Spotlight – Bombay Heights by Adite Banerjie

Wishing friend and author Adite Banerjie all the best upon the release of her new novel Bombay Heights. My short stint in Mumbai, city of dreams has left me a lot of sweet memories. Hoping to relive them in this sweet Rom Com.

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Here is the Blurb:

A FEEL-GOOD ROMANTIC COMEDY

Small town girl Sanjana Kale wants a fresh start in Mumbai. A challenging job and some much needed distance from her ludicrously over-protective family could get her life under control.

Forced to team up with video game designer Ashwin Deo, who is too attractive for his own good, she finds life becoming a whole lot more complicated when he turns out to be her new neighbour.  How can she maintain a professional distance with this charming troublemaker who believes in getting up close and personal?

To make matters worse, her ex tries to manipulate her loved ones to work his way back into her life. Hysterical siblings, a cantankerous client, an ex who will not take no for an answer, and a blow hot blow cold neighbour… Sanjana is sleepless in the City of Dreams! Can she do what Ashwin dares her to–create a few ripples even if it upsets her family?

 

Excerpt:

The promenade in front of the beach was chock-a-block with morning walkers, joggers and yoga enthusiasts. The Laughing Club members were at it—raising their arms to heaven and laughing their guts out.

Ashwin Deo gazed lazily at the sight around him. If it weren’t for Dumbass, he would be sleeping off his dreadful hangover.  The dratted critter gave two sharp yelps. Good God! He had been saddled with a mind reading dog? The Lhasa Apso was peering at him with brown soulful eyes that would melt the hardest of hearts.

“Okay. I got you here, right? Do me a favour and do what you need to.”

The dog gave a massive tug on his leash and Ashwin lurched forward, nearly crashing into a woman in canary yellow yoga pants and matching T-shirt. His eyes hurt at the bright colours and he mumbled an apology before being dragged ahead by the dog.

“Dumbass!” he yelled firmly. And the dog came to a halt.

“That’s more like it.” He lowered himself on his haunches and peered into the mutt’s eyes. “Let’s get this straight. We keep it civilized. You walk calmly, do your thing and we go back home. Got it?”

The dog’s tongue lolled out from the side of his mouth as he gave Ashwin a beseeching look following it up with a quick lick on his bare knee.

“Right. So, slow and easy. No pulling, okay?”

Another swift lick.

“Thanks, bro. I think we got a deal. Let’s go.”

Ashwin raised his towering six foot frame and taking deep breaths kept moving along, his eyes narrowing painfully as the hangover continued to hammer away at his head.

Barely had they walked a few paces when Dumbass broke into a series of high-pitched yelps and tugged. Before Ashwin had figured out what was going on, Dumbass gave a mighty yank. The strap tore out of his hand and the dog was hurtling down the promenade at top speed.

“Goddammit! Stop, Dumbass!”

Walkers turned around to give Ashwin funny looks as he took off after the dog.

Every stride sent pain shooting up into his head which threatened to split wide open. The cacophony of screeching tyres, frightened squeals of onlookers and a dashing ball of fur brought him to a standstill.

He bounded on to the street and came to a halt at the sight of Dumbass lying prone in the middle of the road, his lead tangled under the car tyre.

Oh no!

He heard the car door open and someone step out, yelling loudly, “Why in God’s name can’t you control your dog?”

As Ashwin inched forward to pick up the dog, he heard a woman’s lilting voice, “That was close. The leash got tangled under the tyre but he doesn’t seem to be hurt.”

Ashwin let out the breath he was holding and reached out to pick up Dumbass. The mutt was winded but breathing. There was no blood and as soon as he touched him, Dumbass leaped into his arms and did his lickety-spit number.

“You gave me the fright of my life,” he muttered as he got up and turned around.

The driver was only too glad that the creature was alive and kicking. Getting into the car, he ranted about irresponsible dog owners and drove off.

The woman whose voice he had heard said, “Poor thing must have gotten such a fright!”

That’s when he noticed her. She looked like a college student with her long waist-length hair tied casually with a silk scarf. Her big, dark eyes shone with compassion as she leaned slightly towards him to pet Dumbass and a fruity perfume assailed him. Her thick eyelashes swept up and she turned her gaze on him.

“Never been so scared.” He gave her his best hangdog look.

“I was talking about him!”

“Dumbass.”

“Excuse me? Did you just call me, Dumbass?” Her eyes sparkled with annoyance and he came back to his senses with a start.

“No…his name.”

He cursed his blasted headache which made talking such a goddamn effort. She looked at him as if he had some kind of mental disability.

He smiled with effort.  “Perfect name for a dog with no sense of self preservation, right?”

She glared back at him. “What about the owner who thinks he has no responsibility for his dog’s welfare?”

He took a few deep breaths. “I can explain.”

“Never mind. Just make sure you take him to a vet. There might be some internal injury.”

She gave Dumbass a last pat, bestowed a dirty glare on him and jogged away.

—-

To read more, click on the Buy links below:

Amazon India 

Amazon US

About the Author

Adite Banerjie discovered the wonderful world of books at an early age which sparked her interest in writing. After a fulfilling and exciting career as a business journalist she turned her attention to fiction.

Three of her books have been published by Harlequin/Harper Collins India. She is now committed to being an indie author.

She also writes screenplays and in 2017 one of her scripts made it to the semi-finals of the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowships.

When she is not grappling with her current work-in-progress, she enjoys spending time with her husband and watching back-to-back movies.

She loves to connect with her readers at:
Website: http://www.aditebanerjie.com
Amazon: https://amazon.com/author/aditebanerjie
Facebook: https://facebook.com/AditeBanerjieWriter
Twitter: @adite
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7083664.Adite_Banerjie

The Writerpreneur Series. On the Indie author’s journey

Sharing knowledge is something that motivates me. I think highly of those who do it religiously. After publishing three novels on the Indie publishing mode, bagging a traditional publishing contract (which may be on its way to span multiple books) and gaining attention from the right corners, I really want to grab this opportunity to play the role of an enabler too.

Over the next few months, I shall post an article every week sharing my experience about various milestones of Indie publishing. The topics span writing, editing, publishing, marketing and book reviews relevant to the area. While I shall try my best to order the posts, many of them would be spontaneously written, often inspired by my conversations with aspiring writers.  Hope to make ad offer a booklet of all the posts once they reach a logical completion.

Those who are interested in my past posts, please click here to access them. 

You could also suggest me topics to dwell on or feel free to ask questions that nag you in the comment section. I welcome interacting with you all.

Keep watching the space.

Complete the draft – Silencing the inner critic (for now) #Writerslife #Productivity

Whenever anyone tells me that s/he is an aspiring writer, the first thing I tell them is to get rid of the word ‘aspiring’. I tell them to sprint through the first draft of whatever has sprouted from the creative depths of their minds. Often, they tell me that they aren’t able to complete the first draft and a sizeable proportion of these aspiring writers are victims of their own inner critic.

Now, this inner critic is a result of two contradicting drivers. Fear and Aspiration.

Fear

“My writing is not good enough.”

“People would laugh at me!”

“I myself would not read what I write!”

“I hate my own writing.”

Aspiration

“I can do better than this. I must do better than this.”

“I shall settle with nothing less than perfect.”

“I shall not stop till I make this the best written piece.”

You would have realised by now, that these two contradicting forces drag your creative self in two opposing directions and as a result, you stay where you are. And you risk staying there forever! If you don’t tell your inner critic to go an a vacation. I say vacation because we would need him back in the editing phases of the draft. But as far as writing the first draft is concerned, he has to observe silence.

Completing the first draft is largely about Momentum. The Creative self hates inertia. She hates stagnation. She is this dynamic being which needs to be on the move. She survives on that. Measure it in terms of word count or chapter count or just the progress of the story, but you can’t stop. You just can’t stop if the reason is this nagging need to perfect the draft till date. The creative self is all about progress, not perfection. As Susan Kaye Quinn candidly puts in, there is nothing called perfect. There is only finished. You can hone your imperfect first draft. But there is little you can do about an unwritten draft.

If you end today at the same point where you ended yesterday, you might or might not satisfy the inner critic, but you shall definitely fail the inner muse. As an aspiring writer who genuinely wants to get rid of that annoying prefix, you cannot afford to fail your muse.

The muse and the critic are like those members of the same family who can’t stand each other. As someone who needs them both, you need to take control and delegate their tasks. Importantly, you need to stop them from interfering with each other.

Let me give an example. I am a new mother and my baby is a perfect example. She is trying to stand with support right now and it is a matter of weeks before she would start walking. When she puts her first steps, all I want from her is to take her next step without losing her balance. What would you call me if I cribbed to you about her wobbly posture, unsteady gait and body language on the day she puts her first steps?

While writing Abhaya’s final draft, I was bitten this perfection bug which made me hover around the beginning chapters for no less than a year and a half! Progress happened when i did these things:

  1. Convinced myself that I would self edit the whole thing only after a whole draft is done.
  2. Plotted the story roughly and pursued the smoothest thread that kept my momentum up
  3. Set a hard deadline for the draft, and for the publishing date.

The rest as they say, is history. But I am glad that I could delegate it between my inner creative self and inner critic well enough to travel through three published novels and a whole draft submitted to the publisher.

What was your story behind sprinting through your first draft? Share in the comments.

 

Networking for writers. The company to keep. #Writerslife

Any writer would emphatically agree that writing is a solitary journey. But socialising with those on the same path is always a pleasure. Or is it? Well, at the risk of sounding super clicked, the answer is “It depends.”

But it does pay to be a part of a network that adds value to it’s members. That happens only if a considerable no of writer members believe in symbiotic connections over parasitical ones. From my experience of three years of author life, here are the networks that worked for me. When I say worked for me, I mean the ones which pulled me out of the snags I faced.

  1. Local meetups where there are at least 30% of writers who are published.
  2. Closely knit peer support groups who almost unconditionally support each other (The kind where you can ask any question and not feel stupid, celebrate each other’s progress, cheer each other, most importantly, give each other a push on the social media and other platforms). I am a part of one such a group called MyNoWriMo and we are practically ‘brothers at arms’, oops, ‘sisters in pens’. The key to successful groups like these is the mutual reciprocity.
  3. Facebook groups with a specific aim or positioning run by dedicated moderators. (“Writer mom’s” “5AMWriterclub”, FWBA etc). One such group, “Writer Mom Life” had a “Write every day” challenge running and it helped me sprint through the crucial part of my first draft. Often, these groups help members overcome specific challenges.
  4. Local charters of professional global networks. – Usually global networks have certain goals and the local charters have passionate leaders who want to make their charter shine through. ( I found the London charter of ALLi quite focussed. We would meet each month and share what we did each month, our discoveries, brainwaves, blocks and snags included).
  5. Culture/Ideology focused groups – I belong to this network called Indic Author network where most of us write stuff echoing the pathos and ethos of Indic civilisation. We have had invaluable sessions, socialised over various courses, have been gifted master courses and what not! The wavelength match too helps. And I got lucky with a celebrity endorsement too!
Now for the networks to avoid (On second thoughts, you may linger for entertainment and have some break time laughs)
  1. Rant groups – Sorry I could not find a better word here. But I refer to the umpteen number of these groups claiming to represent the underrepresented writers. I made the huge mistake of attending one gathering of a network supposedly supporting writers of color. For all the tall claims of inclusiveness, only one community was dominating. Adding to that, the programmes were full of ranting and had nothing of craft or business. Waste of a day.
  2. Large online writers groups with no specific aim. I am a part of one such group where every other day, there is a rant against Indie authors and best selling authors by literary snobs who have a lot of time to post rants but little or no time to share a good piece of advice. If you have a thick skin, these groups have some good entertainment value.
  3. Vanity groups – They charge you money just to let you in. And it is no mean amount. Lots of unrealistic promises are made and you end up losing money, time and motivation. While the above two have some value, this one is to be avoided at ALL costs.

What kind of networks have helped you, motivated you and keep you company in this solitary pilgrimage? Share in the comments

Book Release Post. PI Agency by Neelabh Pratap Singh

Wishing all the best to friend and author Neelabh Pratap Singh upon the release of his second novel, PI Agency.

I love reading crime thrillers with female detectives or investigators. The cover seems intriguing!

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BLURB

A LADY DETECTIVE. A CLANDESTINE CARTEL. A CROOKED BATTLE.

Rashmi Purohit is a failed CBI aspirant. With no future in Indian law enforcement, she turned to working alongside the law. Now running her own agency out of her claustrophobic basement, Rashmi is dying for a notable case and a big break.

A wealthy entrepreneur with a troubled, drug-addicted son seems like the perfect client. But when Rashmi and her impetuous, barely-competent employees stumble into a Dark Web-based investment conspiracy, the detective knows she has kicked a hornet’s nest. Rashmi might just solve the case – but only if it doesn’t kill her, destroy her agency, or make her betray her father’s legacy one last time.

Here is an excerpt from the book.

For the fourth time, Rashmi Purohit called her subordinate, Akshay, but much to her disdain, he didn’t pick up the call.

Where the fuck have these idiots gone? Rashmi thought, throwing the mobile phone on the table. She checked the time on the table clock kept to her right. Bhupender Bhatia might come at any time.

A moment later, Rashmi heard a beep sound. The alarm beeped whenever anyone opened the office’s main door. She quickly glanced at the CCTV monitor. Bhatia is here.

A few weeks ago, a girl named Priya had hired Rashmi to inquire about her boyfriend, with whom she was planning a wedding. Priya suspected that her boyfriend was involved in an affair. She shared a screenshot of WhatsApp chats sent to her by another girl—her boyfriend’s colleague—with whom Priya’s boyfriend appeared to be cheating. The chats clearly showed her boyfriend having romantic talks with his colleague, and she’d sought Rashmi’s help to provide evidence. Rashmi shadowed the guy for a few weeks and concluded the case. Before she contacted Priya, she had dropped a message with the guy’s father, Bhupender Bhatia.

Bhatia stormed into the office.

“Ms Purohit, what a pathetic joke is this?” Bhatia said, his right hand stretched forward holding his mobile phone. The mobile phone showed Rashmi’s message, which she had sent a few hours ago.

Rashmi observed Bhatia’s hand trembling. He is afraid, Rashmi thought. “The truth, Mr. Bhatia.”

“You think it was I who had planned everything?” Bhatia clenched his teeth, putting his mobile phone back inside his pocket.

Rashmi noticed Bhatia’s balled fist inside his pocket. He was standing still, his shoulders raised. Okay, so you want some action. Rashmi tied her hair behind her neck into a ponytail. “Apparently, yes. I didn’t tell anything to your son or his girlfriend, Priya. I called you here to advise you to get things sorted between your son and his love, and I will not tell anyone anything.”

“What do you mean you won’t tell anyone anything? As if you would be in a position to tell anyone anything.” Bhatia swung his fist.

Rashmi jerked back sharply. I was expecting it.

“Long ago, when I was not the head of a transport company,” Bhatia growled, “I rumbled with ten men. You don’t stand a chance, ladki.”

She’d marginally escaped the first blow, but she wasn’t quick enough to dodge the second one. Her mind blacked out for a moment, and she began to fall. She held the edge of the table. She heard her phone ringing. The name displayed ‘Akshay Arora’.

The phone ring distracted Bhatia for a moment, and Rashmi noticed that. She grabbed the table clock and threw it at Bhatia. She tapped on the call accept button on the mobile phone and put it on the loudspeaker. “Arora, where the hell are you guys?”

“Boss, we are out for golgappas,” Akshay’s electronic voice radiated out of the mobile phone’s loudspeaker.

Rashmi had deliberately picked the call and put the call on loudspeaker. She hoped that it would distract Bhatia, and was also optimistic that Bhatia might stop after hearing someone else’s voice.

But only the former happened. A table clock wasn’t enough to hurt Bhatia, let alone stopping him.

Bhatia looked down at the fallen table clock and smirked. “What are you going to do next? Attack me with a toy?”

“Arora, I want you here in two minutes, or else I’ll pull off your golgappas,” Rashmi swore as she picked up a rolling chair and threw it at Bhatia.

Bhatia tried to duck, but the chair hit him anyway.

“Oh, the toy seemed to hit you quite hard.”

Bhatia looked even more furious now. He approached Rashmi, swinging alternatively and aggressively, like a maniac.

Rashmi blocked every blow with her forearms. Enough of the self-defence, Rashmi thought. She lifted her right leg and struck it sharply against the left side of Bhatia’s ribcage. Bhatia bent down a little, crying in pain. Without putting her right leg on to the ground, Rashmi repeated the action, but this time, against Bhatia’s left thigh. Bhatia collapsed on the floor like a demolished building.

Rashmi caught her breath for a while and watched Bhatia lying crumpled on the floor. “I was just respecting your age, uncle,” Rashmi said, finally punching Bhatia’s face.

Intrigued? I am reading the book and it sure promises to be a great read to all detective fiction lovers. Buy your copy from Amazon

ABOUT AUTHOR

Neelabh Pratap Singh is a mechanical engineer by profession and works with the premium British motorcycle manufacturer, Triumph Motorcycles. Apart from being surrounded by superbikes, he keeps himself surrounded with books. He is an avid reader and a passionate storyteller. He started writing as a blogger, writing short stories for various platforms. His passion for storytelling led him to take up the gargantuan task of writing a full-fledged novel. The Resurrection of Evil is his debut book. He lives in Gurgaon with his wife.

Connect with the author:

Email: neelabhpratap.singh@gmail.com

Facebook: /authorneelabh

Twitter: @authorneelabh

Instagram: @authorneelabh

 

How I wrote 100,000 words within seven months of delivering my first born #Productivity #Writerslife

I still remember that numb mixture of joy and uncertainty that enveloped me as I stared at the life changing double line on the pregnancy test kit.

I was going to become a mother!

The long wait for this to happen and the celebration of the news is for another blog post. Along with the exhilaration that followed, there was a voice with in which said I just had 9 months to get as much writing done as I could. Come motherhood, the early phases demand that everything else be kept on back burners (rather pushed off the stove for a while!). Not writing makes me miserable. But I could also not bear the thought of being that selfish mother who neglects her infant for her ‘passion’. At the same time, I was not sure how much justice I could do to this bundle of joy, when the thought of being unable to write gnawed at me from within.

Come the big day and the months that followed, I surprised myself.

  • I edited and published Mauri, a manuscript I had worked upon during my pregnancy. Effectively added more than 15,000 words in the process. (Editor, Vrinda deserves a shout out for the quick turn around)

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  • I wrote the first draft of Draupadi and submitted it to the publisher. A 79,000 word long output after a quick round of self editing
  • I edited and published another manuscript under a pen name, effectively launching the pen name too. Had worked on this last year. Editing phase added another 4000 words.
  • I started upon a new project, implementing an alternate history idea on Ramayana. The manuscript is young and has crossed 2,500 words last Thursday.

Without counting the couple of blog posts, That puts my output past 100,000 words after the big day! In less than seven months. Now that I have gloated enough, let me come to the how part of it.

How did I do it?

100,000 words in 180 days (Removing a month considering the neonatal fortnight and the big move from London to India), the average daily output is about 555 words. Suddenly it does not look like an impossible thing. Of course, creativity muse is not always subservient to a daily routine. Realistically, there were many zero output days and some high spike days, the highest daily output being about 4500 words. That said, a daily writing routine is the biggest factor that keeps you on track, though you don’t need to beat yourself up for some missed days. Other crucial factors were

  • A supportive family – My mother who is even more passionate to see me write my way to success was the crucial pillar of support. The growing baby posed no mean challenge, but with her multi tasking skills assuming their best form, she gave me the much needed breaks to write and also participated in the critiquing process for most of the drafts. My father’s support was no less. I could not have done it without them.
  • Following an outlining process – Plotting and outlining gives me a level of confidence. A feeling that the battle is half won. I spend a good couple of days thinking about the whole plot. It also helps me pin point the blind spots and invest more of story-dreaming time on those areas. Plotting also helps in setting the agenda for each writing session. You can read more about my outlining process here
  • Understanding that momentum is everything – Given that the large chunk of my writing was about the first draft, it was important to take advantage of the momentum and get the draft done ASAP than about honing each scene or chapter. The self critic within me needed to be sent for a long vacation. I could not work with her if I had to complete the draft within the submission date. The last 25-30K words of the draft were done in a span of ten days and momentum was everything before I could afford the luxury of listening to the critic within me. Save the inner critic for the self edit phases.
  • Pomodoro Sessions – For the uninitiated, this is a productivity session where a professional engages in a single task without breaks or task switches for 25 minutes followed by a mandatory break of 5 minutes. Two Pomodoro sessions a day worked a great deal in keeping the momentum.
  • Support groups – I am a part of two groups, one a closed Whatsapp group of ten women writers. We would share our daily word count, cheer each other, share any writing related problems, back each other up with any quick fixes and much more. We had grouped together around last year and have travelled through many manuscripts together cumulatively. Pomodoro idea was suggested to me by Preethi Venugopala from this group.  The second group is a Facebook group called Writer Mom life. The members are all mothers who are writers. I met many who were facing more challenging phases of their lives and my own challenge seemed negligible. Emotional support groups go a long way in keeping you on track. They consist of members who exactly know what each other passes through and offer empathy. Something that a friend or a family member cannot provide even if they wanted to.
  • Reading relevant books – I utilised my feeding time in reading books on Focus, productivity, business and craft of writing. It is easy to dismiss these as old wine in new bottles. But while chasing deadlines and goals, packaging the known ‘wine’ comes in handy, be it in retaining motivation or in putting things in perspective.

That sums it up, my journey in writing through this exciting phase. How do you manage to keep up your productivity through tough phases? Would be delighted to read your stories in comments.

 

 

 

Spotlight : The Princess and the Superstar by Preethi Venugopala

Wishing my friend and author Preethi Venugopala, the best upon the release of the second book of her Sravanapura Royals series. The first book, A Royal Affair had ruled the bestseller lists upon its release and true to her unique style and voice, the new book has also claimed its rightful place among the romance bestsellers in multiple markets!

Really delighted and proud to be spotlighting the blurb and excerpt of the book below:

A Princess in love with a Bollywood Superstar

Saketh Rao aka SR, India’s latest Bollywood heartthrob, has bagged the role of a lifetime: to play Hari Varman, the doomed royal scion.

When he arrives at Sravanapura Palace with his director friend Rajeev Ratnam, little does he know that his life is about to change forever!

Princess Kritika is overjoyed that Saketh Rao will play the role of her ancestor. But when she comes face to face with the arrogant superstar she is determined to scuttle the project.

Fate, however, has different plans for them. The feisty couple is soon head over heels in love with each other.

As they uncover the secrets of Hari Varman’s life, Saketh makes a discovery that can rip them apart and their new-found love.

Will the secrets and lies of the past deny them a future together? Or will they overcome the obstacles to true love?

Get the book from Amazon by clicking here

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Excerpt

Kritika checked the time. It was nearing seven thirty. She was a bit late than usual. But she still had plenty of time to pamper herself and get ready to meet the superstar, who seemed to have won hearts all over the world if she were to believe the fan videos posted on YouTube and various blogs. Yes, she had shamelessly checked the many YouTube videos about him to know more about him. It seemed perfectly normal to stalk his Twitter and Facebook page. He had come across as a friendly and warm person who retweeted his fans often and replied to interesting comments on his FB Page.

She knew half of his persona online was created by his PR team. His social media profiles might be maintained by dedicated teams who would present only the best aspects about him to the public. The real Saketh Rao might turn out to be a total jerk. Yet, she was looking forward to meeting the star in person and decide for herself.

When she stepped on to the road that led to the residential wing of the palace, she was surprised to hear the horn of a car. She whirled around and watched as a silver Mercedes Benz came around a bend in the road and raced towards her.

Vijay had renovated a number of unused rooms in the palace and turned them into luxury hotel suites, thus creating one more gem in his hotel business chain. The only snag in the entire setup was that guests often sneaked into the palace’s residential areas, even though they were marked as no entry zones and had to be turned away by the palace guards. And it irked her very much. She wondered how this car had escaped the scrutiny of the guards. She needed to talk with the head of security. But for now, she would tackle this herself.

She gripped the straps of her backpack and stood in the middle of the road facing the car that seemed to have no intention of slowing down. It came to halt at a mere metre in front of her and she heard the driver swear. She narrowed her eyes and continued to stare at the car, daring the occupants to come out and face her. The passenger door of the car opened and a handsome youth, who looked as though he was jet-lagged and badly in need of a leisurely bath and sleep, got out. He seemed vaguely familiar, but she couldn’t place him immediately.

“Please, miss. May I know why you are blocking our path?” he asked, his mellow tone bringing Kritika’s anger a few notches down.

“This road leads to the residential areas of the palace and is not accessible for guests at the hotel. Kindly turn around and go away.”

“But miss-”

“Enough, no need to explain.” Kritika raised her right hand to stop him from talking any further and snapped at him. The fact that he was trying to justify his action, brought her anger back.

“But we are-”

“As I said, I don’t want to hear any further explanation. Instruct your driver to reverse the car and get the hell out of here.”

The driver of the car opened his door and got out. Kritika’s jaw dropped and her mouth formed an O because she recognised the driver instantly. Saketh Rao, clean shaven, casually attired in a t-shirt and jeans, all six feet two inches of male glory. He removed his sunglasses and walked towards her, his lips curved into his characteristic lopsided smile. He was clearly enjoying her distress. And then the last piece of the puzzle fell into place when she recognised the handsome youth with him as Rajeev Ratnam. Kritika felt her heart racing. If Saketh came near her now, her excited heart would undergo a heart attack.

“Who are you to block our path? We have the adequate permission papers and we were let in by the guards. Move your heavy butt out of our way and allow us to pass.”

His arrogant talk snapped Kritika out of the trance she was falling into. The arrogant snob.

And he had made a personal comment. About her butt!

“Mr! Watch your language.”

“Are you going to get in? Why are you listening to this annoying, attention seeking female?” Saketh was ignoring her outright and addressing his friend.

“How dare you?” Kritika took a step forward and slapped him. He stopped her hand in mid-air and in one swift move, yanked her towards him, momentarily taking the wind out of her lungs.

When she attempted to step back, he tightened his grip on her arm and held her other arm with his right hand. His nearness was doing strange things to her composure. His touch was making her heart stutter, sending electric impulses rushing through her body.

If it was not for the revulsion he had evoked with his arrogance, she certainly would have enjoyed the sensation of being held by him. But now, she regretted the hours she had spent browsing the internet to know more about him. As she had feared, he had turned out to be an outright jerk. She didn’t want to waste her energy arguing with him.

She pushed him with all her strength and then broke into a run, determined to never to cross his path again. She heard him chuckle and it enraged her further.

She wanted to see how they were going to make a film about her ancestor. She would see to it that it got an early grave.

Hope you liked the excerpt! Don’t forget to check the book on Amazon Kindle

Mauri Published. I did it. Again.

Mauri, Book 2 of Abhaya collection, rather the continuation of the story of Abhaya, but from the point of view of Mauri, the daughter of commander Mura is Live on Kindle.

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I did it. Again. Passed through the whole journey. Again. The euphoric feeling of hitting upon a story idea, the feverish phase of plotting. The high phase of starting the manuscript, the drudging patches of self doubt, writing blocks, editing woes, pre launch jitters and what not, but finally hit the publish button! I went through it all. Again. IT makes me feel delirious. It makes me feel fulfilled. It makes me feel like myself. I pray and hope that I undertake this journey again and again and again.

I remember the headless chicken mode I was in after hitting the publish button for Abhaya. I remember the neo-published joy followed by that scary lean time which nudged me towards learning every little thing I could to write better, to sell better, to tell stories better, to sell stories better. I trudged on and published Avishi, almost 20 months later. The learning showed up, propelling me to smash the first glass ceiling as a writer and sprint towards the next.

That is exactly why I love doing this journey again. While you, the readers continue to show your love in terms of beautiful moments like the one I felt after seeing this:

Mauri ranking

The journey is what made me what it takes to achieve the above. What did I learn from the latest cycle? You and I will have to wait till I hit the precious publish button. Again.

Until then, Keep your reviews flowing. Be a part of my journey, my #writerslife.

Cover Reveal – Mauri, Book 2 of Abhaya Collection

Back after a really long hiatus and I have news!

There is going to be a new addition to the Abhaya Universe!

Mauri, the second book of Abhaya collection is set to release on 9th June 2018 on Amazon Kindle Store. Set in the times of Mahabharata, the books explore lesser known stories of the timeless epic of India from the perspectives of strong female protagonists. The opening Title, Abhaya, was released on Kindle store in November 2015 and has received praise from acclaimed authors and reviewers.

“Abhaya allows us to delve into the world of our ancestors and Gods through the route of great storytelling and a brilliant narrative. A thoroughly enjoyable read” – Amish Tripathi

About Mauri

She wanted to kill the man who others called a God.

Love is but an obstacle in her path

With her father’s death shattering her world, Mauri is torn away from everything she had once loved. Anger replacing every emotion within her, she seeks only one thing. To kill her father’s killer. Even if the man is none less than Krishna Vaasudeva, the man who people worshipped as a God! Someone stands in the way, reining in her bitterness when she is least prepared for it. The Rakshasa Prince Ghatotkacha! But by the time love sprouts within her, Mauri has gone too far in her thirst for vengeance.

Can Mauri save herself and Ghatotkacha before the consequences of her own actions can destroy both their worlds?

mauri

Excerpt

The smile on Ghatotkacha’s face faded the moment he saw the figure that had appeared atop the wall. Unknown to him, his fists curled over his club and heart fought against the searing pain of the memory. The memory of betrayal. His intensified gaze and a placid forehead contrasted each other. No more of this. Not now!

Mauri saw him. Like he commanded a new surge of energy after their last meeting. Mauri had little in her defence. And she had other things on her mind before she could take an interest in defending herself. In fact, she had no wish to defend her past actions. Face it! But her predicament sorely needed external help and his demeanour did not leave much hope. Mauri steeled her heart and inhaled. She was going to need all her energies for this!

She forced a smile onto her lips and looked at him, trying to summon her old self. “So, we have visitors!” she thundered, glancing at his small band of Rakshasa followers. “But I regret to inform you that the temple is closed to pilgrims indefinitely.”

“Closed to pilgrims, open to monstrous rogues and their heartless little minions.” Ghatotkacha retorted. “Perhaps there needs to be a change.”

Her guilt notwithstanding, Mauri was not going to brook being called names, much less, being called a minion to a crafty coward like Alambusha. Still, his pain when he uttered the word ‘heartless’ did not go unnoticed by her. Her frown narrowed, fighting back any traces of regret. In vain though. “Change comes at a price, Rakshasa Prince, sorry, King. Though I must say the population under your command has dwindled too much for one to still consider you a king.” She could see his annoyance mounting. Something amused her about it. “So tell me what you can pay, Ghatotkacha!”

Ghatotkacha threw his head up and shrugged looking around. “I would have loved to play a game of word parlay. Except this is no stage and there is no audience to enjoy the exchange.” His eyes betrayed impatience. “I come to keep a promise. A promise of protection that was given to this sacred place under the rule of my uncle, Emperor Yudhishtira. My demand is clear, daughter of late commander Mura. Open the gates, surrender the rogue Rakshasa traitors to me. Open up this temple of the Supreme Goddess to those who deserve to see Her.”

“I asked for a price you could pay and you repeat the demand. By the Goddess, someone needs to grow up!” Mauri sneered back and leaned against a pole, feigning nonchalance. This was all going nowhere—her show of hostility, his mounting anger, Dhatri’s life in danger, and Alambusha preferring to hide inside the inner circle. She needed to break away. She struck upon a frantic plan, praying all Gods for its success. “There seems to be only one language you understand. Defeat me, and you can have a free pass inside.”

Read More from Mauri, to be released on 9th of June 2018 only on Amazon Kindle.

Cover Reveal – Destiny’s Girl by Adite Banerjie

Welcoming none other than the acclaimed author Adite Banerjie as she joins the Indie Author Band Wagon!

Can’t wait to read the book in its new Avtaar. Read the personal note by the author herself and remember to grab your copies. 🙂

Cover Reveal

Five years ago, my first book was published by Harlequin/Mills & Boon with the title “The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal”. It was an exciting moment for me as a writer and I will always cherish that memory.

Strange thing is that I get to do a re-run of that moment yet again. But this time as a self-published author. I am hugely excited at the opportunity to revisit Krish and Maya’s story and bring it to my readers with a new cover and title. There could be no other month more appropriate for the re-launch of a romance than the Month of Love — February!

The story is now called Destiny’s Girl. And it has a brilliant new cover… I am sure you will agree with me!

I did wonder if I should update Krish & Maya’s story. But as I went through the manuscript, I realized that my protagonists are now not merely characters in my book, but they have their own fictional lives within the pages of the book. Who am I to change that? So, their story is presented as is, complete with its flaws and foibles — in real life we don’t get a chance to change our past, do we?

If you have read their story, I hope you will enjoy revisiting it again when  Destiny’s Girl goes online as an e-book on Amazon (stay tuned for the announcement). And if you haven’t read it, I’d urge you to read it!

And now… for the C.O.V. E. R.    R.E.V.E.A.L.  <Drum Roll, please!> 🙂

 

So here comes DESTINY’S GIRL….

 

 

 

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Would love to know what you think of the cover.

And wait…. there is some more news. Destiny’s Girl will have a sequel soon. It will be the Happily Ever After story of two characters you meet in Destiny’s Girl — Rohan and Natasha.

So, keep your eyes peeled for more updates on the release of Destiny’s Girl and its sequel.

May Valentine’s Month be full of love and happiness for you all!

Adite Banerjie