Sunday, November 29, 2015

Cover Reveal: Encounters- Someone's Always Waiting by Sumana Khan

Encounters by Sumana Khan 


Someone Is Always Waiting 


I stare at the cement bench covered in pigeon shit and spot the dim outline of the granite slab embedded in the backrest. Years ago, when the bench was new, the granite slab was a shiny black mirror inscribed with the words ‘Dedicated to the courageous people of Thirukadal’. Four cyclones and many pigeons later, the words have disappeared. The place is so choked with weeds that the bench appears to rest on the thorny plants. Behind me, beyond a muddy track, the Bay of Bengal hisses and sighs in a treacherous language.

I look up at the sky, as if to decode the time. My watch says it is half past seven in the morning, but the sky, clotted with grey clouds, remains secretive. It could be evening as far as the heavens are concerned. A depressing form of rain is assured; the kind that only occurs in this eastern coast of South India—skies that sob continuously for forty-eight hours, increasing humidity, mosquitoes and the stench of choked drains, damp walls and wet clothes. I wonder if the sky had been just as morose on the morning of 26 December, 2004.

I tie a handkerchief around my face, covering my nose and mouth, and hack away at the weeds. Swarms of mosquitoes and flies rise in a static buzz and hover over my head like a satanic dark halo. It takes me an hour to clear a small area around the bench. The sky starts its weeping just as I scrub the bench with a coconut husk and Vim detergent powder.    
After half an hour, the granite slab gleams into existence once again. I’ve got my memorial ritual paraphernalia in a Food World plastic bag. I bring out a strand of jasmine that I loop around the granite slab, its fragrance weak in the rain. I crouch under my umbrella that won’t open fully and light a couple of incense sticks. I’ve forgotten to bring the incense holder, so I stick the smouldering incense into a banana that was to be my breakfast. I place it on the bench in front of the granite slab and hold the umbrella over it. I close my eyes in an attempt to pray. All I can think of is the angry allergic rash that’s spreading on my legs and hands thanks to the weeds and that the incense smells like a cheap aftershave.

I give up and sit on the bench, still holding the umbrella over the incense. The rain stings my skin like the rash. The hard, wet seat numbs my thighs instantly and a dull arthritic pain blooms in my knees and lower back. I squirm, shifting my weight from one butt cheek to the other. I wait, just as I’ve waited in vain for the last seven years, for the storyteller to show up. The incense is all ash now. I may as well eat the banana and tell you the story of how I met this mysterious man.    

About The Author 

Sumana Khan was born and raised in Bangalore and currently lives in the UK. She is a blogger and a student. Her debut novel was The Revenge of Kaivalya. 

Author website:

Join the Giveaway  +Goodreads 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Encounters - Someone's Always Waiting by Sumana Khan

Giveaway ends December 11, 2015.
at Goodreads.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Author Interview with Madhu Vajpayee, Author of Seeking Redemption

Book Blurb:

Story of a girl Meera, who is unwittingly drawn into a conflict from where she finds it difficult to emerge unscathed. It's her journey from being a simple, medical graduate belonging to a middle class family to the uncharted territories of corruption and caste based politics. Her path is crossed by the two men, both compelling yet completely contrasting characters, who are forever going to change her life. If it is Aman who can challenge her ideals and defy her resolves, and makes her the person she finally becomes, it is Abhay's sublime love which enables her to go through the vicissitudes of life. It's also the story of her loss as well as triumph against her own demons to find her true self.

Buy a Copy from Amazon

About the Author:

Dr.Madhu Vajpayee- the writer was born somewhere in those hospital corridors where she has spent the last two decades of her life. Witnessing life at such close quarters pushed her to capture its enigma in her words and slowly it became her passion. After writing several scientific papers and chapters in books, this book is her first step in literary world.  

Having done her graduation, MBBS from King Georges Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow she went ahead to pursue her post-graduation, MD from AIIMS, New Delhi. She was a consultant at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi having been associated with management of patients living with HIV/AIDS. She is now settled in Melbourne, Australia with her family, where she is devoting most of her time to writing, the passion that she couldn’t pursue earlier because of the demands of medical profession and commitment it requires.
When not creating stories, Madhu enjoys reading and travelling.

Reviews for the Book:

It was a perfect book and can motivate one. ~ Nidhi Author on Goodreads

Wonder full book.Clearly highlights the current problems faced in India as a result of reservation! ~ Nikhil Dave on Goodreads

It is one of the amazing fiction I have read in the near past. Highly recommended. Cocktail of Corruption, politics and love. ~ Akshay_Tripathi on Amazon

What Madhu does well with this story is to highlight many factors that need change. She brings out facets like reservation. She talks about the more rigid mindset of an Indian family ~ Vinay Leo @ Booworm's Musings

Contact the Author:

Check out the Tour Stops:

  1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
As long as I remember. Although I was not able to write in a formal way, I always wanted to write.
  1. How long does it take you to write a book?
Almost a year, including the first draft then process of reading, re-reading, editing and re-editing!!
  1. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I don’t have any particular schedule, I try to write whenever I can. It’s funny, sometimes I just cannot write when I have plans for it. Other times, I can write even when I am in midst of something. It all depends on my thought process and creative burst.
  1. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I read a lot and when I find something heartwarming …some dialogue, sentence or scene, I somehow try to invoke exactly similar kind of feeling in my writing.
  1. How do books get published?
Very complicated question indeed. It seems to be a very complex process. You have no idea what can click to publisher. You just have to believe in yourself and pursue your writing as passion and forget everything. The alternative route of self-publishing demands lot of conviction on your part.
  1. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
It depends. Sometimes from what I hear about the lives of people. At other times what I read in newspapers, social media or by watching movies. But whatever it is, a small part of me is quintessentially present in what all I write in a way that how I perceive things.
  1. When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Although I wrote my first book of 50 pages when I was perhaps around 17 or 18 year old…but I never had the courage to tell my parents and formalize my writing into something worthwhile.

  1. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I am a doctor by profession. I also enjoy reading and travelling.

  1. What does your family think of your writing?
Fortunately, they are very supportive about it. They like my passion and encourage me with full enthusiasm. But sometimes, my son do get irritated by my obsession!!!
  1. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
When you create something, it’s like having your own baby. I was surprised to find the same kind of feeling for my books. I not only love them but also so protective about the story and characters!!
  1. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Not many….just two. I can’t really comment on this. I love the one I am writing at that particular time only to be replaced by my love for other.

  1. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Definitely, reading is the first. It opens up a new world. Besides learning how to write, it inspires and challenges us to excel. Secondly, observation. I observe a lot. How people interact, express or show their emotions help you to create the dialogues, emotions and feelings in your writing.
  1. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I have just published so still waiting for the feedback from my readers. I hope they will have something nice to say.
  1. Do you like to create books for adults?
Ideas have no limits. Who knows, one day!
  1. What do you think makes a good story?
For me, a good story is one where you don’t lose interest in it while still reading.
  1. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
A medical doctor
  1. What Would you like my readers to know?
Believe in yourself. Never quit!