Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Author Interview: Ruchi Singh, Author of Guardian Angel






Winner of TOI WriteIndia Season 1, Ruchi Singh is a novelist, and writes in two genres; romance and romantic thriller. A voracious reader, she loves everything—from classics to memoirs to editorials to chick-lit, but her favourite genre is ‘romantic thriller’. Besides writing and reading, her other interests include dabbling with Indian classical dance forms.




When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
It happened by chance in 2013, when friends and family suggested I should write. It was like an epiphany that yes I can, and should write. Since I am very fond of novels, so I began with a novel. I immensely enjoyed writing Take 2, the joy in creating something new is quite potent. And when I won the Indireads Short Story competition in Oct 2014, I knew I will become a fiction novelist. Recently winning the TOI WriteIndia contest was an awesome experience and added motivation.

What motivates you to write and where does your inspiration come from?
I don’t have any unique muse per se. I think I can safely say that my muse changes with each book that I write because my characters become my muse(s). My characters inspire and take me forward as the story progresses.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
‘Guardian Angel’ is a spin-off from ‘The Bodyguard’ and can be read as a standalone book. It features Nikhil Mahajan, who is an important character in ‘The Bodyguard’, as the main protagonist. He is injured in a bomb blast and lands up in the villain’s clutches in a case of mistaken identity.

What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine or do you have any weird, funny, or unusual habits while writing and what are they?
I write in the morning when people at home have gone to their respective school and office. The house is relatively quiet with essential daily chores out of the way, I love that time of the day. I love the corner near the window, which throws lots of natural light in the room.
There is no fixed pattern to the day. When I am writing the first draft I mostly write every day, but if the writing spree is interrupted it becomes difficult to start again. But it’s a good idea to write daily.
My weird habit: I can’t move ahead until all the colourful wriggly lines (the MS editor throws) are resolved in the paragraph/ line that I have written. My friends tell me to switch off the editor, but my conscious doesn’t allow me to.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Yes, I do. Though I object to the term ‘writer’s block’. It should be called something like else because block gives it a connotation of something external which is blocking the writer’s mind. But it’s not so. It’s our own mind and habits which lead to a break in writing. Creative people can’t be creative all the time, so they need a break. But be careful, too long a break leads to laziness and procrastination, then it becomes difficult to get into the groove again.
The ritual that I believe in, which I too find difficult to follow at times, is to write every day at the same time even if one writes only 200 - 300 words.

What are your current/future projects?
I am writing an emotional romance which is again set in Kasauli, the backdrop of my second novel Jugnu. I’m also planning and plotting a detective series, which is at a very nascent stage. There are lots of ideas floating in my mind, but very less time.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
Yes, I do. I read all of them. The best way to approach the reviews is with a dispassionate mind and look for pointers where one can improve. Do not get swayed with a very positive one and do not get de-motivated with a bad one. Its okay, not everyone is going to like your book/work, so treat a bad review as a mismatch between the book and the reader.

What is the easiest/hardest scene for you to write, why? (Love, action, fight, death, racy, controversial, etc…)
Specialized scenes like fighting or love scenes, and scenes where the characters are in pain, are harder to write. Fighting ones because one needs to convey the action, love scenes have to be aesthetically appealing. I find writing dialogues the easiest.

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
I have been a voracious reader since the time I can remember. It all started with Nancy Drew series and then to Mario Puzo, Frederick Forsyth, Robert Ludlum, and John Grisham. So all the foundation stones had thriller written on them. Romance came with teenage and college friends. If you notice most of the thrillers dwell a little on the emotional story of the protagonist, so romance adds that little spice to make the characters more realistic and the story more enjoyable.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
Editing by the author is done in four ways;
While writing, one constantly edits - This is done by everyone.
Take a printout and edit - This is a very effective way to find out the errors
Speak out loud - This tells you awkward sentence structures.
Read it on a different format, e.g. if you are writing in MS Word, make a PDF file with large fonts and then read it.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
It is not a field for impatient. Be prepared for a long haul.





The Man 


Security expert Nikhil Mahajan is in mortal danger. Gravely injured and unable to see, he is in the midst of hostile strangers in an unknown place. Any hope of survival is fast fading away. 

The Angel 

Should an innocent man be left to die just because he had been in the wrong place at the wrong time? Someone has to intervene.






Thank you, Ruchi for this amazing interview! I wish you success for all your future works. Keep writing!






Thursday, January 3, 2019

Book Review: The Silent Witness by Anuradha


Title: The Silent Witness
Author: Anuradha
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House





The Silent Witness by Anuradha is set among large events: the fight between the Sammudris of Kozhikode and the Rajas of Kochi and their combined fight against the ever growing power of the Portuguese. In this mix is thrown the threat from the Dutch, who wanted to establish their trade centre and control the spice market under the banner of the Dutch East Indi Company. They tried to seize the opportunity to topple the Portuguese rule by joining hands with Kerala Varma and Samoothiri.
Translated by Nirmala Aravind from the Malayalam novel ‘Kottakochiyum Kadalum Sakshi,’ this is a tale of loyalty, deceit, love, and war.

The author does an excellent job delineating in detail the struggle of the South Indian kingdoms to maintain its independence at the face of foreign invasion. It’s interesting to note how the search for the lands of spice changed the face of the world and how the trade in spice affected places and people from Portugal to the native India s, who suffered under the brutal rule of both Dutch and Portuguese.
Anuradha has also included a sweet love story in this rivalry for power. It is the story of Veera Kerala Verma falling in love with Unnimaya. That the two come from opposing camps makes for an even beautiful read.

Aravind’s translation is smooth but it can’t be denied that much of the flavour gets lost when changing tongues. The book contains some illustrations by artist Namboodiri. These are line sketching and don’t add much to the story telling. That said, I was fascinated by this patently but beautifully told story.

A beautiful blend of factual and fictional narrative, The Silent Witness is a vigorous but restrained historical survey.




Anuradha is the pen name of Radha Narayana Menon, an eminent writer from Kochi, Kerala. She is the author of The Saga of Black Gold and has also published two short story collections and ten novels in Malayalam.





I'd like to thank the publisher for letting me review the book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading!




* I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

** Picture courtesy: Amazon.in






Monday, December 24, 2018

Book Review: Jahangir: An Intimate Portrait of a Great Mughal by Parvati Sharma

Title: Jahangir: An Intimate Portrait of a Great Mughal

Author: Parvati Sharma

Publisher: Juggernaut






In her latest book, “Jahangir: An Intimate Portrait of a Great Mughal,” Parvati Sharma shines a light on the fourth and least known Mughal ruler, Jahangir aka Salim.

Nuruddin Muhammad Salim started to call himself “Jahangir,” seizer of the world, long before his father Akbar died and unwillingly left him the throne. Shadowed by the greatness and grandeur of his father Akbar, son Shah Jahan, and wife Nur Jahan, whatever is known about Jahangir is further marred by his drug abuse. He had fallen victim to overindulgence in drink and opium, was mercurial, ill-tempered, and loved the signs of royal power. But behind all these, there lurked a canny ruler and conscientious administrator. In Sharma’s book, we get acquainted to this version of Jahangir.

Jahangir inherited none of his father’s empire-building drive, but he was a patron of the arts. He was an excellent hunter, a naturalist, a mystic, and a book lover. He loved statistics and traveled mainly to catalog the characteristics of his country through its myriad flora and fauna.

The author’s descriptions of the royal court and life are superb. Her detailed explorations of Jahangir’s life reflect her long study, deep understanding, and modern take on a little-explored subject. She forsakes the scholarly approach and examines her subject with a humanistic eye.

Sharma fares elegantly well using her skills as an acclaimed fiction writer. Through her book, she tells a compelling story about one of the most fascinating and perhaps the most undervalued rulers of India. Her writing is enriching in its historical sweep and context. It gives the readers a totally new perspective on the life and time of Jahangir. Her writing is crisp with a uniform flow of thoughts. There are no hiccups and I daresay, it is one of my finest reads of this year.

Jahangir is a page-turning, eye-opening biography of a man whom history remembers only through his relationships with others.





Parvati Sharma's debut, The Dead Camel and Other Stories of Love, earned her a cult following for its depictions of love and sexuality in urban India. Her novella, Close to Home, was acclaimed as 'tender, acute and pulsing with real Indian life'. She has also written a book for children, The Story of Babur. Sharma has worked as a travel writer, editor and journalist.




I'd like to thank the publisher for letting me review the book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading!





* I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

** Picture courtesy: Amazon.in, Juggernaut.in


Sunday, December 23, 2018

Cover Reveal: Guardian Angel by Ruchi Singh

~ Cover Reveal ~
Guardian Angel by Ruchi Singh


The Man
Security expert Nikhil Mahajan is in mortal danger. Gravely injured and unable to see, he is in the midst of hostile strangers in an unknown place. Any hope of survival is fast fading away. 

The Angel
Should an innocent man be allowed to die just because he had been in the wrong place at the wrong time? Someone has to intervene.

About the Author:

Winner of TOI WriteIndia Season 1, Ruchi Singh is a novelist, and writes in two genres; romance and romantic thriller. A voracious reader, she loves everything—from classics to memoirs to editorials to chick-lit, but her favourite genre is ‘romantic thriller’. Besides writing and reading, her other interests include dabbling with Indian classical dance forms.







Monday, December 17, 2018

Blog Tour: Christmas Joy by Samantha Jacobey





Christmas Joy (Sweet Christmas Series Book 4)

Samantha Jacobey

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

Lavish Publishing

142 pages







Life isn’t always sweet, even for girls called Candy.

Candice Parker married Gerald Ford on Christmas Eve two years ago following a massive blizzard. The year before that her family was left homeless when a fire burned their apartments to the ground. Fortunately, fireman Gary had been on call and led the team that rescued Lanelle and Dakota from the blaze.

Last year it all came to a head when Caroline joined their household as the nanny and housekeeper when she revealed the fire had been arson. Following the discovery, a sinister plot unfolded that almost killed them all.

To say Candy is dreading the arrival of this typically happy holiday would be an understatement.

However, she does have one thing going for her this year. Gary has convinced her to adopt rather than try for a baby of their own and a new addition will join their family just in time to change Candy’s view of Christmas forever.

Pushing through her self-doubts, Candy must embrace the desire within her to become Joylana’s mother and champion for life, but will she have the strength to be the mom she wants to be after all the hardships she and Daks have faced in the past?



Amazon Universal Link: http://geni.us/wCciAB




Sweet Christmas Series: 

Read as a standalone or enjoy the whole series


❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✮ ❄️ ✶


Christmas Candy (Sweet Christmas Series Book 1) 

Amazon Universal Link: http://geni.us/eC2V


❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✮ ❄️ ✶


Christmas Eve (Sweet Christmas Series Book 2)

Amazon Universal Link: http://geni.us/bBeZu


❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✮ ❄️ ✶


Christmas Carol (Sweet Christmas Series Book 3)

Amazon Universal Link: http://geni.us/JGU7Fg


❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✮ ❄️ ✶


Christmas Joy (Sweet Christmas Series Book 4)

Amazon Universal Link: http://geni.us/wCciAB


❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✮ ❄️ ✶



Anyone who knows me could tell you, I am a friendly kind of person, never met a stranger and take up conversations anywhere at any time. I work hard, and my mind never seems to shut down, as I wake up often in the middle of the night with ideas pouring out and demanding to be dealt with. Of course that means much of my books were written in the middle of the night.

I grew up and still live in the great state of Texas where everything is bigger, where we have warm weather and a central location. I love my state, my town, and my family, which includes my four sons, my significant other, and many friends as well.

I have thoroughly enjoyed writing the books that are currently available and hope you will enjoy reading them just as much. And of course, there will be many more stories to come.





Thursday, December 13, 2018

New Release: Between The Trees by Kathy Moczerniak

~ New Release ~
Title: Between the Trees
Author: Kathy Moczerniak
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Coming-of-age
350 pages
Publication Date: December 3rd, 2018
#WTMOBTT










Beyond Kathryn Lucas’ first memory of her father’s tree lay a dysfunctional path of violence, heartbreak, and secrets within a family severely entrenched in the vicious cycle of abuse. A lifetime of fear drives her from her home, and the teenage girl finds refuge with an aunt and uncle determined to protect their niece. 

Distressing flashbacks unravel in Kathryn’s fragile mind among the turmoil encircling her as she struggles through adolescence and descends into her pain-ridden past. When the summation of her unsettling memories allows the darkness to overtake her, she becomes desperate to unearth the light.

Inspired by a true story, Kathryn must hold on tightly to those who love her, searching for her place in a world threatening to break her as she fights to overcome life’s betrayals before she is deprived of her future.



Amazon Universal Link: http://geni.us/A5OT6M






















"Between the Trees" is an excellent novel that's full of characters I continued to miss long after I finished the last page. Kathy Moczerniak's writing is a joy to read with vivid imagery from beginning to end. It truly makes you feel like you're right there within the story. I found it especially compelling that it's inspired by a true story, reminding us how important it is to remember that you never truly know what someone else is going through; a little kindness can go a long way. Even more important is its powerful message of hope and healing. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.” 
- Amazon Reviewer


“I definitely recommend Between the Trees by Kathy Moczerniak! I loved it so much! I laughed, cried, felt angry and in shock. I am not much of a reader, but I had to read every day and I had to force myself to put it down to go to sleep. I found myself longing for more and didn't want it to end. I felt a connection to Kathryn and the characters in the book. I can't wait to buy it and read it again!! You will not be disappointed!!” 
- Amazon Customer


“Kathy Moczerniak is a wonderful author who has a way with her writing to hold the attention of her reader! Between the Trees has so much emotion that it’s hard to put it down! Highly recommend the amazing book!!”
- Amazon Customer


“Between the Trees by Kathy Moczerniak is an insightfully written story of a dysfunctional family in crisis. The characters are well developed as each family member struggles to find their way through the chaos. The tale is told through the eyes of the main character, Kathryn Lucas. She grapples with the tribulations of growing through her teenage years in a pained family dealing with divorce, alcoholism, and violence. Kathy Moczerniak's metaphorical writing style adds a sweet, sad, yet hopeful feeling throughout Kathryn's healing to wholeness.” - Goodreads Reviewer







Kathy Moczerniak is a lifelong Buffalo, New York native, where she has built a life with her husband and their four children. Originally turning to writing seeking catharsis, her love of the written word quickly grew into a passion. Kathy’s determination to study her craft led her to graduate summa cum laude from Southern New Hampshire University with a BA in English and Creative Writing. On her path to becoming an author, she began as an editor, her love of literature increasing with each experience. Life as an author, editor, and autism mom keeps Kathy quite busy, and she is eternally grateful for her family and the opportunity to do what she loves.


Follow Kathy Moczerniak at:









https://wtmowordsturnmeon.blogspot.com/p/wtmo-promotional-services.html


https://www.facebook.com/TurnedOnByWords/