REVIEW: DEATH by Madhuri Pavamani

Around the World in 80 Books


By Tqwana B.

4 out of 5 stars ★★★★☆

Urban Fantasy/Erotica
September 2017
Swerve

Let’s just get right into it…

This book is intense! And filthy. So beautifully filthy. The same unique blend of sex, blood, and poetry of the previous books in the Keeper series, but with a new urgency as Juma and Dutch know their final confrontation with The Gate and The Dark Mistress are upon them. And the intensity in battle and in bed increases with every life Juma loses.

This book moves fast, but maybe a little too fast. Some major deaths seem to go by in a blink. The limited page time for The Mistress was felt as well. But, the narrative slows down when it matters most, and that’s with Dutch and Juma and their love. At the heart of the story is always Dutch and Juma’s bond, which leads to…

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Dream Me

Continents breathe life
into these
arms
lips
thighs
These feet know the stain
of red Georgia clay and
the sting of an angry fire ant
These hands grind
cumin
cardamom
cayenne
and clap a mean Bhangra beat
This smile recalls my mommy
my brow belongs to daddy
I am their wildest diaspora
dream
come
true


The pieces of poetry on this blog and Write Bitches are works of fiction, erupting from my incredibly over-active imagination. And my unending love for all things romance.

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Random Thoughts

Are you doing #NaNoWriMo? If so, how’s it going? Mine is…not. As in going. Yet. There is still hope for me, although I’m beginning to think it’s my obsession to spectacularly fail #NaNoWriMo every year… NaNoWriMo

What happened to Helen Fielding? and why did she write Bridget that ending? And by “that”, I mean her too-cute finale of turning Bridget into a smug married with a baby on her hip. Yuck. I always thought of Fielding as this snarky, smart Brit who knew there was something more to the version of life that is shoved down our throats as young girls and continues to haunt us well into womanhood. God, was I wrong.

Resist. That’s what we did on Tuesday. Everyone who voted against anyone affiliated with 45, pat yourself on the back. Now onto 2018. Please, Dems – do not fuck this up.

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For the record, I am Fenty 330. And yes, I barely wear any makeup, but every girl wants to know her Fenty number. #PresidentRihanna

 

 

Last weekend I added to my tattoos, and it is a beauty. Also, it hurt like nothing I’ve ever experienced. My tattoo artist, the wonderful and talented Jason Barletta of Rising Dragon Tattoos in NYC, texted me the next day to check in and tell me what a badass I am – you are a total warrior – that’s how crazy the level of pain was. But it was worth it. I love my new ink.

B7VCyWNIAAAheu1

Jason Barletta

 

 

 

 

And this past weekend, I took my girlfriend, Johnalynn, out to Williamsburg to see Adrian Castillo of J. Colby Smith|108 for a piercing. She didn’t know what she wanted and I wanted nothing – we walked out of there with a double piercing for her and a solo for me. Our ears look so pretty and for real, Adrian is one of the coolest, sweetest people you’ll meet. Before him, I don’t think I’d met a piercer I would dare call sweet. He told us to hit Twelve Chairs Cafe for dinner afterwards, we did, and left BK feeling full and looking sexy. Thank you, Adrian.

Candice Iloh, my fellow Rhode Island Writers Colony resident, was with me both times. Which leads to the inevitable question: whatever is she going to do with herself without me this weekend? 😉

I worked from home the other day because The Kid was sick and couldn’t make it to school. We hit the doctor’s office and the pharmacist and Wonder Bagels on Central Avenue. He watched Men In Black – I think that movie is hilarious, hold it against me, go ahead, I’m cool with that – and developed an obses53167292519__084FB641-4F8B-45BC-9044-4077DAE6DE81 (002)sion for Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. He ate, he took meds, and by the end of the day, the soccer ball came out and he was back practicing his fancy footwork, a sure sign all was well. Oh, and he called me a “big, fat meanie” because I probably was acting like a big, fat meanie because there is only so much cooped-up-in-the-house togetherness I can take before I get a little cranky.

On that note, can it be Friday already?

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Gate A14

1

that man sitting across from me
eating his trail mix
with popcorn and chocolate chips
from a zip lock bag
he pulled from his wife’s purse
goodness he is difficult to look at
how has that tiny woman
shared a bed with him for all of
the years of their togetherness?
because they’ve been together forever
that much is obvious
and even though I should,
I cannot stop staring
while the men down the aisle
wearing their camo cargo shorts,
flip flops and snarky t-shirts,
with their bald heads, reading glasses and soft bellies –
tell-tale signs of middle age they believe
their sartorial choices hide – won’t shut up
all of us can hear every detail of
their inane conversation
whether we want to or not
and sitting on the cusp
of delay number two
we do not
thank the gods the guy next to me
with his good spirited dog tattoo
and his Gucci Mane memoir
with a chapter called The So Icey Boyz
and the couple across from me
sharing a buttered bagel and coffee
while they send texts on their cell phones
and seem so together yet so apart
are quiet
and considerate
and respect the early-morning hour
by speaking in hushed tones or not at all
not that I would say anything if they didn’t
I would simply get up
grab my carry-on and my laptop
and my half-drunk too-weak
despite-the-fact-I-asked-for-an-extra-shot
airport latte
and walk to the other side of the lounge
to find more folks to write about


The pieces of poetry on this blog and Write Bitches are works of fiction, erupting from my incredibly over-active imagination. And my unending love for all things romance.

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#Writing Contemporary Romance: AMAL, Part 13

I kind of forgot about this exercise. This whole releasing AMAL into the world, tossing out all of her pieces and kind of seeing where they land.

So far I have no idea where that might be. I guess that’s kind of the point of all of this, non? Figuring shit out. Or even if I don’t do that, at least editing AMAL, returning to my trio here and there, thinking on them every so often.

Anyway, the last time I posted, Andrew spied Amal at the party, came up behind her, and asked something quite dirty. Because sometimes he gets like that. And when he does, it’s all kinds of sexy.

Then again, I love Andrew. I think almost everything he does is all kinds of sexy.


CHAPTER FOUR – AMAL

Like sandpaper rubbed along a curve of wood to smooth out the creases and cracks and make everything beautiful, his voice, low and rough, curled around my throat, kissed my secret spots, and made my insides explode.

But I played it cool.

“Not that it is any of your business,” I replied with a smile. And for a second, I forgot who I was, where I was, and who I was with, and spoke in tones so low Mr. Downtown had to remain in my personal space to hear my words meant for his ears only. “But no, I have not fucked my professor.”

“Then David Andersen is a bigger idiot than I assumed,” he said with a laugh. He was pleased about something he intended to keep to himself as he continued to verbally fuck me from behind. “Because if you were in my class.”

“You are assuming he rejected me,” I interrupted as I turned his way, an eyebrow cocked in his direction, my intent to dress him down for his false impressions. My reality wholly different as I lost my breath in the face of his rugged beauty. The dark eyes, sun-kissed skin, stubble-covered jaw, full mouth. All of it, in combination on him, was too much. I gasped low as my lungs heaved, my capillaries constricted, and my breath tangled around itself in an effort to escape my parted lips. 

That’s what he did to me. 

“Fucking god, you are perfection,” he settled in beside me, a polite distance between us, but close enough I could feel his heat, his breath when he neared, his everything. And it was heaven. And although Jackson and I were perfect together, the closest of friends, the most intimate of lovers, something about this man, this particular man with a voice that did things to me and a smirk that made me want to kiss it right off, made me reckless and restless and yearning for wickedness I had no idea I desired. 

I didn’t care about the party or who was watching us or much of anything besides him, this alluring, sensual, dirty-mouthed Mr. Downtown. He studied my parted lips and licked his own, the first time his body seemed to betray his cool exterior, then sucked in a breath and hissed, “goddamned perfection.”  

“Do not try and distract me with your pretty words, mister,” I teased in an effort to diffuse some of the tension between us.

“But they elicit such sensual sounds,” he came back at me, his voice liquid sex and again my breath caught and I sighed.

“See? Just like that,” he said, and he grinned because he was so very bad and he was so very right – all of his words did things to me. 

“As I was saying before you so rudely interrupted,” — although there was nothing rude about anything he did — “Professor Andersen did not reject me, mostly because I haven’t even offered myself.” And I paused and he watched my mouth and waited and good lord, he looked like a man starved. “Yet.”

He tore his gaze from my mouth and met mine and I don’t know what he saw but whatever it was, I sensed he liked it. 

“Taking your time, are you?”

“I am,” I said and cocked my head to the side and smiled.

“Reeling him in?” he asked.

“Something like that,” I replied.

“Teasing him a little here and a little there,” he said as he leaned close and all of him looked delicious. And dangerous. “And then before he knows it, our studious David Andersen is little more than a raging hard on every time he contemplates anything remotely related to you.”

Pause.

“And that beautiful ass.”

My cheeks heated and a sheen of sweat glistened above my upper lip as the words beautiful and ass jumped off his tongue and entered the space between us. I touched my throat and his eyes rested on my hand and suddenly every inch of my skin was aflame, so much I wondered whether in the dim light of the loft he could see the flush and feel my heat. 

“Yes,” I finally gathered myself and agreed. “I like to offer a taste, some temptation tinged with a promise, to keep his mind racing and his thoughts focused on me.”

Pause.

“And my beautiful ass.”

This time it was his turn to groan. I heard it and he knew I heard it. 

He rubbed his jaw and his sleeve fell back to reveal intricate designs that disappeared down his arm and I found myself wanting to peel back all of his clothes and learn every line of ink on his body and just like that, I shook my head and righted myself. I had to stop this. 

I was Amal Warrier Naipaul and yes, I wrote hot romance and wild sex, but that was fantasy. No where in my reality was there mention of a dashing stranger with a voice like sex coming along to flip my carefully constructed perfect existence on its head. And yet.

I glanced around the room in search of that gorgeous brown skin and deep silk voice, the pristine hair, the white teeth. 

Jackson.

Where the fuck was he?

“Relax.”

I turned back to Mr. Downtown even though I knew I shouldn’t. He was nothing more than six feet four inches of wiry fuckable trouble. And I watched him speak the word “breathe” and for some reason I did. I breathed and I listened and I calmed and what had been racing a million miles a minute, slowed to a more manageable pace, something I could exist within and without and feel somewhat again, myself.

“And then answer for me,” he continued and I waited and wondered, what would he do to me next. “Are you always such a control freak?”

Stop.

No pause.

Stop. 

Just like that all the sexy and lust and desire that floated in the air between us and waited for us to do something with it, all of that disappeared. Because unbeknownst to Mr. Downtown, that one phrase – control freak – irked me like no other.

“Why don’t you stop being so controlling and maybe your brother wouldn’t hate you?” Jackson tossed my way as he moved around the kitchen that day, opening cabinets looking for cumin until I finally got up, reached into the cabinet to the right of the stove, and fished out the blue topped bottle he sought. “See? Like that. I didn’t ask you to find the cumin for me,” he said as he shook his head and laughed, not amused at all. “But you just couldn’t help yourself, could you Amal?”

“I was helping you,” I explained through gritted teeth. He stopped what he was doing and shot me a look. The look. The one that told me without saying a word that I was full of shit.

“You were not. You were helping yourself maintain control of this kitchen, just like you help yourself maintain control of your brother’s life, just like you help yourself maintain control our relationship.”

“Bullshit, Jackson,” I growled. “Don’t turn my brother’s inability to make a sound decision for himself into some treatise on your feelings of emasculation because I like to make decisions for myself.”

“For yourself, Amal?!” he asked, his voice tinged with shock. “Is that what you call it? Because it’s funny how every decision you seem to make for yourself intimately affects me. You are a control freak, I don’t care what you say or how you sugarcoat it, you are and you know it.”

Jackson watched me fume that afternoon in the kitchen. He knew his words struck a sensitive chord, he intended them to. And as I seethed, he softened and his eyes that flashed so dark and angry quieted and appeared almost sad.

“Isn’t it exhausting, Amal, to always have the last word, to always be in charge?”

What Jackson didn’t know and I couldn’t bring myself to tell him, because by the time I realized it myself, it was too late, our relationship roles were set and there was no going back to redefine the parameters, was that I hated being in charge. I detested and abhorred it. 

I didn’t always want to be the leader, I fought against having to take the reins on everything and from everyone. I never asked to be in charge and for real, I just wanted someone to step up and stake their claim. 

Funny thing was, no one ever did.

Not my brother, or my best friend or my aunt or even Jackson. 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I stared ahead and refused to meet Mr. Downtown’s gaze, my voice like ice and all of me wanting him gone.

“I think you know exactly what I’m talking about, hotness.”

Fuck him. 

“The way you’ve perfectly planned your seduction of that asshole Andersen,” he growled real low and I could tell he hated the idea of me and that professor almost as much as I hated being called controlling. “Every step of the seduction outlined and mapped, plotted and played out. You’ve left little to your imagination because it’s all been worked over a million times in your mind, so much that it’s no longer something sexy but rather another task for you to add to your list of things to do.”

I hurled daggers at him, my eyes full of silent fury, my fingertips itched to hurt him, shatter him and his bullshit truths. I didn’t even want to fuck that smug bastard Andersen, that bullshit intellectual – I was flirting for god’s sake. With him! In the goddamned bookstore. And now he wanted to use that nonsense to conduct some sort of psychoanalysis of me? Fuck that.

Jackson caught a glimpse of my fury from across the room and shot me a look as he studied Mr. Downtown. I could tell he wondered if his assistance was needed, but he was Jackson, the gentleman’s gentleman. He would wait for me to seek his help. I declined his unspoken offer with a slight nod, and he paused and watched Mr. Downtown for a beat before returning his attention to me and mouthing “I love you”. I shot him a tight-lipped smile and Jackson glanced once more at the stranger by my side, sized him up, calculated all of the hows, whys, whats and whens before he returned to his conversation, and left me to mine.

It was his chance to take control of a situation for me, step up, and handle my shit. But Jackson knew I could do it myself – of course I could, I always did – I could deal with the stunning stranger in the perfectly fitted suit and wicked gleam in his eye, the man who stood a little too close to me, spoke a little too low. I could and I would. 

Oh Jackson, my soul sighed for him, for me, for us. I contemplated my beautiful partner for a few seconds more, the man I loved like a madness, the person to my person. Then collected myself, turned to Mr. Downtown and hissed, “fuck you.”


Andrew and Amal, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Of course, we’re not there yet, but it’s gonna happen, right? It has to.

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DUTCH: The Blog Tour

TourBanner_Dutch

I haven’t done this in years – probably not since book III in The Sanctum Trilogy – but I want to give my dark-hearted assassin and his full-of-magic target a chance to make it out there in the world, so I’ve teamed up with Goddess Fish Promotions and am headed on a virtual book tour.

The tour kicked off this week with a four star review from Emily Carrington’s Book Blog, who said Dutch and Juma remind her of Romeo and Juliet. I’ll be making five other stops at various paranormal and paranormal romance blogs over the next few weeks. Along with excerpts from DUTCH and reviews from the blogs, I’m giving away a $50 Amazon gift card.

All you have to do for a chance to win is stop by the blogs and say hi. Leave a note. Ask a question. I promise to answer anything you can think to ask.

The more blogs you visit and leave a note, the more chances you have to win. If you ask me, it’s almost too easy. Hope you stop by. Like they say, you gotta be in it to win it. 

Here are the blogs and dates:
October 23: Emily Carrington
October 30: Long and Short Reviews
November 6: Natural Bri
November 13: Fabulous and Brunette
November 13: Sharing Links and Wisdom
November 13: Jennifer Macaire, Tell me a Story

Catch you on the tour – ciao!

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