Saturday, September 22, 2012

Duty and Desire Tour: Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: Duty and Desire
Series: Winds of Fire #1
Author: Anju Gattani
Genre: Family Saga
Publisher: Greenbrier Book Co.
Pages: 304


Book Description:

How Can Happiness Survive When Duty Clashes With Desire?

Sheetal Prasad has it all: youth, beauty, wealth and education. But when this modern Indian woman surrenders love for honor and marries into India’s most glamorous ‘royal family’, these very advantages turn against her and she is stripped of her freedom.

Meet the Dhanrajs — a powerful family bound together by a web of lies where infidelity, greed, secrets and hidden identities lurk beneath the lush tapestry. The Dhanrajs have plenty to hide and will do what it takes to mask the truth from the world.

As Sheetal peels back the layers of deceit, she confronts a haunting reality and is threatened by the blazes of passion she ignites.

Excerpt from DUTY AND DESIRE:

“…This wasn’t just any wedding. This was her wedding! She was the bride! And she was marrying a stranger. She raised her right hand to signal her mother for help.

The stranger grabbed her hand and forced her to rise from the lotus-like position. A priest then came to stand behind her and tied a sash draping from her left shoulder to a stole hanging from the groom’s shoulder. Then the pundit ordered her to lead the first six of seven pheras, or sacred perambulations, around the havan.

Sheetal crushed the carpet under her toes as the weight of her golden anklets weighed her down. Her red ghaghra—a full-length embroidered skirt, with a matching blouse and dupatta—ran past her toes, ensnaring her in a cocoon of fabric. She moved forward, one inch at a time, her ghaghra dragging behind in a river of red silk.

A dream. This was just a dream.

After completing six of the seven pheras, Sheetal took her place behind the groom, pausing midway to catch a glimpse of his face through the slits of mogra flowers.

A pair of empty sockets, where the stranger’s eyes should have been, was all Sheetal could see.

A dream. This was just a dream, she assured herself. The smoke was rising higher and thicker. It was no longer clouds of smoke but walls of soot billowing out from under the canopy and smothering her. Breathe. She couldn’t breathe.

One. There was one last phera to render her Hindu marriage complete. Sheetal inched forward, aware the end was near. Run. She had to run. But where to? She was surrounded by people and cornered on all sides.

He moved forward and she followed behind him. She was halfway around the fire, inches away from losing the freedom she cherished. It was now or never.


Sheetal clutched the sides of her A-line ghaghra, and just before the last step, the one that would bind her to this devil forever, she stepped into the fire.

Her arms stung with the prick of a thousand needles. The bed of burning coals singed her feet. The gold on her hands melted and dropped with patches of her skin to sizzle in the fire. 

Sheetal screamed. The stench of burning skin and bubbling blood filled her nostrils. She inhaled, and smoke filled her lungs. This couldn’t be happening.

This was real. This was happening. She was burning. She was on fire.

She was the fire.

Sheetal! Sheetal!” Her mother reached out, her cries soaring above an ocean of panic-stricken people.

Men ran back and forth. Women, with sapphire necklaces slithering around their necks, used ruby-red crusted fingers to cover the eyes of innocent children.

Bachao! Bachao!” Rana Prasad screamed loudly. But no one could save what was beyond help.

The dream had Sheetal tossing and turning all night. Was this a warning that if she went through with tomorrow’s wedding to Sanjeet Dhanraj, she would never get out of her marriage alive?”

About the Author:

Anju was born in India but grew up in Hong Kong. Her Indian upbringing and British education worked together to strongly influence her writing.

Anju’s fiction explores how the distinct mindsets and traditions of different cultures permanently shape people’s values, thinking, and behavior patterns—for both good and evil—despite the “leveling” effects of 21st century communications and travel.

Anju earned a Bachelors degree in English Literature in India and a teaching degree in the United Kingdom. She has also studied creative writing.

Anju has lived in Singapore, Australia, India, New Jersey and Connecticut. She now makes her home in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and two kids. Anju is a columnist for a multicultural magazine in the USA. She is also an avid guest blogger, who loves to share her experiences in health and fitness, food, self-empowerment and great fiction reads.

Duty and Desire is her first novel.

Visit Anju at

Find the Author:

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  1. I really want to read this book. The post is making me want to read more. As a new Follower,I like your Blog.Awesome!
    Cyndee Thomas

    1. I hope you get a chance to read this book and enjoy it. And thanks for liking my blog. :)

  2. I didn't hear about this book or writer before, but it sound interesting. Added to Mount TBR :)

    1. My TBR shelf on goodreads isn't too big (although 950 books is still a lot), but in my head, it's huge!

    2. And I thought that my TBR with 500 is huge. :D Although I have only first books in series added, if I added all books in series that I plan to read, it would probably be much much bigger. :D

  3. Hi Natasha,
    Thanks for hosting me and my debut novel on your site. I hope your readers enjoy the read of DUTY AND DESIRE, and I appreciate you sharing the journey of the debut, and many more books to follow!

  4. Hi Cyndee and Dragana,
    Thanks for hopping on over. I'm so glad you enjoyed the read... this is just an inkling of what's to come!