Fiction Lounge

Self-Editing Tips: Apostrophe

Apostrophes are not that simple, no matter what people might say. As English language has evolved, their use has become increasingly complex. It doesn’t help that different style guides give contrasting advice regarding its use. I am an editor and in my line of work, I see even experienced writers getting confused when it comes to these little pests. If you can get just this one thing right while self-editing, you’ll save your editors a lot of time and effort. Believe me, they’ll love you for it.

Apostrophes are always the closing single quotation marks. So, the first thing to remember is that the tail of the apostrophe always points to the left—something to watch out for if you’re starting a word with an apostrophe. For example: ’Twas dark outside. The reason we need to pay special attention is that most writing programs like MS Word autocorrect the opening apostrophe ’ to a single opening quotation mark ‘ like this. You’ll have to manually change it back.

Apostrophes are mostly used for three purposes:

  1. To specify contractions or omissions.
  2. To indicate possession.
  3. For plurals.

Let’s explore each of these one by one.


These are used to show that a letter (or more) has been left out. To check if we’ve used the contraction correctly, you might need to expand it and check. Here are some examples:

You’re late for dinner = You are late for dinner.

He’d like some ice cream = He would like some ice cream.

It’s a long walk home = It is a long walk home.
It’s been a long night = It has been a long night.

Note: Be careful not to confuse it’s with its. The latter is a possessive pronoun (and a topic for another blog post) not a contraction, and so it doesn’t take an apostrophe. Did you know that it’s and its are among the most common confusing words?

Also note: The only case where we use two apostrophes if two letters have been left out is when they are separated by another letter. For example: rock ’n’ roll. And make sure both the tails are pointing left.

Possessive Apostrophes

When indicating possession, we add an apostrophe after the thing that is doing the possessing.

Apostrophes for singular nouns is simple—just add an apostrophe followed by an s. For example:

Tim’s shoes = The shoes of Tim.

This situation can get tricky if the name ends with an s such as Rob Williams or Miley Cyrus (and this is where I see most authors tripping up). To show possession, you need to add an apostrophe after the s. But remember: There’s no fixed rule about adding another s after the apostrophe. You could drop the additional s if it causes difficulty in pronunciation. Follow your instincts and write it as you’d speak it. If you’re confused, read it aloud and see if how you wrote it makes sense. For example:

Did you see Miley Cyrus’s new video?” makes more sense than saying “Did you see Miley Cyrus’ new video?” But “Rob Williams’ new video” sounds better than “Rob Williams’s new video.”

But what if our noun was plural? In such cases, we need to add the s first to make the word plural and then add the apostrophe. For example:

The farmers’ market” means a market of many farmers. If we had written it as “The farmer’s market,” it would have meant the market of one farmer.

The same rule applies for family names too. Where you put the apostrophe depends on whether you are talking about the whole family or just one member.

In cases of plural names ending with an s, in case we want to refer to the whole family, we need to make their name plural by adding -es and then an apostrophe. For example:

The Woodses’ house is as pretty as they come.

If the house belonged to any one member, we would have said: Mr. Woods’s house is as pretty as they come.

However, not all plurals are made by adding an s or an -es, are they? There are irregular plurals (woman, but women) and to make their possessives, we need to add the apostrophe and then an s. For example:

The women’s section has better choices.

Note: Possessive pronouns don’t take an apostrophe. Remember “its”? 😉


To specify plurals of lower-case letters, use an apostrophe. For example:

Do’s and don’ts of fiction writing. Because “dos and don’ts of fiction writing” won’t make much sense, would it?

To specify plurals of upper-case letters, you can safely drop the apostrophe as there is no ambiguity as such. For example:

The students need their IDs to enter the building.

Further Reading:

I highly recommend Fucking Apostrophes by Simon Griffin. That small book packs a punch.

For style related information regarding apostrophes, check out The Chicago Manual of Style if you use US English or New Hart’s Rules if you use UK English.

A final thought:

We are humans. We will make mistakes. So, don’t beat yourself up if you misplace an apostrophe or two. And if you have a doubt or a question, please feel free to comment and ask. 😊

Are you a pro when it comes to apostrophes or do you find them confusing? Did this post help to put things in perspective? Let me know.

Coming up tomorrow: B for Blurbs. See you with a new tip.
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– Dola.

#AtoZChallenge Theme Reveal: Self-Editing Tips for Writers.

Beginning April 1, Mondays through Saturdays, I will share a self-editing tip for writers on my blog. And since this is for the A to Z April Blogging Challenge, every tip will have something to do with the alphabets A-Z, in chronological order.

26 Steps To a Better Writer!

Tips from a professional editor.

If you are a writer, check this page every day for a new way you can improve your writing. The tips may be related to the art and craft of writing, developing brilliant characters and plots, finding your author voice, grammar and punctuation, or even how to make MS Word work for you! So, whether you write blogs, fiction, creative non-fiction, articles, or academic books, there will be something for you here!

Can’t wait for April to get started?
Check out my Freebies page to subscribe to my fortnightly editing newsletter and download Self-Edit Your Fiction Like a Pro free. The 27-page PDF offers self-editing tips for fiction writers.

See you in April!
– Dola.

P.S: Do you want to join the #AtoZChallenge? Hurry! Official sign-ups close April 7.

Guest Post – Importance of research in mythological Fiction by Usha Narayanan

I have Usha Narayanan–Bestselling author of Mythological Fiction–on my blog today, talking about the importance of research while writing mythological fiction, especially when the possibility of hurting religious sentiments is always present when writing about gods. Over to Usha.

You have focused on a very significant issue, Dola. Thank you for that and also for featuring me on your blog! To me, it is important to capture the spirit of our epics and puranas, not belittle or mock the gods or make them speak and act in a coarse manner just to attract eyeballs! Many of us are unfamiliar with our ancient literature and my aim is to focus attention on their richness and the way in which the sages embedded deep truths within their colourful stories. My intention is to promote introspection and elevate our thinking to the level of the gods, rather than bring them down to ours. This respectful treatment makes it unlikely that anyone will be offended by my stories.

Even when I add doses of fiction to write about Ganesha’s or Ravana’s love for their brides in ‘Prem Purana,’ I ensure that the stories are not just entertaining but also elevating. You will see how the gods and asuras exhibit human emotions like jealousy and despair, but the final takeaway is always love, dharma and faith. Another key element is ensuring that the women are portrayed as strong, significant individuals, for I deeply believe in that. The women in ‘Prem Purana’, and Mayavati in ‘Pradyumna: Son of Krishna’ and its sequel ‘The Secret of God’s Son,’ are equal in strength and wisdom to men, if not superior.

During my research I avoid bizarre interpretations and controversial angles that I feel are often written in order to garner publicity. Instead, I write stories that I hope will enable the younger generation to appreciate the wisdom of our ancients, and that they will see how relevant they still are. I hope ‘Prem Purana’ will provide readers an enjoyable experience. Through your blog, I request readers to post a few lines on Amazon and Goodreads once they have read the book. I’m waiting!

Do check out Usha’s latest book Prem Purana that features three love stories of deities and asuras.


Usha Narayanan
Blog Tour by The Book Club of PREM PURANA by Usha Narayanan
Stories of love and extraordinary devotion 
No one is untouched by love, not even devas and asuras, kings and nymphs. And when they face life’s unexpected tribulations, their love also undergoes trials. Read how Ganesha took myriad forms to please Riddhi, Siddhi and Buddhi, how Ravana shared an unbreakable bond with his true love, Mandodari and how Nala and Damayanti’s relationship was tested till almost nothing remained. 
Tormented by passion, wracked by betrayal, torn by the agony of separation, love in its many splendored forms is the origin of these incredibly endearing stories of Prem Purana. 
Ganesha stood with Brahma’s daughter Siddhi on the sacred soil of Kailasa, offering worship to the linga that Parvati had installed. He glanced at his companion’s proud face, knowing that he had embarked on a rough path in attempting to win her over. For now, however, he had to focus on his confrontation with Parasurama whom Shiva had blessed with his great axe.
Siddhi watched from a safe distance as Ganesha bowed to the warrior and requested him to wait until Shiva granted him permission to enter. But Parasurama angrily pushed him aside and strode towards the cave. Ganesha intercepted him, causing the angry warrior to raise his axe to threaten him.
Finding that his antagonist would not listen to mere words, Shiva’s son extended his trunk by many lengths and wound it around Parasurama 100 times. He then raised the warrior into the skies so that he could see the seven mountains, the seven oceans and the seven islands of the earth below him. Then he whirled him around and showed him all the lokas including Vaikunta, where Lord Vishnu presided on his lotus throne with Devi Lakshmi. With his yogic power, Shiva’s son granted Parasurama a vision of Goloka, the purest of realms, where blue-hued Krishna resided with Radha and his gopis.
After showing Parasurama how insignificant he was when compared to the primordial universe spanning endless time and space, Gajamukha dropped him gently on the ground outside Shiva’s cave. He smiled at Siddhi who stood dazed, clinging to a tree for support, as she too had been granted the supernal vision by Ganesha’s grace. She realized now that her cheerful friend was called Vakratunda not because of his crooked trunk, but because he was the one who straightened out the crooked.
Parasurama recovered from his stupor and saw that he was lying on the ground at Ganesha’s feet. Incensed by this humiliation, he sprang to his feet and took up his mighty axe. The parasu hurtled towards Ganesha with a deafening roar. Siddhi trembled, certain that her friend would not survive the dire power of his father’s weapon.
Strangely enough, Gajamukha made no attempt to counter Parasurama’s axe. Instead, he joined his hands in worship to the parasu and stood calmly as if reconciled to his death.
Siddhi heard a horrific crack as the parasu struck one of Ganesha’s tusks and severed it completely. It fell to the ground with a crash, smeared in blood, looking like a crystal mountain covered in red chalk. Shiva rushed out of the cave, followed by Parvati, who turned into fiery Durga when she saw that her son had been wounded. She discerned what had happened and raged at the warrior who stood before her with the axe that had returned to his hand.
‘O Parasurama!’ she said. ‘You may be learned and wise and the son of a great sage, yet you have allowed wrath to overcome you. You received your parasu from your guru, Shiva, but abused your gift by using it to wound his son. Ganesha, on the other hand, allowed the axe to sever his tusk due to his respect for his father’s weapon. What next will you do, Parasurama? Will you assail mighty Shiva himself? Presumptuous warrior! I curse you this day that though you are an avatara of my beloved Vishnu, no one on earth or heaven will ever worship you!’
Parasurama cowered before the angry goddess whose fury grew by the moment. ‘It is only due to Ganesha’s forbearance that you are still alive, for he can kill a hundred thousand Parasuramas in the blink of an eye,’ she said. ‘But I am unwilling to be so tolerant and will end your life today!’
Durga rushed towards him, with her trident aimed at his head. Parasurama stood unarmed and unresisting. He closed his eyes, joined his hands together and surrendered to Krishna.
‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya!’ Parasurama chanted, invoking his god with his last breath.
At once, Krishna appeared before him, lustrous and omnipotent, granting him protection with one raised hand. Durga stopped mid-stride and gazed at Krishna. Her wrath vanished, dissolving like mist in the light of the sun. A beatific smile adorned her face. She offered him a reverential welcome along with Shiva.
Krishna addressed them gently, a calm smile on his face. ‘I have come here to rescue my devotee,’ he said. ‘Though Parasurama has committed a grievous sin, I request you to forgive him, Parvati. He is your son too, for you are the divine mother, the refuge of all creation. As for you, Parasurama, you have to undertake a severe tapasya to attain forgiveness. Worship the Devi who animates the three realms in the form of the gentle Gauri and the fierce Durga. Seek the blessings of Ganesha who is now Ekadanta, the lord with one tusk.’
Having offered his counsel, the lord returned to Goloka. Parasurama prostrated himself before the gods and laid his axe at Ganesha’s feet in tribute. He then retreated to a distant mountain to begin his worship. Parvati took her son into her mansion, to coddle him after his fierce encounter.


Grab your copy @ | | Flipkart


About the Author


Usha Narayanan had a successful career in advertising, radio and corporate communications before becoming a full-time author. Her bestselling novels span multiple genres: ‘The Madras Mangler’, a suspense thriller; ‘Love, Lies and Layoffs’ (Harlequin) and ’Doctor Stalker Spy’ (Juggernaut), lighthearted romances; ‘Pradyumna: Son of Krishna’, ‘The Secret of God’s Son’ and her latest ‘Prem Purana’ (all from Penguin) that have been praised as ‘Indian mythology at its fiercest and finest.’ Two new books are in the offing. When she is not travelling, writing or editing, Usha reads everything from thrillers and romances to the puranas.

Click here to check out all the titles by the author…

Praise for Usha’s books:
‘Like the best of our mythological tales, Pradyumna: Son of Krishna too is a multilayered one…There is valour, there is cowardice, there is glory, there is shame, there is sex, lies and deception.’
The Secret of God’s Son is a compelling read on mythological tales.’ – The Sentinel


Prem Purana is so good! I am impressed at how Usha can write about Ganesha with so much personality while at the same time showing him as a cosmic divine being. ’ Dr Laura Gibbs, Professor, Indian Epics, University of Oklahoma 
You can stalk her @
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MY GOALS FOR 2018: Never too old to start dreaming


It’s that time of the year again–time to take stock of the year gone by and time to make new plans for the coming year. 2017 has been a mixed bag, both at the professional as well as personal fronts. While I had zero famine months the whole year (thank you dear clients), I suffered from ill health in the second half of the year (Jaundice, Tennis Elbow, and Cervical) which meant some missed deadlines and unhappy clients. I also failed to publish my novel which I’ve been working on since ages. Therefore, setting–and prioritizing–my goals for 2018 became all the more important. While I did set goals every year, they were in my journal where nobody could see them. This is the first time I’m posting them online, hoping that doing so will help keep me accountable. So, here we are, my goals for 2018:

Professional Editing







Here are the things I will aim for w.r.t my freelance editing career:

  • Join an international society of editors, probably the SfEP, in January. A membership of such a prestigious organization would mean I’d uphold excellent editing standards every time. My clients will know they are dealing with a professional who takes her business, and their manuscripts, seriously.
  • Acquire the necessary training credits and proof of experience needed to move on to the Intermediate level before July.
  • Offer a wider selection of editorial services. Possible services could be translation, transcription, editing graphic novels or academic editing. Explore more possibilities as and when I find them.
  • Enroll in diplomas/ refresher courses/ workshops as a part of continuing professional development.
  • Improve my editing process by doing the following:
  1. Improve editing speed. My current speed is approx. 1000 words per hour.
  2. Learn the use of macros to do time-consuming tasks quickly and efficiently.
  3. Track the time taken to complete projects so I can estimate better and meet all deadlines, every time.
  • Improve my marketing efforts by doing these things:
  1. Improve the look and functionality of my website. Have been trying to do it myself for a long time. Probably best to take the help of a professional, especially since the said professional is my husband 😉
  2. Ensure branding across all platforms, whether online or offline.
  3. Get my visiting cards printed.
  4. Start my editing newsletter. Start with a manageable frequency—perhaps once a fortnight—then increase frequency to once a week by the end of the year.
  5. Write a lead magnet to offer to my newsletter subscribers in exchange for signing up.
  6. Start blogging regularly on things related to editing/writing/reading. Aim for one blog post a week. Integrate video blogging if possible.
  7. Publish regularly on the website and Facebook page.
  8. Make a list of ideas for blog posts in advance and keep adding to the list.
  9. Write a series of booklets on editing to help authors. Publish the first two booklets in 2018, hopefully in March and September.
  10. Update my regular resume into a functional resume.
  11. Cold-email publishers for freelance editing opportunities.
  12. Create and use Messenger bots to complement my existing marketing strategies.
  • Meet CA and streamline my business process. Take advice on registering a company, paying taxes etc. Create a separate bank account for my editing business.


Professional Writing










Below are the things I plan to do for my author-self. Wish me luck, friends, because last year I failed on *all* of these. 🙁 Hope the coming year will prove to be better.

  • Improve my writing process.
  1. Write for two hours every day.
  2. Create a writing timetable and a detailed publishing schedule and stick to it.
  3. Purchase Dragon. Use dictation for writing to improve efficiency.
  • Streamline my publishing schedule.
  1. Finish writing Poison Pen, the first book in the mystery series I’ve been planning, by 15 January 2018 and send for beta-reading.
  2. Publish Poison Pen in February.
  3. Publish at least four fiction books of the same series in 2018.
  4. Publish two editing booklets in 2018. (Repeated, I know. But I *do* have to write them first 😉 )
  • Join ALLi (Alliance of Independent Authors) towards the end of 2018.
  • Improve my marketing efforts.
  1. Create Author website and Facebook page. Ensure branding among the editing website as well as these.
  2. Start my author newsletter.
  3. Write a lead magnet to offer to newsletter subscribers.
  4. Learn how to use Facebook ads to get visibility and generate sales.
  5. Learn about Messenger bots and start using one.











Of course, I had to set goals for my favorite thing to do 🙂

  • Chose the reading goal as two books a week, which means reading 100 books in 2018, discounting 4 books for emergencies. This year I aimed for 52 books but I surpassed the goal and read sixty-three books as of 19 December 2017. Hope to close at sixty-five books. Gotta challenge myself harder 🙂
  • Use Goodreads reading challenge to stay on track.
  • Read more books related to the craft of writing and editing, say 30% of the total number of books I read. So, 30 books out of the 100 should be craft-related.
  • Review all books I read on the blog, even if they are short reviews.











This one is a toughie because these require my adherence *every single day*. Not sure how many I’ll be able to follow, or for how long, but I’ll aim for the stars for sure. 🙂 Well, here I go:

  • Regularize sleeping patterns. Wake up at 5 a.m. every day and sleep by 10 p.m.
  • Write Morning Pages every day. Write in a Gratitude Journal every night.
  • Maintain a detailed planner and bullet journal.
  • Exercise daily for one hour in the morning.
  • Take regular breaks during editing and writing. Follow Pomodoro method.
  • Join a gym and get fit.
  • Eat better.
  • Practice meditation, affirmation, and visualization.
  • Volunteer for the causes I believe in–AAP SM, Apna Sapna Vidyalaya, NaNoWriMo, and ICF.


Did you make it this far? Thanks! Go on now, tell me about *your* goals for 2018 in the comments. Better still, write a blog post and post the link here and I’ll make sure to hold you accountable to your goals. Together we win, remember?





Scorpio Superstar by Sundari Venkatraman

Print Length: 150 pages

Publisher: Flaming Sun (Indie published) 

Publication Date: September 16, 2017

Sold by: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited

Language: English

Available on Kindle Unlimited 

Genre: Romance 

Kollywood superstar Chandrakanth, also known as CK, is a true-blue Scorpio, communicating with his eyes and believing in showing more than telling.

His website and social media consultant Ranjini is a Piscean through and through, fiercely independent, believing in affirmations and declarations.

It is love at first glance for Chandrakanth when he meets Ranjini; so strong are his feelings that he proposes marriage on their second meeting. Ranjini, fascinated by his starry persona, gets swept off her feet. The two get married without much of the world knowing—including CK’s aunt and ex.

The two women set out to settle their scores on Ranjini who suddenly begins to feel a strain in what was a fairy tale wedding.

While passion reigns on the one hand, there’s trouble in paradise on the other. Although CK is by her side, the Scorpio in him expects her to trust him implicitly. But can the Pisces in Ranjini accept him at his word?

Does the tension then get to their relationship? Can love survive without affirmations? Or is declaration the only way to profess one’s love?

It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR

Sundari Venkatraman is an indie author who has 22 titles to her name, all Top 100 Bestsellers on Amazon India, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada and Amazon Australia in both romance as well as Asian Drama categories. Her latest hot romances have all been on #1Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month.

Even as a kid, Sundari absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as she grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. 

Soon, into her teens, Sundari switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine. Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. 

Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! And Sundari Venkatraman has never looked back.

Click here to check out all the titles by the author…

Sundari Venkatraman is a member of the panel of the #PentoPublish #contest on #AmazonIndia #KDP

Watch a video:

Media spotlight:

Amazon Newsroom

The Hindu

Media Infoline

Tech Observer

You can stalk her @


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Spotlight – The Royal Roommate by P G Van



My purpose in life is to protect you… 
Sid is Army strong and sinfully sexy. He is tasked to investigate a woman suspected of having connections with a rebel group. The style of investigation was not his choice, and he is asked to move in as the roommate of the person of interest, Amy. 
Amy was thrilled to start her internship in San Francisco and wasn’t expecting a man with rock-solid abs as her roommate. The moment she laid eyes on him, she knew he was bad news. 
The attraction was undeniable and they both wondered how long they could hold on to their resolve. Sid didn’t want to sleep with a suspect even if she was wildly beautiful and sexy. Amy wasn’t interested in a fling. 
Just when Sid is about close his investigation and declare Amy’s innocence, he finds out something about her that changes everything. She becomes the most important person in his life.
Grab your copy @


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.
You can stalk her @


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Spotlight – Snowbound by Olivier Lafont

After reading Warrior by the same author, Snowbound is certainly on by TBR!

Print Length: 339 pages
Publication Date: May 18, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Genre: Young Adult Adventure/Fantasy



Christmas is dying.The last Santa Claus had triplets who each inherited a portion of his father’s power, and that split is now tearing apart the soul of Christmas.

Niccolo Vecchio, the eldest, has fortified the North Pole into a citadel of ice and metal.

Santini, the middle brother, is in hiding somewhere in the Mediterranean.

The youngest brother, Niccolo Piccolo, is raising legions to reclaim his inheritance.

Two of the triplets will have to renounce their claim in the next forty-eight hours, or this Christmas will be the last one ever.

And it’s up to Adam, underachieving teenager sub-ordinaire, and his brand new jock bully Zach to make that happen…

It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR

Olivier Lafont is a French author, screenplay writer, and actor. His novel ‘Warrior’ was published by Penguin Random House, and was shortlisted for the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize. He has just released his new contemporary romance novel ‘Sweet Revenge’ exclusively on Kindle. ‘Purgatory: The Gun of God’ is a fantasy novelette published in South Africa.
Lafont has written a number of feature film scripts before. The first film he wrote opened at the Toronto Film Festival and went on to win seven awards at film festivals worldwide.
As an actor Lafont has acted in Hollywood and Indian films, in TV serials, and in over 80 television commercials. He acted in ‘3 Idiots’, one of India’s all-time blockbuster hits, the critically-acclaimed ‘Guzaarish’, and the Lifetime film ‘Baby Sellers’, amongst other films.
Lafont graduated with two degrees in acting and writing from Colgate University, USA, with academic distinction.

Click here to check out all the titles by the author…

You can stalk him @
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New Book: Yours To Love Yours To Take by Reshma Ranjan


Print Length: 202 pages

Publication Date: July 21, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Available on Kindle Unlimited
Genre: Romance



As if losing her parents and her voice in a childhood accident wasn’t cruel enough, Anita Batra now has to come to terms with her twin’s death and help her sister’s partner get a new lease in life.
Adopted by the Verma Clan after his parents died in an accident, Dr. Salim Verma finally finds love and a chance to be happy only to lose it in an accident he himself survives.
When fate strikes a final blow and brings two strangers together, Salim can’t help but punish Anita and make her tread through the hell he himself was in, while all Anita wants is to help her sister’s partner start afresh, no matter what the cost.
Will Salim ever be able to ignore Anita’s resemblance to his dead girlfriend and fall in love with her instead? Will Anita be able to reveal the real Salim hiding behind the monster? Will they be able to embrace their tumultuous attraction for each other despite their terrible start?
Yours To Love Yours To Take is a heartwarming saga of love and sacrifice that will reinstate your belief that love conquers all.
It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR.
Here is a passionate romantic who loves literatureand has created many happy ending in her imagination, for every movie or book with a sad conclusion.
She soon began to create her own characters and situations, creating plenty of romances and happy endings to satisfy her imagination. “But for my laziness and diffidence,” says Reshma “I would have penned umpteen stories of unexpected pairs meeting and falling in love, overcoming troubles and hurdles to unite for a lifetime.”
A voracious reader, Reader, Reshma is a poet as well, and feels that she would be blessed as a writer if she could bring a happy content sigh on the readers lips.

Click here to check out all the titles by the author…

You can stalk her @

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Book Review – The Wrong Turn

The Wrong Turn by Sanjay Chopra and Namita Roy Ghose is a page-turner that bridges the gap between fiction and non-fiction. The fact that the novel is set during the times of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and The Indian National Army not only made the premise more intriguing, it also set the tone  for my literary journey. And what a roller-coaster journey it turned out to be!

The Wrong Turn is a gripping narrative of historical fiction with the right amount of Suspense and Romance thrown in. The tagline “Love and betrayal in the time of Netaji” certainly does justice to the overall mood of the book. The writing is evocative and crisp, easily transporting the reader to those old bygone days. The characters make the culture and the era dance in front of the reader’s eyes. The plot is well-researched, and there’s never a dull moment in the book. The language is mostly lucid except a few places where it seems just a bit over-the-top. The Bengali words sprinkled here and there delighted my Bengali soul, though I can see how they can be a problem for the non-speaker. I’d have expected a decent font size considering the book is already 488 pages. Since I am used to the comfort of reading on a kindle, being able to adjust the font size, reading this book in paperback was uncomfortable due to its small fonts.

All in all, The Wrong Turn will take you on a journey of myriad emotions, and not just love and betrayal! It will grab you by the throat and never let you go until you turn all the 488 pages. The Wrong Turn is a must read book of our times. Grab the book below.

1944, Kohima — a small, sleepy town in northeast India. Subhash Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army (INA) along with the Japanese, are on the brink of bringing the Empire to its knees and forcing the British out of India. But, inexplicably, the tables turn. The INA’s advance is thwarted and the victory march to Delhi is halted. Seventy years later, the British admit that the Battle of Kohima was the greatest battle they had ever fought. Even more so than the battles of Waterloo and Dunkirk. Was it then that old Indian curse — betrayal? Someone from within Netaji’s own ranks? Were there forces other than the British, waiting in the shadows closer to home, who stood to gain even more from the INA’s defeat? Or was it just love that irrevocably altered the course of India’s destiny? The Wrong Turn: Love and Betrayal in the Time of Netaji, is a sweeping tale of passion set against the freedom struggle. Debraj, the rakish playboy and scion of a distinguished Calcutta family, and Nishonko, the fiery revolutionary sworn to the cause of the INA, must not only fight their common enemy, but also for the love of Aditi, the rebel with the healing touch. A haunting tale of love, friendship and betrayal of an entire nation, The Wrong Turn veers inexorably towards a poignant redemption.
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About the authors
The Wrong Turn is a story that traverses the cities of Calcutta, Singapore, Rangoon and Kohima caught up in the blaze of the Second World War. It is about the clash of four desperate forces as they come together in Kohima to vie for the brightest jewel in the crown — India. Victory will come to those who possess not just the coldest steel but even colder hearts.”
SANJAY CHOPRA is an airline pilot and author of two collections of short stories.  Said and Done and Tailspin stories . He believes that his  office forty thousand feet in the sky and his travels provide him with a view that fuels his vivid storytelling that cuts a wide arc through time and space.
His stories have won the Invisible Ink, the Millennium writers and Southport awards in the UK and USA. In the words of his readers, ‘He is a storyteller like those of the old days, yet his stories are as modern as tomorrow.
He lives in Mumbai with his wife Tisca Chopra, an actress and he is currently working on a film script and a web series. 

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This was a story waiting to be told. So much about Netaji was smoke and mirrors, partial views foisted on us by the British and other vested interests. Here was a man who was a personal hero, who was part of the lore of my childhood. And here was a chance to set the narrative straight – through the lens of a very human yet universal story of love.

During a school project on ‘The most memorable day of my life’, NAMITA ROY GHOSE wrote about a Russian girl on the day WW2 ended. She got her first rejection slip from the teacher for making things up. Ever since, Namita has established her storytelling skills through her scriptwriting, screenplays poetry, fiction, legendary advertising campaigns, and as a renowned advertising film director. A Creative Director with HTA, she left after 13 years to start her own film company, White Light, one of India’s top ad film outfits. A social activist, she is the founder of Vanashakti, an NGO that works to protect the environment. Namita has done pro bono work on issues like domestic violence, child welfare, sexual harassment and forest preservation. She is an avid traveller, a photographer, foodie and teacher.
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   Praise for the book
Vidya Balan “I like historical fiction. This one is just gripping, racing along like a thriller. I am sure people will love it and I wish Namita and Sanjay all the best for the book”.
Shekhar Gupta: “Gripping reading. This is one writer duo with story-telling imagination and uncluttered turn of phrase”.
Jug Suraiya: “A sweeping saga of war, love and betrayal, set at a climactic point of India’s fight for freedom”.
Lord Meghnad Desai: “An absorbing and indeed thrilling story of one of the most crucial events in India’s history”.
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Author Interview – Rubina Ramesh, Author of Finding the Angel.

Had a lovely chit-chat with one of my favorite Indie Romance authors – Rubina Ramesh of Finding the Angel & The Knitted Tales fame. Have a looksy:
Me: Including a Faberge is certainly a new idea. How did you come across it? Did you need to take permission to use Angel in your book?
Rubina: Hi Dola, thanks for these insightful questions. Fabergé had always fascinated me. I used to read about it a lot since my mom was very fascinated about this whole concept of Faberge. I believe in the old ‘bonedi’ Kolkata’s house, these were collected as a status symbol. And since they were priceless, many stories are associated with them.
Even in the European aristocracy, they played a very important role in the mysticism of these Faberege eggs.. But when my mom used to tell me stories about these eggs and how many of them have disappeared – stolen since they were considered priceless. I mean can you imagine Dola, the eggs which we take so much for granted, can be priceless 😛
Since the Fabergé I spoke about is lost and there is no ownership claim, I didn’t need permission for that. But yes I did write to the Faberege company after the book was published and to my surprise they reverted back. It was a wonderful moment in my life. 
Me: Your characters are so lively they jump out of the book. Do you plan their sketch or write on the go?
Rubina: Coming from a critique like you, this is a huge compliment. Thank you 😛
I  really wish I could plan out my stories. I have tried that method but failed miserably. I write from one scene to another as my characters take me. Sometimes I do miss a scene or two but during editing, generally I take care of it. But this is not the best method I suppose but planning and plotting never worked for me. I am still working on this method.
Me: You have self-published 2 books. I understand you had an offer to traditionally publish Angel but you chose the Indie route. How has your journey been? Do you regret letting go of the trad-pub deal?
Rubina: Of course it’s a dream for every author to be traditionally published. I have that too. But under any circumstances, I refuse to write what a publisher wants me to write. The world of publishing has changed. I would rather have my readers tell me if I should write or not. I can take criticism – as my reviewers will tell you. I cannot take butchering of a book. I like my space a lot. So if my book is bad, let the readers say that openly. For this book, I have five star ratings – not from friends only. And I have  one star  and two star ratings rating too. I accept both with love. Now my aim is to win over that person who gave me a one star rating in my next book.. or the next.. or the next. Writers grow with every book they write and that is the only mission I have in my life.
Me: Does the success of The Book Club ever interfere with your writing? Which do you like more, reviewing and marketing or writing?
Rubina: The Book Club is not mine alone. So everyone does their bit. TBC to me is my strength – a virtual world where we can speak about our love for writing without boring the life out of our family. 😛
Me: Tell us about your next book.
Rubina: I have two coming up. Maya and Kept. Maya is a two book series though both will have an ending of their own. Maya is a romantic thriller while Kept is a drama or romance – yet to decide.
A beautiful love story surrounding a rare antique, Finding The Angel is a lovely read interspersed with a dash of humor. If you’re looking for a breezy romance to read this summer, pick this up. ‘Twas lovely having you over on Shiuli, Rubina. You Rock.
Rubina Ramesh
All She wanted was love…
Shefali is a die-hard romantic. Having lost her parents at a very tender age, she is in search of a place which she can call home. Her passion for Art lands her a job as an art curator to the famous artifacts of the Ranaut Dynasty. When she meets the scion, Aryan Ranaut, she feels that her dream might come true until…
All He wanted was to trust…
Living the life of a modern day Prince is no easy task for the young and dashing Aryan Ranaut. Having lost his father to a rapacious woman, Aryan has severe trust issues. But upon meeting Shefali, he feels he could let down his guard. Until…
All They need is to find The Angel…
Just as Aryan realizes his love for Shefali, one of the most precious artifacts, The Angel, goes missing from the Ranaut collection. All fingers point towards Shefali—more so because she leaves the palace without telling anyone on the very night of the theft. 
Finding the Angel is a story where duty clashes with love and lack of trust overrides passion. Under these circumstances, can The Angel bring the star-crossed lovers together?
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About the author

Rubina Ramesh is an avid reader, writer, blogger, book reviewer, and marketer. She is the founder of The Book Club, an online book publicity group. Her first literary work was published in her school magazine. It gave her immense pride to see her own name at the bottom of the article. She was about 8 years old at that time. She then went to complete her MBA and after her marriage to her childhood friend, her travel saga started. From The Netherlands to the British Isles she lived her life like an adventure. After a short stint in Malaysia, she finally settled down in the desert state of USA, Arizona. Living with her DH and two human kids and one doggie kid, Rubina has finally started living the life she had always dreamed about – that of a writer.

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