Monday, March 31, 2014

Review- Stubborn Love by Natalie Ward


Five years ago, tragedy brought Jared and Mia together. A tragedy that was the start of an unlikely source of support, a true friendship and eventually, deep, heart-stopping love. Until the day something pushed them apart, forcing one of them to let the other one go.
Now, over the course of a day and a night, Jared and Mia will finally talk about how it all went wrong. How something which seemed so perfect and true, was so easily broken. And just when they think they’ve found their way back to each other, their love, will once more be put to the ultimate test.

Sometimes, you never realise how much you can hurt the one you love.
Sometimes, you never realise the lengths you’ll go to, to help someone you love.
And sometimes, you never realise just how stubborn love can be.
Because it’s impossible to let somebody go, when you never stopped loving them in the first place.


I was a HUGE fan of Natalie Ward's I Love You To Death. Stubborn Love is a companion novel to I Love You To Death which overlaps the time line. Its the story of Mia and Jared. Mia is Luke's sister who is the hero in I Love You To Death. I can't say that I loved Stubborn Love. It was a good read but not as the first book.

The biggest problem I had with this book was Mia. I hate it when I can't like or understand the main character. It just takes the fun out of reading the book and that is what happened here. Mia has been in love with Jared since she has known him. Jared is also completely in love with Mia but still Mia denies them. What I really found stupid though was the basis on which Mia decides that they can't be together.

Jared has seen how difficult life has been for Luke and Mia. All he wants to do is protect and love Mia. I really liked Jared. His anger towards Mia was justified. She just couldn't trust him in spite of him never giving her a single chance to doubt his love for her. But I did think that there could have been more to him than shown.

The book moves from both Jared and Mia's point of views. Mia's pov is in the present handling the current situation between her and Jared. Jared's pov is in the past showing how he and Mia met. I liked the romance. Natalie Ward writes really well. I especially liked how the intimacy was portrayed between Mia and Jared.

There were times I got bored reading the same scenes first from Mia's pov and then Jared's. It dragged out the story a bit for me. Stubborn Love lacked the emotions and depth which I found in the first book. But still it was not all bad. I had just expected more. Stubborn Love was an okay read.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Giveaway (India only)- It's No Longer A Dream by Sanjeev Ranjan

Hi, everyone! I feel like it's been ages since I last posted a great paperback copies giveaway for our dearest Indian readers. Here's my chance though! Many thanks to author Sanjeev Ranjan, three lucky Indian readers, in this giveaway, stand a chance of winning a copy each of the author's book, It's No Longer A Dream. This giveaway was absolutely well planned by him as most students now have holidays and what better for us readers to do in our free time than read?  

Also, as I won't be having proper access to the blog, this giveaway, unlike our usual two weeks, goes on for a period of three weeks. Anyway, let's get on to the post I have for you. After some basic information on the book, you'll find the Rafflecopter for the giveaway. On the plus side, you get re entries, so yay for that! Let's get on to it! 

It's No Longer A Dream


“Does love manage to find a way, even when all illusions fade? Where does the journey end?”

Akshat Diwan has everything that the tangible world can offer for a dream-like life – luxurious cars, a palatial mansion, extravagant wealth and an heirloom of infinite opulence. All but peace! His parents are forever in a state of prolonged hostility; add to it failing spurious friendships and dwindling love life which metamorphoses him into a soul-less creature. Cursing his misfortune and in an attempt to end his anguish and disparity, Akshat embarks on an unknown journey, seeking nothing but solitude, or perhaps a glimpse of his inner being. It is when he meets a stranger that he realizes his journey is not just any journey, but a roller coaster ride to unravel the harsh realities of life.

It’s No Longer A Dream is all about collecting the shattered pieces of meaning of life, love and relationships and bringing them back to a whole again.



Sanjeev Ranjan

Sanjeev Ranjan, a non-conformist by nature and an engineer by profession,is the bestselling author of "In Course of True Love!(2012)". 

An ardent lover of western classic and instrumental music, he enjoys reading. He has a keen interest in understanding human behavior and relationships.

"It's No Longer A Dream!" is his second novel.

Currently he resides in New Delhi.



And now, we finally come to the readers' favorite part- the giveaway! As you already know, three copies of the book are up for grabs. 

Giveaway rules are simple: 

*The giveaway is open for residents of INDIA only. 
*Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form below. 
*Once winners are picked and emailed, they will have 48 hours to respond or else, we'll be compelled to pick other winners. 
That's all there is to it! I wish you all, all the very best. I'd like to thank Sanjeev for the giveaway and I'd like to wish him all the very best for everything, as well! 

Thank you for stopping by, and happy reading! 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review- Forgotten Sins by Rebecca Zanetti


His Secrets Can Destroy Her

From the moment Josie laid eyes on sexy, mysterious Shane Dean, she was in love. Their desire ignited a passionate affair, and within weeks, Shane had slipped a ring on her finger. It seemed her every fantasy was coming true . . . until her new husband disappeared without a trace. Now, two years and one broken heart later, Josie is shocked by the hospital calls: Shane has been found . . . at a crime scene with no memory of how he got there.

Her Love Can Save Him

Shane can't remember the blue-eyed angel at his bedside—or who he even is—but he knows something isn't right. His hearing is razor sharp, his physical strength incredible, and the urge to protect Josie overwhelming. For powerful enemies are hunting him, and Josie is the key to discovering why. As Shane struggles to unravel his past, dangerous new truths come to light. Can he protect the only woman he's ever loved? And can Josie trust a man she thought she knew—one who carries such a deadly secret?


Okay, so I picked up Forgotten Sins after a really disappointing read. I so needed a change of genre. In simple words, Forgotten Sins blew my mind away. This book was AMAZING! Full of intrigue and passion, it had just the right amount of suspense and romance. I thoroughly enjoyed Forgotten Sins.

Shane Dean is our hero. From the moment he sees Josie he knows that she's his. He just can't remember that she is his wife whom he left two years ago for reasons he can't remember. I have seriously never seen such a well done amnesia plot line. Shane was fierce and protective and confused. I loved how he was with Josie. They belonged together.

Josie married Shane two years ago and that was the most spontaneous decision of her life and the one she regrets. I truly loved Josie. She was so sweet. She just wanted to belong to somebody and to love someone and she had thought that person was Shane. But things are not as simple as they seem.

Shane and Josie together had incredible chemistry. They had a powerful attraction, one they both couldn't deny. Josie was protective of her heart after what she thinks is her husband's betrayal. But Shane was a total alpha male pursuing her. I devoured the steamy scenes and everything felt real.

Rebecca Zanetti definitely knows how to tell a story. There were so many twists and turns which I did not see coming at all. The book kept me hooked till the very end. I just wanted to find out what happened next. Forgotten Sins had everything I could wish for in a book. Lots of action and romance. I would definitely recommend these books.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #80

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Mud Vein by Tarryn Fischer
Publication Date- April 18th 2014 

Mud Vein

Goodreads Summary: 

When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat…and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.

I was blown away with Tarryn's Love Me With Lies series and I'm very eager to see what the author has in store for readers with this book. It sure sounds intriguing. 

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Review- Red Turban, White Horse by Nandini Bajpai


Can a teenager plan a Big Fat Indian Wedding—in America?

It’s been seven years since mom died— and dad’s raised Mini to know more about computers, calculus, and cars than desi weddings—but ever since Mini saw the jewelry mom left them she’s wanted her sister to have the wedding mom would have planned.

Dad’s tech start-up means a shoestring budget, but Mini has her old Mini Cooper, her new driver’s license, her stellar sense of style, and two months of summer vacation to get it done. And she’s not letting the persistent, mysterious, and smoking hot Vir distract her, either. Flower garlands, decorations, catering, clothes, even a white wedding horse—everything is in place.

But a monster hurricane is headed for Boston and it could blow the whole band, baja, and baraat away...


Red Turban White Horse by Nandini Bajpai turned out to be a really cute read. It has a nice story with loads of characters and a protagonist who is trying to juggle everything and everyone. Every once in a while I enjoy reading clean and sweet young adult books and Red Turban White Horse was just that.

Mini is our heroine. She lives with her Dad who has just started his tech company. Mini's mother passed away seven years ago and after that the role to take care of her father has somehow fallen upon Mini. When Mini's sister Vinnie decides to get married Mini is the one who has to handle all the preparations because Vinnie is doing her residency and their mother would have wanted a big fat Indian wedding for Vinnie.

I really liked Mini. She was a sweet girl. She wanted what was best for her sister Vinnie. Even though she has everyone's support she wants to do things on her own. She just wants Vinnie's wedding to be the best day of her life. What Mini doesn't count on though is the disaster waiting to ruin all her plans.

Then we also have Vir. Vir is the love interest who seems to always pop up when Mini needs him. I found Vir to be really cute. Vir does seem to be smitten by Mini but he's got his own secrets. The main focus is not on the love story at all but I still enjoyed all the interactions between Vir and Mini. They were sweet together.

Red Turban White Horse may not have the most original of plots but the way the author has written the story makes up for it. There is a wide variety of characters and situations but in the end its just about being with your loved ones. Red Turban White Horse made for a really cute read and I would recommend it to anyone who loves chick lit.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by the author is exchange for an honest review. We thank them.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Review- Daughter Of Smoke And Bone by Laini Taylor

Goodreads Summary:

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. 

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?


Laini Taylor's Daughter Of Smoke And Bone has been one of the most creative, exquisite and stunning book that I have read. It is a powerful story about love between an angel and a devil, a tale about forbidden love and a whirlwind of some new, innovative, intricate and simply impressive concepts. The book truly is a piece of art in itself. 

Karou, the protagonist, perfectly balances both her roles in life; one as a normal art student and the other as an errand runner for a strange creature. Brimstone, Issa, Twiga, Yasir and Kishmish are Chimaera, creatures who exist behind portals, creatures who are made up of two or more distinct creatures residing in one body. As unusual as they may seem, all of them are super friendly, imaginative, dazzling in their own ways and most importantly, they are the only family Karou has ever known. For as long as she can remember, Karou has always had blue hair and one eye tattooed on each of her palms.

Set in Prague, Daughter Of Smoke And Bone is filled with charm and mystery. Karou's errands happen via portals that transport her from one part of the world to another. So in just one book, we move from Delhi to Paris to Riyadh to Marrakesh. The book is a fast-paced, detailed and prim journey. 

As a protagonist, Karou was simply gorgeous. She was a nice girl who was smart and brave. There is a lot that comes crashing down on her and her side of the story was absolutely understandable. Karou begins questioning her existence and being when she meets the fierce, unflawed and totally gorgeous angel, Akiva. Secrets are revealed and the past is revisited which makes Karou realise her role in this rather strange yet exquisite world. Karou's past was so enticing. There was so much to learn, so much to see, so much to understand and so much to admire, adore and revere.

Daughter Of Smoke And Bone is full of gorgeousness and pure magical moments. It is the most creative story with a stunning plot. The gorgeousness of the book goes to the extent that the names used in the book are also very different and impressive, my most favourites being Kazimir (Karou's ex-boyfriend), Suzanna (Karou's best friend), Magridal (I can't tell you who she is, you will have to find out for yourself) and even all the lovely Chimaeras. 

Honestly, words are not enough to describe in depth the sheer beauty of this novel. Laini Taylor is a genius. The story is different, keen and stimulating; the writing is sharp, delicate and elegant, the characters are impressive, innovative and intricate, the overall book is simply pure gorgeousness. A lovely tale of forbidden love, Daughter Of Smoke And Bone is really an exquisitely crafted and thoroughly interesting novel that took my breath away.  


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Review- Willing Captive by Belle Aurora


(Author note: This is NOT a dark romance.)

Delilah “Lily” Flynn is used to her drab existence. Lily’s been living it for twenty two years. 
Her boring life is suddenly turned on its head when she’s rudely kidnapped from her bedroom.
Or so she thinks.

Nox Taylor is far too high up in his field to be assigned a babysitting job. 
There’s nothing more he wants than to complete his mission so he can be rid of the smartass tomboy, Lily.

Day after day, Nox watches Lily and her strange ways. She’s unlike any woman he’s ever met. 
Getting close to the girl is purely for her own protection…right?

Lily never imagined she’d make her first real friends in captivity. 
What lengths would she go through to keep them?


Yes, I can see how the cover may give an impression that Willing Captive is a BDSM romance. It is NOT. It is actually a pretty hilarious book with a nice contemporary romance setting. When a friend recommended that I read Willing Captive I was a little bit unsure but I'm so glad I read the book because I really enjoyed it.

Lily Flynn is our heroine. She is twenty two years old and is sick and tired of just existing. She has a really overprotective father which does not help the situation. At all. Then Lily gets kidnapped. I really liked Lily. She was a genuinely nice person. Though she was a crybaby and always crying at the drop of a pin got a little bit irritating it suited her personality just fine.

Then we have Nox. Nox has been actually given charge to protect Lily under all circumstances. I really liked Nox as well. He was a gruff male, not talking more than required. But he had a past which made him the way he was. Nox was super protective of Lily and that made him swoony. Lily and Nox seemed to perfectly balance each other out.

The romance is definitely on the slower side but not exactly. I liked how Nox and Lily finally started understanding the reasons behind each other's actions. And I have to say this, Belle Aurora is a damn funny lady. I distinctly remember the times I cracked up while reading the book. Lily's sweetness and innocence shined through and Nox was there for it all.

But Willing Captive does have its tough times as well. I liked how realistically Lily and Nox's situation was shown. It was quite believable which first I didn't think possible. I also loved Nox's friends Boo and Rock. They were great and there was loads of action. All in all Willing Captive made for a really great read and I would suggest to everyone to give it a try.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #79

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

All Lined Up by Cora Carmack
Publication Date: May 13, 2014


In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That's what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn't always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It's obliterated.

Dallas doesn't know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn't know that Dallas is his new coach's daughter.

And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.

I love the sound of this book!
What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Review- Finding It by Cora Carmack


Sometimes you have to lose yourself to find where you truly belong...

Most girls would kill to spend months traveling around Europe after college graduation with no responsibility, no parents, and no-limit credit cards. Kelsey Summers is no exception. She's having the time of her life . . . or that's what she keeps telling herself.

It's a lonely business trying to find out who you are, especially when you're afraid you won't like what you discover. No amount of drinking or dancing can chase away Kelsey's loneliness, but maybe Jackson Hunt can. After a few chance meetings, he convinces her to take a journey of adventure instead of alcohol. With each new city and experience, Kelsey's mind becomes a little clearer and her heart a little less hers. Jackson helps her unravel her own dreams and desires. But the more she learns about herself, the more Kelsey realizes how little she knows about Jackson.


Finding It is the third and final book in Cora Carmack's new adult series. I had liked Losing It but Faking It had disappointed me so I went in without any expectations into Finding It. I am so glad that I read this book because Finding It turned out to be a really good read. THIS is new adult people. It was about discovering yourself and facing the changes life has in store for you.

Kelsey is on a world wide trip. She is trying to find happiness one last time before she has to return to parents who don't give a damn about her. Kelsey was really hard to like in the beginning. I could not relate to her behavior or her getting drunk every five minutes. But I did understand her by the end of the book. She had a vulnerability to her and she just wanted to belong.

Then there's Jackson Hunt. He always seems to end up when she needs someone to rescue her. There's also the thing of him being too hot for his own good. Jackson somehow always seems to see through Kelsey's pretense. I really liked Jackson. He was sensible and hot. He was what made the whole romance swoon worthy.

The romance between Kelsey and Jackson was amazing. There is chemistry between them and I loved their banter. Both of them could be themselves with each other. The whole book goes from Kelsey's pov so I did wish we'd got Hunt's pov too. But that would have spilled the secret. I can guarantee that anyone who's read enough of romances can figure out the big secret really fast. I did within a few pages.

But that didn't decrease my enjoyment of the book. Finding It was a fun read which takes Kelsey and Jackson to exotic locations. I liked that it was a true new adult book unlike the past few new adult books which just seem to be more like erotica. Finding It was a good read.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Review- Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Goodreads Summary:

New York Times  bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS. 

While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.


Before I start the actual review of the book, I want to make two points very clear. First of all, David Levithan. Wow, that man is incredibly creative and talented. I have read two of the author's books before- The Lover's Dictionary and Boy Meets Boy. Trust me, it doesn't seem like the three books I've read have been written by the same author. It's insane how different each of David Levithan's book has been. Be it the narrative technique, the point of view, the flow of words, you name it and it's all so fresh each time. The only similarity between each is that there is no difference and the only difference is the lack of similarity. And for that, I admire the author immensely. His books are unbelievable, his characters incredible, his stories inspiring and his writing, promising.

Secondly, the comparison between Boy Meets Boy and Two Boys Kissing. Yes, I know it's very subjective of me but I really can't help it. I had high expectations from Boy Meets Boy and while it wasn't as epic as I would have liked it to be, it was still an absolutely funny, tender and promising read. Two Boys Kissing released in the year Boy Meets Boy completed ten years and I read both the books almost one after the other. What I felt lacked in Boy Meets Boy was actually taken up in Two Boys Kissing. The latter wasn't an utopian set-up. It was real. It was raw. It was emotional. It was highly, supremely and completely inspiring. And if I were to read just a single kind of book, I would go for such types. It's hard for me to express this but Two Boys Kissing gave me that feeling you get in situations where you feel something but can't do anything about it. Like, that lump in your throat, that sinking feeling in your stomach, and that feeling when you want to cry but tears won't come.

If The Lover's Dictionary could be termed as the epitome of creativity in writing, Two Boys Kissing is a whole new level of imagination. The book is not written by an author, nor by a character but it's written by all of us. All of us who believe that love isn't defined by barriers and humanity is what matters the most. It's the message of the LGBT community to the LGBT community to stay strong. And as a ardent and strong believer and supporter of the same, I feel that it's a message from all of us to all of us. 

I know I haven't said anything about the story but that's the beauty of it. It's not a story at all, but stories. Besides, the title is pretty obvious. But it's definitely not all that there is to it. There is plenty of stuff to say besides the stories which are something that's for everyone to find out and appreciate at least, if not love. They're the most heart breaking and at the same time, heart healing stories which are interconnected in the most dazzling way. Two Boys Kissing is the kind of book where the characters- each and every one of them, more than the individual stories or the story as a whole- are going to stay with me. And it’s perfect. I'm so happy that I finally found my first five stars read of 2014 and it couldn't have been a better pick.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Review- Until the End of Time by Danielle Steel


Bill, a dedicated young lawyer working at his family’s prestigious New York firm, leaves everything he trained for to follow his dream and become a minister in rural Wyoming. Jenny, his wife, is a stylist whose heart and soul are invested in fashion. She leaves the milieu and life she loves to join him. The certainty they share is that their destinies are linked forever. 

Fast forward thirty-eight years. Robert is a hardworking independent book publisher in Manhattan who has given up all personal life to build his struggling business. He is looking for one big hit novel to publish. Lillibet is a young Amish woman, living as though in the seventeenth century, caring for her widowed father and three young brothers on their family farm. In secret at night, by candlelight, she has written the novel that burns within her, and gets it into Robert’s hands, wrapped in her hand-stitched apron. He falls in love first with the book, and then with the woman he has never met, living in the sequestered world of the Amish—a world without telephones, computers, electricity, modern conveniences, or cars. Although Lillibet faces banishment from her family and community, she embraces the opportunity to publish her novel, and is irresistibly drawn to the man who has heard her voice. Destiny is at work here. Fate draws her from her horse-and-buggy life toward his, and the publication of her novel.


Okay, this is my second Danielle Steel book and I am still not getting the hype behind them. Maybe I'm missing something here or maybe her older books were much better but the only way I can describe Until the End of Time is average. Her books are wholly unrealistic for me.

The book starts off in 1975, where Bill is a young lawyer who works in his family's law firm. When he meets Jenny he instantly falls in love with her. What follows is Bill and Jenny getting married despite his family's objections. Here Bill discovers how unsatisfied he is and leaves his job to become a pastor.

I liked Bill and Jenny. They were true opposites and their love for each other was also true. They have to go through their share of difficulties and Jenny sacrifices her flourishing career to move with Bill to become a pastor's wife. What I found highly unrealistic though is how easily Bill and Jenny start fixing things in the small town. Its like they are super perfect just waving their magic wand around.

Then we move to several years later where Lillibet is a young Amish woman who works hard for her father and younger brothers. She has a passion for reading and writing and she writes a book to be sent to a publisher. The publisher being none other that Robert who stumbles upon her manuscript and instantly falls in love with it and then her. I hope you guys can see the pattern here.

I am not opposed to the idea of fate but anything and everything has a limit. There were just too many variables which didn't fit. I found the Amish thing fascinating but in the end after shunning Lillibet the way her father easily forgives her was unrealistic. It was TOO perfect with TOO perfect characters. Not my cup of tea. This was an okay read.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by Random House India in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Author Interview- Uday Gupt (Final Cut)

Hello! Today, we have with us author of Final CutUday Gupt, who as joined us for an interesting author interview. I have the book on my review pile and am looking forward to it. Until my reading and reviewing are done, we did this cool interview with the author. So let's get on to the post we have for you! 


Six fast-paced, gripping short stories and a short novella, each with a Final Cut -- a surprising, unexpected and intriguing twist in the last paragraphs. In Hodsons Gold, a quest for the legacy of one of the most colourful characters of the Indian Mutiny of 1857 leads, via a poem in code and a coded poem, straight to a thoroughly startling address in Delhi. Two boys grow up, together after a fashion, in the 1990s and 2000s in Bishnupur, West Bengal and Kolkata, in Friends and their growing up years trigger an international sensation when revealed. Shooting for an improbable 4th Pulitzer Prize, a three-time winner arrives in Kolkatas Red Light district to discover, even more improbably, that It Happens Only in India. After setting up a roaringly successful business and after thirty-seven years, Will Reena? -- readers are asked, in the only short novella in the collection. It turns out, in The Last Supper, that the human models for a painting done over two hundred years ago in Kolkata were keepers of wholly unexpected secrets. On a Buddha Purnima day 2,000 years ago, the holiest day in the Buddhist calendar, a miracle occurs in Sarnath near Varanasi that should, by rights, have been recorded long ago in an immensely better book than this. And finally, in the story that lends its name to this book, magic, religion and celebrities combine in the Kolkata of 2011, to lead to a very different Final Cut.


Uday Gupt has been a career banker for over 20 years and, after two decades of managing business lending to India, the Middle East, Asia, North Africa and Asia Minor, he currently works for one of the largest banks in the Middle East in Abu Dhabi. He visits India -- where the stories of this collection are set -- several times every year.
He has been a regular contributor of opinion pieces on economic issues to newspapers and publications. This is his first collection of fiction.  
Uday grew up in Delhi, where he attended institutions that have produced some of the best talent on the Indian writing scene, St. Columba’s School, St. Stephen’s College and the Delhi School of Economics, and then finished his education from IIM, Ahmedabad. 
He lives in Dubai with his wife and two children.   



Hi, Uday! Welcome to The Readdicts. It’s a pleasure to have you stop by our blog today and we hope you have a great time answering our questions.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in Delhi, and went to a succession of alma maters that have produced some of the best writing talent in India: St Stephen's, Delhi School of Economics and IIM (Ahmedabad). Unfortunately, like hordes of IIM graduates, I then joined the stampede to a bank during placement season, and have stayed parked in one ever since, except for a hiatus of 3 years. It's only been a few years since I started putting down the stories that have buzzed and chased around inside my head ever since I was a kid.

2. Did you always want to be an author? How did you get into writing?

I was dragged kicking and screaming into writing by my boss, about a decade-and-a- half ago in Kuwait. A local newspaper wanted a piece on Gulf economies, and who better to grind it out than the recently-joined young puppy? After that, articles on eco-politics kept rolling out (very) sporadically, and then regularly after about 2010, for local papers in the UAE. I realised a year later that the articles were getting more and more fun to read, and less and less the standard dead-as-a-class-lecture, yawn-inducing eco polemical. It was then that I started putting down the stories in my head.

3. Tell us about your book, Final Cut.

Six short stories set in Northern and Eastern India, and a short novella set in Delhi. Each story has an unexpected twist(s) in the end. The actual settings range from a Buddhist monastery 2100 years ago (that’s a huge giveaway re the ending – think – what’s the mega-event that happened 2100 years ago ?!) to the flourishing red light area of Kolkata, Sonagacchi, circa  2012. Even though I blush to say it myself, pick up the book and you’ll be hooked !     

4. What inspired to write Final Cut?

Errr…(I’m blushing deeper at the dumb answer coming)…nothing. As I’ve said, I’d told myself stories I was young, and these were what I started putting down. In a more prosaic, literal sense, my job commute is also my inspiration. I work in Abu Dhabi and live in Dubai 140 kilometres away, about four hours the round trip. These hours are my cranium time: by the time I’m in office or home, I often have several hundred words ready to be vomited into a computer.    

5. Are you an avid reader? Who are some of your favourite authors and what are some of your favourite books?

Absolutely and compulsively. I’m the sad type who, when my Kindle battery’s died on me and I’m alone in a restaurant, re- and re-re-re-reads the menu. You’d refuse to publish my list of fave authors because it’d be so long: I ingest huge and variegated varieties of literature and not-so-literature. The list starts with Vikram Seth, Amitav Ghosh, Will Darlymple, Geroge Macdonald Fraser…and my top list  would be everything written by those gentlemen I guess (Didn’t I just say I’m into unmanageably large lists ?)  

6. What do you do when you’re not writing?

Forex charting. I’m one of the handful of formally qualified chartists in the Gulf.

7. Why should people read your book?

For kicks. My book’s an out and out entertainer, in a grown-up, non teen-fiction, non chick-lit way. (I hope).

8. Describe Final Cut in one sentence!

Riveting short stories for the thinking person. Even  a slightly-lightly thinking is fine.

9. What are your plans for the future? Any new book in the making?

Yes, of course. As I’ve said elsewhere, I hope to write until about an hour before I die. The next book’s in the works. (As usual several ideas are doing the skull-buzzing –‘n’-chasing).

10. Tell us a random fact about yourself or simple tell us some random incident of your life!

My ‘arty’ fix was originally singing (Rabindrasangeet, Dhrupad) and I’ve spent decades learning and practicing. I had an operation in 1999 that deprived me of much of my hearing. There’s no point in singing if you can’t hear the music and/or miss your cues: I gave it up. So there you have it: the arbit, random fact.  When’s the last you heard of half-deaf author ?  

 Thank you so much for taking the time out to answer our questions, Uday. We wish you all the very best for your future.

Thank you, readers, for stopping by and I hope you liked the interview!