Thursday, May 21, 2015

'EEK! I'm a Woman' by Dee Dawning


BLURB:

Match making angel, Madame Suriano and her feisty, freshly winged, sidekick get into some mischief in this, Suriano's latest caper. After the associate transforms the bodies of Brad and Ginger, our hero and heroine, following a night of passionate lovemaking, they kick some serious ass and then go on to… Nuh-uh, you know I can't tell you that.


Buy links


BIO

If you like warmth, live in Arizona like Dee Dawning does. If you like to read hot sexy stories born and raised in the sweltering summer heat of Arizona, check out his scribblings. Dee has been writing saucy romance stories and novels for seven years. At this time he has over forty titles available. Dee and his lovely wife currently reside in Cave Creek Arizona, where he writes a novella every three-to-four months and a novel every eight months.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Read Chapter 5 of 'Only Wheat Not White (Love Beyond Borders)' by Varsha Dixit


Blurb:

What if the one you completely love is the one you simply can't!

Twenty-six-year-old Eila Sood moves to America to mend fences with her estranged older sister, Sheela. Eila and the rest of the family in India had cut off ties with Sheela after she married Steve Jacobs, 'out of caste, and out of color'.

Elia soon realizes that Sheela's marriage is on the rocks. To help pay Sheela's household bills, Eila takes a second job at an afternoon strip club. When she crosses paths with the owner, the handsome Brett Wright or 'blue-eyed ogre' as Elia calls him, he both infuriates and fascinates her. Brett turns out to be her reluctant and unquestionably sarcastic knight in shining armor.

As Eila and Brett spend more time together their desire for each other builds. However, when Brett discovers the true reason for Eila's refusal he storms out of her life, accusing her of being a prejudiced coward.

Will Eila find the courage to break stereotypes and embrace her love? Will Brett find solace in the arms of his ex-girlfriend Cate?

Will Sheela and Steve divorce? All of these questions and more are answered in best selling author Varsha Dixit's latest, steamy love story.

Read Chapter 5

Chapter 5: Brown Paper Bag
“Sorry!” Sheela murmured sheepishly.
Next Sheela anointed Eila’s forehead with the turmeric and red powder. “Enough, Di!” Eila feebly attempted to ward off the rice Sheela showered on her. Aryan and Adam gawked from behind Sheela’s legs. Eila noticed that Steve had gone back to the SUV.
Eila quickly stepped inside the house. Di’s house! A warm feeling swelled in Eila’s chest. Steve’s house too! That little reminder stirred some coolness into the warmth.
Sheela gestured at Eila to move past the foyer. Eila did and ended up getting tangled in a net apparition complete with bells and beads.
“What the...” Irked, Eila disentangled her body from the multiple strings that hung as a curtain partition between the living room and foyer. “From the Indian stores at Oak Tree, New Jersey.” Sheela informed as Eila yanked the last of the blue shiny beads clinging to her hair.
They were now in a small living room, sporting elegant beige furniture. Eila walked through the living room that gave way to a larger area with the kitchen on one side and a family room on the other. Glass doors at the end of the family room led to the backyard. Eila caught glimpses of well trimmed grass and flower beds. Between the living room and kitchen area was a staircase that led to the second floor. The downstairs rooms were painted in warm colors of robin’s egg blue and pastel green. Black and white portraits of the boys were artistically arranged on the walls. Eila saw no other family in the pictures, not even one of Sheela and Steve.
“Very nice, Di,” Eila complimented.
“Thanks!” Sheela beamed.
Running footsteps heralded the arrival of the boys.
“Aryan, please take off your shoes and help Adam take off his!”
Sheela shepherded the boys to a closet behind the stairs.
Eila saw Steve enter with her bags. He too had a problem with the
string curtains between the foyer and living room. Eila moved to help him but he shrugged her away. “I got it.” Dragging the bags, he took the stairs. Eila wanted to follow him but then decided to wait for Sheela.
The sisters followed Steve. The staircase ended at a landing that had been set up like a home office. Opposite the landing was a corridor with several white doors on either side. Eila saw Steve disappear into the first door on the left.
Sheela led Eila into the same room. The room was small but quaintly done. It housed a wrought iron bed with a geometric bedspread in pastel pink and blue. The wooden floor was dark in color. A chest of drawers with a mirror stood in the corner. Once Eila’s bags occupied the floor, there wasn’t much space to move around.
Next to the bed was a small oval table on which sat a pretty and colorful Tiffany lamp. Instinctively, Eila knew it was no coincidence that the lamp had been set next to her bed. Their mother loved Tiffany style lamps and their house back in India was peppered with such lamps. She gave Sheela a warm smile.
“It’s not much.” Sheela appeared sheepish. Back home they were used to a lot more and Sheela remembered that.
“No worries. It’s perfect. Very cozy,” Eila countered moving to the side to make room for Steve.
He maneuvered his large frame out of the tiny room. Eila heard his heavy footsteps go down the stairs. She said hesitantly. “Silent kind, huh?” Sheela didn’t defend or accuse her husband. Her answer was a
peculiar deadpan smile. Eila found that smile and accompanying expression eerie.
The very next minute, Sheela changed the topic. “So how’s everyone at home?”
Eila’s sigh was one of suffering. “That’s the third time you’ve asked me. They’re fine. Everyone’s just become a little older, except for Tina. She’s stuck in a time warp, refusing to grow up!”
Sheela’s smile was sentimental. “You two are still at it? My memories of home seem to be all about mediating between you and Tina.” She parked her rump on the corner of the bed.
“Now we kind of mediate ourselves. By the way, the brat, Tina is now a super smart businesswoman adeptly handling the family business of textile import and export.”
“What are you saying? Wow! Tina is handling the business?”
Eila’s smile was smug. “Actually she doesn’t just handle the business; she runs it!”
Sheela nodded, impressed.

“And you, Di? How are you coping? Your life has changed drastically.”
Sheela avoided looking at Eila as she answered. “Things have been great. Very busy with the boys and all.”
Well, good for you! Ever missed your other family? The one that you were born into? Your two younger sisters? Remember them at all? With some effort Eila shut out her angry thoughts. Their sudden appearance surprised her. With a jerk, Eila moved to her suitcases. “Work for another day! Work for another day!” she chanted under her breath.
Sheela leaned forward. “What?”
Eila flashed an overtly bright smile. “Where do you work? That’s what I was asking.”
Sheela shifted on the bed. “Um, I don’t. I’m a stay-at-home mom.” To Eila’s ears Sheela’s small laugh at the end of the words sounded strained.
Slack jawed, Eila stared at her. She quickly recovered. Her eyes still held shock. “You, you don’t work? The ambitious, totally career driven libertarian of our family does not work? Why?”
Sheela’s smile was wry. “It got very hard with the kids. One of us had to be at home for them. As it is Steve works crazy long hours.”
Of course, he does. Eila persisted. “So you gave up your career?”
Sheela slid off the bed. “It’s just temporary. Aryan and Adam need me.” Her smile forced, Sheela changed the topic. “Let me show you the bathroom. Are you hungry?”
Eila shook her head. “No, not really. I’ll unpack first and take a shower. Then food.” She let Sheela change the topic. More subjects were finding their way into Eila’s work-for-another-day list.
“I can help you with the unpacking.” Sheela was already on her knees working the latch of one suitcase.
“Oh! Okay.” Eila joined Sheela on the floor. For nearly an hour they worked side by side making mundane conversation and stacking things in appropriate nooks and corners. Their parents were deliberately left out of the discussion. They were down to the last of Eila’s bags.
“What’s this?” Sheela’s hands stilled. Between Eila’s clothes she encountered a brown paper package.
“Mom sent a few things for Aryan and Adam,” Eila replied, sitting back on her haunches.
“She did?” Sheela whispered, awestruck. Her eyes shone as she delicately turned the package around in her hands. Then she brought it to her face and smelled it deeply. Caressing the brown paper, Sheela murmured, “You know, El, I wasn’t expecting anything, but I guess I was hoping. Thank you.” Sheela glanced up, her hazel eyes luminous. Staring straight into Eila’s eyes, she spoke softly. “Sometimes I feel like such an orphan.”
“You are not!” Eila’s voice was gruff.
Sheela’s smile was watery. Holding the package with one hand, she jerked to her feet. Keeping her face turned away, Sheela said, “The bathroom is the next door on your left. You’ll have to share it with the boys. Or you can use ours.”
“That’s fine, I’ll share with the boys.”
“Let me see what Aryan and Adam are up to.” Clinging to the package, Sheela made a quick getaway. “Come down when you’re done. We’ll eat then.”
It took all of fifteen minutes for Eila to put away the rest of her stuff and slide her empty suitcases under her bed. Grabbing a small towel, she tentatively entered the bathroom armed with a leather vanity pouch.
Gingerly, she stepped into the bathtub to take a shower in front of an audience. Yup! An audience all right! A large green frog with a fierce smile, an ogling orange fish and an assortment of rubber action figures holding an array of miniature arms. They were lined up neatly on all three sides of the tub and looked straight at Eila’s naked body. “Perverts!” She grinned and turned the faucet on.
As Eila made her way downstairs, she heard loud voices. She froze. Eila overheard Sheela ask out loudly, “Why did you make sandwiches for them? I had cooked dinner. All you had to do was warm it.”
Steve’s voice was low but caustic. “They did not want to eat that. They wanted something else. Anything else!”
“Really! You or them, Steve?” Sheela accused.
“Sure, me too. That food tastes awful.”
“Yes, it tastes awful because it’s not meatballs and spaghetti or ribs
dripping with sauce or some other awful fat-laden dish you are used to eating.”
“Don’t bring my mother into this,” Steve snapped.
“And Aryan and Adam’s mother is fair game?” Sheela was quick to retort.
Eila heard a thump and then Steve yelled. “You know what, I’m sick of this food. Just make it for yourself and your sister. The boys and I will eat something else.”
“As long as you are in this house, everyone will eat what I make.” Sheela sounded equally mad.
“Another reason for me not to be here,” Steve responded forcefully.
After a very long minute, while Eila held her breath, Sheela responded indifferently, “No one’s stopping you.” Eila heard Steve’s heavy steps coming in her direction; he was probably heading for the front door. Crap! Eila softly hotfooted it to the landing and crouched down behind the banister. Without breaking stride, Steve walked past the stairs.
Eila heard the front door slam and then a few minutes later a vehicle roared to life. She came down the stairs and headed to the kitchen. She found Sheela rinsing some dishes.
“Di?” Even to her ears Eila’s voiced sounded like that of a worried child.

Buy links

Author Bio:

"Varsha, a best selling author of four highly successful books, thinks of herself as a dreamer who thinks deep but writes light. A true 'feel good' junkie seeking quick fixes, Varsha loves a good laugh, good movie and a good book, in that order.A voracious reader of murder and grotesque mysteries, she did sit down to pen a book on serial killer but finding it impossible to maim or hurt anyone, even on paper, she penned a romantic story instead. Even though creativity is gender free,Varsha feels blessed and enriched to be a woman.Currently, with her family, Varsha resides in CA, USA."


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

'Bring Me Home (Home Is Where the Heat Is Book 1)' by Candi Wall


Bring Me Home

by Candi Wall 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Home is Where the Heat Is, Book 1

Miya Jackson always believed life had more to offer outside Dead End, Texas. So when circumstances turned her life upside down, she took her chance to break free. A few years—and some brutal doses of reality—later, her little sister’s wedding brings her back to the hometown she left behind.

The last place she expects is to end up is in the arms of the man she’s tried and failed to forget. One scalding, passionate night is all it takes to make her rethink her damn good reasons for leaving.

Shawn Dalton always hoped this day would come. Hell, he and Miya have a history, and any misunderstandings can be fixed if she’ll only stay in one spot long enough. Now that’s she’s back, he’s determined to make her see that she belongs in Dead End. With him.

Her obstinate nature is intact, but he can deal with that. It’s the cold, detached woman she’s become that worries him. Melting that wall—and reminding Miya of her roots—is going to take every hot, sinful moment he can wrangle.

Read an excerpt:
Years of holding him accountable withered under the desire drenching her veins. If she didn’t get ahold of her emotions, she was in trouble.

“Oh, please,” she muttered weakly. “Like you would have thought or believed anything different if the roles had been reversed.”

“I would have given you a chance to explain.”

“Spoken like someone who never had to deal with that kind of hurt.” She poked a finger against his chest. “I never would have let myself get in that situation. I would have known it wasn’t you. You don’t get to blame beer or Susan.”

“I blame myself.” He dragged a hand through his hair. “I wish I could change the past.”

“But you can’t.” At least that was the truth. “Neither can I. So let’s leave it be.”

That should have been the end of it.

“No. I can’t.” He lowered his head, his lips only a breath away. “You must have hated me.”

He was so close. It didn’t matter what the past threw at them. She wouldn’t stop him if he pressed closer… How could she when she wanted his kiss—and so much more? He’d always been her weakness.

“I think I still hate you,” she managed. She’d spent so much time trying to forget… How could his simple touch make her want what she’d left behind?

“No. There could never be hate between us.”

Buy links


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Candi Wall is probably the only person whose real name is more epic than any pseudonym she could have come up with – even as an author! She writes because the voices in her head have to come out somehow. Animal rescue-ess, mother of four, and soccer mom by day, she spends her free time writing – often on napkins at kids’ games because she never knows when a juicy story will reveal its delicious self. She once wrote a sex scene at a wrestling meet. Shhhhhh!

You can find her on:

Twitter - https://twitter.com/candiwall

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/candi.wall

CandiWallBooks.com


Candi will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host. Follow along for more chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

'Love, Laughter, and Steamy Ever Afters' by 10 Bestselling Authors

CORRECTED LLSEA Banner

It’s release day for Love Laughter and Steamy Ever Afters, an anthology from 10 of your favorite bestselling authors! Check out a couple of excerpts below, as well as a giveaway!


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Ten Novels by Ten New York Times Bestselling Authors

From the hot big city heroes that make us melt, to the sassy small town heroines that make us smile, this limited edition collection has something for everyone. Ten sexy and sweet full-length novels—a wide mix of fun, heart-tugging, addictively romantic love stories—each handpicked by an all-star gathering of ten of today’s most popular contemporary romance authors.

-- Ten NYT Bestselling Authors

-- Ten full-length, standalone novels (no cliffhangers) spanning 2,000+ pages

-- Over 97% off retail for the individual books sold separately (a forty dollar savings!) -- Only available until June (So snag your copy today)

THIS BOXED SET INCLUDES:

BELLA ANDRE – Can’t Help Falling in Love (The Sullivans)

MELISSA FOSTER – Seaside Dreams (Seaside Summers)

LAUREN BLAKELY – Trophy Husband (Caught Up in Love)

VIOLET DUKE – Love, Tussles, and Takedowns (Cactus Creek)

SAWYER BENNETT – On the Rocks (The Last Call)

CARLY PHILLIPS – Dare to Desire (Dare to Love)

ERIN NICHOLAS – Out of Bounds (Boys of Fall)

MELANIE SHAWN – Actually Love (Crossroads)

JESSIE EVANS – Diamonds and Dust (Lonesome Point Texas)

CRISTA MCHUGH – Falling for the Wingman (The Kelly Brothers)


Buy Links: 


Naked Muscular Man Covering with Box Isolated on White


Exclusive Excerpts:

CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE

by Bella Andre
Gabe Sullivan’s captain, Todd, stepped into the room.

“How’re you feeling, Gabe?”

“Good, Captain.”

He moved to sit up straighter on the bed and Todd shook his head. “You’re fine just like that. I know your skull must hurt like hell.” He nodded back to the doorway. “Are you ready to see Ms. Harris and her daughter, Summer?”

No, he thought, he’d be better off never seeing those eyes again.

He’d thought about Megan and her daughter one too many times for comfort. Not just because he was reviewing the rescue, trying to look for what he could have done differently, to have gotten them out faster and more safely—but because he hadn’t been able to forget her strength, how hard she’d fought to stay conscious, and what a fighter she’d been every single second of the harrowing journey from her burning apartment.

Still, he understood that fire victims often felt compelled to say thank you to the men who had saved them. Especially in a case like this, where they’d just barely held death at bay.

“Sure.” He began to nod, but a sharp shooting pain stopped him halfway into the movement.

Catching his grimace, Todd said, “I’ll ask Megan and her daughter to come back later.”

Her name fit her, Gabe had found himself thinking one too many times. Megan was pretty and strong all at the same time. It would be better to think of her as Ms. Harris. Although, he had to wonder, was there a husband? And if so, where had he been during the fire and why wasn’t he here with them now?

“No,” he said, “it’ll be better if I see them now.”

She’d say thank you, he’d tell her he was happy to see her and her daughter doing so well, and that would be that. No more being haunted by her eyes, by the surprising strength she’d shown him as she’d crawled on the floor of her apartment and down the stairs.

A couple of minutes later, Todd walked back in with the mother and daughter. Ignoring the pain in his head, Gabe sat up higher and forced a smile on his face.

And then, his eyes locked with Megan’s and his smile froze in place.

My God, he found himself thinking before he could shove the thought away, she’s beautiful.

The last time he’d seen her face it had been through a thick haze of dark smoke and the knowledge that one wrong move meant their lives were over. Her eyes were just as big and pretty, her limbs looked as lean and strong as they had when he’d been helping to move her along the floor, but now he could see the softness in her, the sweet curves of her breasts and hips in her T-shirt and jeans. He couldn’t stop staring at the startling green of her eyes, the silky dark hair falling across her shoulders, and the way her pretty young daughter was a carbon copy of her, the only difference their hair color, one dark, one light.

She seemed just as stunned as he and for a long moment, the two of them just stared at each other in silence until her daughter ran over to him and threw her arms around him.  

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LOVE, TUSSLES, AND TAKEDOWNS

BY VIOLET DUKE
She felt his eyes on her before she saw him.

Her body recognized the intensity of that stare as if it were hardwired to her directly.

The guys were all but forgotten now. Hell, the whole room faded away like white noise as she watched Hudson climb into the ring.

Lia enjoyed watching him move. There was nothing hurried about his motions; he always seemed relaxed and confident, efficient and ready. He wasn’t intimidating in that built-like-a-fridge way her friends who’d played football in college were. Rather, he was leaner. But infinitely harder. More etched out of wood than molded out of clay. As such, running into his chest was literally like running into a wall.

A hard, sexy wall lined with bricks.

“You’re killing me.” His voice simmered, soft and low, with a lazy smile curving his lips to show his words were more compliment than complaint. It took just one glance at the throbbing pulse in the muscular column of his neck for Lia to know he wasn’t nearly as unaffected as he sounded.

Then all analysis of the man scattered when he went and peeled his shirt up over his head, sending those granite-etched muscles of his back rippling and expanding. His eyes tangled with hers as he toed off his shoes and immediately, Lia felt a surge of adrenaline override any female reaction she’d normally have to the sight. Because the man was doing something so much better than flirting.

He was inviting her to play.

No gloves. No strike pads.

With a slow grin, she snagged her teeth around the Velcro bindings on her MMA gloves and started stripping off the boxing tape underneath as well.

This was exactly the kind of sparring she’d been craving for weeks now.

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FFW2    


   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read Chapter 4 'Only Wheat Not White (Love Beyond Borders)' by Varsha Dixit


Blurb:

What if the one you completely love is the one you simply can't!

Twenty-six-year-old Eila Sood moves to America to mend fences with her estranged older sister, Sheela. Eila and the rest of the family in India had cut off ties with Sheela after she married Steve Jacobs, 'out of caste, and out of color'.

Elia soon realizes that Sheela's marriage is on the rocks. To help pay Sheela's household bills, Eila takes a second job at an afternoon strip club. When she crosses paths with the owner, the handsome Brett Wright or 'blue-eyed ogre' as Elia calls him, he both infuriates and fascinates her. Brett turns out to be her reluctant and unquestionably sarcastic knight in shining armor.

As Eila and Brett spend more time together their desire for each other builds. However, when Brett discovers the true reason for Eila's refusal he storms out of her life, accusing her of being a prejudiced coward.

Will Eila find the courage to break stereotypes and embrace her love? Will Brett find solace in the arms of his ex-girlfriend Cate?

Will Sheela and Steve divorce? All of these questions and more are answered in best selling author Varsha Dixit's latest, steamy love story.

Read Chapter 4

Chapter 4: Layer after Layer
Startled, Eila moved back, realizing too late what the little one was intending to do. He wanted to touch her feet, a traditional Indian gesture by which younger ones receive blessings from their elders.
Eila’s shoe nearly caught Adam in the shoulder. “She hit me, Mama!” he complained, his voice free of any real pain.
“Sorry! Sorry!” Eila reached into the cramped space and managed to pull Adam up, giving him a partial, awkward hug. He smelled of baby powder and cheese.
‘He’s just faking, Maasi. Ignore him,” Aryan said, getting in behind Adam. He spoke with all the wisdom of a five year old.
Maasi! Good lord they even know the Hindi word for mother’s sister. As she was still holding Adam, Eila put out a tentative hand to stroke Aryan’s cheek. “Hi, Aryan. Very nice to meet you.” Aryan smiled and shrugged his shoulders and got in his seat. Eila shifted back, giving Adam room to get into his littered, front-facing toddler seat. She caught Sheela beaming proudly at her boys.
“I found a fruit loop, mama!” Adam held up his chubby fingers, proudly showing the trophy he had retrieved from the floor of the car.
“Don’t eat it, Adam,” Steve and Sheela said simultaneously. Too late! The antique and very infected snack was already in Adam’s mouth. His small chubby face mirrored the strange taste his tongue was feeling.
“Take it out of his mouth, Eila,” Sheela hollered.
“Me? Out of his mouth?” Eila gave Sheela an incredulous look. “Ya. Hurry!” Sheela replied, exasperated. Steve gestured at Eila to
hurry.
“Okay!” Awkwardly, Eila leaned forward, gently grabbed Adam’s
chin, and turned his face toward her. “Bear with me kiddo!” Grimacing, Eila pushed two of her fingers tentatively into the tiny mouth. The sight of the already chewed fruit loop on his pink tongue wasn’t especially endearing. Eila tried to fish the offending article out of Adam’s mouth without hurting him. Eila’s fingers went in too deep. In seconds, Adam was gagging. Steve tried to grab his son out of the seat but he was impeded by the now standing Aryan.
“Pat his back! Pat his back or he’ll throw up!” Sheela shouted at Eila. Her warning was only a few seconds ahead of Adam’s barf. A thick stream of puke landed on Eila’s chest and knee and slowly tricked down her leg. Revulsion over the smell and the deed had Eila backing up fiercely against the car door behind her.
Steve managed to pull Adam out even as Sheela patted and stroked his back, trying to alleviate his suffering. Maybe it was jet lag, maybe it was bottled up nerves or maybe Eila was simply overly sensitive to the smell and sight of vomiting. In seconds, she was out of the car, doubled up near the back tire and throwing up her guts.
To Eila’s utter humiliation, it was Steve who came around the car and it was his hand that patted her back to soothe her. Finally spent, Eila shrugged his touch off and muttered, “Thank you. I’m fine. Must be something I ate on the plane.” She put some distance between Steve and her, wiping her mouth and clammy face with the tissue he offered. Sheela and the boys joined them.
“Are you okay?” Sheela asked, concerned.
Eila weakly nodded. She peeked at her clothes. “I’m a mess!”
“You can go inside and wash off,” Steve said, beginning to walk in
the direction of the house.
“No!” Eila’s voice was loud. “I’ll just hose the stuff away.” She
pointed at the coiled green pipe that lay a few feet away from her.
Steve glanced at Sheela. “And Adam?”
“Adam is fine. I’ll give him a shower at home.” Sheela ruffled her
younger son’s curly mop of hair.
“Ahoy, Captain!” Adam bobbed his head several times.
“Don’t ask. He likes pirates,” Sheela said wryly to Eila.
Who doesn’t? Eila was thinking of Johnny Depp.
A few minutes later, with her clothes sporting uncomfortable wet
patches and a faint whiff of vomit, Eila got back into the car. From the other side, Steve loaded the children back into the car. Eila kept her distance from Adam even as she gave him an everything-is-good smile. Adam gave her one of his own you’ll-get-used-to-this smiles.
Eila controlled her sudden urge to envelope her nephews against her chest.
“I’m hungry, Mom,” Adam said, swinging his chubby legs back and forth.
“You just threw up!” Aryan reminded him. Eila’s expression mirrored the thought.
“That’s why I’m hungry!” Adam announced to the car proudly. The wisdom on his face was that of an old monk.
“Logical!” Eila gave him an impressed look. Adam put out a fist towards Eila, who good-naturedly put her fist out for the fist-bump.
Sheela rummaged in her bag and found something for Adam to munch on. Silence fell between the adults, whereas Aryan and Adam continued to chat about some new animation movie they had recently watched in the theatre.
Eila switched her attention to watch the passing scenery. Purple and green lace hydrangeas, reddish pink Japanese maples, orange butterfly weeds, and yellow roses caught her eye. The setting sun, sparkling intermittently from behind the trees, made them glow like haloes of red and brown. Maybe here the artist’s tool of choice is a shovel rather than a nylon brush. She leaned her head against the side of the door.
“Do you want to pick up some dinner?” Steve asked Sheela.
“I cooked,” Sheela replied primly.
Aryan and Adam groaned quietly. Eila hid her grin. Typical!
Sheela spoke louder this time. “I have made Indian food. I’m sure
Eila Maasi would like to eat that.”
“You make Indian food every day,” Aryan complained.
Eila glanced at Sheela surprised. “You cook, Di? Everyday! And
everyone is okay?” Eila completely failed at keeping the amusement out of her voice.
“Hey! That was rude.” Sheela’s tone was cutting. Even Aryan and Adam became quiet. Eila could only stare. Sheela was quick to make amends. “Over here cooks and help are for the rich. In mi casa, I’m the lady of the house and the maid.”
Eila’s answer was a quick, understanding smile even as the look she gave Steve’s straight back was loathsome. Brilliant! So Di probably works 24/7 with her job, kids and house. That explains her shabby appearance and terse manner. Even a saint would snap. A frown parked itself between Eila’s shapely arched brows.
Suddenly the DVD’s screen behind the car seats turned on. Aryan dived forward to pull out two sets of headphones from a cup holder in front of him. He made it a point to first set up the headphone around Adam’s ears, then his. Sweet! Eila sat back. She noticed Steve pull his hand away from a button in the dash board.
Eila sat back reflecting. Back in India, because of the overflowing population and labor being cheap, one did not have to be insanely rich to afford cooks, cleaners, drivers, janitors, gardeners and even a yoga teacher. Mornings in upper middle-class Indian houses were all about ringing doorbells and opening doors.
Shortly, the SUV pulled into a driveway of a single-family house painted in shades of pastel yellow and warm browns. “Home!” Adam announced, tugging at the strap across him. Steve and Sheela disembarked and came around to help the boys out. Stepping out from her side of the car, Eila stretched her legs and arms as she took in the house with its neat grass and well tended small garden. A child’s blue and red bike and a soccer ball sat on the grass, clearly proclaiming ‘house with kids’.
A flaming red oak tree sat in front, adding brilliant dazzle of burnt red, not only to the house but also to the entire street.
“Welcome home, sis!” Sheela wrapped an arm around Eila’s shoulder, tugging her towards the front porch. With the kids and Steve following, the sisters went up the three steps, pausing outside the dark red, arched door with stained glass panels.
“Oh! Hold on. I nearly forgot.” Hastily leaving Eila’s side, Sheela ran down the steps. She disappeared behind the house.
A soft rumbling sound broke out. “Ma’s opening the garage,” said Aryan, running after her. Adam followed.
Steve and Eila stood next to each other and didn’t exchange a single word. Eila stared at the door as if staring alone would open it. Steve simply busied himself with his smart phone. A few minutes later, the door was unlatched from inside. It opened to reveal Sheela holding a plate that held some grains of rice, a lighted tea candle and yellow turmeric and red powder.
“This is unexpected.” Eila had seen her grandmothers and mother do these rituals.
“I haven’t forgotten my roots,” Sheela replied proudly. She began to rotate the plate along with its ingredients in front of Eila’s face. The plate was to be rotated thrice to bless the recipient. The flame once came too close for comfort, and Eila jerked back.

Buy links

Author Bio:

"Varsha, a best selling author of four highly successful books, thinks of herself as a dreamer who thinks deep but writes light. A true 'feel good' junkie seeking quick fixes, Varsha loves a good laugh, good movie and a good book, in that order.A voracious reader of murder and grotesque mysteries, she did sit down to pen a book on serial killer but finding it impossible to maim or hurt anyone, even on paper, she penned a romantic story instead. Even though creativity is gender free,Varsha feels blessed and enriched to be a woman.Currently, with her family, Varsha resides in CA, USA."


Monday, May 18, 2015

'Miss Match' by Laurelin McGee available for preorder at a special price!


MISS MATCH by Laurelin McGee is now available for a special pre-order price!


Title: Miss Match
Author: Laurelin McGee
Publication Date: June 30, 2015

Summary: 

Welcome to the sexy, crazy, wildly unpredictable world of modern matchmaking, where fixing up strangers is part of the job--but falling in love is an occupational hazard…

HE'S THE PERFECT CATCH.

Blake Donovan is tall, handsome, rich, and successful--so why would a guy like him need a matchmaker? Andrea Dawson has no idea, but a job is a job. After being blackballed from a career in marketing, Andrea agreed to use her unique profiling skills to play matchmaker out of pure desperation. But when she meets her highly eligible--and particular--first client face to face, she wonders what she's gotten herself into…


IS SHE HIS PERFECT MATCH?

Blake knows exactly the kind of woman he's looking for--and it's the total opposite of Andrea. Though smart and undeniably sexy, she is simply too headstrong for a man who's used to being in charge. Still, Blake's blood pressure rises whenever she's near him. How can he explain the smoldering attraction that sizzles between them? And how can Andrea deny she's feeling it, too? Maybe, just maybe, they've finally met their match…



Read Chapter 3 of 'Only Wheat Not White (Love Beyond Borders)' by Varsha Dixit


Blurb:

What if the one you completely love is the one you simply can't!

Twenty-six-year-old Eila Sood moves to America to mend fences with her estranged older sister, Sheela. Eila and the rest of the family in India had cut off ties with Sheela after she married Steve Jacobs, 'out of caste, and out of color'.

Elia soon realizes that Sheela's marriage is on the rocks. To help pay Sheela's household bills, Eila takes a second job at an afternoon strip club. When she crosses paths with the owner, the handsome Brett Wright or 'blue-eyed ogre' as Elia calls him, he both infuriates and fascinates her. Brett turns out to be her reluctant and unquestionably sarcastic knight in shining armor.

As Eila and Brett spend more time together their desire for each other builds. However, when Brett discovers the true reason for Eila's refusal he storms out of her life, accusing her of being a prejudiced coward.

Will Eila find the courage to break stereotypes and embrace her love? Will Brett find solace in the arms of his ex-girlfriend Cate?

Will Sheela and Steve divorce? All of these questions and more are answered in best selling author Varsha Dixit's latest, steamy love story.

Read Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Family Reunion

It was the blue-eyed ogre walking tall, with an attitude outmatching the astronauts walking to a shuttle. Going old-school-mafia, Eila slunk into the collar of her hoodie.
Eila retrieved her bags from the conveyer belt. They truly did not weigh as much as the carry-on. Taking deep breaths and drawing on all her confidence, she walked to the exit door that was spotted with people holding signs, balloons, flowers and banners.
“Eila! Eila!” Hearing her name Eila halted and looked to her right. She immediately saw her sister, Sheela, who was frantically waving her arms in the air, much like someone drowning. That should be me! Eila thought even as her feet refused to move. Her breath jarred as she stared at Sheela with dilated eyes. Sheela’s hair was much longer, her figure fuller. Seeing Eila’s expression, Sheela’s arms fell to her sides and her smile faltered. The uncertainty she saw in her sister’s face caused Eila to resume walking, and breathing.
“Di!” the Hindi appellation for older sister was a whisper on Eila’s hesitant breath. Oblivious to the crowds, Sheela flew to her. She pulled Eila deep into her embrace. Unprepared for the forceful pull, Eila fell on Sheela. It had a chain effect; Sheela toppled over, still holding on to Eila. And right outside the JFK Airport both sisters tumbled to the cobbled walkway in an emotional heap.
Eila was the first to sit up, awkward and laughing, still holding onto Sheela’s hands. “Di, you are mad as ever!”
Sheela burst out in a familiar series of convulsing soft giggles, completely unaware of the feet making their way around them.
Disentangling from Sheela, Eila made a move to stand up. “Crap, my luggage!”
“I’ve got it!” spoke a voice that Eila had heard only once over the phone. Even though the sun in her eyes caused Eila to squint, her eyes took in the beige corduroy trousers and light cream T-shirt. Eila gave the tall man standing next to them a good look. Steve Jacobs, a Terence Howard look-alike, was the reason her family stood broken. Her sister had been alienated from the family she was born into when she married Steve. Their parents—especially their father—could not forgive Sheela for marrying out of their choice, out of the country, out of their caste and mostly out of color.
Ignoring Steve’s offered hand, Eila somberly got up. A frosty expression entered her eyes. Sheela stood up, brushing off her clothes. She easily linked her arm with Eila’s. “Let’s go to the car. Not much of a walk. We found a good spot!”
Eila forced herself to relax. “Sure!”
The three of them—Steve walking quietly ahead maneuvering the luggage trolley, followed by Eila and Sheela—made their way to the parking lot.
“How was your flight?” Sheela asked.
“Good, for the most part,” Eila replied, trying hard to sound casual. “How’s everybody back home?” Sheela asked next. Now it was her
turn to feign casualness.
“Good,” Eila replied. Awkwardness floated between the sisters.
Seven years apart was too long a time to be overlooked. The trio entered the shaded parking structure. They weaved through a few lanes of parked cars. Steve stopped in front of a maroon SUV. Steve and Eila managed to hoist her bags into the trunk without looking at each other or making any conversation, except for a few grunts from Steve, especially when he tackled Eila’s red carry on. Sheela kept smiling, a peculiar vacant expression on her face.
A sudden thought occurred to Eila. “Where are your children?” She immediately bit her lip. Sheela and Steve noticed how Eila had distanced herself from their sons—her nephews.
Sheela briskly responded, “Aryan and Adam are with Steve’s mom. She’s watching them for us.” She opened the SUV’s back door, motioning to Eila to get in.
“How old are they now?” Eila asked hesitantly, getting into the backseat as the other two sat in the front.
“Aryan turned five in April and Adam turned three last October,” replied Sheela, inserting her seatbelt with a click.
“Don’t you regularly email them Arya and Adam’s pictures?” Steve asked Sheela.
“Maybe Eila didn’t see them.” Sheela flew to Eila’s defense, her voice sharp. “So Mom and Dad are computer savvy?” she quizzed, turning around.
“One finger wonders,” Eila said, her expression wry. “But Mom is hooked to social media sites. It allows her to cyber stalk her favorite Bollywood stars.
Sheela nodded and said, “I too am on those sites.”
Eila could have kicked herself. None of them had sent Sheela a friend request. What Eila didn’t share was that Tina, their youngest sister, and she obsessively checked Sheela’s posts and pictures. Eila could recognize her nephews in a crowded mall.
“Mom was super-kicked when Al Pacino and Amitabh Bachhan actually replied to one of her messages!” Eila tried distracting Sheela. “Wow! This SUV is really cool!” Eila desperately swung from one topic of conversation to another. If not a jackpot, she hoped to hit a consolation prize.
“It gives great mileage,” came Sheela’s quiet reply.
Within minutes their SUV pulled out of the parking lot and joined a swarm of other cars on the Van Wyck Expressway. Eila, the airport incident still fresh in her mind, made it a point to read all signs. A strange lethargy seeped through her. Eila blinked. Yawns one after the other, similar to the never-ending commercials on radio, came on. Sudden jet lag, compounded by not having a minute of sleep for over twenty-four hours, hit her. Sadly, like some people suffered from motion sickness, Eila suffered from motion insomnia. Even waterbeds would keep her awake.
“Still can’t sleep in anything that moves?” asked Sheela, catching Eila yawn as she glanced over her shoulder.
“Yup.” Eila was secretly pleased that her sister remembered.
“You can try and get some sleep now if you wish. It will take us over an hour to reach my mother’s place. Then there is another fifteen- minute drive to our house,” Steve advised.
“Didn’t you just hear? Eila can’t sleep in anything that moves,” snapped Sheela, quick to rebuke him. Her cold tone toward Steve warmed Eila’s heart. Eila met Steve’s eyes in the rear-view mirror. The look they exchanged was piercing, like the one opponents exchange inside a ring.
Eila quickly peered out the window. Is it my imagination or is Di rather short with Steve? Have they fought because of me?
In a little over an hour they pulled into a suburban street in what Eila guessed was New Jersey.
They came to a stop outside a two-story, white and brown pleasant- looking Tudor house with steep roofs on all sides. There were small sloping gardens on either side of the curving short driveway. Lavender Obedient flowers, white and pink Asters and white and red ruffled Godetia bloomed in flower beds that ran across the entire front of the house.
Steve opened the car door. The sound snapped Eila out of her flora gazing. Eila, who could not draw a straight line with a ruler, was ironically addicted to art and color. As he stepped out of the car, Steve seemed to recall his manners. “Why don’t you all come inside?” he said to Sheela.
Sheela waved a dismissive hand. “Not today. Just get the boys, and we’ll wait here.” Eila sighed in relief. Being around Steve is awkward enough! Wordlessly, Steve turned away and headed to the house, his shoulders taut and his stride long.
“Steve’s dad passed away two years ago. Now it’s only his mom who lives here,” Sheela shared.
Eila could not help the sudden spurt of jealousy. “Do you like her?”
Sheela, choosing her words, took a few seconds before she answered. “Well, she’s okay. She does help me out a lot with Aryan and Adam.”
“Hmm...” Not sure where to take this conversation, Eila stayed mum. Why am I so awkward around my sister with whom I’ve shared a room, a house, a life? “Time heals, no! Complicates? Yes!” Eila muttered quietly, shifting in her seat.
“What?” Sheela asked, turning around.
“Nothing!” Eila lied, “Just itching to see myself head to toe rather than head to knee.” She motioned at her bent legs.
Sheela grimaced in empathy. “Long flights can be tiring. We’re almost home.” Then after a pause she repeated. “So how is everyone back home?”
“Everybody’s really fine.” Eila’s answer was short and quick. Just then voices floated out from the now open door of the house. Framed in the doorway stood a short woman in her sixties with salt and pepper hair, black trousers and a cream and red blouse. Her glance and wave to Sheela spoke of fondness. Then with curiosity writ large all over her face she gave Eila a quick wave and a tentative smile. Eila merely nodded. Steve received a hug from his mom, as his young sons rushed outside past his legs, shouting, “Bye, Daadi, love you, Daadi.”
Daadi was the Hindi appellation for paternal grandmother. Eila swung her head towards Sheela. Her expression swayed between astonishment and amusement.

“What? They are half Indian and I told you Steve’s mom is really
cool!”
Adam, the younger one, was first to reach the car - a blur of blue plaid and red shorts with curly hair. In a jiffy, Sheela was out to grab him. Laughing, she picked up the squirming toddler and gave him a tight hug. Observing Sheela for the first time as a mom, Eila felt a lump in her throat. As she put Adam down, the older boy, Aryan, joined them. Eila saw Sheela give him a hug on her way down and kiss on her way up.
Steve came around and opened the door opposite Eila. Sheela herded the children in. Adam climbed in with some help. Eila saw Sheela tap his shoulder. He instantly dived at Eila’s feet.

Buy links

Author Bio:

"Varsha, a best selling author of four highly successful books, thinks of herself as a dreamer who thinks deep but writes light. A true 'feel good' junkie seeking quick fixes, Varsha loves a good laugh, good movie and a good book, in that order.A voracious reader of murder and grotesque mysteries, she did sit down to pen a book on serial killer but finding it impossible to maim or hurt anyone, even on paper, she penned a romantic story instead. Even though creativity is gender free,Varsha feels blessed and enriched to be a woman.Currently, with her family, Varsha resides in CA, USA."