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

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.

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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.

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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!

#Coverreveal You Can’t Fight A Royal Attraction by Ruchi Vasudeva #romance

Hi friends!

Sharing today the cover reveal of Ruchi Vasudeva’s book You Can’t Fight A Royal Attraction. Previously published by Harlequin, this book is being re-released in kindle format. Check out the cover and the book details here:

Blurb:

Being devoted to his friends, Zaheer and Vishakha, the couple who helped him find his place in Mumbai, Rihaan is determined to keep Vishakha from worrying about her wild – and now divorced – sister. The logical option is to sweep the troublemaker off her feet to a supposedly romantic weekend getaway. But Saira is gorgeous and infuriating in equal measures. What’s more, she won’t stay slotted under the ‘bad girl’ label he had for her. Can he handle the real Saira?

Saira knows her reputation has preceded her. She shouldn’t care, but Rihaan intrigues her no end. Already, she finds it hard to fight his appeal and maintain a cool distance from the reclusive yet arrestingly attractive scriptwriter. And then she discovers Rihaan has a secret. When the mystery about him unravels, will it tear them apart? At any cost, she cannot risk more heart break…

Book buy link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D24ZDHT

Release date: July 18th, 2018

About the Author:

Ruchi Vasudeva is a doctor by profession, a teacher by vocation and an author by destiny. The writing bug long resided in her till the Passions contest held by Harlequin for Indian authors gave her a golden opportunity to have her dream realized. She debuted in August ’13 with her book ‘Bollywood Fiancé For A Day’. She writes romantic fiction with conflicted characters. She loves to write about spirited heroines getting hurtled out of their daily life as soon as they cross paths with their rather challenging heroes.

Juggling job, writing and family life isn’t something she would recommend to anyone who wants peace and calm but at the end of the day, she finds it very fulfilling. When not bent over the laptop, she might be found with her nose in books or munching nachos at the movies with her husband and two kids or glued to the telecast of Team India in action. Sometimes she drags herself for long walks and surprisingly discovers they are rather good for brewing story ideas. ‘Romance,’ she holds, ‘can feel over-hyped in this day and age but is all too tangible and needed in life on daily basis.’

Author Links:

Twitter: @Ruchi_Vasudeva

Contact her at:

https://ruchivasudeva.wordpress.com/subscribe-to-my-newsletter/

Extract from the book:

What was it about that cool hauteur that made her want to play with fire?

‘Of course, you’re no danger to me in a…’ deliberately she let her gaze run over him. ‘…sexual way, are you?’ He didn’t miss it nor did he miss the insolence she projected. She could see his mouth tighten in controlled annoyance. For a wild minute she wished he’d let loose and the unreasoning thought made her heartbeat pick up.

‘Are you trying to challenge me?’ Her heart jumped up at the deep voice laced with mockery. Coward, she derided. Surely she wasn’t frightened of him?

‘No challenge for you surely? You can hardly stand the sight of me.’ She reminded him.

‘Am I supposed to jump on you in fervent denial of that statement, swearing that I can’t keep my hands off you?’ A dark eyebrow rose. ‘Sorry, but your little game won’t wash, Sehgal.’ Irritatingly he addressed her by her surname again.

‘Oh how astute you are, Khehra!’ She widened her eyes. ‘You catch on so fast, guess I’ll have to watch myself more around you.’ She formed a pout, aware of his gaze moving to it, feeling an unreasonable thrill as it did. She must be mad. Or starved of fun. But somehow she couldn’t not try to get a reaction out of that stone monument.

His eyes narrowed, ‘Whatever you’re trying, I’m not looking for trouble, and I’d advise you not to go poke for it either.’

‘So disappointing!’ She shook her head sorrowfully, ‘Here I was getting thrilled to bits we’re going to have this weekend. Just us. Lonesome, twosome.’

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If you enjoyed the excerpt, do check out the book. It’s available at special pre order discount price right now.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D24ZDHT

Guest post by Author Aditi Chopra – Plot vs Characters #writingtips

Today I have author Aditi Chopra on my blog, talking about the importance of plot versus characters in writing. Please welcome her.

Take it away, Aditi!

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As a writer, do you develop plot first or your characters? For some authors, plot is very important whereas others spend a lot of time on character development. I am fairly new in fiction writing profession, but if I look back at my stories so far, I have invariably always spent my initial time on character development. For each of my stories, I always honed in on the main character – her profession, her needs, desires and personality traits. I asked myself why a reader would find this person interesting. I then went on to develop the appropriate plot.

I believe that as readers, we always invest in people (characters). There are some characters that we completely identify with and there are some characters that we can’t connect with. But invariably what intrigues a reader is the character. If the readers like a character, they will invest time in reading the story.

This doesn’t mean that the plot is not important, it most certainly is. As writers, we definitely need to spend appropriate research and time in plotting. But if you were to ask my preference, I do spend more time or my initial time in character development. If I can bring out my character’s personality in my plot, I am happy with my story.

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Thank you, Aditi! I agree with you one hundred per cent. Relatable characters or at least characters whose motivation you can understand, are the life and breath of a story. Wish you all the best in your writing! 🙂

About the Author

Aditi Chopra writes NRI (Non-Resident Indian) fiction and non-fiction books. Her fiction stories are rooted in Indian tradition and yet very modern. You can find her at www.aditichopra.com