Thursday, October 15, 2020

Book blitz : Nargis and other short stories by Hermit pen


 The Book

The book is a collection of 8 short stories, each unique and different from others, covering various facets of life, inspired by real-life characters and incidents.

The stories address contemporary social issues like loneliness, binge dating, domestic abuse, social media addiction, celebrity worship, and also contemporary environmental issues like pollution, dwindling water, declining fertility rate, chemical warfare, etc. 

The stories also attempt to illustrate the pain and wounds of contemporary political issues like lynching, conflicts, refugees, etc

All the characters seem very familiar and we can easily relate to them.

Book Purchase Links

Amazon India | Amazon USA

Book Excerpt


It is 2030 and most of the water on earth is polluted.

In the beginning, it was industrial pollution that rendered most of the water beyond human usage, and then the water wars that followed resulted in the extensive use of chemical and biological weapons, which further left the remaining water sources toxic.

In less than 10 years, water had become the currency, and owners of non-toxic water source the new age kings, with their own militias, protecting their wells and supply chain.

Water trading was the most lucrative business now.


Namita had stopped thinking about resistance or confrontation long back. Domestic abuse and sometimes physical abuse had become part of life for her. She had accepted it. It was no secret either. Most people around her knew. It’s difficult to hide the scars, especially the physical ones. 


Since that fateful day, he had wished for only two things. To meet the family of the boy he had killed and the people who had killed his brother. 

He couldn't make up his mind as to what will give him the closure he needed. 

The atonement of his sin or revenge. Guilt and vengeance had been consuming him.


All she could manage was “Why are you good to me Shoeb? Why do you still stick around when everyone else has given up on me, and now you brought my child to me”.

Neha could not control anymore, tears started rolling down her cheeks. 

Shoeb softly spoke almost in a whisper to Neha “We have taken him out of the shelter and legally adopted him. We will raise him as our own now”


He had plans of getting married next year. An arranged marriage. His parents in Hyderabad had already selected the bride for him. He knew nothing about the girl and was not interested to know either. He believed that arranged marriage will ensure that his parents will be taken care of in their old age, which was his prime responsibility, being the only son, as has been repeatedly hammered into his head, by the society, since childhood.


The night was beautiful, a bit cold though to be sitting in the balcony in only a t-shirt, this had been her ritual, night after night. 

The silence at this time of the night is addictive. It calms the volatile souls and tames the inner demons. 


Finally, she read out Waheed’s post aloud “I respectfully decline The Smith Award, which is considered no less than Noble prize, awarded to me for my thesis “Impact of Social Media on the Psyche of Celebrities”, due to the sad and unfortunate demise of a subject during the course of an experiment.”

Oh Syria!

Qasim, on the other hand, was sad, very sad. He had this foreboding that his days on his homeland were numbered and he won’t be able to return, ever. 

This was the home of his ancestors. Their graves were here. His father used to tell him that for centuries his family had lived in this town. 

About The Author

The author Mr. Hermit Pen is a regular contributor to short stories and articles for various anthologies, magazines, and own blog. 

Mr. Hermit Pen is a Business Consultant by profession with a degree in Engineering and an MBA. He is well-traveled, having spent half of his life outside India; he is presently based in Gurgaon, India.

He is a movie buff, music connoisseur, and a cricket fanatic.  He also closely follows politics and current affairs. He is a vocal advocate of education, human rights, and equality, and he occasionally dabble in social activism.

At the cusp of reinventing himself once again, Mr. Hermit Pen with all humility showcases his debut book, Nargis.

Catch up with Hermit Pen On

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Thursday, October 08, 2020

Embers by Deepak Kaul

No.of pages
: 53
Published on : 2016
Book links : Goodreads Amazon
Author links : Goodreads

My review

Author Deepak Kaul' s 'Embers' is a tribute to the famous blockbuster movie 'Sholay' which made history that even the present day bollywood films can barely match up to what it has achieved till this date. It broke records due to its excellent quality. The protagonists, antagonists and the rest of the crew earned popularity in addition to hefty sum of money for their hardwork. 'Embers' is a modern day retelling of the movie BFF Veeru and Jai,  cyber thugs who are hired by Thakur, an ex-cop living in Ramgarh. Gabbar Singh, the infamous telecom and business magnate , a fugitive on the run is wanted by Thakur for a reason. If Jai and Veeru catch the perilous criminal and hand over to him, they will be paid generously also leading them to fame and fortune.

Veeru is cool, humorous and adds excitement into the story and Jai's tough mannerism, his sarcastic nature and no mincing words made me agree wholeheartedly, opposites attract. Heinous absconding criminal Gabbar Singh tastes the wrath of innocents at last. What costs Jai and Veeru to make him pay? Did Thakur get his revenge on Gabbar? Did the villagers saved from paying unfair price for wi-fi, DTH, mobile recharge, etc? Did Jai and Veeru end up happily ever after?

If you are looking for happy endings, I recommend this book but with a twist. Nonetheless, the pros of the story outweighs the cons. There is disappointment which you will see. The author Deepak Kaul has amazing story weaving skills. No mistaking his talents. In this fine story, I felt a tid-bit cheated because the bonding of Veeru and Basanti, Jai and the widow Radha was missing.The female lead characters were underdeveloped. This is something I hated widely in the otherwise wonderful short story. He has kept his focus only on the BFF's tactics to catch Gabbar and fulfill Thakur's vengeance.

'Embers' is sporadically bit funny, bit silent, bit melancholic, bit romantic, bit violent not to say the book is a parody. Anyhow, nothing is extreme in the story. The message is subtle. Flawless characters adorn the book. The author is conservative with his narration and character potrayals. That's my opinion. I wish he wrote a full length novel not a novella. I still recommend the book to all avid fiction lovers especially the ones who have watched and enjoyed, 'Sholay'.

As a Tamilian, I remember watching the movie in bits and pieces, I loved Jaya Bachan's simple character whilst hating Hema Malini's loud, noisy character. Amitabh Bachan's role is very close to my heart. I don't remember watching the full movie though. Blame it on my lack of interest or patience in watching movies neither soap operas that contain violence. I am highly confident, 'Embers' will give all 'Sholay' fans, a good ride which definitely turn out to be a memorable experience.

Rating 3.5/5

Monday, October 05, 2020

Book tour : The art of the black card by Anthony Ryan Sadana

Artt of the Black Card by Anthony Ryan Sadana
Art of the Black Card: No Bullsh*t Guide to Business by Anthony Ryan SadanaPublisher: Artt Press (January, 2020) Category: Self-help, Motivational, Entrepreneurship, LBGTQ, Business, Memoir, & Non-Fiction Tour dates: September 29-November 25, 2020 ISBN: 978-1734311006 Available in Print and ebook, 140 pages Artt of the Black Card

Description Artt of the Black Card by Anthony Ryan Sadana 

“The Art of the Black Card” is a fresh, concise, irreverent instruction manual on how to succeed as an entrepreneur based on the author’s own original insights and his risk-taking record as a businessman and innovator. This is not a cookie-cutter business book filled with tired advice and worn-out clich├ęs. “The Artt of the Black Card” is a contrarian guidebook for a new generation of business owners and leaders — anyone with the smarts, guts and passion for making money. You don’t need an MBA to get rich, and “The Artt of the Black Card” proves it. Employing nine vital work/life lessons using the exclusive and legendary American Express Black Card, aka the Centurion Card as a framework, author and serial entrepreneur Anthony Ryan Sadana explains how to make money while the world around you is going to hell and emerge stronger than ever. It’s the perfect antidote to today’s extraordinary challenges. 

Praise for Art of the Black Card by Anthony Ryan Sadana

“Irreverent, honest, and right on the money. Powerful business insights from a man who’s seen itall. If you want to make a lot of money on your own terms, this is the book for you.”– Robert F. Burris, Film/TV Producer “Incredible book; every person looking to be successful in business needs to read this book. The story is engaging and educational. Not a long read, perfect for reading on a plane or train ride. You will ask yourself why you have not followed this advice before. Cannot say enough about this book; read it as soon as you can.”– Julio Garcia, MD “Anthony Ryan Sadana has no difficulty speaking his mind in The Art of the Black Card. And he has no filter on his voice or words, which perhaps describes “the no-BS guide to business” that serves as subtitle. His message is positive. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and fail. It happens to the best of us. When hardships occur, as they inevitably will, be prepared to lift yourself off the ground and get back in the game. No excuses allowed. Learn from the experience and work harder (and smarter) next time. Sadana’s experiences bring to mind a couple of lines from the Van Halen song, Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love – “I been to the edge, an’ there I stood an’ looked down, you know I lost a lot of friends there, baby, I got no time to mess around.” The author’s answer to everything is to outwork the competition, to pivot when necessary to find new sources of income. There is a confidence to his voice that some may mistake for arrogance. Whatever you call it, he has discovered ways to channel that trait and his own savvy to become a successful entrepreneur who has overcome multiple setbacks, one of which left him flat broke and millions in debt. Several of his lessons, his roller-coaster life and his willingness to lay it all on the line make this a fascinating and worthwhile read.”-Brian Rouff, Imagine Communications and Author “Authentic, to-the-point, easy to read because of its anecdotal style. Sometimes funny, sometimes controversial, sometimes preachy, sometimes arrogant. Not for the easily offended. Has some very honest truths and good points about how the business world really works.”-Christina, Amazon

My review

Not every man chooses to be an entrepreneur. Not every entrepreneur succeeds in making a name for themselves. Anthony Ryan Sadana is one man whom I am in awe after reading his winning story in his book 'The art of the black card', how he made the impossible dream by majority of us possible. He is one of a kind. He touches the heart of the readers in a positive way. His no nonsense approach to the business world is amusing at the same time, very educating. I personally loved his insights about theoretical knowledge taught in schools and colleges.  In order to become successful in entrepreneurship, practical knowledge is the core ingredient not theory. How right he is!

He's born to be an entrepreneur. There's no doubt about it. Since his childhood days, he has a business mindset. Utilising this asset to the best of his ability, he made lot of profits along the way. His father himself was a business man. It rubbed on him too to choose the road less travelled. At the young age of 23, he won a prestigious black card for his success as an entrepreneur. This itself proves his immense talent in the field.

He has listed 9 principles stating his life experience to make the readers  take full advantage of his wisdom. His failures and successes are written in an inspiring way. When it comes to entrepreneurship, who is more important and why is it crucial to leave even close friends and family out of the business is shockingly accurate. Truly, our friends and family can turn out to be a foe one day if we give the impression we are too vulnerable and available  for manipulation.

The author also shares his errors made where he was cheated and how he coped with that rising above his fears and insecurities. Procrastinating and obsessing over a loss is for losers. A true entrepreneur takes losses with a pinch of salt and finds opportunities where others do not see all the time. At times, working 24/7 is also necessary. The author's word 'You have to love what you hate' is a quote that will push us to work harder and wiser if we want to be comfortable in an entrepreneurship role.

The book comprises of author's life experiences regarding business. He had been cheated many times, lost money, borrowed money, etc but did this put an end to do entrepreneurship and give him a warning rather to choose a corporate job? No. He is born for entrepreneurship. Anthony Ryan Sadana is an entrepreneur, innovator, author and influencer. He is headed for greater things. May God bless him in his future endeavours.

Rating 5/5

About Anthony Ryan Sadana

At the tender age of 23, Anthony Ryan Sadana received an exclusive invitation to apply for the fabled no-limit American Express Black Card, which represented, in his mind, “the pinnacle of my financial success and the ultimate recognition for measuring any sort of achievement against your peers.” A scant two years later, he found himself flat broke and millions of dollars in debt. Today, this entrepreneur, innovator, author and influencer enjoys a multi-faceted, successful career on a global scale in a wide range of businesses. He’s run retail operations, consults for large and small companies, owns his own real estate investment organization, and is involved in a series of high-ly profitable online ventures. Sadana’s hard-won knowledge and insights, applied properly and with the right amount of motivation, will help budding entrepreneurs and seasoned business veterans alike create their own success stories. Sadana currently lives in Las Vegas with his faithful sheltie, Lucky.

 Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: YouTube:

Artt of the Black Card by Anthony Ryan Sadana

Buy Art of the Black Card by Anthony Ryan Sadana 

Artt of the Black Card by Anthony Ryan Sadana

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Giveaway Art of the Black Card by Anthony Ryan Sadana

This giveaway is for 1 print copy for 3 winners and is open to Canada and the U.S. only. This giveaway ends November 14, 2020,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Smokes and whiskey by Tejaswini Divya Naik

No.of pages
: 150
Publisher : Storymirror
Published on : 3rd August, 2019
Audience : 18+
Book links : Goodreads Amazon
Author links : Goodreads 

My review

'Smokes and whiskey' is a collection of 42 poems regarding love and relationship. The book is a work of fiction but it is written so brilliantly which the readers can see it for themselves and relate to many of the poems inside the book.  I would say that there exists very few people in this world who can't relate to the book. Love is a universal phenomena which has affected us in some way to an extent of us losing our sanity fussing over the failure or the loss or pain or enjoying the success of our relationship when we feel butterflies flying in our stomach or swept off the feet by our loved one. Haven't we all fallen head over heels madly in love then regretting it or liking it? Love or hurt is applicable to friendships and families too, real or fake. It is also applicable to spiritual love with God. Just saying.

Poetess Divya Tejaswini Naik has amazing personality. Her words strikes a chord with readers who have been there in the situation , her poetry details. I have read somewhere that a woman sleeps with a man for love while a man sleeps with a woman for bodily pleasures or sexual gratification. Her poems reflect the emotions of a woman who is sincerely in love with a man, hurt by a man, love unreciprocated, played by a man, considered as sex toy with no dignity, manhandled by the love of her life bereaved of human rights and many more.

Her poems are very descriptive and puts a spotlight on the woman who is narrating her story or ordeal in each of the poems. This is a soul cleansing poetry book that heals the wound of readers who have faced emotional trauma of a love failure, hurt physically or emotionally by the actions of a man who is supposed to shower them with abundant love in their hearts, behave like a gentleman rather acts cowardly outraging the modesty of a weakling or causing mental wounds to a helpless woman. In the book, every poem is unique and special. As I went through the poems, I came across all forms of emotions exhibited  by women in the real world. If a female reader proclaims, she has been there in the situation that the author has written about then rightly it can be said she has succeeded in delivering her gems of wisdom. Yes, she did at least for me.

The illustrations and photos potraying each poem are rattling. These helps to connect with the poetry plots. All the poems are inspirational and acts as a comforter if we are sombre  , above all as a friend lessening our burden that we carried so far in our life which put an abrupt halt to our personal and professional growth or making us not move forward in life forgetting the pains arising from bad memories. I see that the author is extraordinarily good at analysing the psychology of women, put herself in their shoes and has generously lent her shoulders to lean on through her heart-touching book. I encourage and welcome poetry like hers right now and in the future. Hats off to you, poetess Tejaswini Divya Naik. You rock.

My most favorite poems in the book are In love, invisible ink, inconclusive, obsolete, bipolar, I can't breathe, fit, nor you,  please and suffer.

Rating 4/5

Disclaimer I won this book in Storymirror. This review is my honest opinion about the book not influenced by anyone or anything. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

We are voulhire : A new arrival under great skies by Matthew Tysz

No. of pages : 214
Publication date : October 2018
Book links : Goodreads Amazon
Author links Goodreads Twitter Website

My review 

'We are voulhire : A new arrival under great skies' is a historical fantasy, science fiction. The book begins with a back story of a vile King known as the emperor of lullabies. He has four sons waiting in line to become heir to his big nation. He judges that his sons may one day unite to win the throne most probably by murdering him and harmoniously live with one another. He despises this dire strait. Therefore , he plots a wicked plan to break their unity by giving them a small chain of islands each from his mainland to rule. Also, soldiers and weapons were a part of this deal to stop invaders targeting their islands . The princes were happy and prosperous for a while until greed and selfishness took their ugly form. They went against each other's neck vying to become the ruler of all the islands and that of their father to become a powerful ruler of the whole nation.

20 years over but people residing in 'The land of the princes' experienced death by sword or slow starvation. Here we have our main protagonist, Galen Bray. News comes from Voulhire, a place which later becomes his haven, his great-uncle is breathing his last days on earth, hence he has left the business for him to manage. He feels relieved to exit 'The Land of the princes' and go to Voulhire to start everything from scratch escaping the manic chaos of the place he lived till then even when he doesn't know who was this relative and why was he contacting him now from an unfamiliar place called 'Magnum Caelum'.

Many characters were introduced into the book apart from the main protagonist. When I delved more deeply into the story, I was at crossroads about where the book was heading to and what's the conclusion that the author wanted to give and what was I in reality learning from that particular chapter. The book was of course neat and well written in terms of language but the pace of the novel was not to my liking and description of  many characters and their role in the novel was difficult to get a hold on. I wish the author could have improved a lot more and revealed the true motive of the characters, evil, good and the in-between, what were they really after or looking for and crafted the story nicely. He has failed to keep me engaged 100%. Some of the chapters were downright laborious and tiresome to read.

Galen Bray' s story is the only one that grabbed my full attention, the most. Other than him,  I loved Lord Eldus Alderman for his sympathetic, good nature despite his desires and interest for the unknown treasure or whatever he wanted to know about Orlin and Meldorath . Rowan is an asshole and in my critical eyes, innocent Galen could have gotten a better friend than him. The negative characters and their part in the book, irritated me because figuring them out was like a puzzle that I couldn't crack open.  I wish the author wrote the story in Galen Bray' s perspective. At least, this would have saved the trouble for readers like me who want to decipher the novel's concept and not put up with the author's beating around the bush approach and postponing the revealing of the answer to what the suspense was all about. The book was bombarded by characters that were demanding to be understood when the story wasn't pretty clear and forthright. It proved somewhat of a tough task to continue after the chapter told in Galen Bray's point of view

The author indeed is brilliant,  knowledgeable and talented. It is that his story distracted my focus because of the various boring aspects of the book I listed in this review. A good editor would have done their job well by picking out the story's flaws and made the book entertaining for all kinds of readers. Grammatical and typographical errors were few or that it didn't spoil my reading. There's mild vulgar content. On a rating scale of 1-10, my score is 3. The map before the story is thoughtful. It helps the readers understand the places widely dispersed in the novel. I sincerely hoped , the story would fall in place finally but it didn't. Even then, I am looking forward to reading the series to find out if I have missed out the fun of a good book.

The book has great twists. Some of them is quite appreciated in the otherwise boresome book while the other is nonetheless needed for figuring out the picture of the story. King Wilhelm's close friend who also is the one who he fears is alive. Since the imprisoned old man has found his way to freedom , there is more to the story. What roles good Galen , unpleasant Rowan and the smart monk play in this gripping story that has violence is a mystery.The connection between evil Riva, Meldorath and the old man heightens my enthusiasm in reading the series. 

Rating 3/5


According to FTC guidelines, I disclose that all books reviewed in this blog are either received from authors/publishers/book promoters/bloggers or read online or picked from the local library. For books received in exchange for an honest review, I didn't receive any monetary compensation.