Monday, July 9, 2018

Bombay Heights by Adite Banerjie : Book Spotlight


Small town girl Sanjana Kale wants a fresh start in Mumbai. A challenging job and some much needed distance from her ludicrously over-protective family could get her life under control.

Forced to team up with video game designer Ashwin Deo, who is too attractive for his own good, she finds life becoming a whole lot more complicated when he turns out to be her new neighbour.  How can she maintain a professional distance with this charming troublemaker who believes in getting up close and personal?

To make matters worse, her ex tries to manipulate her loved ones to work his way back into her life. Hysterical siblings, a cantankerous client, an ex who will not take no for an answer, and a blow hot blow cold neighbour... Sanjana is sleepless in the City of Dreams! Can she do what Ashwin dares her to--create a few ripples even if it upsets her family?


The promenade in front of the beach was chock-a-block with morning walkers, joggers and yoga enthusiasts. The Laughing Club members were at it—raising their arms to heaven and laughing their guts out. 
Ashwin Deo gazed lazily at the sight around him. If it weren’t for Dumbass, he would be sleeping off his dreadful hangover.  The dratted critter gave two sharp yelps. Good God! He had been saddled with a mind-reading dog? The Lhasa Apso was peering at him with brown soulful eyes that would melt the hardest of hearts.
 “Okay. I got you here, right? Do me a favour and do what you need to.”
The dog gave a massive tug on his leash and Ashwin lurched forward, nearly crashing into a woman in canary yellow yoga pants and matching T-shirt. His eyes hurt at the bright colours and he mumbled an apology before being dragged ahead by the dog.
“Dumbass!” he yelled firmly. And the dog came to a halt.
“That’s more like it.” He lowered himself on his haunches and peered into the mutt’s eyes. “Let’s get this straight. We keep it civilized. You walk calmly, do your thing and we go back home. Got it?”
The dog’s tongue lolled out from the side of his mouth as he gave Ashwin a beseeching look following it up with a quick lick on his bare knee.
“Right. So, slow and easy. No pulling, okay?”
Another swift lick.
“Thanks, bro. I think we got a deal. Let’s go.”
Ashwin raised his towering six-foot frame and taking deep breaths kept moving along, his eyes narrowing painfully as the hangover continued to hammer away at his head.
Barely had they walked a few paces when Dumbass broke into a series of high-pitched yelps and tugged. Before Ashwin had figured out what was going on, Dumbass gave a mighty yank. The strap tore out of his hand and the dog was hurtling down the promenade at top speed.
“Goddammit! Stop, Dumbass!”
Walkers turned around to give Ashwin funny looks as he took off after the dog.
Every stride sent pain shooting up into his head which threatened to split wide open. The cacophony of screeching tyres, frightened squeals of onlookers and a dashing ball of fur brought him to a standstill.
He bounded on to the street and came to a halt at the sight of Dumbass lying prone in the middle of the road, his lead tangled under the car tyre.
Oh no!
He heard the car door open and someone step out, yelling loudly, “Why in God’s name can’t you control your dog?”
As Ashwin inched forward to pick up the dog, he heard a woman’s lilting voice, “That was close. The leash got tangled under the tyre but he doesn’t seem to be hurt.”
Ashwin let out the breath he was holding and reached out to pick up Dumbass. The mutt was winded but breathing. There was no blood and as soon as he touched him, Dumbass leaped into his arms and did his lickety-spit number.
“You gave me the fright of my life,” he muttered as he got up and turned around.
The driver was only too glad that the creature was alive and kicking. Getting into the car, he ranted about irresponsible dog owners and drove off.
The woman whose voice he had heard said, “Poor thing must have gotten such a fright!”
That’s when he noticed her. She looked like a college student with her long waist-length hair tied casually with a silk scarf. Her big, dark eyes shone with compassion as she leaned slightly towards him to pet Dumbass and a fruity perfume assailed him. Her thick eyelashes swept up and she turned her gaze on him.
“Never been so scared.” He gave her his best hangdog look.
“I was talking about him!”
“Excuse me? Did you just call me, Dumbass?” Her eyes sparkled with annoyance and he came back to his senses with a start.
“No…his name.”
He cursed his blasted headache which made talking such a goddamn effort. She looked at him as if he had some kind of mental disability.
He smiled with effort.  “Perfect name for a dog with no sense of self-preservation, right?”
She glared back at him. “What about the owner who thinks he has no responsibility for his dog’s welfare?”
He took a few deep breaths. “I can explain.”
“Never mind. Just make sure you take him to a vet. There might be some internal injury.”
She gave Dumbass a last pat, bestowed a dirty glare on him and jogged away. 

Buy Links:

About the Author
Adite Banerjie discovered the wonderful world of books at an early age which sparked her interest in writing. After a fulfilling and exciting career as a business journalist, she turned her attention to fiction.

Three of her books have been published by Harlequin/Harper Collins India. She is now committed to being an indie author.

She also writes screenplays and in 2017 one of her scripts made it to the semi-finals of the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowships.

When she is not grappling with her current work-in-progress, she enjoys spending time with her husband and watching back-to-back movies.

She loves to connect with her readers at:
Twitter: @adite

Thursday, June 14, 2018

New Release: The Princess and the Superstar

A Princess in love with a Bollywood Superstar

Saketh Rao aka SR, India's latest Bollywood heartthrob, has bagged the role of a lifetime: to play Hari Varman, the doomed royal scion. 
When he arrives at Sravanapura Palace with his director friend Rajeev Ratnam, little does he know that his life is about to change forever! 
Princess Kritika is overjoyed that Saketh Rao will play the role of her ancestor. But when she comes face to face with the arrogant superstar she is determined to scuttle the project.
Fate, however, has different plans for them. The feisty couple is soon head over heels in love with each other. 
As they uncover the secrets of Hari Varman's life, Saketh makes a discovery that can rip them apart and their new-found love. 
Will the secrets and lies of the past deny them a future together? Or will they overcome the obstacles to true love?


Kritika checked the time. It was nearing seven thirty. She was a bit late than usual. But she still had plenty of time to pamper herself and get ready to meet the superstar, who seemed to have won hearts all over the world if she were to believe the fan videos posted on YouTube and various blogs. Yes, she had shamelessly checked the many YouTube videos about him to know more about him. It seemed perfectly normal to stalk his Twitter and Facebook page. He had come across as a friendly and warm person who retweeted his fans often and replied to interesting comments on his FB Page.
She knew half of his persona online was created by his PR team. His social media profiles might be maintained by dedicated teams who would present only the best aspects about him to the public. The real Saketh Rao might turn out to be a total jerk. Yet, she was looking forward to meeting the star in person and decide for herself. 

When she stepped on to the road that led to the residential wing of the palace, she was surprised to hear the horn of a car. She whirled around and watched as a silver Mercedes Benz came around a bend in the road and raced towards her.

Vijay had renovated a number of unused rooms in the palace and turned them into luxury hotel suites, thus creating one more gem in his hotel business chain. The only snag in the entire setup was that guests often sneaked into the palace’s residential areas, even though they were marked as no entry zones and had to be turned away by the palace guards. And it irked her very much. She wondered how this car had escaped the scrutiny of the guards. She needed to talk with the head of security. But for now, she would tackle this herself.

She gripped the straps of her backpack and stood in the middle of the road facing the car that seemed to have no intention of slowing down. It came to halt at a mere metre in front of her and she heard the driver swear. She narrowed her eyes and continued to stare at the car, daring the occupants to come out and face her. The passenger door of the car opened and a handsome youth, who looked as though he was jet-lagged and badly in need of a leisurely bath and sleep, got out. He seemed vaguely familiar, but she couldn't place him immediately.

"Please, miss. May I know why you are blocking our path?" he asked, his mellow tone bringing Kritika's anger a few notches down.

"This road leads to the residential areas of the palace and is not accessible for guests at the hotel. Kindly turn around and go away."

"But miss-"

"Enough, no need to explain.” Kritika raised her right hand to stop him from talking any further and snapped at him. The fact that he was trying to justify his action, brought her anger back.

"But we are-"

"As I said, I don't want to hear any further explanation. Instruct your driver to reverse the car and get the hell out of here."

The driver of the car opened his door and got out. Kritika’s jaw dropped and her mouth formed an O because she recognised the driver instantly. Saketh Rao, clean shaven, casually attired in a t-shirt and jeans, all six feet two inches of male glory. He removed his sunglasses and walked towards her, his lips curved into his characteristic lopsided smile. He was clearly enjoying her distress. And then the last piece of the puzzle fell into place when she recognised the handsome youth with him as Rajeev Ratnam. Kritika felt her heart racing. If Saketh came near her now, her excited heart would undergo a heart attack.

"Who are you to block our path? We have the adequate permission papers and we were let in by the guards. Move your heavy butt out of our way and allow us to pass."

His arrogant talk snapped Kritika out of the trance she was falling into. The arrogant snob.

And he had made a personal comment. About her butt!

"Mr! Watch your language."

"Are you going to get in? Why are you listening to this annoying, attention seeking female?" Saketh was ignoring her outright and addressing his friend.

"How dare you?" Kritika took a step forward and slapped him. He stopped her hand in mid-air and in one swift move, yanked her towards him, momentarily taking the wind out of her lungs.

 When she attempted to step back, he tightened his grip on her arm and held her other arm with his right hand. His nearness was doing strange things to her composure. His touch was making her heart stutter, sending electric impulses rushing through her body.

If it was not for the revulsion he had evoked with his arrogance, she certainly would have enjoyed the sensation of being held by him. But now, she regretted the hours she had spent browsing the internet to know more about him. As she had feared, he had turned out to be an outright jerk. She didn't want to waste her energy arguing with him.

She pushed him with all her strength and then broke into a run, determined to never to cross his path again. She heard him chuckle and it enraged her further.

She wanted to see how they were going to make a film about her ancestor. She would see to it that it got an early grave.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Cover Reveal – Mauri, Book 2 of Abhaya Collection

Mauri, the second book of Abhaya collection by Saiswaroopa Iyer is set to release on 9th June 2018 on Amazon Kindle Store. Set in the times of Mahabharata, the books explore lesser-known stories of the timeless epic of India from the perspectives of strong female protagonists. The opening Title, Abhaya, was released on Kindle store in November 2015 and has received praise from acclaimed authors and reviewers.

"Abhaya allows us to delve into the world of our ancestors and Gods through the route of great storytelling and a brilliant narrative. A thoroughly enjoyable read" 

- Amish Tripathi

About Mauri

She wanted to kill the man who others called a God.
Love is but an obstacle in her path

With her father’s death shattering her world, Mauri is torn away from everything she had once loved. Anger replacing every emotion within her, she seeks only one thing. To kill her father’s killer. Even if the man is none less than Krishna Vaasudeva, the man who people worshipped as a God! Someone stands in the way, reining in her bitterness when she is the least prepared for it. The Rakshasa Prince Ghatotkacha! But by the time love sprouts within her, Mauri has gone too far in her thirst for vengeance.

Can Mauri save herself and Ghatotkacha before the consequences of her own actions can destroy both their worlds?


The smile on Ghatotkacha’s face faded the moment he saw the figure that had appeared atop the wall. Unknown to him, his fists curled over his club and heart fought against the searing pain of the memory. The memory of betrayal. His intensified gaze and a placid forehead contrasted each other. No more of this. Not now!
Mauri saw him. Like he commanded a new surge of energy after their last meeting. Mauri had little in her defence. And she had other things on her mind before she could take an interest in defending herself. In fact, she had no wish to defend her past actions. Face it! But her predicament sorely needed external help and his demeanour did not leave much hope. Mauri steeled her heart and inhaled. She was going to need all her energies for this!
She forced a smile onto her lips and looked at him, trying to summon her old self. “So, we have visitors!” she thundered, glancing at his small band of Rakshasa followers. “But I regret to inform you that the temple is closed to pilgrims indefinitely.”
“Closed to pilgrims, open to monstrous rogues and their heartless little minions.” Ghatotkacha retorted. “Perhaps there needs to be a change.”
Her guilt notwithstanding, Mauri was not going to brook being called names, much less, being called a minion to a crafty coward like Alambusha. Still, his pain when he uttered the word ‘heartless’ did not go unnoticed by her. Her frown narrowed, fighting back any traces of regret. In vain though. “Change comes at a price, Rakshasa Prince, sorry, King. Though I must say the population under your command has dwindled too much for one to still consider you a king.” She could see his annoyance mounting. Something amused her about it. “So tell me what you can pay, Ghatotkacha!”
Ghatotkacha threw his head up and shrugged looking around. “I would have loved to play a game of word parlay. Except this is no stage and there is no audience to enjoy the exchange.” His eyes betrayed impatience. “I come to keep a promise. A promise of protection that was given to this sacred place under the rule of my uncle, Emperor Yudhishtira. My demand is clear, daughter of late commander Mura. Open the gates, surrender the rogue Rakshasa traitors to me. Open up this temple of the Supreme Goddess to those who deserve to see Her.”
“I asked for a price you could pay and you repeat the demand. By the Goddess, someone needs to grow up!” Mauri sneered back and leaned against a pole, feigning nonchalance. This was all going nowhere—her show of hostility, his mounting anger, Dhatri’s life in danger, and Alambusha preferring to hide inside the inner circle. She needed to break away. She struck upon a frantic plan, praying all Gods for its success. “There seems to be only one language you understand. Defeat me, and you can have a free pass inside.”

About the Author

Formerly an analyst with a Venture capital firm, Saiswaroopa currently writes Puranic fiction, with a focus on lesser known heroines of Ancient India. Mauri is her third work of fiction after Abhaya and Avishi. Her interests include Carnatic Music, Philosophy, History and Literature of India. She won a state level gold medal from TTD in rendering Annamacharya Kritis. She holds an MBA from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Loving Flowers For Your Loved Ones

Are there any romantic ideas quite like a great gift of flowers for your day, bring a smile to your face, and cause you to really feel special? Whether you're a man or a woman, giving a flower or a bouquet to your spouse is one of the best, most affordable ways possible to add a little natural, old-fashioned romance to your relationship or marriage.

If you want to bring a smile on your wife, husband, girlfriend or boyfriend face, then flowers are one of the few romantic gifts that require such little thought and yet still go a long way. Flowers are easy to obtain, affordable to buy, wonderful to look at, smell wonderful and may function as a fresh reminder of your love for days. 

When it comes to individual online flowers delivery in Gurgaon or creative bouquets and arrangements, there are a lot of options to choose from you could get your lover flowers every week and get them to seem new and unique every time.

Pick your flower

For several hundreds of years, the red rose has gained the popularity as an image of love. It symbolizes interest, love and romances and on Valentine Day, large numbers are bought around the world.

If however, a rose is too traditional for your flavour, a professional florist will be able to recommend you on buying the best collection of flowers to show your feelings. Every flower has a particular significance, and some flowers have many definitions, according to their colour. The red chrysanthemum symbolizes romantic love, while the yellow-coloured chrysanthemum signifies unreciprocated love. With the help of an efficient flower shop, you can create a shiny, wonderful bouquet that is a tasteful and symbolic expression of your emotions.

Choosing your loved one's favourite colour as a theme is a popular choice for many flower buyers. This effort and good care show your thoughtfulness, rather than purchasing a meaningless gift. Arrangements such as flowers with shiny colours in a variety of colours and colours such as white, red, pink, orange, violet and yellow-coloured create wonderful gifts.

Gift Ideas

The services of a professional florist can add a designed and expert finish to your gift. Flower shops have several choices for flower arrangements and gift hampers to complement your romantic gesture. Suggestions for romantic gifts to add to a slow down include chocolates, champagne, bubble bath and candles. Flower shops generally offer a delivery service, creating an ideal opportunity to surprise your beloved by having their gift hamper and flowers sent to their front door.

Chocolates show desire. Delivering confectionary such as chocolate is associated with love, especially as it is an aphrodisiac: candy causes emotions such as excitement and heightened sensitivity.

The mixture of flowers and a great gift hamper sent to your beloved will not only be a welcomed surprise but function as an ideal way to show that they are in your thoughts. However, if you really love someone and worry about him or her, then you do not need any occasion to send flowers; you can do so just like that to show how much you care.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Moms Special Sarees: An Ode to the New-Age Mothers!

Over the years, the concept of Indian moms has undergone an intense makeover - from a stereotypical textbook version of a mother to first being a woman, who has her priorities sorted and straight. This transition has left everybody in awe and completely baffled. She prefers choices and isn’t afraid or feel guilty to exercise them - be it about wearing a saree to work or the decision to have kids or not. Be it about working post marriage or getting married at all!  She keeps herself first.

She keeps her health on priority and completely does away with the idea of putting her in the last. The emotional melodrama is also tossed out of the window. They don’t hesitate to walk out of a scene that drains them and their energy. This is something that definitely calls for the celebration! Happy Mother’s Day!

Bharatsthali enlists the new-age mothers from all over the world, who have brought a refreshing change in the melodramatic-sacrificing-helpless Mother India-esque landscape and of course, they all love to wear sarees on special days or their special visit to India.

Heera Modi

In her late nineties, Heera Ben Modi is a guiding light to many. Her son, Narendra Modi may be the Prime Minister of India, but she stays in her hometown, stands in the bank queues and takes an auto back home. Simple, contented and happy in wearing dharmavaram silk sarees. Such understated qualities in a human and she have them all!

Angelina Jolie

Does she need an introduction? She may not be a biological mother to her six kids, but she is their guiding light and has faced both compliments or critique because of them. She has had her share of bad relationships, flings and marriages but that never stopped her from taking the control her own life. Both her professional and personal life are inspiring and worthy to be chronicled.

Nita Ambani

She could singlehandedly be credited for the transformation of her son, Anant Ambani. When he struggled with severe health issues and obesity, she made sure that he wasn’t left alone to face the Internet trolls and associated complications. So, when he decided to knock a few pounds off, she was with him. She exercised and followed a strict diet along with him. All while she was managing the work. Talk about work-life balance and a strong bond with Kanjivaram pattu silk sarees as strong as this!

Madhu Chopra

Madhu Chopra ran away from home to be a doctor and likes to wear ikkat sarees in her daily routine. She is a certified pilot and can speak nine languages! Her daughter, Priyanka Chopra is her reflection when it comes to confidence and taking some bold decisions such as not wearing itsy-bitsy clothes and missing out on ten films in the early phase of her career.


WarisDirie might not be a popular name for you, but for over a million girl she is Godsend and a fighting warrior who saves them from atrocity like genital mutilation. Waris was a victim of genital mutilation when she was all of five and ran away from home because her father fixed her marriage with a man in his sixties. She came to London, became a model and eventually started her NGO- Desert Flower that fights against female genital mutilation. Besides, her view on teaching our sons about consent and gender equality are as relevant and much-needed in today’s time.

Your mother might be a single parent, who couldn’t make it to your PTA or basketball game every time because of her hectic work schedule, but because of her job, you are studying in the top college of your city and have a better chance at your future. She could be a stay-at-home mum, who hardly socialises but ensures that you and your family continue having their meals on time and have one less worry to take care of. She wouldn’t join or hang out with you and your friends post-school, but she makes sure that you are well-fed and your bed is ready.

So, while love for you and her desire to do good to the family remains the only constant, she isn’t going to let herself to be exploited by emotions or circumstances!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Change in Lifestyle - Effect on nutrition and Our Body

During each phase in our life, our way of living changes. Unlike when our parents used to force feed us taking care of our nutritional needs, once we are on our own, our eating habits turn unhealthy. Our priority is often to grab the most easily available and consumable food than one that would require hours to prepare, is often messy to carry around and eat. The result? We miss out on providing our body with essential nutrients.

What are the essential nutrients? 

The body requires six essential nutrients which are necessary for the body to function properly. The body cannot synthesize these on its own. We need to supply them through a balanced diet. These six essential nutrients include carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. 

Carbohydrates are the main sources of energy for the body. The body cannot function properly in their absence. Fruits, bread and grains, starchy vegetables and sugars are good sources of carbohydrates.

Proteins are the major structural component of cells and are essential for the building and repair of body tissues. Proteins consist of amino acids. Out of the 20 amino acids, nine amino acids known as essential amino acids must be provided in the diet. Lean protein sources such as low-fat meat, dairy, beans or eggs are healthy sources of proteins.

Fats are also sources of energy. When consumed, they also help in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins including vitamins A, D, E and K. Healthy options such as omega-3-rich foods like fish, walnuts and vegetable-based oils. Omega-3 fatty acids help with development and growth. We should limit intake of saturated fats such as high-fat meats and full-fat dairy. We should remember to include nuts, seeds and avocado.

Vitamins help our body to grow and develop normally. There are 13 essential vitamins, each responsible for a specific job. We can find them in various fruits and vegetables.

Minerals of two types are essential to us. Macrominerals and trace minerals. Macrominerals are needed by our body in larger amounts. They include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and chloride. Our body needs only a small amount of trace minerals. These include iron, copper, iodine, zinc, fluoride, and selenium. Each mineral helps the body to perform better.

Water helps to transport nutrients to cells. It also facilitates the removal of waste products from the body. 

What can we do to remain healthy even with a hectic lifestyle?

Given below was how my daily journal roughly looked like while I worked as a civil engineer in Dubai.

The result was that I gained weight and began experiencing health issues which I never had. I realized it soon enough thanks to my health-conscious siblings and father who are doctors. They gave me strict instructions as to what to eat and what not. Also, I started walking regularly, by getting down a bit away from my place and taking the stairs.

Now, I am a stay at home mom and a full-time writer. I spend hours in front of the computer. But, I do an hour of yoga and walk for minimum 30 minutes daily. I now realize how important exercise is for a healthy mind and body. Yoga keeps my mind active and body energetic. Walking is my daily recharge module for creativity because it is during my daily walks that I plot the scenes I want to write or churn out the dialogues.

But this was not the case a year ago. I used to fall sick repeatedly. My shoulder and back would start aching by the end of the day. My productivity was also going down.

Together with exercise, I make sure my daily intake of carbohydrates and proteins are balanced and adequate. Vegetables and fruit intake have increased manifold. Mixed vegetable and fruit juices have become my favourite drinks. I remember to choose healthy alternatives instead of oily snacks or junk food.

I have realized that healthy lifestyle changes are a must whatever profession you are in. After all, we should respect the body which is the home of our soul. Health is indeed wealth.

How do you cope up with lifestyle changes? Do share your ideas in the comments section.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Writer

I am a writer. I write commercial fiction. Till a month ago, I led a very normal, mostly anonymous life. I used to spend hours in a parallel universe where I played the role of the creator. But nothing remains the same now. 

 When I landed in Bangalore last month, my husband was waiting for me along with a jeep full of policemen, who he said, was there for my protection.

A single tweet had turned my whole world upside down. One of my readers had posted the snapshot of a page from my latest book, where my heroine, a journalist, talked about the skeletons in the closet of a film star.

“I think I know who this is. Isn’t this about actor S?” the reader had tweeted and then tagged actor S. The tweet had gone viral. Unluckily for me, there had been a scandal concerning the star similar to what I had described in the passage. In my defence, I was not even aware of the scandal when I wrote the book. I had thought that I had made it up.  

To compound the worries, Mr S had just entered politics and was projected by his party as the next chief ministerial candidate.  His political enemies used it to defame him. His fans and party people began a hate campaign on my twitter timeline. I wasn’t very active on Twitter or on any social media. Once in a month is my habit. When the fans of Mr S were demanding my blood, I was busy finishing my new novel at my ancestral home in the hills completely isolated from the digital world.

 “Surely Mr S would be busy with movies and politics. Would he care about such trivia?” I had asked my husband.

“Care? That idiot tweeted that this is a vitriolic attack by his enemies. And that you are a part of it. Our phone hasn’t stopped ringing since and mostly they are threats.”

When we reached our house, there was a huge crowd waiting. Journalists shouted questions and microphones were shoved at me when I got out of the car. The police created a human wall around me and I scampered towards the safety of my house. Just as I was about to enter the house, something hit me hard on my right shoulder. A rotten egg.
Later, to understand what was happening, I opened my laptop. My inbox was filled with hate mail. I opened one and found the picture of an acid attack victim. The text on it read, ‘This is your fate if you dare to pick your pen again.’

My twitter feed was equally vile and obnoxious. Threats amounting to rape, acid attack, and death floated towards me from cyberspace. Fear paralyzed me.
I decided to seek refuge in my writing and sat down at my table. I took my pen and opened a new page. A strange fear overwhelmed me and my mind went blank. I felt nauseated and closed the book. After taking a few deep breaths and drinking a glass of water, I tried again. My hands trembled. 

 I called my agent, who is also a very good friend, to talk about it. She was nonchalant.
“Hey, don’t worry. It is working in your favour. All is well. Negative publicity is also publicity. Your books are selling like hot cakes. And guess what, I got an offer for your new book. The signing amount is going to be in six digits. So chill,” she said. She then went on describing how she and her team were going to use it for my benefit.

“Just stay at home and finish your book. The commissioner of police has assured that you will be given round the clock protection.”I had put the phone down then with relief. 

A month has passed, my fear still remains strong. I have not written a single word. What is this fear? Does it have a name? How can I cure myself?  Can you help me?

P.S: This story was written for Anita's Attic Graduation ceremony. You can see me read it HERE

NOTE: This article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by and AllAboutTheWoman.comand should not be repurposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Art of Slow Motion Narration

Do you cherish evocative, slow-motion narration in a story?
Slow motion narration is the evocative description of events that might happen within a short span of time, sometimes as less than 10 secs or less.

In this technique, the moment is exploded into tiny visuals that are memorable.
For example, while something important is transpiring, the smallest details gets imprinted in our memory.
A writer's duty is to hunt for such special moments and bring it alive on paper. Nora Roberts is an expert at creating such visuals, so are many other romance writers.
This kind of slow motion narration helps to bring down the pace of the narration, thereby giving the reader time to savor these special moments thus adding to the reading experience.

So how do you write in slow motion?

There are three steps involved:

1) Describe the feelings of the main character when the action is about to happen.
2) Describe the action vividly along with the feelings it invokes in the main character.
3) Describe what happened afterward.

If you are able to split any given action into these three parts and describe it, you will succeed to write in slow motion narration.
Slow motion narration is especially important in romances and thrillers. Don't we all love when we experience the adrenaline rush or the mushy moments that the characters in the book we are reading experience? It is like a snippet that will get etched in our memory.
Not only does this make the writing evocative, it also fleshes out the characters. 

Who are your favorite authors who make use of slow motion narration in their stories?
Is there any favorite snippet you would love to share?

NOTE: This article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by and AllAboutTheWoman.comand should not be repurposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

5 things I love about Namma Bengaluru

Some places grow on you and some you won't get attached to even if you live there for years.
For me, Bengaluru has become home and I can't wait to get back here when I am travelling.
Be it the friendly traffic policeman who stopped traffic to help me and my kid cross the road safely, or the auto driver who drove miles to return my kid's school bag to me or the friendly neighborhood eatery guys who greet us as though we are royals, people of Bengaluru often surprise me. 
They make me believe the world is a friendly, safe place. Apart from the people, there are things which make me fall in love with this place.

Let me list the 5 things that made me fall in love with Bengaluru or Bangalore or the Garden City as it is often called.

1) Bookstores:

Being a bibliophile and author, this, of course, gets the number one spot. There are so many bookstores here that are literally a paradise for book lovers. Blossoms, Bookworm, Sapna Book House, Atta Galatta, Crosswords, Landmark, Gangarams, Higginbothoms etc are some of the must-visit stores. Blossoms bookstore in Church Sreet, opposite Amoeba, especially has a huge collection of used books that are well preserved. You can discover literary gems among the thousands there. And they are painstakingly categorized as well.

2) Weather

Bengalureans get to enjoy pleasant weather throughout the year. It doesn't rain heavily in the monsoons here like it happens in Kerala, my native place. Here in Bengaluru, if the mornings are extremely hot, we can expect rains in the evening, that would cool down the weather instantly.

3) Gardens and Parks

Every locality proudly preserves lung spaces in the form of green parks here in Bangalore. There are joggers parks, Children's park, and the famous Lalbagh botanical gradens which contribute precious clean air to the city. Even builders incorporate green spaces in their housing spaces considering that Bangaloreans love green spaces.
Check out my post about a flower show at Lalbagh here: Lalbhag Flower Show

4) Food

Bengaluru is a paradise for food lovers. We even have food festivals according to the seasons. Avarekkalu food festivals, groundnut food festival, you name it, Bengalureans would be celebrating it. You can't be never too far away from a Dosa joint or a bakery or an ice cream parlour. Varied cuisines are at your beck an call starting right from Italian, Lebanese, South Indian, North Indian, we have many specialised eateries that would take your taste buds on an unforgettable journey. Authentic Karnataka cuisine is a delight and I have become a fan of it lately. Their variety of vegetarian delights are one of a kind.

5) Fashion

Bengalureans love fashion. Clothestores of every famous brand has found a home in Bengaluru. Adidas, Ritu Kumar, Sabyasachi, Pepejeans, can find them here. And they also have factory outlets here where you get it cheap. My clothes normally come from Max as the staff there is usually the most cordial and helpful. 

NOTE: This article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by and AllAboutTheWoman.comand should not be repurposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Reet Singh on writing and why there is 'No Escape From Love'

Today on 'On Writing', we have Reet Singh, an ophthalmologist, who makes time for her other passions – reading and writing, watching romantic comedies, and doing creative things with wool and a crochet hook. She enjoys working on cryptic crosswords and playing Scrabble®. When she has no other choice, she can be found in the kitchen putting together her 'world-famous' one-pot meals.
Wecome to 'On Writing', Reet!
Follow Reet on: Twitter Facebook Her Website
Find her Books on Amazon

Was becoming an author always your dream or was it a particular event or incident that gave birth to the author in you?

I have always been a reader; but then when my sons were born, I discovered that I needed to learn how to pull stories out of thin air every night after lights out. My husband and I continued the tradition that our parents had started – the telling of the bedtime story. The boys wanted a new story every night and I would cook one up for them with great inventiveness – the ritual inspired me to try my hand at writing - the boys have grown up and flown the coop, but I’m still writing.

You are a popular traditionally published author.  You are venturing into the Indie publishing route with your third novel. What made you to try the indie route?

That’s such a nice thing to say – popular! Thank you, Preethi.

As a brand new writer, it was a lovely break to find a traditional publisher who was willing to take on my stories. I won a two-book contract with Mills and Boon® when they were looking for Indian authors for their imprint. This was in 2013 and they published ‘Scorched by his Fire’ and ‘The Cure was Love’ in 2014.

After that, I discovered a few things that I hadn’t known before: publishers don’t do more than the bare-minimum publicity for books by newbies, and the reporting of sales is sometimes quite a hopeless mess. In the years after my books came out, I witnessed self-published authors like you, Preethi, having such fun with their book promotions and with the transparency of the sales process, and I made up my mind that I would try it with book three. I have to say that while it was nerve-wracking, being my first time, I have no regrets so far. I am only a few weeks old in the self-publishing world, but I do think I am a permanent convert.

What is the most interesting part and most difficult aspect of going indie?

I love being in control of every aspect of the process from cover design, to editing and formatting, right up to the final publishing. Even after publishing, if I need to edit any part of the book, I can do it at any time that I like.

The thing that I find a little difficult with self-publishing is making the decisions that I’ve just mentioned as being mine to make. Sounds absurd, I know, but it can be a bit lonely as a self-published author. And so, it makes sense to have a support team that you can run to with questions. I’ve been very lucky in that I did have a bunch of writers rooting for me. I have acknowledged them in my book and if you want to find out if you’re one of them you’ll have to buy my book!

How important are the names of the characters in your books to you? Do you spend agonizing hours deciding on their names?

I take naming my characters very seriously. And, yes, the process is agonizing (you picked the right word) for the following reasons: One, half the names I want to use belong to people that I know and it could be potentially embarrassing for me – I wouldn’t want them to wonder if I’ve based my character on them, because, most likely, I haven’t. Then, the name has to reflect some of the characteristics of the protagonist, in my mind at least. I also don’t want it to be a very common name, nor one so rare that my readers find it unbelievable. Also, all the names of all my characters have to be sufficiently different from each other so that readers don’t confuse one character with the other. Agonizing doesn’t even begin to cover it!

What is your writing process like? Do you write every day? Is there a favorite place to write?

I’m afraid I don’t write every day.
No, wait! Let me change that.
I don’t write fiction every day, but I do write for research and academic purposes on a daily basis. I am an ophthalmologist and I collaborate on research projects with other doctors – hence, I have a pile of data that needs to be written up for publication in scientific journals. So, yes, I write every day. My favorite place is in an armchair with my feet up on a stool, or propped up in bed, which ever is closer to me when I decide to write.

What is special about ‘No Escape from Love’?

No Escape from Love’ is set in a rural community in Punjab. The protagonists are all city-bred, but I was keen to remove them from the glitz and glamor of the city and try and see how they’d handle life in a village. I’m happy to say that they managed fabulously, apart from a couple of problems that I threw in just to see them squirm - we writers can be wicked that way!

How long did it take to finish writing ‘No escape from Love’?

Preethi, I took ages. I started writing Mohini and Aalok’s story right after ‘The Cure was Love’ came out in November 2014, and I took long sabbaticals in between, so that I completed it only in early 2018.

Three years! I might want to add this as a disadvantage of self-publishing: you have no publisher deadlines when you are self-pubbing, and so you must set a time frame for yourself and keep to it otherwise you’ll end up procrastinating more than writing.

Please share a passage or quote from ‘No Escape from Love’ for our readers.

Aalok wanted to stop Mohini's mad, clumsy dash across the mossy stones. If she slipped she would cause herself serious damage. But he couldn't touch her, not after that ... what a strange, complicated moment that had been back at the stairwell!

He hadn't meant anything, hadn't even thought twice before grabbing her - she would have broken her neck for sure crashing down that high last step.

Shockingly, she hadn't appreciated his help. Aalok rubbed at the stinging at his wrists. She'd scratched him something fierce. What had she imagined he was up to? Why would he hurt her? He was her brother's friend, for crying out loud!

Have you ever faced writer’s block? If yes, how do you get over it?

I cannot say that I have. In any case, I find that simply opening up my work-in-progress and reading a few of the paragraphs that I’ve written earlier gets my brain buzzing and my fingers start creeping toward the keyboard. When I’m stuck with a scene that isn’t turning out right, I put it away and sleep on it. It usually sorts itself out the next time I sit down to write.

What are the three tips you have for readers of this interview who are aspiring writers?

  1. Read the authors that you love or the genres that you want to write in, or do both things – in other words, just read a lot.
  2. Get a good editor – not just a software like Grammarly, but also a human editor who has a reputation for strong, sound editing.
  3. Write every day (tongue firmly in cheek)

Thank you, again, Preethi. I’ve loved talking to you!

Thank you, Reet. It was fun talking to you. Looking forward to read more from you. 

 About 'No Escape from Love':

Will the demons from their past succeed in tearing them apart?

After personal tragedy strikes, Mohini Kapoor runs away from the city to her grandparents home in a village in Punjab. Though she manages to pick up the pieces of her broken self, and even builds a life for herself, the horror of her experience is difficult to forget. She buries it deep down inside her subconscious mind until the arrival of a stranger threatens to resurrect the old demons.

Reputed photojournalist, Aalok Ahuja, has to hide out for a few days to escape circumstances beyond his control. When his friend recommends Tejopur, a remote village in Punjab, Aalok expects life to be simple there and, perhaps, even boring - instead, his world is thrown into chaos by a woman more desirable, and vastly more complicated, than any he has ever known.

When their destinies collide, attraction flares, but secrets threaten their new found feelings. Should they cut and run or give love a chance?

The book is free on Kindle Unlimited!
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NOTE: This article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by and AllAboutTheWoman.comand should not be repurposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.


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