Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy Diwali 2012

Wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous Diwali.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Happy Onam


Happy Onam to all my Malayali friends.

Onam is the harvest festival of Kerala, India. It is also the State festival and all the people, irrespective of the religion, celebrate Onam and welcome King Mahabali, for the remembrance of the good old days. Keralites, wherever they live, usually celebrate this festival.

More details can be found here and on this site.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Second Choice - featured on another blog


My book - The Second Choice - is featured in http://wonderword-variety.blogspot.in. Please take a look at this.

The print copy of this heartwarming story is available in several online shops in India, including juglee.com.

Ebook is also available on several places like amazon, smashwords, B&N, Kobos, etc and can be read on ipad, ibooks, Nook, Sonyreader, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others.

Those who do not have an ebook reader can be read on computer. For more instructions please check smashwords.com and amazon.com.

http://wonderworld-variety.blogspot.in/2012/08/featured-ebook-second-choice-by-lakshmi.html

Monday, August 20, 2012

10 Popular Sites for Promoting your Book


When you take a lot of trouble in writing a book and getting it published you may think that your work is over. No. You can't just sit and relax and wait for your royalty cheque. All this time you worked quietly writing and polishing your book, and you didn't want much distraction. But once it is published you will have to work very hard to see your book selling more copies, by interacting with other writers and readers. It is all the more in the case of an ebook, which is also self-published. If you don't promote your book no one is going to see your book. I know there are several social media platforms where you can promote. In addition, you can promote your book through some of these popular sites too.

1. Goodreads.com

Goodreads is a great platform for writers and readers to meet. This site draws millions of visitors every month, and has a membership of more than 1 Million. As an author you can even get an author's page and a blog, all for free. Another important thing you can do here is announce a giveaway for certain days. You can choose whatever number of books you would like to give free, and to which countries you can choose. You will be surprised to see the number of entries who would like to win a free copy of your book. Most probably the winners will write a review also for your book, without even you requesting for it. In this way you are creating a buzz about your book. At present they will take only printed books for giveway.

2. BookBlogs.ning.com

This site gets a large number of visitors, and you have many options there to promote your book. Several groups of writers are there to suit your need, and is also a great place to learn about book promotion.

3. Writersnet

This is an old site and very popular.

4. Authorsden.com

Authorsden is another popular place where readers and writers come together.

5. Redroom.com.

Redroom is another wonderful place for the readers and writers to meet, and market your book.

6. Bookbuzz.com

For a small monthly fee you can announce your book here, which also has a good readership.

7. linkedin.com

Books and Writers group and Ebooks, Ebook Readers, Digital Books and Digital Content Publishing Group are some of the very active communities in linkedin, which are useful for writers to promote their books.

8. Librarything.com

Librarything is a very old site with a community of 1,500,000 book lovers.

9. Discoverabook.com

It is comparatively a new site, and still it is becoming popular.

10. Jacketflap.com

Jacketflap is an old and popular site with more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults, and promotes only Children's Books. So if you are a children's book author it is a great place to check.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Book Review - Whispering Paths


Whispering Paths is a new book just out in the online market. It is a collection of poems and 6 short stories, as her debut to the literary world, by Sneha Subramanian Kanta.
I’ve just finished reading this amazing book which I got through flipkart, one of the popular online shops in India. I felt that her poems are ripe with meaning and fervor, and will touch your heart and soul.

Sneha has experimented with different styles in the poems, as stated in her Preface, but I really enjoyed this style for a change. Some poems are long and some are short, but everything has a distinguished flavor. Like her poems, her short stories are also fascinating and touching, written from the heart. Once you start reading this book it is difficult to put down.

All I can say is that Whispering Paths is an amazing book, that everyone would probably like to see in their bookshelf.

Those who want to buy this it is available at flipkart, and here is the link. (Sorry, I think at present it is available only in India)

Whispering Paths from Flipkart.com

About the Author: Sneha Subramanian Kanta is a poet, writer, critic and works as Visiting Faculty in various colleges across Mumbai. She is primarily involved in teaching English Literature and Communication Skills in English. A Postgraduate in English literature, her areas of interest are poetry, literary criticism and postcolonial literature.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Magic Land of Zanzibar - A mini guide


Magic Land of Zanzibar is a mini-guide written from a personal experience.

This mini-guide also contains some photographs which were taken during my trip.

What distinguishes this guidebook from others, is that it simplifies information already available and only provide you with relevant and important information, with a personal touch, that will make the planning of your trip, as well as your stay in Zanzibar, easier, safer and more pleasant.

Check it out here and enjoy reading.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ten Indian Proverbs


1. A smile you sent, will always return.

2. The most beautiful things in the universe are the starry heavens above us and the feeling of duty within us.

3. The cobra will bite you whether you call it cobra or Mr. Cobra.

4. When a camel is at the foot of a mountain then judge of his height.

5. A man laughs at others and weeps for himself.

6. A harvest of peace grows from seeds of contentment.

7. Great anger is more destructive than the sword.

8. When we take one step toward God, He takes seven steps towards us.

9. You can often find in rivers what you cannot find in oceans.

10. The way to overcome the angry man is with gentleness, the evil man with goodness, the miser with generosity and the liar with truth.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Difficult Decision-free promotion


From today for 3 days, my short story book (ebook)A Difficult Decision is free on KDP. Please check it out.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00722ZOGY

Even if you don't have an eReader you can read it on the computer. It is a small book of just 3 Indian short stories and can be finished fast. Please don't miss it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Interview with isahitya


Recently I had an interview with iSahitya, a website which connects people to literature and books. You can read the post here.

Interview with isahitya

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Second Choice - More Reviews


Read the new reviews for The Second Choice, at goodreads.com.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12374346-the-second-choice

Also Booksonshelf interviewed me. You can see the featured interview with review here.

http://booksonmyshelves.blogspot.in/2012/07/the-second-choice.html

Where to buy this book (paperback) and ebook format?

Check this link.

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Difficult Decision - Free for two days


My ebook "A Difficult Decision" is available on amazon kdp. It is free on 14th and 15th July 2012. Please download it and enjoy.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00722ZOGY

What is the book about?
It is a short story book containing 3 Indian short stories where the protagonists are required to take difficult decisions in different parts of their lives. What and why such decisions are taken. Please download the book and read the stories. Your reviews are most welcome.

Read a review here.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer promotion of my children's books


As I'm participating in the smashwords's summer/winter promotion program, during the month of July 2012, my children's books can be downloaded for free.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/61443 (coupon code RL59B)

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/61438 (coupon code SSW25)

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/61784 (coupon code SSW25)

Reviews are always welcome.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Book Giveaway at Goodreads


Hi everyone,

I have created a book giveaway on Goodreads for three copies of The Second Choice. The paperback is available only in India, (it will be beyond my capacity to send internationally), but those who are interested can be given an ebook. Those who are interested in receiving an ebook, please contact me through commenting here.

All you have to do is click on the Goodreads link in the top right of this blog (if you don’t have a Goodreads account, it’s free to join and the giveaway requires nothing more than clicking to enter).

http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/27616-the-second-choice

Please see the right side on top for the giveaway. Thanks.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Some Quotes from Famous Writers-2


Today we will see six other inspirational quotes from the famous writers.

Every author really wants to have letters printed in the papers. Unable to make the grade, he drops down a rung of the ladder and writes novels….
by P. G. Wodehouse

All good books have one thing in common - they are truer than if they had really happened…
by Ernest Hemingway

A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be….
by Albert Einstein

A novel should be an experience and convey an emotional truth rather than arguments.
by Joyce Cary

The task of a writer consists in being able to make something out of an idea.
by Thomas Mann

The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes.
by Agatha Christie

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Vanished - Book Review


“Vanished” by Danielle Steel, one of the most popular authors in the world, is a suspense story. The story takes place in late 1930s. Vanished by Danielle Steel

Marielle, a young girl of 18, meets a wealthy young man Charles, during her Grand Europe tour with her parents, and elopes with him. They get married and become proud parents of a little boy, and hoped to lead a happy and wonderful life. But destiny had something else in store for them, and they get separated due to extreme circumstances.

Later, at twenty-four, Marielle meets Malcolm, a wealthy business man in New York, who was forty-nine and was not interested in knowing the darker side of her past, in spite of her repeated attempts to tell him. He was admired by all and married Marielle to beget children to inherit his abundance of wealth. For him, Marielle was an attractive, dignified and undemanding wife. As he wished, she gave birth to a cute little boy, and they were very happy in their own way. Being a faithful and devoted wife, she felt grateful to him for having given her so much and he asked for so little.

One day when Malcolm was on a foreign trip, Marielle took their son Teddy to the park, where she happened to meet her ex husband, who was not married again, and still loved her, and she realized she too still had the same love and passion for him. He wanted her to return to him, but she turned down his offer being a wife to someone else.

The next day at home, to everyone’s surprise, Teddy was missing from his room mysteriously. The main part of the story is about the child’s disappearance, and his parent’s struggle to find him, which takes more than 3/4th of the story. Steel has woven this story with many fascinating turns and twists, which moves at a fast pace, capturing your attention till the end.

You can find elements of love, guilt, desires, suspense, true love of mother etc. in this novel. Besides, you will also know what is life in a house surrounded by police and court proceedings in “Vanished” which has a twisting end. Like many of Steel’s novels, I enjoyed reading this too.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Some Quotes from famous writers-1


Once a week I'd love to post some quotes from famous writers. I think it will help the writers to get inspired. This week's quotes -

All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary -- it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
- Somerset Maugham

One hasn't become a writer until one has distilled writing into a habit, and that habit has been forced into an obsession. Writing has to be an obsession. It has to be something as organic, physiological and psychological as speaking or sleeping or eating.
- Niyi Osundare

The test of any good fiction is that you should care something for the characters; the good to succeed, the bad to fail. The trouble with most fiction is that you want them all to land in hell, together, as quickly as possible.
- Mark Twain

There is no satisfactory explanation of style, no infallible guide to good writing, no assurance that a person who thinks clearly will be able to write clearly, no key that unlocks the door, no inflexible rules by which the young writer may steer his course. He will often find himself steering by stars that are disturbingly in motion.
- E. B. White

Friday, May 25, 2012

Book Review - Little Women


My daughter got me the book “Little Women” to read, and I fell in love with it from the very beginning itself.

“Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott, is the story of four little sisters – Meg (Margaret- 17 yrs), Jo (Josephine – 16 yrs), Beth (Elizabeth – 14 yrs) and Amy (12 yrs), about their life in New England (America) during the Civil War (1860s). They are poor, and have their own dreams, like any other girls of their age. Their father is in the war, and their mother tries very hard to raise them as intelligent and modest little women. The book also tells about the act of kindness and sacrifices done by these poor March sisters.

The book explores the relationship between the young girls and their parents. You can find tight family bonding, love, friendship, unity, patience - all in this book. As you read the book you can get into the minds of each sister and know what is going on in their minds, in each stage of their life. There are many characters in this story, some major and many minor.

An extract from the book -

“Wealth is certainly a most desirable thing, but poverty has its sunny side, and one of the sweet uses of adversity is the genuine satisfaction which comes from hearty work of head or hand, and to the inspiration of necessity, we owe half the wise, beautiful, and useful blessings of the world. Jo enjoyed a taste of this satisfaction, and ceased to envy richer girls, taking great comfort in the knowledge that she could supply her own wants, and need ask no one for a penny.”

This well written classic is a great read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Free Promotion Week


I have just announced a giveaway for one of my children's Books - Mini's Little world.

The promotion starts from today and ends on 31st May 2012.

Please check my other blog where this announcement is made.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Revisted Cubbon Park


Recently I had been to Cubbon Park, one of the best places to take children in Bangalore.

Cubbon Park, one of the lungs of Bangalore city, is located right in the middle of the city, spread into about 300 acres. It was originally created by Major General Richard Sankey in 1884 in 100 acres, and it was subsequently expanded to the present 300 acres, with abundance of flora and fauna. Apart from this, the Central Library of the State, Archaeological Museum, High Court of Karnataka and impressive statues of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and Sir Mark Cubbon are also housed in this large Park. The park was originally named as “Meade’s Park” after Sir John Meade, the acting Commissioner of Mysore in 1870, and later renamed as Cubbon Park after the longest serving commissioner of the time, Sir Mark Cubbon.

Once you enter inside and walk through the sprawling park under the well laid out trees, breathing clear air, and watching the beautifully manicured garden, you will feel like you're out of the city.

When my grandson took a ride in the merry go round with his parents, I sat on a bench and watched them go around.
Sitting on my lap, little Rohit enjoyed the ride in the toy train and the dragon train, and he forced his parents to play in the slide.Sitting under one of the trees on a bench, watching the kids playing around and making merry and the young parents running behind them, the nostalgic memories of my younger days came to my mind when we used to come here often with our kids.
My little grandson enjoyed the visit and he was not at all willing to come back. We wanted to take him to the Aquarium too, but due to shortage of time, that idea was cancelled.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Blue Umbrella - A Review


I was always a great fan of Ruskin Bond. Recently I read his book "The Blue Umbrella". Though it is categorized as children's book I too enjoyed reading it.

It is a beautifully written simple story of little Biniya set in a small village in Himachal Pradesh. A young tourist takes a fancy for her bead necklace with a leopard amulet and exchanges it with a blue umbrella, which soon makes the little girl the center of attraction in the village. The shop keeper of the village named Ram Bharosa eyes on her blue umbrella and plans to steal it from her.

"The old man had by now had given up all hope of ever possessing Biniya's umbrella. He wished he had never set eyes on it. Because of the umbrella he had suffered the tortures of greed, the despair of loneliness. Because of the umbrella, people had stopped coming to his shop!"

Read the book to find out how the old man and the little girl become friends again.

The story is beautifully illustrated with sketches and spreads into 86 pages. The story tells us how innocent children are and how they can forgive others.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Free promotion today


The novel - The Second Choice, is free today on smashwords.com . Use coupon LU59M. Grab your copy. http://bit.ly/ItfZuy

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Book Review – The Diary of a Young Girl - By Anne Frank


Book Review – The Diary of a Young Girl - By Anne Frank I wanted to read this book for quite some time. Then suddenly my daughter presented me with this book during her recent visit. Once I started reading it I found it difficult to keep it down.
This remarkable book is a personal diary of a teenage girl, during her stay with her family in a hidden place in Amsterdam, during World War II.

Anne Frank, a Jewish girl from a well to do family, who was merely 13 years old, when her family had to go and live in a secret place with their two teenage daughters, leaving everything behind. The life was filled with anxiety. Along with them, there were four more people, who joined them in the hidden place- Annie’s father’s business partner, his wife and their son Peter, and a dentist.

Anne was presented with a diary on her 13th Birthday, which she named Kitty, and wrote everything that came to her mind without any hesitation, as if Kitty was her best trusted friend. She recorded the vivid memories of her experiences of dreadfulness of war during 14th June 1942 to 1st August 1944 (25 months) in this diary, which included her life in the secret place, her relationship with her family, her longing for a friend, her aspirations and dreams, her struggles to live in such a place even for the basic needs, how Jews were treated during that time, and above all her fears of being discovered their stay there. In spite of all these, Anne looked forward to a peaceful life after the end of the war, and had hoped to become a journalist and a writer one day, and wanted to be remembered even after her death. She used to read books to enrich her knowledge even during that time, and it seemed writing came to her more naturally.

Her own words - I don’t want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death!

Anne is like any other young girl and a growing up girl’s animosity with her mother is well recorded. She has managed to capture her deepest thoughts and emotions in this diary.

In August 1944, the most dreaded thing happened. They were discovered by the Gestapo (German Street Police) and taken to concentration camp in Germany. During that time, her mother and sister perished, then their friends, and Annie died in March 1945, before seeing her country being freed. The war ended in May 1945. Among the 8 member team, only her father Otto Frank survived. After the war, he came back to the hiding place where he found his daughter’s precious diary.

I feel that everyone should read this book. It is the story of a normal and happy family whose life was suddenly unfairly interrupted and uprooted to an unusual circumstances. Even after 60 years of publishing, this book remains one of the world classics!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Recent review of my book


Please check the recent review of my book The Second Choice. Prior to that there was another review I saw in infibeam. Have you seen the reviews on flipkart? If not, check here.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Happy Vishu

Today, April 14th, is Vishu festival. It is also the New Year of Keralites. The main features of this festival are - Vishukkani, the golder flower called konna poo, vishukkaineetam, vishu sadhya etc.

The day begins with Vishukkani (Click here).

You can also check out this page for more info. Significance of Vishu(Click here)

Wish you all a happy vishu.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Book Review

It is widely said that if the first few lines of a book fails to grab your attention the reader may not be willing to take the risk of going forward with the book. Whenever I take a book to read I too will see whether it can create an interest in me, which usually, takes just few minutes of reading one or two pages. In a short story book by a single author, though the stories are different, reading the first story will give you an impression about the author's ability to take you forward or not.

By reading the first story "Conversation" in the Short Story book "Nesting of Thoughts" by Kakuli Nag, intrigued me to go forward to read the remaining stories. Most of the stories of this book were previously published online; each one is unique and interesting. These stories demonstrate a very different side of the mind and the way people think. Mumbai Monsoon and Knowing jajima are my favorites in this book. I feel that as an upcoming writer, Kakuli Nag has blended these stories together well in this book. An interesting read! The book is available at Gangarams,Strand Stall,Sapna Book House, Gandhinagar Branch and Sapnaonline.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Some interesting Quotations

I always love to read the quotations of famous writers. Hope you too will enjoy them -
"All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that it all happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer."
- Ernest Hemingway

"A writer writes not because he is educated but because he is driven by the need to communicate. Behind the need to communicate is the need to share. Behind the need to share is the need to be understood. The writer wants to be understood much more than he wants to be respected or praised or even loved. And that perhaps, is what makes him different from others."
- Leo Rosten

"A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket."
-Charles Peguy

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Happy Shivratri

Today we went early morning to Sri Nagareshwara Temple at Begur. We had reached there by 7.20 a.m. By then there was already a a long queue. Still it was nice to wait and have a darshan of Lord Shiva on this important day of Shivaratri. The gopuram constructions are still going on. We left there by 8.40 a.m.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Short story book

My new short story book - A difficult Decision - is free on 11th and 12th Feb. on amazon.

It is a book of 3 stories set in India.
Take a look at it here A Difficult Decision. and send your feedback.

All the three stories are heart-warming stories.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Review

Recently another constructive review is out about my book The Second Choice, on museindia.com as stated in their Jan-Feb issue.

I am posting some excerpts from the review post for the convenience of my readers -

"There are some books that one reads, finishes reading and remembers in snippets. Then, some books make one laugh and cry; and are then tucked safely in a forgotten corner of their bookshelf. Few books; however, live on to you; right from the time one reads the first page; and make one pick them from time to time from corners of the bookshelf. This is what Lakshmi Menon’s first English novel in offering does; its poignancy wants you to take pleasure in it at regular intervals."

Another part -

"The complexities of Indu’s refusal to accept her ‘new mother’ and the depression of Anu; Pavithra's daughter are very well expressed in the middle of the novel. The book starts on a promising note, with a strong image of Anu resting in Pavithra’s lap and her reminiscence of her husband Anand in flashes. One feels appalled at her condition when instances of her late husband are portrayed."

If you're interested to read more please go here.

The book is available on several places, as print book as well as ebook.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

First lines of some of my favorite novels

When starting a novel, I always worry about the first line. So much time is spent on the first line. Here I mention about the first lines of some of my favorite novels.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.
- Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

Mariam was five years old the first time she heard the word harami.
- Khaled Hosseini in - A Thousand Splendid Suns

On a sticky August evening two weeks before her due date, Ashima Ganguli stands in the kitchen of a Central Square apatment, combining Rice Krispies and Planters peanuts and chopped red onion in a bowl.
- Jumpa Lahiri in The Namesake

In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains.
- Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms (1929)

I have never begun a novel with more misgiving.
- W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge (1944)

I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to.
Bill Bryson - in The Lost Continent

Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.”
-Margaret Mitchell in Gone With The Wind

It was a chill gray day in Savannah, and there was a brisk breeze blowing in from the ocean.
- Danielle Steel - in Message from Nam

When he was nearly thirteen my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.
- Harper Lee - in To Kill a Mocking Bird.

Anna meets her friend Molly in the summer of 1957 after a separation...
- Doris Lessing - in The Golden Notebook

Raju welcomed the intrusion - something to relieve the loneliness of the place.
- R.K. Narayan in The Guide

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Top 6 ways to stay creative

A Happy New Year to you all.

It is a problem for every writer to remain creative. Every one will have their own methods to stay creative. These are my top methods to remain creative.

1. When I'm tired or bored I just get away from my computer for a while and take a walk inside the house or sometimes outside. After I come back I feel refreshed and creative again.

2. Sometimes I switch on the television and spend about 15 to 30 minutes with my favorite channel. If I am writing a fiction I'd watch a serial. If I'm in the midst of a travel article I'd be interested to watch a travel channel, which will soon bring me back to my writing mood. I also write children's stories. If I'm stuck up with the story, watching a channel for the kids would be all that I need to get back to my mood.

3. Drinking a cup of tea or a glass of juice is another way of recharging my mind. sometimes I'd also munch something in between.

4. If I'm completely exhausted and realize that my mind is empty I'd be very glad to spend some time with my dear ones either at home or over the phone. After the change of thoughts when I return to my computer I will be more energized to continue my writing.

5. Sometimes a complete relaxation on the bed is a great way to get back to my creative mood.

6. Some other times I just stand in the balcony of my flat and listen to the conversation going on outside, or observe the surroundings and people. Many times I found it highly useful to get back to my writing mood.

Now please share your methods to stay creative. I'm sure you will have your own methods to stay creative. Some of them may be useful to me and my readers.