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Showing posts from October, 2011

I Should Have Seen It Coming! : Victoria Watson

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Today I have a special author friend doing a guest post here. Why? Simply because she had an amazing journey to publication through Trestle Press. She shares with us the reemergence of short stories in the form of digital short stories or in other words, ebooks and the role Twitter can play in promoting an author's work!
Welcome Victoria! 

Just over a week ago, my first e-book ‘I Should Have Seen it Coming’ was released thanks to the wonderful folks at Trestle Press. The amazing thing is that a month ago, I had no publisher and a backlog of short stories sitting on my computer with nowhere to go.

Sounds like a quick turnaround, doesn’t it?

After having done a lot of reviewing for the local newspaper (Evening Chronicle) a couple of years ago, I decided earlier this year to set up my own blog, http://elementaryvwatson.wordpress.com. My blog doesn’t concentrate solely on reviews but the majority of the posts are about books I’ve read. Alongside my blog, I started using Twitter. I set…

My Article About Writing First Draft On "Close To The Bone"

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I am so excited to share my published article published on "Close To The Bone"! The article is about giving your best when writing the first draft. It is also about how we need not bother how it all ends. We can always edit later, right? :)

For all NaNoWriMo participants, this is what you need to keep in mind. Hop over to check out the article and do let me know what you think about it!

Thanks all! Happy weekend!

Summer, Fall, Winter: Lessons for Authors

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Tomorrow (hopefully!) I am going to experience the first snow in my life. Yeah you read it right. It doesn't snow in India. At least not where I come from and whichever country I have ever visited had snow right after I left! So, I am all excited to welcome the snow (though all my friends are falling in to the pit of gloom complaining!). Funnily it was only yesterday I took this photo capturing the change of season and the approaching winter. And now I am going to face snowfall in October!



The suddenness of the news got me thinking. What can we as authors learn from this? Learn from weather, you say? Yes, my idle brain always comes up with something weird. So, here is what I came up this week.

Fall, the shedding of leaves, the vibrant colors around after a sunny summer is like the after-glow of success. Things that have gone well. But eventually it fades and comes the winter which in many ways is the downslide of whatever we are doing. Like no one is buying your books, words are …

I'm a girl who loves love : Darian Wilk

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Soul mates from the past leave their love unfinished when a tragic accident ends their lives on their wedding day.  Yet they are destined to meet again to fulfill that love in new incarnations, leading vastly different lives.
Emma thought she had chosen the right path, but too late does she realize her mistake as her husband reveals the monster behind his smile-morphing their fairytale image with loveless obligation.  Trapped in a broken marriage to a powerful, abusive husband, she knows this is not the life she was destined to live.  As her hope for love withers, she meets James, her love from a lifetime ago.
Emma cannot deny the love pulling her toward James, but courage to abandon her marriage wavers and unknowingly puts her love on the line.  If Emma has any hope of life and love, she must trust the bond with James and be with the man destiny has spent two lifetimes guiding her toward.  Are they fated to fulfill their love, or will they choose once again, to leave love unfinished…

Meet Roberta Goodman, author of thriller novel "Snow Escape"

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Today I have a special guest for a guest blog. Roberta Goodman is the author of the mystery novel, Snow Escape. She shares with us her journey to publication and beyond. I, for one, felt the chills after reading it!

Welcome Roberta!


How I ended up with "Snow Escape":

First, I want to take this opportunity to thank Shilpa for having me participate on her wonderful blog.

The story behind my murder mystery/thriller/suspense is one that I love to tell, because I was compelled to write it by an overwhelming inspiration that I couldn’t fight. Back in the winter of 2009/2010 three massive snowstorms hit my area of the country. One occurred in December and two back-to-back storms occurred in less than a week in February.

A week after the storms in February hit, another storm was passing by. No measurable amount of snow was predicted this time. I was sitting at my computer sending out queries for a previous manuscript and I looked out the window and watched as more snow fell. I remem…

Editing Woes: First ever snippet of "Always You"

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My weekend was spent editing. So much of editing and all that I could do was worry. Worry if anyone would like my book. Worry if it is worth putting out there for readers. Worry if I have given my best.

It also brought with it a hope that it will be better.

As I worked through the chapters, there was one particular part that got me all teary. I wanted to share with you all a snippet of my upcoming novel - Memories Rustle. It might not be the next bestseller, but it is special to me. I hope you enjoy this. And later, when the time comes, I hope you would also join Lyla's journey down the memory lane.



He stood in front of her resigned, taking in the lovely face he had hurt deeply. He watched as another big tear rolled down her cheek, leaving a trail of gleam on her smooth skin. He instinctively caught the tear midway with his thumb and first finger. Lyla shivered lightly with shock under his touch. She did not stop him when he came closer, feeling his body touching hers. She ached t…

BlogFest Contest Entry

This is my entry for Blogfest Contest hosted at Brenda Drake's blog : http://brenleedrake.blogspot.com/
Genre: Romance

“Help me”, screamed the voice.

Alex, covered with mud and sweat looked around the bare rocky edge he was standing at. He could hear the voice from all around him. His face crunched as he tried remembering the face behind the voice.

“Who is it? Where are you?”, Alex called out.

He was panting, jogging along the treacherous end of the mountain searching for the voice below. The cry of help was urgent and fear tugged his heart.

“Help me before it is too late”

Fear laced the voice too. Alex stopped to hear the source and he rushed back to where he hoped the man is. He fell on his knees, and put his palms on the brown ground trying to peek below. Ground gave away beyond the point and he staggered back scared. The edge was slanting towards the abyss and he feared he would slip down.

“Alex, where are you? Please don’t leave me here. I will die”

“I am here buddy. I am here. Ca…

Book Review: Love Unfinished by Darian Wilk

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I enjoy romance novels and that doesn’t mean only the Mills & Boons style. I love urban romance, sweet, mature love equally. So, when I read the synopsis of “Love Unfinished”, I warmed up to it immediately. And just look at the cover page. Isn't it just so...romantic? I knew that was a good start!


“Love Unfinished” as the name suggests is the story of a married woman, Emma and a divorced man, James. Now I know what you are thinking - extra-marital relationships and blah. But hold your horses. You might be missing out on a very interesting twist to it by assuming! At least I was about to and thank God for that!

See, the twist is Emma and James were supposed to be together. Always. And that started few births back! Yes, eternal love! Only they haven’t been able to be together. And in this birth, they have a chance. A real chance to be together and fulfill their destiny. But here's where comes another twist. They, that is Emma and James do not know that they are made for eac…

I Tend To Paint What I Am Writing : Angelique LaFontaine

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An interview of the author of Sandstone & Mirrors, Angelique LaFontaine.


Carli, a young woman in her mid twenties finds herself unsatisfied with her life and yearning to discover her own greatness. Through a series of extraordinary events, she finds herself hurled into the middle of a long lasting battle between good and evil where she eagerly accepts responsibility for what it is she was destined to do. Unaware of where reality truly stops and her own dreams and desires begins, Carli not only takes her place in this battle but she discovers her own strengths and capabilities in ways she never thought possible. She discovers the importance of personal sacrifice and the what it means to truly give of ones self in form of love and loyalty.

Welcome Angelique to my blog! 
Tell us about your newest release "Sandstones and Mirrors"!

Sandstone and Mirrors: The Crossover is the first of a 4 book series.  It's a mixture of fantasy and adventure.  The main character, Carli is th…

60 feet looking down, (story) idea came to me! - Cecilia Robert

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Today, I am very excited to introduce a very dear friend of mine who graciously accepted to guest blog here! I am doubly happy because this is the first guest blog post too!

Cecilia Robert is the author of the exciting fantasy short story series "The Grim Reaper's Novice"! Imagine fantasy story coming to you in installments! She recently shared the first in the series and trust me, its awesome! I am going post the review soon. :)   Without further ado, I introduce you author Cecilia Robert who shares the fascinating journey of discovery behind this book. Here you go!



First of all, I want to thank Shilpa for hosting me in her awesome blog.  *sip* mmh the tea is just right temperature.   An amazing host who serves the right kind of beverage during this cold time of year ! Incomparable! *sip again*

After moving to Vienna seven years ago, I became fascinated by its beauty and the historical architecture (obsessed is the word). From time to time, I found myself entranced by …

New York Skyline - What Authors Can Learn From It

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Every evening while I return from work, I deliberately take the seat on the right side of the bus. Because that means I can see the unobstructed view of the glittering New York skyline. If you have ever seen it at night in its glorious sparkling costume, you would know what it looks like. Photographer Andre Gunther captured it in the image above but trust me, seeing it with naked eyes is much more magical.

Seeing the sparkling, tall and proud skyline means a lot to me. Its beautiful and inspiring. Everything that a writer would want his book to be. I look at it and think of the success that is possible.

It signifies the fundamental rule of nature. Think, innovate, persevere and collaborate - and you have your masterpiece. As a writer, that is essential. It can get you closer to your masterpiece. Remember it need not be a masterpiece for everyone. It needs to be your masterpiece. Your skyline.

That is what the inspiring skyline does to me. Yet we ought to remember that the skyline did…

"Breaking Dawn" Movie Release Fever

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OK. I have to admit I am neither pro- or against Twilight. The first time I read the book, I finished the series in flat 4 days along with the first two movies. (Yeah, I forgot I needed to sleep as well. I literally adapted our beloved vampire lifestyle! LOL). I enjoyed the books thoroughly and loved Edward. Jacob was mostly irritating to me butting in to their cute love story. But that doesn't mean I liked all the books.

"Breaking Dawn" for one was a disappointment for me. I kept feeling it was written because it "had" to be written. For most part, especially Bella's pregnancy (did I mention how difficult it was for me to go through the cruel pregnancy stage?) was a stretch. The only thing which saved the book for me was Jacob's narration in the first part. It was funny to say the least with noteworthy chapter titles! I am sure I would have not completed it if it was Bella narrating it. It would be too much of self-pity! 
But I liked the movies. Partl…

Book Review: Someone Like You by Barbara Bretton

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It was a simple novel. I would have not looked at it the second time if my dear friend wouldn't have lent it to me. She said a remarkable thing to me which I would try to remember for long - "no book is bad. You just have to read it and take your own lessons from it". It was, somehow, quite touching and for a moment I was ashamed of my partiality to only well-known fiction books. I took the book humbled and started reading "Someone Like You" by Barbara Brentton, America's romantic author and to my surprise, quite a famous one at that.
Someone Like You is typical American happy endings book that would reinforce your faith in humanity and guarantee a peaceful sleep in the night. It did for me at least! This is a story about two grown up sisters at two corners of the world trying to come in terms with their crazy mother's accident and the surprising events thereafter that explains (not negate) much of the heartburn that they went through during their diff…

If You Can Have Three Powers From Your Fav Books!

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Yesterday I was frantically searching for an important document that I swear I stored it "safely" but failed to find it. Don't ask me how many times I caught myself wishing I cast the spell - "Accio!" (Please don't tell me you don't recognize this spell from Harry Potter! :D) LOL! Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could have such convenient powers with us to deal with such crisis? I think so and would love to have some.

So that got me thinking. If I can have three super powers from all the fantasy novels that I have read, what would it be?

1. Accio! (Courtesy Harry Potter Series by J.K.Rowling)

Yes, I lose a lot of things. I misplace them ALL the time because I always store them too "safely"!! So, finding those safely stored things without breaking in to a sweat would be such a huge relief! Oh, and I also not have to walk to my TV to get the remote. :P

2. Vampiric food habits (Courtesy Vampire Diaries, Twilight, Insatiable, etc)

 Oh don't …

What's In A Name?

I have both good news and bad news today. Good news is I am finally done with my romance novella that I had been working on since last month! So, that means I have nothing to do but turn it over to my publisher and pray that I don't have to edit too much.

Now the bad news. After all the writing I did, I still haven't figured out a name! Isn't that incredible? I have tried hard but nothing really seems to fit it. And if it does fit, its been taken up. I have been crossing off quite a number of names off my list and now, I wonder if it really matters. What's in a name, eh?

A good book title is like a magnet to the reader. That piques their interest. The visual hook if I might say. They give an indication to what might be inside. They give meaning to the story that is about to come. But with so many books releasing every week, how are we ever going to get a unique name for our books?

I want to ask, how important is the name for you to buy a book? Would you buy a book if …

What We Learn From The Movie "Moneyball"

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"Moneyball" stars Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, the man who successfully led the a super-bad baseball team on a budget by employing a computer geek who provided computer-based analysis on players. I watched this movie last week and had been planning to write this post sooner. A remarkable movie with many lessons that we as writers in particular can do good to learn.



1. Accept The Challenge: There are times when things won't go your way. Like no agent or publisher would seem to like your book. Or even before that - people did not believe that you can write a decent sentence, let alone a whole book. If you are passionate about your book, accept the challenge. Just like Billy Beane did. He did not quit because he was on an impossible budget. He accepted the challenge and did everything to make it happen!
2. When On A Budget, Be Innovative: Yes. Especially if you are going self-pub. Unfortunately, we writers do no have deep pockets, but we have amazing creative brains! Be innovat…

Book Review: Insatiable by Meg Cabot

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Genre: Urban Fantasy

I have never read Meg Cabot's books. I have always wanted to though. Especially after such lush praise for her previous YA books especially Princess Diaries. The movie is one of my favorite feel-good movies and I really wanted to read some work of this popular author.

I picked up Insatiable because - it is Meg Cabot and it is about vampires. Also the fact that it is not a YA was helpful. I mean we non-YAs also have equal rights over vampires, isn't it? :)

So, here's what I thought about this book which has a great cover page, BTW.

What Works For The Book?

A unique story. It is still about vampires but the story line is fresh with never heard before twists to what a vampire is capable of (It's a spoiler and would be an absolute give-away to the readers who are looking forward to reading it). Also, the vampires in this story are from original Dracul and that some how got me interested.

It is not about teens. Our heroine is a strong character in her 20…

Author Thursdays - Cecelia Ahern

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Author Quote
"I'm not famous; it's the book. The book is what's going to be sitting on the shelf, and that's what I want people to see." - Cecelia Ahern
Cecelia Ahern is one of my favorite authors. Her books are laced with magic that is quite different from regular fantasy. They are more like fairy tales. One would agree if you see her collection of books. It includes:

PS I Love You If You Could See Me Now A Place Called Here Where Rainbows End The Gift The Book Of Tomorrow Thanks For The Memories
She wrote her first book, PS I Love You which is also a major motion picture at the age of 21. It is said that she finished writing the book in just three months. This book has also been shortlisted for the Irish Book of the Decade award. She is Irish and all her books are based out of Ireland which is a treat in itself for she introduces to the beautiful country in her own unique way.
She is also the co-creator and producer of the comedy television show "Samant…

When You Can't Write - Read

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It can happen to anyone. Even the best selling authors. But that doesn't make it right. I still cannot write. I feel as if words froze on my finger tips and the keyboard is not warm enough to melt it down to them. You know how it feels, right?

Then what do I do? Sleep it off? I would probably wake up feeling even more zombie-like than what I am feeling now. 
Do I take a break? What if I lose all the steam and forget all my brilliant ideas for the book?
Do I force myself to write? Well, I would probably kill my hero in this mood. 
So, after a looong time spent at thinking of a solution (with a pack of crispy wafers and coke), I decided to go back to the reason which inspired me to write - books.



For most of us, reading inspires writing. It is the same for me. A fine book pushes me to write better. A good book inspires me to pen my own stories. Reading teaches me to write. 
So, friends, if an offensive blank page stares back at you, go back to reading. There is no better way to sho…

Who Writes Your Novel? -- You Or Your Character?

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If you are writing a novel, you would know exactly what I am talking about. Writing is a solitary job with the only companions being our lovely characters. They are good, bad, and ugly but they are still lovely to us because we created them. Yet, as we fill up pages after pages of deep felt words turning it in to a story, there comes a time when you no more write it.

Some say the story flows on its own. Others say it is the character who writes it.



For me, its been a mix of both. I write on impulse with only a very broad outline as my guide. I know the ending, so it helps. But I am not in control all the time. As my characters grow, my story changes. There are times when I just cannot continue following a line of thought because my character is cross with me. He says it just isn't like him. And when that happens, I agree with him. Because my readers care about my characters. Not me.


What do you do? Are your characters as nosy as mine? :)



Warming up to e-Books

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Most of you are aware of my tryst with my first e-book and how intriguing it was for me. It was indeed an experience that got me exploring the industry further and before I knew, I had downloaded all kinds of e-readers on to my iPhone (not sure why I downloaded so many!) and also the complementary e-books with them.

I spent my whole last week reading them and felt strangely empowered. You know the feeling of having a book in your hand and the time in the world to finish it without even having to bother about food? I felt that last week. May be the books that I read were so good that it left me with this wonderful feeling. Either way, I spent a lot of time researching about e-books. What e-books can do for us readers and authors in particular?

The internet seemed ripe with lots of news especially with Amazon releasing Kindle Fire (looks amazing BTW). Here are few things that I feel are worthy of notice:

1. e-Books or Digital Books Are Cool: Yes, I finally agree to this. I still don'…