Wednesday, September 13, 2017

99¢ Book Bonanza!



Soul Warrior: The Age of Kali is on sale for 99¢ in the US and UK this week, along with a smorgasbord of books from 75 authors in a host of eclectic genres. 
Sounds amazing, right? Click on the graphic above and you'll be taken to the Book Bonanza Homepage where you'll be able to browse dozens of books to your heart's content. (Note: many of the books will be on sale in multiple ebook platforms, but not Soul Warrior, which is only available on the Kindle.)  There's something else...
In light of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey and Irma, I will donate my monies from this sale to the American Red Cross relief fund. I can't do much, but that I can do. So click HERE to go to the 99¢ Book Bonanza Home Page now!
Thanks and xoxo



Monday, August 21, 2017

SOUL WARRIOR and the SOLAR ECLIPSE



The phenomenon of a SOLAR ECLIPSE has been around since...well, the SUN and the MOON have been around, so obviously in every culture around the world they've been incorporated into the myths and the superstitions, alongside the sciences. 

In SOUL WARRIOR: THE AGE OF KALI the myths and legends of India come to life. Lord Karna is the son of the Sun God. As such, whatever happens to the Sun naturally impacts him. 

Enjoy an eclipsed excerpt from the beginning of SOUL WARRIOR

(Available for purchase on Amazon worldwide except South Asia, where it is soon to be released.)

AMZ BUY LINK: getBook.at/SoulWarrior

CHAPTER ZERO
DWANDA-YUDDHA: THE DUEL
The Himalayan Mountains. Five thousand years ago.
Absolute darkness shrouded the Human Realm, and had for three days and three nights. Some believed the occurrence was prophetic, like the prolonged amavasya or new moon night that had heralded the Great Kuru War two thousand years ago. The war had given birth to the dark Age of Kali, the age of asura. In contrast, hope was ripe that this event would trigger the Age of Light. But the Bard wasn’t here to succumb to superstition.
The first day without the sun’s light had spread confusion and chaos across the realm. The second day had brought desperation in the breasts of humans and fear in the belly of Celestials. The third day—today—was a feast for the asuras. Death lay everywhere.
The human world burned without its sun. How soon before the Heavens went up in ames?
The Bard’s troubled eyes reread the last line. Then he deliberately scratched it off, lifting his long, pointed talon from the parchment made of dry palm leaf. With a sigh, he rested his aching hand on his trembling thigh. He would spare a moment to ease his body, and his mind from the strain of observation and due recordkeeping. If he didn’t, he’d forget his duty as Witness of the Cosmos, and begin to question fate.
Despite the fire that crackled close to his right knee, and the feathered form of his upper body, he was cold. An icy wind had settled around the Pinnacle of Pinnacles, where he sat cross-legged on a seat made of rock and snow. He’d chosen this perch because it gave him an impartial view of the events happening in the world. He was the Bard, entrusted with keeping the Canons of the Age of Kali, just as the Soul Warrior was entrusted with keeping the Human Realm safe from asuras. Would they both fail in their duty today?
The Bard shook off the heavy despair the darkness had brought into the world. He mustn’t judge. He shouldn’t question. He would sharpen the talon on his fore nger, dip it into the vessel of ink kept warm by the re, and write this tale. That was all he could do. Be the witness to history.
So he raised his feathered hand and began to write again while his eyes, sparked with power, knowledge and magic, saw clearly events unfolding from great distances. A thousand kilometers to his right, Indra, the God of War and Thunder, fought the Dragon. Indra did not fare well. But that didn’t concern the Bard as much as the clash between the Soul Warrior and the Stone Demon. Over and over, his eagle eyes were drawn to the duel taking place in the heart of the world, not only because it was a magni cent battle to behold, for it was, but because its outcome would decide mankind’s destiny.
The Soul Warrior was more than a great warrior. Karna was a great soul. Fair, honorable, brave and resilient, he was the perfect protector of the Human Realm. Of course, there were other reasons he’d been chosen to ll the of ce of Soul Warrior—there always were when Gods and demons were involved. But Karna’s existence was a testament to righteous action and if anyone could bring back the day, it would be him.
But how did one vanquish stone, the Bard wondered?
Avarice and cruelty, two nefarious desires, had made Vrtra and Vala attack the Human Realm. Three days ago the Dragon had swallowed the Seven Rivers in the north, and the Stone Demon had imprisoned the Sun God, his daughter, and all the cattle of the region in his cave.
The Bard paused his writing as a thin vein of lightning winked across the skies, but without the accompanying roar. Indra’s strength waned. His thunderbolt hadn’t left Vrtra screaming in pain this time. The Bard spared a moment’s attention on the duel, just enough to note that the Maruts, the Celestial Storm-gods, waited in the clouds to rescue their god-king in case of a calamity. Indra would survive even in defeat. Of that, the Bard was sure.
But Karna had no one at his back. His might and god-powers had depleted without the sun’s healing warmth and light. His divine astras, weapons, had not slowed the Stone Demon down, at all. Only the convic- tion that he could not fail his godsire, his sister, and the innocents under his protection drove him now. His birth family had once abandoned him to his fate, but he would not abandon them to theirs—such was the greatness of Karna.
The Bard crossed out the last observation. No questions. No judgment. No praise, either. The canons would be free of all emotion. He wasn’t here to embellish history or glorify the history-makers, as some bards were wont to do.
It wasn’t embellishment to write that the foothills of Cedi were drenched in the Soul Warrior’s blood. Or observe the gushing wounds on his body, despite his armor, that would make the hardiest of warriors bellow in agony, but not him. It wasn’t embellishment to write that the Heavens were empty for the Celestials had come to Earth to watch the battle, relight cupped in their palms to light the warrior’s way.
The Naga, the Serpent People, also looked on, hissing from the mouth of the portal that led to their underground realm beneath the hills. The Serpent King will not choose a side. Vrtra and Vala were half Naga, after all. All across the Human Realm, demons roamed free, taking advantage of the darkness and preying on human esh and human souls. It was a terrible moment in history. The asuras had the upper hand in the eponymous age of Demon Kali.
Vala did not have arms and half a leg, but still he came at Karna. He had an ace up his sleeve. There were plenty of creatures about, an entire mountain close at hand. He began to chant the spell of soul transference. It was the darkest of all magic, the possession of another’s soul. Soon, he would be whole again and stronger than before.
Battered and bleeding, the Soul Warrior veered away from the Stone Demon. He leapt over boulders and charred vegetation. The onlookers called him a coward. Had he forfeit the duel? Has he forsaken mankind?
Karna dove for Manav-astra, the spear of mankind, he’d thrown aside yesterday after his bow, Vijaya, had shattered under repeated use. In one smooth motion, he rolled, picked up the astra, coming up in the spear-thrower’s stretch. His tattered lower garment billowed about him as a gust of wind shot through the air. His muscled torso glis- tened with blood and sweat, tightened as he pulled the arm holding the spear back.
He meant to throw Manav-astra at Vala. A futile attempt, to be sure? As long as Vala was made of stone, broken or not, his body was impregnable. Karna should have waited for Vala to transfer his soul to an onlooker. Then Karna should have vanquished the possessed creature.
Taunting laughter reverberated through the foothills of Cedi. Vala had reached the same conclusion. The Celestials looked at each other in angry silence, unable to interfere. A dwanda-yuddha duel was fought between two opponents of equal size and strength alone. The humans hadn’t stopped screaming in three days, the din simply background noise now.
The Bard scribbled the observations onto the parchment in no particular order. He wished he was a painter, for surely this was a picture worth a thousand words.
The demon hobbled toward the warrior, who stood still as stone with his arm drawn taught behind him. Then nally, with a roaring chant the Soul Warrior shifted his weight from his back leg to his front and let y Manav-astra at the Stone Demon with all his remaining might.
Karna didn’t wait to see the rami cations of his action. And there were plenty to come. He ran into the mountain cave to free Vala’s hostages. Within moments the rock face rent in half, and bright streams of light speared through the terrible darkness. A new day had dawned on the Human Realm after three days of perpetual night.
The sun’s power was too bright, too full of hope. Yet, the Bard looked on pensively, wondering if the Soul Warrior knew this wasn’t a victory. It was merely a reprieve.
© Falguni Kothari
INDIA COVER.



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. 
Click once and stay tuned to the latest news and fun facts by subscribing to my Newsletter 

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!