Spotlight on Beyond Scars’ by Alka Dimri Saklani #fiction #novel

Hello everyone,

I’m sharing today Book Spotlight – ‘Beyond Scars’ by Alka Dimri Saklani

Blurb:
Hi, I am Avinash, but this is not my story. This is the story of Avni, my sister. I know the smell of cement and bricks still pulls her to the incident seven years ago where she made a daring yet ruthless decision. I know she is drifting away. I know she has begun to find comfort in Vivaan. But I don’t know if I like it.

Hi, I am Avni, but this is not my story. This is the story of Vivaan, the stunning, vivacious painter. There is something sad about the paintings he has locked away from the world in his storeroom. But he never talks about it. But then there are a lot of things he doesn’t talks about, like how deeply he loves me.

And what about Dev and Kangana? Isn’t this their story too? It wouldn’t have been if only we did one single thing differently on that ill-fated night, the night that changed the course of our destiny. And hey, I am Vivaan.

And what about me? Why does nobody talk about me? Or talk to me? Because I am a little girl or because…Well, this is my story too. You will ask who I am? The answer lies somewhere in the pages of BEYOND SCARS.

Excerpt from the book:
I closed my eyes but before I could drift away a loud thud startled me. When I opened my eyes Avni was on the floor, curled into a ball, gasping to breathe, and trembling heavily.
Shit. She had a panic attack.
“Avni, Avni sit straight and take a deep breath.” I rushed to her, lifted her by her shoulders and helped her sit. Her earthy aroma captured my senses and it was becoming hard to keep the distance, fighting the urge to protect her, embrace her in my arms. I helped her sit against the wall and rushed to the nearby tap. I got some water in my palms and sprinkled some on her face. I rushed to the tap again and got some water for her to drink. She pushed aside my hand.
“Avni, you need to calm down. You are here for Tia.” Thankfully, I knew how to convince her.
She sipped the water and as her soft lips touched my palms, a thousand desires were unchained. It took the last ounce of my will power to control my urge to hug her tightly and kiss away her worries like the old days. She soon pulled back and rested her back on the wall, creating distance between us. Once again.
I stood up and walked back to get a grip on my emotions. I pushed my hands, that were still burning from her touch, in my pocket.

Amazon Link:
India: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B07MH9WJC6
US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MH9WJC6
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07MH9WJC6

To know more about the author, visit her website: http://www.alkadimrisaklani.com

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Guest post by author Aarti V. Raman

Hi everyone, A very Happy Valentine’s Day.

On this special day of romance, I have here the lovely Aarti V Raman to share about her favourite books to read and how she fell in love with them.

So without delay, over to Aarti.

*

How I Fell For Trope-y Romances.

The arrogant billionaire. The brooding boss. The virgin secretary. The betrayed wife. The secret baby. The ugly duckling turned into beautiful swan. The lover she can’t forget. The best friend who becomes so much more. The marriage of convenient revenge.

For those familiar with category romances (Mills and Boon and Harlequin, to be precise) these words will sound like home. After all, any romance lover worth their salt has consumed the case of the brooding arrogant billionaire who blackmails his innocent (read sexually inexperienced) secretary into becoming his wife because her brother steals his patented video game. (I JUST MADE THAT UP!) Of course, then they have mind blowing sex and intense revelations that lead to their happy ever after, because romance.

Romantic tropes are God’s blood for romance writers. It is our personal playground. Our heaven and hell. Because the trick to writing good, nay, great romance is to ‘subvert the trope’ without losing its essence. And, trust me when I say this, it is Mission Impossible on the worst days.

Now let’s go back in time, to when I was a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, extremely lazy student who snuck novels into her textbooks and read them. I have always talked about how Sidney Sheldon’s Nothing Lasts Forever was my introduction to adult books, to truly great writing and plotting at age 10.

But, my first brush with trope-y Mills and Boon romance was a little gem of a book called Don’t Fence Me In by the esteemed Kathleen Korbel. It was an early nineties love story but it subverted all the tropes, people.

Picture this. A famous Hollywood superstar has burned out and wants to hide out in his cattle ranch in mega-rural Wyoming/Montana/Missouri/Colorado till he figures out his next move. He wears a bushy beard and contacts to hide who truly is. The heroine is his competent ranch manager. A single mom with a gifted child. A snarky redhead. A spectacular horsewoman. And, like basically, kickass.

Sparks fly when the drunk ranch owner shows up unannounced and wants to see how the place works. Can the Hollywood superstar win the heart of the small town cowgirl or will it be curtains close for these two sweet peeps before opening night?

Don’t Fence Me In worked for me on so many freaking levels that I immediately went to our local secondhand book shop (this was pre-smartphones so I actually READ the books) and devoured all the Mills and Boon romances and well, it was the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship that lasts till today.

Don’t is a classic example of trope subversion – a cowboy romance coupled with fish out of water and the ever-classic small town and city mouse. But, here the heroine is the cowgirl, the hero falls on his ass when he tries to rope a steer! The heroine is adorably small town and still worldly wise for never having been outside of the continental United States. Their pasts are addressed neatly and the dialog is sparkly. And, Noah Campbell is SUCH A DECENT guy for being a Hollywood top dog, I can’t stress this enough. Oh and if all this isn’t too much, there’s a cattle ranch mystery to solve too!

All in all, Don’t Fence Me In and other great category romances will basically do this – put you in the world of a wonderful, universal love story and still shake up your world view just a little. All with a guaranteed happily ever after and oodles of smexy scenes.

It’s why I love reading them. And why it is my personal privilege and honor to write tropey romances.

Wishing everyone a very tropey, gooey, HAPPY Valentine’s Day!

Xx
Writer Gal

Author Bio
Aarti V Raman lives in Mumbai, India and has been a commercial editor and business journalist for the better part of a decade.

She is an incurable romantic who has taken up the task of bringing Happily Ever After to life for the characters in her head. She has three traditionally published novels out, all contemporary romances from 2014-2016, with the next one slated for release in 2019.

She currently writes and self-publishes steamy contemporary romance for urban millennials with a global twist. Sometimes, there are guns and car chases too.

Her new contemporary romance series include GEEKS OF CALTECH and ROYALS OF STELLANGARD as well as standalone romances – all of which have become Amazon India and US bestsellers.

She has also appeared as speaker at lit festivals and events around India and also dabbles in poetry, while conducting creative writing workshops.

**

Thank you, Aarti. Now let’s take a look at her new book. Congrats, Aarti on the lovely cover.

Blurb:

Mixed martial arts studio owner Kit Barranos has always been a fighter. He will fight for his family. For his friends. For anyone in need.
What he doesn’t know how to do is fight for himself…
… Or the inconvenient and consuming desire he has for single mom Lily Fallahil.
Office manager, Lily has spent the last decade raising her son and proving her independence to her protective and overbearing brother, Drake.
She has no time for romance. Especially with Kit Barranos, who has a body to die for and eyes that rip at her soul.
When Kit reveals his heartbreaking secret to Lily – he has a brother he never knew about, one he considered his closest friend – it brings them closer, creates a bond neither can deny.
And paves the way for a steamy attraction that explodes between them.
But it isn’t just Lily that Kit is slowly but surely falling for. It’s her adorable son, Bret.
Navigating the holidays, their families and their feelings is no easy task.
Flawed and fiercely loyal, Kit and Lily have fought the odds and survived.
But, survival no longer seems enough.
Can they take a chance on each other, on fate… On a love that braves The Heart of You?
The Heart of You is Book Three of The Geeks of Caltech, a unique band of friends bonded by loyalty, brotherhood, and pain. The Geeks of Caltech are to die for and their women all they wish to live for!

Spotlight: Guardian Angel by Ruchi Singh via The Book Club

 

Guardian Angel by Ruchi Singh 
File Size: 709 KB
Print Length: 168 pages
Publication Date: December 26, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07MDHHP27
Genre: Romance/ Short Read 
 
Ranking on amazon.in 
 
#2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Romantic Suspense
#7 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Indian Writing
#7 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Crime, Thriller & Mystery
 
A thrilling tale of unconditional love amidst danger and certain death.
 
 
The Man
Security expert Nikhil Mahajan is in mortal danger. Gravely injured and unable to see, he is in the midst of hostile strangers in an unknown place. Any hope of survival is fast fading away. 
 
The Angel
Should an innocent man be left to die just because he had been in the wrong place at the wrong time? Someone has to intervene. 
It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR


Author of the bestselling romantic thriller ‘The Bodyguard’, Ruchi Singh is an IT professional turned novelist. Her other published novels are ‘Take 2’ and ‘Jugnu (Firefly)’. Winner of TOI Write India Season 1, Ruchi has also published a short story collection, ‘Hearts and Hots’, besides being a contributing author to many anthologies.
 

Click here to check out all the titles by the author…

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Author Interview: Divyata Rajaram

Hi folks, today I have with me author Divyata Rajaram, whose book If You Only Knew Me is just out. Let us get to know her through a question and answer session.

Do you think reading is a must for writing?

My Mantra really is Read More Write More. Reading fuels your imagination , adds to your vocabulary and  sparks a love for the written word!

What is the next book about?

Its an unusual love story between two people who are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Fate conspires to throw them together in the most unlikely of circumstances but not before some twists and turns in the plot that neither one of them could have ever seen coming.

What inspires you from reality to translate into fiction?

Everything inspires me but most of all it is people and the thin line between fantasy and reality.

What is your advice to new authors?

To be relentless in your pursuit of writing. Even if it is just a few pages in a diary every day or a few notes scribbled down . One day it does all come together and begin to make sense.

Why do you write?

I write because I have always seen myself as a story teller. Stories fascinate me , whether telling them or listening to them ever since childhood. Writing is a natural progression of my love for story telling.

Thank you, Divyata. Wish you success with the book.

#Bookblitz Bollywood Fiance for a Day by Ruchi Vasudeva #TheBookClub

Print Length: 172 pages
Publisher: Indie published
Publication Date: May 6, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Available on Kindle Unlimited
Genre: Romance
Studious Dr. Vishakha never dreamed that winning a date with Bollywood heartthrob Zaheer Saxena would land her in an unusual deal to benefit both of them. Zaheer wants to ward off unwanted attention from his leading lady and agrees to help her save her face. It’s just like a business arrangement for Vishakha – except that she hadn’t factored in the unwanted, yet extremely potent attraction this movie star would hold for her. But she has to keep in mind that make believe is his talent – before she begins to wish this were a dream that would come true…
It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR

Ruchi Vasudeva is a doctor by profession, a teacher by vocation and an author by destiny. After debuting by publishing with Harlequin, she now writes emotional and amusing stories for Amazon.
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#Bookblitz #FindingHerWay by Ruchi Vasudeva #TheBookClub

Book Blitz: Finding Her Way - An Indian Girl's dilemma by Ruchi Vasudeva

 

Book Blitz: Finding Her Way - An Indian Girl's dilemma by Ruchi Vasudeva
Print Length: 16 pages
Publication Date: February 12, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Available on Kindle Unlimited 
Genre: Short Story 

 

 

What does marriage mean for an Indian girl? Whether she marries for love or by arrangement, she’s forced to obey unreasonable demands. But she also wants to live her life on her own terms.



Avni is such a girl. When the man she loves and cares for wholeheartedly, throws her a curve ball, she chooses to walk away. What comes next for Avni?

 
 
It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR


About Ruchi Vasudeva in her own words:
 
I’m a doctor by profession, a teacher by vocation and an author by destiny. The writing bug has long resided in me and a contest held by Harlequin for Indian authors gave me a golden opportunity to have my dream realized. I debuted in August ’13 with my book ‘Bollywood Fiancé For A Day’. I write romantic fiction with conflicted characters who come into their own in their quest of reaching out for love. I love to write about spirited heroines getting hurtled out of their daily life as soon as they cross paths with their rather challenging heroes. 
 
I keep busy juggling writing with my medical job and family life with my doctor husband and two wiser-than-thou teens. When not bent double over the laptop, I might be found with my nose in books or munching nachos at the movies or glued to the telecast of Team India or Chennai Super Kings in action. Sometimes I drag myself for walks and surprisingly discover they are rather good for brewing story ideas! 
 
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Spotlight: Sins of the Father by Sunanda Chatterjee #TheBookClub

 

 
Sins of The Father
by
Sunanda Chatterjee 


Blurb
Police Officer Harrison McNamara grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth. The former Wellington Estates heir has dedicated his life to taking criminals off the streets. But when he goes undercover to expose a blackmailing scheme, he meets a freelance model who may hold a key to his past.
 
For psychologist Laura Carson, freelancing as a model is the perfect bridge until she can set up her practice. But her modeling agency isn’t what she expected. Encountering the enigmatic undercover cop might be everything she’s ever wanted—and everything she must avoid.
 
As Laura and Harrison grow closer, their past threatens to destroy them. Trapped in an unending cycle of guilt and blame, can they find a way to bury the sins of the past for a future of redemption and love? 
 
Book 1 of the Wellington Estates Series, Sins of the Father is a stand-alone romantic saga.

 

Read an excerpt:
AT THE END of class, Laura Carson assigned the reading for her Child Psychology seminar, snatched her embroidered tote bag from the desk drawer, and waited for her students to leave the classroom. Some students hurried out, others sauntered in twos and threes, laughing over some inside joke and planning their lunch. Once everyone had left, Laura turned off the lights and hurried down the hallway. Her wristwatch read 12:05. If she grabbed a quick sandwich, she’d be on time for the photoshoot. Laura pushed open the exit door of the building as blinding light from the late California summer assaulted her eyes. She shoved her hand into her tote bag for her sunglasses and stepped into the sunny, brick-lined walkway. Students thronged the campus at lunchtime like a wolf-pack on a hunt. Just as she let the door close behind her, someone crashed into her. She winced in the bright sunlight and said, “Watch where you’re going, dude!” Clutching her shoulder, she stared in dismay at the contents of her bag now scattered on the ground. Great! Now she’d be late. She cursed under her breath. She looked up to glare at the clumsy clod who had bumped into her. But she stood transfixed, mesmerized by the hazel eyes of a man built like Hercules. Hazel with green speckles. In his button-down shirt tucked into pleated khakis, he didn’t look like he belonged on a college campus. This Adonis should be in Hollywood. He apologized and bent down to pick up her things. Their hands brushed, and a shiver ran down her spine as he glanced at her paper: Effects of Family Reputation on the Child’s Personality. She picked up her lipstick, mints, hand lotion, sunglasses, receipts for grocery and lunches, and the usual bric-a-brac she stuffed into her tote. Her wallet lay open, a business card peeking out. The man grabbed it and frowned as he stared at the card. “Hey!” She tried to snatch it from him, but he moved his hand away with the swiftness of a fox and held it just outside her reach. “Give me that.” Still kneeling on the walkway, he hesitated, and asked, “Do you work for them?” She looked at the business card for The Angels, the modeling agency where Laura was to have a photoshoot in twenty minutes. She’d modeled for a photography class as a fun project, and Professor Warren told her she had the face of an angel. He knew people at this agency, and if she was interested in making extra money, she should give them a call. “Do you?” asked the handsome hulk, staring at the appointment time she’d scrawled on the card. He didn’t exude curiosity. The way his eyebrows knitted together, it emanated disapproving hostility. Laura was annoyed at his intrusiveness. There was nothing wrong with trying to make a bit of extra cash. Her oncologist mother could well afford to pay for her education, but Laura knew the value of money. She’d worked on campus on minimum wage with non-existent tips all through college and graduate school. She had completed her supervised hours as a therapist, and her mentor had told her she was ready to start her own practice. All she had to do was find an office space. But she enjoyed teaching undergrads in the interim, trying to psychoanalyze them when they asked questions. And the longer she delayed her jump into the life of a therapist, the more her desperation for extra cash, especially now that her roommates were ready to abandon her to move onto bigger things. Besides, her soon-to-be-ex-roommate Elena worked for The Angels and had recommended the agency. The man was waiting for her answer. She held his gaze and said, “It’s none of your business.” Laura didn’t understand the emotion in his eyes. Concern? Worry? He said, “Um…” She looked at the enchanting frown lines on his forehead. “Yes?” The urge to run her hands through his hair mortified and surprised her, as if a magnetic pull drew her to him like a moth drawn to a flame. She grabbed the last credit card lying on the ground. He used her pen to write his phone number on the back of The Angels’ card and handed it back to her, their hands touching once again, as an electric current ran up her arm, jolting her with an unfamiliar sensation. She quirked an eyebrow, still kneeling. The bricks on the walkway dug painfully into her exposed knee, and she tucked her skirt under it. “Presumptuous, aren’t we?” He put the card from The Angels inside her wallet and returned it to her. She took it from him and stuffed the credit card she’d picked up. When she looked up at him, he extended his hand, a smile playing on his lips as if he was enjoying himself, and she was surprised at his sudden change from concern to mirth. Then he spoke in a resonant baritone. “Can I have my credit card back? Or are you planning to rob me blind?” Laura flushed and stared at her wallet in dismay. She had indeed picked up his credit card. Poisonous words from her childhood stormed through her mind, piercing her heart: You’re a thief like your father. Hands shaking, she returned the card and said, “I’m not a thief!” The face of her ex-boyfriend, George, flashed in front of her eyes. But this time she actually had picked up someone else’s credit card, albeit by mistake. George’s angry yells still rang in her ears. “You’re just like your father!” Although it had happened a year ago, the raw hurt was still fresh in her heart, like a slash from a six inch blade. Why had she been foolish enough to reveal her family secret? George had told her about his arrest for driving under the influence, and she’d told him about her father. After George broke up with her, she was determined never to confide in anyone, and had started a string of meaningless dates. “Hey!” said the man in front of her, bringing her back to the present. She looked at him, anger and confusion blinding her momentarily. “I was kidding,” he said with a grin as he pocketed his card. Then he stood up, towering over her. “Can you tell me the way to Freshman English?” The brilliance of the grin dazzled her as she threw her things back into her tote bag. Warmth flooded through her as the irritation washed away like dust from her unwashed windshield after a shower, her need to make a good impression on him, intense. Her head reeled as she straightened up. “New on campus? You look a bit old for Freshman English.” He stuffed his hands in his pockets. “Looks can be deceptive. And some of us have to work.” She wondered what he meant. Had he worked before starting college? Or was working while in college? Intrigued, she smiled and led him a few feet away to the campus map displayed on an angled stone plaque upon which stood an abandoned coffee-cup. She tossed the cup into an overfilled trashcan beside it. “English Department holds all the freshman classes in Mudd Building.” She pointed to the star. “We’re here. You take Ackerman Way down to Bolden Plaza and turn right. You’ll see Mudd Building on the left. Ask someone once you get there.” “Thanks,” he said, and flashed her a smile that enlivened his face once more. She wanted to hand him the business card of The Angels for he could well be a model himself. In a moment, he would walk away and she’d never see him again. For some reason, the thought brought an ache to her heart. On a whim, she said, “I’m Laura Carson, by the way.” She hoped he’d take the hint and introduce himself; she had squandered the opportunity to see his name on the credit card. “Harrison McNamara.” He walked away from her as she watched his receding back, his muscular, lithe frame disappearing into the crowd of students down the walkway in the dappled shade of the jacaranda trees. He was gone, but he had left her his name, like the pleasant aftertaste of chocolate that lingers long after the ice cream is finished. Behind him, the outlines of the San Gabriel Mountains of Southern California rose tall and wide, their tops covered in clouds, promising delightful mystery, inviting her to ascend into the uncertainty. Stop behaving like a teenager, Laura. You’re a therapist! Still, a smile stole on her lips. Harrison McNamara was like no one she’d dated before. George had been much older than her, and she was drawn to his success. She cooked and cleaned for him and ran errands like a housemaid, staying over at his place more often than not. Her best friend and roommate, Juhi Raina, had told her she was being foolish over someone who didn’t value her as a person, as a professional. And she was right, for George had turned out to be a judgmental prick. The lingering scent of Harrison McNamara’s aftershave knotted her stomach, reminding her of her empty life. Of late, her dates were guys she picked up from a dating site, just for an evening of fun. They’d have drinks together, and depending on whether they were gentlemen, she’d bring them back home and go on a second date. But most of her relationships ended on her doorstep at the end of her first date, with or without a goodnight kiss like the period at the end of an uninspiring sentence. But Harrison was someone she wanted to get to know better. She touched her lips, letting her feverish mind imagine his mouth on hers, and a rush of adrenaline drowned her in foolish anticipation. Her reverie was broken by a flyer that flew right into her face. It was about Kara. A few days ago, the suicide of the co-ed had shrouded the campus in confusion and sorrow. Laura had been dismayed at the news. She remembered Kara from her Intro to Psychology class as a studious, pretty girl who kept to herself. But the resilient arrogance of youth sprung back from tragedy with unnerving rapidity; after just two days of mourning, the college moved on with classes, shows, and parties, and Laura had found herself getting ready for new hope and prospects. She pulled out her phone and called Juhi, who was busy with the opening of her boutique. Juhi had worked at an upscale boutique for a few years until she started designing dresses and evening gowns in the condo. She had recently found the guts to open her own shop. Laura was both proud and envious of her courage and wished some of it had rubbed off on her. Juhi said, “Just two weeks left, Laura. You’ll come to the opening, right?” Laura remembered a weekend back in middle school when she’d promised to visit Juhi, but forgot to call and cancel when Elena showed up at her door for a school project. The next day at school, Juhi threw haughty glances her way until lunchtime, and when Laura asked her what happened, Juhi said, “Laura, you are my only real friend. But I get it. You have many friends and have every right to see them. I’m trying to deal with it. Just, do me a favor. If you make plans with me, stick to them. Because when I make plans with you, I clear my whole calendar.” Laughing at the memory, Laura cupped her hand over the phone and said, “I’ve cleared my whole calendar.” “Good!” Laura grinned, as the comfort of years of friendship enveloped her in its warmth. She may not have a boyfriend, but she had a best friend. “I might even bring a date. Juhi, I think I met the one.” Juhi laughed. “Again? Where? Who is he?” “I bumped into him.” “Bumped into a guy and have an instant crush. Can it be more cliché? And where did this happen?” Laura laughed. “On Ackerman. He was on his way to class.” “You’re a Clinical Psychologist, Laura. Since when are you interested in college kids?” Laura sighed. “Since Harrison McNamara started Freshman English.”


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About the author

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunanda J. Chatterjee writes romantic sagas and family dramas, with empowered heroines and noble heroes, and all manner of family relationships. She loves extraordinary love stories and heartwarming tales of duty and passion. Her themes include the immigrant experience, women’s issues, and medicine.

 

 

Her books have consistently been the Top 100 bestsellers on Amazon USA and Amazon India in Asian Literature, Indian Writing, and Asian Drama categories. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies, short-story.net and induswomanwriting.com.

 

 

She grew up in Bhilai, India and now lives in Arcadia, California with her husband and two wonderful children. When she is not by the microscope or creating imaginary worlds, she reads, sings, goes on long walks, and binge-watches old TV dramas.

 

 

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