Category Archives: Chats/Interviews

A Reading Update!

The grind is tough,

but worth every sweat.

I believe in the woman I am striving to become.

Tene Edwards, Walk With Wings

Hey guys!

Hope you all are doing well. I have been having a really hectic time this week and last weekend and I am trying to cope. Also, the temperatures have really cooled down so it’s been great.

I wanted to give you all a reading update of this amazing collection that I have been reading recently. So, Walk With Wings is a poetry collection by Tene Edwards. It has a total of 5 sections and recently I have been reading the one named SPRING RESILIENT. The pieces there deal with hard work, discipline and the sacrifices we have to make in order to pursue our dreams. They have been so relatable to me and I was in love. I have been reading this section slowly because I really wanted to savour the feeling.

I have also been watching Mindhunter on Netflix and I love this show. Holden is my golden boy, you know?

#qotd : Do share your current reads, or series that you are watching at the moment. Any games you like? I used to be a PUBG fanatic, that is until the classes for this semester started!

If Characters from Winter Dream Were Candle Scents (Guest post!)

To say that I love candles is slightly an understatement. I love candles. Even more so – Christmas candles. So much so, I know to avoid the stores around this time of year, because I’ll want to buy them all!
Around the holiday time, many of my favorite scents and flavors become popular. Peppermint, Mocha, Cinnamon, Sugar Cookie – and more. Just the thought of reading a good book in front of a warm fire, while the air is filled with a smooth, rich “Christmas-y” scent – made me wonder if my characters from  Winter Dream were candle scents – what would they be?
And how fun of a post it would be to share with you! Now as you read “Winter Dream,” perhaps you’ll be able to choose your own favorite candle scent, and enjoy some quality “you-time” that you deserve!
 
Clara – Home for the Holidays. Cinnamon and clove, mixed with earthy cedarwood and balsam. This IS my favorite candle, of all time. I burned this scent MANY of times as I wrote “WinterDream.” When I think about the main character of this book, it feels only fitting to give her this candle.
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The Nutcracker: Balsam Forest. The wonderfully clean, wintry fresh scent of a breeze blowing through a thick stand of pines. As a Nutcracker – made of wood – would smell; he would have the scent of a wonderfully, magical forest – fit for a Snow Prince.
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Uncle Drosselmeyer: Magical Frosted Forest. An enchanted place where icy breezes playfully dance through tall, snow-coated pines. Uncle Drosselmeyer is a magical being in the story of “The Nutcracker,” and “WinterDream.” It feels only right to place him with a “magical” candle – but still stays close to the wonders of Christmas and snow. Drosselmeyer plays a key role in the mystery of the WinterDream land – and Clara and the Nutcracker’s story. I’m sure this candle would delight anyone (just as I hope the story does too!)
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Mother Ginger: Frost Gingerbread. Gingerbread freshly frosted—a holiday delight that fills any room with welcome and warmth. It would only be fitting for Mother Ginger to be represented as a warm and welcoming scent – and one that consists of ginger. She’s sure to make anyone feel at home in her inn, just as this scent should too!
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Lady Irina: Icy Blue Spruce: A fresh breath of winter forest—juniper berries, blue spruce, spearmint leaves. Lady Irina is the daughter of the Lord and Lady of Sugarland Forest – so it felt only right to give her too – a candle that had something to do with forests. But in her case, something darker – blue.
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Marzipan: Sugar Frost Christmas. Fresh-baked and topped with creamy vanilla frosting—a delicious holiday treat. I thought this was perfect for Marzipan – who is named after a delightful dessert! She, as a character is sweet and wonderfully kind to Clara upon her arrival to the WinterDream palace.
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And those are my choices for candle scents that I’d associate with my characters in “WinterDream”! Be sure to check out “WinterDream” on November 27th as it waltzes onto bookshelves near you – and of course, stop by Yankee Candle (and/or) check out local candle makers for amazingly wonderful Christmas scents as the holiday season gets underway!
 
(Guest post by the author of Blinding Night, Allerleirauh, Between the Sea and Stars, etc., Chantal Gadoury, on occasion of the upcoming release of her latest book Winter Dream)
Amazon Best Selling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. Since graduation, she has published “The Songs in Our Hearts” and “The Songs We Remember,” with 48Fourteen Publishing, and “Allerleirauh,” “Between the Sea and Stars,” and “Blinding Night” with Parliament House Press. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today. Writing novels for Chantal has become a life-long dream come true! When she’s not writing, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of DD Iced Coffee, and watching Disney classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, Sister and furry-’brother’ Taran.
Chantal Gadoury Author
Here’s the synopsis for Winter Dream!
This Christmas Eve… no creature was stirring…
Except, maybe, a mouse.
At long last, can true love break the Nutcracker’s curse?
For Clara Stahlbaum, this Christmas means the end of her youth. A daughter of the aristocracy, Clara is expected to give up her dreams of adventures and the extraordinary for more normal days as the wife of a cruel Viscount.
But when magical Uncle Drosselmeyer returns with his wondrous, dancing contraptions, and one…special gift for Clara, she is beckoned to the land of Winter Dream, where she is thrust into the greatest adventure of her wildest dreams. But will she be able to break the Nutcracker’s curse?
Uncle Drosselmeyer’s apprentice, Anton, is handsome as he is mysterious. But what is it about him Clara finds so alluring?
Winter Dream is a phenomenal retelling of The Nutcracker from the eyes of Clara Stahlbaum with all the magic of the Holiday season. If you loved S. Jae-Jones’ Wintersong, you’ll fall in love with this stunning tale of love, war, redemption, and Christmas magic.
Book Teaser Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMRGyNtnhZI
 
You can reach her at:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CGadouryAuthor
Blog: http://www.chantalgadoury.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chantalgadouryfans
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8059023.Chantal_Gadoury
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chantalgadouryauthor/
Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/Chantal-Gadoury/e/B00MTLD0P0/
Parliament House Press: http://www.parliamenthousepress.com/
Parliament House Press Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theparliamenthouse
 

A chat with Chantal Gadoury, author of the bestselling Allerleirauh.

On occasion of the upcoming release of Winter Dream, I had the awesome opportunity of being able to chat with one of my favourite writers – Chantal Gadoury. It has been some time since I have read Between the Sea and Stars (a Little Mermaid retelling), Allerleirauh and Blinding Night (Hades and Persephone retelling), and since I have loved the stories, the author’s take on them, adding her own twists and turns, her writing style basically, I am naturally very excited to read her upcoming book as well, which is a Nutcracker retelling!
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Amazon Best Selling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. Since graduation, she has published “The Songs in Our Hearts” and “The Songs We Remember,” with 48Fourteen Publishing, and “Allerleirauh,” “Between the Sea and Stars,” and “Blinding Night” with Parliament House Press. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today. Writing novels for Chantal has become a life-long dream come true! When she’s not writing, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of DD Iced Coffee, and watching Disney classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, Sister and furry-’brother’ Taran.
Chantal Gadoury Author
 
Here’s the synopsis for Winter Dream, before we get on with the questions!
This Christmas Eve… no creature was stirring…
Except, maybe, a mouse.
At long last, can true love break the Nutcracker’s curse?
For Clara Stahlbaum, this Christmas means the end of her youth. A daughter of the aristocracy, Clara is expected to give up her dreams of adventures and the extraordinary for more normal days as the wife of a cruel Viscount.
But when magical Uncle Drosselmeyer returns with his wondrous, dancing contraptions, and one…special gift for Clara, she is beckoned to the land of Winter Dream, where she is thrust into the greatest adventure of her wildest dreams. But will she be able to break the Nutcracker’s curse?
Uncle Drosselmeyer’s apprentice, Anton, is handsome as he is mysterious. But what is it about him Clara finds so alluring?
Winter Dream is a phenomenal retelling of The Nutcracker from the eyes of Clara Stahlbaum with all the magic of the Holiday season. If you loved S. Jae-Jones’ Wintersong, you’ll fall in love with this stunning tale of love, war, redemption, and Christmas magic.
Book Teaser Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMRGyNtnhZI
 

  1. What inspired you to write this exciting retelling of a widely famous tale?

It was actually the love I have for this tale that inspired me to write my own version. When I was a child, my Mom would take me to see the ballet, so I grew up completely loving the tale and the music. Last Christmas, I had just finished writing a novel, and was looking for another fairytale to write. And as I stared at the Christmas tree in our living room, it struck me – The Nutcracker.
 

  1. How long did the book take to write?

I started writing “Winter Dream” late November, early December. And I finished about mid-February. And that was just a rough draft. It’s taken up until recently – October – to finally have a finalized version of the story!
 

  1. Can you speak a bit more on the setting you have applied in the story?

Clara’s story in “WinterDream” takes place on Christmas Eve in St. Petersburg, Russia. I think many of us tend to associate the tale of the Nutcracker with Russia because of the historical connections they have together. The Nutcracker ballet debuted in Russia in the 1892 – though the story is more of a German tale, rather than heavily rooted in Russia. I had my story take place in Russia because of the original connection – and I had already had a story of mine (“Allerleirauh”) take place in a fictional village based in Germany.
 

  1. Can you perhaps tell us something more about any works in progress that we should keep an eye out for?

Well, after “WinterDream,” – I plan to keep my focus on a story that I’m writing with a talent debut author, Amanda Wright. We’re working on a Hansel and Gretel retelling called, “The Shrike & the Shadows.” Of course, I’ll be venturing back into the world of Lena and Soren with a sequel to the Lena Series, and also to the Underworld with Darce and Summer with a continuation to “Blinding Night.” But I also plan to take a bit of a break. After two years, I’ve published six books. I need a bit of time to relax and let my creative juices build back up again.
 

  1. When do you plan on releasing the next book?

Right now, I’m not really sure. You might see a book or two in 2019 – but I’m keeping myself without deadlines currently. I’m sure you’ll see something new from me within the next New Year!
 

  1. Do tell us about your favourite book; something that you go back to time and time again.

Lately, my favorite go-to books are the “A Court of Thorns and Roses” series – at least the first two. I often find myself going back to them if I want to read something that I know I’ll enjoy.
 

  1. Can you please give us a short summary about other books of yours? For those of us who have loved your writing and are hungry for more. (I personally have read and loved Allerleirauh, Between the Sea and Stars and also Blinding Night!)

Well, “Allerleirauh” is a retelling of an old Germany fairytale, about a Princess who must flee from her insane father – who insists upon marrying her. In the original story, the princess finds herself working as a scullery maid for a prince – but in my story, the prince takes her in and treats her as a guest – an equal – and helps her in healing from her traumatic past.
“Between the Sea and Stars” is a story about a merrow (or mermaid) named Lena who lives under the sea with her brother and blind father. A twist of unexpected and tragic turns causes Lena to have to escape to the surface and remain there as a human (with the help of a magic shell, tied to an old legend.) Lena meets new friends, and interesting foes – while trying to unravel the truth behind the shell and what happened to a legendary Queen who had once been killed by her human lover.
“Blinding Night” is a modern paranormal romance, tied to the Greek Myth of Persephone and Hades. Summer goes to Greece with her family, only to be separated from them through a tragic car accident. She’s faced by a man named Darce – who claims to be the Lord of the Underworld – Hades. After he brings to her the Underworld, she must unravel to the truth to her past lives, and her connection to him – before the myth of Persephone and Hades happens again.
I also have a contemporary dulogy – “The Songs in Our Hearts,” and its sequel, “The Songs We Remember.” In TSIOH – Charlie Blake insists that she doesn’t like Micah Jacobs. There’s just no way. But then she’s assigned to work on an English project with him – and it might have to involve kissing. As Charlie and Micah grow closer, Charlie has to learn to not listen to the opinions around her – and listen to her heart. In TSWR – Charlie and Micah’s story continues, but Charlie is also faced with a tragic family event, that tests her relationships with her family, her friends, and herself.
 

  1. What is it about these fairytales that attract you so? Why do you write these retellings?

I don’t know what it is about fairytales that attract me to them so much. I grew up on Disney, and my mom reading me fairytales. So they’re familiar, safe and comforting. And they offer me messages of hope. I think sometimes in the darkest of times – it’s the message of hope that we all must remember, and fairytales provide that. I like to write retellings, because then I get to make them the way I wish they could be – or deliver a message that I might have received in reading or watching a certain fairytale.
 

  1. Also, did you always plan on being a writer?

No, I didn’t always plan on being a writer. My “dream” job growing up always ranged. At first, I wanted to be the President of the United States. Then, a weather forecaster. A tornado chaser. An English Teacher. A Lawyer. A makeup artist. I even wanted to go to college for Musical Theater originally to be a Broadway singer. Writing was more of a “hobby,” and I never really considered a job coming from it until much later. Even now, writing is just a side job for me. (I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up lol)
 

  1. What tips would you give to aspiring fantasy writers?

Write for no one but yourself. Try to always make time for writing, but also – make time for you-time. Your brain needs time to rest. Research what you’re writing – don’t think that just because it’s fantasy, anything goes. Learn what you can about world building. Learn about character development. Ask others to read your writing. Don’t expect everyone to love your work – welcome criticism – it’s the only way you’ll get better. Don’t be married to your writing – things will always change. Have fun. But really, most importantly – write for only yourself. You can’t write a book, if you don’t love what you’re writing.
 
You can reach her at:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CGadouryAuthor
Blog: http://www.chantalgadoury.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chantalgadouryfans
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8059023.Chantal_Gadoury
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chantalgadouryauthor/
Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/Chantal-Gadoury/e/B00MTLD0P0/
Parliament House Press: http://www.parliamenthousepress.com/
Parliament House Press Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theparliamenthouse
 

An interaction with Devika Das about the upcoming release of the revised edition of her bestseller The Mind Game: Master your emotions to achieve success

The Mind Game: Master your emotions to achieve success is a self-help book by author Devika Das. With emphasis on emotional intelligence, stress and other related mental health issues, it has been widely read and deeply loved by its audience. It also been sold out in many occasions, the most recent of which include the NBT Imphal Book Fair, 2018. So on the 14th of June, Thursday, I had the opportunity to talk with Devika Das about the upcoming release of the revised edition of this book, coming July.
NS: Good afternoon, ma’am. Hope you’re having a great day.
DD: Good afternoon, yes, thank you. How are you doing?
NS: I’m doing well, ma’am thank you very much. I would like to say how  grateful I am for this opportunity.
DD: Of course, you’re welcome.
NS: Ma’am since we’re talking about the The Mind Game today, can you please tell me a bit about it?
DD: The Mind Game: Master your emotions to achieve success is a self-help book, stressing basically on emotional intelligence, one’s awareness about it and how this can help in tackling different situations one faces on a daily basis.
 
NS: What inspired you to write this book?
DD: I have come across many instances where people end their lives because of trivial reasons. And it affected me deeply, because the thought itself of ending your own life is so harsh- it’s cruel to your own self. The important thing here, is the reason behind the actions – why are you feeling like that? What is making you feel so pressurized that you think that suicide in the only solution to get rid of your problem? Why are you in that state of mind? All these questions made me very curious and played a major role in making me write the book.
NS: I’m sure a lot of people will benefit from this book ma’am.
DD: Yes, I have got a lot of positive feedback; many of my readers have read the book twice or thrice and love the tips I’ve provided. All of these tips are based on my personal experiences, as well as the scientific research I have done- talked with various psychologists and general people as well.
NS: Of course, I have seen two of my cousins commit suicide, and it’s unfortunate-
DD: I’m sorry to hear that.
NS: Thank you. So yes, we cannot deny its presence in society today- there are many people who do it- who think that suicide is only way.
DD: Yes, and with that view you lose any interest in life and that is something which is either due to self-created pressure or external, and sometimes both. So it is very necessary that people become aware and realize, as well as face the challenge. Suicide can never be the way out. That nobody except you, yourself can help you in tackling such situations and dealing with pressure.
NS: Can you please tell me, when this book came out?
DD: The first edition came out in October 2016 and the revised edition is coming out next month, i.e., July.
NS: I hope my followers will also love to give your book a read. I myself, having been affected from the consequences of suicide, in the family, feel very personally about mental health issues. And I know that so many people have been affected by it as well- either indirectly or directly- and so, your book will be a great help.
DD: Thank you so much.
NS: Well, thank you ma’am for this wonderful opportunity. Best wishes for the upcoming release; I will keep an eye out, myself!
DD: Thank you. Have a great day
NS: Have a good day!
 

An Interview with Mr. Saravana Kumar Murugan (author of the bestselling Coffe Date) on his new heartwarming book- Letters to my Son

Before I begin, I have to state how very lucky I was to have got this amazing opportunity to interact with this author, and how grateful I am to him for having given me a copy of Letters to my Son for review. During our entire interaction, (and not just for the interview), Mr. Murugan has been a very delightful person to talk to and share various tit-bits of information. So, without further ado, here goes our interview session, carried out over the internet.
An Interview with Mr. Saravana Kumar Murugan, author of the bestselling Coffee Date and Letters to my Son. (17 May 2018)
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  1. Where did the inspiration for Letters to my Son come from?

[Sarav]: First of all, a heartfelt thanks to you, Nayanika. It’s a pleasure to be interviewed by you. ‘Letters to My Son’ is all about love. The inspiration comes from my dreams. I am a big dreamer. I am also a good listener. I listen to conversations and I take inspiration from them. So, dreams, people and places I visit inspire me to write. And inspirations alone do not help; my biggest support system is my wife and mother. They shower unlimited love and support me to write better.
(Here’s my review of the book: Letters to my Son, Saravana Kumar Murugan, 2018)

  1. How long did it take you to write it?

[Sarav]: Don’t be surprised if I say I wrote Letters to My Son in a week and Coffee Date in eleven nights and 1 Saturday and 1 Sunday. I write at a decent speed. Last year I wrote 10,000 words in 24 hours during the NaNoWriMo month- my best till date.

  1. Did you always imagine you’d be a writer? Has it been a lifelong dream or something that just happened?

[Sarav]: To be honest, I started writing during my teenage. I started penning down poems and later wrote short stories and books. Writing is a passion and getting a book published is a dream. I am glad I am able to accomplish my dreams and follow my passion.

  1. What’s your favorite book and character? Has it, in any way affected your life or even you, as a person- your outlook and perspective etc.?

[Sarav]: On any given day, I can read “The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks”. Such is the love for the book. Of course, my favorites characters are Noah from The Notebook, Jason Bourne from Bourne Trilogy, and Harry Potter & Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series.
No- I’m what I am.

  1. Of course, the most obvious question- any advice for young upcoming writers- from the writing itself to publishing?

[Sarav]: Write, read and rewrite, because only practice can make you perfect. When you write, do listen to your heart, as it will help you write heart-touching stories instead of mere bestsellers.

  1. Can you please give us a short summary of other books of yours (for those of us who have loved your writing and are hungry for more)?

[Sarav]: That’s a nice question. Usually, people ask about future works blindly even if the author is not a debutant author. I do not think if I can be able to provide a summary of all books, but I love the list of the ones I am associated with.
Coffee Date: The Real Taste of Love – a romantic dosage of love.
Sixteen and Half: an exotic collection of short stories on various genres.
Love and Honey: a tiny collection of poems on lost love and painful tears.
The Writer’s Dream: From Draft to Bestseller – a self-help book.
Shade of Life book series (Editor): Anthology series of short stories and poems.
Contributing author of several anthologies including “Uff Ye Emotions 2”, “Timeless Love”, “A Little Chorus of Love”, among others.
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  1. Any future upcoming books we should keep a lookout for?

[Sarav]: Of course! Not just one… you can expect three books (Coffee Reads) in the month of May and June. I am supposed to complete the book “Are You Game” on a controversial topic by the end of April. However, due to professional commitments, I was not able to complete the book. I am working on it and I am hoping to get it published soon. It’s of the genre “Social Cause” and “Romance”. The other books I am working falls under the genre Self Help titled The Writer’s Dream: The Lifeline. (Book 2 of Writing Series) and the other is of genre “Romance” titled “Yet Another Love Story”. 
 
About the Author
01. Sarav - 1.JPG
Saravana Kumar Murugan goes with the pen name Someone is Special and Sarav. He is the author of the bestselling romantic novel, Coffee Date: The Real Taste of Love and the heart-warming book on father’s love, Letters to My Son. He has also written an exotic collection of short stories, Sixteen and Half, a tiny collection of poems on lost love and painful tears, Love and Honey, and a self-help book, The Writer’s Dream: From Draft to Bestseller. He is also the editor of Shades of Life series and a contributing author of several anthologies including “Uff Ye Emotions 2”, “Timeless Love”, “A Little Chorus of Love”, among others. He writes under a pen name “Someone is Special” at “Few Miles– shortlisted as one of the Top 12 Creative Blogs of India in 2014”, and the winner of more than 25 creative writing contests.
Born and raised in Chennai, Sarav lives in Bangalore, where does project management for an MNC. In nine years of IT life, he worked at a customer site in London, UK for a year and at a customer site in Hamburg, Germany for three years. Currently, he is performing the role of Windows 10 Deployment Project Manager for a farming customer.
Contact the Author

  • Social Media Platforms @IAMSARAVOFFICIAL (Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads)
  • Write to him at SARAV@IAMSARAV.COM
  • Website: https://iamsarav.com
  • Blog: https://blog.iamsarav.com