Monday, December 28, 2020

My Warmest sorrow by Preethi Venugopala: An Excerpt




♥ What would you do when you come face to face with your past? ♥

Social media which is often a source of entertainment can be a source of great sorrow as well. Especially alumni WhatsApp groups, as not all memories are pleasant.

When Ajay, now an IAS officer, gets added into his college WhatsApp group, all his classmates welcome him warmly. Except for Jasmine.

Jasmine and Ajay were inseparable while in college. Their relationship had transitioned from being best friends to lovers over the duration of the engineering course. But then fate had intervened, and they became estranged. 

Five years of silence have created a wall of sorrow between them. Their interactions in the class WhatsApp group are nothing like what they once used to be. Every moment churns out more anguish and unpleasantness.

Jasmine is still living with the repercussions of what had happened in the past.
 Ajay's indifference throws her into despair. 

What had caused their separation?
Is love still hiding underneath their public facades?
What lies are they concealing?

Chapter 1




Natsukashii. A former colleague had introduced the word to me. When a feeling warmed the heart and awakened memories, the Japanese called it Natsukashii.

When I unlocked the door to my flat that Wednesday night, weary after a long day at work, I was already in my Natsukashii mode as usual. The cool night breeze that caressed my cheek through the open window, as the cab traversed the lanes of Bangalore, had a way of switching that mode on.

After all, it had begun here. The warmth that had blossomed a twenty-two-year old’s heart five years ago.  Except during these brief sojourns into the past, my day-to-day existence was like a cold, placid lake, slowly dying from within.

Little did I know that within the next thirty minutes or so, a dormant volcano would spew lava into it, awakening a world of unexpected warmth.

As the project deadline was looming near, I’d remained in the office till nine to complete the chunk of work scheduled for the day. Structural designing demanded full dedication, even for a small-scale project. And my current project was unbelievably complex. 

Just as I slumped onto the couch, my mobile started ringing. I ignored it. I was in no mood to talk to anyone. When it rang again, I sighed in defeat and rummaged in my bag to locate it.

"Jasmine, you won't believe what happened today. And, where were you? I called you so many times," shrieked Ashima, the moment I answered the phone. 

I rolled my eyes but a smile curved my lips. Ashima, my engineering classmate, had a flair for theatrics. What was it now?

"Slow down. I just returned home after a gruelling day. We have a deadline this Saturday.”

"Eek. Be like me and find a government job. The perks of a government job are endless. Private jobs suck, " said Ashima.

"Now, now… you’ve to go to that magnificent job tomorrow, right? Why are you staying up late?"

Ashima had been like our dorm room alarm while in college. She dozed off exactly at nine and got up at five in the morning, every day, without fail. What had kept her awake today? Or had her so-called relaxing job altered her lifestyle?

"Idiot, check your WhatsApp messages. I don't want to spoil the surprise. Thank me later. Goodnight for now."

No! Not again. Mostly, she called me for additional support when she was on the verge of losing some debate she had initiated in our group. Who was she arguing with today? Rahul or Avinash?

 Most of my classmates were politically active. Every new government decision or policy would undergo a detailed post-mortem inside our class WhatsApp group. Rahul was a devout follower of the Congress party, Avinash was a self-confessed Modi Bhakt and Ashima was a red comrade entirely. On some days, their debates would continue for days. I didn't have the energy to jump into another such nonsensical discussion. All I craved now was food. And after that to sleep till the alarm rang at seven tomorrow morning.  

I switched on the geyser to take a quick bath. Then I transferred the biryani I had bought into a plate and placed it into the oven to reheat it. In the present Bangalore climate, nothing stayed warm for long. I was not fond of the winters. It wasn't the cold that bothered me, though. The winter season brought back long-lost memories, making me long for the warmth of a specific loving embrace. It also reminded me of my twenty-two-year-old self who had almost given up on life. 

By the time I returned from the bath, there were two more missed calls from Ashima. What was wrong with this girl today?

As I dug into the tasty biryani, I turned on my phone data. Notification beeps began. I swiped left till I found the WhatsApp icon. I had 1200 plus unread messages just from the Civil Gang 2013, my class WhatsApp group. Some serious discussion must be happening. I groaned inwardly. I wasn’t in the mood to drown in nasty arguments. But Ashima would probably kill me if I didn’t hop in and speak my bit.

Avinash and Ashima had sent me private messages as well. What was so urgent? 

Curious, I opened the group chat. Avinash had added a new member this evening. Though our class had a total strength of 60 students, there were only 45 members in the group currently. Many of my former classmates were pursuing higher studies whereas some had landed jobs in distant lands. Hence, we had lost contact with many of them in the five years that had elapsed after graduation. Occasionally, a new member would be found and added by one of the admins. Then there would be a mad rush to get reacquainted with the new entrant.

The name of the person added today drove away all my lethargy in a flash. I blinked twice to confirm if I had correctly read the name mentioned in Avinash’s welcoming message.

Ajay Menon. Ajay… after all these years? 

A warm sorrow enveloped my heart and it began to struggle like a caged bird. It became difficult to breathe. Letters blurred as my eyes brimmed with tears. The phone slipped out of my hand and fell onto the couch. I got up and ran towards the French windows that opened to the balcony.

Pushing the panels open, I breathed in the fresh air wafting in from the garden that flanked our company apartment complex on all four sides. This tiny lung space amid the vast concrete jungle that was the apartment complex helped me keep some of my very cherished memories alive. 

Memories that my parents had asked me to bury. Memories that often choked me and kept me awake during dreary, wintry nights.

How many shocks lay in store for me in the thousand unread messages that awaited me? 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Book Blitz: Bewitched by Ruchi Singh


About the Book:

The eternal dance of attraction, lust and love has been going on since time immemorial.

The divine apsara Menaka descends to Earth at Indra’s behest to distract the sage Vishwamitra from the penance that would bring him unimaginable powers. Menaka succeeds in bewitching Vishwamitra, but her actions are destined to have dire consequences for both.

Eons later, their story is set to repeat itself.

Poorva has always played by society’s rules and ideas of decorum. But what happens when her own loved ones betray her in the worst way imaginable? Does she still have to remain bound by their rules?

Rudra plays with power and people like they are pieces on a chessboard. He has no qualms about indulging his desires, be it money or women, but is determined not to be bound by either.

What happens when these two diametrically opposite souls are brought together by fate?

In the game of power, lust, greed and betrayal, some win and some lose. But are there any winners or losers in the game of love?

Like Menaka and Vishwamitra, are Poorva and Rudra too destined to see their story end in tragedy? Or will the divine power prevail?

A standalone novel from the author of #Bestseller 'The Bodyguard' - Undercover Series #1

Read an Excerpt from Bewitched

The seat had remained vacant, and it reminded her of the premiere night and Samar’s friend… no, Rudra Pratap Maurya. 
Well, he was something. Full of confidence and a little too forward, which normally was the result of being born with a silver spoon. Who would know that better than she? But she wasn’t brash, quite the opposite. Would she be meeting him again today? She might. The thought incited a flutter in her heart. 
Twice during her performance in the last month, she had experienced the same kind of flutter and was reminded of him. Why? She shouldn’t be thinking about another man. She had no right.
A loud noise in the living room brought her out of her troubled thoughts. Mansi was bustling around in the suite and must have dropped something. She would be busy packing their things. They had been living here for more than a month and it was almost like shifting house. 
With a stifled yawn, Poorva got out of bed. Mansi was ready with her morning cup of tea when she came out of her bedroom. 
“He is a womanizer, and from a gangster family to boot!” Mansi declared.
Poorva frowned and picked up the cup. “Who?”
“Rudra Pratap Maurya, or RPM as he is called in his circles. I googled him. His grandfather was rumored to be a don in Mumbai, involved in arms, drugs, and the like.”
“And this man RPM… though he doesn’t have anything illegal under his name,” Mansi went on as if she hadn’t heard her, “…last year he had hooked up with three different women.”
“Why are you telling me all this?”
“He is after you.”
“Mansi, come on!” Poorva sat in the balcony chair and yawned again.
“I saw him at the party and then yesterday, he was spinning a yarn about being there at the parking lot just like that. He must have been at the show last night. He has this glint in his eyes, full of lust when he looks at you.”
“Lust! Only?” She laughed at Mansi’s dramatic exaggeration, “Thank you. I’ll be on my guard if I meet him again.”
“If? You are meeting him in an hour.”
Amused, Poorva looked at her with raised eyebrows.
“I’ll not take this month’s salary if he is not present at today’s brunch.”
Poorva’s phone pinged bringing the bizarre conversation to an end.

About the Author:
Author of Amazon Bestseller Romantic Thriller 'The Bodyguard', Ruchi Singh is an IT Professional & Novelist, writing stories under Romance & Suspense Genre. She is a bilingual author and writes in both English & Hindi.

Winner of TOI WriteIndia Season 1, Ruchi also publishes romantic short reads under 'Hearts & Hots' collection, besides being a contributing author to many anthologies.
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.

Contact the Author:

Monday, November 9, 2020

On Writing with Ruchi Singh: Get Ready to be 'Bewitched'

Today on 'On Writing', we have Amazon bestselling author, Ruchi Singh. Winner of TOI WriteIndia story contest, Ruchi Singh is a novelist who writes in two genres; romance and romantic thriller. She has a degree in Electronics Engineering and works as IT Quality Consultant. All her novels have been #1bestsellers on Amazon.

Today we will talk about her latest Novel 'Bewitched' which is already creating waves on Amazon.

Welcome to On-Writing, Ruchi!

 When did you first get the idea for your latest book ‘Bewitched?

RS: During Covid lockdown, I chanced upon the mythology tale of Menaka and thought what if similar events unfolded in contemporary times? Of course, the circumstances and motivations would defer, but the underlying theme was about two dramatically opposite characters coming together and taking responsibility for their actions.

Did you spend agonizing hours deciding on the names of your protagonists?

RS: Yes. I can’t start writing fluently unless the name is right. It has to suit the character’s personality in the plot. For my female protagonist in Bewitched, I already had a name, but for the hero I needed something which did justice to his larger-than-life background, hence I picked up Rudra, which is another name of Lord Shiva.

What was your writing process like for this book? Did you write every day? 

RS: With the lockdown imposed, I had plenty of time at hand without the social commitments, so wrote almost daily and since this story was clear in my head the writing was faster.

What is special about ‘Bewitched’? 

RS: ‘Bewitched’ is special for me for two reasons; this is the first time I was attempting to integrate mythology and contemporary genres, drawing parallelism between the two threads. Secondly, I was able to finish the first draft within three months of conception, which is a record of sorts for me and quite a morale-booster.

Who is your favorite character in the book and why?

RS: Apart from the two main ones, I liked Mansi a lot, she is gutsy and fearless.

How long did it take to finish writing ‘Bewitched’? 

RS: This was one story which, just flew on from my mind onto the pages. This is the first time I have been able to write the draft of a full-length novel in three months’ time, give or take a couple of weeks. Of course editing and further polishing took another month, but this got finalized super fast.

Please share a passage or quote from ‘Bewitched’ for our readers.

Far away on earth mankind suffered another kind of manthan. How to attain what devas had? I could hear it—the struggle. Everywhere, there was chaos created by desires and ambitions. I looked at Brahma watching the events unfolding. ‘When will it all end?’ I asked.

‘Never,’ he said.

‘Will they go to any extent to get what they want?’

‘Depends on the pull of the want. The manifestation of desire gives the energy to acquire its object.’

‘I don’t like the word “acquire”.’

‘Ignore the semantics,’ he said with an enigmatic smile.

‘Why did you create desire? Isn’t that the root cause of all problems?’

‘Yes, but it is the seed of all innovation and development too.’

In the current scenario of the global pandemic, what do you think is the role of a good story? 

RS: With the lockdown and social distancing, people have time at hand. More and more people have taken to watching and reading. In current circumstances, I think a good story, with happily-ever-after, spreads positivity and optimism, lifting boredom and loneliness.

You have used mythology in your latest book. What exactly made you remember the story of Vishwamitra and Menaka?

RS: I read almost all the genres, and growing up reading Amar Chitra Katha series, mythology was my first love, so when Kindle threw up a book about Menaka Vishwamitra on my screen, I couldn’t help but pick it up. And then there was no turning back.

What are the three things readers can look forward to in this book?

  1. The plot of the story. Based on my research from various sources, I have tweaked the mythology saga a bit for Vishwamitra. I think readers would love that.

  2. As I studied the motivations of characters, I realized that both Gods and humans are governed by the same emotions. I’m sure this is something that will be of interest to the readers.

  3. Dialogues and strong and interesting characters, especially the heroine.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

~ Cover Reveal ~ Love, Scandal, and Second Chances by Shilpa Suraj

~ Cover Reveal ~

Love, Scandal, and Second Chances
by Shilpa Suraj

About the Book:
Arav has only ever loved one woman, Disha. But, she broke his heart to further her ambitions. 
Years later, she's achieved everything she set out to but at a steep price. She wants to come home but home doesn't want her and her work won't let her.
Arav knows Disha needs his help and the boy he once was can't walk away. 
But while his heart is large enough to forgive, it hasn't forgotten. 
Can they overcome the bitter hurt of their shared past, face the scandalous present and find their way back to each other? Is this their second chance at love or a first chance at redemption?

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:

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Newbie Corner Author Interview: Manasi Patil

 Today in 'Newbie Corner', we have Manasi Patil, a 14-year-old girl from India who is passionate about reading and writing. When she was 5 years old, Manasi had written her first story ever. From then, her journey in the writer's world has started. She has written many unpublished stories and poems. 'The Cousins Crime' is the first ever published book and she wishes to continue the series.

Let's learn more about Manasi.

Say hello to Manasi Patil...

  • Tell us about your first book.

‘The Cousins Crime’ is my debut novel. It introduces ‘ Krisha Batra’, a sharp young teen, who loves mysteries as much as a bee loves nectar! She’s a very determined girl, and values compassion in others. While on a stop at the Glazer’s bakery, the shop suddenly faces a blackout and the cashier is robed. Previous ‘accidents’ have also been taking place at the bakery, calling for a close-down. Krisha strives to find the vandalizer. The novel is very action-packed, and readers experience an adventurous feel while reading it.

  • Name your top 2 favorite characters from books you’ve read so far.

Unfortunately, I don’t remember this particular book’s name, but one of my favorite character is Jake. He’s Amber’s brother, and I’m fond of him because of his nature. He loves Amber to no extent, and is always there for her. There are times when they face challenges, but Jake never leaves his sister’s side. 

Anne, from Anne of Green Gables, too is my favorite. Her day-dreaming and imagining takes a deep place in my heart. She’s always ready to help others, and can’t withstand anyone’s sadness.

  • Which authors do you mainly read?

I keep reading new books as I discover them and my favorite authors keep changing, but my all-time favorite author is Carolyn Keene (Mildred Benson and other ghostwriters…)

My recent favorite authors are Vera Jane Cook and Ann Evans. J.K. Rowling too, has been a long-time fav.

  • What makes you write?

I have always loved writing. It’s my hobby. But I also write to inspire people, somehow, and make them speak their voice too. As I always say, ‘Words are containers of power.’ Nothing can be more powerful than words.

  • What is your normal writing process like?

I aim to write for an hour daily. When I write, I try to forget the real world and get absorbed in my character’s world. It takes the writing process to a whole new level and makes it more fun! 

Along with it, I do daily writing exercises, which benefit a lot.

  • What kind of writer are you? Do you plot the entire novel/story or make it up as you write?

It depends. I do a basic outline of the novel, but not entirely. I discover scenes and make them up as I write.

  • Who inspires you most, and to whom would you dedicate your creative growth?

My greatest inspiration are my parents. They teach me to make way through struggles and I would dedicate my creative growth to them.

  • What is favorite genre of writing?

I like to write mysteries, of all. Other genres include fantasies, thrillers and sci-fi.

  • What comes first, the plot or the characters?

A bit of both. How would you know what kind of character to sketch out, if you don’t know the plot? And how will you write the plot without knowing the characters? It won’t seem real, in my opinion. So, you should have an idea of both when you plan out a novel.

  • What message do you want to convey to your readers?

I just want to tell them to keep imagining, keep reading, and be happy!

It was fun talking to you, Manasi. Keep going and all the best to you!

Check her out on her Amazon profile here: MANASI PATIL

Author's Featured book :

Book blurb:

This Summer, nothing is safe at the Glazer's Bakery. Not even the bakery itself!
It's summer vacation for Krisha. She intends to make most of it with her favorite detective books and donuts. But when on an usual visit to the bakery, the cash register is robbed, it prompts the owner, Sneha Kaur to tell Krisha about the other sinister threats and happenings going on in the bakery.
Disguised as a waitress, Krisha tries to figure out who's behind the vicious accidents. And as they get more devastating, Krisha realizes that she needs to act quickly. Although it's the first real-life mystery the 17-year-old will be solving, her efficiency doesn't show it at all. Will her sleuthing skills be enough to save the Glazer's Bakery from closing down?  

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Cover Reveal : The Wrath of Hellfires by Shatrujeet Nath

Patience is a Drawn Bow.
Rage, its Relentless Arrow.

Shukracharya’s plan to break the unity of Vikramaditya’s Council has borne bitter fruit. Friends have become sworn enemies, and brother has turned against brother, setting Avanti on the path to self-destruction.

Even as Vikramaditya prepares to counter a Huna invasion, a rebellion brews within Ujjayini, while a devious conspiracy is hatched to humiliate him. With Indra’s spies swarming the palace and Shukracharya making a bold bid to take the Halahala, the king is dangerously close to the brink of defeat.

Alone and abandoned by those dear to him, fighting to protect his wife and his people, trying his best to keep his promise to Shiva, will the Samrat rise one last time to defend his love, his city and his honour?

As the asura and deva forces muster in a final, desperate gamble to claim the Halahala, The Wrath of the Hellfires brings an explosive conclusion to Vikramaditya’s epic tale of action and adventure.

Other Books in the Series:

About the Author:

Shatrujeet Nath is the creator of the runaway national bestseller series Vikramaditya Veergatha, a four-book mytho-fantasy arc which comprises The Guardians of the Halahala, The Conspiracy at Meru, The Vengeance of Indra and The Wrath of the Hellfires. Described as “a new face to Indian mythology” by DNA, Shatrujeet writes for movies and web shows as well. His also the author of The Karachi Deception, an Indo-Pak spy thriller.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Morning Pages : A Quick and Magical way to Creative Recovery

If there is one routine that has changed me as a person, it is the Morning pages.

 It has given me clarity of thought like never before and made me see the big picture in life.

 I write faster now, with clarity and often solve many confusing conundrums while doing this daily ritual.

What are Morning Pages?

Julia Cameron calls the morning pages as ‘the bedrock tool for a creative recovery.’

Morning pages are three pages written in longhand immediately after you wake up. That is three handwritten pages.

It can take around half an hour to complete.  

It is a stream of consciousness way of writing where you just transcribe the thoughts that are hovering in your mind early in the morning.

 It is to be done without putting much focus on the grammar or the topic you are writing about.

 It is in a way making your brain vomit on the pages. 

And *most important* don’t reread them.

Why morning pages and not afternoon pages or evening pages?

Early in the morning, your monkey brain is half asleep and hence you can easily make it voice the venom it is preparing to spew out on you, once it becomes fully awake.

 Your anxieties, your fears, your dreams, your ideas, everything gets captured in these three pages that you write.

There are people who do this ritual in the afternoon or evenings and find the same benefits.

I, personally, prefer to write them first thing in the morning.

Can I type the morning pages?

Some people do the morning pages on their laptop or computer. 

It is then 750 words of stream of consciousness way of writing.

It keeps tracks of the number of words and alerts you when you reach the word limit.  allows users to write their morning pages online and save them. You don't even need to register at the site if all you want is to just write.

Again, I prefer to write longhand. There is something very satisfying about writing in longhand.

My experience with morning pages

I started writing morning pages in the first week of December. 

It is a routine I have religiously followed since then and I plan to stick with it.

The morning pages have made me more confident about my creativity. 

I don't get writer's block anymore.

They also gave me different ideas that I could implement in my life.

 Other Personal takeaways?
  • I got ideas to blog about.
  • I have written difficult scenes in my WIP that were troubling me since long after I dissected them over in this morning ritual.
  • I have tried out techniques of writing by attempting them in my morning pages.
  • I plotted an entire book idea one morning.
  • I have become more conscious about the little things that matter in life.
  • I completed one short story, which had been going nowhere, within one week of beginning the morning pages.
  • I have vented my anger and sadness in these pages.
  • I am more perceptive and grateful to the gifts that I have in my life.
  • Synchronicity has become commonplace.
I can go on and on about the benefits I have experienced after I began this routine.

How to write the morning pages?

As Julia Cameron herself says,

" *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*– they are not high art. 

They are not even “writing.” 

They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. 

Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand.

 Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page...and then do three more pages tomorrow.”

The only important thing to remember is, do not re-read your morning pages. At least not for the first eight weeks.

Write them and keep the journal away.

 If you find it difficult to begin you can even write things like,’ I don’t know what to write here’ repeatedly and fill the three pages.

Trust me, you will get enough material to write about even if you are not a writer by profession.

Morning pages are for everyone. It is like meditation on paper.

Are you ready to unleash the magic of morning pages in your life?

Have you tried this technique? Do tell me what you think about it in the comments section.

Indian Bloggers

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Along Came a Spyder by Apeksha Rao


About the Book:

At 17, Samira Joshi has only one dream in life.

She wants to be a spy. And why not?

Spying runs in the Joshi genes. Her great-grandmother was famous for sticking her nose in everyone’s business. Her grandmother had a flourishing side-business of tracking down errant husbands and missing servants. Her parents are elite intelligence agents for RAW. Yet, they want their only daughter to become a doctor. When she sees a college friend being trapped by a pimp, Samira does some spying of her own, and discovers the existence of a secret sisterhood of teen spies — The Spyders. And, she wants in!

The question is, do they want her?

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Read an Excerpt from Along Came a Spyder

Three in the afternoon is such a wrong time to be tailing someone, that too, when you’re stuck in a car that’s getting hotter by the minute. I stared longingly at the McDonald’s across the road. The orange float on the hoarding was calling out to me, but I didn’t have the time to fight my way through the crowd of college students just to join the long queue at the beverage counter.
I turned my face resolutely away from the hoarding and narrowed my eyes at the target — a plump woman with tacky gold highlights and loud makeup, stuffing her face with fries as she haggled over a pair of mojris. Our driver, Ranga, sighed for about the fiftieth time and as usual, I ignored his passive-aggressive sighs. He was just bitter because he was stuck driving around a bunch of girls, instead of some top cop.
“I was the official chauffeur for the Assistant Commissioner of Police, for twenty years. Not once was I in any danger. But in the one year that I’ve been driving these crazy girls around, I’ve been shot at thrice! The third time, the bullet missed my head by just an inch,” he’s been known to grouse.
That was a gross exaggeration. 
We have CCTV footage of the whole incident. The bullet missed his ear, not his head and that too, by a large margin. Also, if he had just kept his big head down like he was told to, the bullet wouldn’t have been anywhere near him.
But no! Catch our macho Ranga taking orders from a chit of a girl, even if said chit of a girl knows fourteen different ways to kill a man!
Yet, according to him, ‘these crazy girls’ are the cause of all his problems. Which is so unfair! It’s not like we go looking for trouble. At least, I don’t. I don’t have to, because trouble comes looking for me.
“Curiosity is one of your besetting sins,” my Baba used to say.
“No Ranjit,” Ma would argue. “Curiosity brings forth information.”
For my Ma, information of any kind was always gold. What she found really sinful, was my tendency to find trouble. Drama was anathema to my parents.
“Yet, trouble and drama follow you like a drone to its homing beacon, Samira!”
A slap on my arm snapped me back to the present.
Debbie was raving about something.
“Sammy ya! Just look at this cheap aunty. I bet she won’t mind dropping thousands in one of her high society card parties, but see how much she bargains for a pair of shoes. He has kids to feed, you mean cow,” she said, shoving a handful of chips into her mouth.
I sighed. It was way too hot for a sociology lesson. Plus, Debbie’s rants were getting a little old. It didn’t take too much to get her revolutionary Bong blood boiling, and she was totally capable of inciting a French Revolution-style riot if you let her go on. But this was neither the time nor the place.
“Debs, I don’t care how much they haggle. I just want her to get on with it,” I said, squirming on the hot car seat. My skin was starting to fuse with the rexine of the seat.
Monica Shah finally walked up to the store and stood looking around.
“Oh, go in already! You’re not fooling anyone with your dawdling. We know you’re going into Pretty Woman,” I grumbled.
“Okay, here she goes. Give her 15 minutes, then, you go in, Debs. If you can, please take some pics of whatever she does in there. Just don’t lose her, and whatever you do, don’t get caught. If they catch you taking pics, deny it outright. Your camera app will upload the pics directly to the server, so, your phone will be clean. Now, don’t look scared, and admit nothing! When you’re done, meet me at the end of the lane,” I said as I sent Debbie off with an encouraging fist-bump.
Then, I sank down in my seat, and whispered to Ranga, “Do you think we’re going to survive Debbie’s outing in the field?”
“I don’t know. All I know is that I don’t want to die so soon,” whimpered the lily-livered Ranga, in response.

About the Author:
Apeksha Rao is a multi genre author from Bangalore.

She is the author of Along Came A Spyder, which is the story of a seventeen year old girl who wants to be spy.

Apeksha has written many short stories based on the same series, The Spyders, which are available on this blog.
She is a voracious reader, and a foodie.

Apeksha's current works in progress: A middle grade book, a chick lit featuring a detective, and a horror novel (the writing of which is giving her sleepless nights).

Apeksha on the Web:

Thursday, August 27, 2020

BookBlitz ~ A Lifetime to Move On by Anupriya Chowdhary

~ Release Day ~

About the Book:

When Kumar finds out that his only daughter is in love, he has a tough time coming to terms with the fact that his Doll has grown up already. But his displeasure takes a different turn when he realizes who his daughter’s love interest is.

Sarika couldn’t have been happier at the news of her elder son having found the love of his life. She can't wait to see him happily married. But the revelation about the girl’s parents numbs her as much as it shocks her.

What is it in their past that Kumar and Sarika need to make peace with, so that their children can find their ‘Happily Ever After’.  Will they be able to do so?

Book Links:

Meet Sarika

Sarika believes that she has left her traumatic past and move on in the true sense. And why not?

She is successful, recognized and rewarded. Not only as a social entrepreneur but a loving wife and a doting mother to two sons.

She had really not foreseen that on his annual vacation to India, her elder son would drop a bomb albeit a pleasant one on them. And now she couldn’t wait to prepare for the Shagun for the girl who her son has chosen as the one for himself.

Only if she knew better. However ironical it sounded, but for her son to be happy, she had to clear a test herself. Was she prepared to face the past she had thought she had left far behind in her life?
His silence has angered her then. She had endured a lonely bitterness and worked her way through life. But had she moved on in the true sense? Probably not.  Was she ready to face her demons in person at this age?

The stakes are high. Her only hope is that her nemesis too understood the same. Could they finally patch up after 30 years?

About the Author:
Anupriya belongs to that generation of Idiots (the proud ones though), who did their engineering first and then decided on what they actually wanted to do. She completed her MBA in Human Resources and worked in the corporate world for 8 years, before taking a professional break. A mom by day and a reader/writer by night, Anupriya is a die-hard romantic. Yet she believes that love (in any relationship) is a part of life, not, the heart of life. And she aims to bring to the world, stories around this theme. She can be found in the dot com world at her blog, which contains her ranting about her experiences in her various roles as a mother, daughter, wife and foremost a human being, all churned together. It is also her outlet to the world where she doles out loads of gyaan on self-improvement and relationship management.

Anupriya on the Web:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest

Sunday, August 16, 2020

~ Book Blitz ~ Itsy Bitsy Spyder (The Spyders #0.5) by Apeksha Rao

Young Adult / Espionage
15th to 17th August

About the Book:
What do you do when your mother feels that you don’t trust her?
If you’re Samira Joshi, and your mother is an elite spy who works for RAW, the first thing you do is … hide the knives.
After that, you go straight to the therapist that she has chosen.
For, when your mother knows seventeen different ways to kill a man, you don’t argue with her. Much.
Unless she’s trying to destroy your dreams.
Then, you fight dirty. Like a spy.
Samira is sweet, sassy, and almost seventeen. She dreams of becoming a badass spy like her parents.
And, why not?
That’s exactly what her parents have trained her to be.
So, why is her mother suddenly acting like a typical Indian mom and pushing her to be a doctor?
Samira can swear on her stack of covert operative manuals that it has something to with her mother’s last mission.
Her therapist disagrees. She feels the key to the mystery lies in Samira’s childhood.
Between her mother’s drama, a trouble-making grandmother, and a confused therapist, Samira’s life is spinning out of control.
What’s a good spy to do when her dreams are in danger?

Book Link:
Goodreads * Amazon

Meet Samira Joshi

Samira is smart, sassy, and seventeen - with a difference.
While other teenagers dream of the latest trending hunk, Samira dreams of spies.
She wants to lead missions, run agents in the field, evade exploding napalm. In short, she wants to be a spy!
And why not? Spying runs in the Joshi genes.
If you look closely, her family tree is littered with all sort of spies.
Her great grandmother was the nosiest person in Ratnagiri -  the village repository of gossip … er … information.
Her grandmother was the toast of the Hindu Colony Bhajan Mandal for her Miss Marple-like skills. She could solve any problem, whether it was a missing servant, an errant husband, or a stolen diamond bangle.
And, her parents are elite intelligence agents for RAW … also known as … spies!
They trained Samira to be a spy. So, why did they suddenly change their mind? Why are they pushing her to be a doctor instead of a spy?
They’re up to something, and Samira wants to know what that is.
Like her father says, curiosity is her besetting sin.
But her mother doesn’t think so.
According to her, Sam’s main problem is the fact that trouble follows her like a drone to its homing beacon.
What does a good spy do when her dreams are in danger?
She fights dirty. Like a spy!

About the Author:
Apeksha Rao is a multi genre author from Bangalore.

She is the author of Along Came A Spyder, which is the story of a seventeen year old girl who wants to be spy.

Apeksha has written many short stories based on the same series, The Spyders, which are available on this blog.
She is a voracious reader, and a foodie.

Apeksha's current works in progress: A middle grade book, a chick lit featuring a detective, and a horror novel (the writing of which is giving her sleepless nights).

Apeksha on the Web: