It came to my attention that the book cover wasn’t attached to my blog post yesterday, so I’m re-sending it out. Please let me know what you think! Thanks so much for all your support.
About the Book:
She believes in love, family and…squiggles!
Alisha Rana is not your typical single desi girl. For one, she is on the wrong side of 30. For another, she is divorced. And last but definitely not least, she is still, gasp, a virgin!
Alisha doesn’t want much. But what she does want is that elusive thing all women search for – A man who gets her…but a man who gets her hot! She calls it “feeling the squiggle.”
Enter Dr. Vivaan Kapoor, cute, hot, squiggle-worthy. The younger brother of her cousin’s prospective groom, he’s got the squiggle factor in spades. The only catch? He’s never been married and is years younger than Alisha. Basically, completely off-limits.
And then there is Arjun. Widowed, older than her by the right number of years and a genuinely nice guy. He’s Vivaan’s cousin and a so-called perfect match for Alisha. The problem is, Alisha’s squiggle-o-meter refuses to budge for him.
What will Alisha choose? A lifetime together with the ‘right’ man or a chance at happiness with the ‘wrong’ one?
Read an Excerpt from Love, Marriage, and Other Disasters
She closed her eyes and let the nippy breeze cool her flushed cheeks. This moment of solitude in the middle of all the chaos felt like heaven.
“Private moment? Or can I interrupt?”
Resigned to her fate, Alisha looked up. “Are you stalking me?”
“No.” Sitting down next to her and stretching his long legs out, Vivaan laced his hands on his stomach. “It was getting a little stifling in there, so I thought I’d come out for fresh air. I saw you sitting here alone and figured I’d see if you wanted some company.”
“Terrible,” she said, narrowing her eyes at him.
“Your excuse for being out here is terrible. If I wanted company, I would have stayed in there. And the only thing stifling you in there were the women throwing themselves at you.”
Grinning, he pointed out, “You weren’t.”
Tossing her hair, she said, “I have taste.”
“Ouch.” Wincing, he straightened from his slouch. “That hurt. I don’t know if I’ll ever recover from that.”
“Oh please. Go in there and let one of those girls slobber all over you. You’ll be fine in minutes.”
“All those tasteless girls in there? No thanks. I think I prefer the discerning one out here.” Reaching out to touch a lock of her hair he twined it around his fingers and watched her reaction.
“Cut it out.” Slapping at his hand, Alisha stood up. “You shouldn’t be flirting with me.”
Rising with her, he faced her. “Why?”
“Because I don’t cradle snatch and I certainly don’t intend to start with my younger cousin’s brother in law.” She tried for both their family’s sakes to take the sting out of her words but knew she’d failed when she saw the expression on his face.
“How old do you think I am?”
Alisha sighed. “Do we have to do this?”
“I’m trying to understand,” Vivaan said. “The age thing matters so much?”
Alisha stared past him to the crowd now leaving the bar and yelling out goodbyes to each other. Drunk, happy and carefree. She felt every inch of her exhausting thirty-three years at that moment.
“For the record, I’m twenty-nine years old.” His low murmur had her closing her eyes. Twenty-nine. Shit.
“I don’t think we should be having this conversation,” she said, starting to walk past him to the foyer.
Vivaan caught her hand as she crossed him and yanked her back, his grip firm and compelling. “Answer me. My age matters so much?”
“Yes,” she said, finally.
“Why? Does it make that much of a difference to who I am?”
“Why? What do you mean why? I’m older than you and divorced to add to that. You need any more reasons?” Giving her hand a slight tug, she groaned when his grasp only tightened. “Let go of my hand.”
“Does being older and divorced mean, you can’t be friends with me?”
“It means I can’t stand around holding hands with you.” Staring pointedly at their hands until he released hers, she stepped back and started to move away.
“What makes you think any of it matters to me?” His question had her stopping in her tracks and turning to look at him. “I don’t care, Alisha. I like you.”
“It doesn’t make a difference if none of it matters to you. All of it matters to me.” This time when she made her way into the crowd, she didn’t look back.
About Shilpa Suraj:
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.
Shilpa on the Web:
~ Cover Reveal ~
Murder in the Chowdhury Palace
by Sharmishtha Shenoy
About the Book:
What if someone you loved… was murdered? How far would you go to bring a killer to justice?
Orphaned in her childhood, Durga has always longed for wealth, security and, above all, a sense of belonging. She finds it all when she marries Debnarayan Chowdhury, heir to an immense, multi-crore estate. But the Chowdhury family has been under a curse that dates back to the British era. The first-born of each generation dies young, purportedly killed by the spirit of Kadambari, a young woman murdered by the notorious Shankar Dakat, the founder of the Chowdhury family and their Zamindari. When her father-in-law Birendranath dies unexpectedly, Durga and Debnarayan come down to the ancestral home in Kakdihi, a small village near Kolkata. The moment Durga enters her new palatial home, she crosses a threshold of terror. She loses her husband within a month of her marriage and finds herself a widow in a house full of strangers. Are Debnarayan’s and Birendranath’s deaths accidental? Everyone in her new family and the neighborhood appear to be friendly. Most of them have a motive to kill her. A well-meaning neighbor tells her, ‘Run from this place. You have no friends here.’ Is she, the current owner of the estate, now on the murderer’s radar?
Read an Excerpt from Murder in the Chowdhury Palace
The trees were denser beyond the pond on the northern side, and the area was unkempt and full of thorny bushes and nettles. Debu remarked, ‘Not many people venture into the northern part of the woods from this point because the haunted house is less than a mile from here. So this part of the estate is in a rather wild state.’
‘Yes, I can see that nature has completely taken over this part. But still, let’s go there.’ I said excitedly.
‘Some other day…,’ Debu murmured. His face was slightly pale.
‘Debu! You really seem to believe in these ghosts and all that nonsense…,’ I said rather incredulously.
‘No… no… of course not!’ Debu exclaimed.
‘Then prove it! Let’s go and visit the house.’
‘Look… it won’t be very safe. The walls are crumbling, and I am sure that bats have made their home there.’
‘Please, Debu, let’s go, I have never seen a haunted house,’ I said, cajolingly. I gripped his hand and almost dragged him towards the house.
We came upon the abandoned temple first. The plaster was coming off the walls, and the aerial roots of a huge banyan tree had encroached upon the temple and gone in through the walls causing rainwater to leak into the walls and damage them further. The house was located a further quarter kilometer away.
There was a strange, sinister silence all around. Even the birds did not twitter in this part of the woods. The house with its closed shutters and peeling walls was a one-storey medium-sized building. It was dark and uninviting, steeped in shadow due to the jungle of trees that had flourished around it. Darkness echoed and folded upon itself. I walked resolutely to the main door, only to find it locked.
‘Where is the key to this door?’
‘I don’t think anybody has it.’
I was in a naughty mood. ‘Then let’s break it open. I really want to see what’s inside.’
In spite of Debu’s protests, I picked up a heavy rock and hit the rusty lock with it. The lock broke easily.
We stepped inside a large hall. It was full of cobwebs and broken dilapidated furniture. Suddenly, a bat swept past my face. I let out a startled cry and drew back. I would have fallen to the ground had Debu not caught me.
‘Let’s get out of here. You shouldn’t be so adventurous in your present condition. The baby might get hurt,’ he said in a quavering voice.
‘Oh come on… please Debu…let’s explore a bit more.’
I went further in and switched on the torch of my mobile to see better. At the center of the hall, were the remains of a havan done a long time back. The bricks used for the havan were blackened, charred and crumbling with spiders spinning their webs over the layers of dust. There was a portrait of Shankar Dakat and another of a woman on a wooden platform near which the havan had been performed.
‘This is, of course, Shankar Dakat’s portrait. And this must be Kadambari…,’ I said. ‘Who painted this?’ The painting of Kadambari mesmerized me. She was little more than a young girl in a green sari, worn without a blouse in the traditional fashion. Her big eyes were strangely life-like and sad and her long, thick, curly hair cascaded down her bare shoulders like a cloud.
‘I don’t know who painted this, nor do I care. Let’s go, Durga. I feel really uncomfortable here.’ Debu said a little impatiently. I started coughing because of the dirt. ‘Durga, you know you are allergic to dust. Come away now. I don’t want our baby to get hurt.’ He clutched my hand in a death grip, and almost dragged me out of the house.
The fear in his voice was contagious. Also, to be honest, the life-like painting had spooked me. We hurried back towards the pond. As we almost ran back and neared our home, there was a shout from the ground-floor east-wing balcony. It was Kanak. She shouted, ‘Who goes there?’
About Sharmishtha Shenoy:
Sharmishtha Shenoy is the author of the Vikram Rana Mystery series. The books under the series are “Vikram Rana Investigates,” “A Season for Dying,” “Behind the Scenes” and “Fatal Fallout”. She has also published a book of short stories, “Quirky Tales.”
Her short stories have been published in efiction magazine and Woman’s era. She loves writing murder mysteries, the kind of books that she likes to read. Her favorite authors are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. She also likes the work of Satyajit Ray – especially the Feluda Series.
Before starting to write, she had been an IT professional and had worked in TCS, Satyam, Infosys, and Microsoft.
She is a big foodie and enjoys Biriyani (both Hyderabadi and Awadhi versions) and rasgullas like most Bengalis. She is also a lusty singer of the bathroom singing variety.
Though she is happily married to Mr. Shenoy in real life, in her fantasy world she is wedded to her creation Vikram Rana. You can get to her blog by typing the word “Sharmishtha Rana” into Google. No, seriously, try it.
She was born in Calcutta. She is an M Tech from the University of Reading, Great Britain and had received a 100% British Government Scholarship to study there. She lives in Hyderabad.
Sharmishtha on the Web:
I recently received another flattering review for my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie. Thank you so much, Abi Rowe, for your review!
BTW, this book is being republished with another company, and will be re-released this spring. Stay tuned for a new cover reveal!
The work follows how the lives of a family from a small town in Alabama are affected by the Civil War. I usually steer clear of historical fiction revolving around wars because they’re all battles or overly romanticized. The author of this work does an excellent job at finding a balance; this is one of the most realistic works of fiction I’ve read concerning the CIvil War. The author did her research. The characters are also well-written and aren’t static, making the work engaging.
I received a complimentary copy of this work through Voracious Readers Only in exchange for my honest opinion.