Book Review: Along Came a Spyder by Apeksha Rao


“Delicate Sensibilities, my ass”, she deadpanned. “Start talking.”

Book Details:

Publisher: TreeShade Books

No. of Pages: 255

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Price: 350/-

Amazon Buy Link: Click Here

Amazon Product Page: Click Here


Blurb:

Are your Spidey senses tingling?

At 17, Samira Joshi has only one dream in life. She wants to be a spy.

 And why not? 

Spying runs in the Joshi genes.

Her great-grandmother was famous for sticking her nose in everyone’s business. Her grandmother had a flourishing side-business of tracking down errant husbands and missing servants. Her parents are elite intelligence agents for RAW. Yet, they want their only daughter to become a doctor. When she sees a college friend being trapped by a pimp, Samira does some spying of her own, and discovers the existence of a secret sisterhood of teen spies — The Spyders. And, she wants in!

The question is, do they want her?


Book Review:

A homeopath-turned-author, Apeksha Rao’s debut novel, Along Came a Spyder (ACAS), is a fun-filled journey with spy thrills and chills delivered, cold. Let me show you what I felt when I received my copy of the book. The below elements warmed my heart:

  • Cover
  • Plot
  • Writing style
  • Humor

The cover is a winning element that works in favor of ACAS. The color combination, the font, the stylishly designed cover image add to the allure. I bet anybody would be able to resist picking up the book after noticing it on a bookshelf. Very catchy and stunning.

A plot about a spy is sure to raise expectations, a spy thriller with a teenager is a sure shot winner. To my mind, Apeksha has created an unforgettable character in Samira aka Sam. There are ample twists and turns to keep you from getting bored. Be it Sam’s parents or the Spyders, Sam’s fear of guns, the girls and their training sessions, you will want more. Apeksha has you craving for more in no time.

Writing style is fresh and clever. Seldom have I seen debut authors showing such command over the language and usage of apt words to convey the correct emotion. Sample this brilliant piece of prose…

“These tiny shops were a rabbit warren of mezzanine floors and tiny lofts.”

The visual imagery that Apeksha manages to invoke through her writing is hard to ignore. I sat and admired her work of art, chuckling at the misadventures of the protagonist and her band of girl spies, err…Spyders.

“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing” ~ Mark Twain

One of the strong points of ACAS is its rib-tickling humor. ACAS will make you chuckle, it will make you laugh out loud. I had a rollicking time imagining Krishna ji pulling Sam up. It was so darn real! The character arcs are well-defined and not once you would feel left out in the cold.

Why I recommend this book:

Trust me, when I say this, the few hours that you spend with the Spyders, you are going to love every second. And of course, come away with knowledge of spy technology like the advantages of a parabolic microphone or how to use a pair of bionic prehensile lips.

If you think, these are cool, you should grab this book!

About the Author:

Apeksha Rao fell in love with words very early in life. While other kids of her age were still learning to spell, she was already reading her older brother’s books and comics. She wrote her first story at the age of seven and submitted it to Tinkle, a very popular children’s magazine.

Writing took a backseat, as she established a thriving medical practice. But Apeksha rekindled her love affair with words, while on maternity leave. She would tap away at her keyboard while rocking her twin babies to sleep, as sleep deprivation stimulated her dormant creativity.

She wrote numerous short stories, that she published on her blog. Apeksha has been lauded for her taut and gripping stories, that always come with a twist at the end. In addition to Along Came A Spyder, she has written The Itsy Bitsy Spyder, a prequel novella to the Spyders series. A Mumbaikar, born and bred, Apeksha comes from a family of doctors.

At the ripe age of thirty-four, she wound up her practice and moved with her family, to Bengaluru. She is now a full-time writer. She is also a die-hard foodie, who’s still trying to find the best vada-pav in Bengaluru. She has twin boys, who keep her on her toes. Apeksha’s husband is her inspiration to write, as well as her biggest critic.

Website – https://apeksharao.in/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ApekshaRaoOfficial/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/apekshar

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/rao.apeksha/

A Dangerous Affair By Rubina Ramesh

Blurb :


Charu…

She is a young girl of twenty who leads a well-protected life. But in 1947, when India is at the brink of getting her independence, who could remain innocent to death and loss? Charu is not spared either. Anger bubbles inside her, and she vows to avenge her loss. But to do so, she has to cross the path of Dev.

Dev…
He is the privileged son of the zamindar. He enjoys being a spoilt brat and has a Cassanova image. But his good looks and charming smile hide some deep secrets. Will he be able to bare his heart to a young girl who was much beneath his status?
They meet, and they clash. Falling in love was in their destiny. But would the same destiny send Charu to face her death? Or will Dev be able to save her on time?

Buying links:


amazon.com
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08HWX1XZG
amazon.uk
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08HWX1XZG
amazon.ca
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08HWX1XZG
amazon.au
https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B08HWX1XZG
amazon.in
https://www.amazon.in/dp/B08HWX1XZG

Author Bio:

Rubina Ramesh is an avid reader, writer, blogger, book reviewer and marketer. She is the founder of The Book Club, an online book publicity group. Her first literary work was published in her school magazine. It gave her immense pride to see her own name at the bottom of the article.

She was about 8 years old at that time. She then went to complete her MBA and after her marriage to her childhood friend, her travel saga started. From The Netherlands to the British Isles she lived her life like an adventure. After a short stint in Malaysia, she finally settled down in the desert state of USA, Arizona. Living with her DH and two human kids and one doggie kid, Rubina has finally started living the life she had always dreamed about – that of a writer.

Social Media Links:

Website: https://rubina-ramesh.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RubinaRameshWrites

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rubinaramesh199

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rubina.ramesh/

Book Preview Code:

Here is the link for a book preview:

Anamika Khanna Falls in Love

Book Blurb:

How far would you go in love?

A few missed calls? Liking every post of his on FB? Landing in the hospital when you fall from a tree because you wanted to see into his room?

Anamika Khanna is madly in love with Rahul…

How can someone be so blind? Why can’t she see how much I love her? Will my confession jeopardise our friendship?

Vikram Lobo, the bookworm has developed muscles and lost the soda bottle glasses. But he can’t stop his heart from skipping a beat when he sees Anamika.

Rahul, the high society Adonis wants nothing to do with the gauche, middle class weirdo who’s following him around. Until she moves into his league…

Laugh out loud at Anamika’s antics and follow her on the roller coaster that is her life!

Book Links:
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55354240-anamika-khanna-falls-in-love

Amazon – https://amzn.to/32BkKFR

Author Bio

Words have been the centre of Shraddha’s existence for as long as she can remember. Fed up with her constant demand for books, her parents asked her to write her own. And so, it began!

She’s an ophthalmologist with a specialisation in Glaucoma. She juggles her professional demands with her new label of tennis mom and the larger than life characters that live in her mind, demanding to be manifested.

She has written A Doctor in the House (Partridge), A Great Fall (Juggernaut) and The Case of the Counterfeit Currency (Mango Books) and also has an anthology of poems (F.I.S.T) (Pothi Books)

Shraddha finds herself attracted to stories about women – strong ones, funny ones & kick ass survivors. Her self-deprecating humor tends to stay with you long after you’ve shut the book.

Author Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorshraddhasahi

Twitter –  https://twitter.com/shraddhavs

Instagram – https://instagram.com/shraddhasahi

Youtube channel – https://bit.ly/3jUMCL9

Book Tour: My Heart’s Regret by Shilpa Suraj

About the Book:

Samaira Reddy, the girl in the big house, the Bade Sahib’s daughter, only wants one thing and one person…a life with her childhood sweetheart, her Rags.

Raghav Cherukuri has always been known as the driver’s son. And has also always loved his Sam, the girl he can never have and never forget. And so, he leaves her and his life in Hyderabad behind.

But now, Raghav is back. A Chief Officer in the Merchant Navy, he is the success he’s always wanted to be. And yet, he has failed.
Samaira is meeting the ‘perfect groom’ her family approves of…A man whom Raghav can never be.

Can it finally be their time to be together? Or has their happy-ever-after passed them by?

This novella was previously part of the anthology Something Old Something New.

Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon

Read an Excerpt from My Heart’s Regret:

“Why did you leave?” The question shot out of her taking them both by surprise. They stared at each other, a wealth of memories flooding the space between them. Years of hurt, months of pain and a million unspoken words crowded around them.
“Don’t.” He turned away from her, shaking his head. “Don’t do this.”
“Why not? You don’t think I deserve any kind of explanation?”
He opened the rear door of the car in response. “Are you ready to go home?”
“Home?” She laughed, a bitter sound that floated in the air. “Is that still home to you?”
“Are you ready to go back to your home?” The slight emphasis felt like a slap across her face.
“And that’s the truth of it, isn’t it?” She watched his face for a clue to his feelings. She found none. He was as stone-faced as ever.
“You don’t think of it as home anymore. When you left, you didn’t just leave to study and start your career. You left everything behind. Your home. Your past. Your…”
“Yes.” His acceptance cut her off mid-rant. “I left it all behind. The poverty. The insults. The humiliation. I left my life here behind.”
“Is that all you left behind?” The words sliced through the night like a knife.
Raghav just stared at her, his eyes a cauldron of bottomless emotion. On a growl of frustration, she slid down from the car and stomped towards the door he still held open. Yanking it from his hand, she slammed it shut. Then she walked around the front of the car to the passenger door and got in.
A storm was coming. A loud rumble of thunder could be heard and the wind was picking up outside the car. It blew a lock of his unruly hair into his eyes.
He didn’t notice but she did. Even through the tears stinging her eyes, she noticed everything about him.
Raghav continued to stand, motionless by the rear door, his tightly clenched fists the only evidence of the emotion raging inside him. The first drops of rain started to pelt down drenching him in seconds.
Finally, he moved towards where she was sitting. Leaning down, he rapped on the window to get her to put it down.
Samaira obliged, arching an eyebrow in challenge.
“Get out.” The words were gritted out through clenched teeth.
“No,” she snapped the word out.
“Go sit in the back seat.”
“No,” she said again as she settled more comfortably into the seat.
“Sam, if someone sees…”
“Let them.” She couldn’t care less.
“Sam, please.” The plea was quiet, but it sliced through. “For my father’s sake.”
Her heart broke at the words. She swiped at the tear that escaped and rolled down her cheek. Without looking at him, she stepped out of the car and got into the rear seat.


Raghav slid into the driver’s seat and put the car in gear.
They drove home in silence, each lost in their own tortured thoughts. It wasn’t long before her house loomed in front of them.
They were almost at the gate when she spoke, “Are you happy?”
His hands tightened on the steering wheel. “Are you?”
She laughed. The mirthless sound echoed between them as Ahmed Chacha waved them through the gates. “You’re not going to answer any of my questions, are you?”
Raghav sighed. “What’s the point of this conversation? Discussing the past is going to bring us nothing but more pain.”
“Alright. Let’s talk about the present. Why did you come back?”
Raghav brought the car to a halt outside her front door. “I came back for my parents.”
“Never for me,” she murmured. “You left me without a second thought.”
Raghav, who was holding her door open, froze at the soft words. She stepped out of the car and around his still form. She wasn’t going to beg him for answers anymore.
“The thing is, Sam,” the whisper reached her through the violent noises of the stormy night, “You left me first.”

About the Author:

Shilpa Suraj wears many hats – corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.

An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.

Contact the Author:
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