30 November, 2016

#BookReview :: Deceiving Bella (The Bodyguards Of L.A. County #11) by Cate Beauman

Ethan Cooke Security and their bodyguard team return to action in Deceiving Bella – book eleven in Cate Beauman’s Bodyguards of L.A. County series.

With over 7700 reviews and a 4.4 rating for the entire series, see why the Bodyguards of L.A. County is a multi-award winning series.

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New to the series? No problem! Each book in the “Bodyguards” series is a stand-alone title. Although reading the books in order is preferred, it is not necessary.  Each title features brand new primary characters and limited overlapping secondary characters.  Don’t hesitate to jump right in!

Isabella Colby has always yearned for normalcy. Now that she’s settled in LA, she finally has it. Good friends, a pretty home, and her thriving career as the Palisades’ top skincare specialist are a dream come true. Bella is content until she meets her hunky new neighbor, but her attraction to the blue-eyed cutie is the least of her worries when contacting her long-lost father threatens to destroy her happy life.

Reed McKinley is more than ready to forget the past. His seven-year stint as an NYPD detective nearly got him killed. His wounds have healed and he’s starting over as Ethan Cooke Security’s latest recruit. With sixty-hour workweeks and little time to himself, the last thing on his mind is a relationship. Then he bumps into the gorgeous woman next door.

Reed and Bella become fast friends. Before long, Reed discovers that Bella is keeping dangerous secrets. Bella may have the answers to decades-old questions he’s been searching for. Reed will risk it all to uncover the truth, but he soon realizes that the deeper he digs, the direr the consequences.


My Review:

Isabella Colby has managed to build up a good life for herself. After her father abandoned them and her mother resorting to a lifestyle that Isabella did not really approve of, she has worked hard to get where she is. She has a good job with L.A.’s top Skincare specialist, has a home and a new start. But with a hottie, in form of Reed McKinley, moving in next door and finally discovering her father after years, Isabella’s life is headed towards more complications than she had ever bargained for. On the other hand, after his cover got blown in his last assignment, Reed moves to L.A. with a new job at Ethan Cooke’s firm. He has no interest in getting tangled in a romantic relationship nor does he have any interest in the mob case that had almost led him to his death. Fate has plans for these two and as their paths cross they can hardly ignore each other or their past.

Isabella is a strong girl. She had been brought up by a single parent who was hardly there for her. So, it is really a wonder that she turned out as well as she did. I also liked the fact that she didn’t rush back to Reed immediately after discovering the fact that he had been deceiving her for most part of their relationship. She took her time and space and tried to move on. But some relationships are just meant to be and this was one of them. It doesn’t hurt that despite his actions, Reed’s intentions were pure and selfless. Reed on the other hand, made me a bit uneasy because I felt that he should have come clean to Isabella the moment he discovered that she had no involvement with the mob, if not at the very beginning. He knew he was lying and he did not like it one bit, so why did he continue with it? In the end, his intentions were good even if I do not agree with some of his actions. I also liked the fact that it wasn’t insta-love. They met, they became friends, they dated and let the relationship take its course. I have a question though… where in real life can we find such hottie, responsible and macho guys who have such caring sides and are willing to open up so much? 


What are the chances that when Reed moves to L.A., he would end up living so close to someone who has a link to his last case as a cop? The coincidence was a little bit too much for my liking. Other than that this book was a pleasurable read.


The Inspiration Behind Deceiving Bella:

I must admit that one of my most favorite parts of the writing process is figuring out who my characters are going to be. Typically, I have vague ideas but as I start the storytelling process, my heroes and heroines evolve and grow until I can visualize them as living, breathing people. I always begin with character sketches, giving each central figure in the story a life that starts with their birth and takes them to the present day. It’s vital to know who they are and how they tick (the experiences that make them exactly who they are when my readers meet them). For Deceiving Bella, I thought it would be fun to share an adventure where the hero and heroine have absolutely nothing in common (or so it seems). Despite Reed and Bella’s differences, they make a great team. I hope you enjoy their story.


Read an excerpt from Deceiving Bella:

They kept a slow pace, strolling in silence as the breeze plastered their clothes to their bodies and the constant sound of waves hypnotized, lulling Reed into relaxing by degrees.
“Thanks for coming with me tonight. It’s nice having company.”
He looked at Bella, staring at the fading light playing off her eyes. “The water smells better than a bunch of sweaty guys.”
“Your gym.” Her brow creased ever so slightly as she held his gaze. “What do you do for fun?”
“Work and box.”
“Sounds…like a good time.”
“I like it.”
“Do you smile?”
He frowned. “Huh?”
“I was wondering if you ever smile—or laugh. I haven’t seen you do either since we met.”
He sent her an exaggerated grin.
She laughed.
He smiled for real this time, finding her laughter infectious.
“You do smile. I wasn’t sure if you had some sort of facial paralysis we hadn’t discussed yet.”
He grinned.
“You should do that more often.” She hooked her arm through his.
He almost missed a step as the warmth of her skin met his, surprised by her casual gesture. He wasn’t used to people being so touchy-feely. “I do it plenty.”
“I’ll have to take your word for it.”
How was it possible she smelled even better now that they stood so close? It had to be her hair. “I don’t know what to say to that.”
She stopped abruptly. “Are you seeing anyone?”
He studied her, not sure that he liked where this was going. “No. You interested?”
She shook her head. “You’re not really my type.”
He tried to ignore the direct hit to his ego. “You’re not mine either.”
Another smile warmed her face. “I think we could be great friends, and I like projects—love them, actually.”
His frown returned. “And that means…”
“It means I like you. And I love that you don’t seem to have any interest in getting into my pants.”
Years of concealing any and all facial expressions kept his eyes from popping wide. “Wow.” He ran his hand through his hair, speechless once again. “Okay.”
She laughed. “I’m a big fan of honesty—putting it right out there.”
He chuckled as he settled his sunglasses on top of his head. “Clearly.”
They started walking again.
“There’s something about you that feels…safe.”
He raised his brow, taken aback. He’d been called many things, but this was a first. “Safe?”
She nodded. “Safe. It’s a good thing, but you’re pretty serious. We need to lighten you up. You need to play more.”
“I play plenty. I box.”
She scoffed, “Beating someone’s face in can’t lead you down the road to happiness.”
Her side brushed his with every step. He imagined he should ease away, break their connection, but he liked the way she felt, that she trusted him. “There’s more to boxing than beating someone’s face in.”
She looked at him as if she wasn’t so sure.
“I’ll have to show you—” He glanced over his shoulder when he realized they hadn’t seen Lucy for a while and laughed as the dog lay on her back in the sand with her front paws in the air. “What is she doing?”
“Sunbathing.”
He laughed again, shaking his head. “I’ve never seen anything like that.” His eyes met Bella’s as she stared at him. “What?”
“You have a great laugh.”
To his surprise, he was having a great time. It shocked him further that he liked Bella as much as she seemed to like him. Being here with her was exactly what he’d needed. “How long do you want to stay?”
“The sun sets soon. It’s the best part.”
The sand wasn’t bothering him much, and he couldn’t remember the last time his shoulders felt so loose. “I don’t have a blanket.”
“We can sit on our shoes.” She tossed hers down. “We can plunk ourselves right here.”
Lucy rolled to her side, stood, and ran their way.
He shrugged, dropping his flip-flops to the ground. “I guess this is as good a place as any.”
“It’ll be spectacular.” She took his hand, pulling him down next to her. “You won’t regret it.”
“We’ll have to remember a blanket next time.”
She smiled. “You want to come back?”
He stared ahead, petting Lucy when she curled up next to him, breathing in Bella with each inhalation. “I could see myself doing this again.”
She gave his shoulder a bump. “Good. You can be my beach buddy.”
He nodded, liking the idea. “Yeah, sure.”
“Great.”
“Great.” He crossed his ankles in the sand, his foot brushing Bella’s as they settled in to enjoy the show. It had been too damn long since he watched a sunset.

Did you enjoy the excerpt?  You can read the first chapter on my website, www.catebeauman.com, or you can finish the whole book with the links below!


About the Author:
International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers' Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers' Favorite Awards.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on her twelfth full length romantic suspense novel.






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29 November, 2016

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost - The Inspiration for All Signs Lead Back to You



*** Special Feature - November 2016 ***


About the Author
Aniesha Brahma is an author who realized her passion for writing at the tender age of six. She also happens to be the social media manager for BEE Books. Her debut novel, The Secret Proposal (2012) was published by General Press and was followed by When Our Worlds Collide (2015) by the same. She blogs at: www.anieshabrahma.com and runs an online magazine, BUZZ Magazine (www.buzzmagazine.in). She can be contacted at: aniesha.brahma@gmail.com. She lives in Kolkata with her family and her five super adorable cats! 



The Inspiration for All Signs Lead Back to You 

Quite honestly, All Signs Lead Back to You started off as a joke. I had read a writing prompt which said that your characters have broken up, and now your characters meet again – what happens now? I started toying with the idea of this girl called Diya Rai, who would be my polar opposite because Akriti had been more or less me.

I thought about Diya and I thought about Ashwin Chowdhury, the boy who falls in love with her and pays the price for the same. And I thought of the storms they could possibly create and how Fate can be a really horrible thing at times!

The other idea I was toying with at the moment was about first loves. No matter how many times we fall in love, how many people fall in love with us, our first loves are always special. Little things will always make us remember them. Isn’t it?

By this time, Ashwin and Diya had taken root firmly in my mind. They refused to leave me alone, even when I was at work. Telling me their stories in bits and pieces, and I tried my best to put them together. You must have heard how the stories are in our heads are not quite how they are when we write them down. Half the things I learned about these characters, their lives, never even made it to the book! And that’s a perfectly normal thing.

The story was mostly rooted in the very haunting question – does first love ever deserve a second chance? Because quite honestly, you will never find a love quite like your first.

I’ve been asked before if these characters were based on people I know. The answer to which is: yes and no. We are writers who are inspired by people and events. Sometimes two people can mesh together and form a whole new third in our lives.

Diya, as I have said before, is just my opposite. While writing, I would imagine being in her shoes and make her do things I’d never do! Ashwin, is based on someone that I used to know, and he is also fleshed out according to how I’d deemed fit. Nina, is the utopian best friend we all dream of having and some of us are lucky enough to even have. As for Rishabh and Trina, their only purpose had been to be obstacles in Ashwin and Diya’s path.


I honestly had a lot of fun writing this book. And I had even more fun while Sam di did the editing, followed by Sugandha doing the proofreading. And Esha and I myself reading the last drafts! This whole experience had been surreal to say the least. And yes, I will be back again with a new book because come on. I’ll never get tired of telling stories to this world. Because I’m always inspired. Always looking for stories. 


All Signs Lead Back to You by Aniesha Brahma
2013.

As the final bell for the day rang on their last day in school, Diya Rai, had a chill run down her spine. The chill of not knowing what the future holds for her and her high school sweetheart, Ashwin Chowdhury.
So she does a preemptive strike.
She dumps him before he can hurt her.

2015.

Two years later, Ashwin and Diya, cross paths. Each holds grudges, feelings and only one half of the story that completes them.
Told from alternating points of view, through a non-linear timeline, this is the story about 

first love, second chances and ALL the SIGNS THAT LEAD BACK TO YOU.

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28 November, 2016

#BookReview :: Poetic Penetrations by Sanjay Chitranshi


The protagonist is about to turn forty, belongs to a rich and affluent family, lives a luxurious life but feels discontented because he believes that the world is ruled by fake moral values and suffocating bondages. He leaves everything and migrates to Kolkata to live a creative and meaningful life. He goes through many funny experiences in Kolkata in his quest to know what the real meaning of life is. He meets Debolina, an upscale prostitute, who loves to listen to his poems while making love. She tells him about many truths of life and finally he has the panacea for his confusions and doubts. 


Goodreads I Amazon





I would like to start this review by thanking the author for his patience for my review of the book. I received this book few months back and though it is a short book, it took me some time to get to it. But in these few months, I have managed to read the book twice!

Poetic Penetrations is the story of a man in his 40s, who is fed up of his lifestyle. He wants more for himself and more for his life than he has. With dreams of starting afresh and giving his life a new direction, he moves to Calcutta. With poetry on his mind and space to nurture his art, he hardly expects the turns his life takes. With a prostitute on his side and a brat student, his journey of self-discovery is what this book is about.

Let me get the not so good things about the book out of the way first. There are a couple of silly plot holes which are pretty much ignorable as are the typos. None of these are big issues that will ruin the reading experience. For the readers who a very particular, these may feel irritating at times. Other than that this book has no other pitfalls.

The author’s language is simple yet it does not read like common tongue which was a big plus for me. I have always felt that there is some grandeur in telling a story using simple language yet not resorting to a complete slapdash language and the author proves my point in his book. The characters are another complimentary aspect of the book. They are very well fleshed out and I particularly liked the character of the prostitute. She is someone who has taken charge of her life irrespective of her situation. She has quite a bit to contribute to our protagonist’s journey. 

One of the main reasons I picked up the book is because it is set in Calcutta/Kolkata – my home town. For those who live outside their birth places, it is always a treat to catch a snippet of their hometown even if it is through someone else’s eyes and even if it through a piece of fiction. There are places where the author has managed to capture Kolkata’s essence. But I wanted more of what really makes Kolkata the city that it is. Overall, I don’t think the setting had as much influence over the story as I had expected.

Review Copy received from the Author


26 November, 2016

#BookReview :: Breaking Free by Neha Nayak

Noya is a young woman who is full of life and is not scared to take her own decisions. She believes in leading a happy life and strongly believes that a happy life comes with bold decisions. Following her ideals, she takes the biggest decision of her life yet - calling off her wedding on the wedding day itself!

This decision turns her life upside down as the people close to her are busy refuting her at every step. Fed up of this negativity, she decides to reboot herself and travel alone. And this marked the beginning of a journey that will once again change the course of her life. On this journey, she meets Ranbir; a meeting which is not intentional but destined. In the beginning, Ranbir comes off as a stalker. However, with time she starts to realize the goodness inside him and slowly but surely, gets attached to him. Standing at the crossroads again, she takes another bold decision to marry Ranbir. Will this finally bring happiness in her life? Noya doesn’t know much about the past of Ranbir as they've just recently met. Will this come back to haunt her later on? Is this another trap? A gripping tale of love, respect and hope, the novel answers all these questions.

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Breaking Free is the story of Noya, a simple girl who probably would not stand out in any way in a crowd. Yet there is something alluring about her that the readers will not be able to ignore.

Noya is a spirited girl who believes that sometimes in life one has to take the tough decisions in order to be happy. And keeping true to that belief, she makes a decision to call of her wedding on the wedding day! Taking her decision one step forward when the disproving people around her became a bit too much to handle, she embarks on a journey to travel alone in order to be able to start her life afresh. During her travels, she meets Ranbir who has more to him than first meets the eye. Where will her new life take her? Will her decisions serve her well or will they steer her wrong?

It is easy to connect with Noya. I liked her strong will and spirit but at the same time I felt that there were times when her decisions were more of a ‘giving up’ nature than standing ground on her beliefs. It is her flaws that made her more real to me than anything. I have seen brave and intelligent girls make mistakes like her and I am sure, I too have taken a misstep or two in my life. So, it makes Noya very relatable. And in the end it is her strength of character that pulls the story through. I enjoyed the chemistry between Ranbir and Noya even though it felt ‘too soon’ and sudden to me.

The author’s narrative style and language is simple. I would have preferred tighter editing in the book as there are few instances where the narrative loses rhythm. Overall though it has a sweet storyline that makes this a light and breezy read.


Review Copy received from the Author



25 November, 2016

#BookReview :: All Signs Lead Back to You by Aniesha Brahma

2013.
As the final bell for the day rang on their last day in school, Diya Rai, had a chill run down her spine. The chill of not knowing what the future holds for her and her high school sweetheart, Ashwin Chowdhury.
So she does a preemptive strike.
She dumps him before he can hurt her.

2015.
Two years later, Ashwin and Diya, cross paths. Each holds grudges, feelings and only one half of the story that completes them.
Told from alternating points of view, through a non-linear timeline, this is the story about first love, second chances and ALL the SIGNS THAT LEAD BACK TO YOU.

Goodreads I Amazon



The thing about Aniesha Brahma’s books is that you can pick them up knowing that it would be a ‘feel good’ story in there. All Signs Lead Back to You is certainly so.

Diya and Ashwin were high school sweethearts. On their final day, Diya dumps Ashwin fearing that he would break up with her to start his college life afresh. Couple of years later their paths cross again. Both of them have new people in their lives in form of friends and love interests, yet there is a tug that they keep feeling towards each other. Their ‘high school romance’ had met an abrupt end and as such there are unanswered questions, unfinished business and certain grudges that they have held on to. What happens when they finally not only confront each other but also themselves about those feelings that were crushed?

The characters in the book are all very relatable. It is not only the protagonists that you understand and feel for, it is also the other cast of characters that you feel connected to. In fact, I found Diya irritating and childish for her age at times, but her new best friend Nina was the one I loved the most in the book. Nina contributed a lot to the plot and to Diya’s character along with Diya and Ashwin’s relationship. She is certainly a girl I would love to have on my corner. Then there is Diya’s mother – a character I would have loved to read and know more about. As for the chemistry between Ashwin and Diya, I loved the fact that in some ways they really connected with each other. When you think about high school romance or the commercial campus love stories, most of them feel very hollow when it comes to the relationship itself because in most cases we are told that the characters ‘in love’ share a connection but we don’t really see or feel it. That is the difference between Ashwin and Diya’s story from so many other stories. Despite the clash between their personalities, they do connect at many levels and as a reader you can feel that connection over all the drama that surrounds them. 

Another thing that I loved about this book is the fact that even though this can be categorized as a romance, that is not the only focus of the plot. The dynamics between the protagonists, their love interests, their friends and family as a whole is what makes this story what it is. Some things a messy and some things are crystal clear; a fresh pair of eyes makes a difference to an age old relationship; a family member influences how you react to a third person. That is what real life is like and this story is a slice of reality molded into fiction.

I wished for the story to go on long after I turned the last page for two reasons. Of course, I did not really want the story to end and because I wanted to know more. And if you are wondering whether Ashwin and Diya ended up together… You have to read the book to find out!


Review Copy received from the Author

24 November, 2016

Mega #Giveaway Part 4 - Indian Residents Only

A lot of people have come forward to help me host this (and a couple more coming up this month) Giveaway. It is only fair that I should thank them. Here are the awesome sponsors of the today's giveaway :




Now lets get on with the Giveaway!


Prize Pack 1: One Lucky Winner will get this prize pack of two books each!

Prize Pack 2: Two Lucky Winners will get this prize pack of two books each!

Prize Pack 3: Two Lucky Winners will get this prize pack of two books each!


Prize Pack 4: Two Lucky Winners will get this prize pack of one Paperback & two eBooks each!


Here is your chance to win one of the amazing prize packs listed!
Goodluck!


I will be checking each entry individually & deleting fake entries before selecting the winners so as to keep the odds fair. 

23 November, 2016

#BookReview :: Melt My Heart, Cowboy (Love at the Chocolate Shop #1) by C.J. Carmichael

Who is the handsome cowboy who comes into small town Marietta’s chocolate shop every week to buy a box of chocolates? More importantly…who is he buying the chocolates for? These are the questions sales clerk Rosie Linn asks herself as she waits for her sadly neglected childhood home to sell so she can pursue an exciting new career in L.A. 

Rosie finds out the answers the day rugged ranch hand Brant Willingham introduces himself and asks for her help in managing the care of his younger sister. Brant’s mother has recently died, leaving him the sole guardian of eighteen-year-old Sara Maria–who has been a puzzle to Brant ever since she began exhibiting signs of autism at age two. 
Rosie and Brant come up with a plan. She’ll help with his sister if he handles repairs and a new paint job for her old house. It seems the perfect solution, but a new dilemma is created when the couple start spending time together. Brant discovers he doesn’t want Rosie to sell and leave, and Rosie fears she will have to choose between love and her dreams.

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I really love this author. I have previously read and enjoyed quite a few of her romantic suspense novels and so decided to give her romance book a try as well.

Set in the small town of Marietta, ‘Melt My Heart, Cowboy’ is the story of Rosie and Brant. Rosie works at the chocolate shop where Brant comes in every week to buy a box of chocolates. Rosie has obviously noticed Brant and often wonders who he buys the chocolates for, but she tries not to think of him too much since she has no plans of sticking around. She has got a house to sell so that she can move out of the small town for goof. Brant’s mother died in an accident that left him to care for his autistic sister. With his job as a ranch hand, Brant has his plate full leaving him with no time for a social life. As fate would have it, these two lives were soon intertwined when Brant and Rosie get involved in helping each other out and they start spending time together.

It was quite fun to read about Rosie and Brant together. From mere acquaintances to friends to something more – their journey was rather nice. I loved the fact that their relationship grows throughout the book. This is no insta-love. While I did not particularly for Rosie or Brant individually, I loved them as a couple. Don’t misunderstand me – they both are great characters, I just didn’t feel like going gaga about them. Instead, Sara stole the show for me. She is such an adorable character and so easy to fall for. Brant’s struggle to care for his sister is endearing in a way as the reader can clearly see that he truly cares.

Simple writing style and engaging narrative kept me hooked till the end. And, by the way – I just loved the book cover!


Review Copy received from NetGalley


22 November, 2016

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost - The Writer’s Block by Aniesha Brahma



*** Special Feature - November 2016 ***


About the Author
Aniesha Brahma is an author who realized her passion for writing at the tender age of six. She also happens to be the social media manager for BEE Books. Her debut novel, The Secret Proposal (2012) was published by General Press and was followed by When Our Worlds Collide (2015) by the same. She blogs at: www.anieshabrahma.com and runs an online magazine, BUZZ Magazine (www.buzzmagazine.in). She can be contacted at: aniesha.brahma@gmail.com. She lives in Kolkata with her family and her five super adorable cats! 



The Writer’s Block

“Writers Block: When your imaginary friends will not talk to you.”

That is one of the possible definitions we writers have for this mysterious term called writer’s block. To be honest, every single creative work requires inspiration. And when you’re feeling thoroughly uninspired you claim to have a block. Perhaps life has been overwhelming you and your 9 to 5 has been demanding more than enough of your time. So you cannot find that little spark which will set you off on the path to writing. Maybe trying to catch hold of this spark is what makes one claim they’re blocked.

Here’s the real trouble with writer’s block though: it’s just something writers have come up with to make themselves sound so darn mysterious. What writers need to realize is that you cannot be creatively inspired twenty hours a day, seven days a week. There will be bad days. And there will be good writing days. And you’re going to have to accept what no one around you will: writing is a job.

When you decided to tell stories to the world, it became your job. Remember when you were a child and had to go to school because that was expected of you? Did you want to go to school every day? Or even now, when you’re at your day job – do you want to go to work every single day? No. Isn’t it?

Then why should writing be any different? Do not make the excuse of having a writer’s block when you’re not writing. Say you’re not feeling up to it. But you know what? Sit down and power through the writer’s block. Write whatever comes to your mind. Because you can always edit a bad first draft. You cannot edit a blank page.

Earlier this year, someone had asked me why I was willing to take part in NaNoWriMo and yet refused to write one blog post each day. I explained to them, that NaNoWriMo allows me to hammer out stories and characters which are not perfect, that this is not the final version which would be shared with the world. While my blog posts need to be perfect. Because those will be shared instantly with the world! And I honestly believe, for blog posts, quality should triumph quantity. So while I would encourage you to power through your blocks when you’re writing a story/novel, I would ask you to take your time with your blog posts.

Understand that blog posts and novels have very different kinds of blocks. Though, neither is undefeatable. The point I am trying to make here is this: no one has a writer’s block. We just need to find the correct time and place to hammer out the words that always seem to be at the tips of our fingers when we are doing anything but writing! :)


All Signs Lead Back to You by Aniesha Brahma
2013.

As the final bell for the day rang on their last day in school, Diya Rai, had a chill run down her spine. The chill of not knowing what the future holds for her and her high school sweetheart, Ashwin Chowdhury.
So she does a preemptive strike.
She dumps him before he can hurt her.

2015.

Two years later, Ashwin and Diya, cross paths. Each holds grudges, feelings and only one half of the story that completes them.
Told from alternating points of view, through a non-linear timeline, this is the story about 

first love, second chances and ALL the SIGNS THAT LEAD BACK TO YOU.

Giveaway
Enter in the rafflecopter below to win a "Bookish Surprise Gift".
Open to Indian Residents Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

21 November, 2016

#GuestPost :: Books are my reason to smile by Arpit Vageria

About the Author:

Arpit Vageria writes for Indian television industry and has written scripts for three television series and various award functions. Formerly a part of The Times of India Group, he now also writes for the immensely popular digital channel, IIT (Indian Idiots Television). Hailing from Indore, he currently lives in Mumbai. An alumnus of Renaissance College, Indore and IBS-Mumbai, he enjoys road trips, singing, playing pranks and adventure sports.

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Books are my reason to smile

We all have literally grown up with books. I remember reading lots and lots of books that were purposely published to educate students like me. I am talking about text books in school. Unfortunately, apart from a few books prescribed in my syllabus, there wasn’t much storytelling involved, which I thought was a sad thing. I don’t want to lie and sound intellectual, but whenever my parents gave me a choice between reading books and watching movies, I always chose movies. Maybe because that excited me more than anything else. It’s only when I found my interest in reading comics that had fancy pictures that I found my interest in reading, and once I found it, there was no going back. I started reading many genres and also found the actual meaning of education with it. In fact, my interest in reading has a lot to do with my career in professional writing.

As I write for television and digital shows, I stumble upon an awful lot of novels getting adapted into television shows and movies. Which is good. That they’re able to justify the real storyline in sync with TRP charts is another thing. 

Books, I believe, can be that change in your life that you’re badly in need of but are still unaware of. There’s something about a book that brings a smile on my face. People generally go to pubs and parties to chill. My idea to chill is sitting between heaps and bundles of books in a bookstore, and whenever I do that, I always regret one thing. That there will be so many books that will remain unread and I’d die without getting to know the knowledge they hold.

I’ve personally observed one thing: If you talk to an avid book reader and then talk to someone who’s not a book reader at all, you’ll get to know the difference. I debate on this quite a few times and I believe you’re as good a writer and thinker as the books that you’ve read.

I’m glad that I’m into a career that demands a lot of reading. It gives me that much needed breath of fresh air. I don’t know if it’d be possible, but I don’t want to die till I’ve read at least five thousand books. No, maybe more.

Books are my reason to smile. ;)


About the Book:

Ranbir is a dreamer, he has a well-paying job, but his aspirations are higher. He is a good lover, he adores Adah and can forego any comfort of the world for her sake. But even then, he is not happy. Because his true calling is not in the corporate, it’s in writing. 
After much deliberation, he takes the plunge and leaves his job to write full-time. While he struggles for balance, Adah also starts keeping herself away. Was she really in love with him and was it just a facade?
Amidst all this confusion, Pihu Sharma enters his life – his first ever fan, who seems to be head over heels in love with him. While Ranbir’s equation with Adah deteriorates, Pihu leaves behind her luxurious life to shift in with him. Is this the true love Ranbir had been waiting for?
Join Ranbir as he makes his way through a world that kills for money and dies for love.

Pre-Order HERE!

19 November, 2016

#GuestPost :: Characteristics of a best-selling book by Paresh P. Ajmera

      
  Life of Social Animals by Paresh P. Ajmera

         Human identity that you flaunt, refresh and update daily is bared in a liberating manner and the garb of religious beliefs/non-beliefs is made to fit such an identity in the most convenient manner. God, the Supreme Creator, and Devil, the Ultimate Destroyer, are both appeased for a better and smoother life. While religion takes refuge in certain mythological and extremely ancient events to explain human identity and morality, you should look around at contemporary societies in order to make your human identity enjoyable in the most moral, healthy and contemporary manner. In fact, you can be god-daring and maintain good relationships with gods and peoples of all religions for your own benefits. You can consequently feel your mundane identity completely evolved in order to enjoy it under any circumstances and amongst people of any society. Also, blind belief in a single religion can only bring in hypocritical concepts, dogmatic rigidity of thinking and unnecessary “god-fearingness” in day-to-day life. 

          Thus, with your beliefs/non-beliefs in religions, in God and Devil being extremely beneficial human attitudes and not mere creators of social obligations and  fearful mindsets, “the non-fictional plot of human drama of realizing and enjoying your true mundane identity” gets a good start. It then thickens along the way because of such a start. With a convenient and hence a liberated identity in a self-customized garb, daily common and mundane matters of your own life like 

(1) earning money by apt social role-playing and by enjoying the race for materialism
(2)  feeling happy with your materialistic lifestyle by locating your true societal position
(3)  understanding and handling your feelings and emotions created due to societal life
(4) being proud of your own sexuality (sex can be as raw and selfish as socially possible)
(5)  finding your family life the most attractive in the form of the smallest and the most manageable social unit 
(6)  realizing your total mental potential despite societal pressures and competitions can become enjoyable in any societal situation. 

        Once different kinds of attitudes of a typical human identity in different types of societal formations  (be it religious gatherings, professional meetings, social gatherings, family unit, etc.) are respected and understood, the celebration of continuous evolution of your own identity becomes extremely easy at every step as per your own  “convenience of conscience” and psychological power. 

      At the end, summative and thought-provoking observations update human identity that exists today and leaves a strong impression of a bold, psychologically strong, morally powerful and down-to-earth human identity which has survived after all these years of continuous evolution right from barbaric cultures to today’s cultures. After getting exposed to such a civilized progress of human identity with all its dramatic ups and downs, you can get a fairly good idea of how much human identity has evolved and the enormity of scope for further evolution.

      Such a boost to your self-awareness  prevents the need for unnecessarily feeling guilty and rigid about certain age-old and orthodox cultural traditions. With such a social life, you do not have to wander aimlessly in search of your identity nor be rigid about sticking to just one aspect of your life. You can easily “flirt with” various societal formations like a colourful butterfly “flirting with” various flowers. Once you read this book, you can easily understand, give importance to, retain and remain proud of your “social-animal identity” at all times whether amongst your own society or outside, whether in heaven or in hell. Such an identity leaves no room for hypocrisy and leaves all the room for honesty. 

Buy from Amazon * Flipkart * Google Play Books

Characteristics of a best-selling book

** When a book becomes a product of mass appeal, a market is born and when a product of mass appeal is consumed like another favorite book, a best-seller is born. 

If you have observed carefully,  all the best sellers in all the human  languages and all the genres tend to have one or more of the following characteristics:

(1)       Taking for granted that human beings are still “social animals” after years and years of evolution,  a best-seller panders  to readers’  instincts in a much better manner than other books and platforms like movies, dramas, magazines, social media, etc. 
(2)       A best-seller is generally cathartic and/or confessional in the best possible manner.
(3)       A best-seller is not  just  commercial in nature but easily develops  an emotional bond with the reader.
(4)       A best-seller has the ability to go into realms of  timelessness like 
(i)        An edutainment book  or
(ii)       A classic book or 
(iii)      A book with ever-green core-concept and subject matter or 
(iv)      A book with a concept not having any expiry date.”.
(v)       A book about human attitudes from time immemorial till date. 
(5)       Wit, humour and human fear dealt with correctly are essential parts of a best-selling book.
(6)       A best-seller greatly succeeds in connecting us with contemporary societal happenings.  
(7)       A best-seller has a holistic coverage ranging from issues (serious and comic) starting with one’s  birth to growing up to education to marriage to old age to death. 
(8)       A best-seller easily depicts acute human drama which one can identify very easily.
(9)       A best-seller is generally evolutionary in nature and expects humanity to take an active part in the civilized race for evolutionary aspects of the particular geography (in can also be the entire globe or other fictional globes with human like characters) it is set in. 
(10)      A best-seller is nakedly transparent about human attitudes that reach their peaks in search of ways of catering to their acute survival instincts.

•          Only when writers, readers and the publishing world take over the minds of entire humanity, human beings will be driven by a sense of purposefulness in everything and not just by their instincts. 


      Born and brought up in Chennai, India, with education in Chemical Engineering from Anna University, Chennai, and Software Development from NIIT, Chennai, Paresh P Ajmera is a self-employed computer software developer at Chennai, India.  He is good at understanding and explaining different human perceptions as a system in an extremely logical and practical manner. Paresh is a complete family man with a son and a daughter.

       The author has written this book with a lot of awareness of any modern materialistic society and the weaknesses of religious leaders to explain the same completely and practically. With attendance in places of worship being mostly social obligations, with the strict dictates of any success-driven materialistic society of today and with psyches of today’s readers shaped by “god-daring” books,  religious books offering practical and mundane solutions, popular philosophy, general psychology and self-help books of contemporary world, the author is visible in this book as a crusader for enjoyment of human identity in a selfish yet moral manner. Also, things which disturb or affect individual or mass psychology of humanity in any manner or constrain their philosophical viewpoints have always been and will remain his source of inspiration in his career. 

     Paresh Ajmera’s abilities to write this book are primarily because of his being brought up in India  (the East) and his exposure to the Western world through movies, literature and news. In India, every move of our lives is measured by traditions (religious or social or legal or whatever) which according to Paresh is quite dictatorial and less liberating. And in the West, every move of life is measured by one’s success and uniqueness (be it psychological, philosophical, cultural, materialistic or just novel). The only weakness in any success-driven and materialistic society is that people do things beyond their psychological,  physical and moralizing powers, thanks to their never-ending race for success and materialism. Thus this book acts as a bridge connecting and compromisingly merging the thoughts of the West and the East. And since his own roots are in Jain religion, his non-parochial, secular and humane approach to the concept is highly visible in this book.

        He has been greatly influenced by the richness of English language and its impact on human thought processes and societal happenings. He has feelings and thoughts like any common but modern man, woman or teen interested in societal and materialistic living infused by spiritual leanings. Paresh likes to share such thoughts and feelings with every human being. He has never aimed to be any authoritative figure. The best way to describe him is a “Watch-man” of humanity (an observer and a reporter of contemporary personal thoughts and cultures of human beings inspiring them to be as evolutionary as possible and self-protectors and celebrators of their own individual identities).