Tag Archives: Spotlight

#Spotlight : Her Secret Husband by Sundari Venkatraman

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HER SECRET HUSBAND
(Marriages Made in Heaven Book #3)
by
Sundari Venkatraman


Blurb

The Maheshwaris are back, a little secretly this time!

What do you do if you find a man who looks like chocolate, speaks like warm syrup, looks at you like you were the most precious cake ever created, and he can bake too? You marry him, even if in secret.

Ruma Malhotra falls head over heels and a little more in love with Lakshman Maheshwari, but her parents insist that she marry a rich businessman of their choice. When Ruma’s only option is to marry Lakshman in secret, she is left torn between her love for her parents and her passion for Lakshman. Is a secret marriage the solution or will it lead the way to a public disappointment?

Lakshman Maheshwari falls in love with Ruma Malhotra the first time he sets his eyes on her in Ranveer’s office. Will he agree to marry Ruma in secret even if it means betraying his parents?

Psst… Those who have read THE MALHOTRA BRIDE might be happy to reconnect with Sunita & Akshay Malhotra in this one. 

*MARRIAGES MADE IN INDIA is a five-novella series that revolves around the characters you have met in The Runaway Bridegroom.


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Read an excerpt from #HSH
“What’s up?” he asked, trying to keep the situation light.
She winked at him. “Shouldn’t I be asking that question?” she asked, looking pointedly down at his lower body.
Reacting to her flirtation, his manhood immediately sprang to action, making Lakshman swear. “Cut that out, Ruma,” he growled, sidestepping her as she would’ve wrapped her arms around him. “I need a shower,” he insisted, not meeting her eyes. He went into the bathroom and locked himself in. The place smelled of Ruma. Cursing, Lakshman stood under the cold shower to tame his libido. She looked like she meant business. How could he convince her to wait till they got married? He dried himself with the towel that was on a rack, glaring at the mirror. He needed a shave. But no, they weren’t going to make love, so it didn’t really matter. Just then he realised that he would have to step out in the towel as his clothes were in the wardrobe. Swearing again, Lakshman walked into the bedroom.
“Laki,” called out Ruma, eyeing him avidly. Fascinated, she got up from the bed and walked up to him. He appeared like a Greek God with his chiselled body that was still damp from the shower. 
She stood close to him and raised her left hand to caress his rough cheek. Her right hand was hooked into his towel as if she was going to pull it off him any second. Lakshman clamped his hand on hers, his fingers holding the towel firmly. “No!”
“Huh?!” She looked deeply into his eyes, her brown gaze like melted cocoa, inviting him to make love to her. Her mouth was pouted deliciously, glistening wetly, begging for a kiss. Lakshman groaned deep in his throat, letting go of her hand to wrap his arms around her. He placed his lips on hers, sucking her upper lip. She tasted as sweet as honey, driving him crazy. His right hand moved down the curve of her hip to touch a thigh. He traced the curve, working his way under her nightshirt to encounter her bare bottom.
“Ruma.” He deliberately removed his hands off her and raised his head to look at her.
She stared back at him with slumberous eyes. “What?” A small frown puckered her forehead.
“We’ll make love after we get married,” he declared.
“What if I don’t agree?”
“I’ll have to beg, right?” he grinned weakly. “Please, my love. You know your parents won’t agree to a marriage between us. Doesn’t it make sense to wait until after the event?”
“What if I want you desperately?” She nuzzled his neck, her teeth taking a sharp nip.
Lakshman groaned again, his arms crushing her to his chest. “Do you love me or just lust after my body?”
“Can’t I do both?” 



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About the author


Her Secret Husband is the tenth book authored by Sundari Venkatraman. This is a hot romance and is Book #3 of the 5-novella series titled Marriages Made in India. Book #1 of the series is The Smitten Husband & Book #2 is His Drunken Wife. Other published novels by the author are The Malhotra Bride, Meghna, The Runaway Bridegroom, The Madras Affair and An Autograph for Anjali—all romances. She also has a collection of romantic shorts called Matches Made in Heaven; and a collection of human interest stories called Tales of Sunshine. All of Sundari Venkatraman’s books are on Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers in India, USA, UK, Canada & Australia under both #romance & #drama categories.

Books by the author


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#Spotlight: Knitted Tales by Rubina Ramesh

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KNITTED TALES:
A Collection of Emotions
by


Blurb

 

What forces an innocent girl to become a sex symbol? Her desires? Or cruel fate? 

Is a lifetime enough—for avenging a betrayal? How do you hide secrets that never stopped haunting you? 

Can vengeance and secrets of your past devastate your present? How can long-buried crimes of yours suddenly raise their head? Can sinning be saving?

Is your spouse your soulmate? What if they never understood your feelings? Can you still live with them?

Lastly, does life give only two options? Live or die? What if there is a third?

In her debut anthology, Rubina Ramesh tries to find answers to these questions that are often from the heart and yet makes the mind ponder over the solution. Or is it the other way round? Either way, Knitted Tales is a bouquet of emotions that is bound to touch both your head and your heart.

 

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Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Amazon Australia

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About the author

 

Rubina Ramesh is an avid reader, writer, blogger, book reviewer and marketer. She is the founder of The Book Club, an online book publicity group. Her first literary work was published in her school magazine. It gave her immense pride to see her own name at the bottom of the article. She was about 8 years old at that time.  She then went to complete her MBA and after her marriage to her childhood friend, her travel saga started. From The Netherlands to the British Isles she lived her life like an adventure. After a short stint in Malaysia, she finally settled down in the desert state of USA, Arizona.  Living with her DH and two human kids and one doggie kid, Rubina has finally started living the life she had always dreamed about – that of a writer. 

 

Her other published works include:

‘Home is where Love is’ a short story in the anthology Writings from the Heart. Ed. by Beth Ann Masarik. 
‘You Stole My Heart’ and ‘Let me Go’. Short stories as a part of the anthology Long and Short of It by Indireads.
‘Wake Me Up’ as a part of the anthology Marijuana Diaries by Fablery Publishers.

 

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#Spotlight : No Safe Zone

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NO SAFE ZONE 
by
ADITE BANERJIE




Blurb


Qiara Rana will do anything to save her mentor and their non-government organization from ruin. Even if it means visiting the city she had vowed never to return to. But within a few hours of landing in New Delhi, she is being chased by a gunman and is a potential suspect in the murder of a high-profile businessman. 

The only person she can turn to for help is Kabir Shorey, the man who stood her up ten years ago. Past and present collide in a deadly plot of crime and greed that moves from the cosmopolitan streets of Delhi to the bazaars and villages of Rajasthan. 

Excerpt from #NSZ

Kabir couldn’t take his eyes off the game in progress. The sight of the polo players astride their horses, moving as a seamless entity, while steering the ball away from their opponents made him restless. He hadn’t ridden a horse or held a polo club in his hands for years. He had to use all his self-control to stop himself from rushing on to the field, pulling down one of the players and laying claim to his horse.
The memories came galloping back from the deepest recesses of his mind—Chetak with the brilliant white star in the middle of his forehead. What a dream team they had made. Chetak could anticipate his every move on the polo field even before he could think of it. They had never lost a game, making their perfectly matched combination the envy of every player in Rajasthan. If only they hadn’t been such a success on the polo turf…maybe things would have been different. Kabir’s heart burnt with longing and regret and the emotions bubbled within him like a dormant volcano beginning to stir up again.
Taking a deep, self-sustaining breath he raised his telephoto-lens equipped camera to his eyes, more to hide the dampness in his eyes. He focused on the spectators stand as he tried to reorient himself to his mission. He was here to get information on Ranveer Khanna, a known polo aficionado. It was the final day of the annual championships hosted by the Army Polo Club and Khanna was bound to show up.
Suddenly, two men appeared in the camera’s view finder. One of them was definitely Khanna while the other was a taller, stockily built man in his mid-twenties.
Kabir snapped a few pictures in quick succession. The younger man seemed to be agitated and was waving his finger threateningly at Khanna. He also didn’t quite fit the typical characteristics of a polo enthusiast. His attire was a little shabbier than what the other patrons of the club sported at such an elite affair. Perhaps, he was a chauffeur or a helper? His attitude though was far from servile. In fact, Khanna looked a trifle intimidated. After a couple of minutes, Khanna said something and turned to go inside the club.
Kabir took a few more random shots as he saw a waiter approach Khanna and say a few words to him.
Just at that moment Kabir’s cell phone beeped in his shirt pocket. It was Zayed—his new partner! Smirking at the thought, Kabir answered the call.
“Our man is here. Found out from the concierge, Khanna has recently acquired two stallions and is also a patron of a polo team in Argentina. It seems like he is either partnering with some other loaded investors or is a front for them.”
He waited to hear out Zayed’s response and swallowed the oath that sprang to his lips. “Zayed, if you already knew it, why you didn’t tell me?” Seconds later Kabir burst out, “Don’t give me that bullcrap. You and I are supposed to be on the same team, remember? If you had any doubts about my capabilities you should have spoken up at the meeting. If we have to work together, we share information, got it?”
Kabir felt his blood pressure rise up a notch as Zayed disgorged some more intel. Apparently, the NCA had informed him that Girls Rock! might be a money laundering front for Khanna.
“Someone from Girls Rock! is supposed to meet—hello? Are you there?”
Kabir cursed as he checked the screen of his phone to find the network signal had dropped. Moving away from the bleachers, he walked towards the club, trying to reach Zayed. He paced around a bit outside the entrance, waiting for the network signal to show up. Not even one blasted green light. He stormed into the club house in search of a landline phone. What else was Zayed not telling him? Clearly, Zayed’s reputation of not being a team player was quite accurate. It seemed like he needed to lay down some ground rules with his partner soon or else this investigation was doomed.
Scanning the lounge area, he spotted Khanna talking to a woman whose back was turned to him. After a few seconds, he saw her get up and follow Khanna out.
Kabir’s glance froze on the woman. She was petite, with the same china-doll-like figure, the same sexy gait, the same sway to her hips that made his heart pump harder. He raised the camera to his eyes, zooming in on her face to get a closer look but she was looking away. Nevertheless, he got a couple of shots before she disappeared down the corridor towards the inner sanctum of the club.
Was it her? Watching a polo match after all these years had sent his mind into throwback mode. He must be hallucinating! Get real, Kabir! 


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About the author
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Adite Banerjie discovered the wonderful world of books at an early age which sparked her interest in writing. After a fulfilling and exciting career as a business journalist she turned her attention to fiction. Her latest book is a romantic-thriller No Safe Zone, published by Harper Collins India. She has penned two books for Mills & Boon (The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal and Trouble Has a New Name) and written several screenplays. When she is not grappling with her current work-in-progress, she enjoys spending time with her writer husband and watching back-to-back movies. 

Media Mentions:

Click Here to read the article in The Hindu Metroplus

Click Here to read a book review of No Safe Zone in Millennium Post

Click Here to read the article in The Big Thrill magazine



                  

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#Spotlight: The Smitten Husband by Sundari Venkatraman

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Marriages Made in India

Book #1
THE SMITTEN HUSBAND
by
Sundari Venkatraman

Blurb

Ram Maheshwari is a successful jewellery designer who has a huge showroom on MI Road, Jaipur. He’s tall, dark, handsome and a billionaire to boot. He’s twenty-nine and falls in with his parents’ wishes when they try to arrange his marriage.
The lovely, stormy-eyed Sapna Purohit is from Pushkar. She’s managed to finish school and makes a living by doing mehendi designs during weddings. She’s always dreamt of a Prince on a white horse, sweeping her off her feet.
One look into Sapna’s grey eyes and Ram is lost. Only, Sapna’s unable to see her Prince in Ram. Being from a poor family, she has no choice but to go along with the tide when the Maheshwaris offer to bear all expenses of the wedding. 
Does that mean that the feisty Sapna is all set to accept Ram as her husband? She puts forth a condition, after the wedding. Will The Smitten Husband agree to it?
*MARRIAGES MADE IN INDIA is a five-novella series that revolves around the characters you have met in The Runaway Bridegroom.
Read an excerpt…

“Good morning!” said a sleepy voice. “What are you doing so far away?” called out Ram, before reaching out with a long arm to pull her to him.
A startled Sapna gave him a shocked look that was lost on her husband, whose eyes were still closed. His arms went around her waist like steel bands, his breath hot against her cheek. “Sapna…” he whispered in her ear as his hard lips pressed into her petal soft cheek.
Sapna tried to pull out of his arms, only to have them pull her closer. Her breasts were flattened against his solid chest. Her traitorous body seemed to enjoy the pressure as her nipples perked up. She did her best to hold on to the control that was slipping fast.
“Ram,” she called out loudly, hoping to wake him up. She couldn’t free her arms that were trapped against her own body, as he held her in a crushing grip. His mouth was busy exploring her face, moving inexorably towards her lips. His eyes continued to remain closed, while his hands moved restlessly at her waist. “Ram…” her voice came out in a whisper, as she felt his tongue trace the edge of her lips. Tortured, she made the final move to capture his roving lips, breaking free her hands to hold his face steady.
“Sapna…” sighed Ram, kissing her gently, his tongue first tracing her upper lip and then her lower one. He gently bit the luscious curve. Sapna instinctively opened her mouth to let him explore the velvety cavern with his tongue. Shyly, her tongue reached out to mate with his, making Ram groan with need.
His hands moved restlessly on her body, her nightie bunching up. His muscular legs tangled with her slim ones, making her sigh with pleasure as his hard and hairy skin brushed against her soft and silky one. His hands cupped her lush bottom, caressing it lovingly.
Sapna suddenly became aware of his hardness pressed against her belly. Coming to her senses, she turned her face away, breaking the kiss. “No Ram.”
His wet lips continued to caress her, his tongue exploring her shell-like ear. Even as her heart thudded loudly, Sapna pushed against him. “Ram, please, will you stop it?”
His black eyes opened a slit, desire and slumber at war in them. “Sapna?” If he hadn’t been fully awake before, he was now, as he stared at her lovely face that was so close to his. He slowly recalled what had been occurring over the past few minutes. He had at first thought he was dreaming about kissing the luscious woman in his arms. How had she landed there in the first place?
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#TSH #1 Bestseller on Amazon.in

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About The Author


The Smitten Husband is the eighth book authored by Sundari Venkatraman. This is a hot romance and is Book #1 of the 5-novella series titled Marriages Made in India. Other published novels by the author are The Malhotra Bride, Meghna, The Runaway Bridegroom, The Madras Affair and An Autograph for Anjali—all romances. She also has a collection of romantic short stories called Matches Made in Heaven; and a collection of human interest stories called Tales of Sunshine. All of Sundari Venkatraman’s books have been on Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers in India, USA, UK & Australia many times over.


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Spotlight: The Mahabharata Code

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THE MAHABHARATA CODE
by
KARTHIK K.B.RAO




Blurb


“The Mahabharata Code is a personal account of the main protagonist Narayan Rao (NR), who claims to be an astronomer with NASA. NR and a few other crew members agree to take part in the NASA mission to visit this mystery planet from which they had received mysterious signals. Here, they meet a man with a long flowing white beard, and he introduces himself as Vyasa. He reveals that he has a crazy plan in mind and seeks NR and his members’ help in implementing this plan. He intends to recreate the entire Mahabharata on this planet to restore the faith of the primitive simpletons here. 

As the Mahabharata incidents start unfolding, NR realizes that Vyasa intends to recreate them page by page here, if not paragraph by paragraph. Also NR begins to realize that his son, Krishna, who is being groomed by Vyasa as Vishnu’s avatar, is nothing more than a pawn in Vyasa’s scheme of things. Other incidents of Mahabharata also unfold according to the original epic. Pandavas and Kauravas grow up hating each other and finally the restaging plan culminates with both the warring sets of cousins facing each other in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. 
Inexplicably, like the original epic, Arjuna develops cold feet seeing his own cousins, teachers and relatives on the opposite side. He seeks Krishna’s divine intervention. Is the brainwashed “alien” Krishna prepared for this intervention?”

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Amazon.com | Amazon.in | Amazon.co.uk |
Notion Press | Flipkart


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About the author



Karthik K.B. Rao

Karthik Rao is a 32-year-old software professional based in Bangalore. He lives with his wife Sushma, parents and two little sons Kaustubh Krishna and Raghav Krishna aged 4 and 1, respectively. He says, he gets to meditate close to 3 hours every day on his bike thanks to the notorious Bangalore traffic. His hobbies include following cricket, Indian politics on the social media and Indian mythology. He also plays plastic ball cricket with his sons.


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#Spotlight: The Secret of God’s Son by Usha Narayanan

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BOOK BLITZ

THE SECRET OF GOD’S SON
by
Usha Narayanan



Blurb

‘The seas will devour the glorious city of Dwaraka.
People will forget your name and your Gita!
May the world perish!
May the world perish!’ 

 

With this cruel curse on Krishna, Queen Gandhari plunges mankind into the unspeakable evil of the Kali Yuga. 

It is up to Pradyumna to try and reverse the dire prediction. To journey into terrifying realms, confront Yama and Shiva, and to vanquish the Kali demon. In order to do so, he must shed all that holds a mortal back—his arrogance, his fears, his baser instincts… He must lead his people out of the swirling vortex of greed, disease and misery. And there is one powerful weapon still…the secret surrounding Pradyumna’s origin.  

Will he uncover it in time to fight off the cataclysm? 
In the answer lies the destiny of all humanity! 

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About the author

USHA NARAYANAN

Usha Narayanan had a successful career in advertising, radio and corporate communications before becoming a full-time writer. She is the author of The Madras Mangler, a suspense thriller, and Love, Lies and Layoffs, a light-hearted office romance. The Secret of God’s Son is the sequel to her bestselling book, Pradyumna: Son of Krishna, which was published in July 2015. 

When she’s not juggling travel, writing and interviews, Usha reads everything from thrillers to romances, provided her cat isn’t fast asleep on her Kindle. She would love to hear from her readers here: author@ushanarayanan.com 

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Media mentions


Praise for Pradyumna: Son of Krishna

Usha Narayanan has taken a quantum leap . . . to the outright spine-tingling narrative from the leaves of a time before. This book is Indian writing coming of ageFemina

Like the best of our mythological tales, this too, is a multilayered one . . .There is valour, there is cowardice, there is glory, there is shame, there is sex, lies and deceptionThe Hindu

This engrossing tale takes readers on a mythological sagaTimes of India

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Book Blitz: A Thousand Unspoken Words

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A Thousand Unspoken Words 
By 
Paulami Duttagupta 
Publisher: Readomania 

Blurb 

A hero, a person who displays great courage for the greater good, can also fall. But what happens to a fallen hero? A Thousand Unspoken Words is the unique journey of a hero who falls.
The champion of the underdogs, the writer who uses the nom de plume Musafir is famous in Kolkata. His incisive criticism of the injustices around him earn him many enemies but he holds his ideals above all else. Scathing attacks at his books and a night of hide and seek from political goons leads Musafir unto a path he never liked, faraway from his ideals. He runs away and chooses the comforts of money over the travails of following one’s ideals. The hero falls.
But Tilottama, passionate fan’s hopes don’t. When he comes back after many years, emotions, love and lust take charge and an affair brews. Will she bring back her hero? Will he rise again? Or will the thousand untold words, the many stories of the ideal writer be lost forever?
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Excerpt
 
Wahan kaun hai tera, Musafir jaayega kaha’, the retro radio show played the SD Burman classic. Tilottama looked at her radio once and tears blurred her vision.
 
‘O Sachin karta this song reminds me of him.’
Tilotamma quickly wiped her eyes and turned the radio off. The day had been taxing enough. She needed to unwind, get Musafir out of her mind. How crazy could some people get? He had just written a fictional piece. How could fiction humiliate a government in power with an absolute majority? Wasn’t this a democracy? How could the supporters of a faith or political party get all insecure and burn his books?
The object of Tilottama’s despair, Musafir, was a writer supposedly based out of Kolkata. He wrote books at irregular intervals, and hid behind the veil of anonymity. His pieces were mostly social commentaries and satires on the state of Bengal. They were all fictional but had come under severe criticism in the past few months. Little paperbacks in funny covers, his books were available in old, rambling, bookstores across the city. Some were also available with the book vendors on the footpaths of the city.
When the news of the pulping of Musafir’s books had reached her a couple of days ago, Tilottama hadn’t thought things would go beyond a protest or two. The people of the city wouldn’t let go of things without a sign of protest. They got agitated at trivial things like who was included in a cricket team, and burned effigies and tyres in protest. They took out processions for Vietnam and Gaza. They could protest against him; but there would also be scores who would come out for her Musafir. They did when Firaz was hounded for his paintings of Goddesses.
‘And when they come out in large numbers, these goons will realize what it feels like standing before a civil society. They just can’t stifle Musafir’, she had confidently told her friends. What she did not realize was Musafir wasn’t exactly popular with the masses. His works were mostly literary and catered to niche readers. Her admiration for him had made her assume he was more popular than he really was.
Things had happened much faster than expected and spiralled out of control. Musafir’s printing press was vandalized and set on fire. Even as she and other Musafir fans watched, his books were dumped into that raging fire; words and hopes lost. The hundred odd fans tried to put up a bravefight, sang songs of freedom and stood with placards. But nothing worked. A couple of local channels had tried to stand by them in solidarity. The protest ended as a camera was smashed by the hoodlums on the road. People started fleeing fearing more violence.
 
‘They would kill us if they could’, Tilottama angrily spat out. ‘We were just so outnumbered. These were organized cadres. Yes, they were. Their bosses just can’t pretend to be innocent.’
A handful of policemen stood by pretending as if nothing was happening. The printing press was in one of the dingier parts of North Kolkata. It mainly did odd jobs like printing leaflets and bills, a few little magazines etc. and would print Musafir’s books on the sly. That is where he gave shape to his voice. The place was reportedly registered in the name of a man long dead, and people were left guessing who Musafir was. Some said the owner was a refugee who was avenging years of discontent. Some said his son was murdered by members of the ruling party. Some said he was just a frustrated man using the medium to lend himself a voice. To some other the entire idea was amusing and fascinating.
 
Tilottama grimaced and wiped her face clean. She was cutting a very sorry picture indeed, covered in grime andtears. All she could think of was her Musafir. She fought back her tears wondering what could have happened to her hero. For the past couple of years a strong wind of incumbency was blowing and Musafir’s voice had become stronger. Everything came under Musafir’s attack; from Dhaniajhapi to the burning of monks, the ban on English in government run schools, the apathy in the use of computers and much more. However, recently he had become vocal against all forms of religious appeasement and challenged the special religious laws. He had also set the stage against land acquisition bills, mismanaged industrialization plans and pre-election harangues. Musafir wrote as many books as possible bringing the discrepancies to light. And that is what brought about his downfall.
Tilottama sat on her bed and hugged her knees to her chest and went over the events of the day. She bit back the memory of the man who had asked her to let go of her placard, but that face would just not fade. 
 
‘What had he called himself,’ she wondered, ‘Ayushmaan . . .no Riddhimaan.’
 
He was a photographer! How dispassionate could he be?He had watched the carnage, merrily taken snaps and asked her to throw away her placard. If even the press did not come out in support of Musafir, then who would? Weren’t both of them fighting to make the pen immortal? Why was the media silent now; because Musafir didn’t have international backing, or corporate sponsors? She was upset that Poltu had shamelessly praised the man. Riddhimaan and the likes of him would give importance to writers only if they had a South Block or Writers’ Building backing.
 
‘I wish this government goes down. They will go down. I promise you Musafir they will,’ she told herself.
The loud banging of her window pane broke her reverie. The rains had lashed Kolkata with all their fury that evening. 
 
‘Even Mother Nature is angry. Drown the city, drown all of us. Since we have nowhere to go and hide our shame,’ Tilottama said aloud.
 
She continued to rant as she shut the window. She had hurt her finger in the process. Then she walked into her bedroom looking for the first aid box. As she cleaned the cut, the antiseptic made her skin burn and her thoughts drifted to Musafir. There was no way to divert her mind. Maybe reading Musafir would help, or maybe writing. Musafir always said he wrote to look for answers. Maybe she could do that too. But nothing gave her peace; maybe she was obsessed with the writer. The gag on Musafir was beginning to become a personal loss to her.
 
About Paulami Duttagupta 
Paulami DuttaGupta is a novelist and screen writer. She shuttles between Kolkata and Shillong. She has worked as a radio artist, copy writer, journalist and a television analyst at various stages of her life, having been associated with AIR Shillong, The Times of India—Guwahati Shillong Plus, ETV Bangla, The Shillong Times, Akash Bangla and Sony Aath.As an author, her short stories have appeared in various anthologies and literary magazines. A Thousand Unspoken Words is her fourth book. Paulami also writes on politics, social issues and cinema. Her articles have appeared in Swarajya, The Forthright and NElive.
Paulami is associated with cinema and her first film, Ri-Homeland of Uncertainty received the National Award for the Best Khasi Film. Her second film Onaatah—Of the Earth is at post production stage and will release in 2016. She is currently working on her third screenplay. A short film tentatively titled ‘Patjhar’ is also in the pipeline.
Paulami is a complete foodie and is almost obsessed with watching one film every day. She also loves reading—political and social commentaries are her favourite genre. Literature classics and books on cricket are also a part of her library, apart from a huge collection of romances. Jane Austen’s fictional character Mr. Darcy is her lifelong companion. She is an ardent fan of Rahul Dravid and has been following all news about him for almost twenty years now.
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Spotlight: Karmic Kids by Kiran Manral

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Karmic Kids 
The Story of Parenting Nobody Told You ! 
by ;
Kiran Manral ;

Synopsis 


Move aside Tiger Mom and forget Helicopter Parenting, Karmickids is the view from the other side of the fence – of laid back parenting, of giving in to food jags, of making unstructured play time mandatory and of not bursting a blood vessel when your child’s grades are not something you might want to discuss in public.

A roller coaster ride of love, laughter, and a few tears, Manral takes you through the beautiful chaos of the early years of parenthood. Written in a gently humorous style, this home grown, hit-the-ground-running account of the chaos of day-to-day parenting is peppered with anecdotes, reminiscences, a little practical advice and is a non-preachy, hilarious take on raising a spirited child while retaining one’s good spirits through it all.


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What others say about Kiran Manral 


“I enjoy reading Kiran’s books. The genre of easy reading and happy reading with inevitable style, she keeps you hooked on the book from the first page to the last.”– Tisca Chopra, actor

“This quick paced, fun new book had me enthralled.”–Tara Sharma Saluja, Actress and Co-producer and host of The Tara Sharma Show

“Kiran’s writing style is witty, humorous and makes you think. She has a penchant for making even the most mundane, interesting because of the razor sharp observations, served with a dollop of dead-pan humour.” —PreetiShenoy, bestselling author

“Kiran’s writing is that rarity in today’s world – the ability to be really good without taking itself too seriously. This is writing that is effortless in its humourand also its fluidity. It asks not for heavy literary criticism but for a certain laid-back enjoyment.” —Parul Sharma, bestselling author

“Kiran’s stories are fun, engaging and always fresh – and her droll style, of course, inimitable!”– Yashodhara Lal, bestselling author

“Kiran’s writing is delightful, her wit inimitable and her sense of romance untarnished by cynicism that is so typical of our times.”— ShunaliKhullar Shroff,  bestselling author

“Kiran Manral’s sparkling sense of humour leaps off the page, every page. Her blog posts, books and columns have given me great joy over the years. She has a distinct original voice that brought a breath of fresh air in the world of Indian Writing in English.” – Devapriya Roy, Bestselling author  



About the Author 

Kiran Manral worked as a journalist with The Asian Age and The Times of India before she quit full time work to be a full time mommy. One of the leading bloggers in India, her blogs were listed in Labnol’s list of India’s top blogs, and her parenting blog, Karmickids, was ranked among the top five parenting blogs in India by Blogadda. She was also a Tehelka blogger columnist on gender issues.

She was listed among the 10 non-celebrity ‘social media stars’ on twitter by the TOI and IBN Live named her as among the 30 most interesting Indian women to follow on twitter and among the top 10 Indian moms to follow on twitter in 2013. Fashion 101.in named her as amongst the most stylish authors in India. Womensweb.in listed her as one of the 20 women authors from India to be followed on twitter.

Post the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai, she founded India Helps, a volunteer network to help disaster victims post 26/11 and has worked on long term rehabilitation of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack victims and 13/7 Mumbai bomb blast victims, amongst others. She was part of core founding team behind Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month (www.csaawarenessmonth.com) and Violence Against Women Awareness Month (www.vawawareness.wordpress.com), two very well received social media awareness initiatives.

Her debut novel, The Reluctant Detective, was published by Westland and her second novel Once Upon A Crush, was published by Leadstart a couple of years later. Her third book All Aboard!was published by Penguin Random House in August 2015. Karmic Kids is her fourth book and first nonfiction book. She has one more book due for release in 2015.

She is on the planning board of the Kumaon Literary Festival, an advisor on the Board of Literature Studio, Delhi, an Author Mentor at sheroes.in and a columnist at iDiva.com. She was awarded the Women Achievers award by Young Environmentalists Group in 2013.

She currently blogs at www.kiranmanral.wordpress.com and is on twitter @kiranmanral.

Soul Warrior by Falguni Kothari

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Cover Reveal:

SOUL WARRIOR – THE AGE OF KALI 
Book One
BY FALGUNI KOTHARI






Blurb 


Twisted myths. Discretion advised.

Fight fate, or succumb to destiny?

In the dark Age of Kali, the Soul Warrior alone stands guard over the Human Realm, protecting its denizens from evil-willed asuras or demons. When a trick of fate appoints him guru to a motley crew of godlings, he agrees to train them as demon hunters against his better judgment. Suddenly, Lord Karna is not only battling the usual asuras with sinister agendas, but also rebellious students and a fault-ridden past.

Spanning the cosmic realms of mythic India, here is a tale of a band of supernatural warriors who come together over a singular purpose: the salvation of Karna’s secret child.

AUTHOR’S NOTE  TO LOVERS OF MYTHOLOGY….
WHAT HAVE I DONE WITH SOUL WARRIOR?

When you grow up in India, you are engulfed in tales of good and evil, gods and demons, karma and reincarnation on a daily basis. India’s myths are as much part of day-to-day life as is bathing. So I wondered if heaven and hell actually exists what would they look like? What are the good or bad souls doing in this Heaven and Hell? Are the souls in Heaven any happier being stuck there than the souls repenting in Hell? Do they want to come back to Earth as humans?

These questions were the basis of Soul Warrior’s mythos, as was Vedic India and the Mahabharata. India has such a rich offering of grand stories, and its people have a thirst to read them. I want to tell these stories, but in my way. I didn’t want to simply retell the popular tales. I wanted to reimagine them. Go beyond the known myths into the realm of pure fantasy.

Excerpt


SHUNYA: NOTHING AND EVERYTHING

Kuru Kshetra Battlefield.

Day 17 of the Great Kuru War, seven thousand five hundred years ago.

Death is hot.

That surprises me. I’d imagined death as cold and brutal. Merciless. But in truth, death is hot as blood, and constant like a heartbeat.

Thrum. Thrum. Thrum. My lifeblood ebbs to the rhythm. My head ripped from its torso by Anjalika, the arrow of death that burns even now with the energy of the sun. Struck from behind like some novice. Felled in battle by that lily-livered usurper the Heavens smile upon—Prince Arjun. Brother Arjun.

What have I done?

I harness the thought. Cease all reflection and wrench free of my mortal body. I soar up, up into the gloaming, snapping the ties that tether me to life. Dead, I have no use for ties.

“A matter of perspective, Karna, O son of my godsire.” The unearthly words strum through the air, and I quiver like a plucked bowstring, overcome as much by the voice as its blasphemous claim. “Bonds of devotion nourish the soul, brother.”

There is that word again. Brother. Unpleasant laughter wells up in me. Alive, I am abandoned, denied my birthright—Celestial or royal. Death, it seems, changes everything.

A bright, nebulous light brings forth Lord Yama, the God of Death, atop his divine mount. His elephantine thighs ripple beneath a silken dhoti, ochre and crimson of color, as he guides the mammoth water buffalo to a halt. An iron medallion sways against the God’s powerful cerulean torso, its center stone an ethereal blood orange.

Hypnotic. Pulsing with life. I am drawn to the stone.

“Piteous waste,” Lord Yama mutters, surveying the carnage of war far below us.

I trace the trajectory of his gaze and behold the battered remains of my army drenched in the evidence of its mortality. Is it true? Have we died in vain?

Words form inside me and I will them out. “Shall we go, my lord?”

“Ha! Impatient to be judged, are you? Anxious to have your fate revealed?” asks the Judge of the Hell Realm. His red-black eyes burn with intelligence and compassion in a blue-tinged face that is long and lean and hard. “Rest easy, brother-warrior. You are not bound for the Great Courtroom.”

Not bound for Hell? Where then? Fear has eluded me for so long that I take a moment to recognize it. A hollow-bellied feeling it is, as annoying as a bone stuck in my throat.

“My lord, I have done bad deeds…terrible deeds in my life. I have waged wars, this horrendous bloodshed, and all because my pride could not—would not abide rejection. I have sinned. I must atone for my actions.”

Lord Yama smiles in a way I do not like. “You have redeemed yourself admirably, Karna. You forfeited your life for the greater good today. The deed far outweighs any misguided ones. Be at peace, brother, and enjoy the fruits of your karma.”

There is but one place to enjoy such fruits—the Higher Worlds.

I’d rather burn in Hell for eternity. I say so. “I won’t live amongst the Celestials.” Coexisting with the very souls who’ve spurned me is unthinkable. Watching her—for she would surely reside in Heaven soon—will be eternal torture.

Yama shakes his head, the horns on his crown slashing to and fro. “I thought you might say that. Relax. Your destiny lies elsewhere.”

“Am I to be reborn then? Am I to begin a new life, and forget the past?” Pain, sharp as a blade, lances through me at the thought. Forget my past? My family? Even her? Was that my punishment? To forget all that made me human?

It must be so. For have I not betrayed them as surely as I’ve betrayed my prince regent?

“Human rebirth is not your destiny, either. You are chosen, brother. Your war skills are needed for a higher purpose.” The God slips off his mount, his garments rustling in agitation. “This unjust war has pushed the Cosmos to the vortex of a cataclysm. Tomorrow, the Kuru War will end. Fearing its outcome, the Celestials rolled the Die of Fate and have unwittingly bestowed on Demon Kali untold powers.” Lord Yama bares his fangs in disgust at the foolish gamble. “Imagine the havoc that asura and his minions will wreak on the weak if left unchecked. The Human Realm must be safeguarded during Kali’s dark reign.”

I can imagine the horror only too well as I have battled with evil all my life. But I am done with wars. I am done with defeat. I won’t waste another lifetime fighting.

“With due respect, my lord, I am not the man for this task.”

“You are not a man at all,” Yama thunders, fists shaking. “You are the son of Surya, the Sun God. Accept that you are no ordinary soul.”

I say nothing. I think nothing. I feel something but I squash it down.

Lord Yama’s thick black brows draw together. “Demon Kali will try to pervade every particle of good that exists in the Cosmos, beginning with the corruptible Human Realm. Once he obliterates all of humanity, he’ll set his sights on the Celestials. Kali will not stop until he’s destroyed our way of life. But you can stop him. You are light to his darkness. Do you understand now why you had to betray him? Your beloved humans need you, Karna. I need you. Our father believes in you. Claim your rightful place in the Cosmos.”

Impatiently, Lord Yama removes the iron medallion from his neck and holds it out. The vermillion sunstone glows as if its soul is on fire. Nay! It is my soul that is on fire.

Indescribable energy curls through me. I gasp, though not in pain. I shudder and feel myself grow large, grow hot. Was this rebirth?

I am strong, full-bodied and lethal once more. Then I roar as light bursts forth from my very core and I throb with glorious, blinding power. When I come to myself, my world has changed again. Bubbles of color shimmer all around me: cobalt and saffron, azure and rose. By karma! They are souls. Infinite floating souls.

“Behold the spectrum of life: the worthy, the notorious, the righteous and the sinners.” The God of Death’s soul was a worthy sapphire blue with a tinge of silver. “Your duty, should you choose to accept the office of the Soul Warrior, is to hunt down the red-souled asuras and crush them. Whatever you decide, I wish you a long and successful Celestial existence, Karna,” Yama booms out and vanishes into the purpling sky.

The parley has stunned me. The world of color holds me in thrall. I was dead. Yet, now I am not. A new path lies before me. Unwanted, unwelcome, I insist on principle. I close my eyes. Open them to stare at the medallion cupped in my hand—a golden-hued hand at once familiar and not—and know myself for a fool. I do want this. It’s what I am.

Bastard-born. Rebel. Son. Husband. Father. Warlord. And protector. I fist the talisman, buoyed by its concrete warmth. This is who I am.

I am the Soul Warrior.

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Meet the Author



Falguni Kothari is a New York-based South Asian author and an amateur Latin and Ballroom dance silver medalist with a semi-professional background in Indian Classical dance. She’s published in India in contemporary romance with global e-book availability; Bootie and the Beast (Harlequin Mills and Boon) and It’s Your Move, Wordfreak! (Rupa & Co.), and launches a mythic fantasy series with Soul Warrior (The Age of Kali, #1)

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Spotlight: Only Wheat Not White By Varsha Dixit

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Only Wheat Not White 
by 
Varsha Dixit 

The Blurb



What if the one you completely love is the one you simply can’t! Twenty-six-year-old Eila Sood moves to America to mend fences with her estranged older sister, Sheela. Eila and the rest of the family in India had cut off ties with Sheela after she married Steve Jacobs, ‘out of caste, and out of color’. Elia soon realizes that Sheela’s marriage is on the rocks. To help pay Sheela’s household bills, Eila takes a second job at an afternoon strip club. When she crosses paths with the owner, the handsome Brett Wright or ‘blue-eyed ogre’ as Elia calls him, he both infuriates and fascinates her. Brett turns out to be her reluctant and unquestionably sarcastic knight in shining armor. As Eila and Brett spend more time together their desire for each other builds. However, when Brett discovers the true reason for Eila’s refusal he storms out of her life, accusing her of being a prejudiced coward. Will Eila find the courage to break stereotypes and embrace her love? Will Brett find solace in the arms of his ex-girlfriend Cate? Will Sheela and Steve divorce? All of these questions and more are answered in Varsha Dixit’s latest and humorous and steamy love story.

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Meet the Author




I’m the author of four books and the genre that I write is contemporary romance. Penning stories defines and completes me.I thinks of myself as a borderline obsessive-compulsive dreamer who thinks deep but writes light. A true ‘feel good’ junkie seeking quick fixes, I love a good laugh and a good book. A voracious reader of who dunit mysteries and legal dramas, I did sit down to pen a book on serial killers but finding it impossible to maim or kill anyone, even on paper, I penned a romantic story instead. Thus, I found my true calling – at least for the time being.Even though creativity is gender free, I feel blessed and enriched to be a woman.
Currently, with my family, I’m settled in the US.
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