Friday, December 29, 2017

Spotlight: LEAN IN TO RELATIONSHIPS by Rishabh Jhol

Blog Tour by The Book Club of LEAN IN TO RELATIONSHIPS by Rishabh Jhol


LEAN IN TO RELATIONSHIPS
by
Rishabh Jhol

Blog Tour by The Book Club of LEAN IN TO RELATIONSHIPS by Rishabh Jhol


Blurb

Doubt has pivoted many a relationship across the centuries. Whether it is Othello suspicious of Desdemona or through the rise of paranoia as a trope in twentieth century writings. While paranoia naturally suggests the vulnerability of individual mind to social rhetoric, it is also the space for deep interrogation of the individual that renders him/her to paranoia. This novel presents that doubt has the potential to be a space of liberation.

Madeeha works in Jordan to rehabilitate Syrian refugees. Zehen, a political analyst from India, meets her in the US during their social impact program. He is intrigued and charmed by her, and falls deeply in love. But the world political climate, with its accompanying cultural narratives about terror and pain, infects Zehen’s mind. Zehen begins to suspect Madeeha as a possible mujahid. Will he find his truth? Fear doesn’t devastate; it stirs the inner pot. 

The novel uses Sufi philosophical terms to mark the journey to self-love and explores the tensions between Ishq-e- Mazizi (worldly love) and Ishq-e- Haqiqi (love for Divine). The novel uses the backdrops of various cities around the world to build its narratives – Cusco and Lima in Peru, Petra/Aqaba/Amman/Jerash in Jordan, New York/Philadelphia/DC/Chicago/Seattle/San Francisco. The cultures within each of these cities inform and influence the story so that each city becomes a character themselves participating in empowerment and liberation of the main protagonist.

It is a tender love story that triumphs heartbreaks and sets the foundation of deep lasting future relationships - a delightful emancipation from social intrigues and cultural constraints.

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Read an excerpt here:

Zehen was experiencing sweet joy in his heart. Memories bustled in the head. When did he first see her? Zehen searched his head madly. Orientation session? Corridor to the classroom? However, he tried, he couldn’t pinpoint the moment. A whirr of images, of moments, yet-to- be collaged. And a heart that already had a narrative, waiting to be inset.

We imagine that all romantic stories will have a sigh-worthy romantic beginning. But beginnings are when the heart awakens, when the soul remembers. A presence stills and emerges from the shadows of time.

His first memory was when she introduced herself in the class. They had gathered at Presidium University for a one-year course on Social Impact Leadership. Outside, the white fringe tree was laden with its grape-like fruits. The pine, oak and spruce waited for winter to tell the world how unchangeable they were. And the old Redwood stood proud like the institution itself. Inside, in the warm classroom, students from various cultures across the world had gathered. Icebreaker session was on and the usual round of introductions.

Introduction is a ritual. A cumbersome ritual. How does one reduce the tapestry of one’s entire existence, the colors, and the many weaves into a single palatable thread?



About the author


I was born into poverty. At the time of my birth, my parents shared a one -room hut with six other family members in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Delhi.

It was a hot day in the month of March 1995. I was in standard 4th and had an examination the following day. As was regular in that locality, we didn't have electricity that day. I couldn't study or sleep properly. One of the watershed moments happened when I came back from school the next day. We had an inverter installed at home. I knew we couldn't afford an inverter. But my dad was always convinced that the way out of poverty for our family is through education.

Despite an interest in creative writing, I chose to study a subject that society values more – Finance. Later, I got into one of the top colleges for finance in the country. My first salary out of college (in 2007, when I was 20 years old) was higher than that of my dad's salary at the time.

When I was 24 years old, I had everything that makes one happy – loving parents, great partner, close-knit group of friends, and career path that exceeded every goal. Yet, I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t sad either; but it never felt like my life. I had carefully and meticulously built that life though. Contextually, it was the safe thing to do.

Following year though, I had to deal with the loss of my 7¬year old relationship and of my 5¬year old job. My identity was crushed. My biggest lesson was that you can fail at what you don't want, and what you consider safe; you might as well take a chance at what you truly want.

Next year, I got my ‘ideal’ job but walked away from it. Failure had taught me to be more ambitious and audacious. I had reached a point in my life where I wanted my work to have more meaning; and to stand for something more important than myself.

I started a political consulting company to maneuver social ascendance of marginalized communities by equalizing access to political capital. I primarily did topical research for MPs for their debates in the parliament and on TV shows. Partial project list includes:

Providing 108 rape survivors with medical, legal, financial, and social support over six months through one of my client's NGO
Getting amendments passed in the communal violence bill that tackle systemic bias towards Muslims
Helping three social entrepreneurs raise a combined total of INR 43 lakhs from their MP for community initiatives

Along with running my own company, I focused on my passion for writing and traveling as well. I solo travelled to all seven wonders of the world, and did two-cross country trips by train in India and in the US. I have also written and published three fiction novels.

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Blog Tour: DESTINED by Rubina Ramesh

Blog Tour by The Book Club of DESTINED by Rubina Ramesh


DESTINED
by
Rubina Ramesh

Blog Tour by The Book Club of DESTINED by Rubina Ramesh


Blurb

Esha Mehra could have taken care of her father, only if she had some support from her fiancé. But he had his priorities set and her sick father was nothing but a burden. Esha didn't have any other choice but to apply for a loan from her office. But she had not banked on the fact that the Head of Geno Technologies needed her for other reasons.

When Rohan Sharma saw Esha for the first time, he felt she was the one. He had no intention of falling in love with her for the pain of the past was still too much to bear. 
But he did need Esha as a decoy to his plan. But Esha was not a damsel in distress who would bend to his will easily. While he was sure that he would marry her only for six months, he still couldn’t understand why he felt a searing jealousy every time, her ex-fiancé Ayush’s name was mentioned.

While these two souls had other plans in their lives, Destiny conspires to bring them together. But will the stench of Death let them live their lives? 

Read an excerpt:
On seeing her, he grinned. "There goes my dream of my bride sitting on the bed with a long veil over her face that I could slowly lift up."
Esha laughed. "Do it in your real wedding."
Rohan felt a jolt at her words though his feelings had stopped making any sense at all. He found her pajama-clad wet avatar very sensual. Her hair was wet from the shower and a few droplets fell on her collarbone, like dew drops on a rose petal. Now that he was finally alone with Esha, he wanted to further muss up her hair and kiss those wet pearls away. But never had he imagined that he would be alone in a room with her amidst roses and that her intoxicating perfume would drive him crazy. Theirs wasn't a marriage in the true sense and yet her lips were calling out to him to feel them with his own.
But he was sure that she wouldn't appreciate it. He forced himself to lean back on the pillow and give her an easy smile to fight his raging hormones. "So, which side of the bed is yours?"
She looked at him sharply to check if he was laughing at her predicament. She then went to her purse and took out a tape—a big, brown one.
"Naughty, naughty," he said sitting up, suddenly feeling the air crackling between them with an invisible electric thread that was slowly pulling them towards each other. "What's your intention darling?"
Esha gave him an evil grin and sashayed towards him, all the while opening the tape. "You didn't think I would be prepared?" she asked, her voice husky. Any hot-blooded man would find this a big turn-on but Rohan sat up straight, wondering if she was drunk.
"Esha, I think we should go to sleep now." He gave her a sheepish smile. "It's getting very late."
She threw back her head and laughed, "The night is still young, darling." She opened the tape further and climbed on the bed, inching slowly towards him as she rolled it out. Rohan could feel his heart skipping a few beats. He wanted her no doubt, but he was not expecting this and her strange behavior made him uncomfortable.
 "Do you want something to eat?" He sounded lame even to himself. She threw her head back and looked at him, her sherry colored eyes darkening into molten chocolate, and the light breeze from the window caught her silk tresses and made them dance to a tune of their own. She bit her lower lip and leaned in front of him, staring deep into his eyes. "Are you nervous?"
"Why are you behaving like this?" he asked, trying to get out of the bed. He felt an invisible hand clutching his stomach but he kept his tone breezy. "Are we taking this night to mean what it is meant to be? I'm ready if you are."
If she took another step forward, her breasts would touch him. What the devil was she playing at? He couldn't even lean back further since the head rest was stopping any further movement. She leaned forward but instead of coming towards him, she went beyond him and stuck the edge of the tape to the middle of the bed post. She then pulled the tape down – further and further and a line was drawn along the middle of the bed.

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About the author

Blog Tour by The Book Club of DESTINED by Rubina Ramesh

Rubina Ramesh is an avid reader, writer, blogger, book reviewer and marketer. She is the founder of The Book Club, an online book publicity group. Her first literary work was published in her school magazine. It gave her immense pride to see her own name at the bottom of the article. She was about 8 years old at that time. She then went to complete her MBA and after her marriage to her childhood friend, her travel saga started. From The Netherlands to the British Isles she lived her life like an adventure. After a short stint in Malaysia, she finally settled down in the desert state of USA, Arizona. Living with her DH and two human kids and one doggie kid, Rubina has finally started living the life she had always dreamed about – that of a writer.

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Monday, December 25, 2017

Spotlight: BRAHMAHATYA by Rajiv Mittal

Blog Tour by The Book Club of BRAHMAHATYA by Rajiv Mittal

BRAHMAHATYA
by
Rajiv Mittal

Blog Tour by The Book Club of BRAHMAHATYA by Rajiv Mittal


Blurb

A story of revenge and redemption and deeds shaped by forces that humans believe they have defined through mythology and scriptures but still struggle to understand. 

A woman employee of a retirement home is shocked to discover that a new resident is in fact the son impersonating his father. The son is seeking revenge. She, by her past actions, is unwittingly complicit in his being there and now tries to thwart his peculiar plans. A senile woman-resident and an enigmatic founder offer him sage advice. The samudra manthan (a major episode in Hindu mythology), a slightly dim secretary and a sinister boss play their part in ensuring justice is finally served but in an unexpected manner. 

The novel quotes frequently from the ancient Hindu scriptures and stories that the protagonists use to justify their actions. The treatment of the elderly in society is a major theme. 

‘I found Rajiv's novel completely charming. The story is always interesting and is funny and moving by turns. It has really original elements with its setting and his use of the Hindu stories. I think it is such a good novel and with such appealing characters. I loved it!’ - Rebecca Smith, author of 'The Jane Austen Writers' Club'.

Grab your copy @




About the author


In Rajiv Mittal's own words:

"I was born in Chennai, India in the early nineteen sixties. I am an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and a CPA from Australia. I now live in Melbourne after a stint of several years in the Middle East. 

Writing was a vague aspiration. It became reality thanks to a stranger who said I reminded him of the main character from Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. He quoted from it, ‘Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.’" 

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Blog Tour: BRAHMAHATYA by Rajiv Mittal

Blog Tour by The Book Club of BRAHMAHATYA by Rajiv Mittal

BRAHMAHATYA
by
Rajiv Mittal

Blog Tour by The Book Club of BRAHMAHATYA by Rajiv Mittal


Blurb

A story of revenge and redemption and deeds shaped by forces that humans believe they have defined through mythology and scriptures but still struggle to understand. 

A woman employee of a retirement home is shocked to discover that a new resident is in fact the son impersonating his father. The son is seeking revenge. She, by her past actions, is unwittingly complicit in his being there and now tries to thwart his peculiar plans. A senile woman-resident and an enigmatic founder offer him sage advice. The samudra manthan (a major episode in Hindu mythology), a slightly dim secretary and a sinister boss play their part in ensuring justice is finally served but in an unexpected manner. 

The novel quotes frequently from the ancient Hindu scriptures and stories that the protagonists use to justify their actions. The treatment of the elderly in society is a major theme. 

‘I found Rajiv's novel completely charming. The story is always interesting and is funny and moving by turns. It has really original elements with its setting and his use of the Hindu stories. I think it is such a good novel and with such appealing characters. I loved it!’ - Rebecca Smith, author of 'The Jane Austen Writers' Club'.

Grab your copy @


About the author


In Rajiv Mittal's own words:

"I was born in Chennai, India in the early nineteen sixties. I am an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and a CPA from Australia. I now live in Melbourne after a stint of several years in the Middle East. 

Writing was a vague aspiration. It became reality thanks to a stranger who said I reminded him of the main character from Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. He quoted from it, ‘Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.’" 

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Spotlight: VALLEY OF THE KINGS: THE 18TH DYNASTY by Terrance Coffey

VALLEY OF THE KINGS: THE 18TH DYNASTY by Terrance Coffey

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VALLEY OF THE KINGS: THE 18TH DYNASTY 
by 
Terrance Coffey

VALLEY OF THE KINGS: THE 18TH DYNASTY by Terrance Coffey


Blurb

In the year 1355 BCE, the land of Egypt was the superpower of the known world. King Tut's father, Akenaten, the so-called 'heretic pharaoh,' and his wife, Queen Nefertiti, are on the verge of catapulting Egypt into a revolution that will forever divide its people and rip the most powerful empire on the earth from its foundation. 

Inspired by the actual Hittite and Amarna letters of 14th century BCE, 'Valley of the Kings: The 18th Dynasty' is an epic novel of intrigue, passion, and betrayal, resurrecting the thrilling story of a singular leader whose beliefs were both visionary and disastrous.

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About the author


Terrance Coffey is a bestselling author, screenwriter, songwriter and composer with a predilection for Egyptian history. He has written numerous short stories, screenplays, television pilots, and even Coca-Cola music jingles. His debut novel "VALLEY OF THE KINGS: The 18th Dynasty" is the first of a trilogy and a #1 Amazon bestseller.

Awards & Accolades 


#1 Amazon Bestseller!
2017 National Indie Excellence Awards FINALIST
2017 International Book Awards FINALIST
2016 International Pacific Book Award WINNER Best Historical Fiction  

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Saturday, December 23, 2017

New Blog Tour: Sins of the Father by Sunanda Chatterjee



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Friday, December 22, 2017

Spotlight: Simha International by Sundari Vekatraman


SIMHA INTERNATIONAL
(The Bansal Legacy #1)
by
Sundari Venkatraman



Blurb

Rohit Bansal, the handsome and suave managing director of Simha International, is the envy of many—from a director of the hotel to an employee. 

A thief comes up with a simple modus operandi, believing that nobody’s really going to find out anything about the thefts taking place. But when a guest brings it to his notice, Rohit is determined to save the reputation of Simha International and ropes in a top-notch detective. Will Rohit be able to find who the thief is before time runs out?

The lovely and intelligent Tasha Sawant goes to work at Simha International as the duty manager. Her experience in the hotel industry only adds to the hotel’s excellent service. 

Tasha is attracted to Rohit and it would seem that he reciprocates her feelings. Well, the lady isn’t looking for a permanent relationship as it looks likes she’s already had an unpleasant experience. But then, what about the guy? Does Rohit want any kind of relationship with Tasha? 

*Simha International is the first book in the trilogy called The Bansal Legacy.

Read an excerpt:
Tasha caught the movement in her peripheral as Rohit walked into the atrium along with Vignesh. She straightened from the desk in front of her to pay better attention. He was like her very own Prince Charming in modern apparel, minus the white charger.

Rohit walked across the reception as if he owned the place, a devil-may-care expression on his gorgeous features. Tasha felt something akin to a jolt of lightning strike her heart while she felt a buzzing reverberation like thunder, which muted all the other sounds in the hall. She just stared as Rohit moved towards her, her sherry brown eyes wide and her mouth open in a startled moue.

A trifle irritated when a phone buzzed, Tasha sounded breathless as she answered the call. A small frown knitted her smooth forehead and Akhil was startled to see her drumming her fingers in annoyance on her desk.

Tasha turned her head towards the two men who were deep in conversation as she placed the receiver back on its rest. Her heart beat a wild tattoo when she saw them walking in her direction. Her slender form thrummed in anticipation as she stepped out of the bay when Vignesh beckoned to her. Akhil could feel the tremors as she walked past him and a scowl puckered his forehead as he looked up to see what had caused the excitement. On seeing Rohit, he wiped his frown in a hurry and gave the other man a sheepish smile of greeting that didn’t quite reach his eyes.

Akhil hated his boss, passionately. Akhil was from a middle class family and had had to struggle throughout his twenty-four years to reach where he was, a management trainee on his way to becoming a duty officer in another nine months’ time subject to—a look of bitterness marred his good looks—the approval of the board of directors, especially Rohit Bansal. Whenever he looked at his young boss of thirty-three, Akhil felt the fire of jealousy consuming him. Rohit Bansal was so lucky—Akhil was absolutely sure of it—to have everything handed to him on a platter, a child born with a silver spoon, into a hotelier family. Rohit’s single-handed struggle and hard work to set up the 5-star hotel against so many odds didn’t enter Akhil’s mind. His patience and perseverance had no place in the employee’s thoughts. His narrow mind could only perceive Rohit, as he was today, a billionaire who held 22% of the total shares of Simha International.

Adding insult to injury was Tasha’s reaction to him. She had been gently firm in her refusal to date Akhil. The bitch! His lips drooped downward. Big money went a long way to pave one’s path, it seemed.

Tasha went to stand beside the FOM, waiting for him to do the introductions.

“Rohit,” said Vignesh, “Meet Tasha Sawant, the latest addition to the Simha family,” he smiled before he turned towards Tasha, “And Tasha, meet Rohit Bansal, our managing director.” He didn’t notice the shocked look on Tasha’s face as she stared at Rohit.

Sherry brown eyes clashed with obsidian black ones and sparks flew! Her small hand was engulfed in what could be termed only as a huge ‘paw’. Tasha forgot to breathe as she felt herself being sucked into the black depths of his eyes from where she never wanted to escape.

The flash of his smile drew her attention to his sculpted lips—the thin upper one and a luscious lower one—and the incredible set of white teeth was a dentist’s dream. She drew a deep breath before whispering, “Hello.” She couldn’t help but notice the deep cleft in his square chin. Sexy!

Rohit read her lips rather than heard her greeting and met the lovely doe-like eyes with his obsidian gaze. He closed one eyelid in a wink and grinned at her, hoping to ease the situation that was fraught with sensuality.

Unaware of the undercurrents, Vignesh Kumar excused himself to go about his work.

Rohit smiled at Tasha. “Welcome to Simha International, Tasha.” His black eyes studied her boldly, from the top of her head to the tips of her toes peeping from her low-heeled shoes. She was tall and slender and oh so perfect! He had a tough time keeping his right hand from moving to her velvety cheek. The dusky gold of her skin seemed to invite his caress. He wanted to gather her in his arms and kiss her sensational lips into oblivion. He saw her breasts move agitatedly as she took deep breaths to calm herself.

Pink flooded Tasha’s face that appeared gorgeous to the fascinated man. “I don’t bite,” he declared, his expression devilishly mischievous. His black eyes danced and sparkled, lighting up the area. 


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About the author



Sundari Venkatraman is an indie author who has 16 titles to her name, all Top 100 Bestsellers on Amazon India, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada and Amazon Australia in both romance as well as Asian Drama categories. Her latest hot romances have all been on #1Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month.

Even as a kid, Sundari absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as she grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. 

Soon, into her teens, Sundari switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine. Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. 

Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! And Sundari Venkatraman has never looked back.

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Sundari Venkatraman is a member of the panel of the #PentoPublish #contest on #AmazonIndia #KDP


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