Monday, December 26, 2016

Book Review: ‘Knitted Tales’ by Rubina Ramesh


Genre: Literary
Blurb
What forces an innocent girl to become a sex symbol? Her desires? Or cruel fate?

Is a lifetime enough—for avenging a betrayal? How do you hide secrets that never stopped haunting you?

Can vengeance and secrets of your past devastate your present? How can long-buried crimes of yours suddenly raise their head? Can sinning be saving?

Is your spouse your soulmate? What if they never understood your feelings? Can you still live with them?

Lastly, does life give only two options? Live or die? What if there is a third?

In her debut anthology, Rubina Ramesh tries to find answers to these questions that are often from the heart and yet makes the mind ponder over the solution. Or is it the other way round? Either way, Knitted Tales is a bouquet of emotions that is bound to touch both your head and your heart.


My Review:
The collection of 12 short stories does justice to its name ‘Knitted Tales’. The author has indeed knitted myriad emotions, issues into the stories which give us a peek into everyday life filled with love, hate, greed, optimism, lust, and other realities of life. I couldn't decide which ones I liked the most or the least. So here is a sneak peek into the stories:

‘A Secret in Their Closet’ is a tale of a mother who has such a weak and selfish character that she is ready to kill her own child to save herself. It is unthinkable but yes these kind of people do exist.

‘Betrayal’ focuses on yet another human emotion; ‘hate’. Ms Ramesh imagination has been brilliant in terms of execution of this story and how the emotion consumes one and everyone around.

‘Chiclets’ is about a little girl who is trying to adjust to her new school in a new country. The story shows how sometimes kids can solve a problem, we adults can’t find a solution to.

‘Forgive Me, For I have Sinned’ delves into unrequited love, or rather wrong kind of love. The story brought tears to my eyes thinking about the complexity of that one emotion we always long for in our lives. Author has expertly handled the emotions of all three protagonists.

‘Lolita’ handles a very prevalent social issue and shows the vulnerability of women deeply and completely. No matter what they endure they carry themselves with head held high.

‘No Regrets’ made me smile. It is such a sweet tale of a lonely NRI wife and how she makes her husband consider and appreciate her point of view with the help of social media.

‘SuvernaRekha’ is another poignant tale which touched my heart. At times people are so chained by society’s rules that they are even ready to give-up most dear to heart.

‘The Little Godmother’ is all about perspective in life. The issue is handled beautifully and simplistically by the author. Everything coin has two sides, indeed.

‘The Missing Staircase’ gives us message to slow down and appreciate people who care about us. A simple message told in such a beautiful manner. Hats off.

‘Daddy, Hear Me Out’ deals with a serious malady in our society. Pushing kids towards studies and marks regardless of their aptitude or interests. What I liked was that the protagonist takes much harder route to prove her point. A lesson for everyone.

‘Cliff Notes’ is one of my favorites. Written magnificently from an inanimate object’s point of view, it shows us the society’s image so eloquently that it is uncanny.

Once I had started I couldn’t put down the collection. The language is simple yet expressive highlighting each and every emotion, issue and message completely. The stories of eight to eighty year old, of NRI to Kharia tribals, the collection has touched almost every aspect of human anomaly.

I highly recommend the book for everyone.







Grab your copy @
Amazon India | Amazon USA
Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Amazon Australia

Check out all the posts here 


 About the author
Rubina Ramesh is an avid reader, writer, blogger, book reviewer and marketer. She is the founder of The Book Club, an online book publicity group. Her first literary work was published in her school magazine. It gave her immense pride to see her own name at the bottom of the article. She was about 8 years old at that time.  She then went to complete her MBA and after her marriage to her childhood friend, her travel saga started. From The Netherlands to the British Isles she lived her life like an adventure. After a short stint in Malaysia, she finally settled down in the desert state of USA, Arizona.  Living with her DH and two human kids and one doggie kid, Rubina has finally started living the life she had always dreamed about – that of a writer. 



Her other published works include:
'Home is where Love is’ a short story in the anthology Writings from the Heart. Ed. by Beth Ann Masarik. 
‘You Stole My Heart’ and ‘Let me Go’. Short stories as a part of the anthology Long and Short of It by Indireads.
'Wake Me Up' as a part of the anthology Marijuana Diaries by Fablery Publishers.


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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Spotlight On: 'Shadowed Promise' by Sunanda Chatterjee



From riots in Bombay to the riches of Beverly hills...
by
Sunanda Chatterjee


Blurb

Moyna’s cousin panted at the doorway, heavy with child. “Who did this to you?” her father shouted. And Moyna knew that somehow she would be blamed for this unspeakable shame on the family. Her aunt blamed her for all the tragedies, from the death of Moyna’s own parents to the riots in Bombay. But, as her cousin lay dying of stab wounds, Moyna promised to protect the baby.
In a panic, eighteen-year-old Moyna made a hasty decision that would return to haunt her years later. 

Bullied as a child, Sameer wants to make the world a safer place.  He has spurned a cushy career in his father’s law firm for public service. Sameer is drawn to the mysterious Moyna when they meet in Los Angeles. The attraction seems mutual, but Moyna remains cautious and secretive about her past, insulating herself from love to protect others from her unlucky curse.

At the cusp of political victory, Sameer faces increasing gun violence and death threats leading to an FBI investigation. But his greatest challenge comes when a shadow from Moyna’s past threatens to destroy their future.

What hope do they have with the media hungering for a scandal?
A story of friendship, redemption, and forgiveness, “Shadowed Promise” is a journey from blind faith to triumphant love.





Read an excerpt of #SP here:

Sameer chased after Moyna as she opened the side-door to the stairwell. When the door nearly swung shut, he stuck in his foot and opened it again. She had already reached the landing, so he took the stairs two at a time. “Moyna, I wanted to say congratulations!”
Her face glowed in the cardinal and gold graduation gown. A low pony swung below the cap, the tassels of which hung at her cheek. She looked happy. She smiled at him, for a moment, without holding back. Her smile was dazzling in its brilliance. Why didn’t she smile more?
She said, “Was that all you wanted?”
He grinned. You have no idea what I want! “I was thinking… now that you’ve graduated, maybe we can take this to the next level.”
She stared at him. “Sameer, I have a lot of baggage. There are things about my past… I can never tell you.”
“I don’t care about the past. I want to know if there’s any hope of a future for us.”
She sighed, a sorrowful, regretful sigh that turned his heart cold, as if she had slapped him on his face. She would never let him into her heart. But she said, “You’ll never be satisfied with what I can offer.”
You’ve offered me nothing before! He put his arm around her waist and pulled her close. “As long as you’re giving me all you can offer. Moyna, you have no idea what you make me feel. Just be with me. With time, you’ll trust me enough to let me into that wonderful heart of yours.”
She stared with those hypnotic eyes. Her lip trembled a little. And he had no doubt she felt the same way. He drew her closer, held her face, and pressed his lips to hers, as her cap fell to the floor.
Her lips felt petal soft against his, her arms on his back felt like chains from which he never wanted freedom. His hands roved over her neck and back and came to rest on her hips. The smell of her perfume, her breath, the feel of her skin against his, intoxicated him.
Above and below them, footsteps of students echoed in the stairwell. He hungered for breath, but couldn’t let go. She seemed to melt in his arms as she clung to him, teasing his hair, and raking his back.
When she pulled away, he wondered what year it was.
She was panting.
He watched his reflection dance in her eyes and it felt so right. That’s all he wanted. Her image in his eyes, and his in hers. Nothing else mattered. “I … I think I’m in love with you.”
He felt her stiffen as she took a step back. Did I say something wrong? Her expression was inexplicable. Her lips trembled, her eyes moistened, and it seemed that every fiber of her body wanted to be with him.
And yet he heard her saying, “I can’t do this!” She turned away and darted down the corridor toward her room.
He chased after her and grabbed her wrist. “I don’t understand. Is there someone else?”
She whirled around to face him, eyes wild with panic. “What? Yes. Yes, there’s someone else!”
She tried to wrench her hand free, but he tightened his grip. “Who? Karan? How come I’ve never met him?”
She stopped struggling. “You’ll never understand. Please, Sameer, I can’t be with you. Walk away from me. For your own good. It’s best for both of us.”
“I don’t believe it.” He jabbed his finger at the stairwell. “Just a minute ago you were kissing me. Tell me it meant nothing to you!”
“Stop!”
He saw a sparkle of tears in her eyes and his face softened. “Moyna, look into my eyes and tell me you don’t love me.”
She didn’t say anything. He wrapped her into a powerful embrace and kissed her, tasting the tears on her cheeks. He shivered as her hands snaked below his arms and ran up his back, hooking around his shoulders; she clung to him, and their bodies molded into each other.
He felt the warmth of her breath, her skin, and her flesh, and knew he never wanted to be with anyone else. After a moment’s hesitation, she kissed him back, sending his head spinning.
He lifted her off her feet with ease and pinned her against the wall. She wrapped her arms around his neck and nipped at his lips, as his hand found her breast. Control was out of the question. The fire of that raw desire burnt any logic he had left. He wanted her as much as she wanted him.
And then she struggled out of his embrace. A sharp pain pierced through his numbed consciousness when she stamped on his shoe with her three inch heel. He winced and hopped on one foot.
Panting, she glared at him and scrubbed her mouth. Then she pushed against him with both her hands, her eyes brimming with angry tears. “You arrogant, presumptuous, selfish bastard! Just because you’ve never been refused anything in your life, you think you can go about taking what’s not yours.”
Confused, he frowned and took a step toward her as she backed into the wall. “But you’re mine, Moyna!”
She gave a scornful laugh. “Your wealth means nothing to me. Your beauty means nothing to me. You’ll never be like Karan. Karan was brave, noble and selfless. You’re nothing!”
Sameer stepped back, his mind in turmoil. She hates me. Her dalliance with him had been a farce. The last three years had been a lie. He rubbed his forehead, stunned. “Wh…”
She yelled in a shaking voice, “Do you hear me? You mean nothing to me! Leave me alone.”

He clenched his fists, turned on his heel, and walked away, his steps booming in the quiet corridor, as his future with her vanished into oblivion.


Grab your copy @

Amazon USA | Amazon India | Amazon UK

Check out all the posts here


About the author

Freelance author, blogger, and ex-Indian Air Force physician Sunanda Joshi Chatterjee completed her graduate studies in Los Angeles, where she is a practicing pathologist. While medicine is her profession, writing is her passion. When she’s not at the microscope making diagnoses, she loves to write fiction. Her life experiences have taught her that no matter how different people are, their desires, fears, and challenges remain the same.

Her themes include romantic sagas, family dramas, immigrant experience, women’s issues, medicine, and spirituality. She loves extraordinary love stories and heartwarming tales of duty and passion. Her short stories have appeared in short-story.net and induswomanwriting.com. 

She grew up in Bhilai, India, and lives in Arcadia, California with her husband and two wonderful children. In her free time, she paints, reads, sings, goes on long walks, and binge-watches TV crime dramas.

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Book Review:: ‘Cabbing - All the Way’ by Jatin Kuberkar



Genre: Literary, Humor
Publisher : Readomania
Blurb:
Twelve people agree to an idea of running a shared transport service from a common residential locality to their out-of-civilization office campus. Twelve different minds with equally diverse personalities gel with each other to fulfil a common need. At first, the members collide on mutual interests, timings, priorities and personal discipline, but in the course of their journey, they become best friends, make long-lasting relationships, mentor and help each other on various mundane matters. The journey goes on fine until one day some members try to dictate terms over the group. The rift widens with each passing day, the tension surmounts and finally all hell breaks loose... Will the journey continue? Fasten your seat belts for the journey is about to begin...


Goodreads | Amazon

My Review:
One doesn’t miss something one doesn’t have, but once a pleasure or comfort is sampled, we always crave for it. One of such pleasures in life is the spirit of togetherness or team spirit. Author Jatin Kuberkar explores that very facet of human life in this new book ‘Cabbing: All The Way’.

At some point or the other the working class has faced the problem of commuting to the office. A group of people in author’s office, driven by the day to day hassle of traffic jams, long distance and public transport, decide to hire a shared cab. The cab is run by this group of twelve people living in the same area.

During the running of the cab the main protagonists Chandu, Sushant, Raghav and Jatin come across many hiccups and roadblocks, but they sail through them with flying colors. The humor and exasperation, of dealing with illogical and selfish motives, has been brought to the fore leading us to ponder over complexities of human nature. Though the group splits due to some unreasonable arguments and cab stops, in the end the entire group realize their folly and come together again bound by a common goal and spirit of togetherness.

In this light hearted narrative the Mr. Kuberkar has expertly taken us through the pains and joys of commuting using a shared transport. The story has romance, drama, manipulation and a message too. The language is simple. Local slang and terms used add spice to the narrative.

I was able to relate to some of the anecdotes and enjoyed it immensely. I would highly recommend the book to anyone looking for a light, jovial tale carrying a profound message.




About the Author:
For the mortal world, I pretend to be a Software Engineer who works hard (or hardly?) in the hours of a day. I am the guy next door, a hard core Harry Potter fan and a movie buff. I literally ‘live’ every movie, I have strong opinions about its content and I hate it when a movie based on an interesting concept is messed up for the sake of commercial value. I enjoy watching cartoon shows (doremon, dora and Choota Bheem) with my son. I never get bored of listen to the endless chatter of my wife. When I’m not writing, I make toys for children.

But beyond the boundaries of this ‘cholesterol rich’ coil, I am a rider of rapturous thoughts. I am a thinker, a philosopher, a seeker, a story-teller, a writer, a wanderer and every other thing that a thought can be. At times some of these figments fire out of my thoughtful bowl and command me to write, muse, create, recreate, destroy…EXPRESS!

Who Am I? I have been asking this question to myself since 33 years, and I got a different answer always. Sometimes I get confused and think, am I asking the right question to seek the correct answer? Or may be that am I missing the whole fantastic universal drama around me while I am busy finding an answer to an irrelevant question?

Does the answer even matter?




Note: I had received this book by b00k r3vi3w in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Spotlight On:: 'His Drunken Wife' (Marriages Made in India Book #2) by Sundari Venkatraman


Blurb
The badass Shikha is startled when the nerdy Abhimanyu proposes marriage. She loves... herself, and Abhimanyu doesn't figure on her list anywhere. For Abhimanyu, however, it was love at first sight when Shikha walked into RS Software, where the two of them work. 

When Abhimanyu shows her that he just might be rich enough for her, a pleasantly surprised Shikha accepts his marriage proposal and moves into his swanky apartment. 

But it looks like the love is all from only Abhi’s side as Shikha continues to drink herself crazy. Yeah, even at their wedding party. 

And then Abhi sets out on a honeymoon to Thailand with His Drunken Wife... 

*MARRIAGES MADE IN INDIA is a five-novella series that revolves around the characters you have met in The Runaway Bridegroom.




An Excerpt from #HDW

It was at least another half an hour before Shikha returned to the party. She directly walked up to her husband and kissed him on his masculine lips. “Forgive me?” 

Abhi pulled her close, kissing her deeply. “Always.”

“Did I tell you that you’re the best thing that’s happened to me?” she whispered in his ear, nipping at his earlobe. 

“Shikha,” growled Abhi, “Are you even aware of what you’re doing to me? Position yourself in front of me till I gain control or I won’t be responsible for the consequences.”

Shikha gave a tinkling laugh, her hand on his fly, tracing his shape delightedly. “How did I ever imagine you were a staid guy?”

Abhi groaned. “Take your hand off, woman. Please!”

Shikha laughed again, kissing him. “How I love to hear you beg.” She winked at him. 

She turned right around and got a waiter to get her another drink, much to Abhi’s chagrin. “Will you lay off the drink, Shikha?” he frowned. 

“Why? You can’t afford it or what?” she challenged him, a shapely eyebrow up in query, sherry brown eyes dancing. 

“You’ve already had four large pegs.”

“You’ve been counting.” The smile left her face.

“Do you plan to get drunk?”

“Arre yaar, Abhi! It’s our wedding, a once-in-a-lifetime event. I’m only celebrating. Give me a break,” she protested. 

“The way you’ve been knocking down the drinks, anyone would think that you’re in pain rather than celebrating.”


Grab your copy @
Amazon.com | Amazon.in | 
Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com.au | 
Amazon.ca


Check out all the Blog posts here 

About the author

His Drunken Wife is the ninth book authored by Sundari Venkatraman. This is a hot romance and is Book #2 of the 5-novella series titled Marriages Made in India; Book #1 being The Smitten Husband. Other published novels by the author are The Malhotra Bride, Meghna, The Runaway Bridegroom, The Madras Affair and An Autograph for Anjali—all romances. She also has a collection of romantic short stories called Matches Made in Heaven; and a collection of human interest stories called Tales of Sunshine. All of Sundari Venkatraman’s books are on Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers in India, USA, UK, Canada & Australia under both #romance & #drama categories.



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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Book Review:: ‘Shadow In The Mirror’ by Deepti Menon


Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Readomania 

Blurb:
It all begins with a death. Nita, a pregnant woman falling from her balcony becomes the string that unravels the plot. Her death casts a shadow over many lives; her heartbroken father, her husband and Vinny, a young journalist, drawn in by the whiff of foul play and murder.


What follows are stories within stories, eras and worlds colliding with each other, leaving behind splintered relationships and mesmerizing slices of lives that appear to be drawn together and driven apart by the whimsical threads of destiny. 

As events cast their shadows ahead to link the stories of Vinny, Kavita, Roma, Krish and Nita in an unrelenting knot, a journey starts to uncover the truth. What is the secret that links Nita’s death to the other characters? Will Vinny be able to unravel the mystery of Nita’s death?

From intimate diary entries and letters, to bantering over a meal and sharing memories while spring cleaning, this novel de-familiarizes the ordinary, presenting a kaleidoscope of our own pasts, broken edges and pulsating hearts.

My Review:
‘Shadow In the Mirror’ is an intricate tale of complex relationships, personalities and circumstances, which lead to tragic death of a woman. The writer has taken a different approach of delving into the backstories to solve the crime, but given the storyline I would classify it as more of a mystery than a thriller.

Nita plunges to her death from her twelve-storey apartment and everyone rules it a suicide due to prenatal depression. Vinny a journalist follows her case and finds a note at her doorstep stating it was a murder. From there the story spans decades in flashback telling us the backgrounds, upbringing, childhood traumas, insecurities, motivation of various characters around Nita. The circle completes with Krish, Nita’s husband, confronting the murderer.

Vinny’s is a modern day, career oriented woman. The author has etched her character and motivations magnificently. I liked the twist given to the killer’s life and it really hit me hard when it was revealed. That main chapter 'Shadow In The Mirror' is brilliantly written. The language is simple and breezy. 

The plot takes you from 1958 to 1994. There were some inconsistencies in the timelines, but it doesn’t take away from the narrative. There are a few characters which were not necessary for the plot-line and took away the attention for a while. I would have loved if the plot had stuck to main plot and characters especially Kavita’s.

All in all, the story is fast paced and keeps one hooked. A good read for readers who like mystery and suspense.






Grab your copy @


Also Available on #KindleUnlimited  


About the Author

Deepti Menon has always believed in the power of the pen. Having done her post graduation in English Literature and her B.Ed. in English, she had the option of teaching and writing, and did both with great enjoyment. She started writing at the age of ten, long before she acquired a Diploma in Journalism. She also had the advantage of being an Army kid, and later an Army wife, and loved the idea of travelling around India, meeting new people and acquiring new skills. She firmly believes that much of her personality was honed during those travels. 
In 2002, her light hearted book, ‘Arms and the Woman’, depicting life as seen through the eyes of an Army wife, was published by Rupa Publishers, Delhi. This was written mainly to reveal the warmth and camaraderie within the great institution. She is now working on her second book that is a work of fiction, and not- to-be divulged yet! 





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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tornado Giveaway 3: 'Fighting For Tara' by Sunanda Chatterjee





Name of the book: Fighting for Tara

Author: Sunanda J. Chatterjee
Read some reviews:

1. Sundari Venkatraman
2. Sunita Saldhana 
3. Shilpa Garg 

The Story:

How far will a mother go to save her child?

“I have no use for a baby girl. Get rid of her tonight!” He towered over her as she cringed in fear.

But Hansa, a thirteen-year-old child-bride in rural India, refuses to remain a victim of the oppressive society where a female child is an unwanted burden. Instead of drowning her baby, Hansa escapes from her village with three-month-old Tara.

Hansa soon discovers that life as a teenage mother is fraught with danger. But a single lie opens the door to a promising opportunity far from home.

Just seven years later, Hansa finds herself fighting for Tara’s life once more, this time in an American court, with a woman she calls ‘Mother.’

Will the lie upon which Hansa built her life, defeat its own purpose? How can she succeed when no one believes the truth? 

A story of two mothers, two daughters and a fight to save a child, Fighting for Tara explores the depth of love and motherhood.



You can buy the book @
About The Author 

Freelance author, blogger, and ex-Indian Air Force physician Sunanda Joshi Chatterjee completed her graduate studies in Los Angeles, where she is a practicing pathologist. While medicine is her profession, writing is her passion. When she’s not at the microscope making diagnoses, she loves to write fiction. Her life experiences have taught her that no matter how different people are, their desires, fears, and challenges remain the same. 

Her themes include romantic sagas, family dramas, immigrant experience, women’s issues, medicine, and spirituality. She loves extraordinary love stories and heartwarming tales of duty and passion. Her short stories have appeared in short-story.net and induswomanwriting.com. 

She grew up in Bhilai, India, and lives in Arcadia, California with her husband and two wonderful children. In her free time, she paints, reads, sings, goes on long walks, and binge-watches TV crime dramas.

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Check out all the books of Tornado here 
Go to Book No. 77 The Broken Home by Lopamudra Banerjee

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Tornado Giveaway 3: 'Pishacha' by Neil D' Silva







Name of the book: Pishacha

Author: Neil D'Silva
The Story:
On the outside, he is a Pishacha – a terrifying demon compelled to eat human flesh to survive. Yet, inside, he has a tender heart that still pines for the lover of his previous human birth.

More than a century later, when he discovers that his lover has been reborn in a rich Mumbai household, and is now a beautiful woman, his heart begins to beat again with a happy rhythm.

There are monumental obstacles in his path though, the least of which is the fact that she loves another man. But, the biggest challenge is that she is human and he is demon.

To make her his, he will have to become human again; and to accomplish that, he will have to fight holy men and witch-mothers and giants, and challenge the gods themselves.

From the best-selling author of Maya’s New Husband, comes a tragic tale of forbidden love — Pishacha.




Here’s your chance to win a paperback of Pishacha, the upcoming novel from Neil D'Silva

All you have to do is to guess the five main characters’ names (look at the image below).
1. Post your replies in the comments below. 
2. Only one reply per person. Edited comments won't be accepted.
3. The first person with 5 all-correct answers gets the paperback. 
4. The Winner will be announced on eBook launch date (December 5, 2016) on the Pishacha eBook Launch Event Page here.
5. The book will be dispatched to the winner upon the paperback release.
6. Winners will be chosen at the sole discretion of Kaffeinated Konversations.


About The Author 

Neil D'Silva is the author of three books. His debut, Maya's New Husband, tells the tale of a woman who finds herself trapped in the wrongest kind of marriage, and the subsequent horrors that unfold upon her. His second book, The Evil Eye and the Charm, consists of three short tales of the Indian lemon-chili charm, each of which raises the perpetual debate between rationality and superstition using horror as their narrative element. His third book, Bound in Love, is a collection of eight short stories of dark and twisted human relationships.


Neil D'Silva also finds himself published in two anthologies. The first is Vengeance, an anthology put forward by Wrimo India, India's arm of the global NaNoWriMo organization. The second is When They Spoke, which is a collection of winning stories of a short story competition organized by Readomania and the Delhi Literature Festival.


His stories and writings have appeared in the American MONSTER! magazine. He regularly puts up new stories on his website at NeilDSilva.com.

Maya's New Husband has stayed on the Amazon bestseller charts ever since it was published in January 2015. The book is now on its way to be translated into a movie.

Neil D'Silva is one of the many contemporary writers who have tasted success through self-publishing. His primary platforms are the Amazon Kindle. He is invited to speak about his journey with self-publishing to various cities across India. 

He is also the founder of For Writers, By Authors (FWBA), India's most vibrant author-reader community on Facebook that has close to 10,000 members. He is the creator of the Mumbai litfest Litventure as well.

Stalk him @
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Check out the event page of The Launch of Pishacha 

Check out all the books of Tornado here 
Go to Book No. 74 Love, Lies & Layoffs by Usha Narayanan


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