Author Interview: Laxmi Hariharan



Hello Laxmi, thank you so much for taking the time out to talk to me.

1. First things first: how did you take up writing?

Aneisha, I've written since I was five. I took it up seriously after 2012. A few years ago, I had a bad miscarriage and almost died. I came out of it realizing life is short and if I wanted to do something, it had to be now. What was I waiting for afterall?

2. What was your very first attempt at creative writing?

My natural writing is beat poetry. I wrote that initially. My first full-length novel The Destiny of Shaitan, I wrote that over nine years and two countries and shifting three homes, much tumult in those years. Then as I said when it dawned on me that I had only finite time, I set to work completing this epic fantasy novel.

3. Where did you get the ideas for your stories?

I think they come from my growing years and then the distilled experiences of living in different countries and assimilating different cultures and meeting different people who have also had interesting experiences. The idea can come from anywhere – a book, a movie or something someone says. Then I tap into my deeper emotions to choose the relevant one I want to go with when I write. So Ruby Iyer is anger, and my next series is about learning to trust again.

4. What in particular gave you the idea for the Ruby Iyer series?

Growing up in Bombay I was weighed down by the expectations of traditional Indian society. Yet, I wanted to be economically independent. So, daily I would leave the relative safety of home, knowing that my commute to work was going to be nightmarish. It's just how public transport is in this city.

When you get on a bus you know that the man standing behind is going to brush against you. When you walk through a crowded local train platform, you accept that you are probably going to be felt up. Every time this happened to me, I would get really angry. But, I’d just push it aside and get on. Not much I could do about it could I? If I raised my voice it’s not like anyone was going to pay attention.

But, when a young photojournalist was raped in the center of Bombay in broad daylight, I was furious. It was as if nothing had changed in all the years I had been away.
Then, I had a vision of this young girl who would not back down, who would stand up for herself, who would follow her heart ... Thus, Ruby Iyer was born. Make no mistake though Ruby is her own person. She leads and I follow.

5. Do you have particular schedules or writing routines when it comes to your work?

Another author told me its not about writing fast but writing consistently. That is what I try to do. Write every evening and on weekends. Its like you train yourself, your brain, your attention, your mind to get into that habit—yes that dreaded boring work—of writing everyday. So when you sit at that table you automatically write.

Oh! And I use an app to block out all social media when I write. Only way to focus.

6. A lot of authors are taking the indie publishing route. What’s your view about it?

Everyone has to be Indie in some form. Whether you are a movie maker or a traditionally published author with hardcopies out on bookshelves. You still have to build your platform and reach readers directly. That is the long term to bulding a group of readers, and kindred people who get you.I have the utmost respect for traditional publishers. I believe it brings a rigour to the craft which Indies need to figure out on their own. On the other hand yes an Indie has more control. So they both have their strengths and challenges.


7. If your story got turned into a movie, who would you like to see star as leads?

I have no idea! It’s a tough question. I'd probably prefer unknown faces who are talented and fit the emotion of the character.

8. What are your future plans for writing? Can you give out a teaser or two for your readers?

Right now I have a short story UnTamed – the story of LeanaIyeroy, Ruby Iyer's granddaughter coming out as part of the UnCommon Bodies Anthology. Sneak preview here.
I am also writing Second Lives, the finale to the Ruby Iyer series and the Early Life of Kay Braganza (Ruby's mother) which I may or may not publish. I also want to write the Secret Life of Panky Mehta, but we'll see. And then I have the next series currently titled 'Shoot the Moon' set thirty years post Ruby Iyer, but featuring some of her progeny again.

9. Do have any particular authors who inspire your work?

Lot of wonderful writers. My friend Jule Owen and her newly launched The Boy Who Fell to Earth is one I am reading and really love. AlsoPavarti Taylor's magic realist Shadow on the Wall is great.

10. What would your advice be to aspiring authors?

Persist and perfect your craft. Write, and repeat and again.

11. What would be an ideal gift for you?

I am going to see the new Star Wars at an IMAX cinema. That is perfect. I look for extraordinary experiences – they are the best gifts ever.

12. And finally, if there was a book you could turn into a movie, what would it be and why?

Tough one. But any story from the Immortality Chronicles would make for a great movie or series.

Thank you once again for talking me. I wish you all the best with your current work and future works.

Click on the image below to learn more about Laxmi's latest literary adventure! 



For the Festive Season, I am also giving away one $15 Amazon gift card and one $5 Amazon gift card through rafflecopter:

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About Laxmi Hariharan 

A near death incident told Laxmi to write, she never stopped. Laxmi has been a journalist with The Independent and a global marketer with MTV and NBCUniversal. She is the creator of the award winning Ruby Iyer Series and blogs for the Huffington Post among others. She is an avid street art photographer and partial to electronica music. London is where she creates. Bombay is what fires her imagination.


Cover Reveal: Seeking Redemption by Madhu Vajpayee




Book Blurb:

Story of a girl Meera, who is unwittingly drawn into a conflict from where she finds it difficult to emerge unscathed. It's her journey from being a simple, medical graduate belonging to a middle class family to the uncharted territories of corruption and caste based politics. Her path is crossed by the two men, both compelling yet completely contrasting characters, who are forever going to change her life. If it is Aman who can challenge her ideals and defy her resolves, and makes her the person she finally becomes, it is Abhay's sublime love which enables her to go through the vicissitudes of life. It's also the story of her loss as well as triumph against her own demons to find her true self.

Pre-order from Amazon


About the Author:
Dr.Madhu Vajpayee- the writer was born somewhere in those hospital corridors where she has spent the last two decades of her life. Witnessing life at such close quarters pushed her to capture its enigma in her words and slowly it became her passion. After writing several scientific papers and chapters in books, this book is her first step in literary world.  
Having done her graduation, MBBS from King Georges Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow she went ahead to pursue her post-graduation, MD from AIIMS, New Delhi. She was a consultant at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi having been associated with management of patients living with HIV/AIDS. She is now settled in Melbourne, Australia with her family, where she is devoting most of her time to writing, the passion that she couldn’t pursue earlier because of the demands of medical profession and commitment it requires.
When not creating stories, Madhu enjoys reading and travelling.

Contact the Author:


9 Literary Couples I Love & Why!


      1.  Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)


I came across Elizabeth Bennet not in Pride and Prejudice first but in an essay my sister had written for her class 9 English assignment: her favorite fictional character. It naturally fired my curiosity and when I was 14, I read the book. I must admit, I am yet to find a Mr. Darcy.

Image Source: Here 

2. Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler (Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell)


I read Gone with the Wind when I was 16 years old, and I finished the book in a week. In my teenage mind, Rhett Butler seemed to be a man made from dreams. But...somehow I was not crazy about him as my sister has been. I guess my first two choices were influenced by following in her literary footsteps.

Image Source:  Here

 3. Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley (Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling)


This one I get all the credit for. I like rooting for the younger sibling in the stories, being one myself. So when Ginny started growing up and growing into a fiery, feisty little warrior, and a champion for girls worldwide, I was the happiest person in the world. Especially when Harry and Ginny realize they are well-matched! 

Image Source: Here

4.  Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters (The Fault in Our Stars by John Green)


Oh, Augustus. How you broke my heart! Of course, the book was not as funny as the movie, but the couple remained the same. I loved how Augustus swept Hazel right off her feet, even with her warning that she was a grenade. Love has no logic. This couple proved that.

Image Source: Here 


5. Nymphadora Tonks and Remus Lupin (Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling)


I will never forget the scene in Half-Blood Prince when Tonks seized the front of Lupin's robes and forces him to accept the fact that she has fallen in love with him! Since then they had proved to an ideal couple because they were not without their fair share of problems. But they were there for each other, and died together to make sure the world their son grew up in is a happier place!

Image Source: Here 

6. Theodore Laurence and Amy March (Little Women by Louisa May Alcott)


I know Amy March was written as a self-centered, spoilt brat who was very vain about her looks. But somehow I have always liked to see her for what she really was: a scared child who just wanted a little bit of attention from the world. In the second half of the novel, she grows up and goes to Europe. Where she keeps encountering Laurie and realizes that "talent isn't genius". She marries Laurie when they both realize they have fallen in love with each other. I loved how the two come together, suddenly all doubts gone, knowing they are the endgame.





7. Cinderella and Prince Charming (Cinderella by The Brothers Grimm)


The still is from this year's Cinderella, but it was the fairy tale that I heard as a little girl that attracted me to this couple. When I was little, I thought someone looking for their true love all over the kingdom, with only a glass slipper, was romantic! And I cannot let go off this notion because it's one of my last threads tied to my childhood.


8. Delilah and Prince Oliver (Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer)


They risk everything to be with each other. Isn't that enough? 



9. Laurel and Skye (Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira)


I started reading this novel on my way back from a trip. I fell in love with Skye because of the way he listens to all of Laurel's secrets but never judges her for it. He was still standing there when she blurts out her most terrible secret. This gives Laurel hope. And what she needed to change things in her life...Who would not love to have a person who is there that unconditionally?

Release Day Blitz: Coke by Barun Chanda


About the Book:
“Can you help me, please?”
Pradipta wheeled around.
Standing behind was an unusually attractive lady. She wore a dark blue, chiffon saree which set off her fair complexion even more. Other than a thin gold chain with a tear-drop pearl pendant on her neck, she wore no jewelery. Her lips were pale pink, with no lipstick. Only the dark make-up on her eyes made her look even more unfathomable.
 “You’re talking to me?”
Thus begins Coke, with this chance encounter at Kathmandu airport. But the plot thickens when the lady requests him to include her suitcase as part of his checked in baggage and then does a vanishing act, once the aircraft lands in Calcutta. What follows is a riveting page-turner, replete with unexpected twists as you encounter gangs warring over narcotics, policemen, functionaries, and a sinister master-mind who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. The furiously paced narrative takes you from the sleepy airport of Kathmandu to the packed streets of Calcutta, a mysterious mansion on the outskirts of town and an unforgettable chase-sequence through New Market.
From the author of the acclaimed Bengali novels ‘Kidnap’, ‘ShaaperJhaanpi’ and ‘Robibar’ comes a high-octane thriller that’s seriously addictive and keeps you hooked till the end.

Read an Excerpt:

At the first ring, Rustam picked up his mobile. It showed Bob’s number on the screen. He put the mobile to his ear and listened.
“I’m speaking from the loo…there’s news for you.”
“Why from the toilet?”
“Because no other place in the house is safe to talk to you,” Bob whispered back.
“When can we meet, then?”
“In the evening, after my duty’s over.”
“Didn’t you say you have day-night duties from now on?”
“They are letting me go for now in the evenings. But not at your place. It’s too risky.”
“Okay. So, where and when?”
“Hello, someone seems to be knocking at the door.”
The phone call ended with the roar of the flushing toilet.


At eight-thirty sharp, Rustam met Bob at Girish Park.
“Why didn’t you get in touch with me the last three days?”
Rustam looked sharply at Bob.
“There were problems.” Bob let out a thick cloud of cigarette smoke.
“It’s getting increasingly risky to come out and meet you like this.”
Though they stood in close proximity, their faces looked away in diametrically opposite directions. Unless you looked carefully, it was difficult to make out they were actually talking to each other.
Rustam idly looked at the snarling evening traffic, his hands on the railing of the park.
“So, what’s the news?”
On a bench inside the park, a young couple took advantage of the darkness to get cozy with each other. Bob simply couldn’t take his eyes off them.
“The red suitcase…” 
Bob’s voice trailed off as his eyes were riveted on the frenetic activities of the couple on the bench, their bodies wrapped under a shawl. 
“Yes, what about the red suitcase?”
Rustam cast one sharp glance at Bob, before looking away.
“I know where it is.”
Bob’s face got hidden in a cloud of smoke.
“Good.” Rustam’s voice sounded relieved. “In which room?”
“Upstairs, in boss’s bed room.”
“What makes you so sure?” Rustam’s eyes narrowed as he watched Bob’s face intently. For some inexplicable reason, he had never been able to fully trust Bob right from the beginning.
“One of the middle rooms on the first floor…was kept under lock and key all this while.”
Bob’s eyes were still very much on the couple on the bench.
“Bob…why aren’t you saying anything?”
Rustam’s voice sounded impatient.
The couple’s bodies were locked in a tight clinch under the shawl.
“Bob?”
“I saw one of the sentries take the suitcase away from the middle room to boss’s bedroom.”
Rustam kept his eyes on the Central Avenue. A traffic jam was forming near the crossing, adjacent to the park. An eccentric man, with a wooden stick in his hand, was trying to regulate the traffic, in the process, making things much worse for everyone.
“Did you get to see where he hid it inside the bed room?”
“No.”
Bob watched fascinated what the couple was doing on the bench, underneath the shawl.
“Niyogi shut the door after entering boss’s bed room.”
For a while both stood facing away from each other, in silence.
At long last, a cop appeared on the road and was seen trying to control the traffic. Inside the park, the couple was still locked in a tight embrace. Bob puffed at his cigarette and blew another cloud of smoke from his mouth. Rustam fanned with his hand irritably, trying hard to keep the smoke away from his face.
“Anything else?”
“Yes, there is.”
Bob looked directly at Rustam for the first time in the evening.
“I think Harry is going out of town very shortly.”
“Outside Calcutta, or outside India?”
“How should I know that?” Bob answered irritably.
“Somebody came from a travel agency with a sealed envelope. I signed and received it.”
The traffic at the crossing had eased by now. The couple on the bench sat still, exhausted.
Rustam noticed Bob smiling at them. 
“What are you smiling at?”
“Nothing.”
 Bob took one last puff from the cigarette, flicked the butt end casually towards the footpath and walked away. After a while Rustam came and sat at the bench in the park.   The couple got up from the bench and walked away, each in a different direction. Rustam watched them leave, took out the mobile from his pocket and started speaking into it in a low voice.



About the Author:
In so far as the pursuit of any true vocation is a life in itself, Barun Chanda – advertising guru, actor and writer, may be said to have had three. Born in Dhaka, he did his Masters in English at Jadavpur University. Following a brief stint as a lecturer in English, he embarked upon a career in the creative department of advertising that spanned more than 30 years, won him numerous awards and culminated in his tenure as Creative Director at Clarion McCann.
Acting occupies the second of his three worlds. In 1971, he scorched the big screen as a high-flying executive, playing the protagonist in Satyajit Ray’s ‘Seemabaddha’, and winning a special President of India Award for his performance. After a hiatus that lasted over two decades, he returned to the screen during the 90’s, and has since then acted in numerous TV series and more than 35 movies. Tackling Bollywood and Tollywood roles with equal aplomb, he has distinguished himself in films such as Lootera, Roy, Chotushkone, Aborto, MIshorRohoshyo, Nayanchampa-r Dinraatri , Bela Sheshe and Jogajog. Chorabaali, where where once again he plays the protagonist, is his latest venture.
Barun’s third passion is writing. A regular film reviewer and contributor of articles to major dailies, in the last eight years he has published four highly acclaimed and successful novels in Bengali. His work has played a major role in establishing the adult thriller genre in Bengali literature.
Coke is his first novel in English.




Cover Reveal: COKE by Barun Chanda





“Can you help me, please?”
Pradipta wheeled around.
Standing behind was an unusually attractive lady. She wore a dark blue, chiffon saree which set off her fair complexion even more. Other than a thin gold chain with a tear-drop pearl pendant on her neck, she wore no jewelery. Her lips were pale pink, with no lipstick. Only the dark make-up on her eyes made her look even more unfathomable.
 “You’re talking to me?”
Thus begins Coke, with this chance encounter at Kathmandu airport. But the plot thickens when the lady requests him to include her suitcase as part of his checked in baggage and then does a vanishing act, once the aircraft lands in Calcutta. What follows is a riveting page-turner, replete with unexpected twists as you encounter gangs warring over narcotics, policemen, functionaries, and a sinister master-mind who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. The furiously paced narrative takes you from the sleepy airport of Kathmandu to the packed streets of Calcutta, a mysterious mansion on the outskirts of town and an unforgettable chase-sequence through New Market.
From the author of the acclaimed Bengali novels ‘Kidnap’, ‘ShaaperJhaanpi’ and ‘Robibar’ comes a high-octane thriller that’s seriously addictive and keeps you hooked till the end.

About the Author:
In so far as the pursuit of any true vocation is a life in itself, Barun Chanda – advertising guru, actor and writer, may be said to have had three. Born in Dhaka, he did his Masters in English at Jadavpur University. Following a brief stint as a lecturer in English, he embarked upon a career in the creative department of advertising that spanned more than 30 years, won him numerous awards and culminated in his tenure as Creative Director at Clarion McCann.
Acting occupies the second of his three worlds. In 1971, he scorched the big screen as a high-flying executive, playing the protagonist in Satyajit Ray’s ‘Seemabaddha’, and winning a special President of India Award for his performance. After a hiatus that lasted over two decades, he returned to the screen during the 90’s, and has since then acted in numerous TV series and more than 35 movies. Tackling Bollywood and Tollywood roles with equal aplomb, he has distinguished himself in films such as Lootera, Roy, Chotushkone, Aborto, MIshorRohoshyo, Nayanchampa-r Dinraatri , Bela Sheshe and Jogajog. Chorabaali, where where once again he plays the protagonist, is his latest venture.
Barun’s third passion is writing. A regular film reviewer and contributor of articles to major dailies, in the last eight years he has published four highly acclaimed and successful novels in Bengali. His work has played a major role in establishing the adult thriller genre in Bengali literature.
Coke is his first novel in English.



Spotlight: First Brush on the Canvas



About the Book:
Graham, Daniel, their friendship, life and death.
Vampires, guardians' adventures at night. Coffee, love and a new couple.Imli and her mother in a complex web of darkness. A small town girl confused about virginity. Michael Jaikishen and his writing endeavours.Child adoption by a gay couple.Mahabharat - a modern tale in an epic form.The spine-chilling tale of Tina and Uncle Joe.A juicy love story by our guest author Sujata Parashar. These and many other unputdownable stories in this book.

First Brush on the Canvas is an anthology comprising selected stories from Melonade (2014), a nationwide writing marathon organized by Writersmelon.com.

Goodreads * Amazon



Melonade Authors’ Intro:

Uttiya Roy – Nourished with Bangla literature, he aspires to change the world someday writing in English. His days pass blending Life Science textbooks with poetry. 
UpasanaBhattacharjee– We catch ‘em as young as they get! Our youngest writer is still a student, but that doesn’t reflect in the matured story she’s written dealing with inconclusive logics and paradoxes. 
Stuti Chandra – She writes because she’s alive. This lovely lady is from Patna and has dipped her nose in English Literature at Delhi. 
Shaily Bhargava – A photographer, a logophile and an Equity Technical Analyst – all in one. She reads and writes in Noida, accompanied by beautiful clicks through her lens and lots of Coffee. 
Arunav Chowdhury – Have you met this Proletariat Axomiya before? He’s a movie buff and a news junkie rolled into one, who writes wonderful modern takes on the age old Mahabharat. 
Rafaa Dalvi – A Mumbaikar, an engineer, a blogger and a prolific writer. He’s already made his presence in three anthologies and likes to experiment with different genre. 
DipteeRaut– A quilter, a blogger, a quirky mom, an amazing writer and our co-winner of Melonade’4. She’s one bundle of positive energy who can spin stories and weave quilts simultaneously. 
Abhishek Mukherjee – Have you read his blog posts yet? Though he likes to believe he’s only a Cricket Historian, you have to read his humorous takes on Mythology to believe he’s the best. 
Anwesha Ray – An amazingly sensitive writer, she lives and works in Bangalore with her family. 
AvishekBasuMallick– He’s the winner of Melonade’4. If you wish to laud him for more, he’s an engineer and an MBA, working in Bangalore and a featured writer on Sportskeeda.
ArijitGhose – Blend Carnatic music with exceptional satire and the result is ArijitGhose. Cheeky, expressive and vocal – we hope he becomes a great writer someday. 
Amit Nangia– For those working in MNCs for years, he’s your inspiration. Amit’s first novel has just released after facing many rejections but that didn’t deter him from writing. Climbing the rocks, gliding in a parachute, bungee jumping or making cocktails; nothing could elevate his spirits as much as writing did.
Tnahsin Garg - Tnahsin often exercises his freedom by convincing other folks that ‘free will’ does not exist. His first novel ‘The Prophecy of Trivine’ is a science-fiction based in India.
Sujata Parashar – Author of the immensely popular ‘In Pursuit Of’ trilogy, and a wonderful poet. She contributes articles to various websites and magazines, and is a social activist. She’s a guest author in the book. 


Cover Reveal: Shanti and the Magic Mandala by F.T. Camargo




Shanti and the Magic Mandala is an adventure in which fantasy and reality are mingled. The book tells the story of six teenagers, from different religious and cultural origins and different parts of the world, who are mystically recruited to form two groups - one in the Northern Hemisphere, and one in the Southern. They eventually gather in Peru, and through a single alliance, begin a frantic chase for the sacred object that can stop the black magician's final plan.



Awards & Recognition for the Book
- Winner of 2014 London Book Festival in the category “Young Adult”.
- 2014 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards: Bronze Medal at “Young Adult Fiction – Spirituality” category
- 2014 New England Book Festival in Boston:  Honorable Mention in the category “Young Adult”.
- Winner of 2015 Paris Book Festival in the category “Young Adult”.
- Winner of 2015 International Book Awards in the category “Fiction / Young Adult”.
- Winner of 2015 New York Book Festival in the category “Young Adult”.
- 2015 Los Angeles Book Festival – Runner-up in the category “Young Adult”.
- 2015 San Francisco Book Festival – Runner-up in the category “Young Adult”.
- 2015 DIY Book Festival in Los Angeles: Honorable Mention in the category “Young Adult”.

About the Author
F. T. Camargo is an Italian Brazilian living in Sao Paulo, Brazil. An award winning architect and author, he also studied Arts and Media and has a post degree in Economics and MBA in e-commerce. He is a vegetarian because of his love for all animals and has been deeply involved in causes for their protection and freedom. He is a world traveler adventurer, outdoor sports lover, speaks 4 languages and has published a travel book “Rio, Maravilha!”
For many years he has been practicing yoga and meditation and studying the Kabbalah. His exploration of spiritual teachings motivated a commitment to self-development which in turn created a new path and goal in life. Shanti and the Magic Mandala was born from his inner journey.

Contact the Author


Review: Made in India ~ Adventures of a Lifetime by BIDDU

 

About the Book:

As a child, Biddu dreamt of going west and making it big as a composer. At the age of sixteen, he formed a band and started playing in a cafe in Bangalore, his home town, At eighteen, he was part of a popular act at Trinca's, a nightclub in Calcutta devoted to food, wine and music, At nineteen, he had college students in Bombay dancing to his music.

In his early twenties, he left the country and ended up hitchhiking across the Middle East before arriving in London with only the clothes on his back and his trusty guitar. What followed were years of hardship and struggle but also great music and gathering fame. From the nine million selling "Kung Fu Fighting" to the iconic youth anthem of "Made in India" and the numerous hits in between. Biddu's music made him a household name in India and elsewhere.

In this first public account of all that came his way: the people, the events,the music tours and companies Biddu writes with a gripping sense of humor about his remarkable journey with its fairy tale ending. Charming, witty, and entirely likable, Biddu is a man you are going to enjoy getting to know.

Price: Rs 295 (I got mine as a review copy) | You Can Get Your Copy HERE

About the Author:

Biddu was born in India, where he started his career playing in a pop band whose influences lay in the classic repertoire of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Following his early success, he decided to hear West and move into the international music arena. He struck gold, signing the unknown Carl Douglas and producing "Kung fu Fighting?" which went on to become a hit all over the world. He also wrote and produced hits for Tina Charles and soul legend Jimmy James.
Around this time, Biddu became involved in Indian music: he composed the cult "Aap Jaise Koi" for the film Qurbani which set a new landmark for sales in India He followed this up with a pop album, Disco Deewane, with Nazia Hassan, which became the largest selling pop album in Asian history, and was the first Indian album to hit the charts in fourteen countries. In 1995, Biddu wrote and produced the three-million-selling album Made in India with the singer Alisha Chinai. To date, Biddu has sold over thirty-eight million records worldwide.

The Review:

The minute I heard that there was an opportunity to read the life story of the man who gifted us 90s kids the catchy tune, "Made in India", I decided to read it. I am not a huge fan of non-fiction, and I have only read a handful of memoirs (most as requirements for my coursework), but except for Cheaper by the Dozen, none of them were read out of my own free will. 

Nonetheless, when I began reading Made in India ~ Adventures of a Lifetime, I could help but be drawn in the witty narrative. After awhile you feel that you've known this music composer for life, and he's letting into the dark side of success - the struggle. People notice you when you've made something of yourself. They never tend to see the process of you slowly climbing the ladder of success - and that was precisely the part Biddu wanted to show his loyal fans/readers. 

Much of his stories are centered in Bombay and Kolkata, and I being a resident of the latter, and in somewhat of an awe of the former, was very interested to know what life was like and what those cities were like in the 60s. Being born at a time when taking up offbeat career paths was a rare thing, it is not surprising how hard he had to work to become the person he is today. 

I especially hold in high esteem anyone who does not take the run-of-the-mill career path, but dares to follow their dreams. And Biddu chasing his dreams in London with only three pounds takes the cherry on top of the cake! 

Read this book if you want to know what caused this man to introduce India to IndiPop music, and how he did it. It's always good to know even if the road ahead is not easy, the journey is always memorable. 

My Verdict:










Giveaway Details:

-          1 Gift Voucher : $10 Amazon GV or INR 500 Flipkart GV (Winner’s Choice)
-          1 Signed copy of Curse of the Godman by Biddu
-          Paperback copy of Made in India by Biddu


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Book Review: Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer

About the Book: 



Delilah knows it's weird, but she can't stop reading her favourite fairy tale. Other girls her age are dating and cheerleading. But then, other girls are popular.
She loves the comfort of the happy ending, and knowing there will be no surprises.
Until she gets the biggest surprise of all, when Prince Oliver looks out from the page and speaks to her.
Now Delilah must decide: will she do as Oliver asks, and help him to break out of the book? Or is this her chance to escape into happily ever after? Read between the lines for total enchantment . . .

Price: Rs 246| AMAZON 

About the Authors: 

Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-two novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Between the Lines, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. She co-authored Between the Lines with her sixteen-year-old daughter, Samantha van Leer. 

The Review: 

The funny thing is that seventy-two hours ago I had no idea that this novel even existed. It was all thanks me wanting to name my soon to be released novella, Between the Lines, that Debdatta Di told me there is a YA Novel of the same name by Jodi Picoult. As is the case, a Google search directed me to the book's blurb and I was completely hooked. 

I could relate to Delilah and her search for Prince Charming, and the elusive happily ever after. I loved the quotes in the book. And I believe I felt the connection to this book, the same way Delilah felt the connect to the fairy tale, Between the Lines, in the story. 

Samantha and Jodi have stated that they co-wrote the story, sitting side by side. Maybe nothing too great happens in the story, maybe the climax was not most readers would expect - but the book gives you something to hold on to, that you need: hope. 

I loved how the authors wove in clever subplots for all the minor characters. I was especially thrilled by the idea that when you close a book, characters take lives of their own. Being a book addict and a writer - it does not take long for someone to realize why such a book would appeal to me. 

If I could pull Mr. Darcy or Jesse de Silva out of their books, believe me - I would! I have finished reading this book once. And I had read the eBook version on my Nook Book. Nevertheless, I was so intrigued and enraptured by it, I ordered the paperback off Amazon. 

And I cannot wait for it to arrive. So that I can once again read it from cover to cover, mark my favorite quotes and carry it around like one would carry their precious journals. 

I have said before that the eBook or Paperback argument is invalid for me. I stand by that judgment. However, for certain books like Between the Lines, I will be leaning a little towards the paperback version. 

My Rating: 



If you are as big a fan of YA novels as I am, do pick up this book. Believe me - you will not be disappointed!