Sunday, February 4, 2018

Thoughts on Padmavat


The Story:

Set in 1303 AD medieval India, Padmaavat is the story of honor, valor and obsession. Queen Padmavati is known for her exceptional beauty along with a strong sense of justice and is the wife of Maharawal Ratan Singh and pride of the Kingdom of Chittor, a prosperous kingdom in the north west of India. The legend of her beauty reaches the reigning sultan of Hindustan – Allaudin Khilji. The sultan who is a tyrant, is fixated with wanting anything that is of exceptional beauty for himself. He lays siege on the impregnable fortress of Chittorgarh. After a grueling 6 months, he returns empty handed. He becomes obsessed and now wants to capture Chittor and its Queen at any cost. He returns with a bigger army and ranging fury. He attacks Chittor with brutal force and a bloody and fearsome battle takes places between the righteous Maharawal Ratan Singh defending his kingdom and the honor of his queen and Sultan Allaudin Khilji. Khilji manages to breach the fortress but in vain as the Queen chooses to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect her dignity.

What I liked:

- the sets were awesome. From the forts, to the travelling army, to the cave temples, everything was epic, immense and detailed. A visual treat
- the star cast was flawless, and all of them did a wonderful job together and separately and brought the story to life
- the premise of the story made sense. It was about narcissism and obsession, and I can believe that a ruler would be thus
- the ghoomer dance made me want to dance...like I used to :)
- the one-on-one sword fight between Rana and Khilji à la Troy (Achilles and Hector)
- the shades of Alexander (movie and historical figure)

What I'm perplexed about:

- Deepika Padukone's caterpillar unibrow. Made no sense and I kept missing her dialogue because I was so diverted by it
- why the women couldn't first discuss escape instead of straight jumping into the Jauhar conversation. At least try and escape first, which considering the bold and strategic thinker they've shown Padmavati as, should've occurred to her through Mr. Bhansali
- Khilji could've been a little less mad and we'd still have believed his obsession and narcissism
- where were the little baby boys and toddlers when their mothers were committing Jauhar and their fathers were dying on the battlefield? Did they leave those poor boys to be captured and tortured? 

Conclusion:

An afternoon well spent, foibles and all.







Tuesday, January 23, 2018

MY LST LOVE STORY - Release Day



It's Release Day for MY LAST LOVE STORY! 

World, meet Simi, Nirvaan and Zai. 

And I hope you love them


Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/BNMLLS


Three friends. Two Promises. One unforgettable love story ❤️

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes

The Highwayman

PART ONE

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees.   
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.   
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,   
And the highwayman came riding—
         Riding—riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

He’d a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,   
A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin.
They fitted with never a wrinkle. His boots were up to the thigh.   
And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
         His pistol butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard.
He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred.   
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there   
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
         Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim the ostler listened. His face was white and peaked.   
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,   
But he loved the landlord’s daughter,
         The landlord’s red-lipped daughter.
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—

“One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I’m after a prize to-night,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,   
Then look for me by moonlight,
         Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way.”

He rose upright in the stirrups. He scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair in the casement. His face burnt like a brand
As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;   
And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,
         (O, sweet black waves in the moonlight!)
Then he tugged at his rein in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.

PART TWO

He did not come in the dawning. He did not come at noon;   
And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,   
When the road was a gypsy’s ribbon, looping the purple moor,   
A red-coat troop came marching—
         Marching—marching—
King George’s men came marching, up to the old inn-door.

They said no word to the landlord. They drank his ale instead.   
But they gagged his daughter, and bound her, to the foot of her narrow bed.
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets at their side!   
There was death at every window;
         And hell at one dark window;
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.

They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest.
They had bound a musket beside her, with the muzzle beneath her breast!
“Now, keep good watch!” and they kissed her. She heard the doomed man say—
Look for me by moonlight;
         Watch for me by moonlight;
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!

She twisted her hands behind her; but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!   
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years
Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,
         Cold, on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it. She strove no more for the rest.   
Up, she stood up to attention, with the muzzle beneath her breast.   
She would not risk their hearing; she would not strive again;   
For the road lay bare in the moonlight;
         Blank and bare in the moonlight;
And the blood of her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love’s refrain.

Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horsehoofs ringing clear;   
Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding—
         Riding—riding—
The red coats looked to their priming! She stood up, straight and still.

Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night!   
Nearer he came and nearer. Her face was like a light.
Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath,   
Then her finger moved in the moonlight,
         Her musket shattered the moonlight,
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him—with her death.

He turned. He spurred to the west; he did not know who stood   
Bowed, with her head o’er the musket, drenched with her own blood!   
Not till the dawn he heard it, and his face grew grey to hear   
How Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
         The landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high.
Blood red were his spurs in the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat;
When they shot him down on the highway,
         Down like a dog on the highway,
And he lay in his blood on the highway, with a bunch of lace at his throat.

.       .       .

And still of a winter’s night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,   
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,   
A highwayman comes riding—
         Riding—riding—
A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard.
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred.   
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there   
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
         Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

New Kids On The Block - Book Recs


Nothing thrills me more than to introduce the debuts of my writer friends. And I have two of them today. Yay.

Jamie Raintree's Perfectly Undone

"Yes" is such a little word... 

Dr. Dylan Michels has worked hard for a perfect life, so when her long-time boyfriend Cooper gets down on one knee, it should be the most perfect moment of all. Then why does she say no? 

For too many years, Dylan’s been living for her sister, who never got the chance to grow up. But her attempts to be the perfect daughter, perfect partner, and perfect doctor haven’t been enough to silence the haunting guilt Dylan feels over her sister’s death—and the role no one knows she played in it. 

Now Dylan must face her past if she and Cooper stand a chance at a future together. But when Cooper makes a startling confession of his own, can Dylan find the courage to define her own happiness, before her life becomes perfectly undone? 

Set among the breezy days of a sultry Portland summer, Perfectly Undone is a deeply moving novel of family secrets, forgiveness and finding yourself in the most surprising of places. 

“Raintree’s lead characters are vividly realized, and readers will be moved…” - Publisher’s Weekly 
“The most sensational, emotionally raw, and satisfying debut of fall.” - Redbook Magazine


Buy links: 

About Jamie: 
Jamie Raintree is voracious student of life, which is why she became a writer, where she could put all that acquired information to good use. She is a mother of two, a wife, a businesswoman, a nature-lover, and a wannabe yogi. She also teaches writers about business and productivity. Since the setting is always an important part of her books, she is happy to call the Rocky Mountains of Northern Colorado her home and inspiration.


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Alexis Daria's Take the Lead

The first book in a sizzling duology about dancers who find love from #OwnVoices author, 
Alexis Daria.

Gina Morales wants to win. It’s her fifth season on The Dance Off, a top-rated network TV celebrity dance competition, and she’s never even made it to the finals. When she meets her latest partner, she sees her chance. He’s handsome, rippling with muscles, and he stars on the popular Alaskan wilderness reality show Living Wild. With his sexy physique and name recognition, she thinks he’s her ticket to the finals—until she realizes they’re being set up.

Stone Nielson hates Los Angeles, he hates reality TV, and he hates that fact that he had to join the cast of the The Dance Off because of family obligations. He can’t wait to get back to Alaska, but he also can’t deny his growing attraction to his bubbly Puerto Rican dance partner. Neither of them are looking for romantic entanglements, and Stone can’t risk revealing his secrets, but as they heat up the dance floor, it’s only a matter of time until he feels an overwhelming urge to take the lead.

When the tabloids catch on to their developing romance, the spotlight threatens to ruin not just their relationship, but their careers and their shot at the trophy. Gina and Stone will have to decide if their priorities lie with fame, fortune, or the chance at a future together.

Buy Links:


About Alexis:
Alexis Daria is a contemporary romance author, artist, and native New Yorker. Her debut, TAKE THE LEAD, is a 2017 Golden Heart® finalist. She loves social media, and you can find her live-tweeting her favorite TV shows at @alexisdaria, or talking about writing and books on her blog at alexisdaria.com.

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So, peeps, I'm curling up on a sofa with hot chai and these two books today. What will you be doing? 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

99¢ Book Bonanza!



Soul Warrior: The Age of Kali is on sale for 99¢ in the US and UK this week, along with a smorgasbord of books from 75 authors in a host of eclectic genres. 
Sounds amazing, right? Click on the graphic above and you'll be taken to the Book Bonanza Homepage where you'll be able to browse dozens of books to your heart's content. (Note: many of the books will be on sale in multiple ebook platforms, but not Soul Warrior, which is only available on the Kindle.)  There's something else...
In light of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey and Irma, I will donate my monies from this sale to the American Red Cross relief fund. I can't do much, but that I can do. So click HERE to go to the 99¢ Book Bonanza Home Page now!
Thanks and xoxo