J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “release blitz”

Release Blitz – Once Upon a Scandal

A moment of passion, a devastating scandal and a marriage between sworn enemies…

Aakash Thakkar knows his path. Family, duty, responsibility, tradition. His path does not lead to madness, chaos, wild passionate steamy nights, and her. Or so he tells himself.

Kanak Shourie lives for the present. Friends, fun, work, life. Her present does not include the weight of other people’s judgement, stuffy societal mores, discovering desire with uptight businessmen, and him. She refuses to believe otherwise.

What happens when the one you hate is the only one you want? What happens when you try to right a wrong but end up in something that feels more right than anything ever has?

Can Aakash and Kanak bury a lifetime of distrust and forge a life together? Or will the reasons that had them battling each other for years bury their tentative new beginning?

Book Links:

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Read an Excerpt from Once Upon a Scandal

Kanak gasped as his lips trailed a slow, sensual line of kisses down her neck. Her eyes closed and her head fell back giving him better access. 

He growled in approval, the sound thrumming through her. She fumbled with the buttons of his white shirt, her hand slipping through the gap and finding hard, firm, muscled skin. Her fingernails did a slow circle around his flat nipple making him nip her on her shoulder.

Her dazed eyes met his stormy ones, disbelieving, intense and confused. He lowered his head and took her lips in a kiss that solved her confusion, once and for all. 

She wanted this man, more than she’d ever wanted another. And she couldn’t deny it anymore. She fisted her hands in the thick, rough silk of his hair and pulled him impossibly closer. 

Their tongues met, dueled, and stroked making her moan, the breath of sound disappearing between his lips. He ground his hips against her, the movement making her legs fall apart, the better to cradle him with. 

The rough concrete behind her back scraped her skin but she couldn’t have cared less. But his hands slipped between the wall and her and flipped her over so his back was against it. She landed against the hard length of him, her hips doing an unconscious roll that had his head falling back.

She unzipped his pants, her fingers slipping in, searching and finding the hot silken steel of him. He cursed brokenly, his hips arching into her touch. She smiled, the heady rush of power over such a powerful man spooling through her. 

Until his hands cupped her breasts and her eyes rolled back in her head, pleasure swamping her and making it hard to focus. He dipped his head and took her breast in his mouth, the material of her flimsy dress damp in seconds from his attentions. His other hand pinched, fondled and stroked the other breast until her legs quivered. 

Kanak stroked harder, desperate for him to not stop what he was doing. He didn’t seem to want to anyway. He pulled her dress up, above her hips, the cool night breeze caressing her thighs and making her shiver. 

Kanak shoved frantically at his pants, pushing until she got what she wanted. It sprang free and she wrapped her hands around it, fisting it. 

The flash when it came lit up the darkness around them. Their small corner suddenly blindingly bright. He reacted with startling swiftness, spinning her so she was covered by the bulk of his body, unseen by whoever was out there. 

“Get the fuck out of here,” he growled over his shoulder, his furious laser like gaze sending a shiver down Kanak’s spine even though it wasn’t directed at her. 

Nervous laughter was the only answer. And then, another bright flash. 

“I am going to kill you,” he said conversationally to the person behind him.

In a matter of seconds, he tucked himself back into his pants and straightened Kanak’s dress with a deceptive calm. When he turned, still keeping Kanak hidden behind him, she heard the photographer squeak. 

“Give me your camera.” The words were soft, calm and deadly. The tone usually what you heard before you died. 

“No.” The man with the death wish giggled and moved back, out of his reach. “This is going to make me rich. And not just the photographs man. I got video too and it’s not on this camera. It’s with my friend who is already gone. You can’t catch him.” Another giggle. 

And before either of them could react, he disappeared into the dark. 

Ice slid through Kanak’s veins. What had she done? What had she allowed to happen? A sex tape of her on the internet, splashed across the tabloids, a sex tape with him…

“I will fix this,” he said, the same ice in his voice except his was directed at the mystery photographer. “I promise you.” 

She wanted to believe him. She almost did but Kanak knew that some things were out of even his control. 

A sex tape. Her head spun at the enormity of this fiasco. A sex tape with Aakash Thakkar, big shot industrialist, rising political power, and her number one enemy. 

She was screwed and she knew 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:
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Release Blitz – Dawn’s Desire

One night of passion, a stolen moment of joy and six years of pain… A picture containing text, screenshot, electronics

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Rishi Khatri cannot forget the beautiful woman who swept into his life for one incredible night and then disappeared…with the contents of his wallet and large chunks of his heart.
Until the day, he meets Sehar again and he realises that he cannot forgive her. For, Rishi has made a cardinal mistake. He’s fallen in love with his one night stand.


Sehar Mirza’s one night of rebellion destroyed any chance of a normal future. But her heart cannot regret her choice. For in that one night, she laughed, she loved and she lost. She lived an entire lifetime.
When their paths cross again, Sehar and Rishi find their feelings for each other haven’t dimmed. All they want in life is another chance, a second chance.

But Sehar has a secret. One that will destroy their tentative happiness.

Can they learn to look beyond their past mistakes and hope for a shared future? Can Rishi forgive a betrayal so large that it leaves his already battered heart in pieces at Sehar’s feet?

Can love win? Or will loss claim their destiny for its own again?

Book Links:

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Read an Excerpt from Dawn’s Desire

His home looked exactly as I’d expected it to. Meticulously curated, tastefully furnished and anally maintained. 

“You live alone?” I asked, as he handed me fresh towels and herded me towards the guest bedroom.

“Did you think I had a secret wife stashed away in my cupboard or something?” 

I shrugged. “Stranger things have happened.” 

He came to an abrupt halt in front of me. “Really? Like what?”

I gave him what I hoped was an enigmatic smile but what was, in reality, probably more constipated. 

With one last weirded-out look, he pushed the door of a room open and stepped back. “This is the guest bedroom. It has an attached toilet. If you need anything, let me know.” 

With that, he was gone before I could thank him or say any of the hundred other things bubbling through me. I dropped the duffel bag I’d carried along on the beautifully made bed and took in my surroundings. 

The entire room was done in shades of pastel green and cream and had a soothing effect on my otherwise frazzled nerves. My finger trailed over a summery yellow porcelain bowl on the bedside table with potpourri in it. 

Who kept his home so immaculate for him? Jealousy speared through me as I took in the many feminine touches to the room. I shook it off and marched into the bathroom to wash the day’s dirt and grief off of me. 

The hot spray of water from the shower boiled my skin and cleansed my soul. I took a deep breath as I wrapped my hair in a towel, changed into a comfortable pair of shorts and a t-shirt and followed my nose to the drawing room. 

Rishi held out a bowl of steaming hot deliciousness. “Chicken Pad Thai okay?” he asked. 

I nodded, taking the bowl from him. “Thank you.” 

He gave me a brief smile before picking up his own bowl and digging in. He had a copy of the latest book by Lee Child beside him.

“How are you enjoying that?” I asked, pointing with my fork to the book. 

He moved his hand in a so-so gesture saying, “Not sure if it is the book or my mood though.”

I bit my tongue. I really did. But it wagged anyway. 

“Is there something wrong with your mood?” I asked. 

His fork froze on the way to his mouth. “Nothing that concerns you,” he answered, quietly. 

It stung but I forced myself to look serene as I dug into my dinner. 

“You haven’t asked me yet,” I pushed my food around. “Why my parents threw me out of the house? Don’t you want to know?” 

“I haven’t asked you about many things, Sehar.” He reached casually for the television remote and turned it on. “Why would I start now?” 

This time it hurt to breathe. I sucked in a harsh gasp but it did nothing but burn its way through me. 

“I tried to explain my behaviour that night to you in Goa.” 

“And I told you I wasn’t interested in your explanation.” He kept his gaze on the television even as he increased the volume to drown me out. 

“Rishi, I never meant to-“ 

The television clicked off, the silence that fell in the room as abrupt as it was complete. 

He turned towards me, finally, fury burning in his gaze, his knuckles turning white from his grip on his bowl. 

“Is it so hard for you to understand that I am not interested in discussing that night with you? Ever? You lied to me, you slept with me, you used me and you stole from me…whatever your so-called justifications are, Sehar…I don’t care!” 

My throat locked, my apology crumbling and dying inside me. 

“Are we clear?” he asked, softly. 

“Crystal,” I forced out. 

“Good.” He turned the television on again, letting the sound wash over us. 

Silently, I ate every last bite in my bowl before walking to the kitchen to wash and stack it on the drying tray. 

I stopped at the entrance to the living room and watched him eat and stare at the television as if my presence in his home made no difference to him. 

We both knew better. We were both experts at pretending differently though. 

“I’ll be gone in the morning,” I told the back of his head. 

“You always are.” He increased the volume again until I thought the windows would shatter. 

Or maybe I would. 

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

Release Blitz – Ruin

Billionaire Drake Fallahil needs a wife in three weeks. Or he stands to lose everything.

When he finds intriguing Anya Mallya-Bhatt in a compromising (read criminal) situation, he proposes a simple deal.

Go to prison. Or marry him for ninety days and walk away with piles of cash.

Desperate to save her family, MBA student Anya has no choice but to agree to the intractable investor’s proposal.

She doesn’t know what’s worse. Being bound to her ice-cold enemy or craving him!

This is not a match made in heaven. So she does the only thing she can – defy him.

Drake’s marriage of convenience to Anya turns incredibly hot… one that spirals out of his possessive control.

But enemies, past and present, threaten Drake’s tenuous control. Awakening the monster within. And the worst part? His much younger, secretive, whipsmart wife has more of a claim on his heart, the more he gets to know her…

And that’s an unforgivable sin. Isn’t it?


Book Links:

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Read an Excerpt from Ruin (Billionaire Bastards #2)

“I stay up nights thinking of ways to tease you.” He was deadpan in delivery but sweetly, sexily earnest.

“You know what?” She went on her toes because she couldn’t stand one more second of not kissing him.

“So do I,” she whispered against his lips.

Their kiss was deep, slow, sugary as honey twined in molasses, their hearts beat as one even as he stooped low to accommodate the differences in their height. His tongue sucked on hers, as if he was tasting a rare sweet delicacy, made just for him and her inside were slick with wet and wanting.

Already anticipating how this night might end…

His eyes opened, lush green and filled with enough fire to melt her in the middle of the small, private park they’d discovered on this midnight picnic. “I think I might love you.”

Lena’s heart stuttered. Then beat faster, surer than it ever had.

She wanted to say, me too. Me first. From the second I saw you. But I’m scared because I lose everyone I love, one way or another and losing you will hurt till the end of time.

She let her fingers wander down to his zipper, found rock-hard evidence of his desire.

She smiled and caressed it while she whispered in his hot ear what exactly she wanted to do to him.

“I think I’ll go down on my knees. The grass is soft, isn’t it? And we’re alone tonight. No useless guards. And you opened that bottle of Krug I hate so I might as well put it to some good fucking use…”

She sucked on his lobe, pulled at the tender bottom with her teeth. Felt his erection leap into her palm. “Would you like to know how champagne and you taste on my tongue?”

About the Author:

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 but I’m most active on Instagram

Aarti on the Web:
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Spotlight – Loving You

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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:
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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:

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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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