Thursday, 27 May 2021

#BookBlitz :: Insincerely Yours by Manasi Singh - #Crime #Thriller @thevanillawrite

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All Ray wanted was to have some fun. Little did she know that what began as a harmless midnight adventure would soon end up being the most terrifying night of her life.


Shuttling back and forth between the States and whichever obscure Indian town her civil servant father was transferred to, Atreya ‘Ray’ Sen’s life has always been on the move. When she comes down to sleepy old Visakhapatnam and befriends Mira, Ray hopes she could be a successful means of whiling away her summer. When Mira invites her to a late-night adventure with Mira’s boyfriend and his pals, Ray jumps at the chance for some excitement. When one of the boys suggests they take a detour to one of Vizag’s most famous haunted houses, the night takes a turn for the dark. The spirit of a mean old man seems to be following them, killing them off one by one.
A near-death experience reveals to Ray that she is the only one who can bring peace to him. Now, Ray must race against time to find a way to save her family and friends, or else the once-peaceful town of Vizag would witness a bloodbath like never before.
An old Victorian mansion with a dark history…a spirit with a vengeance…a girl with no memory of her past…
Will Ray be able to stop the killings in time? Or will she be left with no friends and no family yet again?

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com


Real Life Incident that inspired Insincerely Yours


In the words of Stephen King, we make up horrors to cope with the real ones. But what if the horrors written is a part of reality? What if the tale is written not just as fiction, but as a memoir to the unexplained that occurred years ago, yet bears fresh imprints in mind? 

When I sat down to write this story, I had to resurrect memories from my college days, from that fateful night, when my friends and I had decided to have our own little late-night adventure. Back then, we were just stupid college freshmen who didn’t have a care in the world, who would go lengths for cheap thrills from the world of the supernatural. Here, I bring you the real-life story that inspired me to write Insincerely Yours. 

Our night started on the cliché note of being cold and stormy. We had found our source for horror stories: our friend Vishnu. Vishnu would always keep us at the edge of our seats with his storytelling, and that evening was no different. We had assembled in a circle around him, drinks in our hands, when he started telling us about the legendary haunted house that stood proud just off the path to the beach in Vizag. As the story goes, the house belonged to a retired colonel and his family. They kept to themselves, but the neighbors often complained of yelling and fighting coming in the evenings. One night, the house fell silent, and the neighbors saw an eerie glow emanate from the windowpanes. When they went over in the morning to check, they found that the Colonel’s family had disappeared overnight. The house was still as is, sans the family that had once lived in it. Nobody knows where they went, and the watchman claimed he never saw anyone leave the house. Their mysterious disappearance gave rise to the stories that the house is haunted. 

Scoffing at his words, my friends and I decided to check it out for ourselves. So off we went, Shreya, Swetank, Vishnu and I, on a drunken midnight visit to the famous haunted house. The house had a sinister look to it, with the front lawn stretching before us, coated with dried grass, exactly how I chose to describe in the book. Inside, the house looked like someone had lived here years ago, and had suddenly just chosen to walk out. The place oozed with a cold vibe, and I wasn’t the only one who felt it. We decided to explore the house a little, and each room creeped us out a little more than the next. Most of the belongings of the house had turned to debris owing to a cyclone that had wreaked havoc in Vizag a year ago, but there was one room that had managed to stay intact. Intrigued, we stepped in bravely, and immediately, we felt helpless. It was like the place had sucked the happiness out of our lives as a blanket of depression descended on us. We saw muddy footprints going towards the bathroom, and opened the door to find the room painted in vantablack, the darkest color known to humanity, often the sign of evil. The room started feeling like it was sucking the energy out of us, slowly as it grew. Swetank, being the most sensible of us, insisted we get some fresh air at the balcony we had seen on our way into the room. At the balcony, we felt the sudden weight the room had given us lift off us, and we slowly relaxed into conversation. In the entire time we were in that house, I kept getting this feeling that someone was watching us. As we were talking, I felt something move from the corner of my eye, and turned towards the balcony door, where I saw five shadows. Four was of us standing in the balcony, but one was coming from inside the house. As I turned around quickly to see if anyone else had noticed, I saw Swetank looking pale as a sheet. We saw the shadow stay for a few seconds, and it suddenly disappeared, vanishing. At this point, Swetank and I ushered the other two out of the house, and made a run for it. All we knew was that the old Victorian mansion housed something that was pure evil, so dark that even one hour in that place had left us feeling soulless for days after. Swetank and I promised then and there that we would never meddle with forces outside of our control ever again, but as you all know, promises are meant to be broken.   


About the Author:


Manasi Singh is a lawyer, graduated from one of the top law schools in India in 2019. Lawyer by day and reader by night, Manasi always had a lot of stories to share, which she did by publishing short stories and articles in newspapers, magazines and journals. In 2019, she began writing short snippets on social media under the name “The Vanilla Writer”, shortly after which she published her first novel “As Fates Would Have It”, which was received warmly by readers of all ages. Manasi is a firm believer in art and creativity not being restrained in any way, which is why she writes short stories, fiction novels, screenplays for short films, and much more.





Manasi on the Web:
Twitter * Instagram * Facebook 



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Monday, 17 May 2021

#BookTour :: The Maharaja’s Fake Fiancée by Alisha Kay - @alishakayauthor #Romance #RomCom

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A scandal-averse Maharaja.
A free-spirited actress.
What do you get when throw them together and add a fake engagement to the mix?
Depending on whom you ask, you either get a match made-in-heaven or a royal disaster.




Nivy Sharma knows exactly what she needs - the freedom to be herself and follow her passion. Guess what she doesn’t need? A tailor-made husband.
When her meddlesome mother tries to throw her into the arms of a mom-approved suitor, Nivy runs the other way.
Right into the arms of the man who shattered her heart.
His Highness Veerendra Singh can recognise a pain-in-the-ass when he sees it. Especially when it falls into his arms.
Even if said pain-in-the-ass has legs that go on forever and lush lips that just beg to be kissed, Veer vows to run the other way. As he did once before...
But, when the marriage-minded princess of Tejpur sets her sights on him, Veer runs back into Nivy’s arms to propose a fake engagement.
When 'fake' starts to feel very real, Nivy and Veer have to decide what is important… long-held prejudices or the chance for a life with the only person they've ever loved.

Will this be their second chance at love or will their broken past ruin their hope for a shared future? 



Read an Excerpt from The Maharaja’s Fake Fiancée


NIVY


I told myself that the valet would be very shocked if I turned around, grabbed His Hottiness by the collar and kissed the living daylights out of him. 
So, I closed my eyes and ignored the shudder that wracked my body. It was just a coincidence. He couldn’t have known that I had a thing for bikes. 
And not just a small thing, but a ginormous THING that had led me into making some very questionable choices during my time in Mumbai. The kind of choices that made my poor mother threaten to take out a large life insurance on me just in case I broke my neck falling off the back of my biker boyfriend’s two-wheeled monster. 
“And if you die, you duffer, I’ll never forgive you. But I’ll retire in style on that insurance money, just you wait,” she had wailed when she had heard about my biker boyfriend and his bike for the first time. 
I was used to my mother’s twisted proclamations of love, so I didn’t take her seriously, but I did promise to wear a helmet and come back home in one piece. Thus, it was safe to say that when Veer’s souped-up Harley roared up the drive, my lady bits decided that it was time to sit up and take notice. 
Veer shot me a knowing smile and grabbed the keys from the valet. Another valet rushed out with two helmets, and handed them over as ceremoniously as if he was handing out the Devgarh crowns. 
I turned mine over to check for precious stones. 
“What’s wrong?” asked Veer, throwing his own black helmet over his head and tugging on the strap. 
I made a face. 
“I’m very disappointed with the royal helmets. I expected a Cartier sarpech at the very least,” I said, referring to the turban ornament that the Maharajas of yore used to wear. 
“At least it’s purple. Goes with your theme for the evening,” he replied, with a nod at the skull on my top. 
His eyes lingered at my chest, and my nipples did a happy dance. A visible one, going by the way his gaze turned hot enough to scorch me. 
I cleared my throat and gave Veer the directions to the dhaba. 
He watched as I struggled with the strap of the helmet for a few seconds, and then, came over to show me how to pull it tight. His fingers grazed the skin under my ear and I forgot how to breathe. 
As soon as he moved away, I took in a big gulp of air that turned into a silent gasp when he threw a leg across to straddle the bike. 
Yowza! I’d always had a soft spot for bad boys with bikes. Who knew that a good boy with a bike could beat them all hollow? 
I wanted to call the date off and hide under the bed until I had all these naughty feelings under control, for if I didn’t, I’d find myself married to my fake fiancé in the time it took my mother to snap her fingers like an evil fairy godmother, without even saying Bippity-boppity-boo. 
And Veer would hate me for life. Or at least until his over-paid team of lawyers tortured me on a rack to get an annulment. And I would still be nowhere close to my dream. 
So, I took another calming breath, and threw my own leg across the seat and climbed on. At first, I held on to the back-rest behind me, but the minute Veer revved the engine, the bike shot forward, and if I hadn’t wrapped my arms around his waist, this Humpty-Dumpty would have had a great fall. 
I tried to stay upright, but the movement of the bike had me scooting forward until I was plastered against Veer’s back like a second skin. Every time I inhaled, my breasts brushed against his back, and my nipples sent me happy messages that I resolutely ignored. 
It was impossible to make conversation over the roaring of the bike, so I just closed my eyes and enjoyed the ride. Veer picked up speed as soon as we left the city and hopped on to the highway. The sound of the engine revving went straight to my crotch and I bit back a silent moan. 
If we were really engaged, I’d have made him stop the bike in a dark cul-de-sac off the highway and climbed around to face him, which would have resulted in us getting arrested, to be honest. So, I just had to keep telling myself that this was fake.


Meet the Author:

Alisha Kay is a Delhi based writer, who writes romances set in India.
She doesn’t hold with the concept of damsel-in-distress, which is why her heroines are spunky women with a sharp tongue and the ability to rescue themselves. Her heroes are hot men who are woke enough to find that independence irresistible. 
The Maharaja’s Fake Fiancée is Alisha’s first book.

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Saturday, 15 May 2021

#CoverReveal :: Midnight's Star (Shades of Night #1) by Shilpa Suraj - #Contemporary #Romance @shilpaauthor

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Visually impaired author and current flavour of the Indian literary scene, Dev Arya, has not just triumphed against the odds in his life, he's annihilated them. He's got fame, fortune and floozies in abundance. And yet, he's lonely.

Cafe owner and only child to her differently abled father, Avni Desai is broke, heartbroken and a true survivor. But no matter how hard she hustles, she's still struggling to stay afloat.

And then, one day, Dev walks into her cafe... and everything changes for both of them. From excellent tiramisu to earshattering singing, from dramatic friends to accident prone sexcapades, they embark on the ride of a lifetime. 

Will it all be worth it though? Will two broken souls find a way to heal each other? Or do the fractures go so deep that there is no way for either of them to find the love they so deeply crave and yet can't seem to have?

Book Link:
Goodreads

Releasing on 28th May!


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.







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Saturday, 8 May 2021

#BookBlitz :: Beneath the Lies (Forgotten Trilogy #1) by Sapna Bhog - @sapnawrites #RomanticSuspense #SecondChances

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A saga of Forgotten Love and Second Chances

How would you feel when the man you have known and loved for the last five years is not who he said he was? That everything he ever told you was all a lie.

An accident changed our lives forever and now I have to bring him back to us because he doesn’t remember our life, our family or us. One minute, I was just a regular girl from India married to a man she loved, and the next, my life has changed completely because I’m married to an English Duke, who doesn’t remember me.

My name is Aaliya Singh Talbot and I will do whatever it takes to bring my husband back from the darkness and into the light.

I will make him remember no matter what I have to do!

I will make him remember everything - beneath all the lies!


Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com * RadishOther Platforms



Read an Excerpt from Beneath the Lies


Damien

London

The first thing that hits me when I open my eyes is that revolting hospital smell. I hate it! I’ve always hated it! The word hospital ought to come patented with that typical nausea inducing antiseptic smell.
The persistent beep of a monitor makes me turn my head to the green lines on its screen. My eyes widen as I scan my surroundings. Bloody hell! I’m on a hospital bed, connected to a heart rate monitor and dozens of other tubes and I’ve no fucking clue as to why.

“Thank God! You’re awake. You’re finally awake.” A familiar voice speaks from my side.
It’s my best friend Gabriel! He’s standing beside me, his expression worried and relieved at the same time. Dark shadows surround his eyes and his clothes are wrinkled. I try to sit up but a sharp pain in my head stops me. A loud wince escapes my lips and Gabe immediately squeezes my shoulder. 

“Don’t, Damien, please. Just lie down. I’m going to fetch a doctor.” 

I shut my eyes and hesitantly touch my head. Sure enough, most of my head is wrapped in bandages. Why am I here? What’s happened to me? I can’t for the life of me comprehend what’s going on. My mouth opens and closes but no sound comes out of my dry throat.

Gabe returns with a doctor, Dr. McKenzie from what I can read on his badge. He has a white mop of hair and a somber expression on his face. He shines some light in my eyes and checks my pressure while asking some preliminary questions. How do I feel? Does it hurt anywhere else? Can I feel my arms, my legs? Can I move them etc, etc? I give him answers with nods of my head.

After he’s done, I take a deep breath and try to speak again, but what comes out is a choked sound. The doctor hands me a glass of water. I take a sip and try again. 

“What happened to me?” I ask, my voice hoarse from un-use for God knows how long. 

Gabe is staring at me, a frown knotted on his brow. “Damien, you were in a car accident. Don’t you remember?”

An accident? When was I in an accident? Fuck! My mind is a huge empty blank.  

“I don’t recall being in a car accident,” I bark out, “and I don’t have patience for this nonsense. I need some answers, NOW!”

“Damien, you need to calm down,” Gabe says.

The doctor takes a step closer to me. “What is the last thing you remember?” he asks.

I take a moment to think back. “It was my birthday. I was at a coffee shop waiting for Gabe.”

“What year is it?” Gabe asks me.

“Gabe…” I start to say but he raises a hand to stop me. “Answer me Damien.”

“2015”

His mouth drops open and he turns a helpless look at the doctor.

“Can someone tell me what the bloody hell is going on?” I finally snap. “What is wrong with my head and why the hell am I on this Godforsaken bed with a dozen machines attached to me?”

The old doctor shakes his head at my outburst but Gabe is smiling. The angry glare that I throw his way does nothing to wipe his grin. He’s the only one I know who has always been unfazed by me. A fleeting memory pops in my mind of someone else, but I can’t catch it. It’s gone before I can exhale on my next breath. Ignoring it, I turn to the doctor waiting for a response from him.

He takes the glass from me and puts it on the table next to me before he says, “You’ve been in a severe accident that has injured the back of your brain, which means that you may have lost some part of your memory. How much, we’ll have to conduct tests to ascertain. But as of now, it seems that you’re suffering from some form of amnesia.”

I give him a fierce look. 

“That can’t be true,” I scoff. 

His lips flatten and he crosses his arms in front of him. “With due respect, Your Grace, that is true because the year is 2020 and you seem to be missing five years of your life. I’ll be back to conduct a few tests once you’re settled in with this information.”



About the Author:
Sapna Bhog is an author from India who writes contemporary and historical romance novels. As a self-proclaimed die-hard romantic, her books are filled with swoon-worthy heroes and feisty heroines who clash all the time, but do get their happy ever after. Sapna has always surrounded herself with books and when she is not writing she is reading. Originally from Dubai, she now lives in Western India with her husband, kids and a Siberian Husky. Sapna gave up a successful IT career and took a foray into writing and has never looked back since. Her favourite pastimes are reading, writing, traveling and shopping—not necessarily in that order. She loves to hear from readers.

Sapna on the Web:
Twitter * Facebook * Instagram







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