No Safe Zone by Adite Banerjie




Qiara Rana will do anything to save her mentor and their non-government organization from ruin. Even if it means visiting the city she had vowed never to return to. But within a few hours of landing in New Delhi, she is being chased by a gunman and is a potential suspect in the murder of a high-profile businessman. 
The only person she can turn to for help is Kabir Shorey, the man who stood her up ten years ago. Past and present collide in a deadly plot of crime and greed that moves from the cosmopolitan streets of Delhi to the bazaars and villages of Rajasthan. 

Excerpt from #NSZ


Kabir couldn’t take his eyes off the game in progress. The sight of the polo players astride their horses, moving as a seamless entity, while steering the ball away from their opponents made him restless. He hadn’t ridden a horse or held a polo club in his hands for years. He had to use all his self-control to stop himself from rushing on to the field, pulling down one of the players and laying claim to his horse.
The memories came galloping back from the deepest recesses of his mind—Chetak with the brilliant white star in the middle of his forehead. What a dream team they had made. Chetak could anticipate his every move on the polo field even before he could think of it. They had never lost a game, making their perfectly matched combination the envy of every player in Rajasthan. If only they hadn’t been such a success on the polo turf…maybe things would have been different. Kabir’s heart burnt with longing and regret and the emotions bubbled within him like a dormant volcano beginning to stir up again.
Taking a deep, self-sustaining breath he raised his telephoto-lens equipped camera to his eyes, more to hide the dampness in his eyes. He focused on the spectators stand as he tried to reorient himself to his mission. He was here to get information on Ranveer Khanna, a known polo aficionado. It was the final day of the annual championships hosted by the Army Polo Club and Khanna was bound to show up.
Suddenly, two men appeared in the camera’s view finder. One of them was definitely Khanna while the other was a taller, stockily built man in his mid-twenties.
Kabir snapped a few pictures in quick succession. The younger man seemed to be agitated and was waving his finger threateningly at Khanna. He also didn’t quite fit the typical characteristics of a polo enthusiast. His attire was a little shabbier than what the other patrons of the club sported at such an elite affair. Perhaps, he was a chauffeur or a helper? His attitude though was far from servile. In fact, Khanna looked a trifle intimidated. After a couple of minutes, Khanna said something and turned to go inside the club.
Kabir took a few more random shots as he saw a waiter approach Khanna and say a few words to him.
Just at that moment Kabir’s cell phone beeped in his shirt pocket. It was Zayed—his new partner! Smirking at the thought, Kabir answered the call.
“Our man is here. Found out from the concierge, Khanna has recently acquired two stallions and is also a patron of a polo team in Argentina. It seems like he is either partnering with some other loaded investors or is a front for them.”
He waited to hear out Zayed’s response and swallowed the oath that sprang to his lips. “Zayed, if you already knew it, why you didn’t tell me?” Seconds later Kabir burst out, “Don’t give me that bullcrap. You and I are supposed to be on the same team, remember? If you had any doubts about my capabilities you should have spoken up at the meeting. If we have to work together, we share information, got it?”
Kabir felt his blood pressure rise up a notch as Zayed disgorged some more intel. Apparently, the NCA had informed him that Girls Rock! might be a money laundering front for Khanna.
“Someone from Girls Rock! is supposed to meet—hello? Are you there?”
Kabir cursed as he checked the screen of his phone to find the network signal had dropped. Moving away from the bleachers, he walked towards the club, trying to reach Zayed. He paced around a bit outside the entrance, waiting for the network signal to show up. Not even one blasted green light. He stormed into the club house in search of a landline phone. What else was Zayed not telling him? Clearly, Zayed’s reputation of not being a team player was quite accurate. It seemed like he needed to lay down some ground rules with his partner soon or else this investigation was doomed.
Scanning the lounge area, he spotted Khanna talking to a woman whose back was turned to him. After a few seconds, he saw her get up and follow Khanna out.
Kabir’s glance froze on the woman. She was petite, with the same china-doll-like figure, the same sexy gait, the same sway to her hips that made his heart pump harder. He raised the camera to his eyes, zooming in on her face to get a closer look but she was looking away. Nevertheless, he got a couple of shots before she disappeared down the corridor towards the inner sanctum of the club.
Was it her? Watching a polo match after all these years had sent his mind into throwback mode. He must be hallucinating! Get real, Kabir! 

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About the author

Adite Banerjie discovered the wonderful world of books at an early age which sparked her interest in writing. After a fulfilling and exciting career as a business journalist she turned her attention to fiction. Her latest book is a romantic-thriller No Safe Zone, published by Harper Collins India. She has penned two books for Mills & Boon (The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal and Trouble Has a New Name) and written several screenplays. When she is not grappling with her current work-in-progress, she enjoys spending time with her writer husband and watching back-to-back movies. 

Media Mentions:

Click Here to read the article in The Hindu Metroplus

Click Here to read a book review of No Safe Zone in Millennium Post

Click Here to read the article in The Big Thrill magazine

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All The Way by Jatin Kuberkar


Jatin Kuberkar
Twelve people agree to an idea of running a shared transport service from a common residential locality to their out-of-civilisation office campus. Twelve different minds with equally diverse personalities gel with each other to fulfil a common need. At first, the members collide on mutual interests, timings, priorities and personal discipline, but in the course of their journey, they become best friends, make long-lasting relationships, mentor and help each other on various mundane matters. The journey goes on fine until one day some members try to dictate terms over the group. The rift widens with each passing day, the tension surmounts and finally all hell breaks loose… Will the journey continue? Fasten your seatbelts for the journey is about to begin…
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Take an ounce full of imagination and a scoop of humour. Mix them well. Now put a few teaspoons of feelings and emotions and simmer until it smells good. Add spices for taste. Put the mixture on the platter of dreams and garnish it with a few peanuts of desires and some herbs of passion – that’s all it takes to be Jatin Kuberkar. Jatin is a software engineer by day and a passionate writer by night. When not tangled in software codes, Jatin likes to express his inspirations in the form of poetry, short stories, novels and essays.
He lives in Hyderabad and adorns polymorphic forms in his personal life as a son, a husband, a father, a friend, a mentor, an observer, a criticand the list goes on… He is an ardent lover of Hyderabadi biryani and is a worshipper of chaai. If granted a boon, Jatin would love to learn magic from Hogwarts and fly around on a broom stick. 
Jatin is the author of two other books. Rainbow Dreams, a collection of poetry and While I Was Waiting, a collection of short stories. This is Jatin’s third book.

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Fighting for Tara

Sunanda J. Chatterjee
How far will a mother go to save her child?
“I have no use for a baby girl. Get rid of her tonight!” He towered over her as she cringed in fear.
But Hansa, a thirteen-year-old child-bride in rural India, refuses to remain a victim of the oppressive society where a female child is an unwanted burden. Instead of drowning her baby, Hansa escapes from her village with three-month-old Tara.
Hansa soon discovers that life as a teenage mother is fraught with danger. But a single lie opens the door to a promising opportunity far from home.
Just seven years later, Hansa finds herself fighting for Tara’s life once more, this time in an American court, with a woman she calls ‘Mother.’
Will the lie upon which Hansa built her life, defeat its own purpose? How can she succeed when no one believes the truth? 
A story of two mothers, two daughters and a fight to save a child, Fighting for Tara explores the depth of love and motherhood.
Read an excerpt of #FFT here:


The soft light of the lantern flickered, casting a dim golden glow in the tiny hut, as shadows danced on its windowless mud walls. Thirteen-year-old Hansa squatted on the floor beside a metal bucket and stared at the glimmering water, dreading the task before her. Her baby whimpered on the floor, struggling in the hand-sewn cloth blanket. Beside the door stood the terracotta urn that held the ashes of her husband.
Hansa heard the grating snores of her drunken brother-in-law Baldev, soon to be her husband, as he slept outside on the wood-framed coir cot in the moonless night. She shuddered.
Just an hour ago, Baldev had yelled at her. “I have no use for a baby girl. Get rid of her tonight!” He towered over her as she cringed in fear.
She’d begged him. “I can’t do it!”
That’s when he’d slapped her. No one had ever hit her before… not even her elderly husband.
Hansa touched her cheek, which still stung from the humiliation and fear.
She doubted her courage to extinguish the baby’s life. Squeezing her eyes shut, she took a deep breath, hoping that dawn would bring her luck.
Tomorrow morning Hansa would travel with Baldev and all the goats they could load into his bullock-cart, and leave the village forever. She would go to a distant land, become Baldev’s second wife, learn the household chores from his first wife, and bear him male heirs… Hansa shivered, apprehensive about her future.
But before her new life could begin, she and Baldev would take a detour to the river to disperse her husband’s ashes and discard her beautiful daughter’s body.
Somewhere deep in her heart, Hansa knew none of this was fair. It wasn’t fair that in a country with a rich heritage of brave queens, young girls were still forced into marriage, sometimes to men older than their grandfathers. It wasn’t fair that she’d been born to poor parents in rural Rajasthan, a state rife with archaic traditions. It wasn’t fair that she had matured early and was given to sixty-year old Gyanchand Rathore from the neighboring village of Dharni, whose first wife and child had died in a fire.
She turned her face away from the bucket, her heart refusing to carry out Baldev’s orders just yet. A shiver ran through her body as she tried not to imagine life without her baby. Think of something else! Think about Gyani!
Gyani’s absence filled Hansa with a dark desolation, a sense of doom, as if his death itself was a living, breathing, overbearing entity.
She thought of his kind eyes, his missing teeth and graying beard, the massive orange turban which she’d tied for him every morning, and the long kurta he wore, which never looked clean no matter how many times she washed it…
But Gyani was gone. Two nights ago, his heart had stopped beating in his sleep, while she slept under the same blanket, her baby right beside her. When she awoke at dawn to the rooster’s call, she had found his cold still body. She shuddered to think she had slept with a corpse, oblivious, in the comfort of her own youthful warmth. Her first encounter with death. And if she did as Baldev asked, there would be another. Tonight.
Gyani’s death had stunned her, and grief hadn’t sunk in. She had not wept for his departed soul, and her neighbor warned her that if she didn’t mourn his passing, she would never move on. But did Hansa really want to move on into a future that included Baldev but excluded her baby?
According to the custom of karewa, Hansa knew that a young widow would be married off to her brother-in-law, so that the money remained in the family. Her neighbor had told her it was her kismet, her fate.
Hansa was brought up not to challenge the norms of society, but to follow them. If the combined wisdom of her ancestors had determined that she should move to Baldev’s village and begin a new life, who was she to argue? She had no family left, no other place to go.
Baldev choked on his spit and coughed outside, jarring the stillness of the night, reminding her of the task ahead.
But while it was her duty to follow Baldev’s orders, she would trade the impending task for eternal damnation.
Her neighbor had said that killing a baby was an unforgivable sin, even though she’d herself drowned two of her daughters the day they were born. Women are the form of Goddess, she’d said, crying at the fate of her own rotten soul.
But it was a matter of survival. Produce a male heir or be turned out on the streets to beg. A female child was a burden. Even Hansa knew that; her father had reminded her of that every day of her life.
That prejudice was her reality.
Hansa was terrified for her own soul, but Baldev said, “A mother can’t be a sinner if she takes a life she brought into this world.” And then he had gone and got drunk on tharra.
Gyani had been unlike most men in the village. He had allowed her to keep the baby, to give her a name. The baby’s eyes glittered like stars on a moonless night.
She called her Tara. Star.
Hansa looked at her baby with pride and with remorse, as every fiber of her being protested, and her stomach turned and her throat tightened.
Outside, Baldev stirred.
Time was running out.
Tara whimpered again, and Hansa turned to look at her chubby fists cycling in the still air, throwing outsized shadows on the walls. Hansa’s hands shook and her mouth turned dry. She bit her lip, forcing herself to focus on the imminent task.
The water in the bucket shimmered black and gold, reflecting the dancing flame of the lantern, mesmerizing, inviting. Water, the giver of life…


She made up her mind. It was now or never.

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About the author

Freelance author, blogger, and ex-Indian Air Force physician Sunanda Joshi Chatterjee completed her graduate studies in Los Angeles, where she is a practicing pathologist. While medicine is her profession, writing is her passion. When she’s not at the microscope making diagnoses, she loves to write fiction. Her life experiences have taught her that no matter how different people are, their desires, fears, and challenges remain the same.


Her themes include romantic sagas, family dramas, immigrant experience, women’s issues, medicine, and spirituality. She loves extraordinary love stories and heartwarming tales of duty and passion. Her short stories have appeared in and




She grew up in Bhilai, India, and lives in Arcadia, California with her husband and two wonderful children. In her free time, she paints, reads, sings, goes on long walks, and binge-watches TV crime dramas.


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The Smitten Husband by Sundari Venkatraman

Marriages Made in India

Book #1
Sundari Venkatraman

Ram Maheshwari is a successful jewellery designer who has a huge showroom on MI Road, Jaipur. He’s tall, dark, handsome and a billionaire to boot. He’s twenty-nine and falls in with his parents’ wishes when they try to arrange his marriage.
The lovely, stormy-eyed Sapna Purohit is from Pushkar. She’s managed to finish school and makes a living by doing mehendi designs during weddings. She’s always dreamt of a Prince on a white horse, sweeping her off her feet.
One look into Sapna’s grey eyes and Ram is lost. Only, Sapna’s unable to see her Prince in Ram. Being from a poor family, she has no choice but to go along with the tide when the Maheshwaris offer to bear all expenses of the wedding.
Does that mean that the feisty Sapna is all set to accept Ram as her husband? She puts forth a condition, after the wedding. Will The Smitten Husband agree to it?
*MARRIAGES MADE IN INDIA is a five-novella series that revolves around the characters you have met in The Runaway Bridegroom.
Read an excerpt…
“Good morning!” said a sleepy voice. “What are you doing so far away?” called out Ram, before reaching out with a long arm to pull her to him.
A startled Sapna gave him a shocked look that was lost on her husband, whose eyes were still closed. His arms went around her waist like steel bands, his breath hot against her cheek. “Sapna…” he whispered in her ear as his hard lips pressed into her petal soft cheek.
Sapna tried to pull out of his arms, only to have them pull her closer. Her breasts were flattened against his solid chest. Her traitorous body seemed to enjoy the pressure as her nipples perked up. She did her best to hold on to the control that was slipping fast.
“Ram,” she called out loudly, hoping to wake him up. She couldn’t free her arms that were trapped against her own body, as he held her in a crushing grip. His mouth was busy exploring her face, moving inexorably towards her lips. His eyes continued to remain closed, while his hands moved restlessly at her waist. “Ram…” her voice came out in a whisper, as she felt his tongue trace the edge of her lips. Tortured, she made the final move to capture his roving lips, breaking free her hands to hold his face steady.
“Sapna…” sighed Ram, kissing her gently, his tongue first tracing her upper lip and then her lower one. He gently bit the luscious curve. Sapna instinctively opened her mouth to let him explore the velvety cavern with his tongue. Shyly, her tongue reached out to mate with his, making Ram groan with need.
His hands moved restlessly on her body, her nightie bunching up. His muscular legs tangled with her slim ones, making her sigh with pleasure as his hard and hairy skin brushed against her soft and silky one. His hands cupped her lush bottom, caressing it lovingly.
Sapna suddenly became aware of his hardness pressed against her belly. Coming to her senses, she turned her face away, breaking the kiss. “No Ram.”
His wet lips continued to caress her, his tongue exploring her shell-like ear. Even as her heart thudded loudly, Sapna pushed against him. “Ram, please, will you stop it?”
His black eyes opened a slit, desire and slumber at war in them. “Sapna?” If he hadn’t been fully awake before, he was now, as he stared at her lovely face that was so close to his. He slowly recalled what had been occurring over the past few minutes. He had at first thought he was dreaming about kissing the luscious woman in his arms. How had she landed there in the first place?
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About The Author
The Smitten Husband is the eighth book authored by Sundari Venkatraman. This is a hot romance and is Book #1 of the 5-novella series titled Marriages Made in India. Other published novels by the author are The Malhotra Bride, Meghna, The Runaway Bridegroom, The Madras Affair and An Autograph for Anjali—all romances. She also has a collection of romantic short stories called Matches Made in Heaven; and a collection of human interest stories called Tales of Sunshine. All of Sundari Venkatraman’s books have been on Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers in India, USA, UK & Australia many times over.

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The Secret of Son’s God by Usha Narayanan

Usha Narayanan


‘The seas will devour the glorious city of Dwaraka. People will forget your name and your Gita. May the world perish! May the world perish!’

With this cruel curse on Krishna, Queen Gandhari plunges mankind into the unspeakable evil of the Kali Yuga. 
It is up to Pradyumna to try and reverse the dire prediction. To journey into terrifying realms, confront Yama and Shiva, and to vanquish the Kali demon. In order to do so, he must shed all that holds a mortal back—his arrogance, his fears, his baser instincts… He must lead his people out of the swirling vortex of greed, disease and misery. And there is one powerful weapon still…the secret surrounding Pradyumna’s origin.  
Will he uncover it in time to fight off the cataclysm? 
In the answer lies the destiny of all humanity! 
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About the author
Usha Narayanan had a successful career in advertising, radio and corporate communications before becoming a full-time writer. She is the author of The Madras Mangler, a suspense thriller, and Love, Lies and Layoffs, a light-hearted office romance. The Secret of God’s Son is the sequel to her bestselling book, Pradyumna: Son of Krishna, which was published in July 2015. 
When she’s not juggling travel, writing and interviews, Usha reads everything from thrillers to romances, provided her cat isn’t fast asleep on her Kindle. She would love to hear from her readers here: 
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Media mentions

Praise for Pradyumna: Son of Krishna
Usha Narayanan has taken a quantum leap . . . to the outright spine-tingling narrative from the leaves of a time before. This book is Indian writing coming of ageFemina
Like the best of our mythological tales, this too, is a multilayered one . . .There is valour, there is cowardice, there is glory, there is shame, there is sex, lies and deceptionThe Hindu
This engrossing tale takes readers on a mythological sagaTimes of India
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METRO DIARIES 2 by Namrata.

About the Book:

Give life another chance. Laugh a little longer. let go of your past. Hold onto what you love. In short LIVE rather than just exist!

Some told, some untold, some heard and some unheard – this collection of stories will make you look at life in a different light and make you ponder over its definition of it till now.

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Quotes from Metro Diaries 2:

All the money his parents earned sadly could never buy a moment’s peace for any of them as they kept drifting away like lost constellations into the space. Together they surely were in a way, but light years away in every manner. There was absolutely no connection between them. They just were like every other thing that existed in the universe… the oceans, the sky, the earth, the stars, the sun and the moon. You couldn’t change anything about them even if you didn’t like the way they were. – The Last Kiss (Metro Diaries Part 2)

You are enough in everything and anything you do in this world. Others are here to serve as a distraction so that they reach their goals before yours and become winners. – The Last Kiss (Metro Diaries Part 2)

At times in life we always see what we are being shown and not what lies behind that cloak of disguise. We believe all that comes our way without doubting that there could be a trick or maybe just a hallucination. – Charlatan (Metro Diaries Part 2)

Life they say is a like a jigsaw puzzle and we are all like those pieces trying to find where we fit in. – Labour of Love (Metro Diaries Part 2)

Perhaps she had forgotten the thumb rule for survival here. There is nothing called yours here.  No will, no desire, no dreams, no ambitions….nothing. Not even your name. – The Plummet (Metro Diaries Part 2)

What else do you do when you are a teenager? Life seems to be one long party full of fun and frolic with your best friends all around. You just know your world is full of rainbow colours; sweetness of chocolates filling it and abundant beautiful dresses to doll you up.  Love and relationships take a different meaning altogether now making you look at everything around including yourself in newer light. – Love v/s hate (Metro Diaries Part 2)

I always felt I knew what I wanted in life. But today I realized how wrong I was. I was chasing mirages as the reality kept going away from me and now I am left with nothing in hand – Rags to Riches(Metro Diaries Part 2)

People make memories and then reach a phase where memories make people! – Mou Athena (Metro Diaries Part 2)

About the Author:

Namrata is A Lost Wanderer who loves travelling the length and breadth of the world. A published author in various anthologies and magazines she enjoys capturing the magic of life in her words. She is forever in pursuit of a new country and a new story.

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‘The Broken Home’ by Lopamudra Banerjee

English Translation of 
Rabindranath Tagore’s 
The Broken Home (Nastanirh), the novella, takes place in late 19th-century Bengal and explores the lives of the aristocratic Bengali gentry who were part of the Indian Renaissance. Within the peripheries of such a distinct, culturally liberal society, the world of Charulata, Bhupati and Amal unfolds. Charu, the dreamy, melancholic young woman dreams of an idyllic literary world where she and her brother-in-law Amal, a budding writer would remain two discreet, indispensable entities. However, Amal’s estrangement destroys her creative passions and creates an ocean of turmoil in her life that turns her marital world upside down. Her husband, Bhupati, despite his liberal ideas, is blind to her loneliness and dissatisfaction. It is only with the appearance of his cousin, Amal, in their lives, who incites passionate feelings in Charu, that Bhupati realizes what he has lost.

Nastanirh is the basis for the noted film, Charulata (1964), by Satyajit Ray. 

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About the Author



Lopamudra Banerjee is a writer, poet and translator, currently based in Dallas, USA. She is the co-editor of ‘Defiant Dreams: Tales of Everyday Divas’, published by Readomania in collaboration with Incredible Women of India. Her unpublished memoir Thwarted Escape has been First Place Category Winner at the Journey Awards 2014 hosted by Chanticleer Reviews and Media LLC. She is also the Creative Editor of Incredible Women of India and a resident editor with Readomania.

Her poems, stories and essays have appeared at numerous literary journals and anthologies, both in India and the US.  She is a regular contributor for Café Dissensus, Different Truths, She has received the Reuel International Award 2016 for translation also a Certificate of Merit as part of the Reuel International Award 2015 for Writing and Literature. 


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Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right


Varsha Dixit
Love is in the air again…this time it’s steamy, bold and manipulative!
Gayatri and Viraj both are products of childhood trauma. Yet they were able to survive, one because of her shrewdness and the other because of his genius. Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right, the final part in the best selling ‘Right and Wrong’ love trilogy is the story of these two damaged souls.
Gayatri Dutta, the poster child for rich spoiled diva is fighting to escape a life of servitude her tyrant father is hell bent on pushing her into. Her past string of failures have her backed against a wall. Lonely and desperate!
Viraj is a con who uses his genius to perpetuate his isolation. His life once of violence and abuse has left him cynical and cold. He shuns the society and its hypocrisies. 
And then Gayatri and Viraj cross paths. She needs him and he despises her.
To Viraj, Gayatri, is the epitome of all that he despises, shallow, manipulative and the kind who uses her beauty as a weapon. Or is she?
Gayatri sees Viraj only as a means to an end. She is sure that Viraj with his nerdy demeanor, owlish glasses and crude behavior will be easy to manipulate and walk over. Only he isn’t!
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Excerpt from #RWWR
‘I can do this, I can do this, I can…’ Gayatri wound her fingers tightly around her cellphone as she made her way to the cubbyhole Viraj called his office. I did not expect a freaking hug, but a polite ‘how are you’ wouldn’t kill that man. She rapped her knuckles on the door.
Viraj swung the door open. ‘What?’ His brows were furrowed and his lips, pursed.
Gayatri remembered what Nikhil had said to her once. Dr Viraj owns and runs this lab. He was the only one you needed to impress! ‘It’s my first day here!’ Gayatri could hear her voice shake. ‘Could you tell me
Gayatri scuttled out of Viraj’s way as he leaned out. ‘Find an empty room, do your work there. You are free to leave any time you want. You are free to come or to not come.’ The door shut on her face.
Flabbergasted, Gayatri kept staring at the door. What just happened? She cleared her throat. I should not piss him off anymore. ‘Thank you for this…this job.’ Her voice was as uncertain as the look on her face.
Viraj tugged the door open again. Gayatri flashed a smile at him and opened her mouth to speak but he stopped her short. ‘I don’t like talking. Find a room and stay there.’ He shut the door on her again.
 Asshole! Gayatri fisted her hands and retreated. I can do this! I am doing this! Bigger picture, please! Gayatri paused and peeped inside the first lab that she stumbled upon. The place was quiet except for a low hum of machines. Gayatri pushed the doors open and walked inside the lab. It was empty. ‘Does anyone else work here besides the mad scientist?’ She leaned against one of the steel racks. The door flew open behind her. With a big grin she turned to greet the person coming in. ‘Hi! I’ she froze. It was the mad scientist with a bunch of papers in his hand.
Viraj noticed Gayatri at the same time. A familiar irritation flashed in his eyes. ‘Not this room. Not my lab! Find another room!’ He spoke with cool authority.
‘I was just looking!’ Gayatri smoothed her ponytail trying to mask her nervousness. He had her in knots.
Giving an indifferent shrug, Viraj walked past her. Gayatri got a whiff of his aftershave; it smelled clean and crisp, like water with a twist of lemon. At least he doesn’t stink like his manners! Gayatri stood there quiet and confused.
A loose paper slipped from Viraj’s hand and landed on the floor.
‘You dropped some paper!’ Gayatri said, her voice friendly.
‘Ignore it. Like you, it is not going anywhere.’ Viraj pulled a portable stool and took a seat in front of an electronic panel fixed to a bigger panel.
Gayatri gritted her teeth and grinned with the ferocity of a wild animal that could pounce any moment.
Unknown to her, Viraj gave a similar smile except his was more like the wild animal that had pounced and won.
‘I’ll go and find a room. Thank you!’ Swiveling on her heel, Gayatri headed for the door.
Something stopped herher father’s face and the realization that two weeks ago she had physically fought for herself, and now she had to fight again but with her mind instead of hands. I have to win over Mr Madness. Maybe I could wear a beaker over my head and tattoo the periodic table on my arms!
‘If you are trying to open the door telepathically, let me be the first to tell you it is not working!’
Gayatri exhaled noisily. Scathing and sarcastic, what more could a woman ask for? Taking a few calming breaths, she slowly pivoted to face Viraj, specifically his back as he sat hunched fiddling with the panel in front of him.
 ‘I’m sorry if I have offended you somehow. I really need this job. And also, I’m qualified for it. I can show you my degrees. I can really make a difference here.’
Hearing Gayatri’s words and her apologetic tone, something melted inside Viraj…again. But to keep up appearances, he turned rude. ‘I’m busy!’ he barked.
 ‘Please Mr Viraj, give me’ Just then, without warning, someone swung the door open. Gayatri wasn’t prepared for the push. ‘Ouch!’ She toppled. Her desperate hands grabbed the first thing in the vicinitya steel rack. The rack shuddered violently and some of its contents landed on the floor.
‘What the hell!’ Viraj bellowed jumping to his feet.
Gayatri winced. A large electrical component had crashed into her hand ‘The door just opened, pushing me in,’ she said shaking her arm in pain.
 Viraj glared at the door. He instantly lost the frown and his mouth eased at the ends. ‘Oh it’s you! Come inside!’
Huh, Hyde turns Jekyll! Gayatri spun around.
A timid, bespectacled, five-foot-nothing girl, her long hair in a tight braid, clad in a pastel-coloured salwaar kameez, stood at the door. Her skin was smooth and her hands kept tugging at the dupatta around her neck ‘Sorry to interrupt! Dr Kalra wanted to show you some tests he is about to run in lab 2.’ She then glanced at Gayatri. ‘I’m sorry if I hurt you. It was an accident.’
Gayatri was about to speak but Viraj cut her off. ‘She’s fine. Let’s go!’
Viraj went out with the girl, not even sparing a glance at Gayatri.
Astounded, Gayatri watched them leave.


Urghh…the shit-faced scientist actually smiled and that too at that girl! Gayatri kicked the steel rack. It shuddered again! Shoot! Before anything else would fall on her, Gayatri went after the scientist and the simpleton.
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Varsha Dixit
Varsha Dixit, the bestselling 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.
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The Mahabharata Code




“The Mahabharata Code is a personal account of the main protagonist Narayan Rao (NR), who claims to be an astronomer with NASA. NR and a few other crew members agree to take part in the NASA mission to visit this mystery planet from which they had received mysterious signals. Here, they meet a man with a long flowing white beard, and he introduces himself as Vyasa. He reveals that he has a crazy plan in mind and seeks NR and his members’ help in implementing this plan. He intends to recreate the entire Mahabharata on this planet to restore the faith of the primitive simpletons here. 
As the Mahabharata incidents start unfolding, NR realizes that Vyasa intends to recreate them page by page here, if not paragraph by paragraph. Also NR begins to realize that his son, Krishna, who is being groomed by Vyasa as Vishnu’s avatar, is nothing more than a pawn in Vyasa’s scheme of things. Other incidents of Mahabharata also unfold according to the original epic. Pandavas and Kauravas grow up hating each other and finally the restaging plan culminates with both the warring sets of cousins facing each other in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. 
Inexplicably, like the original epic, Arjuna develops cold feet seeing his own cousins, teachers and relatives on the opposite side. He seeks Krishna’s divine intervention. Is the brainwashed “alien” Krishna prepared for this intervention?”


The Mahabharata Code is a personal account of protagonist Narayan Rao (NR), an astronomer with NASA who along with other of his friends, are a part in the NASA mission to visit a mystery planet from which they received mysterious signals. They meet a man named Vyasa, who recreates the Mahabharata on this planet to restore the faith of the primitive simpletons here. I am not going to spill more beans but I can say it is a simple integration of Mahabharat with modern day turn around. Do read it and compare it with modern day Gita which would make you self realise it. This book was hard for me to follow as I dont have much interest in mythlogy but author’s easy narration, helped as well as little from Google. The book is told from sides at once, from view of Krishna, Vyasa, Arjuna, Kunti but mainly by Narayan Rao point, concurrently in two time frames, on Earth and mystery planet in an Utopian land, where the Hindu and Muslim lives together, country is undivided from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Karachi to Dhaka. The story has little funny and hilarious language, with interesting analogies. The author has merged his wide information of Indian mythology and information technology in his debut.


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Karthik K.B. Rao
Karthik Rao is a 32-year-old software professional based in Bangalore. He lives with his wife Sushma, parents and two little sons Kaustubh Krishna and Raghav Krishna aged 4 and 1, respectively. He says, he gets to meditate close to 3 hours every day on his bike thanks to the notorious Bangalore traffic. His hobbies include following cricket, Indian politics on the social media and Indian mythology. He also plays plastic ball cricket with his sons.

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Metro Diaries 2 by Namrata

About the Book:

Give life another chance. Laugh a little longer. let go of your past. Hold onto what you love. In short LIVE rather than just exist!

Some told, some untold, some heard and some unheard – this collection of stories will make you look at life in a different light and make you ponder over its definition of it till now.

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Reviews for Metro Diaries 1:

After touching your hearts with ‘Metro Diaries – Love Classics’ she is back now with stories that will redefine life for you!

The stories in Metro Diaries – Love Classics are free from any trappings of youthful slang and fashionable language stunts. These young adults are speaking to the readers with Namrata’s maturity shining through, and Namrata’s ideas of love. – Sakshi Nanda 

The language is fairly pleasant to read and the elaborate discussions between characters in each story must have taken a lot of work – because the most difficult job of all authors is to bring out human emotions in proper words. Thankfully, Namrata has concentrated upon it very well! – Dhivya Balaji

About the Author:

Namrata is A Lost Wanderer who loves travelling the length and breadth of the world. A published author in various anthologies and magazines she enjoys capturing the magic of life in her words. She is forever in pursuit of a new country and a new story.

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Dangle by Sutapa Basu



Stunning, svelte, smart Ipshita is a globetrotter. She treks across the world to gather bytes for the travel chats she designs and hosts for TV channels. Despite being a self assured and sophisticated entrepreneur, Ipshita is haunted by a nameless fear. Social interaction with men unleashes psychotic turmoil inside her, making her wary of male attention. Yet, the cold and aloof Ips is inexorably drawn to the three men she meets at different points in her journey.
Her arousal to the overtures of these men catches her unawares. Well-built defenses break as her dormant sexuality goes into overdrive until she discovers the horrifying truth about them…and herself.
Life puzzles. Secrets tumble out. Will she be able to reclaim her life or let it dangle?
Read an excerpt from Dangle
  The lilt of a flute fills half shadows. Emerald green silk unfurls to lavender hills. Mist gives way to a golden spectacle. Thickly embroidered into flowing waters are hundreds of lotuses. Sunlight dazzles on ruby, sapphire, turquoise, and amethyst that reluctantly open their layers to reveal honeyed hearts. The humming of multitudes of bees reverberates in the room. Intoxicated by the sun-drenched perfume of blossoms, they weave in and out of the pattern. Sheer colours daze the senses. Drumbeats intrude softly, only to rise to a crescendo.
Another shape enters the frame. Hazy at first, the outlines darken gradually. It is an empty square etched in bold strokes holding within it diagonally a metallic piece curved to the bent of an index finger. The lens zoom out.  The shape takes definition. It is  the trigger of a snub-nosed AK-47. The drums fall silent.
Everybody holds their breath. There is a thud and the face of Beauty is blotted with a gun stamped on it. There is a collective gasp. The screen stills. Strobes pick out a small crowd, including cameras on cantilever arms. Each person in the room is mesmerized…nobody can look away.


Giving a couple of seconds for the impact to sink in, the focus beams on Ipshita, the host. She begins the chat. Microphones pick up frequencies of her voice, enhancing its soft huskiness. Statistics and logistics start appearing on two screens flanking the bigger screen on which images are projected. She proceeds as visions of  paddy fields, streets of Imphal, slim girls in phaneks with long raven-black hair flying, fishermen casting bait, rowing boats, sitting still as rocks for fish to bite fill the screen behind her. She goes on to the fascinating scenes of Loktak, the floating islands, the fisherman’s hut and through her words she builds up a metaphor. It is of Manipur, a dainty nymph struggling to escape rape by Mars, the god of war. She is crushed, yet nothing erodes her indomitable spirit. 

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About the Author

An author, poet and publishing consultant, Sutapa Basu also dabbles in art and trains trainers and is a compulsive bookworm. During a thirty-year old professional career as teacher, editor, and publisher, she travelled the Indian subcontinent, Nepal and Bhutan. She has visited UK, USA, Dubai and Singapore while working with Oxford University Press, India and Encyclopædia Britannica, South Asia until 2013 when she decided to start writing seriously. 
Sutapa is an Honours scholar from Tagore’s Visva-Bharti University, Santiniketan and holds a teaching as well as a masters degree in English Literature. 
As a publisher, Sutapa has developed and published around 400 books. Recently, her short story was awarded the First Prize in the Times of India’s nation-wide WriteIndia Contest, under author, Amish Tripathi. 

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Destiny Decides by PG Van


DESTINY DECIDES… A tale of two hearts in search of true love
Sameera lives a simple and fun life that she has structured with utmost care ensuring that she was focused on work and also keeps in touch with the classical dancer in her. Sameera has endured tough times in her life at a young age and wonders if she could ever hang on to anything that makes her life perfect.
Nick is a successful businessman who went to high school with Sameera, back when they lived in India. He re-enters her life taking her by surprise and in no time expresses his love for her. He wins her heart with his enigmatic but sweet gestures. He convinces her to move in with him.  Nick gives her the confidence and support that she needs to overcome her doubts.
Sameera starts to feel like Nick is the secret to happiness, she finds out that there is a search underway for her. Nick tells her that an Indian royal family is trying to locate her family. Fully convinced that it was a misunderstanding she ignores Nick’s warnings about the people that were searching for her and travels to India for a family emergency.
A member of the Royal Family that has been searching for her, meets Sameera as soon as she reaches India. Nick follows her to India a short while later and asks her to marry him to which she agrees whole-heartedly. The story ends on a happy note but with an open question around why Nick’s extended family in India is looking for Sameera’s family.
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Excerpt from #DestinyDecides
I was running through this list in my mind when I heard a very soft knock behind me. I turned around and found Nick standing in the doorway in a dark gray suit and his seductive smile on his face.
Not caring about what I had in my hand, I let it drop to the floor and ran into Nick’s arms. His tight hold and the sweet masculine smell were proof that I was not hallucinating.
“Nick,” I said finding my voice and added, “When did you get here?”
He gently put his arms around me and said, “I got here when you were just about to wrap up your lovely dance,” and added, “I am still wondering how you can move your waist so gracefully.”
Nick brushed his lips against my sweaty temple and let out a heavy breath. This simple gesture kick started my heart to a heart rate no amount of workout would give me. Nick moved his arm down my back to the waistband of my capris and expecting him to sneak his fingers in to find my waist chain, I pulled back slightly and said, “Give me fifteen minutes to shower and change,” and asked, “Where are we going for dinner?”
Nick smiled at me and said, “Where we are headed, you are better off not changing now.”
I looked at him suspiciously and asked, “What does that mean?”
“Why don’t you grab your stuff, and I will tell you on our way there,” he teased as I put on my sleeveless vest over my sports bra.
As Nick walked towards the parking lot, I went to the locker to grab my bags and went back into the parking lot to find him standing next to my car. I dished out my keys from my bag, and as I approached him with my car keys in my hand, in a swift move, he grabbed the keys out of my hand and said smiling, “You will not need your car tonight.” As I looked at him in utter confusion, I saw him wave to someone and in the next instance, I saw Mitch, the limo driver, emerge from the darkness and catch my car keys that Nick had tossed to him.
“Mitch, you know where the car needs to go?” Nick asked him, and Mitch replied, “I got it, Nick.”
“Nick, what’s going on?” I asked annoyed with his action.
“We can go in my car, and Mitch will give your car keys to Nethra after he drops it off at your place,” Nick clarified.
“Nate is at home? How do you know that?” I inquired.
“I know because she came to meet Srini at the airport, and they were headed to your place,” he said thoroughly enjoying himself looking at my expression.
Nick signaled to Mitch to give him his car keys and as Mitch tossed the keys, I reached for them and grabbed them mid-air before Nick could get them.
Mitch looked at Nick apologetically, to which Nick said, “No worries, Mitch,” and smiled at me.
“So, will you be driving us to our destination?” he asked, his tone filled with joy.
“Yes, I most definitely can,” I said looking at the keys and realizing that what I had in my hand was a key fob for a Porsche, and the fob was designed to look like a little Porsche car.
“This key fob is so cute, and this is not the car I thought you were driving,” I said confused.
“The Rover is to take my mom around as she refuses to ride in my Porsche,” he said smiling.
I swallowed the lump that formed in my throat as I wondered if I should really drive his car. I saw Nick look at me with a wicked smile on his face. Refusing to chicken out, I held my chin high and said, “Let’s go.” I heard him chuckle behind me as if he knew I was terrified to drive his mean machine to an unknown destination. With a high sense of pride, I clicked the unlock button on the key fob. The car was a few cars away and was a midnight blue Porsche Carrera 911 and looked super sexy in the night lights.
I walked around to the driver’s side and in the dim lights on the inside I saw the sight that made my heart sink. This model was one of the very few cars in its class that still offered a stick shift, and this model pacified the stick shift driving enthusiasts with the seven-speed transmission. I hesitated for a few seconds debating if I should take the risk of driving the car. Nick was observing my reactions to the things that I have been discovering and asked in a soft voice, “Having second thoughts, love?”
“No,” I blurted out with immense pride and opened the door to put my bags in the back seat gracefully sliding into the low slung, deep-pocketed driver’s seat. Nick took off his suit jacket and put it in the back seat. He undid a couple of buttons on his shirt and kicked back into the passenger seat.
Nick looked at me as I sat in silence looking around the interior of the car in awe and very softly said, “Ignition to your left, key fob in there, and I suppose you are familiar with the third pedal down there?”
“Nick, I can’t do this. I just wanted to show you how annoyed I was when you took my keys,” I confessed putting my face in my palms.
‘Sameera, you can do this. I know you learned how to drive a stick shift back in India,” he encouraged.
“Nick, that was ages ago, and this is such a nice car and I am so intimidated by the power of this beauty,” I said my voice trembling.


“Sameera, don’t worry about the car. I know you love fast bikes and cars so enjoy the drive.” 

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About the author
P.G. Van
P.G. Van lives in San Francisco and she published her first novel, Destiny Decides… in October 2015 and cannot stop writing. She loves to spend time with family and is a strong believer of retail therapy (mostly shops for boots and purses!!). She enjoys giving her readers an escape to the world of love and romance.

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To the next level


Have I ever mentioned that how long I’ve been blogging? Almost 13 years. I started back when I was just 20 and had come out with their blogging section. And in these years, I went from zero traffic to a few thousand page views to a few hundreds of subscribers to more than 50 awards in winning contests through my blog. And after almost 1,300 posts on this little blog and who knows how many more on elsewhere as a guest writer or contributing writer in many blogs and websites, I have decided to shift to a next level to get the most out of my blog as for me my blog is my biggest asset.

While having a free WordPress or blogger site is a great way to get started as a newbie, but with so much of experience and posts, it also has it’s limitations in terms of taking the blog to the next level and a self hosted blog would definitely open doors to monetization, plugins & design and may be give a chance making the blog a source of income and branding myself in a better way.

Is there anything worse than publishing an article and nothing happens after that? It doesn’t go viral, there aren’t any comments? I do have loyal readers who read and comment but for my blog’s growth, I need more engaged readers.

I know you might fight me on this one, but the truth is EVERYONE is on Facebook including the book clubs I am member of to the authors who contact me to review their books. Having a Facebook page would allow my readers to get to know a different side of me. The more they feel like they know me, the more they will trust me and in the blogging world, I strongly feel I whole lot of trust in order to get anywhere.

Email is an easy way to gently alert loyal readers about newly published blog posts. Most readers won’t have my blog bookmarked and fewer still would periodically check in to see if I’ve written a new article since their last visit. Fortunately, everyone checks their email.

With all these ideas in mind I want to take my blog to the next level by shifting to an independent dotcom, make my Facebook page more active then it is right now and send out any mailers as I don’t have an email service provider assigned to my blog, I would start with Mailchimp, for the automated emails with my latest blog posts.

I’ll publish a post as soon as I’m safely on the other side!



Do you have someone who is great, spends time with you, cares for you, and is an important person whose #AdviceThatMattered? Well, I do, and she has brown dyed hair, black eyes, and a caring touch. She is my mother. To the nicest human being I have ever known. She advised me to be compassionate to all people. I would not be the person I am today without the absolute love and support of my mom.

From my earliest years, reading was an integral part of my life. My parents and brother all loved to read. My mother not only taught me the alphabets at an early age, she saw to it that I was supplied with good books. As a result, I learned to read and write at a very early age.

During my teen age, I discovered the joys of creative writing. I can still remember the first article I ever wrote. From that time on, I wrote constantly. Needless to say, from the beginning, my mother encouraged my creative writing.

My love of reading and writing improved my life in so many ways. Through books, I learned so much about the world, about life and got to escape the real world’s trials and troubles. And writing has given me a marvellous creative outlet as well as developing my content development abilities.

I thank mom. She was the only person that believed in my dream to be the best in writing. She watched as I slowly but surely progressed in the world of writing. The greatest feeling in the world came when I finally got good enough to write for newspapers and magazines. I learned from her that to stick with no matter what the end result, feels so much more satisfying than giving up.

My goal, at present, is to use my experience to make my name in the literary field. In addition, the Internet offers me a way to keep my hand in, regarding fiction-writing. One of my dreams is to become a published author, and I have taken some steps during this year to achieve that and I owe my success to my mother’s amazing advice which she gave me that strivers achieve what dreamers believe. If you put your mind to it, you can do it. Be careful what you wish for because you might get it. And I have taken her advice sincerely and I’ve been through it already.

“I am blogging about my dreams and the people who helped make them true for the #AdviceThatMattered activity at BlogAdda in association with Stoodnt.”