Sunday, September 25, 2016


In mythology, Objects of Power hold a lot of...well, POWER! 
-They can be used to spearhead a quest of discovery. 
-They can be used to bring about change.
-They can be used for magic.
-Or, as a weapon of annihilation, both temporary and permanent.

From gemstones to Excalibur to Aladdin's Lamp to Pandora's Box to the Soul Catcher in Soul Warrior, Objects of Power or Talismans have added pizzazz to the story being told. They serve as both decorative embellishment in the hands of the hero or heroine as well as a marker to drive the narrative forward. 

Objects of Power usually have their own backstories...just like a living, breathing character, which is what makes them so fascinating.

Some of the Objects of Power used in Soul Warrior:

-The Soul Catcher: a blood-orange gemstone from prehistoric times that has the power to absorb souls when opened.

-The Asi: a blade gifted to Karna by his sire, Lord Surya. It has the power to be summoned by its owner/ wielder.

-Kalika's ashes: Ashes/ bone dust of one of the ancient avatars of Goddess Kali that, when consumed, can give the consumer the powers of a million demons.

-Amrita: the elixir of healing.

-Silver shackles and key: these bind the shackled soul to the one holding the key.

-Black metallic goo: the Stone Demon's secret weapon whose powers are yet-to-be determined.

-Blood: the most common Object of Power as it holds your ancestry hostage as well as your descendents.

And last but not least,

-Baby: the Soul Warrior's computer which has been modified (with magic) to perform "unearthly" tasks.

And that's it (I think) for Soul Warrior's Objects of Power. (Let me know if I've missed any.) And, be sure to stay tuned for more daring and dashing and darling talismans in BOOK 2!

What are some of your favorite Objects of Power in mythology or in fiction?

Friday, September 23, 2016


(Photo credit: Raja Ravi Verma online art gallery)

The Celestial Art Gallery—CAG to the celestials—sat on a flat crystalline platform in the busiest and most centralized sector of Devlok, Paradise City of the Higher Worlds. The multicolored building was circular in shape with a steeple top and had been fashioned entirely out of fist-sized meteorites, each and every one of them unique in material, color and texture. CAG attracted all manner of patrons that came from all over the divine realms to indulge in their sense of aesthetics, awaken their creativity or kill the infinite tedium brought on by eons of incessant bliss.
And sometimes just to kill, period.
Draupadi manifested inside the oval exhibition hall in a ferocious conflagration of perfume and smoke. Created from the embers of desire, birthed in the flames of revenge, Draupadi was a volatile, all-consuming and unforgiving soul.
“Child, what brings you here?” Saraswatidevi asked with a faint smile. The Goddess of Knowledge hadn’t guessed the precarious state of Draupadi’s emotions. Or maybe she had and was blithely ignoring the impending explosion.
“Why didn’t you forbid them, Ma Sara?” asked Draupadi, keeping a tight lid on her rage.
“Come. Come now. Don’t be angry.” Saraswatidevi carefully put down the eighteen by twenty-four foot oil painting that she had been in the process of hanging, singlehandedly. The gold-framed canvas showed a pretty beachside scene done in post-impressionist style.
Draupadi stared daggers at the busy-looking painting and eventually identified several of the swimsuit-clad figures. But she wasn’t here to admire the artwork, sublime as it was.
Saraswatidevi had summoned her sisters of the heart, noted Draupadi as Parvatidevi and Laxmidevi hurried into the hall via different archways. They discreetly ushered out the two hundred or so visitors that had stopped in their tracks at Draupadi’s dramatic entrance to first gape at her and then whisper about her. Lamentably, she and her offspring were supplying fresh fodder to the celestial gossip mills every day. Draupadi rubbed the spot on her forehead where a migraine would be brewing had she been on the Human Realm.
When the last gossipmonger floated out of the hall or vanished, the Mother Goddesses turned towards her. They were dressed traditionally, in sheer cholis worn under white silk saris and jewel-studded celestial ornaments made of undiluted gold. There was a party that evening at Lord Rudra’s palace that they were all expected to attend. Draupadi was similarly draped for the formal evening, though recently she’d started wearing 21st century clothes more and more. She loved the comfort and ease of movement pants afforded. She especially loved business suits. They made her feel both powerful and proper, somehow.
She looked beseechingly at the three Matriarchs and asked softly, “Can I never have something without paying a price for it?”
Parvatidevi’s smile gentled. “You know you can’t, my child. Every action you take reverberates through the Cosmos and shapes your fate, Panchali.”
(This is a deleted scene from Soul Warrior: The Age of Kali © Falguni Kothari)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Blogger Vs Author Blog Post by Namrata

10 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author that I didn't know as a Blogger: A Guest Post by Namrata

Moving onto become an author from a blogger now there are a lot of things I learnt which I didn’t know as a blogger. Though I am yet to incorporate each of these lessons and practice them they are nevertheless important. Sharing some of them with you:

1.     Writing a full length novel is no mean feat – Having been a blogger for 5 years and writing fiction on it I was used to trying my hand on different styles like micro fiction, flash fiction, 55 fiction and short stories. Somewhere in those attempts I started enjoying writing fiction and concluded it would easy to write a book as well. To be honest how much could you tell in those few words and hence a lot was left on the imagination/ understanding of the reader. While for a novel you need to write at least 50000 words and to ensure a reader’s attention is held till the last word is no mean feat!

2.     Flawless language is imperative- When you write a blog post rarely you have anyone come up with comments that highlight the flaws in terms of grammar, spelling, tenses or maybe glaring mistakes in the plot but in the book the feedback does have such features. It could be maybe because they pay for your book and hence expect value for money while a blog is free to read. It isn’t that while writing blogs I was never cautious about such mistakes but whenever they happened inadvertently they were easily overlooked. While in a book a simple typo by a publisher in the name of the chapter leads to a detailed discussion.

3.     The importance of published tag – Being a famous blogger might not make heads turn but being a published author surely does. The tag of “published” comes at a price where now even strangers want to become friends and strangely sometimes friends turn foes. I have experienced that very closely. The blogger fraternity doesn’t feel threatened by another blogger’s success as they all believe they have their own niches. But the moment you become an author who is published the algorithm changes with people feeling skeptical about your skills and if you really deserve all that you are getting. The published tag does make a lot of difference as the overall perception of people around you changes drastically.

4.     Reviews and their role- As a reviewer/ blogger I love reading books and write very honest reviews. I never took the liberty of bashing authors even before I become one because I believed there is nothing called a bad book. But after becoming an author I have realized how one single review can make or mar a book. Perhaps as a reviewer we don’t realize the impact our words can create. Every time you hold a book in your hand you are holding months or maybe years of hard work, sleepless nights and aspirations of someone. Whether it is good or bad is completely a different argument altogether. The very fact that it is someone’s blood and sweat (in some cases tears too!) it needs to be respected. Having said that I am not averse to criticism. We all need some, but a constructive one that helps an author grow.

5.     Dealing with Marketing / Promotions – As a blogger it is very easy to promote blogs with platforms like BlogAdda, Indiblogger etc. But as an author promoting a book needs real hard work.  I never knew the importance of marketing till I became an author because blogging taught me that good writing is always talked about even if you don’t talk about it. While this also works for a book but because the stakes involved are high there is a greater amount of planning that is needed behind promoting a book.

6.     Carve an Identity – I started blogging with a pen name – Privy Trifles. No one cared who was Privy Trifles or from which country. I still remember having an argument with my first publisher to keep my name as Privy Trifles on the book as people knew me more by that name rather than my real name. My social media accounts were also in that name. He flatly refused saying it doesn’t work in India. I cited the example of Desperate in Dubai a best-selling novel by an anonymous blogger from Dubai which he pushed aside calling it a rare phenomenon.  The moment you become an author people want to know the real you, the person behind the book. They need a connect with you in terms of your pictures and also glimpses of your personal life which may or may not be limited to things ranging from likes and dislikes in food to views on movies and social issues. After becoming an author I learnt I could no longer hide behind pen names!

7.     Social Media Presence - As a blogger I managed to stay away from Facebook and Twitter till 2013.*Gulp* Yes! I did and it made no difference to my blog statistics in terms of readers.  Rather if I were to say honestly that was one of the most productive phases as my only concentration was on writing during that time and I lay blissfully unaware of anything that needed my attention. But as an author the first few things that are told to you are “social media presence”. Be omnipresent- be on twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, having a Facebook page and stay active. Though I could never understand how one can write while doing all this but yes it did work well for a book. I didn’t know the magic wand called social media till then. I have even seen authors promoting their books one year in advance starting it when it was just a plot and sharing regular updates about how and what has been added or removed from the story.  Becoming an author introduced me to the role of social media in our lives, so to speak.

8.     Silence is not golden – Bloggers are often used to silent readers of blogs where they mostly refrain from commenting or letting the blogger know about them in any manner.  And up to some extent it is perfectly okay. I remember receiving emails from complete strangers talking about some post which had made them think and then we would go on to discuss it bit by bit. I really enjoyed that. Sometimes those silent readers would send me requests to write posts on and it was fun trying to think what answers they wanted through that post.

As an author it is imperative that anyone who reads your work voices it out for you. Good, bad or ugly… bouquets or brickbats you want them all because that is how you can increase the sales of your book. If someone even sends you a personal email or message on WA or FB messenger you take screenshots and share it on social media as a promotion for your book. Silence in this case is no longer golden; it is the voice that becomes platinum.

9.     Research is important – Like I said in point no.1 there is not much that you can write about in 800-1000 words. According to popular researches any online readers’ attention span is not more than that and hence anyone writing articles online is always asked to limit it to those word limits.  So there are times when even the lead characters go without names. They are merely a he and a she. Not much research is needed as there is no detailing in fictional scenes, the play is around words as you try to capture a moment and present it in those few words.

While in a novel as you have a good number of words to play with you cannot leave a lot to a reader’s imagination. Background is important, character sketch is equally needed and so is research about that particular era, clothes, language, mannerisms, political situations or social etiquette depending upon the setting. Becoming an author taught me the importance of research in writing. I witnessed how criminal it could be to have a female character wearing latest clothes of 21st century in a story set in the 17th century and how out of place would a particular word sound in period drama for it was a slang coined recently.

10.  Full time writer and its perks – One of my relatives recently invited me to a holiday. I politely refused saying I couldn’t afford that trip right now both financially and personally. She laughed and stated, “Stop kidding me! Let’s be honest you don’t want to come.  I know authors earn in lakhs!” Some benevolent cousin had apparently briefed in detail to anyone who wanted to know about my earnings.  As a blogger nobody assumed that writing was a full time opportunity that could be paying me well. But as a writer it is assumed that writing is my full time career with amazing perks apart from name and fame.  In blogging the investment is very less but the returns are too high while as an author the investment is huge and the returns minimal, spread across years. (P.S: Apologies but couldn’t help the investment banker in me coming out to express how I really feel about this point!)

These days becoming an author is not only about writing a book. You need to know how to sell it too apart from various other skills like social media and offline promotions. Earlier the writers had only one job- write and rest everything was taken care of. And due to absence of proper channels more often than not they were completely unaware about direct feedback on their books. But today’s writers have a plethora of options to get feedback from ranging from alpha readers, beta readers, editors and of course the reviewers apart from the readers. Does this complicate things? Maybe yes, maybe no! But it surely extends the list of things on the to-do list for an author. Now it is no longer just plot-research-write it is much more than that. 

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.

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.

Contact the Author:

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Secret of God's Son by Usha Narayanan (Book Tour)

Author Interview:

1) Top 3 things readers should know about Pradyumna

Though he is the son of god, Pradyumna is as mortal as we are and must overcome his weaknesses if he wishes to attain his goal. As he journeys from the asura palace to Dwaraka and then to Yamaloka, Kailasa and Vaikunta, he discovers more about himself, inspiring us too to elevate ourselves. He evolves painfully and gradually into an ideal husband, father, son and leader of his people.

Second, Pradyumna is Kama, the god of love reborn on earth. His life and his love for his warrior queen Maya make these books as much a romance as a thriller or myth. We see how Maya acts as a galvanizing force that inspires him to achieve his goals. In a world soaked in blood and evil, Pradyumna brings hope that love can vanquish evil and even transcend death.

Third, Pradyumna is set off in contrast to his half brother Samba. Though both are sons of Krishna, they choose their own paths, the former towards the gods and the latter towards the demons. While Pradyumna struggles to overcome his base impulses, Samba revels in them. Their lives shine a light on dharma and karma and offer us a simple philosophy that we can live by.

2) Which is your favourite scene in the book and why? Please give a short excerpt.

It is very difficult to choose just one scene as the whole book was written with fierce passion and conviction. Finally, I chose the scene given below where a mortal takes on the fiercest of gods in order to save his people, disregarding the price he may have to pay: 

The choleric Shiva neared Pradyumna, his eyes blazing, the emerald serpents on his body hissing at the foolish mortal who stood before them. The warrior wondered if he should run, escape to his own world. But where could he hide from the god of gods? Even if Shiva let him flee, would he be able to live with himself after he had failed so miserably? Did he want to be known as the leader who could not lead, the redeemer who could not redeem his people?

Do all your actions as a sacrifice for the greater good, said Krishna’s voice in his head.

He saw Shiva raise his trident.

Fear nothing, fight for dharma and you will conquer, the voice said again.

Pradyumna crushed the fear that threatened to overwhelm his mind. Planting his feet firmly on the ground, he lifted his head and raised his voice in challenge. ‘I will not give up,’ he declared, his face set in grim resolve. ‘I will stay the course even if you threaten me with your trident, mighty god.’

3) What is your inspiration behind this series?

I have always liked the name Pradyumna and chose the name Vir Pradyumna for the hero of my first book, ‘The Madras Mangler’. Then I chanced upon Krishna’s son Pradyumna, unknown to me until then. I delved into our epics looking for more information on him. His life is tumultuous, his separation from his beloved Rati in a previous life is tragic. And as I researched his past lives, I was fascinated by his many exploits and misadventures. After assimilating all that I could find about him, I gave my imagination free rein to build upon the few facts that were available. My journey took me from musty libraries to the sacred shores of Somnath and the magical temples of Pancha Dwaraka, the five cities associated with Krishna. The canvas was so immense and inspiring that ultimately it took not one but two books to tell it all!

4) Give readers a short synopsis of this series. Are there more books to come in the series?

‘Pradyumna: Son of Krishna’ begins with the story of Vama, the pampered prince in an asura court who is unaware that he is Krishna’s son, snatched from his cradle at birth. We follow him as he evolves from being a reluctant warrior to the mighty Pradyumna who takes on demons and his own half brother Samba to perpetuate his father’s teachings and his memory. Finally comes his battle with the deathless Kali demon, master of the last yuga and the personification of evil. On this battle hinges the fate of humanity. 

There are many fascinating characters in these two books and perhaps I could take my inspiration further and continue this series. I will await feedback from my readers and reviewers before deciding.

5) You are a writer who writes in multiple genres. Which is your favourite genre and why?

Even as a reader, I range far and wide. I like thrillers written by Lee Child, Joseph Finder, Gillian Flynn and Stieg Larsson. I am fascinated by prolific romance writers like Georgette Heyer, Danielle Steele and Nora Roberts. I browse avidly through Cassandra Clare and Brian Weiss as well. The different genres appeal to different instincts. A thriller keeps my brain cells fizzing while a romcom pushes my emotional buttons. A myth, perhaps my favourite, makes me delve deep within and also soar high to unravel the secrets of life and death.

However, having escaped the danger of being stereotyped, I hope to continue exploring varied genres!

About the Book:


‘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: 

You can stalk her @

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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 age" Femina

"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 deception" The Hindu

"This engrossing tale takes readers on a mythological saga" Times of India

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