19 March, 2019

#BookReview :: And the Roses Bled by Mehak Daleh


What happens when the dead come back and can’t let go?
A catastrophe occurs in what was meant to be a fun-filled day for Nina and Alisha. Minutes ago, they were on the swings in the Rose Garden and now, Alisha is standing alone, while the help runs frantically. Her sister, Nina, has disappeared, never to be found again.
But the bond between them withstands even death. Nina’s ghost circles the house.
Is she here just to comfort her now lonely and distraught sister or is she pointing the way to unravel the mystery of her disappearance? the questions remain unanswered until six years later.
Another ghost is reaching out to Alisha from the beyond, a ghost only she can see and she has no idea why.
Battling the horror, the blood and the nightmares that follow her in this macabre turn of events, will Alisha be able to emerge from the whirlpool that the other side is trying to drown her in?


Goodreads * Amazon

It had been a while that I had read a horror story and as such I jumped at the chance to read and review this book.

It was supposed to be a simple fun filled day for sisters Alisha and Nina. Yet it turned into a black day for Alisha as Nina disappeared mysteriously only never to be found again. Escaping into the life of a boarding school was supposed to bring discipline and structure to Alisha’s upside down life, but when you lose a twin who was your partner-in-crime, how do you go back to ‘normal’? Are the eerie happenings and weird dreams that follow Alisha just her imagination and her defense mechanism at work or is there something more?

I quite enjoyed the plot which had an element of mystery about it and it was all the incentive that a mystery buff like me needed. What really happened to Nina? And would the perpetrator ever be caught? Questions like these kept me immersed in the story. Elements loss, of bond between twins or bond between sisters, friendships and the ever curious minds of kids was peppered through the plot. The plot was complimented by the narrative style and language used by the author. Simple yet dramatic just at the right moments. The details of the graveyard will stick with me for a while.

The author clearly had the plot layered well. However, I found the fact that not all the pieces of information provided were relevant. It bothered me a bit in the end as I was considering everything as relevant only to find out that they were not. If some of them had been used as red herrings, it would have been a different matter. They were just irrelevant and could easily have been excluded.

Overall, the book sure made for an interesting and entertaining read. I would recommend it to people who are spooked easily as it may be a bit too simple for hardcore horror lovers.


Review Copy received from Fingerprint Publishing


15 March, 2019

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost - If I could change three things in the world… by Mehak Daleh


*** Special Feature - March 2019 ***


About the Book:

What happens when the dead come back and can’t let go?

A catastrophe occurs in what was meant to be a fun-filled day for Nina and Alisha. Minutes ago, they were on the swings in the Rose Garden and now, Alisha is standing alone, while the help runs frantically. Her sister, Nina, has disappeared, never to be found again.
But the bond between them withstands even death. Nina’s ghost circles the house.
Is she here just to comfort her now lonely and distraught sister or is she pointing the way to unravel the mystery of her disappearance? the questions remain unanswered until six years later.
Another ghost is reaching out to Alisha from the beyond, a ghost only she can see and she has no idea why.
Battling the horror, the blood and the nightmares that follow her in this macabre turn of events, will Alisha be able to emerge from the whirlpool that the other side is trying to drown her in?



Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

If I could change three things in the world…

The first would definitely be terrorism for obvious reasons. That kind of mindless violence just should not exist. There can be no place for it in a sane world. So, if somehow I could change it, I would.

The second thing I would like to change is violence against children. This might be the second point, but to me it is as important as the first. Childhood is such a fragile state. Even the slightest imbalances introduced into a person’s childhood can ruin their life forever, and consequently the future of humanity itself. There are so many revolting crimes against children committed on an everyday basis. The papers are chock full of them, so much so, that it is difficult now to read a paper first thing in the morning without feeling utterly disturbed. So, this must change. Our children should be safe.

Finally, the third thing. If I could, I would make it mandatory for everyone to reserve one hour for reading. I would wish for reading to become an essential element of everyone’s lives, especially that of children.


About the Author:

Mehak Daleh lives and works out of Chandigarh. She started working on ‘Roses’ on a cold December day in 2012, giving in to an image of little girls walking to a graveyard which had been stuck in her head for months. This image became the centre around which the manuscript grew.
Mehak relishes dark folklore and mythology along with contemporary fiction. Her stories, born where the everyday meets the extraordinary, are usually set in the hills where she grew up, and where she developed a penchant for the mysterious and macabre.
And the Roses Bled is her debut novel, and she is currently working on her subsequent manuscripts.



Connect with the Author:
Twitter * Instagram


Giveaway:
Two lucky Indian Residents can win a paperback copy each of And the Roses Bled
a Rafflecopter giveaway

11 March, 2019

#BookBlitz :: WEST BEGG by Mari.Reiza

~ Book Blitz ~
WEST BEGG by Mari.Reiza
Humour / Satire

About the Book:
A hilarious yet dark novel on how power, and the lack of it, shapes people. 

Luca’s job is being a punch bag, a tea towel, a toilet bowl, to the undeniable and unbreakable king of egg power proud of averaging two hundred flights a year to visit chicken markets around the world. 

Anna moved to Catania to work for caper queen Madame Sicily, fulfilling varied tasks from picking up Céline swimwear before it hits the runways to recovering badly parked Lamborghinis. 
La Revolução dreams through buildings but builds parking spaces, when she’s not helping launder money for her boss’s dad’s dodgy charities. 
And finally, Carolina is out to conspire with Paquita who met their boss the German in a red lit booth, to understand why the man has to drain the passion out of everything. Their fates will inevitably collide. The question is, will their bosses get what they deserve? 

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon


The setting:
The headquarters of a poultry business in northern Italy. A family led cucunci-drinks company in Catania. A rail transport pressure-group based in Brussels. A bogus architectural project at a UNESCO World Heritage site in a heavenly island off the Americas. A doomed working village in a made-up dodgy country called Altania and a palatial villa, not too far from it, extravagant in all the wrong places, where it’ll all go BOOM!

Meet Luca
He works in poultry equipment for the most ruthless of the Macco brothers who’s not a scared chicken but a proud cockerel, a real paratrooper. ‘I want to eat them,’ Luca constantly listens to his boss shout about their competition, with eyes like a slot machine hitting the jackpot. He’s expected to nod. Also when his master complains of enemies de-compensating him, even if the man would have to be compensated for it to hold true; when he claims to love his wife effusively despite rumours he keeps a mistress ready at his office in Altania. And through Luca’s loyalty he remains but cannon fodder to his employer, expendable in the face of enemy fire. Constant long business trips leave him with colds from the plane’s air conditioning, and hangovers from the number of gin and tonics he drinks in order to stand hours in his tiny seat. And what of his plane fear? When he thinks of it he just takes another Valium. He has no choice as his own uncle refused him a job in his own company. After that he had told himself he would never come back to Italy, he would never return to his small town, would never work for a family business... Never say never.

Meet Anna
She sticks out like a sore thumb on her bike her red curls to the wind, racing through the streets of Catania running deviant errands for Madame Sicily, the queen of cucunci; her company deals in a special type of caper and hit it rolling with a refreshing carbonated drink a few years back. If Madame wants something she calls Anna and screams at her. And nothing ever starts or stops unless Madame wants it, then it does so very quickly. But something is going on in the company, something big: these are uncertain times. ‘Why am I here? Where am I heading?’ Anna is too busy to stop and think, even if admittedly it’s a fake busy, busy doing stupid things. ‘Why do I work for this mad woman?’ she asks herself. She had followed her husband to Sicily so he could fulfill his dream toying with Indian technology to produce electric cars at a disused Fiat plant outside Palermo, only for her to end on the opposite side of the island. At least, from the rooftop of her little terrace she can see the volcano.

Meet La Revolução
She’s a dreamer, dreams through buildings. For her, it’s all about people. She wants to make buildings that save people. She wants a new world of new buildings. Until she accepts work at a famous studio in Geneva, where her first project is two hundred and fifty garage units, in the underground of a luxury development by the lake. After a small amount of time she has given up. Then she reads about Queen Tinea Foundation; ‘Our yacht Live the Dream will anchor in Fernando for the next three years. We aim to preserve one of the most important eco-regions of our planet.’ She’s in. But when she arrives the boat is empty, the crew have oddly taken over the best hotel in the island which belongs to the father of one of the foundation partners. This is when she first meets Irajá, which means beehive, and Irajá baptizes her La Revolução, calling for a revolution.

Meet Carolina
She’s crying on Paquita’s shoulders, can’t face seeing him again and it’s only Monday. Paquita’s the one who really knows him. He’s a viking, with a raw face like a bad cut of meat, so colourless you would think he lives in a cave. German. Lives to work. ‘Ruthless on the outside but miserable in the inside,’ according to Paquita. Carolina’s his Communications Officer. Her job seemed interesting because it came at a vulnerable time, when she suddenly acquired a surprising number of black fillings in her mouth and ringings in her ears, when her girls were urging her to swap her Mazda, with moss growing on the windows, a thorough cover of dog hair on the seats and a floor of crisp packets. ‘I should have realized we would never get on, him and I,’ she knows now.


About the Author:

Mari.Reiza was born in Madrid in 1973. She studied at Oxford University and worked as an investment research writer and management consultant for twenty years in London, before becoming an indie fiction writer. Also by her, Inconceivable Tales, Death in Pisa, Sour Pricks, A Pack of Wolves, STUP, Mum, Watch Me Have Fun!, Marmotte’s Journey, West bEgg, PHYSICAL, Room 11, Triple Bagger, Opera and the Retreat, all available on Amazon.



Author Links:
Twitter * Instagram





08 March, 2019

#SpecialFeature :: Read an #Excerpt from And the Roses Bled by Mehak Daleh


*** Special Feature - March 2019 ***


About the Book:

What happens when the dead come back and can’t let go?

A catastrophe occurs in what was meant to be a fun-filled day for Nina and Alisha. Minutes ago, they were on the swings in the Rose Garden and now, Alisha is standing alone, while the help runs frantically. Her sister, Nina, has disappeared, never to be found again.
But the bond between them withstands even death. Nina’s ghost circles the house.
Is she here just to comfort her now lonely and distraught sister or is she pointing the way to unravel the mystery of her disappearance? the questions remain unanswered until six years later.
Another ghost is reaching out to Alisha from the beyond, a ghost only she can see and she has no idea why.
Battling the horror, the blood and the nightmares that follow her in this macabre turn of events, will Alisha be able to emerge from the whirlpool that the other side is trying to drown her in?



Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Read an Excerpt:

We went on like that for a few more minutes when I began to feel the colour of light change around me, as if I were watching everything through a sepia-tinted filter. I looked at the other three, but they were busy with their chatter. They didn’t seem to notice. Their voices were becoming distant, as if I was slowly entering some soundproofed area. The air began to get cold and the little hair on the back of my neck stood to attention. I swear I saw my breath fog the air around me. It was cold. I quietly looked around myself; nothing. As I walked a little away from my friends, their chitter-chatter became mute, unblocking my senses. I scanned the area around me again.

Then I saw it. I was now near the thicket of pines and chestnuts that made a rough boundary around the graveyard. The trees started approximately ten metres from where I stood. There, I saw a girl slowly come out from behind a tree trunk.

Her drenched dark hair was hanging limply around her tiny brown face—just like I had seen Nina’s. But this wasn’t Nina—not that I could clearly make out any features, but instinctively I knew it wasn’t her. She looked vaguely familiar, but she wasn’t my sister. That dark fluid was dripping from her hair onto her shoulders, one of which was at an odd angle, as if it was dislocated. I wondered if it was water or something else. I couldn’t make out.
Blood!” a whisper rose up in my mind like mist from a river.
It’s blood!
She wore a tattered blue school tunic that came up to her scraped knees. The flesh of those knees looked really raw. There were dark brown stains on what was left of the dress. A tear in the fabric showed a part of her thigh. A small chunk of flesh was missing from it. She wore only one grimy black shoe. She stared at me for what felt like eternity, and then took two steps forward and just stood there.

I watched her eyes change. Even from that distance, I saw it as if we were nose to nose. Her pupils expanded abnormally, eating away the brown irises and the white of the eye, till everything was black and hollow. I felt I could see into her brains, right to the back of her skull, through those freaky black holes. Only, there was no end to it, there was no back of the skull. What I saw in there can only be described as an endless, dimly lit corridor to nowhere, lined with doors inaccessible to me—doors that held her memories safe, locked up in their chambers to gather dust while everything else that was ‘her’ decayed. That passage went on and on and on, till the person walking through it went insane.

I was shivering; my flesh erupted in goosebumps. I had a strong feeling my bladder was going to let go. Thankfully, it held and the feeling passed. My classmates wouldn’t have let me live through it if that had happened.

Clap! Clap! Two sharp noises made me snap out of what most people would call a hallucination. It wasn’t that, I assure you. I tried to convince myself it was a waking dream, tried to reason that since I was particularly sensitive to death since a very early age, perhaps my overactive mind had conjured up things in tandem with what had become my nature. But I know better. I saw the girl.


About the Author:

Mehak Daleh lives and works out of Chandigarh. She started working on ‘Roses’ on a cold December day in 2012, giving in to an image of little girls walking to a graveyard which had been stuck in her head for months. This image became the centre around which the manuscript grew.
Mehak relishes dark folklore and mythology along with contemporary fiction. Her stories, born where the everyday meets the extraordinary, are usually set in the hills where she grew up, and where she developed a penchant for the mysterious and macabre.
And the Roses Bled is her debut novel, and she is currently working on her subsequent manuscripts.



Connect with the Author:
Twitter * Instagram


Giveaway:
Two lucky Indian Residents can win a paperback copy each of And the Roses Bled
a Rafflecopter giveaway

06 March, 2019

#BookReview :: The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm: Eragon (Tales from Alagaësia #1) by Christopher Paolini

A wanderer and a cursed child. Spells and magic. And dragons, of course.

Welcome back to the world of Alagaësia. It’s been a year since Eragon departed Alagaësia in search of the perfect home to train a new generation of Dragon Riders. Now he is struggling with an endless sea of tasks: constructing a vast dragonhold, wrangling with suppliers, guarding dragon eggs, and dealing with belligerent Urgals and haughty elves. Then a vision from the Eldunarí, unexpected visitors, and an exciting Urgal legend offer a much-needed distraction and a new perspective. This volume features three original stories set in Alagaësia, interspersed with scenes from Eragon’s own unfolding adventure. Included is an excerpt from the memoir of the unforgettable witch and fortune-teller Angela the herbalist . . . penned by Angela Paolini, the inspiration for the character, herself! Relish the incomparable imagination of Christopher Paolini in this thrilling new collection of stories based in the world of the Inheritance Cycle.


Goodreads * Amazon

Okay, don’t hate me… but I have not read The Inheritance Cycle series. I know! How can a fantasy aficionado not have read it? I have no explanation other than that it just hasn’t happened yet. I do plan to pick it up someday though. So, when I heard that this book can be read without having read the series, I decided to give it a go to get a taste of the world that The Inheritance Cycle is set in and also to get an idea of what to expect from the series when I start it.

The book is divided into three parts – The Fork, the Witch and the Worm.

The fork is the story of Murtagh and Essie, set in a small town. Eragon is now away from Alagaesia to find a new home for the dragon riders, but he misses his life and the action. So, the Eldunarí shows him Murtagh’s life and ‘adventures’ that serve as a lesson to not only little Essie but also for Eragon. The witch is the story of Angela and Elva. It is written by Angela Paolini, who apparently was the inspiration behind the character of the same name in Inheritance Cylce. For me this was a really interesting one as the story read like a memoir. I do not know how Christopher Paolini has sketched Angela’s character, but I did love reading Angela Paolini’s sketch of the character she inspired into life. The worm was also a very interesting read. It is the story of Ilgra, an Urgal and her long fight against worm of a dragon. 

All the three stories bring forth a lesson to be learnt by Eragon and maybe even by the readers. I absolutely loved Eragon, Murtagh and Angela. I may just pick up this sooner because of the character of Angela alone. She is a firecracker of a character and I hope she is the same in the series. I also loved the glimpses of the world setting I got through this book. It was indeed interesting and I found the Urgal species to be something I would like to know more about.

For those who are already fans of The Inheritance Cycle, this should be an interesting addition to the stories you already know. For those of you who are wondering whether or not to read the original series, give this book a chance before your make up your mind.

Review Copy received from Penguin Random House




04 March, 2019

#BookBlitz ~ Caro M, by Mari.Reiza

~ Book Blitz ~
Caro M, by Mari.Reiza
Psychological / Romance / Contemporary

About the Book:




Portraits of unyielding love. A woman, mostly alone in her world but for her dog, shares memories through letters to her old 'tesoro'; a wife trusts her sweetheart psychiatrist blindly through her divorce; a young girl lands a fairy tale wedding soon to turn into a nightmare her cousin yearns to fix. Immersive, witty, tender,

Caro M, explores the hurricane-like devastation love is capable of.







Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

The Setting
A circus of the grotesque doctor’s office on the Tuscan plain, where an unstable wife feeling a blade of hay in a world of snakes has been pill-fried for over a decade by her school friend become pretend life-ologist. A nearby coastal village, where an angered young woman narrates the recent sham marriage of her innocent cousin to a horny, wealthy ‘old’ man with a relaxed Peroni smile, who clearly plans to get away with anything. A balcony across the Eiffel tower inhabited by a mysterious smoking French lady in constant one-way correspondence with her ex-lover, in a large flat in a lovely historical house where someone else than her once made history.

Meet Elena
A woman ‘with issues’ to settle: physical, social, sexual – all types. Perhaps she’s scarred from living forever under the guidance of some fool: her father, her uncle and Zeno’s father, and then with Mimi, and in Zeno’s psych ward for years now, even if she swears she’s not the mad one despite sounding occasionally inconsistent or devious or both. But then there are plenty of people to blame for it. And there have forever been the pills, so large she can only swallow them down with gin. No wonder it’s unthinkable that she will ever make a single decision on her own!  Why did she marry Mimi? They all thought her sister was the prettiest, cleverest and most desirable one, and she was expected to settle for less. Her father probably pushed her to. But Mimi’s infidelity has given her carte blanche to push back. And Zeno will help her, because they’re made for each other; she’s almost a wife of sorts to him. Does he not believe her?

Meet Isa
She lives in Paris, worked in law but now looks after her dog. She also writes songs and has recently retaken smoking perhaps because she felt at some sort of crossroads; the ‘industry’ of her smoking her husband calls it, even if he’s often away in LA. She has come to resent him, for being a man who would squirm when handed a baby as if it were an octopus, even if this had never bothered her before, even if she knows she’s extremely lucky to have him in her pretty life; for being a man with smelly feet who doesn’t do passion, can’t assess jewellery, and whose best-ever present has been words he doesn’t believe in, engraved on a Zippo he hates: Il n’est rien de réel que le rêve et l’amour. They’ve for some time been two separate people. And when she meets Mimi she lets him lit up every space for her, embarking in a fool’s errand.

Meet Carmela
Her cousin looked beautiful in her wedding dress: a virginal bride, although she knew that she wasn’t a virgin. She did think Laura was marrying too young but hadn’t confronted her about it because she was herself recovering from heartbreak, and Laura may have mistaken her concern for jealousy. The truth was Carmela didn’t like Laura’s groom. For starters, he was over twenty years their senior! Yet, that day at the wedding they both looked marvellous and Carmela thought perhaps she had been right not to stop Laura embracing marriage like a magic portal. Until she saw her cry.

About the Author:


Mari.Reiza was born in Madrid in 1973. She studied at Oxford University and worked as an investment research writer and management consultant for twenty years in London, before becoming an indie fiction writer. Also by her, Inconceivable Tales, Death in Pisa, Sour Pricks, A Pack of Wolves, STUP, Mum, Watch Me Have Fun!, Marmotte’s Journey, West bEgg, PHYSICAL, Room 11, Triple Bagger, Opera and the Retreat, all available on Amazon.




Author Links:
Twitter * Instagram



02 March, 2019

Meeting Reshma Qureshi at ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, 2019


Reshma Qureshi: The Girl on Fire!


I have to admit that even though I hadn’t read Being Reshma when I found out that she would be attending JLF, I was excited and hoped to meet her in person. There were two reasons behind that. 

First, I have been following her story and respected her from what I knew. Second, my friends who had read the book had only good things to say about it.

So, when I saw her arrive at the Press Terrace, Diggi Palace, I gave up all courtesies and approached her. I just wanted to let her know that I admired her. To my surprise, I wasn’t stopped half way by her security and when she noticed me, she returned the smile that I had on my goofy face. Emboldened, I went ahead and shook her hands, told her what I wanted to and excused myself. After all, I did not want to badger her and give her a ‘stalker’ vibe.

This is also the one time my introvert nature came in handy. Instead of interacting with other people, I decided to ‘watch’ Reshma while we waited for our turn to officially interact with her. What I noticed then was later confirmed during our chat with her and Tania Singh, CEO of Make Love Not Scars NGO. Reshma Qureshi still has an air of innocence about her. 


The Power Behind The Fire 


She has endured a lot and has achieved a lot more since then, yet she doesn’t have that feeling of self-importance about her when she is interacting with people. And when she thinks that nobody is watching her, she is just a normal girl who slouches and twiddles her fingers. I found it highly endearing and very refreshing.

When I finally got a chance to sit down with Reshma Qureshi and Tania Singh, my one burning question was what kept her going through it all? The question has been asked and answered, I knew that, but I just had to hear it from her. 

Reshma Qureshi wasn’t ashamed to admit that she had considered committing suicide at the lowest point of her life. But she had support of her parents who kept reminding her that if she did not fight, it may very well happen to another girl. She had the support of Make Love And Not Scars to help realize that she was the victim and had every right to life and live a normal life. Eventually she came to realize that the best punishment for the perpetrators in her case would be for them to see her to live a good life and thrive in every way because that would be just the opposite of what they wanted/expected. 


"Jo logon ne mere saath kiya, yehi soch k kiya ki iski zindagi kharab ho jayegi... iska face kharab ho gaya, sab kuch gaya... yeh ab kya karegi? Ghar mein padhi rahegi, mar jayegi ya suicide karegi. Yehi soch k saath mujh pe attack kiya gaya thha.

Lekin nahi, mai zindagi mein aagey badh k dikhayungi."



An NGO That Supports Acid Attack Victims 

Make Love Not Scars is an Indian nonprofit organisation based in New Delhi. The organisation works with acid-attack survivors and was founded by Ria Sharma. It assists with the complete rehabilitation of acid attack survivors, including providing survivors with financial, legal and educational help


When asked what it feels like to be the face of change through Make Love Not Scars, Reshma said that it was her pleasure to be attached to an NGO that works so hard in helping the victims of acid attack. It is just an added advantage, she adds, that people around the world now knows who she is and that the name Reshma Qureshi stands for something. 

She has had the opportunity to meet and interact with so many people and as her experiences tell her to, she wishes to extend the scope of their work to include any women who need their help. From rape victims to victims of domestic abuse, Reshma said that each of the stories keep her awake at night and she hopes to be able to do more for all of them. 

For her, it is important that we women raise each other up and progress TOGETHER no matter who or what is trying pull us down and apart.



Reshma On Change

There are two changes that Reshma would like to see in our society on a priority basis. 

First, is that she wants women not to accept such violence as the norm. 

Over  decades and millennia, abuse towards women has been desensitized in society. “The thought that ‘this is normal and happens to everyone’ needs to change. Only then will women realize that they are victims and their rights are being violated.”

Second, she would like to see some judicial improvements in tackling such cases. There are not enough lawyers who take on such cases, and even when they do, they juggle a lot of cases. As a result, the perpetrators are out on the streets and free to commit another crime. Reshma hopes that the judicial system will improve and bring justice to the victims in a swift manner so that the same person cannot victimize anyone else.


Reshma As A Beacon of Hope 


Tania Singh, CEO of Make Love Not Scars, adds that it is a huge help to have Reshma Qureshi on-board as the face of the organisation. Not in monetary terms but in terms of the change that they are able to bring and in terms of the lives they are able to touch. 

Reshma, being an extrovert and outspoken personality, has done everything that they could ask of her. From doing interviews to making YouTube videos to walking the ramp to getting her face on covers, Reshma has been out there in the world showing people that acid attack victims need not shy away from the society. She is leading by example to prove it to other victims that it is not them who should run and hide because they have done nothing wrong. 



Having Reshma being the face has inspired a lot of other victims to open up and realize that they could have a normal life too. Her confidence truly inspires others.

The good news is that there are talks of Being Reshma being translated into Hindi, Marathi, and Malayalam. I particularly welcome this news and hope that it will be translated into many more regional languages as I want Reshma’s story to reach every nook and corner of this country to inspire and to bring hope to more and more people and then go global.

On 19th May 2014, a bunch of hooligans, poured acid on a 17-year-old girl. It was like she was on fire… and she was! Only the miscreants hoped for her to turn into ashes. 

Reshma Qureshi did not die. Nor did she give up. Instead she is stronger and not bitter for what she has had to endure. And best of all is that she has retained her innocence and is passionate about fighting for justice - for herself and for thousands of others.

She now burns brighter than ever; She is inspiring people and bringing hope to those who had none… She is spreading that fire!


Take a look at the Books:

On 19 May 2014, as seventeen-year-old Reshma Qureshi left home for the examination centre, wearing her sister’s niqab, everything happened in a flash. The men rushed towards her. Grabbed her. Tugged at her hair. Poured acid on her face. Soon she started to burn like a living corpse. The acid ate through her skin and aimed for her bones, but it could not quell the fire in her heart. It lifted Reshma from tragedy and suffering and propelled her to New York, where she made global headlines by becoming the first acid-attack survivor to walk the ramp at the New York Fashion Week.

Now an international anti-acid-sale activist, vlogger, model, and the face of Make Love Not Scars, Reshma tirelessly works towards empowering other acid-attack survivors like herself and has become a beacon of hope for millions.

Inspiring and life-affirming, Being Reshma is the extraordinary story of a young girl from the slums of Mumbai who overcame insurmountable odds in a world ruled by men and dared to change it.



A Delhi brat studying fashion design at Leeds College of Art decides to devote her final-year project to ‘women’s empowerment'. What begins as a one-off engagement with the lives of acid-attack survivors draws her back to India to shoot a documentary on their lives. Then, an effort to raise funds for one of the survivors catapults Ria Sharma into the corrosive, devastating world of acid attacks.

Today, she runs the award-winning NGO Make Love Not Scars, which works with survivors to raise funds. This is the story of how, over the years, Ria slowly learnt to find her groove as a campaigner and crusader as well as counter death threats, ageism and sexism. Her own story is closely woven with the stories of the many women who have helped her grow from a fickle girl into a woman of substance.

Peppered with humour and bubbling with wisdom, Make Love Not Scars is an unusual coming-of-age tale.


Special Thanks to Jaipur Literature Festival & Teamwork Arts for making this possible. 
 


01 March, 2019

#SpecialFeature :: Introducing Mehak Daleh, #Author of And the Roses Bled

Under "Special Feature" every month I feature a Special Author. 
During this month I put up 5 posts about the Author/Book, including Interview / Review / Excerpt / Guest Post / Author Bio / Fun Facts or whatever else we can come up with. Also on the first day of the month we will  launch the Giveaway contest along with the first post and will announce the winner on the last day of the month.
So be sure to check out my blog every 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th of every month for something new :)

*** Special Feature - March 2019 ***

About the Author:

Mehak Daleh started working on ‘Roses’ on a cold December day in 2012, giving in to an image of little girls walking to a graveyard which had been stuck in her head for months. This image became the centre around which the manuscript grew.

Her stories are born where the everyday meets the extraordinary, reminding us of how fragile ‘normal’ is. They are usually set in the hills where she grew up, and where she developed a penchant for the mysterious and macabre. Rising mists, winds swooshing though high pines and the echoing cries of birds in the hills feature heavily in her writing.

She is quite influenced by the works of Victorian and Edwardian ghost story writers such as M.R. James and Poe. Also, masters of the craft – Stephen King, Ruskin Bond and Dickens have impacted her writing immensely.

‘And the Roses Bled’ is her debut novel. She is currently working on her subsequent manuscripts. Mehak enjoys dark folklore and mythology just as much as contemporary fiction. When she isn’t reading or writing, she is probably watching a mystery/thriller or a period drama, or perhaps walking.
She once thought she was only a dog person, but a black cat taught her otherwise. She lives in Chandigarh with her folks, who, it seems, are worried that she might just be transforming into a bit of a couch potato. In her defence, she walks. A great deal (as mentioned above). Really.



Connect with the Author:
Twitter * Instagram

About the Book:

What happens when the dead come back and can’t let go?

A catastrophe occurs in what was meant to be a fun-filled day for Nina and Alisha. Minutes ago, they were on the swings in the Rose Garden and now, Alisha is standing alone, while the help runs frantically. Her sister, Nina, has disappeared, never to be found again.
But the bond between them withstands even death. Nina’s ghost circles the house.
Is she here just to comfort her now lonely and distraught sister or is she pointing the way to unravel the mystery of her disappearance? the questions remain unanswered until six years later.
Another ghost is reaching out to Alisha from the beyond, a ghost only she can see and she has no idea why.
Battling the horror, the blood and the nightmares that follow her in this macabre turn of events, will Alisha be able to emerge from the whirlpool that the other side is trying to drown her in?



Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon


Giveaway:
Two lucky Indian Residents can win a paperback copy each of And the Roses Bled
a Rafflecopter giveaway