Saturday, March 22, 2014

#BookReview : The Finisher by David Baldacci

On the jacket:

Welcome to Wormwood: a place where curiosity is discouraged and no one has ever left.  

Until one girl, Vega Jane, discovers a map that suggests a mysterious world beyond the walls. A world with possibilities and creatures beyond her imagining.  

But she will be forced to fight for her freedom. And unravelling the truth may cost Vega her life.

Review:

With The Finisher, Baldacci takes a break from adult thrillers and writes for the young adults. Having loved his other works, I couldn't resist not reading this book, despite it not being a genre I read.

The book is about a 14-year-old girl Vega Jane, who finds that there are many secrets hidden in her town, Wormwood. The residents of this town, albeit being humans, are called Wugs. With this book, Baldacci has come up with a whole new vocabulary used by the residents of Wormwood. Women are referred to as females, children as youngs, moon as noc, minute as silver etc. Vega lives with her younger brother, as their parents are awaiting death in the facility. Things start happening and Vega finds herself in the middle of it all.

A dystopian fantasy written for young adults, The Finisher is a pretty decent read. I don't suppose it is one of Baldacci's best works, I still think his works of adult thriller are way better. 

Rating: ***.5/5

[This review is for Pan Macmillan India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

#Author Interview: Vishwas Mudagal

In conversation with Vishwas Mudagal, author of Losing My Religion:

Congratulations!! That was a cracker of a book. How does it feel to be a published author now?

Thank you. I am glad you liked ‘Losing My Religion.’ It feels wonderful to be a published author. And the response from readers has been simply overwhelming, I didn’t expect it. They love my characters, my story and my narration. It’s a dream come true for me.

Tell our readers about your book, please?

‘Losing My Religion’ is essentially the story of a man who loses his faith in faith . . . his belief in belief, and things that happen after that. It is, more simply, a tale of three characters from different walks of life who come together on a journey that changes their lives forever. 
It’s a roller-coaster ride that brings together adventure, travel, gaming, reality shows, and characters that are real, living, and breathing. Rishi, a fallen entrepreneur, is the epitome of today’s ambitious youth, and wants to change the world. Alex, a hippie, is the other end of the spectrum—the epitome of human evolution; this is where the human race will one day want to be—free from within. 
And Kyra, a mysterious gamer, is the beauty, the passion, and the intellect, which are the core of being today’s woman.

How long did it take you to write this book?

It’s taken me 4 years to write the book and overall 5 years to bring it out to the market. Like the story, the book had its own ups and downs, twists and turns until it was published. 

Have you always wanted to be an author? Or did this just happen?

I always knew I am going to write a book one day. But I didn’t know it would happen so early in my life. LMR struck me like a lightning. It was a story that had to be written; a story that had to be read… There was no escaping it. 

Humour, romance, good vs evil – you have it all in your book, and written with the precision of a seasoned writer. How did that come about, the expertise?

It didn’t happen overnight. Remember I took 5 years to bring the book out, rewrote it n number of times. I have 14 versions of the story, 150+ drafts. A novel like LMR is a pure act of passion. Add to that the way I perceive the world, the way I look at things, my experiences, the people I have met in my life—that makes the difference. 
I like to tell my story in such a way that the reader feels he is watching a movie, it has to be visual, fast, interesting and meaningful. Entertainment with meaning—is my style. When I wrote LMR, I was the writer and I was the audience. The writer in me had to entertain the audience in me. I don’t get entertained easily, so the writer in me had a herculean task.

Are Rishi, Kyra and Alex framed on real life people? Or purely imaginary?

The story of ‘Losing My Religion’ starts with Rishi being bankrupt, having failed in his business. Rishi’s character is influenced by one episode of my life, when I had to shut down my internet start-up in 2009. But the similarity ends there. Rishi became a character of his own later on. He is a character that everyone can identify himself/herself with; there is Rishi in each one of us.
Kyra and Alex are purely imaginary, clubbed with a lot of research. The specialty of my characters is that they are very real. They live, breathe and bleed. That’s the reason why readers are connecting with them so much and are unable to forget them even after they finish the book. They stick with you forever.

Who or what do you derive your inspiration from, to write and even otherwise?

I derive inspiration from everyone and everything around me. I pay attention to people’s stories, their experiences and views. I think the way I look at things makes the difference. I have always thought out of the box. I have an ability to question the status quo, so this quality of mine makes me innovative. LMR is all about innovation in storytelling. 

What next, and how soon?

This is a great question! I seriously don’t know. I don’t plan these things. LMR was an idea that hit me like a lightning and woke me up. Unless that happens again, I am not going to write another novel. 
But there is one idea that did hit me like a lightning, way back in 2011. It’s about a man set in the future. Whenever I think about it I get goosebumps. The story is gnawing at me to be written. Also, a majority of the readers have asked me to write a sequel to LMR. So lets see what comes next and when. 

Who do you read?

Ayn Rand is my favorite author. I do read Dan Brown, Jeff Archer, Sydney Sheldon, James Hadley Chase, Micheal Crichton and a few others. 

Any pointers for others wanting to be published authors?

Yes. Be passionate about what you write. Believe in your ideas and write only for yourself. If the audience in you is happy when you read your book, then the author in you is the most successful author ever. Leave the rest to life. 
This is my philosophy – ‘When you follow your passions, the world will follow yours.’

Sunday, March 16, 2014

#BookReview : Prisoner, Jailor, Prime Minister by Tabrik C

On the jacket:


India has a new Prime Minister but is Siddhartha Tagore the product of his genius or of his dangerous mind?   India is on edge, as a subversive internal revolt against the Constitution and the threat of Jehadi terror of an unthinkable level, are looming on the horizon. Ringing Shivas damaru in and out of Parliament, a sudden turn of karma catapults outsider Siddhartha Tagore - a conflicted genius, music maestro and prodigal son, with forceful views on China and Pakistan into national prominence as the head of the Opposition Alliance and finally as the newly elected Prime Minister of a disturbed nation.   But buried secrets are being resurrected and threaten to expose the past. Twisted within the double helix of menacing politics and hidden lust, Prisoner, Jailor, Prime Minister is a scorching account of Siddhartha Tagore's fascinating journey from Harvard to 7 Race Course Road.

Review:

It's the last day of the year 2016 and Siddhartha Tagore is taking over as India's Prime Minister. Prisoner, Jailor, Prime Minister is not just about a prime minister and him taking important decisions about the country, but about the person he is. This is Sidhartha Tagore's story. 

In the very beginning of the plot, there is slight hint by which what I could sum up is a relevance to the real time situation of our country - an extremist PM who came into power in 2014 had to resign in a hurry following something that went wrong and Tagore, the educated, smart, people's man took oath. 

Tagore's life, his family in Calcutta whom he cannot relate with, his days in Harvard and then his political career; all have beeb spun into a tale in a very interesting manner. A musical prodigy who is not heading a country - never imagined there to be a romantic ting to the life of a country's (specially India's) PM!

A page turner, you would either love this book or totally hate it. If you love thrillers, you have to read Prisoner, Jailor, Prime Minister! Gripping, extremely well-written, perfectly edited - reading this book was an experience of sorts.

Rating: *****/5

[This review is for Hachette India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

#BookReview : The Midnight Rose: A Novel by Lucinda Riley

On the jacket:

Spanning four generations, The Midnight Rose sweeps from the glittering palaces of the great maharajas of India to the majestic stately homes of England, following the extraordinary life of a remarkable girl, Anahita Chaval, from 1911 to the present day . . .  In the heyday of the British Raj, eleven-year-old Anahita, from a noble but impoverished family, forms a lifelong friendship with the headstrong Princess Indira, the privileged daughter of Indian royalty. As the princess's official companion, Anahita accompanies her friend to England just before the outbreak of WorldWar I. There, she meets young Donald Astbury;reluctant heir to the magnificent, remote Astbury Estate;and his scheming mother.   Ninety years later, Rebecca Bradley, a young American film star, has the world at her feet. But when her turbulent relationship with her equally famous boyfriend takes an unexpected turn, she's relieved that her latest role, playing a 1920s debutante, will take her away from the glare of publicity to a distant corner of the English countryside. Shortly after filming begins at the now-crumbling Astbury Hall, Ari Malik, Anahita's great-grandson, arrives unexpectedly, on a quest for his family's past. What he and Rebecca discover begins to unravel the dark secrets that haunt the Astbury dynasty . . .   A multilayered, heartbreaking tale filled with unforgettable characters caught in the sweep of history, The Midnight Rose is Lucinda Riley at her most captivating and unforgettable.

Review:

It had been a while I had read a family saga spanning over generations and when The Midnight Rose arrived, it was a welcome break from other reads. A very well-researched work of fiction spanning across generations and continents, The Midnight Rose left me with a warm, queasy feeling with in.

Excellent editing, which has kept the plot racy and tight, well-defined characters and a kind of a plot which drags you write within itself, to witness the events. The story begins on the birthday of Anahita Chauhan, when she is old and crippled, needs help with her work but is looking forward to meeting her entire family in the grand party arranged by her daughter. All this while, missing her son whom she had lost when he was 2. 

The story moves from the present to the past, going way back to Anahita's growing years. A whole lot of characters are introduced, in the past and in the present. Riley has done a wonderful job in the plot handling the transition between the eras smoothly. Writing such a long story is not easy, but here, there is no loophole, no wrong information. The entire reading experience was a remarkable one, the story - brilliant!

Rating: ****.5/5

[This review is for Pan Macmillan India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

#BookReview : The Contract by Zeenat Mahal

On the jacket:

“…We’ll get married, but I’ll pay you a monthly salary to behave and appear for all practical purposes as my wife…If you agree, the marriage vows can be taken on the phone on Saturday, since I have an hour free in the morning.” 

 Shahira, a young, divorced mother of a seven-year-old son, wants nothing to do with men ever again. But circumstances have forced her hand, and Hussain’s unusual proposition leaves her secretly relieved. As per their contract, she’ll have his name, will be paid to look after his ailing mother and motherless daughter and will be left well alone by him. Perfect!  Until her new husband decides to stop playing by the rules.  Hussain is suave and rich. He is nobody’s fool…and is not about to be bested by the ex-schoolteacher he is married to. He has Shahira in his sights and she has to have all her wits about her in order to hold him at arm’s length.

Review:

The Contract is about two attractive looking yet extremely scarred individuals, Hussain and Shahira. Both have been in bad marriages, and now getting into a contractual marriage. Hussain needed a mother for his daughter while Shahira needed a father for her son and financial security for the both of them. And this is what the marriage delivered. Nothing more.

Put a man who hates women and a woman who doesn't want anything to do with any man ever, in a house and the expected will happen. Hatred, which will slowly fizzle into lust and then love. The marriage, the contract and then the very expected and gradual falling in love, has been formed into a very interesting plot by the author. Very find editing, as well.

If you dig love stories and relish reading about love which dwells in the oddest relationships, this book is for you. A charming read!

[This is an author request review. However, the views are my honest opinions.]

#BookReview : The Mother Of All Books by Rajni Arun Kumar

On the jacket:

From baby bump troubles to nappy changing woes, follow Sense's humorous look at modern motherhood in India. From “Are you throwing up yet?” and “Where’s the belly? I want to see a belly!” to "Do you have milk?" and "No leaking?" , Sense has to grapple with not just her new found feelings with pregnancy and motherhood, but the barrage of oddly disturbing questions and advice from friends, family and so-called well-wishers. This book traces the journey of a young Indian couple through the eyes of the mother. As she goes through a myriad of 'first time' experiences, with often hilarious results, she hopes to get through motherhood with her sense of humour (and sanity) intact. All the while hoping she hasn't permanently scarred the baby.

Review:

The Mother Of All Books is a couples journey through motherhood right from conceiving, the narrator being the woman in the couple. A fun read, one would feel like reading the events right out of a diary. A humorous tale, with witty anecdotes, most couples with babies can identify with the book, specially mothers. 

Loads of sarcasm, wit and cartoon representations peppered throughout the book, make it a very happy read. Few bits seem absurd like how the author's friends react when they heard she is pregnant. Seriously, who asks such silly questions? An account of a typical Indian life, with everyone interfering and a young couple learning to be parents right from the moment they get the news.

A fine description of a mother's frustrations, trials and errors, learning her ropes through motherhood and finding what is right for her baby. Written in a conversational style of writing, it feels as if the writer is talking to you and telling you her story. 

Editing leaves a lot to be desired. 

Rating: ***.5/5

[This is an author request review. However, the opinions are my own.]

Friday, March 14, 2014

#AuthorInterview: Michelle Cohen Corasanti

Having grown up in a Jewish household, she was in touch with her roots but when she visited Israel as a grownup, what she witnessed was a story screaming to be told. Her book The Almond Tree is surely one of the best, heart wrenching books that I have read. In conversations with Michelle Cohen Corasanti:


Tell our readers a bit about The Almond Tree, please?

In The Almond Tree, I thought I had stepped into the many Palestinians' shoes I had known and loved over the years in order to tell their narrative, the one that had always haunted me, the one that is little known in the US. 

Although I wrote in Palestinian and Israeli voices, one thing remained constant throughout my story, the almond tree. People asked me why I chose The Almond Tree as my novel’s title and frankly, I didn’t know until one brilliant interviewer from The Times of India, Ipshita Mitra asked: what the significance of the almond tree was, why it’s a witness to the atrocities but stands mute and silent, and if silence could ever be an answer to violence. That’s when I realized that I was the almond tree and my story is my refusal to remain silent. The Almond Tree is part of my story as well. I tried to tell it through the voices of others, but what I was really doing was putting the readers in my shoes to see what I witnessed and learned.

For your debut novel, you could have written an easier story. But you chose this one to write. I am so glad you did, but I am also curious, why this? Did any incident(s) trigger this?

Some people chose to write because they want to tell stories. I chose to write because I had a story to tell. I didn’t choose my topic. I went to Israel for parental freedom and fun, but became like the witness who saw what she didn’t want to see. You see, I am the almond tree and through my story, I try and make the reader see what I witnessed and learned. The trigger for me writing The Almond Tree was when I read The Kite Runnerwhich caused my past to claw its way out. And there I was, a defining moment, and I decided that I wanted my children to know that I did see injustice and I did try and shine a light. 

I cried copiously while reading The Almond Tree. You have written it, lived every moment. However much the mind knows it is fiction, the heart refuses to accept. How was it for you to write this story? Was it emotionally draining to write, like it was for me to read?

I can’t think of anything in The Almond Tree that isn’t fictionalized reality. It was a relief to write The Almond Tree. I tried to tell everyone what I witnessed and learned when I first returned to the US, but no one cared. The human mind is wired to respond more to personal narratives than facts. When I realized that, I finally felt hopeful that I could help change hearts and minds. 

It was emotionally draining to relive everything I experienced. When I failed to reach people when I first came home, I’m sorry to say that I tried to bury everything, but I couldn’t. It clawed its way back out when I realized that I could make the reader step into my shoes instead of telling them what I witnessed, I would write in a way that forced the reader to step into my shoes. So on one hand I was completely drained, but on the other, I wanted to remember every detail because I had finally found a way to reach people. 

The intricacies in the plot are so impressive; one forgets it is a debut novel. I have read that you have nurtured over it for five years. Were you on a mission to tell your story to the world?

The story had been inside me for twenty years. I didn’t think I had the perspective to tell the story the way I did when I first came back. I was too emotional. I needed time to digest and recover from what I witnessed and learned in order to write in a way that I could reach my readers. 

Did you ever want to not write, just give up?

Once I realized that I writer can reach into peoples’ hearts and change them, I was going to write The Almond Tree regardless of how long it was going to take. Giving up was not an option for me.

How has the Indian market been for The Almond Tree since its South Asian launch?

The Indian market has been amazing not only because people are interested in international affairs such as the conflict, but they see many parallels. The Almond Tree is about the Israelis and the Palestinians, but it could be about any people. There are so many universal themes such as the importance of tolerance, education, love, hatred, foreignness, individual vs. community, rural vs. urban, racism, etc… I tried to hit on as many universal themes as possible. 

How difficult, or easy, was it to get published?

In the United States, I think publishers are afraid of this topic. I would like to sell my English rights outside of South Asia to a bigger publisher in the US. Now that I’ve gotten so much positive press, actually a few major US publishers have contacted me. Outside of the US, the rights have been selling at amazing speed. My book wasn’t even out six months and my excellent agent Marina from Pontas had already started to sell world rights. 

What are you writing about next?

I’m completing my next manuscript. It’s from the POV of a Jewish American. When I wrote The Almond Tree, I didn’t want Ahmed to see how flawed she was, but when I began to write from her POV, the story just flowed. What woman can’t see her own flaws?

Any pointers for those who nurse the urge to get published but are too scared to take the plunge?

If you are not for yourself, who will be for you? What’s the worst thing that can happen? Rejection? The most successful people in life are usually the ones who have experienced the most failures. If you want something in life, you need to go for it with everything you have and not give up until you’ve reached your goal.

The Almond Tree goes beyond Ahmed and his family and the almond tree. It goes in depth and makes the author think – like how right is Abbas to wage a war against Israelis and Ahmed not being a rebel despite all the misfortunes his loved ones have been subjected to.

Ahmed took the path he did partially out of a moral indebtedness to his father and partially because he had something that could act as a natural bridge, namely, a brilliant scientific and mathematical mind. He had to take care of his family. Their survival depended on him. Ahmed was forced to work for the Israelis as a child to support his family. He had no other choice. He won a math scholarship because he was smarter than his Jewish competition. He won a scholarship to the Hebrew university with a stipend. The year was 1966. He didn’t have the option of going to school in the West Bank because Israel still hadn’t occupied it. In order for him to do so, he’d have to self-deport, abandon his father in prison, his crippled brother and his family. Ahmed was not asked to give anything back to Israel in return for the stipend and scholarship. At the university, in an environment of publish and perish, the Israelis saw his brilliance and embraced him as a colleague. What would he have gained holding on to hatred? In the end, though, Ahmed realizes that in taking care of himself and his immediate family, he left his people behind and he tries to use his stature to shine a light.

A crazed Israeli crippled Abbas. He was in chronic pain. He didn’t have Ahmed’s scientific mind. He didn’t have anything that could act like a bridge. He learned Hebrew by working with the Israelis and listening to the radio Ahmed made. 

He was able to translate for the Palestinian resistance. Ahmed was supporting his family so Abbas didn’t have that obligation. I don’t judge my characters. I just show different ways in which people respond to oppression. There are many factors.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

#BookReview: An Atlas of Love: The Rupa Romance Anthology by Anuja Chauhan

On the jacket:


Have you ever loved so much that it hurt?  Has love found you even when you didn t go looking for it?  Can love be timeless, forgiving and everlasting?    An Atlas of Love, edited by celebrated bestselling author Anuja Chauhan, is an anthology of romantic shorts that daringly explores the many guises of romance, from its purest form to its darkest depths.  Phoenix Mills takes you through a young man s anguished quest for love; Post-Coital Cigarette makes you flinch at a married man s interpretation of love; and Jilted shows you that love can also be courageous. You will find yourself in the middle of a torrid liaison in The Affair , revel in the euphoria of budding romance in Just One Glance and discover what it means to let go of your loved one in The Impasse .  Love can also be brutal and unconventional as The Unseen Boundaries of Love and Something about Karen will show you. But most of all, as Death of a Widower and Siddharth show, you will see that love is all about hope and taking the leap of faith.  Selected from a nationwide Romance Contest conducted by Rupa Publications, this heart-warming collection of stories urges you to believe that love is eternal...and forever.

Review:

An Atlas Of Love is an anthology of sixteen romantic stories, brought together by Rupa Publications and edited by author Anuja Chauhan. Two stories done, and I am in love with this collection. They are so good! And most authors are debutants! 

The book starts with Aurodeep Nandi's Phoenix Mills and it is the winner of the contest which was held to shortlist these stories. The author has beautifully spun a tale and included Phoenix Mills as one of the characters, being an integral part of the narrtor's life. 

Every story has a bit of love, a bit of heartbreak and a lot of those things which fill one's heart with mush. 

My personal favourite of the sixteen short stories is The Unseen Boundaries Of Love by Debosmita Nandy. What began as a story of a person who had tried to immolate self because their love was not being accepted by the society, ends with betrayal of a whole new level. Nandy has written a story, which in my books, is similar to the works of a seasoned author.

An amazing collection of short stories, you have a thing for romance, this is your book to keep with you and read one story at a time, once in a while.

Rating: *****/5

[This review is for Rupa Publications. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

#BookReview : Losing My Religion by Vishwas Mudagal

On the jacket:

Racy, unpredictable, romantic, and inspiring, this is a novel that is bound to get you addicted and stay with you forever. When gamer and entrepreneur Rishi Rai sets out to revolutionize the gaming industry, something somewhere goes terribly wrong and, like dominoes, the blocks of his life fall down one after the other. An unexpected meeting with Alex, an unpredictable, crazy American hippie, changes his life forever, as he decides to quit everything and join him on an unplanned, uncharted journey across India.  From getting irrepressibly high in the mysterious Malana Valley in the Himalayas to starting a shack on the bewitching Om Beach on the West Coast, they do it all. But their adrenaline-charged adventure takes a turn when Rishi meets Kyra, a beautiful and enigmatic gamer. As passions surge and sparks fly, Rishi gets drawn to Kyra . . . unaware of who she is and where she comes from. What follows next is something nobody could have ever dreamed of . . . Who is Kyra and why are the paparazzi after her? Can Rishi connect the dots in his life to protect the love of his life? While the world becomes a spectator, can he mastermind the fall of a ruthless giant to become a global icon or will he become the biggest loser?

Review:

Losing My Religion is a story about entrepreneurs, spun in a gripping plot. A story with adventure and romance, we see Rishi and Alex embark into adventures of life while we also have Rishi and Kyra's love story. The title of the book did indicate it to be something about religion per se, but seem I had assumed to quick. 

Mudagal's style of writing is impressive. I must say that the blurb had thrown me a bit off guard and I had started reading the book with zilch expectation. But boy, was I in for a surprise. Such a gripping story by a debutant author. What was even more impressive, is how you think you know how the book will end but suddenly new characters are introduced and the end throws you off your chair!

Characters are very well defined and easy to identify with, specially Alex. Rishi is an entrepreneur, and sees his life's biggest dream, his gaming platform come crashing down. He meets Alex and life changes. Introducing a mysterious Malana Valley into the plot was really clever and make the read interesting. Very unpredictable, smooth paced, thrill, suspense, romance and an awesome, unexpected climax -  Losing My Religion  was an excellent read!

Rating: ****.5/5

[This review is for Fingerprint Publishers. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

#AuthorInterview : Shuchi Singh Kalra

She is one of India's known names when it comes to freelancing, and I personally had been following her blog for tips, as well as good reading material since ages now. Recently, Shuchi Singh Kalra has turned author with her debut romance, Done With Men. In conversation with Shuchi:

Congratulations on Done With Men being published. Tell us a bit about yourself?

I like to think of myself as a thinker and a dreamer. I live in my own idealistic little world and am cruelly jolted back to reality every once in a while when earthly responsibilities beckon. I am a proud military wife and mother to a beautiful two-year old girl. I have been writing professionally for over seven years now as a freelance writer and editor, and I also run a small firm that goes by the name of ‘Pixie Dust Writing Studio’. While I have contributed to some anthologies in the past, Done With Men is my first solo offering. 

Did you frame the characters based on your friends and yourself, or built them on a fresh mould? 

Not in an obvious way, but I have certainly borrowed personality traits and quirks from people I know and I kept building upon the characters at every stage of the story. Though the characters are completely fictitious they are 100% relatable. There is a good chance that you have someone like Kanjoos Kapil or Bindass Baani in your friend circle. 


Tell us something about your struggle with getting published. We have a fair idea that it isn’t a cake walk. But how was the real deal for you?

My path to becoming an author wasn’t a conventional one. You could say that I made a backdoor entry into the world of publishing. Naheed Hassan, the founder of Indireads had approached me sometime in late 2011 to work for them as an editor. We got talking and then she suggested that I write a book, a chick lit to be precise, because she believed I had the voice for it. Before I could make sense of things, the contract was signed and I was on my way to becoming an author. The interesting part was that I had signed the book contract even before I had a synopsis of the story! I really have to thank Naheed for having so much faith in me. I always wanted to become an author but I never thought my journey would begin this.

So many romance novels out there, staying different yet on similar lines is important. Was that difficult?

To be honest, I didn’t make any conscious effort to be different, or for that matter, to stick to the typical elements of the genre. I just went with the flow and wrote whatever felt right.

Any brickbats which really hurt, yet? 

Thankfully, the reviews so far have all been very positive and encouraging – no harsh criticism (yet!). But some reviewers have mentioned that they would have preferred it if the book was a full-length novel instead of a novella, and that is not necessarily a bad thing.

How and when did you decide to be a published author? Was it always a plan, or did you start thinking on the lines when you thought you had a plot with you.

My head is full of plots and my hard drive is full of incomplete manuscripts and roughly sketched storylines. I have had that author itch for as long as I can remember and my first attempt at writing a novel was when I was ten years old. Every time I would go to a bookstore, I would imagine a book with my name on the cover sitting on the shelves. 

What next? New genre; or you would want to stick to romance?

I had tremendous fun writing a romantic comedy and that is a genre I enjoy a lot. My next book, too, will be on similar lines. However, that does not mean I will not experiment with other genres in the future. 

Who do you read, who are your favourites?

There are just too many! I have been a voracious reader since childhood and I never missed a chance to bury myself in a book. From the Bronte Sisters to Enid Blyton, and Shakespeare to Sophie Kinsella, I’ve lapped them all up. 

Any to-dos for wannabe authors?

Read the kind of books you want to write. Most importantly, chart out a schedule and stick to it. Write a little every day.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

#BookReview : Freedom From Emotional Eating by Paul McKenna

On the jacket:


· Do you wish you ate less? 
· Do you eat to control your feelings?  
· Do you ever feel frustrated and hopeless about your weight?  
· Do you wish that you felt differently about food, about yourself, and about life?  
Then let Paul McKenna help you!  Emotional Eating is the number one cause of obesity in the western world, but Paul McKenna has made an amazing breakthrough in his mission to help people lose weight.  This amazing new system is aimed at getting beneath the issue of weight loss to eradicate the root cause of over-eating. The programme in this book, DVD and CD set is designed to help you bring about dynamic, lasting change - a gentle breakthrough to help you transform your body, your relationship to food and your entire life. Let Paul McKenna help you to have success and a sense of security and joy that is beyond what you can imagine.  Paul McKenna wants to help you escape from the unsatisfying cycle of frustration and self-medication with food. He is determined to help you find your inner strength to help you lose weight and gain confidence, freedom and emotional wisdom.

Review:

A lot of us have put on weight because of nothing else, but emotional eating. We all have incidences in our lives which are from our past but bother us a lot even in the present. And, there are incidents from the present which eat into our minds. And we start eating. Junk, always junk. We don't admit it, and though we know we need to stop, we have no clue about how to.

Paul McKenna tells us how to. In fact, he handholds us through the process. Freedom From Emotional Eating is a book, which comes with two CDs as well. 
The first CD talks has four tracks : 1) Overcome Enotional Eating Trance 2) Listen While You Eat 3) Stop Self Sabotage 4) Emotional Balancing. The four tracks, when listened to, takes one through a peaceful, calm process and makes one feel extremely calm. This CD is best listened to, when idle.

The second CD takes you through the Havening Technique, and as adviced in the book, I too have been through it for five days and feel so much better. I am considering continuous usage of both these CDs. Emotional eating is the number one cause of weight gain in people and this can be totally curtailed. So why not!!

Rating: *****/5

[This review is for Random House India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]


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