Saturday, November 28, 2015

The review of The Ultimate Reality By Gian Kumar




Book Name               :     The Ultimate Reality          
Author                       :       Gian Kumar   
Publisher                  :      Celestial Books - Leadstart Publishing
Genre                       :      Non-fiction
Number of Pages :      319
Publishing Year     :      2015
Binding                      :      Paperback


Rating : 4.0


 Blurb

Gian Kumar Discusses the Power of Oneness in the last book of his 3 - volume series. He deals with this core reality and the struggle imbedded in living lives of duality in the material and technological world. Happiness unhappiness, good-bad, God-Devil - all exist as 'One'. Despite the teachings of spiritual gurus and masters, life fails to give us the much needed solace. Something remains missing... The mind with its constant chatter and habit of delving into past experiences or anxieties about the future, does not permit us to live in the present moment, in awareness of the now. By the time the mind registers this moment, it has already passed and a new now has taken its place. In this final volume, the author delves into a deeper existence where, through experiential realization, we are able to go beyond the mind with its dual thoughts, to a state of higher consciousness. He shows us methods we can use to attain this state and thus enter the no-mind zone - the experience of which takes us to our core, centralizing the extremes of duality and helping us attain awareness of being one wit the Universe. 

 My Review



The third book in the three volume series concludes the views in the first two books. Author tries to interpret the same in a more practical context. Author says that life is cosmic energy. He says that spirituality can only be attained by experience because it diffuses the duality and brings forth the oneness. Author interprets the eastern literature to prove that the spiritual experience is permeated in the true sense in eastern literature. Spirituality can be attained with awareness. Another interesting view is that it is not possible to live in "now" because after every second, the present becomes past.

The unique topic handled in the book is centering. Till the chapter about centering , author reintroduces the reader to the topics already handled in the first two books. Mahayana Buddhism, Zen, is an adaptation of Dhyana, based on the techniques of Pranayama. Author distinguishes the two in the application on awareness. Through centering, the books enlightens the reader to the ultimate reality, the journey which started in the first book, ends perfectly with the second book.

One Liner

The ultimate book for the seekers of the ultimate reality
Avail the book from Amazon

 About the Author





BORN IN BURMA TO A RELIGIOUS HINDU FAMILY, MY LIFE BEGAN AS A PARADOX. I WENT ON TO STUDY IN A BOARDING SCHOOL WHICH OBSERVED STRICT CHRISTIAN PRACTICES. DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSITE WERE THE HINDU TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS WHICH BECAME THE NORM ONCE I WAS HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. BEING A THINKER, THE INHERENT CONFUSION AND DOGMAS UNDERLYING RELIGION DROVE ME FURTHER AWAY FROM MY FORMER BELIEFS TOWARDS SPIRITUALITY. I AM GRATEFUL FOR THIS JOURNEY FILLED WITH OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN ABOUT 'WHO AM I, WHAT IS MY PURPOSE IN LIFE AND IS GOD AN ILLUSION' AND HOPE TO IMPART AS MUCH OF MY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING TO YOU THROUGH MY BOOKS.




Reviewed for the publisher
 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a complimentary copy from the Author in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Defining the future of Graphic novella-A review of Vizag Blue




Book Name            :     Vizag blue- A Graphic Novella        
Author                     :      Anil.C.S.Rao
Publisher               :      Cyberwit.net
Genre           :      Graphic Novella
Number of Pages  :      53
Publishing Year     : 2011
Binding                   : Paperback
Rating : 4.0

 Blurb
An excerpt
Prem drove Kalpana back to the beach house...... The next morning... She was awoken by the bright Sun...without her clothes.... Kalpana... Thank God we found you! Anil and I were searching all night for you... We were about to notify the local authorities shortly.... What happened??? And where are your clothes??? Kalpana maintained her silence... She honestly did not have any answer's to nurse Usha's questions in any case....

My Review

Vizag blue is the story of a girl, Kalpana, who lives in her hallucinations. While she slips into her dream world, she is with Prem. Kalpana ends up in a mental asylum where she shuts herself into a shell of solitude. The nurse in the asylum takes her to Vizag in an effort to bring her back to the normal, real world. How does she attune Kalpana? What happens to her ? How does she handle her paranoia? The book reveals the rest.


Highlights

The book is a graphic novella, a psychological thriller. The graphics are impressive. The story is a gripping one. Unlike a mere graphic book, a strong story line is the highlight of the book.  Author succeeded in maintaining the curiosity of the readers. I would call this a graphic short story than a novella. The story of the nurse Usha helping Kalpana to get out of her solitude is built up nicely. The book breaks the preconceived notion that graphic books are for kids. Author proves that it is possible to excite the reader and maintain the anxiety, at the same time preserve the graphical authenticity. The cover image design is good. The quality of the cover is plausible.

Drawbacks

At some areas, the characterization lacked consistency. Some of the dialogues were not formatted inside the dialogue box.

One Liner

The thrilling psychological journey through graphics


Avail the book from Cyberwit. net & Amazon

 About the Author


Anil CS Rao is an artist and writer presently based in Andhra Pradesh in South India. He has lived in the West from the age of 4 prior to obtaining “dual citizenship” and relocating to his Mother Land in 2010. His mixed media / photoshop artwork has been exhibited in galleries in the States, Europe and in India.
His wife, Padmaja is a painter and together they explore synergies with respect to their combined talents - a.k.a. “Padnil Arts” in the creation of publications and computer animated films.









Reviewed for the publisher
 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


Friday, November 27, 2015

In conversation with an inspirational woman, a humane doctor, and an exemplary writer.- Madhu Vajpayee



India is a secular nation, upholding the motto of unity in diversity. But is the unity an utopian dream? To uplift the backward classes who were exploited for centuries, Government put forward the reservation policy but in reality, who is favored? Are the poorer sections of the backward classes redeemed?
Author Madhu Vajpayee tries to unravel the devil in disguise. Let’s ask her about her take on reservation policy, about Seeking Redemption and more about herself.

Hi Madhu,
Welcome to my virtual chit chat


Tell the readers about you. About Madhu, the doctor, writer, mother

 Madhu - the writer was born somewhere in those hospital corridors where I have spent the last two decades of her life. Witnessing life at such close quarters pushed me to capture its enigma in my own words and slowly it became my passion. After writing several scientific papers and chapters in books, the book SEEKING REDEMPTION is my first journey in literary world. Having done my graduation, MBBS from King Georges Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow I went ahead to pursue her post-graduation, MD from AIIMS, New Delhi. I was a consultant at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi and was associated with management of patients living with HIV/AIDS. I am now settled in Melbourne, Australia with my family, where I am devoting most of my time to writing, the passion that I couldn’t pursue earlier because of the demands of medical profession and commitment it requires. When not creating stories, I enjoys reading and travelling.

When did the grave reality of reservation strike your mind? 

It didn’t until I saw its ill effects myself. I was raised in an environment where we never felt any caste based division. For me, everyone was equal. Not that I want to trivialize what all bad was happening and how people were discriminated based on caste but slowly during medical school and later in the profession, I could see both sides of the story. The good and no so good aspects of reservation.

Did you get any criticisms for the theme?

Not very obvious but in subtle ways, you can say. In fact I have noticed that however much people are affected by this topic but only few people are really keen to have it highlighted, albeit in a form of fiction.


It is difficult to attract publishers for such a controversial topic. How was your experience?

You have guessed it correctly. It was indeed very difficult to get publisher for this. As it is publishing world is full of uncertainties. You don’t know what gets clicked and what goes into trash. It’s a gamble. You just have to keep faith in yourself and keep going. In these circumstances, a topic like this is not a very attractive quotient but somehow I wanted to write what I felt rather than going with popular theme or what a mainstream publisher would have liked.

Tell the readers about Seeking Redemption and Meera in particular. 


Seeking Redemption is a story of every youth of the country who is trying to win a losing battle in backdrop of caste based reservation and corruption prevalent in education and medical sector. It’s their effort to seek redemption from the curse that is eating away the inner fabric of such a beautiful country. The story revolves around the three main characters. There are Meera and Aman who are deeply in love and who unwittingly found themselves pitted against the system. Justice eluded her as well as Aman in their struggle for achieving the life they dreamt, the life they deserved. But, ironically while Meera rises in such difficult times, Aman falls. She tries to help him in spite of her own dilemmas but he misunderstands her. And there is Abhay, the other man in her life, a friend but who secretly loves her and gives her unconditional support through all the ups and down.
The heroine of my book Seeking Redemption, Meera was born in those very corridors of hospital where I spent best parts of my life. She is closest to my heart. Although the story of her journey, specific events of her life, problems faced by her was not exactly mine but her principles, belief and faith are mine. I saw myself in her dilemmas, in her pain, in her loss, in her triumph against her own demons.

Why didn’t you try to give more build up into Meera and Aman’s relationship?

I am happy that you could notice that. Initially I truly wanted to build up but somehow got caught up in weaving the story around controversial issue like reservation and also the corruption.

How did Ahalya character evolve? I feel that 99% mothers are like her. Being a mother, how would you view it?

It’s quiet interesting. Ahalya’s character has got shades of my mother’s nature. It was easy for me to develop her character. But being a mother now, I know at times, it’s little difficult for the daughter to adjust to such attitude and I try not to be like her.
Do you think that backward class is exploited even now?
Although things have changed drastically but definitely at some pockets in country, it’s still an issue.

Can we expect your next book soon?

My next book Romance/Social drama/mystery is under evaluation by publishers. Hope it sees light of the day by next year.

How did doctor become writer?

I don’t know exactly when but over the years, writing slowly became my best friend. From early childhood, the wonderful habit of reading that was inculcated by my father gradually turned into writing expeditions. What I couldn’t say in words or express myself in its wholeness would find its way to paper and thus began my journey as a writer from an early age. My romance with words would transcend me to the amazing world of ideas, make believe stories and ways to assuage my pain and anxiety. It would give wings to my thoughts which would soar to unimaginable heights and with them, would also soar my spirits at least, for the time being. Being in medical profession and having a soul of a writer, it was not always possible for me to remain untouched by the happenings that affected the lives of my patients.  Somehow I used to get affected by every ups and downs of their lives. I worked with patients living with HIV/AIDS and it was indeed a great learning experience. I learnt from them to not to give up in life and to flow with the current of life. And the same spirit always reflect in my writings.

What is your advice to the upcoming writers?

Never give up. We are bigger than anything that can happen to us. Write because you love it. Not because you want to become author like everybody else. To get opportunity to be a published author will just be a coincidence and perhaps also your good fortune!

How do you find the future of publishing industry?

I reckon it’s very bright. Digital books might take over physical book in very distant future but presently it doesn’t look like. A feel of a book can never be replaced with computers or kindle. With so many authors waiting to soar high into sky, publishing industry could never have it better.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
No. Thanks!

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website/Blog: http://madhuvajpayee.blogspot.in/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MadhuVajpayee

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/madhu.vajpayee

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7349761.Madhu_Vajpayee

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity for sharing my thoughts and trivia about my books with you.

PS: I should have added in the review but I did not want to bias my review that I had similar experience
After MSc I applied for MA Literature in a college in Kerala. The reservation students with 300 marks lesser that mine got admission but i didn't . I even asked ,y mother why she didn't marry someone from backward class
Next week I saw an advertisement in newspaper that three seats are vacant in the reservation quota. I called and asked if its possible for me to get admission. They said no. Its reservation seat.
During my MSc my class mate who got admission through reservation quit the course saying biotechnology is tough. 

An eye opener about the twisted tale of reservation. Review of Seeking Redemption by Madhu Vajpayee





Book Name             :          Seeking Redemption     
Author                     :          Machu Vajpayee
Publisher                 :         Half Baked Beans
Number of Pages     :          194
Publishing Date       :         October 2015(second edition)
Binding                    :           Paperback
ISBN                        :          9789384315

Rating : 4.0


Blurb

Story of a girl Meera, who is unwittingly drawn into a conflict from where she finds it difficult to emerge unscathed. It’s her journey from being a simple, medical graduate belonging to a middle class family to the uncharted territories of corruption and caste-based politics. Her path is crossed by two men, both compelling yet completely contrasting characters, who are going to change her life forever. If it is Aman Sharma who can challenge her ideals, defy her resolves and make her the person she finally becomes, it is Abhay Bharti’s sublime love which enables her to go through the vicissitudes of life. It’s also the story of her loss as well as triumph against her own demons to find her true self

Plot

Meera is a doctor who is planning to appear  for the post graduate entrance. She invested her heart and soul since she wanted to crack the exam to assure a good future for her and a better living for her family. While preparing for the exams, she finds her love in Aman, who is head over heels in love with her. Nevertheless, she decides to keep her heart affairs away from her ambition and studies. But, fate is not in her side. She could not pass the test. A heartbroken Meera tries to get admission as a medical officer in the medical college where she studied. Meera is denied the post because it was a reservation seat. She is exasperated to know that the seat is vacant but still she was denied the chance. While she tries to convince the dean Prof. Rajaram about her eligibility, her beauty and smartness mesmerizes, Abhay Bharti IAS.  Meera's responsibility doubles when her brother Raghav is admitted in a private Engineering College. With the help of Abhay Bharti,Meera gets a job as a medical officer in a private hospital. While Meera tries to find a job to secure her family, her father becomes paralyses, ending her family's final hope. While Meera tries hard to make two ends meet, Aman is indulged in Anti-reservation protest. A resilient Meera is shattered when Aman is arrested in connection with the suicide of one his students. How will Meera face the new challenge? Will Aman be released? How does Abhay's feeling for her affect her life? What are the new challenges that sway her? The answer to the questions could be availbale from the subsequent chapters.

Cast

Meera Mishra- Protaginst; Doctor

Aman Sharma- Meera's Boyfriend; Doctor

Abhay Bharti- Meera's Suitor; IAS Officer

Meera's Parents

Raghav : Meera's Brother

Rahul Dubey: Meera's Cousin; Businessman

Prof. Rajaram- Medical College Dean

Rajesh Kumar- Joint Secretary

Mr. Raghuveer Prasad- Education minister

Kiran Mala and Priya- Meera's Friends

Sanjay Hari and Rajeev - Aman's friends

Shatabhai - Meera's house keeper.

The cast is even bigger

Highlights

Written in the background of the life of Meera, Seeking Redemption is the story about the malicious political play in using the cast reservation for conversion into votes. Authoress tries to make the point that reservation should not be based on caste but on eligibility. Instead of providing reservation to backward classes, it should be provided to the poorer sections of all classes. Authoress tries to prove the fact that in spite of the reservation, the poorer sections of the backward classes are still exploited and in the dark.
The pace of the story is really fast, without any lagging or lose ends. The events happen one after the other. Hence, readers will be forced to continue reading to know what next? The character of Meera is well crafted but the one who impressed me is Ahalya, Meera's mother. I must say that Madhu came out in flying colors while portraying her. I would dare to say the Meera's mother is the representative of 99% mothers of India. Loving, caring, irritating, judgmental, selfless, soft, innocent, fierce- All in one.
Abhay's feeling for Meera is subdued but strong. Authoress succeeded in portraying the same with finesse. I liked Rahul Dubey's Character portrayal. We can see one Rahul Dubey in every family.
The dubious alliance between politicians, bureaucrats and the businessmen could not be written off as just fiction since we, as normal Indians, have witnessed the same. I liked the fact that she made it a point that redemption of the backward classes is necessary but not by just reservations. They should be provided basic amenities and above all, awareness. I wanted to speak more about the book but it would end up as a spoiler. Hence, I leave the rest to the readers.

Drawbacks

The regurgitation of school life by Meera and friends in the first chapter was unnecessary. The relation between Aman and Meera could have worked upon a little more or they should have been introduced as already a couple. I dint not like the overuse of the word lower middle class family. 

One Liner

An Eye opener about the double standards of the political and bureaucratic league in the name of reservations and uplifting of backward class

Sneak Peek

" There are only two divisions of society, rich and poor. This division can eclipse any other divisions"

"Love can make you do things which you cannot do otherwise"

"The problem with this kind of contorted policy is that the status quo of poor and illiterate from backward class has remained the same"

Avail the book from Amazon



About the Author


Dr.Madhu Vajpayee- the writer was born somewhere in those hospital corridors where she has spent the last two decades of her life. Witnessing life at such close quarters pushed her to capture its enigma in her words and slowly it became her passion. After writing several scientific papers and chapters in books, she is currently working on her second journey in literary world, the first being Seeking Redemption

Having done her graduation, MBBS from King Georges Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow she went ahead to pursue her post-graduation, MD from AIIMS, New Delhi. She was a consultant at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi having been associated with management of patients living with HIV/AIDS. 

She is now settled in Melbourne, Australia with her family, where she is devoting most of her time to writing, the passion that she couldn’t pursue earlier because of the demands of medical profession and commitment it requires. When not creating stories, Madhu enjoys reading and travelling.




Reviewed for the b00kr3vi3wtours

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a complimentary copy from the b00kr3vi3wtours in exchange for a honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

The review of My motherland by Jyothirllatha Girija





Book Name             :      My Motherland         
Author                     :      Jyothirllatha Girija
Publisher                 :      Cyberwit.net
Genre                      :      Historical Fiction
Number of Pages    :      84
Language                :      English (Translated from Tamil)
Publishing Year     :      2015
Binding                   :      Paperback


Blurb

An excerpt

The room was silent but for the tick-tick sound of the wall clock there. On the northern side of the room was found a big cot made of silver in an artistic manner. It was very beautiful. A girl, aged about thirteen years, was found sleeping on the silken mattress spread on the silver cot. She was sound asleep, keeping her head on her arm folding it and using it like a pillow. A little away from her head lay a soft, unused pillow.
Characters

Princess Valarmathi
Parasuraman
Nandagopal
Vijayan
Gatekeeper Ezhimalai
Army Chief Parakraman
British Officer Johnson

Plot

Parasuramn, his father Nandagopal, his friend Viajayan along with several Indians form a party to fight the British from seizing the Kingdom of Indrapuri. They realize that the English Man Johnson is enticing the King with liquor and making him a puppet. Parasuram saves Princess Valarmathi from a Tiger. As a token of appreciation, Kind invites Parasuram to palace and arranges a party for him. When Johnson arrives for the party, King realizes that Parasuram and Johnson are rivals. Kings falls into a dilemma. Whom will he support? What happens to the protesters? What happens to Valarmathi?

My Review

Highlights

The story is a palpable and inspiring one in the background of the freedom struggle. It is the story of Indians who foresaw the danger, which could have happened and prevented the British from devouring the nation. The book made us wondering what India would have been if every Indians were proactive like them. The book is explained as the story for the teenagers but I would say the book is for every Indian who loves their nation. The narration, language, storyline, characters, craft everything is just perfect. No wonder the book was translated to Ukraine.

Drawbacks

It is said that we should not judge a book by its cover but I feel that the cover should have some connection with the story. Here the cover image doesn’t go with the story, which is a historical fiction.
One Liner

A perfect example of how India would have been

Avail the book from  Cyberwit.net 



About the Author


Born in 1935, Jyothirllata Girija started writing in Tamil for children first in 1950 and then was introduced as an adults’ writer by ANANDA VIKATAN in 1968.  She has more than 500 short stories, 25 novels, 50 novellas, 3 full-length plays, several articles on social issues, translation of major part in Tamil of Kiran Bedi’s As I see it etc. to her credit.
She has won 20 awards so far for her Tamil creations. Her teen-agers’ novel which already won an award in Tamil Nadu was translated in Ukraine and released during the Festival of India in Moscow in 1987. As for her creations in English, introduced by Vimla Patil of Femina in 1975, she has written about 36 short stories in the Indian periodicals – THE ILLUSTRATED WEEKLY OF INDIA, FEMINA, EVE’s WEEKLY, PRATIBHA INDIA, YOUR FAMILY, FICTION REVIEW, WOMAN’S ERA, MOVIELAND (MALAYSIA), THE SUNDAY (INDIAN) EXPRESS, THE WEEK END and EVE’S TOUCH. 
Several articles on social and political issues in ALIVE and OPEN PAGE in THE HINDU.
Long rhyming poems in couplets that were serialized in POET, Chennai - edited by late Dr. Krishna Srinivas - viz. Ramayana in Rhymes, The Story of Jesus Christ, Voice of Valluvar (Tirukkural, The Tamil Veda), Pearls from the Prophet (300-odd sayings of Prophet Muhammad in verses), Song on the Sun God (English rendering in verses of Aditya Hrudayam) and The Living God at Puttaparthi, in quatrains.
Gandhi Episodes, based on Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography, is being serialized now in In METVERSE MUSE, (Visakhapatnam), edited by Dr. H. Tulsi.
Also several single poems in anthologies of various poetry magazines of India.





Reviewed for the publisher(Cyberwit.net)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a complimentary copy from the Author in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.




A gripiping, fast paced thriller-The review of Pawned Queen by S.K.Thomas




Book Name             :           Pawned Queen    
Author                     :           S.K.Thomas
Genre                      :           Thriller/ Novella
Number of Pages    :           73
Publishing Year     :            2013
Language                :           English
Edition                    :           Kindle/e-book


Rating : 4.5


Blurb
 

The Queen is one of, if not the most powerful chess piece on the board. But her strength amounts to little more than a pawn if she is caught by the enemy.

"Jack?" Melissa yelled out in question after she heard a knock on the door. No answer came. The floor creaked when she knew someone else was in the house. "Jack?" Her voice shook as terror crept in asking her to play.

Every stranger has a purpose and the game is just beginning so take a step in any direction, if you dare.

Melissa leaves her hometown of Tupelo to start anew in the city of Barrington escaping haunts of her childhood. Little did she know a run-in with Max, a police officer who doesn't play by any set of rules, would change her future. Her best friend, Alice vanishes and Max is the main suspect leaving Melissa insistent to find the truth. She teams up with her husband, John and a detective named Jack for an investigation to find out what has happened to Alice. As the game continues, promises disintegrate into a pile of deceit and lies. This leaves Melissa to question who she can trust as she desperately searches for answers because in reality, it's not a game at all.

Characters

Melissa- The Protagonist
John- Melissa’s Husband
Alice – Melissa’s best friend
Jack- John’s friend- A private detective
Max- Alice’s husband- Police officer- Antagonist
Oliver- Journalist


Plot

The book takes the readers to a thrilling journey through the life of Melissa. Melissa’s husband, asks her to enter the life of Max, when Alice vanishes. Melissa, John and Jack sets out to unravel the mystery. What awaits her in Max’s house is quite unexpected. While Melissa tries to imbibe her into Max’s house and searches for clues about Alice, a cascade of events makes her life upside down. Will she find Alice? Will Max find out her clandestine intention? How does her life with John proceed? What role does Jack and Oliver play in her life? Read Pawned Queen for more answers. 

Highlights

Pawned queen is a mix of first person narrative of Melissa and third person narrative. The story line proceeds in an unconventional way by switching between the present and past. Author succeeded in maintaining the pace without giving a chance for the reader to sway their thoughts away from the book. A gripping book with a strong story line.
The relation of Melissa with John and Max is portrayed convincingly. When Melissa decides to change Max, I felt a bit disappointed since I felt the story would be proceeding in a cliché but the twist surprised me. The characters are crafted well in a way quite justifiable for a novella. The title and cover image is apt to the story.

Drawbacks

A negative I could find in the story line is that the reason for sending Melissa to Max is not conveyed with conviction. There were a typos and some grammar mistakes.


One Liner

 A gripping fast paced thriller which leaves the reader praying for Melissa and anxious about what is going to happen.

Avail the book from Amazon


About the Author

SK Thomas is that unique, one of a kind person who takes life experiences to a new level, resides down the street in any town or neighborhood. She spent many years of her life traveling while in discovery of all life had to offer. These days, she can be found writing, editing and marketing while exploring other business ventures. She has published two books in her Pawned Queen Thrilling Mystery Series while residing in California. Both novellas were finalists in the 2015 Bookbzz Prize Writing Competition. Currently, the author is working on the third novella for the series.

Stay connected to the author! Find out the latest news & events through occasional email updates:
https://lnkd.in/bBmmx2B




Reviewed for the author

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a complimentary copy from the Author in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.




Wednesday, November 25, 2015

"Shooting first may leave nobody alive to answer questions…" Meet Rian Nejar the author of Humbling and Humility



Hi Everyone
Today we have a person who disparage the double standards of the system through his book, Humbling and Humility.

 Let’s Welcome Rian Nejar.Well I will be perhaps the first person to reveal the clandestine pseudonym reality. Yes, Rian Nejar is a Pseudonym. To serve the mysterious purpose, I won't be adding his photograph.



Hi Rian or should I call you mystery man?

Welcome to the Virtual Tete-a-tete

Thank you, Rakhi. Glad to be here.

Tell us about your life in US. How would you relate the two cultures?

Eastern and Western cultures are in many ways similar, in for instance devotion to one’s beliefs, to country, to family, and to children. But approaches adopted - and priorities - vary, and are often very different. So are social results seen. There is a distinct focus on spirituality in the East, and materialism in the West.
Life in America is not what is commonly believed worldwide: a paradise of opportunities and riches. For most, it is a struggle for survival, and for immigrants and minorities, hurdles and challenges are more severe. Humbling and Humility (let’s call it HnH?) gives you a window into many such aspects.

Humbling and humility is about the double standards of the western system. Do you feel that comparatively slower system in India is better?

There are flaws in any system…if you mean the American legal system, looked at critically in HnH, I have learned of a flawed and corrupt side of it, though it is aligned with the ideals of a deeply contemplated constitution, and not vindictive, as penned in the book. There is a ‘Shoot first and ask questions later’ approach adopted in America, a rush to judgment, and a highly adversarial system in place. An ‘assembly line’ mentality of rapid disposal of those they believe to be responsible for social ills. This is the ‘Swing of the Pendulum,’ an extreme approach.
I am not familiar with the current legal system in India. If by a ‘slower system,’ you mean one that is considerate, and inclusive of gender and cultural differences, slow by careful design, I think that may work best to resolve difficulties and discord in families. Criminal prosecution should be the last resort in such conflict, not the first.
Shooting first may leave nobody alive to answer questions…

Why did you include the context of Priyavani? Do you think that she erred?

What happened to Priyavani, and others before her, played a significant part in motivating me to write HnH. A daughter of an Indian diplomat in New York was similarly arrested and faced agonizing and wrongful incarceration some years ago. Police excesses and brutality in America, against minorities, is now commonplace knowledge.
Did Priyavani err? I am sure she thought she was doing the “right thing.” Don’t we all? But we sometimes do not pause to consider many long-term consequences of our thoughts and actions, and their impact on our children. Perhaps that additional dimension considered could’ve helped her, as I did indicate in the book.

While reading the book I felt that it is an autobiographical account. What do you say about this?

I’ll let readers judge that aspect.

Why did you write this book?

I wrote HnH so the journey, and commiserating thoughts, may help others. So injustice, and corrupt systems, do not go unaddressed.
Besides, speaking up is a principal responsibility in a democracy, no?

Well that is a topic to be discussed and debated. On that note, tell the readers more about the book?

HnH is really less about criticism of systems or pursuits, and more a journey of discovery…of empathy, compassion, and humility through selflessness. I think of it as learning through pain and suffering, as enlightenment.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

He is a lover and warrior at heart…loves others, his children, family, and all life.
Sitting Bull, one among noted Native American leaders, once said:
“The warrior is not someone who fights, because no one has the right to take another’s life. The warrior, for us, is one who sacrifices himself for the good of others. His task is to take care of the elderly, the defenseless, those who cannot provide for themselves, and above all, the children, the future of Humanity.”
In a land where materialism rules, Humbling and Humility’s protagonist found in himself traits of a warrior, of a suppressed culture native to this land, one that has through a quirk of history also been named ‘Indian.’

How do you market your books?

Blogs and book giveaways on Amazon and Goodreads help me connect with readers, and help develop an Author Platform. Conversations in literary and professional groups increase my visibility as a writer. As a new self-published author, this is something I learn about every day.

What’s your views on social media for marketing?

It appears to be an indispensable channel in the present day.

Which social network worked best for you?

I am new to social networks, but Goodreads participation has been educative and useful over the past year.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?

No, I haven’t done anything formal yet, though Library Journal did select HnH for distribution in libraries of Arizona early this year.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read voraciously, prepare diligently, write passionately with your heart, and edit carefully with your mind.


How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Blog:             https://riannejar.wordpress.com/
Twitter:                     https://twitter.com/riannejar
Amazon Author Page:     http://www.amazon.com/Rian-Nejar/e/B00OC9LN88/
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/riannejar

Book Links:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NR8QDF8
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8577411.Rian_Nejar

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

Thank you for this opportunity to connect with your readers, Rakhi!


I poured my heart and soul into Pieces Like Pottery says Dan Buri



Welcome all.
Today I have an exemplary writer with me. His book stole the hearts of many, made a emotional hubub in several hearts.

 Dan Buri author of Pieces Like Pottery


Hi Dan, thank you for agreeing to this interview. 

Dan: Thank you for hosting me on your site, Rakhi. This is a great place for us all to indulge in our shared love of reading and writing. I am grateful to be here and hopefully I have the opportunity to get to know your audience better.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Dan: I grew up in the Midwest in the States with four brothers and one sister. I moved out to the beautiful Pacific Northwest a little over ten years ago. I am a patent attorney with an engineering background, which is what I spend my days doing when I am not writing. I have a beautiful wife and amazing two-year-old daughter who cracks me up daily.

Tell me about pieces of pottery. 

Dan: Pieces Like Pottery is an examination of the sorrows of life, the strength of character, the steadfast of courage, and the resiliency of love requisite to find redemption. Offering graceful insight into the human condition, each linked story presents a tale of loss and love. Charged with characters mercifully experiencing trials in life, the book reminds us of the sorrows we all encounter and the kindness we receive, oftentimes from the unlikeliest of places.

Why an indulgence to tragedy

Dan: Great question, although I wouldn’t call it an indulgence, per se. I am moved and inspired by people’s real life stories of overcoming tragedy. Every person has trials in life. Life always presents obstacles and disappointments. I wanted to examine how individuals overcome these obstacles in a variety of characters. I toyed with the idea of each of these stories being its own novel, and I still may expand a couple of them into full length novels, but I settled in on a collection of linked short stories because it presented the opportunity to have a range of characters and display that, despite how different our life experiences are, we are all connected as human beings. We all suffer and laugh just the same. My hope is that readers recognize that and are inspired or moved to compassion through the book.

Do you write poems? I could see a poet throughout the book and I mis-typed Pieces of Poetry in my review.

Dan: Yes, of course. Two of the nine pieces in the book were poems—Breathe and Two Friends.

What genre are your books?

Dan: They’ve been classified as Literary Fiction or Contemporary Fiction. I have also seen them classified as inspirational or spiritual.

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

Dan: Not yet, although my non-fiction writing has been distributed to a variety of sources over the years.

When did you decide to become a writer?

Dan: I can remember writing as far back as middle school. It’s something I have always enjoyed doing. Writing has been something I have always enjoyed doing myself and admired in other people. Story telling is a beautiful gift. I love learning to hone the craft.

How are you publishing this book and why? 

Dan: I am publishing as an Indie author through my own publishing company—DJB Publishing. The why question is quite complex, but the simplest answer is that it offered the simplest avenue for me to publish the type of work that I wanted to publish.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

Dan: I think self-publishing and indie publishing was looked down upon in the past, but we have seen significant changes in the last 3-to-5 years. Ebooks have done wonders for changing the accessibility of indie authors, both from a publishing standpoint as well as from a readership standpoint. It has become much easier to see your work published than, say, 20 years ago. This has naturally had an effect on what gets published. The big six publishers are large corporations and as much as they aim to focus on creativity and great works, it’s difficult for them because they have thousands of people that work for them and rely on them. So the big six are constantly focused on what will be a commercial success. The irony is that they don’t know what will be a commercial success just like you and I don’t know. What do Harry Potter, A Wrinkle in Time, Gone With the Wind, and Twilight have in common? They were all initially rejected by publishers. The big publishers just don’t know what’s going to sell. Indie authors have a little bit of freedom from this market pressure. We all want our books to do well commercially of course, but we are also able to take creative chances that a big six publisher might be unwilling to take.

I think the quality of indie/self-published books has improved immensely too. There is such a high bar for indie authors and we quickly lose the reader’s trust if there are errors or incongruities in our stories. The editing process is so important in avoiding these errors. I don’t have any evidence to back this up, it’s only anecdotal, but it seems like the best self-published ebooks are of a higher quality now than 5-10 years ago. This has helped close the perception gap between indie authors and traditionally published others.

What’s your views on social media for marketing?

Dan: I guess I don’t see this question as something that should have a positive or negative viewpoint. It feels almost like a question asking whether email is an effective form of communication. Maybe 30 years ago it wasn’t, but it the current day and age, it is without question. I feel the same way about social media.

Any tips on what to do and what not to do?

Dan: Be generous. Be kind. Be honest. People work hard and authors should recognize that. You work hard to provide insightful commentary to your readers, Rakhi. I respect and appreciate that. I think when marketing their novels, authors tend to forget that and only want to see their book sell. They’ll do anything to make that happen, but it is just transparent to readers and they tend to shy away from purchasing the book.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

Dan: Pieces Like Pottery. I wrote it. I worked very hard on it. I poured my heart and soul (not to mention hard earned money) into it. And I think it’s a pretty darn good book. I hope your readers agree.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Dan: Over the years I have been lucky enough to be offered abundant feedback and to hear excellent commentary from a few creative people that I admire greatly. There are three comments/ideas that have stuck with me throughout all my writing endeavors and I’d like to pass them along to anyone that explores (and struggles with) creative undertakings like writing. (Each of these is summarized in my own words.)
When asked about the fears and doubts that she had with her writing, Elizabeth Gilbert (best selling author of Eat, Pray, Love) said she finally had an epiphany that her “writing muse” was telling her that this isn’t her story. If she doesn’t tell it, she said, then the muse would move on to someone else who will. Ms. Gilbert discussed how freeing this was for her. She was no longer declaring to the reader: “Listen to me. I have something to say.” It was almost as if she had no other choice but to write. This opened her up to write every day without fear of the result.

Ira Glass is an American public radio personality and the host and producer of the radio and television show This American Life. He has a great quote for young creatives. In short, he encourages that your work is not going to be good when you’re first starting out. You may have an excitement for your craft and a killer taste for what’s good, but your execution is poor. The only way to improve your work, the only way to close the gap so that your work is as good as your ambitions, is to do a lot of work. Write. Every day. Every week put yourself on a deadline to write something new. It’s going to take awhile, but that’s normal. Good writing doesn’t come the first time you sit down.

Louis C.K. is one of the most thoughtful and innovative comics alive right now. I once heard him speak about his HBO show, Lucky Louie, which was cancelled after one season in 2006. He was asked if he was disappointed and if he looked back at it as a failure. His answer was unequivocally: “No.” For him it was just another experience that taught him how to hone his craft, which was invaluable.

So those would be my three pieces of (long-winded) advice for young writers. One, don’t worry about whether you have anything important to say. If you are inspired, say it. Two, write constantly. You won’t become a good writer unless you’re writing all the time. Three, take every writing experience and use it to hone your craft. Something is not a failure simply because the public doesn’t receive it the way you would like.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

Dan: Thank you, Rakhi! I have appreciated this opportunity to spend some time with you and your readers. I loved it! You have a wonderful site. I really do hope you and some of your readers will check out my book. I need the support of thoughtful and intelligent readers like yours. The life of an indie author is not easy and I appreciate all the support I can get. And if your readers have questions or comments, please contact me. I would love to hear from your fans and readers.

You can reach me via email at danburi777 [at] gmail [dot] com or on twitter @DanBuri777. Thanks!

Author Bio

Dan Buri's first collection of short fiction, Pieces Like Pottery, is an exploration of heartbreak and redemption that announces the arrival of a new American author. His writing is uniquely heartfelt and explores the depths of the human struggle and the human search for meaning in life.
Mr. Buri's non-fiction works have been distributed online and in print, including publications in Pundit Press, Tree, Summit Avenue Review, American Discovery, and TC Huddle. The defunct and very well regarded Buris On The Couch, was a He-Says/She-Says blog musing on the ups and downs of marriage with his wife.
Mr. Buri is an active attorney in the Pacific Northwest and has been recognized by Intellectual Asset Magazine as one of the World's Top 300 Intellectual Property Strategists every year since 2010. He lives in Oregon with his wife and two-year-old daughter.

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Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.