😉

I take on the baton of Blogchatter Ebook Carnival from Aesha whose ebook ‘Decoding MidLife’ is also a part of the mix.

About Aesha’s ebook: It covers topics like – ‘Approaching Midlife with positivity and vigour and not consider it to be a crisis phase of life. Writing this book has been an enriching and moving experience for the author as she explores facets of her own unknown personality.

So it has been a month since my ebook launched and tell you it has been a roller coaster journey since then, with more ups than downs. I am extremely proud to be the owner of my shiny ebook. If a couple of months ago had someone said I would be writing my own ebook, I would have surely laughed at them. But here I am with Tara and feeling so happy about it. I have been getting the sweetest messages from people all around the world (even from those who have not been in touch for quite sometime) that they read my ebook and loved it.

Participating in the BlogChatterEbook Carnival has changed my life in so many ways. Let me tell you how –

For the last month or so, I have been reading other ebooks, and let me tell you I am impressed with what I have read so far. There are so many talented people out there. It feels good to read them and then connect with them.

Stephen King rightly said – “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” And so I am catching up on my reading!

I have reviewed these books which was a first for me. So see, I learnt something new. I won’t say I am a very good book reviewer, but I am learning the ropes and happy with myself so far. Though I have a long way to go…

It is no fun to write when you don’t have someone to share with. Yes, you need your village, and I have found one in the BlogChatter community. We write, we tweet, we share, we read and we encourage. We have built a small close knit writing community and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Apart from this, it’s fun to be a part of the live sessions held by BlogChatter for they are quite informative, helpful and useful for budding writers like me.

Now want to read about my book – Tara? Here is the blurb:

Tara is a dreamer who lives in her past. After a bad breakup, she chooses to marry but fails to accept her husband. A chance meeting with her ex-lover rekindles her interest. Will she give in or save her marriage? Or will she listen to her heart and break free?

Download your free copy from hereTara

Now, I pass on the Baton of Blogchatter Ebook Carnival to Deepa whose ebook ‘Healthy Recipes Cookbook’ is also part of the mix.

About Deepa’s ebook: Healthy but not boring. Her experiments in the kitchen are inspired by her daughters, her inspiration for discovering healthy & yummy new recipes She hopes to break the myth that healthy food is boring and tasteless.




Book Review – Parenting & A Slice of Everything


Author – Anupriya runs a blog mommytincture wherein she shares her experiences and thoughts as a mother, a daughter, a woman and a conscientious human being.

Book – Parenting & A Slice of Everything is a collection of 26 stories that portrays various incidents and emotions related to pregnancy, parenthood and relationships.

It showcases the life of two sisters, Smita and Amrita, one who chooses to not have a child and the other who has a 5-year old and is pregnant with her second baby. However, the story is not restricted to Smita and Amrita alone but talks about other people in their life too.

The book touches on relevant topics of both pregnancy and parenting such as a successful career woman Smita is bullied by her mother to start her family, an extremely pregnant Amrita feeling inadequate and jealous when she sees her husband paying more than necessary attention to his slim and svelte colleague, her genuine confusion on how to introduce certain topics like death to her young son or how to behave when her son throws a massive tantrum in the mall for a chocolate, Amrita and her husband Raghav stealing moments of passion on their date night, potty training, the nanny who becomes a surrogate to Amrita’s elder son Nik, and so on.

We also come across endearing stories of Smita and Amrita’s mother, Mrs. Gujral who has been dominated all her life by her perfection-seeking husband and a single mother who is raising her son all alone trying her best so that her son doesn’t take after his father.

Review – I had expected this book to contain only advice and tips on parenting. However, I was in for a pleasant surprise. The book is in the form of a story that doesn’t restrict itself to parenting, but also talks about life and relationships in general. Every chapter raises a pertinent question about parenting and life which makes the reader take a moment and ponder. I found it very innovative, as admit it, tips and suggestions even when given out in good faith are both condescending and boring.

What I liked –

I found this chapter very endearing where Smita’s mother in law is jealous of Smita for usurping her son. She clings to her son whenever he visits her. Smita understands the feeling of loneliness and desperation that the older lady is going through. She extends a hand of friendship and lets the mother in law know that she can never take her place – the place of the mother.

These lines will give every couple who ever argued about not having a second baby quite some food for thought –

With a single salary, this lower middle-class couple had nurtured two saplings into full blossom flowers – confident, capable and financially independent. And here she had in front of her, a couple who earned a six-digit monthly salary each and yet could not afford parenthood.

What I didn’t like –

Some grammatical and spelling errors though it doesn’t affect the reading pleasure.

In all, Parenting & A Slice of Everything has a bit of everything for a reader. If it gives you an insight into what parenting can be like, it also reveals the intricacies and complexities of relationships.

To read the book, you can download it from here.

Book Review – That Year I Found Me


Author – Dubai based Dr Ruchi Chopra Nasa is a Pathologist by profession. She loves to scribble on her blog, and you can find her writings on website:

Plot – Neha, a doctor, is happy and secured in her loving little family comprising her college sweetheart turned husband Akash, also a doctor, and her son, Pihu, till one day she comes to know that her husband had cheated on her. Though Akash confesses to the extra marital affair being long over and apologises for his mistake, Neha finds it difficult to come to terms with this breach of trust and runs away from home. However, she realises that she still loves her husband and running away is not the solution. She returns and both husband and wife make an effort to work on their relationship. This is also the time when Neha decides to quit her job as she is not happy in her profession and takes up studies again. Both her husband and young son encourage and support her. Years later, Akash’s past knocks at his door once again.

Review – The story is written in the form of a personal journal. Though Ruchi took part in the A to Z blogging challenge, the book’s chapters are not titled alphabetically. It’s neither here nor there; it’s just something that I happened to notice.

I will tell you a few more things that caught my eye while reading the book.

Firstly, Neha gets married when she still wanted to enjoy life, gets a child because her parents and parents in law told her it was the practical thing to do and quits her job to take care of the child because that was the right thing to do. She has always bowed down to the pressures of the society and is therefore bitter about it. This is a very pertinent subject as more or less every Indian girl experiences this in her life and questions it at some point.

Ruchi has given a glimpse into the world of medical doctors. Instead of glorifying it as it is usually done, she has indicated that how when their peers are already into the family way, have a car and are steadily paying towards their home loan, MDs who have recently post graduated have not even thought of starting a family and have zero bank balance for having lived on meagre stipends.

The premise of the story is so relatable because every woman at least once in her married life asks herself what she would do if she ever finds out that her man is cheating on her. Would she leave him or see it as a signal that her marriage needs to work upon? Neha once tells Akash that she would definitely leave him should the situation ever arise in their marriage. However, when she is faced with it in reality, she is not able to run away but sticks by her husband.

Ruchi has woven a lot of wisdom in her story.

It is so surprising over the years, we humans accumulate so much of unnecessary egos, negative thoughts, and negative people. An excess baggage of all sort as we age! Yet we never bother to do that cleaning in our lives.

You don’t get old when you are certain age, you get old when you start resisting the change. You get old when you stop celebrating the wonderful gift of life. You get old when you start waiting to die. You get old when you stop believing in love.

And my favourite of all – “Love is not about candle light dinners, and precious gifts. Love is not just going around each other arm in arm. Love is holding the other when they themselves are not able to.

That Year I Found Me is not a love story, but much more than that. It talks about marriage, the highs and lows that a couple experiences and their struggle to keep the relation-ship afloat. It is an eye opener for couples who think of taking the easy way when their marriage hits choppy waters. It is also inspirational for women as it shows Neha quitting her high paying job because she was not happy in it and finding happiness in studying again.

Download Ruchi’s book here –

BTW, I have released my ebook too. It’s called Tara –

Do download and show it some love, love!! –


Book Review – The Last Seychelles Flame

medha nagur

Author – The Last Seychelles Flame is written by blogger, Instagrammer and Zumba enthusiast, Medha Nagur.

Plot – Adrija is a photographer by profession who has big dreams. However, she belongs to a low-income group and lives in a small town which has no prospects career wise. Furthermore, By the virtue of being a girl, she is also seen as a burden by her parents. Her father refused to finance her dreams and doesn’t endorse her profession of a photographer either. Her mother taunts her for not getting married even when she has crossed 30 and her friends are not only married, but also in the family way. But, Adrija pays no heed to them and quits home to pursue her dreams.

In her new job in the city of dreams, Mumbai she meets some interesting people. And, soon she travels to Seychelles for an exciting fashion assignment, where she meets Omkar Arora, an irritating but lovable man. The two of them share a great chemistry. The world might have been hunky dory had been her ex-boyfriend not re-entered to haunt her.

Will Adrija be able to get free of her terrible past. Will the flames kindle between Omkar and her? Will she be able to soar high professionally, something for which she fought with her parents and quit home? Will she find her true love and live happily ever after?

Read more to know.

Review –

What made me choose this book was its title ‘The Last Seychelles Flame’. Reading it I knew it had to be a romantic story, I am sucker for them. Also, the word Seychelles popped up the image of turquoise blue waters, sugar white sand beaches and swaying coconut palms in my head, and I couldn’t resist it.

Adrija is the protagonist of the story. She is a career-oriented girl and is highly motivated to realise her dreams. She has very high self-esteem and is hesitant to ask for help even in situations beyond her control.

Another mainstay character is Omkar who in spite of his beach boy looks turns out to be a dependable person and a loyal friend to Adrija.

Ronnie, the supposed love of Adrija’s life, is another important character in the book. He is a trouble maker and stays true to his character till the end.

The book touches on the fact that girls are often considered to be a burden for parents and they see their daughters as someone to be married off without spending much on their education. The story also underlines the importance for girls (or even men) to be wise in choosing their partners. A wrong step can cost them big time.

These lines from the book I particularly liked.

Challenges are like sweet butterscotch granules sprinkled all over in the cake of life, which are difficult to pick out and discard but if you know how to enjoy them even when they are hard to bite, they sure will enhance your experience.

Medha’s story is gripping and keeps you hooked till the end. It’s a romantic read and doesn’t disappoint you in the slightest. If you enjoy love stories, this one is just right for you.

Download Medha’s book ‘The Last Seychelles Flame’ –

Book Review – 26 Favourite foods and a little bit of me by Mayuri Nidigallu

You come across a cookery blog or book, and you tend to dismiss it by saying ‘It’s just another one in the long list!” but, then you pick it up and go through it only to realise that is not the case.

Mayuri pic

I am so glad I picked up Mayuri’s book “26 Favourite foods and a little bit of me” (of course the cover picture of an indulgent Indian spread in copper handis helped) for not only I got some amazing recipes, but also caught a glimpse into Mayuri’s childhood, her likes and dislikes, and her family.

Every chapter in the book describes a food item beginning with an alphabet, and also talks about her personal life starting with the very same alphabet. For instance, C is for Chaat, but then the same chapter also talks about C for Calm! I found it quite innovative and entertaining!

A book is the author’s reflection, Mayuri’s book is definitely hers. The titbits of personal information that she shares make the book more personable and interesting. As I flipped one page after another, I got to know that Mayuri is born a Punjabi and married to a Telegu in an arranged inter-caste marriage (my eyebrows almost touched the head), she can imitate people’s voice and mannerisms, she hates elaborate cooking (we have to be soul sisters), the hilarious story of her wedding day sweet ‘Putarekulu’ and about her numerous quirks. It also made me wonder if I didn’t already know her.  apart from the fact that she is a tarot card reader and runs a lifestyle blog magazine by the name Sirimiri.

Her language is simple. She has mentioned the recipe links that takes you directly to her blog site, which I thought was very clever on her part, as it keeps the book clean and short.

I am not a foodie, but going through 26 different foods in Mayuri’s book, I realized I love good food. Also, it’s not just another cookery book, it’s much more than that!!

If you liked what you read, do download “26 Favourite foods and a little bit of me” by Mayuri Nidigallu from here –