Guest post by author Varsha Dixit #TheBookClub

It is often said (wrongly) that women don’t have much sense of humor. In fact, much of it gets lost because most women carry a lot on their minds. I think we are making mental lists most of the time. But laughter definitely needs a place in life, no matter how busy you are. At times when you lose your sense of humor, creative works can restore it to you. Romcoms are my favorite type of movies to relax with. Today I’ve asked author Varsha Dixit to talk about the role of humor in women’s fiction. Let’s hear her take on it. Please welcome Varsha Dixit, the author of Right Fit Wrong Shoe, Wrong Means Right End, Xcess Baggage and Only Wheat Not White. The last part of her ‘Right and Wrong’ love trilogy will be out in Summer 2016.

Over to Varsha

Humor in Women’s Fiction

When I think of funny women, I think of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Mindy Kaling. Thankfully for an avid reader like myself, they also wrote books. Books rich in humor, observations and opinions! I would like to share with you some quotes from their books.

“Once a woman turns 40 she has to start dealing with two things: younger men telling her they are proud of her and older men letting her know they would have sex with her.” – Amy Poehler, Yes Please

“In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way.” ― Tina Fey, Bossypants

“I just want ambitious teenagers to know it is totally fine to be quite, observant kids. Besides being a delight to your parents, you will find you have plenty of time later to catch up.” ― Mindy Kaling, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

What makes people laugh is wit and wit can only come from a person who is smart, observant and has struggled.  All that we women face growing up; lack of equal opportunities, lack of sexual freedom, born in families that makes decisions for us based on society’s expectations rather than our desires, lack of equal pay and the ultimate – the feeling of guilt when we like to work as much we like to have kids.

Tragedy I feel makes for great comedy especially when you look back at it, a drink in your hand sitting on a balcony overlooking something big and powerful as oceans or mountains.

Women writers have a large source to draw their inspiration and ironic reflections from  – each of their lives. A sexy woman is not frightening but a woman with brains and humor is deadlier than a live bomb for she will get your job and make it seem your fault.

Women writers don’t hold back on anything. They go after age, sex, job, men, children, society the world and even god. That’s what makes them so good at their job, they see the whole chessboard.


Thanks for sharing your views, Varsha.

I agree that humor comes from deep understanding. That is why jokes are often relevant with culture. These days, I’m very involved with humor through sarcasm. Sarcasm always carries humor in it, though it is snide in its way. I often use it with my students who are not doing the tasks, of course not the sharp type of sarcasm. But telling them I don’t like you and don’t want to see you around next year makes them laugh while taking the point that they might flunk if they don’t shape up. Though they get confused what to say when I ask them, do you like the class so much you want to stay here next session? It can’t be answered in a yes or no 🙂

Do you love to read humorous fiction? Which are your favorite reads? What do you think about humor in women’s fiction?

This post is part of blog tour for Varha’s book, Right Fit, Wrong Shoe.


Right Fit Wrong Shoe
Varsha Dixit 
Right Fit Wrong Shoe, begins at a point where all love stories end. The tale weaves around Nandini and all that is important to her, with two contenders gunning for the top spot; Aditya Sarin and Sneha Verma.
Aditya Sarin, the man Nandini is madly in love with, yet compelled, for some unsolved reason to shun.  Aditya, on his part, in the past declared Nandini to be a ‘millennium bhehenji (conservative girl)’ and ‘lassi (yoghurt drink) in a wine glass’. Yet he fell for her  . . . hard! However, some mysterious episode caused the lovers to, acrimoniously, part.
Now, Aditya is back in Kanpur,  all his guns blazing (the real and the imagined), determined to devastate her life. Fortunately for the readers, and unfotunately for Aditya, Nandini is determined not to‘bite the dust’ oh so quietly. Wonder, in the battle royal, who wins or who loses it all?
Sneha Verma, the other contender, is Nandini’s BFF, that one friend who knows us better than we do. The one we trust more than Stayfree or Clearasil. Sneha maybe headstrong, hammer fisted and stern mouthed, but for Nandini, she will willingly stand in the path of imminent lightning bolt or a nasty tornado, even if it’s named Aditya Sarin. In standard X, Sneha took Nandini under her wing and that equation hasn’t changed much. Sneha, a recent wife and even more recent mom, appears to be fighting some unknown demons of her own.
Right Fit Wrong Shoe, observes and opinionates the society, affected and amused. It fleetingly touches on issues; fleeting as watching discourses (courtesy Astha Channel), is trendier and quicker, than reading them.
The book is an AAA (anytime, anywhere, anyone) read. It promises to make your day better, and a bad one not any worse.
Grab your copy |

About The Author 


Varsha Dixit, the best selling author of four successful contemporary romance books. Her debut book, Right Fit Wrong Shoe was a national bestseller for the year 2010. Varsha was a part of the Indian Television Industry and worked as an assistant director and online editor. She considers herself a dreamer who thinks deep but writes light. Even though creativity is gender free, Varsha feels blessed and enriched to be a woman. Currently, with her family, Varsha resides in CA, USA.

Stalk her @



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Special #Valentinesday offer. Buy one get one #free

Romance day is around the corner and you can’t escape the sight of red heart shaped balloons and roses. What better time to indulge in some romance reading? Which is why you get a special offer for this special occasion, no matter if you celebrate it with a romance book mate or your soul mate. Whether you like contemporary genre or historical or even short stories, check out the books in the poster. Click on the Home page at this site or follow the link below for book details. Buy one and you get the next one free. All you have to do is tell me which one you’d like via the Contact Me page of this site.


Wish you all a Happy Valentine’s!

Guest post by author Neelam Saxena Chandra #TheBookClub

Hi everyone, please welcome author Neelam Saxena Chandra at my blog today. She is here to share her thoughts about a question I put to her about reading and her writing. here’s my question and the following is her reply.

What is your favorite genre to read and how it reflects in your writing.

I suppose I don’t really have one particular choice of genre in reading. At different times, I am seen reading different things. When I am travelling I prefer lighter reading such as romance or mysteries (I have finished reading almost all of Agatha Christie in trains. I still remember the moment when I got so engrossed in reading one of the mysteries, that I was about to miss a flight – I was the last one to board despite checking in almost two hours before departure). However, when I am reading leisurely, I love to read something more intelligent – it could be anything ranging from spiritual to a crime thriller or even a story based on social conditions in a particular state of time and region or even a science fiction. I don’t even mind reading Amar Chitra Katha or Chacha Chowdhary. A good set of poems fascinates me. I still love reading the classics. The book I am reading when I have ample time for myself should basically be a book which enriches me after I finish it. (My favorite author is Erich Segal).

To think of it, my reading habits get reflected in my writing too. I haven’t yet stuck to one genre. I write different things at different times depending upon my state of mind – poetry, children’s stories, short stories and novels. In stories and novels, I have tried various genres such as romance, horror, supernatural, etc. If there is something common in my stories, it is love and affection.


Thanks, Neelam.

This post is part of the blog tour for her book Sands of Time. Let’s know something about the book.

Sands Of Time 
Neelam Saxena Chandra
‘SANDS OF TIME’ is a collection of twelve interesting stories which bring out the different moods and moments in the lives of women.
Watch it 


Some Facts About the Author 
NeelamSaxena Chandra, an author of thirty-two books,is a record holder with the Limca Book of Records for being the author with highest number of publications in a year in English and Hindi (2015). She works as Joint Secretary (U.P.S.C.).  She has won award in a poetry contest by American Embassy, Premchand award by Ministry of Railways, Rabindranath Tagore international poetry award, Freedom award by Radio city for her lyrics. She was listed in the Forbes list as one of the most popular seventy eight authors in the country in 2014.

Awarded by eminent poet/lyricist Gulzarji in a Poetry Contest organized by American Society on the topic ‘Poetry for Social Change’.

Received the Rabindranath Tagore International poetry award -2014

Awarded PremchandPuraskar by Ministry of Railways (II prize)

Awarded by Children Book Trust, India in 2009.

Neelam also debuted as a lyricist in Shankar Tucker’s composition ‘Mere Sajan sun sun’ and the song has won the ‘Popular Choice’ award  in Folk Fusion category in Radio City Freedom Awards.

Neelam is a record holder with Limca Book of records for highest publications in a year in English and Hindi.

Neelam and her daughter hold record for being the first mother-daughter duo to write a poetry book for the book ‘Winter Shall Fade’ in Limca Book of Records, Miracle World Records and India Book of records.



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We leave you with a wonderful song penned by Neelam Saxena Chandra
 This guest post is hosted by Summerita Rhayne, author of Amazon bestseller ebook Against All Rules

#Interview with authors of Twice upon a Time – Jazz Singh and Zeenat Mahal

Today I have with me not one but two authors. So let us get to know Jazz Singh and Zeenat Mahal. They have recently brought out romance novel with the intriguing title, Twice upon a Time. Let’s get to know first Jazz Singh and then Zeenat Mahal through this question and answer session.

Hello Jazz, great to have you here. Here’s my first question:

How did you become a writer, by chance or by choice?

By chance.  Adiana Ray (Rapid Fall),  introduced me to Naheed at Indireads, who was looking for romance writers from the subcontinent. I thought it would be good fun. And it is. Once I started writing I couldn’t seem to stop.

Are you a genre writer? Why (or why not)? Which genre appeals to you the most?

I have only written romance so far. I can’t predict if I will switch genres in the future. Right now I enjoy going through the love stories of my characters with them.

What makes this book special to you?

Twice upon a Time is two novellas in one book. Zeenat  made the suggestion and as we both had stories ready, we polished them, thought of a title, decided on a cover, et voila, we had a book. The stories are completely different as our  writing and sensibility are both poles apart. But I think they sit well together. Would love to have your opinion.

TUAT is special because it’s the first time we’ve done something like this. From being friends, we’ve become collaborators in what we both enjoy immensely.

A brief description of the book (your story) and its main characters.

Sunshine Girl is the story of an orphan whose circumstances are dismal but who has a never-say-die attitude.  Aanya is the eternal optimist who doesn’t let anything get her down. She is sweet and innocent but with a streak of surprising maturity that catches Gaurav’s attention.  From wanting to strike a business deal with her he ends up wanting something quite different altogether.

What are your writing fads or quirks?

Can’t think of any. Need a prompt. Perhaps I’m the model writer who has zero quirks 😉

What’s your take on these writing dilemmas? (Please specify the reason for your choice)

Plotter or pantser

Panster, most certainly. And that’s the way I am – without too much planning. I guess that spills over to the way I work as well.

Self publish or traditional

Self publish any day. It’s your work and you are entitled to do with it as you please. In other words, it’s your baby, you look after it.

Polished first draft or sloppy one?

Sloppy L in terms of plot and structure.  I’m in a hurry to get a first opinion from certain people about whether the idea is workable or not.

Deadline or family/friends time

Deadlines are for my place of work. Writing romance is what I do in my free time. So it has to be family and friends, otherwise an activity that gives me pleasure would turn into a chore. I would have no life left. Another advantage of going indie.

Writing a certain target everyday or in floods and droughts

I write as the muse strikes or if I’m in the mood. I don’t stress about routine, etc. As I said, after a day at work, I go with the flow of the mood at home.

Thank you, Jazz! This was a most interesting chat. Sunshine Girl sounds quite fascinating. I have enjoyed reading your work so far and can’t wait to read this one. In fact, it’s on top of my pile right now 🙂

Twicw Upon a Time cover

Now let’s share some coffee and cake with Zeenat Mahal.

Hello Zeenat, welcome to my blog. Let’s put you under the microscope 😉

Here goes:

How did you become a writer, by chance or by choice?

Definitely by choice. Writing is something I have to do in order to be a tolerable person. I’m quite cranky if I’m not writing.
Are you a genre writer? Why (or why not)? Which genre appeals to you the most?
I am sometimes. I write romance. I find it a relaxing exercise where I can do what I like doing best, i.e. Writing, without agonising the way I do over my other books because they have serious issues and serious story lines, often tragic.
What makes this book special to you?
This book is special because first, it’s a two- in-one novel with my friend Jazz Singh. Secondly, it’s our first self-pub venture together.
A brief description of the book and its main characters.
It’s a love story. The main characters are pathans.It’s about growing up, changing relatinships and friendship. Sheru is a typical Pathan, honourable, brave and Zoya is a well educated but constrained by circumstance kinda girl.
What are your writing fads or quirks?
I want silence when I’m working. If I’m disturbed I cant write. My mind just shuts down.
What’s your take on these writing dilemmas? (Please specify the reason for your choice)
1) plotter or pantser

Should be plotter. Having a clear line of work makes it easier, makes the book better. I usually have a very rough plot in my head and I start writing. I should spend more time on the mechanics.

2) self publish or traditional

Both. In today’s world, self-publishing is unavoidable. One should experience it. Traditional publishing has perks like editors, a must-have in my rulebook of publishing! Without an editor, your book is unpolished and therefore unpublishable.

3) Polished first draft or sloppy one?

Hail to the sloppy first draft. Just write it down. Don’t worry about the beauty treatments till you have a first draft or you may never have one at all!

4) Deadline or family/friends time

Deadlines. Though I have to admit, I will ignore them many times. But having them kinda motivates me.

5) Writing a certain target everyday or in floods and droughts

Should be a certain target—but isn’t with me. I’m more of a floods and droughts person for now (thank you for this coinage. I can name ‘it’ now) It has its own charm, but it’s frustrating and not at all professional. I feel one should have a specific amount of time dedicated to writing every day rather than word limit. It is something I am going to try now.


You’re welcome, Zeenat, I too write in ‘floods and droughts’ and the droughts make me really hard to live with! Thank you for the interview. You’ve given us fascinating answers along with some good advice for aspiring writers about the first draft.

Here are Zeenat’s links:


Twice Upon A Time is available at :


Two novellas in one. Sunshine Girl by Jazz Singh is about a young orphan girl Aanya, and Gaurav, the hardened businessman. It’s a story of idealism and materialism locking horns. Guess who wins?
Yours Truly by Zeenat Mahal is a story of two people growing up together. Zoya and Sheru, have loved each other all their lives, but now their love is tested in new ways and they must choose their paths.

#Spotlight #Tornadogiveaway Age of Anxiety: Growing up in Post-Colonial India by Indranil Banerjie

Name of the Book: AGE OF

Author: Indraneil Banerjie

Read some reviews:

1. Rubina Ramesh 
2. Renita D’Silva 
3. Geeta 

The Story:

India has been Independent for just about two decades when a young Bengali boy, Sarat Chandra Chatterjee, takes his place within the portals of an ancient school that continues to glorify its colonial past.
India is changing and the city that was once the proud capital of a vast Colonial empire is in rapid decline but the school holds out, white and resplendent amidst the surrounding gloom and depredation.
Sarat Chandra, cut off from his familiar world, is thrown together with a bunch of boys who hail from diverse backgrounds – Marwaris, Anglo-Indians, Armenians and Muslims. Within the school’s portals he must adapt and conform to its ancient traditions. He finds a new name, makes friends and discovers the first flush of romance but struggles to come to terms with his family’s precarious financial situation, which fuels his inherent anxiety.
Much like Sarat Chandra, the city too is grappling to come of age. Mired in post-Independence politics and economic decline, anxiety and gloom has spread through the populace jostling for space in an increasingly crowded and unrelenting city. The elite have taken over the mansions left behind by the colonialists while the poor throng the pavements and empty spaces.
Will Sarat Chandra find his place in the city or is he forever doomed to be the outsider, the ‘mofussil’ boy with an identity crisis?
This is a story about a generation numbed by the anxiety of the Sixties and the Seventies, about music dying in the bars, entire populations quietly fleeing the city and yesteryear’s generation fortifying themselves within anachronistic colonial institutions to hold out against change.
You can also buy @
About The Author 


Indraneil Banerjie
Indranil Banerjie (1960-present) was born in Calcutta, India. The son of a military officer, he grew up in cantonments in different parts of the country and was exposed to the country’s diversity from an early age. He has been writing ever since he graduated from Presidency College, Calcutta, in 1980. He spent more than a decade as a journalist before going on to head a national security focussed think tank, SAPRA India Foundation, for sixteen years till 2011. Currently, he travels, writes and takes photographs and is working on two books. “Age of Anxiety” is his first novel.
Stalk him @
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Guest post at Romance University blog – Get Physical With Your Work-in-Progress (and Not Mental)

Write in present. Don’t look too far ahead in your book. Here’s an excerpt from my guest post at Romance University where I explore this subject.
The story that you write is usually something that means a lot to you. You put in your time and invest emotions in it to create it. It is your passion. For people who work on one project, it’s the main subject dominating their thoughts during that time. They might even eat, drink and sleep their work in progress, so to speak. Are you like that with your work? Yes? Then read on to find out what you’re doing wrong.

While we are engaged mentally and emotionally with our wip, we sometimes tend to get too close to it. We miss the development and evolvement of the story. You might argue that the development is in your hands as a writer. True, but in every story, the growth also depends on the characters. A major part of what makes the plot move forward is how your character reacts to obstacles. We can’t go on and impose just any storyline on the characters. When we do, it starts to feel wrong. Our hands falter at the keyboard. Writing becomes wooden. We might even develop a fear of writing. This can lead to a block which progresses to an extent when we can’t even think of working on the project.

Why did this happen? Let’s see.

When you begin a project, you are excited and poised at the brink of new discovery. At that time, you couldn’t stop thinking of it. The first chapter is written and it feels like a miraculous accomplishment. You go on to plan what would happen in the second one as you close the laptop and push back the chair. As you wander out of the room and reminded by the grumbling of your stomach, you set to conjure lunch, you’re still mulling on it. In plotting the third chapter, you hit a road block when you don’t know, for instance, how H/h will meet again. But as you peel potatoes, you hit upon an idea. Why not have them stumble in the restaurant? You slice veggies and nod slowly. Yes, they both love pastry and so go to buy it at the same shop. By now, you have their conversation in your head. You’re smiling, picturing the dialogue printed in the book. A few interruptions later, you get another moment free, say, doing the ironing. Hands engaged, mind free i.e. HEMF and you get to it again. You are halfway through the story now, trying to think up the details of the black moment.

By nightfall, you have the hea or the resolution – as the case may be – wholly charted out.
Next morning you open the ms…and you can’t write a darn word.

Why… how…what? You’re not able to pin down the reason but suddenly the story that had you on your toes, seems as delicious as the lunch that you partially burnt up while thinking of it.

The thing is you lost the spirit and soul of discovery.

That’s why you should get physical with your wip.

Mental wrestling is ok when you have a difficult scene which needs minute details to be logical. But never for plotting the story.

The surprise is gone. You need the feeling of the fresh and new to keep writing.

That isn’t the only problem with thinking ahead. When you run forward mentally, you are charting out the progress of the story, keeping in mind those characters with whom you began the story. But as you write, the characters must undergo a change. 
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