Saturday, July 30, 2011

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Dear readers,

We decided to start a monthly Review Carnival Newsletter to make sure all of you stay updated. To subscribe to this newsletter, click the following link:

Review Carnival Newsletter is a great way to know about upcoming projects, our views on current reviews, giveaways etc. We are experimenting with this currently. The first newsletter will arrive in August. We will make a post about that.
Also, we will be finding ways to put a permanent subscription link on the blog somehow. Till then, please be patient and bear with us.

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Book review- Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

Art of the Start is a book by venture capitalist and Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki of Garage Technology Ventures.

The book aims to educate start-up entrepreneurs on how to raise capital, recruit people, bootstrap, partnering, writing a business plan and other facets of business.

Guy's writing style is very humorous and makes the book a fun read instead of a technical one. Too many technical terms are avoided. While the book tries to cover everything about a startup, it is heavily focused on raising Venture and Angel capital. At least one topic relating to venture capital finds a way into every chapter.

This is also probably the strongest part of the book because being a venture capitalist himself, Guy can easily point out the mistakes that most start-ups make from the point of view of a venture capitalist. He also lists many things to avoid while giving a pitch about a possible business venture.

This book is not as 'well-rounded' as I would have liked it to be. Venture capital and pitching-related topics are explained in greater detail and cover more pages than other chapters. The chapter on bootstrapping was really funny and the first few chapters were good. Rainmaking, marketing and branding were not very thoroughly explained.

One of the best things about this book was that it does not say that you need ....(fill with words like ambition, great vision, determination etc.) qualities to succeed as a businessperson. All people are different and go into business for different reasons, so they will obviously have very different qualities and these will reflect in their businesses (Ex. Apple and Wal-Mart/ Steve Jobs and Sam Wlaton were very different people)

Of course, one needs determination and effort to succeed in a business, but doesn't one need that to succeed in anything? I feel making an elaborate list of such qualities is not very useful, but many books still do this.

Overall, the book was an informative read. It is probably most useful for high-tech startups or entrepreneurs starting businesses that need a lot of venture capital. It is not aimed at small businesses or micro-enterprises.

If you're looking for ways to raise finance, this is the book to read.




Gives an 'insider persepective' on raising capital and business.
Well written and organised.


Not enough focus on marketing and the legal issues that plague a start-up.
Not very useful for small-business owners.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Author interview- Nicola Cornick

Hi, everyone. I am interviewing USA bestselling Historical romance writer Nicola Cornick today.

Originally from the North of England, Nicola now lives in the Oxfordshire countryside with her husband and a menagerie of cats and dogs. Genealogy is one of her passions and she has traced her family tree back to the sixteenth century by way of various poets, pirates and a link to the Earldom of Halifax.

Since the pub

lication of her first Regency romance by Harlequin Mills & Boon in 1998, Nicola has become a USA Today, Borders and UK Bookscan bestselling author as well as being shortlisted twice for both the US Romance Writers of America RITA award and the UK Romantic Novelists' Association Romance Prize. Nicola now writes for Harlequin HQN Books in the US and MIRA in the UK. (from her website)


Favorite color- Blue
Zodiac sign- Leo
Favorite author- Mary Stewart
Favorite book/books- Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier and This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart
Place of your dreams- Wester Ross, Scotland
Your motto- To thine own self be true
Describe yourself in one word- Loyal.

The real questions:

RC- Why did you decide to start writing romance?

Ans- I started to write historical romance in my late teens because I enjoyed reading it very much. When I ran out of romance books to borrow from the library I thought I would try to write one myself. Historical romance particularly appealed to me because I love history so much and romance was a natural genre for me because I love happy endings!

RC- Describe 3 qualities you would want your dream character (romance novel hero and heroine) to have.

Ans- My dream characters need to have integrity, courage and a good sense of humour plus quite a few other qualities besides!

RC- Tell us something about your books.

Ans- I write historical romance set in the Regency period and I love setting my books against unusual historical backgrounds. My heroines are strong women doing things that challenge the conventions of the era and my heroes are resourceful men of honour.

RC- What is the most difficult/easiest part of writing historical romance?

Ans- Interesting question! I find some books are easier to write than others. Some flow, others are more of a struggle. It’s not always easy to apply myself when the going gets tough. That’s something I find difficult about writing. What’s easy about writing historical romance – not much, though I do find it easy to get lost in my research and to fall in love with my characters!

RC- What is the daily life/schedule of a writer like?

Ans. I think different writers have different schedules depending on what suits them best. I start work early because I’m a morning person and spend the first half of the day writing. In the afternoon I will deal with emails, write blogs and do any other non-writing work. If I need a break I will go out for a walk in the countryside. I find it very refreshing to be out in the open air and often I have my best story ideas when I am out walking.

RC- What message would you like to give your fans?

Ans. I’d like to thank them very much! Writing can be a very solitary job and it is wonderfully encouraging to hear from readers and to know that they enjoy my books. I appreciate it so much!

To find out more about Nicola and her books, visit-

Her latest novel Notorious will hit bookstores in August.