Tuesday, January 16, 2018

5 ways to banish knee pain

Why live with knee pain when there are ways to get rid of it forever? We explain how.

Body and joint pain are often considered an old person’s ailments. But the truth can surprise you – practically any person can be a victim of joint pain, even young children. You could be born with weak bones, or have a calcium deficiency, or even suffer an injury that causes the pain.

5 ways to banish knee pain

But it is possible to incorporate simple measures for knee pain relief, so that it does not become a chronic problem. Unless you suffer from degenerative bone disorders, knee pain can be easily managed with a few lifestyle changes and some common sense tricks :

1) Exercise it gently

Though your knee screams in protest every time you walk or sit, it must get its share of daily activity. A sedentary lifestyle contributes to knee pain, so be sure to give the painful knee moderate activity every day. Stroll for a few metres every day, and gently move the leg back and forth to stimulate blood circulation. If the pain is severe, apply an ice pack, and leave the knee locked in a straight line.

2) Apply a pain relief cream. 

You may be under weeks of treatment for your dodgy knee, but managing the pain is a daily matter. You can do this in a variety of ways, but the simplest step in knee pain relief is to buy a good pain relief cream. Apply it daily on the painful knee before going to bed, and cover the area with a light bandage. The best pain relief creams provide effective short term knee pain relief. 

3) Eat a diet rich in good fats. 

Some kinds of knee pains can be attributed to friction in the joint, mostly caused by a lack of lubrication. This can happen due to aging, or a genetic issue, or excess body weight that causes the knee cartilage to erode. You can ask a qualified nutritionist to chart out a healthy diet rich in antioxidants, good fats and lubricating agents (coconut oil is a good ingredient to try in daily cooking) so that the joints receive good lubrication and the pain is lessened.

4) Massage the painful joint with special oils. 

You can supplement the effects of your diet by massaging the knee with a massage oil. The oil is designed to penetrate deep into the joint and provide both lubrication and knee pain relief. But be gentle when you massage the knee – hard or vigorous rubbing may increase the pain and even change the joint’s alignment.

5) Get a check-up done every six months. 

Knowing the progress (or not) of the knee joint can help your doctor draw up the best treatment plan for you. Often, the treatment involves keeping one’s weight in check, doing light exercise, physical therapy and taking knee pain relief medication for a few weeks or even months. Those who cannot walk briskly or cycle, may try cardio exercises like aqua therapy and daily swimming to keep their weight in check.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Urad Dal and Matar Khichdi (Black Gram Lentil Khichdi with Peas) Recipe - Makar Sankranti Special

The festival of Makar Sankranti is a major harvest festival celebrated in Central India and on this day, Khichdi is eaten, given as charity and also as offering to Gods.

Khichdi is a popular dish in India and has a variety of forms and styles of preparation but the things that always remain the same across all variations are the no-fuss, quick and easy preparation and the fact that it is filling and super healthy!

Today, I am sharing the recipe for Urad Dal and Matar Khichdi (Black Gram Lentil Khichdi with Peas) which is one of my favourites because it tasty, healthy, ideal recipe for weight watchers and very tasty. My mother always prepares this dish on Makar Sankranti.

Urad Dal and Matar Khichdi (Black Gram Lentil Khichdi with Peas) Recipe - Makar Sankranti Special

Related: Read more about the Indian festival of Makar Sankranti here

Health Benefits of Urad Dal (Black Gram Lentil): 

1) It gives energy and acts as an energy booster.

2) It is good for the skin and improves the overall health and vitality of the skin. It is anti aging.

3) It is rich in protein.

4) It is good for the heart.

5) It improves digestion.

Urad Dal and Matar Khichdi (Black Gram Lentil Khichdi with Peas) Recipe:


1 cup Urad Dal (Black Gram Lentil),
1/2 cup Chawal (Rice),
1/4 cup Matar (Peas),
1 tbsp Ghee,
1 tsp Hing (asafoetida),
Salt to taste,
1/2 tsp Haldi Powder (Turmeric Powder),
1/4 tsp Kali Mirch Powder (Black Pepper Powder)

Steps to Prepare:

1) Heat Ghee in a cooker and add Hing.

2) Add Peas, Rice and Dal and stir for a minute.

3) Add all the spices and mix.

4) Add 4 cups of water and stir once.

5) Close the cooker and cook the khichdi till 4 whistles.

6) Serve hot and enjoy this filling, nutrient rich Urad Dal and Matar Khichdi!

You can also accompany it with raita and papad or just eat it solo. It tastes yummy both ways.

Happy Makar Sankranti and Pongal! ~ Know everything about these harvest festivals of India.

India is land of diversity with numerous festivals celebrated all through the year. In January each year, three harvest festivals,  Lohri, Makar Sankranti and Pongal fall on consecutive days starting from 13th January when Lohri is celebrated in Northern India followed by Makar Sankranti and pongal which are celebrated right next day on 14th/15th January in Central India and Southern India respectively.

All these three festivals commemorate and celebrate the same feeling but still have their own distinctive features and celebration style. 

Read everything about the Lohri festival here.

Makar Sankranti:

Makar Sankranti is a major harvest festival celebrated in Central India each year on 14th January or sometimes on 15th January. The movement of the Earth from one zodiac to another is called 'Sankranti' and as the Sun moves to Capricorn zodiac which is called 'Makar' in Hindi, this day is called Makar Sankranti. One of the few Indian festivals to be celebrated on a fixed date on 14th January, this date has seen a change a few times to fall on 15th according to the movement of the Sun.

The festival marks the end of Winters and the beginning of longer days i.e Spring. According to the lunar calendar, the sun travels from the Tropic of Cancer towards the Tropic of Capricorn or from Dakshinayana to Uttarayana, thus, marking the start of the harvest season!

People take a dip in the holy river of Ganges on this day.

Makar Sankranti celebrates the power of Nature and this day is celebrated by thanking Gods for their goodwill by taking dips in the holy river of Ganges, praying to the rising Sun which is the symbol of divinity and wisdom; and visiting the holy temples to pray for a blessed new year. 

Til and Gur ke Laddoo

A variety of sweets and delicacies are made on this day which are offered to God, donations given to the poor and celebrations held at home with family and friends. People burn their old items in a bonfire and replace them with new ones. Pujas or worship sessions are held at home and in temples and people devote this day to praying and in charity work.

Urad Dal and Matar Khichdi (Black Gram Lentil Khichdi with Peas)

Special porridge made of rice and lentils known as khichdi is made on this day which is not only donated to the poor and hungry but also eaten with relish by people.

Kites are flown on this day.

Kite flying is also an important ritual of this day where the sky gets coloured with multicoloured and designer kites flown by both children and adults with much cheer and joy! Special competitions are held with the winner being the one who manages to keep his/her kite flying the longest despite the attempts of the other competitors in bringing down his kite.

Scared events like marriages start from this day onwards.

This day marks the start of the 'auspicious phase' or 'holy phase of transition' in Indian culture where now any holy and sacred ritual can be sanctified in any Hindu family so marriage celebrations also start anew from this day ending the 'inauspicious phase' that according to the Hindu calendar starts in mid-December.

Makar Sankranti not only has a socio-geographical significance where it marks the end of Winters and start of the harvest season but it also has a religious and historical significance with the mention and significance of this day mentioned in epic scriptures like the Mahabharat. 

Celebrated by different names in different parts of India, the overall feeling of thankfulness to Nature and seeking blessings for a prosperous coming year remain the same. This is also a community festival that acts as unity building event for the community. 

Makar Sankranti is called Khichdi and Makar Sankranti in Uttar Pradesh, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Sakraat in Bihar, Poush Parbon in West Bengal, Makar Sankrant in Maharashtra and Lohri in Punjab.


Pongal is a popular harvest festival that is celebrated in the Southern part of India especially in Tamil Nadu. 'Pongal' word means 'to boil' in Tamil and is celebrated in the Thai month (January-Febraury) during the season when rice, sugarcane and turmeric which form an important part in Tamil cooking are harvested.

This is a four day festival celebrated from 13-16 or 14-17 January. Pongal falls on 14th January or 15th sometimes like this year. 

Like Makar Sankranti and Lohri, this festival also celebrates the life cycle and is a day of thanksgiving to Nature for the good harvest and for seeking blessings for another prosperous year.

Just like Makar Sankranti, this also follows the movement of the Sun into Capricorn zodiac and thus, marking its movement northward for a six month period called Uttarayana. In Hinduism, Uttarayana is considered auspicious and sacred rituals and events sanctified during this period.

Pongal festival marks the end of traditional farming season for the farmers where they perform pujas for some crops and then start their break period which is sort of like a holiday period! 

This festival also sets pace for other festivals in this year. 4 consecutive festivals are also celebrated in Tamil Nadu in this week which are 'Bogi' on January 13, 'Pongal' on Jan 14, 'Maattuppongal' on Jan 15, and 'Knau or Kannum Pongal Day' on Jan 16.

Day 1- Bogi:

Celebrated in honour of Lord Indra, the ruler of clouds who is responsible for rains, people pay homage to him for providing a bountiful harvest and bringing prosperity and happiness to their lives. 

A bonfire is lit and old things burned.

On this day, old and useless clothes and things are burned in a bonfire of wood and cow-dung cakes. People dance around the bonfire with songs sung in praise of the Gods, the harvest and the coming of spring. Fire is the symbol of new life and by burning the useless things, people usher in the new beginning in their lives.

Day 2- Pongal:

People herald the day with bells, conch shells and clarinets. 

Preparation of Pongal

Kolam (auspicious design) is made outside the house early in the morning in white lime powder after bathing.

Traditional dresses are worn on this day

To celebrate bountiful harvest, rice is cooked in new pots until they boil over. Grand celebrations are held in temples with large gathering of devotees who come there armed with offerings that include rice, sugarcane, spices, coconuts, bananas and vegetables. There is hearty chanting, rituals are performed, rice cooked and the offerings offered to the Gods which is then consumed by everyone to exonerate themselves from past sins as well as offered to the poor and needy.

A traditional decoration of Kolam with boiling over rice in pots representation of Pongal I saw in a mall in Tamil Nadu.

Sweets and savouries are prepared and people visit each other's homes and exchange greetings.

Day 3- Maattuppongal:

This is the day to offer cows, bulls and buffaloes thanks for all the hardwork they do in ploughing the fields and being helpful in providing us with rich harvest.

They are oiled, bathed and decorated in colourful trinklets with garlands around their necks and taken to the village center where they are worshipped to ward off the evil eye and show our gratitude to them.

Day 4- Knau or Kannum Pongal Day:

On this day, people go to picnic with their families. Also a turmeric leaf is washed and placed on the ground on which the left overs of the rice, alongwith betel leaves, betel nuts, two pieces of sugarcane as well as some other stuff is placed. Women of the house assemble in the courtyard, place rice in the center of the turmeric leaf and seek blessings for their family and brothers.

An Arti is also performed for their brothers with limestone, turmeric water and rice. This water is then sprinkled on the Kolam made in front of the house.


Pongal, Makar Sankranti and Lohri celebrate the same feeling of gratitude and bring about the same gesture of unity in the community and yet have their own style of celebration which is what makes India a country having unity in diversity!

People from different regions celebrate and show their happiness in different ways but at the end, the object of celebration is the same. 

I wish you all a prosperous and very happy Pongal and Makar Sankranti!

 Happy Makar Sankranti and Pongal!~ Know everything about these harvest festivals of India

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What is Lohri? Know why and how it is celebrated on 13th January every year.

What is Lohri?

Lohri is a harvest festival celebrated in the Northern part of India by the Punjabi community each year on 13th January. The festival is a major one for Punjabis and the celebrations are a sight to watch, especially in the state of Punjab where large scale gatherings are organized with people coming dressed in colourful clothes and dance performances performed that are practiced since days before with lots of music, good food and happy bantering.

Celebrated with pomp and cheer, this festival signals the end of winter and start of spring season.

When is Lohri celebrated?

A festival associated with the Solar calendar, the Earth leans towards the sun along the Tropic of Capricorn from the day following Lohri. The farthest part of Earth that has been away from the Sun starts shifting towards it and thus, signals the onset of Spring. It is this transition that is celebrated as Lohri in North India, Makar Sankranti in Central India and Pongal in South India.

While Lohri is celebrated on 13th January, Makar Sankranti is celebrated just the next day either on 14th January or 15th January (like this year). Pongal is a three day harvest festival that is celebrated in South India from either 13th to 16th January or 14th to 17th January.

How is Lohri celebrated?

Fire is worshipped on this day by lighting a bonfire around which people dance, circle (perform Parikrama) and offer puffed rice, popcorn, peanuts, rewri, gur, gajak, til etc. as offering to the fire which signifies the spark of life. Blessings are sought for better harvest, good health and happiness in the family for the new year.

People circle around the bonfire and offer puffed rice, popcorn etc. to the fire.

Lohri gains more significance in a family where there has been a marriage or the birth of a child. These families celebrate Lohri with greater enthusiasm as this would be their first Lohri and is considered very auspicious. 

Friends and family gather dressed in traditional, colourful dresses to sing, dance, seek blessings and eat fine food prepared for this occasion. Bhangra (a popular dance style in Punjab) and Gidda (a popular dance style in Punjab) performed on the beats of Dhol (an instrument); lots of laughter and light teasing reign on this day with drinks and eateries relished by everyone. Guests are served all sorts of delicacies in Dinner and greetings exchanged along with strengthening of old associations and formation of new ones!

What is Lohri? Know why and how it is celebrated on 13th January every year.

In some parts of Punjab and Haryana, this day is also celebrated with girls, women and children going door-to-door singing Lohri songs and seeking Lohri which is some form of donation either as sweets like rewri, gur, gajak, til etc, peanuts or as cash.

What is Lohri? Know why and how it is celebrated on 13th January every year.

Children fly kites on this day with many competitions held to judge which kite perseveres the longest in the sky with others trying to take it down! The sky is filled with colourful kites and the happy cheering of crowd.

What is Lohri? Know why and how it is celebrated on 13th January every year.
Kites are flown on this day.

What is the Folklore around Lohri?

A famous song sung on Lohri goes like this
Sunder mundriye ho!
Tera kaun vicharaa ho!
Dullah Bhatti walla ho!
Dullhe di dhee vyayae ho!
Ser shakkar payee ho!
Kudi da laal pathaka ho!
Kudi da saalu paata ho!
Salu kaun samete!
Chache choori kutti! zamidara lutti!
Zamindaar sudhaye!
Bade bhole aaye!
Ek bhola reh gaya!
Sipahee far ke lai gaya!
Sipahee ne mari itt!
Sanoo de de Lohri, te teri jeeve jodi!
(Cry or howl!)
Bhaanvey ro te bhaanvey pitt!
This song is sung in remembrance of the bravery of Dullah Bhatti who saved a girl from the clutches of some unsavoury men, adopted her as his daughter and married her off to a respectable man, performing all the responsibilities of a bride's father. Later he was murdered by the same unsavoury men. This is one of the many variations of Dullah Bhatti's story of his brave and selfless act but the base of the story remains the same that he was a good man who protected a helpless girl in her hour of need just like a father protects his daughter. This incident happened in the harvest season.

So it is believed Lohri is celebrated to commemorate Dullah Bhatti's bravery and so this song is sung with much cheer and joy around the bonfire with chorus of "Ho!".


Lohri is all about celebrating the previous happy year, being with loved ones, thanking God for the prosperity bestowed and praying for another glorious year ahead. A festival that has become a way of life for people in Northern India especially in Punjab, this festival is all about being thankful for the happier times and celebrating the bonds of brotherhood.

Have a lovely Lohri and may all your wishes come true this new year!

What is Lohri? Know why and how it is celebrated on 13th January every year.

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Quick and Easy to make Healthy Corn Salad Recipe!

I love the crunchiness of corn/ maize also known as makai or Bhutta or challi in Hindi and the high dietary fiber content it provides, aids in digestion, is another plus for me. 

If you are looking for an easy and quick to prepare salad that is healthy, tasty and provides the full nutritional quota to you plus also helps you watch your weight then look no further because the below recipe is for you.

Quick and easy to make Healthy corn salad recipe

Nutritional Value of the Ingredients of this Quick and Easy to make Healthy Corn Salad:

  • Corn is rich in nutritional value. Apart from dietary fiber, it also provides Magnesium, Vitamin C, Folate etc. and above all else is low in fat!
  • Tomatoes are rich in vitamin A, C, and vitamin K, as well as significant amounts of vitamin B6, folate, and thiamin. They are also a good source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper.
  • Mixed herbs give the salad a nice aroma and have anti inflammatory, antioxidants, anti bacterial, anti fungal and cardiovascular health properties.
  • Onions contain Vitamins and minerals which improve immunity and have anti inflammatory properties apart from their blood sugar regulating properties.
  • Capsicum contain Vitamin C and helps in strengthening the immune system, repairing damaged brain tissues, and lowering the risk of oxidative stress, pediatric asthma, and cancer. It also improves bone health.
  • Beetroot  is a good source of iron and folate (naturally occurring folic acid). It also contains nitrates, betaine, magnesium and other antioxidants. More recent health claims suggest beetroot can help lower blood pressure, boost exercise performance and prevent dementia.
  • Lemon is rich in Vitamin C and aids digestion apart from detoxing our body which in turn help in burning up accumulated fat.

Quick and Easy to make Healthy Corn Salad Recipe:

Ingredients required:

1 cup steamed corn,
1/2 cup chopped tomato,
1/2 cup chopped onion,
1/4 cup chopped capsicum,
1/4 cup grated Beetroot,
1 tbsp lemon juice,
1/2 tsp black pepper,
1/2 tsp mixed herbs like Oregano, Basil, Rosemary, Thyme and Parsley,
Black Salt to taste,
chopped coriander for garnishing

Steps to prepare the Healthy Corn Salad:

1) Take a salad bowl and mix all the above ingredients.

2) Garnish with coriander and serve to wow everyone!

Quick and easy to make Healthy corn salad recipe


I hope you enjoy this evergreen salad as much as I do. With its healthy ingredients and easy execution, it is a favourite go-to recipe when I am looking for a filling but tasty salad.

Share your comments with me in the comments section below. I love hearing from you.

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

#ReleaseDayBlitz, #ARCBookReview and $15 #Giveaway : The Madame Catches Her Duke by Christina McKnight (Craven House #3)

There’s a fine line between love and hate…
Out Jan 4th – Regency Romance, The Madame Catches Her Duke by Christina McKnight

Title: The Madame Catches Her Duke
Series: Craven House
Author: Christina McKnight
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency 
Release Date: January 4, 2018


Despite being thrown from her home and stripped of her place in society at a young age, Madame Marce Davenport is proud of what she’s accomplished with her family and the notoriously scandalous Craven House. Except it’s all built on a lie. When an arrogant duke strode into her home years ago, offering her a way to keep the brothel open, she agreed to his game of deception. But now that her siblings have found their happiness, Marce can finally live the life she’s always wanted: one that embraces the truth. And that means severing ties with the man who has claimed too many of her days—both in reality, and fantasy.

Rowan Delconti, the Duke of Harwich, has been angry for so long: at his father, at the woman who broke apart his parents’ marriage, and at the children who won is father’s love. He’s determined his mother won’t be unhappy again—even if it means pretending to be married to Marce, so that his mother will think he’s found love in his life. But the beautiful madame fuels his fire like no other, and the charade starts to feel all too real.

When Marce and Rowan’s secrets finally come to light, their passion may not be enough to staunch the hurt of the past. Can two people who were so wrong for each other, realize they’ve been right all along?

ARC Book Review:

I have come to love Christina McKnight's historical romances that always promise a good story, an enjoyable experience with headstrong heroines that daringly face stubborn heroes. I enjoyed reading The Madame Catches Her Duke which is the third book in Craven House series but the first that I have read. This book can be read as a standalone but you will enjoy the book more if you read the books in order. I am eager to go back and read the previous books.

That being said, I loved Rowan. She is strong, independent and fiercely loyal. Her hardships and sacrifices for her siblings had me rooting for a happily-ever-after for her. Marce had me wanting to give him a piece of my mind. He was rude and treated Rowan badly but as the story progressed, I got a better understanding of his character and it is a pleasure to see the characters developing with the story.

The book had me engrossed till the very end and left me smiling. 4 stars out of 5 to it and recommended to all historical romance lovers.

I received an ARC from the publishers and tour organisers and I am very thankful to them. The above is my honest and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.

Available at: Amazon.inAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Haven’t started the series yet? 

Book 1- The Thief Steals Her Earl
Available at: Amazon.inAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Book 2- The Mistress Enchants Her Marquis
Available at: Amazon.inAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Author Bio:

Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since. 

Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books…don’t forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.

You can visit her online at the following places: Website Facebook | Twitter Goodreads | Amazon


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Saturday, December 30, 2017

#ReleaseBlitz, #ARCBookReview and #Giveaway: A Distant Heart by Sonali Dev

Celebrate the Release of A DISTANT HEART!  

Infused with the rhythms of life in modern-day India, acclaimed author Sonali Dev’s candid, rewarding novel beautifully evokes all the complexities of the human heart in A DISTANT HEART.

“Searingly asks its characters what they’re willing to do for the people they love… explores family dynamics, class issues, and many layers of guilt, hope, and determination in ways that are both distinctly Indian and universally luminous. Another beautiful, breathtaking novel from a not-to-be-missed author.” – Kirkus, STARRED Review

Add A DISTANT HEART to your TBR pile on Goodreads! Then keep reading to get an EXCLUSIVE first look and enter the giveaway for a prize pack from Sonali that includes a $50 Amazon gift card and print copies of A Bollywood Affair and A Change of Heart! 

Check out the Book Trailer! 

Title: A Distant Heart
Author: Sonali Dev
Genre: Romantic Women’s Fictoin
Release Date: December 26, 2017
Publisher: Kensington
Page Count: 100k
Print ISBN: 978-1496705761
Digital ISBN: B06XZR97YK


Her name means “miracle” in Sanskrit, and to her parents, that’s exactly what Kimaya is. The first baby to survive after several miscarriages, Kimi grows up in a mansion at the top of Mumbai’s Pali Hill, surrounded by love and privilege. But at eleven years old, she develops a rare illness that requires her to be confined to a germ-free ivory tower in her home, with only the Arabian Sea churning outside her window for company. . . . Until one person dares venture into her world.

Tasked at fourteen years old with supporting his family, Rahul Savant shows up to wash Kimi’s windows, and an unlikely friendship develops across the plastic curtain of her isolation room. As years pass, Rahul becomes Kimi’s eyes to the outside world–and she becomes his inspiration to better himself by enrolling in the police force. But when a life-saving heart transplant offers the chance of a real future, both must face all that ties them together and keeps them apart.

As Kimi anticipates a new life, Rahul struggles with loving someone he may yet lose. And when his investigation into an organ black market ring run by a sociopathic gang lord exposes dangerous secrets that cut too close to home, only Rahul’s deep, abiding connection with Kimi can keep her safe–and reveal the true meaning of courage, loss, and second chances.

Infused with the rhythms of life in modern-day India, acclaimed author Sonali Dev’s candid, rewarding novel beautifully evokes all the complexities of the human heart.

ARC Book Review:

A Distant Heart by Sonali Dev is a book that I had been eagerly awaiting. Even though it can be read as a standalone story but in my opinion, it will be best understood and cherished if you have read Sonali's previous book, A Change of Heart first because the plot carries forward from where it left off in the previous book. 

We saw Inspector Rahul chasing down the mastermind behind an organ trafficking ring in A Change of Heart but despite a partial closure, the mystery behind the operation of this deadly organs trafficking ring and how it all connects to people near Rahul's heart is revealed in this book. Here we get an up and close look into Rahul's life and finally meet Kimi aka Kimaya, his one weakness outside of his family.

I had absolutely adored A Change of Heart and this book again had me enthralled. Sonali Dev truly understands the inner workings of the heart and her attention to the minutest of details about daily life and human nature had me respecting her more and more.

She vividly and realistically sketches the two worlds : one of priviledge and the other of the common man working hard to provide two square meals to his family. One is symbolized by our hero, Rahul and the other by Kimaya. I loved following the story as it went back and forth in time and traced a journey of love, friendship, loss, determination and second chances.

The writing style is vivid, engaging and will keep you hooked right till the end. I enjoyed meeting Nick, Nikki and Joy from the previous book and this book has finally given me the contentment that I get when all the dots in a mystery finally connect.

A stark, sometimes scary and other times brutally honest, this book had me feeling myriad of emotions and I am so so happy to have gotten a pre-release copy of this book.  Ms Dev's books have become an "Auto-buy" for me and even before I finish her one book, I am already eager to get her next book!

A definite must read, I give A Distant Heart by Sonali Dev 4.5 stars out of 5 and recommend it all romance lovers. If you like an intense, brooding hero, a fiercely independent heroine, a potent romance and a mystery that tests all your brain cells then this book is for you.

I received an ARC from the publishers via Netgalley and I am very thankful to them. The above is my honest and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.

Available at: 

Enter the giveaway for a prize pack from Sonali that includes a $50 Amazon gift card and print copies of A Bollywood Affair and A Change of Heart! 

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A Distant Heart Excerpt
Copyright © 2017 Sonali Dev

Freedom was a beautiful thing! Mumbai in all its grimy, gray, pre-monsoon glory flew past Kimi as her auto-rickshaw sped between cars and pedestrians with the zeal of a bastard child born of a Diwali rocket and an immortal god. She almost asked the driver to slow down, but with the wind whipping her ponytail and the driver’s mop of curls in a joint symphony she felt as recklessly brave as the whirring vehicle racing along on its three wheels. 
Emblazoned across the dashboard of the rickshaw was the goddess Durga dancing on the corpse of a demon like the evil-hunting badass she was. Bowing to her was Bollywood’s favorite superhero, Krish, with his muscles bulging like fat rubber balls and his hair coiffed high. In a perfect background score to Kimi’s life’s drama, the techno-beat-laden remix of an old Bollywood number drowned out the cacophony of horns the driver left in his wake. 
The combination was delicious and exactly worthy of what she had just done. What she was about to do. 
You know who else was badass? Kimaya Kirit Patil, that’s who. 
There had been one hundred and twelve instances over twelve years when each breath had been a fight and her limbs had turned to mist. She had fought. Not like a warrior, because that would involve the use of said limbs, but like someone drowning, where all you could do is keep the water out of your nose, so it wouldn’t keep the air from your lungs. Breathe out. Breathe out. She had followed those breaths. Grabbed on to those thin wisps of air like lifelines and made herself live one grip at a time.
Then the cure she had waited twelve years for in a sterile room had come. A heart had become available. Surely that meant something. Someone had died, after all, so she might live. Someone with the exact kind of blood and plasma that would let a foreign heart beat within her chest with the confidence of an indegene. Surely that meant she could now have what she never thought she would—all that she had gazed upon from the windows of her room, sealed tight with every technology known to man, so no germ, no pathogen would dare venture into her world, let alone an entire human being. Except Rahul—he had ventured. And then gone on venturing until he was all the way inside. 
He’d helped her understand calculus and the nuanced stories of Premchand. He had known how atoms split, why Europe went to war twice within half a century, and the why and when of each invention that transformed the history of civilization. He had touched her, despite promises he’d made. Because it was exactly what she had needed. His gloved hand in hers. He had given her anything she had asked for when everyone else had been too afraid. And she had known that if she lived, if her parents got what they had sealed her in a room twelve years for—a daughter who lived—she would spend the rest of that life taking care of him. The way he had taken care of her. 
Except she hadn’t considered the most important part of her plan: him. She had returned from Hong Kong with her new heart and he had looked at her with those dark-tar eyes turned even darker by all that emotion when she ran to him. “You’re running,” he had said, as usual choosing the least words to say the most.
“Yes,” she had said, knowing exactly why every single hard-won breath had been worth it. But then she had told him her grand plan: the two of them living happily ever after. 
As always she had asked him for what she wanted. What she hadn’t for one moment considered that he didn’t also want.
He had thanked her for the offer to love him forever, and passed on it. 
The person who had kept her from being alone when she was locked up in a room had finally shown her what loneliness was when he walked away from her, leaving her alone in the crowded world she had craved for so long. 
No one had the right to that kind of power.
She leaned back into the overstuffed vinyl seat of the speeding auto-rickshaw feeling awfully light.
It only made sense that losing a part of yourself would bring lightness. 
No. She wasn’t doing that. She was not going all morose and doing the Tragic Princess shit anymore. That wasn’t her. No matter how people saw her, that was not her. Not anymore. 
Actually, it had never been her. Why the hell was she letting herself go down that path now? 
She was past the Rahul-induced sadness. Done with it. He’d made his intentions clear. They were no longer—well, they just weren’t anymore. Nothing, anything, they just weren’t.
Plato would ask if the fact that they weren’t anymore meant they had never been. Or was it Aristotle? You know who would know? The one person who she could not, would not, call for a fact check. This wasn’t a Tragic Princess thought, but here it was anyway: She had to stop thinking of life in terms of thoughts she saved up for Rahul like seashells collected on a walk along the beach. It was time. Praise for A DISTANT HEART

 “Dev crafts another thrilling story filled with intense drama, deep emotion, and well-developed characters; a can’t-put-down book.”—Library Journal, STARRED Review

“Thrilling action sequences and a complex, weighty romance propel this smart, sensitive story. A natural wordsmith, Dev dives into the psyches of disparate characters with voice-driven prose that includes both chilling insights and quirky humor… This poignant, sensual, and exciting tale captures a range of emotions and conflicts.”Booklist, STARRED Review

“Award-winning Dev returns with another of her emotionally resonating stories that explore, in depth, the intersection of friendship, love, sacrifice and desperation… There is a tremendous richness to this story… A truly captivating tale of friendship and love. Dev always delivers!”RT Book Reviews, 4.5 Stars, TOP PICK!

About Sonali Dev

Sonali Dev’s first literary work was a play about mistaken identities performed at her neighborhood Diwali extravaganza in Mumbai. She was eight years old. Despite this early success, Sonali spent the next few decades getting degrees in architecture and writing, migrating across the globe, and starting a family while writing for magazines and websites. With the advent of her first gray hair her mad love for telling stories returned full force, and she now combines it with her insights into Indian culture to conjure up stories that make a mad tangle with her life as supermom, domestic goddess, and world traveler.
Sonali lives in the Chicago suburbs with her very patient and often amused husband and two teens who demand both patience and humor, and the world’s most perfect dog.
Sonali’s novels have been on Library Journal, NPR, Washington Post, and Kirkus’s lists of Best Books of the year. She won the Americ an Library Association’s award for best romance 2014, and is a RITA® finalist, RT Reviewer Choice Award Nominee, and winner of the RT Seal of Excellence. She was hailed by NPR.org as a ‘stunning debut’.

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