PW #137: Adult Paranormal Romance (#ownvoices): RIVEN

Manuscript Status: 2 weeks delivery

Mentors: Jami Nord and KT Hanna
Mentee: Hetal Avanee
Title: RIVEN
Category/Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance (#ownvoices)
Word Count: 93,000


Bent on revenge, Asha discovers the little sister she thought dead a prisoner of the man she’s sworn to destroy. Her only hope lies in trusting an irresistible man with shadowy goals of his own, even at the risk of her heart.


A thick fingered bouncer passed my gold embellished invitation bearing the name Ashwariya Singh into a hostess’s perfectly manicured hands. I adopted the mien of a privileged socialite with chin tilted up, hip thrust, despite the lace and sequined confection squeezing the air from my lungs. She raked a dispassionate gaze over the Louboutin’s killing my toes, around to the fist-sized fire opal caught in a net of silver and gold threads against the open back of my dress.

Nine years of blending fake personalities, false identities – the new kid, the orphan, the outsider, the genius, the rich-bitch–to return to this country where my life had first gone wrong.

I rubbed my arm, as if chills wracked me on this clear, seventy-six degree Mumbai evening. But no, the night was perfect to combat my 96.6 degree body temperature. It was to soothe the animal inside me before short golden scales, hard as diamonds, blanketed my skin and gave me away before I started.

My parents had called the dragon shaped stain on my skin a Vahana’s mark: a symbol of my animal spirit, my totem, gifted upon me from the goddess Kali. The dragon was supposed to ground me, center me, but spent too much time being a pain in my ass to actually do either of those things. 

Please, I thought, give me a break. I heard enough of your grumbling on the nonstop from New York to Mumbai. Just a few more moments and we’ll walk through the gates of hell.


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