Name of the Book: MATCHES MADE IN HEAVEN
Author: Sundari Venkatraman
Read some reviews:
1. Rubina Ramesh
2. Swathi Shenoy
3. Usha Narayanan
A collection of 13 romantic short stories based in India; a culture rich country steeped in tradition. Inspiration struck me from newspaper articles, TV shows and hearing people talk. The short stories are based on that fact that arranged marriages thrive right alongside love matches in India.
1. Groomnapped is Ameya-Surekha’s story as a light romantic take on the serious issue of groom kidnappings.
2. Dark skin on a woman puts off men in general or so says the society. Beauty Is But Skin Deep is Nitin-Simran’s story that proves it wrong!
3. Ritu is twenty-five and wants to wait for her Prince Charming but her parents are desperate to arrange her wedding. Does she find her prince in An Arranged Match?
4. Dating Agencies are doing their best to get young people together to tie the knot. My friend Diti runs an informal one; inspiring the Red Rose Dating Agency.
5. A guy’s complaint about his fiancée of a few years dumping him after becoming successful in her film career felt like a rant to me. Chahti Hoon Tumhe is an ode to the successful actress.
6. Soumya actually lives life like Soul Mates but how many have the guts to? This, incidentally, is the first short story that I ever wrote.
7. Does Madeinheaven.com help bring Menka & Jeetu together with technology driven Matchmaking website?
8. I originally wrote Rahat Mili for an anthology; Rahat means ‘relief’ and is a name too. Read the story with the word in mind and it will fall in place.
9. Reema’s Matchmakers brings Arjun and Prisha together at a get-together through a matchmaking network. But will they get married?
10. Nikita wants Krish for a friend and not her husband. As The Reluctant Bride she manages to have her cake and eat it too.
11. Shweta Ka Swayamvar is inspired by the practice of Swayamwar in ancient India of choosing a husband, from among a list of suitors, by a girl of marriageable age.
12. Pappa’s Girl is about daughters of Industrialists taking over fathers’ businesses.
13. Mythology romances intrigue me; Love Match For Velan is my take on Lord Murugan falling in love with his consort Valli.
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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! She could never string two sentences together. While her spoken English had always been excellent – thanks to her Grandpa – she couldn’t write to save her life.
All this changed suddenly one fine day in the year 2000. She had just quit her job as a school admin and didn’t know what to do with her life. She was saturated with simply reading books. That’s when she returned home one evening after her walk, took some sheets of paper and began writing. It was like watching a movie that was running in her head – all those years of visualising Indian heroes and heroines needed an outlet and had to be put into words. That’s how her first novel, The Malhotra Bride, took shape. While she felt discouraged when publishing didn’t happen, it was her husband who kept encouraging her not to give up.
In the meanwhile, she landed a job as Copy Editor with Mumbai Mirror. After working there for two years, she moved to the Network 18 Group and worked with two of their websites over the next six years, as Content Editor.
Despite her work schedule, she continued to write novels and then short stories and had them published in her blogs. She also blogs voraciously, writing on many different topics – travel, book reviews, film reviews, restaurant reviews, spirituality, alternative health and more.
Her first eBook Double Jeopardy – a romance novella – was published by Indireads and has been very well received by readers of romance.
In 2014, Sundari self-published The Malhotra Bride (2nd Edition); Meghna; The Runaway Bridegroom; Flaming Sun Collection 1: Happily Ever Afters From India (Box Set) and Matches Made In Heaven (a collection of romantic short stories).
2015 brought yet another opportunity. Readomania came forward to traditionally publish this book – The Madras Affair – a mature romance set in Madras.
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