Monday, August 14, 2017

The Cheerleader



I had dreamt about this day since high school. Dressed in white, walking down the aisle towards Richard.

Yet, nothing about today resembled my dreams. My father was not around to walk me down the aisle nor was I able to walk. I had lost both in a car accident a year ago.

Richard deserved a better wife. After all, he was a successful tennis star.

Someone patted on my shoulder. I turned around on my wheelchair and faced Taylor, my elder brother.

“It is time, Lara. Richard asked me to give you this.” Taylor slipped a note into my hands.

Don’t keep me waiting, sweetheart.
I have waited a lifetime for you. Come to me.
Won’t you be my cheerleader forever?

Only yours,
Richard

I wiped the tears that had flowed out and allowed Taylor to lead me out of the room.

I couldn’t ever refuse to be Richard’s cheerleader.

(150 words)


This post is part of #FridayFotoFiction by Tina and Mayuri

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Release Day Blitz: Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer


~ Release Day Blitz ~
Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer
12th August, 2017


Long before the times of Draupadi and Sita
Immortalised in the hymns of the Rig Veda
But largely forgotten to the memory of India
Is the Warrior Queen with an iron leg, Vishpala

Brought up in the pristine forest school of Naimisha, Avishi reaches the republic of Ashtagani in search of her destiny. When Khela, the oppressive King of the neighbouring Vrishabhavati begins to overwhelm and invade Ashtagani, Avishi rises to protect her settlement. But peril pursues her everywhere.
Separated from her love, her settlement broken, with a brutal injury needing amputation of her leg, can Avishi overcome Khela?


Read an Excerpt

“I am the Queen! This will be my throne!” The seven-year-old chirped leaping from the middle of the porch towards the broken mortar which served as a mock throne. “You will be my guard!”
“Guard?” the man pondered scratching his unkempt beard. 

“No.” He shook his head and smiled seeing her indignant eyes. “I will be the Queen’s elephant.” He beamed.

Sukratu stepped out of the house to see his daughter in action, perching herself on the tramp Loha’s back, pretending in all earnestness that he was her elephant. He smiled and was about to set out for his duty as the night guard of the King. A sudden lightning appeared in the eastern skies. Sukratu had barely walked a few paces when a deafening thunder made him instinctively turn towards home. He heaved a sigh, finding Loha shielding the girl as if he would, his own child. 

“Father, don’t go.” The girl pleaded. 

Sukratu smiled and shifted his gaze towards the sky. He saw dark clouds loom over the city. The monsoon winds had started to make their presence felt. He had to reach the palace soon. “Isn’t my little Queen brave?” He called out. 

The girl nodded. He saw the fear fade. From her eyes. From her heart. She knew she was the queen! Pride filled his heart. His mind ached to stay home but duty beckoned. Tearing his gaze away from the one he treasured the most in his life, braving the drizzle that would soon turn into a storm, he unwillingly walked towards the King’s residence. Sukratu’s house was in the third ring of the concentric structure of Vrishabhavati. In the centre, was the structure, that served as the residence of the king and as the centre of all trade activity of the city. Here no wealth or goods could change hands without the king’s knowledge and approval. The residences of the noblemen formed the two rings around it. The guards and soldiers forming the outermost circle with the citizens living around them. 
As per the protocol, Sukratu approached General Ugra’s residence quite ahead of his reporting time— an hour before the moonrise. He walked into the empty courtyard. But the rain made it impossible for him to stand there any longer. He knocked at the giant wooden door fervently. The doors creaked as a strange woman clad in a dark indigo garment opened them and glared at him with a frown on her forehead. 

General Ugra, Sukratu knew was never faithful to one woman. His superior’s romantic exploits were not his concern either. But something about the woman at the door disconcerted him. “Please let General Ugra know that…”

“He has already left for the palace!” The woman frowned before attempting to shut the door. 
“What? How ca…” Sukratu’s words hung in air as the door slammed on his face and the woman disappeared from his line of vision all of a sudden. Something did not feel right. He knocked at the door again. Firmly this time, as though seeking answers. Any change in the reporting time would have been announced the day before and he remembered that nothing of the sort had happened. His knocks went unanswered. Frowning and muttering under his breath, Sukratu hurried towards an empty cowshed three houses away from Ugra’s place hoping to catch his companions who he knew would be equally surprised. 

The first to arrive was Khela, the eighteen-year-old guard, holding a metal shield above his head. The newest addition to the King’s guard, Khela was related to General Ugra and Sukratu felt that his position in the King’s guard was largely a result of undue favours that Ugra showered upon an otherwise impudent boy. 

“Sukratu! By the great Varuna, I should have come to you earlier!” Khela hurried towards him. Pausing for breath, he added. “Our platoon has been given a relief tonight! It was a sudden decision and I personally informed all the others.”

“Relief for tonight? That happens only when…”
“Our guarding hours change from night to day!” Khela completed in a hurry. “Now, come with me.” He turned towards the western direction and the javelin he held started to sway dangerously and came close to grazing Sukratu’s arm. 

The older guard’s instincts made him dodge the cut. “Where?” Sukratu hissed, visibly annoyed, first with the fact that he was kept in dark about the change in guarding hours and then about Khela’s irreverent behaviour. “And watch who your weapon hurts, boy.”

Khela shrugged and changed the position of his weapon. “We are now going to the place.” He winked, stretching his hand in the direction. “Follow me, this is the only night we get to have some fun.”

Sukratu did not move. The place he knew implied the tavern where wine was served. “We cannot drink tonight, Khela. When do we have to report tomorrow? By sunrise?”

“You ask too many questions. The rest of us are there too!”

“That does not answer my question.” 

“Well, I don’t know, and I don’t care to. The palace is paying for the wine. Are you coming or not?” 
The last sentence sounded more like a threat than an invite. Sukratu had all the mind to give the youth a piece of his mind and storm back home. His daughter would be overjoyed to see him before she went to sleep. It gnawed at Sukratu’s heart every day to leave her under the care of Loha— the tramp who had begged him for shelter about six months ago and then became a part of his life. The girl liked him instantly and had begged Sukratu to let Loha live with them and he, despite his misgivings about the tramp’s origins and his unkempt appearance, could not refuse his only daughter. Over time, Sukratu felt grateful for Loha’s company. Now his daughter did not have to be all by herself every night. The guard’s home would have been unguarded if not for that stranger. Sukratu brushed aside these thoughts and had almost decided to go home when the thought of meeting other senior guards and clarifying the confusion struck him. He followed Khela’s lead, making no attempt to hide his displeasure. 

When they reached the tavern, Sukratu to his dismay, found many of his brothers in arms deeply drunk. “When did they reach here and when did they…”

“Quite sometime before. I just forgot to tell you in advance!”

Sukratu’s eyes scrutinized the men and women of the tavern who were serving wine to the guards. There were no other citizens or travellers in the tavern. 

“Just for us, the whole night!” Khela said as if reading his thoughts, bringing him an earthen goblet. 
The older guard accepted the goblet taking his first sip with a sense of foreboding. 

“Where were you all the time, old friend?” The voice belonged to Tunga one of the senior guards in the platoon. 

The grin on his friend’s face brought a smile to Sukratu’s lips. “Tunga, what is this about the sudden change in our guarding hours?” 

“The King… that imbecile, has finally remembered that we are human too!” Tunga guffawed, emptying his goblet, waving vigorously at a woman of the tavern who obliged with a seductive wink. 
She approached them, skillfully distributing her attention between both the men, winking at Tunga and pouting her lips at Sukratu. Her brows rose at Sukratu’s filled cup. “Don’t keep the Sura nor this Sundari waiting, my love...” Serving Tunga his wine, she placed her fingers upon Sukratu’s shoulders, digging her nails into his skin for a moment locking her gaze with his and turned around swiftly, letting her light upper garment rest on his face for a fleeting moment. 

It was a willful invitation and Sukratu knew it. His attention though was caught by the colour of the garment. The Indigo hued garment! All the women of the tavern wore clothes of the same colour. So did the woman he saw in General Ugra’s house! Was Ugra at home while the woman lied that he was at the palace? If the General and the whole platoon of the night guard were lying down drunk, who was minding the security of the King? Sukratu looked at the rest of the guards. No one seemed sober enough to talk. The only sober man Khela had disappeared!

“By the great Varuna!” Sukratu exclaimed aloud and rushed out, pushing the woman who tried to stop him away. 

He raced to the King’s residence, as fast as his legs could carry him. The huge wooden gates of the structure were closed and secured from inside. The rain lashed drowning his cries. Misgivings regarding the King’s welfare made him shudder. He had to meet General Ugra. Something told him that the General had his own reasons to send the whole platoon of guards to enjoy a drunk night. He was a guard who had sworn to protect the King with his life. The general owed him an answer. 
Sukratu rushed to General Ugra’s house determined to confront him. 
That, Sukratu realized was the biggest mistake of his life. 
At the gates of the general’s residence, he saw a familiar figure hurrying out of his house, a heavy bundle on his shoulders. “General Ugra!” he called out, feeling relieved. 
The figure started, and the bundle fell to the ground. Sukratu came to a sudden halt as he realized it wasn’t a bundle after all, but a blood-drenched corpse. A stroke of lightning from the sky revealed the face and the very familiar greying curls. Sukratu froze for a long moment before he could speak.
 “K... King...”
Something hit him on the head even before he could utter the name. Sukratu staggered, reeling at the impact, clutching at his long sword in a vain attempt to defend the next move. 
“Finish him!” The General shout behind him. 
Before he turned around, Sukratu felt the cold metal tear into his back. Lightning struck revealing the contours of the person. Khela! The javelin stabbed him again. Thunder drowned his screams. Falling to the ground with the weapon still stuck to his back, Sukratu lifted his sword and managed to slash Khela’s palm though the latter, unlike him was vigilant and alert. Crawling away from the menacing duo, knowing very well that he could not last more than a few moments, Sukratu’s thoughts, went to his innocent daughter. She would now languish as an orphan remaining in dark about the monsters who killed her father. Or would they kill her too?
Sukratu would never know. 


About the Author:

Saiswaroopa is an IITian and a former investment analyst turned author. Her keen interest in ancient Indian history, literature, and culture made her take to writing. Her debut novel Abhaya, set in the times of Mahabharata was published in 2015. Avishi, her second novel set in Vedic India explores the legend of India’s first mentioned female warrior queen Vishpala.

She holds a certificate in Puranas from Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. She is also trained in Carnatic Classical music and has won a state level gold medal from Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. 





Friday, August 11, 2017

Weekend Reads: Best in Self-Help

This week, I am recommending four self- help books which influenced and changed my outlook towards life. These are my 'go to' books when I need some inspiration.



If you haven't read these books, I want you to check them out.

THE SECRET by RHONDA BYRNE



Regarded as a life-changing read for many readers, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne is a self-help book that embarks to motivate the reader about a universal paradigm about the success that can be achieved though it remains hidden for most people. The book explores about unveiling this little secret which may transform how people look at things and lead them on to the road of success and true happiness.

According to the author, the book makes proper use of the 'law of attraction’ and shows how positive thinking can open a treasure trove of bountiful happiness, health and wealth. The book posits the law of attraction as a primeval law that completes the law of the universe (as well of our lives) through the process 'like attracts like’. The author is also of the view that as people think-and-feel, so do they send a corresponding frequency to the universe that in turn attracts events and circumstances of the same frequency. Hence, if one is always able to think positive and think right, naturally, one will obtain the best results always. In all this argument, however, there is no scientific basis for the views expressed as to how such 'attraction' affect the biological and physical processes of the body.

What I liked:
This book was an eye opener for me. I started analyzing my thoughts and life experiences after reading this. Whatever success I have achieved in my life, the harbinger of it all was this book.

Recommended for all those who want to give their life a complete makeover.

THE GIFTS OF IMPERFECTION by BRENE BROWN




New York Times best-selling author and professor Brené Brown offers a powerful and inspiring book that explores how to cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to embrace your imperfections and to recognize that you are enough.

Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we'd no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, What if I can't keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn't everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?

In The Gifts of Imperfection, Bren頂rown, PhD, a leading expert on shame, authenticity, and belonging, shares what she's learned from a decade of research on the power of Wholehearted Living--a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough, and to go to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn't change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.

What I liked:
I was impressed by the lessons, the examples and the general tone of inspiration and upliftment.
I have bookmarked certain guideposts that I would read again for sure as they were truly inspirational.
Recommended for all those who want to live a brave and alive creative life.

BIG MAGIC by ELIZABETH GILBERT





Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. 

Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work,  embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

What I liked:

Every chapter had a lesson for me. Every line resonated and came at the right moment when I needed to hear it. I read this book one chapter at a time. Sometimes going back and re-reading some portions. This book is going to remain on my bedside table so that I can reach out for it anytime I feel a bit down. 

A must read for every creative.



YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE by LOUISE L HAY







This New York Times Bestseller has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. Louise L. Hay, bestselling author, is an internationally known leader in the self-help field. Her key message is: "If we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed."

The author has a great deal of experience and firsthand information to share about healing, including how she cured herself after being diagnosed with cancer.

What I liked:


This is one book that I am asked to consult every now and then by my friends and family alike. Tell me what is the affirmation for curing 'XYZ' ailment. Tell me what is the emotional cause of ABC. I get asked such questions and I consult the book immediately. This my healing handbook.


Consult this book to heal every aspect of your life, including relationships, career, and health.


Hope you liked this week's recommendations.
What is your favorite self-help book?
Do tell me in the comments.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Book Excerpt: Shadow in the Mirror by Deepti Menon



Excerpt:

The door opened and her aunt bustled in. An air of expectation hung about her, tempered by an aura of anxiety that surprised Kavita. “Kavita, child, please don’t let your heart rule your head!”

 Her aunt seemed to be actually pleading with her. Kavita nodded mechanically as she looked at the older woman’s lined face. Wasn’t this her future being decided? 

“I will not make any compromises, whatever Aunty says!” she said to herself, but at the moment it was easier to concede to her. 

One last look at the mirror, the smoothening down of an unruly curl that kissed her flawless profile, and then she waited in impatience for the summons. The minutes went by, dragging their feet, emphasized by the ticking of the clock. Or was it actually the beating of her heart?

Finally, her aunt led her towards the drawing room, tea tray in hand, as her uncle’s voice could be heard making conversation. As she glided in, she was aware of many eyes devouring her, and she was satisfied with a deep indrawn breath which signified that she had made an impact upon them. She walked gracefully across the room, placed the tray on the centre table and sat down demurely, as her aunt had ordered her to do, even though she was longing to burst into giggles, as her mind went back to all that she had once told Vaishali. Her eyes moved around of their own volition furtively, searching for the ‘boy’ who had come to see her.

There was a moment’s silence, as glances were exchanged. Kavita had taken a complete survey of the room. She did not see the man of her dreams anywhere. Instead, she saw a mousy little man with a hint of buckteeth… surely this could not be Shekhar! She glanced around frantically, but none of the others could be termed bridegroom material for they were all rather ancient. The women seemed younger but she wasn’t even looking at them. 

“This could not be Shekhar!” Oh, no, her heart cried out in anguish. Where was her dashing Shadow Prince?

 She jerked back as one old gentleman asked her a question, and she replied to all the queries dully, till she could stand it no more. There was a dreadful ringing inside her head, and she felt the earth spinning around as the familiar tinkle of glass assailed her, and she stood up with a jerk, swaying on her feet! Varying expressions of surprise ran across their faces as she fled from the room, a nasal voice haunting her very being, a voice that could only be Shekhar’s!

Safe in her room, she lay on her bed, her beautiful sari wilted, and stared dry-eyed at the ceiling. Her dreams had come crashing down like a house of cards, all in a moment. Her aunt came rushing in, excited and vociferous. She had taken Kavita’s flight as the bashfulness of a young girl at the sight of her suitor. She had assured the visitors that she would be back in a moment, and her voice shook with excitement.

 “So how do you like him?”



About the Author:



Deepti Menon is the author of two books, ‘Arms and the
Woman’ and ‘Deeparadhana’. She has worked as a
journalist for several publications and is now a freelance
editor. Short stories with deft twists and tongue-in-cheek
articles that tickle the funny bone are her forte. Deepti
lives with her family in Chennai.


Availability: The book has been published by Readomania and is available on Amazon.in and in major bookshops, like Starmark and Odyssey. 


Genre: Psychological thriller. 

Editor: Dipankar Mukherjee - Email: dipankar dot mukherjee at readomania dot com


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Weekend Reading Suggestions: Week 1

I am a bibliophile and these days I am on a reading spree.
This week, I am starting a new series on my blog called Weekend Reading Suggestions. These are the books that impressed me in more ways than one. I am sure they won't disappoint you.

So what do I have for you this week?



The Prince's Special Bride by Devika Fernando:


Blurb: Marie doesn’t believe in fairytales and needs no handsome prince to rescue her from misery – but everything changes when she falls in love with Crown Prince Christian of Taragonia. When his sister invites Marie to the palace, their lives collide and leave them both fighting their forbidden attraction.

Prince Christian has no place in his life for love or for a woman who doesn’t fit into the royal scheme of things. But vivacious Marie steals his heart and puts all he has lived for at stake. When the media gets wind of their affair, he has to make a difficult decision.

Will the unlikely couple have a chance at a happy ending?

What I liked most?

 Devika Fernando's vivid writing style won my heart. Marie and Christian seemed like two real persons. I want to meet them. (Devika Fernando, is it possible?)

The Mahabharata Secret by Christopher C Doyle:



Blurb:
It is a thriller novel that revolves around mythology, science, religion and terrorism. The story-line takes the readers all the way back to ancient times in 244 B.C., where Emperor Ashoka the Great discovers a dark secret of the great Mahabharata. The secret is so dangerous that it could cause massive destruction to mankind if falls into wrong hands.


For 2300 years the secret remained hidden to save the world from untold horror. Hence, to save the secret, Ashoka forms a group of people called 'Nine’ and gave them oath to protect the secret even on price of their lives.

Suddenly the story comes to the present, where a retired nuclear scientist, Vikram Singh is murdered in a mysterious way. Before his strange death, Vikram has sent few e-mails with cryptic clues to his nephew, Vijay. These clues further lead Vijay and his friends to unlock the secret in his uncle’s message. Throughout the story, Vijay along with his friends is racing against time while solving the mystery behind his uncle’s death and the message Vikram left before his demise.

What I liked most?

 The various fictional and mysterious things about epic Mahabharata while going through the series of adventures in the book. Combining past and present, the book kept me glued to it till I finished it.


Trouble Has a New Name by Adite Banerjee






Blurb: Will you pretend to be my fiancé for the next few days? Recently single model Rayna Dutt does not feel like flying to her friend's big fat Indian wedding. But she does and when a mix-up with room allocation forces her to share a luxury villa on Emerald Isle with the gorgeous owner of the hotel Neel Arora, best man at the wedding, things begin to look up. Until Rayna's ex turns up with a new girl on his arm! Hitting the panic button, Rayna searches for a solution. Surely Neel wouldn't mind being her fake fiancé…? In an instant the attraction they share is at fever-pitch, but when scandal comes calling Rayna soon finds herself in more trouble than she can handle!

What I liked most? 


Adite Banerjee effortlessly made me fall in love with the protagonist Neel. And I had a bookish hangover for days. And I am saving to go for a long holiday to Neel's place.

 Perfect Weekend Read!


Abhaya by Saiswaroopa Iyer:


Blurb: A tale set in the times of Mahabharata. An assertive and idealistic Princess Abhaya meets the enigmatic Krishna Vaasudeva. A bereaved Dhatri, pursued by her own family is saved by Lord Bhauma. When subverted religion becomes a tool in the hands of power thirsty and strikes Bharatavarsha, the land of Aryas, Abhaya finds herself face to face with the impending doom.

"Can we combat the fear with faith? Can we keep our faith undeterred when the last traces of hope melt away? Can we receive blame and adulation, accept them and yet not give in to them?"

What I liked most?

Saiswaroopa has a way of taking you on a time travel to the era when the flute of Krishna made Gopis swoon and the arrogant warriors didn't flinch while they ended the lives of unsuspecting innocents. Action packed and completely entertaining.

The Adventures of Ernie Fish by Sudesna Ghosh:


Blurb: Say hello to Ernie Fish, the famous cat expert and his two cats Giri and Garby. And there's a dog too. Join them on their adventures as Ernie Fish's own cats prove his theories wrong, give him advice, and even sing! Every short story in this collection is full of meow.

What I liked most?

It is a hilarious weekend read for both children and their parents. If you love cats, you are in for a treat. The book has some very cute cat pictures.


P.S: Except for the first book and the third book in today's suggestions, all the books are available on Kindle Unlimited. It means you can read them for free by subscribing to Kindle Unlimited.
If you want to know why Kindle Unlimited is a good idea, read this post.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Why should you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited?



Last month, I subscribed to Kindle Unlimited after pondering over the ‘should I’ or ‘shouldn’t I’ question for a long while.


These were the arguments I heard against joining Kindle Unlimited.

The quality of KU books are not good

Really? I disagree. There are over a million books, that too by bestselling authors from around the world available on Kindle Unlimited. The Indian publishers are not enrolling their books on KU mostly because of the fear that it will kill the paperback sales. But slowly they are realizing the earning power of KU. You can find books by Preeti Shenoy, Amish, Ashwin Sanghi etc who are among the most popular Indian authors on Kindle Unlimited.

There is a limit to the books you can borrow at a time

Yes! There is a limit. You can borrow only 10 books at a time. 10 books! Isn’t that enough?
The good thing is you can return any book at any time and borrow another.

 Kindle Unlimited is not really free

Yes, it is not really free. You have to pay to subscribe. But compared to the rates of the books you can actually read with the KU subscription, the books become almost free.

Limited Choice

If you read only Booker/Pulitzer prize winning books, you won't find many of them on Kindle Unlimited. But if you are a fan of romance, fantasy, self-help, writing guides, recipe books and read Indie writers, you will find so many good books. Yes, Harry potter and Hunger games series are also available.


Arguments supporting Kindle Unlimited:

1)      There is no limit to the number of books you can read.
2)      There are no additional or hidden charges other than the subscription.
3)      The book vanishes from your Kindle once you return it, leaving your Kindle clutter free.
4)      There are over a million titles to choose from in different genres.
5)      Content is good.
6)      Many of my favorite authors have their books on Kindle Unlimited.
7)      Free to experiment with genres and new authors.
8)      Bookmarks and notes are saved to your Amazon account even if you return a     book.

As an experiment, I initially subscribed for just one month.
The money I spent: Rs. 200.
The number of books I read: 24, each book priced somewhere between Rs.99-400.
You can do the Math. Even without any, you can tell it is a seriously good bargain.

A majority of these books are fiction, which I may not want to read more than once. Once I read, I can return the book, freeing up space for new books.
Some are reference books which I will retain on my Kindle. There is no limit to the amount of time I can keep a book. No need to renew.

The 'read for free' tab on every Kindle Unlimited book brings a smile on my face.

What many readers don’t understand is that even though you get to read the book for free, Amazon pays the author who has put hours of hard work to create the book. So, you are not actually cheating the author by reading it for free which is the case when you download and read a pirated copy of the book.

Some of my writer friends who have put their books on Kindle Unlimited considers it as the wisest thing they have done in a while. Not only do they get new readers because of the ease of the scheme, but they also get paid handsomely to keep them going. For some, the actual money through sales is often only a fraction of what they earn through Kindle Unlimited. 

Have to say, we Indians heart free stuff.

The reason why many best sellers are not available on KU is that these books are available on multiple portals like KOBO, iBooks, Smashwords etc. Amazon KDP Select scheme requires the authors to remain exclusive to their platform, which many authors don’t want.

If you are an Indian reader who likes to experiment with various genres and loves eBooks, Kindle Unlimited is the best choice for you. There are many books which cater to the Indian audience, not to mention access to best sellers from world literature.

Subscribe for a month at Rs 199 and experiment like I did.

If it seems a good option, go for it.

You can subscribe for 6 months for Rs. 999 (at Rs 150/month)
Or for a year. (1785)

I have extended my subscription for another six months as I am nowhere done with my TBR pile on the Kindle Unlimited books list.

If you are an Indian writer, consider putting your book on Kindle Unlimited. It will bring you more readers, ratings, and reviews.

Have you tried Kindle Unlimited? What do you think about it?





Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Cover Reveal: Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer


~ Cover Reveal ~
Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer
12th July, 2017


Long before the times of Draupadi and Sita
Immortalised in the hymns of the Rig Veda
But largely forgotten to the memory of India
Is the Warrior Queen with an iron leg, Vishpala

Brought up in the pristine forest school of Naimisha, Avishi reaches the republic of Ashtagani in search of her destiny. When Khela, the oppressive King of the neighbouring Vrishabhavati begins to overwhelm and invade Ashtagani, Avishi rises to protect her settlement. But peril pursues her everywhere.

Separated from her love, her settlement broken, with a brutal injury needing amputation of her leg, can Avishi overcome Khela?

About the Author:

Saiswaroopa is an IITian and a former investment analyst turned author. Her keen interest in ancient Indian history, literature, and culture made her take to writing. Her debut novel Abhaya, set in the times of Mahabharata was published in 2015.

Avishi, her second novel set in Vedic India explores the legend of India’s first mentioned female warrior queen Vishpala.

She holds a certificate in Puranas from Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. She is also trained in Carnatic Classical music and has won a state level gold medal from Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. 


This Cover Reveal is brought to you by Book Review Tours

Monday, July 10, 2017

Dream Home with Home Canvas

Every couple envisions a dream home. They paint their home canvas in the shades that reflect their tastes and personalities. Every décor item should tell a story. Each accessory should help transform the house into a home.

Yet, the trouble begins when you walk into a home décor shop. It is an uphill task to find the exact piece of furniture that would suit your needs or mix and match the various décor items to create a visual appeal. It is very difficult to find a single store, both online and offline that would cater to all your needs. Hassled by the experience, often shoppers decide to settle.



Sandeep Sridhar and Radhika braved these challenges during the quest for finding the perfect décor for their home. They pondered as to how to make the experience happier for other couples. This gave birth to Home Canvas, an online discovery platform for the best in furniture and décor.

The Home Canvas experts curate stores, suppliers, and artisans from all over the country.  You can choose furniture, furnishings, and accessories across styles, materials, and price from this online store.

According to Sridhar, Home Canvas is a one-stop destination to help you discover furniture collections, styles that resonate with your tastes and lead you on to finding products in the easiest and most convenient manner possible. 


It will provide a hassle-free experience whether you are doing up a single room or setting up your new home. They have combed the length and breadth of the country and curated the most exquisite and lust-worthy products. You will have fun discovering furniture collections that you would never have been able to find before.

From the comfort of your home, discover that pretty rug from a store in Jaipur, distinctively upholstered chairs from a Delhi label, or fun study tables for your kids’ room via Home Canvas. As the experts at Home Canvas collects only distinctive products, your home décor is bound to become a unique masterpiece of your own.

The number of stores registered at the site is growing every day promising to create unique design stories for homeowners around the world. 


So, what are you waiting for?

Head to Home Canvas.com right away and start designing your dream home.








Declaration: This is a sponsored post. The photos are of products from the online store and are used with the permission of the sponsor.

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