Guest post by author Radhika Maira Tabrez: Say ‘yes’ to Satire

Please welcome author Radhika Maira Tabrez to share her views on ‘Say ‘yes’ to Satire.

Take it away, Radhika.

When one first watches the movie ‘Wag The Dog’, it is easy to shrug it off as a completely outlandish story. And I’m sure a lot of people would have done just that, had it not been for all that happened shortly after the movie was released in 1997. A few months after it came out, the Clinton administration got embroiled in the Monica Lewinsky scandal and shortly after that the Al Shifa Pharmaceutical Company in Sudan was bombed. It all bore an uncanny resemblance to the plot of the movie wherein the President of the U.S. hires a spin doctor (Robert DeNiro) to distract the voters from the fact that he has been accused of sexual misconduct. DeNiro in turn hires a big shot Hollywood producer (Dustin Hoffman) and together they create a fake war on Albania and feed it to the media. The media laps it up. It is a ‘perfect’ war production after all – replete with all the essential elements – a message ‘to bring peace and freedom to a distraught nation’, a hero who is ‘left behind the enemy lines’ when the war ceases abruptly, a theme song ‘to bring the hero home’ and the resultant public show of outrage in the form of ‘leaving shoes hanging from every single tree and lamp post in America’. 

I remember, I was just out of school, when I first saw it. So I did have my share of disbelief as well over the movie. Of course, I was yet to see and learn a lot. 9/11 was yet to happen and Building No. 7 was yet to go down with all its mysteries. The whole fake war in search of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ was yet to happen too. Like I said, I was yet to see and learn a lot.

In the post-Wikileaks and Edward Snowden world that we live in, it is hard not to learn the truth. The truth is out there. Available at the click of a button should we really wish to know it. And once we know the truth, we also learn to see movies like ‘Wag The Dog’ or books like ‘Animal Farm’ or ‘Catch 22’ not just as a piece of art or literature, but as a mirror that the society desperately needs. Because otherwise, we would never know how ugly things have gotten. We sense the power and intensity of the voice that they raise. And how that voice is somehow the only thing, which pushes an otherwise pathologically complacent society, towards a possible change.  Wrapped in its saccharine humor and seemingly over the top ironies are the bitter pills we all need. 

The world is what it is. And it became that way because a majority of us are too bogged down with trying to deal with the rut of a life we are in. In the Bermuda Triangle of bills and taxes, everything else gets sucked in – all that we should be aware of, all that we should be concerned about, all that we should fight for and change.

But an artist’s view of the ocean is clear and calm. One can make an argument that that’s because a true artist barely makes enough money to worry about taxes or hardly ever expects to pay the bills on time – so no Bermuda Triangle in his ocean, you see! What the artists see in the reflection of those calm waters is then converted into art which makes the truth more accessible and also in some cases palatable to people. I mean, who would believe that the highest office in the country can pull a stunt like that. But put that truth in a movie and make DeNiro and Hoffman say it instead, and you may have a shot at people buying it.

The book Mock, Stock and Quarrel is an attempt just like that. It’s a collection of stories which show the hideous face behind the amply decked up countenance of our society. Of the fault lines which we all know exist, and yet happily ignore until the next big earthquake. These are the stories we all need to read, to know ourselves a little more. 

And once we do, perhaps even try and change for the better.

BLURB

Mock, Stalk & Quarrel – a collection of satirical tales – emanated from a nationwide contest conducted by Readomania to identify powerful voices that could wage an ideological war against issues that matter. Twenty- nine voices – indulgent, tolerant, amusing and witty -for part of this collection.

Each narrative in this anthology is a silent scream, a way to remind the reader of the stark realities of our times, of the hollowness, the empty promises and the increasing nepotism, corruption, and banal priorities of the modern life. From domestic violence, to red-tapism, from reservation to religious fundamentalism, from scams to godmen, our authors have captured it all, creating stories that prick the conscience and challenge the powerful, gently ridicule absurdities and follies of fellow humans, not to enrage the reader but to bring on a wry smile. 

Eventually, they take lexical pot-shots at the well-heeled establishment that does not think twice before taking people for granted. Sprinkled with liberal doses of humour and wit that will make the readers laugh, cry, rage and think.

The book is available on Amazon – http://amzn.in/74PIHxP and at leading bookstores across the country.

About the Author: Radhika Maira Tabrez

Radhika Maira Tabrez is a hustling mother by day and a writer by night. When she isn’t dancing to the tunes of her four-year-old son Daneyaal, or experimenting in the kitchen for her husband Mujtaba; she loves to read, watch movies, drool on Lonelyplanet.com and engage in DIY home décor projects. Of all the years she had spent trying to muzzle the writer inside her, two were spent earning an MBA from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM), Pune and over twelve in building a career in Learning and Development. Her stories have been features in many anthologies namely: Sankaarak, UnBound, Defiant Dreams and When They Spoke. Her debut novel In The Light Of Darkness (Readomania) was released in August 2016 and has been receiving critical acclaim and rave reviews ever since. She is also an active member of the Kalam Library Project. She was recently awarded the Muse India – Satish Verma Young Writer Award, 2016 for Fiction for her debut novel, In The Light of Darkness.

Guest post from Tushar Sen, author of Pandora’s Box

 

Hi everyone, please welcome Tushar Sen on my blog. Tushar is an author and here to talk about his book, Pandora’s Box.

Over to him.

……….

First of all thank you for inviting me as a guest author to your blog, its always a wonderful experience interacting with book-critics and book-bloggers.

My book Pandora’s Box has 21 stories and most of them are weaved around real life incidents or characters. And these characters are picked from everywhere, including your garden and kitchen and cellar.

I wanted my readers to have a completely different reading experience from what they may have read till date. To be part of a story where you imagine goons chasing a pauper stealing rice, though in the end it turns out that they were actually cats chasing a mouse. Likewise, my other stories too deal with such characters, such events which take place everyday right under our noses and go unnoticed.

Then there are famous characters who find their way into my stories; Saddam Hussein, Indira Gandhi, Amon Goethe and the valiant Viking Moldof. Stories are woven around certain events in their lives, certain aspects no one really is aware of. We’ve heard about them but not many know about the subtler aspects of their lives. Heroism for example is good to hear about, but when you look at it closely you find it involves risking the dearest possession – life, and that isn’t easy. Without disturbing the fabric of their character I just borrowed certain events from their lives to tell a story my readers would probably relate to.

Then there are stories about unbelievable events that actually took place, like frogs falling from the sky, and disappearance of rocks brought from the moon and the terrorist funding in Colombia involving reputed companies. I wasn’t sure about the market for such stories but I experimented and my publisher allowed me to. Turns out that it was really appreciated by the readers.

As a reader I always was thrilled to see a note stating: based on true story. It automatically sets the mood and makes the story more believable and closer to life. I believe readers relate to real life characters a tad more than the archetypal fiction. Those who like to read about different characters who speak to the readers would definitely enjoy reading my book.

Thank you again for inviting me here, and I hope your readers would read Pandora’s Box if they haven’t already.

…….

I hope they will. Thank you, Tushar, for sharing about your book.

You can get in touch with Tushar at the following links. Catch a glimpse of the book blurb below.

Author links:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/tusharsarojsen

Email: sen.tushar@hotmail.com

Website: www.panbox.in

Facebook: www.facebook.com/tushar.sen.737

Amazon.in: http://goo.gl/mqgvH7

Amazon.com:  http://goo.gl/awrLS9

Flipkart: http://tinyurl.com/jsr65a4

Youtube: https://goo.gl/uBcE2g

BOOK BLURB:

Pandora’s Box is a collection of tales that have woven reality and fiction together to serve to the reader spine chilling narratives and jaw dropping climaxes. Most of the stories are inspired by real life incidents and characters – like Saddam Hussein’s CIA connection, the secret army of the Indian prime minister, Hitler’s biggest mass murderer, strangest rains where frogs fell from the sky, heroism of Moldof, terrorist funding in Columbia, NASA’s controversial moon landings and so on.

Some stories are inspired by characters around you who touch your lives in so many ways yet go unnoticed. Some climaxes will urge you to read the story again with a new perspective.

 

If imagination is more powerful than knowledge then here is a book that invites you to join the author in the most powerful imaginative endeavors you may have ever undertaken till now . . . in a literary environment of course.

Author Bio: 

Apart from writing I also try and work for a Bank. I have an MBA degree that helped me stay employed. I live in Mumbai.

Two books in #bestseller categories #AAR #UV

I have some exciting news 🙂 Today I started my day with some wonderful stats for my books.
Unexpected Valentines: Stories to make you believe in love is #28 in top 100 paid at Amazon kindle in Literature & fiction subcategory > shortstories
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TBC9O9Q

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Yesterday, Against All Rules: A Contemporary Romance was at #44 in World Literature > Asian at Amazon kindle. Today it is at no.69 but still in the top 100 paid in Amazon recommended category.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MY2QVRS

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Thank you, readers, for taking the ranking high. Against All Rules remained in top 100 paid in this category from July ’15 to Jan ’16 and good to see it’s back there again. If you have read it, do leave a review at Amazon and Goodreads.
What kind of romance do you like to read? Share your thoughts. Also check out the Giveaway section of this blog. A copy of new release His Christmas Delight is up for grabs!

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 
by 
Neelam Saxena Chandra
Blurb 
‘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.

           

 

This Tour is Hosted by 

We Promote So That You Can Write 

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

#giveaway #InternationalWomensDay #UnexpectedValentines – a short story collection

To celebrate Women’s Day, I have a giveaway on my blog. A copy of my latest ebook, Unexpected Valentines is on the offer. Just share this post and leave a comment here why you like short stories to enter.

Unexpected Valentines is a collection of romantic reads – seven romances in one

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00TBC9O9Q
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Love can be found at the most unexpected places, with unlikely people. Your heart might be searching for love but when love finally hits, it shies away from committing. 
What are the barriers that keep two people away, even when perfect love is just within reach? 
Explore the ways love can be discovered. Celebrate romance with this quick read ideal for romance fiction lovers.

Stories in this collection:

Unexpected Valentine

The Magic Within

Love at loggerheads

Chained to Shadows

Right or Wrong

Coffee and Clashes

Hooded Desire

Available at:
http://www.amazon.com/Unexpected-Valentines-Stories-make-believe-ebook/dp/B00TBC9O9Q

Add it to Goodreads at: 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24867685-unexpected-valentines

#giveaway #UnexpectedValentines #shortstorycollection

“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.”

~ Thomas Merton

Isn’t that a beautiful quote? Do you have your own favourite love quote? Share it here and it can win you a copy of Unexpected Valentines.
Yes, that’s the condition of this giveaway. Share an inspiring and romantic quote in the comments to enter the giveaway for this short story collection.

Here’s something about the book:
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Love can be found at the most unexpected places, with unlikely people. Your heart might be searching for love but when love finally hits, it shies away from committing.
What are the barriers that keep two people away, even when perfect love is just within reach?
Explore the ways love can be discovered. Celebrate romance with this quick read ideal for romance fiction lovers.

Stories in this collection:

Unexpected Valentine

The Magic Within

Love at loggerheads

Chained to Shadows

Right or Wrong

Coffee and Clashes

Hooded Desire

Available at:
http://www.amazon.com/Unexpected-Valentines-Stories-make-believe-ebook/dp/B00TBC9O9Q

Add it to Goodreads at:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24867685-unexpected-valentines

EXCERPT:

‘Get off me.’ She said through her teeth.

He looked down at her, shifting to take his weight on his elbows, ‘You really go red when you’re angry, did you know that? It reminds me of something.’

‘I hope it reminds you of chili peppers!’ she snapped. ‘So you wouldn’t dare topple over me again.’

‘Punjabi tadka, my gorgeous, isn’t complete without red chili peppers. It isn’t chili peppers but roses that you remind me of. And, don’t blame me, it wasn’t me who caused us to slip.’ He paused, then said in an altogether different, huskier tone, ‘I hope you won’t taste it. More precisely won’t mind if you did taste it.’

‘What?’  She squirmed but not much. Experience had already told her the safety was in remaining immobile. Some safety. She could feel the warmth of him permeating through her thick clothes. Along with his scent. She took a deep breath and it went into her system. Delicious. Damn! She closed her eyes, praying for sense.

‘Taste the alcohol.’ he explained patiently above her, forcing her to focus on him. A little smile played on his mouth, ‘when I kiss you.’

‘How dare you even think that, you – you kerschnickered bear!’

‘I must be drunk.’ he said with a quiet chuckle that rumbled through his chest. ‘I’ve never had the urge to kiss a fat woman before.’

**********

So what are you waiting for? Share your favourite quote and get a chance to win this book!