The good deed of the day : Book Review

A book review for Veronica Thatcher 
An opportunity to review someone’s book is a prestigious responsibility. Because that’s when you realize that your opinion is valued, appreciated and important in the practical world. This is my first book review for Veronica Thatcher and I solemnly swear to be as honest as a human can be.
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The blurb reads:

Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes, uncertain. People, irrational. But love…well, that makes everything complicated. And when you are caught in a tangled web of secrets, lies, and complex affairs, someone is bound to get burned.

Emily Stevens is a spunky, spirited college girl whose life gets turned upside-down when she realizes she’s in love with her best friend of fifteen years, Derek Thorpe. As Emily prepares to confess her feelings to Derek, something happens one night which changes her life forever. Five years later, Emily finds herself in Boston, alone and heartbroken. Will she ever be able to forget the past? And what will she find when she returns home…to the man she left behind?

In my opinion:

Thatcher  has made it a point to tell us that her book is about to express how un-perfect the world can get  as she promises to explore the unflattering elements of human relationships.  While the book lies on the fine line between the genres of mainstream adult romance and a beautiful, authentic love story: it’s left up to the reader’s maturity and perspective to judge how they like the book. The story revolves around Derek, Emily and a mysterious time in Boston. It’s interesting to read how Thatcher blends in romance with intrigue and tries to portray ‘love’ in modern day. While ‘love’ is a pretty interesting topic and attracts the fancy of many, Thatcher’s ‘A Way Back Into Love’ promises to be interesting, warm and a comfortable Saturday night read. What adds to the novel is that Thatcher has allowed an aspect of her personality to slip in, giving her readers something new and exciting to try out. The book’s blurb also suggests the presence of a mystery man. Oscillating between Emily’as past, Derek’s hero-like presence and the ‘what-happens-in-Boston’ suspense, Thatcher promises to take us on the journey of Emily and Derek : tow individuals who we can relate to.

Read more about the author, Veronica Thatcher below.
 
 
A interesting peek into the author’s life – see how Thatcher describes herself
 
Veronica Thatcher is an exciting new contemporary romance author. Ever since she was very young, she’s dreamed of becoming a doctor when she grew up. While still forging ahead with that, majoring in pre-med in college, she unwittingly stumbled upon a new dream—becoming a published author. Some may call her an introvert or a wallflower, but she has always found she could express herself better in written, rather than spoken, words. However, never in her wildest dreams had she envisioned she would pursue writing as a prospective career, not just a hobby. Her love for writing goes hand-in-hand with her love for a good romance novel—whether it be a feel-good, sweet romance or a dark, suspenseful one. 
 
When she’s not studying, reading, or writing, she is usually found blasting her favourite songs, sometimes singing and dancing along to them. She dabbles in a number of activities, including painting, karate, singing and dancing. She is a huge chocoholic – probably the biggest – and she is an ice-cream junkie too. She considers herself technologically handicapped forever and has no shame in admitting that. She also deems chocolates her boyfriend, Patrick Dempsey the love of her life, and Friends her life!
Her first book, A Way Back Into Love, is slated for release in February 2017, and she hopes readers will enjoy it as much as she enjoyed writing it. 
Grab your copy here
You can stalk her @ 

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How Art Creates Itself

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Artwork created by author: Khushboo Shah 

Yes, controversial ‘easy-to-make painting selling in millions’ exists. But, do not get carried by those who say that “art is easy.” Though we choose to create differently, a creator lies in all of us. There are five stages to any artwork. The first one includes the ‘Stage of The Muse’. This is when inspiration seeks you. Remember that if you ever try to seek inspiration, then you’ll fail – because inspiration can never be forced. Once inspiration arrives, the next step is to ‘unleash’. It is an over-exaggerated idea that an artwork is perfect with its first, initial paint strokes. The early brush strokes, pencil sketches, charcoal drawings are just the preliminary stages. They’re the stages that help you decide between what feels right and what does not. The next is the ‘decision state’. That’s when you decide what element of the artwork should be kept and what should be discarded. The phase is one of the most clandestine stages of artists. Most amateurs deny that this stage exists for they believe that this accepting the existence of this state for them is like “questioning their credibility.” And this is the – ‘Planning stage’. Though I’ve placed this as the fourth stage– there is no one, particular way when this state is exercised. Sometimes, the ‘planning stage’ is the first step. As an artist, it is very important to balance the light, tone, mood, aesthetic composure and visual narrative of an artwork. This stage establishes whether the artwork is moving in the right direction or not – and if not, then provides the incentive to correct the flawed areas.  While these stages are being executed by an artist, simultaneously, the artist also experiments with his/her artwork. ‘Execution’ is a stage which runs progressively throughout and consequently – even when all other stages are being carried forward. The end result – or the finished artwork is always something that satisfies the artist.

And what I mean by that is that, an artist is someone who will always works for himself/herself. It is not fame or popularity that are an artist’s identity. Instead, it’s art and the ability and necessity to create are an artist’s identity. Subtle layers of an artist’s imagination are embedded in the artwork. To comprehend the depth of these layers one needs to learn how to ‘feel’ art and not merely view it. For even though art is created, it’s depths need to be felt.

Watch this video – you’ll know what I mean.

“I Want to Feel Beautiful.”

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I want to feel beautiful.

It’s alright if don’t feel glossy, cover girl, it girl magazine beautiful. But I want to feel like ‘I belong’, ‘I matter’ beautiful. I want to feel beautiful like the energy on 24th December Pre-Christmas Dinner. I want to feel an expectant, alive kind of beautiful. A beauty, that does not rotate around Whatsapp Profile Pictures and ends at blank Snapchat filters. I may not be curves- highlighting- black-dress material beautiful sometimes. Because, sometimes, I realize that I’m not that strappy high heels wearing, ‘some boy’ will come buy me a martini kind of a girl. And that’s okay for me.

I want to feel beautiful because I want to tell myself that I’m enough to walk over to the bar and ask for a glass of water because I consensually do not drink. I want to feel that ‘liberated’ beautiful. I want to feel that quiet, calm, peaceful beautiful because I want to not ever feel guilty when I say “no”. I want to be beautiful so that I can break barriers between the ‘right kind of weight’ and the ‘wrong kind of weight’ and walk into M.O.D. and order the largest donut of death by chocolate. I want to feel beautiful because I want to hug my fears at 3:50 am on a Sunday night and tell myself that it’s okay. I want to be beautiful so that I can embrace my different. I want to feel this beautiful and I want it so bad because I want to understand the extents and limits of my vulnerability.

To me, beautiful is not just a word. It is not materialism overflowing from chap sticks and extra-red, T.G.I.F lipstick stains. To me, beautiful is that sweat I have on my back from walking with my mom to the library just so that I can smell the rawness of old, dusty books. To me beautiful is to be able to thank the cleaning lady at the Saturday night club night – the same woman who cleans up vomit of those who can’t handle their alcohol. I want to be beautiful, so that I can look down in humility as she takes my hand and tries to speak over her overwhelming silent tears. I want to be beautiful, because I want to have the courage to accept that what’s right for me is never going to be on the easy path.

I want to be beautiful, so that I don’t have to write “I want to be beautiful” in posts like these just because I want people to know that there are girls out there who are being body-shamed and bullied for . . . for what? For their metabolism? For the bread they break with God’s name? For the extra chunk of human they have on their bellies and hips and can’t get rid of it because they’re so busy trying to filter the negative voices in their head with the positive?

I’m sorry.

Until that vulnerability and the feeling of ‘I’m not good enough’ doesn’t erase from the minds of the women I love and respect, I’ll have to keep typing “I’m want to feel beautiful” to let them know that they’re not alone.

I’m also going to have to keep typing, “I want to feel beautiful” until the boys and the lads and the men realize that they can be beautiful too. I won’t stop, until they realize that their sanctity and their “heroicness” won’t be violated if they let their guard down and let their‘macho’ feel beautiful for once. I won’t stop until they realize that there is no separate race for the beautiful people and that all bones rot in soil after death. I’ll also have to keep typing “I want to be beautiful” to let the rape victims and acid attack victims know that ‘to feel beautiful’ is a state of mind and a way of life. And no matter how much we try, until our hearts don’t accept it, our eyes won’t believe it and our faces won’t reflect it. I want to feel beautiful so that I can develop a mental stability and maturity and learn how not to judge any burlesque, cabaret, punk, rock, rap, it girl, teen pop sensation, Bollywood desi or Moulin rouge dancer. For I know that our dignity comes from the purity our heart’s harbor. I have engraved this on my morals – that I need to not only clean my nails, but also my mind.

I want to feel beautiful because I want to be accepting at all times – especially in times when I won’t feel so beautiful. For I know how dusty, allergic, nauseous, crampy, jealous, afraid, tired, over thinking, hateful and anxious I can get. In these moments, I’ll need to keep my drive to feel beautiful, alive.

Do help me, oh human.

Because human, I will want to feel beautiful as long as I live. And as long as I’m alive, I’ll question. Because the questions I ask make me understand the fickleness of the beauty ‘they’ want. I want to feel beautiful so that I never forget the kind of beautiful I want to be and the kind of beautiful I’ve been brought up with. I want to be beautiful so that I have patience to deal with the answers I get. And, I want this beautiful so bad, because I want to fill all the hurtful spaces of my life with forgiveness. A calm kind of forgiveness that makes me want to respect myself again. And, so that I finally understand the difference between a scared silence and a sacred silence. I want to be beautiful because I want to know when to take ‘things’ with a pinch of salt and when to fight back and clear the dirt of my conscience.

I do not want to be beautiful to be saint; I want to be beautiful to learn how to be human.

-khushboo shah

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