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Archive for the category “The Book Club”

Finding The Angel: Interview with the author, Rubina Ramesh

It is always a thrilling experience to come across an author with a refreshingly bold voice. Rubina Ramesh is one such author and I have always loved reading her stories. Getting the opportunity to edit her very first novel was the icing on the delicious book-cake.

Having worked closely with Rubina, I thought I knew everything there was to know about  “Finding The Angel” but then I got the chance to interview her and I surprised myself with the questions and Rubina did with her answers.

Let’s just say we bring out the best in each other 😉

Over to the interview…

Sonia Rao (SR): Hi Rubina, thank you for agreeing to this interview. I’d really love to know how was this experience of writing “Finding The Angel (FTA)” different from writing Knitted Tales, your anthology of short stories? 

Rubina Ramesh (RR): Hi, Sonia. Thank you so much for these lovely questions. For Finding the Angel – the credit goes entirely to you. Your support meant a LOT to me during that time.  I wrote Finding The Angel when I was at my lowest point. I had lost the one person who meant the world to me. I think I created my escape world in FTA. I wrote the first draft in 3 days. Nonstop. I don’t think I can do it ever again. People often ask me whether I am a serious writer or a writer of sweet romances. I only know I am a writer. I really don’t care about the genre when I am writing.  I write Romance to spread the cheer that will make even a cynic’s lips curve upwards in a smile. Love to me is a powerful emotion which can never be trifled with.  So while FTA is my escapism, Knitted Tales is my facing realities with events either experienced or heard from others. Which one is which, I am not telling ..haha haha.

SR: Which format do you prefer working on: short or long fiction?

RR: Short as of now. Something that can be finished in one go, yet remembered for some time. In this digital world, we have access to so many books. To make the readers pick it up and read it is a challenge every writer faces. Moreover, these reads are for those moments of relaxation when one needs to unwind after a hard day’s work. So I want my stories to always have a happy ending. I love to imagine the smile that must be spreading on the faces of my readers as they reach towards the end of my story.

SR: How important was research for this book and how did you go about doing it?

RR: For FTA, I had to do a lot of research for the Fabergé Egg that I was planning to use. I needed something with a history. It had to be something so important that would keep my protagonists apart yet would help destiny to bring them closer. Not many have touched the rich history of Fabergé Egg, so I took my chance.

SR: Why do people prefer reading romances so much? 

RR: For the simple reason why we need to breathe. How can our world go on without love? When you say the word love, your face automatically lights up in a  smile. Try it sometime in front of the mirror. Each one of us wants to believe that true love, soul mate, finding that moment in your life, is true. The cynical ones are cynical because they didn’t find it or it did not meet their expectations. To me, love is not about a man or a woman loving you. It’s about love. My love. My heart. My emotions. So how can it not be beautiful?

SR: What advice would you give about publishing to someone whose MS is publishing-ready?

RR: Do not wait for a publisher to knock on your door and request for the MS. Do not wait for the moment when someone will discover you. Today the publishing world is very dynamic. Every writer’s future lies in their own hand.

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Learn more about Rubina Ramesh and ‘Finding the Angel’  below (psst psst, you can win chocolates and gift vouchers):

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FINDING THE ANGEL
by
Rubina Ramesh
 
 
 
Blurb
 
All She wanted was love…
Shefali is a die-hard romantic. Having lost her parents at a very tender age, she is in search of a place which she can call home. Her passion for Art lands her a job as an art curator to the famous artifacts of the Ranaut Dynasty. When she meets the scion, Aryan Ranaut, she feels that her dream might come true until…
All He wanted was to trust…
Living the life of a modern day Prince is no easy task for the young and dashing Aryan Ranaut. Having lost his father to a rapacious woman, Aryan has severe trust issues. But upon meeting Shefali, he feels he could let down his guard. Until…
All They need is to find The Angel…
Just as Aryan realizes his love for Shefali, one of the most precious artifacts, The Angel, goes missing from the Ranaut collection. All fingers point towards Shefali—more so because she leaves the palace without telling anyone on the very night of the theft.
Finding the Angel is a story where duty clashes with love and lack of trust overrides passion. Under these circumstances, can The Angel bring the star-crossed lovers together?
Grab your copy @
 

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About the author
 

Rubina Ramesh is an avid reader, writer, blogger, book reviewer, and marketer. She is the founder of The Book Club, an online book publicity group. Her first literary work was published in her school magazine. It gave her immense pride to see her own name at the bottom of the article. She was about 8 years old at that time. She then went to complete her MBA and after her marriage to her childhood friend, her travel saga started. From The Netherlands to the British Isles she lived her life like an adventure. After a short stint in Malaysia, she finally settled down in the desert state of USA, Arizona. Living with her DH and two human kids and one doggie kid, Rubina has finally started living the life she had always dreamed about – that of a writer.

 
You can stalk her @

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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:

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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?

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THE FOOD OF THE HEART IS LOVE – A GUEST POST

When Rubina Ramesh, a very dear friend and founder of The Book Club, suggested I do a guest post for TBC, I was quite hesitant. Understandably so, no? After all, writing about one’s addictions is as “naked” as one can get in one’s writings. But if you know Rubina then you also know her persuasion is a lovingly-camouflaged order. And you don’t say no to the one who is your inspiration and also a champion of your writing. So hey, here goes, my rendition of a Facebook Addiction:

THE FOOD OF THE HEART IS LOVE

Many years ago, I was a voracious eater of non-vegetarian food, but all that food made me sick. I gave it up.

I loved eating rice and could polish off two-three platefuls at a time. It made me very lethargic and lazy. I gave it up.

A box of mithai, received during weddings and festivals,became my territory. After others had a piece each there was an unspoken agreement that the rest would be eaten by me. And that too, within the next couple of hours. This was beginning to tell upon my girth and so this too I gave up.

Whenever a discussion took place about losing weight or giving up smoking/drinking, I had the ultimate solution to it, which I offered sanctimoniously: Just stop doing it.I had the answer to all addictions and felt very pleased with myself.

But such pompousness on the part of us human beings only invites the Universe to laugh at us, especially when we…Read the rest here.

(The idea of guest posts on Addictions came about when the book Marijuana Diaries:Stories on Addiction came out. It is an anthology of short fiction by 17 new and established writers and it explores addictions and its many manifestations. You can grab a copy here).

SPOTLIGHT: Full Circle by Yamini Vijendran

 

Full Circle 
by 
Yamini Vijendran
 

 

The Blurb
 Outwardly, Malini is a contented, sixty-something grandmother with a loving family and everything a person could wish for. But Malini has lived her entire life with a secret confined to the deepest recesses of her heart.



Haunted by the past, she travels to Kumbakonam, her native town, which she had left years ago. There, she comes face-to-face with her long-lost love.



After forty years, will Malini be able to reclaim her own life, when love comes knocking at her door once again?

 
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Meet the Author


 

Yamini Vijendran (@saimini) is the author of ‘Full Circle’, a romance novella published by Indireads. After being a Software Professional for 7 years, Yamini has been freelancing from home for the past 3 years. She loves to dabble in fiction and romance and drama are her favorite genres. Her short stories have been published in ‘Love Stories That Touched My Heart’, an Anthology published by Penguin India, New Asian Writing and Six Sentences. Yamini also likes to pen poems when inspiration strikes, and her poetry has been published in The Indian Review, Contemporary Literary Review of India and ‘A World Rediscovered’ a poetry Anthology by Cyberwit Publications. Yamini draws material for her stories and poems from the world around her. When she is not converting her experiences to stories or poems, Yamini reads, plays with her toddler, and fools around her laboratory, that is, the kitchen.
You can stalk Yamini Vijendran @


                  

 

 

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SPOTLIGHT: Meghna by Sundari Venkatraman

MEGHNA by Sundari Venkatraman

 

The Blurb
     The young and dashing Rahul Sinha lives in England with his parents, Shyam and Rajni. He is an only son of the rich banker. Rahul is totally attached to his father but does not care for his mother. Read the book to find out why…. 
     Rahul is exulted with his efforts at work paying off and plans a holiday with his best friend Sanjay Srivastav who lives in Mumbai with his wife Reema, kids Sanya and Rehaan and most importantly, his sister, Meghna. Rahul recalls meeting Meghna just before they parted six years ago. 
     Meghna works for a website and also teaches modern dance as she loves it. She’s thrown for a toss when Rahul comes visiting. She had thought he had forgotten them. 

 

But how could Rahul do that? Sanjay’s his best friend and Rahul had always treated their home as his own. Sanjay’s mother had been more of a mother to Rahul than his own. Rahul had stayed away after moving to England or so Meghna believes. 
 
     Thus begins the story between Rahul and Meghna, the teasing, the flirting, the anger, the tears…will they find love? 
 
A FRIENDLY WARNING: This book has been written only for the purpose of Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment! If you are looking to learn something or improve your lives after reading this work, then this book is not for you. I am not trying to get into competition with the Author Biggies of this world. I wrote this simply for the fun and joy of it. One thing I can promise the reader though: Well proof-read, perfect language that I feel is very important for every book that’s written in any tongue. 
 
Yours truly, 
Sundari Venkatraman
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Meet the Author
The Author’s Thoughts

 

Even as a kid, she absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as Sundari grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. Soon, into her teens, she switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine.
 
Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! She could never string two sentences together. While her spoken English had always been excellent – thanks to her Grandpa – she could not write to save her life. She was bad at writing essays in both school and college. Later, when it was time to teach her kids, she could manage everything from Science to Mathematics and History & Geography.
 
When it came to writing compositions, her kids found her of no help at all. All this changed suddenly one fine day in the year 2000. She had just quit her job at a school’s office and did not know what to do with her life. She was saturated with simply reading books. That’s when she got home one evening after her walk and took some sheets of paper and began writing. It was like watching a movie that was running in her head – all those years of visualising Indian heroes and heroines needed an outlet and had to be put into words. That’s how her first novel, The Malhotra Bride, took shape.
 
While she felt discouraged when publishing did not happen, it was her husband who kept encouraging her not to give up. There was no looking back after that. While publishing took a long time happening, Sundari continued to write novels and then short stories. Her luck turned when Indireads approached her to write for them and Double Jeopardy was born.
 
Now it’s all about self-publishing her books on Amazon. She has published The Malhotra Bride (2nd Edition) and Meghna so far while planning to publish her fourth book – The Runaway Bridegroom –  in September 2014. 
 
You can stalk her @
                  
This spotlight is part of the Blogtour conducted by The Book Club
See other spotlights on the right under ‘Spotlight’.

SPOTLIGHT: Scarlet Revenge by Ann McGinnis

 

Scarlet Revenge by Ann McGinnis



The Blurb
 
The FBI doesn’t know what to do with Analyst Caycee Scarlet. She’s brash, brilliant & brutally relentless when tracking a serial killer. But she also has a temper, problems with authority figures and recognizing the chain of command. Things go sideways for Caycee when she uncovers a lead that saves the Omega Killer’s latest victim. Rather than working the system and making nice with her pompous boss, sparks fly and she gets into an altercation with the lead Special Agent on the case, resulting in a transfer to another assignment. Caycee finds herself transferred to an FBI interrogation facility where she assesses the most dangerous of criminals in custody. She struggles to get over the loss of her dream job, but her new boss, handsome Special Agent Gil Graham, may soften the blow. Sparks, of a different variety, fly between the Special Agent and his new Analyst, as they work together to crack the most difficult cases. Just when Caycee’s wounds are healing from her expulsion on the Omega Killer team, she is dragged back into the thick of it. Caycee and her new team are front and center, focused on an interview of a bombing suspect, when Omega comes looking for revenge. His attack wounds her team, leaving Caycee with only one option for help-the devastatingly handsome bombing suspect. It will take all of Caycee’s wits, and a kiss for luck, to stop Omega and save her co-workers.
 
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Meet the Author
 
Ann McGinnis writes about characters that let their egos and sense of justice rule their lives, while they protect the public from serial killers and unthinkable crimes. Of course, Ann’s characters always find a way to blow off steam — romantically!
As a writer, Ann comes from the world of action/thrillers and screenwriting. She has two scripts currently in development. A third script, about a spunky FBI analyst, is the basis of “Scarlet Revenge” and the main character Caycee Scarlet. It is the first book in a series, with Book 2 “Scarlet Envy” coming out in September 2014.


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This Spotlight is part of the Blogtour conducted by The Book Club. See more Spotlights in the Category on the right of this page.

SPOTLIGHT: The Madras Mangler by Usha Narayanan

 

The Madras Mangler by Usha Narayanan



The Blurb
 
Five pretty girls from around the country, enjoying college life in Chennai, chasing their own dreams. Until a psychopath comes to town, killing girls and dumping their bodies in the rivers. The killer is smart, dangerous and very angry. Just like Vir Pradyumna, ace criminologist from New York, who is fighting his own demons from the past. Ruthless politicians, bumbling cops, beer barons and cyber criminals run amuck. The killer snatches a girl whom Vir has sworn to protect. A Hollywood action crew and the crowds at the India-Australia cricket one-dayer get sucked into the relentless buildup to a nail-biting climax. Will Vir be in time to stop the maniac and save the girl?
 
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Meet the Author
 
Be crazy, be creative. That’s been my mantra as a writer and a creative director ― in advertising, radio, corpcomm and web-writing. I turned up the craziness a notch by becoming a novelist, with the freedom to write exactly what I wanted. I started a romcom, changed it into a thriller and sweated and slogged to get the pieces to work together. Research, cliffhangers, suspense, clues, red herrings ― my brain was in a tizzy for days and months.
Done, dusted off, dispatched. A few rejections, heartbreak. A contract from Leadstart, bliss. Creating a spooky book trailer with images and music I bought online. A tweak here and there, with my editor. Poring over images for the cover. Suggesting the artist turn ‘The’ in the title sideways. The book comes out on Flipkart and Amazon first. And after some nail-biting suspense, in bookstores. Organised a launch with Suhasini Maniratnam and Rudra Krishna. Great media reviews. Lovely, wonderful blogger friends. I love being an author 



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This Spotlight  is part of the Blog Tour conducted by The Book Club.
Check out more spotlights at soniaraowrites.wordpress.com

Turquoise Silence – Poetry by Sanober Khan (A Spotlight)


Turquoise Silence by Sanober Khan

A disclaimer: This book is a part of a blog tour conducted by The Book Club and all the reviews are done in exchange of a copy of the book from the publisher or author. No monetary trasaction takes place.

 

 

The Blurb
The book is a collection of free verse poems that encapsulate the poet’s most heartfelt emotions about life. They speak of moments that sweep our breath away, of beauty that bewitches the heart, of people, memories, sights, sounds and smells that awaken a sense of wonder and wistfulness. With rich metaphors and eloquently flowing imagery, the poet’s love for the simple things in life unfolds in different moods and tones, ultimately ending up in words felt, cherished, concieved and written… in turquoise silence
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sanober

 

Meet the Poet
 
Writing poetry is a very different, mystical experience. There is no plot, no storyline, no characters…just a stage set for you and your own deepest self. When I wrote my first poem six years ago, I never imagined it would someday become such an important aspect of my life.
 I have always loved poetry for the creative freedom it offers, the minimal rules, its ability to elevate even the most ordinary moments. At the end of each poem I write, it feels as though I have not just evolved in my style, but also as a person.  My work first appeared in Cyberwit’s international journal, the Taj Mahal Review, which paved the way for me to getting two books published.
I have long been inspired by poets like Khalil Gibran, Rumi, Rabindranath Tagore ,Rolf Jacobsen, E.E Cummings, and John Keats. A voracious reader myself, I enjoy reading poetry and novels from around the globe.
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The Revenge of Kaivalya by Sumana Khan – A spotlight


The Revenge of Kaivalya by Sumana Khan


 

The Blurb
 
Deep within the womb-like forests of the Western Ghats, an entity manifests itself at the malevolent moment when the ocean rises to devour hundreds of thousands. Kencha, an unwitting witness to Its birth, is soon found dead – his body branded with a strange message written in HaLegannada, an ancient version of modern Kannada. Even as Dhruv Kaveriappa, Chief Conservator of Forests – Hassan division investigates Kencha’s death, he senses an unseen danger in the forests of Kukke, Bisle and Sakleshpura. Animals drop dead; plants wither away and just as he feared, the forest claims its first victim. Shivaranjini, on vacation in Sakleshpura, suffers a devastating tonic-clonic seizure moments after she returns from a visit to the forest. Soon, she begins to exhibit a bizarre personality disorder. Perhaps there is an outbreak of an unknown rabies-like disease? Or, as ridiculous as it seems, could it be a case of tantric witchcraft? 
 
The truth unfolds in a dizzying maelstrom of events – a truth far too terrifying to comprehend
 
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Meet the author
 
 
The Author’s Thoughts
 
In the early stages of my manuscript, I knew the title of my novel had to be the name of the principal character. And it could not be just any name. It had to fit into the storyline – from a time perspective, as well as setting the atmosphere. It had to sound ancient and also define the character. Tall order!
As I read up on the history of Vijayanagara, I hoped to come across a good, strong name…but history, largely, is about men and their wars and conquests. I hoped to select a name from our puranas. But nothing clicked. What about our stotras? Maybe the lalitha sahasranama? Or ashtalakshmi stotra? One evening I sat mulling on ‘Kausalya’…thanks to the most famous line ‘Kausalya supraja Rama purva sandhya pravarthathe’ from the Suprabhata 🙂 I went to bed with that line in my head.
The next morning, somehow, ‘Kausalya’ had transformed to ‘Kaivalya’. I did not remember coming across the name in any of my previous research. Curious, I looked up what ‘Kaivalya’ stood for. And was fascinated.   Read More ……..
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