I am so sorry for being just a bit late in sending this month’s letter out but there are *four* very good reasons why I disappeared down the writer’s hole. I’ll tell you super soon, promise!
(Scroll on down to avail the freebie goodies - a full-length novel and a very sweet short story.)
I reorganized my ENTIRE wardrobe listening to the Hamilton OST and singing at the top of my lungs, after watching the musical on Hotstar Disney+ at least four times in four days. If you haven’t done so already, PLEASE grab some popcorn and do so right now. It’s three hours of absolute magic.
To make up for my tardiness, I have a whole bunch of Writer Gal news and stuff. So, read on, okay?
The next book in the Knights of Justice series is called Warrior Knight and it comes out July 31! And it is up for pre-order right now for a throwaway price, peeps. This book has an INSANELY great villain (the only book in which I love the bad guy more than the good) so I hope you hit that pre-order button…or if you’re in India, ADD IT TO WISHLIST.
Warrior Knight Blurb
“Krivi?” Ziya asked, trying to even her tone. “You’re going to defuse that IED?”
“Yeah,” Krivi replied.
“Try and not blow us up to kingdom come, okay?”
Krivi Iyer retired from the spy business without bringing down his greatest enemy: The Woodpecker, a deadly terrorist whose specialty is bombs. His failure led to a personal tragedy that haunts Krivi, four years later.
So, when his old boss offers him an undercover assignment in Kashmir that might lead to catching The Woodpecker, Krivi comes out of retirement to take down his nemesis.
He doesn’t count on meeting Ziya Maarten, a woman suspected of having ties with The Woodpecker...
Or his unholy attraction to the strong, independent Ziya.
Srinagar’s Goonj Enterprises manager, Ziya Maarten cannot understand why she is attracted to her newest employee.
Krivi Iyer is tall, dark, and brooding but he shouldn’t make her pulse race…and he should definitely not know how to defuse bombs!
He does both.
Ziya comes to know of Krivi’s horrific past because it collides with a devastating tragedy in her present.
So, Ziya has to answer the toughest question of them all: How do you trust a man to avenge you when he knowingly broke your heart?
Warrior Knight releases July 31, 2020, and is the second book of the Knights of Justice series.
The Perfect Fake - Free on Amazon
So, I hope you take full advantage and buy it right now! :D And here’s a small excerpt and blurb to entice you.
“I could apologize but you don’t want it and it doesn’t matter because I…” He growled and ran a hand through his hair. “Look, I know you think I betrayed you and left you to the wolves. But I did what had to be done. I will always do what needs to be done.”
“To save yourself.”
“No.” he stepped closer and placed his hands on my arm. Exactly where he had clutched at me. My skin hurt at the slight contact under the sweatshirt I wore. “I did it to protect you. You are…nothing. You have no connections, no influence whatsoever. You wouldn’t have been able to survive what Jeeva and Vanshikha would have done to you.”
“I am not nothing,” I whispered, tears welling up in my eyes.
The Perfect Fake Blurb
Mistaken identity. Deliberate deception. Messy love triangle.
All my life, I have looked in the mirror and seen her face: Vanshikha Rohtak. India's youngest breakout supermodel...and that's where the resemblance ends.
She has glamour, wealth, fame...I am a lowly, overqualified small town office receptionist while my mother slogs night and day as a royal housekeeper. All I want is to escape my present. So, I run away to the bright lights of the big city...
And meet him. The rich anti-hero to my damsel in distress. My questionable fate.
Ved Pratap Singh. A hotshot bad boy photographer with a royal past as murky as mine. Electric blue eyes that shock me and turn me on. And an attitude that brings out the worst in me
Ved and I might be instant enemies me but he needs me to do the impossible. He needs me to work with him and pretend to be Vanshikha at an exotic photo shoot.
And then there is Jeeva. Strong. Decent. Rich! Except, he knows me as a beautiful lie.
So, I find myself in the middle of a steamy but messy love triangle that will only have one end: destruction. Because a lie never stays hidden forever...
In the end, I have to ask myself: Should I choose the man who sees me for the woman I want to be or the man who turned me into The Perfect Fake?
A FREE SHORT STORY - It Happened On The Elevator
Appeared as a Mills and Boon Short Story in 2013
Being in PR meant being a liar ninety percent of the time, Celina McQueen, fondly called the Blonde Dynamo, realized furiously, as she raced up the lobby of the Paradise Beach Resort in sunny Barbados. She had a hundred things to do, all of which were inputted in her BlackBerry and needed her immediate attention. The blasted thing beeped again, as she arrived at the elevator banks, only to find the doors closing on her face.
“Wait,” she yelled as she frantically checked the new text from her boss, who was seeing this event as a sort of trial by fire for her.
Where are u?
She growled in frustration. “Where do you think I am, you clod? Sipping mai tais and enjoying my vacation?” But she typed in an appropriate response.
Being in PR really meant you were a liar, she thought in resignation. Even if right now it meant that she was in the middle of organizing and managing the largest concert the island had ever seen. Ryker Rathborne was the biggest rockstar to be born in the new millennium and he was all of eighteen years old. And hordes of teenage girls plus their families had made sure that the resort and its accompanying places of accommodation were booked solid for the last one month.
The stopwatch on her phone blinked the time to be T-minus three hours. Butterflies rampaged Celina’s stomach as she jabbed the elevator viciously.
“Come on. Come on.”
“You could be sued for property damage if you hurt the thing anymore,” a deep, male voice said behind her
Celina’s eyes widened and she turned to look at the person who’d spoken to her in that lazy, amused, assured tone. Expressive blue eyes met jet-black ones and Celina’s breath hitched for a single second before things came back into focus. The speaker was the very definition of tall, powerful and handsome, but then again, men who owned record companies, talent management agencies and resort hotels were often powerful.
Especially if they were men who owned the company where she worked and were named Trey Fitzgerald. In whose case, genetics had added the tall and handsome. All of which was superbly outfitted in his deep-grey suit, muted maroon tie and polished wing tips. Even his ebony hair gleamed in the lights of the elevator bank.
“Hey, Ceecee,” he said, with the ease of familiarity that childhood afforded him. He was also, her much older brother’s best friend. A relationship that grated on her no end, because it smacked of nepotism, however vaguely.
“Hello, Mr. Fitzgerald,” she said. “I didn’t know you were coming.”
He pushed the down button once, and in the process loomed over her, cutting off the world behind him and Celina fought the urge to blink. “I do own Ryker’s ass, you know. And this hotel. Just thought I’d drop by and check on my investments.”
She smiled politely and said, “As you can see everything is well under control for the concert, sir.”
The elevator doors dinged open and she almost jumped at the sound. He had powerful eyes, Trey did. And he used them ruthlessly; she had cause to remember that. She upped her smile to super-polite and said, “Well, I better get going, sir. Esme needs me to get three dozen items for Ryker and his entourage.”
“Esme?” he asked, as he solicitously placed a hand at the small of her back, to ostensibly guide her into the elevator. Celina felt the touch from his hot hands emanate through her body, tingling all her nerves into awareness. There had to be a statute of limitations on schoolgirl crushes, she thought desperately.
“Esme Rogers? The Public Relations VP for Starz,” she said, naming her employer. “I am her assistant now.”
His brow crinkled sexily as he tried to place the name, and she had to resist the urge to trace his nose, like she’d done as a kid. A horde of teenagers with their bubbly, nerve-racking chatter got in, squealing and shrieking, all sporting Ryker Night t-shirts and glow in the dark beads.
They also pushed Trey against Celina. Who caught her reflexively around the waist, so he wouldn’t fall, and brought them flush against each other.
“Oh, my God. I heard that he is going to take his shirt off in the opening act,” a girl said. The other girls screamed, “Oh my GOD!”
Celina barely heard their screaming and shrieking, because all the blood was rushing into her ears and making her heart pound deafeningly. She was holding his chest in support, but it was such an intimate gesture that her pulse kicked up anyway. The chest in question was sculpted and muscled, and not just from gymming. Joe, her brother and Trey still played rugby together whenever they could.
She was also caught up in looking up at him, way up at him, since he was six-one and she was five-three in flats, which made running around much easier. Her brain was muddled, because she thought she could see desire in his devil-black eyes, and that just couldn’t be. His long legs caged her in, and his hands tightened on her waist in the instant that the doors dinged open again and the girls poured out. Still chanting Ryker’s name.
He let her go the minute there was moving space, and she resisted the urge to swallow.
“Thank you,” she said, and cursed her voice for sounding huskier than it should have.
“No problem,” he said, before jabbing a button on the panel. The doors whirred open again at the next floor and he got out. Celina slumped against the walls behind her, when he poked his head in and said, “Good luck, tonight, CeeCee. I guess I’ll see you at the after-party.” Then he smiled, dark and handsome. “Can’t wait to catch up with you. It’s been years, hasn’t it?”
She smiled weakly, and waited for the doors to close.
Ten years and counting, to be very precise. And it was terrible that all those insecure, inadequate, schoolgirl feelings came back to haunt her even after ten long years and one rejection that he’d conveniently forgotten. Her cell phone beeped again, and she went back to attending her boss’s requests with relief.
Being in PR might mean you were a liar, but it was better than being in serious attraction with the ultimate boss.
Six hours later, at around one am, when the sounds of Ryker’s concert could still be heard resounding in the resort amphitheatre, Celina once again raced into the now-deserted lobby in search of the elevators. This time, she was dressed in beach shorts and a blue tank top with a white shirt, her blonde hair flowing freely down her back, her VIP pass dangling around her neck. She wasn’t classically beautiful but her electric blue eyes more than made up for it.
She also carried about thirty Ryker’s Night goody bags stacked up to her chin.
They were all for the press who had been invited to the after-party that Trey had mentioned, and to which she wasn’t really invited. She was roped in instead to work it. Starting with getting the goody bags set up.
She tried to find the down button, but because her hands were occupied, ended up jabbing at the marble panel.
“Ow,” she yelped. “Arggh, I hate you.”
“If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you had a personal hatred for this elevator,” Trey said, materializing by her side.
Celina mentally groaned and hefted her bags again. Her arms full to overflowing. “Could you please hit the button, Mr. Fitzgerald?”
“Sure, Ms. McQueen,” he said, and snaked one long, perfectly buffed hand around her waist to the button. She could feel his warm breath all around her, since he stood oh-so-close to her. Invading all her personal space, making it difficult for her to focus.
What game was he playing? And why had he picked her to play it with?
The elevator opened and she stepped in quickly before he could do the solicitous touching her lower-back thing again. She turned around, and bumped solidly into him, since he’d followed her quickly too. Had he always been this menacing and sexy, or was her sleep-deprived brain playing tricks on her?
“Seventeen please,” she said, as she backed up speedily until she felt solid wall behind her.
He hit the appropriate button and the doors closed, before he turned to her with hands folded across his chest, making her aware of the thin cotton of his black shirt and the perfect fit of his jeans. She dropped her eyes back to the goody bag and looked at Ryker’s boyish image on the complimentary CD.
“If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were scared of me,” he said, as he leaned against the doors and regarded her in the very small, ever-shrinking space. Muzak played Ryker softly, as the cage began its ascent.
“And if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were stalking me, Mr. Fitzgerald,” she countered. Reaching the end of her tenuous patience; wanting him out of the lift, out of her life as soon as possible. Morning couldn’t come soon enough, and there was still this dratted party to get over with.
“Well if I am stalking you, the least we can do is be on first-names, CeeCee,” he said.
She looked at him, and caught the smirk in his eyes, the arrogance in his posture and really wanted to take him down a peg. Just this once.
“My name is Celina. Celina McQueen, soon-to-be Yardley.”
His eyes narrowed and he imperceptibly straightened, alertness radiating from him just that quickly.
Celina cursed herself for falling into his stupid game, because she hadn’t told Joe, her brother and now there was no way he wouldn’t come to know.
“Yardley?” he enquired.
She nodded. “Yes, Nick’s asked me to marry him and I said I’d think about it.” Nick Yardley was a Vice President too at Starz, and Trey’s cousin to boot. A much-younger cousin, at twenty-six. He was older than Celina only by a couple months.
“I didn’t know you two were dating much less engaged,” he mused.
“Well,” she said defiantly. “We are. And we are.”
“And when did this happy occasion occur?”
“The day before I left for Barbados. Three days ago,” she admitted.
“Funny, I don’t see a rock on that pretty finger of yours, Celina,” he said.
And to her hyper-aware ears, it sounded more threat than observation. She shifted the bags a fraction of an inch so, she could peer up at him and shrugged.
The action threatened to slide the whole mountain down, but she caught it all. And so didn’t hear him come closer, looming over her again, until it was too late. She gripped the bags tighter to her chest, and swallowed.
“There wasn’t time to get one,” she said, her eyes wide, and apprehensive.
Trey in hunter mode was formidable, and for some reason he was hunting her right now. His scent, soap-water and cologne, making her dizzy and wanting. And his very presence threatening to wipe out ten years of common sense and cynicism away.
“And your fiancé left you all alone to come all the way from Australia to the other side of the world, hours after you got engaged?”
He steadied the bags on her, and his hand slid down to her hip. She couldn’t move, because that would put him in closer contact with her.
“Like I said, it was a very impromptu thing. And I haven’t said yes, yet.” God, why did her voice go all low-pitched?
“Too bad,” he said.
“Because if I’d asked you to marry me, I’d have put a ring on it.” He smiled, wicked lights dancing in his black eyes. The butterflies in her stomach turned into rampaging rhinos.
“Grow up, Trey,” she said.
“I’m grown up,” he said. He caught her hips in his hands, jerked her closer to him, squashing all those bags between the both of them. “And so are you, Ceecee,” he said softly.
Celina knew she should step away from him but she was breathless. Her eyes were wide, and her heart thudded.
Trey leaned down. “You know Joe said he’d kick me in the nuts if I asked you out back then?”
Celina shook her head. “And that stopped you…the most popular guy in the neightborhood?”
His mouth quirked up and her heart thudded even more. “Not exactly,” he said. “Mostly it was you.”
Her eyes narrowed in indignation. “Me?”
“You…and what you did to my head.”
Celina licked her lips as all the air in the elevator seemed to be sucked out of it so she felt lightheaded. Was her childhood crush really about to kiss her?
“What did I do to your head?”
Trey leaned in, even close. So their breaths mingled and their lips were seconds from each other. “You made me lose my head.” He brushed his lips against hers. “And I always love it.”
Then Trey Fitzgerald really kissed her.
A SHORT AND SWEET END
I hope you enjoyed the freebies and do let me know if you read them? I’ll be back super soon with Knights freebies over the coming weeks and SOME EXTREMELY juicy books news.
Till then be brave, be awesome, be you!