Release Blitz: Rudrabaan (Cursed Elements) by Nitya Neelakantan

A café owner who is haughty and entitled. An event planner who is earnest and acquiescent. A curse that was cast an eternity ago…

Shruthakeerthi Urs aka. Shruti is the client from hell. Jaideep Rai is the hot new event planner who bring out the shrew in Shruti. Tempers fly and egos clash even as they attempt to work together on an event.
Fate brings them face to face again when they both sign up for the same Jungle Challenge adventure, traversing the mountains and forests of the Western Ghats of India. Forced to work together they snarl and spar at every given chance, refusing to admit that they may be hankering for something amorous with the other…a simmering undercurrent of passion!
And what happens when one of them is cursed? Can they put aside their differences and come together to break a curse that has sounded the death knell for generations of one of their families? Amidst surprise revelations, mystic mendicants, and repressed memories, can the two work out the pieces of the puzzle that can break the curse?
Will Shruti and Jaideep survive this epic adventure and find love, or will they remain ships passing in the night…

Rudrabaan is an adventure filled story peppered with magical realism and hued with some regular hate to love drama.
Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com

Read an Excerpt from Rudrabaan

Jaideep was now definitely staring at the two of them. How does Bobby do this? How does he just win people over? Jaideep was feeling confused and irritated. If it wasn’t for the fact that Bobby was his best friend and that he was gay, Jaideep might have just ripped his limbs apart for hugging Shruti. He wanted to be in Bobby’s place right now, smelling her hair and gently kissing her forehead as she leaned in. He pictured himself pushing his fingers into her curly knots and bringing her head closer to his chest.
Thwack! Prashant’s broad hand landed on Jaideep’s back. ‘Let’s go, buddy. Did you not hear your name?’
Participants were now divided into two groups and given logs of wood and thick ropes. They had to make rafts that would take them across the stream. Lunch was being served on the other side of the stream. Eager to have lunch, the teams put their backs into making the rafts.
Shruti and Jaideep sat on opposite sides of the raft as they were part of the same group. About a meter from the bank, the ropes of their raft began to come undone, and the logs of wood separated, toppling the team into water. The other team who had reached the bank began laughing as they stepped into the water to pull people out.
‘It’s all your fault. If you didn’t know how to tie ropes you should have left it to the experts,’ Shruti shouted at Jaideep.
‘Like you are an expert on everything?’, he retorted as he looked at her wet cotton shirt. It was clinging to her skin and the water had made it see-through. Jaideep was looking at the clear outline of a yellow bra as he spoke.
‘I wasn’t talking about myself. But if you took the time to pull your head out of your ass, you would know that!’ she said and stomped away, water dripping from her clothes as she walked onto the bank of the stream.
The rest of the group had already gone ahead to where lunch was being served and didn’t notice the exchange of words between them.
Jaideep grabbed Shruti’s arm and pulled her close. They looked at each other with daggers in their eyes but kindred embers in their souls. He wanted to bite her lower lip as he glared at her, his eyes lingering a second longer than intended on her luscious lips and moving furtively down her neck.
He tore his eyes away from her and forced himself to look away as he said, ‘What is your problem? Why do you hate me? I am just trying to have a decent, hard-earned holiday. Please!’
Shruti wrestled her arm out of his grasp. She tried hard not to focus on why her body was melting in response to his touch,  like a smitten kitten and she said, ‘Don’t you dare touch me again. I don’t know you enough to hate you. You are not that important to me. Please enjoy your holiday and stay the hell away from me!’
Shruti walked away huffing, but her body seemed to be yearning for that fervour she felt a few seconds ago when Jaideep had clutched her wrist. She had been so afraid that he would feel her pulse quicken and hear how loudly her heart thumped inside her chest when he touched her.
Neither of them saw that a flaming arrow had landed right next to the riverbank that they had stepped onto. The flames flickered and the arrow disappeared once again.

About the Author:

Nitya Neelakantan is a writer and yoga teacher from Bangalore. She has three paperback novels that are awaiting publication with Rupa Publications and Readomania.

Nitya graduated with a degree in Hotel Management before moving into the learning space as a technical trainer and then a soft skills trainer. Her writing and yoga journey began simultaneously as she hung up her corporate boots in exchange for more time with her two and four-legged family.
When not teaching or reading, Nitya enjoys travelling with her husband, son, and two fluffy dog-babies.  She is an amateur blogger who is also passionate about composting, slow fashion, and conscious living.

Keep in touch with Nitya:

Book Review: Once Upon A [Broken] Time by Samreen Ahsan

Books in the series:

Book 1: Once Upon A [Stolen] Time

Book 2: Once Upon A [Fallen] Time

Book 3: Once Upon A [Broken] Time (Releasing March 31, 2021)

Book 4: Once Upon A [Hidden] Time (Upcoming)

Book 5: Once Upon A [Chosen] Time (Upcoming)

 

About the Book:

Once Upon A [Broken] Time (Stolen #3)

2015…
All her life, Myra Farrow has been obsessed with medieval castle-and the kings and princes who once inhabited them. When Steve Bernard, a wealthy videogame designer offers her to model for a princess character in his new game, Myra can’t resist his offer to enter the mysterious, colourless, and cursed Hue Castle. But unknown to Myra, her soul is bound to it by blood and sorcery. When she enters the castle’s doors, she awakens dark powers, time travelling through a cursed mirror, torturing her present, and rewriting her future, leaving Steve Bernard with millions of questions.

1415…
Edward Hue, the last of the Hue royal bloodline, has never stood in the sunshine, nor felt the rain, or held a living flower. Cursed from birth to live in darkness and bring death to all he touches, he is at the mercy of his cruel, tyrannical father King Stefan, who will not rest until he shatters Edward’s soul and makes his son into a diabolical copy of himself. Edward’s one hope is the mysterious woman, who walks into his life through a cursed mirror, out of his dreams, and introduces him: love.

Will Myra break Edward’s curse and bring him out of the darkness, or destroy him utterly? Will Steve ever be able to finish his game without Myra? Past and future collide in a tale of love, obsession, betrayal, and the hope for redemption.

This is book 3 of [STOLEN] SERIES

My Thoughts:

‘Love doesn’t need someone’s consent or approval. It is as inevitable as life and death…. But never in my wildest dreams had I imagined loving someone so deeply and immeasurably.’ – Myra

This book picks up where the previous one left off. Now that Myra has come back and decided to stay, she is forced to deal with both Prince Edward, the man she loves and the King, his father. Torn between her loyalty towards Edward and her need to be careful in front of the King, Myra is walking a very fine line towards trouble. The story follows her journey as she navigates this world, her scenes with Edward are heart-warming and filled with love.

The author shows us different perspectives, brining the various characters to life. We follow the story from Edward’s point of view as he struggles to hide his true feeling towards Myra from his father. He tries to protect her and also handle the fact that she has travelled through time to be with him. We also learn about steve, Myra’s fiance in 2015 and the one behind the company Excalibur that is coming out with the game: Once Upon A [Stolen] Time, purely based on Myra’s experiences and narration.

It was a pleasure to read about so many characters and their different perspectives which bring Hue castle to life, both in 1415 and 2015. This story is well-written and gripping. It is a must read for fans of this series and romance in general! Readers are in for a treat with this continuation of the [Stolen] series, filled with the right amount of intrigue and romance to keep them hooked until the end.

I truly enjoyed this book and as a fan of the series and Samreen Ahsan’s writing, I must admit that I am now eagerly looking forward to the next book! I do hope Myra breaks the curse and they find their happy ever after in this intriguing Beauty and the Beast retelling!

Cover Reveal: A Beast So Beautiful by Carlyle Labuschange

Book Blurb:

darkness falls over the land when the Queen of Rurith dies.

Consumed with grief, King Ivar blames their son, Prince Leif, for her demise, and locks him away in the forgotten tower of the castle.

The Prince is left in total despair, until a girl, with hair the colour of a red sunset and green eyes shows him mercy.

For six years she visits him in secret, giving him hope where none existed before.

But Ruith hides many treacherous things that threaten to bring the Kingdom to its knees.

Until the Prince and his beastly curse are released.

Book Links:

Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/Beast-so-Beautiful-Carlyle-LaBuschagne-ebook/dp/B08SQWBWFF/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.com.uk/Beast-so-Beautiful-Carlyle-LaBuschagne-ebook/dp/B08SQWBWFF/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56677295-a-beast-so-beautiful

Author Bio:

Carlyle is a USA Today Bestselling, international bestselling and international award winning South African author – with a flair and passion for mixing genres, adding loads of drama to every story she creates. Carlyle has traveled the world with her books in hopes of connecting with all kinds of book loving people, to learn as much as she can from other book cultures with the hopes of bringing the knowledge back to her home country.

Her goal as an author is to touch people’s lives, and help others love their differences and one another by delivering strong messages of faith, love and hope within every outrageous world she writes about.
Carlyle uses writing as a healing tool, and that is why she has started her very own writers support event – SAIR Book Festival.

Founder of SAIR Book Festival
Co-Founder of Fire Quill Publishing.
Founder of Help build a library in South Africa.

AUTHOR SOCIAL MEDIA

Website

http://www.carlylelabuschagne.com/

Twitter

@AuthorCarlyle

Book Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

About the Book:

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

 New York Times bestseller!

Has everything you’d want in a retelling of a classic fairy tale.” – Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of A Spark of Light and Small Great Things

“Absolutely spellbinding.” – Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Caraval and Legendary

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

My thoughts:

It is very easy to tell someone that the only way to break a curse is to fall in love. However, what people do not tell and this is the main catch, is that it is not so easy to fall in love.

This is the problem that Prince Rhen of Emberfall is facing. Having made one mistake in his youth, he is cursed to relive the eighteenth year of his life again and again and again. What was his mistake you may wonder? He courted an enchantress and cast her away. Spurned due to this and seeking revenge, she curses him. The curse can only be lifted when he finds true love.

Doesn’t this sound like a typical fairy tale but with the roles reversed? The prince has to find his princess. However, nothing is as easy as this explanation and this is not just any fairytale. In this new age re-telling of the Beauty and the Beast, the author brings to us a new age spin on things. Once the curse begins, the prince has the duration of the autumn season to find his true love. If that doesn’t happen, he turns into a monster and becomes quite dangerous.

The author brings to us a tale of sorrow and grief that is hidden behind the walls of the castle and unknown to the people of the kingdom. The only story that the people know is that their king seems to have abandoned them. The Prince’s guard is the only other person around and the only one granted with the ability to move from this time/place to the present day Earth and bring back girls for the Prince to court.

During one such situation, we are introduced to Harper. Harper witnesses a kind of kidnapping and tried to stop it. It is in this situation that she is brought back to Rhen’s world. The author then brings to us a wonderful tale of friendship, loyalty and eventually love. The characters are well developed and you cannot help but fall in love with them and their story. If I continue to write more, I will only gush about the story and reveal all the plot twists. To avoid that I will stop here and conclude.

A very well thought out book, this is a must read for all! I cannot wait for Book 2 and I am sure most of you will feel the same.

Book Review: Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee

I was provided with a copy of this book by Hideaway Fall publishers in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book:

Broken Branches

‘Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don’t think so.’

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.

My Thoughts:

Wow! This is an intense emotional roller coaster, that will hold your attention until the end. The story is well-written and the beauty of it is that the author doesn’t give away anything until the very end! It proves to be impossible to predict the direction the  story will take and is even more difficult to figure out what is real and what is not! The title of the story becomes clear by the end and is quite apt according to me.

The story follows Ian Perkins as he tries to find out more about his family and it’s history, tracing back along the years while trying to prove the existence of a legendary family curse. The reason behind this need becomes clear only after the reader has completed the book! We are also introduced to Rachel, Ian’s wife who doesn’t believe in the curses’ existence and their adorable son Harry, who seems to have boundless energy. The emotions run deep and the descriptions are vivid, sometimes giving the reader chills at the end of it.

The author sets the tone of the story right from the first page as he describes the cottage, the iconic tree and the various people who have resided in this place. Chapters alternate between the present times and the past, introducing us to various people who were a part of or influenced Ian’s life. The author expertly describes the mental stability of his characters and brings out their thoughts and emotions, thus making it hard for the reader to completely judge until the end.

Hold on to your seats and emotions as you are in for an interesting and thought provoking time with this book! It is worth the read, touching upon some rather pertinent topics related to family, relationships and a persons psyche as a result of tragedy as the truth comes out.

Book Review of Primogénito: The Fuentes Legacy by Greta Cribbs

Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book:

Primogénito: The Fuentes Legacy

“I wake up in the middle of the night sometimes and see him standing at the foot of the bed, staring at me. Some nights I don’t think he sleeps at all.”

Ashley Preston has a problem. Her husband Nick has fallen victim to a mysterious illness, alternating between bizarre physical symptoms for which doctors cannot determine a cause and alarming personality changes which have Ashley fearing not just for Nick’s health but for her own safety as well. Desperate to save her husband, she turns to the only person she believes can help her: Damian Fuentes.

Ashley knows Damian’s family has dabbled in some kind of dark magic over the years. She also knows that when Nick was ten years old, Damian’s grandfather performed a strange ritual on him. Convinced that this ritual is at the root of her husband’s problem, Ashley begs Damian to delve into the Fuentes family’s darkest secrets in search of a cure. But Damian has spent the past five years trying to distance himself from his family and his traumatic past. Helping Ashley will mean resurrecting the long-dead ghosts of his most disturbing memories. If he saves Nick he may very well lose himself.

My Thoughts:

The story starts off rather weirdly, and it gave me an impression that I was supposed to know some of the background already. It took me a while to actually figure out what was going on. Slightly eerie, some parts of the story may give you the creeps. The author takes time to properly introduce the characters’ backgrounds, plunging us into the story directly and then developing from there.

As the story progresses, the reader will enter the realm of the supernatural like never before. It goes further than what the author portrayed in Amelia’s Children. Encouraged by that book, I plowed on through this one and am glad that I did. There is more to this story than meets the eye. The characters are dark, there is a lot of bad things happening and the author does not hold back with the death and gore. She lets loose completely and with a highly built up climax, she gives us a shattering end that I assume many will not expect.

The author does not hesitate to experiment with her characters and doesn’t go for the cliched alls well that ends well kind of plot. The author draws heavily on the emotions of the readers through her characters, bringing out their inner desires and feelings. We hurt and heal with them and also embark on a journey of shared experiences. With hidden truths and half truths coming to light, all bonds of friendship, trust and love are tested.

Overall this is a decent read, with a mixture of twists, thrills and some minor cliches thrown in. I must warn you however, that kind of story is not for the faintest of hearts!