A Sneak Peek into Fashionably Yours by @Author_Swati !!!

Hello Readers !!!

Already feeling the winter chill with the onset of December? Time to pull out those fashionable winter wear lying in your closet and feel oh! so uber- chic!

Let’s give you a feel of it with the help of our sizzling December release by Swati Sharma titled “Fashionably Yours”.

What is the Book About?

FASHIONABLY YOURS COVER“Maya Kapoor swaps the snowy mountains for the glittering ocean.”

Maya Kapoor arrived in Mumbai with a glamorous dream, quite literally. Maya wants to be a serious fashion writer for the high-end fashion magazine, Glamorous, but luck is not in her favor. Instead, she lands a job with a local fashion magazine, Style. Maya hates everything about it but for now this is all she has. Despite all the odds, Maya is excited about living an independent, fashionable life in the city of dreams.

At twenty-five, love has eluded Maya. But when she bumps into the dashing photographer, Aryan Malik, she falls head over heels for his gorgeous smile and charming manner.

But Maya seems to be stuck in a rut – her credit card bills are sky-high, her melodramatic mother can’t stop ranting, the boss is unbearably cruel, her younger sister has decided to tie the knot, and she’s not sure if Aryan could love a simple, confused girl like her.

Will Maya get the fairytale life she dreamed about or will she let everything slip through her fingers? Read her diary and find out.

About the Author…

Swati Sharma is a born and bred Delhi product. Before dabbling into writing, she completed her post graduation in business.Before Fashionably Yours happened, Swati authored four coffee table books and has written for a lifestyle magazine.

One thing which very few people know that Swati is clairvoyant, and no it’s not a joke. She lives in Delhi with her extensive collection of nail polishes, lipsticks and with very

neat piles of books and magazines.

A Sneak Peak into “Fashionably Yours”….

As I pulled it open, I felt my heart flutter at the sight of a crisp, white envelope which was going to take me a step closer to my dream. Gingerly I reached inside the envelope

and pulled out a letter. I read the job offer for the zillionth time since it had arrived last evening.

Dear Maya Kapoor,

Congratulations! We are pleased to offer you the position of ‘Feature Writer’with the online division of Style magazine. Please find the attached draft copy of your offer letter from Style, Mumbai.

Do go through the letter and let us know if you have any

queries with regards to the offer.

I had waited for this letter for far too long. Though Style was not my first preference, I realized that Glamorous wastoo posh to recruit someone straight out of Shimla College

of Mass Communication and Advertising. But at least Style was situated in the same city as my bible. For the last sevenyears I had dreamt only one dream, and that was to write for Glamorous. And for this I had fought a tough battle againstmy mom who was adamant to see me graduate to become aCA or a primary school teacher at the very least. Yuk! Accordingto her, no decent man would marry a girl like me who

had had a word ‘media’ written in her bio.

“Girls in media are considered to have loose character.You have landed yourself in a dark pit,” she grumbled in my ear as we posed for a family photo on my convocation.

Gazing at the letter in my hands I wonder if she would throw me out of the house, dragging me by my hair or have a minor panic attack when I broke the news to her.

Fifteen minutes later I was out of the comfort of my bed and ready to spill the beans to my parents. I just wanted to be over with all the drama as soon as possible so that I could finally celebrate my job with a tall cup of hot chocolate before starting to pack my stuff. Trotting along the creaking wooden floor I walked up to my closet and pulled out a jumper to slide over my old GAP T-shirt. It was freezing. It had been a

week and it hadn’t stopped snowing.

Stay glued for more excerpts from “Fashionably Yours”

Happy Reading…

Advertisements

#Bubble Wrap unique story of two #FriendsForLife by @kalyanirao09

Hello Readers!

We hope you are enjoying the festivities  – a time of togetherness & fun -a time to rejoice with your family and friends and create memories !

No technology can ever replace the warm circle of family & friends who will see you through your happy and sad moments…they are the ones you can count on when everything turns out wrong and everybody else has turned their backs on you…

They truly are our Bubble Wrap…

We bring you today an excerpt from a suitably named title -Bubble Wrap -a poignant tale of the life of a child bride set in small town Rajasthan. The tale traces the journey of the twelve year old as she negotiates the world she lives in accompanied by Gudiya, the fifteen year old widow of her cousin. The story, while dealing with a difficult subject, is ultimately a celebration of love and friendship.

BUBBLE WRAP FRONT COVER

Synopsis of the book:

Twelve-year-old Krishna Singh who has been married off to Shyam Singh of Rokhagadh, Rajasthan.Before the wedding, Krishna’s grandmother gives her a box filled with exquisite jewellery, telling her to sell it in times of trouble, but otherwise to hide it from her parents and in-laws. Accompanied by Gudiya, the fifteen-year-old widow of her cousin, Krishna realises that her cold marital home is a far cry from the loving one she left behind. The world outside has modernized and is beamed via television into her home. But she is not allowed to go to school; instead a female tutor comes home to teach her. A dubious father-in-law, a husband away at boarding school, and a mousey mother-in-law clearly show Krishna what is a woman’s place in this family. An unfortunate incident leads Krishna and Gudiya headlong into a series of events that change their lives forever. As they deal with one situation after another, the girls discover each other and learn much about the world they live in. Bubble Wrap is a story about their fight for survival against impossible odds in a shallow male-dominated society.

 Excerpt:

The entertainment troupe had come. They were busy settling their musical instruments on the floor. I went to the dancing lady and asked her if she could teach me a few steps. Her kohled black eyes looked at me. “Of course, aren’t you the bride?” I nodded. She turned towards an old man with a big bright orange turban and asked him to play the harmonium. He started playing and singing folklore. The dancing lady started to circle around and her bright pink ghagra started twirling. I followed her and moved my fingers to add some extra charm. The sky looked like a giant spinning umbrella. I liked the sweet clinking sound made by the dancing lady’s glass bangles.

All my merriment came to an end when Gudiya came running towards us and pulled me aside. My head was spinning. Gudiya’s round face looked blurry. Gudiya is the wife of my dead cousin. She is sixteen years old. Her mother-in-law, my aunt, had not spoken to her since the day my cousin died in a freak accident (he was rolling marbles on the street and didn’t see the monster truck coming from the other side and he also rolled along with his marbles under the truck).

“Krishna!! What are you doing? Don’t you know that your mother is looking for you? She wants you to come upstairs right this moment.” Gudiya gave one of her characteristic side-faced dirty looks to the dancing lady (I guess she thought giving a stern sideways look would intimidate the other person but somehow she always failed in her effort as her big round cheeks made her look less intimidating).

Gudiya and I are friends but she is always scolding me and is very protective towards me. Most of the times we like to disagree with each other. I used to think she was jealous of me because I got to wear nice coloured clothes and play with whomsoever I wanted to and she had to wear this thick black ghagra and had to always cover her head with the end of her black stole. She could go out of the house once a day and had to keep away from all the religious functions. She was always grumpy but she played with me. She had made the best doll house for me. Maa had told me that she was sending Gudiya with me to Rokhagadh. She had said that Gudiya will ‘take care’ of me till the day I turned fifteen.

Gudiya dragged me towards the staircase. I slapped her chubby arm to free my hand. I ran to the entertainment troupe and quickly picked up DadhiSaa’s jewellery box and wrapped it in the Pashmina shawl. The dancing lady smiled at me and patted my back. I sneakily looked under the light-weighted Pashmina shawl and held the heavy jewellery box tightly. Gudiya shot one of her side-faced dirty looks towards me. I ran upstairs and shut the door on her face. Maa was inside the room.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————–

For more  – grab your copy of Bubble Wrap : Flipkart.com ; Amazon.in ; hqnindia.com 

Author of Bubble Wrap – Kalyani Rao

 Meet Kalyani- Author of Bubble Wrap 

Kalyani Rao likes to describe herself as a travel junkie who writes. She believes that she has learned most of her lessons in life while traveling. Kalyani is based out of Pune where she also runs a theme-based Travel Company. A big fan of Haruki Murakami, she also blogs and some of her writing can be found at twinklingpebbles.wordpress.com. Bubble Wrap is the debut novel of this young entrepreneur.

Happy Reading !

Rayna’s Immutable Laws from #book #TroubleHasANewName by @Adite

Hello Readers !

Books, authors and you lovely readers out there form our closest circle of #FriendsForLife

And this week we have something new from our long time friend Adite !

Adite says she discovered Mills & Boon romances and the amazing assortment of drool-worthy TDH heroes in her teens. At around the same time she fell in love with song-and-dance
Bollywood romances. Growing up in a home with a filmmaker dad who AB
worked in the world’s largest movie industry(yes, Bollywood!), and a voracious reader for a mum, it was inevitable that she would come to love both films and books.

Her Latest offering “Trouble has a New Name” is an amalgamation of both her love interests, an extremely “Bollywood” plot penned down with great zeal.

Sounds interesting right ? here is a sneak peek on the plot…

“Trouble Has a New Name” (naughty right from the title name !) is a fun-filled romantic comedy set in theAdite Andaman Islands about a young woman who has to come to terms with her recent breakup and fight off the attraction she feels for the very handsome hotelier she meets at her best friend’s big fat Indian wedding.

In addition to the supper attractive hero, we just fell in love with Rayna Dutta….our heroine

Rayna Dutt, is an upcoming model, dumped by her boyfriend. She is Impulsive, Feisty and attracts trouble at every moment. She is very much a girl next door but likes to live life her own way by .
She has her own set of self-designed laws which is fondly called “Rayna’s Book of Immutable Laws”

 

 

As per Rayna Book of Immutable Laws—(RBIL)

             Anything that could go wrong usually did!

 

What’s more interesting are the laws themselves and how they they keep proving true in her life…read on her immutable laws and some instances on how they play out in her life 🙂

RBIL #1 : Footwear gaffe equals a disastrous day ahead.

“The Merc12721501_ledes soundlessly swept out of the drive way and raced down the road skirting the seafront on its way to the airport. Rayna looked out anxiously, praying they would not get stuck in a traffic jam. Thankfully,
being a Sunday morning, the streets were devoid of the usual week day bumper-to-bumper traffic. If all went well—fingers firmly crossed—they should cover the distance to the airport in twelve minutes, tops. She glanced at her wrist and realized she’d forgotten to strap on her watch.Shoot! Her eyes strayed to her feet and she froze in hor
ror.Holy crap! She was still wearing her flip-flops with the cute fluffy pink teddy bears on them”

RBIL #2: Trust a photographer to be around at the most inconvenient moment

“‘Sorry to keep you all waiting,’ she said, flashing her million-watt smile. ‘I’d love to blame the horrendous traffic but, the fact is, I got a little carried away last night and decided to start the wedding celebrations a few hours in advance and overslept. Subsey pyaari saheli ki shaadi hai…thoda toh partying banta hai, na?’Surely a girl couldn’t be blamed for partying through the 13524810_l
night on the occasion of her best

friend’s upcoming nuptials? Her saucy remark got some laughs, smiles and a lusty‘ banta hai, banta hai!’—absolutely!—from a passenger seated at the rear of the plane. Waving in acknowledgement to her unknown ally, she collapsed into the creamy soft seat just as a flashbulb went off in her face.”

 

RBIL #3:—Turbulence, emotional turmoil and tequila make for a lethal combination

“Her tum8830779_xxlmy lurched ominously—this time as a physical reaction to the plane hitting an air pocket. Her knuckles turned white as she gripped the armrests with all her strength. Even as the captain alerted the passengers of a turbulent patch, her stomach did yet another desperate dive and something hot and horrid gushed up to her throat.”

 

RBIL #4: Trouble always comes neatly wrapped in large-size packs

“Milee squeezed her arm. ‘Please don’t be mad at me,Rayna… It’s not as if you and Sid are in Splitsville, even if you have argued.’Rayna embraced her friend, trying to hide the dismay she felt. ‘Of course I’m not mad. Don’t worry—it will be fine.’”

RBIL #5: Alert! Attraction on the rebound is a really,really bad idea!

“Milee hugged her back in relief. ‘Oh, thank God!’He had totally bowled her over with his disarming12323147_xxl confession. Honestly, she didn’t know what to think.She had gone from exchanging insults to sharing a drink with Neel in the space of a few hours. And she
still couldn’t figure out whether she wanted to keep him at arm’s length or accept his offer of a truce. The conflicting signals being sent out by her mind and body were making her behave like a traffic light on the blink.She’d never reacted like this to any man before. The intensity of the physical attraction s
he’d felt for him was being compounded several times over by his utterly charming behavior.”

RBIL #6 : Try as you might to stay away from trouble, it always finds you!

“As Maya hurried off, Rayna wished she could evict Agra Aunty and the trouble making trio from the island.She stepped onto the cobbled pathwayAttractive couple walking in the countryside

leading to the villa when she saw two of them walking down arm in arm towards her—the Deceitful Dumper and his Diva!”

 

 

To read more ..grab your copy of Trouble Has A New Name… and the trouble is just worth it !!!

Buy on HQN  , Buy on Flipkart , Buy on Amazon

Have a great weekend ahead !

How to write a story that is “A Winner” – By Reet Singh

We all love a good story. How often have we started a book that we couldn’t put down? Or watched a serial on the television that we wished would not end? That is what a good story does, ensnares us and keeps us hooked long after we’re done with it.

So what makes a good story? How do we write a winner?

1. To start with – exactly that, the starting! A story that pulls readers into the plot right away is more likely to induce them to turn the pages and keep reading.

“Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having

nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice ‘without pictures or conversation?’ ”

I find Lewis Carroll’s first paragraph perfect! It starts right away with a crisis, something that seems likely to impact Alice’s life and change it for good or for bad. I couldn’t wait to read on, to discover what Alice would do as a result of her boredom; I also wondered about the book “without pictures or conversation”.

And that leads me to the next two important things to keep in mind when you’re trying to write a book-with-a-difference: Pictures and Conversation.

2. Although Alice probably wanted the book to have pictures in the sense of images, I’m going to take creative liberty here. I am talking about the necessity of using words to paint pictures in our stories. When authors show rather than tell, they are painting pictures in their books. Take a look at the following two examples, one of which I used in my book ‘Scorched by His Fire’ (Harlequin® India, February 2014):

Example 1: Mita was furiously angry. Sammy walked her to his car so she could escape whatever was irritating her.

Example 2: Sammy looked down at Mita’s flushed face, at the angry tears that threatened, and immediately turned about, pushing her out of the door and straight into his car.

The first example is telling, leaving nothing to the reader’s imagination. The second, showing, allows readers to interpret, in their own way, the picture that is drawn with the author’s words. Showing actively engages the reader and keeps interest alive.

3. The other element, the absense of which Alice lamented, is conversation. To create impact, dialogues between protagonists should be meaningful. Winning stories are those where the authors use dialogue to tell you more about the protagonists’ conflicts and difficulties, or about their relationships. The conversation should not be a bland exchange of dialogue, or simply a means to provide facts to the reader. You will find that you get better at writing meaningful dialogues as you continue to write. It also helps to read the works of authors that you admire. Carefully observe how they use conversation to advantage.

Here is an example from another favorite author, PG Wodehouse:

“Jeeves,” I said that evening. “I’m getting a check suit like that one of Mr. Byng’s.”

“Injudicious, sir,” he said firmly. “It will not become you.”

“What absolute rot! It’s the soundest thing I’ve struck for years.”

“Unsuitable for you, sir.”

This dialogue from ‘My Man Jeeves’ shows several things: the conflict, that is the difference of opinion over the check suit; the characters of the two main protagonists: Bertie passionate, Jeeves indomitable and unflappable; and, it sets the tone for the rest of the story, wherein Bertie obdurately buys the check suit but, right up to the end, never gets to wear it because “Jeeves is always right.”

4. If you can make your characters believable, your story is a winner right away. The perfect character cannot be immaculate or unblemished since no human being is perfect; we know that. Your characters should be someone readers can find something in common with; someone that reminds them of real people they know, maybe even their own selves. Your main characters, therefore, should have flaws, or a secret, just like real people have; they should feel fear, pain, happiness.

Tanay, the hero in my debut story, is handsome and tall and rich, but he is suspicious and punishing; Mita, my beautiful, impetuous heroine, frequently gets into trouble because she lets her emotions rule over her head. Having characters with foibles allows the author to exploit their weaknesses and generate conflict. That works out really well because conflict, complete with climax and resolution, is the backbone of a winning story.

5. Finally, a winning story is a story that you, the author, love to tell. Don’t try to write a story in a genre that is popular, and likely to sell, but one that you do not yourself enjoy.  You can only write a winning story if it comes from your soul. Your story will move the reader, get imprinted in her heart, make her laugh or cry, only if it came from the very heart of you.

So go ahead, dear authors, write for the love of it!

Also, do read ‘Scorched by His Fire’ for I have written it from my heart, and from my soul, and I hope you notice!

Guy

How becoming a Harlequin India® author changed my life – By Reet Singh

I am a doctor. A surgeon. Surgeons are trained to observe, to delve, to record.

When I won the Passions contest in 2013, I was catapulted into, for me, an uncharted part of the cosmos: the world of Harlequin® authors. Authors, too, are known to observe and delve and record, but there is a tangible difference between the two vocations. Doctors focus on people with problems, even on people who don’t want to develop problems; however, authors, because their creativity depends on it, focus on everybody and everything, most, if not all, the time.

 

So that’s one of the first things that changed for me. I began looking speculatively at incidents and people that otherwise I would take in my stride. Who knew when I would need to portray a vegetable seller or a shopkeeper; how they hawk their wares, what they wear? I began looking through the eyes of somebody who hungered for that one story, or a million myriad ones. As a consequence I found inspiration in the oddest of places. When I stumbled on the steps of Pari Mahal in Srinagar, twisting my ankle, feisty Mita (“Scorched by His Fire”) promptly had an accident, knocking her head rather hard in the process! My favorite television channel did a feature on the disappearing trams of Kolkata; before I knew it, my protagonists Tanay and Mita were airborne to Kolkata.

 

Another remarkable change was, I became a more tolerant driver. Delhi has chaotic traffic and I have to negotiate it every day to and from work; ninety minutes on a good day. After Passions, I used those ninety minutes to sort the story out in my head. I thought out some of the dialogues, challenged Tanay and Mita with this or that crisis, conceptualized a few kissing scenes; all this while driving. Thus, when somebody cut into my lane rashly, or harangued me with noisy honking, I was able to smile distractedly instead of showing them the finger or honking back. Never got challan-ed either, since they don’t yet give challans to people who think (of other things) while they drive!

 

Another wonderful change I noticed was that I stopped procrastinating over my share of the family’s routine chores. I stopped thinking ‘Not today’, ‘Later today’, ‘Tonight, just before I turn out the lights’, ‘Sunday’. If it had to be done, I preferred doing it yesterday. Only then could I be mentally free to sit down and write! And write and write!

 

And finally, the best thing of all, I found that I fell in love again! Just as I had succumbed, all those years ago, to the fascination of my field of specialization; then later, been enthralled by my fiance, who went on to became my husband; this time too, I fell in love with my story, and its characters, their idiosyncrasies, my editor, just about everything about the whole process of writing. It is a wonderful thing to be in love. I highly recommend it. “Scorched by His Fire” is my first piece of romantic fiction. By writing it, I am, in fact, strongly endorsing romantic love.being an author

One of the advantages of being an author is the power it gives us to reinvent the wheel. Romance came into being the moment humans came into existence. There are folktales and poems and epics on this emotion, each one as different from the other as can be, even though the guiding genre is the same. That is the beauty of it; as an author, I get to give romance a slightly different flavor, one that stems from my imagination and my perspective.  Becoming an author means that I get to reinvent romance!

How to Build Your Writing Chops – by Adite Banerjie (MB Indian Author)

Everyone has a book inside of them – but it doesn’t do any good until you pry it out. – Jodi Picoult

How often have you had a flash of inspiration and thought, “Now, that would be an excellent idea for a novel!”? Ideas are all around us. Sometimes it’s a news story or a snippet of conversation that gives flight to your imagination. At other times it could be an interesting photograph or an old story that you heard from your parents. A visit to a place could trigger an idea. Or it could even be a strange dream that you simply can’t get over.

Giving shape to the idea and developing it into a story with a beginning, middle and end, however, requires more than just inspiration. Often a brilliant idea fizzles out when you actually pick up the pen and start writing it down.

Just like an athlete would train and practice for the main event, a writer too needs to build her writing chops. Here are a few tips on how to organise your thoughts and “pry out” the story from your initial idea.

Freeform writing. One way of generating ideas or preparing yourself for the long haul of spending the next three to five months writing a book is by doing freeform writing. Spend thirty minutes every day on doing some freeform writing. Pick any topic that pops into your head at the moment. Don’t think. Just write. You will be amazed at how easily the words flow.

If you already have a story idea playing in your head you will most probably end up writing a scene or two. But the point of this exercise is just to limber up for the writing ahead. Don’t stress, just write whatever comes to your mind. If during the process you end up writing a few scenes or developing a character’s back story, that’s the cherry on the cake!

If you find it difficult to start, do a google search for writing prompts and consider using one of those to get you started.

Keep Notes. Ideas often pop up when you least expect them to and disappear in a jiffy too. It’s always a good idea to keep a small notebook handy and scribble a few points orlines when that brainwave strikes. All you need to do is write down a few words/thoughts to jog your memory when you get down to brainstorming the idea.

This is what I wrote down when the idea for my novel “The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal” flashed in my mind: “Small town girl wants revenge against a powerful businessman.”

It was an idea that excited me but I had no clue whether that thought could lead to a full-fledged novel.

Ask questions.Before you start the process of writing your story, you need to do some preparatory work. Be curious about your idea. Ask a lot of questions. If you have a character in mind, ask yourself what about this character fascinates you and why? Do an interview with her, ask her pointed questions. Write down the answers. One question will lead to another and some more. Some answers will take you by surprise. Be like a detective in search of clues—persistent and don’t settle for easy answers. Give your lead character a hard time. After all, she is going to be the Heroine of your book, and you want her to deserve the spotlight, don’t you?

These were some of the questions I asked:

“What’s the name of this girl who wants revenge?”

“Which town does she hail from?”

“What’s her background, who are her parents?”

“Why does she want revenge?”

Brainstorming and asking questions of your character is a good start. Go a bit further down that road and start exploring some of the themes that may have cropped up when you were interviewing your lead character.

For my story, I started exploring the theme of revenge, which led to why/what/how/where/when questions. Somewhere along the way I asked: what kind of career does this small girl have? What are interests/hobbies? Did her parents influence her in her choice of career? Before long I had decided that my Heroine would bea landscape designer. I did some research on the Internet to find out more about what landscape designers do and I found a way to link it back to the issue of the Heroine’s need for revenge.

During the brainstorming process, other characters will begin to emerge. And once that begins to happen, you’re off and running. You’re on a roll, and you’re itching to start writing your story. 

Have Fun. Play around with different ideas. Keep short notes about these. You could use some of them or discard them all. But when you sit down to draw up an outline or short synopsis of your plot, these will definitely come in handy.But whatever your story, however intense the plot or characters, make sure you have fun with it.

Now, go pry out your story! Happy Writing! J

Adite

Image