Friday, August 30, 2019

Spotlight on A Night at Achanakmar by Paromita Goswami



Title: A Night at Achanakmar (Jungle Series Book2)

Author: Paromita Goswami 

Genre: Spooky,  Horror, Supernatural 

Blurb

Maya and her family set out for a weekend trip to Amarkantak. However, due to foggy weather and some unexpected delays later, they end up lost in the jungle. With dusk fast approaching and no way to find help in a no-network zone, their car breaks down. Will they survive or will something untoward happen to them in the mysterious jungle of Achanakmar?
Join the family in this road-trip of a lifetime that will leave you puzzled forever.
Jungle Series – Get ready to be assaulted!



Grab Your Copy @


                                                             getbook.at/aNightatAchanakmar

About the author




Paromita Goswami is a writer and storyteller by passion and a rebel by choice. She says the world is full of stories and as a writer, she loves to pen them down. Her work is not genre-specific. From literary fiction to children book to paranormal thriller and women fiction, Paromita Goswami‘s books offer a variety of life to her readers. Besides writing, she is also the founder of a reading club that enhances book reading habit in children. She lives in central India with her family. 

Other books by the author



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Thursday, August 29, 2019

#ThankfulThursday: Desi Romance Adda


I have always been a reader. I consumed written words like they were indispensable for my existence. When you are voracious like that, words with their unique magic, weave themselves into sentences and then into dialogues and then into stories.
I am now a writer. And a romance writer at that!
Love is the most powerful emotion in the world. Through my stories, I endeavour to make my readers believe in the enchantment of love.
When author and friend Aarti V Raman messaged me about the idea of a group celebrating romance, I dived right in. Such a vibrant community was just what I needed.
Desi Romance Adda is for the romantics like me, you and that person who has to realise that there is no guilt in reading/writing romance.
Love makes life worth living!


Today, I am thankful for being a part of Desi Romance Adda, a community of like-minded romance super fans created by a group of bestselling desi romance writers to engage and interact and talk romance in a safe space. We find love in fiction.
We are having so much fun!
If you are a romance writer, reader or someone who believes in the magic of love, Desi Romance Adda Group on Facebook is just the place for you. If you're not already a member, come join us.
Here is the link:
Just to make sure you are a serious Romance fan, and like any other serious community, we follow a set of rules. While we are a very inclusive and safe community; there are a few rules that all members are honour-bound to follow.
RULES:
Answer the Questions
Please answer the questions to get your join request approved. Join requests without answers will be rejected.

Be Kind and Courteous
We're all in this together to create a welcoming environment. All opinions will be treated with mutual respect. Healthy debates are natural, but kindness is required. No personal attacks.

No Hate Speech or Bullying
Make sure everyone feels safe. Bullying of any kind isn't allowed, and degrading comments about things like race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, gender or identity will not be tolerated. Do not report random posts. If you see a post in the group, it’s admin approved. This is a one-strike offense.

No Promotions or Spam
Give more than you take from this group. Self-promotion, spam and irrelevant links aren't allowed. Content will be pre-approved by admins and can contain short snippets/excerpts for feedback without any links. Instead, please create original content that will get conversations going in the group and provide a safe space to talk all things love and romance.

Come on over and let us find love in fiction.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Vinodini Parimi On Writing 'Before You’re Not Little Anymore'


Today on 'On Writing', let's chat with Vinodini Parimia design professional who reconnected with her childhood love for writing. 'Before you’re not little anymore' is her solo debut as an author. Her short stories, “Luscious Aspirations” for Blank Space and “Beyond Eternity” for A Little Chorus of Love were published in anthologies in 2015. Her travelogues were featured in Musafir, a coffee-table book published by Nirvana Foundation, Mumbai, in 2018. She writes on parenting, self-help, fashion, travel, and fiction on her website ifsbutsandsetcs.com. She also freelances as a content writer for various brands, portals, and websites.




Vinodini Parimi



Welcome to 'On Writing', Vinodini. Tell us about your journey as an author. 

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, Preethi. I started writing at a very young age. I would randomly pen poems on the back page of my school notebooks during boring math classes. Decades later I reconnected with my love for writing through my blog ifsbutsandsetcs.com. Over the last few years, my short stories were published in anthologies. Last year my travelogues were featured in a coffee-table book. While I am primarily a writer of fiction, my first solo debut as an author has been for a non-fiction book which still amazes me at times.

What triggered you to write ‘Before you’re not little anymore’?

In the summer of 2017, my son was applying for admission to universities abroad. I was apprehensive about how he would cope with his new life after leading such a protected life back home in India. Like most mothers, I worried about how he would manage himself in a foreign land. Would he eat well? Would he keep himself warm?  What if he got homesick? These were the kind of worries that plagued my mind.
Around the same time, the Blogging from A to Z Challenge was about to commence. While I had previously participated in this challenge which required you to write on topics ranging from A to Z for each weekday of April, that particular year I was unsure if I would be able to participate with so many thoughts in mind about my son’s future.
There was so much I needed to talk to him about, but it was difficult to sit him down and verbalize all of it. So, suddenly on a whim, I decided to write letters to my son. These were letters on a range of topics that would help him cope with various situations and emotions on his journey to adulthood. I wrote about various topics like anger management, coping with depression, setting goals, recognizing and tackling infatuation, to name a few. I’ve shared my own experiences and lessons in life while dealing with these issues.
 A lot of people who read these letters on my blog felt that they should be published in a book since it could be of great help to other parents and youngsters. At the end of the challenge, I had the letters published in an exclusive book that I gifted my son on his 18th birthday. My son still refers to those letters in times of confusion or when he seeks guidance on certain issues.

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

I am rather inconsistent with writing regularly. I plan to change that in the coming days. I tend to write in phases. Sometimes when I get a spurt of ideas, I key them as notes on my cellphone to be referred to later. I write better when I am curled up comfortably in my bed with my laptop.

What is different about ‘Before you’re not little anymore’?

Before You’re Not Little Anymore is not just a self-help book for growing youngsters but is relevant to people across age-groups and genders. It addresses all the common emotions and situations most of us go through at some point or the other in our lives. It serves as a reference guide for students who are leaving the comfort of their nests after leading a sheltered life at home.
Another aspect that I have tried to address in this book is the attitude men should inculcate in themselves to treat their women right. The values we instil in our sons go a long way in giving women their due respect in the society.

What was the reaction of your son when he first saw the paperback copy of the book?

My son has yet to hold the paperback copy in his hands. He is at his university abroad and has not yet laid his hands on the book. But he was overjoyed to see the first copy in my hands when I showed it to him over a video call. This book has been more of a teamwork by both of us. We brainstormed each aspect of the book, right from the thoughts expressed in the book to the details of the book cover design. My son has played a big part in making the book come across as healthy and interactive rather than preachy and authoritative.

How long did it take to finish writing ‘Before you’re not little anymore’?

While the first draft of the manuscript was written on my blog as a part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge in 2017, it was still too raw to be published into a book. I took me two more years to work on it, adding a lot more thoughts, insights, and anecdotes to compile it into a book worthy of publishing.

Which do you prefer as a reader? EBook or Paperback?

Without doubt a Paperback! I love the smell of paper. Being from the design background I also like to glance at the book cover from time to time. So, personally, I would go for a Paperback but one cannot deny the convenience of reading an Ebook, so I also relate to people who prefer reading Ebooks.

How important do you think is marketing in today’s world for any book?

While I would like to believe otherwise, in spite of coming out with great content and a compelling read, one cannot deny the fact that a book can only reach its deserving audience if it is marketed well. Writing a book is just 50% of the job done. The rest depends on its marketing for sure.

Please share a passage or quote from ‘Before you’re not little anymore’ for our readers.  


Talking about how anger could be used constructively, have you reflected on those times when you are faced with criticism and scorn? No matter how good you are as a person or at your work, not everyone you meet will appreciate your good qualities all the time. Some people can be downright critical about everything you do for their own reasons. It can get to a point where things might not be pleasant. It is a surefire way to get you angry. But this kind of anger is healthy. It makes you reflect on your good and bad qualities and wonder where you're going wrong. Once you've confronted the person about what he must say, go back and think through it carefully, filtering out the things that you might agree to from all that they have said. You've got to be completely honest with yourself here, absolutely no cheating. If you feel there is an element of truth in the criticism, try to work on it to improve yourself. But if you have the conviction that some of the things pointed out were false and baseless, treat them as that person's ignorance, or, better yet, feel happy about those points because those are your strengths. And probably these are strengths that have brought out the insecurities of that person on the surface, which he chose to hurl at you in the guise of criticism.

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

1) Write consistently. This book was possible because I wrote consistently for an entire month.
2) Read a lot. If you’re unable to keep up with fat novels, read short articles, posts, and stories. Anything that feeds your mind works!
3) Don’t be shy or afraid to share your experiences with the world. Write as though you’re talking to a friend. You never know how it could help others.


Thank you, Vinodini. So happy we had this chat. All the best to your book.

Now, what are you guys waiting for?
Go buy this amazing book and gift it to your not-so-little ones.


Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Lost Princess: Chapter 1


Chapter 1



Hyderabad, February 12, 2013



Talking to your best friend can be excellent therapy. But it can be a headache if you’re in love with your best friend’s brother. Ishaani was realizing it the hard way.

"I saw the screenshot you sent. I can’t believe that idiot replied with a ‘thank you’ to your WhatsApp-essay! Why are you wasting your time on that slob? I’m ashamed to call him my brother…"

Ishaani moved her mobile phone away from her ears as Rashi’s voice began to grow shriller and louder by the minute.

"Girl... don't shout. I can hear you alright. I didn’t write an essay, okay? And he might be busy." Ishaani rolled her eyes and cursed herself mentally. In her eagerness to get over her frustration, how did she forget that Rashi loved to troll her brother?
"It qualifies as an essay. It might not get an A if you submitted to Mrs Ellen. But it would definitely win a prize for the longest and cutest WhatsApp message till date."

Ishaani chuckled. After putting the phone on speaker, she placed it on her bed. Picking up a scrunchy from her dresser-drawer, she rolled up her long hair into a top bun. Their high school English teacher Mrs Ellen would have called it purple prose. But a girl had to say what she had to say. Who texted perfect literary pieces to crushes? Long winding flowery sentences with a lot of smilies and ellipses were her style. Before writing to him, she had watched Rajeev’s ZBC television interview twice. And she could be eloquent when she wanted. No wonder Rashi had called it an essay.

"You know your brother's word quota per day. I’m happy he replied this time. Usually, I have to be content with the blue tick." Her silly heart raced when blue ticks appeared on the WhatsApp-messages she sent him. How pathetic!

Ishaani lived by only one rule. She welcomed anything that put her in the vicinity of her long-time crush, Rajeev Ratnam. The elusive movie director who owned her heart. It didn’t bother her that he either ignored her or treated her like a mere acquaintance when they met in public. And when she happened to meet him at his home, he treated her like he treated Rashi. Like a kid who needed guidance at every point in her life. Yet she always rallied her spirits by focusing on what was important. She loved him. Nothing else mattered.

"Keep munching the crumbs he throws at you and he would never treat you to a proper meal."
"No worries. I will cook him a lavish dinner instead. One day soon," Ishaani said, sounding more confident than she actually felt.
"Don't waste your culinary expertise on him. Cook Mughlai biriyani this Sunday. I’m coming."
"Done. What will I get in exchange?"
"What do you want?"
"Full details about his shooting schedule." That way, she could accidentally bump into him without appearing too clingy.
"Say whaat? Not interested in the list of the handsome actors he roped in?
"Nope." Why the heck would she need a list of handsome men when she had lost her heart to ‘the most handsome one’ among the lot.
“Aren’t you interested in the list of the actresses who might throw themselves at him?"
“Not at all.”
"You know what? You’re a tragedy waiting to happen."
Ishaani snorted and bid her friend goodbye before disconnecting the call.

Ishaani had fallen in love with Rajeev even before she could express it in words. Perhaps she had started worshipping him right from the moment she first saw him. They lived in the same apartment complex and their mothers were best friends. Her first memory of him was of them playing bean-bag basketball using a bucket.  She remembered the way his silky hair bounced when he threw the yellow sponge ball. She was five then. She squealed and clapped every time he managed to toss the ball right into the bucket. He didn’t give attention to his little fan though. He, in fact, enjoyed pulling her pigtails. Though at first, it bothered her, she soon started to love it when he did it.  In his eyes, she had only been the best friend of his pesky younger sister Rashi.  Ishaani sometimes wished Rashi was not her friend for that reason alone.

To say the truth, she took advantage of his big brother attitude. She would approach him for guidance on issues which were already crystal clear to her. Yet, during their conversation, Rajeev would say something that would make her fall a bit more in love. A new perspective, a clever idea or sometimes just his concerned expression.

While in her teens, he broke her heart by falling in love with Maya. A pretty, neighbourhood girl who made her feel like an ugly duckling. In the end, Maya left Rajeev, a struggling assistant director then and married a wealthy man. Rajeev was heartbroken. She couldn’t see him that way. So, she and Rashi took turns to cheer him up by involving him in their activities. He had become extra close to them during that period.

Ishaani loved singing too. Her parents were the renowned Kathak dancers, Krishna and Priyadarshini Reddy. Everyone had expected her to follow their path.  But the music that accompanied their performances had instead captured her attention. Her parents had encouraged her and she had started practising Carnatic music at the age of eight.
It had been music that finally brought her closer to Rajeev. One passion fuelling another. The year Maya left him, something changed between them because of her many attempts to cheer him up. When Ishaani sang his favourite song, ‘Abhi na jao chodkar, ke dil abhi bara nahi’ at a private function, his eyes had lit up. He praised her afterwards, leaving her stammering like an idiot. But she had stumbled upon the path that led to his heart.
Days later, they had been thrown together again, making her believe that fate had solid plans for them.

That day, Ishaani had been invited for a sleepover at Rashi’s. Since the bathroom in their guest bedroom was clogged, she had been advised to use Rajeev’s, the one opposite to it. He had been away in Bangalore and nothing had prepared her for his sudden appearance. Even the memory of standing in front of him clad in nothing other than a bath towel made her blush. He had been as embarrassed and stunned at first. Then as if in a trance, he had caressed her cheek. He had run the pad of his thumb over her lower lip, making her tremble. And then he had kissed her. The tenderness made her already vulnerable heart melt. The rainbow-coloured dream had ended fast and as unexpectedly as it had begun. As though he had come to his senses, he had pulled away, apologised and fled from the room. He left town the next morning and started avoiding her from then on. Perhaps he felt guilty about what had happened.

For her, Southern Star Singer contest, a music reality show on ZBC, had become the ticket to his world. Rashi had told her the winner would get a chance to work in his new movie and that Rajeev would be a judge at the contest. But, his music director Vishwajit had arrived as the judge at the competition instead. Rajeev attended the finale along with many other dignitaries like superstar Saketh Rao. She had sung her heart out, eventually winning the contest. Yet the man she wanted to impress had given her a cold shoulder. She was devastated.

Still, nothing had succeeded in persuading her to forget Rajeev. Not even the thousand taunts from Rashi.

Ishaani used to dislike men with beards but now bearded men reminded her of Rajeev. In her teens, she considered anyone who flaunted tattoos as mad. How could they torture themselves and mar their skin with something as outrageous as a tattoo? She could never love anyone who did that. Yet, when one day Rashi came to her flourishing a photo of Rajeev’s new half-sleeve tattoo, she had instantly fallen in love with it. Rashi had gone ballistic when she praised it.

“You know what! You won’t even mind if he murdered someone. You’ll admire the trail of blood and say how beautifully he murdered. You’re a twit, girl!”

Ishaani had ignored it. Rashi had never been in love. What did she know about being utterly and desperately in love?  Also, Rashi lived to rant and rave. Five minutes after her words left the tip of her tongue, she forgot about the topic entirely.

Love made Ishaani feel alive. Love gave meaning to her days and coloured her nights. Anyway, could anyone choose who they fell in love with? Love just happened.
Ishaani knew only one thing. She would never ever get over Rajeev. Period.






Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Power of the Law of Attraction: Guest Post by Riyaz Baghadiya




Everything around us happens twice. First in the mind and then in action. From the day one of origin of this phenomenal world. Each and everything around us was first an idea or a blueprint in someone's mind. Later, it became a reality. A similar pattern is still followed and will continue to be followed in the future as well. So, first and foremost have an idea or prepare your mindset according to what you wish to happen in the near future.

The law of attraction simply says that if you think about something that you want to achieve, it can be a promotion, a healthy relationship or a healthy lifestyle, it all starts with just a thought in your mind. It’s like the butterfly effect. If a butterfly wills to cause a storm it could start the process just by flapping its wings.

Let's try to understand the power of the law of attraction with an interesting tale.

Once there was a man who started to walk. He kept on walking for hours and hours and somehow reached paradise. He was amazed by its beauty. Everything was peaceful and calm. As he had been walking for so long, he decided to take rest under a gigantic tree. He was hungry. He imagined all the delicious food he could and after some time all the food he imagined started to appear in front of him. He was happy and without even thinking he started to enjoy the delicious dishes. When his hunger was satisfied with the food, he thought," I wish I could get something to drink. I feel thirsty." Again, he was presented with the drinks of his choice. He slurped it quickly. With little alcohol in his bloodstream, the man thought there was something wrong about this place. Whatever I am thinking about is being manifested.

Now, the man imagined there might be some ghost nearby who is watching him and listening to all his mind’s chattering. Immediately, a pack of ghosts appeared and the man was scared. He now imagined he was definitely going to be tortured by these ghosts and killed by these ghosts. It happened as well.

Whatever the man thought in his mind with full concentration and dedication, it manifested. This, in short, is the essence of the law of attraction.

How to achieve this kind of concentration? It’s simple. Make your mindset so powerful that firstly it is under your own control. This can be solely achieved by mediation. Invest 5 – 10 minutes daily and abundance energy will radiate from you. Once you are ready to change these thoughts about negativity and drive your mindset towards positivity everything would manifest the way you want. If you wish, read this article on controlling the mindset on my blog.  

Always remember, you have to start with a thought, a thought of achievement, and work backwards as to where to start from. All the forces around, in fact, the entire universe will conspire and make sure your thought turns into reality. This is the secret followed by most of the spiritual gurus and entrepreneurs to achieve success and calmness into the lives.

-         ----- Riyaz Baghadhiya

For more interesting articles and book reviews that can impact your life in a positive way visit Riyaz’s blog: GoEpilogue.