Saturday, July 19, 2014

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Scarlet Revenge by Ann McGinnis






The Blurb

The FBI doesn't know what to do with Analyst Caycee Scarlet. She's brash, brilliant & brutally relentless when tracking a serial killer. But she also has a temper, problems with authority figures and recognizing the chain of command. Things go sideways for Caycee when she uncovers a lead that saves the Omega Killer's latest victim. Rather than working the system and making nice with her pompous boss, sparks fly and she gets into an altercation with the lead Special Agent on the case, resulting in a transfer to another assignment. Caycee finds herself transferred to an FBI interrogation facility where she assesses the most dangerous of criminals in custody. She struggles to get over the loss of her dream job, but her new boss, handsome Special Agent Gil Graham, may soften the blow. Sparks, of a different variety, fly between the Special Agent and his new Analyst, as they work together to crack the most difficult cases. Just when Caycee's wounds are healing from her expulsion on the Omega Killer team, she is dragged back into the thick of it. Caycee and her new team are front and center, focused on an interview of a bombing suspect, when Omega comes looking for revenge. His attack wounds her team, leaving Caycee with only one option for help-the devastatingly handsome bombing suspect. It will take all of Caycee's wits, and a kiss for luck, to stop Omega and save her co-workers.

MY REVIEW

If I could review this book in one line, I would say I loved it! But, a detailed review does more justice to an author and the readers. So, here is my take on the first book, "Scarlet Revenge" which is a part of a suspense series. 

Ann McGinnis' "Scarlet Revenge" is a thriller which involves an incredible heroine in the form of Caycee Scarlet, an Intelligent Analyst for the FBI. Scarlet's induction into FBI helps save a serial killer Omega's latest victim, which irks not only the serial killer, but, her power licking boss, Wilkes. She manages to rub him the wrong way on the first day of her stint and lands up in a team headed by Agent Gil. Agent Gil proves not only to be her boss, but there is also office romance brewing between him and her. Just when the storm caused by Omega seems to be settling down, there enters The Baseball Bomber, Hicks who manages to woo Scarlet's heart, or does he? It is the story of Scarlet being torn between Gil and Hicks and in the midst of all this, her mission to find the serial killer, Omega or is it the other way? I am not going into the details of this thriller, it is best to read it in person. It has so many twists and turns that will keep you hooked to it. 

The editing is crisp and flawless. The author has a good hold on the story, characters, and the language. Not once did I find the author to falter. The thriller is fast paced and thoroughly detailed. 

In one sentence, this book is unputdownable. Read it over the weekend with a cup of coffee to give you company and you would have created a perfect little weekend read for yourself and a thoroughly enjoyable one which will keep your heart pulsating. If I have to rate the book, I will give it 4.25 out of 5 stars. The onus now is on the author to keep the magic alive in the second book, "Scarlet Envy". 

Rating : 4.25 out of 5. 



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Meet the Author


Ann McGinnis writes about characters that let their egos and sense of justice rule their lives, while they protect the public from serial killers and unthinkable crimes. Of course, Ann's characters always find a way to blow off steam -- romantically!
As a writer, Ann comes from the world of action/thrillers and screenwriting. She has two scripts currently in development. A third script, about a spunky FBI analyst, is the basis of "Scarlet Revenge" and the main character Caycee Scarlet. It is the first book in a series, with Book 2 “Scarlet Envy” coming out in September 2014.


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Monday, June 30, 2014

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Welcome to The Book Club’s very first Giveaway
Tornado Giveaway

We’re extremely excited about it. You will be toowhen you hear the details. Get ready to be blown away by Tornado Giveaway! 

A tornado of books is coming your way. We love our Authors. They give us hours of entertainment; they fill our lives with love and passion. Today, we want to do exactly that. Fill your life with love. This is a Romance Giveaway with a smattering of crime thrillers and a heartwarming family saga - to spice up your life.

Starting on the 1st of July we will introduce each of the twenty-three participating Authors on our Book Club page. Some you already know; some are new.  But all promise to keep you entertained with their words.

Believe it or not, we have 200 books to give away.  Didn’t we say, a Tornado is coming your way!  And there will be not one... not two ... but 17 Winners who will get 17 books each and 6 Mega winners will get a chance to grab 22 books each.

How do you participate in this Giveaway? It's simple... just follow the Rafflecopter(scroll down) and win all the books. 

So what are you waiting for?  Join us here as we introduce each author daily and get a sneak peek into their writing. Get ready to be swept away! 

The Rules....

Love Books of course :)

In the Rafflecopter follow the rules....

1. Like the Author Facebook Page - Mandatory - 1 point
2. Follow the author on Twitter -Mandatory- 2 points
3. Tweet on the dates mentioned in the Rafflecopter about the Author - Optional - 3 points
4. Like the Harlequin India Facebook Page - Mandatory - 5 points
5. Like the Indireads Facebook Page -Mandatory - 5 points 
6. Like The Book Club Facebook Page -Mandatory -  5 points

23AUTHORS; 23 NOVELS; 17 WINNERS6 MEGA WINNERS 


Participating Authors

Name of the Book Name of the AuthorDate of Post
Scarlet RevengeAnn McGinnis1st July
Saving Justice Tasman Gibb2nd July
The Perfect Groom Sumeetha Manikandan3rd July
Wilde RidersSavannah Young4th July
Scorched by His FireReet Singh5th July
When I see your FaceDevika Fernando6th July
The Malhotra BrideSundari Venkatraman7th July
Butterfly SeasonNatasha Ahmed8th July
The Indian Tycoon's Marriage DealAdite Banerjie9th July
Bootie and the BeastFalguni Kothari10th July
Full CircleYamini Vijendran11th July
Bollywood Fiance For a DayRuchi Vasudeva12th July
The Truth About De CampoJennifer Hayward13th July
Twelve Hours of TemptationShoma Narayanan14th July
Monsoon MemoriesRenita D'Silva15th July
His Captive Indian PrincessTanu Jain16th July
The Return of the RebelJennifer Faye17th July
Rapid FallAdiana Ray18th July
Kingdom ComeAarti V Raman19th July
Crossing the line Nicola Marsh20th July
India was one An Indian21st July
Lily's LeapTéa Cooper22nd July
Love's LabourAndy Paula23rd July


All the Best Dear Readers...

a Rafflecopter giveaway



RESULTS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON 30TH JULY



Participating Blogs



Bloggers/WritersBlogging @
Aarti V RamanRt_Writes
Adiana RayRayyyydays
Adite BanerjieAditeBanerjie
An IndianIndia Was One
Ann McGinnisAnn McGinnis
Arti MetroreaderArti Metroreader
Bhavya NKIshithaa
Devika FernandoDevika Fernando
Dola Basu SinghShiuli
Falguni KothariFalguni Kothari
Inderpreet Kaur UppalEloquent Articulation
Janaki NagarajMemoirs of A Homemaker
Jennifer FayeJennifer Faye
Jennifer HaywardJennifer Hayward
Jigar DoshiJigar Doshi
Parichita SinghParichita
Natasha AhmedDear Rumi
Nicola MarshNicola Marsh
Nikita SoniNjkinny's World of Books & Stuff
Pooja AbhayThoughtless Ramifications
Reet SinghReet Singh
Renita D'SilvaRenita D'Silva
Rubina RameshThe Book Club
Ruchi VasudevaRuchi Vasudeva
Savannah YoungSavannah Young
Shoma NarayananShoma Narayanan
Sonia Raosoniaraowrites
Sumeetha ManikandanBooks Reviews by Sumi
Sundari VenkatramanFlaming Sun
Tanu Jaintanurja's Blog
Tasman GibbTasman Gibb
Téa CooperTea Cooper
Usha NarayananUsha Narayanan
Yamini VijendranStraight from the heart
Andy PaulaAndy Paula




This Giveaway is hosted by The Book Club. A group of Writers and Bloggers who have come together to spread the works of different authors from around the globe. 


Logo design by Natasha Ahmed

A special thank you to Adite Banerjie, Sundari Venkatraman and Dola Basu Singh. Without you this Giveaway was not possible. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

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The Madras Mangler by Usha Narayanan






The Blurb

Five pretty girls from around the country, enjoying college life in Chennai, chasing their own dreams. Until a psychopath comes to town, killing girls and dumping their bodies in the rivers. The killer is smart, dangerous and very angry. Just like Vir Pradyumna, ace criminologist from New York, who is fighting his own demons from the past. Ruthless politicians, bumbling cops, beer barons and cyber criminals run amuck. The killer snatches a girl whom Vir has sworn to protect. A Hollywood action crew and the crowds at the India-Australia cricket one-dayer get sucked into the relentless buildup to a nail-biting climax. Will Vir be in time to stop the maniac and save the girl?


MY REVIEW 

Usha Narayanan's "The Madras Mangler" is a thriller set against the backdrop of an evolving modern Chennai which was, not-so-long ago, called Madras. The story is about five girls studying in a college in Chennai and the various situations that they are entrapped in their respective lives. There is also danger lurking around them with a serial killer on loose, who mainly targets college-going girls. Coming to their rescue is Vir Pradyumna , a criminologist who is bent upon nailing the serial killer so that he can put his own demons from the past to rest and also save his new found love, Kat from being a target.

Honestly speaking, when I started  reading the first few pages of the book that starts with a scene where a fresher is being bullied by a few notorious men, I felt I had come across the scene in many South Indian movies and for that matter, a few Bollywood ones too. I was a tad disappointed. 

Coming to the story line, I think it is very well etched. The main plot and the sub plots have been dealt with immaculately and blend very well with each other. As it should be with thrillers, this one is a fast paced thriller and keeps the reader hooked to it. The characterisation and the detailing is appreciable. Since it is a thriller, I am not going into the details of the story and will leave it to the reader to experience it first hand. But, I still think that a lot of scenes are very similar to scenes from movies or soaps that we come across, and it does feel very predictable at times.

But, there is one thing I should mention and it is the way the book is structured. The language and the grammar used, for the most part of it, is a delight to read. The editing is crisp and commendable. Hats off to the author for having achieved this feat, considering most books nowadays fail in this aspect. 

Overall, it was a nice weekend read which kept me guessing. I wish there was a little less movies/soaps kind of a feel, because, it kept my brain thinking that I have come across this many times before. If I have to rate this book, I would give it 3.25 out of 5 stars.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5


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Meet the Author


Be crazy, be creative. That’s been my mantra as a writer and a creative director ― in advertising, radio, corpcomm and web-writing. I turned up the craziness a notch by becoming a novelist, with the freedom to write exactly what I wanted. I started a romcom, changed it into a thriller and sweated and slogged to get the pieces to work together. Research, cliffhangers, suspense, clues, red herrings ― my brain was in a tizzy for days and months. 
Done, dusted off, dispatched. A few rejections, heartbreak. A contract from Leadstart, bliss. Creating a spooky book trailer with images and music I bought online. A tweak here and there, with my editor. Poring over images for the cover. Suggesting the artist turn ‘The’ in the title sideways. The book comes out on Flipkart and Amazon first. And after some nail-biting suspense, in bookstores. Organised a launch with Suhasini Maniratnam and Rudra Krishna. Great media reviews. Lovely, wonderful blogger friends. I love being an author 

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Saturday, June 7, 2014

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Every now and then, there comes a book that doesn't fit into any of the categories of books I usually read. When the author of "India Was One" asked me for a honest review, I was up for it thinking that this might be one of those books.  I was right, this book isn't like any of the books I have read before. It is different and hence, the review is going to be a lot different. 

I am an Indian and also a Non Resident Indian, and that makes me look at the book from two perspectives. I tried coming up with one view about the book, but my mind was in a conflict. So, my review is going to be from two different perspectives.

The story is about Jai and Kaahi who fall in love with each other during their time in college. It is about the time they spend in college with their friends, their love, their marriage, their move to USA and their subsequent return to India when they get to know that India has got divided, again. The storyline is an usual college love story, set in the backdrop of modern India.

As an Indian who has spent most of her time in India, I felt the book was a bit of a drag because of the various details that was interspersed within the story, which an Indian already knows and is aware of. I also fail to understand the reason behind the use of vernacular words in the book that are written in the native language, considering the words are in English anyways. This makes the story lose the plot because we are hoarded with details in every paragraph. The smooth flow of a story is missing. I wish the details were either in the form of footnotes or should have been at the end of the book wherein people who wanted to know more about a particular thing could always look it up. But, this is only my take on it. I am sure the author would have thought of it differently while penning the book.

I contradict my own review here when I say that I believe the author made a brave attempt to write a book which is different and unique. As a Non Resident Indian, this book reminded me of what I was missing. The journey of Jai and Kaahi reminded me of our journey to the United States. The detailing is very accurate. Also, the emotions, the anxiety, the fear of Jai and Kaahi is something I could relate to. It was like a journey back in time when my husband and I came to the country about a year and half ago. I was emotionally very well tuned to this particular phase in the book. Again, there were details about how things work in USA and the like, which I skimmed through. 

If I have to put it briefly, I think I am going to get into the author's brain and think of it from his perspective. Here is a book wherein the characters and the story seems to be the background and the details about India, its culture, perspective of Indians seems to be the focus. I should say I liked the book though I feel the editing should have been crisp. The language is simple, the story is simple, but the essence of story where India gets divided into two seems to have lost its plot somewhere between all the details. I feel this book targets the international audience more than people residing in India, considering the minute detailing in the book. I feel this book is a good read for kids with Indian roots, who are born and brought up abroad, to get an insight of their roots. It is also a good read for people who want to get to know modern India and its culture, atleast to a certain extent. If I have to rate the book, I think I will give it a 3.25 out of 5 stars.

Rating : 3.25 out of 5


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