Monday, 26 September 2016

Don't Read My Books If...

Don't read my books if...

You're looking for something with a Fifty Shades of Grey feel.

You get uncomfortable if the story has twists-and-turns.

You don't like it if authors surprise you with events that you don't predict.

You won't like it if the characters act in a way that you yourself might not in the same situation (that's not to say the characters act out of character for the 'shock value').

You don't enjoy it if the characters react to certain events differently to characters in books by other authors that deal with similar issues.

You prefer the characters to annoy you by making silly decisions that don't make sense.

You'd rather not get attached to the characters and care for them.

You don't like vivid scenes (happy, sad or disturbing ones) and characters that feel real.

Otherwise, you can download my books from your favourite e-book stores now: 

Contemporary romance series, the Soulmates Saga. 



Start with Book 1, Chasing Pavements, available at Amazon US, Amazon UK, iBooks and B&N Nook
 

~ ~ ~

Paranormal/urban fantasy series, the Poison Blood series.


The first two books are free to download and the last two are releasing this Halloween (available to pre-order now!). Order each book for only $0.99 now, as the cost will return to the normal price of $1.49 after release.
 



Monday, 19 September 2016

Spoiler-Free Q&A on Someone Like You (Soulmates Saga, Book 3)

Below is a Q&A on Someone Like You (Soulmates Saga, Book 3). I've kept it as spoiler-free as possible, so as not to ruin it for those who have yet to get into this romance series about troubled soulmates Mukti and Jamie.

Q: What was the inspiration behind Someone Like You? 

A: Funnily enough, it was the song Someone Like You by Adele. Everything that has happened in the last two books, as well as the characters and a few songs, all inspired me to begin this third book.



Q: What was your favourite part about writing Someone Like You? 

A: Finishing it! Because, for a long time, it didn't seem like it was going to be finished. I started it in 2012 and finished the first draft towards the end of 2015. It took me longer to finish this book than the first two combined, and that was because of everything that was happening in my personal life. When I wrote the last line, it felt like such a relief.


Q: Do you have a favourite scene or chapter in the book? 


A: There are loads of scenes that I like and whenever I read them, I go "aww!" The Epilogue though, is really special to me. I don't know if one reader on Goodreads was referring to this when she said the book had a "great ending", or perhaps it was how the story was wrapped up overall, but the very last sentence in the book is one of my absolute favourites!


Q: This book is the last book in the series, right? 


A: Will I be writing another book, or books, to see what happens next? Who knows? Do these characters have more stories to tell? Again, who knows? Life doesn't end at 30. In terms of a fourth book in this series, nothing concrete is in the pipeline at the moment. The thought of spending more time with Mukti and co. however, is very tempting, but I won't do anything unless I have a great story to tell, one which will be a good novel in its own right. 

If I do write a fourth book, I think I'd like to try something different. Like I said, the main characters are in their 30's now, so I wouldn't want to write a book that spans 2-3 years or more, like the last three books, and shove them into middle age so fast.



I like the idea of challenging myself to squeeze in all the drama, romance and twist-and-turns into a book that stretches across a mere few weeks, maximum three months. Once again, the plot would need to be really amazing for me to start writing a fourth book. At the moment, it's nice to think that my favourite characters finally have some peace in their lives. I do have a few ideas about where I'd like to go with this series... more details in due course. 

Someone Like You is available to download from:

Amazon USAmazon UK|   iBooks    |   Kobo     |   Smashwords   |   B&N Nook


Read an excerpt at the Amazon Kindle Store here, or download the first 20% of Someone Like You for free from Smashwords here.




~ What Others Have Said About Someone Like You ~ 


"Full of drama, romance and twists and turns. I couldn't predict what would happen in the next chapter but wasn't disappointed with what did happen. I really liked how the story ended. Loved this story!" *****

~

 “Great ending." ****



Sunday, 11 September 2016

Spoiler-Free Q&A on Make You Feel My Love (Soulmates Saga, Book 2)

Here's a spoiler-free Q&A on Make You Feel My Love (The Soulmates Saga, Book 2).

Q:  Chasing Pavements had the perfect ending.  Why did you decide to write a sequel to it? 

A:  I didn’t actually decide to write a sequel. Chasing Pavements didn’t start off as a first in a series of books about troubled soulmates Mukti and Jamie. I had no idea what would happen to the manuscript – whether it would get published, and if it did, whether it would be successful. And even if it was, even if fans demanded one, would that be enough to warrant a follow-on book? Did these characters have another tale to tell?

Whether it be films or books, I don’t believe in releasing sequels for the sake of it. Just to find out what the characters do next. The second instalment should be a project in its own right, and it must include all the elements of a standalone novel. This includes character development. Yes, even if your protagonist underwent a great deal of growth and development in the first novel, it shouldn’t stop there. Whatever happens in part 2 should inevitably change the characters in some way, otherwise the events in the sequel are probably not worth documenting.

The sequel has to meet the standards expected by the audience, whether they have read the first book or not. You shouldn’t rely on the notion that fans of the first book will read the second one. If you're lucky, then the majority of these fans will probably buy the next book, but if it isn’t up to scratch, they will feel cheated. It might even affect how they feel about the first book. So writing a sequel to a book like Chasing Pavements isn’t a decision to be made lightly.

 Q:  How did it come about then? 

A:  The idea stemmed from a question I asked myself whilst writing Chasing Pavements. What would happen if...? (I can't tell you how that sentence ends because that would give things away; this is supposed to be as spoiler-free as possible). And that question never really left me.

I didn’t start writing MYFML until April 2011, when I listened to one of my favourite bands Travis for the first time in years. Their music gave this potential story a… background if you like, and I knew the look of the book, the colours of the setting...  ‘Love Will Come Through represented the beginning of Mukti's journey in this book and I wanted the song ‘Flowers in the Window’ to represent her when she gets close to the end.

Other artists, particularly Florence + The Machine, Coldplay and Bat For Lashes, helped take the story forward and I just had to write it all down. Even after I wrote it though, I still didn’t think of it as a sequel. The first book hadn’t been published yet, so there was no way I was going to talk about part 2! It was only when I let my friend read it that I thought seriously about publishing it. This was a few months after Chasing Pavements was published and I realised that Make You Feel My Love was a sequel worth releasing. I hope the readers agree.

Q:  Do you have a favourite scene or chapter in the book? 

A:  Yes, it’s the chapter called ‘Orbit’. Even though there’s no dialogue or hardly any movement, so much goes on inside the characters' heads. The whole book has been leading up to this chapter, and it’s the beginning of the segment of the story that I’d been building up to. 

Check out the cover and blurb for Make You Feel My Love below:

After a tumultuous year, star-crossed lovers Mukti and Jamie have finally resolved their personal issues and are starting a new life together in New York City. Mukti has found her calling in life and Jamie’s music career is taking off.

But as all this brings new obligations and responsibilities, their love is once again put to the test.  The sequel to Chasing Pavements unravels even more secrets and lies which threaten to split them apart forever.

Make You Feel My Love is available to download from:
 Amazon US |    Amazon UK |   B&N Nook     |   iBooks     | Smashwords

Read an excerpt at the Amazon Kindle Store here, or download the first 20% of Make You Feel My Love for free from Smashwords here.


~ What Others Have Said About Make You Feel My Love ~ 

“The plot of Make You Feel My Love is a refreshing change to the typical narratives of romantic fiction.  I enjoyed the various plot twists and the way the narrative flits between the points of view of the different characters involved.  But most of all, I loved the characters themselves.  Neha has a unique way of writing where you really empathise with the characters.  You might not always agree with the choices they make (!), but you are able to understand their points of view and you care about them all the same. 

At times, I found myself laughing out loud at their humorous conversations.  At other times, I found myself crying over their heart-wrenching sadness (yes I admit it, it made me cry!).  This story really does take you through a whole rollercoaster of emotions.

All in all, I would thoroughly recommend this book!" *****

~

"Wow! I can't wait for the next book!" ***** 
 
~
"Amazing book!
Exciting book that I had to keep turning the page until I finished it." ***** 

Monday, 5 September 2016

Spoiler-Free Q&A on Chasing Pavements (Soulmates Saga, Book 1)

Below is the cover, blurb and a spoiler-free Q&A on debut novel Chasing Pavements (Soulmates Saga, Book 1).

Would you recognise true love if you saw it?

Singer and songwriter Jamie York is suffering from writer's block. When he meets Mukti, suddenly his creativity knows no bounds and he feels torn. He has to keep seeing her, but what will she make of his tortured soul?

Little does he know that Mukti has her own secrets and is just as troubled as he is. Her name translates as 'freedom' in her native tongue Bengali, but she is anything but free.

Recent graduate Mukti Khan has started a new job in the City and is determined to work hard and keep others at bay. All that changes after a chance encounter with the mysterious Jamie. He fascinates her like no one ever has and she just has to get to know him better.

But is truly capable of letting him in?

As an unlikely friendship develops between the two, will Jamie and Mukti be able to help each other come to terms with their pasts and move forward together, or do some ghosts haunt us forever?

Set in contemporary London, Chasing Pavements is a unique love story between two unique characters that will stay with you long after you have turned the last page.


Q: What was the main inspiration behind Chasing Pavements?

A: Usually, it takes a combination of different factors and experiences to inspire a whole novel.  I take inspiration from good books, films, music, and of course anything interesting I know.  I also draw on my knowledge of Psychology.

You do need one or two triggers to start writing though.  For Chasing Pavements, it was this bizarre vision I woke up with on the morning of August 1, 2010.  I opened my eyes with Jamie in my head.  I could see him so clearly - his hair, his eyes, his demeanour.  As though he was a very good friend, I just knew him - his pain, his apathy, his past, his present.  What I didn’t know was his future.

But I wanted to find out.

I spent the rest of the day thinking about him, his life, his family, and music.

Music had a critical part to play in it too.  That summer, I had been obsessed with Muse’s single Neutron Star Collision and I knew that song represented Jamie (and Mukti) when he first came into my life.  A fading star, losing his way.

The other song that had grabbed me was Marcus Foster’s I Was Broken (the lyrics speak of no longer being broken).  That was the song I wanted to represent Jamie (and Mukti) at the end of the book.  All year, I had been fascinated by the idea of two fading stars, coming together and then emerging brighter as one, and somehow this concept inspired the storyline.

Q: How did you start your novel?

A: The first scene I envisioned was Jamie spending Christmas 2009 with his little family. It played in my head like a film - I didn’t dictate much of the action, it just rolled like a movie in my mind.  Astonishingly, I didn’t write that scene until the very end!

What I started with was the first encounter between Jamie and Mukti.  I had become very interested in the needle sculpture near London Bridge after seeing it for the first time that year and I wanted them to meet there.  As I wrote that scene, ideas for their next meeting came to me and I wrote that.  And then the next meeting, then the next…

Once I filled in the gaps between those scenes, I went back and wrote the beginning.

Q: Do you have a writing routine?

A: When I was writing this book, I had a full-time job and g0t home at 7pm. I had very little time to write and had to fit it around my other responsibilities.  I was still living with my family and things at home were pretty hectic.  Hardly any peace or quiet or privacy or time.  But I just couldn’t not write these awkward scenes between two intriguing characters.

I didn’t have my own desk or a comfortable chair.  I put my laptop on my bed, knelt on the floor and typed.  Not great for the knees!  But that’s something Jamie had to do too - put his keyboard on his bed, get down on his knees and play.  It was a bonding experience for us!

When I write, I lose track of time and space and don’t feel hungry or thirsty.  I don’t feel the need to do anything other than sit with my laptop and write. Now, my writing (and/or editing routine) is a lot more structured. I wake up, make some tea or coffee (depending how much caffeine I need) and sit down with my laptop. Every day. Apart from when my husband has time off from work or I have errands to run, or if we're having family over, of if we've been invited to a gathering. All in all, I make sure I work on my books when I have the time. No day, no week, is ever the same as the other. Okay, so not that structured but it's better than before.

Q: What was your favourite thing about writing this novel?

A: Reading fiction for me (and the majority of people) is a form of escapism. It’s the same with writing, only you get to escape to a world you’ve created, spend time with characters you’ve brought to life, experience all the pain and pleasure and excitement that you envision.  That was great.

The best part though was getting to know Jamie and Mukti.  They have become a very big part of my life and I don’t think they will cease to feel like good friends to me for the rest of my life.

Q: Are the songs in the book original?

A: Yes.  All original.  All written by me.

A couple of the songs were written before Jamie/the book even existed (e.g. the first song in the novel, Square 1, was written almost exactly a year earlier); a few came after the first draft was complete.  I wrote a number of them while writing the sections the songs appeared in (such as One Half, which came to me at the same time as it came to Jamie), a few were composed especially for scenes I had already written, and the rest came during the time I was writing the story.

Q: If your book was made into a film, who would you cast in the main roles?

A: I keep going back to reading but when I read books, they play like films in my head. When I write, I’m actually writing about the movie rolling in my mind (they even have their own soundtracks). Its often celebrities/actors that play the roles of my characters.

It’s like directing these actors in my own film and apart from Mukti, the female lead of the book, the appearance of all the main characters are actually based on actors I like or those that look like how I want my characters to look

But that doesn’t mean I actually dare to dream that my book would be made into a film, or that it would have my ideal cast if it was adapted for the big screen.  That would be so crazy!


Chasing Pavements is available to download from: 

Amazon US|   Amazon UK|   iBooks   |   B&N Nook   |   Kobo |   Smashwords 

Read an excerpt at the Amazon Kindle Store here, or download the first 25% of Chasing Pavements for free from Smashwords here.

~ What Others Have Said About Chasing Pavements ~


"A truly fantastic read. The two main characters are cleverly crafted, impeccable. Their depth makes them feel real as they become a woven part of the reader. It is a story of heartbreak, broken pieces and that gratifying light at the end of the long dark tunnel as a new and pure love heals old  wounds and glues the pieces back together. It is a feel-good read which I highly recommend to all who love contemporary romance." *****

~~~


"Very well written, I felt like I knew the characters myself!" *****

~~~

"Neha Yazmin's novel grips you from start to finish.  There are so many things I love about this novel.  Jamie's creativity.  Mukti's determination.  Twists and turns with every chapter.  But most of all, I love that you see the characters grow and develop.  When you reach the last page, it feels like you've been on a long journey with them - yet it's a journey that you want to do all over again!" *****

~~~

"This is not your typical chic lit book.  There is no sloppy romance and no mushy words.  This is truly a one of a kind book.  Little by little the story was told to me and it was told perfectly.  I cannot believe this is Neha’s first book.  It is perfect.  This is definitely a must read." *****

~~~

"Chasing Pavements is like one of a kind.  I loved the book.  It touched me in such a way that I felt lost for a while without having Jamie and Mukti in my life.   I can't believe that this is the author's first book; the way it's written is ecellent.  I was captured from the beginning of the story.  A must read." *****

~~~

"Unputdownable!  I loved the London setting. The story is well told.  Neha has a way with descriptions that make the scenes really vivid.  The songs were a great mechanism to add to the story telling.  I look forward to reading Neha's other work but I hope I don't have to wait too long!" *****

~~~

"I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a different kind of love story.  The author has a way of pulling you into the story and keeping you there until the end.  I found myself caring for the characters, especially Mukti, who goes through a lot.  I enjoyed this book a lot and couldn't forget about it after I finished reading it.  Touching, moving, unique love story." *****