23 April 2016

German Apple Pie

Photo Credits : Barefit in the Kitchen

Original Recipe : SoFeminine.co.uk

Ingredients
120g flour
160g butter
80g sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 pinch salt
2 eggs

Filling:
1 kg red apples
100g sugar
100g raisins
30g butter
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1 tablespoons rum (Optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg yolk

Method:
- Chop the butter into small pieces and put in bowl with sieved flour.
- Rub in with fingers until perfectly combined, then add eggs, sugar, salt and lemon zest.
- Roll into a ball and leave to chill in fridge.
- Prepare the apples  by peeling and slicing apples into a bowl.
- Add sugar, raisins and cinnamon, stir well.
- Grease a cake tin or pie dish and line with 2/3 of pastry.
- Put apple mixture on top and sprinkle with rum and 30g melted butter.
- Cover with rest of pastry, pinch edges to seal and brush with egg yolk.
- Cook until golden in an oven preheated to 350°F(180°C)
- Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or hot with custard.

15 April 2016

Review Opportunity for Bloggers!


Book Blurb

Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes’s, Me Before You, My Last Love Story is a heartbreakingly romantic tale about the complexities of trauma and whether love can right a wrong.

I, Simeen Desai, am tired of making lemonade with the lemons life has handed me.

Love is meant to heal wounds.
Love was meant to make my world sparkle and spin.
Love has ripped my life apart and shattered my soul. 

I love my husband, and he loves me.

But Nirvaan is dying.
I love my husband. I want to make him happy.
But he is asking for the impossible. 

I don’t want a baby.

I don’t want to make nice with Zayaan.
I don’t want another chance at another love story. 

Advance Praise for the Book

At once heartbreaking, delightful and completely unexpected. A must read! 
~ Sonali Dev, author of The Bollywood Affair

In My Last Love Story, Kothari examines love and loss, desire and desolation, with a deft, wry touch that kept me reading late into the night and moved me to tears. 

~ Julia Tagan, author of Stages of Desire


About the Author



Falguni Kothari is an internationally bestselling hybrid author and an amateur Latin and Ballroom dance silver medalist with a background in Indian Classical dance. She writes in a variety of genres sewn together by the colorful threads of her South Asian heritage and expat experiences. When not writing or dancing, she fools around on all manner of social media, and loves to connect with her readers. My Last Love Story is her fourth novel.






Website * Blog * Twitter 



Sign Up HERE!

Louise - A New Beginning by Diana Nixon


Louise by Diana Nixon

Book Blurb:
It doesn’t hurt to dream, unless you know your dreams will never come true.

Since childhood, Louise Woods has wanted to become a dancer. The day she arrives at Le Papillon – a private cabaret club where men come to enjoy the beauty of women dancing, her life completely changes. Louise lives in the club and the rules of living and working there cannot be ignored or broken. Either you do your best to please the clients, or you are out. No flirting, no secret affairs, just dancing.

During her first public show, Louise meets a stranger who pays for the privilege to have her privately dance for him. He won't let her see his face, he won't even introduce himself, but he will make an offer that she won’t be able to refuse. He won’t make any hollow promises, but he will make her believe she is special…

“I hate following the rules,” he’ll say, “but I do love breaking them.”

Will she dare to risk losing everything she has, just to make the darkest of the stranger’s fantasies come true? Once the decision is made, there will be no way back…






LOUISE: A New Beginning

COMING SPRING 2016

Book Blurb:
Life is not always easy. Especially when you are in love with the man whose life is so much different from yours. Power, money, respect – these are the things that a girl raised in an orphanage can only dream about. But sometimes, love is the only power that you need to get whatever you wish for…

Louise Woods had always been a fighter. She had known since childhood that everything has a price. But freedom was the only thing that she could never have.

Living in a world of lies and betrayal, will she sacrifice her love to become finally free?

Or will she let her heart win?

A new journey full of passion and forbidden dreams; it’s a new dance, it’s a new life.

“We will start it all from the very beginning, from the very first kiss…”




About the Author:
Diana Nixon, an International Bestselling Author of contemporary and paranormal romances, is a woman of contradictions. She was born in Minsk., Belarus. She has a Master of Law degree and speaks several foreign languages, including English, Polish and Spanish.

Diana’s writing career is like a roller coaster ride. It started with a fantasy novel named Love Lines, that was originally written in Russian and only later, it was translated into English. Since then, Diana has published 15 more books, both of contemporary and fantasy genres.

Diana Nixon is the founder of Inks and Scratches, a literary magazine  intended to help authors of all genres find readers and spread the news about their writing all over the world.









04 April 2016

The Sad Cafe - The Eagles

This is one of my favourite songs of all time... It makes me feel sad and happy at the same time!



"The Sad Cafe"

Out in the shiny night, the rain
was softly falling
The tracks that ran down the boulevard had
all been washed away

Out of the silver light, the past came softly calling
And I remember the times we spent
inside the Sad Cafe

Oh, it seemed like a holy place,
protected by amazing grace
And we would sing right out loud, the
things we could not say
We thought we could change this world
with words like "love" and "freedom"
We were part of the lonely crowd
Inside the Sad Cafe

Oh, expecting to fly,
we would meet on that beautiful shore in the sweet by and by

Some of their dreams came true,
some just passed away
And some of them stayed behind
inside the Sad Cafe.

The clouds rolled in and hid that shore
Now that Glory Train, it don't stop here no more
Now I look at the years gone by,
and wonder at the powers that be.
I don't know why fortune smiles on some
and let's the rest go free

Maybe the time has drawn the faces I recall
But things in this life change very slowly,
if they ever change at all
no use in asking why,
it just turned out that way
So meet me at midnight baby
inside the Sad Cafe.
Why don't you meet me at midnight, babe,
inside the Sad Cafe.


01 April 2016

Surpanakha by Hariharan Iyer



Educated, young, no-nonsense bearing, able administrator—these are the qualities that won Sesha the loyalties of the people after three years of rule as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. An allegation that he was the mastermind behind the murder of 73 Kannadigas threatens to bring him down but he is miraculously saved in the 11th hour.
Even before he can relish his victory, Sesha is slapped with the charge of sexually offending a young nurse. This time round, the case is strong and his supporters are uncertain. Worse, his teenage daughter calls him 'vile' and walks out of the house. While Mythili, his wife promises her full support, her secretive activities—undertaken with the help of a retired cop—is a cause of concern for Sesha.
Will Zarina, the human-rights activist, succeed in bringing him down? What about the insinuations of a celebrity lawyer that he is casteist and antiminorities? When the young nurse is found dead, the case becomes even more complex. Who is innocent? Who is guilty? And who is the mastermind?

Book Buy Links:
Links for downloading e-books: Amazon India | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Links for ordering paperbacks: Amazon India | Flipkart 

An Interview with the Author:

Who is your inspiration?
Rather than “who” I would like to talk about “what” inspires me.

What inspires you to write?
Exceptions, Anomalies, Controversies- they induce anger in me, which inspires me to write.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
A couple of years ago, a law intern alleged that a retired judged behaved in a sexually inappropriate manner with her. Celebrity lawyers took up her case. Media hounded the judge. He was forced to resign from a strategic post retirement job. Thereafter when the police registered a case and wanted the victim to testify, she vanished. We don’t know what happened. Was there pressure on her not to testify? Or was it decided that the purpose had been achieved? Neither the celebrity lawyers nor media felt obliged to explain their position to the masses.

Secondly, a series of articles by an IIM professor on the mushrooming NGOs and their questionable sources of funds forced me to think. Around the same time there were reports that well-known personalities who were running foreign funded NGOs were using the funds for buying branded jewellery, clothing and shoes! It made me wonder what the underlying motivation could be for floating such NGOs.

Both the above gave rise to a lot of what ifs in me and pushed me into the realm of fiction. And the novel was born. I would, however, like to clarify that it is not a real life story.

Why should we read Surpankha and what can we expect from it?

Surpanakha deals with the travails of Sesha.

Sesha, who?

Educated, young, no-nonsense bearing, able administrator—these are the qualities that won Sesha the loyalties of the people after three years of rule as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. An allegation that he was the mastermind behind the murder of 73 Kannadigas threatens to bring him down but he is miraculously saved in the 11th hour.

Even before he can relish his victory, Sesha is slapped with the charge of sexually offending a young nurse. This time round, the case is strong and his supporters are uncertain. Worse, his teenage daughter calls him 'vile' and walks out of the house. While Mythili, his wife promises her full support, her secretive activities—undertaken with the help of a retired cop—is a cause of concern for Sesha.

Will Zarina, the human-rights activist, succeed in bringing him down? What about the insinuations of a celebrity lawyer that he is casteist and anti-minorities? When the young nurse is found dead, the case becomes even more complex. Who is innocent? Who is guilty? And who is the mastermind?   
As you can see it is a political thriller. It deals with contemporary issues, which are agitating the social and mainstream media today. You will be able to connect with the book from its first page.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
I am working on my next book, which deals with an aspiring young girl who wants to pursue medicine, but the reservation laws of the country would not allow her to do so. What does she do—curse her fate and choose another discipline to pursue like her elder brother did a few years earlier or fight back?  

Read an Excerpt:

A dim yellow light in the background enabled the viewers to get a silhouette of the girl. Perhaps there was a fan beyond the camera frame that ruffled her curly hair mildly, and her hand moved involuntarily to put it back in order. The yellow line over the edges of her shoulder and arms implied a somewhat plump figure. She was wearing a sleeveless top or kurta.

“Sesha had never stared at me like that. In fact, I doubt whether he had noticed me properly at all. He would enter the room and I would walk out. There was never a chance. But then, that night was perhaps different. He had always seen me in churidar-kurta. That night since I had gone to sleep, I waswearing a nightgown…a sleeveless one.

“He asked if I could serve him dinner. The cook had left. She generally left for her home on Saturday evenings and returned the next night. I agreed. He returned to the dining table after changing. I had laid out the dinner. He then took out a bottle of red wine and poured two glasses. That was a surprise. I had never seen him taking alcohol. Perhaps his wife’s accident and her long illness had disturbed him emotionally. He offered me a glass. I hesitated. But he insisted. So as not to offend him, I took the glass and sipped the drink.” She seemed to move uncomfortably in her chair. 

Catherine volunteered, “You don’t need to describe it further if you don’t want to. I know how painful it would be.” 

The girl took a long breath and replied, “Hmm…I’ll talk. Painful indeed. But I’ve braved it over the last two years. Jesus has made me strong. After clearing the table, I was returning to my room. Intuitively, I felt he was following me. I was scared to look back. I paced faster towards the room. But a couple of feet before my room, I felt he was too close to me. I turned back to object. Since he was too close, he fell over me. He propped me against the wall and before I could realise what was happening, he kissed me on my lips…”

Her voice choked. Catherine extended a glass of water and the girl’s hand extended from the hazy dark background. The fingers that wrapped the glass, which was outside the darkened area, were white and the nails were well manicured. She sipped the water, cleared her throat and resumed.

“He walked me to the next room and sat me on the bed. He knelt down before me, held my face in his hands and said that I looked beautiful. I was benumbed by the suddenness of his advance. He ran his fingers over my forehead, my eyes and cheeks and then through the neck down to…the whole
thing was inappropriate. An affront. I realised he was exploiting mynumbness. Anger surged in me. I pushed him aside, jumped out of the bed and ran to my room. I closed the door behind me and slouched against it. My whole body shivered. Unable to sleep, scared that he might forcefully enter
the room again, I sat against the door and remained awake the whole night.”

Catherine handed the girl another glass of water.



About the Author:

Hariharan Iyer is a finance professional based in Dar es Salaam. Not content with just a rewarding corporate job, he took to writing a couple of years back. He blogged on media and current affairs for a year at valadyviews.blogspot.com before hitting on the idea for this novel. An idea so powerful that it convinced the accountant in him that he could put together not just a balance sheet but an intriguing political thriller as well. He has definite views on politics, NGOs and media ethics and has tried to package them in the form of an interesting novel. 

Hariharan lives with his wife in Dar es Salaam while his two sons are pursuing their ambitions in India. 

Contact the Author:
Facebook | Twitter | Blog 



Giveaway:

- Amazon Gift Card worth $12 or 750INR
- Amazon Gift Card worth $10 or 500INR

a Rafflecopter giveaway