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Happy Diwali 2012

Wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous Diwali.

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 hereand on this site.

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

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.comGoodreads 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 importa…

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…

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. WodehouseAll good books have one thing in common - they are truer than if they had really happened…
by Ernest HemingwayA man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be….
by Albert EinsteinA novel should be an experience and convey an emotional truth rather than arguments.
by Joyce CaryThe task of a writer consists in being able to make something out of an idea.
by Thomas MannThe best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes.
by Agatha Christie

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. 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, …

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 MaughamOne 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 OsundareThe 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 TwainThere 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…

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, s…

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 yo…

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 sketc…

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…

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.

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 blend…

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 i…

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.

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 re…

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 SunsOn 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 NamesakeIn 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…

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 r…