Release Day Blitz: Twilight’s temptation (Shades of Night#2) by Shilpa Suraj

 The ace photographer and the supermodel, they should have been a match made in heaven. Instead, they fought like the demons of hell. 

Complicated, surly, and sexy, Manav Apte was probably the only photographer who resented his muse. From the day he’d seen her, there had been no other. Unfortunately, she was the one woman he could never have.
Passionate, talented, and gorgeous, Diana Severes refused to give the temperamental ass behind the camera the satisfaction of knowing he got under her skin. It was, however, impossible not to notice him or his glowering disapproval that trailed her everywhere she went.
Their dislike and distrust of each other is legendary in the fashion industry and yet, the sparks that fly when they come together for work are enough to light the sets on fire.
Will the Golden Girl of India’s fashion scene be able to see beyond his hatred to the love he’s desperately trying to mask? And will the country’s most talented photographer realise that his true talent lies not in what he views through his lens but what he sees through the filter of his heart?

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

Read an Excerpt from Twilight’s Temptation

We walked along the beach. Me in my shorts and black t-shirt, Diana in a glamorous white beach dress with lace trim. If there was ever a contrast competition, we’d win it hands down.

“Are you okay?” I asked her. 

Diana shrugged. “I guess. That was unpleasant but necessary. I’ll get next steps in place as soon as we get back to Mumbai.” 

“Will your family be okay with this?” 

“My parents don’t get a say in my career decisions. My dad is ex-army and my mom is a teacher. They don’t understand how this world works anyway.” She sidestepped some dog shit on the beach, moving a little closer to me. 

I itched to wrap an arm around her, pull her in for a hug and kiss her. Instead, I clenched my hands in my pockets, Adil’s words still echoing in my head. 

“My brother, who is a typical tech nerd, wouldn’t bother to venture an opinion either. The only other person who would have understood was Andrew, the brother who died. He was the one who encouraged me to get into modelling and pursue my dreams.” Tears glimmered in her eyes, a stray one streaking across one golden hued cheek. 

“And this was your dream? To be a model?” 

She stared back towards the resort in the distance, her mind somewhere I couldn’t follow. 

“I wanted the fame, the glamour and the money. I wanted to be independent. I wanted to be someone. Modeling gave me all of that and when my time ends, and it will end, we all know that, I have a backup plan in place for that too.”

I stared at her, seeing her, truly seeing her for the first time since I’d met her two years ago. She was so much more than that gorgeous face and bubbly personality that people mistook to be the entirety of her.

“I wanted to be a wildlife photographer,” I blurted out with all the finesse of a horny sixteen year old. 

“You can still be one,” she smiled. “Just in addition to what you already do.”

“I work nonstop. I’d never be able to find the time,” I muttered. 

“We can always find the time if it’s important enough to us. We make time when we want to.” She cupped my cheek and pressed a light kiss on to it. 

She was right. We made time and space for what we wanted, for what was important to us. And in that moment, I knew… Diana was desperately important to me. 

“Everything he said was true, you know,” I told her, shoving my hands deeper into my pockets to keep them from reaching for her. 

“Everything I said was true too, Manav,” she smiled, sadly. “But what is your truth?” 

What was my truth? It was buried under so many years of misery, pain, and heartache, would I recognize it even if I found it?

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:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Newsletter




If you let me go by Sonia Rao

I received Sonia Rao’s latest book If you let me go as a review copy from the author and I am thankful to her for the same.

The Blurb:

What happens in Paris…

Shivalika is a brilliant interior designer who attracts suitors like bees to honey. But she will have none of that. Shivalika has her life mapped out. She does not believe in love at all and is only focused on her career the reason for which is a secret she has nursed since she was a teenager.

But when billionaire Vikramarya Kumar aka VK aka “the most eligible bachelor in the country” enters her company as the new boss, sparks fly and she finds all her beliefs getting shattered, one by one.

Shivalika’s secret has already created havoc once in her life. Will she be able to overcome it to find her happily-ever-after with VK or will the pain of it destroy every chance of finding true love and healing?

If You Let Me Go is a standalone sweet romance novel in the First Love Billionaire Romance series.

The story:

Shivalika Kelkar is a career oriented girl. She lives with her parents, an elderly grandmother and two younger twin brothers. She is very close to her family except her mother. She works as an interior designer at an interior designing company, La Piazza. Her boss decides to sell of the company as his wife is not well and wants to take care of her. Vikramaraya Kumar, the new boss, is a Standford graduate. He takes over the company along with his girlfriend, Misha.

Their first meeting is very eventful and both of them leave an impact on each other. And then there is the mutual attraction. But, VK is almost engaged and Shivalika has sworn off men. But then, they travel to Paris on business……

My take:

The story is simple and sweet, and has a happy ending.

Shivalika, I could understand her aversion to love once I came to know her back story. I loved the characters especially Shivalika’s grandmother. Though she is a supporting character, but the role that she plays in the story is very interesting. The author has really developed the characters well. They are realistic and their conversations and hangups even more so.

The places, the food and the ambience has been described in detail, and it being a book on interior designers, it seemed so relevant. I loved the story. It has all the elements, family, friends, trust, tragedy and of course, career. The language is simple and the story is fast paced.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

Cover Reveal: Twilight’s Temptation by Shilpa Suraj

The ace photographer and the supermodel, they should have been a match made in heaven. Instead, they fought like the demons of hell. 
Complicated, surly, and sexy, Manav Apte was probably the only photographer who resented his muse. From the day he’d seen her, there had been no other. Unfortunately, she was the one woman he could never have. 
Passionate, talented, and gorgeous, Diana Severes refused to give the temperamental ass behind the camera the satisfaction of knowing he got under her skin. It was, however, impossible not to notice him or his glowering disapproval that trailed her everywhere she went. 
Their dislike and distrust of each other is legendary in the fashion industry and yet, the sparks that fly when they come together for work are enough to light the sets on fire. 
Will the Golden Girl of India’s fashion scene be able to see beyond his hatred to the love he’s desperately trying to mask? And will the country’s most talented photographer realise that his true talent lies not in what he views through his lens but what he sees through the filter of his heart?

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:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Newsletter

The India Story: An Epic Journey of Democracy and Development by Bimal Jalan

I received Bimal Jalan’s The India Story: An Epic Journey of Democracy and Development, as a review copy from the publisher and I am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

Based on extensive research and data, and aided by Bimal Jalan’s experience as the former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, this book gives us a vision for the way ahead.
Since 2014, the political profile of the Indian Union government has changed dramatically. After a long period of coalitions and their innate issues and delays they bring to the reform process, we have a government that has a majority on its own. This puts India in a great place to initiate some strong, much-needed political and economic reforms in order to promote overall national interests.

Before diving in, it is important to look back and learn from our past experiences, so that we don’t repeat the same mistakes. And who better than Bimal Jalan to take us through India’s economic past. Divided into two sections, ‘Learning from our Economic Past’ and ‘Beyond the Metrics of Economy’, the essays in this volume cover a range of topics — from economic and political reforms to good governance — and a recounting of the lessons they provide is bound to contribute immensely to the contemporary debate about India’s approach to its economy and political reforms in the twenty-first century.

My take:

I was a little lost when I started reading the book because the terms were a little new to me, but then I decided to read the introduction again and slowly started to get familiar with the terms. The author, who is the former governor of RBI, has explained about the economic past and also evaluated the present policies. 

Divided into two parts, ‘Learning from our Economic Past’ and ‘Beyond the Metrics of Economy’, this book starts from the 1990s and comes to the present, even taking into account the current pandemic. The book talks about the various policy changes over the years. There is a lot of statistical data as well. I must confess, I found some terminologies difficult, so maybe a small vocabulary at the end would be useful.

The author’s depth of knowledge and the extensive research that has one into the book is visible and makes it all the more interesting. 

I feel that this book would be of great interest to economics students, economists and bankers (I have seen how my husband and daughter understood the book better than I did). But that does not mean that I did not enjoy it. Once I got the hang of the economic jargon, I really enjoyed reading it.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

The Other Wife by Ruchira Khanna

I received Ruchira Khanna’s latest book The other Wife: a twisted tale as a review copy from the author and I am thankful to her for the same.

The Blurb: 

Dimple is at the peak of her career when a devastating event changes her whole life. Amidst legal battles, she finds love and takes a decision that will change her life yet again. But will that decision go well with her parents?

Will, there be a happily-ever-after for Dimple and her beau, or will she need to accept the other wife?

The Other Wife is a twisted tale sure to entertain as well as make you introspect.

The Story:

Dimple Kapur was a young and ambitious lady whose only goal was to have a successful career, until she met Rishi. Rishi Malhotra, the assistant to the lawyer who was hired by her parents to file a case against her employer, who had falsely accused her in a case. And she fell in love with him. 

And much to the disappointment of her parents, she eloped with him, married him and when she came back to her parents for their blessings, they were not very happy. So she moved to Delhi from Kanpur to be with Rishi. 

And then two years later, she meets Pearl, Rishi’s other wife, who is so much like what she was when she had married Rishi.

My Take:

The title intrigued me and only once I was reading the book did I realise what it was all about. The author has depicted the concept well and the story really made me introspect and think a lot about my marriage as well.

The characters are realistic and well developed. The author has described the emotions and insecurities well. The story has been written in first person from the point of view of Dimple. 

I actually loved the way the story has been written and would definitely recommend it everyone.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

Spotlight: Loving You by Andaleeb Wajid

 

Hamza Ali is ready to get married, fall in love and live happily ever after. The only problem is, he’s about to marry one woman but falls in love with another… So how will he find his happily ever after?


After watching his brother’s disastrous love marriage fall to pieces, Hamza decides that the only marriage for him is an arranged one. In Mahrukh, his family finds him the perfect bride. But while Mahrukh may be the perfect bride, it’s her divorced aunt Noorain who is the perfect woman for him.
Noorain Alam has never loved or been loved. Until the day her niece gets engaged to a man who is completely out of her reach and yet, he’s everything she never knew she wanted.
Blindsided by the strength of emotion they feel for each other, Noorain and Hamza find themselves in a battle for their happiness. But will love win? Or will family and duty stand in its way?

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

Read an Excerpt from Loving You

The last thing Hamza Ali wanted, was to be late. But given the traffic and his own state of mind, he knew that it was a foregone conclusion. He just had to grit his teeth and bear it, even as he tamped down on the anxiety spiralling inside. 

His phone rang and he answered it on Bluetooth, knowing that Ammi was frantic with worry. 

‘I know, I know…’ he said in a placating manner. 

‘They’re already here!’ Ammi said in a loud whisper. 

‘I’m on my way, Ammi. I’ll be there in another fifteen minutes,’ he said. 

‘Fifteen minutes?’ Ammi yelped. ‘But…’ 

‘I’m driving. I’ll reach sooner if I’m not talking to you.’ Saying so, he disconnected the call and focused on reaching home. 

Today, of all days he had a presentation that ran late. He’d tried to explain to his boss that he needed to be home early but of course that hadn’t been possible. Kannan didn’t like to listen to excuses or anything personal when work was involved and Hamza knew better than to tell him the real reason he needed to be home early today. 

People were coming to see him. 

Yes. A girl’s family actually. He had told Ammi that he was ready for marriage and it would be a good idea if she started looking for potential brides for him. Ammi had been only too pleased to comply. 

His twin brother Hamdaan thought he was being an unnecessary martyr by opting for an arranged marriage. 

‘What would you know?’ Hamza snapped at him, annoyed. Hamdaan had a love marriage and then, when that fell through, he had an arranged marriage where he fell deeply in love with his wife Ghazal. 

This just convinced him that not everyone was cut out for a grand love affair and anyway, this was what his parents wanted. He wanted to give them that happiness. At the cost of your own, Hamdaan asked. 

‘What guarantee is there that a love marriage will be better?’ Hamza asked him. Hamdaan nodded. 

‘I know, but…’

‘And you did have an arranged marriage with Ghazal and you two seem to be just fine,’ he reminded him. 

‘Well, that’s because I got incredibly lucky,’ Hamdaan commented, a smile on his face as he thought of his wife probably. 

Hamza glanced at his face in the rear-view mirror at a traffic signal and sighed. There wasn’t going to be any time to even wash his face, let alone shower, if the girl’s family had already reached home. Ammi had been slightly put out when she heard that they wanted to vet him first, and if he was a good enough candidate, she and Ghazal Bhabhi could go and see the girl and take things forward. 

‘That’s how everyone does it these days,’ the broker aunty informed Ammi. The broker aunty who brought the rishta was a fascinating specimen, with her smartphone full of biodatas and photos of potential brides and bridegrooms. Hamza had looked at her paraphernalia, eyes wide that day when she wanted to ‘see’ him before finding the right rishta. 

‘First they see the boy and if he’s good, then you can see the girl. That way, the girl is not unnecessarily exposed, na?’ she asked, moving the paan she’d been chewing, around inside her mouth. 

‘Fine, Arifa Apa. Whatever you say,’ Ammi said. 

Now, he felt the slightest bit of apprehension inside when he wondered about this stranger who could possibly become a part of his life soon. But he had wanted this, right? In fact, he had gone on to convince Hamdaan to get married again so that it would clear the way for him to get married. 

His phone rang again. 

‘Ammi,’ he groaned out aloud but then saw that it wasn’t his mother but it was Ghazal. 

‘Yes, Bhabhi,’ he answered as the car moved forward in the traffic finally. It felt odd, calling her Bhabhi since she was so much younger than him but it added to the decorum and formality in their relationship, which was something he liked. 

‘How far away from home are you?’ she asked softly.

‘Around ten minutes, tops,’ he said. 

‘Okay, so don’t park in front of the house. Park behind, and I’ll be waiting near the kitchen door. You can hop inside from there and freshen up in your room, Hamza Bhai,’ she said. 

‘Oh. Oh thank god!’ he muttered, feeling slightly better. 

‘Don’t thank me yet. Ammi is having kittens and puppies and she won’t rest easy until you’re here,’ Ghazal said. 

‘You hold her off, Bhabhi!’ he said as he stepped down on the accelerator to reach home as soon as he could. 

Twenty minutes later, he emerged from his room, his face still shiny with water droplets. He took the towel from Ghazal gratefully and scrubbed his face and she winced. 

‘It’s your face. Not a dirty vessel and Scotch Brite,’ she admonished him as she took the towel from his hands. 

Ammi didn’t know that he was back home yet and she looked at him surprised when she came out from the kitchen, just as he was tucking his shirt inside properly. He had barely had a chance to look at himself in the mirror and he was worried about making the wrong sort of impression but Ghazal assured him that he looked fine. 

‘When did you…where were…’ she trailed off. 

‘Ask Bhabhi,’ he said with a smile as he kissed his mother soundly on her cheek. She did some nazar utarofy thing for him and smiled at Ghazal, even as she put her hand on her chest. 

‘Go now,’ she said. Nodding, he walked into the living room where Hamdaan and Abba were speaking to the men who had come to see him. 

‘Sorry, I’m a bit late,’ Hamza said as he walked up and shook hands with the three men who stood up when they saw him. 

The men looked from Hamdaan to him and one of them smiled. ‘Amazing how much you two look alike,’ he said. 

Hamza nodded and then, his father indicated that he should sit down on the sofa. The men all sat down and they started talking. 

The mad pounding in his chest finally eased down enough and he almost relaxed until he remembered why he was here. 

The middle-aged man in the centre, wearing the white shirt with black stripes, left untucked was apparently the bride’s father. He wore a namaz topi on his head and he had a beard. Hamza smiled at him as he spoke, but he was instantly curious about the girl’s family and what sort of person she was. 

He also didn’t know her name yet. A droplet of sweat trickled down his back in a straight line when he realised the enormity of what he was getting into. He didn’t even know the name of the girl he was willing to marry, let alone what she looked like. And somehow, he felt that if he asked her name, it would put him and his family on the back foot. He should have asked Ghazal, he realised. 

‘Have some tea,’ one of the men offered to him and he nodded. He leaned forward and picked up a tea cup and his gaze met his brother’s, who lifted an eyebrow sardonically. 

The two of them were connected intrinsically, as they were twins and there were times when they could have a complete non-verbal exchange between them and no one would be the wiser. 

You asked for this.

Hamza nodded slightly and he looked up at his brother defiantly. Yeah. So what?

Just wondering if you know what you’re getting into.

Shut up. 

Hamdaan hid his smile as he sipped his tea and mentally, Hamza flipped him off but responded to the questions being asked of him. 

When the ordeal was finally over, the three men got up and shook hands with him once more. They shook hands with Hamdaan and the bride’s father even hugged Abba as they left. 

‘Satisfied?’ Hamdaan turned to him as soon as the men departed. 

‘Yes,’ Hamza said, rolling his eyes. Abba returned just then before the two of them could get into an argument. 

‘They’ve asked us to come and see the girl tomorrow,’ Abba announced, a smile on his face. ‘Your Ammi and Ghazal will be going.’

Hamza’s heart pounded again. It was finally happening. 

‘What’s her name?’ he asked and Hamdaan gave a short laugh. 

‘Not one person back in college would have believed you to be capable of this,’ he said. 

‘Of what? And you wouldn’t know since you didn’t study with me,’ Hamza retorted. 

‘Her name is Mahrukh,’ Ghazal said softly as she came into the living room. Hamdaan beamed at her as she went and sat down beside him. One of the girls who worked in the house followed her and she collected the tea cups and deposited them on the tray. 

‘Like Shahrukh?’ Hamza asked sceptically. 

Ammi chuckled. ‘No. Mahrukh is a girl’s name. It means someone who looks like the moon.’

‘It’s a beautiful name,’ Ghazal assured him. 

And what of the girl, he wondered. Was she beautiful too? 

About the Author:

Andaleeb Wajid is the author of 27 published novels and she writes across different genres such as romance, YA and horror. Her horror novel It Waits was shortlisted at Mami Word to Screen 2017 and her Young Adult series, The Tamanna Trilogy has been optioned for screen by a reputed production house. Andaleeb’s novel When She Went Away was shortlisted for The Hindu Young World Prize in 2017. Andaleeb is a hybrid author who has self-published more than 10 novels in the past two years.

Andaleeb on the Web:
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Flames of Desire by Sudha Nair

I received an ARC of the book Flames of Desire by Sudha Nair from the author and am thankful to her for the same.

The blurb:

A busy doctor and a harried restaurateur hook up at their high school reunion.

Dinesh was the old, school prankster who always got into trouble. He liked to pull girls’ pigtails and stick pencils into their plaits. Once, he’d been playing football inside the classroom when he’d broken a girl’s glasses. Pooja had been wary of him ever since.

So, was being drunk on the day she met him also one of his pranks?

It served his ego right that Pooja had always ignored him in school. And yet, he’d had a thing for that nerdy studious girl in glasses.

So, what was she doing outside his room on that weekend of the class reunion?

Pooja is a busy pediatrician who works too hard to ever let her hair down.
Dinesh owns a restaurant thousands of miles away in Arizona, USA. Estranged from his father, he’s in India only for the reunion.

Two adults, one weekend, and a hot fling with nothing to lose. Seems like just what they need. Except falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan.

Flames Of Desire is the second book in the Class of ’11 Reunion series of steamy reunion love stories! It can also be read as a standalone novel.

Don’t miss Pooja and Dinesh’s story if you’re looking for the perfect holiday romance with lots of fun and steamy scenes!

The story:

Pooja, Ms Nerdy Glasses at school, is a busy paediatrician at KPS Medical Hospital, Kottayam and she has no time for holidays. She decides to join the weekend reunion meet-up in Alleppey because she wants to meet her best friends, Meenakshi and Apoorva, and also to meet all her other classmates ten years after leaving school.

Dinesh, the class prankster, had been sent to the US by his father after he was suspended from school. He runs a restaurant named after his mother, Kamala’s Flame, in Arizona. ever since his mother’s death two years ago, coming to India is not the same for him. He decided to come for the reunion because he needed a break from his busy schedule.

And the first person she meets at the resort is a very drunk Dinesh.

What next….

My take:

The story has been written in first person from the points of view of both Pooja and Dinesh, giving an idea of their feelings. The characters have been developed well and are realistic.

The back stories of the characters have been portrayed well and that actually explained a lot of their reactions.

I loved the friendship between the girls. The easy camaraderie between the friends is so natural and realistic that I remembered my relationship with my school friends.

The language is simple and the story is fast paced. I just could not keep the book down once I started it.

Really loved the book. I am really looking forward to reading the next books in the series and also about their friends.

DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

Midnight’s Star: A passionate contemporary friends to lovers romance (Shades of Night Book 1) by Shilpa Suraj

I received an ARC of the book Midnight’s Star: A passionate contemporary friends to lovers romance (Shades of Night Book 1) by Shilpa Suraj from the author and BookR3vi3ws and am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

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 dependent 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?
The story:

Avni Desai and her boyfriend of five years, Bharat started The Teacup, a café, together. This café had been their dream throughout their hotel management degree. After a year into the business, he had taken up a job in the kitchen of a five star hotel and Avni was managing the café herself. She would send him his share of profit regularly. Eight months ago, she lost her mother to a road accident and her father got paralysed. And then one day, her best friends, Sehar and Diana, tell her that he is getting married to someone else. And when she confronts him, he tells her that he does not want to take care of her handicapped father. And she realizes that she is more relieved than heartbroken.

Dev Arya, a bestselling author, was visually impaired when he was seventeen, in an accident at home. He got incredibly lucky with his debut book, and spends a lot of time wondering if people truly like his books or just like the idea of an author who is blind. He lives with his mother, who is constantly on the lookout for girls to get him married. Rishi and Manav have been his friends since school.

On the day Avni gets the news, she meets Dev, who has come to her café to meet a prospective match, and they become friends.

What next….

My take:

First chapter down, and I was hooked.

Written in first person from the point of view of both Avni and Dev, this book gave me an idea of their feelings.

The author has developed the characters beautifully and I loved them and the conversations between them. She has created the back stories well and this really gave an idea to the reactions of both Avni and Dev. She has beautifully described how Dev would link a person to his voice. The way the author has described Avni’s relationship with her father, or the lack of it, seemed realistic.

I loved the friendship between Avni, Sehar and Diana and also that between Dev, Rishi and Manav. The best part was the easy camaraderie between the friends, which felt to realistic and natural.

The language is simple and the story is fast paced. I just could not keep the book down once I started it. I am really looking forward to reading the next books in the series and also about their friends.

Really loved the book and would recommend it to everyone.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free e-book from the author and BookR3vi3ws in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

Spotlight: Insincerely Yours by Manasi Singh

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.

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Bones by Lily J Adams

I received Bones, the first book of the Rebel Saints MC Series by Lily J Adams as an ARC courtesy BookFunnel and I am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

The Devil Riders think they can move in on our territory.

Over my dead body.

As President of the Rebel Saints, it’s my duty to protect my men and this town.

That’s just what I intend to do…by any means necessary.

The last thing I need is a complication like Harper.

Strong.

Beautiful.

Sexy as sin.

Trying to deny the attraction between us is futile.

And when she becomes inextricably entwined with defeating our new enemy, all bets are off.

Together, Harper and I are combustible, but so is building tension with our rivals.

Things are reaching a boiling point and ready to explode.

Not everyone can survive the fallout.

The story:

Gabriel Stone, or Bones as he is known as, is the owner of a Biker’s bar and also the president of the Rebel Saints Motorcycle Club. He is a divorcee with a teenaged son who lives with his mother. Bones meets Harper, casino manager of the Red Stone Hotel, when she needs help to change a flat tyre. She is attracted to him, but has decided that she would not get involved with any Biker’s clubs, but this club is different.

And then her boss asks her to ask the Biker’s Club to provide additional security at the casino where she is the manager.

My take:

This is the first book of the Rebel Saints MC series. I loved the characters, both the main ones as well as the secondary owns. The story alternated between Bones and Harper’s points of views and has been written in first person.

There is suspense and there is a lot of drama. The story is fast paced and a page turner, I really could not put it down because I wanted to know what happens next.

Waiting for the other books in the series.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free ARC fron the author via BookFunnel in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.