Sunday, January 15, 2017

Blog Tour: SOULLESS by MV Kasi



SOULLESS
by
M.V.Kasi




Blurb

They say when you take revenge you lose a part of your soul. 

But Sia hadn't felt her soul in a very long time. She only knew the soul-crushing fear and helplessness. Especially during the nights, when she fought an invisible enemy that terrorized her during the nightmares. 

Her days weren't any better either. She spent most of them trying to desperately gain control of her life while battling her various fears and addictions. 

She was only twenty three, but she had resigned herself to live the rest of her life that way. Fearing the unknown. 

Until it all changed one day. 

Now she knew. She knew that the monster from her nightmares was real. And also that her soul had been ripped apart from her. 

The memories had brought in fear, rage and pain, along with a strong craving for a swift payback. 

But revenge was a dish best served cold. And it required a complete absence of emotion. 
So now? 

Now she plotted. And she schemed. She prepared herself in every possible way to hunt and destroy her enemy. 

But every mission, however well planned can go awry. Sometimes it's because even though one can be soulless, there is always the heart. A very weak and desperate heart that was being stolen by a man. 

A man who was like a bright spark of vivid colors in her otherwise dark and dreary life. 
A man...who was only supposed to be collateral damage. 




Read an excerpt from #Soulless

"Need help holding the bag still?" a deep voice asked from behind her.
Sia yelped in surprise, hitting the kick-boxing bag accidentally, and had to jerk back, away from the heavy swinging bag. Her sudden movement dropped her phone from her hands onto the gym floor. She could see half a dozen pieces of what used to be her phone scattered around.
Shit. Most of her contacts were stored in that phone. Now she'd have to waste at least a couple of hours to buy a new one and retrieve her contacts list. But she had bigger worries, and a more immediate danger.
On instinct, she widened her stance, ready to swing around and kick the intruder in his face, either to dislocate his jaw or at least break his damn nose.
"Whoa, whoa, easy lady," said a laughing man's voice, moving away from her swing.
As soon as she turned around, the air left with a whoosh from her lungs. And it wasn't because of her move. It was because of the face in front of her.
She kept staring at the amused boyish grin with twin dimples on the man's face.
"That looks like one hell of a fall," he said as he looked down at her broken phone.
Sia didn't even bat an eyelid when the man knelt down and picked up the pieces.
"I think I can salvage this," he murmured, and began to work on fixing her phone.
His eyes were focused on the job at hand and he had an intense look of concentration as he worked over her phone. Sia realized that she was gawking at a complete stranger like an idiot instead of demanding her personal property back.
"Wait, you don't have to..." Her damn voice was soft and whispery as it drifted off.
The man looked up briefly at her and smiled.
That little stretch of his mouth muscles was causing havoc to her insides. And it wasn't because of the panic she usually felt, it was because of the beautiful face in front of her. And it was having a strange effect on her.
What the hell was happening?
Her usual cold and aloof protective barrier was having a tough time emerging. Maybe because she felt a false sense of security around him, due to his blindingly good looks combined with the boy-next-door smile. But she wasn't the type of woman who usually got affected by some pretty boy's face. Then what the hell was so damn special about him?
It didn't make any sense. He was just a guy. Weren't they all the same? Yet somehow she felt a strange sense of connection with him. Especially with his smile.
You are just horny. You are a twenty four year old with a good imagination and a healthy sex drive. Yes. That must be it, she rationalized, looking at his ripped body that was barely concealed in his work-out shorts. He definitely must be one of the personal trainers at the gym. Maybe used to attract the female clients with his smile and body.
"Like what you see?" he asked, without raising his head. He was still working intently on her phone, but had a small smirk on his face.
At his teasing remark, she snapped out of whatever thing had possessed her.
What the hell was she doing? She asked herself again.
He's just a good looking guy, and she's seen, and also been with several guys who were similarly good looking.
"I think I can fix my phone by myself," she said coolly, extending her hand as irritation slowly crept into her.
"I'm almost done. This is a newer model, so there are smaller parts that need to be placed in the right sequence. And besides, I caused you to drop it in the first place," he said.
"True. But you have already done enough damage. Maybe next time, you should stop and think before sneaking up on the gym members, during the early hours of the morning."
At her stern set down, he stopped what he was doing to glance at her.
His eyes blazed as he looked at her face, and then slowly, and unashamedly, he dragged his eyes down the length of her body, lingering on her toned arms and legs.
Instead of being offended, she felt his gaze ignite something. Soon, a warning siren went off in her head as images of them spending a dirty night ran in her mind.
Sia recoiled mentally from those images. She had stopped having random meaningless sex almost a year ago. And more recently, she had promised herself, she would not be distracted from her mission because of anything or anyone.
But right then, staring at the beautiful man with a sweet, melting smile, and a contradictory brazen look, she was ready to jump on him on the gym floor, and take what her body wanted from him.
Before she pounced on a complete stranger, Sia grabbed her phone from his hand, and took a few steps away from him to give herself some space. She subtly took some deep breaths to calm down even as his eyes continued to assess her.
When his eyes met hers, he smiled again. "By the way I'm Ajay, and you are...?"
Before she could reply another man's voice interrupted them. "Good morning, Ajay. How have you been bro?"
 A brief look of irritation passed on Ajay's face, but he turned and smiled openly at the guy who joined them.
"I'm doing great Ravi. It's been a while, and quite a set up you have here..."
Before he could finish catching up with the other guy, Sia began walking out from there. After collecting her water bottle and work-out towel, she moved towards the stairs, and glanced back briefly towards him.
He was still talking to the other man, but his eyes were on her, laughing at her in amusement. As though he knew she was running away because of him.
Dammit.


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About the author


By day, MV Kasi works for a software company. She currently lives in Hyderabad, India with her husband and son.

By night, she gives in to her fascination to explore the human psychology and the various facets of life in her writing. She has particular fascination with successful people who are not considered 'normal' by society's standards.

Her love for reading has led her to start writing on her own. She likes to add depth to her characters and explore their psychological motivations. Due to the nature of topics and plots, she does not shy away from writing about sexuality or violence. Despite covering some heavy topics, she likes to infuse humor into her writing.



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Monday, January 9, 2017

Book Review: FINDING THE ANGEL by Rubina Ramesh

Finding the Angel by Rubina Ramesh

 

Finding the Angel is the first novel written and published by Rubina Ramesh, exclusively on Amazon. I have known Rubina to be a versatile writer since almost four years. What I find special in the author’s writing is the way she paints pictures with her words, making the reader sit up with a jerk—simply powerful.

Finding the Angel is a romance novel—about Prince Aryan of the Ranaut Dynasty and Shefali, an art curator. I was keen to read this one from the moment I read it in its brief avatar a few years ago.

The lovely Shefali is a romantic while the hot, handsome Prince Aryan comes with a baggage from his past. She has arrived at his palace at Gitanjali Devi’s behest to catalogue the artefacts of the Ranaut Dynasty. During her stay, one of the artefacts that has been in the Ranaut family for many generations, gets stolen. The theft coincides with Shefali running away from the palace to safeguard her heart from the cynical prince of Ranaut.

And that’s how she gets accused of being a thief. Aryan is torn between his attraction towards her and his basic mistrust of humanity, thanks to his ‘baggage’. And so the story goes...

I won’t say much beyond this point to avoid spoilers. What I really loved about the story is the sizzling attraction between the protagonists that’s highlighted even in their first meeting. Woof! I needed to fan myself as Aryan is draped in but a towel when he comes across the beautiful Shefali in the corridor outside his very own quarters in the Ranaut Palace. And yeah, this is where she indulges in ‘Adam teasing’ or so he accuses her. That term sure brought a smile to my face.

That’s another thing I have to mention about Author Rubina Ramesh’s writing—she comes up with the quaintest similes, mostly self-created, though totally apt.

The book takes the reader from the present to the past and back to the present, woven into a perfect tapestry.

This story so reminded me of the Mills & Boon novels that I used to devour from the 70s & 80s—you know those that had real substance in them with a strong storyline, showing us a glimpse into the culture and tradition of a place and the way of life, along with a proper love story woven in.

VERDICT: If you like to read romances set in India, with a strong storyline, then you should not miss this one.

And...

Welcome to the Indie Author Club, Rubina Ramesh. Proud to have you on board! The proof is there for all to see as Finding the Angel is climbing the Amazon Bestseller charts as I write this review.


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Friday, December 23, 2016

Blog Tour: GUEST POST by Rubina Ramesh

Rubina Ramesh
I knew Rubina Ramesh first as a story teller and only later as a marketeer. Many people know her as the face of THE BOOK CLUB but first and foremost, Rubina can sure weave a tale that pulls the reader in with the way she builds her characters and sentences, many a time leaving the reader wondering what had hit them. Today, I bring you Rubina Ramesh, Indie author of Knitted Tales: A Collection of Emotions. This book is an anthology of short stories that bring you the varied shades of human thoughts and behaviours. Recently, she’s also published her first romance novel called Finding the Angel that would remind one of the Mills & Boons of the 70s & 80s – the best ever. Yes, I became her fan first and I am glad that today I am a friend too.

My question to the author is this:

There’s young Jaspreet who’s undergoing tremendous pressure in the exam hall. I found your description of her feelings so real and amazing. And then there’s the sexy siren Lolita of many layers. It can’t get more divergent than the two. It’s amazing that both were born from the same author’s pen. Can you throw some light on how these came about?

And here's Rubina Ramesh’s answer:

Dear Sundari,

Coming from you I will take that as a HUGE compliment for pleasing you is never easy. Thank you.

I have a few advantages over life.

1. I am a writer with an overactive imagination.
2. I am a woman writer with an overactive imagination.
3. I am a mother and a woman writer with an overactive imagination.

Now as you can see with every role my imagination is stretching a bit more. :D Knitted Tales was written over a period of time. The days I was happy, a peppy story popped up for the prompt put up in Wrimo India. Having a teenage daughter, whose mother has a hormonal imbalance, can be a catalyst to an overdriven imagination. Every examination after you give a pep talk to your daughter, you are left with an empty gaping hole of self-doubt about the way you are bringing up your kid in this rat race. We had it easy compared to our kids. But we cannot show it or they latch on to our weaknesses. My daughter is a wonderful artist but like every parent we dream of her becoming a doctor or an engineer. Movies like 3 Idiots scream about the injustice that we do to our kids. But such messages are appreciated when it happens to our neighbors or our friend's kid. Out of that feeling, Jaspreet was born.

Jia Khan's death left a very strong feeling of dread in me. A young life snuffed out so early and such a senseless death. Lolita, though not a takeoff from her life, but it’s more about the emotion that I felt when I read the news. What makes a person commit suicide at the peak of their lives? What did her soul come to learn? Did she depart once she had learned it? Such questions, as you know dear Sundari, always fascinate me. Lolita, which I am planning a full-fledged novel on, is my quest for those answers.

Thank you, Sundari for this opportunity to express myself. 

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Blog Tour: KNITTED TALES: A COLLECTION OF EMOTIONS by Rubina Ramesh



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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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Blog Tour: SHADOW IN THE MIRROR by Deepti Menon


Shadow In The Mirror 
by
Deepti Menon

Publisher: Readomania



MY REVIEW

I have read a number of short stories by Deepti Menon and am a fan of her writing and that’s the reason I was keen to read this full-fledged novel by her. After ensuring from the author herself that it’s not a horror but a psychological thriller, I got myself a copy. I must mention that the cover is awesome.

I found the opening chapter so fast and gripping and got pulled into the story. The author’s English is flawless and she sure can spin a story. 

The story begins with the death of a pregnant Nita. Nita has everything going for her. She’s the only daughter of a rich businessman, married to Krish, a man she’s in love with and she’s become pregnant after seven years of marriage. Then why would she commit suicide?

Journalist Vinny goes snooping. And she comes across a note that says that Nita has been murdered. Vinny goes to talk to Nita’s businessman father. 

I will not give more details to avoid spoilers.

The one major plus I found in the book is the way the murderer's character has been built. That's the only strong thread to the story. 

When I read a story, I would like to connect with at least one of the protagonists. What I got here is a number of characters flitting in and out of the story at different timelines, not making an impact. For example, what was Roma’s role? Or Meghna’s and Rohit’s for that matter? 

As I understood the story, Nita is a few years younger than Roma, who’s the same age as Vinny. If that were the case, how did the story end the way it did?

At one point, the story takes a leap from one chapter to another without connection. I was thrown as I didn’t understand why the story moved to that timeline. There should have been a connection for sure. It was missing.

There are at least three sets of deaths by accidents. In a psychological thriller, one would presume that they are connected. But no, it’s just random accidents going on happening in the lives of the characters. 

I could understand why Meghna ran away. But how did Vinny find her? There’s no explanation in the story for that. If an explanation is not required, then we didn’t need the character at all. 

The book could have been improved with better editing, maybe chopping off unnecessary characters, making the story flow smoother. Also, most of the story was narration. It was all telling and no showing. 




Blurb

It all begins with a death. Nita, a pregnant woman falling from her balcony becomes the string that unravels the plot. Her death casts a shadow over many lives; her heartbroken father, her husband and Vinny, a young journalist, drawn in by the whiff of foul play and murder.

What follows are stories within stories, eras and worlds colliding with each other, leaving behind splintered relationships and mesmerizing slices of lives that appear to be drawn together and driven apart by the whimsical threads of destiny.
As events cast their shadows ahead to link the stories of Vinny, Kavita, Roma, Krish and Nita in an unrelenting knot, a journey starts to uncover the truth. What is the secret that links Nita’s death to the other characters? Will Vinny be able to unravel the mystery of Nita’s death?

From intimate diary entries and letters, to bantering over a meal and sharing memories while spring cleaning, this novel de-familiarizes the ordinary, presenting a kaleidoscope of our own pasts, broken edges and pulsating hearts. 

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Also Available on #KindleUnlimited 

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About the Author



Deepti Menon has always believed in the power of the pen. Having done her post graduation in English Literature and her B.Ed. in English, she had the option of teaching and writing, and did both with great enjoyment. She started writing at the age of ten, long before she acquired a Diploma in Journalism. She also had the advantage of being an Army kid, and later an Army wife, and loved the idea of travelling around India, meeting new people and acquiring new skills. She firmly believes that much of her personality was honed during those travels.

In 2002, her light hearted book, ‘Arms and the Woman’, depicting life as seen through the eyes of an Army wife, was published by Rupa Publishers, Delhi. This was written mainly to reveal the warmth and camaraderie within the great institution. She is now working on her second book that is a work of fiction, and not- to-be divulged yet! 




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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Blog Tour: HIS DRUNKEN WIFE (Marriages Made in India, Book #2) by Sundari Venkatraman




HIS DRUNKEN WIFE
(Marriages Made in India Book #2)
by
Sundari Venkatraman



Blurb

The badass Shikha is startled when the nerdy Abhimanyu proposes marriage. She loves... herself, and Abhimanyu doesn't figure on her list anywhere. For Abhimanyu, however, it was love at first sight when Shikha walked into RS Software, where the two of them work. 

When Abhimanyu shows her that he just might be rich enough for her, a pleasantly surprised Shikha accepts his marriage proposal and moves into his swanky apartment. 

But it looks like the love is all from only Abhi’s side as Shikha continues to drink herself crazy. Yeah, even at their wedding party. 

And then Abhi sets out on a honeymoon to Thailand with His Drunken Wife... 

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


Read an excerpt from #HDW

It was at least another half an hour before Shikha returned to the party. She directly walked up to her husband and kissed him on his masculine lips. “Forgive me?” 

Abhi pulled her close, kissing her deeply. “Always.”

“Did I tell you that you’re the best thing that’s happened to me?” she whispered in his ear, nipping at his earlobe. 

“Shikha,” growled Abhi, “Are you even aware of what you’re doing to me? Position yourself in front of me till I gain control or I won’t be responsible for the consequences.”

Shikha gave a tinkling laugh, her hand on his fly, tracing his shape delightedly. “How did I ever imagine you were a staid guy?”

Abhi groaned. “Take your hand off, woman. Please!”

Shikha laughed again, kissing him. “How I love to hear you beg.” She winked at him. 

She turned right around and got a waiter to get her another drink, much to Abhi’s chagrin. “Will you lay off the drink, Shikha?” he frowned. 

“Why? You can’t afford it or what?” she challenged him, a shapely eyebrow up in query, sherry brown eyes dancing. 

“You’ve already had four large pegs.”

“You’ve been counting.” The smile left her face.

“Do you plan to get drunk?”

“Arre yaar, Abhi! It’s our wedding, a once-in-a-lifetime event. I’m only celebrating. Give me a break,” she protested. 

“The way you’ve been knocking down the drinks, anyone would think that you’re in pain rather than celebrating.”


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About the author



Sundari Venkatraman

His Drunken Wife is the ninth book authored by Sundari Venkatraman. This is a hot romance and is Book #2 of the 5-novella series titled Marriages Made in India; Book #1 being The Smitten Husband. 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 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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Monday, December 5, 2016

Tornado Giveaway 3: HEARTS & HOTS by Ruchi Singh





Name of the book: Hearts & Hots
Author: Ruchi Singh
Read some reviews:

1. Arti
2. Summerita Rhayne 
3. Shashi Kadapa 

The Story:


Love, what is it? 
A casual glance, and the heart skips a beat… 
Or A chance meet and that tug of an inexplicable connection…

Love… a baffling attraction so potent that one becomes blind to entire world, or is it that unbridled passion which threatens to drown every time you see the one, or a protective urge which forces you to realize that life is not worth living without that special someone…

‘Hearts and Hots’ a collection of five short stories riding on first love, passion, and romance.





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About The Author 


Winner of TOI WriteIndia story contest, Ruchi Singh is a novelist, and writes in two genres; romance and romantic thriller. She has a degree in Electronics Engineering and has worked as Quality Consultant in the IT field. She began her writing career writing short stories and articles, which have been published on various online forums. She has been a contributing author to many anthologies and has published her first book Take 2, which is a contemporary romance with a spice of social drama.

A voracious reader, she loves everything—from classics to memoirs to editorials to chick-lit, but her favourite genre is 'romantic thriller'. Besides writing and reading, her other interests include dabbling with Indian classical dance forms.






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