Spotlight of Prem Purana by Usha Narayanan

Blog Tour by The Book Club of PREM PURANA by Usha Narayanan

 

 
PREM PURANA:
MYTHOLOGICAL LOVE STORIES
by
Usha Narayanan
 
Blog Tour by The Book Club of PREM PURANA by Usha Narayanan
 
BLURB
 
Stories of love and extraordinary devotion 
 
No one is untouched by love, not even devas and asuras, kings and nymphs. And when they face life’s unexpected tribulations, their love also undergoes trials. Read how Ganesha took myriad forms to please Riddhi, Siddhi and Buddhi, how Ravana shared an unbreakable bond with his true love, Mandodari and how Nala and Damayanti’s relationship was tested till almost nothing remained. 
 
Tormented by passion, wracked by betrayal, torn by the agony of separation, love in its many splendored forms is the origin of these incredibly endearing stories of Prem Purana. 
 
READ AN EXCERPT
Ganesha stood with Brahma’s daughter Siddhi on the sacred soil of Kailasa, offering worship to the linga that Parvati had installed. He glanced at his companion’s proud face, knowing that he had embarked on a rough path in attempting to win her over. For now, however, he had to focus on his confrontation with Parasurama whom Shiva had blessed with his great axe.

Siddhi watched from a safe distance as Ganesha bowed to the warrior and requested him to wait until Shiva granted him permission to enter. But Parasurama angrily pushed him aside and strode towards the cave. Ganesha intercepted him, causing the angry warrior to raise his axe to threaten him.

Finding that his antagonist would not listen to mere words, Shiva’s son extended his trunk by many lengths and wound it around Parasurama 100 times. He then raised the warrior into the skies so that he could see the seven mountains, the seven oceans and the seven islands of the earth below him. Then he whirled him around and showed him all the lokas including Vaikunta, where Lord Vishnu presided on his lotus throne with Devi Lakshmi. With his yogic power, Shiva’s son granted Parasurama a vision of Goloka, the purest of realms, where blue-hued Krishna resided with Radha and his gopis.

After showing Parasurama how insignificant he was when compared to the primordial universe spanning endless time and space, Gajamukha dropped him gently on the ground outside Shiva’s cave. He smiled at Siddhi who stood dazed, clinging to a tree for support, as she too had been granted the supernal vision by Ganesha’s grace. She realized now that her cheerful friend was called Vakratunda not because of his crooked trunk, but because he was the one who straightened out the crooked.

Parasurama recovered from his stupor and saw that he was lying on the ground at Ganesha’s feet. Incensed by this humiliation, he sprang to his feet and took up his mighty axe. The parasu hurtled towards Ganesha with a deafening roar. Siddhi trembled, certain that her friend would not survive the dire power of his father’s weapon.

Strangely enough, Gajamukha made no attempt to counter Parasurama’s axe. Instead, he joined his hands in worship to the parasu and stood calmly as if reconciled to his death.

Siddhi heard a horrific crack as the parasu struck one of Ganesha’s tusks and severed it completely. It fell to the ground with a crash, smeared in blood, looking like a crystal mountain covered in red chalk. Shiva rushed out of the cave, followed by Parvati, who turned into fiery Durga when she saw that her son had been wounded. She discerned what had happened and raged at the warrior who stood before her with the axe that had returned to his hand.

‘O Parasurama!’ she said. ‘You may be learned and wise and the son of a great sage, yet you have allowed wrath to overcome you. You received your parasu from your guru, Shiva, but abused your gift by using it to wound his son. Ganesha, on the other hand, allowed the axe to sever his tusk due to his respect for his father’s weapon. What next will you do, Parasurama? Will you assail mighty Shiva himself? Presumptuous warrior! I curse you this day that though you are an avatara of my beloved Vishnu, no one on earth or heaven will ever worship you!’

Parasurama cowered before the angry goddess whose fury grew by the moment. ‘It is only due to Ganesha’s forbearance that you are still alive, for he can kill a hundred thousand Parasuramas in the blink of an eye,’ she said. ‘But I am unwilling to be so tolerant and will end your life today!’

Durga rushed towards him, with her trident aimed at his head. Parasurama stood unarmed and unresisting. He closed his eyes, joined his hands together and surrendered to Krishna.

‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya!’ Parasurama chanted, invoking his god with his last breath.

At once, Krishna appeared before him, lustrous and omnipotent, granting him protection with one raised hand. Durga stopped mid-stride and gazed at Krishna. Her wrath vanished, dissolving like mist in the light of the sun. A beatific smile adorned her face. She offered him a reverential welcome along with Shiva.

Krishna addressed them gently, a calm smile on his face. ‘I have come here to rescue my devotee,’ he said. ‘Though Parasurama has committed a grievous sin, I request you to forgive him, Parvati. He is your son too, for you are the divine mother, the refuge of all creation. As for you, Parasurama, you have to undertake a severe tapasya to attain forgiveness. Worship the Devi who animates the three realms in the form of the gentle Gauri and the fierce Durga. Seek the blessings of Ganesha who is now Ekadanta, the lord with one tusk.’

Having offered his counsel, the lord returned to Goloka. Parasurama prostrated himself before the gods and laid his axe at Ganesha’s feet in tribute. He then retreated to a distant mountain to begin his worship. Parvati took her son into her mansion, to coddle him after his fierce encounter.

 

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About the Author

 


 

 

Usha Narayanan had a successful career in advertising, radio and corporate communications before becoming a full-time author. Her bestselling novels span multiple genres: ‘The Madras Mangler’, a suspense thriller; ‘Love, Lies and Layoffs’ (Harlequin) and ’Doctor Stalker Spy’ (Juggernaut), lighthearted romances; ‘Pradyumna: Son of Krishna’, ‘The Secret of God’s Son’ and her latest ‘Prem Purana’ (all from Penguin) that have been praised as ‘Indian mythology at its fiercest and finest.’ Two new books are in the offing. When she is not travelling, writing or editing, Usha reads everything from thrillers and romances to the puranas.

 

 

Click here to check out all the titles by the author…

Praise for Usha’s books:

 

 

 

‘Like the best of our mythological tales, Pradyumna: Son of Krishna too is a multilayered one…There is valour, there is cowardice, there is glory, there is shame, there is sex, lies and deception.’

 

 

 

The Secret of God’s Son is a compelling read on mythological tales.’ – The Sentinel

 

 

 

Prem Purana is so good! I am impressed at how Usha can write about Ganesha with so much personality while at the same time showing him as a cosmic divine being. ’ Dr Laura Gibbs, Professor, Indian Epics, University of Oklahoma 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Book Review of Agniputr: When Agni First Spoke

Agniputr: When Agni First Spoke by Vadhan is a Perfect Suspense Novel. The genre of the novel is surely a complete surprise for the readers. The author has made this book look like a roller coaster ride.

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The cover of the book is exceptional and the innovation of the designer and the hidden thoughts of the author can be seen. The author wants us to keep guessing the situations and surprise us with some different version of the thoughts.

The title gives us an idea that it is a mythological novel but it comes out to be misleading as we start reading the book. The book has some other thoughts while the cover and the title talk something else.

The author seems to be playing with the minds of the readers. The genre is difficult to guess. The readers judge it as a mythology but the facts of quantum physics and other paranormal activities us a new picture. This is totally new to the word of Indian authors and creates a lot of hype in the writing industry.

Many years ago,an extraordinary cripple disappeared from a remote village, ending a time of terror. Not many knew that he gave his life to confine a malevolence, the Sutram, to its subterranean womb or that in doing so, he had prevented the apocalypse.
Deep beneath the Earth the evil has lurked, fraying its shackles and plotting its escape, all the while gathering immeasurable power. Until now.

When ace lawyer, Raghuram Surya, received an order of requisition from the Government of India for his ancestral castle, he was unaware of the Sutram beneath it or his own legacy.

He will have to choose between the world’s end or his own.

Before long, the lawyer takes on India’s most powerful politician, Kiromal, a man utterly obsessed with power. Kiromal and his sinister Tantric advisor intend to use the evil beneath the castle to play God.

Raghuram finds an ally in Sheila, a scientist who is tasked to investigate the Sutram. Using Quantum science to interpret a Vedic verse, they have to unravel the secrets of creation to stop the destruction. Through it all, they have to be one step ahead of Kiromal just to stay alive.

Now is the time of final reckoning. Will Kiromal harness the evil to rule the world?

Or will the Sutram break free to eradicate the planet?

Or, are Raghuram and Sheila merely pawns in an even deadlier game?

The plot is gripping and binds the readers till the end. The book is divided into four parts and the way the parts are delineated is amazing. It is difficult to understand whether it is a crime sequence or something else.

The characters play a tricky role in the book. Some look flat but are complex while some are just so to the point. The author has played with the minds of the characters as well. The last part has a crisp character named Agniputr and the whole story revolves around him.

The style of writing is lucid, pithy and condensed. The use of different point of views is impeccable. The way the author has talked about science, the readers seem to fall in love with it. The suspense, mystery are totally perfect. There are tinge elements of humor in it which makes the mood light.

Grab your copies from : http://www.amazon.in/Agniputr-When-Agni-First-Spoke/dp/9386141078/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473834822&sr=8-1&keywords=vadhan

About the Author

With more than two decades as a litigator and consultant for legislative compliance, Vadhan turned to writing a few years ago. He is a lawyer by training, an entrepreneur and dreamer. His first book, ‘Shatru’, part of the Kronikles series, is highly praised and critically reviewed to be one of the best fantasy novels in India. Vadhan is married with two children. He aspires to be a politician and a reformist one day. Vadhan lives in New Gurgaon, India, with his wife.

You can reach him through Email | Facebook

Book Review of Curtain Call

Curtain Call is an anthology of short stories which is compiled and edited by Rafaa Dalvi and published Half Baked Beans. This book , as the title suggest is far different from our imaginations. The writers have poured their souls in the stories and have come out beautifully.

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The cover of the book is fantastic and the title is antipole to the type of stories which are woven, but in a literal way the writers show their best role in form of stories which might justify the title.

This book can make you smile, laugh, cry, inspire and make you fight with your inner self. The authors have added their soulin it. Some of them came out to be marvalleous and flawless which left me spellbound.

Crimson Affair takes you back to those Akbar Birbal times whose tales were the part of our growth. This story highlights the intellectual and sharp mind of Birbal who unfolds a murder mystery in an artistic way.

His Leela elucidates the saga of a frustrated man who finds a true confidante in a bitch named Leela. The story is written in two narratives and one of it is a monologue.

Office Visit is a horror fiction where a girl is not the one whom she claims to be. The whole story is followed by series of events that includes suspense and mystery.

My Fair Husband is a romcom and a unique story where we find a strong connection between the couple even after the husband dies. The idea of the author is to show death in a lighter way.

Mahua is an erotic tale with suspense and horror as its prime features. It gives us chills through our spines and at the same time makes us laugh.

Reminiscence is an inspiring story that gives you the true meaning of life and lifts your mood up.

The Sitarist of Palem is a horror story that has elements of suspense, mystery and has all the features of a Gothic Fiction.

F.L.A.M.E.S is a teen fiction where we find lovers and has elements of romance and comedy in it. This story highlights the innocence of love with a blend of complexity.

There are 20 stories in total but these are my personal favourites. There are certain typos and I feel these can be easily avoided.

You can grab your copies from these sites :

https://www.pustakmandi.com/curtain-call-various-authors-fiction-anthology?search=Curtain%20Call

http://www.amazon.in/gp/aw/d/9384315370/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474530062&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX118_SY170_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=curtain+call

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31551147-curtain-call

 

 

Spotlight of The Secret of God’s Son by Usha Narayanan

THE SECRET OF GOD’S SON
by
Usha Narayanan
 
 

 


Blurb
 
‘The seas will devour the glorious city of Dwaraka. People will forget your name and your Gita. May the world perish! May the world perish!’


With this cruel curse on Krishna, Queen Gandhari plunges mankind into the unspeakable evil of the Kali Yuga. 

 
It is up to Pradyumna to try and reverse the dire prediction. To journey into terrifying realms, confront Yama and Shiva, and to vanquish the Kali demon. In order to do so, he must shed all that holds a mortal back—his arrogance, his fears, his baser instincts… He must lead his people out of the swirling vortex of greed, disease and misery. And there is one powerful weapon still…the secret surrounding Pradyumna’s origin.  
 
Will he uncover it in time to fight off the cataclysm? 
In the answer lies the destiny of all humanity! 
 
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About the author

 

 

 

 

 

USHA NARAYANAN

 

 

 

Usha Narayanan had a successful career in advertising, radio and corporate communications before becoming a full-time writer. She is the author of The Madras Mangler, a suspense thriller, and Love, Lies and Layoffs, a light-hearted office romance. The Secret of God’s Son is the sequel to her bestselling book, Pradyumna: Son of Krishna, which was published in July 2015. 

 

 

 

 

When she’s not juggling travel, writing and interviews, Usha reads everything from thrillers to romances, provided her cat isn’t fast asleep on her Kindle. She would love to hear from her readers here: author@ushanarayanan.com 

 

 

 

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Media mentions

 
Praise for Pradyumna: Son of Krishna
 
Usha Narayanan has taken a quantum leap . . . to the outright spine-tingling narrative from the leaves of a time before. This book is Indian writing coming of ageFemina
 
Like the best of our mythological tales, this too, is a multilayered one . . .There is valour, there is cowardice, there is glory, there is shame, there is sex, lies and deceptionThe Hindu
 
This engrossing tale takes readers on a mythological sagaTimes of India
 
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Guest Post by Usha Narayanan

Hello fellow Readers,

Today I would like to invite a well known personality who has recently launched her novel The Secret of God’s Son. With the novel reveal you might have guessed who she is! Yes, She is our dear Usha Narayanan. Over to you maam 🙂

Guest Topic: Which is the most comfortable genre for you to write and why?

I did not really agonize over a choice of genre and blithely wrote whatever took my fancy. First came a thriller (‘The Madras Mangler’), next a romcom (‘Love, Lies and Layoffs’) and two mythological tales (‘Pradyumna: Son of Krishna’ and my latest, ‘The Secret of God’s Son’). In my view, the essentials of a good book, whatever the genre may be, are always the same: an engrossing plot, vivid characters and a climax that boldly affirms the victory of good over evil. Each genre of course has its own grammar and I had to master its nuances and write accordingly. A thriller is like a giant jigsaw puzzle and becomes a huge intellectual exercise. A romcom traverses the inner landscape and focuses on the rainbow hues of love. And a myth encompasses not just the three realms of the universe, but also the physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions.

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My favourite genre, not because it is easy to write, but because it is so highly challenging and rewarding, is mythology. First, the stories and the characters are magical and have endured for centuries. The possibilities to expand on them or give them new forms are endless. Second, myths are often set in distant worlds, but they are still real, relatable and exhilarating. The gods and even the demons exhibit human appetites and instincts such as greed, fear, anger and lust. Third, these tales satisfy our thirst for happy endings in an unhappy world, where villains are brought down with a satisfying flourish. Fourth, they help us reach a better understanding of abstruse concepts such as life and death, heaven and hell, suffering and bliss. They also enlighten us on secular and cultural concepts such as sovereignty, rights, responsibilities and the role of women in society.

Above all, I love myths because they celebrate the triumph of the human spirit and inspire us to evolve beyond the personal to the universal and perhaps the divine.

Thank you, Surbhi, for giving me this opportunity to feature on your blog and to interact with readers. I welcome questions and feedback from every one of you.

Book Review of The Mahabharta Code

 

 
THE MAHABHARATA CODE
by
KARTHIK K.B.RAO
 

The Mahabharta Code by Karthik K. B. Rao is a mythological fiction. The book has a unique concept with a blend of Mythology and Science Fiction. The book is the mixture of past generation and present generation. Well, I won this book in goodreads giveway and also I had signed up the blog tour of this book.IN this book, the author has played with the minds of the readers. Let me tell you more about it:

Cover- The cover of the book arises the urge to know more about the book. The colour scheme is fascinating.

Title- The title ‘The Mahabharta Code’ gives us the glimpse of the genre which it follows i.e. mythology and has many surprises stored for the readers.

Blurb- “The Mahabharata Code is a personal account of the main protagonist Narayan Rao (NR), who claims to be an astronomer with NASA. NR and a few other crew members agree to take part in the NASA mission to visit this mystery planet from which they had received mysterious signals. Here, they meet a man with a long flowing white beard, and he introduces himself as Vyasa. He reveals that he has a crazy plan in mind and seeks NR and his members’ help in implementing this plan. He intends to recreate the entire Mahabharata on this planet to restore the faith of the primitive simpletons here.

 
As the Mahabharata incidents start unfolding, NR realizes that Vyasa intends to recreate them page by page here, if not paragraph by paragraph. Also NR begins to realize that his son, Krishna, who is being groomed by Vyasa as Vishnu’s avatar, is nothing more than a pawn in Vyasa’s scheme of things. Other incidents of Mahabharata also unfold according to the original epic. Pandavas and Kauravas grow up hating each other and finally the restaging plan culminates with both the warring sets of cousins facing each other in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. 

Inexplicably, like the original epic, Arjuna develops cold feet seeing his own cousins, teachers and relatives on the opposite side. He seeks Krishna’s divine intervention. Is the brainwashed “alien” Krishna prepared for this intervention?”


Plot- The plot is well knit and has no loose ends in it. The plot follows no digressions and has a unique concept in it. The protagonist is a NASA scientist who is tied in the knots of his subconscious mind which produced certain hallucinations where he could connect himself to the Mahabharta story. The author has played a tricky game which confuses the readers and keeps suspense till the end.
Characterisation- The author has beautifully portrayed the characters. The protagonist the complex character in the story. He looks flat but shifts to round and then ends up being complex. Even readers could not make it whether he is a flat one or round. The mention of Mahabharta characters and the stories related to them is impeccable. A new version of their views could be noticed.
STyle- The author has cleverly written this piece with lots of research on his side. The descriptions are perfectly delineated. The pace of the novel is steady. The combination of imagination and present is impeccable. The use of mythological jargons along with perfect editing skills makes this novel an amazing piece. The references listed at the end surely help us know his views and even serve as a guide for us if we counter check it. But at times, I felt there was confusion created maybe it was intentional so that the readers could not guess the suspense. This novel is a wonderful mashup of flashback technique and stream of consciousness.

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About the author


 

 

Karthik K.B. Rao

 

 

 

Karthik Rao is a 32-year-old software professional based in Bangalore. He lives with his wife Sushma, parents and two little sons Kaustubh Krishna and Raghav Krishna aged 4 and 1, respectively. He says, he gets to meditate close to 3 hours every day on his bike thanks to the notorious Bangalore traffic. His hobbies include following cricket, Indian politics on the social media and Indian mythology. He also plays plastic ball cricket with his sons.


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Book Review of Arjun Without A Doubt by Dr. Shinde Sweety

Well, I got this book from Authors Paradise. Arjun Without A Doubt is a mythology that has tinge of suspense and spirituality in it. This book takes us back to Mahabharata times where the characters do the talking and killing. We all are acquainted with Mahabharata which is the biggest known epic and many other versions have been written about it. This book is one such version which highlights the struggles of Arjun. For this book, the main protagonist is Arjun.

Cover- The cover of the b0ok has colourful schemes which makes it look fascinating. Actually speaking, The cover has Lord Krishna’s Mor Pankh which makes the readers interested in reading the book.

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Title- Arjun Without A Doubt is the title of the book which clearly tells us that the story would highlight Arjun and his struggles.

Blurb-

‘I knew there was nothing poetic about death. I knew not that the most horrific battles are fought off the battlefield.’

Arjun: The idealist in a non-ideal world, the warrior whose deadliest opponent was his conscience. History forgot his voice, but misquoted his silence.

 
‘My self esteem originates from me and ends in me. Why does your honor depend on me? Find your own.’

Draupadi: The untamed tigress, the fragrant flame, the unbridled spirit.

‘Power does not justify sin. Power is not virtue. Virtue is that which lasts in spite of power.’

Krishn: The enigma whose unique ideology churned the battlefield into a quest for truth.

 
The Missile… The Trajectory… The Vision…
The trio that makes for the core of the Mahabharata.
This is their saga. Insightful, visceral and candid.
Plot- The plot construction by the author is amazing as it highlights the two protagonists Arjun and Draupadi who have enough to handle on their plates still they stand together. Though Draupadi is married to Arjun’s other brother yet there is a special bond between the two. Draupadi always had a special corner for Arjun. It also gives us an insight about their dear friend, Krishn who guides them at every step. Krishn is the almighty who is the mouthpiece of author.
The greatest epic ‘ Mahabharta’ – This book is inspired by Mahabharta which is the largest epic just like Ramayana. Very few people know the hidden story behind it. It is said Maharishi Ved Vyas wrote it but the truth is, he was blind so took help of Ganesha who agreed to write it only if he recited it continuously. The saga records the facts and events of the 12 day war between Kauravas and PAndavas in Kurukshetra. The saga is written in poetic form and has used blank verse. There shlokas which are written in Sanskrit and is known as the longest poem ever written.
Characterization- It is hard to decide who was the protagonist in Mahabharta as all have their own stories to tell. All were bounded by their own issues and curses. But when we read this book we can clearly make out that in this book Arjun is the mouthpiece of the author. The story is written in his context hence, his point of view is highlighted. He is a warrior and has all the traits of an ideal soldier.
On the other hand, Draupadi is a princess who is born out of fire and is a flat character. She is beautiful and the counterpart of Arjun. The author has beautifully delineated their characters and the pain, suffering is shown fantastically.
Style-The book is mixture of third person narrative and a dialogic form. The author has used varieties of sentences. The emotions and descriptions are perfectly written. There are no digressions in between. The name of the chapters are intriguing. for instance : The Cacophony of the Dead, The Womb of a Butterfly and my favourite, Tears Reversed. The author has used rich vocabulary which serves as an icing on the cake.  the chapters are short which becomes a quick read inspite of the length of the novel. There is use of italiced words or sentences to grab our attention. I really loved the Whys and Whys not : Exploring Myths.
Lows- There were not spoilers as such, just the minors which my eyes got hold of them. There were some typo errors, mismatch of dialogue or rather positioning of dialogues and the spacing issues which could have been avoided. But for me, The book stands out. It is worth reading and I am falling in love with Mythology again.
About the Author
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The heart can be dissected, the brain can be spliced open, but I love to unravel the mind and emotions.

Dr. Shinde Sweety holds a Doctorate in Medicine.
Avid Mahabharata fan. Voracious reader.
Yoga enthusiast, Student of Spanish and yearns to learn Sanskrit.
Skilled at pencil sketch. Loves to daydream and swim – but preferably not together!
Curious about the Mystic & Mystique. Insane about soulful music.
Content to be cocooned in a dream world.