J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the tag “books”

Spotlight – Midnight’s Star

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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 * Amazon.in * Amazon.com

Read an Excerpt from Midnight’s Star

The bell tinkled again and a pretty young girl in a peach salwar kameez walked in. She went straight to the hottie by the window.

“Dev?” she asked.

“Nisha, I presume?” He smiled up at her.

My breath caught. My God, the man was lethal. Peach salwar looked similarly dazzled. She fumbled for the chair in front of her and sat down like her legs had given out. I didn’t blame her. That smile must have leveled everyone in the vicinity.

Checking that Diana and Sehar had things under control with the drink on the floor fiasco, I walked up to the hottie’s table and held out a menu to the girl.

“Would you both care to order?”

She took the menu and held it out to him. “Would you like to choose first?”

Hottie just looked back at her, his hands folded in front of him. “I’m afraid you’ll have to read it out to me. Unless,” he tilted his perfect profile in my direction. “You have a Braille menu?”

“I’m sorry.” I flushed. “We don’t but I can read the menu out to you if you require?”

“A Braille menu?” Peach Salwar frowned. “Why do we need that?”

My pen froze over my order pad. I darted a cautious look between the two. Hotties lips tightened.

“Your family didn’t tell you?” he asked.

“Tell me what?”

Okay. Peach Salwar was a little dumb. I started to slowly back away.

Hottie pulled his dark glasses off and looked at her. “That I’m blind.”

He had ink dark eyes framed by the most gorgeous thicket of eyelashes. This man’s looks would have made angels weep in heaven.

I wanted to weep. I wasn’t entirely sure why but the tears were filling quite rapidly in my own normal, average looking eyes.

“Blind?” Peach Salwar breathed. “You’re blind.”

If his lips tightened anymore, they would disappear from view completely. All around us, the café was silent. It seemed even the air held its breath.

He slipped the dark glasses on and held up his very snazzy looking cane. “Even if your family didn’t tell you, surely you didn’t miss my accessories?” The bitter note had something twinging in my heart.

“I can’t,” she quavered. “I can’t do this.”

What was this exactly?

“I can’t marry a handicapped person.”

Oh. It was that.

The man didn’t move. All around us, people stared, nobody dared make a noise.

Finally, he nodded. “I understand.”

Wordlessly, Peach Salwar stood up, shoved her chair aside and ran from the café like he was going to keep her there by force.

“Wow,” Diana breathed from behind me. “That was crazier than one of my scripts.”

It had been a really long day. My feet hurt. My head hurt. My heart hurt.

And yet…

I walked up to where he sat all alone staring at the table in front of him. He either heard my footsteps or sensed my presence because without looking up, he said, “I don’t think I’ll be ordering anything. I’m sorry.”

“My tiramisu is exceptional.” I righted the chair Peach Salwar had toppled in her hurry to leave and sat down in it. “Would you like to share one with me? On the house?”

“Feeling sorry for me, are you?” His smile was bitter and seemed to echo the pain in my heart.

“You and me both,” I said, frankly. “I’ve had a bad day too.”

“I doubt whatever happened to you is half as humiliating as this just was.”

“My boyfriend of five years and partner in this café just got engaged to someone else. I found out on Instagram.”

His head whipped up. I knew he couldn’t see and yet, that gaze seemed to look right through me.

“Okay. You win. But I want my own tiramisu. I don’t like to share.”

About the Author:

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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:
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Cover Reveal – Midnight’s Star

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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:

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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

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New Developments

This past week, I received some recognition, which I would like to share. The first is this: I was chosen as the winner of the 2021 Best of Horn Lake Awards in the category of Book Publishers.

According to the award committee: “The Horn Lake Award Program was created to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of businesses and organizations in and around Horn Lake. Our mission is to raise the profile of exemplary companies and entrepreneurs among the press, the business community, and the general public. 

“The Best of Horn Lake Award Program was created to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of businesses and organizations in and around Horn Lake. Our mission is to raise the profile of exemplary companies and entrepreneurs among the press, the business community, and the general public. The selection process does not include nominations, voting, contests or surveys. The Award Program uses only empirical data supplied by independent third-parties as input into our award algorithm.

“Selection as a 2021 Award Winner is determined by the marketing success of your organization in your local community and business category. The Best of Horn Lake Award Program uses information gathered internally in conjunction with third-party data as a part of its selection process.”

The second is this: I was chosen to be featured on a new website called Shepherd. My book, Horses in Gray, is featured on the site. Here is the link: https://shepherd.com/best-books/civil-war-novels

It has been a crazy week in so many ways. Please follow and share! Thank you so much.

Cover Reveal – The Maharaja’s Fake Fiancée

What happens when a free-spirited actress and an uptight Maharaja fake an engagement?


Depending on whom you ask, you either get a match made-in-heaven or a royal disaster.
When Diya Sharma’s meddlesome mother tries to throw her into the arms of a mom-approved suitor, Diya runs the other way. Right into the arms of the most scandal-averse Maharaja on earth.
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 for ever and lush lips that just beg to be kissed, Veer doesn’t need another scandalous actress destroying his family’s happiness. So all he wants to do is run in the opposite direction.
But, when a marriage-minded princess sets her sights on him, Veer runs back into Diya’s arms to propose a fake engagement.
When the lines between real and fake start to blur, Diya and Veer need to decide what is important? Long held prejudices or the yearnings of their heart?

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. 

A Maharaja of Her Own is Alisha’s first book.

Another Rave Review

I recently received another review for my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie. Thank you so much, Pamela Loose, for your flattering review!

Review of A Beautiful Glittering Lie

This is a well written story with vivid descriptions of the lives of Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War. The comparison between their lives and those of the people left behind is fascinating. 

Cover Reveal – The Right Kind of Wrong

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He’s dangerous, damaged and doomed but he’s hers…

With no name, no medical history, multiple gunshot wounds and enough security to rival the Prime Minister’s, Dr Aria Dubey’s new patient is something more than she asked for. And everything she might just need.

Intelligence Officer Karan Bhatnagar has only vengeance on his mind. Nothing will stop him from seeking justice for his murdered parents. 

Not even almost losing his own life. And certainly not the doctor who healed but couldn’t save him. The woman he can’t afford to fall for. And the killer’s next target.

There’s only one thing left to do…find the killer and end him before he ends them. Will Karan and Aria risk everything for a love that is all kinds of wrong? And yet, is the right kind of wrong.

Releasing on 26th January!

About the Author:

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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

A Beautiful Glittering Lie on Librarybub

I recently advertised my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, on Librarybub. I strongly advise other authors to participate in this program in order to gain excellent exposure for your book!

During the week before Christmas, 2551 librarians saw my book. Here are the links:

My book was also featured in press releases on these outlets:

CBS

https://markets.financialcontent.com/wral/news/read/40702916/thrilling_teen_fiction_highlighted_in_librarybub_selection_for_december

NBC

https://www.wfmj.com/story/42988409/thrilling-teen-fiction-highlighted-in-librarybub-selection-for-december

I’m hoping lots of libraries will pick up my book during their next purchasing round. Thank you, everyone, for your continued support!

Book Blitz – In Debt To Her Millionaire Foe

She Hates Him But She’s In Debt To Her Millionaire Foe 

Releasing on 25th October

About the Book:

When the songbird owes the business tycoon…

Former gangster, Devansh Thackeray has finally managed to carve the life he’s always aspired to.
Building a chain of seven-star hotels all over the world, a reputation for being an honest businessman…and all the women he could ask for.
Ansh’s life is perfect. Or so he thinks.
Because he is about to hit by a lightning bolt from the past that’ll make him question everything he’s worked so hard for. 
And her name is Kahini Palekar. 
Kahini’s life is a nightmare.
She works three jobs to pay off the loan sharks circling her. 
But, Kahini doesn’t mind because she also gets to do the only thing she’s always wanted to do. 
Sing.
Even if it is at a shady nightclub in the backstreets of Goa, the beach paradise of India.  
Kahini’s day of reckoning arrives when Ansh arrives back in her life, right when she’s almost assaulted by the manager of the nightclub. 
Ansh offers both salvation from her debt and a chance to sing at the most exclusive wedding of the decade. 
But there’s just one catch.
Kahini hates Ansh’s living guts and blames him for the destruction of her life. 
Even though he was the boy she once recklessly gave her heart to. 
Can Ansh get to the bottom of the problems plaguing Kahini or will this songbird fly away again after repaying her debt to him?  
Meet the Millionaire Foes – rising from ruin through ruthless ambition, these self-made tycoons have everything. Except, the heart of the one woman who means everything.

The Millionaire Foe Quartet series contains four steamy romances set around the world, each of which can be read as a standalone. 

Book Links:
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55579112-in-debt-to-her-millionaire-foe

Amazon India – https://www.amazon.in/dp/B08K4G7VQ1/

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08K4G7VQ1/

Read an Excerpt from In Debt To Her Millionaire Foe (Millionaire Foe Quartet # 2)

Ansh entered the bar when the lights had dimmed, already in a foul mood from the altercation he’d had outside Grungy’s.

The term “bar” was a loose translation for what the seedy confines really were. It was set in a shady part of Calangute Beach, where the locals lived. It was not the area the posh, firang tourists frequented. The air here smelled of brine and fish and cheap liquor.

The smell of the ocean was everywhere.

It was, after all, Goa the beach paradise of India.

And to everyone who came here, it promised nothing but a good time.

The patrons of Grungy’s, the small-time bar that operated till four in the morning during season, had that look about them. They were local men, embittered and looking for cheap thrills. And some willing victim to provide that for them.

Ansh knew the type. They resented the tourists for showing up and flinging their foreign currency around and expecting their silly demands of room temperature water and late-night cruises to be catered to.

And they really resented needing the silly tourists and their foreign currency too.

A classic catch-22.

But, tonight, these patrons, and that was a loose term too for what the customers of Grungy’s were, were not looking for foreign currency or cheap thrills.

They were all gathered on the rickety tables that the bar owner had graciously provided and murmuring amongst themselves while the poorly-named stage was being set up.

She was the main act tonight.

Ansh frowned and sank deeper into his chair while the bar-back set him up with a glass of the local feni – a local toddy made from fermented coconut water and rum. He frowned deeper when he saw the lipstick mark around the edge of the shot glass and gingerly cleaned the lip with his monogrammed handkerchief.

Places like these reminded Devansh Thackeray of his squalid past.

He couldn’t stand them anymore.

Then, the spotlight hit the stage. The band struck a chord and a woman in black walked up to the mike.

Ansh sat up straighter.

Was she going to start stripping or something? He hadn’t heard the best things about these places on the wharf and this one didn’t have a stellar reputation either.

And, what the hell was she doing here anyway?

He’d sent her plenty of funds seven years ago, deposited in the account her brother had set up for both of them when he had turned eighteen.

Kahini had enough money to keep her in style, because he’d instructed the company’s bankers to always replenish the funds in that account should the need ever arise. The need had never risen, to the best of his knowledge. Even though he knew the money would never bring back her dead brother.

So, was she doing this for kicks?

Some poor little rich kid slumming it thing that all the society madams were doing these days?

He honestly had no idea. And that ate at his insides, like the strength of the feni he’d gingerly taken a sip out of.

Ansh had come here to find out what the hell she’d been up to the last seven years. Since the last time he’d seen her and she’d flung bitter, accusing words at him.



About the Author:

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Hi, I’m Aarti V Raman aka Writer Gal. I have been a former journalist, editor, and even a sometime-teacher before I plunged into my dream job. That of being a full-time writer.

In fact, my three favorite words are ‘happily ever after.’

This comes in handy as I primarily write bestselling contemporary romantic women’s fiction, which is all about living happily, after going through some hard times.

My more notable works include the Geeks of Caltech and Royals of Stellangård series, Something Old, Something New, More Than You Want, and The Perfect Fake among others. My chicklit family drama, The Worst Daughter Ever, has been picked up for screen adaptation.

I always love to hang with you, my dear reader friend. I’ve created Writer Gal’s Reader Pals on Facebook for this reason and I hope to see you there.

If not, I’m there on all social media as @aartivraman but I’m most active on Instagram

Aarti on the Web:
Newsletter: https://aartivraman22.substack.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aartivraman/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aartivraman

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/rt_writes 

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/writergalsreaderpals

Cover Reveal – The Wrath of the Hellfires

Patience is a Drawn Bow.
Rage, its Relentless Arrow.


Shukracharya’s plan to break the unity of Vikramaditya’s Council has borne bitter fruit. Friends have become sworn enemies, and brother has turned against brother, setting Avanti on the path to self-destruction.

Even as Vikramaditya prepares to counter a Huna invasion, a rebellion brews within Ujjayini, while a devious conspiracy is hatched to humiliate him. With Indra’s spies swarming the palace and Shukracharya making a bold bid to take the Halahala, the king is dangerously close to the brink of defeat.

Alone and abandoned by those dear to him, fighting to protect his wife and his people, trying his best to keep his promise to Shiva, will the Samrat rise one last time to defend his love, his city and his honour?

As the asura and deva forces muster in a final, desperate gamble to claim the Halahala, The Wrath of the Hellfires brings an explosive conclusion to Vikramaditya’s epic tale of action and adventure.

Other Books in the Series:

About the Author:

Shatrujeet Nath is the creator of the runaway national bestseller series Vikramaditya Veergatha, a four-book mytho-fantasy arc which comprises The Guardians of the Halahala, The Conspiracy at Meru, The Vengeance of Indra and The Wrath of the Hellfires. Described as “a new face to Indian mythology” by DNA, Shatrujeet writes for movies and web shows as well. His also the author of The Karachi Deception, an Indo-Pak spy thriller.

Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Book Tour – Along Came a Spyder

Are your Spidey senses tingling?

At 17, Samira Joshi has only one dream in life. She wants to be a spy.

 And why not? 

Spying runs in the Joshi genes. 

Her great-grandmother was famous for sticking her nose in everyone’s business. Her grandmother had a flourishing side-business of tracking down errant husbands and missing servants. Her parents are elite intelligence agents for RAW.

Yet, they want their only daughter to become a doctor.

When she sees a college friend being trapped by a pimp, Samira does some spying of her own, and discovers the existence of a secret sisterhood of teen spies — The Spyders. And, she wants in!

The question is, do they want her?

To find out, read this fast-paced, gripping YA novel by brand new author, Apeksha Rao.

Book links:

Amazon India: https://amzn.to/3miRgof

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52663172-along-came-a-spyder

Advance praise for Along Came A Spyder:

“A thrilling read with several nail biting moments. Will keep you hooked till the end.”

 Andaleeb Wajid, author of The Legend Of The Wolf

“A fantastic spy story, keeps you on the edge and you can’t stop till you finish the book. A fantastic debut book. Look forward to reading more from the author.”

Kanchana Banerjee, author of Nobody’s Child and A Forgotten Affair.

“Witty, snarky and a thorough entertainer, Along Came a Spyder is a welcome addition to India’s YA genre.”

Shilpa Suraj, author of Love, Marriage and Other Disasters, Saved by Love, and, Driven by Desire

“Apeksha Rao writes a taut espionage thriller with a twist-a-minute narrative that is sure to get all readers hooked. The language is flawless, the characterization spot-on, and the plot is filled with rich details. It is the kind of story that you’d leave all your other work aside to read. Be warned!”

Neil D’Silva, author of Haunted, Yakshini and Maya’s New Husband

Author bio:

Apeksha Rao fell in love with words very early in life. 

While other kids of her age were still learning to spell, she was already reading her older brother’s books and comics. 

She wrote her first story at the age of seven and submitted it to Tinkle, a very popular children’s magazine. 

Writing took a backseat, as she established a thriving medical practice.

But Apeksha rekindled her love affair with words, while on maternity leave. 

She would tap away at her keyboard while rocking her twin babies to sleep, as sleep deprivation stimulated her dormant creativity.

She wrote numerous short stories, that she published on her blog. 

Apeksha has been lauded for her taut and gripping stories, that always come with a twist at the end.

In addition to Along Came A Spyder, she has written The Itsy Bitsy Spyder, a prequel novella to the Spyders series.

A Mumbaikar, born and bred, Apeksha comes from a family of doctors. 

At the ripe age of thirty-four, she wound up her practice and moved with her family, to Bengaluru. 

She is now a full-time writer. 

She is also a die-hard foodie, who’s still trying to find the best vada-pav in Bengaluru.

She has twin boys, who keep her on her toes.

Apeksha’s husband is her inspiration to write, as well as her biggest critic.

Website – https://apeksharao.in/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ApekshaRaoOfficial/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/apekshar

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/rao.apeksha/

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