Thursday, 24 September 2020

Book feature: ALONG CAME A SPYDER by Apeksha Rao


About the Book:

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:

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

About the Author:
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.

Apeksha on the Web:

 

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Book Feature: BELLE VUE by CS Alleyne

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Jealousy, betrayal, murder and a hunger for vengeance that spans the centuries…

History student Alex Palmer is thrilled when his girlfriend, Claire Ryan, buys an apartment in Belle Vue Manor, formerly a Victorian lunatic asylum.

But as Alex begins to discover the dark truth about the asylum’s past, he, Claire, and their friend Marianne find themselves on a nightmarish journey. Each will face the deadly consequences of the evil that began with the construction of the first Belle Vue Manor by an aristocratic French émigré in 1789, as well as the cruelty and satanic practices that continued when it became an asylum for the insane.

As the two strands—past and present—unfold, Alex uncovers a supernatural mystery where revenge is paramount and innocence irrelevant—without being aware of the price he, and those around him, will pay.

READ MORE / EXCERPT

http://csalleyne.com/excerpt-belle-vue/

BUY LINKS

Universal Amazon - http://getbook.at/BelleVue

Blackwells - https://bit.ly/2PAMEKP

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

C S Alleyne grew up in Australia and originally trained as a hotel manager in the UK. After several postings in the Caribbean she changed tack and completed her MBA followed several years later by a PhD in Information Systems. She is a management consultant and also lectures in several universities.

With a lifelong love of reading, anything historical and a fascination with the supernatural and death, her vacations usually include visits to such places as the Pere La Chaise cemetery and the catacombs in Paris, the tombs in Egypt, the Popes’ crypts in the Vatican and any church yard with gravestones – you get the picture…

Cheryl was inspired to write Belle Vue by her daily journey past a block of luxury apartments that had been converted from an old asylum. Like her protagonist, Alex Palmer, she started to investigate its past and learnt that one of the inmates was murdered there in the late 19th century. The victim’s sister was hung for the crime. Cheryl was also thrilled to discover the asylum’s overgrown cemetery in her explorations of the area!

Thursday, 20 August 2020

BOOK FEATURE: Truly Madly Crazily in Love by Esha Pandey


~ Book Blitz ~

Truly Madly Crazily in Love by Esha Pandey 




About the Book: 
What happens when you can't let your first love go? What happens when you keep hoping that the one that got away, will be yours again...forever?
Sue is short, vivacious and dreamy. Viv is tall, spirited and focussed. Dressed to the nines on School Social, she bewitches him. He kisses her. She kisses him back. They fall in love. But the kiss that should have sealed their love, becomes their undoing.
Sue is truly, madly and crazily in love with him. There is no one like Viv. She pines for him, but he can't be hers. Days go by and she is still head over heals in love with him.
When she finally lets him go and is ready to start over, he walks into her life again.
Hearts are broken. Promises are shattered. Lives are wrecked. Love is tested.
In a tale transcending time, Sue and Viv weave a story of love like none other. Will hope, trust and love win the test of time? From Lucknow, to Delhi to London, will Sue finally have her happily ever after? Read this sweet romance to find out.


Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon


Read an Excerpt from Truly Madly Crazily in Love by Esha Pandey


“Sir, please proceed towards Gate No. 74. There was a last-minute change in the boarding gate for your flight,” the ground staff said politely. What the fuck! He had postponed his boarding to the last minute and now the gate had been changed. His heart was beating fast as he pushed his trolley bag and walked quickly towards Gate No. 74. As he reached the gate, he realized there was a lot of rush because of the last-minute gate change. Though the first-class passengers were given priority over others, he still managed to bump into a hassled girl with a bang. Both liquor bottles went flying and the trolley bag hit him in his shin, hard.

He was waiting for the crashing sound of the bottles and when that didn’t happen, he looked up to find dark kohled eyes, smoothened shoulder length hair, oxidized jewelry and red lips glaring at the mess he had caused.

SUE!!!

His heart stopped beating.

“What the hell? Where do you think you are going?” Sue looked up at him. Her eyes expanded in amazement when it registered that she had bumped into Vaibhav. Reining in her galloping heart at the right moment, Sue enquired if he was alright.

“Yes, I am perfectly fine, but my duty-free loot might be a different story.” He picked up the packet and sighed with relief when he found them to be okay. He signaled a thumbs up to Sue.

“What are you doing here? Are you on this flight?” Sue was shaken. Not visibly so, but she was. She had gotten very good at hiding her emotions and it would take a professional to know that she was experiencing euphoria and dread at the same time on meeting Vaibhav.
Before he could reply, a ground crew member came forward and rushed him to the counter and he could only wave at Sue while she was also being rushed at the Economy Counter.
The moment the seat belt sign switched off, the stewardess came to escort the girl sitting next to Sue. Vaibhav popped into the seat next to her immediately after.


About the Author:

  Esha Pandey, is an author and a police officer. She made her debut as an author with her book I Will Meet You There, a collection of short stories.
Esha is an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 2010 batch.
  She has a Masters in International Relations and Masters of Philosophy in American Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Before becoming a civil servant, she dabbled with the idea of being a journalist and worked with Times of India as a copyeditor.
  She has won a United Nations FPA Award for Excellence for the “Best Short Story”.
  Esha has kept her passion for writing alive through her tough assignments in policing because writing is music for her soul. Her TDH hero is her partner for life, her husband Rajiv, who supports her in all her endeavors.
  When she is not doing either, policing or writing, she is busy dealing with her two bundles of naughtiness, her sons.



Esha on the Web:
Twitter * Facebook * Instagram


Thursday, 30 July 2020

Art Journal 2020: Friendship

It has been a while since I did an art journal post, mostly because I couldn't decide on the topic. But once I did it was only a matter of getting it done.
Figure 1

The background (Figure 1) was done with Faber-Castell gelatos (Figures 2 and 3) then activated with water. The pages were not treated with anything beforehand.
Figure 2
Figure 3











Then I added the gold leaf blocks (Figure 4) by putting glue on the page, and dropping the gold leaf on top. Waiting until the glue dried, then I brushed the excess gold leaf away with a paint brush.
Figure 4
The flower petals were cut from painted cards. I painted them with random brush strokes using blue, red, and purple (which I mixed with the red and blue) gouache. White was dropped on top while the paint was still wet.

I glued the petals and then covered both the flower and the gold leaf with gel medium to preserve the fragile gold leaf.
The pen
The end result - the Stoics on Friendship 💜

The quotes are written by hand, and I hope you can read my handwriting. 😏

Until next time!
💜 Linzé

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Book Feature: A BARREN HEART by Shilpa Suraj

A Barren Heart by Shilpa Suraj



About the Book:
When having it all isn’t enough…

Aman and Rhea seem to have the perfect marriage. They are madly in love - with each other, with their own careers and the home and life they are building in a quiet Mumbai suburb. 
Rhea is a successful interior designer with a thriving business while Aman is a commercial pilot who is at peace with his life, on the ground and in the skies! What could possibly be lacking in their picture-perfect marriage?

A baby. 

Like most women, thirty plus Rhea Chakraborty, wants to hold her own flesh and blood in her arms. And Aman too wants the same. 

Or does he? 

After another unexplained miscarriage that takes a severe emotional, physical, and psychological toll on them, Aman isn't sure if having a baby will complete them or destroy them. 
Suddenly, Rhea and Aman find the fabric of their stable marriage fraying beneath the strain of their failed conceptions. Where once they were a team with a common goal, they now find themselves on opposite sides with shifting goalposts. 

A Barren Heart is set in so-called modern India and is the story of the struggle of an affluent, educated couple who are still fighting the shackles of societal indoctrination and expectations and losing each other in the process.

Book Links:  Amazon * Goodreads


Read an Excerpt from A Barren Heart

“Aman.”

He powered off his kindle at the sound of her voice. He hadn’t yet made peace with the concession he’d made this morning, but he knew it was the only way forward for them. As a couple. As a family.

“Amannnnn,” she yelled out again. He couldn’t miss the excitement in her voice.

“I’m in here,” he called out. She appeared in the doorway of their guest bedroom a second later. Her hair was a mess, her clothes damp which meant she’d gotten caught in the sudden downpour that had hit earlier that evening and she looked…incandescent. His heart throbbed, the hurt a silent reminder of how much he loved this woman.

“You are not going to believe what happened today.” She launched herself into his arms. He caught her, the motion more reflexive than anything else. Setting her back, he looked at her glowing face. “What happened?”

“Sakshi Garewal, my client from hell recommended me to a friend of hers.”

It lightened his heart a bit to see her so excited about something as normal as a new project. It had been a very long while since she’d found joy in the simple parts of their life. “Congratulations,” he said.

“Guess who it is,” she squeezed his hand.

“Someone famous?” he smiled, her happiness was contagious. “Bollywood or cricket?”

“Bollywood with a bang.” She flopped back on the bed her arms spread out like she wanted to hug the room. “Amyra Sareen.”

“You’re joking!” A low whistle escaped him. “That is the big time.”

“Yes, it is.” She pumped a fist in the air. “I’m going to be designing Amyra Sareen’s apartment. I’ve finally broken into the big league.”

“Congratulations,” he said, again. He was so proud of her. She’d worked her butt off to get to this point.

“We should celebrate.” Rhea shot up from her prone position. “Get ready. We’re going out to dinner. My treat.”

She was halfway to the door when she slowed. “Why are you in the guest bedroom?”

It had taken so long to penetrate. Curiously numb, he watched her as she turned to face him, a frown marring the smooth lines of her brow.

“Aman?”

“I just needed a little space.” The numbness was turning icy now that he had finally said the words.

“Space?” she repeated. “Space from me?” Confusion warred with anxiety as she took a step forward. Aman didn’t answer.

“If this is about the appointment with the doctor, we don’t have to go.”

“We do,” he said, gently but firmly.

“Why? It’s obvious you don’t want to go and I won’t force you.”

No, she wouldn’t. Not overtly. She wouldn’t realise it, but it would fester and she’d resent him. And it would kill him to see her love for him turn into something else. To see her turn into a bitter, frustrated shell of the vibrant, joyful woman he loved.

“We’ll go because you want to.” He stood up from the bed and moved towards her. “Set it up for tomorrow. I have a flight to Dubai scheduled day after.”

“No.” She shook her head, tears standing in her eyes, her earlier excitement leaching away. “I don’t want it enough to lose you.”

“You’re not losing me,” he said, his chest feeling like someone had tightened a vice around it. “I just needed a little space to clear my head.” And he couldn’t do that surrounded by her and her emotions all the time.

“I haven’t left home or you, Rhea. I’m right here. Just in another room for a couple of days. I need to think and I can’t do that clearly if we’re in each other’s faces.”

A single tear slipped out, trailing down her cheek. He cradled her face gently and wiped it away with his thumb. “Go get ready. We have to go out to celebrate.”

“I don’t feel like it anymore.” Rhea pulled back, looking lost and confused. “I think I need to clear my head too. I’m going for a walk.” She left before he could say another word. He heard the front door shut a minute later.

Be careful what you ask for, people often said. As Aman stood alone in the silent, darkening room, he realized that he had all the space he’d asked for, but he wasn’t sure he wanted it anymore.

He wanted to call her back. To bring back the excitement, the happiness she’d come home with. He wanted their life to go back to what it had been before this whole baby story began. He wanted his wife back. The wife who’d radiated joy, whose ambition had driven her to reach for the stars, whose love for him had been his anchor.

But he didn’t know how to turn back time. He didn’t know how to recapture that shiny bubble they’d lived in. He didn’t know how to go back to where they’d been before this whole baby story had taken over their life. So, he took the space he’d asked for and used it to think. To figure out where they went from here, because they couldn’t go back to the past and the present was a ticking time bomb.

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:


Friday, 29 May 2020

BOOK RELEASE: SOLANGE an ebook by Linzé

Will she get the future she wants?

M/F/M Erotic vampire romance (18+ only)

  Solange knows that she is not like the average woman who frequents the bar of her two vampire lovers. When the vampire king's messenger stirs everything into a near disaster, she knew things were about to change forever.

  She knows that being human in a threesome that includes two deadly and powerful male vampires will take everything she has to keep them together. 


  Solange never lacked courage or intelligence, and demanding to see the king could result in something that she may not be prepared for: the enforcement of the centuries-old execution decision.

  The history behind the decision made her even more determined to prevent their relationship from being destroyed over a long-dead woman's mistake.


  Is her courage and commitment to this relationship enough to convince the king or is there another way to get what she wants?

Buy links

Smashwords     Apple Books    B&N    Kobo


Thursday, 28 May 2020

Art Journal 2020: The Stoic Virtues

I should probably have started my Stoic art journal entries with the four cardinal virtues, but for some reason I couldn't decide how I wanted to do them. But this week I did, and here they are: courage, justice, temperance, and wisdom.

As usual I also added a quote for each virtue from one of the stoic philosophers.

I kept the background plain, and made the decorations with stamps, and permanent markers. The numbers were done with a stencil and coloured with a Caran D'Ache Luminance black colour pencil. The background to the numbers were done with a stencil and ink.

art journal image of stoic virtues courage and justice, quote from Seneca, quote from Epictetus, artist Linzé Brandon

art journal image of stoic virtues temperance and wisdom, quote from Marcus Aurelius, quote from Epictetus, artist Linzé Brandon

Until the next entry from my stoicism series in my art journal, stay safe!
💜 Linzé

Book feature: ALONG CAME A SPYDER by Apeksha Rao

About the Book: 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 ...