Monday, February 26, 2018

The Five Inspirations: Why Should You Write? Five Authors share what motivates them




Those words are churning inside you. You want to pick up the pen and start writing. You want to rush towards your laptop and start typing those words that keep you awake in the night. 

And then, Life Happens. Your kids need you. Your spouse has some important issues that you must solve. You are working for it's the money earned that puts the butter on your bread. You must.. you must and you must... 

But how long will you ignore that niggling voice that just won't be suppressed? How long will it be before your muse gives up and drifts to trouble another soul? Weeks and months pass and soon the year waves you a goodbye. Yet you have not typed one word on that blank sheet because Life Happened.

A few years pass by and you are sitting in that rocking chair, and you will always wonder - what if? What if you had picked up the pen that day? What if you had let your character have a free reign?

Like any other profession, it's never easy. And that's why I have asked onboard some veteran authors along with those who just took that leap.  I hope their words motivate you as they have motivated me. 

Why did you become a writer? What made you pick up that pen or type your first word?

Deepti Menon, Author of Shadow in the Mirror is one writer who is full of life. According to her, 

Dear Rubina,

How did I start writing? 

As I have often mentioned, the reason I started writing was not an honorable one. There was this so-called friend of mine who would walk into my home at odd hours. She would wave a stack of poems before her favorite teacher, who happened to be my mother. Mom would read through them, and praise them to the skies. Envious to the hilt, I decided that anything this girl could do, I could do better. From then on, I began writing on pieces of paper, serviettes, envelopes and anything I could write on. I was around ten when I wrote my first poem which was titled ‘The Blue Marble’.

How did I feel when I saw my name in print for the first time?

The first time I saw my name in print was when I won an essay competition conducted by the Indian Navy when my father was posted in Vizag. I still remember feeling elated when I was awarded a certificate and a cheque with the princely sum of fifty rupees. :)

However, it was a short story that came out in Woman’s Era that was actually the first time I saw my name in print in a national magazine. I couldn’t believe that I was actually viewing my own words on paper, and that was when I started a scrapbook in which, thereafter, I would stick every piece of my writing that came out in print. I have two huge scrapbooks which have pride of place in my study.
Insecurities and how I overcame them?

Well, there were insecurities aplenty when I began to write, mainly because rejection letters came like a bolt from the blue on a regular basis. Those days, I would send a story or an article to the editor of a magazine, and then wait for days, even months for a reply. For every accepted piece, there would be a number of pieces rejected. Initially, I bit my nails down till I had none left. However, there came a point when I found magazines accepting my stories and my humorous pieces, and I felt that I had succeeded in carving out my niche as a writer.

Even today, when I see my name in print, it makes me do a jig in delight because I love the acrobatics that one can perform with words, writing them down, and erasing them, honing them till they sparkle. I rewrite till I love the final effect, and that, for me, epitomizes the drama of words.

Hahaha. Only Deepti could have said that and here's a secret. I wrote my first poem just to spite my neighbor. We just need the right motivation. :D

And then I had to ask Inderpreet Uppal, Author of GENEROUSLY YOURS: His Gift From Beyond our latest candidate in our writing world. I have seen her journey. Her doubts, her dilemma and as her pen flowed, her confidence rose.  And she says, 

Writing for me is an expression of the desire to share my stories. Not our own but the voices an author hears, the views they hear, the things they see. All of it begs to be written about. To be shared. To shine a light of vivid words that make the mundane shine and the normal become special. The need, the desire and the voice that refuses to stop whispering stories, ideas, love, hate and the plight of our world makes an author pick up that pen.

The author is not one who is an established bestseller but that child in school who writes a story in their lined notebook, misshapen alphabets and sharing it with the teacher. The author is someone who pens their thoughts, ideas, doubts, aspirations, and desires. Diaries, journal, and blogs are all an extension or a beginning of an author.

What drives the best writers and authors in this world moves me as well to pick that pen and scribble my ideas in the middle of the night. To write emails to myself with how my novel will progress. Get sudden solutions to the stalemate in my story while I have mundane conversations with people. The need to tell my story. The urge to share snippets of lives lived and yet to be lived.

I don’t remember a time when I did not write, though they were letters to friends and family. Coming from an army family, I remember my father getting me books whenever he came from his deployment. I remember writing my first letter to him when he was away to a field or non-family station. I remember devouring the books he got and always asking for more. My parents ensured we got books as often as possible and all army stations have a good library so we were never short of a book. By the time I was a teenager I was famous as a marathon letter writer since my snail mails used to be eight to ten pages long. When the letters stopped, I turned to writing diaries; I do it even now occasionally. Now my blog is the space and the books that I keep working on take precedence.

I pick my pen to express what I cannot always speak. I pick the pen to articulate the voices that are not heard. I pick my pen to write my heart out. I just write because the pen drives me.

... and the pen drives me. Beautiful isn't it. Motivated yet? And trust me, such truer words have not existed. 

And then I asked Kiran Manral, author of Saving Maya, the same question. Author of several books, she is an icon who many of the aspiring writers look up to. A social media expert, Kiran Manral is also the founder of India Helps, a network of volunteers who assist disaster victims. And here is what she says:


Why did I first start writing? I can't remember. I can remember though that I was writing stories of princesses fighting off dragons and evil stepmothers and witches in castles and all that my little mind was filled with an even illustrating them, rather well I think in retrospect given I couldn't have been more than six or seven. I was always an avid reader. Other kids asked for toys, I asked for books. My favourite place in the whole wide world to be in was in a library or a bookstore, I could spend hours in a bookstore and I am so grateful that my father and mother were ever indulgent of my obsession with reading. Of course, I ruined my eyes early with it. I would read anywhere and everywhere, in the worst light possible, with a torch under my blanket, in the dim light of the nightbulb when the torch was confiscated, at parties and family get-togethers. I was happiest when I was left alone to read. I think I still am.

I think I first started writing when the stories in my head grew so vociferous that they had to be let out. Writing is a kind of bloodletting, you release what is disturbing you with its insistence, recuperate and then feel the next round of stories building up. As a writer, there are always stories playing out in your mind, some your own, some that come from a place far beyond you which you could even reach if you tried, and some stories you get from the others around you, which have somehow percolated deep into your subconscious and will emerge somehow, at some point in something else you're writing, determined to have their place in the narrative.

Why do I write now? I write because there is nothing else I know to do. I write because I cannot 'not' write. I write because, at the end of the day, I have stories to tell.

"Writing is a kind of bloodletting, you release what is disturbing you with its insistence." Yet another emotion captured as to why you must write if that's your calling. A release from all those pent up emotions, you will be reintroduced to yourself as you grow as a writer. A very profound feeling. 

Shilpa Suraj, I met her online when her book Rescued By Love came out. I am a lover of Romance so how could I not relate to her book.  A wonderful writer, her pen has the passion of young love and the tenderness of the old school charm.  And here is what she had to say:


There’s never been a day in my life when I haven’t had a story to tell. In the whirlwind of personal
and professional commitments that is life, those stories stayed buried in my brain. Until the day I got married.

My husband was doing a six-month promotion course in Chennai and in a burst of newlywed enthusiasm, I decided to take a sabbatical from work and join him. To spend quality time together, to soak in our new relationship, to get to know each other and build a strong, stable foundation for our marriage….you get my drift? I thought it was going to be incredibly romantic. Instead, he was incredibly busy with his studies and I was incredibly bored. After all, there is only so much time I could spend burning food in the kitchen! (P.S – I haven’t improved in this regard.)

So I pulled out my laptop and started typing. And I haven’t stopped since. The stories were always there. I’m just blessed to have the opportunity and means to share them with a much wider audience than I could ever have hoped for.

"Instead, he was incredibly busy with his studies and I was incredibly bored." Didn't I tell you this already? Writing can be your best friend and will help you to improve many relationships. Er.. that is till you don't reach the marketing part. We will get there.. we will get there. 


One of the most motivating writers who has influenced me is Sundari Venkatraman, Author of The Marriage Predicament (The Thakore Royals Book 1) Her writing speed is incredible. Her fan following is huge because she has touched that nerve of the society which we call - emotions. And here is what she has to say:

I have heard of frustration, anger and many other negative emotions giving forth to creativity. It proved to be the truth in my life. I was between jobs and had gone back to being full-time housewife when I became totally bored with life. After working for three years in a school admin, and my kids in their teens, I found that being a homemaker was simply not enough. I was on a slow boil when I got back one fine day from a long walk and began to write. On the very first day, I wrote 14 foolscap pages of my very first novel THE MALHOTRA BRIDE. It pulled me completely out of negativity and I felt reborn.

"I felt reborn." I felt reborn. I have said this so many times aloud that it has now become a mantra for me. This incredible journey is nothing but a journey of finding oneself and when you do take that step then as Sundari says, You feel REBORN. 

So Dear Aspiring Writers, 

These are the women of substance who took it upon themselves to find their niche.  The best way to know them would be to read their work for those are the true inspirations. Pick up your pen and don't waste another moment thinking - Should I? For the only answer you will get from your heart is - Yes You Should. 

Rubina Ramesh
Author of Destined. 






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So what if someone has died, it's not my family. Let's talk of Karma.

Since Karma is everywhere nowadays and every small misdeed is in our Karmic books. Since God is no longer the benevolent love I thought he was for he seems to be keeping everyone's Karmic role and that too not in a fair way. A man and a woman marry hurting other souls and only the woman is punished. Or is the man punished here too as he will lead his life bereft of his love for a few more years? But what about the kids? Has anyone thought what Karmic sins they have done to deserve this?

I have kids too and I don't want my kids to ever hear false accusations like this. So here are the Karmic Rules I have broken:

1. I stole a chocolate from a friend when I was 6 years old. My intention was if I couldn't eat it neither should she. 

2. I  ate the sweets from the refrigerator and blamed my brother for it. He got a few, err - , slappings Indian parents were so fond of in those days. 

3. I met my first boyfriend and thought of flirting with him just for fun. Oh oh.. I have been punished beautifully already for it - I married him.

4. I married my boyfriend against our parent's wishes. Uh.. does it not make him sound like a man without any wishes? Just like Boney Kapoor? But what the heck - this is my post. He can write one of his own. 

5. I hate a few people in my heart and all of them know it. Hatred is bad Karma I tell you. You all can tell this to my kid. Because your mom hated Aishwarya Rai's beauty she died. 

6. I don't always want to be a wife or a mother. Sometimes I just want to be the woman I am. OMG! I should die and THIS should be the main reason. 

7. I have blocked a few people on FB. This is so freaking hurting the sentiments of others. Well, those who have blocked me what will happen to your Karma - THINK. REPENT. 

8. Sonia. I don't agree with all the things you do and say but I love you so this is a Karma Deal Breaker. 

9. Will my love for Salman really kill me? Should I say HEY SALMAN before I die or how will Karma adjust my not so brownie points?

10. I have a few dark secrets - chalo naughty people if I tell you everything in this post, tomorrow you all will have to start telling my kids as to why I died. 

AND IF ANYONE EVER SAYS THAT I DIED BECAUSE I WAS FAT - KASAM SE, I WILL BE ROAMING IN YOUR HOUSE AS A GHOST. THAT WILL BE YOUR KARMA.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Just Because we are daughters, Do we love our parents less? Priti asks in her review of Destined

I am not an agony aunt but after my book, Destined has come out I am getting a few letters from reviewers and readers which are pertaining to the subject - CAN A DAUGHTER LOOK AFTER HER PARENTS EVEN AFTER MARRIAGE?

Here is one review that has touched my heart.

JUST BECAUSE WE ARE DAUGHTERS, DO WE LOVE OUR PARENTS LESS?
One of the main reasons, I loved this book was because I went through a similar situation. My father was suffering from Stage IV cancer and his chances of survival were not much and doctors have given him very few years to live. Along with my mom, I was mainly responsible for taking care of him. My mom thought it would be better that if I marry a guy while my dad was alive. After lots of persuasion I finally agreed for an arranged match. But the moment guys would know about my dad’s illness and my main wish to stay in city and take care of him, they would just simply run away. The worst part was when one of guy who has refused the match earlier, asked to marry me again when my dad passed away. When my family asked him that why did he refuse earlier, he answered “If I would have married her earlier, she would not have focused on me and my family but now with her dad being out of picture, I am sure she would be a good match”


The full review can be read here and here is another question that a reader has asked:  When faced with such a situation what should I do - be the mother, the wife or the daughter? Can I have a few answers here please before giving mine? I think this is not an opinion that I can impart. But this should be a collective decision both men and women have to take. 

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Book Spotlight of the Day: The Marriage Predicament by Sundari Venkatraman


Recommended by Rubina Ramesh


Today's Author in Spotlight does not need any introduction. With 21 titles in her kitty and god only knows how many more on her laptop, Sundari Venkatraman has been a guiding light for many indie authors.

According to Rubina Ramesh:

Her books are from the pages of life. Sangeeta, Megha, Yashodhara can really exist. Readers love this about her book. In one strange incident, which I must share with the readers, there is one reader who always comes to give a one-star rating to Sundari's book. He then returns to the next book and does the same. He then returns and again the same rating. One day I asked him as to why he does it and he shouted at me and said that not all girls are like Sangeeta. Not everyone will get a happy ending. I realized then that he was looking for answers in the pages of Sundari's book. That is some kind of devotion which many authors can only dream of. 



Book  Spotlight: The Marriage Predicament (The Thakore Royals, #1)
Author:  by Sundari Venkatraman
Print Length: 162 pages
Publication Date: January 9th, 2018

Blurb:

Princess Yashodhara Jadeja of Bhatewar isn’t at all keen to get married. With her tarnished past, she knows that her married life would never be easy. But, between her father’s Will and her mother’s persuasion, she’s left with no choice.

Prince Indrajeet Thakore of Udaipur agrees to meet Yashodhara as a prospective wife after his grandmother, Rajmata Santhini Devi, persuades him. While no cymbals crash at their first meeting, the couple grow to like and respect one another before they agree to tie the knot.

Both belong to royal families and both have responsibilities. Over and above all that, their marriage is plagued by a predicament, just as Yashodhara had expected. It looks like they can lead a happy married life only if the princess is willing to break a promise. Will she be able to do that? And will Prince Indrajeet continue to love her once he gets to know about her past?


Grab The Marriage Predicament from the links below  and the author would appreciate a Review on Amazon or a rating in Goodreads



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Book Blitz: Finding Her Way - An Indian Girl's dilemma by Ruchi Vasudeva

Book Blitz: Finding Her Way - An Indian Girl's dilemma by Ruchi Vasudeva


Book Blitz: Finding Her Way - An Indian Girl's dilemma by Ruchi Vasudeva

Print Length: 16 pages
Publication Date: February 12, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Available on Kindle Unlimited 
Genre: Short Story 



What does marriage mean for an Indian girl? Whether she marries for love or by arrangement, she’s forced to obey unreasonable demands. But she also wants to live her life on her own terms.

Avni is such a girl. When the man she loves and cares for wholeheartedly, throws her a curve ball, she chooses to walk away. What comes next for Avni?


It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR






About Ruchi Vasudeva in her own words:

I'm a doctor by profession, a teacher by vocation and an author by destiny. The writing bug has long resided in me and a contest held by Harlequin for Indian authors gave me a golden opportunity to have my dream realized. I debuted in August '13 with my book 'Bollywood Fiancé For A Day'. I write romantic fiction with conflicted characters who come into their own in their quest of reaching out for love. I love to write about spirited heroines getting hurtled out of their daily life as soon as they cross paths with their rather challenging heroes. 

I keep busy juggling writing with my medical job and family life with my doctor husband and two wiser-than-thou teens. When not bent double over the laptop, I might be found with my nose in books or munching nachos at the movies or glued to the telecast of Team India or Chennai Super Kings in action. Sometimes I drag myself for walks and surprisingly discover they are rather good for brewing story ideas! 


You can stalk her @
      
        

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Blog Tour: CARTHICK'S UNFAIRY TALES by T.F. Carthick


Blog Tour by The Book Club of CARTHICK'S UNFAIRY TALES by T.F. Carthick


CARTHICK'S UNFAIRY TALES
by
T.F. Carthick

Blog Tour by The Book Club of CARTHICK'S UNFAIRY TALES by T.F. Carthick


Blurb


A damsel in distress. An evil dragon. A concerned father seeking a savior to rescue his daughter. A hero galloping off to the rescue – a knight in shining armor. Now THAT is stuff of fairy tales.

But what if the father’s real concern is for the dragon’s hoard; What if the damsel’s reason of distress is the marriage proposal by her pompous and vicious savior; and what if the story is told by the horse who bears not only the overweight knight but also his heavy, shining armor all the way to the dragon’s lair and back, facing certain death in the process?

What if there was more – much more – to all your favourite fairy tales than met the eye?

This book chronicles not one but seven such unfairy tales – tales told by undead horsemen and living cities. Tales of mistreated hobgoblins and misunderstood magicians. Tales of disagreeable frogs and distressed rats and bears baring their souls. Once you read these stories, you will never be able to look at a fairy tale the same way ever again.

     
Read an excerpt


This was wrong at many levels. The mayor’s despair and eagerness to solve the problem was understandable. But from what I have seen, no human problems come with quick fixes. Haste seldom helps. One requires patience to get to the depth of a problem and attack it at its root. A holistic solution does take a lot of time and effort but the benefits are long-lasting. Quick fixes, on the other hand, end up aggravating the situation. Take this situation of the rats itself, for instance. While the mayor may not have realized it, the fact was that the people of the town had brought this upon themselves. A few years earlier, people had complained of snakes. There were just a few of these reptiles, but still the people had complained incessantly. So, snake-catchers had been summoned to exterminate the snakes. Then, a few months’ later, stray dogs had become the object of the people’s ire.
“They keep barking all night. They just don’t let us sleep,” they had complained.
And they began to make a big fuss of how dogs were a public menace and exaggerated stories of dogs attacking humans started spreading, till finally the town council had to yield. Dog-catchers were commissioned and the dogs were done away with. With the elimination of their natural predators, wasn’t it natural that rats should multiply? But people just don’t realize these kinds of things. That is how people have been all the time. They wanted quick-fix solutions to all their problems then, and they want quick-fix solutions to all their problems now. They never learn.
Also, I suppose the mayor probably thought he would never be called upon to follow through upon his promise. So, he promised a grand reward just to appear to be doing something. That is another folly of humans, especially the leaders. They care more about perception than actually getting things done. And often initiatives undertaken to manage perceptions end up doing more harm than good.

Grab your copy @

Amazon.in | Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | 

Paperback




About the author




T F Carthick is a Bangalore-based writer and blogger who has been blogging since 2008. He is an avid reader of Children’s Fiction, Science-fiction and Fantasy. Enid Blyton, J K Rowling, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Neil Gaiman and Douglas Adams are some of his favorite authors. His paranormal thriller ‘Bellary’ was one of the three stories in the book Sirens Spell Danger, published in 2013. Six of his stories have featured in multi-author anthologies and literary magazines. He has written over 50 short stories, many of which can be read for free on www.karthikl.com.

He is an Engineer and MBA from India’s premier institutes IIT, Madras and IIM, Ahmedabad and currently works as an Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Consultant at one of the world’s leading Consulting Firms.



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Book Spotlight of the Day: The Dark Holds No Terrros by Shashi Deshpande


Recommended by Reshma Ranjan

When Reshma told me about this book I went in search for a romance, since I do know that Reshma is an avid romance reader. But to my surprise this turned out to be a story of an abused wife, a scarred daughter and a woman who was searching for - herself. I loved the premise of this book. I am adding this to my TBR definitely. 

According to Reshma Ranjan:

"I would never think it as an amaxing book and all but i read it about 16 years back,,, i still remember the story so vividly... A mentally and financially stronger wife and a husband who wants to prove he is superior... The book isn't bringing down the male or the female... But the social norms which are still a cause to many problems in so many of indian couples. "





Book  Spotlight: The Dark Holds No Terrors

Author:  by Shashi Deshpande

Print Length: 240 pages
Publication Date: First Published in 1982

Blurb:

Why are you still alive—why didn’t you die?”

Years later, Sarita still remembers her mother’s bitter words uttered when, as a little girl, she was unable to save her younger brother from drowning. Now, her mother is dead and Sarita returns to the family home, ostensibly to take care of her father, but in reality to escape the nightmarish brutality her husband inflicts on her. In the quiet of her father’s company, Sarita reflects on the events of her life: her stultifying small town childhood, her domineering mother, her marriage to the charismatic young poet Manohar (who turned vicious when he realized his career was going nowhere and that his wife’s professional success was exceeding his own), her children . . . As she struggles with her emotions and anxieties, Sarita gradually realizes that there is more to life than dependency on marriage and family—she resolves to use her new found truths to make a better life for herself.


Grab The Dark Hold No Terror and the author would appreciate a Review on Amazon or a rating in Goodreads



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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Book Spotlight of the Day: River of Fire: Aag Ka Darya by Qurratulain Hyder


Recommended by Aparajita Dutta:

Aparajita is very passionate about this book. When I told her that I am going to feature this book today, her excitement drew me to this book. This is what a writer's book should do to a reader. I almost envy Ms. Hyder for this love that she has invoked in a reader. Here is what Aparajita has to say about this book.

"It's because it starts from the time of Buddha and ends after the independence of India and the most captivating part is how the characters come back again and again...and how they are so connected..  It will make you feel like even if you are living in the 21st century, you are some sculptor or a seer of the post-Vedic era.. it talks about the survival of humanity.. It's not just a novel  ..  It's life.. it has so many letters...journals... poems.. It made me cry.. it made me shriek with fear. It's a mystery... It's adventurous.It writes history in the way no other book does."



Book  Spotlight: River of Fire: Aag Ka Darya

Author:  by  

Print Length: 428 pages
Publication Date: January 29th 2000

Blurb:

Never before available in English, River of Fire, originally published as Aag ka Darya in 1959, is without question the most important novel of 20th-century Urdu literature. An amazing, sui generis book, River of Fire spans two and a half millennia. Set during four Indian epochs (the classical, the medieval, the colonial, and the modern post-national), the novel is a meditation on history and human nature, tracing four souls through time. Each section is linked by characters who bear, in every period, the same names: Gautam, Champa, Kamal, and Cyril. Gautam (appearing first as a student of mysticism at the Forest University of Shravasti in the 4th century B.C.E.) and Champa (throughout embodying the enigmatic experience of Indian women) begin and end the novel; Muslim Kamal appears mid-way through, as the Muslims did, and loses himself in the Indian landscape; and Cyril, the Englishman, appears later still. In different eras, different relations from among the four -- romance and war, possession and dispossession. Yet together the characters reflect the oneness of human nature: amidst the nationalist and religious upheavals of Indian history, Hyder argues for a culture that is inclusive.

Interweaving parables, legends, dreams, diaries, and letters, Hyder's prose is lyrical and witty. There is really no book like River of Fire. Qurratulain Hyder was awarded the Bharatiya Gnanpith, India's highest literary award, in 1989, and here is her masterpiece, her broadest canvas and her finest art



Grab River of Fire and the author would appreciate a 
Review on Amazon or a rating in Goodreads



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Sunanda Chatterjee Reviews Finding the Angel

Now in Paperback with Pustakmandi 
"I particularly liked the warmth of Aryan’s relationship with his mother, and Shefali’s with her Auntie, and the subtle secondary character of the Ranaut family servant, Hariram: 

I was thrilled to be asked to review Finding the Angel via a copy provided by the author because I had read the “Look Inside” section of the book and was already intrigued. And I was not disappointed. Set in contemporary Bombay and in the royal palace of the Ranaut family, this debut novel is a sizzling interplay between a feisty heroine and an arrogant hero. Shefali is an art curator who falls in love with Aryan, the Prince of the Ranaut dynasty while cataloguing their artefacts.

But just as the love (lust?) becomes too much for her, she runs away. Unfortunately, her sudden departure coincides with the disappearance of The Angel, the Faberge which has been in the Ranaut family for generations. With the burden of being considered a thief and the resultant effects of the company she works for, Shefali must find a way to redeem herself in the eyes of the man she loves, who is sure of her guilt.

I particularly liked the warmth of Aryan’s relationship with his mother, and Shefali’s with her Auntie, and the subtle secondary character of the Ranaut family servant, Hariram.

 Grab your ebook copy from Amazon
 Grab your Paperback from Pustakmandi, India.


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Monday, February 19, 2018

Book Spotlight of the Day: Destiny Rules.. (The Pure Destiny Series Book 3)

Book  Spotlight: Destiny Rules.. (The Pure Destiny Series Book 3)
Author:  by 

Print Length: 134 pages
Publication Date: February 20, 2018

Blurb:

A Thrilling and Heartwarming conclusion to a beautiful love story /

Almost two years after Sameera finds out about the existence of her extended family, she cannot get over a nagging feeling she has had from the time she found out about Rajaram and Jasleen, his wife. Sameera is the happiest woman in the world with everything she could ever ask for, but she still has one unanswered question. She needed to know why Rajaram abandoned his life and family. What could be more important than love?

Follow Nick and Sameera's story as they embark on a journey to find the answers and realize their love is their Destiny.

NOTE: This is NOT a standalone story. Destiny Rules.. is book 3 of The Pure Destiny series.

Other Books in the Series 

Part 1 - Destiny Decides..
smarturl.it/DestinyDecides

Part 2 - Destiny Embraces..
smarturl.it/DestinyEmbraces


Grab Destiny Rules and the author would appreciate a 
Review on Amazon or a rating in Goodreads


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Blog Tour: PREM PURANA by Usha Narayanan

Blog Tour by The Book Club of PREM PURANA by Usha Narayanan


PREM PURANA:
MYTHOLOGICAL LOVE STORIES
by
Usha Narayanan

Blog Tour by The Book Club of PREM PURANA by Usha Narayanan


BLURB

Stories of love and extraordinary devotion 

No one is untouched by love, not even devas and asuras, kings and nymphs. And when they face life’s unexpected tribulations, their love also undergoes trials. Read how Ganesha took myriad forms to please Riddhi, Siddhi and Buddhi, how Ravana shared an unbreakable bond with his true love, Mandodari and how Nala and Damayanti’s relationship was tested till almost nothing remained. 

Tormented by passion, wracked by betrayal, torn by the agony of separation, love in its many splendored forms is the origin of these incredibly endearing stories of Prem Purana. 

READ AN EXCERPT
Ganesha stood with Brahma’s daughter Siddhi on the sacred soil of Kailasa, offering worship to the linga that Parvati had installed. He glanced at his companion’s proud face, knowing that he had embarked on a rough path in attempting to win her over. For now, however, he had to focus on his confrontation with Parasurama whom Shiva had blessed with his great axe.
Siddhi watched from a safe distance as Ganesha bowed to the warrior and requested him to wait until Shiva granted him permission to enter. But Parasurama angrily pushed him aside and strode towards the cave. Ganesha intercepted him, causing the angry warrior to raise his axe to threaten him.
Finding that his antagonist would not listen to mere words, Shiva’s son extended his trunk by many lengths and wound it around Parasurama 100 times. He then raised the warrior into the skies so that he could see the seven mountains, the seven oceans and the seven islands of the earth below him. Then he whirled him around and showed him all the lokas including Vaikunta, where Lord Vishnu presided on his lotus throne with Devi Lakshmi. With his yogic power, Shiva’s son granted Parasurama a vision of Goloka, the purest of realms, where blue-hued Krishna resided with Radha and his gopis.
After showing Parasurama how insignificant he was when compared to the primordial universe spanning endless time and space, Gajamukha dropped him gently on the ground outside Shiva’s cave. He smiled at Siddhi who stood dazed, clinging to a tree for support, as she too had been granted the supernal vision by Ganesha’s grace. She realized now that her cheerful friend was called Vakratunda not because of his crooked trunk, but because he was the one who straightened out the crooked.
Parasurama recovered from his stupor and saw that he was lying on the ground at Ganesha’s feet. Incensed by this humiliation, he sprang to his feet and took up his mighty axe. The parasu hurtled towards Ganesha with a deafening roar. Siddhi trembled, certain that her friend would not survive the dire power of his father’s weapon.
Strangely enough, Gajamukha made no attempt to counter Parasurama’s axe. Instead, he joined his hands in worship to the parasu and stood calmly as if reconciled to his death.
Siddhi heard a horrific crack as the parasu struck one of Ganesha’s tusks and severed it completely. It fell to the ground with a crash, smeared in blood, looking like a crystal mountain covered in red chalk. Shiva rushed out of the cave, followed by Parvati, who turned into fiery Durga when she saw that her son had been wounded. She discerned what had happened and raged at the warrior who stood before her with the axe that had returned to his hand.
‘O Parasurama!’ she said. ‘You may be learned and wise and the son of a great sage, yet you have allowed wrath to overcome you. You received your parasu from your guru, Shiva, but abused your gift by using it to wound his son. Ganesha, on the other hand, allowed the axe to sever his tusk due to his respect for his father’s weapon. What next will you do, Parasurama? Will you assail mighty Shiva himself? Presumptuous warrior! I curse you this day that though you are an avatara of my beloved Vishnu, no one on earth or heaven will ever worship you!’
Parasurama cowered before the angry goddess whose fury grew by the moment. ‘It is only due to Ganesha’s forbearance that you are still alive, for he can kill a hundred thousand Parasuramas in the blink of an eye,’ she said. ‘But I am unwilling to be so tolerant and will end your life today!’
Durga rushed towards him, with her trident aimed at his head. Parasurama stood unarmed and unresisting. He closed his eyes, joined his hands together and surrendered to Krishna.
‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya!’ Parasurama chanted, invoking his god with his last breath.
At once, Krishna appeared before him, lustrous and omnipotent, granting him protection with one raised hand. Durga stopped mid-stride and gazed at Krishna. Her wrath vanished, dissolving like mist in the light of the sun. A beatific smile adorned her face. She offered him a reverential welcome along with Shiva.
Krishna addressed them gently, a calm smile on his face. ‘I have come here to rescue my devotee,’ he said. ‘Though Parasurama has committed a grievous sin, I request you to forgive him, Parvati. He is your son too, for you are the divine mother, the refuge of all creation. As for you, Parasurama, you have to undertake a severe tapasya to attain forgiveness. Worship the Devi who animates the three realms in the form of the gentle Gauri and the fierce Durga. Seek the blessings of Ganesha who is now Ekadanta, the lord with one tusk.’
Having offered his counsel, the lord returned to Goloka. Parasurama prostrated himself before the gods and laid his axe at Ganesha’s feet in tribute. He then retreated to a distant mountain to begin his worship. Parvati took her son into her mansion, to coddle him after his fierce encounter.  

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About the Author



Usha Narayanan had a successful career in advertising, radio and corporate communications before becoming a full-time author. Her bestselling novels span multiple genres: ‘The Madras Mangler’, a suspense thriller; ‘Love, Lies and Layoffs’ (Harlequin) and ’Doctor Stalker Spy’ (Juggernaut), lighthearted romances; ‘Pradyumna: Son of Krishna’, ‘The Secret of God’s Son’ and her latest ‘Prem Purana’ (all from Penguin) that have been praised as ‘Indian mythology at its fiercest and finest.’ Two new books are in the offing. When she is not travelling, writing or editing, Usha reads everything from thrillers and romances to the puranas.

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Praise for Usha’s books:

'Like the best of our mythological tales, Pradyumna: Son of Krishna too is a multilayered one...There is valour, there is cowardice, there is glory, there is shame, there is sex, lies and deception.’

The Secret of God’s Son is a compelling read on mythological tales.’ – The Sentinel


Prem Purana is so good! I am impressed at how Usha can write about Ganesha with so much personality while at the same time showing him as a cosmic divine being. ’ Dr Laura Gibbs, Professor, Indian Epics, University of Oklahoma 


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