Are you ready for CLAIM's cover...?

And I'm so grateful for this moment and you!

Mahalo,

I’m writing this edition of The Writer Gal Letter listening to the trippiest Drake-est song ever! It’s called Daddy Issues by The Neighborhood and I stumbled on it by absolute serendipitous luck on Youtube, when I was scrolling one night back in late May! The version I saw featured Lena Del Ray (I KNOW coincidence or what) but when I listened to the OG version on Spotify, the first scene from CLAIM erupted in my head, fully-formed.

Trippy, right?

I have been thinking a lot about how living our best life happens so gradually, without you realizing it - so that one day, you wake up when the alarm rings, with a smile on your face. Knowing the work you do matters to the life you’ve fought so hard to build and it all makes sense. Finally!

If I am being honest, this has happened to me a lot over the last few weeks and it was a little hard to process because I’m so used to living in chaos and destruction that this gentle peace seems…shiny and not-mine.

But, I am so grateful to you, Postmate for making it happen for me. By supporting my stories in all the many little and big ways you have.

So, in gratitude and celebration, I spent the whole of last week cooking and eating all the things. We had homemade pizza, pasta marinara, a deliciously nutritious potato, leek, parsley, and celery soup, and an even more delicious pasta salad!

I tell you, I am so READY to not think about cooking and home chores for a few days when I dive into editing and polishing CLAIM for you, Postmate.


CLAIM - COVER REVEAL

I have been LEGIT dying to share the cover for this book baby, mostly because Merril, Deb, and I spent a lot of hours trying to get it just right. Now that we have the branding for Aarti V Raman nailed just so, we knew how important it was to get the first cover of the new series absolutely right.

I hope, I SINCERELY hope, I’ve done justice to our beloved billionaire’s story.

So…without further ado, here is the bodacious cover for Billionaire Bastards Book 1!

And here’s the working blurb:

A temporary wife. His permanent downfall?

Billionaire investor Drake Fallahil needs a wife in three weeks.

Or he stands to lose everything. Every. Thing.

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 when the arrangement ends.

Penniless MBA student Anya doesn’t have a choice but to agree to the intractable billionaire’s proposal.

She doesn’t know what’s worse. Being bound to Drake or wanting him beyond bearing. All she knows is, this is not a match made in heaven.

So Anya does the only thing she can. She denies him... And she defies him.

It sets off a war of wills between these two wary hearts that explodes into a passion neither saw coming.

Between steamy nights and heady days, this marriage of convenience turns out to be the best bargain Drake ever struck.

But feisty Anya has secrets Drake can only guess at. And Drake's dark past is about to rise up and destroy everything he's built.

What's worse? The more he gets to know his brilliant bride, the more claim she has on his monstrous heart.

And that is the worst sin of all. Isn't it?


A Drake and Dan Excerpt!

So, now that I’m sitting down to edit this bad boy (in more ways than one :P) I did a count of all the future and past characters that make an appearance in CLAIM and it’s pretty much in the double digits! :D

You’ll forgive me for writing a 99K-word book juggling ALL of these characters, DrakexAnya angst, and all the sexy steamy times your Kindle can handle.

One hero in particular, beloved by you all, makes an unexpected appearance. And yes…I can now confidently say that he is a Bastard Billionaire with his own book coming out in the BB lineup. :)

Postmate, here’s Daniel Houston.

Drake carefully avoided thinking at all, keeping up a mental chatter that consisted of future to-dos and ticking off past achievements. It worked, really well even, when he wore his robe and padded barefoot to the space in the living room he’d commandeered as his office.

His watch – the one designed with the same OS that Bharat Shrinivasan had used to build his unhackable phone – beeped a message out.

7 am. Dan Houston, office complex consult.

He looked at his robe, then at the time. His stomach growled and he opted to feed his belly over looking presentable.

Drake wandered to the kitchen, just as his tablet signaled an incoming video call.

He thumbed it to answer and the architect’s affably handsome face filled the screen. He too had dark blonde hair and blue eyes, but that was where the resemblance ended. Because Dan was all lightness and charm, it practically oozed out of him through the screen.

“Hello, Fallahil, you look positively chipper this fine morning.” Dan was also English. Pleasantly, faultlessly English. With the posh upper-crust accent, pedigreed ancestry, and impeccable manners to go with it.

“Yeah, I had too much to drink last night, Houston. So fuck off.” Drake pronounced Houston the way Dan had asked him to – as Howston instead of Hueston. It was a weird family thing, he’d proclaimed when Drake had asked him about it.

“Since when do you drink too much?” Dan asked cheerily, sipping at his steaming mug of tea, like the Englishman he was.

Drake stopped dead as he saw the remains of the dinner…The neatly covered white dishes standing like accusing soldiers, as proof of his perfidy.

“Drake…Drake, man,” Dan whistled shrilly. “Are you even listening to me? You looked horror-struck,” he said bluntly.

Drake reined his wandering mind back to the conversation. To business. To what really was safe. “Sorry, man.” He attempted a weak smile. “I’m famished. Can you give me a second while I grab something to eat?”

Dan settled back in his chair, an incredible view of Sydney Harbor highlighted behind him. Australia was two hours ahead, so Dan was dressed for business. In a sharp suit with clean lines and a precisely knotted tie. Drake wouldn’t be surprised if the man even wore suspenders.

Drake swiftly stacked an empty plate with a cold steak, ladled the sauce liberally over it, and scooped two helpings of the potatoes and greens. 

He sat down at the table, placing the tab before him, raised his knife and fork to Dan. “You don’t mind, do you?”

Dan shook his head. “Go ahead. You look like you need it.”


Writer Gal Recommends

It’s been a lazy couple weeks with A LOT OF brainstorming and plotting and thinking of ways to elevate Drake and Anya’s angsty marriage of convenience romance so it straight up rips your heart out. :P

But I’ve actually been watching a ton of fun stuff.

  • Mythic Quest - this ABSOLUTELY brilliant and touching workplace comedy set in the neurotic, nerdy world of online games. Think The Office x Parks and Recreation with a little bit of Mismatched thrown in. MQ did the best quarantine episode I have seen EVER. Like EVER. On a side note; I might-might not be working on a bickering gaming couple for a super cool but secret project for now :d

  • Paddington 1 & 2 - I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Paddington movies. Actually, we all do. So we, Mom, Booboo, and I watch the movies every so often. They are feel-good, emotional and just the perfect antidote to hard and stressful times. I highly recommend watching them when you need an instant mood-changer.

  • I am contemplating re-reading my beloved Percy Jackson series for some reason. Maybe because they comfort me with their depiction of Good triumphing over evil. No?

  • I’m also following and reading about the Olympics on Quartz through their newsletter. I adored the Opening Ceremony which ended with Naomi Osaka lighting the Olympic Cauldron! I hope she wins gold.


Writer Gal’s Writer Pals Present

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This is all I have for you in this edition of The Writer Gal Letter, Postmate. I’ll see you with more Drake and other book related news soon!

Till then, stay safe and awesome.

Xx

Aarti