Monday, February 17, 2020

Book Spotlight on Second Chance at Love by Sudesna Ghosh





Blurb: Aparna and Sid were high school sweethearts. Something tore them apart seventeen years ago. Neither of them expected to get a second chance at true love. And in the city where it all began. But someone doesn't want them to have their happily ever after. Sid has to choose between the role of a blindly devoted son and that of an independent young man who is ready to renew life with his first love.  

Can Aparna and Sid pick up from where they'd left off or will they have to forget each other again?

Excerpt: 

“Are you sure you want to put your heart out there for Sid again?” My mother was concerned and rightfully so. She hadn’t been there in London to nurse my shredded to pieces heart back then, but we’d racked up enough phone bills for the cause. 

My father just gave me one piece of advice, “Be careful, child.”

In my teens, I would do anything in a heartbeat if Sid suggested it. From trying foreign foods to watching movies that I wouldn’t have gone to otherwise. I don’t know if I was selfless or childish or dumb, but this long gap between Us and Us helped me develop self-protective tendencies. I cared about Sid. I yearned to be in his arms. But I also knew that my wellbeing was in my hands. In other words, I was not going to let his mother play around with my emotions again.
“Mom, don’t worry about me. I am a full-grown adult. Let’s see what happens.”
“But you’re so invested in this, Apa.”
I couldn’t deny that. My feelings were very transparent to any observer. Any mention of Sid and I’d break into a smile, run my fingers through my hair, blush. Shruti said the same thing when we spoke later that day. Our long friendship meant that I couldn’t hide anything from her. Body language was a dead giveaway.
Sitting at my desk with my tablet, I finished a project and sent it off to London. The satisfying swish when it was sent made me sit back in contemplation. I was proud of myself. It took me over 30 years to get here but I finally knew what self-love was. 
And just as a therapist had told me once, “Aparna, nobody in this world can make you love yourself. It has to come from you. That’s the most important kind of love too.”
So yes, I was back in love with my first love. His mother still hated me. BUT I was not going to fall apart if things didn’t work out. Even a few weeks ago, I had talked to my friends in London about how stressful relationships were. We singletons like Bridget Jones could spend days with our hair unwashed and legs unshaved. On a serious note, a flashy five-day Indian wedding says nothing about how much effort a marriage takes. 



About the Author: 

Sudesna (Sue) Ghosh is an Indian-American author based in Kolkata, India. She is a graduate of the University of Rochester (USA) and an ex-journalist. When Sue isn’t reading or writing, she is busy doing her best to keep her rescue cats happy.
You can find her on Twitter @sudesna_ghosh and on Instagram @sudesna_meow.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

On Writing: In Conversation with Natalie Reddy

Today we are in conversation with Natalie J Reddy, a Canadian Author who spends her days trying to escape reality by making up stories about the characters in her head.
There is nothing she loves more than to be pulled into a fictional world whether it is in her own writing or the writing of others. Her debut novel is the first in a New Adult Urban Fantasy series with characters who have supernatural abilities and dark and
sometimes unknown pasts to overcome.
When she is not writing, Natalie can be found having all sorts of real-life adventures with
her husband and daughter or curled up with a good book and a cup of tea.





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

Books and writing were both things I loved at an early age. I loved writing stories and
reading them to my brothers and I always did really well in Creative Writing classes at
school. But being an author wasn’t something I started pursuing until I got married in
2014. After our wedding, I left my job working in childcare and moved to the city my
husband lived in and for the first time since I was sixteen I didn’t have a full-time job. It
was at that time that I found the book “No Plot? No Problem!” By Chris Baty and learned
about National Novel Writing Month which takes place worldwide every November. It
was only July at the time but I didn’t want to wait until November to try writing a novel so
I gave it a shot. I ended up writing a 50,000-word novel that month, and that’s when I
really started to consider becoming an author.

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

Oh, great question! It depends on the character to be honest. I do give thought to every
name I give a character but some come easier than others. With Darshan’s name for
example, I spend hours on a baby name website trying to find the perfect name for his
character. But there was another name that I found on a children’s television show and
one other was the name of a waitress I met at a restaurant. I kind of find names
everywhere. When I hear one that I find interesting I’ll write it down for possible future
use.

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

My writing process keeps evolving and I’m still working out what works best for me.
Right now I am a stay at home mom to my four-year-old daughter and that means my
writing has to work around her. I do have an office and it is definitely my favourite place to
write but I’m often interrupted which means that I don’t always get to write there. 

I do a lot of my writing on my phone which helps me get more done on days when I’m not able
to sit down at my computer. I’m not a writer who writes for hours at a time. I’m a sprinter
who will try to get as much writing as I can do in fifteen or twenty-minute (or
sometimes five-minute) increments. I try to write at least a few hundred words every day
to keep up a daily habit but there are some days where I don’t write at all.

While writing Forgotten Scars I was able to learn more about my needs as an author. At
least half of Forgotten Scars was written without much planning. The second half I had
to plan before I could finish because I got really stuck. I am currently working on the
sequel and this time around I have done more plotting and outlining which has been
really helpful. I think I’m definitely a hybrid between a plotter and pantser. I love being in
the moment with my characters and seeing where they lead but I need a general guide
so that I stay on track and true to the story.
One thing that has always remained the same regardless of where or when I’m writing is
tea. There is always a mug of tea close by whether I’m writing in my office or on the
couch with my daughter. Tea keeps me going :).

 What is different about Forgotten Scars’?

Hmmm, another good question. One thing that is different from some other books is that
my main character Wren is far from perfect. Right off, we see that she is a bit broken. On
top of her emotional wounds, she has her own physical imperfections that set her apart
from others.
The Psi are also something that is different. Many books have different supernatural
creatures in their world (witches, vampires, werewolves) but in my world, the Psi don’t
make up a fraction of the supernatural world, they are the supernatural world. They may
have different powers or appear to be different supernatural creatures but at the end of
the day they are all the same thing. Psi.
Another cool thing about my book is that the setting is in Canada! I’m a Canadian author
and I really wanted to represent my country and use it for the setting for this first book. I
can count on one hand the amount of books I’ve read that are set in my country and I
wanted to change that.

Who is your favourite character in the book and why?

Oh, this is a hard one! If I had to pick one, I would probably say Misha. Misha has
evolved in a lot of ways. He was meant to be a side character and have a much smaller

part in book one but I loved writing him so much that he ended up with a bigger role. He
is also the strong, silent, brooding type and who doesn’t love one of those?

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

I love a physical book, I love the feel of it, the smell of it and how it looks on my
bookshelf. But if I had to pick I would have to say Ebook. I read and buy more ebooks
than physical books. It’s easier for me to pull out my phone to read a book than it is to
carry around a paperback everywhere. But I possibly love Audiobooks even more. As a
mom I am constantly multitasking and audiobooks mean I can do my dishes or fold my
laundry and listen to a book at the same time. Perfect!

How long did it take to finish writing Forgotten Scars’?
It took me about a year and a half from writing the first sentence to publication.

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

I would say that marketing is pretty important for an author. With the popularity of self-publishing, there are more authors than ever putting their work out there. It’s easy to get
lost in a sea of books if you have no marketing strategy. That being said I think that
writing the best book you are capable of is even more important first and foremost. The
best marketing strategy in the world isn’t going to help you if your book isn’t well written
and properly edited.

Please share a passage or quote from Forgotten Scars’ for our readers.




His back was turned to me for a long moment, and my eyes darted to the stupid candelabra I’d
left on the desk. What was the likeliness I could get to it and smash his brain in before he could stop me?
“Not good,” he said.
“What?”
“Your chances of being quick enough to smash my brain in aren’t good.”
“What?” I shook my head. Had he just replied to my thoughts? I was sure I hadn’t voiced my
murderous thoughts out loud. Or had I? Nothing else made sense. I was losing it. I was totally losing it!
Darshan turned his gaze on me. You’re not losing it—yet. He raised a brow with the word ‘yet.’
I stood there, frozen, and he took advantage and moved toward me. His mouth lifted in a smirk,
and he cocked his head in a casual yet predatory way.
I swallowed the lump that had formed in my throat.

“I—” I shook my head, trying to find the right words. His lips hadn’t moved, but I had heard him.
His lips hadn’t moved. Was there a word for that?
Telepathy. Darshan shrugged, his voice filling my mind. That would be the word for it.
I clenched my hands, trying to calm the shaking that had started.
Impossible.
The word I would have used would have been, impossible.
I sucked in a breath. “I—I’m confused.” I cursed the quiver in my voice. My heart had started
pounding, and my palms were sweating.
Darshan closed the gap between us, a dark expression on his face as he gripped my arms. I tried
to pull away, but his grip was iron.
“What are you?” I asked. “I don’t understand.”
Of course, you don’t. But you need to.” His golden eyes narrowed, and I lowered my gaze. He
dipped his head, forcing our eyes to meet. I need answers, Wren, and I’ll use every means at my disposal
to get them.”
“I can’t give you what you need,” I said, and his grip tightened. I winced as his fingers bit into
my arms.
He shook me as his voice roared in my head. You can! You’re just choosing not to.
A whimper escaped my throat, shame joining the fear coiling in my gut. At that moment, I was
glad I didn’t know how to find Wendy, because I would have given them almost anything to be allowed
to leave.
“I can’t. I swear! I don’t know anything—not anything useful anyway. I can’t help you.”
You know more than you think you do, he insisted.
But I didn’t. Why wouldn’t he believe me? Why wouldn’t he just let me leave?
Darshan cocked his head as he looked at me. Are you afraid? His grip loosened just a bit.
“Yes,” I whispered. There was no point in lying; it was obvious.

Good. You should be. He dropped my arms, and I resisted the urge to rub where I was sure there
were now hand-shaped bruises. “But not of me. You should be afraid of the woman you’re protecting.”

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

1) Write, write, write! You can’t publish what isn’t written. And even if you think what
you’re writing is terrible, keep going! That’s what editing is for ;).
2) Write what excites you. If you’re bored while you’re writing it, your readers are going
to be bored while they read it.
3) Don’t compare yourself to others. No one is on the same journey. Don’t cheapen your
experience by expecting it to look like someone else.

Thank you, Natalie. It was great speaking to you. Wishing you the very best in all your future endeavours.

About the Book:

Memories can be painful, but not remembering at all can be almost maddening!

Wren Peterson-Cruz isn’t without scars. In her nineteen years, she’s been through more trauma than most, but the memories of her greatest trauma are buried deep within her mind.

Wren had long given up hope of finding out the truth about her childhood until she’s pulled into a world she never knew existed. In this world, she meets people who are far from human. They call themselves Psi. They have powers and abilities that shouldn’t be real and seem to be looking to Wren for answers that she doesn’t have. Or does she?

The Psi, who have more secrets than answers, offers her a unique opportunity. An opportunity that could lead to the answers Wren’s wanted her whole life. But can Wren trust them to protect her and help her discover her true self? Or is she being pulled into a world that is more dangerous and deceptive than she realizes?


PURCHASE LINK 

Monday, February 10, 2020

Book Spotlight: The Chosen Seven by Gill anderson

BUY BOOK FROM AMAZON: LINK 


BLURB

FARZAD ABED is an unhinged Iranian immigrant living in Australia. His sociopathic tendencies coupled with his political views make him a very dangerous man indeed. Farzad wants the world to sit up and take notice of him and randomly selects six bystanders to hold hostage at a city restaurant.
JACOB BROWN is a fitness fanatic who finds himself at the centre of a bizarre situation when he arrives at his favourite restaurant to pick up a takeaway for dinner.
JAGRITI GOSHAL is a young unassuming Indian waitress working at Alessandro’s Cucina.
REGINA TERRY is a fearless Afro-American woman in Australia on a business visa who unexpectedly finds herself embroiled in a crazy siege with a madman.
LEVI HAINES and BILL WALKER are colleagues having a business dinner at the restaurant. Bill is Levi’s sleazy boss with unethical intentions and Levi is dining with him against her will.
PAUL TOWNSEND is a local electrician who happens to drop off a quote at Alessandro’s Cucina at the same time Farzad descends on the restaurant to begin taking hostages. 

Follow the roller-coaster ride of emotions as these strangers find themselves embroiled in a terrifying siege orchestrated by a madman. The authorities scramble to put together a definitive plan of action to contain the situation quickly. But not everyone will come out alive ...


EXCERPT

Prologue



 Saturday 6 April 2019,  7.00pm Eat Street, Seminyak,Bali

Farzad Abed was agitated. He had some idea about what had to be done; however, the exact circumstances and the people that would be involved were yet to be determined.  He felt hot and bothered as sweat poured relentlessly down his 6-foot 3 heavy set frame. Despite the sunset just over an hour before, it was impossible for him to cool down due to the intense humidity in Bali. Farzad was constantly scanning his surroundings as he walked by the overwhelming array of enticing menus outside each eatery on the popular Eat Street near Seminyak square. The heat was getting to him and the anger that constantly simmered at the surface of his mind was becoming dangerously close to making him explode.

     Farzad would make his mark on the world, he was confident about that. Being indecisive and flighty was his downfall though, and he needed to be mindful of this so that his lack of patience and impulsive nature did not make him rush things and foil his plan.  He would know when the right place and time were presented to him.  He had an important message to convey to the world and the right people would need to be chosen to help him ensure it was spread across the globe. There would be a sign from the universe and he would feel it in his bones, in his very fibres in fact.

   He suddenly darted into a large restaurant with an expansive outdoor eating area. Several holidaymakers sat sipping cocktails, enjoying a casual al fresco dinner whilst spending their hard-earned wages on their annual holiday indulgences. Despite the relaxed vibe of the eatery with its colourful umbrella’s and benches scattered with large inviting cushions, the relentless stream of taxis and motorbikes thundering past was in direct contrast to the vibe the establishment attempted to emulate. A young Australian couple became aware of the tall heavyset man sitting at the table next to them. His thick black curls were damp with sweat and his sunglasses were slipping down his nose.  He sat at the table to their left, his legs spread wide as his gut hung down between them.  The couple paused their conversation momentarily as they noted the man’s strange vibe and penetrating stare. 

     In unison, the couple attempted to exchange polite but uneasy smiles with their new dining neighbour who did not smile back. Instead, he stared menacingly at them. They tried to resume their conversation under the steady glare of this strange man who seemed to be sitting extremely close to them. Had he moved his table closer in an attempt to join them?  The female pitied him and thought perhaps he was just lonely.  In stark contrast, the male’s antenna for weirdos had been activated and alarm bells were starting to go off in his head.


      A petite Balinese waitress appeared and presented a menu to Farzad, a warm welcoming smile lighting up her dainty features.  Abruptly, Farzad stood up and flipped the menu out of the waitress’s hands upwards into the air. He stared at her, his teeth bared and his eyes darting wildly around the venue. On a whim, he thundered towards the exit whilst muttering incoherently to himself.  The waitress staggered backwards in shock, an alarmed expression on her face. Picking up the menu from the ground, her eyes followed the retreating man who was taking off down the street.  Sometimes tourists were so strange, she thought. Once she was sure he had left the vicinity, she let out a sigh of relief and resumed her duties. However, she could not shake off the gut feeling that she had just got off lightly somehow. Instinctively she knew the strange man intended to cause harm and was thankful she hadn’t been his next victim.

     Farzad was fizzing mad as he returned to the mayhem of Eat Street. Those fuckers had got off lightly tonight. He had not executed his plan, as not only were the patrons in that eatery not worthy of hearing his message to the world, but in addition, none of them had shown any leadership potential.  They were all pathetic weaklings, not noble enough to be a part of his cause.  Little did the people in that eatery know that his change of heart had just spared them their lives that night. They would live another day thanks to the pitiful couple he had made eye contact with.  They were too desperately boring to be a part of the fun and games he had planned.

    The other pedestrians tried to avoid Farzad as he marched along the narrow pavements without stopping to let anyone pass him.  His girth and manic glare made the other tourists uneasy and no one challenged him as he shoved past them, knocking bags from shoulders and elbowing people in the chest causing them to yelp in pain.  Even the groups of Balinese girls outside the many massage parlours  who automatically called out massas’ (massage) to anyone who looked remotely like a tourist knew instinctively not to offer their services to this odd-looking man.

      Farzad reached his hotel and stormed past the bemused concierge straight into the vacant lift – he needed  to get to his room quickly.  Upon exiting the lift on the third floor, he turned left and marched along the corridor as fast as his huge frame would allow.  Upon reaching his room, he became flustered when his first two attempts to insert the key card failed. Finally, he managed to time it correctly and the green light indicated he could enter the room. His face was beetroot with rage as he stood silently in the dark allowing the cranked-up air conditioning to blast some welcome cold air on to his sweaty frame.  After a few minutes, he felt calmer and like a zombie, he stared blindly into space for a while.  He had no idea how much time had passed when he eventually sat ramrod straight on the end of the king-size bed.  

        Farzad could not have articulated his thoughts even if he tried. He tried to remember why he was in Bali and then it came to him. His intention was to harm westerners much like the Bali bombings that occurred in 2002 had. He wanted to do something on a much smaller scale but equally as horrifying. Somehow it hadn’t felt right and he would fly back to Adelaide tomorrow without completing his mission. Eventually, his mind tired and he allowed himself to fall backwards on to the bed.  As he succumbed to sleep, he surmised that perhaps he would have better luck in executing his plan in the near future. Tonight had not been the right time after all.

About the author:

Gill D Anderson is the author of best-selling novels Hidden From View and The Chosen Seven. Gill was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and immigrated to Adelaide, South Australia in 2004 with her husband and two daughters. Gill has a Social Work background and currently works in a corporate role in the field of Child Protection. Gill feels very strongly about violence and sexual assault, which are prominent themes in her debut novel Hidden From View.

Facebook Gill D Anderson -author - Instagram gillyanderson71 - Twitter @GillianAnders16