#BlogTour #ZooloosBookTours @ZooloosBT / #Excerpt : Marriage Unarranged #MarriageUnarranged – Ritu Bhathal @RituBhathal @SpellBoundBks

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Marriage Unarranged Tour Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Marriage Unarranged’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Ritu Bhathal Author PhotoRitu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but of Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her. From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally encouraged her to continue writing.
As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes. A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing! Ritu also writes a blog, www.butismileanyway.com, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was awarded first place in the Best Overall Blog Category at the 2017 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards and Best Book Blog in 2019.
Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the fur baby Sonu Singh.

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Synopsis :

Ritu Bhathal Author PhotoIt all s̶t̶a̶r̶t̶e̶d ended with that box…
The year 2000 and Aashi’s life was all set.
New Millennium ,exciting beginnings, new life.
Or so she thought.
Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.
But then Aashi found the empty condom box…
Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.
Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.
And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets?
A stranger who’s hiding something…

Coming Summer 2023, book 2 in The Rishtay Series!

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Excerpt :

Every time she closed her eyes, Aashi saw herself in different bridal outfits, and each time, she felt like a princess.
With those pictures in mind, Aashi drove to Ravi’s place, singing along to one of her Hindi film soundtrack tapes. Excitement fizzed inside her, rendering her incapable of sitting still in her seat. In a few hours, their honeymoon destination would be finalised. Soon I’m going to be Mrs Grewal. Mrs Ravi Grewal!
After parking her car, Aashi grabbed the bulging carrier bag filled with travel brochures from the passenger seat next to her. She quickly checked her reflection in the mirror and smoothed an unruly lock of hair down before getting out. She hummed as she bounced up the garden path and rang the doorbell. A minute passed. No answer. She pressed it again. Where is Ravi? He knows I’m coming. A blurry image through the frosted glass showed someone approaching. That isn’t him…
The door opened to reveal a tall, attractive woman: Nishi, Ravi’s work colleague. She towered over Aashi’s 5’ 5” frame. Flicking her long, wavy hair backwards, she smiled at Aashi, her full lips shining with what looked like freshly applied gloss. “Oh, Aashi! Hi there. Ravi didn’t mention you were coming over. He must’ve forgotten.”
“Nishi? Hi!” What’s she doing here? Haven’t they done enough work at the office all week? Aashi entered what was going to be her own home soon, stepping past Nishi.
As she headed towards the living room, Ravi sauntered down the stairs. Aashi’s heart melted a little, looking at him with his usually groomed hair sticking up in all directions.
“I’m going to have to love you and leave you both. See you around, Aashi, see you later, Ravi.” Nishi walked out the door, shutting it behind her.
“How are you, honey? Did you forget I was coming today?” Aashi gave Ravi a big hug and a quick peck on the cheek.
“Er, no, of course I didn’t forget. How could I? Do you want a cup of tea?” Ravi hurried into the kitchen.
Aashi followed him. “Here, let me make it.” Putting her bag down, she reached over and flicked on the kettle. “What was Nishi doing here so early? And on a Saturday? Surely not work?” As usual, the kitchen was a complete tip. Her nose wrinkled as a variety of stale scents assaulted her nostrils. Grabbing a cloth, she cringed as an unknown substance oozed between her fingers. She felt the need to tidy up whenever she came around. Ravi is so lucky!
“Nothing, I mean, she needed to deliver an important file to me, so I could finish a project this weekend. Anyway, what are we discussing today?”
“You haven’t forgotten already, have you? The honeymoon.” Aashi took the cups of tea to the living room. She carefully placed them on the small coffee table and perched herself on the edge of the sofa. Once comfortable, she proceeded to take the brochures out of her bag. “So, any bright ideas? I thought about Goa, or maybe the Maldives?”
Sitting down near her, Ravi took a sip of his tea. God, he looks a mess. But a cute one. Aashi watched him sink back into the sofa and close his eyes for a moment. She took a minute to savour the profile of her fiancé. Ravi’s black hair, though tousled right now, would usually be neatly gelled back. A straight nose tapered off into a perfect point. His eyelashes were so long, they touched his cheeks when his eyes were closed, and those lips were full and inviting. Oh, I could kiss him now! But I can’t. That would be way too forward of me. Aashi stood up quickly, embarrassed at her thoughts. “I’ll be back in a sec.” She nipped up the stairs.
“Aashi! Where are you going? Aashi?
“I’m only going to the loo. I’ll be down in a sec.”
The bathroom was also a mess. Toilet seat up. Typical. Toothpaste tube uncapped. A towel casually dropped on the floor, as if it belonged there, not on the towel rail. Aashi went into her automatic cleaning mode, hanging up the towel, placing dirty clothes in the clothes basket, picking up random tissues from the floor-
“Noooooo!” Her scream filled the air. It can’t be… OMG! It is! Aashi closed her eyes. Perhaps when she opened them again, she’d see something different.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds