Thursday, August 4, 2022

ONCE UPON A SCANDAL by Author Shilpa Suraj

 

A moment of passion, a devastating scandal and a marriage between sworn enemies...



Aakash Thakkar knows his path. Family, duty, responsibility, tradition. His path does not lead to madness, chaos, wild passionate steamy nights, and her. Or so he tells himself.
Kanak Shourie lives for the present. Friends, fun, work, life. Her present does not include the weight of other people's judgement, stuffy societal mores, discovering desire with uptight businessmen, and him. She refuses to believe otherwise.
What happens when the one you hate is the only one you want? What happens when you try to right a wrong but end up in something that feels more right than anything ever has?
Can Aakash and Kanak bury a lifetime of distrust and forge a life together? Or will the reasons that had them battling each other for years bury their tentative new beginning?



Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com

Read an Excerpt from Once Upon a Scandal


Kanak gasped as his lips trailed a slow, sensual line of kisses down her neck. Her eyes closed and her head fell back giving him better access. 

He growled in approval, the sound thrumming through her. She fumbled with the buttons of his white shirt, her hand slipping through the gap and finding hard, firm, muscled skin. Her fingernails did a slow circle around his flat nipple making him nip her on her shoulder.

Her dazed eyes met his stormy ones, disbelieving, intense and confused. He lowered his head and took her lips in a kiss that solved her confusion, once and for all. 

She wanted this man, more than she’d ever wanted another. And she couldn’t deny it anymore. She fisted her hands in the thick, rough silk of his hair and pulled him impossibly closer. 

Their tongues met, dueled, and stroked making her moan, the breath of sound disappearing between his lips. He ground his hips against her, the movement making her legs fall apart, the better to cradle him with. 

The rough concrete behind her back scraped her skin but she couldn’t have cared less. But his hands slipped between the wall and her and flipped her over so his back was against it. She landed against the hard length of him, her hips doing an unconscious roll that had his head falling back.

She unzipped his pants, her fingers slipping in, searching and finding the hot silken steel of him. He cursed brokenly, his hips arching into her touch. She smiled, the heady rush of power over such a powerful man spooling through her. 

Until his hands cupped her breasts and her eyes rolled back in her head, pleasure swamping her and making it hard to focus. He dipped his head and took her breast in his mouth, the material of her flimsy dress damp in seconds from his attentions. His other hand pinched, fondled and stroked the other breast until her legs quivered. 

Kanak stroked harder, desperate for him to not stop what he was doing. He didn’t seem to want to anyway. He pulled her dress up, above her hips, the cool night breeze caressing her thighs and making her shiver. 

Kanak shoved frantically at his pants, pushing until she got what she wanted. It sprang free and she wrapped her hands around it, fisting it. 

The flash when it came lit up the darkness around them. Their small corner suddenly blindingly bright. He reacted with startling swiftness, spinning her so she was covered by the bulk of his body, unseen by whoever was out there. 

“Get the fuck out of here,” he growled over his shoulder, his furious laser like gaze sending a shiver down Kanak’s spine even though it wasn’t directed at her. 

Nervous laughter was the only answer. And then, another bright flash. 

“I am going to kill you,” he said conversationally to the person behind him.

In a matter of seconds, he tucked himself back into his pants and straightened Kanak’s dress with a deceptive calm. When he turned, still keeping Kanak hidden behind him, she heard the photographer squeak. 

“Give me your camera.” The words were soft, calm and deadly. The tone usually what you heard before you died. 

“No.” The man with the death wish giggled and moved back, out of his reach. “This is going to make me rich. And not just the photographs man. I got video too and it’s not on this camera. It’s with my friend who is already gone. You can’t catch him.” Another giggle. 

And before either of them could react, he disappeared into the dark. 

Ice slid through Kanak’s veins. What had she done? What had she allowed to happen? A sex tape of her on the internet, splashed across the tabloids, a sex tape with him…

“I will fix this,” he said, the same ice in his voice except his was directed at the mystery photographer. “I promise you.” 

She wanted to believe him. She almost did but Kanak knew that some things were out of even his control. 

A sex tape. Her head spun at the enormity of this fiasco. A sex tape with Aakash Thakkar, big shot industrialist, rising political power, and her number one enemy. 

She was screwed and she knew it. 

About the Author:


Shilpa Suraj wears many hats - corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.

An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.


Contact the Author:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Newsletter



Friday, May 27, 2022

Vive La Résistance by Author Seelie Kay


Things are gonna get messy…

An illegal union, a banned birth, a Great Lie, and now, genocide. Vampire lawyer Donovan Trait and his wife, chemically-turned Judge Shirley Magnusen, are battling for their lives and the lives of their children. The Vampire Coalition wants them dead, but now the despots have also decided to expand their net, targeting any vampire whose blood is mixed with human or Were. Half-bloods are already treated like dirt by the Vampire Nation. They have been subjected to centuries of discrimination and cruelty at their hands. As the Coalition embarks on a campaign of terror, destruction, and slaughter, millions of half-bloods emerge from the shadows, ready and willing to reclaim their place in the Vampire Nation. The problem is, war cannot be unleashed out in the open in the human world, battles must be fought in other ways. Even with an island of highly-skilled vampire nuns and a few Weres and humans at that their side, it appears the Traits may be fighting an unwinnable war. Their only option may be to sacrifice their own lives in the hopes of setting all other half-bloods free.


Book Links:
Extasy Books * Goodreads

Read an Excerpt from Vive La Résistance


Donovan shifted on the lounger and muttered incomprehensively, then he emitted a rumbling snore.

“Hey, y’all. So yeah, vampires are real and they’re not above doing the dirty to those who share their blood. Take a look at this.” The Tik-Tokker grinned. “You are not gonna believe it. It’s so shady.”
Video of the Coalition camps rolled across the screen. Occasionally, the camera zeroed in a dirty or bruised Millennial, or a guard pushing a group of people into a building, their ankles locked together with some sort of rope. They were seen eating off of metal plates and lined up to fill a metal cup with something from a barrel. It wasn’t water. The liquid was rust-colored and thick, like blood.

“And the dudes running the place have a Marie Antoinette fetish. You know—” The woman mimicked a knife across her throat. “Off with their heads?” She giggled.

A guillotine appeared on camera. About ten people were in line, each with a black hood over their heads and their arms bound behind them. One at a time, they were pushed onto a stage and forced to their knees, their necks positioned directly under the blade. With manic efficiency, a guard released the blade. Most heads flew into a barrel in front of the platform. The ones that rolled off onto the stage were kicked to their final destination. The headless bodies were tossed onto a pile on the ground.

“Oh, grosss,” the woman complained. She leaned toward the camera. “Kind of like a bad zombie movie, isn’t it?” She sat back in her chair and made a face. “Whatever. I mean, like, are we supposed to believe that’s really happening? Isn’t that against the law or something?” She cackled. “As if.” She leisurely stretched her body, her crop top exposing a belly button ring. “I’m so shook.”

The woman tossed her hair over her shoulder and smiled. “Now, I’m not sharing this for the views. It is kind of sus. But if this shit is real, someone needs to get off the pot and do something about it. Aren’t there any woke cops out there who can play the James Bond card? Before anymore—” She swiped her finger across her throat and giggled. Then the screen went black.

Donovan shot up in his chair and blinked. Once. Twice. He shook his head and attempted to gather himself. What the hell? Sure, he had needed the sleep, even if it was only a thirty-minute nap, but the dreams he could do without. It had been less than forty-eight hours since the worldwide kidnappings. Donovan knew preparations for rescue were underway. But he also knew Bengotten and Hannigan were capable of even greater cruelty. He could only imagine the terror and the torture the victims were being subjected to. 

It was difficult to understand how the vampire world was capable of this. He had long prided himself on their natural superiority, their ability to rise up above the petty politics and unjustified violence in the human and Were worlds. Yet overnight, vampires had become the monsters, the tyrants capable of such evil. That astonished him. For the first time in his long existence, Donovan was ashamed of being a vampire. If it was possible, he might very well submit to being turned into a human or a Were. He buried his face in his hands. Yes, he could live as a human. Perhaps he could ask Dr. Alvarez to find a way to turn off his vampirism, maybe using the gene-editing Marilyn could not stop talking about.

 About Seelie Kay:

Award-winning author Seelie Kay writes about lawyers in love, sometimes with a dash of kink.

Writing under a nom de plume, the former lawyer and journalist draws her stories from more than 30 years in the legal world. Seelie’s wicked pen has resulted in nineteen works of fiction, including the new paranormal romance series Donovan Trait, as well the erotic romance Kinky Briefs series and The Feisty Lawyers romantic suspense series. She also authored The Last Christmas, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, The President’s Daughter, Seizing Hope, The White House Wedding, and participated in the romance anthology Pieces of Us.

When not spinning romantic tales, Seelie ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. Currently, she resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, WI, where she enjoys opera, the Green Bay Packers, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine. 

Seelie is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS: Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!

Seelie on the Web:
Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Instagram 

 Author's Amazon Page



Tuesday, May 24, 2022

IMAGINE THE KISS by Laura Haley-McNeil

 

Available for 99 cents from 23rd till 29th May!


Two people open themselves to the truth and open themselves to each other.

Her marriage in ruins, violinist Teagan Whitloch Munroe escapes into her music and the solace she finds at the Crystal Creek Ranch. Practicing in the woods helps her piece together her life, but she isn’t alone. When she hears someone hiking nearby, she demands he reveal himself, but the only revelation she gets is a soothing voice that heals the pain in her heart.
Maimed by a crushing accident, the once famous architect Phineas St. Cyr protects the world from his disfigurement by sequestering himself in the woods on the Crystal Creek Ranch. When he hears the intoxicating strains from Teagan’s violin, he can’t resist the beauty that quiets his aching soul, and he yearns to know the woman who creates such beauty.
Teagan finds sanctuary in her friendship with this connoisseur of music, but soon realizes Phin’s hiding more than his hideous scars. As they become entangled with each other, Teagan is stunned to learn they share more than a love of music. They are caught in a web of deceit by someone threatening to reveal Phin’s secrets. His exposed past endangers Teagan, and he can no longer walk away. This time he must face the enemy determined to defeat him. He’ll fight to the finish to protect the woman he can never love. No price is too high to keep buried the secret that will mark Teagan for destruction.

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com

Read an Excerpt from Imagine the Kiss


Chapter One

Teagan Whitloch Munroe was trembling. She was trembling, and she couldn’t stop. She’d been trembling for more than two hours—since she’d left the downtown Denver condominium she shared with her husband, Dr. Wilbert Munroe. What she’d seen inside the condo—in their bedroom—made her want to vomit. A cold knot of disgust and revulsion gripped her stomach.

When she’d walked into the master bedroom, she must’ve gasped. Will was lying on the bed, but he wasn’t alone. He’d lifted his head from the pillow. He looked right at her.

And swore.

He didn’t look surprised. He looked annoyed.

She’d pressed a hand over her mouth.

Blinded by tears, she’d backed into the doorjamb and stumbled into the hallway. She didn’t remember running out of the condo, but she must have. Her legs throbbed, and her chest ached. The only thing she remembered was her husband calling her name. What had he said? Let’s talk? She didn’t know if she should laugh or sob.

And she remembered the dulcet laughter of the naked woman who was servicing him in bed. Teagan’s and Will’s bed. Teagan had thought Ginny Andrews was her friend.

Some friend. Ginny who was svelte and toned. A contrast to Teagan who’d struggled with her weight since she was seven years old.

A shuddering breath rocked through Teagan’s lungs. Tears streamed down her cheeks. She wiped them away.

She barely remembered driving to the Crystal Creek Ranch, throwing a saddle on her favorite horse, Champagne, and racing through the meadows until she reached the aspen forest covering Crystal Peak.

Fighting against the despair that filled her, she wrapped shaky fingers around the reins and urged the Arabian horse through the trees bursting with spring green leaves. Her vision blurred, and she tried to focus on the pink wild roses and purple elephant’s head mingling with the green undergrowth. The splashes of Crystal Creek tumbling over rocks sounded next to the trail. It was happy and musical and far from the darkness that crowded her heart. Her stomach roiled and begged to be emptied of the half sandwich she’d eaten during the orchestral rehearsal that afternoon.

She ran her hand over the horse’s neck damp from perspiration.





About the Author:
A native of California, Laura Haley-McNeil spent her youth studying ballet and piano, though her favorite pastime was curling up with a good book. Without a clue as to how to write a book, she knew one day she would.
After college, she segued into the corporate world, but she never forgot her love for the arts and served on the board of two community orchestras. Finally realizing that the book she’d dreamt of writing wouldn’t write itself, she planted herself in front of her computer. She now immerses herself in the lives and loves of her characters in her romantic suspense and her contemporary romance novels. Many years later, she lived her own romantic novel when she married her piano teacher, the love of her life.
Though she and her husband have left warm California for cooler Colorado, they enjoy the outdoor life of hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and snow skiing. They satisfy their love of music by attending concerts and hanging out with their musician friends, but Laura still catches a few free moments when she can sneak off and read. 

Laura on the Web:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Newsletter

Thursday, May 19, 2022

ONCE UPON A MISTAKE by Shilpa Suraj

 


There are no second chances, only missed ones...


Five years ago, an accident changed Maya's life forever. From an engaged, MBA graduate with her entire life in front of her, she'd ended up dumped, bedridden, and in enough debt to drown her and her family.
Five years ago, Yash had been looking forward to marrying the woman of his dreams. Then his father died, he lost his job and his fiancee dumped him over a text.
Neither have forgiven each other and neither has forgotten the other. When their paths cross at Il Couer, a vineyard owned by common friends, sparks fly, past hurts are stoked and present dreams are destroyed.
And that is just the beginning. As their lives get entangled, both professionally and personally, they find themselves fighting familial disapproval, professional jealousy, and a mutual attraction that threatens to burn them down.
Can Maya and Yash ever unravel their tangled past? And will the truth of their past define or destroy them? Can you build a future on a posioned past? They're about to find out...

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com


Read an Excerpt from Once Upon A Mistake


Maya didn’t stop walking. Nor did she turn or give him any indication that she’d heard him. She just kept moving, as fast as she could, away from him. 

“Maya.” Irritated, Yash caught her arm at the elbow, halting her headlong rush just as they turned a corner of the house and out of sight of the bonfire crowd. 

The sudden jerk of his hand caused her weak leg to give out under her and she stumbled, hissing in pain. 

Shit! Yash pulled his hand back immediately, feeling like the ass he’d behaved like. 

“I am so sorry,” he said, leaning forward to help her regain her balance. 

Maya swatted his hand away and got to her feet on her own steam. Her cheeks flushed, her chest heaving with the force of her emotions, she tossed her hair away from her face and looked at him. 

All these years later, her beauty still took his breath away. Yash rubbed his chest, a silent gesture to try and soothe his aching heart. 

“What do you want?” she asked, crossing her arms in front of her. If he knew her, she was probably suppressing the urge to flip him off again. 

“I want to talk to you,” he said, leaning against the wall of the house behind him. From the distance, muted laughter floated back to them but here, in this moment, they were in a secluded bubble of their own. 

“We don’t have anything to say to each other,” she tossed back, her angry eyes spitting darts at him. 

Yash wasn’t so sure about that. He thought they had a lot to say to each other. She especially had a lot to answer for. She’d called off their engagement without even an explanation! 

He shook it off. This wasn’t about them. This was about his friend. This was about Yash being a good friend. 

“I don’t know what the hell you and your friends are planning but please let the Thakkar family mourn in peace. For the duration of this weekend, just keep your heads down, don’t create any scenes and leave peacefully the minute this is over.” 

Maya stared at him, an inscrutable look on her face. And then she started to laugh. She clutched her stomach, tears streaming down her face as she laughed and laughed. Yash’s confusion grew as he watched, as did his anger. 

“What’s so funny?” he asked. “I’m not joking. Aakash told me all about you lot and the kind of shit you get up to. Keep all of that out of this weekend and away from any member of their family. They don’t need it, alright? You’ve already taken one family member from them. Let’s not ruin another.” 
Even before the last word escaped his lips, shame swamped Yash in a tidal wave. What had he said? Shit! 

Vikram’s death had been an accident. Everyone knew that. The car’s tyre had burst. A freak accident that no one could have predicted. And no matter what their group had gotten up to earlier that night, there was no doubt that Vikram had been a full and willing participant. Aakash may find it hard to think beyond his grief but surely Yash was better than that? 

Maya’s laughter stopped like he’d slapped her. And in some ways, he supposed he had. He opened his mouth to apologise but nothing came out. 

They stared at each other in the enveloping darkness of the night. The only light, a dim yellow glow from the rear verandah of the house. 

“So no orgies then?” she asked, huskily. 

The word sent a jolt of desire through him as he stared at her lovely profile encased in that soft, faded yellow light.

“Not funny,” he said, his voice hoarse. 

“Who’s joking?” She lifted her delicate shoulders in a tiny shrug. “We weren’t planning to invite any of you fuddy duddies of course.” She wrinkled her nose at him. “It’s not like you lot would be any fun in bed.” 

His eyes dipped to her lips as she spoke, her words painting painfully arousing images in his head. 

“Stop it, Maya.” 

She pouted, one long finger reaching up to trace the low v neck of his soft, white kurta. Her nail scraped through the hair peeking out, sending arrows of heat shooting through him. 

She brought her mouth close to his ear and whispered, “What if we promise to be very, very quiet?” 

The hair on the back of Yash’s neck stood up even as his eyes fluttered close without volition. 

“So quiet, that you wouldn’t even know that in my head I would be screaming as I came, as orgasm after orgasm rolled through me…” 

About the Author:


Shilpa Suraj wears many hats - corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.

An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.


Contact the Author:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Newsletter






Tuesday, April 26, 2022

DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD by Author J.D.R. Hawkins

 



The Civil War has ended.

Confederate cavalryman, David Summers, returns home to Alabama, taking his new wife, Anna, with him. Upon arrival, he understands how much the war has changed him and has scarred his homeland. Faced with challenges of transition, he learns how to navigate his new world, along with the pain and trauma of his past. He is also forced to confront his foes, including Stephen Montgomery. Their hatred for one another inevitably boils over into a fierce confrontation, whereby David is arrested.

Will the jury believe his side of the story, even though he is an ex-Confederate? Or will he be hung for his crime?

 
 
Book Links:

Read and Excerpt from Double-Edged Sword


David helped Anna down after tying the mule, and followed her inside. A lanky man who stood behind a counter looked up from the hotel register as they entered. David nodded to the man, led Anna into the dining hall, and sat down beside her at a small round table. Like before, the room was nearly unoccupied. Three Union officers sat in the far corner, drinking whiskey and smoking cigars. Two men stood near the back of the room. One was playing a fiddle while the other attempted to sing a slow ballad in a low, baritone voice. The room was bright with sunlight, and lace curtains hung over the long windows. A thin, balding gentleman with an apron wrapped tightly around his waist appeared, pencil and paper poised in his hands.

“How do,” he said softly. “What would y’all like to order?”
Anna smiled up at him, but he only stared back.
“Well,” she began, “what is your specialty?”
“And more importantly, how much is it?” added David.
The waiter laughed. “More than you can afford, I’ll wager!”
David chuckled. “We have two dollars. Bring us whatever that provides.”
He glanced at his wife, who glared at him.
“It ain’t Confederate currency, is it?” the man asked.
“Silver,” responded David.
The waiter grinned and walked off into the kitchen.
Anna was still glaring. “The money you earned in prison?”
David nodded.
“You should hold on to that, sweetheart. We might need it for something important.”
He smiled. “You’re important,” he answered. “You said you needed to eat, and I’m starvin’. What could be more important than that?”
The musicians began to play another melody, and the couple listened to the lyrics.
 
“We shall meet but we shall miss him, there will be one vacant chair.
We shall linger to caress him, while we breathe our ev’nin’ prayer.
When a year ago we gathered, joy was in his mild blue eye.
But a golden cord is severed. And our hopes in ruin lie.”
 
David couldn’t help but think of the loss of his best friend. The lyrics saddened him deeply, searing his soul, rekindling the painful remembrance of discovering Jake’s lifeless body on the battlefield. He drew a heavy sigh, and took his beloved’s hand.
“It’ll be all right,” she comforted.
He nodded in confirmation, relieved when the song finally ended and the musicians broke into a lively tune.


About the Author:
J.D.R. Hawkins is an Amazon, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling, award-winning author. She is one of a few female Civil War authors, uniquely describing the front lines from a Confederate perspective. Her "Renegade Series" includes "A Beautiful Glittering Lie," winner of the 2013 John Esten Cooke Fiction Award and the 2012 B.R.A.G. Medallion. The sequel, "A Beckoning Hellfire," is an Amazon bestseller and winner of the 2022 B.R.A.G. Medallion. "A Rebel Among Us," the third book in the series, is the recipient of the 2017 John Esten Cooke Fiction Award and winner of the 2022 B.R.A.G. Medallion. Double-Edged Sword is the newly-published, fourth book in the series. These books, published by Westwood Books Publishing, LLC, tell the story of a family from north Alabama who experience immeasurable pain when their lives are dramatically changed by the war. Ms. Hawkins has also published a nonfiction book about the War Between the States, titled "Horses in Gray: Famous Confederate Warhorses," with Pelican Publishing.  She is a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the International Women's Writing Guild, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and Pikes Peak Writers. Ms. Hawkins is also an artist and a singer/songwriter.

JDR Hawkins on the Web:







Thursday, April 14, 2022

Princess & Prejudice by Author Alisha Kay


It is a funny, passionate, second chance Indian romance by the winner of the Amazon KDP Pen to Publish Contest 2020.


A not-so-fairy-tale romance!

They say opposites attract, but when Yuvarajkumari Jayshree Singh, Princess of Devgarh, and Dr Aryan Sharma meet, it’s more like opposites combust.
He thinks she is a bratty and entitled princess, while she thinks he is an uptight pain-in-the-ass, who needs to have the stick surgically removed from his rather delectable posterior.
When Aryan’s sister gets engaged to Jessie’s brother, they are forced to declare a reluctant ceasefire.
But the hostilities don't cease. Instead, they erupt in an unexpected and unlikely gush of desire and longing.
With their families set to merge, Aryan and Jessie need to decide if his prejudice and her pride can be set aside long enough for the love they feel to blossom. Or will they spend eternity wondering if they'd missed their chance at happiness?

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com


Read an excerpt from Princess & Prejudice

Chapter 1

JESSIE

“It wasn’t my fault!”
“It never is! Her Highness Jayshree Singh is never in the wrong. It’s always someone else’s fault,” ranted Dr Aryan Sharma, as he paced up and down the centre of the maze in my garden.
I picked a piece of lint off my red Banarasi silk sari and tried to ignore him.
He had taken his coat off in his rush to play the hero and had rolled his sleeves up at some point during this never-ending lecture. The Patek Phillipe that I had gifted him when he qualified as a paediatrician glinted on his wrist. I wondered if he had ever realised its true worth. 
Probably not, considering that I had convinced his sister - who was my best friend - to pretend that it was from her, and since Nivy still hadn’t made it to the big screen at that point, Aryan had believed her claim that it was the most real-looking fake Patek Phillipe that she had ever seen in Devgarh market. The fact that his sister had spent all her meagre savings on the watch ensured that her doting brother wore the watch proudly, even though he was morally opposed to fakes of any kind. Which was a good thing. If he knew that it wasn’t his sister’s meagre savings, but my more considerable ones that had paid for it, he’d probably fling it into the palace pond.
The watch suited him, I mused. It was gorgeous, almost a piece of art. Yet, it was strong and sturdy, and very, very reliable. Just like Dr Clueless himself.
It was difficult to take my eyes off his hands, beautifully shaped and strong, but sensitive. It was easy to picture him tenderly cupping a baby’s head with those hands, and even easier to imagine him cupping my breast. I shook my head to clear it, and looked away, wondering why you couldn’t find a good breeze right when you needed it. My face felt all flushed and hot.
Aryan was still going on about what a brat I was, and how he was sick and tired of my pranks. At that, I raised my hand like a student in front of a teacher, knowing very well that it would infuriate him.
“What?” Aryan barked, stopping mid-pace with his hands on his hips.
I took a moment to appreciate the sheer beauty of him in his light blue formal shirt, tie askew and sleeves rolled up roughly, all six feet of gorgeousness glaring at me fiercely. Then I relegated that moment to the back of my mind and proceeded to infuriate him even more.
“Would you really classify my actions as a prank?” I asked politely.
He notched up the heat level on his glare. If it got any hotter, I’d turn into sheesh kebab.
“Wouldn’t you?” 
I pretended to think for a second and then shook my head.
“Not really. Pranks are for kids. This was more like a happy accident,” I said, with a sweet smile.
It was. A very happy accident that sent his girlfriend, Dr Arshia Thakkar, flying into the big fountain in the centre of the palace courtyard. Happy for me, at least. I managed to wipe that smug smile off her face for all of five glorious minutes, until Aryan rushed to her rescue, carrying her out of the fountain like a Bollywood hero. I was hoping he’d slip and fall on his ass, but the fates had never favoured me before. So why would they change the habits of a lifetime now?
I was forced to watch him set her down tenderly on a bench and coo over her until Munshi Ji led her into the palace for a hot bath and change of clothes. I had rolled my eyes at the drama. Hot bath, indeed. This wasn’t fricking Siberia. It was Devgarh, and we were in the middle of one of the hottest summers ever. The twit should have been happy at the dunking, instead of acting as if she nearly drowned in what amounted to exactly one and a half buckets of water.
Besides, I didn’t know why he was blaming me for it.
“Why exactly are you blaming me for your girlfriend’s clumsiness?”
I watched with interest as he gritted his teeth and took a deep breath to calm down. An effort that failed miserably.
“Arshia is not clumsy,” he yelled.
“You mean she was trying to swim the length of that fountain for fun?”
“Your dog pushed her in,” he accused, pointing a finger at me.
I stood up slowly and gathered the folds of my sari around me as gracefully as I could. Then I walked up to him and gently pulled his finger down.
“Don’t yell at me, Dr Sharma,” I said softly.
When he opened his mouth to yell some more, I put a finger over his lips.
“Zombie is not my dog. He belongs to Veer. And he didn’t push Arshia in. She tripped and fell into the fountain when she was running around like a headless chicken, for reasons best known to her.”

About the Author:
Alisha Kay writes funny, exciting and steamy stories, with spunky heroines who can rescue themselves, and hot, woke heroes who find such independence irresistible.
The first book in The Devgarh Royals series, The Maharaja’s Fake Fiancée, won the grand prize at the Amazon KDP Pen to Publish Contest 2020.


Alisha on the Web:
Instagram * Twitter 

 

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Release Day Blitz Pack for Ruin of the Scarred by author Medha Nagur

 




Bidisha, a 17-year-old braveheart, has lived all her life in hiding since she is the daughter of the most wanted woman in Bishnupur. In the calm of the British Raj, Bidisha embarks on the quest to free her mother from the false accusation. But for that, she needs to challenge the royals who dare not stand against the British.
And when she enters the palace, she encounters the power-hungry Yuvaraja Trinabh and his twisted mother, the Rani Maa. Rani Maa despises her dutiful but meek step-son Yuvaraja Prabir and his hound Debesh Das, a Yodha who is his master’s protector. And so, she assigns Bidisha a job to spy.
But hearts entwine, and love meddles their path in the most unpredictable and adventurous ways.
Furthermore, things become dicey when Bidisha slits off her lover’s thumb, the Yuvaraja himself. Her dream to live free becomes a farfetched nightmare as her hiding in the jungle is not an option anymore.
When the deadly romance and the moral complexity are only a superficial part of the deep-rooted dark conspiracy, will Bidisha survive her sinking ground?
Will she emerge a warrior, save her own heart and win her love?
Or, will she succumb to the royal politics, lose her mother and lose herself too?

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com 

Read an Excerpt from Ruin of the Scarred


Bidisha’s ears pricked up when she heard twigs snap behind the temple. She looked around as she walked inside after her mother taking cautious steps. Bidisha dumped the clothes on the floor in haste. And her hand went straight to her sword as she walked out. She closed the door behind her and latched it from the outside. Bidisha stepped out in the twilight and walked to behind the temple. 
‘Could it be a bear?’
Howbeit, it was not an animal but a man fully clothed in black, his back to her. Bidisha held the sword straight at his neck even before he realised her presence. But in an instant, the man turned around and pulled his sword out. The two blades clanked. 
‘Not bad. You sensed my presence,’ he said, his sword moving against her steel as he closed in on her. 
‘You’ll be sorry for that soon,’ Bidisha sneered wrapping fingers around her worn hilt as she lurched back against his move, her nose just an inch away from his blade. 
The man cut again. She scrambled back. But Bidisha came hard at him as she cut and thrust her sword against his. The two closed in on. Their swords clanked. His deeply set intense dark eyes peeked out at her from under his mask as their blades locked. 
‘He is not the same man. He is not Debesh.’
Just when Bidisha aimed at his head, the man suddenly lunged. He caught her wrist and twisted it till she dropped her sword. He picked her sword before he let go of her hand. Bidisha aimed her fist at his jaw and connected. But he moved back just in time, so she was barely able to touch him. 
‘Hold on. We can talk,’ he said, taking a step back. 
Bidisha advanced, her hand headed straight to his mask. But he dodged her, stepping back into the bush and onto a snake that hissed back at him. To protect himself, he ran ahead and landed on her, losing his balance. Even as he tried to get a hold, Bidisha was on the ground, on her back, groaning. His face above hers, their breath hitched. The man was stiff on his fours as if he was desperately avoiding her touch.
And just when he tried to get up, her eyes widened as the cobra struck right at her face, making it through the gap between the two. She held it and, in an instant, threw it away while the man in the mask slid off her. Bidisha bounced back on her feet when he had already grabbed the two swords he had dropped on the ground. She shuddered as the open mouth of the snake made it again before her eyes.
‘Can we talk now?’ 
His deep voice reverberated in her chest. 
The cool breeze from the lake brought the musk of the mud and the touch of the dew in the dusk moving her out of her thoughts.

About the Author:
Medha Nagur is anything but a stereotypical homemaker, at home full time but with a pen all the time!
A freelance blogger by profession in her past life, she was on her maternity break when she started writing fiction. Medha considers herself a chronic creative aficionado who loves painting and writing.
Once a lecturer in Science College, where she gave lectures in Computer Science soon after her Masters, was fascinated by the blog world and realized her love for the words and took up writing full time.
She is also at her creative best when it comes to cooking innovative dishes to cater to the needs of her 11-year-old son, 4-year-old daughter, and not to mention her epicure husband. Get a glimpse of her culinary art on Instagram.
A music lover who likes to hit the floor on Zumba numbers is also a fashion enthusiast (like any woman on this planet!).
She wants to be in the womb of nature when it comes to holidays, embracing its warmth, which she believes is a gift to mankind.
All in all, she is born to collect laughs and make a relentless commitment to love so that she can enjoy life in abundance.

Medha on the Web:
Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon