soniaraowrites

about writing and other such passionate matters

Janmashtami and Lessons learned from Lord Krishna

Today is Janmashtami and as most of you must be aware, it is the birth celebrations of one of the rockstar deities of the pantheon of Hindu Gods aka Lord Krishna.

Krishna is a fascinating figure and adored and reviled (for apparently playing politics during the Great War) in equal measure.

It would be naive to think one can understand him in just one reading of his life and his exploits  but there are always lessons one can learn from the reading.

Come over to Mumbai Mom where my post, ‘Lord Krishna: 5 unsurprising reasons why he’s my idol’ is published.

A small excerpt is given below:

Dairy product junkie. Lover par excellence. Management guru. Aka Lord Krishna.

Why does Krishna ignite our imagination? Among the supposedly 33crore Hindu gods, Krishna has staked his claim as the rockstar of Hindu deitydom. Almost like a Global Idol.

Born in dire circumstances. Saved from sure death by being substituted with Ma Durga (in baby form) at birth.  Naughty child. The imparter of the ultimate spiritual wisdom.  His entire life is full of surprising lessons which we can imbibe to improve our own lives.

Dairy product junkie:

Young Krishna was a handful. Read the rest here.

 

 

Gandhi, The Movie – Then and Now

When I saw that Zee Classic was showing Gandhi, the iconic movie of 1982, I was thrilled because who doesn’t love the classics from years past. 

But it also brought to mind an interesting interaction I had with my son, about music.

A few days ago, I was engrossed in editing a particularly difficult scene of my novel (WIP) when a few familiar lyrics from long-ago fell into my ears. After the song ended, I told my son, who was watching TV, that I was reminded of Fast Car by Tracy Chapman. He replied that it was the same song. But it isn’t Tracy Chapman’s voice, I insisted. That was a classic.

With a laugh, he said it was a cover of Fast Car by Jonas Blue. I made a face and commented that it was certainly no patch on the original. He begged to differ – he preferred the modern, faster version.

I was faithful to the original and keeping aside the WIP,  I searched for all Tracy Chapman songs on YouTube and spent a few nostalgic, soul-warming hours with her.

Which brings us to Bollywood songs!

The number of contemporary songs that pierce the utter mundanity  of life and uplift it with their memorable lyrics, can be counted on the fingers of one hand. And so it has become an acceptable trend to morph the unforgettable songs of yesteryears into today’s feet-tappers. These are successful just because of the exceptional quality of those songs of yore.

And then my mind drifted to the classic films of Bollywood. And this being the season of Independence Day, I realised TV viewers were in for a goody treat of iconic movies from an era that made us movie-crazyfans.

‘Woh Zamaana Kare Deewana’ by Zee Classic

Zee Classic has, in fact, rightly named its ‘Woh Zamaana Kare Deewana’ section which showcases classics as well as new age movies along with their creators. In this endeavour the very first movie it premieres in celebration of India’s 70th Independence Day is the iconic ‘Gandhi’, this Saturday, on 13th August at 8 PM in ‘India’s Finest Films’ and on Monday, 15th August at 9:30 AM.

This is the story of a barrister from India who responded to racial discrimination in South Africa with Satyagraha and used the same method of Peaceful Agitation  in India to drive out the British and bring the British Empire to its knees. He also proved that simplicity and the power of collectivism can bring about a massive change.

Yes, this is the story of Mahatma Gandhi, whose life inspires us even today in our fight against injustices. And in that vein every time I watch the movie I am in tears and feel enriched with motivation to be a better person. As Gandhiji said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

My mind again speeds ahead (or rather, to the past) and wonders how different it would be if the movie was made today:

Come, let’s see how it would be if Gandhi was made in 2016:

Director

directors

1982 : Sir Richard Attenborough had the ability and talent to accommodate a person’s entire lifespan in a couple of hours. He did a phenomenal job right from the research to bringing alive the legacy of the father of our nation on big screen.

2016: AshutoshGowarikar known for his love for historical films and bringing lost eras to life with Lagaan, Jodha Akbar and Swadesh, is undoubtedly our choice to direct this film today.

Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi

1982: Ben Kingsley played the role of Mahatma Gandhi in the movie.

2016: Mr. Perfectionist Aamir Khan is the man for the job. Known for his chameleon skills to adapt to various roles and characters combined with his attention to detail, Aamir Khan should play the role of our beloved Bapu.

Kasturba Gandhi

Kasturba

1982: Rohini Hattangadi, beautifully portrayed Kasturba Gandhi, wife of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

2016: Kajol, one of India’s most acclaimed actresses can easily pull off the role of Baa.

General Dyer

gen dwyer

1982: Edward Fox is etched in our minds as the dreadful and shrewd General Dyer who was hated by all for his infamous JallianwalaBagh massacre.

2016: Tom Alter with his international looks and versatile talent can be General Dyer in ‘Gandhi’.

Jawahar Lal Nehru

nehru

1982: Roshan Seth played the role of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to perfection. 

2016: The Nawab of Bollywood, Saif Ali Khan wins hands down with his charming royal looks.

Sardar Patel

sardar patel

1982:Saeed Jaffery pulled off the role of The Iron Man of India, Sardar Patel flawlessly.

2016: PareshRawal’s known for his diverse character roles makes him our choice to play the part.

Mohammad Ali Jinnah

jinnah

1982:AlyquePadamsee brought to life an important historic figure, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, popularly known as the father of Pakistan in history

2016: Irrfan Khan, a global Indian will surely cut ice in this role.

Lord Mountbatten

lord mountbatten.jpg

1982: Peter Harlowe played the part with the sternness of a bureaucrat and an attitude on his face.

2016:The suave, Rajat Kapoor has our vote to play the last viceroy of the British Indian Empire.

This is a story that needs to be told again and again, down the ages, because this is an important story of India’s Independence and we and the generations to come will be inspired by this to understand freedom and what it really means and thus value it.

 Tune-in to Zee Classic to watch Richard Attenborough directed ‘Gandhi’ on this Saturday, 13th August at 8 PM and Monday, 15th August at 9:30 AM

 

 

 

‘India’s Finest Films’ – A delicious offering from ZEE Classic

The very name Bollywood conjures up images of songs and dances, action and comedy.  Women in scanty apparel gyrating to lyrics that often cross the thin line between naughty and lascivious.  The lone hero outnumbered by but unhesitatingly bashing up men twice his size.  The female lead more often than not playing second fiddle to the hero.  Not the raw materials of India’s finest films, surely.

Bollywood: Songs and dances and action and comedy

Even before the Hindi film industry got its new moniker (Bollywood), films played coy in portraying romance and making do with two roses bending seductively towards each other or then two birds beaking vigorously.

One would then be tempted to imagine (especially nowadays, when Bollywood stars and movies have become so popular overseas) that the film industry was always making fluff – feel-good movies that lifted  you outside of your dull, drab life for three hours into the glamorous world of bold and beautiful people, the film stars.

Parallel Cinema: Hopes and dreams and angst and desire

ZEE PIC 1

But it was Bollywood that gave us Mirch Masala, a film that showed not just class struggles and the lowly status of women in society but was also a strong statement of women empowerment achieved with solidarity between women. Smita Patil’s performance in this movie was listed by Forbes on its list, “25 Greatest Acting Performances of Indian Cinema”.

The viewer will experience over the next few months a selection of some of our landmark films packaged with some interesting trivia. A true spread for the Cineaste ! This is also a great moment to acknowledge the contribution made by the filmmakers and the film talent who walked with us on this journey and created these endearing works of cinematic expression ~ NFDC spokesperson, Ms. Nazhat J. Shaikh, Director (Finance) 

Who can forget India’s entry to the Oscars that swept away the awards. Yes, Gandhi , the film based on the life of the father of the Nation, and which took 20 years to finally be made. Every Indian who saw this move no doubt felt her heart quiver with the intense patriotism that movie inspired.

“Apne pasand ki cheez milna badi baat hai.
Agar sab kuch mil gaya, lekin apne pasand ki cheez hi na mili toh matlab kya hai jee kay!”
(“It is a big thing, to get what one desires.

If you have everything, but cannot get that one thing you desire, then what is the point of living!”)

The quote above is the reason the elderly maid in the eponymous film Gangoobai, strives to accomplish her dream of buying a costly Gara sari and changes the lives of individuals she comes in contact with while in Mumbai to purchase the sari.

These films, part of the parallel cinema, portrayed the hope, dreams, desires, anger and angst of a generation and they invoked intense reactions within us, also hoping to change the mindset of people by addressing subjects which were important but difficult to talk about.

Indian Cinema, over the years, has beautifully transformed and re-invented itself. From socially relevant topics of child marriage, dowry, female feticide, re-marriage to a simple love story, film-makers have done it all.

WohZamaanaKareDeewana:  A successful marriage between Zee Classic and NFDC

India's Finest Films

                          ZEE PIC 4

I personally feel Zee Classic’s initiative is a very good one. It will help to keep alive the film culture of our country and Zee Classic is in the ideal position to do this.      ~ Mr. Shyam Benegal

These films would be difficult to access were it not for the television channel, Zee Classic who tied up with National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC) in ‘WohZamaanaKareDeewana’ to bring these iconic movie classics and new age cinema and showcase the creative talent of that timeless era not just to those that remember seeing the movies in theatres but also to today’s young generations.

Starting 16th July, every Saturday at 10 PM, Zee Classic will premiere ‘India’s Finest Films’, a distinguished property showcasing masterpieces like ‘Mirch Masala’, ‘Ek Doctor kiMaut’, ’27 Down’  and ‘Salaam Bombay’ amongst many other such gems from the NFDC library.

These movies mark the debut of icons like Irrfan Khan, Pankaj Kapur, Naseeruddin Shah and many more.

Here is a list of the 14 ‘India’s Finest Films’ that will be showcased by ‘WohZamaanaKareDeewana’

  • 16th July – Salaam Bombay
  • 23rd July – Mirch Masala
  • 30th July – Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro
  • 6th August – Ek Doctor Ki Maut
  • 13th August – Gandhi
  • 20th August – Ardh Satya
  • 27th August – Pestonjee
  • 3rd Septemeber – Qissa
  • 10th Septemeber – 27 Down
  • 17th Septemeber – Gangoobai
  • 24th Septemeber – Mammo
  • 1st October – Massey Sahib
  • 8th October – Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastaan
  • 15th October – The Good Road

And if you are like me, loving to know more about that which catches your fancy, ‘India’s Finest Films – A Parallel Journey’ will appeal to you. It includes views of stalwarts of Indian cinema like ShyamBenegal, Mahesh Bhatt, Saeed Mirza, Kundan Shah, RohiniHattangadi amongst others. Catch it on Youtube  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDRbplMpfOI or on TV as a prelude to ‘India’s Finest Films’.

~So hurry, grab the popcorn and your favourite seat on the settee starting 16th July onwards, 10 PM and tune-in to Zee Classic for ‘India’s Finest Films’ ~

(All pics courtesy: ZEE Classic)

How To Write A Novel In 30 Days – 5

 image (6)

 

    WRITER’S BLOCK

A writer’s eye looks at things in a different way than a layperson’s would. Hence her head is full of ideas and it would take lifetimes to actually use them all in the writing. But sometimes, this faucet seems to be tightly closed. And try as they might, the writer is not able to wrench out a single word. This situation is fondly called, Writer’s Block. But this need not be a permanent state of being.

(If you are a writing your first novel, the first draft would mostly flow out. As is popularly said, everyone has atleast one story within them. Make the most of this beginner’s luck).

 WHY THE BLOCK 

The most common reason for a block is not knowing enough about the subject you’re writing on. If it is fiction, then perhaps you are not completely clued in to your characters, their likes and dislikes and their propensities. Going deeper into their psyche could give you enough matter to break any blocks in your mind about them.

Yet another reason for the Block is not believing that you have a story to tell, especially when you read the books written by the writers whose writings you idolise.

But the fact is that if you felt within you a spark (to write a novel)that wanted to burn bright then that is a sure sign that your story is worth writing.

Sometimes the writer gets into the rut of misconception that every word that flows out of his pen into the page must be brilliant and final.  Every writer knows that words have to be written and then re-written a number of times before they flow and you know you’ve got the best words that will work for you story. This is VERY HARD WORK. So avoid the self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviour which prevent you from writing, and blaming ‘Writer’s Block’ for it.

Stop thinking about what the world will think of your story, whether they will like it or not, whether they will approve of it or not, whether they will still respect you after you write your story or not (hey, do you really need such people in your life?).

 BREAK THE BLOCK

Just write the words that excite you, that want to be written by you.

Write like no-one is going to be reading what you have written.

 FREE THE WRITING

A practical way out of the Block is by free writing. Set a timer for 15 minutes and write whatever comes to mind about a subject of your choice, perhaps the character who’s causing you distress or even your story. Write uninhibitedly and soon you might find gems that could give you a breakthrough.

 What are the methods you use to get over Writers Block?

 (Read How To Write A Novel In 30 Days – 1, 2, 3, and 4.

How To Write A Novel In 30 Days – 4

DO YOU HAVE A WRITING BUDDY?

“Anything you do deeply is very lonely. There are many Zen students here, but the ones that are going deep are very lonely.”

“Are you lonely?” I asked him.

“Of course,” he answered. “But I do not let it toss me away. It is just loneliness.”

~ Wild Mind, Living the Writer’s Life by Natalie Goldberg.

Writing is a solitary pursuit. The visualization and the capturing of the inspirations and the impressions, all need to be done in quietude. But many times, we need a certain push that only another writer can understand and provide.

It is a proven fact that accountability can make the difference between the success and failure of a venture. Going on a diet? Going to take 10,000 steps daily? Going to write daily?

Accountability will make you feel like taking action even when you’d rather just watch television or surf the net.

These are buddies. Gym buddies, diet buddies, walking buddies, writing buddies.

Identify one such friend, or two. Whose writing strengths match yours. Then, fix up the time and amount of writing you will do.

It could be timed writing. Or even timed editing. Buddies remind you of your writing goals when you forget them. And they goad you to follow up on your promises you made to yourself and to others. They read what you’ve written. They tell you what is working and what isn’t. When they give a patient hearing to your ideas, the vision becomes clearer and the story becomes stronger. We can never be objective about our own writing. Our buddies point out to us our weaknesses, whether it a skewed POV or a rambling text or even a sequence of plot events which is implausible.

In the earlier days of publishing, editors at the publishing houses took on the role of writing buddy, in a way. Through encouragement and regular but constant goading, they ensured the writers completed writing their books. In fact, well-known Canadian author, Mark Anthony Jarman, in a writing workshop by Avid Learning held at the Kalaghoda Art Festival, revealed it was thanks to this unceasing badgering by his editor that he was able to complete writing most of his books.

Mark Anthony Jarman

Writing buddies are invaluable. If you don’t have one, you need to get one ASAP.

But remember, worthwhile relationships are never one-sided.

Will you be a great writing buddy, too?

Read How To Write A Novel During NaNoWriMo – 1, 2, and 3.

 

How To Write A Novel in 30 Days – 3

Like I promised last week, here I am with some light to throw on PHYSICAL CREATIVITIES.

Ask hundred people the definition of creativity, almost eighty would say it is about “thinking out of the box”.

All this while one would have thought that this box referred to must be some hypothetical box, which one had to jump out of if one had a wish to be creative.

But what would happen if you were actually put inside a life-sized box? A sealed box. Bet you’d try all the creativity at your disposal to get out of that box. Besides of course, hammering on the sides with your fists, hoping SOMEBODY would hear you.

Jokes aside, according to research done, those outside the physical box scored more points on creativity, than those inside it.

Here are some ways in which physical actions can jog your creativity into higher gear:

  • Write standing up:
    Ernest Hemingway did it. So did Charles Dickens and Virginia Woolf. Have you tried it?
  • Write with your non-dominant hand:
    The discomfort and unusualness of using the non-dominant hand opens up untraveled pathways in the brain, giving you a piece of writing that might either be utterly worthless or a super-precious gem. At least it allows you to bypass your oft-used clichéd words, phrases and ideas.
  • Lie down under the stars:
    On a dark, starry night, go to a quiet, open space (preferably a garden) and even if you don’t lie down, atleast throw back your head and savour the unending vastness of the black night interspersed with the sparkling stars. You’ll forget all your worries and stress when you realize how microscopial they are in the face of the gorgeous beauty of the Universe. This letting go ( of control/worry/fear) is what will allow your creativity to manifest – not just in writing, but in every aspect of life.

  • Go for a walk, but CARRY a voice recorder:
    No, not that sort of a walk where you burn 300 calories per mile (or whatever the exact figures are). More like an amble. An aimless walk, gentle steps, your mind travelling all over the world, especially into the world of the stories you’ve written or even plan to write. Stopping to stare at a particularly intriguing flower, or a bush that sprouts fragrant flowers only at dusk. All the while, talking into the recorder. Allowing the words to come to you instead of trying to drag them towards you. Talk without judgment. You will soon know which words you must keep and which you can delete.

Which is your favourite creativity-inducing physical activity?

Read How To Write A Novel In 30 Days – 1 and 2

HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL IN 30 DAYS – 2

There are two types of people in this world:

  • Those who like a well-ordered, disciplined life and
  • Those who always crave excitement and a routine life bores them almost to death.

We will talk about the second group because the first group has everything planned out and doesn’t really need any further inputs. Mostly.

So the people who crave excitement try to find it in dangerous sporting activities such as bungee jumping, river rafting or even sky diving. The more adventurous ones even take it up as a profession. Such as bullfighting.

And if you are an Avenger or a Superpower-person, you get your thrills in kicking the a** of those mammoth antagonists that more often than advance towards you from the horizon, stomping over buildings and buses and scattering  laypersons like ants whose piece of candy has been snatched away.

Those who cannot physically access these activities try to find excitement in activities like substance abuse and other type of addictions.

These are the Excitement-Junkies (EJ).

These activities can be life-threatening (except if you are an Avenger or Super-power person) and most of us don’t want to lose our lives in pursuit of excitement. What options do most EJs have, then?

Here is where NaNoWriMo comes in.

Coverpic banner

Photo Credit: NaNoWriMo

If you are a creative person and ever felt the call to write a novel (which is also why you are reading this article), the ‘Deadline’ is the device that will bring to you all the excitement of a battle without endangering your life.

30 days of writing, a minimum word count, not doing your daily minimum, the word-backlog piling on, the approaching deadline and the thrill of validating your novel a few minutes before 11:59pm on 30th November. Slaying a dragon couldn’t give you this kind of a high. EJs of the world, rejoice.

Conversely, writing to a deadline is also ‘being in a Zen state’ or ‘being in the moment.’

Okay, let us try an experiment.

Open a New Word doc. Or a blank page in your notebook.

Now write 500 words of a story using these words:

crash, crumpled paper, straw, gravel, ochre.

There is no time limit. Begin now.

Finished? Not yet? Why?

Okay, let that go.

Open another New doc or blank page, as the case may be.

Set the timer on your phone for 15 minutes. Ready?

Now, using these words: social worker, mop, hotel room, beeper, write a story of 500 words within 15 minutes, beginning NOW.

With a deadline looming ahead, your inner editor does not get an opportunity to barge in with its deprecating words. And with limited time at your disposal to finish the story your mind gets totally involved in the task, relegating all extraneous thoughts to the back- burner. Isn’t that what meditation is all about. And really, if after a gap of time, say a few days or months, you read what you have written, you’d be quite pleasantly surprised. “Have I written this?” is one of the most common expressions that describe what you feel.

But if words like meditation confuse or scare you, then consider deadline being the weapon that can wipeout the curse of “one day.” According to Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo, the world is full of “one day novelists” – those people who proclaim to the world that ‘one day, they will write a novel.’

That day is the 1st of November. Get ready for it.

P.S. The prompts given above are from http://www.creativewritingprompts.com/ It is a very good idea to write to prompts (within a time deadline). This exercises both both your physical and mental creativities. Try it.

More about physical creativities next week.

Hopefully, you have signed up at NaNoWriMo already. If you are on Facebook, check out the Wrimo India Page too.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please feel free to share this post (Go on, share it) but only with relevant attribution and with a link to this blog. Failure to do so will invite the evil eyes and you know how tough it is to get rid of those!!!

 

HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL IN 30 DAYS – 1

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel.

If you google either NaNoWriMo or ‘How to write a novel in 30 days,’ you’ll get thousands of links, most of them helpful and many of them repetitions.

As a five-time ML (aka Volunteer and Motivational Leader) and seven-time winner of NaNoWriMo, I have observed and studied and experienced and come up with a list of things one can do to be able to write a novel this November. In the next few weeks, I shall share them with you so, come November you are fully equipped and excited to write your novel.

These tips would work for both first-time wrimos* as well as veteran wrimos. My sincere advice to first timers is: Just write that novel without getting bogged down with the technicalities. Write like how Rumi asks a lover to dance. Write as if no-one is watching (and really, that is the only way to write).

So, onto the tips for today:

  • READ a lot
    Self-explanatory. Read in the genre that you love. Romance, literary, thrillers, paranormal, horror, fantasy, YA, sci-fi and/or a combination of these.

But also read a lot of non-fiction. Especially in subjects you are passionate about. My list includes (in no particular order): creativity, love, cooking (reading about it), spirituality, nutrition and marriage.

What subjects does your list include?

  • LISTEN to people

Go out often, to crowded places (no dearth of them in our beloved country, no?). Eavesdrop on conversations, jot down interesting ones. Go to the garden, to the café, to the railway station, the airport, a deserted lane late in the evening and stand under the boughs of the bougainvillea, and write. Allow yourself to feel, allow yourself to write whatever wants to be written, don’t judge.

Heard something interesting lately? An interesting dialect/dialogue/turn of phrase?

  • ALWAYS carry a small notebook

And make it a point to write something in it, everyday. Make it a habit. And the more you write, the more interesting will your writing become. Will you ever use what you are writing? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. But the quality of your writing will improve, that is a given.

Until next week, then.

And don’t forget to sign up at nanowrimo[dot]org if you haven’t already. Camp NaNoWriMo begins in July. Time to write that novel you always wanted to, right?

False Ceilings by Amit Sharma – A Review

Hello friends *waves*

I know I’ve been terribly incommunicado in the last few months. But things are all set to change (you must have noticed one post a day happening since the last two days, hehehe) and a lot of nice, new stuff to read is going to be available in this space.

Stay with me, my dear readers. I begin with a new section that I have so far stayed away from till now. Yes, I’m talking of book reviews. I plan to post one book review a week (though you might see more than one in this week – the backlog is higher than my own height). You will be able to find them if you click on the Book Review category in the cloud on the right side of this page.

I begin with the review I did of False Ceilings, an interesting novel by Amit Sharma:

       8429764

In the ‘70s, false ceilings were all the rage for living rooms, bedrooms and even bathrooms. They were especially popular with the film fraternity and filthy-rich industrialists. Intricately carved designs on the moldings and vivid combinations of colours made for an attractive façade but behind all that lurked a certain rot. Broken and smashed in by Income tax officers, the false ceilings laid bare the putrefaction they shielded, the decadence of black money in the form of currency notes, stuffed behind them.

This duplexity of splendour and squalor finds evocative portrayal in the cover of Amit Sharma’s debut novel, “False Ceilings” even as the READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW HERE.

 

ROYAL ROMANCE, BOOK 1: THE PRINCE’S SPECIAL BRIDE – SNEAK PEEK

Cover Reveal
 
ROYAL ROMANCE, BOOK 1: 
THE PRINCE’S SPECIAL BRIDE
by
DEVIKA FERNANDO
 
Sneak Peek
 

Marie doesn’t believe in fairytales and needs no handsome prince to rescue her from misery – but everything changes when she falls in love with Crown Prince Christian of Taragonia. When his sister invites Marie to the palace, their lives collide and leave them both fighting their forbidden attraction.



Prince Christian has no place in his life for love or for a woman who doesn’t fit into the royal scheme of things. But vivacious Marie steals his heart and puts all he has lived for at stake. When the media gets wind of their affair, he has to make a difficult decision. 



Will the unlikely couple have a chance at a happy ending?

About the Author
Almost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Her trademark are sweet, yet deeply emotional romance stories where the characters actually fall in love instead of merely falling in lust. She draws inspiration from everyone and everything in life. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a self-employed German web content writer, as a translator, and as a faithful servant to all the cats, dogs, fish and birds in her home. What she loves most about being an author is the chance to create new worlds and send her protagonists on a journey full of ups and downs that will leave them changed. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing.

You can follow the author here:

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads



Excerpt from the book

 
Marie blinked some more, her feet automatically carrying her close. “What…what are you doing here?” Belatedly, she curtsied and added a weak “Your Highness”, remembering that they were not alone. 



His smile widened. For a moment, he seemed to be drinking her in, his gaze roving appreciatively over her body clad turquoise capris and a white polo shirt. She felt his gaze like a physical caress, driving her out of her mind, increasing the heat.


 

 

“This is my family’s property. Surely I have a right to be here,” he joked mildly. For a moment, it looked like he wanted to touch her, but his hand fell back down to his side, clenching into a fist once.
“Yes,” she replied, still dazed. “But you’re a crown prince, not a winemaker.”
He laughed, and the sound traveled straight to her heart. “That is correct, but I do know a thing or two about wine. My duties encompass everything concerned with my kingdom.”
She nodded. Of course. And wasn’t that what made him the perfect regent? His interest in anything and everything, his willingness to learn and his readiness to get his hands dirty?
He ushered her into the building, her entourage trailing behind and exchanging looks.
“I came here this morning with the dignitaries from England and Germany to give them a private tour.” Christian raked his hands through his hair, as if the time spent with them hadn’t exactly been fun. “My sister told me you’d end up here sooner or later, otherwise I’d have traveled through the region, visiting some other vineyards and villages.”
Marie swallowed. So he’d stayed behind because of her. She felt thrilled and anxious at the same time. As keen as she was on every minute spent with him, this would lead nowhere and should not even get a chance to bloom. Why nurture something that was doomed to be cut off at the stem before it could blossom?

Are you ready?????
 
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