Sunday, September 23, 2018

Book Review: An Arranged Marriage by Sundari Venkatraman

This is a simple story of a boy meeting the girl and falling in love. A subject which romance readers around the world never get tired of reading.

Ritu hates the arranged marriage her parents are planning for her. But escaping it is becoming difficult day by day. So giving in to the pressures of her family she decides to go to Pushkar and face the circus.

But as fate would have it, she meets Yash and they both fall for each other. Unknown to Ritu, Yash is also in the same boat where his parents have already found a match for him.

So will they become a star-crossed lover or fight their fate is what this whole story is all about.

A lot of emotions has been packed in this tiny package. Love, need, want and passion. If you want to read a feel-good story, this book is definitely for you.

Short stories are coming into vogue nowadays. I tried writing one and trust me it's really difficult. Most of the short stories that you see around you are more like small pamphlets rather than stories. But in the indie world, where we have no control over the quality of the writing and stories, authors should take the responsibility on their shoulders to keep the standard up. So when short stories, with no grammar errors and lots of emotions, come your way, it's for the grab. 

Author of the Book:


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Get Vamana: The Fifth Avatar  from Amazon

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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Episode 1: My Journey To Stay Fit

Week One: 22nd September
Name: Rubina Ramesh
Weight at the beginning of my this journey: 97kg.
Height: 5Ft. 
Weight on 22nd Septemeber: 90kg 
Next Realistic Goal Post: 87kg
Purpose of this post: Asking others to join in my weight loss challenge. 

Losing my weight is the hardest decision I have taken till today. I don't even know if I can do it. But I have decided to record my journey. It's going to be difficult and I will need your help too. Add a cheer for me when you can. 

The things I have realized before I started out are:
1. I need to be accountable.
2. I need to record my steps.
3. I have to understand that I am fat. 
4. I should not be ashamed of myself. I am fat, not a criminal. 
5. I need to lose weight not to please others but to stay healthy. 
6. I need to look sexy in my picture -- stop that snicker right now. 
7. I need to fit inside that pink salwar suit which I had bought on my last trip to India. I had on purpose bought two sizes smaller. I loved that so much that I wanted to buy it even if it was not available in my size. That was two years ago. I will post the pic of that salwar suit when I achieve my goal to get inside that. 

What made me what to start this journey:

1. One night, my heart skipped a beat and I couldn't breathe. That scared the hell out of me. My BP shot to 218/94 and I knew trouble was around the corner. 

2. One day I went out with my husband for dinner. Met a colleague of his who looked shocked upon seeing me and thinking why was married to an older woman. Ok, this is an exaggeration. But I felt that. :D

3. My kids still need me and I have no desire to see my hubby enjoying his life on earth while I was floating in the clouds. 

4. I want to look good - for myself. 

What all am I doing:

  1. I am not eating carbs. 
  2. I am not eating oily food.
  3. I am not taking sugar or any form of sweets. 
  4. I am only eating a protein-rich diet. 
  5. I have joined the gym.
  6. My main poisons are Treadmill,  Ab Coaster, Ab crunch bench, Ab roller for a week now. I will continue the same next week too before changing my routine. 
  7. Drinking loads of water. And no juices. Just no juices. 

SHARE YOUR STORY WITH ME TOO. WHO KNOWS WE MIGHT MOTIVATE SOMEONE OUT THERE TOO. You can email me at rubinaramesh1973@gmail.com

I love hiking







Friday, September 21, 2018

Marketing Issue 1: How do I find my audience?


The question:  How do I find my audience?

This is a valid question and often the exact reason why you are scared to even write your story. Especially in the Indie Publishing world. You don't know the right people. You don't know whom to ask for help. You are disillusioned with the false promises you encounter in your journey yet you dream to reach that one audience who would say - hey, I am your fan. 

chanachoor
I can't speak for others, but I can only share my experience. I started as a  book reviewer. I was a reader before I became a writer. My love for books often made my family and relatives angry for I could not be found anywhere in the house but behind the huge water tank, up in our terrace, eating 'chanachoor' and lost in the world of books. My favorite author during those days was Carolyn Keene and Charles Dickens. Two extreme cases, I know but I love diversity from a young age. :D 

During 2013, I used to get my books from NetGalley and review the books on Amazon and Goodreads. I had no clue how to even blog. My brother introduced me to Blogger and I wrote my first review of a Harlequin Book. Now when I read it, I want to hide in shame but I refuse to change it. I grew with every review of mine and gathered my readers as like-minded people joined me on Google Plus. 

I still had not written my book. 

But being an active blogger helped me grow my audience and taking part in Blog-o-thons and events hosted by Indiblogger gave a lot of hits to my blog. 

It was only after this stage that I opened my Facebook and Twitter account in 2014.  Shall I share a secret with you all? I didn't know that Indian authors were rising all over except Arundhati Roy and Vikram Seth. I had no clue that there were Indian Authors who wrote such prolific tales that it leaves you wanting for more. 

I still had not written my book. 

Then for the first time, I heard that Harlequin had opened its door to the Indian audience. I took part in the competition and didn't make the cut. I was so disappointed and lost that I almost gave up my writing. And then I met Sundari Venkatraman. 

Sundari introduced me to Indireads and my two stories got chosen by them. Let me Go and You Stole My Heart.  It was You Stole My Heart that later became Finding the Angel. By then, I had an audience, a group of author friends and was an active participant in Wrimo India. 



So when my Knitted Tales came out, I already had an audience for it. So dear friends, don't underestimate the power of blogging. It's a world in itself.  You don't have to blog only about books. You have to find your own niche. It can be a hobby, a thought, something you are passionate about. I know many friends who are artists. They have used their blogs to reach out to that audience. But everything takes a lot of dedication and love. Nothing is built overnight. I found my niche in reviewing. I hope you find yours too. Let me know if you need help in building your blogs. You know where to reach me :) You don't? I am heartbroken. It's rubinaramesh1973@gmail.com 


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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Book Review: R.S.V.P.: A Novel by Ruchira Khanna

Ruchira Khanna's R.S.V.P intrigued me. The title and the cover of the page suggested a tranquility that I was searching for at that moment. Having read her books earlier, like Choices and Voyages, I was ready for some heavy, contemplative reads. I generally avoid these kinds of books since I need to lighten my mind with books and not go into a thinking spree. But I am glad I picked up this book.

Coming to the story, it started off a bit slow with the introduction of Jay and his dog Yogi. Jay is a loner, sort of, if his chats with the delivery man are not taken into consideration. He has been ditched by his girlfriend and has lost all his love for life. Enter his cousin Gina who pushes him towards his Life and he decides to go on a cruise - only with Yogi. Life again takes a turn when he is shipwrecked and lands up on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, on an island, where money has no value.

Open wounds are healed, emotional scratches are looked into, relationships and their meaning are contemplated upon. Try as I might, I couldn't help asking a few questions to myself as I read along. To this extent, my friends too started asking me about my mood swings. Ruchira Khanna has a way of dwelling on the small issues of life that we often overlook.

Analysing the relationships in this book, I could divide them into that of a brother and sister, friends, mother, and son and one that you have with your pet. Different perspectives make a man behave differently. Ms. Khanna has a very good way of analyzing different moods of a human being and that can be applied to all of us. One eg. When someone ditches you, you tend to cling more to material things. That is what happened to Jay when Sasha leaves him. I found this statement very thought-provoking. Such minute things in life, we often neglect.

Coming to the characterizations, Ms. Khanna has taken a few creative liberties. Especially with Yogi. But the bond she has managed to create between the canine and his master is applaudable. I would have loved to see the less dramatism where the swimming scene was concerned but when I see my Fluffy, I just want to hug all the dogs in this world. So they can do anything they want, I really don't care as long as they are loved. Ms. Khanna is going to win many hearts just because of the way she has portrayed Yogi.

The relationship between Gina and Jay is another one worth pondering. While I would say Matt was Jay's conscious, Gina was definitely his anchor to Life. Well brought out in every scene. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter are like a treasure hunt and I started looking forward to what the next chapter will bring.

Having said that, Ms. Khanna has a tendency to incline towards telling rather than showing. Sometimes I wanted to see a scene, feel the anger or the pain that the characters were feeling. The liberal usage of adverbs with every feeling didn't do much to my imagination. Another thing which could be avoided is mass actions. Everyone behaving the same way at a certain point in time. Not everyone can gasp together nor turn to look wide eyes at that the same point of time.

Overall this book is a must read for those who like reading about Life and thinking about Life. I loved it. I loved thinking about my friendships, I even forgave my editors for making my miserable. I forgave a friend of mine who invited me to a party, canceled the party and forgot to tell me. She had the privilege of seeing me in all my make up glory. So Ms. Khanna, I have a lot to thank you for.

A Quote from The Book:

“I wish I had said a personal bye to mom."

Don't we all.

The First Line of the book:

Splash.

There is a strange tranquility, as I realize I am surrounded by endless blue fluid. I try to talk but no voice comes out. I frantically try looking around but except infinite azure I cannot see anything.

My Recommendation:
For contemplative readers. You will love this book.

Author of the Book:


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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Book Review: VAMANA: The Fifth Avatar by Sundari Venkatraman

This story is based on the Vamana Avatar of Lord Vishnu. Vamana means a dwarf, a form he takes to teach the world, humility. There are many forms of this story. In one version we have the God feeling threatened by Bali and in other, we have a mother trying to protect the future of her son. Ms. Venkatraman chose the version where the mother's love comes in the way of justice. Aditi prays to Lord Vishnu to save her son from the impending march of Bali towards Indra's throne. It will surprise you to read that this version is not a pure good vs evil form of battle. It's more of a political statement on the part of the Gods. I often wonder about the rights and wrongs of the mythological aspects of a story.

Myths are often created with a perspective in mind and who knows how it has been bent, mended and remade with the passage of time. Who are we to question the workings of the God but a questioning mind can't help asking - was it always right? Were the God's always correct? This question I have always asked myself when I had read about Bali and Vamana and also about Mohini Avatar of Lord Vishnu.

Ms. Venkatraman's version too has raised a few questions in my mind and I hope it does in yours too. They write such stories to question the minds of the readers, to challenge their thinking power and most of all to debate on the rights and the wrongs. This does not stagnate us but elevates us to the next level of thinking.

Bali promises to give three parts of this land to a small dwarf yet he smiles and gives it all up when that small dwarf takes the form of Trivikrama and takes everything away from Bali and the world is left with a lesson of humility and not being greedy about what others have. 

Such a short story had a huge dose of moral to impart. I am also glad that Bali's story was not left at that. He got his redemption as he richly deserved.

Coming to the story telling part of this short read, it is short enough to capture the minds of the young readers. A child of five to 10 would love it. As a mother what I would have loved are some graphics along with this novel. If we are out to reach the minds of the young readers, a few pictures might help.

Recommended for young mothers and kids between 5 to 12.. If you want your kids to know our mythological stories, here is one series you should not miss. 

A Quote from The Book:

Bali gazed up at his lord’s face, tears of joy pouring down his face. “A promise is a promise, my lord. Here, please place your foot on my head since that is the only thing I own as of now.”

The First Line of the book:

Bali, also known as Mahabali, ascended the throne as the asura king after his father Virochana. In appearance, Bali was like all the asuras, about thirty feet tall, muscular, his arms and legs appearing like pillars. He was dark, the colour of stone grey, with a rugged face and thick lips. He wore his hair long, the black curls falling way below his powerful shoulders, a golden crown set with all the nine precious gems, sitting pretty on his large head.

My Recommendation:
For kids and young parents. This collection is for keeps.

Author of the Book:

Connect with the author:


Get Vamana: The Fifth Avatar  from Amazon



Blog Tour: Killer Moves by Varsha Dixit



Killer Moves
by
Varsha Dixit



Blurb
Everyone has a secret. Aisha Khatri has many! 

Aisha’s life is seemingly mundane on the surface-she writes for television and takes care of her niece Kiara and her retired father. But when Kiara’s life is threatened during a modeling assignment for the famous Kabir Rana, once a suspect for his wife’s murder, the only way Aisha can save Kiara is by accepting the unique ability she has aggressively resisted all her life. 

But Aisha is not the only one with secrets. There are others who have secrets and will kill to keep them. Aisha is determined to protect Kiara even if it means placing herself in the crosshairs of a depraved killer who butchers beautiful girls and leaves them as grotesque displays. 

Is Kiara a target of a serial killer or is the killer closer to home-and Aisha’s heart? 

Who is Kabir Rana? An elusive and moody fashion photographer burdened with a dark past or a murderer who got away? 

How will Aisha save Kiara from a killer who is several steps ahead of an entire city’s police force? When the dead come calling, will Aisha answer? 

From the bustling streets of Goa to the beautiful palaces of Sirsa, Killer Moves is a fast-paced, gripping, romantic suspense tale with strong thriller and supernatural elements. 

Grab your copy @


About the author


Varsha Dixit, the best selling author of six successful contemporary romance books. Her debut book, Right Fit Wrong Shoe was a national bestseller for the year 2010. Varsha was a part of the Indian Television Industry and worked as an assistant director and online editor. She considers herself a dreamer who thinks deep but writes light. Even though creativity is gender free,Varsha feels blessed and enriched to be a woman.Currently, with her family, Varsha resides in CA, USA.

You can stalk her @

                  

   This Tour is Hosted by 

The Schedule of The Killer Moves 


Your NamePostDate of Post
AparnaSpotlight9/12/2018
Geeta NairSpotlight9/12/2018
Anugya SinhaReview9/12/2018
vasraoReview9/12/2018
Nilima MohiteSpotlight9/13/2018
Nikita JhanglaniSpotlight9/13/2018
Rajan MoghaReview9/13/2018
Geeta NairReview9/13/2018
Aparna PrabhuSpotlight9/14/2018
Kavita RajeshReview9/14/2018
Sunanda ChatterjeeReview9/14/2018
romilaReview9/14/2018
Ruchi SinghSpotlight9/15/2018
Shalini RReview9/15/2018
AparnaReview9/15/2018
artiSpotlight9/16/2018
Nikita JhanglaniReview9/16/2018
Rakhi JayashankarReview9/16/2018
Shruti ShankarSpotlight9/17/2018
Shree JananiReview9/17/2018
Sunita SaldhanaReview9/17/2018
ChittajitSpotlight9/18/2018
Nilima MohiteReview9/18/2018
D. R. DownerReview9/18/2018
Devika FernandoSpotlight9/19/2018





We Promote So That You Can Write 

Friday, September 7, 2018

Blog Tour: Groomnapped by Sundari Venkatraman



GROOMNAPPED
(The Groom Series #1)
by
Sundari Venkatraman



BLURB

The lovely and feisty Surekha is the eldest of three daughters of a carpenter from the wrong side of the tracks. She teaches science and maths in the Bihar Public School. 

Ameya is the only son of a millionaire farmer-cum-builder and over and above that, he’s educated too. 

They meet and fall in love quite easily, the drawback being the dowry system prevalent in Bihar. With Ameya’s parents expecting a huge dowry and Surekha’s parents having a tough time eking a living out of their humble income, it seems like the match between the two lovers is one made in hell. 

Ameya isn’t one to take things lying on his back. But when the parents who adore him otherwise are so set against the marriage, will he be able to make Surekha his? 

Grab your copy @


About the author


Sundari Venkatraman is an indie author who has 31 titles (27 books & 4 collections) to her name, all Top 100 Bestsellers on Amazon India, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada and Amazon Australia in both romance as well as Asian Drama categories. Her latest hot romances have all been on #1 Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month.

Even as a kid, Sundari absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as she grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. 

Soon, into her teens, Sundari switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine. Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. 

Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! And Sundari Venkatraman has never looked back.

Click here to check out all the titles by the author...



You can stalk her @
      
        

The Team
-->
Your NameType of PostDate of Posting
Devika FernandoSpotlight8/26/2018
Nikita JhanglaniSpotlight8/26/2018
Nilima MohiteReview8/26/2018
RomilaSpotlight8/27/2018
ArtiSpotlight8/27/2018
Sunita SaldhanaReview8/27/2018
Chittajit MitraSpotlight8/28/2018
AparnaSpotlight8/28/2018
Ruchi SinghReview8/28/2018
VasraoSpotlight8/29/2018
Nilima MohiteSpotlight8/29/2018
Mahesh SowaniReview8/29/2018
Chittajit MitraSpotlight8/30/2018
Nikita JhanglaniReview8/30/2018
Shree JananiReview8/30/2018
Chitra IyerSpotlight8/31/2018
ArtiReview8/31/2018


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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Blog Tour: The Bodyguard by Ruchi Singh





THE BODYGUARD
by
Ruchi Singh



Blurb

Someone wants Vikramaditya Seth Jr. dead. 

He refuses the Z+ security option offered by the government. With too many variables trust is hard to come by…

Esha Sinha prepares for her first assignment outside of active-army service, oblivious to the fact that she has to baby-sit a man who has no respect for rules or protocol—a man who is headstrong, workaholic and a tenacious flirt. As the attraction between Vikram and Esha simmers and sizzles, another attempt is made on his life. 

The killer is resourceful and determined. 

The motive is unclear and perplexing.

Will they be able to nab the assassin before he gets to Vikram?


Grab your copy @

About the author


Ruchi Singh is a novelist, and writes in two genres; romance and crime. Winner of the ‘Times Of India’ WriteIndia Season I under Amish Tripathi, she began her writing career writing short stories and articles, which have been published on various online forums. She has been a contributing author to many anthologies and Jugnu is her third novel.

You can stalk her @ 

                    

The Posts 

-->
Your NameType of PostDates
ArtiSpotlight8/17/2018
Reet SinghSpotlight8/17/2018
Geeta NairReview8/17/2018
Chittajit MitraSpotlight8/18/2018
romilaSpotlight8/18/2018
Mahesh SowaniReview8/18/2018
Devika FernandoSpotlight8/19/2018
Ruchi VasudevaSpotlight8/19/2018
Nilima MohiteReview8/19/2018
Lata SunilSpotlight8/20/2018
Sundari VenkatramanSpotlight8/20/2018
Preeti NegiReview8/20/2018
Mariyam HasnainSpotlight8/21/2018
Anugya SinhaReview8/21/2018
Reet SinghReview8/21/2018
Nikita JhanglaniSpotlight8/22/2018
AparnaReview8/22/2018
romilaSpotlight8/22/2018
Nilima MohiteSpotlight8/23/2018
ArtiReview8/23/2018
Sunita SaldhanaReview8/23/2018
   This Tour is Hosted by 
We Promote So That You Can Write