Friday, 29 April 2016

In conversation with Paul Sekulich

Book Blurb

San Diego Detective Frank Dugan has just become a victim of ruthless criminals who have passed in and out of prison, and continue to perform their grisly acts in free society. Dugan wants them put someplace where they can never return and never harm innocents again, and presents an innovative solution to this revolving door crime dilemma to the government. The result is Resort Isle, a lonely tropical dot in the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by the most vicious sharks known to man, a place from which there is no escape and virtually no supervision. This resort is the last vacation the baddest of the bad will ever get. But Detective Dugan never figured that one day he'd be the guest of his own invention, a permanent resident at this island, where many that he sent there can't wait to kill him.

Author Interview

What inspired you to write the book?

The alarming rate of criminal recidivism in the U.S. I wanted to begin my detective series with Resort Isle and I work in a innovative prison system angle aimed at cutting recidivist crime in America.

When did you realise that you want to write a book?

I was a screenwriter in Hollywood, but I always wanted to write novels, especially those dealing in suspense, mystery, crime, and action-adventure. I’ve been a storyteller most of my life. Finally, in 2012, I began my first novel. I currently have three thriller novels finished and a fourth in progress.

Who helped you in writing the book and please say about their contributions?

Jessica Page Morrell, by her outstanding editing and the teaching I discovered in her books on fiction writing. Stephen King’s terrific book On Writing. Elmore Leonard, for his engaging stories and spot-on dialogue, James Patterson, Dan Brown, Vince Flynn, for their great thrillers; John Steinbeck, Garrison Keillor, and Harper Lee for their incredible characterizations and sense of story; Philip Wylie, for his imaginative scenarios; Erma Bombeck, Susan Isaacs, for their storytelling ability and phenomenal sense of humor; J. K. Rowling for perhaps being the most imaginative writer of the century who got youth back to reading books. She's a wizard herself.  
Not a definitive list; just to name a few.  

How is your book going to inspire the readers?

I don’t know about its inspiration, but I hope all my books entertain readers from line one to the end, take them to other worlds, and introduce them to captivating characters.

If you are given the chance to change one thing in your book what would it be?

I have already changed everything I deemed necessary to improve the novel. Right now I’m pleased with the book, but that doesn’t mean I might find something later that I’ll want to edit. Rewriting never fully ends, but we writers need to stop editing when we get in a quandary over using “and” for “but.”

How do you find time to write and which part of the day is best for writing for you?

I set aside two to three days a week for writing, rewriting, and editing my work. Mornings with coffee are usually very productive hours, but don’t forget, we writers are working when we’re staring out a plane window or listening to a conversation in a restaurant. The creative mind never dismisses anything it may later find useful.

Which books have inspired you the most, in the journey of writing this book?

So many. See the short list below:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Iliad by Homer
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Non-fiction -
The Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi
Papillon by Henri CherriƩre
In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters 

What is the best advice, you would give for writers who are trying to write a book?

Read lots of books in the genre they aspire to. Read numerous books on their type of writing. Review and select a great editor for your first drafts. Set realistic goals for writing, such as three to five pages per day. Join a writers group with constructive critics for the work in progress. Never quit, never give up.

What are your hobbies?

I make custom furniture in my wood shop. I find it therapeutic, and also profitable. I fly model airplanes. I produce video movies and act in them as well. I am professional actor with a degree in Theatre, which has helped me immensely to write characters for my books. I also teach screenwriting and self-publishing at several colleges.

What can we expect from you in the future?

More thriller novels. Then novels of mine made into motion pictures. My books will always read like a movie. Resort Isle would be a good one for movie producers to think about.

About the Author
Paul Sekulich is a thoroughly traveled writer who has lived in New York, Detroit, Chicago; Stuart and Palm Beach, Florida; Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles and Hollywood, California. He holds a B.A. degree in Theatre from the University of Maryland and Masters of Fine Arts credits from Towson University and the University of Southern California.
He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, The American Federation of Television & Radio Artists (now SAG-AFTRA) and the Actors Equity Association. As a former adjunct professor of theatre he has directed numerous college productions and has taught acting, directing, and screenwriting.
In Hollywood, he worked as a script doctor and contributor for two, prime time television sitcoms.
He has completed his first three thriller novels, The Omega FormulaA Killer Season and his third book, a Detective Frank Dugan thriller, Last Resort, is complete and available now. In the summer of 2016, he plans to debut Deep Death, another in the Frank Dugan detective series.
He has written, acted in, produced and directed films, commercials and stage productions since he was eighteen and has won awards for his work. He owned and operated The Limestone Dinner Theatre for several years and now teaches college seminars on novel writing, self-publishing, and scriptwriting for television and the movies.
Author Website: Paul Sekulich

Monday, 25 April 2016

Super Women by Prachi Garg

Book Review of Super Women

“Your dreams are more important than your fears.”

About the book:

In a nation that reveres women as goddesses of wealth, knowledge, power and infinite energy, there are a few who have gone on to prove why. Not only have they carved a niche for their talent, but have also inspired and empowered many others in the process.

Superwomen is an interesting journey of how they played all their roles to perfection, aligning their families with their ambitions, showing the world their true mettle.

My Review:

When you believe in the unknown and move out of your comfort zone, you are bound to spell success in your life and you will inspire a generation. The book “Super Women” details the entrepreneurial journey of women who have found their true passion and are will to pay the price for it.

A journey where they are challenged to bend the rules of the society and move on to a world they had no prior knowledge of. The book describes the lives of 20 women entrepreneurs who have left their well paid jobs and have ventured in a journey where they are their own boss and where creativity is what describes them and the feeling of satisfaction that they have lived their life, the way they wanted.

The book is a tribute to the 20 wonderful women who have changed the dynamics of the game and have played it the way they wanted. Prachi Garg has done a wonderful job in finding the entrepreneurs. What we knew was the success that followed these entrepreneurs but didn’t know the struggles and challenges they have faced in the journey of being at their absolute best. This book is going to inspire the young entrepreneurs to believe in them and will give a message to the young ladies out there that if these 20 women can follow their dreams, then they also can achieve that, irrespective of the circumstances.

Remember “When you find your passion, you are unstoppable”

About the Author:

Prachi Garg is a true blue Mirandian, who is an entrepreneur herself. She co-founded Goomophiro.com and anmoluphar.com. And alumuna of Great Lakes Institute of Management, she is passionate about writing and travelling.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Book Review of Rakshasa

Piyush Jha’s “Rakshasa” is one of its kinds of crime thriller book to have been ever published. The novel unravels the incidents and scenarios in the making of a serial killer. How is the person is treated psychologically, what makes him feel inferior and the path he treads to make himself feel superior. And how can a person under the similar circumstances take a very different path to make lives better and to fight for justice.

In the lust of power and superiority a serial killer goes on to hunt down women at his will, after having traumatic childhood and being kidnapped at an early age.

A child whose birth evaded a full planned attack on their house and saved countless lives is a boon for her family is caught in similar instance of feeling guilty of being the reason for the deaths of her cousin and aunty.

Deeply heartbroken and in the rage to find justice for her cousin’s death, grows up to become the Commissioner of Police, to uphold law and order.

The two children take up two different paths after being a part of more or less similar circumstances. What will happen when they meet and how is it going to affect lives will be revealed in the latter half of the book.

It is one of the best crime thriller books ever written in India next only to the Bestseller James Patterson.

The instances given in the book and how lives have been turned upside down by serial killers and the research the author has done in the process of writing the book is admirable.

Friday, 15 April 2016

The Last of the Firedrakes

Book Review of: The Last of the Firedrakes

My Thoughts

Awesome, awesome and a wonderful book that I have read, in a long time.

It has the perfect mix of magic, adventure, thrill that would keep you at the edge of your seat; finger crossed wondering, what would happen next. You can’t keep the book down until you have dozed off, with the book in your hands. I found myself doing it twice. It is an ultimate page turner with all the fire power that will make you travel into the other world where magic prevails. I really felt like I am a part Avalonia, in-between the powerful mages and faes along with mythological creatures. I am already looking forward to the sequel of the book.

The storyline is an awesome blend of all the elements of creativity and imagination, with magic and creating a perfect novel for all ages to immerse in this imaginary world which feels much real than imaginary.

I wish the author all the good luck for her sequel and wish it hits the bestseller list.


Chapter 3


For a second that felt like a lifetime, everything stopped; I felt like I was floating in nothingness. Then I blinked, and, when I finally opened my eyes and focused again through the tears, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

I found myself standing at the mouth of a small cave situated on a hill and overlooking a quiet, moonlit valley. On my left, a dark forest stretched out as far as the eye could see, treetops glistening silver in the light of the full moon. The hills around us undulated into wildflower-filled meadows that lay sleeping in the dewy night.

Far down in the valley, I could see a little village, its lights twinkling in the distance. To my right, a waterfall splashed playfully into a small river that ran down into a lake, next to which the little village was built. The moon here was fuller and larger than I had ever seen it, and the night sky was awash with a fantastic array of glittering stars.

Had I passed through the tapestry? Where was I?

I looked around, disbelief clouding my judgment. I was still trying to get my bearings after that strange moment when I had been inside the tapestry and nowhere at the same time. It gave me a funny feeling, as though I had been lifted out of my own consciousness and then put back into my body.

A warm breeze brushed past my face and played with my hair. Gone were the cloudy grey mist and the cold, nipping wind of the English countryside. I drew in a sharp breath—the air was crisp and clear, sweet smelling, and fresh. The moonlit valley was filled with fruit trees, wildflowers, and rolling meadows.

“How did we come here? Where are we?” I asked, still confused.

“You really are ignorant,” said Oblek, glancing at me. “I take it your uncle didn’t tell you anything?”

I shook my head and looked down. Oblek had tied my hands with a rope he had with him while I was still dazed and looking around. It was humiliating, and the rough ropes cut into my wrists, rubbing them raw every time he pulled me forward.

I had to find some way out of this. And, at the moment, the only thing I could do was discover more about where I was. Then, when I got an opportunity, I could escape and find my way back up to the cave on the hill, where we had arrived out of the tapestry.

But then what?

Christopher was probably dead, and Aunt Arianna would doubtless blame me for everything since I had disappeared at the same time. I had no idea what to do. I didn’t really want to go back, and, now that my adoptive parents were dead, I had nothing to return to.

I was starting to panic. I had nowhere to go, and my mind was imagining an array of horrible outcomes of my kidnapping. My palms had become sweaty, and my racing heart was thundering in my chest as I half-walked and half-ran, desperately trying to keep up with Oblek’s giant strides.

“Why are you doing this?” I pleaded with my kidnapper.
But Lord Oblek said nothing. He didn’t even look at me. He just kept walking ahead and dragging me along behind him, with no more explanations as to what he was planning to do with me.

I was terrified, and I had no idea if I was going to survive this. But I tried to be brave. Maybe I could talk my way out of this?

“You do know that this is called kidnapping?” I said, trying to reason with Oblek.

He didn’t bother to answer.

“What will happen to me now?” I squeaked, my voice breaking, as I tried not to cry.

“Queen Morgana will decide what is to be done with you,” said Oblek, finally.

Queen Morgana! The woman from my dream? It was not possible that this, too, was a coincidence. It must be the same Morgana, the one who had tried to kill my real mother.

Who the hell was she?

Suddenly all of this seemed extremely scary. I hoped that I was still dreaming and that there was no way I had actually traveled through a magical tapestry into some strange land. It all seemed very exciting in books. But actually being kidnapped and then hauled around like an animal, traveling deep into a land I knew nothing about, was not my idea of fun.

I had to get away from this horrible man, and fast.

About the Author:

For Farah Oomerbhoy, writing is a passion and reading her solace. She is a firm believer in the fantastic and magical, and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest.

When she was pregnant with her first child ten years ago, a story popped into her head she could not ignore. “I was at my grandmother’s house, and as I looked at the image of a beautiful forest with a castle in the distance on a tapestry hanging on the wall, I imagined myself being whisked away into another world,” she said. It was at that moment the world of Avalonia, with its powerful mages and fae and the evil Queen Morgana, was born. Farah Oomerbhoy’s debut novel, The Last of the Firedrakes, was released in the summer of 2015.

Farah lives with her husband and three children in their family home in Mumbai, India. She has a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Mumbai. Her first novel is The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of the Avalonia Chronicles.


This Review is a part of the Blogger Outreach Program by Read Out Loud in association with b00k r3vi3w Tours

Monday, 4 April 2016

Hariharan Iyer talks about his book Surpanakha.

Book Blurb

Educated, young, no-nonsense bearing, able administrator—these are the qualities that won Sesha the loyalties of the people after three years of rule as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. An allegation that he was the mastermind behind the murder of 73 Kannadigas threatens to bring him down but he is miraculously saved in the 11th hour. 
Even before he can relish his victory, Sesha is slappe
d with the charge of sexually offending a young nurse. This time round, the case is strong and his supporters are uncertain. Worse, his teenage daughter calls him 'vile' and walks out of the house. While Mythili, his wife promises her full support, her secretive activities—undertaken with the help of a retired cop—is a cause of concern for Sesha.
Will Zarina, the human-rights activist, succeed in bringing him down? What about the insinuations of a celebrity lawyer that he is casteist and antiminorities? When the young nurse is found dead, the case becomes even more complex. Who is innocent? Who is guilty? And who is the mastermind?

Buy Links:

Links for downloading e-books: Amazon India | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Links for ordering paperbacks: Amazon India | Flipkart

About the Author:

Hariharan Iyer is a finance professional based in Dar es Salaam. Not content with just a rewarding corporate job, he took to writing a couple of years back. He blogged on media and current affairs for a year at valadyviews.blogspot.com before hitting on the idea for this novel. An idea so powerful that it convinced the accountant in him that he could put together not just a balance sheet but an intriguing political thriller as well. He has definite views on politics, NGOs and media ethics and has tried to package them in the form of an interesting novel.

Hariharan lives with his wife in Dar es Salaam while his two sons are pursuing their ambitions in India.

Contact Hariharan:

Author Interview
1.                  What inspired you to write the book?
A couple of years ago, a law intern alleged that a retired judged misbehaved with her. Celebrity lawyers took up her case. Media hounded the judge. He was forced to resign from a strategic post retirement job. Thereafter when the police registered a case and wanted the victim to testify, she vanished. We don’t know what happened. Was there pressure on her not to testify? Or was it decided that the purpose had been achieved? Neither the celebrity lawyers nor media felt obliged to explain their position to the masses.
Secondly, a series of articles by an IIM professor on the mushrooming NGOs and their questionable sources of funds forced me to think. Around the same time there were reports that well-known personalities who were running foreign funded NGOs were using the funds for buying branded jewelry, clothing and shoes! It made me wonder what the underlying motivation could be for floating such NGOs.
Both the above gave rise to a lot of what ifs in me and pushed me into the realm of fiction. And the novel was born. I would, however, like to clarify that it is not a real life story.
2.                  When did you realise that you want to write a book?
I had been blogging for a while on media and current affairs. Then I hit on the idea for this novel. An idea so powerful as to convince the accountant in me that apart from putting together a balance sheet, I could write an intriguing political thriller.
3.                  Who helped you in writing the book and please say about their contributions?
There are many who helped me in improving the book and making it more readable. First my wife. She read the first draft and suggested the changes—quite drastic they were—to be made. Then a senior colleague. Then a couple of beta readers. And the impact of their input was: I cut down the size by 15,000 words; I dropped 2 characters and modified one; I changed the title.
4.                  How is your book going to inspire the readers?
The novel revolves around contemporary issues like hate crime and sexual harassment, the politics surrounding them, and the skewed coverage media gives them. In fact, Surpanakha, my book, starts where the prime time debates in TV channels leave the viewers. Obviously, it will change the way they consume news and views. It will enable them to form an opinion independent of the stereotypes media and the panelists want him to form.
5.                  If you are given the chance to change one thing in your book what would it be?
Like I said, I’ve I cut down more than 20 scenes, dropped 2 characters, modified one more character and changed the title based on the advice of beta readers. No more changes now.
6.                  How do you find time to write and which part of the day is best for writing for you?
I head the finance function of a $150 mill group based in East and Central Africa. Quite a demanding job. My days are spent in the office and nights and weekend with the family. What is left is early morning. With a strong filter coffee by my side, I start writing at 4:30 in the morning.
7.                  Which books have inspired you the most, in the journey of writing this book?
More than books, some recent controversies and the slanted coverage they got from media inspired me to write this book.
8.                  What is the best advice, you would give for writers who are trying to write a book?
I am budding author. This is my first book. I am not competent to advise others.
9.                  What are your hobbies?
Books, TV seriels (only the first 50-60 episodes; thereafter I can’t stand the illogical twists and turns they take retain TRPs), Action movies
10.              What can we expect from you in the future?
I am working on my next book. It is about a young girl who aspires to study medicine, but is unable to do so because of the reservation rules of the state. How does she respond to this challenge? Does she accept it as fate and study B.Sc as her brother did a few years earlier or does she fight back?

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