Meet The Authors: Sakshama Dhariwal, Author of Man Of Her Match - Interview

Hi Everyone, and welcome to the last day of Meet The Authors August. I hope you had an amazing time virtually meeting these five authors. I'm sorry this month couldn't be bigger, but I'm overloaded with coursework and this was the most I had the time to put together. I'm already hard at work on the September Feature and hopefully you'll love that just as much, if not more than August. 

Without further ado, please welcome the LOVELY Sakshama Puri Dhariwal, author of Man of Her Match, a romantic comedy about two childhood best friends turned enemies set in India with the most palpable chemistry I've felt floating off the page in a while. 

I was so excited when Sakshama agreed to come onto the blog, because I loved her book (you can read my review here) and I hope you love this interview too!
We'd Love To Get To Know More About You: 

1. If you had to recommend three books to anybody who is a not an Indian to give them some idea of Indian culture, which ones would you recommend? 
(a)Tamas by Bhisham Sahni (b)The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (c)The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

2. What's the perfect place and weather for you to write in? Do you listen to music while you write?
Would it be cliched to say "when it's raining"? I can write anywhere so long as I have a table, a comfortable chair, and minimum distractions. I do listen to music when I write, but it's either something instrumental, like jazz, or I use this fabulous app (told you I love rain)!

3. What are your top two Romantic Comedy movies? 
 Oooh, this is a tough one because there are many, so I'm going to cheat. English: Breakfast at Tiffany'sTwo Weeks Notice and Silver Linings Playbook. I also like The First Time, it's a fresh take on teenage love. Foreign: Amelie has a special place in my heart because it's one of the first foreign films I ever saw (last summer I finally made it to Montmartre, Paris to see the cafe and grocery store from the movie *heart eyes emoji*), and I recently watched an adorable film called Populaire.  Hindi: DDLJ and Jab We Met, and even though it doesn't classify as a rom-com per se, my all-time favourite: Lamhe

And Now, moving onto your masterpiece:

4. For those readers who haven't read Man Of Her Match yet, do tell them what your amazing book is about:
 Bad boy cricketer Vikram Walia partners with a newspaper to promote a social cause, only to discover that the brand manager leading the project is his childhood best friend turned arch enemy, Nidhi Marwah. More than a decade has passed since their falling out, so naturally, when Vikram and Nidhi are forced to work together, there's comedy, drama, and lots of chemistry! 

5. Who would you cast as Nidhi and Vikram if Man Of Her Match was turned into a movie?
I'd love to see Alia Bhatt or Anushka Sharma as Nidhi and Ranbir Kapoor or Shahid Kapoor as Vikram. 

6. If you could give one piece of advice to you main characters, what would it be?
 Speak your mind. Because in fifty years, you'll regret the things you didn't say much more than the ones you did.
Title: Man of Her Match
Author: Sakshama Puri Dhariwal
Publication Date: July 7th 2017
Publisher: Penguin Random House India
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: PRH India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon US || The Book Depository || Flipkart || Infibeam || Google Books
Blurb Description: Kicked off the team for a series of misdemeanours, Indian cricket’s bad boy Vikram Walia finally has a chance at redemption. The only problem: it involves collaborating with his childhood best friend turned sworn enemy, Nidhi Marwah.
Once a tomboy, now a gorgeous, self-assured marketing professional, Nidhi must put aside her personal dislike of Vikram and leverage his unparalleled fame and poster-boy good looks for her latest campaign.
But the ensuing battle of sardonic jibes and veiled slurs only heightens their blazing chemistry. Soon memories of their past fill their present, pulling them back to that fateful day when a heartless act destroyed their friendship.
Can Vikram and Nidhi put their stormy history behind them? Will their partnership have a second innings?
Sakshama Puri Dhariwal was born and raised in New Delhi. Before becoming an author, Sakshama 
worked as a brand manager for e-commerce, media and telecom companies.

Her favourite authors include Judith McNaught, Julie James, Sarah MacLean, Lauren Layne, Kate Meader (in chronological order of when she discovered them), and of course, Anuja Chauhan.
Sakshama currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and daughter. Her first novel was the critically acclaimed romantic comedy 'The Wedding Photographer'. Her new book is a cricket romance titled 'Man of Her Match
 What are some of your favourite romantic/ comedy books? 
Do you play sports? If you could spend a day with one sports star, who would it be? 
Please also say hi to the lovely Sakshama - I'm sure she'd love to meet you. 

Meet The Authors: Mary Taranta, Author of Shimmer and Burn - Would You Rather? + Giveaway

Hi Everyone and welcome to day four of Meet The Authors! I'll have one more author for you tomorrow, and then an absolutely stunning line-up in September. I'm so glad you guys liked the Indian author, Anuja Chandramouli on the blog - I'm thinking about showcasing more Indian books and since you guys have been entering her giveaway and commenting, I'll try and bring on more!

Today I have with me debut author, Mary Taranta whose novel, Shimmer and Burn is filled with Magic and Sisterhood and I cannot WAIT to read it myself!

Mary Taranta is here doing a FUN Would You Rather (with some amazing and awful bookish situations) and is also hosting a gorgeous international giveaway. I hope you love this post as much as I do.

1. Spend the Day with Your Favourite Character or Your Favourite Author?

A1) Favorite character! I'd love to see the world from their POV, especially if they're from a fantasy world with no link to ours. I feel like it'd be more of an adventure whereas spending the day with another author would be fun, but it'd also be more grounded in our shared reality. 

2. Read one Book a Year and remember everything or read 100 Books In A Year are Remember Nothing?

A2) One book. I'm often inspired by what I read/hear/see, so remembering details and emotions and why a particular scene resonated with me (or didn't work for me at all!) would be more important than churning through my TBR pile and walking away empty-handed.

3. Have Your Favourite Book Turned Into A TV Show Or A Movie?

A3) Ooh. My instinct is to say movie, but then I think about a TV series like Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell that was so perfectly executed and beautifully cast.... But I guess a movie, so I know the story will be complete and not potentially cancelled mid-season due to low ratings! 

4. Read The Last Chapter Of A Book First Or Watch The Movie?

A4) Watch the movie. I hate spoiling the ending!

5. Have Unlimited Books For Free or Live Inside Your Favourite Book?

A5) Fifteen years ago, I probably would have picked living in my favorite book, but these days, I'm actually pretty happy with where I am and the life I have. (Ugh, so "grown up" of me, I know!) Having access to a library (unlimited books for free!) would be a better choice for me. 

6. Spend A Day With Harry Potter or Newt Scamander?

A6) Newt Scamander. He seems to be more my speed in terms of personality, and I have a weakness for animals--the uglier they are, the cuter I find them. (Although to be honest, I'd spend the day with Neville Longbottom over both of them, if I could!) 

7. Meet Your Own Character In Person or Meet Your Favourite Fictional Character In Person? (not your own)

A7) I'd rather meet my own character, because I know them inside and out and they won't surprise me, whereas if I met a favorite fictional character, they might not match the version of them I created in my mind while I was reading. I'd hate to be disappointed because I imagined them differently than the author did, if that makes sense? 

8. Read Only The First Page In A Book or Only The Last Page?

A8) First page only! That way I can get sucked into thinking, what happens next? If I know how everything ends, there's no mystery left to explore! 

9. Get Locked In A Bookstore or In A Library?

A9) A library, especially if it's an older one with awesome architecture and comfy sitting areas. Plus, libraries tend to have a bigger selection of books from years ago, while a bookstore sticks with what's new or perpetually popular. 

10. Read A Book With A Cliffhanger Ending or Read A Book With Your Favourite Character Dying at the end?

A10) Life over death! A cliffhanger ending can be resolved--either through a sequel or through fanfiction. Death is far too permanent. 

Thank you again for hosting me! I enjoyed these. :) 
Title: Shimmer and Burn (Shimmer and Burn #1)
Author: Mary Taranta
Publication Date: August 8th 2017
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books // Harper Collins
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 1/2 of the Shimmer and Burn Duology
Buy Links: Amazon US || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Wordery || Kobo || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: To save her sister’s life, Faris must smuggle magic into a plague-ridden neighboring kingdom in this exciting and dangerous start to a brand-new fantasy duology.
Faris grew up fighting to survive in the slums of Brindaigel while caring for her sister, Cadence. But when Cadence is caught trying to flee the kingdom and is sold into slavery, Faris reluctantly agrees to a lucrative scheme to buy her back, inadvertently binding herself to the power-hungry Princess Bryn, who wants to steal her father’s throne.
Now Faris must smuggle stolen magic into neighboring Avinea to incite its prince to alliance—magic that addicts in the war-torn country can sense in her blood and can steal with a touch. She and Bryn turn to a handsome traveling magician, North, who offers protection from Avinea’s many dangers, but he cannot save Faris from Bryn’s cruelty as she leverages Cadence’s freedom to force Faris to do anything—or kill anyone—she asks. Yet Faris is as fierce as Bryn, and even as she finds herself falling for North, she develops schemes of her own.
With the fate of kingdoms at stake, Faris, Bryn, and North maneuver through a dangerous game of magical and political machinations, where lives can be destroyed—or saved—with only a touch.
 Mary Taranta grew up playacting her favorite stories and writing some of her own in the woods behind her family’s farmhouse. Originally from Ohio, she moved to central Florida at the age of fifteen, where she still remains with her husband, two cats, and library cards in two counties.

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Meet The Authors: Anuja Chandramouli, Author of Yama's Lieutenant - Interview + Giveaway

Hi Everyone, and welcome to day three of Meet The Authors. I'm going to be doing something different today, and highlight an Indian author who wrote an AMAZING Fantasy book that is dark and witty and also steeped in culture. If you haven't heard of this book before, it doesn't matter because it's one of a kind and I highly recommend it!

The lovely Anuja Chandramouli is a bestselling Indian author who takes Indian mythology and brings it to the modern world and I'm so excited to have her here on the blog. A BIG thank you to Smit from Penguin Random House India for organizing it all. 

Without further ado, please welcome the lovely Anuja Chandramouli. 
We'd Love To Get To Know More About You: 
1. What were your two favourite Mythology stories growing up?

The Mahabharata is my all time favorite. Few things give me more satisfaction than sitting down to re - read it and I love discovering new layers, getting reacquainted with my favorite  characters and the fresh insights it can always be counted on provide. Recently I have done plenty of storytelling sessions with school kids to familiarize them with the Mahabharata and it has been an incredible experience!

I also love stories from Greek and Roman mythology. It is very layered and complicated with the most fascinating tales ever.

2. If you could meet any one of your Characters in person, who would it be?

It may be a strange to put it across this way but there is no need for me to meet any of my characters because they are already a big part of my life. Arjuna, Krishna, Kamadeva, Shakti, Yama and Agni saunter in and out of my head whenever they feel like and it is always cool when they show up. It is like having imaginary friends who are very real for me at least.

3. Who are some of your favourite Indian Authors? 

Veda Vyasa, Baradwaj Rangan, Kalki and Mr. J. Mathrubootham. 

And now, moving onto your masterpiece: 

4. For those readers who haven't read the the Yama's Lieutenant series yet, tell them a little of what it's about? 

Yama's Lieutenant is a mythic fantasy. The protagonist Agni Prakash is roped in by the mysterious Silver Goddess to act as her brother Yama's agent on Earth and the magic entrusted to him is the God of Death's own weapons as well as the dark gifts of death and damnation. The series help us draw closer to Yama and gain an understanding of his thousand hells, dealing with loss and the process of healing, all through Agni's remarkable adventures. 

It has been an immensely challenging and fun experience to create this world. Yama's Lieutenant and the Stone Witch is Agni's second adventure where he is entrusted with an impossible task to avert the Apocalypse.

5. What do you enjoy the most about writing Indian Mythology?

It makes me feel like I am tucking into comfort food cooked by Mum and always leaves me with a smile on my face :) There are few things in the world to equal the sheer pleasure of reading and writing Indian Mythology.

6. If you could give one piece of Advice to Agni Prakash, what would it be?

Actually I love him exactly the way he is. Agni Prakash is the quintessential sweetheart who is strong yet vulnerable and more importantly, he is the kindest person ever and the best friend a girl can ask for. Also his sexiness quotient is enhanced because of his badassery. Some readers have been bothered by his commitment phobia but I don't mind because this way I can have him all to myself :)
Title: Yama's Lieutenant and the Stone Witch
Author: Anuja Chandramouli
Publication Date: July 24th 2017
Publisher: Ebury Press / Penguin Random House India
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 2 of the Yama's Lieutenant Series
Buy Links: Amazon IN ||  Flipkart || Snapdeal || Infibeam || 
Blurb Description: As Yama's Lieutenant, Agni Prakash, has diligently been tracking down demons and spirits that threaten peace on earth and dispatching them to his lord's thousand hells. Danger is a constant in his job, but this time an apocalypse threatens his entire world. Agni must go up against a terrifying sorceress-adept in the ancient art of stone magic-and her bestial army of demoniacal creatures who used to be humans before they were transformed into willing killing machines. The witch has a nightmarish vision for a new world that involves large scale culling of the humans-and it falls to Agni to stop her. He must find the Samayakalas, the mysterious keepers of time and reset the clock before all life is destroyed. However, any contact with the Samayakalas is forbidden to mortal and immortal alike and those who flout the ancient decree risk incurring punishment far worse than death. The price asked of him is an impossible one, but Yama's Lieutenant does not have a choice. Enlisting the help of old friends, he must submit to being borne across an ocean of death and destruction to find the Samayakalas before darkness engulfs them all.

Anuja Chandramouli is a bestselling Indian author and New Age Indian Classicist. Her highly
acclaimed debut novel, Arjuna: Saga of a Pandava Warrior-Prince, was named by Amazon India as one of the top 5 books in the Indian Writing category for the year 2013. Kamadeva: The God of Desire and Shakti: The Divine Feminine are her other bestsellers. Currently all three books are being translated into Hindi, Marathi, Gujarathi and Bengali, a real achievement for one so young. Her brand new book, an epic fantasy called Yama’s Lieutenant has received an overwhelming response.

An accomplished orator, she regularly conducts workshops on Creative Writing, Story Telling and Mythology in schools, colleges and various other platforms. Her motivational speeches have also been well received. According to Chandramouli, her work with youngsters in the rural belt helping them improve their Spoken English and Writing skills has been woama
nderfully satisfying and enriching. 

This happily married, mother of two little girls, lives in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu. She is a student of classical dance and Yoga. Currently, she is hard at work on an awesome new adventure with Yama’s Lieutenant.

Stay in touch with her on: Facebook and Twitter

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Meet The Authors: Rebecca Barrow, Author of You Don't Know Me But I Know You - Top Ten List

Hi Everyone, and welcome to Day Two of Meet The Authors August! I just back from a mini photography expedition to another side of the city I live in for which I woke up at 5a.m. and I'm EXHAUSTED while I type this so please excuse any typos you might find.

This lovely author's debut novel releases later this month and I could NOT be more excited for it, especially because Harper India send me some amazing news about it and hopefully, with all the luck, I'll recieve a copy of it. EEK.

Without any further ago, please welcome the LOVELY Rebecca Barrow, whose debut novel You Don't Know Me But I Know You is a haunting YA contemporary with a strong female friendship and teenage pregnancy and I AM SO EXCITED FOR IT.

Here's a Guest Post / Top Ten List by Rebecca on her Top Ten Romactic Couples in YA!
I give you this list with the caveat that not all of these romances end in happily ever after, and not all of them are the sweetest or purest couplings. But they are the ones that felt the most real to me! Not everything has a happy ending, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth something. Let’s get into the top ten:

1.      Adam and Mia from IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman—talk about heartbreak. I loved watching them grow and change and navigate their pain to find their way to each other.

2.      Emi and Ava from EVERYTHING LEADS TO YOU by Nina LaCour—an intriguing mystery wraps around this sweet love story, set against a cool Hollywood background.

3.      Remy and Dexter from THIS LULLABY by Sarah Dessen—girl who doesn’t believe in love but does believe in controlled order meets messy musician with a cute dog. I mean, what else are you supposed to do but fall in love with him?
4.     Sophie and Mina from FAR FROM YOU by Tess Sharpe—back to real heartbreak here. Sophie and Mina were best friends who began to love in each other in a different way and maybe they’d have lived happily ever after—if Mina hadn’t been killed. Intense and painful.

5.      Vivi and Jonah from WHEN WE COLLIDED by Emery Lord—perhaps Vivi and Jonah’s relationship wasn’t always the healthiest, but that only made it feel that much more real to me. Sweet and honest.

6.      Dimple and Rishi from WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI by Sandhya Menon—one coding geek plus one repressed artist plus one possible arranged marriage equals a whole bunch of mess. (And sweet romance, as hard as Dimple might try to avoid it…)
7.      Marin and Mabel from WE ARE OKAY by Nina LaCour—(I just love the way she writes girls in love, sorry not sorry!) Another set of best friends who realized their love might be taking them along a different path—until Marin completely veered off track in everything. Painfully real.

8.      Dylan and Edie from the DIARY OF A CRUSH series by Sarra Manning—Dylan and Edie are the epitome of teenage angst. From Manchester to Paris to Vegas, on-and-off all the way, I still love them in all their pouty, artsy glory.

9.      Kiko and Jamie from STARFISH by Akemi Dawn Bowman—when the boy you loved as a kid comes back and you’re still in love with him, what do you do? Complex feelings swirled with art and anxiety and family anguish.
10.  Liesl and the Goblin King from WINTERSONG by S. Jae Jones—again, probably not the healthiest relationship, with the whole “you took my sister” thing, but oh wow do these two have chemistry.

Title: You Don't Know Me But I Know You
Author: Rebecca Barrow
Publication Date: August 29th 2017
Publisher: Harper Teen
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
Blurb Description: Rebecca Barrow’s bright, honest debut novel about chance, choice, and unconditional love is a heartfelt testament to creating the future you truly want, one puzzle piece at a time.
There’s a box in the back of Audrey’s closet that she rarely thinks about.
Inside is a letter, seventeen years old, from a mother she’s never met, handed to her by the woman she’s called Mom her whole life. Being adopted, though, is just one piece in the puzzle of Audrey’s life—the picture painstakingly put together by Audrey herself, full of all the people and pursuits that make her who she is.
But when Audrey realizes that she’s pregnant, she feels something—a tightly sealed box in the closet corners of her heart—crack open, spilling her dormant fears and unanswered questions all over the life she loves.
Almost two decades ago, a girl in Audrey’s situation made a choice, one that started Audrey’s entire story. Now Audrey is paralyzed by her own what-ifs and terrified by the distance she feels growing between her and her best friend Rose. Down every possible path is a different unfamiliar version of her life, and as she weighs the options in her mind, she starts to wonder—what does it even mean to be Audrey Spencer?
Rebecca BarrowRebecca Barrow writes stories about girls and all the wonders they can be. A lipstick obsessive with the ability to quote the entirety of Mean Girls, she lives in England, where it rains a considerable amount more than in the fictional worlds of her characters. She collects tattoos, cats, and more books than she could ever possibly read. YOU DON'T KNOW ME BUT I KNOW YOU is her first novel.

Who are some of your top romantic couples in YA? Don't forget to say hi to Rebeca!
I can't wait to see who all of you pick!

Meet The Authors: Maggie Ann Martin, Author of The Big F - Interview + Giveaway

Hi Everyone, and welcome to Meet The Authors August! I have lined up for this month, five AMAZING authors whose novels just hit the shelves this month. Three of these authors are YA authors, one of them is an Indian author who wrote a romantic comedy book and the third is a high fantasy book by an Indian author. 

My first author's debut novel is published with Swoon Reads is an amazing tale (with a SUPER pretty cover) on family, friendship, expectations, college and first loves and I hope you guys are as excited to read this as I am!

So, without further ado, please welcome the LOVELY Maggie Ann Martin, author of The Big F, who is doing a LOVELY interview and an AMAZING international giveaway.
We'd Love To Get To Know More About You: 

1. If you could create a five person fictional crew to do anything from get away with murder to just hang out, who would you pick?

Ooh, awesome question! I'd form an awesome girl gang to help me save the world. Elizabeth Bennet, for her wit, Hermione Granger for her brains, Inej Ghafa for her stealth, Celaena Sardothien for her bad-ass fighting skills, and Feyre Archeron for her fae abilities! 

2. What do you feel about listening to music and writing? (If you do like to, please do share a song or two on your writing playlist!) 

Listening to music and writing go hand-in-hand for me! I match each scene that I write with a specific song that I play on repeat. Music sets the tone for my writing. 

You can listen to my THE BIG F playlist here:

3. What has been your favourite part of the publishing journey so far? 

My wonderful publisher, Swoon Reads, really focuses on getting the community of readers involved with the production of a book. For me, the most exciting part was when the community got to participate in cover direction voting for THE BIG F. It's very surreal when you see over 500 people who are invested in what the cover of your book will look like! 

Otherwise, the first call that I had with the Swoon Reads team when they offered me the book deal was one of the best moments of my life! 

And Now, Moving Onto Your Masterpiece:

4. For people who haven't yet had the chance to read your book or the synopsis, tell us a little about The Big F: 

THE BIG F follows Danielle who is about to embark on her freshman year of college. She's all set to go to Ohio State in the fall, until she fails her senior English class and her college acceptance is rejected. And the kicker? Her mom is a semi-famous "college psychic" who's actual job is making sure kids get into the right college. To get back into her parents' good graces, Dani enrolls in her local community college to make up the failed class and eventually transfer to Ohio State. 

Along the way she reconnects with the childhood boy of her dreams, Luke, and starts to form an unexpected friendship with Porter, the boy who works at the campus bookstore with her. She also doesn't expect finding her own future that she's excited about, separate from the plans that her mother had laid out for her. 

5. What was one of your favourite scenes to write in The Big F?

There's a really fun scene when Danielle is at her first house party and she's playing a game of Drunken Eye-Spy with Porter. Any time that they had a little back and forth was a fun scene to write!

6. If you could give one piece of advice to each of your main characters, what would it be? 

Ooh! Great question. My advice to Danielle would be to explore and find what makes you happy, not what makes everyone around you happy. For Luke, it would be that goals are important, but don't let them consume every part of your life. And for Porter, it would be to embrace the positive relationships that come your way. It's not an accident. 

7. How has the Swoon Reads process been so far? 

It's been wonderful. I can't say enough fabulous things about my publisher! The whole team has been so lovely and Swoon Reads is the perfect home for THE BIG F. And I'm so excited that it will be the home of my next book (which is still untitled) as well! If anyone has been on the fence about submitting their manuscript to Swoon Reads, take the chance. It's been a life-changing experience! 
Title: The Big F
Author: Maggie Ann Martin
Publication Date: August 29th 2017
Publisher: Swoon Reads (Macmillan)
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
Blurb Description: Danielle effed up. Big time.
Danielle's plans for the future were pretty easy to figure out... until she failed senior English and her single college application was denied. Suddenly she's in hot water with very few options, because honestly who applies to a safety school when their mom is a semi-famous "college psychic"?!
Determined to get her life back on track, Danielle enrolls in her hometown community college with a plan: pass her English class and get back into Ohio State and her mother's good graces. Romance isn't on her radar... until she reconnects with her childhood crush and golden-boy-next-door, Luke.
Between family drama, first love and finding her own way, Danielle can't help but feel a little overwhelmed. Thankfully she has her friendship with the snarky and frustratingly attractive Porter, her coworker at the campus bookstore, to push her to experience new things and help keep her afloat.
One thing's for sure: This time, failure's not an option. 
Maggie Ann Martin hails from Iowa City, Iowa but moonlights as a New Yorker. She has a shiny new BA in English and Journalism from the University of Iowa, the most welcoming literary community in the world. When she is not writing, you can find her binge watching TV shows or passionately fangirling over fictional characters on the Internet. The Big F is her debut novel.

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