Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Book Blitz: PRESS RESTART by Sundari Venkatraman

     



Publisher: Flaming Sun (Indie published)
Publication Date: April 18, 2024
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Genre: Contemporary Romance

STORY-IN-BRIEF

Pritesh Lohia is unhappily married to the wicked Divya. It has been five years and there’s no love lost between the two. He is completely focused on his career as the youngest partner in an investment banking company. While he’s super successful financially, his personal life is in shambles.

Working as Pritesh’s executive assistant, Mahika Rajput falls head over heels in love with him at first sight, unaware that he’s a married man. Does her love disappear when she knows he's tied to someone else? The heart seems to understand no logic. 

Pritesh gets to know something about his wife, information which jerks him out of his laid-back attitude to his failing marriage. It also awakens him to the young and beautiful Mahika who not only makes his work life smooth, but just plain adores him. 

Their professional lives begin to get more complicated when Pritesh and Mahika make major changes in their personal ones. 

Will things be the same ever? Or is Pressing the Restart button the answer?





Sundari Venkatraman is an Indie Author who has 69 books to her credit, the latest book being PRESS RESTART, which is a standalone novel. These books have consistently featured in the Top 100 Bestseller Lists on Amazon India, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada and Amazon Australia in both romance as well as Asian Drama categories. Her latest hot romances have all been on #1 Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month.

These days, the author is independently publishing her novels in paperback format under her banner Flaming Sun, printed and distributed by Notion Press. 

Even as a child, Sundari absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome and she grew up on a steady diet of fairy tales, Phantom comics and Mandrake comics. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy ending after the protagonists surmounted all unexpected obstacles.

Once she entered her teens, Sundari switched her loyalties from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to local heroes and heroines. And of course, the joy of vanquishing the ubiquitous evil villains! Her imagination soared and she happily ensconced herself in a rosy romantic cocoon for many years.

Then came the writing—a true bolt from the blue! And Sundari Venkatraman has never looked back.


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Tuesday, April 30, 2024

A to Z April Challenge 2024: Z for ZANY PRAMOD MISHRA

Image courtesy: https://www.freepik.com/

ZANY means Silly, Whacky or Ridiculous. Believe me, the character Pramod Mishra from my book GROOMNAPPED is all three of these, and more. 

The first book in The Groom Series is available on Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited. 

Some passages from my book to let you know more about the man who’s my heroine’s colleague and is keen to marry her. Yes, you read that correctly. He is not in love with her, but wants her to be his wife.

Excerpt 1

Pramod Mishra’s hair was well-oiled with sarson ka tel that could be smelled from a mile away. Parted in a straight line exactly in the middle, as if he used a ruler to mark the parting, Mishra had combed his hair ruthlessly on both sides of his skull. Though thick, his hair tended to cling to his scalp because of the amount of mustard oil that he used every day to slick it into position. With thick and black round frames for his glasses, he looked like an owl as he peered at those around him. His face was shaved to an inch of its life and appeared as soft as a baby’s bottom, much to the women staff’s mirth. 

Mishra was probably in his late twenties but gave the appearance of one in his forties. Dressed in loose cotton pants and a looser short-sleeved kurta, a cloth bag hanging from his right shoulder all the way to his knee, he gave the impression of a complete nerd. Except for the lack of intelligence. 

His only saving grace was that Mishra could bring to life anything he drew and painted. The birds and animals appeared to breathe from the canvas after he had finished with them. 


Excerpt 2

“Hello Surekha, I was just telling Pratibha about visiting your home yesterday.”

Surekha gave Pramod a stern nod, her regular smile absent. 

Pramod Mishra, who all this long had never had the temerity to talk to her about his feelings, spoke now. “Did you and your family discuss things over?”

She scowled at him. “What things?”

“Er… regarding our marriage…” He stopped mid-sentence when he saw her raised hand.

“Didn’t you hear what my father said to your mother yesterday?” Surekha gave Mishra an angry look that just bounced off the man like water off a duck’s back. 

Mishra shrugged. “I understand that my mother’s demands must have seemed rather startling. You shouldn’t worry about them. Please reassure your parents too. I have told amma that she shouldn’t ask for everything, not all at one go. Just get the marriage over with ten tolas of gold. Your father can give the rest of it over the next two years.”    

Pratibha placed a supporting hand over Surekha’s shoulder, hoping to calm her down. Not that she was really surprised by her friend’s fuming temper. By now, Mishra must be aware of how poor Surekha and her family were. How dared he ask for so much dowry? Had he no shame? And wasn’t he aware of what a horrid personality he possessed? How in the name of hell did he think that he deserved so much in the name of dowry? All because he was a man?

“Mishraji, I don’t think you understand.” Pratibha spoke, unable to stop herself. “It’s not a question of paying you immediately or over the next few years. The dowry you are asking is simply too much. Surekha…”

Mishra stood up straighter, raising himself to his full height of 5’9”. “You don’t know what you’re talking about, Pratibha. After all, you’re a young girl yourself. Men like me demand way more than what my mother is asking Surekha’s father. I…”

Kabhi apni shakal dekhi hai aaine mein?” Surekha snarled. She didn’t care that she had stooped so low as to insult Mishra’s bad looks. How dare he? How dare he think that he had the right to demand so much from her father? That too with his stupid-looking face and mediocre lifestyle? 

Mishra saw red. “Just because the rich and handsome Ameya is spending time with you, don’t even imagine he’s going to make an honest woman out of you. If at all he weds you, his parents will demand five times as much dowry as my mother did. Tell your father to wake up soon and save enough to pay for your wedding, not to forget your two younger sisters. He seems so irresponsible, your father…” 

“Shut up, Mishra. Don’t you dare insult my father. Whether my sisters and I get married or not is none of your business. And let me tell you something. All this long, I was not too worried that my parents couldn’t afford to pay big dowries for us. But after yesterday, I am so glad that they can’t afford to pay you.  Otherwise, imagine my fate, being landed with you as my husband. Ugh!”

Monday, April 29, 2024

A to Z April Challenge 2024: Y for PRINCESS YASHODARA

 

Image courtesy: https://www.freepik.com/

Yashodara is the heroine of my story THE MARRIAGE PREDICAMENT. A contemporary princess from India, Yashodara is beautiful and intelligent, but with a inexplicable fear buried deep inside her. 

Her protests are not taken heed of when her marriage is arranged to Prince Indrajeet Thakore, by her mother and his grandmother.  

Something terrible happens on their wedding night, something which makes her husband, the Thakore prince, wake up to his wife’s fear. But will he be patient enough to get to the bottom of the crisis which pervades Yashodara’s very soul?

Read the first book in The Thakore Royals trilogy to know more. The Marriage Predicament is available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited and in Paperback. 

Story-in-Brief

Princess Yashodhara Jadeja of Bhatewar isn't at all keen to get married. With her tarnished past, she knows that her married life would never be easy. But, between her father's Will and her mother's persuasion, she's left with no choice.

Prince Indrajeet Thakore of Udaipur agrees to meet Yashodhara as a prospective wife after his grandmother, Rajmata Santhini Devi, persuades him. While no cymbals crash at their first meeting, the couple grow to like and respect one another before they agree to tie the knot.

Both belong to royal families and both have responsibilities. Over and above all that, their marriage is plagued by a predicament, just as Yashodhara had expected. It looks like they can lead a happy married life only if the princess is willing to break a promise. Will she be able to do that? And will Prince Indrajeet continue to love her once he gets to know about her past?

Saturday, April 27, 2024

A to Z April Challenge 2024: X for XENIAL MAHESHWARIS

 

XENIAL means warm, welcoming, and hospitable, which is what the MAHESHWARIS are.

The Maheshwari family is from Rajasthan. I introduced them to my in THE RUNAWAY BRIDEGROOM, the first book in the Marriages Made in India series. And till today, the Maheshwaris remain the favourite of many of my readers. 

At that point, Mohan and Meera Maheshwari, parents of five children, were arranging the child marriage of their eight-year-old daughter, Chanda. They are farmers from a small village in interior Rajasthan and didn’t know better. 

Mohan Maheshwari wakes up to the horror of his little daughter left alone by her teenage bridegroom when the boy runs away. But the head of the Maheshwaris is unfazed. He decides to shift his family of four sons and one daughter, and settles in Jaipur along with his wife.

He watches and learns from the people around him, insisting on educating all his children. An affectionate father in the guise of a strict one, he has no expectations from his children. It doesn’t matter to Papa Maheshwari that none of his sons want to join the grocery business he has set up in Jaipur. 


The eldest Ram Maheshwari (THE SMITTEN HUSBAND) designs gold jewellery and sets up his own retail shop. Lakshman Maheshwari (HER SECRET HUSBAND) is in the bakery business. Bharat Maheshwari (THE CASANOVA’S WIFE) is a fashion model. The youngest Shatrughan Maheshwari (HER BOHEMIAN HUSBAND) is a globe trotter for life. 


There is a bonus book in this series, with a couple of Maheshwaris playing in the sidelines. It is called HIS DRUNKEN WIFE, and are about characters I introduced in the first book.



Friday, April 26, 2024

A to Z April Challenge 2024: W for WRITTEN IN THE STARS

 

From the time I was a teenager, I have been fascinated with star signs which supposedly rule us. While the western world is divided by twelve stars, the Indian world is a bit different, with twenty-seven of those.

That said, I thought a combo of two star signs per romance novel, one for each protagonist, was perfect for a series of six novels, and that is how my romance series WRITTEN IN THE STARS was born.
 
Most importantly, I need to mention Linda Goodman, and her book LOVE SIGNS. I keep reading this book on and off, and continue to find hidden gems in the characteristics of the various star signs. 

The titles of the first three books are based on the hero’s star sign, and the next three on the heroine’s star sign.

 
Books in the series

SCORPIO SUPERSTAR is the story of Chandrakanth, a Scorpio who is the superstar of the South Indian film industry. His love interest is Ranjini, his social media manager, who is a Pisces.

LEO’S DESIRE is about industrialist Nishaan Ahuja, a pushy Leo with a powerful roar. He falls in love with Chaahat, an Aries fashion model who is as stubborn as they come. Chaahat in Hindi means Desire. Now you know how the title was born.
 
TAURUS TEMPTATION is the story of Vidyut Kamat, a Taurus who leaves his cushy job to set up a coffee shop, resulting in his fiancĂ©e dumping him. But it’s Cancerian Haasini, a blogger, who is all encouragement, making him a perfect life partner.

VIRGO’S KRUSH is about Sanjana and Krish. Sparks fly the moment they meet and a child is born. The meticulous Capricorn wants to marry his child’s mother, but the Virgo doesn’t want to marry without love. I coined the word KRUSH, combining Krish and Crush. 

LIBRA’S FLAME is the story of successful business woman Dipika. The Libra is attracted to Mudit, a Gemini, who returns her feelings in full. While the stars match well, his family don’t agree.

AQUARIUS REBEL is about Shreya and Chirag. Attraction flares between the Aquarius woman and Sagittarius man from the beginning. But that doesn’t mean they want to tie the knot. Will Chirag be too late to stop Shreya marrying someone else? 

You can stalk her @
      

Thursday, April 25, 2024

A to Z April Challenge 2024: V for PRINCE VIKRAMASIMHA

 

Image Courtesy: https://www.freepik.com/

THE BANISHED PRINCE is my latest historical romance novel published in January 2024. Vikramasimha is the prince who is banished from the kingdom by his own father, the king.
 
By the time he goes to the rescue of Princess Sarvani who is fleeing from a most unsuitable marriage, Vikrama has become a soldier of fortune. 

While Vikramasimha and Sarvani get closer, the princess isn’t sure if she could trust a warrior whose services are available to the highest bidder. 

Is the banished prince as bad as he seems? Will Sarvani be able to trust the man she’s fallen in love with?

Read the story on Kindle. It’s also free on Kindle Unlimited.

An Excerpt

There was no expression on the accused prince’s face which appeared stony. But that did not take away from his handsomeness. His broad forehead was softened by the unruly curls of hair which fell on it, how much ever the prince tried to keep them in place, while long strands of hair fell to his massive shoulders. His thick and dark eyebrows arched over large, deep-set eyes which were a dark brown tending towards black, surrounded by eyelashes which would have appeared feminine on any other man. As for his cheeks, they were sharp and clean shaven, a thick and luxurious moustache on his upper lip, which was brushed back to curl upwards, underscoring his masculinity. His nose was perfectly centred and was as prominent and sharp as those of the flock of golden eagles Vikramasimha used for hunting. As for his mouth, while it appeared grim right now, the shape and thickness of his lips suggested to a passion for life and enjoyment which was inherent in him. His chin was strong and determined, except for the cleft right in the middle which added a touch of unexpected softness.

At two and twenty, Vikramasimha had seen his share of battles at his father’s and brother’s sides and had many scars to prove it, the most prominent being the one on the inside of his left forearm, from his inner elbow all the way to his thick, manly wrist. 

What truly fascinated everyone was the devil-may-care expression on the prince’s face, as if he was not being accused of a heinous crime, and that too, by no one less than the chief minister himself.


Story-in-Brief

Prince Vikramasimha might be considered a rogue by some, but even then, the people of the kingdom of Kaushambi are shocked when the king, his father, banishes the younger prince from the kingdom, after he is declared guilty of committing a heinous crime.

Princess Sarvani is heartbroken when her father, the king of Rajagriha, dies suddenly. She runs away from the palace to escape an unwanted marriage with her stepbrother, Charukesi, who wants to ascend the throne as the next king.

The prince saves the princess’s life when she is shot by a poisonous arrow, not divulging his identity. The two are attracted to each other, and grow close.

But how can Sarvani trust Vikrama, the warrior, when she finds out he is a soldier of fortune? Especially considering that she has not a single coin to offer him, while her stepmother has her kingdom’s coffers in her control?

Is Sarvani safe from the mercenary she has fallen in love with?

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A to Z April Challenge 2024: U for UNABASHED DAYANITA

 

The Oxford Dictionary meaning for an UNABASHED person is someone who is not embarrassed, disconcerted, or ashamed regarding anything. This adjective perfectly fits Princess Dayanita Thakore, the heroine of my novel THE WOOING OF THE SHREW.

Unabashed Dayanita, who belongs to the Thakore contemporary royal family, is thoroughly spoilt by her grandmother. The youngest of three siblings (the other two being her brothers Indrajeet and Rajvardhan), Dayanita is totally rude and a tantrum-throwing queen. And there’s just about no one who can handle her.
 
On the verge of wasting her life away, chasing a man who finds her juvenile, she’s saved by her brother from embarrassing herself deeply. 

Falling in love with the Unabashed Dayanita, it is Prince Harshvardhan Singh Gaekwad who takes upon himself the task of THE WOOING OF THE SHREW. This Contemporary Royal Romance novel is available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited and in Paperback.

 
Story-in-Brief

Dayanita Thakore is a prickly princess who doesn’t care for the idea of any man getting close to her… until Prince Harshvardhan Singh Gaekwad turns up in her life.

Sparks fly even at their first meeting when the Princess of Udaipur clashes with the Prince of Baroda.

He falls in love with the fiery princess while she fights her attraction to him tooth and nail.

He woos her, beguiles her, cherishes her…

…while the princess feels that maybe he couldn’t love such a tempestuous woman such as herself.

But before they could cross the great divide and get to know each other, something happens, something terrible that might just blow their lives apart.

Do they have a chance at a happily ever after?