The Diamond Heist by Sai Daksh – New Indian Writing in English

Sai Daksh is a writer who has started early. Writing for kids and getting into their mindset certainly isn’t a problem for this talented young writer, so this book will certainly be a great choice for the younger readers in your life. It’s an exciting story with a great hook. Grab your copy today!





About the story……..

Life was all fun and play, with a few small adventures and mishaps, for Daksh, Arsh, Garv, Om, Swarit, Aditi and Simran until… 
They are recruited by the Indian Detective Agency! 
They are summoned to the headquarters and given an exciting mission – to recover a lost diamond! 
With all the plans and props in place, they set forth to hunt down the diamond. By chance, they stumble upon a conspiracy that is connected to the theft. Do they succeed in foiling the conspiracy? What happened to the lost diamond?


Grab your copy @



About the author
Sai Daksh Shetty, at the age of eleven, completed the book 7 Agents: The Diamond Heist. At the age of six, he had started writing short stories. At the age of eight, he used to draw comic strips and share it with his friends. Although this is his first book, he plans to write a whole series on the 7 Agents. Since early childhood, he has had a very creative mind and uses his imagination in all his activities. He is very interested in all forms of creative arts. He is very open-minded. The main characters of the book have been inspired by his real life friends. Om, Garv, Arsh and Swarit are his best friends and are in the book, while Aditi and Simran are fictional.     
                          
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The Princess of a Whorehouse by Mayank Sharma – New Indian Writing in English

Today, mariawriter joins the blog tour of Indian author Mayank Sharma’s new novel The Princess of a Whorehouse. This powerful novel has a beautiful cover, as well as a title which will surely raise more than a few eyebrows and hopefully lots of curiosity. Let’s take a closer look…..






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Meet author Mayank Sharma

Mayank Sharma is a computer engineering graduate with a post-graduate degree in business management. He works with a leading technology multinational company in Delhi. He has authored a number of articles and whitepapers on software technology and processes. In April 2014, an article of his was featured in Better Software magazine, published in Florida, USA. Writing become a passion of his when he observed how it can trigger the forces of change. He is gradually transforming from a “left-brained” writer to a “right-brained” writer. Besides writing, he has enjoyed sketching, painting, and making sculptures since childhood.

India is the fifth-largest economy in the world with the Gross Domestic Product growth at 7.1 percent. Contrarily, India ranks 118 out of 157 countries in the happiness index. The fact directed Mayank’s attention towards social problems of various types. Having travelled across continents and associated with people of diverse beliefs and values, he has become more curious about the social riddles curtailing liberties across societies. He penned his debut novel, The Princess of a Whorehouse, when he came across some real life incidents which touched his soul.


I asked author Mayank Sharma to share what inspired him to write this story. Here is his reply…..

For several days, I pondered the question that my thirteen-year-old daughter asked me about liberty and freedom to make life choices. It was the Midsummer festival season in northern Finland, when my wife and kids accompanied me for a leisure trip during my routine business visit to my office in Jyväskylä.During the summer months, the sun remains visible for the entire night, especially around the areas near to Arctic Circle. It was an amazing natural phenomena for my kids to watch as they visited that place for the first time.

It is a tradition for Finnish people to enjoy bonfires and bathe in saunas during the Midsummer celebrations. In a white night, my daughter and I strolled around a gorgeous lake, where children, women, and couples enjoyed the festivity.On our way back after midnight, we saw a few young girls, who were chirpily riding bicycles on cycling tracks.It was about one o’ clock, when we slowly walked on the pedestrian lane as the sun began to rise soon after it, somewhat hid behind the horizon for a few minutes. My daughter looked at my face innocently and murmured that perhaps these girls were not afraid to wander alone without restraint as there was no darkness at night.She wondered if this was the reason why a country like Finland was ranked fifth in the happiness index, whilst India, the fifth largest economy, was 118th in the rank. Her observation caught me by surprise. For quite some time, I was baffled by cross-cultural riddles. I did not want my daughter to get a deceptive notion that girls should grow up as men’s shadows in our society. It took me a while to explain her the fact that it is not the darkness of night, but it is the darkness of mind that steals girls’ fundamental rights in our society back home.

One’s heart sinks on hearing the heinous incidents of crimes against women occurring across our nation, almost every day and every hour. The wrongdoing of blaming women when they become victims of grim circumstances exists primarily due to gender inequality.From the total population of more than one billion, the millions of naïve women and girls, like the protagonists in my story, are agonized due to a million-year-old social inequality that still persists in today’s capitalistic world.

In June 2016, I started penning down this novella, based on a coming-of-age genre, as soon as I boarded the Finnair flight on my way from Helsinki to New Delhi.




And now, the book!


Aparajita is a tenacious go-getter. Her name means unconquerable in Sanskrit, and she lives up to its meaning. 


Just like any other ambitious girl, she desires to fulfil her dreams and become an independent individual. Far and wide, the shadow of her melancholy past chases her passage. The fact that her widowed mother is a former sex worker irks the community. Nonetheless, she is not ashamed to reveal her mother’s past. 

Will she lose hope, or will she defy an enigma that is centuries-old? Will she ever conquer the hearts of a prestige-obsessed community? 

See the world through Aparajita’s prism in a tale stirred by some real 


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New Release: Throwing The Light by KA Servian

MBB welcomes the exciting new author KA Servian to the blog today. After a twenty-plus-year career in the applied arts industry, including owning her own fashion and jewellery labels, this author, who is otherwise known as Kathy, decided to turn her creative skills to writing fiction. Her first novel, Peak Hill, was a finalist in the Romance Writers of New Zealand Pacific Hearts Full Manuscript contest in 2016. She now squeezes full-time study for an advanced diploma in applied writing in around writing novels and short stories, teaching sewing and pattern making and being a wife and mother.

K A Servian on the web:
Website       Facebook     Twitter     Instagram    Author Page  
Join K A Servian’s Newsletterand get a free copy of: Missing the Obvious.


Keeping the pages turning……….

To create and maintain suspense and tension in a story, Try taking the complete plot outline, breaking it into pieces which hold the main plot points and then drip feeding those pieces to the reader. It’s vital to never give away too much too soon. Drop hints and throw in the odd red herring to keep them guessing, that’s what makes the reader keep turning pages.

I’ve done a lot of beta reading and I find that one of the most common mistakes rooky writers make is to ‘mind dump’. They don’t trust the reader’s ability to fill in the gaps for themselves. I used to do it too and forcing myself not to is an ongoing battle.

Try and think of your writing as a sketch. A skilled artist can render a beautiful image using only a few well-placed lines. They allow the viewer to fill in the gaps in the image with their mind. It’s the same with writing, use a light touch, only say what you need to and don’t weigh the story down with too much information. If the reader must wade through pages of backstory, character self-analysis and soap-boxing the suspense and tension will be lost. 


Throwing Light

Grace is trying to come to terms with her mother’s death and handle the unexpected arrival of her ex-boyfriend when a mystery document she finds in a box in the attic turns her life on its head and raises questions she is compelled to answer.

In her search for the truth, she stumbles into the middle of a missing person cold case in a small town where the inhabitants have kept a secret to protect one of their own for twenty-five years. Grace’s investigation unearths long-held rivalries and opens old wounds, causing the past to collide with the present with terrifying results. 


Buy on:

Amazon Kindle


Amazon Paperback 

Amazon India

Amazon UK

Where Words Fail, Music Speaks – Upcoming Release: Cover Reveal for DIgital Anthology

For release on 21st April.
I was reading Annalisa Crawford’s blog a few days back, when I came across information about an interesting new digital anthology due for release on the 21st April. The book is in aid of Clusterbusters, an organisation dedicated to finding out all there is to know the horrible phenomenon of cluster headaches, which makes life miserable for those who happen to suffer from it.


Where Words Fail, Music Speaks

A digital anthology with a wide range of authors, Including Annlisa Crawford and many ohters, each with his or her own unique style. Each story is based on the title of a particular ‘nineties” song. I have to say that the colour of the cover is so beautiful that I am instantly attracted. But I’m sure the stories are great too.

I was originally meant to be involved in a simultaneous posting of cover reveals, but life really got in the way, so here I am, promoting this digital anthology with my blog post.  

To add this book to your Goodreads list, go here. And the eBook will be available on Amazon on or after the release date of 21st April.

Wishing this digital anthology every success!                               



New Release Spotlight: Indian Writing in English – Finding Juliet by Toffee

Finding Juliet by Toffee

Can a Geek Ever Find Love?

Arjun is an incredibly nice guy who believes in true love and is waiting for it with open arms. He falls in love, not once or twice, but thrice. And every single time, happiness – like the girls he fell for – comes very close to him before pushing him away. His only pillar of strength in all his moments of grief and dejection is his childhood friend Anjali. Dejected by the games played by girls and fate, he leaves Hyderabad for Bangalore and ends up meeting Krish, an irresistible flirt. 
Krish understands Arjun’s predicament, pacifies him with his words and enlightens him about the most complicated species ever created by God – Women. And then, Arjun’s life changes forever. Will Arjun find the one he has been waiting for, or will he end up becoming a flirt? Will he ever taste lasting happiness? Join Arjun as he tries to figure out women and discovers the meaning of love, lust and life… all in his journey of Finding Juliet.




Meet the Author

Toffee is a simple guy who loves the complications of life. He used to write code by the day and books by the night earlier. But currently, he is busy writing assignments and chasing deadlines in his Master’s in Business Analytics from the University of South Florida. Toffee loves narrating interesting stories with subtle insights. Through books, he wants to share beautiful stories, reach out to people and touch their hearts. Finding Juliet is his second book, written specially for India’s Generation-Y.

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Food for Thought – 5 Great Advantages of Books

I was having a chat lately with Diane, one of my friends and we were sharing about our absolutely favourite indulgences when we get a bit of time to ourselves. She told me that when she gets time on her own, away from the kids and husband, she loves to totally indulge herself. I was surprised when she told me her favourite treat. A cup of coffee, a piece of buttered toast and a good book. Although I generally don’t drink alcohol when in India, my treat of choice would probably be a glass of red wine, a bar of chocolate and yes, the book. For me, the book is always non-negotiable.


Having a book blog, has given me online introduction to many authors I probably wouldn’t have otherwise read. Many of them have since become favourite  authors for whose latest releases I eagerly wait. My reading tastes have changed a lot. A few years ago I was reading a lot of romance novels. Nowadays, it’s horror and thrillers. Amazing, isn’t it? How our tastes change as times move on. Of course, it all depends on mood. Long, dark winter evenings are perfect for horror stories, whereas spring and early summer seem to bring on the mood for romantic reads. Here are five great advantages of books.


  1. Books lift us out of our everyday world and bring us to another place. I’m unable to travel as much as I did when I was young, because I’m taking care of my family. But when I read a book set in a different country, I feel as if I’ve travelled outside of my world.
  2. Reading books increases our knowledge. Whether we read a non-fiction book or a well-researched novel, we learn about facts and situations of which we might otherwise might never have been aware. In January, my daughter and I went through a Tudor history phase, when we were reading books like ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ by Philippa Gregory. Websites offer a lot of information, but for an in-depth read, it has to be books, print or eBooks. It came as a surprise to learn from our reading that in the 16th century, a person of 45 was considered to be elderly. It’s totally different from our modern idea that you’re only becoming mature at 40, isn’t it?
  3. When I was short of cash years ago, I found it very hard to keep up with my habit of reading the latest books and buying Christmas gifts for my friends. So I had a brainwave. I bought my friends books for Christmas. Although they’re relatively inexpensive, books are always very acceptable gifts, provided you know the taste of the person for whom you’re buying. I read all the books before I gave them away for Christmas. It took a bit of restraint. I like to leave my marks on books. Notes in the margin, cracked spines, that sort of thing. Unless you’re very careful, books can definitely give away that they’ve been read before. I like to read books at my leisure, so even though it was nice to save a few pounds which I didn’t have, I wouldn’t want to do anything like that again.
  4. The cost of print books can be a bit high at times, especially if you read a lot.  If you don’t have access to a library, you can try to get secondhand books. You can get a bundle of reading at a fraction of the cost and you can come across some real treasures at book fairs. I’ve got some great books at the Book Fair at Moti Mahal in Lucknow.  There’s one in summer and the one in winter. When the wonderful Ram Advani Book Shop closed down last year in Lucknow’s Hazratganj, following the death of the legendary bookseller, I got an armful of bargains there too. Secondhand shelves in bookshops are also good options for picking up book bargains.
  5. The advent of the eBook was fantastic for book lovers. Print books are still very much in demand, but because of special offers and promotions, it is possible to acquire a lot of eBooks quickly. You can carry a library around in your smartphone or eReader. Books which are written in a series can be bought in bundles at a discount. In my humble opinion, books, whether fiction or non-fiction, are superior to television or films as a form of entertainment. There are a lot of eCourses available on the Internet nowadays, but if you are a self-starter and feel you don’t need to be accountable to anyone, an eBook can be a great substitute for a course.


The only food for thought I need is a really good book. The chocolate and wine are optional extras. Does anyone else reading this post love books as much as I do? Or is your favourite item something completely different?

I blog with the Loose Bloggers Consortium, a group of bloggers who post on the same topic/prompt every Friday. The current blogging members of this group are: me, RamanaChuck and Pravin. Thanks to Pravin for the topic/prompt ‘Food for Thought”.

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Review – 1857 Dust of Ages – The Forgotten Tale by Vandana Shanker

This has to be the first review on MBB in a very long time and it was well worth the wait. Anyone who likes Indian historical fiction is going to adore this beautiful read.

Maria Perry Mohan’s Review of 1857 Dust of AgesVolume I –  A Forgotten Tale by Vandana Shankar


As historical fiction goes, this is first class. We’re literally getting glimpses of a fascinating story as seen through the eyes of today. Can it really be that an Indian royal family gave their daughter in marriage to a British Army officer?  Some say it could be impossible, but has the truth been covered up? And why?

Those glances back in time show teasing glimpses of a royal family at a crossroads. The queen’s consternation when a male hair has not been born and her greedy sister-in-law, the one who has a son, eyes up the kingdom. Would such a queen mother be good for a kingdom? Probably not.

The princess’s character comes through as a girl who has been born to lead her kingdom. The 19th century produced one of the greatest British monarchs of all time, a queen regnant whose husband was a mere consort. So why couldn’t an Indian state? This intriguing flashback of Indian royal history left me hungry for more. I’m very glad to learn it’s part of a series. 


Book Blurb

1857. The rebellion erupts in India. Despite its attempts to stay aloof, NAVGARH, a small town near Delhi, is drawn into the conflagration. And at its heart are Princess Meera and Captain Richard Smith, with their strange alliance made for the throne of Navgarh.

2016, Shiv Sahai, a young Indian art historian and Ruth Aiken, a British scholar discover an excerpt from the journal of an anonymous British soldier, searching for his wife in the chaos of 1857 Delhi. As they begin investigating the scandal, they become aware of the vague rumours that are told in the bylanes of Navgarh – about a princess who married a British soldier to save her kingdom.

     Grab your copy @


Meet the Author

Delhi-born Vandana Shanker is the author of the series 1857 Dust of Ages, a historical fiction set in the year of the great uprising in India. A PhD from IIT Delhi, Vandana is passionate about history, storytelling and art. Apart from writing, she teaches literature and creative writing in Malaysia. She has also taught in Universities in India and Vietnam. She currently lives in Kuala Lumpur with her family and wants to travel the world. 

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Thwarted Escape: An Immigrant’s Wayward Journey by Lopamudra Banerjee – Book Blitz



THWARTED ESCAPE: An Immigrant’s Wayward Journey
by

Lopamudra Banerjee


Blurb


How far can one truly go away from his/her ancestral roots, filial ties and the claustrophobic grip of traditions and the reminiscence of an emotionally fraught childhood and puberty? The book begins with this particular quest, and it is this quest which gains momentum as a woman seeks the essence of herself-identity ten thousand miles away from her Bengali hometown. 
With the lens of a time-traveler, her narrative journey encompasses her first sexual abuse, her first tryst with death, austerity, the strangeness of rituals, the inexplicable feelings of puberty and also her surrendering to love, procreation, motherhood. In herself-chosen exile in the US, she discovers that deep within; her ancestral roots are also the wellspring of her psychological, spiritual existence. In the process, she keeps on oscillating between assimilating and disintegrating, which forms the core of her journey. 

Order your copy @

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About the Author

Lopamudra Banerjee is a writer, poet, editor and translator, currently based in Dallas, USA. She is the co-editor of Defiant Dreams: Tales of Everyday Divas, published by Readomania in collaboration with Incredible Women of India. She has also been the Creative Editor of Incredible Women of India and Deputy editor of the e-zine Learning & Creativity.

Thwarted Escape, her debut nonfiction novel/memoir has been First Place Category Winner at the Journey Awards 2014 hosted by Chanticleer Reviews and Media LLC, USA. Her literary works have appeared at numerous literary journals and anthologies (print and online), both in India and the US. Her poetry, fiction and nonfiction and also translation works are regularly published in Setu, the international bilingual journal, Cafe Dissensus, Different Truths, Readomania.com and other publications. She has received the Reuel International Award 2016 for her English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s novella Nastanirh (The Broken Home) instituted by The Significant League, a renowned literature group in Facebook.


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I Know

Suddenly I realise how the serpent got into the Garden

He must have got in through WhatsApp

Eve might have been looking on her smartphone

Checking data in the Heavenly libraries or perhaps the weather forecast

Deciding what fruit to eat must have been a challenge

Apples, mangoes, papayas, whatever

And suddenly, there he was

Someone might have added him to a group she was in

Where they chatted ad infinitum about the glories of the Eternal

Then on a whim, that ‘angel’ in the group opened a direct WhatsApp line

It’s so much more comfortable chatting Eve, without the rest of the group, no?

And she might have wondered who this Lucifer was, this angel of light.

But hey, he was a Seraph, so it must be okay

Don’t tell Adam, okay? You’re such a pretty lady, he’ll just get upset!

We wouldn’t want that dear, would we? No!

Silly, trusting, idiotic Eve,

How were you to know that everyone in the Heavenlies is not good?

Not everyone who preaches is sincere,

Not everyone who says ‘God is great” really means it.

Did he say you were pretty? That Adam must be jealous of anything that takes up your time?

Were you flattered Eve? Be honest, now. How did he get under your skin?

He reassured you, didn’t he? He used sweet words and turned your head.

You didn’t know what you were doing, but he did..

Your naive ignorance was no match for serpentine cunning

Result? The near destruction of humanity..

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Blogging Two Novels for Cancer – Guest Post by Mandy Brittany, author of ‘Photo Time’ and ‘The Cold’

MBB welcomes a very special guest author today – author Mandy Brittany, an old writing friend. We belong to the same short story writing group and have critiqued each other’s work many times. Not that her writing needs much criticism from me, I might add. I’ve always known her as an author with a soothing voice and more than a touch of humour. Her novels Photo Time and The Cold are both available to read online for free. Is there a catch? Sort of…..Mandy Brittany is trying to raise cash for cancer research and she’s requesting anyone who reads and enjoys her two books to donate a minimum of  £2.00 to cancer research at the link provided. That’s €2.35 for those living in the Euro Zone, US$2.48 if you’re in the USA, AU$3.24 if you’re in Australia and ₹84 if you’re in India. This blog has quite an international reach, so if you are unable to access Mandy’s donation link, you could always donate to a local cancer charity instead. But you could let her know you’ve done it so she’ll have a fair idea how much she’s raised. We are doing this on an honour system, so no one is going to check up on you, but this is a cause close to many hearts, so please donate for this worthwhile cause. In her guest post (we decided to keep it short and mostly focus on the books), she shares why she’s taken up this particular cause. I lost my lovely parents to this dreaded disease, so I’m giving Mandy Brittany my full support on this.

You can find the donation page here


Guest Post from Mandy Brittany, author of ‘Phototime’ and ‘The Cold’

Why I’m blogging my novels

The Cold and Phototime are up and ready to read on my blogs, with the hope of raising money for cancer research.
The reason I’m blogging my novels is because my sister has been battling terminal cancer for three years, and I often feel at a loss. So I thought I would try to do something to raise funds for her and everyone else who has suffered or is suffering from this rotten disease which touches so many lives in a destructive way. 

You can read both novels for free, of course, but if you read and enjoy and would like to donate a small amount of (approximately) £2 to my ‘Just Giving” page, that would be fantastic. I’ve already raised £277, which, as far as I’m concerned, is amazing!

And now, the books!


The Cold by Mandy Brittany

The Cold is a suspense novel with a twist

Isla Johnson survived an attack by serial killer Carl Jeffery six years ago, which left her physiologically damaged.

Now, after being happy with Jack for three years, things have taken a turn.  An odd university reunion arranged by her first boyfriend, sightings of someone dressed like Carl Jeffery and who is the mysterious Andy?   Is Isla in danger, or is she losing her mind?

You can read The Cold here


Phototime by Mandy Brittany

At the age of 23, Isaac’s dad has died, his mum has disappeared in Australia and he’s fallen in love.

He meets Cillian, a man in his fifties, who is on a quest of his own to find his long lost brother.

Cillian teaches Isaac about Phototime – a way of visiting the five minutes after a photograph was taken – and the unlikely pair set out on a comical, magical adventure that takes Isaac on a journey into manhood.

You can read Phototime here


Author Bio of Mandy Brittany

Mandy Brittany has had over 150 stories published in magazines in the UK and globally, and articles published in writing and historical magazines. She has also been shortlisted in writing competitions and had a local history book published. She’s the proud owner of a Creative Writing Diploma and Literature Degree.