Thank you, Delilah, for hosting me and my new romance Karma’s Slow Burn.
I’m about half way through my pre-release journey and boy, I can’t tell you how long this seems. But, I did and still do need this time to get a lot of balls balancing in the air in beautiful harmony. And I still hope (fingers crossed) one of those balls won’t come crashing down on me.
I’ve received three good reviews from as many ARC readers. It is not nearly enough to get my book on reputed-maybe too hyped?-advertisers sites. All of them require at least five four-star reviews. Which is understandable due to the over-whelming numbers of books being released. Which is a downer for an indie author like me. I have to keep working to find those choice spots so my book does not fade into oblivion even before it is released!
Then there are the shenanigans with Amazon about getting those two reviews on my book’s page. The only place to put a review not posted by an Amazon buyer (they can’t because my book in not yet available) is to get in touch with Amazon. Days 1,2. Then they send me a link I can use to send them the reviews, which they will enter on my book page for me. The email they sent is invalid and my email bounces right back. I again send them yet another email, through KDP, Author Central or Customer Service? Aargh! Too many choices. Day 3. They send me the right one but meanwhile I can’t schedule any actual promotion because my book details are not current. Double aargh!
Now that the issue has been resolved, I heave a tiny sigh of relief. Now I have to see how I can get those precious reviews on Smashwords. I will need a barrel of luck as it does not look good.
Karma’s Slow Burn
Sportswriter Karma Huntington is going to hit Rafael Henley, star pitcher for the Sliders, hard to avenge her husband’s death. Rafael cannot ignore the chemistry between them and decides a one-night stand is in order. Karma agrees. Just to get that itch off. But once they get into each other’s pants, things get complicated. Revenge and guilt take a back seat with sizzling chemistry in control. Rafael likes willowy blondes and women who don’t look to him as their protector. Yet here is, lusting after the complete opposite: petite, raven-haired, Karma with a rose tat running up her neck. Can Rafael overcome the dark secret he hides and give in to what his heart wants? Will Karma finally admit she needs Rafael?
Excerpt from Karma’s Slow Burn:
As Karma drove home, the large orange globe of a full moon hung before her eyes, bathing the countryside in its silver glow. The deserted road stretched in front of her, turned and disappeared between the trees. It was a magical and beautiful night. The scent of lilacs wafted from the back seat of her electric car. Trudie had cut her some lilac sprigs. He had three different colors growing in the yard.
Karma listened to Linus Radisson’s music. She waited for the part where Radisson’s voice became husky and slithered all over her. She waited for the part where it cracked at just the right spot. He had a very sexy voice and she sighed, her shoulders falling and her arms dropping from the wheel, carried away by the rhythm in the ballad. There was a jolt and her butt lifted up from the seat. As it sunk back, there was a loud thud. She felt the car pulling to the right.
Dammit! A bloody pothole! A flat. Immediately, there was a ping. Her overly environmentally friendly car had just run out of juice.
She eased her smart vehicle slowly to the grassy side where it stopped of its own volition. She got out and inspected the damage. In the light of the moon, she could see the right front wheel sagging. Karma opened her trunk, got out the jack and began the intricate process of changing the flat.
Rafael Henley started his Harley Street Glide and eased out onto the open road from his home in the country. Lush woods surrounded the ten plus acres. Hidden deep in the greenery, a stream trickled down ancient rocks. It was a good place to raise Ali.
He’d left an exhausted Ali asleep, with Rosita close by, after an afternoon of splashing in the pool, leaving him a bit of time to indulge in his passion. It was something only Linus knew about. Helmet donned and he could be anybody.
It was a beautiful evening, the sun leaving pink streaks in the darkening sky. The sliver of the moon turned round and yellow. Soon, he would be alone with the wind in his hair. It was another secret he kept: out on the road with nothing in sight, he took off his helmet and was one with the countryside.
It happened half an hour into his ride. He saw her illuminated in the pale glow of the twilight just as he was coming out of a bend. It couldn’t be anyone else but Karma. Not with those long, black waves rippling down her back. Not with his senses all on alert. There was a tiny something-could be called a car-parked by the side. She was at work at one of the tires. She paused, made a movement with her hands and there was no more hair rippling down her back. Her almost naked back. Her dress glistened in the glow of the moon. It was pale, strapless and the back dipped in a sumptuous V. He could make out the way it hugged her curves.
It was enough to make him hard. What was it about this woman? She was not good for his sanity. She brought up bad memories. But his cock didn’t know any better. It wanted what it wanted. And it wanted her.
As he killed his engine and walked toward her, he untucked his T-shirt. It fell below his fly and he was grateful to be able to hide the evidence of his arousal. She was kneeling on a rolled up blanket, a pair of pale shoes by her side. In the glow of the portable light by her side, he saw her arms move. Gravel crunched beneath his shoes.
Karma was almost done with the last bolt when she heard the crunch of gravel behind her. A sleek road hog pulled up beside her. She put the wrench down and sank down on the grass. Of all the people to run into, it had to be him.
“Need help? A ride?” The familiar voice rubbed into her skin and seeped in like the lavender lotion she loved.
Just his voice gave her goose bumps. Karma turned to look at him. Moonlight glinted off the chrome on his motorcycle.
“Nope, Henley, I’m all done. Thanks for stopping, anyway.”
“Mind if I keep you company?”
Karma hesitated for a brief moment before she said, “No.”
She got her phone out to call her father. And a tow truck. He got off the magnificent machine and stood by her with his hands in his pockets.
“Lovely night,” he sniffed the air. “Fresh air.”
“You don’t live around here.” A statement not a question.
“Nope don’t. Visiting my father. Thought you lived in the city. In a penthouse.”
“Yep. But I also have place in the country. Not far from here.”
He came down on his haunches beside her. He was wearing a pale colored T-shirt: either blue or white and jeans. Dark hair, in sexy disarray from the bike ride, fell over his eyes. There was a faint aroma of something smoky. It was seductive. She took a deep whiff of it.
“What are you doing with a flat at a time like this?” She caught a flash of his smile in the night.
“Well,” Karma began slowly. “I had no choice. It chose me.”
“That can happen,” he laughed softly.
She stuck the phone back in her pocket and gave the bolt a final twist. Then she stretched her arms over her head, leaned them back on the soft grass and looked at the sky.
“I can’t believe it. Just a couple of months ago all this was under snow.” She looked around her.
“It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? That the cycle goes on and on seemingly forever?”
When she was done, he got to his feet and gave her his hand. He pulled her up. She made sure not to get too close to him. She put the wrench away and he handed over the rest of her stuff.
“Who’re you calling?” he butted in when she began her second call.
“My father. Need a ride home. My zero emission wonder is out of juice.”
“I can give you a ride. No need to disturb your father.”
Karma debated. On the one hand she’d promised herself she’d focus on her plan. On the other, the Harley was hot and she wanted to feel it beneath her. It was no contest at all. Prudence lost by a mile. But they still had to wait for the tow truck.
She pressed her phone and soon Linus Radisson’s voice flowed through the moonlit countryside.
“Are you still in touch with Linus?” With those words she opened the can of worms.
Any desire he had for her screeched like a banshee and made for the hills. “Yes, we’ve stayed friends.”
“That’s nice. Like Kim and I.”
He was damned sure it was not the same. What he had with Linus was way beyond simple friendship. It was karma. They were brothers in every way except blood, drawn to each other from the moment they met. They were two kindred souls who’d found each other in an ocean of souls. They were two sides of the same coin, each unique and distinct.
“He has the most amazing voice. And the guitar….it rips me apart.”
His sentiments exactly, though he didn’t say it out loud. His grunt should have been agreement enough. Linus’s music was the balm to his wounds. It took him places. He never needed anything else to keep him soaring, always lifting him up when he was down. And when he felt like wallowing, Linus was there too with his dark lyrics and brooding harmonics.
“Isn’t he up for a Grammy?”
“Or more, I wouldn’t be surprised. His latest album packs quite a punch, both lyrical and musical.”
“How’s your daughter?”
He knew what she was doing. She was controlling the conversation. The thing was, he couldn’t have cared less. He was content to sit by her side in the moonlight, let her fragrance soak into him, knowing something was about to change.
She plopped down on the grass again and he followed suit, his hands braced behind him. She hitched the dress up to her thighs and sat cross-legged, her hair tumbling over her shoulders. She didn’t seem to notice when a breeze picked up strands and blew them across his body, the silky fingers whispering around his biceps. He snagged a wayward strand. It curled around his finger as if it had a life of its own. He resisted the impulse to rake his fingers through her hair. He resisted the urge to pull her into his arms and wrap them around her to make her disappear in them like he’d done outside Josh’s.
And he was back where he’d started. As desire for her surged in him, he beat it down with an iron fist even as his dick thickened and hardened to wood. He shook his head to empty them of lustful thoughts and focused on what she was saying.
Recipe from Karma’s Slow Burn.
Karma’s Axle Grease Smoothie
-1 ripe banana
-1 ball frozen spinach
-10 raw cashews
-1/2” piece of ginger root, peeled
-1 tsp each of hemp flour, nutritional yeast and flax seed powder
-up to 2 cups liquid (water, almond or soy milk) for desired consistency
Buzz in a high speed blender. Pour into tall glasses and enjoy.
Fireflies in the Night
Literary Fiction, winner of the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Award; Best Books of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews; Starred Kirkus Review; Finalist Foreword Reviews Indie Fiction Award. A historical, coming-of-age novel.
About the author
Nalini Warriar dreamed of being a writer then forgot the dream for a bit as she went on to garner a Ph.D in Molecular Biology. While in her lab, the dream came back and hit her on the head and she’s never looked back writing through her years as a scientist. After more than a decade in cancer research, Nalini returned to the creative part of her soul and now devotes her time to dreaming up the perfect alpha male and feisty woman to appear in her books. Her novel, Fireflies in the Night, was a Foreword Reviews Fab Award finalist and won the Next Generation Indie Book Award in 2017. Kirkus Reviews awarded Fireflies in the Night a starred review and named it Best Books of 2016. Karma’s Slow Burn, a contemporary romance will be released in February 2020. She’s working on her next romance, a Crenshaw Brothers book, to be released in 2020. She lives in Ontario, Canada.