Scattered Thoughts

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Normal Days #63

First Time

One year has passed since I first saw you. It was a pleasant evening, not very cold, neither stifling heat. It was the perfect evening to meet the perfect girl. There comes a time in a life of every man when he look at a girl and find his heart is no longer his. There I saw you smiling and I suddenly became aware of the sounds which were never there, the softness of your laughter and the way it warmed me till my core. How we touched hands for the first time and how I dreamt it to be in my head.

Too sappy for your taste? Well you know me and how I like it but this is not about any of those things. This is about that moment which I'll always cherish coz that was the time I decided to become yours. I sure didn't do anything to show you that, in fact I did almost opposite but then it is always hard to love me. I can be hard to live with. I don't mean to, but I can be... critical. Sometimes I think I'm just not good for people, that it's not good for them to be around me. I wear 'em down. They... they get unhappy.

 I don't know how to be with you right now, and that scares me. Because if I'm not with you right now, I have this feeling we will get lost out there. It's a big bad world full of twists and turns, and ppl have a way of blinking and missing the moment - the moment that could have changed everything. I don't know what is going on, most of the times I also have no clue about my thoughts and I'm so very confused but I need you. I need you to have faith in me coz I cease to exist if it is not love, complete and unadulterated love.

It is possible that longing for something is better than actually having it. I want to have love.

Love me like you do..

(To be Contd..)

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

The Krishna Challenge

The man who became a Brahmarishi...
The curse that banished him to the hell of hells...
And the revenge that threatens to destroy the three worlds...

When Lord Brahma, the God of Creation, banishes his star pupil from Swarglok in a fit of rage, he does not foresee that his decision will alter the fate of the three worlds. Mortally wounded, and anguished at Brahma's unfair punishment, his pupil struggles to survive in Tamastamah Prabha, the hell of hells. In time, he becomes the Dark Lord, the most feared figure in Pataal Lok, who swears to destroy Brahma.

The power of the Dark Lord soon begins to make its presence felt in the mortal world. Vasudev, the brave prince of Bateshwar, becomes the hunter of Asura assassins; his closest friend, Kansa, almost dies while trying to save his sister from a group of deadly monsters; and the most valiant kings in Mrityulok turn over to the dark side, driven by forces beyond their control.

Only one person threatens the Dark Lord's well-laid plans - Devki, the beautiful princess of Madhuvan, who is destined to give birth to the warrior Krishna.

Will the Dark Lord allow Krishna - the person who has been prophesied to destroy him - to be born?

The Krishna Challenge

We’ve all heard this theory endless times, that one act of kindness can make a man happy who will in turn set upon a chain of kind acts, creating a domino effect and making the world a more bearable place to live in for those people directly and indirectly affected by it.

The Krishna Challenge has its genesis in this very theory, however, this time, the challenge urges people to act on it and spread the word about it, which will motivate people to act out of the purity of their hearts, to make life better for people, without expecting anything in return. The second part of the challenge urges the participants to tag or nominate people to take part, which will increasing the circle of influence and encourage people to bring joy, warmth, relief in the life of those they come in contact with, thereby enhancing the quality of life in their eco system.

This challenge is more relevant today, more than ever, as we wake up to news of lynching, bombing and killings on an everyday basis and another world war seems to be dawning on us. The idea of the challenge is to not sit back waiting for the world to fix itself, but to proactively participate in fixing every small and big thing, within our power.

Author Jagmohan Bhanver best describes this challenge as a social consciousness effort, which aims to drive change in society and heighten people’s awareness towards their responsibility as citizens.

You may wonder why such a challenge is named after Krishna.

Krishna is considered synonymous to the one who intervenes when there is an excess of misery, turmoil and wickedness in society.

So come be a part of the challenge and help us make the world a better place.

Here is what you need to do, if you want to become a part of the challenge:

1. Undertake an act of selfless kindness, however small, and post about it on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or anywhere visible.

2. Tag 3 people you want to be a part of the challenge.

3. Follow up and understand the impact your network of kindness  is having upon the world around you.

Jagmohan’s first book (self help genre) titled "Get Happy Now" was on the best selling lists of most countries and on the Top ten list of leading bookstores in India. His second book, titled "Think your way to Millions" which is on the subject of Behavioral Finance was nominated for the best non-fiction award by Hutch-Crossword in India. This is one of the few books on behavioral finance. His third book was titled “Nadella – The Changing Face of Microsoft.” This book was published by Hachette, the largest publishers in the world. Jagmohan’s latest book is part of a three-volume trilogy on Krishna and is considered as the most awaited book in 2015. It is titled, “The Curse of Brahma.” 


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Friday, 11 December 2015

When Our Worlds Collide by Aniesha Brahma

About the Book
Akriti has led a pretty much sheltered life. 
Zayn has been shuttled from city to city when he was growing up. 
She is comfortable watching her life from the sidelines. 
He wants to feel rooted to a place he can call ‘home’. 
They meet each other quite by chance. 
And both seize the chance to be someone they both need in their lives: 
For Zayn, it’s a 'Partner-In-Crime'. 
For Akriti, someone who just knows how to be there for her… 
When their worlds collide, 
It is not what either of them expected it to be. 
Zayn has a steady girlfriend. And Akriti has a crush on him. 
What happens when these two become friends? 
The biggest adventure of their lives? Or the road to heartbreak? 
What happens when two completely different people collide? 
Do they become friends? Or, is their friendship doomed from the start? 
When Our Worlds Collide' is the story of two twenty-three-year olds, Who are finally growing up and finding their feet in the world. 
A tale of friendship and love, crushes and betrayals, messes and second chances, Marriage and divorce… and the elusive happily ever after! 

Book Links

Character Interview: Akriti and Zayn

Tell us what When Our Worlds Collide is about?

Zayn: It’s about how I am the hot stud and this writer here falls head over heels in love with me.
Akriti: Grrr. Not at all. It is about a twenty three year old girl who is afraid to let anyone into her world. And then she meets  guy who forces her out of her shell…

What is the one thing that you love about yourselves?

Zayn: That I am smokin’ hot? No, jokes apart. I like how Zayn feels rootless because he was never allowed to settle down anywhere. I think a lot of children who have parents with transferable jobs would relate to that.
Akriti: I like the fact Akriti just pretends to be lost. She basically does not let anyone close to her because she knows the scars can be seen up close! She is so afraid of getting her heart broken, she plays it safe all the time.

What is your favorite book?

Akriti: It is hard to choose just one. I love reading.
Zayn: The Room on the Roof by Ruskin Bond.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Akriti: Being a success, I guess.
Zayn: Settled.

Do you think we would read more about Akriti and Zayn’s adventures?

Akriti: More like misadventures. I am not too sure about that.
Zayn: I doubt we’d make it to another novel or novella. But, we just might be featured in short stories. Just keep a lookout for it!

About the Author

Aniesha Brahma knew she wanted to be a writer since she was six years old. She was schooled in Dolna Day School and went on to pursue B.A., M.A., and M.Phil in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur Univeristy. She currently lives in Kolkata, with her family and five pet cats. The Secret Proposal was her debut novel, followed by The Guitar Girl. She was a contributing author with her story The Difference, in the anthology: Voices, Old & New. When Our Worlds Collide is her third work of fiction, and first novella.

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Prize 1: One really Lucky Indian Resident can win a Handmade Book Jacket made by Diptee Raut of DIP & DIY

As Diptee says, its ideal to ~ "Keep your books cozy and warm and away from prying eyes with this book cover. A classy way to carry your book to your favourite coffee shop/library/park for a quiet read."

Prize 2: One really Lucky Indian Resident can win a  Surprise gift from the Author 

Lets keep you guessing ;) Rest assured, it is going to be something pretty!

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Monday, 7 December 2015

Interview with Falguni Kothari

★.•**•.★★.•**•.★ The Age of Kali Book Tour ★.•**•.★ ★.•**•.★

About the Book

Twisted myths. Discretion advised. 

Fight fate, or succumb to destiny?

In the dark Age of Kali, the Soul Warrior alone stands guard over the Human Realm, protecting its denizens from evil-willed asuras or demons. When a trick of fate appoints him guru to a motley crew of godlings, he agrees to train them as demon hunters against his better judgment. Suddenly, Lord Karna is not only battling the usual asuras with sinister agendas, but also rebellious students and a fault-ridden past.

Spanning the cosmic realms of mythic India, here is a tale of a band of supernatural warriors who come together over a singular purpose: the salvation of Karna’s secret child.

Book Links

An Interview with Falguni Kothari

When did you decide to become a writer?
It wasn’t a conscious decision, per se. I fell into writing quite by accident when my mother insisted I “do something with my life” beside “be a homemaker.” In other words, she wanted me to stop hiding behind my children and grow up. In a quirk of fate that I now attribute to my Writer Destiny, I actually listened to my mother and searched for some short online classes I could take to finish my degree. (Yup, I am quite degree-less, even now.) While searching for classes, I stumbled on to the “Romance Writing Secrets” class, and it absolutely was as much fun to take as it sounds. I got addicted to writing and creating words in that class. Then, I took a couple of classes on grammar and novel structure, and long story short, I had a full manuscript on the laptop within a year. A manuscript that my friend read, and encouraged me to publish. I was actually shocked when I got an offer for publication, as until then I hadn’t really thought I could manage or have a writing career. It still shocks me sometimes, but I am far more confident of my story-telling mojo now than I was in 2009. So, yeah, I didn’t really decide to become a writer. I just became one.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I want many, many readers to read my stories and love them. I want to write many, many stories to keep my readers busy.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
My main character, Karna, is the tragic hero from the Indian epic, the Mahabharata. I have tried to stay true to his character of legend—in that he doesn’t fit in with the Celestials (is almost an outcaste) and hates his birth family; he is a warrior first and foremost; that he loses his temper at the drop of a hat; he’s generous; and mostly invincible. In Soul Warrior, he’s special because he alone has stood guard over the Human Realm since the start of the Age of Kali. He has special solar powers that he wields against the asuras or demons. He works for Yama, the God of Death, and brings the bad demon (red) souls to the Hell Realm for their comeuppance. He also cannot seem to help be snarky to the Gods, and invariably gets punished for his insouciance. The most special thing about Karna is his generosity, his capacity to forgive and to love.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I write in the middle of the night in absolute darkness and silence.

Where do the ideas come from?
From my head? Seriously, they come from anywhere. I’m at the stage in my career where I’m inspired by camel poop.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I do both, depending on the type of book I’m writing. With my contemporary romances and women’s fiction I let the idea or character take over the story. But with Soul Warrior, which is mythic fantasy, and TMCRA (my current WIP) which is romantic suspense, I had to plot because I had a specific pattern the story needed to follow.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Sit down and write. Even garbage writing is better than no writing. Garbage writing can turn into a decent enough paragraph with consistent editing. If you don’t feel like writing, speak to yourself. Talk it out with a friend. Talk to yourself in the mirror. Somewhere, you’ll unlock the block. Just don’t give up.

What can we expect from the series?
More madcap adventures. The next book will take us into the land of pisachas or blood-drinking, soul-sucking demons. And into the story of Bhim and Draupadi’s child.

Thanks for having me on your blog!

Read an Excerpt


The Himalayan Mountains.

Five thousand years ago.

Absolute darkness shrouded the Human Realm, and had for three days and three nights. Some believed the occurrence was prophetic, like the prolonged amavasya or new moon night that had heralded the Great Kuru War two thousand years ago. The war had given birth to the dark Age of Kali, the age of asura. In contrast, hope was ripe that this event would trigger the Age of Light. But the Bard wasn’t here to succumb to superstition. 

The first day without the sun’s light had spread confusion and chaos across the realm. The second day had brought desperation in the breasts of humans and fear in the belly of Celestials. The third day—today—was a feast for the asuras. Death lay everywhere. 

The human world burned without its sun. How soon before the Heavens went up in flames?

The Bard’s troubled eyes reread the last line. Then he deliberately scratched it off, lifting his long, pointed talon from the parchment made of dry palm leaf. With a sigh, he rested his aching hand on his trembling thigh. He would spare a moment to ease his body, and his mind from the strain of observation and due recordkeeping. If he didn’t, he’d forget his duty as Witness of the Cosmos, and begin to question fate. 

Despite the fire that crackled close to his right knee, and the feathered form of his upper body, he was cold. An icy wind had settled around the Pinnacle of Pinnacles, where he sat cross-legged on a seat made of rock and snow. He’d chosen this perch because it gave him an impartial view of the events happening in the world. He was the Bard, entrusted with keeping the Canons of the Age of Kali, just as the Soul Warrior was entrusted with keeping the Human Realm safe from asuras. Would they both fail in their duty today?

The Bard shook off the heavy despair the darkness had brought into the world. He mustn’t judge. He shouldn’t question. He would sharpen the talon on his forefinger, dip it into the vessel of ink kept warm by the fire, and write this tale. That was all he could do. Be the witness to history.

So he raised his feathered hand and began to write again while his eyes, sparked with power, knowledge and magic, saw clearly events unfolding from great distances. A thousand kilometers to his right, Indra, the God of War and Thunder, fought the Dragon. Indra did not fare well. But that didn’t concern the Bard as much as the clash between the Soul Warrior and the Stone Demon. Over and over, his eagle eyes were drawn to the duel taking place in the heart of the world, not only because it was a magnificent battle to behold, for it was, but because its outcome would decide mankind’s destiny.

The Soul Warrior was more than a great warrior. Karna was a great soul. Fair, honorable, brave and resilient, he was the perfect protector of the Human Realm. Of course, there were other reasons he’d been chosen to fill the office of Soul Warrior—there always were when Gods and demons were involved. But Karna’s existence was a testament to righteous action and if anyone could bring back the day, it would be him. 

But how did one vanquish stone, the Bard wondered?

Avarice and cruelty, two nefarious desires, had made Vrtra and Vala attack the Human Realm. Three days ago the Dragon had swallowed the Seven Rivers in the north, and the Stone Demon had imprisoned the Sun God, his daughter, and all the cattle of the region in his cave.

The Bard paused his writing as a thin vein of lightning winked across the skies, but without the accompanying roar. Indra’s strength waned. His thunderbolt hadn’t left Vrtra screaming in pain this time. The Bard spared a moment’s attention on the duel, just enough to note that the Maruts, the Celestial Storm-gods, waited in the clouds to rescue their god-king in case of a calamity. Indra would survive even in defeat. Of that, the Bard was sure.

But Karna had no one at his back. His might and god-powers had depleted without the sun’s healing warmth and light. His divine astras, weapons, had not slowed the Stone Demon down, at all. Only the conviction that he could not fail his godsire, his sister, and the innocents under his protection drove him now. His birth family had once abandoned him to his fate, but he would not abandon them to theirs—such was the greatness of Karna.

The Bard crossed out the last observation. No questions. No judgment. No praise, either. The canons would be free of all emotion. He wasn’t here to embellish history or glorify the history-makers, as some bards were wont to do. 

It wasn’t embellishment to write that the foothills of Cedi were drenched in the Soul Warrior’s blood. Or observe the gushing wounds on his body, despite his armor, that would make the hardiest of warriors bellow in agony, but not him. It wasn’t embellishment to write that the Heavens were empty for the Celestials had come to Earth to watch the battle, firelight cupped in their palms to light the warrior’s way. 

The Naga, the Serpent People, also looked on, hissing from the mouth of the portal that led to their underground realm beneath the hills. The Serpent King will not choose a side. Vrtra and Vala were half Naga, after all. All across the Human Realm, demons roamed free, taking advantage of the darkness and preying on human flesh and human souls. It was a terrible moment in history. The asuras had the upper hand in the eponymous age of Demon Kali.

Vala did not have arms and half a leg, but still he came at Karna. He had an ace up his sleeve. There were plenty of creatures about, an entire mountain close at hand. He began to chant the spell of soul transference. It was the darkest of all magic, the possession of another’s soul. Soon, he would be whole again and stronger than before.

Battered and bleeding, the Soul Warrior veered away from the Stone Demon. He leapt over boulders and charred vegetation. The onlookers called him a coward. Had he forfeit the duel? Has he forsaken mankind? 

Karna dove for Manav-astra, the spear of mankind, he’d thrown aside yesterday after his bow, Vijaya, had shattered under repeated use. In one smooth motion, he rolled, picked up the astra, coming up in the spear-thrower’s stretch. His tattered lower garment billowed about him as a gust of wind shot through the air. His muscled torso glistened with blood and sweat, tightened as he pulled the arm holding the spear back. 

He meant to throw Manav-astra at Vala. A futile attempt, to be sure? As long as Vala was made of stone, broken or not, his body was impregnable. Karna should have waited for Vala to transfer his soul to an onlooker. Then Karna should have vanquished the possessed creature. 

Taunting laughter reverberated through the foothills of Cedi. Vala had reached the same conclusion. The Celestials looked at each other in angry silence, unable to interfere. A dwanda-yuddha duel was fought between two opponents of equal size and strength alone. The humans hadn’t stopped screaming in three days, the din simply background noise now. 

The Bard scribbled the observations onto the parchment in no particular order. He wished he was a painter, for surely this was a picture worth a thousand words.

The demon hobbled toward the warrior, who stood still as stone with his arm drawn taught behind him. Then finally, with a roaring chant the Soul Warrior shifted his weight from his back leg to his front and let fly Manav-astra at the Stone Demon with all his remaining might. 

Karna didn’t wait to see the ramifications of his action. And there were plenty to come. He ran into the mountain cave to free Vala’s hostages. Within moments the rock face rent in half, and bright streams of light speared through the terrible darkness. A new day had dawned on the Human Realm after three days of perpetual night.

The sun’s power was too bright, too full of hope. Yet, the Bard looked on pensively, wondering if the Soul Warrior knew this wasn’t a victory. It was merely a reprieve.

About the Author

Falguni Kothari is a New York-based South Asian author and an amateur Latin and Ballroom dance silver medalist with a semi-professional background in Indian Classical dance. She’s published in India in contemporary romance with global e-book availability; Bootie and the Beast (Harlequin Mills and Boon) and It’s Your Move, Wordfreak! (Rupa & Co.), and launches a mythic fantasy series with Soul Warrior (The Age of Kali, #1)

I’m embarrassed to admit how many social media accounts I own :

Website * BlogTwitter * Facebook * Goodreads * Pinterest


One $10 Amazon gift card and 5 Sun Pendants. Open Internationally!

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Monday, 30 November 2015

Normail Days #62

Beyond The Horizon

Every time I leave home, every single time since the day I joined here in gulf, the industry which drives the world politics, every single time it breaks my heart and I yearn to stay back, leave everything and never go away from my home but when I reach here and take a look from chopper across the skies; everything, every distance, every feeling about being away from home is worth it.

The only thought plays in my mind is awe and a silent thank you to the lord almighty up there who gave me this opportunity to witness this magic. Of course I think of you too. I always think of you whenever I witness something like this, this pure, this divine. I think of our time together with a smile, with a hope that no matter what we have been tangled in each other life for forever. For most of the ppl this term has no meaning just mere words, but for us, for us it is a promise which universe made. Deep in my heart I know we will be together, in another life too, in another realm. May be we are living happily somewhere in this infinite universe. Loving each other infinitely like we still do but being closer, very very close.

Trace my name on your palm and I'll say your name like prayer when I'll see the sun rising across this horizon and I'll hope that beyond this limit and past all these limits there is a limitless place for us, our own galaxy where we live, together, never leaving each other, there is no job, no need for money, just you and I and plants and animals, all species along with dinosaurs and dodo and all those whom we have killed. Are you afraid of all these wild animals my love but the wildest is living with you. I'm that animal. Sorry couldn't resist.

But on a serious note, I'm dreaming. Come dream with me.

Across The Night

(To be Contd..)

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Guest Post - Plot develops characters or Characters develop Plot? by Linze Brandon

*** BOOK  TOUR ***

It was time for the Lords of the High Council to step in when the Grandmaster of Kryane is accused of murdering his own people. They had little choice but to prevent the collapse of the whole magicians order, so they sent Michael to investigate the allegations.

The people of the desert planet were an enigma, but none more than Andesine, the healer assigned to assist Michael. Why did she report the Grandmaster? Was she involved, or was there something more sinister going on?

The more people they interrogated the more they suspected that nothing was as it seemed. Not the murders, nor the Grandmasters' motive as everyone thought.

Unable to resist the growing attraction between them, Michael and Andesine learn that they had to trust each other with their own secrets, and risking any future they might have.

Time and again the High Lords had to step in to prevent chaos on Kryane, but time was running out for Michael and Andesine. They had to get a new Grandmaster in place before the Kryane Order collapsed completely. And they had to find the who the true culprit was.

Fortunate to escape an attack from this monster once, they were risking the lives of many others in the process. Before the High Lords could formulate a plan, Michael and Andesine were captured, leaving the High Lords helpless to prevent it.

Kidnapped and imprisoned, Andesine was confronted with the realisation that if they were to survive their ordeal, it was up to her and her long suppressed powers. But as a healer she saved lives, would she be able to destroy the monster before he forces her to unleash her power to destroy the future of mankind?

Plot drives the characters or characters drive the plot?

There are a lot of arguments for and against the character driven plot, and all of these have their own merits. As a pantser, my characters and the story are interwoven with the exception that I don't want to know what the outcome of the story will be. As I have been writing for a while now, fifteen years to be exact, I have learned that being a true pantser can be waste of time. The most valuable lesson I have learned is that doing some planning is valuable even to a pantser.
Before I start to write a novel, I do character sketches for all my main characters. Not only their physical characteristics, likes and dislikes, but the important things I need for the story: what motivates them. Why they are reticent around strangers. Or why a guy decided not get involved in a serious relationship again. Or why the villain was driven to kill the Dragon Master in Keeper of the Dragon Sword.
Without conflict in a story, there is no story. So I need to know what will motivate my characters to do something, what will drive their choices and how I can use that to create the conflict in the story.
Setting is also a character and in my fantasy romance series it is essential to understand the setting and how it can contribute to the tension in the story.
In Michael's Mystery, the story takes place on Kryane, a desert planet. That in itself creates all kinds of opportunities for tension. People are dependent on water and in a desert I used that in a few scenes to develop the relationship between my main characters.
How the plot is driven by the characters depends on the genre. In a contemporary romance novel, the characters and their blooming relationship is the plot. In a murder mystery, it is the detective's desire for justice that drives the plot.
For mixed genre stories, the author can be more creative in determining the drive of the story, but characters and their motivation should always be a primary concern. Readers to cheer for the hero, despise the villain, or be kept in suspense as to the outcome of the choices the characters make.
Characters that face hard choices, and make decisions that may or may not have a good outcome, draw readers into the story to keep on reading to find out if they will triumph over adversity. Not all books have happy endings, but a reader wants to be satisfied with the ending. He or she wants to think that, 'yes, it was a good ending'.
There are only so many plot lines, and all of them have been done many times over. Coming up with a unique plot is not impossible, but readers don't relate to plot lines, they relate to the issues characters face.
True pantsers that capture the essence of good storytelling, interesting characters and intriguing plots are rare beasts indeed. The rest of us have to put in the hard work to make it happen.
The biggest argument against pantsing in favour of planning is the amount of editing required on the first draft. In my experience, that has proven to be true. It is one of the reasons for having well-developed characters before I even start to write. I may not know what their choices will be in every scene, but I know that their decisions will not be out of character.

About the Author:
Teaching herself to read before she went to school, it was the start of her life long love affair with books. Trained as an engineer, Linzé has worked as an export consultant and is presently a project manager. Although she still loves to read, she also enjoys counted stitch embroidery, archery, tai chi, fly fishing, painting, her husband's medal winning photographs and watching Manchester United play.

She counts both novels and short stories to her publishing credit. Her fourth novel, Waiting for Adrian, is planned for publication early in 2016. Her story, The Vernal Equinox, was a finalist in a sci-fi flash-fiction competition in 2015.

Linzé Brandon lives in Pretoria, South Africa, with her engineer husband and German Shepherds who are convinced that the world revolves only around them.

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Saturday, 28 November 2015

Guest Post - Plot develops characters or Characters develop Plot? by Madhu Vajpayee

Book Blurb:

Story of a girl Meera, who is unwittingly drawn into a conflict from where she finds it difficult to emerge unscathed. It's her journey from being a simple, medical graduate belonging to a middle class family to the uncharted territories of corruption and caste based politics. Her path is crossed by the two men, both compelling yet completely contrasting characters, who are forever going to change her life. If it is Aman who can challenge her ideals and defy her resolves, and makes her the person she finally becomes, it is Abhay's sublime love which enables her to go through the vicissitudes of life. It's also the story of her loss as well as triumph against her own demons to find her true self.

Buy a Copy from Amazon

Plot develops characters or Characters develop Plot?

It’s a difficult question indeed. As far as I am concerned, both the statements are true depending on your thoughts and imaginations. Most of the time, I start with a well-developed plot where  I have the fair idea of the story line, any major twist and turns as well as the ending. Sometimes, to the extent that I have already pictured the last scene, line or the dialogue in my mind. And depending on the plot and the central theme, I develop my characters. I being the creator here, try to make characters think, feel or act in the way my plot demands them to. In a way, characters are synced with the story line. Every word they speak or thought they think mostly echoes the plot in some way. In fact, characters after the initial building up phase, start flowing with the story line without much effort on my part. 
However, at times I have experienced that characters acquire life of their own. They demand their place and direct me to follow them instead of me directing them. It’s like creating a robot who follows the fed program but suddenly it goes in auto mode and no longer follow your directions. And eventually you are forced to follow them which sometimes results in subtle changes and alternations in the plot. To be honest, I truly enjoy those moments when character asks me to follow their heart and mind. It’s a most beautiful experience when your creation comes to life.

To conclude, I would say that either way, writer’s unlimited imagination can weave a magic that doesn’t need to be confined by any logic.

About the Author:
Dr.Madhu Vajpayee- the writer was born somewhere in those hospital corridors where she has spent the last two decades of her life. Witnessing life at such close quarters pushed her to capture its enigma in her words and slowly it became her passion. After writing several scientific papers and chapters in books, this book is her first step in literary world.  
Having done her graduation, MBBS from King Georges Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow she went ahead to pursue her post-graduation, MD from AIIMS, New Delhi. She was a consultant at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi having been associated with management of patients living with HIV/AIDS. She is now settled in Melbourne, Australia with her family, where she is devoting most of her time to writing, the passion that she couldn’t pursue earlier because of the demands of medical profession and commitment it requires.
When not creating stories, Madhu enjoys reading and travelling.

Reviews for the Book:

It was a perfect book and can motivate one. ~ Nidhi Author on Goodreads

Wonder full book.Clearly highlights the current problems faced in India as a result of reservation! ~ Nikhil Dave on Goodreads

It is one of the amazing fiction I have read in the near past. Highly recommended. Cocktail of Corruption, politics and love. ~ Akshay_Tripathi on Amazon

What Madhu does well with this story is to highlight many factors that need change. She brings out facets like reservation. She talks about the more rigid mindset of an Indian family ~ Vinay Leo @ Booworm's Musings

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Thursday, 19 November 2015

Interview - F.T.Camargo

About the Book:

Shanti and the Magic Mandala is an adventure in which fantasy and reality are mingled. The book tells the story of six teenagers, from different religious and cultural origins and different parts of the world, who are mystically recruited to form two groups - one in the Northern Hemisphere, and one in the Southern. They eventually gather in Peru, and through a single alliance, begin a frantic chase for the sacred object that can stop the black magician's final plan.

Interview with the Author:

When did you decide to become a writer?
I have always had the dream of being a writer.
I had been asking for a new goal in my life for more than seven years through my meditation and spiritual practices. One day I had an insight to write a book in which I could express myself and also share my experiences…
Since I was a child, I liked very much to read stories, like fantasy stories, also adventure books and I was a fan of the cartoon Tintin, the French adventurer boy, fan of Julius Verne, and also mysteries and thrillers like Agata Christie. Bringing all these memories to these days, I wished to write for young readers, writing an interesting book, like an adventure book, a fantasy book, and which could also bring some important things, such as spiritual aspects, compassion, human rights, animal protection, and all these things.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I would like to keep writing Shanti as a series, always in different locations, great adventures, showing different cultures and unique landscapes, aiming to inspire tolerance, compassion and freedom among the readers.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Shanti is a very sensitive girl who practices yoga and meditation and has the gift of speaking to animals.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I prefer to write after my spiritual practices at the end of the day, when I’m more inspired for that.

Where do the ideas come from?
I think inspiration and creativity (creaitívit) are not rational processes… They are something that we can reach once we are connected to a higher level of consciousness. I usually became more creative (crieitive) after my spiritual and meditation practices. They also come from my travel experiences, esoteric and spiritual studies.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I have a kind of film in my mind and and I start writing what I had seen in my inspirations.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Yoga and meditation.

What can we expect from the series?
Always multicultural adventures with mystical approach in which fantasy and reality mingle.

Read an Excerpt:

Shanti was the first to smell the smoke. She paused in her frantic packing. “Do you smell something burning?”

“Yes, I do,” Lelê said, worried.

It was getting noticeably hotter in the room. “Look, there’s smoke coming in under the door!” Antônio cried. Black smoke was slowly seeping beneath the door and into the room. Lelê ran to the window.

“The door won’t open,” Shanti said, struggling with the lock.

“Neither will the window.” Lelê was close to tears.

“Let me try, Shanti.” Antônio grasped the doorknob, applying his strength to it. Even as he fought with the lock, the smoke and the heat were rising.”

“They did it. We're stuck in here,” Helena said, coughing.

Antônio hammered on the wall. “Nasir! Itai! Tadao! Help us!”

“They want to kill us,” Lelê cried, shaking with fear.

Looking intently at Helena, her voice ringing with determination, Shanti declared, “But we’re not going to let them succeed!”

“Get away from the door,” Antônio said, kicking at it.

Hearing Antônio's call for help, Nasir and Itai had rushed to the door, only to find it locked. Tadao tried the window. “It won’t open,” he said, fearful. “The window's locked.”

“We can’t get out. What’s happening?” Nasir said, with an edge of panic.

“It’s black magic,” Itai said, trying to help Nasir break down the door.

Just then, an image of the book came into his mind. He ran over to his backpack, still on top of his bed and upended it shaking everything out.

Suddenly there was a loud noise, like an explosion — the door swung open. Flames and gouts of heavy, black smoke poured into the room. The whole hallway was on fire.

Tadao pushed at the window again, but it defied his efforts to open it.

Itai reached for his book. It was illuminated once again. He stood up and held the book with both hands, opening it. A bright light shone forth from the page it had opened on and he saw another name, formed with three Hebrew letters. Seitel, another of the 72 names of God. Itai knew that the Angel Seitel was able to create a protective shield. He closed his eyes, forming an urgent prayer, reaching out to connect with the angel, shutting out the mayhem around him for a few moments. Opening his eyes he gazed at the three letters from right to left for a few more precious seconds. Then he closed the book, replaced everything else in the backpack and hoisted it on his back. He picked up the book, holding it in his right hand. “Grab your backpacks and follow me.”

Nasir stared at him with an expression that clearly showed concern for his sanity “Itai?”

“Follow me,” Itai repeated with certainty.

“What? What do you mean?” Tadao almost shouted.

Nasir took his backpack and positioned himself behind Itai. “May Allah protect us!”

Watching Nasir, Tadao did the same. Itai took the closed book in both hands, pointing it towards the fire, as they approached the door. The book emitted an increasingly intense light. Gradually, a large shield began to form, surrounding the three boys.

“Wow! It's a light vehicle, a merkaba!” Nasir said, reverently, his gaze locked on the intense white light of the forming shield.

“Incredible!” Tadao said, forming his own silent prayer, Thank you, Lord Buddha.

Steadfastly Itai moved towards the door now engulfed by large flames. He advanced out of the room, into the hallway, the light shield in front of him, and as he moved, he created a clear path, the shield pushing away the flames, heat and smoke. He stopped in front of Shanti’s bedroom door. The wood was charred and blackened and the ancient lock had popped free, leaving the door swinging brokenly. Their friends had crowded at the back of the room, near the window, trying to get away from the thick, choking smoke. “Grab your backpacks! Get behind Nasir and Tadao!” Itai shouted.

“We’re coming!” Antônio said, grabbing his backpack and walking swiftly towards the door.

Lord Ganesha, please open those paths, Shanti prayed, putting all of her faith into the prayer.

Within moments, the three were in place. The light shield began to grow sideways, eventually forming a large cube of light, protecting all of them. They crossed the hall, safe from the flames. As they went down the stairs, they heard the roof collapsing behind them. The reception area had been completely destroyed by fire, but again they passed through the devastation completely shielded from the heat and flames. They reached the door leading to the outside. Itai wasted no time in pulling it open and they poured out of the burning building.

As soon as the last one of them stepped onto the street, the old pension began to collapse, turning into a huge bonfire.

About the Author:
F. T. Camargo is an Italian Brazilian living in Sao Paulo, Brazil. An award winning architect and author, he also studied Arts and Media and has a post degree in Economics and MBA in e-commerce. He is a vegetarian because of his love for all animals and has been deeply involved in causes for their protection and freedom. He is a world traveler adventurer, outdoor sports lover, speaks 4 languages and has published a travel book “Rio, Maravilha!”

For many years he has been practicing yoga and meditation and studying the Kabbalah. His exploration of spiritual teachings motivated a commitment to self-development which in turn created a new path and goal in life. Shanti and the Magic Mandala was born from his inner journey.

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Awards & Recognition for the Book:
- Winner of 2014 London Book Festival in the category “Young Adult”.

- 2014 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards: Bronze Medal at “Young Adult Fiction – Spirituality” category

- 2014 New England Book Festival in Boston:  Honorable Mention in the category “Young Adult”.

- Winner of 2015 Paris Book Festival in the category “Young Adult”.

- Winner of 2015 International Book Awards in the category “Fiction / Young Adult”.

- Winner of 2015 New York Book Festival in the category “Young Adult”.

- 2015 Los Angeles Book Festival – Runner-up in the category “Young Adult”.

- 2015 San Francisco Book Festival – Runner-up in the category “Young Adult”.

- 2015 DIY Book Festival in Los Angeles: Honorable Mention in the category “Young Adult”.

Check out the Cover Reveal Event

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Temperance by Chrissie Parker

About the Book:

Gabriel is weary, hunting for a murderer.

Patience is adrift, her life a complete lie.

Nate is scared, hiding from his worst fears.

Juliet is frantic, her time is running out.

As four fragile lives collide, the truth is finally revealed.

And betrayal and death become inevitable.

Book Links:
GoodreadsAmazon KDP * Amazon Paperback * Barnes & Noble * KoboiTunes

Read an Excerpt: 

            Lake Tranquil was vast. So much so that Patience couldn’t see where it ended or began.  Despite its size, it was deserted. She was the only human in sight and she loved the thought of being so alone, immersed in the beauty of nature.  An occasional bird flitted in and out of the trees, or swooped down to land at the water’s edge.  In the distance, a rabbit ran through the trees, its tail bobbed, flashing white as it ran for cover.
Trees lined craggy mountains that surrounded the lake.  They were thick, green and tall, and reached to the shoreline; only a small wavering line of pebble-covered beach sat between the shimmering waters and the forest.  

It was heavenly. 

It wasn’t the first time Patience had been to Lake Tranquil.  Once, as a child, she had visited it with her mother and enjoyed a week of blissful freedom away from the chaos of life.  Now here, fleeting memories flooded back.  Swimming in the lake as her mother sat on the deck and read.
Running through the trees playing hide and seek, and sitting on the shore as the sun set.  Watching the stars appear overhead as her mother cooked fish over a smoky fire.  It was a time in her life that stuck in her mind, when her mother had been truly happy and content. 

It was why Patience was here. 

For her mother.To try to be closer to her, to try to understand her.To try to find some peace.

About the Author:
Chrissie lives in Devon, UK, with her husband and is a freelance Production Coordinator working in the TV, documentary and film industry.
Chrissie is also an Author.  Her thriller Integrate was released in October 2013 and her historical fiction Among the Olive Groves was released in July 2014.
Other written work includes factual articles for the Bristolian newspaper and guest articles for the charities Epilepsy Awareness Squad and Epilepsy Literary Heritage Foundation.  Chrissie has also written a book of short stories and poems, one of which was performed at the 100 poems by 100 women event at the Bath International Literary Festival in 2013.
Chrissie is passionate about Ancient History, Archaeology and Travel, and has completed two six-month Archaeology and Egyptology courses with Exeter University.   She is learning to play the Ukulele and likes to read, collect books, listen to music. To find out more about Chrissie visit her WEBSITE

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