For Your Reading Pleasure
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A very Happy New Year to you!
Now through Jan 6th you can download my latest novel Now and Forever (the sequel of Inconvenient Relations) free on kindle worldwide! Plus get a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card by entering a giveaway here! Also follow the blog tour below and read excerpts and get to know more about my books. How’s that for a New Year gift?
Feel free to share the joy!
PS: A request to those who have read and enjoyed Now and Forever– please drop a few words in review on Amazon and Goodreads.
The statement is absolutely true. At least it is for me. For example how often have you come across someone who’s gorgeous to look at but then they start talking and you realize they aren’t so hot at all. You almost wish they hadn’t opened their mouths. The opposite also holds true.
Its personality or character that makes or breaks a person. The same goes for a good novel too. What I’m getting at is character development. I may get drawn to a book by its attractive cover and plot summary but if the characters are insipid, if they don’t talk to me or get under my skin my interest dissipates rapidly and I will usually dump the book.
I’d like to say the characters in my books usually have several dimensions (they aren’t necessarily schizophrenic), with subtleties that are revealed slowly or kept hidden similar to many people we all know and acquaint ourselves with. I cannot write my characters unless I know them or I am them. Often I live them and dream them. They are my friends and I talk to them. I ask them how they feel then jot down what they say.
Inconvenient Relations and its sequel Now and Forever have some interesting characters.It is vital to read book 1 to enjoy book 2 because in essence this story is a study of a relationship and its various phases.
An imperfect yet perfect couple—
Ruhi or my chile dulce (sweet chili pepper) as her spouse Shaan likes to call her, starts of as a young woman from a cherished background, with dreams of building a future with her one-in-a-million husband who has been carefully picked for her by her parents. But her hopes are challenged right from page one. She is coerced into taking on a role that is quite alien to her or maybe had been held back and didn’t have the chance to manifest so far. It isn’t uncommon to see certain traits reveal themselves only under times of duress. Instead of bowing down and mutely accepting what destiny has doled out to her, Ruhi chooses to stand up to it. She shows her husband the mirror by turning the tables on him. She disguises her vulnerability in a bold and brazen avatar, She is a novice hence rash in her ways and often undiplomatic in her conversation yet she is also coy and secretive. All in all she is a maddening bundle of fun and mischief who adroitly twists her willing hubby around her little finger and exhibits no qualms about it. She loves him with a passion and won’t stop at anything to get him what is rightfully his.She is a woman to be reckoned with.
Sona munda Shaan Ahuja (heat factor to the power of infinity) is a gorgeous nerd who falls for the wrong woman and ends up paying for it dearly. He quashes the dreams of his brand new bride by announcing on their wedding night that he loves another and then is forced to eat his words. Shaan is a sensitive man with an arrogant streak who is devoted to his wife and his job. He is a jealous lover and possessive husband. He falls for his wife at the outset and doesn’t recognize it or is kept from acknowledging it by his ego and maybe his insecurity. Regardless, she drags his feelings out in the open after a cat and mouse game and they have a wonderful time until life tests him again. But then he has his trump card at his side.
I cannot conclude without talking about Sunshine, who happens to be my favorite character in the books. A frail septuagenarian, she is the catalyst in Ruhi and Shaan’s bonding. But don’t be deceived, this little old lady has a zest for life that rivals even those a quarter of her age. Enough said, I have to leave something for my books. Happy reading!
An Excerpt from NOW AND FOREVER
‘After what he perceived to be an eternity, she came out leading Ruhi with the pallu of her sari draped demurely over her head. With her freshly mascaraed eyelashes tilted toward the ground, a bright vermillion streak on her forehead and luscious lips painted a dark red wine in striking contrast to an unblemished complexion, Ruhi looked like an exquisite, untouched new bride reminding Shaan of a day from not too distant a past.’
‘NOW AND FOREVER’ (INCONVENIENT RELATIONS BOOK 2) COMING SOON!
Catch up on Book 1 HERE
Ok I agree. The book was awfully written and I truly apologize to all those who want to tell me so. Yes I get your message loud and clear. If you are wondering what I am talking about please check this link. I should not have published it. I wish I could undo the wrong but I can’t. So I guess I have to live with it 🙁
Now a critical question (critical for me). What happens to the sequel? What happens to the rest of Shaan and Ruhi’s tale? Is there anyone who cares to know? Anyone out there who wishes to read it? What should I do now that I have completed the manuscript? Should I scrap it? Consign it to flames (metamorphically speaking)? Please tell me because I want to know.
“Damn this work!” Shan almost clobbered the keyboard of his PC. He was furious. “Finally! But at what time?” he grumbled sneaking another peak at his desktop clock.
‘An unforeseen error has caused this algorithm to malfunction. Can you rerun the program?’
Shan was puzzled. He was pretty sure that everything had been working perfectly on initial submission. Then what had come up in the interim? He ran the test again and sure enough it got stuck but without giving him any clue as to what had gone wrong, almost as if a bug had made its way into the system.
He spent the following three hours going over the entire program with a fine tooth comb. Finally his patience paid out when he discovered the culprit—a discrete piece of code that seemed completely out of sequence…
He frowned unable to comprehend that he had let such a trivial error slip by. It was so glaring and obvious that even a half-witted undergrad could fix it. So why hadn’t the rockstars of the testing team?
“Because they are morons. All of them! All talk and zero substance!” He yelled banging the desk with the heel of his palm so hard that it sent flying half of the bric-a-bracs he had managed to accumulate over the years.
Picking them up one by one from the carpeted floor he tried to console himself– ‘Always keep the inventors on their toes’ was the unspoken mantra at his work place adopted as a holy doctrine by each and every employee.
Perhaps I’m being too ornery, he thought while interpolating the necessary changes into the code then let out a long sigh. But what can I do…haal hi aisa hai!
A fond smile lit his face when he revisited the proceedings from earlier that evening.
Inconvenient Relations Book 2, Now and Forever, #AmWriting, the continuing saga of Ruhi and Shan, A tale of #Romance #Passion #Intrigue
Catch up with BOOK 1 at these LINKS!
Yes I am writing! INCONVENIENT RELATIONS BOOK 2– the continuing saga of Shan and Ruhi. Expect a lot more Insanity this time around from this sweet and sexy couple.
The Book is tentatively titled Now And Forever.
Here’s a SNEAK PEAK for my dear readers—- ENJOY!
Author’s note: Picking up the story from we left off in Book 1. Shaan and Ruhi have just consummated their marriage and it is the morning after—
The Grand Canyon:
A bright light pierced the eyeball and ambushed the retina, shattering precious sleep from those weary eyes; a more irritating phenomenon couldn’t be conceived nor tolerated.
A graceful arm rose and flung itself across that bewitchingly delightful visage and a command emanated from those bruised and battered ruby red lips…
Ruhi heard a sharp intake of breath.
Curiosity now gaining the upper hand, she blinked and found herself in direct confrontation with a pair of eyes whose color closely resembled the bark of a Monterey pine, like decadent dark chocolate. The aforementioned creatures were subjecting her figure to a very minute inspection and apparently quite relishing it!
Several moments passed before it dawned on her that it had been no freaking dream.
She stared back, holding his gaze as gentle warming rays of sol slanted their way through the small square opening and bathed her golden. She was lying there stark naked, with barely a stitch on; her body on display for his exclusive amusement!
Her heart skipped several beats and eyes screwed shut in confused panic as she recalled in vivid detail the uninhibited transgressions of the night past. She crossed her arms over her chest attempting in vain to restore some of the lost dignity and winced as she crossed her legs, her nethers complaining having borne the brunt of the uninhibited assault.
Shaan’s lips parted in wonder as he watched a deep pink suffuse her torso and creep up her cheeks. How could the most beautiful creature in the world, his Goddess of love of whose temple he had appointed himself sole guardian, manage to become even more irresistible? And to add to the ambrosial palate her eyes were spitting fire! He could feel his insatiable appetite stir within his groin again. God! I need to have her before she reduces my life to shambles..as if she hasn’t already!
Parking a possessive hand on a dainty hip he squeezed it hard then leaned down close so she could feel his warm breath fan her burning face. She shuddered then writhed in mortification as she sensed desire replace her affected anger. No! I need to stand my lost ground though I have no clue why.
“So?” She inquired.
“So?” His brow arched in amused curiosity.
“Am I taken?”
He stared at her in disbelief for a brief moment before throwing his head back and laughing out loud. “God! How beguilingly innocent can you get? It’s unbelievable!” He wrapped his leg around her pelvis, communicating his need in no uncertain terms and was pleased to witness her skin to pucker with excitement. “Yes my darling. You can consider yourself officially deflowered.”
A quiet ensued as she weighed the information.
“Did you enjoy it?” He queried.
“What a dumb question to ask!” She retorted.
“Dumb? Now I really want to know. Did you?”
“Absolutely not!” Her eyes flashed. “I’m black and blue both inside and out!”
“It’s only natural,” he said with a tinge of remorse. “Uhm… the more we do it the better it’ll get. And… you made me wait so long that I couldn’t control myself…you are,” he paused to savor the contours of her shoulder that made her let her breath out in a hiss before she turned her face away. “you know you are undeniably ravishing, more so now than ever!”
“You ..you are a brute!” She censured loudly while reaching for her clothes.
“Brute?” He was stunned. Nobody had called him that before.
“You call this..this lovemaking?” She managed to hook her fingers into the back pack.
He regained his cool. Madam was trying to ditch her beloved. Hitching a sturdy arm around her waist he pulled her back. “Because it is love making…” He said kissing the back of her bare shoulder, running the tips of his fingers over her nude arm, causing her to purr and stretch luxuriously like a satisfied cat.
“You are so mean!” She insisted.
“I am not. And your body is telling an entire different story!” He forced her to turn on her back trying to overpower her will. His lips reached for her mouth, knowing that to be a failsafe method of breaking her resolve.
She struggled her mind resisting the temptations of her body, upsetting his effort to have her at all costs, until finally he let go baffled beyond belief.
He watched silently as she turned her back on him and swiftly covered herself with some random attire. “Where are you off to?”
She turned back, her face all flushed from their exertions. “Uh…I’m going to try to get a quick wash before everybody gets up.”
“Then…? Don’t you remember, we are supposed to go white water rafting today?”
“Uhmmm..yes. But there aren’t any compulsions.” He said lying back and cushioning his head on his arms, a wide grin settling on his face when he saw her turn away in chagrin at his body’s flagrant display.
“But ..I want to go. Don’t you?”
“I wanted to earlier..but not now..not after last night. You know what I want…what you want.”
She shivered when she felt his fingers slip inside her blouse. “No..I can’t lose this opportunity. I..I’m going even if you don’t want to come.”
Emitting a wretched cry, she wrenched herself from his grasp and slipped outside the confines of the tent. After pausing for a fraction she ran, no… hobbled to the river while the lower half of her body screamed in protest.
She found a small secluded spot behind a large boulder where a shallow pool of water had lodged. Without a second thought she waded in, feet skimming over the river rock worn smooth by eons of erosion, deeper and deeper till her waist was submerged letting the cool wetness seep inside her skin, numbing the burning pain which was making her brain run amok. Standing there, waiting for her harried breath to calm, she ran her gaze far and wide absorbing the early morning light as it bounced off the rippling waves as they rushed in their endless quest, in all the brilliant colors of the rainbow. Her hands tried to catch them but failed, her fingers acting like a sieve.
Then she saw a face in the water, but failed to recognize it. Confused she splashed before realizing it was none other than of her own.
She had changed. Ruhi Sharma had changed. She didn’t belong to herself anymore, instead she bore his indelible stamp and it frightened her, bewildered her, urging her to make a run for it, so to take a breath that wasn’t enmeshed with his. For he influenced her every notion, manipulated every idea that occurred in her mind causing her to invariably sway to his tune.
But wasn’t that the way it was supposed to be? Isn’t this the day, the moment she had been waiting for all along?
Then why do I want to resist?
She thought for a moment before proclaiming aloud– “because I’m me… I cannot not be me, even though I am his.” The constant churn in her mind, appeared to slow down some.
Sensing a flurry of activity upstream she glanced in the direction and spied the Andys preparing for the upcoming adventure.
“Do I really want to battle the seething river? Hell no!..But…” Her lips curved into a wicked smile as she plotted. Her brain’s naturally hewn abilities still very much intact. It was very hard for her to disregard the distinct pleasure she felt while perceiving her spouse’s irritated face.
Shaan on the other hand was experiencing a plethora of emotions. What have I done to make Ruhi run away from me? Did I really hurt her? God forgive me if I did, for then I’m a rogue indeed! Why in hell couldn’t I control myself instead of pouncing upon her like a hungry wolf!
He sat up, legs crossed and berated himself over and over. “And the gall I had to ask her how she felt! F***! I’m sick indeed!”
Then he recalled the way her delicate fingers had fluttered over his back, how she had whispered his name, saying she loved him, dearly with no reservations. And those very words had driven him insane with what he felt was boundless love, prompting him to take liberties with her body. Not for one moment had he paused to think how she’d feel. And she had borne the assault silently.
“How I wish she had said no, but then, would I have paid heed? No, because I was in heaven, all at the expense of my lovely wife.”
‘There are no accidents. Everything happens for a reason. Let it flow….’
“Let it flow?” He asked himself. “Like hell I will! I can’t! I simply can’t! I need to find out what she’s up to!”
Hurriedly throwing on what he had worn yesterday, not caring in the least for the wildly unkempt picture he painted, Shaan thundered out of the tent. Then, after casting a quick look around, he strode rapidly toward where saw a hubbub of activity.
He stopped a few paces away, observing young Andy help Ruhi put on her life jacket. He must have said something funny, for she broke into a smile then burst out laughing and her voice like sweet poison stabbed at his heart.
How could she allow it? He closed his eyes, gritting his teeth in blind fury when he saw the handsome guide’s fingers graze her bare arms.
“Hey bud! Wanna rock and roll? Your pretty friend seems all set for the ride!”
All Shaan wanted to do was wipe that smug smile off that face and shove it up his ass! But he had an audience and she was watching very closely. He accepted the deep orange jacket reluctantly.
Fortunately their group was small enough to fit into one craft. They were four men including himself, the Andys (father and son), a middle aged heavy set man called Steve and two women including Ruhi and Steve’s girlfriend Stella whose conspicuous accent betrayed her Down Under origin.
Stella was obviously very fond of the great outdoors as evidenced by her deep sun tan displayed to great advantage by a ridiculously miniscule bikini. And she obviously had a thing for men for she quite openly flirted with Andy Jr. then switching over to Shaan, subjected him to a frankly appreciative look which escaped her very loud and boisterous boyfriend’s attention but not Ruhi’s, who looked ready to drive her Swiss army into the woman’s gut given the slightest chance. Seeing her thus, Shaan chose to play it up some more. He began by giving Stella his most brilliant smile and offered her a hand aboard, which she accepted gladly, then settled herself down next to him in the aft—apparently the most stable part of the boat— saying she was afraid of becoming river sick. “This is my first rafting trip you see!”
He knew she was fibbing but didn’t care because it served his plan perfectly well. He then added flame to fire by making conversation which basically amounted to nodding at appropriate intervals as Stella jabbered nonstop, and appearing intrigued when she acquainted him with her adventures while skinny dipping near the Great Barrier reef.
“Care if I buy you a beer sometime handsome?”
“Huh?” He turned to her with a start; his attention distracted by the antics of his wife, who had brazenly chosen to take her place at the bow and was behaving like he didn’t exist.
“You’ve got a brave lass there my fellow!” Andy Sr. muttered.
“Brave my foot! I wonder if she even knows how to swim properly!” Shaan replied curtly but his expression betrayed his anxiety.
“Don’t worry lad. My son, he’ll take care of her.”
That’s exactly what I’m afraid of, Shaan thought.
But soon the frazzled nerves and injured egos were set aside as their trip began with the towering red sandstone walls hemming them on both sides and the sounds of the Colorado filling the air.
It began at a sedate pace, the gentle current carrying the raft forward offering them vistas they’d never come across before. As the Andys took turns extolling the history of the river and the canyon, the passengers stared around in awe, watching as the walls came closer then drifted apart playing hide and seek with the sun.
“OMG! A waterfall!” Ruhi jumped up squealing in glee and sure enough when Shaan followed her gaze he spotted it too–a narrow jet of water cascading down sheer rock into a spectacular turquoise pool below.
He smiled, at least she’s enjoying herself. So am I, though I wish so bad it was just the two of us.
And then all of a sudden, the mood of the river changed.
“Hold on folks! Rapids!” Andy Jr’s excited voice rang out.
Shaan felt Stella’s hand pulling on his arm, as the raft dipped. And then, when it felt almost certain the thing was going to capsize, it came right up again to the collective relief of everyone abroad.
Ruhi’s sure to have had enough of the excitement, she will want to come back to me now, Shaan thought with confidence.
But Ruhi was Ruhi. There was now a predictability to her impulsiveness and it seemed to get worse as he got to know her better. She was riding on a high, having for once escaped unscathed from the rapids, and at the same time was bristling with righteous indignation too.
What does he think of himself, coochie cooing with that big chested bimbo? He thinks I can’t take care of myself? That I will disintegrate without his lordship’s benevolence! I’ll show him and that bitch what Ruhi Sharma is made of! She doesn’t balk in the face of danger, rather she takes it head on! Lifting her chin up and squaring her delicate shoulders, Ruhi looked straight ahead and prepared to face the unknown.
Just then she felt a hand clamp down on her elbow. It was Shaan’s and he was glowering down at her with undisguised ferocity.
She tried to shrug him off but his grip only grew stronger. He grunted in a low threatening tone. “Enough daredevilry for one day. You’ve proved whatever you needed to prove. Now come to the back with me.”
“Never!” Tossing her pigtail to one side, she shot back with unparalleled tenacity. “Not while you have that piece of white trash practically sitting on your lap! Or have you forgotten what happened not so long ago?”
Her arm dropped to her side.
“Ruhi! How can you?”
Her chutzpah wound down a few notches when she realized what she’d just said but it wasn’t enough to make her back down.
“To your places please everybody, Hang on tight! This one is the mother of them all!” Andy Sr. yelled out sharply and he meant business.
Shaan sat stunned unable to digest what his wife had just told him when the powerful river decided to display its might again but this time to an unbelievable degree.
“Hold on tight y’all!” Rang out another warning, just as the water began to churn turning from muddy brown to frothy white in an instant. They heard a massive roar as the raft bucked and rode the waves not unlike a helpless rider at a rodeo who hangs on precariously for dear life hoping the bull tires before he falls and gets trampled to death.
Soaking the passengers to the bone, the water like thousands of sharp barbs raining on the flesh, the raft went under a massive wave and then after what felt like ages of relentless struggle surfaced again.
His breath caught in his throat, Shaan sprang up scanning the heads desperately and just as feared, she was missing. He tried to think, stay calm, praying silently while his eyes skimmed the waters.
“It’s ok! These guys are experts! She’ll be fine!” Stella shouted above the din grinning reassuringly.
“She won’t! Because she’s my bloody wife who always does what she wants! Goddamnit!” He hollered back, then spying the unmistakable orange jacket not too far away, dived in.
Ruhi’s lungs were bursting for air as she was tossed around mercilessly like a helpless toy. Sharp jagged rock cut in to her exposed skin. Fear was overcome by the need to survive, to see his face again. She tried to hang on, to whatever solid surface she could find. But her fingers, numb from the icy cold slipped, tearing her nails off their beds. Yet she didn’t feel a thing because she had to make it. She needed make it.
I love him God. Please let me see him one last time. Please? She prayed fervently, just as her mind began its descent into unconsciousness.
Then a miracle—she was grabbed from behind and as sure as can be was carried to safety.
Strong hands reached down and she was hauled back onto the raft.
Panting for air, thanking God for answering her prayers, she waited patiently for his arms to hold her again. But she waited in vain.
She looked around in panic, eyes wild and desperate. For the briefest moment she thought she saw him looking directly at her, his face rife with hurt, before his head disappeared under the water.
“Shaaaaaannnnnnn!” She screamed. But the river swallowed the sound.
What happens next? —- AM WRITING!
MEANWHILE GET BOOK 1 at these LINKS!
Standing in front of the large bathroom mirror, she combed her long thick hair. Should I leave it loose or braid it? Should I put on makeup or go bare? Should I wear all my bangles or just a couple of them? So many questions! Why don’t all men come with a user guide.
She braided her hair, glossed her lips, chose a pair of gold bangles for each side, and figured she was done. Then she offered a silent prayer, thanking God for the absence of her mother-in-law.
Tea and breakfast.
What? Herbal raspberry tea bags and Cheerios! And this man expects me to eat? Her spirits taking a dive, she put her head down on the table and mournfully longed for a piping hot refreshing cup of masala chai with cauliflower stuffed paratha on the side…Mama!
“Still off in neverland?”
She sat up, startled, to gaze dolefully at him while he smiled cheerfully at her, looking handsome and crisp in casual white shirt and jeans. Why was she always at a disadvantage?
“Care for some hot pizza?” He swept a large colorful cardboard box in front of her nose. “Authentic Neapolitan from our very own Tony’s. My favorite!”
She didn’t care for it, too cheesy.
He frowned at her while she pursed her lips together feeling helpless.
“This is crazy! If you don’t eat, you will disappear in no time. Then there wouldn’t be anything left to send back home!”
She glared at him acutely hurt. They had just reached here, and he was already thinking of sending her back home? What did he take her for?
“I guess I’m homesick.”
“Ah! I see. How stupid of me! Your parents must be terribly worried!”
Getting up immediately, he dialed her home; and yes, they were in a state of panic.Hearing their voices, she nearly broke down…wanting to reach out and touch the loose end of her mother’s sari.
“Accha. All right, I shall hang up now,” she said and handed him the phone, just as a tear threatened to roll down her cheek. She rushed to the window—the purple flowers had taken on a silver hue.
Imagine how much a new Indian bride has to deal with—
A husband who is practically a stranger, in-laws—and if she is accompanying him to a foreign land; new living conditions, new culture, and a new way of life.
As someone who has been through a similar experience I can tell you the task is not easy. These are the times when memories of home hurt the most.
In my book ‘Inconvenient Relations’ I have through my protagonist Ruhi tried to elaborate on what it is like to be a new bride in a foreign land.
You can find out more about my books here.
Masala Chai: Spiced Indian tea. The spice usually consists of cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, black pepper, star anise and cloves.
Paratha: popular Indian flatbread prepared fresh from whole wheat dough, and served either plain or stuffed with a variety of vegetables like radish, cauliflower, potato, methi (fenugreek leaves) or paneer (fresh Indian cheese.)
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