Monday, September 30, 2013

'When Light Fades' Blog Tour

When Light Fades

From the Authors: A.J. Stewart, Cindy Franks White, Zoey Sweete, Jennifer Oneal Gunn, Ronald Edward Griffin, S.L. Dearing, M.K. Hensley and Jewels Moss

Dive into a dark paranormal collection of short stories and poetry with a twist of horror. When Light Fades will play on your inner fears, and bring to life the things that go bump in the night. This collection of writing is filled with revenge, disaster at its best, and a hint of sick madness. Be prepared to enter the world of the wicked, where the darkest creatures tell their stories and the insane rule and sanity has been lost forever.

Where can you get it?

Connect with the authors:

 A.J. Stewart      Cindy Franks White      Zoey Sweete      

Sunday, September 29, 2013

North Dark Guest Post

North Dark by Lane Kareska

Set in a lonesome and barbarous failed state, North Dark is the story of a lone man traveling by dogsled across a frozen wasteland in pursuit of the fugitive who destroyed his family.

Haunted by predators both physical and spectral, the musher’s journey takes him across a deadened tundra, tortured cities and the remains of civilizations long-lapsed into madness. All the while, his enemy slides in and out of striking distance, always one step ahead, always one act of violence away.

Purchase Links:

Building Broken Worlds

            If you’re reading this blog right now, there’s a good chance you’re a creative individual who at some point in his or life (or maybe even now) engaged in paracosmic play or “world-building.” As a kid, you might have drawn out huge, colorful maps of archipelagos called (in my younger brother’s case) “Puddle Jump Islands,” or maybe you drew up portraits of invented animal species that inhabited your imaginary zoo, or maybe (as seen in the terrific documentary Marwencol) you’re now creating a Nazi-occupied European town in your backyard populated with GI Joes as your own form of therapy. No matter the style of creation, I think most of us have at some point imagined or sought to develop a fantasy landscape. In fiction, world-building is a mandatory device in any writer’s toolbox.
            As a writer, the most complete world-building activity I’ve ever had to engage in was for my novella North Dark, a dark adventure set in an arctic country where dogsledding is the main mode of transportation, the ruins of a civilization similar to ours litter the tundra, and slavery is a modern practice.
            I wrote this novella during a long, Midwestern winter while dealing with the impending death of my dog (a rugged, intelligent animal who would have been very much at home in a Jack London novel). As I began the first draft, I absolutely did not have a deep or detailed view of the world in which it would occur, but I did have the broad strokes down: like the winter in which I felt trapped, the world would be arctic and endlessly gray, like the animal I was about to lose, dogs would play a critical role in daily life both as companions and working animals, and like the fantasy novels I’d been plunging through for the past couple of months, there would be heroes, villains, mystics and monsters. As I wrote, and rewrote, the world fell into sharper relief. I learned quickly about the customs of this post-apocalyptic society: bullets are used as money (though there are no functioning guns anywhere to be found), knives and crossbows are critical tools and weapons for each successful traveler to bear, the level of commonly available technology is about that of the Iron Age, characters use names that are descriptive or visual (Ramscoat, Two Crows, Treesplitter), and the system of law is tribal at best.
            Gradually, the draft took shape and I became willing to share it with close friends whose opinion I trusted. Before I’d hand it over, the first couple of questions put to me were typically “How long is it?” (“It’s a novella, fairly brief.”) “What kind of book is it?” (“Dark adventure.”), and “Where is it set?” This question was the hardest to answer, and, I thought, the most interesting. The answer I usually give is that it takes place “Somewhere else.” And what I mean by that is this: I don’t know. Does North Dark occur in our future? Another planet? An alternative history? Is this Alaska? Canada? I’m not sure, and maybe arriving at your own answer is part of the fun. The name Jesus is religiously invoked (so there is at least some form of Christianity in this place), there are frozen and destroyed highway overpasses (so there was some level of technology similar to our own before disaster befell this place), but the night sky is vastly different than our own—most stars burn green, they move too swiftly and irregularly to be used in celestial navigation—so maybe it doesn’t occur in our future, but in some other universe.
            It’s not up to me to say if this was a successful venture in world-building, but I can say this: I had a lot of fun figuring out the society, the customs, the races and geography of this place. I believe fiction writing is a complex, worthy and difficult pursuit, and the drive to follow the same paracosmic urges we feel in childhood tells us that it’s an important part of who we are. With this novella, exploring and detailing this imagined world was as satisfying as writing the book itself. My hope is that readers of North Dark will feel that same satisfaction. My hope is also that readers will feel as if the world is fully realized: mysterious but knowable, savage but developed, finished but half-destroyed.

Author Bio:

Lane Kareska was born in Houston, Texas. He studied writing at Columbia College Chicago and his MFA is from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he was also awarded a Fellowship to live and write in Ireland. Lane traveled Europe and South America to research his graduate thesis. He teaches creative writing and works in technology and new media. His fiction has appeared in Berkeley Fiction Review, Sheepshead Review, Flashquake and elsewhere. Lane currently lives in Chicago and can be followed on Twitter @LaneKareska as well as reached at

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cover Reveal - Grimnirs by Ednah Walters

Book Title: Grimnirs
Series: A Runes Novel
Author: Ednah Walters
Release Date: December 2nd 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Firetrail Publishing
Presented by: Twisted Book Tours and More & As You Wish Tours
Banner Made by: Camelia Miron Skiba


One lost love.
One lost best friend.
One hot soul reaper.

Straight out of the psyche ward, Cora just wants her life to be normal. She doesn’t want to see souls or the reapers collecting them. The love of her life, the guy she’s loved from a distance for years, has moved away without saying goodbye. So yes, she’s nursing a serious heartbreak. It’s no wonder love is the last thing on her mind when Echo storms into her life.

The chemistry between them is mind-blowing. The connection defies logic. It doesn’t help that Echo is the poster boy for everything she hates in a guy—hot, beautiful, and cocky. A general pain-in-the-butt. Being around him makes her feel more alive than she’s ever felt before. But more important, the souls leave her alone when he is around.

Echo is perfect for her. Echo might even be her soul-mate. There is only one problem. Echo is a freaking soul reaper. A Grimnir. The very beings she wants out of her life. Maybe normal is overrated because Cora wants it all. Answers. Love. A life. You see, once you fall for a Grimnir, your life will never be the same again.

EDNAH WALTERS grew up reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and dreaming of one day writing her own stories. She is a stay-at-home mother of five humans and two American short-hair cats (one of which has ADHD) and a husband. When she is not writing, she’s at the gym doing Zumba or doing things with her family, reading, traveling or online chatting with fans.

Ednah is the author of The Guardian Legacy series, a YA fantasy series about children of the fallen angels, who fight demons and protect mankind. AWAKENED, the prequel was released by Pill Hill Press in September 2010 with rave reviews. BETRAYED, book one in the series was released by her new publisher Spencer Hill Press in June 2012 and HUNTED, the third installment, will be released April 2013. She’s working on the next book in the series, FORGOTTEN. Visit her at

Ednah also writes YA paranormal romance. RUNES is the first book in her new series. IMMORTALS is book 2. She is presently working on book 3, GRIMNIRS (Release date TBA). Read more about this series and the world she's created here

Under the pseudonym E. B. Walters, Ednah writes contemporary romance. SLOW BURN, the first contemporary romance with suspense, was released in April 2011. It is the first book in the Fitzgerald family series. Since then she has published four more books in this series. She's presently working on book six. You can visit her online at or

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Guardian Series Blog Tour & Giveaway

Sacred Bloodlines (Book 1)
by Wendy Owens

Free Everywhere

Tragedy has defined Gabe's short existence in this world. An ominous darkness lurked on the edge of his existence until one day in a subway, strange things start happening. A series of events lead Gabe into a new and fascinating life filled with angels and demons, but he isn't sure if he wants to be a part of it.

Gabe is thrust into the middle of this exciting world that is full of things he has longed for in his life but it comes with a price. This new life also promises constant terrifying dangers that Gabe fears he may not be able to survive.


Feeling confident the danger had passed, Gabe climbed up onto the seat. He pulled the handle, pushing the heavy door open with his feet. On the ground in front of him, he saw Uri on his knees clutching an unconscious Sophie. Nearby, there was a small mountain of ash.
“Is she ...” Gabe paused, unsure what to even ask. None of what had just happened made any sense.
“Help me get her in the back,” Uri said with a strained voice, motioning to him.
Gabe quickly ran to Uri’s side and swung around to hold her feet. Uri climbed in first, pulling Sophie in behind him as Gabe guided the rest of her. Gabe thought about how he had admired her boot clad feet when he first saw her. He wished with everything in him that she would be all right.
“You come around this side and hold her head,” Uri beckoned.
Gabe made sure Sophie’s lower half was securely in the car, then closed the door as gently as he could. He rushed to the other side of the car to take Uri’s place. As he came around the back, he saw two more piles of ash where the creatures that were looking at him had been.
He hesitated for a moment as Uri stepped out of the way, allowing Gabe to slide into place, cradling Sophie’s head in his lap. Even lifeless, she was beautiful, Gabe thought. Her skin was so pale; it had a gorgeous alabaster quality to it. He wasn’t sure how she did it, but he knew she had saved him.
Uri jumped quickly behind the wheel and searched frantically for the keys. Gabe saw they were still dangling from the ignition. Leaning forward, he placed a hand on Uri’s shoulder. Uri looked back at him; Gabe could see the worry in his eyes. Gabe motioned toward the keys, slightly clearing his throat. Uri looked down and with a sigh started the car, pulling back out onto the deserted road. Minutes passed with Uri frantically checking over his shoulder.
“How is she?” he finally asked Gabe.
Gabe looked at Sophie’s body, lying there, unsure how to even answer that question.
“Seems to be the same,” he responded honestly. “I don’t understand. What happened to her?”
Uri stared at the road.
“There’s a lot you don’t understand right now, Gabe,” Uri answered, clearly not wanting to deal with a bunch of questions. “All you need to know is Soph used every ounce of power she had to save us.”
All of the questions Gabe had wanted answers to suddenly didn’t seem important. He leaned forward and noticed Uri had increased their speed to just over one hundred miles per hour, Gabe thought it prudent to say something.
“What if we get pulled over? Might be hard to explain what’s wrong with her.” Gabe had dealt with the cops enough in his life. He knew what it would be like trying to explain a half dead girl in the back seat.
“Right, right,” Uri responded without changing speed.
“Caecus,” Uri stated in a powerful voice.
“What?” Gabe asked.
“Oh,” Uri responded realizing Gabe had no idea what was happening. As they sped down the street, Uri searched for the words.
“Look, I know this is all must seem pretty messed up and I want to explain everything, really I do, but I think it’s better if you wait and talk to Michael.”
“Can you at least tell me what you just said? I heard Sophie say something back at the roadside I didn’t understand either,” Gabe pleaded.
“At the manor we learn a lot of things, one of the things they teach us ... some might call ... spells.”
“Like magic?” Gabe asked, trying not to laugh. The more he thought about it the less funny it seemed. After everything he had seen, did it really seem so impossible that magic existed?
“I suppose, but it’s the source behind our magic that makes it work. It’s a divine power,” Uri explained, increasing his speed even more. “I promise, if you have any questions after talking to Michael, I will answer them for you. He’s the best one to explain all of this. I put an incantation on the car so it’s invisible.”
“Yeah, right, we’re invisible,” Gabe said in disbelief, but then suddenly remembered back to the subway and how the officers seemed to not even notice them. “Wait, like you did in the city, with all those police officers?”
Uri glanced back at Gabe, his worry giving way for a moment to an impressed stare. “Exactly, I used a distraction spell on them allowing us to sneak by cloaked.”
“So that scream wasn’t real?” Gabe asked. Uri nodded his head affirmatively.
Gabe’s head felt like it was spinning. Monsters. Magic. He had always worried about the evils he had known in the world. Now it appeared there were unknowns that he always thought were make believe to worry about, too.
He leaned back and looked at Sophie’s face, as he did, his thoughts seemed to calm. He began to stroke her auburn hair, admiring how soft it was. Captivated by Sophie, he didn’t realize his hands had begun to burn. He heard Uri’s muffled voice and as he looked up at him, he felt an overwhelming feeling of nausea and realized everything had become blurry.
Uri was turned, looking at him, shouting something, but at that point, Gabe couldn’t hear him. A moment later, Gabe felt like the car was spinning uncontrollably. The nausea overcame him and he seriously thought he might be sick. He looked down at Sophie to make sure she was still all right. His hands were holding her head gently, but they no longer seemed like his hands. There was a glowing, blue light coming from his palms. He began to hyperventilate. Everything went black.

Cursed (Book 2)
by Wendy Owens

Some people are born into love, some people are born into war, when Gabe discovered he was a Guardian Angel, his life was suddenly thrust into both. If this hidden war wasn't enough to deal with, Gabe learns he is fated to be the great protector who will one day deliver the last prophet to either safety or death. All of these revelations didn't matter for Gabe, he only cared that his new life included Sophie. 

Sophie and Gabe grew closer over the summer. She is now a fixture in his life that keeps him moving forward. Evil doesn't stop stalking him just because he found happiness. This time darkness finds it's way into Rampart manor and Gabe will have to decide if he is willing to risk everything to try and stop it.

The Prophecy (Book 3)
by Wendy Owens
Barnes & Noble

Five years have passed since Gabe abandoned Rampart, deserting his destiny and closest friends. The struggles Gabe has endured to stay alive have changed him, hardening him into a man unwilling to trust anyone or anything, dealing with difficulties connecting with the outside world.
Gabe has finally found a certain paradise--a peace in solitude--until a familiar stranger shows up on his doorstep, pleading for Gabe's help.

Now he has to decide if he is truly content in his new life, or if he is willing to risk his solitary happiness for a little piece of the world he left behind.

Should he choose to accept the most important duty of his life, one failure could mark the beginning of the end for all mankind.

The Lost Years (book 4)
by Wendy Owens
Barnes & Noble

Gabe's world was forever altered by the people he came to know and love at Rampart Manor. Although, it wasn't only his life that was changed when he made the choice to leave them all behind.

During his five year absence, they each had a battle with personal demons. Dina is faced with a moral dilemma, the path of good leading to certain heartbreak, or evil, and a possibility of happiness.

Uri meets a mysterious woman who seems to have a lot of the answers that he has been searching for, and she certainly has a place in his heart, if he can only hold onto her.

Sophie is faced with choices she never knew would be so difficult. The question now is: will the personal demons of the remaining Guardians of Rampart be too much for them to overcome?

The Guardians Crown
by Wendy Owens
Release Date: September 27th

Gabe is finally forced to answer the ultimate question, will he give his life to save the world? What about just to save the one he loves the most? The Guardians struggle to find another way--ideas that don't involve Gabe's death--to defeat Baal. Time is running out. What will Gabe choose? What price will he pay for that choice? 

Author Bio:
Wendy Owens was raised in the small college town of Oxford, Ohio. After attending Miami University, Wendy went on to a career in the visual arts. After several years of creating and selling her own artwork, she gave her first love, writing, a try.
Since 2011, she has published a young adult paranormal series, The Guardians, which will contain five books total, as well as a novella.
Wendy now happily spends her days writing—her loving dachshund, Piper, curled up at her feet. When she's not writing, she can be found spending time with her tech geek husband and their three amazing kids, exploring the city she loves to call home: Cincinnati, OH.
Author Links:

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

#WedBriefs Flash Fiction Lady #19 by A.R. Von

Hello everyone and welcome to Wednesday Briefs Flash Fiction an awesome way to start your Hump Day! As always, I was given various options to inspire this weeks brief. I chose to go with the 1 photo and the 2 word prompts for this weeks LadyThe word prompt I used is: "use something stolen" &  have a character who feels like he/she's getting ill.

For those of you that have not read the prior week's portions and would like to. Click HERE to access them all.

I hope you enjoy & thank you for reading!

I glance down at Iria with no remorse for what I’ve just done. I feel heat flowing through my entire body. It’s as if I am being consumed by flames from the inside out. I have the sudden urge to destroy and kill. My sight is changing, losing its brightness and color. All I now see are shades of grey and splashes of red. It’s as if there is blood sprinkled all around, on everything! Death and darkness surrounds me. The ground below me shakes and ruptures as if it was just blasted by multiple canons. I need to gain control, now!

Closing my eyes and breathing deep a few times. I think about color, light, and love. The brightness and warmth of the sun on a clear day. The amazing way I feel when I hold Iria in my arms. How complete I feel when we become one and when I wake up beside her. All these thoughts only seem to heat me more instead of having the desired effect. I’m afraid to open my eyes and not see vivid color and life. I’ve not yet found if there’s a cure to this darkness within me and I find it might now be too late. This is the first time the darkness has consumed me, so and I’m unsure if I can stop it.
We’ve not yet approached all of my friends and family to request help and advice with what ails me. To tell them of what I’ve been ashamed of all my life and hope at least one of them will have the knowledge.
Iria’s hands take a hold of mine and she is shaking me. 

I cannot hear her voice yet and I feel desperate to find a cure for this evil. So far, my uncle Dillon mentioned something about a stone stolen from our family’s possession around the time of my birth. He said if we were to find a way to hone in on the stones power, we’d be able to find it and use it to absorb the darkness that’s within me. He says it’s an amethyst, a little larger than his fist; its color is deep purple with tinges of violet. But the problem is I’ve no idea what to look for when it comes to its power. We need someone with full knowledge and practice of the stone in order to be successful.

“Dezso, my love. I am all right you did not harm me. Why did you stop? We are to train me to be my best, remember? You look so far away in thought. Please come back to me?”

Iria’s voice forces me to open my eyes and I’m happy the color and brightness has returned to me. I reach for her, pull her into my arms and hold her tight. I know I must tell her what just happened to me. The thought makes me feel ill. I hope she will not desire to leave me with this new truth. I know how much I need her, no matter what happens in my life. I need her there by my side in order to triumph, in order to breathe and live.

“Dezso, please loosen your hold. I find it hard to breath and I am frightened of what’s going on. Please tell me what ails you my love.” She lightly touches my neck and makes patterns up to my jaw and back down.
Her touch sends thrilling shivers through my body. I lean forward and bury my face in her hair, breathing deep the scent only she carries. It’s mingled with the scents of pine and damp earth from sparring outdoors. Her essence brings me the courage I need to speak the truth to her. Before I change my mind, I gently grab her hand, take a step away and tug her along with me to a fallen tree so we can sit.

Once seated she stares at me with those sweet, trusting eyes.
I then angle my body towards her and tell her everything that just happened to me. What I saw, felt and thought about throughout the minutes when I felt the darkness gain its strength. Then I pause to think about what I may have brought forth and shared it with her. “I think it might have been hearing about my parents that brought it forth Iria. The anger I felt as you told me. Then imagining my mother in such a place, going through what she did. It made me think of death, murder and destruction. I desired to kill and get revenge for the harm brought upon her. But not even the thoughts of you and all of the beauty in our world could break me free—it was when you spoke to me that I was able to escape the dark, I pause to look at Iria.

She smiles sweetly at me and nods for me to continue.
“You, your voice, nothing else. We need to find the stone uncle Dillon told us about or find another way. I think we should go back to him and see if he found out anything more of where it could be or how we can find it.”

Iria turns her face away from me and closes her eyes.
I know she’s deep in thought. She always closes her eyes when she thinks hard.

“I have an idea Dezso. I’m not sure if it’ll work. But there’s no harm if we try. When I am in my birth form I can sense certain—magic’s. I become more sensitive. Especially to things which are nature based as an amethyst stone is. The next full moon is just two days away. I can let myself take form and try to find it.”

I open my mouth to voice my feelings of her idea.
Iria holds up her hands to silence me and then continues to speak. “But first I would like to try and speak with the goddess and see if she can help me to focus on the stone specifically or she might be able to tell me if it’s even worth trying. I know how you feel about me changing and the dangers involved. Especially with three more unicorns missing, and Than has been reported to be lurking mere miles away. So, I would like to contact the goddess first. I’m going to go to our spot and see if I can call upon Tethys, since she is the one who brought me to the goddess the first time.”

Be sure to come back for the next brief!

(This story continues to be dedicated to my one and only sister, my Pookie. Her love of unicorns from when we were tots is what inspired me to write it. Love you my sissy!)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book Spotlight: Love in Chelsea by Alykhan Meghani

Book Blurb
The girl of his dreams is actually his worst nightmare.
Aidan Khan is a career-minded young professional with lofty ambitions and a stress-free life.

That is, until he meets a Chelsea girl.

Sara Varsi, the daughter of a billionaire property magnate with all the wealth and power that Aidan can only dream of, is trouble. With stunning beauty, charm and a quick wit, she seems at first to be everything that Aidan's always wanted. But beneath her bubbly exterior lies a dark, shady past, a dysfunctional family and a scared little girl who will say anything to get her way.

Opposites attract, but will Aidan really risk his sanity for a shot at Love in Chelsea?

LOVE IN CHELSEA is a modern romance novel which tells of star-crossed lovers from different social classes, whose relationship is complicated by sex, lies and debauchery.

Chapter 1
Giving Eyes
The yogi was right. O the Living, O the Eternal, I seek help in your grace. Prayer was my only salvation. I started to grind my teeth as I sat in a subconsciously defensive posture, arms folded and legs crossed: left over right. This was the first time I had found myself in a police station; I had never before been in trouble with the law. My head was pounding and I coughed violently, while emitting strange noises from my stomach. Sporadic cramps made me feel nauseous; it was late in the afternoon and I hadn’t eaten anything.
“Mr. Aidan Khan? Follow me, please.”
The Detective Constable seemed bemused, and a little tired, as he led me into a room for questioning. Perhaps he was expecting a thug in a hoodie rather than a young man in a business suit. Even with the suit, I was intimidated. He was tall and burly, in his early forties, and his breath smelt of coffee.
The room was hardly big enough for a small desk and two uncomfortable plastic chairs. Absence of natural light, old paint, dim lighting and stuffy air made the room feel dingy and unwelcoming.
Disturbing things had happened to me over the previous year and a half. As a result I had become depressed, and I had developed a mean disposition. This day was turning out to be apocalyptic for me. Why had I been so naïve? I was not educated, apparently, in the art of relationships, in the art of judging people, and I had failed to realise that it’s impossible to make correct judgements when one is deeply distressed.
The Detective Constable eyeballed me with contempt as we sat in silence. I lowered my gaze shamefully and clenched my jaw.
A year and a half earlier.
Discreetly, I kept checking my appearance. Like any metrosexual male, I was particular about personal grooming: hair gelled back, face clean-shaven and eyebrows shapely. My crisp, freshly-laundered white shirt was the perfect canvas for a yellow silk tie, which contrasted beautifully against my navy-blue suit. It was lunchtime and my stomach was growling, a situation which wasn’t helped by the fact that the lift stopped at every damn floor. Seriously, why can’t people on the first floor just take the stairs? The headlines on the wall-mounted TV in the lobby distracted me momentarily. My thoughts swung between Europe’s deepening debt crisis and the food crisis in my stomach.
The vast lobby housed a reception desk, a couple of dark brown leather visitor sofas and a gargantuan fish tank filled with colourful, exotic fish. I always wondered what purpose the fish tank served; it seemed like a perfect symbol for the irrational exuberance that had caused the bloody recession in the first place. As I made my way towards the exit I peered out into the street through the transparent glass façade. Oh no!  It’s chucking it outside. Typical London weather! I hated the thought of soggy socks. It’s one of life’s minor annoyances. As I hesitantly made my way outside I was greeted by unconventional diagonal rain and a cold gust of wind that nearly blew the glasses off my face. My brisk walk turned into a horse trot, like the awkward gallop that most people in suits do when they’re in a hurry but don’t want to run and risk looking ridiculous.
Once in the bustling coffee shop, I dried my wet glasses then perused the range of sandwiches, soups and salads. The queue to the cashier was long and my time was short. When my turn finally came, I was served by a friendly female barista whose accent gave her away as Eastern European.
By the time I got back to the office the rain had done its damage. I ran my hand through my wet hair in a messy attempt to stop gel dripping down my forehead. The dampness of my blazer and trousers felt uncomfortable, and the rain had soaked my shoes and socks. Holding what was now a wet paper bag containing my lunch in one hand and a rain-spotted phone in the other, I searched into my blazer pockets for my identification card, giving the security guard a nod of acknowledgement as if to say, “It’s here somewhere.” While I was still fumbling with my pockets I vaguely noticed a woman on the other side of the security guard, although I could barely see through my clouded glasses. Quickly, I pulled out my handkerchief and wiped my glasses, then re-focused on the stranger.
She was a slim Indian girl in her mid-twenties with a pale complexion. She was above average height for a woman, about the same height as me even with her ballet flats on. The bags under her almond shaped eyes were tell-tale signs of tiredness. Her black hair was held tightly in a bun as if all she was missing was a hair net to qualify for a job as a school dinner lady. Even her eyebrows needed attention. I wasn't impressed with her failure to groom or her dress sense. The oversized, grey, V-neck, cable-knit cardigan she was wearing looked like it was knitted for a grandmother. She looked so sheepish and out of place in the plush office lobby that I found myself feeling sorry for her. This place was more accustomed to attractive women in figure-hugging dresses with low cut tops and pointy high heels; women that make men rubberneck.
As she came closer, I realised why I had noticed her: she looked familiar. Self-conscious about my own dishevelled appearance, my face flushed red with embarrassment. It dawned on me: I had seen her on The King’s Road in Chelsea a few months ago. She was with her mother, out shopping for designer clothes, judging by the branded bags they were both carrying. My brother Khaleel and I had just finished working out at the gym and were walking home in our sweaty clothes. As our paths crossed, Khaleel acknowledged the girl with a smile. The incident would have been instantly forgettable had it not been for her mother’s reaction: “Giving eyes?” she had snapped snootily. I remembered the awkwardness and the girl’s mortified facial expression. We hurried away and burst into fits of laughter as soon as they were out of earshot. The incident was too hilarious to forget.
Khaleel had denied ever fancying the Chelsea girl, but he mentioned that they had mutual friends. She was from a very affluent family that kept to its own social circle. It was rumoured that her parents were strict, and our brief encounter with her mother seemed to authenticate this sufficiently.
Standing drenched in the lobby, I contemplated whether or not to say hello. I amused myself with thoughts of the girl’s psycho mother jumping out from behind the fish tank, armed with a machete and shouting, “Giving eyes?” In the end, curiosity trumped indecisiveness. I wondered what she was doing in my building. As she approached the revolving glass door where I was still standing, we made eye contact.
I said, “Hi,” before she could pass by. She paused nervously and smiled.
“Hi,” she replied. “You’re Khaleel’s brother, right?” Trust a woman to have a faster memory and recognition.
“Yes, I am.”
I couldn't recall her name, even though Khaleel had mentioned it. So as not to be rude, I didn’t ask.
“Do you work in this building?” I asked.  I wonder if she’s a new graduate hire.
“Yes, it’s my first day of work.” I was feeling sharp hunger pangs but didn’t want to come across rude, so I listened patiently. “I’m working in real estate investment,” she added.
“Wow, really?” I said as my eyes lit up, surprised that she was working in the same field as me. Private equity is a male-dominated profession, so coming across a young Indian female with a job in real estate intrigued me. “What a coincidence! I’m in real estate too. I work on the seventh floor,” I finally blurted out.
“I’m on the fourth,” she said.
“So do you know what kind of work you’ll be doing?”
“Not really,” she shrugged nonchalantly.
I looked at her curiously.
“Looks like I’ll be needing this though,” she teased, waving her umbrella in the air.
“Umm…yes,” I smiled.
I glanced at my watch.
“Well, I should get going but it was nice meeting you,” I said.
“Yes, nice seeing you too. Say hi to Khaleel for me.”
“Will do. Hey, you’re in the same building, we should meet up for coffee sometime. It would be nice to exchange real estate gossip.” I was trying hard to be friendly.
“Sounds good,” she replied as we bid each other good day.

As I waited for the lift back up to the seventh floor, I caught a glimpse of the news headlines on the television: “Cancer rates rising. Serious Fraud Office cracks down on Ponzi schemes. Growing levels of unemployment in London’s financial services sector.” Thank God I have a stable job.

Buy links:
Note: Paperback version will be available on Amazon in the next two weeks!

Author Bio:
Alykhan Meghani is a thirty-three year old entrepreneur and fan of the UK TV show Made In Chelsea. He holds an MBA in Finance and a bachelors degree in Chemistry. LOVE IN CHELSEA is the culmination of a year of hard work and is his first novel.
Twitter: @loveinchelsea


Here are some customer reviews for Love in Chelsea:

Sarah ★★★★★ Loved it
Very well written, filled with suspense. Couldn't put the book down! Great insight into how men think: their fears, their thoughts, etc. Mix of romance and suspense. Will recommend it to my friends.
Chic Chemist ★★★★★A must read!
A must read! So many ups and downs - felt like I was on the emotional roller coaster..great first foray into writing by Mr Meghani. Captures emotion and dynamic of this tempestuous relationship so well. Is the perfect "evening in" accompaniment. I shall be waiting for the follow-up to Love in Chelsea.
ChelseaGirl ★★★★★ A roller coaster ride!
I really enjoyed this book. Picked it up on a friend's recommendation and by the time I was done with the sample chapters I clicked on 'buy'. For me, it was really interesting to get into a guy's head and see everything from his POV. The characters are flawed humans, just like us, far from perfect - which is what makes this story so real. The book made me smile, laugh and want to punch the characters in the face. Big brownie points for eliciting emotions! The style of writing was very descriptive, I could picture everything in my head like a movie. It mentioned some of my favourite haunts in London and I felt I was physically there while reading the book. I think that was the best part about the book - I felt like I was THERE. Try not to read it on public transport though, the reaction it gets out of you at various points may not be well-received by fellow commuters! :)
PS: Aidan's mum rocks!
Treborsoftmints ★★★★ Liked them-hated them-loved them!
Selected this book as a part of my holiday reads and it was a great choice!! Easy to read with moments that make your jaw drop in shock or wonder. Any young asian girl/ boy can relate to the family aspect and the highs and lows of Sara and Aidan's relationship! A great debut from the author and I look forward to reading his next piece of work.
Shamil ★★★★★ Amazing Debut Novel
1st class from start to finish. This is the first book I have read for about 10 years, I was so hooked with the storyline and drama that I finished the book in a day. So many points throughout the book I was laughing, crying and in shock. This book is highly recommended with pure raw emotion and very real. If you want a read into the life of a relationship with drama and twists at almost every step along the way this book is for u. 5*
Jiandani ★★★★★ Twisted love story true romance
Excellent book, it's beautifully written and instantly drew me in. This is an edgy romance novel which made me feel like I was actually witnessing the story unfold. I laughed, cried and felt so many other emotions as Aidan and Sara's chaotic love life turns into a family drama. Very real. Very gripping. Very intense. Loved it. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a book that touches your heart. Looking forward to Alykhan Meghani's next book.