10 Statements – Saiswaroopa Iyer

 

 

Formerly an analyst with a Venture capital firm, Saiswaroopa’s interests include Startups, Economics, Carnatic Music, Philosophy, Politics, History and Literature of India. She won a state level gold medal from TTD in rendering Annamacharya Kritis. She holds an MBA from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur

She currently lives in London and loves to read and write.

 

Find me…

Website:  https://saiswaroopa.com/
Twitter:   https://twitter.com/Sai_swaroopa
Amazon:  Saiswaroopa Iyer
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSaiswaroopa/
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14706559.Saiswaroopa_Iyer
 

My personal motto:

“To discover the lesser known characters and stories from Indian literature, history, scriptures and folklore and explore them as subjects of my future works.”

 

10 statements
  1. A typical (work) day begins with…  a cup of Chai! Creativity is hidden in the leaves of tea! 😀
  2. I lose track of time when I am with my mother or with a favourite book!
  3. I have always… been a just in time person. Believed I can figure out things on the go.
  4. I have never… planned very early (Now I know these are very relative statements. But there is a chance that things have been changing in the recent times).
  5. Home means to me… where my family is. I am what I am because of them.
  6. I am inspired by… those who are focused and positive.
  7. I would like to meet… self-made achievers. They always have actionable advice that respects my time and theirs.
  8. My worst character trait… impatience. Looking for results ‘too soon’ at times.
  9. My best character trait… optimism.
  10. The best advice I was given… (Will limit it to writing related advice)…”To believe in my characters guiding my story.”

 

Avishi

Long before the times of Draupadi and Sita
Immortalised in the hymns of Rig Veda
But forgotten to the memory of India
The Warrior Queen with an iron leg, Vishpala

Brought up in the pristine forest school of Naimisha, Avishi reaches the republic of Ashtagani in search of her destiny. When Khela, the oppressive King of the neighbouring Vrishabhavati begins to overwhelm and invade Ashtagani, Avishi rises to protect her settlement, but at a high cost.
Separated from her love, her settlement broken, with a brutal injury needing amputation of her leg, can Avishi overcome Khela?

If stories about ancient India, especially those with strong women characters interest you, then Avishi is a story you must read!
Saiswaroopa Iyer is an IITian and Venture Capital professional turned author. Her début novel Abhaya, published in 2015, was a tale set in the Mahabharata period, exploring the legend of Narakasura Vadha. She likes to focus and expand on ancient Indian stories with strong female characters. She tweets @Sai_swaroopa.

Print length:  388 pages

Published:  2017-08-12

Buy link eBooks:  books2read.com/u/ml5EW9


An Excerpt

“I am the Queen! This will be my throne!” The seven-year-old chirped leaping from the middle of the porch towards the broken mortar which served as a mock throne. “You will be my guard!”

“Guard?” the man pondered scratching his unkempt beard.

“No.” He shook his head and smiled seeing her indignant eyes. “I will be the Queen’s elephant.” He beamed.

Sukratu stepped out of the house to see his daughter in action, perching herself on the tramp Loha’s back, pretending in all earnestness that he was her elephant. He smiled and was about to set out for his duty as the night guard of the King. A sudden lightning appeared in the eastern skies. Sukratu had barely walked a few paces when a deafening thunder made him instinctively turn towards home. He heaved a sigh, finding Loha shielding the girl as if he would, his own child.

“Father, don’t go.” The girl pleaded.

Sukratu smiled and shifted his gaze towards the sky. He saw dark clouds loom over the city. The monsoon winds had started to make their presence felt. He had to reach the palace soon. “Isn’t my little Queen brave?” He called out.

The girl nodded. He saw the fear fade. From her eyes. From her heart. She knew she was the queen! Pride filled his heart. His mind ached to stay home but duty beckoned. Tearing his gaze away from the one he treasured the most in his life, braving the drizzle that would soon turn into a storm, he unwillingly walked towards the King’s residence. Sukratu’s house was in the third ring of the concentric structure of Vrishabhavati. In the centre, was the structure, that served as the residence of the king and as the centre of all trade activity of the city. Here no wealth or goods could change hands without the king’s knowledge and approval. The residences of the noblemen formed the two rings around it. The guards and soldiers forming the outermost circle with the citizens living around them.

As per the protocol, Sukratu approached General Ugra’s residence quite ahead of his reporting time— an hour before the moonrise. He walked into the empty courtyard. But the rain made it impossible for him to stand there any longer. He knocked at the giant wooden door fervently. The doors creaked as a strange woman clad in a dark indigo garment opened them and glared at him with a frown on her forehead.

General Ugra, Sukratu knew was never faithful to one woman. His superior’s romantic exploits were not his concern either. But something about the woman at the door disconcerted him. “Please let General Ugra know that…”

“He has already left for the palace!” The woman frowned before attempting to shut the door.

“What? How ca…” Sukratu’s words hung in air as the door slammed on his face and the woman disappeared from his line of vision all of a sudden. Something did not feel right. He knocked at the door again. Firmly this time, as though seeking answers. Any change in the reporting time would have been announced the day before and he remembered that nothing of the sort had happened. His knocks went unanswered. Frowning and muttering under his breath, Sukratu hurried towards an empty cowshed three houses away from Ugra’s place hoping to catch his companions who he knew would be equally surprised.

The first to arrive was Khela, the eighteen-year-old guard, holding a metal shield above his head. The newest addition to the King’s guard, Khela was related to General Ugra and Sukratu felt that his position in the King’s guard was largely a result of undue favours that Ugra showered upon an otherwise impudent boy.

“Sukratu! By the great Varuna, I should have come to you earlier!” Khela hurried towards him. Pausing for breath, he added. “Our platoon has been given a relief tonight! It was a sudden decision and I personally informed all the others.”

“Relief for tonight? That happens only when…”

“Our guarding hours change from night to day!” Khela completed in a hurry. “Now, come with me.” He turned towards the western direction and the javelin he held started to sway dangerously and came close to grazing Sukratu’s arm.

The older guard’s instincts made him dodge the cut. “Where?” Sukratu hissed, visibly annoyed, first with the fact that he was kept in dark about the change in guarding hours and then about Khela’s irreverent behaviour. “And watch who your weapon hurts, boy.”

Khela shrugged and changed the position of his weapon. “We are now going to the place.” He winked, stretching his hand in the direction. “Follow me, this is the only night we get to have some fun.”

Sukratu did not move. The place he knew implied the tavern where wine was served. “We cannot drink tonight, Khela. When do we have to report tomorrow? By sunrise?”

“You ask too many questions. The rest of us are there too!”

“That does not answer my question.”

“Well, I don’t know, and I don’t care to. The palace is paying for the wine. Are you coming or not?”

The last sentence sounded more like a threat than an invite. Sukratu had all the mind to give the youth a piece of his mind and storm back home. His daughter would be overjoyed to see him before she went to sleep. It gnawed at Sukratu’s heart every day to leave her under the care of Loha— the tramp who had begged him for shelter about six months ago and then became a part of his life. The girl liked him instantly and had begged Sukratu to let Loha live with them and he, despite his misgivings about the tramp’s origins and his unkempt appearance, could not refuse his only daughter. Over time, Sukratu felt grateful for Loha’s company. Now his daughter did not have to be all by herself every night. The guard’s home would have been unguarded if not for that stranger. Sukratu brushed aside these thoughts and had almost decided to go home when the thought of meeting other senior guards and clarifying the confusion struck him. He followed Khela’s lead, making no attempt to hide his displeasure.

When they reached the tavern, Sukratu to his dismay, found many of his brothers in arms deeply drunk. “When did they reach here and when did they…”

“Quite some time before. I just forgot to tell you in advance!”

Sukratu’s eyes scrutinized the men and women of the tavern who were serving wine to the guards. There were no other citizens or travellers in the tavern.

“Just for us, the whole night!” Khela said as if reading his thoughts, bringing him an earthen goblet.

The older guard accepted the goblet taking his first sip with a sense of foreboding.

“Where were you all the time, old friend?” The voice belonged to Tunga one of the senior guards in the platoon.

The grin on his friend’s face brought a smile to Sukratu’s lips. “Tunga, what is this about the sudden change in our guarding hours?”

“The King… that imbecile, has finally remembered that we are human too!” Tunga guffawed, emptying his goblet, waving vigorously at a woman of the tavern who obliged with a seductive wink.

She approached them, skilfully distributing her attention between both the men, winking at Tunga and pouting her lips at Sukratu. Her brows rose at Sukratu’s filled cup. “Don’t keep the Sura nor this Sundari waiting, my love…” Serving Tunga his wine, she placed her fingers upon Sukratu’s shoulders, digging her nails into his skin for a moment locking her gaze with his and turned around swiftly, letting her light upper garment rest on his face for a fleeting moment.

It was a wilful invitation and Sukratu knew it. His attention though was caught by the colour of the garment. The Indigo hued garment! All the women of the tavern wore clothes of the same colour. So did the woman he saw in General Ugra’s house! Was Ugra at home while the woman lied that he was at the palace? If the General and the whole platoon of the night guard were lying down drunk, who was minding the security of the King? Sukratu looked at the rest of the guards. No one seemed sober enough to talk. The only sober man Khela had disappeared!

“By the great Varuna!” Sukratu exclaimed aloud and rushed out, pushing the woman who tried to stop him away.

He raced to the King’s residence, as fast as his legs could carry him. The huge wooden gates of the structure were closed and secured from inside. The rain lashed drowning his cries. Misgivings regarding the King’s welfare made him shudder. He had to meet General Ugra. Something told him that the General had his own reasons to send the whole platoon of guards to enjoy a drunk night. He was a guard who had sworn to protect the King with his life. The general owed him an answer. Sukratu rushed to General Ugra’s house determined to confront him.

That, Sukratu realized was the biggest mistake of his life.

At the gates of the general’s residence he saw a familiar figure hurrying out of his house, a heavy bundle on his shoulders. “General Ugra!” he called out, feeling relieved.

The figure started, and the bundle fell to the ground. Sukratu came to a sudden halt as he realized it wasn’t a bundle after all, but a blood-drenched corpse. A stroke of lightning from the sky revealed the face and the very familiar greying curls. Sukratu froze for a long moment before he could speak.

“K… King…”

Something hit him on the head even before he could utter the name. Sukratu staggered, reeling at the impact, clutching at his long sword in a vain attempt to defend the next move.

“Finish him!” The General shout behind him.

Before he turned around, Sukratu felt the cold metal tear into his back. Lightning struck revealing the contours of the person. Khela! The javelin stabbed him again. Thunder drowned his screams. Falling to the ground with the weapon still stuck to his back, Sukratu lifted his sword and managed to slash Khela’s palm though the latter, unlike him was vigilant and alert. Crawling away from the menacing duo, knowing very well that he could not last more than a few moments, Sukratu’s thoughts, went to his innocent daughter. She would now languish as an orphan remaining in dark about the monsters who killed her father. Or would they kill her too?

Sukratu would never know.


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How I Motivated Myself to Succeed by Self-Help Author Shelley Wilson #BlogTour @ShelleyWilson72

Success is an odd word because for some it conjures up the corporate business world, or highly toned athletes competing for that gold medal. It’s a shiny word batted around the entrepreneur internet sites, and is often discussed at length during a Ted talk. But what does success mean to you?

For me, success is remembering all the items on my shopping list and not forgetting to feed the fish! Okay, I’ll admit, I do feel the stirrings of accomplishment when I release a book and it receives positive feedback, but I believe that any victory can be those huge achievements as well as the small wins.

When I wrote, How I Motivated Myself to Succeed I was determined to show my readers that even avoiding a ladder in your tights can be a success worthy of celebration.

Here is an excerpt from How I Motivated Myself to Succeed, available from Amazon UK or Amazon US:

Do you ever look at someone you know, or a celebrity you admire, and feel a gravitational pull towards them? You want to be near them, watch them on TV shows, or learn more about them. They are winners, and everyone loves a winner. Somewhere on their journey, this celebrity or friend/colleague has told themselves that they deserve to be or have the best. They then, in turn, attract oodles of excellent things into their life. They value themselves and can, therefore, lead a balanced life. Imagine this is you and your life; you are the one running a successful business, signing a three-book deal, getting married, losing weight, or succeeding in whatever goals you set yourself.

I was told about a marvellous tip to help you believe in your own success by one of my mentors, and although it took some practice, I managed to visualise everything I needed so I could experience the feeling of accomplishment. Try this and use the technique whenever you need to correct any negative thoughts. You can do it at any time day or night, but I find that just before I go to sleep is the best time.

Imagine yourself sitting in a huge theatre. You are in the front row and feeling excited about seeing your favourite actor/actress/singer/entrepreneur/guru. They are giving a talk on how they achieved success and got to be where they are today. Every single seat in the theatre is sold out, and there is an eager vibe rippling through the audience. The lights dim and the red velvet curtains sweep aside. The headline act steps forward to take their place in front of the microphone. You look up at the stage and see yourself standing there. The audience is clapping and cheering, and you are beaming back at them, happy to be standing in front of them, and eager to share your story of success. Own it. Imagine picking up the microphone and addressing the packed theatre. Picture yourself walking across the stage confidently chatting about your life, and the goals you set yourself. Share with them the lows and the moments you felt a little lost, and then feel the rush of adrenaline when you tell them how you turned those negatives to positives and achieved the ultimate goal. Hear them gasp, visualise them laughing along with your anecdotes, and see them clearly in your mind give a standing ovation when you’ve finished your speech. These people came to see you, they wanted to hear you speak, they spent hard-earned money to spend an hour or two in your orbit. Move over Oprah/Gabrielle Bernstein, _____________ (insert your name here) has arrived!


Huge thanks to my delightful host, Karen, for being a part of the blog tour. Thank you for reading and be sure to check out the other host spots for more inspiration, motivation, and a sprinkle of fun.


If you would like to read more then take a look at Shelley’s new release, How I Motivated Myself to Succeed, out now in paperback and eBook, and packed full of information on self-care, freeing yourself from fear, organising your life, and much more.

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B073QXLN4H
Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B073QXLN4H

Find out more about Shelley on her author blog www.shelleywilsonauthor.com or via her motivational blog http://www.motivatemenow.co.uk.
She is also on Twitter www.twitter.com/ShelleyWilson72 and Facebook www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog and Instagram www.instagram.com/authorslwilson

Self-Help Author Shelley Wilson

Author Bio:

Shelley is a multi-genre author of non-fiction self-help and young adult fantasy fiction. Her latest release, How I Motivated Myself to Succeed is being dubbed as the sequel-that’s-not-a-sequel to her bestselling book, How I Changed My Life in a Year. She writes a personal development blog (www.motivatemenow.co.uk) as well as an author blog (www.shelleywilsonauthor.com) where she shares book reviews, author interviews, and random musings about writing. Shelley was thrilled to win the Most Inspirational Blogger Award at the Bloggers Bash in 2016, and to scoop second place in the same category in 2017. She is a single mum to three teenagers and a black cat, loves pizza, vampires, and The Walking Dead, and has a slight obsession with list writing.


 

Vashti Quiroz-Vega: The Fall of Lilith – #free until 2017-08-05! @VashtiQV

Dear friends and readers,

Please welcome author Vashti Quiroz-Vega and her latest book! Today is her birthday and Vashti has a wonderful surprise for us:

The Fall of Lilith is free on Amazon – today and tomorrow!

Happy birthday, dear Vashti!

****

Hello everyone! I’m excited to be here at ‘My Train of Thoughts On…’ Blog. Thanks for having me, Karen!

My name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega and I’m a writer of Fantasy, Horror and Thriller. If you enjoy reading short stories in those genres and poetry you can do so on my blog, The Writer Next Door | Vashti Q. I’m here today to tell you a little about myself and to introduce my new novel, The Fall of Lilith.

I began reading, writing and storytelling early. In elementary school I drew pictures and wrote stories in comic book form and sold them for a quarter a piece. I grew up in a religious home, attended a religious private school and went to church regularly with my parents. I read many religious books. I also enjoyed fairy tales and mythology and devoured many of these types of books. I’ve always been curious about angels and other supernatural creatures. The combination of all of the above was the inspiration for The Fall of Lilith.

The Fall of Lilith is an adult (18+) epic fantasy with dark elements about angels. It is the first installment of my Fantasy Angels Series. The characters in this story are angels depicted in a very unique way. It is a story of many twists, surprises and a bit of controversy.

*****

Blurb

“I merely assisted you in doing what you desired all along.”

So says Lilith, the most exquisite of the angels. The two most important pledges an angel makes to God are those of obedience and celibacy, and dire consequences await any who break their oaths.

At first, the angels are happy in their celestial home, learning and exploring together. As they grow older, though, Lilith begins to question these pledges, which now seem arbitrary and stifling. Her challenge of the status quo leads to disagreement, jealousy, and strife among her peers. As the arguing and acrimony grow, lines are drawn and sides are chosen. Is war inevitable?

Filled with robust characters, incredible landscapes, and exciting action, The Fall of Lilith is an epic tale of seduction, betrayal, and revenge.

Free Will involves asking difficult questions and making hard choices, choices that require strength and sacrifice. These decisions can tear apart friendships and cause rifts between allies.

They can even threaten the foundations of Heaven.

******

The Fall of Lilith is a compelling narrative that provides background on several well-known, supernatural figures. Though obviously religious in nature, Quiroz-Vega’s book strays far from traditional biblical text. Sea monsters, mermaids, and vampires share the stage with angels and demons. And illicit (and explicit) affairs, violent battles, and graphic injuries abound. Quiroz-Vega’s prose is incredibly descriptive.

A well-written, descriptive, and dark creation story.”–– Kirkus Reviews

Print length:  527 pages

Published:  2017-08-01

Buy link:  books2read.com/u/bWZzdz


Author Links

Blog:  http://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com

Facebook:  http://on.fb.me/1g0da7d

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/VashtiQV

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/+VashtiQVega

Tumblr:  http://vashtiq.tumblr.com

Amazon Profile:  https://www.amazon.com/Vashti-Quiroz-Vega/e/B00GTXG5W4/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1


10 Statements – Vashti Quiroz-Vega

 

Now available on Amazon: The Enhanced League by C. S. Boyack

Dear friends and readers,

The Enhanced League by C. S. Boyack is available on Amazon!
Enjoy his great writing.  🙂

Entertaining Stories

It feels like it’s been a long time coming, but The Enhanced League is a genuine book now. I played the usual games with my Mac before uploading it. It generally works like this:

“You’ve been logged out. Please enter your iCloud password.”

I loaded my password.

“You have upgrades.”

I start downloading the newest and greatest to the operating system.

“Your upgrades have just been upgraded.”

I start over. Looks like it will take about thirty minutes. I check back in half an hour. Twenty seven minutes remaining.

Play with he dogs and talk to my daughter before checking back.

“You’ve successfully upgraded your operating system. Please enter your iCloud password.”

When I clicked the keys, nothing happened. Replace the batteries in everything.

“Something went wrong. You have upgrades.”

Start all over again. Repeat the waiting times, and password entry.

“Do you want to activate Siri on this machine?”

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The Life and Times of Ichabod Brooks by Charles E. Yallowitz is Live! @cyallowitz

Spend your summer with Ichabod Brooks in this 11 story collection!  $2.99 on Amazon!

Cover Art by Circecorp

Enter the world of Windemere with 11 action adventure short stories featuring a man who is out to make an honest living.

Some heroes seek fame. Some seek fortune. Others simply want to save the world. Ichabod Brooks only wants to put food on the table for his family.

Known and respected as the man who can get any job done, Ichabod has seen his share of adventure. Most of which have been highly exaggerated by bards. Still, the man has his famous reputation for a reason. Whether it be climbing a temperamental mountain for eggs or escorting orphans to their new homes, Ichabod takes every job seriously and makes sure he is as prepared as he can be. Not that it helps since things always take a turn for the worse.

Available on Amazon!
Add it on Goodreads!

Excerpt: Preparing for Galaces

“Is this any way to greet an old friend?” a dwarf in dark gray chainmail asks before plugging his ears with his dark red beard. Wanting the bard to stop, the mountaineer marches over and puts a hand over the young woman’s mouth. “Are you supposed to use her as bait? I did hear there’s a hobgoblin pack that moved in a few months ago. You know how those drooling scavengers love elf flesh.”

“Sorry about that, Dex. She latched on at my last stop and I haven’t been able to shake her off,” Ichabod replies, shaking his guide’s hand. He rubs his own black and white beard at the sight of how his friend shows no sign of graying. “I have to give this one credit for tenacity, but this is where we part ways. Galaces Mountain is not a place to go unless you have experience, an excellent guide, and common sense. So far, I don’t see you having any of those things and I’m not going to babysit.”

“I must go. That’s the only way I can write about your newest adventure,” the bard insists, unwittingly proving Ichabod right. She crosses her arms and meets the icy stare of the dwarf, who she considers leaving out of her tale. “Being the first to speak of your climb will help my reputation. I promise not to cause any trouble and pull my own weight. Elves are graceful and agile, which makes us perfect companions for whatever it is you’re doing. Besides, Galaces Mountain doesn’t look like that bad a climb. The stories must be nothing more than colorful exaggerations.”

Ichabod puts on a pair of white-palmed gloves and slips a blue band on his finger, a charge going through his body to enhance his lungs. “I suddenly relate very well to this mountain. Take a look at the empty space between us and Galaces. You’ll see why this place has earned a reputation.”

The bard puts her lute over her shoulder and walks to the yellow rope, which sparks with a mild magic. At first, she is unsure of what she is supposed to pay attention to among the shrubs and fallen rocks. It takes the elf a few minutes to recognize weather worn bones sticking out from under a boulder. The limbs are splayed since the climber plummeted with the rough stone pressed against his back and the landing embedded him in the ground. Knowing what to look for, the bard realizes that there are at least ten old corpses hidden by the mountain’s litter. The bard spots the fresh body of a yellow-skinned creature sitting behind a shrub, the armored creature crumpled from landing butt first after its fall. She is about to ask a question when a small pain runs up her arm and she collapses into a magical slumber.

“Guess that’s more humane than knocking her on the head,” Dex mentions while Ichabod carries the young woman to the dwarf’s cart. He shields his eyes as he stares at the churning clouds that have been trapped around the peak. “Looks like the eagles captured a storm beneath their nest this year. Means the winds are going to be brutal and the tunnels are infested with horned spiders and revelers. Not going to be an easy trip. Sure, you don’t want someone else to take this contract?”

“I’d love to hand this off to someone else, but Chef Zyrk always insists that I take the job. I have no injuries, diseases, or family events, so I’m here,” Ichabod replies, sheathing his sleep-inducing shortsword. As an afterthought, he grabs a horse blanket and tosses it over the bard to hide her from view. “The Starwind Eagles lay eggs every ten years and now is the time to get to them. Wait any longer and the mountain will be crawling with hunters. A youngster wouldn’t know that or have you as a guide.”

The dwarf grins as he lifts the rope and gestures for his friend to lead the way. “They also don’t have your wife making deals that you can’t say no to. She mentioned that you’re getting three times the usual pay because this baby is going to be prepared for Duke Solomon’s wedding. Personally, I’m looking forward to your wife’s cooking after this. Surprised your gut isn’t huge considering that woman can make a pot roast even the gods would praise. Did you happen to bring some of her dishes for the road?”

“I can cook too, you know.”

“You can bake, Ichabod. Not the same as cooking in my book.”

“So you don’t want the cookies I brought.”

“Oatmeal and cranberry?”

“With a touch of cinnamon.”

*****

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog:  www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter:  @cyallowitz
Facebook:  Charles Yallowitz
Website:  www.charleseyallowitz.com

 

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