31 March, 2015

#BookReview :: The Forbidden One by Zaarra Khader

Desire enchants! Irrespective of what that desire is for and no matter how correct or blatantly wrong it seems to the world around us - it leaves us stirred. The more we try to resist it, the more irresistible it becomes till there comes a moment when we actually have to take a call whether to draw lines or to cross those intimidating boundaries. The Forbidden One is for all those who believe that one can feel to be alive only when one takes that leap of faith to cross the barriers to your moment of truth. The Forbidden One is also for those who haven’t fulfilled their forbidden dream as yet and are on that cusp of time to take their chances.

The Forbidden One is a compilation of short stories - the chronicle of characters who, in some way or the other, are either excluded or restrained or tattooed ‘promiscuous’ by the society. Malicious and primitive in its ways, pushing such people on the periphery is bourgeois. Yet such people have a life of their own and as we go delve deeper into the lives of these characters we discover strengths, self-belief and even a sense of ease with which these characters go about their daily chores. Each of the ten tales here is set in the deep ocean of human emotions. Except that some of these emotions find their expressions in forms that are supposed to be suppressed as per the norms and inherited wisdom of the society.

In recent times, a lot of Anthologies are hitting the Indian Market. It offers a wide variety of stories with each flavour as distinct and unique as its author. Thanks to such Anthologies, I have recently developed a general liking towards short stories as opposed to the time when I would read short stories only if they were by O'Henry (who doesn't love his twists) and Jefferey Archer.

Zaarra Khader offers a collection of ten short stories in her book 'The Forbidden One'. Frankly the cover, put me off because I assumed that the stories would be about love and sexuality - the kind that have low quality but sell like hot samosas. But then I know better than to judge a book by its cover. I read the blurb and asked around and decided to give it a try and I am glad that I got over my initial impression of the book and picked it up eventually.

Zaarra Khader has brought together ten very different stories to the readers. Ofcourse the common theme among them is love, but just not one kind. Love between lovers, between friends, between mother and child and even between a devotee and God is captured beautifully through the pages. There is another common thread among the stories... In most of them the character have all reached out for their 'forbidden fruit'. It portrays the core of human behaviour when they are face with restrictions or the bad comes to worst. Overall, all the stories were high on emotions and the author has handled her narrative quite well. The language used is simple yet enticing though I must say I craved for more dialogues in the stories. Another thing that irked me was the fact that everytime the author used Hindi terms, there were explanation in bracket next to it. It made the experience of reading the book a bit repetative as I do understand both Hindi and English. Small notes at the end of the page or a glossary at the end of the book would have been better. Or as I prefer, not using regional language in an IWE book would have been best.

Overall, this book comes as a surprise to me as it delivered in quality. Also, this in no way seems like a debut work of the author. She is someone I will watch out for in the future and I hope you will check out this book in the meantime.

Review Copy received from the Author

Hong Kong Heat by Raven McAllan

Hong Kong Heat by +Raven McAllan 
Erotic Romance, Contemporary

Debra Scotburn never thought of herself as a cougar, until she fell in lust at first sight with a much younger man.

Daniel Van Meister, a trouble-shooter for the Simply Five Star Hotel chain doesn't do commitment, until the older, curvy, vivacious brunette robs him off his ability to control a certain body part.

Unable to keep their hands off each other, they embark on a passion-filled holiday fling.

Surely that is all it can ever be? Daniel's work takes him all around the world at a moment's notice, and Debra is on the last leg of her middle-aged-crisis induced gap year.

When misunderstandings tear them apart, can they both admit their love and find the trust needed to make this more than just a fling?

Available for early download via Totally Bound
Out on general release on eBook and Print: March 27th

(2 Excerpts. Pick one for your blog)
Excerpt 1 (PG 13)
"You're trespassing. You shouldn't be up here at night."
She stared up at him and grinned. The moon appeared from behind a cloud and his pulse jumped like a flea in a circus. It was her. His mystery lady.
“So I am, or should that be am not?” She swirled her arms and the moonlight caught the ripples and sent tiny moonbeams dancing over the surface of the pool. “Which means unless you’re the night watchman…?” Her voice trailed off mid sentence, on a querying note.
Braam shook his head.
“Then neither should you. So why don’t you join me? Or is jogging the only exercise you do?” She tilted her head to one side and swam in lazy circles around the island in the centre of the pool.
Does she know there’s innuendo in that statement?
“Come on, live dangerously. You know you shouldn’t swim alone at night.” She laughed. “So in actual fact, we’ll be helping each other.”
Why not? Braam pushed the sides of his trousers apart and kicked them off his legs with scant care to creases. The suit needed to go to the cleaners anyway. An over anxious sous chef had made sure of that when Braam had checked the buffet earlier.
He left his boxers on—after all there was such a thing as over-familiarity—and dived in.
The water closed over his head and he pushed to the surface. It was like swimming in a Jacuzzi without the bubbles. The warmth surrounded him as he swam towards the woman leaning against the edge of the pool with her arms stretched out to hold her in place.
“So, hello, Ms Intruder. We meet again.” He trod water and moved his arms and hands to stay in front of her and not move into her personal space. As much as he’d have liked to crowd her, demand who she was and why she was there, he knew better.
“It seems we do. Nothing more mysterious than the ways of the world, eh?” She chuckled and splashed water with her legs. “Is this where I say fancy meeting you here? Or we must quit meeting like this, people will talk?”
There was no doubt about that, especially if the night manager turned the security cameras on. Braam angled his body then swam around the island so that if that did happen, his face wouldn’t be seen. There was one spot where the cameras didn’t reach, but was visible to the lifeguards when they were on duty. As he hoped, the lady swam after him, until they reached what he termed the safe area.
“Are we playing tag?” Her voice was husky and it lifted his libido and his cock by several notches. In fact, his cock was pressing against his boxers and even the water couldn’t   come to his aid so he didn't get harder by the minute. This woman intrigued him.
“I can think of better things to play.”
Her eyes widened and the laugh she gave went straight to his dick and hinted at all things erotic.
“Such as? Ludo? Scrabble, or, I know, Hotel?” She ran her tongue around her lips in an unconscious invitation to plunder and Braam was hard pressed not to groan.
“You show me yours and I’ll show you mine…” Braam paused. “Hotel, I mean, what else?”
She giggled. It wasn’t the silly sound a young girl would make, but a deep, sexy noise. “How about Kiss Chase?”

Ten Facts about Hong Kong Heat you might not know about.

1 I got the idea when I was in Hong Kong on holiday.

2 My friend Debra chose the hero and heroine's names.

3 I was on Facebook when a Fb friend, Maggie asked what I was doing up at that time. (It was night in the UK and early morning in Hong Kong where I was.) I said trying to find the best way from Central to Stanley, and she came back with take the MTR to Chai Wan, and told me what exit to use and what bus number to get. She'd lived in the city. What a coincidence.

4 I started writing the book in Amsterdam.

5 My Hubby and I have walked Lamma Island—without the detour!

6 The hotel is a mixture of several hotels I've stopped in.

7 I've also based the Singapore hotel on one I've stayed in.

8 I was determined Debra should have a hot bod toy boy—and enjoy herself.

9 The Star Ferry does have a ferry with a moustache painted on it for Movember

10 I've also spent many a happy day wandering around Stanley. The boob paragraph is taken form real life.

I'm growing old disgracefully and loving it.
Dh and I live on the edge of a Scottish forest, and rattle around in a house much too big for us.
Our kids have grown up and flown the nest, but roll back up when they want to take a deep breath and smell the daisies so to speak.
I write in my study, which overlooks the garden and the lane. I'm often seen procrastinating, by checking out the wild life, looking—only looking—at the ironing basket and assuring tourists that indeed, I'm not the bed and breakfast. That would mean cooking fried eggs without breaking the yolks, and disturbing the dust bunnies as they procreate under the beds. Not to be thought of.
Being able to do what I love, and knowing people get pleasure from my writing is fantastic. Long may it last.
https://www.facebook.com/rmcallan        (my page)
https://www.facebook.com/ravenmcallan            (author page)

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30 March, 2015

#Contest : The Rise of the Grey Prince (Saga of Agni #2) by Arka Chakrabarti

That cursed night at Nisarga had revealed the true reason behind his father's sacrifice and his own dark past. Each revelation now draws Agni into the sublime world of secrets. With Vrish and Guru Sidak by his side, fighting the daggers from the past and winning over the opponents of the present, somewhere deep down, he knows that his journey has just begun.

The other scarred prince walks the ashes of his reality. Haunted by the glimpses of truth the same night, Yani had but one choice – to survive. His unknowing steps, trapped in cruel games of ancient powers had led him to a truth, a truth which shall mould a good man in the clay of misfortune, hate and lust.

Such is the world of Gaya, and thus shall be the Rise of the Grey Prince – the one torn between the darkness of evil and a lone ray of hope.

GoodreadsFlipkart I Crossword

First Book in the Series:
Is one born with his destiny or does he forge it?
In the mystical land of Gaya, two prophecies bind the fate of men and empires alike. The Destroyer born from the royal seed on the Land of the Setting Sun shall bring the empires down, or so has been foretold.
In between the Destroyer and the world stand the Seven Guardians of Gaya, guarding the realm of man. A king, a father, defies the Seven and fate itself to save the last drop of his blood and prince Agni grows in the Land of the Rising Sun, exiled from his own people, unaware of his past.
Losing the woman he loved most to the shadows in the dark, Agni is thrown into a whirlpool of events that he neither knows, nor understands. His quest for vengeance brings him to the doorstep of a secret that will shatter the very foundation of beliefs of a world.
Can Agni avert his destiny? Can he uncover the truth about the Seven and the prophecies, now hidden behind a veil of ignorance?
The secrets of the dark are sometimes so terrible that they are better left unsaid. 

About the Author


Rise of the Lost Prince by London Saint James

Rise of the Lost Prince by +London Saint James 
Series: Lost Boys,  book 1
Genre: Erotic, paranormal, fantasy, naughty fairy tale
Add to Goodreads

Listening Length: 5 hours and 1 minute
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Narrator: John Thrust
Audible.com Release Date: February 26, 2015

They fight to protect those who would never welcome them into the human world... 

Petúr always knew he and his brothers-in-arms were different. Something more. Something not human. Yet, he never expected to find out the truth of their origins, nor fall for a human woman whose father was set to destroy Neverland. 

Ever since she was a child, Wyndi dreamed of an angel with eyes of the purest gold, although she never really believed such a man existed until she met the hauntingly beautiful Petúr of the lost boys. 
With a prophecy to fulfill, a woman to protect, a portal to find, and evil darklings out for blood, will Petúr be strong enough to rise up and claim what’s rightfully his, or lose everything to a long-time nemesis, Grapple the Dark?

Her tongue darted out, licking her lips. Was she nervous? Well, he’d be the balm to soothe those nerves. He focused on her mouth. Those delicious lips were kiss swollen and moist, making his cock strain even more against the constraint of his pants.
“Okay,” she said in a small, breathy voice, the lids covering her blue eyes at half-mast.
He reached for the hem of the too big nightshirt covering the body he had to see, lifting until he revealed her little white panties and lacy bra covered breasts. Blood raced through his veins. He wanted to do everything with her. To her. Touch all over. Taste every inch of her. Put his fingers and cock into the tight, warm sheath he knew was awaiting him.
Take her. Hell yeah. Those two words became a chant within his mind. He wanted to take his woman in every position he could imagine and then some. His woman? Yes. Yes she was his, or would be. Slow your roll. You don’t want to scare her. He had to maintain. He couldn’t go at her like some out of control beast.
Leaning down, he kissed between the creamy mounds of her cleavage, skimmed his cheek across the apex of her right breast, watching goose bumps scatter across her flesh in a wanton invitation. Unable to stop himself from licking her, he lapped at her in one, long, lingering stroke, from the top edge of the bra, up her collarbone, only stopping because the material he’d lifted hindered his progress being bunched around her neck.
“Oh, hell,” he muttered. “You taste so good.” 
She shook, and he wanted her shakes.
“I do?”
“Yes,” he answered, feeling her warm palms slide down his biceps. Even that tantalized him. “I’m already addicted.” He went to his elbows, slid his hands under her shoulder blades, arching her up, dropped his head, grabbed the flimsy middle of her bra with his teeth, bit, and tugged, ripping it free.
“Oh!” she uttered.
Moving the material aside with his nose, he pulled back enough to see her, soaking every bit of her pink and white flesh in with his eyes, before flicking a rosebud nipple with the tip of his tongue.
“Petúr.” He reveled in the sound of his name falling from her lips, and sucked the nipple he’d been teasing into his mouth. “Mm…We should stop.” He lightly bit. Swirled his tongue around the aroused nub. “Oh…Never mind. Don’t stop,” she uttered, as she wrapped her legs around his waist.
“Never stop. No.” He sounded like a Neanderthal, but just then, when Wyndi pressed herself into his erection, he didn’t care.

London Saint James has lived in many places, but never felt “at home” until she met the real-life man of her dreams and settled down in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. London lives with her husband and their fat cat who thinks he owns them.

As an award-winning, bestselling, multi-published author, London is living her childhood dream. She knew all the scribbling she did, that big imagination of hers, and all those clamoring characters running around in her head would pay off someday.

Web: http://www.londonsaintjames.com
Blog: http://londonsj.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LSJRomance
FB Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/London-Saint-James/154331444626603
TSU: https://www.tsu.co/Londonsj
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/LSJRomance
You can also e-mail London with any questions or comments at London@londonsaintjames.com. She loves to hear from her readers.

Would you like to know more? Join her mailing list for her monthly newsletter http://eepurl.com/6P2on. Or, join her book group on Facebook, Slip Between the Pages with London https://www.facebook.com/groups/SlipBetweenthePageswithLondon/

About the Narrator John Thrust

The path that lead me to record erotic literature would make a pretty good story in itself. I may write it someday. It involves a cyber-relationship with a virginal gal whose secret goal in life was to become a full time sex slave. True Story. Her family would have NEVER guessed! I’d been recording regular “vanilla” type books prior to that, as a hobby, with an eye toward becoming a “real” voice actor. This gal pointed me to a specific book and in so doing introduced me to the world of BDSM literature (this, by the way, was right BEFORE “50 Shades of Grey” broke huge). Rather than just read the book, I recorded it. I shared it with her and with some other gals I’d met online. The response was startling to me. For the sake of modesty, I’ll spare the specific accolades. The one book led to the recording of another and then others. The feedback continued to be really, REALLY positive. So much so, that it occurred to me that this ‘erotic genre’ may be a niche I should pursue. So here I am pursuing it. I still record other books as well… but these books are the most fun *sly grin*. My background started in radio in college. I toyed with theater, did some plays - even did a short stint in Chicago’s famed Second City training program. LIFE intervened however and I got ‘a real job’ supporting computer networks in Chicago. Eventually that career ran its course and I decided it was time to do what I really WANTED to do – Voice Act. I enjoy it and I hope to help you enjoy your listening experience too.

– John

29 March, 2015

#SpecialFeature :: #Interview with Veena Nagpal, #Author of The Uncommon Memories of Zeenat Qureishi

*** Special Feature - March 2015 ***

A Quick Recap

About the Author

She was ten when she was caught reading in the bathroom late into the night.  Her mother banned her from reading ‘story books’ for a whole month. She decided if she couldn’t read, she’d write her own stories. That night in a naval apartment in the then city of Bombay, Veena Nagpal’s passion for writing was born. 
She now lives in a small house with her husband and lots of plants in a suburb of New Delhi. 
The Uncommon Memories of Zeenat Qureishi is Veena’s third novel to be published. She has also penned four books for children and numerous short stories. Her two previous novels are, Karmayogi (Jaico) and Compulsion (Sterling).
Her four children’s books are, Adventures in Sapace and Time Travellers (IBH), Smuggler’s Isle (Hemkunt), Tenderella and the FoFs (EEP) and Garbie Garbyhog – The Worm That Wanted To Fly (EEP). 

Contact the Author

Fun Facts about the Author

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
As a ten year old, studying in Bombay’s St. Anne’s School, I had a favorite shop – a small bookshop (I forget the name) opposite Kailash Parbat in Strand. 
Every day I would collect my Toffee money and the moment I had enough I’d head for this shop and glibly lie to the owner “I’m buying a gift for my friend and if she has already read this book, may I exchange it tomorrow?” 
A knowing smile and a nod was his usual answer. I’d rush home with the book, devour it the whole evening and come back to exchange it next morning.
Maybe reading became an obsession, maybe I neglected my studies but one day my mother 
That day I decided if I could not read storybooks I’d write my own.

What inspires you?
Life is full of such bewildering perplexities, seething with so many unanswered questions. Writing is my way of finding some meaning in all the disorder and uncertainty… 
It nurtures me, heals me.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
The driving force behind all my fiction has been a simple but niggling question – Why? 
In the case of  UMZQ…
Since my childhood, I have seen – and still see – some kind of instinctive, atavistic calcified-over-the-centuries hostile vibe between the two major communities in India and I have always wondered why. Especially since I didn’t feel this hostility in myself. In fact I had some really close friends from the other community during my college days and even kept rozas with them – that I suppose was motivated more by the anticipation of the yummy food that would follow.
The badgering ‘why’ continues to plague – UMZQ is perhaps an expression of that aggravation.

Is there some story tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
Oh yes. I’m sure every writer has some half forgotten work in the recesses of her desk. 
I have a novel that I had named ‘Rebels Without Cause,’ and a children’s book tentatively titled ‘A Toy Named Creaky.’
Somehow I never did get down to showing them to anyone.

Tell us about your writing process.
The kind of writing I have been doing lately requires a tremendous amount of research – so that’s the starting point of most of my work. I think I spend as much time in research and in mulling over ideas as I do in the actual writing.
I also like to get a detailed plot – including place maps where I need them - down on paper before I start writing – somewhat like a sculptor likes to get his armature right before working with the clay. Of course as the work progresses, things change – sometimes a character takes charge and tweaks the plot into a whole new direction. Sometimes a character just fades away into oblivion right before my eyes and sometimes a totally new character gets born… a most fascinating process actually!
I like to leave things on the back burner for at least six months – once I’ve finished with a novel I like to put it away, start on something new. I find this ‘maturing’ period very necessary. It makes me see flaws that hitherto I have been blind to. And so begins the rewriting…

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
My favorite scene in ‘The Uncommon Memories of Zeenat Qureishi,’ is almost towards the end when the two estranged lovers meet, emotions peak and love transcends. 
The scene is my favorite because it is an example of good writing where conflict, emotion and suspense are expressed in simple and heartfelt writing.
I am giving an EXCERPT BELOW:

Incongruous in faded jeans and a large brown shawl over her shoulders and head, covering her hair a little unkempt, Zeenat stood, a wistful forlorn figure, next to Chashma Devi. His heart stopped. She looked so ill! What had happened to her?
Suddenly she noticed Ajay. Wrapping the shawl closer around her thin shoulders, she ran down the five steps from the platform.
They clung to each other. 
“What have you done to yourself? You’ve grown so thin!”
“Ajay! Ajay! I love you so…”
Words trailed away unwanted as with his fingers entwined within her thick black curls, he pulled her head to himself and crushed her rose bud mouth with his.
Above them, Chashma Devi rapturously reached for the heavens and the moon went sailing by, glowing in the joy of being.
Zeenat closed her eyes. Lips clung to his…
The stars twinkled in her hair as the brown shawl slipped from her head and trailed down her left shoulder to the floor. Somewhere a solitary bird cried…
He pushed aside her shawl with his foot, and circling his arms tighter around her, took her within the folds of his coat. 
A grey hare stopped to watch. Eyes blinked. Whiskers twitched. He turned and white tail bobbing behind him, disappeared into the bushes. 
Impassioned tongues probed. Emblazoned limbs touched. The earth whirled around them. The earth stood still. They saw nothing heard nothing only felt flowers bloom unseen, only sensed the smile of God engulf them.
The temple lights came on. There was a faint far away murmuring of human voices. They did not notice. 
“I have caused you so much pain!” Zeenat murmured. “I’m so terribly sorry…”
Ajay sealed her mouth with his lips.
“Shush! Don’t say anything… nothing at all.”
“Don’t ever leave me,” she murmured
“Never. I will never leave you.”
They clung to each other. Time stood still. Time passed…
Suddenly he heard a rumbling sound. Ajay ignored it.
Zeenat stirred in his arms.
“What’s that noise?” She asked.
“Nothing! Zeenat, I…”
Zeenat shivered in his arms. The noise had become louder now. Abruptly Zeenat turned. She gasped. He turned in the direction she was gazing. His eyes widened.
Headed towards the park, coming down on the road to their right was a sea of lighted torches. The buzzing murmur of human voices had become a clear cry…
“Allaho Akbar! God is Great!”
Zeenat’s eyes widened in horror. She gasped.
“Pirzada tricked me!” She cried, in a strangled voice. “Oh my God! I’ve been tricked!”
The mob turned the corner. The frenzy was palpable now as the torch lights danced aggressively down the road. The shouts became louder… 
“Allaho Akbar! God is Great!”
Desperately Zeenat caught hold of Ajay’s arms and shook him
“Run! Ajay, run! They’ll kill you … where’s you car? Where did you park?”
He turned his eyes towards the gate. 
“Oh my God!” She clutched his wrist. 
The mob had already reached his car and torched it. The flames leapt high, crackling as the breeze licked at them. 
Wild with fear her eyes darted around trying to look for some escape route. 
Behind Chashma Devi’s statue, the cliff was steep, almost perpendicular. There was no way they could scale it. The road on their right was blocked by the approaching mob. On the left…
Ajay saw her turn and shook his head gently. He had already noticed that from the road on the left, beyond the temple, another angry mob was approaching. Blazing torches held high. Shouting 
“Har! Har! Mahadev!”
Zeenat’s nails dug into Ajay’s wrist. Suddenly it is all so clear to her. 
“Sometimes Muslim, sometimes Hindu,” she murmured. “Manipulators all!”

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
As an author I hope to create new characters, not clones of me… that would be too boring.

What is your usual writing routine? 
Nine to one is my ‘me’ time. That’s when I generally do my writing too.

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
Books have been my fave friends since my childhood. 
Haruki Murakami, Orhan Pamuk, and Paulo Coelho remain my favorite authors. Among Indian writers I like to read Amitabh Ghosh, Jhumpa Lahiri and Ruskin Bond.
In the last year or two I have enjoyed reading Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games, Tan Twan Eng’s The Gift of Rain, Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Julian Barnes Sense of an Ending.
I really don’t know if I have been influenced by my readings - I like to think I have my own unique writing style 

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
I wish I had had some mentor but I didn’t and have just floundered around as best as I could. 

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Write from the heart. 
Move away from yourself and your life – your source of inspiration will dry up too soon otherwise.
Write everyday – even if it seems to be trash at first – gradually your own unique style will emerge. Put in 10,000 hours honing your writing skills – after that you may start producing cream. No one and nothing can prevent cream from rising to the top

What would be the Dream Cast for you book if it were to be turned into a movie?
Anoushka as Zeenat, Ranbir Kapur as Ajay and no one but Amitabh Bachan as Swami Agneyanand…

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
My Kindle, Laptop and WATER.

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
I used to love playing golf but now with a bad back problem that is out.
To truly unwind I need to travel – see new places, talk to new people, understand new perspectives…

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
Would love to travel to as many new places I can and read as many new books as possible.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
- Oh I’m terrified of rats! My rat tales have been the butt of family humor for years now e.g. the one when a certain Mr. Rat decided to share my flat and every time I wanted to use the loo I’d politely bang on the door and give him ample time to make a getaway before I stepped in.
- I dislike houses without flowers. 
There was a time when my husband was posted to the Defense Services Staff College near Ooty. As the youngest officer he was not given any accommodation. I can tell you he had his hands full trying to cope with a wife sobbing her heart out because the private house he had rented was so new it had no garden. 
- Sometimes I can get so absorbed in reading that I can create a fiasco at home. I haven’t heard of anyone else who has boiled an egg to charcoal or sterilized a baby bottle nipple till it evaporated into non-existence.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
My next novel, tentatively titled ‘The General Who Lost it’ or ‘Daayara – A Limited Circle’, is the story of a fragile love helplessly caught in the cross fire of two nuclear powered nations warring over limited water resources. 
The book is in the editing stage.
It is inspired by a real life situation. Thirty kilometers north of the Indo China border, China is building the Yarlung Tsangpo dam on the Brahmputra to divert its waters into the Yellow River. This would deny basic rights to millions downstream on this trans-national river and lead to widespread destruction of farms and townships.
I am also well into writing another novel after this.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
A Book is nothing but a block of paper until it finds a reader and an author is nothing but a would-be until a reader gives her a feedback.
I need you to inspire me, so tell me what I do wrong and what I do right in my writing. PLEASE REACH OUT TO ME at veena.nagpal@rediffmail.com

About the Book
Two young cousins hell-bent on restoring Muslim glory, even if it means importing terror. An incendiary Hindu religious leader with one mantra, 'Break-mosques, build- temples.'
Zeenat Qureishi has one question, "What's my name? Why can't you tell me my name?"
Traumatized in the aftermath of the London Tube bomb- ing, the phobic 20-year-old comes to India. Long before Zeenat was born, the eldest Qureishi brother, his wife, and six-year-old daughter Zainab were murdered.
Zeenat's family believed the Mehras, their Hindu family friends, responsible and the friendship turned sour. Wild and impetuous Zeenat promptly falls in love with Ajay Mehra. Faced with proof that he was involved in the demolition of a mosque, she scorns him.
Disturbed, Zeenat undergoes regression therapy in an atmosphere of paranoia and uncovers memories so powerful that she can project them. Communal bitterness that has simmered for centuries threatens to explode around her and Zeenat tries to find answer in the past that will help her understand and heal the present.

Book Trailer

Find the Book

First Giveaway
One Signed Copy of the book to a lucky Indian Resident

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Second Giveaway

Submit a Video clip
(Not more than 2 minute)
The reader should say what he/she liked about the book and should read aloud your favorite quote from of the book.

Entrants must:
1.‘Like’ the Uncommon Memories Facebook page
2. Post their video clip on the Uncommon Memories Facebook page and
3. Send a copy to veena.nagpal@rediffmail.com. 
All submitted material will become the property of the Author who may use it for publicity purposes.

The Entry that receives the maximum ‘Likes’ (by 31st March) will receive the
PRIZE of a £20 Amazon Gift Coupon from the Author. 

28 March, 2015

#Interview with Noizchild Johnson, #Author of Bride in Black

About the Author:
My name is Noizchild Johnson and I am a self-published fiction writer. What can I say about myself? I love to write, watch anime, read manga, swim, and indulge in all things Japanese and British. My genres cover erotica, romance, comedy, drama, poetry, supernatural/paranormal, and maybe a little mystery. My stories are usually set in Japan, England, or the US. Music also plays a huge role in my writing.

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Interview with the Author:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
I realized my dream career when I was in the sixth or seventh grade making my anime-themed web site.

What inspires you to write?
Just about anything inspires me to write, to be honest.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
Like I do for all of my stories: my ideas just come to me and I just write on the impulse.

Is there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
Not really. Most of my work is posted on my web site.

Tell us about your writing process.
There isn’t really a plan for it. I just listen so music for inspiration for a story/chapter and dive right into work until it’s finished for the day.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
Sometimes, especially if they have some sort of artistic ability.

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
The fact that I don’t really plan anything out the traditional way and just dive right into writing.

What is your usual writing routine?
I just sit down with a notebook on some days, write, and then type it out. Other days, I just type it out.

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
Sometimes, I read. I would like to say Anne Rice and Laurel K. Hamilton. They influence my writing with my themes of the supernatural mixed with a sexy flare.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
Get a decent editor before you publish your work.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Don’t give up and have fun with it.

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
My iPod, Kindle, and tons of water.

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
Watch anime and play Sims 4. In front of my laptop in my own room.

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
Whoa there! It’s too early for me to think about a bucket list.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
I LOVE Japan too bits, the farthest I was have traveled is Italy, and I set monthly goals for myself.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
A whole ocean of stories when they are edited properly and published.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
I plan to publish print books in 2016.

About the Book:

A London bride climbs into a taxi cab for her wedding at the court house. However, the driver refuses to let her out and drives her around the city asking questions about her fiance. The bride comes to a revelation before the shocking and tragic end.


26 March, 2015

#BookReview :: Celtic Blood by James John Loftus

Set in 13th century Scotland. The son of the murdered Earl of Ross, is a fugitive when his family, rival claimants for Scotland's crown, are declared traitors. Influenced by MacBeth and the writting of Nigel Tranter it is a tale of high drama and suspense.

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I had finished reading this book a couple of weeks back, yet I kept procrastinating when it came to reviewing this book. There were so many thoughts popping up in my mind that I just had to let things calm down before writing a review. Also, this is a difficult book to review as I do not know how much I can revealing the whole plot of the book.

The story begins with Seward being washed ashore after a shipwreck.  He finds himself on the shores of Scotland where he is rescued by Kenneth MacAedh, an Earl. Grateful, Seward vows his loyalty to him with little idea about what he was getting himself into. When an age old feud between the MacAedh Clan and King Alexander claims the life of Kenneth, Seward takes it upon himself to protect Morgund, Kenneth’s son. With no one they can trust, Seward and Morgund must fight on to regain their position and for Morgund to exact revenge of his father’s death.

I had almost no knowledge of Scotland’s history and culture (except for kilts and bagpipes) before picking up this book. So it was interesting for me to get a glance at the Scottish Clans and its Royalty. The book is a treasure cove for those who would like to know more about Scotland’s past. I have not researched any of the information, and so I cannot vouch for its authenticity. But the author sure does make it all fell very real through his narration and storytelling. It was also very interesting to see the characters of Seward and Morgund grow and develop right in front of us. Morgund really surprised me with his growth. Some characters felt a bit unwanted in the story and some characters could have done with some back story to them. The plot of the story keeps the readers engaged and just when you think you have read it all, the author puts a new twist to it and creates another breath taking situation. However, I have to admit the whole experience of reading this book was made difficult due to lack of proper editing. There were some typo errors and stuff that even I could not ignore for long. Also, the cover of the book doesn’t do justice to the story that lies within.

Overall, it was a pleasant experience to learn something new about a country I know very little about. 

Review Copy received from the Author

25 March, 2015

#BookReview :: Power Play by Danielle Steel

Fiona Carson has proven herself as CEO of a multibillion-dollar high-tech company – a successful woman in a man's world. Devoted single mother, world-class strategist, and tough negotiator, Fiona has to keep a delicate balance every day.
Meanwhile, Marshall Weston basks in the fruits of his achievements. At his side is his wife Liz who has gladly sacrificed her own career to raise their three children. Smooth, shrewd and irreproachable, Marshall's power only enhances his charisma – but he harbors secrets that could destroy his life at any moment.
Both must face their own demons, and the lives they lead come at a high price. But just how high a price are they willing to pay?

I picked up this book without even reading the blurb. Well, first of all, it is a Danielle Steel Novel. Then with a title like ‘Power Play’, things are bound to get interesting. And finally, knowing Danielle Steel, the protagonist was bound to be strong lady. Isn’t that enough to pick up a book? I was partially right and partially surprised by this book. 

First we meet Fiona Carson, a CEO of a multibillion-dollar high-tech company. She has worked hard to make a place for herself in the world where usually men hold all the power. She is also a devoted single mother, who has been balancing her personal and professional life well enough since her divorce. Then we meet Marshall Weston, another high flying CEO, who has Liz, his wife, on his side to make him look good. He enjoys his position of power a bit too much. Two people, on the same level at everything and with the same power, however, how they see it and use it are different. But both have their own demons to fight and a price to pay for their positions…

The two leading characters feel very real even though they are poles apart. On one hand I loved Fiona for being this highly successful woman who doesn’t look down upon people. She shows us that there is a way to lead your team from the front and be nice all the same. Marshall on the other hand I loved to hate. He is everything that I dislike yet he does reflect the truth of so many men around the world today. He has absolutely no sense of accountability for his wrong doing. I am absolutely stunned at the ending that Danielle Steel had waiting for him! The plot of the novel was nearly completely predictable as is the case with most Steel novels. However, that did not take away much from the experience of actually reading it. There’s a powerful message that the author has passed on through these pages.

This book is a sure entertainer!

Review Copy received from Random House India