Fave Five Indie Authors – Week 3

1. Chicago’s Best by Katharine E. Hamilton – Kat Riesling spends her days serving up delicious treats with a side of sass at her beloved cafe. However, her life is turned upside down when she finds herself as the newest target of the city’s largest crime boss. Ian O’Dell, the newest detective on the Chicago police force, only wishes to serve and protect the quirky cafe owner. But as bullets fly and emotions tangle, he finds himself torn between what his heart wants and what his duty demands.

2. Raven’s Peak by Lincoln Cole – A quiet little mountain town is hiding a big problem. When the townsfolk of Raven’s Peak start acting crazy, Abigail Dressler is called upon to discover the root of the evil affecting people. She uncovers a demonic threat unlike any she’s ever faced and finds herself in a fight just to stay alive. Abigail rescues Haatim Arison from a terrifying fate and discovers that he has a family legacy in the supernatural that he knows nothing about. Now she’s forced to protect him, which is easy, but also to trust him if she wants to save the townsfolk of Raven’s Peak. Trust, however, is something hard to have for someone who grew up living on the knife’s edge of danger. Can they discover the cause of the town’s insanity and put a stop to it before it is too late?

3. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover – Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies. That’s what Sky Davis realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of their first encounter. Sky struggles to keep him at a distance, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. Unable to deny their intense connection, Sky finally caves to his unwavering pursuit. However, she soon discovers that Holder’s erratic and unpredictable behavior comes with a very good explanation. One that will ultimately test her faith in the hopeless boy she’s fallen in love with.

4. Last Chance by L.P. Dover – That’s all Luke Collins, local bad boy and motocross champion, has to not only find his redemption, but win back the girl he lost. He’ll stop at nothing to make her his, even if it means playing dirty. Lara Jacobs doesn’t want her heart broken again and refuses to give Luke a second chance. After he left her after their one night stand, she ran right into the arms of her close friend, Grayson Moore. He’s always loved her, and he’s determined to make her see he’s what she needs. However, in life nothing goes as planned and tragedy strikes. After a fatal accident nearly claims Lara’s life, she’s left inside a world she can’t remember. Her memories are gone, including those of the men vying for her heart. Grayson sees her loss as a possibility to forget her love for Luke, but Luke sees it as an opportunity to start over. All he wants is one last chance to show her that she’s the one he’s been in love with all along.

5. All My Love by Natalie Ann – All alone in the world, Jordyn Montgomery is desperately trying to find something about her lineage. With her life in flux, she packs everything up and heads for a new city labeled on a postcard in a mysterious package that she discovered after her mother’s death. Maybe she’d have more luck there, even if it was only a hunch. Drew Palmer has always been close to his sister. When she moved away, he’d thought he could handle it, only he couldn’t. It didn’t take much to convince his father—the only other immediate family he had remaining—to pack up and move close to her. Drew isn’t looking for love, or a relationship, just a good time. He’s young still, almost thirty. Plenty of time for that down the road. Except sometimes when you aren’t looking you find the one thing you never thought to search for.

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IF YOU ONLY KNEW ME by Divyata Rajaram


Divyata Rajaram
If You Only Knew Me is a story of friendship, passion and intrigue set in Dubai, arguably one of the world’s most exciting cities to live in.
Rupali, Anjali, Dipika, Sakina and Monica are five NRI women whose lives are glitzy and exciting as they flirt with high society within the charmed social circles frequented by the Dubai expat community. Beautiful homes, designer clothes, shoes, fast cars and a lifestyle that is envied by all, there is very little these women have not attained. Together they have also woven the closest of friendships and must rely on each other to stay on top.
Appearances are deceptive, though, and often the people you think you know the best, harbor secrets too dangerous to be shared. When tragedy befalls, the investigation that follows opens an ugly box of secrets that will test their friendship and find them struggling to make sense of the madness and deception surrounding them.
Who can they really trust anymore? How far must they go in their fight for survival?
How long will their friendship last once the masks have dropped and none can pretend any longer?

Read an excerpt from the book…
Dipika’s head was swimming as she sat in Tim Horton’s, Mall of the Emirates, waiting for Rupali to join her. The only reason she had even fixed up to meet her was that she knew her mother had called up Anjali who would have informed Rupali.
“Ha … I’ve crossed over to the dark side, Ma. Too late to return home again,” she thought. The black coffee she sipped did nothing to clear the confusion in her head.
Dipika pushed her limp, dank hair out of her eyes, struggling to make sense of the menu in front of her.
That bastard was stringing her along, she knew it. All his false promises meant nothing, she thought wearily while gazing at the menu.
She looked up to find Rupali rushing over to the table.
“Dips, darling, so good to see you,” said Rupali, trying to sound upbeat and cheerful. She almost recoiled as she hugged Dipika.
The stench of body odor and some other strange pungent aroma permeated the air around her.
Dipika looked awful; her usual dark circles worse than ever, hair dank and limp, and lips cracked and blistered. She never used makeup, but this was truly the worst Rupali had ever seen her look in a long while.
“Are you okay, babe?” she asked in a soft whisper. The answer seemed apparent – she was not.
Dipika made a superhuman effort to sound and act normal.
“I haven’t been too well, Rupa. That’s what I had called mom about. Hope she didn’t worry you girls. I’m sure it’s nothing serious. I just haven’t been sleeping much lately and it’s telling on my health.”
Rupali was sure that Dipika was depressed about her father’s upcoming death anniversary.
“Listen, baby … you are going through a tough emotional phase right now. It will get better, I promise. Meanwhile, we are all there for you, okay?” She hoped she sounded more confident than she felt.
Dipika nodded listlessly. Poor Rupali, such a good friend, always looking out for her. Dipika felt a million miles away from her right now.
They finished their coffee and made their way over to a few shops. Rupali could tell Dipika was having trouble walking and put it down to her mystery illness. Psychosomatic symptoms, probably, given her bouts of depression. All she could hope for was that whatever it was, it would clear up and her friend would get back to normal.
Dior, Valentino, Lanvin; there was truly no dearth of high-end brands in the latest styles in the Dubai malls. The girls finally agreed on a stunning Chanel dress, stark and beautiful, in black and white. When Rupali tried it on with the blue turquoise earrings the shop assistant provided, she loved what she saw in the mirror. The hunt for matching shoes took them to the Shoe District where even Dipika was seemingly revived by the stunning collection of Christian Louboutin. Rupa convinced her to pick up a pair of strappy stilettos in hot pink with a gold trim.
Rupali hesitated for a few seconds before charging her card. Sometimes she felt guilty about spending Rohit’s money. However, he had always told her that appearance meant everything – sleek, sophisticated and expensive clothes were his natural choice and, now, hers as well.
Finally, exhausted with their shopping, the girls headed to the parking lot where Rupali’s driver was waiting for them. She asked him to first drop Dipika off at her apartment on Sheikh Zayed Road before heading to her own home.
On her way home, she quickly called up Anjali.

Grab your copy @
About the author
Divyata Rajaram has been living and working in Dubai for the past fifteen years. An experienced financial service professional, she is also an accomplished singer of Hindustani classical as well as western music. If You Only Knew Me is her first novel based on NRI women living in the UAE, and offers a glimpse into their lives and the challenges they face in a foreign land.
An avid reader of crime fiction, Divyata lives with her husband, their daughter and a beautiful dog in Dubai.      


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3 Peaks of Happiness by AiR

Book Info:

Publisher: AiR
Non-Fiction / Self Help
Format: Paperback
Pages: 167


Book Blurb:
The whole world is seeking happiness. Who doesn’t want to be happy? But is everyone happy? Discover the most fulfilling journey to bliss and ultimate everlasting happiness.
There are three peaks of happiness. Most of humanity lives and dies on the first peak, being glad and being sad, experiencing joy and sorrow like a yo-yo.

Twenty percent of humanity is fortunate to live a life of contentment on the Second Peak of Happiness that offers tremendous joy and peace.

A small fraction of humanity goes on a quest for the third peak. The Third Peak not only gives one eternal bliss, everlasting joy, and peace, but also gives one freedom from problems, worries, and pain!

This book is a personal experience of such a traveler who climbed all the three peaks. He shares his journey and shows you the way to the Third and Ultimate Peak of Happiness.
“You can be as happy as you want to be. True Happiness, Ultimate Bliss lies beyond a pursuit of Pleasure and Peace. It is experienced by those who Discover the Purpose of Life!”

Read an Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Happiness is a Journey
The whole world is seeking happiness. In fact, it seems like
we are all on an eternal journey to destination happiness. Yes, happiness is a
journey, but not many people know that it is the path itself. You cannot get
happiness, but you can be happy. While there is no one on earth who doesn’t
seek this treasure, there are only a few who truly understand what happiness
Do you know that you
can choose to be happy or unhappy? Happiness doesn’t just happen; it is a
choice you make
”  -RVM
What is Happiness?
  Happiness is a state of mind. It’s a state of
joy, bliss and cheer. It is an emotion- energy in motion- that makes one glad,
just as unhappiness is an emotion, that makes one sad. A happy person is joyous
and he smiles and laughs just as unhappy person frowns and cries. We feel happy
and it shows. Happiness radiates through cheerfulness and enthusiasm. Although
happiness may be a common word, it is often quite tricky to define or explain
Everyone wants to be happy
doesn’t want to be happy? Everybody on earth wants happiness, whether one is a
baby or an adult, be it man or a woman, Indian or American, black or white, or
rich or poor, who doesn’t want to be happy? Everybody alive on this planet
seeks happiness. Not just human being, it seems even animals wants to be happy.
We see that dogs wag its tail in joy, birds fly in the sky, fish swirl in the
water, and the peacock open their wings to dance in bliss. Don’t you think they
all seek happiness too? Everybody wants to be happy.
you were to ask different people around the globe, what they are seeking, you
would get different answers from each one. But if you further ask them, why
they are seeking it, you would get a common answer from all- “Happiness”. The
goal of life is happiness. Everyone wants to be happy, and people do different
things to achieve this one objective. To a businessman, a successful business
brings happiness. To artists, it may be a creative product that is born out of
their imagination. A student may be happy with excellence in exams, just as a
politicians is blissful on winning an election. We all do different things, but
whatever we do, the goal is one: We all want to be happy!
If you have not learnt anything, but have
learnt one thing that the goal of life is to be happy, you have learnt
” – RVM


About the Author:
AiR – Atman in Ravi, or the Soul in Ravi, is an embodied soul whose only mission in life is to realize the Truth and help people realize the Truth. 
He was born on October 15, 1966 in Bangalore, as Ravi V. Melwani. At a very young age, he mastered the craft of business and became a very successful businessman who revolutionized retailing in India with the stores Kids Kemp, Big Kids Kemp, and Kemp Fort. After making millions, he realized that life is not just about making money. He shut down his business at the age of 40, transformed his life to RVM living by the RVM philosophy – Rejoice, Value Life, and Make a Difference. He started doing H.I.S. work – Humanitarian, Inspirational and Spiritual work. His mission was to “Make a Difference” in this world before his journey was over.

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I’m Old, and I’m Proud By Cynthia Adina Kirkwood

An elderly relative from Belize visited my family in New York when I was 4 years’ old. By example, my parents taught me to respect old people, even revere them. But this relative seemed ancient to me. She looked older than anyone I had ever seen in my young life. On her face, the wrinkles had wrinkles.

“I look old, don’t I,” she asked unabashedly. I thought it, but I wouldn’t dare say it.

She didn’t give me a chance to answer her question.

“You’re going to get old someday,” she said.

I screamed inside myself: “Maybe. But I’ll never look like you.”

She said, “You’ll look just like me.”

She must have been at least 100. What a blessing it would be to live that old.

Now, I accept the fact that I am old. And, what’s more, I am proud to be old. When I was in my 50s, I wrote about buying and working land in Portugal. I described myself as defying age. Why should I defy age? Definitely, I was trying to prove something to other people. Now, I am comfortable with having nothing to prove to others.

I am embracing my age.

At this point in my life, I don’t have to please anyone but myself. Let me repeat: I don’t have to please anyone but myself. This is liberating.

In my novel, Turn On, Tune Out, the protagonist, Angelica Morgan, is 30 years’ old. She is a well-traveled, well-read woman who composes music. Angelica is on her way to being accomplished, but she is not there yet. Even though she is an independent person, she is still young enough to want to please people. Because of this desire, Angelica will make some big mistakes, mistakes which happen after the book’s ending.

Recently, my teenaged son told me that I am judgemental of people. At first, I became defensive. And then, I realized that I have had a lot of experience with a lot of people. In the past, I ignored my intuition and often gave people the benefit of the doubt. I’m less likely to do that now. I can see how that would seem that I am judgemental. But the truth is that I just listen to and trust myself now.

When I have begun to say that I am old in conversation with friends and family, they barely let me get the words out of my mouth before telling me that I don’t look my age.

“Sixty is the new 50,” they chime in.

I’m insisting now on being given my due. I’ve earned my age. Please don’t try to snatch the years away. All of my life’s joys and sadness contribute to making me whom I am now.

I’m happy to be me.

The best thing about being a writer is being wholly and truly me. . . at any age.

Who Should Read Turn On, Tune Out

Artists are essential for our spiritual survival. If you believe this, then this novel is for you. As readers reclaim their belief in their freedom to think, I hope that they will appreciate composers and musicians and painters and sculptors and actors and writers even more. And if they are artists, I hope that they will be inspired to create even more.

About the Author : I am old enough to forget some of my work, writing, and educational experiences for my CV. Born and raised in New York City, I now live in rural Portugal. Turn On, Tune Out is my third novel.

About the Guest Post: Since finishing Turn On, Tune Out, I seem to be going through an intense period of personal revelation. It could be because writing fiction is writing about oneself. Or it could be my age.


Amazon.in (e-book)

Amazon.com (e-book and paperback)

Amazon.uk (e-book and paperback)


Author Website



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Coffee Conversations with Dipali

Right now, at this very moment, the world of social media is as busy as it’s ever been. To no surprise, the increasingly large volume of posts, tweets, pins and stories brings with it a lot of noise and fun.

In an effort to help others find the real value and connect with those creating it, yours truly Novemberschild has put together a new series on the blog – featuring some of the interesting and famous faces of Social Media who are really my close and very good friends.

This week’s featured interview is DIPALI

In her words –After working as a fashion designer for eight years I gave it up to pursue my passion for travelling and writing. My blog “Spoons and Sneakers” is an IFBA winner and journals my experiences, feelings and my opinions as a lover of food and the places I travel to quench my thirst for wanderlust.

Let’s get into it.

Novemberschild: What inspired you to start your blog?

Dipali:  Since Dad was in the Army we lived in different parts of the country. As a result, the travel bug bit me early in life. My husband is an avid traveller too and whenever possible we head out. Each place has its own cuisine and we enjoy trying the local foods wherever we go. The blog provides a platform to document our travel and food stories and that is how it came into being.

Novemberschild: Have you met anyone interesting/famous on your blogging journey?

Dipali: I have met very interesting people in my blogging journey. I had the opportunity of taking Arun Kapil, a well known and highly respected chef from Ireland on an Old Delhi food tour when he was in Delhi. Constant interactions with stalwarts from different genres have helped me enhance my understanding of blogging as a medium to reach out to an audience. It’s been a pleasure to interact and learn from stalwarts like Kalyan Karmakar and Marryam Reshii and historians as Rana Safvi and Vikramjit S.Rooprai, all of whom I deeply respect. Anindya and Madhushree (Pikturenama), Purunendu (Shadows Galore) and Mehul Gohil are well known in their respective fields of food and travel and I continue to have interesting conversations with them about these topics.

Novemberschild: Who is your fashion icon?

Dipali: I do not have any fashion icon. I have always had my own personal style that defines me.

Novemberschild: Do you time your breakfast, lunch & dinner or eat when you are hungry?

Dipali:  I maintain timings for breakfast, lunch and dinner as much as possible. I have a weakness for sweets and these I can eat anytime.

Novemberschild: If you could just banish any one food, from the earth, what would it be?

Dipali: I would never miss padwal (snake gourd) if it vanished from the surface of the earth.

Novemberschild: What’s the one super power wish you had?

Dipali: I wish I could fly. This superpower would take me to all the places I want to see.

Novemberschild: What makes you the happiest while traveling?

Dipali: Travelling is a perfect catalyst for happiness. Experiencing the world, different cultures, people and food all make me happy.

Novemberschild: What one beauty item you cannot let go no matter where you are?

Dipali:  I cannot do without my Kohl.

Novemberschild: If you could write about anything what would it be about?

Dipali: I would like to write a gruesome murder mystery. 

Novemberschild: What are your most frequently asked questions?

Dipali: “Have you started making money out of blogging?” is the question I am most frequently asked. 

Stay up to date with Dipali on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Blog 

Thank you Dipali

If you wish to be featured in this series, you can drop me an email or get in touch on Twitter. I shall be really happy to make you part of this. You don’t have to be a blogger/writer/reader, but make sure you are an awesome personality.

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Has there been a major shift in the taste of the Hindi film audience?


Every society changes with time and India is no different. As any art form is a mirror of the society we live in, it is obvious that it will also undergo change from time to time. The same is the case with Hindi cinema.

The change of societal mindset has brought a change in the perspective and ideologies of the audience and this is reflected in the kind of unconventional films we have been witnessing since last decade or so. The arrival of multiplexes is also considered a boon for such films.

Hence, a lot of Hindi film fanatics and film experts have been making claims that there has been a massive change in the taste of the audience in today’s modern times.

But how true is it? Has there been a major shift in the taste of the audience? Have people come out of the obsession of superstars and commercial factors and are willingly accepting content driven cinema even if it has no big stars?

There is no denying that unconventional subjects are gaining acceptance since last 8 to 10 years or so. A decade ago nobody would have imagined that subjects like Barfi! (2012), Vicky Donor (2012), Queen (2014), Kahaani (2012), Newton (2017), Tumhari Sulu (2017), October (2018), etc, would succeed at the box office. In fact, hardly any producer would have even agreed to finance such scripts.

But at the same time, a large majority of the audience still prefers the age-old hero-centric films with commercial factors. If we look at 2017 and 2018, the biggest business is still brought by films like Judwaa 2, Golmaal Again, Tiger Zinda Hai and Baaghi 2.

During the same period, the unconventional films with no big stars that received acclaim include, Hindi Medium, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Newton, Tumhari Sulu, The Ghazi Attack, Anaarkali Of Aaraah and Qarib Qarib Singlle.

Here’s the India box office comparison of both categories of films (numbers derived from BoxOfficeIndia.com):

Judwaa 2 132 crore
Golmaal Again 205 crore
Tiger Zinda Hai 339 crore
Baaghi 2 160 crore (still counting)


Hindi Medium 63 crore
Bareilly Ki Barfi 34 crore
Shubh Mangal Saavdhan 42 crore
Newton 22 crore
Tumhari Sulu 33 crore
The Ghazi Attack 20 crore
Anaarkali Of Aaraah 1.5 crore (!!!)
Qarib Qarib Singlle 16 crore
Hichki 44 crore

This indicates that the masses or the large chunk of the audience is unfazed by the unconventional and novel subjects. It is only films with big stars and commercial factors that are still pulling them to theaters. That even a flop like Tubelight goes onto score 114 crore in India alone just because it had Salman Khan speaks volumes about the mindset of a large majority of audience.

In other words, there is a huge division among the audience in terms of the kind of films they prefer. Interestingly, both sections enjoy Hindi or Bollywood films. However, they vastly disagree in their choices of films.

Moreover, this division is a byproduct of the massive change in the mindset of people from urban cities and smaller towns or villages. After all, Hindi cinema audience comprises of people from all parts of India. The aforementioned unconventional films have found acceptance mostly only in urban cities like Mumbai and Delhi.

On the other hand, the big hits are the ones that have received thumbs up even from semi-urban or rural India. This chunk of audience still prefers desi entertainers where the word ‘actor’ is replaced by ‘hero’ and ‘heroine’; the former being more important that latter.

The single most factors relevant to them are the ‘hero’ or the male actor. It is fine if the girl is shown to be dumb and he stalks her in the name of love, makes it look as if she needs his constant protection and bashes up baddies like killing mosquitoes; something the hero has been doing since ages.

This also explains why the dubbed versions of the regressive south Indian films are so popular on TV in non-south regions, especially small towns and villages. So, obviously, films with female protagonists or central characters (Queen or Kahaani) don’t work well with this section of the audience.

The moral of the story is that there is still some way to go before we can claim that there has been a major shift in the mindset of the Hindi film audience.


By Keyur Seta 

I am a senior film journalist working with Cinestaan.com in Mumbai. I am born and brought up here and I have no native place. I live and breathe Hindi and, since a decade, Marathi cinema. I feel fortunate to have been working in this field as I am seriously not interested in any other work even if it pays me more. Other than this, I am just an ordinary person who prefers only simple joys of life. I am like a face in the crowd.

Social media links:

FB profile: https://www.facebook.com/keyur.seta

FB blog page: https://www.facebook.com/commonmanspeaks.keyurseta/

Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/keyurhere

Instagram handle: mumbaithroughmyeyes

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