Sunday, May 14, 2017

ON MOTHER'S DAY



A Mother's Day excerpt from my upcoming (re-release) MY LAST LOVE STORY, coming January 9th, 2018.

“I’m here. What’s the deal?” I asked, pressing the tote against my heart like a shield.

He closed the book and slid it into its slot on the shelf.

Rumi, I read off the spine. Zayaan’s favorite Persian poet. He used to quote Rumi all the time when we were kids. I hadn’t seen him read poetry, much less quote a couplet for a long time. No one who knew him now would’ve guessed that staid and to-the-point Zayaan possessed the soul of a romantic.

That night had taken many things from us.

I had taken Rumi from Zayaan, and for that, I couldn’t be sorrier.

He led me to the cashier’s desk cluttered with an insane amount of items and asked for the things he’d set aside. Turning toward me, he held up a book on Lord Krishna in one hand and a box containing a silver-plated Om in the other for inspection.

“What do you think?” he asked.

“They’re…cool.” I blinked at him. “Going back to your Hindu roots, are you?”

Some sects of Khojas were converted Hindus, which was why their language, customs and even their food were more Gujarati and Kathiawari in style than Islamic.

Zayaan did a double take before he burst out laughing. “Your punch lines always had perfect timing, Sims. Good one.”

Hmm. Great. Though I’m not joking.” I peered at the objects closely.

“For Mummy. Mother’s Day.” He gave a shy, charming little shrug. “Can’t decide what to get her.”
It couldn’t be helped. My heart became a puddle of chocolate goo at my feet. I went up on tiptoes and kissed his stubbly cheek. But I quickly stepped back when he leaned in just as unconsciously, exactly as I had in reflex. He froze as I moved away.

Khodai. We’d become so awkward around each other, never knowing which lines to cross and which ones to leave alone.

“You’re sweet, Zai. Let me see. She’ll definitely love the book,” I said, roving a critical eye over both objects.

Lord Krishna was the patron God of Nirvaan’s family, and the book was an intricately illustrated romp through Krishna’s early life as a cowherd. The pictures were augmented by well-known hymns and poems.


Krishna was known as the Complete Man in Hindu philosophy. He was a prankster, a flirt, a diplomat, a musician and a great orator. If ever there were classic examples of God’s influence on His believer, Lord Krishna and Nirvaan were them.

“Well,” I said, flipping through the glossy-paged book, “the artwork is beautiful.”

It was. The artist had done a brilliant job of creating the village of Mathura and the forest of Vrindavan where the Lord and His flock of female devotees danced and flirted through the night.

I gave the Om-shaped incense stand a cursory glance. True, my mother-in-law would light incense sticks every morning in their home temple as part of her daily prayer ritual but…

“Give her the book. You chose it because the renderings of Krishna look like Nirvaan, didn’t you? Apart from the skin tones,” I guessed shrewdly.

Lord Krishna was always depicted as a blue-skinned deity.

“That’s why I wanted a second opinion,” said Zayaan, giving me an adorable squinty-eyed grin. “I thought I was being fanciful. Like you.”

Fanciful. Yep, that was me.

I shook my head, letting him know he wasn’t being fanciful. The book would please my mother-in-law. In truth, I fancied it would bring her immense succor to see her son’s face in her Lord.

They said faith in God could relieve us of pain. It was a good thing I had no faith, then, because I didn’t deserve to be free of my pain. Ever.

All rights reserved © Falguni Kothari.
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Friday, May 12, 2017

Free Books and Newsletter Sign Ups


In order to build my email list, as apparently ALL authors are required to do, I've signed up for INSTAFREEBIE - a platform where readers get free books and authors get to build a following. Sounds neat? 
It is. 
I'm giving away a limited number e-copies of the first book I ever wrote and which got published in India by Rupa Publications.
Be sure to sign up HERE for a free download of 
IT'S YOUR MOVE, WORDFREAK! 
and after you enjoy the book, be lovely and leave me a review on GOODREADS. Oh, and if you want to absolutely make my day, spread the word to all WORDFREAKS. 

Thanks and much love, as always.

Monday, May 8, 2017

UNCOVERING MY LAST LOVE STORY

A new cover for

My Last Love Story




This daring, evocative story boldly challenges society's conventions about love, relationships and "till death do us part" as it weaves a captivating, revelatory story of a fate-battered woman who tries her best to fulfill her dying husband's last wishes for a baby and a reconciliation with an old flame—their mutual best friend. 
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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentines with a Beauty and her Beast


Happy Valentine's Day!

It's true that most of my stories are an extended VDay celebration. Every page I write, every scene, is an homage to love. And life. But mostly love. Even so, I can't think of a more deserving VDay couple (from my books) than Diya and Krish of Bootie and the BeastTheir story is a modern-day take on the classic fairytale.


“Just what do you have against my possessions, Beast? You’ve developed an obsession with them in a very short time.” She returned his mean look with her hands on her hips.
He’d exchanged his sunglasses for a pair of stylish spectacles. Through the clear glass, his brown eyes seemed huge; his lashes long and dense. He was standing way to close. She shivered. The eyes narrowed a fraction.
“I’m only explaining this because I don’t want to deal with your sarcasm for the next week,” she said hastily before any more shivers came forth. “As the face and body of Scheherazade, I must be seen wearing and using only Scheherazade. I cannot promote any other product or advertise any other label for the two years of my contract—unless my contract with the other brand precedes theirs.”
 His sneer vanished into the woods. “Oh.”
“Yes. Oh. Scheherazade is an extremely popular brand retailed throughout Asia and Europe but not so much in the US. That’s why I am travelling with everything and the kitchen sink in those trunks. It’s a necessity, not a choice.” She was surprised when he didn’t make a single snide remark as to her contractual restrictions. She braced for a taunt or two, something along the lines of—If you can’t shop in Dallas, Dee-Dumbs, however will you pass time when I’m off making my gazillions? To which she would reply in breathy sarcasm…
“Want to unpack first or eat or shower?” Krish asked, poking a hole in her fantasy dialogue.
Diya shook her head, as much to clear it as to say no. She was so tired and functioning on sheer force of will, hence the spontaneous daydreaming. It had been a crazy, busy few months and the last two days had sort of bled her energy levels dry. If she was indeed the vampire the tabloid twerp had photo-shopped her as, she’d be snoring inside her coffin after having gorged on a blood-filled vein.
 About the Book“I’ll get to it tomorrow—the unpacking and showering. I’m hungry. I’m sleepy. And I’m sure you need to get back to your office and resume snarling at figures of the numerical and human variety.” Diya strolled into the bedroom alongside Krish.
“Not really.” He slanted an undecipherable look her way. “I’ve taken the day off.”
“Oh! Don’t be silly. You don’t have to baby-sit me.” She flapped a hand at him. “Go to your office, play with your spreadsheets. Punch some numbers. Whatever. I’ll be fine.”
Krish was a Menon to the hilt—the hardest of taskmaster’s. He hated losing work-hours and became an intolerable grouch when he did. It was a testament to his regard for her father that he’d taken the afternoon off to fetch her from the airport in person and not sent a cab. To be fair, he’d sent a cab only the once to pick up his family during a visit a few years ago, due to some emergency at the office. Lee-sha and Savitri Aunty hadn’t made a big deal about that kind of deficient host behavior. Diya wasn’t so forgiving. Family should always come first. But, she was fair as well. He’d settled her in, now he could go.
“I’m not working today, Diya,” he said, in near exasperation.
Oh-kay. She’d heard what she’d heard, not once but twice. Diya checked Krish’s forehead, cheek and throat with the back of her hand. “Nope, no fever. You could be delirious. Low sugar, possibly. Or,” she paused for dramatic effect. “You were kidnapped by a UFO and are now an alien in Krish form.”
He chucked her under her chin. “Smart-ass. Come along, Elf, let me introduce you to your domain—the kitchen.” With a sly smile, he strode away.
She stuck her tongue out at his chauvinist backside but didn’t take umbrage, not when he clearly teased and when it was patently true. It was no secret she loved to cook. Besides, his previous statement trumped all other concerns for her.
She rushed behind him, heels clattering smartly on the wooden floor of the hallway. “I’m confused. Since when do you take days off?”
The Krish Menon she knew did not take days off. He worked twelve to fourteen hour days on most days, sometimes even on Sunday. Work was his religion, numbers were his mantras and profits, projections and spreadsheets were his portals to nirvana. He thrived as a beast of burden.
And as if that confession of sloth wasn’t shocking enough what he said next made Diya trip on the steps leading down to the kitchen and crash into his back.
“What?” she gasped, clutching his arms for support when he spun around to steady her.
Nary a smile or sneer darkened the alien in Krish form. “I have a date. It’s Valentine’s Day, after all.”

Excerpt from Bootie and the Beast © Falguni Kothari


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New Year, New Excerpt

Well, long time, no see...

As an apology for disappearing from this blog for many moons, here's a small-ish excerpt of my work-in-progress for Graydon House. I'm all into this story, Peeps. But my problem is that until I get the beginning absolutely right, I cannot move ahead on the rest. I think I may have got it. Crossing fingers.


Excerpt from #TFYC © Falguni Kothari


He began to rain kisses on my face. He nipped my jaw, teased my ear, licked my collarbone. His face was ruddy with satisfaction. And love. The scar on his chin that he’d gotten as a child had turned a dark red where I’d bit him. The rest of him glistened, and I felt my pores open too. His blue-blue eyes watched me with humor and a good doze of fatigue. He was tired even if he didn’t say it. I was glad I’d decided against going down to dinner. I wanted to take care of my man. I ran a hand through the jet-black thickness of his hair, which tended to curl just above his shoulder. Just four years and yet he was as familiar to me as my own face. Every freckle, every scar, every hair follicle, so very dear. I’d missed him so much this past week, especially since we’d parted on a lie. My lie.

“I lo...,” I began to whisper, to correct my mistake, and ended up incoherently shrieking the rest of my words as the room phone screeched into existence. My heart, beeping with love and affection a second ago, slammed against my chest like the Hammer of Thor against bad guys. Wild with fright, my eyes fell on the culprit—a quirky 1980s-style phone on the nightstand.

More to come, intermittently...

And here's hoping that 2017 is an awesome year!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

CATE BEAUMAN'S FAVORITE FALL DESSERT


Ethan Cooke Security and their bodyguard team return to action in Deceiving Bella – book eleven in Cate Beauman’s Bodyguards of L.A. County series.

With over 7700 reviews and a 4.4 rating for the entire series, see why the Bodyguards of L.A. County is a multi-award winning series.

Buy It Now!


New to the series? No problem! Each book in the “Bodyguards” series is a stand-alone title. Although reading the books in order is preferred, it is not necessary.  Each title features brand new primary characters and limited overlapping secondary characters.  Don’t hesitate to jump right in!


Isabella Colby has always yearned for normalcy. Now that she’s settled in LA, she finally has it. Good friends, a pretty home, and her thriving career as the Palisades’ top skincare specialist are a dream come true. Bella is content until she meets her hunky new neighbor, but her attraction to the blue-eyed cutie is the least of her worries when contacting her long-lost father threatens to destroy her happy life.

Reed McKinley is more than ready to forget the past. His seven-year stint as an NYPD detective nearly got him killed. His wounds have healed and he’s starting over as Ethan Cooke Security’s latest recruit. With sixty-hour workweeks and little time to himself, the last thing on his mind is a relationship. Then he bumps into the gorgeous woman next door.

Reed and Bella become fast friends. Before long, Reed discovers that Bella is keeping dangerous secrets. Bella may have the answers to decades-old questions he’s been searching for. Reed will risk it all to uncover the truth, but he soon realizes that the deeper he digs, the direr the consequences.


One Of Cate’s Favorite Fall Desserts:

I don’t know about you but I love the fall. The air turns crisp and the scenery beautiful, but I think what I love most is the new variety of foods we often eat. We put away the grill for the year (or use it less frequently) and utilize our stoves and ovens more. Typically, I try to share healthier recipes but this is one of my favorite sinful treats. Chocolate raspberry bars are pretty easy to make and they’re great to bring to a potluck or tailgating. Whenever we share these, I go home with an empty plate.

Chocolate Raspberry Bars

·      1 cup of butter, softened (2 sticks)
·      ½ cup packed brown sugar
·      2 cups flour
·      1 can sweetened condensed milk
·      2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
·      Seedless raspberry preserves

Instructions:
1.     Preheat oven to 350-degrees and grease a 9x13 baking dish.
2.     Combine softened butter, brown sugar, and flour to make coarse crumbs. Measure approximately 2 cups of the crumbs and press evenly into the greased pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
3.     While the pressed crumbs are in the oven, combine condensed milk and 1 cup of the chocolate chips in a saucepan and stir together over low heat until chocolate chips are melted and the mixture is combined.
4.     Pour chocolate/condensed milk mixture over hot crust and spread with a spatula until all of the crust is covered.
5.     Sprinkle remaining crumbs over chocolate. Drop jam by ½ teaspoons randomly over crumbs (less is more). Scatter remaining 1-cup of chocolate chips over the entire dish and bake for 25 minutes.
6.     Cool and cut into bars.



Read an excerpt from Deceiving Bella:

Should we get started?” Bella gestured to the kitchen.
“After you.”
She walked in front of Reed, hurrying to the table to pull out a chair. “Does this work?”
“Yeah, it’s fine.” He sat down.
She immediately draped him with the black cover, wanting to get to his hair while it was still wet. “So, what are we doing here, exactly?”
“Just a cleanup, especially on my neck.”
“Sure.” She grabbed the sheers and took her place by his side, sliding her fingers though his short hair and stopped. “Oops.”
His shoulders tensed. “What?”
“Just kidding. A little haircutting humor.”
He tilted his head up, meeting her eyes. “A comedian.”
She laughed as he smiled. “I haven’t even started cutting yet.” She gave him a bump. “Try to relax. I promise you’re in good hands.”
“Chop away.”
“Thanks.” She combed her fingers through his hair once more, using small snips to freshen up his look. Silent seconds ticked by as she breathed in the masculine scent that was Reed. He didn’t seem to wear cologne or use any fancy shampoos, but he smelled good just the same. “So, how was your day?”
“Not too shabby.”
She worked her way around his head, finding his cut a breeze to clean up. He easily could have gone another week without any problems. “What did you do?”
“Worked a little. Boxed.”
“Fascinating.”
“I could make up something about stopping a bank robbery in progress or rescuing a cat from a tree.”
She smiled. “The truth is fine, thanks.”
“What about you?”
“It was pretty much a normal day at the office—a second-session tattoo removal, a microdermabrasion, two stretch mark reductions, the usual stuff.”
“What’s the tattoo of? The one you’re taking off?”
“A woman’s name. Genevieve. The relationship didn’t work out.”
He winced. “Ouch.”
“Triple ouch. Tattoo removal is not a pain-free procedure, nor is it cheap—and he went pretty ornate with Genevieve. Hopefully next time he’ll pick a woman with a shorter name or abstain from getting himself tatted up altogether.”
He laughed.
She grinned, loving that sound. Did he have any idea how gorgeous he was when he smiled like that? She picked up the clippers off the table and let her knees rest against his as she leaned in and gently lifted his chin, evening out his sideburns. She swallowed, feeling his breath on her skin and his eyes studying her face. Licking her lips, she met his gaze. “You better hope I get this part right, or you’ll have to tilt your head for the next four days.”
He sent her another one of his pulse-pounding smiles. “You’ll have to help me decide if I should lean more to the left or right.”
Oh, this cutie had the potential to be trouble. Her eyes darted to his mouth mere inches from hers as his five o’clock shadow tormented her sensitized fingers. She took a step back and a steadying breath. It was a good thing they were just friends—currently the only relationship status she was interested in.

Did you enjoy the excerpt?  You can read the first chapter on my website, www.catebeauman.com, or you can finish the whole book with the links below!


About the author:

International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers' Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers' Favorite Awards.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on her twelfth full length romantic suspense novel.



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